Thanksgiving Streaming Audios

Happy Thanksgiving!

While these links may not have much to do with wireless, they are some of my favorite streaming audio files. Thought you might enjoy them, too.

African Drums . Nigerian Drums . Latin Drums . Congas . Taiko . Portland Taiko . The Telegraph . NPR: Edison . Edison: “Hello” . Edison: 12th St Rag . “When Roll is Called Up Yonder” . Radio History . First Radio Station: KDKA . Hindenburg Crash . Pan American Blues . “Fear Itself” . “Day of Inflamy” . “Finest Hour” . Murrow . Stevenson: “Hell Freezes” . “I have a dream” . “Tear down this wall” . Wolfman . Tony Schwartz: Recordist . Don Hunter: Recordist . KGW: Columbus Day Storm . John Fahey . Punch Cards . SonarMap . Whale Songs . Dialtone Symphony . Koyaanisqatsi . Iridium Comes Down . SETI Array This American Life Archive . Prairie Home Companion Joke Show . Dawgy Mt. Breakdown . NPR’s Thanksgiving Feast .ra and my favorite NPR story; Insect Communications Part 2

The Waters of March (3 min) KWAX-FM

A stick, a stone, it’s the end of the road
It’s the rest of a stump, it’s a little alone
It’s a sliver of glass, it is life, it’s the sun

It is night, it is death, it’s a trap, it’s a gun
The oak when it blooms, a fox in the brush
A knot in the wood, the song of a thrush
The wood of the wind, a cliff, a fall

A scratch, a lump, it is nothing at all
It’s the wind blowing free, it’s the end of the slope
It’s a beam it’s a void, it’s a hunch, it’s a hope
And the river bank talks of the waters of March

It’s the end of the strain
The joy in your heart
The foot, the ground, the flesh and the bone
The beat of the road, a slingshot’s stone

A fish, a flash, a silvery glow
A fight, a bet the fange of a bow
The bed of the well, the end of the line
The dismay in the face, it’s a loss, it’s a find

A spear, a spike, a point, a nail
A drip, a drop, the end of the tale
A truckload of bricks in the soft morning light
The sound of a shot in the dead of the night

A mile, a must, a thrust, a bump,
It’s a girl, it’s a rhyme, it’s a cold, it’s the mumps
The plan of the house, the body in bed
And the car that got stuck, it’s the mud, it’s the mud

A float, a drift, a flight, a wing
A hawk, a quail, the promise of spring
And the river bank talks of the waters of March
It’s the promise of life, it’s the joy in your heart

A stick, a stone, it’s the end of the road
It’s the rest of a stump, it’s a little alone
A snake, a stick, it is John, it is Joe
It’s a thorn in your hand and a cut in your toe

A point, a grain, a bee, a bite
A blink, a buzzard, a sudden stroke of night
A pin, a needle, a sting a pain
A snail, a riddle, a wasp, a stain

A pass in the mountains, a horse and a mule
In the distance the shelves rode three shadows of blue
And the river talks of the waters of March
It’s the promise of life in your heart

A stick, a stone, the end of the road
The rest of a stump, a lonesome road
A sliver of glass, a life, the sun
A knife, a death, the end of the run

And the river bank talks of the waters of March
It’s the end of all strain, it’s the joy in your heart.

Sky High Wi-Fi

Telesphere’s prototype Airship, will deliver 802.11b to laptops on the ground located within a 10-mile radius. During the demo, Sanswire intends to randomly deploy a series of laptop computers that will all be interconnected. The balloon-based platform will broadcast the demo live over the Internet from the company’s website on December 11th.

The unmanned Stratellite platform, which resembles a large round balloon, would be held stationary in the stratosphere at an altitude of 68,000 feet for up to 12 months. A hybrid electric system, driving large, slow -turning propellers, will be remotely controlled from tracking stations on the ground using technology patented by 21st Century Airships. The first production Stratellite is scheduled to be launched in 2004.

21st Century Airships, a research and development company based in Toronto, signed a multi-million dollar contract with Atlanta-based Telesphere Communications to send 10 of 21st Century Airships’ aircraft up to the stratosphere early in 2004.

