There Is No Cat

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Monday, June 9, 2003

More problems with spectrum policy

The FCC is entertaining proposals for a broadband service that would run over power lines. Doing this would have the unfortunate side effect of destroying an entire swath of spectrum, including the shortwave spectrum between 3 and 30 MHz which has the unique characteristic of being able to cross borders unimpeded. Unlike satellite signals and Internet connections, countries find it very difficult to stop shortwave signals from reaching their population. If the FCC gets their way with this broadband service, the US may be the first country to succeed at doing this. Other countries like Germany and Japan have investigated providing such service over power lines and concluded that the cost in destroyed spectrum was too high. The spectrum affected would even include a number of television channels; reception of over-air television channels 2-6 could be badly impacted by this. The North American Shortwave Association has a couple of articles that go in to this in more detail and urge people to contact the FCC to convince them not to make this terrible mistake. (Potential conflict of interest notice: I'm the webmaster for the North American Shortwave Association and a long-time shortwave listener.)

Posted at 11:17 PM

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What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio


There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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