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Ofcom Will Remove Mandatory Ham Callsign ID Interval, Allow Encryption For Some

Muad'Dave Re:bad idea (57 comments)

Nothing in Ham radio requires encryption.

I would allow encryption on amateur satellite command uplinks and perhaps on repeater command functions, but not for general use.

about two weeks ago
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Bidding In Government Auction of Airwaves Reaches $34 Billion

Muad'Dave Re:what about air? (85 comments)

Sorry, I wasn't clear - I meant they were leasing airtime, not towers. They're still beholden to the price that the 'big ones' place on leasing out their own infrastructure to what could be called competitors. When you lease airtime, you're implicitly leasing the towers, too.

about three weeks ago
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Bidding In Government Auction of Airwaves Reaches $34 Billion

Muad'Dave Re:what about air? (85 comments)

To a point it exists, but there is still separate and competing infrastructure out there. Until every tower has generic transceivers for each allocated band on it and no cellular provider owns their own infrastructure, the big companies still have a huge 'leg up' over the virtual ones that have to lease from one of the biggies.

about three weeks ago
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Bidding In Government Auction of Airwaves Reaches $34 Billion

Muad'Dave Re:what about air? (85 comments)

I never once mentioned the government running the infrastructure COMPANY. My local power company, Dominion, has two separate sides - a power generation side and a power distribution side. Both are heavily regulated by the Va State Corp Commission, and both have to apply for rate increases that are not always approved. The distribution company has strict performance requirements and fixed profit caps in exchange for being the only power distribution company that gets to run lines to your house. You can buy your power from any number of generation providers (including the generation side of Dominion) that all use the same distribution provider. Their rates are separate on my bill.

I could start "Dave's Power and Light" and provide my 'Green power from horse turds' over the same distribution network for not a whole lot of up-front cash. I propose the same structure for all utilities, including cellular.

I can think of lots of things that I'd like to socialize long before telco.

You realize that the same distribution company/provider company situation already exists in the landline telco industry, right? I can get my dialtone from anyone over my local telco's wires to my house.

about three weeks ago
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Bidding In Government Auction of Airwaves Reaches $34 Billion

Muad'Dave Re:what about air? (85 comments)

I suggest we regulate it like most power/water/sewage companies are regulated - there's a single (very profit- and performance-regulated) company that is responsible for the infrastructure - towers, transceivers, and backhaul in this case. Carriers would then be able to lease access to spectrum from that company with little/no barrier to entry.

Just because you can't see most of the infrastructure it doesn't mean that you shouldn't manage it wisely like any other infrastructure, be it water/sewer pipes or power distribution lines.

I'd love to see this model applied to telephone/fiber/CATV and cellular towers - imagine being able to actually select an internet provider from a wide array of competing companies instead of being locked in to the one that your municipality made the best $$$ deal with.

about three weeks ago
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Toyota Names Upcoming Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

Muad'Dave Re:The secret of NiMH (194 comments)

There's a Secret of NiMH, you know. It'll cost you more than a nickel to get them to talk.

about a month ago
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Polyphonic Overtone Singing Explained Visually With Spectrograms

Muad'Dave Reminds me of Tuvan throat singing (51 comments)

If you're not familiar with Tuvan throat singing, check out the documentary Genghis Blues that follows blind blues musician Paul Pena on his trip to Tuva to compete in their throat singing competition.

From his bio:

Paul first heard a fragment of harmonic singing on a shortwave Radio Moscow broadcast on December 29, 1984 and he was so struck by it, he spent almost eight years trying to track down its source. In 1991 he was finally able to locate a recording of Tuvan music and taught himself the vocal techniques known as 'Khoomei, Sygyt, and Kargyraa'. In addition, he learned a good bit of the Tuvan language using English-Russian and Russian-Tuvan dictionaries and an obsolete 'Opticon' scanning device which translates text into sensations. In 1993, Paul attended a concert sponsored by the Friends of Tuva organization and met Kongar-ol Ondar after the performance. Paul gave Kongar-ol an impromptu demonstration--and astonished him with his talent and mastery of traditional Tuvan singing. The two men formed a strong friendship along with their musical collaboration.

