Sunday, December 27, 2015

Radio spectrum allocated for global flight tracking

This very simple, very easily executable solution to a problem that is growing. The Frequencies are already allocated to the airline industry and a simple piece of equipment (non expensive) can be installed. You can find the full article here.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has allocated radio spectrum for global flight tracking for passenger aircraft using satellite-based systems.

The move follows developments spurred by the so far unexplained disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in March last year, which prompted the aviation community to look into possibilities of constant monitoring of passenger planes in flight.

The frequency band of 1087.7-1092.3MHz has been allocated, which is already being used for data transmissions between planes and terrestrial stations that are within the line of sight.

Extending the system to cover also communications between planes and satellites and satellites and terrestrial stations will enable creating a complex system capable of tracking passenger planes throughout the flight even over oceans and remote areas.

The ITU agreed on the allocation at its 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference following a call by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Performance criteria for satellite reception of the signals will be established by ICAO.

“In reaching this agreement at WRC-15, ITU has responded in record time to the expectations of the global community on the major issue concerning global flight tracking,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “ITU will continue to make every effort to improve flight tracking for civil aviation.”

ITU has been working on standards to facilitate the transmission of flight data in real time since early after the MH370 disaster.

Already in April 2014, less than a month after the aircraft’s disappearance, Malaysian Minister for Communications and Multimedia called upon ITU to address the issue.

“The allocation of frequencies for reception of ADS-B signals from aircraft by space stations will enable real-time tracking of aircraft anywhere in the world,” said François Rancy, Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau. “We will continue to work with ICAO and other international organizations to enhance safety in the skies.”

In October 2014, the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference meeting in Busan, Republic of Korea, instructed WRC-15 to consider global flight tracking in its agenda.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Have Scientists found The Actual Holy Grail Of A Cancer Cure

Cancer affects millions of lives, possibly even more. Everybody knows somebody that has been forever hurt, either physically or emotionally, by this vicious, unforgiving ailment. Most of us know somebody who has lost their life to the disease.

Despite this, cancer survival rates are higher than ever before. In recent years, cancer treatment has improved rapidly, but a complete cure has always appeared to be just beyond reach, a tantalising Holy Grail of medical science. This month, however, an announcement was made that could have the potential to end all that.

The good news is that human trials could begin in as little as four years’ time. If those trials prove to be successful, then science will have made a major stride towards eradicating the disease completely.

A joint Dutch/Canadian team stumbled across this miraculous discovery whilst searching for ways to treat malaria in pregnant women.

According to the team, the carbohydrate that malaria attacks in the placenta is exactly the same as a carbohydrate present in cancer cells.

As reports, Ali Salanti from the University of Copenhagen said, “for decades, scientists have been searching for similarities between the growth of a placenta and a tumor (...) The placenta is an organ, which within a few months grows from only few cells into an organ weighing approx. two pounds, and it provides the embryo with oxygen and nourishment in a relatively foreign environment. (...) In a manner of speaking, tumors do much the same, they grow aggressively in a relatively foreign environment.”

Intrigued by this idea, the team tailored a special malaria protein to include a toxin designed to target cancerous cells. The cancer cells absorb the protein and are then in turn killed by the malaria virus. Theoretically, this idea is sound and experiments on mice with cancer have already begun.

It’s definitely early days yet, but the team are hopeful that this innovative new treatment could provide scientists with a valuable weapon in the fight against cancer. If the trials are successful, the potential benefits are simply staggering to consider. It just goes to show that no dream is too big to accomplish, provided we never stop believing that it’s possible. Imagine a world without cancer and perhaps, in time, we won’t have to.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Ice Age Lion Cubs Discovered Perfectly Preserved within Siberia

Cancer affects millions of lives, possibly even more. Everybody knows somebody that has been forever hurt, either physically or emotionally, by this vicious, unforgiving ailment. Most of us know somebody who has lost their life to the disease.

Despite this, cancer survival rates are higher than ever before. In recent years, cancer treatment has improved rapidly, but a complete cure has always appeared to be just beyond reach, a tantalising Holy Grail of medical science. This month, however, an announcement was made that could have the potential to end all that.

The good news is that human trials could begin in as little as four years’ time. If those trials prove to be successful, then science will have made a major stride towards eradicating the disease completely.

A joint Dutch/Canadian team stumbled across this miraculous discovery whilst searching for ways to treat malaria in pregnant women.

According to the team, the carbohydrate that malaria attacks in the placenta is exactly the same as a carbohydrate present in cancer cells.

As reports, Ali Salanti from the University of Copenhagen said, “for decades, scientists have been searching for similarities between the growth of a placenta and a tumor (...) The placenta is an organ, which within a few months grows from only few cells into an organ weighing approx. two pounds, and it provides the embryo with oxygen and nourishment in a relatively foreign environment. (...) In a manner of speaking, tumors do much the same, they grow aggressively in a relatively foreign environment.”

Intrigued by this idea, the team tailored a special malaria protein to include a toxin designed to target cancerous cells. The cancer cells absorb the protein and are then in turn killed by the malaria virus. Theoretically, this idea is sound and experiments on mice with cancer have already begun.

It’s definitely early days yet, but the team are hopeful that this innovative new treatment could provide scientists with a valuable weapon in the fight against cancer. If the trials are successful, the potential benefits are simply staggering to consider. It just goes to show that no dream is too big to accomplish, provided we never stop believing that it’s possible. Imagine a world without cancer and perhaps, in time, we won’t have to.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Wrestling Star Challenges Presidential Candidate

In the wake of Hulk Hogan’s racist outburst about his daughter dating a black man, another racially charged issue has emerged from the weird and wild world of pro wrestling.

TNA wrestling star Tigre Uno, who has also wrestled for Mexico’s AAA (Asistencia Asesoria y Administracion) promotion as Extreme Tiger (sometimes written as Xtreme Tiger) has issued an open challenge to US Presidential candidate Donald Trump, over statements made by the latter regarding Mexican immigrants in the US.

Trump, himself an inductee to the WWE Hall of Fame and a personal friend of WWE boss Vince McMahon, made a number of ill-conceived public speeches wherein he blamed illegal Mexican immigrants for bringing drugs and crime to the country, before further suggesting that Mexican immigrants were more likely to be rapists than anybody else in the US.

