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independent news

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FRIDAY — JULY 13, 2012 — ISSUE NO. 515

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Paging and Wireless Messaging Home Page image Newsletter Archive image Carrier Directory image Recommended Products and Services
Reference Papers Consulting Glossary of Terms Send an e-mail to Brad Dye

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Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,

Greetings from Southern Illinois where it is still hot and dry.

The worst drought in a quarter of a century tightened its grip on the Midwest over the past week as sweltering temperatures and scant rainfall punished corn and soybean crops across the region, according to a report from climate experts issued on Thursday.
[ source ]

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Now here is a good idea — although not new. With the demise of consumer-numeric-display paging and the almost universal adoption of cellphones, came the disappearance of pay telephones. So all over the world there are “gazillions” of places where payphones were installed. Most of these locations still have the unused telephone wires and many of them have AC power available there as well. This is a natural place to put a Wi-Fi hotspot as you will see below. Just think of the cost to deploy Wi-Fi hotspots all over a city if new telephone lines had to be installed for each site — AC power as well.

Too bad we didn't figure out a use for the many paging sites that have been decommissioned.

Well . . . we sort of did, but our all-knowing government — the same one who supposedly * paid $600.00 for a hammer — had to invent a new wireless mass-notification system after 9/11 that is just now being implemented. One of the several, already-existing-nationwide 900 MHz paging channels could have been dedicated to notifying the public right after 9/11 but the government “geniuses” thought that paging technology was obsolete.

* Actually that was a myth: "There never was a $600 hammer," said Steven Kelman, public policy professor at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and a former administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. It was, he said, "an accounting artifact." [ source ]

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New York City converts payphones to free Wi-Fi hotspots

July 11, 2012
By Tammy Parker

FierceBroadband Wireless

The city of New York is turning its payphones into free, public Wi-Fi hotspots under a pilot program.

The city said it will extend the program to its five boroughs though only 10 kiosk locations are currently live in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. "Additional hotspots will come in the following months," according to a city government blog post, which did not specify exactly when the remaining two boroughs — Staten Island and the Bronx — can expect to get their own payphone hotspots.

The payphones' "military grade" antennas, can provide service up to 300 feet away, according to an article on GigaOM, which noted the $2,000 installation is being provided gratis by Van Wagner Communications, owner of many of New York City's payphones. The city intends to deploy more Wi-Fi hotspots to its 13,000 payphone sites, with payphone companies expected to be responsible for the maintenance and other ongoing costs, said the article.

nyc wifi

NYC will initially extend the program though 10 kiosk locations across the city .

Back in 2005, Verizon ( NYSE:VZ ) halted its two-year-old effort to convert outdoor phone booths in New York City to hotspots, contending — some would say shortsightedly — that its ongoing cdma2000 EV-DO expansion would make Wi-Fi hotspots obsolete.

New York is not the first to use its payphone sites for Wi-Fi hotspots. In February 2011, China began converting payphone booths to Wi-Fi hotspots. In the UK, Spectrum Interactive has retrofitted some 1,800 of the United Kingdom's iconic red payphone booths, turning them into Wi-Fi hotspots.

For more:

[ source ]

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Now on to more news and views.


Wayne County, Illinois Weather

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Wireless Messaging News
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Wireless Messaging News
This is a weekly newsletter about Wireless Messaging. You are receiving this because I believe you have requested it. This is not a SPAM. If you have received this message in error, or you are no longer interested in these topics, please click here , then click on "send" and you will be promptly removed from the mailing list.

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iland This newsletter is brought to you by the generous support of our advertisers and the courtesy of iland Internet Solutions Corporation . For more information about the web-hosting services available from iland Internet Solutions Corporation, please click on their logo to the left.

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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.

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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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You can help support the Wireless Messaging News by clicking on the PayPal Donate button above.

Voluntary Reader Support

Newspapers generally cost 75¢ a copy and they hardly ever mention paging. If you receive some benefit from this publication maybe you would like to help support it financially? A donation of $25.00 would represent approximately 50¢ a copy for one year. If you are willing and able, please click on the PayPal Donate button above.

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Netflix—A Business Case Study

If you enjoy and benefit from Business Case Studies as much as I do, there are several very important business principles that can be learned from the mistakes made by Netflix. There is an amazing parallel to the rise and fall of the paging industry. It boils down to greed and “arrogance based upon past success.”

The attrition in Paging was inevitable because of the almost universal adoption of cellphones, but it shouldn't have happened so quickly and we (IMHO) could have retained more subscribers than we did — had we caught the rising star of text messaging — with two-way paging.

On October 24, [2011] Netflix reported earnings and revealed that it had lost 800,000 subscribers in the quarter ending September 30. Prior to that, the number of Netflix subscribers had grown by at least 1 million in each of the previous seven quarters.

The next day, the bottom fell out of Netflix's stock as it lost more than a third of its value. Shares were trading at $77. In the three months since the price hike, Netflix had lost three-quarters of its value.


One of the hardest lessons to learn, in life, is that most all of what happens to us is the result of our own behaviour — not bad luck. Evidently CEO Reed Hastings learned that lesson but it was very costly.

“I messed up. I owe everyone an explanation. In hindsight, I slid into arrogance based upon past success.”
—Reed Hastings in a blog post to customers

If this has caught your attention, I encourage you to read the following article.

Netflix's lost year: The inside story of the price-hike train wreck left arrow CLICK HERE


signup left arrow CLICK HERE


free There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. It's all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.

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If you are reading this, your potential customers are probably reading it as well.

