Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

White Space Plan Would Reuse TV Spectrum

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the this-time-for-good-not-for-evil dept.

Wireless Networking 150

An anonymous reader writes "A collection of companies including Microsoft, Google and Motorola are teaming up for a new white space wireless network plan. The White Spaces Database Group, as it will be known, plans on formulating a plan to create, govern and maintain a wireless broadband network on abandoned analog television spectrum. When the spectrum is finally vacated in June, the group hopes that system in place which will allow for the creation of an open wireless broadband network which will be accessible by any device. The FCC officially approved keeping the spectrum open back in November, despite staunch opposition from telco firms."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Govern? (-1)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 5 years ago | (#26744463)

I don't like the sound of that.

Gay niggers going bump in the night (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26744475)

me either, scary..

Re:Gay niggers going bump in the night (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26744549)

...from outer space...?

Re:Gay niggers going bump in the night (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26744763)

So _that's_ why Obama wants to ban space weapons!

Re:Govern? (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26744513)

What? you want any large corporation to just be able to take it all for themselves?
That's really the other choice. Govern it, or let the biggest bully take it.

Re:Govern? (2, Interesting)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 5 years ago | (#26744551)

Of the players listed in the summary, one has a history of impeding development in the marketplace to increase dependence on their own products.

This process will be open you say? So was MS XML standard ratification process.

905 of my income comes from working with MS products, but I don't want them anywhere near processes like this. Just my .02.

Re:Govern? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26744647)

Gah, OOXML, 90%. Only on my first cup of coffee.

Re:Govern? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26744847)

Considering all the players, and the government would be involved, and that it is in MS's best interest to keep it open. I'm not really that worried. They want to software that can be used on any device. If they had sole control, the they would have a hard time getting other players.

Yes, I do know MS's history, and if it was just them I would be concerned..of course I would be concerned is it was under control of ANY single company.

905 is supposed to be 90%, right? I had to stare at it for a moment before I got it.

Re:Govern? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26745197)

you asshole, read the fucking update that was posted 12 minutes before you posted.

ushering05401

Re:Govern? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26745465)

You Dickhead, Maybe he couldn't because you replied as an AC with a score of 0 and he probably didn't see it. Try editing your posts of the first time before berating people dumbass.

Re:Govern? (0, Offtopic)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 5 years ago | (#26745767)

Do you really think I would post AC then sign my post?

Re:Govern? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26745821)

yes

ushering05401

Re:Govern? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26745881)

Read my posting history.. I have no problem telling people to fuck off without clicking post anonymously.

ushering05401

Re:Govern? (3, Interesting)

Sylver Dragon (445237) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746077)

I don't know, the last time a chunk of spectrum was posted with "here there be dragons!" and otherwise left alone, we got Bluetooth and wireless networking.

Sure, there are some basic rules which keep the different devices from trampling each other, and there are licenses within that spectrum which are allowed to dominate anyone else and may not be interfered with. So, imagine what such a useful chunk of spectrum, without any licenses encumbering it, and left as a playground for anyone to use could result in.

On the whole, I'd love to see the vacated spectrum kept as a public resource with anyone allowed to put anything into it which they wish. The understanding would simply be that others will operate in that space as well so any device needs to be fault tolerant, and ideally, play nice with others.

Of course, the Federal Censorship Commission (FCC) being what it is, I imagine that we'd quickly see rules slapped onto it about "indecent" content.

Re:Govern? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26746201)

As the rules stand right now, every device has to be connected to a database that checks 'known' license holders and when it 'senses' interference it is to stop transmitting. Then the radio on the customer side has to be 10meters off the ground and the radio on the tower side can be no higher than 30 meters. Right now it's too restrictive to be used by wireless ISP's and even the equipment manufaturers are trying to get the rules eased up a bit.

Re:Govern? (1)

cjb658 (1235986) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746961)

Move to a city. The 2.4GHz spectrum is crowded.

Wi-Fi works because of its very limited range. Try it with a range of several miles.

Re:Govern? (3, Interesting)

RCourtney (973307) | more than 5 years ago | (#26744891)

I don't like the sound of that.

Why not? All the companies listed have a vested interest in getting rid of the middle-man (telcos) in order to ensure maximum profit for their respective businesses. Google wants to make sure you can see their ads on any device anywhere. Motorola wants to make a lot of those devices. Microsoft wants to do both. The telcos have done nothing but limit all of these companies (and thus, us, the consumer) with their strangle-hold on the spectrum thus far.

White space? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26744489)

Why you being racist like that? Do whites really need more space? Don't they have enough already?

Re:White space? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26744843)

Well, we could start calling dark fiber "Black Fiber"...

Re:White space? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26745357)

I guess if it uses multiple wavelengths on a single strand, we'll have to call it "colored fiber."

