Posts Tagged ‘rf’

Shakedown 1998: How the Neighbors of Sutro Tower Held Digital TV Hostage for Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

Friday, July 21st, 2017

[Feel free to boot up (Shakedown) 1979 by the Smashing Pumpkins while you read – that’s the reference.]

Here it is, noble Sutro Tower, beloved symbol of Frisco. The vertical part in the middle is an add-on – it brought / brings digital TV to the Bay Area.

Well, two decades ago it caused consternation to certain (and certainly now) millionaire homeowners of Midtown Terrace, Forrest Knolls and basically the whole Twin Peaks area what’s located in the “fall zone.” (Uh, that’s in quotes due to the fact that this phrase was made up by some area attorney homeowner back in the day. But it’s center of gravity is like 16 underground, so as long as it stays together as a rigid body (and, you know, it probably will – I’m not promising you anything though), I don’t think it can fall down.

Anyway, noble Sutro. I think this is as close as I’ve ever been to it at an altitude higher than the base, if that makes sense:

7J7C6741 copy

So, just as area attorneys (and USF law students) banded together back in the 1970’s to deprive us of our landmark, area attorneys banded together in the 1990’s to fight the relatively minor addition of a 100-foot long metal “auxiliary antenna” for digital TV broadcast.

All this digital antenna fooforall was ably covered by INTERESTED PARTY the San Francisco Chronicle in 1998. And look:

“The 977-foot Sutro Tower is owned by four television stations: KRON, KTVU, KGO and KPIX. KRON is owned by Chronicle Publishing Co., which also controls The Chronicle.” 

Hello! (The writer properly put fall zone in quote marks. Good.)

Obviously the fretful homeowner lawyers were threatening to sue, but also obviously we now have this auxiliary antenna, so how did that happen? Well, Sutro Tower Inc. (STI) had to fork over some cold hard cash:

“STI agrees to contribute:

a. $3,000.00 per year to the Midtown Terrace Home Owners Association. The initial contribution payable prior to December 31, 2008. Subsequent contributions to be made on or before July 1 of each year

b. $4,500.00 one time contribution to the Twin Peaks Improvement Association for an open space improvement project.

c. $6,000.00 one time contribution to the Forrest Knolls Neighborhood Organization to replace the Forrest Knolls entrance sign.

d. $ 10,000.00 one time contribution for the benefit of the surrounding area to purchase two drinking fountains one each at the walking paths around two area reservoirs. The contribution will be payable only when the fountains are approved by the appropriate agencies and actually purchased.”

The big winner? Well it’s gotta be the MTHOA, which gets three grand every year from here to eternity, paid for by Channels 2, 4,* 5, und 7.** All that’s gotta add up to a couple hundred thou eventually.

Read the rest of the agreement if you want. (You don’t hear so much about the RF concerns anymore – I guess people have other things to worry about these days. And what else, a few people were complaining about red and white lead paint chips falling down and landing in the soil a while back. I haven’t heard about that issue lately either.)

On the up side, the people who live there have benefited from some nice middle class welfare over the years such as mortgage interest deductibility, Prop 13, and massive massive home price appreciation since the 1970s / 1990’s, the times when the yammering was going full tilt.

It’s pretty much a happy ending. Play us out, Wiki:

Despite the initial revulsion of some residents, Sutro Tower is now recognized by many as a Bay Area icon, it appears in local art, television shows, and movies as one of the architectural symbols of the city. The tower is featured in video games, business logos, on clothing, as furniture and even tattoos. The U.S. band Information Society used it on the cover of their album Don’t Be Afraid. A local entertainment guide, SF Station, uses it as a logo, as does the collaborative art game SFZero and the Expose SF art competition.”

And Don’t Be Afraid, Midtown. Your tower is 100% Pure Energy. It brings us our Information Society.***

InSoc_DBA_booklet copy

And oh, I just came across this:

Sutro Tower: The Origins of an ‘Eyesore’ By Jessica Placzek

Enjoy.

*Which is no longer owned by the Chronic – it’s master is now Nexstar Media Group.

**I can’t host a Super Bowl party when NBC is doing the broadcast, cause I’m a cutter, a cable cutter since like aught-nine. And no Olympics either. 

***Or Vast Wasteland, your pick. When somebody presses the remote button wrong, the digital TV turns on. Like 16 channels – home shopping network, plus Spanish and Chinese language programs.  

