Martian Homes Could Be Built In Just 24 Hours

By the end of this century, it seems highly likely that people will be living on Mars. It sounds utterly mad, until you consider that there were only 66 years between the first powered and sustained Human flight and Neil Armstrong setting foot on the moon…

However, a major problem with this idea (aside from the fact that no Human being has ever actually set foot on the red planet) is the difficulty posed by building habitation in such a hostile and extremely remote environment.

At the moment, even landing an unmanned rover on Mars represents a major scientific achievement, which makes Elon Musk’s plans to build a city there seem especially far fetched and ambitious.

Besides, at current costs, taking one kilogram of material to the moon costs between £61,000 and £122,000. That’s a lot of money, even for bare essentials like building materials and water reserves.

Now, however, one man thinks he may have the answer…

Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis of the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering is working on a groundbreaking new method of building that, if applied to lunar or Martian colonisation, could bring us all that much closer to seeing cities on Mars or the moon in our lifetimes.

Essentially, Dr. Khoshnevis has come up with a way to ‘print’ buildings.

The construction technology, called Contour Crafting, fashions an entire building, layer by layer, according to a predetermined outline. Khoshnevis initially created the technology in order to provide cheap, quick and safe housing for emerging nations, or victims of natural disasters.

It is hoped that such building methods will also lower the demand for wood, thus having a beneficial effect on the rainforests and other areas that are being aggressively deforested for timber.

In addition, the concrete walls built by the Countour Crafter are three times stronger than a brick wall.

Writing for Nasa, Dr. Khoshnevis said, “Automated building technologies will revolutionize the way structures are built on Earth, in dense urban environments, in difficult-to-build and difficult-to-service sites, or in remote and hostile regions of the globe. The technologies under development by our group have the potential to simplify construction logistics, reduce the need for hard physical labor by assigning humans to a strictly supervisory role, eliminate issues relating to human safety and produce intricate, aesthetically refined designs and structures at significantly reduced construction cost”.

Theoretically, these buildings could be described via a computer model and built remotely, using the Martian landscape in lieu of bricks and mortar. The buildings could be ‘printed’ in around 24 hours and would be every bit as strong, (or stronger) than the building you are currently living in.

Business

How Many 2 way radios Can Run on one Channel?

Theoretically, you can use an unlimited amount of walkie-talkies on the same channel (although in practice you might experience a few problems if you took that suggestion literally). Basically, there isn’€™t really a set limit. You could use as many as you like provided they are set up correctly. Anybody set to the right channel and in range at the time of transmission would then be able to pick up the signal and respond to it.

Most radios have access to 8 channels. These channels each have 38 separate €˜identification tones€™. The user sets his/her channel up with the desired tone and then only other users who know the channel/tone will be able to hear the transmissions. As a result, there are, in any given area, about 304 different combinations, so signal interference is unlikely to affect you.

Please do not interpret this answer as saying that your radio has access to 304 possible channels. It does not. It will likely only have access to 8. Some less reputable manufacturers tend to falsely imply access to 304 channels; this is simply not the case. You will have access to 304 possible tone/channel combinations, that’s all.

To better explain the CTCSS codes and how they work; we’€™ll include a little information from Amherst.co.uk€™s FAQ page.

€œCTCSS stands for “Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System”. These codes are also often called “Privacy codes” If a CTCSS tone is selected; a CTCSS sub-audible tone is transmitted along with the regular voice audio by the transmitting radio. The receiving radio, set to the same CTCSS tone, will only receive audio if it contains that sub-tone. Interference from other users on the same frequency is therefore rejected (unless they are also on the same sub-tone). This is a way of allowing groups of users of walkie-talkies on the same channel to avoid hearing messages from other nearby users”.

So, in conclusion, you can probably use as many walkie-talkies as you like on the same channel. As long as the units in question are of the same type (either VHF or UHF) and have the same CTCSS setup, then you simply shouldn’€™t have a problem. You also shouldn’€™t suffer from signal interference due to other users (although you may still experience signal loss/interference/degradation from other sources). We have talked about combating signal loss elsewhere, so please see the other questions if you have any problems in this area.

