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Friday — October 26, 2018 — Issue No. 829

Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News

Did you know in many parts of Asia “BBI BBI” or “BBI BBI call” means “Beeper” in English? In South Korea there is a singer-actress (IU) who just released a new music single by this same name.

[ source ]

Worst Windows 10 version ever? Microsoft's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad October

Microsoft released the Windows 10 October 2018 Update on October 2, then pulled it days later. Now, with November fast approaching, the update has still not been re-released. Where's the problem? And will it happen again?

By Ed Bott for The Ed Bott Report
October 26, 2018 — 12:52 GMT (05:52 PDT)


The Windows 10 October 2018 Update has been plagued by trouble.

In September 2017, Microsoft boasted that it had just released the "best version of Windows 10 ever."

The month began almost triumphantly for Microsoft, with the announcement on October 2 that its second Windows 10 release of the year, version 1809, was ready for delivery to the public, right on schedule. Then, just days later, the company took the unprecedented action of pulling the October 2018 Update from its servers while it investigated a serious, data-destroying bug.

An embarrassing drip-drip-drip of additional high-profile bug reports has continued all month long. Built-in support for Zip files is not working properly. A keyboard driver caused some HP devices to crash with a Blue Screen of Death. Some system fonts are broken. Intel pushed the wrong audio driver through Windows Update, rendering some systems suddenly silent. Your laptop's display brightness might be arbitrarily reset.

And with November fast approaching, the feature update still hasn't been re-released.

What went wrong? My ZDNet colleague Mary Jo Foley suggests Microsoft is so focused on new features that it's losing track of reliability and fundamentals. At Ars Technica, Peter Bright argues that the Windows development process is fundamentally flawed.

Or maybe there's an even simpler explanation.

I suspect a large part of the blame comes down to Microsoft's over-reliance on one of the greatest management principles of the last half-century or so: "What gets measured gets done." That's certainly a good guiding principle for any organization, but it also leads to a trap for any manager who doesn't also consider what's not being measured.

For Windows 10, a tremendous number of performance and reliability events are measured constantly on every Windows 10 PC. Those streams of diagnostic data come from the Connected User Experience and Telemetry component, aka the Universal Telemetry Client. And there's no doubt that Microsoft is using that telemetry data to improve the fundamentals of Windows 10.

In that September 2017 blog post, for example, Microsoft brags that it improved battery life by 17 percent in Microsoft Edge, made boot times 13 percent faster, and saw an 18 percent reduction in users hitting "certain system stability issues." All that data translated into greater reliability, as measured by a dramatically reduced volume of calls to Microsoft's support lines:

Our internal customer support teams are reporting significant reductions in call and online support request volumes since the Anniversary Update. During this time, we've seen a healthy decline in monthly support volumes, most notably with installation and troubleshooting update inquiries taking the biggest dip.

Microsoft has been focusing intently on stuff it can see in its telemetry dashboard, monitoring metrics like installation success rates, boot times, and number of crashes. On those measures of reliability and performance, Windows 10 is unquestionably better than any of its predecessors.

Unfortunately, that focus has been so intense that the company missed what I call "soft errors," where everything looks perfectly fine on the telemetry dashboard and every action returns a success event even when the result is anything but successful.

Telemetry is most effective at gathering data to diagnose crashes and hangs. It provides great feedback for developers looking to fine-tune performance of Windows apps and features. It can do a superb job of pinpointing third-party drivers that aren't behaving properly.

But telemetry fails miserably at detecting anything that isn't a crash or an unambiguous failure. In theory, those low-volume, high-impact issues should be flagged by members of the Windows Insider Program in the Feedback Hub. And indeed, there were multiple bug reports from members of the Windows Insider Program, over a period of several months, flagging the issue that caused data to be lost during some upgrades. There were also multiple reports that should have caught the Zip file issue before it was released.

So why were those reports missed? If you've spent any time in the Feedback Hub, you know that the quality of reporting varies wildly. As one Windows engineer complained to me, "We have so many issues reported daily that are variations of 'dark theme sucks, you guys should die' that it's hard to spot the six upvotes on a real problem that we can't repro in-house."

In response to those missed alarms, Microsoft has added a new field to its problem reporting tool in Feedback Hub, to provide an indication of the severity of an issue.


Windows users can now flag problem reports by severity.

Time will tell if that addition helps or if testers will automatically overrate every bug report out of frustration. Even with that change, the recent problems highlight a fundamental flaw in the Windows Insider Program: Its members aren't trained in the art of software testing.

The real value of Insider Preview builds is, not surprisingly, capturing telemetry data from a much wider population of hardware than Microsoft can test in-house. As for those manual feedback reports, I'm skeptical that even an extra layer of filtering will be sufficient to turn them into actionable data.

Ultimately, if Microsoft is going to require most of its non-Enterprise customers to install feature updates twice a year, the responsibility to test changes in those features starts in Redmond. The two most serious bugs in this cycle, both of which wound up in a released product, were caused because of a change in the fundamental working of a feature.

An experienced software tester could have and should have caught those issues. A good tester knows that testing edge cases matters. A developer rushing to check in code to meet a semi-annual ship deadline is almost certainly not going to test every one of those cases and might not even consider the possibility that customers will use that feature in an unintended way.

Sometime in the next few days, Microsoft will re-release the October 2018 Update, and everything in the Windows-as-a-service world will return to normal. But come next April, when the 19H1 version is approaching public release, a lot of people will be holding their breath. [ source ]

Brad's comment: Microsoft and Apple are both victims of their own successes. They are paying more attention to all the money they are making, fancy offices, and perks, than doing the jobs that made them successful in the first place. The latest releases of Windows 10 and Mac OS X are both terrible.

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NO POLITICS HERE

This doesn't mean that nothing is ever published here that mentions a US political party—it just means that the editorial policy of this newsletter is to remain neutral on all political issues. We don't take sides.

 

 

 

 

About Us

A new issue of the Wireless Messaging Newsletter is 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 web. 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 Messaging 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 Messaging 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.

 

 

 

 

TIME TO HUDDLE UP

Let's get together and share ideas. Our competitors are not other paging companies, they are other technologies.

I spend the whole week searching the INTERNET for news that I think may be of interest to you — so you won’t have to. This newsletter is an aggregator — a service that aggregates news from other news sources. You can help our community by sharing any interesting news that you find.

 

 

 

 

Editorial Policy

Editorial Opinion pieces present only the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of any of advertisers or supporters. This newsletter is independent of any trade association. I don't intend to hurt anyone's feelings, but I do freely express my own opinions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Advertiser Index

Easy Solutions  (Vaughan Bowden)
IWA Technical Services, Inc.  (Ira Wiesenfeld)
Leavitt Communications  (Phil Leavitt)
Prism Paging  (Jim Nelson & John Bishop)
Product Support Services  (PSSI, Robert Cook, et al )
Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC  (Ron Mercer)

Why a businessman from Berlin complains against Apple

10/19/2018, 11:46:55 AM

Because Apple's messenger service iMessage sounds similar to the company name e*Message, the German company takes legal action against the group from Cupertino. The odds are good at first.

A Berlin businessman bothers so much on the name of Apple's messenger app iMessage that he complains before the Regional Court of Braunschweig against the US group. As the SPIEGEL reported in its current issue, the company wants to achieve that Apple's service is no longer confused with its own. (Read the whole story here)


The plaintiff, Dietmar Gollnick, is head of the radio network operator e*Message, which is represented since 2000 on the market. Apple, the most valuable company in the history of the stock exchange, launched its iMessage product in 2011. The iMessage service, like e*Message, is used to send messages, even though the technology behind it is different. Pager or messenger Golnick's company e*Message offers so-called pager services. Pagers are notifiers who use emergency services, hospitals and utilities to alert their staff in emergencies. Baden-Wuerttemberg's schools use Gollnick's services to inform teachers about running amok, hundreds of fire brigades from Rostock to the Porsche factory fire department conduct their task forces via e*Message. iMessage, on the other hand, is best known in the consumer market and is one of Apple's most widely used services, with an estimated 200,000 messages sent out every second. It works much like an SMS, but the message is transmitted over the Internet and is always encrypted, even if the recipient uses iMessage.

A verdict in the dispute is expected in November. The regional court Braunschweig indicated that it could follow the arguments against Apple. Apple said that they comment “in principle, no open procedures.” If the court prohibits the group to use the word iMessage as before, the billion-dollar iPhone maker is likely to pull before the Federal Court. But Gollnick is determined to fight it through.

This topic comes from the new SPIEGEL magazine — available at the kiosk from Saturday morning and every Friday at SPIEGEL + and in the digital magazine edition. What's in the new SPIEGEL, you will learn every Saturday in our free newsletter DIE LAGE, which appears six times a week — compact, analytical, opinionated, written by the editor-in-chief or the heads of our Berlin office.

[German version of this article here.]

[e*Message (English) website here.]

[e*Message (German) website here.]

Source:

Teller Report

[Minor formatting changes were made for clarity.]

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Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

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Easy Solutions


Many apps require permission to access personal data on devices in order to use the app. Where does that data go? (ciupa/pixabay)

Legal Malware: How Tech Giants Collect Personal and Professional Info Through Apps

By REX M. LEE October 16, 2018 Updated: October 22, 2018


Commentary

This article is part of a series on corporate surveillance highlighting civil liberty, privacy, cybersecurity, safety, and tech-product user exploitation threats associated with connected products that are supported by the Android (Google) OS, Apple iOS, and Microsoft Windows OS.

In the first article of this series, “Surveillance Capitalism: Monetizing the Smartphone User,” we learned that a person’s personal and professional (“collective”) digital DNA is the most valuable commodity in the world.

We also learned that data-driven technology providers such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, and Baidu are collecting, using, sharing, selling, purchasing, and aggregating a person’s collective digital DNA for financial gain without compensating the product user who produced the collective digital DNA in the first place. This is simply called “tech-product user exploitation.”


In essence, tech-product users have become uncompensated information producers who are being exploited for financial gain at the expense of the user’s civil liberties, privacy, cybersecurity, and safety, whether the user is an adult, child, or business professional.

A person’s collective digital DNA, associated with the use of all active smartphones around the world, is worth billions, if not trillions, of dollars on the open market, and Google, Apple, Microsoft, and other tech giants are in a race to collect and exploit that collective digital DNA.

As per my last article, data-driven technology providers do not directly sell a user’s collective digital DNA to third parties such as advertisers. All parties concerned sell access to the user via intrusive and exploitative content such as web browsers (see Apple–Google example below) and intrusive apps that are pre-installed (“rooted”) into the product and/or distributed via app stores.

Tools to Harvest Digital DNA

There are many methods data-driven technology providers use to collect a person’s collective digital DNA, including predatory operating systems (OS), intrusive content (e.g., apps, widgets, etc.), social media platforms, and exploitative terms of use.

Let’s look at operating systems and apps.

Think of the OS as prime real estate. The OS are key in that many companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Baidu will pay the OS developers billions of dollars for access to the product user, which is the case with Google and Apple, even though Google is an OS developer as well.

In 2014, Google paid Apple $1 billion so that Google would be the default search engine on the pre-installed (“rooted”) Safari web browser on the Apple iPhone. The iPhone user was unable to uninstall the intrusive Google product (though could switch default search engines in later versions of iOS), forcing the iPhone user to accept Google’s exploitative terms of use.

Google is reportedly set to pay Apple as much as $9 billion in 2018 and $12 billion in 2019 to maintain their status as the default search engine for the Safari web browser. The Apple–Google deal is a prime example of how the tech-product user is bought and sold on the open market.

Why is Google paying Apple billions of dollars to gain access to Apple product users? Because Google does not want anyone to escape its grasp.

Many Apple users who don’t want anything to do with Google are unaware of the fact that Tim Cook and/or Apple sold them out to Google without asking.

World Domination

Google, Apple, and Microsoft are the three dominant OS developers, which means that these three companies are the gateway to a user’s collective digital DNA associated with a product supported by the Android OS, Apple iOS, or Microsoft Windows OS.

Google, Apple, and Microsoft are all in the hardware manufacturing business as well, but all companies concerned cut deals with technology product manufacturers to have their respective operating systems adopted by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), such as Sony, Samsung, LG, HTC, Ford, and the list goes on.

Controlling the OS of a connected product puts Google, Apple, and Microsoft in control of which companies are enabled to develop uncontrollable, pre-installed (“rooted”) content that is programmed to give the content developer the ability to monitor, track, and data mine the product user for financial gain.

Pre-installed content developers have a huge advantage over third-party (e.g., Google Play) content developers because, in most cases, intrusive pre-installed content cannot be controlled, disabled, or uninstalled by the product user because the contented is rooted.

Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook have collectively become the most valuable companies in the world due in part to the collection and use of a person’s collective digital DNA, rather than just driving revenues from the sale of hardware, software, automated voice technology, social media services, books, movies, and other retail products.

Companies that can surveil and data mine telecom subscribers via telecom-related products, such as smartphones, have a huge advantage over all other competitors.

Legal Malware

Think about it: Companies such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft control the OS that supports billions of telecom-related products, such as smartphones and tablet PCs, that are supported by protected (due process/Fourth Amendment) telecom infrastructure governed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). A smartphone is actually a cellular telephone with an integrated PC.

In essence, all companies concerned have found a way to wiretap the collective telephones and PCs of billions of individuals, children, businesses, professionals (e.g., doctors, attorneys, journalists), business leaders, government officials, members of the military and law enforcement, and even lawmakers from around the world.

How does a company not become one of the most powerful companies in the world if that company is enabled to monitor, track, and data mine telecom subscribers via telecom-related devices supported by protected telecom infrastructure governed by the FCC? How did all parties do it? Answer: They control the OS of all products concerned, plus support them with Trojan horse malware in the form of an app.

The tech-product user has become the product for sale, but the issue is much worse, because the user is being exploited for financial gain via telecom-related and retail products that require payment to participate, such as smartphones, tablet PCs, TVs, vehicles, voice-automated products (e.g., Amazon Echo/Alexa), and so on.

How did we allow ourselves to be exploited for financial gain at the expense of privacy by the very tech companies we patronize with our trust, loyalty, and hard-earned money? Answer: So-called “free stuff.”

Surveillance and data-mining business practices rooted in surveillance capitalism is a business model that initially supported “free stuff,” such as web browsers, software, apps, online services such as social media sites, and video games that include Angry Birds and Candy Crush Saga.

However, connected products and services that require payment to participate, such as smartphones, are supported by the surveillance capitalism business model that has been adopted by the three dominant OS developers Google, Apple, and Microsoft.

Now you understand the significance regarding the ability to control the OS of a connected product.

The Silicon Valley Matrix

Google, Apple, and Microsoft also develop intrusive content such as apps, widgets, and emojis, which are simply programmed to give the content developer the ability to take full control of a connected product, such as a smartphone, tablet PC, TV, vehicle, toy, voice-automated product, and so on.

Sensors, network connectivity, and hardware that can be controlled by content developers include the accelerometer (navigation, motion, etc.), Global Positioning System (GPS), cellular network (4G/5G), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, nearfield communications (NFC), secure digital (SD) card, subscriber identity module (SIM) card, power synchronization cable, biometric authentication, environmental sensors, camera, microphone, and volume control.

In addition, intrusive content, such as apps, is also designed to give the content developer the ability to use the sensors (e.g., GPS/accelerometer) and hardware (e.g., camera/microphone) in order to surveil the product user 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, while also enabling the content developer to data mine surveillance data (e.g., location data) and sensitive user data generated by the product user.

