QSL Cards for Internet Contact

One of my tweeps @AnnOhio sent me a post card from her travels and while I was looking at it a flashed back to the QSL cards that HAM radio operators use.

For those who don't know what a QSL card is (stolen from wikipedia):

In radiocommunication and radio broadcasting, QSL is one of the Q codes used in radiocommunication. A Q code message can stand for a statement or a question. In this case, QSL means either "do you confirm receipt of my transmission" or "I confirm receipt of your transmission". A QSL card is a written confirmation.
Amateur radio operators exchange QSL cards to confirm two-way communications between stations. A QSL card sent from one amateur radio operator to another contains details about the contact and the station. At a minimum, this includes the call sign of both stations participating in the communications, the time and date of the contact (usually specified in UTC), the radio frequency used, the mode of transmission used, and a signal report. One national association of amateur radio operators, the ARRL, recommends a size of 3½ by 5½ inches (89 mm by 140 mm)QSL cards are a ham radio operator's calling card and are frequently an expression of individual creativity—from a photo of the operator at his radio rig to original artwork, images of the operator's home town or surrounding countryside, etc. They are frequently taken with a good dose of individual pride. Consequently, the collecting of QSL cards of especially unique designs has become an add-on hobby to the simple gathering of printed documentation of a ham's communications over the course of his or her radio career. Some QSL cards contain an image, often something associated with the station or the operator.

Where QSL cards originally had a technical purpose (to confirm that a signal is being received), as I understand it, today it has 2 purposes:

  1. Proof of contact for certain level / awards in the amateur radio associations.
  2. A memento of the conversation.

It is the second part that brings me to this post. I had a relative once who had a wall in his home office covered with QSL cards from all over the world from the years he spent in front of his HAM rig. I'm looking at a blank spot on the wall and am thinking that I wish that the interweb community had something similar. So, I'm starting this up. If you and I have chatted anywhere, and you'd like a contact card, drop an email (sean@seanreiser.com) let me know the service where we've chatted, your ID on that service, your address and I'll start sending out cards in the next couple of weeks. If you're thinking of doing something similar, link below.

    Posted: May 10, 2008

Dr Who: *Spoilers* 4x05 The Poison Sky Liveblogging *Spoilers*

For those who are interested, all my Dr Who Content is available here.
Spoilers, you have been warned
Third time we've heard the "I'm bringing you back to Earth Line" it's not getting ay better.
Hot, Wet, Naked Evil Martha still having an affect, I must say. I'll be in my bunk.
Ever since my friend shot me this the Sontar-Ha! thing has never been the same
Sonic Screwdriver setting number 83: Uselessness
Axes beat dead lock seals.. check
It's the American in me, I know but with "Atmos is running wild" I hear, "Wha cha Gonna do, Brothah, when Atmos runs wild on you?"
I am so ashamed that I just quoted the Hulkster in a Dr Who Review.
Is it me or is Evil Martha.. just hotter the good Martha? In a "she'll kill me when she's done but I don't mind" kinda way.
Sergey looks excited... like he just heard that Microsoft and Yahoo aren't merging
Wow... when you transmat the TARDIS the light on top lights up
"None of the Humans can guess our true purpose" ... I thought you were just making this up as you went along... I was pretty sure this was a RTD Script.
Stuck on Earth... like an ordinary person... Dr, you have been there before!
Do google employees where matching red sweatsuits?
Sonic Screwdriver Setting number 105: Transmitting Audio / Visual signals
Rose! Again... No... I want Jo Grant Back, not Rose!
Trolls... Now I'll picture Sontarans living under a bridge.
"wha are you lot up to" Is it me or did DT have problems reigning in his Scottishness there?
Sonic Screwdriver Setting number 55: TV Remote Control
Am I the only one who wants to marry a Sonic Screwdriver and a TV remote control
Was he speaking Celtic?
Oompa, Loompa Loompaty DoI'm gonna move a TARDIS from youOompa, Loompa, LoompatyNaInside this big box is a Donna
I think moving from the earth might be Sergey's real plan... Sergey's World?
"I've designed a mating program... I'm more cleaver then you!" ... more Gates then Sergey
Worldwide nuclear grid? What about Israel ... we know they have Nukes... and Nor Korea... they don't have missles that could hit a ship in space... oh well...
Again... wouldn't clones be all the same Height. That's something even Lucas gets right!
The Brig's Alive and in Peru!
Wait... I know Donna and the Doctor understand the Sontarans because of the TARDIS's translation circuit. Why does Sergey (or why did he before the Dr showed up)? Are the Sontarans speaking English?
TARDIS Hammer Setting No 2: Wack A Sontaran!
Live Long and Prosper
Gas Mask... are you my mummy!
He stole my joke!
Now, if you were The Sontarans and the Humans had 1... just 1 flying aircraft carrier, wouldn't you take it out first?
But it is nice to see the Valiant
and Sontaran Armor is so week that bullets go right through it?
Sonic Screw Driver Setting No 762: Tracking Device
Sonic Screw Driver Setting No 2: Opening Locks
OK... next con... I expect lots of people in tshirts that say "Clone"
Dr, even if you're not going to use it... Pick UP the Gun!
I was hoping the head would deflate when he died... oh well
Sonic Screwdriver Setting No... I don't know what he's doing with it
"Behold, the clone world is born" ... "begun the clone wars have"
So... any buildings taller then the Chrysler Building should be in Flames?
UNIT Lovin!
OK.. can't be snarky with the "I've got to give them a choice thing"
Chicken Dance Time!
Sontar... HA!
Handy!
Next Week.... Susan's Mom!

