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Comment: Re: Many are leaving ham radio too (Score 1) 135

You have the Part 15 and ISM services for that. You really can buy a microwave link that's metropolitan-distance and legal to use.

We lost much of our 440 capability to PAVE PAWS in California. Remember, Amateur Radio is not the primary service on many bands. The military is on 440.

Comment: Re:Many are leaving ham radio too (Score 1) 135

If you want that nearly infinite microwave spectrum, you have the Part 15 and ISM services. Absolutely nothing is stopping you. Power is not the issue with those frequencies, it's line of sight and Fresnel zones.

No, I absolutely do not have to prefix my words with anything. You do that by posting as an anonymous coward. I use my real name to indicate that I stand behind my words.

Comment: Re:sun? maybe, but who cares. (Score 1) 252

by m.dillon (#49198259) Attached to: Mozilla: Following In Sun's Faltering Footsteps?

Well, I think it was a combination of things, and Linux was certainly a part of the reason. But not the whole reason. There are several reasons why Sun finally died:

(1) Sun hardware just couldn't keep up with Intel. The many-threads model really only worked well for parallelization of database operations and not much else. Each individual cpu thread simply became too slow. And people stopped caring about database benchmarks because they were more a function of rapidly improving storage and networking technology than anything else. CPU performance stopped mattering so much and Sun's super-optimized core hardware advantage went right out the door along with it.

(2) Sun's utility software quickly fell behind linux and the BSDs. I began noticing this long before Sun actually sold out to Oracle. Sun's kernel stayed fairly relevant, Solaris wasn't bad... very solid in fact. But competing operating systems were also becoming more solid. But, OMG, the utililties were all 80s crap. Nobody growing up in today's world (or even the world of a decade ago) would be happy with a base Solaris install.

(3) Sun basically became like IBM... corporate only sales and screw making anything that could be bought by up-and-coming students. Solaris for x86 was never taken seriously by Sun, and thus never taken seriously by people outside of Sun. With students growing up on Linux (the younger age group) and the BSDs (my age group), Sun started losing market power as these generational shifts began moving into the workplace. Also, system needs by the web began changing. Sure there are still huge backend databases, but most of the services (and the related hardware) were becoming heavily distributed and Sun's hardware just didn't fit the model.

In fact, this is similar to the problems that SGI had. They were married to their hardware (don't get me started on Solaris for x86), the hardware became non-competitive and unpurchasable by smaller businesses or individuals, and the base software was locked into an 80's snapshot of hell. The system programmers lost sight of what people wanted and got tunnel vision, super-optimizing database paths and ignoring everything else. Problem is, people were more interested in the 'everything else' part.

It might be fine for the older IT types, but all the newcomers had grown up on Linux and the middle-agers had grown up on the BSDs. Their rotation into the workplace spelled Sun's death in very loud, clear terms that Sun pretty much ignored.

-Matt

Comment: Some things have improve, mostly gotten worse (Score 1) 252

by m.dillon (#49197869) Attached to: Mozilla: Following In Sun's Faltering Footsteps?

While some things have improved in Firefox, much of the browser has gotten worse over time. Simple illustration... it leaks huge amounts of memory. After only 3 days of sitting around:

    UID PID PPID CPU PRI NI VSZ RSS WCHAN STAT TT TIME COMMAND
    101 164892 1738 128 230 0 1.45G 1.02G - R2L ?? 3d09:44 firefox -geometry +2820+80

After around 2 weeks the machine starts to swap. I've seen the image grow to over 6GB (with 4GB *active*) before I've had to kill it and start a fresh copy. WTF is firefox using all that memory for? It makes no sense whatsoever.

Other problems include severe instability, particularly with the file requestor (when uploading files), which results in seg-faults. And even with all the threading there seem to be severe interdependencies between tabs running javascript, so if one tab is javascript-heavy, it messes up the performance of other tabs.

The menu system is in a complete shambles, and I was really unhappy when the last upgrade changed my default search preferences to Yahoo without so much as a by-your-leave.

-Matt

Comment: Oh Come On, it's a Press Release (Score 4, Insightful) 85

OK, no real technical data and some absurd claims here.

First all-digital transceiver? No. There have been others. Especially if you allow them to have a DAC and an ADC and no other components in the analog domain, but even without that, there are lots of IoT-class radios with direct-to-digital detectors and digital outputs directly to the antenna. You might have one in your car remote (mine is two-way).