Re:White space? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26745783)

Well, you have all that "dark fiber" out there.. what's wrong with a bit of "white space" for us common folk in flyover territory?

RERUM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26744511)

!AND

How the telcos will respond (4, Insightful)

pieterh (196118) | more than 5 years ago | (#26744517)

This is a very profound threat to lucrative mobile cartels. Yet it's absolutely necessary as a step on the way to opening the airwaves to serve a real global Internet. My prediction: the telcos will respond with patent litigation, and with "think of the children and *AA" legislative proposals to tie the new open networks up in monitoring, filtering, and other restrictions on use.

Re:How the telcos will respond (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26745823)

Don't forget who holds the cards on the backbone, mostly telecom companies.

Re:How the telcos will respond (4, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26745897)

I'm not happy about it.

I live in Lancaster PA. The TV Band (whitespace) Devices will broadcast over top of, and block my Baltimore/Philly stations. No more 2,3,6,10,11,12,13,17,35,45,57,61,65 - no more Orioles, Raven, Phillies, or Eagles games. Less variety & loss of free television is not something I'm looking forward to.

Re:How the telcos will respond (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26746151)

Hey you, wake up!

Your (analog) stations are going away in June, whether this wireless broadband network gets off the ground or not.

Re:How the telcos will respond (4, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746209)

>>> Hey you, wake up! Your (analog) stations are going away in June, whether this wireless broadband network gets off the ground or not.

Hey you, wake up!

The digital stations will still be there you dope. On channels 2 to 51. Duh.

Re:How the telcos will respond (4, Funny)

n6kuy (172098) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746301)

> I live in Lancaster PA.

No worries. You Amish don't watch TV anyway.

Re:How the telcos will respond (1)

gsmalleus (886346) | more than 5 years ago | (#26747841)

Don't be so quick to judge. I also live in Lancaster County, and used to have an Amish woman as a babysitter when I was a kid. She seriously loved Wheel of Fortune.

Re:How the telcos will respond (1)

Daa (9883) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746859)

Philly and Baltimore 2 ->38 3 ->26 6 stays 10->34 11 stays 12 stays 13 stays 17 stays 35 stays 45 ->46 57 ->32 60 ->9 (yes 9) 61 ->31 62 ->49 http://www.rabbitears.info/market.php [rabbitears.info]

Re:How the telcos will respond (3, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26747183)

Non-relevant. The TV Band (whitespace) Devices will broadcast over top of my Baltimore/Philly stations, since they are considered "out of market" for my town.

Re:How the telcos will respond (2, Informative)

ion.simon.c (1183967) | more than 5 years ago | (#26747019)

The TV Band (whitespace) Devices will broadcast over top of, and block my Baltimore/Philly stations.

Prove it. Oh, wait... you can't, as there currenlty are no licensed whitespace devices out in the market.
The FCC is requiring that whitespace devices not interfere with DTV and wireless mic signals. I bet that you would get a rapid and effective response from the FCC if you *really* did have a whitespace device that was fucking up your TV signal.

Re:How the telcos will respond (3, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26747209)

>>>The FCC is requiring that whitespace devices not interfere with DTV

You mean *in-market* DTV. Out-of-market DTV is not protected, which is why I will lose the Baltimore-Philadelphia stations.

Re:How the telcos will respond (2, Insightful)

ion.simon.c (1183967) | more than 5 years ago | (#26747457)

You're speaking of it as if it is a certainty. You might want to wait and see just how good these devices are. I bet that you'll be pleasantly surprised by the state of the computer-controlled radio art.

Re:How the telcos will respond (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26745959)

P.S.

>>> "maintain a wireless broadband network on the abandoned analogue television spectrum."

The article summary is wrong. The November meeting with the FCC approved TV Band/whitespace Devices to operate *on* the channels on the television dial (2 to 51). This is not abandoned spectrum. On the contrary, it's very active spectrum - active with Digital and High-Def TV.

Welcome to Niggerbuntu (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26744609)

Niggerbuntu is a Linux-based operating system consisting of Free and Open Source software for laptops, desktops, and servers. Niggerbuntu has a clear focus on the user and usability - it should "Just Work", even if the user has only the thinking capacities of a sponge. The OS ships with the latest Gnomrilla release as well as a selection of server and desktop software that makes for a comfortable desktop experience off a single installation CD. It also features the packaging manager apeghetto, and the challenging Linux manual pages have been reformatted into the new 'monkey' format, so for example the manual for the shutdown command can be accessed just by typing: 'monkey shut-up -h now mothafukka' instead of 'man shutdown'.

Absolutely Free of Charge

Niggerbuntu is Free Software, and available to you free of charge, as in free beer or free stuffs you can get from looting. It's also Free in the sense of giving you rights of Software Freedom. The freedom to run, copy, steal, distribute, share, change the software for any purpose, without paying licensing fees.

Free software as in free beer!

Niggerbuntu is an ancient Nigger word, meaning "humanity to monkeys". Niggerbuntu also means "I am what I am because of how apes behave". The Niggerbuntu Linux distribution brings the spirit of Niggerbuntu to the software world. The dictator Bokassa described Niggerbuntu in the following way: "A subhuman with Niggerbuntu is open and available to others (like a white bitch you're ready to fsck), affirming of others, does not feel threatened by the fact that others species are more intelligent than we are, for it has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that it belongs to the great monkey specie." We chose the name Niggerbuntu for this distribution because we think it captures perfectly the spirit of sharing and looting that is at the heart of the open source movement.

Re:Welcome to Niggerbuntu (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26744887)

That you actually put effort into copying and pasting this product of an unhappy childish mind suggests that you should look for professional help and/or consider medication.

Some points of accuracy for your text. First, the attempt to dismiss African culture with insults does not work. There are many good ways to criticize Africa, but they do not rely on contempt for the amount of melanin in the skin. You need to find better metrics. There is, despite the attempts of thousands of people who share your medical condition, no correlation between skin color and level of "humanism".

Second, you attempt to associate free and open source software with "stealing". This is a self-defeating insult since it's so obviously the opposite of the truth. As sarcasm, it does not work. I'd suggest calling it "amateuristic", or "naive", or even "chaotic". But "stealing" does simply not hurt.

To help you, it's as if someone gave you a large chocolate cookie, and you threw it away, saying it was excrement. Basically, no-one would mind, and you would look like a fool, which you are.

Finally, you appear to evoke the Creationism vs. Evolution fights by referring copiously to monkeys. Again, if you want to insult humans, do so by pointing to aspects that are truly offensive, such as their ability to waste the bounty of cheap modern-day communications with drivel like your post. Referring to our evolutionary heritage - while perhaps the most accurate part of your text - is simply not hurtful. It's like pointing to a car and saying, in a sneering voice, "look, a mechanical horse!"

My advice would be to see, in order, a physician, a pharmacist, and an English teacher.

Thank you
-- Slashdot

Re:Welcome to Niggerbuntu (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26744991)

Your excellent critique almost makes it seem like a good idea to respond to trolls. Nice work!

Re:Welcome to Niggerbuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26745061)

well, since we're all anon here...

Re:Welcome to Niggerbuntu (3, Interesting)

BoChen456 (1099463) | more than 5 years ago | (#26745201)

Is the root troll an auto text generating bot? Hmm... It might be an interesting project to write an auto troll feeding bot.

This is social justice (4, Interesting)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 5 years ago | (#26744645)

This could provide critically needed rural access to broadband. It would also create competition for local DSL and Cable Model monopolies. There is no downside here for consumers.

Re:This is social justice (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26745155)

Oh, it's terrible for consumers. First, not auctioning off this spectrum deprives tax payers of money. When you think about it, it's really criminal that the government doesn't auction off all of our services and rights to private enterprise. We could make SO MUCH money!

Also, by providing "free" things, you're depriving companies of revenue, which will damage the economy. They'll have to charge more for other services, and probably cut jobs too. We want the telecoms to make as much money as possible, because then the economy will thrive.

(Of course I'm not serious, but apparently some people think like this.)

Re:This is social justice (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746051)

>>>Also, by providing "free" things,

No, not free. There will be a fee to access the whitespace, according to the FCC ruling back in November.

Re:This is social justice (1, Redundant)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26747347)

the bastards, how dare they deprive us of the oppertunity to pay for things twice!

Re:This is social justice (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746005)

>>>There is no downside here for consumers.

Actually there's one very major downside: A rural viewer might be watching channel 10 to catch-up on the news, and suddenly the kid next door turns-on his TV Ban/whitespace Device and starts broadcasting over the same channel 10. The rural viewer will see garbage just like this:

http://www.interferencezones.com/ [interferencezones.com]

Re:This is social justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26746773)

then we can laugh at the loser wasting his time watching sports on tv. and if he complains, lets execute his worthless ass and use his carbon for fuel.

Re:This is social justice (2, Informative)

JustNilt (984644) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746913)

Actually there's one very major downside: A rural viewer might be watching channel 10 to catch-up on the news, and suddenly the kid next door turns-on his TV Ban/whitespace Device and starts broadcasting over the same channel 10.

Except that the T signal is broadcast on a different part of the radio spectrum, not the one the whitespace device will be on. In addition, the whitespace devices use only UNUSED spectrum, following methods already shown to be effective. Enough astroturfing already.

Re:This is social justice (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26747233)

>>>the TV signal is broadcast on a different part of the radio spectrum, not the one the whitespace device will be on.

Apparently you can not read. TV Band/whitespace Devices will be broadcasting on channels 2 to 51. Same as digital television. See: http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/94421-FCC_Approves_White_Spaces_Devices.php [broadcastingcable.com]

Re:This is social justice (2, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#26747453)

Actually, the way I understand digital it is unlikely the rural viewer will get anything at all. In the past, rural areas could get a signal just by mounting a large receiving antenna. Now, with the way digital works, it is unlikely that anyone who did not get excellent analog coverage is going to get nothing without either a station that retransmits content or a satellite service. Even in the city, there are stations that I have trouble receiving. The least of the rural worries are interference. It is seems they will be lucky if there is something to interfere with.

Well then (1)

d3l33t (1106803) | more than 5 years ago | (#26744713)

Since it's public domain then they shouldn't have any problem appointing me to their board, right?

Re:Well then (2, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26744877)

Are you qualified? being open doesn't mean any yahoo can run the thing.

Re:Well then (0)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26745039)

In fact, having Yahoo [yahoo.com] run it sounds like a bad idea, hehe =D

Return Path? (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 5 years ago | (#26744737)

Any word on how your data will get back to the place you are visiting? Are these frequencies suitable for low-power transmission by consumers? Should be expect yet another cellular radio network? Is that a good thing, given that health concerns have not been laid to rest completely?

Re:Return Path? (4, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26744765)

Health concerns have scientifically been oput to rest. There isn't really anything you can do about peple who just make shit up and ignore facts.

Re:Return Path? (1)

argmanah (616458) | more than 5 years ago | (#26745079)

Health concerns have scientifically been oput to rest. There isn't really anything you can do about peple who just make shit up and ignore facts.

I have no doubt that they've been put to rest as far as we know, but when it comes to medicine and health, our science has always been imprecise. Something that is good and safe this year will be bad and will kill you the next. This is the problem when half the conclusions being drawn are along the lines of "We have no idea how or why this works, but in a double blind trial of 300 people, we show a 15% improvement."

Not that I believe there are health concerns with wireless technology, just saying that there was a time the people were convinced the world was flat.

Re:Return Path? (1)

Who Is The Drizzle (1470385) | more than 5 years ago | (#26745157)

just saying that there was a time the people were convinced the world was flat.

This is a popular misconception that is spread about but is far from being true. I suggest you give this a good read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth_of_the_Flat_Earth [wikipedia.org]

To quote just a small section:

The Myth of the Flat Earth or Flat Earth mythology refers to the modern misconception that the prevailing cosmological view during the Middle Ages saw the Earth as flat, instead of spherical. During the early Middle Ages, many scholars maintained the spherical viewpoint first expressed by the Ancient Greeks. By the 14th century, belief in a flat earth among the educated was essentially dead. Flat-Earth models were in fact held at earlier (pre-medieval) times, before the spherical model became commonly accepted in Hellenistic astronomy.

Re:Return Path? (4, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26745365)

See friend, that's the difference between the human body, which is imperfectly understood, if at all, and say... RADIO WAVES, which we pretty much understand all significant issues of.

If you give me a pill and say "We don't think this will kill you.", I have a legitimate concern.

If you give me a cell phone and say "its impact on you is less than the impact of the background radiation you are exposed to daily 24/7, we know this via several methods, most significantly a through understanding of how radio waves propagate." I don't.

Re:Return Path? (3, Interesting)

Ocker3 (1232550) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746947)

you've just disproved your own point. we're Not 100% sure how the human body works, and so we're not 100% sure how radio waves affect it. Just because we understand how to send and recieve radio waves, doesn't mean we always know what happens when we bounce a lot of them off of cells in the human body. Hopefully not much (I carry a cell phone all day), but I try to minimise my exposure if I don't need to have it on me. If we're not sure if something is extremely, moderately or mildly dangerous, or even innocuous, being careful with it until we're sure is perhaps a better plan than simply saying "we're pretty sure this is A-OK, so go wild." We've had problems with technology before, DDT, X-Rays (Marie Curie died from studying them), asbestos, all had/have their uses, but need to be treated with appropriate respect.

Re:Return Path? (1)

ion.simon.c (1183967) | more than 5 years ago | (#26747753)

you've just disproved your own point.

What? Look. *You* might not have the foggiest notion about the interactions between EM radiation and the human body, but the scientific community does. It has been intensely studying EM radiation for far more than fifty years.

