Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sena SR10: Wirelessly Add 2-way Radio to Your Motorcycle Ride

Latest news – We now have said for a while, Bluetooth will be the future for walkie talkies and headphones. With so many different incarnations of the technology to try and adapt it for that two way radio market, no one has yet got it small enough to use stealthily enough. This analysis from a bike site may give us an indication of how the technology is progressing.



Sena SR10 Two-Way Radio Adapter Review with Midland Radio BT Next and Midland Two-Way Radio

I’m an admitted tech addict and enjoy looking for and finding new gadgets that enhance life’s experiences. This is especially the case for moto-related kit and, lately, Bluetooth (BT) gizmos. While writing our recent BT headset reviews, I became interested in pairing a two-way radio to my helmet’s headset.

Some riders to whom I’ve spoken eschew the use of any newfangled item that could distract them or in some way diminish the riding experience and I respect that.

Personally, I find only enjoyment and an extra margin of safety in being able to communicate with other riders, listen to music or FM radio, GPS instructions and make or take the occasional phone call.

Until now, to communicate with my buddies I’ve used the intercom function built into virtually all BT headsets on the market today. Most offer full duplex operation (like a telephone, all parties can talk at once without having to press a push-to-talk (PTT) button) and a line-of-sight range up to a mile but, often, much less.

I read that some headsets allow pairing to a two-way radio which offers not only greater range but the ability to have an unlimited number of participants on the conversation, unlike headset intercoms that have a limitation on the number of pairings.

Also eliminated would be the need to stop and pair the headsets to one another in advance. Wouldn’t it be great if our group did this and agreed upon a certain radio channel? We could shout out to one another when heading to a meeting and converse during the ride. Changes in plans could be made on the fly without waving hands in some, often misunderstood, hand signals. Then there’s “that guy” who always takes the lead on a ride just when there is a critical turn to make and he doesn’t know the way.

The solution is easier than you might think. All you need is a two-way radio and a BT adapter since no consumer priced radios to date have BT built in (that’s on the way but not yet). For this review I used Sena’s SR10 BT adapter along with Midland Radio’s BT Next headset and GXT1000 FRS/GMRS radio.

The SR10 adapter connects to most popular radios via a short cable unique to each brand, so check Sena’s list to make sure they offer one for the radio you want to use. As an added bonus, the SR10 has two AUX ports that enable you to connect non-Bluetooth devices such as radar detector, GPS navigation and non-BT MP3 player but I didn’t try that for this review.

Once all your devices are charged up the SR10 (which utilizes a micro-USB cable – my favorite for simplicity’s sake) pairs easily with the headset with just a few key presses. One important caveat to note here is that the SR10 must pair with a BT channel that supports Hand-Free Profile (HFP) on the your headset. All headsets have at least on HFP channel but that is usually paired to the phone. Some headsets, like the BT Next, have more than one channel supporting HFP and that is a key feature, allowing the two-way radio to coexist with the phone and music player. If your headset only has one HFP channel you may pair it with the SR10 then pair your phone to the SR10 as well. I tried this and it worked but I could not use the music player built into my phone. There are often trade-offs to be made in the world of BT.

For this review my buddy Rick and I each placed a radio and adapter in our tank bag. The SR10 offers VOX (voice-actuated talk) but also has a wired PTT switch included. During our initial testing we found that the VOX worked well but usually required several loud spoken words to switch over so we opted to use the PTT buttons. We zipped our tank bags to allow the antenna to peek out and the PTT cable was routed to the left handgrip and attached with the included rubber strap.

We liked the ease of use with the PTT button which allows quick back-and-forth conversations. The GXT1000 produces a soft beep upon releasing g the PTT button and advises others that you have closed the connection. Better than having to say “over” each time you end a sentence.

Priorities are important in BT as they instruct the headset as to what devices override others. In this case, when receiving from the other rider, the headset quieted the FM radio or music player to allow us to hear the other rider.

