Spectrum scarcity

Kevin Werbach and Greg Staple have a great article in this month’s IEEE Spectrum on the myths surrounding spectrum scarcity and how new software-based systems could allow much more usage of current spectrum with changes in regulation.

“From cellphones to police scanners, from TV sets to garage-door openers, virtually every wireless device depends upon access to the radio frequency wireless spectrum.
Ever since RF transmissions were first regulated in the early 20th century, access to spectrum has been chronically limited. ThatǃÙs all about to change. New technologies that use spectrum more efficiently and more cooperatively, unleashed by regulatory reforms, may soon overcome the spectrum shortage.
Since the 1920s, regulators have assumed that new transmitters will interfere with other uses of the radio spectrum. Hence, every wireless system has required an exclusive license from the government. With virtually all usable radio frequencies already licensed to commercial operators and government entities, the result has been, in the words of former U.S. Federal Communications Commission chair William Kennard, a “spectrum drought.” WeǃÙve become accustomed to seeing every new commercial service–from satellite broadcasting to wireless local-area networks–compete for licenses with numerous existing users, including thhe government, all of which guard their spectrum jealously.
That world is coming to an end. At least in the United States, new technologies and regulatory forms may soon free enough RF capacity to transform wireless industry economics, especially for popular mobile telephony and wireless Internet services. In fact, thereǃÙs every reason to think weǃÙre on the cusp of a spectrum explosion¨?one that will trigger major shifts in investments, business models, and services. The future era of abundance will be as foreign to us as our world would have been to Marconi and Tesla, whose early spark-gap radios occupied the entire usable spectrum for each individual Morse code message.
In this article, we look at the technologies that will make spectrum abundance possible and the regulatory reforms that will unleash it. We then turn to the question of who will benefit and who wonǃÙt when wireless connections for new voice, music, and video services will be everywhere.”

IEEE Spectrum – The End of Spectrum Scarcity []


Toyota Volta Hybrid

WOW. Toyota’s newest hybrid is a sports car, with 408 horsepower, 100 km/liter, 0-100km in 4 seconds, 3 seat, carries both an electric engine and a 3.3L V6, designed by Giugiaro/ItalDesign.
AutoWeek – 2004 Geneva: Hybrid-powered Toyota coupe has Italian flair


blogs in Japan

Gary’s found some interesting numbers on blogs in Japan:
2,020,000 – Hatena Diary
594,000 – Cocolog
303,000 – My Profile
284,000 – Blog People
26,000 – Livedoor Blog
Gary’s Boring Blog: Blogging – the new Dieting?


Chang-rae Lee

The New York Times Magazine does an in-depth profile of author Chang-rae Lee, which was fascinating for me on a number of levels.
Lee is able to live a very normal life in suburban New Jersey, but can create such incredible art within his mind to share with us. Working in Bergen County, NJ for 2 years (2001-3) I was really overwhelmed by the lack of culture, the chain stores, the strip malls, and the homogeneity of the landscape. One does have to admit that Princeton, though, is not typical NJ.

“…I mean, if you had said to me at home, ‘Are you a happy kid?’ I would have said yes, but going to that camp was like discovering another gear you didn’t know you had. And I think that’s also the first time where I could kind of see myself. The funny thing about growing up in a town where you’re one of a few Asian kids or minorities is you don’t really see yourself. Everyone else sees you, and you get a kind of vibe, but you never actually see yourself.

That part resonated with me, even though I grew up in NYC, surrounded by other Asians in general, but not too many other Asians specifically (i.e. within my educational experience.) I also attended, for one summer, a Japanese-American summer camp in the Catskills, Camp Furusato, something akin to what Lee was speaking about. Camp Furusato was a great experience for me, and I have foggy but fond memories of the place.
Because I never went to Saturday Japanese school in America, and because my parents are Japanese nationals, I never really understood what it meant to be “Japanese-American.” I knew what it meant to be a New Yorker, and I knew what it meant to be Japanese (when I travelled back to Japan on vacation to visit family.) But the Japenese-American experience eluded me. I had a brief taste of it one summer at that camp, but I really didn’t get it until I moved to Los Angeles in 1996, for my first job out of college. That’s when I understood what it meant to be Japanese-American.
While I can certainly be classified as Japanese-American, I feel a lot more comfortable with the classification of Japanese AND American. It seems like a small distinction, but to someone who did not grow up with any kind of Japanese-American culture, it is a crucial difference.
Deep in Suburbia []