Figure 1.1 - Damages from the fire totaled $100,000
On July 6th, 2020, at approximately 3:05pm, the Waukesha Fire Department responded to a local house fire. Of course, that's what their firefighters are paid to do everyday. What was odd about this fire were some of the details regarding how the fire started and the nature of the response to it. Suspicions were further intensified as the investigation began to unfold, and the puzzle pieces began pointing to a familiar culprit: smart meters.
WASHINGTON, July 16, 2020—Today, the Federal Communications Commission adopted rules to establish 988 as the new, nationwide, 3-digit phone number for Americans in crisis to connect with suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors. The rules require all phone service providers to direct all 988 calls to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July 16, 2022.
To ensure that calls to 988 reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, all covered providers will be required to implement 10-digit dia
It's well-known amongst dispatchers that, today, it's harder than ever for emergency responders to locate 911 callers.
This problem has tremendous implications for emergency callers. The consequences of using a mobile phone to call for help are so dire that there's now even an entire website purportedly dedicated to tackling this issue. Here's a description from the Smart911 website:
Today, 9-1-1 Can’t Find You
Over 80% of calls made to 9-1-1 come from mobile phones. When you dial 9-1-1 from a mobile phone, the 9-1-1 call takers have very little information to help you – only your phone number and a very general sense of your location.
On September 16, 2019, a bulletin was sent out to Panasonic customers, informing them that the venerable KX-TA824 PBX was going to be discontinued later that year. As of this writing, that time has already passed.
At first, I was surprised. The Panasonic KX-TA824 is truly a work of art. It's a compact, analog, partially electromechanical but mainly electronic Private Automatic Branch Exchange. With 3 trunks and 8 extensions out of the box, expandable to 24 lines, it's enough to get most people started on their never-ending journey of telephone collecting and telephone switching. Or (more boringly), serve as a home or small office phone system.
The KX-TA824 was my first PBX, and even at $99 used, it's a real bargain for what you get. It's much smaller than the 308 EASAPHONE — Read full post
There's no shortage of articles about the messed-up things happening in today's world. Here's the headline of an article of an article from last month:
California's light bulb ban
According to the article, "The California Energy Commission voted on November 13, 2019 to ban the sale of inefficient light bulbs starting January 1, 2020."
OK, interesting enough. Even if the national government hadn't already done something similar, incandescent bulbs are certainly hard enough to find in some places, which is why, for good reason, a lot of people have or are stockpiling them.
What is annoying here is not the ban in and of itself. Although environmental legislation is usu — Read full post
Articles like this one are increasingly common, as PG&E service failures combined with consumer stupidity have made communications gaps painfully obvious to the masses.
However, it is angering and frustrating to see legislators promote false and dubious solutions to these issues, rather than addressing the underlying problems. California Senator Mike McGuire, whose constituency was heavily affected by the PG&E outages, is the latest to join in to the endless cascade of delusional and dangerous "solutions".
McGuire proposed a bill that would mandate cell towers in California's high-risk fire areas to have sufficient backup power for at least 2 days. Maybe — Read full post
The most common answers, at least in the United States, which is part of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), are 7 and 10. There's a pretty good chance that whatever answer YOU gave says something about your age.
For the record, telephone numbers are 7 digits long. They have been since 1947 when AT&T devised the NANP, in which area codes, officially called Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs) played a prominent role. It's why you write area codes in parentheses (unless you don't know how to write telephone numbers correctly). The NANP unified the Bell System in an era when there were no real standards for telephone numbers. Some communities dialed 6 digits, others dialed 5 — still smaller communities dialed 4 digits. — Read full post
It's a common belief that speed limits are designed to keep us safe. Few of us like to heed them, but we believe they exist to keep us safe and thus grudgingly abide by them, because we believe they are there for our own good. A closer look at the facts, however, will put this misconception to rest.
The truth is: speed limits do not keep you safe. If anything, they put you at greater risk of being involved in a fatal car accident.
To better understand this, let's consider the case of the only state that until recently had no speed limits (more or less): Montana.
For a long time, Montana held the honor of being the only state with no daytime speed limits. Many can recall when Montana had no maximum speed other than driving in a “reasonable and prudent” manner: — Read full post
Monopoly isn't necessarily bad. In fact, sometimes it can be a good thing. A very good thing!
Most economics classes foster a passionate dislike of monopolies in students. But this dislike is not necessarily deserved. Economics classes teach us about seemingly malevolent monopolies that wreacked havoc on the economy. But most economics courses omit discussion of the largest monopoly ever to have existed — perhaps the most benevolent monopoly of all: the Bell System.
That's right, Ma Bell the monopoly! Technically, the Bell System — headed by American Bell Telephone until 1899 and American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) from 1899 until 1984 — was not a complete monopoly in the United States and Canada, although it was a geographic monopoly where it — Read full post
On December 1, 2013, Kari Rene Hunt was murdered by her estranged husband whom she was intending to divorce. She agreed to meet him at a local motel to leave their children with him for a short visitation while he was in town. Her estranged husband ambushed her in the motel room and cornered her in the restroom. During the struggle and resulting death of Kari, her oldest daughter, age 9, (name withheld for privacy) attempted to dial 911 from the motel room phone. She followed instructions as taught by her mother on the way to call for help but she was never instructed that in some hotels and motels you must first dial a “9” and then 911.