Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Too Much Monkey Business? US Lawsuit Attempts to Grant a Monkey the Rights to his Selfie (No, Really)

A group of idiots in America (where else??) are arguing that a monkey whose image was used in a wildlife book WITHOUT HIS PERMISSION should be receiving damages for copyright infringement.

Now, as we all know, the only thing more dangerous than an idiot with too much free time is a cluster of idiots with too much free time. In this way, the truly brainless can form a conglomeration of sorts, meaning that they can then work in shifts, creating a sort of stupidity barrage, which can be rather tough to avoid. High profile examples of this phenomenon include creationism, the people who called Kim Davis a civil rights icon and, a little closer to home, UKIP voters.

...You just don’t expect it from PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals), an organisation that has been around for 35 years.

OK, here’s the skinny; four years ago, British wildlife photographer and animal rights activist David Slater was visiting a nature reserve on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. He left his camera unattended, so a cheeky monkey named Naruto picked it up and snapped a couple of selfies. One of the pics was used in a wildlife book (for which Slater was paid) and now he’s being sued...For ripping off a monkey.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed (with a straight face, amazingly) by the U.S District Court in San Francisco, the pictures came from "a series of purposeful and voluntary actions by Naruto, unaided by Slater," as a result, says the lawsuit, "Naruto has the right to own and benefit from the copyright ... in the same manner and to the same extent as any other author,"

...Except for the fact that he ISN’T an author. He’s a f*cking monkey.

This whole thing brings to mind that old joke, lets see if I can remember how it goes: when is an author not an author? Oh yeah...WHEN HE’S A F*CKING MONKEY!

And once more, just to highlight the stupidity of the whole debacle...THE AUTHOR OF THE PHOTOS IS A F*CKING MONKEY, WHO TOOK A BREAK FROM FLINGING FECES ALL OVER THE PLACE TO PLAY AROUND WITH A CAMERA, TOOK A PRETTY DECENT PHOTO AND THEN F*CKED OFF BACK TO THE RAINFOREST TO GO ABOUT HIS MONKEY BUSINESS.

...It might be different if the monkey had actually PAID for the camera, or made the purposeful and voluntary action of ordering his own camera from eBay, or even if he’d gone online and hired Slater to photograph him. Then he might actually have a case (especially if Naruto had contributed to Slater’s travel expenses). But no, none of that happened. Why? Because he’s a f*cking monkey, that’s why.



To be fair, how was Slater supposed to have obtained permission?

PETA is demanding that the monkey be paid (in bananas, presumably) damages for the unauthorized use of his photos...Which is stupid like there isn’t a word for.

Apparently, US copyright law says nothing about monkeys asserting copyright over their works (which could pose a problem if they ever do manage to type out the complete works of Shakespeare) and, as a result, PETA feels that this is sufficient grounds to take a struggling photographer to court on behalf of a monkey who, quite frankly, doesn’t give a damn.

Damn those shortsighted copyright laws. Why didn’t the authors consider that, just 40 years after they were written, monkeys would benefit from their not being specifically named anywhere in the document? So now we live in this dystopian future where only those as super-smart as I are left alive to bitterly cry “DAMN YOU, YOU MANIACS!!!, DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!” (Thank you, Jay).

The only thing about the lawsuit which isn’t stupid is that the money (presumably after PETA recouped a lot of expenses) would go to the maintenance of Naruto’s natural habitat, which is doubtless a good thing.

Naruto is a rare crested macaque, a species that is listed as critically endangered. Their numbers have decreased by something like 90% in the last 25 years, largely due to extensive habitat loss.

...Except that, hang on, aren’t donations to PETA supposed to be going to that kind of thing, as opposed to dumbass lawsuits aimed at wildlife photographers who are just trying to capture the beauty of nature for us all to enjoy? I’m confused.

Oh wait, no I’m not. In fact, I could be in a lot of trouble, because my family’s cat once climbed up onto my desk and typed out a Facebook status, which I then posted. Ah jeez, I hope he doesn’t read this article, because that’s the last thing I need (he’s still mad at me about the whole castration thing).

Thursday, December 3, 2015

President Obama Signs Up For Supercomputer

US President Barack Obama has signed an executive order that calls for the creation of the world’s fastest computer by 2025.



The order calls for the new supercomputer to be 20 times quicker than the current world’s fastest, which is in China. The Chinese supercomputer, known as Tianhe-2 is capable of performing quadrillions of calculations per second, and is almost twice as fast as its closest rival, which was developed in America.

In addition to being able to make one quintillion (that is a billion billion, in case you wondered) calculations per second, this new supercomputer would be capable of running intricately complex simulations as an aid to scientific research.

Some practical applications could include improved methods of cancer diagnosis (based on X-Ray analysis), increased accuracy of weather forecasts and the eventual elimination of the costly wind tunnel testing used by NASA (due to the computer’s ability to accurately design more streamlined aircraft).

Experts have also suggested that the computer could be used to tailor personal medications to the physiologies of individual medical patients, something that would greatly improve the effectiveness of any prescription drug. It has even been put forward that this new computer could be used to create very accurate climate models, with a view towards analysing current trends and anticipating the resultant changes in climate.

Critics of the decision have suggested that, in addition to being very ambitious, the electricity required by this project will cost at least £60Million a year.

The outgoing President, who has served two terms in office since first being elected in 2009, has always been a strong supporter of technological innovation within the US. In his 2006 book The Audacity of Hope, the then-Senator from Illinois discussed a trip to Google’s headquarters in Silicon Valley, California, in which his fascination with computers and information technology was made abundantly clear.

“Larry (Page - Co-Founder of Google) asked the young Indian American engineer who was working nearby to explain what we were looking at. ‘These lights represent all the searches that are going on right now,’ the engineer said. ‘Each color is a different language. If you move the toggle this way’ â€" he caused the screen to alter â€" ‘you can see the traffic patterns of the entire Internet system’. The image was mesmerizing, more organic than mechanical, as if I were glimpsing the early stages of some accelerating evolutionary process, in which all the boundaries between men â€" nationality, race, religion, wealth â€" were rendered invisible and irrelevant, so that the physicist in Cambridge, the bond trader in Tokyo, the student in a remote Indian village and the manager of a Mexico City department store were drawn into a single, constant, thrumming conversation, time and space giving way to a world spun entirely of light”

 But don’t get too excited, because even if all goes according to plan, this incredible feat of technology will still take at least a decade to design and build.

Wrestling Legend Rowdy Roddy Piper Dies At 61

The world of professional wrestling is in mourning following the death of the legendary Rowdy Roddy Piper last month. Piper suffered a cardiac arrest whilst at his home in Hollywood, California. He was just 61 years old.

For many kids (including myself) that first became fans in the mid-late 1980’s, Roddy Piper was the definitive wrestling heel (industry jargon for a bad guy). Whether hosting his notorious Piper’s Pit segment, or facing off against Hulk Hogan & Mr. T (with partner Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorf) at the inaugural WrestleMania event, Piper was one of the industry’s biggest starts during one of its most popular and lucrative periods.

He was also instrumental in making the WWF (now WWE) brand the biggest in professional wrestling. In addition to headlining the very first WrestleMania event (a pioneering Pay-Per View extravaganza that could easily have ruined the company had it proved to be a failure), Piper also featured in one of WrestleMania II’s three main event matchups, thus securing his position as one of wrestling’s most bankable stars.

His undercard matches at WrestleManias III, VI and (the stone cold classic against Bret The Hitman Hart at) VIII are absolute highlights of a classic era of pro wrestling. He even acted as a guest referee for the main event of Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna at WrestleMania X. Younger fans, however, will undoubtedly remember Piper teaming with fellow veterans Ricky Steamboat and Jimmy Superfly Snuka to face Chris Jericho at WrestleMania XXV.

In an era defined by outlandish babyface characters with bodybuilder physiques and sometimes questionable in-ring abilities, Roddy Piper stood out as a genuine wrestler’s wrestler, an authentic tough guy - and the necessarily evil counterpoint to the simplistic, superheroic good guys being featured at the time by the WWF.

Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1954, Roderick Toombs was always an unruly personality. Expelled from school at a young age and subsequently falling out with his father, (a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) Toombs hit the road, staying in various youth hostels and earning a buck wherever he could. Eventually, the tempestuous youth wound up in a wrestling ring, making his in-ring debut at the tender age of just 15-years-old.

The kid was tough (he had a Black Belt in Judo), displayed a natural affinity for the ring and he had a roguish charisma all of his own. In addition, he really could play the bagpipes. After early stints jobbing in Verne Gagne’s AWA, NWA Houston and Fritz Von Erich’s Big Time Wrestling promotion in Dallas, Texas, Piper debuted for Mike and Gene LeBell’s NWA Hollywood promotion and soon became the outfit’s top heel. A slew of regional Championships followed.

Whilst working for promoter Roy Shire in the NWA’s San Francisco territory, Piper developed his character and ring work. In Los Angeles, he feuded with Chavo Guerrero Sr, Hector Guerrero and ultimately locked up against their father, Mexican wrestling legend Gory Guerrero (father of future WWE Champ Eddie). In The Pacific Northwest, he unseated former NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion Jack Brisco for Mid Atlantic’s version of the World Heavyweight Championship, a title he would go on to hold twice more.

