Sunday, December 31, 2006

WCS Coalition Opposes Sirius' 30 Day Request to Operate Repeater

It was reported earlier that the WCS Coalition had opposed Sirius' 180 day request to operate a replacement repeater for the one formerly located at the StarDust Hotel in Las Vegas. Recently, its opposition to Sirius' second 30 day request surfaced on the FCC International Bureau website. It takes a while before the Ex Parte filings make their way to public access. Many of the filings appear on the WCA website well before they ever appear at the International Bureau. This particular one did not appear on the WCA website.

The Coalition opposes Sirius' request on the grounds that Sirius did not demonstrate extraordinary circumstances or that it was in the public interest. And, of course, they object to it being above 2,000 EIRP and complain because Sirius did not specify whether it was peak or average, even though they are required to specify it as peak. The Coalition also objects by trying to paint this as a new repeater, not a replacement, saying that Sirius already has permission to operate a repeater at the StarDust Hotel. Oh, and once again, the Coalition points out that the FCC made an error in granting Sirius' first 30 day request (good to see that they know the FCC's business better than the FCC itself...NOT). It describes Sirius' omission of why they can't simply deploy several repeaters operating at or below 2,000 EIRP as startling.

First of all, it must be recognized that there are NO WCS operations with which the repeater could possibly interfere. Nor will any WCS operator build anything in the next 30 days. And if the impossible were to occur, the repeater would be operated on a non-interference basis, so Sirius would have to take action if any interference did occur. Seeing that they haven't built anything out in the last ten years, they aren't likely to do anything in the next 30 days.

As for extraordinary circumstances, the Hotel is being razed to the ground and Sirius was requested to remove the repeater by December 15, 2006. If this is not an extraordinary circumstance, we implore the Coalition to tell us what they consider extraordinary. It is doubtful that if Nevada were to fall into the ocean due to an earthquake that this would be considered extraordinary. The Coalition is being disingenious here. They say that Sirius already has permission to operate a repeater at the StarDust Hotel and they don't need a new repeater, even though they know the Hotel will soon be destroyed. The Coalition played this game with XM as well. There were minor differences in the locations where repeaters were originally approved. It's response was that XM could simply relocate its repeaters to the original location, completely ignoring the fact that the differences reported were due to typos, towers being destroyed, leases running out, etc. It is a silly argument and they know it. As far as the public interest goes, being able to receive the entertainment, Amber alerts, traffic information, etc., certainly out-weighs any theoretical inferfence with non-existant WCS operations.

It is a replacement repeater, pure and simple, and the FCC should recognize it as such, just as they did for the first application. It is in no way a new repeater. There is NO reason why Sirius should have to go to the extraordinary circumstance of replacing one repeater already approved by the FCC with 8 or 9 repeaters or more just to avoid theoretical interference with non-existant operations for the next 30 days.

As far as wheter it is average or peak power, the FCC should recognize this argument for what it is--stupidity and/or ignorance.

We think that the FCC should show that it knows its business quite well and should grant Sirius' second request as expediously as it did the first request.


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Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Little Too Close

Here is a trademark that is a little too close to the XM trademark, plus it references satellite radio in the application. The company is named NemeriX. The trademark application is scheduled to be published for opposition on January 09, 2007. It would be surprising if XM does not oppose it.












Word Mark X

Goods and Services IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: Scientific, nautical, surveying, measuring, signaling, checking, supervision and life-saving apparatus and instruments, namely, a global positioning system for mapping, tracking and determining locations, distances, directions and routes; global positioning systems, namely, apparatus and instruments for global positioning via satellite; apparatus and instruments for finding directions or places for vehicles, vehicle operators, and pedestrians, namely, global navigation satellite system apparatus and instruments and satellite radio localization apparatus and instruments; chips, namely, integrated circuits for global positioning via satellite; semiconductors for global positioning via satellite; central processing units for global positioning via satellite; data processors and computers for global positioning via satellite; and computer software for global positioning via satellite

IC 042. US 100 101. G & S: Scientific research; technological research in the field of electronic devices, apparatus and instruments for global positioning via satellite, apparatus and instruments for finding directions or places, radio frequency technology, signal processing and chips, namely, integrated circuits; development of new products for third parties relating to electronic devices, apparatus and instruments for global positioning via satellite, apparatus and instruments for finding directions or places, radio frequency technology, signal processing and chips, namely, integrated circuits for global positioning via satellite; and design and development of computers and software in the field of global positioning via satellite for others

Mark Drawing Code (5) WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS IN STYLIZED FORM

Design Search Code

Serial Number 79021920

Filing Date February 9, 2006

Current Filing Basis 66A

Original Filing Basis 66A

Published for Opposition January 9, 2007

International Registration Number 0880020

Owner (APPLICANT) NemeriX SA Société anonyme SWITZERLAND Via Pobiette Stabile Gerre 2000 B CH-6928 Manno SWITZERLAND

Priority Date August 29, 2005

Description of Mark The color blue is claimed as a feature of the mark. The mark consists of the letter "x" entirely in blue.

Type of Mark TRADEMARK. SERVICE MARK

Register PRINCIPAL

Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

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Napster Opposes Snapster

As reported here on October 18, 2006, Rasprodz filed for a trademark for the "Snapster" logo. The trademark application references satellite radio several times. As we speculated when the application first appeared, Napster plans to oppose the "Snapster" registration. Napster recently filed for an extension to oppose the application. The extension was granted. There is too much room for confusion between the two. Napster will have a good case against Rasprodz.

