The BDR

The
Broadcasters' Desktop Resource

... edited by Barry Mishkind - the Eclectic Engineer    

Myat, Inc.


... and some Quick Takes

Things going on that might be of interest to Broadcasters.
(What's happening in your back yard? Please share!)


5/22/17 - It took nearly six months (12/7/16 below), but Radio Caroline has received a license to broadcast on AM, in addition to current digital/streaming services. Frequency and power are not yet decided, but the station asked for 1 kW to serve Essex and Suffolk counties, most likely from a land-based tower, according to one of their engineers. Ofcom - the British FCC - said they were looking for a well-established, stable group who had a history of providing service. Radio Caroline, based on the ship Ross Revenge, has been visiting Thames Estuary area sites for 20 some years, often with small "weekend" licenses.

5/13/17 - A worldwide hack attack - in over 150 countries - has compromised hundreds of thousands of computers, especially those still running XP, including at least 16 hospitals in the British National Health Service. The WannaCry Ransomware was stopped only when a researcher happened across the "kill switch." Microsoft has released a patch for OSs as old as XP. Link here.

5/13/17 - A new report indicates that some flash drives have been turning up with malware on them. IBM, for example, released a statement disclosing a number of infected USB sticks have been sent into the public, including the Storwize flash, that have the malicious code.  According to Hack Read, the infected models include drives that have part number 01AC585 and that were shipped with Storwize V3500, V3700, and V5000 Generation 1 storage systems.

5/11/17 - Not everyone is happy with the way the Spectrum Auction is turning out. We already know that many FMs are unhappy that they might have to deal with periods of time off air and expenses to relocate their antennas. Now, we have a report that amongst the hundreds of millions of dollars being given to station owners, some feel they were unfairly excluded, including KCSM-TV, San Mateo, CA. According to reports, this has now triggered lawsuits between KSCM, LocusPoint Networks, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

5/9/17 - Continental Electronics has developed a new approach to eLoran, which allows for substantially shorter towers. The method uses digital adaptive correction, solid-state amplifiers, envelope modulation and a wideband matching network. The new model could reduce needed land as much as 75%

4/11/17 - The FCC has backed down on permitting cell phone use on airplanes. Chairman Ajit Pai has withdrawn a 2003 initiative that would have let passengers literally talk door to door.


Myat, Inc.


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3/27/17 - Ever wonder where the money comes from to pay those multimillion dollar bonuses taken byt the same people who seem to be wrecking companies, if not the broadcast industry?

According to BIA/Kelsey, the top 10 billers in the US later years together raked in something like $481 Million - tne stations took 1/30 of all broadcast income.
#1 WTOP(FM) Washington (for six of the past seven years) with $67.5 million in 2016.
#2 KIIS, Los Angeles ($65.9M).
#3 iHeart's NYC Z100 - WHTZ ($48M).
#4 CBS Radio's NYC WFAN-AM/FM ($46.5M).
#5 CBS Radio's WBBM/WCFS Chicago ($45M).
#6 iHeart' s Los Angeles KBIG ($44M).
#7 WCBS-AM New York ($44M).
#8 iHeart's WLTW New York ($42M).
#9 CBS Radio's WINS - New York ($40M)
#10 iHeart's KFI Los Angeles ($38M).

2/23/17 - Another name change from the holding compnay for HD Radio, which began as USA Digital Radio and Lucent Digital Radio, then became iBiquity. The company was sold to DTS, then Tessera, which is now Xperi.

2/13/17 - iHeart is selling the rights to the name "Clear Channel" to its Clear Channel Outdoor division. The move is thought to be a way of moving some blocks of money to iHeart to pay on its debt.

2/8/17 - Microsoft has indicated it is letting go of Visual Basic, in favor of C# and F#.

1/31/17 - Peter Capaldi announced last night that the next season will be his last as the Doctor on Doctor Who. It was 2013 when Capaldi took over from Matt Smith. His "companion" until this past year, Jenna Coleman, is currently starring on PBS' Victoria.

1/18/17 - Have you ever stopped to consider how fast "progress" has happened in the Computer Age? ATT has confirmed that after they shut down the last of their G2 networks, the original Apple iPhone will no longer function. It only took ten years to obsolete the first really smartphone.

1/5/17 - Sears has sold one of its crown jewels: the Craftsman brand of tools. Over the past couple of years, Sears has sold off a lot of real estate to get cash to operate, amidst declining sales. Now, the Sears brands are on the block, with Kenmore and Diehard still available. Craftsman will now be made by Stanley, Black and Decker, with a 15 year period where Sears can make the tools without paying royalties.

12/23/16 - The new President, Donald Trump, has named Sean Spicer as the new Press Secretary. Only time will tell if Spicer or Trump's twitter texts will be more informative. 

12/22/16 - A New York State Appeals Court ruling has the series of lawsuits by Flo and Eddie regarding pre-1972 recordings. (Flo and Eddie were part of the Turtles, but lost the right to the name over the years.) While nothing is set for sure as yet, except that lawyers will continue to get lots of money, since millions are at stake.

12/7/16 - Next year will be the 50th anniversary of Radio Caroline's appearance in 1967 as part of the Pirate revolution that brought rock music to the United Kingdom. Peter Moore has chosen this time to petition the British Telecom agency Ofcom to allow the station to broadcast again from the Ross Revenge, which has been tended to in recent years by volunteers who have refurbished the ship as a floating museum. If approved, Radio Caroline will serve Essex and Suffolk counties, as it did 59 years ago.
 
12/7/16 - Running seasonal music under promotional spots? You might end up paying.
 
Many stations are running seasonal music again this year. And again this year, the lawyers are working  to monitor broadcasters, mining opportunities to sue for money - not unlike the spate of lawsuits over graphics found on web sites.

Among songs not in the public domain are: Frosty the Snowman, All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth, (Donald Yetter Gardner), Do You Hear What I Hear? (Noel Regney, Gloria Shayne Baker), Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Fred Coots, Haven Gillespie), and A Holly Jolly Christmas (Johnny Marks).

What this means is your standard ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC royalty payments may *not* include Christmas songs used in promotional spots and production.

Tepper warns caution, but and notes some songs *are* in the public domain, and can be used as you wish: Angels We Have Heard On High, Away In A Manger, Deck The Halls, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, and Good King Wenceslas. These are positive examples. If in doubt, Tepper invites questions at: (301) 718-1818 or tepperlaw@aol.com

11/14/16 - Harmon International has been purchased by Samsung for $8 Billion. This purchase is in line with Samsung's drive to be a large part of the "connected car" initiatives that have been building over the past few years.

11/2/16 - And now CenturyLink has indicated it will end copper lines to residential homes. Notice has been filed with the FCC for CenturyLink to use more fiber and less copper in a number of places.

10/28/16 - Motherboard has a description of how John Podesta (Clinton Campaign Chairman) had his gmail account hacked: social engineering, specifically a fake Google alert that his email had been used by someone else.  The attack, using a Bit.ly reduced address, sent the user to a fake web site. Apparently Podesta violated three rules of Internet protection: (1) don't click on a URL that you can't prove is valid, (2) don't use the same password for multiple accounts, and (3) don't include content you would not want made public in your emails. (Colin Powell and William Rinehart are two others who were apparently caught by the same trick.)

10/27/16 - Apple has released new MacBook Pro products, including a touch bar on the screen to replace the function keys. These are among the smallest/thinnest/lightest laptops ever from Apple. Prices, however, definitely are staying on the high side.

10/22/16 - AT&T has agreed to buy Time Warner (CNN and HBO) for $85.4 Billion.

10/21/16 - A DDoS attack knocked out the Internet for many people and sites on Friday. The attack was focused on DYN.com a DNS provider and one of the largest ISPs. According to information released, much of the Marai botnet involved was made up of relatively inexpensive IP cameras and other email- enabled gear manufactured by XiongMai Technologies. Most experts pointed to the number of people who never change default user names and passwords.

