Monday, February 13, 2012

CAP Text not allowed to Speak in USA

The U.S. has banned Emergency Alerting Systems from using Text-To-Speech in broadcasting Common Alerting Protocol generated messages.

Excerpt from the article – Many of those in my community have a hard time understanding the current version of text to speech. In other words, us old folks can’t hear what the computer is saying. There’s also the issue of geographical differences in words. For example, is “soda” and “pop” the same as “soda pop” or “Coke”. If one were to write “I’d like a Coke and fries”, the computer will read that hearer may need more information, ex. “We don’t serve Coke, is Royal Crown Cola OK?”

Here's what I had to say in the LIRNEasia blog relating it to the Freedom Fone and Sahana project.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sahana Google Code-In Students work on CAP Broker

Once again Sahana participated in 2011 Google Code-In. Happy to have been part of it mentoring students. A big thrill was that they worked on the few research tasks that were related to the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) Broker. The two main tasks were:
  1. develop a blueprint with wireframe to port the Sahana Agasti CAP Broker to Sahana Eden (because Sahana Agasti CAP Broker is no longer supported by the community; moreover, the new version that will be built in to Eden would build on the lessons learned and improve the shortcomings from the piece-wise build original version)
  2. develop a wireframe to build an XSL Editor (mainly to develop XSL files to transform full CAP messages to deliver through short-text, long-text, and voice-text messages through email, SMS, IVR, Twitter, etc)
The CAP Broker is a tool that I have been researching on and developing over the past six years. The real need of a CAP Broker is in early warning. Based on the systems definition for early warning system, it requires a Broker to acts as a messaging pivot between those who publish alerts/warnings and those who subscribe to them.

The first works were with the HazInfo project, when we tested various wireless technologies for their ability to carry CAP messages to last-mile communities. There was an opportunity to further develop and test it for cyclones and hurricanes but we failed to win the hearts of NSA to nail the grant. There was also interest to build the libraries and test components that would carry CAP messages over Radio Data Systems; however, could not secure any funding to try this as well.

What we did achieve was testing CAP over HF data platform. The first working Sahana CAP broker was tested for health alerting with delivery over HTTP, Email, SMS, and RSS. Then recently, the field testing of CAP messages disseminated through an IVR.

STANDBY ... There's more work to be done and shared.