The Internet Archive, the home of the Wayback Machine and millions of movies, books, software and music items, is spicing up its fundraising season with an actual Telethon, hosted and run by Internet Archive employees, and in front of a live audience!
For 24 hours, from Noon on Saturday, December 19th, and going straight through without breaks until Noon on December 20th, we will be featuring a variety of performances, interviews, games and straight-up silliness from our 300 Funston Avenue location in San Francisco. The Internet Archive headquarters is inside a renovated church building that now hosts tens of petabytes of data (and millions of online visitors), with a large Great Room that includes a stage and seating for hundreds.
Would you like to perform at the telethon? If so, let me or Jason know.
The Internet Archive is awesome and important and you should give them your money!
I offered to help them find some acts, and I got them in touch with a few folks, but of the more-than-a-dozen local bands that I and my booker have reached out to over the last couple of weeks, exactly one has even written back (and that was a no.)
I guess I shouldn't be too surprised, since it seems like the only bands we're capable of booking at DNA lately are either black metal, or 90s Sunset-Strip-hard-rock acts on a reunion tour. And I didn't ask any of those. Sigh.
The Soviets would sit outside the embassy, either in another building or in a van. From this remote location they would aim a radio transmitter at the great seal. The bug inside would receive this signal and transmit voices in the room on a second, higher frequency. It did all of this with no standard internal components. No resistors, no tubes, no traditional capacitors, or the like. There were capacitive properties to the mechanism. For instance, a capacitor is formed between the diaphragm and the tuning peg of the device.
Receive tuning (if it can be called such) was achieved by the precisely cut antenna. The RF carrier transmitted by the Russians would be received at the antenna and travel into the body of the device which was a resonant cavity. That resonant chamber was capacatively coupled to the thin conductive diaphragm which formed the microphone.
Sound waves would cause the diaphragm to move, which would vary the capacitance between the body and diaphragm, forming a condenser microphone. It is important to note that the bug didn't transmit and receive on the same frequency. According to Peter Wright, the excitation frequency used by the Russians was actually 800 MHz. The cavity would resonate at a multiple of this base frequency, producing the 1.6 GHz output seen by Bezjian.
They'd recorded some unstoppably perky young woman reciting kids' first names, Aaron, Abbot, Abby, Abigail, Adana, Adena, in an upbeat barbie-girl voice, every single one.
There were seventeen thousand of them.
To my knowledge, nobody has ever listened to the whole thing.
Of the six attempts I'm aware of, four were called off when the death threats started, one due to the near-breakup of the couple making the attempt, and one person drinking themselves to unconsciousness at about the 90 minute mark. I'm not saying that to make a joke. I'm telling you because this is real and it's an SCP-grade psychic biohazard. No highly esteemed deed was committed here; this is not a place of honour.