Friday, 19 December 2014

British Actor ‘Outed’ by Guardian Blunder

Guardian columnist Jane Czyzselska, writing for the newspaper's companion website, mistakenly 'outed' Shakespearean actor and 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' star Patrick Stewart as being gay.

In a column celebrating 'Inception' actress Ellen Page actually coming out as gay, Czyzselska wrote "some gay people, such as Sir Patrick Stewart, think Page's coming out speech is newsworthy because a high-profile and surprisingly politically aware young actress has decided not to play by the rules that so many closeted Hollywood actors are advised to follow if they are to enjoy mainstream success,"

It just so happens that the 73-year-old Shakespearean actor, best known for his roles as Professor Charles Xavier in the 'X-Men' movies and as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the TV series 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' and its companion films - isn't gay.

In fact, Stewart has been married - to Women - three times, most recently in September of last year, when he married American jazz singer Sunny Ozell. He also has two children from a previous marriage.

The Guardian rushed to correct its mistake, adding an addendum at the bottom of the page, but Stewart didn't seem to mind a bit.

"It makes a nice change" tweeted Stewart in response to the 'outing'. "At least I didn't wake up to the Internet telling me I was dead again". At the time of writing, that post has been 'retweeted' 1,181 times.

For those who don't know, Sir Patrick Stewart is a huge supporter of LGBT rights. He vocally supports gay marriage and was even given the 2013 'Straight Ally of The Year Award' from PFLAG.

Fellow 'Star Trek' star William Shatner joined in the fun, Tweeting, "I never get that kind of coverage! I'm jealous!"

The confusion may have arisen because Sir Patrick's best friend is openly gay actor Sir Ian McKellen. If that was the case, Stewart tweeted this response: "I have, like, five or even SEVEN hetero friends and we totally drink beer and eat lots of chicken wings!" Is it just me, or is it impossible to read the above quote without hearing Captain Picard's voice in your head?

On a more serious note, Stewart has often spoken about civil rights, he once said, "From my earliest years as an actor I have always been proud of the support the creative community gives to all forms of human and civil rights,"

In fact, Patrick Stewart is no stranger to fighting the good fight, the actor has been a vocal opponent of domestic violence (working with Amnesty International) and he is also a patron for Refuge, a UK-based charity for abused Women.

... And no, he isn't dead.

Want to get the original article have a lookhere

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Could we now have found possibilities of life from another planet?

A team of British scientists believe that they have discovered organisms in earth’s environment that originate from space.

As hard as that could be to believe, Professor Milton Wainwright, the team’s leader, insists that this is definitely the situation.

The team, out of the University of Sheffield, exposed the little organisms (misleadingly known as ‘bugs’ by a great deal of demanding journalists) living on a probe balloon that was sent 16.7 miles into our environment through last month’s Perseids meteor shower.

According to Professor Wainwright, the minuscule creatures couldn’t have been passed into the stratosphere on the balloon. He said, "Most people will imagine that these biological particles must have just drifted up to the stratosphere from Earth, but it’s generally accepted a particle of the volume found can't be lifted from Earth to heights of, for instance, 27km. Really the only well-known exception is by a violent volcanic explosion, none of those occurred within three years of their sampling trip."

Wainwright maintains that the only most important end is these organisms originated from space. He went on to mention that “life isn’t restricted to the planet also it nearly certainly didn’t originate here”

However, not everyone seems to be so convinced. Dr. Seth Shostak, senior astronomer for the SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) project said, “I’m very skeptical. This claim has been made beforehand, and dismissed as terrestrial contamination." The team responds to this by saying they were thorough when they prepared the balloon before the experiments began.

Yet, they do acknowledge that there might be an unknown reason for those organisms to reach such altitudes. It should also be renowned that microbal organisms discovered within the 1980’s and 1990’s and called ‘extremophiles’ stunned the scientific community by living in environments that will instantly kill the majority of life on earth.

These creatures have always been observed living deep under Glacial ice and even 1900 feet below the ocean floor. In March of that year, Ronnie Glud, a biogeochemist at the Southern Danish Uni in Odense, Denmark was quoted as saying "Inside the most secluded, inhospitable places, you are able to actually have higher activity than their surroundings," which "Yow will discover microbes all over the place - they're enormously adaptable to surroundings, and stay alive wherever they are," so it seems more plausible that either the team is in error, or that this is just another case of microscopic life showing up in an unusual place.

In addition, it is not the 1st time this unique team has come under fire for stating such statements, either. Back in January of this year, astrobiologist Dr. Chandra Wickramasinghe reported that ‘fossils’ found inside a Sri Lankan meteorite were testimony of extraterrestrial life, an assertion that is widely criticized by scientific community.

Other scientists have complained that there frankly isn’t enough proof to make this type of claim, as a theory this vital would require a sizable body of proof to prove its authority.

What that claims to the reporter is that microbes can exist basically anyplace which it simply is not good science to leap to wild conclusions like aliens each time a more plausible explanation is most probably present. Science should not be subject to such wild leaps of fancy. Imagination is a good aid to science, however it isn't a science in and of by itself. Sadly, Dr. Wainwright and his group appear to be seeing what they need to observe.

you can find more information from this place here

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

What is Formal Communication?