He then promised that, if elected, he would build a great wall along the US/Mexican border. And no, Mr. Trump wasn’t trying to audition for Robert De Niro’s role in Machete either...

In an act of sheer, thoroughbred lunacy, Trump announced his desire to be US President by uttering the following “They’re sending us not the right people,” he said, followed by “The US has become a dumping ground for everyone else’s problems” and also “They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing their problems,”

“They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some I assume are good people but I speak to border guards and they tell us what we are getting.” He went on.

Mr. Trump then declared that the American Dream was dead and that current President Barack Obama had turned the US into a third world country- which is actually quite funny, when one considers that, if his statements were accurate, the opulence in which Mr. Trump actually lives would make him the latter day equivalent of a feudal lord.

In response to this nonsensical tirade, Tigre Uno began to author a series of Tweets challenging Trump’s views. He then delivered a heartfelt interview â€" in Spanish - to the viewers of TNA’s most recent Impact Wrestling broadcast. The video package featured shots of Tigre in his hometown of Tijuana speaking with local people and spending time with his children.

In a surprisingly cool and patient manner, the masked luchador said “I believe that Mexico is a great country. I have lived my whole life here in Tijuana. Mexicans are just passionate about our people. We are so proud of our history, who we are. We are very hard working people, we love our country. We are so proud of our culture and we love our lifestyle”

When asked to discuss Trump’s claims, Tigre responded, “Mostly all Mexicans who come to America are good people. They are good workers. They are artists, they are plumbers, they are carpenters, they are construction workers â€" some are even landlords. The people who come to the United States work hard, they come to do good things, come to make a life for themselves and their families”

Then, his point made, Tigre officially challenged Donald Trump to come to the next Impact Wrestling broadcast, saying, “I’m going to show you who a real Mexican is and who the real Mexicans who came here to work are. Not all Mexicans are bad. I’m Tigre Uno and I invite you to come to Impact Wrestling”

Fans have criticized TNA for attempting to capitalize on the furor surrounding Trump’s comments, but the reality is that Tigre originally made his statements without consulting the company and that TNA only became involved once they had ascertained that Tigre was indeed the author of the Tweets.

If Trump does turn up for the taping (which, quite frankly, would be a huge surprise in and of itself), he’s in for a long night. Trained by Rey Misterio Sr (Uncle of former WWE Champion Rey Mysterio), Tigre Uno has a long history not only of brutal, all out ring wars featuring tables, ladders and the like, but also of performing graceful aerial maneuvers that seemingly defy gravity.

Tigre is the current reigning TNA X-Division Champion and has also held AAA’s Cruiserweight and Tag Team Championships, as well as winning the 2011 Rey de Reyes (King of Kings) tournament.

Yes, wrestling may be a scripted show, but that doesn’t mean that Tigre couldn’t do some serious damage to Trump if he got the chance...

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

He Couldn’t Hack It... Facebook Hacker Faces Prison Term & $250,000 Fine

It’s happened to everyone. You log on to your Facebook account and get a private message from someone you know, it could be an old schoolteacher, your mother, or someone pretty you met on a night out. You open the message, and all you can see is that dreaded blue hyperlink. You groan, roll your eyes and write a message informing them that they’ve been hacked...

If you can relate to this experience, then you can probably relate to the experience of actually being hacked as well. Quite frankly, it’s embarrassing, invasive and extremely annoying, since you have to run all sorts of computer checks/clean-ups and change all your passwords as well.

Hacking of this kind can also be dangerous, if you click the blue link for any reason, then you’re potentially delivering yourself into a world of virtual hurt.

Now, with everyone and their tech-retarded grannies signing up to Facebook, hacking has become far more prevalent, a way of robbing people blind without even looking them in the eye while you do it.

This week, BBC News reported that a New Yorker named Eric Crocker, who used the alias Phastman to commit his virtual crimes, has admitted to hijacking more than 77,000 Facebook accounts as part of a vast network of money making schemes.

The court heard how he and his cohorts took over the accounts of unsuspecting Facebook users and used them to send junk emails to other accounts, thus hacking them as well.

Using the Facebook Spreader tool, Crocker received $300 (£191) for every 10,000 computers he infiltrated.

Mr. Crocker was one of 70 people arrested across 20 countries, thanks to evidence gathered by the FBI’s (very coolly-named) Operation Shrouded Horizon, an initiative aimed at the prevention of virtual crime.

Crocker and the other suspects were members of an invitation only, password-protected forum called Darkode, which boasted between 250-300 members at any given time.

Hackers used the site to buy, sell or swap malware, stolen personal details, credit card information, hacked server credentials and other pieces of data and software commonly used in worldwide cyber crime.

In order to join the site, unethical hackers like Mr. Crocker had to be sponsored by an existing member, they were then heavily vetted to ensure that they were who they said they were. Finally, prospective members had to submit a resume describing their previous criminal activities, which also detailed their skills and suggested ways in which they could contribute to the illegal activities planned by the site. If selected as members, the FBI reports, these hackers would then aid other cyber criminals in their illicit endeavours.

FBI operatives, as well as their counterparts in 20 other countries, infiltrated the site “at the highest levels”, gathering enough information to aid in the arrest of Mr. Crocker and his affiliates.

Crocker eventually pleaded guilty to the charges of violating anti-spam laws and the abuse of Internet connections. He will be sentenced in November, when he will likely be facing up to three years in prison, a $250,000 (£160,000) fine, or both.

Although these arrests are proof that the governments of the world are wising up to cyber crime, please bear in mind that these people, and others like them, are still out there, skulking in the shadows of cyberspace and plotting their next attack. Be vigilant at ALL times...

Sunday, December 6, 2015

President Obama Signs Up For Supercomputer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 30, 2015

Computer Helps Paralyzed Man to Walk Again

Cutting edge technology has enabled a paralyzed man to move his legs again.

According to the Journal Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation, the subject, a male suffering from total paralysis of the legs for five years, was able to walk just under four metres with support.

The system used in this breakthrough was developed in the US by researchers from The University of California, Irvine. The test subject had suffered a severe spinal cord injury, which disrupts the link between the brain and the leg muscles. Essentially, this means that the brain can still generate signals to the legs and that the legs are still fully capable of receiving them, but the spinal cord is incapable of relaying the messages between the two.

