Archive for June, 2008

Satellite B.I.G.

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

 

Biggy, Biggy, Biggy, can’t you see? CommunicAsia 2008 is all over me.

The big news in Singapore this week is all about telecom at the Singapore Expo. The region’s satcom players are making the news — even appearing on CNBC.

Globecast’s new playout centre is amibitious:

GlobeCast Media Management, a solution for playout and origination, will be the key product offered to broadcasters of all sizes from this new centre – providing channels with use of market leading technology without the expensive investment. The centre will allow new channels to reach viewers using a fast and reliable solution and help international channels entering the market to create regionalised feeds and enhance their appeal to Asian audiences.

The launch of GlobeCast’s Media Management in the region means that broadcasters in Asia will be able to focus on their content and programming and outsource both their channel management and delivery needs to GlobeCast. Coupled with connectivity to GlobeCast’s worldwide satellite and fibre distribution network and linked to twelve teleports and technical operations centres around the globe, the company also offers this one stop solution from its facilities in London and Florida. The two existing facilities already serve major clients such as Arsenal TV and ION Networks.

And SingTel’s maritime service on SES NEW SKIES, using a whopping 5 MHz of space on each of satellites, via Red Orbit:

Mr. Titus Yong, SingTel’s Vice President of Satellite, said: "SingTel, one of Asia’s leading satellite service providers, has been providing VSAT services with regional coverage for over two years. We are pleased to work with a top-tier global satellite service provider such as SES NEW SKIES to extend our reach to provide seamless and secure worldwide coverage over all major shipping routes."

The SES NEW SKIES satellites will also support demand for SingTel’s [email protected] suite of Maritime VSAT solutions, which enable vessels to communicate seamlessly and cost-effectively with their headquarters on land. Solutions include ‘always-on’ unlimited broadband internet access, email, low-cost Voice over IP (VoIP) calls, GSM onboard and ship surveillance. These overcome the limitations of traditional maritime communications by allowing the ship to become a seamless extension of the shore-based office.

My favorite piece of news concerns a new direct-to-home satellite TV service in India, Big TV. We first read about it last week in Hindustan Times, where the launch date was leaked:

With the direct-to home race hotting up, Anil Ambani’s Big TV has decided to launch in haste. The company is planning a June 24 launch, said industry sources, with teaser campaigns hitting televisions four days before the launch. Abhisekh Bachchan may be used as a brand ambassador sources added.

Big TV’s entry, this month may intensify the action in the DTH space that is seeing a fierce price-war. Big TV already serves 50,000 customers who are part of its pilot launch and are its employees and customers of associate companies. According to the 2008 Ficci-PwC report on Indian entertainment and media industry, DTH households are expected to grow from 4 million in 2007 to 25 million by 2012.

When contacted, a Big TV spokesperson said, "Reliance Communications is in advanced stages of launching Big TV DTH services. Big TV DTH service aims to be the most preferred option for home entertainment solutions across customer segments. Like in case of all offerings from Reliance ADA Group, customers using Big TV DTH services would be able to avail of better service quality, enhanced features and wider offerings at prevailing price points".

And Indian Television is telling us they signed up for a transponder on AsiaSat 3S:

Reliance Big Broadcasting COO Ashutosh says, "One of our key objectives is to bring to our audience a unique, world class and unprecedented TV viewing experience. Placing our satellite television services on AsiaSat 3S, Asia’s premium platform for satellite television enables us to establish in the shortest time possible a seamless broadcast network accessing all our targeted cable homes.

"By using Asiasat 3S, the most popular satellite platform for the Indian media market, we gain immediate access to all cable head ends across India. We are proud to have AsiaSat as our partner as it has a powerful satellite fleet offering the most comprehensive coverage and largest audience access that fully support our aggressive broadcast plan in India".

Big TV reportedly bought 5 million set-top boxes recently, so they’ve got big plans. More DTH competition for Tata Sky and Dish TV. This should be interesting.

Sirius-XM Deal Moves

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

 

The proposed merger between satellite radio giants XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio seems closer to becoming a reality, following Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin statement yesterday that "with the voluntary commitments [the companies have] offered, on balance, this transaction would be in the public interest." Martin asked for a total of eight concessions, including lifting restrictions on the hardware that is able to transmit the enlarged company’s broadcasts, and opening some channels to noncommercial and minority-owned broadcasters.

