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The comptroller of the Unitd States in the matter of ham radio operator Larry A. Clendinen

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The comptroller of the Unitd States in the matter of ham radio operator Larry A. Clendinen. Transferred employee claims miscellaneous expenses for taking down and reinstalling “ham’ radio antenna and hooking up icemaker and dishwasher. “the use of the radio equipment of the type he has is today so widespread as to be common to households in the United States…”  Your tax dollars at work – read it

Written by frrl

February 23, 2009 at 4:39 am

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Take a Break. Play the Bailout Game and save the United States

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Written by frrl

January 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Posted in Commentary and Opinion

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Uncle Eddy: the black sheep of the family that Amateur Radio does not talk about

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cb_qsl_brucefccIt’s all in the family

If you have seen the movies National Lampoon Vacation or National Lampoon Christmas Vacation then you know the characters Clark Griswold played by Chevy Chase and Uncle Eddy played by Randy Quaid.

If you know who these two characters are then you get an idea of the relationship of Amateur Radio to CB radio.

Clark Griswold is to Uncle Eddy as Amateur Radio is to CB radio.  Or so that is what it would seem from the perspective of Clark Griswold.  How Uncle Eddy feels about this – we don’ t know.  But if CB radio was to exchange Christmas gifts with Amateur Radio, Amateur Radio would be in possession of some fine white shoes.

Amateur Radio seeing CB radio as Uncle Eddy might be the “Pot calling the Kettle Black”.  Don’t forget that the popular media identified Ham Radio as an embarrassing hobby like stamp collecting.

History as objective ?

Those who record and write the history of a cultural phenomenon simply record and write the history and defer judgement to others.  History is supposed to be “objective” – as much as this is possible; history is written by the winners – don’t forget that.  “Just the facts madam” as is the ideal.

CB radio is as much a part of radio (wireless) communication as is any other part of radio – Broadcasting, Pirate Radio, special uses of radio as in the military, and Amateur Radio – to name a few.  To not recognize that CB was a part of the american popular culture in the 1970’s is to miss out on a rich American phenomenon.

Serendipity Strikes Again

As is the case many times, while searching on the Internet for one thing one finds another thing that was not at all what one set out to find.  So was the case when I stumbled upon some CB radio web sites.

The Internet as nearly primary source material for History of CB

cl_qsl_hotpantsSome folks have put up tribute sites to the heyday of CB radio in the 1970s preserving pictures of old radios, recorded conversations from 30 years ago, remembrances to “characters” (CB personalities) from those old days, QSL cards, and various other artifacts.

The work of these folks is almost to create a museum of days gone past of the phenomenon of CB radio.  Without the Internet, the knowledge of this era would be not nearly be as accessible  as it is and would be lost history to the majority of regular people.

The Remnant

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Written by frrl

December 18, 2008 at 7:51 pm

Excuse Me. Your Class is showing

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Excuse Me. Your Class is showing

See our related posting:  Things not going too good?  Maybe you need a Second Life

updating_womanSerendipity. Or, an accident of the Dewey Decimal System

It was an accident of the Dewey Decimal system at the local  library.  I went looking for a book, found it, turned around to leave, and facing me in the stacks on the opposite shelf was 646.77 LOW.

I wasn’t particularly interested finding 646.77 LOW – but it found me.  646.77 LOW was UpDating: How to Date Out of Your League (Paperback) by Leil Lowndes . How could one not pick up a book with a title like that? So I did. Paged through it. Looked interesting. It’s mine for two weeks.

Why do we do what we do?

In a book about the early life about Apple CEO Steve Jobs ( Steve Jobs, the Journey Is the Reward ) the story is told about his relation to his father.  Jobs father was in the used car business -sort of.  His father was a shade tree mechanic that bought cars, fixed them up,and then sold them out of his used car lot which happened to be the the family driveway.

Steves father tried to get him interested in repairing cars. Steve was not interested. Steve was more interested in who would buy cars like this. That difference in focus – a focus not on the car but on the person who would buy the car probably made all the difference in the world for the future of his career.

The “other Steve” – Steve Wozniak co founder of Apple with Steve Jobs – was more like Steves father – interested in the “thing” and not the “person” who would buy the thing. The history of Apple shows the very divergent paths that the two Steves took. One to CEO of Apple, CEO or Pixar, and CEO of NeXT; the other Steve ( Wozniak) remained mostly a technologist.  The divergent paths of esch was based on the fundamental difference in focus of these two Steves.  One with a primary focus on the desires of people; the other with a primary focus on technology.

