Scotty: Beamed Up For the Last Time

Rest in Peace:

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) — James Doohan, the burly chief engineer of the Starship Enterprise in the original “Star Trek” TV series and motion pictures who responded to the apocryphal command “Beam me up, Scotty,” died early Wednesday. He was 85.
Doohan died at 5:30 a.m. (1330 GMT) at his Redmond, Washington, home with his wife of 28 years, Wende, at his side, Los Angeles agent and longtime friend Steve Stevens said. The cause of death was pneumonia and Alzheimer’s disease, he said.

I did not know James Doohan but I knew Scotty! There was never an insurmountable challenge for him. A model we’d all do well to follow.

Nielson Media

The Modulator family received a card today from Nielsen Media Research telling us

…that your household has been chosen to be a “Nielsen Family” …for a one week TV survey.

Cool. We’ll probably do this. We appreciate that they contacted in advance and, of course, their positive response rate is probably much higher than if they did not send the card.
For instance, I did not respond well to the outfit that called a couple weeks ago asking me to participate in a survey about current issues. They called while we were eating dinner and wanted to ask 80 questions. Yea, I’m going to sit there and answer 80 questions for a complete stranger and they didn’t even offer any compensation for my time.
I’m not going to ask Nielsen to pay for our time. However, their customers are not going to be real happy when our TV viewing habits are projected nationally. In the past week TV has garned 5 hours of my time and 2.5 of those were watching the PBS showing of The Grateful Dead movie a couple nights ago, .5 for the Canadian version of Antique Roadshow, 1 for 2 editions of Jeopardy and the rest for portions of the NBA finals. By the time we get set up for their survey the NBA will be done and, well, we probably won’t watch much.
On the other hand the Tour de France will have started and we’ll watch a couple hours/day.

Dinosaurs Seek Protection

When a whiff of competition appears on the horizon what do bussiness in the American free market economy do? Why, of course, they head over to the nearest government regulative or legislative body to seek some form of protection:

Verizon Communications and SBC Communications’ plans to wire American homes with high-speed fiber connections may encounter regulatory roadblocks, members of Congress suggested Wednesday.
Both companies are spending billions on fiber links that can carry everything from Internet service to voice and video. Verizon’s Fios service already boasts speeds of up to 30 megabits per second with a digital TV package expected later this year……
These forays into digital TV are alarming television broadcasters and some cable companies, which view fiber service as a competitive threat. This week, for instance, Verizon announced that it plans to carry all of NBC Universal’s channels on Fios TV.

“Stations would lose audience share and advertising dollars, and these dollars fund local programming that makes broadcasting valuable,” Greg Schmidt, a lawyer speaking on behalf of the influential National Association of Broadcasters, told a House of Representatives panel on Wednesday. The NAB represents local radio and TV broadcasters.
Congress should prohibit SBC and Verizon from offering digital TV unless the companies follow an extensive list of government regulations, Schmidt said.

Now, some of you may find the relatively content free local news valuable but, really, if that stuff is the core value of broadcasting we are in deep trouble.
Read the whole article. It is full of fine whining, groveling and populated by congress critters who, seemingly only too eager to feed their patrons, should be put out to pasture.
Oh, and please don’t get me wrong, Verizon and SBC are not really good players here. They are companies who have drank heavier than most from the protected from competition by regulation trough over the last hundred years.