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Comment: I am not sure it is the Cable Companies Fault (Score 5, Insightful) 448

by weiserfireman (#48759177) Attached to: Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

I have a couple friends who are senior people at Cable companies I am not sure it is always the Cable companies fault.

1. Cable companies have to pay distributors to license feeds
2. Those distributors bundle their channels. One or two popular channels, 8 - 10 undesirable ones. Cable company has to buy the whole block, it is priced as a monthly charge per subscriber to the tier that includes the block.
3. Distributors are always trying to raise the rates. Thats when you get the websites about "Tell Comcast you want to keep your channels", because the cable company is trying to hold the line on price increases
4. ESPN is the most expensive part of the cable bill. Last I saw the numbers, it cost the Cable company $5 per subscriber per month. It is probably higher now. That is why there has been an explosion of Sports Networks on cable. They are all trying to get that sweet sweet cash flow that ESPN gets.
5. The content providers have been fighting al a carte pricing. It will signal the death of a lot of channels that get few viewers. In the end, it may lead to less choice

My Cable company was very slow to get a lot of HD channels. My friend told me it was part of their strategy to hold the line on prices. They refused to pay extra to include HD feeds. Their belief was, the production company already had sunk the costs into producing the show in HD. It cost them extra to produce a non-HD feed. A customer who was watching the HD channel, was not benefiting from having the non-HD channel available too.

Maybe if I ever had Comcast, my attitude would be different, but I feel like my Cable company is doing what they can to control costs.

Comment: Egyptian President (Score 4, Informative) 1350

by weiserfireman (#48756371) Attached to: Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ

A couple days ago, I learned about the New Year's Day Speech by the Egyptian President. ..

He called for a deep revolution in thought about the tenets of Islam. He believes that Muslims are destroying themselves and their credibility with the world with the violence being done in the name of Islam.

After I heard about the events in Paris, I really wanted to hear what he has to say. I think he would be dismayed, and point to it as an example of what he was saying.

Comment: Re:Interesting (Score 1) 293

by weiserfireman (#48667921) Attached to: Hotel Group Asks FCC For Permission To Block Some Outside Wi-Fi

I live in a very rural area. I am a Captain in a volunteer fire department. I have been doing this for 10 years. I have also been an EMT as well.

There is a reason cell phones are not relied on in emergency situations. An Incident Commander may use one when he is talking to the Mayor, or maybe a Hazmat specialist in another State, but he never uses a cell phone when trying to talk to someone inside the building.

Why? So everyone can hear what is being discussed. I may not be part of the conversation, but I may need to know the conditions on the other side of the building that the IC is talking about.

Dispatch also monitors the fire ground radio traffic so that they can anticipate requests for additional support. '

In the event of a major disaster at hotel property, where we might bring in specialized search and rescue teams, that we don't normally train with, such as a building collapse, Jamming of wireless signals by the hotels network is not going to be an issue. If the collapse didn't shut down the network, it will be down shortly after we shut off all power and utilities to the building.

But again, the hotels are not asking for permission to block Cell Signals. They are asking for permission to treat mobile hotspots like rogue APs, as if they are a potential threat to their wireless network. The technology to interfere with these hot spots, isn't random jamming that will interfere with Cell phone usage, or emergency radios. It is deauthentication packets aimed at the hotspots and the clients of the hotspots. It doesn't interfere with the radio environment per se, it is interferes at the layer 2 or 3 level.

It won't affect emergency communications in any way shape or form. That is a red herring.

There are lots of real reasons to dislike this proposal without inventing problems that don't exist.

Comment: Re:Interesting (Score 1) 293

by weiserfireman (#48661809) Attached to: Hotel Group Asks FCC For Permission To Block Some Outside Wi-Fi

First responders are not supposed to rely on cell phones as a primary communications link.

While some areas are trying out 700Mhz emergency communications, most first responders have not adopted it yet. 400Mhz and 2Mhz are the most common ranges in my area.

Most Cell phone jammers will not affect those radios. The type of jamming (flooding hotspots with deauth packets) that the hotels are doing, has no affect on first responder radios

Comment: Warrant? (Score 4, Insightful) 207

by weiserfireman (#48575383) Attached to: In Iowa, a Phone App Could Serve As Driver's License

This seems to be a way to get your cell phone out of your hand and into the hands of the police, without a warrant, and your permission.

SCOTUS recently ruled that the police can't search your phone without your permission, absent a warrant. Now you get pulled over, and you have to hand your unlocked cell phone to the nice police officer, while he leaves your site and goes to his car for 5 minutes or so.

