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> “Presidential Alert”, When 4:00 Twitterfeeds are not enough.
Curmudgeon
post Sep 17 2018, 03:38 AM
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It’s not a political message, but an emergency test message
QUOTE
A majority of cell phone users will receive an alert on Thursday, September 20, with the header “Presidential Alert” and the message, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

This message on the television program I was sleeping to woke me up and I verified the news on the Internet.

My wife and I, and several of our aged friends still carry "flip phones." They are small enough to carry in a watch pocket and useful in an emergency. Periodically, a statewide missing child alert sends a loud blaring alert that drowns out any noise until the phone is opened. By the time I put my glasses on, I will be able to read "color car" or "in Detroit," but there is no way to retrieve the message which shows up as a charge on my cell phone bill.

I "took action" by sending the message to my Congressman, both Senators from my state, and a cc to The President that when he sends a “Presidential Alert" while taking a four AM "Twitter break" that ends in “Be on the alert for a witch hunt” at 4:00 AM and both our cell phones turn on and start blaring a European Siren noise that won't shut up until we put on our glasses, open our phones, view the last two words only (as is typical of missing children alerts) that, IT WILL INFLUENCE HOW I VOTE IN EVERY ELECTION UNTIL THIS IDIOTIC INTERRUPTION OF PRIVACY IS REPEALED.

Questions for debate:

Did anyone warn us this was coming?

Does this president not understand that if he steps into the press room and announces that he started World War III without Congressional approval, he will not have to send a tweet and a text to every American? Every member of the N(ot) R(eally) A(merican) club will load their weapons, pour into the streets, and begin shooting at anyone sho is "hiding behind a tree." (Based on 4:00 AM conversations years ago in lunchrooms where every member of the Michigan Militia felt that I was a communist hippie because I didn't shave my head, and invest 10% of my weekly take-home in either guns or ammunition.)
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AuthorMusician
post Sep 18 2018, 04:20 AM
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Did anyone warn us this was coming?
Annoying robo calls to cell phones have been part of the communications landscape for some time now. We get them about flash flood warnings, Amber alerts, sales pitches for nothing of interest and fraudulent scare calls.

If WW III kicks off and I miss the call, then my first clue will be the mushroom clouds over Cheyenne Mountain and Peterson AFB. Then I'll get to find out what happens after game's end. Or not if it's nothing.

Free at last from pushy tech!

However, I have gotten very good at ignoring intrusive calls, even while sleeping. So I guess the war will have to go on without me. Kinda sucks for younger folks though. They should probably vote in November, eh?
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Sep 18 2018, 12:38 PM
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QUOTE
Did anyone warn us this was coming?


Aren't you describing a warning that "this is coming"? blink.gif

Emergency tests are pretty standard, aren't they?
They've been obligatory for television and radio for a long while.
Since few people use television or radio (and fewer and fewer people have landline phones), but just about everyone has a cell, it makes sense to run the test via cell.


This post has been edited by Mrs. Pigpen: Sep 18 2018, 12:39 PM
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AuthorMusician
post Sep 21 2018, 01:05 PM
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Maybe I got the date wrong, but wasn't I supposed to have been robo-called by the POTUS yesterday?

Didn't happen. I feel like the lone survivor in a family murder/suicide. What's wrong with me? Wasn't I good enough to get shot dead? (I know a person who has felt this way after such an incident.)

Or maybe the sleazes who are selling cellphone numbers removed mine because I seldom make calls or let them through.

Then there's a high probability that the robo-call system failed, if it ever existed in the first place. The techie part of me believes this to be true, as does the life narrator/observer/comedian living somewhere inside who is often amazed that anything works.

Even a higher probability is I've got the date wrong and just don't give a hoot. The robo-callers can go suck bandwidth and degauss themselves.
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Sep 21 2018, 01:21 PM
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Don't worry, AM.
It has been postponed to October 3rd
I'm sure you'll get it, just like the rest of us.

thumbsup.gif tongue.gif
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AuthorMusician
post Sep 22 2018, 01:59 PM
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Postponed due to weather, as in the servers went literally under water.

