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Comment Re:It isn't just a hobby (Score 2, Interesting) 343

far less than 1 million worldwide have active licences

I would like to know where you come up with this figure. I have already pointed out that over 16,000 have active licenses in the state of Georgia alone. A quick search of the FCC ULS returns 726,015 amateurs with active licenses in the US alone, so I guess by your figure no other country counts into the worldwide average.

While comsats may be a common thing for first responders in the coastal area where you live, they are not in the coastal area where I live. You could be talking hours get one from the nearest larger city, much longer than the time required for me to get my kit and get on scene. Most HAM rigs will run off of a standard car battery, solar chargers are readily available so while it may not be as efficient as comsat it is doable. How is BoPL advancing the progression of first response technology? Also broadband is available in wireless and satellite forms, so wouldn't it make more sense to improve on those forms rather than "advance" to a technology that makes something that "just works" not work?

Comment Re:It isn't just a hobby (Score 4, Informative) 343

If we're keeping HAM around for a few thousand (at most?) true hobbyists, using the excuse that it's a disaster tool, then that's a false need to support an old and dying hobby, and it's preventing rolling out commercial BoPL services to support millions of americans with a cheaper and more stable communications system, and holding back an economy worth billions of dollars for some 50+ year old tech. How stupid is that?

So few people use HAM anymore, we could also just as easily slash the available HAM freequency swath down to a fraction of what it is assigned for, and put BoPL at the other end of the original range, accounting for harmonic frequency crossover, and simply by simplt FCC legislation completely end this debate once and for all...

There are 16660 HAM operators who hold active licenses in the state of Georgia alone, I'm one of them who is a member of a local ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services) group. Are we the only communications in a time of emergency? No, but we are very effective and can be on the scene ready to go quicker than you'll get a comsat system into many rural areas. We don't just provide communications during emergencies we sometimes provide radio communications at large events where the local police may not have effective radio coverage.

HAM's are not necessarily opposed to BPL, we just want it done right. The standards that are being pushed allow for too much interference. BPL should be able to be configured to use a certain slice of the spectrum and not the wide band it uses now (not sure about BPL but I know the home adapters use 2-30 MHz) Would it hurt the FCC to insist that BPL narrow down the frequency range they use and keep it outside of the Amateur bands?


Submission + - Dutch students develop powdered alcohol

adm1329 writes: Dutch students have developed powdered alcohol which they say can be sold legally to minors.
The latest innovation in inebriation, called Booz2Go, is available in 20-gramme packets that cost 1-1.5 euros (NZ$1.80-2.70).Top it up with water and you have a bubbly, lime-coloured and -flavoured drink with just 3 per cent alcohol content. It makes you wonder if this will give a new meaning to "dry" communities.

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