Emergency Services and Events

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The Herald Reports on a 'box' that lets you use your conventional corded phone on the Vodafone mobile network - eliminating the need for a landline copper connection.

Yes, we now have the ability to get away without a copper line from Telecom - and number portability is obviously a cinch. However do people realise the risks of ditching their landline?

- What happens during a power failure?
- What happens during a cellular network failure?
- What happens during a major disaster? When Power and Cellular both fail?

We all know that the very first thing thats going to keel over is the cellular network. Everyone has one. The minute that we have an [Earthquake|Tsunami|Volcanic Eruption|InsertEmergencyHere] the first thing everyone is going to do is call everyone else on their cellphones.

In the event of a power failure the cellular network will probably operate for as long as the UPS at the local celltower works. Maybe, if it has a Generator, it'll work for a few hours past that. Then, its gone.

Your PSTN Copper-fed phone, on the other hand, draws all its power from the Phone Exchange.
The Phone Exchanges are typically battery and generator backed up, and are held at a very high reliability level by a Telco who is obligated both morally and contractually to keep the 111 system operational, among other things.

Telephony - as a circuit switched network - is a more 'simple' system. Cellular phones have a larger set of dependencies to meet in order for a call to be placed.

... the obvious indication is that the cellular network is more complex. More vulnerable.

So do you really wanna give up your PSTN? Really?
If you do that, don't come to me and ask for me to make a call on your behalf... !

Maybe its just the spotlight that they're all under, but really, I think enough is enough. Professional shows only!! Fancy being the parent of this Baby?. Freaky freaky stuff.

It seems that a lot more crazy behavior in respects to Fireworks has come to light this year. Numerous arsons, 'misfires' causing harm, and a whole bunch of 'accidental' fires...

The recent California wildfires (started accidentally by a 10 year old!) really do illustrate what can happen when you don't have full control... and that wasn't even a deliberate explosive... !

Enough's enough.

Its now on synirc.org's servers.

I'll have to repackage the custom mIRC - meanwhile type /server irc.synirc.org ...

Cyclists often bitch and moan about motorists who 'don't notice' or 'don't pay attention' to them on the road, and the dangers that this exposes them to.

Yet today in two seperate incidents I had to use my horn liberally with Cyclists who did not engage brain fully.

The first was on State Highway 2 (Western Hutt Road) at Lower Hutt, southbound ~ Avalon. Largeish group of maybe 8 riders. Two lane, 100km/h road. Cept that despite ample off-the-road space on the shoulder (being one of those white-striped type environments) at least one plonker decides to ride two-abreast and occupy part of the left lane.. to the point where a queue develops coz we've just come off a set of traffic lights and are now waiting for the bunch of cyclists who occupied the first car-length of space.

The 'Bike Code' (this was the closest thing i could find beyond the dead link on the LTSA site) does note that where a suitable cycle lane or similar exists, it must be used. That'd be commonsense failure number 1...

Number 2 involved the Cyclist who was (essentially) riding two abreast and blocking a lane as he turned left in a dedicated left turning lane earlier today.... he got a blast of my horn as well. Credit to him for signalling - but there were two of them, and they should've been riding single-file. I'd have had room to gracefully get past him if he had. Instead it was a little bit of a squeeze, and I wasn't the only motorist hindered.

As someone who has spent many hundred hours on his pushbike on urban roads before now, I know what its like - but for godsake people do yourself some favours.. !

The NZ Herald is reporting that Colin McRae is dead despite it being described as Unconfirmed [rte.ie]. The Times appears certain though, and confirms not only McRae, but also his son, a childhood friend of McRae's and another child, were on board the privately owned Helicopter when it crashed.

The Motorsport world is in mourning, i'm sure. McRae was bloody good. I even have a copy of Colin McRae Rally for the PS2 here somewhere...

He'll be up there somewhere looking for Possum...


Its German I think.

I would be speechless too!.

The stupidity of some people is amazing. Especially if there'd been a significant fire on Queen St since it happened... can just imagine the confusion!


Sydney Morning Herald reports - as regurgitated on a couple of NZ reflectors - that the theft of 3 digital radio's from a Sydney Police Station poses a security threat.

The article itself is overdramatizing the theft. Digital radios have unique ID's and can be 'cut off'. Also the crypto key for the radio net could be changed, rendering the stolen radios relatively useless.

Seems to me that the news coverage itself could be construed as scaremongering. In reality the theft, while a 'bad thing', isn't a significant security risk (or, shouldn't be, if correct protocols are in effect...?)

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