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 – 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 – and creators too, evidently – 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 – 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?’ – 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”

What types of spy earpiece are available?

Assuming you didn’t make your own spy earpiece (we ran an instructional piece on how to build one last year), there are three main types of spy earpiece.

  • Bluetooth spy earpieces
  • Mp3 spy earpieces
  • Wired spy earpieces

The appeal of the spy earpiece is simple (and goes beyond simply having the word ‘spy’ in the title). A spy earpiece is largely invisible to the outside observer, allowing the user to send and receive information in a discreet and covert manner. In recent months, spy earpieces have skyrocketed in popularity. According to this blog entry we sourced,

“We may see in the technology of Bluetooth spy earpiece the future in new methods of quick reception of the audio information from any area – with the help of GSM mobile phones and invisible spy ear pieces. Your partner transfers the information you need to your GSM mobile phone which is further transferred by means of Bluetooth technology to the Bluetooth spy earpiece plugged in your ear. Simultaneously, your partner can hear your replies using invisible microphone”.

The Bluetooth spy earpiece is the most diverse of the three types. Using a Bluetooth spy earpiece, it is possible to relay messages and information between two users. In this fashion, these earpieces are now being used in business presentations and high-pressure working situations, when up-to-the second information is necessary for completion of a task.

The Mp3 spy earpiece is a little different. It can only play back audio information (it has no send/receive functions). However, it still proves to be a popular choice, as this Blogspot confirms,

“The main advantage of mp3 spy earpieces is that you needn’t to attract the partner to this process. You can record all-important information in advance on your mp3 device and listen later when it is necessary! Since you are familiar with your own voice and record contents, it will be easier to understand and analyze audio information”.

The final type, the ‘wired’ spy earpiece, is probably the least popular of the three. It’s not difficult to see why; the wire renders the earpiece awkward and conspicuous. Despite wired technology still having a (general) advantage over wireless in terms of transmission speed and reliability, spy earpieces are one technological avenue that needs to attract as little attention as possible to itself (the operative word being ‘spy’) and a wired earpiece just doesn’t camouflage as well as a wireless one.

On this, the blog says,

“It is a bit (of an) out-of-date approach to the problem. Usual wired earpiece does not differ from Bluetooth one except that the micro earpiece is communicated to the GSM mobile phone by wire, often inconvenient in use”.

 The Bluetooth spy earpiece is definitely the best choice in terms of versatility.

Are Your Headphones Causing Your Acne?

We all take reasonable care of our stuff, particularly when we wear it, we wash our clothes regularly, we shower, more than twice a week! but when was the last time you cleaned your headphones? they might not look dirty, or do they? this article seemingly does.

Headphones are a necessity for the modern music-lover or phone user but your gadgets could also be taking a negative toll on your skin.

Some things in life never seem to last as long as we want them to: Your last paycheck, free cookies, or (perhaps most disappointing of all), clear skin are all relatable examples. Sure, we know that there are tons of prescribed, over-the-counter, and even some go-to natural ingredients that can treat an annoying blemish in a flash, but wouldn’t it be less frustrating to know why our pimples are, well, popping up in the first place?

While genetics and hormones play a huge role, there are certain sneaky, everyday habits that could be irritating your skin too. Like coveting those beloved gadgets of yours.

For instance, think about how your headphones go everywhere with you—school, work, the subway, the gym—and you slide them on without giving it a second thought. Cranking up the music is totally therapeutic (and yes, great for drowning out an annoying sibling), but it turns out if you’re seeing spots on your temples and jaw line, the headphones you use for your daily jam sessions to Taylor Swift might be the culprit for recurring breakouts.

“Wearing over-the-ear headphones is a perfect setup for causing an increase of acne breakouts and skin infections,” says dermatologist and Simple advisory board member Dr. Debra Luftman. “This is especially the case when you wear them during and after a workout, or if you keep them on for long periods of time. Sweat and moisture collect on and around the headphones, compressing the skin and therefore encouraging bacteria and yeast to multiply.” Gross, but true.

