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Subject: PubSub to publish Earthquake/Tsunami data via Real-time, custom XML feeds (Please review)

You are invited to preview a new beta service for disseminating earthquake
reports (not warnings or alerts) to the public. Assuming no significant
issues are raised during the next few days, early next week we will be
announcing to users of PubSub.com that they will be able to subscribe (based
on region, magnitude, etc.) to real-time delivery of XML earthquake event
reports as issued by the USGS and other services. 

This is a free, no-charge service and we do not anticipate charging for this
service in the future. Delivery mechanisms to be supported will include:
"telnet feeds" (i.e. direct TCP/IP socket connections), RSS/Atom files,
REST, SOAP, and the JEP-0060 PubSub protocol over the Jabber/XMPP instant
messaging protocol. We may consider email delivery in the future if there is
demand for it but probably will not offer this mechanism initially.

We've been working with the USGS folk who operate QDDS/QDM as well as the
USGS Earthquake information websites to source the data we're publishing.
Unfortunately the XML format we're using is home-grown. We can't seem to
locate any widely accepted standards for XML encoding of earthquake data.
(Please let me know if you are aware of such standards.) If a standard
emerges, we'll convert to it.

To access our testing feeds, you have three options: 

1. (Easy but not real-time) Use your Web browser or news aggregator to
access an RSS/Atom feed that contains the last 32 earthquake reports that
were published. The feed can be accessed at:
(Note: This feed is not real-time. It is updated only every 15 minutes.)

2. (More technical but real-time) Use telnet to connect to
sandbox.pubsub.com on port 1226. No login or authentication is required.
What you'll see is a real-time stream of XML that is written to as reports
are received and processed. Note: There is currently no "heartbeat" at
present -- but will be soon... Thus, if you haven't seen any data in 30
minutes or so, it is recommended that you restart the connection. 
The following "telnet" command, issued at a command prompt, should get you
access to the feed:
$ telnet sandbox.pubsub.com 1226

3. (Easiest) Wait until next week when we release the end-user subscription
and custom feed generation interfaces etc... But, please give our stuff a
review in the meantime if you know much about this domain.

Please note that "Delete" messages are frequently published over these
feeds. This is because we're distributing raw, often unreviewed, data in
real-time. Often, upon review, it is discovered that reports where
erroneously issued or should be replaced by reports from more authoritative
sources. Also, please note that most reports will have at least one instance
of an "AddOn" element. The most common AddOn will be a link to the USGS
webpage that provides additional information on the reported event. Other
AddOns will include links to Waveform data, related tsunami warnings, etc.
Finally, we may from time to time publish information concerning this test
service on our blog at http://sandbox.pubsub.com/ .

The data we're publishing should not be considered "alerts", "warnings" or
anything other than simple statements that the reports were generated by one
or more of our sources. Also, no systems on which lives, property or welfare
rely should rely on these feeds without explicit approval from us and prior
arrangement. Prior to taking any action in response to receiving a report
from us, users should confirm the data from authoritative sources. The
consumers of this data should be those who have an academic, professional or
hobbyist interest in seismic or tsunami information and wish to be able to
receive non-authoritative real-time feeds of such data in XML. It may also
be useful to those who are testing or developing concepts or prototypes (not
production systems) related to alerting.

Your comments and suggestions on how we can improve this non-alerting
reporting service would be greatly appreciated. As mentioned above, we are
particularly interested in hearing of any existing, proposed, or in
development efforts to create standards for the distribution of
non-alert-oriented seismic and tsunami related information. We would also be
interested in any ideas on how we could make this data and our service more
useful to the alerting and emergency management community.

	bob wyman
	CTO, PubSub Concepts, Inc.

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