What the researchers were able to do was use an electroencephalogram cap to read the activity in the man’s brain; a computer then interpreted his brainwaves and electrodes, placed at strategic points along the man’s legs, were then used to stimulate the leg muscles whenever he thought about walking.

It took a lot of gruelling training on the part of the patient, who effectively had to re-learn how to use his legs. He was trained, in part, via the use of virtual reality avatars and video game characters.

The results speak for themselves, although a full cure for paralysis is still a long way off, you have to feel that it just got a little bit closer to becoming a reality.

One of the researchers, Dr. An Do, told BBC News, "We showed that you can restore intuitive, brain-controlled walking after a complete spinal cord injury. (...) This non-invasive system for leg muscle stimulation is a promising method and is an advance of our current brain-controlled systems that use virtual reality or a robotic exoskeleton."

Although the results of this test are highly encouraging, experts have been quick to point out that there are many hurdles yet to overcome, among them the issue of balance, which has yet to be addressed. The patient was strapped into a harness for the experiment, something that would not be possible anywhere other than a home or hospital environment.

Nevertheless, this is still a hugely encouraging step and the success of this test will hopefully serve as a ray of hope for many people suffering paralysis.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Life On Mars? Scientists Find Liquid Water On The Red Planet

Unless you happen to be a natural history buff or a science nerd, the word extremophile probably won’t mean much to you. However, once the world’s public has a chance to fully absorb the implications of a discovery made this month, I can pretty much guarantee it’ll be on everybody’s lips sooner or later.

Basically, an extremophile is an organism that thrives in conditions that are seemingly too extreme to support any kind of life. Last year, for example, scientists confirmed the existence of microorganisms living half a mile below the ice of Antarctica, but that isn’t the weirdest place you can find microbial life. Different types of extremophiles have been observed in places as inhospitable as the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, the driest deserts on Earth, boiling hot springs and even deep sea hydrothermal vents.

This month’s confirmation that liquid water exists on Mars has gotten a lot of people â€" myself included â€" wondering if the Martian landscape may include an extremophile, or two (billion, that is). In general, the rule of thumb here on Earth is that water generally supports life. Of course, it’ll be a while before we know for sure if the same holds true on the Red Planet, but the potential implications for such a discovery are literally enormous. It would be final, incontrovertible proof that Humankind is not alone after all and that, somewhere out there, life does indeed exist on other worlds. Just take a second and imagine that.

...But that isn’t to detract from the enormous significance of finally confirming that there is water on Mars, a planet long considered to be dead and devoid of anything even remotely connected with life as we know it.

New data retrieved from a NASA satellite has been used to link the long, dark streaks that appear on Martian slopes with salt deposits. If this is indeed the case, then these salt deposits could allow water to remain in a fluidic state for long enough for it to move around. This is no mean feat, as Mars features average temperatures well below zero and the low atmospheric pressure means that any liquid water would boil instantly. However, it has been theorized that the deposits of salt could change all this, altering the freezing and vaporization points of water and, in the process, allowing for the existence of the life giving liquid.

Long-term observation of the Red Planet corroborates this theory, as the streaks tend to change with the seasons, leading some scientists to link them with trickling water, however this could never be proven, until now.

Luju Ojha, a PhD student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has used data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which makes use of an instrument called Crism to determine the chemistry at work on the Martian surface, to make the incredible claim.

By employing the Crism data and looking at four separate locations where the dark streaks regularly appear and disappear during the Martian summer, Mr Ojha was able to prove that these formations are covered with salts, particularly magnesium perchlorate, chlorate and chloride, the exact types of salts that are known to alter the freezing and vaporization points of running water.

So, it is fairly safe to say that we now know that there is water on Mars. The next big question (before we get to the possibility of anything living in it) is, where is it coming from? It has been suggested by some that ice exists at a great depth below the surface and by others that the salts are literally pulling moisture from the atmosphere itself. For now, we just don’t know.

...And now back to the million Dollar question, first put to us by the philosopher David Bowie in 1973, Is there life on Mars?

Interviewed by BBC News, Dr. Joe Michalski, a Mars researcher at London’s Natural History Museum was optimistic, "We know from the study of extremophiles on Earth that life can not only survive, but thrive in conditions that are hyper-arid, very saline or otherwise extreme in comparison to what is habitable to a human. In fact, on Earth, wherever we find water, we find life. That is why the discovery of water on Mars over the last 20 years is so exciting."

The wonderful, exhilarating reality of this discovery is that, through its profound implication, you may very well see within your lifetime an answer to that most vexing (and famously unanswerable) of questions, are we alone in the universe?

Friday, November 20, 2015

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

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

Go on. We’re all waiting.

Thank you.

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

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

So, here goes...

Episodes 1 & 2

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

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

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

Episodes 3 & 4

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

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

Episodes 5 & 6

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

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

Episodes 7 & 8

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

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

Episode 9

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

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

Episode 10

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

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

Episode 11 & 12 (Finale)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wrestling Legend Rowdy Roddy Piper Dies At 61

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 13, 2015


In the hospitality business, improving customer service, increasing staff productivity as well as enhancing efficiency is always believed to be a winning strategy. One of the surest ways of streamling operations in the hospitality business is by ensuring your team is well equipped with better ways of communication. 2 way radios are cost-effective, easy-to-use as well as a proven solution that can be very effective in optimizing efforts in food service, customer service, housekeeping, engineering, maintenance, valet, security and transportation as well.

The level of success that you can achieve in your hotel basically relies on the fundamental brickwork that you lay down for your hospitality business. These fundamentals include exceptional customer service, attention to detail, and rapid responses to your customers' needs. Whether your hotel staff members are responding to the guest requests or the concierge team is communicating with one another other, Two way radios are proven to offer the best functionality. With clear audio systems and quality handsets, these 2 way radios are capable of helping staff members improves their efficiency and productivity.

