Dear Santa: Please Bring Sanity

I’m not a big fan of the consumptive nature of the “holiday season,” though I do love me some reading. One of the latest on my wish list is Tim Wu’s new tome, The Master Switch. The book itself examines the rise of “information empires” within U.S. communications history, ranging from radio to the Internet.
Wu occupies an interesting place in the media policymaking world: he’s not been afraid to speak his mind, and he’s also remained independent enough to look at our information environment from a strategic perspective, instead of getting embroiled in tactical distractions. Continue reading “Dear Santa: Please Bring Sanity”

Politics-Based Policy, or Policy-Based Politics?

If you haven’t yet read Harold Feld’s humorous critique on the handling of network neutrality as a “political issue” during the recent elections, it’s worth the time.
Harold calls out two functional weaknesses in what constitutes the public interest constituency in D.C.: the desire to score quick political points with no long-term value and the penchant to react in a knee-jerk fashion when the drive to score backfires. Continue reading “Politics-Based Policy, or Policy-Based Politics?”

The Life and Times of Radio Engineering

Paul Thurst’s blog, Engineering Radio, is great new addition to the interwebs. Thurst is a working broadcast engineer. From personal experience, I’ve found that engineers are typically the most intelligent, grounded (no pun intended) and and eccentric folks at any radio station.
Today, many stations don’t even have their own engineers, and those still employed in the business often find themselves busting tail working for multiple employers, multiple stations, and without much respect.
I’ve never understood the latter: most radio station management and air talent are pretty clueless technologically, except for memorizing which buttons they need to push in the studio. If something goes awry, it’s a “crisis” – for which the engineer has to play counselor, diplomat, and technician. Broadcast engineers are the unseen and unheard heart of any radio station – without them, there would be dead air (or static). Continue reading “The Life and Times of Radio Engineering”

Digital Radio Mondiale Proponents Organize in U.S.

A new web site has been launched to provide information on the idea of promulgating the use of Digital Radio Mondiale in North America.
The site grew out of a four-year old mailing list which originally began as a place for listeners to post logs of DRM signals. Notably, the site contains a bibliography of journal articles written about the technology.
So far the group’s only superficially engaged in the change-process through comments on the site, but hey, you gotta start somewhere. Continue reading “Digital Radio Mondiale Proponents Organize in U.S.”