As with all BT and other moto devices, my advice is to set them up, test and get acclimated to them before going near your bike. Once we were done with that we rode the freeways for 10 miles to some hilly back roads. Operation was easy and I let Rick head out while I waited near the on-ramp. At a range of about a mile or more I started to lose him even though the radios were set in high-power mode. This is still a far greater range than the intercom but illustrates the limitations of UHF radios. In our canyon segment of the test, range was reduced further but was always better than the intercoms.

The GXT1000 is rated to 36 miles range but Midland advises that this is greatly affected by the surroundings and we proved that. I chose this FRS/GMRS static-free UHF radio because of the relative quiet as compared to CB radios.

Range can be improved by mounting the radios higher up on the bike or by buying a radio with a connector to a better, permanently mounted antenna. CB, on the other hand, while producing more audible noise, is affected less by terrain due to the characteristics of the frequencies in which it operates.

When asked about range limitations, Midland’s Emily Frame replied, “While they (FRS/GMRS radios) do have the capability to be used with the BTs, we find this is not our customer’s first choice. Our CBs are made more for use in vehicles, such as trucks, and are great for communication on the road.” Live and learn.

Our BT to two-way test was, everything considered, a success. We proved that one does not need a degree in electrical engineering to make this technology work for you. I am going to try to get my hands on a pair of CB radios and, when I do, I will do another review, hopefully, extolling their virtue.

Look for more reviews on BT headsets and gadgets in the coming weeks with Uclear’s HBC200 Force headset with boom-less microphone technology scheduled for my next review.



Sena SR10: Wirelessly Add 2-way Radio to Your Motorcycle Ride

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tablets set to outsell PCs by the end of the year

Editors Note – The writing was on the wall the first time Steve Jobs stood up on the stage in 2010 and showed everyone the future of computing. The pc tablet has altered the way we take part in games, compose letters and work away from the office, So this news story about a drop of 13% in sales of laptops and a rise of seven% in sales of tablets, is not surprising 3 years on. It is only going to grow for that little tablet pc with apple continuously innovating, microsoft beginning to move into the market with their windows 8 tablets and google’s android spreading out its market share quicker than anybody else, it is tricky to see how a laptop or even the desktop can compete.


The number of laptops sent from producer to retailer fell by 13.9 per cent worldwide over the period, while volumes of desktop computers shipped dropped by 7.4 per cent, according to estimates by Canalys analyst firm.

Year-on-year, PC shipments to European, Middle Eastern and African markets showed a decline of three per cent. Western Europe in particular proved challenging for vendors, with a decrease of 10 per cent over the year.

Volumes to the Asia Pacific region declined 0.5% year-on-year to just over 40 million units, with figures for the region affected by a six per cent fall in shipments to China, which accounted for almost 45 per cent of the Asian market.

Apple remained the top PC vendor for the quarter, with a 17.1 per cent market share with over 18.5 million units. This is a 4.5 million unit lead over Lenovo, its closest competitor in the market, but still a dip from the 19 per cent market share the Californian company enjoyed in the second quarter of 2012.

Lenovo, the Chinese multinational, gained market share in notebook and desktop PC shipments over the quarter. It also bucked trends by reporting strong annual growth in EMEA (34 per cent), the US (28 per cent) and especially Latin America (93 per cent) and performed well on the tablet side of its business, where it shipped an estimated 1.5 million units.

“It is striking how successful it has been in globalising its PC business and breaking the one million unit barrier is an important milestone for its tablet shipments,” said James Wang, an analyst with Canalys.

“Lenovo is on an upward curve with its tablets, expanding in mainland China and Latin America, where there is little competition from the likes of Google or Amazon.”



Tablets set to outsell PCs by the end of the year

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Predicament Halved: Why Hard Drives Are Functional; An Extreme Instance

Back in 2008, in a tiny Cambodian town called Phnom Penh (No idea of a pronunciation) a couple separated following an 18-year marriage. Nothing interesting in that, you would possibly think, but it’s the best way they did it that had web forums busy.


They reduce their bloody home in half. Honestly, you can look it up. We will remain here…


Found it? Mental, right? Now, far be it from us to support our entire sales pitch on an article we found online at Cracked.com, but it really got us thinking. It got us thinking that if they had a computer, say, with all their individual files (business, music, images and etc) then it might have been slashed in half too.


