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Friday — May 8, 2015 — Issue No. 656

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Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,

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

NSA exceeded authority in collection of phone records, court rules


A federal appeals court panel ruling declares the NSA's phone data collection program illegal.

May 7, 2015 6:23 PM | Reporting from Washington

The National Security Agency does not have legal authority to secretly collect and store data on all U.S. telephone calls, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday, calling the highly classified surveillance program “an unprecedented contraction of the privacy expectations of all Americans.”

The unanimous decision by the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New York, said the intelligence agency far exceeded its legal powers in collecting so-called metadata on calls by hundreds of millions of Americans who were not specific targets of counter-terrorism or espionage investigations.

The court's sharp rejection of the controversial NSA program, which was first disclosed publicly in 2013 in documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, puts new pressure on Congress to reform the agency's bulk collection of telephone data. The ruling significantly strengthens the hand of the program's opponents in Congress.

“This is a huge step for individual Americans' rights,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, (D-Ore.), an outspoken opponent of the program. “This dragnet surveillance program violates the law and tramples on Americans' privacy rights without making our country any safer.”

The decision has no immediate effect, however, since the three-judge panel agreed to let Congress decide whether to end or replace it in coming weeks. The provision in the USA Patriot Act that the NSA has relied on as authorization for government collection of phone records will expire on June 1 unless Congress votes to extend it.

A bipartisan bill in the House would amend the NSA program, and the White House has called for leaving call records with the nation's telephone companies. In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has pushed a plan to reauthorize the current program but has encountered opposition in both parties.

The White House said Thursday it was studying the court ruling. The administration could appeal to the Supreme Court, but if Congress resolves the issue, further legal proceedings might be moot.

President Obama “has been clear that he believes we should end [the program] as it currently exists by creating an alternative mechanism to preserve the program's essential capabilities without the government holding the bulk data,” Ned Price, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said in a statement.

The 97-page ruling, which overturns a lower court decision, comes from the first high-level court in the regular judicial system to review the NSA program.

Initially authorized by the Bush administration after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the bulk collection of domestic phone data has been repeatedly approved since May 2006 by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which meets in secret and issues classified rulings.

The NSA has secretly collected telephone numbers, phone call times, duration and other data, but not the actual conversations, for most calls made in the U.S. and from overseas under the disputed provision of the law, known as Section 215. The collection includes virtually all landline calls and some made from cellphones.

The three-judge panel said there was no evidence Congress meant to give the NSA such broad power when it passed Section 215, which allows the government to collect business records “relevant to an authorized investigation.”

“The overwhelming bulk of the metadata … concerns individuals who are not targets of an investigation or suspected of engaging in any crime whatsoever, and who are not even suspected of having any contacts with any such targets or suspects,” it reads.

The government argued that all call records are “relevant” because investigators need a complete history to search for phone numbers that terrorism suspects may have called.

NSA officials repeatedly have likened the searches to the proverbial needle in a haystack, saying they need the full haystack to search for the needle.

But the court found that the vacuuming of Americans' phone records for potential use in investigations violates long-accepted judicial procedures that require law enforcement agencies to show a court evidence that the target of an inquiry is engaged in specific criminal activity before surveillance is permitted.

U.S. phone companies are required under the program to turn over calling records “on an ‘ongoing daily basis' — with no foreseeable end point, no requirement of relevance to any particular point of facts, and no limitations as to subject matter or individuals covered,” the court said.

“Perhaps such a contraction [of privacy] is required by national security needs in the face of the dangers of contemporary domestic and international terrorism,” it added. “But we would expect such a momentous decision to be preceded by substantial debate, and expressed in unmistakable language.

“Congress cannot reasonably be said to have ratified a program of which many members of Congress — and all members of the public — were not aware,” the decision said.

If the government view prevailed, the judges wrote, it could “collect and store in bulk any other existing metadata available in the private sector, including metadata associated with financial records, medical records, and electronic communications … of all Americans.”

After the Snowden disclosures prompted a public outcry, Obama proposed requiring phone companies to hold the records rather than the government. The NSA would need a court order to search the databases. But Congress has not acted on that proposal.

Obama said last year that he had instructed the NSA to limit searches of the phone records to two so-called hops of numbers. That means investigators can try to identify calls to or from a known terrorist, and then calls to and from those numbers. Previously, investigators could trace three hops.

The House is expected to approve legislation next week that would rein in aspects of the system.

Republican leaders in the Senate have generally supported the NSA program, and several continued to do so Thursday. But the issue continued to cleave both parties in unusual ways.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a contender for the GOP presidential nomination, said “not one single documented case” of abuse of the NSA program had been found. “The solution is not to get rid of a program at a time when we know that the risk of home-grown violent extremism is the highest it's ever been,” he said.

But Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who also is seeking the Republican nomination, applauded the ruling as “a monumental decision for all lovers of liberty.” He urged the Supreme Court “to strike down the NSA's illegal spying program.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), another GOP presidential contender, said the ruling “confirms what the American public already knew… [that the NSA] went too far in collecting the phone records of Americans.”

The American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the suit on behalf of a group of phone company customers, called the decision “a resounding victory for the rule of law.”

“For years, the government secretly spied on millions of innocent Americans based on a shockingly broad interpretation of its authority,” said ACLU staff attorney Alex Abdo, who argued the case in September.

“The court rightly rejected the government's theory that it may stockpile information on all of us in case that information proves useful in the future,” he said. “Mass surveillance does not make us any safer, and it is fundamentally incompatible with the privacy necessary in a free society.”

Source: LA Times

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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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BlackBerry ditches keyboard for new Leap smartphone

IANS, Toronto| Updated: May 08, 2015 15:03 IST

The Blackberry sign is pictured in Waterloo. Photo: Reuters

BlackBerry is forgoing its famous physical keyboard in its newest smartphone, media reported.

The Canada-based company recently launched BlackBerry Leap in Canada.

Leap is a cheaper option for consumers who want a touch screen but don't want to pay a higher price as in the case of an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy phone.

It's the first touch screen phone from the company since it launched the Z30 more than a year-and-a-half ago.

Usually, BlackBerry sets with a keyboard are more popular with the company's business-centric clientele and it has focused on releasing models like the Passport and Classic.

Features on the Leap include a 25-hour battery life and an eight-megapixel camera, according to reports.

The company says wireless carriers will offer BlackBerry Leap for free when users sign a two-year contract, or it can be purchased without a contract for $349.

Higher-end smartphones, including some alternative BlackBerry devices, tend to cost $400 to $900 with a contract, depending on the model.

BlackBerry also announced that T-Mobile, one of the big US wireless carriers, will begin stocking its BlackBerry Classic model starting next week.

Source:Hindustan Times

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Secure your home network—and every device attached to it—in 3 simple steps

Robert Lemos
May 5, 2015 3:00 AM

In 2014, companies announced nearly a breach every day, exposing an average of 1.1. million identities per breach.

For consumers, the news appears grim. From ads on major websites infecting consumers’ systems to ransomware that can hold data hostage, criminals continue to successfully steal money and data from half a world away. If companies can't protect themselves from the bad guys, what chance do individual users have? Even the police are falling prey to criminals.

In reality, consumers have a better chance than most companies. Yes, home users are overwhelmingly targets of opportunity, but they can protect themselves by making their systems harder to compromise and looking out for signs of infections.

“You can’t just pack it up and give in, even though that may seem to be a reasonable approach,” says Mark Nunnikhoven, senior research scientist with OpenDNS. “You need to take reasonable steps to protect yourself.”

For years, security professionals have tried to erect impenetrable digital walls, but that strategy has largely failed. Instead, the latest philosophy focuses on throwing up multiple hurdles in front of attackers and improving awareness—spotting attacks before they can do damage.

For consumers, these techniques boil down to three simple strategies.

1. Don’t leave a device vulnerable

With the average person carrying three devices—a smartphone, a tablet, and a desktop or laptop—keeping track of whether all those devices have downloaded the latest updates is a chore. Multiply the workload by the number of family members and keeping up with updates can be an enormous and ongoing project.

A few security services can help the family administrator manage the problems. For Windows users, Secunia’s Personal Software Inspector, a free service, checks all third-party software for updates and gives instructions on how to update. For hybrid households, OPSWAT Gears, a free service for less than 25 devices, makes sure that each PC and Mac passes a number of security checks, such as whether it has antivirus, a firewall, and an encrypted hard drive.

“We get you a score for compliance and then we give you the tools to improve your score, either based on systems configuration or third-party applications,” says OPSWAT CEO Benny Czarny.

In addition, most major security software makers have made managing multiple devices much easier, albeit for a fee.

2. Monitor your network's traffic

Once your systems are locked down, the next step is to monitor the network for potentially bad traffic. To compromise your computers, attackers must communicate with your network, and that leaves traces.

One option: Look at the logs captured by the network router. More advanced routers--including many high-end consumer models and most models designed for small-business use, have options for logging or even for archiving of logs in the cloud. Another option is use a cloud service, such as OpenDNS, which collects all the domain requests generated by your users, blocking communications to suspect servers and websites and allowing family administrators to filter inappropriate traffic.

MIKE HOMNICK The Linksys WRT1900AC is one example of a consumer router with advanced logging features.

“You want to have more visibility into what is going on in your network,” says OpenDNS’s Nunnikhoven. “That means that you can look at each one of those devices in turn or you can try to go up a level and look at the overall network visibility.”

3. Check outbound traffic

Finally, having a firewall turned on and protecting your computer from outside threats is a no-brainer. But for consumers who want more protection, an outbound firewall—such as Little Snitch for Mac OS X and GlassWire on Windows—can alert them to potentially malicious applications trying to connect out to the Internet.

