Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Japan Considers '911' Calls From Twitter, Social Networks

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the I-need-helpville dept.

Government 116

itwbennett writes "The Japanese national Fire and Disaster Management Agency today hosted the first of 3 panels to discuss allowing emergency calls to be placed through social networks. For the event, Twitter's Japanese blog posted entries on how to use the service during emergencies, one of which advised: 'If your circumstances allow, please add #survived to your tweets. This will help when family and friends that are worried about you search on your welfare.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

The fascination with "social media" needs to end. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41175369)

Acting like these proprietary cloud services are a legitimate case for discussion is disgusting. I find it deplorable that we give these organizations so much attention every time somebody has a horrible idea. If a 911 center is to take calls via the Internet, it needs to be done with some sort of standard, and as the Internet was designed, there is no way that this could be reliably implemented. Case Closed.

Re:The fascination with "social media" needs to en (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41175605)

Acting like these proprietary cloud services are a legitimate case for discussion is disgusting. I find it deplorable that we give these organizations so much attention every time somebody has a horrible idea.

Blah blah blah. We're not getting off you're lawn, gramps.

Despite the rather large noise-to-signal ratio, overall, Twitter has the potential to help disaster management through crowdsourcing. Don't worry, I hate buzzwords like "crowdsourcing" just as much as the next slashbot. Bear with me.... First responders for big disasters have a big problem: where do you spend your resources? You start by sending out search teams, but big cities like New Orleans are, well, big. You just do not have enough manpower to rapidly triage the whole city to know where you should spend your resources. So you guess, and you put triage teams on the 911 lines to take calls, but again, there are many more callers than 911 operators, and those operators need to manually enter a lot of information. This is where Twitter comes in. Citizens that are hurt, or that come across people that are hurt, make tweets like "Man lying hurt, legs crushed under car near Second and Main". Volunteer crowdsourcers re-tweet these events in a format a computer can easily parse, such as "Man crushed by car #location ". A computer gathers all these tweets and presents them in a nice summary format. Even better, this is already being done:
http://www.technologyreview.com/view/419368/how-twitter-helps-in-a-disaster/ [technologyreview.com]
http://epic.cs.colorado.edu/?page_id=11 [colorado.edu]

Could we design something more reliable from scratch? Probably. But that would cost $cash to design and deploy, and then you'd have to convince people to actually use the damn thing. Twitter has a large active user base right now, so it makes perfect sense to exploit the tweets as much as possible. (Note also that TFS says "Japan considers '911' calls from Twitter" not "Japan considers replacing '911' calls from landlines with Twitter".)

p.s. Landline 911 works over proprietary lines owned by AT&T et al. ... you might want to rethink your use of the scare term "proprietary".

Re:The fascination with "social media" needs to en (4, Interesting)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175809)

How is twitter any better than texting in this situation? Texts will go through even if your phone connects for a fraction of a second, twitter will NOT. Texts can be sent from almost any cell phone made in the last 10 years, tweets can not. Texts can be redirected to local receiver stations if the upstream data link dies, Twitter cannot. EVERY cellphone has a texting number, only some have twitter accounts.

Twitter may be a little cheaper, but if it's not going to cover most users, but texting will. So it sounds like you'll need to implement texting anyways, so why spend extra money and confuse people by having 2 systems?

Re:The fascination with "social media" needs to en (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176031)

Texts will go through even if your phone connects for a fraction of a second,

Yes. There are strong arguments for emergency calls via text. They are a more robust form of delivery than voice calls and can work on a very overloaded network or one with reception which is too poor to take voice calls. The only problem is that you can't be sure if the text got through.

Re:The fascination with "social media" needs to en (2)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176175)

How is "It might have gone through" better than "it can't even connect"?

Re:The fascination with "social media" needs to en (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176565)

How is "It might have gone through" better than "it can't even connect"?

I would assume that "it might have gone through" is better than "can't connect" on the goounds that in the former case you might get help, whereas in the latter case you certainly won't.

Re:The fascination with "social media" needs to en (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176593)

This. My phone informs me with a series of messages: "Sending SMS", "Message sent" or "Sending Failed". Seems to be a binary condition. Whether or not it went to the right number, however...

Re:The fascination with "social media" needs to en (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#41178733)

Texts will go through even if your phone connects for a fraction of a second,

Yes. There are strong arguments for emergency calls via text. They are a more robust form of delivery than voice calls and can work on a very overloaded network or one with reception which is too poor to take voice calls. The only problem is that you can't be sure if the text got through.

