back to article Florida folks dragged out of bed by false emergency texts

Florida residents – and a lot of them, in all likelihood – were awoken at 0445 local time on Thursday morning by an emergency alert. To make matters worse, it wasn't even a real emergency, just an incorrectly sent test. The state's Division of Emergency Management issued a mea culpa tweet several hours later, apologizing for …

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  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fancy that

    "Laugh while you can, UK residents – you've got a nationwide emergency alert system test this weekend"

    I thought we'd already had it. Well anyway that reminds me to get a top-up. Then turn the phone off again.

    Frankly I don't see the need for this, here, for weather. Impending nuclear attack, on the other hand...

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Fancy that

      As per the Government website, you need them on for alerts about severe flooding. They will read something like "Emergency alert: We have given permission for your house to be built on a flood plain and have not funded flood defences for the past ten years. Have a nice day."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fancy that

        ".... and you were stupid enough to build/buy here"

        1. jollyboyspecial

          Re: Fancy that

          "We have somebody permission to raise flood plain land in order to build on it. Now land further downstream that didn't used to flood had become flood plain. Your house just happens to be on that new flood plain. Incoming flood water. Oh and enjoy your increased future insurance premiums. You have no legal recourse because this will be defined as an act of God rather than an act of inept planning authorities."

          It's quite long but I think that covers it.

          1. david bates

            Re: Fancy that

            Or if you live in Crewe...

            Warning - your house is part of a major development that was built on a site used for building and maintaining trains for 200 years and we didn't bother to make sure the developer did the paperwork around decontamination so we don't know what's going on and your house is worthless.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fancy that

        It was 'a nice fortnight' on the outskirts of Cheltenham when the Tewkesbury treatment plant was inundated a decade-and-a-half ago, of going back and forth to bowsers with buckets while approximately equidistant from three surrounding reservoirs.But I suppose there were people who, had they had an alert, could have gone driving in their swimsuits though!

    2. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Fancy that

      It's there in case we start running out of tea supplies...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fancy that

        don't forget the biccys that go with them

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For some reason - possibly pathological

    I'm imagining the smell of smoked haddock. Not hallucinating it; not quite. A powerful memory, more than idle recollection, but short of an apparent experience of an event, though still apropos bugger all.

    If the alert consisted of a smoked haddock, I'd turn the phone back on.

    1. TedF

      Re: For some reason - possibly pathological

      But it could be a Red Herring...

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: For some reason - possibly pathological

        Personally, I'd suspect something fishy was going on ...

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: For some reason - possibly pathological

          I don't think this is the plaice for hot hakes.

  4. Petalium

    First time I lived through an alert was 3 in the morning: A very loud siren in the apartment followed by a recorded message through a speaker in the apartment. The message was in Chinese, I had no idea there was a speaker inside my home and I don't speak Chinese.... It however became apparent what was happening a few seconds later when the bed started shaking.

    Exactly what I should do with a four second warning when I live on the 11th floor remains unclear, wake up and kiss your ass goodbye?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Duck and cover. It's the default for all emergency situations.

      Earthquake? Duck and Cover.

      Air crash? Duck and Cover.

      Nuclear Attack? Duck and Cover.

      Tornado? Duck and Cover.

      Lava flow from Volcano? Duck and Cover.

      It's the polite way of saying stick your head between your legs and kiss your arse goodbye. So yes, you are correct.

      1. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

        "Duck and cover."

        Suppose you can't find a duck?

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Happy

          You can have some of mine. 6 runner ducks, another 5 ducklings just hatched as of yesterday morning, and another 42 or so of various “rare” colours being professionally incubated as we speak. (All because as any husband knows, the only correct response to a wifely request is: “yes dear”)

          I am prepared to rent them out for emergency preparedness purposes.

          (Of course, in the case of Cthulu or the Kraken awakening and rising from the abyssal depths, you should instead go to Seaworld, for emergency preparedness porpoises)

          1. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

            "You can have some of mine. 6..."

            That's very generous of you :) I hope you either have lots of land or an uncommonly large bathtub. Cute as they sound, what on earth are you (or SWMBO) going to do with them all???

            1. jake Silver badge

              Food on the hoof, no refrigeration required. Harvest, roast and eat as required. Pressed is nice.

              For long-term storage, smoked sausages. Seems the Chinese have been known to have a few original ideas ...

              Or soup. Soup is almost always a good answer.

              This is a thread about emergencies, right?

            2. David 132 Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              >I hope you either have lots of land or an uncommonly large bathtub. Cute as they sound, what on earth are you (or SWMBO) going to do with them all???

              That... is an excellent question. One of these days I'll get a satisfactory explanation from my wife, but in the meantime I'm just going along with it (and enjoying lots of "free" eggs - duck eggs, for those not familiar with them, are delicious!).

              Also, runner ducks are a sure-fire cure for the blues. After watching them waddling around, occasionally getting the zoomies and hurtling hither and yon at light speed, or marching up to me to menacingly demand snacks, it's impossible to be depressed. Although when I hold them I do feel down... (feel "down" - ducks - get it? Oh, please yourselves.)

              Plus, unlike the world of IT, they don't require patching, or license activation, or mandatory rebooting for updates, or involve interminable arguments about on-prem vs. cloud. So a nice way to disconnect from the real world for a bit.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      "Exactly what I should do with a four second warning when I live on the 11th floor remains unclear,"

      Stand clear of any objects that can fall to the floor in case they decide to do so, away from windows in case they break, if possible move under something which will protect you if something does fall on it, get something to shield yourself from flying parts of the building, and drop to the floor to avoid falling injuries. Hope that nothing else happens. If it's severe enough to cause a larger disaster, the warning probably won't help you, but if the warning allows you to get to an empty space and therefore avoid a concussion when a heavy object falls off a shelf, you might benefit from that. A few seconds is enough to at least start doing these actions and time can be important.

      1. Stork Silver badge

        Door openings are supposed to be good.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Not all of them. Pocket doors in non-load-bearing walls, for example.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Better ...