Outbound firewalls, on the other hand, have a somewhat noisome learning curve. Every time an application attempts to communicate with the Internet, the user must allow or deny the request. The firewall will remember the answers for the future, but it generally takes a few days to get to a point where the firewall is not inundating the user with alerts.

Still, the effort can pay off, says Nunnikhoven.

“There is no magic bullet for security,” he says. “But with a few relatively low-cost tools, you can create a good layered defense.”


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Critical Response Systems

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

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



PTSD program for first responders extended to family members

BANFF, ALTA. — Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, May. 06 2015, 1:52 PM EDT
Last updated Thursday, May. 07 2015, 7:16 AM EDT

Members of the Banff Fire Department take part in a training exercise held on March 31, 2015. Fire Chief Silvio Adamo is spearheading an effort to provide grief counselling not merely to first responders, but to the families of those who experience post-traumatic stress disorder.
(Chris Bolin For The Globe and Mail)

The pager crackles as the call goes out to all of the town’s firefighters and emergency medical technicians: “Roommate has tried to cut down the person hanging in the closet.”

The message starts a cascade of questions from a little girl sitting next to her father on the couch: What does that mean?

This scenario happened to a firefighter in Banff, Alta., and it could happen to any first responder. The fight to keep work at work and insulate family members from the horrors they see is not always successful. This particular incident led Banff fire chief Silvio Adamo to take the department’s mental-health program to the next level.

The 26-year veteran created a mental-health program for its members, and is now offering services to their spouses and families.

All of Banff’s firefighters and EMTs are on call 24 hours a day and carry pagers, Adamo explains. There are codes for some of the calls that come across the pagers, but details often have to be spelled out – including, for example, when a suicide victim has been cut down from the closet by a roommate. There is no code for that.

This spring, first responders who are parents will learn how to best answer tough questions from their kids, and kids will be taught how to deal with the alarming situations to which they’re exposed.

“Daddy comes home from work and he smells like smoke, or mommy has been out for a couple of hours and isn’t acting completely normal because they’ve just been at a traumatic car accident and had to deal with body parts — or whatever the case may be,” Adamo says. “How can we help the kids understand without exposing them dramatically to what we do?”

Adamo called on Shawn Carr, a registered social worker and family/school liaison worker in Banff, to help after the firefighter’s daughter heard his pager call about a suicide and started asking questions.

Though parents look for special words that will make a bad situation better, Carr says it doesn’t work like that.

“The kids are going to be better off if the [conversation] is in the parents’ own words,” Carr says. “Of course you’re going to try and shield them, but you can’t shield them from everything.”

He says the focus should be to show the children they aren’t alone and that they can always ask for help. And, he adds, “at the end of the day, they just need to know they’re safe.”

The emphasis on children is the newest piece of the larger health and wellness program that Adamo started about a year and a half ago.

Phase one focused on the physical health and well-being of the firefighters, getting them whipped into shape both in the gym and in the kitchen.

Their mental health was Adamo’s next priority. He pursued further training on critical-incident stress management for first responders, a certified three-day program where he learned how to recognize signs of stress and how to conduct one-on-one conversations, as well as group meetings called “defusings.”

“A lot of times they just have to get it out, it’s important to speak about it,” Adamo says. “The first step is always just listening and then being able to empathize, maybe relate, especially if it’s with a peer in the same field.”

The next step is discussing healthy coping mechanisms, which may mean seeking professional help.

In a town the size of Banff (population 7,500), at least someone in the department of four career firefighters and roughly 30 on-call volunteers is likely to know the person on the other end of the 911 call, which intensifies already tragic situations.

Adamo says you always remember the incidents involving people you know – but they aren’t the only ones that haunt his memories.

“I can still recall the first serious incident I ever went to,” he says. “There were four fatalities and it was a really horrific accident site. A transport truck had cut this car right in half. There were body parts on the highway and we were helping put the people in body bags. Matching socks and shoes with arms and feet, to try and put all the pieces in the right bag. Still to this day, I can recall that vividly if I want to; that whole scene, what I did.”

Adamo and his deputies make themselves available to the crew around the clock for support.

“That’s where it comes back to us all being here for each other … if it’s one of our members and they can’t sleep or they can’t get an image out of their head, we want them to know they can call us,” Adamo says. And if they aren’t comfortable talking to a co-worker, he’ll find someone else they feel more at ease with.

Still, Adamo admits, sometimes you end up taking the mental baggage home with you. That is where the third part of the program came in: the partners and spouses of the firefighters.

Katrin Middleton is one of the “rookie wives,” with only two years under her belt being married to EMT and volunteer-firefighter husband J.P. Middleton.