Techie me can buy that. Water and computing never mix well unless it's for cooling. What if this is indeed due to global warming caused by burning fossil fuel CO2 sequesters? Doh! It's as if authoritarian regimes can't get a break anymore rolleyes.gif

I'm waiting on cushions and pillows for my robo call.

BTW, welcome to the higher country, Mrs. P. Floods are a lot skinnier up here. Also less predictable, as is the weather in general. Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be meteorologists.
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Oct 3 2018, 09:46 PM
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I got mine today. Around three in the afternoon.

I've heard it didn't work for everyone?

QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Sep 22 2018, 08:59 AM) *
BTW, welcome to the higher country, Mrs. P. Floods are a lot skinnier up here. Also less predictable, as is the weather in general. Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be meteorologists.


Heh, thanks AM! flowers.gif
Well, it's supposed to snow in a couple of days!
Mr P is away at training so I'm going to have to figure out how to work the ATV snowplow. blink.gif
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AuthorMusician
post Oct 4 2018, 12:23 PM
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We didn't get our alert tests at all, but we were also traveling mountain byways that eventually took us to Glenwood Springs.

Apparently there are still problems with the system:

https://qz.com/1412525/why-you-didnt-get-th...al-phone-alert/

Yeah, cell service still isn't 100%. It might never be, and I'm thinking that's okay. Does the nation actually need an alert system that covers everywhere? What for, so in case of thermonuclear war I've got time to kiss my arse goodbye? It's like the warning signs in canyons that rocks could be falling. Okay, and just what am I supposed to do about them, duck? Or a little like the advice given that in case of flash flood, climb to safety. No kidding, huh, who would have thought?

It is true that you shouldn't stay in your car when the flood hits, maybe. It's an iffy situation. Sometimes it's bad, other times not -- and you only hear about it when it turns out bad.

Ah well, maybe someday I'll get my national alert. Until then, guess I'll just have to take my chances.
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Bikerdad
post Oct 15 2018, 03:31 AM
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QUOTE(Curmudgeon @ Sep 16 2018, 09:38 PM) *
It’s not a political message, but an emergency test message
QUOTE
A majority of cell phone users will receive an alert on Thursday, September 20, with the header “Presidential Alert” and the message, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

This message on the television program I was sleeping to woke me up and I verified the news on the Internet.

My wife and I, and several of our aged friends still carry "flip phones." They are small enough to carry in a watch pocket and useful in an emergency. Periodically, a statewide missing child alert sends a loud blaring alert that drowns out any noise until the phone is opened. By the time I put my glasses on, I will be able to read "color car" or "in Detroit," but there is no way to retrieve the message which shows up as a charge on my cell phone bill.

I "took action" by sending the message to my Congressman, both Senators from my state, and a cc to The President that when he sends a “Presidential Alert" while taking a four AM "Twitter break" that ends in “Be on the alert for a witch hunt” at 4:00 AM and both our cell phones turn on and start blaring a European Siren noise that won't shut up until we put on our glasses, open our phones, view the last two words only (as is typical of missing children alerts) that, IT WILL INFLUENCE HOW I VOTE IN EVERY ELECTION UNTIL THIS IDIOTIC INTERRUPTION OF PRIVACY IS REPEALED.

Questions for debate:

Did anyone warn us this was coming?
Yes. It was reported years ago when the system was authorized during the Obama Administration, and has been reported widely in the month before the test.

Does this president not understand that if he steps into the press room and announces that he started World War III without Congressional approval, he will not have to send a tweet and a text to every American? Every member of the N(ot) R(eally) A(merican) club will load their weapons, pour into the streets, and begin shooting at anyone sho is "hiding behind a tree." (Based on 4:00 AM conversations years ago in lunchrooms where every member of the Michigan Militia felt that I was a communist hippie because I didn't shave my head, and invest 10% of my weekly take-home in either guns or ammunition.)