    Posted: May 7, 2008

LJ Test Post

Testing new heading message on LJ.

    Posted: May 5, 2008

Next Blog Integration Project: Reclaiming my Post's Conversations

I stared making these inside "inside baseball" kind of posts more for myself then for anyone else. As some people find these posts interesting I'll keep posting them. They do seem rather meta to me but the feedback is good as I plan on making this code available when all is said and done. if you don't find this all interesting but are an LJ user please read the last paragraph of this post. There is a question I'd love to hear your opinion on.

There are 3 places where conversations happen around my blog posts seanreiser.com, friendfeed, and livejournal (I write off the conversation on twitter as a lost cause as there's no way to tie a tweet back to a post). We won't get into the reasons why I'm crossposting onto LJ and seanreiser.com in this post. As seanreiser.com is intended to be the hub of my online presence, I'd like to import the comments from into it. Luckily there is an answer.

Friendfeed's new API will allow me to import comments and who likes my posts. I suspect someone will write a Drupal Module for this, if not I'll handle it second. My first project is to enhance Drupal's LiveJournal Crossposter, to backport the comments from LJ into Drupal. I've had a number of friends tell me this was impossible but I have found an LJ sponsored API, which I hope to have up and running sometime this week or next week. Of course the code will be posted in The Lab, when it's ready.

If you're one of my LJ readers I do have a question for you. I don't think the folks on FF won't mind pulling their comments onto seanreiser.com. Social media folks are used to having their content spread across the web. LJ, however is more of an insulated community. I do wonder if folks on LJ would be upset to have their comments imported elsewhere (I will change the crosspost header to indicate that it comments are being imported elsewhere). So, if you are an LJ user, do you think it's a problem?

    Posted: May 5, 2008

Because being an earlier adopter is fun

There's been a lot of talk lately about the widening gap between the early adopter and average users in the social media space (in particular order here, here, here, and here are a few). The posts have been a little angst-y even to the point that you might feel all is lost in the social media space. Let's go through this.
Is the Social Media Space a Bit of an Echo Chamber?
Yes, but so are most communities. From the Boy Scouts, to the music industry to the Episcopal Church any a space that encourages "inside baseball" thoughts becomes an echo chamber. As the technology matures more people will get involved and these services will become a little more representative of society. This has happened in every other technology. Look at the Web around '94 and today for an example. "All this has happened before and all this will happen again".
Are We Creating our own Bubble?
Probably, yes. There is the standard explosion of competing standards and technologies that will simmer down as they atain a critical mass.. Again, nothing new (Think AC vs. DC, Beta vs. VHS, HD-DVD vs. Blueray). However when this happens on a software level there's less investment for us, if we bet wrong we just go to a new platform and setup a new profile. Most of these services allow you to pull your data out of them (which is behind a lot of the coding I'm doing here these days).
So, Why do this at all?
Because it's fun! Isn't that reason enough? I know there are folks doing this professionally (blogging, consulting, however Scoble gets paid, etc) and I'm sitting on the outside, but I do this because it's a fun way to spend some time. To be honest, if you're not having fun playing with these services you should be doing something else. Sure, it helps me professionally from time to time but I enjoying building the small tools that I'm using. I enjoy meeting new people and fanwanking about technology.

