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Friday — June 5, 2015 — Issue No. 660

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Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,

Welcome back. I hope you enjoy this issue of The Wireless Messaging News.

Sorry that this issue is coming out a day late (on Saturday). I had a full day yesterday. A good friend was being released from an out-of-town hospital and needed a ride home.

I had a suggestion from a reader that I include more info on Windows, so I will try to do that—starting in this issue.

How multitasking will look on Windows 10

Techradar | Jun 6, 2015, 11.30 AM IST
The Times of India

While the ability to snap two windows side-by-side with Windows 7's Aero Snap was useful, Microsoft is taking this a step further with Snap Assist on Windows 10.

With rumours that Apple may talk about multitasking on iOS 9 — a key feature of the anticipated iPad Pro tablet — next week at WWDC, Microsoft highlights the ease and power of juggling multiple windows on Windows 10 with a feature called Snap. With Windows 10, there will be even more ways to Snap and multitask with multiple windows.

The ability to effortlessly to snap two desktop windows side-by-side was introduced originally on Windows 7 as Aero Snap. Users can drag any window to the edges of the screen, and the window would expand to fill the screen or take up height of the screen. Windows 8 refined the feature for Modern UI apps, allowing two apps to run side-by-side simultaneously.

Snap Assist
While the ability to snap two windows side-by-side with Windows 7's Aero Snap was useful, Microsoft is taking this a step further with Snap Assist on Windows 10.

"When arranging two windows side-by-side, we noticed in practice that this scenario frequently involved snapping the first window and then spending time wading through other windows on screen to find the second one to drag and snap," Microsoft said in a statement. "This insight lead us to ask: instead of making you hunt for the second window to snap, why not present a list of recently used windows up front?"

This makes it more efficient to choose which app to snap into the second window, and Microsoft found that 90% of Windows Insiders choose an app to snap in the second window from the recent list.

Corner Snap
Corner snap is a useful feature for users working on larger displays or high resolution screens. Corner Snap takes Snap Assist a step further, offering users the ability to snap up to four windows together rather than two.

"To snap a window to a quarter size of the monitor, just drag the window to a corner and let go," Microsoft said of the feature.

You can also arrange your screen with different configurations, including an app taking half the screen, and two apps in the other half of the display. Or, you can have four apps snapped together, each taking a quarter of the display.

Snap fill
Snap fill allows you to easily snap windows into configurable sizes. The feature is similar to Aero Snap, but rather than automatically snapping two windows together that each occupy 50% of your screen space, Snap Fill allows you to allocate a larger portion of your screen to one app and then fill the remaining portion of your screen with a second app.

"In Windows 10, we wanted to bring this improvement to the desktop, making snapping more intelligent with any app," Microsoft said in a statement. "When you snap a window and resize it, the system takes note of your action. When you then snap a second window, the system will optimize its size to automatically fill up the available space."

More snaps
For enterprise users who use multiple displays or for those with hybrids and two-in-one notebooks, Microsoft is also making Snap easier.

Windows 10 allows multi-monitor users to snap to a corner or edge shared by both displays, a feature that was previously not possible with earlier versions of Windows. Snap Assist will let you see all the windows across all displays so you can snap different screens together more easily without having to drag the windows across your displays.

For hybrid owners, Snap works seamlessly with Continuum, allowing you to preserve your Snaps when you switch between notebook and tablet modes. As Store apps are now opened in resizable windows alongside traditional desktop apps, Windows 10 allows users to snap both types of apps together.

Windows 10
Windows 10 will launch for consumers on July 29 as a free upgrade during the first year of availability for users of Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. If you don't qualify for an upgrade, or you've built a new PC and need a fresh copy of the operating system, Windows 10 starts at $119 for the Home edition and $199 for the Professional edition.

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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.

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.

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Leverage Geotagged Social Data for Public-Safety LTE

May 26, 2015
By Robert Dew

Commercial wireless carriers, utilities, public safety and other organizations are migrating to Long Term Evolution (LTE) for wireless broadband data. LTE allows for interoperability, a flat IP architecture with higher data throughput and lower latency, wider breadth of real-time applications and services, more sophisticated quality of service (QoS) and priority mechanisms, and economies of scale.

However, optimal placement of LTE evolved Node B (eNodeB) sites to ensure the best coverage, capacity and user experience to meet network design availability and reliability requirements and budgetary constraints is a challenge. Macro cell site placement considerations can include the selection of existing site assets for LTE equipment installs, which LTE sites will require more LTE equipment for capacity augment, and where and when new sites need to be constructed to fill in coverage or capacity holes based on minimum cell edge uplink and downlink data throughput requirements.

For small cells, which provide coverage (typically between 10 – 200 meters) and capacity while mounted on structures such as light poles or operating as residential eNodeBs, pinpointing exact geographic locations where they are required is a must. Small cell deployments augment capacity of existing LTE macro cell networks both outdoors and indoors. Commercial wireless deployments could more than triple the number of macro and small cell sites in these heterogeneous networks (HetNets) because of capacity requirements and smartphone growth. That would result in an exponential growth in the complexity of site planning. In that instance, maximizing the value of these resources would require automated planning with the highest accuracy possible down to centimeters, while using 3D vector data.

The Value of Geotagged Social Data
Companies such as Google and Amazon rely on big data analysis to develop, target and enhance services for their customers. For the past three to four years, savvy commercial LTE design engineers have been using design tools that collect, aggregate and leverage geotagged social data to create highly accurate traffic heat maps. These maps determine optimal placement of LTE macro and small cells to provide capacity where it is needed based on where public users move and cluster in a given 24-hour period.

For example, a small cell LTE design in a portion of Grant Park in Chicago strategically placed low-power small cells exactly where they would be of most use — where the public is most likely to be based on a population density weighted with geotagged social data. The placement of small cells depends on other design and deployment criteria, such as backhaul and power availability, physical and network security, network timing, structural integrity, interoperability, and in-band and out-of-band frequency interference.

Current population estimates in most LTE designs are based on census grids, which assume where the public statically lives and works. However, these census grids and blocks do not account for where the public moves or clusters during the day, which can underestimate how many people are most likely to be at a certain location at any time during a 24-hour period. Specifically, within census grids and polygons, uniform population density is assumed. Therefore, there is no indication of how the public clusters within the polygon or grid.

To derive a highly accurate traffic map, an LTE design must be granular enough to account for localized concentrations of data usage, critical for macrocell and small cell planning. Clusters of high data usage at the cell edge will invalidate the assumed average cell spectral efficiency (CSE), and therefore, the assumed capacity of each macrocell.

Leveraging geotagged social data collected during an extensive period of time along with super granular mapping data from light detection and ranging (LiDAR) with bin sizes at 1 meter down to 10 centimeters that can pinpoint usage will provide a more accurate estimate on where people are during the course of the day. The actual spatial distribution of the public must be taken into account based on social data showing real user behavior. Major sources of mobile geotagged social media data are Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare, Flickr and Google Plus.

New York City illustrates the importance of understanding where people actually are vs. their census coarse distribution. The dynamic population of Manhattan is different from the census-data-based population of Manhattan. With a census-measured residential population of 1.6 million, Manhattan more than doubles to a daytime population of 3.9 million. Peak population events, such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, often push Manhattan’s daytime population to 5 million, depending on the conditions and circumstances.

The same logic holds true for many other areas such as Disney World or areas with temporary events, such as Burning Man in Nevada.

Public-Safety Benefits
Geotagged mobile social data can help public safety in various ways. Social data ensures overall wireless broadband coverage objectives include where the public lives, moves, clusters and is most likely to be during the course of the day. It also can help prioritize placement of macrocells now and small cell capacity in-fill during initial and follow-on deployments, leveraging user equipment (UE)-based metrics software once the network is operational.

Detailed population data also can help prioritize in-building objectives as the network begins to infill indoor coverage and capacity. Further, public-safety planners can determine where hardening of sites should be prioritized based on areas where there could be the largest loss of life because of man-made or natural disasters. These areas should be prioritized via geographic information systems (GIS) data in the LTE coverage objectives, as well as ultimate design leveraging geotagged social data along with the latest applicable census data, CAD 9-1-1 incident data, geographic hazards, critical infrastructure, and other public-safety areas of operations. Leveraging geotagged social data will ensure eNodeBs are placed in areas where the highest probability of loss of life may occur and is more accurate than using census data alone.

In a temporary event, such as Burning Man, a global composite total population density, combining and weighting census population data with mobile social data down to a 50-centimeter resolution, shows users in a coverage objective area. As a result, there is no need for public-safety planners to remember their major temporary events when leveraging social data in population density, as long as it is an area where the public has used mobile social data at some point during the social data collection period. However, without geotagged social data and only using census grid data, the population density does not show any users and incorrectly shows no need for public-safety broadband coverage.