False. Texts are unreliable as all heck. First, it's "best effort" delivery, similar to e-mail. While 99% of all e-mail and texts probably make it through the network in a timely fashion, there's still a significant portion that doesn't (usually only delayed a few minutes), but there's no guarantee.

Sending a text is like sending a UDP packet. The other end may get it, they may get it delayed (sometimes significantly - minutes/hours/days delayed texts aren't uncommon), they can be duplicated in flight (recipient gets mulitple - sometimes combined with the delays means they keep receiving the same text for days), or simply disappear.

Of course, in an emergency situation, who knows what failure mode will be seen? And overloaded control channels is a significant issue - the cell may have plenty of voice capacity, but the control channel is so overloaded it's effectively useless. It's the problem AT&T has with their network consistently (leading to oddball situations as having worst connectivity, but damn fast network speeds - if you can get a channel, it'll be clear, the problem being acquiring the channel to begin with).

As for social media - well, everyone's been talking about it for ages. Back when Second Life (remember that?) was the hot new thing, everyone was probalby considering ways to do emergency notifications through that.

Re:The fascination with "social media" needs to en (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41176389)

> Texts can be sent from almost any cell phone made in the last 10 years

The article refers to Japan. A surprising number of Japanese phones don't support text messages.

After the 2011 earthquake it wasn't possible to make phone calls, but the internet connection was still rock solid.

Re:The fascination with "social media" needs to en (2)

davidfromoz (801492) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176629)

Yes, text messaging in Japan is fragmented. Its often impossible to text between carriers and my Japanese carrier offered no capability to send or receive texts overseas.

When the earthquake hit power and phone service became largely unusable pretty quickly (somewhere between Tokyo and the quake). However, I was able to send a facebook post from my Japanese style smartphone that hit a fair number of my friends and family telling them we were OK before everything went down. I rarely used it for day to day stuff since it wasn't all that useable, but for this application is was perfect.

Re:The fascination with "social media" needs to en (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176899)

Actually Japanese phones skipped over texts and went directly to email. SMS with Japanese characters cuts the message length in half (each character is two bytes). Some of their networks don't even support 2G any more, so if your phone doesn't have a 3G signal then it has no signal and no messaging or calling capability.

Twitter is just one of many systems being used in Japan for emergency support. They took the sensible decision not to rely on one system and instead make use of a wide variety of different ones.

Re:The fascination with "social media" needs to en (1)

overlordofmu (1422163) | more than 2 years ago | (#41177951)

You can tweet via SMS. I know this and I hate twitter.

Re:The fascination with "social media" needs to en (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41178795)

I have been asking for the ability to text 911 AND the ability to text the 911 dispatchers. The difference? The neighborhood watch requests we call in all sorts of things; since most are not emergencies we don't use 911, but a number specifically designed for it. There are many times when I'm out walking and would like to report something but I'm afraid of being overheard. If I could text, I could more easily give the exact address and I wouldn't have to fear being over heard. Especially when there are 20+ teens in the park down the street starting a fight, only to have the parents show up and start mooning the people on the other side, I really don't want them to know I reported them (since I'm in my front yard), but the police have found that responding really helps them keep the drug traffic down and the park much safer for the younger kids to play.

Re:The fascination with "social media" needs to en (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41175831)

all of what you say can also be used for nefarious purposes and then using DHS / FBI / State Secrets hide the vampiric oath breaking feeding. Stocking someone on twitter, and other social networks for a pattern, opens the possibilities of assassination, exploitation, and blackmail.

Fuck everything, get that in your head.

Re:The fascination with "social media" needs to en (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41177385)

I will die before I use Twitter or Facebook to ask for help. I don't want to live in such a world. No thanks. Death please.

Re:The fascination with "social media" needs to en (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41175649)

Acting like these proprietary cloud services are a legitimate case for discussion is disgusting. I find it deplorable that we give these organizations so much attention every time somebody has a horrible idea. If a 911 center is to take calls via the Internet, it needs to be done with some sort of standard, and as the Internet was designed, there is no way that this could be reliably implemented. Case Closed.

As usual, the slashdot summary left out some key info from TFA:

  • "The Japanese government has hosted the first of a series of panels on using social networks for emergency calls when phones go down"
  • ""This is a discussion for when traditional voice-based infrastructure goes down during a natural disaster, to see if social networking can be used," said Yosuke Sasao, an official at the agency"

TFA also disputes your assertion that the Internet is necessarily less reliable than voice 911:

  • "But during large-scale natural disasters, such as the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan's east coast last year, voice networks often clog up under the dual strain of damaged infrastructure and a sudden surge of lengthy voice calls."
  • "For many in Japan, social networks and online chat services were the only source of information in the hours after the disasters in March of last year"

Obviously the internet is often less reliable, but it's just dumb and short-sighted to not consider how to use a resource that is there.

