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newbie2
September 7th, 2005, 02:42 PM
"[Gary Mullins] My 90-year old mother sat out Katrina in her brother's home next door in Diamondhead, MS, about eight miles from the Mississippi coast where the hurricane's eye hit. They survived without injury but with massive destruction to their homes, and my mother has lost most of her possesions. I brought her to my home in California yesterday and this morning went to the FEMA website to register to start the assistance process. To my dismay, our Federal emergency agency requires Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, and only IE 6, to use the website for disaster assistance. I don't want to be political about this, but this smacks of a serious leadership failure that the use of the Internet is reserved for only the Windows community."
http://blogs.zdnet.com/Murphy/index.php?p=414
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/09/07/fema_web_pc_only/

WirelessMike
September 7th, 2005, 03:08 PM
It's true. I've seen this, myself.

HOWEVER--

There is also an option to register by phone and it is on the registration site right next to the link to register online. Anyone truly needing assistance isn't going to be concerned, I think, in whether they had to call to register or could do it online.

http://www.fema.gov/about/process/
http://www.fema.gov/register.shtm
https://disasteraid.fema.gov/IAC/displayPage.do?forward=home&

The author has a point, but making an issue of it at this time only distracts from the real issue of assistance availability. If the author could get online to register, he should easily be able to do it by phone, too.

macgyver2
September 7th, 2005, 03:14 PM
That's just ridiculous...and not even necessary. I just checked if I can get to the application in Firefox. Sure enough, I clicked on the link and it just kept reloading the same page. However, I used this extension (http://chrispederick.com/work/firefox/useragentswitcher/) to make it look like I was using IE6...it took me right to the starting page of the assistance application. I didn't go any further...wanted to minimize my time on the site so the people who really need it can use it (I wouldn't be surprised if their servers can only handle two connections at a time)...but it looks possible (like many sites that "require" IE6) it'll work with any browser but the site just stops you based on what your browser is reporting...

Lord Illidan
September 7th, 2005, 03:24 PM
Yeah, I am sure that with all the disaster and tragedy they are going to listen to someone moaning about the site not viewable in firefox...

Brunellus
September 7th, 2005, 04:04 PM
Yeah, I am sure that with all the disaster and tragedy they are going to listen to someone moaning about the site not viewable in firefox...
it's worth raising the point with the relevant people. you don't get open standards by lettting this sort of thing go by unremarked.

In the words of Speech from Arrested Development, "Passiveness causes others to pass us by"

macgyver2
September 7th, 2005, 04:04 PM
Yeah, I am sure that with all the disaster and tragedy they are going to listen to someone moaning about the site not viewable in firefox...
Interesting choice of words there..."moaning"...why shouldn't people who see this as not-good say something? I feel this is the computer equivalent of saying they'll only take phone calls from Cingular Wireless subscribers. It's not right.

Artificial Intelligence
September 7th, 2005, 04:07 PM
Yeah, I am sure that with all the disaster and tragedy they are going to listen to someone moaning about the site not viewable in firefox...

That's not the point. A goverment shall take everything in consideration when making an online emergency page. The goverment are there for the people (or it should in a democracy), not being a brick in a monopoly game.


.:=The AI Dude=:.

Steve1961
September 7th, 2005, 06:57 PM
Sorry to hear about this. If you need a very quick fix you could try downloading a demo version of crossover office and install ie6. Not something I feel comfortable suggesting, but if needs must and there's no other way of accessing the site.

jdong
September 7th, 2005, 09:35 PM
Sorry to hear about this. If you need a very quick fix you could try downloading a demo version of crossover office and install ie6. Not something I feel comfortable suggesting, but if needs must and there's no other way of accessing the site.

I'm pretty upset to hear this, too. As others mentioned, it isn't that the site only works with IE6 -- it's just that the website refuses to allow people with other browsers through! In fact, the website works fine with Firefox identifies itself as IE6.

The government should know better than that. Having experience with General Dynamics, embedded Linux dominates military equipment/vehicles... Thanks a lot in return.

WirelessMike
September 7th, 2005, 10:47 PM
These are excellent points. My point is that there is an alternative, and if you have an internet connection, it shouldn't be much trouble to pick up the phone and use it (especially if you really need help). The phone doesn't rely on Microsoft to work.

By the way-- Off-topic, but a friend sent me this link to an excellent photo journal of New Orleans, before and after. Check it out if you get a chance:
http://www.kodakgallery.com/Slideshow.jsp?mode=fromshare&Uc=14ewb3ap.b147fdut&Uy=nyvoby&Ux=1

BWF89
September 7th, 2005, 10:50 PM
I went to Fema.gov useing Windows XP & Firefox 1.06 and it came up just fine for me.

WirelessMike
September 7th, 2005, 10:52 PM
I went to Fema.gov useing Windows XP & Firefox 1.06 and it came up just fine for me.
It won't stop you until you try to register from here:
https://disasteraid.fema.gov/IAC/displayPage.do?forward=home&

BWF89
September 7th, 2005, 10:56 PM
It won't stop you until you try to register from here:
https://disasteraid.fema.gov/IAC/displayPage.do?forward=home&
Oh ok.

macgyver2
September 8th, 2005, 12:12 AM
By the way-- Off-topic, but a friend sent me this link to an excellent photo journal of New Orleans, before and after. Check it out if you get a chance:
http://www.kodakgallery.com/Slideshow.jsp?mode=fromshare&Uc=14ewb3ap.b147fdut&Uy=nyvoby&Ux=1
Thanks for posting that link. That photographer did a fantastic job.

BWF89
September 9th, 2005, 04:12 AM
The story made the front page of Wikinews:
http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/US_FEMA_aid_site_only_supports_Windows_with_Intern et_Explorer

TrailerTrash
September 9th, 2005, 04:32 AM
Thats a bummer! [-X