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Communications

Ham Radio Still Growing In the iStuff Age 368

vhfer writes "From NPR comes this story about old-school communications in the age of Twitter: 'Only a few years ago, blogs listed ham radio alongside 35 mm film and VHS tape as technologies slated to disappear. They were wrong. Nearly 700,000 Americans have ham radio licenses — up 60 percent from 1981, a generation ago. And the number is growing.' The article goes on to say that while there's plenty of 60-plus year old hams, there's also a growing contingent of teens. I just met a 14-year-old, licensed in 2009. Getting rid of the Morse Code requirement sure helped in that regard. So does the fact that the test questions (and the answers) are freely available, legally, on the Internet. Study, take the test, hang the license certificate on the wall. Your geek cred gets an immediate boost. And who knows? Maybe the next time there's a Haiti-earthquake-sized disaster, you'll be one of the thousands of ham volunteers who provided the only communications in/out of Haiti for weeks following the quake, not to mention all of the tactical comms the country had for nearly a month."

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