25 May

Photographic Find of the Century Depicts Trench Life in WW1

Although it meant disobeying direct orders (and a court martial if he was discovered), Lance Corporal George Hackney obviously felt a duty to document The Great War from a soldier’s perspective. Now, to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, his incredible photographs are being displayed in public for the first time.

The astounding collection, which includes candid photographs taken in the British trenches – and at least one amazing shot of a German surrender in 1916, was compiled between 1915, when Hackney was first sent to the front lines, and 1918, when the brutal conflict finally ended, and the photographer returned home.

Before he was called up, Hackney was a keen amateur photographer, and it shows. His pictures demonstrate a very accomplished sense of composition, but never feel forced or especially posed for (as some photography from the era can). In fact, the images are easily among the most intimate and credible pictures that exist from the conflict.

Among the most remarkable shots is a poignant image of a lone soldier writing a letter home, as well as another showing a group of soldiers (in full uniform) casually napping on the deck of the ship that would eventually deliver them to the front lines.

At the time these photographs were taken, no unofficial photography was allowed on the front lines. However, using a portable folding camera about the size of a modern smart phone, the Northern Irishman was able to document the war effort discreetly and respectfully.

Hackney then gave the photographs to his own family upon his return. In addition, many of his pictures were given as gifts to the families of the men photographed, sometimes offering grieving loved ones a chance to see their missing husband, brother or son, one final time.

To cite one such example, Hackney’s Sergeant, James Scott, was killed at the Battle of Messines in May 1917. After Lance Corporal Hackney returned home, he presented Scott’s family with three pictures of him, including a striking depiction of the officer looking proud and dashing on horseback.

The Sergeant’s descendant, Mark Scott, was instrumental in uncovering the stories behind these wonderful, and often profound, images…

Hackney’s pictures also provide excellent accompaniment to the war records of the men in question, rendering them as much more than simply names and numbers, or even as symbols of pure courage and sacrifice. Hackney’s photographs present these remarkable men to a new generation as simple Human beings fighting through an incredibly difficult time to be alive.

A photograph taken at County Antrim, which depicts Hackney’s friend John Ewing writing a diary entry (or possibly a letter home), adds a Human element to the historical facts that Ewing was eventually promoted to Sergeant and subsequently won the Military Medal for bravery in the field…

Stories like this abound in Hackney’s work, which ably presents the war in a far more evocative way than the official press photographs and propaganda of the time could ever have hoped to.

When George Hackney passed away in 1977, his family donated the pictures to the Ulster Museum, where they stayed in the Museum’s archives for over 30 years. These unique, powerful documents were, in turn presented to TV Director Brian Henry Martin by museum curator Dr. Vivienne Pollock, in 2012. Martin was shown the images alongside a collection of Hackney’s personal diaries and was captivated by them.

Lance Corporal Hackney eventually became the subject of a BBC Documentary, directed by Martin, entitled, ‘The Man Who Shot The Great War’. The show aired in Northern Ireland earlier this month.

In addition, Hackney’s work is soon to be the subject of a major exhibition at the Ulster Museum.

Mr. Martin is now bringing 300 of Hackney’s images to the BBC for future use, although it is estimated that there are around 200 more that are undiscovered at the time of writing.

Amanda Moreno of the Museums of The Royal Irish Regiment, told Yahoo! News that, “As a collection of photographs of the First World War, they are totally exceptional.”

Interviewed for the film, Franky Bostyn, Chief of The Belgian Ministry of Defense said, “I think you made the photographical World War One discovery of the century.”

100 years on, George Hackney’s unique, vivid and (above all) brave photography presents us with a deeply Human portrait of life in the trenches of The Great War.

18 May

Does The Old Two Cans on a String Thing Actually Work?

It does indeed. The old children’s favourite may have been supplanted somewhat by the relentless march of technology, especially now that almost every kid has a mobile phone and/or access to the Internet, but there is still a lot of fun to be had there.

For those reading this that don’t know, the two cans on a string game involves taking two empty (and preferably washed out) tin cans, the kind you might buy baked beans in, punching a small hole in the bottom of both cans and then threading a length of string in between each hole, tying it in a knot big enough to secure it in the can. Then, when the string is pulled tight, it is possible for one person to speak into the can and another to listen and reply. It also works with polystyrene cups, albeit to a slightly lesser extent. You’d be amazed also at the distance your voice can actually travel using this method.

It is not advisable to use stretchable string for the cans as it just makes life more difficult!

The science behind this game is actually very simple. The vibrations of your voice shake the bottom of the can and that, in turn, vibrates the string. Provided the string is pulled taut and isn’t touching anything, there should be no reason at all for your voice not to travel along the string to be received by your companion at the other end.

In fact, this game actually qualifies as a sort of rudimentary telephone; the theory behind it is very similar.

If you happen to be a parent, this game can keep the kids entertained on rainy afternoons, as well as providing a useful scientific lesson for them. I have many happy childhood memories of playing this game. However, it is very important to make sure that the cans have no sharp edges around the inner rim, for older kids, a simple ‘safety brief’ will probably do, but younger kids might be safer with a little electrical or duct tape stuck around the top of the can (in each child’s favourite colour, maybe? Just a thought). It shouldn’t affect the sound too much, if at all.

It’s amazing the fun you can have with a couple of old cans and a length of string. Hope that helps.

05 May

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.

05 May

Former NASA Employee Claims Astronauts Visited Mars in 1979

A mysterious former NASA employee, using the pseudonym Jackie (presumably for protection from the fibre optic aliens that live in the follicles of her hair) has claimed that she witnessed two astronauts walking on the surface of Mars in 1979.

According to Jackie, she was part of a downstairs team working on downlink telemetry, as it arrived from the Viking Lander. As space-enthusiasts will know, the Viking mission was totally unmanned, but it was the first vehicle to send back images from the surface of Mars.

Apparently fearing neither ridicule nor assassination by the government whose secrets she was wantonly exposing, Jackie broke her nearly 30-year silence and phoned American radio station Coast To Coast FM with her story.

“I wonder if you can solve a 27-year-old mystery for me” she said, “That old Viking rover was running around. Then I saw two men in space suits – not the bulky suits we normally used, but they looked protective. They came over the horizon walking to the Viking Explorer.”

Apparently, Jackie and her colleagues subsequently ran upstairs to see more, but the NASA higher-ups slammed the door in their faces and employed their special training to make sure that national security was not breached any further (e.g. they covered the window with paper so no one could see inside).

Quite how a radio DJ was supposed to clear up this mystery for her remains unclear (perhaps Jesus told her to make the call?), but, in any instance, here I am writing about this nonsense and here you are reading it, so its safe to say that Jackie got what she wanted.

Of course, conspiracy theorists, who never require even a shred of hard evidence to back up their ridiculous claims (and for whom the term Occam’s Razor apparently denotes some sort of shaving utensil) have latched on to the idea (I was going use the phrase gone nuts over it, but when you genuinely believe that the US President is an alien reptile, that becomes far too much of an understatement).

In fact, some nutters are already linking it to the notion that alien life forms were retrieved from a crash site in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947.

Conspiracy theories also abound that Human beings are already living on Mars, despite the fact that anyone who knows anything about space exploration will confidently tell you that this would be extremely difficult (if not impossible) to accomplish now, much less in the late 1970’s.

The greatest geniuses at NASA are working on it as I write these words, so they’ll probably be really p*ssed if it took their professional lifetimes to figure out something that had already been achieved some 30-odd years earlier…

Besides, the Viking Lander, despite being very sophisticated for its time, was still a relatively simple looking design. It seems wildly unlikely that NASA would develop futuristic super-spacesuits, but still employ bulky, moon mission looking tech for its Landers. Unless, of course, they wanted us to think that we were less advanced than we actually are…

Over the years, many supposed former NASA employees have turned up with information about the government’s secret deals with aliens and whatnot. In fact, if these sources are to be believed, pretty much everyone who works for NASA subsequently gains a secondary career as a whistleblower.