There comes a time when you have to say things like "You know, containing explosions in a strong metal vessel for the purpose of propelling a mass really has turned out to be a good idea with a safe implementation. I *should* believe the engineers and scientists -who have spent the better part of their lives working in their fields- when they tell me that I'm not going to blow myself up using one of these 'internal combustion engines'." [1]

Curie died in 1934, BTW. Do you have any more recent examples of scientists who've expired due to EM exposure as part of routine research?

[1] The point being made here is that the engine is safe for the operator. The environmental impact of widespread fossil fuel combustion is ignored for the purpose of this comment. (Also, the same basic design can be used with fuels that have a *much* lower environmental impact, so let's not even start the OMG Global Warming debate.)

Re:Return Path? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26746573)

Something that is good and safe this year will be bad and will kill you the next.

That is exactly why we have to do this now, while it's still healthy, because if we wait too long and do it next year it might kill us all.

Re:Return Path? (3, Insightful)

Who Is The Drizzle (1470385) | more than 5 years ago | (#26744807)

Should be expect yet another cellular radio network? Is that a good thing, given that health concerns have not been laid to rest completely?

Sine when have they not been put to rest? Just because a bunch of loonies disagree with the science that debunked their claims doesn't mean their concerns haven't been put to rest.

Re:Return Path? (1)

pla (258480) | more than 5 years ago | (#26745131)

Are these frequencies suitable for low-power transmission by consumers?

They originally chose the frequencies involved because they propagate quite easily through the Earth's atmosphere (unlike 2.4GHz, to which our atmosphere basically looks opaque, and the FCC only threw us that scrap because all the Big Boys considered it nearly worthless).

As for transmission power, with a good high-gain directional transceiver, you only need to make up for losses between you and the other end; so if 2.4GHz works fine at 50mW, 100MHz will also work fine at 50mW - Except it will go 20 miles instead of 2000 meters.

Whitespace?? (3, Informative)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 5 years ago | (#26744749)

I wonder if their documentation will be written in whitespace [wikipedia.org] .

Automatically say no. (0, Flamebait)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26744875)

Any time Microsoft and Google decide to partner on something, you know the rest of us are just going to get screwed. Let's make these two giants work for us by competing against each other. While some may want a bipartisan, colluding government, it is only madness to want the same from corporations!

Re:Automatically say no. (4, Funny)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#26744919)

Any time Microsoft and Google decide to partner on something, you know the rest of us are just going to get screwed.

Because why, exactly? And before you start, try going with a reasoned argument, rather than paranoid ramblings. I know that's asking a lot, but...

Re:Automatically say no. (1)

koutbo6 (1134545) | more than 5 years ago | (#26745089)

Taking a purely logical approach
Google [good] + Microsoft [Evil] = Neutral

Re:Automatically say no. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746769)

Actually:
Google [Chaotic good] + Microsoft [Chaotic Evil] = Chaotic Neutral...aw crap, we're boned.

Re:Automatically say no. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746191)

Because why, exactly? And before you start, try going with a reasoned argument, rather than paranoid ramblings. I know that's asking a lot, but...

I would be reluctant to classify as a paranoid ramblings a general distrust of concentrated power. A distrust of concentrated power is one of the few consensus's behind most mainstream Americans. We distrust the government, so we divide it between cities, counties states and the federal, and in each of those cases, we further divide that same government into legislative, executive and judiciary branches, and often we then divide the legislative branch even further. We distrust concentrated private power, so we enact laws and have in the past broken up corporations whose power was deemed too large. We arm our citizenry to check the government further, and we even further empower ourselves and our institutions to make free speech, hold private funds, and organize politically. So... you say, given that two of the most important software companies in the world are collaborating, how could it be a paranoid rambling to distrust them? I would say, how it could be consistent with any aspect of western culture TO trust them!

Re:Automatically say no. (1)

bdwebb (985489) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746421)

Okay...you're looking WAY too deep into this. They are trying to form a standard to avoid another VHS/Betamax, HD DVD/Blu-ray format war. Once they have a standard, they can then **COMPETE** with one another while maintaining interoperability between all devices within the standard which allows consumers to make their purchasing decisions based solely on the quality of each of the competitors' products.

Re:Automatically say no. (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746535)

So... you say, given that two of the most important software companies in the world are collaborating, how could it be a paranoid rambling to distrust them?

Oh, I don't know... because the most important software companies in the world collaborating gave us *UNIX* (or, I suppose I should say POSIX), among other things.

Trust me, you're paranoid. Companies working together to agree to an interoperable standard is a *good* thing, not a "[concentration] of power".

Re:Automatically say no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26746761)

Trust me, you're paranoid. Companies working together to agree to an interoperable standard is a *good* thing, not a "[concentration] of power".

You mean like Microsoft "working together" to get Open XML approved?

