What is PMR Radio and Who Uses Them?

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

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

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

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

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

WHY USE A 2-WAY RADIO?

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

-Instantaneous Communication

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

-Group Communication

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

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

WHY NOT SIMPLY USE ANY WIRELESS-SYSTEM?

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

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

-Instant Communication

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

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

-Group Communication

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

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

WHO USES 2-WAY RADIOS?

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

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

-Security like intelligence agencies and military

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

-Oil and gas companies

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

-Construction companies for road and bridges, residential, commercial

-Transport service companies like trucks, limos, taxis

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

-Service industry such as towing and delivery companies

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

-Manufacturing

-Contractors for roofing, plumbing, excavating, electrical

-And many more…

Overall, those who utilize 2 way radios are frequently businesses or agencies with many staff members or workers who work in groups and are mobile.

TWO WAY RADIOS TODAY

Today, 2 way radios come with additional or improved features from years before. For example, display screens show important information at a quick glance, keypads lock to maintain channel settings, there are various ring-tones and silencers to choose from along with out of range alerts, and much more!

Windows 10 to get ‘holographic’ headset and Cortana

Microsoft has revealed that Windows 10 will bring its voice-controlled assistant Cortana to PCs.

It also unveiled a headset that it said would one day project the operating system over views of the real world.

In addition, the firm announced that the OS upgrade would be offered free of charge for devices running Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Phone.

The offer, which is limited to the Windows 10’s first year of release, may aid its adoption.

It marks a change in strategy from Microsoft’s previous policy of charging for major updates, and could help avoid a repeat of the relatively slow uptake of Windows 8.

One analyst suggested the firm had needed to renew interest in its ecosystem.

“Overall, we know that about only about 10% of computers are running Windows 8 and the adoption rate among companies is similar or lower,” said Frank Gillett, an analyst at the Forrester consultancy.

“Developers are not paying much attention to Windows for mass market consumer apps, and you could even argue that for enterprise software most of the energy is going into mobile apps for iPad and Android tablets.

“Windows 10 is in effect a huge invitation to software developers to write exciting, powerful applications that will draw consumers.

“My hunch is that they can succeed in getting a new generation of PC and tablet applications. The challenge is getting people interested in its phones.”

Holographic helmet

Microsoft’s chief executive Satya Nadella said the HoloLens headset represented a “magical moment” of “category creation” that developers lived for.

The wearable tech’s augmented reality see-through lenses represent a major leap forward over Google Glass and other existing eyewear – assuming the machine lives up to its on-stage demo, in which computer-generated elements appeared in the world surrounding the wearer.

The company said that the final version of the machine would not need to be linked to other devices to work, and should be released within Windows 10’s “timeframe”.

It revealed Nasa was already working with the kit, and said the US space agency hoped to start controlling its Mars rovers with a prototype version as soon as July.

Other demos involving the machine included the wearer:

  • playing Minecraft with the video game’s graphics appearing over living room furniture
  • seeing a Skype video appear as if it was taking place on a building wall
  • creating a model of a drone, which she saw in front of her face while shaping it by moving her hands and giving voice commands

“The true innovation HoloLens delivers will be determined by developer commitment in the months and years to come,” commented Geoff Blaber from the CCS Insight consultancy.

“Windows 10 is a defining moment for Satya Nadella early in his tenure as CEO.

“The collaboration required to deliver HoloLens to market is an encouraging sign that he’s breaking down the silos that slowed innovation and stalled execution in recent years.”

Cortana on PCs

Windows 10 brings the same operating system to devices of all sizes, rather than having different ones for PCs/tablets, mobile phones and the firm’s Xbox games console.

One of the key features that consumers will be able to use on PCs from “day one” is Cortana – the voice-controlled tool previously limited to Windows Phone handsets.

  • bring up Powerpoint presentation documents
  • locate photos taken during a specific month
  • dictate and send emails
  • tell the user whether or not the weather forecast indicates they should wear a coat later
  • show where their car is parked

In addition, Mr Belfiore showed how the software could be used to respond to requests that had been typed, rather than spoken into a PC.

