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Comment Re:Oh good, more contention. (Score 1) 173

The 2.4 Ghz spectrum was opened up for general use because it has relatively poor long distance characteristics thanks to it being absorbed strongly by water.

Interesting mention, and why microwave ovens use 2450MHz, water absorption helps keep RF signal local.

This lead to an explosion of use in the band where your average apartment building has dozens of devices competing for the spectrum.

Back in the days when ships were wood and men were steel, frequencies were allocated to business and public safety 2-way radios, broadcast radio, television, microwave backhaul, amateur radio, military, aviation, navigation, boaters, etc. But 2.4GHz was good for heating food as H2O molecule absorbs that freq. As these ovens are "noisy" FCC figured this will be good for general ISM devices. Then along comes computer/network/internet people wanting spectrum but it has all been taken (analogy of trying to homestead at the close of the 19th century). So only thing left was 2.4. They also seek out 5.8 and a few other slivers of spectrum. But don't think about opening up all spectrum. Cellphone and broadcasters are very possessive of their spectrum, and also many govt and businesses regularly use 2-way radios just like mechanics and plumbers use their tools. There was a time when radio had no regulation (1920s) with stations continually changing freq and increasing power, this lead to many listeners turning off radios and sales of receivers dropped (noted in Gordon West book on commercial licensing). Some services used to be licensed (CB), FCC threw in the towel but still asked manufacturers to keep their radio gear contained within that band.

Generally the FCC no longer enforces spectrum, they may call someone to locate source of interference on a cop frequency. I'm still amazed there are regular sales of 1.2GHz video transmitters that operate in the 900 to 1200 MHz band (aero nav band used by transponders) and all these RC drone sites selling 5.8GHz video transmitters (up to 2w) and everyone from commercial to hobbyists operate on this without any regard to licensing or station ID. But then it is the wild west so who cares? FCC will take action if a nipple is shown.

Over regulation is stifling innovation.

not really, the big megacorps are buying up spectrum then sell various devices where you need to subscribe and pay, pay user fees, fees for data usage, fees for using "excessive data", fees to upgrade, fees to fee.

Comment business model of giving more than they get back (Score 2) 135

ChrisJohnson posted this about Uber, I think it's insightful as I see many other businesses taking up this mode of operation to take advantage of Uber drivers:

Sure, a bit. Uber's the same thing. It's designed to make maximum use of crazy people and force the others to live up to that standard or be fired.

I'll define 'crazy Uber people' not as 'danger to customers', but 'people who are bringing more value in terms of vehicle, skill and desire to please, than they are getting back in pay and benefits'. So the crazy Uber person is the one who keeps buying a new Lexus or whatever, vacuums their car three times a day and busts their ass to outperform all the other Uber drivers, so they can continue to win out over anybody else seeking to be a driver.

The key factor is that they are giving more than they get back, in the belief that they're cornering some kind of market or buying in to something important.
Another way to be a crazy Uber person is to put more depreciation and wear and tear on your car than you can afford to repair (or replace). It's easy to be crazy in these ways. It's externalities which are easy to overlook. These Amazon/Uber business models are designed to leverage that kind of crazy as hard as possible, and kick out everybody who's not willing to lose (one way or another) on the deal. Psychology is useful in getting people to buy into this stuff.
end quote

Comment Re:Craftmanship, learning, and understanding (Score 1) 196

Not sure if this is relevant but here goes: I was thinking about my early days in electronics, and learning craftsman skills (or learning how not to?). I built a shortwave receiver kit from Radio Shack using one of those 200W Weller soldering guns (yes, shaped like a pistol, big and fat, and not temperature controlled). Solder points were large blobs but the radio seemed to work ok. Easily pick up WWV and also listen to ship-to-shore radiotelephone in the 2MHz bands from stinking rich families in their boats near San Pedro, I was in Northern Calif. Radio was a "desk set" but power for it was 12VDC. I thought this would be cool to have a HF receiver in the car. My mom let me mount one of those long CB whips on the bumper, but had no idea how good or bad because in those days spark plugs and points were immensely noisy so all I heard was static on the radio. Overall I had fun learning.

Comment Re:No problem (Score 2) 93

Just change the fingerprints on all accounts and you're safe again.

That is a totally ridiculous solution and yet it seems so reasonable (I'm sure someone will say, "it is the only way to be sure.")

With impending guvmint shutdown sometimes I wonder who's minding the store? There's gotta be a "In Soviet Russia" answer to this one.

