* Posts by Brendan

4 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Jun 2008

US Navy SEAL uniforms: Now with built-in tourniquets


English cuff buttons!

The history bit I learned over here in the ex-colonies was that Queen Liz the 1st disliked her soldiers with snotty sleeves, and so ordered the attachment of buttons in order to rub one's nose the wrong way, painfully.

Of course, a properly restrictive cuff might serve to act as a tourniquet for hand injuries, so maybe they were ahead of the times?

Pengy, for simplicity's sake!

Scotland Mountain Rescue turns on Ofcom


I thought the US was daffy...

Wow, Ofcom is way worse than the FCC. If one is a licensee for a given service here, one has paid in full: no charge for spectrum use. A license for Mobile/Portable use on the search and rescue VHF channels costs something like $50 (or less) for ten years, and you can have a nearly unlimited number of users. If one is an Amateur radio operator, there are no charges. I paid $11 for a ten year Amateur license, which includes access to bands ranging from 1.8MHz to 47GHz.

Granted, broadcast licenses for any service/media cost quite a bit more, but hey, they're the public's airwaves, so for private gain they should pay (and they don't pay enough in my humble opinion. Of course, we don't pay for radio/TV licenses either.

Mine's the one with the radio in the pocket...

EFF reveals vastly expanded search policy at US borders


The Dark Lords will have their way...

@Dan Gray: they do inspect checked luggage, albeit randomly. I traveled by air to Canada and the EU last year from here in the US (purely as a tourist) and found a wonderful little memo in my checked bag from the TSA stating they had 'randomly selected' my bag for inspection. It was obviously searched, as the contents were packed a little differently. They did not hinder its movement despite my having placed two knives and a multi-tool inside, all of which would have had me detained (if not arrested) if they were in my carry-on luggage.

Hopefully the Department of Hostile Schizophrenia will have a lobotomy after January 20, and becomes much more peaceful, logical, and rational. Not to mention W et al being given free lobotomies after a stay at Gitmo.

Another vote for a village idiot icon, but in the meantime, mine's the one with the large Swiss Army knife in the pocket...

Force listeners onto DAB by killing FM

Gates Halo

@ Chris

The HD radio we Yanks are being bilked with works just fine on FM but is horrible on AM (MW for UK/Euro types). It creates very nasty interference on the adjacent channels, so much so that they can't be heard. It was created by Ibiquity, who is the sole licensed manufacturer, and is in turn owned by the biggies in US broadcasting. So, we listeners get to pay a license fee to the broadcasters for every radio we buy that includes HD.

DAB+ is also known as DRM+ (Digital Radio Mondiale) and is being tested in Germany right now. I have a friend who is the chief engineer at Hesse Radio in Frankfurt, and she is quite thrilled by the shift to digital: saves 90% on the power bill with better service. Their plan is to put the DRM+ transmitters on the FM band, never mind the microwaves that DAB uses, which is a major reason reception is so spotty and short. Any attempt to try to make the original DAB any better is just money down the shite hole. Wholesale conversion to DRM/DAB+ is the only answer, and we Yanks have been sold a bill of goods, so UK listeners beware! The DRM/DRM+/DAB+ standard does not require huge licensing fees either...

Plain old DRM works on MW, LW, and shortwave as well, and does rather well actually. When the ionosphere cooperates, I can listen to stereo from eastern Canada without problems, and I live only 95 miles north of little Billy G. I've heard stations from New Zealand (go All Blacks!), Ecuador, and Euro relays from the Caribbean, all with no fading or interference.

Why (nice) Bill? 'Cuz he retires this week...