"And EAS alert can be avoided with a mass media fast"
At 2:18 pm EDT on Wednesday (11:18 am PDT), most mobile subscribers in the US can expect a "Presidential Alert" to brighten their day. It won't be the typical Trump tweet; rather the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) will be testing the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS), under …
just got it. It even sounded like the old ones on TV.
Just checked now to see if it came through. If it made noise I'd never have heard it, since I keep the phone on the charger in the kitchen while working (and pretty much the rest of the time as well).
Surprised it worked, as we have pretty much NO signal at the house.
I don't know that it worked. My old flip phone with PASG "plan" and messaging disabled by TM (excluding these sent by them) have not shown any. Ruckus at the office was much lesser than expected. I've switched mine to airplane mode but turned it back on early enough for retries to get through. Nothing. Not that I cared much for any such notification.
Not sure why it needed to be called the "Presidential" warning test.
Because there are different classes of WEAs. You can, in fact, opt out of all of them except the Presidential ones, which are only supposed to be used in world-is-burning sorts of emergencies. Though I personally struggle to think of a use case where this will actually be helpful.
I've opted out of everything except Presidentials myself. I have never been in any position to do anything useful with an Amber Alert (which are nearly always "look for a car matching this description, last seen hundreds of miles from where you are a couple of days ago, so good luck with that, particularly if you're not actually on the road"), and the other sort have proven equally useless. I think the only time I've ever heard one of the "severe weather" ones, it was for thunderstorms that were, again, far away from my current location. Useless.
And the alert klaxon is fucking horrible. The first time it went off while I was driving I nearly jumped out of my skin (particularly since my phone was Bluetooth-linked to the car, so it played through the speakers). I thought I had hit an air-raid siren or something.
I grew up in a world without mobile phones and push notifications from the Feds,1 and many of us survived to adulthood, despite the odds. I think I'll continue to take my chances.
1Aside from the old EBS, which we hardly ever noticed, because we didn't have the television or radio on all the time.
"Because there are different classes of WEAs. You can, in fact, opt out of all of them except the Presidential ones, which are only supposed to be used in world-is-burning sorts of emergencies. Though I personally struggle to think of a use case where this will actually be helpful."
Two upvotes for that. Politicians and CEO's will tweet out mindless drivel at the drop of a hat, but if something important happens it will take them AT LEAST an hour to figure out what spin to put on it. By that time, the neighborhood is coated in green glass.
If they say "This is a test" then how do you know all subsequent messages aren't tests? You could now view this as a test system. They could have said "This is a test, any subsequent messages are from the orange buffoon starting world war 3, though feel free to check twitter first for confirmation. Women can safely ignore these messages because you don't matter in this government no matter what happened to you."
Harsh but true.
Yes, the law says that users shouldn't be able to disable the "presidential" alerts (but, weirdly, also makes carrier participation in this optional, so your carrier might not do this at all).
And I agree with a couple of other commenters here -- "Presidential" is a very creepy and bizarre thing to call this. Did nobody think to call it what it is -- a "FEMA Alert"? A "Presidential" alert sounds like one you can safely ignore. a "FEMA" alert sounds like it's related to a national emergency.
That's the crux of the problem. My phone has AMBER Alerts, Severe Threat Alerts, Extreme Threat Alerts, and Presidential Alerts. So in theory, the Presidential level is even worse than an Extreme Threat. What does that mean exactly? Personally, I'd rather go on about my day and be atomized rather than know 90 seconds ahead of time so I have time to kiss my arse goodbye. Let's face it, if my image is going to be etched into the stone behind me by an ICBM I'd rather future scientists see it and know that I was caught walking along instead of wondering, "Was this guy licking his balls? Why would he do it here? Wait, is that another one doing the same thing while looking at some rectangular object?"
Sorry, I just don't see the point.
"You might want to check. On my phone it's the only one of the various "alerts" that I can't disable. Maybe it's time to root my phone."
I went the whole way and sent a complaint letter to my carrier to be able to opt-out. There isn't anything a politician has to say that is that important to me that is worth the nasty sound.
Seriously, why does the government need to have a special alert system? Can't they just hack it like everybody else? "Oh look at us, we need our own special annoyance tone. Update your OS or you're in violation."
Yes, we've been alerted that we have a president. We knew that already.
"A Perfect Opportunity...
for millions of Americans to symbolically delete Trump."
... and replace him with a Hillary?
You have to step back and realize that the other major candidate was worse and the 2nd tier candidates were whack jobs to the most extreme degree. If there were a quality independent candidate in the last election or at least one with a more moderate view and at least some qualifications, the long history of a two party system might have been broken.
Got it. Unlike the recent Hawaii state system balls up it was obviously a test.
