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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — April 8, 2016 — Issue No. 702

Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,

Welcome back to The Wireless Messaging News.

You Should Update Adobe Flash Right Now

Lisa Eadicicco @lisaeadicicco
11:07 AM ET Updated: 11:39 AM ET

Or you'll be exposed to hackers

Adobe issued a security update April 7 that addresses what the software maker calls “critical vulnerabilities” in its Flash Player that could allow intruders to take control of a victim’s computer.

The vulnerability affects Flash running on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS operating systems. Trend Micro, one of the companies involved in spotting the issue, said that the vulnerability was found to be spreading what’s been called the “Locky ransomware.” Ransomware is a type of malware (malicious software) that essentially holds a victim’s computer hostage. The attacker typically blocks off access to the system until a sum of money is paid over the Internet.

Adobe is urging users to update their Flash Player as quickly as possible. To do this, right click on Flash content in your browser and select “About Adobe Flash Player” to see which version you’re running. You can also check this by navigating to Adobe’s version information page here . This will tell you if your computer is running an outdated version edition of Flash.

Adobe notes that the vulnerability has been actively exploited on devices running Windows 10 and earlier with Flash Player version and earlier.

Researchers from Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative, Google’s Project Zero, Microsoft’s security team, FireEye, and others are credited with discovering the problem. Adobe hasn’t said how many users have been affected by the ransomware.

Source: TIME

Heading Into Nat’l Telecommunications Week: Emergency Communications Director Encouraging Residents To Be Prepared For Emergencies

April 8, 2016

Public safety officials are encouraging residents to sign up for a free lifesaving service that increases speed of response in emergencies.

National Smart911 Day was created to honor and support the exceptional work 911 call takers — a/k/a dispatchers — do every day and people who call for help can empower the first, first responders by signing up for Smart911.

With Smart911, citizens can link both home and work addresses to mobile phones, which can be passed on to responders in the field for more a detailed, rapid response. Additional information including pets in the home, vehicle details in the event of an accident, and even emergency contacts can all be included in a Safety Profile. Users can add as much or as little information as they are comfortable with.

First responders will then be aware of many details they would not have known previously, fire crews can arrive at a house fire knowing how many people live in the home and the location of bedrooms, and EMS personnel can be advised of allergies or specific medical conditions and police can have the photo of a missing child in seconds rather than minutes or hours.

Smart911 is private and secure, is only used for emergency responses, and only made available to the 911 system in the event of an emergency call.

“In an emergency, seconds count,” said Maureen Will, director of Newtown’s Emergency Communications Center, based out of the town’s police station at 3 Main Street. “Smart911 saves time in emergencies and saves lives. We encourage all Newtown residents to sign up for Smart911 by April 30 to enable our 911 dispatchers and first responders to help them faster and more efficiently in an emergency.”

Participation in this year’s National Smart911 Day will provide critical information to dispatchers and first responders that could be lifesaving during an emergency. In addition, each new Safety Profile created this month will be entered to win prizes including an Apple TV, Boom2 Wireless Speaker, and Beats (By Dre) Solo2 Headphones.

On April 30, National Smart911 Day will recognize and thank dispatchers nationwide; raise awareness about the role Smart911 Safety Profiles can play in emergency preparedness; and educate the public about the current 911 system and what steps they can take to help dispatchers and other first responders respond more effectively in an emergency.

April is 911 Education Month, and Ms Will sees that as a time to educate the community of the importance of signing up for Smart911.

“Few residents understand how little information is provided on mobile 911 calls,” she said. “Smart911 fills in the gaps and has proven to save lives nationwide.”

Smart911 is currently available in 40 states and more than 1,500 municipalities across the country. The program has been credited with positively impacting emergency outcomes including a missing child in which the girl’s photo and physical description were immediately available to dispatchers and responders, as well as a heart attack victim where an address and medical notes allowed responders to be dispatched to his location quickly.

Also being observed in April is National Telecommunicators Week, April 10-16.

“During that time we honor telecommunicators across the country for the job they do,” Ms Will said in part in a letter to The Newtown Bee . “Telecommunicators [dispatchers] are the voice in the dark — unsung heroes if you will, the voice of calm during the storm.

“Telecommunicators are the Thin Gold Line — the line that lies between the Blue and the Red [Police/Fire and EMS],” she also writes.

Ms Will is hoping Newtown residents will help her staff do their job even more efficiently by providing additional information that may save seconds when they could matter most.

For additional information about Smart911 or to register, visit .

Source: The Newtown Bee

Now on to more news and views.

Wayne County, Illinois

Wireless Messaging News

  • Emergency Radio Communications
  • Wireless Messaging
  • Critical Messaging
  • Telemetry
  • Paging
  • Wi-Fi
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About Us

A new issue of the Wireless Messaging Newsletter is posted on the web each week. A notification goes out by e-mail to subscribers on most Fridays around noon central US time. The notification message has a link to the actual newsletter on the web. That way it doesn’t fill up your incoming e-mail account.

There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. Readers are a very select group of wireless industry professionals, and include the senior managers of many of the world’s major Paging and Wireless Messaging companies. There is an even mix of operations managers, marketing people, and engineers — so I try to include items of interest to all three groups. It’s all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.

I regularly get readers’ comments, so this newsletter has become a community forum for the Paging, and Wireless Messaging communities. You are welcome to contribute your ideas and opinions. Unless otherwise requested, all correspondence addressed to me is subject to publication in the newsletter and on my web site. I am very careful to protect the anonymity of those who request it.

I spend the whole week searching the Internet for news that I think may be of interest to you — so you won’t have to. This newsletter is an aggregator — a service that aggregates news from other news sources. You can help our community by sharing any interesting news that you find.

Editorial Policy

Editorial Opinion pieces present only the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of any of advertisers or supporters. This newsletter is independent of any trade association.

Back To Paging


Still The Most Reliable Protocol For Wireless Messaging!