Windows 8 had been criticised by some for placing so much focus on touch-centric commands rather than the mouse and keyboard.

But Mr Gillett said he thought the addition of Cortana’s voice controls could prove more popular.

“Voice is a going to complement other ways of interacting with the computer not be a substitute,” he said.

“If you had to say every command instead of touching or clicking, then that would be annoying.

“But if you can quickly say to Cortana, for example, schedule lunch with my mum next Tuesday, then that is powerful.”

Browsing with Spartan

Mr Belfiore also highlighted one of the core benefits of Windows 10: a single app will run on multiple types of device, with the user interface reformatting itself to suit the machine it is running on, rather than having a different program for phones, tablets and PCs.

He showed how this meant more advanced versions of the firm’s popular Office programs Excel, Powerpoint and Word could be brought to handsets running Windows 10 than were possible under Windows Phone 8. He also demonstrated a new “universal” Photos app that collates and sorts pictures taken with different devices.

Mr Belfiore also confirmed reports that the firm’s Internet Explorer web browser was being replaced by a new program codenamed Project Spartan.

This will have Cortana built-in to allow voice commands and provide extra personalised information – such as directions to a restaurant whose website is being looked at.

The software also includes a new “noting mode”, which will let users scribble or type over a page and then share it with others.

“Project Spartan shows a new Microsoft that is not afraid to depart from legacy in order to deliver a better experience,” remarked Carolina Milanesi from Kantar Worldpanel Comtech.

The new system also introduces the ability to stream Xbox One video games from the console to any other Windows 10 PC or tablet on the same wi-fi network.

This means that users will be able to play any game in their Xbox library on another device in another room of their home if the property’s main TV is being watched by someone else.

The facility is similar to the service Sony offers for its PlayStation 4 games machine that allows it to stream titles to Xperia phones and tablets and the PlayStation TV mini-console.

Some – like voice dictation on mobile, a cloud-based music service and auto-enhance for photos – are strikingly similar to those already available on rival operating systems.

But others are genuinely innovative – quite aside from its awe-inspiring holographic ecosystem.

Gamers will appreciate making the traditional gaming experiences more social and cross-platform.

Heavy web users may be tempted by the collaboration and offline features of the Spartan web browser, as well as the deep integration of Cortana.

And the addition of this powerful natural voice assistant on the desktop is groundbreaking too.

But the case for voice interaction on PCs is not as well-proven as it is on mobile – and Cortana needs to be well executed, otherwise the tried and tested keyboard and mouse could still prove too tempting for users.

The key question: will the combination of the familiarity of past versions of Windows and an enhanced feature set be enough to tempt users to upgrade?

Offering Windows 10 free for the first year is a huge incentive to kickstart adoption.

Windows 10 is well positioned to capitalise on the resurgence of PCs.

But Microsoft is hoping for more than this: it needs the OS to provide a much-needed boost for its mobile ecosystem – and in this regard Microsoft is betting that its universal approach to coding apps will be enough to tempt users away from rivals.

Source - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-30924022

Natural History Museum Replaces Dippy Dinosaur With Blue Whale Skeleton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FIVE REASONS TO MIGRATE TO DIGITAL TWO-WAY RADIOS

In the beginning, there was analog technology, which uses frequency modulation (FM) to produce a continuous wave with the voice signal. An analog two-way radio works as both transmitter and receiver, with that continuous wave in between. Analog has been the primary technology platform since the initial development of wireless communications.

Analog radios have been used for business applications as far back as 1933.

  • Analog Advantages: The integration of such a simple system into a single computer

chip has dramatically reduced the cost of analog radios.

  • Analog Disadvantages: The analog radio system has many functional limitations, and

the technology has been around so long that the scope of possible innovations is virtually exhausted.

ALONG COMES DIGITAL

Digital two-way radios operate by encoding, transmitting, and decoding sound waves. The signal is represented by binary numbers—1s and 0s—that correspond with voltage values. Inside the radio, the vocoder—an analysis/synthesis system used to reproduce human speech—encodes the transmission. The radio sends the signal, and the vocoder on the receiving end decodes it.