Don’t take my word for any of these claims, read the unpublished (hidden in device) Android app permissions associated with intrusive pre-installed (“rooted”) Android (Google) apps that the product user cannot uninstall, control, or disable in many cases.

Control over hardware such as the camera, microphone, and volume control gives content developers the ability to take pictures plus record audio and video without user consent or knowledge. (Screenshot via Rex M. Lee)

Intrusive content, such as apps, is also programmed to conduct multi-source data mining, meaning that the apps are programmed with the ability to reach beyond the host device (e.g., smartphone) to collect a person’s collective digital DNA from multiple connected sources (e.g., TV, vehicles, social media services, etc.) owned by the product user.

As discussed in my previous article, companies such as Google and Facebook will exploit the addictiveness of their products for financial gain, even at the expense of the product user’s safety, whether the product user is an adult, child or business professional.

Through the Android Baidu web browsers and apps distributed via Google Play, these companies will even sell their product users out to countries such as China.


Google distributes Chinese surveillance and data mining technology via Google Play.
(Screenshot annotated by Rex. M. Lee)

Anybody who downloads Android Baidu products, such as the web browser shown above, is agreeing to give Baidu the ability to monitor, track, and data mine their collective digital DNA at all times.

A person’s personal and professional digital DNA is made up of surveillance data, sensitive user data, and multisource data acquired via multisource data mining.

The collective digital DNA collected from a single smartphone user by all parties concerned is astonishing and horrifying, to say the least.

As a result of uncontrollable, pre-installed content (e.g., OS, apps, etc.) that the tech-product user cannot uninstall, there can be as many as 15 or more companies from around the world, including companies from China, that are enabled to simultaneously monitor, track, and data mine a single smartphone user, depending on the OS.

All companies concerned are collecting nearly 100 percent of all surveillance and sensitive user data associated with the use of the device, plus collective digital DNA acquired from multiple sources connected to the host device.

In closing, it is clear that predatory surveillance and data-mining business practice rooted in surveillance capitalism need to be addressed by the FCC, Federal Trade Commission, Department of Homeland Security, state attorneys general, lawmakers, and telecom providers because of civil liberty, privacy, cybersecurity, safety, and tech product user exploitation threats.

In the next article, I will explain how the terms of use give all companies concerned the ability to monitor, track, and data mine a tech-product user for financial gain.

Rex M. Lee is a privacy and data security consultant and Blackops Partners analyst and researcher.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Source:

The Epoch Times

 

IMPORTANT

“Is Paging Going Away?” by Jim Nelson

  • Click here for English.
  • Click here for German. (Berlin Revision: November 8, 2016)
  • Click here for French.

Here is an English PDF edit of this paper formatted with page breaks and suitable for printing.

Volunteers needed for translations into other languages.

GLENAYRE INFRASTRUCTURE

I would like to recommend Easy Solutions for Support of all Glenayre Paging Equipment. This Texas company is owned and operated by Vaughan Bowden. I have known Vaughan for over 35 years. Without going into a long list of his experience and qualifications, let me just say that he was the V.P. of Engineering at PageNet which was—at that time—the largest paging company in the world. So Vaughan knows Paging.

GTES is no longer offering support contracts. GTES was the original group from Vancouver that was setup to offer support to customers that wanted to continue with the legacy Glenayre support. Many U.S. customers chose not to use this service because of the price and the original requirement to upgrade to version 8.0 software (which required expensive hardware upgrades, etc.). Most contracts ended as of February 2018.

If you are at all concerned about future support of Glenayre products, especially the “king of the hill” the GL3000 paging control terminal, I encourage you to talk to Vaughan about a service contract and please tell him about my recommendation.

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The Wireless Messaging News
Board of Advisors

Frank McNeill
Founder & CEO
Communications Specialists
Jim Nelson
President & CEO
Prism Systems International
Kevin D. McFarland, MSCIS
Sr. Application Systems Analyst
Dartmouth-Hitchcock
Medical Center
Paul Lauttamus, President
Lauttamus Communications & Security
R.H. (Ron) Mercer
Wireless Consultant
Barry Kanne
Paging Industry Veteran
Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.
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Allan Angus
Consulting Engineer

The Board of Advisor members are people with whom I have developed a special rapport, and have met personally. They are not obligated to support the newsletter in any way, except with advice, and maybe an occasional letter to the editor.

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Spok Reports 2018 Third Quarter Operating Results; Software Revenue and Bookings Up on Both a Year-Over-Year and Sequential Basis

Board Declares Regular Quarterly Dividend

October 24, 2018 04:10 PM Eastern Daylight Time

SPRINGFIELD, Va.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Spok Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPOK), the global leader in healthcare communications, today announced operating results for the third quarter and year-to-date period ended September 30, 2018. In addition, the Company’s Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.125 per share, payable on December 10, 2018 to stockholders of record on November 16, 2018.

“We are pleased with our performance in the third quarter of 2018 and believe that it provides Spok with momentum as we complete 2018 and position ourselves for next year”

2018 Third-Quarter Results:
Consolidated revenue for the third quarter of 2018 under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”) was $42.5 million compared to $43.6 million in the third quarter of 2017. On January 1, 2018, Spok adopted Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, using the modified retrospective method applied to those contracts which were not completed as of January 1, 2018. Unless otherwise stated, results for reporting periods beginning after January 1, 2018 are presented under ASC 606, while prior period amounts have not been adjusted, and continue to be reported in accordance with the Company’s historic accounting under ASC 605. As such, adjusted to exclude the adoption of ASC 606, consolidated revenue for the third quarter of 2018 was $41.0 million compared to the $43.6 million in the third quarter of 2017.

 

For the three months ended

(Dollars in thousands) September 30, 2018 September 30, 2018 (1) September 30, 2017 Change (2) (%)
         
Wireless revenue        
Paging revenue $22,442 $22,442 $24,128 (7.0)%
Product and other revenue $817 $817 $982 (16.8)%
Total Wireless Revenue $23,259 $23,259 $25,110 (7.4)%
         
Software revenue        
Operations revenue $9,026 $7,852 $8,863 (11.4)%
Maintenance revenue $10,191 $9,924 $9,663 2.7%
Total software revenue $19,217 $17,776 $18,526 (4.0)%
Total revenue $42,476 $41,035 $43,636 (6.0)%
(1) Adjusted to exclude the adoption of ASC 606.
(2) As compared against results adjusted to exclude the adoption of ASC 606.

GAAP net loss for the third quarter of 2018 was $0.5 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, compared to net income of $3.7 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2017. In the third quarter of 2018, the Company generated $1.6 million of EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), compared to EBITDA of $6.1 million in the prior year quarter.

 

For the three months ended

(Dollars in thousands) September 30, 2018 September 30, 2018 (1) September 30, 2017
Net (loss) income ($481) ($2,142 ) $3,727
Diluted net (loss) income per share ($0.02 ) ($0.11) $0.19
EBITDA $1,584 ($77) $6,100
(1) Adjusted to exclude the adoption of ASC 606.

Other key results and highlights for the third quarter included:

  • Net paging unit losses were approximately 25,000 in the third quarter of 2018, consistent with third quarter 2017 levels.
  • The quarterly rate of wireless revenue erosion was 1.7 percent in the third quarter of 2018 down from 2.1 percent in the third quarter of 2017.
  • Total paging ARPU (average revenue per unit) was $7.40 in the third quarter of 2018, compared to $7.41 in the second quarter of 2018.
  • Software bookings for the 2018 third quarter were $21.6 million, an increase of 16.7 percent and 17.7 percent, respectively, from the second quarter of 2018 and prior year quarter. Third quarter bookings included $10.8 million of operations bookings and $10.8 million of maintenance renewals.
  • Software backlog totaled $36.4 million at September 30, 2018, compared to $36.3 million at June 30, 2018.
  • The revenue renewal rate for software maintenance in the third quarter of 2018 continued at greater than 99 percent.
  • Consolidated operating expenses (excluding depreciation, amortization and accretion) totaled $40.9 million in the third quarter of 2018, up slightly from $40.1 million in the second quarter of 2018.
  • Capital expenses were $1.6 million in the third quarter of 2018, compared to $2.3 million in the second quarter of 2018.
  • The number of full-time equivalent employees at September 30, 2018 totaled 603, compared to 599 at September 30, 2017.
  • Capital returned to stockholders in the third quarter of 2018 totaled $3.1 million, in the form of $2.5 million from dividends and $0.6 million from share repurchases.
  • The Company’s cash balance at September 30, 2018 was $95.2 million, down from $107.2 million at December 31, 2017.

