Showing posts with label Communications. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Communications. Show all posts

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sharing The Data

The video is a survey from the advent of man to the invention of the computer mouse and what it all means. Highly entertaining and well worth your time.

And just today Instapundit linked to an article exactly illustrates the concepts discussed in the video: Progress on Alzheimer’s.

And should you wish to delve further Matt Ridley has written a book:

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

H/T to Bishop Hill for the video.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Friday, February 19, 2010


I was reading a story about how the US Navy exchanges officers and men with other Navies. Royal Navy Lt. Angus Essenhigh, a navigation officer, was part of that exchange. He was part of ship's company on the USS Winston Churchill. How fitting.

Essenhigh found this out when he tried to lay one of his “British” navigation words on the ship’s captain, Cmdr. Michael Franken.

“I said, ‘making a sternboard,’ ” Essenhigh recalled.

Franken was thrown. “What’s a sternboard,” he said. “That’s not a word.”

Essenhigh had to show his skipper the word in a dictionary of British nautical terms. It was an old sailing term retained by the Brits and dropped by the Yanks. “Making a sternboard” means “coming astern.” Essenhigh is outnumbered 350 to one — he now says “coming astern.”

Essenhigh had to watch his language in other instances, too. He can no longer shout out “5 cables” when he really means “1,000 yards.” Or when he wants to turn the ship, he can’t give the order “at wheelover.” No one will know what he’s talking about.

Well, some of the Churchill sailors do. Essenhigh has made some adjustments, but so have some of the other crew members.

“Like QM1 here,” Essenhigh said. “He’s practically bilingual. He understands me now.”
For those not up with Navy terminology QM1 is a "Quartermaster First Class". An enlisted rank. Quartermasters deal with navigation and ship handling.

All of this was brought to mind by a Winston Churchill quote:

Americans and British are one people separated only by a common language.

I looked into the subject a little deeper and found this:

`We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language' - Oscar Wilde

Help is available for the language challenged or those wishing to improve their bilingual skills:

Bum Bags and Fanny Packs : A British-American American-British Dictionary

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Advent Of The Video Phone

Amazon is selling a Logitech QuickCam Communicatevideo camera with microphone for under $40.

Here is what one reviewer had to say:

Previously we purchased a cheaper web cam. This was not a good thing. We then decided upon the logitech. The picture is great and we are enjoying being able to talk to our friends and see them at the same time. This was a great purchase for us!
What is so remarkable is that this use as a video phone is no big thing. And that review was from 2008.

Amazing. And why is it so amazing? I grew up in the 50s when stuff like this was imagination only. Either that or you needed a broadcast network. I guess now we have a different kind of broadcast network and color cameras at less than $1/2 million a pop.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Sunspots and Radio Propagation

You may have noticed that I added a current radio propagation and solar statistics chart to the sidebar.

The chart is refreshed every 3 hours, but you will need to refresh the page that has it to see the latest.

If you want one for your blog or webpage you can click on the chart or the link in this sentence. When solar activity starts rising propagation on the higher frequency bands will improve. There will more skip. That is the radio waves can bounce from the ground to the ionosphere to the ground more than once without the power being reduced to undetectable levels.

If short wave radio interests you this is a good starter radio. You will need an to buy an AC adapter to reduce spending on batteries.
Sangen SG-622
Sangean SG-622 AM/FM 10 Band Shortwave World Band Radio

Here is a cute short wave radio kit. It will take you back to the old days of radio with modern components. It is all solid state. Because of the single tuning knob with no vernier the tuning is apt to be a bit twitchy. Good for the kids as a starter or just for fun. But the price is right. $15 plus shipping. You will need an antenna for weaker signals - but that can be just a few tens of feet of copper wire strung out where convenient. In the old days you could just clip the antenna terminal to the stop of a rotary phone. Gone are the days. Of course with a better antenna you will get better reception.
Ramsey SW Radio Kit
Ramsey SR3 Shortwave Receiver Learning Kit

If you want to build your own outdoor antenna this book is a good place to start:
Arrl Antenna Book: The Ultimate Reference for Amateur Radio Antennas

And for a moderately priced top end radio receiver:
Grundig 750
Grundig Satellite 750 AM/FM-Stereo/Shortwave/Aircraft Band Radio with SSB (Single Side Band)

This book has a good section on radio propagation and a number of other topics including antennas, receivers, and transmitters. A good starting point for the beginning experimenter or the budding engineer interested in radio.
Radio Amateur's Handbook
The ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications 2009 (Arrl Handbook for Radio Communications)

Ah, the romance of short wave radio.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Friday, January 09, 2009


I just happened across an interesting page on signals intelligence. Signals intelligence is about finding out what the enemy is doing by intercepting radio and other electromagnetic signals. There is a lot of information at the link but let me focus on one small part to give you a flavor of the page.

Monitoring friendly communications

More a part of communications security than true intelligence collection, SIGINT units still may have the responsibility of monitoring one's own communications or other electronic emissions, to avoid providing intelligence to the enemy. For example, a security monitor may hear an individual transmitting inappropriate information over an unencrypted radio network, or simply one that is not authorized for the type of information being given. If immediately calling attention to the violation would not create an even greater security risk, the monitor will call out one of the BEADWINDOW codes[9] used by Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, and other nations working under their procedures. Standard BEADWINDOW codes (e.g., "BEADWINDOW 2") include:
I'm just going to give a couple of the BREADWINDOW codes and an example of how they can lead to an adverse impact during war time.
5. Friendly or enemy key personnel: "Movement or identity of friendly or enemy officers, visitors, commanders; movement of key maintenance personnel indicating equipment limitations."
7. Wrong circuit: "Inappropriate transmission. Information requested, transmitted or about to be transmitted which should not be passed on the subject circuit because it either requires greater security protection or it is not appropriate to the purpose for which the circuit is provided."
Leading to:
In WWII, for example, the Japanese Navy made possible the interception and death of the Combined Fleet commander, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, by BEADWINDOW 5 and 7 violations. They identified a key person's movement over a low-security cryptosystem.
The study of crypto and communications intelligence is one of my hobbies. If it interests you the link is provided.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Internet Is Underwater

I just found a nice map that proves it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Larry Craig

Maybe it is time for gays to learn the Morse code.

That would be some fancy foot tapping indeed.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Change in Strategy

I have been giving the war a lot of thought. Progress is coming in Iraq a painful inch at a time. It is a process which will not be done again for a while.

So as much as I think Democracy Promotion should still be a major part of our strategy, for the time being it cannot be primary. Our primary focus needs to be on the clash of cultures. To win that clash the West needs more exposure in the East. How do you get it? Television, radio, cell phones, and the 'Net. And what is the #1 requirement for those bits of equipment? Electricity. Even the advance of cell phones requires electricity for the towers and rechargers.

Electricity and street lights do quite a lot to reduce crime at night. Making people feel more secure and in fact be more secure. Lights in the home. Lights in the street.