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Comment: Re:GNUradio? (Score 1) 129

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: Wasn't this the main point of "Agile"? (Score 1) 265

by hey! (#49142597) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

Find a compromise between predicting too much of the future and just managing a project by the seat of your pants; get into a rhythm where you check how good your estimations and learn to get better at them.

Of course you can't develop every project this way; I've used Agile and it's worked for me. I've used waterfall and it's worked for me too. You have to try to be sensible; you can't completely wall of other people's need to know when you'll accomplish certain things, nor can you build a solid plan based on pure speculation. You have to have an intelligent responsible way of dealing with future uncertainty, a plan to cut it down to size.

I've even had the good fortune at one point of winning a $750,000 grant to build a system for which no firm requirements had been established. It was kind of an uphill-flowing waterfall: we knew how long it would take us and how much it would cost but we had no firm idea of what we were supposed to build. If that sounds like a recipe for disaster, it was; but my team was *successful* and built a product which was still be used and supported over a decade after the grant finished.

What's missing from many programming estimates is honesty. It's a matter of ethics; you can't take people's money and say maybe someday you'll deliver something useful to them. People don't have unlimited time and money to accomplish all the things that need to be done in the world. It's an honor being entrusted with people's aspirations, and a serious responsibility. It's hard, even nerve-wracking, but you've got to care enough about the impact of your planning on other people to make the effort to do the very best job you can.

And what I've found is that if you do make the effort you can do a surprisingly good job of estimating a project if it's in an area and with technologies you're reasonably familiar with. If you look closely your specific predictions will often be way off, but if you care enough to be brutally honest the pleasant surprises tend to balance out the unpleasant ones.

Comment: Re:Gonna see a Net Neutrality Fee (Score 1) 541

by Trailer Trash (#49141139) Attached to: FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules

Mod this guy up.

People love to talk about the free market as if it were a genie.

The law of capitalism means that it is IMPOSSIBLE for a regulation to raise the price of anything - all it can do is reduce the profit a corporation takes.

Wow. Look up the dairy market for a good counterexample. I'll stop there even though I don't need to.

Comment: Re:"Proprietary So I Get Paid", from Bruce Perens? (Score 1) 129

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) 129

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) 129

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) 129

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.

Comment: Re:awesome! (Score 1) 129

The D-STAR issue is not really ICOM's fault. JARL designed D-STAR (not ICOM) and put the AMBE codec in it because nobody believed that you could have a good open codec at the time. We now have Codec2 (a project I evangelized and recruited the developer) which is fully open. And we do have a software AMBE decoder in Open Source, although the patents won't let us use it. That is why I am working on the patent issue (as noted in the last slide of the presentation).

I know about the counterfeit FTDI chips, and Matt Ettus told me what has happened with the Chinese clone of USRP. We know what to do.

Comment: Re:Many are leaving ham radio too (Score 1) 129

And it's because of No-Code. We looked at the licensing statistics and thought we'd preside over the end of Amateur Radio in our own lifetimes. That's the main reason I worked on no-code. There was really strong opposition among the old contingent, and ARRL fought to preserve the code for as long as they could. Someone even asked me to let Amateur Radio die with dignity rather than sully it with no-code hams. Gee, I am glad that fight is over.

Comment: Re: Many are leaving ham radio too (Score 1) 129

Though a nice compromise might be to allow such things in certain bands only.

That is why there are different radio services. Hams really only have a few corners here and there of the radio spectrum. There really is a service for everyone, although you should be aware that the entire HF spectrum would fit in a few WiFi channels, and all of the Amateur HF spectrum would fit in one. So, we don't really have the bandwidth at all. And people who want the bandwidth on UHF already have WiFi and the various sorts of RF links, etc.

Comment: Re:Many are leaving ham radio too (Score 1) 129

The internet really sucks and we don't want another one on ham radio. Nor could we possibly have the bandwidth to support one. The entire HF spectrum fits in just a few WiFi channels.

To satisfy the demands of the "it should be anything goes" crowd, we have CB radio. And there are all of the common carriers, etc.

So, I can't sympathize, and even if I did, there are not the technical resources there.

Sorry.

Comment: Cryptographic keys (Score 1) 129

I am afraid that's not the way it works. Public-key encryption doesn't really give you the capability to decode the communication of two other parties unless you get the secret (rather than public) key, which they have no reason to give you. There is also a session key that is randomly generated and lives only for the duration of the connection, and there is the potential for VPNs or tunneling that further obscure the actual communication. It's actually very difficult for a monitoring station to even get 100% of the packets reliably, although the two stations in the communication do get them. So you may not be able to reconstruct all of the bits in the stream, and this will break decryption too.

All of this adds up to so many technical hurdles that in practice you have to be NSA to decode the communication, hams who are attempting to self-regulate will not have the appropriate resources.

Earth

Lawmakers Seek Information On Funding For Climate Change Critics 365

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.
HughPickens.com writes: John Schwartz reports at the NY Times that prominent members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate are demanding information from universities, companies and trade groups about funding for scientists who publicly dispute widely held views on the causes and risks of climate change. In letters sent to seven universities, Representative Raúl M. Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat who is the ranking member of the House committee on natural resources, sent detailed requests to the academic employers of scientists who had testified before Congress about climate change. "My colleagues and I cannot perform our duties if research or testimony provided to us is influenced by undisclosed financial relationships." Grijalva asked for each university's policies on financial disclosure and the amount and sources of outside funding for each scholar, "communications regarding the funding" and "all drafts" of testimony. Meanwhile Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, Barbara Boxer of California and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. sent 100 letters to fossil fuel companies, trade groups and other organizations asking about their funding of climate research and advocacy asking for responses by April 3. "Corporate special interests shouldn't be able to secretly peddle the best junk science money can buy," said Senator Markey, denouncing what he called "denial-for-hire operations."

The letters come after evidence emerged over the weekend that Wei-Hock Soon, known as Willie, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, had failed to disclose the industry funding for his academic work. The documents also included correspondence between Dr. Soon and the companies who funded his work in which he referred to his papers and testimony as "deliverables." Soon accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers. At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure, and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work. "What it shows is the continuation of a long-term campaign by specific fossil-fuel companies and interests to undermine the scientific consensus on climate change," says Kert Davies.

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