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The Wireless Messaging News
Board of Advisors

Frank McNeill
Founder & CEO
Communications Specialists
Jim Nelson
President & CEO
Prism Systems International
Kevin D. McFarland, MSCIS
Sr. Application Systems Analyst
Medical Center
Paul Lauttamus
Lauttamus Communications & Security
R.H. (Ron) Mercer
Wireless Consultant
Barry Kanne
Paging Industry Veteran
Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.
Consulting Engineer
Allan Angus
Consulting Engineer

The Board of Advisor members are people with whom I have developed a special rapport, and have met personally. They are not obligated to support the newsletter in any way, except with advice, and maybe an occasional letter to the editor.

Advertiser Index

Critical Alert
Easy Solutions
Hark Technologies
Ira Wiesenfeld & Associates
Leavitt Communications
Preferred Wireless
Prism Paging
Product Support Services — (PSSI)
Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC — (Ron Mercer)
RF Demand Solutions
STI Engineering
UltraTek Security Cameras
WaveWare Technologies











Be sure your infrastructure is up and running with the ProTek Flex Site Monitor from PageTek.

ProTek Flex—reliable, adaptable, expandable, affordable—and no surprises.




WaveWare Technologies

Enhancing Mobile Alert Response
2630 National Dr., Garland, TX 75041

New Products

OMNI Messaging Server

  • Combines Nurse Call Monitoring and Browser Based Messaging
  • Combines Radio Paging with Smartphone and E-mail Integration
  • Embedded System with 2 RS-232 Ports and Ethernet
  • Browser Based Messaging and Configuration
  • Smartphone Alert Notification Using Low-Latency Communication Protocols
  • TAP, COMP2, Scope, WaveWare, SNPP, PET and SIP Input Protocols
  • PIN Based Routing to Multiple Remote Paging Systems
  • 2W, 5W Radio Paging

MARS (Mobile Alert Response System)

  • Combines Paging Protocol Monitoring and Wireless Sensor Monitoring (Inovonics and Bluetooth LE)
  • Improves Mobile Response Team Productivity using Smartphone App
  • Low-Latency Alerts using Pagers, Smartphones, Corridor Lights, Digital Displays and Annunciation Panels
  • Automated E-mail Based Alert Response and System Status Reports
  • Linux Based Embedded System with Ethernet and USB Ports
  • Browser Based Configuration

STG (SIP to TAP Gateway)

  • Monitors SIP protocol (engineered for Rauland Responder V nurse call)
  • Outputs TAP protocol to Ethernet and Serial Port Paging Systems
  • Linux Based Embedded System
  • Browser Based Configuration

WaveWare Technologies


protect yourself !

Combination, Body, Desk or Dash Camera

Model EH-15 EYE-CAM

Standard Features Include:

  • 2 inch viewing screen
  • IR Night viewing up to 50 feet
  • Super HD Viewing Wide Field of View (140 degrees, 6G lens)
  • Waterproof per IP65 Specification
  • GPS Tracking (standard feature)
  • 64 GB Data Storage (standard feature)
  • 2800 mAh battery for up to 11 hours recording
  • External mini camera
  • Accessory Kit for all normal needs
  • $349.00 each

Call: 662-284-6724 (Jim Tucker)

Email address:
Web site:



Easy Solutions

easy solutions

Easy Solutions provides cost effective computer and wireless solutions at affordable prices. We can help in most any situation with your communications systems. We have many years of experience and a vast network of resources to support the industry, your system and an ever changing completive landscape.

  • We treat our customers like family. We don’t just fix problems . . . We recommend and implement better cost-effective solutions.
  • We are not just another vendor . . . We are a part of your team. All the advantages of high priced full time employment without the cost.
  • We are not in the Technical Services business . . . We are in the Customer Satisfaction business.

Experts in Paging Infrastructure

  • Glenayre, Motorola, Unipage, etc.
  • Excellent Service Contracts
  • Full Service—Beyond Factory Support
  • Contracts for Glenayre and other Systems starting at $100
  • Making systems More Reliable and MORE PROFITABLE for over 30 years.

Please see our web site for exciting solutions designed specifically for the Wireless Industry. We also maintain a diagnostic lab and provide important repair and replacement parts services for Motorola and Glenayre equipment. Call or e-mail us for more information.

Easy Solutions
3220 San Simeon Way
Plano, Texas 75023

Vaughan Bowden
Telephone: 972-898-1119

Easy Solutions


Changes in Zetron, Inc. Leadership Team

Redmond, WA, U.S.A., April 8, 2016 — Zetron, Inc. announces the appointment of Brent Dippie to the position of President and CEO as of April 1, 2016. He replaces Ellen O’Hara, who will move to the position of Chairman of the Board of Zetron and Board Member of EFJohnson. Brent has been the Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Zetron for the past ten years and has served the company in various roles of increasing responsibility since 1989. He graduated cum laude with a B.A. degree in Finance from Washington State University and later obtained his CPA.

About Zetron
Zetron has been designing and delivering communications systems for mission-critical control room since 1980. Zetron’s integrated solutions combine IP-based dispatch, NG9-1-1 call-taking, voice logging, IP fire station alerting, CAD, mapping, video surveillance and security solutions, and automatic vehicle location (AVL) systems. They are expandable, interoperable, and able to support remote and geo-diverse operations. Zetron backs its products with technical support and project-management services known for their expertise and responsiveness. Zetron has offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and numerous field locations; and a worldwide network of resellers, system integrators and distributors. Zetron has installed thousands of systems and over 25,000 console positions worldwide. Zetron is a wholly owned subsidiary of JVCKenwood Corporation. For more information visit: .




Zetron Americas
PO Box 97004
Redmond, WA USA 98073-9704
(P) +1 425 820 6363
(F) +1 425 820 7031
Zetron EMEA
27-29 Campbell Court
Bramley, Hampshire RG26 5EG, UK
(P) +44 1256 880663
(F) +44 1256 880491
Zetron Australasia
PO Box 3045, Stafford Mail Centre
Stafford QLD 4053, Australia
(P) +61 7 3856 4888
(F) +61 7 3356 6877

RF Demand Solutions

Codan Paging Transmitters

  • The smart choice for Critical Messaging
  • Proven performance in extreme conditions
  • Trusted by the World's largest mission critical security, military, & humanitarian agencies

Flexible Modern Design:

  • Analog & Digital
  • VHF, UHF & 900 MHz
  • WB, NB, & Splinter Operation
  • Multiple Frequencies & Protocols
  • High Power Output Configuration available
  • Integrates with Motorola & Glenayre Simulcast
  • Compatible with most popular Controllers

 Thousands In Use...

