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Broadcast Radio Turns 100

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the century-of-dialing-in dept.

Wireless Networking 109

GraWil writes "On Christmas eve 1906, a Canadian physicist named Reginald Fessenden presented the world's first wireless radio broadcast from his transmitter at Brant Rock, MA. The transmission included Christmas music and was heard by radio operators on board US Navy and United Fruit Company ships equipped with Fessenden's wireless receivers at various distances over the South and North Atlantic, and in the West Indies. Fessenden was a key rival of Marconi in the early 1900s who, using morse-code, succeeded in passing signals across the Atlantic in 1901. Fessenden's work was the first real departure from Marconi's damped-wave-coherer system for telegraphy and represent the first pioneering steps toward radio communications and radio broadcasting. He later became embroiled in a long-running legal dispute over the control of his radio-related patents, which were eventually acquired by RCA."

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Super heterodyne? (1)

mabba18 (897753) | more than 7 years ago | (#17347852)

Re:Super heterodyne? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17347874)

KDKA started broadcasting on November 2, 1920 as the first commercial radio station in the United States. It also claims to be the first radio station broadcasting on a regular schedule. That claim is complicated by the fact that radio prior to 1920 was mostly experimental and good records are not kept for all "experimental" signals of contesting stations. Further, another radio station in North America, XWA-AM in Montréal, Québec, Canada (renamed CFCF-AM on November 4, 1920), began its commercial, regular broadcast programming schedule on May 20, 1920 -- nearly six months before KDKA aired its first regularly scheduled broadcast.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KDKA_(AM) [wikipedia.org]

I remember listening to school closings and football/baseball games on there growing up. On a good night, 600 miles away, I can still listen to them.

Re:Super heterodyne? (3, Informative)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 6 years ago | (#17347920)

kdka is a "clear channel" station. Such stations are allowed to increase their power at night, and the signal is refracted by the ionosphere. Note that this has nothing to do with Clear Channel Communications.

Re:Super heterodyne? (4, Informative)

w9wi (162482) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348020)

kdka is a "clear channel" station. Such stations are allowed to increase their power at night, and the signal is refracted by the ionosphere.


"clear channel" stations are not allowed to increase power at night. While I haven't specifically mined the FCC database, I can say with considerable confidence that there are fewer than ten AM stations in North America that run more power at night than during the day.

However, "clear channel" stations are not required to *reduce* power at night. Most other stations are, and/or are required to switch to a directional antenna that concentrates all their power in a specific direction.

Technically, "clear channel" refers to the frequency, not to any specific station. For example, 720KHz is a "clear channel", and in theory any station operating on that frequency could call itself a "clear channel" station. Many do.

"clear channel" stations are divided into three classes, A, B, and D. Only one Class A station can exist on a frequency, and that's the dominant station most people think of when they think of a "clear channel" station. This station is allowed to operate 50,000 watts non-directional day & night, and is not required to protect any other station from interference. All other stations on the frequency must protect the Class A station.

For example, on 720KHz, WGN in Chicago is the Class A station. KDWN in Las Vegas is one of several Class B stations on 720; KDWN runs 50,000 watts 24/7, but is required to switch to a directional antenna at night, limiting the amount of power radiated in the direction of Chicago to maybe two or three dozen watts. (I think you can reasonably assume the KDWN transmitter is northeast of Las Vegas!).

Class D stations are those that are not allowed to operate at all at night, or are limited to nighttime powers less than that required for a new station. (generally, less than 250 watts; sometimes as little as one watt. No new Class D stations are being authorized.) An example of a Class D station on 720 is WGCR in western North Carolina, which goes off the air completely at sundown to protect WGN from interference.

Re:Super heterodyne? (3, Insightful)

Phoobarnvaz (1030274) | more than 6 years ago | (#17349970)

Class D stations are those that are not allowed to operate at all at night, or are limited to nighttime powers less than that required for a new station. (generally, less than 250 watts; sometimes as little as one watt. No new Class D stations are being authorized.) An example of a Class D station on 720 is WGCR in western North Carolina, which goes off the air completely at sundown to protect WGN from interference.

Having previously worked at a daytime-only AM in Western Arizona for several years...couldn't broadcast even with a carrier only at night...due to another "clear channel" in Seattle at the 1000 kHz frequency. At the times the automation equipment went down at the tower for about a week or so & the in-studio system shutting off like normal at sunset with only the hum of the carrier at the frequency during these times after sunset...the "clear channel" in Seattle sent letters & called during business hours to complain. Seems that some local listeners contacted the Seattle station & complained...so it came down the line to me & the engineer to figure out what was going on.

Remember reading stories of some US AM stations being authorized to run at 1/2 million Watts or more after sunset during WWII. These powerhouses could literally knock the table radios off of the table when tuned to what frequency they were on. The reason for the increase was to get the signal into anyplace in the world without any interference.

Another station I worked at many years ago was at 1000 Watts during the daytime & went to 250 after sunset. Since they could operate at 250 at night...but didn't want to pay for staff & satellites hadn't come into widespread use yet...they shut it down at midnight.

With the proliferation of satellite & other mediums...the continuation of these dinosaurs as "clear channels" needs to stop. Before the advent & use of modern communication methods..."clear channels" was the only way rural populations could hear national/international news/programming. Since the FCC is still locked into early 20th century thinking about these types of stations...don't see it happening anytime soon.

Re:Super heterodyne? (1)

Trip Ericson (864747) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348032)

Mostly correct, but not quite. Such stations do not "power up" at night, they merely do not power down. The atmosphere does the work for them.

KDKA is 50 kW ND Unlimited station, meaning it broadcasts at 50,000 watts, non-directional, 24-hours a day.

Re:Super heterodyne? (1)

drwho (4190) | more than 6 years ago | (#17349500)

When I was a kid, I used to listen and catalog all the broadcast stations I could pick up, starting with AM and FM and eventually (when my parents bought me a shortwave receiver), shortwave as well.

I recall that I was quite often able to pick up KDKA's Pittsburgh signal in Massachusetts. However, that is not the record distance on AM. Radio Moscow was a powerful pest of a signal, often wiping out everything at the bottom of the AM band. It was broadcast from Cuba. A couple of times I was able to pick up WHO in Des Moines (famous because at one time Ronald Reagan had been an announcer there).

Radio was much more interesting back then. Today, it's full of talk and religious broadcasts. Back in the late 70s and 80s, people actually listened to AM for music, and of course there was the interesting cold war propaganda of various types, mostly on shortwave.

Re:Super heterodyne? (1)

w9wi (162482) | more than 6 years ago | (#17349892)

Some people do still listen for distant stations - try these links:

National Radio Club [nrcdxas.org]
International Radio Club of America [ircaonline.org]
My AM DX blog [blogspot.com]

But you're right, the programming stinks. At sunset when I can't get the NPR station anymore, I only listen to AM at the top of the hour when someone might (or might not...) run the required station identification. Nothing else is worth listening to.

