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Comment Re:Spreadsheets (Score 2) 143 143

Any place where you have to take a number of observations and perform statistical analysys on the data. A lot of yield analysis in agriculture is done this way; remember, agriculture was the mother of statistics. Then you branch out to the other hard sciences and a spreadsheet is the right tool for the job. Once you learn the limitations of the tool (precision, range, accuracy) it can slash effort to a fraction of other methods.

Comment Re:Morse Code (Score 1) 617 617

Oh, wait, you didn't need to pass a test for that.

I'm just trying to think how that would have been possible. I think back then there was a medical exception you could plead for. I didn't. I passed the 20 WPM test fair and square and got K6BP as a vanity call, long before there was any way to get that call without passing a 20 WPM test.

Unfortunately, ARRL did fight to keep those code speeds in place, and to keep code requirements, for the last several decades that I know of and probably continuously since 1936. Of course there was all of the regulation around incentive licensing, where code speeds were given a primary role. Just a few years ago, they sent Rod Stafford to the final IARU meeting on the code issue with one mission: preventing an international vote for removal of S25.5 . They lost.

I am not blaming this on ARRL staff and officers. Many of them have privately told me of their support, including some directors and their First VP, now SK. It's the membership that has been the problem.

I am having a lot of trouble believing the government agency and NGO thing, as well. I talked with some corporate emergency managers as part of my opposition to the encryption proceeding (we won that too, by the way, and I dragged an unwilling ARRL, who had said they would not comment, into the fight). Big hospitals, etc.

What I got from the corporate folks was that their management was resistant to using Radio Amateurs regardless of what the law was. Not that they were chomping at the bit waiting to be able to carry HIPAA-protected emergency information via encrypted Amateur radio. Indeed, if you read the encryption proceeding, public agencies and corporations hardly commented at all. That point was made very clearly in FCC's statement - the agencies that were theorized by Amateurs to want encryption didn't show any interest in the proceeding.

So, I am having trouble believing that the federal agency and NGO thing is real because of that.

Comment Re:Morse Code (Score 1) 617 617

The Technican Element 3 test wasn't more difficult than the Novice Element 1 and 2 together, so Technican became the lowest license class when they stopped having to take Element 1.

The change to 13 WPM was in 1936, and was specifically to reduce the number of Amateur applicants. It was 10 WPM before that. ARRL asked for 12.5 WPM in their filing, FCC rounded the number because they felt it would be difficult to set 12.5 on the Instructograph and other equipment available for code practice at the time.

It was meant to keep otherwise-worthy hams out of the hobby. And then we let that requirement keep going for 60 years.

The Indianapolis cop episode was back in 2009. It wasn't the first time we've had intruders, and won't be the last, and if you have to reach back that long for an example, the situation can't be that bad. It had nothing to do with code rules or NGOs getting their operators licenses.

A satphone is less expensive than a trained HF operator. Iridium costs $30 per month and $0.89 per minute to call another Iridium phone. That's the over-the-counter rate. Government agencies get a better rate than that. And the phone costs $1100, again that's retail not the government rate, less than an HF rig with antenna and tower will cost any public agency to install.

You think it's a big deal to lobby against paid operators because there will be objections? How difficult do you think it was to reform the code regulations? Don't you think there were lots of opposing comments?

And you don't care about young people getting into Amateur Radio. That's non-survival thinking.

Fortunately, when the real hams go to get something done, folks like you aren't hard to fight, because you don't really do much other than whine and send in the occassional FCC comment. Do you know I even spoke in Iceland when I was lobbying against the code rules? Their IARU vote had the same power as that of the U.S., and half of the hams in the country came to see me. That's how you make real change.

Comment Re:"Secure in their ... papers" (Score 1) 157 157

Are we talking about a single piece of paper, or are there three independent pieces of paper? If the former, then the warrant would have to be served on Bob, because he has possession of the letter. If you made a copy or otherwise made a separate recording of the letter, then LEO could come after YOU for the contents. And you have no standing to contest the warrant on fourth amendment grounds. You could be questioned about the contents in either case.

Comment Re:Nonsense law still can't be ignored (Score 1) 157 157

Where the third party *does* have standing to challenge the warrant is when there is an undue financial burden on said third party to provide the requested information. Telephone companies have routinely charged the issuer of the warrent a fee for, say, the local-calling record of a party. The key is that word "undue" -- that can be interpreted many ways. The Founding Fathers of our country could not have predicted this, given the record-keeping practices of the time, versus now, and the fluidity of the concept of "ownership" of information. I'm afraid it would take a constitutional amendment to bring personally identifying information to be owned by the *person* and not by the party who collected it as a "normal part of business."

Comment Re:Nonsense law still can't be ignored (Score 2) 157 157

But what is being demanded is information being held by a third party, and not under the control of the party being investigated. Once you disclose anything to a third party, that information is now "out there", where the government can pick it off when they want to. The same is true if you use a third party to handle your e-mail, web site, or any other service. Look at the second phrase: the warrants fall within the four corners of the restrictions. Plus, the gag order that usually accompanies such requests prevents the data-holding party from tipping off the person being investigated.

Comment First, the attacker has to get through to SSH (Score 1) 157 157

On my edge router, I use TCPWRAPPERS to block access to a number of quasi-public services, like SSH. If the attacker isn't coming from the limited number of IP addresses allowed, the attempts get stopped and logged. Too many rejects, and they land in my edge ACL for all services, not just SSH. (Going on the theory that a bad apple hitting SSH probably has other bad habits.)

Comment Re:GnuTLS (Score 1) 250 250

OpenSSL has first-to-market advantage, and anyone who hasn't evaluated the quality differences will choose the simpler license. Plus there are other alternatives, like Amazon's new SSL-in-5000-lines which is also gift-licensed.

The time for OpenSSL to dual-license was when it was the only available alternative to entirely proprietary implementations. That might indeed have funded a quality improvement.

I don't know a thing about the quality of GnuTLS or the Amazon thing. I've seen enough of the insides of OpenSSL to know it's not pretty, but am not a crypto guy and this don't work on it.

Comment Re:Few people understand the economics (Score 1) 250 250

Maintaining FIPS compliance did not make anything easier. It's essentially a prohibition on bug repair, as you have to recertify afterward. But the people who wanted FIPS were the only ones who were actually paying for someone to work on OpenSSL.

I don't think any of the other Free Software projects ever tried to be FIPS certified.

Comment Re:Lawsuits and licenses are not the problem (Score 1) 250 250

If you are one of the infringed parties, I'd be happy to talk with you about what your options are. bruce at perens dot com or +1 510-4PERENS (I'm not there today, but it will take a message). I am not a lawyer but I work with the good ones and can bring them into the conversation if necessary.

1 + 1 = 3, for large values of 1.