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Old 08-30-2007, 06:32 AM   #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker
You're right: You're an optimist. This was just a bunch of discussions until that last week or so. The next step after discussions is to convert the technical requirements into design specifications. We have no reason to believe that that work has not yet started, but we also have no reason to believe that that work is even close to completion yet.
Well, we do have the English language to lead us to the conclusion that such a product has already been developed or the development process in currently going on.

Specifically, from the article linked by the OP, see this statement (emphasis added by me):

Quote:
The NCTA said cable has worked with individual consumer-electronics makers ' it cited TiVo ' to develop a solution that can provide two-way switched digital video channels to unidirectional digital cable products.
Note that the NCTA used the past tense -- has worked; not will work (future) or is working (present). Hopefully, such meaning can be taken from NCTA's choice of words.

Of course, Comcast is a member of the NCTA, and they incorrectly use the past tense all of the time. For example they recently told me that they had already trained their CSRs, install techs, and dispatchers on cable card installations when in fact not a single one of the 20 or so that I talked with during my Tivo installation debacle had been trained and only two knew anything at all about cable card installations (they should have used future tense such as we WILL train our people .. when pigs fly). Another example could be when I was told by three separate Comcast CSRs that they had fixed their billing mistakes on my account when they had the incorrect subscription info. They should have used the future tense, such as we will fix your billing info ... after you call a fourth time.

So I guess that sometimes one's proper use of the English language may not be an accurate reflection of reality.
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:58 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by mike_camden
Note that the NCTA used the past tense -- has worked; not will work (future) or is working (present).
I've 'worked' on a heck of a lot of things that are no where near complete and will likely never complete. Don't read too much into 'worked'. It is like the old saying. "I never miss a 'start' milestone."
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Old 08-30-2007, 12:09 PM   #123
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Reasonably priced??? I think it's BS to have to pay for something that allows access to channels that I *should* be receiving any way... Just my .02
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Old 08-30-2007, 12:29 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by dolfer
Reasonably priced??? I think it's BS to have to pay for something that allows access to channels that I *should* be receiving any way... Just my .02


Exactly, it should not cost anything!
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Old 08-30-2007, 01:01 PM   #125
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Maybe, maybe, the dongle will be included with the cablecard rental fee, but I doubt it. With any luck we'll get mcards and the dongle at the same time, and it'll be a sum zero kind of thing.
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Old 08-30-2007, 02:38 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by nathanziarek
Maybe, maybe, the dongle will be included with the cablecard rental fee, but I doubt it. With any luck we'll get mcards and the dongle at the same time, and it'll be a sum zero kind of thing.
I don't mind paying for a piece of hardware that wasn't in the box I bought, but TiVo would be smart to give them to subscribers and sell them for a modest fee to users of other OCUR devices that can use them. The last thing in the world I want is to depend on the cableco to rent it, much less supply it at any cost.

Unlike cablecards, the dongle shouldn't need any user or even system specific setup. All the authentication is in the cablecard, the dongle should be just a dumb transmitter.
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:10 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by pmiranda
Unlike cablecards, the dongle shouldn't need any user or even system specific setup.
But SOMETHING would have to be system-specific. The SDV protocol used between the set-top box and the head end varies between systems.
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Old 08-30-2007, 07:14 PM   #128
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But SOMETHING would have to be system-specific. The SDV protocol used between the set-top box and the head end varies between systems.
Question is whether the system specific stuff happens in TiVo software drivers, in the USB dongle, or there is some middleware interface that hides the differences.
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:45 PM   #129
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Slightly related topic... are CE manufacturers still interested in using CableCARD technology anyway? I could easily see where this product would be ideal in non-TiVo recorders such as DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-Ray with or without harddrives, but I wonder if they will do so? It would be good for TVs too, but since it's only dual tuner anyway, people seem to be OK with having a box for it, so an integrated CableCARD solution that would need an extra USB stick somewhere seems more than a bit impractical.