I did once receive two British stations here in the Nashville area, transmitted direct from the UK.

Re:Super heterodyne? (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 6 years ago | (#17349806)

KDKA started broadcasting on November 2, 1920 as the first commercial radio station in the United States.

That is incorrect. The first commercial radio transmission (or broadcast -- all radio transmissions were broadcasts, point to point technology not being available) was sent in 1899, as a paid ship to shore transmission via morse code.

It was sent from Lt. John Bell Blish [blish.org] (see bottom of linked web page for actual photo details of this, including the actual reception on paper tape) on board the S.S. Ponce to the Navesink, New Jersey shore station (a lighthouse.) This transmission was the first paid ship-to-shore radiogram, as well as the first official U.S. Naval radio message.

The idea of multiple people receiving a transmission meant for a broad audience is an abstract, and really is not a "technology" at all. Radio (at the time) was "broadcast" whether one wanted it that way, or not.

Re:Super heterodyne? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#17349986)

On a good night, 600 miles away, I can still listen to them.

That's nothing...

Every night 850KHz becomes an extremely strong signal around here... Absolutely no fading to speak of.

850 is KOA in Denver, Colorado, and I'm outside of Los Angeles, CA. That's around 1000 miles, and it's still a stronger signal than any of the stations from Los Angeles, around 50 miles away.

Broadcasting from the top of a mountain automatically gives you the tallest antenna, anywhere.

Re:Super heterodyne? (1)

Tjeerd (976354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17352410)

Perhaps it's interesting to know that in The Netherlands in 1919 (in The Hague) Hanso Schotanus Steringa Idzerda was the first person on the world broadcasting on a regularly basis. Don't know whether it's completely right, but anyhow I post it :) http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanso_Schotanus_%C3%A 0_Steringa_Idzerda [wikipedia.org]

Re:Super heterodyne? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17347878)

fornicating with fetid fecal fungal matter

And just in time to see it fall! (3, Interesting)

slughead (592713) | more than 7 years ago | (#17347866)

I don't know about anyone else, but with satellite radio becoming more and more popular, both of the radio stations that I can stand to listen to here in Phoenix (KDKB and KSLX) have changed formats.

The competition from these sat companies has lead to fewer commercials, a FAR more extensive playlist on LOCAL stations. KDKB has "deep cuts" where they take songs off popular albums that they never play on the radio. On weekends, KSLX plays ENTIRE ALBUMS *gasp*!

Now that sat radio has changed everything, I hope they don't run these locals out of town; they're just starting to get good!

As a side note, does anyone else who's taken physics see the issue with calling it "Satellite Radio" being as how it uses microwaves and not 'radio' waves?

Re:And just in time to see it fall! (4, Informative)

Nate B. (2907) | more than 6 years ago | (#17347930)

Even microwaves are radio waves as it is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum--it is just much higher in frequency than the traditional broadcast bands. The same can be said of light which is also at a much higher frequency (shorter wavelength) of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The advantage of the microwave region is that a signal can occupy a larger range of frequencies and the wavelength from the low to the high end of the bandwidth doesn't change much due to the inverse relationship of frequency and wavelength. Calling it "satellite radio" is not deceptive except that it is a completely digital stream and the receiver's tuner doesn't necessarily tune to a different frequency for each "channel".

Re:And just in time to see it fall! (3, Informative)

w9wi (162482) | more than 6 years ago | (#17347944)

...does anyone else who's taken physics see the issue with calling it "Satellite Radio" being as how it uses microwaves and not 'radio' waves?


Microwaves are a subset of radio waves - there's nothing wrong with calling it "satellite radio".

The common usage of "Internet Radio" is the one that isn't technically correct, in most cases. (unless your 'Net connection is WiFi...)

Re:And just in time to see it fall! (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348114)

I don't have a problem with it being called "satellite" radio because of any physics issues, but I do have a problem with it being called "satellite" radio when 95% of the time, the receiver is actually receiving the signal from a ground-based transmitter, at least in my area.

I don't agree (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348400)

I am quite a few others can see little reason for paying for something I can get free. Pay radio seems like a RIAA dream.

If anything the ability to take YOUR music with you will lead to less and less radio. Cars these days are being designed with MP3 players in mind and that to me is more important than satellite. Besides I still use the radio for local news, talk radio, and to hear new songs. A lot of songs I hear on top40, country, and rock stations, I later and go buy off of iTunes or similar. Sometimes I still buy the CDs.

CD buying is still spurred by radio play and I don't think the record companies will give that up. Sure I can hear music on satellite but then I would be paying for someone to broadcast to me. Living in a big city (Atlanta) I have a large number of stations to choose from. Sure many are Clearchannel owned or similar (I don't recall the names of the other large holding companies) but I still have more stations than I have presets.

Satellite will augment radio but never replace it. Maybe when someone comes up with an ad supported model that is free except for equipment it might make a real dent. If they want me to pay for satellite radio then nearly any station that I want needs to be available. In a way it might morp into something akin to cable/sattelite tv.

Re:I don't agree (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17350778)

> I am quite a few others

Scitzo.

Re:And just in time to see it fall! (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348412)

As a side note, does anyone else who's taken physics see the issue with calling it "Satellite Radio" being as how it uses microwaves and not 'radio' waves?

The one I laugh at is "wireless cable" or "satellite cable" as in 'call your wireless cable provider.'

Re:And just in time to see it fall! (1)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 7 years ago | (#17351140)

Or just calling things like MTV or HBO "networks" when they aren't television "networks" of any kind.

Re:And just in time to see it fall! (1)

batquux (323697) | more than 6 years ago | (#17349310)

As a side note, does anyone else who's taken physics see the issue with calling it "Satellite Radio" being as how it uses microwaves and not 'radio' waves?
No, but calling it XM is silly. AM = Amplitude Modulation, FM = Frequency Modulation, XM = Cool Marketing Scheme.

Ex-Motorolan (2, Interesting)

dtmos (447842) | more than 6 years ago | (#17349534)

The story in Boca Raton, Florida, location of the original engineering design team, was that "XM" stood for "Ex-Motorolan," since a very large fraction of the engineers and engineering management came from a Motorola plant in nearby Boynton Beach that had just gone through several rounds of layoffs. (The Motorola plant has since been closed, sold and razed, replaced with condominiums.)

I'm pretty sure the story is apocryphal, but it's too good not to repeat.

Re:And just in time to see it fall! (1)

elmCitySlim (957476) | more than 7 years ago | (#17350830)

I used to work for, and was the assistant manager for a local college station: WNHU-FM [wnhu.net] . I have a feeling that WNHU, and the few other college/community stations in Connecticut will be some of the last ones left. There are multiple stations for the same format and they all repeat songs. Even a "modern and classic rock" station that has the format ability to cover over 5 decades of rock repeats the same 200+ song playlist every day. I, for one, welcome our Satellite Radio overlords. At least it has variety and passionate DJs.

