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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii missile alert
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:24 am 
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Oh lord, this is the warning system interface?!

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii missile alert
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:36 am 
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Micael wrote:
Oh lord, this is the warning system interface?!

Image


:facepalm:

"Real" alerts interspersed with drill alerts and test messages, in no logical order?!

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii missile alert
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:44 am 
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You know something else just dawned on me. :shock:
Looking at the hypertext type links on that screenshot...this is operated via the internet isn't it.
So their ability to send out warning messages is dependent on an internet service being up and running. :facepalm:

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii missile alert
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:48 am 
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That's horrendous! None of the options are particularly clear.

Micael wrote:
You know something else just dawned on me. :shock:
Looking at the hypertext type links on that screenshot...this is operated via the internet isn't it.
So their ability to send out warning messages is dependent on an internet service being up and running. :facepalm:


The UKWMO siren system was dependent on the telephone system. IIRC it used the lines for the Speaking Clock.

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii missile alert
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:12 am 
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Bernard Woolley wrote:
That's horrendous! None of the options are particularly clear.

Micael wrote:
You know something else just dawned on me. :shock:
Looking at the hypertext type links on that screenshot...this is operated via the internet isn't it.
So their ability to send out warning messages is dependent on an internet service being up and running. :facepalm:


The UKWMO siren system was dependent on the telephone system. IIRC it used the lines for the Speaking Clock.

The current Swedish siren system uses the RAKEL emergency services digital radio system.

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii missile alert
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:09 am 
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Micael wrote:
Oh lord, this is the warning system interface?!

Image

Dear God. Who the hell came up with that Charlie Fox. In command system design, its a basic rule that the test and internal maintenance options should be separated from the operational ones by an "activation" step. This thing is an open invitation for false alarms.

Micael wrote:
You know something else just dawned on me. :shock:
Looking at the hypertext type links on that screenshot...this is operated via the internet isn't it.
So their ability to send out warning messages is dependent on an internet service being up and running. :facepalm:


In fairness, the Internet was designed as a hard system for transmitting vital information under critical circumstances so that does make some sense. The execution of the system though is appalling. Last time I looked at STRIL-90 it was much better designed.

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii missile alert
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:10 am 
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gtg947h wrote:
Micael wrote:
Oh lord, this is the warning system interface?!

Image


:facepalm:

"Real" alerts interspersed with drill alerts and test messages, in no logical order?!

Makes sense, if the system sorts the messages by date created/last edited, not name.

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii missile alert
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:46 am 
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Micael wrote:
Oh lord, this is the warning system interface?!

Image


Words fail me. At least words that can be posted....

There are so many things wrong with that!!!

Those (Hawaiian Democrats) idiots really do need a consultant visit (from a Colorado Republican)

And their “fix” of adding a “just kidding” button while leaving the rest is setting themselves up for repeat performances.

Utterly incompetent insanity!!!!

:facepalm:

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii missile alert
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:54 am 
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Hawaii Emergency Managenent - Welcome to the 1980's. Would you like to upgrade to the 2000's? (Yes/No)

I cannot describe the horror that failure of software design raises in me. A script kiddy could do better. I've seen more usable interfaces on free software apps written bu high schoolers.

But relying on the internet to work the system is not an error. That is, after all, the medium where the vast majority of users will get the alert distributed. It does no good to select a message to go out, only for it be stopped at the building perimeter because the internet is down. All that's needed is phone numbers and radio frequencies for the local media broadcasters as a backup, because most communications goes over an internet backbone anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii missile alert
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:06 pm 
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Nightwatch2 wrote:
And their “fix” of adding a “just kidding” button while leaving the rest is setting themselves up for repeat performances.

Utterly incompetent insanity!!!!

:facepalm:

Nightwatch, if you've been around the block in creating IT systems for public agencies, you understand that more often than not, the main objective of building the system is simply to spend money.

I can tell you from personal experience what kind of pushback you will get from senior management if you as an IT system developer point out that serious flaws exist in a user interface or in an approach to handling the meaning and content of data, as the user community will interpret it, and more than a few hundred dollars of time and effort is needed to fix the problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii missile alert
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:05 pm 
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Micael wrote:
Oh lord, this is the warning system interface?!

Image



Amazing. There is a bit of a silver lining with this screw up. Imagine a Real NK missile strike and they hit the "This is just a test" button. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii missile alert
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:17 pm 
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Point of order.

The screenshot shown does not activate the alert. It is just the screen to select the message. There is an additional, confirmatory step where you have to click the yes send button.

There are better interfaces, but this is primarily a problem of poor nomenclature on the messages, and an idiot who doubled down.

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii missile alert
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:37 pm 
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Johnnie Lyle wrote:
Point of order.

The screenshot shown does not activate the alert. It is just the screen to select the message. There is an additional, confirmatory step where you have to click the yes send button.

There are better interfaces, but this is primarily a problem of poor nomenclature on the messages, and an idiot who doubled down.

