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Reader Responses & Inquiries
Subject: Tech-Notes #74
From: Kellie McKeown firstname.lastname@example.org
I vote for more frequent Tech-Notes of shorter length. It is hard to find the time all in one shot to read a publication this long.
Cheers, Kellie McKeown
Subject: Satellite communication
From: Darren Nakata email@example.com
I would like to know how weather parameter ( rain, temperature, wind speed, humidity) affect the Eb/No and signal strength of satellite communication.
Thanks for reading, Darren
(Answer from Larry Bloomfield)
Satellite communications, like all other methods of radio frequency communications, is subject to the same weather parameter impacts. Rain, and the associated cloud cover or fog, would be the most serious of the things you mentioned.
The larger the dish, the better the received signal-to-noise ratio (s/n). As the frequency increases, the dish size decreases for the same amount of s/n. Depending on the size of the antennas used (dish style for satellite communications), would depend on wind speed impacts. C band communications (~3-4 GHz) require larger receive dishes (typically 3-5 meters) than Ku band (~12 GHz) are usually much smaller (typically 0.457 meters).
Since satellite communications works in the tropics where the relative humidity tends to hover around 100%, it would then depend if the manufacturer built the equipment to withstand the humidity. Temperature could be critical. I’ve seen Dish and DirecTV dishes used in the hotter regions of the Mojave Desert, but, again, this would then depend on the manufacturer and temperature the equipment was built to withstand.
Clouds and fog are the most common impacts depend on the frequency used: the higher the frequency, the greater the impact. Since satellite communications takes place in frequencies that are line-of-sight, as clouds become more water saturated, they will attenuate the signals passing through them, but again this depends on the frequency used. For example, C band communications would be less impacted by a given density of cloud cover than Ku band. I worked with a 23 GHz system in San Francisco that linked our studio to our transmitter (~3 miles away) and when we got any serious fog, it failed.
Snow piling up on a satellite dish will attenuate the signal right off the air. Either a heating element to melt the snow, a specially designed cover to protect the dish or a good brush to clean away the snow will fix this problem.
The last consideration I can think of in dealing with Mother Nature would be the semi-annual alignment of the dish, satellite and the sun. Every year in both the spring and fall there is a time spanning about a week when these three factors come into alignment. The first day it lasts only a minute or so, with the time of outage increasing to as much as 20-30 minutes during the peak, decreasing by the end of the week just like it began. Since the sun generates copious amounts of radio noise, it wins in the battle and the satellite signal is lost at the receiver. If you cannot afford to be out of service, one way to circumvent this problem it to get a feed from a satellite parked in a different geosynchronous orbit as a backup.
Subject: A professional invitation
From: Ernie L Claudio" firstname.lastname@example.org
It's a rare opportunity to be invited in a forum like this. Being the current President of Society Of Broadcast Engineers And Technicians Of The Philippines (SBETP) with international affiliation of SBE - USA & KBETA - Korea & Domestic affiliation with IECEP & CABTI, its a welcome invitation. I was the Senior Vice President of GMA Network Inc. with TV Channel in Metro Manila - Channel 7 & Channel 27 and 45 more VHF in the country. Effective May 15, 2001, I already resigned. I will be more focused in my own organization CEBI Electronics Corp., a company into assembly, supply and system installation of Broadcast Equipment and consultancy.
SBETP is an organization of Phil. Engineers and Technicians solely in the industry of Broadcasting. Presently, we are tasked to study, evaluate and recommend the possible digital broadcast terrestrial standards to be implemented in the country, by virtual of MOA signed with KBP (Kapisanan Brodkaster sa Pilipinas) like the NAB of USA which until now we are exploring the flexibility of this MOA to have a budget from KBP and other sources to support the project. Although we already started forming the committee and have all the necessary preparations needed to commence the start of the serious job. Not until KBP will provide the necessary logistics, we could hardly proceed.
Since Broadcasters is a self regulating organization here under KBP, the Gov’t. has less governing power in the implementations broadcast rules.
NTC like FCC of US, has given the full right to recommend the terrestrial digital standards.
Anyway, I will be in NAB next month and hope I can be qualified in the invitation sent to me at the moment.