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Friday, December 29, 2006

AT&T/BellSouth Make Additional Commitments

Yesterday, ATT/BellSouth, made additional commitments to the FCC in order to placate all those that oppose the merger of the two companies. There are all kind of goodies in there including stand-alone 768 Kbps broadband service for $19.95/month.

It will also give up its 2.5 GHz spectrum as part of the deal. However, they will be keeping the 2.3 GHz spectrum (WCS) surrounding the satellite radio providers. That means the AT&T/BellSouth behemoth will be bullying XM and Sirius for some time to come.

By July 21, 2010, ATT/BellSouth agrees to: (1) offer service in the 2.3 GHz band to 25% of the population in the service area of ATT/BellSouth's wireless communications services (WCS) licenses, for mobile or fixed point-to-multi-point services, or (2) construct at least five permanent links per one million people in the service area of ATT/BellSouth's WCS licenses, for fixed point-to-point services. In the event ATT/BellSouth fails to meet either of these service requirements, ATT/BellSouth will forfeit the unconstructed portion of the individual WCS licenses for which it did not meet either of the service requirements as of July 21, 201o; provided, however, that in the event the Commission extends the July 21, 2010, buildout date for 2.3 GHz service for the WCS industry at large ("Extended Date"), the 2010 buildout date specified herein shall be modified to conform to the Extended Date. The wireless commitments set forth above do not apply to any 2.3 GHz Wireless spectrum held by ATT/BellSouth in the state of Alaska.

XM and Sirius missed an opportunity to extract concessions out of the merger arrangement. We think they could have made some legitimate points in having AT&T/BellSouth divest themselves of the WCS licenses. Many of these licenses were originally held by much smaller players. Now it is mostly in the hands of AT&T/BellSouth and NextWave Broadband, the smaller players being pushed out. If nothing else, they could return the favor that AT&T/BellSouth has given them through their constant nit-piking via the WCS Coalition. Perhaps it is not too late.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

XM Receives Grant of Authority to Relocate and Operate Repeater

Today, December 28, 2006, XM received the Grant of Authority to relocate and operate its repeater formerly located at the StarDust Hotel is Las Vegas for 30 days. XM needs this for the upcoming CES.

It was reported here yesterday that the WCS Coalition had consented to XM's request. The FCC acted on the Coalitions consent today.

Sirius made a similar request, which was quickly granted the first time around. After complaints from the Coalition, the FCC has held up granting the second 30 day request. The issue with Sirius' repeater is that it operates above the 2,000 Watt EIRP limit, above which the Coalition claims could cause interference with a WCS operation--that is if there were such an operation.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

OT: EchoStar to Launch 10 New Satellites

A few days ago, December 22, 2006, EchoStar filed several applications for the authority to launch and operate 10 new Direct Broadcast Satellites (DBS) in geostationary orbits using the 17/24 GHz Broadcast Satellite Service (BSS) frequency bands ("DBS Expansion Band"). This will double the number of satellites currently operated by EchoStar. The additional satellites will be used to provide "high-definition television ("HDTV"), local channels, and a wider variety of entertainment, education, informational and ethnic programming."

The system will be technically cable of serving Alaska and Hawaii. Some of the capacity will also serve Canada and Mexico.

The first satellite will be constructed within four years of the grant of the application and the entire system will be operational within six. The total estimated cost to construct, launch, insure, and operate the first year is $285-365 million for each satellite.

See technical specifications for EX-10 here. Note: manufacturer has not been selected, so there aren't many details yet.

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New Experimental License for an FM and AM Transmitter

A group filed for an experimental license today to broadcast emergency messages to passing cars across the entire FM and AM dial at distances of 500-600 feet. Not only that, they feel that they should be fee exempt. You won't believe the excuse they used. Just when you thought you had heard them all ... Perhaps XM and Sirius should have tried this one:

We strongly feel we should be considered to be fee exempt because we are sixth graders experimenting on a Christopher Columbus Foundation Experiment. We are trying to provide this as a service project to our community.

One can't argue with the justification for the the experiment:

We need this license before we can do any type of experimentation with our project.

NAB no doubt will object and will file dozens of complaints with the FCC.

On a more serious note, the experiment is described as follows:

We are attempting an experiment that requires an STA because it will be using radio waves. This experiment will brodcast an emergency message over the surrounding vehicles radios while an emergency vehicles sirens and lights are activated. This message will be transmitted approximately 500-600 feet. In our studies of our community, we have found that many people are unable to hear an emergency vehicle approaching due to the fact that the vehicles radio is being played too loudly. In our studies we have also found that inclement weather and cooler/colder temperatures lead to a decreased ability to hear because the vehicles windows are shut and the radio is activated. Through this experiment, we are hoping to better alleviate this problem.

The purpose of the experiment is given as:

We are entering an exhibit to the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation for a 2008 Christopher Columbus Award. We are going to be building a radio transmitter to transmit a message that states An emergency vehicle is approaching, please pull over to the right side of the road. We will also be enhancing our communitys safety through this experiment.

The experiment is being conducted by three sixth graders in Manheim, Pennsylvania. I am sure that it will be a learning experience for them. Best of luck. This one will be difficult to get approval. Beware of the NAB.

