The feds are handing out $40 coupons for digital tuner boxes that will allow viewing of digital TV transmissions on analog analog TV receivers. January 01, 2008 is the first day to apply and there is a limit on how many coupons will be offered. As most of us already know, analog channels will do dark in ’09. Even if you are planning to retire you analog TV, the boxes are useful for getting digital content into your DVR, DVD recorder and more.
Starting January 1, 2008, all U.S. households will be eligible to request up to two coupons, worth $40 each, to be used toward the purchase of up to two, digital-to-analog converter boxes. For more details on the federal regulations, including the budget information, please the DTV Converter Box Coupon Program Rules.
For a quick overview, see the Associated Press (AP) video about the digital TV converter boxes with Technical Writer Peter Svensson at AP Online Video Network www.ap.org/ovn/) (from the NTIA)
We here at ThirdPipe has been pontificating about the new ‘ThirdPipe’ that will replace the old services we all were born into. We have looked at the technologies, politics and peripheral support systems. We will continue to do so. But we are not alone in that view. Doc Searls in his latest Linux Journal posting –
The Net may have an end-to-end architecture (back in ’03 David Weinberger and I called it a World of Ends), but the realities of provisioning and latency cause “difficulties” of the sort Steve Chen hinted about. If you work or live in places where you get upwards of 20Mb/sec of upload and/or download speeds (as I do), you can see the picture when you run speed tests at distances upward of a couple hundred miles from your location. tend to go down. There are exceptions, but on the whole bit transport is faster locally than over long distances.
This, of course, is why Akamai is in business too. They provide servers, services and various kinds of localized optimizations. The result, Akamai brags, “has transformed the chaos of the Internet into a predictable, scalable, and secure platform for business and entertainment”.
See the hole in that claim? It’s you. The individual. The guy or gal or small business or school or church with a basic Internet connection — and a growing sum of “content” that’s all yours, waiting for the Net to come through with its original promise of pure connected utility.
Getting that last mile to a broadband level [10mbps or better] to a significant portion of the population is a critical factor in reaching the true post industrial society that futurists discuss. Mr. Searles also has this observation –
…Though the biggest player at the back end these days is Amazon, with Amazon Web Services (AWS), which recently added DevPay and SimpleDB to EC2, S3 and the rest of the company’s growing portfolio of back-end services. Let’s run just those four down.
* DevPay is “a simple-to-use billing and account management service that makes it very easy for developers to get paid for applications they build on Amazon Web Services”
* SimpleDB runs structured queries on simple data in real time.
* EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) runs resizable compute capacity
* S3 (Simple Storage Service) provides cheap and easy storage of any size
What you’re seeing here, at least partially (and ever more completely), is the new phone company business being re-invented from the back end forward. What makes AWS a phone company business is DevPay. Billing. Phone companies are basically billing engines. The difference is that phone companies have long been in the business of billing in monopoly conditions, often for scarcities that are essentially artificial. That is, created for the simple need to have something to bill.
Amazon by providing cloud service and a portal from the virtual economy to the physical economy may stand as one of the three legs of the new information economy. The other two being Google and the Duopoly carriers. Over time anyone running a online business will most likely being dealing with all three entities.
Our goal is to keep you posted on these changes as they occur.
Doc Searles article.
We have covered this before, but it bears repeating. The RIAA believes that you can’t copy the song off the CD to your PC. This on its face turns the US Copyright law on its head. Copyright has traditionally been, you the consumer having purchased the right to use of a instance of a work, you need not be concerned about the form of the ‘container’ that houses the instance. Regardless –
Now, in an unusual case in which an Arizona recipient of an RIAA letter has fought back in court rather than write a check to avoid hefty legal fees, the industry is taking its argument against music sharing one step further: In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.
The industry’s lawyer in the case, Ira Schwartz, argues in a brief filed earlier this month that the MP3 files Howell made on his computer from legally bought CDs are “unauthorized copies” of copyrighted recordings.
Which to some lawyers seems strange –
“I couldn’t believe it when I read that,” says Ray Beckerman, a New York lawyer who represents six clients who have been sued by the RIAA. “The basic principle in the law is that you have to distribute actual physical copies to be guilty of violating copyright. But recently, the industry has been going around saying that even a personal copy on your computer is a violation.”
Eventually a case will be driven all the way to 1st District court for resolution. RIAA’s argument is that the container of the data is as important as the data contained within. The problem for RIAA is that the genie is already out of the bottle and no cork will stopper it.
Mark Andrejevic is the author of a book called iSpy. No its not a review of the old TV series but the matters of digital capture of your personal habits. The matters he touches on will be of considerable importance to the wireless ThirdPipe world we will live in, in the not too distance future.
And we haven’t even mentioned RFID as another tool to be used to track us…;l