30 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for May 30, 2012
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Date: Tue, 29 May 2012 10:10:39 -0700 (PDT) From: HAncock4 <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: In Race For Better Cell Service, Men Who Climb Towers Pay With Their Lives Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On May 25, 10:32 pm, Monty Solomon <mo...@roscom.com> wrote: > Ryan Knutson, PBS Frontline, and Liz Day > ProPublica > Work complete, Guilford sped his descent by rappelling on a rope. > Safety standards required him to step down the metal pole, peg by peg, > using a special line that would catch automatically if he fell. But > tower climbing is a field in which such rules are routinely ignored. I read the article, and found it somewhat misleading and not very informative--I don't think it defines the problem very well. First, it seems to focus on the "3G" upgrade. But wasn't there a big rush to build cell phone towers in the first place when cellular service first came out? At that time, many new towers were required to be built from scratch--what was the injury experience then?. Further, didn't towers all have to be upgraded during the conversion of analog to digital? Secondly, it makes it sound as if a cell phone tower worker is a unique new occupation. But there are many towers out there, such as television and radio, and there used to be a several networks of microwave towers. There are a great many towers to carry high tension electric power lines. In addition, when new buildings and bridges are erected, there is a craft known as "iron workers" who build the raw steel skeleton; this group has always had to deal with the challenge of working in dangerous high places in a fast paced environment. (see G. Talese, "The Bridge", about building the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.) Indeed, communication line construction hazards go way back-- builders of Western Union telegraph lines faced a variety of hazards. Third, it seems to blame the cell phone carriers for the accidents. The real culprit is outsourcing, but that is a separate issue (a valid and troubling issue, to be sure). The carriers, like any competitive business, want to minimize costs to maximize profits so they outsource to very 'lean' businesses. Traditional landline carriers and cable companies also outsource work to independent contractors. To me, the best solution in the existing environment is for workplace regulators to properly enforce the safety rules.
Date: Tue, 29 May 2012 02:22:41 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Broadcasters Warn of Apocalypse in Dish's Ad-Skipping Service Message-ID: <email@example.com> Broadcasters Warn of Apocalypse in Dish's Ad-Skipping Service By David Kravets May 25, 2012 Broadcasters are claiming in federal lawsuits Thursday that Dish Network's DVR service, which allows the automatic skipping of commercials, breaches copyright law and retransmission agreements. The suits by Fox, CBS and NBC are the broadcasters' latest legal salvos against technological innovations, as those advances bring into question whether broadcasters' longstanding business model can survive the digital age. The Dish Network litigation concerns the March introduction of what the satellite company calls PrimeTime Anytime, which allows customers to record and store about a week's worth of prime-time broadcast television. And two weeks ago, the Colorado company enabled playback of those archives without users seeing commercials. The networks are labeling it a "bootleg" service that produces unauthorized copies of their shows and say it breaches signed licensing deals. And the consequences are dire, they warn. If the courts don't block the service, it "will ultimately destroy the advertising-supported ecosystem that provides consumers with the choice to enjoy free over-the-air, varied, high-quality primetime broadcast programming," the broadcasters told the court. In the early 1980s, the Supreme Court ruled Americans have the fair use right to time-shift lawfully obtained content for later viewing. But that was using primitive technology like the VCR and Betamax, with limited recording capabilities. The Dish service records a day's prime time lineup from ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox and stores up to 100 hours of those shows for up to eight days - all without the broadcasters' consent. ... http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/05/ad-skipping-lawsuit/
Date: Tue, 29 May 2012 19:30:07 -0400 From: Bill Horne <bill@horenQRM.net> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Broadcasters Warn of Apocalypse in Dish's Ad-Skipping Service Message-ID: <20120529233007.GA31843@telecom.csail.mit.edu> On Tue, May 29, 2012 at 02:22:41AM -0400, Monty Solomon wrote: > > Broadcasters Warn of Apocalypse in Dish's Ad-Skipping Service > > By David Kravets > May 25, 2012 > > Broadcasters are claiming in federal lawsuits Thursday that Dish > Network's DVR service, which allows the automatic skipping of > commercials, breaches copyright law and retransmission agreements. > > ... two weeks ago, the Colorado company enabled playback of those > archives without users seeing commercials. > The networks are labeling it a "bootleg" service that produces > unauthorized copies of their shows and say it breaches signed > licensing deals. And the consequences are dire, they warn. If the > courts don't block the service, it "will ultimately destroy the > advertising-supported ecosystem that provides consumers with the > choice to enjoy free over-the-air, varied, high-quality primetime > broadcast programming," the broadcasters told the court. There is no such thing as "free" broadcast programming. There can't be: it's an oxymoron. Every boradcaster has to pay for the content they transmit, for the employees who run the tranmitters and studios and mobile trucks and satellite dishes, and for the "Talent" that stands in front of the cameras and recites the press release they just received from the ever-so-helpful spin doctors of the corporate PR machine during the evening "news". You and I don't pay for watching television by observing insipid sixty-second dramas about perfect people doing ever-so-trendy things in ever-so-trendy clothes while mouthing every-so-trendy buzzwords and always putting the product center screen. That's not how we pay for "free" programming. The cost of television, as my brother so aptly pointed out to me many years ago, is that all the problem are solved in sixty minutes with time out for commercials. The cost of televsion is, as sociologists have discovered, that the economic underclass believes that middle class people all have new clothes, and new cars, and beautiful homes and beautiful wives and carefree lives that never demand they make hard choices or sacrifices. The cost of television, in short, is that it has drilled itself into our consciousness like some succubus that will steal our souls as it feeds on our innocence and deprives us of the chance to see the world with our own eyes. Bill -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly.)
Date: Tue, 29 May 2012 20:55:42 -0400 From: Pete Cresswell <PeteCress@invalid.telecom-digest.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Broadcasters Warn of Apocalypse in Dish's Ad-Skipping Service Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Per Monty Solomon: >Broadcasters are claiming in federal lawsuits Thursday that Dish >Network's DVR service, which allows the automatic skipping of >commercials, breaches copyright law and retransmission agreements. One solution to their problem might be commercials that most people do not want to skip. Seems like there has already been a trend in that direction over the past several years - although I personally haven't watched more than 20 seconds of any commercial in a lot longer than that... the snippits I see look more entertaining and less intrusive. Understood that automated skip is qualitatively different from fast-forward.... but people still have to explicitly invoke it. A long time ago, when we used to go to Germany every year or two, I observed that the commercials there were all run back-to-back early in the evening. No shows... just continuous commercials. State-run TV, I guess.... But when I brought it up, wondering who on earth would watch them, people said "Sure, people watch the commercials... they're entertaining..." And they were.... -- Pete Cresswell
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