        If you live in earthquake country, build for it. And then decorate your house for it. Simples.

        A few seconds in the middle of a sound sleep is nowhere near enough time to do much more than shit yourself. In this example, the warnings are all but useless.

        We're as ready as we can be at Chez jake. Not paranoid, pragmatic.

        Typing less than 1000ft from the Rogers Creek Fault, probable home of California's next big one.

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Better ...

          "when the bed started shaking."

          The wife came back to bed?

          1. David 132 Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Better ...

            The labrador started dreaming?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just remain stoned at all times

    Just in case.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just remain stoned at all times

      It's the only way to be sure.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Just remain stoned at all times

      Ah, yes. The "reality is an illusion caused by a lack of drugs and alcohol" set.

      No, thank you. I prefer RealLife, warts and all.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just remain stoned at all times

        How the hell do you not have more downvotes? Take mine, and go get some weed you insufferable arse.

        1. Scott 26

          Re: Just remain stoned at all times

          I'll help

          Another Condescending Post (tm) from jake *yawn*

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just remain stoned at all times

        @Jake

        Hmmm, bet you are a bundle of fun at a party...

  6. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

    When I first heard of this I carefully weighed the benefits of peace and quiet against the risk of earthquake, volcanic eruption etc in suburban NW England. After some cogitation I decided it was a risk I might cautiously take, and promptly disabled the thing on my phone.

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Meh

      Earthquakes do happen around Manchester, but they tend not to be a big deal.

      Storms and floods are the main hazards here.

      1. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

        "Earthquakes do happen around Manchester"

        Indeed they do, but they're generally indistinguishable from an HGV trundling past outside. I can cope with that

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Coat

          ...or it means Cuadrilla are back in action :-)

        2. Terry 6 Silver badge

          I remember when I was a kid the drop leaf table starting to bang and clatter, very spooky. It was an earth tremor to the West of Manchester. It was about 50 years ago, and I don't remember noticing one since.

          1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
            Megaphone

            I've experienced quakes\aftershocks.

            Two in Alberta (Quake was in Montana).

            Aftershocks that followed the Russian quake in 1988 - Norwich Airport, offshore fire survival course, our instructor was summoned out of the office as he may have been called to fly out there as a response team member, on his return he was dumbfound to find that we had felt the aftershock tremors in our training hut, but they hadn't in theirs.

    2. David 132 Silver badge

      If otoh you heard a huge roaring sound from the West earlier today, it wasn’t a tsunami - just appreciative Wrexham fans celebrating.

    3. jake Silver badge

      I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area, living around 1000 feet from the Rogers Creek Fault, probable home of California's next big one.

      I turned the "alerts" off years ago, because they donlt actually work. How many years ago? Glad you asked ... over four decades. When I was at SAIL we had a seismograph wired to send an alarm (sonalerts in all participants living quarters, ~100 participants) at the first sign of fairly low-level P-waves. After a year or so, not a single one of us managed to get out of the house before the S-waves got there.

      The project was dropped as useless.

      1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Although presumably, in The Big One, the building doesn't collapse straight away. So keep running while the earth shakes under you, but be careful to keep your balance, because that's going to be difficult.

        1. jake Silver badge

          "Although presumably, in The Big One, the building doesn't collapse straight away."

          Around here, it probably wont collapse at all. In fact, chances are good that the buildings on this property will not even need to be inspected by the State for occupancy safety, mainly because I over-built (at least according to Code) just for this possibility. When, not if.

          1989's "Loma Prieta" quake was a 6.9. The epicenter was approximately 30 miles SSE of my home in Palo Alto. 42 of the 57 deaths in that quake were on Oakland's Cypress Structure on I880 (about 35 miles North of me), 5 of the remainder were in a brick wall collapse in San Francisco (also about 35 miles North of me). Both had been flagged as probably unsafe in general, never mind earthquakes, and were due for removal or retrofit. That leaves a whopping 10 deaths caused directly by the quake, in a major Urban area, with around 6,000,000 people living in it (guesstimate, from 1990 census data). My house[0] was untouched, as were the rest of the houses in my neighborhood.

          Seems modern construction and retrofit techniques actually work. Whodathunkit.

          [0] Stick-built on a slab in the 1930s, retrofitted in the early 1980s with bolts between the sticks and the slab, and some wall reinforcement in places.

  7. IGotOut Silver badge

    Worry about it in the UK

    Nope. Turned off.

    Sure there may be a terrorist attack in my rural village, or the river 50 metres below my house may flood, or ...or...hmmm.

    Unless they are going to warn me about a cow in the road or the temporary traffic lights not working on the bridge do I have a 5 mile diversion, I'll skip it thanks

    Let's face it, with our mob in charge, it'll be terrorist attack...next time man with a knife...then immigrants seen on a boat...then kids seen taking hippie crack in a park....then whatever the fuck the Daily Mail is whining about that week.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Worry about it in the UK

      The one that gets me the most, those NIMBYs wanting to enforce the policy to reduce the default speed limit to 20mph from 30mph, in the back of beyond.

      Climate Change activists get 3 years for closing a road for a day, Officialdom get a pat on the back, for effectively closing roads permanently, with LTNs, enforced by ANPR, and issuing PCNs.

      We can ALL already drive at 20mph in a 30mph, if we bloody well choose to.

      Do it right now if you so please, but leave the rest of us to it.

      No one is stopping you and the democratic system is showing that on average people prefer to drive between 20mph and 30mph, rather than <20mph in second/third, without being hounded when passing through each and every sleepy rural town, where nothing else every happens.

      The only reason to do so (reduce any semblance of tolerance), is so officialdom can jump out from behind a tree, park a GoSafe Camera Van and use the cash cow money printer to clip a few heads, anytime they choose, because let's face it, there is going to be plenty of low-hanging fruit, in the usual cash cow locations, when 20, become the new 30 everywhere.

      Revenue vultures, the lot of them.

      1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: Worry about it in the UK

        With all the safety stuff in a modern car, driving at 30mph you are much more likely to kill somebody else, probably a pedestrian.

