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posted by janrinok on Tuesday March 11 2014, @10:03AM   Printer-friendly
from the be-alert,-the-country-needs-more-lerts dept.

frojack writes:

"Amber alerts on our smartphones are starting to become all too frequent, and like most things, they are burdened with a certain degree of Feature Creep. Not just for abducted children anymore, the Alert system in US carrier sold phones can carry Presidential Alerts, Imminent Threat Alerts (weather or forest fires mostly) and the original AMBER alert for missing children.

Its not clear the President is ever going to have a single message for the entire population, where that message will make any difference to the average citizen. But then, this category is seldom abused. Weather broadcasts are invariably too late, historically too widely distributed, and often simply redundant. And Amber Alerts are, in the majority of cases, custody disputes, where the child is never in any real danger.

Amber Alerts are quickly becoming viewed as security theater, and the most abused aspect of the entire system. This has increasing numbers of people opting out of the alerts on their phones as a result.

The Amber system is the "third rail" of child safety discussions, and few agencies are willing to address its failings. Do we need additional shades of Amber, or the ability to filter custody disputes from the system?"

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by nitehawk214 on Tuesday March 11 2014, @03:35PM

    by nitehawk214 (1304) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @03:35PM (#14706)

    A more ironic quip would be "An Amber alert to everyone's phones to tell people not to use their phones while driving."

    I had the thing go off in the car once, it made a crazy sound that the phone had never made before so it was very distracting, even though I did not check it. I wonder how many accidents these things cause?

    "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by demonlapin on Wednesday March 12 2014, @12:50AM

    by demonlapin (925) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @12:50AM (#14959) Journal
    We had an Amber alert recently. All the overhead highway messaging signs read "AMBER ALERT - FOR DETAILS SEE OURSTATETRAFFICWEBSITE.COM"
    • (Score: 2) by nitehawk214 on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:59PM

      by nitehawk214 (1304) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:59PM (#15444)

      Well that takes the dumbness cake. (assuming they award cakes for these sorts of things)

      "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh