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Tycoon Unveils ‘Hyperloop’ Transport Project

American entrepreneur Elon Musk, founder of website Paypal.com (as well as many other companies/ventures), has this month unveiled a potentially revolutionary form of travel.

The ‘Hyperloop’ would hypothetically connect the US cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco by transporting commuters at near supersonic speeds. By using a system of magnets and fans, the Hyperloop would be able to travel between the sprawling cities in about 30 minutes.

The system, which would ideally be solar-powered, represents a cleaner, cheaper and far more efficient system of public transport, at least in theory.

A high-speed train service between the two cities is currently in development, but the Hyperloop is potentially a better mode of travel. Mr. Musk is confident that the idea has potential, writing in his proposal that, “Short of figuring out real teleportation, which would of course be awesome… the only option for superfast travel is to build a tube over or under the ground that contains a special environment,”

Musk estimated the overall cost of the project at $6bn (£3.9bn), which is surprisingly low considering that it involves the development of a new and untested technology.

He suggests that cars could leave at intervals of 30 seconds and that they would reach an incredible speed of up to 760MPH. The eventual ticket cost would be around $20 (£13 at the current exchange rate), according to Musk’s projections.

According to Musk, the Hyperloop would be faster than taking a plane between cities, as it would not spend time ascending and descending.

However, not everyone is as optimistic as the project’s founder. Dave Lee, technology reporter for BBC news wrote, “The bright idea of transporting people using some kind of vacuum-like tube is neither new nor imaginative”. He went on to remind readers that Robert Goddard, the father of modern rocket propulsion, proposed a similar, vacuum powered system back in 1909.

MIT aeronautics and astronautics Professor John Hansman was a little more optimistic, saying that the important question is not whether the idea is theoretically sound (it is), but is instead “could you do it in a way that makes sense from an energy-efficiency standpoint and makes sense from an economic standpoint?”

Other critics have attacked Musk’s projected costs, Alan Wickens, former director of British Rail said that Musk’s cost projections were “extremely optimistic”.

The Billionaire tycoon asserts that a working prototype would take roughly 4 years to build, but has also said that he is too busy to build it right away, as he is currently working on SpaceX, a commercial spaceflight project.

What, if any, future the Hyperloop will have depends greatly on the project’s ability to capture the imaginations of investors, engineers and the general public. We’ll keep you updated.

SOURCES:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23677205

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23681266

Record-Breaking Solar Plane Completes US Journey

The Solar Impulse plane has landed at New York’s JFK airport, having completed its impressive journey across the US. This is the first time that a solar-powered plane capable of flying in both day and night has attempted to travel across the United States.

The landing completes the final leg of the Solar Impulse’s across America transcontinental bid, which began in May.

Earlier in its journey, the Solar Impulse plane broke the distance record for solar-powered flight by staying in the air for a full 18 hours.

In 2012, the Solar Impulse plane became the first solar-powered craft to complete an inter-continental flight.

The record-breaking plane was designed and built by project co-founders (and Impulse co-pilots) Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg. The team hope to extol the virtues of renewable energy with their invention.

Piccard and Borshberg are also behind the ‘Clean Generation’ initiative, which is an attempt to encourage businesses and governments to develop and adopt sustainable energy resources.

The solar impulse HB-SIA has the same wingspan as an A340 Airbus, but weighs only 1.6 tonnes (by comparison an A340 weighs, on average, about 370 tonnes). The Impulse’s wing and stabiliser are covered with some 12,000 solar cells, these drive four propellers and fully charge the lithium-ion batteries for night flying. The craft has a top speed of 70 kph (45mph) and a maximum cruising altitude of 8,500m (28,000ft).

Piccard and Borshberg claim that their next step is to attempt a journey round the world, which they hope will begin in 2015. However, in order to achieve this, the pair will have to develop a bigger plane, the HB SIB.

US Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, was there to welcome the craft, saying,

“If you look at the Department of Energy’s research programmes and technology visions, it involves many of the same kind of technology advances that these gentlemen have put together in an integrated system to accomplish something that would not have been thought of a few years ago (…) I believe in 10 years we’re going to see the fruits of all these technologies changing the world.”

Despite a rip in the wing, which caused the pair to scrap their proposed Statue of Liberty fly by, the Solar Impulse plane succeeded in its aims. The craft has broken records, encouraged increased thought into renewable energy and proved to be a successful invention. Solar powered passenger jets may yet be a long way off, but the Solar Impulse plane proves that the technology is getting there.