In addition, the software in digital radios contains an algorithm that recognizes the difference between voice and background noise and cancels undesirable audio for clearer, cleaner sound quality. Digital two-way radios can also include software applications that integrate into existing computer networks and phone systems. As a result, digital radios can enable a multitude of additional functions, including GPS, text messaging, and other information sharing, communications, and operations programs and capabilities.

By proactively transitioning to digital radios now, your organization will enjoy greater benefits immediately, and your fleet is ready for the high-efficiency, app-driven innovations coming in the future.

FIVE REASONS TO GO DIGITAL

  • Improved Audio Quality • Enhanced Clarity throughout the Coverage Range
  • Greater Efficiency • Extended Battery Life • Applications that Add Functionality
  1. Improved Audio Quality: Digital technology reduces external background noises during

transmission, thereby making the digital technology platform ideal for situations such as

noisy manufacturing and processing plants, or outside in windy conditions.

  1. Enhanced Clarity throughout the Coverage

Range: While an analog radio is capable of producing a clear signal within its peak performance range, once the signal moves too far from the transmit point, the analog audio will slowly fade out until it is unrecognizable. By contrast, a digital signal stays much stronger and clearer to the limits of the coverage range.

  1. Greater Efficiency: Digital radios operate in

Dual-Capacity Direct Mode (DCDM), which means that radios can share the same channel by alternating time slots. These time slots move incredibly fast, and since they alternate, more simultaneous talking paths are possible on each channel with no degradation. Plus, key information such as unit ID, status buttons, and enhanced text messages can be embedded into a single digital radio channel. In many cases, migrating from analog to digital allows users to increase talk paths without a repeater.

  1. Extended Battery Life: Since digital radio transmitters are not constantly “on,” digital

radios generally have a significantly longer battery life than analog models. When events run all day, that can mean the difference between efficient communications for the full cycle or the headache of a number of dead batteries that need swapping out and recharging.

  1. Applications that Add Functionality: Software applications are available to optimize digital

platforms using integrated Internet Protocol (IP) networks. For example, some of the leading app providers for Motorola MOTOTRBO digital radios include:

TABLETmedia

NeoTerra Systems

Twisted Pair

TurboVUi

Teldio

MOVING TO DIGITAL

For those switching from analog to digital, there is good news: Digital platforms provide a migration path that allows for simultaneous use of digital and analog radios. Backward compatibility allows organizations to gradually replace analog devices with newer digital models without the added stress of shifting to a new system. Also, many analog radio accessories are compatible with digital devices.

THE MOTOROLA CP200 AND CP200d

The existing CP200 is one of the most popular two-way radios ever produced! So the question is: How can you improve on the Motorola CP200? The answer: By creating a version that leverages all the benefits digital delivers.

Introducing… the CP200d digital two-way radio, a new model that retains the same simplicity and durability that have made Motorola’s CP200 the industry standard for years. The new CP200d uses a nearly identical form factor with similar operation. Plus, this highly flexible digital model is backward compatible, so it uses the same chargers, batteries, and speaker-microphones.

Motorola is adding sensible options to your two-way radio fleet by offering the existing CP200 device in the CP200d digital-capable version that can be fully converted from analog to digital operation at a later date. That means you can use a phased migration approach by using your new CP200d as an analog device now, and then with a simple programming change, switch to digital at any time in the future. Or, you have the option to take out-of-the-box delivery of the CP200d as a digital device from the get-go.

THE TALE OF THE TRBO

MOTOTRBO is Motorola’s next-generation system of digital portable and mobile radios, repeaters, and accessories. Thanks to the advantages of digital technology, this professional line delivers advanced performance to increase capacity and productivity while integrating voice and data communications.

Versatile and powerful, MOTOTRBO combines the best of two-way radio functionality with the latest digital features that deliver ease of use and added performance to meet your communication needs from the field to the factory floor. With exceptional voice quality and long battery life, MOTOTRBO keeps your work teams connected when communication is a must.

http://www.bearcom.com/resource-library/BearComAnalogToDigitalMigrationGuide.pdf

Earplugs crank on the noise while still allowing a person to hear

So i found this post on the web and i was told that just posting it like a whole article is not an excellent thing, I got permission from the original author and read up how to curate posts, so this is it…….i thought this was fascinating because it highlights some of the highs and lows that I encountered when i was working within the industry.

