|Wireless News Aggregation|
Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,
Welcome back to The Wireless Messaging News.
It would be really bad manners to correct someone's English grammar and spelling if their native language wasn't English right?
Unless, of course, that person is a friend with a good sense of humor, and agrees to it beforehand.
So in the LETTERS TO THE EDITOR section near the end of this issue, I am editing a blog by Timo Kangas in Finland about editing. Let me know if I messed anything.
Another letter, from Burch Falkner in the LETTERS TO THE EDITOR , is thought-provoking. As I usually say about Burch, he marches to a different drummer, but he is proud of that, and he makes me think. I recommend that you read his letter.
Now on to more news and views.
Wayne County, Illinois
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 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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Ditto is wearable that helps you with missed calls & notifications
By: Kevin Raposo
Think of Ditto as a pager for the 21st century. It’s an incredibly simple product; no buttons, switches, lights, cables, or charging.
You’re probably thinking, oh great, another wearable, but Ditto is a wearable device you can actually use in your daily life.
If you’re like any other person with a smartphone these days, missing an important phone call or email can be devastating. Or what about losing your phone? It seems these days losing your smartphone is the modern day equivalent of losing your first born. OK, not really but you get what I’m trying to say.
Ditto clips directly onto your clothing, and connects to your phone over Bluetooth. Once it’s set up, it’ll buzz you with a custom pattern when you receive notifications, alert you when you’ve walked away from your phone, and even wake you up with a silent alarm. And since there’s no screen, Ditto can last for weeks or even months on a single watch battery. Once it dies, replacements are just a couple bucks each on Amazon.
Today’s deal is $10 below Ditto’s launch price, and the lowest Amazon’s ever listed. [ Ditto Wearable Tech for Smartphones, $30]
Some other notable features:
One of the best things about Ditto? You never have to charge it! After months of use, Ditto will notify you to replace it’s low-cost lithium battery.
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How the FBI might hack into an iPhone without Apple's help
By BREE FOWLER and BRANDON BAILEY
NEW YORK (AP) — For more than a month, federal investigators have insisted they have no alternative but to force Apple to help them open up a phone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.
That changed Monday when the Justice Department said an “outside party” recently showed the FBI a different way to access the data on the phone used by Syed Farook, who with his wife killed 14 people in the Dec. 2 attack.
The magistrate judge in the case postponed a hearing scheduled for Tuesday and gave the government two weeks to test its method. But federal officials have been mum about who came forward and what method they've proposed. Here are some of the leading options outside experts think the FBI might be exploring.
One likely scenario involves making multiple copies of the iPhone's flash memory, which investigators could use to restore the phone's data should they inadvertently trigger the phone's “self-destruct” feature by making too many wrong guesses at the passcode.
That feature doesn't actually erase all the files on the iPhone. Instead, it erases a section of the iPhone's memory that contains one of the keys necessary to unlock the data on the phone. This section, known as the “effaceable storage,” sits in a memory chip that theoretically could be removed and plugged into a reader device that's capable of electronically copying what's stored on the chip — and then replacing the data if it's been erased.
While the technique hasn't been proven for this purpose, forensic expert Jonathan Zdziarski said it was demonstrated in a widely circulated video that shows a Chinese smartphone vendor using a similar procedure to install more memory capacity on an iPhone. FBI Director James Comey was asked about the technique during a congressional hearing on March 1, but Comey didn't say directly whether the FBI had considered the approach.
RESET THE COUNT
A more nuanced approach would involve isolating the portion of the phone's memory where the count of how many passcode attempts have been made is stored, said Ajay Arora, CEO and co-founder of Vera, an encryption software company.
In theory, the person working on the phone would then be able to reset the count each time it approached 10, allowing investigators to make an infinite number of guesses.
"This is more technical and a little more difficult, because you'd have to isolate the section," he said. Apple hasn't provided any maps to show where that data is stored. The main problem: The FBI would run the risk of losing information if something went wrong.
