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New York State Testing Emergency Alerts Over Gaming Networks 212

An anonymous reader writes "Gamers are used to confronting invading terrorists, nuclear attacks, and natural calamities—in virtual form. But those living in New York State could soon receive warnings about real emergencies through their favorite video console. State authorities are testing a plan that would see the Emergency Management Office issue alerts over online gaming networks in addition to regular channels."
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New York State Testing Emergency Alerts Over Gaming Networks

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  • Warning! (Score:5, Funny)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @05:00PM (#30163250) Journal

    Warning... Valkyrie needs food badly!

  • I think a couple of employees got their heads together and figured out how to game the System to get a Gaming System.

    A likely scenario, boss talking to his team, complete with mock responses:

    Keith you will be gaming online. We wont tell you when the alert will come, so better play a couple games.

    "Damn!" *wink

    You, Stan. Yours will involve a multimedia entertainment mode. See if it interrupts your BluRay viewing.

    "I'd have to test it with the new BluRays that just came out. Could you put a note saying, Merry Christmas Darling?"

    and so on

  • by wsanders ( 114993 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @05:14PM (#30163538) Homepage

    .. would be good for tornado warning:

    "There is a tornado in your area. It is OUTSIDE. You do remember where OUTSIDE is, right?"

  • by Facegarden ( 967477 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @05:29PM (#30163846)

    .. would be good for tornado warning:

    "There is a tornado in your area. It is OUTSIDE. You do remember where OUTSIDE is, right?"

    Follwed by: "Just stay there in your mom's basement, and everything will be fine."

  • by DangerFace ( 1315417 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @05:44PM (#30164174) Journal
    Not that I want to take part in a game of oneupmanship, but round these parts we recently had a radioactive paedophile [] on the loose...
  • Re:Warning! (Score:2, Funny)

    by damien_kane ( 519267 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @05:46PM (#30164236)

    Be careful! New moon tonight.

    Not until midnight (in select theaters), until then it's waxing crescent.

  • by Cajun Hell ( 725246 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @06:37PM (#30165044) Homepage Journal

    This is the same thing as them running the emergency broadcast during your favorite show.

    That's what's moronic. Emergency Broadcast made sense because TVs were incredibly stupid and didn't have the ability to tell users anything other than what someone happened to be broadcasting.

    Our machines have gotten a lot smarter since then. You don't need to interrupt a broadcast anymore, because a computer is capable of interrupting a user directly.

    Let me give you an example of how dumb this is. Let's say it's 8 at night, and right now, there is an incoming ICBM. You're watching an episode of Hogan's Heroes that was broadcast at 3 in the morning, and your PVR is recording the 2009 remake of V.

    Dumb tech: The V broadcast is interrupted by the government saying, "Hey, everyone, you might want to duck and cover." Your PVR dutifully records this so that on The Day After, when you watch V, you get to see the warning that was broadcast last night. Meanwhile, as the ICBM comes in, Hogans' Heroes plays uninterrupted. You don't duck and cover, and oops, you're not ever going to get to watch the warning in the middle of V explaining that you were supposed to duck and cover, because you got shredded by flying glass while you were obliviously watching TV. When they find your corpse, you're still wearing the monocle that you always wear when you watch Hogan's Heroes. You lose.

    Smart tech: V is uninterrupted, since by the time you get around to watching it, there won't be any reason to duck and cover. There's just no reason to fuck with your recording. Your PVR is playing Hogan's Heroes, but also knows that there's this one government feed that you subscribed to, that you've said you want to see with great priority. Hogan climbs out of the tunnel and Sergeant Schultz sees him -- and even though this was broadcast many hours ago before anyone knew about the ICBM -- you don't get to find out if Hogan finally gets shot, because your TV says, "Hey, everyone, you might want to duck and cover." You duck and cover. After the explosion when things calm down, you get to watch what happens to Hogan and (this is the important part) your recording of V is intact without an obsolete warning, although there's this one spot in the recording where there's suddenly a lot of static and people said that shit wasn't going to happen with digital TV, so you feel ripped off. But at least your PVR did the right thing as well as it could. You (relatively, considering what all is happening, with the nuclear war raging and all that) win.

    An internet-connected game system is like a PVR, in that it can be smarter. It's capable of listening for more than one thing, so that even the game server doesn't say anything about the ICBM, your game machine can still tell you about the ICBM. And people who aren't getting nuked don't have to worry about all this irrelevant-to-them server load interfering with their important game.

  • by nomadic ( 141991 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .dlrowcidamon.> on Thursday November 19, 2009 @06:38PM (#30165058) Homepage
    Alerts should be for things that require expedient action. When the levy breaks, for example.

    Or during the Battle of Evermore?

The optimum committee has no members. -- Norman Augustine