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Communications United States Hardware

Presidential Inauguration Hardware and Other Challenges 176

holy_calamity writes "The FBI has released images of some of the kit that will be deployed to safeguard Obama's inauguration, including mine-proof armored trucks like those used in Iraq to protect against IEDs, and a large armored chamber that any bombs will be shoved inside to be transported away and perhaps detonated inside. Interesting, even though the really good stuff is presumably being kept under wraps." Relatedly, necro81 writes "The Inauguration of Barack Obama tomorrow is expected to put considerable stress on the cellphone network around Washington, DC. The expected crowd could top two million people, and many of them are expected to call, text, tweet, photo, and blog their way through the event. In response, the major wireless carriers in the area have spent millions of dollars upgrading their local networks and will bring in extra 'cells on wheels' (COWs) and 'cells on light trucks' (COLTs). They are also requesting that attendees limit their usage during the event, and avoid bandwidth-heavy activities — like uploading photos — until afterward."
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Presidential Inauguration Hardware and Other Challenges

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  • Twitter is screwed. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rayeth ( 1335201 ) on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:16PM (#26521211)
    Twitter's service is likely to be as screwed as the cell network with millions of people around the country tweeting about how they just saw (on TV, Internet or in person) Obama swear in, etc. Expect the service to be down most of the day imo.
  • Re:COWs and COLTs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by snowraver1 ( 1052510 ) on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:36PM (#26521449)
    Killjoy. This is cool stuff. I would guess that the COW is a trailer and the COLT is a truck. I've always been facinated with satellite communications, and this looks really neat. I would love to be the guy that gets to drive that beast in, fire up the generator, press button one for the mast and radios, then button two for the auto aligning satellite. All this while onlookers stare in wonder.

    On another note, this must have taken A LOT of planning. You usually can't just throw more cells in all willy-nilly. They would have to lower power on nearby cells and maybe even temporarily put cells on different frequencies to free up space for these microcells.
  • Re:Yeah (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Authoritative Douche ( 1255948 ) on Monday January 19, 2009 @06:39PM (#26521489)
    Oops. CNN is advertising an address to upload all your photos taken throughout the day so they can stitch them together to make 360-deg VR photos available as close to real time as they can (several minute delay).
  • 911 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by necro81 ( 917438 ) on Monday January 19, 2009 @07:02PM (#26521819) Journal
    My concern is what if something bad were to happen during the inauguration, and suddenly a million people whip out their cellphones all start calling 911, their family, news organizations, and generally broadcast an emergency to the world all at the same time.

    Anyone want to watch one of those expensive cell-towers on a truck burst into flames?
  • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Monday January 19, 2009 @08:00PM (#26522601) Homepage

    Good luck with that! I was going to say that the only way to make a visitor to DC's visit less fun would be to shoot then rob them, but that's pretty much already on the itinerary, isn't it?

  • Re:Care Bears? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by N1ck0 ( 803359 ) on Monday January 19, 2009 @08:18PM (#26522835)

    It's probably either "photoshopped" so they're not showing what's really on it. Or they have some pre-configured "guests without clearance are here" screen that they can change all the monitors to with the push of a button.

    Assuming these pictures didn't span multiple visits and taking the following into account:
    1. The shadows in all the pics show the sun is at a very low angle.
    2. The state of the trees, combined with green IVY in pic 3 indicate its mid-fall.
    3. In mid-fall sun would only be as low as the reflection in the bomb containment vessel in the mid/late-morning and the evening.
    4. The clock indicates it is 10:33:24 (can't be PM because of the sun)
    5. The upper left looks like a morning talk show, and the lower left looks to be a talk show, or game show. (the other is an interior cam)

    I can conclude that they most likely have tuned the TV to local over-the-air TV stations to show that they can both monitor the news and closed circuit feeds on their display system....

    But you know...just a hunch.

  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Monday January 19, 2009 @08:35PM (#26523029) Journal

    I'm going to spend the data watching the coverage over the rabbit ears/antenna. Yeah I know... old-fashioned 60-year-old technology, but it still works. :-) It will be the last time a presidential inauguration was broadcast using analog NTSC.* After tomorrow it will be broadcast exclusively in HD digital.

    *(Technically the last time will probably be in 2013, since Mexico still uses NTSC, but I don't live there.)

  • by afaik_ianal ( 918433 ) * on Monday January 19, 2009 @08:53PM (#26523225)
    You know that being impeached is not the same as being found guilty, right? You do realise Clinton was acquitted, right? It's like comparing two people who the public believe did something wrong: one has been ordered to stand trial, and acquitted; the other has not even been ordered to stand trial.
  • Re:Yeah (Score:5, Interesting)

    by the_weasel ( 323320 ) on Monday January 19, 2009 @09:07PM (#26523367) Homepage

    I send you a text, you respond when you have time. I call you, you have to choose between ignoring me and taking my call. Texting is asynchronous, where a conversation is synchronous. Granted, I can communicate more information in a short amount of time with a phone conversation, but if my issue is non-critical then texting is often more effective.

    I am talking about texting from a business prospective here. I often text sales staff on the road, who may well be in a meeting, or contractors on a noisy job site. A director in a meeting with an artist. In all these cases texting not only gets them the information they need without them having o interrupt some other task, it also avoids the need for them to grab a pen or some other device - I just include the information. No lost or misunderstood numbers or names.

    Now social texting does confuse me. "OMG! I am at the inaugaration". Why???

  • by twostix ( 1277166 ) on Monday January 19, 2009 @10:50PM (#26524311)

    Tell that to Fidel Castro 638 foiled attempts - []

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