Police cite failure to communicate

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Police forces in several districts across Phnom Penh are reporting problems sending and receiving messages using their walkie-talkies, with noise and irritating sounds, such as dogs barking, appearing on channels used for normal communication.

Phnom PenhMin Sovanna, director of the radio communications department at the Ministry of Interior, said investigators are looking into the matter. He said that the current technology is out of date and may not be sufficiently secure.

“About 20 years ago we installed the system for $2 million and it still is in use now. The old system now cannot be secure, but we lack money to upgrade to the digital system.”

He believes that someone is using the same frequency numbers for the walkie-talkies and is tuning into them, though they may not be doing it with the express purpose of scrambling police communications.

Installing a better version could cost millions of dollars, he added, with each new walkie-talkie costing about $1,000 to $2,000.

Reang Putheara, a police official in Chamkarmon district’s Boeung Keng Kang III, said the harassment “really disturbs police work”. He has heard dogs barking on normal frequencies.

“This group, if they are arrested, we cannot forgive them.”

Lieutenant General Kirt Chantharith, spokesman for the National Police, confirmed the problem, and said that while police have been unable to find the source of the attack, they are investigating.

“Sooner or later we will find them. They make harassment especially when we have big events.” he said. “Now police forces use the walkie-talkie by changing its code number to avoid harassment.

If, in fact, police communications are being intentionally disrupted, it comes during an upswing in attacks on government communications.

Since late April, authorities have arrested a total of four people believed to be members of Anonymous Cambodia, the local chapter of the global hacktivist group, and accused them of hacking into government websites. All four are in detention awaiting trial.

Anonymous Cambodia’s Facebook page over the past week contains posts about taking certain government websites offline – including the national police website – but does not mention involvement in the walkie-talkie harassment.

What is a Communications Engineering

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Communications engineering is a disparate array of technological disciplines brought together under one all-encompassing banner. The disciplines considered to be part of a communication engineer’s skill set include telecommunications, mobile phone networks and Internet maintenance (but are by no means limited to those examples).

As we wrote earlier this month, any technology that aids in communication, from a walkie-talkie to a Skype account, is technically a communication technology; therefore, it also follows that anybody who works in these different areas can call him/herself a ‘communications engineer’.

The theory behind this move is that communications technology is becoming more streamlined and, to some extent, more homogenized (think of the ubiquity of mobile phones and social media) and so, it makes sense to bring communications technology together as a single subject as well.

As I type this, it is actually possible to get a Degree in Communications Engineering (as a single subject) from many universities worldwide. However, communications engineers frequently hold other Degrees such as electrical engineering, physics, telecommunications and/or computer science.

The sort of students that apply for courses like this (and subsequently work in the related areas) are generally logistically minded, tech-savvy people who are comfortable learning new skills and adapt quickly to new technology. Certainly, the money can be good for a decent engineer with a good reputation and an up-to-date skill set. Industries that rely on the expedient exchange of information (news networks, the stock exchange, big businesses and etc) should be the goal for the ambitious communications engineer (as well as the eager graduate).

Communications engineering is a vast and somewhat esoteric subject, because it combines so many different disciplines. Ideally, good communications engineers would be just as able to handle microwave engineering as they would a downed computer network, so it takes a smart cookie to be really good at the job.

Communications engineers are often quite business savvy as well. A big part of the job is dealing with clients or management, making presentations and working effectively as part of a team. Experience of modern business practice is not essential, but from the looks of things, it certainly helps.

The vast majority of communications engineers work for specific telecommunications companies and/or manufacturers, although some are self-employed as consultants or on fixed contracts.

According to Targetjobs.co.uk, typical job responsibilities for a communications engineer include: undertaking site surveys, agreeing to and staying within a client budget, staying up-to-date with technological information, problem solving (obviously!), creating test procedures, creating ‘worst case scenario’ plans for companies to follow and presenting companies/clients with the best way to manage their communication systems.