        I am coming around to the idea of installing a stiff sharp spike in the centre of the steering wheel, so that on impact the driver stabs themself to death first.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Worry about it in the UK

          "a stiff sharp spike in the centre of the steering wheel"

          So when a drunk blows through a stop sign/red light and you T-bone him in the passenger door, you die and he very probably lives?

          What a plan. Absolutely brilliant.

          1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

            Re: Worry about it in the UK

            In the spike regime, everybody is being much, much more careful. That is the point of it.

            As it is, I'm pointing out that you feel safe driving at 30mph and you probably are safe, but other people are not safe from you. We may be disagreeing about who owns that problem.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Worry about it in the UK

              "In the spike regime, everybody is being much, much more careful."

              Even the drunks? What colo(u)r is the sky in your world?

              "I'm pointing out that you feel safe driving at 30mph and you probably are safe, but other people are not safe from you."

              If those other people don't understand f=ma, lane control, and flow of traffic, they should be kept off the roads ... they are a hazard to both themselves and to others.

              Why do people like you advocate punishing the vast majority of people in order to protect a few idiots?

              1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

                Re: Worry about it in the UK

                I expect people would be more careful about drinking before driving, in the country of the spike.

                And the victims of bad driving are not necessarily on the road. Every month or two, somebody's car crashes into somebody else's sitting room. You can imagine that they were getting tired of it by the third or fourth time..

    2. IGotOut Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Worry about it in the UK

      See, as to prove my point, the lights on the bridge were playing up this morning and we had to all stop on the road due to a couple of lambs and their mum running up and down the main road.

      I don't miss city commutes and the corporate slog one f**kng bit. Give me being skint and happy over that any day.

  8. DS999 Silver badge

    Why would anyone leave these turned on?

    The only time you hear about them getting used it is some sort of fuckup. If there was a real emergency that justified its use there likely isn't fuck all you could do with that information other than panic. I'd rather be sleeping when the nukes hit.

    Maybe if I lived in a tsunami zone...

    1. Natalie Gritpants Jr

      Re: Why would anyone leave these turned on?

      I'm leaving mine on to see if it actually works. After that I'll wait and see if it's abused or over used. There's a small chance of compo if it causes panic or accidents.

    2. davcefai

      Re: Why would anyone leave these turned on?

      If you have teenage children, you may sleep better knowing that they can reach you. Later this may stillbe valid.

      I keep my phone on but with "Do not disturb" set and access granted to a very few people.

      1. IGotOut Silver badge

        Re: Why would anyone leave these turned on?

        The Emergency Alert is a complete different setting to Do Not Disturb.

        1. jollyboyspecial

          Re: Why would anyone leave these turned on?

          The emergency alerts override the DND setting

      2. katrinab Silver badge
        Megaphone

        Re: Why would anyone leave these turned on?

        You need to switch of Emergency Alerts separately if that is what you want to do:

        On iPhone:

        Settings | Notifications | Emergency Alerts, turn off "Extreme Alerts" and "Severe Alerts"

        On Android:

        Settings | Safety and emergency | Wireless emergency alerts, turn off "Allow alerts"

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Why would anyone leave these turned on?

        "If you have teenage children, you may sleep better knowing that they can reach you."

        You can turn off your mobile without turning off the land-line. You already turned off your land-line? Your choice.

        1. VicMortimer Silver badge

          Re: Why would anyone leave these turned on?

          Most of us turned off the POTS line decades ago.

        2. John H Woods Silver badge

          Re: Turned off the land-line? Your choice.

          Not really, can't have it ringing at all hours when "Microsoft Support" thinks I have a virus. Or recorded messages telling me that a warrant has been issued for my arrest because my National Insurance (UK Social Security) Number has "expired"

    3. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Why would anyone leave these turned on?

      This depends on what kind of disasters can happen near you. The one that I've found most convincing is tornadoes, since they can appear with relatively little warning, but you still get minutes from a detection to gain shelter. If you have tornadoes where you are, that might make emergency alerts useful. Similar things can apply to flash floods or anything that you wouldn't know about a day in advance but would know about at shorter notice. I've decided to leave mine enabled, and if they end up being a problem for me, I'll disable them at that point. So far, there has not been a problem.

    4. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Why would anyone leave these turned on?

      Apparently in Ukraine there's quite a popular app, but they also have proper warning sirens in public places. Both based on what's set up in Israel.

  9. AndrueC Silver badge
    Joke

    Stay alert! The 21st century needs all the lerts it can get.

    1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

      The original was: be alert! Britain needs lerts.

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Followed later of course by

        Be astute!

        Your country has enough lerts.

  10. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Headmaster

    receiving a "loud, siren-like sound" on their cellphones

    Nobody in the UK has a cellphone. Just saying.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nobody in the UK has a cellphone.

      I do.

      But then I'm also one of those pesky foreigners living in the UK.

      1. Rikki Tikki

        Re: Nobody in the UK has a cellphone.

        "Si fueris Romae, Romano vivito more", old chap ...

        1. abend0c4 Silver badge

          Re: Nobody in the UK has a cellphone.

          You'll have your work cut out finding many Brits in a subjunctive mood at this time of the day...

          1. Paul Herber Silver badge

            Re: Nobody in the UK has a cellphone.

            You'll have your work cut out finding anyone who knows what the subjunctive means these days ...

            1. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: Nobody in the UK has a cellphone.

              Mostly because it's a pointless distinction in English. I may be wrong, but I think in some spoken languages, and Latin, subjuntives are a distinct form. In English, they just use a generic verb form to express rather hypothetical or abstract ideas. e.g. "I would dump the word subjunctive".

              And we never got taught about this even in the 70s. When I did my 'A' level English.

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: Nobody in the UK has a cellphone.

                Michael Gove personally insisted on making the subjective part of the English curriculum in Year 6 under his reign of terror at the Department for Education.

              2. abend0c4 Silver badge

                Re: Nobody in the UK has a cellphone.

