After disaster alert failures, U.S. moves toward national system | Reuters


“For all practical purposes we don’t really have a national warning system,” Dennis Mileti, professor emeritus at the University of Colorado at Boulder, told Reuters.

A half century ago, before 24-hour cable news networks or the internet, the three main television broadcast stations which could be counted on to issue standard emergency messages to the entire U.S. population

Now, people in the path of natural disasters typically get alerts from a patchwork of state and local agencies, using different platforms and messaging systems, often manned by part-time employees, Mileti said.

Source: After disaster alert failures, U.S. moves toward national system | Reuters

CenturyLink to provide customers connectivity to IBM Cloud


This most recent collaboration between CenturyLink and IBM Builds on CenturyLink’s existing support for IBM Business Resiliency Services and IBM Cloud Managed Services.

IBM Cloud customers will now be able to connect through CenturyLink-enabled Wavelengths and IP VPN connectivity in Amsterdam, Ashburn, Va., Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Paris, Reston, Va., San Jose, Calif., São Paulo, Seattle and Toronto.

With CenturyLink Cloud Connect, support for IBM Cloud Direct Link is now available in several key locations across North America, Europe and Latin America.

Source: CenturyLink to provide customers connectivity to IBM Cloud

How far will the FCC pursue Sinclair Broadcasting’s “misrepresentations” now that Trump has intervened?


The order alleges the company misrepresented “divested” stations in Chicago, Dallas and Houston to comply with the agency’s ownership rules. These “divestitures” came, however, with so-called “sidecar agreements” which enabled Sinclair to operate the stations while another entity technically owned the licenses. The HDO pointedly asks the judge to determine whether these were in fact “‘sham’ transactions.”

Sidecar agreements such as these are deceptive because they allow companies such as Sinclair to tell the Securities and Exchange Commission that they control the business of a television station—making the business decisions, selling the ads, and keeping the revenues—while telling the FCC they do not technically “own” the station.

Source: How far will the FCC pursue Sinclair Broadcasting’s “misrepresentations” now that Trump has intervened?

The Cyber Horror Picture Show: Doing the Time Warp Yet Again

Cyber attacks offer a number of advantages over natural events. The attacker chooses the time and place of the event and has the option to repeat as necessary. 

Cyber scales better than physical attacks, and a short interval of disruption may be sufficient if synchronized with other key events.

Under specialized circumstances, cyber also has the potential to create physical damage to equipment not readily replaced (e.g., transformers and generators), as demonstrated by the U.S. Government in 2007.

On the other hand, cyber methods must be tailored to specific targets, and access—once gained—must be maintained across all the necessary targets until the specified attack time despite the constantly changing environment.

Russia is playing a numbers gain with relatively noisy entry attempts followed by stealthy infestation and lateral movement.

Can they maintain useful access for the long haul?

Do they understand the targets well enough to create enduring effects?

When will they have enough targets in hand to be useful?

Do they have other plans to supplement the cyber effort with physical sabotage?

How extensively has Russia prepared for attacks against undersea cables?

Source: The Cyber Horror Picture Show: Doing the Time Warp Yet Again

Urban Broadband Needs Upgrading, Too | Route Fifty


Patchwork broadband service in urban centers often goes overlooked, given the pervasive lack of access in many rural counties, but affects “virtually equal numbers of people” in states like Ohio, said one digital equity advocate.

In Cleveland, the high cost of broadband and poverty in some neighborhoods are just as likely to prevent residents from connecting to the internet as they are in rural America. Internet costing upward of $65 a month “might as well be on Mars for some people,” Callahan said.

Digital redlining—the practice of service providers avoiding low-income areas when investing in broadband infrastructure—is to blame, panelists said.

.. when AT&T carried out its competitive deployment in Cleveland between 2008 and 2014, the provider neglected to extend broadband service to three central areas that were largely poor and black.