10/13/16 - Bob Dylan was awarded a Nobel Prize for Literature - the first songwriter to win the award. Dylan - nee Zimmerman - took his stage name from the poet Dylan Thomas - was a major force in the 1960's, with songs like "Blowin' in the Wind," "The Times They Are a-Changin'," and the electric six-minute single "Like a Rolling Stone."

10/10/16 - Samsung bit the bullet and not only recalled all Galaxy Note 7 phones, but terminated production. The replacement phones originally offered have also apparently caught fire, so the company has decided to terminate the product.

10/4/16 - Wonder how long the copper phone lines in the ground will last? One indication might be a current Verizon policy in Pennsylvania instructing techs to replace copper lines with wireless conversions, called VoiceLink whenever possible. Techs who do not obey could be disciplined or fired.

10/3/16 - Blackberry announced the end of production of their smartphones. Although the hardware division is closing, the design and manufacture of the Blackberry will continue via third-party companies.

9/12/16 - "Crazy Eddie" was a mainstay in NY advertising, taking a small Audio/Video store in Brooklyn to a 43 store chain, most by some of the strangest advertising then known. Then came the crash: convicted of fraud and embezzlement of some $100 million, he was sent to prison for seven years. Eddie Antar died at the age of 68, leaving memories of his ads, and the many "take-offs" by others. He was the original. Here is a news report of the rise and fall.

9/7/16 - Starting this coming January, the 2017 CES Show in Las Vegas will be adding new security measures that may be a preview of what we will see for the NAB shows. Specifically:
          1. This year, in order to register for CES, registrants will be required to provide their
                              date of birth (DOB).
          2. In 2018, CES plans to require photo ID as part of the registration process.

CES says this to "help us keep the show manageable and safe and it will not be shared with third parties, other than government agencies charged with protecting our guests' security."

In 2016, CES saw 177,393 attendees, including 53,808 from outside the USA.

8/31/16 - Investors have bought the "Tribune Tower" in Chicago for $240 Million. As part of the deal, WGN' studios will stay in place for the next two years.

8/30/16 - International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 1 operators offered help to the Italian Amateur operators during the recent Italian earthquake disaster. Using 7060 kHz (and other local channels), the IARU was able to help direct aid to the disaster area. (Thanks Podunk Hollow News)

8/29/16 - KLPX on-air personality Rick Berg (aka Sherm the Producer) was robbed at his second job: delivering pizzas. Not only is it sad a radio guy needs a second job, it appears the robber also took the English away from the news reader, who described it as "a vicious robbery last night, and it happened in broad daylight."

8/27/16 - Trivia fact to amaze your friends: BitCoin is no longer the only electronic currency. There are now something over 700 such crypto-currencies (one list says 740!), of which 9 are considered "bigtime" with market caps over $10 million. Some names, if you want to take a risk: Auroracoin, BlackCoin, Dash, Dogecoin, Gridcoin, Mastercoin, Monero, and others.

8/22/16 - Beasley Broadcast is paying $700k for a translator to move into Las Vegas. It is the third largest translator sale this far.

8/19/16 - The FCC hosted the first meeting of the RoboCall Strike Force in Washington on August 19th. The public session is to be on a webcast at approximately 10AM EDT on Friday, August 19th. 

8/12/16 - The HAARP antenna is being reactivated. The High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Project will reopen in 2017 under the auspices of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and UAF geophysical Institute. Starting with 1/2 of the system's PA amplifiers (360 of them!) the old system will be carefully brought back and tested, with resumed study of the ionosphere to follow. Frequencies that will be used include: 2650-2850, 3155-3400, 4438-4650, 4750-4995, 5005-5450, 5730-5950, and 7300-8100 kHz. A different license will cover ionospheric research between 1 and 40 MHz. (Thanks: Glen Clark)

8/8/16 - Walmart has announced the purchase of Jet.com for $3 billion.

7/29/16 - Another set of Internet TLDs (Top Level Domains) are set to go into operation in the new year. One of special interest to broadcasters will be .radio, to be administered by the European Broadcast Union. Stations will have to deside whether to add .radio to .AM or .FM, as well as .com and other domains. The proposed cost structure for the .radio domain has not yet been announced.

7/26/16 - Firefox has announced that the default will be to block Adobe Flash content, starting in August. The plan is to first stop site that use "supercookies" ... and by May 2017, all Flash content will require special authorization to run on Firefox.

7/25/16 - Funai Electric, the last manufacturer of VCRs says the manufacturing line will close after 33 years by the end of the month. . ..Some of the parts needed for manufacture are said to be not longer obtainable in quantity, hastening the end of production. Funai was the only manufacturer left about Panasonic ceased production a few years ago. That leaves some Chinese companies, which still make some VHS-DVD combo units left for those seeking to convert old tapes.

7/5/16 - You probably already knew this, but a survey of Customer Service Managers  indicated that 92% said they could do a better job, and 75% said their policies purposely prevented support agents from being effective. In other words, companies are trying to make you unhappy with free support, so you will pay for the "upper class" support. Intentionally making people hold for as long as an hour and agents who are prevented from solving problems are among their tools. Industry comments are that it will get worse. Of course, this is in the general Consumer Electronics field. In broadacst, we are fortunate to have several companies that really do work hard to go the extra two miles.

6/21/16 - Sears has announced that they will debut a new Kenmore product: TVs. The company has been expanding the use of its iconic trademarks, like Craftsman and DieHard, and is now rolling out several models of televisions.

1/26/16 - Longtime character actor Abe Vigoda has passed away. For some time, to quell premature rumors of his death, he had some website pages stating "I'm still alive."  They now say the opposite.

1/13/16 - Hackers recently caused a power outage in Ukraine. The blackout is one of the very first to happen. Security experts warn more is coming. Former Nightline host Ted Koppel wrote a book on it.

1/13/16 - The US Supreme Court declined to to hear an appeal by TRN (Talk Radio Network) of the judgement won against them by Michael Savage. Five years ago, Savage sued to terminate his contract with TRN and additionally sought damages. He was awarded something close to a million dollars, and ownership of his show.

1/13/16 - Al Jazeera America, currently under battle relating to a story US athletes using drugs, will terminate its two-year run in April. As this was written, Ona America News Network (OANN) is considering purchasing the Al Jazeera America as a way to get onto cable systems.

1/12/16 - The TSA announced today that they will continue to accept a driver's license from any state for ID at airports until January 2018 (2020 for some states), eliminating the worry about travel this year. The TSA has demanded additional information from fliers, mandated as being encoded on driver's licenses. Some states have resisted the TSA demands, and the Federal agency has backed off for at least two years.

1/10/16 - Carl T. Jones passed away at the age of 92. More to come.

12/23/15 - The 2016 CES is ready to go - January 6-9, 2016,-  in Las Vegas. This year, it  features more than 3,600 exhibitors, including 500 start-ups, unveiling the latest consumer technology products and services across the entire ecosystem of consumer technologies.  
 
CES is put on by the Consumer Technology Association

12/21/15 - The WFOR, Hattiesburg, MS site was totally destroyed by fire on December 15th. Arson is suspected. The iHeart station on 1400 will be off the air until s replacement transmitter and RF network can be installed. (Thanks: Paul Walker)

12/15/15 - Using or planning to use a drone for news, tower inspections, or other uses? The FAA has announced requirements for registration of all drones. Just in time for the seasonal rush in drones, the FAA drone registration website will be "open" on December 21st. With fines as high as $27,500 and/or prison time for non-compliance, stations and individuals will want to ensure they are not afoul of the law.

12/11/15 - PNT ExCom has endorsed eLoran as a near-term alternative and long term backup for the GPS system. This could prevent problems should the GPS system break down or be attacked.