Luckily, a blemish-free complexion doesn’t mean retiring your giant pair of Beats or new Frends headphones for good. To keep them gunk-free, Dr. Luftman recommends giving them a daily rubdown with a makeup remover wipe. (Simple’s Cleansing Facial Wipes are so easy to toss in your bag!) Then, remember to use another wipe to clean the areas around your ears, hairline, and jaw before the next time you toss your headphones on again.

If you find that your headphones get discolored or grimy particularly often, you can also keep a stash of anti-bacterial cloths handy in your purse or backpack. Feel free to pick these up during your next drugstore run. Just be sure to let the earphones dry completely before using them again. The same bacteria that develops from sweat and moisture, can build up from any dampness that stems from your cleansing tools. Come on, putting whatever you’re listening to on pause for 10 minutes isn’t too much to ask now, is it?

Dealing with acne is never fun, but preventing it with these simple tips is music to our ears—literally!

New Technology May Double Radio Frequency Data Capacity

A team of Columbia Engineering researchers has invented a technology—full-duplex radio integrated circuits (ICs)—that can be implemented in nanoscale CMOS to enable simultaneous transmission and reception at the same frequency in a wireless radio. Up to now, this has been thought to be impossible: transmitters and receivers either work at different times or at the same time but at different frequencies. The Columbia team, led by Electrical Engineering Associate Professor Harish Krishnaswamy, is the first to demonstrate an IC that can accomplish this. The researchers presented their work at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco on February 25.

CoSMIC (Columbia high-Speed and Mm-wave IC) Lab full-duplex transceiver IC that can be implemented in nanoscale CMOS to enable simultaneous transmission and reception at the same frequency in a wireless radio

“This is a game-changer,” says Krishnaswamy, director of the Columbia high-Speed and Mm-wave IC (CoSMIC) Lab. “By leveraging our new technology, networks can effectively double the frequency spectrum resources available for devices like smartphones and tablets.”

In the era of Big Data, the current frequency spectrum crisis is one of the biggest challenges researchers are grappling with and it is clear that today’s wireless networks will not be able to support tomorrow’s data deluge. Today’s standards, such as 4G/LTE, already support 40 different frequency bands, and there is no space left at radio frequencies for future expansion. At the same time, the grand challenge of the next-generation 5G network is to increase the data capacity by 1,000 times.

So the ability to have a transmitter and receiver re-use the same frequency has the potential to immediately double the data capacity of today’s networks. Krishnaswamy notes that other research groups and startup companies have demonstrated the theoretical feasibility of simultaneous transmission and reception at the same frequency, but no one has yet been able to build tiny nanoscale ICs with this capability.

“Our work is the first to demonstrate an IC that can receive and transmit simultaneously,” he says. “Doing this in an IC is critical if we are to have widespread impact and bring this functionality to handheld devices such as cellular handsets, mobile devices such as tablets for WiFi, and in cellular and WiFi base stations to support full duplex communications.”

The biggest challenge the team faced with full duplex was canceling the transmitter’s echo. Imagine that you are trying to listen to someone whisper from far away while at the same time someone else is yelling while standing next to you. If you can cancel the echo of the person yelling, you can hear the other person whispering.

“If everyone could do this, everyone could talk and listen at the same time, and conversations would take half the amount of time and resources as they take right now,” explains Jin Zhou, Krishnaswamy’s PhD student and the paper’s lead author. “Transmitter echo or ‘self-interference’ cancellation has been a fundamental challenge, especially when performed in a tiny nanoscale IC, and we have found a way to solve that challenge.”

Krishnaswamy and Zhou plan next to test a number of full-duplex nodes to understand what the gains are at the network level. “We are working closely with Electrical Engineering Associate Professor Gil Zussman and his PhD student Jelena Marasevic, who are network theory experts here at Columbia Engineering,” Krishnaswamy adds. “It will be very exciting if we are indeed able to deliver the promised performance gains.”

