Cell Phone Alerts

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by RJM62, Nov 20, 2017.

  1. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I got an "Extreme Threat Alert" with a "Shelter in Place" order on my phone today while I was driving on the Thruway. It turns out a cosmetic factory in New Windsor blew up. That would have been roughly 20 or 30 miles away from where I was at the time.

    I didn't learn the reason until a few minutes ago, however, when I started searching for it just out of curiosity. The warning itself gave absolutely no information regarding the reason for the alert, the nature of the threat, the location, nor anything else. All the cell phone alert said was that it was "extreme" and that I should "shelter in place."

    Isn't that kind of useless? And for those who actually trust that the people issuing these alerts have any common sense at all, doesn't it risk making things worse by causing a panic? There are people who actually believe that when the government says something, it's true. Might they not have thought that we were under attack by North Korea or in the midst of some similarly horrid event when that alert went through?

    I, on the other hand, scanned the local radio stations, heard nothing about terrorist attacks, NoKo nukes, or mass shootings, and went my merry way. I figured more than likely some dipshit bureaucrat pushed the wrong button.

    I have only the "Extreme" alerts enabled because I got tired of being woken up at all hours of the night to be informed of things like snowstorms in Buffalo and missing kids in Boston. But at least those alerts contained information about the reasons, locations, etc. This "Extreme" alert had none of that. It said only that it was "extreme" and that I was to "shelter in place."

    I'm curious whether this alert was just poorly executed, or if the powers that be deliberately leave out the reasons, locations, and so forth from "Extreme" alerts to prevent people from using their own judgment about whether or not the alert is worth taking seriously.

    Rich
     
  2. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    On a side note: nukes are self announcing. If you are reading a text message about it on your phone it will be old news.

    That is all. (From someone who has lived most of their life in proximity to either large defense installations or missile belts or both)
     
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  3. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I suggest and also guess it was poorly executed. Could also have been some tech limitations on the telecom side that kept you from seeing additional text or info about the event on some devices.

    Can only offer an anecdote for proof though. Our county issued an Amber style alert a while back for a runaway kid. They over-did it a bit and send three or four long messages with way too much detail. So i have to believe that the user interface on their end does allow longer, ostensibly more informative, messages.

    Sounds like your local folks who do that, went minimalist instead, causing confusion through lack of detail. Or their interface to it didn’t allow the additional info... or the phone couldn’t display it. But I’m going with “human error as likeliest cause, for $200, Alex.” :)
     
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  4. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

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    Mascara Massacre?
     
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  5. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    Yes.
     
  6. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Just wait. One part of the ATSC 3 standard (digital TV) would permit the government to turn on your TV any time it wanted (presumably to issue an alert). Even in the middle of the night.
     
  7. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Orwell lives.

    Rich
     
  8. ElPaso Pilot

    ElPaso Pilot Cleared for Takeoff

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    I’ll take “Local and poorly executed” for $400.

    I’m about done with cell phone alerts and have turned off as many as possible.

    From 3:00 am Amber alerts broadcast from hundreds of miles away to millions of phones in the entire state, to podunk municipalities doing exactly what you saw — having a local event and running helter-skelter to send a “zero information, the sky is falling” alert to multiple counties because they couldn’t check the right boxes before they clicked send.

    When I called the guilty municipality to complain about the last one, they admitted they hadn’t really trained anyone on the alert system, but they “were doing the best that they could.”
     
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  9. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah, I turned off all alerts after a couple of bizarre ones here in the Denver area. Sorry 'bout the missing old guy or whatever but that just isn't relevant to my existence.
     
  10. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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  11. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Sales of remote power plug switches will skyrocket. Ha. At least at my house. Plus I’ll save like $.50 a month on vampire loads. Ha.
     
  12. comanchepilot

    comanchepilot En-Route

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    "Warning. Immediate Evacuation ORDERED for wildfire"

    Which I received for a fire 200nm away. Happened twice - for two different fires.

    Have a fire burning two miles away? Silence.

    Airplane crash one mile away? Also silence.
     
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  13. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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  14. Sundancer

    Sundancer Pattern Altitude

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    Someone (elected, usually) read a magazine article and thought it would be a good idea; but also lacked the brains and budget to set up and sustain it properly.

    Local elected yokel wanted IT to convert the City to Linux and open source apps, back in the day, because it was "all free". Took a lot of time (and a good piece of change to me) to help him understand how much his free project was gonna cost. This person was slow witted, for real

    And it's been my experience that it is rare to meet someone truly stupid; ignorant, maybe, as we all are in some arenas, or maybe with personality issues that get in their way. . . but flat-out dumb ain't that common. But this guy was a genuine maroon.
     
  15. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Have seen a lot of successful and profitable systems built on open and closed source. None of them have ever been free. :)

    IT executive manager magazines and crap they hear golfing with their buddies are both extremely dangerous to profits and sometimes the entire business. In the case of government, I suppose they’re “too big to fail”.

    “The right tool for the job” is hard with zealots. They’ll happily use the wrong tool that matches their tech religious beliefs. It usually takes a solid fiscal analysis showing the loss of money on the wrong tool AND at least one major failure and multi-day session putting Humpty Dumpty back up on the wall, before they listen. If they don’t listen after that event, it’s time to polish the resume and get out. They’re driving the car off the cliff.

    But you did find the secret to that scenario. Being a consultant to a zealot who’s finally come around and needs the total mess cleaned up, is highly lucrative for a couple of years.

    The amazing thing is, that story happens over and over and over again and you never see any editorials or articles in those “CIO” magazines warning about doing it.

    “Are you in the Gartner Magic Quadrant?” LOL LOL LOL.
     
  16. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Just wait until there's a problem at Indian Point...
     
  17. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    You'd be amazed how many New York City residents have no idea how close they are to Indian Point. Many City residents (especially lifelong Manhattanites) are only vaguely aware that life exists beyond the rivers. If you ask most of them where Indian Point is, the most common answer will be "Upstate somewhere."

    At at least it used to be. Maybe it's changed now with all the controversy about the facility's license renewal request. But when I lived in The City, I was always amazed at how few people knew how close the plant was. It could have been on the Canadian border for all they knew.

    Rich
     
  18. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Tammy Faye cryin' her heart out now.

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  19. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

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    :yikes:

    Halloween is over but damn that is scary.
     
  20. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    LOL she's a sweet woman but wore way too much makeup.
     
  21. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I lived in Peekskill for a year. I could see it from my apartment balcony. I later bough a house near Cold Spring from a couple that worked at the plant.

    You are correct that most City residents didn't know (unless they had occasion to ride the Hudson Line). Of course, many of them had never seen a cow, either.
     
  22. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've gotten 3(?) different versions of cell phone alerts:

    Amber Alerts
    Weather (either tornado warnings, or flash flood warnings)
    Law Enforcement ("Be aware of extra police presence in the following areas...", after a double homicide at a local bar, and the guy ran into the neighborhood next to mine.) The Law Enforcement alert was accompanied by land-line robo calls from the local PD or SD targeted to the affected neighborhoods.