12/11/15 - Willard Scott, who has been with NBC for 65 years will officially retire on December 15th. Scott began as a page at WRC-AM in 1950 and went on to become a star both on radio and TV as well as the original Ronald McDonald. His stint as one half of the Joy Boys, on WRC and WWDC ran for some 18 years. His run as weatherman for Today stretched some 30 years, ending with a couple of  appearances each week until now.

11/20/15 - It was 30 years ago that Windows 1.01 hit the shelves of stores (11/25/85), some two years after it was announced. It took two more years for Windows 2.0. If you want to remember some of the more important versions, Windows 3.1 was in April 1992, then Win NT, Win95, Win98, Win2000, WinXP, 7, 8, and now 10. For those who have been along for the whole ride ].... wow!  (Trivia question: what was the last version of Windows based on DOS?)

11/19/15 - SCMS welcomes Mark Montana to their roster of sales reps. Based in Henderson, NV, Mark's specialty is TV RF and Video products. 

10/21/15 - The ongoing series of lawsuits regarding the licensing of pre-1972 recordings continues, and holders of copyrights have won some large settielments. This is mainly dealing with not-over-the-air use of the recordings. Sirius and Pandora have already been settling, with some $300 million in the pot. The question raised is "how much?" and "for how long?" will users pay for these 43+ year-old songs. Then the lawyers are jumping ever deeper: CBS notes that they were sued over songs such as one by Al Green, although the song used was not a pre-1972 recording but a remastered one from 2006. By the time this is done, we will know how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

8/21/15 - Those of you using Lenovo computers may not wish to know, but it has been discovered that a number of models contain a set of firmware codes in the LSE (Lenovo Service Engine) that install, automatically, update and "phone home" utilities, among others - including a buffer-overflow bug that can allow a hacker to take Admin control of the computer. 

This is not the "superfish" controversy from earlier in the year, but firmware code you cannot evade. Even Microsoft noted this was wrong and "decertified" this version of LSE. (This applies to many, but not all, Lenovo machines made between October 2014 and April 2015.) A list of effected machines (not Thinkpads) is at http://news.lenovo.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=2013

While described by most computer analysts as "not malicious in intent,"  this clearly has tarnished the Lenovo (Ex-IBM) brand.

8/21/15 - Twenty years after its release in 1995 as part of Windows95 (remember that?), Microsoft is ramping up its promotion of its new browser, Edge (no, not "The Edge" ... that's a rocker). HTML5 compliant, the new browser, built for Windows10 is said to have a cleaner, faster rendering engine. Windows10 debuted late in July to mixed reviews, several patches, and a Service Pack, causing many to delay upgrading to the new "free to Win7 and above users" OS.

8/11/15 - Google has announced an upcoming reorganization under the corporate name of Alphbet.

7/28/15 - This week includes a "Blue Moon" ... when two full moons occur in a single month. The 31st will be the second time in July (the first was on the 2nd) for the relatively rare occurance. If you miss it this week, the next one will be in 2018. (Thanks Egyptian Radio Club)

7/27/15 - A vehicle crashed into the building of KFKA in Greeley, CO. The station operations were not compromised, but it was interesting to see the station continues to claim it was the 1st in Colorado and the 2nd west of the Mississippi. Like many PR claims from stations that misread an old license, this is not true.  (Interested in seeing the first 100 stations? click here.)

7/21/15 - Hackers have shown capabilities of taking control of some cars, including Jeep Cherokees. Fiat Chrysler is moving to plug a hole after researchers demonstrated the ability to control the engine, brakes, steering, and other aspects of 2013-2015 Fiat Chrysler products connected to the Sprint and UConnect networks. NOTE: Fiat/Chrysler has now initiated a nationwide 1.4 million vehivle recall to install a patch to prevent anyone from using the exploit.

7/14/15 - Support for Windows Server 2003 ends today. Users are advised to either upgrade to Server 2008 or 2012, or ensure the system does not "see" the Internet.

7/2/15 - United Airlines has announced their intention to fly from Los Angeles to San Francisco using biofuels.

6/25/15 - Standard General, a hedge fund involved in the recent Radio Shack bankruptcy is now the owner of the Radio Shack brand name, trademark, and intellectual property, including the customer lists. The cost: $26.2 million, bid at auction in May. Standard General did keep 1700 Radio Shack stores, which now feature Sprint services. Meanwhile, lawyers are still fighting over the money.

6/10/15 - He's back. Art Bell has announced July 20th will be the start date for his new program "Midnight in the Desert." The program will be streamed live on the Internet so Bell can control everything, from content to distribution. Start time is 9 PM PDT (Midnight on the East Coast).

6/8/15 - Apple announced their latest effort, a new music app - Apple Music - which will be open for business on June 30th, broadcasting music 24/7 in over 100 countries.

6/2/15 - Microsoft announced that Windows 10 will be available on July 29, 2015, as a free update for Windows 7 and 8 users. For many users, a "Get Windows 10" icon has started appearing on computer screens. According to the company, this will be the last version of Windows, and will be upgraded on a gradual process - although updates for home users will not be optional, "auto update" will be forced "on." XP User? Windows 10 will cost between $100-200 depending upon version, and will require a complete hard drive format.

5/27/15 - Two recent court decisions may have an impact on the industry. The California judge that ruled against Sirius XM on the Flo and Eddie (pre-1972 music) royalty issue has now opened a class action against Sirius XM for other music. Meanwhile, Pandora was orded by another judge to pay sharply higher royalties (a 43% increase) for their use of BMI music.

5/12/15 - Verizon announces it will buy AOL for $4.4 Billion. Meanwhile the FCC has fined Verizon and Sprint $158 million for cramming.

5/11/15 - Microsoft is releasing a new browser to replace Internet Explorer in Windows 10, due out this summer. Edge will be the name of the new browser, which is designed to provide better rendering of pages by getting rid of some legacy issues. Edge will be more compliant with current standards, according to MS. However, just in case, a version of IE will be included in Win10 in case one of the "special" code sets is needed. 

5/1/15 - MUSIC Group has announced the acquistion of TC Electronics. This is a fairly major consolidation in the ProAudio field. MUSIC Group includes Behringer, Klark Teknik, and Midas, TC brings such names as Tannoy to the table. Other names are also well known to audio experts.

4/24/15 - Pico Digital has entered into an agreement to acquire International Datacasting. Closing is expected in June.

4/23/15 - The Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger is off, according to several sources.  The merger, valued at between $45-67 Billion merger may announce the decision momentarily, after the FCC joined the Justice Department in opposing the merger.  (Thanks, Glen Clark)

4/22/15 - This is "High School Radio Day" ... according to some calendars. Rather than thinking about it for one day, may we suggest you consider ways in which you can support a local high school station? Perhaps sharing some gear sitting on the shelf? Perhaps offering a short tech visit to help them be sure they are in compliance with the Rules and Regulations?

4/7/15 - Here is a little something for those of you who think your site is secure. This is the next V-Mag "high speed" Main Exit gate at the Central Wastewater Plant - when a drunk lady went through it the other night in the middle of the night.  It doesn't appear that she even showed down.  It is almost like watching a TV show stunt. (The mp4 is an Apple format, which may not play in older Windows Media Players, prior to V12. The latest WMP and WinAmp will run it).

This new gate replaced the older steel gate that a drunk went through it a year or so ago. Another new "high speed" is currently in the process of being made.
(Thanks, Danny Boyer)

4/7/15 -  Centurylink is to pay a record $16 million for a six hour 911 outage that blocked emergency calls from some 11 million people one year ago.

4/1/15 -  The Federal Register has published information regarding cranking up eLoran (enhanced Loran) as a backup to GPS for Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT). (The previous Loran-C was shut off by executive order in 2010, without establishing eLoran as recommended.) A reconsideration of the importance of eLoran has led to the request for public comment.