In 1995, Kongar-ol invited Paul to sing at the second international Khoomei Symposium and contest, held in Tuva's capital city, Kyzyl. Ralph Leighton and the "Friends of Tuva" sponsored his trip.

about a month ago
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After Four Days, Philae Team Gets to Rest

Muad'Dave Re:the dire equations (88 comments)

I know everyone hates armchair rocket scientists, but I'd like to leave this here:

A ~0.2 kg block of pure Gd148 (~1 inch^3) initially yields ~120 watts, sufficient in theory to meet the complete basal power needs of an entire human body for ~1 century ...

They could've had 120W of heat free for the asking with 200g of Gd148 (a pure alpha emitter). Use 50W of that to keep the wee beastie warm, and the other 50-ish Watts might've been enough to power the lander.

about 1 month ago
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Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

Muad'Dave Re:Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Says... (289 comments)

Amateur radio folk have been doing this for years. There are only two countries that don't allow amateur radio for their citizens - Yemen and North Korea. There are no laws in the US that prohibit the exchange of ideas with those in other countries, apart from the standard profanity rules. There are, however, common sense guidelines to prevent the other operator form getting in trouble with their government (don't try to engage a person from Cuba in Castro bashing, for instance).

about 2 months ago
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U.K. Supermarkets Beta Test Full-Body 3D Scanners For Selfie Figurines

Muad'Dave Re:not until (165 comments)

...we'd have to see a couple of squadrons of Gloucester Old Spots doing aerobatics at Farnborough ...

As an American, I've watched just enough UK television to know what that means - "When Pigs FLY!!!" I learned about Gloucester Old Spots from "The Two Fat Ladies" and Farnborough from some other show re: airplanes.

about 2 months ago
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NASA Study: Ocean Abyss Has Not Warmed

Muad'Dave Re:phase change (295 comments)

When I boil water, a fair share of it is turning to vapor. Anything less is a measly simmer.

about 2 months ago
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Send Your Own Radiosonde 90,000 Feet Into the Sky (Video)

Muad'Dave Why not spend $$$ on real science w/ NASA? (48 comments)

If you want to spend money on student research, why not invest in an actual NASA-sponsored project? Check out spaceweather.com (toward the bottom):

HEY, THANKS! The students wish to thank Sander Geophysics Ltd (SGL) for sponsoring this flight. Note their logo in the upper right corner of the payload. SGL's generous contribution of $500 paid for the helium and other supplies necessary to get this research off the ground. Readers, if you would like to sponsor an upcoming flight and see your logo at the edge of space, please contact Dr. Tony Phillips to make arrangements.

about 2 months ago
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NASA Study: Ocean Abyss Has Not Warmed

Muad'Dave Re:phase change (295 comments)

... it's almost easier to boil water than to melt it from 0C ice to 0C water.

Your statement would be true if you'd left out the word boil and simply said "raise it's temperature from 0C to 100C". The heat of vaporization of water is a whopping 2260 kJ/Kg - that's the heat required to turn 100C water into 100C steam.

about 2 months ago
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2014 Nobel Prize In Physics Awarded To the Inventors of the Blue LED

Muad'Dave Re:LED lighting (243 comments)

Here's the problem I have with LED bulbs - Radio Frequency Interference. Many of the cheap bulbs imported do not meet FCC regulations for RF emissions and cause heaps of interference to broadcast AM radio and Amateur radio operations. A fellow ham did a little research, but we need a lot more data from the manufacturers regarding their Part 15 compliance and radiation levels before users of the radio spectrum can switch to LED bulbs.

about 2 months ago
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Living On a Carbon Budget: The End of Recreation As We Know It?

Muad'Dave Re:Lots of cheap carbon stuff (652 comments)

I wouldn't trade them for anything.

I would trade your kids in a heartbeat for peace and quiet in restaurants. Oh, and to not have crumb-snatchers kicking the back of my airplane seat. :-)

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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NRO to declassify Cold-War Spy Sat Tech

Muad'Dave Muad'Dave writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Muad'Dave (255648) writes "The National Reconnaissance Office is set to reveal details of two of the cold war's most capable spy satellite programs on September 17th — the GAMBIT and HEXAGON projects, aka the keyhole KH-7, -8, and -9 satellites. These bus-sized sats provided critical imagery during the height of the cold war, and were likely the inspiration for the movie "Ice Station Zebra".

