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Comment Re:It's dead either way, why not try this? (Score 1) 371

Cursing is family friendly. Repression is not. Learning how and why and when people curse is productive and useful. If you're not being raised by really broken people, you'll hear cursing, you'll get to curse, etc.

I am grateful I grew up in a home where language was respected, not repressed. The result? I *very* rarely curse. But when I do, it's situationally appropriate, meaning, I'm using it for emphasis -- not "I'm checking the age of the ears nearby"

Comment Self Policed? (Score 2) 371

The HAM network is almost completely self policed.

I think this is confusing "mostly well behaved" with self policed. For instance, look at the abject fuckery that goes on at 14.313 MHz each and every day. All manner of rule violations. Not judging the rules here, but no question, deep and serious violations of them. No one "polices" this in any sense of the term; nothing any ham does shuts it down, slows it down, restrains it, or otherwise serves as a "police" function. Reporting it to the FCC does nothing; years and years of reports have gone without any response.

Now, it's quite true that most hams don't take part, and further, view the situation as appalling; but this is like your neighbor disliking seeing crack sold on the sidewalk. That's behaving well, not policing. They're not policing it; they might report it, but that's still not policing it. Only the police can do that, because they have the authority and power to do something about it. In the ham situation, the feds aren't coming when they are called, either, so the activity goes unchallenged in any realistic way. And believe me, getting on there and arguing? Not helpful.

There's more than that going on, too. I know for a fact that there are stations on the air using considerably more than legal power; stations that intentionally interfere with others in several ways, etc. I *also* know that the FCC has the analytical tools to detect, and the authority to stop, this kind of behavior. I lay the blame for this shameful garbage entirely at the FCC's feet.

Allowing encrypted traffic would allow me to sell internet service to people in rural areas because there's no way to detect what is in the encrypted content.

Yes, but any ham can do the same thing for free. Encrypted or not. That's going to make your business model unsustainable. Also, I should point out that packet has allowed email back and forth to the Internet for decades now. So I think your idea of "providing Internet" isn't going to choke the spectrum. Hard to sell something others give away for free (not impossible... but hard.)

Another thing: With the plethora of digital modes available right now, it's become a royal PITA to try and figure out what you're listening to, much less decode it. Is it Olivia? RTTY? Amtor? Heil? Packet? and on and on for must be over a hundred modes and variants. The difference between an encrypted packet and one you can't figure out otherwise is... nothing.

And one more thing (lol): As far as HF goes, we don't have the bandwidth to supply anything like Internet to anyone. There's no risk whatsoever of commercial interest of that type coming in. You'd have to be talking about operation at UHF and above, and *that* means line of sight, and *that* means latency that grows with every link, and it also means that those 99.99% dead bands would see some use, which might keep them from being taken from us. Not a perfect reason by any means, but a reason regardless. The fact is, cellphones have almost entirely killed VHF/UHF ham activity. It's sad as hell, but there it is.

Oh, hey. One MORE thing: Your "Internet supply" is going to have to accept all manner of interference from other hams, etc. That's going to make your service really, really poor. Quite aside from the free competition that will start up the day after you do because you're going to offend every ham with half a wit.

Comment Re:Faster than Light? (Score 1) 276

Yeah, I read that three times and my head is still spinning.

That's pretty much what happened the first time, too. Just doesn't want to sink in. I don't have the background to really comprehend this at the right level; just local physics instincts, and they often seem to come up short when cosmology is the subject at hand.

I would love to go over a couple things with you via email, if you felt you could spare the time. I'm at gmail, same handle. If not, no sweat, of course. Cheers!

Comment Re:packet radio? (Score 5, Informative) 371

Ok, let me elaborate. The HAM network is almost completely self policed. It would be trivially easy to abuse the spectrum and ruin it for everyone so it's in everyone's best interest that people who don't follow the rules, who are using it for commercial gain for just one example, are reported and stopped. Allowing encrypted traffic would allow me to sell internet service to people in rural areas because there's no way to detect what is in the encrypted content. If something becomes profitable enough eventually you'll choke the spectrum and make it unusable for everyone. Keep in mind that this isn't a managed slice of spectrum, there's no one in charge of who is using what frequency where. Get enough sources broadcasting and it simply won't work.