Are TiVo fighting this battle mostly alone with some token support from the CE manufacturers, or do they really have a stake in it?
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Old 08-31-2007, 06:16 AM   #130
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Originally Posted by mike_camden
Note that the NCTA used the past tense -- has worked; not will work (future) or is working (present). Hopefully, such meaning can be taken from NCTA's choice of words.
They're referring to a "solution", not a technical implementation of that solution. I met with customers last week and we worked out a solution to their need. Now, this week, I'm working on technical specifications for the solution. Next week, I'll do some design specifications. Then, in early October, we'll begin coding the solution. We'll test it in November, and perhaps have it ready for our January release. And I assure you, it is no where near as complicated as what Comcast and TiVo are talking about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_camden
So I guess that sometimes one's proper use of the English language may not be an accurate reflection of reality.
I think, rather, sometimes some folks read way too much into the written or spoken word, perhaps as a reflection of wishful thinking.
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Old 08-31-2007, 06:24 AM   #131
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Reasonably priced??? I think it's BS to have to pay for something that allows access to channels that I *should* be receiving any way...
Yet that's also wishful thinking. Very often pricing is split into a flat fee plus a variable fee based on grade of service. In the case of cable, that split is between equipment rental (flat fee, and sometimes no charge) and number of channels included in your package (variable fee). Different equipment often have different capabilities with regard to which channels they provide access to. No equipment (no fee) provides access only to local channels, even if your cable package (variable fee) includes other channels. You have to have either a digital STB (flat fee) or CableCard(s) (flat fee, possibly multiple) in order to access encrypted channels that may be included in your cable package (variable fee). In this case, some channels would require not only CableCard(s) (flat fee, possibly multiple) but also the dongle (a second or third flat fee).
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Old 08-31-2007, 10:32 AM   #132
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Originally Posted by bicker
Yet that's also wishful thinking. Very often pricing is split into a flat fee plus a variable fee based on grade of service. In the case of cable, that split is between equipment rental (flat fee, and sometimes no charge) and number of channels included in your package (variable fee). Different equipment often have different capabilities with regard to which channels they provide access to. No equipment (no fee) provides access only to local channels, even if your cable package (variable fee) includes other channels. You have to have either a digital STB (flat fee) or CableCard(s) (flat fee, possibly multiple) in order to access encrypted channels that may be included in your cable package (variable fee). In this case, some channels would require not only CableCard(s) (flat fee, possibly multiple) but also the dongle (a second or third flat fee).
As long as all of what you just said amounts to .50 or less per month, I am on board!
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Old 08-31-2007, 12:22 PM   #133
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Maybe
even a dollar a month, but absolutely no more than that. A clear and positive statement on this and/or addressing QAM mapping to digital broadcast data by TiVo means I immediately run to my local dealer for a heaping helping of TiVo HD goodness...
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Old 08-31-2007, 12:23 PM   #134
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And I guess we can assume that will $1 per month per Tivo.
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:24 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by bicker
I think, rather, sometimes some folks read way too much into the written or spoken word, perhaps as a reflection of wishful thinking.
Reading too much into something is an inference ; taking what someone actually says or writes at face value is different. I tend to take comments by companies and people who work for those companies (since they're acting as that comapny's representative if they are being paid to answer the phone) at their face value. When dealing with certain companies such as Comcast, this approach tends to lead to quite a bit of dissapointment, since I have found the word of most Comcast employees to be basically worthless. I would much rather have a representative of a company tell that they don't know but will look into it and get back to me (and actually do get back to me) than to outright lie. Unfortunately, it appears that in my experience at least, very few Comcast CSRs are either trained in this approach or it is not enforced by management. You can take that for whatever you want, but it's a far cry from inference.

On the subject of the thread itself -- This statement on Tivo's Support website leads me to believe that at least some actual product development has occured.
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Old 08-31-2007, 02:54 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by mike_camden
taking what someone actually says or writes at face value is different. I tend to take comments by companies and people who work for those companies (since they're acting as that comapny's representative if they are being paid to answer the phone) at their face value.
You are basing your whole argument on the word and tense of "worked". This is enough wiggle room in that word that it could mean anything. Like I said earlier, it means nothing about the completion of a task. I worked on painting my house. What can you take from this statement about when I will be done?
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Old 08-31-2007, 04:58 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by nathanziarek
I don't know about the technology of it all, but I'd guess it would sit "inline." At least, in terms of user interaction and setting the thing up, that'd be the easiest way to go.
Code:
----cable----{}----SDV thingy----{}----TiVo
                        |               |
                        -------USB-------
This would also permit the construction of devices like:
Code:
tin cans and string --- TCSDV box ----- coax ---  TiVo
                           |                        |
                           +----------USB ----------+
Or any other technology between the video provider and the intermediate box. Like IP TV, or satellite, or ...
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Old 08-31-2007, 05:31 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by sommerfeld
This would also permit the construction of devices like:
Code:
tin cans and string --- TCSDV box ----- coax ---  TiVo
                           |                        |
                           +----------USB ----------+
Or any other technology between the video provider and the intermediate box. Like IP TV, or satellite, or ...
Well the picture and flow diagram would permit it, but the price point wouldn't be in the same league. The new box in your picture is doing a whole lot more than the USB SDV dongle would be doing.
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Old 08-31-2007, 05:46 PM   #139
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I'm particularly interested in your tin cans and string technology!
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Old 08-31-2007, 06:35 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by ah30k
You are basing your whole argument on the word and tense of "worked". This is enough wiggle room in that word that it could mean anything. Like I said earlier, it means nothing about the completion of a task. I worked on painting my house. What can you take from this statement about when I will be done?
No, I'm basing my argument on the fact that they used this language in an official filing with the FCC. When a company issues such a filing with a regulatory body such as the FCC, isn't there a reasonable expectation that they actually have a product close to being ready to launch? Otherwise, why call attention to it with a regulatory body and open yourself up to repeated and increasingly more painful questioning.

I am not a software or hardware engineer as some here, but I do have a decent amount of experience with a couple of federal regulatory bodies, and I do know that they tend to frown on unreasonable delays with a product being launched once they have been officially informed that it is being developed,especially when a member of Congress has expresssed concern. Once a company shines a light on such a product to a regulatory agency, the stop watch starts ticking. However, my experiences are with two agencies other than the FCC, so maybe it's different with them.
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:18 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by mike_camden
No, I'm basing my argument on the fact that they used this language in an official filing with the FCC.
What filing again, could you lpease refer me to the quote you are talking about.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_camden
When a company issues such a filing with a regulatory body such as the FCC, isn't there a reasonable expectation that they actually have a product close to being ready to launch?
No, the expectation is that they are truthful and nothing else. If you read into that that they are very very close to an SDV solution and run out and buy two or three more TiVos then that is your problem.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_camden
I am not a software or hardware engineer as some here, but I do have a decent amount of experience with a couple of federal regulatory bodies, and I do know that they tend to frown on unreasonable delays with a product being launched once they have been officially informed that it is being developed,especially when a member of Congress has expresssed concern.
Oh, let's see, like the forever development cycle of the CableCARD itself? Oh yes, that was rolled out quickly after it was first announced.
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:36 PM   #142
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What filing again, could you lpease refer me to the quote you are talking about.
Well, the filing that this entire thread is referring to. These weren't just comments or promises made by the NCTA; they were quotes taken out of an official filing to the FCC. If you're going to argue the points I make, it might be worthwhile if you actually clicked on the links I offered.

For example, this one that I offered, is from tivo's Webiste that directs the reader to the official filing by NCTA: http://customersupport.tivo.com/TiVo...Content.html#?

The official filing by the NCTA is here: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/r...ent=6519612942 For this document, please ignore the 2006 date on the front page (it's a typo as Megazone points out here: http://www.tivolovers.com/2007/08/27...3-and-tivo-hd/).

So no; it's not just my wishful thinking. This is a case in which an industry has voluntarily offered an official filing to a regulatory agency stating that they have worked on developing a solution to a problem (that has already received Congressional attention -- http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6441564.html). this filing is being offered by the NCTA at least partially to convince the FCC to reject a competing propsal for handling SDV by the CEA.

Like I said before, I'm not a developer, so I may not be as cognizant of the steps and timelines as some others here. But I have played the political regulation game, and unless the FCC is significantly different than the two regulatory bodies I have experience with ( I doubt they are since a bureaucrat is a bureaucrat regardless of what he or she is regulating), it's a major no-no to offer this kind of solution in a filing (especially with Congressional interest), and not be able to back it up in the near future.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:00 PM   #143
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If you're going to argue the points I make, it might be worthwhile if you actually clicked on the links I offered.
Sorry, your point makes no sense and me reading hundred of pages of filings won't change that.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:13 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by mike_camden
Well, the filing that this entire thread is referring to. These weren't just comments or promises made by the NCTA; they were quotes taken out of an official filing to the FCC. If you're going to argue the points I make, it might be worthwhile if you actually clicked on the links I offered.

For example, this one that I offered, is from tivo's Webiste that directs the reader to the official filing by NCTA: http://customersupport.tivo.com/TiVo...Content.html#?

The official filing by the NCTA is here: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/r...ent=6519612942 For this document, please ignore the 2006 date on the front page (it's a typo as Megazone points out here: http://www.tivolovers.com/2007/08/27...3-and-tivo-hd/).

So no; it's not just my wishful thinking. This is a case in which an industry has voluntarily offered an official filing to a regulatory agency stating that they have worked on developing a solution to a problem (that has already received Congressional attention -- http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6441564.html). this filing is being offered by the NCTA at least partially to convince the FCC to reject a competing propsal for handling SDV by the CEA.

Like I said before, I'm not a developer, so I may not be as cognizant of the steps and timelines as some others here. But I have played the political regulation game, and unless the FCC is significantly different than the two regulatory bodies I have experience with ( I doubt they are since a bureaucrat is a bureaucrat regardless of what he or she is regulating), it's a major no-no to offer this kind of solution in a filing (especially with Congressional interest), and not be able to back it up in the near future.
Working = still in progress
Developing a solution = still not out

By "working on developing a solution" that could mean they're still talking with Tivo and nothing's been done. After all, Tivo itself is still "working on developing" MRV and TTG with CableLabs. Nothing out yet.