This work was funded by the DARPA RF-FPGA program

Thankyou to columbia.edu for the tireless research, this really is an exciting invention, the possibilities if this can be brought to our industry are unbelievable.

Security Earpiece For the iPhone

With every passing day, technology is improving and it has made lives of people easier and better in many ways. Some of the latest technologies and gadgets have really been helpful to many people. If you look at the security earpiece then you will understand how advantageous it is for specific people. There are different types of these earpieces available and you can also get these for your iPhone. You just have to check whether or not these are suitable and compatible with your handset.

Use Of Security Earpieces

These earpieces are only required when you want to communicate with someone secretly. The security earpiece is fitted into the ears and normally people around you cannot see it. It is small and is connected by a very thin wire. Security personnel mainly use these types of earpieces. But people also use this when they are in a conference and want to communicate or hear something while communicating. You can also find it useful in movie sets, broadcasting of radios etc. Even it will be great for using inside classrooms and not getting caught by teachers!

This is quite small in size the voice transmitted via this cannot be heard outside. Only the person who is wearing it can hear the voice. Thus, you can secretly converse with someone while none will even know about it. In case of audio surveillance, security guards and bodyguards use this earpiece to make sure they can hear each and everything distinctly. When a person is speaking on radio in front of a microphone, he/she has to make sure that even a message comes through the earphone it is not heard outside. So, with the help of the security earpiece it is very much possible.

Connecting To Mobile

Though these earpieces are meant mainly for security purposes, many people find it cool! They use this as a style statement and wear it just for fun. It has become a part of cool accessories which many enthusiasts prefer to use while going out. It is not necessary that you have to be a spy, bodyguard or a secret agent in order to buy or use this. You can simply buy one security earpiece for your iPhone too. it also comes with a separate mouthpiece which you can put on anywhere you feel comfortable.

If you are an owner of an iPhone then you can get the security earpiece for your particular handset. The jack which will be connected to your earphone port of the mobile has to be compatible to each other, normally a 3.5mm Jack. If not then you will not be able to hear or listen to anything. This is very much important. So, it is best to buy the security earphones specially made for each model of iPhone. With the help of this you can talk over phone while driving or even you can hear songs and watch movies.

Some Useful Tips

Since you have to wear these earpieces inside your ears, you have to be much more conscious of it. Make sure that you are not allergic to the material by which earpiece is made up of. If you are then avoid using that material as it can be harmful for you. The earpiece is fitted inside the ear exactly beside your eardrum. While wearing it you have to be careful about whether or not the earpiece is touching your eardrum. If it is not touching then you will not be able to hear anything or you will hear a low voice. When you are done you have to take out that earpiece as well. In this case also you have to be very much careful.

Your ear, mainly eardrum, is very much sensitive. You have to make sure that the security earpiece you are buying for your ears is not made up of some low quality material. It can react badly with your inner ear skin. So, when you are buying one for your iPhone, you have to choose the best one made up of high quality material. These are mainly available in rubber and thus you have to confirm that you are not allergic to it. This is surely a great technology and a cool accessorise for the one who want to use it just for fun for their iPhone.

Now Hear This

Advances in circuitry and Bluetooth have made hearing-aid alternatives cheaper and more powerful 

One night in June 2010, New York composer Richard Einhorn went to bed in a motel feeling stuffy and woke up almost completely deaf. At the time, Einhorn, who wrote the oratorio Voices of Light, had limited ways to deal with his nightmare condition, known as sudden sensorineural hearing loss. He visited an audiologist and bought a hearing aid for $3,000. (His insurance plan, like most, didn’t cover it). Unhappy with the expense and the limits of the earpiece’s technology, which struggled to adapt to different noise levels, Einhorn began searching for alternative gadgets that could restore more of his hearing for less money.

