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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.
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 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.
IOS 12 REVIEW: THE FIXES ARE IN
Apple’s latest mobile OS update focuses on making things work, instead of adding new features
By Chaim Gartenberg @cgartenberg Sep 17, 2018, 1:05pm EDT
iOS 12 is officially available today, after months of betas both for developers and the general public, following its announcement at WWDC in June. And as is the case with Apple’s iOS updates, it’s coming to a huge range of iPhone and iPad devices, from this year’s latest iPhone XS all the way back to 2013’s iPhone 5S.
And with every iOS update, there’s the question that comes up, especially for owners of older devices: “Should I install the new update? Or will it slow down my phone?” It’s been an urban legend for years that Apple intentionally crippled its older devices with software updates, to subtly encourage customers to upgrade to the latest and greatest model — something that was confirmed, at least in part, with the revelations about Apple’s battery throttling late last year.
But iOS 12 is a very different software update for Apple. Unlike in years past, where the focus has been on bright, flashy changes — whether that be a wholly new look for the operating system, redesigned notifications and widgets, or redesigned apps — this year’s update puts the emphasis first on working better, instead of just looking better.
Or to put it another way: if most iOS updates tend to focus on the flashy, candy-like dessert, this year Apple is serving up a big, heaping plate of vegetables.
Apple is touting performance as one of the main changes in iOS 12, promising things like 40 percent faster speeds for launching apps and up to 70 percent faster speed improvements for launching the camera. And while it’s tough to say whether or not those numbers are really true, the key thing is that it works. Installing iOS 12, for the first time I can remember, has made my iPhone and iPad feel faster and more stable, not less. In weeks of testing (both on the public beta and Apple’s finalized software), my year-old iPhone X flies through tasks.
And even more significantly, my much older iPad Air — which was barely usable on iOS 11 — has had new life breathed into it with the software update. It’s still not the fastest iPad around, but it’s at least returned to a state where there aren’t minute-long delays when opening apps. Given how long-term software support is a key advantage of iOS over Android, it’s nice to see that Apple is giving older devices some more attention this time around. After all, running the latest version of iOS on a five-year-old phone doesn’t really help anyone if it runs terribly.
iOS 12 also (at this admittedly early junction) feels far more stable than last year’s iOS 11, which was infamously plagued with months of bugs and issues. That may change as the final version of iOS 12 makes its way out into the world, but so far, it’s better than last year, which is already an improvement.
This idea of rethinking how we use our phones, instead of just adding more ways to use them, weaves its way into most of the other features of iOS 12, too.
SCREEN TIME WELL SPENT?
And there’s no more clear place that this philosophy can be seen than with Screen Time, probably the biggest new feature introduced in iOS 12. It’s a new dashboard that Apple is adding to the Settings menu, which gives you a whole bunch of really granular details on exactly how much time you spend on your phone or tablet, and which apps you’re spending it on. You’ll also be able to track things like how many notifications each app is sending you and even how many times you pick up your phone.
As part of enabling Screen Time, you’ll also get a weekly summary delivered — somewhat ironically — by a push notification, letting you, in theory, get a big picture view of what you’ve been spending your time on.
It’s Apple’s attempt at countering the increasing concern over the fact that we all may be spending too much time on our phones, part of the “time well spent” movement that’s been sweeping the tech world in the past few months. It’s also pretty similar to Google’s Digital Wellbeing dashboard that the company is adding in its own major annual update, Android 9 Pie.
Screen Time doesn’t just give you data on how you use your phone, though — it gives you tools to manage that use. You’ll be able to institute daily time limits that will eventually block you from using apps if you reach your quota, or schedule “Downtime” that only lets you use a few, white-listed apps. It’s here where Screen Time falls a little flat, though, because while Apple gives you the tools to improve your behavior, the process is extremely passive.
It’s on you to decide whether or not you want to institute the limits and on which apps you want to put them in place — Screen Time won’t even offer a recommendation. And unless you’re using it in the password-protected parental control mode, the “barriers” Screen Time puts in place are laughably easy to circumvent. When your daily time limit is reached, it’ll grey out the app and present you with a splash screen informing you that your time is up when you try to open it, but there’s also a button that will let you just keep extending that time right in front of you.
Still, even if there’s room for improvement, it’s good to see that Apple is at least starting to think about the issue and offer ways to address it, even if Screen Time in its current form is more concerned with noting that phone overuse is a problem rather than fixing it.
Another area where Apple is looking to help users manage their time on their phone is in notifications, a particular pain point that Apple has tended to struggle with over the past few years.
