Posted on May 30, 2012
Last week a Presidential Panel urged a radical shift in spectrum management principles toward White Spaces as a means of relieving increasing traffic congestion resulting from the century-old method of exclusive frequency licenses. Inside Digital Media subscribers realize we’ve been advocating just such a change for over a year. Among the report authors for President Obama are (1) Google’s Board Chairman, Eric Schmidt (2) Microsoft’s Research & Strategy Officer, Craig Mundie, (3) Hummer Winblad Partner, Mark Gorenberg and (4) U.S. Venture Partners partner and New York Times Board Member, David E. Liddle.
Essentially the report advises the President to authorize – or even require that – those government agencies with lightly used dedicated frequency bands enable commercial users to access such channels when not in use. Future smartphones could be equipped with frequency agile transceivers capable of accessing vacant channels in authorized bands when they’re momentarily free of traffic. It’s the same principle underlying TV Band White Spaces. The entire process is transparent to the user and accomplished on-the-fly by embedded electronic intelligence cooperating between hand-held smartphones and base stations. Read more…
Posted on May 21, 2012
Although he died four years ago, author Michael Crichton brilliantly anticipated future technologies and their implications through fiction. For example, the dinosaur cloning in his 1990 novel Jurassic Park preceding the first “real world” cloning of a sheep named Dolly in 1996. Without Crichton’s speculative story-telling, the significance of Dolly’s creation probably would have been underestimated by the public. Interestingly, YouTube hosts this ten minute Crichton interview produced in 1999 in which he discusses technological changes in the 21st century.
Twelve years later he’s already “missed” on two major predictions.
First, he did not believe readers would routinely use portable electronic screens, expect for reference books such as encyclopedias and dictionaries. He reasoned that if Bill Gates was unalterably habituated to printing paper copies – as the Microsoft founder was reported to have said — then the typical reader would also be unlikely to make a paradigm shift to portable screens. Read more…
Posted on May 17, 2012
Last November we provided a seven minute video demonstrating how to easily watch any Internet video on a flat-panel TV. When I say easily, I really mean it. It annoys me when someone with specialized experience claims a new procedure for the uninitiated is “simple” when it really isn’t. So, let me clarify. For anyone who knows how to use an iPhone and a TV, the instructional video provided in the above hyperlink is truly easy to follow.
Only four items are required to get Internet video on your TV without wires: (1) a $99 AppleTV, (2) an iPhone-4s, iPad-2 or later model iPad, (3) a home Wi-Fi network, and (4) a flat panel TV capable of connecting the to the AppleTV appliance. Merely touching a single AirPlay icon and selecting the AppleTV display option enables you to “mirror” whatever is on the iPhone-4s (or applicable iPad) onto the TV screen. Read more…
Posted on May 9, 2012
Although it’s been predicted before, the stars in their courses are finally lining-up against the studios.
First, most Hollywood motion pictures aren’t very good. As moviegoers we generally only learn about the good and successful ones. But the catalogues licensed to Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and other websites reveal just how big the inventory of bad films really is. It’s the principal reason Netflix subscriber growth is weakening a second time.
Second, Hollywood films cost way too much. There’s a century of legacy expenses within the industry, ranging from unions to opulent lifestyles. Consider the venerable hit Forrest Gump based on a novel by Winston Groom. The author agreed to take a share of net profits as compensation. Despite box office receipts of almost $700 million, Groom was told the film failed to earn a profit. Read more…
Posted on May 1, 2012
Since IP telephony is merely one of many applications available on Internet networks, it’s increasingly evident that broadband Internet access shall become more important to rural residents than traditional telephone service. While the FCC is recommending subsidy changes, the situation warrants a more radical course of action. There’s a lot of money at stake and those with the inside track don’t seem to merit the rewards.
First, some background.