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SOWNY » Rainbow Bridge Vehicle Explosion Reports First On CTV News Channel » November 23, 2023 8:39 pm

Chrisphen wrote:

"Demands are being made for the government to designate the KISS Army as a terrorist organisation."

I damn near spat my coffee laughing at that one.

So from terrorism to traffic accident.  What a climbdown.

SOWNY » Terk Amplified Indoor FM Antenna. » October 15, 2023 11:38 am

Does anyone remember the frequent advertising for these Terk amplified antennas that used to run on CFMX all the time?  "The Terk FAM is great for the whole FAMily" was one of the taglines.  I'm sure being beaten to death on CFMX was the reason why my parents bought one for the stereo they had in the kitchen of their old place but it never seemed to do anything more than a regular antenna ever did.

SOWNY » Leafs have unveiled their new goal song » October 12, 2023 6:55 pm

Walter wrote:

How about no 'song' at all, when the team scores?  How about letting the cheering of the crowd celebrate the goal?  How about Blue Jays players come out to the plate to the sound of the paying fans, instead of some accompanying music to mark the event?  How about just letting sports be sports, without having to fill every possible second with audible and visual racket?  Is this noise supposed to somehow justify the ridiculous ticket prices?

You mean you don't want the finely crafted mass entertainment sausage that the rich telecommunications/media company owners of MLSE have put together for large scale distribution?

Me neither.

I'm not a very good spectator to begin with because I'd really prefer to be playing but the whole excessive sizzle package surrounding the actual game in pretty much all professional sports has really put me off.  I don't have any interest in buying their tickets or watching their shows, so I don't.  What I'm really curious about is the player perspective.  To what degree does the circus surrounding it detract from playing the actual game?  To what degree do the massive paycheques make it worth working through that?

SOWNY » New CHCH tower... » October 12, 2023 12:43 pm

Plate Voltage
Replies: 151

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Evuguy wrote:

Glen - The SpecA is a rather long in the tooth HP 8594E.  Per your last update, I will take another look later and see if the level has increased with CITS-DT.

Those older Hewlett Packard spectrum analyzers are still very nice machines.  I've got an 8592A for RF work on my bench at home.  Out of curiosity, what are you using as the antenna for taking these measurements?

SOWNY » Tropo Today » September 3, 2023 9:44 pm

Fitz wrote:

BTW whenever there is a tropo for some reason I get a distorted signal for CHFI at 87.7.  Would anyone know why that is ?

You might be picking up an image frequency of CHFI's signal on 98.1 MHz.  Subtracting the 10.7 MHz intermediate frequency in the radio tuner would put it close by at 87.4.

SOWNY » CBC Radio/TV to (eventually) abandon OTA for full streaming » February 7, 2023 10:06 am

I first heard this story while I was driving to work this morning and I was listening to 680 for the traffic report to come on.  The irony of hearing about CBC's plans to eventually ditch over the air TV and radio transmission on over the air radio - amplitude modulated, no less, - was not lost on me.

SOWNY » FM Stereo » February 24, 2021 7:59 pm

Yes.  I have one and it's a nice sounding tuner.  It doesn't perform as well as newer tuners in terms of stereo separation, sensitivity, etc. but it sounds good and was the tuner in my main system for about five years in the early 2000s.  It could do with some of the usual care and feeding electronics of that vintage needs that it didn't get the last time it got serviced.

It's hard to believe that tuner and the Zenith-GE standard for FM stereo turn 60 this year.

SOWNY » CBC is putting Baby It's Cold Outside back on the playlist! » December 15, 2018 2:28 pm

Hold on. Something's wrong. Since when has CBC management ever backed down from a bad decision?

SOWNY » The Big 8 is Back » July 9, 2018 5:51 pm

I've been enjoying it and I've got it playing outside while I enjoy the summer afternoon.  Hopefully it's pissing off the stuck up princess snotbag witch face who lives next door.

SOWNY » Mayor John Tory to host morning show Tuesday on Newstalk 1010 » July 1, 2018 6:16 pm

Oh brother.  I don't listen to CFRB much, but I'll make sure to listen to something else Tuesday morning.  Is anybody planning to keep a running tally of how many times John Tory tries to foist the bills for various things onto everybody else with his stale "...and I think the senior levels of government should step up because there are costs involved and Toronto shouldn't have to pay for that..." routine?