Telesphere’s ‘Stratellite‘ intends to go after cellular, 3G mobile, MMDS, paging, fixed wireless and HDTV broadcasting markets. Flying 13 miles high, each Stratellite can cover up to 300,000 square miles. Balloon stationkeeping is the trick.

ATG (above), plans “Bladerunner” advertising balloons with possible wireless broadcasting. Flarion and Arraycomm might be better matches for these aerial platforms than the brain-dead ATSC standard.

Another balloon solution, Space Data, plans to ride piggyback on Weather Service balloons. Their wireless data collection system is not stationary. It will use disposable balloons traveling at 100,000 feet for store-and-forward data services. Space Data was the high bidder on more than 1.4 MHz in the 900 MHz band at the FCC’s most recent auction.

Other high-flying “hot spots” include Skytower which uses a solar-powered airplane. It has been used for 802.11b-enabled aerial photography. Skytower is designed to circle overhead, unmanned, for as long as six months, drawing power from the sun by day and from fuel cells by night.

Terrestrial cell towers cost up to $230,000 to build, and at least that much to wire up. Balloons and unmanned airplanes could expand the “footprint”. Focused beam antennas, like those developed by Vivato, promise to provide extended range for the unlicensed 802.11 band up to 4 miles.

Getting approval from both the FAA and the FCC may be ultimate trick.

Satellites aren’t getting cheaper. Yesterday, the world’s largest telecommunications satellite became trapped in a 109-mile-high orbit. A 2nd stage that would have boosted it into geosynch orbit malfuntioned trapping it in a useless low orbit. Insurance rates may have taken another hit as well.

The ASTRA-1K satellite was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, central Asia, using a Proton K rocket on Monday. The rocket’s second stage engine malfuntioned placing the communications satellite in a temporary low Earth orbit. reports it’s at least theoretically possible that the Astra-1K could be raised into a slightly higher orbit and survive. NASA’s space truck could be dispatched to rescue the satellite. Some observers have speculated that a similar rescue about 10 years ago, was more of a photo op for NASA’s shuttle, than a cost-effective salvage operation.

Providing heavy lift to the highest bidder, private launch companies are providing competition to government operations like NASA and ESA. The International Launch Services (ILS), is part owned by two Russian companies, Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center and RSC Energia, and the US company Lockheed Martin. Let’s hope ILS doesn’t screw up the Nimiq 2 launch this December. The high power satellite at 91 degrees West will feature 32 active Ku-band transponders with 120 watt power amplifiers, and features Ka-band spot beams that could (finally) may space-based internet access economically feasible.

Competitor Sea Launch is an international consortium involving Boeing’s Space division, RSC Energia, providing the Block DM-SL upper stage, launch vehicle integration and mission operations; SDO Yuzhnoye / PO Yuzhmash, providing the first two Zenit-3SL stages, launch vehicle integration support and mission operations; and Kvaerner, providing operational services of the launch platform Odyssey and assembly and command ship, Sea Launch Commander.

TDRS-J features the following capabilities:

  • S-band Single Access: Two 15-foot diameter steerable antennas, used at the 2.0 to 2.3 GHz (gigahertz) band, supply robust communications to user satellites with smaller antennas and receive telemetry from expendable launch vehicles during launch.
  • Ku-band Single Access: The same two antennas, operating from 13.7 to 15.0 GHz, provide higher bandwidth for user satellites, provide high-resolution digital television for Space Shuttle video communications and can quickly transfer large volumes of data from tape or solid-state data recorders aboard “NASA scientific spacecraft” (quotes mine).
  • Ka-band Single Access: This new higher-frequency service, which operates from 22.5 to 27.5 Gigahertz and increases data rate capabilities to 800 megabits per second, will provide communications for future missions requiring higher bandwidths such as multi-spectral instruments for Earth science applications.
  • Multiple Access: This system is capable of receiving signals from five user spacecraft simultaneously at rates up to 3 megabits per second, while transmitting to a single user at up to 300 kilobits per second. The system operates using a phased-array antenna in the 2.0 to 2.3 GHz range.

