RocketAcademy writes "The Federal Communications Commission has issued a Public Notice to help commercial space companies obtain use of communications frequencies for launch, operations, and reentry. Commercial space companies can obtain the use of government frequencies on a temporary, non-interference basis through the FCC's Experimental Authorization process. Experimental Authorizations are valid for a six-month period from the date of grant and are renewable, but applicants must obtain a new authorization for each launch and must apply 90 days in advance. Unfortunately, this requirement does not meet the needs of suborbital launch providers who expect to fly several times per day and schedule launches as needed, on very short notice."
TwineLogic writes "Many Slashdot readers have been enjoying the availability of $20 USB radios which can tune in the range of 50MHz-2GHz. These devices, while cheap, have limited bandwidth (about 2MHz) and minimal resolution (8-bit). Nuand, a new start-up from Santa Clara, wants to improve on that. Their Kickstarter proposal for bladeRF, a Software Defined Radio transceiver, will support 20MHz bandwidth and 12-bit samples. The frequency range to be covered is planned as 300MHz-3.6Ghz. In addition to the extended spectrum coverage, higher bandwidth, and increased resolution, the bladeRF will have an on-board FPGA capable of performing signal processing and an Altera processor as well. SDR hobbyists have been using the inexpensive receivers to decode airplane data transmission giving locations and mechanical condition, GPS signals, and many other digital signals traveling through the air around us. This new device would extend the range of inexpensive SDRs beyond the spectrum of 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. In addition, the peripheral includes a low-power transmitter which the experimenter can use without needing a 'Ham' license."
Bruce Perens writes "The Codec2 project has developed FreeDV, a program to encode digital voice on two-way radio in only 1.125 KHz of bandwidth. But FCC regulations aren't up-to-speed with the challenges of software-defined radio and Open Source. A 24 page FCC filing created by Bruce Perens proposes that FCC allow all digital modulations and published digital codes on ham radio and switch to bandwidth-based regulation."
New submitter titanium93 writes "For months, dozens of people could not use their keyless entry systems to unlock or start their cars when parked in the vicinity of the eight-story Regents bank building in Hollywood, FL. Once the cars were towed to the dealership for repair, the problem went away. The problem resolved itself when police found equipment on the bank's roof that was broadcasting a bootleg radio station. A detective and an FCC agent found the equipment hidden underneath an air conditioning chiller. The man who set up the station has not been found, but he faces felony charges and fines of at least $10,000 if he is caught. The radio station was broadcasting Caribbean music around the clock on 104.7 FM."
theodp writes "GeekWire's Taylor Soper reports that the University of Washington has capped live sports coverage at 20 Tweets per basketball game (45 for football) and threatens to revoke the credentials of journalists who dare exceed the Twitter limits. Tacoma News Tribune reporter Todd Dybas was reportedly 'reprimanded' after drawing the ire of the UW Athletic Dept. for apparently Tweeting too much during UW's 85-63 Sunday win over Loyola."
jjp9999 writes "By using the same technology found in older modems, Thomas Tumino, vice president of the Hall of Science Amateur Radio Club, has invented an iPhone interface for ham radios. He told The Epoch Times, 'Today there are iPhone apps where you can use the systems in the phone — and its sound card, which is being used as a modem ... And then you connect that into your radio with an interface like this, that just isolates the telephone from the radio, and then you can do all sorts of things.'"
Dupple writes in with news about a discovery that should extend the life of your battery in the near future. "Powering cellular base stations around the world will cost $36 billion this year—chewing through nearly 1 percent of all global electricity production. Much of this is wasted by a grossly inefficient piece of hardware: the power amplifier, a gadget that turns electricity into radio signals. The versions of amplifiers within smartphones suffer similar problems. If you've noticed your phone getting warm and rapidly draining the battery when streaming video or sending large files, blame the power amplifiers. As with the versions in base stations, these chips waste more than 65 percent of their energy—and that's why you sometimes need to charge your phone twice a day. It's currently a lab-bench technology, but if it proves itself in commercialization, which is expected to start in 2013—first targeting LTE base stations—the technology could slash base station energy use by half. Likewise, a chip-scale version of the technology, still in development, could double the battery life of smartphones."
