Fight for empty TV channels to connect New Yorkers to the Internet

I just received this from the Free Press organization, warning me about how New Yorkers won’t be able to use the whitespace signals next year for Internet Connectivity, given the Wireless communication mafia is trying to get a hold of the spectrum, and if we don’t do something about it, we’ll loose the spectrum. We’ll ALL benefit by having this spectrum, it would enable ubiquitous wireless internet access, benefiting every business on the internet with more users. That would surely make cellphone companies scared, imagine a phone that would use that spectrum and communicate via the internet instead (with skype, for free for example, international calls free, access to MyBloop files anywhere, etc.)

With your help, we can deliver high-speed Internet access to more New Yorkers.

What if I told you we could use empty TV channels to connect tens of thousands of New Yorkers to the Internet?

The technology exists today. But some members of the New York City Council are trying to stop us from using it.

The Council has bought into a corporate misinformation campaign, and is now holding a public hearing next Monday to consider a resolution that would keep this technology from the New Yorkers who need it most.

You can help the Council make the right decision by speaking out at the hearing:

WHAT: NYC City Council Hearing on White Spaces
WHEN: Monday, Sept. 29, 10 a.m.
WHERE: City Hall Committee Room, enter at the Intersection of Centre and Worth Streets

The latest front in the battle over universal Internet access is “white spaces” — empty frequencies between TV channels on the public airwaves. In New York City, 20 percent of these television airwaves sit idle. New technology can open this unused spectrum to powerful high-speed Internet services, bringing ubiquitous and affordable broadband to tens of thousands of New Yorkers now left off the grid.

Here’s the problem: Councilmember Gale Brewer and Speaker Christine Quinn have sponsored a draft resolution claiming white space devices could harm the Broadway industry in New York City. They, along with the Broadway League, maintain that white space devices will disrupt the wireless microphones used for Broadway shows. Numerous tests conducted by the FCC show, however, that this is not true.

Meanwhile, lobbyists for the National Association of Broadcasters and cell phone companies have been blitzing federal, state and local governments with misinformation to prevent white spaces from bringing the benefits of broadband to millions of people. They want to hoard this spectrum to stifle innovation and competition. If they win, we all lose.

Too many in this city have been left on the wrong side of the digital divide. The answer to getting New Yorkers connected is right in front of us:

Attend Monday’s Hearing

The hearing will be open to public testimony. Please come and urge the City Council to reject the resolution and speak out for opening up white spaces for a better Internet.

With your help on Monday, we can help deliver the Internet for everyone in New York City.

Thank you,

Timothy Karr
Campaign Director
Free Press

1. Learn more about white spaces at

DJ Afro – Will Work for Fun

DJ Afro is Jose Luis Pardo, the venezuelan guitar player, prodigy musician and composer of Los Amigos Invisibles.

This playlist is courtesy of El Blogo who could find this album somewhere in Mexico and was kind enough to share it with us at

About DJ Afro (taken from his official website)

DJ Afro (A.K.A. Jose Luis Pardo)

If you go to a Los Amigos Invisibles (LAI), you will never listen to any Shakira or Enrique Iglesias because DJ Afro, the band’s guitar player, is in charge of heating up the party and making sure the night starts well enough to move your feet with really funky rhythms.

Time has passed and Dj Afro (a.k.a Jose Luis Pardo) has managed to get the party going even when LAI are not playing after him.

He is responsible for writing more than 80% LAI’s music, as well as playing guitar, keyboard and background vocals for all five albums. He has also been featured on Louie Vega’s “Elements of life” and Dimitri from Paris’ “Cruising attitude”.

Aside from his work with the band, DJ Afro also enjoys a respected career as a remix producer. He just released his first solo track, “Mala Idea” (look at you records). He has published several remixes for Dimitri from Paris, and in his remix’ reel you can find tracks of Beastie Boys, Fantastic Plastic Machine, David Byrne, Radio Zumbido, Fundación Tony Manero, Sonorama, Soul Coughing, Los Amigos Invisibles, John Scofield and others.

