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Comment Old hat - it was a late-1980s experiment (Score 1) 181

About 25 years ago, TCP/IP experimenters on BITNET were sending IP packets as RSCS messages, which were limited to the same scale of data as SMS messages. It was slow as hell, but just like the SMS network, the RSCS network prioritized these short messages above other traffic.

This is the same network facility that inspired the IBM Reseach folks who moved to AOL to create the buddy list and everything that arose from there.

Funny how things come around over and over in the computing world - it's like nobody studies any prior work.

Comment Re:how many watts of power (Score 2, Interesting) 179

And that's why a request for a waiver isn't just a formality, dispensed with in a few minutes. The FCC needs to determine that there isn't a risk to the public or to other established users of the frequencies in the specific case requested by the requestor. Lots of waiver requests are for experimental uses (the Amateur Radio community does so from time to time), but those typically designate small groups of stations and locations. As this is a portable commercial product, I suspect it was a lot harder to decide on.

Comment Re:Can it detect plants (or herbs) ? (Score 2, Informative) 179

TFA says "the circuitry combines the echoes at different frequencies", but I suspect "circuitry" is a layman's term and that this is truly done in software. Various DSP chips would be excellent platforms with which to do so. If so, then the starting point is a "RADAR camera", which gets turned into a motion detector through image processing. In which case those plants will be quite visible, along with anything else that has edges. The stolen Van Gogh on the wall, however, will be indistinguishable from Dogs Playing Poker.

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A successful [software] tool is one that was used to do something undreamed of by its author. -- S. C. Johnson