Today, he has a backpack full of them. To supplement his old-school hearing aid, he favours a $350 iPhone-linked earpiece made by Sound World Solutions, a hearing-h ardware maker in Illinois, for whom he’s begun to consult. With the Sound World device on, he can amplify phone calls and streaming music as well as his surroundings. A third, $500 earpiece was custom-made by Ultimate Ears in California, to help him detect a wider range of musical tones while composing. For restaurants and theatres, he has a $45 directional microphone that pairs with a $5 app to isolate desired voices. And for especially cacophonous places, he has spare $700 microphones, made by Etymotic Research in Illinois, that he can strap to companions.

Einhorn credits the audio patchwork with saving his career and his life. “It’s incredible”, he says over lunch in a busy restaurant, as he toggles the proper setting on his phone.

The Bluetooth-connected earpieces aren’t classified as hearing aids by the US Food and Drug Administration. They’re called personal sound amplification products, or PSAPs. Basic versions of such devices have existed for more than a decade in lonely RadioShack aisles and a handful of other places. But in the past 18 months, advances in circuitry and low-energy Bluetooth transmission have helped developers radically improve the designs to make high-quality, long-lasting alternatives to hearing aids while keeping prices at a fraction of the industry standard.

Whatever regulators or insurers call them, PSAP manufacturers are angling to expand the $6 billion global market for hearing technology. Largely due to the cost, 75 per cent of the 34 million Americans with hearing loss don’t use aids, says David Kirkwood, the editor of industry blog Hearing Health Technology Matters. “A lot of people will continue to pay for traditional hearing aids,” he says. “But there are now inexpensive, easy-to-get alternatives.”

Part of the reason PSAPs are cheap is that they’re unregulated. Hearing aid fittings and audiological calibrations account for much of the cost of aids from the big six makers—Siemens, Sonova, Starkey Hearing Technologies, William Demant, GN ReSound, and Widex. A midlevel pair that retails for $4,400 costs about $440 to manufacture, according to AARP. Research and development spending is also a factor: Unlike the free Bluetooth standard used by upstarts such as Sound World, oldschool hearing aids run on proprietary signal processing and transmission technology. Siemens, Sonova, and Widex declined to comment; GN ReSound, Starkey, and William Demant didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Still, being kept out of doctors’ offices has been a huge problem for PSAP makers, says Venkat Rajan, who tracks medical devices for researcher Frost Sullivan. While the size of the market can be difficult to gauge given the lack of regulation, anecdotal evidence suggests sales have been soft, he says. It doesn’t help that, according to industry journal the Hearing Review, the average American buying a hearing aid is 71 years old. “Trying to find that customer base has been difficult,” Rajan says.

The origin of this article can be found here, why are hearing aids so expensive, it is a old technology! In 2011 10 million people had hearing loss and it’s expected that 14 and a half people will be suffering. This is a market that is being exploited.

Motorola Earpieces For All Types of Industry

Are you in the security industry? Using Motorola Walkie Talkies? Need the ability to not have your conversation overheard, or need to silent on an event or restaurant service area, yet still in contact with your team? Do you need to walk and talk, so that you can multitask, or get other tasks completed while you are on the phone?

Then Motorola is the company, and the earpiece, for you and your team.

If you are in security, events or hotel management, you wouldn’t necessarily want everyone to be able to see that you are wearing an earpiece, and there are a variety of ways to minimise the “I have a radio in my pocket and I boss people around” kind of look.

First clip the charged radio on to your belt. Select the station or frequency that you will be using. Make sure that the team are all on the same station. Attach the Motorola earpiece to the radio, by slotting the two prongs at the bottom of the cable in to the side of the Motorola walkie talkie. You will see there is a big prong and a small prong, make sure you have them the right way round.