The Wireless (4, Informative)

Renegade Lisp (315687) | more than 6 years ago | (#17347880)

What I find interesting about the history of "radio" is that the word itself wasn't coined until some ten or twenty years after the invention. People used to call it "the wireless" before that. The guy who made up the word "radio" was an advertising expert named Waldo Warren. The same guy was later given the task to create a brand name for some of the early inventions of R. Buckminster Fuller. He came up with the word "Dymaxion", simply by jotting together syllables of random words Fuller used all the time: Dynamic Maximum Tension.

I like it that the word "radio" comes from the same heritage.

Re:The Wireless (2, Funny)

Nate B. (2907) | more than 6 years ago | (#17347960)

Isn't it interesting that when people started experimenting with networking computers over radio that they rejuvenated "wireless" to describe networking without wires? Just as in the early days wireless was used to describe telegraphy without wires. What was old is new again.

Did anyone else discover that any song that had "radio" in its title (Queen's Radio Ga-Ga) or discussed radio (Rush's Spirit of Radio) to be an instant personal favorite?

Re:The Wireless (1)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348064)

Did anyone else discover that any song that had "radio" in its title (Queen's Radio Ga-Ga) or discussed radio (Rush's Spirit of Radio) to be an instant personal favorite?
From what I've heard over the years just mentioning radio in the title or mentioning radio DJs (positively) in the lyrics guarantees frequent airplay in most cases.

Re:The Wireless (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348568)

Like the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star"?

Re:The Wireless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17349754)

Like the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star"?

Or the Smiths' "Hang the DJ"?

(okay, so it's called Panic [sing365.com] , but he repeats "Hang the DJ" like 20x...)

Re:The Wireless (2, Interesting)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348240)

the name "radio" comes from the same root as "radiation", i.e. something that propagates radialy from a common center. think on the radius of circle.

What's radio? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17347890)

Is that like listening to music on MySpace?

Ham radio to celebrate 100 years of broadcasting (4, Informative)

Nate B. (2907) | more than 6 years ago | (#17347894)

The ARRL [arrl.org] is sponsoring an on-the-air celebration [arrl.org] of the centennial of broadcasting. The Hello Radio [hello-radio.org] campaign has been celebrating the upcoming event throughout most of 2006.

How many broadcasters will let this event go unremarked? That is sad indeed.

Radio Music Box (2, Interesting)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 6 years ago | (#17347978)

"Radio Music Box" Memo [earlyradiohistory.us] , David Sarnoff, November, 1916/January, 1920(?):

"I have in mind a plan of development which would make radio a 'household utility' in the same sense as the piano or phonograph. The idea is to bring music into the house by wireless.

"While this has been tried in the past by wires, it has been a failure because wires do not lend themselves to this scheme. With radio, however, it would seem to be entirely feasible. For example--a radio telephone transmitter having a range of say 25 to 50 miles can be installed at a fixed point where instrumental or vocal music or both are produced. The problem of transmitting music has already been solved in principle and therefore all the receivers attuned to the transmitting wave length should be capable of receiving such music. The receiver can be designed in the form of a simple 'Radio Music Box' and arranged for several different wave lengths, which should be changeable with the throwing of a single switch or pressing of a single button.

"The 'Radio Music Box' can be supplied with amplifying tubes and a loudspeaking telephone, all of which can be neatly mounted in one box. The box can be placed on a table in the parlor or living room, the switch set accordingly and the transmitted music received. There should be no difficulty in receiving music perfectly when transmitted within a radius of 25 to 50 miles. Within such a radius there reside hundreds of thousands of families; and as all can simultaneously receive from a single transmitter, there would be no question of obtaining sufficiently loud signals to make the performance enjoyable. The power of the transmitter can be made 5 k.w., if necessary, to cover even a short radius of 25 to 50 miles; thereby giving extra loud signals in the home if desired. The use of head telephones would be obviated by this method. The development of a small loop antenna to go with each 'Radio Music Box' would likewise solve the antennae problem.

"The same principle can be extended to numerous other fields as, for example, receiving lectures at home which be made perfectly audible; also events of national importance can be simultaneously announced and received. Baseball scores can be transmitted in the air by the use of one set installed at the Polo Grounds. The same would be true of other cities. This proposition would be especially interesting to farmers and others living in outlying districts removed from cities. By the purchase of a 'Radio Music Box' they could enjoy concerts, lectures, music, recitals, etc., which may be going on in the nearest city within their radius. While I have indicated a few of the most probable fields of usefulness for such a device, yet there are numerous other fields to which the principle can be extended...

Re:Radio Music Box (2, Interesting)

Nate B. (2907) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348058)

I wonder if the the radio pioneers (Marconi, Fessenden, Sarnoff, et. al.) would be impressed or disappointed by the progress we've made in communications technology over the past century. I'm sure we can point to areas where advances could/should have been made sooner. The upcoming digital TV cutover date in just over two years is a prime example. Its adoption is being hindered by the inertia of a huge installed base of working analog TV sets.

Will the second century of broadcasting bring as much change as the first?

Re:Radio Music Box (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348162)

I think the radio pioneers would be very impressed with the technology progress, but would probably have significant second thoughts about the progress of the content.

I also think the radio pioneers would be aghast of DRM, it runs counter to all they have worked for, i.e. the wide dissemination of content.

Re:Radio Music Box (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348874)

I think the radio pioneers would be very impressed with the technology progress, but would probably have significant second thoughts about the progress of the content.

only in the sense that they could be too high-minded to appreciate popular music and entertainment. but Deadwood is a legitimate successor to radio's Gunsmoke.

I also think the radio pioneers would be aghast of DRM, it runs counter to all they have worked for, i.e. the wide dissemination of content

there are 40,000 or so DVDs in print at any moment.

150-200 channels of commercial sattelite radio. 13,000 or so AM and FM radio stations. cable and sattelite TV. there is iTunes, Live 365. Shoutcast. Rhapsody. Y! Umlimited....

you will excuse me, I trust, if I don't feel deprived when I can't download your DiVX rip.

Re:Radio Music Box (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 6 years ago | (#17350150)

there are 40,000 or so DVDs in print at any moment.

With most, if not all, subject to region coding and DRM to prevent fair use.

150-200 channels of commercial sattelite radio.

Also DRM'd.

cable and sattelite TV

Also DRM'd.

there is iTunes

DRM'd

Re:Radio Music Box (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17348302)

>The upcoming digital TV cutover date in just over two years is a prime example.
>Its adoption is being hindered by the inertia of a huge installed base
>of working analog TV sets.

Not so prime. The push of digital TV comes from the factors of cheap computing power, and $$$.

Digital TV has been possible for a loooong time, but without compression, it would hog a tremendous amount of bandwidth. Digital compression fixes that, and makes it require less bandwidth than traditional analog. When the possibility of freed-up radio spectrum was realized, the business people push us to use digital so they can auction off or use the now vacant space some other way to make $$$.

