Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Low hanging fruit

When people go to an orchard, they will always start with low hanging fruit first. It is just in front of their eyes. If you don't pick it, other people will pick it. Well, an experience picker will start from the top because starting from the bottom, or starting low actually makes the picker's job harder. If you start from the top, the bag behind you will be full by the time you come down. You don't have to carry a bagful while climbing the ladder higher and higher. Besides, experience picker will choose the ripe ones to pick. Those ripe ones are usually high up on the tree where they are more exposed to the sun.

People used to talk about the tuck shop monitoring our QSO. The candyman will definitely pull back the ticket when we say something stupid. Come on, this is obviously low hanging fruit. For every "over", callsigns are required in the beginning and the end. To make it even simpler for them to monitor, we are required to spell it in standard ITU phonetics. Not many people will use the 10m, 6m and 70 cm bands, and therefore, monitoring is not hard, concentrating mainly on 2m band, I guess.

Please, please use your 3 million dollar high tech truck to nab those illegal long range cordless phones. Detain the importers, distrubutors, retailers. Confiscate all their rigs, charge them to the fullest extend of applicable law. Then, publish the accomplishment or achievement on the front page of all major newspapers. We pay our annual license fees and we took the oath before the commissioner of oath. Those pirates didn't. Start working on these high hanging fruits now, and pick them before they become rotten.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Ski mask policy

While explaining to the public about our beloved ham radio hobby, people used to ask us very interesting questions. One of them is, "what is the different between chatting with people on the radio and chatting with people on the internet?". There are many answers to this simple question. In fact some people can write a book or get a PhD by researching for the answers, I am exaggerating. Hi Hi.

Seriously, one "direct" answer I would give is that we hams are all "licensed". In contrary, as in the famous New Yorker cartoon, "on the internet, no one knows that you are a dog". Everything in this world has both pros and cons, Yin and Yang, etc. It depends on your paradigm looking at things. First of all, ham radio is definitely a very good hobby for kids to pick up. There are tons of learnings in it, be it technical or procedural. As parents, you can be sure your kids are not talking to paedophiles in private (as in ICQ, or other chat software). This is because the airwaves are monitored by many hams, SWLs, and the tuck shop. We knew that on air, no one should talk about business, sex, politics, religion, race, and any other sensitive issues.

On the other hand, the cyberspace remains the last frontier where you have the freedom of speech. Due to cultural differences, some people could not differentiate between freedom of speech and harassment. An American gave me an example on freedom speech. He said he can stand in front of the White House and burn the Star Spangled Banner, and no one can touch him. Sharing your religious belief with a co-worker could land you in a workplace harassment lawsuit. So, the idea is there should be no intrusion of privacy. Well, this is a bit off topic.

Coming back to the point, the cyberspace is now the only place where you can speak your mind, pen your thoughts, and share your ideas. Some people made a Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace, but it is constantly under threat from those who are actually weak and afraid of the masses. These people can always accuse you of anything from inciting racial hatred to sodomy. Therefore, I am pretty sure you know that on the internet, you have to adopt some form of "ski mask policy". It is all about ideas not an identifiable person. Again, here are my two cents about maintaining anonymity on the internet.