Re:Automatically say no. (1)

GodKingAmit (1192629) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746355)

oops, accidentally rated overrated instead of funny

Re:Automatically say no. (2, Informative)

hobbit (5915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26745035)

Any time Microsoft and Google decide to partner on something, you know the rest of us are just going to get screwed.

Right now, with many of us having only one choice for the local loop (or is it only called the last mile these days? I'm showing my age), we're already screwed. This initiative is the very competition you seek.

Re:Automatically say no. (1)

mmaniaci (1200061) | more than 5 years ago | (#26745475)

From the article:
we'll advocate for data formats and protocols that are open and non-proprietary

At least in this case, the more big players teaming up, the better. Like it or not, these companies' products are main stream and having open, non-proprietary, and UNIFORM standards defining one or all future releases of these products is a very good thing.

Re:Automatically say no. (1)

bdwebb (985489) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746353)

Uhh...the way I read it is that they are coming together to formulate a plan to utilize the whitespace for communications. I think it is more that they are determining how to structure the network so that devices can interoperate with one another or like settling on a standard. I'm not sure that they are necessarily 'partnering' to form some MSoogle cabal or something....they still pretty much hate each other and want to kill one another. They just need to agree on where and how to fight in the new arena.

Re:Automatically say no. (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26747391)

"Any time"? you make it sound like they do it all the time, when i can't even think of a single instance. my god you fail so hard you deserve one of those amusing posters.

HAH! take that charter! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26745049)

your attempts to crap customer bandwidth are futile!
MUHAHAHAHA [Evil Laugh]

Why Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26745305)

I guess I can understand the drive behind some of the corporations backing this:
- Comsearch: Wireless networking
- NeuStar: Network management
- Motorola: Cellular tech
- Dell: PC hardware
- HP: PC hardware
- Microsoft: PC software

But how does Google help?

The only benefit I can see is that they since they don't really have much of an off-line presence, they have a vested interest in making internet availability simple, reliable and widely available.

The difference is that while the other companies may be bringing technical expertise in each specific field to the table, Google is probably only bringing big bags of money.

How utterly Shakespearean (1)

scorpivs (1408651) | more than 5 years ago | (#26745361)

Staged: Another dramatic variation on a theme, not-so-cleverly disguised as a change of scenery. Uncle Sam didn't see that one coming? Yeah, right; M-G-M study-oh's perchance? What's in a name. ...This better be good.

*expresses in deadpan*

Summary doesn't make sense (2, Informative)

nsayer (86181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26745561)

Are they talking white space or are they talking 700 MHz?

White space means unused TV channels, which means 470-700 MHz after the transition.

What it sounds like, however, is that they're referring to the rules that will govern the new 700 MHz allocations that were auctioned last year.

There is no "abandoned" analog bandwidth. The top 100 MHz of the UHF TV band were reallocated to other services and the TV broadcasters were "packed in" closer together thanks to ATSC's less stringent adjacent channel spacing requirements.

Re:Summary doesn't make sense (1)

David Bengtson (87963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26747869)

The "White Spaces" plan is to use unused UHF TV Bands for wireless internet. There's plenty of spectrum in rural areas, not so much in populated areas.

This is separate from the 700 MHz Auction from last year

UHF Wireless Microphones & Ham Radio (5, Interesting)

Gazoogleheimer (1466831) | more than 5 years ago | (#26745707)

As both a sound engineer at a theater and an amateur radio operator, I fear that these devices will not be made to the standards required for such...versatile transmitters and that they will not properly 'check' for signal presence. It's not too much of a problem for ham stuff (stay out of my 440MHz, I'm happy)--but UHF wireless microphones in theaters utilize unused UHF television channels. I don't want to come in one day, turn on all of my Shure receivers, and have to rechannelize all of my microphones which I already set carefully. I don't know if my wariness is justified, however.

Re:UHF Wireless Microphones & Ham Radio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26745837)

Those UHF microphones are violating the law. Look it up.

The worries are the other way around, will properly licensed equipment be bothered all of the illegal RF gear out there.

Are those UHF Wireless Mics licensed? (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746195)

If they are not licensed, then by what right do you expect them to not get interference? One unlicensed user has just as much right to the spectrum as another. If the mike's were digital, they could, I think, happily co-exist with other digital users of that white-space spectrum. Outside of ham-bands, I begin to think that analog radio devices will quickly become a think of the past - the problem with analog stuff is that basically only one user (or one group of users) can use a certain frequency at a time. With packetized digital communications (and/or spread-spectrum techniques), multiple groups of users can share bandwidth at the same time.

Shared use, seems like a much more equitable use of limited spectrum resources, than the old analog 'dedicated channel' model. Still, if you are someone with analog A/V equipment, I suppose it would kind of stink. I suppose an equitable compromise might be to start by making sales of such 'legacy' equipment illegal, but continue to allow it's use for some number of years, to allow people and companies who've invested in such equipment to 'get their monies' worth' out of it, with a plan to make the continued use of such equipment illegal after a cutoff date in like 5 or 10 years.