An anonymous reader writes "Today in a blog post, Pandora has shared some details of the fees they pay to musical artists for playing songs over their music streaming service. Over 2,000 different artists will pull in $10,000 or more in the next year, and 800 will get paid over $50,000. They provided a few specific examples as well. Grupo Bryndis, who has a sales rank on Amazon of 183,187 (in other words, who is not at all a household name), is on track to receive $114,192. A few earners are getting over $1 million annually, such as Coldplay and Adele. 'Drake and Lil Wayne are fast approaching a $3 million annual rate each.' The post segues into a broader point about the age of internet radio: 'It's hard to look at these numbers and not see that internet radio presents an incredible opportunity to build a better future for artists. Not only is it bringing tens of millions of listeners back to music, across hundreds of genres, but it is also enabling musicians to earn a living. It's also hard to look at these numbers, knowing Pandora accounts for just 6.5% of radio listening in the U.S., and not come away thinking something is wrong. ... Congress must stop the discrimination against internet radio and allow it to operate on a level playing field, under the same rules as other forms of digital radio.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Sir Bernard Lovell, the founder of the Jodrell Bank Observatory and namesake of the Lovell telescope has died at the age of 98. The Mark 1 telescope, as it was known in the '60s, was the only western telescope that could track the early Russian moon probes, which ensured its debts were paid off. However, the telescope is more famous for radio astronomy, including pulsar research, hydrogen line studies of the galaxy, and much more as other telescopes joined it in the Merlin network."
An anonymous reader writes "There are over 700,000 ham radio licensees in the USA and about 2 ½ million worldwide. Today, this international community of wireless communications devotees are celebrating World Amateur Radio Day, recalling the advances Amateur Radio Service has made for modern man. Their theme for 2012 is Amateur Radio Satellites: Celebrating 50 Years in Space in remembrance of the launch of the first Amateur Radio satellites OSCAR 1 on December 12, 1961 and the launch of OSCAR 2 on June 2, 1962. Their ranks have included people like Steve Wozniak of Apple and Jack Kilby who invented the integrated circuit, Dr. Karl William Edmark who invented the heart defibrillator, Scott Durchslag, the Chief Operating Officer at Skype, and Dr. John Grunsfeld of NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope. This is the 87th anniversary of the foundation."
joshuarrrr writes "When the RMS Titanic scraped an iceberg on the night of 14 April 1912, its wireless operators began sending distress calls on one of the world's most advanced radios: a 5-kilowatt rotary spark transmitter that on a clear night could send signals from the middle of the Atlantic to New York City or London. What the radio operators lacked, however, were international protocols for wireless communications at sea. At the time, US law only required ships to have one operator on board, and he was usually employed by the wireless companies, not the ship itself. On the 100th anniversary of the Titanic, IEEE Spectrum looks at how the tragedy accelerated the improvement of communications at sea."
Velcroman1 writes "The newest trend in American communication isn't another smartphone from Apple or Google but one of the elder statesmen of communication: Ham radio licenses are at an all time high, with over 700,000 licenses in the United States, according to the Federal Communications Commission. Ham radio first took the nation by storm nearly a hundred years ago. Last month the FCC logged 700,314 licenses, with nearly 40,000 new ones in the last five years. Compare that with 2005, when only 662,600 people hammed it up and you'll see why the American Radio Relay League — the authority on all things ham — is calling it a 'golden age' for ham. 'Over the last five years we've had 20-25,000 new hams,' said Allen Pitts, a spokesman for the group."
An anonymous reader writes "Thousands of PC users are being called on to donate their spare CPU cycles to help create a massive grid computing engine to process terabytes of radio astronomy data as part of theSkyNet project. It will be used for, among other things, processing the huge amount of data expected to flow off Australia's forthcoming Square Kilometre Array telescope." One can only assume that "other things" will include achieving sentience and finding John Connor.
judgecorp writes "The UK's telecom regulator, Ofcom, will approve whitespace radio, allowing systems that use vacant spaces in the TV broadcast spectrum on the same 'license' exempt basis as Wi-Fi. It is hoped that white space radio will solve the rural broadband crisis in the country. From the article: 'Ofcom hopes for deployments by 2013, putting the UK ahead of other countries, and proposes it be used for a higher-power variant of Wi-Fi as well as for rural broadband connections and machine-to-machine communication.'"
judgecorp writes "Everlasting green energy for RF tags and other low-power devices could be possible as scientists have harvested energy from ambient radio waves using cheap antennas printed by an ordinary inkjet. The scientists, from Georgia Tech, started at 100MHz but have now produced systems which scavenge power at up to 60GHz, allowing them to draw power from most of today's major radio technologies."
judgecorp writes "The BBC is asking Android users to install an app which will upload information about 3G and 2G coverage, in order to build up a map showing where Britain has signal. The company behind the app, Epitiro, previously worked with the regulator Ofcom to measure 3G speed, and apparently found that O2 is slightly faster."
judgecorp writes "White space radio, the technology which could provide broadband networks by using TV spectrum more efficiently, will be tested in Cambridge. A consortium including Microsoft, BT and the BBC will check the technology does not interfere with TV, and test it for mobile broadband and telemetry. The regulator, Ofcom, has already set out likely terms for legalising white space radio and seems on track to approve it soon."