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Please Support Our Advertisers — They Make This Newsletter Possible

Advertiser Index

American Messaging
Daviscomms USA
Hark Technologies
Ira Wiesenfeld & Associates
Leavitt Communications
Preferred Wireless
Prism Paging
Ron Mercer — Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC
PSSI — Product Support Services
Critical Alert Systems d/b/a Northeast, UCOM & Teletouch Paging
WiPath Communications

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New Zipit app provides paging with HIPAA accountability

By: Neil Versel
Jul 12, 2012

Mobile Health News

zipit-wireless New pager-replacement Android and Apple iOS apps from Zipit Wireless, a Greenville, S.C.-based maker of wireless IP devices and software, not only add paging capabilities to smartphones, but allow hospitals to get a better handle on many forms of staff communication.

On Thursday, Zipit introduced the two apps, branded as Zipit Confirm, and also announced a significant partnership with Verizon Enterprise Solutions to provide secure voice-over-IP services for the company’s Zipit Now ruggedized messaging devices.

The Zipit Confirm app is a free download, but requires a subscription to the Enterprise Critical Messaging Solution, a partnership between Zipit and Verizon Wireless that was launched at HIMSS11, with monthly service starting at $10 per user. The subscription provides access to the cloud-based Zipit Remote Administration Portal, or RAP, that tracks when messages arrive, what they say and whether the recipient opened the message.

“It gives you accountability that you don’t get with pagers,” says Michael Vitale, VP of sales at Zipit Wireless. “Because it has a full record of accountability, it becomes HIPAA-compliant.”

This eliminates what Vitale calls the “page-and-pray” process and perhaps leads to safer care. For example, he says, the emergency department can know right away that the cardiac catheterization lab or STEMI team is ready for a patient in critical condition, helping to reduce door-to-balloon time for someone having a heart attack. “Today, with a pager, we don’t know if someone received [the message],” Vitale says.

The same kind of readiness can apply to departments such as patient transport, labs and nutrition, making for more efficient operations throughout the hospital.

Vitale believes that the market for pager replacement in healthcare is huge because while other industries abandoned the once-ubiquitous belt accessories en masse years ago, this one hasn't. Zipit says that 58 percent of pagers still in use today are in healthcare – and that doesn’t even include pagers on private networks.

But the service is more than just paging. The system also provides accountability for e-mails and what the company calls ZText, SMS that runs on internal Wi-Fi networks so users can send and receive texts in cellular dead spots such as hospital basements. The e-mail follows standard Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), providing controls and monitoring over alarms and sensors. “We can communicate with machines and alarm systems,” Vitale says.

Smartphones do not have to be on the Verizon Wireless network to use the Zipit app, so the technology supports the bring-your-own-device trend, according to Verizon product manager Jeff Pierson, though the app is exclusive on Verizon Enterprise Solutions infrastructure. (Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone, while Verizon Enterprise Solutions is the business-to-business unit of the telecommunications powerhouse.)

Interestingly, the app initially is only available for Apple and Android, even though Vitale spent eight years at Research in Motion, whose BlackBerry line once dominated institutional smartphone deployments and still finds strength at the enterprise level. “We saw a decline in BlackBerry use,” he says, particularly in healthcare, where physicians overwhelmingly seem to favor the iPhone. “We went where the demand has come from.”

Still, Vitale would not rule out future apps for BlackBerry or Windows Phone.

Source: Mobile Health News

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Daviscomms USA

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daviscomms PAGERS & Telemetry Devices

(12.5 kHz or 25 kHz - POCSAG)

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Board Level to complete “Turn-Key”

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Scottsdale, AZ


Daviscomms (S) Pte Ltd-Bronze Member-CMA

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Daviscomms USA

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American Messaging

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American Messaging

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Product Support Services, Inc.

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Wireless and Cellular Repair - Pagers, Coasters, Handsets, Infrastructure and other Electronics

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Product Support Services, Inc.

511 South Royal Lane
Coppell, Texas 75019
(972) 462-3970 Ext. 261 left arrow
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PSSI is the industry leader in reverse logistics, our services include depot repair, product returns management, RMA and RTV management, product audit, test, refurbishment, re-kitting and value recovery.

PSSI Offers Customers

  • Centralized Returns and Repair Services at our 125,000 Sq. Ft. Facility, in a Triple Free Port Zone, 3 Miles North of DFW Airport.
  • Experience, PSSI repairs 5,000 units a day and has capacity for more.
  • ISO9001:2008 Certified Operation, with integrated Lean Manufacturing processes and systems for best-in class performance and turn-times.
  • Authorized Service Center for Level I, II and III Repair by a wide variety of OEMs including LG, Motorola, Samsung, Nokia and others.
  • State-of-the-art facility for multiple wireless test environments, including infrastructure and board-level test and repair capabilities.
  • Serialized Tracking through PSSI’s proprietary Work-In-Process (WIP) and shop floor management system PSS.Net . This system allows PSSI to track each product received by employee, work center, lot, model, work order, serial number and location, tracking parts allocated, service, repair and refurbishment actions through each stage of the reverse logistics process. Access to order status and repair reports can be transmitted electronically in formats like FTP, EDI, API, XML or CSV.
  • Expertise, PSSI’s executive team has 125+ years of industry experience.

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Thuraya Appoints Vice President of Marketing

MENAFN Press - 10/07/2012

sanford jewett (MENAFN Press) Thuraya Telecommunications Company, a leading international mobile satellite operator, is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. T. Sanford Jewett as their new Vice President, Marketing.

Mr. Jewett brings his expertise in international markets to Thuraya and will play a major role in leading the expansion of Thuraya's global marketing strategies. Sanford has over 25 years of experience in the wireless, internet and satellite industries. His experience includes an extensive focus on introducing technology companies into new markets.

