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Comment: I miss sidewiki (Score 1) 99

by smellsofbikes (#49201447) Attached to: The Abandoned Google Project Memorial Page

Nobody else knew it existed, which meant there wasn't a crapflood of angry reviews everywhere. I used it to put hours of operation notes on a bunch of local businesses that didn't list them, and in the case of one oddly-set-up webpage, instructions on how to get it to work. (Trying to get samples from a company that for whatever reason ships to just about every country in the world save the US, and if you email them about it they say oh yeah register as canadian and give a us address, rather than registering with a us address, submitting the sample request, and simply never getting any sort of response at all.)
Sidewiki would have become useless if it had been popular, but as an almost unknown service, it was extremely useful.

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:We almost lost two! (Score 1) 113

by smellsofbikes (#49198843) Attached to: Harrison Ford's Plane Crashes On Golf Course

We did lose a PT-22, though. Real geeks care about stuff like that more than Hollywood actors. Or should I say nerds.

  'Geek' is more the 'script kiddie' version of a nerd. Nerds know what a wire-wrap gun is, even if they're more into grinding lenses for homemade telescopes. Geeks know what's cool right now on websites like Boing Boing.

Geeks make robots. Nerds role-play robots. Dorks dance like robots.

It's entirely possible that plane could be fixed. I've seen much worse aircraft restored, and the PT22 is a particularly simple aircraft. It's an interesting choice for a very, very rich high-time pilot to be flying, in fact: originally without any electrical system at all, implying hand-propping to start it, mechanical flaps, gravity fuel system. Main wingspar made of spruce. It's like someone who can afford a Ferrari choosing to drive a Nash.

Comment: Oh Come On, it's a Press Release (Score 4, Insightful) 86

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: ICYMI: Frontline's Secret State of North Korea (Score 5, Informative) 62

by eldavojohn (#49171137) Attached to: Inside the North Korean Data Smuggling Movement
This exact same topic was covered in Frontline's special on North Korea over a year ago. Their point of contact was Jiro Ishimaru of Asiapress who was sneaker netting USBs over the border. They even took a video of people trying to watch on a tiny screen and having to shut everything down whenever they heard someone outside.

The documentary also touched on humanitarian issues as much as it could using a secret camera. Sad stuff. Great thing to watch. Occasionally you can catch it streaming on Netflix but it seems to not be available right now.

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?

User Journal

Journal: Web Dev on the Mac 1

Journal by stoolpigeon

I've been working on a little side project. I would like to have an app where people can read updates that I send out. It seemed like a fun way to learn more about programming mobile apps and it's something I could actually use if I can get it to a decent state.

I'm keeping it simple. I decided the app would just be an rss feed reader. And that meant I need a feed. I want it to be very specific to my app so I decided the way to go would be to just create my own back end for cre

Comment: Re:Legitimate use for 3D printing (Score 2) 58

by smellsofbikes (#49147919) Attached to: Researchers Create World's First 3D-Printed Jet Engines

Jet engines are an awful candidate. The tolerances and material requirements to not tear themselves apart are tremendous. We're talking about turbine blades spinning at 5k-45k RPM, at temperatures of several hundred degrees, and pressures far above atmospheric, and an airstream a few hundred MPH in velocity.

The inspection process for the individual blades, and then then for their attachment to the mount, to ensure that an imbalance doesn't destroy the engine is tremendously demanding.

On the other hand, there is a case to be made for an aim-for-the-stars strategy. If you can build a turbine blade you can build anything. I would have thought compressor blades would be a much more likely candidate, but if they can get this to work, more power to them. And maybe 3d printing will give them options they would not otherwise have: internal bleed air cooling channels that follow the leading edge along its curvature, for instance. It's possible that given completely different design and manufacturing capabilities, they'll be able to make something that can do the same job with different tradeoffs.

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.

Don't be irreplaceable, if you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.