Friday, February 6, 2009

Conversion to Digital TV

I found this in an AP article posted on Yahoo News. "In the U.S., most of the spectrum has been sold to wireless companies, reaping $19.6 billion for the Treasury. Some of the buyers plan to start using the airwaves this year — potentially giving the country a multiyear jump on advanced wireless services."

But the President's economic stimulus plan "is likely to contain $6 billion to $9 billion to help fund landline and wireless broadband networks in unserved and underserved areas. It also is likely to give tax incentives to encourage companies to invest in new or faster broadband networks," (this from another AP article at Yahoo Tech.

Jiminy Christmas! We'll be giving the money right back to those wireless companies if this provision is included in the stimulus plan. I realize it's important to extend options to rural areas and parts of the country that currently have limited or no access. But since the wireless companies are some of the FEW companies still registering healthy profits in this economic downturn (okay, let's be honest and call it a recession), I figure there should be a way to mandate their expansion of the infrastructure into those areas. After all, the people who ultimately will be paying for broadband and wireless services in those areas are the consumers of those services. Why should U.S. taxpayers foot the bill? Congress needs to find a way to require those companies to repay any funding obtained as part of the stimulus plan. Maybe they could have 5 or 10 years to do so, but it should be done.

Smiling Owl and other Cute Stuff

I dunno why I love this picture, but I do! It's from I try to go there every day to see the latest goofy kitty pictures. Its counterpart (also a site I visit every day if possible) is I also love the pictures and videos on I'm such a softie.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Delay in Digital TV conversion date

I am now convinced that President Obama reads my blog. Okay, maybe mine and a couple of hundred others...and he listens to his constituents and advisors who remind him that the elderly and low income populations may not yet be prepared for the transition. Although many stations intend to go ahead and stop broadcasting in analog on February 17 anyway, I'm glad he (and Congress) have listened.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Leapfrog's new "Baby BlackBerry"


Leapfrog unveils 'baby BlackBerry' for tots
By David Carnoy, CNET News

There's good news for parents who are tired of having their toddlers getting their grubby little paws on their BlackBerrys and other smartphones while they're not looking. Leapfrog has announced a product called the Text & Learn, or -- as it's sure to be known in the blogsphere -- the "baby BlackBerry."

Now kids can mimic their parents and send text messages and check their schedules at all hours of the day. The device, which is a bit bigger than your average BlackBerry, is geared toward preschoolers who are just learning to spell and includes games that focus on spelling and basic computer skills.

Virtual pal Scout is onboard to help; youngsters can exchange text messages with the little guy and check Scout's planner for meeting conflicts (OK, I'm kidding a bit there), and explore in a "pretend" browser mode. Other learning activities include letter matching, shape identification and QWERTY keyboard navigation.

The Text & Learn was unveiled at the U.K. Toy Fair this week and isn't supposed to be announced in the U.S. until next week, but we do know it will be available this summer and will cost $25. No, it doesn't have any sort of wireless capabilities (what did you expect for 25 bucks?), though it'd be scary if it did.