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The WCS Coalition Blesses XM's 30 Day StarDust Repeater

The WCS Coalition consents to XM relocating the repeater formerly at the StarDust Hotel and operating it for 30 days. Initially, they opposed it because XM didn't specify whether it would operate at 800 peak Watts or average Watts. Since the FCC specifies it as peak, it should have been obviously, but XM gave the Coalition assurance that it would be peak and they subsequently gave their approval. The WCA website where this was located, amusingly calls it an 800 KW repeater.

They also state that they have no objection to the repeater request for PGA events provided that the repeater operates below 2,000 Watt peak. However, the Coalition advises the FCC not to move forward until XM commits to operate it below 2,000 Watt peak.

XM, of course, does not feel the need to specify the obvious but has done so for the repeater at the StarDust Hotel in order to placate the Coalition. We are sure they will do the same for the PGA events request. Sirius and XM would like to use average power as the standard, but until the FCC permits it, the standard will be peak power. The coalition, apparently out of ignorance, accuses XM of "conspicuously" avoiding and being "coy" about it.

No doubt, the Coalition will NEVER give their blessing to Sirius' request to relocate their repeater formerly at the StarDust Hotel, since it has two sectors operating at 4,400 Watt each, despite its being a simple replacement of an already approved repeater. The FCC expeditiously granted Sirius' first 30 day emergency request before the Coalition could object. However, Sirius filed for a second 30 day request, which the FCC has now held up.

The WCS Coalition is composed of most if not all of the WCS license holders in the continental US. The Coalition, lead by the AT&T-BellSouth behemoth, successfully blocked XM's attempted acquisition of WCS Wireless by using delay tactics. The Coalition is dominated by AT&T-BellSouth, the largest WCS license holder.

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

OT: Polar CS600 Cycling Computer

On Friday, December 22, 2006, Polar received FCC certification for its new CS600 cycling computer, speed sensor, and power meter. The devices operate in the ISM band. Although not a cyclist, I have always been a big fan of the Polar heart rate monitors. They are the only ones that work for me. The Polar pr suggests that they will be in the stores in January 2007. They appear to be right on target. Cool product.

CS600 Photos
CS600 Manual
Speed sensor Photos
Power Meter Photos
Power Meter Manual

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Ki Ryung and Wistron Neweb Update Receivers

Friday, December 22, 2006, Ki Ryung and Wistron NeWeb received re-certification on Class II permission changes to the Sportster 3 and Sportster 4 (Ki Ryung) and the StarMate 3 and Stratus receivers (Wistron NeWeb). The Class II Permissive Change was for the addition of an FM Remote Extender to these models.

There have been so many certifications are re-certifications that it is getting difficult to keep track of them. This Class II permission change is for the Sportster 3 that was re-certified on August 31, 2006, and not the ones certified on October 20 or November 3. The one for the Sportser 4 was for the one originally certified on May 4, 2006. Perhaps the one certified on November 03 was for the Canadian market. It added the FM loop antenna back in and had a "C" suffix on the FCC ID. The Wistron NeWeb certifications appear to be for the older receivers as well (originally certified on September 15). Perhaps this allows them to offer the FM Remote Extender for the older radios in order to improve reception. It could be that the Big Boxes were selling old stock. We know that this was the case for XM in some locations. Earlier models of re-certified Sirius radios did not include the FM Remote Extenders. Without the extenders, these radios are likely to perform poorly where FM modulation is required. By contrast, XM's earlier attempts were to place a ferrite bead on the end of the antenna. The FCC ultimately rejected this idea, but not before significant numbers were in the supply chain. These are essentially the same radios as before the FCC implemented restrictions, so these should not have issues.

The FM Remote Extender plugs into the 2.5 mm FM Out jack of the receiver. It allows the end user to place the FM signal near the vehicle's FM glass antenna for applications where using the satellite receiver's FM modulator is the chosen option.

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XM Files Two Supplements Regarding Repeater Network

XM, at the request of the FCC, filed two supplements analyzing 130 markets in addition to the 4 markets covered in the original memorandum regarding their modified repeater network. XM again makes the point that they are currently authorized to build a more extensive, more powerful network more prone to cause interference than the network of repeaters currently proposed. If the WCS Coalition is truly concerned about interference, they should embrace XM's proposed network with open arms. One has to wonder what their motives are for opposing it. It is clearly to their advantage.

Clearly there were variances to the original repeater networks, mostly pragmatic adjustments to theoretical networks. There is no reason to punish XM nor Sirius for accurate reporting. In fact, they deserve credit for doing so. The satellite radio providers are not the criminals that some make them out to be. Quite the contrary. Clearly, there are ulterior motives involved. It is disappointing to see the FCC used as their tool, rather than competing openly. Hopefully, with GM, Honda, Toyota, and Pioneer entering the fray, the political clout of the AT&T-BellSouth behemoth can be neutralized. It has been brought up by one of the WiMax groups before that perhaps AT&T and BellSouth should have to sell off their WCS licenses as a condition of the proposed merger. Originally, the WCS licenses were held mostly by smaller players. One by one, most have fallen in the hands of AT&T or BellSouth. Today, AT&T-BellSouth combo is the single largest holder of these licenses. AT&T-BellSouth is the major player in the WCS Coalition, the group behind much of the opposition to the satellite radio networks. If there were no satellite radio repeaters, they would have 30 MHz of unencumbered spectrum in which to operate WiMax services, which would be worth billions--many billions. And if satellite radio weren't there, that would add another 25 MHz. They paid fractional pennies per MHz/Pop for this spectrum and have mostly warehoused this spectrum, yet it is satellite radio that hangs in the balance. Something just doesn't seem right.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

NAB Chimes in Again on the Repeater Issues

The NAB chimed in once again on the XM and Sirius repeater issues, urging the FCC to place all the XM and Sirius repeater out there for public comment. All of there are. The NAB no doubt wants to bring up the local broadcasting again, even though they were rebuffed by the FCC during the WCS buildout consideration for doing so.

