[time-nuts] Clearest article yet on LightSquared's threat to GPS

William H. Fite omniryx at gmail.com
Sun Jun 5 15:05:20 UTC 2011

Thanks for a cleansing breath of fresh air, Charles.  The paranoia and
cynicism were reaching toxic levels.

As difficult as it is for us scientists and engineers to accept, science is
not and never will be the sole epistemological paradigm, nor will it ever
resolve all the woes of humankind.

Which is not to say we oughtn't keep trying.


On Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 9:35 PM, Charles P. Steinmetz <
charles_steinmetz at lavabit.com> wrote:

>  In this case, it seems that the FCC listened to a bunch of
>> hog wash, without doing any sort of correct testing beforehand, and now
>> that it's after the fact, have been caught with their pants down about
>> their ankles.
>> Now, it's up to who has the deepest pockets, and the most
>> political pull, in who gets what privileges within the band in concern.
> As I have remarked before, the Commissioners and the Administration are
> scared spitless that the US is (and always has been) way down the list in
> the rankings of broadband deployment and speed.  They believe that
> ubiquitous high-speed data service (like clean energy technology) is the
> answer to all of our prayers and will bring prosperity and world dominance
> back to the US.  THAT is the hogwash the FCC and the Administration
> swallowed.
> IMO, they are wrong -- 99.993% of our broadband capacity was always
> destined to be used to deliver re-runs of Biggest Loser and American Idol,
> and multiplayer games, because that is who Americans are.  In any case, like
> GB of memory or GIPS of processor speed, we will never have enough wireless
> broadband spectrum -- and for the same reasons.  If you build it, someone
> will create an utterly worthless bandwidth hog that Americans will decide
> they must have.
> Anyway, when you start from that premise (Must ... Increase ... Broadband
> ... Deployment), the task becomes "Find all of the underutilized spectrum
> between 300 and 3000 MHz and re-purpose it for wireless broadband."  And
> that is precisely what the FCC is doing.  And what it would have done, with
> or without the "deep pockets" that many think are driving the process.  (I
> also don't think that is an entirely fair charge.  Don't forget that the FCC
> is setting up to go head to head with broadcasters -- one of the best funded
> and most powerful lobbies in the country -- to take away the remainder of
> their UHF spectrum for wireless broadband.)
> Further, there is no argument that the MSS bands are underutilized -- you
> can see the tumbleweeds blowing through.  So it seemed like a good idea to
> the FCC to reallocate it.  Also, every milliHertz of spectrum the FCC wants
> to re-purpose will be fought for by the incumbents (and, in this case, by
> the users of adjacent spectrum) -- so the FCC anticipates stories of the end
> of civilization as we know it every time they propose a reallocation, and it
> is safe to say they are jaded about such protests.
> Engineers and folks sympathetic to the scientific method are ALWAYS going
> to be disgusted with political initiatives and outcomes, which necessarily
> must respond to non-scientific as well as scientific inputs.  Heck, it's the
> 21st Century and we are still debating whether to teach creationism instead
> of or alongside evolution!
> Put another way, of COURSE the spectrum reallocation process is AFU --
> governments don't have any other options.
> Best regards,
> Charles
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