An anonymous reader writes "In France, radio and television news anchors are no longer allowed to say the words 'Facebook' and 'Twitter' on air, unless the terms are specifically part of a news story. The ban stems from a decree issued by the French government on March 27, 1992, which forbids the promotion of commercial enterprises on news programs."
An anonymous reader writes "Powerline technology which ships network data over mains cables could be causing interference for spies, according to a letter from the UK's top secret listening station, GCHQ. However, the British regulator says that objections to powerline all come from radio amateurs — and a Google search reveals that the writer of the letter (which GCHQ seems to be disowning) comes from a ham."
liqs8143 writes "Astronomers from the United States have begun searching for alien life on 86 possible earth-like planets. A massive radio telescope that listens for signs of alien life is being used for this project. These 86 planets are short-listed from 1235 possible planets detected by NASA's Kepler telescope. The mission is part of the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project, launched in the mid 1980s. A giant dish pointing towards each of the 86 planets will gather 24 hours of data, starting from this week."
SEWilco writes "Hundreds of Internet radio stations that use SWCast.net for services have been affected by a shutdown triggered by SoundExchange, who claim lack of payment of royalty fees. Apparently SoundExchange has a new president, and this might be a factor in acting on several years of missing payments. In the meantime, SWCast radio stations suffer after paying to legally broadcast."
jfruhlinger writes "The days when citizens could only learn about a distant war from the government or the institutional press are long over. A Dutch ex-military geek exemplifies the new way information comes out, tracking attack flights on Libya, and even tweeting messages to the US command responsible for the strikes."
An anonymous reader writes "Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, has introduced HR 607, the 'Broadband for First Responders Act of 2011,' which has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee (which handles telecommunications legislation). The bill would create a nationwide Public Safety broadband network using the so-called 'D-Block' of spectrum in the 700 MHz range for Public Safety use. But to pay for it, he wants to sell off 420-440 MHz, currently heavily used by the military, satellites and Amateur Radio operators."
An anonymous reader writes "Scientists at Stanford University have built a radio that can transmit and receive at the same time on the same frequency. The breakthrough could lead to a twofold increase in performance for home wireless networks and end that annoying habit of pilots finishing every sentence with 'over.'" But you can still do it if you like. I'm not judging.
Hummdis writes "If you, like so many others, listen to Last.FM on your mobile or home entertainment devices, then you're going to need to pay for this once-free service effective February 15th. It remains free to listen on the Last.FM website, Xbox Live, Windows Mobile 7 phones and the desktop app, but if you want to continue to listen on Android, your Blu-ray player, or any other device, you'll need to spend the $3.00 per month to be able to do so."
SEWilco writes "Despite our older headline, NanoSail-D was not 'Lost in space.' It was stuck in its canister. The solar sail nano-satellite finally ejected on Wednesday. The three-day countdown to sail deployment began then, so we'll have to see what happens next." And clm1970 adds "In another conventional use for an arguably unconventional hobby given the technology of 2011, NASA is requesting the help of Amateur Radio or 'ham operators' to help listen to a beacon signal of the nano-satellite. Many say the hobby is dying, but for every 'death knell,' it seems another application brings it back to life to prove its usefulness."
RedEaredSlider writes "Increased solar activity could give residents of the continental US, southern Europe and Japan the chance to see the northern lights for the first time in several years. The National Weather Service's Space Weather Prediction Center says the sun is entering a period of high activity, marked by more sunspots and a greater chance of a coronal mass ejection, or CME, hitting the Earth. That would result in auroras being visible much further from the poles than they usually are."
An anonymous reader writes "This might very well be the nerdiest site we'll ever encounter... Linux Radio is an online radio station broadcasting the Linux kernel! Each time someone visit the site, a random source file is selected and read loudly by a virtual speaker materialized through the open source speech synthesizer eSpeak. Will it prove useful to anyone is probably a difficult question to answer, but the excitement provided is worth experiencing at least once. However, this concept proves once more the advantages of open source over proprietary software making such achievements impossible : whoever in his right mind would want to listen to binary files loudly?"
schnell writes "Unlocked cellular devices have long been a part of the wireless landscape in Europe and elsewhere. But longtime industry analyst Andrew Seybold explains why that model doesn't work in the US due to technology and frequency differences, and why LTE adoption may not make things any better."
