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Slaying Dragons #17 – The Oldest Technology

28/11/2018 |

We tend to think of digital recording and information technology as something modern, whereas John Watkinson argues that nothing could be further from the truth. In order to see my point, we need to go back in two ways; back to the foundations of information theory and back before rock and roll, to the beginning…

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Slaying Dragons #16 – Information Theory

20/10/2018 |

We are told we live in an information society. John Watkinson wonders how we recognize information when we see it. Dig deep enough, and everything is digital. Our DNA uses quaternary coding in discrete symbols. Atoms consist of discrete particles. Quantum mechanics teaches us about discrete packets of energy. Electrons are discrete and so on.…

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Slaying Dragons #15 – The Aperture Effect

17/09/2018 |

John Watkinson looks at the aperture effect and finds that it crops up in a surprising number of places. One way of considering the aperture effect is that it is nature’s way of pointing out how non-ideal our efforts are. The ubiquity of the aperture effect underlines that next to nothing is ideal. An aperture…

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Slaying Dragons #14 – Digital Deflation

02/09/2018 |

John Watkinson considers deflation in the digital world. Since the economic crash of 2008 it has become clear that it was not a temporary event, but a correction whose results would be near permanent. Corrections take place when the wrong road has been taken for too long. In this case the wrong road was excessive…

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OFCOM – PMSE clearing the 700 MHz ban

24/08/2018 |

The Ofcom statement for PMSE equipment owner support has been published: View or Download pdf There are a number of key changes to the consultation version following responses from stakeholders, including: The minimum amount a user will receive is 60% of the estimated replacement cost for a piece of equipment, this has increased from 47%.…

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Slaying Dragons #13 – What is Science?

02/08/2018 |

I got to thinking about science, and how much better my life has been because of it; how much better things work. Yet I realise that I am in a minority and that we don’t live in a scientific world. Am I a scientist? Frankly no; that word doesn’t describe me. My life is not…

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PMSE Clearance from 700MHz Band by May 2020

12/07/2018 |

At the July meeting of the DTG PMSE Implementation Group we received an update from the OFCOM representative who stated that they (OFCOM) were still waiting for a statement from the government (DCMS) on the subject and not until they had received that could they then publish the methodology and the replacement funding policy for…

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Slaying Dragons #12 – Is Digital Automatically Wonderful?

16/05/2018 |

John Watkinson wonders whether digital is automatically wonderful. I have lived long enough to have seen the so called digital revolution take place, not just in audio but in life. In one sense I feel very fortunate to have lived through that era and to have made a living documenting it. Being in the right…

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Slaying Dragons #11 – Computer and Network Security

03/04/2018 |

John Watkinson wonders about computer and network security A long time ago when Pontius was still training to be a pilot, it was possible to consider audio as a separate topic. Today such a separation is impossible. Audio is just another form of information that can be conveyed over some network or other and we…

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Slaying Dragons #10 – A Fan of Analog

12/02/2018 |

John Watkinson is a big fan of analog audio. An analog is a phenomenon that behaves similarly to another. In speech we have similes and education is full of parallels. Whilst a painting or a sculpture can last thousands of years, in audio we have a problem that sound cannot be preserved at all in…

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