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Technical Analysis Of VMSK 68

Phil Karn writes: "Regarding the Slashdot article on VMSK that appeared August 22, 2000, I have written a detailed technical analysis that shows it to be snake oil." I'm convinced.
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Technical Analysis of VMSK

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    No, it's not what the American public likes.

    What it is, is what the American businesses (who are sponsors of the channels in question) like. They want to be able to shape every American's mind so that they can always say, "We are good, we are good, the others are bad, we are good...."

    Interestingly enough, I live in South Dakota which is one of the few states where regulations against satellite TV are regularly pushed to the front of political issues. Why? Because the local stations claim that they are being 'run out of business' by the big bad satellite providers. My take on it is this:

    The local stations in this area are terrible. They cover everything from midget wrestling (dont in local bars) to the mini-golf state finals for kids under 3. Now, I have no problem with that except that they will go out of their way to do that on nights that the networks are providing semi-entertaining shows. I wanted to watch the premiere of Dark Angel on Fox, but the local Fox affiliate was busily running the local high-school hockey game that night. I wanted to watch a certain episode of survivor that I had missed the first time around (I know, I know), but the local station was busy running some idiotic local basketball competition. It happens over and over around here. So, people buy satellites so they can watch the network programs that they enjoy watching. But, the local stations are backlashing against that and saying that if you want to watch the networks, you should do it through the local stations. If the local stations actually provided the network programs, we would. And so it goes, a never ending battle between the local stations idiotic endeavors and the rights of people to watch what the hell they want to watch (if you get a satellite you can still pick up all of the local stations to catch that all important 15 year old girls volleyball tournament that's happening during the super-bowl).

    Personally, I've taken to watching as many non-local stations as possible. And by non-local, I'm talking foriegn. I watch a lot of satellite TV, not because I don't enjoy good American programming, but because the non-American stations actually show what they said they are going to show. I can be told a thousand times that 'we are going to show the coolest program ever' by the local stations, and every time they interupt my veiwing of the one good sci-fi show to come out in the past twenty years to show me the junior miss competition on who can do pig calling better, they just alienate me a little more.

    Sorry for the rant, but the American public is not happy with the current situation on TV. Whether you are seeking entertainment or educational TV, it is damn near impossible to do so from within the US (at least it is in my state). God, I'm sure glad I learned a little French in High School (Wow, and I thought High School was worthless!).
  • DVD discs do multi-level reads already:

    http://www.dvddemystified.com/dvdfaq .ht ml#3.3 [dvddemystified.com]

    The wheel is turning but the hamster is dead.

  • Ok in a wire things are different- you own 100% of all frequency's on that wire- whatever you can shove in it you own. Radio is very different- spirious transmissions cause havoc to neighboring freq, noise from lightning that happens 100% of the time on the planet (lightning from the other side of the planet will cause noise here) grandmas toaster, etc... radio freq is very very different than what can be done in a confined wire.

    This is the delimma - you cant do what you can in a wire over the air. the fcc wn\ont allow it, and basics of radio wont allow it.
  • At least it's a different provincial worldview.

  • um...I watch the local news on cable every day else what would I watch it on?

    Well, like many people, you could choose to pick it up via an antenna and not have to pay the cable company for what's free. Then again, I personally haven't watched any TV in over a month, and then it was just to see the two idiots debate.
  • Ok I was a bit of a whiner, but you'd be cranky too if you'd spent the past two days trying to get rid of a SubSeven trojan that just won't die!

    My apologies, and thanks to the folks who backed me up.

  • by joshwa ( 24288 )
    That was MY JOKE!!! [slashdot.org] See comment #14 (the comments.pl link no longer works).
  • And as long as the formal system in which they're expressed is consistent.
  • We haven't found ways around physical laws. We have found physical laws that we hadn't previously known of.

    There's a dangerous equivocation here going on, between "physical laws" and "those things which we currently believe to be physical laws". The statement that "physical laws can never be violated" cannot be applied consistently to anything which we currently believe to be physical law without proof that the physical law is correct. Mankind has a pretty poor track record with that sort of thing. (Of course, in the past, our scientific beliefs were just plain ridiculous, whereas now they're obviously correct, right?)

  • Ok now. Try clicking on that link you provided.