The good news is that Apple is getting better at it, with iOS 12 fixing one of the more glaring issues with iOS 11’s bizarre notification strategy by finally grouping together notifications by app. It’s a seemingly small change, but it makes dealing with a flood of messages dramatically easier to handle.
And each notification now offers the option to edit settings for that app when it comes in — you’ll be able to set an app’s notifications to be delivered quietly, without pinging your phone, or turn them off all together, all without having to navigate Apple’s granular and labyrinthine menus.
In a similar vein, Apple has updated the Do Not Disturb mode with automatically expiring settings, and a new “Bedtime” mode that will automatically enable it for scheduled sleeping hours.
It’s overall much better than it was, but Apple still has a ways to go compared to Google’s easier-to-manage notifications in Android.
MEMOJI AND MINOR APPS iOS 12
isn’t only about responsible choices in using your phone and a desperately needed performance improvement, though. There are a few more interesting and entertaining new features included, too, like Memoji — custom animated Animoji avatars.
Now, you’ll need an iPhone X — or one of the newly announced iPhone XS, XS Max, or XR models — to use Memoji, and unlike some of the other custom 3D avatar apps and services, you’ll need to make the entire thing from scratch. But there’s plenty of options for customization of your avatar, and the end results tend to look like bespoke versions of Apple’s own regular emoji sets, which helps avoid the uncanny valley-ish creations that you can sometimes run into.
That said, while it’s fun to play around with Memoji for a few minutes, it’s hard to imagine that they’ll have any real lasting impact any more than the regular Animoji did.
There’s also a new Messages effects mode, which lets you layer Memoji and Animoji in real time on top of live pictures and video (along with Instagram and Snapchat-esque stickers, text labels, and drawings) which does seem ripe for memes, though.
Also new are updates to the iBooks, Apple News, Stocks, and Voice Memos apps, which have all gotten refreshed designs that put them in line with Apple’s more modern design style. The latter two are also making their way to the iPad for the first time, for anyone who has been dying to check their investment portfolio from their tablet.
CarPlay is largely the same in iOS 12, with one big change: Apple is letting third party map applications work, instead of just Apple Maps. Google Maps and Waze are both planning to support CarPlay and have already begun beta testing, although there’s no release date for the updates just yet.
In other quality of life improvements, Apple has a few updates to password management on iOS 12, too. Third-party password managers like LastPass and 1Password can now directly integrate into password fields in apps and web browsers, which is extremely useful. And SMS passwords texted to you by two-factor authentication services now pop up automatically as an AutoFill suggestions, saving you from having to retype them every time.
The iPad also has gotten Apple’s attention in one other important way — it now offers gesture navigation for swiping between apps, reading notifications, and accessing the control center that is very similar to the iPhone X. It doesn’t really fix things like the still-complicated split-screen mode, although moving the control center away to a drop down menu does help declutter the multitasking menu a bit, in addition to making the whole system more consistent across devices.
The gestures themselves are also definitely nice to use on existing iPads, with the same level of polish you’d expect from Apple, but it’s what they represent that’s far more interesting: a foundation for Apple to introduce a bezel-less iPad that does away with the home button entirely — just like the one rumored to come out later this year.
DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS
Other parts of iOS 12 won’t make their impact felt until developers have had some time to release apps for them. Apple is pushing its improved augmented reality ARKit 2 in the new update, which allows for shared AR experiences between multiple users.
Apple’s shown off some neat tech demos, and there’ll no doubt be a bunch of apps available shortly after launch that support ARKit 2, but it’s going to really depend on what apps actually take advantage of the new functionality to see if this will be Apple’s breakthrough point for AR or just another fun experiment to show off to a friend once and never use again.
There’s also the new Siri Shortcuts, which lets users and developers add their own interactions and macro sequences to Siri. There are a few layers to the new functionality, ranging from intelligently generated suggestions based on factors like your current location and time of day, to custom Siri interactions and full-fledged automated sequences combining multiple apps.
Out of the box, you’ll be able to set up custom commands for Siri for certain functions. For example, I’ve configured my iPhone so that asking “Hey, Siri, wake me up in the morning,” will automatically set my alarm.
And with the Siri Shortcuts app, you’ll be able to create even more powerful settings that combine multiple actions. With a single “Hey Siri” request, you could activate your whole morning routine like turning on your lights, getting your commute time, hearing the forecast, and finding out when your first meeting is.
Theoretically, it’s a big step forward for Apple in opening up Siri to developers to interact with. But a lot of these features just don’t really work yet outside of Apple’s bundled apps — meaning we’ll have to wait to see how developers adopt the features and whether or not they’re actually useful in everyday use before we can get a better idea of how they’ll work.
