Tuesday, February 4, 2020

What could possibly go wrong? - Part 2 (Iowa caucus edition)

We posted back in December that UCLA seems to be in the process of abandoning its landline telephone system in favor of VoIP, a more recent technology that relies on the internet. And we noted that when the Big One comes, it may well turn out that for emergency purposes, the old traditional service would prove more reliable. Last fall's wildfire experience suggests that fancy tech often fails, just when you need it.

Now we have the Iowa caucuses that relied on a new tech smartphone app that failed. The problem apparently was that the app was essentially tried out when the actual caucuses were held. If it had been tested in advance, perhaps the snafu could have been averted.
What could possibly go wrong in the Big One?

So here's the problem: How the new phone system would operate when the Big One comes can only be known when it happens. It will be tried out in the actual event. Unlike the Iowa situation, there really is no way to try it out in advance.

So, when the Big One comes, assuming you survive and are able, just remember that you read about it here first.

And, if you go back to our original post on this subject, you can also ask whatever happened to UCLA's emergency AM 1630 radio service that was supposed to be part of the planning for the Big One (and is another "old" technology, like the landline system, that works)? Just saying. Just asking.

Our original post on this subject is at

1 comment:

Kevin said...

UCSC changed to a VOIP system in 2014. The system has had no more problems than the previous PBX system. It has not been tested by an earthquake, but it has been tested by large-scale, long-lasting power outages.