Why We Know Less Than Ever About the World (Video)

I've become semi-obsessed with the TED conference videos lately, and I just have to share them when I see them.

Alisa Miller, head of Public Radio International, talks about why -- though we want to know more about the world than ever -- the US media is actually showing less. Eye-opening stats and graphs.

View the video at TED | Talks | Alisa Miller. The first one of these that I saw on their site was Jeff Han's multi-touch interface. I want one. You will too.


What You Need to Know About the Switch to DTV

I've started seeing ads everywhere about the fast-approaching switchover from standard television to digital television. I decided to answer the question for myself as to whether or not I'd need to upgrade my T.V. or get an adapter or something. The site I see mentioned the most in regards to this change is quoted below.

By law, full-power television stations nationwide must stop using the old method of transmitting TV signals known as analog and begin broadcasting exclusively in a digital format on February 17, 2009. Digital television (DTV) is an innovative type of broadcasting technology that will give you crystal-clear pictures and sound, and more programming choices than ever before.

While the benefits of DTV are remarkable, millions of households risk losing television reception unless they take the easy steps to receive a digital signal. We're here to help you make a smooth transition.

The annoying part about this site is that it really gives quite a bit of friendly and fluffy information about the transition and explains the world wide benefits. You'd think that the new television will usher in world peace, universal health care, taxi drivers that speak English and will likely delay the heat death of the universe by another 256 trillion years.* However, it gives no useful or practical information that is immediately helpful to me.

Here's Where They Went Wrong

What I want to know is Will my T.V. still work after that day? I don't need to know "What DTV is?", "Why the switch?", "How do I switch?" nor any of the other more mundane facts or details that jump out at me. What I'd like is a site that simply tells me either...

  • "You have to do something..." (or)
  • "You don't have to do something..."

All that other stuff I really don't care about. But I guess it would have to be able to 'look' at my TV to know this, or otherwise get information I gave it. However, from my perusal there is no box that asks for the make and model number of your TV to give you an answer. I have to actually get educated about something that I'm not that excited about.

...Well, as it turns out, I'm not going to have to do much. I have satellite TV and assuming that my service is on-the-ball (which they @%@$^-well better be), then I'm in good shape. My mother, who still uses the old rabbit ears, is going to have to get either a new set or an antenna converter. Oh well.

Find out more at DTV


Any use of this post that you read, glance over or associate with, in any manner whatsoever, may increase the amount of disorder in our universe. Although no liability is implied herein, the consumer is warned that this process may ultimately help lead to the heat death of the universe. You've been warned!


Introduction to the Semantic Web (For Noobs)

This got posted internally at work, and I found it important enough to cross-post where applicable.