A HEALTHIER APPROACH
If iOS 12 was just a faster, more stable version of iOS 11, it would have been enough as an update. Longtime Mac users can think of it almost as the Snow Leopard of iOS updates to iOS 11’s Leopard — the version of the software that Apple should have released last year, instead of the buggy mess with months of quick fixes that we got with iOS 11.
It speaks to a more mature attitude with Apple, making sure that its existing foundation is strong and functional before working on adding more features. Take, perhaps, the flashiest feature Apple first announced for iOS 12, Group FaceTime video chats with up to 32 participants, which has been delayed to later this fall while Apple finishes it. Is it disappointing that it’s not ready at launch? Sure. But it’s encouraging to see that Apple recognized that, and changed its strategy accordingly.
Or to go back to our original analogy, iOS 12 may not be the most exciting software update on the surface: it’s a plate of broccoli, not a fresh, delicious Pie or stack of Oreos. But like a plate of broccoli, at the end of the day, it is pretty good for you.
Paging Transmitters 150/900 MHz
The RFI High Performance Paging Transmitter is designed for use in campus, city, state and country-wide paging systems. Designed for use where reliable simulcast systems where RF signal overlap coverage is critical.
Built-in custom interface for Prism-IPX ipBSC Base Controller for remote control, management and alarm reporting.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Back To Paging
Still The Most Reliable Protocol For Wireless Messaging!
Rollout of Nationwide TETRA Network Renewal in the Netherlands Delayed
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
The renewal of the Netherlands’ C2000 TETRA network is delayed, according to a letter from Dutch Minister of Justice and Security Ferd Grapperhaus.
The migration of the country’s pager network was completed in June. The migration of the voice network was planned for the fourth quarter of 2018.
The results of a number of integration and company tests were inadequate, resulting in the probability of delivery delays, the letter said. Because of the technical innovation, network size and inherent complexity, the delay is not unexpected, the letter said.
Only by deleting a number of crucial steps in the follow-up process, such as implementing a pilot for migration and user acceptance tests, can the migration still take place this year. Emergency services users advised taking sufficient time to perfect and test the new network, and Grapperhaus endorsed the recommendations.
The postponement of the migration has consequences for longer use of the existing network, which is stable. In January 2019, maintenance will take place on the existing network by Nokia, in collaboration with King and Hartman. The postponement of the migration leads to costs for the longer use of the current C2000 system. In addition, this results in maintenance costs, and the savings that will be realized with the new system will occur later. Finally, this can lead to additional costs for closing emergency room locations within the framework of the control room merger to keep it operational. It can now be expected that these expenses will be incurred, however, within the available C2000 budget.
The minister said he asked Xebia to perform a security audit on the technical communications solution from Hytera Mobilfunk as part of the renewal of C2000. “In addition, I am in conversation with the National Bureau Connection Security (NBV) from the AIVD to advise me on this,” the letter said. “I will take appropriate measures when appropriate.”
The postponement of the migration also has consequences for the progress of merging control rooms, specifically new control rooms in Haarlem and Den Bosch. The infrastructure of these new control rooms is already in place for the new C2000 system. The exact consequences for the later control rooms in the C2000 migration will be mapped out by the police.
Five of the 10 control room locations — Maastricht, Drachten, Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam — have merged. The mergers in Den Bosch and Haarlem were planned for the end of this year and early next year, but they could be affected by the radio system delay.
In 2015, Hytera Mobilfunk signed the first contract for the renewal of the C2000 TETRA nationwide network.
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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18 SEPTEMBER 2018
Reimagining of Schrödinger’s cat breaks quantum mechanics — and stumps physicists
In a multi-‘cat’ experiment, the textbook interpretation of quantum theory seems to lead to contradictory pictures of reality, physicists claim.
In the world’s most famous thought experiment, physicist Erwin Schrödinger described how a cat in a box could be in an uncertain predicament. The peculiar rules of quantum theory meant that it could be both dead and alive, until the box was opened and the cat’s state measured. Now, two physicists have devised a modern version of the paradox by replacing the cat with a physicist doing experiments — with shocking implications.
Quantum theory has a long history of thought experiments, and in most cases these are used to point to weaknesses in various interpretations of quantum mechanics. But the latest version, which involves multiple players, is unusual: it shows that if the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics is correct, then different experimenters can reach opposite conclusions about what the physicist in the box has measured. This means that quantum theory contradicts itself.
The conceptual experiment has been debated with gusto in physics circles for more than two years — and has left most researchers stumped, even in a field accustomed to weird concepts. “I think this is a whole new level of weirdness,” says Matthew Leifer, a theoretical physicist at Chapman University in Orange, California.