Regards, Ernie L. Claudio
Subject: NAB 2001 – Visit us at Booth #L430
By: Larry Bloomfield
Hopefully you'll stop by the Pixel Instruments booth #L430, where some of the Tech-Notes folks will be so we can meet you and say hello. The Pixel Instruments booth will be located in the north section of the convention center. As you face the main entrance to the Las Vegas Convention Center, this would be to your left. As a navigational tool, Pixel Instruments will be located next to Omneon Video Networks, below and to the left of Parker Vision and above Sencore. We will post a link to a floor plan on our website.
Thanks to J. Carl Cooper, the man behind Pixel Instruments, for making this possible. If you can't visit us at the booth, stop by Pixel Instruments' web site (My son built it from scratch and I'm proud!) at:
Subject: Wrapping up the first quarter of 2001
By: Larry Bloomfield
What will the New Year and new millennium bring? We waited until the end of the first quarter so we could get a leg up on the issues, especially with the new administration in power and new powers that be at the FCC.
We asked our readers to look into their crystal ball and let us know what they think will have the greatest impact on broadcast engineers in the year 2001?” The response was greater then we’d expected. Most respondents had several things they were concerned with.
Perhaps the most frequent of the responses was DIGITAL TV MUST CARRY. Most see DTV must carry as a critical element to the very life of broadcast television’s survival.
Stan Busby, now retired, but one time assistant chief engineer at WTAR in Norfolk, VA and Ampex designer, says: “Format...i.e. 4x3, 16x9 etc. and Microwave frequency management.”
Others addressed the progress with respect to HDTV introduction into the consumer market: where it's at and what's being done to make advancements. And in the same breath several addressed the potential merging into one of the PC video devices (the PC monitor) with the television medium device then asking: “What are the possibilities?”
It would appear that interactive television, via whatever means, is on the minds of many. Engineers see the possibilities, but feel the bean counters still don’t have a clue how they can turn a buck with it. One respondent said: “Digital TV has to mean something new/different: ITV is just that. And it's not like the net on your TV, but about choice.” The money is to be made somehow, but it is not up to the engineers to come up with business plans or the like. Perhaps it’s time the financial geniuses that have been pocketing the big bucks all these year to start earning their keep? Again, rhetorical.
Others pointed out: “Broadband / Private Video Recorders (PVR) are something that should have mass appeal, if,” they said, “broadband really gets it's act together and starts to deliver quality.” There is little question that streaming video and video on the web is improving faster than most broadcasters would care to acknowledge. There is no question that it will soon be a very serious competitor to broadcast television.
It is interesting to note the evolution of television not only at the broadcaster’s end of the pipeline, but also at the viewer’s end. It wasn’t too many years ago when people worked or went to school and came home to do “their thing.” Today we live in a very mobile society and “their thing” is more likely than not, on the move.
Display devices have made some remarkable advances. It is becoming more and more economically feasible for people to have large screens (35 inch plus) in their living rooms, if they have the space. What a contrast to the mobile society concept. One respondent commented: “Projectors: Displaying the HD/Big image economically is a big issue for home viewing. Projectors, not CRTs, are the answer. This is moving very fast indeed and may just make the BIG DIFFERENCE in 2001 toward HDTV. If not, save it for 2002.”
It’s not quite so true in the really larger markets, but it is commonplace elsewhere for the engineering staffs to field questions and help their viewers resolve reception issues. Most chief engineers and directors of engineering can begin to count the number of times they’ve had to help viewers get their TV sets audio back onto the program and off the SAP channel or get rid of the closed captioning. With this in mind, it was interesting to note the many “all in one” suggestions: Integrated, digital, satellite, television receiver, hard drive playback with Internet browsing and e-mail, that may well plague engineers as these new features become available. With tongue-in-cheek, it’s taken viewers over 20 years to learn how to adjust the hue and color controls, just think what they’ll do with these new feature!
Television engineer/consultant Allan Soifer said: “For me it is the constant (and not necessarily improved) transition to digital systems, and the need to re-marry older analog gear to newer consoles, etc. A close second (issue) would be the complete lack, in my estimation, of lockstep of engineering and technologists' salaries to the required complexities and exigencies of the job to which we are called (English - too damn little bucks for me busting my hump for the client!!)”