Shane McGee, chief privacy officer at the FireEye cybersecurity firm, agreed that this kind of approach could potentially work. “All the government really needs is the opportunity to do a very simple, brute-force attack,” he said.
Another approach, sometimes known as “chip de-capping,” calls for physically removing the casing of the iPhone's processor chip, using acid or a laser drill. In theory, investigators could then connect electronic probes capable of reading the phone's unique identification code bit by bit from the location where it is "fused" into the phone's hardware. This method would also have to read the algorithm that combines that code with the user passcode to unlock the phone.
Once they get that information, investigators could then load it onto another computer, where they can run thousands of attempts at guessing the passcode without worrying about triggering the auto-erase function on the phone itself.
Forensic investigators have used similar procedures to read other kinds of data from computer chips, according to McGee. But experts say the process of physically dismantling a chip is technically demanding and has a high risk of causing damage that would make the data unreadable.
A BRAND NEW 'ZERO DAY'
Even a tiny flaw unknown to the software's creator — known as a zero-day vulnerability — could potentially give the government, or someone else, a way in, said Jay Kaplan, CEO of Synack and an a former NSA counterterrorism researcher.
Those exploits are considered valuable to hackers, who often sell them to others, and to intelligence agencies that use them for gathering data. It isn't clear if the government would share the information with Apple — which might then try to fix the vulnerability — or if the government would try to keep the information "in its back pocket" so it can be used for future cases, Kaplan said.
While in theory it's possible that investigators could go with some kind of brute-force attack, Kaplan thinks it's more likely that the FBI's mystery assistant found a zero day instead.
“There's plenty of them out there that vendors don't know about,” Kaplan said. “Regardless of the method, it's going to be a pretty complex process, whether it involves a zero day or not. I'm sure a lot of really smart people are working on the problem.”
|Source:||The Big Story|
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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.
FCC Revises Confidentiality Procedures for Form 481 Filing
On March 23, the FCC issued a revised Protective Order governing the filing of and access to FCC Form 481 financial information filed by privately held rate-of-return carriers. Specifically, privately held rate-of-return ETCs who wish to file confidentially any portion of FCC Form 481 now need file only one copy of the confidential version of the form with the Secretary’s Office and file a redacted version of the form online. Two courtesy copies of the confidential version of the form are no longer necessary. Finally, the Protective Order substantially reduces the number of dockets into which submitting parties must file information.
The annual Form 481 Filing is due on
CORRECTION: FCC FORM 481 DUE JULY 1
Due to a clerical error, yesterday’s edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update incorrectly listed the due date of the FCC’s Form 481 as June 1. The correct filing deadline is July 1. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
By July 1, 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.
Broadband Internet Providers Not Required to File Accessibility Certification – Yet
On March 16, the FCC issued a Public Notice clarifying that the disabled accessibility recordkeeping and RCCCI Registry requirements will not be enforced against broadband Internet access service (BIAS) providers by virtue of their status as Title II telecommunications carriers until the FCC receives approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act, and the FCC publishes a notice in the Federal Register announcing such approval and the relevant effective date. However, some BIAS providers are independently subject to these requirements by virtue of offering advanced communications services (ACS) and are thus subject to this requirement under the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) to comply with the Accessibility Recordkeeping rules independent of their classification as a common carrier. For instance, some BIAS providers bundle broadband Internet access service with e-mail, which a type of ACS that is subject to section 716.
The Accessibility Recordkeeping requirements apply to all BIAS providers thanks to the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order, in which it reclassified BIAS as a telecommunications service that is subject to the FCC’s regulatory authority under Title II of the Communications Act regardless of the technological platform over which the service is offered. Although the FCC forbore from much of its Title II authority, it did not forbear from applying section 255 of the Communications Act and the FCC’s implementing rules, which require telecommunications service providers and equipment manufacturers to make their services and equipment accessible to individuals with disabilities, if readily achievable.