The authors, Daniela Frauchiger and Renato Renner of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, posted their first version of the argument online in April 2016. The final paper appears in Nature Communications on 18 September1. (Frauchiger has now left academia.)
Quantum mechanics underlies nearly all of modern physics, explaining everything from the structure of atoms to why magnets stick to each other. But its conceptual foundations continue to leave researchers grasping for answers. Its equations cannot predict the exact outcome of a measurement — for example, of the position of an electron — only the probabilities that it can yield particular values.
Quantum objects such as electrons therefore live in a cloud of uncertainty, mathematically encoded in a ‘wavefunction’ that changes shape smoothly, much like ordinary waves in the sea. But when a property such as an electron’s position is measured, it always yields one precise value (and yields the same value again if measured immediately after).
The most common way of understanding this was formulated in the 1920s by quantum-theory pioneers Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, and is called the Copenhagen interpretation, after the city where Bohr lived. It says that the act of observing a quantum system makes the wavefunction ‘collapse’ from a spread-out curve to a single data point.
The Copenhagen interpretation left open the question of why different rules should apply to the quantum world of the atom and the classical world of laboratory measurements (and of everyday experience). But it was also reassuring: although quantum objects live in uncertain states, experimental observation happens in the classical realm and gives unambiguous results.
Now, Frauchiger and Renner are shaking physicists out of this comforting position. Their theoretical reasoning says that the basic Copenhagen picture — as well as other interpretations that share some of its basic assumptions — is not internally consistent.
What’s in the box?
Their scenario is considerably more involved than Schrödinger’s cat — proposed in 1935 — in which the feline lived in a box with a mechanism that would release a poison on the basis of a random occurrence, such as the decay of an atomic nucleus. In that case, the state of the cat was uncertain until the experimenter opened the box and checked it.
In 1967, the Hungarian physicist Eugene Wigner proposed a version of the paradox in which he replaced the cat and the poison with a physicist friend who lived inside a box with a measuring device that could return one of two results, such as a coin showing heads or tails. Does the wavefunction collapse when Wigner’s friend becomes aware of the result? One school of thought says that it does, suggesting that consciousness is outside the quantum realm. But if quantum mechanics applies to the physicist, then she should be in an uncertain state that combines both outcomes until Wigner opens the box.
Frauchiger and Renner have a yet more sophisticated version (see ‘New cats in town’). They have two Wigners, each doing an experiment on a physicist friend whom they keep in a box. One of the two friends (call her Alice) can toss a coin and — using her knowledge of quantum physics — prepare a quantum message to send to the other friend (call him Bob). Using his knowledge of quantum theory, Bob can detect Alice’s message and guess the result of her coin toss. When the two Wigners open their boxes, in some situations they can conclude with certainty which side the coin landed on, Renner says — but occasionally their conclusions are inconsistent. “One says, ‘I’m sure it’s tails,’ and the other one says, ‘I’m sure it’s heads,’” Renner says.
The experiment cannot be put into practice, because it would require the Wigners to measure all quantum properties of their friends, which includes reading their minds, points out theorist Lídia Del Rio, a colleague of Renner’s at ETH Zurich.
Yet it might be feasible to make two quantum computers play the parts of Alice and Bob: the logic of the argument requires only that they know the rules of physics and make decisions based on them, and in principle one can detect the complete quantum state of a quantum computer. (Quantum computers sophisticated enough to do this do not yet exist, Renner points out.)
Physicists are still coming to terms with the implications of the result. It has triggered heated responses from experts in the foundations of quantum theory, many of whom tend to be protective of their pet interpretation. “Some get emotional,” Renner says. And different researchers tend to draw different conclusions. “Most people claim that the experiment shows that their interpretation is the only one that is correct.”
For Leifer, producing inconsistent results should not necessarily be a deal breaker. Some interpretations of quantum mechanics already allow for views of reality that depend on perspective. That could be less unsavoury than having to admit that quantum theory does not apply to complex things such as people, he says.
Robert Spekkens, a theoretical physicist at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada, says that the way out of the paradox could hide in some subtle assumptions in the argument, in particular in the communication between Alice and Bob.
“To my mind, there’s a lot of situations where taking somebody’s knowledge on board involves some translation of their knowledge.” Perhaps the inconsistency arises from Bob not interpreting Alice's message properly, he says. But he admits that he has not found a solution yet.
For now, physicists are likely to continue debating. “I don’t think we’ve made sense of this,” Leifer says
A LITTLE OF BRAD'S SARCASTIC HUMOR:
That great American philosopher and former governor of Alabama, George C. Wallace used to ask, if those pointy-headed professors were so smart why couldn't they park their bicycles in a straight line?