Zothecula writes "There was a time not so very long ago when people who wanted satellite TV or radio required dishes several feet across. Those have since been replaced by today's compact dishes, but now it looks like even those might be on the road to obsolescence. A recent PhD graduate from The Netherlands' University of Twente has designed a microchip that allows for a grid array of almost-flat antennae to receive satellite signals."
Bruce Perens writes "Codec2 is an Open Source digital voice codec for low-bandwidth applications, in its first Alpha release. Currently it can encode 3.75 seconds of clear speech in 1050 bytes, and there are opportunities to code in additional compression that will further reduce its bandwidth. The main developer is David Rowe, who also worked on Speex. Originally designed for Amateur Radio, both via sound-card software modems on HF radio and as an alternative to the proprietary voice codec presently used in D-STAR, the codec is probably also useful for telephony at a fraction of current bandwidths. The algorithm is based on papers from the 1980s, and is intended to be unencumbered by valid unexpired patent claims. The license is LGPL2. The project is seeking developers for testing in applications, algorithmic improvement, conversion to fixed-point, and coding to be more suitable for embedded systems."
GovTechGuy writes "The FCC filed Thursday to appeal a recent court decision that struck down its policy of fining broadcasters for profanity or nudity shown on live television. The FCC's brief argues the court ruling would make it almost impossible to punish broadcasters that show nudity or profanity during hours when children are likely to be watching or listening."
bartle writes "I spend a lot of time hiking in the Colorado Rockies. Cell phone reception is very unreliable and I'm curious if carrying a small amateur radio would make any sense at all. I don't want to add too much weight to my pack; from what I gather, a radio weighing a pound would give me at most 5 to 10 watts of transmitting power. I have no idea if this is enough to be effective in a mountainous region, and I'm hoping some experienced Slashdot hams could give me a clue. I'm only interested in acquiring a radio and license if it is a lot more effective and reliable than the cell phone I already carry. Otherwise I'll just wait for Globalstar to bring back their duplex service and buy a next-generation SPOT messaging device. (I know some Slashdotters will want to suggest a modern SPOT or Personal Locator Beacon; these are suitable for the worst kinds of emergencies, but I'll point out that reliable communication can help prevent small crises from becoming big ones.) Are small amateur radios effective in the field, or are vehicle rigs really the only way to go? Or am I better off just waiting for satellite?"
beschra writes "Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) was developed as early as 1981. After launching in the UK 10 years ago, only 24% of listeners listen on DAB. The article credits a good part of the delay to the fact that the technology was largely developed under the Europe-wide Eureka 147 research project. How does government vs. commercial development help or hinder acceptance of new technology? From the article: '"If Nokia develops something, they'll be bringing out the handsets before you know it," [analyst Grant Goddard says]. "Because DAB was a pan-European development, you had to have agreement from all sides before you could do anything. That meant progress was extremely slow." But this alone did not account for the hold-up. The sheer complexity of introducing and regulating the system was also a major factor, Mr. Goddard adds."'
gyrogeerloose writes "Citing 'national security concerns,' the French Autorité de Régulation des Communications Électroniques et des Postes (ARCEP, France's equivalent of the US's FCC) has ruled that D-Star, an amateur radio digital signal mode used world-wide, is illegal because it could allow operators to connect to the Internet.The ARCEP also cites alleged concerns regarding cryptography and national security as well as the use of a proprietary codec. While it's true that the D-Star codec is proprietary, its owner has openly licensed it (for a fee, of course) to any manufacturer who wants to build it into their equipment. Any licensed amateur radio operator who lives within the EU can sign an online petition protesting this decision."
damnbunni writes "Dr. Demento has announced that his long-running comedy radio show will be ending (except weekly in and around Amarillo, TX). Modern 'format' radio has been less and less friendly to oddball and offbeat programming, and after years of declining station membership the Doctor announced on June 6 that his radio show will be no more. He will still stream weekly shows on Saturday from his website, drdemento.com. While I'm sad to see the show go, nearly 40 years is a good run."
leathered writes "Tinfoil hatters around the world are abuzz that UVB-76, the Russian shortwave radio station that has been broadcasting its monotonous tone almost uninterrupted since 1982, has suddenly gone offline. Of course no one knows what the significance of this is, but best brush up on your drills just in case."
