A word of thanks

Dear editor:

In response to the article “News: the ROI equation” in your October News Technology supplement, I would like to say a word of thanks.

Thank you to all of the station CEOs/GMs who have installed newsroom automation. Thank you for all the people you have put out of work and possibly out of the industry. Thank you for wasting the time and money of every college student in a communications program. Thank you for dishonoring every professor of every college/university that labors tirelessly to train young men and women to enter our industry. Thank you for taking away the opportunity to further one's career and talents.

I think that it is such a cop out to put others out of work when I'm sure there are many other areas where fat could be trimmed. It's people that make a system work — not a machine.

Satellite TVRO

Dear Russell Brown:

Thank you for your satellite TVRO series in your “Transition to Digital” newsletters. Your articles are insightful and informative. I appreciate you writing these.

I would like to add a little regarding the offset dishes commonly installed at the home for receiving satellite services. When considering look angles involved with the offset, or reflector satellite dish, it is important to understand what the dish “sees.” With the reflector dish, objects that would cause obstruction are higher than one might first think. The satellite signals have a bounce angle from the reflector to the LNB. While the average individual usually trims the branches that look to be straight forward of the dish, these branches are not the cause of the obstruction. The offending branches are higher than what it would appear. This is difficult to explain in words, so I have included a link to pictures that will show this offset angle more clearly:

Reflector dishes typically have no polarity adjustment at the LNB. Transponder and polarity of a satellite is selected by the voltages sent to the LNB from the receiver or signal meter.To select and view even transponders, send 18V to the LNB, and the signal received will be from even transponders. To select odd transponders, use 13V; and when using a satellite with circular polarity, a 22kHz tone is generated to accompany the voltages sent.

With the heightened sensitivity of these dishes, only a slight alignment error can produce many heartaches. It is more important than ever to achieve the true peak of these dishes for hassle-free operation and awesome picture quality.

Your TV knows what you did last night

Dear Brad Dick:

In response to the blog post “Your TV is spying on you” (, this is really frightening. I for one do NOT want to be the subject of ads that are targeted at me according to some simplistic scheme involving what a dumb computer thinks of my “recent activities.”

It is frightening to consider what other uses such detailed knowledge may be put to. Who would have access to this information? Would the police be able to access it? Under what circumstances and with what controls? Could a stalker use it to learn the habits of his/her target? Could lawyers use it to help formulate lawsuits against me? The list is almost endless.

I don't have any mobile Internet access devices, and if this is how they will be used, maybe I never will. The ordinary user should be able to easily and quickly find out where every byte of information he/she recieves on the Internet comes from. That means a real person at a real street address and a real phone number.

I also believe each person should be able to access exactly how any information he/she has ever provided on the Internet will be used and have the option of denying that use before it is so used. In fact, that information should not be available for any use unless the individual consents to each and every particular use in advance. A lack of a response for such permission must be considered as denial of permission to use it.

Extreme? I don't think so. We are rapidly losing control, and something needs to be done to recover it before it's too late.

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