Quick, discreet and efficient communication strategies should be the main priorities for any businesses within the leisure and hospitality sectors. Small hotels, guest houses, health clubs and small leisure operations are well-suited to analogue 2 way radios. In such businesses, Two way radios are needed to pass any form of information between many staff members, get updates of conditions in different areas of the business or even monitor activities within the premises. In addition to supplying analogue Two way radios to various businesses, also supply waterproof radios for different swimming pool areas or specially toughened 2 way radio models for outdoor activity centres.

Large hotels and leisure complexes like the golf courses and gyms usually require digital 2 way radio systems, which are capable of working over greater distances. The need to install complex digital systems to enhance radio coverage only arises if the distances are very large or there is a lot of concrete (for instance high-rise hotels). In a bid to keep Two way radios unobtrusive especially at corporate events and in public, the use of earpieces can make radio communications covert and help keep sensitive information out of public knowledge. Added benefits can include incorporating building management intelligence into the radio system; for instance a message can be sent to the control centre automatically when any given lift breaks down or the fire alarm is triggered.

Accommodating a lot of guest can leave you with a lot of things to do and coordinate. All this can be made quite easy on your part and that of your hotel staff members through the integration of hotel-based Two way radios into your workflow. Having 2 way radios in your hotel can smooth your path to guest satisfaction. In addition, it allows you to build a great customer loyalty base as it allows your staff members to present a professional image which is backed by a rapid response to any guest requests.

Digital and Analogue Two way radios are already in use at some of the most exclusive and largest hotels, resorts and casinos all over the world. The digital and analogue 2 way radios and systems used in these resorts, hotels and casinos to keeps the guests feeling safer and also significantly enhance customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. For instance, the management of your hotel can make sure that the housekeeping department is capable of prioritizing the type of rooms that are meant to be prepared first which in turn helps housekeeping departments to contact stores and laundry for additional guests’ amenity kits, linen and so on. The same also applies to the safety and security within the hotel building and its grounds, so in the event of security breaches or in emergency situations where safe and fast movement of a large number of people will have to be managed. With Two way radio stations installed in your hotel buildings, you will be able to enhance the security of all your guests as well as staff in case of any emergency situation that arises

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Spy Earpiece, what is it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That should do it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Ericsson confirms 5G radio standardisation participation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, September 20, 2015

We Advise These Sepura Radio Earpieces

If you are looking for an earpiece that doesn't compromise on performance, Sepura have a wide range of products available . Here are some of the most popular Sepura earpiece products.

1. Lightweight headset - STP8X

This headset can be used in low-noise conditions, and comes with an active earpiece - allowing you to listen to the surrounding environment with the other ear. You also get microphone, which can be fully adjusted. The headset can either be worn underneath protective headgear or on its own - providing you with more flexibility. To connect to the radio, use the chest-mounted RSM unit or large button PTT. This product can be used with a NEXUS jack plug (four-pole). Remember - cover of the Rugged Side Connector (RSC) will need to be in place in hazardous environments, or an approved Rugged Side Connector accessory will need to be used and securely connected. Disconnecting a Rugged Side Connector accessory or removing the cover isn't permitted in hazardous environment.

2. EarpieceOnline Acoustic Police Earpiece

This earpiece comes with a clear tube that connects to the ear and has a separate press button to talk. It can be used in a covert or overt role, and comes with a microphone. The product will fit standard police radios from Sepura, including the SRP 2000, 3000, AND 3800, while the PTT block will enable users to wear the radio anywhere on their body, including the belt. You will also be able to mount the block easily. The microphone block and PTT come with a strong and durable metal clip which can be attached to duty vests. In addition, the radio can be worn out of sight in a covert role, and the microphone block and PTT can be used under clothing.

3. STP8X in-ear headset with PTT

This in-ear headset is ideal when used in low-noise conditions, and can be connected to the RSC on the STPX. The headset is used with a NEXUS jack plug (four-pole) and comes with an in-line PTT switch. The environmental rating of the product is IP54, and the storage temperature is -40 to 85 degrees Celsius. The weight of the item is 110 grams.

4. RAC STP in-ear tactical headset

This headset easily fits in the ear, and comes with a speaker functionality and microphone in the same product. The tactical headset features a ring PTT and can be used with a neck cord (users to cover the cord with clothing). The assembly can be terminated with a RAC plug.

5. STP8X SCORPION headset

The SCORPION headset has been designed to be used with protective helmets, making it an excellent choice for civil protection officers, fire brigades, and police officers. It comes with a receiver, microphone, and can be used with a NEXUS jack plug (four-pole). To connect the radio, you can use the large button PTT or advanced RSM. There are also a number of accessories that can be purchased for this product, including adapters for different types of helmet. Please note, unconnected headsets cannot be carried into a hazardous area. The weight of the product is 85 grams.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Beloved Wrestling Champion & Promoter Verne Gagne Passes Away, Aged 89

Philosopher Albert Camus once wrote, “What I know most surely about morality and the duty of man I owe to sport”. It is hard to find a more fitting epitaph for Verne Gagne, beloved wrestling champion and influential promoter, who passed away in April of this year.

Verne, who was 89 years old, had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and living in a health care facility in Minnesota. However, it would be wrong to dwell on the saddening end of a life as successful and pioneering as that of Verne Gagne, a man who helped to shape the landscape of professional wrestling forever.

At varying times during his life, Gagne was an NFL pro footballer (with both the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears), an alternate for the USA’s Olympic wrestling team, a multi-time amateur wrestling champion, a US marine, a World Champion professional wrestler, a hugely successful promoter and a devoted husband and father.

He trained, or helped to train, many of the biggest and most successful names in professional wrestling history, including future World Champions Ric Flair, Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat, The Iron Sheik, Bob Backlund, Dick The Bruiser, Sgt. Slaughter, Blackjack Mulligan and ‘Mr. Perfect’ Curt Hennig (father of current WWE wrestler Curtis Axel), as well as industry legends such as ‘Cowboy’ Bill Watts, Larry ‘The Axe’ Hennig (father of Curt), Blackjack Lanza, Baron Von Raschke, Jimmy Valiant, Ken Patera, Ole Anderson, Jim Brunzell and, of course, his own son, Greg Gagne.

Verne Gagne’s story begins on a little farm near Corcoran, Minnesota. He was born in 1926, into a very different world than the one we live in today. As a child, Verne would sit on his grandfather’s lap and listen to wrestling on the radio, as there was no television. As Greg Gagne recalled in the WWE’s 2006 ‘Spectacular Legacy of the AWA’ DVD, it was during one such session that Verne announced his intentions to become a professional wrestler.

