Alonso unfazed by rule changes

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Fernando Alonso doesn’t believe the changes to the start procedures that will come into effect at Spa will make much of a difference.

As of this weekend’s Belgium Grand Prix, the FIA will clamp down on radio communication between drivers and the pitwall and only critical information will be relayed. Teams will also be prevented from changing the clutch bite point once the cars leave the garage ahead of the race.

However, two-time World Champion Alonso isn’t expecting any disruption to his usual pre-race strategy.

“It will not be a significant change. I know that there is some talk about this but maybe for next year or the following years will be more different,” the Spaniard said.

“What we will have here is just some restrictions in communications with the drivers and the team etc but I think… at least in our team we were not doing any specific communication or strategy during the formation laps etc so it will not change much.”

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There will be more changes next year as the FIA has issued a technical directive that states engineers will not be able to coach the drivers over the radio on things like tyre degradation and fuel saving.

Although the McLaren driver admits drivers will have to “pay a little more attention”, he doesn’t think it be a train smash.

“Well, I don’t think it will make a huge change because… yeah, we are receiving some information now on the radio about tyres, about fuel or other things on the car but we are perfectly aware of what is happening in the car and what is the best solution for the specific issues that we are facing during the race so if that information is not coming, it will come anyway by instinct and by the reactions of the car,” he said.

“So yeah, we will have to pay a little bit more attention to a few things that now we rely a little bit on the radio but it’s not a big change and probably it’s welcome, all those changes, to have a little bit more to do in the car and feeling a little bit more important.”

It’s difficult to see why F1 are strangling the communications between drivers and teams, One team does not gain anything over any other by relaying information over the radio, but as Alonso has said in this article on planetf1.com it’s not an issue.

President Obama Signs Up For Supercomputer

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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’ – he caused the screen to alter – ‘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 – nationality, race, religion, wealth – 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.

Ericsson confirms 5G radio standardisation participation

Swedish kit vendor Ericsson has confirmed its “spearheading” of a dedicated European Union project designed to provide a common consensus of the radio network requirements for a standardised 5G network.

METIS-II EU, a part of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 project, is intended to provide the 5G collaboration framework within the 5G-PPP, for both the 5G RAN as well as suggestions on spectrum efficiency and a recommended spectrum roadmap. Ericsson claims its role in the project is to integrate a variety of tech into a radio access design for 5G, and will provide a platform for concerted actions toward regulatory and standards bodies.

It also claims it will be taking the lead on developing new concepts for mobile radio access tech in the 6-100GHz range, in a project catchily called the “Millimetre-Wave Based Radio Access Network for Fifth-Generation Integrated Communications”, or “mmMAGIC” for short. Ericsson’s statement emphasised the importance of reaching a common consensus on 5G platforms and standards.

“Making 5G a global standard is the most critical factor for the digitalisation of industries, the Internet of Things, and broadband everywhere,” it said. “Standardisation is necessary to connect people all over the world. Over several generations of mobile networks, it has been the cornerstone that allows networks all around the world to work seamlessly together, providing users with the same experience.”

Meanwhile, another Horizon2020 project under the European Commission’s wing has now received the backing of 16 launch partners, focussing on the development of the 5G air interface below 6GHz. The “Flexible Air Interface for Scalable Service Delivery Within Wireless Communication Networks of the 5th Generation”, which has somehow been abbreviated to “FANTASTIC-5G”, will apparently focus on boosting capacity, increasing flexibility and improving the energy efficiency of the next generation of mobile networks.

Among the launch partners for the project are Orange and Telecom Italia from the operator community, and Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, Nokia Networks, Samsung and Intel as well as several academic research institutes.

Alcatel-Lucent’s Fran Schaich, who is leading the FANTASTIC-5G project, reiterated the sentiment that cooperation is essential to the development of a common 5G framework.

“FANTASTIC-5G is of key importance, as the multi-service air interface concepts being developed in the project will be evaluated and validated by the partners,” he said. “This helps to build up consensus and to facilitate the standardisation process of 5G.”

This origin of this interesting article can be found here, we have our reservations about this, with the intermittence of 4G, 5G at the moment is a real stretch. Moreover Basing a radio network on a phone network is a dangerous proposition, Mission Critical communications are the reason that two way radios are used, when the infrastructure goes down, these radios should still able of communicate, using a 5G network would mean that a back-up system would have to be put in place.