In SF the sirens have been going off as a test at 12 noon for decades. The only time I've have heard a legit EBS warning, due to a refinery fire in the North Bay, the message was unintelligible. Had to turn on the TV news to find out what the garbled message meant. Thats in more than three decades. Back in the old days, during the Cold War, the tests were regular and well publicized. And quiet sobering. Given that this is a target rich environment.
The system around here is mainly for tsunamis, and if the PRK decides to let off a pot shot and the Aegis cruisers and ABM's in Alaska are activated. It would be interesting to see how they phrase that warning.
But its not for earthquakes. You have to sign up for the USGS app for that. Given that were have not had a major earthquake for almost 25 years the next one is going to be lots of fun. With the cell phone system down for weeks / months.
With the Prez Warning at least its fairly clear what offices generate the warnings.
But what about these Amber Alerts? I've wondered who exactly decides what unlucky kid gets featured on these. I know that the actual number of non-family forcible abductions in the US are actually fairly low ... out of something like 800,000 missing persons reports per year something in the low hundreds are what we would think of as classical kidnapping events. But I've seen precisely one Amber Alert in two years, living in the boonies but within an easy drive of major population centers. Put another way, if one of my kids disappears and there is some witness that saw them in a vehicle - does a non-connected, 9-5 working schmuck like me rate getting an alert sent out?
A guy I know had a kid disappear; witnesses saw her walk off a school bus and get coaxed into a car that drove away. His first clue was when she didn't arrive home. He had one hell of a hard time getting the police to take things seriously. Ultimately it did work out OK; it turns out that the ex-wife and in-laws decided to play a rousing game of "capture the flag" using a human being. Poor form, that.
"With the Prez Warning at least its fairly clear what offices generate the warnings."
Except it's not, as the office of the president does not generate the warnings. FEMA does.
What criteria must be met to issue an amber alert is up to each state. Most states have policies that adhere pretty closely to federal guidelines, which are:
There is reasonable belief by law enforcement that an abduction has occurred.
The law enforcement agency believes that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.
There is enough descriptive information about the victim and the abduction for law enforcement to issue an AMBER Alert to assist in the recovery of the child.
The abduction is of a child aged 17 years or younger.
The child’s name and other critical data elements, including the Child Abduction flag, have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system.
Also, unlike Presidental alerts, you can disable your phone from receiving amber alerts.
"Also, unlike Presidental alerts, you can disable your phone from receiving amber alerts."
And thank goodness for that. I'm out in the boonies and don't spend my days walking around taking note of every person and car I see. The chances that I'll be able to help in any sort of enquiry is nil or at least so many naughts to the right of the decimal that it's the same thing.
I didn't realise who Stanislav Petrov was. Made for some awe inspiring reading over lunch - thanks!
(To save people the click: He's the Russian commander who had an early warning system report that the US had launched a nuclear attack, and *didn't* report it up the chain because he judged the system to be faulty. Basically saving us all from nuclear war.)
The US is rather large, and a lot of people live here. What, exactly, could ever be so important that every single one of us needs to get an emergency notification? That's Alaska to Florida, Maine to Southern California, and what the hell, let's throw in Hawaiʻi while we're at it.
I live in California, and frankly I can't imagine a state-wide emergency so vast that all of California needs notification immediately. Or even half of CA. Or even a quarter, for that matter.
All this thing is is an ego-massager for all parties involved with the broadcast. Starting with the Idiot in Chief, whose office has absolutely nothing to do with it despite the name.
What a fucking waste of taxpayer money.
The only event that would merit a real presidential alert would be
the simultaneous launching of ICBMs by every nation in the world, including the U.S.Herr Drumpf announcing he was abdicating, and moving to Paraguay (or some other place where old Fascists go to die...and that has no extradition treaty with the U.S.)
What, exactly, could ever be so important that every single one of us needs to get an emergency notification? That's Alaska to Florida, Maine to Southern California, and what the hell, let's throw in Hawaiʻi while we're at it.
Oh, some dangerous loony suddenly becoming president of all of it?
My wife's Samsung Galaxy 6 was turned on, and we have Verizon service. Nothing. Zippo. Phone was quiet the entire day, and no alerts were received. I have an older mode Samsung Galaxy, but the battery was drained, as usual. I effin hate cell phones, and regret being in the group that decided the tech specs for roaming back about twenty-five years ago.
The worst thing I can imagine is a national alert if something were to go seriously wrong. What would happen other than mass panic, gridlock, and riots? A very selective alert to key people in the event of a massive threat would better serve the country, and, no, I would not be included in it. If I were, I would just pour me a gin and tonic, and wait for the inevitable.
The only benefit I can see is if there is a person at work that you think would be eminently suitable for a quick trip to the supply closet you could always raise an eyebrow and ask. It doesn't have to be work, it could be anywhere.
It would be interesting to see if, in the event of a false alarm, there were a rash of sexual harassment suits immediately following or if maternity wards were swamped 9 months on.
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