Monthly Archives: September 2010

Music on Radio Ukraine International

I was surfing through the shortwave broadcast bands and stumbled upon Radio Ukraine International.  They were transmitting some very beautiful music and I was hypnotized.  This is why I really love shortwave radio.

I wish I had been around when orchestras were broadcast live to the world on shortwave.  How beautiful the airwaves must have been back then.

If you have the opportunity I’d recommend tuning in to 7440kHz around 0100 UTC and giving a listen.

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Proposed encryption “backdoor” for the US Government and how it will fail.

If you haven’t heard, the President is drafting legislation that may require hardware and software developers to install backdoors in their encryption solutions and give the keys to these backdoors to the US Government.  In my opinion, this is an increadibly bad idea.

  • This has already been tried and failed.  As reported by PBS Newshour, back in 2005 Greece created backdoors into the cellular telephone networks to allow the government real-time access to this communication system.  It was promptly hacked by foreign governments and Greece’s own government phonecalls were monitored.
  • The United States Government doesn’t have a good handle on this court ordered wiretapping program.  As reported by National Public Radio (NPR), when the Bush administration began its wiretapping program it circumvented the US Constitution and seldom got the required warrants.  While I can’t say for sure, I’d be willing to guess that this project continues.  Lawsuits have been filed but I haven’t heard a definitive answer to these.
  • Open source puts the control in the public’s hands.  Sorry, you won’t find this kind of control if you run one of Microsoft’s operating systems but if you are one of millions that run open source Linux you have complete control over how your software operates.  While developers of ssh may be required to put these backdoors into their software, open source users could just as easily remove the weakness prior to utilizing the tool.  This could actually be a useful tool in a legal battle.  The government couldn’t charge you with not using “approved” encryption software unless they were trying to break into your data stream which would mean that they would have to have a warrant and have to defend the warrant.  (I am not a lawyer.  If this is something important to you I would recommend discussing it with your attorney.)
  • Wouldn’t the mear mere threat that others could be watching your Internet traffic severely reduce the amount of ecommerce that happens?  I wouldn’t want to pass my personal information across an insecure link.  Information security professionals have been beating the drums to get lay people to understand to look for the lock on webpages before submitting personal information.  Now that will be useless.

Have I missed anything?

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Sparks’ Fedora Project Journal by Eric H Christensen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Met my neighbor

I’ve been meaning to introduce myself, really I have, but I just never got around to it.  My neighbor, one street up and over a bit, put up a 70-foot tower a number of months ago and put a very impressive beam on top.  That was an immediate indicator that there were more hams in the neighborhood than I realized.  While walking around the neighborhood I noted the license plate on his truck, W3EL.  What I should have done is walked up and knocked on his front door but I didn’t.

Just yesterday when the XYL and I were headed out to Home Depot I noted the familiar “W3EL” license plate in my rear-view mirror.  I switched over to “52” and tried to give him a call.  Nothing.  Oh well, maybe he doesn’t have his radio on or he’s not listening to the calling channel or…

As we pull up to the stop light he gets in the lane next to me and goes ahead of me.  I thought that maybe I could have waved at him in traffic but no joy.  I do notice, however, that he’s messing with something and that he has pulled his microphone out.  Hmmm, maybe he did see me.  Then I hear his call on “52”; awesome!

We chatted for a good bit and it turns out he’s a big DXer like I try to be.  We talked about articles that we had both read what we were chasing.  It was fun.  He invited me over to his house as long as I ignored the mess.  I think I’ll take him up on that offer.