2018 Year-To-Date Results:
Consolidated revenue for the first nine months of 2018 was $126.2 million compared to $127.4 million in the first nine months of 2017. As discussed above, unless otherwise stated, results for reporting periods beginning after January 1, 2018 are presented under ASC 606, while prior period amounts have not been adjusted, and continue to be reported in accordance with the Company’s historic accounting under ASC 605. As such, adjusted to exclude the adoption of ASC 606, consolidated revenue for the first nine months of 2018 was $125.3 million compared to the $127.4 million in the first nine months of 2017.

[...]

[...]

Management Commentary:
“We are pleased with our performance in the third quarter of 2018 and believe that it provides Spok with momentum as we complete 2018 and position ourselves for next year” said Vincent D. Kelly, president and chief executive officer. “Software bookings and revenue levels grew by double-digits on a sequential basis. Coupled with continued strong maintenance renewals and low levels of wireless revenue attrition, total revenue grew by nearly 5 percent from the second quarter of 2018. Third quarter revenue performance and sustained expense management allowed us to return $3.1 million of capital to our stockholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases, while we continued to enhance our product offerings through our continued investments in our integrated communication platform, Spok Care Connect.”

Kelly also noted that in addition to the Company’s quarterly financial performance, Spok made progress in several other areas, including product development, sales strategy and key strategic partnership agreements. “Earlier in October, we were excited to welcome more than 150 attendees to Connect 18, Spok’s annual conference for healthcare professionals. There, we brought together some of the industry’s leading innovators who are pushing the boundaries to advance and improve healthcare communications. We were particularly pleased to showcase what we believe is a game-changer in healthcare communication technology; the next generation of the Spok Care Connect platform. Our collaboration with hospital leaders at these conferences—and throughout the year—has helped us create an enterprise platform that positions healthcare providers for success today and supports them with faster, smarter clinical communications for the next decade.”

Business Outlook:
Michael W. Wallace, chief financial officer, said: “In 2018, continued expense management and strong financial discipline have allowed us to invest in our business for long-term growth and we are seeing the benefits from those investments. Based on our ability to align Spok's expense base with the market demand we are seeing, we are maintaining the 2018 guidance ranges that we outlined at the beginning of the year.” For the full-year 2018, adjusted for the adoption of ASC 606, the Company still expects total revenue to range from $161 million to $177 million, operating expenses (excluding depreciation, amortization and accretion) to range from $158 million to $165 million, and capital expenditures to range from $4 million to $8 million.

[...]

About Spok
Spok Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPOK), headquartered in Springfield, Va., is proud to be the global leader in healthcare communications. We deliver clinical information to care teams when and where it matters most to improve patient outcomes. Top hospitals rely on the Spok Care Connect platform to enhance workflows for clinicians, support administrative compliance, and provide a better experience for patients. Our customers send over 100 million messages each month through their Spok solutions. When seconds count, count on Spok. For more information, visit spok.com or follow @spoktweets on Twitter.

Spok is a trademark of Spok Holdings, Inc. Spok Care Connect and Spok Mobile are trademarks of Spok, Inc.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act: Statements contained herein or in prior press releases which are not historical fact, such as statements regarding Spok’s future operating and financial performance, are forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause Spok’s actual results to be materially different from the future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expectations include, but are not limited to, declining demand for paging products and services, continued demand for our software products and services, our ability to develop additional software solutions for our customers and manage our development as a global organization, the ability to manage operating expenses, future capital needs, competitive pricing pressures, competition from both traditional paging services and other wireless communications services, competition from other software providers, government regulation, reliance upon third-party providers for certain equipment and services, unauthorized breaches or failures in cybersecurity measures adopted by us and/or included in our products and services, as well as other risks described from time to time in our periodic reports and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although Spok believes the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be attained. Spok disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

[The remainder of this press release is available for viewing on BusinessWire at the Source-link below.]

Source:

BusinessWire

 

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Prism-IPX Systems

prism-ipx systems
Critical Messaging that works
Secure . . . Dependable . . .
and Encrypted

Who We Are

Prism-IPX is a leader in providing reliable communications systems using modern designs to meet today’s demands for critical message alerting and delivery. Prism-IPX designs versatile and robust Critical Message Management systems using paging and other wireless technologies for high performance and dependable communications.

What We Make

Prism-IPX Systems products include full-featured radio paging systems with VoIP input, IP based transmitter control systems and paging message encryption. Other options include e-mail messaging, remote switch controllers, Off-The-Air paging message decoders and logging systems.

Contact Us   left arrow

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Product Support Services, Inc.

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Repair and Refurbishment Services

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PSSI Repair Pricing
Repair Turn-Around Time 5-10 Business Days
1.1 Messaging Device - Repair Fees (parts additional change, 90-day warranty)
  Model Name PSSI Model Code Model Type Pricing (USD$)
  AE-Advisor Elite AE-Advisor Elite Alphanumeric $14.25
  AG-Advisor Gold AG-Advisor Gold Alphanumeric $13.12
  ALPE-UniElite (All New Parts) ALPE-UniElite Alphanumeric $34.83
  ALPE-UniElite (Used Parts) ALPE-UniElite Alphanumeric $14.94
  ALPG-Alpha Gold ALPG-Alpha Gold Alphanumeric $14.51
  Apollo Apollo Numeric $13.37
  Bravo 850 B8-BR850 Numeric $17.02
  BF-Bravo FLX BF-Bravo FLX Numeric $11.44
  T900 T9-T900 2Way $18.56
  BP-Bravo Plus BP-Bravo Plus Numeric $11.44
  BR-Bravo LX BR-Bravo LX Numeric $11.44
  GS-Coaster Coaster Numeric $26.97
  M90-UNI Messenger M90-UNI Messenger 2Way $18.56
  NP88-UNI-NP88 NP88-UNI-NP88 Numeric $9.68
  Pronto PL-Pronto LX Numeric $9.68
  Unication Elegant EL-Elegant Numeric $14.51
  RA-Ranger RA-Ranger Numeric $12.02
  ST800 ST800 Numeric $12.02
  ST800-P ST800-P Numeric $12.02
  T3-Titan Sun Telecom T3-Titan Sun Telecom Alphanumeric $13.37
  Z4-Z400 Sun Telecom Z4-Z400 Sun Telecom Alphanumeric $12.06
1.2 Messaging Device - Miscellaneous Service Fees
  Damaged Beyond Repair Inspection Fee $1.15
  Frequency Change - Synthesized Models $3.45
  Frequency Change - Non-Synthesized Models (parts not included) $4.03
1.3 Infrastructure Network Equip. - Repair Fees (parts additional charge, 6-mth. warranty)
  Model Name PSSI Model Code  
  Motorola Amplifier MO-AMP $581.20
  Motorola SCM/Exciter MO-SCM-EXC $561.25
  Motorola External NIU MO-NIU-EXT $511.92
  Glenayre Tx Controller GL-C2000 $128.34
  Glenayre Exciter Narrow Band GL-EXC-NB $128.34
  Glenayre Exciter Wide Band GL-EXC-WB $128.34
  Glenayre </=300W Amplifier GL-T8500 $303.60
  Glenayre </=300W Amplifier GL-T8600 $303.60
1.4 Infrastructure Network Equipment - Miscellaneous Service Fees
  Inventory Receiving Processing Fee $18.40
  Pick, Pack, and Order Fulfillment Fee $29.90
  Damaged Beyond Repair Inspection Fee $80.50

Product Support Services, Inc.
511 South Royal Lane
Coppell, Texas 75019
817-527-6322
sales@pssirl.com left arrow
www.pssirl.com left arrow

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OPINION: Rural N.S. fire protection at risk until new network pieced together

Published: Oct 06 at 5 a.m.