Since the military is essentially calling the shots, the shuttle has been abandoned for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program. Boeings new Delta 4 had its first successful launch earlier this week (Nov. 20th) and Lockheed’s Atlas 5 (SpaceDaily) first launched this summer. On November 28, Europe is scheduled to launch an improved version of Ariane 5 that will be capable of placing up to 10 tons of payload in geostationary transfer orbit. Top satellite companies may also use these heavy boosters although big satellites are fast becoming unfashionable. China’s first manned launch may be imminent.

The new homeland security department will require a massive global network. But transoceanic fiber is easily cut and the $800 million TDRS replenishment program with three satellites doesn’t have the bandwidth. Intercepted SIGINT data is reportedly transmitted to Earth on a 24 GHz downlink using narrow-beam antennas. But the frequency swaths allocated for links are less than consumers can get on cable television. More bandwidth is needed.

One might speculate that a secret optical/IR satellite network downlinked in Hawaii might be developed. The European Space Agency, not to be outdone, says they’re thinking of building miniaturised optical systems that fit onto a microchip. These optical networks might use optical CDMA which encodes each pulse,across a segment of wavelengths. The receiver uses a key to decode the signal and re-create the original pulse.

I can imagine the conversations between the AF and NASA; “Look, Dan, we can’t have this thing on the cover of SPIE Proceedings, okay? You’ll have to play by our rules”. Rogue aristrocracies will NOT enjoy this funny story about the NRO.

There’s big money in “defense”. In 2003, Northrop’s revenue may top $25 billion. Northrop wants to merge with TRW in a $6.5 billion stock deal making it the nation’s second-largest weapons maker behind Lockheed Martin.

More satellite information is available at Network Magazine, Lloyd Wood’s Satellite Constellations, The SkyREPORT, LyngSat Satellite Chart, Global VSAT Forum, Boeing Satellite Systems, Loral Skynet, PanAmSat and SES Americom.

Major Commercial Launch Services

Launch Service Provider Rocket Launch Site
Arianespace Ariane 4 Kourou, French Guiana
Ariane 5 Kourou, FG
Boeing Satellite Systems Delta Cape Canaveral AS, FL & Vandenberg AFB, CA
China Great Wall Long March Xichang
International Launch Services

Atlas Cape Canaveral AS, FL & Vandenberg AFB, CA
Proton Baikonur, Khazakhstan
Japan, Rocket System Corp H-2 Tanegashima, Japan
Orbital Sciences Pegasus/Taurus Wallops Island Flight Facility, VA & Cape Canaveral CA
SeaLaunch Modified Zenit Pacific Ocean platform
Yuzhnoe (Ukraine) Zenit 2 Baikonut, Khazakhstan

Whether Spaceway will be The Coming Air Age is anybody’s guess.

Wi-Fi Backbones for Apartments

USURF America (FAQ), supplys voice and high-speed internet access to apartments using Wi-Fi backbones.

The 240 unit, Green Valley Apartments in eastern Colorado Springs, is fully operational. Another development near downtown Denver, with 225 dwelling units will get video and data services in the summer of 2003 via Wi-Fi. The company has an exclusive 15-year contract to provide communication services to a mix of 376 condos and single-family homes in the Denver area.

Usurf’s Quick-Cell(TM) equipment, has Voice over IP (VOIP) capability, using Wi-Fi 802.11 standards on the unlicensed 2.4 and 5.8GHz spectrum. The small Quick-Cell server modems cover approximately 7 square miles and can handle about 125 wireless DSL (256 Kbps) customers. When that server modem nears capacity, they deploy another identical, integrated server modem for about $3,000. The combination of “smart” antenna technology from Wireless Online (the PointBeam 2400), and Usurf’s Quick-Cell system expands the capacity of the network “as much as eight times.” USURF America says that no telephone or other wall jack connection is necessary to connect to the Internet over the so-called last mile.

