Archives for September 2008

drm drm, drm drm... who's calling?

Dan Damon Dan Damon | 14:06 UK time, Thursday, 18 September 2008

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The BBC has done a deal with the German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle that could change the way you listen to the World Service, but has got very little attention so far.

It's called DRM and it is a digital form of shortwave. DRM means the long range signals of BBC World Service output can be turned into much better quality, using the shortwave transmitter network that until now has only been able to put out that fading, shashy signal that we travellers to remote regions grew to know and love.

(I remember being stuck in a police office in western Iran with a bunch of other foreign journalists during a refugee crisis we were all trying to investigate and being the only one whose shortwave radio could pick up a WS signal - imagine how popular I was!)

With DRM the sound quality for speech is almost as good as FM.

The problem has been that you need to buy a new radio to receive DRM and so far they are very expensive - the cheapest I've seen is around $300.

Details are awaited but it looks like the Deutsche Welle deal will increase the content which will improve the takeup which should bring down the price.

Friend Cloud

Dan Damon Dan Damon | 08:25 UK time, Wednesday, 10 September 2008

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What will we do when we know everything?

I've asked myself that question for a while now, as I discover more ways of getting instant information from my phone (which is really a computer with a phone in it somewhere - it even has a pop-out keyboard).

There are few excuses now for wrong spelling, poor research or even forgetfulness when you can hit a few keys on your phone and get the answer that was eluding you.

Can't be long before you're connected to your own personal search engine, with your memories and plans stored on a server somewhere.

And your friends will be wired too - their phones will be linked to your phone, with pictures of course, and GPS co-ordinates so you'll know where you all are.

You'll be in a cloud of friends. Looking forward to that?

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