Covert and Comfortable: A new generation of earpiece designed to maintain awareness

This is a common issue in many industries, the police, event staff and door staff all have to wear earpieces for a long time, this little device is great. We still need to be convinced if this is the answer to a curly tube.

Developed by a team of audiologists using technology originally created for the hearing-aid industry, earHero is a tiny earpiece that provides increased sound clarity without limiting a user’s ability to hear their surroundings, while being small enough to be discreet.

“The response has been really positive. Most guys hate wearing a typical earpiece; after a 10-hour shift, their ears are burning,” said Matt Murphy, founder of earHero. “They just want to do their jobs and be able to hear everything around them without being in pain.”

Built for extreme comfort

Used by the Secret Service, FBI and local law enforcement agencies around the U.S., earHero is more comfortable than a traditional “coiled-tube” earpiece and can be adapted to any standard radio used by law enforcement. Its two tiny speakers, secured by thin silicone guides, fit securely in your ear, providing clear audio without blocking out the sounds around you, all while preventing ear fatigue.

In fact, the earpiece is so unobtrusive that you’re able to comfortably talk on the phone without removing it.

Offers Total situational awareness

A traditional earpiece sits in one ear with a coiled tube leading to the radio, so an officer’s hearing is essentially impeded. Not only does listening through a single ear require the volume to be louder, which can potentially drown out ambient sounds, it also impedes our natural sense of sound localization—the process by which we locate a sound.

“Say you hear something over your right shoulder,” Murphy said. “Because the sound came from the right side, it will be a little louder and come a little bit sooner to your right ear than it will to your left ear. Your brain processes this information and tells you that the sound came from your right. But, with one ear essentially plugged, your brain isn’t able to perform this localization.”

earHero doesn’t obstruct the natural process, allowing users to accurately locate sounds. Having the highest level of awareness of your environment when on the job can be crucial. With earHero, you’re able to hear whisper-level sounds from yards away and determine where they’re coming from.

Easier on your ears

The design of earHero is not only more effective from a performance standpoint, it also is safer for your ears. Because earHero uses tiny speakers in both ears, you can achieve clarity with a lower volume than you would be able to through a single ear. This translates into less pressure on the inner workings of your ear.

In addition, the earHero is small enough to fit inside the ear without obstructing it, meaning that you can hear more and the pressure inside the ear has a way to escape. The result is a more comfortable experience, but also one that is less likely to lead to hearing loss.

Indeed, earHero offers law enforcement professionals a comfortable, effective and covert earpiece option. Its innovative design is easy on the ear and does not impede situational awareness.

Source – http://www.policeone.com/police-products/communications/articles/7522383-Covert-and-Comfortable-A-new-generation-of-earpiece-designed-to-maintain-awareness/

How to boost Two Way Radio range?

A walkie talkie is one of the most essential communication devices which we use these days and its use can be found across a wide range of industries such as construction, military and aviation. To the layman, a walkie talkie is nothing but a radio transceiver which utilizes radio wave signals to facilitate two-way communication for relatively short ranges. Hence, it is also commonly known as a two-way radio. When it comes to walkie talkies, there are several well-known brands that manufacture them. But Motorola has always outperformed its competitors and has constantly come up with start-of-the-art walkie talkie models that are embedded with the latest technologies and features. So let us look at two of its successful two way radio models and then move on to learn more about how to boost walkie talkie range in order to achieve maximum efficiency.

The Motorola DP2400 and DP4400 two-way radios

The Motorola DP2400 is the ideal choice if you are looking for a reliable yet cost effective two-way radio that discharges its duties with flair. Not only does this model offer scalable communication solutions, it also comes with a host of noteworthy features like support for both UHF and VHF, waterproof capability and intelligent announcements based on audio and voice. It comes with 3 programmable buttons and can be operated across 16 different radio channels depending on your choice.

Moving on to the Motorola DP4400, this model makes sense if you want the best and unrivaled audio quality available in modern day two-way radios. In a bit to boost its USP, this model also comes with Bluetooth and GPS capabilities. It supports both the VHF and UHF frequency bands and has five programmable buttons along with an additional button for emergency scenarios. Plus, it can work seamlessly across 32 different radio channels and is designed to withstand splashes and submersions in water.