In today's academia, it should be added that they smoke way too much weed.
In 2011, the OPERA experiment [in Europe] mistakenly observed neutrinos appearing to travel faster than light. Even before the mistake was discovered, the result was considered anomalous because speeds higher than that of light in a vacuum are generally thought to violate special relativity, a cornerstone of the modern understanding of physics for over a century. [Source: Wikipedia]
One professor in the UK had the backbone to say he would eat his boxer shorts if OPERA result was proved right. [source]
The report of this experiment had scientists all over the world upset because it conflicted with Einstein's theory of relativity. It was caused by a loose connection between a fiber optic cable and a GPS receiver. After someone tightened the connection, the experiment's results returned to normal. [source]
And I read something the other day about recent discoveries in the solar system “billions of light years away.”
They talk about it like we could just get on an airplane and fly out there to check it out.
Gimme a break.
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.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
A new antenna using single atoms could usher in the age of atomic radio
The team tested their device by recording themselves singing "Mary Had a Little Lamb"
JENNIFER OUELLETTE — 9/19/2018, 8:18 AM
In the 1950s, atomic clocks revolutionized precision time-keeping. Now we may be on the verge of so-called "atomic radio," thanks to the development of a new type of antenna capable of receiving signals across a much wider range of frequencies (more than four octaves) that is highly resistant to electromagnetic interference.
An antenna is typically a collection of metal rods that pick up passing radio waves and convert their energy into an electrical current, which is then amplified. One might argue that the good old-fashioned radio antenna has served us well since the dawn of the 20th century, so why do we need anything to replace it?
According to David Anderson of Rydberg Technologies, those antennae are wavelength-dependent, so their size depends on whatever wavelength of signal they are trying to measure (they need to be about half the size of whatever wavelength they are designed to receive). That means you need antennae of several different sizes to measure different radio frequencies.
Anderson is a co-author of a new paper posted to the arXiv describing a novel alternative to conventional antennae, based on vapor cells filled with a gas of so-called “Rydberg atoms.” That just means the atoms are in an especially excited state, well above their ground (lowest-energy) state. This makes them especially sensitive to passing electric fields, like the alternating fields of radio waves. All you need is a means of detecting those interactions to turn them into quantum sensors.
The Rydberg Technologies team realized they could zap their vapor cells filled with excited cesium atoms with laser light tuned to just the right critical frequency. This saturates the atoms so they can't absorb any more light, such that a second laser beam can pass right through them, effectively making the gas transparent. The critical frequency at which this transition happens will change in response to a passing radio wave, so the light from that second laser beam will flicker in response. The vapor cell becomes a purely optical radio wave detector, with no need for any wires or circuitry.
Plus it's capable of measuring pulsed and modulated RF fields, according to Anderson, which is how information is transferred across the airwaves. They have already tested the concept with AM and FM microwaves to transmit recordings of various team members singing "Mary Had a Little Lamb"—a nod to Thomas Edison, who sang the same song when he invented the phonograph in 1877.
The all-optical nature of the vapor cells means that even if they are hit with a massive burst of electromagnetic radiation, like that from a solar flare, they won't be permanently damaged because there is no circuitry to fry. This is a major concern for the electrical grid or certain defense systems and satellites. An atomic antenna would also be less vulnerable to the recent spate of suspected microwave attacks at US embassies in Cuba and China. And the cells are ideal for secure communications. “You can design the receiver to operate at whatever band or whatever frequencies you want and avoid intentional electromagnetic interference much more easily,” says Anderson.
The detector cells are quite small, merely millimeters in size, with potential to scale them down even more. However, they require a significant backup system to operate, which has not been miniaturized. “You're not going to have a radio receiver that fits into a car dashboard today,” says Anderson. “But the atomic clock paved the way for what we now call quantum technologies,” and they began as large tabletop devices. Eventually scientists figured out how to make them small enough to fit into commercial systems.
Anderson foresees a similar trajectory for atomic radio. Within the next couple of years, he is confident they will have a suitcase-sized system that would fit neatly into an airplane or a ship, for example—vessels that would welcome the added protection from interference and electromagnetic pulses conferred by these detector cells. And perhaps one day these vapor cells will replace those pesky car antennae with something a bit more aesthetically pleasing.
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.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Wireless Network Planners
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-3 switches are widely used for enabling or disabling remote equipment and switching I/O connections between redundant messaging systems.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Windows 10 is losing the following features in the October 2018 Update
By Darren Allan
Although much of this functionality is simply being incorporated elsewhere
As Windows 10 continues to evolve, certain bits of functionality are ditched as a natural part of that process, and Microsoft has just highlighted the features which are being removed with the incoming October 2018 Update (and also the elements which are no longer being actively developed, generally because they’ve been incorporated elsewhere).