Geotagged mobile social data should be integral to an overall coverage objective area and may be specified down to a county or tribal area. Data can be determined from a public-safety mission profile template synthesis and include census data, terrain, clutter, location-specific GIS layers, critical infrastructure, required areas of operations, and geocoding of location-specific CAD and 9-1-1 incident data. A baseline coverage objective area could be based on a global composite population density of five or more people per square mile and include both social and census data.

A global composite total population density for areas around Denver and Boulder, Colorado, using geotagged social data shows trails in the mountains west of Denver and Boulder where five or more people clustered at some point during the past five years. These clusters would not show up in the census data alone as a potential coverage area for public safety.

Such a coverage objective target area for the eNodeBs of an LTE public-safety network will encompass most of the coverage target areas of operations including developed or populated areas, roads, critical infrastructure, tribal areas and high-crime incident areas, based on CAD data, where direct loss of life can occur. However, there may be islands of public safety area of operations, such as a stretch of secondary road or a power station, outside of the population density shape file that needs to be part of the overall LTE coverage objective area.

Once coverage objective areas have been established, the number of LTE devices have been determined, and the required minimum cell edge data throughput for uplink and downlink have been established, social data can also be leveraged to prioritize where LTE eNodeB sites should be placed across the given coverage area. Not leveraging geotagged social data and simply placing LTE eNodeB sites uniformly using uniform user distribution can also harm the selling of excess capacity to secondary and tertiary users of the network pending spectrum- and infrastructure-sharing agreements.

First responders require access to a highly available, reliable, uncongested and interoperable wireless broadband network. However, this network must also be aligned with where the general public is most likely to be at any given time in a 24-hour period for both planned and unplanned public-safety events. Leveraging geotagged social data and weighting it into a global composite population density along with other mission-critical data will ensure wireless communications is available when and where it is most likely to be needed.

Robert Dew has more than 20 years of wireless network systems engineering, deployment and operations experience. He has worked or consulted in technical director, project management, and senior systems engineering positions for carriers, vendors and consulting firms in the United States, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia. Dew received his B.S. in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech and his M.S. in engineering management from The George Washington University.


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06.05.155:15 AM ET

The Frenemies Who Killed Blackberry

Jim Balsille and Mike Lazaridis were on top of the world. They had created the all-conquering ‘Crackberry.’ Then their friendship died with the brand.

The relationship after their split is on the same frost-scale as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.

The two men who begot Blackberry on the world, changing the very way we work and play—only to lost it all just as quickly as they cinched it—have only spoken once since they were eased out of their company.

The one conversation between Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis took place in 2012, in Toronto, at the Fairmont Royal York, for a gala celebrating Canada’s Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

“After exchanging pleasantries, the two men moved on,” write Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff towards the end of an unflinching new bio/autopsy called Losing The Signal: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of BlackBerry .

The destruction of their twenty-year partnership , as the book tracks only too well, is just some of the carnage left by a company that was once a techno-dervish, and is now a cautionary tale.

Blackberry saw its share of the U.S. phone market plunge from 50 percent in 2009 to less than one measly percent at 2014’s end.

And while there’s enough here that clicks as business case study—Blackberry’s inability to ward off the thunderbolt of the iPhone, the string of missteps the company known as RIM accrued once consumer desire shifted away from a mere email device to a smartphone that was more like a mini-computer “loaded like a modern Swiss Army Knife”—much of it can be summed up a quote I’ve long favoured, courtesy of Sir Alec Guinness: “Failure has a thousand explanations. Success doesn’t need one.”

Unsurprisingly, in Canada, the book has also unleashed a fresh torrent of chin-wagging about the two men touted, at one point, as the Wayne Gretzkys of tech.

“They had secret signals, including an under-the-table nudge when a private chat was needed and crinkling of paper to indicate that it was time to stop talking.”

“RIM was like the hockey team that won six Stanley Cups. We were so proud of them.” This is what McNish says now about the particular Canadian-ness of this saga, musing on a brand so big in the mid-aughts that Sam Seaborn, on TV’s The West Wing, had nothing less of a conniption when he lost his “Crackberry,” and in the real White House to come, Barack Obama expressly refused a Secret Service missive to yield his, when elected.

Reading the blow-by-blow of recent history—but history nonetheless—I had flashes of Paris Hilton, who once seemed as immutable as Blackberry in the culture.

Reigning over a pre-Kardashian ethos, I remember seeing her at numerous parties at the time, including at one fete at the Sundance festival, where she seemed more interested in doing the “ Blackberry prayer ,” as being hunched over one’s Blackberry was then called, than actually engaging Paris + keyboard . However quaint does that image seem now?

Do remember that until Blackberry came along, thumb-typing—now so firmly-ingrained—was not really a thing. Neither was the now all-too-common tableau of people bent over their devices—in restaurants, buses, everywhere—wrapped in their own saran-wrapped enclosures, le tout alone together.

The pioneers at the heart of Losing the Signal reek of classic odd couple-ism. Where Basillie, a descendant of French Metis, was the natural-born schmoozer and businessman, Lazaridis, a Turkish-born Greek immigrant, was that classic nerd who remained a boy engineer at heart, and whose hobbies include collecting vintage editions of Scientific American.

And where some of the blame for Blackberry’s mojo-stoppage often goes to the firm’s unusual two-CEO managerial structure, it’s also equally true that it worked until…well…it didn’t.

Though they almost never socialized, at work they walked in lockstep during those years when Blackberries were spreading, wildfire-like, from Brazil to Burundi. “They had,” for instance, “secret signals, including an under-the-table nudge when a private chat was needed and crinkling of paper to indicate that it was time to stop talking.”

As the showboat in the pair, and the one who didn’t make a move without referring to his personal bible, Sun Tzu’s Art of War —something that comes up repeatedly in the book—it hardly surprises that Balsillie owns some of the more colourful yarns in the book.

Consider: while at Toronto’s clubby Trinity College—he was a classmate there of Mr. Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell—he showed a unique talent when asked to help organize formal affairs by sneaking into funeral homes to find “free, slightly used flowers to decorate the college dorms,” thereby stretching the student budget.

Move to 2003, where that famous chutzpah was deployed for more writ large aims: in France for a conference with Europe’s biggest mobile carrier CEOs, during which Balsillie wasn’t making sufficient headway with the powers-that-be, he slipped into a ballroom before a big planned dinner.

“Monsieur, there’s supposed to be another setting here,” he told a waiter, pointing to a table, and channeling the authority of a conference organizer. The waiter returned minutes later with a chair, and setting, gingerly moving around things to accommodate.

Meanwhile, pulling out a business card from his pocket and folding it in two, Balsillie studied the calligraphy on the other cards, and concocted a passable forgery for his own.

Fast-forward to dinner, where ignorance proved ever blissful, and he nabbed the opportunity to pitch the honchos. Fast-forward a few months, when the plot proved to be even more than useful: with talks well underway with European’s biggest mobile players, Mr. Blackberry had finagled his entrée.

With great bravado can also come great doubt, as Balsillie exemplified,when a dark depression gripped him in the midst of a big patent sue against RIM—just one of many mounting problems—in 2005.

“You’re bawling your eyes out at night at hours. You can’t function,” he says. Retreating by himself to a hotel room, in Toronto, to reflect and deal with the crisis, he now admits, “I never thought of killing myself, but it didn’t seem like a bad idea.”

These days, the stakes ain’t what they used to be. Destined to “living separate lives”, so to speak, Balsille and Lazaridis did unite, at least between covers, having given hours of interviews (separately) to the authors of this new tell-all. How do they—both 54 now—spend their days, otherwise? Neither of them lack for money, that’s for sure.

Lazaridis, tapping into his inner “Trekkie,” has invested much of his personal fortune into a venture fund and two science institutes devoted to the untapped power of quantum physics. Presto: a new 285,0000-square foot building called the Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre.

Named after himself and his wife, and housed in Waterloo, Ontario—the town that Blackberry turned into a tech hub—it brought out a host of A-geeks , including Stephen Hawking, to its opening.

Meanwhile, Balsillie’s interests are more polymorphous: he’s started a think tank of his own called the Institute for New Economic Thinking (co-founded with George Soros), tinkers with a novel he’s writing, and slithered into the limelight, briefly, last year, as one of the voyagers of a successful quest in the Arctic to locate one of the sunken ships lost during a doomed expedition by Sir John Franklin when travelling the Northwest Passage in the 1840s .

Pursuant to the dilettante playbook, the erstwhile Blackberry titan has also become something of an art collector. In addition to what’s said to be one of the world’s biggest portfolios of primitive masks—masks from the Pacific Islands, Africa, etc, made for history’s earliest warriors—he also purchased one of the original casts of Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’. The huge bronze structure sits in the middle of his garden. What foresight Rodin had: you could call the figure’s pose a ‘Blackberry prayer.’

Source: The Daily Beast

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Posted in: Technology Posted: June 5, 2015

iPhone 6S – Major Leak Reveals Amazing New Features

Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images

The iPhone 6S, the latest version of Apple’s iPhone, won’t start mass production until mid-August, however, a man named Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst for KGI securities, has gotten the scoop on the new iPhone 6S, and he’s spilling the beans. Kuo’s leaks about past iPhone versions have been spot on, so investors listened eagerly recently when Kuo told them about the new features coming with the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.

