Showing posts from February, 2009

Feinstein Wants To Burden ISPs With DRM

The esteemed Senator Feinstein of California has been hornswoggled into cramming an incredible burden to ISPs into the latest economic recovery package. Click on the link to read about this incredible waste of resources, and for a connection to call key senators to tell them, No Way.

Is Sustainable Power Unsustainable?

Looks like the high-efficiency solar cells which forecasters have planned on require rare metals we'll run out of in about ten years. And, the best substitute expected, carbon nanofiber, is shown by two independent studies to pose a health risk similar to asbestos, as per a linked Seattle P-I story. Eek.

This only emphasizes the need for more basic research, not less, in energy generation of all kinds, such as these nuke-sized solar power fields (Link 1, Link2) which California's PG&E is studying. These sunpower fields use an array of tracking solar dishes powering Stirling engines which work with any concentrated heat source.

Gee, doesn't Oregon get a lot of constant sunshine east of the Cascades? Hmm... the 'golden triangle' of lower Malheur and Harney counties (see map, above, with marker at Baker City), including the hamlet of Fields, with its apex near Alvold Lake, gets at least 4.5 kilowatt-hours per square meter per hour, even in January, which is the &#…

DTV: Do You Want the Good News First?

The local rep for the LCCR for DTV issues passed on the news today that all Portland stations are postponing their transition from full-power analog to full-power digital until June. That's the good news, sort of, and is a full one-eighty-degree reversal from last week's news, confirming what an O-blogger said earlier today.

Less good news? Well,
This will cost some TV stations more, for those TV stations who leased a temporary DTV transmitter, as they have to lease the temporary gear longer. TV stations are already hurtin' because advertising's down; this will hurt more.
All stations will be paying more for power in the four months until the delayed cutover date, as DTV is more power-efficient. The companies who bought rights to the spectrum which cutover would release will probably demand a rebate from the feds, and the feds will probably give it to them; Their new services, which would deliver more digital services to sell, won't be generating revenue while Portlan…

Giant Blackberry Carved From Ice

Comment number two is worth a chuckle. Enjoy.

Must... Buy...

the Star Trek Communicator VOIP/Skype handset.

Directions of TV Stations from where you are

TVFool.Com provides you with a way to aim your UHF antenna, an estimate of how much antenna you probably will need to get good reception (see this example) based on your address and height, and how many stations you will be able to receive with that new antenna with DTV.

News you can use, right?

DTV Springs Ahead, Congressional Delay or No

There will be no ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, or PBS transmitted in analog signal in Portland/Vancouver, as of noon on Tuesday, 17 February. None.

The Washington Post reports the Congress is still divided on postponing television's conversion to digital; but that is not important to Portlanders, for all major network stations are going ahead with the digital conversion in 15 days. 

All those stations already have digital transmitters up on the air. See these earlier blog posts for the frequencies: List of old vs. new Portland area channels and flowchart showing what to do. Q&A on DTV conversion. How to tell if your TV set is digital-ready.

A TV station engineer and volunteer radio operator (the two often go side by side) in Eugene has written this technical discourse of why a better antenna's needed. Our gracious thanks to Carl Sundberg of KMTR who has allowed the reuse of his wisdom and experience to provide a learned expla…

Comcast Strengthens Lock-In: Free WiFi for Commuters

Comcast is ever-vigilant in its search for ways to ensure, once you sign up, you never leave... this 'Hotel California' strategy now gives free WiFi for rail commuters in the NY/NJ/CT area, where a two-hour commute is not unheard-of. 
Every dot on the map at left shows their coverage. They start at stations, and then expand along that route.