SOURCES

http://www.amherst.co.uk/walkietalkie/walkie-talkie-radio-faq-basics.htm

http://www.homephonesonline.co.uk/information/qa-walkie-talkies.htm

Business

What Do You Do With A Radio Earpiece?

What is a radio earpiece? An earpiece as the name suggests is a piece for the ear that can either be put inside the ear, covering it or suspended next to the ear. Its main function is to transmit sound signals converted from electronic waves. Earpieces can either be wired or wireless and with a variety of designs as well.

Some of its designs and features

Radio earpieces are convenient; especially where the user is constantly on the move. They are stylish and whether they have a cord or not are still presentable and handy. They too have special microphones that enable two way communications. A light inline push to talk button is as well present and it can be detached or attached to the earpiece.

You can have one that is over the ear that is usually quite fitting. It can either be circum-aural whereby it covers the entire ear and is usually large or supra-aural which only fits on the ear without surrounding it. For these radio earpieces to be of good quality, the material needs to be flexible to reduce chances of breakage.

Other features of the different earpiece designs include having reinforcements aimed at making them more secure. You can also choose to have a wireless or corded radio micro phone that works just as well. Some of the covert earpieces will come with their own separate cables of different lengths and easily adjustable volumes.

An earpiece that is fitted inside the canal of the outer ear can also be referred to as an ear bud. A good radio ear bud will not have any negative effect in your ear functioning. It also needs to be comfortable for the wearer.

The one with a sound tube connector is even more secure and makes a perfect fit into the ear. The radio earpiece will also come with wire pieces if one decides to use them. One can in addition have more than one connector with a single radio earpiece. These acoustic tubes will also come with mushroom replacements.

An earpiece worn inside the ear canal will obstruct external sounds unlike the ear bud. It is also possible to have a radio transmitter over the ear that ensures that you get clear and quality sound without influence from the noise in the background. The microphones are also able to reduce the sound in the environment and focus on what needs to be transmitted. Over the ear earpieces come in a number of interesting designs such as the D shaped and the G shaped radio earpieces which are especially favourable if the earpiece is being used by more than one person. They are not only sanitary for sharing but comfortable too.

Advantages of covert radio earpiece

Sometimes it will just seem like one is simply listening to their radio but the earpiece is a great communication tool as well. Most of its advantages are drawn from its unique features.

A radio earpiece comes in handy especially because if it’s small size and its hidden nature. You can easily keep your conversation over the radio private and no one will even know you are on it. This is especially when the information being passed is on a need to know basis.

This makes it the earpiece appropriate for those working under cover, security agents, and police officers or even by the government. It is also good for any other occupation or activity that needs a high amount of secrecy or those involving investigations. Another important feature of the earpiece is its ability to enable free flow of information within that particular time. This communication makes it very helpful in such circumstances when one needs to be regularly updated while performing a particular task. This can be because they need to be given instructions or need to be informed about the progress of something.

However, this in combination with the private and convert properties of the radio earpiece also makes it the perfect device for more sinister motives such as illegal spying or cheat in a game or even a test. On the positive side, this communication is extremely helpful in public speaking when one needs some pointers while on stage or in front of an audience without having the listeners know about it.

Being hands free and portable makes it possible for them to be used in occupations where holding a radio to communicate is not an option. This is for instance in works involving heights or need a lot of precision such as engineering or doing a delicate electrical project.

Business

How Many 2 way radios Can Run on one Channel?

Theoretically, you can use an unlimited amount of walkie-talkies on the same channel (although in practice you might experience a few problems if you took that suggestion literally). Basically, there isn’€™t really a set limit. You could use as many as you like provided they are set up correctly. Anybody set to the right channel and in range at the time of transmission would then be able to pick up the signal and respond to it.

Most radios have access to 8 channels. These channels each have 38 separate €˜identification tones€™. The user sets his/her channel up with the desired tone and then only other users who know the channel/tone will be able to hear the transmissions. As a result, there are, in any given area, about 304 different combinations, so signal interference is unlikely to affect you.

