Monday, March 05, 2018

Blind Item #25 - Oscars - Himmmm

All during the ceremony, there were technical difficulties throughout the entire theatre.  Before the presentation of all the big award categories, for exactly 15 minutes, all cell and internet service inside the auditorium would shut off. BLIP! Just like a disconnected phone or web router at your house.  After the presentation? Service would resume.  This continued all night long, and drove many of the attendees insane.  Turns out that _____________________ did NOT want to leave anything to chance, and have a repeat of last year's screw-ups for big awards.  So he hired a very special technology company to be on hand, working in the control room with him.  They'd been there the entire week before the event, doing work as one of a trillion technical staff for video, computers, etc.  But all night long, during the ceremony, at least 15 minutes before the winners in major categories were announced, the Producer would turn to his guy in the control room, who would then signal a technician. And 'Bob's yer Uncle' – service went off. Then on.  Then off, and on.  Nobody wanted to complain to the Academy, and make it seem like they weren't paying attention to the show.  At least it worked – no award errors THIS year.

39 comments:

Boldblonde said...

This happens at big concerts as well...

CuriousTex said...

Mike De Luca?

Sal Salington said...

Yeah, this is just a tech that exists. Makes sense to have it running during the show. Not like some doctor is going to miss a call.

Guesser said...

Good idea actually. They put it on during breaks,so no problem.

LooLooEasy said...

They still screwed up the Best Pic presentation by randomly cutting them off super early. One person spoke, they had like 15 minutes to spare actually and they just awkwardly zoomed out and played them off. Still looked like absolute shit.

timebob said...

It's illegal to mess with phone service, if they use a jamming device it could impact emergency services in the area.

Ernie McCracken said...

Thomas Middleditch and Brit Lower screwing around in the control room.

Charles Fromage said...

Cell jamming is illegal, AFAIK:

https://www.fcc.gov/general/jamming-cell-phones-and-gps-equipment-against-law

Sal Salington said...

Jamming is illegal (mostly), blocking is not. There are various approaches to the problem.

Guesser said...

I think they just cut the WiFi, cell service is ify in that type of building anyway,not everyone has the same phone service.

atoukzug said...

Cell phone blocking IS jamming. And yes, in the US it is illegal.

But doing illegal things has never been a problem in Hollywood.

Brayson87 said...

Jammers, the blind says all cell and internet service. And hopefully nobody was unwise enough to use the wifi at a major event.

Gerald Pontificus said...

would take a face meltingly powerful jammer, or lots all over, to do a whole stadium....and super illegal

Cail Corishev said...

I don't get the reasoning here. How does jamming everyone's cell phone keep mistakes from happening in the awards presentations?

Sounds more like whoever paid to broadcast it didn't want to share the big moments with a bunch of amateur broadcasters using Periscope and the like.

bookjacket said...

@Cail The accountant who handed the wrong envelope to the presenters of Best Picture last year was seen playing with his phone just a moment before.

Alexandria said...

They take oscars pretty seriously lol.

Lurky McLurkster said...

GASP....HOW EVER DID THE PEOPLE SURVIVE WITHOUT INTERNET ACCESS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Do Tell said...

The stream of the ceremony last night was really glitchy towards the end. I wonder if that was coming from ABC. It was weird, earlier moments would start playing again in the middle of what was currently happening, and then cut off and return to the current happenings.

Sal Salington said...

No, cell phone blocking is not the same thing as jamming. You'll believe whatever you want, but you'll be wrong.

Bobby Digital said...

No doubt man. I wish I had a device that could turn those fucking cell phones off whenever I chose. Might have an actual conversation without looking down at that thing

Jane said...

They didn't "jam" anything. They turned of the WIFI, which they pay for and provided. Most phones would work fine in the event of an emergency, but data would be damned near impossible. Totally legal, you want to use your 4G, step outside.

atoukzug said...

Killing building WIFI is as simple as flipping a switch. Killing the Cell service and internet means killing the cell signal which is from the local cell towers. To block those signals you have to have an on site jammer. Blocking those signals IS jamming.

Turning off your own WIFI is perfectly legal. Killing phone service is not.

There is no way to "block" cell phone service without jamming the tower signals which involves a transmitter on the cell frequencies. Illegal in the US.

Don't believe me? Ask the FCC. https://transition.fcc.gov/eb/jammerenforcement/jamfaq.pdf

Sal Salington said...

Look out, we got us an RF engineer over here!

atoukzug said...

The measure of a man is not how he celebrates a victory, but how he accepts a defeat.

Phelps said...

Cell phone blocking is always illegal.

https://www.fcc.gov/general/jamming-cell-phones-and-gps-equipment-against-law

"While these devices are marketed under different names, such as signal blockers, GPS jammers, or text stoppers, they have the same purpose. We remind and warn consumers that it is a violation of federal law to use a cell jammer or similar devices that intentionally block, jam, or interfere with authorized radio communications such as cell phones, police radar, GPS, and Wi-Fi. Despite some marketers’ claims, consumers cannot legally use jammers within the United States, nor can retailers lawfully sell them."

