Friday, January 30, 2009

Nortel Quits Mobile WiMax Business

Probably the last thing they wanted to do, but when you're bankrupt your bankrupt...

Decoding the Beatles Music

One very strange article....

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Disneyland Trains Run on Kitchen Grease

In case you missed it...

DTV Still On February 17th

The House voted against a four month delay yesterday, which seems to end a rather silly discussion.

DTV Myths:,2817,2339752,00.asp

Democrats Itch to Reinstate "Fairness Doctine"

Now if Air America had high ratings....

Citing Obama Opposition, McDowell Warns Against Fairness Doctrine
Reimposition Could Undermine Kids TV Regulations, Public Radio
John Eggerton -- Multichannel News, 1/28/2009 3:27:00 PM MT

FCC commissioner Robert McDowell had a message for Democrats, or anyone else contemplating trying to reimpose the fairness doctrine: The move could undermine the justification for existing localism and children's TV regulations, and could be used against public radio.

He also suggested it would not come back wearing a big sign saying, "it's me, the fairness doctrine," but would likely instead be rebranded.

Those were some of the observations McDowell provided Wednesday in a speech to The Media Institute in Washington, which is a strong opponent of the doctrine.

The fairness doctrine, which was scrapped by the FCC as unconstitutional in 1987, required broadcasters to air both sides of controversial issues.

In the speech, McDowell cited candidate Barack Obama's statement to B&C--through an aide--that he did not support the doctrine, adding that the new administration has a terrific opportunity to enunciate its strong opposition to anything resembling the fairness doctrine.

He spoke at length about the doctrine's origins and its use by both Democrats and Republicans against their opponents. He said he did not know whether recent calls for its return would bear fruit, felt it was a good time to talk to his audience--of media executives, lobbyists, journalists and others--about its creation, its historical abuses, and the legal difficulties involved with restoring it and trying to enforce it.

McDowell warned that if the doctrine were revived, it might not "wear the same label. That's just Marketing 101: if your brand is controversial, make a new brand," he told his audience.

He suggested the doctrine could be woven into the fabric of policy initiatives with names like localism, diversity or network neutrality. "According to some, the premise of any of these initiatives is similar to the philosophical underpinnings of the Doctrine: the government must keep electronic conduits of information viewpoint neutral," he said.

McDowell suggested that a stealth version of the doctrine may already be teed up at the FCC in the form of community advisory boards to help determine local programming. McDowell says he is fine with those boards if they are voluntary--some stations already seek such input. But that if they are required, as the FCC has proposed, "Would not such a policy be akin to re-imposition of the Doctrine, albeit under a different name and sales pitch?"

McDowell also said that efforts to reimpose the doctrine could stretch to cable, satellite, and even the Internet. "Certain legal commentators have suggested that a new corollary of the Doctrine should be fashioned for the Internet, on the theory that web surfers should be exposed to topics and views that they have not chosen for themselves," adding: "I am not making this up."

In a move obviously calculated to strike fear into the hearts of regulatory-minded Democrats, the same ones who have meen making noises about liking the fairness doctrine when it comes to reining in talk radio critics, McDowell had this:"Actually, in a string of media cases stretching back over more than 20 years, various judges on the D.C. Circuit - both Democratic and Republican appointees - have suggested that it is time for the Supreme Court to rethink the concept of spectrum scarcity as a justification for limiting broadcasters' First Amendment rights.

A revived Doctrine would provide a big, bright bulls-eye for those who wish to make that happen. That development would have implications far beyond the Doctrine itself. Much of our content regulation of broadcasters - including most of the FCC's existing localism rules and the regulations requiring three hours a week of children's programming - rest on the spectrum scarcity rationale. If that rationale is invalidated, serious legal challenges to all those other content rules may follow."McDowell said he was hopeful that the Obama administration understood all this. "

As I watched his inaugural address last week," he said, "I was struck by the relevance of the debate over the Doctrine to a section of his speech where he said, 'To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history ....' 'I am encouraged that President Obama can, once and for all, end the speculation of whether something akin to the Doctrine will come back to life during his term."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Best Wedding Toast Ever

Watch to the end...