According to conspiracy theorists, the CIA will even go as far as to dispatch Men in Black to kill witnesses, or threaten them into silence. These M.I.B’s (uh, here come the M.I.Bs…), however, are apparently so ineffectual that they cannot convince any of these whistle-blowers to shut the heck up. Not even when said whistleblowers show up on The Discovery Channel, their faces blacked out by green and black lighting, talking about piloting flying saucers alongside our secret alien overseers.

As a final thought, if you really believe that NASA faked the moon landings in 1969, are you still willing to believe that a community of Human beings now live on Mars? Just asking.

22 Apr

What Type Of Kenwood Radio Earpiece Should You Use With A Kenwood Radio

Although there are multiple types and designs of Kenwood radios out there, there are only two earpiece connectors compatible with these radios. Kenwood has been able to design their earpiece connectors in such a way that they are compatible with all their vast types of radios. A large percentage of Kenwood radios utilize the 2 pin earpiece connector. Among the most popular radios using the 2 pin earpiece connector include TK3000 and TK3300. The difference between the two-pin connector and the multi pin connector is straightforward. The former features two pins while the latter features multiple pins. However, their performance may not be the same depending on usability and the type of Kenwood radio.

The Two-Pin Earpiece Connector

The earpiece of the Kenwood 2 pin connector is featured by an incredible in-line push-to-talk button (PTT) with an in-built microphone. In addition, it comes with a complete clothing clip and a surveillance acoustic audio tube. This Kenwood earpiece connector can be used with most of the Kenwood radios and it normally sells out at a fair price.

This kenwood for added security. It also features a secure fit tube connector as well as the lapel clip button. These features integrate themselves easily thus ensuring that the final sound output is of high quality. They are also designed with hi-tech microphones which help in reducing the noise level. Unlike other connectors, its wire PTT (microphone) and acoustic tube are separate. This is meant to reduce the amount of vibrations and echoes produced which would otherwise compromise the sound quality.

When it comes to style, the Kenwood radio earpiece connector is a RoHS compliant connector which has the ‘Over the ear’ FBI style acoustic tube which helps in monitoring sound levels. When you see that the plugs have worn out, there is no reason to worry because these pieces feature replaceable mushroom plugs. This is a changeable earpiece connector which allows you to change the connector to the accessory available. Apart from being compatible with Kenwood two-pin, it also works well other devices such as Motorola 2 pin and Icom 2 pin.

The Multi-Pin Earpiece Connector

The Kenwood multi-pin connected earpiece is a unique and tech savvy type of earpiece. But the earpiece is the same to the 2 pin connected earpiece in other areas. For example, both of them share very important features crucial to the audio type produced. Some of these identical features include an in-line PTT button, the surveillance acoustic tube and the clothing clip. When it comes to its value, it is a little bit pricy than the two-pin version.

The Kenwood Radio Earpieces

The performance and aesthetics of every Kenwood radio earpiece can be fostered by spending a little bit more on optional features such as the ‘swivel’ ear loop. Also, you can enjoy better use and comfort by including a steel clothing clip that reduces noise. Kenwood composes their earpieces from high quality cables featuring a toughened surface. The durable surface protects the cable from accidental strain and offers exemplary cushion to wear and tear. These pieces are lightweight allowing them to be carried and used in wherever you travel. They have been designed to withstand consistent strains common with all earpieces making it easier to be used in any environment.

Actually, the types of connectors which are compatible with Kenwood radios are limited compared to its counterparts. Nevertheless, the Kenwood two-pin and multi-pin connectors provide an excellent performance in all Kenwood’s radios making other connectors of no importance. But some people would say it is worth trying using other connectors to taste the difference. Kenwood radio earpieces consist of polycarbonate microphones which cushions your ears from unexpected high sound levels. When the acoustic tube gets damaged it can be easily replaced ensuring that communication remains uninterrupted. Also, the button or the controller is strategically placed allowing easier management of communication.

Most of Kenwood 2 way radios may only be connected by the two varieties of connectors. Thankfully, their equipment is among the best and it can hardly be rivaled. If you would want to have a Kenwood radio for your company, it is futile searching other compatible connectors because the aforementioned two works superbly. Many companies have started using Kenwood radio earpieces because of these hi-tech unparalleled features. Remember that, to gain advantage of uninterrupted communication, safe audio output and additional exclusive capabilities you will have to consider a good earpiece connector for your radio.

19 Apr

220-Year-Old Time Capsule Finally Opened This Year

A home made time capsule thought to be over 220 years old was opened in Boston, Massachusetts, USA earlier this month.

The brass box was originally buried in 1795 in a cornerstone of Boston’s State Capitol Building. It is thought that Paul Revere, the famous American Patriot, silversmith and metalworker was responsible for placing it there, along with US Founding Father Samuel Adams.

Due to the age of the capsule, it took an hour for experts to access the contents of the box. Once the lid had been carefully removed, officials found a copy of the Boston Daily newspaper, two dozen gold and silver coins, various documents and a metal plate engraved by Revere (who was also a famous engraver).

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The engraving is likely to be of special interest to some, as Revere’s work is very highly prized in the United States.

For those unfamiliar with the name, Paul Revere is considered to be a hero of the American Revolution. He is depicted in statues and even has several towns named after him. The company he founded, The Revere Copper Company, still produces copper products to this day.

Samuel Adams, for his part, was a leader in the movement that ultimately became the American Revolution, and also served as Governor of Massachusetts in the 1790’s. Many historians consider him to be the father of the American Revolution.

This time capsule is especially significant because it was originally buried by two such notable men, both of whom were obviously interested in leaving something for future Americans to experience and enjoy.

It is believed that the box was first discovered in 1855 and that its contents were disturbed then before being reburied. As a result of this earlier opening, some of the coins had suffered erosion. However, for the most part, the capsule’s contents appeared to have aged fairly well.

Marcel Comeau, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Archive and Commonwealth Museum, told local news affiliate wsiltv.com that, “We as custodians have an awesome responsibility, the protection and preservation of these materials. They’ve been entrusted to us by generations past, so generations in the future can see them as well,”

Officials at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston have said that the box, together with its contents, would be put on display for a limited time, before being resealed in the cornerstone for future generations to enjoy.

19 Apr

The Perfect Icom Radio Earpiece Ever

They are not just your normal earpieces. Nor are they just anything that lets you listen to your music. For any security guard, detective officer or investigator, ordering for the icom radio earpiece will not just be any other addition. In a world that is revolving around quality innovations, having the best set of earpieces in town should be your least target as a security officer. It can be even better if you do rely on the radio technology to send and receive signals in an institution. Just know that, if you really need some light and top notch earpieces, then this is the perfect offer you will ever get.

Product description

Different with most radio earpieces, this model is exceptionally light and durable to last for as long as you possible. They are easy to use as they don’t drop easily. However, what wows most customers is its audio quality. On trying them out, you will indeed approve of the quality audio that can be excellent for numerous contexts. The PTT or microphone holding clips allow you to simply attach them to your vest. When displaced while walking, you can simply press from the front instead of grabbing the whole unit to get it back in position. Though mostly used by investigators and detective officers carrying out operations, getting them for your security guards will enhance that surety on the quality of signal reception.

How to where them

These exceptional pieces are long wired. You can thus wear them under any clothing that can allow the microphone to be passed down through your sleeves to the cuff where you will clip them. You may also find it comfortable to clip them to the vest or just near the lapel for perfect communication. The length of the wire is about 110cm. add that to the allowance created by these devices and you will have a comfortable receiver to walk around with. For anyone who really understands what the nature of the job demands, then missing out on such top quality earpieces is not likely.

