1 March 2010

Holy Grail already here

Holy Grail already here

Dominic Tweedie, 1 March 2010 

On RT’s technology update programme there were two items shown over the weekend that together demonstrate that the Holy Grail of electronic communications is already here.

One is a super-fast 4G service, already rolled out in St Petersburg and in Managua, Nicaragua, that can, for example, show movies without noticeable buffering. This service is provided by the “Yota” company, established in 2007. Yota has developed a “device” (i.e. a smart-cell-phone equivalent, similar in outward appearance to an iPod or a Google Nexus) that maximises the advantages of the 4G wireless broadband.

The other is a Russian-developed “Wi-Di” capability, which will be built in to such “devices,” that can wirelessly display what is on the “device” on a flat digital TV screen.

Add to this the already-existing wireless keyboards, mouses, and printers, plus “cloud computing” storage, and you have a full kit.

You no longer need a PC, laptop, television receiver or decoder. The device is self-contained and comprehensive, but with the option of input-output devices of your choice (keyboard, mouse, big high-definition screen, printers et cetera) for home and office. No more lugging laptops around.

Public service broadcaster no more?

The above means that public service broadcasting as at present conceived is about to become as dead as the dodo. The only way to maintain it and to support the investment of the businesses that depend upon it is to try to impose an artificial monopoly, or monopolies, plural.

The imposition of a monopoly by the State depends upon political support and some more-or-less spurious rationale.

Such monopoly has been there since the time of Marconi and Tesla, or shortly thereafter, but can it be sustained, now that their dreams are being actualised with hard systems?

The Yota company has already purchased a vast library of movies. You will be able to get the movie of your choice, any time. That blows out the broadcasting of movies by television. What remains? The category “News” if it means “fresh information”, is already far better served by Internet than by broadcasting. So what’s left? Soapies? Sorry, that’s covered, too, and surpassed. The soapies can be published at a fixed time, and from then on be available to view at any time, with no need to record it. Just like the Keiser Report, for example, on the same RT, now.

Who needs TV as we know it?

What happens to politics when communications are no longer controlled, or controllable, and full communications capability, as both producer and consumer, is available to everyone, through a pocket “device”?

The above discussion was first published on the Facebook group “Press the Press – Protect Free Expression For All


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