Tales of the Sauasage Factory: Delay in Unlicensed in Broadcast Bands

‘Lo all. I’m back from vacation which included mud, wireless connectivity, poetry on the field of battle, and more mud. Eventually, I’ll get the mud dried out and have more to say about the real cool Community Wireless Networking summit I attended. But first, some breaking wireless news.

The FCC has granted a 90-day extension for comment in the proceeding to allow unlicensed activity in the broadcast bands. The IEEE and the broadcasters had asked for a 6-month delay. I have some rather harsh words about the IEEE and its all too usual combination of hubris and political naivette that remind me way too much of ICANN and will no doubt get me in trouble. But what the heck?

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WIFI and Democracy

Check out this article on high tech anarchy protests during the RNC Convention in NYC. While I don’t condone the illegal uses (e.g., breaking in on protected licensed frequencies), I do applaud the many creative uses of wireless networking — made possible by the FCC unlicensed rules.

And I’m off on vacation, culminating in the community wireless summit. No doubt I’ll have loads to wax eloquent about when I return.

Stay tuned . . .

Buffy Not Indecent, Says FCC

I will confess, I found the entire 6th Season indecently bad. But for those worried that the FCC’s indecency craze will wipe out hot Vampire/Slayer sex in reruns, you may take comfort from the FCC decision located (in PDF) here. For those interested in the FCC tea leaves, I observe it’s a 5-0 decision. Copps and Martin, the most aggressive on indency, appear happy with the idea that suggestive television does not rise to the level of indecency.

Tales of the Sausage Factory: MAP Summer Fun Kit

Whose up for a summer of social activism on media and telecom policy? A show of hands please? What if I told you it would only take about 15 minutes using the equipment you are using to read this webpage?

I’ve pegged four FCC proceedings that will benefit enormously from an injection of real world information. My pitch letter for why you should care, along with links to summaries of the proceedings and instructions on how to file, given below.

Stay tuned . . .

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Got a Lot in the NYT

The NYTimes has a couple of interesting articles worth discussing. You need a free subscription, and the links will probably die in a few weeks.

This doesn’t need much discussion, but I can’t help but point out another dig it my good buddies at Clear Channel. Similarly, while anyone who has read my thougfhts about media ownership won’t be surprised, I enjoyed the article on Sunday about the new documentary/video op ed by Robert Greenwald, Outfoxed. But this article also highlights the problems that come from the continued erosion of the fair use doctrine.

But the most pernicious piece is this article, which asks Are Used Bookstores Napster? Oh my stars! Have we really come to this, where folkks in the book industry have no shame about saying this stuff in the NY Times? I occassionaly joke to my son that we need to go to libraries before they become illegal. Ho ho.

On the other hand, I really wish the book industry would try to “fix” this “problem.” It might finally wake the rest of the public up to what’s at stake.

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Tales of the Sausage Factory: Good FCC Order on Unlicensed Released

The FCC has now released the Order it published last week on allowing higher power outputs for “smart antennas.” A copy of the Order in word is available here, and pdf here. My extremely limited analysis below. Headline version: the FCC sidestepped some bad ideas and the order will generally improve the ability of equipment manufacturers and network providers to use unlicensed spectrum more efficiently and at slightly higher powers in existing bands. So call it a good day at the FCC.

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What's Japanese for “Big Brother?”

I came accross this on one of my numerous update lists.

JAPANESE SCHOOLCHILDREN TO BE RFID-CHIPPED

Japanese authorities have decided that tracking children

with RFID technology is the best way to protect kids. School

authorities in the Japanese city of Osaka have decided the

benefits of using RFID chips on kids outweigh the

disadvantages and will now be chipping children in one

primary school.

http://networks.silicon.com/lans/0,39024663,39122042,00.htm

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Important Conference on Spectrum Policy and Community Networking

I’m actually cutting short my vacation to Pennsic to give the Keynote address at the 2004 National Summit for Community Wireless Networks on August 20-22, 2004. This conference is a meeting of folks deploying community wireless networks, policy wonks like yours truly, and anyone else who cares about revolutionizing spectrum policy and setting networks free. the goal is to educate each other and develop ways to move forward in a coherent movement that promotes positive spectrum management reforms. The announcement is reprinted below. Please circulate widely. Hope to see you all there.

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