“I was really glad to have this seminar at the fire hall,” Katrin Middleton says. “If something really bad were to happen, at least I know all the other women and I can ask them, ‘How did your husband deal with it?’ instead of going to my friends that don’t have first-responder husbands, because they wouldn’t know.”

She says the seminar taught the spouses how to recognize the warning signs of PTSD, including unusual bouts of anger, odd sleeping habits and drug use — and where to go for help.

“I think that it was good to bring it to our attention because a lot of us didn’t even think about it, really. If the mood swings happened all of a sudden, you wouldn’t necessarily connect it right away,” she says. “If he told me all the things he sees, then I would worry more about how he deals with it. But for now, I know that there are people he really is comfortable with that he can go to and they already know what happened.”

With high numbers of suicides in fellow first responders and military personnel, this program offers an innovative approach to giving support to people who face death and destruction on a daily basis.

“As we get more educated, there’s obviously some fine-tuning to be done,” Adamo says, but he thinks that it’s a good starting point.

“I wish it was in existence when I was starting out and seeing all this gore on the highway, seeing things that people shouldn’t see. But back then it was, ‘You’re a firefighter, you can deal with anything.’ Thankfully we’re getting away from that now.”

Source:The Globe and Mail


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

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motorola blue Motorola SOLUTIONS

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Leavitt Communications
7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
Web Site:
Mobile phone:847-494-0000
Skype ID:pcleavitt

STI Engineering

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

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

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The Apple Architecture

May 1, 2015

Apple's recent earnings phenomena and stock erosion proves (to me at least) the market is not rigged by geniuses . . . I'm being polite here. Instead, my guess is it's rigged by program traders linking their buy-sell decisions somewhat stupidly. If you link your programmed Apple buy-sell decisions on action in the Dow, you deny Apple's personality within the Dow. Similarly, if you link your programmed Apple buy-sell decisions to activity in the Tech Sector, you deny Apple's personality, and relative strength, within that Tech Sector.

So what IS this Apple “personality?” As the largest market cap corporation IN AMERICA, and perhaps one of the greatest market caps in history, Apple is unique. Apple has a sustainable competitive advantage in product development (and I spent more than 22 years developing products for another company). First, Apple has a franchise business in i-Phones. Second, Apple has a franchise business in i-Pads. And OK, the replacement cycle for i-Pads is longer than the replacement cycle for i-Phones. My wife bought a first gen i-Pad. She won't give it up. Rather than weakness, this is evidence of Apple's product excellence. Third, Apple has a franchise business in Macs. From one of the first Macs in the Steve Jobs pirate flag days, I've loved my Macs. I still have most of them, but limit my activity today to my MacBook Pro. Again, this is evidence of sustainable advantage, not disadvantage. I've thrown out most of my windows machines. So now Apple is gonna sell me a watch, a TV, and a car. You think that scares me? Rather, bringing this dominant Apple product development capability to these new product categories is EXCITING.

So what is Apple doing with this sustainable competitive advantage in product development? Its building an architecture . . . the ultimate barrier to exit. Arguably, the Windows Architecture made Bill Gates the richest man in the world in an earlier era. Today the i-phone, i-pad, Mac, and Apple Watch already interact with each other on a limited but growing basis. In the future, I suspect each Apple product category will more tightly integrate within the home of the future, the car of the future, and the office of the future (capitalizing on IBM business software, business distribution, and Cloud for business). Apple's Cloud (as opposed to IBM's Business Cloud), will be available for personal backups and consumer product transitions from generation to generation. Siri could become the drop-dead easy-to-use, plug-n-play architecture operating system that enables you to control your TV, your disc player, and your content service(s). Moreover, Siri might control your home (doors, garage doors, thermostats, lights, cameras, security services, etc.). Perhaps new electronic appliances will further network within the i-Home (for a licensing fee). And when the iPhone gets in your car, it already pipes your Pandora to your car speakers. Perhaps whoever sits shotgun in the future will finally bring “the mobile office” into reality . . . using wireless devices as pipes and in-dash screens as a computer screen. And of course when you get to the office, your data will need to seamlessly port to your office environment. And then there's Apple Pay . . .

So, does anyone really believe that a single product can defeat the entire Apple Architecture of products and services? Competitors on the scene include Google/Android, and Facebook. Google appears to be following a similar strategy with Android products while it exploits its franchise position in Search/Advertising. It is not proven (to me at least) that it can generate the profitability from its large market share to defeat Apple in the long term. Facebook exploits its franchise position in social networking. IF . . . a big if . . . Facebook can notch out revenue-producing apps within its ubiquitous Facebook social browser (call it say “Facebook Pro”), it could become a serious threat to Apple in the intermediate future. Neither has stopped the Apple juggernaut to date.