They made the point that Frank Jazzo of Fletcher, Heald, & Hildreth was there representing the Alaska Broadcast Association. Although Sirius' request to operate repeaters there was not at the time put out there for public comment (it was place there this past Friday), it is a clear indication that they intend to oppose Sirius' request. Satellite radio is authorized in Alaska, though neither XM nor Sirius offically offer the service there. In our opinion, competition with local broadcasters should not even be considered by the FCC. Nor should the radio offerings by XM or Sirius be denied to the Alaskan people. They have so few choices to begin with. I hope the good people of Alaska let the FCC and congress know how they feel about any attempts by NAB to limit their already limited options.

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GM, Honda, and Toyota Intervene on XM's Behalf

GM, Honda, and Toyota recently intervene on XM's behalf with their support in urging the FCC to expediously grant the XM 30 day request to operate their modified repeater system.

It is good too see their support. This is an extremely important matter.

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Pioneer Intervenes on XM's Behalf

A number of Ex Parte filings have started to appear lately. We were glad to see Pioneer intervene on XM's behalf in support of granting the 30 day and 180 day repeater requests.

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FCC Moves on Applications

On Friday, the FCC accepted two more XM applications for filing. These two applications, along with one from Sirius were designated at "permit but disclose" for the purpose of creating a full and complete public record, meaning that there will be comment periods where all interested parties may comment on the merits of the applications.

The XM applications were for 180 day requests to operate repeaters at tradeshows and PGA events. The Sirius request is for the operation of repeaters in Hawaii and Alaska.

Will the exception of the two most recently filed applications for each of the satellite radio providers, the FCC has now at least taken first actions on all applications filed this year.

XM recently filed 30 day requests to relocate its repeater at the StarDust Hotel and to operate a repeater at PGA events. The one for the PGA events was requested because the FCC had been dragging their feet on the 180 request.

Sirius has a request to operate 15 low power repeaters and a second 30 day request to relocate and operate its repeater formerly located at the StarDust Hotel. The FCC expediously granted the first request; however, after the WCS Coalition protested, they are dragging their feet on granting the second request.

In addtion, the two request--one for XM and one for Sirius--previously posted here were formerly announced on Friday.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

WCS Coalition Opposes Sirius' StarDust Hotel Repeater Relocation

No surprise here. The WCS Coalition filed a formal opposition to Sirius' 180 day request to relocate the repeater formerly located at the StarDust hotel, soon to be razed to the ground. The FCC immediately approved the first 30 day request by Sirius but is still sitting on the second 30 request. The 180 day request is semi-permanent until official rules are established. The repeater at the StarDust Hotel has previously been approved by the FCC. Now, both Sirius and XM are being forced to relocate their repeaters due to the impending destruction of the hotel.

The Coalition is being entirely unreasonable to oppose the relocation of this repeater. Their main opposition is that it is over 2,000 Watt EIRP. Fine, that can be understood. But the fact remains that the FCC approved the repeater and now it is just a matter of moving it to a new location. Someday, maybe, there may actually be a WCS operation. They will need cooperation as well. They are setting the stage for a contentious relationship that will do them no good in the future. But, they are backed by the likes of AT&T and Bell South, so they have all the clout on their side. So far, they seem to have the FCC's ear.

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XM Requests 30 Day Authority to Operate Repeater at PGA Events

XM filed a 30 day request today to operate a 2,000 Watt EIRP repeater at the following PGA events:

Mercedes Championships, Kapalua, HI, Jan 1-7
Sony Open in Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, Jan 8-14
Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, Palm Desert, CA, Jan 15-21
Buick Invitational, San Diego, CA, Jan 22-28

XM had previously made a 180 day request, which the FCC is yet to place on public notice. The 30 day request will cover the immediate events. Evidently, the FCC has come under the influence of the high pitch shrills by those with ulterior motives. It is unfortunate for XM and Sirius in that it increases the uncertainty of their business plans. It is entirely unfair to satellite radio.

It is noteworthy that the first two events are in Hawaii, where there is no satellite coverage...yet.

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Videotron and CF Cable Permitted to Distribute Satellite Radio

In its decision today, the CRTC approved the distribution of satellite radio programming on the cable channels of Videotron and CF Cable. The decision is similar to that allowed for Rogers Cable. The satellite TV carriers have been denied to opportunity to carry satellite radio on its channels. The decision is given below:

The Commission approves an application by Videotron Ltd. and CF Cable TV Inc. to amend the broadcasting licences for the cable broadcasting distribution undertakings serving various locations in Quebec, in order to add a condition to each licence authorizing the licensee to distribute, at its option, the audio programming service of one or more licensed satellite subscription radio (SSR) undertakings on a digital basis, subject to the following provisions:


* the licensee is not permitted to use the signals of conventional radio programming undertakings, with the exception of those required to be distributed under section 22 of the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations (the Regulations), to fulfil the preponderance requirement set out in section 6(2) of the Regulations, unless a subscriber is already receiving at least 40 channels of one or more pay audio programming undertakings; and

* the Canadian-produced channels of the SSR undertaking being distributed will be considered Canadian programming services for the purposes of section 6(2) of the Regulations


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Context Sensitive Data Input Using Finger or Fingerprint Recognition

Today, XM had a patent application disclosed for a touchscreen receiver that recognizes a finger shape or fingerprint and executes a context sensitive function based on that finger. For example, each finger or finger combination could correspond to a different channel selection. One finger could be scrolling. The impetus of the design is to produce smaller devices.


