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AT&T Rolls Out iPhone Wireless Emergency Alerts 199

Posted by timothy
from the big-brother-speaking dept.
First time accepted submitter TigerPlish writes "AT&T has rolled out Wireless Emergency Alerts for iPhones. The alerts are for huge catastrophes (a Presidential Alert), for weather / natural calamities, and for AMBER alerts. One can turn off the latter two, but the Presidential alert cannot be turned off. The article mentions only 4S and 5 get this update. That said, I have a 4 and it got the update this morning. This was enacted in 2006, for those keeping track of such things. I, for one, do not care for this any more than I like the idea of them reading my communications to begin with. Oh, I'm sorry, the "metadata" from my communications." As promised.
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AT&T Rolls Out iPhone Wireless Emergency Alerts

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  • Mass SMS? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by r2kordmaa (1163933) on Sunday June 16, 2013 @02:21PM (#44022893)
    Why cant emergency services just use plain old SMS service? "don't go outside, there is a hurricane if you havent noticed"
    • that's the fucking hilarious part! I'm laughing my ass off here at this. Wireless Emergency Alerts! FUCKING BRILLIANT! if they had done their gsm networks as they were supposed to they would have had these localized alerts long time ago.

      nobody really uses them in anywhere in the world for much anything though, I think it's probably because areas that have this implemented aren't hit with catastrophes that would warrant such.. around here basically there would have to be a bombing raid I think.. I mean, just

      • by tysonedwards (969693) on Sunday June 16, 2013 @02:32PM (#44022955)
        Well, it *was* used just last week for the Oklahoma Tornado.
        With regards to shootings or a bear in town, DUH! Do you really expect this to be used as a "news source"? Also, zero difference to the Emergency Broadcast System, just now putting it on an iPhone. Oh wait! Someone rush out and file a patent!
      • by swalve (1980968)
        The network could do it (it's part of the GSM spec, as you note), but the phones didn't have the software. My Blackberry has been getting these alerts for 6-12 months now. SMS would be a horrible idea, because they are not prioritized traffic on the network, and not broadcastable. You'd have to have a machine generating SMS messages for every phone number, which would take days to get through and probably take down the network.
    • Simple, a mass SMS would overload the network in a situation where the network is stressed. Plus it takes longer to determine all the numbers that need to receive the message.

    • by supersat (639745)
      I believe these use Cell Broadcasts [wikipedia.org], which allows SMSes to be broadcast to all phones subscribed to them.
  • by Etcetera (14711) on Sunday June 16, 2013 @02:24PM (#44022917) Homepage

    You're an idiot if you're complaining about this. The EAS (and its predecessor, the EBS) has been around for almost 50 years and is a necessary, though at times potentially ineffective, capability to have. From the mid-90s into the late 2000's there was concern that the "traditional" methods of activation would be come less and less effective.

    Every single broadcast TV and radio station has a manual right in the control room and there's an out-of-band method for heirarchical distribution of messages from local relays to cut in at a moment's notice.

    The problems were that people nowadays were spending more and more time away from live, regulated broadcasts, and with cell phones instead of land lines (for reverse 911 calls in the event of an evacuation).

    Extending these regulations to "channels where people are actually spending their time" is an important part of keeping the system relevant. Cable systems have been doing text overlays (scrolling text for EAS tests or NWS alerts) for a while, but that now cuts through into your cable-provided DVR if you have one. Netflix and other streaming providers have ways of injecting data into the feed. Hell, at a game company I used to work for there was talk of using zip code subscriber data to forward NWS alerts to users *within the game* to ensure that someone didn't miss a tornado warning if they were spending the evening with their favorite MMORPG and the radio off.

    Extending this to cell phone towers and multicast paging simply makes sense. It's not nefarious, it's just good public policy.

    (And this is coming from someone definitely of the libertarian-conservative mindset, and no fan of the current President.)

    • Very half-baked (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SuperBanana (662181) on Sunday June 16, 2013 @02:55PM (#44023101)

      You're an idiot if you're complaining about this.

      Well, *I* am going to complain, because the system is implemented on my Android phone. It's been incredibly annoying. Remember that big huge east coast snowstorm?

