December 2017

2017: The Year in Cellular

2017 is almost over and that means a look back at the world of cellular. This ended up being a pretty big year although most of the news happened in the last three months. The story…


COMMUNICATIONS PIONEERS: Lee De Forest

None of it’s possible without an amplifier. If it weren’t for the amplifier, there would be no radio, no television, no satellites and no cell phones. All those technologies rely on radio waves that are too…


Is burn-in a problem on LCD screens?

What a nightmare. Back when a decent-sized flat panel could set you back $10k or more, many a proud owner dreaded the day when he would come home and find the words “Now Playing” or some…


COMMUNICATIONS PIONEERS: Elisha Gray

The person who invented the telephone. Was it Alexander Graham Bell? Maybe. Bell gets the credit, largely due to clever legal maneuvering and light traffic on the way to the patent office. In the late 19th…


What is color temperature?

It’s a setting on your TV that makes everything look bad if you set it wrong. That’s what most people know about color temperature. A slightly more enlightened soul might tell you that it’s what gives…


COMMUNICATIONS PIONEERS: Heinrich Hertz

We owe him a lot. His experiments in electricity led to everything from AC power to computer speeds to radio stations. However, Heinrich Hertz is also remembered as the inventor of the parabolic antenna, in other…


TIP: Remember to recycle dead batteries

It’s a fact that all batteries, even rechargeable ones, wear out eventually. As wonderful as all our gadgets are, they produce a constant stream of used, useless batteries. Unfortunately, batteries are full of all sorts…


How does Google Maps know my location?

It’s kind of creepy, isn’t it? It seems like no matter what device you are using, Google Maps and other sites seem to know your exact location. Desktop computers don’t have GPS chips so you have…



BEWARE the 1.2 meter Alaska/Hawaii dish

Bigger just has to mean better, right? That’s not the case with the 1.2 meter DIRECTV dish designed for use in Alaska and Hawaii. It’s quite a behemoth, so before you think about using it to improve your…



FUN FRIDAY: Warp Speed

If you’re like me, you’re sitting back just waiting for the next episodes of Star Trek: Discovery. The first nine episodes blew by faster than a warp 9 trip to Jupiter, because of all the necessary backstory…