CGC #1191

by CGC on February 19, 2013

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                        THE CGC COMMUNICATOR

                             CGC #1191

                     Tuesday, February 19, 2013

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                  Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR,  Editor
                  

    Copyright 2013, Communications General® Corporation (CGC)

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  EAS SYSTEM IS HACKED - ZOMBIES ON THE LOOSE

  Broadcast engineers have known for some time that our nation's
Emergency Alert System (EAS) is vulnerable to hacking.  Now, the
unthinkable has happened.  Fortunately, this hack was relatively
benign and alleged that "zombies" were on the loose -- something
few reasonable people would believe.

  The serious issue of course is that the system was penetrated
suggesting that it could be hacked again by others with far more
malicious intent.  EAS security is being beefed up as a result
and that is a very good thing.  Here are the detailed stories
listed in the order received:

  http://tinyurl.com/The-EAS-Zombie-Attack
  http://tinyurl.com/EAS-Zombie-Unleashed
  http://tinyurl.com/LookingCloserAtTheZombie
  http://tinyurl.com/DoNotAir-EAS-TonesNeedlessly
  http://tinyurl.com/EAS-Snafu-Roundup

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  FCC (AND RELATED) NEWS BRIEFS

  o  Research indicates that FCC repacking of the UHF TV band
  will lead to increased interference within converter boxes
  used for over-the-air reception -- a serious issue indeed:
  http://tinyurl.com/Repacking-Desensitizes-TV

  o  NAB has asked the FCC to back off changing its method
  of calculating TV station coverage areas and interference
  protections, at least for now, because spectrum auctions
  are right around the corner:
  http://tinyurl.com/FCC-Asked-To-Back-Off
  http://tinyurl.com/DougOnOET69

  o  FCC dismisses FM translator Form 349 "tech box" proposals
  with defective caps showings (note that nothing was dismissed
  in our southern California reporting area):
  http://tinyurl.com/More-xlator-dismissals-Text
  http://tinyurl.com/More-xlator-dismissals-Chart

  o  Consumers are migrating toward faster Internet speeds
  and those speeds are being substantially delivered, even
  during times of peak usage:
  http://tinyurl.com/InternetSpeedImprovements
  http://tinyurl.com/SpeedyViaSat

  o  An NPRM has been issued to (a) amend Parts 0, 1, 2, and
  15 of the FCC's rules regarding authorization of radiofrequency
  equipment, and (b) amend Part 68 regarding approval of terminal
  equipment by Telecommunications Certification Bodies:
  http://tinyurl.com/Authorizing-RF-Gear

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  FCC OPEN MEETING SET FOR TOMORROW

  The agenda for the FCC's Open Meeting on February 20 looks
  just like the tentative agenda published three week ago:

  o  improving wireless coverage for consumers through
  the use of signal boosters, and

  o  increasing the amount of spectrum available for
  unlicensed devices (e.g. Wi-Fi) in the 5 GHz band.

  http://tinyurl.com/02-20-13-Fixed-Agenda

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  TOWARD TAXPAYER-SUPPORTED INTERNET DEPLOYMENT

  Commenting on proposed municipal broadband legislation,
FCC Chairman Genachowski says, "That's why the National Broadband
Plan stated that, when private investment isn't a feasible option
for broadband deployment, local governments "have the right to
move forward and build networks that serve their constituents
as they deem appropriate."

  http://tinyurl.com/TaxpayerSupportedInternet

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  FCC ENFORCEMENT WATCH -- SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

  o  KSSB(FM), Calipatria, fined $8,000 for failing to
  maintain a complete public inspection file:
  http://tinyurl.com/KSSB-PubFileViolation

  o  KFSD(AM), Escondido, fined $4,800 for failing to ensure
  the operational readiness of its EAS equipment:
  http://tinyurl.com/KFSD-EAS-Violation

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  SPURIOUS EMISSIONS ON THE LOOSE

  Another pirate FM transmitter (Florida) has caused
interference to air traffic control and that incident has put
the pirate into very hot water.

  Most people do not realize that transmitters sometimes
malfunction and break into "self-oscillation" and send out
signals on multiple frequencies simultaneously ("spurious
emissions" as the undesired signals are called).  Spurs could
have been the culprit here with one of the spurs landing
right on top of the air traffic control frequency.

  http://tinyurl.com/HotWaterPirate

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  NEXT INSTALLMENT IN THE KEVIN BONDY CASE

  Extract from CGC #906 dated May 25, 2009:

  "...The particulars [of this case] involve a dedicated and
industrious jammer causing willful and repeated interference
to the radio channels licensed to The Oaks Shopping Center
in Thousand Oaks, CA...  The proposed fine is $24,000."

