Are You Seeing A Message Like This While Watching Video on AT&T or Verizon Wireless?

Apparently, Netflix has recently begun paying both Comcast and Verizon to improve network performance and carry its video streams at higher bandwidths, but so far only Comcast has reciprocated with better service. Not only has Verizon’s performance become dramatically worse, the company has continued to try and foist the blame for the problem on Netflix, claiming that the online streaming giant is deliberately degrading performance by attempting to stuff data down specific congested Verizon pipes.

If you are streaming via wireless, you might want to check your data plan and usage.  You wireless carrier might be throttling your data usage.  Here is a video that shows using a VPN that data rates are faster proving that some sort of throttling is going on.  If you want to understand the technical details behind the issue read this article.

Does your Google Chrome browser crash all the time?  If you have not updated your browser software in a while its probably time that you do it.  Look for About Google Chrome in your menu in the upper right corner and you will see a screen like this below.  The browser will check for updates automatically.  The update should stabilize your computer a bit and it should not crash as frequently.

50% of e911 Calls Are "Pocket Dials"

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 | ,

The FCC commissioner says half of 911 calls are pocket dials. That would mean that approximately 84 million 911 calls a year are pocket dials.  The real question is why are phones doing this and what apps are enabling this?

I think the bigger problem frankly is many of these calls are also attempted in dead zones or areas where cell phone reception is not available. The FCC has address this issue over the years but has not been very transparent on the issue.   Read more

Bluetooth Beacon Transmitter

Bluetooth proximity marketing is the latest marketing technique being deployed by retailers, Governments and sporting venues to track users.  How these groups benefit from it?  They do it through proximity marketing and it is about connecting with your audience at the right place and time.

Bluetooth is a short-range wireless system found on most smartphones and tablets that transmit information and can receive information.  Most people currently use Bluetooth for hands free in our cars or to connect to a wireless speaker. Bluetooth proximity marketing involves setting up Bluetooth "broadcasting" equipment at a particular location.  If your Bluetooth is "turned on" and you are near one of these beacons.  Information can be sent to devices via be text, images, audio on enabled devices (aka cell phone, tablet) within range of the transmitter (beacon).  A Bluetooth enabled mobile device, when in range of the beacon (transmitter) receives the signal and then via the device's operating system, passes information to the appropriate mobile app(s).

Several things need to happen beforehand.
1)  Bluetooth is turned on
2)  A Bluetooth beacon transmitter must be nearby
3)  The targeted individual should have a specific application installed on the their phone that is capable of receiving a push notification.  

What information is collected?
1) The ID of the phone and user of the phone
2) Cellular or Wifi signal strength issues
3)  Locations traveled of other beacons in the area (for example locations within a store).  

The Mobile Black Spot Programme is an Australian Government initiative to extend mobile phone coverage and competition in regional Australia. The programme will invest in telecommunications network infrastructure to improve coverage of high quality mobile voice and wireless broadband services and competition in the provision of these services. The Government has committed $100 million (GST exclusive) over four years to the delivery of the Mobile Black Spot Programme. The program will improve coverage along major transport routes, in small communities and in locations prone to experiencing natural disasters, as well as addressing unique mobile coverage problems.

Nominations of mobile black spot locations. From 16 December 2013 to 1 August 2014, the Department of Communications received reports of approximately 6,000 locations with poor or no mobile coverage. These locations have been included in a database which is now available as an interactive map. The database will be shared with mobile network operators and infrastructure providers to assist them in preparing funding proposals for the Mobile Black Spot Programme. The database of mobile black spot locations closed on 1 August 2014.

Some 6,000 mobile black spots (dead zones) exist across Australia, according to a recent database released by the government and compiled after submissions from the public. Victoria was the state reported to have the most nominations – 2,029 – for mobile black spots, followed by New South Wales, which had 1,780, while Queensland and Western Australia had 897 and 523, respectively. However, according to The Australian, the AUD100 million (USD92 million) set aside for its Mobile Black Spot Programme is only expected to be able to pay for the construction of between 250 and 300 new base stations. Despite this, Paul Fletcher, parliamentary secretary to the communications minister, was cited as saying that these new towers should help fill coverage gaps in multiple areas, saying: ‘It is important to understand that, although 6,000 locations have been nominated, this does not mean that there are 6,000 locations where a new base station is required.’

With mobile operators such as Telstra, Optus and Vodafone Australia expected to tap the AUD100 million government fund, the process is also reportedly expected to generate at least another AUD100 million investment from bidding parties, state governments and local councils. In terms of which locations will benefit from funding, this will be determined by a competitive selection process, with Mr Fletcher noting: ‘The final determination of the locations to receive funding will come through the competitive selection process, which is designed to allocate the funding to locations which will deliver the greatest benefit in terms of new coverage, for the public funding provided.’ This tender process will reportedly get underway this month, with a decision on successful bids expected by April 2015, ahead of new towers being rolled out in the second half of 2015.

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