How Does A Virtual Reality Headset Work?

Virtual reality, which I’m going to define as ‘the creation of a computerized 3D environment that can be interacted with and manipulated in much the same was as the real world can’, is a pretty multi-faceted concept. There are quite a few ways to allow interaction with a virtual environment (VE), but the headset is perhaps the best known.

So, the key thing that a VR headset needs to be able to do is track the movements of the user’s head (and, where possible, their eyes) in order to allow for better interaction with the VE. After all, if I tilt my head from where I’m sitting and look at the ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage action figure that stands on my desk, the positioning of my eye line will change my perspective of the figure. So VR, in order to be convincing, needs to work on the same principle.

A good follow-up question would be ‘why does a grown man have an action figure of ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage on his desk? But frankly, that’s a story for another time…

Anyway, VR headsets commonly use two screens, one for each eye, in order to create a stereoscopic effect, which allows the illusion of depth perception to take place. A PC (or MAC) will then generate the 3D environment in response to the subject’s movements (this technology is not a million miles away from the design of free roaming 3D video game environments).

There’s a really cool scene in one of my favourite ‘guilty pleasure’ movies, which serves as a nice example. The scene appears in ‘Three To Tango’, starring Matthew Perry (of ‘Friends’ fame) and Neve Campbell. In the scene, Matthew Perry and Oliver Platt (who work as architects), compete with a rival team for an attempt to refurbish an old building. The rival team (for trivia buffs, they are played by Dr. Cox from ‘Scrubs’ and Phoebe’s Dad from ‘Friends’) create a lavish, all-encompassing, VR environment for their would-be employer to explore, whilst Perry & Platt use an old-timey optical illusion device to better explain theirs.

Essentially, despite appearances to the contrary, both technologies operate on the same principle. Both are, when all is said and done, optical illusions. The difference with VR is that is reacts to you as you react to it, whereas the old timey optical illusion stuff simply stays the same.

 

In terms of the headset, that’s pretty much all its doing. It is the program (being run from the PC or MAC) that is the really clever piece of design.

What are the Best Brands of Earphones?

Brand is no assurance of quality, nor is price within brand.

The Dr. Dre-endorsed ‘Beats’ headphones series are a great example of branding without substance. They cost the earth and whilst the sound is generally high quality, the materials used are cheap and the devices are generally very poorly manufactured/assembled. If you doubt this, go and look up the Amazon reviews, or just type in ‘Dr. Dre Beats Headphones are Rubbish’ into Google. You’ll be surprised (or not) at what shows up.

Industry leaders do not always offer the best products, so it is with a heavy heart that I have to admit that any list of leading brands I could give you would be inherently misleading.

In fact, you’ll be far better off if you create a list of your individual needs, highlight the most important one and search from there. For example, if you want a headset that you can use in the gym or whilst jogging, I’d have to recommend a completely different pair than I might if you simply wanted to look cool.

Personally, I find that the Apple headphones that came with my iPod are more than good enough for my basic needs, but the best headphones I’ve ever used were a pair of Urbanista Copenhagen headphones that I reviewed for a site sometime last year. However, those headphones would be completely inappropriate for some uses such as jogging or running to catch a train.

For some advice about choosing the right pair, I went to Jamie Lendino’s PC Mag article, which was posted online earlier this year, the article is insightful and offers a comprehensive run-down of what different types of headphones can do for you. Lendino says,

“Some people happily spend more than half a grand on a new tablet or portable media device with an estimated lifespan of around three years, yet the question we’re asked often is still, “What’s the cheapest pair of headphones I can buy that don’t completely suck?” Headphones, earbuds, and earphones (we’ll describe the difference between them in a bit) are generally viewed as the least essential link in the musical chain—the part you can easily skimp on. In reality, your headphones are the most important link in that chain: A quality pair has a larger impact than the player itself on how your tunes will sound. Also, if well cared for, they will long outlive your planned-to-be-obsolete tablet, phone, or MP3 player. And you don’t have to break the bank, either”.

Whitson Gordon, at ‘Life Hacker.com’, also has a very useful article along the same lines, which you can read by clicking HERE.

So, to reiterate, brands like Sennheiser or Shure may have sterling reputations (and those reputations are certainly deserved for some of their products), but I strongly recommend being concerned more with the performance, function and price of your headphones, than with what the logo looks like.

