I beg to differ: I'm not aware of much progress with regards handsets for staff using it (network rail issue iPhones to staff), but in the UK it's quite preverlent on trains, and at least some line side kit.
Push-to-talk company Kodiak has struck a deal with Ericsson to sell the systems it is currently touting to the US market through American firm Cspire to European telcos. The pair are aiming to sell these services to both real mobile network operators and virtual ones. The technology emulates an old-fashioned walkie-talkie …
It's also mandatory equipment for the new generation of in-cab signalling in ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System). 20 years from now we'll be finishing ripping out all the old traffic lights (and all the thievable copper cabling) on the railways, because all the trains will just be talking to each other over GSM-R backhaul instead.
@ Ryan 7:
Human free, remote controlled trains over long distances are already a reality in Canada.
Each and every night a high-speed freight train travels between Windsor, Ontario (opposite Detroit) and Fort Erie (opposite Buffalo, New York State) without a human around.
Further north in Ontario, Canada, a control centre in North Bay (think NORAD North) operates trains between Smooth Rock Falls, Ontario to Moosenee, Ontario (on Hudson Bay).
The only 'local' input is if a short between rails is detected which is used to determine if there is another piece of rolling stock on the line.
Actually, unhappy First Nations Indians - who have treaty rights pre-dating Canada - use car battery booster cables between the opposite rails to force trains to stop. It generally results in their "issues" being addressed, promptly, especially since they legally own the land under the railroad tracks.
Anything with servers in it is definitely a poor idea for any safety critical comms function. What an oil rig, hospital, etc certainly does not need is one bang knocking out all local comms.
But so is any comms medium that requires Wifi or such.
First prize is to replace current walkie-talkie architecture and augment that.
At short range (say 1-2km) , devices should be able to talk peer-to-peer without any extra kit. No Wifi AP, cell tower, whatever.
Longer ranges can be covered by repeaters (eg. Wifi AP/routers) and even longer ranges by VOIP backbone.
Anything with servers in it is definitely a poor idea for any safety critical comms function.
Yeah, like that damned telephone network, with its SSPs, STPs, and SCPs. Good thing no one uses that for any "safety critical comms function".
Honestly, how did your post get two upvotes? Has the knee-jerk anti-"cloud" echo chamber here really gotten this bad? "Ooh, the ninnies on this thread say 'cloud is bad', so I'll upvote their posts without bothering to think about what they say."
I don't know what's worse: the newbies who reject legacy tech out of hand, or the old-timers who do the same with anything that's currently popular. Facile generalizations remain facile in every era, folks.
The problem with most tech today seems to be a reliance on some server somewhere...
That is a real issue for me, I don't want my tech cloudy, it can have cloud as an option, but NOT a necessity...
Good thing you don't use the Internet, then, what with all those backbone routers and DNS servers and the like. I bet you wouldn't even read or comment on the Reg if it wasn't the Usenet-style decentralized peer-to-peer server-free forum we all know and love.
Thinking: still not a requirement for posting comments online.
In the early 2000's ( 3 4 ) we had walkie talkie / phones it would use the same network but in direct client to client . Worked great and everyone was happy. That was nextel in the south east US . Construction , electronics , you name it , we all loved that ptt . For trades it was an excellent tool.
"In the early 2000's ( 3 4 ) we had walkie talkie / phones it would use the same network but in direct client to client . Worked great and everyone was happy."
Except everybody else within earshot of the users of "push-to-shout" walkie-talkie cellphones -- the awful speakers and codecs always meant the volume of both the phone and the user were cranked up to 11.
Thank god those things vanished.
On a related note, something that bothers me about films and TV is the Hollywood idea that everyone in the police and military says "Affirmative" and "Negative" instead of "Yes" and "No", when "Yes" and "No" sound completely unmistakably different whilst "Affirmative" and "Negative" have the same ending and so could easily be confused with a bit of radio static or background noise.
You can swap out the "affirmative" depending on context.
Usually you'd only use it to answer a direct question anyway.
"Are you in position?"
would be perfectly acceptable, even for Signals. And as mentioned elsewhere, Crab Air tend to use "affirm" because the word endings are similar.
> "Yes" and "No" sound completely unmistakably different
Both are just one syllable, and when something is spoken out of a RAF radio the best you can hope for on a good day is to be able to make out the number of syllables in the noise stream arriving at your end. Hence the use of "a·ffirm" and "ne·ga·tive".
Far more importantly than SO-19, SWAT teams, snipers etc, what about cricket? Calling for a run is fraught with difficulty, mainly the similarity over 22 yards of 'Go!' and 'No!'. I personally prefer 'Wait!' for 'no run' and 'Yes' for 'run'. In fact I recall I.T. Botham describing his legendary second innings at Headingly in 1981. Last ball of the day and he wanted a single so he had the strike the next morning. Clipped it for a single, charged down the wicket shouting 'Go go go!'. R.G.D. Willis at the non-strikers end ran, then stopped mid wicket wondering if he was shouting 'No!'. Fortunately, it all turned out well, as cricket lovers everywhere will know, even for the Australians, who made a few quid betting against themselves at 500-1.
Used to see a lot of trades vans with nextel numbers on them in my part of the US. I for one am glad they have appeared to have died off as the majority of the users I encountered used them like walkie talkies where you would unfortunatly get both sides of the conversation (usually in a a bar or store).
Can't see how teens will like them though because where is the "sneakyness" factor that texting or IMing has?
The British army do not use the words "Affirmative" and "Negative" on the net (Radio network). I know this because I am a soldier. We just say "Yes" and "No" like everybody else.
Also while I can't comment on police and other foreign forces, the commander and sniper team example in the article is not realistic as it fails to include the opening call (Who is speaking and to whom the message is intended for) which would almost certainly be the bit of the message that is affected by latency. In the British army at least we do not just come up on the net and shout "Don't shoot" as it's likely to cause more confusion.
It is not about fashion or what looks cool or hip (or whatever the cool/hip words are for cool/hip today).
Surely this is all about a functional comms system. So why even care what people outside the market think.
What next? Perhaps Zimmer frames are going to replace their frames with a skateboard version because kids think it doesn't look cool to walk with a frame.
May the purveyors of this vile, unwanted, intrusive and just plain horrible service rot in a vat of their own ordure.
The late 90s are carved in my memory as a time when there was no escape from morons and their push-to-talk violence, from their habits of never knowing where it was appropriate to use their outdoor voice to their need to hold the handset at arm's length and turn it up to max volume so we could all see how clever they were as they held screaming conversations with a distorted loudspeaker punctuated by that annoying yea-unto-coronary-infarction levels "roger beep".
A fucktard technology designed by fucktards and sold by fucktards to fucktards with money where their brains ought to be.