At almost the same time, a Bill has been submitted to Congress to establish a back-up to GPS.

Should broadcasters care? Just consider what happens if GPS suddenly stops. -Thanks, John Hartzell.

4/1/15 - Think it is time for a raise? According to an analysis by BIA/Kelsey, while radio income was flat in 2014, KIIS in LA was the nation's leading biller, with $65.9 million in estimated income last year. The top ten stations took in $47.4 million.

3/20/15 - Financial publications are suggestiong that Apple is closing in on a $1 trillion valuation. The stock, currently at $125.90, will pass $1 trillion at a value of $169.00, more or less.

3/20/15 - Microsoft has announced Internet Explorer will "end" - at least the name will end, a browser will continue, currently in development with a name: Project Spartan.

3/19/15 - There was a solar eclipse announced for Friday, that sparked concern about the effects. Most of Western Europe is worried about the loss - and the speed of loss - of solar power, and whether they can make up the Gigawatts of power needed for the duration of the eclipse. It was said that a lot of preparations were made, but this will be a major test of the resiliancy when using a lot of solar/wind power generation. How they made out will be subject of a lot of studies, some of which may affect the US.

3/12/15 - Are you ready for Pi? Super Pi Day, to be sure: on Saturday morning it will be 3-14-15 9:26:53. That comes just once a century, so feel good and have some Pi!

3/9/15 - OK ... Apple has released the Apple Watch. Is this great or is it anticlimactic?  Let me know!

3/5/15 - On March 18, in addition to the special FEMA EAS Test for four states, Apple (AAPL) will replace AT&T on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, amking 6 tech companies on the list.

3/3/15 - News the opposite of what you would think: This Windows XP is all done? A recent survey shows its market share growing!  Another study shows Windows more secure than iOS or OSx or Linux.

2/27/15 - Leonard Nimoy - known for five decades as Spock from Star Trek - passed away from the effects of cardio pulmonary problems.

2/26/15 - The Las Vegas Convention Authority has purchased the Riviera hotel, and will destroy it on the way to adding the another 1.8 million square feet of display space.

2/24/15 - The Norweigian regulatory agency says that with 99.5% of the listening Public can get digital radio, the analog stations are ready to be turned off.

2/22/15 - Mouse-lovers are sighing and groaning: the one-day ticket at Disneyworld (for anyone over 10 years of age) is now $105. The other properties are $97 and $99 a day.

2/22/15 - Buys of Lenovo laptops since Sept 2014 have a new worry: the manufacturer apparently preloaded them with adware - Superfish - that also could be hacked to totally compromise the laptop. Lenovo has tried several different excuses ("We didn't know" "It is a feature" etc) before starting to hunker down to simply admit the issue and see if they can recover some trust by posting a removal procedure on its website. The article referred to above notes that Komodia, who provided the code to Lenovo, has also other apps that are similarly infected. Another article mirrors the general outrage that has grown after revelations.

2/22/15 - The winter storms across the US are taking their toll: blocked roads, shut downs of business and governmental agencies, crushed roofs, downed power lines, and more. Of course, broadcasters get our share, too, in damage to studio and transmitter buildings. In addition to the frozen pipe problem noted below, reports of towers that were overloaded by ice, snow, and wind come from as far south as Tennessee. WIHG, in Crossville TN, was toppled. Pictures on an NWS site show the broken tower. The station managed to get back on the air by Wednesday (25th).

2/20/15 - It was probably inevitable, given the weather in the Northeast. Frozen pipes and water eventually lead to bad things. For the Cumulus cluster in Worcester, MA, a broken 6-inch sprinkler main flooded the building and chased the staff outside; the water necessitated the power being turned off, leaving dead air for about four hours. After some power was restored, the less-damaged studios got back on the air. Still, a lot of repair work is needed. (Thanks Danny Boyer)

2/20/15 - If you like to buy your CD-based music at Starbucks, you had best get a move on, as the coffee chain has announced they are going to end CD sales in March. They have not announced what is next. Flash drives with music? We'll see.

2/19/15 - Several groups including NPR and APM have been trying to raise awareness of "NextRadio," the FM tuners built-in on  many cell phones, on their website "Free Radio on My Phone."  The NAB has now joined the marketing effort.

2/17/15 - With all sorts of reports in the news about small drones (under 50 pounds) from hobbyists and commercial companys starting to appear in many places, the FAA finally unveiled new rules for drone use. The agency claims it will monitor and "strictly" enforce testing and licensing, 400 and 500 foot limits, daytime, line-of-sight operation only, a five mile buffer from airports, etc. Whether that will work remains to be seen.

2/11/15 - Apple became the first US company to pass the $700 Billion level of capitalization.

2/11/15 - The government is planning to have a cybersecurity center to improve Internet security.

2/11/15 - Thirty-eight (38) Senators are co-sponsoring a bi-partisan measure to ban state and local taxes on Internet purchases.

2/6/15 - The new Congress has begun action on an anti-Patent Trolling Bill, to stop the practice. The Innovation Act of 2015 is being reintroduced to the House. (The previous version was blocked in the Senate in late 2013).

2/5/15 - Here is a new use for AM radios: marijuana detection. (Thanks Danny Boyer)

2/4/15 - With some sort of closure (pun intended) for Radio Shack fast approaching, several companies have lined up to grab sites.  Amazon and Sprint are among the companies seeking to take over some or all of the 4000 US RS stores, closing the others.
 
2/4/15 - For those who like to experiment, there is an announcement fo the Raspberry Pi, version 2, which will ship with a version of Windows 10 for $35 total.

2/2/15 - According to some measures, the 2015 Super Bowl garnered the largest TV audience in history: 118.5 million viewers. (that is US viewers ... there are several larger audiences, like the World Cup that dwarf US figures)  Other various reports show close to 170 million.

1/29/15 - As expected, during the FCC's Open Meeting, the Commission has now defined "broadband" as 25 Mbps down/3 Mbps up. The previous standard of 4 Mbps had only been in force for four years. Still, the US is not among the leading countries in terms of broadband speed, nor in economical pricing.

1/29/15 - Some new software releases - all free - to be aware of:

1/28/15 - A lot of memories will be left behind as WestWood1 and Cumulus leave the long-time home, originally built at 13725 Monfort in Dallas for the ABC s news and satellite networks.

1/28/15 - Have you attended a conference or meeting and found that your mobile hot-spot did not work? An FCC investigation into this situation stemming from a complaint at a Marriott hotel in Nashville has concluded that the hotel - and anyone else doing the same "jamming" - is wrong. In fact, Marriott paid $600,000 to close the case. Nevertheless, the FCC has issued a Public Notice that you can refer to ... or carry a copy with you to show hotel employees and help them back down.

1/20/15 - Anouncing some of the Windows 10 features, Microsoft announced that with the public5 - In an release of Win10 later this year, there will be a free upgrade for Win7, 8, and 8.1 users. The offer will last during the first year of Win10's release. Additionally, the company says further upgrades will be free and the OS will be more consistent across platforms.

1/14/15 - The days may be numbered for Radio Shack as we know it. The financial community says they are readying a bankruptcy filing, perhaps for as soon as the first week of February. There are said to be discussions with a private equity firm as well as other restructuring options, but the company has been on a downhill spiral for some time.

1/7/15 - The FCC is getting ready to re-define "broadband" as 25 Mbps. Currently, the standard is 4 Mbps, raised in 2010 from 200 kbps. In an interview, Chairman Tom Wheeler indicated a proposal is being readied for the new definition. This might create some hassles for some providers, as the average provided in the US is nowhere near 25 Mbps in many places (the US average is 11.5 Mbps). Wheeler had previously proposed raising the definition to 10 Mbps, in the face of resistance from AT&T and Verizon, who said 4 Mbps was good enough for the American consumer. (Note: this would not force ISPs to provide 25 Mbps, but they could not call their service "broadband" if they did not.)

