Liberty, Politics, & Current Events


This incident reminds me of the time an investigator interviewed me as part of my roommate’s CIA clearance. Before we started, the investigator asked for directions to the bathroom. When he came back, his fly was unzipped, and without really thinking about it, I told him so. He zipped it […]

A Master Persuader at Work?


From the same folks who brought you the research on story shapes I discussed last month, comes a real-time readout on the Happiness of Twitter (click for daily update). Some observations are really obvious: Saturday tends yield the happiest tweets of the week. Either Tuesday or Wednesday tend to be […]

How Happy is Twitter Today?



Some exciting news from Monetary Metals! They’ve teamed with Valaurum – makers of ingenious gold-impregnated certificates that allow you to own and trade small amounts of gold. Monetary Metal has funded a gold-fixed income deal to finance the working inventory of gold needed by Valaurum for their business. Here’s Friday’s […]

Monetary Metals Closes Gold Fixed Income Deal


Simon Ramon (1913-2016) died June 27, in Santa Monica, California. The 103-year-old left behind a legacy of RF, intellectual, and business achievement. A pioneer in the development of microwave and radar technology, he was the “R” in TRW, a predecessor of which he co-founded in 1953. Ramo became the architect […]

RF Engineer, Author, and Entrepreneur, Simon Ramo, Dead at 103



Dilbert cartoonist turned political commentator, Scott Adams, shares his unconventional creative wisdom in this fascinating keynote address at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. You’ll find Adams’ latest blog posts in my blog roll. And if you don’t like his talk, you probably won’t appreciate […]

Scott Adams: “Goals Are For Losers; Passion is Overrated”




Did Nancy Reagan cover for her husband’s Alzheimer’s disease while he was in office? One of the world’s leading experts on Reagan and his letters is a friend of mine whose job it was to read through and summarize all his correspondence – or at least all that could be […]

Nancy Reagan and Her Husband’s Alzheimer’s


PBS Frontline offers a comprehensive and chilling account of the birth, growth, and evolution of the surveillance state. This is a must-see documentary that puts together all the pieces I only thought I understood from 9/11 to Edward Snowden’s leaks. Here’s Part 1. The second part airs this evening.

Frontline: United States of Secrets



LightSquared, the company that sought to re-purpose their satellite spectrum adjacent to GPS to a terrestrial wireless network appears to have suffered a fatal blow to their plans. Matthew Boyle at the Daily Caller describes the politics behind LightSquared’s maneuverings as the FCC’s Solyndra. Ars Technica has a good summary of […]

Do Politics Trump Technology at the FCC?




In the first rollback of his health care plan, last week President Obama signed a bill repealing the onerous 1099 reporting provision. This provision, slipped into the Health Care Bill, targets small businesses and independent contractors by requiring them to file a 1099 form with the IRS for the cumulative […]

1099 Mandate Repealed


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Well buttressed conclusions on a possible cell phone – brain cancer link remain in short supply despite substantial research on the question. Nevertheless, inconclusive results keep leading to alarming headlines. Encouragingly though, the weakness of the case against cell phones is becoming more evident. Writing for New York Times Magazine […]

Antennaphobia Waning? A Look at Cell Phone Safety



Time to clear out the link box… The Saga of the Scientific Swindler! (1884-1891) | Skulls in the Stars. Hat tip: BoingBoing Low Power Radio: FCC Enforcement Actions in the AM Band. 115-Year-Old Medical X-Ray Machine Comes Back to Life | Wired Science | Wired.com. How One Man Waged War […]

Random Techno Links


Last year, ÆtherCzar reported on growing skepticism that Bruce Ivins – fingered as the Anthrax Mailing culprit – was really guilty. Now, Noah Shachtman, writing at Wired, revisits the case and the uncertainties surrounding it with a wealth of new information and details. While the case certainly has some open […]

Anthrax Update: Case Solved, or Merely Closed? One Year Later



Wireless researchers in industry must act before March 10 to help avoid discrimination in the FCC’s proposed revision of the Experimental Radio Service. As previously noted on ÆtherCzar, the FCC plans to reform the Experimental Radio Service, but one of the most beneficial reforms (Research Program Licenses) will only be […]

FCC to Discriminate Against Wireless Researchers in Industry


Here’s a Japanese view on the litigiousness of American society: “It’s not unusual for an elderly person like yourself to think of drying her cat in the microwave. Therefore, it’s clearly the fault of the manufacturer for not adding a proper warning.” (Hat Tip: Lowering the Bar)

Warning! Never Microwave a Cat



Wired reports on the fascinating story of Mohan Srivastava, a geological statistician who found statistical anomalies that enabled him to win at scratch lottery games. The story reminded me of an incident in the 1988 Fall Semester at Purdue University when the Society of Physics Students cracked the Burger King […]

Cracking the Burger King “Triple Jump Checkers” Game




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As noted previously on ÆtherCzar, the FCC recently issued an NPRM proposing to reform the Experimental Radio Service (ERS). While many of the reform ideas are welcomed, the Commission proposes offering favorable treatment to academic researchers over researchers in industry. This policy is difficult to justify since most technological development […]

Wireless Innovation by Small Businesses


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As noted previously on ÆtherCzar, the FCC recently issued an NPRM proposing to offer favorable treatment to academic researchers over researchers in industry. Yesterday, ÆtherCzar presented evidence from wide-ranging studies showing that industry, not academia is the principal fountainhead of innovation. This previous research did not specifically address wireless technology, […]

Who Invented RFID: Industry or Academia?



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In yesterday’s post,  FCC Overhauls Experimental Licensing to Favor Academia Over Industry, I explained how a recent Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) would offer academic researchers preferred status over researchers with non-academic affiliations. The NPRM justifies this discriminatory treatment on the grounds that that universities are “a powerhouse for […]

Academic Science and the Origins of Technology




There’s yet another book out attempting to inspire what ÆtherCzar has dubbed “antennaphobia:” Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family by Devra Davis, Ph.D. I haven’t had time to read it, but I’ll pass on this […]

More Antennaphobia: Devra Davis’s “Disconnect”