Tech We’d Like To See: Jet Packs

A jet pack is a portable device that you wear on your back in order to enable short-range flight. There is a distinction between a jet pack, a rocket pack and a rocket belt, but essentially, they all work on the same principle. In case you wondered, Jet engines feature two openings (an intake and an exhaust nozzle), whereas a rocket only has one.

A jetpack, of any kind, is likely to be powered by jets of escaping gas.

There are numerous personal flying devices that do actually work, but the jet pack, despite the overall silliness of the concept, still captures the imaginations of writers, inventors and adventurers the world over. So much so, that despite many (many) conceptual setbacks presented by the theory, working ‘rocket belts’ have actually been built (and used) for some time now. This is a fact that makes me indescribably happy.

Why we want it:

Because being able to fly would be ridiculously awesome, as would being able to soar effortlessly over the busy streets, traffic jams and cars blaring out crappy music 24 hours a day.

A trip to the shops would be so friggin’ awesome that the average jet pack-owning household would probably make enough shopping trips to single-handedly save the economy. Or something.

When can we expect it?

Jet packs are dangerous (most require large quantities of extremely flammable Hydrogen Peroxide in order to work). They are also overly expensive (Hydrogen Peroxide does not come cheap) and insanely dangerous as well as being (I’m sorry to say) completely and utterly illogical as a mode of transportation.

Having said that, Eric Scott piloted the ‘Go Fast Sports’ Rocket Belt in San Carlos, CA in 2008, the flight was a short one, but impressive nonetheless. Similar demonstrations of rocket packs/belts can be seen via a quick trip to Youtube. All the flights are short and wildly anarchic, but they all look like a lot of fun.

So, when do I get my own jet pack?

A few years ago, a rumour circulated that it was possible to build a fully functioning jet pack from items available on the Internet. It isn’t (and you’d be foolish to even try). Sadly, true jet packs, the kind seen in science fiction serials as a safe, cheap, reliable means of personal transport, remain in the domain of science fiction, a place where they will likely stay forever.

Will the jet pack ever become a bona-fide means of transportation for the general public? No. Never, but it is nonetheless fun to dream.

New Modem To Help African Internet Access

A new modem is being designed specifically for use in Africa.

Announced at this month’s TEDGlobal Conference in Edinburgh, the modem is expected to allow a far greater degree of Internet connectivity across the continent.

The device, which has been officially named BRCK, will accomplish its goals by switching between Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G and fixed broadband.

BRCK has been developed by Kenyan firm Ushahidi (which translates from Swahili as ‘testimony’). Ushahidi provide open-source software that is used throughout various African nations, as well as Japan and South America, amongst others.

Regular, uninterrupted Internet connectivity can be a frustrating prospect throughout the African continent.

Juliana Rotich, director of Ushahidi said, “While Africa may have joined the digital revolution and mobile is becoming ubiquitous, Internet connectivity is not always reliable and the price of connecting is high” she then added “We get online and then there is a power cut and we are plunged into darkness and the Internet connection goes down.”

The central idea behind BRCK was to design a modem that was Africa-specific, dealing with the various challenges presented by the continent.

In an effort to combat African electricity shortages, BRCK will allow African users to stay connected even when the power shorts out.

The BRCK will make use of an eight-hour battery, largely to overcome said power shortages, as well as special cloud-based software that allows the user to check WiFi signal strength and availability of electricity.

The modem will be able to connect to up to 20 devices at a time and is designed to be strong and durable when traversing harsh terrain. Ushahidi’s company motto is “if it works in Africa, it will work anywhere”

Essentially, BRCK works by making use of several networks instead of just one, making the odds of getting a signal that much better. An extra antenna, designed to boost signal strength, will be used for gaining Internet access in the more remote areas of the continent.

Ushahidi is hoping that this new product helps to spearhead a rise in the production of other Africa-specific hardware in the near future.

The BRCK proved to be a popular addition to the Edinburgh-based conference. It should be released in November with a price tag of £130. Pre order options are available now.

SOURCES:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22818596

http://www.ventures-africa.com/2013/06/new-kenyan-modem-to-speed-up-internet-connectivity/

Keeping Up With Current Events, Two-Way Radios in Events Management

From cultural events celebrating the diverse mosaic of British identity, to barnstorming rock n roll gigs, events management is a huge area to be involved in.

The term ‘event’ can be somewhat misleading, because technically everything is an event. Actually, when you look at it like that, maybe it isn’t so misleading after all…

When we use the term event, we could be talking about an indoor conference just as easily as a political rally. Athletic contests, art exhibitions, magic shows; if people attend it, it’s an event, and if it’s an event; it needs a manager.