Comment The Moon is three days away... (Score 1) 57

unlike Mars is always 20 years away (and has been for past 50 years!). My usual gripe of everyone from Musk to NASA to Zubrin love to talk about Mars because they can always defer building a transfer stage and lander to some other smucks 20 years into the future. Now if we talk about the Moon then gotta start building something now. Now this rover is a small mission but at least puts some focus on the nearest celestial body.

One of you posted a comment that back in 1970s and 80s NASA's plan was to build an infrastructure of LEO, stations, and lunar missions. But in later 1980s the "Mars Underground" hijacked the space policy and pushed to bypass all that and go directly to Mars. And we've been stuck in LEO ever since!

Comment Re:Full of bad reporting (Score 1) 662

Speaking of reporting, I found this scrap in my various files of commentary from back in usenet days:

>This AP article has been making the rounds. It's rather shoddy journalism in that it takes the words of the spammers completely at face value.

I've been a journalist for over 8 years. I see a lot of misconceptions in the two lines of your post. Maybe it's the TV's fault. Maybe you've grown used to think about Dan Rather or Barbara Walters as journalists. They're not. They're celebrities. A journalist walks his beat, watches, listens and reports the facts. Just the facts.

I've interviewed murderers and rapists. I've also interviewed way more politicians than you'd ever care to meet. And when I come back to my desk and write the story, I simply report what they said. Nobody cares what I think about it; my job is to tell you what they said.

So, taking their words at face value is NOT shoddy journalism. It's real journalism. You, the reader, should decide what to make of their words.

Shoddy journalism would be to assume spammers lie, and mocking them, distorting what they said. It would be a lot more gratifying for antispammers, yes, but it would also be the worst kind of journalism: A distortion of the truth.
--- end quote ---

Comment This was insightful mention from TFA (Score 1) 58

"First, the reporters later told us that they had never had such good access to scientists, and it made their jobs easier and their reports better. Second, this set up gave our communications team more time to solve problems, plan and react to news, and maintain stability at the center – instead of racing to fill reporter requests."

Comment Re:How will the History Channel cope? (Score 1) 295

... they called it the Hitler Channel. No mater what series, if you could tie something to Hitler or the Nazis then it was a big plus.

Godwin's Law Channel might be a better name but doesn't roll off the tongue that well. Like the Military Channel, it's all WWII. Same footage over and over but with color added and better sound effects. Speaking of footage, all combat footage even most of Vietnam War footage is all silent. None of those cameras had sound.

Korean War is the Forgotten War, Vietnam War is still too sensitive to talk about (many people are still "fighting it"), and Iraqi 1 and 2 Wars are mysteriously locked away even considering there is tons of footage from various video sources (there is a lot of clips from camcorders and phones on youtube but all disorganized).

Next well covered war of combat footage is the Civil War, obviously much of it is re-creation.

Comment Re:Is there a POTS that can do OTA? (Score 1) 74

I guarantee no phone service ever ran on the entire VHF or UHF band.

It didn't. There were specific frequencies allocated to IMTS mobile telephone service. These are in same 150-162 MHz 9and 450-470) band along with police, fire, business, etc. These channels used same bandwidth as a typical 2-way frequency (and 2-way radio has superior audio quality over cellphone). But the IMTS was full duplex (used both xmit and rec freq at same time) and there was not many frequencies available so only the stinking rich got phones in their cars (and many of them had to wait on a very long list to get subscription). See the old TV series Banachek (sp?) where George Peppard sports a car phone in his limo (motivated many techies to get their ham license and build their own car phone, usually a repeater that is phone patched). However doing full duplex with 1960s/70s electronics and industrial quality, these IMTS phones were big, heavy, and scary. Main radio is in trunk, control head was pretty good size as it had regular Model 500 handset and dial (I have one of these control heads, it has a real bell inside). Here we see a briefcase model, if you had one of these babies, then you were The Man. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

One thing certain there is no way to plant malware in one of these things.

Comment Priorities (Score 0) 84

It seems to me with all the problems and challenges this country faces, top men put war on terrorism which includes need for extensive surveillance the top priority over other issues. Even if govt were better organized in disaster relief, they still would not able help everyone (that's why it is a disaster) but would not be constantly ridiculed for poor performance. However there were some officials saw impending disaster so they forward based a lot of resources closer to Louisiana knowing the state will be calling for help once the winds die down. However, they were a minority because most were focused on terrorist attacks.

Regarding FEMA, I was talking with a emergency manager for a city, he said FEMA does not have response teams like state, county, or city OES departments. FEMA is mostly a fund provider and insurance for disasters.

1: No code table for op: ++post