      It'd been on the TV and print news and intertubes for DAYS. There was a morning press conference and state of emergency declared. It was only after it had started snowing that someone thought to send out the alerts, and they seemed to make up for lateness through volume/repetition.

      I think by the end of the day (at which point it was near white-out conditions) my cell phone had loudly alerted me to the weather emergency something like SIX times. There's clearly no intelligence to the system, or someone just decided that sending it out several times was best just in case we hadn't noticed the massive snowfall or had been hiding in a cave for the last WEEK.

      • Re:Very half-baked (Score:5, Insightful)

        by icebike (68054) on Sunday June 16, 2013 @03:03PM (#44023153)

        People in Seattle got storm warnings about storms in the Caribbean, child abduction alerts for the midwest, etc.

        It seems every custody battle is now escalated to an imminent danger of children being murdered simply so that
        there is an excuse to send an EAS broadcast to an entire state.

        • Re:Very half-baked (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 16, 2013 @07:37PM (#44024703)

          It's a shame is so poorly implemented. In Japan the alert system is reserved only for earthquakes, which frankly you probably want to know about. "Why would anyone want to know about an earthquake, when it's pretty fucking obvious the house is shaking?" you might ask.

          And therein lies the genius of the extraordinary technology they've developed. The alerts go off *before* the earthquake hits you. When you hear your phone screaming a siren sound, you have about 10-15 seconds to get somewhere safe, or prepare. Not long, but it's surprising how much ground you can cover in 10 seconds when you have to. It's a fully automated system, that takes advantage of the fact that earth tremors actually travel relatively slowly through the ground compared to the speed that data can be transmitted. In all honesty, the first time I experienced it, it was without doubt one of the single most impressive demonstration of mankind's progress in technology I've seen in my 5 decades on this earth.

          • by swalve (1980968)
            There were (apocryphal, I'm sure) stories of people seeing #earthquake trending on twitter before they got hit. Technology is amazing regardless.
      • by PNutts (199112)

        You describe what sounds like an intelligently used alert system. To use weather lingo it sounds like you are confused on forecast vs. watch vs. warning. This type alert should be reserved for "in progress" emergencies. What would be annoying is to get these alerts for days before (only to then possibly have it miss).

        • by mysidia (191772)

          This type alert should be reserved for "in progress" emergencies. What would be annoying is to get these alerts for days before (only to then possibly have it miss).

          This type of alert should be restricted to unanticipated events that occured without notice, or clarity on when they would be occuring.

          In other words: if the event was warned about within 24 hours. There should be no abuse of alerting systems to warn about what was already announced.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 16, 2013 @03:07PM (#44023173)

        I ignore AMBER alerts because most likely, the kid was taken by one of his parents because of the all too common ugly divorces that use children as bargaining chips. Especially, when you see a description of the kidnapper and a license plate. You just know it was the parent with custody (usually the mother because the moms get custody even if they're a crack whore who is a hooker to pay for it) who knows the description of the other parent and their license plate. Really; who takes down a plate when an adult is putting a kid into a car? Screaming kid? Yeah, like that never happens.

        When a kid is really kidnapped by a pervert or child serial killer, he just disappears - no license plates, description of the kidnapper or other details to put in the news. Just a picture on a milk carton only to never hear from the kid again.

        • by Cyberax (705495)
          Bad idea. Quite often cars are stolen with children in them - in this case there'll be license plate info as well. And it's a good idea to make note of these alerts because carjackers quite often simply abandon stolen cars with children.
          • by AuMatar (183847)

            And do what? Do you actually read the license plates of cars you pass? And even if you do would you recognize that it was the same as a random string of letters and numbers of your phone?

            As for the children- don't get me wrong, if I hear a child screaming "Get away from me, you're not my daddy" or "help I'm being kidnapped" I'll intervene. Short of that- do you stare at every little kid you see to check if they match the very vague description sent to your phone? Do you know the number of false positi

      • by NoKaOi (1415755)

        It's been incredibly annoying.

