|FRIDAY - JULY 20, 2007 - ISSUE NO. 270|
Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,
What would you say if I told you that someone has invented a new pager with the following features?
No way! Not in today's market. No one would develop a device like that unless there was a great need, would they?
The correct answers are: wrong, wrong, and right — there is a great need!
THE NEW INVENTION
It is basically an emergency pager that meets nuclear-grade emergency evacuation requirements — a souped up micro pager, with a lot of “extras” to meet the strict requirements of a nuclear facility.
It was developed by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) for use by people working in “high-consequence environments.” Where and what are high-consequence environments? This is “government talk” for places where people work and are in BIG TROUBLE if anything goes wrong. They call this potential BIG TROUBLE a “criticality accident.” Wikipedia defines this as:
I am very happy that some of the top scientists in this country have recognized that the best way to alert several thousand people in just a few seconds is to use the one-message-transmitted-to-many-people-simultaneously feature of paging technology. We know it as “group call.”
I have prepared a major report for you this week about the PAD. The first part is an advanced copy of a press release that I received on Tuesday of this week. The other — following reports — are from Internet searches and include information on the project going back a couple of years. I have been helping the project a little, with some occasional advice, over the last 2½ years. They asked me not to report on the device until now. One exciting fact is that this technology is being patented and made available for licensing — for commercial use under the NNSA's Technology Transfer program.
As a former sales and marketing manager this makes my head buzz with the possibilities of peddling this device to every nuclear, chemical, biological, or other type of facility — all around the world — where rapid alarm notification is required.
As a former engineering manager, it makes my head buzz with the possibilities of manufacturing a device that has already been designed and tested by some of our country's top scientists (with a big R&D budget, I am sure). I think this is at least worth consideration by anyone involved in the sales, marketing, or manufacturing of paging and/or wireless messaging devices. The potential is enormous if you include homeland security, school safety, tsunami warnings, hazardous material controls, and . . . and . . . and, well you know. . .
Now on to more news and views.
A new issue of The Wireless Messaging Newsletter gets posted on the web each week. A notification goes out by e-mail to subscribers on most Fridays around noon central US time. The notification message has a link to the actual newsletter on the Internet. That way it doesn't fill up your incoming e-mail account.
There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. Readers are a very select group of wireless industry professionals, and include the senior managers of many of the world's major Paging and Wireless Data companies. There is an even mix of operations managers, marketing people, and engineers—so I try to include items of interest to all three groups. It's all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology. I regularly get readers' comments, so this newsletter has become a community forum for the Paging, and Wireless Data communities. You are welcome to contribute your ideas and opinions. Unless otherwise requested, all correspondence addressed to me is subject to publication in the newsletter and on my web site. I am very careful to protect the anonymity of those who request it.
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|AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PAGING CARRIERS|
AAPC to send representatives to the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials International (APCO) Convention in August.
APCO is the world’s largest organization dedicated to public safety communications, their members consist of emergency call centers, law enforcement agencies, emergency medical services, fire departments, forestry services, and others who work with communications systems that safeguard the world’s citizens. AAPC will be sharing a booth with one of our vendor members, Critical Response Systems to help promote the benefits of utilizing paging technology to this targeted audience.
AAPC working with you to advance your business and the paging industry!
|FEATURED ADVERTISERS SUPPORTING THE NEWSLETTER|
Nighthawk Systems and SkyTel Join Forces
— Nighthawk Devices to Operate on SkyTel Two-Way Network —
— Collaborative Marketing Agreement —
July 18, 2007 07:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time
SAN ANTONIO—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Nighthawk Systems, Inc. (OTCBB:NIHK) and SkyTel, a division of Bell Industries, Inc. (AMEX:BI) today announced that they have agreed to join forces to provide two-way telemetry solutions to enterprise customers utilizing the SkyTel Wireless Network. SkyTel is a leading provider of wireless messaging and telemetry services to Fortune 1000 and government customers throughout the United States. Network Reliability and its superior customer service are at the heart of SkyTel’s ability to serve its customers. Nighthawk Systems is a leading provider of intelligent wireless power management and emergency notification solutions.
Under the agreement, both Nighthawk and SkyTel can bundle each other’s services and products into their own telemetry product and service offerings. Nighthawk has recently announced its intention to market a hosted telemetry solution platform this year that will enable its customers to better manage and utilize Nighthawk control devices. This agreement and the hosted software platform will allow Nighthawk to offer fully automated, two-way telemetry solutions utilizing the SkyTel Wireless Network. SkyTel will add Nighthawk products to its offerings in an effort to further expand its own telemetry service offerings. Together, the companies will seek collaborative marketing opportunities for their bundled offerings.
H. Douglas Saathoff, Nighthawk’s CEO, commented, “I’m extremely excited about this relationship with SkyTel, which has a long history of providing telemetry services. It gives Nighthawk a reliable, nationwide wireless network on which it can seamlessly offer enhanced, two-way telemetry products and services. We now have the opportunity to enhance our traditional control products with monitoring and data-delivery capabilities, which translates into additional revenue-generating opportunities. I look forward to a long, mutually-beneficial relationship with SkyTel.”