    Notice that it's sending you to the entire article with all comments, NOT to the specific comment.

  • Am I the only one that read that as "VMS 2K?" Now there's a scary thought...
    Please notice that joshwa [slashdot.org] has already posted this SAME EXACT COMMENT, WORD-FOR-WORD in the previous article [slashdot.org] on VMSK (sorry, the article is too old, so slashdot doesn't have a URL to get to the exact comment. It's near the top, and you know what text to search for). It was more appropriate then too, since the title said "VMSK/2".

    Considering the previous posting of this comment got a +4 score, I guess this makes London Weatherman [slashdot.org] an official Kharma Whore(tm).

    Policing Slashdot since... well, 10am EST.

  • Doesn't work for me.

    Maybe I should file this as a bug against Mozilla.

  • In the mean time, AmWay has announced that it will release plans for it's next generation DSL technology that will increase existing DSL speeds by 150%.

    Well, its nice to know that the gass station on the way to Indianapolis from were I life won't be the only non-telco providing DSL. I'm serious, they have a huge scrolly sign thing that proclaims "DSL only $1.20" or something.

    Of course they mean desel gass, but it makes me do a doule take everytime I pass it. :)

  • NPR has pretty decent, detailed, non-US-centric news. It's really refreshing to listen to news about REAL issues from all over the world.
  • The problem isn't that it is experimental, it is
    that it doesn't work, and can't work. It is
    snake oil, just as the rumors of an "infinite compression program" are (and actually, for nearly identical reasons). The really annoying part is that EDN published it in the first place. For God's sake, doesn't anyone actually understand the simplest part of Shannon's work?
  • This is exactly right. I haven't read Karn's paper (it's still slashdotted), but it's not hard to figure out: the VMSK folks claim 90 bps per hz of bandwidth. Doing the math we get that the required s/n ratio is 2^90 - 1, or 270dB. This is unlikely to say the least, in any medium I can think of.
  • BBC is very high quality, though not an order of magnitude better than NPR as it has its own provincial worldview. Yes, their persistent interview questionning is a pleasure, but they also just about say "ooga booga" and wink at each other after a segment about the third world.
  • It's not even them using the same playlists. It's that theres like the big 3 or 4 companies that own all the major stations. Lets try one of those analogy things that are always on standardized test.

    The RIAA is to record compainies as the FCC is to the.....

    Well actually I wouldn't say it's completely true that the FCC only watches out for Big Radio but it has been true up until we recently got an FCC chairman that was young enough to do some radical things. Not that hes doing a completely great job. Maybe it's that he really can't.

    LPFM was the first step to empowering individuals to do local community programming, but the aplication proccess is so archiac and takes too long for it to be feasible. It essentially works in 6-12 month blocks for certain states (i missed the aplication proccess for oklahoma cause i was moving from virgina) and it will be at least 3-4 years before you can try aplying again. Not to mention that the current aplication process is only for 10Watt stations.

    I also have to agree about local news. Yet again somehow they mostly seem to be the same, not only that they are also HORRIBLE.

    On the subject of reception of local channels. Aren't cable companies REQUIRED to carry local channels? One step further for free even. I don't know if it's the cable wires running through my walls and in the ground that add the extra reception but I plug my tv into the cable outlet and get perfect reception for all my local channels (NBC,ABC,CBS,PBS,WB). Anyone have clarification on whether it's the added 'attenna' length or if it's actually 'cable'

    -Brian Peace
  • It was because there were pyramid schemes running with "investors" plunking money into. I doubt that the guy would have slammed this guy as hard if VMSK-man wasn't cheating people out of money with it.
  • Thanks for taking the time to drive a stake through this "vampire's heart". It was a fun review to read your page and I only had one comment: When you mention the zero group delay filter, are you presuming that he's not using that "hyperspace antenna" which was patented earlier this year? I'm still waiting to see if that inventor in Colorado is going to strike it rich with his "invention" or if we'll know he's on to something when the aliens show up at his house!! 73's Gary N8DMT
  • Even the cable networks don't cover anything in any kind of depth. If you want decent news you have to get it from overseas. It's sad but I guess that's what the American public likes.