Re:The fascination with "social media" needs to en (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41175685)

tl;dr "Instead of fixing what's broken, we're going to rely on third party unregulated foreign services."

Every western country is allowing its government, hence its people, to become completely subordinate to large private corporations. There are far worse examples than this, but relying on Twitter/Facebook - rather than, at the very worst, a local Internet-based system designed for backup emergency communications - will just be another nail in the coffin. It's bad enough the way various state services in the United Kingdom advertise Facebook and Twitter-based services, essentially saying, "To communicate with us, please pass your information through a bunch of American businessmen."

China stands alone as a country which makes its corporations subordinate to the needs identified by the government. And China will win.

Re:The fascination with "social media" needs to en (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175723)

ts;dr "Instead of assuming our systems will never ever fail, we will fall back to unregulated foreign services if they do"

Re:The fascination with "social media" needs to en (4, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175673)

So wait, you mean a company that has it's own internal phone system and exchange can't expect reliable 911 service, and it's disgusting and deplorable to even give such a problem attention?

Emergency service should be available by whatever means people are going to have to connect to it. It would seem to me that if you can connect to twitter or facebook or the like you have some other connection mechanism, but not every country is the same and technology plods along. If you only have a device with 3g data service and no voice and no texting (who needs texting if you can do it in app) then you should probably have 911 service available through that. If people are going to use twitter to ask for help in an emergency, as stupid as it sounds today, you might want to plan ahead to be able to figure out how to support that.

When I was a kid we didn't have 911 (or 999) service, and were supposed to keep the number for Police, Ambulance and Fire next to the phone, 911 service existed, just not in my area. So why the push to get 911 everywhere when it seemed really straightforward to just print the fire/police/ambulance numbers on a card that sat under the phone handset? Because in an emergency people don't think straight and programming people to be mindless little zombies that can call 911 from the age of 4 is a much better plan than trying to get them to read off a number. Please don't take this statement as belly aching on my part here, but my grandfather died in a retirement home trying to use the phone back in 2008. To dial 911 he needed to dial an extra 9 (9 for an outside line) - and the emergency number for the nurse on the main floor was printed on his phone. No one knows what number he was trying to call (it could have been his estranged wife and not 911 for example), but I'd like to think if he was trying to dial 911 that 911 should have, in all circumstances worked. No extra '9' for an outside line shit - that is far too confusing for someone in an emergency situation, he had trouble with '9 for an outside line' to call US in no stress situations. Every even microscopic thing costs time, confusion and potentially lives.

Especially as we look to the future, emergency service operators have to figure out how they're going to cope with communications being potentially handled by a handful of different companies than the phone and cable companies they're used to. Without voice or texting plans (or devices) we may end up in a world were 'texting' is just some app that uses the phone service like an IM program, voice calls might be handled through any number of services rather than through the phone company directly, and you need to build both a legal and technical framework *before* that becomes a problem. 10 years ago people really needed to think about the problem of 911 service on cell phones so that they could build the technology and rules for cell phones of today, back then there were payphones and landlines everywhere, it seemed silly to even try and get accurate location data for cell phones (they only know what tower they're connected to not where they are right? Oh right...). This might be preparing for nothing. It might be something we all have to deal with, and in the case of Japan they are the forefront of disaster planning because pretty much every type of disaster you can think of afflicts them, so they have the ability to try out a hundred different ideas for the rest of us.

Re:The fascination with "social media" needs to en (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41176371)

"So why the push to get 911 everywhere when it seemed really straightforward to just print the fire/police/ambulance numbers on a card that sat under the phone handset?"

This is not Detective Rockford.

We don't have such a phone anymore.

Re:The fascination with "social media" needs to en (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41175689)

there is no way that this could be reliably implemented.

In a disaster 'reliability' (to the extent it exists) is often related to redundancy and parallelism. Having additional methods for people to use isn't going to hurt that.
If emergency services are swamped (either at the call center or in terms of feet on the floor) then tweeting #119 or whatever just might attract the attention of someone else nearby who can help.

Re:The fascination with "social media" needs to en (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41175925)

trust mechanism, regardless of emission. FUCK THE FCC

Re:The fascination with "social media" needs to en (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41176455)

This fascination about social media is justified (with our experience in dealing with calamities happening in our country which is a lot, am from Philippines) because they do really help in disaster response efforts, BIG TIME!

Re:The fascination with "social media" needs to en (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41176931)

What's not proprietary about the current 911 system?

