Items tagged with emergency

Apple's Siri has long been fodder for tales of the miscommunications variety, most of them laced with humor of one ilk or another. The latest reported Siri easter egg, though, fails to bring the funny, and instead results in an immediate and very serious call to the cops. Recent posts on Facebook, Twitter, and in other social media hubs have suggested that iPhone users looking for a spark of entertainment should ask Siri about the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Instead of hilarity and smiles all around, however (as if someone could find any kind of glee in the subject, anyway), those opting to engage... Read more...
A new mobile app from AT&T is aimed at helping city governments and their citizens keep in touch. Governments can use the app to keep people informed about community events and road hazards, while citizens can use it to find parks and contact government departments. Perhaps one of the best things about the new Community Central app is that it lets you use your smartphone to upload a picture of that axle-wrecking pothole so the city can see just how big that sucker is. The app is also designed to provide real-time info about public transportation systems so you can catch a bus or avoid delays.... Read more...
FEMA and the National Weather Service are looking out for you. How so? They're joining up to launch the Wireless Emergency Alert System, which is described as a free SMS system that will text users connected to cell towers in areas that are being nailed with storms or other disasters. The idea here is to broadcast them to all devices within range. It's engineered to cover around 97% of the nation, but it's just now being rolled out across operators. Both Sprint and Verizon (the two largest CDMA carriers in the States) are both primed and ready, but there's no word yet on some of the smaller, regional... Read more...
By early next year, the nation will have a new way to call for help--via text message. Verizon Wireless announced that it’s working on a service to provide SMS-to-911 capabilities, which it says will be operational in early 2013. Simply put, the emergency service will allow anyone to send an SMS message to a 911 call center, also known as a public-service answering point (PSAP) via Verizon’s existing CDMA network. This week, the company announced that it has selected a vendor partner in the endeavor: Annapolis, Maryland-based TeleCommunication Systems Inc. The FCC and other federal... Read more...
If there was a city in the US that you would look to as front-runner in pioneering new emergency alert, warning and information systems, most likely one of the first to come to mind would be the great Big Apple.  New York's rebuiling process since the 911 attacks is taking shape in a number of forms but perhaps none more so than the extent of preventative measures the city's local government is taking to keep its citizens safe and hold firm to their mantra of "never again and never forget".  In addition, getting the word out quickly, in the event of an emergency, is obviously... Read more...
Ever wonder what would happen if you texted some incomprehensible message to "911?" If you're a resident of Black Hawk Co. in Iowa, you'll probably get some attention--pronto! This week, an emergency call center in the basement of the county jail in Waterloo, Iowa became the first call center in the United States to accept and welcome emergency text messages sent to "911."Not shockingly, call centers nationwide are now looking into what it'll take to follow suit, and it honestly, it's about time. Texting has become a mainstream form of communication these days, and thus, it makes sense that 911... Read more...
Engineers from Apple have applied for a patent on an "emergency" mode for cell phones that would squeeze every last drop of energy out of the batteries.The phone would recognize emergency calls when the user dialed an emergency number, such as 911 in the United States. But a number also could be stored as an "emergency number" on the phone (a spouse, child, parent, for example) or the user could manually put the phone in emergency mode.The process would do a variety of things. First off, it would disable "non-essential hardware components" and applications on the phone, reduce power to the screen... Read more...
With camera phones, text messaging, and e-mail now ubiquitous, it was only a matter of time before antiquated emergency systems were upgraded to take advantage of these technologies. Making good on a promise made during a State of the City address, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has just announced that NYC's emergency and customer service hotlines are now able to accept photos and videos."I built a business on the idea that we could improve companies' performance by delivering better information instantaneously, and I've tried to bring that same philosophy to government," said Mayor Bloomberg.... Read more...
It's always great when we can catch up with China, isn't it?  After all, China used SMS alerts to warn citizens over Typhoon Kaemi in 2006.The plan stems from the Warning Alert and Response Network Act, a 2006 federal law that requires upgrades to the emergency alert system. The act requires the Federal Communications Commission to develop ways to alert the public about emergencies.“The ability to deliver accurate and timely warnings and alerts through cellphones and other mobile services is an important next step in our efforts to help ensure that the American public has the information they... Read more...
Thankfully the collaboration between Ford Motor Company and Microsoft is only for the entertainment system- "Initially to be made available in twelve 2008 models across the Ford family and across the entire 2009 lineup from FoMoCo, the service will be a fully-integrated, flash memory-based system that enables drivers to call hands-free and to control a range of digital audio via voice commands and buttons mounted on the steering wheel. The system is based on an a Microsoft Auto operating system comprising an ARM 11 processor, 64MB of DRAM and 256MB of flash memory. Microsoft tells us that its software... Read more...
Everybody has a cell phone. And since everybody has a cell phone, people will drive right past you on a lonely road when your car has broken down, and figure you're just waiting for a lift. And they won't know that your cell phone battery is dead and you have no way to charge it. It's a long walk to the nearest payphone these days. Why make that journey carrying a dead cellphone and a pocket full of quarters when you could just keep a mobcharger in your glove compartment? Mobcharger is an emergency mobile phone battery designed to provide instant power to a depleted phone battery. Just... Read more...
Adrian's Rojak Pot is known for their guides on everything from BIOS Tweaking to Voltage Mods. This weekend they've added to their list with the "Emergency Spyware Guide", which covers how to properly identify and remove the most annoying of programs. "Is your PC behaving strangely? Popping up banners all the time? Getting redirected to unknown websites? It's very likely your PC has been hit by spyware! But fret not. We have just the guide for you! Join TEB as he shows you how to get rid of spyware and stay clean!"... Read more...