White Space Madness
Originally, I thought that Google was sending messages in white spaces between text. Somehow Google is using the space between the quotes: " " here to say something like, "Order me a large pizza, extra anchovies." I thought that was cool (ah, but what are they really saying between the words "large" and "pizza"?)
Then I realized that this was a story about some idiotic fight between local TV stations and Google. Yeah, like local TV has a chance. Tell ya what? Let's use the 70/70 rule. When 70% of your local audience can get broadcast television to function, using plain old 1950's rabbit ears, and when 70% of your potential audience actually uses rabbit ears, as opposed to cable or satellite, which are the sensible alternatives, then we'll talk.
I remember the days before cable (yes, I am a very, very old man). When our family moved to Suburban Southern California (some time between the Great Depression and the Dot-Com Boom) we could get 2 channels, locally, using broadcast receivers (the aforementioned rabbit ears). Later, our neighbors taught us that you can run a wire around the house to pick up better signal. Guess what? 2 channels. It seems like the local broadcasters are squatting on this signal space because they plan to...I don't know, seek rents? Are they passing it down to their next of kin? The space has been underutilized for years.
If Google wants to make use of it, I say let them. If they have a method for avoiding interference (something along the lines of a software-defined radio, perhaps) then OK, fine. Will Google be so stupid as to step on channel 51 while broadcasting on channel 52? Are we still in the dark ages? Can I rub two sticks together and light a fire? If the local channels are too incompetent to either over-power Google's feeble signal, or some how deal with this encroachment on their territory, they can either join or die.
I am not in favor of allowing local stations to be pointlessly unique for the purpose of uniqueness, per se. On the other hand, I am concerned that local programming will die out. If I am allowed to broadcast on say, the Milpitas Google 52 channel, and you out there in TV land can see my string band play on this awesome public access channel, I fail to see the problem. Now, if we can only wrest the broadcast rights away from the UC Regents, we could stream Cal Football games on the Internet.
Go Pirate Bears!