Run the length of the earpiece cord under your shirt, and pop the top out by the collar or top button of your shirt, thereby hiding the wire from site. You will see a clip portion with a little speaker button it. That can be clipped on to your tie, shirt front or collar to allow you to speak in to it easily.

The Motorola earpiece is a curved half moon shape. Make sure the wire is tucked securely in to the casing, as it can sometimes come out during storage and insertion. Clip the half moon shape over the ear and insert the round black earpiece in to the ear. The earpiece is covered with a removable soft cover that can be taken off and washed if the radio’s are used by different people, in the interest of best hygiene practises.

If you are going for minimal look, arrange your hair to cover the earpiece or cord if possible. There are also high security options that run up the back of the neck and over the ear, and come in see through, clear tones to minimise the obviousness of them. These can be secured in to place using see through tape made especially for this purpose.

Motorola also makes very hi-tech options for security personnel, with items that can clip on to sunglasses, shirt cuffs etc, and give a very FBI, protecting the president look, but are extremely functional. They ear buds are also more fitting and are snug in the ear, to allow for better audio.

To speak through the microphone portion bring the unit close to your mouth. Press the button in and wait one second before speaking, to allow time for the radio’s to connect. When you are finished speaking, release the button. Wait for your team member to respond to your message. Remember to talk slowly and clearly. Although Motorola radios are really great quality, you are still a distance away from each other, and things such as mobile phones nearby, thick walls or ceilings, being underground etc can interfere with the signal and reception.

If you are a Motorola mobile phone user, then there are also a wide variety of Motorola earpieces available, that won’t make you look like a call centre agent, or hurt the inside of the ear if you wear them for long periods at a time. The Whisper Smooth Talk, comes with a retractable boom with 4-mic CrystalTalk and offers the user cutting edge clarity and wind noise reduction, especially useful if you are calling from outside, or talking while you are walking.

Bluetooth headsets clip over the ear, and allow you to connect wireless to your phone, which can be in your pocket or bag, and allow you to walk along and talk, without any cables or wires hanging around and getting in the way.

Motorola has been innovating in the phone and walkie talkie industry for many years, and the constant innovation and bettering of their Motorola earpieces and products for ease of use and comfort is inspirational.

College Quarterbacks’ Earpieces

Quarter backs plays an important role in American football. They are charged with the role of moving the team forward and ensuring that the play is perfect and that every move is coordinated towards the rival side in order to win. They act as leaders of the offensive team and are responsible for calling the play in the huddle. Do college quarter backs wear earpieces? That is always a million dollar question to every fan.

Due to their important role, defensive backs are allowed to wear earpieces in order to receive instructions from the coach as well as get the best tactics on how to make the best moves and ensure that they are able to push the rival team. Instructions come from the coaches since they are at a vantage point to clearly observe the other team and notice the flops of their team as they look forward to counter the other team and pursue them to make the best drills through the defensive backs.

Quartet backs are well familiar with their role and for this case the wearing of earpieces is very important in the game and tackles. It provides them with the idea of what to do next and avoid making similar mistakes since a quarterback acts as the team’s driver. A quarterback will play well, with his confidence boosted and therefore the team performance will definitely be improved as much different calls for the play are made. It is a perfect mechanism employed to lure the other team and ensure that victory is directed to the team with a great quarter back. Do college quarterbacks wear earpieces? The answer is yes, the coach always has a hard task while selecting a quarter back since his role is great and it demands somebody with the ability to multitask, this to play, listen and lead the entire team to the decisions that he has been instructed without necessarily having to fail.

Earphones are perfectly designed and well fit in their helmet so that the quarter back can receive instructions clearly. They are well made to ensure that there is clear communication when it comes to getting the instructions as the game progresses. Much of the information relayed is the offensive play in and it serves an important fundamental role in ensuring that communication is paramount to the outcome of the game, for example, getting instructions like triple actions means that the quarterback will only pass the ball a few times in the game.

