Posts Tagged ‘Shut’
Reports that cell service had been suspended in Boston turned out to be false. But emergency cellphone interruptions are real — and they've happened before.
In response to the 2005 terrorist attacks in London, which targeted multiple trains and one bus, authorities temporarily shut down cellular access in New York tunnels. Phones couldn’t make calls in the Lincoln, Holland, Battery and Queens tunnels — a call that was made by the federal government and executed by the Port Authority without carriers' permission. The intention was to guard against cellphone-triggered explosive devices. But the result, according to a National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee report, was “disorder for both Government and the private sector at a time when use of the communications infrastructure was most needed.”
So, in 2006, the Committee set out to codify a set of rules for how emergency interruptions can be initiated, resulting in a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) 303, also called “Emergency Wireless Protocols.”
According to SOP 303, which has not been published but has been described in government documents, shutdowns are organized through an agency called the National Coordinating Center, which was created after AT&T's phone monopoly was broken up in the early 80s to establish a central channel for emergency communication between telecom companies and the government.
Requests to shut down service can be initiated by “State Homeland Security Advisors,” to whom state authorities — governors, for example — have direct access. The requests are submitted to the NCC, which vets them to see if a shutdown is warranted, then informs affected carriers, which perform the actual shutdown. SOP 303 gives the NCC authority to enact a shutdown “both within a localized area, such as a tunnel or bridge, and within an entire metropolitan area.” (The NYC tunnel situation was unusual in that the cell towers, by virtue of being placed in tunnels operated by the Port Authority, could be easily shut down without carrier consent).
Cellphone carriers were, and still are, onboard with SOP 303. According to their trade organization, the CTIA: “The development and implementation of SOP 303 involved substantial government and industry stakeholder participation, with the wireless industry supporting the procedures adopted.”
Critics of SOP 303 have declared it flatly unconstitutional. And recently the FCC has expressed public concern about a lack of sufficient regulation and transparency concerning cellphone shutdowns. In a Public Notice last year, which was issued in response to a controversial cellphone shutdown in California's BART train system, the Commission wrote of insufficient “discussion, analysis,
and consideration of the questions raised by intentional interruptions of wireless service by government authorities,” and requested input from the public.
The notice reflected just how uncertain and untested the system is: it asked not only whether or not such shutdowns are legal, and whether or not wireless carriers can “still ensure that the public can make wireless 911 calls” during an interruption, but whether or not the FCC even has any authority in these issues.
For the time being, though? Yes, in a state of emergency, it's possible that the government could compel a carrier to shut down cell service.
The FCC has not yet returned a request for comment.
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In the wake of the tragic events in Boston today, the Associated Press had earlier reported that Boston Police had ordered a shutdown of cellular service throughout swaths of the city, perhaps out of fear that additional explosive devices may be rigged to detonate using a remote trigger. Carriers have since disputed that a shutdown occurred or was ever ordered, but it raises the question: would it be legal for a police department or government agency to pull the plug?
It’s clearly a tough call. Residents, Boston Marathon participants, friends, family, and officials clearly benefit from having as many communications channels open to them as possible, but there’s no question that the threat of another detonation is a dire one that…
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When popular music streaming application Audiogalaxy announced its acquisition by Dropbox earlier this month and closed signups we was afraid the worst, and now it’s been confirmed: the service is closing down completely on January 31st, 2013. It had previously announced subscribers would have access to their combines till the end of this month, but after an additional month they’ll have to relocate to a service like Google Play Popular music, or potentially self hosting with Subsonic or something similar. The original article discussed a desire to bring “wonderful brand-new experiences” to Dropbox’s 100 million plus users so we could see a few of those features again, quickly. As for the service itself, Founder Michael Merhej relaunched it just over 2 years ago after version 1.0– an online popular music file sharing service that eclipsed its rivals throughout its run from 1998 to 2002– was ejected by RIAA pressure, so we figure anything is feasible in the future.
Submitted under: SoftwareCommentsSource: Audiogalaxy
The saga of Polymer Vision has been defined by optimistic plans braced by second chances when financial reality came crashing in, with no happily ever after or definite end in sight. Unfortunately, there may not be much more of a story to tell. CTO Edzer Huitema claims that Wistron has shut down Polymer Vision entirely: while it’s keeping the intellectual property behind the rollable display company it acquired in 2009, it has reportedly dismissed all associated staff after unsuccessful attempts to find a buyer. We’ve asked Wistron for a more formal confirmation and an explanation, and we’ll let you know if there’s an update. However, it’s possible that Polymer Vision’s technology was simply past its prime. As +Plastic Electronics notes, Polymer Vision and the Readius came at a time before mobile tablets and giant smartphones, when it wasn’t clear that we would tolerate big screens in our pockets; while flexible displays are still in development, some of Polymer Vision’s biggest advantages have faded away.
Filed under: Displays
Via: The Digital Reader
Source: +Plastic Electronics
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Seven Residence Republicans have actually called for Twitter to take down the accounts of “US-designated terrorist groups.” Led by Texas Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), the legislators sent the request in a letter to the FBI back in September, and earlier this week stated that recent events have actually vindicated their actions. “Enabling foreign terrorist organizations like Hamas to operate on Twitter is allowing the adversary,” Poe informed The Hill, adding that Twitter “arms them with the ability to easily spread their violent propaganda and mobilize in their war on Israel.”