Formal communication is to the use of language what formal wear is to casual clothing (and no, we don’t mean that it’s uncomfortable, ill-fitting and only comes out for weddings, workdays and funerals!).

Essentially, formal communication is a type of communication that uses correct language, avoids slang entirely and keeps personal information to a minimum. If you write an email to your boss (known as ‘upward communication’ in the working world – how delightfully condescending of them!), then it is likely that you will be using formal communication.

Likewise, if you were to write a letter of complaint regarding, say, an inconsiderate neighbour or an unsatisfactory product, you would once again be using formal communication. If a lawyer writes to you, his/her letter will almost certainly be written formally.

Casual swearing (or any kind of swearing for that matter!), colloquialisms, personal anecdotes/questions and bad spoken habits (such as using the word ‘like’ as a form of punctuation, or ‘umming and ahhing’ too often) have no place in formal communication.

People communicating formally (as opposed to formicating communally, you understand), will also tend to use longer, perhaps more academic words and terms appropriate to the theatre of communication. If you work in marketing, for example, formal communication would see you using marketing-specific terminology at a far greater rate than you ever would in social situations.

The opposite of formal communication is ‘informal communication’. Informal communication would include the way you address friends and family, using first names instead of surnames and using a lot more slang words and opinionated speech.

When communicating formally, it is usually best to keep personal opinions to a minimum and, where possible, to discuss things from a third person perspective. Thus,

“I’ve been looking at these figures all night. So much so that I think I’ve gone cross-eyed! Anyway, I think its safe to say that the product isn’t selling”


“After careful evaluation of the figures, it is reasonable to assume that the product isn’t selling”

No personal involvement. No anecdote. Statistical data takes a greater role than personal opinion. See?

Of course, using informal communication in certain formal situations can be beneficial. Today, many corporations are employing informal language in order to better relate to customers and staff and corporate CEOs and motivational speakers tend to use informal communication as a way of maintaining a ‘man/woman of the people’ image. 

Thursday, 12 June 2014

How Does My Radio Work?

The theory behind radio technology is actually disarmingly simple.

To better demonstrate this point, here is a little experiment that practically anyone can do; first, take a fresh 9-volt battery and a small coin. Then, tune an AM radio to static (i.e. where there are no pre-existing signals coming through). If you place the battery relatively close to the antenna and tap the coin against the battery terminals, you will hear this signal relayed over the radio (it will break the static, effectively broadcasting the signal). You couldn't use this method for much more than Morse code (and probably only over a distance of a couple of centimeters), but still, it is a pretty impressive little experiment, is it not?

Motorola SL4000 RadioAt its core, radio isn’t much more complex than that. But how does it actually work?

Well, basically, it all has to do with these things called ‘sine waves’. A sine wave is a radio wave that has been encoded in a specific way (this prevents it from getting confused with any other radio wave). Each sine wave operates along a different frequency, so there is no interaction between signals. Without sine waves (or any similar technology), it would be next-to impossible for us to use cell phones, AM/FM radios, walkie-talkies, TV, GPS and much more, because all the signals would interact with one another, all at the same time.
A radio, of any kind, needs a receiver. In the case of our battery experiment, for example, there is both a transmitter and a receiver. The battery/coin setup is the transmitter and the AM radio is the receiver. Radio devices that can both send and receive signals are called ‘transceivers’.

Again, this setup is actually quite simple. The transmitter encodes information (such as a TV broadcast, or a person’s voice) into a sine wave and then transmits it, via the electrons in its antenna. The receiver then captures the signal in the intended antenna (it has electrons that are coded to the same frequency as the transmitter) and then decodes it, using the radio’s internal system, so that the original information is readily available to the user.

The science behind the decoding process is a little more complex, but it isn’t really too difficult to grasp. We’ve run quite a few answers on the ‘ins and outs’ of that stuff lately, so check those out if you wish to know more. Thanks for your question. 

Monday, 12 May 2014

What are communication concepts?

Communication concepts, basically, refer to different types of communication, topics of communication and communication terms.

‘Ask Jeeves’ actually defines this term pretty well, so we’ll go with that.

Thank you, Jeeves. That will be all.

Remember that scene in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life? The one where the middle age couple order a philosophical conversation from a restaurant? Well, that scene pretty much sums up the topic part. A topic of communication, quite simply, is what you talk about; it is the subject being discussed.

A type of communication could be, for example, professional communication. In this type of communication, personal information is kept to a minimum and topics are more likely to include work-related themes. A conversation on the same work-related themes that takes place with your Wife or Husband, however, will include a lot more personal data, such as opinions and information that may be unprofessional to reveal in the workplace.

For example, a conversation with your manager about a project might go something like this, “I’m concerned that this deadline is going to be difficult to meet. It might be prudent to discuss effective time management strategies with the staff in order to ensure success”

However, that same conversation, when conducted with your partner, might be closer to this, “I have no idea how I’m going to get all this stuff finished on time. I’m so tired and the staff just aren’t putting in the effort. It takes them ages to do anything”

See the difference?

Communication terms are those terms that are used in the discussion. “Effective time management strategies” for example, is a term used in our above conversation regarding oncoming deadlines. It is a term not generally used in day-to-day discussion with loved ones and friends, but is frequently used in workplace communications. As a result, it is specified as a professional terminology and used in the professional communication example, but not in the romantic communication example.