I can see it now... (5, Funny)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175383)

Joe Sixpack Help! My home is burning down and my kids are trapped inside!

Like Comment Share 8 minutes ago

3 people like this.

Re:I can see it now... (5, Funny)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175523)

At least you know help is on the way if you see:

you, 911 and 3 other people liked this.

Re:I can see it now... (3, Funny)

dintech (998802) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175601)

Idiot! (Score:-1, Flamebait)
by Jane Sixpack on Thursday August 30, @06:43AM

I told you not to keep those gas canisters in the kitchen.

Re:I can see it now... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41175607)

Slashdot

Join
Login
Submit
Newsletter
Library
Channels
SlashTV

So FriendFace might be used to send emergency calls in the future, eh?
Reply to This
Share
Flag as Inappropriate
so in otherwords (Score:3)
by Osgeld (1900440) on Thursday August 30, @01:08AM (#41175477)

your social behavior is monitored for the severely unlikely event your in a emergency situation 24/7 instead of requesting for help

anyone see an issue with this?
Reply to This
Share
Flag as Inappropriate
Nice idea, bad implementation (Score:0)
by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30, @01:12AM (#41175491)

During the earthquake and Tsunami in Tokyo in 2011, the cellular networks were completely jammed, but the internet was coasting along just fine.

I agree, that we're giving too much power to these social networks which are centralized and not distributed, but using the internet for emergency calls isn't a bad idea in and of themselves.
Reply to This
Share
Flag as Inappropriate
Moss Contacts Fire Department (Score:2)
by Jonner (189691) on Thursday August 30, @01:24AM (#41175533)

All I can think of is Moss Contacst Fire Department [youtube.com].
Reply to This
Share
Flag as Inappropriate
It's not "911" in Japan (Score:2)
by 1u3hr (530656) on Thursday August 30, @01:27AM (#41175545)
Listen Americans, "911" is the AMERICAN emergency number. The rest of the world doesn't use it. In Japan, its "119", as TFA says. In Australia it's "000". In the UK it's "999". If you really think Americans are too dumb to understand that, just write "emergency number" instead of confusing everyone by trying to "translate" a number.
Reply to This
Share
Flag as Inappropriate
Re:It's not "911" in Japan (Score:0)
by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30, @01:29AM (#41175553)

Yes, but 911 gets forwarded in most of those countries since so many people see hollywood movie where it's 911.
Reply to This
Parent
Share
Flag as Inappropriate
Not so strange (Score:0)
by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30, @01:36AM (#41175577)

Around 9 or 10 years ago, a guy I knew used ICQ (yes, really) to message a friend of his one night, when he looked in the mirror and saw his whole neck was swollen (his throat was 'a bit sore' but he didn't think it was that bad until he went into the bathroom and saw himself in the mirror). His phone had been disconnected that week (his roommates were cheapskates -- well they were all university students...) and he got picked up and they went to the hospital. Turned out he had acute tonsillitus and if he hadn't gotten to the hospital quickly it could have been 'curtains' that evening. So a 'net-based '911' may occasionally be a good thing!
Reply to This
Share
Flag as Inappropriate
Top of the: day, week, month.
Related Links
Top of the: day, week, month.
1127Is Sexual Harassment Part of Hacker Culture?
1065UK Authorities Threaten To Storm Ecuadorian Embassy To Arrest Julian Assange
914Assange Makes Statement Calling For an End To the "Witch Hunt"
831Photo Reveals UK Plan: "Assange To Be Arrested Under All Circumstances"
820Booted From Airplane For Wearing Anti-TSA T-shirt
next

This is the most recent story. Help us pick the next by voting on submissions, or submit your own.
previous

NASA "Mohawk Guy" To Host Radio Show
46
Slashdot
Post
Get more comments
16 of 16 loaded
Submit Story
Post
Get more comments
16 of 16 loaded
Submit Story
FAQ Story Archive Hall of Fame Advertising Terms Privacy Cookies/Opt Out About Feedback Slashdot Japan
Trademarks property of their respective owners. Comments owned by the poster. © 2012 All Rights Reserved. Geeknet, Inc.

Re:I can see it now... (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175785)

Joe Sixpack Help! My home is burning down and my kids are trapped inside!

Like Comment Share 8 minutes ago

3 people like this.

More like 10,000 new people following this post on Twitter.

Re:I can see it now... (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175813)

And not one of them can help Joe because twitter doesn't have his address.

Re:I can see it now... (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176033)

But they can triangulate your IP address in seconds to your exact location. At least, they can do that on 24.