BusinessWeek has some analysis on how the FCC-imposed concessions may actually help Sirius and XM, and expand the reach of satellite radio:

 Some merger conditions may even help the combined company achieve its goal of reviving growth, which has slowed in recent months. Take the seemingly major requirement that the companies allow any hardware manufacturer to make and sell satellite radio receivers. This would appear to make it easier for consumers to choose between satellite radio, HD radio, music players, and other rival formats. Yet looked at another way, with satellite radio no longer limited to stand-alone devices, it might find its way into more gadgets, such as phones and music players. That, in turn, could widen satellite radio’s distribution. What’s more, Sirius and XM may be able to save money by no longer having to subsidize satellite radio players, as they do now.

Consider the requirement that Sirius-XM make 24 channels available for noncommercial and minority programming. "That can create demand for these users to sign up for the service," says James Goss, an analyst at Barrington Research. Yes, the condition means the two companies must get rid of about 8% of their current programming—but analysts estimate there’s as much as a 50% overlap between the XM and Sirius program lineups anyway. What’s more, by giving away 24 channels, Sirius-XM also may save on programming fees. "If anything, it should save Sirius-XM money," says April Horace, an analyst at Janco Partners.

Martin’s statement doesn’t mean the deal is done, however; "Martin needs at least two other commissioners to vote for the deal, and FCC sources tell BusinessWeek.com he hasn’t yet been assured he’ll get those votes."  And as a letter writer to the Wall Street Journal observes, there’s plenty of precedent for long delays from the FCC: 

[B]y FCC standards, the 400-plus days that the XM-Sirius matter has been languishing before the agency is not very long. Delay has been a serious problem at the FCC for as long as the agency has been in existence….

Just this month the FCC acted to affirm an action by its staff that was taken six years ago denying an extension of time for construction of a radio station that had originally been authorized in the early 1980s but had never been built. The six-year delay in taking action that the FCC, expert agency that it is supposed to be, should have [taken] six days, or at most six weeks.

And the LA Times reports that Martin’s conditions haven’t satisfied the merger’s fiercest critics: 

Two leading consumer advocates blasted the proposed conditions as failing to ensure that satellite radio prices won’t eventually rise. And Martin, a Republican, may have trouble pushing his proposal through the FCC….

Despite intense opposition from the National Assn. of Broadcasters, which represents traditional radio stations, the Justice Department approved the merger in March. Antitrust regulators agreed with Sirius and XM executives that their combination would not create a monopoly because iPods and other devices give people growing options for listening to music in their cars and elsewhere.

But Martin had said the merger faced a high hurdle at the FCC, which, to ensure competition, barred any future merger when creating satellite radio in 1997. Martin has pushed Sirius and XM to formalize some pricing promises made to lawmakers and agree to other conditions.

The companies first announced their intended merger, now valued at about $3.85 billion, in February 2007.

Super-Earths Galore!

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Just how common are Earth-like planets in the universe?

About five times more common than previously thought, according to European researchers presenting their latest findings at a conference in France today:

European astronomers on Monday said they had located dozens of giant planets in three distant solar systems.

The discovery suggests that at least one third of stars similar to our own Sun harbour such planets, multiplying previous estimates by five.

A trio of these ‘super-Earths’ — so-called because they are several times the mass of our own planet — were detected orbiting a star known as HD 40307 some 42 lights away.

Reuters has additional details: 

The [three] planets are bigger than Earth — one is 4.2 times the mass, one is 6.7 times and the third is 9.4 times.

They orbit their star at extremely rapid speeds — one whizzing around in just four days, compared with Earth’s 365 days, one taking 10 days and the slowest taking 20 days.

The first planet outside our solar system was detected in 1995, and less than 280 of these exoplanets had been found before today’s unveiling of 45 new exoplanet discoveries.

The astronomers used the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher— or HARPS — to spot the planets. The next-generation HARPS spectrograph is used in conjunction with the 3.6-m telescope at La Silla observatory in Chile

 

La Silla is a 2400-m mountain, bordering the southern extremity of the Atacama desert in Chile. It is located about 160 Km north of La Serena. Its geographical coordinates are: Latitude 29º 15′ south & Longitude 70º 44′ west.

