McAdams On: 2016

December 21, 2016

That was fast. Here we are with 2016 in the rearview. I believe I speak for myself when I say, what in the blazes just happened?

Well, in January, amid the retina-frying sea of colossal TV screens that is the annual Consumer Gadget Extravaganza, Kodak inexplicably resurrected Super 8. Everyone got really excited and promptly forgot about it.

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In February, Beyoncé led a march on the Super Bowl, leading NFL officials to seek a less controversial performer for the 2017 event in the form of a woman known to wear carpaccio. Meanwhile, Korea said it would launch ATSC 3.0 broadcasting in 2017 as the U.S. prepared to auction off public airwaves.

Drone sightings near airports escalated in March to the point where the Federal Aviation Administration sent out a stern press release.

In April, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said he’d circulate a petition for voluntary adoption of ATSC 3.0; then did so, and promptly forgot about it.

In May, Homer Simpson took questions from a live audience and told a woman who wanted to do nothing at work to “always wear glasses with eyes glued onto them.”

In June, broadcasters ask $86 billion for 126 MHz of TV spectrum.

South Korea adopted ATSC 3.0 in July, while 62 bidders lined up to buy $86 billion worth of TV spectrum in the United States.

In August, bidding stopped at $22.45 billion.

In September, the first broadcast antennas were installed on One World Trade Center. People never forgot and continue to care.

In October, broadcasters asked $54.6 million for 114 MHz that subsequently raised $21.5 billion after a single, two-hour round of bidding.

In November, teen-age Macedonian entrepreneurs created the fake news industry while some guys at MIT wrote an algorithm that makes videos from still shots.

In December, broadcasters asked $40.3 billion for 108 MHz because of a “spectrum crisis” everyone got excited about and promptly forgot.

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