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2011-02-22

Slick freeware helps you find files easier

Three free applications have made finding files so much easier on my Windows machines that I feel compelled to share.


Nemo Docs (see partial image at right) shows you a calendar-based view of what files you've worked on, in chronological order, day by day. It even separates morning files from afternoon files from evening files.  This is especially useful because, in the absence of any other method for organizing files, we associate files chronologically.

Everything searches files by name, quickly, whether or not you've turned on file indexing (which slows down your machine and consumes space, so some folks turn it off). It doesn't search the content of files, but what it does, it does well.

Fences (which also comes in a 'Pro' version for a twenty) sets up zones on your desktop and sorts files into different zones based on their type. You can resize and move the zones, title them, and move files over the 'fences' into different zones. If you carry many, many icons on your desktop, this will save you much time and thought power.

Don't let House Republicans give away the 70cm band!

ARRL needs every ham to fax or email letter to keep the House from giving away the 440MHz band. See http://www.arrl.org/sample-letters for specific details to keep your message from being lost in the legislative muddle; don't just send it as you normally would.  Here's a sample letter.

It's important to keep the message on topic, civil and respectful to keep congressional staff from mis-labeling the message.  


The Honorable ____________________
United States House of Representatives
______________ House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative ________:

 As a voter in your district and as one of the nearly 700,000 federally licensed Amateur Radio operators across the nation, I ask that you oppose H.R. 607, the "Broadband for First Responders Act of 2011" in its current form.  H.R. 607 was introduced by Congressman Peter King (R-NY) and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R. 607 proposes to allocate the "D-Block" of frequencies (frequencies previously occupied by analog television) to be developed into an interoperable Public Safety wireless network. Earlier, it had been expected that the D-Block would be auctioned by the FCC for commercial use, but there is now substantial support for the allocation of the D-Block to Public Safety.  H.R. 607 also provides for the reallocation of other spectrum for auction to commercial users, in order to offset the loss of revenue anticipated by the auction of the D-Block.

While I strongly support the work of the Public Safety officials who put their lives on the line for our safety, my opposition to the bill stems from the inclusion of the 420-440 MHz spectrum (the UHF 70-cm band) as part of a frequency swap and auction.  Very little of this spectrum is allocated to Public Safety, and only in very limited areas. Rather, it is allocated to government radiolocation services on a primary basis, with Amateur Radio allocated on a secondary basis. The Federal government uses this band for critical defense purposes, including Pave Paws radars for detecting surface-launched missiles aimed at the United States, and for airborne radars used for drug interdiction. The Amateur Service carefully coordinates its uses of this band to insure compatibility. The two services have a very good record of sharing this spectrum successfully, putting it to good use for both military and civilian purposes in the national interest.

Amateur radio emergency communications rely heavily on our limited frequency allocations in the VHF and UHF radio bands.  The loss of access to the 420-440 MHz spectrum would make it very difficult for us to maintain this capability and would mean we could no longer use numerous systems that have been constructed on our own time and at personal expense to provide this important communications support.

Amateur Radio operators across the country repeatedly demonstrate our commitment to public service and emergency communications. Through our work with FEMA and other Homeland Security activities, state and local Emergency Management offices, and numerous charitable relief agencies, volunteer Amateur Radio operators assist the first responders, doing so at no cost to the agencies we support. The role of the Amateur Radio Service as a partner to Public Safety in providing supporting public service and emergency communications necessitates our retention of full access to the entire 70-cm band.

            We understand and support that Public Safety officials must have the spectrum they need to do their jobs.  However, it is not necessary to do so in the ill-conceived manner proposed in this bill.  Other pending legislation provides for this important goal to be realized without the proposed reallocation of non-Public Safety spectrum for commercial auction that is included in H.R. 607.  I urge you to oppose H.R. 607 in its current form.  Thank you for your consideration.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]

2011-02-21

Three DIY phone holders for your car



2011-02-20

EPUB e-books

EPUB format e-books, the format used by iPads, iPods and iPhones, are just HTML files with a CSS style sheet, and, sometimes, one or more JPG files (cover plus maps and diagrams) consolidated into a single file with ZIP compression

They can be read with the free EPubreader extension on any PC, netbooks, notebook or Mac, regardless of operating system, and on Android phones with other free apps.  However, yBook, free from Spacejock Software, allows you to read other formats as well as to turn a laptop or netbook 90 degrees and read your e-book in portrait mode, as if you were holding a hardback. 


So, do you need a dedicated e-book reader (exemplar: The Nook Color) (transformable into a full Android tablet )?  IMHO, no.

Calibre for Windows, MacOS and Linux allows you to manage your e-book library as well as convert e-books from one file format to another automagically.


And, here's six dozen plus SF and hard fantasy novels for free download at http://baen.com/library/ - enjoy.

2011-02-14

Internet go boom?

University of Minnesota researchers have come up with an Internet killer that doesn't require a 'kill switch' at a central, governmentally approved location.

Instead, pay your friendly global neighborhood hacker for a botnet of a quarter-million PCs, and turn loose a hacking program to overwhelm the routers which pass traffic between servers and users.

Time to start stockpiling now for the inevitable collapse of civilization?

2011-02-10

More on stunning inaccuracy of Teletruth and NewNetworks

UPDATE: 'TeleTruth' and 'NewNetworks' caved and rewrote the screed. Now, the only remnant of the original lie is the whiny comment, "NOTE: BEAVER CREEK, the ski resort, is supposedly not affiliated with the phone company." They could confirm that if they wanted to, but as long as no one calls them on their irresponsibility, this, as well as many, many other websites, will continue to post lies as truth.

Reader, beware.





