CGC #1135

by CGC on April 30, 2012

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                       THE CGC COMMUNICATOR

                             CGC #1135

                      Monday, April 30, 2012

                             ________

                 Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR,  Editor
                 

   Copyright 2012, Communications General® Corporation (CGC)

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 FCC NEWS BRIEFS

 o  Adopted:  The FCC voted Friday to require TV stations
 to publish their public files online, but the program is to
 be phased-in.  The bet is that radio public files will be
 the next item earmarked to go online:
 http://tinyurl.com/TV-PublicFilesOnline
 http://tinyurl.com/PublicFileGoInternet

 o  Downgraded:  Some low power TV licenses have been
 downgraded from Class A to plain vanilla LPTV status, witness
 these cases.  Undoubtedly more downgrades will soon follow:
 http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-651A1.doc
 http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-638A1.doc
 http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-637A1.doc
 http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2012/db0426/DA-12-652A1.doc

 o  Dismissed:  Petition for Rulemaking to amend the land
 mobile-TV sharing rules in the 470-512 MHz band; amendment of
 a rule identifying television stations to be protected from
 land mobile radio licensed operations:
 http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-654A1.doc

 o  Suspended:  The FCC has temporarily suspended the
 acceptance and processing of certain Part 22 and 90 applications
 for 470-512 MHz (T-band spectrum):
 http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2012/db0426/DA-12-643A1.doc

 o  Waived:  The requirement for private land mobile radio
 licenses in the 470-512 MHz band to migrate to narrowband
 (12.5 kHz or narrower) technology by January 1, 2013:
 http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-642A1.doc

 o  Vanishing Tax Dollars:  Watch your tax dollars disappear
 in this conversion of the Universal Service Fund to foster
 broadband deployment in unserved areas -- only it is a tax
 that is not called a tax.  It is one of a number of fees
 tacked onto your telephone bill:
 http://tinyurl.com/TheUniversalServiceTax-Fee

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 NON-COMM FUNDRAISING FOR THIRD PARTIES

 The FCC has proposed rules to enable public broadcasters to
raise money on-air for charities in local communities & around
the world.  Comments on the proposal are invited.

 Synopsis:
 http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2012/db0426/DOC-313767A1.doc

 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking:
 http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2012/db0426/FCC-12-43A1.doc

 Statement of Julius Genachowski:
 http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2012/db0426/FCC-12-43A2.doc


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                          RANDOM NOTES
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 LOS ANGELES SBE MEETING SET FOR TUESDAY, MAY 8

 The next L.A. SBE meeting is an 11:30 AM luncheon meeting
on May 8 hosted by Comrex.  Meet at the Holiday Inn Media Center
in Burbank as usual.  SBE adds:

 "Important!  We have been advised that there may be
closures of the Olive Avenue and Verdugo exits during the I-5
widening project.  Check our Website and our Meeting Reminders
for updates."

 http://sbe47.org/

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 BIRD FATALITIES FROM TOWERS IN THE NEWS AGAIN

 TV and radio towers are once again being villainized for
killing millions of birds each year and a number of deaths
do undoubtedly occur.  See the URLs below.

 However, let's put the "millions of birds" figure in
perspective.  According to the study numbers published in CGC
#1128, "cats are responsible for 42% of avian deaths due to
outside sources, collisions with buildings and windows take
another 42% while communication towers are only responsible
for 0.3% of the deaths."  It's important to keep that in
mind if you review the new report.

 http://tinyurl.com/StoryOnTheAvianReport
 http://tinyurl.com/TheLongFormAvianReport
 http://tinyurl.com/AvianMortality-RW  (Avian mortality data)

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 GENERAL NOTES OF INTEREST

 o  EAS tidbits from the NAB Show including the possibility
 of another national EAS test, but not this year:
 http://tinyurl.com/NextNationalEAS-Maybe2013

 o  One World Trade Center is about to become New York's
 tallest building:
 http://wor710.com/pages/12957114.php?

 o  Rather than simply take at face value the specious
 claims of wireless broadband providers, policy makers should
 heed the words of Martin Cooper, the inventor of the cell phone,
 who disputes the notion of a spectrum crisis:
 http://tinyurl.com/CooperOnSpecCrisis

 o  Copper and optical fiber theft in Alpine, CA.  The crooks
 disrupted major communications circuits in order to steal six
 feet of 600-strand copper cable and 75 feet of fiber:
 http://tinyurl.com/SixFeetOfCopper

 o  More memories of Phil Lerza:
 http://tinyurl.com/PhilLerzaRemembered

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 GENERAL NOTES FOR RADIO

 o  Is Pandora the number one radio station in L.A.?
 http://tinyurl.com/NumberOneInLosAngeles

 o  Radio magazine has issued its Pick Hits of the 2012
 NAB Show:
 http://tinyurl.com/RMs-PickHitsOfNAB2012

 o  Getting activated FM receiver chips into cell phones
 now seems to be a long way off unless the chips can be forced
 into the phones by legal maneuvering:
 http://www.radioink.com/Article.asp?id=2443586&spid=30800

 o  Reportedly there was an article on MDCL in the
 April issue of QST.  MDCL is undoubtedly popular but some
 controversy remains:
 http://tinyurl.com/MDCL-Basics

 o  May 16 is High School Radio Day:
 http://tinyurl.com/HighSchoolRadioDay

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 MORE ON THE SMART METER

 A retired teacher is suing San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)
over what she claims are serious health risks associated with
the company's new smart meters that use radio frequency waves
to report meter readings and power consumption.

 Susan Brinchman claims that the smart meter at her residence
causes her to have "intense headaches to the point where I feel
like I'm going to fall to the ground, and they last three days."
Brinchman said others have reported ringing in their ears,
dizziness, cardiac symptoms and nausea.

 http://www.10news.com/news/30955814/detail.html
 http://goo.gl/uySWa

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   KXDZ(FM), TEMPLETON, REVISITED

 Last week under the FCC Enforcement Watch heading of our
newsletter, we featured the case where KXDZ(FM), Templeton, CA,
was fined $10,000 for missing a number of issue/program lists from
its public file.  The new station ownership argued that it (the
new ownership) is "not responsible for maintaining public file
material from the period of time prior to the Station's current
ownership."  However, the FCC tossed out that argument and
affirmed the $10,000 fine.  See:

 http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/Orders/2012/DA-12-608A1.html

 So, do all station buyers need to perform stellar due diligence
before consummating a purchase?  Here are the views of two well
known broadcast attorneys.  The views diverge at first, but we
soon learn that "Assignment of License" and "Transfer of Control"
are two very different animals in the eyes of the FCC:

 Attorney #1 (formerly with the FCC):

 "Write a "hold harmless" clause into the purchase contract so
that if the new licensee is penalized for violations that occurred
under the old licensee's regime, the latter must reimburse the
former for any penalty or legal fees incurred.  This assumes that
the old licensee has any assets remaining after the sale."

 Attorney #2 (in private practice):

 "The law is well established that the FCC cannot penalize a
licensee for the sins of a previous licensee.  Thus, even if
the prior licensee failed to keep any files at all, once the FCC
grants the assignment from A to B, they can't go back and
punish B for the sins of A.

 "For tax and other reasons, transfers of control [as in the
KXDZ case] are fairly rare.  They occur when the Buyer simply
purchases the stock of an existing licensee.  So the FCC can take
the position that the licensee has not changed and the Buyer took
control, subject to the sins of the corporation.

 "I suspect, however, that the licensee will appeal this
forfeiture and that the appeal may be successful."

 Attorney #1 Reply Comment:

 "Attorney #2 makes a good point.  In a Transfer of Control, as
contrasted to an Assignment of License, the licensee remains the
same although the ownership of the licensee may change.  As far
as the FCC is concerned, the licensee hasn't changed, so the new
owners inherit the legal problems of the old owners.  In that
case, the necessity of a "hold harmless" indemnification clause
is very important."

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 FROM FILM STAR TO FREQUENCY-HOPPING INVENTOR

 Hedy Lamarr, the sultry, sexy screen star of the 1930s and
1940s, conceived of the technique now known as frequency-hopping
spread spectrum.

 In her 1992 book Feminine Ingenuity, Lamarr describes how she
came up with the idea of a radio signaling device for remote-
controlled torpedoes that would minimize the danger of detection
or jamming by randomly shifting the transmitter's frequency.  She
and composer George Antheil developed the concept and received
a patent for it in 1942.

 "I read the patent," Franklin Antonio, chief technical officer
of the cellular phone maker Qualcomm Inc, said in 1997. "You don't
usually think of movie stars having brains, but she sure did."

 The Lamarr/Antheil invention was described in CGC #369 & 374.
The following article adds new insight.

 http://www.todaysengineer.org/2012/Apr/backscatter.asp


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                      LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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 TECH LETTERS

 The most recent Tech Letters postings include the following:

 o  Two old TFT 760-series EBS FM boxes are needed for "the
 way it was" demonstrations to high school students:
 http://www.earthsignals.com/press/?p=1507

 o  Man indicted for taking funds from a Navajo Nation LPFM
 startup:
 http://tinyurl.com/Bittner-Navajo

 ______

 Letters to the Editor of the CGC Communicator should be
posted on the Tech Letters Website.  Here is the URL to see
the most recent postings and to make new postings (all letters
and comments are moderated and are posted after review):

 http://www.earthsignals.com/press/

 Please contact the moderator, Steve Blodgett, if you are
having trouble viewing or posting: sblodgett (at) earthsignals.com

 Thanks!


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                           OFF TOPIC
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 HIGH STANDARD OFF TOPIC MATERIAL

 o  Outstanding video and sound.  This is what it is like
 to cling to a solid rocket booster during a Shuttle launch
 including the parachuting of the spent rocket back to Earth:
 http://tinyurl.com/ClingingToAShuttleLaunch

 o  This map gives the percentages of various religious
 faiths for individual states in the U.S. (2007 Pew survey).
 Click on the following Web address, then hold your cursor over
 a state to view the results.  Put the cursor in the white
 space outside the U.S. to obtain overall figures:
 http://www.usatoday.com/news/graphics/pew-religion-08/flash.htm

 o  Touring Bob Paquette's fabulous Microphone Museum in
 Milwaukee, Wisconsin:
 

 o  The W5IG cool transmitter:
 http://tinyurl.com/W5IGCoolXmtr

 o  Just in time for Mothers Day.  Robins, 4 eggs, 4 weeks:
 http://tinyurl.com/FourEggs-FourWeeks


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