The consumer gets hosed by having to get new equipment. Recieve stations on the fringe of a reception area are pretty much blacked out. When they used to get a snowy, but watchable, TV show, now they'll get nothing, or at best a bunch of garbled blocks.

Frankly, the digital TV transmissions I've seen all suck. Unlike audio, video compression artifacts are really easy for people to see. Then they buy these huge flat-panel TV sets that show off these artifacts in the worst possible way.

Now, an analog HDTV transmission (with no compression) is incredible. Unfortunately it just isn't viable. I imagine a lossless (or near lossless) digital signal would look good, too, but no one does that.

It's Christmas. I want my snow back.

Subject - verb agreement (0, Redundant)

BarnabyWilde (948425) | more than 6 years ago | (#17347990)

"Fessenden's work... represents", not represent.

See how easy it that was? Leave out the middle part, and it's obvious.

Re:Subject - verb agreement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17348026)

"Fessenden's work was [...] represented", not represents

See how tense that was?

Thank god the RIAA wasn't around back then. (0, Offtopic)

aix tom (902140) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348040)

They would have killed it off pretty quick.

Re:Thank god the RIAA wasn't around back then. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17348952)

too bad you're just a dumb fag. god fucking forbid someone make a profit off their work. instead you fucking thieves are busy screaming that copyright kills innovation, the only thing that concerns you faggot bitches about this is your ability to steal music. if it weren't for the music download lawsuits you faggot motherfuckers wouldn't care about copyright at all, it has nothing to do with innovation for you.

so just keep sucking that faggot cock, fag.

Re:Thank god the RIAA wasn't around back then. (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348958)

Thank god the RIAA wasn't around back then. They would have killed it off pretty quick.

Radio has been paying performance rights from day one.

BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated) [wikipedia.org] was a creation of the broadcast industry.

Radio Is Older... And NOT Invented By Marconi (2, Insightful)

bc90021 (43730) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348066)

Nikola Tesla demonstrated "wireless" communication (which became known as "radio") as early as 1893. In 1943, the Supreme Court declared that Tesla had invented the radio, not Marconi. I'm afraid this celebration is about thirteen years too late...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_Tesla [wikipedia.org]

http://www.pbs.org/tesla/ll/ll_whoradio.html [pbs.org]

A really good book to read to learn more about one of the greatest electrical engineers in history is "Man Out Of Time" by Margaret Cheney.

Re:Radio Is Older... And NOT Invented By Marconi (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348150)

Actually, Marconi has not even invented the first coherer radio (though he did commercialize it). Popov (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Stepanovic h_Popov) did it first.

Right! Russians invented everything! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17348576)

Take any great invention of humanity and Russians claim they did it! Who invented radio? Not Tesla or Marcony, but Popov! Who invented the airplane? Not the Wright brothers, but Jukovsky! Who invented the rocket? Not the Chinese hundreds oy years ago, but the Russians!. Television, the electric light, the submarine, the typewriter, etc, they have a Russian inventor for each of these things!. Too bad other nations do not believe that their stories are true!

Re:Right! Russians invented everything! (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348782)

Well, other countries may believe in Santa Claus and WMD in Iraq.

Russians KNOW that they invented all things first :)

Popov's radio was used to save the crew of a ship caught in ice when Marconi was only making his first experiments (BTW, Popov actually thought that Tesla was the first inventor of radio). Nobody claims that rockets were invented in Russia but liquid-fuel rocket engine was.

Television was not invented by Russians, but CRT was (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Zworykin).

Electric lamps (too lazy to search for links) and airplanes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Jatho), alas, were invented by Germans.

Americans often claim credit too fast.

Re:Right! Russians invented everything! (1)

tuxicle (996538) | more than 6 years ago | (#17349308)

And while we're on the "my country is better than yours" track, here's an interesting find:

http://www.tuc.nrao.edu/~demerson/bose/bose.html [nrao.edu]

So while Marconi and most other radio pioneers worked at LW and MW bands, Bose was working at 60 GHz in 1895. The thing that really struck me was the waveguide and horn in the pictures of his equipment, and how similar they look to today's MM-wave equipment. Also note that he used a point-contact diode detector, and even made I-V plots (see Figure 5 in the article).

MOD PARENT UP (1)

ebers (816511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17352034)

I'd do it myself if I could. This is a very interesting website.

Re:Right! Russians invented everything! (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17352524)

Yes, that's interesting. Bose certainly deserves recognition.

Re:Radio Is Older... And NOT Invented By Marconi (1)

farrellj (563) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348200)

One might say that Marconi was the Microsoft of it's time...

ttyl

Re:Radio Is Older... And NOT Invented By Marconi (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348216)

I have that book. It's very interesting. To bad more about Tesla isn't properly recorded as he was so obviously one of the leading genuises of the previous couple centuries. He is the closest I have to a geek hero. His plan to wirelessly transmit power, for free, to people is just awesome and he planned a wireless world-wide communications network almost 100 years before the Internet.

I'm glad, at least, that some scientists are finally remembering Tesla and working towards making wireless power transmission a reality. This time, I hope greedy business men don't interfere.

Re:Radio Is Older... And NOT Invented By Marconi (2, Insightful)

Nate B. (2907) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348234)

You do understand that TFA is about radio broadcasting and not just about the invention of radio itself, right?

This celebration is spot on since neither Tesla nor Marconi had anyone "listening" outside of their respective labs or work groups. Conversely, Fessenden did have an audience of listeners as documented by the various shipboard operators that did hear his broadcast. Fessenden's acheivement in no way dimishes the work of Tesla, Marconi, or others, rather he built upon their work and in turn broke new ground.

This is the centennial of broadcasting where speech and music were transmitted to an unspecified number of listeners. Prior transmissions were primarily telegraphy and intended for a specific receiver. This is the crucial difference we are celebrating.

Re:Radio Is Older... And NOT Invented By Marconi (2, Insightful)

bc90021 (43730) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348410)

Yes, I understand... but it's a specious analogy to make. That's like saying that the radar wasn't really invented until there were planes for it to track, or the TV wasn't invented until there were a million households from which to gather ratings.

Tesla was using "wireless" almost two decades before Marconi, et al. He used it to power unmanned submarines at the World's Fair in 1896. He used it to transmit electricity! To say that it was "invented" by others just because they had a few people listening on the other end does a great disservice (and one that continues to this day, 60 years later!) to a man whose genius far outshines anything that Marconi or any of the other copycats could come up with.

Even if you go on the basis of the article's premise that you're only dealing with "broadcast radio", there is evidence that Tesla accomplished the same thing before Marconi and Fessenden. However, due to the inventor's unfortunate lack of documentation by his own hand and his inability to focus his efforts at properly lauding his own accomplishments a lot of the time, the world may never know...

Re:Radio Is Older... And NOT Invented By Marconi (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#17349064)

Yes, I understand... but it's a specious analogy to make

Broadcating is the invention being celebrated here. Radio is the underlying technology.

Tesla was using "wireless" almost two decades before Marconi, et al.