    If you really want decent news, don't try to get it from your television. TV is simply a terrible way of getting news because it's a low density sequential access medium: you have to watch what they want to show in the order they want to show it and they can't go into real detail. If you want to get real news, buy a newspaper or look at a good news website; both are random access and high density. I happen to live in a large metropolitan area with a great newpaper that costs $0.25 per day, and I wouldn't think of touching the TV for any news except for up to the second details.

  • It appears to be slashdotted...


  • "White Heat" to me means the leading edge of technology ... the cool new stuff we're always told is "just around the corner".

    Best way to explain it is probably:
    "White Heat technology generally applies to every Microsoft press-release"!

  • ... and I forgot to add that although it is "just around the corner", it never comes!
    doh! that'll teach me to hit the wrong button ;-)

  • .... people still exist who are willing to take the time to build a balanced, subjective view on alleged "white heat" technology statements.

  • Satellite radio, and other more approaching technologies, kill what I consider local indentification.

    How often do you watch local news on cable? Just when there's bad weather or a big event? How many of you have Music Choice on your cable or DirecTV and feel that sort of cold assimilation.

    Personality!!! We need it bad. With high-tech meaning sometimes high-stress, we need to get broader in our culture, not make it colder and more "packageable..."


  • It sends you to the entire article with all
    comments, yes. But it then pages you right to
    comment in question. Works for me.

    chris Mattern
  • A Yahoo! search for "VMSK"... bought into a multilevel marketing scheme run by AlphaCom...

    And go see what a Deja search on the newsgroups turns up! Thousands of 'Make Money Fast' posts. And I quote:

    Alphacom distributor's fees are only $5. Join NOW! How can you lose! The potential is staggering!

  • "white heat" technology statements.

    May I ask what a '"white heat" technology' is? What does the term "white heat" mean for you?

    ( Don't get me wrong, I understood and appreciated your comment, but only by presuming what "white heat" means... my curiosity makes me want to know what it actually means to you. Clear :)

  • Because there are really good odds that it's not just "some R&D", but is actually at the heart of an ongoing Ponzi scheme! [mark-knutson.com] And there's no such thing as too much publicity and evidence exposing a Ponzi scheme. [mark-knutson.com] Those less intelligent souls out there need, nay deserve our help.

  • Of course you can link to it, try using http://slashdot.org/articles/00/08/22/154223.shtml #14 [slashdot.org] as your HREF.

  • I almost thought that VMSK was related to Java(TM), but then I checked out the August article. I hope that this gets through, but there's always the vaporware rule: don't believe it until you see it in action.
  • but what I want to know, is why bother writing a detailed paper debunking something that is still experimental? Wouldnt it be more beneficial to wait until its out on the market and and then point out its flaws..... How can you possibly talk down something that is in some R&D departments lab? Seems like you need a little less pessimism in your outlook......

    go on...mod it down...your just drooling to do so. oh well, im not a karma whore

    "sex on tv is bad, you might fall off..."
  • Compaq does still produce VMS. It is now known as OpenVMS, and you can find out all about it on the OpenVMS Web Site [compaq.com]. <shameless-plug>You can also try out OpenVMS in the Compaq Test Drive Program [compaq.com], should you so desire.&lt/shameless-plug>
  • Yeah, I do listen to NPR. It's certainly better than most news coverage. I've found that the BBC World Service is an order of magnitude better though.

    Imagine this: interviewers that ask difficult, probing questions and stick to the subject until they get an answer.
  • you have a specific capacity at X frequency, Example 108 MHZ - you have a maximum of 108Mbps if you were able to encode on every cycle of the carrier (impossible without generating nasty things)

    <brandishing clue stick>

    Ever hear of encoding multiple bits per cycle? BPSK, QAM, PAM (I think) are all methods to encode MULTIPLE (4 and 8 being common, but 64 and 256-QAM are available with fancy DSPs) bits per cycle. This is without generating nasty things. Hell your 9600 baud modem encodes 4 bits per baud!

  • Spoken like someone whose science education ended in high school. If you aren't qualified to comment on something, don't.

    Haha. If only you knew ...

    The burden of proof is now squarely on the kook. I await his response, but I won't hold my breath.

