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New York tests Xbox-based Emergency Alert System

State authorities in New York, are currently testing a plan that would see the Emergency Management Office issue alerts over online gaming networks in addition to regular channels. The goal is to reach younger residents who spend more time on Xbox, PlayStation, or Wii than with television or radio. NY State Deputy CIO Rico Singleton, said the plan makes sense, “considering the amount of time our youth spend on video games.” Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo operate online networks that allow players to compete against each other over the Internet. Under the state’s plan, authorities would tap those networks to broadcast warnings about natural or man-made disasters. It’s one of many technology initiatives New York State has launched under a program called Empire 2.0. The goal is to make the state’s government more “transparent, participatory, and collaborative,” said Singleton.

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