So what’s on the chopping block? Probably the most high-profile feature is the Snipping Tool, although technically it’s not being removed as such, but rather incorporated into Microsoft’s new Snip & Sketch app.
Snip & Sketch will let you pull off exactly the same screenshot capture tricks as the previous tool, with added functionality including the ability to delay the ‘snip’ from being taken as we saw in a recent Windows 10 preview build. So fret not, ardent snippers, you won’t be missing anything.
The Hologram app has got the boot, mainly because it’s been replaced with the Mixed Reality Viewer. Microsoft observes that you can still view 3D art in virtual reality with the latter (and of course you can knock up said art in the Paint 3D app).
Microsoft notes that when you install the next big update, you’ll find that the Phone Companion app is no longer on your system. Again, you won’t be losing any of the features, because they have simply been incorporated into the Phone page under Settings.
There are a number of other minor features which have been ditched because their functionality is replicated elsewhere, as Microsoft details in its full list of what’s going on (as spotted by Thurrott.com).
So, for example, the OneSync service has been dropped — which syncs data across the Calendar, Mail and People apps — mainly because Microsoft has introduced a sync engine to the Outlook application which does the same job.
Windows 10 version 1809, which is the other name for the October 2018 Update, should arrive, as the name suggests, in October. As ever, though, the rollout will doubtless be spread over several months, so you may well be waiting until later in the year before you get all the new goodies from the update.
Those include a generous lick of paint for the interface (with a dark mode for File Explorer, too), a raft of improvements for gamers, a new Your Phone app and much more.
Commercial Depicts In-House Engineers as Climbers
By Jim Fryer, Managing Editor, Inside Towers
An ad from Verizon seen this past weekend on an NFL game broadcast (see video) shows the company’s in-house engineers climbing towers while “building America’s first 5G network.” The ad is entitled: “'First to Tomorrow. First to 5G.” Unfortunately for Verizon, tower climbers watch football.
“Watching this, I couldn't believe what I was hearing,” John Paleski, owner and founder of Subcarrier Communications told Inside Towers. “The ad claims that it is Verizon's very own engineers that climb the towers, install and maintain the equipment.”
One of the ads features Kevin Austin, a Verizon engineer and shows him climbing an ice-covered tower. Austin’s voiceover says “... we service this tower all winter long. We check it constantly to make sure there are no interruptions in service. I'm proud that we are building the nation’s first 5G network.” Another version of the ad features Nicki Palmer, also tagged as a Verizon engineer, wearing her industry standard PPE. She announces “we will be the first to upgrade the towers ... being a Verizon engineer means doing things right.”
“There's only one problem with these commercials, they are not true,” Paleski said.
Paleski said he has been doing Verizon installation and tower work since they were NYNEX Mobile in 1986. “During these 32 years, the tower industry has lost so many good and hard working men and women due to injury and death. We face these challenges on a daily basis. Verizon, on the other hand, has faced none of these challenges; no injuries, no deaths. They do no such work as claimed in their commercials. They hire professional tower workers to do it instead!”
The commercial drew additional comments on Subcarrier’s social media site:
One commentator was just grateful for the image. “At least it’s recognized that we exist,” they posted. Watch the full video here:
|Source:||Inside Towers newsletter||Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers.|
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.
Nationwide Test of Wireless Emergency Alerts and Emergency Alert System Postponed to October 3rd
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced that the nationwide test of Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and the Emergency Alert System (EAS) that was scheduled for Thursday, September 20th has been postponed to the back-up date of October 3rd. FEMA has apparently made this decision so as not to interfere with ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence.
On October 3rd, the WEA test will originate at 2:18 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), and the EAS test will originate at 2:20 p.m. All Participating Commercial Mobile Service Providers and EAS Participants are required to participate in this nationwide test. EAS Participants are required file the “day of test” information sought by ETRS Form Two at or before 11:59 PM EDT on October 3, 2018. EAS Participants shall file the detailed post-test data sought by ETRS Form Three on or before November 19, 2018.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Cary Mitchell.
FCC Establishes Effective Dates for New Pole Attachment Rules
On September 14, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Third Report and Order in WC Docket No. 18-74., in which the FCC adopted new pole attachment processes and revised existing processes. These rules will be effective on the later of February 3, 2019 or 30 days after the announcement in the Federal Register of approval by the Office of Management and Budget of the related information collection requirements.