The first big feature of the new iPhone 6S will be what Apple calls Force Touch. Force Touch is already a feature on the Apple Watch and the 13-inch MacBook Pro, but this is the first time the feature will come to the iPhone. Adding more input methods in addition to gesture, long press, and swipe commands, Force Touch will aid the 6S in providing more support for handwritten signatures, a feature that iPhone users have been requesting.

The iPhone 6S will unveil Apple’s new operating system , iOS9. By Kuo’s accounts, iOS9 will primarily polish iOS8, with an attention to improving speed, security and stability. The biggest change for the next iPhone, however, may be that it will move to 2GB of RAM. Many insiders are now wondering if the RAM upgrade means that the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S plus might use all that power to offer a dynamic toggle between slow motion, full speed and time-lapse video recording, burst photography and more advanced game modes in conjunction with the new Force Touch. There are also rumors of an option on the iPhone 6S to utilize true split-window multitasking, something that would be easier with the increased RAM.

In what might seem a disappointment to many iPhone users, the new iPhone 6S wont’ be available in a four-inch size as many had hoped. The only options for the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S plus will be the 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch sizes. The resolution will be the same as the iPhone 6.

Touch ID will be improved in the new iPhone 6S, which is clearly an effort by Apple to increase the number of users that utilize Apple Pay. Gesture support will also be included in the new iPhone.

Aesthetically, the new iPhone 6s will feature a new case color edition. The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus will both be available in rose gold, a color that will match the recently introduced, popular rose gold-colored Apple Watch .

Kuo said that there will be a major upgrade to the camera with the iPhone 6S. The iPhone camera has remained essentially static for the last three iPhone generations, so the iPhone 6S camera upgrade will be a welcome new feature. The pixel upgrade on the new iPhone 6S will likely be to 12 megapixels, something that will keep the iPhone relative – and possibly surpass – such smartphone models as the Galaxy S6 and the LG G4. Additionally, Kuo stated that if drop test issues can be resolved before production commences, a limited number of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6S models will offer a sapphire cover lens.

A new microphone will be added to the new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus near the speaker to enhance voice quality when using the phone.

To get super techy, the internal design of the iPhone has reportedly been changed for the better in an attempt to improve what has been termed the “bending issue” in past iPhones. Overall performance in the iPhone 6S will be improved dramatically with the new A9 chipset. The A9, in conjunction with the increased RAM will most likely make the new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus the easiest multi-tasker yet when it comes to Apples iPhones.

What do you think of the new features coming with the iPhone6S and iPhone 6S Plus? What features do you wish were included with the new iPhone 6S?

Source: Inquisitr

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Jimmy Tucker and Charles Weeks founded a company in North Mississippi called CTI in the 1970s that produced one of the very first automatic-dial-access (rotary click counting) tone and voice paging terminals — sold to the RCC paging industry.

CTI went on to be a leading supplier of paging terminals and mobile telephone interconnects for small-town carriers. Eventually they designed a small Cellular switch and sold it to a company called Plexus.

Now-a-days, Jim Tucker is promoting an “affordable security camera” through his company UltraTek .

This is a really cool device, and he is selling it for only $165.00.

This camera allows you the ability to see its images on your PC or smart phone — giving you the piece of mind and comfort of knowing that your assets are being watched by the most state-of-the-art components available.

You can monitor your home, or business — day or night — with true motion detection , and turn-on-and-record for current or future viewing. Set up is via Wi-Fi, e.g. using a laptop computer either locally or remotely.

It is very useful even in situations where an Internet connection is not readily available via Wi-Fi.

Someone is going to make some big bucks by putting together a package with this camera, and maybe a solar panel with a rechargeable battery — and a spotlight. This would be attractive to farmers, and Ag-coops.

Farmers? Yes! Did you know that farmers have serious problems with drug addicts sneaking around their farms at night, and stealing anhydrous ammonia?

Anhydrous Ammonia Theft

Anhydrous ammonia is a key ingredient in the production of methamphetamine. Thus, illegal drug manufacturers target agricultural retail operations and farms to steal anhydrous ammonia from areas where it is stored and used. When sold for agricultural purposes, anhydrous ammonia is valued from $200 to $250 per ton. However, according to law officials it only takes 5 gallons of anhydrous ammonia to produce 10 to 15 pounds of methamphetamines. On the black market, anhydrous ammonia can sell for as much as $300 per gallon.

Because very small amounts of anhydrous ammonia are needed to make a single batch of methamphetamine, there is typically enough ammonia left in a transfer hose for a criminal to use for drug production. In fact, criminals often prefer to steal ammonia in small quantities using small containers to avoid tipping off a convenient source and to remain somewhat mobile.

Anhydrous ammonia theft tends to occur in waves with thieves stealing the chemical multiple times from one location. Thefts have occurred at such unlikely places as refrigeration systems holding ammonia, underground pipelines carrying ammonia, and rail cars transporting anhydrous ammonia. However, most criminals steal from above-ground, temporary pressure tanks located on farms and from large storage tanks at agricultural dealers where small lost quantities are not easily detected.

Source: Texas A&M Extension Safety Program

How it would work: Simple! This built-in motion detector and recording camera would be connected to a spotlight, and backed-up with a battery and a solar-panel recharger. Got it? The crook/addict comes sneaking around, and all of a sudden, “smile, you're on camera.”

So this is a “win-win” for everyone involved. It stops the theft of the farmer's property, it helps the police catch the crooks, and it might even put the addict into a treatment/recovery program. People can be recycled just like aluminum cans.

Please give Jim Tucker a call at 662-284-6724. He can tell you more about this great application.

Critical Response Systems

More than Paging.
First Responder Solutions.

Our patented technology notifies clinical personnel immediately, while tracking who receives and responds to each alarm. Users confirm or defer each event with a single button press, and analytic dashboards display response statistics in real time, as well as historically broken down by time, unit, room, and individual.

Our systems not only notify your personnel quickly and reliably, but also provide actionable feedback to fine-tune your procedures, reduce unnecessary alarms, and improve patient outcomes.


Marty Kaplan
USC Annenberg professor and Norman Lear Center director

FCC Chief Tom Wheeler Is Five Sixths of a Superhero

Posted: 06/03/2015 9:01 pm EDT Updated: 06/03/2015 9:59 pm EDT

The last best hope to stop Big Money's rout of American democracy is a former trade group lobbyist who's reluctant to stretch his spandex superhero suit too thin.

Plutocrats have been on a roll for a while in the U.S., and campaign finance reform is in full retreat. Though Americans hate money's "obscene" role in politics, according to a new  New York Times /CBS  poll , they feel hopeless about changing it. Thanks to the Supreme Court's  Buckley  and  Citizens United  decisions, money is speech and corporations are people, so forget about limiting what billionaires and Super PACs can contribute to campaigns.

"The few rules that are left, people feel free to ignore,"  says  a Democratic commissioner on the Federal Election Commission, which is "perpetually locked in 3-to-3 ties along party lines." Its chair, Ann M. Ravel,  admits  that the "likelihood of the laws being enforced is slim. . . People think the F.E.C. is dysfunctional. It's worse than dysfunctional."

But for the media-industrial complex, it's happy days. "The 2016 presidential election is right around the corner,"  said  CBS president Les Moonves in a February investor call, "and thank God the rancor has already begun." Campaign spending will exceed $5 billion — a windfall that goes straight to TV station owners -- and that's just for the presidential race. Soon, ads that will make you want to take a shower will be pumping political sewage 24/7. Don't look to TV news to fact-check them; with few  exceptions , political advertising will likely swamp political news, as  it did  in Philadelphia last year, by 45 to 1.

Worse, those ads will be funded anonymously. Many of the slimiest and most deceptive will end with something like this: "Paid for by Americans for an American America. " We will have no clue what these anodynely named front groups really are or whose dark money is behind them, because the law doesn't require transparency or accountability. We'll get good and mad at the dog crap soiling democracy's lawn, but we won't even know whom to shame.

What are we doing to prevent the anti-democratic horror show now unfolding? In the Citizens United  opinions, eight Supreme Court Justices  said  new donor disclosure laws would be not only constitutional but good for us: "[T]ransparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages." Yet Congress isn't remotely interested in legislating disclosure. And as that  Times /CBS poll found, a majority of Americans of both parties  know  that elected officials are unwilling "to fight the system they inhabit or to change the rules they have already mastered."

But the Federal Communication Commission already possesses the power to rescue us from dark money. Tomorrow morning,  says  Michael J. Copps, who was a commissioner for 10 years, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler could say: We have had on the books since the original Telecommunications Act of 1934 a requirement that the sponsors of ads, including political ads, must be identified, and we're going to start enforcing it. We don't have to wait for the president to send a disclosure bill to Congress that won't go anywhere; we don't have to wait for Congress to bite the hand that feeds it. The FCC can do that rulemaking on its own, and after a 120-day public comment period, if you conceal who's paying for those ads, you'll get nailed. Enforcing that provision is "at the top of my bucket list,"  says  Copps, "and I'm looking for company, Tom."