As a man who has a modest portfolio of hotels, I suspect that he's more cognizant of the downsides of waking people up at 4:00 in the morning for no good reason than are most people. Nonetheless, feel free to text your representatives. Oh, and this is NOT an interruption of your privacy. It is certainly likely to be an interruption, but if you think it's interrupting your privacy, you need to pay those two chaps, Funk and Wagnall another visit.


QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Oct 4 2018, 06:23 AM) *
We didn't get our alert tests at all, but we were also traveling mountain byways that eventually took us to Glenwood Springs.

Apparently there are still problems with the system:

https://qz.com/1412525/why-you-didnt-get-th...al-phone-alert/

Yeah, cell service still isn't 100%. It might never be, and I'm thinking that's okay. Does the nation actually need an alert system that covers everywhere?


A good question. I would say... "maybe." Alien invasion would be a reasonable scenario to deploy it. Widespread pandemic resulting in travel restrictions. Large scale earth-impacting meteor shower. All are low probability, but all would also be well served by a NAS.


QUOTE
It's like the warning signs in canyons that rocks could be falling. Okay, and just what am I supposed to do about them, duck?

No, you're supposed to keep an eye out for them falling, and for the ones that have already fallen and are in the road waiting to rip your oil pan off.

QUOTE
Or a little like the advice given that in case of flash flood, climb to safety. No kidding, huh, who would have thought?

A lot of people will try to outrun a flash flood, not climb. So it seems to be worthwhile advice.

QUOTE
Ah well, maybe someday I'll get my national alert. Until then, guess I'll just have to take my chances.

A reasonable, practical and common sense response. Just not quite as much fun as snarking, eh? Fortunately, you have been blessed by the Lord of All Comfort with the ability to multi-task, so you can be practical while snarking. thumbsup.gif
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AuthorMusician
post Oct 15 2018, 10:43 PM
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QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Oct 14 2018, 11:31 PM) *
A good question. I would say... "maybe." Alien invasion would be a reasonable scenario to deploy it. Widespread pandemic resulting in travel restrictions. Large scale earth-impacting meteor shower. All are low probability, but all would also be well served by a NAS.

Oh, I can think of a lot of other unlikely scenarios:

Zombie Apocalypse

Sharknado

One Hundred Feet Tall Women Getting Even

Swamp Things and Blobs

Genetically Engineered Killer Bees

Dr. Evil

Seriously, there is nothing that a national alert system can do about stuff that affects a nation the size of the USA other than to inform us that our arses are now grasses. Besides, we already have an NAS -- it's called a free press.

Er, uh-oh. Could they want to eliminate the free press and use our cell phones as direct propaganda delivery systems?

Probably not, as the cell tech isn't good enough to replace the Internet and probably never will be. It's merely a short-haul alternative solution to wired delivery.

And I still haven't received my test call. Looks to me this idea is DOA. Then again, maybe the tech is aimed only at those who use their cells a lot. I do not, hardly ever. It compromises the aluminum hat protection strength.

Wait, I have another scenario: Maybe marketing types want to increase our anxiety levels so we'll buy more crap that we don't need. We now get bad weather alerts, Amber alerts, conjob pitches, butt dials. Could be that fake alien invasions and fake meteor strikes are seen as marketing gold.

From there, just a tiny little step into Big Brother land <adjusts aluminum hat>.



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Hobbes
post Oct 16 2018, 02:10 AM
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I think it makes sense to have it, even if envisioning the scenarios is a bit hard. 9-11 comes to mind. It's a natural extension. All these systems started out local, and making them national seems only logical. It's a lot better to have it if you need it then to wish you had it then.


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AuthorMusician
post Oct 17 2018, 03:30 PM
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QUOTE(Hobbes @ Oct 15 2018, 10:10 PM) *
I think it makes sense to have it, even if envisioning the scenarios is a bit hard. 9-11 comes to mind. It's a natural extension. All these systems started out local, and making them national seems only logical. It's a lot better to have it if you need it then to wish you had it then.

Actually, 9/11 is a perfect example of why a national alert system using cell tech is not needed.