Comment Re:Faster than Light? (Score 1) 276

Physics doesn't care.

That's what I like about physics. :) (contrariwise, it's what makes me suspicious of quantum physics...)

Time can stop, go backward, go imaginary, you name it. It's just us forcing physics into a badly fitting mathematical suit.

Have you run into the "proof" of determinism demonstrated by showing that a viewpoint across an interval where the object being viewed is on an (I believe) approaching vector near lightspeed) results in viewing that object in the future, thereby assuring us of the fixed sequence of events that will lead to that view? I may have that a little jumbled, the idea had me dizzy for days.

Nova had some dumbed-down cosmological thing on where they diagrammed that out. I had to go listen to some Pink Floyd afterwards, lol.

Comment Re:Wrong by law (Score 1) 601

The program was assumed to exist by large amounts of the public, in that way "everyone" knew about it.
The program was briefed to many, possibly all members of congress, in that way "everyone" knew about it.
The program was classified to the highest level of classification the US government has, in that way it was, in a very literal sense, "Top Secret"

Comment Re:You have to contract / set up a firm (Score 5, Insightful) 472

In this situation it's going to be all about who you know. You say you have a long history of successes? Contact the people you worked with and worked for. Someone, somewhere, is hiring and at least some of those people will be in position to push your resume at least past the first layer of defense. Lack of a formal degree will see your resume to circular filing cabinet in record time, unless the HR drone has a reason to believe otherwise.

Comment Re:Hero (Score 1) 601

He knew that computer crime is punished far more severely than murder is

This is true but irreverent. He knew he'd be charged with espionage or treason or any number of other very serious offenses. This has nothing to do with over prosecution of computer crimes and everything to do with leaking documents marked "TOP SECRET". If you have access to those documents you know what leaking them means; it doesn't matter if you're a whistle blower, it doesn't matter if you're right or wrong. His case could have been much, much more clear cut against the government (and not just this administration but any administration going back 100 years) and he still would have been charged with and almost certainly convicted of very, very serious crimes.

He had a very simple choice. Don't leak the documents, leak the documents and face very serious charges that will be trivially easy to prove (do keep in mind, there are no whistleblower laws to protect people in his position, none), or leak the documents and hope for asylum somewhere else. Obviously that's what he chose to do.

Comment Re:Stupid Question of the day! (Score 2) 203

If it's here and it wants to be spotted it would have announced itself by now. If it doesn't want to be spotted we don't have any realistic hope of spotting it. Keep in mind, anyone out there with routine interstellar travel of any kind, even just with automated drones, is more than likely to be hundreds or at least tens of thousands of years ahead of us technologically.

That said, it's always possible that the machinery only wakes up every so often. If it only sticks it head out to look around every 10000 years or so it might have missed us last time (or we might still be below it's detection threshold but I find that hard to believe personally). So, we could examine the asteroid belts, and the trojan asteroids around the gas giants, looking for things that give off an anomalous amount of heat or have a higher than expected metal content. Logically any plan to explore the galaxy is going to rely on something like von Nueman probes; that is to say probes that get to their destination and build a few hundred copies of themselves to send to the next start system (and to provide redundancy in this one).

Comment Re:Story time (Score 1) 276

There seem to be a lot of RTL sticks out there. I know of a dev who is working on a server app that takes an RTL stick and creates a routable Ethernet stream from them with the intent of making it compatible with my SdrDx app. I do support USB soundcard SDRs, but quickly grew less than enthused with USB as people constantly complain about windows installing the wrong USB drivers over the ones that are correct and things stop working, plus it's a PITA to maintain the separate code bases for USB across Windows and OSX. Ethernet based SDR setups are *so* much cleaner to handle, plus Qt (which is what I use to make this cross platform) has network drivers that work well, and identically, on both platforms. The real win, though, for a lot of people is the ability to remote the SDR away from local noise.

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