Re:Are those UHF Wireless Mics licensed? (2)

Gazoogleheimer (1466831) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746787)

They are unlicensed, however when one has twenty-five or so multi-hundred-dollar pack systems that our school theater purchased only about a year ago. And no, to the other replier--they are in no way breaking the law, for they are in the milliwatt range and in proper allocation by the FCC and USDOC. There are very few 'digital' models for spread spectrum, and the analog packs have no reception issues (although they need companding to squeeze enough dynamic range in.) It would be different if this equipment was legacy...but it's brand new. Yes, there is no "right" to not receive interference (although I do not believe they are precisely part 15) as with licensed spectrum, like the ham bands I and many others use--however I myself have adored the persistence of analog radios to allow the odd excitement of scanning.

Re:Are those UHF Wireless Mics licensed? (1)

Gazoogleheimer (1466831) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746907)

Oops. "They are unlicensed, however when one has twenty-five or so multi-hundred-dollar pack systems that our school theater purchased only about a year ago"->"...one doesn't like having them go obsolete."

Sorry to break this to you... (5, Informative)

dtmos (447842) | more than 5 years ago | (#26747975)

...but if your wireless mics really are in the TV bands, and really aren't Part 15 devices, then they're Part 74, Subpart H devices [gpoaccess.gov] , which do require a license. There are no other options. You're one of many who've been sold a bill of goods by unscrupulous manufacturers of these microphones which, by law, can only be licensed to television stations, broadcast networks, cable television systems, motion picture producers, television program producers, and Multipoint Multichannel Distribution System (MMDS) licensees (Title 47 USC, 74.832 [gpoaccess.gov] ). See this [rdrop.com] for a pretty good, if slightly dated, FAQ on what's required to license a wireless microphone in the US.

These microphones typically will be offered no protection against interference from whitespace protocols like the IEEE 802.22 standard [wikipedia.org] . Note that the IEEE 802.22 group [ieee802.org] is also in the final stages of standardizing a beacon protocol, IEEE 802.22.1 [pdf] [ieee.org] . This beacon is to be present whenever the (licensed) wireless microphone is in operation, and produces a signal easier to detect (at a greater range) than the microphone itself, so that cognitive white space secondary users can more reliably determine that that television channel is occupied and move elsewhere. This system avoids interference to the wireless microphone by the secondary user.

Re:UHF Wireless Microphones & Ham Radio (1)

David Bengtson (87963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26747887)

Not clear what your concerns are. These devices are supposed to "check in" to a database of Broadcast stations, Low power UHF repeaters, etc. to determine channels that can be used, as they are also supposed to have geolocation included. If your mics are licensed, then I believe you can add them to the database.

There is also a provision for spectrum sensing to detect wireless mics, but the testing so far on spectrum sensing is less reliable.

what i want to see is (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#26745769)

a small chunk of UHF spectrum given to the citizens of the USA to be unlicensed like 27 mhz CB radio, allowing 4 or 5 watts and any external antenna you wish to buy or build, with the sun cycle starting up again 27 mhz CB radio is going to be a complete mess for the next 5 to 7 years making local communication on 27 mhz CB radio almost impossible, since uhf does not get the DX/skip propagation conditions like HF (including 27 mhz CB radio) it would benefit many citizens and especially truck drivers that only want to talk locally to people within a few miles of their vicinity.

and do not say 'get those FRS radios they sell at walmart' because those are worthless little pieces of junk without any decent wattage on TX (1/4 watt) and the speaker audio is not good for a noisy environment like the inside of a tractor or an 18 wheeler, many truckers and farmers would benefit from a decent UHF CB radio...

i would be willing to spend a couple of hundred dollars on a good quality UHF CB radio, and i am not interested in getting an amateur radio (ham) license...

Re:what i want to see is (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746119)

and do not say 'get those FRS radios they sell at walmart' because those are worthless little pieces of junk without any decent wattage on TX (1/4 watt) and the speaker audio is not good for a noisy environment like the inside of a tractor or an 18 wheeler, many truckers and farmers would benefit from a decent UHF CB radio...

Ok, I won't say "get those FRS radios." Get those GMRS radios and the license. Or get those MURS radios without a license (VHF). There are already solutions to the problem you want solved.

Re:what i want to see is (1)

rcgreenw (120570) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746277)

Have you looked into MURS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-Use_Radio_Service [wikipedia.org]

It's VHF, not UHF, but you can use mobile radios, detachable antennas, gain antennas, etc. that are not allowed on FRS. You are limited to two watts out the back of the radio, with whatever antenna you want. There is lots of MURS capable equipment available surplus on eBay, etc., since the five frequencies were previously business band.