Re:I can see it now... (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176177)

I wouldn't rely on that, visual basic programmers are getting hard to find these days :(

Re:I can see it now... (1)

piripiri (1476949) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176187)

All you need is a GUI interface in Visual Basic.

Re:I can see it now... (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176041)

Given twitter it might be more like:

Joe Sixpack hlp home brning down kids trapped lol

Re:I can see it now... (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176305)

Contrast the above with IRC: [bash.org]
<tomfoolery> there's a small fire burning in my room
<beretta> lemme guess im supposed to act suprised that you're telling us and not making any attempt to extinguish it, so i can submit it to bash where it will join the ranks of the other "SOMETHING CATOSTROPHIC HAPPENED SO I CAME TO TELL YOU GUYS ON IRC FIRST INSTEAD OF ATTEMPTING TO DEFUSE THE HOSTILE SITUATION" quotes that are grossly abundant, similar, and overrated. and despite a new one is submitted each week and only the location of the fire is altered, loyal viewers firmly believe it is a unique and hilarious quotation, pledging support in the form of unneccesary votes

I know which "social network" I'd rather belong to... despite perceived unsuitability as an emergency service.

I predict a rash of tweeds.. (1)

Hillview (1113491) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175397)

I went to chicago for the weekend #survived..

Re:I predict a rash of tweeds.. (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175435)

I predict a rash of tweeds..

;) Well, whaddya know??! Tweed is again in fashion; too pity it causes rashes this time 'round... better wear a cotton shirt underneath ;)

Re:I predict a rash of tweeds.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41175541)

Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!

I snap my ass to demonstrate my dominance. Snap!

Re:I predict a rash of tweeds.. (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175483)

what it is Holmes?

2 days later

#survived

Re:I predict a rash of tweeds.. (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175771)

In other words, how do you enforce that people use hashtags only for what they're intended? It's not going to work. Although, they could filter them appropriately. Also, not everyone has or wants a Twitter account.

Re:I predict a rash of tweeds.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41176155)

Isn't #survived already implicated by the fact that you are writing tweets?

Re:I predict a rash of tweeds.. (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#41177723)

one would think that Tweeting and Still Being Resident on the Mortal Plane would map directly in a If A Then Also B basis but i could see somebody having an ap that AutoTweets when your location changes. But of course if you Check In at Random City Morgue^HForensic Institute then this might not be a good thing.

Re:I predict a rash of tweeds.. (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#41178919)

Yeah, it's already hard enough to find a good phone/internet package, what are the odds of finding an "out of this world" package?

Take On The WORLD! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41175429)

Bernard: [Unties the tentacles] There, you're free to go.
Green Tentacle: Thanks, Bernard!
Purple Tentacle: Yes. Thank you, naive human. Now, I can finish taking over the world!
[Purple Tentacle leaves]
Green Tentacle: Wait!
Bernard: Oh yeah. Now I remember. He's incredibly evil, isn't he?
Green Tentacle: Uhhh... I'll try to talk him out of it.

First thing I thought of (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175473)

That episode of "The IT Crowd" where there's a fire in the office and Moss sends an email for help to the fire department.

So FriendFace might be used to send emergency calls in the future, eh?

so in otherwords (3, Interesting)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175477)

your social behavior is monitored for the severely unlikely event your in a emergency situation 24/7 instead of requesting for help

anyone see an issue with this?

Re:so in otherwords (4, Informative)

slash.dt (701002) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175635)

your social behavior is monitored for the severely unlikely event your in a emergency situation 24/7 instead of requesting for help

anyone see an issue with this?

If you read the article, you would note that this is specifically for Natural disasters, ie widespread events like earthquake or tsunami. It is not for your small-scale emergencies.

Nice idea, bad implementation (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41175491)

During the earthquake and Tsunami in Tokyo in 2011, the cellular networks were completely jammed, but the internet was coasting along just fine.

I agree, that we're giving too much power to these social networks which are centralized and not distributed, but using the internet for emergency calls isn't a bad idea in and of themselves.

Re:Nice idea, bad implementation (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175787)

Providing a SIP address for the emergency services would probably be a good start though.

Moss Contacts Fire Department (1)

Jonner (189691) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175533)

All I can think of is Moss Contacst Fire Department [youtube.com] .

It's not "911" in Japan (5, Informative)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175545)

Listen Americans, "911" is the AMERICAN emergency number. The rest of the world doesn't use it. In Japan, its "119", as TFA says. In Australia it's "000". In the UK it's "999". If you really think Americans are too dumb to understand that, just write "emergency number" instead of confusing everyone by trying to "translate" a number.