Before joining Thuraya, Mr. Jewett oversaw Strategy & Business Development for the mobile services group at Time Warner Cable, the number 2 cable TV operator in the US market with over 15 million residential and business customers.

Over the years, he has held management positions with several leading communication service providers including America Online (AOL,) Skytel, Millicom International Cellular and Reliance WiMax World.

During the start-up of Iridium Satellite in the late 1990s, Mr. Jewett worked in the marketing department, where he led the development and global marketing of the Iridium satellite pager product. More recently, Mr. Jewett ran Operations and Business Development for WorldCell, a US-based service provider serving US Government customers in the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia.

Mr. Jewett's appointment follows two appointments to the board of directors earlier this year: Mr. Michael Butler, former President & Chief Operating Officer of Inmarsat and Mr. Charles W. Moore, Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin Global ME. The diverse global team of professionals and executives at Thuraya continues to drive global satellite communications with their commitment to delivering innovation and connectivity across the globe.

About Thuraya Telecommunications Company
As a leading mobile satellite services operator, Thuraya delivers innovative voice and data solutions in more than 140 countries across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. Thuraya's satellite communications solutions are used by people working in the energy, media, government, NGO and maritime sectors in remote locations outside the reach of terrestrial networks. Since its service launch in 2001, Thuraya has sold in excess of 600,000 satellite handheld phones. Thuraya is the only company to offer a dual-mode satellite phone — the Thuraya XT-DUAL — a technologically superior handset that features both GSM and satellite capabilities. Thuraya also offers the Thuraya IP data modem, a secure and rapidly-deployable satellite broadband solution offering connection speeds up to 444 Kbps. Established in 1997, Thuraya continues to serve humanity through developing superior products and solutions that provide the essential tools for optimal connectivity; never leaving anyone out of reach.


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LEAVITT Communications

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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 250’s, 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.

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Phil Leavitt

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7508 N. Red Ledge Dr.
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

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Obama assigns new responsibilities for keeping government connected in case of emergency

Friday - 7/6/2012, 6:58pm ET

By Jack Moore

In an executive order issued Friday, President Barack Obama laid out an all-hands-on-deck approach to developing policies for preserving government communications in the event of a national disaster or emergency.

"The federal government must have the ability to communicate at all times and under all circumstances to carry out its most critical and time sensitive missions," Obama said in the order, which calls for "survivable, resilient, enduring and effective communications" during emergencies.

Obama's order creates the Executive Committee on National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications — or NS/EP communications — to be staffed with high-ranking officials from eight agencies and departments.

The committee will include officials from the:

  • Defense Department
  • State Department
  • Justice Department
  • Commerce Department
  • Homeland Security Department
  • Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)
  • General Services Administration
  • Federal Communications Commission

The secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security will co-chair the committee.

The director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, an office within the White House, will be required to issue a yearly report on NS/EP communications and will advise the President on how radio spectrum and wireless can best be prioritized.

The full committee is tasked with coordinating planning for the use of NS/EP communications "under all hazards," according to the order. The committee will also develop a "long-term strategic vision" and detail funding requirements.

Specifically, DoD will be responsible for developing capabilities to support national security interests, while DHS is tasked with developing policies to support continuity of government operations.

DHS will take the lead in deciding how communication networks will be prioritized or restored in the event of an emergency and will operate a joint industry-government office to toward that end.

DHS already manages a number of offices designed to provide telecommunications functions during crises, namely the National Communications System, which was created after the Cuban missile crisis in the 1960s.

The system includes a number of programs, such as the Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS), which allow federal agencies to access telephone and wireless service in the event of high-outages or services disruptions. Its tagline is "When the going gets tough, GETS keeps you going."

However, the executive order now directs DHS to develop a detailed plan describing the agency's organization and management structure for such services.

Notably, the order comes a week after a severe storm caused widespread power outages and disruptions to wireless and cell service in the Washington, D.C. area.

Source: Federal News Radio

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Consulting Alliance

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Brad Dye, Ron Mercer, Allan Angus, and Vic Jackson are friends and colleagues who work both together and independently, on wireline and wireless communications projects. Click here for a summary of their qualifications and experience. They collaborate on consulting assignments, and share the work according to their individual expertise and their schedules.

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Consulting Alliance

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Preferred Wireless

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Terminals & Controllers:
1 Motorola ASC1500
2 GL3100 RF Director 
15 SkyData 8466 B Receivers
1 GL3000L Complete w/Spares
1 GL3000ES Terminal
4 Zetron 2200 Terminals
  Unipage — Many Unipage Cards & Chassis
Link Transmitters:
4 Glenayre QT4201 & 6201, 25 & 100W Midband Link TX
2 Glenayre QT6201 Link Repeater and Link Station in Hot Standby
1 Glenayre QT6994, 150W, 900 MHz Link TX
3 Motorola 10W, 900 MHz Link TX (C35JZB6106)
2 Motorola 30W, Midband Link TX (C42JZB6106AC)
2 Eagle Midband Link Transmitters, 125W
5 Glenayre GL C2100 Link Repeaters
VHF Paging Transmitters
6 Glenayre GLT8411, 250W, VHF TX
8 Motorola VHF 350W Nucleus NAC Transmitters
13 Motorola VHF 350W Nucleus Cnet Transmitters
UHF Paging Transmitters:
20 Glenayre UHF GLT5340, 125W, DSP Exciter
3 Motorola PURC-5000 110 & 225W, TRC & ACB
2 QT-7795, 250W, UHF TX
900 MHz Paging Transmitters:
3 Glenayre GLT 8600, 500W
2 Glenayre GLT8200, 25W (NEW)
15 Glenayre GLT-8500 250W
35 Glenayre 900 MHz DSP Exciters
25 Glenayre GLT-8500 Final PAs
35 Glenayre GLT-8500 Power Supplies

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Too Much To List • Call or E-Mail

  Rick McMichael
  Preferred Wireless, Inc.
  10658 St. Charles Rock Rd.
  St. Louis, MO 63074
  888-429-4171 or 314-429-3000

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Preferred Wireless

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Bloomberg News

RIM Tries to Reassure Investors at Annual Meeting

By Hugo Miller and Dominic Chu on July 10, 2012

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A Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM) BlackBerry Tour 9630.
Photographer: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg

Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM), seeking to reassure shareholders at their annual meeting today, reiterated that it’s considering all strategic options for the company, even as it pushes for a January release of the BlackBerry 10.