When President Obama appointed Wheeler in 2013, my heart sank. I wanted a trust-buster and consumer advocate in that job; instead, we got the former head of the Grocery Manufacturers of America and of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. I'm so glad I was so wrong about him. In less than two years at the FCC, he's made bold moves, and scored some important victories, on five key fronts.

Competition : Wheeler's disappointing predecessor, Obama appointee Julius Genachowski, submitted to Comcast's takeover of NBC-Universal. But Comcast abandoned its subsequent bid to acquire Time Warner Cable when regulators at Wheeler's FCC and at the Department of Justice were poised to block Comcast from becoming the  de facto national cable monopolist .

Open Internet : Genachowski also  set up net neutrality to fail , paving the way for Internet providers to extract pay-to-play fast-lane tolls from big tech and content companies, leaving everyone else to suffer slow-mo buffering. But Wheeler, bucking fierce industry and partisan opposition, and buoyed by 4 million public comments triggered in part by a  brilliant segment  on  Last Week Tonight With John Oliver  that crashed  the FCC's servers, led the commission to classify the Internet as a public utility. No wonder Wheeler's successor at the cable lobby, Michael Powell, who was also George W. Bush's appointee as FCC chair, is now  suing  to overturn the decision.

Privacy : In April, Wheeler kicked off an FCC workshop on consumer broadband privacy with the clarion statement that " privacy is unassailable ." A few weeks later, the commission put Internet service providers on notice that the FCC will " no longer be napping at the wheel " when it comes to practices like Verizon's creation of undeletable zombie cookies and AT&T's "charging its gigabit fiber users a $44-$66 fee if they want to opt out of having their traffic snooped on via deep packet inspection."

Digital divide : In May, Wheeler  proposed  that the Reagan-era Lifeline program, which subsidizes the telephone service of 12 million low-income households, be extended to broadband access. Within days, Republicans  pushed back  against the plan. Wheeler's FCC has also  preempted  industry-backed state laws that prevented underserved communities like Wilson, North Carolina, and Chattanooga, Tennessee, from expanding municipal broadband networks.

Robocalls : On June 18, the FCC will vote on Wheeler's  plan  to crack down on telemarketers and scammers who — despite the Do Not Call Registry — have invaded consumers' landline and wireless devices with robocalls and spam texts.

So ex-lobbyist Tom Wheeler's courage in battling deep-pocketed corporations on those five fronts transformed him in my mind from oligarch apologist to American Avenger. That's why I'm so bummed he won't use his superpowers to fight the super PACs.

"Maybe you have noticed," he  said  a couple of weeks ago, when asked if the FCC will use the authority it already has to require disclosure of the secret sponsors of political ads, "we have a long list of telecommunications-related decisions that we are dealing with right now, and that will be our focus." He punted to the Hill: "Well, if the Congress acts, then we will clearly follow the mandate of Congress." But as he had to know, just two days before he said that, the House Communications and Technology subcommittee, on a party-line vote,  shot down  a law that would have forced dark money into the light.

Five out of six ain't bad. But net neutrality, privacy and the other issues on Wheeler's plate, important as they are, won't rescue democracy from the rot of corruption. Maybe another outpouring of public outrage can get him to reach for the spandex one more time. Paging John Oliver?

This is a crosspost of my  column  in the  Jewish Journal , where you can reach me at .

Source: Huffington Post

Leavitt Communications


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

UNICATION bendix king

motorola blue Motorola SOLUTIONS

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

STI Engineering

sti header

250W VHF Paging Transmitter

STI Engineering’s RFI-148 250 high performance paging transmitter features true DDS frequency generation that enables precise control and flexibility for a wide range of data transmission applications.

The transmitter is particularly suitable for large simulcast POCSAG and FLEX paging networks and can be used as drop-in replacement of older and obsolete transmitters. The unit has a proven track record in large scale critical messaging systems.

sti tx
  • High power output
    (selectable from 20 W - 250 W)
  • SNMP Diagnostics and alarms
  • Full VHF Band coverage
    (138-174 MHz)
  • DSP precision modulation
  • Integrated isolator
  • Sniffer port for in-rack receiver
  • Remote firmware upgrade capability
  • Software selectable frequency offset
  • Adjustable absolute delay correction
  • Front panel diagnostics
  • Hardware alarm outputs
  • High frequency stability
  • External reference option
  • FCC and ACMA approved
  • CE compliant version in development
sti 22 Boulder Road Malaga 6090 Western Australia
Telephone:  +61 8 9209 0900
Facsimile:  +61 8 9248 2833

Skype for web beta lets you ditch the desktop client

Jared Newman
Jun 5, 2015 9:16 AM

Skype is making it easier for users to ditch their desktop software, and use the Skype for Web beta instead.

Skype for Web, which launched as a closed beta last fall, is now available as an open beta to all U.S. and U.K. users. It's similar to the desktop version, with support for messaging, audio calls, and video chats. You can also search your contact list to start new messages, or find new contacts by searching the Skype directory. It supports desktop notifications as well.

Skype is making it easier for users to ditch their desktop software, and use the Skype for Web beta instead.

Skype for Web, which launched as a closed beta last fall, is now available as an open beta to all U.S. and U.K. users. It's similar to the desktop version, with support for messaging, audio calls, and video chats. You can also search your contact list to start new messages, or find new contacts by searching the Skype directory. It supports desktop notifications as well.

There are some differences from the desktop client, however. The web version doesn't have nearly as many options for sorting and managing your contact lists, and there doesn't seem to be any way to change your “mood.” Still, as a simple way to connect with your existing Skype contacts, it should get the job done.

Setting up the web version of Skype does involve installing a plug-in if you want to conduct voice or video calls. For now, that means Chromebook users are limited to text messaging only. Skype has said that it's working on a WebRTC version of the web app, which wouldn't require a plug-in and would technically allow for Chromebook support, but there's no word on when that might happen. Also worth noting is that the web version doesn't support Microsoft's Edge browser in the latest Insider build of Windows 10.

One more caveat: By using the app, you automatically agree to the use of tracking cookies for “analytics, personalized content, and ads,” according to a notice at the top of the screen. This is standard procedure on the web — and Skype's desktop app shows ads as well — but it's something to be aware of.

Why this matters: While installing the desktop version of Skype might make sense if you're a frequent user, not everyone wants to dedicate the hard drive space or the clutter of having another program. The new web app should be a useful alternative.

Source: PCWorld

Leavitt Communications

its stil here

It’s still here — the tried and true Motorola Alphamate 250. Now owned, supported, and available from Leavitt Communications. Call us for new or reconditioned units, parts, manuals, and repairs.

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

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

black line

Phil Leavitt

leavitt logo

7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

Hark Technologies

hark logo

Wireless Communication Solutions

USB Paging Encoder

paging encoder

  • Single channel up to eight zones
  • Connects to Linux computer via USB
  • Programmable timeouts and batch sizes
  • Supports 2-tone, 5/6-tone, POCSAG 512/1200/2400, GOLAY
  • Supports Tone Only, Voice, Numeric, and Alphanumeric
  • PURC or direct connect
  • Pictured version mounts in 5.25" drive bay
  • Other mounting options available
  • Available as a daughter board for our embedded Internet Paging Terminal (IPT)

Paging Data Receiver (PDR)


  • Frequency agile—only one receiver to stock
  • USB or RS-232 interface
  • Two contact closures
  • End-user programmable w/o requiring special hardware
  • 16 capcodes
  • Eight contact closure version also available
  • Product customization available

Other products

Please see our web site for other products including Internet Messaging Gateways, Unified Messaging Servers, test equipment, and Paging Terminals.

Hark Technologies
717 Old Trolley Rd Ste 6 #163
Summerville, SC 29485
Tel: 843-821-6888
Fax: 843-821-6894
E-mail: left arrow CLICK
Web: left arrow CLICK

hark David George and Bill Noyes
of Hark Technologies.

Hark Technologies

Preferred Wireless

preferred logo

Terminals & Controllers:
1 ASC1500 Complete, w/Spares  
3 CNET Platinum Controllers 
2 GL3100 RF Director 
1 GL3000 ES — 2 Chassis
1 GL3000L Complete w/Spares
40 SkyData 8466 B Receivers
1 Unipage—Many Unipage Cards & Chassis
16 Zetron M66 Transmitter Controllers  
Link Transmitters:
4 Glenayre QT4201 25W Midband Link TX
1 Glenayre QT6994, 150W, 900 MHz Link TX
3 Motorola 10W, 900 MHz Link TX (C35JZB6106)
2 Eagle 900 MHz Link Transmitters, 60 & 80W
2 Motorola Q2630A, 30W, UHF Link TX
VHF Paging Transmitters
19  Motorola Nucleus 125W CNET
6 Motorola Nucleus 350W CNET
12 Motorola Nucleus 350W Advanced Control
1 Glenayre QT7505
1 Glenayre QT8505
UHF Paging Transmitters:
16 Glenayre UHF GLT5340, 125W, DSP Exciter
900 MHz Paging Transmitters:
2 Glenayre GLT8200, 25W (NEW)
15 Glenayre GLT-8500 250W
3 Glenayre GLT 8600, 500W


Too Much To List • Call or E-Mail

Rick McMichael
Preferred Wireless, Inc.
888-429-4171 left arrow

Preferred Wireless




CVC Paging

Switch Tech

CVC Paging has an opening for a Glenayre Switch Technician in our Vermont location.