1/6/15 - The floor is open! You might be forgiven if you thought you were at a Black Friday opening. The flood (some 160,000) of attendees certainly have no lack of things to see: 3300 companies in some two million square feet of floor space. Observation: if you were to believe the companies, you will soon be conducting most of your life on your watch, from controlling your home and car to your personal health, and from text to email and web browsing - and even making the occasional phone call(!). (More on CES here.)

1/5/15 - The International CES is in Las Vegas this week, to show off all the "toys" in the electronics industry ... some new, some improved. Amoing the new concepts this year, taking the "personal tech" category forward is software for the Apple Watch and Android Wear to open, lock, and start your car.

2015

12/19/14 - The LPFM push is not without a hiccup or two. Now that many CPs have gone out, operators and volunteers need to observe FCC regulations as well as smart business operating policies. Sometimes though, power struggles and in-fighting can destroy the best of intentions, and as in Charleston WV, kill a budding LPFM operation. It took only six weeks from going on the air to deletion.  (Thanks Phil Shoenthal)

12/19/14 - Casey Kasem's body finally is at rest - buried in Norway by his wife. The family is not so happy, and one can be sure of only one thing: at least Kasem did not have to sit and watch the soap opera that has watched his body wander around the world while his wife and children fight.

12/19/14 - The FCC continues its sweep of the major cell phone companies for mobile "cramming" and "truth in billing" practices. This time T-Mobile will pay a $90 million fine, similar to the $105 million fines recently levied on Sprint and AT&T.

12/17/14 - Disney continues its selloff of its Disney Radio stations. This week 990 in Orlando, FL was sold. These station sales look like fire sales, as prices do far are one-half or less what Disney paid. But, all in all, Disney is probably not unhappy - one needs to remember that Disney made a lot of money from those stations, including marketing Disney movies, programs, and goods to their listeners. 

12/8/14 - Saturday Night Live did a "take" on how a "happy" morning news show might deal with a situation like the riots in Ferguson, MO.

12/5/14 - Apple owners note: Several malicious apps were found on the Apps Store.

12/5/14 - Did you know there were 207 different legacy computer systems at the FCC? There are reports that some large changes may be coming to the FCC's computer systems by a new CTIO. Whether the changes wlll make it easier to get information from the FCC website remains to be seen.

12/4/14 - Is 3D printing for broadcaster's parts needs ready for Prime Time? As equipment ages, there are many parts no longer manufactuered or supported, making new developments worth our attention. "replacing a part usually means waiting for a replacement part to arrive from a manufacturer, often a week or two or sometimes 6 or 7 weeks or more," said a chief engineer of a Phoenix AM/FM radio combo, who commented on condition of anonymity.  "I can't afford to be without a digital recorder cover, a mic pop filter and windscreen or even a wheel on the GM's chair because a piece of plastic broke.  I need something to replace it with now, even if it's just to get by.  I don't
have enough equipment to have anything down."

Deciding when to invest in a 3-D printer requires careful consideration because as it is not like buying a traditional printer, ink and paper, but often requires plastic material of some kind, pellet, or spooled strand, as well as source drawing files for items a company wishes to print and specialized scanners and design software to digitize and create 3D items.

There now are over 120 companies around the world that are part of the 3-D Printing Technology Industry Alliance. The 3DPA has reported worldwide interest has risen, as have values of the companies' stock. Among them is Senvol, a company that advises manufactures and helps consult companies interested in learning if their needs justified switching to 3-D printing and purchasing a 3-D printer at this time.

Right now, about 80% of the time, it's not necessary. But Senvol's Annie Wang points out that "Sometimes printing a replacement part costs much more than ordering a replacement part, or even just purchasing a replacement device itself. For instance, a mic clip, a dump button cover, a fader knob or cover, or a coat rack hook.  However, in the field, or even more importantly, at a remote transmitter site, printing out a replacement part could result in the savings of $Millions of dollars of revenue, because, for instance, it was possible to print a replacement for a mechanical safety switch, rather than having to run the unit with a pencil stuck in it, defeating the electrical interlock switch to keep the transmitter on the air - not to mention, potentially the life of a human (or a really handsome rat)."

This is a technology to keep your eyes on. We will report more on this in the future.

12/3/14 - A former Radio Shack employee laments the way workers were treated, corporate decisions, and how far the chain has sunk.

12/2/14 - The NAB has noted that the FCC's repacking plan for TV, in order to sell off more spectrum could cost broadcasters $850 million in costs.

12/1/14 - The FCC's AWS-3 (Advanced Wireless Spectrum) auction has now reached $39.3 Billion bid on some 65 MHz of spectrum. Cellular companies are the main bidders. The auction continues until there are no more bids. Part of the money is to go for an improved emergency communcations system (FirstNet).

11/25/14 - KTLA-TV, Los Angeles, has an "upgrade plan" for the 160-foot self-supporter that has, in recent years, carried its call sign on Sunset Boulevard in LA. Originally constructed by Warner Brothers in 1925 as a pair (for a hammock antenna) for their KFWB, one tower was moved to the street corner in 1960, and has been there since. Eventually, it is to top a new building.

11/25/14 - JAM Productions (Jon And Mary Lyn Wolfert) celebrates 40 years of operation since its inception in 1974. Along with PAM and TM, JAM produced many of the radio jingles that propelled rock radio (and others) in the 70s and 80s.

11/21/14 - Aereo has filed for Chapter 11. The company, which had a business plan of setting up tiny antennas and then feeding off-air reception to customers met a number of setbacks in court and are hoping to reorganize.

11/20/14 - Not the way you would want to find out your position is toast: reading a twitter message while on the air! Media, which had been programming one of the "Franken FMs" - in Chicago - has given up on the Sports/Talk format, and will terminate "The Game" at the end of the year.

11/17/14 - The royalty issue on pre-1972 recordings took another turn this past week as a Federal judge in NY has rejected SiriusXM's request for "summary judgement." Several courts are now holding that Sirius, Pandora, and broadcasters may be paying more for oldies.

11/17/14 - AT&T announced they would stop using "perma-cookies" on wireless data access. Verizon has so far refused to do so, although the revealing of this activity as brought some criticism.

11/14/14 - Has Modulation Sciences left the building?  Eric Small's company is not answering its phones - and the 800 number rings to another company. Several folks report no response to email.

11/14/14 - Thieves stole a car from LA Engineer Burt Weiner this past week. Inside was $35k of gear. If you learn of any of the stolen items, Burt would appreciate your help. Email him here.

11/13/14 - It now appears the Net Neutrality issue will continue into 2015, as Chairman Wheeler's differences with President Obama's vision of using Title II regulation for Internet providers. Wheeler indicated his proposals will not be set up for a while.

11/13/14 - An NFL Networks contractor lost a production truck that was to be used this week. The trailer was later found, but the tractor is said to be still on the loose.

11/13/14 - Dow Jones, owner of The Wall Street Journal has announced that it will cease radio network operations at the end of the year. Some 470 affiliates will no longer get The Wall Street Journal Radio Network or MarketWatch Radio.

11/11/14 - On this date in 1928, the first great National Frequency Move saw stations migrate around the dial or find themselves deletee as the FRC (Federal Radio Commission) tried to reduce interference between stations. The government eventually tried it again in March 1941, leading to many of the allocations we still see.

11/11/14 - The Net Neutrality issue got another "push" this week as President Obama has asked the FCC to reclassify Internet operations as Title II - utility/common carrier -  which would "preserve basic principles of openness, fairness and freedom" under government control. FCC Chairman Wheeler is only partially on board, while others, including Senator Cruz, think more government control is not going to be good for users.

