Commentary By Paul S. Maxwell Things We Don’t Understand… In Washington, DC, inside that Beltway where all of those legislators and regulators make a mess of our lives, Comcast drops a C-SPAN channel the same month that Verizon launches a local news channel on FiOS. Makes that decision to drop the Texas and Western Shows look smart, huh? Those decisions resulted in the rash of statewide telco video franchises and other political problems. Now, I do understand economic decisions, the concepts of limited bandwidth and contractual obligations that impact final decisions… so, how about thinking ahead? I’ve got some well-worn copies of David Hume around if you need them. Meanwhile, let’s all get together in Las Vegas in May and think of other ways to shoot ourselves in the foot. Random Rants

• Driving: Should be fun.

• Driving: Sometimes isn’t.

• Commuting: Isn’t.

• Drivers’ Education: Isn’t. It’s a relic of the past. Let’s cut some more taxes so we can build more helicopters to evacuate crash victims.

• Cell phones: Seem to have rendered left hands disabled and now unable to do simple things… such as signal a turn or lane change… much less pay attention to the traffic the cell phone user is endangering. (NOTE: for handheld cell users only).

• Flicked Hi-Beams: Are NOT an invitation to road rage…

• Flicked Hi-Beams: Are a polite and gentle way to signal a slow driver in the left lane to get out of the way!

• That Left Lane: In Colorado, believe it or not, the left lane is by law to be used only to pass a slower moving vehicle that is in the right lane. The law says: get over!

• Speed Limited Left Lane Drivers: Are the 65 mph equivalent of a speed bump.

• Passing on the Right? Dumb; and not even a political statement.

• Walk Facing Traffic? You’ve got to be kidding. They might see me aiming at them!

• Satellite Radio: Is nice for long drives between terrestrial signals. So, how come neither Sirius nor XM can figure out how to compensate NPR and its local affiliates for “Morning Edition” or “All Things Considered”?

• Satellite Radio Merger: Well, why not? Let’s allow Mel Karmazin to pander to the Federal Confusion Commission and test a la carte audio? Not to mention price controls? Or whatever else will salvage the service! Or else make it possible for me to download and listen live to the iTunes on my Mac while I’m driving a continent away.

• Cell Phones II: I hate ‘em; and need ‘em.

• Cable Opportunity for PSAs: Cable does a spectacular job with public service (though we often don’t get much credit for it). There’s Kaitz, NAMIC and diversity. There’s Cable Positive and AIDS awareness. There’s C-SPAN… a true gift to the nation (all parts of it, take a note Comcast). There’s all the free time given to MADD, et al and dozens of other do-good “on-air” efforts. Safety is always a good idea… so, let’s start a new program (maybe with a big auto or truck advertiser, Sprint as Pivot launches, or another do-gooder group) of PSAs that discourage handheld mobile telephony use while driving… and encourage hands-free auto accessories (another chance to sell some ads or find a “sponsor”). Might make commuting safer for all of us. Might even prevent a little bit of churn.




The Daily


AT&T Not Sweating Cable’s Wireless Play

Cable may be getting more competitive in wireless, but AT&T ’s big boss doesn’t seem too concerned. “I don’t worry about cable doing something different on network that’s going to be better than

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