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Wider Wifi—”White Space”

Wider Wifi—”White Space”

Previously, I wrote about how a neighborhood in Houston, Texas was experimenting with wireless broadband [a.k.a. wifi] that used unlicensed “white spaces” between TV channels. Now, it looks like this idea, based on what the Federal Communications Commission authorized back in September 2010, has bred a standard that will increase its availability.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, who sanctioned the “wireless local area network” standard known numerically as 802.11, has given a number to this new “wireless regional area network” idea…802.22. According to IEEE’s press release, the “Wireless Regional Area Networks” that can be spawned from this new standard can cover a radius of up to 62 miles [100 km], based on flat terrain, and can deliver speeds of up to 22 mbps, which, by itself, would rival most existing available broadband services, wired or wireless.

But just because a new wireless broadband standard can provide speeds equal to much of what’s available now doesn’t quite mean it will. A more realistic scenario that could occur if twelve users are on any one unoccupied “white space” channel would have speeds at just 1.5 mbps for downloading, and 384k for uploading, on a par with DSL systems.

Even so, rural areas of the US, as well as in many underdeveloped parts of the world, are reported to be the most likely of areas to gain this new wireless broadband technology once it takes hold by 2013 or so, because those areas don’t have as much Internet access, but are certain to have plenty of white spaces due to less over-the-air digital TV channels. Larger cities, which have more TV channels on air, are less likely to have “white spaces,” though “channel bonding” [more than one empty TV channel] can increase the available bandwidth.

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Truly Independent…or In Bed With a Major?

Truly Independent…or In Bed With a Major?

In early June 2011, a rapper out of Kansas City named Tech N9ne came out with an album entitled “All 6’s and 7’s.” In its debut week, it sold over 55,000 copies, enough for it to enter in at number 4 on the Billboard 200 album charts, behind only Gaga, Adele, and the cast recording of the hit Broadway musical “The Book of Mormon.” What else was so great about it? As MTV’s website reported, Tech N9ne released the album independently, and had a strong fan base to thank for his success.

Tech N9ne, with the help of business partner Travis O’Guin, has, through their Strange Music label, released his own material independently through their Strange Music label since 1999, and has taken in about $15 million in the decade since. He says that he’s been getting calls from major labels even before his current album was released, but says he won’t be so quick to sign such a deal.

But is Tech N9ne really independent? It depends on how that meaning can be interpreted, because, on the one hand, Strange Music’s product is distributed through Fontana Distribution, an independent-level subsidiary of major-label Universal Music Group, which would put Tech and his label in bed with a major. [Sure enough, the slogan Fontana uses on its website reads, “Independent on a Major Level.”] On the other hand, if Strange Music were to own the master recordings, it would make them independent based on that standard.

By comparison, indie legend Ani DiFranco, whose Righteous Babe Records has, in the 20-plus years that her company’s been in existence, hasn’t (at least to the best of my knowledge), used a major-label’s indie-level subsidiary to distribute its product, which would make her company a “true independent.”

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My 3 Big Beefs with A TechCrunch Writer and Her Article Featuring 500 Startups-Backed Kibin

My 3 Big Beefs with A TechCrunch Writer and Her Article Featuring 500 Startups-Backed Kibin

 

Kathleen Blackwell (aka "Tech Bitch" for the purpose of this article)

Okay, so I should probably entitle this article “Tech Bitch,” as that’s the way I’m going to sound, alas I can’t hold back anymore. I suppose I am prompted to let go here based upon an article I read earlier today that was posted in the Los Angeles Startup Digest Reading List for this week. The article? “Getting Users For Your New Startup,” in which author Philip Kaplan (Pud’s Blog), simply states to “Start Controversy.”

Here we go. Ready?

I have three big beefs and it’s in regards to another article I read today. TechCrunch writer, Alexia Tsotsis, wrote about 500 Startups-backed Kibin in an article titled, “Editing Community Kibin Helps You Proofread Your Writing Fast And For Free.” Tsotsis writes, “Kibin is an editing community that allows you to upload a piece of writing and get it edited and proofread for free in a matter of 24 hours.” Tsotsis then goes on to make this statement, “You have no idea how much I want this to succeed.”

Great! Me too. The problem I’m having with Alexia Tsotsis’ statement is that I don’t believe she really wants this startup to succeed and as a practicing editor and writer myself, that totally bums me out. Why do I feel this way? To be honest, it’s because I think an editing service like Kibin is desperately needed. They are aiming to fill a market void with a creative approach and when I heard the concept emerge as one of the favorites at 500 Startups Demo Day earlier this week, I was thrilled…until I read Tsotsis’ TechCrunch article today.

My 3 Big Beefs:

1. EDITORIAL RESPONSIBILITY

The proofreading example provided by Tsotsis showing how Kibin works had a huge, glaring, grammatical, this-is-not-rocket-science mistake. Whether the example provided was insisted upon by Kibin, or not, or whether Tsotsis drummed it up herself, I feel that since Tsotsis appears to post her own articles, she had an editorial responsibility to at least review the example, find the this-is-not-so-rocket-science mistake and as a common courtesy to Kibin, ask that they provide another example.

Kibin – Proofreading Example – TechCrunch

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