In the mid 1980’s, Piper entered Vince McMahon’s insurgent WWF. He was billed as being from Glasgow, Scotland and was well known for being the only wrestler to wear a kilt to the ring. Fans ate it up. Feuding with such stars as Hulk Hogan, Adrian Adonis, Andre The Giant, Jimmy Superfly Snuka, Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase, Jerry The King Lawler and Bret Hitman Hart, to name but a few, Piper always brought out the best in his opponents and it was with the WWF that he became a household name, as well as one of the industry’s biggest ever stars.

In the mid-1990’s, Piper wrestled for WCW (World Championship Wrestling), where he debuted as one of the company’s headline stars. He feuded, once again, with Hulk Hogan and also battled old rivals such as Ric Flair, Bret Hart and ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage. Whilst working for WCW, he was even chosen to headline ‘Starrcade’, the company’s flagship Pay-Per-View event.

In his later career, Piper made sporadic reappearances for the WWE, briefly worked for TNA, enjoyed a reasonably successful acting career and also hosted his own podcast. He battled Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after being diagnosed with the illness in 2006, but had completely beaten it into remission as of last year. Despite the setbacks caused by his ill health, Piper wrestled his last match in 2011.

Although he never held a recognised World Heavyweight Championship, Piper will be remembered as one of the greatest WWF Intercontinental Champions of all time, a reign that was attested to during his appearance at this year’s WrestleMania XXXI, where he congratulated then-IC Champion Daniel Bryan on his victory. He also held other notable belts, such as the United States Championship, the WWF/E Tag Team Championship (with Ric Flair) and the NWA World Light Heavyweight Championship.

Piper was a member of the WWE Hall of Fame and the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame, as well as the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the Cauliflower Alley Club.

On the August 3rd edition of RAW, the entire WWE roster, each member clad in Roddy’s signature Hot Rod t-shirts opened the show with a very moving ten bell salute in tribute to the fallen legend.



WWE boss Vince McMahon said, "Roddy Piper was one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE, beloved by millions of fans around the world. I extend my deepest condolences to his family."

UFC Bantamweight Champion Rowdy Ronda Rousey dedicated her 34-second victory over Bethe Correia to Piper’s memory, "I just want to say that we lost a really close friend, Rowdy Roddy Piper, who gave me permission to use his name as a fighter (...) And so I hope him and my dad had a good time watching this today."

Former WWE and WCW Champion (and Piper’s frequent in-ring rival) Bret Hart wrote, “I can’t find the words to describe the sorrow in my heart upon learning the news of my dear friend, Roddy Piper, passing away. He was my closest friend in the business, a man that schooled me and guided me throughout my career. In fact, if it wasn’t for Roddy Piper reaching out to help me, I’m sure I would’ve been a mere footnote in wrestling. He was always there for me. He was family to me.” Hart also recalled that, following his stroke in 2002; Piper was the only wrestler who visited him in hospital.

Hulk Hogan, another of Piper’s famous adversaries, said of Piper that, “He was my best friend. He is a legend. God’s gain is our loss. May his family in this time of need, find peace"

Other friends, colleagues and admirers of Piper’s included former WWF Champ The Iron Sheik, who said “Roddy Piper. I love you forever. God bless you Bubba” and multi-time World Champion Chris Jericho Tweeted, “Sorry to hear of the passing of my friend and Wrestlemania rival #RoddyPiper. One of the greatest who ever lived, but more importantly a legit sweet family man with a good heart”. Former WWE Divas Champion Paige called Piper a “legend” and Tweeted a picture of a broken heart, an image which reflected the feelings of many a wrestler and wrestling fan.

Roddy’s son, Colt, said that his father was his “best friend” and a “great man” saying that he would miss him forever and “always try to be the man he raised me to be”.

Rowdy Roddy Piper lived a life littered with accomplishments. Not many of us will ever be declared as legendary by our peers and fewer still will be able to stack 30+ Championship reigns anywhere on our resume, but those weren’t the man’s proudest achievements. Piper had been married to his wife, Kitty, since 1982 and is survived by her and the four children they lovingly raised together. My thoughts are with them, as well as everyone else who knew, worked with, or simply enjoyed to watch the late, great man work his magic in front of a capacity crowd. R.I.P Roddy.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Steven Moffat Reveals Plot of Every Upcoming Doctor Who Episode...Well, Almost

BE WARNED: There are some MAJOR spoilers in this article, so, if like Seinfeld’s Frank Costanza, you “like to go in fresh!” then you should stop reading here and go read something else.

Go on. We’re all waiting.

Thank you.

Now, as the three-nippled fortune-teller in Mallrats once quipped, “you guys still in? Good”

You don’t need a working TARDIS in order to be up on Doctor Who Series 9, it seems. This month, Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat gave an exclusive (and very revealing) interview to SFX magazine, whereby he gave non-spoiler-phobes a pretty detailed run-down of each and every upcoming episode â€" and it looks like we fans have got a pretty fun twelve weeks ahead of us!

So, here goes...

Episodes 1 & 2

“This is the opening two-parter. It features lots of Daleks and this time we mean it! Clara receives a mysterious summons and has to team up with Missy to search for the Doctor in a very, very old place.”

There have been a lot of rumors going around about this two-part story. Some have speculated that it is going to be a spiritual sequel to the 1975 classic Genesis of the Daleks starring Tom Baker, with The Doctor visiting Davros childhood. Some of these claims have been refuted since then, but at least we know that the part about Daleks is true.

PS: Don’t be surprised if we see The Karn Sisterhood in this story.

Episodes 3 & 4

“This two-parter is written by Toby Whithouse and features an underwater base plagued by creeping ghosts and an island that is about to be submerged in water. But who or what is doing this and how can the Doctor stop it? It’s very scary, atmospheric and claustrophobic, much like some classic episodes.”

This sounds like a love letter of sorts to the popular base under siege concept that was regularly used during the cash-strapped Patrick Troughton era of the show (1966 â€" 1969). The idea gave us some wonderful stories/monsters and often yielded strong, memorable performances from the actors involved, here’s hoping for more of the same.

Episodes 5 & 6

“Those two are exceptional! Doctor Who meets Game of Thrones! Well, only because Maisie Williams is in them. The first part features Vikings fighting mercenary robots (and a dragon!) and the second one sees a group of Highwaymen dealing with a Norse god”.

This wouldn’t be the first time that Doctor Who cashed in on the popularity of a big-selling American TV show or movie. With both Vikings and Game of Thrones experiencing huge levels of fan-devotion right now, it seems to make sense. The leaked on-set photos from this two-parter were visually stunning, so they should make for an interesting couple of nights in front of the telly at least!

Episodes 7 & 8

“This one is written by Peter Harness and Day of the Doctor acted as a prologue to it. In it, the Zygons made peace with the Humans, but not every Zygon decided it was okay so theyve been raising an army, silently and now they’re rising against UNIT! We’ve been planning this forever and Osgood is in it! But how is that possible you’d ask? Missy killed her! Who knows? Well, we know.”

Zygons! Zygons! Zygons! Ever since Tom Baker’s shape-shifting adversaries decided to let Zygons be Zygons in the 50th anniversary special, I’ve been anxiously awaiting their return. Lets face it; we all knew they’d be back. Zygons Vs. UNIT? Bring it ooooon!

Episode 9

“This is a very unique Doctor Who story from Mark Gatiss. It wasn’t possible to do such an episode ten years ago, when the show came back and Mark has been rewriting it over and over again to make it perfect. It’s a beautiful story, very eerie and special, I think it’s going to be an instant classic.”



Mark Gatiss is the only writer other than Steven Moffat to have written for every incarnation of The Doctor in the revived series. However, Series 8’s Robot of Sherwood was undoubtedly the season’s lowest point, so let’s hope he does a little bit better this time around.

Episode 10

“An episode which leapt out as “why haven’t we done this already? This is so Doctor Who we should be doing this immediately”. And when Sarah Dollard walked in with the finalised script, it was even better! Really, this is going to be a fan-favorite, everyone will want to re-watch it.”

Ooooh, cryptic! No idea about this one. Dollard has written for the popular BBC shows Being Human and Primeval, but she also wrote for Merlin (which personally, I hated) and, um, Neighbors. I guess we’ll all just have to watch it and see!

Episode 11 & 12 (Finale)

“A challenge. I won’t say anything else because it would be too spoilery, but when you’ll watch it, you’re going to ask how exactly the Doctor and Clara are going to pull it off.”

 Moffat has struggled with ambitious concepts before, often leaving story strands frustratingly loose and occasionally overlooking some mammoth plot-holes in the process (Asylum of the Daleks, anyone?). However, he is maybe the top sci-fi screenwriter in the world right now - and when he’s on top form, nobody can touch him.

The finale of Series 8 was a big, bold concept, which, while it may have been a little unwieldy for its own good, certainly provided more than enough bang for your entertainment buck. Will Series 9’s climax offer as much? We’ll have to wait and see.

Overall, this series sounds absolutely cracking. Moffat comes off in these soundbytes as energized, excited and optimistic (always a good sign) and Peter Capaldi has proved to be an excellent Doctor so far, so my hopes for Series 9 are certainly high.

In addition, a return to the cliffhanger endings that were such a big part of the series’ classic run should have the effect of allowing the writers a chance to better pace their stories (thus eliminating some of the anti-climactic endings that plagued Series 7), as well as encouraging stronger viewing figures throughout the run of the series (as opposed to just the opener and finale episodes).

