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Comment Re:Yes, this is my first question too (Score 1) 140

What bladerf is offering is a lot of bandwidth, both RF and baseband, for relatively little money.

The USRP and other Ettus platforms don't do USB 3.0. They offer an extremely expensive receiver with a YIG synthesizer and a 10-GbE interface that goes to 4 GHz, but if your employer has more than three letters in its name you probably will never get to mess with one. bladerf can be thought of as an entry-level platform for high-bandwidth work.

Some people have pushed the older USRP boards to grab most/all of the HF spectrum over USB 2.0, but those were/are quite a bit more expensive and had other limitations. USB 3.0 is really a much better bus for this sort of thing.

Comment Re:30 mhz and down (Score 1) 140

Couple of points in your favor, in case the argument gets any more technical. :)

1) Strong out-of-band signals can actually improve the real-world dynamic range of an SDR, because their effect is more or less the same as dithering. As long as the overall input voltage range isn't exceeded, I wouldn't necessarily expect a lot of interference.

2) 8 bits gives ~50 dB of dynamic range at the full bandwidth. If your 8-bit front end is 1 GHz wide but your ultimate demodulation process runs at 1 kHz, you have about 50 + 10*log10(1E6) = 110 dB of usable dynamic range. For this reason, the people criticizing the 12-bit ADCs in the Kickstarter project are off base.

Public agencies trunked radio, with whom I am cooperating on a proprietary application. Sorry I can't say more than that, but the signal of interest is Motorola SmartNet in my case. The application sprang from having fun monitoring it, and observing the potential for an improvement to their system.

Exercise for the student: that SmartNet system carries all of information needed to locate every cop car in town, whether they know it or not. Plot 'em with Google Maps in real time!

Comment Re:There is this thing called a Union (Score 1) 665

Clue time: if other people would cheerfully do your job for free if you didn't do it, then you don't need a union. That applies to wide swaths of both the entertainment and IT industries.

If you want to pay for yet another level of gatekeepers and middle (mis)management in your career, then be my guest. But leave me out of your plans, please.

Comment Re:Apple summed up in one breath! (Score 1) 330

So if you were designing something, you'd want your CEO to come in, who is known to be a prick (Not just on leaving his daughter, but on various prick like personal behavior), and interfere with your product design?

Yes, if he has the insights and track record of a Steve Jobs. I'm not his daughter, I'm an engineer on his payroll, remember? Doing my job properly means not giving a rat's ass about anything but the end product.

I can't imagine how stressful that would be

Name any famous, influential figure, and the odds are that it is/was stressful to work for him/her. If you don't want stress, go work for Pizza Hut.

Comment Re:Apple summed up in one breath! (Score 1) 330

Everything the Mac is, came from Apple engineers. Not Jobs.

If that were true, then some of those engineers must have had talents far beyond their training. Consequently, over the past 25 years, I would have expected to see those engineers branching out on their own and delivering other groundbreaking, influential products.

Has that happened?


Comment Re:sigh (Score 1) 620

Anyone who doesn't acknowledge that police work is extremely, inherently dangerous is an idiot.

That would be me, then.

I've never heard of anybody killing a roofer or a pilot merely because of their job.

That's not relevant. The point is, if I take any of those other jobs, I am more likely to be injured or killed on the job than I am if I become a cop.

Police work is always dangerous, and cannot ever be otherwise.

The statistics say otherwise.

Ever hear the phrase "toot your own horn"? I say, let them.

That's part of the problem, actually. Most of those other jobs (except for pilots, I suppose) don't involve using one's ego as a power tool. Tireless self-promotion on the part of police PR departments has led us to hold cops to a lower standard of behavior and performance rather than a higher one, as would be more appropriate.

Comment Re:sigh (Score 5, Interesting) 620

Their job can be dangerous

Which explains why I'm not allowed to film loggers, pilots, miners, roofers, fishermen, pizza drivers, or any of several other professions that carry an even higher risk of on-the-job fatalities.

No, police officers are just better at whining about how dangerous their job is.

Comment Re:Freakonomics? (Score 1) 627

There exists a very good study that compared cross-border cities between Canada and the U.S.

And I'm sure that the researchers behind the "very good study," for which a citation is conspicuously absent in your post, were very careful to rule out all of the hundreds or thousands of other ethnic, cultural, and legislative factors that change when one crosses the border into Canada.

Gun advocates attacked it for reasons so obvious I will not bother stating them.

I see.

Gun advocates use every tactic in the book to sidestep the issues at hand. Gun control is a societal level control and can gradually bring down levels of gun violence.

A casual reading of history reveals that the most common factor behind homicides committed with firearms is a government -- even one with substantial popular support -- which has mistakenly been allowed to hold a monopoly on the use of force.

But hey, it can't happen here, right?

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