        I agree. In my case, it's because they don't seem to distinguish common weather alerts from real natural disasters. In my area (Maui), every time it rains there's potential for flash flooding, and everyone who lives here knows it. So every time it rains, I get a loud annoying alert every couple of hours. I can see out the window. Everyone who lives here can see out the window. But I'm sure there's liability involved because tourists don't know not to play in the gullies in the rain, and the state has

      • by swalve (1980968)
        And there were still assholes on the roads. That's why they had to close the subways and tunnels 24 hours in advance. It would take that long to cram it into people's thick skulls.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TigerPlish (174064)

      You're an idiot if you're complaining about this.

      Well, good day to you too, sir.

      My complaint isn't about the message, it's the method of delivery. Or rather, the inability to turn off The President's Mouthpiece.

      I can turn off the AMBER and weather alerts, but not The President's Mouthpiece. That's the part that truly gets my goat. Now listen to your phone like the good little citizen you are!

      • You mean the presidential alerts that have never been used in the 50 plus year history if the eas/ebs?
      • by T-Bone-T (1048702)

        I've never even heard a Presidential Alert so I'm not worried about it.

      • by PNutts (199112)

        You're an idiot if you're complaining about this.

        Well, good day to you too, sir.

        My complaint isn't about the message, it's the method of delivery. Or rather, the inability to turn off The President's Mouthpiece.

        I can turn off the AMBER and weather alerts, but not The President's Mouthpiece. That's the part that truly gets my goat. Now listen to your phone like the good little citizen you are!

        I can't imagine being so rigid and closed minded that I wouldn't want to receive a message during a national emergency. Your position isn't interesting enough to find out if it's any president, any political party, or you're simply an anarchist. If it gives you any comfort, no president has used this type of notification in the past 50 years. Now go get your custom firmware to block it like the good little tin foil hat drone you are!

        • And the problem with a default on rather than can not be disabled??

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I don't like having anything forced down my throat. I can't stand AMBER alerts. It's always a non-costodial parent, not some random kindnapping. It scared the hell out of me when my phone started vibrating and yelling just because another kid went missing. That's not so bad, because I can opt out. But I can't turn off presidental alerts? WTF? It's my fucking phone. I'm libertarian-liberal and I don't think anyone should be able to force me to leave that turned on.
      • by DarthBart (640519)

        If only there were a button in the "Govermnent Alerts" part of the "Notifications" menu that allowed you to turn off AMBER alerts separately.

        And if only there were another button that allowed you to turn off the rest of the Alerts as well.

      • by Etcetera (14711)

        It's against FCC violations to keep transmitting regular programming during a Presidential EAN alert. An un-blockable system message that "Oh, btw, the Russians just nuked us" is not that big a deal.

      • by mysidia (191772)

        It's always a non-costodial parent, not some random kindnapping. It scared the hell out of me when my phone started vibrating and yelling just because another kid went missing.

        See... the AMBER alert laws, need to be changed, so an alert only goes out if the person reporting them missing swears that the kidnapper was unknown or "all custodial parents signed off on the report", or there was evidence (besides the kidnapping), that the child is in danger.

    • The key issue with it is it demands that presidential broadcasts go through. I'm ok with a required default on. Tivo/Comcast implemented this badly at first weather a NWS alert for 2 states away would flip me to live tv and no allow me to ignore it, Asside for turning the tv off you had to watch it twice in English and Spanish all the way through before your device returned control to the owner. Now mind you since I used DPMS to turn the TV off this means that a test alert at 3am would pop the TV on to do so. Why can I not configure it to never give me Spanish should it not give whatever language the device UI is set for? Can we not setup priorities I don't care about flash floods heavy rain etc I have a window and can feel that sort of thing in my bones anyways.

    • You're an idiot if you're complaining about this.

      I'm an idiot.

      From the mid-90s into the late 2000's there was concern that the "traditional" methods of activation would be come less and less effective.

      Denial of end-user to disable messaging they do not wish to receive is my problem with this scheme.

    • by mysidia (191772)

      You're an idiot if you're complaining about this. The EAS (and its predecessor, the EBS) has been around for almost 50 years and is a necessary, though at times potentially ineffective, capability to have. From the mid-90s into the late 2000's there was concern that the "traditional" methods of activation would be come less and less effective.

