Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Friday, October 21, 2005

  Digital To Analog TV subsidy - Please Stand By, I'm experiencing Temporary Reception Difficulties

Attention Consumer,

Congress is planning 3 billion dollar subsidy of digital converter boxes for analog TV sets, so that YOU, yes YOU, (well, some of you) can get your TV reconnected to digital broadcast at a substantial discount!!!

(also, by the way, we're pushing back the expiration date for analog TV by 3 years)

When I heard this story, this went through my head:

If I got one of these converter thingies, was I also required to plug it in and turn it on? Couldn't I just get a coupon for something else, instead? I need a new toaster.

I can think of a lot better uses for 40 bucks a taxpayer... like pay for some better hurricane prediction software, and maybe a couple more high-resolution weather satellites.

And, what could 3 billion do for American broadband... which has slipped to less than 14th among the developed nations?

3 Billion... So that 70 million of the perceived population can tune in. Sure. Like all of them want to tune in. Maybe some would just like a nicer fishing hole, a couple music lessons, or a local library? Maybe most?

Jeeze, what could 3 billion do to distribute 100 dollar laptops? Thats... 30 million... 100 dollar... laptops. With a mesh network that size the last mile... and the coffeeshop mile... and the park in the middle of nowhere mile... all come free.

Ah... the tax and spend Republican senate was as usual, spending money it didn't have, on a subsidy for a dying industry, for a president that doesn't know what a veto is.

I miss the days when all we cared about was who was blowing who in the big house.

I wondered if these well meaning misguided senators counted me among the 70 million that would miss broadcast tv if it went dark in 2006. As if I'd care about missing 3 simultaneous 1024x768 episodes of COPS, or reruns of Survivor in surround sound.

I thought:

Let broadcast TV die. LET IT DIE.

Cast that spectrum out into the commons, let it lie fallow.


OK, OK, sell some, but unlicense the rest.

Wouldn't it be great if we just could obsolete analog television? Let it go the way of vinyl, the horse and buggy, and hydrogen filled blimps?
 
Thursday, October 20, 2005

  The number of the Beast

And it be: Splogs!

See Doc's IT garage for six hundred and sixty six details....
 
Wednesday, October 19, 2005

  Another day, another conference

Somehow I got an invite to the ThinkTomorrow~Today: ThinkEquity Partners VC conference today.

I knew I was in trouble when my conference badge didn't come with a rope to hang around my neck, but rather a clip to attach to my suit.

I'm the only guy here with a T-shirt on. (It's my neon yellow X-prize "Crew" T-shirt) I also have the cheapest laptop. Also, probably the only laptop running 64 bit Linux, capable of podcasting and recording the whole event, but what the hey.

There's more than two women here, unlike Astricon, where there was just Allison (the voice of asterisk) and one slightly bewildered Polycom rep.

The topics are things like "Where did the $ go? The rapidly shifting Ad dollar" - and speakers are from places like AOL, yahoo, reactrix, ingenio, etc.

I came originally because I wanted to get in a good golf game, but it looks like I'll be spending half the time working on a code drop.

The first sentence out of the speaker's mouth: "The consumer now has control". The phraseology went downhill from there, but it all added up to a dispiriting kettle of fish for all the VCs there to swallow.

Oh... this is going to be goooooood. I just hope they don't throw me out of here for making too many divots.
 
David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


Resume,Songs,
My new blog, NeX-6, My facebook page
Orgs I like
The EFF - keeping free speech in the world
Musical stuff I like
Jeff, Rick, Ardour, Jack
Prior Rants - Wireless and Wifi in 2015 - not what I dreamed of Saving wifi! Fixing Bufferbloat! Fighting the vend... Virgin Media - Fixing the epidemic of bufferbloat ... 49... and trying to find my navel Wheels down on mars! Tracking the landing of Curiosity, from Seattle spotting NEOs from around venus's orbit Asteroids as lunar orbit resources SOPA is bad news Departing France for England, then 'home'.
Best of the blog:
Uncle Bill's Helicopter - A speech I gave to ITT Tech - Chicken soup for engineers
Beating the Brand - A pathological exploration of how branding makes it hard to think straight
Inside the Internet Mind - trying to map the weather within the global supercomputer that consists of humans and google
Sex In Politics - If politicians spent more time pounding the flesh rather than pressing it, it would be a better world
Getting resources from space - An alternative to blowing money on mars using NEAs.
On the Columbia - Why I care about space
Authors I like:
Doc Searls
Where's Cherie?
UrbanAgora
Jerry Pournelle
The Cubic Dog
Evan Hunt
The Bay Area is talking
Brizzled
Zimnoiac Emanations
Eric Raymond
Unlocking The Air
Bob Mage
BroadBand & Me
SpaceCraft
Selenian Boondocks
My Pencil
Transterrestial Musings
Bear Waller Hollar
Callahans
Pajamas Media BlogRoll Member

If you really want to, you can poke through the below links as well.

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