In my opinion, it's really what truckers should be using for truck to truck and truck to dock communications. Unfortunately, the industry has put a lot money and marketing into FRS/GMRS and they don't want to confuse the consumer by having MURS radios next to FRS/GMRS radios. There are very few "bubble pack" MURS radios available, and they tend to be much more expensive than FRS radios. The funny thing is there used to be "bubble pack" radios for these frequencies before they were MURS. The frequencies are the old "blue dot" and "green dot" frequencies, plus some others, that were commonly available through contractor supply stores, etc.

While I agree that UHF CB would be nice, there is already so much UHF traffic in the US that it isn't feasible. The UHF commercial band is so crowded that in many metropolitan areas, the FCC has reallocated frequencies normally used for UHF TV channel 14 for public safety use. The only reason FRS/GMRS exists is because it is limited to very low wattage. The frequencies are in between existing business band frequencies and any more power would disrupt licensed business communications on adjacent channels.

Re:what i want to see is (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746541)

thanks for the MURS wiki link, yes even some VHF spectrum would be decent for the working folks, the 27MHZ CB radio has become a crowded ghetto. and with the sun cycle starting up with all those illegally over powered 27MHz radios it is going to quickly become an unusable mess...

Re:what i want to see is (1)

Nonillion (266505) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746481)

Dude, we already have MURS (VHF 5 channels) and GMRS (UHF 14 channels). I would rather see CB'ers put some where on the 900 MHz band, say the 901-902 portion, NBFM 3 watts 100 channels. The BIG DOGS (the Prime Minister aka Sir Mixalot comes to mind) who run 1-30+ kw on 11 meters would never be able to run major amounts of power at 900 MHz. One is the cost of building amps that can run this kind power level is beyond cost prohibitive, not to mention the extreme dangers of near field in the sub microwave band; not that running 10's of kilowatts on 11 meters is any better for your health.

Re:what i want to see is (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#26747047)

lol, i agree, i would not install a amp on my CB (base or mobile) for anything in the world, i dont want the excess RF radiating in to my body, i have a factory stock cobra 148 with just a 5/8ths wave antenna for a base station, and a cobra 25 for a mobile, i manage just fine with 4 watts until the DX/Skip starts rolling and i cant to to friends and associates across town anymore but i can talk to people several states away unless a big boy radio starts talking with gobs of watts, i would be glad to use 900Mhz using only 2 to 4 watts with a yagi beam since the wavelength at 900 megs would make the elements of the yagi just an inch or two at most it would be easy to manage with my small tower and a little TV antenna rotater...

Re:what i want to see is (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746781)

why not get a license, there pretty easy to get.

The only reason why I'm curious is that you clearly are willing to spend money and effort to get a CB radio.

Re:what i want to see is (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#26747091)

i talk with a small group of friends mostly, out of 5 of us only one is a licensed amateur operator, we only talk for an hour or two in the evenings after work & after supper, we dont want to deal with callsigns & protocols because we know who we are just by the sound of our voices, were all just working folks and want to keep the conversation casual without callsigns, so getting a license would mean all of us would have to get licenses, but we all could manage to scrape together the cash to buy a few radios if the opportunity arises...

Wireless Mesh? (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | more than 5 years ago | (#26746389)

Consider how well 700 MHz propogates.

Now consider that every previous attempt to create a wireless mesh network has failed because none has ever achieved sufficient density to qualify as a mesh. Whitespace base stations (non-portable devices) can transmit at 1 watt, with a maximum EIRP of 4 watts. With a sufficiently clever encoding scheme, such devices should be able to hear each other over a long enough distance to finally get over the hump and establish a usable mesh. Portable devices can transmit at 100 milliwatts. If G-phone 2 (3?) comes equipped to use such a network... Maybe with a base station bundled in the box for $30 more...?

Has the wireless mesh concept finally come of age? I'm going to permit myself a teeny bit of hope.

Re:Wireless Mesh? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26747107)

All I know is, if it won't mesh, I won't vote for it. As if I get a choice. But a mesh network is what we desperately need if we are going to retain any control over our freedom of digital expression.

Absolute hell for audio engineers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26746755)

This is going to suck for anybody doing production for live events. This frequency range that MS and Google want lies smack in the middle of the RF ranged used for wireless mics. Random RF signals from digital com systems popping in and out on my receivers is NOT going to sound good.

Good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26747335)

The current telcos have a ridiculous and blatant monopoly. That they have different pricing schemes for different "services" is the most obvious sign of this. Fees based on the different uses of bandwith rather than the actual amount of bandwith used are ludicrous.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?