Monthly Archives: January 2009

Why we still need shortwave broadcast in this world.

The BBC is reporting that China censored Obama’s speech on a number of websites.  This is yet another reason why the Internet does not, and cannot, replace shortwave broadcast.  Shortwave broadcast is very difficult, if not impossible, to block.  Governments have tried in the past to keep their citizens from hearing stations like the BBC, VOA, and others but these attempts have largely been unsuccessful.  The Internet, however, can easily be censored by governments which allows them to control the information their citizens receive.

It is also important to note that the Internet is not everywhere.  While we may have access to the Internet in our homes we may not have that same access away from home.  The speeds and reliability of that home connection may also not support “streaming audio” to listen to the BBC or VOA or other news outlet.

It is disappointing to see shortwave transmitters going silent.  In a time when it is easier for governments to control information coming into their countries, it is more important to turn these shortwave transmitters on and push the truth into these areas than rely on a medium that we cannot predict or control.

QSL from YV4DYJ

Opened the mailbox this afternoon and found my QSL from Victor Cuesta YV4DYJ of whom I worked on AO-51 back in September.  Very cool.  Glad I was able to make this contact using 5 watts and my hand-held station in my front yard.

Time for a new Data Device

I have been a Blackberry user for the past three years. I’m mostly happy with how it all works but am not happy with the extra $30 per month charge. I know that data will cost a bit more but not that much.

So before I drop down to a regular cell phone I wanted to take a look at the “PDAs” that Verizon offers. Here is a list:

  • Palm Centro Smartphone
  • Motorola MOTO Q 9c
  • Verizon Wireless XV6900
  • Samsung Saga
  • Samsung Omnia
  • Verizon Wireless XV6800
  • Palm Treo 700wx Smartphone
  • HTC Touch Pro

Because of some of the places I go I probably don’t want a phone with a camera. This isn’t a show stopper because most of the places that don’t allow cameras also don’t allow any kind of wireless devices so I usually leave my Blackberry in the vehicle.

My biggest need is to have a calendar to remind me of what’s going on. I need for it to be able to sync with Google Calendar for it to be truly effective.

Does anyone have any ideas?