“We’re doing all our homework to understand what our options are,” Chairwoman Barbara Stymiest told reporters at the event in Waterloo, Ontario. “We are doing this in parallel with delivering on BB10. Whatever happens will be the best of the available options at the time.”

RIM faced combative questions today from shareholders, who have seen the stock lose about 95 percent of its value since peaking in 2008. In a packed auditorium, investors criticized everything from Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins’s million-dollar salary to the board’s lack of diversity to technical glitches with the existing BlackBerry technology.

Vic Alboini, chairman of the Toronto-based investment firm Jaguar Financial Corp., served as the company’s most vocal critic, standing up twice to ask questions. He has called for the company to be sold or broken up, and said today he was disappointed not to hear about those possibilities. He has cited Microsoft Corp. or International Business Machines Corp. as potential buyers.

Alboini also called for changes to the board, which he views as too insular. Shareholders did elect one new director today, TPG Capital LP executive Timothy Dattels — an addition Alboini called “a step in the right direction.”

‘Too Cozy’

“What this board is missing is more technologically savvy expertise, marketing expertise and a little more transaction expertise,” said Alboini, who declines to say how much RIM stock he owns. “This is too cozy and clubby a board.”

RIM said last month that it would seek one or more directors this year, and Stymiest said today that the company has a search firm working to recruit board members. Four of RIM’s 10 directors have joined in the past year, she said.

“That’s a huge amount of change,” Stymiest said.

The meeting was held at an auditorium at Wilfrid Laurier University, near RIM’s headquarters. Only water was served at the event, which one investor during the meeting lauded as a cost-cutting move.

Even so, the meeting did little to placate shareholders. RIM’s stock fell 5 percent to $7.29 in New York, following a decline of 5.3 percent yesterday. The shares have lost half their value since the start of the year.

Apple, Google

RIM has failed to keep up with Apple Inc. (AAPL) (AAPL) and Google Inc. (GOOG) (GOOG), and the release of the BlackBerry 10 operating system — a linchpin of its comeback plan — has been delayed twice. RIM last month reported a first-quarter loss excluding restructuring expenses that was more than five times bigger than what analysts had predicted. Sales tumbled 43 percent to $2.8 billion, and the company said it would cut 5,000 jobs — about a third of its workforce.

“I want to assure you I am not satisfied with the performance of the company over the past year,” Heins said at the meeting. “We are working around the clock to successfully complete the transition path that we are on.”

RIM’s share of the global smartphone industry fell by more than half to 6.4 percent in the first quarter, according to research firm IDC. Google’s Android jumped to 59 percent, while Apple accounted for 23 percent.

Withheld Votes

Shareholders approved all of RIM’s directors and a non-binding say-on-pay measure that the board had supported. Still, some investors withheld votes for the directors — a sign of dissent, Alboini said. Almost 15 percent of votes for Heins were withheld. The amount was 19.1 percent for Mike Lazaridis, RIM’s previous co-CEO.

The company also said today that it was aiming to release its first BlackBerry 10 phones in January, giving a more specific time frame than its previous goal of the first quarter.

“My expectation is that in some countries we will be launching in January,” Frank Boulben, RIM’s new chief marketing officer, said in an interview before the meeting. “Will it be three continents or five, five countries or 10? I don’t know the specifics yet, but it will be multiple countries on multiple continents.”

Boulben, who was hired for RIM’s top marketing job in May, said that releasing the phone in January and not in the run-up to the holiday shopping season means RIM won’t have to compete with a flood of new handsets. Apple and other rivals are expected to release new models later this year.

No Assurances

Still, Boulben said he couldn't guarantee the January timing for the first phone because wireless carriers’ testing of the device could run late.

“The testing process of our carrier partners can take up to eight, 10, 12 weeks,” said Boulben, a former executive at French carrier Orange SA. “So we are also dependent on them.”

The company said last month that the first BB10 phone wouldn't be released until first quarter of 2013, an announcement that sent the shares tumbling. At the time, RIM wasn't more specific.

The company doesn’t want to release the software before it’s ready, Heins said today.

“BB10 is not just another OS — it’s a whole new mobile computing platform,” he said.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

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Alfred J. Gross

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alfred J. Gross
al gross
Photographed by Leo Sorel

Born:  February 22, 1918
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died:  December 21, 2000 (aged 82)
Sun City, Arizona, U.S.
Occupation:  Inventor, Engineer

Alfred J. Gross (February 22, 1918 – December 21, 2000), a.k.a. Irving J. Gross was a pioneer in mobile wireless communication. He created and patented many communications devices, specifically in relation to an early version of the walkie-talkie, Citizens' Band radio, the telephone pager and the cordless telephone. Despite the successes of these inventions, his patents expired too early to make any amount of money from them.


Gross was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1918, the son of Romanian immigrants, he grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States.