Furthermore, the apparent increase in two-part stories should hopefully serve to weed out some of the lesser story concepts and overly gimmicky premises that might otherwise make it to production (Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, to cite just one example), placing a stronger emphasis on the best concepts and allowing the cream of the ideas to rise to the top, as it were.

The beauty of Doctor Who, of course, is that whilst other shows in their ninth year might be struggling with cast and crew leaving, ageing and possibly even dying, Doctor Who simply doesn’t have that problem. Like the titular Time Lord himself, the show can always regenerate, staying perpetually fresh, new and exciting and thus pleasing its audience, again and again.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Improving Communication For The Construction Industry

The use of 2 way radios on a construction site is the best way to achieve efficiency by saving time, increasing productivity, and enhancing workers’ safety. A Two way radio device allows workers on a construction site to communicate with each other instantly. The radio is incredibly instrumental where the site manager has to communicate to hundreds of workers spread across a large contraction site. On a construction site, workers are always moving around carrying heavy loads and operating machinery. The working environment requires heavy-duty communication devices such as the Two way radio models. The radio ought to have the same specifications as the radio military personal. These features include shock resistant, water, and dust resistant to guarantee durability for up to 10-15 years. These specifications ensure that the device can operate in harsh environments without spoiling.

A construction manager may need to reach out to workers on a crane, up a sky-scrapper, management office, and security personnel on site using a single network. The Two way radio enables construction workers to communicate over all these possible barriers and achieve clarity and reliability in communication. Whether, it is rainy or windy, the Two way radio will deliver top-notch communication efficiency. The noisy construction environment does not affect the clarity of the 2 way radios.

The 2 way radio helps improve the safety of workers while on a site. The radio can make emergency calls in explosive environments such as places with combustible dust or even flammable gas. The radio has an emergency alert features that sends instant distress calls, even when a worker is unconscious. For instance, Man Down features sends an automatic alert if a worker falls or the device stays in a horizontal position for a long time. There is also the Lone man function that ensures any worker isolated, in case of an emergency, has special communication options. During emergencies the radio adjusts its system by interrupting group conversations to allow the distress call to go through to the control centre. Such a function is critical to a situation where a worker is alone and in trouble.

Radio communication ensures that construction managers can pass urgent messages quickly to the different departments working on a site. If there are any changes in the course of the day, the manager does not have to call for a meeting or wait until close of business to communicate. The Two way radio offers the perfect speed to communicate changes during construction work. The technology also saves on the cost of paying cellular charges if the company is using a mobile network to communicate on the site.

Most radios comes equipped with GPS tracking that aid both security and efficiency. Site managers are able to locate the position of all workers using the communication device. Making it possible to track the movement of vehicles on site and the position of equipment such as forklifts, backhoes, and excavators. The GPS tracking functions also helps construction managers to improve on-site security by identifying where their equipment is. Since most construction workers will use a 2 way radio device, communication is sure to improve deliveries to and from the construction site. In case of a vehicle breaking down, the control room can receive the messages and arrange for support without wasting time.

The flexible nature of the Two way radio network accommodates construction sites of different sizes. Whether it is a large construction company, a medium sized company, or a small contractor the Two way network delivers. A big construction company can enjoy the increased calling ability using a single network. If multiple sites use the device, it is possible to have an integrated system that shares the same network but does not allow for interferences. The small contraction company can use a few radios on the single network and cut on cost. Therefore, it is possible to employ the services of the communication devices in different circumstances. Construction managers today are aware of the need for good communication in their sites. An efficient communication network ensures that everyday work is stress-free for the managers and the supervisors.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

What Makes a Good Spy earpiece?

Like any gadget, a good spy earpiece needs to be well engineered and yet adaptable to your specific needs. It should be hardwearing and reliable, especially when you need it most. It also needs to be able to put up with a lot of punishment (it will likely end up under your shirt, down your trousers and stuffed in your ear, after all) and it will probably be operating for very little in the way of thanks (although, you really ought to clean it regularly). In short, a good spy earpiece - or any kind of gadget for that matter - should be, all things considered, a colleague, an instrument and a friend.

OK, we’re laying it on a bit thick there. I mean, you don’t see the engineers on Star Trek cradling their tricorders lovingly and singing lullabies to them, do you? So what else are you looking for when you buy a spy earpiece?

Firstly, the size (and shape) is an important issue. The very smallest spy earpieces are practically invisible, but the sound quality isn’t generally up to much. When choosing an earpiece, you need to be able to wear it comfortably and to operate it in relatively noisy areas, if necessary. Keep this in mind at all times when choosing your earpiece.

Secondly, you will want to choose a colour that matches your skin hue. Its no good being a hulking 6ft 6in black guy with what looks like a miniature jar of Hellman’s Blue Label sticking out of your left lughole, now is it?

Thirdly, you’ll want a spy earpiece to generate the least amount of background noise possible. If you can find an earpiece that resists electromagnetic interference better than most, then you’ll definitely be on the right path. Most of them will emit a low hum, which you’ll find you get used to in time, but if it is too loud, the ‘hum’ can scupper your whole operation (and annoy you - a lot).

Finally, you will probably also want to make sure that you buy your earpiece from a reputable manufacturer or trader . There are a lot of charlatans out there, so it pays to be extra careful. You want to ensure that you buy an ultra high quality product, without getting stiffed on price. It is possible and you can do it, but you’ll probably need to shop around a bit first.



Spy earpieces, like two-way radios, smart TVs, tablet PCs, iPod docks and other consumer electronics, are likely to be in regular use either at work or at home and, as such, it is important that you are comfortable with your choice.

Therefore, it is useful to see if you can try out a friend’s earpiece first. Even if you don’t like it, you will at least get a taste of what you are (or are not â€" as the case may be) looking for.

You could even see if a salesperson will let you try one in your local electronics store (although frankly, I doubt it). Maybe if you just smile really nicely and appeal to the kid in them by giving them a nostalgia-inducing test phrase to use on the device. Something like, oh, I don’t know,

“Second star to the right...And straight on until morning”.

That should do it.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Motorola Solutions provides secure and efficient communications for Milan airports

Motorola really are the leader in complex communication systems, time and time again we see (and report) stories of Motorola completing projects for prestigious businesses and organisations. This article highlights their latest finished project.

Airport operator SEA Group (Società Esercizi Aeroportuali S.p.A.) has selected Motorola Solutions to improve operations and ensure the highest levels of security, efficiency and effectiveness at Milan’s Linate and Malpensa airports. Deploying a TETRA Dimetra IP Compact radio communications system to connect both of Milan’s airports, SEA is able to provide enhanced customer services with rapid flight turnaround and more efficient terminal operations.

"With 1,200 operating radios and an increase in operations, SEA needed a more dynamic solution for communications," says Fabio Degli Esposti, information & communication technology director, SEA. "Faced with the need to replace an outdated system and the need to cope with an increasing demand of services, the only choice for us was to switch to digital technology, which is able to guarantee a safe and effective service."



In Malpensa - where the old and the new systems had to coexist in the migration phase - everything was fully operational within just two weeks, including the configuration of 1,000 new radios. At Linate airport, the system, supporting 400 new radios, was set up in just a week.

“SEA could not afford any inefficiency," says Giuliano Posenato, customer service manager, Motorola Solutions Italy. "The implementation had to be very fast, because the requirement was to change the engine on the machine while it was still running.”

Motorola Solutions’ high-performance TETRA base stations now deliver TETRA network coverage in both airports. Old radios used by personnel throughout the airports where also replaced with new TETRA digital handsets.

Motorola Solutions has signed a four-year managed services agreement with SEA, guaranteeing technology evolution including the replacement of its complete telecommunication system (controller, base stations and radios). Motorola Solutions will provide global integrated services infrastructure with highly qualified technical support and certified repair centres that will provide fast repair times and expert technical support for the system for many years to come.

In September 2015, Motorola Solutions will upgrade the connections at both airports with the latest generation of Motorola Solutions TETRA system Dimetra 8.2 enhancing data transmission and offering the SEA the opportunity to develop rich data services to further improve both operations and the customer experience at Milan’s airports.

About SEA

SEA and the Group's companies manage and develop the airports of Milano Malpensa 1 and Milano Malpensa 2, as well as Milano Linate. The airport system managed by the SEA Group is comprised of:



  • The Milano Malpensa airport is situated about 48 km from Milan and connected to the main cities of Northern Italy and Switzerland. This airport includes two passenger terminals and one cargo terminal


  • The Linate airport is about 8 km from Milan. The airport serves a frequent flyer client traveling to domestic and international EU destinations.




At the two airports, the Group offers all services and activities related to the arrival and departure of aircraft: management of the airport safety; passenger and cargo handling; continuous development of commercial services for passengers, operators and visitors.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Ancient Chinese Statue Contains Mummified Remains ...And Those Remains Contain Fascinating Artefacts.

A 1,000 year-old Chinese statue of the Buddha, which contains the mummified remains of a long-dead Buddhist master, has been scanned to reveal hidden artefacts that were tucked inside the body centuries ago.

The statue was scanned prior to being exhibited in the Netherlands as part of an exhibition of mummies, receiving multiple CT scans, DNA testing and an endoscopy, some of which revealed a few unlikely surprises hidden within the corpse.