      My biggest problem with the EAS is I think it's abused. I frequently have cable broadcasts interrupted in the middle of a program for "tests", or for "a severe

      • by Etcetera (14711)

        I would advise you to check the FCC Rule 15 Part B disclaimer in the legal section of your cell phone's manual.

        • by mysidia (191772)
          Your comment about FCC 15 Part B is irrelevent, as this pertains exclusively to RF emissions, and we are talking about the unrelated matter of EAS.
    • by swalve (1980968)

      there's an out-of-band method for heirarchical distribution of messages from local relays to cut in at a moment's notice.

      Usually the secondary broadcaster has a box in their broadcast chain that listens to whatever the local 50,000 watt clear channel AM station is. When it hears the tones, it cuts out the program stream and cuts in whatever is being broadcasted on the "master" station. We learned this when the system got activated accidentally and the whole area got to hear Wally Phillips give away some panty hose to the 720th caller. I'm not sure where the local master station gets their feed from, maybe shortwave or some

  • I, for one, do not care for this ...

    Seriously? In a large scale disaster (hurricane, earthquake, etc) you would be irritated by getting a free text telling you where emergency relief (shelter, blankets, food, water) may be found? In tornado country you would be irritated by getting a free text warning you of weather conditions that may indicate tornado formation?

    • I don't object to the message, I object to the chosen method of delivery and the inability to opt-out of the most ominous. In other words, if the Government speaks and one has a WEA-enabled device, one must listen like a good little citizen!

      You know, like those radios some governments had mandated you have [wikipedia.org]. Good luck if they found you with a non-compliant radio.

      • by Goaway (82658)

        It's a few letter displayed on your phone.

        Get some sense of perspective, seriously.

        • by starless (60879) on Sunday June 16, 2013 @03:25PM (#44023261)

          My girlfriend has Sprint which enabled these alerts previously.
          Several months ago we were woken at 5am by a loud alert
          at about 5am.
          This was an Amber alert. While it's a great shame, we certainly didn't want to woken for this,
          and there was nothing we could do.
          Although the alert can be turned off, the default was for it to be on, which I believe is not the proper way this
          should have been enabled.

          • by drcheap (1897540)

            Yeah, "nothing you could do." Except, maybe, TURN OFF that type of alert in your settings?
            So you were inconvenienced once because of your ignorance about the included features of the phone. How is that anyone else's fault?

            There are plenty of settings on my phone (any tons of other devices & applications) for which I do not agree with the default value of. That is why one of my first tasks is to peruse ALL the options and set them up according to my personal preferences. That is, after all, what thos

            • by starless (60879)

              The "nothing we could do" refers to our inability to help the unfortunate child the amber alert went out for.

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          Correct, my phone. My device, not theirs.

          If you want to send the messages fine, but I own this device and it does my bidding not someone else's. If I don't want it to ever make a sound that should be my choice.

      • by perpenso (1613749)

        if the Government speaks and one has a WEA-enabled device, one must listen like a good little citizen!

        I missed the part where the delete button was disabled, and there was a quiz to determine that you had in fact read the text message prior to deletion. :-)

        • by mysidia (191772)

          I missed the part where the delete button was disabled, and there was a quiz to determine that you had in fact read the text message prior to deletion. :-)

          Excellent reply to anyone complaining about spam in general. Viagra ads can be perfectly justified, because there's still a delete button :)

          • by perpenso (1613749)

            I missed the part where the delete button was disabled, and there was a quiz to determine that you had in fact read the text message prior to deletion. :-)

            Excellent reply to anyone complaining about spam in general. Viagra ads can be perfectly justified, because there's still a delete button :)

            We are discussing a mechanism by which a text message can be sent during a Presidentially recognized state of emergency. That seems a little different from from standard email. When the President starts sending out Viagra ads I'll give your point more credence. :-)

      • I hear that if you tightly wrap your phone with tin foil, then it will disable these alerts.

        And the look will coordinate nicely with your hat.

    • by Trepidity (597)

      If it were rare and sent once, it could be useful, but the system as currently implemented constantly spams you with updates, the way traditional cut-in warnings on TV do. Once I know that there's a major snowstorm in my area, I don't need impossible-to-turn-off push notifications every hour just telling me that there is still a major snowstorm and here is a routine update.

