AT&T and Verizon get more spectrum, the US government pays its bills, TV broadcasters get compensated for unused bandwidth they didn’t have to pay for in the first place, and free access to unlicensed airwaves/whitespaces is guaranteed. The art of compromise in action. Shocking, really.
The idea of purposefully buying and using crap technology (specifically electronics that aren’t the newest or greatest) has appealed to me for some time, not for any kind of environmental reason, but because it offers a chance to figure out what I really need out of a device. I think I have the same phone as the guy in this article and I use a Sansa mp3 player that, even at a measly 4Gs plus an 8G microSD card, holds more music than I’ll ever need for any task besides permanently leaving the country and never returning. My choice of these electronics was intentional because I decided they offered all the options I needed and prevented my life from becoming too easy, in that I still need to be near a building on a computer to use the internet and if I get tired of some of the music on my mp3 player I have the option of changing it myself. While having everything you might ever need on your person at all times is a pretty remarkable accomplishment, it removes a lot of barriers that keep our lives interesting. You might call it streamlining, and it is, but when all the obstacles are gone, I think we’ll just have more time to be bored.
It’s about time someone got around to figuring out how food works. Sometimes I feel like an idiot believing obvious things when there’s no science to back it up. Sure this is just one study and it’s from China, but don’t we already know this? Maybe not down to the level of RNA and miRNA, but at least the idea that eating “good” food is good for us and “bad” food bad? Now, no one’s going to stop eating rice or call it “bad” because of this study, but at least we have the beginnings of what could be called proof that food does more than deliver calories and vitamins; what the food is made of affects what we are made of, as well as our physiological processes. Hopefully, as the science continues to progress, we’ll get a clearer understanding of what food does once we put it inside our bodies and how different foods have different impacts. Until then, I’m going to continue to trust my gut.
Christie and I saw the protest last night on our way to get some ice cream. A police van blocked off the Paseo de la Castellana as we were crossing the street, and looking south we could see the protestors, the police, and the flashing lights. With similar protests so uncommon in the US, witnessing a large group of angry foreigners evokes an immediate sense of apprehension, especially when you’ve been conditioned to think a large portion of the world instinctively blames America/Americans for their troubles. The circling helicopter didn’t help either. Still, we knew we weren’t the target of their anger; they are disgruntled with their own government, their poor economy, and the vast unemployment in their country, particularly among people our age. I would like to say that we joined up with them and shouted at the police to show solidarity with the Spanish members of our generation, a generation I still have a lot of faith in. But we knew that the ice cream shop closed at midnight, and since it was already after 11pm we continued on our way and ended up getting a five flavor sampler.
The fate of these unlicensed airwaves will have a monumental impact on the future of American technology and consumer choice. In the hands of large telecommunications companies, this spectrum will mostly serve to increase the size of their networks and reduce the possibility for competing technologies. Unlicensed, these frequencies provide inventors, tech companies, and entrepreneurs with access to a laboratory of airspace full of possibility. Nationwide broadband is the dream we can see, but the greater significance of this unlicensed spectrum lies in the unanticipated discoveries that will shape our future world.