During the conflict, both the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas’ military arm highly made use of Twitter and various other social networks, even going so far about exchange harmful tweets. However, the …
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AT&T has actually only merely begun the transition away from 2G services with its spectrum refarming in New York City, however it now has a target end date to mark on the calendar: January 1st, 2017. Courtesy of an SEC filing, we recognize that the service provider wishes that both its GSM voice and EDGE information networks will have gone to the excellent cell tower in the sky prior to we’re popping the champagne corks about 4 and a half years from now. The Big Blue Ball anticipates the transition to be a soft one, as only 12 percent of its routine customers are utilizing 2G-only phones today; if it ever gets uneven, the business promises to “proactively” steer the holdouts towards 3G and 4G. Do not get too misty-eyed. While the change will certainly mark the end to exactly what’s probably one of the most definitive chapters in US cellular history, that remote date will likely come well after many of us have moved on– much like the AMPS shutdown, it could possibly be less of a bang and more of a whimper.
Filed under: Cellular phones, WirelessAT & T plans to shut down whole 2G network by 2017 originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 03 Aug 2012 15:42:00EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds. Permalink Wall Street Diary|AT&T|Email this|Comments
Aereo, the service that captures free over-the-air TV broadcasts and streams them online for $ 12 a month, has come under fire from just about every major TV content provider, from local and national networks to the National Association of Broadcasters. This Wednesday, several of them filed statements seeking a preliminary injunction that would stop Aereo from operating while it deals with the suits against it. So what arguments are NBCUniversal, CBS, Fox, a local ABC affiliate, and others making against Aereo?
“Any economically rational cable operator will use it as leverage in upcoming retransmission negotiations.”The biggest complaint about Aereo’s service is, unsurprisingly, that it will lead to a kind of tragedy of the commons. If…
TechCrunch’s Best Buy tag isn’t exactly a heartening place to visit. In the last few months, it “stole Christmas,” been “finished,” and is now “going out of business.” Dire straits indeed for a company that has defied the odds not only against big retail competition but against deadlier online opponents as well for nearly 50 years.
But an announcement today seems to give a little weight to the doom and gloom expected from a tech community that views Best Buy as an anachronism. Best Buy will be closing 50 of its big box stores and laying off some 400 people, mostly on the administrative side. Is it rightsizing or just plain attrition?
CEO Brian Dunn sees it as a necessary measure to reduce costs and make the chain’s retail experience more relevant to the average consumer. “We’re going to have more doors and less square footage,” he said, suggesting that further big box closures may be in the company’s future, but at the same time assuring that said closures were part of an overall strategy.
The sprawling megastores cost far more and see more competition from the likes of Amazon and Newegg, whereas smaller stores with popular items and services save on both space and costs. One has to admit that it makes a certain amount of sense. Best Buy is in the retail business, not the warehousing business, and at any rate they can’t compete in the latter category with online storefronts.
The 400 jobs, which Best Buy said would mostly come from its headquarters, would be enough to raise an eyebrow, but they neglect to estimate the real number of jobs that will be lost as a result of the closures. The employees of the 50 stores could easily amount to a couple thousand with floor staff, management, warehousing, and so on. Needless to say, it’s not a number they care to shout from the rooftops. It would take the wind out the sails just when the new plan needs a boost.
It’s been almost two years since Sezmi launched its hybrid antenna and internet TV service, and now it has announced the dream of pay-TV without cable or satellite is dead. An email went out to customers tonight informing them the ability to view or record programming on their Sezmi systems would be shut off Monday, September 26th. The only compensation given for the sudden disconnect? Free access to the VOD catalog before that disappears too, on November 1st. The $ 20 / month Select Plus package that offered pay-TV channels over antenna never spread beyond Los Angeles, although users happy to settle for basic channels and online VOD had access in other markets. Still, we predict it won’t be missed simply because it doesn’t seem like many people ever signed up. Despite nice features like unique profiles for different household members, the limited sports selection cut off many early adopters from the beginning. The company is apparently trying to pivot into selling its technology to other service providers, we’ll wait and see if a Moxi-like resurgence is in the cards. Check out the letter to subscribers and our original video demo after the break while we plan a month-long memorial service for those soon-to-be-useless 1TB DVRs.
Hard to believe that Microsoft’s been offering consumers the ability to customize their Zune purchases for the better part of four years now, but as they say, all unbelievable things must one day face reality. Er, something to that effect. Without so much as a heads-up, the designers in Redmond have apparently decided to shutter the Zune Originals storefront. As of this weekend, no new orders for highly personalized Zunes are being taken, with interested Earthlings encouraged to throw creativity to the wind and opt for a mass produced alternative within Best Buy or Walmart. So, you’re looking at two tidbits of import: if you placed your Originals order at 5PM PT on July 1st, you likely have quite the coveted device headed your way, and if you ever needed evidence that Microsoft was making WP7 its next Zune, well… you’re welcome.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]
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