Specifically, the FCC adopted a new framework for the vast majority of pole attachments governed by federal law by instituting a “one-touch make-ready” regime, in which a new attacher may elect to perform all simple work to prepare a pole for new wireline attachments in the communications space. The FCC retained the current multi-party pole attachment process for attachments that are complex or above the communications space of a pole, but makes significant modifications to speed deployment, promote accurate billing, expanded the use of self-help for new attachers when attachment deadlines are missed, and reduce the likelihood of coordination failures that lead to unwarranted delays. The FCC also codified and redefined FCC precedent that requires utilities to allow attachers to “overlash” existing wires and eliminated outdated disparities between the pole attachment rates that incumbent carriers must pay compared to other similarly-situated cable and telecommunications attachers.
The FCC also clarified that it will preempt, on an expedited case-by-case basis, state and local laws that inhibit the rebuilding or restoration of broadband infrastructure after a disaster. Because there is no associated collection of information associated with this clarification, it will be effective October 15, 2018.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Mary Sisak, and John Prendergast.
FCC Announces Temporary Freeze on Certain Part 90 Applications in the 900 MHz Band
On September 13, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing that announces a temporary freeze, effective on September 13, 2018 on the acceptance of certain applications related to part 90 services operating in the 896-901/935-940 MHz spectrum band (“900 MHz band”) until further notice. The suspension implemented by this Public Notice applies only to applications for new or expanded use of 900 MHz band frequencies.
Affected services. The filing suspension imposed by this Public Notice applies to applications regarding site-based stations in the 896-901/935-940 MHz band, specifically, the following radio services: 900 MHz Industrial/Land Transportation (B/ILT), Conventional (radio service code GI); 900 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR), Site-Specific, Conventional (radio service code GR); 900 MHz Business, Conventional (radio service code GU); 900 MHz I/LT, Trunked (radio service code YI); 900 MHz SMR, Site-Specific, Trunked (radio service code YS); and 900 MHz Business, Trunked (radio service code YU).
Affected applications. Effective immediately and until further notice, the Bureau will not accept: (1) applications for new licenses; (2) applications that seek to modify existing licenses by adding or changing frequencies or locations; (3) applications that seek to modify existing licenses by changing technical parameters in a manner that expands the station’s spectral or geographic footprint, such as, but not limited to, increases in bandwidth, power level, antenna height, or area of operation; and (4) any other application that could increase the degree to which the 900 MHz band currently is licensed.
This action does not apply to applications that would not substantially alter the current licensing landscape, including: (1) applications to renew existing licenses without modification; (2) applications that seek to modify existing licenses by deleting frequencies or locations; (3) applications that seek to modify existing licenses by changing technical parameters in a manner that does not expand the station’s spectral or geographic coverage, such as decreases in bandwidth, power level, or antenna height; (4) applications that seek to modify existing licenses by changing the number of associated mobile units or temporary fixed stations; (5) applications that seek to modify existing licenses by adding or moving control points; (6) applications to assign, transfer, or lease existing licenses; (7) notices of construction or consummation; (8) requests for extensions of time to construct or consummate previously granted applications; (9) applications to cancel licenses; and (10) applications for special temporary authority for short-term operations.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino.
Intermediate Provider Database Rules Awaiting OMB Approval; Effective Date Not Yet Established
On September 19, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Third Report and Order in WC Docket No. 13-39, in which it adopted rules to establish a registry for intermediate providers and require intermediate providers to register with the FCC before offering to transmit covered voice communications, among others. This establishes an effective date of October 19 for the Third Report and Order, except the rule requiring intermediate providers to register with the FCC. That rule requires OMB approval, and the requirement for covered providers to use registered intermediate providers is not effective until 90 days after intermediate providers are required to register. Accordingly, despite Federal Register publication, intermediate providers are not required to register by October 19.
All other aspects of the Third Report and Order, such as the adoption of the registry itself and the various definitions associated with it, the scope of the registry, the enforcement procedures, and the requirement for covered providers to be able to identify the intermediate providers in its path (as well as the attendant findings by the FCC regarding each) are effective October 19.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.
Law & Regulation
FCC Seek Comments on Termination of Certain Proceedings as Dormant
On September 12, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on whether certain docketed FCC proceedings should be terminated as dormant. A complete list of the dockets under consideration can be found here. Comment deadlines have not yet been established.
The FCC’s rules require the FCC to periodically review all open dockets and, in consultation with the responsible Bureaus or Offices, to identify those dockets that appear to be candidates for termination. The FCC stated that these candidates may include dockets in which no further action is required or contemplated as well as those in which no pleadings or other documents have been filed for several years, but it specified that proceedings in which petitions addressing the merits are pending should not be terminated, absent the parties’ consent. The termination of a dormant proceeding also includes dismissal as moot of any pending petition, motion, or other request for relief that is procedural in nature or otherwise does not address the merits of the proceeding.