The earpiece does not run on throughout the game, it is designed to be automatically switched off at W15 seconds left on the play clock, a dedicated official in the college American Football is charged with this role to ensure that all is well. Once switched off, the radio is not turned on until the end of the game. Due to this unique advantage to the quarter back, he is allowed to have a designated W/a green dot placed on the back of the helmet. He is unique and plays such an important role in the game thus having to acquire this different stature.

When Bob Woolmer and Hansie Cronje fell foul of the ICC in their attempt to use technology to help their communication

While technology has come to play an increasing part in the modern game, when the captain is in the middle he remains very much on his own, able only to draw on advice from his team-mates and the occasional message from the dressing room surreptitiously brought out by a water carrier or physio. But at the 1999 World Cup, South Africa tried – and failed – to find a way around the problem.

For more than a year before the tournament, Bob Woolmer (at the time South Africa’s coach and always someone looking for new approaches to old problems), had been toying with an idea he had seen work in US sport where it was common practice for players to wear small earpieces to allow them to hear instructions from coaches.

Woolmer tried the equipment in a couple of benefit matches during the year; it worked well and, just as importantly, went almost unnoticed. After checking it did not breach either the tournament regulations or the laws of cricket, he suggested to Cronje they use it in the tournament itself. He agreed and when the proposal was mentioned to Allan Donald, he too said he was willing to give it a try.

South Africa tried the earpieces out in one of their warm-up matches and again it attracted no comment, so they decided to use them when South Africa played India in the two sides’ opening game in Hove on May 15. Mohammad Azharuddin won the toss and batted and when Cronje led his side on to the field he and Donald had their earpieces in place.

It did not take long for the television commentators to spot them, and Sourav Ganguly, who opened for India with Sachin Tendulkar, also noticed, bringing it to the attention of the umpires, Steve Bucknor and David Shepherd, shortly before the drinks break.

The umpires spoke to Cronje, who was quite open about what was going on. Unable to decide if what he was doing was legal, they asked Talat Ali, the match referee, for a ruling. He too was unsure and contacted the ICC, which said that while the earpieces were technically not breaching any rules, they were unfair. As drinks came out, so did Ali, making clear the earpieces had to go. Although the audience on TV was privy to the discussion, most spectators at Hove were left bemused, so small were the devices that were being used.

South Africa went on to win the match and afterwards Woolmer was unrepentant. “All I was trying to do was give help and advice,” he said. “I’m sorry if I’ve upset anyone. I’ve tried to be innovative; the idea was to take the game forward. Where we erred was, I should have asked the ICC for permission. Perhaps I’m naive, but it didn’t occur to me. I felt it was a really good idea and I would like to discuss it with the ICC.

“I’m not trying to disturb the batsman or the captain, I’m just wanting to offer some advice. They use it in American football and I believe the French used it in their World Cup campaign, so I felt it was a really good idea. Hopefully, it will make life easier for the cricketer.”

He also went out of his way to explain the system was not aimed at giving instructions. “If Donald, for example, is not bowling with rhythm I could tell him to run in harder or more softly. It is a way of addressing technical faults by looking at the game from a different angle.”

Cronje was also dismissive of criticism. “There’s nothing in the rules to stop us from using it and it’s very disappointing it’s been stopped,” he said. “The coach sits at a different angle from me and he can give me different options when we’re batting or bowling. It’s always nice to hear another voice.” He also asked if the ICC was going to ban gloves being taken out to batsmen “in case a message from the coach is sent with them”.

If the media hoped Azharuddin would be incensed, they were disappointed. “It’s going to happen,” he said. “It does in other sports.”

ICC spokesman Clive Hitchcock said: ‘We made our position clear when we said that the World Cup is not the event to experiment with new devices. We would listen to anything the South Africa management had to say on the issue, but in view of the fact that we would have to get all the countries together to discuss the issue, it is unlikely these devices will be used again in the current tournament. There may be nothing in the rules banning them but neither is there anything there saying that they can be used.”