  • Utility Load Demand
  • Healthcare
  • Enterprise

Your US Distributor for Codan Radio Paging Equipment
847-829-4730 / /

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Citipage Ltd.
Edmonton, Alberta


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Prism Paging

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white stripe


  • VoIP telephone access — eliminate interconnect expense
  • Call from anywhere — Prism SIP Gateway allows calls from PSTN and PBX
  • All the Features for Paging, Voice-mail, Text-to-Pager, Wireless and DECT phones
  • 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

Product Support Services, Inc.

Repair and Refurbishment Services

pssi logo


Product Support Services, Inc.

511 South Royal Lane
Coppell, Texas 75019
(972) 462-3970 Ext. 261 left arrow left arrow

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.

Google's Nest struggles could set back the IoT movement

Credit: Nest

Despite the hype surrounding the Internet of Things and smart home, one of the industry's largest players, Google's Nest, is struggling to innovate and scale. What’s the problem?

By Matt Kapko Follow
CIO | APR 8, 2016 4:48 AM PT

The smart home devices sold by Google's home automation subsidiary, Nest, represent just a small fraction of the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) market. However, Nest has become one of the most recognizable IoT brands to tech-savvy consumers, and the company's recent struggles to bring new products to market and its decision to end support for an IoT hub it acquired two years ago could have a lasting impact on the IoT movement.

At the end of 2015, nearly 20 percent of all U.S. households with broadband connections owned at least one smart home product, according to the research firm Parks Associates . During the next decade, that number is projected to jump to 66 percent as more thermostats, cameras, video doorbells, door locks, lights, controllers and yet-to-be-released smart home products make their way into American households, the company says.

"[IoT] will live up to a lot of the hype," says Kevin Meagher, senior vice president of business development at Roc Connect , a company that provides an IoT ecosystem for enterprises. "Whether it lives up to all of it, well that's to be debated, but it will grow significantly."

'Battle of egos' hampers smart home interoperability

The primary issue facing the industry today is not technology, it's the business models that companies such as Nest use in attempts to claim complete control over their users' data, according to Meagher, who also previously lead Lowe's smart home initiative, called Iris. "Consumers don't want just one connected smart device and consumers are never going to buy all of their smart devices from the same supplier," he says. "The problem is that everybody wants to own the consumer, they want to own the relationship and they want all the data."

Meagher says he's confident the market will grow quickly once proprietary systems give way to a more open environment. Until then it will continue to be a "battle of egos and brands to try and be the one that owns the consumer interface" and relationships with service providers.

Many large IoT players approach the smart home market with their own priorities top of mind, and that strategy is holding the industry back, according to David Moss, president and CTO of People Power , an open mobile platform for IoT service providers. "Because there's so much money behind each of these different protocols, I don't exactly see them all going away." However, it could take at least a decade before the industry adopts a global standard, he says.

Nest promotes openness in its marketing, but the company's restrictive terms and business model don't deliver on that message, according to Moss. "Google wants to be the brain of your home, your building and life, and so they need access to lots of data to do that," Moss says. "They've taken some very strategic steps in the formation of their terms of service, and their policies for how you connect with their products in a way that enables them to maintain control of the data and ultimately be the brain."

If companies want to thrive in the connected home market, they need to open up their APIs and connect with other manufacturers' devices or ecosystems without prejudice, Moss says. More than half of all U.S. households with at least one smart home device say interoperability is very important, and the sentiment increases with each new IoT device they add, according to the Parks Associates research.

"Connectivity is changing the business models for a variety of products, and while consumers have multiple channels available to acquire smart devices and solutions, they clearly recognize the added value of connectivity," says Stuart Sikes, president at Parks Associates. "As home automation solutions become more common and affordable, interoperability will be a differentiator."

In defining smart home market, Nest limited its own potential

Nest helped validate the concept of IoT by breathing new life into many ordinary devices, such as the boring old thermostat, but it failed to keep the momentum going with new products. "It seems like they may be having some internal issues getting products off the ground," Moss says.

Earlier this week, the company also announced plans to shutter Revolv , a smart home hub manufacturer it acquired in 2014. Nest also said it will stop supporting Revolv."This move creates a general atmosphere of distrust for consumers who are exploring connected home solutions," Moss says. "I think this is bad not only for Nest's brand and Google as it relates to the trust that they're trying to build in their consumer base, but this is coming at a time when the IoT market is growing and consumer awareness continues to build. Companies in this space really need to band together to make this new phase of the Internet actually work well for real people."

Smart home needs "hubs" to connect their various components, and without a product such Revolv, Nest will struggle to scale, according to Meagher. "Nest is very good at smart devices, but that doesn't make them a smart home provider. That's where they get confused. A smart home is about working with all the other things in the home."

Meagher says Nest's assumption that its thermostat can serve as an IoT hub shows arrogance. "Frankly, Nest is still just a smart thermostat," he says. "It's definitely not a smart home, and that's because they are confused about what they are, and their strategy's just wrong. The hub strategy's the only way to go forward."

This story, "Google's Nest struggles could set back the IoT movement" was originally published by CIO .

Source: techconnect  

Leavitt Communications


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

UNICATIONbendix king

motorola blue Motorola SOLUTIONS

COMmotorola red Motorola MOBILITY spacer
Philip C. Leavitt
Leavitt Communications
7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
Web Site:
Mobile phone:847-494-0000
Skype ID:pcleavitt

STI Engineering
sti header

250W VHF Paging Transmitter

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

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

sti tx
  • High power output
    (selectable from 20 W - 250 W)
  • SNMP Diagnostics and alarms
  • Full VHF Band coverage
    (138-174 MHz)
  • DSP precision modulation
  • Integrated isolator
  • Sniffer port for in-rack receiver
  • Remote firmware upgrade capability
  • Software selectable frequency offset
  • Adjustable absolute delay correction
  • Front panel diagnostics
  • Hardware alarm outputs
  • High frequency stability
  • External reference option
  • FCC and ACMA approved
  • CE compliant version in development
sti22 Boulder Road Malaga 6090 Western Australia
Telephone:  +61 8 9209 0900
Facsimile:  +61 8 9248 2833

DOJ will continue to push Apple to unlock iPhone 5s at center of Brooklyn drug case

By Neil Hughes
Friday, April 08, 2016, 08:24 am PT (11:24 am ET)

The U.S. Justice Department plans to continue seeking legal action against Apple, in an effort to force the company to create a way to unlock an iPhone that is said to be a crucial part of a drug investigation.

The Brooklyn-based investigation has seemingly become the new case of interest in the ongoing dispute between Apple and the U.S. government, since the FBI found an alternative method to unlock the iPhone 5c at the center of the San Bernardino terrorist shooting. The years-old New York drug case remains ongoing, with the Justice Department hoping a court will compel Apple to help unlock the iPhone at the center of that case.

The government was already rejected once by the court, when New York Magistrate Judge James Orenstein said the government lacks legal authority to force any company to break its own digital security protocols. Undeterred, the government resubmitted its failed motion last month, hoping a higher court would rule in its favor.

In a new court filing issued on Friday, the Justice Department signaled once again that is has no intentions of dropping the case, saying "the government continues to require Apple's assistance in accessing the data that it is authorized to search by warrant." The filing was first discovered by The Wall Street Journal.

The government's appeal is being heard by U.S. District Judge Margo Brodie, and the filing makes it clear that the government does not intend to walk away from the Brooklyn drug case, as it did in the San Bernardino case. The DOJ withdrew its case against Apple in California last week.

In the New York case, the DOJ wishes to bypass the passcode lock of an iPhone owned by suspected drug trafficker Jun Feng. The Justice Department filed an All Writs motion last October, hoping to compel Apple to help break into Feng's iPhone 5s running iOS 7.

Apple has publicly stated that it only complies with orders for data retrieval when it is "satisfied that the court order is valid and appropriate."

Source: Apple Insider  

Leavitt Communications

its stil here

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

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

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

black line

Phil Leavitt

leavitt logo

7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

Hark Technologies

hark logo

Wireless Communication Solutions

USB Paging Encoder

paging encoder

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

Paging Data Receiver (PDR)


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

Other products

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

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

Hark Technologies

Preferred Wireless

preferred logo

Terminals & Controllers:
4ASC1500 Complete, w/Spares
3CNET Platinum Controllers
2GL3100 RF Director
1GL3000 ES — 2 Chassis — Configurable
1GL3000 L — 2 Cabinets, complete working, w/spares
35SkyData 8466 B Receivers
1Unipage — Many Unipage Cards & Chassis
10Zetron M66 Transmitter Controllers
15Glenayre Complete GPS Kits
1Glenayre QT6994, 150W, 900 MHz Link TX
3Motorola 10W, 900 MHz Link TX (C35JZB6106)
Link Transmitters:
6Glenayre QT4201 25W Midband Link TX
3Motorola 10W, 900 MHz Link TX (C35JZB6106)
1Motorola Q2630A, 30W, UHF Link TX
VHF Paging Transmitters:
19Motorola Nucleus 125W CNET
6Motorola Nucleus 350W CNET
11Motorola Nucleus 350W NAC
14Motorola Nucleus 125W NAC
1Glenayre QT7505
1Glenayre QT8505
3Glenayre QT-100C
UHF Paging Transmitters:
16Glenayre UHF GLT5340, 125W, DSP Exciter
900 MHz Paging Transmitters:
2Glenayre GLT8200, 25W (NEW)
15Glenayre GLT-8500 250W
4Glenayre GLT 8600, 500W
 Nucleus Power Supplies
 Nucleus NIU, Matched Pairs
 Nucleus GPS Reference Modules
 Nucleus GPS Receivers
 Nucleus Chassis
 Glenayre 8500, PAs, PSs, DSP Exciters
 Glenayre VHF DSP Exciters


Too Much To List • Call or E-Mail

Rick McMichael
Preferred Wireless, Inc.
Telephone: 888-429-4171
(If you are calling from outside of the USA, please use: 314-575-8425) left arrow

Preferred Wireless


Critical Alert

spacer cas logo

Critical Alert Systems, Inc.

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

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

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


Nurse Call Solutions

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


Paging Solutions

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



© Copyright 2015 - Critical Alert Systems, Inc.

BloostonLaw Newsletter

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

BloostonLaw Telecom UpdateVol. 19, No. 14April 6, 2016

FCC Announces 2016 Rate Floors for Fixed Voice and Broadband Services

On April 6, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) issued a Public Notice announcing the 2016 rate floor for incumbent eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) and reasonable comparability benchmarks for fixed voice and broadband services. The Bureau also announced the required minimum usage allowance for 2016 for ETCs subject to broadband public interest obligations.

To the extent that an ILEC’s local voice rates (plus state regulated fees) as of June 1, 2016 are less than $18, that carrier’s high-cost support will be reduced on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

See the full article in this week’s issue of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update for more information.


FCC Releases Order and FNPRM on USF Reform

On March 30, the FCC released a lengthy Report and Order, Order, Order on Reconsideration, and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) in which it adopts significant reforms “to place the universal service program on solid footing for the next decade to “preserve and advance” voice and broadband service in areas served by rate-of-return carriers.” Comments will be due on the FNPRM 30 days after the publication of the document in the Federal Register, and reply comments will be due 60 days after publication.

Highlights from the Order include:

  • A voluntary path under which rate-of-return carriers may elect model-based support for a term of 10 years in exchange for meeting defined build-out obligations.
  • The Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support (CAF BLS) – a forward-looking change to the existing mechanism that will provide support for broadband-capable loops, regardless of whether the customer chooses to purchase traditional voice service, a bundle of voice and broadband, or only broadband.
  • A method to limit operating costs eligible for support under rate-of-return mechanisms, and measures that will limit the extent to which USF support is used to support capital investment by those rate-of-return carriers that are above the national average in broadband deployment in order to help target support to those areas with less broadband deployment.
  • Specific broadband deployment obligations for all rate-of-return carriers (not just those electing to pursue model-based support).
  • A rule prohibiting rate-of-return carriers from receiving CAF-BLS support in those census blocks that are served by a qualifying unsubsidized competitor (and a supporting challenge system).
  • Revisions to eligible telecommunications carriers’ (ETC) annual reporting requirements.

In the FNPRM, the FCC seeks comment on:

  • Targeted rule changes to existing accounting and affiliate transaction rules to eliminate inefficiencies and provide guidance to rate-of-return carriers regarding expectations for appropriate expenditures.
  • Additional options for disaggregating support for those discrete areas that are served by an unsubsidized competitor and other issues associated with implementation of the competitive overlap rule.
  • A mechanism to provide additional support to unserved Tribal lands.
  • Other measures that the Commission could take within the existing budget to encourage further broadband deployment by rate-of-return carriers.
  • Additional proposals to modify or potentially eliminate certain ETC certifications and reporting obligations so as to streamline ETC reporting requirements.

A future BloostonLaw Telecom Update will follow with a more in-depth analysis of the Order and what it means for rural carriers.

FCC Adopts NPRM on Internet Privacy

On April 1, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking aimed at ensuring privacy protections for customers of broadband internet access service (BIAS). Comments are due May 27, and reply comments are due June 27. At least one proposal that bears attention from small and rural service providers is the idea of a Small BIAS Provider Exemption, discussed further below.

Specifically, the FCC is seeking comment on the following proposals:

Definitions. The FCC proposes to define the information that would be protected as “customer proprietary information” (customer PI) to include both CPNI as established by Section 222(h) of the Act and personally identifiable information (PII) collected by the broadband providers through their provision of BIAS.

Transparency. The FCC proposes rules to enhance the ability of consumers to make informed choices through effective disclosure of broadband providers’ privacy policies that would include:

  • What customer information they collect and for what purposes;
  • What customer information they share and with what types of entities; and
  • How, and to what extent, customers can opt in or opt out of use and sharing of their personal information.

Choice. The FCC proposes a three-tiered approach to choice with respect to use of customer PI obtained by virtue of providing the broadband service:

  • Use and sharing of customer PI in order to provide broadband services and for certain other purposes that make sense within the context of the broadband providers’ relationships with their customers require no additional approval from the customer.
  • Use of customer PI to market other communications-related services is subject to opt-out approval of the customer.
  • Sharing customer PI with non-communications-related affiliates or third parties or using customer information for any purpose outside of those described above requires opt-in approval.

Content. The FCC seeks comment on whether additional protection, above and beyond Section 705 of the Communications Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (including those provisions known as the Wiretap Act), is needed. The FCC also seeks comment on whether, and how, Section 222 should be applied to provide additional protection to some or all forms of content or to otherwise complement the effectiveness of existing federal laws. Section 705 of the Communications Act and the Wiretap Act generally prohibit unauthorized interception of communications, which at best is a gray area for most BIAS provider/customer relationships.

Small BIAS Provider Exemption. Of interest to many of our clients, the FCC seeks comment on whether there are any small-provider-specific exemptions that are appropriate, such as for small providers who have already obtained customer approval, or who collect data from fewer than 5,000 customers a year (provided they do not share customer data with third parties).

Heightened Protection for Certain Types of Information. The NPRM also seeks comment on whether there are particular types of information, for example, Social Security numbers, financial account information, or geo-location information that, although included within the definition of customer PI, are so sensitive that they deserve special treatment.

Data Security and Breach Notification. The NPRM proposes that consumers should be able to rely on their broadband provider to take reasonable steps to safeguard customer information from unauthorized use, disclosure, or access, and seeks comment on whether there are other data security requirements that the Commission should adopt, such as data minimization requirements.

Other. The FCC also seeks comment on adopting rules that harmonize the privacy requirements for cable and satellite providers with the rules for telecommunications providers, and on what barriers may exist to the ability of consumers to resolve disputes and it recognizes the right to access and correct the customer information their broadband provider maintains about them.

FCC Seeks Comment on Classification of Home Office Lines under TCPA

On March 31, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on a petition for declaratory ruling asking for clarification on whether a telephone line in a home that is used for business purposes can be considered a “residential” line under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Commission’s implementing rules. Comments are due May 2 and reply comments are due May 17.

Under the TCPA, a caller must obtain prior express consent from the called party before initiating a telemarketing call to a residential telephone line using an artificial or prerecorded voice. The FCC is seeking comment on whether it should (1) establish such a bright-line test for identifying a “residential line” under the prohibition against unconsented-to calls using an artificial or pre-recorded voice, (2) adopt some other bright-line test to identify such lines, or (3) identify some other method, such as a multi-factor analysis, for determining whether a telephone line is a “residential line” for purposes of the artificial/prerecorded voice call prohibition. The FCC also seeks comment on which factors should be considered by the Commission were it to adopt a multi-factor approach. With the growth of online businesses being conducted from home, and telecommuting, the Commission’s action in this matter may have a noticeable impact on certain rural service providers.

FCC Issues NPRM to Extend Video Description Rules

On April 1, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to expand the availability of, and support consumer access to, video described programming (which is geared to assist blind persons gain information from the programming). Comments will be due 30 days after the NPRM is published in the Federal Register, and reply comments will be due 60 days after the date of publication.

Video description makes video programming accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired through “[t]he insertion of audio narrated descriptions of a television program’s key visual elements into natural pauses between the program’s dialogue,” and is typically provided through the use of a secondary audio stream, which allows the consumer to choose whether to hear the narration by switching from the main program audio.

In its NPRM , the FCC seeks comment on the following revisions:

  • An increase in the amount of described programming on each included network carried by a covered broadcast station or multichannel video programming distributor (“MVPD”), from 50 hours per calendar quarter to 87.5;
  • An increase in the number of included networks carried by covered distributors, from four broadcast and five non-broadcast networks to five broadcast and ten non-broadcast networks;
  • Adoption of a no-backsliding rule, which would ensure that once a network is designated an “included network” required to provide description, it would remain an “included network” even if it falls out of the top five or top ten ranking;
  • Removal of the threshold requirement that non-broadcast networks reach 50 percent of pay-TV (or MVPD) households in order to be subject to inclusion;
  • A requirement that covered distributors provide dedicated customer service contacts who can answer questions about video description; and
  • A requirement that petitions for exemptions from the video description requirements, together with comments on or objections to such petitions, be filed with the Commission electronically.

The current rules require that commercial television broadcast stations that are affiliated with ABC, CBS, Fox, or NBC and are located in the top 60 television markets provide 50 hours per calendar quarter of video described prime time or children’s programming, and MVPD systems that serve 50,000 or more subscribers provide 50 hours of video description per calendar quarter during prime time or children’s programming on each of the top five national non-broadcast networks that they carry on those systems. The rules also impose video description “pass through” obligations on all network-affiliated broadcast stations regardless of market size, and on all MVPDs regardless of the number of subscribers.

Law & Regulation

FCC Approves Open Internet “Broadband Facts” Label

On April 4, the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs, Wireline Competition, and Wireless Telecommunications Bureaus (Bureaus) issued a Public Notice announcing the approval of the consumer broadband labels proposed by the Commission’s Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC), pursuant to the 2015 Open Internet Order. The labels are designed to operate as a “safe harbor” format for broadband providers once the enhanced transparency requirements take effect.

Specifically, the CAC, which is composed of industry and consumer interests, was charged with recommending a disclosure format that is “clear and easy to read – similar to a nutrition label – to allow consumers to easily compare the services of different providers.” The CAC took the FCC’s words to heart:

Small broadband internet access service (BIAS) providers — i.e., those with less than 100,000 broadband connections — currently enjoy an exemption from the FCC’s enhanced transparency rules until December 15, 2016. However, legislation that would extend the exemption for five years while also changing the definition of small business broadband providers to include those serving fewer than 250,000 subscribers recently passed the House of Representatives with a vote of 411-0.

FCC Announces 2016 Rate Floors

On April 6, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) issued a Public Notice announcing the 2016 rate floor for incumbent eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) and reasonable comparability benchmarks for fixed voice and broadband services. The Bureau also announced the required minimum usage allowance for 2016 for ETCs subject to broadband public interest obligations.

The 2016 rate floor for voice services is $21.93, and the reasonable comparability benchmark for voice services is $41.07. Therefore, an ILEC’s local rates (plus state regulated fees) in 2016 must be at least $18 in order to avoid a dollar-for-dollar reduction in high-cost support. At the same time, the pricing of basic residential voice services must be no more than $41.07.

Recipients of high-cost and/or Connect America Fund support that are subject to broadband performance obligations are required to offer broadband service at rates that are at or below the following relevant reasonable comparability benchmarks:

Download Speed
Upload Speed
Usage Allowance

Finally, ETCs subject to broadband public interest obligations must provide broadband with usage allowances reasonably comparable to those available through comparable offerings in urban areas. This year, the FCC has specified a minimum monthly usage allowance of 150 GBs.

FCC Issues Guidance to USAC Lifeline Certification Election

On April 1, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) issued a Public Notice providing guidance regarding the process for eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) to elect the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) to perform Lifeline recertification for their subscribers in 2016. ETCs must provide notice to USAC by May 2, 2016 if they intend to have USAC perform the recertification process on their behalf for 2016. Any ETC that used USAC to perform recertification in 2015 will be presumed to elect USAC to perform recertification in 2016 unless the carrier notifies USAC otherwise by the same day.

This process was originally established in 2015 in the 2015 Recert Public Notice, and remains largely the same for 2016. USAC will recertify subscribers by mailing each subscriber a letter that provides the subscriber the notice required by section 54.405(e)(4) of the Commission’s rules, informing the subscriber that the subscriber has 30 days to recertify the subscriber’s continued eligibility to receive Lifeline service or the subscriber will be de-enrolled from the Lifeline program. The letter will also explain the recertification process and how the subscriber may confirm his or her eligibility. Subscribers also will receive a call or text message during the 30-day period to prompt a response. Any subscriber response submitted after the 30-day deadline will not be processed, and the subscriber will be considered ineligible for the program and will be de-enrolled.

Carriers with questions about opting in or out of the USAC recertification process should contact the firm without delay.

House Subcommittee to Consider Multiple Telecom Bills

Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, chaired by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), has scheduled a legislative hearing for Wednesday, April 13, 2016, to examine a number of bills aimed at, “advance[ing] [legislators’] efforts on two important fronts - public safety and a more accountable FCC.”

Specifically, the Subcommittee will examine the following bills:

  • H.R. 4884, the CURB Lifeline Act, authored by Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), would reform the Federal Communications Commission’s Lifeline subsidy program by capping the fund at $1.5 billion, prohibiting the use of the subsidy for devices, and phasing out the subsidy for voice only service for mobile.
  • H.R. 3998, Securing Access to Networks in Disasters Act, authored by Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), would create requirements for mobile service providers during emergencies to ensure that consumers have access to networks during disasters, and requires the FCC and GAO to examine the resiliency of networks during these events. In addition, it amends the Stafford Act to include all categories of communications service providers that may access disaster sites to restore service.
  • H.R. 4111, Rural Health Care Connectivity Act of 2015, authored by committee member Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), would allow skilled nursing facilities to apply for universal service funding for communications services used to provide health care in rural communities.
  • H.R. 2031, Anti-Swatting Act of 2015, authored by committee member Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), would create enhanced penalties for those who use false or misleading caller ID information to trigger a response by law enforcement agencies, known as "swatters."
  • H.R. 4190, Spectrum Challenge Prize of 2015, authored by committee member Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA), would create a prize program through NTIA to award up to $5 million to participants who develop ground-breaking solutions to maximize spectrum efficiency.
  • H.R. 4167, Kari’s Law Act of 2015, authored by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), would require that any multi-line telephone systems, commonly found in schools, offices, hotels, and hospitals connect directly to 911 when dialed, even in instances where the phone requires the user to dial “9” to get an outside line.
  • H.R. 4889, the Kelsey Smith Act, authored by Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS), would require telecommunications carriers to share location data with law enforcement if law enforcement believes that someone is in danger of death or serious harm.

