TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Is 'Transitional Fair Use' The Wave Of The Future?

Re: Is 'Transitional Fair Use' The Wave Of The Future?
16 Dec 2004 13:45:55 -0800

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Do you remember *many, many* years
> ago when cable television was first getting underway how 'they' said
> cable would be a better deal 'since there would not be any
> commercials; it is all paid for by your cable fees'. What a joke
> that was. Of course that was long before they started showing
> commercials in the movie theatres (where you had bought a five or
> six dollar ticket to watch a movie also.) PAT]

Yes, I do. Indeed, I remember a lot of promises about cable
television that never came to be, and I've read a lot of the hopes for
broadcast TV that either never came out or only did in a trickle.

All these broken promises from new technology is a motivator for many
of my postings here. I've seen enough "oh this is a wonderful
technology!" promises when in reality it actually made things _worse_
for us consumers. Sometimes the technology itself was just plain bad,
sometimes it was the way it was promoted and marketed.

Everyone is deep in love with "digital" over analog, but the rush to
implementation had a lot of bugs with disasterous consquences as
firemen radios went dead. A major police system used in several
cities tends to fail; the mfr is working on it.

The old Bell System used to test, test, and retest its new
technologies before rolling them out nationwide. After in-house
extensive lab testing, they did carefully controlled beta tests in one
real exchange. Their famous initial ESS tests taught them a heck of a
lot about reliability, the switchgear, and station sets.

The original point of CATV was better reception. I'm still waiting
for that to happen. For some reason the lowest channels on my system
come in very poorly, and I've called them out many times. As it
happens I don't watch those channels too much so I live with it, but
it's interesting how this supposedly high-tech medium (with fiber
optic now) still can't get the basics right.

The second point of CATV was better program selection. In some ways
that has come true, but in many ways that's lacking. When Nick@Nite
and TV Land first came out they offered some neat stuff from the
1950s, but now it's just more reruns of recent junk. Nick daytime had
some creative original shows, but I don't think they bother anymore.

I don't think much of cable news networks because they spew out raw
facts that are _out of context_ and thus not newsworthy. Good news
reporting is more than just reporting isolated facts -- it is putting
them together in a logical fashion, eliminating contradictions, and
putting in a wider context. Despite all the time they have they still
put everything in brief sound bites.

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