SOWNY » Toronto Star Officially Launches "Stingy" Paywall » July 1, 2018 6:12 pm

So, I did some testing and the paywall is quite persistent in addition to being stingy.  Not only does it count down your articles, it persists after clearing out the cache, cookies, and browsing data in your browser.  It also persists across multiple browsers on the same system.  I tried on both a Mac and a PC and used up the five articles in Safari and then tried in Chrome and Firefox and the count jumped right up to 5/5 despite those browsers never visiting  I did the same thing on the PC and just to be absolutely certain, I fired up Internet Explorer which I haven't used in years.  Sure enough, the counter jumped to 5/5 immediately.  I haven't figured out how they're doing it yet but the fact that the paywall mechanism clearly isn't confined to the browser you're using, which raises some pretty serious privacy and security concerns in my mind.

SOWNY » Are Mobile-First Media Companies It? » May 28, 2018 5:30 pm

Irvine wrote:

Plate Voltage wrote:

cGrant wrote:

Yes, that is "another old fashioned value right there by the standards of today". Millennials (and, frankly myself) have their universe inside their cell. That's what they use to wake-up. Buying another piece of antiquated tech certainly will not ensure promptness. 

Well, given the attendance and punctuality issues I and others have observed lately, the new tech clearly hasn't been working out so well to ensure promptness either.

Or maybe it's because YOU see that as important whereas Millennial's do not?  And maybe it's just the classic "these kids today..." thing?  Nothing says old white guy like calling down the kids of today for their habits & fashions ignoring your parents parents thought Jazz music was the devil and would cause teen pregnancy. 

Well, in a 24/7/365 shop, I do think it's important. So do the outgoing people at the end of their shifts who get stuck when someone shows up late or calls out at the last minute which leaves people stranded until a replacement can be found and get in, or pulling a double if not.

SOWNY » Are Mobile-First Media Companies It? » May 27, 2018 9:18 am

cGrant wrote:

Plate Voltage wrote:

Personally, I'd be happy if millennials would ..... buy a damn alarm clock so they can actually wake up and get to work on time.  But I guess that's another old fashioned value right there by the standards of today.

Yes, that is "another old fashioned value right there by the standards of today". Millennials (and, frankly myself) have their universe inside their cell. That's what they use to wake-up. Buying another piece of antiquated tech certainly will not ensure promptness. 

Well, given the attendance and punctuality issues I and others have observed lately, the new tech clearly hasn't been working out so well to ensure promptness either.

SOWNY » Are Mobile-First Media Companies It? » May 25, 2018 2:13 pm

cGrant wrote:

Saul wrote:

IRVINE wrote: "No one sits around listening to skip, pulling in distance AM stations..."

With respect, I beg to differ. Just last week I was at home just north of Toronto, listening to 1430 KZQZ St. Louis on my AOR7000 

Saul, with respect, you can differ with the original opinion, but let's be honest here. Do you truthfully believe that what you're doing is the norm by the TYPICAL listener? Seriously? Do you see millennials running to their non-existent Radio Shack, buying said equipment and sitting there doing what you're doing? I'm pretty sure they are not.

I honestly don't think typical radio listeners ever got into seeking out nighttime AM bounce etc. at any point in time, millennial or before.  Personally, I'd be happy if millennials would go to Radio Shack or The Source or Best Buy or wherever and buy a damn alarm clock so they can actually wake up and get to work on time.  But I guess that's another old fashioned value right there by the standards of today.

SOWNY » More Ancient Tech » May 25, 2018 1:55 pm

Jody Thornton wrote:

It is an open reel but not a Sony. Has a rather unusual system to change speeds called a "Capstan.sleeve" which is inserted by a screw type mechanism over the capstan to go from slow to faster speed. A workhorse Akai.

It looks like an Akai 4000DS or similar machine.  It's tough finding the capstan sleeve that you have to screw on to raise the speed from 3.75 to 7.5 IPS.  A lot of them out there seem to be missing them now.

SOWNY » WHAT??? People still want CDs?? » February 16, 2018 2:00 pm

Jody Thornton wrote:

I never thought there would be a day (at least from the vantage point of my 1990 self) that a shop would allocate space for LPs, but NOT CDs.  Unbelievable.

