These alerts (usually AMBER alerts) are sent to millions of people, accompanied by a loud and startling siren.
You can imagine all sorts of "one-in-a-million" events. The surgeon woken in the middle of the night, who can't get back to sleep and makes a mistake the next day. The startled roofer falling off a ladder. Etc.
This will almost certainly be one of those things that future generations will look at us and wonder "wait they did what?".
Unfortunately the current dialog in Canada about this is "why do you hate children?" if you do anything but genuflect towards our AMBER alert system.
But as I'm on-call for my organization, that's not an option.
I think that these things are annoying, and since they are controlled at the state/provincial/territorial/major metro level, there’s going to be a bell curve of competence. (With the bottom being Hawaii where a single operator with a defective control panel was able to send a incoming ballistic missile attack warning)
Not that I was looking to move, but Canada is no longer on my list of countries I'd be willing to live in.
I honestly can't think of a single thing in my lifetime they haven't bungled.
I fully expect to see a "killed by amber alert" news story, because it just seems inevitable.
Not a good look for the entire province to be momentarily scared shitless about a potential incoming meltdown completely unnecessarily.
I'm in Ontario, and my first half asleep thought after being jarringly woken by this was "grab the kids and start driving south". Then I remembered I'm like 100km+ away.
They need to pause the whole system and add in an external approval before messages are sent out.
Also everything is sent out at the "Presidential Alert Level". Presumably because someone gave the contract to their cousin.
As someone who recently sent out notifications to a ton of people by mistake (accidentality set a number of twitch streams to live instead of just testing so sending out a ton of "X just went live" notifications for a handful of channels) a simple "Are you really sure you want to do this action? It will do this..." confirmation message goes a long way without the need of a 2nd person to auth the action. Just don't do the confirmation message unless its needed to prevent training people to just click though it.
> Each adult in the household should have 4 pills available, and each child should have two pills available. This is enough for 2 days supply.
Is this enough? The radioactive half life of I-?131? is 8 days. Or is the dose so high that you won't uptake any from the environment for a while?
There is more info available here:
and here, about dosing: (pdf warning)
Maybe I underestimate the cost of iodine.
I suspect they were worried about people getting free iodine for their meth labs and nuclear safety somehow lost to that battle...
Between 8:06 am and 9:12 am a number of government officials, starting with the Pickering Fire Chief via CP24  started announcing that the alert was sent in error.
At 9:12 am we were told the alert was sent by mistake via the alert system.
At 12:55 pm we were finally told that there actually was no nuclear incident, and the alert was sent by accident during training .
Why the hell did it take 42 minutes for any sort of public information to be broadcast after the initial alert.
Why the hell did it take an additional hour and 6 minutes to realize they should send that information through the official system, instead of letting people wonder what information is accurate and what information is caused by the fog of war. Note that the same places we were told it was a mistake were previously telling us people were responding to an incident .
Why the hell did it take an entire 6 hours after the alert for the authorities to inform us that there hadn't actually been a nuclear accident, instead of a nuclear accident that was contained enough they didn't feel the need to alert us via emergency systems?
They're LTE only, so I've disabled them by disabling LTE and sticking to 3G.
The speeds are fast enough (15mbps peaks). And with $10/gig data prices, it's not like I'll ever down/upload large files over wireless.
The problem is that I was used to getting a push notification almost immediately from every news source on Amber Alerts, but not this time.
I think news orgs didn't know how to handle it. Especially since the public was directed to listen to them, but they had no messaging.
the first message was very reasonable. it even said there is "no danger". to check with media and authorities. the second said the first was human error.
if i were driving, i would stop the car, call 911 and ask if anything was going on. they would probably say no, then i would be on my way. instead there is now an investigation, and someone who is already having a very bad day for their mistake is going to get punished even harsher...
should we start having trainings about these so people realize the possibility that these will become useful one day instead of getting mad?
They weren't saying "no", they were saying "we have no idea". If everyone called 911, they would be totally swamped, please don't do that.
Calls to 911 usually take 2-5 minutes for anyone to answer in Toronto when there is nothing particular going on (not kidding you, there is a message playing in the meantime like "we'll answer soon, please hold") because the govt is so hellbent on cutting costs that the emergency lines are understaffed. So imagine what happens when everyone does that... No operators for 15 minutes for anyone. Ontario really has become a ridiculous place.
9-1-1 would've said: "We don't know either. We know as much as you do". Which would only be more concerning.
Can't you? On my iPhone, I can. I'm not sure I would--although I have one category of alert disabled, but I can.
> Presidential alert is default on and cannot be turned off.
> CMAS Presidential must be always on (See 3GPP TS 22.268 Section 6.2) regardless [of the] user's preference
> A CMAS-capable User Interface (UI) shall support the ability for the user to opt-out of only the Imminent Threat and Child Abduction Emergency Warning Notifications. When a Presidential Warning Notification is received, it is always
presented to the user whenever Cell Broadcast Service via GSM/UMTS or warning message delivery via E-UTRAN is
enabled on the UE.
Seems like no one working in the Canadian government has heard about The Boy Who Cried Wolf.
From what I understood from spectrum auctions, Gatineau Quebec is a part of the Ottawa area, so they're probably a part of Ontario side when it comes to cell system back-end.