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Comment: Re:How about international versions? (Score 1) 135

by ukoda (#49141249) Attached to: Developers Disclose Schematics For 50-1000 MHz Software-Defined Transceiver
Sounds similar to the situation here. While legally I think NZ HF and UHF CB service should on be on type approved (RTA) devices I doubt many of the Chinese imports have been through this process. I have dealt with local governement body and they seem to have adopted a fairly pragmatic approach, focusing mainly on stopping the sales of devices on commerical frequencies and addressing interference issues as they arise. I doubt they are worried about hams also operating on other public bands, such as CB and marine, provided you are using the correct modes, appropriate power levels and following the correct etiquite for that service.

Comment: Re:"Free" exercise (Score 1) 304

by ukoda (#49140675) Attached to: I ride a bike ...
I have done some cycling in Auckland for exercise but the hills make it hard going and the helmet law is annoying for a pushbike.

However I love riding my motorcycle in Auckland when the roads are dry, but not so much fun in the wet as it has too much power then. Looking forward to high power electric motorcycles where software could eliminate wheelies and wheel spin during commutes but turn them back on when you feel like a bit of fun in the weekend.

Comment: How about international versions? (Score 1) 135

by ukoda (#49135265) Attached to: Developers Disclose Schematics For 50-1000 MHz Software-Defined Transceiver
It was intersting to read that part of the design will be locked down, to meet FCC requirements. The celluar band lock out has never been a requirement in many countries, such as here in New Zealand. While I dont care about those bands I do wonder if it will lock out out other non-amature band uses in the name of FCC compliance, that we don't need?

For example us hams who are also like 4WD outings find that some UHF ham rigs can serve a dual role as a UHF CB, saving one extra transciever in the vehicle. In that case we are transmitting at 477MHz with a 5W limit, which while legal here would be illegal in the USA. Actully we have the reverse problem, imports from China on the USA FRS/GMRS channel being offered localy dispite being commerical frequencies here. Also it's nice to be abe to listern to commerical channels. The cheap Boefeng is great in a vehicle as it can replace 5 other radios (2M, 70cm, UHF CB, Marine and a scanner). That may not be a big deal if you have a huge Jeep but we typically use smaller 4WD such as the Suzuki Jinmy were 2 transceivers as about all you can fit.

I think an SDR such as this would be great in such an enviroment, if it could get down to 26MHz it could replace the NZ and USA HF CB rig as well allowing one box to do everything, feed it to the car stereo aux input and control it with the same Android tablet used for naviagation. It would make the ultimate communictions solution for a smaller vehicle. I really like the possiblities it opens for new modes or just embeddeding a bit of digital data in the current modes, such as the location of the transmitting station and a call sign etc.

Even as currently defined it seems like a great peice of gear, hope it goes well for Bruce.

Comment: I already know what it would be like (Score 1) 421

by ukoda (#49115933) Attached to: What If We Lost the Sky?
To get a feel for what it would be like try living in a major Chinese city. I did for 2 years, most nights you would only see 2 or 3 stars. I was a bit depressing to look up at night and I wonder if it was a factor in my having "had enough of it" and coming home to New Zealand. First night home and I could not get over how beautiful a night sky full of stars is.

The plan sounds like a bad idea on too many levels...

Comment: Let then know you watch their activities (Score 1) 260

by ukoda (#49107355) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Parental Content Control For Free OSs?
For me one of the most effective things was to let them know that was monitoring what sites they were visiting. When you first let them online you need to supervise them closely and explain what they should avoid and why. Once they understand what is expected/allowed then give then free access but let then know you are monitoring what sites they are visiting. Knowing that they will self censor.

From a technical point of view I put their machines on a separate subnet with a transparent proxy to monitor access and cron jobs/iptables to block any access when it was time for them to be sleeping.

It is also worth remembering they don't magically change from children to adults on a particular birthday, as they mature yet then know they are allow a wider range of access. For example as young children I did not allow them to play violent games but as preteens I allowed moderately violent games and as teens I didn't really limit games because they had demonstrated they had maturity separate to rules of real life from games. Likewise trying to stop teen boys from view porn is a waste of time, best to let them know that what they see on the Internet should generally not be consider real in terms dealing with the opposite sex.

Comment: Complete waste of time (Score 2) 44

As someone who recently lived in China for a couple of years I can tell you it is a complete waste of time. The Internet in China is so badly broken it is an open joke and it must be holding back the development of China. When you dig into the problem you quickly discover ALL your traffic passes through a single IP address, which I assume is the Great Firewall of China. This IP address not only makes your routes longer and traffic flow slower it also breaks different traffic types in different way depending on the service you want to use and the destination IP.

Adding more bandwidth to the country will have zero effect while all traffic is filter through a single bottle neck, their firewall. If they really wanted to improve performance they need to take the firewall out of the route, that would be far more effective than more fibre.

There is a lot to like about living in China but somethings, over time, drive you nuts. The biggest one for me was not having a reliable Internet connection, after two years of fighting for every packet I had had enough. It was so good to be back home where the Internet works as intended.

Comment: Get some decent size monitors (Score 1) 464

by ukoda (#48722559) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are Progressive Glasses a Mistake For Computer Users?
Firstly I assume you have the normal 40+ age related close focus problem. If so first by 10 pairs of $2 reading glasses and put them in every room of your home, your work desk and your jacket pockets. Only wear them when you need them.

If you need them to read your desktop computer monitor then you need to fixed the problem so you see your monitors without them. I'm 52 years old so I can see monitors clearly if they are about 60cm (2ft) away, or further. At that distance 19" is too small, and who would even consider acceptable 19" these days? In my case a 23" monitor is the smallest I would consider and I currently use a pair 24" monitors at home and work. If I find the minimum distance increases with age then I will simply get bigger monitors and place then further away. I can work a 8 hour day in front of the monitors with no ill effects with this set up, but more than 30 mins with reading glasses on a small screen, such as a tablet, and my eyes are definitely tired.

The key here is wearing glasses is bad idea if better set up can fix the problem. You need to be able to focus, unaided, on your monitor without effort if you want to be free of eye strain and related discomfort.

Comment: Re:There is a fixed cost per country (Score 1) 153

by ukoda (#47422621) Attached to: New Zealand ISP's Anti-Geoblocking Service Makes Waves
Without numbers I don't think our argment holds water. How many copies of a game are sold in NZ and how much does the compliance cost? My guess, without numbers to back it up, is it is around 1% of the retail sale price and therefore not a valid justification for over charging.

Comment: I though the hydrogen distraction was history (Score 1) 216

by ukoda (#47320265) Attached to: Toyota's Fuel Cell Car To Launch In Japan Next March
It's pretty clear the pure EVs won the race against hydrogen options so I though the days of news reports such as these was history. Looking back at the history of hydrogen offerings I can't help but think they were promoted by the oil industry as a way to slow pure EV development and as was fall back plan should someone actually work how to make a cost effective hydrogen vehicle. Lets hope that news sites such as Slashdot don't waste space on such rubbish in future.

Comment: Re:Electric. (Score 1) 659

by ukoda (#47006967) Attached to: Future of Cars: Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Or Electric?
My last employer (in China) put power strips in the the scooter park to give all employees free charging at work. I would guess around 50% of the employees use it to to charge for free and if they live within 10km, as most do, they would not need to charge at home. So free commuting for an outlay of USD $400 to buy a new 500W electric scooter. While the rest of the world discusses range limits a very large percentage of the Chinese population use EVs everyday.

The world is not octal despite DEC.