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[3]: Dennis, you're a jacka@@
by HappyGod on Thu 26th Aug 2010 04:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Dennis, you're a jacka@@"
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

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

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.


I have a phone with an FM receiver in it (SE w580i). It works well. However, it's more of a pain to use than anything. It only works with the wired headphones, using the proprietary SE connector, which sticks out almost an inch from the side of the phone, making it really uncomfortable to stick in your pocket.

It doesn't work with my nice Bluetooth headset. All the other audio functions (including streaming audio from the 'Net) works, but since there's no wire connecting the phone to the headset, there's no FM antenna. So now I'd have to carry around two sets of headphones.

Alternatively, there are Bluetooth headsets that include an FM receiver. Be a lot cheaper than buying a second phone. Or, you can head down to your local dollar store, and get an FM receiver with headphones for $1.

And how is this any different than mandating seat belts in cars?


Adding seat belts doesn't fundamentally alter the way you use the car. Adding an FM receiver would fundamentally alter the way you use a cell phone (require the use of headphones).

Reply Parent Score: 2

FuriousGeorge Member since:
2010-08-26

.

Edited 2010-08-26 19:08 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

FuriousGeorge Member since:
2010-08-26

Remember the Indonesian Tsunami?

Was it 100K or 200K that died?

Remember the images of of people walking up to the receded shoreline to gather the mysteriously beached fish?

In many cases, NOAA knew what could potentially happen for hours, but almost no one else did.

In the time between the detection of the earthquake by NOAA and the landfall of the first wave, how many lives could have been saved if 90 character blast message were sent out warning resident of possible Tsunamis, and advising them to tune to a local radio station for details?

90 characters alone may not be enough to fully convey the gravity of the situation, and it's a fallacy to assume that just because you are in your car that you happen to have the radio on and tuned to a station in the know.

Sure, this scenario does not pass the "but-I-don't-want-Big-Gobment-increasing-phone-prices-by-$0.50" test, but if you are going to take that position you must explain why you are also opposed to the "seat belts in cars" mandate.

It's estimated that in the US seat belts save about 10,000 lives per year, a tiny fraction of the number that died in the Tsunami, and probably cost at least a hundred times more per unit.

As I said before, under the right (or wrong) conditions, and on a national-annual scale, this technology has the potential to save at least as many lives, if not more.

If you can stay ideologically consistent in this reductio ad aburdem style debate then I can respect your opinion, and agree to disagree.

Remember, it's quite fashionable to claim libertarianism, but a true libertarian will support the "right" of private or even public institutions to deny equal protection based solely on race, religion, or creed. The true measure of a libertarian, or any other ideologue, is how far he or she will follow the ideology as it approaches the logical extreme.

I for one prefer to first throw ideology out the window, and then grab a hose, when the house is on fire.

Edited 2010-08-26 19:19 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 0

FuriousGeorge Member since:
2010-08-26

Remember the Indonesian Tsunami?

Was it 100K or 200K that died?

Remember the images of of people walking up to the receded shoreline to gather the mysteriously beached fish?

In many cases, NOAA knew what could potentially happen for hours, but almost no one else did.

In the time between the detection of the earthquake by NOAA and the landfall of the first wave, how many lives could have been saved if 90 character blast message were sent out warning resident of possible Tsunamis, and advising them to tune to a local radio station for details?

90 characters alone may not be enough to fully convey the gravity of the situation, and it's a fallacy to assume that just because you are in your car that you happen to have the radio on and tuned to a station in the know.

It's estimated that in the US seat belts save about 10,000 lives per year, a tiny fraction of the number that died in the Tsunami, and probably cost at least a hundred times more per unit.

As I said before, under the right (or wrong) circumstances, and on a national-annual scale, this technology has the potential to save at least as many lives, if not more.

Sure, this scenario does not pass the "but-I-don't-want-Big-Gobment-increasing-phone-prices-by-$0.50" test, but if you are going to take that position you must explain why you are also opposed to the "seat belts in cars" mandate.

If you can stay ideologically consistent in this reductio ad aburdem style debate then I can respect your opinion, and agree to disagree.

(Remember, being a true libertarian means supporting the rights of private institutions or even governments to deny equal protection based on race, religion, or creed. It's very fashionable to claim libertarianism, but when push comes to shove how long will you really own it.)

Reply Parent Score: 0

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

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

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.


Except that you are downtown, and you left your headphones at home (or you're using your spiffy BT headphones), thus rendering the FM receiver in your phone completely useless.

How is that any better than not having an FM receiver in the phone?

Reply Parent Score: 2