Archive | December, 2002

Why the FCC Might Ignore Public Comments

The Smoking Gun filed a FOIA request for all the public comments made to the agency over the airing of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on CBS this fall. Predictably, the majority of the comments were negative and many were part of coordinated campaigns run by such outfits as the American Family Association. But, there were positive comments, too, which also happen to be funnier. So TSG decided to < a href="http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/vscbs1.html">post an equal number from both categories. …

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Geek Gear Tidbits

p>Although it has absolutely nothing to do with X-Mas, a load of electronics has arrived at work in the last few weeks, with some interesting items in the mix. I have no inclination to do a full review of anyting, but would like to record some impressions. Here’s the first shot:

JVC DV/VHS Combi-VCR (SR-VS30V) — this just arrived today and will be installed in a multimedia classroom so that students and instructors can view VHS tapes or DV tapes that were just shot on a video projector. At $1100 this is not a cheap piece of equipment, but it is cheaper than almost any other DV VCR out there, made all the better by the addition of a S-VHS deck. …

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Hacker Gets Back On Air

After blowing $16000 on legal fees, the famed (and once jailed) hacker Kevin Mitnick had his ham radio license restored by the FCC, though he’s still barred from using the Internet until later in 2003. His license was revoked due to the so-called “character clause” in telecomm law that basically says licensees should be of “good character.” Apparently the FCC thought his computer crime conviction made him unfit to be an amateur radio operator. ….

Similarly, last year former Tampa, FL radio pirate Doug Brewer lost his amateur radio license after being busted for operating a broadcast station without a license.

Apparently the FCC’s character standards only apply to individual licensees and typically not big media conglomerates (which, not coincidentally, typically have much greater legal defense resources than most individuals). …

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Unauthorized Biography of the Baby Bells

The New Networks Institute is giving away PDFs of a book that “the Bells Don’t Want You to Read.” At first blush it looks interesting and may open some eyes about how our telecomm infrastructure is actually operated (and not operated in our best interest). As far as I can tell the NNI is essentially one guy, the author of the book, and so giving the book away like this will probably gain it a much bigger audience than it had otherwise as a $49.95 retail item published by this small institute.

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Talkin’ ‘Bout Consolidation

This was the weekend for media ownership and consolidation talk for me on the radio. Last Friday’s edition of the mediageek radio show featured a discussion with Ivy Glennon on the topic of media ownership and community media. Ivy is an associate professor of communicaitons at the University of Illinois and a member of WEFT’s […]

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