Originally known as Cinchado, the mountain was renamed La Silla (the saddle) after its shape. It rises quite isolated and remote from any artificial light and dust sources (astronomy’s worst enemies). La Silla was the first ESO observatory built in Chile. 

The ESO press release also has additional information on these exciting, extra-solar discoveries.

DIY Friday: Altoids tin headphone amp

Friday, June 13th, 2008

So I got a great new pair of headphones over the holidays last year, and so far they’ve served me well, but lately I’ve been trying to figure out how I can get the most out of the new cans. Audiophiles out there know about some great (and expensive) headphone amps that really help you get the most out of your headphones–to hear every detail of your favorite album or the environment you’ve recorded yourself. Today’s pick, however, will only set you back a few bucks. It’s the DIY Altoids tin headphone amplifier.

This project has been around for a while, but it’s always being adapted and improved. There are a few places online where you can find the step-by-step, but most of them originate from the Chu Moy project posted over at headwize.com.

Here’s what MAKE magazine had to say about the project.

Headphone amps make portable listening good and loud. Commercial audiophile models can cost $200+, or you can build a great-sounding amp inside a mint tin for around $30, following Chu Moy’s popular design. Powered by a 9-volt battery, this amp drives high-impedance headphones to thunderous volumes from even weak sources.

Tangent has a good tutorial on how to assemble the amp. You’ll need to have some basic solder and circuitry knowledge, but the Getting Started guide should help if you’re in the dark.

Without any knowledge going in (not including Altoid eating time and subsequent dentist visits), you’re probably looking at spending a good weekend on this project.

Every once and a while you’ll also find some available to buy… but that wouldn’t be very DIY, would it?

[photo from Tangent]


Jungle Launch Thursday

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Watch it live, from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Launch window:

GMT: From 9:54 p.m. to 10:43 p.m. on June 12, 2008
Local time in Kourou: From 6:54 p.m. to 7:43 p.m. on June 12, 2008
New York: From 5:54 p.m. to 6:43 p.m. on June 12, 2008
Paris: From 11:54 p.m. to 00:43 a.m. on June 12/13, 2008

The update, via Arianespace:

Arianespace’s third mission of 2008 is ready for liftoff tomorrow evening following the roll-out of Ariane 5 to the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone this morning.

Emerging from the Final Assembly Building at 11:00 a.m., the heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA’s transfer was completed in 1 hr. 15 min.  It rode atop one of two mobile launch tables developed for the workhorse vehicle, and moved along a 2.8-km. section of the dual-rail track that links the Spaceport’s major launch infrastructure elements.

This flight will be another of Ariane 5’s trademark dual-satellite missions, carrying the Skynet 5C and Turksat 3A spacecraft.  Its upper passenger is Skynet 5C, which was installed atop the SYLDA 5 dispenser system, and then encapsulated in Ariane 5’s ogive-shaped payload fairing. 

The mission’s payload “stack” places Turksat 3A in the lower passenger position, with this satellite being released in the final phase of Ariane 5’s 32-minute fight. 

 

 

Analog Deathwatch: Day 250

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Are your bunny ears rapture ready?

 

Readers of Really Rocket Science know that on February 17, 2009, the era of analog television broadcasting will come to an end, and the nation’s full-power television station will have completed their transition to all-digital broadcasting systems.

Some folks call that the DTV Transition. We prefer the term Analog Deathwatch, and over the next seven months, we’ll be bringing you semi-regular updates on the end of the analog age. 

So, back to your rabbit ears. If they’re going to enter the new world of digital TV, you’ve got to prepare. 

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) have had a site up for a while, to walk consumers through the need to perk up some new ears. And we’ve already given you a DIY project to get cheap DTV reception via your PC.

Now come reports that the Dish Network is about to begin selling its own converter box for $40: 

The new DTVPal Digital Converter from Dish Network is a digital off air converter which converts over the air digital broadcasts to an analog format your older analog televisions can display. The new DTVPal is made by Echostar for Dish Network and is getting ready to hit the streets.

Read the full review quoted above. The Dish converter may end up costing $59, but the price is not final.

