Update: NextGen TV (ATSC 3.0) Coming Soon to Central Ohio

Unlike the FCC mandated conversion from analog television to DTV and HDTV back in 2009, broadcasters have been quietly updating TV infrastructure to offer enhancements made possible by Internet video innovations.  This is marketed under the name NEXTGEN TV, also known as ATSC 3.0 (tech overview video).

The first advantage is that it’s a free over-the-air (OTA) broadcast (TANSAAFL), just earlier analog TV, DTV, and HDTV.  No need for cable, satellite, or streaming service bills – everyone near the transmitter can see the same content.

Another benefit is that it’s wireless.  This makes it a great compliment to wired streaming services.  If your cable or internet service is down due to a storm, you’ll still be able to access live news and entertainment – with no buffering, even during peak viewing hours, and in any weather.

One of the most noticeable benefits to consumers will be the increased picture quality with 4K UHD resolution (supporting HDR) and theater quality sound.

As time passes, we’ll see more and more TVs and devices shipping with ATSC 3.0 support built-in. As long as your TV is 4K and you already have an antenna capable of receiving the DTV signals in your area (typically UHF), you can simply purchase a NextGen TV tuner like the HDHomeRun Connect 4K (which can also stream received content to a wide variety of devices) and be ready to receive these broadcasts as soon as they’re available in your area.

I’ve seen a variety of deployment maps and timelines. Most suggest that ATSC 3.0 will become available in the Columbus market starting in 2020, but I’ve reached out to local stations and here are their planned NextGen TV conversion dates:

WCMH – No response.

WSYXJanuary 7, 2021 @ 10:00 AM EST (as of 2020-12-03).

WBNS – No response.

WTTE – Estimated in January 2021.

WOSU – No response.

WWHO – No response.

I plan to update the info above as I receive more info.

Ohio Cities Extorting Non-Resident Non-Workers

As covered extensively in the paywalled Columbus Dispatch article “Should you pay commuter taxes while working from home? Republicans say no, cities say yes” (where by “Cities” they mean Democrats), with the advent of COVID-19 the Ohio State Legislature is aiding and abetting a money-grab for unionized workers of large cities.

Ordinarily, Cities claim that a person working within the imaginary lines that define their corporation gives them the authority to seize a portion of any income earned within that city to fund “services” the city offers in return – whether they are used or not.

Under COVID rules though, many employees have been re-assigned to work locations outside of these cities.  They do not enter the City’s imaginary corporate boundaries, so they place no burden on Police, Fire, or other resources.

To maintain political power, politicians in control of Cities wish to keep their politically influential City employee unions senselessly staffed at pre-COVID levels – lack of demand for services be damned.

Their solution to this is to pretend that COVID never happened.  They’ll just keep tax-extorting people who haven’t worked within their fiefdom for months.  Meanwhile, the victims of their extortion racket are unable to benefit from access to their hard earned money for COVID-related expenses that can’t be imagined away.

As the Dispatch article mentions, The Buckeye Institute is going to bat for affected Ohioans in Franklin County Court case 20 CV 004301 (you’ll need to agree to the courts terms before visiting the link to see the content).

As Sen. Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) said in the dispatch article “What’s to stop Akron from taxing you or Youngstown? It’s unconstitutional, I believe, to tax someone who does not work or reside in their territory.”

Otherwise Eligible Votes?

Woke up this morning to the following news story from a Columbus Dispatch news podcast:

“Nearly 23,000 ballots could be discarded in Ohio, a USA TODAY, Columbia Journalism Investigations, and Frontline investigation found.  In this unprecedented election, seemingly minor problems, such as mismatched signatures, inaccurate birth dates, and other paperwork mistakes could disqualify otherwise eligible votes.” – Jonathan Smith, Columbus Headline News Express 10/19/2020 7:15 AM (00:01:03 into the podcast)

The comment seems to be in reference to the article Ohio election winner could turn on absentee votes declared ineligible (dispatch.com) by Darrel Rowland (@darreldrowland) / Twitter.  This article also contains the phrase “otherwise-eligible votes” – but what does that even mean?

Imagine a fairly low-security task such as signing into a website or calling a business on the phone for account information.

You identify yourself, and as part of that they ask you for your birth date, address, or other information to make sure you are really you?

Surely you’ve screwed this up at some point in your life – and rightfully been rejected access to meddle in your own affairs.

But we don’t call these “otherwise eligible logins” – because that’s what we only want eligible logins, not “otherwise eligible”.