Tesla draw the Geek into fantasies of what-might-have-been.

Marconi made his wireless technology a part of everyday life and thought.

Re:Radio Is Older... And NOT Invented By Marconi (1)

bc90021 (43730) | more than 6 years ago | (#17349764)

"Broadcating" (sic) is not an invention. People do it all the time when they yell.

Marconi was granted a patent on the radio, which was later reversed. Anyone who is familiar with the history of the time knows that while he may have done some good things, he was usurping the ideas of others whom he refused to acknowledge and one of whom rightly got his due from the US Supreme Court later.

Re:Radio Is Older... And NOT Invented By Marconi (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#17350276)

"Broadcating" (sic) is not an invention. People do it all the time when they yell.

You can yell as loud as you like ---but you won't be heard across half a continent --- the shared experience of millions of radio listeners in the twenties. Nothing in the world the like of it before.

Re:Radio Is Older... And NOT Invented By Marconi (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#17349886)

That's like saying that the radar wasn't really invented until there were planes for it to track, or the TV wasn't invented until there were a million households from which to gather ratings.

Horrible analogies.

In fact, YOU are the one (essentially) saying that radar and TV were invented by Tesla...

Tesla did many things with radio waves, but he never transmitted audio, never set-up a public-broadcast radio station (which is the anniversy in question) etc.

Those who discovered electricity aren't responsible for every subsuquent device which happened to require/use electricity to operate. Ditto for radio waves.

Re:Radio Is Older... And NOT Invented By Marconi (1)

punterjoe (743063) | more than 7 years ago | (#17350666)

Actually, I think the (disputed) anniversary is of audio transmission via radio. Not radio broadcasting per se. Fessenden wasn't doing regular scheduled broadcasts at the time, he was just assembling the apparatus to do so and testing it out. I believe there is some dispute as to the 12/24/1906 event. It's been claimed there are no records of the transmission, logs of the reception, or any subsequent coverage in the press regarding the event at the time. It's also claimed that the incident wasn't even mentioned until the 1930s. Check out this piece from Radio World online http://rwonline.com/pages/s.0106/t.502.html [rwonline.com] Still, as to the original point, there's little 20th century technology that doesn't have Tesla's fingerprints on it somewhere... he really jumpstarted a lot of new avenues of discovery.

One Hundred Years of Successful Multicast! (1)

glomph (2644) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348178)

One 'stream', many clients.... This one worked right out of the box!

Multicast over modulated RF.

Too bad about IP multicast, which was the next up-and-coming thing in 1993!

Tesla First, As Usual (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348184)

Nikola Tesla [wikipedia.org] , ubergenius, invented radio over a decade before these demonstrations [wikipedia.org] . He even transmitted electric power by radio, to power light bulbs. And probably the robot submarine he also invented - all in the 1800s.

What is it about Tesla that his pioneering inventions are usually ignored in favor of later copycats?

Re:Tesla First, As Usual (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348434)

He even transmitted electric power by radio, to power light bulbs.

      I wouldn't want to stand between the transmitter and receiver ;)

Re:Tesla First, As Usual (3, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348640)

Maybe not. Did you read how he did it?

Tesla also demonstrated, in a famous demo, how he could grab the electrode while holding a bulb in his other hand, lighting the bulb brightly. Edison was trying to set up Tesla's AC technique to power NY state's new "electric chair" executions, to scare the public away from letting AC be chosen to carry Niagara Falls hydroelectic (generated by Tesla's generators) down to NYC. But Tesla's demo showed everyone that "AC is safe", and the rest is history.

Re:Tesla First, As Usual (1)

yusing (216625) | more than 7 years ago | (#17350944)

It doesn't take much radio signal power to power a fluorescent light bulb.

If you live in a city, you are constantly immersed in hundreds of powerful radio, television, cellphone (and dozens of other forms of) signals. Most of them operate on frequencies which, apparently, do you little if any harm. There are so many of them that it may, by now, be possible to light a small area by means of ambient EM radiation.

Re:Tesla First, As Usual (1)

Rosonowski (250492) | more than 7 years ago | (#17351550)

I would buy something like this, but I admit I don't know how to go about building something like this.

Re:Tesla First, As Usual (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348624)

Beats me. He probably wasn't the marketing genius that Marconi was. (Marconi is to radio as Bill Gates is to computer operating systems of the late 21st century).

Now, why don't you continue in the Tesla copy-cat tradition, and get rich selling wireless power? I have been trying to get my assistant to buy me a wireless power plug for my laptop, to go along with my wireless tube. That way, I will be able to check my email when backpacking through the remote wilderness, even after my battery dies.

Re:Tesla First, As Usual (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348648)

I have invented a wireless power transmission system, but it's lossy (like all radio). Once I've gotten rich off this Internet telco, I'll roll out my lossless long-distance (wired) power transmission company. I hope to make up in wired distance efficiency what I can afford to lose in nearby lossy power, especially for low-power digital devices.

As JP Morgan once apocryphally asked Tesla, after Tesla's pitch for funding wireless power: "OK, but where do you put the meter?"

Re:Tesla First, As Usual (1)

yusing (216625) | more than 7 years ago | (#17350954)

If only Tesla had said what I'd say.

Re:Tesla First, As Usual (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 6 years ago | (#17349372)

My cynical guess is because he wanted to use his inventions to improve the life of the common man, instead of making himself and industry wealthy.

Re:Tesla First, As Usual (2, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#17349426)

From what I can tell, Tesla was mad to capitalize on his inventions. He patented many (hundreds) of them. But he trusted corporate industrialists of his day, robber barons like Westinghouse and Morgan, to take care of him like royal patrons would a court wizard. They ripped him off when he couldn't play their game as well as they.

Re:Tesla First, As Usual (1)

w9wi (162482) | more than 6 years ago | (#17350002)

But Tesla didn't broadcast, did he? (at least not on purpose)

There are multiple definitions of the "invention" of radio, depending on exactly what you consider "radio" and what you consider "invented". I don't know that it's even reasonable to say anyone invented radio -- noise bursts emitted from lightning strikes (and stars) long predate mankind, let alone any actions of human inventors. It might be more accurate to say radio was discovered, and I might suggest Heinrich Hertz was the one who discovered it.

Others - Fessenden, Marconi, Herrold, etc., etc. - discovered, or invented, ways of applying radio. As another post suggests, there are multiple definitions of "broadcast". Fessenden's transmissions may have been the first broadcasts of voice, but back in 1909 station 9XM at the University of Wisconsin broadcast crop reports using Morse Code. (apparently enough farmers in rural Wisconsin were radio hams - knew Morse - to make the effort worthwhile) On that basis, 9XM claims to be the first station to broadcast. They're now WHA 970 AM.

(as a proud Madisonian I probably shouldn't say this, but 9XM almost certainly was NOT the first station to broadcast Morse signals. A "CQ" transmission has been part of ham radio since the beginning; a "CQ" is a broadcast to all radio hams, indicating that you're looking for someone to start a conversation with. CQ certainly predates 1909.)