With such events proving to be a booming industry in modern Britain, there’s never been a better time to be an event manager. However, no matter how good your management skills may be, there is one little device that you simply can’t do without.

Rugged, strong and reliable, the humble two-way radio is a staple of so many activities that it beggars belief. In order for a concert to go as planned, or that installation to be ‘just so’, a manager needs to be in constant contact with the staff who are working under her/him.

A key concern at any event is health and safety and, after that, security. With so many people attending, say, a conference, paramedics need to be on standby in case of any emergency. In addition, fire safety regulations need to be adhered to, as do any building laws that may be in effect.

As for security, in today’s troubled world, the sad truth is that there are a lot of disgruntled people out there, people who will stop at nothing to make their statement. Without dwelling on this terrible fact, we must merely make a solemn mental note that, without radios, it would be far harder for security teams to effectively police such large gatherings of Humanity.

Events management, then, is a constant challenge, but the smiling faces of the patrons make it all worthwhile.

Everybody from cleaners and vendors, to front office staff and fire marshals, needs to be within easy reach of management; two-way radios not only make this possible, they actually make it easy. More reliable than a phone, more practical than a middleman and far faster than a pager, the two-way radio is absolutely crucial to the success of any big event.

The Sony Over Ear Headphones, a Revolution in Sound

With the great British summer now in full sizzle, people are taking to the streets in record numbers.

Pallid, pasty figures in ill-fitting outfits are stepping out of their homes (many of them for the first time in months) and gazing in wonder at that great big orange ball in the sky. One again, our city streets resemble a vampire vacation spot, once again; it is safe to go outside without an umbrella (Legal Note: this does not constitute a guarantee).

What does this have to do with Sony over ear headphones? Stick around; you just might learn a thing or two (Legal Note 2: Also not a guarantee).

Anyways, when you head out for a nice afternoon walk, or a weekend trip to the park, you’ll want some smooth summer sounds, playing sweetly in your ear like a gentle breeze, in order to really heighten the experience.

So: this summer, if you only get one pair of headphones: get a pair of Sony over ear headphones (from the people who brought you the PS3 – no, really).

A pair of Sony over ear headphones offers studio quality sound, protected by a comfortable and solid casing. Prices can vary, (with the top models costing almost half a grand) but Sony’s range is so diversified, that there will be something for everyone, in every price range, this summer.

If anybody knows how to make a good pair of headphones, it’s Sony. Therefore many types of Sony over ear headphones come with adjustable sound levels, making them perfect for listening to anything from spicy flamenco flourishes to the score from this summer’s biggest blockbusters. Whatever you want, a pair of Sony headphones can help you to get it.

The summer may last for another couple of months; then again, this may be all we get (it may even be over by the time you read this). Of course, as any Brit knows, the main reason that British summer clothes look so natty is that we only get to wear them once every 5 years or so (and sometimes not even that). However, a pair of Sony over ear headphones can make a stylish compliment to almost any outfit. They always look cool, even in this British heatwave!

However long this glorious weather may last, you owe it to yourself to make the most of it, so step right up and order your very own pair of Sony over ear headphones today! You won’t regret it! 

2wayradioonline.co.uk Explains How 2 Way Radios Work

To put it simply, a two way radio is a device that can both receive and transmit voice messages. In broader terms, it can be said that most wireless communication, and it may include cellular systems, fall under the definition. However, these days, 2 way radio is a term to describe radio system for group call communication. The two way radio comes in several technical names such as Public Access Mobile Radio, Private Mobile Radio, Land Mobile Radio and Professional Mobile Radio. These present times, 2 way radios are often called “walkie talkies”. There are several kinds of two way radio systems and some are able to make use of base and mobile configuration, while some re able to utilize a radio network infrastructure.

A typical 2 way radio includes a PTT button, also known as Push-To-Talk button. The button activates the transmitter and the user simply needs to talk to the device to start communicating. The user must release the PTT button in order to receive transmissions from the other line.

A two way radio is able to communicate with other radio devices. However, direct radio communication has very limited range. To overcome the problem, a radio network infrastructure may be used to extend the range of communications. The rest of the article is going to cover more details about how 2 way radios work and other useful information.

Receiving Radio Waves

Just like other forms of Wireless communications, a 2 way radio sends messages over the air. In order to achieve this, the antenna of a way radio contains a specific set of electrons. If the two way radio features multiple channels, then there is specific sets of electrons are each channel. Whenever a radio transmission is received by the 2 way radio, the electrons get excited. The electrons then create electrical impulses. Electrical impulses are then sent to a small processor, which will then convert the electrical impulses to words and sounds that can be understood by humans. The sounds are produced by the speakers within that the way radio.