Fire, EHS and RCMP attend the scene of a single vehicle crash on Highway 102 in December 4. - File

TERRY S. CANNING

It went unreported, but beginning on July 7, 2017, something happened that increased the day-to-day risk for 37,000 Nova Scotia citizens, across nine municipal units — and it wasn’t fixed for weeks.

On that day, 20 volunteer fire departments spread across the Annapolis Valley lost any truly effective method for notifying their members of a need to respond to emergencies.

Almost all volunteer firefighters carry tone-voice pagers. It’s the essential tool that instructs them when, where and sometimes how to respond to structure fires, motor vehicle accidents, medical first response calls and any number of essential services needed by citizens in distress.

In rural Nova Scotia, small businesses and municipal governments provide paging services to almost 300 volunteer fire departments.

In the Valley example, the local company providing the dispatch and paging services experienced a catastrophic failure of a piece of equipment needed to notify firefighters to respond to a callout. No replacement parts could be sourced, and the fire service in these communities, a lifeline for the management of emergencies in rural Nova Scotia, was seriously affected.

There were backup plans in place for such an emergency.

Most affected departments maintain an independent ability to issue pages to department members from their individual fire stations. However, these backups typically only cover a small area in the immediate footprint around the firehall. As a result, the capacity of these departments (covering over 4,000 square kilometres) to respond to emergency events was severely curtailed. A paging notification that took seconds to push out might now require a sequence of phone calls to notify responders, taking several minutes. They also rely on the public telephone network.

In fire response, the difference between seconds and minutes can be the difference between life and death.

As an isolated incident, this was troubling enough. But the problems around the safe and effective notification and dispatch of fire first responders across rural Nova Scotia are endemic, and another symbol of governments’ collective challenge to grapple with providing a critical service, at a consistent level, to rural municipalities.

The difference this time is that not meeting the challenge means real and increasing risk to the lives and property of rural Nova Scotians, and it’s time for the provincial government to once again show the leadership needed to bring stakeholders together for a common public safety solution.

In larger municipalities such as Halifax and Cape Breton, paid and volunteer services benefit from the resources and economies of scale available to larger governments with larger tax bases. As a result, these fire services have access to the resources required to run “standardized” and purpose-built paging and dispatch services, with such things as backup power and facilities, telecommunications redundancies, IT tools, scheduled maintenance of key equipment and infrastructure, and more consistent operator training.

These things must work together to promptly deliver a firefighter to your distress call.

In rural Nova Scotia, across over 50 municipal units serving about 350,000 Nova Scotians, the situation is markedly different, and ultimately riskier for everyone.

Dispatch and paging service for rural fire departments is provided by 10 organizations that are either local governments or small businesses. Some also provide non-public safety functions, like after-hours answering and commercial alarm monitoring services. The people involved are dedicated and hardworking, but the service model of support and delivery is risky and getting riskier.

Just a few of the challenges include the vintage of key equipment, parts of the supporting tower infrastructure, physical hardening and redundancy of key facilities, the priority conflict between public safety services and commercial business lines, and the training and deployment of dispatch staff.

But, perhaps surprisingly, the provincial government has a good record in similar situations of bringing key stakeholders together to find common solutions for public safety and other essential services challenges for rural Nova Scotia.

In the mid-1990s, the province created Emergency Health Services. It managed a transition from a system where funeral homes and independent businesses provided ambulance services with widely varying quality and functional capabilities, with big differences between urban and rural communities.

It is now recognized as a world-class service.

Over the last 17 years, the province has invested over $17 million to provide radio equipment, training and support to municipally-based volunteer fire departments to ensure they’re interoperable with paid first responders such as police, paramedics and other provincial and federal agencies.

This program has won multiple innovation awards.

And just recently, the province announced one of its most substantial infrastructure investments ever, specifically developed to bridge the divide between rural and urban broadband Internet access.

Fixing fire paging and dispatch in rural Nova Scotia would only cost a very small fraction of those huge investments. Almost all the needed components — public funding, required infrastructure, potential private sector partners and technical and program expertise — already exist.

But no one person or organization has been given the authority or opportunity to work with rural municipalities and put it all together. Until then, we can expect situations such as happened last summer in the Valley to happen again, perhaps next time with irreversible and tragic consequences.

It doesn’t have to be that way. The solution is within reach; it requires little more than some innovation and solid leadership to put it together.

Terry Canning is a public safety communications consultant from Brookfield.

Source:

The Chronicle Herald

 

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Click on the image above for more info about advertising here.

INTERNET Protocol Terminal

The IPT accepts INTERNET or serial messaging using various protocols and can easily convert them to different protocols, or send them out as paging messages.

An ideal platform for hospitals, on-site paging applications, or converting legacy systems to modern protocols.

Input Protocols: Serial and IP
TAP TNPP SNPP
HTTP WCTP SMTP
POTS (DTMF) DID (DTMF)  
 
Output Protocols: Serial and IP
TAP TNPP SNPP
HTTP HTTPS SMPP
WCTP WCTPS SMTP
FLEX (optional PURC control)   POCSAG (optional PURC control)

Additional/Optional Features

  • Database of up to 5000 subscribers.
  • 4 serial ports on board.
  • Up to 8 phone lines (DID or POTS).
  • Can be configured for auto-fail-over to hot swap standby.
  • 1RU rack mount unit appliance—no moving parts.
  • Easily secure legacy system messages leaving site for HIPAA compliance.
  • Only purchase the protocols/options you need.
  • Add Paging Encryption for HIPAA compliance on site.

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Ph: 678-242-5290 Email: sales@prism-ipx.com
prism-ipx.com

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Leavitt Communications

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leavitt

Specialists in sales and service of equipment from these leading manufacturers, as well as other two-way radio and paging products:

UNICATION bendix king
ZETRON

motorola blue Motorola SOLUTIONS

COM motorola red Motorola MOBILITY spacer
  usalert
Philip C. Leavitt
Manager
Leavitt Communications
7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
CONTACT INFORMATION
E-mail: pcleavitt@leavittcom.com
Web Site: www.leavittcom.com
Mobile phone: 847-494-0000
Telephone: 847-955-0511
Fax: 270-447-1909
Skype ID: pcleavitt

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Paging Data Receiver PDR-4

The PDR-4 is a multi-function paging data receiver that decodes paging messages and outputs them via the serial port, USB or Ethernet connectors.

Designed for use with Prism-IPX ECHO software Message Logging Software to receive messages and log the information for proof of transmission over the air, and if the data was error free.

  • Option—decode capcode list or all messages.
  • Large capcode capacity.
  • Serial, USB and Ethernet output.
  • POCSAG or FLEX page decoding, special SA protocols.
  • Receivers for paging bands in VHF, UHF, 900 MHz.
  • Message activated Alarm Output.
  • 8 programmable relay outputs.
  • Send notifications of a system problem.
  • Synthesized Receiver Tuning.
  • Selectivity better than 60 dB.
  • Frequencies 148-174, 450-470, 929-932 MHz.
  • Image Rejection better than 55 dB.
  • Spurious Rejection better than 55 dB.
  • Channel Spacing 12.5 or 25 kHz.
  • Power 5VDC.
  • Receiving Sensitivity 5µV at 1200 bps.