Now he has the opportunity to see what else you might have on your phone.

As a bonus, since he has your phone, you can't use it to record your interaction with him.

What is wrong with the piece of plastic in my wallet? It has worked well for a long time. If my State offered it, I might add it to my phone for fun, but I would still have the wallet card to give to a police officer.

Comment: Re:Get an MBA at a cheap school (Score 1) 317

by weiserfireman (#48557475) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are Any Certifications Worth Going For?

Western Governor's University ( is a fully accredited university.

They do MBA programs for a reasonable price. It is an online school. They have have an MBA in IT Administration.

You are management, that is the "cert" that management is looking for to move up the ladder

Certs are for technical people

Comment: Re:Anything sold to the police should be sold... (Score 1) 191

The LA Bank thing was a bad deal,

but my little town of 5500 people has never had something like that happen in it. Ever. A police officer in my community, has never been killed in the line of duty, in our town. We had one killed in 1947 when he provided mutual aid to a neighboring town.

But our local police chief is currently trying to convince our Mayor that he really needs to upgrade to Armored Vehicles and riot gear. "Look what happened in Ferguson MO, that could happen here."

We have a training culture for our police departments, nationwide, that installs an "Us vs Them" mentality. Every interaction with the public is a potential life or death event for the police.

I suggest that this mentality is making lives more dangerous for the police, and everyone else in this country. And it isn't getting better. The police are hunkering down.

I have a friend that is a Sheriff's Deputy. He recently posted that everyone who is being critical of the police these days is a "Police Hater" and is probably a criminal. It is that type of attitude that has the rest of society looking at our police departments with a new more critical eye.

Comment: Re:Why only to police? (Score 1) 191

according the verbage at the time, well-regulated might also mean, well-equipped. The States, and communities, at the time, would produce a list of equipment that each member of the militia was required to bring with them, if they were called up. That list would include a firearm and a small amount of ammunition appropriate for that weapon.

Comment: Re:... Everything? (Score 2) 528

by weiserfireman (#48531207) Attached to: The Sony Pictures Hack Was Even Worse Than Everyone Thought

There is another huge loophole in HIPAA. It only applies if your company does electronic billing.

I am a volunteer with a fire department. The local ambulance agency was shocked when they were told that the fire department EMT's were not covered by the HIPAA law. Our fire department doesn't bill for our services, so HIPAA didn't apply to us. We protect peoples privacy, because it is the right thing to do, but have no legal exposure, if someone accidentally says something (at least exposure under HIPAA laws, there may be other risks)

Comment: Re:Technically correct?? (Score 1) 152

by weiserfireman (#48469863) Attached to: Clarificiation on the IP Address Security in Dropbox Case

IMO, IP Addresses of visitors to the Drop Box account of the Mayor, should be no more protected than the Mayor's appointment book.

It is a list of visitors. That is all it is. And if we think the Mayor is being lobbied improperly, we should be able to have that information.

Comment: Re:Training? (Score 3, Interesting) 112

by weiserfireman (#48458355) Attached to: "Advanced Life Support" Ambulances May Lead To More Deaths

I live in a rural area. Rural areas were specifically excluded from the study.

This time of year always reminds me of a call I went on the day before Thanksgiving
I have personally gone on a cardiac call, where the person was asystole when we arrived on scene. I was an EMT-basic. The other two guys were a 20 year EMT-I, and a 20 year Paramedic. A police officer beat us to the scene by 2 minutes and started CPR. The paramedic 2 rounds of cardiac drugs and we got a shockable rhythm. Shocked, good rhythm, packaged her up and took her to the local ER. In the meantime, the hospital had ordered up a helicopter and it was standing by when we get there. 45 minute ride to the nearest cardiac center.

The lady walked out of the hospital 7 days later. She lived another 2 years.

The Paramedic assured me that was the first time he had ever recovered a cardiac patient, in 20 years, who was flatline when he got on scene. The Gods of EMS were with us that night.

Why did she live?
1. Quick effective CPR by the police officer was probably critical. He was less than a block away when he got the call.
2. Quick effective arrival of the ambulance. She lived 4 blocks from the ambulance station. We happened to be in the garage, inventorying the ambulance when we got the call
3. Local ER quickly mobilizing air assets, so that she got to a cardiac center as fast as possible.

"Don't think; let the machine do it for you!" -- E. C. Berkeley