Russian Proposes GLOBAL TV
THE RATHER LIMITED conception of radio transmission we had back in 1925, when we wondered whether radio waves could be propagated through space (see opposite page), has progressed to a stage where today we are near the point of transmitting television through space. With the launching of the first Sputnik last October, the dream of global TV received a tremendous shot in the arm and it has gathered momentum with each additional satellite thrown into the skyâ€”both Russian and American. The magazine which first published data on Sputnik I, the Soviet periodical Radio, has outlined a plan which would allow nearly every TV set anywhere on earth to pick up a program transmitted from any other point. Television today, of course, is pretty much limited by line of sight, except in those areas which have coaxial cables, and a few spots which are equipped with over-the-horizon scatter facilities. The system proposed by engineer V. Petrov would make use of satellites which would pick up signals from stations on earth and bounce them to other satellites for more distant relay.
If a satellite is launched from the equator so that it follows an eastward track at the proper speed and height, it will remain over one spot on the equator. In other words, if it went into orbit over Belem in Brazil, or Stanleyville in the Belgian Congo, or Singapore in Malaya, it would remain fixed in the sky over that spot. This is becauseâ€”if the velocity and height are correctâ€”the speed of the satellite will exactly match the eastward rotation of the earth. It will be making an orbit of the earth once in 24 hours (compared to the 90 to 106 minutes or so for the present satellites. Since the earth rotates on its axis once in 24 hours, there will be no relative motion between the two spheres.
I love how they speak in absolutes “never makes a mistake”, “perfect chess techniques”. I’m worndering how it could possibly play chess at all. My guess is that what they mean is it always makes a legal move, i.e. pawns don’t go sideways.
Also, does that board look a little small to you?
Mechanical Chess Opponent
Chess fans can play solitaire against a machine that never makes a mistake. Invented by a Spaniard, the machine teaches perfect chess techniques. Whenever an error is made in play, a light flashes on automatically.
TV Show Features “Wires and Pliers”
THEY’RE trying a new experiment on TV in Los Angeles. Every Saturday, those who want to see popular electronics at work can watch Dr. Martin L. Klein on the “Wires and Pliers” show, Station KCOP. Dr. Klein, a well-known electronics designer, and Harry C. Morgan, another electronics engineer, have found a novel way to interest viewers in the subject. Morgan designed a complete series of simple useful circuits, each one costing less than five dollars to build. With the help of a super-fast electronics technician, Aram Solomo-nian, they have put together on the program a crystal radio (this took Solomonian five minutes), a transistor amplifier (seven minutes), and an electronic puzzle (eight minutes). What’s more, they then prove to the audience that the circuits really work. And the Electronic Engineering Company of California, sponsor of the show, is packaging the circuits in kit form at nominal cost.
Apparently bowling used to be a lot more popular.
25,000 Bowlers Participate In National Contest
CLOSE to 25,000 bowlers, members of 5,000 five-man teams, recently gathered in Chicago, 111., to attend the mammoth competition sponsored by the American Bowling Congress. The competition lasted for one and a half months and the prizes totaled $290,000. Because of the large number of contestants, the competition was declared to be the nation’s most extravagant sports event. More than forty alleys were constructed at the contest site to accommodate the bowlers.
PARLOR MAGIC with CIGARETTES
IF THE cigarettes themselves could only express the keen competition apparent among their manufacturers . . .well!
Try this: Drop a bunch of one brand smokes into a hat. Take a lone cigarette of another brand and skoot it into the enemy encampment. Bang! Out comes the intruder with much gusto to be deftly caught in your hand. The “how” is absurdly simple. The “bunch” is dropped into the hat, taking care that they land in the far compartment of the crown. The lone cigarette goes into the near compartment. What’s left is merely a matter of voicing a loud “bang” at the same moment you snap the crown of the hat with your thumb, projecting the cigarette high into the air. For so simple a bit of foolery, this goes over nicely.
How to Tie a Cigarette in a Knot
Odd article written by Lee deForest the inventor of the Audion, a vacuum tube amplifier that ushered in the radio and electronics age. He discusses the origins and growth of electronics and what the future may bring, including dissing the transistor and living room walls that keep one warm by microwaves. He also has some firm opinions regarding the uses to which his invention has been put:
The microphone-amplifier-loudspeaker combination is having an enormous effect on our civilization. Not all of it is good! Consider to what heights of impudence and tyranny, and to what depths of moral depravity, has radio broadcasting and the loudspeaker attained in that recent monstrosity, Transit Radio, Inc. Almost incredible is the loathsome fact that already in 21 cities bus riders must listen to never-ending, blatant advertising and unwelcome jitterbug and bop music, “viciously repugnant to the spiritual and intellectual assumptions of American life,” as Prof. Charles Black of Columbia University wrote. This outrage is unquestionably the all-time low to which radio broadcasting can sink.