For details please contact Stephan Suker at 802-775-6726 or

CVC Paging


Critical Alert

spacer cas logo

Critical Alert Systems, Inc.

Formed in 2010, CAS brought together the resources and capabilities of two leading critical messaging solutions providers, UCOM™ and Teletouch™ Paging, along with lntego Systems™, a pioneer in next-generation nurse call systems. The result was an organization that represented more than 40 years of combined experience serving hospitals and healthcare providers.

CAS was created to be a single-source provider for hospitals and healthcare facilities in need of advanced nurse call and communications technologies.

Unlike our competitors, our product development process embraced the power of software from its inception. This enables us to design hardware-agnostic solutions focused on built-in integration, flexibility and advanced performance.


Nurse Call Solutions

Innovation in Nurse Call

Innovative, software-based nurse call solutions for acute and long-term care organizations.


Paging Solutions

The Most Reliable Paging Network

To this day, for critical messaging, nothing beats paging. It’s simply the best way to deliver a critical message.



© Copyright 2015 - Critical Alert Systems, Inc.

BloostonLaw Newsletter

Selected portions 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 with the firm’s permission.

BloostonLaw Telecom Update Vol. 18, No. 23 June 3, 2015

REMINDER: New Requirements In Effect for 2015 Form 481 Filing

Carriers are reminded that new requirements have gone into effect for this year’s annual Form 481 filing, due July 1, 2015. New requirements include: progress report updates; a certification that steps were taken to provide upon reasonable request broadband service at actual speeds of 4 Mbps downstream/1 Mbps upstream; and certain information about the community anchor institutions to which the ETC began offering broadband service in the preceding calendar year.

BloostonLaw is experienced in preparing and filing Form 481, as well as meeting the FCC’s requirements to obtain confidentiality for the filings. Carriers interested in obtaining assistance should contact the firm.


Chairman Wheeler Releases Proposal on Modernizing Lifeline to Include Broadband Service

Chairman Wheeler released a set of proposals to restructure and modernize the FCC’s Lifeline program to include broadband service for low-income consumers and to further combat waste and better target lifeline support.

According to the FCC release, the proposal seeks comment on minimum service standards for voice and broadband service "to ensure that both Lifeline subscribers and ratepayers are getting the best possible value from the service delivered." The Notice also proposes to remove providers from the process of ensuring the eligibility of Lifeline subscribers and seeks comment on other ways to verify eligibility, such as establishing a neutral third party administrator. The Notice seeks comment on how to ensure that the program targets those most in need of the support. The Notice also seeks comment on how to encourage providers to participate in the Lifeline program, to ensure competition among providers on price and service offerings.

The official “Fact Sheet” is available here , and the full item will be released sometime after it is voted upon at the upcoming June Open Meeting.

Comment Requested on Petitions for Waiver of the FCC's Opt-Out Rule for FAX Ads

Four Petitioners have requested retroactive waivers of the FCC's section 64.1200(a)(4)(iv) opt-out notice requirement for fax ads. (CG Docket Nos. 02-278 and 05-338) The Petitioners claim that the fax ads were sent to recipients from whom they had obtained prior express invitation or permission. Section 64.1200(a)(4)(iv) of the Commission’s rules requires that an opt-out notice containing certain information be included in fax ads sent to a consumer who has provided prior express invitation or permission. The Petitioners argue that good cause exists for the waivers because they are similarly situated to parties who were granted retroactive waivers from this requirement by the Commission in the recent Anda Order. Comments on the waiver requests are due by June 12, 2015 and reply comments are due by June 19, 2015.

In the Anda Order, the Commission granted retroactive waivers to several individual petitioners because of uncertainty about whether the opt-out notice applied to “solicited” faxes. The Commission also stated that other, similarly situated parties may seek waivers of the rule. Any companies that have sent fax ads that may be in violation of the FCC's rule should contact the firm to determine whether a waiver should be requested.

FCC Seeks Information for Annual Report to Congress on Mobile Wireless Competition

Congress has directed that promoting competition in mobile wireless services should be a cornerstone of the FCC’s mission and is essential for driving innovation, investment, and other consumer benefits. To assist the Commission in fulfilling this requirement and in preparing its annual report to Congress on the state of wireless competition, the FCC Wireless Bureau has issued a Public Notice ( DA 15-647 ) seeking comment and other input on a broad range of topics relevant to assessing competition in the mobile wireless industry. Initial comments and information submissions on the item are due June 29, 2015 and reply comments are due July 14, 2015.

Comments and other data provided to the Bureau will be used to assist the WTB in preparing its Eighteenth Annual Report to Congress on CMRS Competition. This annual report aims to distill information from a variety of sources, including Mosaik Solutions (“Mosaik”), industry associations, financial industry analysts, company filings and news releases, Security and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filings, trade publications, industry trade and press releases, research firms’ publicly-available data, university researchers and scholarly publications, vendor market product releases, white papers, service provider web sites, and data submitted to the Commission through other data collection efforts such as FCC Form 477, the Numbering Resource Utilization Forecast (“NRUF”), and Measuring Broadband America.

Information gathered during the course of the inquiry will be used to update the information and metrics used in the Seventeenth CMRS Competition Report (DA 14-1862), as well as to enhance the Bureau’s analysis of the mobile wireless marketplace for the Eighteenth Report.

With respect to competitive dynamics within the mobile wireless marketplace generally, the WTB seeks comment on industry metrics such as subscriber counts and total connections, as well as financial indicators such as revenue or profitability. The Bureau also seeks information on network coverage, by spectrum band, technology, geography, and demographics. In addition, the Bureau seeks information on pricing levels and trends and other non-price factors on which service providers compete, as well as on performance metrics for mobile broadband networks, such as speed and latency, including the methodologies used for assessment. Commenters seeking confidential treatment of their submissions may request that their submission, or a specific part thereof, be withheld from public inspection.

To obtain a better understanding of coverage in rural areas and tribal lands, the Bureau is request is looking for comment on the extent of mobile voice and broadband network deployment in these areas. Are there noteworthy trends in deployment in rural areas and tribal lands? Furthermore, regarding rural areas and tribal lands, to what extent do providers offer coverage only in certain parts of these areas, such as near major roads, where they do not market service to residents of those areas?

The Bureau also seeks comment and information on how mobile wireless service providers and spectrum licensees currently use their licensed spectrum. Are certain frequency bands used heavily while others lie fallow, and if so why? How does this vary across different types of geographic areas or in urban, as compared to rural markets?

Clients with questions or who wish to file comments in this proceeding (WT Docket No. 15-125) should contact the firm.

FCC Issues Second Order and FNPRM on Emergency Alerts to Second Screens

On May 28, the FCC released the Second Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that was originally adopted at its May 21, 2015 Open Meeting, and which extends accessibility rules for emergency alerts to second screens, including tablets, smartphones, laptops, and similar devices and seeks comment on certain aspects of transmitting emergency information.

Specifically, in the Second Report and Order, the FCC concluded that:

  • multichannel video programming distributors (“MVPDs”) must pass through a secondary audio stream containing audible emergency information in accordance with Section 79.2 of the Commission’s rules when they permit consumers to access linear programming on tablets, smartphones, laptops, and similar devices over the MVPD’s network as part of their MVPD services.
  • manufacturers of apparatus subject to the FCC’s video description and emergency rules must provide a mechanism that “is simple and easy to use for activating the secondary audio stream to access audible emergency information.” The FCC further clarified that individuals who are blind or visually impaired “should not have to navigate through multiple levels of menus or take other time-consuming actions to activate the secondary audio stream when they hear the aural tone signaling that emergency information is being provided visually on the screen.”

In the Second FNPRM, the FCC sought comment on three issues:

  • whether it should adopt rules regarding how covered entities should prioritize emergency information conveyed aurally on the secondary audio stream when more than one source of visual emergency information is presented on-screen at the same time;
  • whether it should reconsider the Commission’s requirement for “school closings and changes in school bus schedules” resulting from emergency situations to be conveyed aurally on the secondary audio stream, considering the length of such information and the limits of the secondary audio stream; and
  • whether it should require MVPDs to ensure that the navigation devices that they provide to subscribers include a simple and easy to use activation mechanism for accessing audible emergency information on the secondary audio stream, and to provide a simple and easy to use mechanism to activate the secondary audio stream for emergency information when they permit subscribers to view linear programming on mobile and other devices as part of their MVPD services.