Aside from the BIAS providers that have gotten a temporary reprieve, all service providers and equipment manufacturers that are subject to section 255, 716, or 718 of the Communications Act are obligated to maintain records of the efforts they take to implement these accessibility requirements. They must also file annual recordkeeping certifications and required contact information by April 1, 2016, in the “Recordkeeping Compliance Certification and Contact Information Registry”, a web-based system designed to facilitate compliance with these obligations under section 717 of the Communications Act. BIAS providers will join the group of obligated filers once the FCC gets the Federal Register notice published.
Court Orders FCC to Allow Latina Broadcasters into Auction; Denies Broader LPTV Challenge
In a significant victory for LPTV licensee Latina Broadcasters of Daytona Beach, LLC (Latina), the DC Circuit issued a ruling last Thursday ordering the FCC to allow Latina’s Station WDYB to participate in the broadcast incentive auction.
The short per curiam order did not address the merits of Latina’s case (in which the company is asserting Class A eligibility), but it simply directed the FCC to allow Latina to participate provisionally in the upcoming auction. The Court further ordered that Latina’s appeal be expedited and it directed the Clerk to schedule the case for oral argument in September.
On Friday, the DC Circuit denied a separate emergency motion for stay filed by The Videohouse, finding that the company did not meet the stringent requirements for a stay. There may still be one more request for stay pending before the court, but it looks as if the FCC has dodged the most serious threats to a timely auction start.
By allowing Latina to participate in the auction provisionally, the Court adopted a remedy that should allow the auction to proceed in accordance with its previously scheduled March 29 start date. The FCC had previously told the DC Circuit that allowing Latina to participate would delay the auction by “several weeks” because this would “alter the conditions that must be satisfied at each step of the auction.” But the Court rejected the FCC’s “stay means delay” argument, and it expressed its expectation that the Order will not cause the auction to be delayed.
On Friday morning, the FCC issued a statement confirming the Court’s expectations about the auction schedule. The statement went on to distinguish Latina’s stay request from a broader request for relief and say of the auction sought by Pittsburgh LPTV licensee The Videohouse.
“In response to last night’s ruling by the DC Circuit, we will permit Latina Broadcasters to participate provisionally in the Incentive Auction, subject to the outcome of judicial review. The auction will commence on March 29, as scheduled. This morning we are filing a supplemental letter with the Court explaining that, while the Court expressed its expectation that allowing Latina to participate will not cause the auction to be delayed, granting Videohouse’s request for a stay or provisional participation will cause substantial delay and resulting harm to the public.”
We do not think that the inclusion of a single additional broadcaster in the forward auction should have a significant impact on the FCC’s ability to repack the broadcast TV band, or delay the process of developing a 600 MHz band plan. Latina timely filed an application to participate in the forward auction, and we would be surprised if the Commission’s staff hadn’t at least planned for the possibility that the Court might rule in Latina’s favor. The March 29 start date for the incentive auction represents the deadline for broadcast applicants to specify which relinquishment option they prefer and to make an irrevocable offer to exchange their spectrum usage rights for the opening bid price. Even if the FCC needed to delay the initial commitment deadline by a week or two (and we have no indication this is the case), none of the auction deadlines following March 29 have been established as firm dates.
A much bigger auction delay would have almost certainly resulted if the DC Circuit granted the Videohouse stay request. That company is challenging the Media Bureau’s decision to extend repacking protection and reverse auction participation rights only to full-power TV stations, current Class A LPTV stations and LPTV stations that had a Class A construction permit or application for a permit on file as of February 22, 2012. The Commission upheld the Media Bureau’s ruling in a February 12, 2016, Order on Reconsideration. Grant of a stay would have suggested that the Court saw some merit in the company’s arguments. A ruling against the FCC (which now appears unlikely) would potentially expand the pool of eligible reverse auction participants by thousands of LPTV stations.