Gagne’s amateur wrestling accomplishments speak for themselves, Verne was named the Northwest AAU Champion in 1942, Minnesota High School Champion in 1943 and ‘Big Ten’ Champion in 1944, 1947, 1948 and 1949. He was also crowned National AAU Champion in 1948 and 1949 and was selected for 1948’s US Olympic Team (although he didn’t compete). Gagne also won the NCAA Championship in 1949.

As a promoter, Verne was famous for his emphasis on realistic, ‘scientific’ wrestling, a view that contrasted sharply with the then-WWF’s more cartoonish, family-orientated approach to the sport.

After he turned pro, Verne Gagne became one of the first stars of the early TV era of wrestling, becoming the NWA (National Wrestling Alliance) Junior Heavyweight Champion in the process. In an era of more serious, credible and ‘straight-laced’ wrestling, Verne Gagne exhibited a special kind of charisma, which was backed up by his great work-rate and wholly believable matches. He was also among the first wrestlers to seek endorsements outside of the wrestling world, a move which paid off handsomely at the time and hinted at a high level of business acumen.

Eventually, as Gagne’s popularity with wrestling audiences increased, he became frustrated at the NWA’s apparent unwillingness to allow him a run with the World’s Heavyweight Championship, at that time held by Lou Thesz. Later, when Pat O’Connor was World Champion, the NWA again refused Gagne a title run. Because of this, largely political, limitation, Gagne and his partner Wally Karbo purchased the Minneapolis territory and seceded from the NWA, taking several other territories with them and forming the bedrock of the American Wrestling Association (AWA) in the process.

The AWA proved to be a successful venture and ran between 1960 and 1991. During that time, the company expanded outwards into traditional NWA territories, in a similar (albeit less aggressive) manner to the way that Vince McMahon Jr’s WWF would expand in the 1980’s. Vince Jr has even gone on record to say that if he hadn’t taken wrestling national when he did, Verne Gagne would have done so.

Whilst still an active competitor, Verne drew criticisms in some quarters for constantly booking himself as the AWA World Champion, including one run that lasted from 1968 until late 1975 (he eventually lost the belt to Nick Bockwinkel). However, it should be noted that Verne was undeniably the promotion’s biggest star and that the company was effectively built around his star power. As AWA World Champion, Verne feuded with some of the all-time greats of pro wrestling, stars like Bockwinkel, Fritz Von Erich, Gene Kiniski and The Crusher.

In the 1980’s, the AWA found itself going head-to-head with Vince McMahon’s WWF, a promotion which had been mainly built around the acquisition of Hulk Hogan, a man who had been the AWA’s biggest drawing card not long before. McMahon sought to dominate the wrestling industry by expanding his New York-based territory via cable television. Almost overnight, the AWA’s top talent abandoned Verne’s outfit for the greater exposure offered by McMahon’s WWF and the AWA suffered for a lack of credible main event stars.

Despite this, Gagne’s AWA still offered a very different product to McMahon’s WWF. Where the WWF promoted bodybuilders and super heavyweight ‘big man’ bouts as its top attractions, the AWA was still offering classier, more traditional wrestling matches.

Even under diminished circumstances, the AWA was still an important starting point for many wrestlers to polish their performances and ‘round out’ their ring work and personas.

Over the years, Gagne’s promotion gave a start to many talents that are now regarded as legends within the wrestling industry, including WWE Hall of Famers Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes, ‘Superstar’ Billy Graham, Scott Hall, Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura, The Road Warriors and even announcer ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund, as well as many other stars including Big Van Vader, The Nasty Boys, ‘Mad Dog’ Vachon, Marty Jannetty and Rick ‘The Model’ Martel.

The AWA hung on for as long as it could, but in the wake of the WWF onslaught and an ongoing legal dispute concerning some land he owned along Lake Minnetonka, Verne was effectively forced out of business, going bankrupt in 1991 and later selling his company (and its entire video library) to the WWF.

Despite the ultimate demise of the AWA, Verne Gagne remained one of the most recognised, respected and beloved professional wrestlers of all time. In his 2013 book ‘The 50 Greatest Professional Wrestlers of All Time’, former ‘Wrestling at the Chase’ announcer Larry Matysik ranked Gagne at number 11, saying “As much as his ownership of the AWA leads to criticism that he was its champion, the reality of the promotion’s huge profitability for more than two decades demonstrates that the audience bought him as that champion. And AWA shows drew well even when Gagne was not working”.

Gagne’s legacy as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time is already assured. By the time he retired, he was a 15-time World Champion (10 time AWA World Heavyweight Champion, 5 time Omaha World Championship), as well as a Champion in Japan.

He was an inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame, as well as the WCW, Professional Wrestling and Wrestling Observer equivalents. In addition to his incredible in-ring exploits, Verne Gagne should also be remembered as one of the most successful wrestling promoters ever, as well as one of the best teachers the industry ever produced.

For his talent, charisma and freewheeling entrepreneurial spirit, Verne will always be remembered as one of the very best. He was, to quote his son Greg, “a special man”.

Saturday, September 5, 2015


As this article shows rules on what information can be relayed from the team to the driver over the radio have been restricted, it actually started last season and has been carried over.

Drivers racing the 2015 season will still be subject to the same radio message restrictions imposed by the FIA last year, with the governing body adding that a “a few more” may be included before the start of the season.

Last year, in response to a belief that information being relayed to drivers by engineers concerning performance was against the spirit of article 20.1 of the Sporting Regulations, which state that “the driver must drive the car alone and unaided”, the FIA contemplated a blanket ban on radio traffic between teams and drivers concerning car and driver performance.

However, following consultation with teams, officials modified their position, saying, at the Singapore Grand Prix, that it would delay restricting car performance messages until this season due to the complexity of introducing the ban at short notice and the potential for differing effects among teams. The FIA issued a revised advisory specifying a range of messages that would no longer be permitted.

According to an FIA spokesman the F1 Strategy Group has now ruled that the current restrictions are sufficient and that race officials will expect teams to continue to respect the technical directive issued in Singapore.