KDKA claims to be the first broadcast station - it appears it was the first station to take out a license for the express purpose of broadcasting, but it certainly wasn't the first station to actually broadcast. The first station to hold a broadcasting license was another Westinghouse station - WBZ Boston, I think, or maybe KYW Chicago.[0] At the time of its first broadcasts, KDKA held a "special land station" license - a license of a type issued to all stations that weren't hams and weren't involved in ship-to-shore communications.

It might surprise folks to know that commercial radio broadcasting existed for six years before the first advertisement was sold.

[0] I realize KYW is in Philadelphia. It didn't get to Philly until 1934.

Re:Tesla First, As Usual (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#17350120)

As that article to which I linked noted, Tesla transmitted and received radio signals with informational content as late as 1895, over a decade before the 1906 demos this story celebrates. All radio is broadcast unless attenuated into a beam - Tesla's was no exception.

FWIW, Westinghouse got all its tech, including radio, from Tesla's brain. The Westinghouse ripoff of Tesla is one of the main reasons Tesla isn't celebrated as inventor of so many of these extraordinary inventions.

Re:Tesla First, As Usual (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 7 years ago | (#17351558)

James Clerk Maxwell discovered the natural laws that made building radio equipment feasible. This was the real original work. Hertz, Marconi, Tesla - they ALL did the same thing, apply Maxwell's work. None of them 'invented' radio, radio is a natural phenomena. What they did was to build apparatus that produced radio waves in a controlled manner using the principles laid out by Maxwell.

The Tesla phenominon (1)

ebers (816511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17352126)

I love how all the "Tesla did it first" comments come out whenever there is a post about early electrical technology. Unsung genius? Yes, certainly. But not the only one. Why does Tesla get so much attention? Why is he, and not some other unsung genius, featured so prominently on these wierd "alternative science" websites, for example http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/tesla/esp_tesla_ a.htm [bibliotecapleyades.net] ? What is it about him or his work?
Is it all the weird pictures of large inductors throwing sparks? It can't simply just be the "eccentric mysterious inventor mystique", because lots of other have that.

Tesla is a phenominon now. Why him?

I've heard enough about Tesla. Here's your new unsung genius, who you probably know very little about but whose conceptual understanding of electricity underpins so much modern technology. And he was at least as nuts as Telsa:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Heaviside [wikipedia.org]

Increasing FM Radio transmissions and Skin Cancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17348210)

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd= Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=15232509&dopt=Citatio n [nih.gov]

"we found a strong association between the introduction of FM radio broadcasting at full-body resonant frequencies and increasing melanoma incidence"

"Counties that did not roll out their FM-broadcasting network until several years after 1955 continued to have a stable melanoma mortality during the intervening years."

"We conclude that continuous disturbance of cell repair mechanisms by body-resonant electromagnetic fields seems to amplify the carcinogenic effects resulting from cell damage caused e.g. by UV-radiation."

Read the full paper here: http://www.msi.com.pl/pub/vol_10/no_7/4321.pdf [msi.com.pl]

The air is full or all transmissions from radio, mobile masts, wifi and so on. I think that this technology is actually harming us and we should live more naturally.

Re:Increasing FM Radio transmissions and Skin Canc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17348258)

Also see this:

"Cancer Incidence near Radio and Television Transmitters in Great Britain"

http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract /145/1/1 [oxfordjournals.org]

Full paper is downloadable free from that link

Radio Killed the Internet Star (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348346)

In its early days, radio was a 2-way, peer-to-peer medium. It was instantaneous (zero latency), hifi (plus noise), and global. It could transmit pictures (by wiring it to a pantograph or fancier device). Everyone into the hobby thought it would become what we like to think the Internet is becoming today.

But after a couple of decades, radio was reduced to a one-way, broadcast medium dominated by commercial corporate interests.

The main way this shutdown was executed was by the new US agency, the "FCC". The early tech made necessary a central registry of unique frequencies assigned to "stations", or multiple stations would "interfere", or really just all be heard by a receiver tuned to that frequency. A signaling protocol for yielding could have avoided that centralized control. A transceiver attempting a frequency could have first listened to the frequency for a signal:noise ratio above some standardized threshold before using it as a clear channel, and group comms could have signalled with a "heartbeat" above the threshold of human hearing. Or some other approach either automatic or negotiated. But the US Federal government legislated instead of letting tech solve the real problem. Which also let them control the content of the public airwaves, eventually requiring broadcasters to be officially licensed as publishers. Which now costs $millions, forcing mere hobbyists out of the market.

We can already see this same pattern repeating. Publishing streams of copyrighted material on the Net costs not only a ridiculous $0.0007 per "song" per listener (therefore 10K listeners costs $7, thousands of times more than broadcast, though the tech is cheaper). But the license requires a minimum $500 per year. Which is the cost of about 6 listeners continuously 24x7, to 4 minute average length songs. Or really more like 25 listeners, who'd have to pay $20 a year to listen (or $95 for each of 6) - just for the royalties. That minimum fee puts radio out of the reach of most hobbyists to even reach their friends. It forces streaming to go commercial. The first step towards the really expensive licenses that keep the official publishers in the same billionaire's club, with mostly the same agenda. Purely "political": controlling the people to ensure only rich commercial interests can publish.

And that's all before video streaming is really regulated. They'll surely increase the license fee for that, and probably raise the audio fees "now that the industry has gotten on its feet".

Who believes that "wireless networks", really just digital radio, will stay P2P, unregulated content, when the rest of the industry has the worst history of forcing regulations to define its limited competition? For those who do believe that, look at your radio dial. And, if you can stand it, try listening to it.

Re:Radio Killed the Internet Star (3, Informative)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348604)

While the thrust of your post is interesting, insightful, and probably even valid, I must take issue with your misunderstanding of the requirements of radio around the early part of the last century.

Back then, radios were big, expensive things that really didn't handle multiple frequencies well. Changing the radio transmitter's frequency, even by a bit, could literally involve swapping out parts, changing the length of the antenna, and so forth.

Additionally, it would have been impossible for broadcast radio to become the medium it was without having fixed frequencies. How would listeners tune in? "Tune in tommorow, same time, at another random place in the radio spectrum!"

Finally, I find it incredibly improbable that radio hobbyists 80 years ago had access to computers suitable for frequency negotiation and hand-off.

No, regulation of the spectrum, at least to a degree, was and IS absolutely necessary.

Mod drivel down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17349210)

This is just nuts. Parent has no clue of the level of technology needed to implement a working cognitive-radio infrastructure. That sort of thing began to be feasible in the 1950s-1960s timeframe, but only in defense/intelligence projects with unlimited budgets. You literally might as well be complaining about Henry Ford's reluctance to put more money into flying cars.

It is true that the FCC would not be needed today if we had the opportunity to scrap our legacy systems and start over. That will not happen anytime soon.