Communication is a vast and varied field of study; areas as diverse as psychology, marketing and business management devote considerable time to the study of effective communication.

The phrase ‘communication concepts’ refers to just one part of an enormous (and potentially all-encompassing) subject. 

Friday, 21 March 2014

Gupta: Cell phones, brain tumors and a wired earpiece

What’s your favorite feature of the radio accessory? Personally, I like the design job – Its cooler than an Inuit’s underpants!

By Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent

Just about every time I use a cell phone, I plug in my wired earpiece first. Having discussed the use of earpieces on several news shows, people expect to see me using one. If I am walking around the CNN studios, my colleagues often comment on it. In airports, people will stop me in the rare cases I forget to use the earpiece, and remind me about it. Perhaps, they are intrigued because I am a neurosurgeon who openly shows some concern about cell phones.

Truth is, it is a pretty easy thing to do – using an earpiece. Furthermore, my neck doesn’t hurt after being on the phone for a long conference call, and given that many of those calls take place in a car, an earpiece becomes a requirement. Still, though, I don’t want to dodge the obvious question: Do cell phones cause brain cancer?

It may be too early to say for sure. The latency period or time between exposure and recognition of a tumor is around 20 years, sometimes longer. And, cell phone use in the U.S. has been popular for only around 15 years. Back in 1996, there were 34 million cell phone users. Today there are 9-10 times as many. Keeping that in mind, it is worth taking a more detailed look at the results of Interphone, a multinational study designed to try to answer this question.

The headline from this study was there was little or no evidence to show an association between cell phones and cancer. Though, if you went to the appendix of the study, which interestingly was available only online, you found something unsettling. The data showed people who used a cell phone 10 years or more doubled the risk of developing a glioma, a type of brain tumor. And, across the board – most of the studies that have shown an increased risk are from Scandinavia, a place where cell phones have been popular since the early 1990s. For these reasons, the whole issue of latency could become increasingly important.

Cell phones use non-ionizing radiation, which is very different from the ionizing radiation of X-rays, which everyone agrees are harmful. Non-ionizing radiation won’t strip electrons or bust up DNA. It’s more like very low power microwaves. Short term, these microwaves are likely harmless, but long term could be a different story. Anyway, who likes the idea of a microwave, even a low-powered one, next to their head all day?

And, what about kids? I have three of them, aged 5, 4 and 2. Fact is, they are more likely to lead to my early demise than cell phones. But, as hard as it is to believe sometimes, they actually have thinner skulls than adults, and will probably be using cell phones longer than I ever will.

The first person to encourage me to regularly wear an ear piece was Dr. Keith Black. He also is a neurosurgeon, and makes a living removing – you guessed it – brain tumors. Keith has long believed there is a link, and for some time, his was a lonely voice in this discussion. Nowadays, he has loud and prominent voices accompanying him. Ronald Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, sent a memo warning staffers to limit their cell phone use. One of the possible consequences, he says, is an increased risk of brain cancer. The city of San Francisco is trying to pass an ordinance requiring radiation warning labels on all cell phones. The European Environmental Agency has said cell phones could be as big a public health risk as smoking, asbestos and leaded gasoline. Even the makers of cell phones suggest you don’t place a device against your head, but rather advocate holding it 5/8 to a full inch away.

Many will roll their eyes at this, scoffing at the precautionary principle on display here. Fair enough. Still, I like my wired earpiece, and I don’t have to turn my life upside down to use it. I also text and email a lot more, because my kids rarely allow me to have a phone conversation. Speaking of kids, you will probably see mine using earpieces too, when my wife and I decide they are old enough to use one, which isn’t in the foreseeable future.

Gupta: Cell phones, brain tumors and a wired earpiece

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Facebook Acquires WhatsApp for $19bn (£11bn)

Social media giants Facebook have purchased smartphone messaging app WhatsApp in a deal worth $19bn.

According to official statistics, WhatsApp has around 450 million monthly users. The makers of the app claim that it registers 1 million new users every day.

For those not in the know, WhatsApp is an Internet-based messaging service that allows people to get around text message charges. It works in much the same way that SMS (or ‘text messaging’) works, but crucially, it is free. For a small fee of $1 a year, it is possible to upgrade the service.

This is by far Facebook’s largest acquisition to date and has been met with some scepticism, but Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t seem daunted by the huge price tag; he described WhatsApp as “incredibly valuable” in a statement announcing the deal.

Prior to this deal, Facebook’s biggest purchase had been photography app Instagram, for which they paid $1bn.

Richard Taylor, North America Technology Correspondent with the BBC, said, “Some are seeing the $19bn price tag as further evidence of swollen valuations of companies as the sector experiences what may yet prove to be another dotcom bubble. WhatsApp does give Mark Zuckerberg inroads into international markets and, as importantly, to a younger demographic. But what is less clear is whether the finances will add up in the long term”.

The acquisition includes $4bn in cash, about $12bn in Facebook shares and about $3bn in stock options for WhatsApp founders and employees (of which there are around 50).

WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum has also become a member of Facebook’s board of directors. “We’re excited and honoured to partner with Mark and Facebook as we continue to bring our product to more people around the world,” said Mr. Koum. Koum has also stated that he does not intend to allow advertising on the app.