Jim Myers, President of SkyTel states, “Through our agreement with Nighthawk, SkyTel is reinforcing its ongoing commitment to the telemetry industry by supporting the growing demand for networks to provide command and control functions for the energy management industry.”
SkyTel has been a wireless data industry leader for over two decades. SkyTel 2-Way technology, developed in partnership with Motorola, has been successfully delivering data to millions of customers. The fully redundant SkyTel nationwide network is mature, stable and extremely reliable, without the dropped connections and downtime experienced with competitors’ network technologies – an important distinction when you are basing your business decisions on the data provided over the Network.”
About Nighthawk Systems, Inc.
Individuals interested in Nighthawk Systems can sign up to receive email alerts by visiting the Company’s website at www.nighthawksystems.com.
About Bell Industries, Inc.
Individuals interested in learning more about SkyTel should visit the Company’s website at www.SkyTel.com.
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TAPS—Texas Association of Paging Services is looking for partners on 152.480 MHz. Our association currently uses Echostar, formerly Spacecom, for distribution of our data and a large percentage of our members use the satellite to key their TXs. We have a CommOneSystems Gateway at the uplink in Chicago with a back-up running 24/7. Our paging coverage area on 152.480 MHz currently encompasses Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Kansas. The TAPS paging coverage is available to members of our Network on 152.480 MHz for $.005 a transmitter (per capcode per month), broken down by state or regions of states and members receive a credit towards their bill for each transmitter which they provide to our coverage. Members are able to use the satellite for their own use If you are on 152.480 MHz or just need a satellite for keying your own TXs on your frequency we have the solution for you.
TAPS will provide the gateways in Chicago, with Internet backbone and bandwidth on our satellite channel for $ 500.00 (for your system) a month.
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WiPath Consolidates its Emergency Alert Solutions Lineup
July 16, 2007
WiPath Communications has been involved in the development and provision of emergency alerting systems since well before they were called emergency alerting systems and because of the increased interest in these types of systems over the last few years has put together a range of solutions under this banner suitable for a wide variety of community and campus alerting requirements.
WiPath is involved in the provision of EAS systems for tsunami and extreme weather warning, on-campus emergency notification and community alerting and works with a wide variety of emergency services and information systems providers to provide suitable solutions for each environment.
Just released is a range of text to voice solutions that integrate with its paging data receivers and IP based alarm concentrator products to provide the ability to input voice alerts into other systems such as public address and fire alarm systems in response to a text message. WiPath is currently working with a number of university and college campuses to implement these solutions to enable fast notification of emergency situations.
This range of solutions provides the flexibility to choose the delivery method whether it be wireless, internet, wide or local area network and also provides a variety of alerting methods. On some campuses the voice to text solution is the primary alerting method whilst on others they will add or substitute small in-room, text only displays or larger LED signs for common areas and in the outdoors. Some of these options are briefly described on the following webpage www.wipath.com/eas.html and we strongly encourage any enquiries from anyone interested in setting up a an emergency alerting system.
WiPath is a leader in the provision of intelligent solutions in both paging and mobile data with a wide range of innovative solutions including local and wide area paging solutions, mobile data terminals, dispatch and field service solutions, vehicle tracking and management. WiPath specializes in providing both off-the-shelf and customized solutions to the paging and mobile communications industries. Website: www.wipath.com
WiPath’s ability to combine different technologies and networks in flexible, systems-based solutions using very cost effective equipment is what sets it apart from practically every other company in the industry.
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Bell Industries' Chief Executive Officer Resigns; Board Appoints Director as Interim CEO
July 13, 2007: 04:35 PM EST
INDIANAPOLIS, July 13, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) — Bell Industries, Inc. (AMEX:BI) today announced that John A. Fellows has resigned as president and chief executive officer effective immediately. In accordance with his employment agreement, Fellows has also resigned as a director of the company.
Bell's board of directors, by unanimous vote of the independent directors, has appointed Clinton J. Coleman, currently a director of Bell, as interim president and chief executive officer. Coleman will serve as Bell's interim chief executive officer and principal executive officer until such time as the company completes its on-going search for a successor. The company will retain a search firm to assist in identifying qualified candidates.
Coleman is a vice president of Newcastle Capital Management, L.P., the general partner of Newcastle Partners, L.P. He also currently serves as a director of Fox & Hound Restaurant Group and was interim chief financial officer of Pizza Inn, Inc. from July 2006 to January 2007.
About Bell Industries, Inc.
Bell Industries is comprised of three diversified operating units, Bell Technology Solutions business, SkyTel and its Recreational Products Group. The company's Technology Solutions business offers a comprehensive portfolio of customizable and scalable technology solutions ranging from customer-relationship management (CRM) and managed technology services to reverse logistics and mobile/wireless solutions. SkyTel provides nationwide wireless data and messaging services, including email, interactive two-way messaging, wireless telemetry services and traditional text and numeric paging. Recreational Products Group is a wholesale distributor of after market parts and accessories for the recreational vehicles and other leisure-related vehicle market, including marine, snowmobile, cycle and ATV.