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Ph: 678-242-5290 Email: sales@prism-ipx.com
prism-ipx.com

Wireless Network Planners

Wireless Network Planners
Wireless Specialists

R.H. (Ron) Mercer
Consultant
217 First Street
East Northport, NY 11731

ron mercer
Telephone: 631-786-9359
www.wirelessplanners.com left arrow
wirelessplannerron@gmail.com left arrow

Wireless Network Planners

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Consulting Alliance

Brad Dye, Ron Mercer, Allan Angus, Vic Jackson, and Ira Wiesenfeld are friends and colleagues who work both together and independently, on wireline and wireless communications projects.

Click here left arrow for a summary of their qualifications and experience. Each one has unique abilities. We would be happy to help you with a project, and maybe save you some time and money.

Note: We do not like Patent Trolls, i.e. “a person or company who enforces patent rights against accused infringers in an attempt to collect licensing fees, but does not manufacture products or supply services based upon the patents in question.” We have helped some prominent law firms defend their clients against this annoyance, and would be happy to do some more of this same kind of work.

Some people use the title “consultant” when they don't have a real job. We actually do consulting work, and help others based on our many years of experience.

“If you would know the road ahead, ask someone who has traveled it.”
— Chinese Proverb

Consulting Alliance

Remote AB Switches

ABX-1 switches are often used at remote transmitter sites to convert from old, outdated and unsupported controllers to the new modern Prism-IPX ipBSC base station controllers. Remotely switch to new controllers with GUI commands.

ABX-1

ABX-3 switches are widely used for enabling or disabling remote equipment and switching I/O connections between redundant messaging systems.

ABX-3

Common Features:

  • RJ45 for A, B and Common connectors.
  • Manual push button or use Prism IP commands to switch one or more relays.
  • Single or Dual Port Control card for IP or Serial connection.
  • Form C relay—control local connection.
  • Power Loss Indicator.
  • Rear Panel Connector for controlling the switch externally.
  • Power Source: 5VDC for ABX-1; 12VDC for ABX-3.

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Ph: 678-242-5290 Email: sales@prism-ipx.com
prism-ipx.com

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Officials say a ‘valuable’ dispatch tool isn’t working

Leslie Thompson The Argus Observer Oct 4, 2018


Payette County Courthouse Argus file photo

PAYETTE COUNTY — Payette County Sheriff’s Office has multiple ways to send computer-generated messages from dispatch that are tailored for specific people or groups within the county. However, since an update was performed by a vendor on Sept. 24, the Computer Aided Dispatch (also known as CAD) system has not been working properly. According to Payette County Lt. Andy Creech, “after the upgrade we lost the ability to send these notifications.”

One example of how the system works, which dispatch was testing on Monday, is a death investigation notification. When these notifications are pushed out through the CAD, it “sends an alert to department heads to let them know that a death has occurred in the county,” wrote Creech in an email. This alert is done simply for awareness, he said.

Although the test on Monday still didn’t work.

More importantly the interruption is impacting “the way that we dispatch out the fire departments in the county,” Creech said.

Normally, for a fire call the “CAD sends an automatic message to the IamResponding vendor,” he explained.

Once the vendor gets the message, it sends out an alert to each firefighter, providing critical information about the fire. Also important, is that the notification system links the firefighters together with the fire chief so he can determine how many can respond, and whether they will need assistance to battle the blaze.

“Since we started using it, it’s a very, very important tool for firefighters,” said Payette City and Rural Fire Chief Steve Castenada.

He said Weiser Rural, Ontario and New Plymouth use the system as well.

When a fire call comes into dispatch, firefighters are notified through tones on their pagers. However, IamResponding minimizes the chance a firefighter would miss a call because his pager is turned off.

IamResponding comes through at the same time,” Castenada said.

Individual firefighters can set up how they want that notification to come through (via text or e-mail) on their smart phone.

“Once it comes through, you hit ‘mapping’ and it shows where you’re going and if you have hydrants,” the fire chief said, explaining that the system has enabled them to input all locations of every hydrant in town.

Though the system has been in place as a backup for local firefighters for a few years, it is still a “valuable tool,” Castenada said.

He said it helps if a firefighter didn’t quite hear the address of a call.

“You don’t have to get on the radio to confirm the address and tie up traffic,” Castenada said.

IamResponding is also set up at the fire station.

“We also have a computer at the apparatus bay with a TV mounted on the wall,” he said. “When it comes through, it shows how to get there, and they can look on the board before getting in the truck.”

This enables everyone to get on the same page as they respond to the emergency.

Because it’s a backup system, having it not working properly hasn’t caused any delays in response time, Castenada said.

However, “it’s one of those things when you get modern technology,” he said. “It’s very valuable to us and we rely on it pretty heavily.”

Creech said the sheriff’s office also has an emergency response map for the county, that includes locations of hydrants, etc., but acknowledged that IamResponding enables firefighters and chiefs to access all that information in one place.

Although it is not used as the sheriff’s office primary paging system, officials there are aware that IamResponding is “extremely valuable to the fire departments,” Creech said.

“Our IT department is currently working with both vendors to locate the source of the problem so that the notifications can resume,” he said.

It’s not an easy process, Creech said, because it does involve three entities, and the tracking of messages all the way through the system to see where “it might be blocked.” It could be a server or firewall at the dispatch center, or receipt of the message by the CAD or IamResponding vendors.

“It seems like every time the CAD vendor works on something, something always ends up going down. It’s complicated.”

Source:

The Argus Observer

 

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Leavitt Communications

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We can supply alphanumeric display, numeric display, and voice pagers.

We also offer NEW and refurbished Alphamate 250s, refurbished Alphamate IIs, the original Alphamate refurbished, and new and refurbished pagers, pager repairs, pager parts, and accessories. We are FULL SERVICE in Paging! Outstanding service is our goal.

E-mail Phil Leavitt ( pcleavitt@leavittcom.com ) for pricing and delivery information, or for a list of other available paging and two-way related equipment.

Phil Leavitt
847-955-0511
pcleavitt@leavittcom.com

LEAVITT COMMUNICATIONS
7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
www.leavittcom.com

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Friday, October 26, 2018

Volume 6 | Issue 210


Administration to Create National Spectrum Policy to Jumpstart 5G

The White House issued a Presidential Memorandum on spectrum policy Thursday that directs government agencies to take several actions to further deployment of 5G wireless networks.

It directs the Secretary of Commerce to work with federal agencies and industry stakeholders to develop a long term, comprehensive national spectrum strategy, with the goal of maintaining American leadership in wireless networks, whether 5G or any future technology. The memo builds on an administration meeting earlier this month organized by the White House National Economic Council that brought together 150 stakeholders from government, industry, and academia, to discuss jump-starting 5G technology, Inside Towers reported .

The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will work with members of a new Spectrum Strategy Task Force in a multiyear effort to develop and implement the national approach, according to NTIA Administrator David Redl. “The strategy will be informed by examinations of spectrum use, and will help policymakers meet our needs both now and in the future. It will also help align research, development, testing and evaluation efforts,” he said in a blog post .

The Presidential Memorandum also revokes two previous spectrum policy memorandums, established during the Obama Administration.

Industry reaction was effusive. WIA President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein was one of the participants in the White House meeting earlier this month. He praised Thursday’s announcement, saying the administration demonstrated its vision once again to maintain America’s leadership in wireless innovation. The memorandum signed by the President to make more spectrum available for 5G deployment will spur greater economic growth and jobs, not just in the wireless industry, but nearly every sector of the economy.”

CTIA President/CEO Meredith Attwell Baker, commended the administration “for recognizing the importance of establishing a national spectrum strategy. “With the right approach based on licensed wireless spectrum, America’s wireless carriers will invest hundreds of billions of dollars and create millions of jobs to deploy next-generation networks and win the global 5G race.”