An engineering friend, Maria Teresa Andrade, whose shingle is currently hung out in Portugal, also responded with a slightly different emphasis, pointing out the necessity of improving, in a significant way, the quality, choice and versatility/flexibility of the programming, introduce MPEG4 content into programming, provision for mobility and seamless and easy access to content, exploring the convergence between digital TV broadcasting (eg. Digital terrestrial) and mobile infrastructures (UMTS) - provide "any content, anywhere, anytime;" to fully explore statistical multiplexing to provide better quality and wider choice.” She concluded: “Be aware of the growing competition with internet multimedia broadcasting while trying to promote convergence.”
Television engineer Dave Smith sees things differently: “I will be affected most by DTV conversion, putting in a new transmitter, Smith says. “But over and above that, this whole process of DTV/HDTV will have a negative effect on the industry as a whole; especially the discussion on modulation techniques,” he laments. Not alone in his view of what’s to come, Smith concluded: “I am not optimistic about the broadcast industry at all. In fact, it is taking second fiddle to DBS and Cable. The end of free broadcasting as we know it is near an end.”
Pat Button, General Manager of Home Network Products for Sony of Canada Ltd. has a different prospective. “From consumer manufacturers you are seeing more wide-screen TV product available, mostly in Projection TVs. This impacts the obvious content format, but also where the broadcasters put their bug as in some cases the bug gets cropped or lost during a stretch or zoom of the 4:3 image.”
Button spoke of what Sony is doing to make interlace look better by adding line doublers etc. One can only ask why? Progressive scan would eliminate interlace problems. Speaking to this, and applicable to all video, Button concluded: “Bottom line though is if poor pictures are broadcast they look even worse since these electronic signal enhancers will duplicate the noise as true signal. Even the satellite companies have problems when they send low-resolution channels.”
John Burgevin, of Pikes Peak Broadcasting’s KRDO-TV observation is of concern to many. He says: “The only issue that I can see is the implementation of DTV for small & mid market stations.
KGO-TV’s transmitter supervisor, Ray Herring has been through the transmitter installation in San Francisco, CA, but sees more, not less, problems on the horizon for everyone. Echoing the input of many, Herring say: “I would see the greatest challenge to Broadcast Engineers in 2001 to be the conversion of studios to digital. Also trying to keep up with the ever-increasing pace of change in the digital world. The changes we are going through at KGO are almost mind-boggling. It's also a challenge to the budget.
Since we’ve been asked to shorten our newsletter, this is only a portion of the responses. We will present more in our next edition.
Subject: ATSC, CEA AND NAB Partner To Bring 'DTV Store' To NAB2001
Arlington, Va., March 20, 2001 - Featuring the latest DTV consumer products and daily prize drawings, the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) announce the opening of the DTV Store at the upcoming NAB2001 Convention. NAB2001 is being held Saturday April 21 through Thursday April 26 in Las Vegas, Nev.
The DTV Store will be located in the Las Vegas Convention Center's Grand Lobby. The DTV Store will not actually offer products for sale, but will showcase the latest and most exciting DTV technology to hit the marketplace. Manufacturers such as Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Samsung, Sony, Thomson/RCA, Toshiba, Zenith and others will highlight their newest DTV products available to consumers, including televisions (integrated sets), monitors, stand-alone tuners (receivers/set-top boxes), PC solutions and antennas.
The DTV Store also will include random daily prize drawings featuring DTV and other exciting consumer electronics products. Entry forms will be available at the DTV Store and in NAB conference bags. All entries must be submitted at the DTV Store where full rules and restrictions will be available. Daily drawing times will be posted at the DTV Store. Winners will be announced daily.
Subject: NAB DTV
From: Craig Birkmaier email@example.com
I am working with a client - Irdeto Access - on a live demonstration of a data broadcast system that will feature the companies conditional access technology called Cyphercast. Irdeto is a subsidiary of Mindport which is a subsidiary of MHP, which has 7 million set-tops running its CA systems worldwide.
The encrypted IP data will be broadcast by KLAS, the CBS affiliate in Vegas. At the moment the plans are for 3 Mpbs of the stations transport multiplex to be used for data, with the rest to be used for digital video programming. To our knowledge, this will be the only station in Vega broadcasting a digital signal during NAB, but we do not know that with 100% certainty, and things could change between now and NAB.
The KLAS feed will be distributed via an RF distribution net in the convention center, thus I suspect that there might be a drop in the DTV store. We are still working with potential exhibitors for the Cyphercast CA demos; at the moment I believe that there will be six booths equipped to decrypt the KLAS data feeds. This will be accomplished via a software client running on a PC with a conditional access card interfaced via a USB port.
