Topic ask

Norway to shut down all analog FM radio

in ask on (#7H95)
story imageNorway is making an historic move into a new radio era, being the first country in the world to decide upon an analog switch-off for all major radio channels. Several countries in Europe and Southeast Asia are in similar processes, choosing DAB-technology as the backbone of future radio distribution. Norway began the transition to DAB back in 1995. The DAB-coverage in Norway now exceeds FM-coverage. DAB provides Norway with 22 national channels, as opposed to five channels transmitting nationwide on FM.

"We can finally complete the work that has been on-going for many years. This is the best solution for all listeners throughout Norway, as they now have a better radio." 56 per cent of radio listeners use digital radio every day. 55 per cent of households have at least one DAB radio. While 44 % of listeners only use FM radio daily, according to Digitalradio survey by TNS Gallup. Switch-off starts in Nordland county 11th January 2017 and ends with the northernmost counties Troms and Finnmark 13th December 2017.

Handheld Wi-Fi 2-way radios

Anonymous Coward
in ask on (#57FF)
story imageAn AC just discovered hand held 2-way Wi-Fi radios and wants to know if anyone has any experience with them. Likely the most popular product is the ICOM IP100H. There have been a couple of basic radio enthusiast reviews, which outline the short-range from hand-held to AP, and higher price than conventional radios, but not much else.

Traditional license-free 2-way radios like FRS & MURS (in North America) while cheaper and with multi-mile range, only offer a small number of non-overlapping channels, and scrambling or other privacy features are strictly forbidden by the FCC. As shown in the illustration, the ideal use-case for Wi-Fi radios seems to be dense areas with obstacles, which already have several Wi-Fi APs deployed, such as high-rise building complexes.

Ask Pipedot: small office collaboration/messaging

in ask on (#2V33)
Here's the situation: you've got a small office of 8-20 employees who work in a consulting business and whose main products/deliverables are reports, spreadsheets, occasional CAD drawings, Gantt charts, project plans, and the like. Not only do they produce those things, they receive reports for which they produce comments/observations. Much of what they produce is collaborative or iterative (ie, not necessarily 'live editing' of spreadsheets, but several people must all contribute to a doc over the space of a week or so). To do so, they need efficient means of communication, discussion, versioning, etc.

Needs: document repository, shared editing of many types of documents, a messaging system for internal office communication, "sharing" system that permits clients to upload or download large files, a managed-content "front page" web site, an internal intranet, shared calendars, contacts lists, some sort of system to produce and maintain office policies and procedures, and otherwise manage internal communications and office admin. Some considerations for discussion, so I'm intentionally not specifying: (1) ideally, systems are usable by different OSes. Obviously there are going to be problems ensuring total OS independence. (2) ideally, the system doesn't require full-time online presence. Should a consultant wind up in a basement office with no internet, he won't be totally lost (again, not perfect). Note: no obligation for Free/Open Source software, although they are preferred. The goal here is an office that communicates and collaborates efficiently.

Ten years ago, you'd be sitting in a cube farm, using Microsoft Office and a shared drive and emailing documents back and forth. Later they'd have added Sharepoint. These days, there's been a ton of innovation in these areas, and there's consensus that collaboration-by-email is not fun. And there are lots of new approaches to these age-old problems.

So, how would you do it?

Github staff Jake Boxer disables #GamerGate operation disrespectful nod repository

in ask on (#2T3A)
Little background information,

Last night (October 3) Github developer Jake Boxer disabled the GamerGate github repository containing documents for "Operation Disrespectful Nod". Which contained documents for a letter writing campaign to advertisers for the publishers of the game media articles declaring gamers dead just over a month ago. Here's a link to an image of the removal request for if/when the original tweet is eventually removed.

Jake previously voiced his disapproval for intel pulling ads from Gamasutra claiming: "While we wait for @Intel to correct this, here's @leighalexander's fantastic piece that they pulled ads because of ..." original tweet along with "@leighalexander so fucking angry that this happened. thank you so much for the writing and work that you do." original tweet, Backup Image for both.

Note @leighalexander is Leigh Alexander Editor At Large for Gamasutra, author of 'Gamers' don't have to be your audience. 'Gamers' are over.

Reddit is also up in arms over a "rogue" employee being allowed to delete repositories that, to my knowledge, don't violate Githubs terms of service.