GTES has recently made the strategic decision to expanding its development activities to include wireless location technologies; a market that researchers forecast could reach $3.6 billion by 2010. In support of this new strategic direction, GTES has developed SHERLOC™ a complete one-stop wireless location service, providing the flexibility of being protocol neutral and network agnostic. Targeted at business customers who need to track their high-value shipments or better manage their service or delivery fleets, SHERLOC™ is a hosted application that combines configuration flexibility with ease of use.
GTES is offering SHERLOC™ services both directly and through authorized resellers. If your company has an interest in finding out how location services can enhance your revenue stream, and has the contacts and expertise to make you successful in the location marketplace, please contact us for further information at www.sherlocgps.com and select “Reseller Opportunities,” or call us at 770-754-1666 for more information.
GTES is the only Glenayre authorized software support provider in the Paging industry. With over 200 years of combined experience in Glenayre hardware and software support, GTES offers the industry the most professional support and engineering development staff available.
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Streaming Video from the
Personal Annunciation Device (PAD)
To Receive R&D 100 Award
Y-12 Receives Two R&D 100 Awards
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., July 17, 2007 — Engineers at the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Y-12 National Security Complex have won two R&D 100 Awards.
The awards are presented annually by R&D Magazine in recognition of the year’s most significant technological innovations. Y-12 received the 2007 awards for its Rapid Deployment Shelter System (RDSS) and Personal Annunciation Device (PAD).
“We are very honored by this national recognition of our engineering and design capability. It means a lot to have a project that demonstrates your capabilities and expertise chosen from among the cream of the crop for research and development,” said George Dials, president and general manager of BWXT Y-12, the company that manages Y-12 for the National Nuclear Security Administration.
Peter Angelo, Ph.D., who led the multi-disciplinary team that developed the PAD said, “This is a great accomplishment for Y-12. We’re not a research and development lab, so no one really thinks of us as researchers or developers, but Y-12 has cutting-edge engineering and technology capabilities.”
Since the awards program started in 1963, Y-12 has received 13 awards.
The RDSS was originally designed as a mobile surgical suite for the U.S. Army but with a few modifications and it could be turned into anything from a command and control center to a logistics or operations center.
Y-12’s Lee Bzorgi was the inventor of the RDSS.
“It is very exciting and gratifying to receive an R&D 100 Award. It took a lot of work. We could not have done it without Y-12’s great team of craftspeople and engineers,” Bzorgi said.
The 400-square-foot shelter can be easily set up in less than two minutes and offers substantial protection against small-arms, as well as nuclear, biological and chemical contamination, making it an ideal tool for many federal agencies, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Guard and Reserve units and homeland defense response teams.
Y-12’s additional 2007 winner, the PAD, may very well be the world’s smallest self-arming multiple-use accident notification device. The prototype of the non-nuclear based, radio frequency receiver is about the size of a small pager, but Angelo said it goes beyond existing technology by including radio frequency identification (RFID) technology for accountability. A commercial version of the PAD could be the size of a car key fob and easily worn by anyone over an extended time.
“This is the first time personal wireless technology has been integrated into a safety-related nuclear accident alert system,” said Angelo. “The PAD provides for a personal alert over a much wider area than portable detection devices.”
The PAD can be easily adapted for chemical, biological or any other hazard event where traditional notification means are not adequate and rapid alert and accountability is required.
While Angelo spearheaded the effort, he said it would not have been possible without the successful collaboration of talents from Y-12, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the NNSA’s Kansas City Plant. Y-12 conceived and led the effort, integrating the prototype into existing plant systems; ORNL provided a micropower radio; and Kansas City Plant was responsible for packaging the PAD receiver components.
The R&D 100 Awards will be presented Oct. 18 in Chicago by R&D Magazine.
R&D 100 Awards “The Oscars of Invention” — The Chicago Tribune
For 45 years, the prestigious R&D 100 Awards have been helping companies provide the important initial push a new product needs to compete successfully in the marketplace. The winning of an R&D 100 Award provides a mark of excellence known to industry, government, and academia as proof that the product is one of the most innovative ideas of the year.
Technology Transfer for Commercial Use
Y-12 leads PAD prototype development
“Can you hear me now?” If this catchphrase weren't already taken, it would make the perfect slogan for the Personal Annunciation Device or PAD, a miniature, non-nuclear-based, radio frequency receiver prototyped in part by the Y-12 National Security Complex.
Y-12 is leading a team of three Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration sites to design, build and test the PAD, which will annunciate or notify its wearer of a criticality accident.
When activated, the PAD has concurrent alarms (vibrations, light, sound) and displays building information and alarm status. Self-checking or “intelligence” is embedded in the PAD for enhanced reliability, giving the user information on battery usage and signals. The first-of-its-kind device is smaller than a pager and uses commercially available parts.
“Way cool” is how Peter Angelo, principal investigator for the project, described the PAD. “The overarching technology is simple,” said Angelo, “but we’re applying it in a novel way to a high-consequence environment.”
The Innovation Group, Y-12’s highly creative think tank headed by Y-12 Senior Scientist Doug Craig, came up with the PAD idea in response to NNSA’s concerns regarding the use of personal radiation detection instruments as notification devices.