Italian Job Solved!

For fans of the original Italian Job, they finally figured out how to get the gold off the bus...

New Ford Factory in Brazil

In case you wondered why production moves outside the United States...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New DMX512 Lighting Standard Released

Obsoletes 2004 standards...

Flat Panels Enter Commodity Phase

Number of vendors shrinks...

RIAA Lawsuits Winding Down Precariously

Keeping Justice Opaque: RIAA Wants Private Hearing

(Daily Online Examiner) The record industry is winding down its litigation campaign against file-sharers, but the few cases that remain could still influence online media for years to come.

In one lawsuit under way in Boston, the most heated issue this week concerns whether to allow a Webcast of the proceedings. Federal district court judge Nancy Gertner authorized the Courtroom View Network to Webcast at least a hearing scheduled for Thursday. Harvard's Berkman Center, founded by the defendant's lawyer, Charles Nesson, agreed to host the Webcast.

But the Recording Industry Association of America filed an emergency appeal, arguing that a Webcast of court proceedings could prejudice it with the public. The organization contends that users might re-edit clips of court proceedings in a way that distorts the group's positions.

Even if the group is right and someone, somewhere, re-edits the Webcast to mock the RIAA, that's not a valid reason to ban the Internet from the courtroom. If RIAA feels it's being portrayed inaccurately, the group's remedy is to address that with the truth; if the group thinks clips have been taken out of context, it can post the video in its entirety on its own Web site.

Hooray for Honeywell!

US Airways jet auxiliary power unit deploys...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Circuit City Down the Tubes?

Not yet, but I wouldn't buy a maintenance contract...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Steve Jobs Takes Medical Leave from Apple

Says he'll be back in June...

The End of Voice Only Telephone?

Nortel files for bankruptcy. How the mighty have fallen. Not too many years ago, Nortel was worth 30% of the entire Toronto stock exchange.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Study Critical of SF CCTV System

Must be the dumbest implementation of CCTV in world history- "POLICE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO MONITOR IN REAL TIME!"

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) -- San Francisco’s surveillance cameras in high-crime areas do not prevent violent crime, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California.

The long-awaited study by the UC Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society found the program is hurt by lack of training and oversight, a failure to integrate footage with other police efforts, poor quality cameras, and what may be a fundamental weakness of cameras as anti-crime devices.

Mayor Newsom began the program four years ago, but out of concern for people’s privacy, police are not allowed to monitor cameras in real time. Investigators must wait until a crime is reported before looking at footage.

Researchers reviewed only the cameras obtained by Newsom. It did not examine those used by the San Francisco Housing Authority in public housing developments. Though they did find no real effect on violent crime, researchers say they appear to have an impact on petty crime.

Property crimes were down 24 percent in areas with cameras.

Laptop Internet Access

HP's Gobi technology.... sweet! No more plug in cards.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Friday, January 9, 2009

OK, Now... Yes to Disney Shanghai Theme Park

Disney used to be really good at press conferences...

Disneyland Shanghai- Not Yet

Perhaps the worst kept business negotiation ever kept...

Panasonic to Cut TV Spending

I guess they just can compete on the flat panels anymore...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Victor Peutz 1926-2008

In belated news, Victor Peutz died on September 1st. Peutz was legendary in the audio and acoustics field for developing speech intelligibility prediction formulae. He will be missed.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Consumer Electronic Sales Down 27% this Christmas


California Wants to Control Your TV Now

With the state somewhere between $18 billion and $30 billion in the hole this year, our legislators have determined they should focus on big screen TV electrical efficiency rather than address more pressing issues. They're trying to convince us our electrical grid will implode during the SuperBowl.

No kidding... and you thought the Chicago bottled water tax was stupid.,0,2869589.story

Friday, January 2, 2009

iPhone 3G Cracked

Hmmm.... maybe the pricing plans will finally come down. 450 minutes plus data is still $70/month plus $299 for a 16G phone.