If others companies are interested in participating in these demos please contact me off-line and I will provide additional information and set up a liaison with the folks at Irdeto.
Hope to see many of you at the Forum on Tuesday evening at NAB!
Subject: The FCC is up to a number of things!
From: CGC COMMUNICATOR
The FCC has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to update its Emergency Alert System ("EAS") rules. It is proposed that the relay window for Required Monthly Tests be extended from 15 minutes to 60 minutes, and that the minimum modulation level be 50% instead of 80% (which would allow EAS equipment to be connected ahead of audio processing equipment). Other possible changes include new or modified EAS codes and the establishment of a detailed text transmission capability.
FCC PROPOSES TO UPDATE RULES FOR BROADCAST AUXILIARY SERVICE
Following is the URL for the complete Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("NPRM") in the above captioned matter. This NPRM proposes to update the Broadcast Auxiliary Service rules to enable the use of the latest digital technology, among other things:
FCC TAKES STEPS TO REALLOCATE AND ADOPT SERVICE RULES FOR TELEVISION CHANNELS 52-59
The FCC has begun the process of reallocating television Channels 52-59 for new commercial wireless and broadcast services, and proposing rules for the licensing, operating, and competitive bidding of wireless and other services.
FCC TO INCREASE ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES
FCC Chairman Powell, at the CTIA 2001 Wireless Show in Las Vegas, is quoted as saying, "We are putting increasing emphasis on an enforcement model as opposed to a regulatory model (at the FCC).... When you cheat, we'll get you at the back end."
HANDY FCC URLs
To determine if the height of a proposed tower would cause problems for nearby airports, use the FCC's "Towair" program.
Towair using NAD27 coordinates is now located at:
Towair using NAD83 coordinates is located at:
(Be sure Java is enabled.)
To obtain information on FCC registered towers, use:
You can, for example, enter coordinates and search for registered towers within a given radius of that place. The program works best with Netscape 4.7 but requires fundamental mods to your software and those mods are not trivial!
Subject: A NEW WAY TO SEND HIGH-DEFINITION TV IMAGES
From: Dr. George H. Nickel, PhD firstname.lastname@example.org
No "extra channel" or converter would be needed for existing analog receivers
High-definition TV (HDTV) is coming quickly, and soon your current analog receiver (called NTSC, for National Television System Committee) will not be able to tune to broadcast signals. "Soon" means 2006, under the current FCC plans. Until then, the FCC is giving television broadcasters another channel to use for HDTV transmissions, starting in the major population centers. After the entire country has HDTV availability, the old transmissions will stop and their channels will be auctioned off or given to other services, like emergency communications.
In HDTV, the picture is converted into digital data and compressed, like files on a computer. One part of this compression is already used on current receivers: the colors are split into luminance data, where are the fine details are kept, and two components of chrominance data, which require far less detail. In the HDTV systems, the picture is further transformed into another "space" where the files can be compressed very efficiently. For now, the JPEG system is used (or its moving picture variation, MPEG), just the way digital images are stored in computers. In the future, wavelets will be used for even greater compression. Greater compression means that more details can be kept when signals are sent in one channel. It also means that when you tune your current receiver to that channel, you just see "snow".
There is another way to compress the pictures, one that makes a visible picture on the current receivers. The digital data is divided into the part that we are already used to seeing and the finer details. Only the finer details are compressed digitally, and the old part is sent the way it is now. Two things happen when you do this: not much is lost by sending the visible part directly, since it was hard to compress anyway, and the finer details compress even more than they did before. The old system has a lot of "bookkeeping" signals, like the color burst that synchronizes the reception of the color data and the pulses that tell when to start a new line or a new frame. There is also some "dead time" when the electron beam is moving back to start a new line. Even so, the loss in picture details is hard to see unless the usual HDTV picture and the one sent this new way are shown side-by-side. (For those who want the numbers, one-channel HDTV can have about 0.5 bits per pixel when the frame rate is 60 per second, and doing it this way reduces the picture quality to about 0.4 bits per pixel.)
