What is a Voicelid?

On the ham radio bands, a voicelid is an operator who is transmitting voice within, or partially within, a portion of the band traditionally reserved for data.

For instance, the USB carrier frequencies 14.230 MHz and 14.233 MHz have traditionally been reserved for slow scan television operations (also known as “SSTV”) for more than 50 years now:


20 Meter ARO Band

20 Meter ARO Band


So with regard to these frequencies, USB voice operation above 14.227 MHz (presuming 3 KHz voice bandwidth, which is generous) and below 14.236 MHz self-identifies the operator as a voicelid, as would (non-traditional, to say the least) LSB carrier point operation below 14.239 MHZ and above 14.230 MHz.

This is true both during non-contest and contest periods. Contests provide no legitimate excuse to intentionally interfere with others — that’s not radiosport. That’s simply rude, as well as outright forbidden.

This does not apply to USB voice transmissions on 14.230 or 14.233 that are actually SSTV related — those are part of normal SSTV operations.

So take a little time to learn about traditional non-voice allocations on all of the bands you operate within, and carefully respect the tiny bits of bandwidth they occupy. This is one of those important bits of operational knowledge that distinguishes the skilled radio operators from the unskilled ones.

#voicelid #sstv

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Email This Post Email This Post

Hey, IAU: Some Reasonable Definitions

The IAU has, in relatively recent years, been fiddling with the definitions of what objects such as planets are. Quite aside from disrupting everyone’s general understanding for no good reason whatsoever, they did this very poorly.

Here’s a set of criteria for defining a body as a planet:

A Planet…

Planet Pluto

Planet Pluto

  • …is a natural object, such as a rocky ball or a ball of gas, or combination thereof, in hydrostatic equilibrium, which is to say it has enough mass to have pulled itself into a long-term stable oblate spheroid (like Earth) or sphere.
  • …isn’t in a long-term stable orbit around a significantly larger object of a similar nature to itself (in other words, it’s not a moon.)
  • …hasn’t lit up its own fusion reaction

That may not be a perfect set of criteria, but I submit that it is at least close. Also much closer than the IAU’s profound lapse of judgement.


Planet Ceres

Planet Ceres


So yes: Pluto is (still) a planet. It really isn’t planet nine; There’s Ceres, a 950 km diameter planet located in the asteroid belt, between Mars and Jupiter, for instance (at the left) which makes Pluto (at least) planet ten as counted outwards from our star; but Pluto is definitely a planet.

Unlike, for instance, Vesta (below), which is just as clearly an isolated fragment of something larger:

Vesta

Vesta

Tags: , , , , ,

Email This Post Email This Post

How to wear a garter belt

Here’s something for ladies new to best lingerie practices. As with many things, when it comes to garter belts and panties, there’s a right way to combine them, and a wrong way. Look carefully at this:

icgarters
Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Email This Post Email This Post

Why I don’t Like Public Theaters

Over the years, I’ve put together a home theater with a big screen, great sound and quality seating. I no longer go to public theaters. During that time, based on quite a few excursions to public theaters, a number of notable disadvantages consequent to public theatergoing have become clear to me:

copyrights likely Jim Henson / Muppets ca. 1975 via The Muppet Show

Turn off that cellphone!

  • No ability to pause — bathroom breaks and snack fetches cause content to be missed
  • Unclean public bathrooms — not interested in sharing my bathroom breaks, or having to wait
  • Ridiculously expensive snacks, and usually they suck balls anyway
  • People spilling their drinks, providing un-asked-for shoe washing
  • People smacking their lips over their popcorn or whatever, and/or loudly chewing with their mouths open like insufficiently socialized 3-year olds
  • Children (and adults) who interfere with the experience by crying and/or sobbing and/or just general yapping
  • Over-sharing: coughs, sneezes, B.O., bad breath, perfume overloads (why do so many old ladies drench themselves in perfume? One of life’s great mysteries…)
  • Theater ads and admonitions are incredibly obnoxious
  • You can’t replay — or skip — previews
  • The watch-once-with-strangers nature of a theater ticket as opposed to the watch-many-times-with-family-and/or-friends nature of a blu-ray
  • You’re stuck with their schedule, not yours
  • Crying babies, babbling teenagers, any and all generally loud and obnoxious theatergoers
  • The inability to go back and replay a part of the movie when the dialog is so poorly miked and/or spoken that you can’t understand it easily (all too common)
  • Somewhere to drive to when there’s actually no need to drive
  • Waiting in lines. For tickets. For snacks. For the bathroom, for crying out loud.
  • Trying to find parking
  • The possibility of poor viewing angles/distances
  • Uncomfortable and non-cuddly seating
  • Then there are the idiots who don’t turn off their phones, or sit there with the damned things glaring in the corner of my eye
  • Theaters can’t compete with the resale value of a blu-ray if the film turns out to be something you don’t favor
Email This Post Email This Post