I know.  Strange times we live in, huh?  The other half of this strange situation is you can go to any number of stores and there are junky suitcase record players with crappy ceramic cartridges made for wearing your records out for sale in the year 2018.

Ok, I don't know if the cartridges in these new ones are as bad for destroying records as the ones of old but the old ones at least came with a decent sized speaker in the lid that certainly weren't high fidelity by any stretch but they would at least make some volume and bass.  The new ones have these itty bitty speakers that would be more suited to a clock radio.  But they have USB ports!  They've gotta be flying off the shelves to 20 year-olds that have no idea what a good turntable is.

SOWNY » Latest Toronto Star Cuts Illustrate Paper’s Hypocrisy » February 16, 2018 1:48 pm

Don wrote:

The situations aren't similar in the least. Tim's parent company makes profits in the hundreds of millions of dollars. It is not 'trying times' at Tim's.. Torstar, meanwhile, loses millions every quarter.

Totally.  The Tim's franchises do very well too.  They're very lucrative.  Anybody who owns a Tim Horton's franchise and is having "tough times" selling coffee that's slightly better than ersatz and crappy defrosted donuts with all labour being performed by minimum wage (as in, cannot legally pay the staff any less) employees and not making a killing shouldn't be running a business.

I don't know what Torstar's financial situation looks like but if they are losing money every quarter, something's going to have to give to stop the losses or the place will go out of business.  I've become less and less of a Toronto Star fan as time's gone on and they've gone hard left to the point of absurdity but I'm not a fan of the idea of newsrooms closing either.

SOWNY » TV Subcarrier Question: How Many Is Too Many? » February 16, 2018 1:36 pm

Well, not everyone can afford or is willing to part with astronomical amounts of money on cable/satellite bills every month.  Secondly, I include myself in the group of people that disagrees with how content creation and distribution has been locked up by what's basically a cartel of a very small group of companies here.  The CRTC has done an awful job in terms of protecting Canadian consumers from the likes of Bell and Rogers etc.  Calling it an awful job doesn't go far enough, it's more like dereliction of duty and abdication of responsibility, not that that's news around here.

Anyhow, over the air TV reception has gotten difficult outside of Toronto and a few other large cities or the border areas where you can pull in signals from the United States where the FCC has done a better job at preventing the TV business from becoming consolidated heavily like here.  I have relatives who are elderly who live in London who were upset when they lost access to CBC TV when the analog transmitter was shut down and not replaced a few years ago.  That leaves them with CFPL and a few others they can pull in distantly.  I'd have to ask but I don't think either of them can pull anything in from the US.

In the US, over the air TV is a normal and perfectly acceptable way of distributing and obtaining content.  Here, it's barely provided, begrudgingly, in a limited number of places by a small number of companies of which at least two are publicly on record at the CRTC as not wanting to do it at all, in a regulatory environment that has been designed to maximize the enrichment of Bell, Rogers, and Shaw.  I strongly disagree with legal and regulatory framework that encourages pickpocketing on part of these companies.  And I extremely strongly disagree with the CBC collecting massive subsidy money only to try and discontinue even more service.

SOWNY » Latest Toronto Star Cuts Illustrate Paper’s Hypocrisy » February 16, 2018 1:14 pm

Charlie wrote:

As a Toronto Star subscriber for 35 years, until I canceled last year, I think one of their problems, among many others related to the internet, is the fact that they have effectively shut out 50% of their potential audience.  If you are not a woman, a feminist, or gay, or a recent immigrant, or indigenous, or all of the above, there is precious little in the paper of interest.  Even the sports section has turned into a drum to beat their progressive socialist agenda.  Hey, it's their business, but it doesn't make sense to alienate half the population when you're desperate for eyeballs.

Perhaps most telling, the Toronto Star has taken it so far at times that some people who do count themselves as members of those groups get fed up with it.  One of my friends is gay and he doesn't like it because to him, it feels like the activism was uninvited and taken to an extreme for the goal of selling newspapers.

SOWNY » TV Subcarrier Question: How Many Is Too Many? » February 15, 2018 1:33 pm

Retaw wrote:

You haven't seen it because our industry is controlled by a very small handful of people with no interest in it. Unlike the US, years of media consolidation has left us with no real affiliate system where local stations are operated by companies independent of the network. In Canada, practically all local stations are owned and operated by the networks. In Canada, all but one of our major networks are vertically integrated or directly related to a telecommunications company. Why operate a free digital sub-channel when they can ask you to subscribe to it on cable or use its programming library for an OTT SVOD service? These companies aren't really broadcasters looking to maximize ad revenue. They're telecoms looking to leverage content into a monthly bill. 

