Zombies Attack Emergency Alert System

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Zombies Attack Emergency Alert System

Zombies_150In 1938 it took a whole radio network to convince people that Martians had landed in New Jersey. In 2013 it took only one hacker to tell people that dead bodies were “attacking the living” in Montana and Michigan.

TVNewsCheck has the story. TVSpy has a few more details. And check-out this post about EAS decoder vunerability from Kaspersky Lab. (And thanks to FierceCable for the tip.)

And if the Admin password for your firewall is still “changeme”, this could happen to you!

Bye Bye EUE

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Bye Bye EUE

One of the first places where I interviewed for a job has closed its doors. The New York EUE/Screen Gems studios (most recently home to the Rachel Ray show) will soon become the site of an apartment building according to one industry wag.

Update: Only the original location on East 44th Street closed. EUE New York is now located at 603 Greenwich Street.

Power To The Node

Power To The Node

In the not too distant past there were plenty of arguments about whether fiber to the home was better than fiber to the node. Cable companies crowed that fiber to the home required expensive terminal equipment at each customer premise and that fiber to the node was the was the way to go. Well now I’m sitting here on Long Island with lots of power but no internet/phone/TV service. So much for those pole-mounted backup power supplies. Thinking about switching to Verizon FiOS.

Jack LaLanne – TV Pioneer

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Jack LaLanne – TV Pioneer

Television pioneer Jack LaLanne has passed at the age of 96. Already well known in the Bay Area for his health spa (gym), “The Jack LaLanne Show” began in 1951 as a local program on San Francisco’s KGO-TV, and was carried nationally on ABC starting in 1959. LaLanne and his dog Happy encouraged kids (like me) to wake their moms and drag them in front of the set. His TV exercises used no special equipment, just household items like a chair and a towel.

What Is The Fate of Film ?

What Is The Fate of Film ?

Broadcasting & Cable ran a feature this week on the increased use of Digital SLR cameras to shoot parts of primetime shows along with an on-line sidebar. Along with the trend toward digital projection in theaters, things do not bode well for those who manufacture, develop and transfer film for a living.

According to B&C, one big reason for the growing popularity of DSLRs is the fact that they offer very large imaging sensors in a relatively small camera. Those big sensors provide outstanding performance in low light, a strength that has led to their extensive use in a number of popular TV shows and high-end commercials.

Your thoughts – will film become extinct? Please comment.

Next on FiOS: Holographic TV ?

Next on FiOS: Holographic TV ?

fmri1_150In a CNET article, Verizon CIO Shaygan Kheradpir said his company has been playing around with sending holographic images of someone’s head across its FiOS network. OK, that is a bit out of context but Kheradpir said this could be a very useful application for doctors and other medical professionals.

Verizon recently announced that it had field tested the first ever 1Gbps link to a business using Verizon’s existing FiOS infrastructure. According to CNET, Kheradpir has also been testing the 1Gbps service in his home. On a tour of his home earlier this month, he said that holography is the type of application that would require these higher speed connections.

Television Causes Debt? – Perhaps Not !

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Television Causes Debt? – Perhaps Not !


“Results indicate that television increases the tendency to borrow for household goods and to carry debt.” says the article “Television Access Linked to Household Debt” in the November 4th issue of TV Technology (available on-line here) reviewing a paper by two Hunter College economics researchers.

No PhD am I, but I do remember some things from my college research methods course. I remember there being something about controlling for external validity. In their paper, Drs. Baker and George do not appear to have controlled for the effects of increased household newspaper and magazine (think Life and Look) subscriptions. [As their data deals with the 1950’s and ’60s.] Perhaps printed ads in the home are not a game changer, but think about the possibility that babies cause storks.

CES Wrap-Ups

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CES Wrap-Ups

Here are some blog summaries on how CES is morphing from just a hardware show to a hardware and content show:

NewTeeVee: CES Scorecard: What You Need to Know

Jack Myers: NBCU and Sony Transform CES to ‘Tech PLUS Content’ Convention

Shelly Palmer (via Jack Myers): Key Take-aways from CES 2008: Shelly Palmer Report

Lost Remote (Entries Tagged “CES”)

Warner Rejects HD DVD For BLU-RAY

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Warner Rejects HD DVD For BLU-RAY

And one last item for today – Warner Brothers Entertainment will release its High-Definition DVD titles exclusively in the Blu-Ray format beginning in June, dropping the HD-DVD format. Read what Peter Putman had to say here.
UPDATE:
The Financial Times is reporting that “Paramount is poised to drop its support of HD DVD after Warner Brothers’ recent backing” of Blu-Ray.
Why, Oh Why Can’t I ?

Why, Oh Why Can’t I ?

ipod_150This is not the blog entry I originally started to write…

I am now the proud owner of a video iPod. News junkie and uber-geek that I am, the first videos I watched on it were newscasts.

And then I didn’t. Stupid me, I had totally forgotten that my iPod is Mac formatted and that the computer at my current gig is a PC.

When I recently replaced my first generation iPod, I just had to get the video model because I wanted to watch that day’s ABC World News podcast and the Fox News Flashes on my commuter rail journey home. Fourty-five minutes of just my iPod and my noise canceling headphones, completely oblivious to the jerks talking too loud on their cellphones. (I have a special playlist of songs with lots of high frequency sounds that I turn up to earsplitting volume when I sit next to the worst walkie-talkie mode offenders. I’m beginning to loose my hearing anyway, so I get great pleasure in counter-annoying.)

So there I was on my first workday with my new gadget, and I plug it in to my desktop and iTunes politely asks if I want to re-format it. No, duh! So I walk it around the corner to the Art Director’s office (who had already left) and logged in to my account on her Mac. Downloaded the World News Webcast, plugged-in my iPod, and “This file type cannot be played on this device.” Now, although that was just a file type format blunder, that only happens occasionally (and whose fault – ABC or Apple), needless to say I have still not watched a same-day video podcast yet. After all, I’m already late for the train. Who has time to download podcasts in someone else’s office? If Macs can read and make PC formatted CD-ROMs, why can’t iTunes read and write to Mac and PC formatted iPods?