Awhile back, I reviewed the Bean Quiet Sound Amplifier from Etymotic. The Beans are basically hearing aids that amplify sounds so you can hear better.

The difference with the Beans is that you don’t need to consult a doctor.

Etymotic is all about helping people hear better and keep their hearing, so when it offered its Music Pro Earplugs ($299 at etymotic.com), I wanted to try them out.

The Music Pros are the opposite of the Beans. They help your hearing by reducing loud sounds while letting you hear normal volumes.

How does that work? Good question.

The Music Pros look exactly like the Beans. They’re self-contained, use tiny hearing-aid batteries and fit inside your ear.

If you fit them correctly, they don’t show unless you turn your head. The Music Pros have tiny microphones that listen to what you are hearing and process the sound before it gets to your ears.

Each earpiece runs on a tiny No. 10 battery that will last a few weeks if you turn the earplugs off when not in use.

There is no power switch — you turn the earplugs off by unsnapping the battery doors and removing the batteries. It’s easier than it sounds.

There are two modes, and you change modes with a tiny switch on each earpiece.

In 9dB mode, quiet sounds are amplified by 6dB, while 9dB protection is used when the outside noise gets louder.

In 15dB mode, natural sounds come though at their normal levels, but the Music Pros provide 15dB of protection when noise exceeds safe levels.

The Music Pros come with seven different types of tips to accommodate different ear canal shapes.

I was easily able to find one that worked well (I like the spongy ones), and they’re easy to change out.

I didn’t see any live music during my testing week, but I did simulate the concert experience with over-the-ear headphones cranked up really loud.

The Music Pros did what they said they’d do — they let me hear sounds at a normal volume and definitely kept really loud sounds from getting to my ears.

They’re magical, but for $299 for the pair, I’d expected them to impress.

I’m not entirely sure what the target market is for these — people who work regularly at concert venues, maybe, or people in construction jobs.

I suppose if you wear earplugs as part of your daily life, you’d want to take a look at these.

Pros: Easy to use, nice choice of ear tips, good hearing protection

Cons: Expensive

Bottom line: If I had a job in which my hearing were stressed regularly, I’d probably invest in these.

Etymotic MC3 headset + earphones

I’ve been listening to Etymotic earphones for at least a decade. Its MC3 headset + earphones is a worthy member of a great line of audio products.

The MC3 ($79 at etymotic.com) has a lot going for it, but most important it’s comfortable and sounds really good.

Etymotic includes four types of tips, so chances are good that you’ll find one that fits your ears.

Whenever I get a new pair of earphones to try out, I like to see which tips will fit best without any music playing. I just sit and think about how they feel inside my ears for a few minutes.

The MC3s offer great noise isolation if you get the right fit. And they’re not heavy on the bass, which I like.

The three-button remote also worked well with my iPhone, both for clear calls and controlling music playback and volume.

Etymotic has a custom-fit earmold option that lets users get molds made of their ears at an audiologist’s for a custom set of earpieces. Prices vary depending on the audiologist, but Etymotic has a list of audiologists it works with, and according to some online who’ve reviewed the process, the cost is around $100, which is a bargain and worth checking out.

Overall I like MC3s. They’re inexpensive, have a good sound for my ear, fit comfortably and have a microphone so I can use them with my phone.

Pros: Inexpensive, options for a custom fit, nice highs and midtones. Very clear and comfortable.

Cons: Not heavy on bass notes.

Bottom line: A solid choice if you’re not all about the bass.

http://www.dallasnews.com/business/technology/headlines/20141004-earplugs-crank-down-the-noise-while-still-letting-you-hear.ece

What Is an Acoustic Tube Earpiece?

