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Comment: Re:Sounds good (Score 1) 118

by Mr2cents (#46107625) Attached to: Why We Need OpenStreetMap (Video)

So because they are large makes them evil?

No. That just makes them powerful. There are concerns that need to be addressed when benign institutions gain power. Like that bank, that used to take care of your money until they became too big to fail. Remember that one? It was funny. I still can't stop laughing while I fill in my taxes.

Comment: God loves a nice killing spree. (Score 1) 517

by Mr2cents (#45943169) Attached to: How Weather Influences Global Warming Opinions

I'm pretty sure killing, kidnapping and raping is forbidden regardless of religion.

And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? ... Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. -- Numbers 31:15-18

I'm probably "not interpreting this correctly" or "taking it out of context" or whatever religious people say when confronted with their cognitive dissonance, but it seems the Bible is just fine with killing, kidnapping and raping.

Comment: Re:Which to trust? (Score 1) 106

by Mr2cents (#44923095) Attached to: NASA Rover Fails to Turn Up Methane On Mars

I've watched a great lecture about methane "observations" on Mars a while a go. It's really worthwhile if you want to get some background into the claims made. Needless to say, what you hear in the press is not to be trusted. Listen to the scientists themselves, they give a lot more subtle story than the headlines in a newspaper.

2011 SETI lecture about methane on Mars.

Comment: Re:packet radio? (Score 1) 371

by Mr2cents (#44118241) Attached to: FCC Considering Proposal For Encrypted Ham Radio

Hmm, strange. Is this by any chance U.S. specific? I'm in Europe (Belgium) and I could have sworn it isn't allowed over here. I'm currently studying for my HAREC exam (I think that's the "technician" level in U.S. terms), anyway, it's the "super-duper full licence for everything"-exam. So I recently read the current law texts, and don't remember anything like that... I'll have to double check that.

Comment: Re:packet radio? (Score 1) 371

by Mr2cents (#44115549) Attached to: FCC Considering Proposal For Encrypted Ham Radio

The patent covers the operation of the vocoder, but does not contain the full specification for the codec. This spec is not available. So you'd need to completely reverse engineer the codec before you can even start your own implementation. I think there are some "software" D-Star implementations, but these need a dongle containing the vocoder chip. So, technically: yes it is possible to do in software. Practically: no.

Comment: Re:packet radio? (Score 2) 371

by Mr2cents (#44115305) Attached to: FCC Considering Proposal For Encrypted Ham Radio

You should take a while to actually listen to HAM radio. People are DOS'ing each other, sometimes by accident, sometimes intentional. There are some jerks among HAM operators, as there are everywhere. But you can't do this on the entire frequency range (well, you can, but that takes a lot of power + this is illegal + you'll be fined + you'll have your equipment confiscated because you can not do broadband transmissions).

That said, in practice there are no problems most of the time. There is no need to allocate time slots or whatever. Don't propose a fix if you aren't familiar with the subject :-).

Comment: Re:packet radio? (Score 2) 371

by Mr2cents (#44115075) Attached to: FCC Considering Proposal For Encrypted Ham Radio

HAM radio is about experimentation. The communication part is almost a side effect. Radio-amateur frequencies were never intended to substitute commercial telecom networks. So if you transmit something on the HAM frequencies, it's expected that everybody can decode the message. It's part of the experimental nature of HAM radio. You can not even use it for relaying messages for a third party, that's what phones are for.

That's the intent. Then again, there has been some erosion already, e.g. with the D-Star protocol. It's a digital communication protocol that uses the AMBE vocoder to transmit voice. The problem is: AMBE is patented, and you need a special chip to decode it. That's 100% against the intent of HAM-radio: normally you should be able to experiment and create your own decoder, but in this case it's impossible unless you buy the chip. This is a quite controversial topic, and has spurred the creation of a free alternative, called CODEC-2.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen