Monthly Archives: September 2005

In Case Of Emergency

In Case Of Emergency

In Case Of Emergency

Some of you may have seen this, but in case you havenít, itís a pretty good idea.

In case of emergency, put your cell on ICE
By Elyse Andrews, USA TODAY
A movement is underway to turn the ubiquitous cell phone into a source of information for paramedics and other emergency personnel responding to accidents,
crimes and disasters.

Phone users are being encouraged to list their emergency contact under the acronym ICE, shown here.

By Leslie Smith Jr., USA TODAY

A British paramedic came up with the idea of asking cell phone users to input an entry into their cellular phonebook called ICE for “in case of emergency.”
Accompanying that acronym would be the name and phone numbers of the person who should be called if something has happened to the owner of the phone.

The ICE campaign was launched in Britain in April, but people really started paying attention after the July terrorist bombings in London that killed 56
and injured hundreds.

Bob Brotchie, a Cambridge-based paramedic for 13 years, says he has responded to many accidents in which the injured person carried no information about
next of kin or emergency contacts. This makes it difficult for paramedics because they don’t know the patient’s medical history or allergies, he says.

The British campaign, initially promoted in conjunction with Vodafone’s annual Life Savers Awards, is “going phenomenally well,” says Brotchie. Vodaphone
is a British mobile phone company.

Now paramedics in the USA want to encourage ICE usage by Americans. “I certainly think it can help,” says Matthew Levy of the International Association
of EMTs and Paramedics. “(We are) hoping that we can get people excited.”

Joe Farren of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association-Wireless Network says the industry is definitely interested in joining the campaign.

And word is spreading in the USA via news reports and word of mouth.

Linda Huntress of Meredith, N.H., received an e-mail about ICE that she forwarded to her friends and family. She programmed ICE into her phone, noting that
it’s better than other forms of identification because women sometimes go out without a purse but bring their cell phones.

“Basically, we have cell phones so that we have a way to reach help,” she says. “I would want my family to know what happened to me.”

Farren says there are so many different U.S. service providers that one of the challenges is getting all the companies to promote use of the same acronym.
If they don’t, it will be confusing to those who need the number, he says.

Additionally, Iíve seen the recommendation of putting ICE followed by your relationship to the person, then their name. This way EMS personnel have some idea who they are calling.

A Little Frightening

A Little Frightening



Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley have

demonstrated that an audio recording of someone typing on a computer

keyboard can reveal with surprising accuracy exactly what they have

typed. Using commercially available recording equipment, the

researchers captured audio of typing and analyzed the sounds using an

algorithm they developed. Because keys make different sounds, the

system is able to make educated guesses about what key was pressed in

what order. The application then applies some linguistic logic,

including spelling and grammar checks, to refine the results. After

three rounds of revisions, the application was able to identify 96

percent of the individual characters typed and 88 percent of the words.

The application was effective even with background noise, such as music

or cell phones ringing. Doug Tsar, UC Berkeley professor of computer

science and information management and a principal investigator of the

study, said the project should raise concerns about the security risks

of such a technology. “If we were able to figure this out,” he said,

“it’s likely that people with less honorable intentions can–or

have–as well.”

ZDNet, 14 September 2005


What makes this more worrysome is I knew a guy in high school who wanted to develop the tallent to do this without the intervention of a computer. I’m pretty Sas, and possibly Shanti know who I’m talking about. My arch nemisis when it came to IT.

New Head of FEMA

New Head of FEMA is reporting

Federal Emergency Management Agency director Mike Brown resigned Monday, three days after losing his onsite command of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. The White House picked a top FEMA official with three decades of firefighting experience as his replacement.

R. David Paulison, head of FEMA’s emergency preparedness force, will lead the beleaguered agency, according to two senior administration sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not yet been made.

Paulison is a career firefighter from Miami who was among emergency workers responding to Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and the crash of ValuJet Flight 592 in the Florida Everglades in 1996, according to a biography posted on FEMA’s Web site. He also has led the U.S. Fire Administration since December 2001, according to the site.

As chief of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department, Paulison led 1,900 personnel under a $200 million operating budget. He was also in charge of Dade County’s emergency management office, according to his biography.

Read the Full Story



I know, I promised never to talk about politics on this blog. Wait. I never
did that. Good because it wouldn’t stop me this time.

CNN is reporting the president has signed an executive order suspending the requirement for federal contractors to pay a reasonable wage to their employees. It’s absolutely unbelievable that in
this time of need, and tremendous suffering, that our president is all right
with lining the pockets of the business owners who will be paid billions of
dollars to rebuild hurricane ravaged areas. How can someone who calls
himself a moral man be all right with taking wages from his citizens. Not
all contractors will pay substandard wages, but the unscrupulous ones now
have the opportunity to do so.

I don’t care if you’re an Elephant or a Donkey, but can we all at least come
together on the fact that people are suffering? Can we agree that people
should be paid a reasonable wage for what they do? Can we agree that
rebuilding these cities is going to be a long arduous process and that many
people’s lives have been torn apart and they need to be rebuilt and in order
to do that they will need to earn a living?

I can’t see any possible reason that this could end well. The president has
done a foolish thing. Everyone makes mistakes true. However, if this one is
not corrected, it will be a sad stain on an already blemished canvas that is
our current state of affairs. Between massive communications breakdowns,
unqualified officials leading federal agencies who have lost focus since
being reassigned as part of a new department, and an inability to bring a
national Gas crisis under control, this administration is plagued with
indecision and failure on many levels.

It is easy to sit here an Monday Morning Quarterback, but the fact remains
that mistakes were made and they are only being compounded by screwing
people out of money that is desperately needed by people trying to rebuild
their lives, and not those who are already living the good life.

Pellican Taco

Pellican Taco

The other morning my wife and I were listening to traffic from the National Guard. We both misheard one of the callsigns as Pelican Taco (for obvious reasons, I won’t give the real one). This lead to a discussion of misunderstood lyrics. She told me there was a line in “18 Wheeler” by Alabama that said “Hot Nacho.” I had no idea what she was talking about, so I played the song. She thought the line, “Cotton-Eye Joe” was “Hot Nacho.” Which, well maybe, but yeah.
I’m not imune however. When I was a kid, way back in the 80’s, the song, Every Time You Go Away, was popular. I have been told that every time that song came on the radio, I would stand by the refrigerator and sing,
Every time you go away,
you take a piece of meat with you.
Rather than,
You take a piece of me with you.
This is how we amuse ourselves.

Get A Grip

Get A Grip

What is wrong with people. CNN is reporting the a New Orleans hospital haulted the evacuation of patients after coming under sniper fire.
That is absolutely unconscionable. Seriously. These people are injured and trying to get somewhere safe. How could you be shooting at them. Some people are pathetic. I’m sure some of them are scared and want to get out of there too, but shooting at medical workers and injured patients, that’s inexcusable.
A few months ago, I gave serious consideration to joining NDMS (National Disaster Medical System) as a communications specialist. I feel kind of selfish now, because at the time I decided I had too much going on right now to join another volunteer organization. If I hadn’t, I’d probably be heading for a 14 day deployment now. Our county is deploying medical teams to the area. They havn’t asked for any of our communications team to go, but Tigress has already said go for it if they do.
Everyone, pray for those people. Things are bad down there. I’m sure worse than what’s being reported on CNN, and it’s going to take months to get it all sorted out. Say a prayer for everyone who’s lost homes, lives, and for those down there working in the relief effort.