    And that's exactly what I said. Phil's negative analysis matters nothing in science. In the community of science-aware people it matters inasmuch as it lowers peoples' expectations of the likelihood of any successful demonstration ever forthcoming, which is probably fairly reasonable as it dampens false expectations, but science and sociology are not one and the same thing. ALL that matters in science is whether experiments will demonstrate the new effect or not. As you said, and as I said, the ball is entirely in the court of the person claiming the innovation to demonstrate that it works in reality. NOT in the court of those whose theoretical analyses say that current theories don't allow for such an effect to happen.

    The world doesn't obey our mathematical models. They are merely our creations, constructed to behave mathematically in a way that (hopefully) mirrors how reality herself actually behaves. But they are only approximations, and always subject to revision by tomorrow's new observation.
  • Phil Karn is of course a very highly respected member of the scientific community -- both amateur and professional.

    However, reputation and even great skill are not always the be-all and end-all of real science. An experimenter may start from totally false premises, use utterly flawed reasoning, perform experiments with total incompetence, and still uncover a new aspect of reality. The real, experimental world respects no one, no theory, and certainly no dogma, and just behaves the way she wants to behave.

    So, all this excellent theorizing that proves it's all snake oil is worth precisely nothing if the proposer actually manages to stuff that much information down the specified channel. We'll just have to wait and see. Should it actually work then clearly the theory used in Phil's analysis is missing something vital, so we'll all have learned something new and we'll just have to reinvent the theory to match the new discovery. Should it not work, as is far more likely, then of course it's all snake oil and Phil gets yet another well-deserved pat on the back.

    BUT YOU CANNOT PRESUPOSE THAT IN ADVANCE, by analysis. Analysis merely tells you what a theory allows, not what reality allows. That's not how science works. If it did, ie. if past theory prevented anything new which it currently disallows, we'd still be in the scientific dark ages.

    Thanks Phil for a great analysis. But remember that there will always be vastly more that we don't know than that we know, so hedge your bets a little and wait for the judgement of reality to validate our current theoretical understanding.
  • I see the point, and we have found ways around physical laws before (Ok, in a laboratory) but there is only so much you can do with electromagnetic radiation. At hyper frequencies (1.2ghz and higher) I could see some kind of a spread spectrum system working, but anything lower is plain impossible. you have a specific capacity at X frequency, Example 108 MHZ - you have a maximum of 108Mbps if you were able to encode on every cycle of the carrier (impossible without generating nasty things)

    unless I am missing something, this cant happen
  • Except Shannon isn't physics, it's mathematics. (The paper was titled "A Mathematical Theory of Communication" -- emphasis added). Theories in physics are always subject to revision based on new experimental evidence, but theorems in mathematics remain proven forever; they hold as long as their basic assumptions are true.
  • Cheez, Looeez! Who cares!! I couldn't get to the site to read the analysis, but it doesn't matter. This is already months old pseudo-technology.

    The big thing now is ESSNLN (Extra-Sensory Subscriber No Line Needed).

    By taking advantage of enemployed psychics left in the lurch when the Psychic Friends Network tanked, we can achieve mirculous data rates and improve your love life (how hard could that be>) at the same time.

    Don't waste another minute: You can get in on the ground floor. ESP-mail me now!

  • Example 108 MHZ - you have a maximum of 108Mbps if you were able to encode on every cycle of the carrier (impossible without generating nasty things)

    Well, that's not necessarily true. Spectral efficiencies of >1 bps/Hz are commonplace. Your analog modem squeezes 33.6 kbps of data into ~3.3 kHz of bandwidth. Even lowly ISDN gives you a 160 kbps (raw) data pipe in 80 kHz of bandwidth.

    Shannon's Law says that the more spectrally efficient your modulation technique is, the less noisy your transmission medium can be. That's why we can get away with ~11 bps/Hz on a high-quality POTS line (somewhere around 30 dB signal/noise ratio) but less so for much noisier wireless links, which are typically between 0.5 and 2 bps/Hz for mobile stuff and 3-4 bps/Hz for HDTV.

  • Such as when doing a calculation with algebraic methods -- for some problems, the answers will be different than when you use calculus. That's why Newton had to invent calculus in order to get satisfactory results for his theories of gravitation.
  • We're both right. We certainly are working around many old physical laws. But often when we broke a law it was because new laws replaced the old ones. We do still have examples of broken laws, in some cases explained and others not. We've sort of explained electron tunnelling and photon interference. We haven't explained what happens inside a black hole (the current scientific definition is "Here There Be Dragons"). We know there should be more antimatter around, but not why there isn't.

