Thursday, November 29, 2012

Should the method of delivery of radio (Internet or cable) affect musicians' royalties?


There is a proposal, supported by Pandora Internet Radio (link), that would set up a uniform royalty structure for radio services on the Internet, cable, and satellite.  The Washington Post story Nov. 26 by Hayley Tsukayama “Music royalties fight continues” is here.  
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Opponents say that the measure would reduce royalties for many musicians whose music is broadcast by services like Sirius XM for cars (which I have on my Ford Focus). 

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Private school in Vermont has to deal with the coming of broadband, undermining student discipline


Vivian Yee has an article about a private school and retreat in eastern Vermont, “The Mountain School”, where students are encouraged to do without modern communications, and where the lack of much broadband service (without a lot of “sharing” and good luck) makes that goal realistic.

Plans to bring fiber-optic cable and cellphone service to the town (Vershire, VT) could change all that. 
But right now, students have to make calls on pay phones and with phone cards.  Ten years ago, I can remember being approached about phone-card distributorships, and even then I thought that the idea sounded silly.

The story in the New York Times, p. A12, Nov. 8, is here

Wikipedia attribution link for Mt. Katahdin “Knife Edge” in Maine (two states over, but very remote),   My only visit to Baxter State Park (and a hike up to the lake) occurred in 1975.  

Monday, November 05, 2012

Post-Sandy: Weak cable signals at night


A couple more little oddities with my own wireless service post-storm have cropped up.

My Comcast XFinity, the past two evenings, has started pixillating and garbling (like a stutterer), especially on hi-def channels.  Half the recording of the “Seal Team 6” got garbled. 

There is a link on this problem here

Maybe when the temperature goes down a splitter somewhere contracts and the signal strength weakens.  If it continues, I’ll call Comcast.  The problem clears completely during the day time. 

If other XFINITY customers in the northern VA (Arlington) area have had this problem since Sandy visited us, please send me a comment.

I did not lose cable or Internet during the storm at all. Count my blessings?  Must maximum wind gusts of 60 mph and heavy rain could have damaged some splitters or concentrators on the lines in the neighborhood, in such a way that the problem only shows when the lines are not warmed by ambient sunlight.  

Here’s another oddity:  I’ve never used the voice recorder on my smart phone (a Motorola Droid with Verizon), but today I was sending a text, and I muttered a profanity to myself, and the profanity showed up in the message, just before I sent it to confirm a dental appointment.  I didn’t even know the phone can do this.  It’s pretty dangerous. 

Update: Nov. 7

The Comcast Tech adjusted the "TDU" and rebalanced the amplifier on a pole down the street, for winter temperatures.   This has not been necessary in previous years.  The amp had been repaired after the summer derecho. 

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Why has my Verizon Droid phone stayed in 3G?


Since Sandy grazed the DC area, I’ve noticed that my Verizon Motorla Droid stays in 3G mode, even though everything seems to work.  If I turn off the sound in a theater, it seems as though I have to turn it back on twice.

Others seem to be having the same problem if they had a Verizon smart phone.

I do find that if I go to airplane mode and then back to normal use, the 4G comes back on.  I don’t know if it will stay on.

Here’s a thread on the problem on Verzion’s website, link

Oh, yes, I see other people's iPhones in discos.  They make great videos and look like miniature iPads.