And they have to use patented algorithms? Everybody else can get along with well-known technology old enough that any applicable patents are long expired.

It would be nicer if there was some information about what they are actually doing. If they really have patented it, there's no reason to hold back.

Comment: Re:Viewing Launches (Score 1) 23

by Bruce Perens (#49166815) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches Dual Satellite Mission

With luck, they'll start incorporating our radio transceivers. I hear that SpaceX flies with several USRPs now, so that's not completely unrealistic. That might be as close as I can get. Anyone who can get me a base invitation, though, would be greatly appreciated and I'd be happy to do some entertaining speeches while there. I need a base invite for Vandenberg, too. I got in to the official viewing site for the first try of the last launch (and that scrubbed too), but this next one is on Pad 6.

Comment: Viewing Launches (Score 3, Interesting) 23

by Bruce Perens (#49164783) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches Dual Satellite Mission

I was in Florida to speak at Orlando Hamcation and went to see the DISCOVR launch at Kennedy Space Center. I paid $50 to be at LC-39 for the launch, an observation tower made from a disused gantry on the Nasa Causeway between the pads and the Vehicle Assembly Building. A crawler was parked next door! A hot sandwich buffet, chips, and sodas were served. It was cold and windy! I watched for a few hours and unfortunately the launch scrubbed due to high stratospheric winds.

The next day, Delaware North Corporation, which operates tourism at KSC, decided not to open LC-39 or the Saturn 5 center for the launch. This was the third launch attempt and I guess they decided most people had left. I was annoyed.

The closest beach was going to be closed in the evening, it's a sensitive ecological area. I ended up seeing the launch from Jetty Park. This turned out not to be such a great location, the tower wasn't visible at all and the first 10 seconds of the rocket in flight were obscured before we saw it over a hill.

What's a better viewing location?

Comment: Re:GNUradio? (Score 1) 135

Test equipment is allowed to transmit and receive on those frequencies. If it looks like a radio, it can't. I have a number of cellular testers hanging around here that can act like base stations, mostly because I buy them used as spectrum analyzers and never use the (obsolete) cellular facilities. Government has different rules regarding what it can and can't do in the name of law enforcement, although FCC has been very reluctant to allow them to use cellular jammers.

If you can afford it, something from Ettus would better suit your application.

Comment: Re:"Proprietary So I Get Paid", from Bruce Perens? (Score 1) 135

Hi AC,

Matt Ettus has a story about a Chinese cloner of the USRP. The guy tells Chinese customers that it is illegal for them to buy from Ettus, they must buy from the cloner instead. Then, when they have problems and require serivce, he tells them to get it from Ettus. Who of course made nothing from their device sales and can not afford to service them.

This is not following the rules of Open anything. It's counterfeiting.

So, sometimes it is necessary to change the license a little so that you will not be a chump. I discussed the fact that the hardware is fully disclosed but not Open Hardware licensed with RMS, the software is 100% Free Software, and there is a regulatory chip you can't write. We can go for Respects Your Freedom certification that way..

I've paid my dues as far as "Open" is concerned, and Chris has too. This is all we can give you this time.

Comment: Re:Why custom punched end panels ? (Score 1) 135

The case selection was so that we'd have at least one case that would work. We did not take much time on it. We'd be happy to have other people designing and selling cases.

The version after this one requires cases that look like real radios. That is going to be a bigger problem. We don't yet have a mold-design partner, etc.

Comment: Re:GNUradio? (Score 2) 135

We implement it as a chip that intercepts the serial bus to the VFO chip, and disallows certain frequencies. On FCC-certified equipment we might have to make that chip and the VFO chip physically difficult to get at by potting them or something. This first unit is test-equipment and does not have the limitation.

Comment: Re:How about international versions? (Score 1) 135

Anyone who is good at electronics can get around regulatory lockouts. We're not allowed to make it easy. But nor are we technically able to make it impossible.

U.S. regulation only allows Part 95 certified radios to be used on GMRS, and Part 95 requires that the radio be pretty well locked down. But all of those Asian imports are certified for Part 90 and there are lots of users putting them on both Amateur and GMRS. If FCC wanted to push the issue with any particular licensee, they could.

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