DG Lewis 's Techdirt Comments

Latest Comments (30) comment rss

  • Should The Government Subsidize Your Extra TV?

    DG Lewis ( profile ), 12 Feb, 2007 @ 01:35pm

    Re: Re: Cable isn't OTA

    "the impending 'switch' in 2009 only affects OTA broadcasts..."

    Exactly - thus my point that it's silly of Dingell et. al. to try to load in subsidies for cable subscribers to get digital-analog converter boxes.

  • Should The Government Subsidize Your Extra TV?

    DG Lewis ( profile ), 12 Feb, 2007 @ 10:44am

    Cable isn't OTA

    It would have been helpful if you linked to an article describing exactly what "Congress" is pressuring the Commerce Department to do. I found it at http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0PJR/is_2006_Nov_20/ai_n16869264 (I hope the Techdirt comments form accepts URLs).

    That said, it is a bit silly. How many people who subscribe to cable have a second (third, fourth, fifth) TV in their house that's receiving over-the-air signals? It's far more likely that they've got their second, third, or fourth TV hooked up to their cable, but without a cable box - so all they get is the analog channels. But that's analog cable, not analog OTA. And all the Digital TV Transition Act should be dealing with is preserving service for customers who currently receive analog OTA signals as the signals are discontinued with the transition to digital OTA, not helping customers or cable companies reclaim cable spectrum by moving channels to digital.

  • Clearwire IPO Take Two

    DG Lewis ( profile ), 19 Dec, 2006 @ 12:26pm


    Actually, Moto bought Clearwire's equipment unit (NextNet Wireless) for $50M, bought 50M shares of Clearwire stock for $300M, and got a five-year exclusive-purchase agreement on network equipment and a two-year $150M purchase commitment in the deal.

    Not too shabby... for Moto.

  • What Problem Does Natural Language Search Solve?

    DG Lewis ( profile ), 06 Oct, 2006 @ 11:20am

    What it solves

    Natural language search solves the problem of information retrieval as opposed to "search". Earlier today, I needed to find what time trains leave New York Penn Station for Metropark on October 25. To do so, I googled "new jersey transit". Google was smart enough to give me, as an option under the njtransit.com website, a deeplink to the rail schedules. But I then had to go to the schedules, select New York Penn Station as the departure station, Metropark as the arrival station, and the Weekday schedule, and then submit the request to get the schedules I wanted. That's fine - but the real question is "what time do trains leave new york penn station for metropark on october 25," and it would be quicker and easier to enter that question and have it give me the schedules I wanted.

  • To The NSA Your Book Club Looks Like A Terrorist Group

    DG Lewis ( profile ), 25 May, 2006 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Known Terrorist

    "People seem to forget the same kind of judges that are being asked for warrants are the same douchebags that award multimillion dollar settlements to people for burning themselves on coffee or whining because someone made them eat a goldfish in order to be on a footbal team..."

    Actually, they're not. The judges that are being asked for "warrants", at least in most national security and terrorism cases, are FISC (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) judges operating under FISA. FISC is a secret court with all records sealed. I'd be worried about information leaking through a lot of other channels before I'd be worried about it leaking through FISC.

  • Is "Gobbledygook" A Legal Term?

    DG Lewis ( profile ), 08 May, 2006 @ 07:10am

    Tech issues?

    It's not clear that the judges understand the tech issues so much as they understand the legal issues. In Brand X and the DSL rulings, the FCC has said that ISPs are information services. In the CALEA rulings, the FCC has said that ISPs are subject to CALEA rules. The statute says that information services are not subject to CALEA. The judges seem to be saying that the FCC's arguments are logically inconsistent, and that the FCC can't have it both ways. You don't need any particular understanding of the technology to make that point.

  • Demographic Surveys And Advertising…

    DG Lewis ( profile ), 04 May, 2006 @ 11:58am


    All I can say is "thank you" for the correct use of the word "literally".

  • Will The New Ma Bell Be Forced To Cough Up A Wireless Competitor

    DG Lewis ( profile ), 04 Apr, 2006 @ 11:09am

    Spectrum Divestiture? Not likely.

    Expect AT&T/BellSouth to make three arguments to counter any spectrum divestiture noises:

    First, they'll point out that the 2.5 GHz BRS/EBS licenses that BellSouth holds cover a limited area (Atlanta plus 5 BTAs in Florida - I don't know where CNET got the "published reports" that it's the second-largest owner of 2.5 GHz spectrum - that's Clearwire - or that it "controls spectrum in 50 of the largest markets", since it has only 6 BTA licenses), so holding them does not impair competition, and since AT&T has no BRS/EBS licenses, a merger is no more anti-competitive than is BLS holding them in the first place.

    Second, they'll argue that they are using and will further use the 2.3 GHz WCS licenses to extend broadband access to underserved regions and do disaster recovery (e.g., FastAccess wireless in New Orleans and Gulfport and BellSouth's latest announcement of FastAccess wireless as a broadband backup).

    Third, they'll argue that the 2.3 GHz WCS licenses they hold have an asset value of at least $240M and possibly as much as $3.8B, depending on the prices that get bid in the upcoming AWS spectrum auction, and that forcing them to divest (and therefore get less than fair market values for the licenses) would be an unjust taking.

    And given the merger-friendly and RBOC-friendly environment in Washington these days, as Mike points out, I'd be surprised if these arguments didn't carry the day. I'd even be surprised if there were any buildout requirements imposed as were done with Sprint-Nextel - AT&T/BLS will also point out that there are already buildout requirements for the WCS licenses.

  • The Real Bandwidth Hog? The Telcos

    DG Lewis ( profile ), 02 Feb, 2006 @ 07:01am

    FCC Documents

    Does anyone know what the "documents filed with the FCC" referred to by the BW article are?

  • Different Strokes For Different Folks

    DG Lewis ( profile ), 20 Oct, 2005 @ 06:30am

    Re: While we're in the mood...

    The telephone company has liability protection against 911 outages written into the original statutes requiring 911. So, as one of my professors said, "you can always sue -- but you won't win." One of the (many) complaints VoIP providers had against the FCC VoIP 911 order was that it did not provide equivalent liability protection. (So if you did the same thing, but tried to call 911 using your VoIP phone and failed, you could sue your VoIP provider...)