Features

- Electric microphone- it has an in-built electric microphone with a hidden speaker located just at center of the switch.

- Low profile high quality sound- with the flexible and transparent acoustic tube, you are not only assured of top quality sound, but also efficient undercover work as the transparent tube won’t be noticed.

- A 2 jack straight plug –it the 3.5mm mono the 2.5 mono spaced at 6.7mm between each.

Benefits

The technology used to make the microphone gives you the wide line between this product and some other counterfeit earpieces in the market. It is comfortable and doesn’t strain you around on your job. You don’t need to worry about your undercover job being blown up due to microphone exposure. This is what has made many customers to appreciate icom radio earpiece devices. It can be accommodated in any kind of clothing due to its small size.

Furthermore, its available connectors come in a sleek design that helps perform tasks as you use two way radios. However, you are advised to check for connectors that suit the task at hand. For instance, if one opts for a straight connector pin that works well for marine radios for domestic use, then expect a great difference in the sound quality. Each one of them is designed to work well in certain environments. That’s why buying, there will be certain assets to be considered for a perfect one for your task. All in all, the earpieces offer the best quality sounds for work stations such as real estate, transport, shipping, healthcare and security.

Cons

There are no current negative issues about these devices. You just have to ensure that you order directly from respectable sites that sell them. This will help avoid getting fake devices. It also offers you a chance to understand the perfect connectors suitable for certain fields. You will surely have no issues with these earpieces.

Conclusion

For better security performance, you will need the best headsets for communication. Without even getting referrals from anyone, the quality of icom radio earpiece will definitely prove to be the best. You can then enjoy connecting with fellow colleagues, clients and loved ones through this modern innovation. Don’t miss out on the best earpiece around being offered at just £20! Good luck!

17 Apr

How Do Ear Defenders Work?

Are you working in a very noisy environment? Do you find yourself under very loud working conditions? Then, you definitely need the best Ear Defender in order to keep your hearing system unaffected by the surrounding noise.

People can get short of hearing and even deafness if they work in noisy work conditions for long and even short terms. Thus, using a hearing protection aid is a must for them. If you are a professional music player, you need to fit electronic devices like Apple iPod or MP3 style players with your ears. The noises from these headphones can damage your ears and your hearing power can be reduced.

Thus, you need to use the noise reducing headphones for these purposes. These types of devices are also known as the ear defenders, How Do Ear Defenders Work? This can be a first question in your mind.

How the Ear Defenders Work?

The noise reducing or noise cancelling headphone ear defenders work in two major ways. The first one is that these are usually designed to perfectly fit over the years with a thickly padded outer layer.

This layer acts as a physical barrier and blocks the high noise frequencies very effectively of the surrounding environment. These types of headphones are a bit bulky but these are highly effective ear defenders. These headphones are also commonly used in the noisy construction industries and perform very well.

This device leaves the low frequency noises and these get away through the physical barrier portion of the noise reducing headphone. There is a very small microphone inside the headphone that pocks up the unwanted noise or sound.

The highly advanced electronic circuits inside the headphones turn the sound wave into an opposite sound wave and play it back along with the music you are currently listening. The 2 sound waves of the external noise function to eliminate one another.

Because of these two technologies the passive high frequency barrier and the active lower frequency noise cancelling technology and the noise reducing headphones are the ideal for using in noisy environments of any type like offices, train plane journeys, etc. These devices cut off all the unwanted background noises which may disturb you.

Even if you want to listen to music peacefully you can only listen to the music by cutting of the unwanted surrounding noises with the help of the noise cutting headphones. These devices also work effectively while you are talking with someone on your mobile phone and the call is disrupted by unwanted surrounding noises.

How to protect your years?

The sounds are all turned into electrical signals that finally reach your brains. The tiny hairs of your cochlea pick up the sound vibrations. These hairs can get damaged if the sound vibrations are too high. The inner ear damages cannot be reversed.

Noise in the factories is one of the biggest sources of severe hearing losses. Thus, the workers in the factories, who have to work for long hours face serious hearing problems. They must use the most technically advanced ear defender for protection during the working hours.

13 Apr

A Look at the Motorola DP4400

Motorola DP4400 is a device that is capable of transforming your enterprise by making employee interactions much smarter and safer. The device features best-in-class audio and high-tech data capabilities; all meant to bring a new revolution in the world of communication.

The DP4400 delivers admirable voice quality and enables for seamless data communications through integrated GPS and Bluetooth audio capabilities. Besides that, this device is built with an intelligent audio and customizable voice announcement feature.

Because the radio is available in both UHF and VHF frequency bands, it is extremely easy to use. It offers 32 channel capacity and five buttons that are programmable. An emergency button is provided ad well alongside FM intrinsically safe options. Moreover, the device is made with IP57 specifications to enhance submersibilty.

Features of this product in brief

- Advanced signaling capabilities

The radio is available in UHF (403-527 MHz) or VHF (136-1774 MHz). It features 32 channels and 5 tone signalling capabilities. Its large and textured push-to-talk button makes it extremely easy for the programmer to tailor the use of 3 buttons – in order to increase operator efficiency.

- Easy to use and program

Besides being easily programmable, this radio features a Tri-coloured LED which enables for crystal clear visual feedback on the operating status of the radio. There is also an emergency button which is provided to ensure rapid reporting and response during critical situations.

- Effective, efficient and operable

Another admirable feature to be found on the Motorola DP4400 has PPT ID which is meant to improve communications efficiency and system operability. Its remote monitoring features go a long way to ensure user safety alongside enabling prompt assessment of remote user status. To make it even more effective, the radio comes with elegant channel scanning schemes a feat that makes it extremely easy and fast to receive calls every time.

- Enhanced audio capabilities

With a loud front-facing speaker and an intelligent audio feature which is designed to adjust the volume of the radio depending on the noise levels of the surrounding when in use. Besides its powerful audio features, the radio makes it possible to send programmable update messages when messages need to be conveyed without interrupting other workers or guests.

- Wide ranging data applications

This radio features one of the largest collections of Application Developer Programs. All applications are customized to include unique features such as email gateways, location tracking and work order ticket management.

A final word on product

Motorola DP4400’s diverse portfolio and high security features make it ideal for government and public safety.

07 Apr

How Dick Tracy Invented the Apple Watch

Apple CEO Tim Cook suddenly became a little boy again as he showed that Apple’s new smart watch will also send and receive phone calls.

“I have been wanting to do this since I was 5 years old,” Cook exclaimed. “The day is finally here.”

The 54-year-old Cook was harking back to 1965, when any American youngster could tell you that the coolest gizmo around was Dick Tracy’s two-way wrist radio.

The comic strip detective’s creator, Chester Gould, had introduced the futuristic device in 1946, after he scripted Tracy into a jam from which there seemed no credible escape.

Gould decided that he would go high-concept and have Tracy appeal directly to his inky-fingered creator. Gould figured he could then just extricate Tracy from the predicament Manus Dei.

But Gould’s employer, the Chicago Tribune, rejected the idea as a cheat.

Gould then recalled visiting the workshop of an inventor extraordinaire named Al Gross several weeks before. Gross had developed the walkie-talkie when he was barely out of high school. Gross’s more recent projects when Gould stopped by included a two-way radio that could be worn on the wrist like a watch.

Gould now got on the phone to Gross.

“He called and asked if he could use that idea on the wristwatch,” Gross would say in an interview years later. “I told him sure. And he gave Dick Tracy that wristwatch.”

As a token of his gratitude, Gould presented Gross with the first four panels in which Tracy begins using the soon-to-be-famous gizmo. The device proved to be just the thing for Tracy to extricate himself along with his creator from the predicament.

