not once have I seen an ISP actually explain what an IP is with layman-friendly clarity and how fickle a method of identifying a user it is
I agree - we often hear what it isn't, but never what it is. How about this? An IP address is like a street name. Just because someone on Main Street has done something suspicious, it doesn't mean everyone on Main Street is to blame.
These are all similar problems that existed in the early days of software development. It was very tedious to write on punch cards, it could take days before your program was run and all you got out of it was an error, the equipment needed was prohibitively expensive for all but the largest organisations, debugging required dozens of manuals, etc, etc.
All these issues have been solved for software, and the open hardware movement is starting to help with these issues for hardware. Give it time, and running off a new hardware revision won't be much more effort than compiling the latest revision of your software code.
But do you really need that much additional hardware? Ok, so you need some hardware LNAs, filters and ADC/DACs, but none of these are specific to phones. I was assuming the patents on these types of devices were much simpler (on account of them being used all over the place) so you could avoid the more complicated patents specific to mobile phones.
Anyway, my point was that selling a device that can be entirely reconfigured with a simple download is one way to get around unfriendly patents. And as a computer programmer I have never forgotten there's an electrical engineer that made all this possible, I just wish I had the skills to be one of them
Just make a device that has a software-defined radio in it capable of transmitting and receiving on what ever band you need, and release it without any software on it. Since it doesn't work as a phone, it's not violating any patents. Then have an unrelated group (i.e. the open source community) spring up and release unofficial firmware that turns the SDR device into a fully functional open source phone.
They can't sue you for making the hardware if it's not actually a phone, and some people beyond your control are hacking your device to turn it into one...
Why is it junk without HF? I thought the primary purpose of SDR was to deal with wide(er) band digital signals, and most of them are well above HF. If you really need HF, there are plenty of upconverters that bring HF up to 100MHz+ so most SDR devices can receive the signals. (I don't think any of the current crop let you transmit though, since none of the current cheap SDR devices can transmit.)
Also SSB is done in software, so any SDR can do SSB on any frequency.
You do realise that the $11 USB DVB-T dongles do about 75% of what you want? Sure the software still needs a bit of work, but the hardware is already able to receive many of these signals, and if you're willing to use a different program for each signal type, many of them can already be decoded. Sure you can't transmit anything yet in this price range, but there's a lot of stuff to listen to.
Funnily enough right now I'm half way through planning a Wireshark style program very similar to what you describe... I'm hoping to leverage the GPU to perform as much of the signal processing as possible, since this is typically the bottleneck with SDR. (Many people are surprised to find it takes a significant chunk of CPU power just to listen to one FM radio station.)
Of course. Most atheists (such as myself) aren't true atheists, because we'll never be 100% certain that there is no God (or equivalent.) But for us, the majority of the evidence points towards atheism being correct, so that's what we label ourselves. But as most of us believe in truth, if anyone were to provide indisputable evidence that a given religion was correct, then yes, most of us would switch. (There are a few atheists who would refuse to of course, because we're only human.) But, like a scientific theory which has been proven incorrect, the vast majority of atheists would follow the truth, whatever it may be.
I think many religious people mistakenly assume atheists hate God, or have some inability to believe, when really, we just want to know the truth. Unfortunately religion doesn't provide us the answers we need or the type of evidence we require, but science and atheism does.
In my opinion, religion evolved as a method of control. Those in power promoted it, to keep their subjects under control. Poor people were given a religion to believe in, so they wouldn't rebel when they missed out. This way the leaders of the time could have all the luxury they wanted, and the people who missed out would stay in line because they too would live like kings in the afterlife, and they'd better not do anything in this life to jeopardise that!
To a certain extent, religion today still serves this purpose, keeping those less fortunate playing by the rules. Do you think it could be dangerous if these people were to become atheists? They would realise that what they have now is all there is. What would happen if so many people suddenly realised they had nothing to lose?
Well it's certainly true that things change often under Linux, but most of the time the progress is good so it's worth learning something new. Like I said before, if you have to "fight" to learn it, then I would say you're not really part of Linux's target audience. Most people who enjoy using Linux find that sort of thing generally takes little effort, so it's not really much of a problem. Personally I would rather have things change and improve until they're really good, even if it means I have to learn something new myself. Learning is good.
As a side note, I know it was only an example but I'm not really sure what you mean by the xorg.conf issues. I am still using a custom xorg conf today with the latest version of Xorg. Perhaps the distribution you chose decided to do things differently? You can't really blame Linux for something your chosen distribution did differently to others.
And it goes both ways too. Since Windows 7 I can't find anything in Control Panel any more (where has "Add/remove programs" gone?), my DOS games no longer work, Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer lost half their features when the menu bars were removed, etc. Apparently Windows 8 changes even more. I still can't find half the functionality since it was obscured by the Office "ribbon." You might complain about Linux changing, but believe me, as someone who has to "fight" to learn how to do things in a GUI, Windows changes just as much.
The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the fabricator and impossible for the serviceman.