Tag Archives | Radio
Radio Wars focuses on the controversial history of satellite radio as it exposes the secret story behind the power struggles for radio dominance. Sirius and XM Satellite Radio were engaged in a heated entanglement before they became one company, and their mutual fight for survival against traditional radio, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and Wall Street, is one of radio’s most epic battles. Radio Wars delves deep into SiriusXM’s conflict-ridden history, from its earliest days to its darkest hour, and questions the motives of those who seek to control radio’s content in the future.
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Late one night in the summer of 1977, a large radio telescope outside Delaware, Ohio intercepted a radio signal that seemed for a brief time like it might change the course of human history. The telescope was searching the sky on behalf of SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, and the signal, though it lasted only seventy-two seconds, fit the profile of a message beamed from another world. Despite its potential import, several days went by before Jerry Ehman, a project scientist for SETI, noticed the data.
He was flipping through the computer printouts generated by the telescope when he noticed a string of letters within a long sequence of low numbers — ones, twos, threes and fours. The low numbers represent background noise, the low hum of an ordinary signal. As the telescope swept across the sky, it momentarily landed on something quite extraordinary, causing the signal to surge and the computer to shift from numbers to letters and then keep climbing all the way up to “U,” which represented a signal thirty times higher than the background noise level.
Mankind has been broadcasting radio waves into deep space for about a hundred years now — since the days of Marconi. That, of course, means there is an ever-expanding bubble announcing Humanity’s presence to anyone listening in the Milky Way. This bubble is astronomically large (literally), and currently spans approximately 200 light years across. But how big is this, really, compared to the size of the Galaxy in which we live (which is, itself, just one of countless billions of galaxies in the observable universe)?
In an attempt to reduce the amount of ‘free publicity’ given to social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, the French have banned any mention of specific sites in their TV and radio broadcasts. One of the reasons for this ban is to allow a fair platform for smaller networking companies in the future. BBC News reports:
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French TV and radio presenters have been banned from mentioning social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter on air.
The country’s broadcasting watchdog has ruled that doing so would break guidelines on advertising.
Stations can still talk about services without naming them, it said.
The French government is seen by many internet watchers as overly keen to regulate in relation to new media and the web.
In a ruling, published online, the Conseil Superieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA), said: “Referring viewers or listeners to the page of the social network without mentioning it has the character of information.
New York Republican Peter King has made national headlines in 2011 with his congressional hearings on the (dis)loyalties of Muslim-Americans. However, that is not the only trouble he has been stirring up. The media largely missed his recent introduction of House Resolution 607, which would auction off for commercial use the frequency bands used by amateur radio operators (for the purpose of funding the use of other frequency bands by the police in emergencies). The American Radio Relay League fumes:
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On February 10, 2011, Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, introduced H.R. 607, the “Broadband for First Responders Act of 2011,” which has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee (which handles telecommunications legislation).
The Bill provides for the allocation of the so-called “D-Block” of spectrum in the 700 MHz range for Public Safety use. HR 607 uniquely, provides for the reallocation of other spectrum for auction to commercial users, in order to offset the loss of revenue that would occur as the result of the allocation of the D-Block to Public Safety instead of commercial auction.
Alex Jones is getting a lot of mainstream attention today because of recent remarks made by Charlies Sheen on Jones’ radio show that caused Sheen’s popular sitcom Two and a Half Men to close production for the year. If you’re wondering who Alex Jones is (unlikely for Disinfo readers), here is a mainstream media assessment in the Hollywood Reporter:
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Context is important, and Sheen made his controversial remarks on Alex Jones’ syndicated radio show. Those who have listened to Jones know that he is no ordinary talk radio host. Long before Glenn Beck made headlines (and millions) mining conspiratorial territory on his radio show, Jones was exploring the wilder side of political talk radio for a devoted following online.
Jones is not mainstream (he has under 25,000 Twitter followers), yet he has influence and is sometimes linked to by more influential media figures such as Matt Drudge.
As his fans know, Jones is different than just about anyone in his field.