The point is this. It’s sometimes interesting to ask why people do things.  Why would a person buy one type of car and not another type of car? Why would one spend time in Second Life rather than their First Life? Why would one want to “UpDate” – date a person out of their league?  All this gets to the underlying question that marketing folks ask – what motivates people to desire/consume a specific product or service?  How can this desire be fulfilled?  Or, perhaps, how can one create a desire or demand?  All this comes down to understanding the person and not the thing.

Is the desire to be what we are not, or have what we do not have,  based on Class?  Why do some people want to be of a “Higher Class” or have a mate of a “Higher Class”?

How different classes define Class

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Written by frrl

December 16, 2008 at 7:59 am

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General Electric Research in RF circa. 1934

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“Remarkable short-wave apparatus, developed in the Research Laboratory of the General Electric Co., induces heating effect in the body when it is brought under the influence of 21 to 30 meter waves. 

Frequency of waves used varies from 10,000,000 to 14,000,000 cycles per second.  Brain action accelerated by short waves, research shows.  Tomorrow, we may use short waves to keep us warm instead of a furnace.”

GE Research 1934

Innovation – RF Furnaces for individuals or entire rooms

Back in 1934 GE Research Labs found an interesting effect.  If you expose a human body to RF at frequencies of 10-14 Mhz at a power level of a few Kilowatts you get a heating effect.

The idea was that this could possibly be a replacement for traditional furnaces.  You would place an individual between two metal plates, turn up the juice (RF), and the person would feel warm without warming the surrounding air – as would be required by a traditional coal or wood-burning furnace.

Provided below is an illustration of how this would work for a single individual and another illustration of how this could be implemented for a small room.

It’s amazing the origin of certain ideas – plus the danger of what is unknown at the time.

Click on any image for full size in new browser window.

Click on any image for full size in new browser window.

Written by frrl

August 28, 2008 at 1:04 am

The Wave Bubble – Protecting your personal space from RF Intrusion

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The Wave Bubble

“The new device I designed, named Wave Bubble, is intended to defend the user’s personal space from unwanted wireless communication by creating a personal “cold spot” bubble where RF devices such as those mentioned do not function.”

Social Defense Mechanisms:
Tools for Reclaiming our Personal Space
Limor Fried

Meet one of the next generation of Electrical Engineers at MIT Computing Culture Group – Limor

Limor is after a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Master of Engineering of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT.

MIT has long been known for the innovation coming from the Media Lab.  So what is the relation between the MIT Media Lab and the Computing Culture Group?

The Media Lab focuses on pioneering advances in media and technology, often with the aim of improving human-machine interaction. Much of this work has been in new sensor designs, innovative interfaces, and unconventional integrations of existing technologies. While the Computing Culture group contributes to this body of work, its main focus is to investigate “how artists can refigure technology to address the full range of human experiences,” primarily from a social and cultural perspective

The Computing Culture Group at MIT…

The charter for the Computing Culture Group at MIT includes the question “What do technologists miss?” The research I have engaged takes this question and extends it to ask “What do people want technologists to develop?” Many engineers aim to design a technology (or sensor design, or interface) and then try to create an application for that technology, effectively building an answer and then inventing a need. In contrast, my research aims to identify a lived, experienced human need, and then determine how technology can address that need. Out of the “full range of human experiences,” I chose to focus on human-machine experiences and, in particular, our dislike of certain common electronic devices.

What has Limor frosted is other peoples cell phone conversations invading personal space. So what better than to select a solution for this with a thesis.

You can take a look at the attached thesis which describes the Wave Bubble.    Why the Wave Bubble?

Since we cannot depend on others to respect our personal space, I have decided to instead focus on how we can defend it ourselves, using special electronic devices specifically designed to combat wireless communication technologies and televisions. Having defined the problem, I set out to design two “counter-technologies…

Attached below is a thesis submitted for partial fulfillment of a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Master of Engineering of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Take a read a decide for yourself.  Do you have a right to protect your personal space from RF intrustion using the Wave Bubble? 

Social Defense Mechanisms:Tools for Reclaiming our Personal Space

 Beware of the Wave Bubble

These images are taken from the Thesis.  Maybe a new danger at coffee shops are people wearing Wave Bubbles.  Perhaps this is Linor herself demonstrating the Wave Bubble.  Watch her in the fourth image in the sequence.  The wearable Wave Bubble device is on her coat.

Written by frrl

August 25, 2008 at 12:05 am

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