VTech Innolab: The Kids Are Alright

Last night I found myself in the grip of a nightmare. In my dream, a Woman dressed like a Victorian widow was drowning me under a sheet of thick, impenetrable ice. Before that, I’d had a series of other nightmares involving a fire, a group of shadow-like stick figures slashing me with long nails and an attack by large tanks aimed at either shooting me or squashing me, whichever came first.

However, in a lucid state of dreaming, I was able to call on a ‘Dream Guardian’ of sorts, who furnished me with a magical suit of armour that allowed me to beat all of the challenges. I ‘burst’ the spindly shadow-men with a blast of light, I doused the fire with water, and I disabled the tanks with a single punch. Continue reading VTech Innolab: The Kids Are Alright

“Tonight there’s gonna be a Jailbreak”: How the iPad sets a worrying precedent for the PC Tablet

Introduced in 2010, Apple’s iPad has been met with generally favourable reviews and sales, becoming far and away the most popular tablet computer on the world market. Sort of a ‘halfway house’ between and iPhone and Macbook, the iPad is an impressive gadget indeed. It runs a great many programs, and comes with up to 64GB of memory, not bad for a thing not much fatter than a short novel (and not much bigger, either). In fact, it has a great many appealing features.  Continue reading “Tonight there’s gonna be a Jailbreak”: How the iPad sets a worrying precedent for the PC Tablet

Top 5 Tablets To Buy This year

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2013 has been a roller coaster year for tablets and for technology in general, and although a lot of that can be attributed to a giant lamp voiced by Bill Nighy (and if you missed the reference then you missed out on one of the year’s best movies), even more still can be ascribed to the good taste and ludicrously high standards (“what do you mean there’s no ‘time travel’ app!?) of YOU, the British consumer.

In order to continue this upward trend, we put our heads together and compiled a list of the year’s best tablets. You may be surprised at what comes first (actually, no, you won’t. We’ll say that right now. There are no surprises waiting for you at number one). Anyway, read on… Continue reading Top 5 Tablets To Buy This year

Tablet Wars: Who’s Xooming Whom?

The Samsung 22-inch Smart Television that offers too much and takes little

HBO is not TV, seemingly, which means that TV is not HBO by designation. However that slogan works or doesn’t work (and we could perhaps go a few rounds over that one), the one thing that TV certainly is (at the very least these days) is SMART.

 

The standard tv, seemingly saddened at being derided like the ‘idiot box’ for this long, has finally categorical to ‘wise up’. In short, a smart Television can now carry out many of the same functions as a computer or tablet pc, which is superb when you have people over and want to watch ‘The Best of Failblog’ on Youtube. Continue reading The Samsung 22-inch Smart Television that offers too much and takes little

Samsung’s 42 inches of pure perfection

It’s a simple mistake to make I presume. I work in the dark and, as a result, am often scarcely getting up at midday. At time of writing, it is just gone 4AM (and I don’t expect to be asleep for a minimum another hour). So, I groggily say goodbye to my gf as she gets up for work at 7AM whereas I doze until about 10.30 or 11.00, before getting up and planning to work on my ‘fun’ tasks like internet comics, novels and attending internet literature seminars. Continue reading Samsung’s 42 inches of pure perfection

What could be the best LG 42 inch LED TV on the marketplace at the moment

If you believe long and hard about it, you have maybe owned a bit of LG electronic gear at some point in your life. The corporation have been supplying class products since ’47, beginning with chemicals and plastics and going from there. LG actually make rather a lot of things, however the South Korean firm is maybe best recognized for its electronics products.

 

The newest LG 42 ” LED Television is likely to become one of the most observable of that aforementioned LG products in the coming months. New in 2013, this novel all-singing, all-dancing smart Telly is, to state it mildly, absolutely gob-smacking. Continue reading What could be the best LG 42 inch LED TV on the marketplace at the moment