The High-Tech Texan Blog

Friday, February 20, 2009

Big Week, Bigger Weekend, Huge Upcoming Schedule

The digital TV conversion did not happen as planned this week, Facebook went nuts on its Terms of Service and backed down to public backlash and my work schedule is about to get a lot busier.

First, here is the video from the on-air marriage proposal we did last week on my show. At last check, my cousin Daniel Schwartz and his fiance Perelle Solomon are still engaged. That's always good news.

We are debuting a new videoconferencing partner on my show this Saturday. omNovia will provide the interactive service that allows you to log on, watch and participate during my radio show. Fire up your webcam as you will be able to see us and we can see you for a unique perspective that brings people and content together. This Houston-based company does a great job of webinars and more. LOG ON HERE FOR THE LIVE VIDEOCONFERENCE DURING MY SHOW - SATURDAYS, 11a-2p CDT.

And speaking of my Saturday show, my 3-hour work week will soon be expanding to a whopping 13 hours. The 9-5-0 announced changes this week to its lineup and your boy will soon be hosting a weekday 9a-11a show.

It will be issue-driven like most daily talk shows - but oh so different. We start at 9am when most people arrive at their offices so business, economy and financial news will certainly be covered. "Local" will always lead so the current Stanford Financial Group news would be an example of Topic A. We'll also keep an eye on the stock market throughout the show (depending if the market is in positive numbers by our start date!).

I am not abandoning technology topics though the discussions will focus on larger stories like the recent Facebook flap. My Saturday show will still be the main outlet for technology Q&A.

Feel free to contribute your thoughts as we put together the show theme. We want you tuning in each morning from your office, car and/or home.

See you on the radio.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Continental Airlines Bringing Live TV To Your Seat

It has been over one year since Continental Airlines released information about their plan for live in-flight TV service. I fly Continental regularly and have yet to be able to tune into a live sporting event or Wheel of Fortune.

But stand by (or actually sit down and lower your tray table)...I just received this photo of the first Continental plane fitted and being tested with the new DirecTV service.

No date announced yet for the rollout by OnePass frequent fliers are anxiously waiting.

Labels: ,

Friday, February 13, 2009

Live from Reliant Center this Saturday

It's VDay and there should be no better place to be than to roam the cavernous halls of the Reliant Center, right? If you don't have a life then come join me and The 9-5-0 broadcast team for a live one from the Texas Home and Garden Show.

We'll have giveaways - including the famous TrimmerGuard device. Also lots of interactive discussion about online dating sites - has it worked it for you or someone you know? Horror stories? We need to hear them.

Microsoft opening retail stores (bad idea). A new Kindle book reader from Amazon (still don't need it). A $250k bounty if you can find the Conficker virus author (it was my brother-in-law!).

And a verrrrry special way to end the show tomorrow. Tune in from 11a-2p but make sure you are around the dial for atleast the last few minutes. Radio history....

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: House Passes Bill To Delay Digital TV Switch

The House voted today 264-158 to delay the analog TV shutdown until June 12. This comes one week after the Senate voted to delay the switch (see blog entry below) originally scheduled for February 17.

The bill now goes to President Obama for his approval which he should sign-off on quickly. Given the economic situation the Obama administration believes the digital TV transition should be the last thing on legislators' to-do lists.

Consumers who rely on traditional over-the-air broadcasts will need to upgrade to a pay TV service such as cable or satellite, use a TV with a digital tuner or buy a converter box for their older analog television sets.

Still be resolved is the funding needed for more coupons to help consumers offset the cost of converter boxes. That issue will likely be considered as part of the economic stimulus legislation.

This decision is not unexpected - atleast by me - as the signs of trouble were there: the coupon subsidy program was running out of money, waiting lists were growing, and not enough public education in general was being done about the transition, the coupon program or how to hook up the converter boxes, which some have found troublesome.

I began talking about this transition on my radio show for over a year. The buzz with my listeners did not pick up steam until late Fall 2008. Recent polls by Nielson Co. shows over 6.5 million households are not ready for the transition which apparently freaked out members of Congress.

My initial thoughts...
  • No matter when this switch takes place, 100% of the country will never be in ready
  • Just like people wait until April 14 to being their taxes, I believe people were procrastinating until the drop-dead date was upon them
  • The $40 coupon for converter boxes was a bad idea in the first place. The reason converter boxes retail for $40-$80 are because manufacturers knew there would be coupons offered. Had the government not issued coupons these boxes probably could have been priced around $15-$25.

Stay tuned (ha ha) for much more on this...