SO . . . the largest corporation in America has just had the two biggest earnings reports in its history. Off the last report, the stock has actually declined (?) . . . valued by investors who don't really appreciate the Apple architecture. We have the Watch, the i-Phone 7, perhaps a TV, and a variety of potential i-Pads and Macs to look forward to EVEN YET THIS YEAR. We have the growth in the IBM enterprise relationship. We have Apple Pay. And we have a services base that hit five billion this quarter. Apple is selling nominally at a 15.5 PE which translates to a 14 PE on forward earnings . . . in a 17X PE market. When you back out Apple's massive cash position and adjust for the true number of shares after the share buyback, the ACTUAL PE is closer to 12. APPLE is NOT priced to perfection. And unless Google can learn to generate Apple-like profitability from its handset operation (or grow beyond search) or Facebook can develop and monetize its social apps at a much faster pace (i.e. Facebook Pro), then Apple will continue its juggernaut growth. Needless to say, I'm LONG on Apple.

Jim Page
Retired Marketing Director, Motorola—Now an Investor


Leavitt Communications

its stil here

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

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

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

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Phil Leavitt

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7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

Hark Technologies

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Wireless Communication Solutions

USB Paging Encoder

paging encoder

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  • Supports 2-tone, 5/6-tone, POCSAG 512/1200/2400, GOLAY
  • Supports Tone Only, Voice, Numeric, and Alphanumeric
  • PURC or direct connect
  • Pictured version mounts in 5.25" drive bay
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  • Available as a daughter board for our embedded Internet Paging Terminal (IPT)

Paging Data Receiver (PDR)


  • Frequency agile—only one receiver to stock
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  • Product customization available

Other products

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

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

hark David George and Bill Noyes
of Hark Technologies.

Hark Technologies

Preferred Wireless

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


Too Much To List • Call or E-Mail

Rick McMichael Preferred Wireless, Inc. 888-429-4171 rickm@preferredwireless.comleft arrow

Preferred Wireless







CVC Paging

Switch Tech

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

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

CVC Paging


Critical Alert

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Critical Alert Systems, Inc.

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

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

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


Nurse Call Solutions

Innovation in Nurse Call

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


Paging Solutions

The Most Reliable Paging Network

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



© Copyright 2015 - Critical Alert Systems, Inc.

Selected portions of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, and/or the BloostonLaw Private Users Update — newsletters from the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP are reproduced in this section with the firm’s permission.

BloostonLaw Telecom UpdateVol. 18, No. 19May 6, 2015

New A-CAM Map Released; Corrections Due May 11 (original data) or May 15 (revisions)

The Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) has released a revised version of the Alternative Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM) map, which can be found here. The revised map makes changes to central office (Node0) locations and the default locations for certain carriers. According to the WCB, the revised map replaces Node0 locations in 98 service areas, which can be viewed here. The revised map also makes changes to nineteen service areas that had both a GeoResults Node0 location, shown in cross-hatch, and a white dot showing another Node0 location. The revised map shows only cross-hatch for these service areas.

Rate-of-return carriers that have proposed corrections to the Node0 locations newly revised in the Public Notice should submit those corrections through the A-CAM Support desk ( by May 15, 2015. Corrections to service areas and Node0 locations in the original map are still due May 11.


FCC Releases Special Access Data Collection Respondents, Seeks Comment on Inaccuracies

On May 1, the FCC has published a list identifying (1) the entities that filed data and information regarding special access services and (2) the entities filing certifications indicating that they are not covered by the scope of the special access data collection. (WC Docket No. 05-25; RM-10593)
Pursuant to the special access data collection, providers, certain purchasers of special access services, and certain entities providing “best efforts” services were required to submit data and information concerning special access services or, if applicable, a certification indicates that they are not covered by the special access data collection. Public access to the collected data will be available consistent with the restrictions contained in a protective order. The FCC invites interested parties "wanting to bring attention to inaccuracies or omissions in the lists" to send an email to The FCC asks that the email contain the "contact information for the sender (name, title, company represented, telephone number and e-mail address) and details regarding any inaccuracies/omissions."

Supreme Court Denies Certiorari on Petitions Seeking Review of the Transformation Order

On May 5, the Supreme Court denied Certiorari on all of the petitions seeking review of the 10th Circuit's decision upholding the FCC's Transformation Order. The petitions, filed by NARUC, U.S. Cellular Corp., Cellular South, Inc. and Allband Communications Cooperative, were previously described in the January 28 edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update.

The denial of certiorari brings to an end the legal challenges to the FCC's interpretation in the Transformation Order of its authority under the Communications Act to reform intercarrier compensation and high cost universal service support, including the FCC's ability to impose bill and keep as the default compensation mechanism. However, there are still mechanisms available for carriers seeking different results, including through the interconnection process. Any carriers seeking assistance to determine their options should contact the firm.