“CTIA -The Wireless Association” Explains Why Its Suing Us Over Gavin Newsom’s “Cell Phone Right-to-Know” Ordinance

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Well, after saying it was going to do so, the cell phone industry is actually suing us.

All the deets are below.

The friendly face of the Cellular Telephone Industries Association, aka CITA, The Wireless Association. This fellow has a big beef with our little town.

CITA Vice President of Public Affairs John Walls

“CTIA-The Wireless Association® Files Challenge to San Francisco’s “Cell Phone Right-to-Know” Ordinance

WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2011 – Today, CTIA-The Wireless Association® asked a federal court to block the enforcement of San Francisco’s “Cell Phone Right-to-Know” ordinance. CTIA’s challenge argues that the Ordinance is barred under the First Amendment and conflicts with federal law governing the safety of wireless devices.

As CTIA explains in its motion, the Ordinance requires retailers to distribute misleading statements and graphics that send the false message that cell phones approved by the FCC are not safe. In fact, the FCC limits radiofrequency emissions from cell phones to ensure that phones sold in the U.S. emit RF energy far below levels shown in scientific testing to have any adverse health effects. The FCC’s standard includes a wide margin of safety for all users. Last year the FDA categorically concluded that there is “No Evidence Linking Cell Phone Use to Risk of Brain Tumors,” and earlier this year the Chairman of the FCC, Julius Genachowski, said that he was “confident that [the FCC’s] standards are protecting the health of people.”

CTIA-The Wireless Association Vice President of Public Affairs John Walls released the following statement:

“The materials the City would require be posted and handed out at retail stores are both alarmist and false. The FCC and FDA have repeatedly found that cell phone use does not pose a danger to human health. The Ordinance recommends such things as turning the phone off when not in use, a suggestion that would render critical emergency communications unavailable to San Francisco residents.”

More deets after the jump

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Does This New Cell Phone Antenna in the NoPA Represent “Blight” or Progress?

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Isn’t it beautiful?

You’ve got the box filled with whatnot mounted on the right side of an exisiting wooden phone pole, the all-important cylindrical antenna up high on the left , and down below you’ve got a soothing sign from Next G complete with a phone number for a real live person, basically a counselor who will talk you down from your anti-technology panic attack.

Hurray!

Click to expand

(Personally, I think that anybody what wants to stop a cell phone antenna from being put wherever an engineer wants to put it should be required to complete an environmental impact report first, you know, so we can calculate the effect of a lack of utility service on the Commonweal.)

Enjoy.

What’s the frequency, Kenneth? Is your Benzedrine, uh-huh
I never understood the frequency, uh-huh

Look What I Got My Sweetie for Valentine’s: A $100 Car Remote Jammer – Now She Can Break Into Cars Easily!

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

The KTVU is all over This New Issue of Concern:

SPECIAL REPORT: Hackers* Turn Car Thieves With Keyless Locks

So, what a $100 handheld 315 Mhz Wireless Remote Key / Security Jammer / Code Scanner can do for you, at the very least, is allow you to prevent some loser’s car from locking up for the night, dig? Then, after watching the pigeon walk away, you can simply open the car doors and trunk and then collect all the sweet sweet booty inside.

Jamming seems a lot simpler than code scanning, non?

Anyway, this is what KTVU is ascared of showing you. From China With Love:

My funny Valentine is delighted – she’s gotten two Kate Spades and $5000 worth of travelers’ checks so far since Feb 14th. Really, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Hurray!

But please remember, “this product is a supplementary tool to unlock, and can only be taken as friends locksmith studies.” So, don’t actually steal anything using this device that’s made exclusively for stealing things.

*Wouldn’t really call somebody who uses a simple jamming device a “hacker,” but that’s just me.

“Note: This product is a supplementary tool to unlock, and can only be taken as friends locksmith studies. Please comply with related laws and regulations.

Detect, receive, copy all kinds of car remote control signals, then command the car as freely as the car’s owner
– Working frequency range: 305~330MHz
– It receives the signal sent by the fixed code anti-theft system, save and copy the master’s remote control signal
– The effective distance is 100 metres
– Save thirty remote control signals
– Decodability chip: PLC fake rolling code(5326), EV1527, PT2262, HT12E, HT6014
– Fit the mostly anti-theft system
– 2.5″ Blue background light LED screen
– 2 * Retractable antennas
– Coverage 50-100 meters
– Powered by 9V 6F22 battery (included) or 9~12V DC input

Don’t Bother Attacking the Installation Workers, SmartMeters are Already Here in San Francisco

Friday, January 21st, 2011

See? Despite what the headlines say, they’re here right now. They’ve been radiating away in town for so long they’re dusty and stuff. And you haven’t died yet, right?