When the press asked Ali Bacher, the chief executive of the United Cricket Board of South Africa, for his opinion, he admitted he was aware of Woolmer’s innovation. “Bob came to me about 15 months ago to ask about it and I told him at the time that it could be controversial,” he said. “But Bob has a hyperactive cricket brain and sometimes he gets ahead of himself.”

The South Africans left Hove still hoping they would be allowed to use the earpieces but the ICC made clear it was not going to budge and that was that.

What happened next

  • The ICC subsequently banned the use of such devices but Woolmer was undeterred. “I believe that technology is the way to go forward and we will be using earpieces in the nets at Warwickshire so that I don’t have to keep interrupting players to make my point. But I am also hopeful that I can persuade the ECB to allow the use of earpieces in second team cricket to show that they can be a real help to captains and players.”
  • Less than a year later Cronje was uncovered as a match-fixer and subsequently banned from the game. He died in an air crash in 2002.
  • Woolmer resigned as South Africa coach at the end of the tournament and returned to Warwickshire. He died in suspicious circumstances during the 2007 World Cup.​​

With the end of the Cricket world cup approaching, we still don’t see any modern communications coming into the game, does it matter that the coaches are able to communicate better with their players? other sports allow the coaches to shout and lead players, why wouldn’t cricket? you can find the original source of the article here

Lost Copy Of Shakespeare’s First Folio Discovered

A lost copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio has been discovered in Northern France.

The First Folio is the name commonly given to the 1623 collection entitled Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories Tragedies. The book contains 36 plays, a great many of which had never been published prior to 1623, which makes The First Folio an extremely important document, as it represents the only original source for all subsequent printings/performances of many of Shakespeare’s works, such as The Tempest, The Comedy of Errors, The Taming of The Shrew, Twelfth Night and Julius Caesar.

Counting this new addition, there are only 233 first edition copies of this book left in the world, and each have small textual variations that shed new light on Shakespeare’s writing style, creative process and (possibly) his personal life.

The book was discovered in the public library of Saint-Omer, a small town near Calais. Prior to this, it had been held in a Jesuit college in the town. It was moved to the library following The French Revolution, which ended in 1799.

In addition to being a major literary event in its own right, the discovery of the book has sparked new debates as to The Bard’s religious affiliation.

For over 150 years, some scholars have suggested that Shakespeare had links to secret Catholic sects that were outlawed (and severely punished) in the 16th and early 17th centuries.

Elizabethan England was officially a Protestant country and Catholics were brutally suppressed under this regime. Proponents of this theory cite examples in Shakespeare’s writing (in particular King Richard The Second) and the presence of the mysterious William Shakeshafte at the home (and later in the last will and testament) of Alexander Hoghton, a known underground Catholic.

This previously unknown First Folio is thought to have made its way to France in the possession of Edward Scarisbrick, a well-known English Catholic who is believed to have studied at Saint-Omer in the 1630’s. Scarisbrick was known to go by the name Nevill – and this book is inscribed with the same name.

The Jesuit College that originally owned the book sheltered Catholic exiles and also trained Englishmen who wished to become priests. Today, the institution still exists, although it has been relocated to Lancashire.

Other works of Shakespeare have also been discovered in the Jesuit College at Douai, Northern France.

Of course, this evidence alone merely proves that English exiles enjoyed reading Shakespeare. As Dr. Martin Wiggins, a senior fellow at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-Upon-Avon told The Independent, “He was admired and studied by English Catholics. We already knew that. Now we have more evidence. That doesn’t mean that Shakespeare was himself a Catholic sympathiser,”

The book will be put on display in Saint-Omer as part of an exhibition of old English texts, something that is expected to draw tourism from interested parties.

Dr. Wiggins has also suggested that the copy, which has been annotated with stage directions by an unknown party, probably represents the earliest known school production of Shakespeare.