Will Televisions of the Future Be Smart or Dumb?

Here’s an unexpected news item: LG Electronics has purchased webOS from Hewlett Packard. webOS was a potentially revolutionary operating system originally developed by Palm but largely ignored by Hewlett Packard even after spending $1.2 billion to acquire it. As part of the deal, LG is also taking over Open webOS, the open-source version of webOS that Hewlett Packard released but also mostly ignored.

The other surprise is that LG is not planning to use webOS on smartphones (of which it has several), but on its televisions that use “next generation Smart TV technology.” Skott Ahn, the LG president, stated in a press release:

How Internet Radio is Replacing Shortwave

Last Friday, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the South Island of New Zealand about 19 miles west of Christchurch. Fortunately, no one was killed although there was quite a bit of damage. The earthquake, which hit at 4:35 AM local time, moved the ground up to 11 feet along the fault line. 75% of homes in Christchurch were left without electricity and the water supply was cut off. Aftershocks with a magnitude as high as 5.4 continue to hit the area.

The initial reports on domestic radio were pretty sketchy. In years past, I would have turned to shortwave for further information. Propagation would have limited my choices, but Radio Australia and the BBC World Service would have been good choices during the day and Radio New Zealand International at night.

Speed Limit on the Autobahn

The German state of Bremen has implemented a speed limit on the Autobahn. The speed limit applies to only six kilometers (3.7 miles) of the highway, all within Bremen. The speed limit is 120 kilometers per hour (about 75 miles per hour).

Many people want to impose a speed limit on the entire Autobahn, both for safety and environmental reasons. In most countries, I don’t think a speed limit would be an issue, but it is very controversial in Germany. Interestingly, the public seems to be evenly split on the idea. I suspect that they would have been heavily opposed just a few years ago.

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