Re:Mod drivel down (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#17349434)

I just mentioned, in two sentences, a basic "cognitive-radio infrastructure". Known to real people as "listen politely before you speak".

Anonymous Coward is spewing gibberish, like starting out with a declaration that their post is "just nuts". OK, then keep it to yourself.

Why would anyone get into a discussion with an anonymous jerk about scrapping the FCC now that we can? You're obnoxious, have no imagination, and are just wrong.

Re:Radio Killed the Internet Star (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#17349846)

Publishing streams of copyrighted material on the Net costs not only a ridiculous $0.0007 per "song" per listener (therefore 10K listeners costs $7, thousands of times more than broadcast, though the tech is cheaper). But the license requires a minimum $500 per year.

I can understand frustration with the fees for internet streaming, but equating copyright fees to FCC licenses is patently ridiculous.

It doesn't matter what the media... YOU CAN'T JUST FREELY COPY OTHER PEOPLE'S WORKS.

No matter what the fees have been established at, the internet pipes remain free and clear, completely contrary to your comparison.

You can have an internet radio station playing only your own music. Or you can privately negotiate lower fees with copyright holders (eg. non-RIAA artists). You don't pay a large fee to "broadcast" on the internet... Anybody can do it. (And Net non-Neutrality can't stop it either.) Just look at the overwhelming number of podcasts available.

Re:Radio Killed the Internet Star (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#17350058)

You don't get what I'm saying. I'm not talking about freely copying other people's works. I'm talking about a rate structure arbitrary and prohibitive to anyone but commercial publishers of existing work. Which is a completely legitimate way to work without being commercial, if it's small enough scale, especially in today's "remix culture". Even at the rate of $0.0007:listen, which was established by a completely unsupportable basis of the stock price of Broadcast.com purchased by Yahoo in stock, not cash, as if the sale was the cost for Yahoo to play all of B.c's licensed songs once per listener. A legitimate price would be something like $0.00001 per listen. But again, I'm not saying that the compensation to the copyright owners is prohibitive (not in this discussion) - that's a strawman you're floating.

What I'm saying is that $500:y minimum is a fee designed to keep multicasters commercial, corporate, like the existing publishers. That's bound to increase in cost and complexity (therefore more costs) as streaming goes to video. Which is a parallel to how the FCC raised rates on some other arbitrary basis to exclude hobbyists from radio and other broadcast. To dumb it down into a corporate, one-way broadcast, instead of P2P among people.

You want to debate whether the minimum license fees (and more to come) will keep the Internet from delivering a P2P medium, to noncorporate interests as well as corporate, let's do it. Don't just say obnoxious assertions like "patently ridiculous", or create strawman arguments, if you want to discuss it with me. That's a way to turn this medium into a P2 medium, without me.

Re:Radio Killed the Internet Star (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#17350142)

You don't get what I'm saying.

Yes, I do.

I'm talking about a rate structure arbitrary and prohibitive to anyone but commercial publishers of existing work.

An FCC license is necessary to broadcast over the radio waves. It is not for internet streaming.

Paying fees for copyrighted music is NOT required for internet (radio) streaming, because playing copyrighted material is not necessary.

Fees for the medium != Fees for the content

That's why your comparison is "patently ridiculous".

Re:Radio Killed the Internet Star (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#17350286)

Prohibitive fees, whether for a spectrum license, minimum royalties or any other arbitrary basis that keeps publishing in the hands of "the club", is the barrier that favors "official publishers".

I've now taught you enough, including manners, whether or not you've got the sense to learn it. Goodbye.

Re:Radio Killed the Internet Star (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#17351552)

Prohibitive fees, whether for a spectrum license, minimum royalties or any other arbitrary basis that keeps publishing in the hands of "the club", is the barrier that favors "official publishers".

You can avoid those "minimum royalties" if you don't insist on publishing OTHER PEOPLE'S WORKS.

Your willful ignorance of this simple fact is overwhelming.

Re:Radio Killed the Internet Star (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 7 years ago | (#17353800)

What you are missing here in this exchange is the ASCAP royalty structure that is supported and condoned by the U.S. Federal government.... the government interference here is the issue, not the expectation of royalties to be paid to performers and "authors" (read composers and songwriters here) of music.

The courts have required that the means be established that royalties can be paid to these copyright holders at established industry rates. This is done through groups such as the MPAA (for motion pictures) or the RIAA/ASCAP as a central clearing house to deal with all of the money involved.

The point of the grandparent post here is that this is deliberately setup in such a way as to discourage smaller setups of somebody running a relatively low-volume operation.... kinda like trying to set up your own website with your own URL and web server. If you decide to stream some songs with the intention of trying to "stay legit" (if you don't care, that is another story) and paying royalties, the costs of doing so are prohibitive except for those who have some serious $$$ behind them.

In other words, the marginal costs to become a competitor in this sort of business is not trivial, and this is deliberately by design and "sanctioned" by the government.

The argument that is being made here, however, is that if this marginal cost were somehow lowered or eliminated, that substantial innovation would develop yet at the same time those professional artists who want to collect royalties on their works would also recieve that benefit. This is not the same as simply copying and streaming music illegally, but instead trying to reproduce legitimate works under license, but without having to negotiate with each music producer or performer seperately (which would border upon the level of being absurd, and why courts support this arrangement).

It could also be argued that no performing artist will actually get a single penny of royalties collected under this system, but that is another issue best left to another thread. If you have a private streaming site that is mainly "broadcasting" some music of some relatively obscure garage band (that is unfortunately "signed" by a major studio) and collects royalties through this royalty system, some huge amounts of money can be paid out as royalties yet the performers won't get a single penny. Now that is truly injustice at its worst.

Another Great Canadian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17348518)

Too bad only a few people know about him; instead everybody knows about Marconi who was half British half Italian and had good connections with the British Aristocracy.

I heard vaguely Russians claim that radio was invented by one of their own, Popovsky ot Popovich, I dont remember exactly. What was the exact name of this guy and what did he do?

Elvis Costello's take on the radio (1)

sixteenvolt (202302) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348652)

Still relevant 20 years later, if you ask me.

Radio, Radio live on SNL [youtube.com] .

Floorboards (1)

Graemee (524726) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348730)

Remember to keep all your good patents under the floorboards.

Visitor's Guide (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#17348802)

If you're ever going to Plymouth MA as a tourist, you can make a detour to visit the remains of the tower, it's only a short detour if you're headed there from Boston.

If you look at the photo [wikipedia.org] on the Wikipedia, you'll see that there it is currently in a trailer park. My wife grew up spending every summer in that park and my mother-in-law still as a place there. The house that is visible in the post card is still there, as are some of the concrete anchor points for the tower's guy wires and a concrete slab that was probably the foundation for a building that was part of the complex.