    • by mysidia (191772)

      In a large scale disaster (hurricane, earthquake, etc) you would be irritated by getting a free text telling you where emergency relief (shelter, blankets, food, water) may be found?

      They generally don't tell you that. You have to watch the news and listen to other radio programming to find where the shelters are.

      By the way... they interrupt the news and other programming with the EAS alerts.

      Even the really shitty EAS alerts like "severe thunderstorm warning", or "flood warning" (pertaining mostly to

      • by perpenso (1613749)

        In a large scale disaster (hurricane, earthquake, etc) you would be irritated by getting a free text telling you where emergency relief (shelter, blankets, food, water) may be found?

        They generally don't tell you that. You have to watch the news and listen to other radio programming to find where the shelters are.

        Its a new system that is inherently a highly localized broadcast (cell tower to phone). Its a bit of an assumption to assume that it will provide no more info than legacy systems. Especially given that in the previous upgrade (EBS to EAS ?) they seem to have tried to add county based localization, as you point out. I think there is a fair chance at finer grained localization given the technologies involved.

    • Seriously? In a large scale disaster (hurricane, earthquake, etc) you would be irritated by getting a free text telling you...[whatever]

      Why should he need to explain his reasons to you (or to anyone)? If he doesn't want to receive such a message on his phone, why shouldn't he be able to block or reject it? You'd rather force the message on him because you think it's a good idea, even if he doesn't?

  • I fail to see how this will be useful in a (real) emergency. After all, how long did it take for 9/11 to be known among the masses? This was in 2001, long before smartphones became the norm and long before wi-fi was everywhere.

    I've got no problem with weather or AMBER alerts since you can disable them, in fact weather alerts might actually be useful during tornado season. But just let us disable everything if we don't want it. The entire "presidential alert" just seems like something you'd see in 1984 t
    • After all, how long did it take for 9/11 to be known among the masses?

      Longer than it took for the plane to hit the second tower. I'm sure there will be a Cydia app that will disable it, and if you're so concerned about this invading your rights and you STILL own an iphone, you will have certainly jailbroken it already.

      • by icebike (68054)

        After all, how long did it take for 9/11 to be known among the masses?

        Longer than it took for the plane to hit the second tower. I'm sure there will be a Cydia app that will disable it, and if you're so concerned about this invading your rights and you STILL own an iphone, you will have certainly jailbroken it already.

        Bull. I slept through the first impact, (west coast) but my phone blew up well before the second one.

        What can/would the President send to every citizen on this other than a declaration of nation wide Martial Law?
        Storms and disasters are LOCAL issues.

        Me "Honey, we just got an alert from the president that the entire country is going to be obliterated in 20 minutes!"
        She "Nice try, but I still have a headache.

        • by Omestes (471991)

          What can/would the President send to every citizen on this other than a declaration of nation wide Martial Law?
          Storms and disasters are LOCAL issues

          Kids these days... they exists mostly for nuclear war, and invasions. Something that was a background threat not that long ago. They haven't been used, thankfully, but if they ever need to be used, it would be a good thing. I really don't see having the potential to send out an emergency broadcast as a bad thing.

          Imagine in the case of a truly large scale disaster (such as an asteroid) , or an actual nuclear attack, not being in range of an active TV or radio...

          What can/would the President send to every citizen on this other than a declaration of nation wide Martial Law?

          Ah... you're one of them. But even accept

          • by icebike (68054)

            (the rarely vindicated paranoids

            Well clearly YOU need a little more connectivity to current events, but I suspect it is unlikely to come via s special notice from the president.

            • by Omestes (471991)

              Well clearly YOU need a little more connectivity to current events

              So how's life in that FEMA camp? I'm sorry to hear that Muslim, Communist, jackbooted thugs broke into your house and took all your guns.

              Things are bad, but not nearly as bad as a segment of the population wishes it was.

    • by hawguy (1600213)

      I fail to see how this will be useful in a (real) emergency. After all, how long did it take for 9/11 to be known among the masses? This was in 2001, long before smartphones became the norm and long before wi-fi was everywhere.

