New Yorkers soon to get emergency cell phone alerts in what Bloomberg calls 'quantum

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MattSepeta, May 10, 2011.

  1. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #1
    Surprised I have not seen this on here yet, as this board seems to be very "pro-privacy" in general.

    What do you think about the President, be it Obama or the next, being able to commandeer cell phone towers and pipe an "emergency message" into your pocket?

    Personally, I feel like this is a superb example of government waste. With the amount of people using smart phones with data plans rising every day, in addition to car radios, TV stations, etc... I can't imagine that this will reach many more, if any more people that would not be aware of a situation already.
     
  2. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020

    Liquorpuki

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    #2
    If the government wants to send me a text every once in a while on something urgent, I don't have a problem with it.

    I also don't see how it's a privacy issue.
     
  3. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #3
    What does privacy have to do with anything? From the article, it seems they only broadcast a message from a tower and you get it if you're nearby.

    Seems like a waste of money. Then again, would more people have left New Orleans had this system been in place?

    NY Times has more info:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/10/us/10safety.html?partner=rss&emc=rss
     
  4. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #4

    I understand that on it's face it is not really a "privacy" breach as it is supposedly one-way communication, but the entire concept is a tad Orwellian.

    Sure does sound like a waste of money.

    I really doubt it. Like I said earlier, between TV, radio, word of mouth, news papers, internet at home, smart phones, etc, exactly what new "market" are they trying to reach with this service?
     
  5. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #5
    It better be a very limited amount of things. If it is some random message from the president it is a waste. Emergency board caste then yes that can be useful but it needs to be based on cell towers not cell numbers because for example my cell number is a Dallas number but I live in Houston area. I sure as hell do not care nor need to know about Dallas emergencies.

    Problem I see with this is that it will have random messages pipe to us that NOTHING and I repeat NOTHING to do with emergencies.

    you think that but take for example message college Campuses send out. Normally those message are going to be related to school closings or campus emergency. I can promise you that I would recieve those message by phone LONG LONG before any other form. The school I am currently going to closed campus one day due to weather. Of course I did not get the message until I was on campus because they sent it out by email and over the web. My phone does not make a noise for email because most of it is junk and I tend to filter it so only look at it when I have time. Txt message I tend to glance down at those and would of receive it in time. It is about speed and txt message are fastest.
     
  6. freeny macrumors 68020

    freeny

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    #6
    As long as it's not abused to the point where I start to consider it spam I'm fine with it.
    There were lots of commuters stuck in the subway on 9/11 and had no idea what was happening. This would have been helpful if transmitted through the system.
    Not sure how it it waste, the towers are in place and a text costs pennies no matter how many receive it in the area.
     
  7. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #7
    Some universities have a similar concept where they text your cell of any case of a threat on campus

    You can opt out if you want though
     
  8. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #8
    From the NYT article:
     
  9. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #9
    I totally understand how its useful for university systems and other local government things, ie; I get text messages alerting me about snow emergency parking rules that have saved me from getting towed multiple times.

    I did have to opt in to that though.

    As long as it is an opt-in/opt-out situation it is innocent enough, although the line "The messages, including urgent blasts from the President" still gives me the heeby jeebies...
     
  10. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #10
    How much did it cost to build the system and deploy it?
     
  11. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #11
    Likely expensive Union labor :p

    Not to mention maintenance costs, updates, repairs, etc.
     
  12. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #12
    This makes sense from ABC.

     
  13. citizenzen Suspended

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    #13
    I live in an earthquake/tsunami zone. After the quake in Japan, I slept through the sirens, but was awakened by an automated phone call warning.

    I thought that was one helluva nice public service.

    What tweet would have gotten me out of bed?
     
  14. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020

    Liquorpuki

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    #14
    Most people don't have a TV or radio on 24/7. Most people don't even have one at work, which is where we spend 8+ hours of our day. Most people also don't actively surf the net looking for critical news updates in their area every 5 minutes. And newspapers are irrelevent since this is for emergencies.