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41175553)

Yes, but 911 gets forwarded in most of those countries since so many people see hollywood movie where it's 911.

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41175731)

And why did they set that up? Because people keep saying 911 to non-Americans. Thanks.

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (1)

slash.dt (701002) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175609)

even the ITWorld article put 911 in the title despite correctly noting in the text that it is 119 in Japan.

The most important part of this is how to treat reports of survivors. After 9/11 many people from my company called in to report that they were ok and that they had seen other survivors. Because of many false reports, we would only record someone as definitely alive if they personally contacted us.

In theory using twitter would help with this but how do you verify that it is the real person and not someone setting up a fake account?

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (1)

neonmonk (467567) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176279)

I was going to respond with "Who would be such a cucking funt?" - but this is the Internet after all. People have done worse things.

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (2)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 2 years ago | (#41177539)

NANPA 911

Europe - 112

GSM phones - 112

Japan - 119 or 110 (Police)

Australia 000
New Zealand 111

India 2611

China 110, 120, 119

So most of the world's population do not use 911 as an emergency number ....

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (3, Interesting)

isorox (205688) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175631)

Listen Americans, "911" is the AMERICAN emergency number. The rest of the world doesn't use it. In Japan, its "119", as TFA says. In Australia it's "000". In the UK it's "999". If you really think Americans are too dumb to understand that, just write "emergency number" instead of confusing everyone by trying to "translate" a number.

112 is the closest thing to an international standard.

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176075)

Listen Americans, "911" is the AMERICAN emergency number.

In other news, water is wet and the sky is blue. On another note, hot of the presses, dog bites man.

Look, I know I must be new here etc, but RTFH (headline). See the little quoty things around the 911?

instead of confusing everyone by trying to "translate" a number.

Don't worry, only you were confused. Besides, it's an American website, and among people here, I suspect 911 is pretty well known from the media etc.

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (2)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 2 years ago | (#41177281)

Besides, it's an American website,

Oh, how is it that it carries a story about Japan? How is it that I am reading it in Hong Kong? Is this usw.slashdot.org or www.slashdot.org?

It's not "911" in Japan; it's "119". It's that simple. You don't "translate" facts. You don't say someone was eating hamburger when they were actually eating rice, just to make Americans feel more comfortable.

See the little quote things around the 911?

Yeah. Who are they quoting? No one in the story said that.

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41178119)

Alternatively, 112 dials the emergency operator in the EU, many other countries in the world, and on GSM phones, even in North America and Australia.

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176571)

sorry, I replied to the wrong post.

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41175641)

I vote for "42".

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41175725)

FROM THE FAQ:

Slashdot is an American site run in America by Americans with largely American readership.

If you don't like it start a site that can be [your country] centric and stop fucking whining about it.

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41175735)

Good idea. Slashdot kinda blows anyway, mostly due to the US-centric angle.

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175745)

Yeah, but it's worth putting up with so we can be entertained by foreign-number-nazis (like, did you even know we had those?).

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (1)

slash.dt (701002) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175761)

Yeah, but it's worth putting up with so we can be entertained by foreign-number-nazis (like, did you even know we had those?).

Yeah, if those foreign countries want us Americans to visit, they better support 911 if we need to call for assistance.

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175783)

As someone else mentioned, a lot of them do. And at least one developing country switched to 911 for no other reason than they got some cheap used telephony equipment a few years back.

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175791)

How'd you know 911 is the American emergency number? Apparently you had no problems translating...

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175883)

A leading question? But the answer is "because we've seen American TV shows and movies". Same way you might know what the UK emergency number is from watching a UK show or movie.

The point is, it pisses the rest of the world off when Americans always ASSUME everyone else knows (or ~should~ know) about their equivalents to X, while at the same they seemingly haven't a clue about, or aren't expected to know, any other countries' equivalents to X.

'112' works from anywhere though (from a mobile phone), so that's probably the best one to use if a number MUST be used (instead of just saying 'emergency number')

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176247)

Maybe stop watching so many American TV shows and movies? Just a thought. A portion of Americans won't shut up about how superior the BBC is and how they can't tune in legally. Why would anyone with access to this treasure of culture possibly tune into anything else? If, indeed, anyone knowing the American emergency number is bad, why did you inform us of the UKian one? Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black? Heck, Slashdot is an American site that wears its American-ness on its sleeve, isn't it? Why would any self-respecting UKian even be in such a cesspool of culture in the first place? Awkward...

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176579)

Huh? I'm not from the UK. I watch plenty of content from all kinds of countries. I never said a disproportionate amount of the shows watched are American, I just said that's how someone might be aware of the US emergency number.