Please do not interpret this answer as saying that your radio has access to 304 possible channels. It does not. It will likely only have access to 8. Some less reputable manufacturers tend to falsely imply access to 304 channels; this is simply not the case. You will have access to 304 possible tone/channel combinations, that’s all.

To better explain the CTCSS codes and how they work; we’€™ll include a little information from Amherst.co.uk€™s FAQ page.

€œCTCSS stands for “Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System”. These codes are also often called “Privacy codes” If a CTCSS tone is selected; a CTCSS sub-audible tone is transmitted along with the regular voice audio by the transmitting radio. The receiving radio, set to the same CTCSS tone, will only receive audio if it contains that sub-tone. Interference from other users on the same frequency is therefore rejected (unless they are also on the same sub-tone). This is a way of allowing groups of users of walkie-talkies on the same channel to avoid hearing messages from other nearby users”.

So, in conclusion, you can probably use as many walkie-talkies as you like on the same channel. As long as the units in question are of the same type (either VHF or UHF) and have the same CTCSS setup, then you simply shouldn’€™t have a problem. You also shouldn’€™t suffer from signal interference due to other users (although you may still experience signal loss/interference/degradation from other sources). We have talked about combating signal loss elsewhere, so please see the other questions if you have any problems in this area.

SOURCES

http://www.amherst.co.uk/walkietalkie/walkie-talkie-radio-faq-basics.htm

http://www.homephonesonline.co.uk/information/qa-walkie-talkies.htm

Business

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

Business

Earplugs crank down the noise while still permitting an individual to hear

What is your favourite feature of the radio accessory? Personally, I much like the design job – It is cooler than an Inuit’s underpants!

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

Business

Do Two-Way Radios Work on Cruise Ships?

Yes, two-way radios DO work on cruise ships. However, because the same channels tend to be a bit overused, passengers can expect a fair amount of chatter and signal interference when using their radios.

I suppose the two way radios/walkie talkies would be the best option. But, how important is being in constant communication with the rest of your family anyway? A ship, while large, isn’t huge. If you know the general area where people will be, you could walk over and find them. Preset arranged meeting times and places would work as well. People were able to get along fairly well without being able to directly communicate with each other at every moment of the day

So, aside from the option of setting pre-arranged meeting times, a two-way radio isn’t a terrible idea, especially if you have kids. Many people reading this might simply ask why they can’t use their mobile phones. That is a very good question, after all…

If you’re going on a cruise this summer (or anytime, really), you need to be aware that your mobile phone is going to cause some problems.

Many cruise passengers are unaware and/or totally ill prepared for this fact and the cruise companies themselves are at least partly to blame for the lack of information in this area. So, will your mobile phone work at sea?

The answer is most often always “You can subscribe to our cruise line cell phone network.” What they won’t tell you is the rates you will be paying. You certainly won’t be able to find them online, and to get a proper answer, you’ll have to call the cruise line to get a full break down of what they charge for access to their cell networks. As a company that sets their own international calling rates for the Talk Abroad SIM Card, we can see the cruise ship networks in our list, and it does not look good. If you subscribe to their network, you’ll be paying anything from $4 ~ $8 per minute, depending on your location and who you are calling. Don’t forget also that they’ll be charging you for receiving inbound calls

As we’ll soon see, taking a mobile phone on a cruise can represent a logistical nightmare. At the same time, however, many of us feel naked without a phone?

More problems are presented in the form of scheduled stops (although these can also represent opportunities for a higher – and cheaper – level of connectivity).

If the ship is close to the coastline, and has multiple port of call stops, you’ll typically be able to get a terrestrial signal from the nearest land cell phone tower – up to a mile from the coast. It’s highly unlikely that you will be connected with 3G speed signals, as evidenced in my previous blog, you will need to have a low-wave 3G frequency like 800 or 900 Mhz – frequencies not typically associated with phones manufactured for North American consumers. So what can be done? You can rent an international cell phone that works in port, and a short way out to sea. If you really must stay connected on your boat, get in touch with your cruise travel agency and request information about the on-board cell phone rates and subscription fees

So, using mobile phones on a cruise is both difficult and supremely costly, but arranging a meeting time is also likely to cause more than a few headaches. Two-way radios have their problems, but may in fact be the best way to keep in contact, depending, of course, on how important a factor this is for you.