The team that scanned the remains included Buddhism art and culture expert Erik Bruijin, gastrointestinal and liver specialist Raynald Vermeijden and radiologist Ben Heggelman, all of whom were fascinated to discover the presence of an unidentified material (in place of the internal organs) within the abdominal cavity, this material was joined by mysterious scraps of paper with Chinese writing upon them.

The body is known to be that of a Buddhist monk named Liuquin, a follower of the Chinese Meditation School who died around the year 1100.

Experts have suggested that the mummy of Liuquin may be a case of self-mummification, a slow (and presumably rather painful) exercise that included starvation, poisoning oneself and ingesting materials designed to aid in the preservation of the body after death.

One ancient Japanese method of self-mummification known to historians would entail a 1,000 day diet of nothing more than nuts, seeds and water, this was then followed by another 1,000 days of eating nothing but roots and pine bark and drinking a special tea made from the sap of a Chinese lacquer tree. The tea was toxic, but it apparently repelled maggots and destructive bacteria, thus aiding the preservation process. At the culmination of this severe diet, the monk would be sealed in a stone tomb and effectively buried alive.

1000 days after the monk had passed on, the tomb was then opened and if the had been preserved, he would become a venerated temple relic.

Those that had decomposed simply remained sealed in the tomb.

It is likely that master Liuquin preserved himself using similar methods.

Although this may sound unfathomably grisly to modern ears, it should be kept in mind that, to the practitioner, such an action was likely considered to be among the highest level of meditation and the monk’s colleagues may well have viewed his statue as a sort of ‘living Buddha’ for a great many years.

At present, Liuquin will be on display in the Budapest Museum of Natural History, but there are plans to send him over to Luxemburg in the summer.



This mummy-housing statue is the only one of its kind ever discovered. The piece offers scientists, theologians and historians a privileged insight into the spiritual practices of the supremely dedicated Chinese monks that lived and died a thousand years before us.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Business Walkie Talkie Radios

Communication is extremely important in business, whether you’re business offers a security service or just likes to keep certain departments in close communication. There are many options for you to choose from when it comes to effective communication within your business, but a two way radio system is by far one of the best.

Buying two way radios for business use can be extremely overwhelming, there are many different types of radios available on the market. Not being properly educated on the features and specifications of each one could have a very negative impact on your business.

Why Should I Choose Two Way Business Radios?

Using a two way business radio is much more advantageous compared to other communication options such as a mobile phone. When you decide to use a two way radio system, you’re getting away from all the distractions that other communication methods have.

These business radios only have the features that you need, which will result in better communication, an increase in productivity, increased safety, and so much more.

Where Will I Use the Two Way Business Radios?

One thing that you need to think about before you decide which radio system to buy is where you will be using the radios. If the radios will be used mostly outdoors then a VHF two way business radio would be your best option. On the other hand, if radio usage will be confined mainly indoors then you’ll want to go with UHF radios.

Speak with your local deal about your circumstances specifically, he/she will help you find the best radio for your usage requirements.

So What Types of Two Way Business Radio Are There?

There are four different types of two way business radios available on the market today. Let’s take a quick look at each of these options:

Handheld â€" The most common type of two way radio, these are the handheld devices often used by security firms.

Vehicle mounted mobile â€" The best choice for drivers and anyone who will be spending long amounts of time in a vehicle.

Desktop base station â€" These radios connect to a main power source and an external antenna to achieve an excellent range.

Repeater base station â€" A repeater base station is a device that can boost the operational range of your radio systems.

How Do I Choose What Sort of Two Way Radio System I Need?

You need to think about what sort of radio you’ll need, there are many varieties available. Think about how many people you are planning to have on your frequency, what operational range you’ll need, what type of radio system (we’ve discussed this above), your budget, and other factors. It’s always a wise decision to talk with your local radio dealer.

There are also a few extra features that you might want to consider. For examples, if you would like your two way radio system to have an emergency call feature, selectable power, or any type of accessories, this is something you should think about.

Analogue or Digital Two Way Business Radio?

Choosing between an analogue or digital two way business radio is extremely important and something that you’ll definitely want to consider. Apart from lower cost, there really isn’t any reason to choose an analogue radio over a digital one.

There are many benefits with digital two way radios when compared with analogue. Digital radios can handle more users, offer better sound quality, and provides more stable audio.



Closing Notes

Two way radios can be extremely beneficial for just about any business, as proper communication is becoming more important each and every day. You need to make sure that the radio you decide to purchase meets your criteria and can fulfill your needs properly. The advice and guidance given above will help you with this.

Don’t forget that you will need a license to operate your business radios, this can be acquired by reaching out to Ofcom. 2wayradionline.co.uk should be able to help you with your license application and your radios.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

New Tomb, New Queen Discovered in Egypt

The tomb of an ancient Egyptian queen previously unknown to history has been discovered this month.

Queen Khentakawess III (also referred to as Khentkaus III) lived in the fifth dynasty and is believed to have been the wife of Pharaoh Neferefre and the mother of Pharaoh Menkauhor Kaiu.

Until this discovery, this ancient queen was completely unknown to recorded history.

The tomb was found in Abu-Sir, South-West of Cairo, within the funeral complex of Pharaoh Neferefre. It is thought to be some 4,500 years old. Reliefs in the tomb referred to Khentakawess both as “wife of the king” and also as “mother of the king”, which suggests that she was the wife of Neferefre and the mother of his possible son, the Pharaoh Menkauhor Kaiu.



When archaeologists discovered that the name Khentakawess had been inscribed on the walls, they dubbed her Khentakawess III, as there are two prior queens to have used the name, including the mother of Neferefre.

The queen’s tomb held around 30 utensils fashioned from limestone and copper.

Phahaoh Neferefre’s reign is believed to have been a short one. Modern scholars contend that he only reigned for one, or maybe two years at best. This is corroborated by data from the Turin King List and the fact that his tomb was never properly completed, but was seemingly rushed to competition following his premature death (detailed analysis of the king’s remains suggests that he died in his early 20’s).

Today, Egyptologists know the tomb of Pharaoh Neferefre as ‘The Unfinished Pyramid’.

Pharaoh Neferefre was succeeded by his brother Nyuserre Ini, who is thought to have reigned for at least 24 years. Nyuserre Ini was himself succeeded by his nephew, Menkauhor Kaiu, apparently the son of Kentakawess III.

Pharaoh Menkauhor Kaiu ruled for 8-9 years and was eventually interred in a badly damaged tomb today known as ‘The Headless Pyramid’

Tracking the lineage of Egypt’s ancient kings and queens is a tricky task and the notion that Khentakawess III was the wife of Neferefre and the mother of Menkauhor Kaiu is disputed. However, at the time of writing this, the consensus seems to be that this is her likeliest place in history.

Egyptian antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty was hopeful that the discovery of this new tomb/monarch would help archaeologists and historians understand more about the Fifth Dynasty, which, along with the latter days of the Fourth Dynasty “witnessed the construction of the first pyramids”.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Identify the features of two way communication

Here we Identify the features of two way communication using two way radio, A two way radio is basically a radio that can transmit and receive. Two way radios are simple, convenient and affordable way to stay in close contact with your colleagues, family and friends. Most companies use two way communication systems as a primary source of communication between their workers due to the ease, promptness and convenience offered by this communication system. The following are some of the key features of a two way radio system and their benefits;

900 MHz frequencies

It is essential to point out that radios that operate within this frequency are capable of effectively communicating both indoors and outdoors. This means that they can be used in factories and other workplaces as well as outside when camping or hiking. Most cordless phones also use this frequency. However, the best thing about two way radios that use the 90 MHz frequencies can be used by both individuals and businesses without a problem.

Adjustable gain

Most two way radios come with an adjustable gain feature. This feature allows the user to adjust the sensitivity of the radio’s microphone. This feature is also useful along with the hands free operation feature because it reduces the possibility of unintended noises triggering transmission. It also enhances the ability of the radio to pick up quite voices.

Auto channel change

This feature enables all radios within your group to change to a new channel. This helps in preventing interference from other devices. For you to use this feature, everyone in your group must have two radios that support this feature. In case one channel is not so clear you can simply change and use the channel with little or no interference.

Backlit display

Most two-way communication devices including radios have a digital LCD display feature that displays useful information for instance your current channel. This feature enables you to turn on a lighted display which makes it easier for you to read the information on the screen especially in dark or poorly lit areas.

Channels

A channel is a frequency on which two individuals using two way radios can communicate. Typically, there are 14 FRS channels as well as 15 GMRS channels. Two way radios that support both FRS (family radio service) and GMRS (general mobile radio service) have the capability of supporting up to 22 channels. This makes it easy for people to communicate with each other using these radios. However, to effectively communicate, all radios in the group should be set to the same channel.

Battery

Two way radios are mobile devices. This means that they are designed for you to move around with them. As a result of this, these radios operate on battery power. Most radios work with standard alkaline AAA or AA batteries. Other models include rechargeable batteries. For those models that come with rechargeable batteries, it is essential for you to always fully charge the batteries before using the radio for effective communication.

Call waiting feature



Just like the regular mobile telephones, two way communication radios also have call waiting feature. If you are already on a call, this feature allows you to receive a notification that someone is attempting to reach you. The latest models will give you an option of immediately accepting the new incoming call or simply reject the call and calling back thereafter.