Keep in mind that there are always radio waves are floating in the air. Because of it, there is always a nondescript sound that may be produced by the two way radios. To solve the issue, a lot of 2 way radios feature a “squelch” setting; and with it, the user can adjust the signal threshold for clearer communications.

Sending Transmissions

Two way radios can also send messages across the air. The main idea is to convert the sound to radio waves. However, the defining characteristic about the way radio is its ability the convert back the radio waves back to legible sounds.

Whenever a user speaks into a 2 way radio, a membrane within the device will vibrate as a response to the sounds. The vibrations are sent to the processor, which in turn converts them to electrical impulses and readies it for transmission.. Finally, the transmission is sent to the antenna which is then broadcasted in the form of radio waves. These radio waves are then received by another device and convert them back to a legible sound.

Multiple Channels

As two way radios are getting more and more popular, it is possible for more than one party communicating in the same line or frequency. This can cause a lot of confusion and interference. To solve the problem, modern 2 way radios are able to utilize multiple channels.

For a two way radio to broadcast on multiple channels, the device must be able to generate radio waves in multiple frequencies. Furthermore, the device must be able to send frequencies with very little fluctuations. These fluctuations are actually caused by the transmitted voices. The fluctuations can be minimized through “frequency modulation”. The modulated transmissions are then sent to the device’s antenna.

The device must also excite the proper electrons. Once the proper electrons are excited, an outgoing radio wave is then produced.

These radio waves may be picked up by another device tuning into the same frequency. Furthermore, the device must be within range of the transmitting device. The range of two way radio is usually determined by a couple of factors such as atmospheric conditions, radio’s battery power and the size of the two-radio’s antenna.

Whenever a device picks up the transmission, the receiving radio must filter the signals through an electronic filter known as a bandpass filter. Finally, the transmission is then converted back to sound.

Why Choose A 2 Way Radio

The two way radio is one of the earliest forms of wireless communication. However, in today’s modernized communication environment, a question arises – is the way radio a viable technology? The answer to that question is a yes. This is because the 2 way radio has its own unique advantages that may not be found in other forms of wireless communications. Below are two of them:

Instant Communication – the ability to communicate between two or more parties almost instantly is one of the most defining advantages of the two way radio. A user only needs to press the “Push-To-Talk” button and within seconds a receiver will be able to receive the audio messages. Furthermore, the entire system is set up around the idea of “quick call” and “quick receive”. This is the main reason why the organizations rely on the 2 way radio technology for operational and tactical communications. The system can also make use of encryption technology for a more secure communication.

Group Communications

Another unique advantage of two way radio is its ability to facilitate “group call” or “one-to-many” communications very efficiently. By efficient, it means that the user can communicate with one, hundreds or thousands at the same time. There is no need for a user to repeat the same message if he/she needs to communicate to more than one individual.

A 2 way radio is one of the earliest technologies used for wireless communications. Even though it is a bit outdated compared to other forms of wireless communications, but the usefulness is still very applicable today. The main idea of how 2 way radios work revolves around on sending and receiving radio waves, which in turn is converted to legible sounds. The idea and technology behind two way radio may be simple, but nevertheless it is still a very well-used form of communication in today’s world.

You’ll Never Work Alone, Radios and the Lone Worker

In accordance with the ‘Health and Safety at Work’ act of 1974, every UK-based employer is legally obliged to look out for their employees and not expose them to undue risks.

This is a good and noble law and one that has doubtless saved many lives since it was first passed almost 40 years ago. This law has also led to the development of many new technologies aimed at keeping workers safe…One tool that is completely indispensable to the lone worker is his or her two-way radio.

Today, many two-way radios come with a ‘Lone Worker’ function. This function sounds an alarm if the device has not been used within a set amount of time. Using this function, an employer can dispatch a worker into a potentially hazardous area, but still account for their safety to as great a degree as possible.

So, what sort of places might be hazardous to a lone worker? Workers who operate in and around chemical and manufacturing plants are a good example of lone workers who, using their two-way radios, can keep in constant, immediate contact with their control centre. Potential exposure to hazardous chemicals, dangerous machinery and so on can place these jobs in the ‘high risk’ category, making a walkie-talkie system a veritable necessity. After that, consider construction workers, taxi drivers and miners; people who need to be contactable every step of the way.