Y-12 PAD team members include Peter Angelo, Rich Bell, Tom Berg, Doug Craig, Mike Cruse, Paul DeMint, Kevin Finney, Dave Harvey, Earl Knoch, Don LaMaster, Gary Mason, George McPeters, John Miller, Tommy Rhea and Jim Younkin.
The group then handed off the concept to a Plant Directed Research, Development and Demonstration technical team. The team looked at the features of existing pagers and cellular phones, but no single technology met all of their requirements—to be secure and reliable, be small, require little human interface and most importantly, guarantee annunciation where audibility is required.
The team further refined the concept and involved telecommunications and security personnel, system integrators, radio frequency identification specialists, criticality accident and alarm system experts and others from the Kansas City Plant and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, as well as NNSA regulators, to build a prototype.
The PAD prototype is about the size of a standard pager.
The team’s solution was developed in record time—just seven months from concept to design to prototype development to testing. “This time frame is a testament to the folks at Y-12, KCP and ORNL who worked as one team and used the development challenge of the PAD as the focal point for their efforts,” said Tom Berg, PDRD manager for the project.
The PAD also has application outside of Y-12. “The warning applications are varied,” explained Angelo. “Although we are developing it with criticality events in mind, the PAD could easily be adapted for chemical, biological or any other event requiring rapid notification where traditional pagers are not adequate.”
The next phase of the project will be to make the PAD smaller with custom parts and easy for users. “We want the user to have a ‘set it and forget it’ mentality,” said Angelo.
Kevin Finney, Applied Technologies division manager, has high praise for the multi-site development team: “I can’t say enough about the super job the team has done. They solved this problem with an outside-of-the-box approach.”
Source: BWXTymes June 2005
[Please note, the device shown above is a prototype, not the finished product.]
PAD is simple solution to pressing problem
Shown in actual size is the first Personal Annunciation Device prototype, which integrates wireless technology and the existing criticality accident alarm system. Subsequent prototype generations are expected to be 25% smaller.
Y-12 is leading a DOE–NNSA team in the development of a new notification device that will warn wearers of a criticality accident.
The Personal Annunciation Device is a miniature radio frequency receiver that has concurrent alarms (vibrations, light, sound) when activated. Self-checking or "intelligence" is embedded in it for enhanced reliability, giving the user information on battery life and signals. This first-of-its-kind device is smaller than most pagers and uses commercially available parts.
PAD is a response to NNSA's concerns about the use of personal radiation detection instruments as notication devices.
The PAD prototype is the result of a successful collaboration of experts from Y-12, the Kansas City Plant and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, as well as NNSA regulators. Funding for PAD development comes from Y-12's Plant Directed Research, Development and Demonstration program.
In May, PAD demonstrated successful integration with Y-12's existing alarm systems during the annual Criticality Accident Alarm System surveillance. The next phase will make the prototype smaller and increase usability. "We want the user to have a 'set it and forget it' mentality," said Y-12 principal investigator Peter Angelo.
Source: Y-12 Report — Summer 2005, Vol. 2, Issue 2
KCP, Y-12 Develop Emergency Notification Device
Collaboration between NNSA’s Y-12 facility in Tennessee and the Kansas City Plant (KCP) in Missouri has resulted in the development of a device that can immediately notify Y-12 employees if a nuclear criticality accident were to occur.
The Kansas City Plant’s Barry Driscoll led the team that built a prototype of the PAD unit in time for a test of Y-12’s emergency notification system.
Because of the nature of its work, which includes use of nuclear material, the Y-12 facility operates under very stringent safety guidelines, including a requirement to provide emergency notification in the event of a criticality accident — a mishap that could release a large amount of radiation.
In the event of an emergency such as a radiation leak, it is essential that employees be notified immediately. Y-12 has been challenged by the NNSA to provide a notification system to supplement the Criticality Accident Alarm System (CAAS) currently in use at the facility.
Using Plant Directed Research and Development (PDRD) funding, Y-12 developed a concept for a wireless notification device to alert employees of a radiation incident or a nuclear accident. Y-12 called on Oak Ridge National Laboratory to create a design using commercially available components; and the Kansas City Plant was asked to do a manufacturability design review, design the device housing, and manufacture the Gen I prototypes for field trials.
The result of the collaboration is the personal annunciation device (PAD) that will operate when triggered by Y-12’s CAAS. Everyone entering a CAAS-controlled area at Y-12 will be required to wear the device to ensure emergency notification. The PAD notifies wearers in four ways: it emits a noise that is louder than a typical pager; it vibrates; an LED flashes; and an LCD display provides the wearer with instructions. Self-checking or “intelligence” is embedded in the PAD for enhanced reliability, giving the user information on battery usage and signals.
The Gen I PAD is about the size of a thin pager and is designed to be worn on the DOE badge holder. “This is an excellent example of a successful multi-site project, driven by an NNSA need, and facilitated by the willingness to seek solutions from other DOE and NNSA resources,” said Kansas City Plant divisional specialist Alan Updike, who coordinated the business relationship between the Kansas City Plant and two other sites. “Y-12 had the problem and came up with the conceptual solution. Oak Ridge assisted with the initial circuit design and selection of commercial components. And the Kansas City Plant investigated improvements for manufacturability and packaging and built the prototypes.”