Do you remember the old dick tracy comics? we’re not convinced that Tim cook got the idea from these comics, it’s an interesting idea that the whole of apple was built on the idea that one day they would emulate the comic books.

In the comic strip, the two-way wrist radio is created by a young inventor named Brilliant. He develops another seemingly impossible gadget for Tracy conceived by the real-life Gross: a compact, battery-powered video surveillance camera. This is too much for one of the comic-strip mobsters, and Brilliant meets a bloody end in a 1948 installment.

As a token of his gratitude, Gould presented Gross with the first four panels in which Tracy begins using the soon-to-be-famous gizmo. The device proved to be just the thing for Tracy to extricate himself along with his creator from the predicament.

In the comic strip, the two-way wrist radio is created by a young inventor named Brilliant. He develops another seemingly impossible gadget for Tracy conceived by the real-life Gross: a compact, battery-powered video surveillance camera. This is too much for one of the comic-strip mobsters, and Brilliant meets a bloody end in a 1948 installment.

Gross did enjoy a continuing thrill that had been first sparked when he was still in grammar school. His parents took him on a cruise across Lake Erie from Cleveland to Buffalo, and his destiny was decided when he wandered into the ship’s radio room.

“The radio operator put me on his lap and let me put the earphones on,” Gross would remember. “I heard all of those dots and dashes, and I’ve been interested ever since.”

Wonderment was joined by wondering, and the result powered a lifetime of prophetic tinkering. Gross followed up the walkie-talkie during World War II with a ground-to-air radio system. The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff credited it with “saving millions of lives by shortening the war.”

Yet the closest Gross came to fame was as a pioneering Citizens Band radio operator dubbed “the Father of CB.” Even in this he was best known not by his real name but by his handle, Phineas Thaddeus Veeblefetzer.

Not that Gross needed recognition. He was still busy in his workshop right up to the time of his death in late 2000, at the age of 82.

Childhood fascination was at the heart of it all, so it only makes sense that his two way wrist radio would have had a similar effect on youngsters over the years, these notably including little Timmy Cook in 1965.

On Monday, Cook said he had been wanting for half a century to unveil a real-life gizmo that worked just like the one in the comic strip of his youth.

One hopes Cook is aware that the two-way wrist radio was itself inspired by the real-life ideas of a visionary who should be as well-known to us as Jobs or Gates.

Gross observed in his later years, “‘If you have a cordless telephone or a cellular telephone or a walkie-talkie or beeper, you’ve got one of my patents.”

And now we can posthumously add the Apple Watch.

Source - http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/10/how-dick-tracy-invented-the-apple-watch.html

04 Apr

What is PMR Radio and Who Uses Them?

A 2 way radio is basically a radio that is structured to transmit and receive. In general, most voice-wireless communications technology, counting cellular systems, are categorized by two way radio definition. Usually, a 2-way radio refers to a radio system primarily utilized for group call communications. This two way system is also called PAMR Public Access-Mobile Radio, PMR Private-Mobile Radio, LMR Land-Mobile Raido, and PMR Professional-Mobile Radio.

Portable 2-way radios are frequently called “walkie-talkies” or “handie-talkies.” Not much different from “handie,” the term sometimes used to describe mobile phones. While we’re on the subject, it’s probably best to get something out in the open right now. People often interchange the terms two way radio and walkie-talkie.

However, walkie-talkie is chiefly a generic or slang-term for hand portable 2-way radios. Moreover, the term usually implies non-professional, license free, consumer type, or “toy” equipment. When referring to 2 way radios, people are basically talking about professional licensed equipment. A walkie-talkie is generally a hand-held PMR radio. A 2-way radio is of superior quality and utilizes much higher frequencies. two way radios can also be found in mobile and base-configurations in addition to using radio network-infrastructure.

In addition, two way radios are usually decked out with a PTT or “Push-to-Talk” key to trigger the transmitter. Users simply press the PTT key and quickly begin a conversation. The user lets go of the PTT key in order to hear others.

A 2 way radio user can talk immediately with other radio users or utilize radio network-infrastructure. A direct-talk amongst radios, normally referred to as direct more operation/talk-around mode, has restricted reach because of limited radio power. To defeat this restriction, a radio network-infrastructure can be used to expand the communication range.

WHY USE A 2-WAY RADIO?

With numerous choices in wireless technology today and with 2-way radios being one of the first wireless devices, some wonder if this type of radio is still a useful gadget in the current world of technological communication. Well actually yes. There are two main features that differentiates two way radios from other wireless gadgets:

-Instantaneous Communication

two way radios offer instant communication. Users can simply press the PTT or “Push-To-Talk” key and inside a fraction of a second, the user can instantly speak and convey their message. This is because of the quick-call setup time entrenched in the technology. This quick communication possibility is one of the main reasons why businesses and organizations prefer 2 way radios for their operational or tactical communications.

-Group Communication

An additional unique feature of 2-way radios is its ability to facilitate “group-calls” or “one-to-many” communications very effectively. This means that one user can easily communicate with one, five, twenty, hundreds, or even thousands of other 2-way radio users simultaneously.

In other words, there’s no need for users to repeat themselves time and again if they need to communicate with more than one user. Moreover, 2-way radios performs perfectly for group communication using a minimal amount of RF channel-resources. If every user were in the same vicinity the majority of the time, they would only need one-channel resources to speak to hundreds of other users.

WHY NOT SIMPLY USE ANY WIRELESS-SYSTEM?

There is an abundance of wireless-technology today, and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. The choice of which technology is idea for one’s group or association will depend upon if the technology can satisfy the user’s requirements. For users who need to function in a group, communicate instantly, and remain mobile, a two way radio is the best choice compared to the other wireless technology available on the market today.

You may still wonder how this can be possible with smartphones, iPods, iPhones, tablets, mobile phones available. Here are the main reasons why these technological gadgets may NOT meet the above requirements:

-Instant Communication

Consider this scenario. You are out hiking, run into an emergency situation, and must communicate quickly to confirm your dilemma. If you were using a mobile phone, for instance, you must dial a number, wait while the call is being setup and connected; that’s if you get a signal. The phone must then ring to the other person, and they finally answer, if their voicemail isn’t on! The whole procedure could take several seconds and within that valuable time, your situation could easily worsen.

With a 2-way radio, you simply press the PTT key and yell “emergency” while the other users “immediately” pick-up your signal. This is assuming that RF-channel is accessible. However, there is a way that two way radios features can surmount RF-channel blockage and give highest-priority to emergency calls, a feature not available to other wireless devices.

-Group Communication

Take this example. You need to let your staff know that there has been some changes for a planned meeting. If you have to contact them one at a time, it could become tedious. With a 2 way radio, you can simply select your talk-group, press the PTT key, and begin your message to five, 10, 15, or however many staff members you need to communicate with simultaneously. Now, raise that number to 1000 workers and imagine the work involved if you had to go through cellular phone channels.

Though some wireless systems permit group calls, it usually restricts the amount of group members that you can communicate with at one time. With a 2-way radio, you simply need to speak once and be heard by many.

WHO USES 2-WAY RADIOS?

two way radios have been utilized for many years by numerous industries and associations. Because of the nature of their operational requirements, they use 2-way radios to broadcast their operational and communicational needs. Organizations and industries that may depend on 2 way radio usage are:

-Public Safety associations such as EMS emergency medical services, police, ambulance service, fire brigade, disaster-recovery agency

-Security like intelligence agencies and military

-Transportation industries like subway, railways, seaports, airports, subways

-Oil and gas companies

-Utility companies like cable TV, telephone, water, gas, electricity

-Construction companies for road and bridges, residential, commercial

-Transport service companies like trucks, limos, taxis

-Hospitality industries like tourism, restaurant, resort, and hotel

-Service industry such as towing and delivery companies

-Government agencies like public works, embassies, municipal, district governments, and ministries

-Manufacturing

-Contractors for roofing, plumbing, excavating, electrical

-And many more…

Overall, those who utilize two way radios are frequently businesses or agencies with many staff members or workers who work in groups and are mobile.