United States Patent Application 20060284853
Kind Code A1
Shapiro; Steven Curtis December 21, 2006

Context sensitive data input using finger or fingerprint recognition

Abstract

A context sensitive data input device (30) and method (100) can include a touch sensitive surface (32) such as a touchscreen and a processor (34) coupled to the touch sensitive surface. The processor can be programmed to map (102) at least one finger to at least one among a function and a data entry, recognize (104) at least one finger that has been mapped, and execute (108) the function or enter the data entry upon recognizing the at least one finger. The processor can be further programmed to map at least one finger to a short-cut menu or to a preset channel. The processor can also be programmed to recognize fingers of different users and to automatically switch to a particular user's settings, requirements or preferences upon recognizing a finger of a particular user.


Inventors: Shapiro; Steven Curtis; (Lake Worth, FL)
Correspondence Name and Address:
    AKERMAN SENTERFITT
P.O. BOX 3188
WEST PALM BEACH
FL
33402-3188
US
Assignee Name and Adress: XM Satellite Radio, Inc.
Washington
DC

Serial No.: 154861
Series Code: 11
Filed: June 16, 2005

U.S. Current Class: 345/173
U.S. Class at Publication: 345/173
Intern'l Class: G09G 5/00 20060101 G09G005/00



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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Radio Margaritaville

It's official. Radio Margaritaville is now a registered trademark as of December 19, 2006.
Mark Image
Word Mark RADIO MARGARITAVILLE
Goods and Services IC 038. US 100 101 104. G & S: Satellite radio broadcasting services. FIRST USE: 20050615. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20050615
Standard Characters Claimed
Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Design Search Code
Serial Number 78619165
Filing Date April 28, 2005
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1B
Published for Opposition January 17, 2006
Registration Number 3188170
Registration Date December 19, 2006
Owner (REGISTRANT) Buffett, Jimmy INDIVIDUAL UNITED STATES 424-A Fleming Street Key West FLORIDA 33040
Attorney of Record Robert A. Rosenbloum,
Prior Registrations 2273119;2805289
Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE RADIO APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE


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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Two Trade Show Applications Granted

No big news here, but it is good to see the FCC moving on some of these requests. XM was granted its 30 day requests to operate repeaters at tradeshows and Sirius was granted its 180 day request to operate repeaters at tradeshows.

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Method and Apparatus for Concatenated Convolutional Encoding and Interleaving

Last Thursday, XM had a patent application disclosed that helps to reduce the effects of multi-path fading, effectively reducing dropouts. It was almost missed. Nowhere in the application is XM or satellite radio mentioned. It could be that they are trying to broaden the applicability of this invention. Rather that referring to it has a Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service, they refer to it as a digital broadcast system (DBS).


United States Patent Application 20060280206
Kind Code A1
Marko; Paul D. December 14, 2006

Method and apparatus for concatenated convolutional encoding and interleaving

Abstract

A method and apparatus encode a source data stream via convolutional encoding. Plural encoded data streams are interleaved and transmitted on plural transmission channels. Data groups generated via convolutional encoding are interleaved via time-interleaving functions to disperse selected bits within puncture groups of the data groups, bits in between data groups, and bits in selected sets of data groups to facilitate reconstruction of the source data stream from at least a portion of the interleaved data stream received on at least one transmission channel. The time-interleaving functions are selected to facilitate reconstruction of the source data stream from one transmission channel following continuous blockage. Subsets of bits of puncture groups are selected to allow reconstruction of the source data stream from more than one of the transmission channels using a minimum number of subsets. Multiple combinations of subsets can be received on both transmission channels to reconstruct the source data stream following blockage of one channel. Decoding is performed via a Viterbi decoder.


Inventors: Marko; Paul D.; (Pembroke Pines, FL)
Correspondence Name and Address:
    ROYLANCE, ABRAMS, BERDO & GOODMAN, L.L.P.
1300 19TH STREET, N.W.
SUITE 600
WASHINGTON,
DC
20036
US
Serial No.: 390499
Series Code: 11
Filed: March 28, 2006

U.S. Current Class: 370/477; 370/535
U.S. Class at Publication: 370/477; 370/535
Intern'l Class: H04J 3/18 20060101 H04J003/18; H04J 3/04 20060101 H04J003/04



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Monday, December 18, 2006

XM Applies for 30 Day Authority to Relocate Repeater at the StarDust Hotel

Today, XM filed a 30 day request to relocate a repeater at the StarDust Hotel, which will be razed in early 2007. It will be for an 800 Watt repeater and will be used for the CES in December and January. XM presently has a 180 day request, which includes the operation of a medium powered repeater near that location.

