Friday, February 27, 2009

National Amusement Theaters to Be Sold

Sumner wants to keep Viacom and CBS. The lender's price is offing the theaters...,0,6551417.story

Monday, February 23, 2009

Apple iPhones to Connect to Verizon?

Finally, a bit of competition on the network side of the house and a sigh of relief to our Canadian readers...

Friday, February 20, 2009

100 Year Old Light Bulb

Actually it's closer to 103 years old this year- in Livermore, California. Here's the webcam link to see the "action":

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Muzak Files for Bankruptcy

Can't make its note.... a mere $370 million in the hole.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

XM/Sirius Filing for Bankruptcy?

They just merged and now they're both going down?

A Fine Engineering Joke

An engineer dies and reports to the pearly gates. St. Peter checks his dossier and says, "Ah, you're an engineer. You are in the wrong place."

So, the engineer reports to the gates of hell and is let in. Pretty soon, the engineer gets dissatisfied with the level of comfort in hell, and starts designing and building improvements. After a while, they've got air conditioning and flush toilets and escalators, and the engineer is a pretty popular guy.

One day, God calls Satan up on the telephone and says with a sneer, "So, how's it going down there in hell?"

Satan replies, "Hey, things are going great. We've got air conditioning and flush toilets and escalators, and there's no telling what this engineer is going to come up with next."

God replies, "What? You've got an engineer? That's a mistake. He should never have gotten down there; send him up here."

Satan says, "No way." I like having an engineer on the staff, and I'm keeping him."God says, "Send him back up here or I'll sue."Satan laughs uproariously and answers, "Yeah, right.

And just where are you going to get a lawyer?"

The Woz on "Dancing with the Stars"?

Say it isn't so...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Seeing Sound as Color

About 1% of the population claim to see sounds as color- synesthesia. Interesting article.

TV's in Your Contact Lenses?

I get the technology. I kind of get the wireless receiver. What I don't get is the DRM approval from the major studios.... Can't wait for the first car crash...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Disney Being Too "Thrifty"?

Disney's quarterly results are less than stunning- the stock was down to 18 last week. Their theme park revenue has dropped, and TV ad revenue has tanked.

Something to do with milking the parks too long?

$69 per admission (10 and over) now. All they've done is revamped Small World.
Maintenance does not equal Investment.

Pioneer Exiting LCD Business?

Another one bites the dust... apparently buying from Sharp made about as much sense as buying plasmas from Panasonic.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Obama Administration Blows Digital Switchover

The logic is that some folks didn't get their converter box coupon or didn't know they'd need one. Must not have been watching Oprah over the last two years.

Ticket Master & Live Nation to Merge?

Ugh. As if concert tickets weren't priced high enough already, we're getting a monopoly.

Google's Latitude Previewed

Triangulate the location of others via their cell phone. Not iPhone compatible...;topStories

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Fry's Getting Fried

Like most of you, I could never quite figure out the weirdness trying to buy computer equipment at Fry's Electronics over the last few years. Obvious repackages, chronic shortages of advertised items, bait & switch tactics, even one case of fraudulent equipment. This article explains all...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Technicolor Selling off PRN and Grass Valley

Must need some cash...

Democrats Make a Mess of DTV Transition

Over converter box funding? They only cost $50, and Best Buy's full of them.

With DTV delay likely, some stations to switch anyway
Feb 2, 2009 8:47 AM, By Michael Grotticelli

Sen. Jay Rockefeller said delaying the DTV transition addresses the concerns of “our colleagues, public safety, broadcasters and most importantly, consumers.”

Despite a setback in the House of Representatives last week, Congress appears to be set this week to extend the DTV transition to June 12. Even so, many television stations appear to be sticking to the Feb. 17 deadline for the switch.

Republicans in the House defeated the extension bill on a special vote that required a two-thirds majority but allowed no amendments. This week, Democrats, who have a majority of the body, plan to pass the bill by a simple majority and vote down any Republican amendments.

The House Rules Committee is expected to get the new bill by Feb. 3. It could then get to the House floor by Wednesday, Feb. 4, where a simple majority will be sufficient to pass it.

President Obama has asked for the three-month delay due to problems with the government’s converter box coupon program and a general lack of DTV education funding. He reiterated his support after the House vote last week.

“We addressed the concerns of our colleagues, public safety, broadcasters and most importantly, consumers,” said Sen. Jay Rockefeller D-WV, sponsor of the Senate legislation and chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. “The House will have a second chance next week to implement this delay, I am hopeful they will pass this bill so we can send it to President Obama.”

The legislation provides time for the DTV coupon program to catch up with the number of those requesting converter boxes. It also allows first responders to begin using vacated spectrum and permits broadcasters to continue with their transition efforts, switching off analog any time they like between Feb. 17 and June 12.

Though Republicans blocked the House vote last week, they are not expected to succeed under rules where a simple majority is needed. “I guarantee you, no matter when you set the date — Feb. 17, June 12, July 4, Valentine’s Day — there are going to be some people that aren’t ready,” said Rep. Joe L. Barton, R-TX, who led the opposition. Of the 178 House Republicans, 155 voted against the delay last week. They were joined by 13 Democrats.

Though little is certain in these tentative times, it appears that the extension for the analog shutdown may create a staggered transition over the next three months. Several hard-pressed stations — mainly those looking to avoid the high electricity and other cost of operating dual transmitters — said they’ll transition on Feb 17 as planned. A station group like Sinclair Broadcast Group, for example, figures it will cost roughly $1.25 million to operate two transmitters at its multiple properties for the extra three months.

Take WTVP-TV in Peoria, IL. Chet Tomczyk, general manager of Channel 47, the area’s only public TV station, said he wants to stay with the original transition date because of the extra costs for a second transmitter. The station’s analog transmitter will save $7000 to $10,000 a month in power costs, he told the “Peoria Journal Star” newspaper. That’s the same story with many television stations across the nation.

WEEK-TV, Channel 25, and WHOI-TV, Channel 19, also of Peoria, will also shut down before June 12, their management said. “Assuming the FCC authorizes us to do so, it would be our intention to shut down our analog transmitter on Feb. 18,” said Mark DeSantis, general manager of WEEK-TV.

KDLT-TV, of Sioux Falls, SD, shut down its analog operator even earlier — after its late Sunday newscast following the Super Bowl Feb. 2. Mari Ossenfort, the station’s generation manager, said “There are many reasons why we are making the change early, the first one being a lot of stations in the United States are going to be shutting off early and so we’ve also decided to shut off early.” KELO-TV, a competitor of KDLT, said it will shutdown analog on Feb. 17.

KEEE-TV, Channel 24, and KVPT-TV, Channel 18, both of Fresno, CA, will also shut down their analog signals on Feb. 17. Executives with Fresno’s KGPE-TV, Channel 47; KMPH-TV, Channel 26; and KFRE-TV, Channel 59; said they hope to stop broadcasting analog signals on or about Feb. 17. However, KAIL-TV, Channel 53 in Fresno, said they will go along with the extension until June 12.

In Tampa, WEDU-TV, Channel 3, is considering turning off analog early. Dick Lobo, the station’s general manager, said “I’m weighing seriously stopping the analog signal on the original date, Feb. 17.” Lobo has laid off four workers at WEDU, cut the remaining staff’s pay by 5 percent, and slashed the public television station’s budget by $500,000 to meet the challenging economic times.The new transition date of June 12 has extra significance in Florida, East Coast and Gulf Coast states, according to the “St. Petersburg Times.” It’s less than two weeks after the start of the next hurricane season.