TWO WAY RADIOS TODAY

Today, two way radios come with additional or improved features from years before. For example, display screens show important information at a quick glance, keypads lock to maintain channel settings, there are various ring-tones and silencers to choose from along with out of range alerts, and much more!

22 Mar

The Hytera Radios are starting to take some of the digital market from Motorola, what makes them so good?

The PD782, PD785 and PD702 Hytera radios are affordable, as well as being easy to use and providing high quality audio. This is a good combination when it comes to two-way radios, a technology that, by definition, needs to be durable, easily replaceable and effortlessly useable in case of emergency.

The parent company, Hytera, have been operating since 1993 and in that time they have developed a strong reputation as an industry leader. In short, they are in the process of cultivating a trusted international brand. Hytera are an emerging brand with a considerable track record for producing quality technology at premium prices.

Another likely source of Hytera’s recent success is the effectiveness of the Hytera earpiece. The Hytera multi-pin earpiece is designed for use with the PD702 and PD782 radio models. It features excellent playback, as well as being solid and durable. This Hytera earpiece is available for around £25.00 and is a professional level model, proving highly effective for many modern surveillance exercises.

Returning to the two-way radio discussion, Hytera radios include a number of advanced features, including a robust design, as well as a full colour LCD display, something that is a rarity in today’s market. There are also a high number of messaging options.

The PD785 is IP57 rated. This means that it can even be completely submerged for up to 30 minutes without obtaining any significant damage. It can also switch between analogue and digital mode and features full digital encryption.

Hytera have received a boost in sales because they have created a series of products that are up-to-date, hardwearing and professional. Two-way radios need to be reliable as a matter of fact, which is why these products are selling so well.

15 Mar

Natural History Museum Replaces Dippy Dinosaur With Blue Whale Skeleton

Directors of the Natural History Museum in London have announced that ‘Dippy’ – the famous diplodocus skeleton that greets visitors in the museum’s iconic Hintze Hall – will be replaced by the skeleton of a blue whale by 2017.

The idea is to better convey a more modern feel to the museum, one that reflects the cutting-edge science being conducted by the institution.

“Everyone loves ‘Dippy’, but it’s just a copy,” NHM director Sir Michael Dixon told BBC News, “what makes this museum special is that we have real objects from the natural world – over 80 million of them – and they enable our scientists and thousands like them from around the world to do real research.”

At present, the 25m-long blue whale is hanging –in a flat position- in the ‘mammals’ gallery and is accompanied by a life size reconstruction of the animal.

The skeleton was acquired by the museum in 1891 and it originally cost curators £250. The massive animal was beached at Wexford in Southeast Ireland and its remains were immaculately processed and preserved. To date, it is one of the biggest – and best-preserved – whale skeletons in the world.

Over the coming two years, the entire skeleton will be taken down and each individual bone will be thoroughly cleaned and carefully catalogued before it is re-structured and placed in a dramatic new pose, ready to better symbolize the new science of the 21st century.

The massive remains will be placed in a graceful diving posture designed to impress visitors to the hall.

By virtue of being the largest animal to ever exist on our planet, the blue whale skeleton will likely present an even more impressive sight to behold than Dippy presently does. Its presence could also help to raise awareness for whale conservation and preservation of our natural heritage in general.

The conservation aspect of this move is an especially relevant point, as it was NHM scientists that first demonstrated that hunting of the blue whales needed to be stopped in the first place.

This move, whilst surprising, is not without precedent. In the past, the Hintze Hall has also featured a complete sperm whale skeleton as its main attraction, as well as carefully preserved African elephants – and other displays as well.

So where will Dippy be going once his replacement arrives? At present, there is talk about taking the iconic dinosaur on tour in order to bring the Natural History Museum to the people, by housing him in regional museums throughout the UK.

Before that happens though, he will likely still have pride of place in a dinosaur-themed exhibit elsewhere in the museum, so we’ll still be able to stop by and say “hi”..

15 Mar

Natural History Museum Replaces Dippy Dinosaur With Blue Whale Skeleton

Directors of the Natural History Museum in London have announced that ‘Dippy’ – the famous diplodocus skeleton that greets visitors in the museum’s iconic Hintze Hall – will be replaced by the skeleton of a blue whale by 2017.

The idea is to better convey a more modern feel to the museum, one that reflects the cutting-edge science being conducted by the institution.

“Everyone loves ‘Dippy’, but it’s just a copy,” NHM director Sir Michael Dixon told BBC News, “what makes this museum special is that we have real objects from the natural world – over 80 million of them – and they enable our scientists and thousands like them from around the world to do real research.”

At present, the 25m-long blue whale is hanging –in a flat position- in the ‘mammals’ gallery and is accompanied by a life size reconstruction of the animal.

The skeleton was acquired by the museum in 1891 and it originally cost curators £250. The massive animal was beached at Wexford in Southeast Ireland and its remains were immaculately processed and preserved. To date, it is one of the biggest – and best-preserved – whale skeletons in the world.

Over the coming two years, the entire skeleton will be taken down and each individual bone will be thoroughly cleaned and carefully catalogued before it is re-structured and placed in a dramatic new pose, ready to better symbolize the new science of the 21st century.

The massive remains will be placed in a graceful diving posture designed to impress visitors to the hall.

By virtue of being the largest animal to ever exist on our planet, the blue whale skeleton will likely present an even more impressive sight to behold than Dippy presently does. Its presence could also help to raise awareness for whale conservation and preservation of our natural heritage in general.

The conservation aspect of this move is an especially relevant point, as it was NHM scientists that first demonstrated that hunting of the blue whales needed to be stopped in the first place.

This move, whilst surprising, is not without precedent. In the past, the Hintze Hall has also featured a complete sperm whale skeleton as its main attraction, as well as carefully preserved African elephants – and other displays as well.

So where will Dippy be going once his replacement arrives? At present, there is talk about taking the iconic dinosaur on tour in order to bring the Natural History Museum to the people, by housing him in regional museums throughout the UK.

Before that happens though, he will likely still have pride of place in a dinosaur-themed exhibit elsewhere in the museum, so we’ll still be able to stop by and say “hi”..

15 Mar

New Sighting Suggests That Extinct Tasmanian Tigers May Yet Live

The Thylacine, an odd, chimera-esque carnivore native to Tasmania, was officially declared extinct in 1986. By that time, no one had seen a live one in 40 years, so it seemed reasonable enough to conclude that a virulent, century-long concoction of wholly barbarous (yet officially sanctioned) hunting methods, disease, deforestation and competition from other predators had wiped the creature from the face of the earth.

However, that may not actually be the case, as recent sightings, including one reported in January of this year, seem to attest.

So convincing are such regular sightings to scientists, cryptozoologists and other interested parties, that a new expedition was launched at around the same time, with the hope of finally capturing proof of the animals long-rumoured survival.

An elusive predator last seen alive in the mid 1930’s, the thylacine, colloquially known as the Tasmanian tiger, has captured the hearts, minds and imaginations of conservationists, explorers, cryptozoologists and, just possibly, a handful of lucky eyewitnesses, for three successive generations.

Dog-like in both size and form, but with an oddly angular head, an enormous gape and chocolate brown stripes running across its tail and back, the thylacine was Tasmania’s apex predator. It was the marsupial equivalent of a wolf, or wild dog (an example of what biologists call convergent evolution) and it existed in Australia and Tasmania for around 23 million years.

The last officially recognised wild Thylacine was shot and killed by a farmer named Wilf Batty in 1930. Six years later, Benjamin, the last captive specimen kept in Hobart zoo, died from a cruel combination of neglect and exposure.