It doesn't matter if you are jamming it or running an ISMI node to black-hole the connections, it's still illegal in the US.

beebopcowboy said...

this isnt unheard of.

its called 'jamming' - you can even buy a cell phone jammer, but a cheap, non-auditorium one lol

Kno Won Uno said...

It was probably just wifi. Did you ever try to get cell service inside a huge venue? It’s ridiculous. Blocking WiFi is common for large venues that don’t want a live event streamed from the cheap seats. It happens all the time.

Kno Won Uno said...

Cutting WiFi is not the same as jamming cell service.

Kno Won Uno said...

That’s because Enty doesn’t understand technology (obvious judging by his website) so he just makes shit up.
Cell service is notoriously patchy in big venues, and someone he knows probably thought their cell service was off when they just hadn’t noticed before because the WiFi was working.
WiFi was likely blocked to prevent live-streaming, but enty didn’t think of that, so he made it about “preventing mistakes” which only makes sense if you’re 14 or younger. 🙄

Scandi Sanskrit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scandi Sanskrit said...

I had NO idea signal jamming was illegal in the US.

In Asia where I live, I know better to just leave my mobile phone in Airplane Mode during films/at the ballet because I know my phone will just keep searching for a signal (in a clearly jammed auditorium) and run out of juice.

I don't see anything wrong as long as there's a way to transmit a distress call in case of emergencies. I think it should be illegal to prohibit people from bringing water bottles inside during performances tho. That's sort of inhuman IMO.

rosie riveter said...

Haha
Well I'm a lot older than 14 and it totally made sense until I got to the bottom of these comments here.

Jen Ty said...

Since people have no manners these days and cant put their cell phones on silent or quiet vibrate at maximum, no one is that important, I don't blame them for jamming the signals. I don't call that a technical difficulty - I call that smart move.

Count Jerkula said...

Werent there some hotels who ate decent sized fines a few yrs ago for blocking cell service to force guests to pay the wifi fee?

Itttt said...

I deal with this shit quite a bit IRL. This is most likely not the result of (illegal) jamming/blocking of carrier cellular signals, but rather of turning off of property/venue provided cellular and WiFi networks, which are provided at the sole discretion of the property/venue owner/operator.

INSIDE of buildings - particularly areas that are partially subterranean or have massive steel structures/frames and/or high efficiency glass - will block any and all exterior sourced RF signals - they are effectively massive Faraday cages that naturally block all EM radiation.

To get around this, you not only have wireless networks set up and broadcast via "radios" or "radio transmitters" WAPs (wireless access points) - hence "TEH WEEFEEZ" WiFi, but also a similar (but broadcasting at different, unique-to-carrier frequencies) cellular network headend and radio/endpoints system called a DAS (distrubuted antenna system or somesuch acronym).

DAS takes cellular carriers' signals from outside and amplifies/distributes it throughout indoor/underground spaces via a private antennae array/set of mini antennae/"radios" endpoints. It is effectively an extension of the carriers' network but can be turned off at the discretion of the landlord/operator.

The venue/property doesn't have to provide ANY of these services and does so as an amenity/convenience. I'm sure there's even a clause somewhere in the Academy invite or referenced legal contract/documents et al. governing the event to the effect of "you agree to our terms when you connect to our wireless/cellular networks/services and agree to hold us harmless for anything you do with such access to the Internet/data/bandwidth/SMS/text/cell services or if the service is terminated."

Itttt said...

Quick follow up, the Dolby theater and/or Academy probably has a welcome page when you try to connect to their WiFi networks at the event where you have to click to agree to terms of service. Doubtful that many ever scroll through and read those ToS, but it's probably an entertaining read.

As for DAS and other private/non-carrier cellular service amplification/distribution systems, the transition from official carrier broadcast antennae outside to the system inside is (usually) seamless - hence no dropped calls, interference, digitizing distortion etc.

Clark St. said...

While jamming cell signals is a federal felony, they could build a Faraday Cage into the auditorium, which will black all radio signals & that's legal.

OKC Teacher said...

I can chime in on @Itttt’s excellent technical explanation. I’ve had T-Mobile for cell service for over 15 years, the service has steadily improved in MOST areas, over the years. There are still large areas that I don’t get cell service, perhaps, it’s because the towers haven’t been built or were destroyed/damaged during tornadoes, high winds, etc & haven’t been replaced.
Schools are full of “dead zones/no service”- maybe it’s the cinder block walls, outdated wiring, etc, your guess is as good as mine. I’m sure this is the case in most concert halls, auditoriums, theatres, as well.

Movie Midget said...

Perfect explanation

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