As a DJ with a bag full of records that can go from Samba to Boogaloo, from Rare Grooves to Organic House to Disco, he can make people smile and start dancing almost anywhere.

DJ Afro has been spinning all around New York City since he moved here. He has been a guest behind the decks in parties like Turntables on the Hudson, Giant Step, PS-1, Shelter, Cielo, Suba, Remote lounge, Nublu, Pink (SF), Knitting Factory (LA), La santanera (playa del Carmen), O bar (Dallas), Sala Arena (Madrid), The Basement (Australia) and others. He has opened for Dimitri from Paris and Little Louie Vega. Nowadays, DJ Afro’s afterparties in local clubs following LAI’s gigs are becoming a standard in every city they perform.

Afro is also part of expansion team, a prestigious agency of top of the line producers that create music for commercial spots and films. He has produced original music for brands like Mazda, Sears, Miller, General Motors, AT&T and Sony, among others.

He was also the mind behind CHILL OUT VENEZUELA (Gozadera Records, 2004), a compilation featuring the new scene of young Venezuelan producers that has been very well received by music lovers. He is now finalizing details on its follow up, “DANCE VENEZUELA”.

DJ Afro recently composed the soundtrack for “Sed en los Pies,” a short film that opened in Venezuela in late 2005, and he will be working on the music for Mexican director Luis Sanchez’ new film. Afro’s music will also accompany Crimanesa Amoroso’s new art piece.

For the past two years, he has recorded a weekly radio show, DJ AFRO Y SU RUMBA BARATA, which airs in Caracas every Friday on ATENEO 100.7 FM, with great feedback. Afro is also in charge of choosing the playlists at SUBA, one of the most prestigious restaurants in downtown Manhattan.

Jose Luis also has a life as a journalist. He writes a column for two magazines: PLAY (Venezuela) and EL HUEVO (México) and he contributes frequently to other Venezuelan magazines like TODO EN DOMINGO and URBE.

More About DJ Afro
You can read his curious blog (in spanish) at, which he seems to often update whenever he sits at the airport, given the titles of “Airport Chronicles” in some of his posts.

Support this artist if you enjoyed this playlist.

Pictures courtesy of Juan Galvan Adriana Gutierrez Varela

Biking Route, Spring is here

Bike trip from Brooklyn to Manhattan

White tree at Sheep's Meadow in Central Park, one of my favorite spots to relax in the city for freeWhenever I see the temperature go above 65F I feel a sudden urge to leave the house. Yesterday I decided to take a bike trip to the city and back.

On the way there, my ipod blasted two prodigy records, then while in Central Park I listened to a wonderful podcast called E01 (spanish) which judges TV shows based on their first aired episode, the E01.

Resting while listening to E01 podcast

After the trip I have one request for Mayor Bloomberg, please add bike lanes in midtown on 2nd Av. it’s really scary to bike anywhere up above 34th st, definitively lot better once you ride south of 14th st.

My next trip will be to Park Slope right here in Brooklyn.

Do you have any favorite bike routes in your city? Please share

[LISTEN] The Budos Band II – Afro Soul

The Budos Band are an “Instrumental Staten-Island Afro-Soul” outfit recording on the Daptone Records label. The band has eleven members (up to thirteen members at times) who play instrumental music that is self-described as “Afro-Soul,” a term and sound which – in a recent interview – baritone saxaphone player Jared Tankel elucidates as, being drawn from Ethiopian music the band had been listening to that had a soul undercurrent to it, which the band then “sprinkled a little bit of sweet 60’s stuff on top” of.[1]

Funk, Afro-beat, and soul influences can be heard in the Budos Band albums, both of which are Daptone Records releases recorded at the label’s own studio, Daptone’s House of Soul, in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Numerous other funk and soul outfits appear on the same label including: The Mighty Imperials, Sugarman 3, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, plus others.

You can buy their music on iTunes, or on regular CDs.

Source: Wikipedia