Thanks to the Federal Government’s $40 coupon program, designed to soften the economic blow of new bunny ears, that works out to just $19 each.  (Get your coupon here.)

Of course, not everyone is yet aware of the coming analog armageddon.  Neilsen’s research indicates that the hispanic market — which relies disproportionately on over-the-air broadcasting to receive TV transitions — hasn’t been getting the message from the FCC about the coming transition.

That’s why Univision has launched "Escuadrón Digital" (Digital Squad), a grassroots and on-air initiative using a one-on-one approach to ensure viewers are informed and prepared for the DTV transition in February 2009.

In Phoenix, for example, KTVW Univision 33 last weekend celebrated its first Grand Digital Television Fair to help local residents better understand the transition to digital television (DTV).

Phoenix, by the way, was one of the featured markets in a webinar on DTV transition and how it will affect local broadcasters last month. You can play back the webinar here.

Shake, Shake, Shake

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

Mobile Satellite Ventures is proposing a system to help predict earthquakes in the U.S. Naturally, it’s a satellite-based system:

Mobile Satellite Ventures (MSV) today announced that it has joined with the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) to form a new satellite mutual aid radio talkgroup (SMART) dedicated to the preparation for and response to earthquakes throughout the central United States.

CUSEC is a partnership of the federal government and eight states most affected by earthquakes in the central U.S. including Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. The organization serves as the coordinating hub for the multi-state region and as a partnership of organizations to mediate disasters and save lives caused by earthquakes in the central U.S.

MSV is expected to shake things up with their new satellite, MSV-1, expected to launch in 2009 and based on Boeing’s GeoMobile platform (like Thuraya, but bigger). Wait a minute: where’s California? They have their own earthquake people. But central U.S.? There was an earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter Scale in the Wabash Valley on 18 April 2008, via The Southern Illinoisan:

An earthquake centered in southern Illinois rocked people awake across the Midwest early Friday, surprising residents unaccustomed to such seismic activity.

The quake just before 4:37 a.m. was centered 6 miles from West Salem, Ill., and 66 miles west of Evansville, Ind.

Initially pegged as a 5.4 earthquake, the U.S. Geological Survey revised its estimate to give it a value of 5.2.

West Salem is in Edwards County, and dispatcher Lucas Griswold says the sheriff’s department received several calls about the earthquake but only reports of minor damage and no injuries.

“Oh, yeah, I felt it. It was interesting,” Griswold said. “A lot of shaking.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Australian Broadcasting is reporting a new satellite system for predicting earthquakes using ionospheric dimpling:

The theory suggests that much of earth’s rock has soaked up water, which has later been exposed to extreme heat and pressure inside the earth. Those conditions break apart the water and create the electrically conductive crystals that exist inside most rocks, as well as byproducts such as oxygen.

As pressure builds before an earthquake, the oxygen molecules inside the rocks undergo chemical reactions, creating a positive electrical charge that radiates out toward the earth’s surface.

"It’s similar to how an electrical charge radiates through a battery," says Freund.

The charge creates a subtle fluorescent, infrared glow and a magnetic field one to two weeks before a major earthquake.

That light shines into space, the theory goes, where satellites can register the change.

Low-resolution thermal cameras aboard the proposed satellites would scan the earth to detect earthquake precursors, says Eves.

The positively charged magnet creates a dimple, up to 20 kilometres deep, in the earth’s atmosphere by attracting negatively charged ions from as far away as 600 kilometres above the surface of the Earth.

To detect this ionospheric dimpling, the satellites would monitor the existing Global Positioning Satellite System with three small GPS antennas on its side. As each GPS satellite comes up over the horizon, its signal would pass through the ionosphere. Any dimpling would change that signal.

The theory is not without skeptics.

"As far as I know, there is no published research to suggest that this will work," says Dr Mike Blanpied, who is with the United States Geologic Survey’s Earthquake Hazards Program.

This early-warning system was reported by the Wall Street Journal last month:

Early in May, NASA earth scientists monitoring infrared images of the earth noticed unusual patterns in southwestern China. One sent an email to colleagues, noting: Something is happening in Sichuan province.