The previous post regarding a farrago of inaccuracy about Beaver Creek Telephone written by some jaspers from New York City, 'TeleTruth', and an ally of theirs, NewNetworks.com, has a response.   I reviewed it, and here's my rebuttal (in Courier) to their pile of... whatever.

Red letters reveal the evidence they don't have the discipline to spell check before hitting 'Send'.

On Thu, Feb 10, 2011 at 21:29, Bruce Kushnick <bruce@newnetworks.com> wrote:

Thanks for your email

And, thank you for a timely reply. 

>You're confusing Beaver Creek, Coloradothe ski resort, with Beavercreek, Oregon
, which has the telco in question, four
>states over and 1,200 miles away. Sure makes your case looks better, in the 'throw it up against the wall and see if it
>sticks' method of litigiousness, to serve your corporate interests, but trying to conflate the wealth of Vail, Colorado with
>the telecom needs of rural Oregon is just plain wrong.

… we’ll be glad to clear up any mistake as we mentioned the ski resort as well as the phone comnpany --- and it would seem that the ski resort is in ‘Beaver creek” and served by the Beaver Creek Coopertative phone company,  which has 2 locations – The two in question.

Perhaps not, for Telcodata.us shows no 'Beaver Creek Coopertative (sic) phone company' at all in the Vail rate center, where Beaver Creek, Colorado is located.  http://www.telcodata.us/search-area-code-exchange-by-ratecenter-state?ratecenter=VAIL&state=CO

Do you have documentation to substantiate your allegation in this regard, inasmuch as a disinterested third party of credibility contradicts your assertion?


>This is from our story----The company states: “Beaver Creek Cooperative Telephone Company (BCT) 
> is a member-owned organization that provides friendly, high-quality, professional service at reasonable  rates to the Beaver Creek and >Oregon City region.  At BCT we focus on combining advanced communications technologies with local customer service.”  http://www.bctelco.com/index.asp


And The company in question --- which we identified as the recipient of the monies. ---  the $11,892 per line. – the phone company— Doesn’t it service the ski resort, which gets cheap prices because of the monies being given to the company – the $12,000 a line are government subsidies?

Telcodata.us (op cit.) says not.  

And the ski resort isn’t getting the money?

Telcodata.us (op cit.) says not.  
OK, then the phone company that supplies them of which the citizens of Beaver creek benefit from the cheap prices is also a co-operative, which  actually pays dividends if the company makes a profit --- so, those who work at the ski resort are part of the co-operative which is getting monies  indirectly throguh cost savings because of government subsidies as well as profit sharing – while they get -- $12000 a line from the government? (for some lines, all lines?) 
Telcodata.us (op cit.) says not. 

But, we’ll be glad to can admit if the Ski resort isn’t part of the phone company cooperative…

I shall look forward to your posting that apology.  

But that’s not the issue – the iss is the--- How can there be any justification for $12000 a line?

Have you ever laid cable through Oregon granite? Do you have personal experience with our mudslides, our floods, our forest fires? Infrastructure has to be replaced far more often and must be far sturdier, here.

The other problem is not with Beaver creek but with the system And how does the system manipulate the monies involved to get this subsidy?  Beaver creek is able to say it loses money on specific services and get subsidized, when at the same time the overall revenues over the lines is not accounted for and taken into account – so, the company could upgrade to DSL, while the DSL revenues or long distance revenues are not included in the accounting for subsidies, just the expenses.
<snip> 
>Now, I'm just an unemployed PC and telco technician (with no connection to BCT, OBTW), but even I know to double check my facts before I go public on >the web with a screed. You didn't. Shame on you, NewNetworks and 'TeleTruth'.

>An apology to Beavercreek, in fact, both of them, is in order.

You got to be kidding me? – Who’s getting $12000 and needs our apology – Teletruth loses money --- and when don’t go to the government for handouts.

But, I apoligize to the ski resort, wouldn’t want to have them tainted with Universal Service high cost fund money.

<snip>  

Lie of the day from the Internet slams Beavercreek, OR

The Universal Slush Fund: Or How Out of Control is the Government Phone Tax? Why does Beaver Creek gets over $10,000 a line? is just flat wrong in an important area. Please allow me to quote:

An example?


Beaver Creek is a high-end ski resort which received $11,892 per line.

Wrong.

This amount is unfathomable when the average local bill, according to the FCC data is $25 a month (the last FCC data is from 2008).


Beaver Creek is, among other things, serves a high-end ski resort with the marketing line “not exactly roughing it”. http://www.beavercreek.com/Summer-Site-Home.aspx

You're mixing up Beaver Creek, Colorado, the ski resort, with Beavercreek, Oregon, which has the telco in question, four states over and 1,200 miles away.

Sure makes your case looks better, in the 'throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks' method of litigiousness, but trying to conflate the wealth of Vail, Colorado with the telecom needs of rural Oregon is just plain wrong.

The company states: “Beaver Creek Cooperative Telephone Company (BCT) is a member-owned organization that provides friendly, high-quality, professional service at reasonable rates to the Beaver Creek and Oregon City region. At BCT we focus on combining advanced communications technologies with local customer service.” http://www.bctelco.com/index.asp

Now, I'm just an unemployed PC and telco technician (with no connection to Beaver Creek Telephone, OBTW), but even I know to double check my facts before I go public on the web with a screed.

You didn't. Shame on you, NewNetworks.com and 'TeleTruth'.

An apology to Beavercreek, in fact, both of them, is in order.

I shall look forward to your response.


PS: You also might want to spell the name of your advisors correctly: It's Robert, not Rober, Garnet at http://www.teletruth.org/About/boa.html

2011-02-09

$150 Worthy Android Tablet

Tech Republic has reviewed the Coby Kyros and found it a decent buy at $150.