Mobile phone, http://www.flickr.com/photos/epsos/3842690051/
Guess what? It turns it you can get text alerts from the city of Oakland.
This is pretty convenient if you want to monitor the situation in town around the Mehserle verdict. Only, it's a little unclear exactly how to get them, so here's a guide, based on what the city is sending out, but with a few tweaks.
1. Go to the city home page at http://www2.oaklandnet.com/.
2. Sign up for email alerts at the bottom left column of the page. You have to sign up for email alerts first, or you don't get text.
3. Sign up for the wireless alerts.
If you're a new subscriber to the city's email messages, when you put an email address in the text box and press "Sign Up" you'll be given the opportunity to define a "Secondary E-mail Address."
To receive wireless alerts on your phone, enter you 10-digit wireless phone number and then select your carrier from the pull-down menu. (They convert that into the corresponding email address for your mobile phone. For example, if you're an AT&T customer, it will be converted to "email@example.com" or if you're a Verizon customer to "firstname.lastname@example.org".)
4. Select what you want to get via alert - click choices off on a screen that lists six categories of messages and 24 different types of messages. Some have a wireless icon next to them, which means that wireless alerts are available.
Check the ones you want, like Office of Emergency Services.
5. Check your phone to make sure it works - a confirmation message will be sent to your phone immediately.