Thursday, October 27, 2016

Cell phones don't always provide reliable info to 911 centers


Telecommunications providers are not always required to use standard firmware in locating you when you place a 911 call, which can make it difficult for police to find you in emergencies.

The FCC has been criticized for not regulating 911 technology more closely. Users should consider using landlines if possible (which may not be so in some crime situations).

MPR news has a recently story on the issue.  

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 problem: could this happen with other devices?


The FAA has taken draconian action against owners of all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, as this story on WJLA reports.People may have to abandon them to return home from flights.  Even replacement phones have been reported to smolder, so passengers bear the loss from the remote chances of incidents on aircraft.

I do wonder what would happen if some incident occurs with another smartphone, or with a laptop of some kind.  Can we be sure this cannot happen to any other models?

There simply is not an adequate infrastructure for travelers to rent computer and communications equipment on the road.

Back around 2000, I was content to travel with nothing, depending on occasional visits to Kinkos that I could find to stay wired.  I’d have to call a home number to check for messages.  That used to be good enough.  No more.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Comcast will enforce data limits in some states


Brian Fung reports that Comcast/Xfinity will enforce charges for usage over data-caps (about 1 terabyte) in about 16 states,

Users will be warned at 80%, and few home users are likely to be affected.  But there could be problems in households where several people like to watch lots of movies.

Still, this news makes landline connections sound a little more like wireless.
 
This story is getting a lot of buzz on Twitter.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Facebook wants basic Internet service for low income people to follow "It's free"


Facebook wants to set up partnerships with wireless providers that would enable Facbeook to help low income families get limited “free” Internet, possibly around the world as well as here. Brian Fung has a detailed story in the Washington Post.
  
But some providers, like Comcast Xfinity, are starting to offer very low cost basic Internet.
   
The underlying controversy is the same as in the content area: how can you compete with “It’s free”?