Tech Net News 01-06-2018

Credit: NASA

I hope your new year is off to a good start! Contests and operating activities are beginning to appear once again. The Italian QRP Club’s quarterly operating event is drawing to a close at 23:59 UTC tomorrow, and the very popular ARRL RTTY Roundup is going on right now. The roundup involves more than just RTTY—you can use PSK31 and PSK63, too. You’ve got until tomorrow, early evening…get to work at having fun!

It’s been good to see that many club members have been paying their dues on-line. There’s a link in our right-hand menu. Dues are the lifeblood of the club. Please pay yours!

UPDATE: you can read more about Tabby’s Star, mentioned by N5BB…and read the latest scientific paper on the star at

Hamvention tickets are now on sale, and if you miss the old, decrepit hallowed venue, some urban explorers have taken a hike through the cavernous halls of old junk.

And I hope you’ll sign up for Winter Field Day. It’s like Field Day, only not as hot and much more informal and flexible. Even the ARRL is starting to notice how good this event is.

In the world of science, it’s mostly bad or sad, this week:

NASA legend John Young has died of pneumonia at the age of 87. The quintessential “astronaut’s astronaut,” Young flew twice in the Gemini program, twice during the Apollo Program, and twice on the Space Shuttle. His many concerns about safety issues caused NASA to end his career just after the Challenger disaster…but he is very much missed.

In case that’s not depressing enough, there’s more bad security news. If you listen to Geek Net, you know that every computer with an Intel CPU has a secret second computer, with a blank password, built in…and now things are even worse. Two new security bugs affect almost all modern computers, regardless of operating system: SPECTRE and Meltdown. At least, these two bugs are so bad that almost everyone has taken notice and solutions are starting to appear.

New “health” fads are often a bad idea. The latest one: raw water. You know, water with the cholera and dysentery left in. Those things are good, right? Don’t try this, not even once.

At least NASA will be launching a scientific instrument to continue John Young’s legacy of ultraviolet imaging!

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