                The subjunctive mood is still a part of everyday spoken Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. It's still used widely in French though its use in conversation may be diminishing. It persists in German but has almost completely disappeared in Dutch. In English it's generally vestigial though it hangs around in commonly-heard phrases ("if I were a rich man...") - it's not as if the difference between "I insist he be present" and "I insist he is present" conveys any additional meaning and in languages that force you to make the distinction, people will often avoid the issue by using a noun instead of a verb ("I insist on his presence").

                Anyway, the point, such as it was, that I was making is that there's an inherent acknowledgment of the impossibility of the task if you're exhorting someone to conform to local customs using a language whose verb forms (in this case a perfect subjunctive and future imperative) are unrecognised in that culture: we're all prisoners of our upbringing and although we get closer to other cultures over time, our approach is destined to be asymptotic. And it's not even yet 10am this Sunday morning...

                1. Diogenes

                  Re: Nobody in the UK has a cellphone.

                  It persists in German

                  My Oma taught me German, and I could read German long before I could read English (school policies discouraged teaching reading at home) in the 1960s.

                  Fast forward to last year, and I had 2 German exchange students in my class, they did not know that I spoke German. They were using German to discuss one of lads in the class .All I can say is lucky boy if he had known what they would like him to do them, but I digress. When I spoke to them in German , after the looks of horror (he understood everything we said etc) we started just chatting generally and on of the girls remarked that I spoke a very old fashioned German as I still used the subjunctive and I hadn't acquired the 'beziehungsweise' verbal tick. One outcome was that I ended up helping a lot of the dozen or so German & Austrian exchange students we had. Even nicer was one of the girls was still attending the school in Germany I went to in 1971/2 to do grade 6 (Max Planck Gymnasium in Ludwigshafen am Rhein).

                2. John H Woods Silver badge

                  Re: Nobody in the UK has a cellphone.

                  These are the best two paragraphs I have read online so far this year.

              3. abend0c4 Silver badge

                Re: Nobody in the UK has a cellphone.

                Oh, and just to round off the general futility of this narrative, "I would dump the word subjunctive" is likely the English present conditional (though it might follow a subjunctive, for example, "if I were in charge, I would dump the word 'subjunctive'"). However, I imagine we inherited the English conditional auxiliary "would" from the German equivalent ("würde") which is ... a subjunctive form. It's quite hard to talk about words when the meaning of the words we use to talk about them is itself imprecise. We now return you to your scheduled emergency broadcast.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Si fueris Romae, Romano vivito more", old chap ...

          Romanes eunt domus!

          1. Fr. Ted Crilly Silver badge

            Re: "Si fueris Romae, Romano vivito more", old chap ...

            Romani. Ite. Domum...

            Off you go, yes one hundred times.

            You know what's going to happen to you if it's not done, don't you.

        3. Stork Silver badge

          Re: Nobody in the UK has a cellphone.

          If in Rome, be a Romanian?

        4. Scott 26

          Re: Nobody in the UK has a cellphone.

          > "Si fueris Romae, Romano vivito more", old chap ...

          The man called Romanos, 'e goes in the 'ouse?

    2. abend0c4 Silver badge

      Re: receiving a "loud, siren-like sound" on their cellphones

      I think that's wishful thinking on the part of the prison service.

    3. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: receiving a "loud, siren-like sound" on their cellphones

      The term "cellphone" does get used, and even when it isn't, cellular radio mobile telephony is almost ubiquitous. Indeed the phone companies must be working quite hard for there to be any places that are out of range of their service.

  11. Spamfast
    WTF?

    Big Brother has another way to cock things up.

    I am really annoyed about this system.

    Basically it's an app that was installed by stealth on all our phones at the order of our governments.

    Apparently the UK one prevents any use of the phone until the alert has been acknowledged so it must have fairly high privileges. I am not able to uninstall it, disable it or change its access settings. I can only disable notifications but there's nothing stopping it from re-enabling them.

    I was relieved when the buggy, insecure Covid apps were opt-in. Why the hell isn't this one too? I'm being spied on by Google & Samsung already but at least they're relatively competent. The UK government and its contractors have a well documented history of gross negligence with anything IT related.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Big Brother has another way to cock things up.

      It's cell broadcast which has been around since forever, the innovation is a new annoying messaging client to display it. That's about as complicated as it gets.

    2. anothercynic Silver badge

      Re: Big Brother has another way to cock things up.

      It's not an app, genius. It's a cell alert that's part of the infrastructure. That a phone might have an app that specifically handles it is completely separate from the alert itself.

      1. Spamfast
        FAIL

        Re: Big Brother has another way to cock things up.

        It's not an app, genius. It's a cell alert that's part of the infrastructure. That a phone might have an app that specifically handles it is completely separate from the alert itself.

        Phone masts can transmit all sorts of things but without software in the receiving device they do nothing.

        When I bought my phone, it did not have a settings page for emergency alerts.

        Now it does.

        Therefore at some point an update installed a piece of software (an app) to respond to the alerts.

        It even appears in the list of 'apps' if I enable 'show system apps' and allows me to see - but not to change - its permissions. Take a looks - on Samsung phones it's called 'Emergency alerts'.

        You do know your phone has to run a piece of software to make calls, don't you? Or to send text messages?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Big Brother has another way to cock things up.

      I am really annoyed about this system.

      Basically it's an app that was installed by stealth on all our phones at the order of our governments.

      It's not "installed" by anyone. It's part of the cellular network protocols (4G, 5G), and on your phone by virtue of the phone being 4 or 5G compatible.

      Apparently the UK one prevents any use of the phone until the alert has been acknowledged so it must have fairly high privileges. I am not able to uninstall it, disable it or change its access settings. I can only disable notifications but there's nothing stopping it from re-enabling them.

      Again, network standards. You'd not expect to be able to "uninstall 4G" from your mobile phone, would you?

      I was relieved when the buggy, insecure Covid apps were opt-in. Why the hell isn't this one too? I'm being spied on by Google & Samsung already but at least they're relatively competent. The UK government and its contractors have a well documented history of gross negligence with anything IT related.