Given Cable's past history with foot dragging on CC and everything else that isn't "their way or the highway" mentality you honestly believe that they AND Tivo have actually finalized something at this point? At BEST, they're "still working on it".
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:22 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by mike_camden
I am not a software or hardware engineer as some here, but I do have a decent amount of experience with a couple of federal regulatory bodies, and I do know that they tend to frown on unreasonable delays with a product being launched once they have been officially informed that it is being developed,especially when a member of Congress has expresssed concern. Once a company shines a light on such a product to a regulatory agency, the stop watch starts ticking. However, my experiences are with two agencies other than the FCC, so maybe it's different with them.
Must have been some CableCARD exception to the rule
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Old 09-01-2007, 06:09 AM   #146
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Reading too much into something is an inference ; taking what someone actually says or writes at face value is different.
My point was that what some people perceive as taking someone else at face value is really reading way too much into the written or spoken word. Also, there is the matter of context and perspective: Insisting that everything a CSR says be treated the same as if it was a press release put out by the corporate office is also reading way too much into the written or spoken word. CSRs are definitive sources of information on current offerings and current billing. Customers, and especially the threat of being reported to supervisors for being unwilling to provide information, intimidates CSRs into addressing whatever issue the customer chooses to interrogate the CSR regarding, and that invariably leads to reading way too much into the written or spoken word, and therefore disappointment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_camden
I tend to take comments by companies and people who work for those companies (since they're acting as that comapny's representative if they are being paid to answer the phone) at their face value.
My advice is DON'T: Take what a CSR says about anything other than their actual job (i.e., current offerings and current billing) with a grain of salt. That will improve your level of satisfaction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_camden
On the subject of the thread itself -- This statement on Tivo's Support website leads me to believe that at least some actual product development has occured.
That absolutely indicates that you're reading way too much into the written word. You're definitely not taking that statement at face value, but rather placing meaning on the statement far beyond what it actually says. Development of a "solution" is NOT development of the "technical implementation of that solution", which is what we were explicitly talking about.
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Old 09-01-2007, 06:14 AM   #147
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I worked on painting my house. What can you take from this statement about when I will be done?
Good example. Part of "working on painting our house" included meeting with the painter, choosing colors and such. THEN, he gave us a price quote and THEN he started talking with us about scheduling the actual implementation of the work, i.e., applying paint to walls.
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Old 09-01-2007, 06:18 AM   #148
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When a company issues such a filing with a regulatory body such as the FCC, isn't there a reasonable expectation that they actually have a product close to being ready to launch?
No. Where did you get such an idea? (Perhaps you were reading too much into something else? )

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_camden
Otherwise, why call attention to it with a regulatory body and open yourself up to repeated and increasingly more painful questioning.
I think it is reasonable for companies to just say what they want to say and decline to provide further details. So in the end, what you're referring to may be painful to you, but not to them, especially since the vast majority of customers generally don't care about a product until after it is actually offered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_camden
I am not a software or hardware engineer as some here, but I do have a decent amount of experience with a couple of federal regulatory bodies, and I do know that they tend to frown on unreasonable delays with a product being launched once they have been officially informed that it is being developed,especially when a member of Congress has expresssed concern.
I'm sorry, but with respect, I think you're either making that up or are referring to something that has no relevance to this issue. The FCC doesn't care one bit about timing of product introduction. If timing mattered, they'd simply put deadlines into the regulations.
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Old 09-01-2007, 06:45 AM   #149
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If timing mattered, they'd simply put deadlines into the regulations.
They put deadlines in their regulations all the time, last sale of devices with NTSC-only OTA tuners for example. They also had a deadline for when cable company STBs must use cable cards.
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Old 09-01-2007, 09:58 AM   #150
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I'm sorry, but with respect, I think you're either making that up or are referring to something that has no relevance to this issue. The FCC doesn't care one bit about timing of product introduction. If timing mattered, they'd simply put deadlines into the regulations.
And here's a situation in which I believe you are ignorant of the politics involved in the working of regulatory bodies. Regulatory agencies put deadlines on the implementation of their regulations all of the time; sometimes they even enforce those deadlines Congressional interest in an issue (regardless of an already established deadline) tunrs the heat up on all parties. When a Congressman started questioning SDV implementation by cable in May, that greatly eased my fears of buying a Tivo -- controlling the purse strings of an agency can really help to refocus attention and the companies involved are as aware of this as the regulatory body.

Again, my experiences are with federal agencies other than the FCC, so maybe it doesn't work the same in this realm, but I really find it hard to believe that it would be that different with any group of bureaucrats.
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