    If someone needs to evacuate an area within 15 minutes, I don't think he should die because he wasn't watching TV.

    They're using existing cell towers, not building new ones. My guess is this is contracted through cell carriers. Government official gives the message/area to the carrier. Carrier pipes it out through their tower. Not much infrastructure work to be done.
     
  15. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #15
    This is government we're talking about. If it was as simple as that, why did it take 5 years since Congress mandated it?
     
  16. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #16
    yeah I saw that afterwards. In theory this is a great idea. I just worry they will use it to shove what ever prolitcial agenda at the time down our throughts. For example some speech Obama is going to make quite frankly I do not give a damn what the talking head has to say. I will read the point of it later.

    (not raging on Obama but he is the current president. You could change it to another one and it would be the same answer just different name)

    Example of acceptable uses is a tornado warning. bomb threat and what not. It should rarely be used. Minus tornado warnings I would say once or twice a year MAX should ever been seen.
     
  17. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020

    Liquorpuki

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    #17
    I could think of a few reasons:
    - Government contracts naturally take a long time to implement
    - Budget/spending issues
    - The quake in Japan/nuclear meltdown made it politically relevant

    But from a technical standpoint, how else would they implement it? You really think the government going to duplicate the entire cell tower grid in the whole United States just so it can send a text message to a few cities twice a year?
     
  18. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #18
    That's the thing. If this was a state-run or city-run program I would totally support it.

    Again, given the line "urgent blasts from the President", I can't help thinking that eventually a system like this will/could be abused to the tune of "Be sure to tune into my urgent message tonight about ISSUE X at 7pm eastern"

    Then again, that's just my paranoid ranting :eek:
     
  19. JoeG4 macrumors 68030

    JoeG4

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    #19
    amber alerts and propaganda? No thanks.

    OTOH, emergency messages through any phones hooked to towers in the affected area? Great idea! They should totally do that.

    Locally, our communications for that sort of thing is nothing short of a joke. The ABC/CBS/Fox affiliates don't really talk about anything local, and the national affiliates don't care either. (And this is in the SF bay!)

    So having something like that could be.. nice.
     
  20. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #20
    sad part is I could easily see that happen. I have ZERO and I repeat ZERO faith in our national leaders not to do that for their own gain.

    I will say almost everyone one of those speeches made I have seen over the year is nothing more than political crap. 1-2% might be relevant and the rest is trying to do something political.
    Hence the reason I like TV station and will still air their regular programing instead of that stuff. I hate my TV shows being delayed for something like that I do not care about.
     
  21. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #21
    I can't make that differentiation. I live in a city which isn't being run very well right now, in a state that is run by John Kasich. Right now I have more faith in the feds than in local or state government.

    I also see the reason for fed involvement. If the message goes out directly from FEMA (in the event of an attack, for example), it goes out. If it only goes to all local police departments, then they've gotta turn around and blast it to everyone. Potential for delays, screwups, info being changed as it's passed along, etc.

    Not saying I'm automatically for this idea, but I'm not automatically against it, either.

    That's just it: if I'm gonna get a message from the White House, then it damn well better be something like, "Duck, nukes are coming!"

    At which point I would securely hole up in my basement. ;)
     
  22. barkomatic, May 10, 2011
    Last edited: May 10, 2011

    barkomatic macrumors 68040

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    #22
    I think its a good idea. If a bomb just went off at my local subway station I'd want to know immediately. Everything is a conspiracy on this board.
     
  23. freeny macrumors 68020

    freeny

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    #23
    Are you suggesting we pay for a system that has already been paid for?
    Or are you suggesting building a separate system on top of the current system that is solely for these alerts?

    I assume this is similar to the Emergency Broadcast System used on TV and radio except it is via mobile phone and is more targeted to specific areas.
     
  24. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #24
    Where are you getting this from? I questioned the cost of something our government mandated. When has government spent our money wisely?
     
  25. citizenzen Suspended

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    #25
    Yeah, I don't get that either.

    Local and state governments are okay ... but the federal government is incompetent and a waste of money. :confused:
     

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