      Sigh, again, nothing to do with government or its contractors. It's all just part of the 4G / 5G standards (and 2G and 3G, UK is choosing not to bother with those though). And as for being "spied on", this thing doesn't even need your phone number (nor, so far as I'm aware, a SIM); it's a different part of the protocol stack, akin to the part that does emergency phone calls (which also don't need a SIM). If it doesn't work, it's your network provider that's screwed up...

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Big Brother has another way to cock things up.

        I have an iPhone 6+ with no SIM in it. I'll report tomorrow if it gets an alert.

        It is connected to Wifi, and I use it as a work phone with their VOIP thing.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Big Brother has another way to cock things up.

          The alert system is cellular, so if it's in flight mode with wifi turned on then it won't receive it.

          I'm vaguely interested as to whether we'll get the alert, living out in the countryside with a stable 2/3G but fairly intermittent 4G.

          Of course, the vast majority of flood warnings are needed in places that don't have 4G coverage, so one does wonder about the utility.

          1. katrinab Silver badge

            Re: Big Brother has another way to cock things up.

            It is not in flight mode. Airdrop, airplay, bluetooth, etc are all enabled. Just no SIM card in it.

        2. anothercynic Silver badge

          Re: Big Brother has another way to cock things up.

          Since your phone is not connected to a mobile network, no, you likely wouldn't get the alert on that phone.

        3. katrinab Silver badge
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Big Brother has another way to cock things up.

          My report:

          My iPhone 8+ with O2 SIM got an alert

          My SE with Three SIM did not get an alert

          My 6+ with no SIM at all and connected only to wifi did not get an alert

          My girlfriend's XR with EE SIM did get an alert

          1. Macs1000

            Re: Big Brother has another way to cock things up.

            My (lack of any) Feature Phone got the alert. But I'm really curious as to why it has had two previous test alerts over the last few weeks. Am I the only one?

          2. David 132 Silver badge

            Re: Big Brother has another way to cock things up.

            Apparently, if reports in the press are to be believed, no-one on the Three network got the alert. Probably, he said with heavy sarcasm, a dastardly Chinese plot (aren’t Three owned by Hutchinson Telecom, or am I hopelessly out of date?).

            1. abend0c4 Silver badge

              Re: Big Brother has another way to cock things up.

              As far as I can gather, some people on the Three network got the alert, but the network was misconfigured to broadcast the alert only once whereas the other networks rebroadcast it regularly over a period of around 20 minutes. Obvously, phones are not constantly looking for emergency broadcasts (power saving) so they have to be woken up after which they monitor for a period expecting the alert message to arrive. If your phone misses the wake-up call or fails to spot the alert, it won't react and there's no handshake (it's a one-way broadcast). Hence, sending the message exactly once almost guarantees that a large number of subscribers won't receive it. There's a very useful Twitter thread (for a change) here:

              https://twitter.com/davwheat_/status/1650149573313085441

              1. David 132 Silver badge
                Thumb Up

                Re: Big Brother has another way to cock things up.

                Interesting. Reassuring, because I've had to resort to similar repeat tactics in network code I've written in the past, when throughput is spotty and ACK messages unreliable.

                And I'm <sarcasm>sure</sarcasm> that the writers of iOS and Android would have been careful to implement basic checks along the lines of "if this phone gets an emergency alert that's a duplicate of one received less than 20 minutes ago - ignore it, it's a re-broadcast of the first one and we don't want to drive the phone user insane with multiple interface-blocking alerts".

                Right?

                1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

                  Re: Big Brother has another way to cock things up.

                  I haven't heard of people spending 20 minutes repeatedly cancelling this message, so presumably repeats are recognised, possibly my message ID, and are disregarded.

            2. katrinab Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: Big Brother has another way to cock things up.

              CK Hutchison Holdings, registered in the Cayman Islands, previously Hutchison Wampoa, registered in Hong Kong.

              I'm sure the change in registration was for legitimate non-tax reasons.

          3. bazza Silver badge

            Re: Big Brother has another way to cock things up.

            My report is that none of my SIMless phones got it.

            I'm wondering if thats because of a cell network configs. The protocols support SIMless emergency calls, but the UK configures it's cellular networks to require a SIM for such calls to cut down on hoaxes. Could be the same for the emergency broadcast (though I can't see a reason why).

            BTB, Apparently to make up for the gappy emergency call coverage that arises from requiring an active SIM, a phone in the UK can use any network to place such a call.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You'd not expect to be able to "uninstall 4G" from your mobile phone, would you?

        well, 'technically', you can select 3g/4g/5g band on some handsets, at least this is what I vaguely remember from my previous, fantastic, but sadly unrootable handset. But then, 'disable' (if that!) rather than 'uninstall'. But I'd LOVET 'uninstall', this f... useless google assistant button that can't be mapped to anything useful, because.

    4. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Big Brother has another way to cock things up.

      You can disable it, see my post in the thread above.

    5. RegGuy1 Silver badge

      Re: Big Brother has another way to cock things up.

      The UK government and its contractors have a well documented history of gross negligence with anything IT related.

      TFTFY

    6. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Big Brother has another way to cock things up.

      If it makes you feel any better, it's part of a standard which has included emergency messages for many years, and many countries have already deployed a system that produces them. The UK isn't writing new software to run on your devices; they're just sending messages which will be interpreted by the same software that already interprets them for millions of others who did the testing before it got to you. That leaves less room for the UK government to mess things up, and all possibilities are on the sending rather than the receiving end.

  12. Mike 125

    Homer makes more sense

    It's been said, but who cares-- It's guaranteed that for the emergencies we *need* to know about, the system won't work.

    Homer got it right.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vIjBtdEQRE

    1. RedGreen925 Bronze badge

      Re: Homer makes more sense

      Indeed the morons around here could not be bothered sending an alert when we had physco killing more than twenty people driving around in old police car dressed as cop. They apparently thought everyone was on Facebook for that 18 hours or so getting the news instead of using the system to alert people and save lives. Now the assholes will send an alert if the wind is blowing...