Zuckerberg stated that he believed that WhatsApp was well on its way to having a Billion users.

In an interview with BBC News, senior research analyst with eMarketer Cathy Boyle said, “WhatsApp actually has greater penetration in a lot of international markets than Facebook,” It is possible that by linking the two services, Facebook will be able to increase its customer base. She then went on to say, “WhatsApp is trying to siphon the billions that the telecom industry would make from [traditional SMS text messaging]” if that is Facebook’s intention (and we have to consider it as one of them), then it actually makes good business sense.


Facebook Acquires WhatsApp for $19bn (£11bn)

Which Major Discoveries led to the Invention of the Two-Way Radio?

(Asked by ‘Scottish’ Pete from Woolwich)

Hey Pete, how’s everything? Thanks for your question.

…And what a question it is. The modern two-way radio, which is a direct descendent of the WW2-era Walkie-talkie, first became recognizable in the years just before the outbreak of World War 2. Its origins are an interesting story in their own right (but I’ll condense it here).

Three names are usually mentioned with regards to the invention of the walkie-talkie…

The first is Canadian inventor Donald Hings (1907 – 2004), who invented an early version of the technology back in 1937 (although it wasn’t widely acknowledged or used). Then, there’s American inventor Al Gross (1918 – 2000), who patented the name ‘walkie-talkie’ for his own invention a year later in ’38. Because of the ubiquity of the name, Gross became the best known ‘inventor’ of the technology at the time, even though it had technically existed for 12 months beforehand. However, this isn’t to detract from Gross’ claim, because his version of the walkie-talkie was actually quite different from Hings’ (despite operating on the same essential principles).

Then, there’s Dan Noble (1901 – 1980), a Motorola employee who, although he definitely did not invent the technology, certainly did lead the team that created the widely used WW2-era walkie-talkies. Hings’ version of the technology wasn’t used by the military until 1942, which led to Dan Noble being credited with the invention.

So, make of that mess what you will…

Now, to go back further (and get to the meat of your question), here is a list of discoveries that led to the creation of the two-way radio.

James Clark Maxwell (1831-1879), a mathematical physicist (and one of a seemingly endless line of genius Scotsmen) demonstrated that electromagnetic waves could propagate in free space in his 1865 paper ‘A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field’ (of which the most famous fan was Albert Einstein). This led German physicist Heinrich Hertz (1857 – 1894) to build on Maxwell’s pioneering work by conclusively proving the existence of electromagnetic waves in 1887.

After that, Serbian-American inventor, physicist, vegetarian and absolute genius Nikola Tesla (1856 – 1943) demonstrated the transmission of radio frequency energy in 1892. After that, Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi (1874 – 1937) built a wireless system capable of transmitting signals over unprecedented distances in 1895 – which is pretty much the birth of radio.

This was an important area of study at the time; the first wireless telephone conversation took place in 1880 and was made by Alexander Graham Bell (1847 – 1922), who was another Scot, incidentally. A lot of people were working on similar technology, so it would not have been unlike the ‘space race’ of the 50’s and 60’s at the time.

Marconi went about taking over pretty much all business related to the invention of the radio (which was, eventually, credited solely to him) and, by 1907, he had established the first commercial transatlantic radio service (and also pretty much screwed Tesla out of any/all royalties he would have been owed. Nice).

Thanks to the work of Julio Cervera Baviera (1854 – 1929) the Spanish army became the first to use radio for military purposes (at least, as far as I’m aware, anyway) in the early 1900’s.

Canadian inventor Reginald Fessenden (1866 – 1932) (who also helped to develop sonar and TV, incidentally), invented AM radio (no, not the ‘Breakfast Show’ –it means that more than one station can broadcast signals) when, on Christmas Eve 1906, he played some violin and read from the Bible.

Eventually, all ships were equipped with radio transmission capability, with Marconi owning a total monopoly over ship-to-shore communication. Ship-to-shore contact became a subject of increased awareness and importance following the Titanic disaster of 1912 and radios began to be seen even more as a crucial safety measure in all areas of industry as a result. Look up the 1913 ‘International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea’ (it has a Wikipedia page, I just checked) for more info.

Skipping forward a bit, now. Throughout the 1930’s, there were a ton of minor (and major) improvements made to the technology, more than a few made by Marconi and his engineers. Some really clever people made their mark on the fledgling technology here, but if I mention them all, we’ll never get to the end.

Oh, by the way, FM radio was subsequently invented by American electrical engineer Edwin Armstrong (1890 – 1954) in 1933.

By the late 30’s, Hings comes into the picture, as does the rising spectre of a terrifyingly advanced Nazi Germany. The race was on to have the best equipped armies out there fighting the Axis powers and the allies wisely put a huge amount of manpower into the development of portable radio communication. It was a decision which led directly to the rapid co-opting of Hings and Gross’ work, as well as the later improvements made by Noble.

This is a long and fascinating story (about which many books have been written), but, as a ‘potted history’ of sorts, I hope that answers your question. 

Which Major Discoveries led to the Invention of the Two-Way Radio?

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Out of Africa: Earliest Human Footprints Found in UK

The earliest evidence of Human footprints (outside of Africa, where most experts believe modern Humans first appeared) has been discovered in the United Kingdom.