    We split the unbreakable atom. We move people faster than 30 MPH and they live. We rarely have people fall off the edge of the world, and it often takes NASA a fair amount of effort to do so.

  • You're missing Shannon's Theorum.

    Information capacity of a channel is a function of it's Signal-to-Noise ratio. Higher S/N means you can encode more symbols per cycle. bits/Hz > 1. Modems above 2400 baud have been doing this for years. Gigabit ethernet over copper does this too.

  • capacity=bandwidth*log(1+Signal/Noise) ; I forget which base the logarithm is. Those same copper wires can do 384kbps or other high speeds using DSL (depends on distance, loss, capacitance, etc), pumping higher frequency signals through them and doing appropriate numbers of bits per hertz. However, modems will never do better than 64kbps, because the signals get digitized to 64kbps at the phone company (and robbed-bit signalling generally reduces this to 56kbps.) We used to say that modems would never do better than about 33kbps because of signal/noise ratios on typical phone lines, but 56kbps modems cheat by knowing the effects of digitization instead of just doing analog.

    One limit you may be thinking of is that the number of samples per second for pulse-amplitude modulation needs to be twice the frequency of the sound waveform you're trying to carry (so a 4kHz audio signal needs 8k samples/second, and typically that gets digitized to 8 bits/sample using a non-linear quantization.)

  • NPR does provide a lot of news not available elsewhere, and at a fairly intellectual level. I listen to it a lot: a good feed is available at wbur.org

    That said, it is tirelessly leftwing and relentlessly bobo (bourgeois bohemian). Given that I already subsidize their politics as a taxpayer, I wouldn't ever dream of sending them an extra nickel.

  • Example 108 MHz - you have a maximum of 108Mbps

    I see sir, would you kindly explain how a modem gets 33.6kbps down a 1959 Hz carrier on a phone line with ~4kHz bandwidth? Thanks.

  • ...that's just a scary thought...

    Then again, NT's filesystem was built on the VMS file system... so would that mean that win2k is vms2k? Oh right, it's not as good as VMS... I forgot. ;)

  • It has been observed in many posts in this discussion that one can use various analog encoding techniques (like those used by a modem) to increase bit rate at the expense of tolerable Signal to Noise ratio.
    This has the effect of requiring an increase in transmitter power proporational to the increase in the minimum tolerable S/N ratio, for reception at the same distance. This means that a radio using complex encoding (like a modem would) will create interference at distances much greater than a simple on/off binary coding would. Because of this, I would think that it would be preferable to use multiple chanels instead of fancier modulation to gain increased capacity
  • IIRC, the theoretical limit is actually four times your bandwidth, depending on the signal to noise ratio. For example, on a phone line that barely meets the 7.5Khz standard, you can get about 30Kbps. Most phone lines these days are better than 7.5Khz, but not all are - which is why many people living in old neighborhoods can't connect faster than 28.8. This doesn't count data compression, just raw data transfer.
  • um...I watch the local news on cable every day else what would I watch it on?

  • The nearest VHF transmitter to me is about sixty miles away in Bithlo. Furthermore, it's aimed not at me, but at Orlando (Yes, TV antenna patterns are shaped).

    Channel 2 (WESH) is nice enough to provide us a VERY low-power repeater on (I think) UHF-16. Not that that's any better.

    I don't know anyone that uses a non-microwave antenna around here (satellite or "wireless cable"). It's either that or cable.

    Such is life in a medium-sized town in the middle of nowhere.



  • How the hell is this overrated? Spawned lots of comments... geez...


  • Well... I think sometimes good things can develop from local scenes. Dave Matthews Band grew from tape trading, and KROQ in LA gave birth to lots of great modern rock. Another jewel that comes to mind is 97x in Cincinnati [woxy.com] which as we all know Rainman likes... "97x... BAM... the future of rock and roll....97x... BAM... "


  • I've actually come up with two other brilliant ideas that can help people to learn.

    The first is a method of transferring characters onto sheets of paper in a logical manner and binding said sheets together.