XM was required to move the existing repeater by December 15. It's about time they filed this. They are not quite on the ball as they used to be. Sirius filed a similar request long ago--which was granted--and recently filed for an extension.

Although the WCS Coalition opposed Sirius' request, XM makes the point that its repeater will operate below the 2,000 Watt threshold. The Coalition has stated that they are not opposed to repeaters operating below this limit.

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Delphi Patent Application for Customizable Data in a Satellite Radio System

Yesterday, Delphi had an interesting patent application disclosed for satellite radio. The summary describes the invention best and is given below:

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] The present invention provides an apparatus and method for providing additional digital data to an SDAR receiver to allow user customization in an SDAR system. The invention involves providing an SDAR receiver with interfacing circuitry and a user interface to allow for user selected content to be delivered to the SDAR receiver. This allows the use of existing SDAR receiver designs in conjunction with a computer interface module to provide both the variety of content available through satellite broadcasts with the user specific content available through conventional digital audio players.

[0009] In one embodiment, digital files in a satellite format are provided through a computer interface to the SDAR receiver. In another embodiment of the invention, conventional digital data files are provided through a computer interface encoded in the satellite format for playing by the SDAR receiver. The digital data files may be originally stored in the SDAR format in one embodiment, and in another embodiment the data files are converted to SDAR format on demand.

[0010] In another embodiment of the invention, the computer interface is a wireless interface, such as a WiFi, Bluetooth, IR, or other wireless communication technology. In another embodiment, the computer interface is a direct connection to a computer or computer network. The computer interface provides the mechanism by which the additional data specified by the user may be obtained.

[0011] Existing SDAR digital formatted data may thus be delivered through conventional SDAR signals. The same SDAR digital formatted data may be created by a computer from another digital data source, for example from a CD-ROM formatted data file, an MP3 formatted data file, or a DVD formatted data file. In one embodiment, a library of digital audio files in SDAR formatted data is provided through a computer network for delivering specified content to the an SDAR receiver, for example a hand held SDAR receiver. In another embodiment, the computer interface is used to create SDAR formatted digital audio files from existing audio files in other formats, for use on an SDAR receiver.

Abstract:

United States Patent Application 20060281401
Kind Code A1
DiBiaso; Eric A. ; et al.

December 14, 2006

Method and system to acquire customizable data in a satellite radio system

Abstract


The present invention involves a media player and method for providing digital audio data in satellite digital audio radio (SDAR) format. The media player includes a satellite radio receiver, audio circuitry for reproducing sound from signals provided by the satellite radio receiver, and a computer interface circuit configured for accessing audio information files. The media player may have an antenna for receiving satellite radio broadcasts, and another antenna for a wireless connection. The media player may further have a control and display for interfacing with a source of digital audio files, such as through a network connection. The invention also includes a converter for providing audio files from digital audio files that are formatted for satellite digital audio radio (SDAR), with a source interface adapted to connect to a source of audio files, a translator adapted to create an SDAR formatted digital audio file, and a media player interface adapted to connect to a media player. The method of providing satellite digital audio radio (SDAR) formatted digital audio files to a SDAR enabled media player includes accessing a source of digital audio files with an interface of the media player, and playing a SDAR formatted digital audio file with the media player.

Inventors:
DiBiaso; Eric A.; (Kokomo, IN) ; Patel; Jayesh S.; (Warren, NJ)

Correspondence Name and Address:
DELPHI TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
M/C 480-410-202
PO BOX 5052
TROY
MI
48007
US

Serial No.: 151612
Series Code: 11
Filed: June 13, 2005

U.S. Current Class: 455/3.02
U.S. Class at Publication: 455/003.02
Intern'l Class: H04H 1/00 20060101 H04H001/00

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

WCS Coalition Consents to XM's Request to Operate Repeaters at Tradeshows

Today, the WCS Coalition consented to XM's request to operate repeaters at trade shows. That was damned magnanimous of them.

Just yesterday, the Coalition blasted XM over its "illegal" repeaters. It was in response to XM allegedly going on the offensive against the WCS Coalition in an Ex Parte filing on December 07. That filing has not been made public yet, as far as we can ascertain.

The Coalition is really unreasonable. They state that they have no objection to XM moving their repeaters 100 ft or lowering their antennae 3 feet in order to comply with the original STA. They are so petty. If the original request had been made under the current situation, then request would have been granted just the same. I wonder if they would feel the same if XM built out according to the original request, with many more high powered repeaters. The present system is much to their advantage, but they are too ignorant to realize it. They want XM to put its repeaters in compliance with the original STA? XM should do just that.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

XM Requests Authority to Operate Low Power Repeaters at Trade Shows

On December 11, 2006, XM requested authority from the FCC to operate very low power repeaters (up to 0.5 Watt EIRP) and signal boosters (100 micro Watt) at trade shows. There were two applications. One covering 30 days and the other, 180 days. Sirius made a similar application on November 07. XM goes out of its way to point out that Sirius' repeater is 200 Watt versus 0.5 Watt for XM. Sirius only requested to operate one repeater. XM did not specify a number. Sirius has already received its 30 grant; however, the 180 day request is still open.

The 30 day request covers the San Diego Auto Show (December 25-31), the Consumer Electronics Show in LA (December 27 - January 11), and the Detroit Auto Show (January 10 - 27).

The 180 day request covers several shows in the first half of 2007, including shows in Washington, DC; Houston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Miami, Ft. Worth, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Dallas, Knoxville, Louisville, and New York City.

