Must Reads

CBC’s Exposure

CBC has launched an interesting new program that combines online and offline. Exposure encourages people to post their own videos (I did so for Putting Piracy in Perspective) and it plans to air some of the videos on the main network starting later this month.


  1. I did a google search for the phrase \”last mile solution\”. Surprisingly, this is not in the web\’s continuing dialogue. Here\’s the body of a missive sent to Iowans for a Better Future, which might raise the level of both last mile solution and CBC\’s pending dilemma with public tv and radio:
    Colonel David Hughes said, and I quote:
    \” . . . [O]ne of the things that made the US DIFFERENT from Europe in education was that EVERYONE in the US is entitled to a FREE K-12 education – universal – no matter where they live, no matter who they are, no matter what their parent(s) make. It is crystal clear to me that EVERY K-12 kid has to, if they are to be educated for the next century, have access to the internet at school and when they do homework at home. Period. \”

    \”And the only real obstacle to that is the cost of \’connectivity\’ between the school and the kid\’s home. \”
    [ link ]

    Charles City sits in north-central Iowa. The population is something less than 8,000. The local high school has a termination on the Iowa Communications Network (ICN). There is no last mile solution that connects the kids from their homes to the network, to do their homework. They cannot collaborate with other students on their projects that might be waiting for them to connect to at school. Charles City has a token technology mindset. Does the rest of Iowa have a token technology mindset?

    In and around South Africa, there are communities participating in the One Laptop Per Child project. Each child has a $100 laptop that can \”see\” any other laptop up to 2 kilometers away. They can connect in the classroom, and they can connect from their homes, and they can collaborate with each other to study and learn. When the satellite passes over, and they have connection to the Internet, they can gather in the classroom, or under a tree, and engage in videoconferences and distance learning sessions with other classrooms around the world. The kids in Charles City cannot. Well, sure, with a lot of effort, and a lot of klutziness. Token 21st century education is NOT 21st century education. The kids cannot take home a piece of paper to share with their parents what they\’re working on. They need that connection, need to be able to connect from their homes, and show their parents what they\’re working on. makes a little box that can be plugged into a wall socket and it automagically lights up the home in a wireless cloud. It costs a one-time fee of $50. If an OC-3 line is run to the center of town, Internet connection for the community can run as low as $3 per house per month. The broadband speeds on this 45Mbps line would enable a community wireless mesh network to be created and a last mile solution that is affordable and effective could be provided. If at that point, vendors wanted to bid to provide something better, then so-be-it. The point is, today is when we should use the above-described template to provide every community in Iowa with an affordable and effective last mile solution for our kids.

    There are variations on this theme. The local hospital could contact, and purchase one $50 unit. They could then use the order number which identifies that wireless mesh network that has just one node, and have all those who wanted to join their new telemedicine network, go up to and purchase their own unit under the order number of the hospital. Or, the hospital could purchase units in bulk, resell them at a profit, and create a telemedicine \”branded\” network for providing the community with \”virtual house calls\”. Actually, businesses, or churches, or nonprofit organizations, or any groups could also offer \”branded\” networks for blanketing their community. You won\’t know about this topic by listening to the telcos and cablecos and telecommunications players. The last thing they want the public to know, is the true cost of going into the 21st century education for our kids, and the community cost for wireless infrastructure. And, when communities try to implement wireless infrastructure at affordable prices, they\’re taken to court. And that will continue.

    A secondary issue comes up, soon, real soon. If a community has wireless mesh network coverage, and broadband speed capabilities of 1Mbps to 54Mbps, that community now has a vested interest in public access television and radio, that was not there, before. In April of this year, the state passed a law that takes control of communities\’ franchise contracts. Each community with 50,000 population or less is entitled to two analog public access tv channels. Cities with more than 50,000 population are entitled to more channels. On February 9, 2009, those analog channels will be cutover to digital channels. For each analog channel, there are as many as eight digital channels possible. On February 10, 2009, every community in Iowa will be able to broadcast literally tens of thousands of public access tv and radio shows on Iowa\’s public access network. Because they are digital files, they can also, simultaneously be broadcast as Internet TV channels, marketed to a worldwide audience. The economic impact from this level of creation and innovation is measured in millions, tens of millions of dollars in the form of new revenue generation sources to the communities, the counties, and the state.

    Now, we know that traditional public access studios for analog channels are expensive. On the other hand, digital public access channels consist of but little more than a cheap desktop computer. A cheap desktop computer loaded with freely available audio and video software from Stanford University\’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, will enable anyone to create high quality public access tv and radio shows. Some channels will be used to produce typical tv shows, but many channels will begin to explore live interactive tv talk shows, live interactive radio talk show formats. These shows will be recorded, uploaded to global repositories like the Internet Archive or the project at the University of North Carolina, and without charge. In other words, the costs are negligible for all communities in Iowa to compete with the largest broadcast networks at every level.

    Iowa relies on the folks at Iowans for a Better Future to guide them in where they\’re going. I hope each Board Member takes a couple minutes to read this message, and to discuss how the ideas presented here can be applied across the state to benefit all Iowans. February 9, 2009, is a matter of months away. Other states are moving rapidly to be ready. Are we?
    Tom Poe
    1315 Cleveland Avenue
    Charles City, Iowa 50616
    Ph: 641-228-3271

  2. Alexandre says:

    New ZeD?
    Reminds me of the idea behind ZeD, back in the days (maybe four years ago?). A shame it wasn’t kept up as it was, in fact, an excellent way to get exposed to the work of Canadian artists. Similarly, there was an excellent site for French-Canadian short movies which was taken down recently.
    It might be more of a financial issue but do you have any idea why initiatives like those are rarely maintained for very long?

  3. pat donovan says:

    re: user content CBC’s Exposure program.
    i looked. perpetual useage for the CBC (in the agreement) stopped me from uploading anything.
    if they make money from my efforts, i want some of it.