Dawn of the Electronic Age
By Lee deForest (“Father of Radio”)
WHEN VOCAL SOUND first became articulate the ancestor of man leaped suddenly from the dumb shackles of the brute. The first crude sign writing, whereby thoughts might be recorded, helped to bring scattered men and tribes into social units and establish contact with future generations through the permanency of the written word. For ages, ecclesiastics maintained a monopoly of reading and writing. Then came movable type and the printing press of Gutenberg. Reading and writing became common heritage. The postal service followed, fostering a moderate exchange of thought between people. Ancient Greeks developed a crude method of heliograph for military signaling. Then flags by day and fires by night conveyed information over wide distances. Later, the system of signaling by semaphore devised by Claude Choppe during the French Revolution blazed the path leading to the electric telegraph of Morse. Scarcely more than a century ago came the first telegraph, an instantaneous means for communicating over great land distances, followed by the submarine cable for spanning the oceans. Bell, experimenting with a new form of telegraphy, came upon the telephone, and as a result business and social life were; immeasurably increased in tempo. Late in the 19th century, wireless telegraphy entered the communications field, first as a means of spinning threads between ships and shores, and robbing the sea of its sinister silence; later as a practical means of transoceanic communication. Inspired by the classical formulas of Maxwell in England, Hertz in Germany in the 1880s discovered electromagnetic waves, proving them akin to light waves but of vastly longer wavelengths and lower frequencies.
This looks like a hell of a lot of fun.
Human Squirrel Cage
THRILL ADDICTS registered their screaming approval of a German-made fun machine introduced at Chicago’s Riverview Amusement Park this summer. Little cars circle a drum 27 feet in diameter which supports five circular tracks. The cars are loosely attached to the tracks and, by operating a foot pedal, the rider can lock his car to the track. As the drum revolves at about 15 miles per hour, the cars go around with it. Timid riders can release the brake pedal and their cars merely rock back and forth. But braver souls press the pedals and make like squirrels in a squirrel cage.
Perfected Television Now Ready for the Public
Practical television is here! Philo Farnsworth’s compact electron camera transmitter and cathode ray receiver will bring movies, radio studio, and even outdoor scenes to every home with magical, photographic clearness.
by DEAN S. JENNINGS
MOVIES, plucked from the air . . . Football games, seen from a fireside chair . . .
Distant places, noted stars of the stage, industry at work, drama, thrills, all living on a screen in your radio set!
No dream thisâ€”for television is now perfected and ready for a hungry market, ready for your home! And before many months pass its wonders will be commonplace, its intricacies clear to every radio set owner.
Now ad men have a new way to persuade you. They can pop a suggestion into your mind, using TV or movies, without your knowing it
TV’s New Trick: Hidden Commercials
By Wesley S. Griswold
PROBABLY you’ve heard aboutâ€”perhaps even worried aboutâ€”a revolutionary new way to beam messages into the human mind. Especially suited to TV and movies, the new idea-injecting technique is said to work while you, all unawares, are innocently enjoying the program. The idea-words appear superimposed on the picture images too fast and too dimly to be seen in the normal way. Yet they register on your mind.
Despite rejection by the national networks, uneasy skepticism by the F.C.C. and alarm from people who fear that this strange development may bring wholesale invasion of privacy and risk of political tyranny, two means of reaching people’s subconscious minds by television are currently being tested.
For 1956 that is actually an impressively small camera.
World’s Tiniest TV Camera
Telecasting of programs by means of a TV camera palmed in the operator’s hand is forecast as a result of the recent development of a new electronic device in West Germany. As shown in the photo (left), the video pickup is smaller than many microphones. Heart of the instrument is a miniature tube called the ‘Mini-Resitron.”
This camera works in pretty much the same way as conventional, larger TV “eyes,” converting optical images into electrical signals. Operation depends largely on a sensitive layer of semi-conductor material developed by Prof. I. Walter Heimann. The inside of the camera is an amazingly compact array of tiny components and intricate wiring. Subminia-ture tubes and other parts are clustered around the “Mini-Resitron,” while a flexible metal hose is wrapped around the cable that leads from the camera.
Still in the experimental stage, the new unit will probably go into production some time later this year.