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User Journal

Journal: in which i am a noob all over again 17

Journal by CleverNickName

I haven't posted a journal here in almost three years, because I couldn't find the button to start a new entry. ...yeah, it turns out that it's at the bottom of the page.

So... hi, Slashdot. I used to be really active here, but now I mostly lurk and read. I've missed you.

Comment: a few points to consider (Score 1) 358

by rnd() (#38141540) Attached to: Ham Radio Licenses Top 700,000, An All-Time High

I've been a ham since I was 12 (in 1989) and got seriously sidetracked with writing code over the past 12 years or so. It's been absolutely *amazing*.

However lately I set up my old station again, upgraded to a new Elecraft K3 transceiver, and have been having a blast. The Elecraft K3 has the best receiver ever tested by most of the labs that have run tests on it. It's an ingenious hybrid of analog and digital circuitry, created by a company in Aptos California. Until recently most of the highly desirable gear was from Japanese manufacturers, and with all the advantages in manufacturing that exist in Asia, I thought it unlikely that US firms would be able to continue to compete. But Elecraft has done a remarkable job.

Getting on the air again after about a decade off the air, I've noticed that CW (morse code) is more popular than ever. And better receiver tech has made it even more effective than it was in the past. Much of the equipment used by hams today has DSP, and for the first time I'm seriously considering getting into low power (QRP) operation just b/c of this. Finally, probably thanks to the removal of the requirement, morse code is appreciated as a fun activity.

Some fun things to do: HF Contesting is my favorite, particularly on CW (morse). Much like meditation, it clears the mind of distractions and I come away from it feeling refreshed and exhilarated. And CW is quite musical compared to RTTY which I find fatiguing to hear -- even though the computer is doing the "work" of decoding it, some audio is needed to help zero beat signals.

I've noticed that there has been a big movement toward scientific thinking about radio performance and antenna performance. Antennas and propagation are full of mystery, but they are ultimately constrained by the laws of nature, and hams are doing away with superstition and using antenna modeling software and the scientific method to create very cool designs, particularly with under-appreciated low-loss feedlines.

There is a young ham radio superstar, callsign NO3M who has destroyed the competition in some of the most hard core CW contests. This guy apparently races motorcycles as well. Highly impressive. This guy is the DHH of ham radio.

I think that among the type of people who love building things, who love understanding things, tinkering, etc., ham radio will always have an appeal. Worldwide hams are extremely nice and friendly people, who are always willing to help someone new. Sure there are a few kooks on 75m but I think 75m can safely be ignored except during (and immediately after) contests ;) The rest is pure awesome.

Comment: Did you RTF Affidavit? (Score 1) 334

by p00ya (#36956750) Attached to: Prosecuted For Critical Twittering
Some selected tweets:

ya like haiku? Here's one for ya: "Long, Limb, Sharp Saw, Hard Drop" ROFLMAO.
hey! who left the light on in the barn!
late at night at the edge o da farm, somethin creepin in the woods gonna do ya harm all ya gots 2 do 2 make it go away is pay pay pay pay

Seems to imply Cassidy had the property under surveillance, and sounds threatening to me. The last one is just your example with more innuendo.

Comment: Re:Abortion and Inflation (Score 1) 270

by p00ya (#34559728) Attached to: Watch 200 Years of Global Growth In 4 Minutes

Abstinence and marital fidelity are the only effective methods that can stop this deadly trend. In fact, in light of the scientific and historical evidence, it is gross negligence bordering on manslaughter to promote "sex education" as a cure when millions suffer from the effects of this "civilised" education.

Actually, public health policy based solely on abstinence has not been shown to be effective.; it has a failure rate at a population level.

Comment: Re:has any fortune 500 company gone Google Apps? (Score 1) 220

by p00ya (#34403408) Attached to: Microsoft Ups Online War, Says Google's 'Failing'

"They certainly have done due dilligence."

Is shipping the data to a country where it is known that you run an increased risk of agencies and interested 3rd parties taking a peek at the data 'due diligence'? Is that a 'reasonable' action in protecting the privacy of individuals and the execution of commercial contracts guaranteeing that privacy?

What if you zipped it up and put it on a public website with a readme.txt that said "don't download this"?

I don't have any particular knowledge about the increased accessibility of data in the US versus the EU, but it seems to me if you knowingly increased the exposure of the data that you're contractually meant to be keeping private, that might be a breach.


Quantum Physics For Everybody 145

Posted by kdawson
from the this-time-without-the-math dept.
fiziko writes in with a self-described "blatant self-promotion" of a worthwhile service for those wishing to go beyond Khan Academy physics: namely Bureau 42's Summer School. "As those who subscribe to the 'Sci-Fi News' slashbox may know, Bureau 42 has launched its first Summer School. This year we're doing a nine-part series (every Monday in July and August) taking readers from high school physics to graduate level physics, with no particular mathematical background required. Follow the link for part 1."

Comment: Re:Wash your hands! (Score 1) 374

by CleverNickName (#29392669) Attached to: Swine Flu Outbreak At PAX

This is good advice, and gives me an opportunity to speak to the community at large: some of us who go to cons and are in a position to shake tons of hands politely decline. It's not because we're being dicks, it's because we know it's a good way to substantially decrease our chances of catching and spreading any germs.

Comment: Oh, cruel irony (Score 2, Interesting) 374

by CleverNickName (#29392641) Attached to: Swine Flu Outbreak At PAX

I played the PAX Pandemic game, where the Enforcers handed out stickers to attendees that read [Carrier] [Infected] or [Immune] (There was also a [Patient Zero].

I got the [Immune] sticker, and by the time I got home on Monday, it was clear that I had the flu. I've had a fever between 100 and 104 all week that finally broke last night, but I'm going to the doctor today because I think whatever I had settled into my lungs. I'll tell him about the H1N1 outbreak and get tested if he wants to run the test, but at this point I think it's safe to assume that I was [Immune] to the Pig Plague, but definitely [Infected] with the damn PAX pox.

Even though it's been a week of misery, it was entirely worth it, and I don't regret going to PAX for a single second.

In Nature there are neither rewards nor punishments, there are consequences. -- R.G. Ingersoll