The view in the postcard [wikipedia.org] is what you would see walking up Central Street from the town pier at Green Harbor. It is part of the Brant Rock neighborhood of Marshfield, but is about half a mile south from Brant Rock proper. It is called on some maps as "Blackman's Point". It looks like the easter guy wires in the postcard are anchored to some of the granite ledge that forms the beach. They may still be there, I've never looked for them.

I have centered this map [google.com] on the approximate location of the tower base. The aerial was taken during winter storage of the trailers, but you can see the tower base between two trailers, north and a little bit west of the western edge of the brown roofed permanent structure. If you pan south of the photo a bit, you'll see a small shed (a bathroom), in front of which stands one of the surviving guy wire anchor points. To the northwest of that is a the slab mentioned earlier but it is covered with disassmbled decks that have been stored for the winter.

There's not very much left to see from the tower, so it's probably a visit for radio buffs only. Maybe if you're a ham who'd like to make a call from the historic point. A visit could also be combined with a trip to beach for swimming or tide pooling, if kids are in tow. The area an easy side trip on a visit to the Plymouth attractions (the Mayflower II, Plimouth Plantation). this map [google.com] shows a slightly enlarged view of the neighborhood, the trailer park containing the tower remains is at the end of Central Street.

The closest parking is at the town pier to the west, or if that is full at the intersection of Rt 139 and The beach near the park is rocky ledge, excellent for tidepooling, but trecherous for swimming. There are no public restroom or changing facilities. The same goes for a small but excellent beach that is adjacent to the breakwaters entering Green Harbor. To the north there is a small village center along Ocean Street that offers several restaurants and an ice cream shop. Arthur and Pat's is highly recommended for breakfaast. The beach at the end of Rt 139 is good, and offers a walk via breakwater to the interesting ocean ledge which gives the village its name, so a visit for breakfast, the beach, followed by a lunch and hike down to the site is a possible program for the day. The harbor makes a nice canoe or kayak trip, from a put near a footbridge on a stream south of the town pier on the eastern bank. The "river" directl across from this stream is actually the oldest canal in North America. It is possible with some dragging, to navigate all the way to Duxbury Bay and Plymouth Harbor, although it's an all day trip.

Finally, on your way out of the neighborhood, there is small Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant on Route 139 south of the Marina, near the end of West Street. This restaurant changes hands frequently, but is currently quite good. You can also get takeout fried clams and steamed lobsters from the Green Harbor Lobster Pound.

If you are a birder, there is a nearby Audobon sanctuary which is good for shorebirds and estuary species. It is located not far from Rt 139 on part of the former Daniel Webster estate. The historic Webster estate and Winslow houses are also quite close, if you enjoy touring historic low tech houses.

Re:Visitor's Guide (1)

N1EY (817702) | more than 6 years ago | (#17349602)

We will be there! The W1FRV club is having a special event tommorrow. I have operated only two weeks from the club station. Bill N1EY visit www.n1ey.com for some more information.

You can hear a reproduction of the broadcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17348898)

Jack Belrose (a bit of a radio pioneer himself) has done a lot of work on Fessenden. You can see and hear the results at the following link:
http://www.hammondmuseumofradio.org/fessenden-2006 -recreation.html [hammondmuseumofradio.org]

Error in subject title (2, Interesting)

drwho (4190) | more than 6 years ago | (#17349574)

What is important is not that Fessenden broadcast a signal to ships at sea, but that he did it using an audio signal, i.e. music and speech. He invented radio telephony. Before Fessenden, radio was purely Marconi's radio telegraphy (morse code).

Also, it is not entirely accurate calling Fessenden Canadian. He lived in the US at the time of this breakthrough, and would for some time, before moving to Bermuda. He can be said to be of 'Canadian origin'.

I know much about Fessenden because of the house he had owned in Newton, Massachusetts during and after his Brant Rock experiments. After Fesseden's death, the house was sold to my mother's family, and she recalls that there was some strange laboratory equipment in the basement of that house, where she grew up. This house is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Re:Error in subject title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17350708)

Umm. Radio waves were predicted theoretically by Maxwell, and first generated intentionally by Hertz. All other names were developers of an already invented phenomenon.

And it is not entirely accurate to call Americans 'American'. Most of the early ones can be said to be 'of European origin'. They are the ones who ran away when living in Europe became a bit difficult.

Re:Error in subject title (1)

drwho (4190) | more than 7 years ago | (#17351046)

Umm. Radio waves were predicted theoretically by Maxwell, and first generated intentionally by Hertz. All other names were developers of an already invented phenomenon.

Huh? What are you getting at? Maxwell and Hertz were scientists, not inventors. Scientists investigate natural phenomena, whereas inventors have a specific practical goal as their motivation.

And it is not entirely accurate to call Americans 'American'. Most of the early ones can be said to be 'of European origin'. They are the ones who ran away when living in Europe became a bit difficult.

Not really. Originally, 'native' meant someone who was born in a given area. In this sense, as I was born in the United States, I am a 'native American'. But a Native American has come to mean someone who is genetically and culturally descended from the people who populated North and South American continents (as opposed to 'American' meaning from the USA) prior to 1500AD.

While there is some room for debate as how the term 'European origin' can be used in this context, it is often used to mean a person who is not a 'native European', meaning they were not born in Europe. Things get interesting when you use the term 'of European descent', because you get into racial issues. Someone whose grandparents moved to England from Jamaica, and who has emigrated from England to the United States, is he considered Jamaican, English, or American? Generally, people label themselves with whatever is the most advantageous at the moment.

And as far as those who 'ran away when living in Europe became a bit difficult', that is an understatement. I hope it is purposefully so. Many of them left Europe with nothing more than their lives.

Bang & Poulsen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17349782)

The true inventor was the danish Valdemar Poulsen. Before he made the fuel-powered acoustic arc converter capable of 100kHz range frequencies, there was no reliable or capable means of regular voice transmission over radio waves. His invetion revolutionzed naval warfare in the 1910s and mid-20s. It was the only way to do before vacuum tubes.

BTW the same Poulsen invented the electromagnetic tape recorder in 1899 (with piano wire). Airplane black boxes used his mechanism until the early 1970s.

Doc Herrold first in USA (1)

hypertex (165243) | more than 6 years ago | (#17349848)

Let's not forget the programs Doc [jive95.com] broadcast in the Bay area in 1909 albeit these are now ham frequencies.
See:Setting The Stage for KMPX & KSAN

Fessenden Found Atlantis (1)

toddhisattva (127032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17350772)

By far, Fessenden's is the most interesting idea for Atlantis:

The Deluged Civilization [radiocom.net]

There is also some very good economics theory after the Deluge bit.

The BBC World Service has done a documentary (1)

Onkel Ringelhuth (667322) | more than 7 years ago | (#17352856)

It's at http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/worldserv ice/meta/tx/discovery?nbram=1&nbwm=1&size=au&lang= en-ws&bgc=003399 [bbc.co.uk] (26 minute RealAudio stream). Or if that gobbledygook doesn't work, navigate to the World Service Discovery programme from http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/worldservice_promo. shtml [bbc.co.uk] .
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