Chairman Walden commented, “[w]e look forward to continuing our work next week to help enhance the safety of the American people and rein in unchecked government spending while improving accountability to ratepayers.”


MAY 31: FCC FORM 395, EMPLOYMENT REPORT. Common carriers, including wireless carriers, with 16 or more full-time employees must file their annual Common Carrier Employment Reports (FCC Form 395) by May 31. This report tracks carrier compliance with rules requiring recruitment of minority employees. Further, the FCC requires all common carriers to report any employment discrimination complaints they received during the past year. That information is also due on May 31. 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 29: CARRIER IDENTIFICATION CODE (CIC) REPORTS. Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Reports must be filed by the last business day of July (this year, July 29). These reports are required of all carriers who have been assigned a CIC code by NANPA. Failure to file could result in an effort by NANPA to reclaim it, although according to the Guidelines this process is initiated with a letter from NANPA regarding the apparent non-use of the CIC code. The assignee can then respond with an explanation. (Guidelines Section 6.2). The CIC Reporting Requirement is included in the CIC Assignment Guidelines, produced by ATIS. According to section 1.4 of that document: At the direction of the NANPA, the access providers and the entities who are assigned CICs will be requested to provide access and usage information to the NANPA, on a semi-annual basis to ensure effective management of the CIC resource. (Holders of codes may respond to the request at their own election). Access provider and entity reports shall be submitted to NANPA no later than January 31 for the period ending December 31, and no later than July 31 for the period ending June 30. It is also referenced in the NANPA Technical Requirements Document, which states at 7.18.6: CIC holders shall provide a usage report to the NANPA per the industry CIC guidelines … The NAS shall be capable of accepting CIC usage reports per guideline requirements on January 31 for the period ending December 31 and no later than July 31 for the period ending June 30. These reports may also be mailed and accepted by the NANPA in paper form. Finally, according to the NANPA website, if no local exchange carrier reports access or usage for a given CIC, NANPA is obliged to reclaim it. The semi-annual utilization and access reporting mechanism is described at length in the guidelines.

AUGUST 1: FCC FORM 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). Because July 31 falls on a Sunday this year, the filing will be due August 1. This quarterly filing is due July 31 and covers lines served as of December 31, 2013. Incumbent carriers filing on a quarterly basis must also file on September 30 (for lines served as of March 31, 2014); December 30 (for lines served as of June 30, 2014), and March 31, 2015 , for lines served as of September 30, 2014).

Calendar At-A-Glance

Apr. 14 – Reply comments are due on Consumer Signal Boosters Public Notice.
Apr. 18 – Comments are due on Refreshing the Record in Sandwich Isles Reconsideration Proceeding.
Apr. 18 – Reply comments are due on AM Revitalization FNPRM.
Apr. 19 – Reply comments are due on Video Programming Diversity NOI.
Apr. 28 – Reply comments are due on Refreshing the Record in Sandwich Isles Reconsideration Proceeding.

May 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
May 2 – Deadline to designate USAC Lifeline Recertification preference.
May 2 – Comments are due on TCPA Home Office Line Classification proceeding.
May 9 – Comments are due in Emergency Alert System NPRM Proceeding.
May 17 – Reply comments are due on TCPA Home Office Line Classification proceeding.
May 27 – Comments are due on Internet Privacy NPRM.
May 31 – FCC Form 395 (Annual Employment Report) is due.

Jun. 1 – Deadline to increase local residential rates above $18 to avoid reductions in support.
Jun. 7 – Reply comments are due in Emergency Alert System NPRM Proceeding.
Jun. 27 – Reply comments are due on Internet Privacy NPRM.

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. 29 – Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Report is due.

Aug. 1 – FCC Form 507 (Universal Service Quarterly Line Count Update) is due.
Aug. 1 – International Traffic Data 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 .

NEW VIDEO - Implosions bring down 48 VOA towers in Beaufort County

Updated: Thu 4:02 PM, Apr 07, 2016

BEAUFORT COUNTY, NC (WITN) — A series of implosions is all it took to bring down 48 radio towers that have been a part of U.S. history for over 50 years.

It happened Monday morning at the old Voice of America Site A in Beaufort County.

Not used since 2006, the VOA site was sold to Beaufort County as surplus U.S. property.

Environmental Holdings Group of Morrisville teamed up with Controlled Demolition Incorporated to implode and haul off the 48 towers.

It took less than a minute for it all to come down.

Voice of America still broadcasts from Site B to Latin America, Cuba, the Caribbean, and Africa.

Source: WITN  

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From:Jason Brown
Subject:Motorola Pager Factory Demolition
Date:March 31, 2016 at 8:09:12 PM CDT
To:Brad Dye

Hi Brad. Here is a good picture of the demolition of the Motorola pager factory in Boynton Beach in 2004:

The 600,000-square-foot Motorola plant was demolished in April 2004. The 200 acres of land in Boynton Beach became the city's largest tract of undeveloped land. Apartments, 400,000 square feet of shopping and 10,000 square feet of office space now sit on this land. (Sun Sentinel, file)


From:Frank Hackett
Subject:Burch's Letter
Date:April 1, 2016 at 1:52:39 PM CDT
To:Brad Dye

Hey Burch & Brad,

This is a minor addition to Burch’s comments about Motorola folks and the Dale Carnegie Sales Course.

I took the 13 week sales course in Dothan, AL way back when. It was a Motorola requirement during all RCR’s first year in sales. I began the course very skeptical as I had a large territory and the course required me to be in Dothan every Thursday evening whether I wanted too or not! The course followed the Percy Whiting book “The Five Great Rules of Selling” , which was Attention, Interest, Conviction Desire & Close. Burch, you left out Attention which began the course.

I was 27 years old, cocky, arrogant and thought I didn’t need to be there! Boy was I wrong.  I got my comeuppance quickly by my classmates who each one taught me so much! I learned exactly what Burch is saying. I have never forgotten the lessons  learned over that 3 month course.