Also I'm not the GP poster ... I didn't mention the UK number. I didn't mention any number (except 112, which is global).

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176595)

OK, well stop being so UK-centric then. It pisses the rest of the world off.

You see what I did there?

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175841)

It's 911 in Canada as well. Just so you know, it's not "American" only. You can also use various *numbers in Canada, for instance in Ontario you can use *OPP(Ontario Provincial Police) for emergencies, other provinces use both as well. This is because the country is so freaking large, and resources are so freaking scattered, that sometimes 911 isn't always your best option.

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175871)

North American then. In many places, 'American' doesn't specifically refer to the US (a topic done to death on Slashdot I know, but there is literally a word like 'United Statesian' in many languages to refer to those from the USA).

And even in English, 'American' in the context of phone networks is usually understood to mean 'North American' rather than specifically the US. After all, the US and Canada share the same country code (+1), so as far as 'talking about phones' is concerned, they may as well be the same country to most people from elsewhere.

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176547)

You can use 911 in the UK. We have made allowances for the three Americans who travel here each year.

We also have 101 as our non-emergency emergency number, but no one uses it, as it only redirects you to the nearest police station and time is better spent pissing in the wind.

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 2 years ago | (#41177559)

999 (UK) , 112 (Europe), and 911 (NANP) all route to the same service in the UK ...

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (1)

clive_p (547409) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176685)

Absolutely right. But you didn't bother to post the only international number, which is 112. This works throughout the EU and in quite a number of other countries besides from land-lines, and on all mobile phones using the GSM system (which is most of them, maybe nearly all). This is the number to teach children, and to use in articles about emergency calls.

Re:It's not "911" in Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41178801)

because no one cares about you.

Not so strange (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41175577)

Around 9 or 10 years ago, a guy I knew used ICQ (yes, really) to message a friend of his one night, when he looked in the mirror and saw his whole neck was swollen (his throat was 'a bit sore' but he didn't think it was that bad until he went into the bathroom and saw himself in the mirror). His phone had been disconnected that week (his roommates were cheapskates -- well they were all university students...) and he got picked up and they went to the hospital. Turned out he had acute tonsillitus and if he hadn't gotten to the hospital quickly it could have been 'curtains' that evening. So a 'net-based '911' may occasionally be a good thing!

Re:Not so strange (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175801)

So...no money for phone but money for internet? Priorities, I suppose. Darwin curses..."missed!"

Re:Not so strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41175859)

Is that really shocking? The Internet is a higher priority for many people than telephones are, and that's not even mentioning modern VOIP services.

Re:Not so strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41175909)

These days phone is only good for emergency calls. Most people around here don't even bother with landline unless it "comes for free when they get internet". Not sure how many of those phones are actually connected to the line though.

With internet connection, you can do a lot more. I can LEGALLY watch local TV stations on internet directly from their webpage for free, I can make phone calls (skype, VoIP, etc), I can e-mail, I can read news, etc.

So, is it really so strange? We have one of those internet+phone+TV deals. While my wife does watch TV soap, I hardly ever touch it, and the landline, well, it's there, but since everyone has mobile and it is more expensive to call from landline to a mobile, we don't use it.

In other words, I don't think this is an clear example of misplaced priorities. Especially knowing that you can make emergency calls with a mobile phone without SIM card.

Re:Not so strange (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176207)

Read it again...take special note of when the incident happened...thank you come again

Re:Not so strange (1)

Xiaran (836924) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176531)

My TV/Internet package comes with a phone. I can;t get rid of it. I use it for maybe ordering pizza once and a while.... but now I do that online. I don;t use it at all now but can;t get rid of it.

Re:Not so strange (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#41177107)

Keep in mind that disconnected phone lines usually still work with 911. That is assuming that you still have a phone on the line, and it is actually wired to the phone company.

For this reason it is often a good idea to plug a phone into a landline even if you don't pay for service.

The same applies to cell phones - usually phones without service can still dial 911, so feel free to give an old phone to your aunt who is afraid of breaking down but doesn't own one.

911 in Japan? really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41175757)

In Japan, 911 isn't used! (It's 119)

Also, last I checked, email isn't even accepted (Except on a certain British IT comedy show), and it seems like working on accepting messages by email (including phone email, the Japanese equivalent of SMS) should be a higher priority than Social Networks (which means: Mixi, in Japan) or Twitter...

Oh come on this is a fucking disaster! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41175811)

how about local cb radios and a react group?

