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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Prediction followup: Score One for FARf!

On New Year’s Eve, I posted my Predications for 2009. Looks like I got one of them partially right anyway: Congress just voted to postpone the digital TV cutover.

The automakers have two more months to admit they’re failing. I hope I’m wrong about that one.


  1. I can't believe they posponed the Digital switch, I guess 3 years notice when the economy was good, wasn't enough? Like 4 more months are going help, if some people haven't switched yet, the they're not going to be ready in 4 months anyhow. LOL :)


  2. Remember, bro: God forbid that people miss Wheel of Fortune! One. Single. Episode. This was actually quite predictable: you can let a major city drown, you can let the economy go to hell in a handbasket, but you CANNOT allow people to not have TV.

    If you go back to my predictions post, you'll see that it might come down to local TV stations passing out boxes to get 'er done. I'm sticking by that one for now.

  3. Far, the other cannot-miss show would have to be “American Idle” (sp).

    Amusingly, I've run into plenty of people who were not even aware of the pending digital changeover until just hearing about the recent postponement of the switch. Did the authorities fail to circulate PSA's that at least mentioned the switch?

    Err, about the domestic UPL auto companies .. they will continue to fail and they will continue to be bailed out. It's that simple. We may as well consider them to be on permanent life support from now on. A couple times a year we'll throw billions of dollars their way, and every time it will go down the BAU tubes to be vaporized in Rick Wagoner's executive “compensation” (LOL does he drive a Compensator 9000?) or in making even newer, bigger SUVs that don't sell. GM is effectively a state-owned enterprise from here out.

    Good job on predictions :)

  4. Gee, I'm gonna have to get another digital tv before they make the switch. Gee, talk about getting ahead of the curve........

  5. Boran, I've never had good results with stocks (especially lately). I've toyed with the idea of buying some Microslobber stock just so it would crater some more. ;-)

    Nudge, good point about AI. I refer to the regular watchers (including Mrs. Fetched) as "idolators." I don't know if they're doing anything to get the word out in your area, but it seems like every time I glance at the TV I see a reminder "only xx days until the digital switchover." Now that the deadline has been extended, I'm not sure what the local stations will do… none of them are obligated to keep broadcasting their analog signal, but it's always been about maximizing eyeballs.

    As for the auto industry, I'm thinking it's going to become obvious that no amount of bailout is going to help them continue BAU. What happens then is anybody's guess, but my own guess will appear in an upcoming FAR Future episode, about five or six weeks from now.

    Yooper, another one? Did you throw the old one out the window or something? I don't know about you, but in the Atlanta area, we get a bunch more stuff — including something useful like a weather channel, Univision (futbol! goooooooooal! Mrs. Fetched got hooked on soccer during the World Cup), and a bunch more public broadcasting feeds — and not-so useful stuff like a set of Korean channels.

  6. Gee, IO'm sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for the auto company prediction on FarFuture. ha! Oh, yeah, more about the "road train" would be nice too! ha!

    Gee, you know how it is up here. We're lucky not to have to climb a pole to make a phone call up here, like "Green Acres". What do we get? Five channels that come over the air? Two of them Canadian (at least we do get a different slant on MSM news!).

  7. FAR, sorry I was unclear in the prognostications about the auto companies. They will practice a strange form of BAU: bailout monies will continue to flow, executives will continue to earn bonuses, vehicles will continue to be designed, etc, yet very likely the manufacturing (if there is to be any) will happen in other places, most likely China & India. It will be a car company in all ways except the actual manufacturing of cars. And it will stay firmly affixed to the government teat from now on.

    Can anyone imagine how well that lead-balloon milliVolt is going to fly once it appears on the market at 2x the cost of a Prius and half the EV-only range of a HyMotion-modified Prius? Best. Vaporware. Ever.

  8. Hey all!

    Yooper, the RoadTrain is just there in the background of those who live where rail doesn't go. Have you ever seen those articulated buses? Add some more segments, replace the diesel powertrain with diesel-electric, or perhaps biofuel-electric, include some smarts to keep all the segments in a lane, and that's a RoadTrain. I think they could be built with current technology, frankly… kind of like the Auto-Sail freighters I chirped about back in Episode 26 (the latter might need a few more advances in materials science though).

    BTW, is that "five channels" analog or digital? If it's analog, you might find that those five become ten or more in the digital version.

    Nudge, I'm a little more sanguine about the bailout monies… there's already pushback with regard to bank-bailout compensation, and it's only getting bigger. As for the mV, you need to compare apples to apples… how much does it cost compared to the modified Prius? Yeah, I think those electric cars are way too expensive, but (given the chance) things may improve over time. I would absolutely need a 100-mile version in my present situation, but I'm probably in like the 95th percentile (or 5th, depending on how you want to look at it). Most people, once they understand how they drive, would probably be fine with a 50-mile version… which might follow the inverse-square law and thus the powertrain would cost 1/4 of the 100-mile'r.


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