Source: Inside Towers newsletter Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers.

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BloostonLaw Newsletter

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Selected portions [sometimes more — sometimes less] of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update and/or the BloostonLaw Private Users Update — newsletters from the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP — are reproduced in this section of The Wireless Messaging News with kind permission from the firm. The firm's contact information is included at the end of this section of the newsletter.


 BloostonLaw Telecom Update Vol. 21, No. 45 October 24, 2018 

Rural Call Completion Contact Information Requirement Effective October 24

On October 24, the FCC announced in the Federal Register that one of the requirements associated with its May 10 Rural Call Completion Order went into effect. Specifically, starting today, Covered Providers are required to make publicly available a telephone number and email address for the express purpose of receiving and responding to any rural call completion issues. Carriers with questions about whether this rule applies to them should contact the firm for more information.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.

Headlines


FCC Adopts Items at October Open Meeting

On October 23, at its monthly Open Meeting, the FCC adopted the following items:

Unlicensed Use of the 6 GHz Band. In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the FCC proposed rules that are designed to allow unlicensed devices to operate in the 6 GHz band without interfering with the operation of the licensed services that will continue to use this spectrum. In those portions of the 6 GHz band that are heavily used by point-to-point microwave links, the FCC proposes to allow unlicensed devices to operate where permitted by an automated frequency coordination system and invites comment as to whether this is necessary for devices operated only indoors. In the other portions of the band where licensed mobile services, such as the Broadcast Auxiliary Service and Cable Television Relay Service, operate, the unlicensed devices would be restricted to indoor operations at lower power. The full text of the NPRM is not yet available.

Promoting Investment in the 3550-3700 MHz Band. As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, in this Report and Order the FCC: changed the size of PAL license areas from census tracts to counties; extended the PAL license term to ten years and made these licenses renewable; established end-of-term performance requirements; ensured seven PALs are available in each license area; allowed the use of bidding credits for rural and Tribal entities; permitted partitioning and disaggregation of PALs; and updated information security requirements to protect registration information. The full text of the Report and Order is available here .

Cable Rate Regulation. In this Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Report and Order, the FCC seeks comment on whether to adopt fundamental changes to the FCC’s existing complex cable rate regulation framework. Alternatively, it seeks comment on updating the existing cable rate regulation rules, including limiting equipment rate regulation, exempting small cable systems owned by small cable companies from rate regulation, and clarifying that cable services provided to commercial establishments such as office buildings and shopping malls are not subject to rate regulation. It also seeks comment on streamlining the initial rate setting methodology, which requires using data from as far back as 1992. These proposed changes would eliminate multiple FCC forms and rules. The full text of the FNPRM is available here .

Paper Filing of Contracts . In this Report and Order, the FCC eliminated the requirement that broadcast stations routinely file paper copies of contracts and other documents with the FCC. The full text of the Report and Order is available here .

Business Data Services for Rate-of-Return Carriers Receiving Fixed Universal Service Support. In this Report and Order, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the FCC adopted a mechanism that allows eligible rate-of-return carriers to move their legacy business data services to incentive regulation that is similar to the price cap regulation adopted in 2017. Legacy business data services are those that operate at lower speeds – 45 Mbps (DS3) or less – and use a network protocol known as “time-division multiplexing,” or TDM. It relieves electing carriers’ lower speed TDM-based services that go to end-user customers of ex ante pricing regulation in areas deemed competitive by a competitive market test, and eliminates ex ante pricing regulation of electing carriers’ higher speed TDM-based business data services (above DS3) and their packet-based business data services. It also forbears from requiring electing carriers to comply with cost support, cost assignment and jurisdictional separations requirements. The Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on creating a pathway to ending ex ante pricing regulation for the lower speed TDM-based transport services of rate-of-return carriers opting in to the incentive regulation framework the FCC adopted. These services provide higher volume connections between points of traffic aggregation on the network rather than serve end-users. In addition, a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking addresses a remand in the Eighth Circuit’s decision on the 2017 rules by seeking comment on a proposal to remove pricing regulation of the TDM transport services of price cap carriers. The full text is not yet available.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.

Blooston Presents on TCPA at The Monitoring Association Annual Meeting

Last week, Mary Sisak presented insights on the FCC's actions to implement and enforce the Telecommunications Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and to prevent unwanted calls to consumers at the annual meeting of The Monitoring Association, an internationally-recognized non-profit trade association that represents professional monitoring companies, integrators, and providers of products and services to the industry. On a panel entitled "How Deep are Your Pockets? TCPA Compliance Guide to Alarm Monitoring," Ms. Sisak advised that the FCC is addressing the problem of unwanted calls, the FCC's top consumer complaint, through a number of mechanisms, including enforcement actions totaling well over $200 million in recent years for TCPA violations. These included a $120 million fine against a Florida-based time-share marketing operation and an $82 million fine against a North Carolina-based health insurance telemarketer. The FCC also adopted rules allowing phone companies to proactively block calls that appear to be from telephone numbers that do not or cannot make outgoing calls, without running afoul of the FCC's call completion policies.

The FCC's attempts to adopt rules that clearly inform companies on how to comply with the TCPA when calling and texting customers, however, have been complicated by court actions, which have adopted different interpretations of the TCPA. An FCC current rulemaking proceeding concerning the definition of “automatic telephone dialing system” and “called party” for purposes of the TCPA will provide clarification on the application of the TCPA to calls and text messages to consumers.

For questions concerning whether your company policies and actions comply with the TCPA, please contact the firm for more information.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak.

FCC Seeks Comment on Revisions to Part 61 Tariff Rules

On October 16, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Interim Waiver Order in which it proposed to eliminate two tariffing rules: the cross-referencing rule, and the short-form Tariff Review Plan (TRP) filing requirement. Comment deadlines have not yet been established.

Specifically, the FCC is proposing to amend its rules to allow a carrier to refer to its own tariff and the tariffs of its affiliated companies in its tariff publications. The cross-referencing rule provides that, subject to certain exceptions, no tariff publication filed with the FCC may make reference to any other tariff publication or to any other document or instrument. According to the FCC, documents are easily accessible and reviewable, and cross-referencing is no longer the burden it once was.

The FCC is also proposing to eliminate, as no longer necessary and unduly burdensome, the provision in the rules requiring price cap incumbent LECs to file short form tariff review plans 90 days before their access tariffs are due. Over the last few years, the FCC has found that the information needed to populate the short form tariff review plans is often not available when the short form tariff review plans are due, and has reduced the time period for filing short form tariff review plans more than once: first to 60 days prior to the annual access charge tariff filing and then to 45 days prior to the annual access charge tariff filing. For the 2017 and 2018 tariff filing years, the FCC waived the short form tariff review plan filing requirement altogether.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.

Comment Deadline Established for Cable Franchising FNPRM

On October 18, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing the comment deadlines for the Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Second FNPRM) to address two issues raised by a remand from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Montgomery County, Md. et al. v. FCC regarding how local franchising authorities may regulate cable operators. Comments are due November 14, and reply comments are due on December 14.

Specifically, the FCC seeks comment on its tentative conclusion that cable-related, “in-kind” contributions required by a franchising agreement should be treated as “franchise fees” subject to the statutory five percent cap on franchise fees set forth in the Communications Act, with limited exceptions. Comment is also sought on the tentative conclusion that prior mixed-use network rulings should apply to incumbent cable operators, thus prohibiting local franchising authorities (LFAs) from using their video franchising authority to regulate the provision of most non-cable services, such as broadband Internet access service, offered over a cable system by an incumbent cable operator. Finally, the FCC also seeks comment on whether the proposals and tentative conclusions discussed in this Second FNPRM, as well as prior FCC decisions in this proceeding addressing LFA regulation of cable operators, should be applied to state-level franchising actions and state regulations that impose requirements on local franchising.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy.

