The transition of this site to some sort of content management system is long overdue. There’s too much stuff here now to keep good track of it manually.
I’ve settled on WordPress, given its ease of use and flexibility, and after the learned advice of technically-inclined friends. However, before beginning the actual site migration, it behooves me to cement the design of the new site first.
To tell the truth, I like the simplicity of the current design, though I have plans for the sidebar. What I’d like to do is modify a WordPress theme to mimic what you see now as closely as possible. However, my semi-random hacking at stylesheets and other theme components leads to broken sh*t. Anybody out there with design skillz who can help?
This month U.S. Digital Television filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. USDTV used digital television spectrum to broadcast a dozen encrypted basic cable channels at a price designed to undercut basic cable package rates. Subscribers used a set-top box descrambler to watch.
The company got some startup funds from Fox and the Hearst-Argyle station chain, but it wasn’t enough to grow the business to anywhere near a sustainable subscriber base. So after a run in just four cities, reaching an average of about 4,000 subscribers per city, USDTV is looking for an angel, or at eventual liquidation. Continue reading “Cable-via-DTV Company Goes Bankrupt”
The Federal Communications Commission held its monthly meeting (RealVideo required) last week. It was comprised of year-in-review summaries from the agency’s bureaus. This included a presentation (PDF / PowerPoint) from Enforcement Bureau Chief Kris Monteith. Continue reading “FCC's Top Cop Summarizes 2005”
Somehow, somewhere I stumbled across the image at right which, if you click it, takes you to more detailed version. If that one’s not big enough, try this one.
The map is the stellar work of Hamcall.net, which boasts the largest and best-kept database of amateur radio operators by callsign available online (and would never condone unlicensed operation, of course).
The next step of coolness would be animating this map over time. I wonder if they have similar maps of previous years.
While updating the Schnazz last I stumbled across an interesting arm of Salem Communications Corporation, America’s largest religious broadcast conglomerate (humble, tolerant, and generous). Salem Radio Labs, the company’s in-house radio software development arm, walks the talk. It’s built solutions for automation, live-assist, audio archiving and call screening from scratch, all under the open-source GNU General Public License.
Says the Labs FAQ, “we’re broadcasters, not a software company, and we believe that the fastest, most efficient way to produce quality software tools for broadcasting is by means of the Open Source development model.” The programs are optimized for the SuSE Linux distribution but other flavors are available.
Free Radio Berkeley’s 75-watt transmitter arrived safe and sound. It’s been re-tuned to 88.7 FM and is presently putting out about 80-90 watts. A shed’s been cleared out to serve as a full-time studio space; a military surplus mast has been procured and assembled; and a new antenna sits on top of it. Soon the station will be webcasting as well. The vibe is increasingly active as more and more people return to the city: there is much to do and many stories to tell.
There are approximately four workable microradio frequencies in the New Orleans metropolitan area, three short-term and one (arguably) longer-term: Continue reading “Algiers Microradio Gets Upgrade”
It’s been about nine months since this site moved to a properly-beefy server. One of the advantages of the move was regaining access to site stats. Having a somewhat consistent record to work with now, there’s interesting info to share.
At present DIYmedia serves up an average of ~80,000 pages per month to more than 20,000 unique users. Hit-wise, on a monthly basis, the number’s well over 300,000. This works out to nearly 700 visitors a day (on zero publicity). Continue reading “Stat-Parsing”
A morning raid brings a gaggle of Feds to Free Radio San Diego, who busted in the doors to take the most choice bits of the station away, including transmitter and antenna. Epithets were hurled and pictures taken by onlookers as agents dismantled stuff. A bounty is out for one of the FCC’s swanky cop-like polo shirts. The raid comes more than a month after the station got a standard-issue 10-day warning notice posted on its door – the third warning over nearly three years of operation.
Nobody was in the studio at the time, and FRSD’s warrant mentions no people, which means the FCC is still trying to figure out who’s behind the action. DJ Spike, in an interview on RadioActive San Diego, notes the station has a strong security culture, which is really helping set the wheels in motion for its return. Continue reading “Free Radio San Diego Raided, Won't Stay Down For Long”
Strong Bad does the radio dial.
“College radio can pretty much be summed up in five words: Dead air, um, dead air.” Not always true, but enough to bust a gut.
Colorado: Denver Free Radio was busted this morning after a scant three days on the air. That’s a pretty quick turnaround for the FCC, although it certainly helps that there’s a field office right in town so they didn’t have to go very far to pay the station a visit.
The agents reportedly arrived in “a green SUV with a big white dome on it” and observers also noticed other trucks in the area bristling with antennas; it’s not clear whether this was legitimate backup or local broadcast engineers/amateur radio ops out for a joyride.
Apparently Denver Free Radio operates on a model similar to Boulder Free Radio (KBFR) in that it is “locationally-flexible” – this means there’s a decent chance of the station making a return. The FCC folks did ask those hosting DFR’s gear to willingly give it up; that request was (fortunately) denied. As a result FCC agents have reportedly staked out the transmitter location, ostensibly in an an attempt to pin a person down to the operation who can be punished. Continue reading “Scene Reports: Colorado, California, Tennessee”