      What do you define as a "real" emergency? Since not everyone watches news 24x7, it could take hours before people know about it. An attack against a chemical plant or refinery could send a cloud of hazardous gas wafting across a city (even a burning building can yield toxic gases), so having a mechanism that can notify many people within a few minutes to shelter-in-place [wikipedia.org] or evacuate sounds better than waiting hours for people to find out about it on the news. Tsunamis are another type of disaster where it's

    • by EvilSS (557649)
      "Presidential Alert" is just the renamed national activation. It's the core of the original purpose of the system (going back to the cold war). Since you bring it up, 9/11 did not trigger an EBS (at the time) alert because media coverage was immediate and widespread. Those alerts are really for something imminent and massive (think incoming nuclear missiles, alien invasion, or asteroid). Most likely you will live your entire life and never see one. It is NOT a vehicle for the president to send out politica
  • Propaganda (Score:2, Insightful)

    This will primarily be used to put out propaganda things post disaster. "Our hearts ache for the people of LowerDisasterWater. We shall stand together in our unwavering support for their re-emergence as a third rate backwater."

    Or worse it will slowly degrade into a useless bunch of PSAs about emergency preparation, evacuation routes, weather warnings, etc. I love how politicians seem to think it is OK to vote for exemptions for themselves in laws that people want without exemptions. Nobody wants robocalli
    • by Omestes (471991)

      This will primarily be used to put out propaganda things post disaster. "Our hearts ache for the people of LowerDisasterWater. We shall stand together in our unwavering support for their re-emergence as a third rate backwater."

      Because that happened with EAS on TV and radio. Oh... wait... it didn't.

      • Actually it did via various access laws that give politicians very low rates for campaign advertising. The claim behind the laws was that a network has to provide equal time but the reality is that it lowered rates.
        • by Omestes (471991)

          Actually it did via various access laws that give politicians very low rates for campaign advertising. The claim behind the laws was that a network has to provide equal time but the reality is that it lowered rates.

          Huh? EAS doesn't even have rates, its emergency broadcast. It has never had advertising, and the idea of equal time on it is not applicable.

  • "ALERT: Jane Smith sought as dangerous Communist/Muslim/terrorist/undesirable. Anyone with information about her, including her current location, known associates, or any suspicious behavior, should report it immediately to authorities."

    Who needs a jury? Someone was just telling me that in the 1950's, they had to subscribe to some mainstream magazines at someone else's address, to avoid being labeled a Communist and having their reputation and career ruined. Imagine if Joe McCarthy had modern IT, including

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      Who needs EBS/EAS when you have the DOJ, ATF, EPA, CIA and NSA already doing it to your enemies.

  • by crow (16139) on Sunday June 16, 2013 @02:52PM (#44023089) Homepage Journal

    I received a blizzard warning in February on my Galaxy S3 through Verizon, so apparently the only news is that iPhone is catching up. I suppose there should be some page that tells us which phone/provider combinations provide these messages.

    • by drcheap (1897540)

      It's a combination of carrier & device. iPhones on Verizon have been getting these alerts for quite some time now. AT&T is the one "catching up" as you say.

  • This is actually useful. This in contrast to the usual ^H^H^H^H applications that are pre installed and can not be removed.

  • Because what do emergency broadcast warnings have to do with the NSA scandal? At best, it's a very labored way of expressing distaste.

    And who's the dipshit engineer who thought this would be best as a whole new system that needs to be implemented differently for every OS and only work on smartphones? Why not just broadcast an SMS and call it a day?

