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Senate Votes To Turn Down Volume On TV Commercials 625

Hugh Pickens writes "Ever since television caught on in the 1950s, the FCC has been getting complaints about blaring commercials but concluded in 1984 there was no fair way to write regulations controlling the 'apparent loudness' of commercials. Now the AP reports that the Senate has unanimously passed a bill to require television stations and cable companies to keep commercials at the same volume as the programs they interrupt using industry guidelines on how to process, measure and transmit audio in a uniform way. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), a co-sponsor, says it's time to stop the use of loud commercials to startle viewers into paying attention. 'TV viewers should be able to watch their favorite programs without fear of losing their hearing when the show goes to a commercial.' The House has already passed similar legislation, so before the new measure becomes law, minor differences between the two versions have to be worked out when Congress returns to Washington after the November 2 election."
Wireless Networking

FCC White Space Rules Favor Tech Industry 135

holy_calamity writes "The FCC has come to a decision on the rules governing devices that make use of the unlicensed wireless spectrum between TV stations, with commissioner Genachowski trumpeting a new era of 'super Wi-Fi.' Most crucially, the FCC dropped the requirement that devices sense TV and wireless microphone signals. Instead, they can geolocate and use an online database to learn which white spaces are available in their area. That makes tech firms happy because it provides a software-centric alternative to developing complex new sensing hardware."

All power corrupts, but we need electricity.