In addition to that, there are also security guards, policemen and bouncers to consider, all of whom risk running into potential violence, as well as scenarios that may require immediate assistance and/or rapid medical attention.

In recent years, there has been a steady growth in the amount of people operating as lone workers. Workforce reductions forced upon recession-hit businesses have caused some workers to operate alone, for example. However, there are also more care in the community groups (such as youth workers), late night deliveries being made, increased security/surveillance concerns and people taking on night work just to make ends meet. In order to keep these hard working professionals safe, companies are required to invest in the technology that can keep their workforce secure and looked after.

Two-way radios are durable, dependable and easy to operate. They are a proven and trusted technology and they save lives. These days, it would be positively unthinkable to send an employee into a potentially hazardous situation without first equipping them with the relevant safety gear and a two-way radio.

What Exactly is an Earpiece?

In general context, an earpiece is anything which becomes purposeful when it covers the ear or hangs near it. This means that an earpiece could be used as a general term for several related items which include eyeglass frames, headsets and anything else whose design allows it to fit into the ear and the block entry of sound waves. However, the most common description of an earpiece is that of an electronic device that is used to convert electronic signals into sound waves which are then directed to the ear’s canal; devices in this category can also be referred to as electronic-acoustic transducers.

In the past, the only way of listening to electronic-audio signals generated by a device was through the earpiece. However, with time, amplifiers were developed which made it possible to listen to audio via speakers. This did not render the earpiece useless; on the contrary most people use them as a preference for personal reasons which could be privacy, allowance for hands free operation or for listening to audio playbacks in good quality where there is a lot of noise. Depending on the design, devices can be described as headphones, ear buds, headsets or stereo phones.

Earpieces can be put into two categories which again depends on design and how the device functions. If an earpiece connects to the source of sound via cable, then it can be described as a wired earpiece which came before the cordless or wireless earpieces. Wireless headphones or earphones are similar in design to conventional earpieces of their kind only that they connect to the source of sound via infrared signals or radio waves. Some of the devices which are compatible with the wireless type include mobile phones, computers, CD players, MP3 players and gaming consoles with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi adapters.

Wired earpieces are convenient to some extent but the wire which dangles from a user’s ears to the device they intend to listen to can be disturbing at times. Remember, a wired earpiece has to connect to the sound producing device physically. This means that you will have to bear with dangling motion of the wire although some are designed to be spiral so that the move less. The most common earpieces come with the 3.5 millimeter (0.2 Inch) jack which has been made a standard though introduced by Sony in 1979. Before the 3.5 millimeter jacks came into existence, ¼ inch jacks were the standard. Today, there are still in use but only for professional equipment.

Ear buds have not been in the market for long but what makes them worth mentioning is their design which completely changes how the user perceives sound. An ear bud feeds sound directly into the ear drum which is unnatural because the waves bypass the acoustic contouring provided by the listener’s outer ears and head. This way, the user’s brain will assume the sound is in a straight line in the head and between the ears; the result is sound which does not have the three dimensional effect which is normally provided by loud speakers due to the configuration between them and the users ears.

Depending on their configuration, earpieces can further be classified according to their shapes and sizes. For instance, circum-aural headphones come with large pads which surround the outer ear and are the kind used in most professional recording studios. The other type in this context would be supra-aural headphones which fit over the ear without surrounding it. Ear buds which were discussed earlier fit into the ears outer canal but do not fully cover it which means external sounds from other sources are still audible around them. Canal phones which make the fourth category fit snugly into the ears canal and are therefore effective in blocking exterior sounds.

Noise cancellation is a feature which is slowly gaining popularity with the public. The technology works to improve the quality of sound reaching the ear drums by cancelling out other sounds from external sources. The most advanced noise cancelling headphones utilize a physics principle called destructive interference where the headphones produce sound of equal wavelength with noise so that they cancel out. Note that noise cancelling headphones direct some of their sound outwards so as that it cancels noise coming from exterior sources. If you plan to buy earpieces, list down the specifications you would want to avoid purchasing something which will later frustrate you.

Keeping You Safe: Two Way Radios in High Security

These are troubling times for our nation and indeed for the world at large. Our little corner of the history books will be blighted by a global recession and civil unrest as political opportunists fan the flames of religious and racial tensions. In the midst of all this turbulence, there’s us, the regular people, caught up in the middle of the maelstrom.