Remember when Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to bend the rules in order to spray you with chemicals from the air in order to fight the Light Brown Apple Moth in order to protect some industry that you don’t give a whit about? Well, that was a different situation, we can talk about that sometime.

But SmartMeters, they can’t hurt you. Yes, even you, even if you are “especially sensitive” to SmartMeters.

So don’t throw yourself in front of the fleet of trucks coming down Lombard or anything. You should allow the installation workers to come onto your propertah, cause, you know, you have nothing to fear.

And if anybody tells you any different, they are, best case scenario, patronizing you

As seen in San Francisco back in 2010, broadcasting your private personal information about how much of the G in PG&E you’ve been using. The ‘lectricity SmartMeters look a little  different:

Jack DAngelo likes:

When they knock on your front door
How you gonna come?
With your hands on your head
Or on the trigger of your gun?

Turns Out that Wireless PG&E SmartMeters WON’T Kill You – Imagine That!

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

If I thought there were a chance in Hell that you could possibly be hurt by microwave RF radiation from a PG&E SmartMeter, I might feel differently about this whole issue.

Anyway, you all wanted a study, so you got a study, right?

As seen on Van Ness:

So, if you want to fight the Battle of New Orleans, be my guest.

But this one is case closed…

Next!

Know Your Area Cell Phone Mini Towers – They’re Just Above Our Heads – The Great NoPA Cylinder on Fulton

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Now the first time I posted about these cell phone box / antenna things mounted on our telephone poles in the Western Addition / Western NoPA, people from Bernal Heights and the Dogpatch wrote in to say, “Like, where’s our box, man?” ‘Cause, you know, they wanted their mobiles to work more better.

Since then, we’ve gotten more phone stuff above our heads transmitting and receiving,* but I don’t know if people are happier now.

Anyway, leave us review the sitch from last year at Fulton and Central and then get an update from this week.

Back in the day, you’d need a big, tall, ugly (or not so ugly) monopole tower reaching up to the heavens to get your cell phone to work. But these days, cellie transmitters are mounted just above your heads, just like this one recently installed on Fulton Street in the Western AdditionNOPA area.

Click to expand:

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These new-school transceivers that our corporate overlords at AT&T and T Mobile have seen fit to use rely heavily upon fiber optic cables. And That’s A Good Thing, per NextG Networks, which adores these things.

See their sign? It’s alarming and reassuring at the same time. Go ahead and call them up, they’ll answer. I don’t think they really want you to call them over there (I think it’s Delaware or someplace) but they’d prefer that you give them a ring if you’re totally freaking out or something. The last thing they want is you starting a new NIMBY group:

IMG_7722 copy

[Nitpick Mode=ON] NB NextG: The plural of antenna is “antennas,” not “antennae, unless we’re talking bugs, which we aren’t. [Nitpick Mode=OFF]

(I don’t know how people are supposed to read the fine print on these signs if they’re mounted so high.)

And here’s the mise-en-scene with a recent photo from the boys at Google (I’ve never seen a woman driving a Google Maps car, wonder why…) Can you see the white warning sign and then the gray PowerWave box down low? Well that box is connected to the Giant Beige Cylinder of Death jutting out over the street. See how somebody took care to make sure it didn’t get blocked too much by the building on the corner? And NIMBYs, how would you like to open your third floor bedroom window only to see a GBCOD antenna hard at work?

Say hello to my little friend. Didn’t know what this thing was at first, but, in context, it can only be an antenna. This is new part, I’ve figured out where / what the antenna is – hadn’t noticed it before…

But are we safe what with all that RF floating around? I don’t know. Probably. Do the NIMBYs know about all these boxes and antennas being mounted on existing telephone poles? I don’t know, probably not.

All right, that’s it, including the update.

If you’re fretful, see you after the jump for ever more deets.

What’s the frequency, Kenneth? Is your Benzedrine, uh-huh
I never understood the frequency, uh-huh

*Were these bits from SF Weekly supposed to be funny? I generally get this kind of humor, but the whole SFW series about the SFBG’s cellie towers seemed a bit on the petulant side.