Usual Suspects and a Few Surprises Among the Applicants for the 600 MHz Forward Auction
The FCC late Friday issued its short-form application status Public Notice ( DA 16-269 ) for the forward auction portion of the upcoming Incentive Auction. Of the 104 applications that the FCC received for the 600 MHz forward auction, 69 are listed as “Complete” and 35 were listed as “Incomplete.” Applicants with incomplete applications have an opportunity to file supplemental information and/or minor corrections as requested by FCC staff. The window for resubmissions opened Monday at 10 am ET and will close at 6 pm ET on April 6th.
AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon were all present and accounted for among the hopeful bidders, as was DISH Network (bidding as ParkerB.com Wireless LLC) and Comcast Corporation (bidding as CC Wireless Investments, LLC). United States Cellular is bidding on its own and it appears that the Commission’s recent designated entity (DE) rule modifications effectively reduced the number of so-called “wink and a nod” DEs designed to qualify for maximum bidding credits, yet backed by large carriers and allowing their non-DE investors access to billions of dollars of spectrum purchased with bidding credits. Other non-DEs that appear to be in the hunt for 600 MHz spectrum include Wall Street investor Mario Gabelli (bidding as LICT Wireless Broadband Company, LLC), billionaire businessman John C. Malone (bidding as Liberty Spectrum, Inc.), Mediacom Communications founder and CEO Rocco Commisso (bidding as Rolling Hills Entertainment, LLC) and Sinclair Broadcasting (bidding as STG Wireless Licensee, LLC), which is the largest television station operator in the US. Sinclair’s participation in the forward auction raises the possibility that the company could be participating in both sides of the incentive auction, selling off broadcast spectrum while at the same time possibly buying 600 MHz licenses for non-broadcast purposes. The identity of forward auction bidders is typically disclosed by the FCC prior to bidding, but the identity of broadcasters electing to participate in the reverse auction is a closely held secret.
Despite speculation that Sprint-owner Softbank might take part in the bidding, our review of the short-form applications found no evidence of the Japanese telecom as an applicant or investor. Last September Sprint issued a statement saying it would not be participating in the 600 MHz auction because it already has the spectrum it needs to deploy its network architecture of the future.
Of the 69 applications listed as “complete,” eighteen were filed by companies seeking eligibility for the Commission’s new rural service provider credit.
The rural credit (which is capped at $10 million) allows service providers that have fewer than 250,000 combined wireline, wireless, broadband and cable customers and who offer these services primarily in rural areas to claim a 15% discount on winning bids without regard to their gross revenues. Rural bidders and other companies with attributable gross revenues of less than $55 million (including all affiliates) may alternatively seek eligibility for a 15% bidding credit as a small business, or a 25% bidding credit if their gross revenues average less than $20 million. The Commission has adopted a $150 million cap on small business bid credits, but imposes a $10 million ceiling on the amount of credit that can be used for smaller markets ( i.e., to provide parity with the rural service provider credit).
Of the small and very small business applicants former Aloha Partners CEO Charlie Townsend is leading a group of investors in a DE applicant named Bluewater Wireless II, L.P., and minority investor David Grain is bidding through an entity named NewLevel, LLC.
Another interesting applicant that is not seeking bidding credits — and which points to the changing face of wireless — is Social Capital Rama Spectrum Holdings LLC. Social Capital is 100% owned by 38-year old Chamath Palihapitiya, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist from Sri Lanka who was formerly head of AOL’s instant messaging division and an early Facebook employee. He became Facebook’s longest tenured senior executive at the time of that company’s IPO and is reportedly worth more than $1 billion. It is unknown whether Palihapitiya has visions of providing service to customers, but he has said he wants to use his wealth “as a bridge to a more meaningful, long-term, largely unrealistic goal that can keep you focused, grounded and helpful to others.”
Broadcasters who are participating in the reverse auction portion of the Incentive Auction must make their initial commitments next week. Then the FCC will run its repacking software and determine the initial clearing target and initial 600 MHz band plan (a process that we think should take a few weeks). Forward auction upfront payments will be due several weeks to a month after the initial 600 MHz band plan is announced. Based on these projections (and assuming no delays by the FCC or imposed by a court), we expect that bidding in the forward auction may start as early as June.
Law & Regulation
2016 Access Charge Tariff and Tariff Review Plan Filing Procedures Established
On March 16, the FCC issued an Order establishing procedures for the 2016 filing of annual access charge tariffs and Tariff Review Plans (TRPs) for incumbent local exchange carriers (LECs) subject to price cap regulation, as well as rate-of-return incumbent LECs subject to sections 61.38 and 61.39 of the FCC’s rules. The Order (1) sets an effective date of July 1, 2016, for the July 2016 annual access charge tariff filings; (2) establishes the dates for filing petitions to suspend or reject an incumbent LEC tariff filing and replies to such petitions; and (3) addresses service of the petitions and replies. It also establishes May 17, 2016 as the date that price cap incumbent LECs must file short form TRPs.
The deadlines for this year’s filings are as follows:
Effective Date Established for Compensation Rate Relief for Small VRS Providers
As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the FCC adopted a Report and Order “provid[ing] limited compensation rate relief for video relay service (VRS) providers with 500,000 or fewer monthly minutes (smallest VRS providers).” The effective date for the rates adopted is April 20, 2016. This means that the rate adjustments will begin as scheduled.
Specifically, for the 16-month period beginning July 1, 2015, and ending October 31, 2016, the FCC directed the administrator of the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Services Fund (TRS Fund) to pay compensation to such providers at a rate of $5.29 per minute; for the period from November 1, 2016, to April 30, 2017, a rate of $5.06 per minute; and for the period from May 1 to June 30, 2017, a rate of $4.82 per minute.
In 2013, the FCC adopted a four-year schedule that gradually adjusts the VRS compensation rates downward every six months, beginning July 1, 2013, and ending June 30, 2017. The net effect of the FCC’s Report and Order of March 1 is to temporarily “freeze” the compensation rates of providers handling 500,000 or fewer monthly minutes on this four-year glide path for 16 months. The FCC found that, among other considerations, “available financing arrangements will not permit [these providers] to maintain operations indefinitely in accordance with the FCC’s minimum TRS standards while continuing to operate at a loss.” As such, the FCC concluded that it should temporarily halt the scheduled reduction in the VRS compensation rates applicable to the smallest VRS providers, in order to permit them “a reasonable opportunity to grow and to attain efficiencies comparable to those of larger VRS providers.”
FCC Releases Form 477 Data on Fixed Broadband Deployment
On March 16, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing the release of data on fixed broadband deployment as of June 30, 2015. These data were collected through FCC Form 477 and are available on the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Data – FCC Form 477 webpage at www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/broadband-deployment-data-fcc-form-477 . Coverage area shapefiles showing mobile broadband network deployment as of June 30, 2015 will be made available on the same webpage at a later date.
Users can download data on the census blocks where providers report offering fixed broadband services to at least part of the block. These data tables also indicate the technology used to offer the service and the maximum advertised download and upload speeds for both consumer and business services. The data are available in a CSV (comma separated value) format for both the entire United States and for individual states.
A description of the fields in the fixed broadband deployment data and an explanation of the modifications made to the data prior to its release are available on the Explanations of the Broadband Deployment Data webpage at www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/explanation-broadband-deployment-data . Unless otherwise noted there, the data have been released as filed.
MARCH 31: INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT CAPACITY REPORT. No later than March 31, all U.S. international carriers that owned or leased bare capacity on a submarine cable between the United States and any foreign point on December 31, 2015 and any person or entity that held a submarine cable landing license on December 31, 2015 must file a Circuit Capacity Report to provide information about the submarine cable capacity it holds. Additionally, cable landing licensees must file information on the Circuit Capacity Report about the amount of available and planned capacity on the submarine cable for which they have a license. Any U.S. International Carrier that owned or leased bare capacity on a terrestrial or satellite facility as of December 31, 2015 must file a Circuit Capacity Report showing its active common carrier circuits for the provision of service to an end-user or resale carrier, including active circuits used by itself or its affiliates. Any satellite licensee that is not a U.S. International Carrier and that owns circuits between the United States and any foreign point as of December 31, 2015 of the reporting period must file a Circuit Capacity Report showing its active circuits sold or leased to any customer, including itself or its affiliates, other than a carrier authorized by the FCC to provide U.S. international common carrier services.
APRIL 1: FCC FORM 499-A, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. This form must be filed by all contributors to the Universal Service Fund (USF) sup-port mechanisms, the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, the cost recovery mechanism for the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), and the shared costs of local number portability (LNP). Contributors include every telecommunications carrier that provides interstate, intrastate, and international telecommunications, and certain other entities that provide interstate telecommunications for a fee. Even common carriers that qualify for the de minimis exemption must file Form 499-A. Entities whose universal service contributions will be less than $10,000 qualify for the de minimis exemption. De minimis entities do not have to file the quarterly report (FCC Form 499-Q), which was due February 1, and will again be due May 1. Form 499-Q relates to universal and LNP mechanisms. Form 499-A relates to all of these mechanisms and, hence, applies to all providers of interstate, intrastate, and international telecommunications services. Form 499-A contains revenue information for January 1 through December 31 of the prior calendar year. And Form 499-Q contains revenue information from the prior quarter plus projections for the next quarter. (Note: the revised 499-A and 499-Q forms are now available.) Block 2-B of the Form 499-A requires each carrier to designate an agent in the District of Columbia upon whom all notices, process, orders, and decisions by the FCC may be served on behalf of that carrier in proceedings before the FCC. Carriers receiving this newsletter may specify our law firm as their D.C. agent for service of process using the information in our masthead. There is no charge for this service.
APRIL 1: ANNUAL ACCESS TO ADVANCED SERVICES CERTIFICATION. All providers of telecommunications services and telecommunications carriers subject to Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act are required to file with the FCC an annual certification that (1) states the company has procedures in place to meet the recordkeeping requirements of Part 14 of the Rules; (2) states that the company has in fact kept records for the previous calendar year; (3) contains contact information for the individual or individuals handling customer complaints under Part 14; (4) contains contact information for the company’s designated agent; and (5) is supported by an affidavit or declaration under penalty of perjury signed by an officer of the company.
MAY 31: FCC FORM 395, EMPLOYMENT REPORT. Common carriers, including wireless carriers, with 16 or more full-time employees must file their annual Common Carrier Employment Reports (FCC Form 395) by May 31. This report tracks carrier compliance with rules requiring recruitment of minority employees. Further, the FCC requires all common carriers to report any employment discrimination complaints they received during the past year. That information is also due on June 1. The FCC encourages carriers to complete the discrimination report requirement by filling out Section V of Form 395, rather than submitting a separate report.
|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 email@example.com .|
Meet Boyertown’s 2016 First Responder — Bob Rothermel
By Lynn A. Gladieux, For Digital First Media
Bob Rothermel admits he was shocked when he received the call naming him as Boyertown’s first responder of the year.
“I didn’t believe it,” Rothermel said. “Because normally they pick an emergency medical specialist (EMS) or firefighter, and when the guy called, I had no idea what he was talking about. I didn’t believe him.”
But the fire police captain for the Boyertown Area Fire & Rescue is, indeed, this year’s first responder, an honor Rothermel clearly deserves.
The captain of Keystone Fire Company since 1992, Rothermel became the fire police captain of BAFR when Keystone, Friendship Hook & Ladder and Liberty Fire Company merged in 2014.
Rothermel’s interest in the fire police started when he was in high school, but was deferred for a few years while he served in the military. While stationed in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a fellow officer asked him to join the fire department and it was there that his passion for serving his community began.
After living in Colorado for about 18 months, Rothermel returned to the area in 1982 and immediately joined Keystone. In 1992, he was made captain.
In his role as fire police captain, Rothermel says his main responsibility is to protect the firefighters and police who are responding to the scene of an emergency. His job is to determine the route for the fire engines and to decide what roads can stay open and what roads need to close. “We detour traffic away from the emergency scene, and I run the show for the fire police,” Rothermel says. “Our basic function is to protect the firefighters and EMS so they can do their job.”
Rothermel, 54, says he enjoys serving the community where he has spent most of his life. The Berks County native takes his job seriously and knows he is an integral part of any emergency situation. “When that pager goes off, it means somebody needs your help. When that pager goes, you go,” he says.
And even though there are difficult moments and challenges that would stretch the limits of even the toughest first responder, Rothermel says he pushes through. “It’s hard, but at the same time you’ve got a job to do,” he says.
Rothermel credits his wife and family for supporting his volunteer efforts over the years. A 1979 graduate of Boyertown Area High School, Rothermel has been married to wife, Bonnie, for 36 years, and is father to son, Jarrod, 35.
He currently resides in Boyertown.
|Friends & Colleagues|
Wireless Network Planners
|LETTERS TO THE EDITOR|
There used to be a professionals which were called the editors. It used to be a long term study of what you are writing about. They were professionals in writing and language. They could even use hyphen correctly.
What it is today? Follow the bloody Twitter and then copy-paste. We have lost the real editors. If you watch or listen the news today, how many of them are based on what someone wrote in Twitter? The internet has changed our world and this is one phenomena. News has to be short, less than 140 characters hopefully. Yes, one page of your laptop is just about acceptable.
In social media you can write whatever you can puke out. Your bad feelings or raise a campaign for something or against something what you don't like. If you are lucky, someone might follow you.
The key point is that news and messages in internet and social media are opinions not facts. That is the fact not an opinion. Watch everything you see in net as an outsider, avoid too tight connections. Todays media is like a fractile. You see details but can you see and understand the full picture?
Best regards (spring is almost here!)
OK . . . I have known Timo for a long time. He has been a good colleague and has contributed other content to the newsletter, from time to time.
I am sure he has a good sense of humor, so I got his permission to edit his blog as it appears below in red type. My edits are in black type.
First of all I congratulate him on his excellent command of English. I, however, do not speak one word of Finnish even though I have been to Finland—a wonderful country, by the way. This amazing country has produced some world-famous architects, great cellphones, and many beautiful women. I am just not too fond of eating reindeer every day.
So here we go. He asked for it, however, I may not sleep tonight worrying about whether or not I have offended him.
[Have I missed anything? Any native speaker of Spanish could do the same for my written Spanish, and I would be grateful.]
Your editorial comments in your last issue are worthy of comment. I understand what you were saying about the need to support each other and the need to generate income to stay in business. However, need does not necessarily equate to success.
Three major forces have changed forever, the business we know as paging, or personal messaging, or critical response, or whatever you want to call the business of beepers. The first is changing technology. Apple and Google have changed EVERYTHING relating to the business of information exchange. Second is a dependence of government funding, which began in the 30's and expanded in a major way in the 70's when the communications industry became dependent on government funding (i.e. LEAA and similar programs). The third is the elimination of labor as computers, artificial intelligence, and robotics are slowly but surely replacing ALL human jobs.
These three factors explain why your readers are not supporting your advertisers, or for that matter, you! I wonder how many of your readers are willing to share their opinions of what caused this situation and what, if anything, can or should be done about it.
I have some ideas. Surely others do as well. Wonder if anyone would like to share an opinion, or if we will do what we always do?
On a closing note, a friend is involved in the construction of the new NATO world headquarters Brussels, Belgium with a direct link to “The Beast” (the computer that has compiled information on every human being on this planet). Stay tuned kids it's just starting to get interesting. BTW, “guest workers” which includes my friend are required to pay a minimum income tax of 55% of all income they earn while working in Belgium. If you want to play there, you've got to pay there. . .
The Falcon Companies
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|THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK|
“If you're lonely when you're alone, you're in bad company.”
― Jean-Paul Sartre
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Photograph: Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images
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