Eligible means “Having the right to do or obtain something; satisfying the appropriate conditions.”  When you fail to satisfy the appropriate conditions you are “NOT eligible” not “otherwise eligible” or “differently eligible” or “alternatively eligible”, you’re either eligible; or you’re not.

This is yet another example of newspeak in “news speak” that ultimately amounts to propaganda.

Just like not knowing the correct passwords and challenge questions makes one ineligible to log-in to a computer or interact with an organization by phone, not answering the security questions for voting (a much higher security action) should make one “ineligible to vote” until they answer the questions correctly.

Words mean things, and neither the Dispatch editors nor anyone else get to re-define them to bolster their baseless positions. Editors should know how to use dictionaries and resist the temptation to make up terms (no matter how absurd) to suit their personal or organizational political agenda.

Misrepresenting Election Outcomes

In the Dispatch editorial Well done, Mr. Mayor published on December 31st, they referred to “a 2009 ballot issue, in which city residents agreed to raise their income taxes to 2.5 percent from 2 percent”.

While it is true that the 7.3% of voting aged city residents raised their own taxes, they also raised the taxes of the 92.7% of voting aged Columbus residents who did not vote to support the measure – as well as the taxes of tens of thousands of residents who are now taxed under this scheme but were not old enough to vote at the time.

It is important to remember, that one does not need to vote to contribute more money to the City – anyone may give voluntarily. A vote is only required to force your neighbors to pay for the things that you value and they do not.

Saying that “city residents agreed” when only 7.3% did is misleading, careless, and results in continued electoral injustice.

Update: The first calculations were back of a napkin estimates… I’ve tried to make them a little concrete using a spreadsheet based on the election data with 2010 census data to fill the gaps.  Below is a chart of the percentages from that process.

image

“It’s awesome. We’re rebels!”

A pay-walled article in the Columbus Dispatch this morning described a stand-off between students and the Ohio State University Police who had expressed a desire to exclude non-OSU students from taking part in the annual plunge on the eve of the Ohio State v. Michigan rivalry football game

Fortunately, The Lantern, OSU’s newspaper also offers a detailed account.


Credit:  The Lantern, Kristen Mitchell / Editor-in-chief

Reddit users offered a summary of events, along with commentary:

Some random dude gave the Braveheart speech to approximately 50 students and then we all pretty much walked/ran in. (and then someone pushed down the fence too) The cops didn’t do anything. – /u/ffball/

Rather than subject themselves to arbitrary authority, students moved the Tuesday jump to Monday.  It’s unclear if there will be a second jump tonight for people who missed the first jump and would like to do so cattle-style with tacit, wrist-banded, fenced-in approval of the police.

As Redditor /u/werd713/ put it, “Go Bucks! Beat Pneumonia!

Columbus Law Overlooked in Criticism of Despotic Foreign Regimes

On the drive in this morning, I heard that Egypt is cracking down on protesting again. By reporting on the story, it seems that the local and national media view such laws as violations of human rights. That’s heartening, because they are. Here’s how the Los Angeles Times summarized the new law:

Egypt’s interim president on Sunday banned public gatherings of more than 10 people without prior government approval

It went on to explain:

Rights groups and activists immediately denounced it, saying it aims to stifle opposition, allow repressive police practices and keep security officials largely unaccountable for possible abuses.

“The law is giving a cover to justify repression by all means,” said Bahy Eddin Hassan, head of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, one of the local groups that had campaigned against the law.

The thing that puzzles me though is that we have the same kind of law right here in Columbus, Ohio.

Here’s the law right out of the Columbus City Code:

919.06 Permits.
(A) No person, in any park, shall participate in any meeting, parade or other organized activity involving more than ten (10) persons without a permit issued by tile director.
(B) No person shall fail to comply with the fee requirements or other terms and conditions of any such permit issued under the provisions of this chapter.
(C) All permits issued by the director must be exhibited in a clear and conspicuous location and produced upon the demand of any law enforcement officer.
(Ord. 1648-91.)

Go ahead, check out the source link. I’ll wait while you verify that this is actually the law in Columbus, Ohio.

The fact is that in Columbus you can’t play baseball – you can’t play football – you can’t play basketball – without a permit.

No exception is made for political protest in these public spaces.

Why do we have this law?

Same reason the tyrants in Egypt have theirs.

The law is giving a cover to justify repression by all means,

It’s great that the media think that this kind of law deserves attention. But how about we focus some of that attention at ourselves?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had freedom in the land of the free?

And by letting such laws stand here, don’t we give backward foreign regimes cover?