  Since that time, Mr. Bondy challenged the fine.  However,
a just-released FCC MO&O affirms the fine and dismisses
Mr. Bondy's petition for reconsideration as procedurally
defective.  The wheels of the FCC may turn slowly at times,
but they tend to grind finely.

  http://tinyurl.com/KevinBondy-MOandO

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  GIVING AWAY TOO MANY FREE TELEPHONES

  Low income households are entitled to one free telephone
per household courtesy of a controversial governmental assistance
program.  Apparently a whole bunch of folks have taken advantage
of the program by acquiring multiple telephones instead of just
one phone.  The following Citation & Order is one of several
recently released by the FCC.

  http://tinyurl.com/FreePhoneFrenzy

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  A LITTLE SIESTA IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

  o  The FCC's Enforcement Bureau maintains a list of Notices
  of Apparent Liability and related items -- a list that CGC and
  others routinely check to find out what is going on in the
  enforcement world.

  Now, a batch of NALs and related items between the dates of
  1/20/13 and 2/3/13 have disappeared from the list.  Gone for
  example are items pertaining to WNAP, Inc. (1/24) and KNZA,
  Inc. (2/1).  Hopefully they were erased by mistake and will
  reappear soon at this address:
  http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/FieldNotices/

  o  The FCC Enforcement Bureau still hasn't updated its other
  enforcement actions sheet found at the URL below.  The most
  recent item listed is 12/13/12 -- that's over two months ago:
  http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/rfo/ActAct.html


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                         NAB SHOW NOTES
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  NAB ENGINEERING ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

  This year's NAB engineering achievement awards go to Jay
Adrick of Harris and Frank Foti of Telos Alliance.  A Special
Service to Broadcast Engineering Award will be given to Leonard
Charles of Morgan Murphy Media.

  Congratulations to these outstanding gentlemen!

  http://tinyurl.com/EngineeringAchievementAwards

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  LOWELL C. McADAM AT THE NAB SHOW

  CGC has long envisioned the cell phone as becoming a
ubiquitous instrument incorporating an incredible array of
communications, sensory and computational devices.  To that end,
one "must see" presentation at the NAB Show will be the Tuesday
April 9 session entitled, "Lowell McAdam: A Candid Conversation."

  McAdam will be in discussion with NAB President and CEO
Gordon Smith on a vision for the future of wireless broadband,
broadcasting and competition in a multi-platform world.  McAdam
is chairman and CEO of Verizon Communications.  (NAB)


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                      CGC COMMUNICATOR NEWS
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  CGC COMMUNICATOR PARTIAL PUBLICATION SUSPENSION

  As many of you know, XO/Concentric/Connectnet is scheduled
to take down our newsletter uploading circuits in May.  This is
a global change that will impact many of their other customers
as well.

  Thanks to tips from our readers, we now have at least two
apparently viable options for continuing publication come May,
although major changes will be required to our computer systems.
On the other hand, there is some thinking that the CGC Communicator
has run its course because much of what we now publish is easily
available elsewhere (this wasn't always true).  In particular,
Radio World's NewsBytes has stepped up to the plate and is doing
a fabulous job with both local and national news.  A large number
of our stories are now gleaned from this one excellent publication,
and there is no need to duplicate their efforts.

  In response to XO's disconnect order, we have decided to
put our weekly newsletter on a little vacation while we further
explore other publishing options.  However, our once-a-month
newsletter listing southern California FCC Applications and Actions
will continue to be published until the XO circuits disappear.  We
realize the FCC information is particularly important to many.

  Again, the weekly CGC Communicator is going on vacation
while we consider our options, and the monthly Communicator will
continue in force for now.  If we do decide to end all publica-
tions, there are about 10,000 other opportunities we are anxious
to explore including expanding our consulting and spectral
monitoring operations.

  Thanks!


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                       LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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  TECH LETTERS

  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  A medical operating room in the future may use ultra-
  sonic sound beams to perform surgery without the need to
  make an incision:
  http://tinyurl.com/FutureMedicalOperatingRoom

  o  A fantasy fun flight over America:
  http://tinyurl.com/FunFantasyFlight

  o  Lightning struck St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican hours
  after Pope Benedict XVI announced that he will resign as leader
  of the world's 1.1 billion Catholics on February 28.  The
  episode reminds us that in addition to the right and the left,
  there is also an up and a down -- something to keep in mind
  during our busy daily lives:
  http://tinyurl.com/LightningStrikesStPB
  http://www.weather.com/news/pope-resigns-20130211


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