1) Nobody knew exactly what had happened when the two jetliners, one on live TV, crashed into the WTC, so there was not enough information to issue an alert. Well, other than to look out for aircraft crashing into buildings, and no alert was needed to get that message through. It was already in the video broadcast live from coast to coast via TV and probably radio (audio only). We were watching the TV before heading off to work that day.

2) Once it became clear that this was a terrorist attack, the advice given to the public was to tape plastic film around doors and windows in case of chemical attacks. However, that's no protection from aircraft crashing into buildings. It's also not much protection from chemical attacks. The truth of the matter is that people can't do much at all when attacked like this.

Still, the most damning argument against using cell tech for national alerts is that the tech simply does not work reliably enough for this purpose. I'm also not convinced that the tech is secure enough, but maybe it can be secured to a level that disallows misuse by power-mad domestic or foreign players.

But it's great for spreading propaganda and secretly tracking people via GPS and device cameras.

That's not why I don't use my smart phone much. The reason I don't is that the tech is highly annoying, difficult to operate, a pain to keep charged, and way too expensive. Well, not the kind I have, which is relatively basic. I only use it for phone calls. It costs me less than $12.00 per month, which includes taxes. I use my laptop otherwise, with its big screen and secured network, real keyboard too.

I do realize that businesses require smart phones to be carried by employees. That's quite a different issue but important within the context of personal data being treated far too cavalierly by businesses.

This post has been edited by AuthorMusician: Oct 17 2018, 03:32 PM
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Curmudgeon
post Nov 4 2018, 09:34 PM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Oct 3 2018, 05:46 PM) *
I got mine today. Around three in the afternoon.

I've heard it didn't work for everyone?

My phone never rang, but the photo of herself that my granddaughter took (Selfie?) and placed so that I was looking at it every time I answered my flip phone got replaced by a Presidential Amber Alert that "No action is required." It atared me in the face every day from Sept. 20 until the day after I turned in my absentee ballot...
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AuthorMusician
post Nov 5 2018, 02:07 PM
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QUOTE(Curmudgeon @ Nov 4 2018, 05:34 PM) *
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Oct 3 2018, 05:46 PM) *
I got mine today. Around three in the afternoon.

I've heard it didn't work for everyone?

My phone never rang, but the photo of herself that my granddaughter took (Selfie?) and placed so that I was looking at it every time I answered my flip phone got replaced by a Presidential Amber Alert that "No action is required." It atared me in the face every day from Sept. 20 until the day after I turned in my absentee ballot...

I can say this about amber alerts from the POTUS: It beats the old air raid sirens that I grew up with. Between those sirens going off and the open pit mine blasting that rattled the windows, childhood included the idea that we might all be basted to kingdom come and beyond.

It's so much more civilized to get a text, which hasn't happened yet for me. Might I be off that grid? That's okay by me. If it's that big of a deal, I probably don't want to know. I'd like a visit from Mr. D to be a complete surprise, not something to contemplate. It's an easy philosophy to embrace at this stage of life. Living for the moment actually means something, even if it's astonishment that anything works any longer.
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Curmudgeon
post Nov 8 2018, 07:25 AM
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Aaah yes... Those wonderful childhood memories...'

I recall the day that we started out by each student toting a box of school supplies from the school that was going to be sold to a new elementary school a block away. As we were directed through a "main entrance" which was never used again by students, we were instructed to drop our loads in the hallway and head for the gymnasium where we all assumed the "survive a nuclear blast" yoga position where we stayed until the gun battle with the police across the street was ended and the evacuation sirens in the school were finally turned off.

The story in the newspaper that night was that a policeman investigating a bar fight pushed a doorbell button which triggered solenoids which fired all four barrels of 2 double barrel shotguns aimed at the front door. In the ensuing gunfight, there were no survivors to explain what they had been protecting, but the following day the police demonstrated for us (all elementary grade students) the amount of fire power they packed in their patrol cars because our neighborhood was predominantly dark skinned, ergo presumed armed and dangerous.

This post has been edited by Curmudgeon: Nov 8 2018, 07:27 AM
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