The prints, believed to be some 800,000 years old, were identified on the shores of Happisburgh, a small village situated on the Norfolk coastline. The footprints represent a major prehistoric find, as they are direct evidence of the earliest known Humans in Northern Europe.

Dr. Nick Ashton, of The British Museum, said of the footprints that “(They are) one of the most important discoveries, if not the most important discovery that has been made on [Britain"s] shores,”

The hollow, foot-shaped markings were discovered during a low tide last year, when unusually rough seas exposed an area of sandy beach.

Sadly, the footprints were washed away fairly quickly, but they were visible long enough to be properly recorded, photographed and studied. Dr. Aston and his team worked hard to document the monumental discovery, even as heavy rainfall filled the tracks, “The rain was filling the hollows as quickly as we could empty them,” he told a BBC reporter.

Fortunately, the team was able to obtain a 3D scan of the prints. This scan revealed that the footprints likely belonged to a group consisting of an adult male and a few children. This has led some experts to speculate that the prints are those left by a prehistoric family group. The scan was so accurate, that the adult’s shoe size was determined to have been a comfortable 8.

Dr. Isabelle De Groote of Liverpool John Moore’s University was the first to confirm that the hollows were Human footprints. She told BBC that, “They appear to have been made by one adult male who was about 5ft 9in (175cm) tall and the shortest was about 3ft. The other larger footprints could come from young adult males or have been left by females. The glimpse of the past that we are seeing is that we have a family group moving together across the landscape.”

The family, however, were not modern Humans. Experts believe that they would have likely belonged to a group called Homo Antecessor. Remains of this extinct Human species (or possibly subspecies) have been found throughout Europe, most notably in Spain. They are thought to be among the continent’s earliest Human inhabitants.

It is generally accepted that Homo Antecessor was either a relative of Homo Heidelbergensis (an early Human considered most likely to be the direct ancestor of both modern Humans and Neanderthals), or else the same species. In either instance, h. Heidelbergensis is known to have lived in Britain about 500,000 years ago, which is about 300,000 years after changing temperatures are thought to have wiped out Britain’s Homo Antecessor population.

Homo Heidelbergensis is said to have evolved into Homo Neanderthalensis (Neanderthal Man), who lived, alongside our own Homo Sapien ancestors, until about 40,000 years ago, when the receding ice (and possibly competition for food) signaled the end for our last surviving sister species.

Interestingly, in 2010, Dr. Aston and his team discovered stone tools of a kind known to have been used by h. Antecessor in Happisburgh. It is a discovery that neatly compliments that of the footprints. This find, and other supporting material, effectively confirms the presence of early Humans in Britain about one million years ago.

According to Dr. Aston, the find will rewrite our understanding of British and European prehistory. To put that into perspective a little, the Happisburgh footprints are the only such find of this age to have ever been seen outside of Africa. Even then, there are only three specimens that are considered to be older across the African continent.

800, 000 years ago the earliest Britons left a lasting mark on the landscape. In so doing, they inadvertently sent us a message from the past about who they were and how they might have lived.


Out of Africa: Earliest Human Footprints Found in UK

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Look what I found on the Internet 03

For our next round of pictures we have, some funnies that have recently come up…..






thanks for looking!

Look what I found on the Internet 03

I need a new camera, Do i need one now i have my phone!

The Digital Camera has changed the way we take photos, the digital camera or Digicam is an electronic device that is able to take still photos as well as video, the digital camera records images with the use of an electronic image sensor and viewed on a mini screen on the camera or photo editor through a PC or MAC.

The digital camera is able to take photos at the click of a switch, excuse the pun! The photo can be seen instantaneously, particularly useful on a night out or for the important holiday snap, capture that moment with the use of the latest technology.

Great value cameras are now available at a very good price, they are designed to be portable and tiny, suitable for the casual snapshot and are commonly called point-and-shoot cameras. Many of the top companies Sony, Panasonic, Canon, Fujifilm, Samsung and Nikon all have top of the range models. The digital Camera now is full of features, the standard is now 14 megapixels with optical zoom of 5 times. HD digital camera capabilities are now standard with most cameras. GPS is now starting to be built in with the modern cameras, you can geo-tag photos with longitude and latitude capabilities.

Photos taken on a digital camera can be adjusted and improved through a photo editor, there are many on the market, including Photoshop and Pixlr, the photo editor can adjust and improve the images at the touch of a button taking out red eye, and other nasties, printing your pictures the way you want to see them.

Many cameras have portable SD cards that can be removed and put into a PC or Mac to be viewed, these come in lots of different sizes with the larger sized cards holding several thousand pictures. Many Cameras now have HDMI ports, to attach photos on your HDTV and monitors.

