Tag Archives: Forbes

Switzerland ending RF terrestrial broadcasting of television

Television TV

Photo by Ajeet Mestry on Unsplash

(Source: Fortune via Mark Fahey)

Switzerland Is Doing Away With Over-the-Air TV. Could the U.S. Do the Same?

Rabbit ears and other TV antennas could be useless in Switzerland before too long.

The Swiss government has given the country’s public broadcaster approval to turn off its digital terrestrial TV (known as over-the-air to most people) by the end of 2019. It will be the first nation in Europe to do so.

Most Swiss have high speed broadband internet connections and cable networks in their homes, so the move is unlikely to affect many citizens. Only 1.9% of the population, about 64,000 people, reportedly take advantage of the service that’s being discontinued.

Other European nations are expected to follow Switzerland’s lead in the next 10 to 15 years. And while many Americans believe the right to free, over-the-air broadcasts are protected, that’s not quite as cut and dry as it might seem.

Yes, the federal government licenses the airwaves to television stations (among other entities). […]But the government doesn’t license networks, only individual stations, as outlined by the FCC.

“We license only individual broadcast stations,”: the agency says in a 2008 report explaining its authority.

[…]Put another way: Networks are not required to broadcast their shows over the air.[…]

Click here to read the full article at Fortune.

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Some scientists believe sun may be crossing into “magnetic middle age”

 (SILSO data/image, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels)

(SILSO data/image, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels)

I just received the following link to a Forbes article from my buddy Charlie (W4MEC).

If this research turns out to be correct–and time will only tell–it could mean very low solar activity from here on out (let’s hope not!):

(Source: Forbes Magazine via Charlie W4MEC)

The Sun has likely already entered into a new unpredicted long-term phase of its evolution as a hydrogen-burning main sequence star — one characterized by magnetic sputtering indicative of a more quiescent middle-age. Or so say the authors of a new paper submitted to The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Using observations of other sunlike stars made by NASA ’s Kepler Space Telescope, the team found that the Sun is currently in a special phase of its magnetic evolution.

At time of posting, the Sun has no Sun spots at all. The sun is blank--no sunspots, which means very low solar activity. Credit: SDO/HMI (Click to enlarge)

At time of posting (June 28, 2016) the Sun has no Sun spots at all, which means very low solar activity. Credit: SDO/HMI (Click to enlarge)

Heretofore, the Sun was thought to have been just a more slowly rotating version of a normal yellow dwarf (G-spectral type) star. These results offer the first real confirmation that the Sun is in the process of crossing into its magnetic middle age, where its 11-year Sunspot cycles are likely to slowly disappear entirely. That is, from here on out, the Sun is likely to have fewer sunspots than during the first half of its estimated 10 billion year life as a hydrogen-burning star.

“The Sun’s 11-year sunspot cycle is likely to disappear entirely, not just get less pronounced; [since] other stars with similar rotation rates show no sunspot cycles,” Travis Metcalfe, the paper’s lead author and an astronomer at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo., told me.[…]

Continue reading the full article at Forbes online.

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Forbes: “How To Make Music (And Money) From Shortwave Radio”

RFNomadModularGridTwo weeks ago, we posted a video of Evaton Technologies RF Nomad: a modular synthesizer that employs shortwave radio to create unique sounds. As someone who has always been fascinating with music and the sonic texture of the shortwaves, of course I find this product fascinating.

Forbes magazine does too. This morning, @UlisK3LU shared an article in Forbes where Russell Hoffman, who runs Evaton Technologies, explains why he believes using shortwave radio in new RF Nomad will be a hit:

“What’s interesting about shortwave radio is that it isn’t necessarily musical by design, but there are interesting sounds to be found when the station tuning is less than perfect,” he said. “You can hear all sorts of sounds on shortwave, from voice, to music, to Morse Code or encoded digital transmissions. In addition to the sounds that are transmitted intentionally, there are sounds that are artifacts of the medium itself like heterodynes, pops, crackles, hiss, static crashes, fading and the like.”

But here’s my favorite bit:

“Shortwave radio has a long and storied history, full of intrigue, espionage, piracy, rebellion, propaganda, and subterfuge,” he added. “It propagates around the world and can be received on inexpensive equipment. It is universal, because it can be heard anywhere; and yet at the same time, in a world of internet, TV, and satellite radio, it is also the underground — a hidden world parallel to that of our daily experiences. It offers an additional perspective.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you, Mr. Hoffman.

Click here to read “How To Make Music (And Money) From Shortwave Radio” in Forbes magazine.

Check out Evaton Technologies and RF Nomad announcements by clicking here.

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