    The second is a building in which these books can be stored with some sort of cataloging system. The catalog makes it easy for these bound papers to be found by others, who can then use the papers on loan for a limited time.

    Boy, these computers make anything possible!


  • by heller ( 4484 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2000 @06:46AM (#715422) Homepage
    Mr. Karn was just doing his job for Qualcomm, and doing a service for the rest of us.

    I suspect it's much more than that. For those not familiar with the name Phil Karn, he was one of the original tcp/ip implementation guys way back in the day. He also has significant interest in wireless data transmission. He was the author of a networking/packet radio package called ka9q, one of the first packages that supported virtually every networking protocol and supported packet radio -> internet. I believe his reasons for investigating the VMSK proposal were largely linked to personal interests. The fact that he is employed by qualcomm only gives him even more credit.

    BTW: a Google search on "Phil Karn" will yield virtually infinite interesting results. I highly recommend doing it.

    ** Martin
  • by XNormal ( 8617 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2000 @09:47AM (#715423) Homepage
    and will continue to be "experimental" for as long as people buy into this snake oil stuff.

    Walker's first patent for this "technology" has been filed in 1986 and he has probably been working on it for a while before that.

    I am familiar with this type of personality - the more refusals they get the more they believe they are some kind of Galileo that one day will be vindicated. The problem is that for every Galileo that is eventually proven to be right about the Earth not being the center of the universe there are a hundred crackpots that believe all kinds of bullshit with the same amout of self conviction.

  • by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2000 @07:44AM (#715424) Homepage
    I can send 32 bits per cycle! But I have to be able to put 4294967296 different discrete voltage levels and/or timing shifts, or some combination thereof, into each cycle, WITHOUT NOISE MANGLING IT, to accomplish that.

    If the noise is a mere 1 microvolt, I'd still have to make each step be at least 2 microvolts to get over it, and then 0xFFFFFFFF would be over 8 thousand volts!

    Much of the engineering that takes place now is finding ways to get around the noise, or to reduce the noise, or to minimize the impact of noise. Spread spectrum, for example, statistically changes the effect of the noise in ways that allows retransmissions to have a chance to make it through the next time.

    Much of the science is already done and it is very mathematical and statistical. What remains to be done is more and more engineering to work within the relatively well known confines.
  • by SEWilco ( 27983 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2000 @05:22AM (#715425) Journal
    "I see the point, and we have found ways around physical laws before (Ok, in a laboratory)..."

    We haven't found ways around physical laws. We have found physical laws that we hadn't previously known of. How things were made of molecules, how molecules were made of atoms, how atoms were made of particles, how particles were made of ...well, quarks, probabilities, wave functions...

    "At hyper frequencies (1.2ghz and higher) I could see some kind of a spread spectrum system working, but anything lower is plain impossible."

    There's nothing magical about high frequencies (well, except maybe popping corn). Spread spectrum can be done at any frequency, but does not allow any faster data transfer than if you had a similar transmitter locked on an unchanging frequency.

    "You have a specific capacity at X frequency, Example 108 MHZ - you have a maximum of 108Mbps if you were able to encode on every cycle of the carrier (impossible without generating nasty things)"

    Well, maybe you have to define "nasty things", such as "bandwidth". You'll have to encode your signal somehow. A phone line has a bandwidth of about 3KHz, but we can send more than 3Kbps. Part of that is due to sending several frequencies, but most of it is due to using one signal change to indicate more than one bit signal. For example, using two tones to indicate four bits, loudness of the two tones to indicate more bits... You can see a summary of the technology [anarc.org], although real modems are more complex [ednmag.com].

    The hard part is knowing at what point engineering ends and fiction begins. Sometimes it's easier when someone points out the fiction to you, such as when a picture of a board for sale shows a chip is longer than the socket it is plugged into.

  • by whuppy ( 33165 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2000 @05:42AM (#715426)
    Wake up. Local identification has been dead for a long time.

    Have you driven cross-country in the last decade?
    Every single radio station sounds exactly like its counterpart in the next market over. For example, pick any two "Modern Rock" stations at random. Chances are they're using the exact same playlist. They pay big money to a consultant for the privilege of being told what to play. Ditto for "Urban Contemporary", double ditto for "Classic Rock."