What about the extra digital data needed for the fine details? About half of it can be sent in "letterbox" lines above and below wider format picture that HDTV uses. The will not look black, as they do in many of the transmissions seen now, but would resemble "dark snow" since they change completely every 60th of a second. The other half can be sent in what is called the "vestigial video sideband". This is the part that will involve a change in the transmitters, as they do not currently put information in this part of the channel. By doing this, however, they will not have to buy a new transmitter for the extra channel or build a new antenna. The NTSC receivers will not see this data at all, since it is sent "in quadrature" with the carrier wave for the video signal, and is invisible to the detectors they use.
The new HDTV receivers will also need some changes, but this will only be in the software that processes the digital data. The same JPEG data (called DCT coefficients, for Discrete Cosine Transform) are used, but the receiver needs to do one extra step of processing to get it. The hardware will be unchanged, and by switching to the mode that is being used now in larger population centers, they can see the transmissions as they are being sent now. Of course, eventually all of the transmissions will convert to the more detailed picture format, but doing it this way will make the current receivers useful for the transition period.
(Ed Note: We spoke to Dr. George H. Nickel, PhD. He did not come across as a raving lunatic-scientist with nothing better to do. We should give him the benefit of the doubt and give it a try. Who knows? The responses to the good Doctor’s press release are interesting: – “Don’t confuse me with anything new, our minds are made up.” Sound familiar? Typical of the responses were published in the CGC COMMUNICATOR:)
Jerry Plemmons, Systems Engineering Manager for Harris Broadcast Systems, writes as follows:
"The response to the Los Alamos Labs story was swift: "File this in the "too good to be true" department....a variation on the Los Alamos Labs story was posted on the PBS intranet a few days ago, quickly followed by a rebuttal posting quoting Dale Cripps, Publisher of HDTV Magazine.
"The news release from Los Alamos Labs caused me to dash to the phone and talk to George Nikel, the engineer at Los Alamos who had devised the system. George quickly admitted that he is an outsider to broadcasting and was just "tinkering around" with some ideas formed when making a transmission system for remotely monitoring nuclear test shots, which are no longer conducted there. He had already talked with Bruce Franca from the FCC's technical arm, and Mark Richer, Executive Director of the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), and each politely told him that there would be little-to-NO interest in his system at this stage of the game.
"But would the technology work? Only with highly disagreeable side effects (gray bars in letter box, very low color bit rate, etc.). Again, no testing had been done--just lab-based theoretical calculations. The system works only for the environment and application in which it was singularly designed, but it is nowhere near to the sophistication of the early single-channel compatible works done by Fukinuki in Japan, or that done by the NBC/Sarnoff combine in the mid 80s, when NBC sought to construct a EDTV-quality widescreen system called ACTV-1. Those systems were abandoned for the solution we embrace now.
"Mr. Nikel said he had no peer review of his system and from what he has now learned he realizes that it is going absolutely nowhere. We must wholeheartedly agree with his conclusion. The news-release, however, has reverberated around the nation and we were contacted by the Associated Press, who was busily writing a story on it. Don't be confused. There is nothing to it. You just have to wonder how Los Alamos could put out a statement like that!"
Subject: And The Oscar Winner Is...
From: Dale Cripps email@example.com
(Ed Note: Dale Cripps is the publisher of an informative on line e-mail newsletter about digital television. He recently proposed the following on an e-mail reflector.)
As I continue to read these arguments about; HDTV slowing or destroying the transition or the likelihood of SDTV furthering or speeding the transition; with COFDM opening the field to more data applications, etc., I must wonder how the market would likely behave to a more "perfect" digital terrestrial offering?
Let's do an exercise.
Let's go back to November 16, 1998 when DTV was "officially" launched from the Ronald Reagan Conference Center in Washington, DC. Let's presume that, instead of laboring for the much-hated ATSC standard, you already have COFDM adopted by the FCC and you have "flexibility" enough to do all of the things this list has said the standard should do, i.e., hierarchical SDTV, HDTV, interactive, fixed and mobile data, etc. In other words, you have none of the "negatives" long-associated with any parts of the ATSC standard, and you are working with a fully fleshed out and optimized system, including copy-protection, interactive, and cable readiness. Presume everyone in the industry is in full agreement--manufacturers, government, signal providers--so you have no political forces to overcome, just market inertia to deal with.
Here is the exercise:
Write the most compelling marketing campaign you possibly can for this "new-flex" offerings to the public.
Make a powerful case (in 25 words or so) as to why there is a government mandated transition from the existing analog to these new digital offerings.
