For a recent experiment I was using BA389 PIN diodes to switch low power RF signals. I was asked why I didn’t use an ordinary 1N4148 for that. Since I didn’t know what an 1N4148 would do when used like that, and I also didn’t really know what a BA389 actually does, I decided to do some measurements. Read the rest of this entry »
Many years ago, I used to do some radio fox hunting with cars. Usually these hunts are at night to make it more exciting, and can be great fun. As I got older I lost interest and moved on to other things. But last year, I decided to have a go at a popular balloon fox hunt on 144MHz. This is quite a large scale and professionally organized fox hunt by Dutch Radio Amateurs. Read the rest of this entry »
In the past I have used Evernote extensively, it really helped me in my research for this blog and keeping track of meeting notes, todo lists and even making pictures of whiteboards at work searchable. As a product, there is no note taking app that can beat Evernote. But there is a little problem that has become a deal breaker for me, and that is basically the NSA and the way Americans, and particularly the American government seems to think about people’s privacy and online security.
Evernote is an American company, which sadly has to comply with whatever ridiculous request by the U.S. government to turn over data of innocent people all over the world (yes, even outside the U.S. border, I know, it’s amazing). This, combined with the fact that Evernote clearly can not use zero-knowledge encryption because of the services it provides, makes that all the data you and I put into Evernote are at NSA’s fingertips at all times. If you find that as scary as I do, and you have a Mac, there is a way to solve this. Read the rest of this entry »
Since the interview of Edward Snowden with the Guardian, the discussion about privacy and companies storing and sharing unencrypted private data is picking up. Particularly Americans are worried about what it does for their National security and their private data. But that’s actually a naive thought, given the NSA stores worldwide data.
In a recent coverage on theblaze.com (a rather tabloid-looking news station in the U.S.), the interviewers are shocked to see that the NSA spies on “every American”.
This is a limited view of the world and failing to see the importance of spying on people outside the U.S., but lets start with technical side of things first. What data are they storing and how big is their hard-disk?
Not everybody understands why I am trying to learn morse code on lcwo.net. Maybe I’m not even sure myself. But most people seem to think morse code is absolutely dead. I could tell you that’s not the case, but it is far better to find out for yourself. To be able to do that you need access to a radio which can receive CW (continuous wave) signals somewhere between 8MHz and 15MHz. This is the place where HAM Radio Operators hang out and try to talk to eachother. Morse code is still used there, mainly for DX-ing.
So how do you do that? With the power of the internet and a few very enthusiastic people in Dwingeloo, you can now receive radio signals right on your computer using radios all over the world. Lots of links in this article, have fun!
Today Steve Job’s yacht was launched from a dock a few miles from my house. I went there with some friends and we shot some awesome footage of this incredible ship. Through the glass, we could see the 7 iMacs which are used to control the ship. There are also large doors on the side and the back, I suspect these will be used to launch boats or jetskis into a nice warm Mediterranean water.
You may have seen recent tweets from me ranting about my frying pans. I’ve ruined a few (very expensive) pans and replaced them with dirt-cheap pans which are actually much better. I would like to share my experiences and solutions with you, so that you can buy the right (cheap) pan without having to go through the same thing. Links to all the pans are in the article below.