BloostonLaw encourages all carriers to review the linked spreadsheet and contact the firm for more information.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Announces 20.1% USF Contribution Factor for Q4
On September 12, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing that that the proposed universal service contribution factor for the fourth quarter of 2018 will be 0.201 or 20.1 percent. The FCC calculates the quarterly contribution factor based on the ratio of total projected quarterly costs of the universal service support mechanisms to contributors’ total projected collected end-user interstate and international telecommunications revenues, net of projected contributions.
The contribution factor is calculated based upon the projected demand and expenses are as follows:
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.
800 MHz Rebanding in Mexico Reportedly Close to Completion
On September 19, Urgent Communications reported that several “key” 800 MHz licensees in Mexico completed their 800 MHz spectrum relocation, according to FCC remarks to the governing board of the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC). Michael Wilhelm, chief of the policy and licensing division of the FCC’s public-safety and homeland-security bureau, reportedly said during the NPSTC governing-board meeting earlier this month that the only regions that have not been fully rebanded are in the Mexico border area. Urgent Communications reports that there are 29 licensees in Texas that need to retune their 800 radio systems, as well as 14 California and two in New Mexico.
“Most of the U.S. licensees that remain to be retuned are blocked from doing so by stations in Mexico,” Wilhelm said. “We’ve received excellent cooperation from Mexican government and licensees. AT&T Mexico, which was the most significant blocker in Mexico, has finished retuning all of its Mexico stations, and so have some of the other major Mexico users of the 800 MHz band.”
OCTOBER 1: FCC FORM 396-C, MVPD EEO PROGRAM REPORTING FORM. Each year on September 30, multi-channel video program distributors (“MVPDs”) must file with the FCC an FCC Form 396-C, Multi-Channel Video Programming Distributor EEO Program Annual Report, for employment units with six or more full-time employees. Because September 30 falls on a Sunday this year, the filing will be due the following business day on October 1. Users must access the FCC’s electronic filing system via the Internet in order to submit the form; it will not be accepted if filed on paper unless accompanied by an appropriate request for waiver of the electronic filing requirement. Certain MVPDs also will be required to complete portions of the Supplemental Investigation Sheet (“SIS”) located at the end of the Form. These MVPDs are specifically identified in a Public Notice each year by the FCC.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.
OCTOBER 15: 911 RELIABILITY CERTIFICATION. Covered 911 Service Providers, which are defined as entities that “[p]rovide 911, E911, or NG911 capabilities such as call routing, automatic location information (ALI), automatic number identification (ANI), or the functional equivalent of those capabilities, directly to a public safety answering point (PSAP), statewide default answering point, or appropriate local emergency authority,” or that “[o]perate one or more central offices that directly serve a PSAP,” are required certify that they have taken reasonable measures to provide reliable 911 service with respect to three substantive requirements: (i) 911 circuit diversity; (ii) central office backup power; and (iii) diverse network monitoring by October 15. Certifications must be made through the FCC’s portal.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.
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.
Pagers gaining new function as lifeline during disasters
9:20 pm, September 14, 2018
TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Pager telecommunication devices, which were popular in the 1990s, are gaining attention again in the wake of recent disasters.
As the pagers use special frequencies that can reach inside buildings easily, the radio waves are employed for receivers set up in citizens’ houses to carry evacuation information and other messages.
Municipalities across the country are pinning hopes on the frequency bands of the handy devices amid difficulties getting information to residents via their local radio communications systems alone in times of torrential rain, when the rain may drown out the sound of message broadcasts.
In fiscal 2017, Takahashi, Okayama Prefecture, started to lend the devices out to its citizens.
One city official said that the municipal government did not receive any negative feedback from residents unable to get messages during the torrential rain that mainly hit western Japan in July this year. In fact, the devices were complimented for being very helpful during evacuation.
Hita, Oita Prefecture, is also considering using such devices, after residents said they could not hear important information shared via outdoor speakers. The city was damaged in flooding that hit northern Kyushu in 2017.
The move comes after the city judged its disaster response emails to be inadequate as many elderly people do not have mobile phones.
According to the Tokyo Telemessage Inc., the only company in Japan active in wireless disaster warning systems using the pager frequencies, the wavelength is shorter than those of local wireless communications systems and they can reach inside houses easily.
Like conventional pagers, the company’s devices receive text information. Its receivers, however, are also equipped with a text-to-voice feature.
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|Source:||YouTube||To learn more about the work of the PFC Foundation, visit http://www.playingforchange.org|
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