11/10/14 - Cumulus has announced seiling the Los Angeles site of KABC for a lot of money - $90 million for ten acres, according to the LA Times, although in a conference call Lew Dickey says it might be as much as $125 million. Dickey cautioned that closing may be a year or more in the future.

11/10/14 - A "Christian radio" host has been convicted of very un-Christian behavior. John Balyo, an eight-year employee of Cornerstone University's WCSG, was arrested in June for molesting young boys and creating child porn. He has now been sentenced to 25 to 50 years in state prison for 1st Degree -criminal/sexual conduct.

11/10/14 - Arizona radio station KJIK was torched by an employee, who stayed around to watch. Yes, Scott Wellbaum was arrested for arson.

10/30/14 - A BASE jumper got caught in the wires on the WIL-FM tower in St. Louis, MO.

10/24/14 - Think Net Neutrality is a minor issue? Over 6.4 million (yes, million) Comments and Reply Comments. The FCC is even asking others to read them and help with summaries and analysis.

10/20/14 - How about 74 years on the air - on one radio station? Luther Massingill signed on at WDEF, Chattanooga, TN in 1940, and retired  ... well, apparently he never retired. Luther passed away this week at 92 years of age. He was there on the air from Pearl Harbor to 9/11, and longer.

10/16/14 - Apple displayed its Fall releases: a new slim iPad2 Air, an updated OSX, Yosemite (at no charge to users), a new desktop system with 5k resolution screens, and Apple Pay - another entry into the mobile payment field. (Apple/Parallels users note: if you are on Parallels V8, you need to upgrade before taking on Yosemite.)

10/15/14 - This year has seen some changes at the national radio networks, and more changes are coming. Westwood One (Cumulus) had already announced it was ending its distribution of ABC Radio News at the end of this year, in favor of Westwood One News (and some other Cumulus networks, such as Nash News). Additionally, Westwood One announced this week that its distribution of NBC Radio News will end on December 15th. 

10/14/14 - Radio-TV Eire - the Irish national broadcaster - announced the end of long wave transmissions, due to declining audiences. Some critics noted older and non-Internet connected listeners still found the LW programs useful, but the RTE is set to shut down later this month.

10/13/14 - The copyright royalty wars continue. SoundExchange is seeking higher rates and inflation escalators. The goal appears to be 55% of revenue. With few broadcasters making money on streaming at this point, the potential fees of 55% may seem way off in the future. On the other hand, such levels are sure to cause broadcasters to re-evaluate streaming their programming.

10/8/14 - The FCC and AT&T reached a $105 million settlement regarding "cramming" practices - practices which all major cellular companies say they do not do. This relates to strange and unexpected charges, often from third-party companies and hard to identify, that are tacked on to bills.  AT&T customers may see some refunds from this action.

10/2/14 - The European Broadcasting Union is pushing hard to become the adminsitrator of the soon to be activated  top level Internet domain .radio. Other entities are still in the hunt, saying the EBU is not the right entity to take care of the registrations, etc. The whole process continues to wend its way through the ICANN (the overlord of  Internet domain naming) system.

10/1/14 - Microsoft has apparently decided to skip the number 9m but bring back the Start Menu. Rrecent information and a video introduce Windows 10. There is also a tech preview program noted in the video for those who would like to get early versions of Windows 10. 

9/29/14 - A storm took down one of the towers at KOAL, Price, UT. The station recovered by operating at quarter-power on one stick, with further repairs pending.

9/22/14 - The California District Court has ruled against Sirius/XM regarding the "Flo & Eddie" pre-1972 recordings, saying Sirius/XM owes royalty payments under California Law. One might well expect this to be appealed.

9/16/14 - Clear Channel has decided to jettison the familiar name. A visit to the corporate website reveals the new name: iHeartMedia, Inc. The company will now brand its 859 radio stations, satellite network, traffic and weather services, etc, under the new name and logo.

9/12/14 - A Dayton, OH radio station has gone "back to the future" by running commercial-free on weekends. WZLR thinks this will give their ratings a boost. Said to be inspired by a NYC station's stunt on Labor Day, WZLR plans to stay with it "for the forseeable future." 

9/11/14 - Radio Shack has warned that a Chapter 11 bankruptcy could be in their near future.

8/23/14 - The FCC "Net Neutrality proceeding is ... well ... preceeding. The Public Comment period ends on September 15th. If you want to join the 1.1 million current commenters, this is the time to go to the efcs page and do so.

8/13/14 - Star Trekkies take note: both Apple and Microsoft are hard at work in trying to implement a voice recognition assistant. Yes, there is Siri and Google Now. But the forthcoming versions of Windows are said to be ready to take things to a whole new level with Microsoft's Cortana. "Computer, what do we need to do today."

8/12/14 - You knew it, didn't you? There are more XP machines in use (27.1% of Windows users)  than Windows 8 (13.6%), even months after MS pulled all support for XP. In fact, Windows 8 is selling slower than Vista (!). By the way, there are rumors that the MS is considering ending the Surface tablet line.

8/11/14 - The FCC voted last week to require cell phone companies to provide text-to-911 service by the end of 2014. Interestingly, like EAS requirements, there is a catch: Can the state handle it?

8/4/14 - If you have been following the various Patent Trolls, as they attack broadcasters, this might be of interest: Patent Troll Personal Audio LLC, which has been suing people and companies to enforce a claimed ownership of "podcasting," has sought to settle and stop the lawsuit from Adam Carolla. Carolla, for his part, has been supported by donations, and is not willing to give up the lawsuit. He is planning for the eventual "win" that will stop Personal Audio from suing anyone else.

If you are interested, there now is some pushback in the software area.  And a website devoted to "The Stupid Patent of the Month."

BDR Comments:  Whatever the reason, the more folks that stand up against these legal gangsters, the sooner these stupid claims and lawsuits will recede. Kudos to Carolla.

7/30/14 - Longevity in the broadcast business is unusual. So, it is of note that Vin Scully, the Dodger broadcaster is in his 65th year of working with the team. Now, Scully has announced that he plans to be around next year - the 66th. Of interest, two other long-working broadcasters were noted in the item at 6/11/14 below.

7/29/14 - Some of the objections to allowing FM translators for AM relate to the "land rush" created for translators; some AMers are not happy about the escalating prices for translators. Those objectors will be pointing to two recent sales of low power translators in Chicago for very large sums. The latest, W264BF, a 2 Watt translator on 100.7 at the Sears (Wilis) Tower went for $4.6 million in cash. Of course, there is a CP to raise power - to 10 Watts. Just days before, the translator on 103.9 was sold for $1 million.

7/29/14 - Would you like to own your own business in broadcast sales? Bill Newbrough is selling his RF Specialties office in Washington State. More info there.

7/24/14 - Those of you who have stuggles with zoning bodies and local politicians may find the continuing situation in Rutland, WI of note. The local Board of Supervisors again voted against a new tower for the second time.
 
BDR Comments:  Interestingly, a new state law may yet give the station life - if the CP does not run out first.

7/17/14 - Student radio can be a real educational experience - and not just for students. At Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA  it would seem the Administration has learned somethimng about the oversight of student-run stations. A fund-raising promotion that went way wrong has led the school to consider selling the station.

7/16/14 - Are you a SysAdmin? Do you know one? Friday (July 25th) was SysAdmin Appreciation Day. In honor of that, we are happy to announce that with the kind assistance of iolo, makers of System Mechanic ( www.systemmechanic.com), we were able to give away a free copy of System Mechanic to the 1st  three SysAdmins who sent a comment to us here at the BDR.

7/15/14 - The FCC's Net Neutrality proceding has garnered over 677,000 comments. Not a record, but among the top number of comments in a proceding. Of course, with that many comments, we can probably expect at least one extension.

7/10/14 - Apparently, Aereo is not quite done. Yesterday it filed notice that it is now a cable company and can get a statutory license from stations and programmers. The story of Aereo may not be over.