The world is filled with really cool, well written content pieces. If you find one which catches your eye, you have to post it, well i do! so with permission of the original author i’ve re-posted this for you to get pleasure from

An acoustic tube earpiece is a special type of listening device that features a thin tube that helps transmit sound, which often fits behind the ear and is attached to an earbud placed inside of the ear. Such devices allow for hands-free operation of a two-way radio or may be used in mobile communications or television broadcasting. Sometimes referred to as a radio headset or a tactical earpiece, some also refer to this device as a surveillance earpiece.

acoustic tube earpieceThis particular type of radio accessory is commonly used by security personnel and may feature an earpiece that includes a hidden microphone, making it highly useful for two-way communication. The earpiece does not have to include a microphone, however. Most are constructed so the tubing fits discreetly and comfortably behind the ear, which makes it useful for covert surveillance.

Though commonly used in security and covert operations, some also prefer an acoustic tube earpiece for mobile civilian devices, which include personal audio devices and mobile phones. Television broadcasters are also known to wear these earpieces, as they allow for communication between producers and broadcasters without being visible to viewers. Most are comfortable to wear and efficiently reduce background noise. They are also known to be particularly useful in noisy environments, as quality models make it easy for users to comfortably listen to incoming audio despite high environmental noise. Depending on the manufacturer, some may also feature volume control buttons on the cord.

Aside from a covert design and a high sound quality, one of the primary benefits of an acoustic tube earpiece is its durability. The sturdiness of some of these earpieces is often preferred over earpieces that feature exposed wiring, as well as certain wireless earpiece devices. Sturdy tubing protects delicate wiring crucial to the device’s operation, which is particularly useful in occupations where the person wearing an earpiece may be required to engage in rigorous physical activity while wearing it. Such earpieces are also known to outlast other wired devices.

In order for an acoustic tube earpiece to work, it must be plugged into a wireless receiver, which is usually hidden beneath a person’s clothing. Some are also accompanied by microphones, which are covertly placed on the user’s shoulder or at the wrist.

What Is a Covert Earpiece?

Can not get over how cheap the headset is now, an incredible deal for a top-end product!

A covert earpiece is a miniature earpiece worn by an individual while being effectively hidden from plain view. It operates as a radio accessory in times when a user does not want other people to know she or he is communicating with others using radio earbuds. Also known as an invisible earpiece or a surveillance earpiece, a covert earpiece is often worn by government agents, corporate security personnel, undercover law enforcement officers and corporate as well as government spies.

covert earpiece

While many occupations require the use of a radio headset for communication, a covert earpiece is primarily used in instances where communication is of an extremely private and sensitive nature. This is common in cases of private security details and surveillance projects. Sometimes people also use a covert earpiece to defraud businesses and others. Examples of such instances would include someone using an invisible earpiece to cheat on an exam or to defraud a casino by receiving remote information while playing a game.

On-air television personalities may also use a covert earpiece, which is not distracting to viewers, but allows the person to hear relevant feedback from producers and engineers in order to make sure a taping or live appearance flows smoothly. Individuals may also wear a covert earpiece when making a public speech. By doing so, the speaker can receive important cues or changes in a speech without the audience even being aware that communication is taking place between someone located behind the scenes and the individual delivering the speech.

Some covert earpieces are accompanied by a discreet microphone, which enables two-way communication. These are commonly used by security forces with a need for such communication, particularly during surveillance operations. These types of accessories are not only convenient because they feature hands-free operation, but also because they allow undercover security forces to blend in with crowds without having to use a visible walkie-talkie system of communication.

A covert earpiece does not contain any visible wires and is designed to fit inside the ear without being noticeable to the general public. Some devices are even designed to fit on a pair of eyeglasses while amplifying sound inside a person’s ear. An inductive wire is sometimes worn around the person’s neck, but is covered by clothing so as not to be discovered by onlookers. This wire is not connected to the covert earpiece, but connects to a separate radio device that helps modulate sound.

Mars Rover Spots UFO…Or Does It?

After much global speculation, NASA has at last put out an official statement regarding the true identity of the ‘white spot’ or ‘UFO’ seen on Mars by the Curiosity Rover on June 20th.

…Sadly, the UFO in question turned out to be only as extraterrestrial as a camera glitch.

