Saturday, May 22, 2004

Radio must die

I've recently started listening to the radio sometimes while I work or cook. My conclusion is that there's almost nothing on AM or FM radio worth listening to. The music sucks, the news sucks, the talk sucks. It's one huge waste of bandwidth.

We should reclaim this portion of the public spectrum and use it to carpet the nation with wireless Internet access over an ad hoc networking protocol. I suspect that if you recruited a gaggle of grad students from the nation's top EE/CS programs, you could have the protocol designed in a year (researchers have already proposed several such protocols; an intense Manhattan Project-style push could hammer out the kinks pretty quickly). Most of the hardware could be built from commodity off-the-shelf components: the only custom part would be the antenna/DSP assembly itself, which could be a straightforward modification of existing wireless network designs. This would eat maybe another year, to get the hardware fabbed out. Then it's a matter of rolling out the network. My wild-ass guess is that the cost of buying every household in America a wireless Internet base station would be less than half the cost of the Iraq war.

Well, whatever. When I am king of the world, I will blow away radio and fund pervasive network connectivity instead of imperialism and torture.

The only thing that is worth listening to on the radio is the BBC World Service, which happens to be on NPR. NPR itself is mostly crap. Honestly I don't know what liberals see in NPR. It's a lot of boring, self-indulgent rambling.

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