The article links midway down the first page provide a fascinating look into the world of real spy-vs-spy, cloak-and-dagger intelligence gathering."

Link to Original Source
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US Air Force secret X-37B orbiter lands

Muad'Dave Muad'Dave writes  |  about 4 years ago

Muad'Dave (255648) writes "The US Air Force's secret X-37B orbiter landed at Vandenberg AFB early this morning. Amateur satellite watchers determined the orbit and detected several orbital maneuvers. From the press release:

30th Space Wing Public Affairs

12/3/2010 — VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — The U.S. Air Force's first unmanned re-entry spacecraft landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base at 1:16 a.m. today.

The X-37B, named Orbital Test Vehicle 1 (OTV-1), conducted on-orbit experiments for more than 220 days during its maiden voyage. It fired its orbital maneuver engine in low-earth orbit to perform an autonomous reentry before landing.

The X-37B is the newest and most advanced re-entry spacecraft. Managed by the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office (AFRCO), the X-37B program performs risk reduction, experimentation and concept of operations development for reusable space vehicle technologies.

"Today's landing culminates a successful mission based on close teamwork between the 30th Space Wing, Boeing and the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office," said Lt Col Troy Giese, X-37B program manager from the AFRCO. "We are very pleased that the program completed all the on-orbit objectives for the first mission."

OTV-1's de-orbit and landing mark the transition from the on-orbit demonstration phase to a refurbishment phase for the program.

The Air Force is preparing to launch the next X-37B, OTV-2, in Spring 2011 aboard an Atlas V booster."
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Has NASA found ET?

Muad'Dave Muad'Dave writes  |  about 4 years ago

Muad'Dave (255648) writes ""NASA is expected to make an announcement Thursday (Dec. 2) about a new scientific finding that 'will impact the search for extraterrestrial life,' the space agency said in a statement." Has NASA found ET, or just an exoplanet that looks promising? Maybe they found a fossil on Mars..."
Link to Original Source
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Target pharmacy begins scanning driver's licences

Muad'Dave Muad'Dave writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Muad'Dave (255648) writes "This evening I picked up my regular prescriptions at my local Target pharmacy. As I was paying for them, the cashier asked to 'see my ID'. That was not typical, but I assumed she was going to verify the photo. Before I could stop her, she flipped it over without looking at the front and scanned the 2D barcode on the back. I asked her why she did that, and her answer was that the system 'required' it.

I went to the customer service desk and asked them why they thought they were entitled to scan my license. Their first answer was that it was a convenient way to validate my birthday, and that was all that was on the 2D barcode. When I mentioned that I know there's more data than that, she then said that it was a convenient way to verify that the ID was present. I mentioned that verifying the presence of an ID required more data than the DOB, and she agreed, contradicting her earlier statement that all they scanned was the DOB.

The is a Federal law addressing who can and cannot scan licenses, but it's so full of loopholes as to be useless.

Apparently I'm not the only one bothered by their attitude on privacy.

Have you been subjected to this invasion of your privacy by Target?"
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CircuitCity.com Rises From the Ashes

Muad'Dave Muad'Dave writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Muad'Dave (255648) writes "From www.circuitcity.com:

Systemax Inc. is Re-Launching the Circuit City brand with new Lower Prices, new Wider Selection, new Faster Shipping, and a better 24/7 Customer First Service Department.