    Posted: May 2, 2008

Sontaran Chicken Dance

A buddy of mine in DWNY created this video. Figured I'd spread it around a bit.
Spoiler Alert for 4x04 The Sontaran Stratagem

    Posted: May 2, 2008

Why I Am Reinventing the Wheel and Rolling My Own Lifestream

A couple of folks have asked why I am basically reinventing friendfeed and presenting my lifestream on seanreiser.com.
It all started when I began looking at my web information flow. As I documented over there, I wanted to make seanreiser.com a hub to find out what I'm doing online. By using Drupal's Activity Stream module I've begun aggregating some of my content. You can read some of my adventures of my with the Activity Stream module here.
One of the things driving this effort was the realization that I didn't have copies of all my content. Where I have all my photography and blog entries, things like my tweets, blog comments I've made and music I've listened to live on other servers and should they change their policies about allowing folks to extract information from their services I might not be able to access my back content, which is unacceptable to me.
Where I could let Friendfeed do the heavy lifting, the same issue applies there. Where they probably will be allowed and keep their API in place, I have no guarantees, so I've decided to aggregate all my content on my site. As I'm making a copy of it, I might as well show it off on the site. That hasn't stopped me from havening an account on friendfeed.
So I have a few services working (my blog, flickr, twitter, del.icio.us and Last.fm) and have some more to go (google reader, disqus, friendfeed comments / likes, youtube and cocomment) but I am enjoying the coding and will all my content at my fingertips when I'm done.

    Posted: May 1, 2008

Dr Who: *Spoilers* 4x04 The Sontaran Statagem Liveblogging *Spoilers*

For those who are interested, all my Dr Who Content is available here.
Spoilers, you have been warned
Ohh creepy smart kid looks like Sergey Brin (credit Rachel Clark). Sontarans Attack Google ... 3 words no letter D ... hmmmm
"This is your Final Destination"... Oh, I get it... all the people that died escaped death previously and this is the balance sheet being settled. I've seen this film, it was horrible
Woman Drivers!
It's the Martha Phone!
You know, for the mega companion episode the credit sequence will need to be 15 mins long. And I'm still holding out for Jo Grant!
I want a Martha / Donna Smackdown.
Operation Blue Sky, Hmmm ELO... could that LINDA lot be involved?
UNIT's looking all military. UNified Intelligence Taskforce, don't like the new name. Have we ever seen more then 4 members of UNIT in the same place at the same time? I don't remember if we have.
Illegal Aliens... UNIT is Men in Black?
Hmmm disembodied voice studying the humans for a military advantage. Wonder who they could be.
Where's the Brig?
70's or was it the 80's... nice way to place with the wibbley wobbley cannon.
Martha said United Nations.. so you can say UN and United Nations but not use it in the UNIT name... I hate the world sometimes.
I'm saluting you Donna, believe me I am.
"and you think Atmos is Alien" so do we all... (and I'm sure you do, to).
Doctor, false modesty doesn't suit you, really.
A body that looks like a blank slate... Sontarans who reproduce by cloning ... wonder where this could be going
You smell of sweat and fear! UNIT needs antiperspirant
OK, this height thing bothers me. I don't remember the Sontarans as overly short. Here's a shot from the "Two Doctors"