Significant miniaturization and additional product features will be explored during the second phase of the program, after which the miniaturized devices could be deployed. The technology could prove useful at other sites as well, including Los Alamos, Savannah River, INEL, and Pantex.
Source: NNSA Newsletter, July 2005
ANS NCSD Best Paper Award
Angelo receives ANS 2005 Best Paper award
| The award was presented during a local Oak Ridge/ Knoxville Section Dinner meeting in January.|
Pictured above, Peter Angelo presenting his paper.
The American Nuclear Society-Nuclear Criticality Safety Division recognized nuclear engineer Peter Angelo with the 2005 Best Paper award for his paper presentation titled Personal Annunciation Device (PAD), a Wireless Technology for CAAS Compensatory Annunciation.
The paper was presented at the ANS Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C. (No division paper awards were organized for the June, 2005 ANS meeting). The paper describes the Personal Annunciation Device™ — a miniature, non-nuclear based, radio frequency receiver that when activated has concurrent alarms — currently being developed at Y-12 in cooperation with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Kansas City Plant.
The award recognizes the first integration of wireless to nuclear accident annunciation in the nuclear industry and dovetails with emerging wireless Criticality Accident alarm System efforts. The PAD team is improving the prototype for eventual plant use by shrinking the size of the device for the next generation.
PAD is a trademark of BWXT Y-12, L.L.C.
Source: American Nuclear Society, Nuclear Criticality Safety Division Newsletter, Spring 2006
We at Unication have listened and delivered.
About Unication Co., Ltd.
|BLOOSTON, MORDKOFSKY, DICKENS, DUFFY & PRENDERGAST, LLP|
BloostonLaw Telecom Update
FCC Revises Emergency Alert System Rules To Help Ring In Next Generation EAS
The FCC has revised its Part 11 Emergency Alert System (EAS) rules to help facilitate “next generation” national EAS and fulfill its responsibilities under the President’s Public Alert and Warning System Executive Order. Specifically, in order to ensure the efficient, rapid, and secure transmission of EAS alerts in a variety of formats (including text, audio, and video) and via different means (broadcast, cable, satellite, and other networks), the FCC adopted a requirement for various entities to accept a message using a common EAS messaging protocol, Common Alerting Protocol v1.1 (CAP), no later than 180 days after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) publicly publishes its adoption of such standard.
Second, the FCC required EAS Participants to adopt Next Generation EAS delivery systems no later than 180 days after FEMA publicly releases standards for those systems. Third, the FCC preserved the current EAS network but enhanced its effectiveness, scope, and redundancy by enabling EAS delivery system upgrades and by including wireline common carriers providing video programming in EAS. Fourth, the FCC required EAS Participants to transmit state and local EAS alerts that are originated by governors or their designees no later than 180 days after FEMA publishes its adoption of the CAP standard, provided that the state has a Commission- approved EAS state plan that provides for delivery of such alerts. Fifth, the FCC concurrently adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) to explore certain EAS-related issues. In sum, the Commission said, these actions will increase the reliability, security, and efficacy of the nation’s EAS network and will enable the President, the National Weather Service (NWS), and state officials to rapidly communicate with citizens in times of crisis, over multiple communications platforms.
Next Generation EAS will include new and innovative technologies and distribution systems that will provide increased redundancy and resiliency for the delivery of emergency alerts. The Order takes steps to ensure that the upgraded EAS will meet the needs of all Americans, including persons with hearing and vision disabilities and those who do not speak English. Finally, the FCC said it will continue to harness the benefits of existing EAS while the Next Generation EAS is developed and deployed. The combination of the existing and Next Generation EAS systems will be designed to ensure the continuity of EAS while the Next Generation EAS is being implemented, and to ensure that EAS alerts reach the largest number of affected people by multiple communications paths as quickly as possible. The FCC said the four cornerstones of the Next Generation EAS are: 1) maintaining the existing EAS network; 2) utilizing a common alert protocol, or “CAP”, to be implemented by all EAS Participants following its adoption by FEMA; 3) incorporating new authentication and security requirements; and 4) fostering the deployment of new, redundant EAS delivery systems, including satellite, Internet, and wireline networks.
Non-English Speakers. The FCC said it recognizes the need for all Americans – including those whose primary language is not English – to be alerted in the event of an emergency. It therefore seeks comment on how non-English speakers may best be served by national, state and local EAS. In particular, it invites comment on how localities with non-English speakers should be identified. In which markets should special emergency alert rules apply? As MMTC et al. propose, should state and local EAS plans designate a “Local Primary Multilingual” station to transmit emergency information in the relevant foreign language in local areas where a substantial proportion of the population has a fluency in a language other than English? How should the Commission quantify the term “substantial proportion”? Should at least one broadcast station in every market, or some subset of markets, be required to monitor and rebroadcast emergency information carried by a “Local Primary Multilingual” station. And, should stations that remain on the air during an emergency be required to broadcast emergency information in the relevant foreign language to the extent that the “Local Primary Multilingual” station loses transmission capability. What criteria should the originator of an EAS message use in determining which languages to require EAS Participants to transmit? Should more than two languages be transmitted in certain areas? The FCC seeks comments on the technical, economic, practical, and legal issues, including the Commission’s authority, involved in making emergency information accessible to persons whose primary language is not English. The FCC would especially welcome comments on state-level or other efforts designed to address these issues. The Commission notes, for example, that Florida has implemented a program to promote the provision of emergency information to non-English speakers in that state, and that California and Texas have addressed the issue in their EAS plans filed with this Commission. The FCC directs the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau to convene a meeting – or series of meetings – as soon as possible concerning EAS as it relates to the needs of non-English speakers. The Bureau should thereafter submit into the record a progress report on these discussions within 30 days of this Order’s release.
