Parents sue Apple after Amber Alert "tore apart" son's eardrums

My kids tell stories of them going off while in class. 25+ phones all in the room, all at one time.

At home, the dog goes outside if it happens, since clearly the house is trying to get him. Much like the smoke alarm.


Apple is going in a different direction


I’d bet that Apple settles for a large sum then quietly rolls out a fix. Going up against a kid will be a very bad look and Apple tends to protect their image ferociously. Plus, they have more cash on hand than god.


Maybe alerts should never be at an ear splitting volume unless there is an immediate threat to the phone owner’s life, like a wildfire, explosion, or tornado. A loud but not damaging alert would work and make a whole lot more people willing to leave amber alerts on


A very easy fix for this


These days, no one really knows how ALSA works, and everyone just copies stuff from someone else’s page and fiddles with it until it kind of works.

The remaining people who do understand it have gone into hiding.


iphones and ipads do display a warning if they know that the bluetooth device that you are using are classed as headphones, or if you are using wired headphones. it can be disabled, because it can be annoying as it whines every single time you adjust the volume. (or at least it used to; that might have been a bug fix.)

Since the phones know about multiple outputs, why can’t apple (and/or android) configure it to use the on-board sppeakers like the ringtones instead of blasting out of a connected audio device?


That’s how I have Siri set up. (Maybe not the poshest British accent, but at least it’s different than the normal American one.)

Guess: these always play at max volume because they are intended to alert someone to an important event regardless of if the phone is in silent mode or volume is low. Sort of like how if you use your phone as a wake up alarm, you’d expect to hear it even if your volume is low/off. (Although the iPhone does have an option to turn off emergency alerts when in silent mode.)

The problem here is that seemingly it has no awareness that when you’re wearing headphones that maybe it shouldn’t blast the alert at max volume. (Or if you have the earpiece to your ear because you’re on a call or something.)

Like others, I have AMBER alerts turned off because they are such a nuisance. I do have public safety and emergency alerts turned on since those rarely fire. Many will also remember when Trump pushed out that vanity ”Presidential Alert” alert to everybody’s phone a few years back. This was the same system.


I guess they are a US thing. I have an iPhone (in the UK) and @agro the only two options I have are for “Extreme Alerts” and “Severe Alerts”. I have no idea what each might be but in probably 10+ years of owning an iPhone AFAIK neither has ever activated (and they seem to be turned on by default and I do not recall ever looking at those settings before).


Seriously. At least educate kids about it. I had tinnitus from going to concerts before I even knew what tinnitus was. The war on drugs made sure I learned the name of every street drug in existence in a freshman-year health class, but nothing about my own damn ears? I love live music, but how have we built up this thing where one can only safely attend while wearing earplugs?


As someone with tinnitus from too much loud music when too young (my first gig was the then proclaimed loudest band in the world and my ears rang for 2 days afterwards) I cannot fully express how much I agree with you and @PsiPhiGrrrl. I rail at young tradespeople working for me who do not wear ear defenders when operating loud machinery and I freely admit to aggressively asking them if they want to be deaf in 30 years, to make my point. Mostly, they sheepishly put the ear defenders on.


A lot of that is government mandated. In particular the volume and exact sound sample played. You might be able to play a “pre-alert” sound and get around the legal volume/sample requirements by claiming the pre-alert sound is not part of the alert and can be anything. You can do similar with some other technical requirements, for example you can’t be FIPS certified if you support DES (or 3DES) in some contexts, but you can pass the certification if you have “plaintext operations” that happen to be DES/3DES (i.e. don’t call it cryptography and you don’t get a filing grade for having it around). In general though this is more of a lawyer’s option thing than technical (i.e. what is the likelihood you will be sued, lose a suit, or be deemed non-compliant and not be allowed to sell phones until it is fixed to the governments satisfaction)


I’ve got a Raspberry Pi set up to stream my music, and trying to diagnose and fix ALSA issues is a NIGHTMARE. The forums generally aren’t much help, either.


Yes. They are an emergency system in the United States dedicated to child abductions, named after a girl killed in the 90s. I’ve turned mine off, like many, because I’d never seen a useful alert. Every one I ever received was for an abduction hundreds of miles away that was completely irrelevant to me.


Ah - the classic ‘crying wolf’ alert.

(Shakes head in disbelief.)


That happened once while I was teaching about 10 years ago. I could be wrong, but I feel like my students had their phones set to vibrate and we still had a bunch of their phones go off. (I could hear the alerts in other classrooms, too.) My high schoolers were mad at me because I turned off the alerts on my phone. (“Mrs. X! You need to be on the lookout!” “Okay, we’re in a classroom with no windows, but I’ll be sure to keep a lookout.” :grin:)


It feels very Black Mirror to me.

I don’t know whether they actually work but my first reaction was “very moral panic”


oh won’t somebody think of the children.


Yes. Excruciating. Sadly I turned it off.

I don’t remember it being mentioned in jr. high nor high school health. Our physics teacher warned us about it, but that class was an elective. FWIW.

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