“The Strategy Group, from whom the original request to limit what messages could be delivered to the drivers, now feel that the balance is right by only limiting messages that can be considered driver “coaching”,” said the FIA spokesman. “Therefore, the only messages we will not permit are those listed in TD/041-14 from last year.”

He added, however, that there is still scope for further message types to be prohibited.

“We may add a few to this before the start of the season and re-issue the TD,” he said.

The issue of driver coaching is of particular relevance this year to teams such as Toro Rosso, who are fielding two rookies, including F1’s youngest driver, 17-year-old Max Verstappen.

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 14.33.35

Toro Rosso’s Franz Tost was strong opponent of the coaching ban, with the team boss saying last September that the changes contained in the technical directive.

“The changes are absolutely not necessary,” he said during the FIA’s press conference in Singapore.

“All the information the drivers get is also entertainment for the people in front of the TV to hear,” he added.

“For us of course it’s a big disadvantage because the more un-experienced the driver is there’s more information you have to give him.

“For me it’s absolutely nonsense what we are discussing here because in all the other kinds of sports a coach gives some informations, instructions to a football player, for example, on the sideline or wherever.

“This does not mean that the sportsman is not able to do his job, he can do his job, he does do his job, but maybe he can do it in a better way, it’s just a performance improvement. Therefore I don’t understand it.”

Under FIA technical directive TD/041 messages concerning the following are not permitted (either by radio or pit board)

-           Driving lines on the circuit.

-           Contact with kerbs.

-           Car set up parameters for specific corners.

-           Comparative or absolute sector time detail of another driver.

-           Speeds in corners compared to another driver.

-           Gear selection compared with another driver.

-           Gear selection in general.

-           Braking points.

-           Rate of braking compared to another driver.

-           Rate of braking or application of brakes in general.

-           Car stability under braking.

-           Throttle application compared to another driver.

-           Throttle application in general.

-           Use of DRS compared with another driver.

-           Use of any overtake button.

-           Driving technique in general.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

2 Way Radios for Business

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

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

Why Should I Choose Two Way Business Radios?

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

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

Where Will I Use the Two Way Business Radios?

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

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

So What Types of Two Way Business Radio Are There?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Analogue or Digital Two Way Business Radio?

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

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

Closing Notes

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

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

Monday, August 31, 2015

Everything You Should Be Familiar With Icom Earpieces And Icom Radios

The range of accessories offered by icom includes earpieces, radios, radio chargers, and microphones. Each product of icom is nicely designed, compact in shape and having one year warranty.

Working of icom earpiece

The icom earpiece is in G-Shape with right angled 2 pin headset along with PTT microphone. The use of earpiece is the most economical and highly preferred by the users while using the two way radio.

It is suitable for long distance communication and also it helps the radio user in making the private communications. The earpiece is made up of smooth material with soft rubbery surface which can comfortably fit over the ear bones.

The icom earpiece is the part of the radio which has coiled wire with a medium sized push to talk. The attached microphone is designed so well that it works in the loudest situations and in noisy environments. The microscope with its PTT unit is attached to the G-shaped earpiece. In most cases the earpieces with 2-pin connectors are the most common to be used in the radios which are useful in both marine field and the aviation field.

The connector having straight angle is present on the earpieces is mainly used by the radios to either switch on or off the sound directly.

Types of icom earpieces

The earpieces with single connection such as IC (with various identification codes which defines the uniqueness of this Icom Radio Earpiece with Microphone) have the straight fit connectors with the cable which controls the volume without affecting the earpiece.

The earpieces with two pin connectors such as IC - (with various identification codes which defines the uniqueness of the earpiece) have separate volume control switch along with the earpieces which will fit into the radio easily without any difficulty.

The 2 pin connectors in available for these Icom radios (with various identification codes which defines the uniqueness of the earpiece) having the well-designed compact switch for sound control and it helps the earpiece to fit comfortably into the radio without affecting its operations.

Features of icom earpiece

Most of the two pin connector fit comfortably into all types of icom radios depending on special kind of earpieces which can match the code number of the radio set. The information gives clarity about the compatibility of earpiece for the particular radio has been given in the detailed chart.

The icom earpiece has in-built microphone which is located in the middle of PTT switch and the flexible usage helps in transmitting the sound without using the microphone.

The icom marine radio

The range of icom marine products includes- Marine VHF, Marine HF and Marine UHF radios. Each one of the products has been time-tested and of higher quality and reliability.

The icom marine radio is water proof and starts flashing red light when comes in contact with water. The marine radio is lighter in weight but having high transmition capability and having longer battery life which is more than 10 hours.

The marine radio has beenbuilt with the help of advanced radio technology and it works perfectly well based on human reactions. Presently this device is used mainly by the security personnel and the police force in UK.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Concept Headphones That Won’t Get You Killed While Biking

“EVERY SINGLE DAY, I see at least five or six people with headphones on while cycling,” says Gemma Roper. The designer and recent graduate of London’s Royal College of Art finds the habit a troubling distraction but also an understandable tactic of using music to soften a harsh daily commute.

The problem is that cyclists also need to stay alert to certain sounds in order to be safe while weaving through traffic. Riding is already dicey in London, Roper says, because the local infrastructure accommodates bus and car traffic over cyclists. The city has seen eight cyclist fatalities so far this year; last year, there were 13. Roper decided that music pumping through earphones shouldn’t contribute to the risk. Her Safe + Sound headphone design uses bone conduction to play tunes through wearers’ cheekbones, instead of directly into their eardrums, so they can still detect ambient noise.

Bone-conduction headphones work by playing soundwave vibrations on top of bones, which then transmit the waves into to the Cochlea, or inner ear, bypassing the delicate eardrum. It could work anywhere on the body but works best near the ear. The technique itself is oldâ€"Beethoven, who was deaf, crafted a crude conductive listening device by biting on a metal rod attached to his pianoâ€"and a few other headphone makers have rolled out models using the technology in recent years.

