Skip to main content

RF Shorts - April 30, 2010

It's always nice to see a TV station reporting on the installation of its new antenna. KTUL sent their chief meteorologist to spend an afternoon with the crew that will be installing the antenna.

  • • A Tel Aviv University researcher who helped the U.S. State Department improve the security of RFID devices in passports describes data on credit cards, e-ballots and other cards equipped with RFID could be vulnerable to someone using fairly simple equipment to steal the information on the cards. He also explained the RFID chips easily could be zapped with a strong RF field using a device he constructed, effectively voiding an e-ballot or making a passport easier to copy, for example. He recommends shielding cards with something as simple as aluminum foil. Professor Avishai Wool will present his work at the IEEE RFID conference in Orlando Fla.
  • • What do people concerned about RF exposure think about the FCC's plans for expanding wireless broadband? Citizens for Health is asking the FCC to require minimum 1,500 setbacks for wireless infrastructures near schools. See the Media Advisory [PDF] for more information and colorful graphs.
  • • Nikola Tesla is recognized for his experiments with electricity and "inventing" alternating current. Did you know he invented the world's first practical remote controlled robot and was granted a U.S. patent for the technology behind the unmanned vehicles?
  • • NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith's testimony [PDF] before the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship has some excellent arguments on the value of wireless broadcasting and reconsideration of wireless carriers requests for more spectrum:
    "NAB strongly encourages Congress to create economic incentives for wireless companies to invest more in technologies like femto cells and to ensure they are using their existing allocations most efficiently," said Smith. "Dumping new spectrum in their coffers will have the opposite effect, discouraging investment and innovation, and will not ultimately result in the most efficient use of the nation's spectrum resource." See the summary here.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.