Friday, 7 March 2014

The Gadget with a Thousand Uses: How Science Fiction has Become Science Fact

When Francis Bacon wrote, “books must follow sciences, and not sciences books” it was 1657 and movies had yet to be invented, but I think, after reading the above quote, we can be fairly certain what his attitude would’ve been to the cinema…Well, here in the 21st century movies certainly do follow science, but sometimes they go one better and imagine bold new discoveries first…

A great many inventions have migrated from our imaginations and into our reality over the centuries. To some degree, imagination is the first step for every invention. In recent years, however, there seems to have been more ‘science fiction’ technology coming into reality than ever before…

But before we get to that, here are a few classic examples: Persian polymath (and personal hero) Al Jazari first imagined (and built) robots as far back as the 12th Century AD. Italian master inventor and artist Leonardo Da Vinci first conceptualised the helicopter, solar power and the calculator back in the 15th-16th centuries and in 1901, ‘Wizard of Oz’ author L. Frank Baum dreamed up a ‘character marker’ that took the form of a pair of glasses and worked in much the same way that AR (augmented reality) technology does today.

But that’s not all, not by a long shot.

The space craft first imagined by writer H.G Wells in ‘The First Men on the Moon’ became a reality in 1969 and, if British physics professor and sometime pop star Brian Cox is right, Wells’ time machine may not be too far away either (although, as always with time, its all relative).

Another favourite of mine was the elaborate setup of tape recorders employed by The Avengers’ Mrs Peel, which would automatically record a message in case Steed called her and she happened to be out. That was then. Now? Leave a message at the tone, Mrs. Peel…

So, what imaginary technology has recently made the jump from science fiction to science fact?

Firstly, there’s the interactive newspaper from the 2002 Steven Spielberg movie ‘Minority Report’, this newspaper was constantly updating itself as Tom Cruise’s character read through it. It was a fun piece of fiction, until, in 2010, German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) made it into fact. Now, if you use a special smartphone app, you can bring some of their supplements to life in much the same way that the imaginary newspaper did back in 2002. It’s a trend that has caught on around the world.

Oh yeah, remember that bit in ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ where the bloke eats some food while watching a video on a flat, slab-like screen? Well, my generation will be the last one to find that 1968 scene surprising. Our children will simply assume he’s using some sort of iPad (and a crappy looking one at that).

‘Star Trek’s dermal regenerator took its first steps towards the world of the real when scientist Jörg C. Gerlach invented what he calls a ‘skin cell gun’, its not yet approved by the FDA, but it has proven to be an effective way of re-growing skin following a bad burn (although it is unable to cure third-degree burns, sadly).

Also, its worth pointing out that earlier this year Paypal founder Elon Musk announced that he was working towards developing a viable ‘warp drive’ technology.

Put simply, everything begins life as an idea. To quote comic book author Grant Morrison’s 2011 book ‘Supergods’, (which also points to the Jack Kirby concept of ‘Mother Boxes’ and neatly relates them to modern smartphones and tablets) “the bomb, too, was only an idea that someone hammered into being”…

So what’s next? Well, close your eyes and imagine.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Some Funnies from the Internet 02

So having found some more Pictures that amused me, i thought i would post a few

Reviews of the The iPad Air

In many ways, 2014 is going to be a lot like 2013, tablet-wise. Android tablets will continue to sell well, overly sensitive techie types will still cling to the idea that Windows 8 is simply ‘misunderstood’ (wilfully ignorant of the general consensus that it is complete and utter arse) and tablets will spring from the most unlikely of places (keep an eye out for the Co-Op ‘Tumblewumblebum’ and the ‘Zworfnik’). However, the trend least likely to change is that of an iPad leading the pack. We know this because Apple have just released the iPad Air…And it kicks major ass.


Design wise, the iPad Air is all beautiful futurism and intelligent layout. The emphasis here is to make everything smaller, lighter and more travel-friendly, without losing the tablet’s most popular aspects. For starters, the bezel is 43% thinner than ever before and, as such, the overall device is now 28% lighter.

An Apple A7 chip bestows 64GB of pure power on the Air, thus ensuring that absolutely everything runs smoothly for the user. In short, this thing is all-but perfect.


Ask someone who isn’t a bitter Microsoft crony what the worst thing about Apple products is and they’ll inevitably say the same thing as everyone else; “they’re too effing expensive!”

This is absolutely true.

However, Apple are taking steps to remedy this problem. Don’t believe me? The iPad Air, very probably the best tablet computer in the world right now, will be available at about £399 – £740. For Apple, this is pretty impressive.


The top-end iPad Air is able to store umpteen million songs, as well as more apps than you can fling an Angry Bird at. In fact, you can use it for anything; books, movies, the lot.

But how does it handle? Well, to put it into technical terms, the iPad Air is smoother than an industrial sander on the pull.

However, there are still problems (I did say “all-but perfect”, after all). The 16GB version is completely inadequate for the download of apps, or general use, in fact. The 16GB iPad Air is a lot like the singers you see on those crappy TV talent shows, you know, the ones who attempt to croon along to all-time classic hits by warbling and trembling throughout the audition. Great material, oh yes indeedy, but frustratingly shortsighted execution. Still, as an overall flaw, it isn’t a biggie, it just means that I have to recommend a slightly more expensive version (oh, Apple!)


Were we reviewing the 16GB version, the following verdict might be slightly different, but we aren’t, we’re looking at this new iPad as a whole, with ALL versions under the spotlight. With that in mind, we can confidently say that the iPad Air is, at the time of writing, the best tablet in the world. ‘Nuff said!

