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Comment Re: They have multiple street names wrong.. (Score 1) 263

Waze is actually better, because you can edit the map yourself and fix it. Not that you should have to, but at least it's an option. You do have to have the appropriate access level to edit main streets and highways, but there are usually plenty of people online with access who can help you with things (see live chat). It also helps if you can point them to google street view to clearly show the problem.

I've made several small edits to address locations, street names, and turn restrictions. They show up in app after Waze does a map dump (about every week, if I remember correctly).


Comment The White House is soliciting feedback - link: (Score 1) 152

There was a previous "We the People" petition to the White House regarding encryption, and it got the required number of signatures to elicit a response. Rather than just putting out a useless blanket statement (as they do for a lot of the petitions), the White House is actually soliciting specific feedback before creating a position. You can send them comments regarding encryption through the White House website (links below). No idea if this will actually go anywhere (or get you put on some kind of watchlist!), but presumably it's better than just remaining quiet and letting them come to their own conclusions?

The petition and response
The form to send comments

Funnily enough, it's a secure website.. hmm..

Comment Re:Marketing hype (Score 1) 75

JVP, I'm not the same person as the AC, but I have been on both MiniMed and Decom CGMs. I've also done some CGM medical trials for MiniMed.

Without a doubt, I can agree with you that MiniMed CGMs absolutely suck and that the "artificial pancreas" marketing from MiniMed is crap. I used the MiniMed CGM on my pump for about 2 years and it was often way off my actual blood sugar. I talked with MiniMed reps several times and they would tell me the same crap: don't calibrate when your blood sugar is rising / dropping, don't calibrate more often than every 8 hours, etc., etc. I stuck with it mainly because of the convenience factor of having only one device to carry around.

My doctor convinced me to try a Dexcom because of the issues I was having, and I can tell you that it's a world of difference. The Dexcom has been so damn accurate, and a hell of a lot more comfortable than any of the MiniMed CGMs I have used. I can let it run past calibration (>12 hours) and it still gives readings. When I go to calibrate it (even if it's been >12 hours) it's very rarely off by more than 20 mg/dL unless my blood sugar is shooting up like crazy.

Maybe you have tried it, and maybe it didn't work for you.. but don't write off all CGMs. They do work. The only thing that sort of sucks is having to carry around another device.. For what it's worth, last time I saw the study in TFA, they were using a Dexcom CGM.

PS3 Enjoys Retail-Wide Sales Spike After Price Cut 167

donniebaseball23 writes "Sony, after nearly two years on standing firm on PS3's price, dropped the console to $249, and it's been having an immediate impact. GameStop has already noted a 'significant' increase in PS3 sales, while big box retailer Target confirmed an 'immediate lift' in sales and recommended PS3 as a 'great option' for its customers. Not only that, but leading e-tailer Amazon saw PS3 sales explode by 400% in the days after the price cut. All told, in the months ahead, analysts are expecting Sony to see as much as a 30% sales bump for PS3 this holiday season."

Comment Re:Disable it (Score 1) 374

I agree, you could argue those points. But consider the end goal here - to make an effective emergency alerting system. If the user doesn't notice the alert because it's handled like every other text message, then you've lost some of the effectiveness. Plus, there are some tangible benefits in this system, which you don't get with regular text messages, like location-based alerting and broadcast alerting.

Sure, it will piss some people off. Sure, there is a lot of money being spent to implement it. However, compared to most government initiatives, this is probably one which people will find helpful.

By the way, my extent of involvement is implementing this application on a handset. I didn't come up with the standards, but I think they're pretty reasonable. Only time will tell how the system is (ab)used.

Comment Re:Location Services? (Score 1) 374

A very easy solution is to have all phones sold in US preconfigured to be subscribed a specific cell broadcast topic. If you don't want the alerts just unsubscribe with the phone's standard interface.

Yep, that's essentially what this does. There are thirty topics reserved just for CMAS alerts. Phones will come pre-subscribed to some of those. The main difference here is that the "standard" CBS application isn't used to handle messages received on these topics. The reason is because there are some specific actions the phone must take when receiving these messages - playing a tone, vibra, etc.

But there's no real reason why an old phone which supports generic CBS couldn't receive the alerts, if it was subscribed to them. Part of the problem is that some phone makers limited the range of topic ids you can subscribe to using the UI, and the CMAS topics are outside of that range.

No need for a special chip (oooh, I forgot that someone has to pay for the personal planes of large companies and decision makers).

As I said in another post, this "special chip" stuff is completely bogus. I have no idea where the article got that from. On the phone-side of things, you only need CBS support in the cell modem (which should already be there) and a CMAS application (just software).

Comment Re:Disable it (Score 1) 374

That's exactly what this is. CBS is already part of the standards for GSM and CDMA. Wikipedia describes it pretty well:

What is being added here is "special handling" for specific CBS messages. In other words, when you receive a CMAS message through CBS, your phone handles it differently than a "normal" CBS message by playing an alert tone, etc.

Comment Re:Location Services? (Score 1) 374

Technically, no. But when you connect your phone to a cell network, you do have some implicit trust that it's really your operator who's providing the service. So if someone could break in to the operator's network, maybe they could spoof a CMAS message. I guess you could make the same argument for all other kinds of broadcast services.

Comment Re:Disable it (Score 1) 374

Text messages are, in a general sense, point-to-point. When you're trying to notify thousands of people at the same time (an emergency situation), you want as little overhead as possible. So, broadcasting makes the most efficient use of network resources. The expense here is largely in handsets (software support) and for the operators (alert gateway). They are trying to re-use existing technology, where appropriate..

Comment Re:Location Services? (Score 1) 374

It doesn't track your location. The system is implemented using Cell Broadcast (CBS), which indiscriminately sends out messages to all users in a particular cell. So if your phone is camping in a cell where a tornado will soon strike, you get the message. In this sense, it works exactly like any other one-way radio broadcast -- the sender doesn't know who received the message or how many received it. They can do this because the cellular provider DOES know the location of each cell tower and the general area the tower covers.

Comment Re:I'm working on this.. (Score 1) 256

Glad the info is helpful. I think the system has good potential as another way to get alerts out there if people miss other, traditional channels. Although, if the lines to your local tower are taken out by a tornado, I would hope the alerts go out long before that!

To answer your question, first you have to know about the types of messages that can be sent. The spec uses 30 total message identifiers, which fall into groups such as Presidential, Imminent-Extreme, Imminent-Severe, AMBER, Test, and Reserved. These 30 identifiers are consolidated into these groups before being presented to the user. This is a bit of a simplification, but you can probably get the general idea. The specification says that by default, phones will be subscribed to all alerts, but that they can opt-out of everything except presidential alerts. So maybe this is a small step towards Big Brother, but at least it is one way only! :)

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