In a world fraught with buzzwords like ‘terrorism’ ‘counter-terrorism’ ‘contamination’ ‘organized crime’ and ‘data theft’, its easy to feel like you’re always at risk, only ever one diplomatic blunder or power hungry madman away from World War 3. In such a world, an increase in security is often felt to be the only way to achieve peace of mind. Enter the world’s high security professionals.

Whether providing security for public figures, guarding prominent buildings, patrolling national boundaries or keeping the Internet safe from hackers, high security is an enormous and varied industry that demands much from its workers. Public and private security firms are stretched to deal with all the issues and potential problems that they have to tackle.

Fortunately, two way radios and security earpieces make their work a lot easier. The same type of radios that are used by the military can be affordably purchased by the security services, as and when needed.

These radios are rugged and durable, they can withstand almost any weather type and they have strong, long lasting batteries that allow for hours of field work. Two-way radios are by far the quickest and most reliable form of portable communication, not as clumsy as a pager or as temperamental as a phone. In addition, two-way radios are incredibly easy to use, meaning that training is a doddle.

Working alongside state-of-the-art surveillance technology, non-lethal weaponry and bleeding edge computer security programs, the simple, effective (and simply effective) two-way radio is still the security services first and finest friend.

Whether on foot or in vehicles, whether standing guard or co-ordinating the efforts of a team, two-way radios are an absolutely indispensable part of the high security industry, making them a vital component of the nation’s peace of mind.

You’ll find two-way radios helping to keep secure our data centres, cash warehouses, government buildings, military bases, secure storage facilities and even more sites than we have the space to name.

The world may be a conflicted, sometimes frightening place, but the high security workers around the globe are helping us to sleep at night and using two-way radios to do it.

Inform, Entertain and Educate Two-Way Radios in Broadcasting

The disparity between how easy it is to watch a television program and how difficult it is to make one is truly staggering.

Outdoor shoots are often rushed, always difficult and dependent on a number of factors completely outside of any Human control (principally: the weather). Managing a live broadcast outdoors is a difficult job that only highly trained professionals are properly equipped to deal with.

Mistakes can cost huge sums of money and even jobs to be lost in an instant. As a result, it is of absolutely paramount importance that an outdoor shoot runs as smoothly as possible. It is not possible to control all the variables in this equation, therefore the factors that are controllable need to be handled with a great deal of care and attention.

Before we even get to the problems presented by demanding talent, caffeine-addled directors, technical hiccups (and anything else you’ve heard discussed in exasperating terms on a variety of DVD commentaries), producers need to consider the health and safety of all participants. Keeping so many varied lines of communication open requires a technology that is proven, reliable, affordable and easy to use. As a result, two-way radios are a mainstay of the broadcast industries.

Two-way radios help to keep a shoot or set running smoothly and efficiently, whilst at the same time ensuring that the production team, guests and everybody else involved are safe and secure. Without an instant method of communication, a large amount of today’s TV programming would simply cease to exist (of course, some may say that isn’t too bad a thing!).

Live broadcasting is like catching lightening in a bottle; all conditions need to be as close to perfect as Humanly possible. Two-way radios help to make such a demanding task achievable.

For directors, producers and assistants, the ability to speak directly to the assembled professionals is completely indispensable.

Ultimately, co-ordination of talent, equipment and staff coupled with effective time management and supreme professionalism on all fronts makes broadcasting what it is. However, two-way radios make it all a lot easier and create many more opportunities for better work to be done.

What Is A Two Way Radio And Who Uses Them?

A two-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 two 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 Radio, 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 two way radios. Moreover, the term usually implies non-professional, license free, consumer type, or “toy” equipment. When referring to two-way radios, people are basically talking about professional licensed equipment. A walkie-talkie is generally a hand-held CB 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 two-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 TWO 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 differentiate 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 two-way radios for their operational or tactical communications.

-Group Communication

An additional unique feature of two 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, two 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 two-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 two 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 two way radios to broadcast their operational and communicational needs. Organizations and industries that may depend on two-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!

Earpiece Online Asks, What Is An Acoustic Tube Earpiece?

Earphones play a huge role when it comes to communication privacy. When you want to personally get what is being communicated or listen to a favourite music. There are many types of earphone which serve different purposes altogether. Some earphones come with double microphone for both ears while others come in one piece for one year. There are earphones that are specifically meant for listening to music on devices. And there are some that are dedicated to special purposes like security functions. Among the dedicated earphones or earpiece is the acoustic tube earpiece. So what is an Acoustic Tube Earpiece?