Re:Oh come on this is a fucking disaster! (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#41175933)

CB/CW is still useful (I use it regularly and there's quite a dispersed radio community around here), but there are so many channels on so many bands it's got to the point where my 800 channel scanner is basically full (I have the bottom nine channels for broadcast WFM/AM, the rest for CB/CW/PMR). It takes a solid minute to scan through the big block (the 791 NFM channels), which means I can (and do) miss messages unless I narrow down to my (six) "regular" channels (all PMR) + local emergency frequencies, in which case: 28 channels, around 2.5 seconds.

#survived? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41175877)

It seems to me that even in the worst disasters, most people survive. So using the hashtag #survived will create huge amounts of clutter, as the billions of survivors helpfully declare their status and clog the tubes.

I would propose reversing the system and using the hashtag #didntmakeit. People should be taught to post with the #didntmakeit hashtag only if they have been killed in a disaster. For example, if you were crushed by rubble during an earthquake, making a simple tweet like "Afraid I #didntmakeit, sorry everyone" will inform emergency crews to call off their search for you and allow your friends and family to begin moving on from their sad loss. This way, the tubes won't be clogged and everything will run much more smoothly.

Re:#survived? Really? (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176621)

snap! FNARR!

Shanghai shunky (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41175879)

Shanghai Shunky Machinery Co.,ltd is a famous manufacturer of crushing and screening equipments in China. We provide our customers complete crushing plant, including cone crusher, jaw crusher, impact crusher, VSI sand making machine, mobile crusher and vibrating screen. What we provide is not just the high value-added products, but also the first class service team and problems solution suggestions. Our crushers are widely used in the fundamental construction projects. The complete crushing plants are exported to Russia, Mongolia, middle Asia, Africa and other regions around the world.
http://www.sandmaker.biz
http://www.shunkycrusher.com
http://www.jaw-breaker.org
http://www.jawcrusher.hk
http://www.c-crusher.net
http://www.sandmakingplant.net
http://www.vibrating-screen.biz
http://www.mcrushingstation.com
http://www.cnstonecrusher.com
http://www.cnimpactcrusher.com
http://www.Vibrating-screen.cn
http://www.stoneproductionline.com
http://www.hydraulicconecrusher.net

#survive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41176141)

Seems the japanese hashtag Twitter is indicating to use to confirm survival actually is "seizon" or "seizonn" depending on how you want to romanize it. Unfortunately, since slashdot still doesn't support UTF8, I can't actually show it, so here's a google translate link to show it.

http://translate.google.com/?langpair=ja|en#ja/en/%23%E7%94%9F%E5%AD%98

I imagine part of the reason is to make it easier to link up to things like Google People Finder, and disaster news crowdsourcing aggregation platforms like Ushadi

http://ushahidi.com/

Hashtag to let families find you? (2)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176171)

As opposed to, you know, just tweeting that you survived because your friends already know your Twitter handle? Hell, if you're in a position to use Twitter, you could just drop them an email. The real challenge is to reconnect family with those survivors who haven't wound up somewhere with online access, or who don't use social networks in the first place.

Re:Hashtag to let families find you? (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176325)

Although not appointed as moderator, I came here for this post and was not disappointed.

Re:Hashtag to let families find you? (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176631)

so use said socnets/email access to inform those who need to know names of survivors so they can reconnect said survivors to families :) Probably something better left to those rescue teams on the ground who aren't pulling stray limbs out of rubble than @random_survivor tho...

#survived (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41176189)

I am still wondering if there would be any case where #survived is not redundant for a message written in past tense...

It might just work in Japan (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#41176495)

It might just work in Japan. They have very high levels of social cohesion, and creating false IDs and false calls would literally be unthinkable to most Japanese. If you tried the same thing in Europe or the USA however they would be overwhelmed by fake calls.

Subject: Fire (1)

snarfies (115214) | more than 2 years ago | (#41177621)

"Dear Sir / Madam, I am writing to inform you of a fire which has broken out at the premises of..."

No, that's too formal.

"Dear Sir / Madam. Fire! Fire! Help me! 123 Carrendon Road. Looking forward to hearing from you. All the best, Maurice Moss."

When Family and Friends Search... (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#41177623)

Ok, let's assume for a second that a natural disaster happens and you survive. Furthermore, let's assume that you decide to spread word of this via a generic tweet instead of calling friends and family. The advice was to "add #survived to your tweets. This will help when family and friends that are worried about you search on your welfare." Wouldn't friends and family be following your Twitter feed? Wouldn't they see that you tweeted "I'm all right" by going to your Twitter page? Why would they search on "#survived" and scroll through the (hopefully) long list of survivors just to find your entry? A hash tag to aggregate these "I survived" tweets isn't a bad idea, but it's not going to help friends and family see your message.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?