Derided as a pest and a sheep stealer, the extermination of these beautiful, shy and enigmatic twilight hunters was seen, at the time, as a positive step towards the taming of the Tasmanian wilderness.

However, by the time the creature’s numbers had almost completely diminished (if not actually expired entirely), it had become the first poster-child for conservation, an idea practically unheard of before the early 20th century. The Tasmanian tiger was even among was the first animals to be classified as an endangered species.

Concordantly, there is a suggestion that a collection of individuals were shipped over to the Australian mainland and secretly released into the wild there, as an act of conservation.

However, despite the aforementioned declaration of the thylacine’s extinction, evidence occasionally comes to light which suggests that rumours of the Tasmanian tiger’s death may be somewhat exaggerated.

In South Australia, 1973, a very compelling piece of footage was taken on 8mm film stock. The footage appears to show a thylacine running across a rural campsite. The gait and running style are entirely unlike a dog or dingo’s and the animal’s lithe, slender form and bony, tapering tail, potentially offer us a tantalising glimpse of a creature that just may have survived extinction.

In 1985, yet more photographic evidence was offered, this time by Australian Aboriginal tracker Kevin Cameron, who photographed what appears to be a thylacine digging in the ground behind a rock.

In 1982, Parks and Wildlife Service researcher Hans Naarding was gifted with an opportunity to observe a thylacine up close for several minutes, even going as far as to count the stripes across its back (12, in case you wondered). A similar account, also filed by a Parks and Wildlife Service employee, emerged in 1995.

Eyewitness accounts of the creature are both numerous and, for the most part, highly consistent. Although some reports are obviously mistaken accounts of dogs afflicted with mange, or even foxes, others still are surprisingly credible.

The most recent sighting of this incredibly rare creature occurred in January of 2014. It was reported to the Thylacine Research Unit (T.R.U), via the organization’s official website.

The eyewitness, named as Jeremy by the site, revealed that he had seen a 40-50CM tall creature that was about the same length as a small dog (defined as 1metre), whilst out walking in the Landsborough area of Queensland, Australia, not far from the Dularcha National Park. According to Jeremy, the creature had light, sandy coloured skin and faint stripes across its back and tail.

Jeremy says, “As I watched it from the side angle, I saw its head appear and thought, oh its a wallaby, but as it emerged I saw it was on four legs, so thought it was a wild dog. But as it went away into the next thick bush, I noticed light coloured stripes at the rear near its tail”.

Once the animal had retreated into a more heavily forested area, Jeremy decided to “let it be” and tell his friends about what he’d witnessed. Apparently, Jeremy’s girlfriend later revealed that she had also seen the creature in the area.

Emphatic that neither of them had seen a dog, or a dingo, Jeremy searched exhaustively online for any kind of striped, dog-like marsupial, but came up empty handed. There was only one logical conclusion.

Proponents of the thylacine’s continued survival often argue that sightings are increasing because the animal’s population may be enjoying a recovery. It has been estimated that if a breeding population of tigers did survive the 1930’s extinction, that it would take them a reasonably long time to return to sufficient numbers. If that is indeed the case, then 70+ years ought to do nicely.

Hopefully, it should now start to get easier to spot, and conclusively document, a living, breathing 21st century thylacine.

15 Mar

Martian Homes Could Be Built In Just 24 Hours

By the end of this century, it seems highly likely that people will be living on Mars. It sounds utterly mad, until you consider that there were only 66 years between the first powered and sustained Human flight and Neil Armstrong setting foot on the moon…

However, a major problem with this idea (aside from the fact that no Human being has ever actually set foot on the red planet) is the difficulty posed by building habitation in such a hostile and extremely remote environment.

At the moment, even landing an unmanned rover on Mars represents a major scientific achievement, which makes Elon Musk’s plans to build a city there seem especially far fetched and ambitious.

Besides, at current costs, taking one kilogram of material to the moon costs between £61,000 and £122,000. That’s a lot of money, even for bare essentials like building materials and water reserves.

Now, however, one man thinks he may have the answer…

Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis of the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering is working on a groundbreaking new method of building that, if applied to lunar or Martian colonisation, could bring us all that much closer to seeing cities on Mars or the moon in our lifetimes.

Essentially, Dr. Khoshnevis has come up with a way to ‘print’ buildings.

The construction technology, called Contour Crafting, fashions an entire building, layer by layer, according to a predetermined outline. Khoshnevis initially created the technology in order to provide cheap, quick and safe housing for emerging nations, or victims of natural disasters.

It is hoped that such building methods will also lower the demand for wood, thus having a beneficial effect on the rainforests and other areas that are being aggressively deforested for timber.

In addition, the concrete walls built by the Countour Crafter are three times stronger than a brick wall.

Writing for Nasa, Dr. Khoshnevis said, “Automated building technologies will revolutionize the way structures are built on Earth, in dense urban environments, in difficult-to-build and difficult-to-service sites, or in remote and hostile regions of the globe. The technologies under development by our group have the potential to simplify construction logistics, reduce the need for hard physical labor by assigning humans to a strictly supervisory role, eliminate issues relating to human safety and produce intricate, aesthetically refined designs and structures at significantly reduced construction cost”.

Theoretically, these buildings could be described via a computer model and built remotely, using the Martian landscape in lieu of bricks and mortar. The buildings could be ‘printed’ in around 24 hours and would be every bit as strong, (or stronger) than the building you are currently living in.

15 Mar

Here Are More AM Suggestion

This can be found on this internet site, please enjoy

I thought you should know that the FCC has just licensed a digital TV station with an ancillary service in the form of an analog FM radio station. This new service can create thousands of powerful FM radio stations, which can be leased to current AM radio stations now struggling with broadcast difficulties.

Recent studies have shown that the 0.62 MHz now unused by DTV stations can be efficiently employed for other services, with no interference to or from either the DTV reception or, for example, FM radio reception. No new spectrum, or change in current spectrum use, is required. FM receivers, which can receive all VHF and UHF TV stations’ analog audio, were readily available since the 1980s from many manufacturers, and could easily be again.

The first DTV station licensed to broadcast this added analog FM is W26DC-D in New York. No interference of any kind has been observed. It uses the upper 200 kHz of the digital channel for monaural analog FM, and is well received by the older FM radios mentioned above. (Stereo FM analog, and digital radio, could also be broadcast.)

The FCC had previously shown concern that this added ancillary service might adversely affect new cochannels, but this has been disproved for the specific conditions employed.

This extended use of DTV spectrum could solve the problems of current AM radio stations by allowing them all to migrate to this new FM band, with no need to disturb any existing service. All that is needed is an FM transmitter output injected into the antenna line of a full- or low-power digital television station.

I hope advantage can be taken by the radio and television industry of this novel spectrum use.

Richard D. Bogner

Retired, Former President and Owner

Island Broadcasting Co.

Roslyn, N.Y.

ENFORCE THE RULES

As a major player in the world of AM radio and as one who is vested deeply, I am continually amazed at people who are not invested trying to tell us how to live.

AM radio in itself needs no improvement!! It works just fine. The problem is simple: The FCC has dropped the ball and fails to recognize the problem is the environment surrounding it. It is man-made interference that has caused the problem, and if the commission had enforced the incidental radiation rules, we would not be compromised as we are today.

All these hearings and meetings always attack the AM spectrum itself. It is just plain wrong! Enforce the rules and make sure radio manufacturers build good radios.

I listen to AM with my Icom Ham Radio with its digital noise blanker and love every moment of it.

Tom King’s article (“King Lays Out ‘Critical Steps’”) in the Sept. 24 Radio World was right on — except for C-Quam, which was a disaster.