In other words, the human-machine combined system has serious flaws which make it almost 100% certain that a message of extreme importance to a very large number of people will be sent in error. And yet there was no one on the IT development team or in the state agency who was willing to raise this kind of obvious issue with the total system.

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii missile alert
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:26 pm 
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Scott Brim wrote:
Johnnie Lyle wrote:
Point of order.

The screenshot shown does not activate the alert. It is just the screen to select the message. There is an additional, confirmatory step where you have to click the yes send button.

There are better interfaces, but this is primarily a problem of poor nomenclature on the messages, and an idiot who doubled down.

In other words, the human-machine combined system has serious flaws which make it almost 100% certain that a message of extreme importance to a very large number of people will be sent in error. And yet there was no one on the IT development team or in the state agency who was willing to raise this kind of obvious issue with the total system.

Yeah, no. This required the person sending the message to not only pick the wrong response, but then confirm that they wanted to send the wrong message.

If it was 100% certain of error, you'd have lots more errors of this sort, since pretty much every jurisdiction in the US has a system like this, and use them on an almost daily basis for things like Amber Alerts.

The more you play with it, the more chance for error. Some of the more sophisticated systems have layers of menus and more control features, which is not necessarily a good thing. Better interfaces don't necessarily prevent user error, especially in weird situations. The harder to use, the more will go wrong or trigger a bypass. I have seen them glitch up heavily, send messages they shouldn't, send draft messages, etc.

In a time critical situation, you need as simple as possible, because you won't have the usual people, nor time for whatever body is available to work through the layers. What this reveals is the need for better training and procedures for creating and naming messages.

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii missile alert
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:27 pm 
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Johnnie Lyle wrote:
Yeah, no. This required the person sending the message to not only pick the wrong response, but then confirm that they wanted to send the wrong message.


We've trained people to click through confirmation dialogs. Even if we had not, a confirmation dialog doesn't make this UX design any less terrible.

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii missile alert
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:51 pm 
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Commandant Ours Polaire wrote:
Johnnie Lyle wrote:
Yeah, no. This required the person sending the message to not only pick the wrong response, but then confirm that they wanted to send the wrong message.


We've trained people to click through confirmation dialogs. Even if we had not, a confirmation dialog doesn't make this UX design any less terrible.

Then a comfirm check is pointless. As for the more cumbersome options proposed, most require warm bodies we will not have, or extensive training and passcodes. That costs us time.

As for not terrible, it worked. Unlike many of the more complicated notification systems, which require hours of training to get certified on, are restricted to certain personnel, and often take 30 minutes to several hours to make work. The end result is dead bodies. We have had several fires and mudslides in CA this season where you had 15 minutes to get out, and people didn't.

My experience with more complicated commo systems is that they break down in a crisis, because the people who can make it work under normal circumstancrs are MIA or busy with other tasks. I need a system I can grab a warm body, plop in front of a terminal, and have my message out now.

HI's system did that. The oops message was out w/in 2 minutes of oops. CA's better UI took ten to fifteen in our last exercise.

And yes, if I sound cranky, it's because I have been dealing with the whole notification issue for a year now, and the more sophisticated stuff creates an entirely different set of screwups, which generally make it more difficult, not easier, to get info out in a timely manner.

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii missile alert
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:17 pm 
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Question: Was the missile inbound message a recent addition or has it been there a long time? Recently, with all the talk about the NORKs and Trump, Hawaii made a big deal testing its nuclear warning sirens. I wonder if this was part of that system and maybe the whole thing was cobbled together quickly so they could "send a message" to the President. If so, I'd say it backfired on them.

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii missile alert
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:22 pm 
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What about a system that requires two people, like the two key system to launch nukes, but simpler. Any two people will do, but the chances of them both selecting the wrong message is much smaller.

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii missile alert
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:38 pm 
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edgeplay_cgo wrote:
What about a system that requires two people, like the two key system to launch nukes, but simpler. Any two people will do, but the chances of them both selecting the wrong message is much smaller.

You probably won't have a dedicated second person available, especially early in an incident. Things are so chaotic and busy, the first people through the door are usually overwhelmed just getting things up and running. A two man requirement will most likely add delays.

Emergency operations centers and staffs do not have a surplus of people. The more permissions you need and people who have to review it, the more delay in getting message out.

Especially if you already have a convoluted chain of command and who has release authority (usually 911 dispatch) vs. who has information (usually the EoC).

What we are seeing in the field is a hodgepodge of apps and systems that overlap, but with different users, maintainers and controllers. Most notification systems require users to sign up for them. They're not just a 'call everybody' feature. This is to address serious difficulties in getting access to the 'call everybody' feature (like an Amber Alert). The bells and whistles are nice when you have time, but they get in the way when time is of the essence.

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii missile alert
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:56 pm 
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As a minimum, I would expect there to be two menus to select options from. One for the real warnings, one for the drills and tests. It would also be nice if the labeling was clear, so the operator did not have to guess what "PACOM (CDW) - STATE ONLY" meant.

Preferentially, I'd have three menus, dividing the real one into a frequently used and a once in a blue moon section.

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