30 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for December 11, 2011
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Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2011 16:46:04 +0000 (UTC) From: Adam H. Kerman <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: OSHA: Two Federal DOT Agencies Ban Hand-Held Phone Use Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Telecom Digest Moderator said: > Please cite the studies that showed "... hands free was just as > distracting". This summary paper cites the major studies between 2003 and 2008. http://www.nsc.org/safety_road/Distracted_Driving/Documents/Dstrct_Drvng_White_Paper_1_2011.pdf This one was paid for by State Farm, so take it with a grain of salt. http://www.ghsa.org/html/publications/pdf/sfdist11execsum.pdf I cannot find any studies on distracted driving while using a CB radio. But some of Oprah's viewers felt they should be treated the same way: http://handsfreeinfo.com/oprahs-no-phone-zone-campaign The main danger from CB radios seems to be from accidental electrocution by sticking your finger inside. ***** Moderator's Note ***** I suppose someone might have gotten a shock from a CB radio in 1958, when the Class "D" Citizens Radio Service was created: at the time, radios were made with vacuum tubes and needed high voltages to run. Nowadays, the only people who risk shocks from CB sets are the ones using old Ham Radio transmitters illegally. Every real CB set sold today runs on 12 Volts, the same voltage you get from a car battery. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2011 12:10:19 -0800 From: John David Galt <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: History: Cell phone early days Message-ID: <4EE3BCAB.email@example.com> > On Fri, Dec 09, 2011 at 12:50:38AM -0800, John David Galt wrote: >>>> Do these rules also apply to CB use, which is mostly truckers now? >> >>> The cited rule applies to "hand-held mobile phones". It would seem >>> obvious that this does not include 2-way radios (of any sort), where >>> the radio is mounted to the vehicle body. >> >> If this is true, somebody should make a cell phone that looks like a CB, >> complete with push-to-talk mike. On 2011-12-09 10:29, Telecom Digest Moderator wrote (offline): > John, > > The way this is written, it seems peevish to me, and I don't think > that was your intent. > > If you are advocating civil disobedience, deceit defeats the purpose: > why go to the trouble? If you favor letting every motorist decide for > themselves what is "safe" for the driving public, then please say so. I'm neither being peevish nor advocating civil disobedience. I'm just taking the absurdity of this law (and those who passed it) to their logical conclusion. If they're going to have a law that bans the use of one kind of radio while driving while allowing another, based solely on whether its circuitry is mounted to the vehicle body, then by all means let's all obey the letter of this stupid law while thumbing our noses at its spirit. In a few years, the witch-hunt mentality which produced the law will go away and find a new target, just as it did in the case of the so-called "assault weapons" ban (which, like this one, focused on looks alone and allowed many weapons to remain legal which are as dangerous as the ones it banned, merely because they didn't look as scary to ignorant legislators such as the bill's author, Sen. Feinstein). Legislation by sound bite deserves only such cooperation as it compels us to give it. Sincerely, John
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2011 19:30:58 -0500 From: "Bob Goudreau" <BobGoudreau@nc.rr.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: OSHA: Two Federal DOT Agencies Ban Hand-Held Phone Message-ID: <email@example.com> > ***** Moderator's Note ***** > > Maybe the state legislatures which passed those laws decided that > forbidding "hands free" use would be unenforceable, or placed the > language in the bills to solve a safety problem without inviting a > fight with the FCC, knowning that hands-free use is a negligible > percentage of the potential violations. How would they (or you) know that? It's not obvious to me that most calls involving vehicle drivers include the use of hand-held phones. After all, BlueTooth earpieces are cheap and ubiquitous these days. And even basic phones almost always have speakerphone capability. I imagine that there are far more hands-free phone conversations going on in the driver's seat than you suspect. After all, the very fact that such drivers are NOT holding a phone up to their ears makes them difficult to identify as phone-users. Bob Goudreau Cary, NC ***** Moderator's Note ***** I was trying to make an point, and I guess it didn't come across clearly. I meant that there are always other explanations available when looking at new legislation: for example, the legislatures of several states were quick to ban texting-while-driving because the lawmakers, as a class, don't do any texting. In like manner, I wonder if they have mandated "hands free" operation as a sop to those who oppose cell phone use by drivers, such as EMT's, Paramedics, Firefighters, and insurance executives, while not making any effective rule, which would please the cellular industry a lot. That's what a politician calls a "win win": they get to say that they passed a law to deal with the problem, without alienating major contributors. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2011 14:00:16 +1100 From: David Clayton <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: OSHA: Two Federal DOT Agencies Ban Hand-Held Phone Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> > ***** Moderator's Note ***** ........... > In like manner, I wonder if they have mandated "hands free" operation as a > sop to those who oppose cell phone use by drivers, such as EMT's, > Paramedics, Firefighters, and insurance executives, while not making any > effective rule, which would please the cellular industry a lot. That's > what a politician calls a "win win": they get to say that they passed a > law to deal with the problem, without alienating major contributors. > > Bill Horne > Moderator The solution is blindingly simple - just make those who are need/want to use communications devices while driving pass a special skills test to ensure that they are capable of doing so. One can easily imagine that achieving such a thing will be trivial for most of those professionals mentioned, but would be a challenge for the vast majority of drivers on the roads who are clueless as to how poor their overall skills actually are. When pilots need to fly a specific aeroplane they need a specific endorsement to show that they have the training and skills to do so, if you want to drive a truck you need special endorsement, it is about time this sort of thing was applied to using phones on the road. -- Regards, David. David Clayton Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Knowledge is a measure of how many answers you have, intelligence is a measure of how many questions you have. ***** Moderator's Note ***** David, that just can't happen. I don't know the rules in other countries, so I'm speaking as a citizen of Massachusetts in the United States, but I think the principle is universal: too many very rich people make too much money from automobiles and cell phones for them to allow any meaningful restrictions on the use of either. In the U.S., by the way, pilots don't need special certificates for each plane they fly, until they reach the skill-level needed to qualify for highly complex aircraft like Learjets. Commercial drivers need to pass a special exam when they apply for a semi-trailer license, but most "boxback" trucks can be rented by ordinary drivers. YMMV. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2011 18:24:41 -0500 From: email@example.com (Tom Metro) To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Broadband choices in Europe Message-ID: <email@example.com> On 12/6/2011 4:50 PM, Bill Horne wrote: > I've just seen a video at the link below: I recommend it for a good > introduction to what is possible vs. what is happening here in > the U.S. > > > http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/28/why-is-european-broadband-faster-and-cheaper-blame-the-governme/ > The problem with the purely commercial provider model is that the company investing in the infrastructure may not see a payback on running a wire to a distant rural customer for hundreds of years, because the only return is the $30 or whatever monthly fee they are getting. If you instead view the problem from the perspective of the community (town government), you now have much greater opportunity for return on investment. A well wired town attracts more people, people who can telecommute and get higher paying jobs, people who spend money at local businesses, and those conditions also attract employers to the area (premium property tax revenues). So the answer seems to be some combination of public-private infrastructure. Some towns in the US have attempted to build their own fiber plants only to be thwarted by telecom lobbyists getting state laws passed prohibiting anyone but the telecoms from doing such a thing. -Tom -- Tom Metro Venture Logic, Newton, MA, USA "Enterprise solutions through open source." Professional Profile: http://tmetro.venturelogic.com/
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