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Comment Re:Emergency Services (Score 1) 281

I'm a volunteer EMT in New Jersey and also a ham radio operator, and as far as I know, most places including our own use local radio systems like the one you describe. The license covers everybody in the agency (just like a taxi dispatcher's will). We use a two-tone system; the radio is squelched until the two tones come through and then the radio alerts (if it's set to alert) and unsquelches for the voice transmission. The earliest iteration of this was called a Plectron and the term is still used informally to refer to our Minitor portable pagers. All the neighboring agencies use variations on this system, but I believe the largest agencies (like NYFD) have some computerized dispatch. We don't directly get dispatched by neighboring towns for mutual aid - that comes through our own dispatch so they know to keep track of us - but if we are on a call to a neighboring town we are allowed to transmit on their frequency and have some radios that can do so.

We use VHF low band (~45MHz) for dispatch and used to use it for voice comms, but the antennas are just too long for portable use to be effective. Most nearby police are on UHF, and the regional emergency frequencies are on VHF. We have Motorola radios for each frequency band, each with anywhere from 4-20 channels programmed into them.

The decision for who gets radios that can transmit is mostly driven by cost and numbers. In our squad, all the crew chiefs have transmit-capable radios, and everyone else has a Minitor (2-5). The radios are 2-3x the cost of the pagers. We have about 16 radios that can be signed out for use by non-crew chiefs.

Every agency uses something a little different, and in most cases (especially smaller agencies) it's roughly the same system they came up with about 40 years ago. So there's a lot of historical legacy involved. The newfangled thing is trunking radio systems - those are nice because they provide talkgroups and make interoperability and provisioning straightforward - but you kind of need to move all at once since "normal" equipment won't work with them.

Submission + - Push To Hack: Reverse engineering an IP camera (contextis.com)

tetraverse writes: For our most recent IoT adventure, we've examined an outdoor cloud security camera which like many devices of its generation a) has an associated mobile app b) is quick to setup and c) presents new security threats to your network.

Submission + - Patent troll VirnetX awarded $626M in damages from Apple (arstechnica.com)

Tackhead writes: Having won a $200M judgement against Microsoft in 2010, lost a $258M appeal against Cisco in 2013, and having beaten Apple for $368M in 2012, only to see the verdict overturned in 2014, patent troll VirnetX is back in the news, having been awarded $626M in damages arising from the 2012 Facetime patent infringement case against Apple.

Submission + - Stephen Elop Assumes Position In McMaster University

jones_supa writes: Technology maven Stephen Elop is coming home. McMaster University has officially announced that the former alumnus and Microsoft and Nokia executive has been named the distinguished engineering executive in residence at the school's faculty of engineering. It is an advisory position, where he will give insights into new research and teaching opportunities, as well as helping to translating academic knowledge to a wider audience. He will also give lectures twice a year, as well as sit on the dean's advisory council and act as an advisor to the dean. Elop is an alumnus of the McMaster Computer Engineering and Management Program, where he graduated in 1986. The faculty also awarded him with an honorary doctor of science degree in 2009.
Canada

A Legal Name Change Puts 'None of the Above' On Canadian Ballot (foxnews.com) 171

PolygamousRanchKid writes: The ballot to fill a legislative seat in Canada next month includes none of the above—and it's a real person. Sheldon Bergson, 46, had his name legally changed to Above Znoneofthe and is now a candidate for the Ontario legislature, the CBC reports. The election is Feb. 11. The ballot lists candidates in alphabetical order by surname so his name will be the 10th of the 10 candidates as Znoneofthe Above, according to CBC. One of his opponents is running on the line of the None of The Above Party. Maybe the American folks can learn from their cousins up north? Shouldn't every election have a line for "None of the above"? I can't wait until Little Bobby Tables hits 35.

Submission + - Candidate's legal name change puts 'none of the above' on ballot in Canada (foxnews.com)

PolygamousRanchKid writes: The ballot to fill a legislative seat in Canada next month includes none of the above—and it’s a real person. Sheldon Bergson, 46, had his name legally changed to Above Znoneofthe and is now a candidate for the Ontario legislature, the CBC reports. The election is Feb. 11. The ballot lists candidates in alphabetical order by surname so his name will be the 10th of the 10 candidates as Znoneofthe Above, according to CBC.

One of his opponents is running on the line of the None of The Above Party.

Maybe the American folks can learn from their cousins up north . . . ?

Submission + - Developers gather to help charities at massive virtual hack.summit() conference (hacksummit.org)

An anonymous reader writes: hack.summit (https://hacksummit.org) looks like a very interesting event — a pure virtual conference with a speaker roster that's surprisingly strong. The kicker is that it's all for charity to help coding non-profits. Lots of credible tech companies are behind it (Github, StackOverflow, IBM, etc). Part of the event is a global hackathon, where developers can hack over a weekend to help charities and win prizes.

Submission + - 18TB of Fraternal Order of Police data hacked (thecthulhu.com) 1

Dave_Minsky writes: Yesterday, someone by the name of Cthulhu released 18TB of sensitive data from the Fraternal Order of Police. The FOP is America's largest police union with more than 325,000 members in more than 2,100 lodges nationwide.

According to Cthulhu's website, the data were "submitted to me through a confidential source, and have asked me to distribute it in the public interest."

Submission + - How do I get Microsoft to get up off their asses & look at a Windows 10 prob (live.com) 4

mykepredko writes: My product communicates with a host system via Bluetooth (using the Serial Port Profile) and each time a device is connected to a PC a couple of serial ports are allocated. Windows has always had a problem with not automatically disposing of the allocated ports when the connection is removed, but until Windows 10, there were processes for deleting them. This isn't possible for Windows 10 (which apparently has new Serial/Com port and/or Bluetooth drivers) — but individuals, who are apparently working for Microsoft, periodically reply with useless suggestions or attempt to promote questions and ideas as solutions to the problem: http://answers.microsoft.com/e... I suspect that this is an issue for all Windows 10 users (although I guess few people are plugging/unplugging devices) — so how do we get Microsoft to take notice (and not have to pay for them to fix their bug)?

Comment Re:Article paid by Apple to boo over it. (Score 2, Insightful) 456

I wish I had mod points to vote this up. The Verge may be right, but they are totally apple fanboys who jump at any opportunity to make fun of the competition.

Microsoft may be able to jumpin at some point though with the bump in surface sales. If they rebranded as surface phone and launched a surface phone that's tied to a plan that is much like Google Fi they could potentially build a market for themselves. Especially if they used the hooks they have in the retail world at best buys and microsoft kiosks to push that. Then they could potentially build market share from there by offering the phones on other carriers once there's a buzz. This especially becomes true if they ever get android apps working on the windows phone which they are supposedly close to having available. .
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Submission + - VMWare lays off Fusion and Workstation development team (chipx86.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The entire Hosted UI team, responsible for VMware’s Workstation and Fusion products, have been laid off and the future of these products is now unclear with rumors future maintenance will be outsourced to China.

Submission + - The Dark Arts: Meet the LulzSec Hackers (hackaday.com)

szczys writes: Reputations are earned. When a small group of hackers who were part of Anonymous learned they were being targeted for doxing (having their identities exposed) they went after the person hard, taking down two of the company websites, the CEO's Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and even his World of Warcraft accounts. The process was fast, professional, and like nothing ever seen before. This was the foundation of Lulz Security and the birth of a reputation that makes LulzSec an important part of black hat history.

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