Interface for Recertification of Study Area Boundaries is Available- Recertification due May 26

As reported in the March 18 edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the accuracy of the study area boundary data on file with the FCC is required to be re-certified by May 26, 2015. Where the state commission filed the study area boundary data for an ILEC, the state commission should submit the recertification. However, where the state commission did not submit data for the ILEC and the ILEC submitted the study area boundary data, then the ILEC should submit the recertification by May 26, 2015. The WCB's data collection interface to allow for the recertification of data and instructions can be found at

Senator Thune Investigates Suspected Bid-Rigging by DISH and its DEs in FCC Auction

As the BloostonLaw Telecom Update was going to press last week, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) sent document request letters to the FCC, DISH Network, and two DISH affiliate companies (Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless) that were designed to qualify for small business bid credits and which ultimately received more than $3 billion in bidding credits. The letters ratchet up the pressure against DISH Network, since it is now under formal investigation for violations of antitrust law in connection with the recently-concluded AWS-3 auction, also known as Auction 97.

“The Committee has significant questions about whether conduct surrounding the bidding strategies employed by DISH Network and two affiliates adhered to both the letter and intent of the law, since it may ultimately cost three billion dollars in public funds,” said Sen. Thune on sending the four letters. “While the FCC is reportedly already looking at whether DISH broke auction rules, an examination of how these affiliated companies approached the auction is the only way for Congress to determine whether this three billion dollar price tag was appropriate or a result of wrongful conduct, flawed agency rules, or laws Congress must update.”

Copies of the document request letters are provided below:

Letter to FCC
Letter to DISH Network
Letter to Northstar Wireless
Letter to SNR Wireless LicenseCo.

The FCC’s auction rules allow affiliated bidders to share and coordinate some information if they entered a joint bidding agreement that is disclosed to the FCC, but the Commission also warns that bidders that disclosing a joint bidding agreement does not exempt them from anti-trust laws.

With respect to DISH, Northstar and SNR, bidding data released after the auction had ended showed that bidding by these entities was very tightly coordinated. This data appears to show that the companies would frequently bid on the same licenses, and after all other competitors ceased bidding, they would not continue to compete among themselves; DISH itself bid aggressively on hundreds of licenses in the early rounds of the auction before dropping out when it was only competing against Northstar or SNR; and in numerous instances, Northstar and SNR placed bids on the same license at the same price after not bidding on that license for many rounds.

In the end, DISH (which was not eligible for small business bid credits) withdrew from bidding and did not win a single license. “Very small businesses” Northstar and SNR, won 702 licenses, representing 40% of the licenses available for bid, at a cost of $13.3 billion. Factoring in the 25% bidding credit, the total discount claimed by Northstar and SNR amounted to $3.3 billion.

Sen. Thune’s letter observes that “the practical effect of the bidding activity of DISH, Northstar and SNR may have been to suppress rival bidders,” and that “[m]any of these rival bidders were small rural wireless companies” that were not even eligible for a discount under the FCC’s small business discount program. In examining the behavior of DISH and its DEs, Thune concludes “it is not difficult to draw comparisons to the activities described in Justice Department guidelines on common antitrust violations such as bid rigging, complementary bidding, and bid suppression.”

“There may be acceptable explanations for theses similarities,” Thune wrote, “but the American public and Congress must be certain that no prohibited practices allowed some parties to derive an unfair benefit from Auction 97 and the public airwaves that the auction distributed.”

The letters request responses as soon as possible, but by no later than May 15, 2015. An expeditious resolution of concerns is critical as the FCC is scheduled to conduct the Broadcast Incentive Auction sometime in 2016. The Commerce Committee has legislative and oversight jurisdiction of the FCC and its activities, including spectrum auctions.

Law & Regulation

Deadline Established for Non-Service Initialized NPRM

On May 6, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking aimed at curbing fraudulent 911 calls from wireless phones that lack call back capability. Comments are due June 5, and Reply Comments are due July 6.

Specifically, the Commission is proposing to sunset the requirement for CMRS providers to transmit all wireless 911 calls “without respect to their call validation process.” Along with requiring CMRS providers to transmit 911 calls from customers with service contracts, the FCC’s 911 “all calls” rule currently requires carriers to transmit 911 calls originating from “non-service-initialized” (NSI) devices to PSAPs, including calls from devices associated with cancelled or delinquent accounts. An NSI device is a mobile device for which there is no valid service contract with any CMRS provider. As such, NSI devices have no associated subscriber name and address, and do not provide Automatic Number Identification (ANI) or call-back features. Because of these limitations, when a caller uses a NSI device to call 911, the PSAP typically cannot identify the caller. But in the nearly two decades since the rules were adopted, call validation methods of concern to the FCC are no longer in use and low-cost options for wireless services have increased. Additionally, public safety organizations that previously supported the NSI call-forwarding requirement have recently come to a consensus view that requiring 911 call forwarding from NSI devices does more harm than good.

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

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

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

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

The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Transportation and Energy, and is currently scheduled for a hearing on May 7.