7/1/14 - It is always sad when a station goes dark. WPCC leaves the airwaves today after nearly 60 years of broadcasting. WPCC closed down for good voluntarily. According to the FCC Public Notices, WPNI, Amherst, MA (which had an STA to stay silent) decided to "surrender" their license in May.On the other hand, the FCC has deleted  WGRV-LP, Melbourne, FL.  WGRV apparently has been dark for over a year, unable to get back on the air. 

6/26/14 - The Supreme Court's ruling against Aereo may be the end of the line for the mini-antenna service. The Court ruled that it was a "performance" requiring payment, not the equivilent of an MATV system.

6/25/14 - Zoning issue problems continue in Rutland, WI, where a local board continues to deny zoning for a tower to serve Stoughton, WI's first FM station. The usual complaints of "destroying the rural landscape and reduce property values"  were offered. At issue is a recent state law taking some of the local zoning board's say away on tower siting issues. (Thanks, Blaine Thompson)

6/24/14 - Johnny Mann, famous composer and leader of a singing group with his name that recorded about 40 albums of music, has died at the age of 85. For broadcasters, among his most famous products were the jingles he cut for KHJ, CKLW, and other Drake-consulted stations: melodic, crisp, and very short, compared to most other packages of the time. (Listen to some jingles of the time here - you will have no trouble picking out the Johnny Mann jingles.)

6/20/14 - An email update: Those of you with AOL and Yahoo email addresses (also cs) may have noticed that during the past few months your email is not being posted to many of the Internet mailing lists (aka "reflectors"). The reason is that AOL and Yahoo started flagging emails with a DKIM header, and instructing many ISPs to reject the email if the "Sender" does not match. Ostensibly, it is to prevent spam.

However, since most mailing lists change the "Sender" to the list address, AOL, Yahoo, outlook, hotmail, frontier.net, sbcglobal.net, and some others bounce and trash the message. The only solution at this time is to change your email address to another ISP.

6/20/14 - Reporters who go out to cover events in the community have always had a difficult relationship with some law enforcement and bureaucratic types. With the number of people now making videos of events - post-Rodney King - it may even be a bit harder, as government types scramble to make new laws to protect themselves from public scrutiny. However, in a case from July 2011 in Suffolk County, NY, the reporter prevailed.

6/15/14 - Casey Kasem died this morning at age 82. Suffering from a dibilitating disease, his last days were sadly characterized by a "reality show" sort of family fight. Whether a fan of Kasem or not, perhaps the best we can do is acknowledge that he was a nationally known radio and TV personality with a unique style. The Detroit native of Lebanese descent always projected a positive outlook, capsulated in his signoff line: "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars."

6/11/14 - A storm took down a 400-tower in Huntington, WV. Kindred Communications lost the stick from which both their AM and FM stations transmitted.

6/11/14 - Is radio only a young person's game these days? Two interesting stories: one about a "radio station" in an Assisted Living Home, and another about a woman who did 61 years on the radio before retiring this month.

6/11/14 - The FAA actually approved some drone flights over US land. So far it is limited to Alaska. While Congress set a deadline of September 2015 for releasing the new rules for operation in other places, it is not expected to meet the deadline. Seven filmmakers are in the running for permission to expand the drones use into other states. 

6/5/14 - Lightning strikes are always a cause of concern at a broadcast facility. Understandably, engineers get a bit anxious. But a TV station in Paducah, WPSD, got what was close to the ultimate hit: multiple strikes left them with but one computer capable of accessing the Internet - and

5/30/14 - RF Concepts/Alpha Amplfiers and TEN-TEC announced earlier this month that the two companies have merged. The combined company will operate under the RF Concepts name and continue to serve the ham community.

5/27/14 - A hack has appeared that seems to allow Windows XP machines (about 25% of all Windows machines) to receive updates from Windows Update. Of course, read the article and see why and how it may work. And, certainly, use at your own risk.

5/18/14 - The Canadian Copyright Board has sent new rates for music streaming. Commercial streamers will pay 10.2 cents for 1000 plays, much lower than the music industry wanted.

5/15/14 - An ISP has begun protesting the FCC's approach to Net Neutrality by throttling the FCC's IP addresses down to 28.8 kbps, under what they call the Ferengi Plan.

5/14/14 - Radio legend Casey Kasem has been in the news recently as, while he suffers from declining health, his family has been fighting over him in court and in the media. His children have been complaining that his wife has been preventing them from seeing him. This week, Kasem was reported to be in Washington state. And the drama goes on.

5/13/14 - General Motors has announced a commitment to producing cars with wireless Internet. The Chevrolet Malibu is supposed to debut next month, with as many as 30 models joining in the new model year with the 4G LTE-driven Wi-Fi setup. GM is taking advantage of its experience with its OnStar service to run a bet consumers will pay to have a moving Wi-Fi hot spot. Reports there will be a number of options, starting at $10/month ($5/month for OnStar customers) and up, depending upon the amount of data desired. AT&T is the prime provider.

5/7/14 - Although we did have some nice door prizes at our 22nd Annual Lunch Gathering during NAB, perhaps the most impressive, biggest giveaway was the $30,000 Station Rejuvenation Giveaway at the Orban booth in the North Hall. Yes, that is $30,000 in Orban products. The winners were:

  • Stephen Floyd, Marsh Creek LLC Washington DC Winner $10,000 Orban Gift Certificate (pictured, left, with Bob Orban),

  • Don Peters, African Public Radio Winner $10,000 Orban Gift Certificate,

  • Sergio Parissi De Mello, Brazil Winner Orban Optimod-FM 5700,

  • and Roger Cole, Corus Entertainment Kingston, ON, Canada  Winner Orban Optimod-FM 5500

  • Dennis Carpenter, Starcom Group Ramsey, MN  Winner Optimod-TV 8685,

 

 

4/29/14 - The NAB was pleased to announce today that a majority of House members have signed onto a resolution to prevent any new taxes, royalties, performance fees, etc on broadcasters. With 219 Representatives, it looks like The Local Radio Freedom Act will prevent any performance royalty bill from being passed.

4/23/14 - That Windows "wallpaper" scene that you have looked at for 13 years - did you know it was a real, unaltered picture? Nope. No Photoshop. Where it was taken, who took it, and a video about it are posted here.

4/22/14 - A man jumped off the 400-foot WWZY tower in Long Branch, NJ, and was killed when he fell into an adjacent, abandoned building. The police, who did not immediately indentify the body, called it a suicide.

3/31/14 - High winds dropped a couple of towers over the weekend, including a 160-foot stick with two FMs in Berkshire, MA. WUPE-FM and a translator for WFCR were among the broadcast and public service signals lost. On the other end of the country, ice and snow took KZYX and KZYZ off the air in Philo, CA. (Thanks, Blaine Thomson)

3/29/14 - And now the head of security for 1WTC has resigned, as of Friday afternoon. Another article from the Daily Mail gives greater details and several picture and video links, including a picture of another guard, this time in the lobby, "exercising his eyes" in a horizontal position. According to the story, this now-fired guard (at least the second in two weeks) is nearly blind. And the elevator operator who took 16-year-old, non-credentialed, Justin Casquejo up the building? Well, he is in a union. (Thanks, Glen Clark)
 
3/25/14 - Another report indicates that several BASE jumpers also made it to the top of the WTC last September, and posted the jump on YouTube. According to the UK's Daily Mail, the police learned about the video leading the trio to  plan to surrender last Thursday. 

3/20/14 - Over the weekend, a 16-year-old from New Jersey entered the 1 World Trade Center site and apparently made his way past security and guards to get to the spire. Yahoo/AP report here. ABC report here. Yes, the guard is no longer employed there.