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PG&E is Going All Out to Get You to Loooooove SmartMeters – Testing Old Meters Side-By-Side

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

I’m not exactly sure what you people are worried about with the new SmartMeters from our corporate overlords at Pigs, Giraffes, and Elephants. One issue is radiation. Really? Can a frequency make you sick?

“Hart says the electromagnetic frequency, the EMF, which is used to remotely send information from the SmartMeter on the side of your home to PG&E can make people sick.”

I don’t think so, pardner. Anyway, concerns persist over the electromagnetic fields surrounding these rigs. So, PG&E is taking steps today to make sure you get all the paliative cliches you can handle. Read all about what they’re going to do after the jump.

Now, the other issue people seem to have is meter accuracy. So, get ready for the Old vs. New side-by-side test results.

Some Californians have two meters metering just to prove that SmartMeters work:

Seems pretty close to me but, as always, You Make The Call:

Data ending 8/10/2010
Data ending 8/3/2010
Data ending 7/27/2010
Data ending 7/20/2010
View results archive

All right, all the deets of SmartMeter Best Practices after the jump. 

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The Empire Strikes Back: Cellular Telephone Industries Association Sues S.F. Over Cell Phone Law

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

San Francisco’s recently-passed Cell Phone Right-to-Know” ordinance is now officially under attack from Big Wireless.

First the CITA convention boycott of the 415 and now this. Oh well.

The friendly face of the Cellular Telephone Industries Association, aka CITA, The Wireless Association. This fellow has a big beef with our little town:

CITA Vice President of Public Affairs John Walls

His message, in so many words: I mo sue you.

But first, let’s hear from San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Via Chief Deputy Communications Director Francis Tsang comes this:

MAYOR GAVIN NEWSOM’S STATEMENT ON CTIA LEGAL CHALLENGE AGAINST SAN FRANCISCO’S CELL PHONE DISCLOSURE LEGISLATION

Mayor Gavin Newsom today issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit by the Cellular Telephone Industries Association (CTIA) to block enforcement of San Francisco’s cell phone disclosure ordinance:

“I am disappointed that the association representing the wireless communication industry has decided to challenge our landmark consumer information law in court.  

This law is not an attack on the wireless industry or their products.  San Francisco is proud to be a magnet for technological innovation and an early adopter of cutting-edge communications devices.  This is a modest, common sense measure which merely takes information already made available by these companies and makes it more accessible and easier to find by the point-of-sale consumer.

I am surprised that industry representatives would choose to spend untold sums of money to fight this in the courts, instead of cooperatively working with San Francisco to comply with a reasonable law that provides greater transparency and information without putting any undue burdens on small businesses or discourage cell phone use in any way.”

O.K. then. Now, all the deets from CITA:

CTIA-The Wireless Association® Filed Lawsuit Against San Francisco for the So-Called ‘Cell Phone Right-to-Know’ Ordinance

WASHINGTON, July 23 /– Today, CTIA-The Wireless Association® filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court Northern District of California San Francisco Division to block enforcement of the San Francisco “Cell Phone Right-to-Know” ordinance. The ordinance challenges the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) determination that all FCC-compliant wireless handsets are safe by mandating that retailers post Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) values. The ordinance misleads consumers by creating the false impression that the FCC’s standards are insufficient and that some phones are “safer” than others based on their radiofrequency (RF) emissions.

All phones sold legally in the United States must comply with the FCC’s safety standards for RF emissions. According to the FCC, its standards limit RF exposures well below the level where RF emissions are potentially harmful and thus all wireless phones are safe as measured by these standards. The scientific evidence does not support point-of-sale requirements that would suggest some compliant phones are “safer” than other compliant phones based on their RF exposure test results. San Francisco’s attempt to regulate the sale of wireless handsets improperly intrudes upon the FCC’s exclusive and comprehensive regulation of the safety of wireless handsets. The ordinance is thus not only scientifically unsupported, it violates the Supremacy Clause in Article VI of the United States Constitution and must be stricken.

Ever more deets, after the jump

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Are We Now Supposed to Worry About Radiation from PG&E SmartMeters?

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

This was the scene today at Van Ness and McAllister (where a passing San Francisco Supervisor went out of his/her way to state that he/she was not involved). It was the great anti-PG&E, anti-SmartMeter protest at the California Public Utilities Commission.

Anyway, the answer is this:

No, don’t worry about RF radiation from Smart Meters.

Worry about something else if you want, though. Be my guest.   

Nice sign, but…

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