Sean Gilligan's Blog


More on Free Radio Santa Cruz and Pirate Radio

I didn't post much text explaining the situation, but several people have asked for it, so I'm taking a long lunch to write this post. I didn't originally do this for two reasons: 1) the focus of this blog is supposed to be video and 2) I really didn't know any background information or have the time to research it.

Free Radio Santa Cruz has been broadcasting illegally for about 10 years. I don't know what the ups and downs of their ongoing battles with the FCC have been, but yesterday the FCC did what only the government can legally do: sent in people with guns to achieve their objectives.

The FCC took their antenna, transmitter, computers, tape players, turntables, and I heard they were taking records, tapes, and CD's too. That's the stuff they're loading into the "undercover" camper-shell pickups that you can see in the slide show.

Personally, I have mixed feelings about the situation. Being not very subversive myself, I think people should try to obey the law, even when it is stupid. Then you try to change it. 10 years is a pretty long run, after all. Alan from demandmedia is familiar with low power radio advocates and says, "Some have chosen civil disobedience (like Free Radio Santa Cruz), some have chosen to take on one of the most powerful lobby's in DC. I think they work together pretty well. Laws protecting civil rights don't get passed unless there are people [who] civilly disobey restrictions o[n] them." He says Prometheus Radio is the "premier grassroots lobbying group" for this cause. He also says there is a bill in congress that would allow FRSC to become legit.

I don't know the details of the technology and law for FM broadcasting, but I think the reasonable solution would be to change the law (or regulations) to allow micro-broadcasting under reasonable conditions. In this specific case, I don't think that FRSC (aka "Freak Radio") was hurting anyone (i.e. interfering with another signal.) The more I learn about this, the more it sounds like Prometheus should be unchained. I'd like to learn more about the "bill". I'll bet there will be some discussion at the upcoming Santa Cruz City Council meeting. (Not that it will do much good, as this is a federal issue.) Santa Cruz residents will recognize Mayor Scott Kennedy and Councilman Mark Primack in the slide show.

For more information:


John Malkin on the FCC Raid

John Malkin, who hosts a show on Free Radio Santa Cruz, talks about the FCC raid that occurred today. The FCC seized their antenna, transmitter, A/V equipment, including record players, etc. Update: Although their FM broadcast is down, they've got an a "station alert" playing on their live stream.

I just happened to drive by their "station" on Laurel St. in Santa Cruz and noticed the commotion. I thought, "Heh, I should videoblog this!". Unfortunately the battery for my DV cam was not charged up, so I was limited to taking a few short video clips with my cellphone and a handful of photos.


Slide Show of FCC Raid on Free Radio Santa Cruz

Since my DV camera wasn't charged up, I took many photos with my cell phone and put this slideshow together using the QuickTime export capability of iPhoto. Music by Barbara Leoni and used under a Creative Commons license.



CSS Books

Of the 16 books in the stack, 12 were on CSS, and I eventually chose three: 1) A "treatise" to answer the "why's": Designing with Web Standards 2) A cookbook for quick "how-to" stuff to get started on a particular problem: CSS Cookbook 3) A reference to provide detailed information: Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide


Christopher Li

I met my friend, Christopher Li, at Starbucks on Friday and gave him the update on Catalla and vBlog Central. Chris is also working on an exciting new venture and it is always fun to get advice from a passionate entrepreneur and consultant with much more of a "business-side" background than me. This video was his demo of moblogging...


Chilean Sunset

From Amara's recent trip to Chile. (This is a test.)

Yancy talks about his vBlog

and Sean asks questions.

(Apologies for the washed out video, but I had lent my camera to someone who apparently had changed some settings.)



Joopai Plays Ukulele

Joopai, also known as "Junior" plays Ukulele at an Internet Cafe in San Jose. (This is from January, 2004)