For Friedemann Freund, a chemist-turned-NASA geophysics researcher, it was more support for his simple, though hotly contested theory: Earthquakes are the culmination of drawn-out physical processes that can be tracked sometimes more than a week ahead of the main event.
 
The main idea: Rocks put under enough pressure — for example, when tectonic plates shift — turn into batteries. The resulting electrical currents can travel miles into the earth, Dr. Freund says. The infrared images observed by NASA, for example, were concentrated several hundred miles from the epicenter of the roughly 8.0 magnitude earthquake that struck on May 12, killing at least 34,000 people.

Dr. Freund describes his discovery as simple, made at 2 p.m. on a Friday afternoon in early 2005 just before he and his graduate students finished packing up a temporary laboratory they had been using. For experiment No. 167, one for the road, they decided to use a copper contact to test whether a squeezed rock emitted a current. It did.

"This is something that should have been discovered 50 years ago," he said.

Certainly, people have tried. For more than a century, researchers have debated the pursuit of the "holy grail" of earthquake prediction. There is still no widespread support for linking electromagnetic signals, infrared emissions or atmospheric changes to an approaching quake.

Satellites are used to communicate seismic data, and transmitting videos, of course. The prospect of being able to predict such events many days in advance seems like a real possibility. Count on the Smithsonian to present it, probably based on a published piece by Dr. Ouzounov of George Mason University.

Satellite Broadband, Down Under

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

 

With summer almost here in the northern hemisphere, our thoughts are turning to long afternoons and evenings spent around the barbecue and the neighborhood pool.

But in the southern hemisphere, of course, it’s the winter solstice that is approaching on June 21st. That means long nights at home, waiting for warmer weather — and brighter days — to return.

The good news for southern hemisphere residents, however, is that internet via satellite is often far cheaper than it is here. That means that they can surf the night away while still squirreling away enough cash to make it through winter.

In New Zealand, for example, Internet via satellite can now be had for as little as $38 a month:

Satellite broadband wholesaler Bay City Communications is launching a rural broadband service, called Rocket Broadband, today.

The IPSTAR satellite, owned by Thaicom, covers all of New Zealand, says Bay City managing director Tony Baird.

The company is offering three plans — Explorer, Discovery and Voyager. At $49.95 (excluding GST) per month, the Explorer plan offers a 256Kbit/s downlink and 128Kbit/s up, with a 500MB data cap…..

Across the Tasman, the Australian government’s Broadband Guarantee Program offers eligible consumers access to subsidised broadband with a guaranteed minimum level of service. The Australian government pays $2,500 per installation of the satellite broadband and that has greatly helped uptake over there, says Phil Cross, business development manager of IPSTAR Australia.

The article cites the advantages that satellite broadband can bring to rural residents, such as "reduced fuel costs and time savings thanks to online banking and online shopping… social inclusion and the ability to network online, do email and participate in video-conferencing, as well as distance education and research online for school children." Bay City and IPSTAR are also making life better for New Zealand’s farmers.

IPSTAR uses spot beams to improve efficiency of their services:

 

 

 The IPSTAR system is comprised of a gateway earth station communicating over the IPSTAR satellite to provide broadband packet-switched communications to a large number of small terminals with network star configuration.

A wide-band data link from the gateway to the user terminal uses an Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) with a Time Division Multiplex (TDM) overlay. These forward channels employ highly efficient transmission methods including Turbo Product Code (TPC) and higher order modulation (L-codes) for increased system performance.

In the terminal to gateway direction or return link, the narrow-band channels employ the same efficient transmission methods. These narrow-band channels operate in different multiple-access modes based on bandwidth usage behavior, including Slotted-ALOHA, ALOHA, and TDMA for STAR return link waveform.  

There’s no doubt that satellite internet has plenty of room to grow in remote New Zealand and the wide-open spaces of Australia. And it’s growth that IPSTAR is likely to achieve, with clever ads like this one propelling their marketing strategy in the far east:

 

As well, Australia’s Broadband Guarantee Program (mentioned above) provides a steady source of revenues for expanding satellite broadband.  

Whether such a program ever takes hold in the United States depends on the outcome of the net neutrality debate. And with the heat of summer getting to us here, it’s unlikely that that debate will stop raging anytime soon. 

