Items tagged with 911

One of the features Apple is rolling out with its iOS 12 update for iPhone users is better location sharing when calling 911. The company says iPhone users in the United States will be able to automatically and securely share their location data with first responders after applying the update, enabling emergency service workers to respond faster to 911 calls with more accurate information at their disposal, versus previous versions of iOS. Apple says eight out of 10 emergency 911 calls these days originate from mobile devices, a not-too-surprising statistic considering how ubiquitous smartphones have become. However, "outdated, landline-era infrastructure often makes it difficult for 911 centers... Read more...
It appears that Apple has a bit of a problem on its hands when it comes to one of its repair centers. The repair facility, which is located in Elk Grove, California, has reportedly made 1,600 "false alarm" phone calls from its location since October 2017. To put that in perspective, 911 operators have been fielding as many as 20 calls per day from the facility that repairs and refurbishes Apple devices. “We’re able to see quickly where the call is coming from, so when we get one from Apple, the address will come up with their location,” said police dispatcher Jamie Hudson. Given the number of calls that have emanated from the location, 911 operators are able to ascertain that... Read more...
With large numbers of people around the country ditching landlines and now only using mobile devices, getting fast and accurate location information from a mobile device for 911 services is a major concern. Google has been testing a system that aims to get your location data to 911 operators more quickly and with greater accuracy than the data mobile carriers offer. By Sebastian Bergmann - originally posted to Flickr as Google Campus, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link When a mobile user calls 911, location information is normally sent to the operator by the carrier, but in Google's system the data is sent by Google (presumably using precise data from the actual Android device making the call). Companies involved... Read more...
  Earlier this week, we learned of a troubling bug that was afflicting some OnePlus 5 owners. When trying to report an emergency by dialing 911 (or 999 in the UK), a user’s phone would instead reboot instead of being put through to a dispatcher. Although the issue doesn’t affect every OnePlus 5 user, it’s a dangerous enough bug that OnePlus was quick to respond once the first reports of the problem began to surface. On Tuesday, OnePlus issued the following statement: We have contacted the customer and are currently looking into the issue. We ask anyone experiencing a similar situation to contact us at support@oneplus.net. Today, the company is proud to announce that it has tested a software... Read more...
Getting in contact with emergency services can be a matter of life and death, which is why it is incredibly easy for citizens to get in contact with dispatchers. Most countries provide a three-digit number that can be quickly dialed, with most everyone recognizing “911” for emergency services in the United States. However, a newly uncovered Apple patent would make it even easier to get in contact with first responders. The patent, which was granted to Apple on Tuesday, describes a method by which Touch ID can be used to trigger a call to 911. The feature could be activated by a pattern of taps on the Touch ID button or even by the amount of force that you exert. This so-called “panic command”... Read more...
  Many of us take our smartphones for granted. We have them with us at all times and they can be used to keep us connected with every aspect of our lives from family to work to leisure activities. The ubiquity of our smartphones also means that they are indispensable when an emergency arises, and dialing 911 is just a few taps away. Unfortunately, some OnePlus 5 owners are discovering that dialing 911 isn’t giving them a direct line to emergency services. Instead, in some cases, their phones are rebooting shortly after pressing the call button. One reddit user reports that he saw a building fire that was a few blocks away from his position. Naturally, he dialed 911 only to have his phone... Read more...
This situation seems like something that you could only imagine in your most intense nightmares. Imagine being in the frantic situation where you need to dial 911 due to a life-threatening emergency, but can’t actually get through. After AT&T experienced a massive 911 service outage last week, we can now sadly report that T-Mobile is the latest wireless carrier to experience issues, ending with deadly results. Over the weekend, the 911 system in Dallas became overloaded with so-called “ghost calls” originating from T-Mobile devices. The fake calls flooded the system so greatly that those with legitimate emergency concerns could not get through to a dispatcher. “Whenever a T-Mobile customer... Read more...
If you listened to rap music in the early 1990s, you undoubtedly heard Flava Flav spit rhymes to "911 is a Joke," the song he is most famous for. However, it was no laughing matter when mobile phone users subscribed to AT&T's wireless service were unable to call 911 emergency dispatchers in more than a dozen states on Wednesday night. Service has since been restored, but given the seriousness of the situation, the FCC has opened an investigation into what went wrong. During the outage, law enforcement and emergency response officials were on social media warning people across the nation of the trouble AT&T was having. The outage lasted around five hours, with AT&T indicating at 10:30... Read more...
Everyone hates a backseat driver. You know, the person that’s looking over your shoulder, keeping an eye on your speed and pointing out everything “wrong” that you’re doing behind the wheel. Well, given how much technology that is being crammed into automobiles these days, it’s not human passengers that we have to worry about: it’s the HAL 9000 computers that are monitoring every important subsystem in your late model vehicle. Take the case of Cathy Bernstein, for example. The 57-year-old woman made an absolutely boneheaded play by rear-ending another vehicle and then fleeing the scene. Bernstein, perhaps thinking that she had gotten away with her act of recklessness, went about her business... Read more...
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 Siri in such a request are finding themselves quickly connected to 911 emergency services. So a gag... Read more...
It's best not to let the actions of a relative few be viewed as a reflection of society as a whole, otherwise we might as well throw in the towel and call it a day. Why? On Friday, Facebook went down in some areas for a period of time. It's annoying when that happens, but it took a new level of idiocy for some Los Angeles residents to call 911 about the outage. Yes, it's come to that. Posting status updates and eagerly checking for likes and comments has become such an addictive past time that some users are willing to tie up emergency 911 phone lines to inquire why the police aren't sending resources to fix the issue. Because, you know, computer engineering with a specialty in social networks... Read more...
Imagine that you're a 911 dispatcher and you receive a text message that reads, "OMG, sned hlp nao! Its an emergency! no joke, lol!" That's something emergency responders are going to have to figure out, because as of now, all four major wireless carriers in the U.S. -- Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint -- are offering text-to-911 service in select areas. It's easy to see the logic behind the move. After all, nearly everyone owns a mobile phone these days, and if you're in a situation where making a voice call just isn't feasible -- perhaps you're locked in a closet as a burglar paces back and forth deciding what to do with you, or you've been tied up and gagged but can still reach your... 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 centers would have the capability to receive emergency messages sent in via SMS. Indeed, we can absolutely... Read more...
The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (USCPSC) has issued a recall notification for 30,000 LG 830 "Spyder" cell phones because of an incident in which the phone was unable to maintain a connection when a motorist attempted a 911 call. Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received one report of a motorist in a disabled car who was able to dial 911, but the call was dropped because the network had difficulty establishing a GPS lock on the phone. No injuries have been reported. The recall involves LG 830 "Spyder" touch-screen slider cell phones with software versions T83LGV03 and T83LGV04, which were sold for use with the following regional wireless carriers: Cellular South, Cellcom, Bluegrass... Read more...