Update: The 30 day request was granted on December 19, 2006.

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Sirius Request Another 30 Day Extension to Relocate Repeater at StarDust Hotel

Today, Sirius requested another 30 day extension to relocate a repeater at the StarDust Hotel, which is being destroyed. The first request was routinely granted. However, the WCS Coalition chastised the FCC for doing so. It will be interesting to see if the FCC does the same this time. There is no reason why the FCC should not immediately grant it. If not, we will know that politics are involved. Here is the summary of the request:

Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. herein requests a renewal of its 30-day Special Temporary Authority to relocate one of its terrestrial repeaters in Las Vegas, NV due to the destruction of the Stardust Hotel and Casino.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Sirius Requests Authority to Operation 15 Repeaters

Description: Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. herein requests a modification of its Special Temporary Authority to operate fifteen low-power satellite digital audio radio service terrestrial repeaters.

The repeaters are all 2,000 Watt EIRP. The repeaters include 5 in Atlanta; 2 in Chicago; 1 in Cleveland; 1 in Detroit; 1 in Kansas City;' 1 in New York; 1 in Orlando; 1 in Phoenix; and 2 in Tampa.

Sirius states that any opposition to these repeaters operating at 2,000 Watt bears the burden of proving that it will cause interference or is contrary to the public interest. We can't wait to see what the WCS Coalition has to say about that.

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Method to enable single frequency network optimization

Delphi also had this patent application published for the network optimization of SDARS networks:


United States Patent Application 20060274855
Kind Code A1
DiBiaso; Eric A. ; et al. December 7, 2006

Method to enable single frequency network optimization

Abstract

Additional data may be added to the current SDARS satellite signals as a phase and/or amplitude offset from the legacy quadrature phase shift keying (QPSK) modulated data and transmitted by the SDAR terrestrial repeaters. However, in the case where a legacy receiver architecture for a differential modulation system outputs angular/phase differences between carriers, the phase and/or amplitude information appears as distortion to the legacy receiver. The present invention provides a method for optimizing the SDARS infrastructure more efficiently by allowing independent adjustment of the phase and/or amplitude offset (610) at each terrestrial site. The present invention provides a method for adjusting the performance of each signal together or separately as needed.


Inventors: DiBiaso; Eric A.; (Kokomo, IN) ; Hiatt; Michael L. JR.; (Westfield, IN) ; Walker; Glenn A.; (Greentown, IN)
Correspondence Name and Address:
    DELPHI TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
M/C 480-410-202
PO BOX 5052
TROY
MI
48007
US
Serial No.: 143044
Series Code: 11
Filed: June 2, 2005

U.S. Current Class: 375/308
U.S. Class at Publication: 375/308
Intern'l Class: H04L 27/20 20060101 H04L027/20



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Method and system to increase available bandwidth in a time division multiplexing system

Delphi also had another patent application published for another method of increasing available bandwidth for satellite radio.


United States Patent Application 20060276125
Kind Code A1
Dibiaso; Eric A. ; et al. December 7, 2006

Method and system to increase available bandwidth in a time division multiplexing system

Abstract

The present invention involves a method for transmitting data within a specified band of allocated spectrum in a satellite digital transmission system. First a data stream is encoded according to a first encoding scheme, then a second data stream is generated according to a second encoding scheme. The second encoding scheme is incompatible with the first encoding scheme. The first and second data streams are transmitted at predetermined locations within the specified band, such as time slices within a time division multiplexing transmission system. The second data stream is generated by using a more efficient FEC algorithm, including turbo-convolutional, turbo-product, low density parity check, or repeat-accumulate encoders. The inventive receiver has an antenna for receiving RF signals and a demodulator coupled to the antenna for downconverting received RF signals into a data stream. A splitter then separates the data stream into first and second component data streams. A first detector is coupled to the splitter, and is adapted to detect data in the first format. A second detector is coupled to the splitter, and is adapted to detect data in the second format.


Inventors: Dibiaso; Eric A.; (Kokomo, IN) ; Walker; Glenn A.; (Greentown, IN) ; Bolduc; Timothy D.; (Westfield, IN)
Correspondence Name and Address:
    DELPHI TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
M/C 480-410-202
PO BOX 5052
TROY
MI
48007
US
Serial No.: 132581
Series Code: 11
Filed: May 19, 2005

U.S. Current Class: 455/3.02
U.S. Class at Publication: 455/003.02
Intern'l Class: H04H 1/00 20060101 H04H001/00



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Dephi Discloses Another Hierarchical Modulation Patent Application

As part of many patent applications, Delphi had yet another patent application published today involving hierarchical modulation:


United States Patent Application 20060276145
Kind Code A1
Walker; Glenn A. ; et al. December 7, 2006

Method to minimize compatibility error in hierarchical modulation using variable phase

Abstract

The present invention provides a method of hierarchically modulating first and second digital data streams in a broadcast system such as an SDAR system that is compatible with legacy receivers. The second digital data stream, but not the first, is provided with a non-binary pseudo-random encoding. A carrier is first modulated, e.g. QPSK, by the first digital data stream; and a second modulation is performed with the encoded second digital data stream. The encoding includes a multiplication of a matrix formed of 2, 3 or 4 consecutive bits of the secondary data stream by a matrix, e.g. a Hadamard matrix to form a product matrix having non-binary values that are used to modify consecutive symbols of the first modulation. The second modulation appears as Gaussian noise to legacy receivers over time.