Aside from the storage that hard drives release, that’s probably a hard drives better features, hard drives will duplicate and keep safe all data you need to store. So, whilst the couple’s DVDs were probably a total disaster area (I can picture the husband virulently shouting “What the hell am I gonna do with half a copy of ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’, you b*tch!?”) the downloaded Seinfeld episodes on his hard drives would likely have escaped detection.


hard drives back stuff up. hard drives keep things safe. hard drives are convenient and fitting, but most of all, they’re notoriously complex to saw through, mainly if you’ve just taken a hedge trimmer to your coffee table.

A Predicament Halved: Why Hard Drives Are Functional; An Extreme Instance

Friday, October 18, 2013

’Earth-Like’ Asteroid Devoured by Dead Star

The Hubble Space Telescope has recorded an intriguing event some 150 light-years from Earth.

A large asteroid was pulled into the White Dwarf star (named ‘GD 61’ by astronomers) and utterly destroyed. This is not an unusual event, as even dead stars still exhibit a very high level of gravity. However, scientists are interested because the chemical signatures left in the star’s atmosphere indicate the presence of water and a rocky surface, both considered to be key building blocks for the creation of life on our planet.

Until this event was observed, water and a rocky surface had never been found together on an object outside our solar system.

The asteroid consisted of the elements magnesium, silicon, iron and oxygen, all of which are usually found in rock minerals, but scientists believe that the abundance of oxygen indicated the heavy presence of H20.

The object was at least 90KM across and as much as 26% of that is thought to have been water. Earth is considered to be just 0.02% water.

This discovery is important because it gives scientists a vindicating glimpse of how inhabitable environments may have been formed, receiving key components (such as water) from outside sources such as meteorites.

It is thought that water first arrived on our planet by similar means and that other planets in the GD 61 system would once have received water this way as well. According to BBC News, scientists consider the presence of rocky planets in the GD system to have been “very likely”.

Scientists have observed over 1,000 planets outside our solar system, but none is thought to contain water.

Closer to home, some planets and heavenly bodies are thought to contain water. Mars is considered by many to once have had liquid water, but if this is still the case, it is a greatly reduced amount.

Elsewhere, Jupiter’s moon Europa raises a tantalizing prospect that there are oceans under its icy surface. This has led to some convincing research into the possible presence of ocean currents there. However, Europa is not alone, its fellow moons Callisto and Ganymede have also been suggested as candidates for liquid water.

In addition, Rhea (moon of Saturn), Titania (moon or Uranus), Oberon (also orbiting Uranus), Triton (moon of Neptune), Pluto (dwarf planet), Eris (dwarf planet), Sedna (possible dwarf planet) and Orcus (another possible dwarf planet) are all speculated to have oceans, some of which may be in contact with the rocky core of the respective body, which would hypothetically result in a steady stream of minerals and salts into the water – an important factor in creating life.

Saturn’s moon Enceladus has geysers, which is seen as proof of the presence of water or at least water vapours. It has even been theorized by some that Neptune contains oceans of liquid diamond.

The heavy presence of water on this asteroid is a vital clue for scientists and their understanding, not only of the cosmos, but also of how our home planet came into being.





’Earth-Like’ Asteroid Devoured by Dead Star

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Stallone To Play ‘Rocky’ Again

Rumours proliferate that Sylvester Stallone will probably be playing the character of ‘Rocky Balboa’ again, in a brand new film set inside the ‘Rocky’ universe.

The incredibly admired character Rocky Balboa first appeared in the Oscar-winning 1976 film ‘Rocky’ and is the central protagonist in no less than six movies to date.

MGM films have basically offered the brand new project, currently identified only as ‘Creed’ to director Ryan Coogler.

The future film is really a spin-off as opposed to a straight sequel.

Michael B. Jordan, star of this year’s ‘Fruitville Station’ as well as HBO television drama ‘The Wire’, would play the grandson of habitual series character Apollo Creed. The planned story line would call for the young Creed to enter the world of boxing, with Stallone’s Balboa playing the function of his guide.