  13. anothercynic Silver badge

    Early evening?

    Since when is 3pm 'early evening'? It's mid-afternoon.

    It was maybe *meant* to be around early evening, but given there's footie on, the government moved the test to 3pm to avoid drama.

    1. Paul Herber Silver badge

      Re: Early evening?

      and it's being carried out in April so it doesn't disturb the cricket.

  14. Ball boy Silver badge

    Can I arrange to have mine sent an hour or two earlier, please?

    If this were a real alert then getting it fractionally earlier would mean I can rush out to buy loo roll before the masses descend on the shops and strip the shelves bare of everything useful.

    </ironic mode>

    In reality, what's one meant to do if there's a real alert? If it's a natural event, I very much doubt it'd give enough warning to take any truly constructive action ("get to high ground" sent to everyone in, say, Norfolk would cause immediate and complete congestion on the roads, ditto "barricade against flooding" for DIY stores, etc.).

    For many years, there was a weekly test of a network of sirens around the Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire. Every Monday at 10 (IIRC) there was a test followed by the 'all clear' sound. This was dropped in the last few years because the authorities saw no need for such a service (social media was oft-quoted as a reasonable enough replacement that would reach enough people to make it functional). I wonder, is this a solution that's looking for a decent problem?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In reality, what's one meant to do if there's a real alert?

      start digging nuke shelter in your back gardnen, start fighting your way to the nearest tesco / army depot / start running around like headless chicken. In short, it's the pre-panic panic, so that the Real Thing will no longer feel like it's worth your attention. But yes, I guess a nuke alarm will help me change my status from 'instant crisp' to a 'cancerous zombie', always look on the bright side..

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: In reality, what's one meant to do if there's a real alert?

        Depends on the nature of the reason for the alert. I live a few miles away from a gas terminal.

        There's a site wide alarm that gets tested every Monday, which we can just about hear and the operating companies to make sure people know that is supposed to happen.

        If there was an incident onsite that threatened the condensate tanks, there would be potential for a very big band. Very big indeed. Think Buncefield (very big but it was pure luck it happened in the small hours of a Sunday and no-one got hurt).

        One would hope that the alert system would-be bought into action locally, allowing folk like us more time to stand clear of loose items and windows.

        A relative lived close to Sizewell and I would think he'd have liked plenty of warning via as many channels as possible that he should at least break out the iodine tablets.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: In reality, what's one meant to do if there's a real alert?

          "there would be potential for a very big band. Very big indeed."

          Rolling Stones big, or Earth, Wind and Fire big?

          1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Re: In reality, what's one meant to do if there's a real alert?

            Surely "Big Band", of the likes of Count Basie, Glenn Miller

            icon: Big Bang

            1. jake Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: In reality, what's one meant to do if there's a real alert?

              I was clearly discussing popularity vs. size, which have little or nothing to do with type of music.

              Or how good (or bad) it is, either, contrary to popular belief ...

              icon: Beer

        2. David 132 Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: In reality, what's one meant to do if there's a real alert?

          You mentioned Buncefield.

          I’m sure I’ve told this anecdote before, so apologies if I’m more boring than usual…

          An old schoolfriend of mine worked for 3Com, with offices on an industrial park adjacent to Buncefield. Well, he was laid off from 3Com along with many others as that company deflated.

          The very next weekend, the oil depot exploded and pretty much annihilated the corner of the 3Com building where his office had been located.

          We still tease him about it to this day. “Most people, when they’re laid off, chalk it up to experience and move on. But noooooooo. You had to take it personally, didn’t you?? How’s your alibi?”

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Useful in America…

    I received one of these when wildfires were nearby. Actually useful.

    In the UK though? “Exceptionally heavy rain expected to cause flooding”? Why not also send an alert telling me the pope shits in the woods.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Useful in America…

      "I received one of these when wildfires were nearby. Actually useful."

      Because you couldn't smell the smoke? Frankly, the so-called "alerts" were among the most annoying and unnecessary things about the fires ... at least here in Northern California.

    2. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Re: Useful in America…

      There's plenty of scope for local disasters putting at risk a wider area. Plenty of large tank farms (think Buncefield), nuke installations (not necessarily a bang but I'd love as much time as possible to break out the iodine tablets).

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Mushroom

    The thing is

    a lot of people are not exactly up together.

    So the government in an effort to 'protect' them wants to issue an emergency alert.

    However the only alert that anyone is really interested in is the 'incoming nuclear attack' alert......... sadly the EMP from a 1 megaton nuke going off 200 miles above the north sea renders every cell phone dead thus people never recieve their 'attack alerts' thus increasing the panic amongst the general population(although this panic would be rather brief in a lot of cases)

    Icon...... for obvious reasons

    1. Shooter
      Happy

      Re: The thing is

      Ideally, the alert is sent after the nuke is launched, but before it detonates.

      Thus, allowing everyone to view the fireworks!

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: The thing is

        Where's the kaboom?

  17. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Well actually...

    "- who could forget the Hawaiian ballistic missile panic of 2018? "

    I could. Unless I never heard of it.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Well actually...

      Covered in The Register at the time. And on BBC News. The news article we're commenting on has the link, to https://www.theregister.com/2018/01/15/hawaiian_missile_warning/

  18. Terry 6 Silver badge

    We all know

    And get ready - the first nationwide test is happening this coming Sunday

    It's not really a test. They're switching on the chip in our vaccinations. At least that's what Facebook has been telling people, apparently. So it must be true..

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: We all know

      It's not really a test. They're switching on the chip in our vaccinations. At least that's what Facebook has been telling people, apparently. So it must be true..

      This is actually why some people did not receive the 'alert'. If the phone didn't previously have the proximity app installed, it wouldn't have side-loaded the activation app. However part of the reason why this system cost over £28m was to transcribe phone numbers from the vaccination database to the activation database. Due to incompatibilities between vendor's solutions for vaccination and activation systems, this required printing them out on spreadsheets and posting them to the off-shore data entry sites. Recent delays to the international postal system from the UK meant this process was incomplete by the time of today's test, hence why some vaccinated people's phones failed to initiate. People who were unvaccinated anyway weren't worth triggering or saving anyway. As this phase offered incomplete protection, a repeat, booster phase will happen in a couple of weeks, and if necessary, a third dose.

