Monthly Archives: March 2018

WUNC on Jazz: “America’s Coolest Weapon During The Cold War”

Willis Conover, The Voice of America (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

(Source: WUNC’s The State of Things via Kim Elliott)

During the Cold War, the U.S. Department of State sent jazz musicians around the world to sell the American way of life. This initiative took place in the 1950s, during segregation and the beginning of the civil rights movement. Jazz was gaining popularity on the international stage partly because of a Voice of America program hosted by Willis Conover, and partly because jazz musicians, like Louis Armstrong, played international tours.

The U.S. government took note of this popularity and decided to send musicians as representatives of the country, even as those representatives didn’t have the full benefits of the freedom they were touting. Many of these multi-racial, multi-gender groups were not allowed to perform within the boundaries of the United States due to Jim Crow.

Host Frank Stasio talks to Hugo Berkeley, director of the new documentary “The Jazz Ambassadors: The Untold Story of America’s Coolest Weapon in the Cold War.” Historian Adriane Lentz-Smith joins the conversation to put the story of the jazz ambassadors into context. Lentz-Smith is a professor of history at Duke University who served as an advisor to the documentary. She’s also the author of “Freedom Struggles: African Americans and World War I” (Harvard University Press/2011). “The Jazz Ambassadors” screens at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham on Sunday, April 8.[…]

The ISS will be sending SSTV in April

(Source: ARRL via Eric McFadden, WD8RIF)

Space Station’s Slow-Scan Television System to be Active in April

The Amateur Radio Slow-Scan Television (SSTV) system on the International Space Station (ISS) is expected to be active in April on 145.800 MHz (FM). The Russian segment’s MAI 75 SSTV has announced transmissions on Monday, April 2, 1505 – 1830 UTC, and on Tuesday, April 3, 1415 – 1840 UTC.

“Reviewing the crew schedule, the SSTV activity, which uses Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) radios, was coordinated around ARISS school contacts and is listed for April 2 and April 3,” said NASA ISS Ham Project Coordinator Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO.

The SSTV system, which uses the call sign RS0ISS, is also expected to be active from April 11 – 14 worldwide to mark Cosmonautics Day in Russia on April 12. Specific transmission times are not yet available. Images on all dates will be related to the Soviet Union’s Interkosmos cooperative space ventures project.

SSTV images will be transmitted in PD-120 format on 145.800 MHz (FM) using the Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver in the ISS Russian Service Module. ISS transmissions use the 5-kHz deviation FM standard. It’s possible to receive SSTV transmissions with only a handheld transceiver and appropriate SSTV software[…]

Click here to read the full article on the ARRL website.

A Yaesu WIRES-X SWL Net?

The WIRES-X Network (Source: Yaesu)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Zantow (N9EWO), who asks:

How many of you Amateur Radio folks reading this web page have WIRES-X capability (either with a local node on your own or have access to it via a repeater) ?? I ask this as a possibility of a casual net of some kind ? We have WIRES-X (local node) here and would be willing to at least try a test run of a weekly or semi weekly “SWL – Receiver Net” IF we receive enough feedback (even if only a few readers). So I would appreciate an email back with a thumbs up or down to this idea and that you would be at least a check in ? Also please give me ideas when you would think a good day of the week and time would be (USA) ? If I receive zero feed back, of course I will not waste my time (but I think it would be fun to at least give it a try).

I only recently acquires a WIRES-X capable handheld: the Yaesu FT2DR. Now I need to find out if there is a WIRES-X capable repeater I can hit from my home. Of course, for me it’s always finding a reliable time to meet–that’s the real challenge! Great idea, Dave!

Post Readers: Contact Dave if you’re interested–his email can be found at the top of his homepage.

Are you sharing personal data online? Yes. Most likely reams of it.

Image source: The Guardian

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard B, who shares a link to this article from The Guardian highlighting the amount and type of personal data Google and Facebook collect on their users. While some readers may not be surprised, this could still be eye-opening to some.

The article includes sections highlighting the type of data collected, how you can view this data, and (when possible) how to halt collection and delete it. Here are some of the section headings:

  • Google knows where you’ve been
  • Google knows everything you’ve ever searched – and deleted
  • Google has an advertisement profile of you
  • Google knows all the apps you use
  • Google has all of your YouTube history
  • The data Google has on you can fill millions of Word documents
  • Facebook has reams and reams of data on you, too
  • Facebook stores everything from your stickers to your login location
  • They can access your webcam and microphone
  • Here are some of the different ways Google gets your data
  • Google knows which events you attended, and when
  • And Google has information you deleted
  • Google can know your workout routine
  • And they have years’ worth of photos
  • Google has every email you ever sent
  • And there is more

Very interesting article and well worth the read. Click here to view.

This is also a nice reminder of why over-the-air radio is so appealing in terms of privacy. It offers the best in anonymity–certainly a bonus for those living under repressive regimes.