Monday, 24 February 2014

Earpieces for tetra radios

There are quite a few police earpieces on the market right now, Renée, so the high likelihood is that whatever you need, someone, somewhere will be selling it. If it helps, I’ll give you a bit of an overview…

If you’re in the market for an overt earpiece, or even if you fancy something a bit more discreet (like, um, a covert earpiece), you’ll certainly be able to find it on the World Wide Web. Police organizations across the world employ a wide variety of communications equipment, from ‘listen only’ devices to PTT (Push To Talk) earpieces and, as I said, a significant portion of that equipment is available for consumer purchase.

Covert earpieces can be wireless or wired and consist on an in-ear receiver and a hidden mic. The wireless models start at about £200 (240EUR), but the better models will set you back about £500 (607EUR). The more basic ‘wired’ models (the ones with the familiar coiled tube) are FAR cheaper, usually costing around £20 (24EUR).

The tube can fit into your ear canal either via a ‘mushroom tip’ (which blocks the ear canal entirely – hence the name, as there isn’t ‘mushroom in your ear’ once you wear it! Groan), or a ‘gel insert’ (I haven’t got any jokes for this one, sorry!) that is a little less invasive. The mushroom tip tends to block out ambient sounds, not unlike noise-cancelling headphones, while the gel inserts allow more background noise to bleed in. Both types work equally well and frankly it comes down to a matter of personal choice.

Finally, we come to the shapes: the two main shapes that police use are ‘G’ shape and ‘D’ shape. The G shape looks, well, a bit like a ‘G’ and slips over the top of the ear, whilst the ‘D’ shape hooks round the back of the ear and resembles, you guessed it, the letter ‘D’. Once again, this is a matter of personal preference, but according to my reading, the G is considered more comfortable by most users.

The Motorola MTH800 and Sepura SRH series are among the most widely used police radios.

I hope that little info-bomb helps you, Renée. Police earpieces tends to be sturdy, reliable and high performance, so it is the logical choice for security or surveillance work. It can also be available at very fair prices, which means that everybody has access to decent equipment.

Thanks for your question!

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Rediscovery of Knee Ligament Validates 19th Century Paper

Doctors have discovered that an important knee ligament, first described in an 1879 paper, before being subsequently ignored for well over a century, is actually a very real and important body part.

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears are a common problem for many athletes. They are notoriously difficult to repair and the recovery is a tough and painful process that can take up to a year. Following treatment, however, many patients still complain of aches and pains and it is not at all uncommon for the joints to fail the necessary pivot-shift tests (performed so the doctors can check the success of their surgeries). Repeat injuries are also inexplicably common.

Last month, it was announced that a team of Flemish doctors appears to have finally solved this persistently vexing riddle and, in so doing, they validated a discovery made over a century ago.

Paul Segond, a 19th century French surgeon who is known for greatly aiding the development of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (as well as describing the Segond fracture), wrote of the ligament as a “pearly, fibrous band” in 1879. Segond posited that it was an additional ligament, but anatomists did not consider the initial discovery to be accurate.

After reading Segond’s paper and deciding that there may be something to it after all, the team of knee surgeons and an anatomist began investigating the possibility that Segond’s mystery ligament was, in fact, a very real part of the Human body.

The team examined the knees of 41 cadavers, finding that 40 of them actually contained Segond’s ligament, just as he’d described it a hundred years earlier.

With this (re)discovery now published and proven, the ligament has been named as the anterolateral ligament (ALL).

The anterolateral ligament joins the other joint structures in the knee considered most important by doctors and anatomists, such as the lateral femoral epicondyle (LFE), lateral collateral ligament (LCL), Gerdy’s tubercle (GT), popliteus tendon (PT), popliteofibular ligament (PFL), and, of course, the aforementioned anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

Surgeons are already considering ways in which to repair ALL tears and damage, with the hopes of improving the quality of life for anyone who suffers any ligament damage to the knees. This rediscovery is likely to become a very significant one in the field of sports and athletics, across both amateur and professional playing fields.


Say I’m in a high-speed car chase, what’s the best way to escape the police?

(Asked by Nick from Kent)

In my experience, the weapons cheat usually works a treat. I find that a roadblock is considerably less of an issue if you’re armed with a rocket launcher and twin uzis…

As for the real world, one wonders just why you’re asking me, Nick? (I really don’t want this article popping up as evidence at your trial while I go down for aiding an abetting you). Still, I must answer the questions my editor selects for me, so I’ll give this one a go (but don’t come crying to me if you end up serving several consecutive life sentences, OK?)

These days, law enforcement agencies tend to avoid car chases of any sort. The risks to police, bystanders, motorists and even to the criminal him/herself are simply considered to be too great. There are also the issues of lawsuits and collateral damage to consider.

If the vehicle represents a danger to others on the road, however, then all bets are off and police will act as swiftly as they can to rectify the dangerous situation. The first rule, then, would be don’t drive your getaway car whilst drunk (this rules out committing violent crimes on New Year’s Eve, St. Paddy’s Day, or your birthday).

OK, so let’s assume you’ve actually committed the initial crime and you’re emailing me from the getaway car. What then?

The police’s general tactic, in most cases, will be to outnumber and outmanoeuvre you. They’ll communicate with each other and co-ordinate their efforts, herding you towards an area full of their colleagues. Also, the longer the chase goes on for, the more units will be dispatched to join in. They’ll simply keep sending cars after you; it’s just a process of wearing you down, really.