Director Ryan Coogler, who worked with Jordan in the aforementioned ‘Fruitville Station’ film, is said to be enthusiastic with the idea and is eager to co-create the screenplay.

Apollo Creed, as portrayed by Carl Weathers, was initially presented as Rocky’s adversary. In his original position, Creed (who was supposedly similar to a mixture of Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and Joe Louis) was the World Heavyweight Boxing Champ also as a confidence entrepreneur. When faced with the deficiency of appropriate opponents, Creed decided to put his trophy on the line against a local, unknown fighter.

The original film mainly centred round the elected fighter Rocky Balboa as he trained for the biggest fight of his life. In the later films, Apollo Creed started to be a adviser plus a close pal to Rocky.

Weathers played Creed in every ‘Rocky’ film until ‘Rocky IV’, where the character was killed during a match with Russian boxer Ivan Drago (portrayed by Dolph Lundgren).

In spite of the character’s downfall, he’s prominently mentioned in both follow-up movies and remains extremely popular with fans of this series.

The ultimate film within the initial Rocky series, ‘Rocky Balboa’ was released in 2006 to a keen critical and commercial reception. In 2010, Sylvester Stallone was inducted into the Worldwide Boxing Hall of Fame and Museum for his creation and portrayal of Rocky, also like the many tributes he has paid to boxers and the sport of boxing in his career.




Stallone To Play ‘Rocky’ Again

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Recipe For Success!

Nigella Lawson, Jaimie Oliver and Ainsley Harriott is probably not your picture of gaming heroes or heroines, but nonetheless cooking games are a steadily mounting phenomenon. Enduring the current attraction with video games based on real-life (The Sims, Tennis, Bowling etc) all baking games are about is, clearly, cooking.


That could seem useless, given the real-life equivalent of cooking games (actually cooking) are a few things you virtually need to do every day or else starve, consider just how much amusing you can have with cooking games. These video games can teach formulas, quantities, strategies and also some subtleties that pro cooks have to understand the hard way.


The Cooking Mama series is one of the biggest cooking games about the market. Somewhat sexist title aside; the franchise has generated titles for the Nintendo DS and Wii console, (the console that’s best for baking games.) Handheld gadgets were initially the format of choice for launching the very first cooking games, with Sweet Ange being released all the way back in the time of Game Boy Colour.


Admired in Japan and increasingly catching on in the West, baking games look set to become another big thing. With cooking games, you will understand cooking skills without wasting money or making yourself poorly. You’ll be taught serenity as some cooking games allow you to create your gaming gastronome goodness in real time!


Obviously, cooking games hold an element of danger (and not only digital nut traces). Don’t forget to put the feast on when handling your cooking games, then go digital bowling or fishing and come back to find your banquet ruined. Though cooking games may be tempting as a cheaper alternative, you will also find a cooking games dinner to be far less nourishing than a Telly dinner.

A Recipe For Success!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Does the Xbox kinect offer no-controller action?

The Xbox Kinect is a marvellous thing. I’ve always wanted to take gaming matters into my own hands, like some sort of deranged geek vigilante.

“If I didn’t have to rely on these buttons so damn much” I frequently grumble, “I’d grab that monster and kick it in myself!”


Case in point, there’s a fat bloke in Pokemon (it doesn’t matter which version of Pokemon, there’s always a f*cking fat bloke) who stands in your way and stubbornly refuses to move until you have performed some task or the other. Now, if this was real life and some fat chunder-monkey was barring my way, I’d grab him by the scruff of the neck and kick seven bells out of him before moving onto the next city. I’m not really that agressive, but I’ve only got so much patience for that sort of behaviour, y’know?


Maybe that’s how Team Rocket and that lot get started? Maybe we’ve misjudged them all these years…Maybe they just got sick of fat blokes, people with spurious stomach-aches and Snorlax after bleedin’ Snorlax blocking their progress. They love cats and, with the exception of Blowfeld, Dr. Evil and a plethora of other classic villains, cat lovers can’t be bad people, can they?