Comments on the Second FNPRM will be due 30 days after the item is published in the Federal Register, with reply comments coming due another 30 days after that.

Law & Regulation

Rural Broadband Experiments Support Authorized for 15 Provisionally Selected Bids

On May 27, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau issued a Public Notice announcing it is ready to authorize rural broadband experiments support for 15 provisionally selected bids. To be authorized to receive support, the provisionally selected winning bidders must submit at least one acceptable irrevocable stand-by letter of credit and Bankruptcy Code opinion letter from their legal counsel by June 10.

The provisionally selected winning bids, which cover over 2,091 census blocks in 8 states for a total of $12,573,494.45 in support, were submitted by Northeast Rural Services, Inc. (Oklahoma), Skybeam, LLC (Illinois, Kansas, and Texas), First Step Internet, LLC (Idaho, Washington), Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Iowa), Consolidated Communications Networks, Inc. (North Dakota), and Delta Communications, LLC (Illinois).

The Bureau also announced that it has posted updated answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the rural broadband experiments on the Commission’s website. The FAQs are available at .

FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for June Open Meeting

On May 28, the FCC announced that the following items are tentatively on the agenda for the June Open Commission Meeting scheduled for Thursday, June 18, 2015:

  • a Report and Order that will facilitate innovative technologies and services by establishing a process to authorize interconnected VoIP providers to obtain telephone numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators, rather than through intermediaries.
  • a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Order on Reconsideration, Second Report and Order, and Memorandum Opinion and Order to comprehensively restructure and modernize the Lifeline program to efficiently and effectively connect low-income Americans to broadband, strengthen program oversight and administration, and take additional measures to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse.
  • a Declaratory Ruling and Order reaffirming the Telephone Consumer Protection Act's protections against unwanted robocalls, encouraging pro-consumer uses of robocall technology, and responding to a number of requests for clarity from businesses and other callers.

The Open Meeting is scheduled to commence at 10:30 a.m., and will be shown live at

FCC Releases Revenue Thresholds for Carrier Categories

The Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) announced the inflation-adjusted 2014 revenue thresholds used for classifying carrier categories for various accounting and reporting purposes. The revenue thresholds: (1) distinguish Class A carriers from Class B carriers; and (2) distinguish larger Class A carriers from mid-sized carriers. According to the WCB, the revenue threshold between Class A carriers and Class B carriers is increased to $152.5 million. The revenue threshold between larger Class A carriers and mid-sized carriers is increased to $9.03 billion.


AT&T to Drop Subsidized iPhone Contracts — Verizon Wireless May Follow Suit

Press reports state that Apple has announced to its employees that there will be significant changes in how iPhones on the AT&T and Verizon Wireless networks are sold and marketed in the United States. Currently, both AT&T and Verizon Wireless offer subsidized phones with a minimum 2 year commitment. For AT&T, this means that phones will only be available on the AT&T Next Plan — which requires the subscriber to pay full price for the phone in either 12, 18 or 24 monthly installments. There are also indications that Verizon Wireless will follow suit later this summer. In this regard, Verizon Wireless has already modified its Edge Up Plan so that customers will not be eligible for upgrades until after 24 months, once the phones are completely paid off — as opposed to 75 percent paid for. It is anticipated that these changes will also affect contracts for iPhones through third party retailers such as Best Buy, Wal-Mart and others.

While speculation is that both AT&T and Verizon Wireless will be able to improve their bottom lines by requiring customers to pay full price for their phones, the question remains whether consumers will want to pay upwards of $600.00 for a phone that previously cost $99.00 or $199.00 every two years. Further, given the recent market consolidations with the elimination of smaller, regional carriers, one can also wonder whether AT&T’s and Verizon Wireless’ efforts are triggered by a perceived lack of competition beyond Sprint and T-Mobile. Only time will tell whether AT&T’s and Verizon Wireless’ gamble will pay off, and whether the marketing policies will spread to other device manufacturers such as Samsung and HTC. If the majority of consumers determine that paying full price for a new phone every two years is unacceptable, the likely consequence will be that consumers will hold onto their devices until they are no longer serviceable. Not only could this have negative impact for the carriers, but it could also have negative consequences for the device manufacturers if demand for new devices falls substantially.


JULY 1: FCC FORM 481 (CARRIER ANNUAL REPORTING DATA COLLECTION FORM). All eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) must report the information required by Section 54.313, which includes outage, unfulfilled service request, and complaint data, broken out separately for voice and broadband services, information on the ETC’s holding company, operating companies, ETC affiliates and any branding in response to section 54.313(a)(8); its CAF-ICC certification, if applicable; its financial information, if a privately held rate-of-return carrier; and its satellite backhaul certification, if applicable. Form 481 must not only be filed with USAC, but also with the FCC and the relevant state commission and tribal authority, as appropriate. Although USAC treats the filing as confidential, filers must seek confidential treatment separately with the FCC and the relevant state commission and tribal authority if confidential treatment is desired.

JULY 1: MOBILITY FUND PHASE I ANNUAL REPORT. Winning bidders in Auction 901 that are authorized to receive Mobility Fund Phase I support are required to submit to the Commission an annual report each year on July 1 for the five years following authorization. Each annual report must be submitted to the Office of the Secretary of the Commission, clearly referencing WT Docket No. 10-208; the Universal Service Administrator; and the relevant state commissions, relevant authority in a U.S. Territory, or Tribal governments, as appropriate. The information and certifications required to be included in the annual report are described in Section 54.1009 of the Commission’s rules.

JULY 31: FCC FORM 507, UNIVERSAL SERVICE QUARTERLY LINE COUNT UPDATE. Line count updates are required to recalculate a carrier's per line universal service support, and is filed with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). This information must be submitted on July 31 each year by all rate-of-return incumbent carriers, and on a quarterly basis if a competitive eligible telecommunications carrier (CETC) has initiated service in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area and reported line count data to USAC in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area, in order for the incumbent carrier to be eligible to receive Interstate Common Line Support (ICLS). This quarterly filing is due July 31 and covers lines served as of December 31, 2014. Incumbent carriers filing on a quarterly basis must also file on September 30 (for lines served as of March 31, 2015); December 30 (for lines served as of June 30, 2015), and March 31, 2016, for lines served as of September 30, 2015).

JULY 31: CARRIER IDENTIFICATION CODE (CIC) REPORTS. Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Reports must be filed by the last business day of July (this year, July 31). These reports are required of all carriers who have been assigned a CIC code by NANPA. Failure to file could result in an effort by NANPA to reclaim it, although according to the Guidelines this process is initiated with a letter from NANPA regarding the apparent non-use of the CIC code. The assignee can then respond with an explanation. (Guidelines Section 6.2). The CIC Reporting Requirement is included in the CIC Assignment Guidelines, produced by ATIS. According to section 1.4 of that document: At the direction of the NANPA, the access providers and the entities who are assigned CICs will be requested to provide access and usage information to the NANPA, on a semi-annual basis to ensure effective management of the CIC resource. (Holders of codes may respond to the request at their own election). Access provider and entity reports shall be submitted to NANPA no later than January 31 for the period ending December 31, and no later than July 31 for the period ending June 30. It is also referenced in the NANPA Technical Requirements Document, which states at 7.18.6: CIC holders shall provide a usage report to the NANPA per the industry CIC guidelines … The NAS shall be capable of accepting CIC usage reports per guideline requirements on January 31 for the period ending December 31 and no later than July 31 for the period ending June 30. These reports may also be mailed and accepted by the NANPA in paper form. Finally, according to the NANPA website, if no local exchange carrier reports access or usage for a given CIC, NANPA is obliged to reclaim it. The semi-annual utilization and access reporting mechanism is described at length in the guidelines.

AUGUST 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 recent 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 (Form 499-A) that was due April 1.

AUGUST 1: FCC FORM 502, NUMBER UTILIZATION AND FORECAST REPORT: Any wireless or wireline carrier (including paging companies) that have received number blocks—including 100, 1,000, or 10,000 number blocks—from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), a Pooling Administrator, or from another carrier, must file Form 502 by August 1. Carriers porting numbers for the purpose of transferring an established customer’s service to another service provider must also report, but the carrier receiving numbers through porting does not. Resold services should also be treated like ported numbers, meaning the carrier transferring the resold service to another carrier is required to report those numbers but the carrier receiving such numbers should not report them. Reporting carriers file utilization and forecast reports semiannually on or before February 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending December 31, and on or before August 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending June 30.

AUGUST 29: COPYRIGHT STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS. The Copyright Statement of Accounts form plus royalty payment for the first half of calendar year 2014 is due to be filed August 29 at the Library of Congress’ Copyright Office by cable TV service providers.