In addition, the rozzers are trained for this sort of thing, whereas you likely aren’t (playing GTA IV until 5AM the night before simply doesn’t count). This means that they will have an easier time driving at high speeds and making split second decisions, while you will probably find the process of driving at high speeds mentally and physically exhausting.

If the cops figure out where you’re headed, they’ll close down all possible routes. If you have no destination in mind, they’ll eventually be able to head you off at every conceivable pass anyway. Once the helicopter is dispatched (assuming you last that long), they can track you with thermal imaging technology, even if you leave the car.

They’ll also use a device called the stinger, which lays flat across the road and, quite simply, bursts your tires, making driving impossible. By the time the stingers are laid down, police with dogs are already on their way…

Essentially, once you get in that car, you are on a time limit. The longer you are in the car, the less likely your escape will be. The best thing to do, then, would be to use the car only for a very short period of time, just to get you from one designated place to another. Where possible, changing cars would likely help. If you are going to commit a crime, meticulous planning (together with an awareness of modern police methods), is going to be much more useful to you than a souped-up speed machine that is far more likely to forcibly insert you into a lamp post than it would be to allow you to retire to the Fiji islands and live like a king.

In truth, the vast majority of car chases end spectacularly badly (did you ever see anyone get away cleanly on ‘Police, Camera Action’?) and they endanger innocent lives. Being a paraplegic prisoner for the rest of your life isn’t really a fun thing to think about, neither is ending the day of your first big score as dog food.

I must say though, this is still preferable to living in America, because over there they just shoot you, weapons cheat or no weapons cheat. My advice? Stick to GTA and working for a living, it may not be glamorous, but there’s far less chance of being forcibly sodomized in prison and then ending up as a guest on ‘The Jeremy Kyle Show’ saying something like “I’ve made mistakes, I admit that, innit” as if it exonerates you from all culpability.

Thursday, 20 February 2014


The Mototrbo 2 way radio has many different uses, but it really works best at communicating 2 or more persons between one another, be it leisure or business, long distance radio is often vital in a number of environments. This promotional information was firstly a PDF on the motorola Site.

Want to increase the number of users on your system or extend coverage to another site? Connect workers in different locations or access voice and data without adding new frequencies? MOTOTRBO has a scalable system that fits your workforce and your facilities.


Benefit from the best of two-way radio with digital technology and enjoy integrated voice and data communication, increased capacity, enhanced features, exceptional voice quality and extended battery performance.

IP Site Connect

Use the Internet to extend MOTOTRBO’s voice and data capabilities. Link up to 15 sites at geographically dispersed locations, create wide-area coverage or enhance coverage at a single site with physical barriers.

Capacity Plus

Opt for this single site digital trunking system to maximise the capacity of MOTOTRBO. Use it for a high volume of voice and data communications and link over a thousand users at a single site.

Linked Capacity Plus

Expand the capacity and extend the coverage of MOTOTRBO with this digital trunking system. It leverages the high capacity call management of Capacity Plus, with the wide area coverage capabilities of IP Site Connect, to keep your staff at various locations connected with an affordable wide area trunking solution.

Connect Plus

For even larger systems, keep your mobile workforce connected with this scalable, multi-site digital trunking system. Queue calls during busy times until an open channel is available, assign important users priority

status when the system is in high demand, and use a wire-line console for centralised dispatch.


Whether you’re working in harsh conditions, noisy environments, long shifts or looking for discreet communication, MOTOTRBO accessories and batteries stand up to the task and stand out in the field. Time after time, in lab test after test, they outperform leading brands. Our complete portfolio, including wireless Bluetooth earpieces and industry-exclusive IMPRES technology, is designed to perform optimally with our MOTOTRBO radios.


For the utility crew working overtime to restore power, the job stops when the radio stops operating. IMPRES chargers evaluate battery usage and determine the best time to recondition it, ensuring you get the most out of every battery. IMPRES batteries can also be left in IMPRES chargers for extended periods without heat damage from the charger, so your batteries are ready to go when you need them.


IMPRES audio accessories communicate with the radio to help suppress ambient noise, improve voice intelligibility and amplify loudness – even in noisy situations and harsh weather. So if you’re a security officer with an IMPRES remote speaker microphone or a hospitality manager wearing an earpiece, you can carry on a conversation with clarity, simplicity and certainty.


Bluetooth accessories make communications even more convenient giving you freedom to take your radio off your belt or move around your vehicle (within 30 feet) and still stay connected. Drivers can check on packages in the back of the truck or hotel receptionists can leave the radio on the desk, yet still send and receive critical radio communications.


The DP2000 Series features a uniquely designed connector so accessories can be quickly and easily attached and detached with one hand, and an innovative new locking feature connects the accessory without any tools required.

MOTOTRBO is remastering digital two-way communications – and redefining what customers expect from a radio solution. With the MOTOTRBO portfolio of portable and mobile radios, repeaters, data applications, accessories, software and services, you can put the right device into the hands of the right user. From the supervisor of a production line, to the facilities manager in a crowded stadium, to the technician repairing power lines, MOTOTRBO radios make workers more efficient and productive.

For more information on how to remaster your workforce with the right solution, visit