What It Is
It is an exclusive type of hearing aid that is built with a thin tube. The tube assists in transmitting sound and the earpiece is mostly fitted behind the ear and attached to an ear bud. The ear bud is then inserted in the ear. They are usually fitted to a radio device that allows communication within a selected frequency.

For an acoustic earpiece to function, it should be connected to a wireless receiver. The receiver is mostly worn by the user beneath their clothing. Some have microphones which are either placed on the shoulder of the user, the tie, or chest area, or on the wrist.

Where Is It Mostly Used?
Being a special set of hearing device, it is not common to see it around with anyone. The most common people that you can expect to see with this type of earpiece include;

• Security Personnel
Like mentioned, they have only one piece for fitting in the ear and security personnel is the most common unit to be noted with such devices. The device of a security person could have an earpiece that is accompanied by a hidden microphone. The earpiece and microphone allows a 2-way communication. Some earpieces may not have a visible microphone, though some may include an incorporated microphone in the earpiece. The majority of the Acoustic Tube earpieces are designed to allow the tubing to comfortably fit behind the ear. This enhances furtive surveillance.

• Television Broadcasters
The new era of technology has allowed news anchors to use the Acoustic Tube Earpieces that are barely recognized. The TV broadcasters mostly use these earpieces for an improved communication between them and their producers. That is done so for privacy and to avoid the viewers to see the devices and the producers behind the cameras.

• Though not very common, some people use the acoustic tube earpiece for regular mobile usage. Some use it as a personal audio device while others use them with their mobile phones.

Advantages of The Acoustic Tube Earpiece
Like mentioned, it is not commonly used by civilians around and for that reason, they have their own benefits. Some of them include;
• Covert: having one earpiece with tubing that goes behind the ear, this earpiece promotes privacy. It is difficult for anyone to realize the earpiece since the tubing is clear, for that, it blends with the skin color.
• Reduces Background Noise: The earpiece is designed to give the user absolute hearing from the other end. They can be used in a noisy environment and deliver high quality sound that is audible enough.
• Durable: These earpieces are durable since they are sturdy compared to other hearing devices. The robust tube shields some vulnerable wiring that is important to the device. That ensures that the internal wiring system is not interfered in any way. Even when a user is engaged in a rough physical condition, the tough tubing will endure through it all.
• Comfortable to Wear: The ear bud of the devices is customized to comfortably fit in the users’ ear. It is also comfortable since the wiring passes behind the ear to give the user liberty in movement without worrying about the wiring. The wiring goes beneath the users’ clothing and cannot be interfered with easily.

EarpieceOnlines earpieces are exclusive in use and design altogether. Their wireless receiver is worn beneath the clothes and is usually lighter to enhance easy movement.

Some people call it a radio headset while others call it a tactical earpiece, most probably because it is a special device worn on one ear. Yet others call it a surveillance earpiece, but no matter the definition, you now know what is an Acoustic Tube Earpiece.

What Features Should I be Looking For if I Want a Bluetooth Headset for Conference Calls?

OK, so your basic requirements ought to be simple enough. Firstly, you’re going to need great sound quality. You’ll need to hear and process important information quickly and without asking the boss to repeat him/herself (unless of course you are the boss, Tina, in which case you don’t want your employees making you repeat yourself over and over).

The next feature on our list should be a great microphone, its no good being able to hear everyone clearly if they can’t understand a word you’re saying! The microphone ought to be able to transmit as cleanly as possible, without picking up too much background noise (e.g. dogs barking etc).

Another factor to consider is comfort, some calls can drag on for hours longer than they were intended to and you need to ensure that you are thinking clearly about what is being said, rather than worrying about the nagging pain on the side of your head! You’ll need a headset that is comfortable and easy to wear at all times, something that, ideally, you’ll forget you’re even wearing. If you aren’t sure how to find that, try on a friend’s headset for 15 minutes and see how it feels, if it is starting to become uncomfortable, you’re probably better off with a different design.

Once you’ve got these bases covered, you’ve probably found the right headset for you, but I’d read all the reviews you can find before purchasing, just in case! The truth is, that if you want a good quality headset, you’re going to need to spend out a little.

A Bluetooth headset is actually a good choice here, because it gives you the freedom to move around. My Dad used to take conference calls with his headset; casually dispensing advice to other attendees whilst tending to his bonsai trees. Sometimes having a little distraction can make all the difference. His thoughts were focussed and his mind was calm. This allowed him to take several conference calls a day and always be at his best. Sitting down for extended periods of time can be more tiring than people think!