Failure to File Form 499-A Registering as Telecom Provider Nets $100,000 NAL

All interstate telecommunications service providers are required to first register with the FCC through the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) by filing FCC Form 499-A, thereby allowing USAC to assess payments into the Universal Service Fund based on their interstate revenues.

As many of our clients know, USAC and the USF were created by the 1996 Telecom Act and the subsequently adopted rules of the FCC. USAC is an independent, non-profit corporation that collects mandatory contributions from telecom carriers based on interstate revenues and then distributes the funds to eligible USF programs, including affordable telephone service to high cost and low income areas, rural health care facilities, and schools and libraries; hearing and speech disabled access to telephone services; telephone number portability; and a uniform dialing system in North America.

Inquiry and investigation by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau showed that Simple Network, Inc., a New Jersey company that has been in prepaid calling card business for 15 years, had failed to register with the FCC and USAC.

As a result, the FCC has issued Simple Network a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) in the amount of $100,000 for failing to register as required. Simple Network’s failure to register, claimed the FCC, allowed the company to avoid payments that support federal programs, including USF, and potentially created higher fees for companies that complied with the registration requirement, thereby giving Simple Network an unfair advantage. Simple Network has 30 days from the issuance of the NAL to either pay or contest the proposed fine.

FCC Issues Tentative Agenda for May 21 Open Meeting

On April 30, the FCC issued a tentative agenda for its May 21 Open Meeting. At the meeting, the FCC will consider:

  • a proposal to extend accessibility rules for emergency alerts to “second screens,” including tablets, smartphones, laptops, and similar devices;
  • a Second Report and Order and Second FNPRM on taking additional steps to make emergency information in video programming accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired; and
  • an Order to extend the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program and consider a Proposed Rulemaking to permanently extend the program.

The meeting will be shown live at


U.S. To Change Stance on Secret Phone Tracking

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Justice Department will start revealing more information about the government’s use of cellphone tracking devices and has launched “a wide-ranging review” into how law enforcement agencies use this type of technology. For years, such devices were used without a warrant. The Justice Department also indicated it recognized the need to be more forthcoming about how and why such devices are used.

The devices in question, known as IMSI catchers but more colloquially as Stingrays, Hailstorms, or Dirtboxes, were first designed to hunt terrorists and spies overseas, but are increasingly being put to use by local police departments to hunt all types of criminals. According to the article, the Justice Department itself uses planes equipped with the devices, which essentially function as fake cellphone towers, to fly overhead to scan thousands of cellphones looking for a suspect. Non-suspect phones are “let go” when the suspect is found and the device then focuses on gathering information. The device then “lets go” of the suspect’s cell phone as officers move into position and pick up the trail with a handheld device.

According to the Journal, a Baltimore police official, for example, told a local judge overseeing a murder case last month the department had used the devices at least 4,300 times dating to 2007. Concerns have also been expressed over the possible abuse of emergency exception that allows police to request data from phone companies, such as the last known location of a suspect’s cell phone, without a court order. Typically, the Journal reported, phone company employees don’t ask questions to verify the nature of the emergency.

“We know it’s got to come out,” one law-enforcement official said to the Journal. “At some point, it becomes more harmful to try to keep it secret than to acknowledge it. We just want to acknowledge it carefully and slowly, so we don’t lose what is a very effective tool.”


JUNE 1: 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. However, because May 31 falls on a Sunday this year, the filing will be due on June 1. 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.

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

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

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

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

Calendar At A Glance

May 11 – Deadline to submit corrections to Alternative Connect America Cost Model map.
May 14 – Deadline for Comments on Further Issues on Competitive Bidding Proceeding.
May 15 – Deadline to submit corrections to Revised Alternative Connect America Cost Model map.
May 21 – Deadline for reply comments on Further Issues on Competitive Bidding Proceeding.
May 18 – Short Form Tariff Review Plan is due.
May 27 – Questions on terms in the FirstNet RFP are due.
May 29 – Comments on Short Form Tariff Review Plans are due.

Jun. 1 – FCC Form 395 (Annual Employment Report) is due.
Jun. 5 – Reply comments on Short Form Tariff Review Plans are due.
Jun. 5 – Comments are due on the 9-1-1 Non-Service Initialized Device NPRM
Jun. 10 – Comments are due by 5 p.m. Eastern on the Broadband Opportunity Council Notice and Request.
Jun. 16 – Tariffs filed on 15 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 23 – Petitions to Suspend or Reject Tariffs filed on 15 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 24 – Tariffs filed on 7 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 26 – Replies to Petitions to Suspend or Reject Tariffs filed on 15 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 26 – Petitions to Suspend or Reject Tariffs filed on 7 days’ notice are due by noon Eastern Time.
Jun. 29 – Replies to Petitions to Suspend or Reject Tariffs filed on 7 days’ notice due by noon Eastern Time.

