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September 20, 2009

DTV: Problems Abound

If you receive your television signal via antenna, you most likely have noticed that your ability to watch and enjoy television has changed since the switch to digital television, or DTV. When you are able to receive the channel you want to watch, and the signal is strong, the picture is significantly better than what you saw before the switch, and sound is pretty good too.

However, the problem is actually getting that signal. With analog television (the way television was being broadcast until the switch), even in the event of a weak signal, you at least received a picture, even if it might have been a bit snowy, and the sound always came through. With digital television, it is a whole different story. With DTV, it seems to be close to an all or nothing proposition. Either you get the signal or you don't. Or, if you sort-of get a signal, the picture freezes or is pixelated, and the sound either continues with a jumpy or frozen picture, or everything just stops.

According to this article, at least part of the problem may be that stations that were previously broadcasting their digital signals on the UHF frequency have been forced to move to the VHF frequency. The indoor antennas that could bring in even weak analog signals on the VHF frequency seem unable to bring in weak digital signals on that frequency. But don't run out to buy a more expensive antenna because, due to the broadcast frequency problems and the weak power of some of those signals, a more expensive antenna may not bring any improvement.

Also, according to the same article: "[A]t least 20 VHF stations have asked the Federal Communications Commission to move their digital signals back to UHF, and more would like to do so. However, the government has sold off some of the UHF band to cell phone carriers, leaving less space for TV channels. Another portion is planned to be used for emergency services, which was another reason for the digital TV transition."

This writer and viewer hopes that a solution is found soon. It is very frustrating for many in this country, who either cannot afford or have no interest in switching to cable or satellite TV, when they can no longer watch television because the government essentially took that option away.

And, by the way, there are sometimes problems with cable and satellite TV. Pictures freeze there too.

Richard L. Kuper,
Editor
The Kuper Report

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December 19, 2008

Review: Composite and component cables for iPod from Griffin Technology

Richard Kuper
The Kuper Report
http://thekuperreport.com/

If your iPod is capable of sending video or graphic images to TV, then instead of viewing the videos or images on a tiny little screen, you can view them on your TV or monitor. If you want to hear the audio files you have on your iPod on a real stereo system, then these cables will give you that option. All connectors are color-coded for easy connecting.

With either of these cables from Griffin Technology and the included PowerBlock AC Adapter you can also:
  • Connect your iPod to your computer to download songs, videos, images, and also charge your iPod via your computer.
  • Charge your iPod from a wall outlet via the PowerBlock AC Adapter (and you can do this even while watching videos on your TV or listening to music on your stereo system).
  • Charge any usb device via the PowerBlock AC Adapter.
If your TV or home entertainment system only accepts one yellow-coded cable for video, then you will want Griffin’s Composite Video Cable for iPod.

If your TV or monitor has three video inputs (Red, Green, and Blue), then you will want Griffin's Component Video Cable for iPod.

Important caveats if you are thinking of getting these cables to see the video or images stored on your iPod displayed on your TV or monitor. First, check to see if your iPod has that option. Not all do, and the default setting is for this feature not to be enabled. So assuming your iPod has the option to send output to TV, you will need to first turn that option on. There are no instructions that come with the cables telling you this, so be sure to check your iPod first. I discovered, for example, that the iPod nano (1st generation) does not have an option to send the images to TV. I even went and got the latest software update but that option did not show up anywhere on the 1st generation iPod nano. Also, these cables are not for iPods that only have a usb connection.

If the caveats are not an issue, then check out these cables from Griffin Technology. They list for $49.99.

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August 18, 2007

SpeechTEK 2007: August 21-23 in NYC

Richard Kuper
The Kuper Report
http://TheKuperReport.com

Most major companies, and many small to mid-sized companies are using speech technology in many different ways. Are you using speech technology in your business? Should you be? And if you are, are you using it properly and effectively? Find out by attending SpeechTEK 2007 August 21-23 in NYC. Registration is also available the evening of August 20.

Who should attend?
* C-Level Executives
* Enterprise IT Decision Makers
* Telecom IT Decision Makers
* Customer Service Managers
* Call Center Professionals
* Speech Programmers/Developers
* Marketing Executives
* Voice User interface Designers
* Consumer Electronics Designers
* Internet Services Strategists
* Anyone Wishing to Learn More About Speech Technologies

More information can be found at http://SpeechTEK.com

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February 19, 2007

Corporate Security: Risk and Cost Tolerance in India

"Late last month, Indian police acting on an intelligence lead arrested a suspected Kashmiri militant near Jalahalli, a village just north of Bangalore. Authorities confiscated an assault rifle and 300 rounds of ammunition from the suspect, 34-year-old Bilal Ahmed Kota, as well as -- significantly -- a satellite phone, a cell phone, multiple cell phone SIM cards and a map of Bangalore. Several locations reportedly had been marked out on that map -- including the airport, the offices of Wipro Technologies Ltd. and the complex operated by Infosys Technologies, the global information technology (IT) services provider."

Click here to read the full article.

Richard Kuper
The Kuper Report
http://TheKuperReport.com

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February 14, 2007

"Offshore-developed software projects have 2.8X as many bugs as average software projects"

Richard Kuper
The Kuper Report
http://TheKuperReport.com

At the NYC SPIN meeting last evening, Michael Mah of QSM Associates and the Cutter Consortium gave a very interesting presentation about extreme programming and productivity measurement. As he was wrapping up he provided some statistics regarding offshore outsourced projects.

An excellent write-up of this event has been published by Ed Yourdon, and I will not even try to improve on the work of such a distinguished writer ("Death March," "Byte Wars," the recent "Outsourcing: Competing in the Global Productivity Race," etc.). So instead I will direct you to his blog entry here:
"Offshore-developed software projects have 2.8X as many bugs as average software projects"

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