I mean not tall but not R2D2 sized either.
Processing? Human HypnoSlaves... this doesn't seem very Sontaran-y
"I don't like people with guns" unless it's Jack... I like his gun
Sonic Screwdriver setting #85: Scanning for alien tech.
"You can come and Go, but some of us have to stay behind" isn't that what Harriet Jones said.
I have to admit this, I forgot Harriet Jones's name... so I googled "Prime Minister Flydale North" (without Doctor Who).
Why have a folder for sick days if no one is calling in sick?
"invented the fountain 6 search engine" ... it is Sergey!
OK, this tiny Sontaran thing is really getting to me.. It's like Dark Helmet... I'm expecting him to whip out his Schwartz.
According to the records, you travel by TARDIS,... well there's Bessie and the who mobile, too.
Actually it would be nice if they brought Bessie along... I'm going to have to watch some Pertwee when this is done because I miss her.
"You dumbo", Donna you were playing him. We all thought you were thinking of leaving.
Another Hypnoslave. There's like RoboMen... Daleks are involved, I can feel it.
Just an aside... Capt Jack Harkness is the Final Cylon.. you've heard it here first
It would be nice if they included a flashback or 2 of eps we haven't seen.
Wow, a companion being kidnapped. It must be Saturday.
If that were my mum I'd leave the galaxy, too.
"The fitting is standard in all Gov't Vehicles" But UNIT isn't a national organization. Hence, the UN comment up that way.
Very Jr Mad Scientists lab. Sounds like fun!
Now He's more Jobs then Sergey.
"it's been a long time since anyone's said no to you" actually he heard it last night, on a date.
Am I the only one who misses the term transmat? "Teleport" is so generic Sci-Fi "transmat" was ours the same as "transporter" is the Trekkies.
I think we see more Sontarans in this one scene that we have in total in the classic series. And it's surprising if you think about it... you keep the helmets on them and you can have anyone play them
"In tru da window" ... They recycled that joke, really?
I'm thinking a Jadoon / Sontaran Hybrid would be interesting
Sonic Screwdriver Setting Number 81: Disable Teleports (Disabling transmats is 84)
So the Doctor and Rose have both used the "I know you're species name, you have to keep me alive" ploy. Why would that work?
OK, Nice makeup. Gotta give them that.
Mr Potatoe Head!
Oooh the Sontaran's Wand is stronger then the Doctor's Wand. The Schwartz is strong with this one.
You know for clones they don't look exactly the same.. And they have different voices. I think it's easy to tell them apart.
Hmmm Strapped down Martha yummie.
OOO another Time War reference... wonder where that is going.
Nice Sontaran Balls
Wait there's a device that will make obedient hot chicks? I know what I want for My Birthday.
Hot wet naked Martha!
The Jeep is Deadlocked?
Is it supposed to ignore your orders or do the opposite?
And it's another of those computers that when given a logical contradiction, blows up. Or puffs, more then blows up.
Evil Martha is hotter then good Martha.
Wilf just put together the alien thing now... not when he vanished?
Not only an alien hand.. it's grown back after being chopped off.
A different boy every week... Go Donna!
Sonic Screwdriver setting 59: Opening Temporal Pockets.
Spanish Flu? they retconned Wilf's being missing at the wedding!
Sonic Screwdriver setting 815: Releasing Gas.
Why are there clones with different heights?
Sonic Screwdiver setting 352: Dissipating Gas
Deadlocked cars! JNT might've been right destroying the Sonic Screwdriver
Sonic Screwdiver setting 54: Useless Scanning.
I like this clapping thing... Not very Sontarn-y though.
Next week Earth is down to 10 people alive (when you considering the cars this week, the people who were killed by the autons, in the Dalek/ Cybermen Battle, and of course... we never recovered from when the Dinosaurs roamed England in the 70's.