There is so much more I could share about that experience but suffice it to say, “The Five Great Rules of Selling” has stuck with me for a long time.

Best regards to all,

Frank Hackett

[Editor's note: When you get old you lose two things. The first thing to go is your memory. I forgot what the other one is.]


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“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.”

― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


AI just 3D printed a brand-new Rembrandt, and it's shockingly good

The Next Rembrandt project used data and deep learning to produce uncanny results

The Next Rembrandt, created using AI and a 3D printer. Credit: The Next Rembrandt

Katherine Noyes
IDG News Service Apr 7, 2016 11:54 AM

There's already plenty of angst out there about the prospect of jobs lost to artificial intelligence , but this week, artists got a fresh reason to be concerned.

A new “Rembrandt” painting unveiled in Amsterdam is not the work of the Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn at all, but rather the creation of a combination of technologies including facial recognition, AI , and 3D printing .

Essentially, a deep-learning algorithm was trained on Rembrandt's 346 known paintings and then asked to produce a brand-new one replicating the artist's subject matter and style. Dubbed “ The Next Rembrandt ,” the result is a portrait of a caucasian male, and it looks uncannily like the real thing.

One particularly interesting detail about The Next Rembrandt project, which was a collaboration among several organizations including Dutch bank ING and Microsoft, is how the algorithm chose the subject for its painting, since it had to be entirely new.

An analysis of the master's own works led the algorithm to conclude that the new piece should be a portrait featuring a Caucasian male with facial hair who is between 30 and 40 years old and is wearing dark clothing with a hat and a collar. He should also be facing toward the right, the software determined.

From there, the algorithm began to analyze specific facial features matching that profile with the aim of creating a “typical” Rembrandt eye, nose, mouth, and ear, for example. Also considered were the facial proportions, or the distances separating those features.

With the subject decided, all that remained was to bring the painting to life, and that's where 3D printing came in. The project used a 3D printer that works with a special paint-based UV ink to replicate the layers of paint and brushstrokes Rembrandt himself might have used. With 13 layers of ink, the final portrait consists of more than 148 million pixels based on 168,263 painting fragments from Rembrandt’s oeuvre.

The 18-month project was the brainchild of Dutch advertising firm J. Walter Thompson. The resulting portrait will be placed on public exhibition at some point, but details are not yet available.

Source: PCWorld



Milton PAC to host celebrated bluegrass artist Rhonda Vincent

By DEREK HALSEY For The Herald-Dispatch April 7, 2016

Rhonda Vincent has won more International Bluegrass Music Association vocal awards than any other female artist. She has won the IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year award a record seven times. Yet when her name was again called in Raleigh, North Carolina, last October, Vincent was chilling in her home back in Missouri, watching the event online.

The truth is — Vincent did not expect to win that award as it had been nine years since her last honor.

“It was quite a surprise because I didn't think I'd win that at all,” said Vincent, from Nashville. “That was a shocker. We were watching it on the Internet. . . We were actually at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. . . In fact, (we) used up my data plan because we had more than one streaming because not everyone could get around the same computer or phone. We watched it in different rooms and at different times because of the time delays, so we got to celebrate more than once.”

As with most years, Vincent and her band The Rage will tour relentlessly in 2016 with show dates booked in every month leading all of the way up to next January.

Rhonda Vincent and The Rage will appear at the Milton Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 9. The show begins at 7 p.m. and tickets are $20 and $25. More information can be found at and by calling 304-743-8774.

Vincent is known for finding and combining excellent talent when putting a band together, and this version of The Rage is no exception. The band includes Vincent on lead vocals, fiddle and mandolin; Hunter Berry on fiddle and vocals; Mickey Harris on bass; Aaron McDaris on banjo; and Josh Williams on guitar and vocals. Recently, Vincent decided to add a Dobro player to the mix and brought in Brent Burke, a graduate of Eastern Tennessee State University's Bluegrass, Old-time and Country degree program.

“I originally saw Brent in the band The Next Best Thing, and he graduated from ETSU, and it was a very good opportunity to say, 'Hey, join us,'” Vincent said. “And, I have had people mention adding a Dobro player to the band many times, but we never had that opportunity until now, so it was a good time to do it. What an incredible asset that Brent is to the band. The instrument adds so much to so many songs.”

Ultimately, Vincent has put together a band that of musicians who can play a wide variety of instruments. It is not unusual for the members of The Rage to trade axes while onstage.

“The great thing about these guys is that everybody in the band plays every different instrument,” Vincent said. “They pretty much trade off on every song, and it gives each song a different dimension and something extra special. If you just have the same person playing the same instrument, you will have that same tone. But now, Josh can grab the mandolin, and these guys can play virtually anything.”

Vincent has been in the music business since she was a kid playing in her family band in Missouri. So, in 2016, does she still see young people taking up the music? Vincent's answer is thankfully yes.

“I think there are a lot of young people out there playing the music,” Vincent said. “One only has to go to the SPBGMA (Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America) convention to see all of the young talent that is in the lobby jamming and networking. There are thousands of kids throughout the world playing. Carson Peters is an 11-year old kid who has played fiddle with us and is about to appear on 'Little Big Shots' TV show with Steve Harvey this Sunday. I'm so proud of Carson because he has done really well.”

Vincent's show in Milton will take place on her late grandmother's birthday so Vincent has a special song and story ready to help celebrate the life of Grandma Erma.

“She lived one house away from us, and I grew up walking to her house each and every day, probably a million times a day,” Vincent said. “She was my dad's mother. She lived to be 90 years old, and her mother lived to be 94, so we have some long bloodlines in the family. She would give us whatever we wanted. She lived with her mother, my great grandmother, and she did all of the cooking. Our parents would come in every morning and say, 'Look, this is not a restaurant.' Well, as soon as our parents dropped us off or we walked down there and then they left, Grandma Erma would say, 'OK, what do you want?' She'd make pancakes, French toast, cheeseburgers, waffles, eggs and bacon. Whatever you wanted, she would fix it for you.”


Source: The Herald-Dispatch    (Huntington, WV)


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