His lifelong enthusiasm for radio was sparked at age nine, when traveling on Lake Erie by a steamboat. While sneaking around the boat he ended up in the radio transmissions room. The ship's operator let him listen in on transmissions. Later, Gross turned the basement of his house into a radio station, built from scavenged junkyard parts.

At sixteen he earned his amateur radio license, and he used his call sign (W8PAL) his whole life.

The walkie-talkie

His interest and knowledge in radio technology had grown considerably by the time he in 1936 entered the BSEE program at Cleveland's Case of Applied Sciences (now a part of Case Western Reserve University). He was determined to investigate the unexplored frequency region above 100 MHz. Between 1938 and 1941, soon after the invention of the walkie talkie in 1937 by Donald Hings, he created and patented his own version of the "walkie-talkie".

World War II

During World War II, Gross had some limited involvement in building a two-way air-to-ground communications system for the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS, a forerunner to the Central Intelligence Agency) for use in military operations, known as the Joan-Eleanor system. It comprised a hand-held SSTC-502 transceiver ("Joan") and a much larger aircraft-based SSTR-6 transceiver ("Eleanor"). Gross' actual contribution to the project is unclear (he was not an OSS member), but the main developers on the project were Dewitt R. Goddard and Lt. Cmdr. Stephen H. Simpson (Goddard's wife's name was Eleanor, and reportedly Joan was an acquaintance of Simpson). The system operated at frequencies above 250 MHz, which was at a much higher frequency than the enemy had thought conceivable. This allowed operatives using "Joan" to communicate with high altitude bombers carrying "Eleanor" for times of 10 to 15 minutes without the use of code words, eliminating the need for decryption. It was developed beginning in late 1942, was highly successful and very difficult to detect behind enemy lines at the time. It was marked Top Secret by the U.S. military until it was declassified and made public in 1976.

Citizens' Band (CB)

After the war the FCC allocated the first frequencies for personal radio services; the Citizens' Radio Service Frequency Band (1946). Gross formed Gross Electronics Co [4] to produce two-way communications system to utilize these frequencies, and his company was the first to receive FCC approval in 1948. He sold more than 100 thousand units of his system, mostly to farmers and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Telephone pager

Another breakthrough came in 1949 when he adapted his two-way radios to one-way for cordless remote telephonic signaling. He had effectively invented the first telephone pager system. His intention for this system was to be used by medical doctors, but was met with skepticism by doctors who were afraid the system would upset patients and interrupt them during golf. He invented the pager in New York. This same technology is used in one-way radio signaling devices such as garage door openers.

Later years

In 1950 he tried in vain to interest telephone companies in mobile telephony. Bell Telephone was uninterested, and other companies were afraid of Bell's monopoly on transmission lines.

Gross continued inventing, and began working as a specialist in microwave and other communications systems for companies such as Sperry Corporation and General Electric. He continued working until his death at age 82.


In an interview by the Arizona Republic Newspaper, he was asked about his many patents that expired too early for him to capitalize on them. He responded with a smile, saying: "I was born thirty-five years too soon. If I still had the patents on my inventions, Bill Gates would have to stand aside for me."

In popular culture

Cartoonist Chester Gould once visited Gross and saw his wristwatch-radio prototype. After the visit, Gould called up Gross and asked if he could use this concept for his Dick Tracy comic strip. Gross said yes, and in January, 1946, the Dick Tracy cartoon was changed forever with the introduction of the iconic two-way wrist radio.


Gross has received much recognition for his work, including, but not limited to:


  • 1992: Fred B. Link Award from the Radio Club of America
  • 1984: IEEE Centennial Medal from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, for his work in VHF and UHF mobile radio.
  • 1997: Marconi Memorial Gold Medal of Achievement from the Veteran Wireless Operators Association
  • 1998: Eta Kappa Nu's Vladimir Karapetoff Eminent Members' Award
  • 1999: Edwin Howard Armstrong Achievement Award from the IEEE Communications Society
  • 2000: IEEE Millennium Medal


  • 2000: Lemelson-MIT Lifetime Achievement Award for Invention and Innovation



Wikipedia contributors, "Alfred J. Gross," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,
(accessed July 12, 2012).

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Participation in ARRL Publication Announcements and Special Offers is voluntary. If you have an ARRL Web site user account, you can manage all of your e-mail preferences at .

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Source: What is Ham Radio ? left arrow CLICK

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dmr World Leading Digital Mobile Radio

London, UK – 10 July, 2012

Re: Clarification on TDMA and DMR interference with Analogue Systems

To Whom It May Concern,

The DMR Association welcomes the opportunity to clarify some key issues relating to reported TDMA interference issues with analogue systems. The Public Safety Communications Council (PSCC), a group comprised on the four public safety frequency advisory committees in the U.S. submitted a letter to the FCC dated February 3, 2012 expressing the PSCC concerns related to reported interference between TDMA systems and Analogue equipment on shared frequencies. Following that letter, inaccurate and misleading information has been published on the internet that could give the false perception that such issues are both common and that they are to be attributed to the characteristics of TDMA DMR technology. While DMR systems are deployed in multiple bands, the interference cases reported center in the U.S. VHF public safety shared spectrum environment and are comprised by but a few and isolated instances in the DMR public safety system deployments in that band.

Executive overview

DMR is a TDMA technology which offers the principle benefit of two simultaneous and independent talk paths in one single 12.5 KHz channel. DMR also provides comprehensive data and application support. Combining these 2 benefits result in many DMR deployments providing voice and data simultaneously in one RF channel.

In analog systems, the simultaneous transmission of voice and data impacts voice priority and/or voice quality. Many analog users have abandoned or significantly reduced the use of data applications such as vehicle location reporting on their radio network because of these negative side effects. A migration to DMR has made it possible to support voice and data on the same channel yielding greater spectrum efficiency and improved quality.