Call tones

Call tones allows the user to alert the other radio users in the group that he or she wants to talk. It is similar to a telephone’s ringing that indicates that someone wants to talk or someone is calling. Most radios allow the user to select from a variety of call tones.

Intrinsically safe

Also known as IS, intrinsically feature is a protection feature or technique used for safe operation of electronic devices in explosive environments. This concept was solely developed for safety measures specifically operation of process control instrumentation in unsafe areas. This means that two way communication radios can be safely used in hazardous areas without the fear of exploding or causing harm to the user.

In summary, from the above features and benefits of two way communication radios it is clear to suggest that, these radios are convenient, affordable and safe modes of communication that can be used in workplaces as well as at home. They can also be used outdoors during camping, hiking or simply enjoying a shopping expedition in town.

Monday, June 15, 2015

What Headsets Work With The PS4?

Gaming headsets don't come cheap. They can cost hundreds of pounds. It's understandable, then, that there was concern when we heard that some existing headsets wouldn't fully work with PS4 and Xbox One”. â€" Robert Purcehse, Euro Gamer.Net

The above quote sums up the fears felt by a lot of gamers who are looking to upgrade to Xbox One or PS4. Their fears are not unfounded, either.

The good news is that the PS4, officially released in November 2013, is compatible with a wide range of headsets. However, not all of them will work straight out of the box. Some will require extra additions to work (such as optional USB cords), whilst others will not work at all, no matter what you do...

What follows is a list of PS4 compatible headsets (complete with any relevant setup information). This list is by no means to be considered definitive or all-inclusive, but is intended as an overview of the market in general. Individual product searches are recommended before orders are placed.

The Turtlebeach models PX3, Tango, Z11, Earforce DPX21, PX22, DSS2 (adaptor), X42 (USB cord needed) and PX4 are all PS4 compatible, but the X11 requires a USB soundcard and the X42 is inconvenient with the PS4 setup.

The Logitech models G930 Wireless, H540, G35 (7.1 version is incompatible, however) and G430 will all work straight out of the box, with no problems at all.

The Bose Quiet Comfort Over-Ear Headphones work, as do the SkullCandy Ink’d Earbuds and SLYR Universal Headset.

The Tritton models Kunai and AX720 are easily compatible, as are Samsung S4 Headphones and Apple EarPods (iPhone 5 and 5s version).

Finally, Beats by Dr. Dre MIXR models (but ‘Studio’ models will struggle and maybe not work too well) and  Sony Pulse Elites work fine, as do the models Astro A30, A40 A50. Sennheiser G4ME 360 and GameCom 780 headsets should also work without issue.

Please note: the Official Sony PS3 Wireless Headset WILL NOT WORK with PS4.



Headphones can connect to the PS4 in a variety of different ways, either by the controller jack, the USB port, or even via optical sensors. However, that these headsets are compatible with USB or optical technology does not definitively imply that they are compatible with PS4. Ensuring with absolute certainty that your headset is 100% PS4 compatible is essential before you buy. Many companies will not offer refunds for a product purchased by mistake.

If your headphones are not featured on this list, Robert Purchese can put your mind at ease a little, he says,

“The good news is that it sounds like all headsets will play audio straight away, and eventually their microphones will work as well. In the meantime, both consoles come bundled with headsets and/or cameras that have microphones you can use for chat instead”.

If your headset won’t work, the chances are that you may have to bite the bullet and invest in a new one.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Digital radio – which way will South Africa go?

Radio technology has seen very little innovation and development since FM stereo was introduced in the 1960s.  It was the sound revolution of the time, but little has happened since FM took over local broadcasting. It caused the demise of AM stations and the shortwave services of the SABC and LM radio.

The Southern Africa Digital Broadcasting Association (SADIBA) issued a report in 2002 in which it said “to remain commercial attractive, radio as a medium will have to deliver improved quality service, greater choice, interactivity and multi-media. Digital radio technologies must rise to the challenge and deliver the multimedia radio of the future.”

In the document SADIBA made recommendations on the critical aspects to be considered in order to allow for the introduction of digital radio in South Africa.   Little seems to have happened since 2002 until last month when the subject was extensively discussed at the SADIBA Conference where the 2002 paper re-emerged and digital radio mondiale (DRM), one of the technologies, came into the limelight with international speakers and a demonstration of DRM by the BBC transmitting DRM from their  shortwave relay station on Ascension Island with CD clarity â€" no noise, no interference.

Discussing the advantages of DRM, Ruxandra Obreja, head of digital radio development at the BBC world service and chairman of the DRM Consortium said that DRM and DRM+ have proved to be the obvious choice for digital radio. But not everyone would agree with that.



Let us consider some of the various digital radio technologies available.

IDAB is based on in-band-on channel (IBOC) technology which looks at inserting the digital signal within the existing FM and AM channels without affecting other FM or AM transmissions.  FM IBOC is designed to operate in a 200 kHz FM channel allocation. It would have been very impractical to introduce FM IBOC into South Africa without re-engineering the current  FM frequency plan based on 100 kHz channel.

According to the 2002 SADIBA paper the most established of all the digital radio technologies is the Eureka 147 system.  The technology is based on an open standard defined in a range of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) documents. But it requires different frequency bands which in itself is problematic given the scarcity of spectrum oin the UHF bands which are demanded by satellite communication channels (VSat) and wireless broadband. The so-called digital dividend will also not provide the required spectrum as that process will take a long time to materialise.

Obreja believes that DRM and DRM+ is the obvious solution. DRM,  the acronym for digital radio mondiale, is promoted by a consortium of broadcasters, manufactures’ research institutes and stakeholders that have endeavoured to work toward a world-standard for digital broadcasting in the frequencies initial below 30 MHz, operating on the AM and shortwave broadcasting bands.  Since the original development engineers have moved ahead and DRM+ emerged, the name applied to the DRM standard when used on the VHF frequencies.

“The initiative to extend DRM began with a vote at the 2005 General Assembly to begin the design, verification and testing of the parameters needed to allow DRM to operate in the VHF broadcasting bands between; primarily band I and band II,” said Obteja.

The design process began shortly afterwards and key decisions were made to ensure that the extension completely shared the successful design philosophy of DRM â€" it is “DRM but at higher frequencies”.

Its spectrum usage parameters are determined from the internationally agreed norms in the FM band (88 to 108 MHz). Therefore it has an occupied bandwidth of 96 kHz and a frequency grid of 100 kHz.

DRM+ provides bit rates from 35 kbps to 185 kbps at SNRs from 2 dB to 14dB and, like DRM, permits up to four services. It is therefore a flexible solution allowing single or small numbers of audio services to be broadcast together.

During the process of gaining endorsement from the ITU for DRM’s extension to the VHF bands, test results from various field trials conducted around the world were submitted.  One of the interesting trials was carried out in December 2011 by Vatican Radio carrying out broadcasting tests of DRM+1 in the VHF band II at 103, MHz. The aim of the tests was to verify the performance of DRM+ in a difficult interference scenario such as the FM VHF band II in Rome and to check the compatibility of the digital technology with existing antenna arrays having complex RF coupling systems such as the one located in the Vatican. The frequency used was assigned to the Vatican in the GE84 Agreement and was chosen for two main reasons: it is not used during a few timeslots in the morning and it suffers from some strong interference coming from stations operating at 103,7 MHz and 104,00 MHz located close to Rome. The tests were carried out taking into account the normal programme schedule. During the tests the digital transmitter was connected to the antenna feeder via a changeover, leaving the analogue transmitter in stand-by. The antenna array is a complex system: four FM transmitters at different power levels share the same antenna with elliptical polarisation and omni-directional horizontal radiation pattern. The results were great. Acceptable stereo coverage under mobile reception conditions has been verified in areas where predicted field strength is comparable with 44 dBmV/m and interference is negligible. Using the most robust configuration for DRM+, it was possible to achieve better coverage in full stereo  than an analogue FM signal; the overall subjective listening experience was better than that of FM interfered with by splashes coming from adjacent stations.

With South Africa’s poor performance in changing from analogue to digital TV, it may be some time before government will applies its mind to take a decision on digital sound radio. The first step have however been taken by commercial enterprises.  Pulpit Radio is conducting a DRM pilot from their transmitting station  at  Kameeldrift near Pretoria. The 50 kW transmitter was installed by Broadcom International and made history with the first DRM audio broadcast in the Southern African region on 1440 kHz AM. “The results were very good. The station was received in Botswane some 400 km away with CD quality audio,” Obreja said.

One of the issue is however the availability of receivers but Ruxandra Obreja said that experience from elsewhere where DRM was introduced local industry began manufacturing. “This will be a great opportunity to grow South Africa’s electronic manufacturing industry.”

There is software available to decode the DRM signals using a sound card and a dongle is under development that can be used on a laptop or even other devices that have a USB port.

With DRM, the use of medium and shortwave will open up many new radio channels. Each DRM channel can carry three radio programmes and one data channel requiring very narrow bandwidth of less than 5 kHz. Another advantage is that the system is also more energy efficient.

It is very true that we’ve not seen much innovation in the two way radio industry, Here we have seen the Digital revolution in the past few years, but it is far more complex in Africa. Larger coverage area and less technological advancement. You can find the original news story on this website.

