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Piping plover To the editor: I am writing in defense of the piping plover, an innocent creature that you somehow parsed into the villain behind the massive
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Piping plover

To the editor:

I am writing in defense of the piping plover, an innocent creature that you somehow parsed into the villain behind the massive power outage last year. Your thought process intrigues me.

It seems to me that it is man and his unquenchable and ever-growing demand for resources that led to our power problems. The “main man” being Dick Cheney, current vice president of the United States.

Do you remember Mr. Cheney's press conference when he said, “… conservation will play no role in the energy policy of this administration?” It is easy for one of this “feather” to blame an innocent and endangered bird for man's troubles and not the other way around. It's called denial. Denial is an amazing human attribute, especially if you want to keep that glass tower of yours at a comfortable 68 degrees instead of a “beastly” 75. It is EASY for one so SELFISH to put out of his mind that the piping plover is on the verge of extinction, and we all have had a part in it. Go ahead Mr. Dick and turn down the temperature another notch and pull the trigger on the plovers that inhabit the Missouri river sandbars … the little crappers … ha ha ha! Now that they're gone (according to you) our energy problems are all solved. Do you really believe this?

Do me a favor would you? When the power goes out again this summer because of our ancient and deregulated grid, or when the price of gas goes over $2.50 and we are hit with another “warmest year on record” report, please come up with another endangered species whose extinction will help solve our country's energy problems.
Jacques Mersereau

Old news?

Did you know there was a company showing hydrogen fuel-cell camera batteries at NAB2001? Powertek won several industry awards for this product line, (which I thought was very slick). For some reason, I never saw them again and none of the conventional battery people I asked were aware of them. Yet they still exist and are apparently selling this product (www.powertek-international.com).

Why am I bothering to write this? I guess it just ticks me off that another company is getting the press now when what they are doing is not really new!
Eric Wenocur

Editor's note: This reader response is to an article entitled “Fuel cell technology, the new power behind ENG at Sinclair Broadcast” in the News Technology Update newsletter.

HDTV toy store

To the editor:

I too was at the CES show and I have to agree with you that HD is finally being recognized as the killer app, at least by the CE manufacturing sector. But it is still a big struggle at the station end to convince owners and finance people that the future depends on investing in the technology to generate HD locally. Since the announcement of digital HDTV and the birth of multicast and datacast, I have wondered why broadcasters are interested in the concepts. While working at a number three-ranked commercial station in the late 1990s, I remember being part of a conversation about multicasting as an idea for what we should do with our digital spectrum. I quipped back, “Great! Now we can be number three through seven.” The comment generated a few hard looks from my peers, but it also brought up the discussion that the future was not based on more channels of poor programming but focused on doing what we do better than our competitors. The other comment I heard at that meeting was that our local programming didn't really merit the expense of HD. At a number three-ranked station, you could make the argument that our programming didn't merit color or a square picture tube.

The other technology that I have heard discussed is datacasting. Most of the commercial broadcasters that I have spoken with about this are thinking that they would do an SD channel to meet the FCC requirements and then lease their remaining data capacity to others. I am perplexed at this concept, since being a data carrier doesn't seem to have particularly high profit potential unless you have huge quantities of capacity. And, for all of its spaciousness, the SMPTE 310M stream is not that large a pipe compared to SBC or Qwest.

I would encourage you to keep on touting HD as the killer app. I just hope a lot more broadcasters embrace the idea.
William T. Hayes