USURF offers a variety of high-speed fixed-wireless IP packages, starting at 256Kbps at $49/month. SOHO/business packages start at $99/month for 512Kbps with speeds available up to 6 Mbps., a wireless ISP in Maryland, targets retirement homes. The rooftop antenna links to their network hub in Baltimore. At $29.99 a month, it’s cheaper than Comcast’s $45 monthly cable-modem service.

Yacht Clubs in San Francisco in Seattle, Portland and other places may be another specialized and underserved market. Steve Robert’s Microship is an extension of his ground-breaking Behemoth recumbant bike which carried him over 10,000 miles across the United States – the first technomad.

Portland’s College Housing Northwest owns and manages dozens of apartment buildings around Portland. I live in one of them. An Orinoco 2500 AP on each floor might provide $20/month broadband, and benefit everyone.

“Last mile” unlicensed backbones that are competitive with DSL or cable modems is the dream. Promising technologies include Etherlinx (Glenn Fleishman has a Q&A), Vivato (which uses “smart” antennas and ordinary 802.11), and Mesh Networking (which routes signals through ajoining units).

SONbuddy from Green Packets, is an intelligent software platform designed to enable any WiFi-equipped devices (802.11b/g/a) to form a spontaneous Self Organizing Network (SON) using Mesh. SONbuddy automatically seeks, organizes and maintains a peer-to-peer and peer-to-multipeer ad-hoc community network based on user defined preferred parameters. The mesh multi-hop capabilities enable a wider area to be covered than traditional single-node networking and uses IPsec. Green Packet’s software is based on UMTS standards for Mobile IP, which enable heterogeneous roaming (Wi-Fi to cellular handoff). Intel’s PROSet software will enable Banias users to move seamlessly from a wired connection to a Wi-Fi connection without having to shut down.

In-Stat/MDR estimates, the licensed-exempt service for fixed wireless in the U.S. will grow three-fold in 2002, and by 2006 over two-thirds of all wireless broadband subscriptions will be on a licensed-exempt system. Residential subscriptions to fixed wireless broadband in the U.S. is estimated to grow from approximately 338,000 at the end of 2001 to 3.1 million by the end of 2006.

Open GIS Applications

ESRI today announced the successful demonstration of ArcIMS software in phase one of the Open Location Services (OpenLS) Testbed Initiative, a program of the Open GIS Consortium.

The plan? Provide wireless standards for interoperable location-based services. LBS partners include cellular operators and wireless ISPs.

Creating open and scalable applications that can operate seamlessly across the myriad of disparate databases, user devices and telecommunication networks is the goal of the OpenLS Testbed Initiative. Mobile applications should work seamlessly across the nation and around the world. Other OpenLS testbed participants include MapInfo, IBM, SignalSoft, Sun Microsystems, Vodafone, and Webraska.

ArcIMS, a Web-enabled geographic information system, can be used for 911 directory service, routing, and map presentation. The next step will involve the OGC Specification Program, where candidate specifications from OpenLS will be refined until they are ready for official release as the Adopted by the OpenGIS organization.

Real-time Location-Based Services, Wireless Location Devices, and services like @Road, Intelliwhere and Location Net are available through the LBS Zone and Geocomm‘s Spacial News. Maps in my neck of the woods include the Multnomah County Map Center,, Nature of the NW and Portland Green Map. The Portland Streetcar has a real-time map and TriMet’s Transit Tracker could be wireless, too. OGI’s CORIE is a nowcast system that maps out conditions on the Columbia River estuary. YOTREPS is a free service that plots oceanic trips on the web and let shoreside friends be a part of your adventure. Vessel Tracking via ham radio is also possible. The Pacific Disaster Center will feature real-time maps.

The back end is where the magic happens. IBM WebSphere Application Server 5.0, released just today, follows the fall release of WebSphere Studio 5.0. Together, the platforms offer tools for enterprises to build Java- and Web services-based applications and deploy them on a scalable runtime environment. It costs $8,000 for a single-server or $12,000 for a networked configuration. The product runs on Windows, Linux, IBM’s eServer zSeries and iSeries, AIX, Solaris, and HP-UX. IBM explains the basics of Location-Based services.