      <spoiler>Do I really need to add a /sarc tag? Anyway, expect this system to be used and abused to the point of pointlessness, even if that point is mostly to perpetuate the fear of 'extreme' weather</spoiler>

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We all know

        > Anyway, expect this system to be used and abused to the point of pointlessness, even if that point is mostly to perpetuate the fear of 'extreme' weather</spoiler>

        Yep. That is exactly what will happen.

  19. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    I remember ...

    ... the zombie apocalypse warning a few years back.

    Of course, this being Florida, that's just spring break.

  20. Timo

    It could work...or not

    Hopefully the UK will benefit from years of learning in the US. Everyone comes up with a rainbow of new alerts, almost all of them with good intentions but just fail for all the obvious reasons.

    For the first couple years we got "Amber Alert" (missing child) or "silver alert" (missing old person) to look for a vehicle that was last seen hundreds of miles away. And lots of alerts for dumb minor stuff or local alerts but misdirected to an enormous alert area. There's a whole mapping of cell site to broadcast area that has to be sorted out.

    And then it seems that the people directing the service realized that the more trivial alerts that are sent increased the chance of people learning to ignore them altogether, so they must have reined in the well intentioned idiots that thought they had something important to notify people about (always in the middle of the night.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It could work...or not

      Lets face it, Big Brother in the Uk cannot even get a useful or meaningful message on the dot matrix displays above our busiest roads, so the chance of them being able to co-ordinate or use something like this is well beyond their abilities.

  21. Tron Silver badge

    Come at me, bro.

    None of my phones will be on. None of my smartphones have sim cards in them.

    Remember, this is GovTech, so don't be surprised if it won't stop or permanently bricks your phone.

    As for Florida, it's America. They can all sue and probably will.

    1. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

      Running SIMless

      The last phone I tested that -- powering-up with no SIM card -- on was a feature phone, and it threw up a screen saying something like, "You have no SIM card installed. You must have a SIM card installed to use this phone." I could not dismiss nor bypass that screen.

      Smartphones might let you get on w/o a SIM card ... or not.

      1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

        Re: Running SIMless

        Almost all of my phones have no SIM card. All of them work perfectly well without any SIM card (except for mobile service, of course). Some of them I sometimes put a SIM card in for a while (e.g. a local data card in a foreign country).

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Running SIMless

        Smartphones all let you do that, since they have plenty of other features that you don't need mobile service to use. Android and IOS handle not having a SIM pretty well. I'm not sure what level of non-smart phone you had, but if it literally did nothing other than calls and SMS, maybe the people writing the software figured bypassing that screen wasn't very important, or maybe it was possible to do so but just not intuitive as many of the cheap devices have had exactly thirty seconds put into making the UI understandable.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will we be informed without a smartphone ?

    Just thinking, if you dare go out without your smartphone, and something happens, such as a mushroom invasion. How would you know what to do ?

    We dont have many police, seemingly the air raid system was unplugged years ago. So does that mean it will be up to the water vans that appear to all have P.A speakers, to inform the populous?

    And why, pray tell, has it taken 20+ years to enable something that was built into mobile phones way back when we had home grown threats, not just some little old bully who has red as his favourite color ?!?!

  23. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Some of us know how to use do-not-disturb

    I have a hard enough time sleeping, so I set do-not-disturb from 10pm until my morning alarm. It rings for anyone in my contacts, but it's otherwise silent, including texts and alerts.

    Finally... a feature in Android that's actually useful and actually works.

    Another interesting thing is after I saw the alert, the phone asked if I wanted to continue seeing these alerts or not. I wonder how many people said "no"?

  24. scrubber

    Not An Activation Signal

    I look forward to being told there is a flood in my area, hastily followed up with another alert reminding me the hosepipe ban is still in effect.

  25. steviebuk Silver badge

    Turn it off

    Can someone explain where the option is to turn it off on Android. Still on my old Samsung S8 but still can't find the option to disable it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Turn it off

      well, some instructions here, but...

      www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/apr/21/how-to-disable-uk-emergency-alerts-on-your-phone

      ...

      I can't find the 'wireless emergency settings' under that tab at all, so...

  26. The commentard formerly known as Mister_C
    Childcatcher

    Won't somebody think of the old folks

    Mister_C senior and Mrs_C's father were discussing hearing aids at a family get-together yesterday. F-i-L's are bluetoothed to his phone.

    When the conversation switched to the alarm test, senior went quiet for a moment before asking "Will the siren get blasted straight into your hearing aids?"

    1. The commentard formerly known as Mister_C

      Re: Won't somebody think of the old folks

      Relax. He didn't get his head zapped. Their local mast was off line this afternoon, so they didn't get any warning.

  27. WolfFan

    Interesting

    I live in Deepest South Florida. I have two iPhones (one is the company phone, one is mine, and no, I do NOT put company stuff on my personal phone) and neither of them got the alert allegedly sent to everyone in Florida. Perhaps Governor DeSatan has heard of my opinion of him, and is taking action against me. Perhaps the Florida emergency management people are just… massively incompetent. Perhaps the local office declined to send the alert out, knowing that there are a lot of rednecks in the county with shotguns and short tempers who read don’t like being woke at any time, but particularly early on a workday morning. Perhaps some combination of the above.

    There is also the possibility that I may have turned the damn alert nonsense off after one too many Amber Alerts about some child from Duvall County (that’s so far north that it might as well be Georgia) or Orange County (the land of the Mouse) involved in a custody dispute. The very strong possibility.

    In any case, Ron DeSatan can bite me… or maybe not as the Mouse has kicked his teeth out. I never thought that I would say this, but go Mouse, go.