Calendar At A Glance

Jun. 5 – Reply comments on Short Form Tariff Review Plans are due.
Jun. 5 – Comments are due on the 9-1-1 Non-Service Initialized Device NPRM
Jun. 10 – Comments are due by 5 p.m. Eastern on the Broadband Opportunity Council Notice and Request.
Jun. 16 – Tariffs filed on 15 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 22 – Comments are due on Eligible Services List for E-Rate 2016.
Jun. 23 – Petitions to Suspend or Reject Tariffs filed on 15 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 24 – Tariffs filed on 7 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 26 – Replies to Petitions to Suspend or Reject Tariffs filed on 15 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 26 – Petitions to Suspend or Reject Tariffs filed on 7 days’ notice are due by noon Eastern Time.
Jun. 29 – Replies to Petitions to Suspend or Reject Tariffs filed on 7 days’ notice due by noon Eastern Time.
Jun. 29 – Comments are due on the FCC’s Mobile Competition Report.

Jul. 1 – FCC Form 481 (Carrier Annual Reporting Data Collection Form) is due.
Jul. 1 – FCC Form 690 (Mobility Fund Phase I Auction Winner Annual Report) is due.
Jul. 6 – Reply comments are due on the 9-1-1 Non-Service Initialized Device NPRM.
Jul. 6 – Reply comments are due on Eligible Services List for E-Rate 2016.
Jul. 14 – Reply comments are due on the FCC’s Mobile Competition Report.
Jul. 20 – PRA comments are due on the Open Internet Order.
Jul. 27 – Comments are due on FirstNet Draft RFP.
Jul. 31 – FCC Form 507 (Universal Service Quarterly Line Count Update) is due.
Jul. 31 – Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Report is due.

Aug. 1 – FCC Form 502 due (North American Numbering Plan Utilization and Forecast Report).
Aug. 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
Aug. 29 – Copyright Statement of Accounts is due.

BloostonLaw Private Users Update Vol. 16, No. 5 May 2015

FCC Seeks Comment on Supplement to 900 MHz “Private Broadband” Rulemaking

On May 3, Enterprise Wireless Association and Pacific DataVision, Inc. supplemented their Petition for Rulemaking regarding the realignment of the 900 MHz band. Comments on the revised petition are due June 29, 2015 and Reply Comments are due July 14, 2015.

In November, 2014, the Petitioners proposed that the FCC reallocate the 900 MHz band in order to create a private enterprise broadband (“PEBB”) allocation that would be divided into a 3/3 MHz broadband segment (898-901/937-940 MHz) and a 2/2 MHz narrowband segment (896-898/935-937 MHz).

The Petitioners have now filed a supplement which includes draft proposed rules, including specific technical rules (such as emission mask, antenna height and power limits) for operation in the broadband segment. Perhaps most importantly, the proposed rules prescribe a relocation process that would be similar to that used in the 800 MHz rebanding process with Sprint. This would involve a required relocation of incumbent licensees to other spectrum or technologies, pursuant to a negotiation with the PEBB licensee regarding reimbursement of relocation costs. In crafting these proposed wording, EWA has indicated that the rules were based upon rebanding procedures used in other services for the realignment of spectrum bands so that incumbent rights can be balanced against the public policy goal “of using spectrum more efficiently with new technology”. Finally, the draft rules also propose to address the conditions under which the PEBB licensee can offer broadband arrangements to requesting entities, and the interference protection that the PEBB licensee must provide to systems operating in the 901-902/940-941 MHz band.

GE MDS Obtains Rule Waiver for ORBIT Radio System

GE MDS has obtained a rule waiver to allow the use of the D1D emission for equipment in GE’s ORBIT radio platform. This equipment is used as part of GE’s telemetry operations.

Rule Section 90.207 lists the different emissions and the associated types of operations that may be used under Part 90 of the FCC’s Rules. For telemetry operations, Rule Section 90.207(i) only allows use of the A1D, A2D, F1D or F2D emission. GE, which is an equipment manufacturer, states that it is developing a narrowband high-efficiency point-to-point and point-to-multipoint telemetry radio system that will use data rates which greatly exceed the 4800 bps/6.25 kHz bandwidth standard in the FCC’s current rules.

The FCC’s action granting the rule waiver will allow GE to obtain equipment certification for its new ORBIT radio platform for telemetry equipment that will use the D1D emission. In granting the rule waiver, the FCC concluded that the proposed ORBIT radio platform would “promote the efficient use of limited spectrum resources, and . . . improve the effectiveness of critical infrastructure operations that protect life, property and the environment.”

Once GE has obtained the necessary equipment authorizations and made equipment available, users will be able to file applications for new licenses. It is important to note that even though the FCC has granted GE’s waiver request to obtain the necessary equipment authorizations, it will still be necessary for applicants for radio licenses to request a waiver of the FCC’s rules in order to operate this equipment since the FCC has not elected to grant a blanket rule waiver at this time.

FCC’s Wireless Bureau Changes Name of Spectrum and Competition Policy Division — Focuses Functions

Roger Sherman, Chief of the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, recently changed the name of the Spectrum and Competition Policy Division to the “Competition and Infrastructure Policy Division” to more accurately reflect the Division’s increasing focus on tower and other infrastructure matters. In particular, the Division will be charged with developing and implementing “sound spectrum, competition and infrastructure policies that promote the rapid deployment of wireless communications services to consumers and encourages competition in the wireless communications marketplace.”

For private wireless licensees, the Competition and Infrastructure Policy Division will manage issues related to tower siting and obstruction marking and lighting of antenna towers under the FCC’s Rules, as well as addressing wireless matters affecting the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the National Historic Preservation Act.

States’ Opt Out Rights Pose Financial Hurdles for First-Net

FirstNet’s mission is daunting — the creation of a nation-wide, interoperable nationwide broadband public safety communications system in the 700 MHz band. At its Industry Day earlier this month, FirstNet outlined its high-level business model, including the components necessary to pay for the deployment and maintenance of the system. These components include (a) a payment of $7 billion from the US Treasury; (b) fees that FirstNet will charge to its users; (c) selling excess capacity on a commercial basis and (d) utilizing existing infrastructure to the extent practical.

Thanks to the unexpectedly high proceeds from the recently concluded AWS-3 auction, FirstNet has secured its $7 billion payment from the US Treasury. What is not known is how many of the individual states will elect to opt into the system being developed by FirstNet. If several States elect to opt out, FirstNet could find itself with a significant revenue short-fall, something that it will not be able to calculate until much later down the road. Based on news reports from the Industry Day Event, indications are that the total number of users could range from 4 million to 13 million — with the revenue difference being $2.5 billion per year based upon a $30.00 monthly service fee per user.

There are several unanswered questions: How will FirstNet define public safety? Will it be police, fire and EMS or something broader that includes some or all aspects of critical infrastructure? What type of communications will be handled on the FirstNet network? Will communications only be data or telemetry between devices, or will voice communications be supported as well? Answers to these sorts of questions will drive not only the design of the network, but also the potential usage and revenue draw for the network.

Relief from Robo Calls May Be In Sight

Yesterday, the Chairman of the FCC announced that he was circulating proposed rules that would “protect Americans from unwanted robocalls, text messages and telemarketing calls.” This action is the result of several petitions that sought clarification of the FCC’s enforcement procedures under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The proposed rules are designed to strengthen consumer protections that were first enacted in 2003 with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) Do Not Call Registry, by closing loopholes in order to prevent unwanted calls to wireline and wireless phones already registered in the Do Not Call Registry.

In proposing this action, the FCC notes that unwanted phone calls are the number one consumer complaint — amounting to over 215,000 in 2014 alone.

In order to accomplish this, the FCC is proposing the following initiatives: (a) allow consumers to say “Stop” by revoking a prior authorization for robo and other telemarketing calls, (b) allow carriers offer “robocall-blocking technologies” to consumers, since a carrier’s obligation to complete calls “is not a legal barrier to the consumers’ right to avail themselves to a call blocking technology”, (c) clarify in FCC rules that the reassignment of a phone number revokes any prior authorizations to accept robo calls; (d) clearly define an autodialer as “any technology with the capacity to dial random or sequential numbers” so that robocallers cannot “skirt” consumer consent requirements, (e) provide very limited exceptions for robocalls, e.g., public safety, fraud alerts, medication refills and (f) affirm that the consumer has the ultimate right to determine what calls he or she will or will not receive.

The FCC has taken its enforcement of the TCPA very seriously over the years. So far this year, the FCC has issued upwards of $450,000 in proposed fines and a $2.9 million fine last year.

Chairman Wheeler has circulated his proposed rulings to the other FCC commissioners for their consideration and these new rules are scheduled to be voted on at the Commission’s Open Meeting on June 18.

Bill Introduced in Alabama to Allow Municipalities to Provide Broadband Outside City Limits

On April 30, a bill was introduced in the Alabama Senate that would remove current restrictions and allow municipalities to construct telecommunications and cable systems, and to provide related services (including Internet) to households outside city limits.

Specifically, the bill would remove existing limitations that prevent municipal service providers from building net-works and furnishing services to individuals outside of the municipality and police jurisdiction, territorial jurisdiction, or any area in which the municipality currently furnishes any other utility.