Just because the inventor of the best stereo for AM was a eccentric old man and didn’t have a ton of money to spread around in the propaganda war The Commission selected C Quam. They said it was in the public interest… The Washington bureaucrats wouldn’t know public interest if it hit them in the backside. Face it — AM broadcasters, we have been screwed by the government. Maybe if some of these high-test consultants would get their heads out of their backsides we could salvage AM.

God bless you, Mr. King, but the Kahn system rules.

Ed De La Hunt

Owner

De La Hunt Broadcasting

Kelliher, Minn.

LATE TO THE PARTY

The problem with NextRadio and iHeartRadio (“Coleman Says Demand ‘Strong’ for NextRadio,” radioworld.com, Aug. 1) is that they are a few years too late to the party.

All of the college kids I know (and I work for a college radio station) use the free app from TuneIn Radio.     If you’re not on represented on TuneIn, you’re not really streaming anyway.

Students don’t like to have a separate app for every station they listen to. That just causes clutter on their device … and TuneIn even has some AM stations represented.

Bart Jones

Chief Engineer

KFKX(FM)

Hastings College

Hastings, Neb.

http://www.radioworld.com/article/here-are-more-am-suggestions/273542

11 Mar

Who invented the walkie talkie?

The original inventor of that walkie-talkie is actually the focus of some disputes. A similar 3 names come up again and again, but how many of those names deserves the foremost credit? I’ve to confess, I had a tough time deciding.

The first name to emerge is Canadian inventor Donald L. Hings. Reported by his blog,

“The “walkie-talkie” is Don Hings’ most well-known invention. The earliest versions of this device were designed as portable field radios for the bush pilots of Consolidated Mining and Smelting (now Cominco), who had to fly their planes between remote sites in the far north of Canada. The first true walkie-talkie was built by Hings in 1937, but it was not called a walkie-talkie at the time. In Hings’ notes, it was simply a two-way field radio. They were also called wireless sets, or “pack sets”. The term “walkie-talkie” (sometimes “talkie-walkie”) was coined by journalists reporting on these new inventions during the war”.

The site maintains (fittingly, I think) that walkie-talkies were not particularly recognized until the occurrence of the 2nd World War in 1939.

An additional name which is frequently mentioned is United states inventor Al Gross. Gross seemingly patented the term ‘walkie talkie’ in 1938, after which, the term was actually used by the media as a ‘catch all’ name for just about any/all lightweight 2 way radios. Undoubtedly, Gross worked on the technology and was instrumental in its plan, but did he devise the walkie-talkie? Lemelson-MIT appears to think so, as their blog says of Gross:

“The pioneer nonpareil of wireless telecommunications is Al Gross. In 1938, he invented the walkie-talkie. In 1948, he pioneered Citizens’ Band (CB) radio. In 1949, he invented the telephone pager. His other inventions include the basics of cordless and cellular telephony. (…) Determined to exploit the unexplored frequencies above 100 MHz, Gross set about inventing a mobile, lightweight, hand-held two-way radio. In two years, Gross had invented and patented the “walkie-talkie” (1938)”.

If Hings invented the walkie talkie back in 1937, then that signifies that Gross basically re-invented the identical device in 1938. If that is undeniably true, then certainly Hings is the chap most responsible, right?

Well, before you make your minds up, let Wiki Replies present some more names; their account of that walkie-talkie’s creation states that,

“The first radio receiver/transmitter to be nicknamed “Walkie-Talkie” was the backpacked Motorola SCR-300, created by an engineering team in 1940 at the Galvin Manufacturing Company (forerunner of Motorola). The team consisted of Dan Noble, who conceived of the design using FM technology, Henryk Magnuski who was the principal RF engineer, Bill Vogel, Lloyd Morris, and Marion Bond”. 

This Motorola team, headed up by Dan Noble, actually made the walkie-talkie in 1940, a full three years after Hings allegedly created it and 2 years after Gross apparently patented it. Ugh. This is giving me a headache!

So, perhaps we can clear this up a little now. The name ‘walkie-talkie’ was commonly applied to WW2-era Motorola radio, which led to Dan Noble’s staff being accredited with its creation. That is true, Noble and co DID create that particular model, however the technology itself had clearly existed before.

Now, Hings’ model was noticeably more portable, and pretty different to the Motorola model. Hings named his invention a ‘packset’ so it was consequently entirely probable for Gross to have patented the same invention (under the term ‘walkie-talkie’) in 1938 and for that name to migrate over to the Motorola adaptation, via the wartime press (1939 – 1945 was not a well-known era of journalistic accuracy, lest we forget).

Reported by Wikipedia, Hings’ model did not get used by the forces until 1942, the results of which would be Don Noble and co being credited with the invention, with Hings being relegated to the spot of just another engineer (Hings was employed by the allies during WW2) who was working on armed forces gear.

Largely, I’d say that Hings is likely the likeliest inventor of the initial technology and definitely of the portable system we understand today. Still, with so many talented inventors functioning at around the same time, this indicates as possible to claim Gross as inventor of the walkie-talkie as well. Hings pioneered it, Gross patented it and Noble’s team brought it into mass manufacture and normal usage. There. Simple, right?

07 Mar

New Sighting Suggests That Extinct Tasmanian Tigers May Yet Live

The Thylacine, an odd, chimera-esque carnivore native to Tasmania, was officially declared extinct in 1986. By that time, no one had seen a live one in 40 years, so it seemed reasonable enough to conclude that a virulent, century-long concoction of wholly barbarous (yet officially sanctioned) hunting methods, disease, deforestation and competition from other predators had wiped the creature from the face of the earth.

However, that may not actually be the case, as recent sightings, including one reported in January of this year, seem to attest.

So convincing are such regular sightings to scientists, cryptozoologists and other interested parties, that a new expedition was launched at around the same time, with the hope of finally capturing proof of the animals long-rumoured survival.

An elusive predator last seen alive in the mid 1930’s, the thylacine, colloquially known as the Tasmanian tiger, has captured the hearts, minds and imaginations of conservationists, explorers, cryptozoologists and, just possibly, a handful of lucky eyewitnesses, for three successive generations.

Dog-like in both size and form, but with an oddly angular head, an enormous gape and chocolate brown stripes running across its tail and back, the thylacine was Tasmania’s apex predator. It was the marsupial equivalent of a wolf, or wild dog (an example of what biologists call convergent evolution) and it existed in Australia and Tasmania for around 23 million years.

The last officially recognised wild Thylacine was shot and killed by a farmer named Wilf Batty in 1930. Six years later, Benjamin, the last captive specimen kept in Hobart zoo, died from a cruel combination of neglect and exposure.

Derided as a pest and a sheep stealer, the extermination of these beautiful, shy and enigmatic twilight hunters was seen, at the time, as a positive step towards the taming of the Tasmanian wilderness.

However, by the time the creature’s numbers had almost completely diminished (if not actually expired entirely), it had become the first poster-child for conservation, an idea practically unheard of before the early 20th century. The Tasmanian tiger was even among was the first animals to be classified as an endangered species.

Concordantly, there is a suggestion that a collection of individuals were shipped over to the Australian mainland and secretly released into the wild there, as an act of conservation.

However, despite the aforementioned declaration of the thylacine’s extinction, evidence occasionally comes to light which suggests that rumours of the Tasmanian tiger’s death may be somewhat exaggerated.

In South Australia, 1973, a very compelling piece of footage was taken on 8mm film stock. The footage appears to show a thylacine running across a rural campsite. The gait and running style are entirely unlike a dog or dingo’s and the animal’s lithe, slender form and bony, tapering tail, potentially offer us a tantalising glimpse of a creature that just may have survived extinction.

In 1985, yet more photographic evidence was offered, this time by Australian Aboriginal tracker Kevin Cameron, who photographed what appears to be a thylacine digging in the ground behind a rock.