3/13/14 - Hartsville, SC, non-comm station WHEZ (97.9) has had a tough year, with the recent cold weather, apparently causing damage to the only transmitter and putting them off air some time in mid-February. (Thanks, Blaine Thompson)

3/7/14 - A second Bill in Congress aims to force cell phone companies to intall "kill switch" technology to disable and wipe phones that are stolen - and is, predictably, opposed by the cell phone companies.

3/1/14 - The Southern California rains have led to a nasty landslide at the Mt. Harvard site above Los Angeles. Initially the road was blocked, power lines cut, and the site generators failed, knocking off a bunch of radio and television stations sited there. Power has been restored, but access is still difficult.

2/27/14 - A hoax sent several dozen police to the Journal Broadcast studios in Tulsa. A call to 911 came from someone who received a text that there was a shooting by armed men and hostages were being held at the KVOO-FM facility. Employees were surprised when the police arrived. An investigation as to the source of the text is ongoing at this time.

2/24/14 - The FCC rejected a petition for reconsideration for the voluntary deletion of an FM station in Texas. Whitley Media and North Texas Radio Group sought the license to KTDK, Sanger, TX, which Cumulus had voluntarily surrendered in September 2013.

2/20/14 - A couple in Texas have tried a novel approach to avoiding the FCC's Regulations and a fine for operating an unlicensed station: Texas is not part of the US. While many observers might tend to agree with the basic sentiment, the FCC was not amused at Walter Olenick and Rae Nadler-Olenick's demand that they see a treaty between Texas and the International Bureau. An NALF for $15k is the result. However, it is likely this is not over.

2/4/14 - One of the older stations in the country, KWLC (Luther Collage in Decorah, IA), has pledged to terminate their AM broadcasting, which began in 1926, if they got an LPFM grant. The station, now a sharetime late at night and weekends, will focus on the LPFM CP just received from the FCC.

1/31/14 - The demolition of a pair of towers in downtown Los Angeles was not only stopped, but a $60k to $80k restoration project will bring the KRKD towers up to current standards, including paint and lighting. The towers, although not in broadcast use, are among the last of the "hammock" style antennas. (If you watch TV shows filmed in LA - like NCIS-LA - they turn up every so often when the plot takes place on rooftops.) The LA Planning Department's Office of Historic Resources and historic preservation got involved to save it.

1/24/14 - A zoning board in NC has ruled against a radio station planning an upgrade. The prposed tower was to be 1190 feet tall. Neighborhood objections lead to a 6-1 vote against. The station owner plans an appeal. (Thanks, Blaine Thompson)

1/11/14 - So the neighbor wants to cut down a tree. Unfortunately, you have a studio and a tower in the one direction he decides to drop that tree. Oops! Spartenburg, SC, stations WSPG AM and FM are off the air for a indeterminate period.(Thanks, Blaine Thompson)

12/30/13 - Do you have any Rane gear in stock? The company recently settled with the FCC for $61.5k in a Consent Decree, Rane admits some products were marketed without proper attention paid to unintentioal radiation, etc. (Sections 2.803, 15.19, and 15.105 for the Rules). This should have no impact on end users, but is worth knowing, especially if you are hunting for strange interference.

12/26/13 - No generator? If not, then sometimes all you can do it wait it out for the local power compeny. It took five days for WAKV in Plainwell, MI to get power back after an ice storm. (Thanks, Blaine Thompson)

12/15/13 - Some nasty weather conditions in Park Hills, MO led to an SUV vs radio station accident. KFMO is out of commission while repairs are made. Pictures here.

12/10/13 - Texas radio pioneer Bill Bradford passed away Monday at the age of 93. The owner/manager of KSST, Sulpher Springs, TX was well regarded and received a number of honors from Texas broadcast associations.

12/9/13 - A Charleston, IL station has announced they will go dark on January 1st (or Jan 4th if the local university football team makes the playoffs). WEIC (WRJM until Nov 30th) , a 60-year-old kilowatt daytimer on 1270 says it is no longer viable and is selling the land to a farmer. (Thanks, Frank Absher)

12/9/13 - A broken water pipe can create true chaos. Five Great Falls, MT radio stations dropped off the air when up to four inches of water flooded the second floor studios. Four of the stations got back up quickly, one was still off on Monday. (Thanks, Blaine Thompson)

12/4/13 - Entercom faces complaints by neighbors in Kansas City suburb. Residents are demanding improvements to the KMBZ/KUDL transmitter site. Among other things, neighbors are unhappy with the fencing around the site, which has been there since the early 1930s.

11/18/13 - Tornados rolled through the Midwest on Sunday, and in addition to the desvastation of several towns, a few broadcast facilities were affected. In Kalamazoo, MI, a tower was bent in half. (Thx Tom Bosscher)  Additionally, WYKT-FM in Wilmington IL, was reported to have had a "direct hit" from a tornado and suffered major damage. More than a few stations are reported to be on generator power, as there was major damage to the electrical grid.

11/17/13 - A lawsuit that reaches back to Hurricane Katrina has ended with a jury awarding Citadel (now part of Cumulus) $8.8 Million from an Axis US Insurance (another $3 million is to go to lawyers and  court costs). Essentially, the insurance company used the typical "try everything but paying" when the claim was made. And ... do you suppose there will be an appeal?

11/5/13 - KMBI in Spokane, WA was knocked off the air when thieves stole copper from the station. Repairs are expected to cost at least $7k. (BT)

11/1/13 - Are you ready to have fun with the return from DST to ST? Take a look at what happened at BBC Radio 2 in London last week when they went off of British Summer Time. Two hours of the same program ran on top of one another. This is especially interesting since the Fall time change gives an extra hour to program, unlike the Spring when most folks jump from 1:59 to 3:00AM. Or, was this a new implementation of HD1 and HD2? (Thanks, Blaine Thompson)

10/12/13 - Texoma Broadcasting, a commercial broadcaster in Durant, OK was recently highlighted in the local paper for "giving something back."  Texoma is providing support and assistance to KSSU, a non-comm FM for Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Texoma put up the money to move and install the KSSU facility at their new tower in Durant. And, Texoma gave the University a 99-year lease for $1 per year. (Thanks, Blaine Thompson)

9/23/13 - Archival Recordings of an Entire Broadcast Day In 1939. This is from Radio Station WJSV in Washington, DC.

9/23/13 - Reno public radio KUNR celebrates 50-year anniversary

9/18/13 - Former employees of a shortwave complex in Greece discovered the de-commissioning of their site when the scrap metal dealer showed up to survey the 39 masts. To be accurate, it appears they were truly former employees, apparently they had been occupying the site since the government decided to stop shortwave broadcasting and running "the guerilla service of the National Greek Radio ERA."
 
9/9/13 - CBC radio spoofs Soccer without a ball. News outlets report it anyway and the Internet buzzed. It either proves Canadians have a sense of humor or that The Onion does not have it all.

9/7/13 - A cell phone tower fire caused some consternation in Sanford, FL. Emergency response apparently had an interesting idea on how to deal with it.

9/3/13 - A promotion related to a format change got a bit strange in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The station (WMSR) produced an Orson Welles-inspired series of spots that sounded like aliens had taken over the station, changing it from Urban to Modern Hit Music.  The spots are here. The story even made it into reports in the British press.

8/31/13 - Local Service: Two stations were cited by local newspapers for their "local" focus. Radio Yakima's new owner "opens" new studios to show the community what they are doing.  KDXU in St. George, UT was profiled in the local paper, noting the station's history since it went on the air.
 
8/31/13 - Local static:  The NIMBY crowd shows up in force in Point Roberts, WA to try to block an AM station from building five 150' towers. Local hams complain - and one man threatens to chain himself to block construction with a hunger strike to the death.
 
8/30/13 - Many techs have had the manager say "you have to move the studios this weekend." Sometimes they are not kidding. 
Note to file: Either move the studio or the studio gets moved.

 

        


 

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