The how of now

I agree with Rhonda Wickman of Wireless Week insofar as SMS would have been a better — or at least complementary — way of warning students during the nightmarish Virginia Tech massacre. However, she is wrong to characterize e-mail as “far better than systems used when I was in college – a public safety siren.” Sirens may not be very high-tech but they are real-time and even harder to ignore than an SMS delivered to what could be a handset that is silenced or turned off. You don’t see ambulance drivers sending text messages to the cars in front of them. The clear danger at the university more than warranted similarly intrusive notification. 

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