Just hang on

roct

Tags: , , , , , ,

Email This Post Email This Post

Fix OSX’s weird (mis-)mapping of the home and end keys

So, one of the things that drove me nuts about MacOS/OSX for years is Apple’s non-standard mapping of the home and end keyboard keys to start-of-document and end-of-document.

The non-standard key combinations CMD+ and CMD+ are used to perform BOL and EOL instead.

Here’s the problem: That is not how it’s been done on other platforms that long pre-date MacOS/OSX or even the Mac itself. I typically switch between multiple operating systems every day, and consequently, coming back to MacOS/OSX fouled up my typing/editing every time. So I went looking for a solution. I found one in Karabiner.
Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Email This Post Email This Post

Some answers on Climate Change

Someone asked some questions on climate change elsewhere, and I took some time to answer them. I’m cross-posting the questions and my responses here for the benefit of any of my visitors who might have similar questions:


Why should I support fighting climate change?

Do you have kids? Are there any kids in your near family, or do friends have kids you care about, or (reaching, but) do you care about kids in general? Because if this isn’t stopped, they’re going to be at least miserable, and possibly much worse.

What action should I take to help reduce climate change?

Change, if it’s coming at all, must come from both the top and the bottom.
Starting with your own actions… drive less, set your home to warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter, keep appliances off that don’t need to be on. Do this even if you’re in an area with hydro or other non-stank power, because power you don’t use can be shared to other areas that may not be hydro or other relatively clean power. Unless you’re 100% power independent, for instance, if you run your own isolated solar installation.

How much money is it going to cost me?

Your own actions will probably save you money, potentially quite a bit, but how much depends on your present circumstances. Next is getting your representatives — senators, congresscritters, the president — to take political action, which can be much more effective, but is comparably much more difficult to achieve. They can fund the science and technology that will be needed to counter the effects, and they can set emissions regulations that can slow the onset of the more serious problems somewhat, thus providing more time for the science and tech folk to create and implement remedial counters.

What will happen if I do nothing?

In the nearer term… food shortages as crops have to be moved to more northern temperate bands into the hands of farmers who are unfamiliar with them, and as ocean acidification increases and blows out the balance of life there, resulting in changes that may in fact turn out to be catastrophic — a lot of the world depends upon the ocean as a food source. If it’s unavailable to them, they’re going to want the other foodstuffs, and that will change the market price and availability — not in a good way. Violence is definitely possible over this issue. Harsher weather, generally speaking warmer and carrying more intense storms. In the longer term, some ocean rise, which will cause people in low-lying coastal areas to relocate, which will (a) reduce the available real estate people can live on, and (b) destroy or very seriously inconvenience all businesses that are presently operating in those locations.

End game… probably this will get solved, IMHO, but it may be well into some of the above problems before it is if our politicians and citizens don’t get after it. If it isn’t solved… might be pretty much apocalyptic within a few hundred years. Worst case… runaway warming… ever look at the climate of Venus?

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Email This Post Email This Post

I’ve figured out politics

Often, we look at the activities of politicians and we fail to understand what they’re doing, or why they’re doing it, or both. The politicians themselves would generally like you to believe they’re playing 4-dimensional chess.

But that’s definitely not it. After many decades of observation, I’ve learned that what is actually going on is:

The game is checkers.
Angry checkers.
Being played by monkeys.
On a Go board.
With poop.

Tags: , , , , ,

Email This Post Email This Post