Spectrum Environment

The few interference cases reported center on the shared VHF spectrum in the U.S. where multiple networks use the same frequencies on a coordinated “best case” but non-exclusive basis. Unlike other bands, the VHF spectrum in the U.S. is not organized with standard base/mobile paired frequencies. Pairing is ad hoc, which results in situations in which one licensee’s base transmitter can operate on the same frequency as another licensee’s base receiver, a more challenging environment for frequency advisory committees, regardless of the specific technology deployed.

Channel Sharing with DMR

The PSCC letter also attributes the reported interference to an increased duty cycle with TDMA systems. There is nothing inherent in DMR technology that leads to higher duty cycles. The duty cycle is dependent on a number of factors that are adjustable on a given licensee’s network, such as repeater hang time, data refresh intervals, etc. All licensees in a shared spectrum environment are required to cooperate in sharing the spectrum, and no licensee, whether using analog or TDMA, should have the expectation of exclusivity on the channel. DMR equipment incorporates provisions for the shared channel environment.

DMR Tier 2 equipment uses the so-called Listen Before Transmit (LBT) mode when accessing radio channels. What this means is that in order to address potential co-channel interference, before transmitting DMR first monitors the RF Channel for any activity. In the event co-channel activity is detected, this feature prevents transmission and thus prevents harmful interference.

It is important to know that all radios that are compliant with the DMR standard are required to have LBT functionality implemented in accordance with the technical specifications defined by ETSI in section 5.2 of the document TS 102 361-1 which states that: “when determining whether activity is present on a channel, a DMR entity shall monitor the RSSI level. If after a maximum period of time... the RSSI level has not exceeded a configurable (within a predefined range) threshold… then the DMR entity shall assume that activity is not present on the channel...If however the RSSI level does exceed threshold, then the DMR entity shall assume that activity is present on the channel”. The aforementioned behavior was engineered to provide effective use of the spectrum in a shared channel environment.

The PSCC has also raised a second concern, a potential False Triggering of the Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System (CTCSS) tones. However, this is an issue that has been in existence for as long as CTCSS has been used and is not related to DMR. Any digital modulation has an increased risk of triggering CTCSS tones especially if very old analog CTCSS tone equipment is used. Equally, when analog radio’s are used that do not limit their speech frequencies to above 300 Hz, these can cause the same interference when there is a high audio level in the sub 300 Hz spectrum.

The assumption that the triggering is caused by harmonics of the TDMA framing rate is not proven. With millions of DMR terminals installed worldwide and only very incidental complaints about false CTCSS triggering, there is no proven link between DMR and/or TDMA as the cause of any CTCSS interference, although as with other technologies this is a rare theoretical possibility. A subsequent letter from the PSCC dated May 4, 2012 also acknowledges that testing done to date has shown that the frequency of any false triggering is less than had been thought.

Conclusions and recommendations

DMR technology provides a more spectrally efficient alternative to analog systems and allows both voice and data applications to be successfully deployed on the same channel. There is nothing inherent in DMR technology that results in the few interference cases reported that center in the challenging U.S. VHF spectrum environment. DMR technology incorporates technical designs for operation in the shared channel environment. The degree of channel utilization in a shared channel environment is dependent on factors that can be adjusted on an individual network bases, depending on user requirements.

Based on our member’s know-how and experience with customers use of DMR and Analogue equipment, the reported instances of “false CTCSS triggering” has not risen compared to using other digital technologies or legacy analog systems.

It is in the DMR Association’s mission to provide overall knowledge and information to users. The solution to any particular issue that a user may be experiencing should be resolved by working cooperatively with their respective system supplier and applicable frequency advisory committee as needed. In the DMR Association’s view, the few cases of interference reported compared to the multitude of DMR systems deployed indicate that resolution of any issues needs to be applied on a case-by-case basis instead of by broad restrictions that can negatively impact all DMR users.


spacer Mario Micheli
spacer Chairman
spacer DMR Association


DMR Association Ltd.
West Park House
7-9 Wilkinson Avenue
Blackpool, Lancashire
United Kingdom
Company number: 7610586
Registered in Cardiff


DMR Association

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Over 70% of first responders are volunteers.
Without an alert, interoperability means nothing.

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M1501 Acknowledgent Pager

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Selected portions of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, a newsletter from the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP are reproduced in this section with the firm's permission.

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Verizon on Hot Seat for 911 Failures During D.C. Storm

Widespread service interruptions likely to bring FCC focus on outage reporting compliance.

Friday night, June 29, a series of severe thunderstorms and high winds arrived in the Washington, D.C., area from the Midwest. Weather professionals dubbed these storms a “super derecho” (pronounced “day-ray-cho”) and define it as “a widespread and long-lived windstorm that accompanies moving showers or thunderstorms.” Super derechos, like this one, have wind speeds from 70 to 100 mph. They are also called “land hurricanes.”

The storms knocked down numerous trees and created multi-day power outages for millions of people—all in temperatures just below or exceeding 100 degrees. In the D.C. area—specifically, in Fairfax and Prince William counties in Northern Virginia—Verizon’s emergency 911 call centers became inaccessible. This prompted media announcements for people with emergencies to transport themselves to public safety officials or hospitals.

In the wake of the storm, Fairfax County reported a 400% increase in 911 call volume, according to the Fairfax Times. The 911 calls ceased at approximately 6:30 a.m. on Saturday and did not return to full capacity until noon Tuesday. (Fairfax County alone has a population of 1.08 million.)

