For February, 2012

Echoes of A Departed Dog

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Out of the corner of your eye you wonder if she is at the door.
When it rains, you wonder if she is OK; in or out? needs drying?
Before you leave, you check where she is.
If she isn’t in the kitchen, you peer into the living room.
You lock all the yard gates for no reason.
If others will be late, you still think to feed her between 5:30-6.
It gnaws that instead of whatever you are doing,
you should at least be taking her for a walk.
You realize the privilege of having witnessed, perhaps assisted, Nature’s intent to exemplify pure life, pure will, pure thought, and pure love.
You recall one of the few useful things a Western philosopher (Schopenhauer) has observed:

“How is a man to get relief from the endless dissimulation, falsity and malice of mankind, if there were no dogs into whose honest faces he can look without distrust?”

Bid, Baby, Bid! Software-Defined Radio Poised To Gush!

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The issue of the Payroll Tax Compromise is quite beyond pretense of my understanding though I do well understand the resource largely tapped to pay for it: so-called “white space,” that is, unused frequencies in the over-allocatted TV spectrum.

I have before praised Rep. Greg Walden as an active critic of the FCC and Chairman Genachowski—that agency having been lost in the woods on issues of white space and Emergency Interoperability (among very many others). Walden has investigated the FCC and recently offered reforming legislation. But now, as House co-sponsor of the Payroll Tax bill Walden has in one stroke solved two key issues the FCC has fumbled for a decade, and deserves hearty congratulations therefore.

Walden Statement on Job Creating Spectrum Provision in Payroll Tax Conference Report – YouTube

Having spoken with Walden’s well-qualified Communications staff, I am confident they deserve specific credit for the emergency interoperability provisions, and am encouraged that they may re-visit the dubious P25 technology, hopefully leapfrogging it. (And as a cherry on top, in-filling the TV spectrum uses wavelengths that are far less controversial as unhealthy.)

You are rightly picturing many of the required new jobs building infrastructure: laying fiber, building servers and transceivers. But you might not yet realize that in truth none of this will happen without inventors and investors deploying legions of radio engineers to realize the required entirely new architectures for software-defined radios (SDR) that are agile enough to exploit the new spectrum. The challenge and opportunity for SDR is now, precisely as we are graduating programmers newly familiarized with these techniques!

That in this political environment Congress reached this compromise is certainly significant. Walden is right: It is now up to technologists to respond to the government’s lead, sharpening their management and engineering drills to ensure that electronic commerce continues to cause bandwidth to gain value against crude oil.

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