DeviceGuru writes "Grace Digital Audio has just released a new device that functions like an Internet radio tuner in a whole-house audio system and is being sold at a surprisingly affordable price point. The Solo Wi-Fi Receiver works in tandem with Reciva's Internet radio station selection web service, provides excellent Pandora support, and also supports optional Internet services such as Live365, MP3tunes, Aupeo, and Sirius. It has built-in buttons and a display for easy control, comes with a dedicated IR-remote, and is supported by a free iPhone remote access/control app. We hear a lot about the high-end Sonos gear, but at just over $100, this little gadget seems like a breakthrough in cost-effective Internet radio, much as the Roku Netflix player broke ground in low-cost Internet video streaming."
astroengine writes "A new radio telescope is under construction, consisting of 44 stations (each consisting of several antennae) spread across Europe. The pan-European Low Frequency Array is half built and already returning unprecedented observations of cosmic radio sources. The best thing is, when it's complete, SETI will be able to use the array to seek out transmitting extraterrestrial civilizations in these untapped low radio frequencies."
An anonymous reader writes "Space Shuttle Atlantis has finally caught up with the Hubble Space Telescope after following it for several hours. The 'link up' between the Space Shuttle and Hubble was a very delicate one as the two were flying through space at 17,200 MPH, 300 miles above the Earth's surface. The robotic arm of the shuttle grappled the telescope at 1:14 PM EDT today. The telescope will be latched to a high-tech Lazy Susan device known as the Flight Support System for the duration of the servicing work."
The New Yorker features a review of the life and work of R. Buckminster Fuller, on the occasion of a retrospective exhibition in New York 25 years after his death. Fuller was a deeply strange man. He documented his life so thoroughly (in the "Dymaxion Chronofile," which had grown to over 200K pages by his death) that biographers have had trouble putting their fingers on what, exactly, Fuller's contribution to civilization had been. The review quotes Stewart Brand's resignation from the cult of the Fuller Dome (in 1994): "Domes leaked, always. The angles between the facets could never be sealed successfully. If you gave up and tried to shingle the whole damn thing — dangerous process, ugly result — the nearly horizontal shingles on top still took in water. The inside was basically one big room, impossible to subdivide, with too much space wasted up high. The shape made it a whispering gallery that broadcast private sounds to everyone." From the article: "Fuller's schemes often had the hallucinatory quality associated with science fiction (or mental hospitals). It concerned him not in the least that things had always been done a certain way in the past... He was a material determinist who believed in radical autonomy, an individualist who extolled mass production, and an environmentalist who wanted to dome over the Arctic. In the end, Fuller's greatest accomplishment may consist not in any particular idea or artifact but in the whole unlikely experiment that was Guinea Pig B [which is how Fuller referred to himself]."
7Prime writes "Clear Channel Communications Inc., the nations largest radio, billboard, and entertainment outlet, announced their intention this morning to sell the company to a consortium of private-equity firms for over $26 billion. In addition, Clear Channel's TV division, as well as its smallest 448 radio stations would be sold out of the company and will be looking for potential buyers." From the article: "The buyers, led by Bain Capital Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners, also are bidding for Tribune Co., which owns several newspapers and television stations. That process is ongoing. If Bain and Lee purchase Tribune, they may be forced to sell certain newspapers and television stations to comply with Federal Communications Commission regulations that prohibit one company from owning a newspaper and radio or television station in the same city. The buyers paid $37.60 per share for Clear Channel, the highest price the stock has seen since mid-2004, and a 25 percent premium on the stock's average price in October. The purchase price includes the assumption of about $8 billion in debt."
Well, it's been a long time since we've had an update to the radio section, and that's partly due to us not recording the show very often. Also, it's in part that we lost this show and found it later, or something. So anyway, from deep within the GiS vaults is yet another episode. It features special guest Jamie McCarthy, from Slashdot's own YRO section, as well as Dune discussion, anti-aliasing lust, and more.
After another extra long pause, we're back with another installment, this time with Chris DiBona, man of many titles, and also the benevolent soul who found me a place to sleep at ALS. In this episode, we talk about bootable Linux games on CD, SQL, life as video game art, fancy chairs, and a healthy dose of anime as well.
In this week's episode, we're back from the office move to discuss Microsoft buying Bungie, the new release of GNUCash, stupid processor naming schemes, the BT hyperlink patent, and more. This might be the last episode for awhile, as the Mackie (our mixing console) broke and I just shipped it back for repairs, so hang tight while we get it fixed.
In this week's episode we talk about the AMD Thunderbird, the "opening" of the Playstation 2, and not much else. (except for the ever-impending Krull invasion) If you've got a high tolerance for pain, give it a listen.