Tips to boost walkie talkie range

Boosting the range of your walkie talkie is pretty easy if you have understanding of their basic functionality and how they actually work. In case you are not interested in knowing the specifics, you can always rely on the following tips to boost your walkie talkie range-

  • Use fresh batteries – Using fresh batteries have proven to improve the communication range of walkie talkies and make them perform at their peak. Hence, you will be at a lesser risk of experiencing signal drops and disturbances in your communication.
  • Make use of a digital repeater –If your walkie talkie is analogue interoperable like the Motorola DP2400, you can opt for a digital repeater to extend its range. The job of a repeater is to listen to communication at one frequency and then transmit the same in another frequency. So linking multiple repeaters together allows them to cover a large area and thereby boost your walkie talkie’s range significantly.
  • Communicate from higher ground – This is obviously one of the basic thumb rules of walkie talkie communication. When experiencing disturbance in your communication channel or lack of range, it is always advisable to reach for higher ground and then try communicating with your partner at the other end. Communicating from higher ground will eliminate all obstructions that prevent a radio signal from reaching its destination.
  • Take advantage of moist weather – Arid weather conditions are not at all conducive for radio communication as the signals don’t tend to travel as far as you would like to. But that is not the case during moist weather conditions. Studies have shown that radio signals tend to travel much farther when the weather is moist and humid. So always take advantage of moist weather conditions to improve the range of your walkie talkie.
  • Stay clear of large buildings and structures –Any large building or structure will surely impact the range of your walkie talkie and it is advisable to stay clear of them when communicating through it. A radio signal needs to have a clear line of sight in order to travel the farthest distance possible and this is only possible if it does not have any barriers in its path.

Environmental and physical factors are often the culprits for a drop in the range of a walkie talkie. By making use of the above mentioned tips, you can easily understand how to boost walkie talkie range and benefit from it whenever the need arises.

I Just Got a Spy Earpiece…Now How Do I Wear it?

In simplest terms, the loop goes around your neck and the small earpiece goes inside of your ear. It is important, however, to ensure that the loop is well concealed, otherwise it can totally give the game away. Wear a high collared shirt or blouse in order to hide the loop around your neck.

The earpiece itself is usually flesh coloured (different shades and skin colours are available), but even if it isn’t, the earpiece is so small that people are unlikely to even notice it.

The microphone needs to be positioned near to your mouth, but not so near that people can see it. Once again, a high collar will be of some service here, because you can place it underneath the collar line (spy earpiece microphones tend to be rather powerful for their size – but remember to test the whole setup first before you go into the field). If you happen to be wearing a tie, then so much the better, because the microphone can be easily clipped behind the tie (where it is very unlikely to be noticed).

Next, take the loop (making sure that it is under your clothing) and ensure that you can easily access the battery, beeper button and any other attached gadgets. You can run the battery straight into your pocket, provided your shirt is long enough, or, if you’re feeling particularly clever, you could even cut a small hole inside of your jeans pocket and thread the beeper/battery through the inside of both your shirt and your jeans (this will also work for your phone).

The hardest things to hide will be your attached cellphone or two-way radio. The cell can sit, quite happily, in your pocket (in fact, people generally expect you to be carrying one anyway), but the earpiece’s connection to the headphone socket must not be seen (keep it under your clothes, as discussed above). The two-way radio option is a little more difficult. Two-ways can be hidden on your belt (underneath loose-fitting garments), around your back (again, covered by clothing) or even strapped to your leg. It is definitely harder to hide a two-way, so it isn’t the ideal option for prolonged covert usage.

Finally, we advise you to check the whole thing out in the mirror first. Make sure that outside influences such as wind, rain, pushy crowds or actions such as running to catch a train are not going to expose your subtle setup. If you think you are too exposed, try different permutations on the advice provided, until you find something that works for you.

The Requirement For Two-way Radios For Security

Two way radios are invaluable resource to any security team anywhere in the world. These radios ensure fast and efficient communication with one another in a secure and discrete manner. This helps in enhancing security as far as protecting people, their property, buildings and other valuable assets is concerned. Not only are two way radios important for security purposes but they are also useful for ensuring workplace safety is maintained especially in construction sites and other noisy workplaces. The following are the importance of two way radios for security:

Access Control To Different Areas 

Two way radios are very useful when monitoring the situation in various places within a building, a construction site or a highly sensitive area. It enables the security team to communicate seamlessly about the people entering or leaving the site or area. It gives you complete access control of who enters or leaves the building or site. You can easily inform a partner on who looks suspicious and what exactly is happening at the entrance or anywhere in the building.