    Posted: Apr 27, 2008

Dr Who: *Spoilers* 4x03 Planet of the Ood Liveblogging *Spoilers*

OK, fallen behind on this episode goofing around thing. I did find it difficult to make fun of this episode since it was pretty good.
Spoilers... you know the drill

The Ood came to Earth for one purpose... To Serve Man... with stuffing and gravy.
Cut price Ood.... that's never a good idea.
Oh Oh... Ood with red eyes... It's Sutek time!
Ok that rocking back and forth was rather Kirk and Spock, don't you think?
The return of the randomizer. I miss the Key to Time. Why would you need to set the controls on random when there's a 50/50 chance you go to where you're going?
Nice fur lined coat there, Donna... better the last week's toga.
You've got a box... he's got a Ferrari... be careful Donna you're questioning his manhood.
In the future there will still be false cures for hair growth. Good to know.
It's the circle.... the circle of death...
Mildly telepathic and weak willed.. never occured to me that the Ood could be similar to Kameleon.
"We're not married" that's this year's phrase, I think.
"What is an Ood, but a reflection of us".. so you're creepy looking with tentacles and easily swayed by the Devil... nice to meet you.
"If your Ood is happy then you'll be happy, too"... mad the mistake of watching this right after Ashes to Ashes and now I'm hearing "I'm happy, hope you're happy too" and an Ood in clown makeup
"Doh!" they'll still be making Simpson's episodes in the 4126... noooooooo!
Yes Donna, no one would want to marry you, believe me.
Is anyone reminded of the Apes being traine in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes? How sad am I that I think of PotA instead of a real example of slavery?
"I was busy" you know the Devil and all....
Whatever that is don't like hair tonic... ouch
Donna whistles like a construction worker.. and somehow that makes me feel... hmmm special
I do like Donna calling "The Spaceman" on his higher then thou attitude.
Donna seems to be doing an Elf impression this week and rolling high when searching for hidden doors
OOO the crane game... I usually get the stuffed animal when I try it at the pizza place
2 Mins alone with Donna and the Ood want to kill... I can understand that
I'm starting to think this hair loss thing might be a major plot point.... why are they treating to so subtlety
Sonic screwdriver setting number 3 : opening locks
Sonic screwdriver setting number 4 : locking doors
Ahh... the return of Dr Spock mind melding ability
You know walking around with your brain in your hand your whole life has to be inconvenient.
You know the "human as the monster" theme has come out twice already this season
Ood-tastic destruction!
Oh, random comment... 3 words none beginning with a "D" - Adipose Take Manhattan
Donna and handcuffs... purrr
Hmmm They are Chuth-Ood "I will swallow your soul"
The Ood don't appear to have teeth... what effect does rubbing tenticals back and forth have?
Now if you were trying to turn a race into slaves an found their group brain, you'd you just kill it?
What that a Wilhem scream as he fell? I'm pretty sure it was.
I know they hair loss thing would pay off!
"I can't tell what's right and what's wrong any more" ... that took 3 weeks, wow!
"Every song must end" for the next song to begin.
Next Week: Donna fulfills her contract! And Sontarans!

    Posted: Apr 27, 2008

More Random Musings on Conversion

As I get closer to the day where I'm received into the Episcopal Church, I have been reflecting on the journey I'm on and where it is taking me. This post might come off a little emo and will definitely sound different than people are used to hearing from me. It is where I am today and I think it will be good to let it out. Oh, and before we begin, a lot of what I learned in the Catholic Church is what I learned from a Catholic Grammar School. I know folks who didn't have 5 days a week of Religious Ed in the early days have a different opinion. I've had problems over the separating the two.
I have learned that I'm more then I've every thought I was. Where I have not have always been the man I should be, that can change. As I've taken step to try and change that, I have a level of confidence that I've never had before.
In Catholicism, I learned that I was created to "Love God and Serve God in this lifetime and the life that comes afterwards" (or words to that effect, don't have a copy of the Baltimore Catechism on me). In the Episcopal Church, I've learned that God made me because he loved me. Which has made a major difference in my life. Yes, Serving Him is still in the equation but this isn't the reason I was created In my head, if God created me only to Love and Serve Him, it's rather egotistical. Also any Sci-Fan fan will tell you that giving free will to a creation designed to serve generally doesn't work out well (see The Terminator, or most of Asimov's Robot novels).
In many respects, I feel better about me, I feel closer to God and for today that's all that matters.

    Posted: Apr 23, 2008