GenaWare products run on Linux and Java. The NodeDB Mapserver maps out Community LAN hot spots around the world and is run by Evil Bunny of Sydney Wireless. David Mandel has lots of good GIS links, and hey, I guess my own Oregon Telecommunications Atlas is pretty comprehensive.

While I don’t have a clue about any of this stuff, I HAVE heard the key to success is, “location, location, location.”

Wireless Parks

City parks have not addressed the needs of a Wireless Society. The New York Times story on Wireless Parks (no registration required, thanks to Google) has an interesting angle:

“Walking the streets of New York today means walking amid an unseen tangle of Wi-Fi. The hum of Internet traffic mingles with the jostle of pedestrians. Data “packets” whiz by like bike messengers. In no place are the emerging social and urban aspects of this fact made clearer than Bryant Park, which last spring became what its operations director, Jerome Barth, calls “the first park to have installed a dedicated system that provides coverage throughout its entire footprint.”

“We are intent on loading the park with users and increasing what we call their `dwell time,’ or how long they stay in the park,” said Daniel A. Biederman, president of the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation.

The idea of Internet access surfaced at one of the corporation’s regular meetings more than a year ago, Mr. Biederman recalled: “What can we do to make people stay in the park? Why do they have to go back to their offices at 2? They have to go back to get on the Web. Why don’t we give them the Web?”

Enter NYC Wireless, an ad hoc group committed to the creation of free wireless access in public spaces throughout the city. Bryant Park would be the perfect showcase for their vision. With some clever engineering and hardware from Cisco Systems and Intel, the wireless park was born. Just as park users could sit wherever they liked, so too could they gain access where they liked. The eight-megabytes-per-second connection was as free as the sunshine and the green grass.”

People WILL bring their wireless devices to public parks yet wireless devices (now carried by the majority of the population) are ignored.

Let’s change that.

Managed Public Internet Kiosk software is available from Proxim, NetNearU and Firecast among others. The Wireless Zone is a one-piece, self-contained “hot spot”. It doesn’t connect to the internet but it CAN make or Portland Visitors Association or Narrated Neighborhood Tours available anywhere. Anyone with a wireless PDA or laptops can download them. Visitor Information could include text, maps and dozens of audio vignettes (in a variety of languages) downloaded to Palms or PocketPCs. Fonix Voice Dial for the Pocket PC – allows users to Dial by Voice — it recognizes spoken names or phone numbers; No Voice Training Required! Speaker independent, voice driven kiosks can eliminate the screen and “press to talk”. Talk to talk.

Interactive, engaging and site-specific applications are a click away. The Dialtone Symphony (.ram) is wholly produced through the choreographed ringing of people’s own cell phones. Start it up by dialing in. Here are some other ideas:

I’d eliminate slow and expensive DSL backbones with a wireless 5.8 GHz backbone. A Proxim Multi-point 20 Mbps Base Station ($4,000), on the KGON tower, feeding perhaps a dozen Proxim 20 Mbps Subscriber Units ($1,200) could do it. They provide a 20 Mbps wireless backbone. The local “hot spot” hardware could be based on Proxim’s Orinoco 2500 ($1000). I’d put a dozen “hot spots” around the city. They could be “free” and make money via kiosk advertising. Kiosk advertising would be managed using NetNearU’s AdTrackOS or Proxim’s Network Management software. If you had 10 kiosks generating $500/month in advertising revenue, that’s $5K/month. In 20 months it’s $100K. A $250,000 grant could get it started, with the expectation of self-sustaining operation in 24 months. Some Kiosks generate thousands a month in ad revenue. Multi-lingual kiosks could also generate $500,000 in PR for the city – if Portland was a trailblazer.

This is not rocket science. It’s simple math. But if YOU don’t take the initiative the opportunity will be lost forever. The Rainbow Consortium (Radio Access Independent Broadband on Wireless), which consists of Intel, IBM Global Services, AT&T Wireless and Cingular Wireless, is going to kickstart the initiative soon and rollover cities across the nation. When that happens, the unlicensed band will be “owned” by the cellular carriers. Cities (and individuals) WILL pay. You can kiss “free” community LANs goodbye. Forever. Especially in places like Parks.