Please include in your campaign copy the price points that you predict throughout the growth curve for the various services (and sub-set of services) and associated hardware that you are campaigning for, and the time lines for market penetration.
Use a few memorable words and catch phrases that will quickly identify in the minds of average consumers just what it is you are predominantly selling to them, and why they should have it to better their lives, and why they should do it quickly in order for the government to recover the old analog spectrum ASAP (or even use the 2006 date).
Thanks, Dale Cripps
By Larry Bloomfield
To set the record straight, the comments made in Parting Shots are mine and mine alone. They do not, necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone else – be they associated with Tech-Notes or not!. I express them from what can be described as a unique vantage point of having an intense, ongoing intercourse with nearly every facet of the broadcast and entertainment industries.
If my comments offend; sorry about that! It is my intension to get people to wakeup and think and not necessarily to agree with me. If you are on the same side of the fence with me, fine! We’ll toast a few, pat each other on the back and move on. If we are at opposite ends of the argument, my mind is never so made up that it can’t be changed: Give it a shot. I hope the same is true of you, but I find those instances to be rare. As an engineer, I’m interested in facts and politics be-damned!
Unfortunately it is difficult to separate the political BS from the engineering issues. For example, looking at the digital cinema quagmire, it would appear that Hollywood has lost sight of the technical exigencies with respect to the evolution of its industry and have let itself get bogged down in political folderol. Copywrite issues have so muddied the waters that who knows what it will take to breakup the logjam.
I have invited MPAA to rebut some of the things that have appeared here in the Tech-Notes, but to no avail. Does the motion picture industry want to move in and take over the technology developed for digital high definition television, requiring broadcasters to degrade their pictures to discourage recording them or will they look to the technology that is available and surpass HDTV, giving theatre goers a superior presentation? The only answer I have gotten to this question, to date, is: “it’s a matter of economics.
There isn’t a person alive in Hollywood, worth his salt, who doesn’t know that 35mm motion picture film is capable of resolution many times that of HDTV. Why do they want to use that old – “HDTV is comparable to the release print” – argument when they can give the theatre goer a far superior product? Do the environment a favor, run the bean counters out of the country.
By the way, there were two recipients of Oscars last night that really hit the nail on the head by encouraging people to be creative. Well said! I know the feeling and it’s good.
Back to it! Things are no different on the broadcast side of the fence. The CEA says that manufacturers have shipped several hundred thousand digital and HDTV sets to stores. My question is, how many have consumers bought? All one needs to do is compare the numbers of sales of analog NTSC TV sets with those of the digital genera over any reasonable period of time and the numbers are very telling.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m in favor of technological advancement. Digital and HDTV are really great, but trying to force it down America’s throat just isn’t the way for it to gain acceptance. When the consumer perceives a need, they’ll beat the doors down to get one of the new fangled devices, what ever it is. The marketing techniques of yesterday just don’t work today. Anyone with an eye and or ear to the nightly news can tell that society, like the old gray mare, just ain’t what it used to be.
It also appears that the economy is headed for the Mariana’s Trench. It doesn’t take a Harvard graduate to figure out that if the money for a broadcast facility to make the transition to digital isn’t there, all the deadlines set by the FCC and or Congress are akin to a paper tiger.
I can remember when I had a $4,000/month maintenance budget at a very small market TV station. I’ve recently spoken to the fellow I hired, and who is now their Chief Engineer: It’s going to be a real challenge to come up with the bucks. As a Chief Engineer in Great Falls, MT once told me, “a $800,000 transmitter cost the same in New York as it does here in Montana, but the guy in New York can afford it a darn site better than I can.”
Then there is the 8-VSB/COFDM debacle. That subject has had enough press! With an “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to” attitude by most all concerned, this is a subject that seemingly will never be put to rest. When we learn that we are not the only people on the planet and embrace “world standards,” then the rest of the world will see that we’ve finally gotten our heads out of the sand and we’ll all be significantly better off.
From this vantage point, it appears that our industries are on voyages similar to those of Columbus and Magellan. The difference being, Columbus and Magellan didn’t have bean counters and guys in ivory towers, who didn’t have a clue, telling them what to do at every turn of events. Columbus and Magellan were the engineers of their day, playing their rolls to the fullest, unencumbered. When will our industries let the engineers do their jobs, unencumbered?
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