Both Fairfax and Prince William County officials, along with Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell, have called for an investigation of this outage. In its press release, Corey Stewart, Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors stated “We expect Verizon to conduct a full investigation into how the 911 service failed and offer solutions to better secure the system. It is imperative that residents of Prince William County and the entire Washington Metro area never have to face such emergencies without the critical 911 service that can be the difference between life and death for those in need.”

Although there has been no official word from the FCC at our deadline, The Hill newspaper and web site report that the Commission is “looking into the damage” that the storm caused to both landline and wireless networks (and, presumably, the failure of the 911 service).

According to the Washington Post, many 911 callers heard “silence, busy signals, or recorded messages saying the line was inoperative.” It should be noted, however, that no deaths were associated with the 911 call failure. noted: “The failures [in Prince William County] were described as catastrophic, with public officials urging those with emergencies who could not get through to 911 to flag down first responders, to go to the nearest public safety center, or directly to a hospital. Officials said this is the second time in as many years the 911 system failed. During a snow storm last year (“Snowmageddon”), officials said the emergency phone system went down.”

Following that January 2011 snow storm, the FCC asked Verizon to explain its failure to connect some 10,000 calls to area 911 call centers. These outages occurred on January 26, 2011, which means the FCC had to issue a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) within one year (by January 26, 2012) if it intended to fine Verizon for the outages. Section 503 of the Communications Act sets the one-year deadline. However, no NAL was ever issued.

What will happen this year?

"We plan to meet with a number of carriers in the coming weeks to explore the cause of service issues to 911 service centers, overall lessons learned, and other issues to ensure that the public received the best communications service possible and is able to communicate effectively and in a way that safeguards public safety in these situations," David Turetsky, the new Chief of the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, said in an e-mail to The Hill.

The FCC recently issued a Public Notice to remind carriers that they should adhere to the 911/Enhanced 911 “best practices” developed by the former Network Reliability and Interoperability Council (NRIC) and its successor, the Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (BloostonLaw Telecom Update, June 13). Specifically, the FCC reminded carriers that they should provide “diversity and redundancy” in providing 911/E911 services.

It is important to note that outages to 911 services can occur for a variety of reasons, some of which may be unrelated to the carrier. As a result, it is important for our clients to adhere to best practices in order to ensure that the potential for 911 outages is minimized.

We also want to remind our clients that the FCC requires communications service providers (including wireline, wireless, paging , cable, satellite and SS7) to electronically report information about significant disruptions or outages to their communications systems. This reporting requirement is in addition to reporting requirements associated with disruptions affecting Enhanced 911 facilities and airports.

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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. New this year is that reporting carriers are required to include their FCC Registration Number (FRN). 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.

Source: BloostonLaw Telecom Update Vol. 15, No. 26 July 3, 2012


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

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Selected portions of the BloostonLaw Private Users Update, a newsletter from the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP are reproduced in this section with the firm's permission.

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FCC Approves Technical Requirements for First Responder Interoperability

The FCC has approved for transmittal to FirstNet the minimum technical requirements submitted by the Technical Advisory Board for First Responder Interoperability. The report, titled “Recommended Minimum Technical Requirements to Ensure Nationwide Interoperability for the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network,” sets forth the recommended minimum technical requirements for interoperability.

The Spectrum Act, passed in February 2012, established the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) to oversee all actions necessary to ensure the building, deployment and operation of the nationwide public safety broadband network. The Act also established the Interoperability Board to develop recommended minimum technical requirements to ensure a nationwide level of interoperability for the nationwide public safety broadband network.

The Commission approved for transmittal to FirstNet the Interoperability Board’s final report and delegates authority to the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau to transmit the report to FirstNet. But because the FirstNet board will not be seated until August, the FCC issued an Order of Transmittal, which will be delivered to the administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) pending the FirstNet board's formation.

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FAA May Propose Flashing Lights for 150-Foot Towers

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has published a report, Evaluation of New Obstruction Lighting Techniques to Reduce Avian Fatalities, which finds that flashing lights instead of steady-burning tower obstruction lights will help reduce migratory bird mortality, according to the AGL Bulletin. It noted that scientists have determined that the steady-burning lights are more likely to attract birds.

AGL said the FAA proposes to amend the obstruction lighting standards to omit or flash steady-burning red lights from several obstruction lighting configurations. Lighting for towers less than 151 feet should remain unchanged because most birds do not fly below 150 feet, and thus such towers do not pose a significant threat. During a recent flight evaluation, AGL said researchers visually assessed towers that had the following lighting configurations:

  • FAA Styles A/F - a combination of steady-burning red L-810 and flashing red L-864 light fixtures on a 1000-foot tower.
  • FAA Styles B/C - a series of high-intensity white strobe lights on a 1,200-foot tower.
  • FAA Style E - a combination of steady-burning red L-810 and a flashing red L-864 light fixtures on a 300-foot cell tower.

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FCC Seeks Microwave Info For Report to Congress

The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) seeks information for use in preparing a report to Congress required by Section 6412 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. This provision requires the FCC to submit to Congress a report on the “rejection rate” on requests for common carrier use of spectrum in the 10,700-11,700 MHz (11 GHz), 17,700-19,700 MHz (18 GHz), and 21,200-23,600 MHz (23 GHz) bands. The term “rejection rate” includes both applications made to the Commission and requests made to third-party coordinators.

Because applicants for licenses have the flexibility to resolve interference issues through a private frequency coordination process, the Commission does not have information on proposed operations that are rejected in the course of that coordination process. To fully address the Commission’s statutory obligation, therefore, WTB seeks information from the public (including, but not limited to, firms that offer frequency coordination services, and licensees and prospective applicants in the 11 GHz, 18 GHz, and 23 GHz bands) who have information relevant to the Commission in preparing the report to Congress.

