Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Net Neutrality and the Ham


The net neutrality debate has just been upgraded to a fight. A "Push Poll" done by a so called bi-partisan Commerece committe says that Amercans don't want net neutrality. But it's obvious with the likes of Google and Yahoo and other online content providers as well as thousnads apoun thousands of internet users in the U.S., we don't want the telcos to have control of where the content will go and who can see it! Video and VoIP and such could be restricted as well!

Hams use VoIP to link repeaters, as well as use VoIP to run nets for public service. What if these types of uses were essentially, "taxed" by the telcos. That is bascilly what we are going to see. This could sevrely limit the ability for hams to use the new mode in the for public service. If a club can't afford to keep a repeater linked using Echolink or eQSO or IRLP, then how do we link the repeaters. Oh sure, we could go back to the old UHF links. But then all the experimentaion in the new digital modes that use IP could be held back. Plus, linking a repeater in or near a distaster area with one in another part of the world using UHF the entire way, takes up too many resources. It would be inpractical and prone to outages and interference problems. VoIP has helped to alleviate this problem . Yet we could be taxed for doing a public service in a time of need.

That is what this basiclly is. Net Neutrality is nothing more then a "phantom tax" on the users of the internet to line the pockets and coffers of the big telcos, while restricting the flow of information. We have the power to stop it. Call, snail mail, even visit your represenative's local office and tell them you oppose the big telcos and are for net neutrality.

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Monday, September 11, 2006


What can I say? Evil people did an evil thing on this day 5 years ago. We should never forget and should never stop fighting evil.

And just for the crass persona in me... Fuck you Osama.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Not for the Money

There is a saying in radio, that many of us have regurgitated to our friends and family members time and time again...

"You don't do radio for money, you do it because you love it."

Then after the confused looks go away, you explain to them that even though radio pays very little, it's still something that once you get into it, you can't help but do it. I've met people that were in radio and then left never to return. Maybe their illusion of radio wasn't what the real world was like. I've met some that left and vowed never to come back, but just couldn't stay away. And I have met some like me. That are just so enamoured with radio, that it has gotten into their blood and they live and breathe radio.

Radio is not only my occupation, but my hobby. I'm an Amateur (Ham) Radio operator(*), as well as a broadcaster. And I've met a few of my fellow broadcasters on the ham radio airwaves too. What I want to try and explain is why I do what I do. To me it's a simple feeling, but try explaining the concept of love to someone that has never been in love. Suddenly, all the adjectives you have at your disposal, suck. So here is my clumsy attempt to explain it.

When I look at a radio, and listen, I see a world that my mind creates. I have the soundtrack provided to me, but my mind creates the pictures. Theatre of the mind. And from there, the rush comes over me. Look at a battery powered radio. No connections to the world yet a voice, comes out of the air. Listen to AM radio with a really good Hi Fi sound system. If it's a local station and the engineer is worth a damn it has a nice warm full body sound. Almost like chocolate. Smooth and rich. Yeah I know it sound crazy but try and imagine it. You can hear the announcer's voice, his breathing, his sighs, and the rustle of his copy as he reads into the microphone. The sound coming from thin air. Listen at night, with the lights out or very low. Sit back and relax and listen to the announcer's tones relax your mind and body. A voice in the night, talking to no one but you.

Now imagine you are that announcer. You know hundreds of people are listening to you, but you still talk like your talking to only one person. In your mind it could be your aunt, or girlfriend or wife or someone you know. But in the back of your mind you know people all over are listening to you. Waiting to hear what you have to say. Wondering what will come next. There is perhaps a small feeling of power there, but the rush, the feeling of being behind a mic and hitting that button and knowing people are listening to you. But you can't really grasp it. Oh sure, one or two people call you maybe. But what about those that are just listening? At any given time, I could have 5500 people listen to me read the weather. Can you imagine standing in front of 5500 people and reading the weather? Look them in the faces from a stage? How would you feel?

And that is why I do radio for the love of it, and not the money. If this made sense, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. If not, well... can you recommend a good shrink?

*Callsign: KB2MOB