Experts Investigate Antares Rocket Explosion

Experts are presently investigating the destruction of the unmanned space rocket Antares, which exploded during its launch on Tuesday, October 28th. Official investigations began on the 29th, but no definite cause for the accident has been identified so far.

Almost immediately upon leaving the launch pad at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, Antares became engulfed in flames and was destroyed in midair. The falling wreckage caused considerable damage to the launch pad itself.

Although the cargo was lost, there were no casualties.

Antares was carrying around 5,000lbs (2,200 kgs) of supplies, which were intended for the six astronauts currently occupying the International Space Station. The rocket's cargo included over 1,300lbs (600kg) of dried food, as well equipment for various scientific experiments.

Despite the loss of important supplies and equipment, the astronauts aboard the ISS will still have enough provisions to continue their work.

Frank Culbertson, executive vice-president of Orbital Sciences Corp, the firm that built the rocket, is confident that the cause of the explosion will soon be determined. He told BBC News that,

"We will understand what happened, hopefully soon, and we'll get things back on track (...) we've all seen this happen in our business before, and we've all seen the teams recover from this, and we will do the same."

Mr. Culbertson has also urged locals not to go “souvenir hunting” along the beach, as the rocket had been carrying hazardous materials.

Some business experts are now predicting that Orbital may suffer greatly in the face of harsh competition to supply the ISS.

The investigation could take weeks, or even more, before analysts are satisfied that they have found the root cause of the problem.

In any instance, it seems highly likely that the investigators will place considerable emphasis on the rocket's AJ-26 engines, which were used to lift Antares from the launch pad.

Earlier versions of these same engines were developed for Russia's N1 moon missions, which came to an ignominious end after all four launch attempts failed. The second attempt, in 1969, resulted in a calamity that completely destroyed both the rocket and the launch tower.



Another of these power units actually exploded during ground testing earlier this year.

Whatever the cause, this malfunction is expected to set any further Antares rocket launches back for a considerable amount of time.

Review of the Motorola DP2600 2 Way Radio

When it comes to creating of digital communications throughout your company, MOTOTRBO digital radio solutions can help keep all your employees connected. The Motorola DP2600 is a hand-held two-way radio that comes with all the latest digital technological advances. These small portables deliver on affordability and high digital quality, allowing all of your employees to speak and hear clearly regardless the working conditions.

The Motorola DP2600 display model features programmable buttons, 16 channel capacity, and water protection IP55 specifications. The volume of the radio adjusts automatically to be able to compensate for any background noises. This best-in-class technology provides a scalable solution for any communication needs within the company. The crystal clear screen allows easy navigation and install call recognition.

The reason the DP2600 is so versatile is because it is available in both VHF and UHF frequencies, with a two-line display and simple to navigate keypad that is able to handle up to 128 channels. The three programmable buttons are simple to access, the tricolor LED provides crystal clear visual feedback on the status of the operating system of the radio. The screen is easily viewable day or night, and the large textured talk button is easy to find in any conditions.

Some of the reasons the DP2600 has become one of the popular choices in the construction and assembly line industry is the compact design and the noise reduction capabilities and safety features.. The ability to switch between group or individual calls is simple, while the PTT ID is designed to simplify the system disciple and efficiency of communication. The remote monitoring system ensures employee safety while on the job by enabling quicker assessment of the remote users status.

Calls received on the DP2600 connect on the first time thanks to the unique channel scanning technology. No tools are needed to attach remote accessories to the DP2600 because it comes equipped with an accessory connector. Through the software purchase you can upgrade the radio privacy feature, transmitting interrupt, and five tone signalling. The DP2600 comes with VOX capabilities and Intelligent Audio for automatic volume adjustment to compensate for any degree of noise within the workplace that could affect sound quality.



This hand-held two-way radio IP55 sealing ensures continued operation in the harshest of working conditions. Equipped to handle multiple site coverage with the IP site connector, the DP2600 will keep everyone in the pipeline in communications with each other via the Capacity Plus and Lined capacity Plus features.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

New Technology May Double Radio Frequency Data Capacity

A team of Columbia Engineering researchers has invented a technologyâ€"full-duplex radio integrated circuits (ICs)â€"that can be implemented in nanoscale CMOS to enable simultaneous transmission and reception at the same frequency in a wireless radio. Up to now, this has been thought to be impossible: transmitters and receivers either work at different times or at the same time but at different frequencies. The Columbia team, led by Electrical Engineering Associate Professor Harish Krishnaswamy, is the first to demonstrate an IC that can accomplish this. The researchers presented their work at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco on February 25.



CoSMIC (Columbia high-Speed and Mm-wave IC) Lab full-duplex transceiver IC that can be implemented in nanoscale CMOS to enable simultaneous transmission and reception at the same frequency in a wireless radio






“This is a game-changer,” says Krishnaswamy, director of the Columbia high-Speed and Mm-wave IC (CoSMIC) Lab. “By leveraging our new technology, networks can effectively double the frequency spectrum resources available for devices like smartphones and tablets.”

In the era of Big Data, the current frequency spectrum crisis is one of the biggest challenges researchers are grappling with and it is clear that today's wireless networks will not be able to support tomorrow's data deluge. Today's standards, such as 4G/LTE, already support 40 different frequency bands, and there is no space left at radio frequencies for future expansion. At the same time, the grand challenge of the next-generation 5G network is to increase the data capacity by 1,000 times.

So the ability to have a transmitter and receiver re-use the same frequency has the potential to immediately double the data capacity of today's networks. Krishnaswamy notes that other research groups and startup companies have demonstrated the theoretical feasibility of simultaneous transmission and reception at the same frequency, but no one has yet been able to build tiny nanoscale ICs with this capability.

“Our work is the first to demonstrate an IC that can receive and transmit simultaneously,” he says. “Doing this in an IC is critical if we are to have widespread impact and bring this functionality to handheld devices such as cellular handsets, mobile devices such as tablets for WiFi, and in cellular and WiFi base stations to support full duplex communications.”

The biggest challenge the team faced with full duplex was canceling the transmitter's echo. Imagine that you are trying to listen to someone whisper from far away while at the same time someone else is yelling while standing next to you. If you can cancel the echo of the person yelling, you can hear the other person whispering.

“If everyone could do this, everyone could talk and listen at the same time, and conversations would take half the amount of time and resources as they take right now,” explains Jin Zhou, Krishnaswamy’s PhD student and the paper’s lead author. “Transmitter echo or ‘self-interference’ cancellation has been a fundamental challenge, especially when performed in a tiny nanoscale IC, and we have found a way to solve that challenge.”

Krishnaswamy and Zhou plan next to test a number of full-duplex nodes to understand what the gains are at the network level. “We are working closely with Electrical Engineering Associate Professor Gil Zussman and his PhD student Jelena Marasevic, who are network theory experts here at Columbia Engineering,” Krishnaswamy adds. “It will be very exciting if we are indeed able to deliver the promised performance gains.”

This work was funded by the DARPA RF-FPGA program

Thankyou to columbia.edu for the tireless research, this really is an exciting invention, the possibilities if this can be brought to our industry are unbelievable.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

MSA Sordin Supreme Pro-x Review

If you are wondering what kind of headphone you should choose to support your shooting practice, whether it is for training or for recreational purposes, then MSA Sordin Supreme Pro-x is a perfect ally for you. It is amazing even in the noisy condition and provides excellent ear protection while using it.

Let’s look at the most attractive features of this amazing device.



Most attractive features

What sets this device stand out is its amazing features and user-friendly application. If you look at the benefits you would receive out of it, you would immediately go and order.



  • Two separate and waterproof microphones: What are most important in this device are its two separate microphones. They are very useful in directional hearing while shooting and the sound quality is excellent. If you wear this while shooting practice or for playing or for theatrical purpose, nothing can pass through without you hearing it first. They are also waterproof which means you can use it anywhere you choose even amid the worst weather condition.


  • 300 hours of battery life: The people who have used it have reported that this device has more than 300 hours of battery life which is beyond anyone’s expectation from this range of headphones. MSA Sordin Supreme Pro-x has 2 x AAA batteries which support the hearing without any need to connect it for recharging the batteries.


  • Excellent design: What most people look at especially shooters are slick designed head phones because all the time they need to wear it. They also want both of the cups to be slim so that it would be easier for them to carry it. In this device both cups are slim which is perfect for both right hand and left hand shooters.


  • Black fabric headband cover: This device comes up with black fabric headband cover which increases the attractiveness of this device. The band protects the headphone from scratches and dust and it is also a perfect fashion statement for the people who use it.


  • Provide high amplification: The ear head would be such that nothing can pass through without creating a penetration in the ears of the users. This device provides high amplification which means that every minute sound also reaches the ears of the users. In this range of headphones, it is magnificent.


  • AUX Input: This device is provided with AUX input meaning 3.5mm through which one can connect the other device. For example, if you are going for tracking a dog, you can connect the dog tracking device with the AUX input of this device. If you are on hunting, you can connect your hunting radio with it. Or else if you simply want to listen to music you can do that too, just attach the CD player with the AUX input. The advantage is that with this device the mono cable is also included.


  • Waterproof battery compartment: Not only the microphones, the batter compartment of this device is also water proof that means you don’t need to worry about the battery as well. If you need to go out in a situation where the weather is not good enough, you don’t need to think about your battery compartment. They are already secured.


  • Long duration wearing time: Due to its high ear protection, the people who love to play recreational games or love shooting can wear it for more than 6 hours a day without having any issues. And if you are shooting a rifle it also doesn’t act as a hindrance while shouldering the rifle.


  • Noise cancelling is excellent: Most people who have used it have reported that the noise cancelling of this device is excellent. When they wear it they can hear everything clear and as it is. Noisy environment cannot affect their hearing while wearing this device.


  • Warranty: The electronic parts of the device are warranted for 5 years meaning you can use it as much as you want for 5 years.


  • NRR: The Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) for this device is 18 dB which is very quiet level. As already mentioned having 18 dB as rating means excellent noise reduction mechanism.


  • While only rare devices have no weaknesses, MSA Sordin Supreme Pro-x is one of them. According to users there are no demerits whatsoever in using this device. It is easy, reasonably priced, provides excellent sound quality and perfect partner for people who love shooting and recreational games. Now they can experience the benefits of this amazing, smart device.

How a Digital Walkie Talkie Works?

The Digital Walkie Talkie is the best way to communicate other than cellular phones on the world market. These devices are still widely used by the military personal, police officers, public event organizers, etc.

You might be quite interested how the digital Walkie Talkie Works? A walkie-talkie is a hand-held portable radio which communicates wirelessly using the radio wave signals on single and shared frequency bands.

Each of the battery-powered units of the device contains an antenna and transmitter/receiver for sending and receiving of the radio waves. It also contains a loudspeaker that doubles up as loud as a microphone when someone talks into it. There is also a "push-to-talk" or PTT button for this purpose.

The loudspeaker/microphone of the device works following the same mechanism as that of the intercom. The microphone and speaker contains almost the same components viz. a magnet, a wire coil, and a plastic or paper cone to pick up and generate the sounds.

You can also use any single device to do both jobs by switching electrical circuit and reversing the current flow. Walkie talkies manufactured by big companies include separate microphones and loudspeakers. Thus, it is based on a very simple mechanism.

How to use the Walkie talkie?

Groups of People who talk on the digital Walkie Talkie don’t need to tune into the same frequency band. Thus the Digital element of the Walkie Talkie. The radios of these walkie talkies are all receiving. Thus, the microphone/loudspeaker units work as a conventional radio.

If you want to talk with others via a walkie talkie, then you need to hold the push-to-talk button on the handset. After that, the radio becomes quiet as the loudspeaker switches over to the microphone.

As you talk into it, your words are converted into the radio waves and are then beamed out on a prearranged channel. Typical frequency of this channel is around 400 MHz. The radio waves are a part of the electromagnetic spectrum, they travel at the speed of sound.

The high-speed sound waves are very easily picked up by the other handsets. The radio waves are converted back into electric currents and are used by the loudspeakers to reproduce the sound of the voice of the person who is talking.

When the talking is finished, the talker says “over” and releases the “push-to-talk” button.

The radio now switches back into listening mode and someone else can talk. After this, the radio switches back into the listening mode.

The most distinct feature of the digital Walkie Talkie that makes it quite different from the normal radio is that it is a 2 way radio that is you can talk as well listen with the help of this device.

What are the benefits of using these devices?



The digital Walkie Talkie is a simple, robust and easy to use device for indoor as well outdoors. These devices are also very much suitable for the children as these are very light and easy to carry and handle.

The kids can keep in constant touch with their parents with the help of these devices. These are very much suitable for the business application purposes.

What are the major specifications?

A Digital Walkie Talkie is very convenient and weighs 100-200 grams and can work over a 5 to 10 square kilometer or 2-4 square miles. These electronic devices also have a very long battery-life of almost 20 hours.

The Walkie-talkies have multiple channels. So you can easily switch from one to the other easily. Some walkie talkies also have baby monitor intercoms.

What are the various parts of this device?

Variois parts of the digital Walkie Talkie include antenna, LCD displays, select buttons, monitor, menu buttons, loudspeaker, PTT button, volume control, on/off switch, microphone, LED indicators, etc.

The radio waves are sent and received by the antenna. The LCD display shows the channel number, battery life, etc., baby monitors are sometimes fitted within the device, the menu buttons are used to change the settings and functions of the device.

The LED indicate light glows showing that the channels are all busy.

The digital Walkie Talkie is offered at very reasonable and affordable prices by the best online shops. These are also very durable and flexible when in use. Therefore, it is a very useful telecommunication device for the people of all ages and backgrounds.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Bill Would Allow Coloradans To Use 1 Earphone Behind The Wheel

Cellphone makers have come up with lots of devices that make it easier to drive with both hands on the wheel while using their technology, but in Colorado one common setup for going hands-free is illegal.

Using earphones while driving is illegal in the state, even if only one ear has an earbud in it or the headphones have audio coming out of only one side.



Rep. Jovan Melton, a Democrat who represents Aurora, says that’s a problem.

“I definitely understand and respect that they’re following the letter of the law, but people shouldn’t be punished for trying to drive safely by keeping both hands on the wheel,” he said.

Melton says Denver police has written 172 tickets in the past three years for people wearing earphones or a single earbud.

“It’s important that we clean this piece of the statute up,” he said. “Allow people to drive safely without having to worry about being fined or ticketed or pulled over for wanting to do the right thing.”

This is illegal in the US, and is also illegal here in the UK, it's not common to see drivers in the UK doing this. But the worrying rise in touchscreens in cars could increase the chances of more accidents.

Melton is carrying a bill that would allow motorists to use one earphone or earbud while driving.

“A lot of the earbuds that you get with your phone will come with two for music listening, but we wanted to make sure that you are only using one earbud so you can still hear emergency vehicles,” he said.

Melton’s bill doesn’t require hands-free devices like earphones when talking on the phone behind the wheel. Melton tried and failed to get such legislature approved last year. But he says he’s not giving up.

“I think if we can get this passed it’s just one more step in that conversation which will hopefully lead to a successful (hands-free) bill next year,” he said.

The one earbud bill has passed in the House of Representatives and it was approved unanimously in a Senate committee on Thursday. It now moves on to the full Senate.

Colorado has several laws currently on the books related to distracted driving:

â€" It is illegal to text and drive

â€" If you are under 18, you can’t text or talk on the phone

â€" You cannot have a TV or computer that shows entertainment, social media or email in a position in the vehicle where the driver can see it.

Source - http://denver.cbslocal.com/2015/03/05/bill-would-allow-coloradans-to-use-1-earphone-behind-the-wheel/

Monday, May 18, 2015

Formula One Pit Crews Embrace 3D Printed Noise Cancelling Earpieces From Minerva Hearing

The sound of a racing motor at full throttle is a singularly powerful noise. While changes in Formula One motors, from V8s to the turbocharged 1.6-liter V6 motors of this season, mean they generate 15,000 RPM, which is 3,000 RPM less than last year, and though the smaller engines have made them significantly quieter, they’re still loud.

Now that scientists are warning people around the world of the dangers of prolonged exposure to high levels of noise, a Welsh company is using 3D printing to create earplugs to prevent hearing damage to everyone from musicians to Formula One mechanics.599468_513770338658254_1536909041_n

As a point of reference, you can tolerate the noise generated as you ride in a car â€" around 85 dB â€" for about 8 hours before hearing damage begins to occur. An average motorcycle generates 95 dB, and you can take about 47 minutes of that, and a loud rock concert can pound out 115 dB.

While the new generation of F1 cars creates some 80 dB of sound, the old V10-based cars pumped out 130 dB. At a level of 128 dB, your hair can actually begin to detect vibration from sound, and at those levels, hearing can be altered in a matter of seconds. A very small hand grenade or bomb can create up to 210 dB.

All this is important as one part of the inner ear, the cochlea, contains some 17,000 small hair cells called stereocilia which float inside cochlear fluid. When sound waves enter the cochlea, the stereocilia move, and that triggers an electrical impulse in the auditory nerve. The nerve passes those electrical impulses to the brain where they’re decoded as “sounds.”

Here’s the problem: once damaged, stereocilila don’t grow back.

Kevin Davies, operations director at Minerva Hearing Protection in Cardiff, Wales, says his company’s custom hearing protection devices built with 3D printing technology have been used for everything from providing protection for the pit crews on the F1 circuit to musicians on stage.

The products are custom molded to an individual’s ear canal to completely eliminate external sounds, and they’re formed in 3D printed hard acrylic. The earplugs feature tiny, built-in acoustic filters which take into account the natural response of the ear.IF

“With Formula cars producing volumes over 100dB under race conditions, multiplied many times over in a busy Grand Prix pit lane, the need for hearing protection as well as safe communication are paramount,” Davies says. “We have been working with the majority of Formula 1 teams over the past three years, and we are really proud to be part of a world that demands the highest standards of engineering technology.”


The devices are made from a soft, medically-approved silicone, and they can also be made from a firmer acrylic material which can be plated in silver, gold, or titanium.

The production process begins with a technician making an impression of a client’s outer ear canal, and then pouring in liquid silicon. The resulting molds are then digitized for input into a 3D printer, and the company says it produces more than 4,000 ear pieces per week. Davies says 3D printing technology has advanced well beyond simply the ability to produce prototypes.

1889080_698346236867329_8772122851610298217_oThe company has produced more than one million 3D printed products at their Cardiff manufacturing center. Minerva was one of the first companies to embrace additive manufacturing as a commercial proposition, and Davies says they acquired their first 3D printer in 2004 “at a cost in excess of $150,000.” They also receivedMHRA approval for medical-grade resin they use to 3D manufacture the ear-pieces.

“Having been one of the first UK producers to take the plunge and switched over entirely to this form of additive manufacturing, we believe we have proven the case for 3D printing as a serious manufacturing process,” Davies says. “It has well and truly arrived as a cost-effective and efficient production technology that brings us many advantages, and has truly stepped out of its technological novelty phase of recent years. We will continue to invest in new and improved 3D systems ensuring our products stay at the leading edge of our field.”


Davies says 3D printing technology has also helped Minerva produce over 8,000 variations of color and materials, and he adds that in-ear monitors and ear plugs are now laser-printed with logos, names, or images according to a customer’s preference.

Additional Information - As we see the advent of 3D printers we will see more and more products that are relatively expensive to produce in small quantities and to see one of the most technologically advanced sports using this shows that it will have a bright future, you can find the original source of the article here

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Icom Announces New Digital Land Mobile Radios at IWCE 2015

Icom America is showcasing new land mobile radio equipment at the 2015 International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE). The company will be displaying new products promoting digital and IP radio technology. The IWCE conference will be held at Nevada's Las Vegas Convention March 16-20. Icom will be exhibiting at Booth 621 during exhibit hall hours on March 18-19. Icom associates will also be participating on weekday panels highlighting P25, NXDN™, next-gen communications, and systems deployed in Latin America.

New products on display at Icom Booth 621 include the F1000D/F2000D the F3200DEX/F4200DEX, which belong to the Icom Digital Advanced System known as IDAS™. The F1000D Series is a compact entry-level radio featuring enhanced emergency functions. The F3200DEX Series is a rugged handheld that meets Intrinsically Safe standards. For IP solutions, Icom's VE-PG3 RoIP gateway and IP100H wireless LAN radio will also be on display.

Icom is also announcing the F5122DD Series transceiver. This data modem features MIL-STD construction and is ideal for field monitoring and remote system management. Additionally, the company is exhibiting its exclusive IC-7850 amateur radio as well as the ID-5100A and ID-51A PLUS D-STAR radios.

Sponsored by Penton Media, IWCE 2015 will host Icom and more than 7,000 dealers, distributors and end-users from various industries. IWCE's conference program comprises five days of workshops, training courses and short courses. Keynotes, general sessions and networking events are also scheduled throughout the week.

Icom America Vice President Chris Lougee is participating in two IWCE events:

    • "Project 25 Foundations and System Technology Updates for 2015" workshop on March 16


    • "An Update on P25 Compliance Assessment Program (CAP)" short course on March 19


"The P25 Compliance Assessment Program is critical in the equipment procurement process for government agencies," says Lougee. "It is the best way to ensure interoperability."



The following Icom America associates are participating as panelists for IWCE courses on March 18:

    • Mark Behrends (Senior Manager of Marketing) for "Next-Generation Push-to-Talk Roundtable: Cellular, Satellite, Wireless LAN and LTE"


    • Edwin Cortes (Technical Sales Manager, LatAm) for "Estudios de Caso: TETRA, LTE y P25"


    • Rodney Grim (Business Development Manager) and Chris Lougee for "A NXDN Deployment Review"


We are really interested in where Icom have going with their digital radios, the IP stuff is nothing new but Icom have a great history with Two Way Radios, you can find the original source of the article here - http://www.policeone.com/police-products/police-technology/press-releases/8413508-Icom-Announces-New-Digital-Land-Mobile-Radios-at-IWCE-2015/

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Bluetooth Earpieces Do Battle With the $3,000 Hearing Aid

One night in June 2010, New York composer Richard Einhorn went to bed in a motel feeling stuffy and woke up almost completely deaf. At the time, Einhorn, who wrote the oratorio Voices of Light, had limited ways to deal with his nightmare condition, known as sudden sensorineural hearing loss. He visited an audiologist and bought a hearing aid for $3,000. (His insurance plan, like most, didn’t cover it.) Unhappy with the expense and the limits of the earpiece’s technology, which struggled to adapt to different noise levels, Einhorn began searching for alternative gadgets that could restore more of his hearing for less money.

Today, he has a backpack full of them. To supplement his old-school hearing aid, he favors a $350 iPhone-linked earpiece made by Sound World Solutions, a hearing-hardware maker in Park Ridge, Ill., for whom he’s begun to consult. With the Sound World device on, he can amplify phone calls and streaming music as well as his surroundings. A third, $500 earpiece was custom-made by Ultimate Ears in Irvine, Calif., to help him detect a wider range of musical tones while composing. For restaurants and theaters, he has a $45 directional microphone that pairs with a $5 app to isolate desired voices. And for especially cacophonous places, he has spare $700 microphones, made by Etymotic Research in Elk Grove Village, Ill., that he can strap to companions.

Einhorn credits the audio patchwork with saving his career and his life. “It’s incredible,” he says over lunch in a busy restaurant, as he toggles the proper setting on his phone.

The Bluetooth-connected earpieces aren’t classified as hearing aids by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They’re called personal sound amplification products, or PSAPs. Basic versions of such devices have existed for more than a decade in lonely RadioShack aisles and a handful of other places. But in the past 18 months, advances in circuitry and low-energy Bluetooth transmission have helped developers radically improve the designs to make high-quality, long-lasting alternativesto hearing aids while keeping pricesat a fraction of the industry standard.


Whatever regulators or insurers call them, PSAP manufacturers are angling to expand the $6 billion global market for hearing technology. Largely due to the cost, 75 percent of the 34 million Americans with hearing loss don’t use aids, says David Kirkwood, the editor of industry blog Hearing Health & Technology Matters. “A lot of people will continue to pay for traditional hearing aids,” he says. “But there are now inexpensive, easy-to-get alternatives.”



Part of the reason PSAPs are cheap is that they’re unregulated. Hearing-aid fittings and audiological calibrations account for much of the cost of aids from the big six makersâ€"Siemens, Sonova, Starkey Hearing Technologies, William Demant, GN ReSound, and Widex. A midlevel pair that retails for $4,400 costs about $440 to manufacture, according to AARP. Research and development spending is also a factor: Unlike the free Bluetooth standard used by upstarts such as Sound World, old-school hearing aids run on proprietary signal processing and transmission technology. Siemens, Sonova, and Widex declined to comment; GN ReSound, Starkey, and William Demant didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Still, being kept out of doctors’ offices has been a huge problem for PSAP makers, says Venkat Rajan, who tracks medical devices for researcher Frost & Sullivan. While the size of the market can be difficult to gauge given the lack of regulation, anecdotal evidence suggests sales have been soft, he says. It doesn’t help that, according to industry journal the Hearing Review, the average American buying a hearing aid is 71 years old. “Trying to find that customer base has been difficult,” Rajan says.

The marketing of hearing aids, classified as medical devices by the FDA since 1977, is strictly regulated in the U.S. According to agency guidelines that predate the latest generation of equipment, PSAP makers aren’t allowed to market their products as medical devices. Instead, they’re supposed to be used recreationally by people who can already hear comfortably. The FDA, which wouldn’t say whether it plans to change its rules, occasionally issues warnings to companies it believes to be violating them, so PSAP ads tend to include at least one verbal somersault. An ad for Etymotic describes its latest product, the Bean, thusly: “Not a hearing aid but has many advantages.”

The $300 Bean is the brainchild of Mead Killion, the co-founder of Etymotic. He invented the analog hi-fi amplification technology behind the device back in 1988, but says it’s only since 2013 that circuitry has become cheap enough for the product to be worth manufacturing en masse. His company uses the same technology in adaptive earplugs designed for orchestra musicians or infantry troops to keep music or conversation audible while dampening loud noises. A decade ago, Killion failed to persuade the FDA that early PSAPs should be sold over the counter. He’s lobbying for a contract with the Department of Defense.

Normally, I hear fine, but I conducted a hands-on experiment shortly before an interview with Killion. It became clear that having professional help putting these things in is a good idea. Initially, one Bean in each ear made it easy to hear faraway gossip in a noisy Whole Foods. Then I pushed them too far, and suddenly could hear nothing at all. Killion said the problem was waxy buildup in my narrow ear canals, so the next step was a $150 cerumenectomyâ€"that is, getting a doctor to scrape out gobs of wax and clear the blockage.

The era of Internet diagnosis hasn’t eliminated the need for medical professionals, says Erin Miller, president of the American Academy of Audiology. “This is our biggest problem with the PSAPs in general,” she says. “We want to make sure someone has looked in the patient’s ear.” All the more reason, PSAP makers argue, to put their products in medical offices next to those from Starkey and ReSound. For now, the companies’ sales will be limited to true believers like Einhorn, the composer. “You have to remember that I’m a maniac,” he says. “I will do anything to hear as best as possible in any situation.”

What we say: Whilst Bluetooth is regarded as an old technology now the reliability can't be questioned. It would seem that this type of technology is a log time coming to a thirsty industry for inventive technology. Source - http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-05/hearing-aid-alternatives-get-cheaper-more-powerful