California fires: smart speakers and emergency alerts
sean at donelan.com
Thu Jul 26 20:08:14 UTC 2018
On Thu, 26 Jul 2018, valdis.kletnieks at vt.edu wrote:
> Do those use a frequency band that's suitable for cellphones to monitor (antenna
> size, power, etc)? Because your best chance of getting my attention in an emergency
> is to make my phone start shrieking.
15 years ago (way back in 2003), one of the reasons the cellular industry
gave for NOT having mobile alerts was everyone had a home landline phone.
The cellular industry argument was the best way of getting people's
attention at home in an emergency using Reverse-911 to call all the
phone numbers in the local exchange. The cellular industry said mobile
phone alerts were unneccessary and impractical because they wouldn't know
where the cell phone was.
Fast forward to today. How many people would answer (or still have)
their home landline phones if the local emergency service called in the
middle of the night with an emergency message? How many people have moved
around the country, and still have a cellular phone number from several
Now my mobile phone gets emergency alerts based on the phone's current
location, not the telephone number exchange from four cities ago.
> (For what it's worth, I actually did get an Amber Alert on my phone last night, and
> a phone-based weather alert as well)
If the cellular industry had successfully avoided mobile emergency alerts
15 years ago, because "everyone" had a landline phone, you might not have
gotten an alert last night. Those where minor things, but there may be a
big thing in the future. Silicon Valley loves to talk about "disrupting"
things, but not about consequence of that disruption. Smart speakers are
great, but no more am/fm radios for emergencies. Smart TVs are great, but
no more cable/antenna for emergencies. Cell phones are great, but no more
landline phones at home.
Although, I do admit, I turned off Amber alerts on my cell phone a long
time ago because NCMEC always seemed to send them early in the morning
while I'm sleeping.
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