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Subject: [IP] more on Katrina and the folly of trusting cell phones

  • From: David Farber <dave@farber.net>
  • To: Ip Ip <ip@v2.listbox.com>
  • Date: Fri, 02 Sep 2005 06:18:56 -0400



Begin forwarded message:

From: Bob Frankston <Bob19-0501@bobf.frankston.com>
Date: September 1, 2005 12:26:54 PM EDT
To: dave@farber.net, 'Ip Ip' <ip@v2.listbox.com>, 'Lauren Weinstein' <lauren@vortex.com>
Cc: 'Dewayne Hendricks' <dewayne@dandin.com>, &quot;'David P. Reed'&quot; <dpreed@reed.com>
Subject: RE: [IP] Katrina and the folly of trusting cell phones



Expensive dedicated radios are just as bad as 9/11 demonstrated.

As I keep pointing out we need are simple packet radios that automatically
configure into a mesh and connect via whatever transport including
satellite links. If they are packaged properly and can use various sources
of power ranging from batteries to solar to &quot;whatever&quot; then they can be
deployed from the air.


Using asymmetric radio approaches the power can be in larger base units a
distance a way and using unbounded spread spectrum and redundancy some
portions of the signal should be detectable despite obstacles.


The downside is that this may work too well compared with traditional
cellular even under the best circumstances. Without the burden of billing
it would be just like the rest of the Internet -- too good for people to
accept the concept. And we can't risk that can we?




-----Original Message-----
From: David Farber [mailto:dave@farber.net]
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2005 06:37
To: Ip Ip
Subject: [IP] Katrina and the folly of trusting cell phones



Begin forwarded message:

From: Lauren Weinstein <lauren@vortex.com>
Date: September 1, 2005 12:27:52 AM EDT
To: dave@farber.net
Cc: lauren@vortex.com
Subject: Katrina and the folly of trusting cell phones



Dave,

In watching the interviews from the areas devastated by the aftermath
of Katrina, one warning comes through loud and clear, and while it's
not a new one, it's still critically important: Trusting cell phones
to work in many emergency situations can be dangerous or fatal.

Over and over we hear people saying how their cell phones became
useless (except perhaps for snapping photos).  And it wasn't a
&quot;simple&quot; matter of call traffic overloading.  Even in areas where
equipment wasn't flooded, power cutoffs led to microcell batteries
running down within a couple of days.  With so much reliance on
these small, seemingly ubiquitous cell sites, power failures can turn
regional cellular networks into largely useless hardware in short
order.

It's particularly upsetting to hear people noting that this agency or
that organization depended more than ever on inexpensive cell phones
rather than the expensive dedicated radio equipment that they used to
use, and when the cellular network went down their communications
were disrupted in major ways.

--Lauren--
Lauren Weinstein
lauren@pfir.org or lauren@vortex.com or lauren@eepi.org
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800
http://www.pfir.org/lauren
Co-Founder, PFIR
   - People For Internet Responsibility - http://www.pfir.org
Co-Founder, EEPI
   - Electronic Entertainment Policy Initiative - http://www.eepi.org
Moderator, PRIVACY Forum - http://www.vortex.com
Member, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
Lauren's Blog: http://lauren.vortex.com
DayThink: http://daythink.vortex.com



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