Persons with Disabilities. In this FNPRM, the Commission reexamines the best way to make EAS and other emergency information accessible to persons with disabilities. The FCC requests comments on this subject, including, but not necessarily limited to the following key issues: (1) presentation of the audio feed in text format, and vice-versa; (2) making emergency information available to various devices commonly used by persons with disabilities; and (3) providing emergency messages in multiple formats to meet the needs of persons with disabilities. The FCC also seeks comment on the interaction between the EAS rules and section 79.2 of the rules, which requires video programming distributors to make emergency information accessible for hearing- and sight-disabled persons. The FCC welcomes comments on the technical, economic, practical, and legal issues, including the Commission’s authority, involved in making emergency information accessible to persons with disabilities. Other local official alerts. The FCC said its action enables state governors (or their designees) to initiate state-level and geo-targeted alerts for mandatory transmission by EAS Participants. Since, as stated above, EAS activations to date have been overwhelmingly related to weather and state and local alerts, the FCC seeks comment on whether EAS Participants should be required to receive and transmit alerts initiated by government entities other than a state governor. Should local, county, tribal, or other state governmental entities be allowed to initiate mandatory state and local alerts? How should the Commission decide which public officials should be permitted to activate the alert? Should the expansion of mandatory state and local alerts be limited to certain types of alerts? The FCC seeks comment on whether the Commission should specify the types of emergency alerts that these local officials should be permitted to activate? Should only certain classes of EAS Participants be required to transmit such alerts by entities other than the governor? Does a CAP allow for proper delivery of such alerts, or should such alerts be mandatory only in the context of Next Generation EAS? What other considerations should govern the appropriate use of a mandatory alerting process by entities other than a governor? The FCC seeks comment generally on how this type of requirement should be implemented.
Assessing EAS Operation. The FCC seeks comment on several options for ensuring that EAS operates as designed in an emergency, including whether we should require: (1) additional testing of the EAS, and specifically CAP; (2) station certification of compliance; and (3) assessments of EAS performance after an alert has been triggered. The FCC said it will revisit the issue of performance standards if it appears that they are warranted. In particular, it seeks comments on the technical, economic, practical, and legal issues involved.
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said the Order “makes the EAS system more reliable, secure, and efficient by requiring all EAS participants to be able to receive EAS warnings sent using a common alert protocol once that protocol is adopted by FEMA. CAP, which employs an open and interoperable standard, standardizes message formats and enables a digitally-based alert or warning to be distributed simultaneously over multiple distribution platforms. We also expand the scope of participation in the system to include wireline video service providers. It is critical that our public safety rules, like our competition rules, be technologically neutral. Thus, all platform providers should have the same obligations to notify the public of emergency situations. After all, video programming viewers expect to receive an emergency alert regardless of whether they subscribe to a cable, DBS, or any wireline video service.
“The order does not stop there however. Although traditionally EAS participants have only been required to disseminate Presidential alerts, today we take steps to require EAS participants to receive and pass along state-level alerts triggered by a state governor. We also require EAS participants to transmit geo-targeted alerts to areas smaller than a state. These actions are critical in ensuring that the citizens most in need of receiving emergency information receive it quickly and effectively.
“I am also pleased that the Commission is adopting a Further Notice in this proceeding. It is the government’s responsibility to ensure that the communications needs of all Americans, including non-English speakers and people with disabilities, are met in the event of an emergency. I agree that more work needs to be done to address the public safety needs of persons with disabilities and non-English speakers. It is my hope that by the specific questions we raise in these areas, the Commission will be in a better position to adopt meaningful rules that enable these citizens to receive emergency information on a timely basis. I also hope that the industry will continue to work hard to find a way to provide multilingual alerts on its own.”
Commissioner Michael Copps said: “CAP is a positive step, but we still have much work ahead of us. I am particularly committed to take whatever steps we can to ensure that emergency and public safety information is fully accessible by persons with disabilities and residents whose primary language is not English. This includes EAS, but may involve other Commission rules and licensee obligations. We need to take a comprehensive view of whether these communities have access to the emergency information they need and deserve – and this is the ideal time to do it, when broadcast TV, radio, and all of our media are moving to digital. I thank the Chairman and my colleagues for taking a proactive approach and making these issues a priority. We need solutions, and we need them now.