Inventors: Walker; Glenn A.; (Greentown, IN) ; DiBiaso; Eric A.; (Kokomo, IN) ; Hiatt; Michael L. JR.; (Westfield, IN)
Correspondence Name and Address:
    DELPHI TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
M/C 480-410-202
PO BOX 5052
TROY
MI
48007
US
Serial No.: 474747
Series Code: 11
Filed: June 26, 2006

U.S. Current Class: 455/102
U.S. Class at Publication: 455/102
Intern'l Class: H04B 1/02 20060101 H04B001/02; H04B 1/66 20060101 H04B001/66


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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Is Sirius' Guidance Still Too High?

Satellite Radio TechWorld would like to start by saying that it isn't picking on Sirius. We are simply looking at the numbers. Not much consideration has been given to XM. XM's guidance is so low that it should be a cakewalk. Shame on XM if they miss guidance.

To hit the low end of their guidance, 5.9 million, Sirius will have to garner 780,692 net subscribers. If the previous churn estimates prove to be correct, then Sirius will have to gross 780,692+370,000=1,150,692 subscribers. Last quarter, Sirius grossed 732,406 subscribers. Therefore, Sirius will have to increase gross subscribers 57% in the fourth quarter. Granted, Sirius typically gets a bump in OEM adds in the fourth quarter and it has spent a lot of money on marketing and hardware is sufficiently cheap, but 57% quarter over quarter is huge. XM increased its gross last year this time by 37.7%, and that was a very good year for XM. This year, sales are dismal for satellite radio. Pulling a number out of the air, let's say that Sirius increase the gross over last quarter by a third. That should be generous. That would put Sirius' gross adds at 976,541. Take away 370,000 for churn an the net ends up around 606,541, well short of 780,692. There might be an addition bump of 100,000 OEM subscriptions and the churn could be off say 30,000 subscriptions. Adding this in, we arrive at 736,541 subscriptions.

We are inclined to believe the low end of Sirius' guidance with a possible miss. A range of 5.7 to 5.9 might have been a better guidance. Of course, this late in the game, they should have a much better idea of where the range will fall. However, I note that they lead off their PR taking about how the added 500,000 subscribers in the last 10 days last year. That simply isn't going to happen this year, nothing even close to that. However, it is possible that the Big Boxes will start dumping hardware after Christmas, maybe even before, which will add subscribers, but will give a false indication of the actual number, as XM found out last year.

We would prefer to be wrong. Alternative views are welcome.

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Breaking News: FCC Grants WCS Buildout Extension

The FCC granted the WCS license holders the extension they requested to build out their systems. They now have until July 21, 2010. The ruling is not surprising; however, it is a missed opportunity for satellite radio. It is unclear how it serves the public interest.

Here are the ordering clauses:

IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
17. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to sections 4(i) and 303(r) of the
Communications Act, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 154(i), 303(r), and sections 0.331 and 1.946(e) of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.331, 1.946(e), the construction deadlines for the Wireless Communications Service licenses listed in Attachment A to this Order are extended to July 21, 2010.

18. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to sections 4(i) and 303(r) of the
Communications Act, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 154(i), 303(r), and sections 0.331 and 1.949 of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.331, 1.949, the request filed by the WCS Coalition to conditionally grant applications for WCS license renewal IS DENIED.

19. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to sections 4(i) and 303(r) of the
Communications Act, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 154(i), 303(r), and sections 0.331 and 1.949 of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.331, 1.949, the request filed by Cellutec, Inc. to extend its license term IS DENIED.


The FCC granted the extension to the WCS license holders because the "WCS licensees have demonstrated that they face factors beyond their control that have limited their options in providing service" and that "new technology solutions may be available in the near future".

It was not a complete victory. The FCC rejected the idea that the timing of the extension should be based on the resolution of the of the pending SDARS repeaters rulemaking, saying that it would be a disincentive. They didn't want to encourage warehousing of spectrum. I don't know what they call the last 10 years or what will change in the next 3 years that would cause them not to grant another extension. The FCC also denied the WCS Coalition's request to conditionally grant renewal of the licenses and Cellutec's request to extend the terms of the licenses to the new buildout date. The licenses holders must still file for renewal of their licenses.

The NAB arguments addressing the issue of local origination were rejected as being irrelevant.

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Details Out on the X2G100 Receiver

Details were released on the XM RS2 X2G100 receiver that was certified in October. A cursory examination indicates that it is an AudioVox version of the Inno. It has only 50 hours of satellite recording and not 100 hours as the name seemed to initially indicate. On November 30, 2006, the external photos and manual, among other items, became available.

Details are also out on the SkyFi3. There's not much more there than has already be made public. One item of note is the circuit board has MyFi stamped on it. They must have changed what they decided to call it at the last minute.

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

WCS Coalition Opposes XM's Emergency STA to Operate Repeaters

The WCS Coalition filed its opposition to XM's recent ex parte memorandum regarding its request for an emergency, 30 day special temporary authority filed back in October to continue to operate its modified repeater network. The Coalition wants XM to "reduce the power levels of all its unauthorized repeater to no more that 2,000 Watt peak equivalent isotropic radiated power (EIRP) and to utilize low-power repeaters as already authorized under its present STAs to the extent additional repeaters are required to fill gaps in XM's satellite coverage."

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