Software defined radio

There are a number of cheap devices which allow you to listen to radio signals, these devices were originally intended for watching TV, digital TV and radio signals through the computer. By using available software it is possible to tune into many radio broadcasts/signals, e.g. HAM radio, AM, FM, commercial airline signals, etc.

To take a look at some devices search for “sdr usb” or “rtl usb”, prices vary from around 5-20 pounds depending on branding / accessories.

If you are interested to listen to voices from around the world, some of these software defined radios are possible to use over the internet. This has the advantage that you can access better hardware and also listen to stations based across the world.

A list of stations is available here:


Writing advice from David Ogilvy

In 1982 David Ogilvy sent this memo, titled, How to Write to his employees:

The better you write, the higher you go in Ogilvy & Mather. People who think well, write well.

Woolly-minded people write woolly memos, woolly letters and woolly speeches. Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well. Here are 10 hints:

1.    Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing. Read it three times.
2.    Write the way you talk. Naturally.
3.    Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.
4.    Never use jargon words like reconceptualise, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of pretense.
5.    Never write more than two pages on any subject.
6.    Check your quotations.
7.    Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning and then edit it.
8.    If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.
9.    Before you send your letter or your memo, make sure it is crystal-clear what you want the recipient to do.
10.    If you want ACTION, don’t write. Go and tell the guy what you want.