Copps added that “While the move to digital promises great changes, one thing that will not change is the need to assess whether the system is operating properly. We have not done a very good job of that up to now. I appreciate my colleagues’ willingness to clearly state that we intend to make sure that the system works, and to seek comment on the best method for doing so. The answer may involve additional testing, licensee certification, or after-the-fact reviews of system performance. Whatever the method, however, the American public deserves an EAS system that it can count on when the next hurricane or terrorist attack occurs.”
Comments in this EB Docket No. 04-296 proceeding will be due 30 days after publication of the item in the Federal Register, and replies will be due 15 days thereafter.
Source: Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy and Prendergast, LLP
For additional information, contact Hal Mordkofsky at 202-828-5520 or email@example.com
|EUROPEAN MOBILE MESSAGING ASSOCIATION|
|EUROPEAN MOBILE MESSAGING ASSOCIATION|
If you see someone in the field (like salespeople, technicians, and delivery people) using paper forms, their company could probably save a pile of money, and get much better timeliness, accuracy and efficiency, by using converting to Outr.Net's Wireless Forms. Custom applications for as little as $995, delivered in just a few days.Outr.Net has a web page on Wireless Forms for Timeports at: http://www.outr.net/overnight_pw.htm Their latest newsletter is: "Business Development in Mobile Data"
Please call me so we can discuss your need or your idea. Or contact me by e-mail for more information
• FIREHOUSES • SCHOOLS • PUBLIC FACILITIES • GOVERNMENT FACILITIES • EMERGENCY ROOMS •
WHAT DO FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES, WISPS, HAVE IN COMMON?
THEY ALL USE NIGHTHAWK.
Nighthawk Systems Inc. manufactures low cost and reliable remote control products for fire house alerting, volunteer alerting, activation of warning signs and sirens, and a number of applications for public safety. The Company manufactures the EA1 and the FAS-8 which have been designed specifically for these applications. Both products are paging based and will work with any public or private paging network. They are available in all VHF, UHF, and 900 MHz paging frequencies. The products can serve as the primary notification system or an excellent, low-cost backup to existing systems.
The EA1 is the solution for remotely activating public warning signage. Examples include tornado sirens, flash flood warnings, fire danger, Amber Alert, icy roads, etc. The EA1 can also send text messages to scrolling signs. This can occur in conjunction with the activation of audible alarms and visual strobes. This is ideal for public notification in buildings, schools, hotels, factories, etc. The group call feature allows for any number of signs or flashing lights to be activated at the same time over a wide geographic area. In addition, the EA1 Emergency Alert is the perfect solution for low cost yet highly effective alerting of volunteer fire fighters in their home. When activated the EA1 will emit an audible alarm and activate the power outlet on the units faceplate. A common setup is to simply place the EA1 on a table and plug a lamp into the faceplate. When paged from dispatch or any touch tone phone the EA1 will awaken the fire fighter to a lit room. As an option the EA1 can be ordered with a serial cable, allowing for attachment of a serial printer. When paged the alphanumeric message will be printed out at the same time the alarm sounds and the outlet is activated. The EA1 is an ideal complement to alphanumeric belt pagers common to volunteers.
The FAS-8 is designed for activating one or more relays in a firehouse and if desired, printing the alphanumeric message to a serial printer. For this application the FAS-8 is set to activate upon receiving the proper paging cap code sent from 911 dispatch. Up to eight different devices can be activated all with individual time functions. The most common devices to turn on include the PA amplifier, audible wake up alarm, and house lights. The most common device turned off is the stove. The FAS-8 can accept up to 8 different cap codes and have separate relay and time functions per cap code. This allows for different alerting to be accomplished at the same physical location depending upon which cap code is sent. This can be very helpful when fire crews and medical crews are housed in the same building.
Put the innovative technology of Nighthawk to work for you. For more information on any of our products or services, please contact us.
Nighthawk Systems, Inc.
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Download Mr. Mercer's resumé. CLICK HERE
Complete Technical Services For The
Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.
Low and Slow: The other side of wireless
July 17, 2007 (Computerworld) A few weeks ago in this space, I talked about why paging networks will continue to survive despite being under constant assault from more contemporary and convenient wireless technologies. The key to that survival is branching out from traditional beeper and paging services and into telemetry and control. This is in keeping with the emerging themes of an "Internet of things" and "machine to machine" — phrases you will hear with increasing frequency in the future.
This brings me to a discussion of the status of narrowband wireless in general. Wireless broadband understandably gets all the press; networking history has been, after all, primarily about faster/better/cheaper. However, as I noted in the paging column, there is a clear market for the opposite approach: Products and services that move relatively small amounts of data over wireless links of varying (but usually short) distances, and with a high tolerance for latency (or, perhaps better said, with no requirement for real-time communications).
These technologies typically are slower and have less range than wireless broadband and have significantly lower power requirements than wireless broadband. But you may be surprised at just how much is going on in this space.
With wireless, there's little value, and often there are disadvantages, in provisioning more throughput than is required for the application at hand. Most important, there is almost always an inverse relationship between distance and throughput, meaning that, the farther you go, the slower you go. And, the farther you go, the bigger the radio you need, which results in higher costs and less battery life.
However, if we lower the throughput requirement, we can build cheap radios with decent range, power consumption and cost parameters. In other words, we can get the best tool for the job while minimizing the negatives that come with too much of anything.