In 1982, Parks and Wildlife Service researcher Hans Naarding was gifted with an opportunity to observe a thylacine up close for several minutes, even going as far as to count the stripes across its back (12, in case you wondered). A similar account, also filed by a Parks and Wildlife Service employee, emerged in 1995.

Eyewitness accounts of the creature are both numerous and, for the most part, highly consistent. Although some reports are obviously mistaken accounts of dogs afflicted with mange, or even foxes, others still are surprisingly credible.

The most recent sighting of this incredibly rare creature occurred in January of 2014. It was reported to the Thylacine Research Unit (T.R.U), via the organization’s official website.

The eyewitness, named as Jeremy by the site, revealed that he had seen a 40-50CM tall creature that was about the same length as a small dog (defined as 1metre), whilst out walking in the Landsborough area of Queensland, Australia, not far from the Dularcha National Park. According to Jeremy, the creature had light, sandy coloured skin and faint stripes across its back and tail.

Jeremy says, “As I watched it from the side angle, I saw its head appear and thought, oh its a wallaby, but as it emerged I saw it was on four legs, so thought it was a wild dog. But as it went away into the next thick bush, I noticed light coloured stripes at the rear near its tail”.

Once the animal had retreated into a more heavily forested area, Jeremy decided to “let it be” and tell his friends about what he’d witnessed. Apparently, Jeremy’s girlfriend later revealed that she had also seen the creature in the area.

Emphatic that neither of them had seen a dog, or a dingo, Jeremy searched exhaustively online for any kind of striped, dog-like marsupial, but came up empty handed. There was only one logical conclusion.

Proponents of the thylacine’s continued survival often argue that sightings are increasing because the animal’s population may be enjoying a recovery. It has been estimated that if a breeding population of tigers did survive the 1930’s extinction, that it would take them a reasonably long time to return to sufficient numbers. If that is indeed the case, then 70+ years ought to do nicely.

Hopefully, it should now start to get easier to spot, and conclusively document, a living, breathing 21st century thylacine.

26 Feb

TURTLE BEACH ELITE 800 REVIEW

Turtle Beach’s Elite 800 wireless headset for PlayStation 4 screams “flagship.” It’s a gorgeous piece of kit, all shiny black with lush earpads and rounded edges. Set the free-standing headset on its charge base, which doubles as the wireless transmitter, and it’s an eye-catching addition to an entertainment center. Pop ‘em on your head, and the feeling of quality carries over. Save for a handful of notable flaws, this is perhaps the best headset that Turtle Beach has ever produced.

We’ll start with the form factor. The Elite 800 feels solid from the moment that you first pick it up. It’s not so heavy that it’s uncomfortable resting on your head, but nothing about it feels flimsy or poorly put together. The thick plastic is also adorned with flourishes of metal and blue plastic, and the thick earcup padding looks eminently comfortable even from a distance. There isn’t even a visible mic jutting out from the thing, though there are actually two — they’re invisible, built directly into the unit.

If you wanted to describe the headset in one word, that word would be “sleek.”

The stylish design sensibilities carry over to the charging base as well. The oval-shaped unit is topped by two small depressions, one of which is fitted with magnets and charging contacts. In charge mode, the headset sits upright, with each earcup slotting into its own shallow well.

The magnets do a good enough job of sliding the contacts into place, but it’s relatively easy to set the headset down in the charging bay incorrectly. Improper placement prevents the Elite 800 from charging, so it’s important to be careful when setting it into the cradle. One handy tip that Turtle Beach’s documentation doesn’t mention: If you hear the headset’s power cycle on, then off, after you set it down, you know it’s charging.

TurtleBeach Elite 800 review hinge macro

The base station connects to a PlayStation 4 (it also works with PlayStation 3, and with mobile devices using Bluetooth) via a USB cord, for power, and an optical audio cable, both of which are included. The optical audio is expected, but the fact that the base station/transmitter draws power from the console isn’t ideal.

The PS4 has only two USB ports located on the front of the machine, and one of them always has to be occupied if you’re using an Elite 800. Couple that with the fact that the PS4’s DualShock 4 controller already doesn’t have the best battery life, and you can see where problems might start to crop up.

That’s not the only problem with the base station, however. The PS4 doesn’t provide a charge to the transmitter when the console is completely powered down. Sony does offer a “Rest Mode” that continues to send a charge through connected cables, but it’s all too easy to shut the whole thing off and stop charging the headset. It’s possible to wire the Elite 800 directly into another power source, such as a computer, but this problem could just as easily have been solved by including a wall plug power adapter for the unit. As is, you’ll probably want to go grab one for yourself.

Power is also sometimes a problem with the headset itself. Turtle Beach promises 10 hours of life on a full charge, but that number comes down when features like Active Noise Cancelling are used. If you’re prone to participate in marathon gaming sessions, it might be a good idea to keep a backup pair of headphones handy. The headset also does a terrible job of communicating when low on battery power; instead of simply shutting down, the audio starts to crackle and fade in/out, giving the impression that there’s signal interference.

Despite these issues, the Elite 800 makes a strong case for itself in the realm of overall performance. It’s comfortable to wear thanks to the thick, padded earcups and additional padding up top. The material is surprisingly breathable, keeping ear sweats at bay, but discomfort sometimes crops up during especially lengthy sessions thanks to a snug fit that presses the inside of the headphones against the tips of your ears.

In terms of sound, the Elite 800 delivers dynamite performance. Positional audio, enabled by DTS Headphone:X 7.1 virtual surround technology, is among the best we’ve heard in a two-driver headset. It’s easy to pick up on an audio source by both location and distance, even when you’ve got heavily layered audio blasting through the headphones. For multiplayer games like Destiny or Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, there’s a definite advantage in being able to tell where potential threats are coming from.

TurtleBeach Elite 800 review controls

The Elite 800 also has a multitude of settings to fiddle with. The earcups and snug fit go a long way toward providing passive noise cancellation, but there’s also an Active Noise Cancellation mode and a range of mic monitor settings for different environments. Active Noise Cancellation definitely isn’t for everyone, but it’s handy – as is the variable mic monitor – in all different types of playing spaces.

As usual, Turtle Beach’s own “Signature Sound” setting provides the best overall virtual surround experience. There are four categories of EQ settings, for Games, Movies, Music, and Stereo, and multiple tuning options in each, with more available to program into the headset using a Windows-connected Elite 800 and the Ear Force Audio Hub app.

It’s a lot like the company’s Xbox One-friendly flagship, the 500x, but with a very important difference. The Xbox cans communicate which setting is active using high/low beeps that practically require the user to have a cheat sheet on hand. The Elite 800 addresses this problem, using a pre-recorded voice that communicates settings changes as you make them.

While it’s very handy, cycling through the headset’s various settings can also be a pain. Everything from EQ settings to power to mic monitor to Bluetooth on/off (the Elite 800 can pair with mobile devices) is managed using four-way touchpads on both the right and left earcups. It’s convenient, but the controls are also extremely sensitive, to the point that an errant brush along the side of your head can too easily change things up.

Overall, the Elite 800 is one of the best headset solutions available for PlayStation 4. The build quality, the audio quality, and the added features – particularly Bluetooth pairing (take calls while you game!) and membership to Turtle Beach’s Elite program (mainly for the two-year warranty) – amount to a superb package overall. It’s not without its shortcomings, but in the inconsistent market of wireless headsets for next-gen consoles, the Elite 800 is a standout option. For a premium price, of course.

Highs

  • Fantastic, powerful sound
  • Stylish design
  • Lots of handy features
  • Extremely comfortable to wear

Lows

  • That quality comes at a premium price
  • Charging issues if you use power save with your PS4
  • Headset-mounted controls are less than ideal

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/headphone-reviews/turtle-beach-elite-800-review/#ixzz3Qb7dL1Nz