Exactly.  Hence the Bell blue jackets or Rogers red jackets that occasionally roam the streets pounding on people's doors or marching down the driveway and barging in on back yard barbecues to ask, "What are you doing for home phone, cell phone, cable, and internet?"  And then try to sell you one of their obscenely priced packages.

Retaw wrote:

In an idealistic world, the CBC would lead the charge and launch a sub-channel since they're allegedly a public broadcaster. A news channel would be out of the question as they make too much from their cable channel. A library documentary channel or a kids channel would suffice, but they probably would want you to directly pay for that. In the real world, the CBC is helping lead the charge in dismantling OTA coverage in Canada, ensuring that the technology has no future.

This one has to be the biggest disappointment.  When CBC started transmitting ATSC, I honestly thought Newsworld and RDI would be on a subcarrier of the English and French networks respectively from the very start.  However many years later, they aren't, and their president Hube

SOWNY » Sam the Record Man sign » December 3, 2017 8:45 pm

Way up indeed!

When I read that the sign was being reinstalled, the working assumption I had was that the reinstallation would be similar to the original, including the elevation, even if it wasn't in the exact original location.  I wasn't expecting way off yonder at the dizzying heights atop a high building.

Hers a throwback to a decade ago. I saw this when I was at Ryerson back in 2007 in the Eyeopener.

I burst out laughing when I hit the last paragraph which is why I remember it to this day.  There's a big hint in the name "Sam The Record Man".  Those aren't spinning black wheels in that sign there, kid...

SOWNY » Is TSN's Motoring TV the next to go? » December 3, 2017 8:30 pm

The embedded advertising has gotten worse over time.

The comments about the decline of content quality reminded me of a conversation I've had a few times. A couple of times over the years when it's been quiet at work, one of the senior guys has asked me if I watch TV at home. My answer has always been no.  I don't have enough spare time to watch TV outside of work when there are so many other things that need to be done or are more interesting to me than what's on TV.  The coworker's said the same thing, and the conversation's always turned to wondering what's likely going to become of our jobs if people keep tuning out.

Times have changed since the 1980s, early 1990s when sitting down in front of the idiot box and vegging out after getting home was the main form of mass entertainment. That run of decades has ended and putting out mediocre-and-getting worse garbage because people are going to watch regardless is over, with the broad range of other things to occupy time that are available now.

SOWNY » Producer’s firing before NHL playoffs hints at Rogers turmoil » April 7, 2016 3:57 pm

According to two sources of mine, the general feeling is that the CBC dodged a bullet on these playoffs by not incurring the production costs in US $ for a series of games likely to produce low ad revenue.

I kind of wonder if the other broadcasters, namely CTV and CBC, are quiet fine with letting Rogers swing in the breeze with the decline in viewership, reduced ad revenue, and greater production costs covering a run of games in the US incurring expenses in US dollars with the exchange rate the way it is now vs. the way it was back when Rogers negotiated the rights deal with the NHL a few years ago.  Is that rights deal denominated in US $ or Canadian?  If it's US, they're getting hit on the exchange rate on their payments to the NHL as well.  Reading the tea leaves, I don't think Rogers is finished with layoffs yet, especially if the other broadcasters aren't willing to consider cutting a deal of some kind.

As for Bell, no thanks.  A couple of years ago at the Plate Voltage fixer-upper, I was in the back yard far, far away from the sidewalk.  A guy and a girl came walking down the driveway and I figured they were going to stuff flyers into the mail box by the side door or something but they must've seen me because they kept on going and joined me in the back yard.  The guy said he was trespassing on my property and that he was from Bell and wanted to know what I was doing for cell phone, land line, internet, and TV.  So I said discount carrier, don't have one, Tek Savvy, and antenna in the attic.  He said he couldn't match my cost structure so he and the girl turned around and left.  The girl was silent throughout it all.  Strange.  I'm not a Bell fan to begin with and I'm even less interested in any company that's going to send sales reps marching deep into my back yard to bother me.

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