So what's the Pipedot's take on this? Is it ok seeing as Github is a private entity, maybe they don't have to host anything they don't want. Maybe it's time to start migrating my personal repos to other services in case electrical diagramming or web development offends someone.

I could be wrong, but isn't Pipdot's code hosted in Github?

Cross posting to SoylentNews

A blimp-turbine to harness high-altitude winds

in ask on (#2T1F)
Think of it as a Goodyear blimp for the era of alternative power. A kind of giant tubular helium balloon with a three-bladed turbine inside, floating as much as 2,000 feet in the air so it can capture energy from winds that blow stronger and more steadily than they do at ground level. The system is designed to deliver energy to a ground station via one of the cables that would tether the balloon to Earth. It could be inflated, tethered to a ground station built on a trailer platform, then deflated and moved.

With the aid of a $740,000 grant from the Alaska Energy Authority — which is interested in power sources for the state’s many communities that are off the electrical grid — Altaeros is working on a commercial BAT that will house a 30-kilowatt turbine, which could power about a dozen homes. Later versions, Rein said, would be 200-kilowatt models, big enough to compete with generators that typically power remote mines and construction sites. “We’re not trying to replace wind turbines,” Rein says. “We’re trying to expand wind energy to places where it doesn’t work today.”

Packing for two years, off the grid in the Himalayas...

in ask on (#2SZE)
story imageWith a budget of just $1,200, and room for one carry-on and two check-in suitcases, both of no more than 60 kg (132 lbs), total, how would you prepare for living completely off-the-grid for two years in a remote village in the Himalayas?

That's the question asked by the Shortwave Listening Post, based on a user request, obviously with an intended focus on radio equipment and accessories. The necessities like food, shelter and warm clothing apparently being taken care of for you. Radio certainly would seem like the way to go for inexpensive entertainment and information in very remote areas, but answers that instead include satellite internet services (that stay within the budget with 2-years of service) could be equally interesting, if they are in fact available and practical.

Monday poll: first computer system you used

in ask on (#2SR5)
By popular request, a new poll is up: What was the first computer system you used? As usual, it's hard to list everything, so use the comments section if your first system isn't on the list. Use the comments as well to describe the context of the happy memories from those (probably) simpler times.

And yes, it's a multiple choice poll this time, so you can only choose one, even if you used your VIC-20 to hack into a DataGeneral mini from which you launched DOS attacks on the school mainframe, or whatever.

Your poll ideas! Please pipe up.

in ask on (#2SNY)
It seems our polls remain active for about 3 days before getting no new votes or comments, so maybe we'll move to two polls a week: one on Monday and a second one mid-week after the first one quiets down. Could use some suggestions and contributions - what shall we poll? Typical categories involve polls about user preferences, opinion about the site, and polls about something that's just happened in the news. But let's be creative.

Your suggestions here - and we'll run them over the next coming weeks, starting Monday.

New poll: mobile devices I own/use

in ask on (#2SJ5)
By popular request, a new poll: "mobile devices I own/use." Include members of your family if you want to, and add anything I've forgotten in the comments. This list got unwieldy fast as there are so many vendors and models, and even some overlap in classification. So if you've got something interesting, or are simply still using your classic old Palm Pilot, Nokia dumbphone, Psion 5mx, and Zaurus, go ahead and tell us about it.

The poll is right here ------>

[Ed. note: there ya go, AC: instant gratification, Pipedot style. I notice our Monday polls have typically petered out by about Wednesday anyway; maybe we'll go to two polls a week if we can think of some subjects. I have a hard time coming up with new polls. Also: this is a test of linking to individual comments using shortcodes.]

Ozone layer on track to recovery: UN report

in ask on (#2SE7)
story imageIt's largely bad news out there today, but here's a bright spot to start off your week: Earth's protective ozone layer is well on track to recovery in the next few decades, per a report just released by a study financed by the United Nations. The good news is due largely to the phase-out of certain chemicals used in refrigerants and aerosol cans.
Without the Montreal Protocol and associated agreements, atmospheric levels of ozone depleting substances could have increased tenfold by 2050, according to a summary document of the Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion 2014.

The Protocol will have prevented 2 million cases of skin cancer annually by 2030, averted damage to human eyes and immune systems, and protected wildlife and agriculture, according to UNEP."