Source: Urban Broadband Needs Upgrading, Too – Route Fifty

Groups join petition to delay Sinclair-Tribune merger review | TheHill


Last year, the Republican-controlled FCC voted to reinstate what’s known as the UHF discount, which counts ultra-high frequency broadcast stations as half of other stations when determining if broadcasters are in line with media ownership limits. Broadcasters are currently capped at serving 39 percent of households.

Reinstating the discount was a huge boost for Sinclair’s merger, which would give the right-leaning media giant access to 72 percent of the country’s television audience.

Source: Groups join petition to delay Sinclair-Tribune merger review | TheHill

Getting Real About Mobile 5G Speeds | Light Reading

That’s quite a range of speeds right? From 100 Mbit/s to 4.1 Gbit/s! What’s going on here?

Firstly, the 4.1Gbit/s peak speeds should taken with a grain of salt. A “peak speed” is usually meaningless in a shared wireless network environment, it’s the “test driver, empty track” headline speed you never actually get!

Much more interesting is the 444Mbit/s average speed promised on the blended mobile network. This will, of course, incorporate higher and lower speeds across the network to get to that average figure. Still, the average on the current 4G LTE T-Mobile network is around 32 Mbit/s. So this is an expected 10x increase — on mobile — over today’s network.

Of course, behind the topline figures on 5G, a lot of radio network work and bolstering of backhaul capabilities will need to happen.

That’s quite a range of speeds right? From 100 Mbit/s to 4.1 Gbit/s! What’s going on here?Firstly, the 4.1Gbit/s peak speeds should taken with a grain of salt.

A “peak speed” is usually meaningless in a shared wireless network environment, it’s the “test driver, empty track” headline speed you never actually get!Much more interesting is the 444Mbit/s average speed promised on the blended mobile network. This will, of course, incorporate higher and lower speeds across the network to get to that average figure.

Still, the average on the current 4G LTE T-Mobile network is around 32 Mbit/s. So this is an expected 10x increase — on mobile — over today’s network.Of course, behind the topline figures on 5G, a lot of radio network work and bolstering of backhaul capabilities will need to happen.

Source: Getting Real About Mobile 5G Speeds | Light Reading

Terrestrial broadcasters get on the 5G roadmap | EDN


jurisdictions around the world have already set aside, or are planning to set aside, bandwidth all over the spectrum range, including multiple bands below 6 GHz and multiple bands near and in the millimeter wave range. One project will be support for the new bands allocated for 5G. Another project the 3GPP will proceed with is aimed at bringing cellular into industrial IoT. The specific goal is factory usage, said Lorenzo Casaccia vice president of technical standards at Qualcomm.

Another project will be low-power IoT applications. The generic example is an application in which a great many inexpensive sensors will be deployed. In this sort of application, sensors would typically exchange very small packets of information. The schedule for exchanges could range from quite frequent to exceedingly rare.

Yet another project is vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications.

Source: Terrestrial broadcasters get on the 5G roadmap | EDN

5G Testing and Conformance Bring New Challenges | EE Times


A further issue is the use of dynamic beamforming antennas in this frequency range to overcome high path loss and line-of-sight blockage. Representing these spatial characteristics in an emulated lab test scenario represents a new challenge compared with existing test methods.

Until these challenges are overcome, higher uncertainties will remain. The whole industry needs to work in unison to resolve remaining issues with OTA testing and dynamic beamforming.

Source: 5G Testing and Conformance Bring New Challenges | EE Times

Suspected criminals get privacy rights—what about the rest of us?


“Some of the greatest threats to individual privacy,” Justice Alito warned, “may come from powerful private companies that collect and sometimes misuse vast quantities of data about the lives of ordinary Americans.”

As he warned of “some of the greatest threats to individual privacy,” Justice Alito also cautioned against relying on the court to update privacy policies for the rest of us.

“If today’s decision encourages the public to think the court can protect them from this looming threat to their privacy, the decision will mislead as well as well as disrupt,” he wrote.

Unfortunately, this “looming threat” has been ignored by Congress.

Source: Suspected criminals get privacy rights—what about the rest of us?