FCC adds 100MHz of spectrum to the commons

The FCC has unanimously voted to open up 100MHz of spectrum at the bottom end of the 5GHz band, redesignating them as open spectrum, under rules similar to those that created the original Wifi boom. Previously, the spectrum had been exclusively allocated to a satellite telephony company. Adding more open spectrum is amazingly great news, and even better is the bipartisan support for the move, which was attended by very promising-sounding remarks from commissioners from both parties about the value of open spectrum as a source of innovation and public value.

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Video explainer: why open spectrum matters, and why you're about to lose it

Harold Feld from Public Knowledge writes, "One of the hardest problems I face advocating for more open, shared 'unlicensed' spectrum is trying to explain exactly what 'spectrum' is and why decisions about it made by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) matter. My organization, Public Knowledge, now has a two minute video animation 'Wireless Spectrum: How To Use It And Why You Might Lose It' that explains for those new to these issues. The video ties in to our effort to save the newest unlicensed spectrum, 'TV white spaces,' from being auctioned away to the biggest wireless companies. If you agree after watching the video that we need to protect and promote open spectrum as well as get more licensed spectrum to AT&T and Verizon, please click through to our petition."

Wireless Spectrum: How To Use It And Why You Might Lose It (Thanks, Harold!)

Jaws, the text adventure

"You swim slowly through the night, contemplating the solitary brutality of your existence as an apex predator."

Jaws, the text adventure, is fantastic in three ways: as a game; in its adherence to the ZX Spectrum's palette and limitations; and its location firmly in the 19A0s.

Pirate radio station jams keyless entry system

A mysterious string of keyless entry malfs in Hollywood, FL were resolved when police was discovered a 24-hour pirate Caribbean music station that was inadvertently jamming the car-fobs.

For months, dozens of people could not use their keyless entry systems to unlock or start their cars whenever they parked near the Hollywood Police Department. Once the cars were towed to the dealers, the problem miraculously disappeared.

..."How do you like them potatoes?" said Mannolie Disantos, a manager at a nearby Radio Shack where several stranded car owners flocked when their electronic keys failed, only to learn their key batteries weren't dead after all. "We were blaming it on the police. The police were blaming it on the courthouse. We didn't know what was going on."

Like I say every time my kid busts the string used to run her mittens through her jacket sleeves, intermitten problems are the hardest to diagnose.

Pirate radio jammed keyless car entry systems [Susannah Bryan/Sun Sentinel] (via /.)