Egypt demonstrates why the Internet is unreliable

On Thursday, January 27th at 22:34 UTC (about 4:30 PM, NY time) Egypt cut off outside access to the internet.  According to Renesys:

At 22:34 UTC (00:34am local time), Renesys observed the virtually simultaneous withdrawal of all routes to Egyptian networks in the Internet’s global routing table. Approximately 3,500 individual BGP routes were withdrawn, leaving no valid paths by which the rest of the world could continue to exchange Internet traffic with Egypt’s service providers.

Go and read the entire article.  Notice how the government asked and the ISP corporations complied.  This is in response to massive riots and uprisings in Cairo and other cities which may topple the government.   Think that the internet and new media alone can keep our government honest and doing the people’s work?  Think again.  Net Neutrality is a pipe dream and would do nothing to stop this type of censorship regardless.

Free press is one of the critical legs of our democracy.  The traditional broadcasting and media has been decimated in the last 15 years.  They are not without fault, cutting staff, politically slanted reporting, profit taking have done there part.  Fortunately, while staffs have disappeared, the infrastructure (networks, transmitters, printing presses) remain in place.  They need to be revitalized and utilized.  There is a trend that I and others have noticed where small operators, perhaps one or two stations at most, are providing excellent service to their respective communities and running circles around other, group owned stations in the same market.

The Otari MTR10

I have come upon two of these units in very good shape:

Otari MTR10 1/4 inch 2 track reel to reel machine
Otari MTR10 1/4 inch 2 track reel to reel machine

Once upon a time, these were top of the line units.  I don’t know how much they cost new, but I’d imagine it is somewhere north of $3K in 1985.

Both machines work mechanically and electrically.  One machine has some slight grooves in the record and playback heads and looks a little more worn.    The other does not.  I will entertain all offers.   If a person would want the machine to be gone through and aligned, I’d charge three to four hundred dollars for my time.

It’s cold enough to…

Cause the STL receiver to unlock.  A quick peak at the thermometer this morning showed -12° F outside.  Meanwhile, out on the island, the WICC TFT STL receiver decided that it was just too cold to continue and gave up the ghost.  Weak sister.  This created quite a bit of hiss on the WICC signal until about 11 AM, when the program director finally called me to tell me of the situation.

Via remote control, we switched over to the backup analog 8 KHz 15 KHz TELCO line, which sounds fine, given the talk radio program material.

Unfortunately, vehicle access to the transmitter site is now gone.  I have the option of taking the Bridgeport harbor master boat over to the dock and walking .9 miles, or driving to the Long Beach parking lot and walking 1.3 miles in order to repair it.  This will likely be tomorrow, as the weather is supposed to be better, 36°F and light snow.  Well, it is what I get paid to do.

Pleasure Beach, Bridgeport, CT
Pleasure Beach, Bridgeport, CT

Regarding the analog 8 KHz TELCO line, that is an anomaly.  These analog circuits where used to wire the country together, once delivering all of the network programming to affiliate stations before the widespread use of satellites.  They require unloaded dry pairs and normally have an equalizer on the Z (far) end.  Nowadays everything is digital, try and find a tech to repair one of these circuits when it goes down.  Fortunately, this is a short distance circuit.