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Cisco, IBM propose Internet-based disaster alert system

Engineers from Cisco Systems Inc. of San Jose, Calif., and IBM Corp. of Armonk, N.Y., have offered a set of basic guidelines for building an emergency alert system suited for the 21st century—one that uses the Internet. Such a system could be used to quickly alert people in the appropriate geographic area of an impending catastrophic event, such as a tsunami or a hurricane, said Fred Baker, a fellow at Cisco. Baker, along with Brian Carpenter, a senior engineer at IBM, submitted a draft of how such a system may work to the Internet Engineering Task Force on January 11. The two are now accepting feedback on refining the model. Although the idea of an Internet-based warning system has been floated for a number of years, Baker said he saw renewed interest after the December 26 tsunami ravaged southern Asia. Full Story

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