Without limiting the general nature of this inquiry, examples of information that could be relevant would include: how frequently proposed operations in these bands could be successfully coordinated, information regarding coordination requests in each band that could not be accommodated, the reasons such requests could not be accommodated. WTB requests information for the time period January 1, 2010 to present. Information must be submitted by July 20 in this WT Docket No. 12-156 proceeding.

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Comment Dates Set For NOI On Aerial Communications

The FCC has adopted a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) to explore the use of Deployable Aerial Communications Architecture (DACA) technologies. At last week’s open meeting, the FCC said DACA technologies are aerial technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles, weather balloons or existing aircraft that could provide emergency communications during or immediately after a major disaster, when terrestrial communications infrastructures may be damaged or disrupted.

“During a disaster, when the terrestrial infrastructure is unavailable, DACA technologies could provide emergency communications to first responders and possibly civilians” said David Furth, Acting Chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. “Ideally, DACA technologies could be deployed rapidly to the scene of a major disaster and enable immediate and continuous communications using the devices that first responders and other users carry with them everyday until the infrastructure is restored.”

The FCC noted that there remains a gap during the first 72 hours after a catastrophic event when communications may be disrupted or completely disabled due to damaged facilities, widespread power outages, and lack of access by restoration crews into the affected area. DACA could provide temporary emergency communications to emergency management officials, first responders, critical infrastructure industry personnel, and the public to use their day-to-day communications devices seamlessly during and immediately after an emergency. Most significant, the use of DACA to ensure quick restoration of emergency communications could save lives.

In its Notice of Inquiry, the Commission seeks comment on:

  • the deployment and operation of DACA technologies;
  • the associated costs and benefits;
  • coordinating and managing the use of DACA technologies; and
  • authorizing the use of spectrum to support their operation.

The Notice of Inquiry also addresses DACA system performance issues, including questions on coverage area, capacity, interference mitigation, and interoperability. Comments in this PS Docket No. 11-15 proceeding are due July 25, and reply comments are due August 14.

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FCC May Probe Emissions From Cellphones

According to The Hill, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski recently circulated an order that would launch a formal inquiry into the levels of radiation emitted by wireless devices. The FCC last updated its radiation guidelines in 1996 and, according to The Hill, the current proposed inquiry is simply a routine review. The past 15 years have been marked by battling studies over whether cellphones increase the risk of cancer. But there has been no definitive study which indicates that wireless devices cause harm. CTIA-The Wireless Association said it welcomes the FCC’s continuing oversight of the issue.

Source: BloostonLaw Private Users Update Vol. 13, No. 7 June 2012


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

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With best regards,
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Newsletter Editor


Wireless Messaging News
Brad Dye, Editor
P.O. Box 266
Fairfield, IL 62837 USA

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Skype: braddye
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Telephone: 618-599-7869

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Physics, Not God, Explains the Universe?

by Brian Thomas, M.S.*

"With the laws of physics, you can get universes," said Alex Filippenko of the University of California, Berkeley, during a panel discussion at the June 23 SETICon 2 science and science fiction conference in Santa Clara, California. 1 He argued that the universe could have begun as a result of a random "quantum mechanical fluctuation." 1

Filippenko implies that we should not trust in God. "Instead, scientists say, we should trust the laws of physics." 1 But many scientists suggest that the laws of physics lead to trust in God, not from it. Which is right?

Physicist Jake Hebert recently showed fatal flaws in this increasingly common "universe from nothing" argument, as described by theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss in his 2012 book, A Universe from Nothing . In Hebert's Acts & Facts article, he first explained that the "argument hinges on the claim that the total energy of the universe is exactly zero," an extraordinarily unlikely sum. 2 And since nobody but God knows the exact energy content of the entire universe, the claim is entirely unscientific.

Second, and more critically, quantum fluctuations are only known to occur within space that already exists. How would the first universe-generating fluctuation occur without space, and how could that space be there without a universe already in place? It appears that in order to make a universe this way, another universe must already exist. In that case, how did the first universe begin—or the one before that?

Hebert also noted logical problems. For example, the assertion that the universe came from nothing assumes pre-existence of the very laws of physics that can supposedly generate universes. Filippenko began to address this by saying, "The question, then, is, 'Why are there laws of physics?' And you could say, 'Well, that required a divine creator, who created these laws of physics and the spark that led from the laws of physics to these universes, maybe more than one.'" 1

But instead of accepting his own argument for a "divine creator," Filippenko objected that one would still need to explain where that creator came from, and where the creator of that creator came from, and so on. This is a thin smokescreen, since the ultimate Creator of the laws of physics and/or the finite universe would of necessity not be finite. Only finite entities like universes or people require causes, because only they have beginnings. A "beginningless" or infinite Creator did not come from anything else since He always was and is. 3

Filippenko and like-minded scientists ignore the necessity of pre-existing space for quantum fluctuations to occur, ignore logical problems in obtaining laws of physics from nothing, and ignore the nature of God, all in the name of justifying their faith that the universe could come from nothing. In reality, without an infinite Creator, not only would there be no laws of physics that point sinful people to his existence, but there would be no universe at all. 4


  1. Wall, M. The Big Bang Didn't Need God to Start Universe, Researchers Say . Posted June 24, 2012, accessed June 29, 2012.
  2. Hebert, J. 2012. A Universe from Nothing? Acts & Facts. 41 (7): 11-13.
  3. Such a Creator would be identified as Jesus in Colossians 1 ; see esp. verses 15-17.
  4. Thomas, B. New Book Says Universe Came from Nothing . ICR News . Posted on January 20, 2012, accessed July 2, 2012.

Image credit: NASA

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on July 11, 2012.

Source: Institute for Creation Research

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