  • by jo7hs2 (884069) on Sunday June 16, 2013 @03:50PM (#44023389) Homepage
    I was furious when they started using weather radios to announce AMBER alerts and I'm equally annoyed they are extending that to this system as well. These systems were designed for major public emergencies. Use for AMBER alerts and other emergencies impacting only small groups of people will only encourage people to ignore or deactivate their alert enabled devices. Here where I live, weather radios routinely go off for AMBER alerts. The average radio also goes off for a variety of minor weather issues, rather than only triggering for weather warnings. Many people simply unplug their radios after being woken up one too many times by a screaming alert radio letting them know there is a thunderstorm WATCH or AMBER alert. I imagine people will similarly disable all the available phone alerts, because the system will simply trigger far to often and annoy them. I know the very first thing I did when I read this article was find and disable the AMBER alert option. The settings were omitting from the article. You can find them in Settings >> Notifications, located at the bottom. There are two options, one to disable/enable AMBER alerts and another to disabled/enable "Emergency Alerts."
  • by Plumpaquatsch (2701653) on Sunday June 16, 2013 @04:35PM (#44023623) Journal

    http://www.att.com/esupport/article.jsp?sid=KB410692&cv=820#fbid=X5Yfnrwu8Fd [att.com]

    AT&T has several wireless devices that are WEA capable, including new 4G LTE devices. WEA capable devices will display the following logo on the packaging and in the device instruction manual:

    Wireless Emergency Alerts Capable Logo

    The following AT&T devices are WEA capable*:

    • Samsung Galaxy S4 (SGH-i337)
    • Samsung Galaxy SII (SGH-i777)
    • Samsung Captivate Glide (SGH-i927)
    • Samsung Galaxy Appeal (SGH-i827)
    • LG Optimus G Pro (E980)
    • BlackBerry 9360, 9810, 9860, 9900
    • Motorola Atrix 2 (mb865)
    • AT&T Fusion 2 (Huawei U8665)
    • Alcatel 510A
    • Alcatel 871A

    http://www.slashgear.com/google-now-update-brings-emergency-alerts-to-android-4-1-jelly-bean-30244815/ [slashgear.com]

    There are three new features to note in this Google Now update: ... Support for emergency messages has been added in this update as well, giving you severe weather warnings and other emergency alerts right on your Now page. This will undoubtedly come in handy for the more turbulent areas of the world, and it could potentially save a few lives, so it’s good to have it along.

  • by jd2112 (1535857)
    I've had this for months on my Sprint Android phone.
    I have actually received alerts for a couple of severe storms that passed through my area.
  • Sooo.... people with celphones will be warned about city- or state-wide disasters... but only if they bought a particular product from one particular vendor?

    Are Apple customers the only ones worth warning? I know, I know, "even restricting warnings to people owning a celphone w/ service is elitist," but this strikes me as being too elitist when it is iPhones only.

    • by tompaulco (629533)

      Sooo.... people with celphones will be warned about city- or state-wide disasters... but only if they bought a particular product from one particular vendor?

      Are Apple customers the only ones worth warning? I know, I know, "even restricting warnings to people owning a celphone w/ service is elitist," but this strikes me as being too elitist when it is iPhones only.

      Not at all. The iphone is just announcing it as if this was their idea when other phone systems have been doing this for years.

  • by Somebody Is Using My (985418) on Sunday June 16, 2013 @06:57PM (#44024505) Homepage

    The idea of "Presidential Alerts" annoys me, for some reason. Call it what it is; a "National Emergency Alert"; that's fine. But the idea that the PRESIDENT is somehow so important that he needs his own alert offends my democratic principles. He's not a king and he's not the heart-n-soul of the nation; he's a bureaucrat we've hired to manage the government. He's about as important as a clerk in the DMV (except he has more responsibilities) and he's no more worthy of adulation than that clerk. If the government feels it needs to notify me of an emergency, that's great. But I neither need nor want a direct line from the president.

    Yes, I know it's pedantic. Yes, I know that I won't actually be getting a message from Obama or his successors. But there's increasingly a worshipful mystique being woven around our leaders that smacks of monarchism and I think that fits poorly with the ideals of this nation. So rather than name the messaging service after some bureaucrat, call it what it is - "National Emergency Alert" - and let's remember that ultimately, there's nothing special about our head of state; he's just another American.

  • It's bad enough that these stupid alerts interrupt even movie channels on cable, and even streamed on-demand programming, now they want to flood my phone with this shit? I want to opt out of these stupid alerts. Do we have the option to opt out and tell AT&T do not send me these superfluous broadcasts?

  • Is something that tells me every time the president does another power-grab.

    -jcr

"We are on the verge: Today our program proved Fermat's next-to-last theorem." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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