Interviewed by The Huffington Post, Justin Maki, the main camera operator for the rover, said, “This is a hot pixel that has been around since we started using the Right Navcam (…) In the thousands of images we’ve received from Curiosity, we see ones with bright spots nearly every week, these can be caused by cosmic-ray hits or sunlight glinting from rock surfaces, as the most likely explanations.”

As any photographer will tell you, ‘hot pixels’ sometimes occur during long exposure shots. Such glitches are usually caused by the camera’s sensors momentarily overheating (although they pose no danger to the camera equipment itself).

Amateur photographers occasionally mistake hot pixels for paranormal phenomena as well. In fact, the ghost website ‘Photographing The Paranormal.com’ actually has a section on these little buggers. It warns potential ghost hunters that,

“A perfectly symmetric small red dot in your picture is probably nothing paranormal, especially if it is at the same spot in most of your pictures. That’s actually called a hot pixel, if you spot one, don’t call the press!”

Older astronomy enthusiasts will no doubt be reminded of the discovery of the ‘Martian face’, a famous image captured by NASA’s Viking 1 orbiter in 1976.

Various theorists hurried to suggest that the ‘face’ was evidence of a long-lost Martian civilization (complete with ‘pyramids’ and everything), but it was actually just a large formation, captured by the relatively low-resolution cameras of the 1970’s, that looked a bit like a face.

Modern images, of course, reveal nothing so grand. The ‘Martian Face’ fiasco is now seen as an example of paraeidolia, a psychological phenomenon that sees people finding recognizable patterns in otherwise random sounds and images, examples of which include The Man in the Moon, Rorschach tests and those times when people see the faces of religious figures in ordinary household objects.

So it seems that there was no reason for us to get excited after all (except that pictures of Mars are unassailably cool).

…Of course, the conspiracy nutters are never going to buy it, but hey, what can you do?

My Other Computer’s a TARDIS: Virtual Reality Makes Time Travel Possible

A new virtual form of ‘time travel’ could be employed to help victims of traumatic experiences overcome their ordeals.

In a computer generated ‘virtual world’, participants can move about and interact with their environment in a similar manner to how they would in the real world.

Professor Mars are unassailably cool, told BBC news that,

“In virtual reality, the brain’s low level perceptual system does not distinguish between the virtual and the real world; the brain takes what it sees and hears in a surrounding environment as given (…) Therefore, if they had an experience with the illusion of time travel, there is implicit learning that the past is mutable, that is: ‘my own past decisions don’t matter because they’re changeable’.”

The latest study, published in the journal ‘Frontiers in Psychology’ featured a scenario wherein 32 test subjects witnessed a brutal multiple murder. In the virtual scenario, (presumably designed to induce both a moral dilemma and a controllable level of trauma) a man opened fire in a crowded art gallery and ‘killed’ five people.

Gunman starts shooting in the virtual world

The group then elected to ‘go back in time’ and attempt to prevent the murders.

Half of the group were not allowed to change their actions and simply had to repeat the event, the other half were allowed to intervene, but knew that doing so would result in the death of one person. Essentially, these people had to face the ethical dilemma of forfeiting the life of that one person in order to save five people.

Unsurprisingly, most of the test group chose to sacrifice the one life.

In terms of practical applications, this equipment is expected to allow people suffering with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and other psychological issues to confront their previous actions/inactions and better understand them in order to forgive themselves and move on.

Such technology might also be applied to prisoners undergoing therapy and/or rehabilitation, or even survivors of violent assaults.

Dr. Friedman Doron of the Sammy Ofer School of Communications in Israel, who worked as the study’s lead author, said that, for now, his team’s work is the closest people can get to actual time travel. He told BBC news,

“Highly immersive virtual reality is very visceral. People hide behind the desk when they get shot. Some of the subjects duck down. It’s the best thing we can do for time travel until the physicists do their job and come up with a time machine. For now this is the closest thing.”

Have You Ever Thought How Do 2 way radios work?

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

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

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

Receiving Radio Waves

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

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

Sending Transmissions

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

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

Multiple Channels

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

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

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

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

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

Why Choose A Two Way Radio

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

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

Group Communications

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

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