With that in mind, here's a brief survey of the leading narrowband wireless technologies today, in no particular order:
RFID. This is not, as many believe, a replacement for bar codes. RFID chips will, after all, always be much more expensive than mere paper and ink. But RFID will be used increasingly to track high-value objects and people, although it's not very good at determining precise location. Here's more information on RFID.
NFC. Near-Field Communications is a standard designed to allow fairly-high-speed communications (up to about a half a megabit per second) over just a few centimeters. It is starting to be used in systems involving credit cards and other retail-oriented devices and applications. For more information see the trade association's Web site.
RuBee. This technology, which is based on an upcoming IEEE standard (P1902.1), uses magnetic fields (as opposed to the electrical fields used by most radios) for communications. Designed to work at lower frequencies and in harsh environments, RuBee is often referred to as "RFID 2.0." There's a lot of controversy in the RFID world over conflicting standards and operating frequencies, and there is some hope that the RuBee effort will unify the community. I wouldn't count on this outcome, though; there are too many vested interests at work here.
Wibree. This is designed to operate using very little power, with throughput of up to 1Mbit/sec. over 5 to 10 meters. Wibree is now under the direction of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, the organization that also guides the evolution of Bluetooth. For more, see the Wibree Web site.
Zigbee. Zigbee is designed primarily for sensor networks and remote-control applications. While capable of supporting throughput of up to 250Kbit/sec., most Zigbee applications will operate at much lower data rates and are optimized for long battery life. For more information, see zigbee.org.
In addition, there are a number of proprietary radio components, often aimed at remote control markets in which range is minimal and cost is critical. There are also radios designed specifically for dedicated tracking applications such as GPS. And, while Wi-Fi will assume a greater role in location and tracking applications over time, companies like WhereNet already provide systems where high accuracy in commercial and industrial applications is a necessity.
So, while wireless broadband gets all the attention, narrowband will always be important. The hallmarks of the "low and slow" world are low power consumption (and thus long battery life) and slow data rates. It's amazing how often this combination is important.
And, in case you're wondering, the inspiration for this column came from a big neon sign informing me that "low and slow" is the key to great barbecue (low temperatures and long cooking times, in this case). It is, after all, summer, and there are indeed a few things in life even more important than wireless.
Craig J. Mathias is a principal at Farpoint Group, an advisory firm specializing in wireless networking and mobile computing. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|LETTERS TO THE EDITOR|
Subject: Equipment wanted
Date: July 18, 2007 2:14:53 PM CDT
Commtech is looking to buy several of the old Tescom TC5004A or TC5010B Tem cells. (They went out of production a few years ago).
Would it be possible for you to drop this into your newsletter this week? New or second hand is good.
Pictures of the Tem cells are attached.
If anyone has one, the contact in our office is Jim Tamol, Service Manager. his email is email@example.com
BTW: I am not sure if he is on your newsletter list, if not could you add him and the following new (additional) staff at Commtech:
Bret Boehly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chuck Franks: email@example.com
Russell Sorg: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stacy Sealy: email@example.com
Latoya McCray: firstname.lastname@example.org
On the note of new staff at Commtech, while there is lots of discussions in the industry and your newsletter about the paging industry and its future, Commtech continues to grow at a rapid rate (30% growth year on year for 10 years, and we nearly doubled our revenues in the US office last year). We don’t see the market shrinking dramatically.
We only see the market opportunities for paging and text messaging growing from here, as long as the paging carriers embrace other technologies in combination with paging, such as SMS, and work out how to add a new revenue stream by charging to send and confirm message delivery to devices such as cell phones. For example, Pageone in the UK has done a sterling job with this (pardon the pun). I believe they derive over 20% of their revenue from sending messages to their paging customers, who also have cell phones in addition to paging messages on their UK paging network. The graph Chris Jones displayed in Budapest EMMA conference, showed their SMS revenue is growing at more than 50% per annum, while also holding paging revenue steady.
Tel: 904 281 0073
Fax: 904 281 0074
Subject: Looking for Signal Pro tester (or equivalent)
Date: July 13, 2007 5:09:06 PM CDT
Vic Jensen at Unication told me I should contact you – I know we talked before about you consulting on our wireless clock system. Anyway, we are looking for a Signal Pro tester to rent or buy to solve a problem we’re working on.
Do you have any suggestions of people or companies we can check with to procure such equipment?
Thanks, and have a nice weekend!
American Time & Signal Co.
140 Third Street South
PO Box 707
Dassel, MN 55325-0707
(320) 275-1800 Direct
(320) 275-2101 Main
(320) 275-2603 Fax
Does anyone have a SignalPro, or can anyone recommend a similar piece of test equipment?
|UNTIL NEXT WEEK|
That's all for this week folks.
With best regards,
73 DE K9IQY
Brad Dye, Editor
| Skype: braddye|
Wireless Consulting page
Paging Information Home Page
| WIRELESS |
|THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK|
“Sometimes it takes an outsider to show people on the inside, an outside the box solution.”
—Peter Angelo, Ph.D. - Nuclear Engineer
Editor's note: Thank you for doing that Dr. Angelo — we needed it.
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