    1. Alan W. Rateliff, II
      Stop

      Re: Interesting

      Ron DeSatan

      Woah, you said it twice. I guess you are serious and not just hurr durr. In any case, I was not aware of anyone working for FDEM who I would call incompetent. Everyone up there busts their asses and work as professionally as anyone I have ever know. Accidents happen, just that monumental accidents are noticed on a monumental scale. But, I am certain you have never made a mistake in your life, so you just have to take my word for it.

      1. WolfFan

        Re: Interesting

        I literally have got Amber Alerts for Jacksonville and Orlando. I get Silver Alerts for Tampa. I’m in West Palm. There’s a problem if I get alerts for places hundreds of miles away. For those not in Florida, Jacksonville is about 280 miles away, and Tampa is 170 miles. It is extremely unlikely that the subject of one of those alerts will get near me. What it looks like is that the alert is blasted out to everyone in the state… which is exactly what happened in the current case. This problem needs to be addressed. There is no evidence of anyone even acknowledging that this is a problem. The current situation is just the latest example of massive incompetence.

        1. Alan W. Rateliff, II

          Re: Interesting

          Amber and Silver alerts are issued by a different agency which is not a division of the Governor's office. Take it up with them. I assume you have taken advantage of remedies which are available via official means which do not just include spleen venting on a UK website.

          What it looks like is that the alert is blasted out to everyone in the state… which is exactly what happened in the current case. This problem needs to be addressed.

          FWIW, I agree with you on the distribution scale. I have also received Amber alerts for south Florida while I live in north Florida. I would expect the alerts would be limited to the area from which the child was abducted and the areas through or to which the abductor may be traveling. Similarly with Silver alerts, but I suppose those old coots can be speedy and unpredictable.

  28. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Alert

    Wot no alert?

    The alerts will work on all 4G and 5G phone networks and on devices with the following software:

    iPhones running iOS 14.5 or later

    phones and tablets running Android 11 or later

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-65177316

    1. Zola

      Re: Wot no alert?

      Android 10 supports Emergency Alerts (BBC source is wrong, but no surprise there) - I received the alert on my Android 10 device from O2, but had another phone on the Three network which didn't receive anything. Three ballsed this up good and proper.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Wot no alert?

      I'm not sure where they got those, but I wouldn't count on that being true. Living in a country that has used this system for longer than the UK has, it's been supported for years. I had an Android 4.4 device that was particularly annoying about it, because for some reason it cached an emergency alert and played it every time I turned on the device for the next month, but I blame the very patchy firmware for that. I don't think they invented a new protocol that would prevent all the old devices from sounding the alert.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How did anyone notice?

    Most of us turned these off years ago, they're just too annoying. The worst are the amber alerts; No, I do not care about a missing kid on the other side of the state. No, I will not think of the children.

    1. WolfFan

      Re: How did anyone notice?

      Exactly.

  30. Wild Turkey

    Easter Egg Hunt Emergency

    Mayor of Flint Michigan thought attending his Easter Egg hunt was an emergency

    https://www.metrotimes.com/news/flint-mayor-used-emergency-alert-system-to-promote-his-easter-egg-hunt-32868356

  31. trevorde Silver badge

    UK test warning

    "All trains cancelled due to leaves on the tracks"

    1. JamesTGrant

      Re: UK test warning

      What’s the difference between a train and a tree?

      One leaves it’s shed, the other sheds it’s leaves

      As for the rather pulse gunning alert at 3pm it was effective - effective at waking me up from a snooze.

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: UK test warning

        Over in Downing Street, Rishi Sunak had been dozing at his desk when the alarm went off. “What’s that?” he had asked sleepily.

        “It’s the end of the world,” replied his chief of staff.

        “Oh, I don’t think so. I mean, admittedly we’re fairly hopeless but we might still get away with it. It’s amazing the amount of shit people put up with from their government.

        “No. I mean IT IS the end of the world.”

        “Christ,” said Rish! panicking. “You don’t mean that Infosys shares have crashed and that my wife’s portfolio is worthless. Imagine being down to your last £20 mill.”

        John Crace...

        https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2023/apr/23/is-this-the-way-the-world-ends-or-what-passes-for-a-nation-coming-together

  32. Zola
    Flame

    Three appears to have opted out of the UK EAS test

    without informing anybody.

    A very significant number of Three users (including those on Three-based MVNOs) did not receive the alert.

    I look forward to the publication of the Three post-mortem into this incident (yeah, right).

    I've got 2 contracts on Three and I'll be switching both once they come to an end later this year (not solely because of this EAS fiasco - that's really just the cherry on top of this shit network cake).

  33. Alan W. Rateliff, II

    Not sure if envious or lucky

    I did not receive an FDEM alert on my phone. Not sure why, and not sure if I should feel left out.

  34. clyde666
    Flame

    accent

    One of the phones in our house didn't get switched off. So it got the alert.

    It was an American accented voice.

    That to me was the most shocking aspect of this. How little cost or effort would it have been to change this?

    If the alert thing is of such big importance, at least take ownership of it. Typical UK - do it on the cheap, but no doubt with a huge price tag to the government.

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: accent

      I suspect that's local phone functionality

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: accent

        Android has both US English and UK English TTS voices, so they could had adapted it.

        (Don't know about iOS, but I'm pretty sure it has too.)

  35. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Remove the what now?

    the agency "was taking the appropriate action to remove the company responsible for submitting the alert this morning"

    "Remove the company"? What, with extreme prejudice? Is Florida about to bomb someone's headquarters? "We shall slay them all, burn their offices to the ground, and sow the parking lot with salt!"

    1. WolfFan

      Re: Remove the what now?

      If you include “ignore the lamentations of their women’, that’s SOP for DeSatan.

      I thought that Skeletor Scott was bad. DeSatan is far worse, all Skeletor did was steal money from disabled veterans.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Remove the what now?

        Teen-age locker-room name calling makes you look quite ignorable. The people you are discussing are quite execrable all by themselves without you resorting to that kind of childish display. All it does is make you look silly. Stop it.

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