The bill follows in the footsteps of the FCC’s recent Memorandum Order and Opinion granting petitions for preemption of similar restrictions in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Wilson, North Carolina, in which the FCC made clear it would not hesitate to preempt similar statutory provisions in factual situations where it finds those statutes function as barriers to broadband investment and competition.

Driving and Mobile Devices — a Recipe for Disaster?

This past weekend, an article on concerning the use of mobile devices while driving began: “It appears as though all the “don’t text and drive” campaigns may need some changes in the near future, because a study released by AT&T reveals drivers who use their phones while driving aren’t just texting. Some are taking selfies and checking into social media, while others are even engaging in video chats.”

The use of cell phones has been main stream since the mid-1990s as the devices became smaller and easier to use. Fortunately or unfortunately, over the past 10 years or so, the devices have become smarter — essentially becoming mini-computers that can keep you connected almost as well as an Internet connected desk-top computer. As a result, everyone has become much more dependent on and comfortable with mobile devices, such that these devices have become an extension of the individual user in all facets of life. While access to instant information and the ability to send messages at any time have their benefits, there are also social costs and unintended consequences. As Motor Trend has indicated, of the 2,067 people polled between the ages of 16 and 65 in the US who use their cell phones at least once per day, 70 percent use their smart phones while driving, 61 percent admitted to texting and 33 percent to either reading, sending or replying to e-mails. Motor Trend stated that the poll also indicated that 28 percent surfed the Internet while driving, while 27 percent used Facebook and 14 percent used both Twitter and Instagram.

One can conjecture that the use of smart phones has become an addiction for many — whether it be while driving a car or going out on a date with your significant other or spouse. Next time you pull up to a traffic light — look around you. Next time you are at a restaurant, look at the surrounding tables and see how many smart phones are out and in use. You might be surprised.

What is the solution? Some states now have laws banning the use of hand-held devices. That certainly is a start, but several years into the existence of such laws a lot of texting and surfing still goes on behind the wheel. But what about use of hands-free Bluetooth? And, what about self-control? Neither seems to be winning the day. Perhaps wireless carriers can help manage the problem through the use of high profile publicity campaigns against distracted driving, and encouraging the use of voice recognition technologies that allow the user to keep their eyes on the road. Significant strides are being made toward apps that allow you to listen to voicemails, texts and e-mails audibly.

OP ED: Our Take on Commissioner O’Rielly’s Concerns regarding Enforcement Penalties and Fines

In a recent Blog post, Commissioner Michael O’Rielly takes the Commission to task because it has no mechanism for ensuring that fines for rules violations are paid. In this regard, Commissioner O’Rielly asked the Enforcement Bureau to provide detailed information on the most recent Notices of Apparent Liability and Forfeiture Orders. However, the Enforcement Bureau advised Commissioner O’Rielly that it did not routinely track the collections of monetary forfeitures (fines). Commissioner O’Rielly concluded that without this collections information, the Commission is ill equipped to determine the effectiveness of its enforcement actions.

Depending upon your perspective, Commissioner O’Rielly may be on the right track in taking the position that the Commission’s staff should have some sort of a mechanism for tracking enforcement actions from cradle to grave — even after responsibility for the enforcement action has been transferred to the U.S. Treasury or the Department of Justice for collection. It seems counterintuitive, from an internal controls aspect, that the Commission would not have this process in place — especially in light of the Commission’s Redlight Rule, which permits the FCC to block action on a pending matter once the forfeiture matures to an unpaid debt, following the issuance of a final court order and the subsequent failure to pay.

Section 504 of the Communications Act provides a very clear process for the collection of FCC fines. In those circumstances where a fine pursuant to a Forfeiture Order or a subsequent Commission order on reconsideration is not paid, Section 504 allows the federal government to bring a civil suit in the United States district court where the person or carrier has its principal place of business or where the person or carrier operates. The federal government is not entitled to any presumption that the Commission’s conclusions were correct. Rather, the government will be required to prove its case anew since the case must be brought as a trial de novo — meaning that the parties will be entitled to relitigate the underlying facts and appropriateness of the fine. This is a critical safeguard in order to ensure that there is sufficient evidence of a violation and that an appropriate penalty is assessed for a violation that was not subject to the political whims of the Commission or Congress.

This newsletter is not intended to provide legal advice. Those interested in more information should contact the firm. For additional information, please contact Hal Mordkofsky at 202-828-5520 or .

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When Windows 10 arrives, will your files and apps survive?

Microsoft is offering a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8.1 users. Can't beat that deal. But you should check to make sure your files, applications and settings remain intact after the transition.

You may run into some compatibility bumps if you upgrade to Windows 10.
screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Set to debut July 29, Windows 10 will be free for one year for anyone running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. And it will be a direct upgrade, meaning you can run the Windows 10 installation in Windows 7 or 8.1, and you should end up with Windows 10 in the end.

Windows 10 marks Microsoft's big push to get itself back on course after the miscues of Windows 8, so every little thing counts -- including getting the installation correct right off the bat.

Not all software upgrades go smoothly, however. Compatibility problems sometimes rear up, especially when you upgrade from one operating system to another. Certain hardware may be not compatible. Certain software programs may not be supported or may need to be updated or reinstalled. How will you know if the hardware and software you run in Windows 7 or 8.1 will still work after the upgrade? Microsoft can help you determine if and how your PC or tablet will handle the move to Windows 10.

Check for compatibility issues

First, those of you running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 should see a Windows 10 icon in the Windows system tray. This icon debuted June 1 to coax you to reserve your free copy of Windows 10 so that come July 29, the installation package is automatically downloaded to your PC. But whether or not you've made the reservation, you can still check your PC to see which hardware and software may not play ball with Windows 10.

Click the Get Windows 10 icon. In the Windows 10 upgrade window, click the icon with the three horizontal bars, aka the hamburger icon. From the left pane that appears, click the link to Check your PC.

A Compatibility Report opens to tell you if Windows 10 will work on this PC. You'll also probably see a list of any hardware and software that may not be fully compatible or may not work with Windows 10. For example, on my Lenovo laptop, the report told me that Bluetooth audio might not work correctly after the upgrade, that Norton Internet Security won't work and that I would need to reinstall VMware Player and Lenovo Messenger.

If you find a lot of compatibility issues, don't panic. Remember that Windows 10 is still in beta mode with a release date of July 29 before the final product is out. That gives Microsoft and third-party vendors almost two months to smooth out compatibility issues and resolve any potential bugs. And even when July 29 arrives, you may want to hold off on upgrading to Windows 10 right away. You do have a year to snag the free upgrade. Wait a few weeks or a month after the OS debuts, and some of those compatibility problems may get ironed out.

Check Microsoft's information

You'll also want to check the details on Windows 10 via Microsoft's Windows 10 Specifications page. The Important Notes section on this page explains which items should make the leap to Windows 10 and which ones may not.

The good news is that your documents and personal files should all handle the transition to Windows 10 without any problems. Still, you may want to back up all of your personal files to an external drive or other source just to be on the safe side. Your Windows apps and settings should also remain intact following the upgrade. But Microsoft cautions that some applications or settings may not migrate.

As the company explains it:

The upgradeability of a device has factors beyond the system specification. This includes driver and firmware support, application compatibility, and feature support, regardless of whether or not the device meets the minimum system specification for Windows 10.

For example, third-party antivirus and anti-malware applications will be uninstalled during the upgrade and then reinstalled with the latest version after the upgrade is finished, according to Microsoft. That process assumes your subscription to the antivirus product is still valid. If not, then Microsoft's Windows Defender will be enabled instead. The Compatibility Report that I received told me that Norton Internet Security would not work, so presumably Windows 10 would install an updated version of Norton that does work.

Certain applications installed by your PC or tablet maker may need to be removed before the upgrade. My Lenovo laptop contains a suite of applications specific to Lenovo. The Compatibility Report told me that Lenovo Messenger would need to be reinstalled.

Any applications with Windows 10 compatibility issues will be removed before the upgrade. Therefore, you'll want to note the names of any such applications and check to see if new or updated versions are available that you can install after Windows 10 is in place.

Based on the latest Windows 10 Technical Preview builds, Microsoft seems to have addressed most of the gripes about Windows 8 and created an OS that seems fresher and decidedly more user-friendly. So as long as you can work through any compatibility issues, upgrading from Windows 8.1 and even from Windows 7 should be worth the effort.



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Helping Others

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“No one has ever become poor by giving.”
― Anne Frank, diary of Anne Frank

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
― Charles Dickens

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
― John Bunyan

“Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves.”
― Horace Mann


“The Corridor of Death”
Along America’s Second Border

Feb. 2015 — Riviera, Texas Border Patrol Agents apprehend migrants hiding in sand dunes. These migrants were avoiding the interior checkpoint located in Sarita, Texas, on Rt. 77 North to San Antonio.

[Editor: Leaving aside any political or racial prejudices, we must admit that this is a human tragedy.]


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