Roper’s Safe + Sound are made with cycling helmets in mind. Most of the bone-conduction headphones on the market are wrap around the ear (like these, and these), with nodes that rest more or less where a helmet strap would sit. Asking cyclists to layer up headgear is an uncomfortable and unreasonable ask. At the same time, making any modifications to the helmet that might deter a rider from wearing one is out of the question. So Roper created something that could clip onto to a helmet’s straps. While testing out the idea, she also found that asking cyclists to tote around two pairs of headphones will slow down adoption, so her buds convert into a regular pair of headphones; the modular bone-conducting pieces fit magnetically into a pair of gold muffs.

London has yet to pass a ban on wearing headphones while riding a bike, and only five states in the U.S. forbid the practice. For now, Roper’s design, a working prototype, could be the transitional object cyclists need before giving up their headphones cold turkey.

Wearing a headset or a pair of earphones whilst cycling is a dangerous game to play, particularly in busy cities. This headset from is a simple idea and more importantly is safe. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Motorola Walkie Talkie Radios: Effective and Secure Communication on your Business and residential

Motorola is the established market leader when it comes to communication solutions for coordinating how your on-the go workforce go about their operations. The company's array of two way communication devices, from pagers to two way radios; give you the means to efficiently coordinate operations on a secure and dependable platform.

For instance, MOTOTRBO is just the radio communication device for enhancing the operational efficiency of your mobile work team. In addition, you can trust the dependability of Motorola's TETRA solution, a platform designed to offer efficient and reliable communication, custom made to suit the needs of different markets. This solution complies with the Project 25 network standard, allowing for interoperability within a diverse set of agencies or communities whether this is in terms of routine every day communication or in times of emergency disaster response.

Other than the basic equipment, Motorola offers a complete set of accessories including batteries, chargers, headsets, chargers, speakers and many more to ensure you have everything you need to keep communication lines open and performing at optimal levels around the clock. This is a commitment based on the understanding that secure and clear audio communication capability is at the very heart of all mission critical industrial operations. Whether the scenario is all to do with accelerating productivity or ensuring a rapid response team is always alert and equipped for emergencies, Motorola has a fitting two way radio solution that is a custom fit for your operational enterprise and environment.

It is little wonder then that MOTORBO two way radios are so ubiquitous. You will find them in use by someone at the office desk, on the factory dock and even while on a leisurely walk around the campus. It is all about providing instantaneous, secure and dependable communication solutions. With information flow so instantaneous and feedback relevant to the real time situation, the decision making process in an organization becomes effective and reliable. As a direct consequence, productivity increases. Other benefits will be felt in terms of improved customer satisfaction and timely delivery of services.

Motorola's range of communication devices incorporate all manner of designs and technologies. You will find both ultra-thin and others with a more robust construction for use in the field. There are some with integrated Bluetooth connectivity as well as a whole range of top-of-the-line industry leading technologies. In short, there are Motorola two way radios that fit your communication needs today and with inherent adaptability to incorporate evolving performance features for the future.

With well over a million corporate bodies trusting their secure communication on the Motorola platform, there is no doubt that these radios have stood the test of time and the company's pedigree in the field is unmatched. The Motorola catalog includes dozens of devices, all with a robust mix of features for increasing the efficiency, dependability and productivity of your workforce.

Whether relaxing on the beach, monitoring security at a well attended outdoor event or just out and about for fun, Motorola's two way radios are just what you need to keep in touch. The devices have a working range of up to 10 kilometers from the receiver making them essential tools for anyone with a sense of adventure and need for a dependable communication channel. The high spec radios are designed for portability, easy to slip into your apparel or gear so that you have ready access to the ears of your team members, family or friends.

The convenience offered by Motorola two way radios mean you always have access to immediate, effective and completely secure communication avenue. They are also cost effective and adaptable to different business operational environments. Motorola's line of Unlicensed Business Radios in particular have a guaranteed range of 6.5 miles (10 kilometers) ensuring your team has ready access to secure communication which does not saddle you with call charges. It doesn't get more convenient than that.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

What Headsets Work With The PS4?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Help Guide To Finding The Right Two Radios For Hunting

If you aren’t a lonesome wolf and like to go on hunting trips with your friends or partner, you should consider finding some high quality two way radios for communicating while hunting. With these radios, you can communicate with the entire hunting party even when you are far away from them out in the forest. If you are looking for a discreet way of contacting your hunting party members, then two-way hunting radios are just what you need.

What Makes Two Way Radios Essential While Hunting?

The hunting ground usually spreads across thousands of acres, and you could need assistance at any time while you are stalking your prey. Whether you need help with some field dressing or your partner needs assistance in cleaning the prey that have just put down, you need a way to communicate out in the wild. While mobile phones can be used for communication, the network is never reliable, especially in the great outdoors.

Since two way radios have incredible range distance, you won’t have to worry about being too far away from your hunting party. It is important to stay camouflaged in the wild while hunting, which makes two-way radios perfect since they won’t make a ringing noise. Imagine how frustrating it would be to be within shooting distance from a deer when your phone starts ringing. Moreover, these radios are ideal when you have younger hunters with you on the trip. With just click of a button, you can communicate with them and ensure that they are alright.

What Should You Look For In A Two Way Radio For Hunting?

There are a few things you need to look out for, before you go out and buy a pair of two way hunting radios. Buying just any set of walkie talkies won’t do the trick, you need communication equipment that blends in with your hunting gear and works well for you when you are out on the hunting grounds.

  • Long range

  • Long lasting battery life

  • Camo design for stealth

  • Support for headsets

  • Water resistant or waterproof

  • NOAA weather info display

The longer the range of the radios is, the stronger the signal will be, which is essential for hunting. A radio with at least 1 mile radius should be sufficient for undisturbed communication through the forest with thick brush that can cause signal blockage.

If you are out for a big hunt, you will be on the ground for an entire day. This means that the two-way radio must have enough battery power to last you a day, or must have removable batteries which can be replaced with AA or AAA batteries.

A waterproof radio is essential in the wild, so is the NOAA weather information to alert you of any of the weather changes. It is equally necessary for the two-way radio to have headset support, since you do not want to spook the animal with the sound of the radio.

The Best 2 Way Radio For Hunting

The two way hunting radios by Motorola can be considered the best set that money can buy. These 2 way radios are waterproof and come with a 35 mile radius, matching all the requirements mentioned above to be one of the best two way radio for hunting.

