a) A sudden, lightning fast invasion of our shores by a raping and pillaging Chinese military.
b) The detonation of a crudely-formed, radioactive dirty bomb by Islamic fundamentalists.
c) America's television viewing making a precipitous drop.
The Feb. 17 transition from analog to digital television broadcasts looms and as many as 8 million households are still unprepared, but the government program that
subsidizes crucial TV converter boxes is about to run out of money.
People who still rely on analog TV sets to pick up over-the-air signals — whether it is through rabbit-ear aerials on TVs or antennas on the roof — will see their screens go dark when the changeover happens. To avoid that, those people have to switch to cable or satellite TV, buy a television set with a digital tuner or buy a converter box that can translate digital signals from the airwaves into analog.
Now the NTIA is warning that unless lawmakers step in quickly with more funding or new accounting rules, it will have to create a waiting list for coupon requests. That would mean it could send out additional coupons only as unredeemed ones expire, freeing up more money for the program.
Do you feel the extreme, "imminent threat" to Americans? Do you see the grappling hooks of the apocalypse coming over the starboard side? You don't? Well, let the Associated Press paint the picture for you:
In other words, if Congress doesn't act soon, consumers who apply for coupons in the final weeks leading up to the digital transition might not get them in time.