Tales of the Sausage Factory

FCC “WiMAX Auction” Already Over — Not a Surprise, But Still Impressive.

Some of you may recall that last month fellower Wetmachiner Greg Rose and I published our first industry report on the FCC’s Auction 86. We dubbed this the “WIMAX Auction” because the band at issue, the 2.5 GHz band, is the focus of major WIMAX activity in the U.S. and the report described the current state of the industry (including coverage maps for Clearwire and Sprint and the most extensive private database yet of who holds what in the band), likely outcomes in the auction, and what the behavior of bidders in the auction would tell us.

One prediction we made, that the auction itself would attract very little interest because it was an “ash and trash” auction of the leaving in the band, held up pretty well. The auction opened on October 27, and closed Friday, November 6. In other words, the entire auction lasted a week (4 bidding days) — which in FCC terms is greased lightning (the 700 MHz auction last year, for example, went on for 38 bidding days covering over 2 months). Total haul was $20 million, which will hopefully serve as a reminder to folks that spectrum auctions are not all multi-billion dollar gold mines.

As promised, we will release a post auction analysis available with the spectrum maps and databases for $799 within the next few months, once we (meaning Greg) have a chance to crunch the numbers and the round by round results. (Those who pre-ordered at the reduced rate when they bought the earlier report do not need to re-order). If you order now (the report is available through Muniwreless.com and through BroadbandCensus.com), you will not only pre-order the post-auction updates, but will get a copy of the original report with its industry analysis and coverage maps.

Stay tuned . . . .

Posted in Spectrum, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

Inventing the Future

What's a Server?

I was taught that science is all about managing complexity by creating abstractions over different domains. A common layman’s mistake is to anecdotally observe or hear that something is true at some level, somewhere, and assume that this fact or definition applies throughout every discussion. For example:
One hears that computers are “programmed in binary,” or that they “understand binary,” but in fact, programmers don’t write in binary. Programmers work at a higher level of abstraction than binary encoding.
One hears that computers use “digital circuits,” that are simply “on” or “off”, but in fact, the physics of each electronic component is continuously variable. Device physics is at a lower level of abstraction than digital electronics.

So, what’s a server and what is peer-to-peer? It depends on what ‘s being discussed?

Read More »

Posted in Inventing the Future, metaphysics | Also tagged , , , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

My Thoughts Exactly

Dr. Evil to create virtual people

using government money:

EVL will build a state-of-the-art motion-capture studio to digitalize the image and movement of real people who will go on to live a virtual eternity in virtual reality. Knowledge will be archived into databases. Voices will be analyzed to create synthesized but natural-sounding “virtual” voices. Mannerisms will be studied and used in creating the 3-D virtual forms, known technically as avatars.

Leigh said his team hopes to create virtual people who respond with a high degree of recognition to different voices and the various ways questions are phrased.

Hope it does not cost ONE BILLION DOLLARS!

What’s that you say? Electronic Visualization Laboratory, EVL, not Dr. Evil, the archvillain?

Oh. Nevermind

Posted in I Fear These Things, My Thoughts Exactly | Also tagged , | 1 Comment (Comments closed)

General Exception

FDA approves RFID chips for human implantation

Oh boy! The FDA has approved the same RFID technology that is used to identify pets for human implantation. This particular take on the technology over at Ars Technica is a bit off the mark, though… all an RFID does is broadcast an ID number. It’s up to whoever is doing the scanning to figure out what that ID number is for, and what database the ID number is a key to. It wouldn’t give someone a copy of your medical records unless they could look up any and all medical records in the first place. And if they can do that, they can probably look up your medical or financial records without the RFID ID number anyhow.

Read More »

Posted in General Exception, I Fear These Things | Also tagged , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)
  • Connect With Us

    Follow Wetmachine on Twitter!

Username
Password

If you do not have an account: Register