Law & Regulation


FCC Proposes $63 Million Fine for Lifeline Violations

On October 23, the FCC proposed a $63,465,500 fine against American Broadband and Telecommunications Company, a wireless reseller based in Ohio, for apparent repeated, systematic, and large-scale violations of FCC rules governing the Lifeline program, which helps make communications services more affordable for low-income Americans.

According to a Press Release, the FCC found that American Broadband, through its sales agents, apparently improperly sought and received Lifeline funding by creating numerous ineligible Lifeline subscriber accounts. For example, the company apparently created fake accounts by enrolling deceased individuals and by manipulating the personal information (names, dates of birth, and social security numbers) of existing Lifeline subscribers. In addition, the company apparently filed inaccurate forms with the Lifeline program administrator and apparently failed to de-enroll subscribers it knew or should have known were ineligible to receive Lifeline support. The FCC based the proposed fine on 42,309 apparently improper Lifeline claims made in August 2016, after the company had told the FCC it had fixed its systems and processes to ensure compliance with FCC rules. In August 2016 alone, American Broadband apparently sought and received Lifeline support for more than 12,000 deceased individuals.

The FCC also found the company’s owner, Jeffrey Ansted, liable for the proposed penalty. Rather than using Lifeline funds to cover the cost of service for eligible subscribers, in many instances Mr. Ansted apparently used these funds for his personal benefit, including to pay for a Ferrari convertible, a $1.3 million condominium in Florida, landscaping work, yacht club and country club memberships, and an $8 million Cessna jet.

This action contains only allegations, and an opportunity to respond will be given. The FCC will consider the any evidence and legal arguments before acting further to resolve the matter.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.

FCC Adopts Order Simplifying Part 32 Separations Rules

On October 16, the FCC adopted a Report and Order in which it simplified its Part 36 jurisdictional separations rules to allow all carriers to use the simpler jurisdictional separations processes previously reserved for smaller carriers. According to the FCC, these revisions will harmonize Part 36 rules with the FCC’s previous amendments to the Part 32 accounting rules.

First, the FCC removed references to Class A accounts because carriers are no longer required to keep such accounts. Second, the FCC amended section 36.112 to allow former Class A carriers (carriers with revenue equal to or greater than $157 million for calendar year 2016) to select between the legacy Class A and Class B procedures in apportioning their general support facilities costs. Third, the FCC “correct[ed] certain stylistic and typographical errors in Part 36.”

Carriers with questions about the FCC’s revisions should contact the firm for more information.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.

Industry


FCC Selects Somos as NANPA Administrator

On October 16, the FCC announced that it has selected Somos as the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) and the Pooling Administrator (PA) under separate one-year bridge contracts. Somos currently serves as the FCC’s toll-free number administrator, responsible for overseeing the toll-free number database. Under the contracts awarded by the FCC, Somos will undertake the NANPA and PA functions under separate one-year interim bridge contracts while the FCC works to consolidate the NANPA and PA functions into a single entity under a new long-term contract via a competitive bidding process. The consolidation of the two contracts will bring about a more cost-efficient and effective operation by a single entity.

The NANPA administers the North American Numbering Plan on behalf of its member countries, providing numbering administration functions for telecommunications services. The PA administers number pooling functions in the United States and serves as the Routing Number Administrator responsible for administering non-dialable numbers used for routing emergency calls and other purposes.

Chairman Pai Calls on Wireless Carriers to Waive Bills for Those Struck by Hurricane Michael

On October 16, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued the following statement regarding restoration efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael:

“Even though efforts to restore communications services have been going well in most of the areas affected by Hurricane Michael, the slow progress in restoring wireless service in areas close to where the hurricane made landfall is completely unacceptable. While the FCC has been in regular contact with companies serving the affected areas, I’m concerned that their actions on the ground aren’t matching the urgency that we have conveyed during those conversations. I am therefore joining Governor Scott in calling on wireless carriers to waive the bills of Floridians in these affected areas for the month of October and to allow them to change carriers without penalty. These carriers also need to immediately disclose publicly to Floridians how they will quickly restore service. In addition, I have directed our Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau to promptly initiate an investigation into this matter.”

Deadlines


NOVEMBER 1: FCC FORM 499-Q, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. All telecommunications common carriers that expect to contribute more than $10,000 to federal Universal Service Fund (USF) support mechanisms must file this quarterly form. The FCC has modified this form in light of its decision to establish interim measures for USF contribution assessments. The form contains revenue information from the prior quarter plus projections for the next quarter. Form 499-Q relates only to USF contributions. It does not relate to the cost recovery mechanisms for the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), and the shared costs of local number portability (LNP), which are covered in the annual Form 499-A that is due April 1.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.

Calendar At-a-Glance


October
Oct. 24 – Reply Comments are due on TCPA Public Notice.
Oct. 29 – Comments are due on Phase II Location Discrepancy Resolution Process.
Oct. 29 – Comments are due on 2005-2006 Rule Elimination PN.
Oct. 29 – Comments are due on 3.7 GHz NPRM.

November
Nov. 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
Nov. 5 – ETRS Form Three is due.
Nov. 13 – Reply comments are due on Phase II Location Discrepancy Resolution Process.
Nov. 14 – Auction 101 scheduled to begin.
Nov. 14 – Comments are due on Cable Franchising FNPRM.
Nov. 15 – Reply comments are due on IP CTS NOI.
Nov. 16 – Comments are due on Termination of Dormant Proceedings.
Nov. 27 – Reply comments are due on 3.7 GHz NPRM.

December
Dec. 3 – Reply comments are due on Termination of Dormant Proceedings.
Dec. 14 – Reply comments are due on Cable Franchising FNPRM.


This newsletter is not intended to provide legal advice. Those interested in more information should contact the firm.

— CONTACTS —

Harold Mordkofsky, 202-828-5520, hma@bloostonlaw.com
Benjamin H. Dickens, Jr., 202-828-5510, bhd@bloostonlaw.com
Gerard J. Duffy, 202-828-5528, gjd@bloostonlaw.com
John A. Prendergast, 202-828-5540, jap@bloostonlaw.com
Richard D. Rubino, 202-828-5519, rdr@bloostonlaw.com
Mary J. Sisak, 202-828-5554, mjs@bloostonlaw.com
D. Cary Mitchell, 202-828-5538, cary@bloostonlaw.com
Salvatore Taillefer, Jr., 202-828-5562, sta@bloostonlaw.com

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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

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The Cold Within

Six humans trapped in happenstance
In dark and bitter cold,
Each one possessed a stick of wood,
Or so the story's told.
The first woman held hers back
For of the faces around the fire,
She noticed one was black.
The next man looking across the way
Saw not one of his church,
And couldn't bring himself to give
The fire his stick of birch.
The third one sat in tattered clothes
He gave his coat a hitch,
Why should his log be put to use,
To warm the idle rich?
The rich man just sat back and thought
Of the wealth he had in store,
And how to keep what he had earned,
From the lazy, shiftless poor.
The black man's face bespoke revenge
As the fire passed from sight,
For all he saw in his stick of wood
Was a chance to spite the white.
The last man of this forlorn group
Did naught except for gain,
Giving only to those who gave,
Was how he played the game.
The logs held tight in death's still hands
Was proof of human sin,
They didn't die from the cold without,
They died from the cold within.

― James Patrick Kinney

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VIDEO OF THE WEEK

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That's What Love Will Make You Do • featuring Vasti Jackson • Playing For Change Band Live

Playing For Change

Playing For Change
Published on Aug 31, 2018

Put on your boogie shoes and get on your feet for this electrifying rendition of Little Milton's “That's What Love Will Make You Do,” featuring Mississippi living blues legend, Vasti Jackson, and the PFC Band. This performance was filmed live at Max Watt's in Sydney, Australia. Enjoy!

Source: YouTube  

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