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There Goes Morse Code

The New York Times this morning has a wonderful article on the demise of href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/27/business/27morse.html?_r=1&oref=slogin">Morse
Code (Morse Code: A Fading Signal by Miguel class=SpellE>Helft).  Until a
recent revision to the requirements by the Federal Communications Commission
for an Amateur Radio License, proficiency in Morse Code
was required.

Morse code was an early (as in 1830’s) technology for information coding and transmission over telegraph lines. Morse code was an activity of Cub Scouts as a kid. While I can’t remember the entire alphabet, it’s difficult to forget the encoding of ‘SOS”: dot-dot-dot, dash-dash-dash, dot-dot-dot.
(dots and dashes referring to the relative duration of
the signal).

Parallels to this technology are in use today.style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  An example is spelling words on cell phone
keyboards for text entry (where ‘A’ is 2, ‘B’ us 2-2, and ‘C’ is 2-2-2).style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  One difference between communications in
19th century Morse Code, and today, was the
reliance on skilled intermediaries to send and receive messages. style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  

Morse code is an anachronism whose place in the continuum of the
advancements of people communicating by cell phones, satellites, and the
Internet was established long ago. It is still prior art.

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