 

China Launches Zhongxing-9

Monday, June 9th, 2008

China announced today the launch of its new communications satellite, Zhongxing-9, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern Sichuan Province.

The bird went up at 8:15 p.m. Beijing Time on Monday:

The satellite was shot into space aboard the Long March-3B rocket carrier. It was the 107th launch mission for the Long March series of carrier rockets….

The China Great Wall Industrial Corporation (CGWIC), the contractor of the satellite launch, signed the launch service contract with China Satcom in November 2005.

As the only company engaged in international commercial satellite launching services, CGWIC has launched 34 foreign satellites for 28 services.

Zhongxing-9 was built by France-based Thales Alenia Space for China Satcom, which plans to use it for live television broadcasts of the Beijing Olympic Games in August.

The launch of  Zhongxing-9 may help rural residents of China get a clearer picture of the Olympics, but other networks are getting increasingly worried about just what they’ll be able to broadcast to the rest of the world:

 Television networks that will broadcast the Beijing Olympics to billions around the world are squaring off with local organizers over stringent security that threatens coverage of the games in two months.

Differences over a wide range of issues — from limits on live coverage in Tiananmen Square to allegations that freight shipments of TV broadcasting equipment are being held up in Chinese ports — surfaced in a contentious meeting late last month between Beijing organizers and high-ranking International Olympic Committee officials and TV executives — including those from NBC.

In response to the complaints from broadcasters, Sun Weijia, head of media operations for the Beijing organizers, asked them to put it in writing, only to draw protests about mounting paperwork.

The CBC has more about TV execs’ mounting worries:

In a meeting with Chinese officials held in Beijing on May 29, nine media organizations that have paid for the rights to broadcast the Olympics were told there’s unlikely to be live coverage from Tiananmen Square or the Forbidden City.

This is a change from two months ago when International Olympic Committee officials in Beijing said China had agreed to allow live coverage.

Broadcasters have been denied permits to record aerial views of the two sites for media coverage of the Games, which begin Aug. 8.

"For us to potentially not be able to do live reports from Tiananmen — the most iconic place in China — is a disgrace," said Scott Moore, executive director of Canada’s CBC Sports. "I’ve been told that to do business in China, you have to have patience. We don’t have time to have patience. The Games have begun for us already."

It should be interesting to see how the Olympic broadcasting — which sounds like an event in and of itself — will play out.

One thing is for certain: it doesn’t matter how good your satcom broadcasting capability if you can’t get the shot you want to broadcast in the first place.

 

Boatloads of iPhones

Saturday, June 7th, 2008

 

Hundreds of shipping containers have been arriving from China to ports all over this planet, presumably packed with new iPhones

Don’t miss your boat: Apple’s announcing a new iPhone on Monday, 9 June 2008 at 17:00 GMT — tape your "go away" signs to your doors and follow it on Engadget, which reported firmware details last night:

    • Infineon PMB6952 / S-GOLD3 six-band UMTS / HSDPA transceiver (as we’d heard)
    • Murata LMRX3JCA-479 tri-band amplifier (we’re assuming for the 3G)
    • Sony SP9T antenna switch for GSM / UMTS dual mode
    • ARM 1176JZF-S – Main CPU (same as in 1st gen iPhone)
    • Skyworks 77427 chip – UMTS / HSDPA tx 1900MHz, rx 2100MHz
    • Skyworks 77414 chip – UMTS / HSDPA 1900MHz Skyworks 77413 chip – UMTS / HSDPA 850MHz
    • Internal build model number: n82ap (1st gen iPhone was model m68ap)
    • UMTS Power Saving option – on or off
    • Hooks for Global Locate Library (GLL), software that handles A-GPS related commands for the host processor

 

Otherwise, we have no shortage of rumors. Check Engadget, Gizmodo and FierceWireless. There are sure to be some surprises, and I’m hoping for live TV reception via A-VSB. Getting DVB-H, DVB-T or DVB-SH may be a stretch, but maybe next year.

I’ll be watching/following the Apple WWDC any way I can. MacWorld reports this is one of the most important in years:

“This is a hugely significant WWDC for Apple because they are bringing out a new platform,” said Michael Gartenberg, vice president and research director at research firm JupiterResearch. “This is the coming out party for the iPhone.”