Jul. 1 – FCC Form 481 (Carrier Annual Reporting Data Collection Form) is due.
Jul. 1 – FCC Form 690 (Mobility Fund Phase I Auction Winner Annual Report) is due.
Jul. 6 – Reply comments are due on the 9-1-1 Non-Service Initialized Device NPRM
Jul. 27 – Comments are due on FirstNet Draft RFP.
Jul. 31 – FCC Form 507 (Universal Service Quarterly Line Count Update) is due.
Jul. 31 – Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Report is due.

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

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Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.

Complete Technical Services For The Communications and Electronics Industries Design • Installation • Maintenance • Training • Engineering • Licensing • Technical Assistance

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Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.
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Tel/Fax: 972-960-9336
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Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.

Consulting Alliance

Brad Dye, Ron Mercer, Allan Angus, Vic Jackson, and Ira Wiesenfeld are friends and colleagues who work both together and independently, on wireline and wireless communications projects.

Click here left arrow for a summary of their qualifications and experience. Each one has unique abilities. We would be happy to help you with a project, and maybe save you some time and money.

Note: We do not like Patent Trolls, i.e. “a person or company who enforces patent rights against accused infringers in an attempt to collect licensing fees, but does not manufacture products or supply services based upon the patents in question.” We have helped some prominent law firms defend their clients against this annoyance, and would be happy to do some more of this same kind of work.

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Screen Room For Sale

They have a Lindgren Faraday cage in Tyler, Texas that they need to move. It has to be moved by the end of May. It measures about 6ft by 6ft and has the AC power filter. The walls and ceiling are double copper lined. This is for testing and servicing pagers.

Price is one million dollars, or best offer!

But—no kidding—come and get it before someone else does, and name your own price.


Copper-Screen Shielded Rooms are designed to provide a radio-silent environments to perform electronic product trouble-shooting, and testing electronics devices such as pagers, personal communications devices, two-way radios, computer equipment, medical devices, automotive components, and military equipment.

It is very important to keep interfering radio signals away from devices during testing or alignment.

For more information, please contact:

Terry Poe, Technical Manager
Critical Alert Systems
1011 E. 2nd St.
Tyler, TX 75701
Tel: 501-492-3752

Prism Paging

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  • VoIP telephone access — eliminate interconnect expense
  • Call from anywhere — Prism SIP Gateway allows calls from PSTN and PBX
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  • Prism Inet, the new IP interface for TAP, TNPP, SNPP, SMTP — Industry standard message input
  • Direct Connect to NurseCall, Assisted Living, Aged Care, Remote Monitoring, Access Control Systems


From:John Parmalee
Subject: Spoofing
Date:May 1, 2015
To:Brad Dye

Brad, that 2200 band is going to require 3500' for a half wave antenna. Will their be a band plan with CW at the lower 100 Kc?

Seriously though, A few editions ago you spoke of the annoyance of phone spoofing. That has got to be the least effective way to market your product.

From your article I now understand why Mother Bell might allow a user to insert their own ANI (caller ID). While being pretty much a RF guy I found myself pretty well versed in Telephony after twenty or so in paging.

It is my guess all of these calls are coming from one location and with the recourses of a good test board operator could be traced. I have tracked down people mad at their ex that had a computer dialing her disconnected pager number every thirty seconds. it really messes up the Erlangs when that happens. Pac Bell found the source and made a legal move on the guy.

Is it legal or accepted Ma bell to put up a ANI that is a non working number? Something about truth in caller ID.

Where does on start with a trouble ticket? I wonder what Blooston thinks.

John Parmalee


Editor: “Kc” ??? wow, John must be as old as I am!


The Wireless Messaging News

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About Photography

“You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”

― Ansel Adams


From Audubon Magazine

Announcing the 2015 Audubon Photography Awards

In association with Nature’s Best Photography.

Grand Prize Winner, by Melissa Groo

Great Egret. Photo: Melissa Groo/Audubon Photography Awards

Species: Great Egret
Where: Port Richey, FL
Camera: Canon 1D Mark IV with a Canon EF 500mm f/4 IS USM lens and a Skimmer ground pod; 1/800 second at f/4.5; ISO 1600

“A friend took me to a little-known heron and egret rookery. It was dark and gloomy, and the sun would be setting soon. I cranked up my ISO to get more light on the birds flying in for the night. When I couldn’t get enough shutter speed for sharp photos of the birds in flight, I decided to do portraits of the birds that had landed. I noticed this Great Egret and his bright-green lores. He immediately began to fluff out his feathers, then went through the most beautiful series of displaying poses. Later I was struck by how much this portrait reminded me of an Audubon painting.”

Bird Lore: The breeding-season plumes that make Great Egrets attractive to each other were once a little too attractive to humans. In the late 1800s vast numbers of egrets were killed for their decorative feathers. A grassroots effort to stop the slaughter grew into a successful coalition that won legal protection for the birds and founded the Audubon movement; the Great Egret has been a symbol of conservation ever since.

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