The Public Review Draft of Portland’s Waterfront Park Master Plan is now available on-line.

The printed versions is available at Multnomah County public libraries. The public comment period will be until 12/10/02. E-mail your comments to Bryan Aptekar ( at Portland Parks & Recreation, 1120 SW Fifth Ave, (503) 823-5594 during the next few weeks.

The Morrison Bridge, in the center of Waterfront Park, has phone line access. An Orinoco 2500 ($1000) could drive Wi-Fi repeaters on the north end (near Saturday Market) and the south end, (near the Alexis Hotel), providing blanket coverage. The repeaters could be camouflaged as animals or Oregon historic figures. ORiNOCO’s Wireless Network Manager integrates with HP OpenView, providing a topographical view of the wireless network and graphical monitoring of real-time data from selected devices. Waterfront Park also has a direct shot to the Council Crest tower where Winfield Wireless has a wireless ISP. Trango Broadband or Proxim’s Tsunami could feed 50-100 hot spots using the unlicensed 5.8 Ghz band.

Another approach for blanket coverage is mesh networking. Green Packet’s software allows any mobile device, such as a PDA, to connect to other mobile handhelds without requiring a centralized wireless network infrastructure. Wireless devices become intelligent routers that multi-hop over other devices. PDAs could show real-time location information. WiFi Metro will integrate SONaccess routers and client software in its Bay Area “HotZones”. As a result, wireless users can roam seamlessly between cellular networks and the WiFi network.

Rent out Segway Scooters with built-in Pocket PCs. Your GPS position would trigger Oregon Historical Society’s Narrated Neighborhood Tours, Portland Visitor’s Association’s Self-Guided Tours, Portland Metro Maps or Lewis and Clark Maps. Wireless cameras could be helpful for the police, too.

Jacksonville Florida’s free wireless hot spots provide tourist information as well as internet access. Multi-lingual kiosks, incorporating webtablets with language translation are available now. Text to speech can be output in a variety of languages. And it sounds good. Human voice samples are now incorporated into text to speech. Choose a language, respond by voice.

Portland Parks wants your wireless ideas! What would you suggest?

What happens when you walk through “The Portal”? Tell Bryan.

DVD Software Standard

DVD players play movies. Image management software creates slide shows. The Optical Storage Technology Association’s new MPV open software standard hopes to bring them together with a “standardized” slideshow format. Both PCs and DVD players can exchange and playback collections of digital photos, video, and music.

Companies supporting the royalty-free MPV standard include Eastman Kodak, Hewlett-Packard, Imation, LSI Logic, Philips, and others. Consumer-level DVD authoring and recording applications like Sonic’s DVDit! and MyDVD will likely to pursue MPV compliance. Just by reading the XML file, the rendering device can create a menu that can then be navigated. To take advantage of the new format, users will need to purchase an “MPV-aware” device, such as a DVD-ROM or DVD-Video player outfitted for MPV compatibility.

The mass deployment of broadband video distribution in homes (and over the last mile) could be the next Big Thing. Set-tops with built-in APs and MPEG-4 PVRs for entertainment and e-learning have been waiting for 802.11g. At this year’s Comdex, Ubicom and Intersil demonstrated 802.11g access points delivering multiple channels of video.

Linux-based Advanced Communications uses a 333MHz National Semiconductor Geode with 64MB SDRAM and 32MB of Flash memory, 10/100Base-T Ethernet, AC97 audio output, video out, dual-USB, and a pair of PCMCIA Type I/II slots. Sigma, VWeb and Envivo have chips that support MPEG-1, 2, 4 and H.263/4 for full-screen, 720 pixel DVD resolution. The MPV standard works with wireless networking.

PVR’s like the Moxi box or Multi-media PCs using Microsoft’s XP Media Center Edition, a superset of Windows XP Professional, may become hubs for the home. An XBox Media Player could make it sing.