Anyway, the Kinect finally gives you the opportunity to use your own body as the controller. When you throw a punch on Kinect, you’ll be using you’re own arm, when you run from danger, it’ll be as fast as your own legs can carry you. Now, the Xbox 360 with kinect bundle is putting all of these great things in one place, making it easier than ever to get playing the greatest gaming innovation since Sonic 2 allowed you to push down and ‘B’ in order to get up hills without running all the way back where you came from.


That’s right, the Xbox 360 with kinect bundle is the future of gaming technology. At last you can get stuck in like you’ve always wanted to. The day is finally here where you can play a game without resorting to controllers and other gizmos. Yep, the future is here and its Kinect-shaped…I know what you geeks are thinking, because I’m thinking it too, we’re one step closer to the invention of the Holodeck…Yay!  

Does the Xbox kinect offer no-controller action?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bone Conduction 101: How it Works, What it is and Will it Hurt?

Music is a large element of everyday life also it has been for almost as long as Humans have been on this earth. I often point to a discovery of the 40,000-year-old flute dating back to the ice age as evidence for this, but truthfully, the proof you may need is all around you, every day. We remember ballads and music long after the folks who first composed them have died and rotted away (an idea which I find curiously reassuring) plus the music industry, love it or hate it, is always a big business.


On the other hand, while the ice age musicians probably lived during a world of stark cruelty, frozen, unimaginative wastelands and tough, ‘kill or be killed’ inter-cave politics, they never required to contend with road works, transport lorries, screaming toddlers or drunken rabble-rousers on their way to the stag night. Lucky buggers.


Today’s listener has to accommodate all that and much more, that may make listening to the music not just difficult, but additionally dangerous.


Now, however, modern science has stumbled across a means in which you’ll be able to still listen to your favourite tunes, even if you’re wearing earplugs (no, I’ve not been sniffing discarded paint cans once more). It’s called skeleton conduction technology and no, despite the marginally strange name, it in truth doesn’t hurt…


According to recent research, contact with any noise over 100 decibels wears away a membrane known as a myelin sheath and leaves your middle ear liable to problems like tinnitus and temporary deafness, which can be the start of much more serious problems. Bone conduction technology has been developed to bypass the most sensitive parts of your ear and reduce the danger of inner-ear harm.


How? Well, so as to know that, we need to first identify with how our ears actually work. (HERE COMES THE SCIENCE-Y BIT) Essentially, noise travels though the air, these sound waves are intercepted by numerous structures in the ear and are finally translated and transmitted into our brains (if it helps, think of it like the encoding/decoding of digital information, like that which guides the actions of the wireless mouse).


The sound waves first encounter a bit of cartilage (yes, similar stuff a shark’s skeleton is formed of), which helps to focus the sound, this is called a pinna (but you may call it your outer ear without appearing too stupid). 


Then, the sound waves pass into your middle ear, it is filled up with air and also contains both your acoustic canal and your eardrum (my little brother burst his when he was little and almost burst mine crying about it). The eardrum vibrates, passing the sound through to the ossicles, which are three small bones (that are actually pretty vital to your sense of balance, I am told). These tiny bones transmit the sound to the cochlea, that is a fluid-filled structure that ‘encodes’ the signals for our brain to ‘decode’.


Bone conduction technology vibrates the bones of the skull, distributing the noise directly to the cochlea and bypassing the remainder of their ear totally. The nerve impulses transmitted to your brain are exactly the same, however the sensitive instrument of the ear doesn’t have to deal with the hassle of, to cite Anchorman’s Brick Tamland “LOUD NOISES!”


This process appears to be totally safe; actually, the eminently deaf composer Beethoven employed a elementary version of this method to be able to create his most famous works. He attached a rod between his piano and his head and, as such, was able to listen to the song he was playing.


So there you go, instead of exposing your sensitive ears to louder and louder volumes, to drown out the background noise, it is possible to instead stick your earpugs in and play your music at the appropriate volume. Make no bones about it (groan!)


for more information on the full range of bone conductor earpieces visit earpieceonline

Bone Conduction 101: How it Works, What it is and Will it Hurt?