Circuit City served American Shoppers for 60 Years. We're here to continue that tradition online with lower prices and special deals, a better selection of the products you want most, award winning customer service and same day shipping, starting at $1.99."
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Satellite debris forces ISS crew into rescue craft

Muad'Dave Muad'Dave writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Muad'Dave (255648) writes "CNN is reporting that the crew of the International Space Station was forced to take refuge from a possible collision of the ISS with a piece of space debris Thursday. From the article:

"Floating debris from a satellite forced the crew of the international space station to retreat to a safety capsule Thursday, according to a NASA news release. .. The debris was too close for the space station to move out of the way, so the station's 18 crew members were temporarily evacuated to a the station's Soyuz TMA-13 capsule, NASA said.""
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Cheap, super-efficient LEDs on the horizon

Muad'Dave Muad'Dave writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Muad'Dave (255648) writes "According to this article, cheap Gallium Nitride LEDs are now possible, thanks to a process that controls the rate at which GaN shrinks when cooled, making it possible to grow GaN on silicon.

"They included layers of aluminium gallium nitride in their LED design. These layers shrink at a much slower rate during cooling and help to counteract the fast-shrinkage of pure gallium nitride. These LEDs can be grown on silicon as so many other electronics components are."

"A 15-centimetre silicon wafer costs just $15 and can accommodate 150,000 LEDs making the cost per unit tiny. That levels the playing field with CFLs, which many people only ever saw as a stopgap solution to the lighting problem.""
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Circuit City To Be Liquidated

Muad'Dave Muad'Dave writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Muad'Dave (255648) writes "According to an MSNBC article, Circuit City Stores will be liquidating all of their inventory in 567 stores. Only a few years ago, Circuit City was the #1 electronics retailer, and its stock was over $100/share."
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Circuit City up against Jan. 16th 'hard deadline'

Muad'Dave Muad'Dave writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Muad'Dave (255648) writes "Circuit City's lifeclock is winding down, according to this CNN article. The article states that Circuit City is such bad shape that "..it has until the end of next week to reach a deal with "interested" parties to help it stay in business or else it may have to start liquidating.

'Circuit City is coming up against a very hard deadline,' said Justin MacFarlane, director with turnaround firm AlixPartners. 'If they can't find a buyer [then] there's a real risk of the company going out of business.'""
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Election Poll Suggestion

Muad'Dave Muad'Dave writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Muad'Dave (255648) writes "How about a poll asking, "Who do you _want_ to win the election, and who do you _think_ will win the election?"
  • McCain/McCain
  • McCain/Obama
  • Obama/Obama
  • Obama/McCain
  • Cowboy Neal/Cthulhu
"
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The Re-Entry of ATV: One Final Experiment

Muad'Dave Muad'Dave writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Muad'Dave (255648) writes "The SETI Institute, in cooperation with the European Space Agency is organizing a mission to record the fiery breakup of the ATV/Jules Verne spacecraft as it re-enters Earth's atmosphere on September 29th.

From the article:

A documentation of the breakup process could help validate the models built to study how that fragmentation evolves in a series of disruptions of major components. At reentry into the atmosphere, ATV would execute one final experiment before the mission completion. Our experience with meteor spectroscopy carried the promise of perhaps being able to identify some of the fragments from their radiation signatures. The ATV-1 "Jules Verne" Multi-Instrument Aircraft Campaign was born. "
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Flying Spaghetti Monster spotted; magnet-powered!

Muad'Dave Muad'Dave writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Muad'Dave (255648) writes "Our Lord FSM has been spotted, and is apparently powered by giant magnetic fields. No word on when His Noodliness will approach our world.

From the article:
Long-lived magnetic fields are sustaining a mammoth network of spaghetti-like gas filaments around a black hole, a new study suggests. Previously, it was not clear what prevented the delicate filaments from being destroyed by competing gravitational forces. "
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Opportunity Takes a Dip Into Victoria Crater

Muad'Dave Muad'Dave writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Muad'Dave (255648) writes "From the NASA News Release:

Today, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity entered Victoria Crater for the first time. It radioed home information via a relay by NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter, reporting its activities for the day. Opportunity drove far enough in — about four meters (13 feet) — to get all six wheels past the crater rim. Then it backed uphill for about three meters (10 feet). The driving commands for the day included a precaution for the rover to stop driving if its wheels were slipping more than 40 percent. Slippage exceeded that amount on the last step of the drive, so Opportunity stopped with its front pair of wheels still inside the crater.

This marks the beginning of perhaps the greatest 'Opportunity' for new discoveries on Mars."

Link to Original Source

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