Tag

Corporate America

2008: The Year Of Green?

By business, environmental issues

So it’s Earth Day. I remember Earth Day coming around years ago and nobody really made a big deal about it. Well, I’m happy to say that’s really changed. 2008 is looking like it will go down in the books as “The Year Of Green” or something to that effect when we look back on it in the next decade or so. The whole eco-friendly thing is finally starting to catch on.

Everywhere you look, there are environmental themes. NBC has done a ton of things to get the public on board with their “Green Is Universal” campaign. This week, in fact, is “Green Week.” All of their shows have environmental themes, including sitcoms. I applaud them for all of their work. I’ve said this before, but I’ll repeat it again because it’s so true. Corporate America has a tremendous amount of influence on our lives. They’re extremely powerful, and they can use that power either positively or negatively. The kind of positive energy NBC is exuding is what we need across the board.

Tomorrow, in one of my Green Wednesday weekly posts, I’ll the corporate heavyweights and their efforts more in depth. We’re making big steps in the right direction, but there’s so much more we need to do on both individual and international levels if we want to stop global warming before we’re at the point of no return, which experts on the subject claim is only about a decade away.

The DTV Switchover Scam: Don’t Get Taken!

By business, news, opinion, rants, sarcasm, technology

You’ve probably seen those not-so-creative TV advertisements the National Association Of Broadcasters has put out in an effort to scare inform the general public about how their TVs will no longer work after February 17, 2009. Why? The federal government has mandated that all over-the-air stations turn off their analog signals by that date. The government has auctioned off the analog spectrum to private companies. For more on this, see my post, “AT&T To Bring Free Wi-Fi To Starbucks And Beyond!” where you can learn more about the plans.

Anyway, leave it to Corporate America to capitalize on consumer confusion and take advantage of all of the many people who don’t know anything about what’s really going on with the digital switchover.

Oh, before I go any further, please notice the picture on the left. I added my own caption commentary, but the picture is for real. It’s on the joke-of-a-website DTVAnswers.com. Lets have a moment of honesty and self-reflection here. Do you or anyone you know watch TV like this? Unless they just gambled their life savings on a horse race and just won, there is no way they could be this scary-happy without hard drugs. But I digress.

These TV ads are putting many people in a frenzy. My friend’s family just replaced every TV in their house because they thought without a new TV, each with a digital box connected to it, they wouldn’t be able to watch TV anymore. They already had Comcast standard cable, but they thought they needed both new TVs and to upgrade to Comcast’s digital package (hence the digital boxes) to receive programming. Comcast’s boxes and the ones the government is offering are completely different! The cable industry is raking in the big bucks this year because of misinformed people such as this family.

My grandparents recently got a second digital box from Comcast for their second TV because of the same confusion. I know there must be countless other individuals doing the same thing and flushing money down the tubes to these companies who are using shady advertising tactics to trick consumers. Don’t get screwed over by the cable industry. Here are the cold, hard facts.

If you’re one of the diminishing number of people who uses “rabbit ears” to pick up local broadcast stations and have a TV that’s more than a couple of years old, you won’t be able to pick up the signal after February 17, 2009, without a digital set-top converter box (available free or at a discount rate from the government). If you have cable from any provider at all, such as Comcast or Verizon, you don’t have to do anything. You’re not affected in any way, shape, or form, and don’t let them convince you otherwise.

The government isn’t very clear about who’s affected either. Is this Bush’s backdoor plan to help the economy by helping manufacturers selling millions of dollars TVs and related equipment and the cable and satellite industry make record profits? Okay, probably not. But that is what’s happening in these industries. Don’t get taken!