    I agree with you that radio sucks, but look for the culprit elsewhere (hint: deregulation).

    ps: The "Alternative" playlist on Music Choice is actually pretty good, with no commercials!

    pps: Don't even get me started about local news. "Your kids may be about to EXPLODE!!!!!!! More at 11."

  • by don_carnage ( 145494 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2000 @04:52AM (#715427) Homepage
    What is this antenna thing that you speak of? Isn't it that annoying wire that you plug into the back of your television so that you can receive a fuzzy picture? ;)

    But seriously -- local television gives you a bad case of tunnel-vision. I do feel that it's important to learn about local events, issues, etc. but local television stations don't provide much outside of talk shows and sitcoms. If you want to learn anything, you have to flip to CNN, CSPAN, TLC, Discovery or VH1 (behind the music, of course.)

    Local television pisses me off, mmmkay.


  • by JCMay ( 158033 ) <JeffMayNO@SPAMearthlink.net> on Wednesday October 11, 2000 @05:00AM (#715428) Homepage
    Lumpy writes:
    Example 108 MHZ - you have a maximum of 108Mbps if you were able to encode on every cycle of the carrier (impossible without generating nasty things)
    What about your old analog modem with its ~3kHz bandwidth? We're getting a lot more than 3kbps out it it, aren't we? I average more than TEN times that speed getting a new kernel (I usually get 48k connects).

    Instead of using shorter and shorter symbols, as you propose, the key in the past has been to use longer, more easily identified symbols, and encode more bits into them.

    QAM is an often- used multiple-bit-per-symbol system. Each symbol encodes two bits.

    Unfortunately, as you add bits to the symbol, it degrades noise immunity. I think that this would be the big breakthrough for comm systems, and the natural law that would have to be gotten "around."



  • by Fervent ( 178271 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2000 @05:32AM (#715429)
    Here's a totally off base suggestion. What about downloading radio streams to broadband connections in homes, then using wireless ethernet to communicate with special streaming radios?
  • by UdoKeir ( 239957 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2000 @05:19AM (#715430)
    I don't watch local TV because it's shite.

    Headline stories about kittens being left in dumpsters while the real news gets mentioned in a 30 second world round-up. My roommate and I resorted to watching a French language channel just to get some detailed coverage of the protests in Yugoslavia.

    Even the cable networks don't cover anything in any kind of depth. If you want decent news you have to get it from overseas. It's sad but I guess that's what the American public likes.
  • by Matt_Bennett ( 79107 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2000 @05:37AM (#715431) Homepage Journal
    but what I want to know, is why bother writing a detailed paper debunking something that is still experimental?

    The guy who wrote the original paper is from Qualcomm- they have a strong interest in being at the forefront of technology. When a new technology like this comes up with such a great stated promise, if it has a remote possibility of being useful, it is in their best interest to investigate it. Otherwise, this situation will happen, which I have been on the receiving end of: Suit comes in for a project review and asks why we haven't been spending his limited money researching this latest and greatest technique he read about in a trade magazine. This causes a shake up all the way down to the people that actually do the work, we investigate, and find that our previous cursory investigation that showed that idea to be worthless was entirely accurate. Total time wasted- about a man month.

    Mr. Karn was just doing his job for Qualcomm, and doing a service for the rest of us.

  • by don_carnage ( 145494 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2000 @04:37AM (#715432) Homepage
    A Yahoo! search for "VMSK" produced literally hundreds of hits. Most pages appear to belong to individuals who have bought into a multilevel marketing scheme run by AlphaCom Communications, a company in Ohio...

    In the mean time, AmWay has announced that it will release plans for it's next generation DSL technology that will increase existing DSL speeds by 150%.


  • by Matt_Bennett ( 79107 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2000 @05:21AM (#715433) Homepage Journal
    The Shannon-Hartley equation (usually referred to as Shannon's limit) is this:


    The 33Kbit/second limit for a traditional analog/analog phone line comes from this- Signal/Noise is about 256:1 (8 bit sampling), 4KHz bandwidth-- capacity of a 4KHz phone line is about 32000 bits/second.

    108MHz leading to 108MBit/sec would only be from simple on off keying- which makes no use of the signal/noise ratio. If you had about 48dB of S/N on 108MHz that leads to a capacity of 860 Mbit/second.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle