Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 25th Aug 2010 22:19 UTC
Multimedia, AV A couple of days ago we talked about how the RIAA and NAB are planning on asking US Congress to mandate FM radio chips inside every cell phone. This plan was met with some ridicule, so the NAB decided to write a blog post addressing the critics. Most of the post is overshadowed by an overdose of America's favourite national pastime: WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE. 9/11!
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RE[2]: Dennis, you're a jacka@@
by jack_perry on Thu 26th Aug 2010 01:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Dennis, you're a jacka@@"
jack_perry
Member since:
2005-07-06

Unless you design the phone to detect emergency broadcasts, the user would have to be actually listening to the radio at the exact moment the broadcast was sent.


Which, in the event of a national emergency where the phone networks go down, is quite possible (and even feasible).

You are twice as likely to be crushed under a vending machine than to die in a terrorist attack, and far, far more likely to drown in your own bathtub.


Large groups of people are not twice as likely to be crushed under a vending machine, or to drown in their own bathtub, at the same time. And in some parts of the country, hurricanes are much, much more likely than either of these events.

Don't get me wrong; I think this is a stupid, stupid law. But some of the arguments being thrown against it are amazingly bad...

Reply Parent Score: 4

Hypnos Member since:
2008-11-19

Large groups of people are not twice as likely to be crushed under a vending machine, or to drown in their own bathtub, at the same time.

Why does the size of the group matter? Any economic cost from 9/11 was largely psychological; the loss of office space was a small perturbation to the US economy.

The psychological effect can be muted by knowledge that vending machines are more dangerous than terrorism in terms of material economics costs.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Dennis, you're [ahem]
by sPAZbEAT on Thu 26th Aug 2010 05:42 in reply to "RE[3]: Dennis, you're a jacka@@"
sPAZbEAT Member since:
2009-07-17

the psychological reverberations were costly. unfortunately, the "ills of civilization" seem inherent to human biology. so psychological costs will always statistically exist.

Reply Parent Score: 1

HappyGod Member since:
2005-10-19

Which, in the event of a national emergency where the phone networks go down, is quite possible (and even feasible).


Your argument is circular. You suggest that in an emergency, the user would be more likely to be listening to his phone radio. That would mean he has already been made aware of the emergency from another source. So why have the radio?

Large groups of people are not twice as likely to be crushed under a vending machine, or to drown in their own bathtub, at the same time. And in some parts of the country, hurricanes are much, much more likely than either of these events.


Firstly, I was countering the argument that we should be concerned with and introducing measures for terrorist attacks. Hurricanes are another topic entirely. Constrain yourself to the point.

The fact that terrorist attacks are so unlikely as not to warrant concern or countermeasures is perfectly valid.

The number of affected people (while tragic) in the extremely unlikely event that an attack might occur should not be a mitigating factor.

Reply Parent Score: 6

FuriousGeorge Member since:
2010-08-26

Why must he constrain himself to the point that best makes your argument?

Sure, death by terrorist is less likely than death by bathtub, but there are millions of ways to die and a subset of those can be avoided via emergency broadcasts.

One thing the Blog nailed is the fact that this really is a pro-consumer mandate. Forget emergencies, I have to stream radio over my data plan to catch a sporting event, and when the leagues picked up on this they prevented dissemination.

It's not like I can just chose a phone with FM either. I'm limited by my funds, my contract with my provider, and what they carry as to what phone I can get. While I could have selected a phone with an FM chip (probably), it would not have been the Moto Droid, which is what I wanted.

Like the blog said, if draining your battery is your concern, then don't use it. But I want the feature, and I don't know who wouldn't for a few pennies (or even a dollar) per unit. Most people round here get their phones for free with the plan anyway.

And how is this any different than mandating seat belts in cars? Seat belts save around 10,000 lives per years. You could argue that an FM receiver won't save that many, but I could argue that under the right (or wrong) set of circumstances, an FM receiver could save more. I could also argue that, unlike seat belts, no one is forcing you to use the FM receiver.

If you wanna make the argument that the government is too involved in drug use, prostitution, where you can and can't smoke cigarettes, how runny a restaurant can make an egg, making sure said eggs don't have pathogens like E. Coli (oops), then I'm with you.

There are so many better things to get all huffy about.

Reply Parent Score: 1

sPAZbEAT Member since:
2009-07-17

I'd expect the emergency transmission would interrupt anything the cell was doing. perhaps eventually the system could have a wakeup feature (emergency transmission plays as long as the batteries had enough charge).

Reply Parent Score: 2

jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

You suggest that in an emergency, the user would be more likely to be listening to his phone radio. That would mean he has already been made aware of the emergency from another source. So why have the radio?


I notice (a) my cell phone isn't working, and (b) power has gone out everywhere around the vicinity. Ergo, there must be an emergency. No one has told me what it is, how long it will last, etc. I have no way of finding out at the moment, except... the FM radio in my phone? This isn't circular at all.

Firstly, I was countering the argument that we should be concerned with and introducing measures for terrorist attacks. Hurricanes are another topic entirely. Constrain yourself to the point.


The original point was an emergency. A terrorist attack is merely one example.

Reply Parent Score: 2