High Profile Security 

Two way radios offer a high profile security and monitoring of what is happening at a particular place. For enhanced security, direct and prompt communication is vital. Two way radios are among the best communication gadgets that offer fast and immediate communication between security personnel. You do not have to wait for the call to be connected as is the norm with mobile phones and other communication gadgets; it is simply instant communication.

Covert Security

These radios offer covert security. You can easily monitor the movements of suspicious people in an area without them knowing that they are being watched. Due to instant communication offered by these gadgets, it is easy to monitor every step taken by a suspicious individual. Good security requires stealth or concealed monitoring of events in an area. This allows you to monitor the security concerns of an area without being noticed.

Asset Management 

Two way radios or walkie talkies are essential in asset management. They enable timely monitoring of equipment, cars and tracks, buildings and even when transporting the assets. Transporting high value assets require constant monitoring and communication between the owner and the people transporting the assets. Two way radios allow you to communicate and monitor the movement of the people transporting the assets.

Emergency Communications 

There are times when emergency situations in the workplace or building may prevent you from accessing help immediately. without putting your life in danger. On top of that, it facilitates evacuation of other people from the danger zone. You can communicate with the rest of the security team to ensure everyone is evacuated and is safe.

Security Guarding 

Security involves guarding people, building and property. Guarding people is not an easy process especially VIPs. It requires constant communication between the SIA security people. It requires you to communicate in the moment. This is only achieved by using two way radios because these gadgets allow instant communication between two or more people. In case of a problem you can easily request for backup immediately. The latest two way radios allow users to include or attach discrete acoustic earpieces and microphones for covert use. This is very important when guarding VIPs.

Enhances Store Security And Management 

If you own a store or a warehouse that requires constant monitoring, then you should consider getting your security team two way radios. Using these communication gadgets, you create your own store detectives as they will be able to monitor what comes in and leaves the store without other people knowing that they are being monitored.

Immediate Response 

When not sure of what to do in certain security situations, a second opinion regarding the situation is very important. If the situation does not permit you to leave your location to go and find another person, being able to get immediate response or backup by the help of a communication gadget can help you resolve the problem very fast.

In summary, whether it is a hospital, school, factory, security installation or building, home or workplace, security is very important. Security can only be enhanced and achieved through seamless communication between the security team. By the use of two way radios for security purposes, you will definitely enhance the security of your building, workers, store or any other place that requires constant monitoring and security.

What Makes a Brilliant 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 radio 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 – 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.

How Do Walkie Talkies Work?

DISCLAIMER – Usually, we’re a pretty mild-mannered bunch, but every so often, we get a question that we’ve answered so many times that we just don’t know what to say in response to it anymore. For my part, I’m tempted to say ‘magic fairy warriors’, ‘pixie dust’ or just ‘spit and happy thoughts’ – but no, I’m not going to do that. In any instance, this is the last time I will be answering this question. So, after this, you guys will have to look into the archives for answers (still, you might be able to find some good stuff back there).

All joking aside, the science behind the walkie-talkie is fairly simple to grasp (which is good, because otherwise I’d be out of a job!). I’ll render it here as a series of steps.

STEP ONE – Having tuned the walkie-talkie to the appropriate frequency (and charged the battery), you push the PTT (Push To Talk) button and speak your message.

STEP TWO – The vibrations of your voice shake a small membrane inside the walkie-talkie’s microphone.

STEP THREE – The radio’s processor then converts those vibrations into an electrical signal, which it pushes upward towards your walkie-talkie’s antenna.

STEP FOUR – The electron particles housed inside the antenna become excited (they will only respond to the set frequency) and this, in turn, ‘pushes out’ the message in the form of a radio signal.

STEP FIVE – The radio signal is then intercepted by your partner’s walkie-talkie antenna, where the incoming signal excites their electrons (which are attuned to the same frequency, of course). These electrons then in turn translate the signal into an electrical impulse, which is subsequently decoded by the processor and played out via your partner’s speakers. It is exactly the same process as you just experienced except that it has been reversed.

The fact that walkie-talkies do this practically in real time is actually nothing short of amazing, when you think about it.

Part of the reason that walkie-talkie technology has been so very successful since its initial inception is that it works very well and is very easy to use. In fact, you’d be hard pushed to find a simpler, more useful and more user-friendly technology this side of the wheel!

Thanks for your question (and I’m sorry about the rant earlier, Claudia!), hope my answer helps. If not, then I’d go with the magic fairy warriors.

What Is 2 Way Communication?

Two-way communication is actually a process through which two parties communicate with one another in a reciprocal manner. Basically, it is something that lets you know that the other person has listened and understood you just perfect. Sometimes, it can also can also be referred to as a form of public relations process where a company and another group share ideas. Here is a detailed description of two-way communication and its applications in the field of business.

The Model

Two-way communication involves an individual or group expressing an idea, which is then received and comprehended by any other group or individual. The message is processed by the receiver who then returns with a message. This message is further received by the first sender, thereby letting both parties to communicate with each other and understand the ideas.

The detailed two-way communication model comprises of several specific steps. The first step is to create an idea that a party wants to deliver. The mode of transmission is chosen by the sender to organise symbols and words for transmission. Then the message is transmitted via the selected method. The next step is about allowing the other party to receive a message, that also transfers the initiative to the receiver. Further, the receiver decodes the message to understood it exactly how it was meant to be according to the sender. Some employers tend to ignore this when providing instructions and assume that telling someone is enough. But it is important to realize that communication is ineffective until there is proper understanding. The last step is the use of the message or communication by the receiver who may discard it, complete the job as directed, save the information etc.

Modes and Applications

People and organisations engage in two-way communication in several different ways through a variety of modes and devices. One of them is face-to-face contact which involves two or more people gathering within the same space and talking to each other directly, thereby allowing for the greatest or best possible communication ranges ensuring the perfect transmission of verbal or non-verbal signals. Another very effective mode is telephone that also lets the voice tone and inflection to help in communication to the meaning of the message. Written formats, whether letters, text messages or emails, can also prove to be quite effective, but usually they lack the nuance and subtlety often found in verbal modes of communication.

When it comes to the features and parameters associated with two-way communication systems, the list ranges greatly from basic hand held two-way transceivers using an individual channel to the very complex systems enabling the sharing of different channels between a large number of users. A number of elements such as geographical location, frequency band, system costs, number of people involved and purpose of communication work as the deciding factor while selecting the type of system. A very essential feature for all types of two-way communication systems is the compatibility and co-ordination of each and every component.

Two-way communication systems have always been used by a large number of businesses for staying connected with their staff or employees while working inside or outside the office premises. Some spheres that use two-way communication regularly are mass communication, public transportation, construction businesses, aviation, advertisement, security, marketing and several others. Police department, fire personnel and emergency response teams also use the two-way communication systems such as telephone, computerized dispatches or radio that allows the professionals to stay informed and updated about the activities of their teams or employees.

Types of Two-Way Communication

When it comes to public relations or marketing, two-way communication basically involves two types of processes – Asymmetric communications and Symmetric communications.

Asymmetric communication takes place between two parties with one of them usually holding more control or power over the process. Typically, this happens in case of a huge company that engages in Public Relations to communicate a variety of ideas to specific markets or general public.

Symmetric two-way communication involves two parties being equal in the process. Such process is generally used by a company to let customers give more feedback that works for bringing improvements to the business. The expression also makes the customer feel a sense of value to the company.

A comprehensive review of the Motorola DP2400

The Motorola DP2400 is designed to make it easy for individuals to

stay connected to one another. It is ideal for construction sites and

manufacturing lines where employees need to be in constant

communication. It is one of the best digital radio solutions. This

portable radio provides best-in-class audio. It comes with a variety

of intelligent voice and audio announcement components that help to simplify communication in difficult work settings.

There are 16 channels on this portable radio. It is powerful and

versatile and integrates two-way radio operation and advanced digital

technology. This device can change the way people communicate at your

workplace and help you to improve safety and productivity. It is a

non-display model that comes with 3 programmable buttons. It is

available in both VHF and UHF frequencies.

Benefits

There are several benefits that you can enjoy when you purchase this

portable radio for your workplace.

Audio Clarity

One of the main benefits of the Motorola DP2400 is its outstanding

audio clarity. This radio offers quality digital audio all over your

coverage region. It comes with unique features that are included to

assist your personnel to speak and hear clearly in spite of their

location.

Automatic Volume Adjustment

The intelligent audio feature adjusts the radio’s volume

automatically. This helps to make up for any background noises that

can make it difficult for your personnel to hear and speak. With this

portable radio, you do not have to adjust the volume. You will be able

to hear a call even when there are loud noises around you. If you are

in a quiet environment, the radio volume will reduce automatically,

ensuring you do not disrupt the people around.

Analogue and Digital Modes

This radio allows you to switch between analogue and digital to suit

your specific situation. The Motorola DP2400 has a mixed mode repeater

that is designed to update automatic changes between digital and

analogue calls. With this portable radio, you only need a single

repeater to use these two modes.

Capacity Plus

This portable radio comes with an optional single-site digital

trunking that enhances the capacity of the MOTOTRBO system. You can

take advantage of this system for high volume data and voice

communication. It can be accommodate more than a thousand people on

one site. You will not need additional frequencies to accommodate

several users.

IP Site Connect

This portable radio relies on an IP network to extend data and voice

capacities. The IP network can be used to connect about 15 sites to

allow communication among personnel that are in different geographic

locations. This network also comes in handy when a company wants to

increase area coverage in one site if there are physical barriers.

Linked Capacity Plus

This is an optional feature that is available on the Motorola DP2400.

It is a multi-site digital trunking configuration designed for

MOTOTRBRO platform. The feature is used to control the enhanced

capacity offered by Capacity Plus. It also boosts the increased area

coverage capacity offered by IP Site Connect to ensure employees who

are in different locations remain in contact.

Transit Interrupt

This optional feature allows users to cut short other radio

conversations to send critical communication precisely where and when

it is required.

Privacy

There are two privacy options to choose from when you purchase the

Motorola DP2400 including enhanced and basic privacy. These are

optional features that come with in built scrambling to give you

additional security.

Missed Calls Alert

You do not have to worry about missing calls when you do not have the

portable radio on your person. The device has a feature that allows

you to receive missed calls alerts.

Busy Channel Lockout

If you are busy on a certain channel, you can lockout other calls from

coming in to ensure interrupted communication during crucial moment.

Hardy Design

The Motorola DP2400 is designed for outdoor use. It is sealed tightly

to protect it from dust and wind. It also has an IP55 water protection

rating to prevent damage in case it comes into contact with water.

If you are thinking of upgrading your communication systems, the

Motorola DP2400 is an ideal choice because it will allow you to use

your current analogue system before you can migrate to a digital one.

It a good choice to if you want to ensure a smooth transition.

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”. – 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.

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 – 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 – 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.

New report shares details about the military communications market analysis, size, share, trends,growth and forecasts to 2020

This originally was posted on this website, Military communications always lead the way to other communications. When this market grows, the knock-on-effect is huge for other communication industries.

The global military communications market is expected to grow over the forecast period on account of growing emphasis on providing data-centric and network-centric communications. Rapid adoption of new satellite communications platforms such as Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) and US-based Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) provides protected communications capabilities for strategic command and tactical warfare operating on various platforms.

Additionally, various communication technologies such as high frequency services and software-embedded radio systems Ka band in order to limit the bandwidth limitations are some of the emerging trends in the military communications market.

The report “Military Communications Market Analysis, Market Size, Application Analysis, Regional Outlook, Competitive Strategies And Forecasts, 2014 To 2020” is available now to Grand View Researchcustomers and can also be purchased directly at

http://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/military-communications-market

Considering the rise in demand of handheld software defined radios such as mobile radio, joint tactical radio and tetra radio systems is expected to favorably impact military communications market growth over the forecast period. The military is poised to replace and modernize aging equipments and utilize virtually unlimited IP peer-to-peer connections for embedded systems.

However, multiple standards in devices, financial constraints towards procurement and interoperability issues are the few factors that may challenge market growth through the forecast period.

North America featured among the highest adopters of military communications in 2013 and is expected to remain a key market throughout the forecast period. Adoption of latest data links and mobile satellite technologies are the factors attributable for regional market growth.

The U.S. government is expected to secure commercial capacity due to lack of appropriate military satellite systems. The Asia Pacific regional market is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period.

Key military communications industry participants include Rockwell Collins, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, Alcatel-Lucent, Lockheed Martin, Harris Corporation, Thales Group and L-3 Communication.

The CC Communication Project