Coming from a revered brand such as Motorola, these are quite cost effective, with a £150 price tag, however. The 35 mile radius is the ideal range that will give you undisturbed communication, along with nickelâ€"metal hydride batteries that can be replaced for lithium ion battery life.

The camo pattern on the exterior and the NOAA weather alerts make it ideal for your hunting trip. The device is not only waterproof, but floats on water when you drop it. The design of the two-way radio has been engineered to give you a comfortable grip all day long, and the anti-slip ridges ensure that the radio does not slip out of your moist hands while out hunting.

Professional Equipment

Motorola is an old name in the world of wireless communication, and has a track record of delivering brilliant devices. The Motorola DP1400 two way radio is one such product, which matches the features of the Motorola DP2400.

This 36 mile radius radio has all the features of the latter, but comes with a lower price, So If you are in search for an excellent two -way radio for your next hunting trip, the Motorola DP1400 is the way to go. Finding the cheapest price is hard in the local store, so get the best deals on this two-way radio online Store.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

BIG Changes Announced By DC Comics...Again

When veteran comic book publisher DC Entertainment announced that it was ending its entire line of comic books and starting everything again at Issue 1, the fans went crazy.

Some comics had been running, there or thereabouts uninterrupted, for 700 issues or more â€" and now it seemed that it was all over. Still, in 2011, when DC announced this major upheaval, naming their initiative ‘The New 52’, the first few issues actually sold rather well.

DC had started out by promising a company-wide ‘reboot’ of all their characters/stories, but then baulked at using the term after fan outcry became too great. Instead, it became seen as a ‘soft reboot’, or a ‘revamp’, which left fans â€" and creators too, evidently â€" scratching their collective heads regarding which major storyline events had still happened in the new timeline and which hadn’t.

Many fans, for their part, were upset that Frank Miller David Mazzuccelli’s ‘Batman: Year One’ was no longer the Bat’s official origin story, replaced instead by the gruelling, overlong ‘Zero Year’. In fact, fans were further annoyed when other classic texts such as Alan Moore Brian Bolland’s ‘The Killing Joke’ and Jeph Loeb Tim Sale’s ‘The Long Halloween’ also departed from Bat-continuity.

Elsewhere in the DCU, Superman was no longer after Lois Lane, instead striking up a romance with Wonder Woman. Barbara Gordon, the original Batgirl â€" latterly the company’s only major disabled character as Oracle - was miraculously able to walk again and The Flash Mk III, AKA Wally West, was simply erased from continuity altogether.

As time went on, we learned that The Joker was probably immortal, that Dick Grayson gave up his crime fighting identity of Nightwing to become a spy, that Green Arrow was somehow a kid again and that Catwoman and Batman enjoyed regular ‘on the job’ sex. In costume.

Of course, there were good stories, too, but as far as many fans were concerned, the end result was, to borrow a line from Red Dwarf’s Kryten “garbled, confusing and quite frankly duller than an in-flight magazine produced by air Belgium”.

Now, just four years later, sales have apparently slumped again, so DC’s reaction has been to plan another, still more drastic, reboot of the company’s characters.

The starting gun will be a story called ‘Convergence’ and it is set to officially begin next month. After that, the company will take a two-month hiatus and return with a new and completely rebooted line. Again.

Well, you know what they say, if at first you don’t succeed...

DC has already teased a ‘new look’ for Superman and Wonder Woman, designs that, personally, I’m hoping are April fools’ jokes. Superman will now be fighting crime and injustice with a buzzcut hairdo and a jeans-and-t-shirt ensemble that makes him look like, to quote one commenter “a gym douche” and Wonder Woman now has a 90’s style armoured battlesuit.

By working within the continuity established by The New 52, but moving it to the ‘back burner’ as it were, DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio hopes that “In this new era of storytelling, story will trump continuity as we continue to empower creators to tell the best stories in the industry.”

Launching 24 new number 1 issues in June (‘The Poor 24?’, ‘Less Is More, 24?’ â€" I’m just trying to come up with an angle for this), DC Entertainment is hoping to capture a funnier, sunnier feel with some of its characters. 25 successful series will be kept, but tweaked with new creative teams and whatnot.

Sadly, at least as far as online discussion is concerned, the overall feel is not one of ‘glorious new rebirth’ as much as it is ‘here we go again’. The image in the eyes of this long-time fan (and former ‘New 52’ apologist) is one of DC hitting the panic button in yet another sad attempt to appear ‘modern’ and ‘contemporary’ whilst actually revealing itself as stodgy and out of touch in the process.

Here’s Co-Publisher Jim Lee, usually one of the sharpest minds in comics, essentially blaming the audience for the failure of ‘The New 52’...

“It was really weird when we launched the New 52 -- there were so many fans focused on, "What happened between the five years, when this character showed up, and this character" -- it almost overshadowed what the original intent of it was, which was basically to put a fresh face on the universe, boldly go forward, tell new stories. This is an attempt to refocus the line, focus on story, focus on producing great stories that become canon, and letting the creators have some freedom to tell those stories, without necessarily being confined by the restriction of "continuity."

Of course, comic book creators have been working with continuity, in one form or another, for 75 years or more, so it actually just seems to be the current crop (and thus, a tiny percentage overall) of creators who find it to be a “restriction”. But I digress, here’s more from DC’s Co-Publisher.

“I'll just use one example -- there was a tweet I saw, someone complaining about "Throne of Atlantis," the DVD adaptation of the comic book. The complaint was, "Superman and Wonder Woman don't breathe underwater. You failed." Maybe the continuity proves that right, I don't know -- I'm pretty sure I've put Superman under water, and he was fine, and he's been to outer space, same with Wonder Woman -- when those things start overshadowing the story, and the emotional beats, I think there's something wrong with what's going on in the marketplace. That's my perspective”.

One might argue that being DC’s Co-Publisher, it’s actually his job to know everything there is to know about Superman, including whether or not he can breathe underwater, but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg here.

Anyway, love the idea or hate it (and I think I’ve made my own feelings pretty clear on the subject), DC’s new line will be launching in June. Make of it what you will.

For many fans, (including myself) the reaction is not one of excitement and glee, but is, in fact, more akin to Seinfeld’s J. Peterman being confronted with ‘The Urban Sombrero’.

“The horror...The horror”