The size of modern cruise ships are such that they are usually measured against small cities, this means that communications are even more important than before. Experts in 2 way radio communication are 2wayradionline.co.uk

Business

Do All Walkie Talkies Work Together

Mobile technology has greatly improved over the past years. However, cell phones have some inadequacy at some point. They are reliably dependent on network coverage and tend to fail in areas with poor or limited coverage. On the other hand, walkie talkies beat them to this. Do all walkie talkies work together? This is a question being asked by many users or those planning to acquire such devices. To answer this question, one will have to understand how the device works. You have to know the basics involved in operating the device. They are wireless radios that can be easily carried around. One has to understand the technology and the modalities associated with the workings of the walkie talkies. This is the best way to answer the question.

These are battery powered transceivers (it can send and receive a radio message). They operate on half-duplex channels. This implies that one device, on a single channel can transmit one signal at a time though many devices will be able to receive that signal. The radios are primarily designed for short-range communication and transmit signals directly to each other.

All walkie talkies have similar basic components that include a microphone, speaker, antenna, battery and the PTT button. All these features combine to make communication successful. These devices are designed to operate on particular 2 way radio frequencies. The United States has designated different frequencies to meet users’ needs. The public are allowed to use the Family Radio Service (FRS) and the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS). The GMRS or FRS radios operate on the 460MHz range. The government has also set a side frequencies (the Business Band) that corporates can use (it ranges from 450 to 470MHz). Law enforcing agencies such as the police also have their own frequency so that there is no interference from public users. This is helps the agency to prevent their channels from overlapping with those of public users.

As already discussed above, the GMRS and FRS, frequencies are designated for public use. These channels overlap at particular frequencies even though radios that use such channels have several distinct differences.

The FRS radios have a fixed antenna. They are not quite powerful as their power is limited to about 0.5 watts. These features make their use limited to a small area. They are better suited to personal use as they only operate on the FRS bands.

The GMRS radios are more powerful and have a power of about 5 watts. They can also use repeaters to enhance their radio signals and thus boost their range.

There are many hybrid radios now that can be able to operate on both channels. However, only licensed operators are allowed to use the GMRS channel. This is because the GMRS walkie talkies are powerful enough to cause more interference.

Europe has restricted walkie talkies to PMR446 frequencies or those at just around 440MHz. It is illegal to use a radio operating on the PMR466 frequency on the GMRS or FRS channel. Therefore, if you are travelling from Europe to America, it is very important to make sure that your radio operates on the required frequency to avoid getting in trouble with the law.

From the discussion above, it is clear to see that their operation is restricted only by the frequency of the signal and not the brand. When one uses walkie talkies of the same brand, they are least likely to experience problems in signal transmission and reception as they are more similar in operation. However, this does not mean those using different brands will not communicate.

These radios are all about sending and receiving signals. Therefore, signals sent from one radio at a certain frequency can be received by another radio in that range.

What makes these gadgets stand out from cell phones is their simplicity. One does not need to dial any number to call, all you need to do is to push the PTT button when either reaching out to transmit or receiving a transmission. This applies regardless of the brand one has as they all have similar features as discussed earlier.

In conclusion, in more than one word, the evidence suggests that type of brand does not matter. Therefore, do all walkie talkies work together? Yes, they do.

Business

Children’s Letters To Santa Have Their Own Sorting Office

With December in full swing and ‘the big day’ now less than a week away, you’ll be heartened to know that a) today’s tech-savvy, smartphone wielding children still write letters to Father Christmas in the traditional manner b) that real people actually read them and c) that the children can expect a genuine reply to their letters.

The sorting office, which deals exclusively with children’s letters to Santa, is located in Belfast and is listed on the official Royal Mail address finder as being staffed by 10,000 elves, 1,000 reindeer and about 100 snowmen. The areas industry is listed as including “sleigh pulling, toy making and list checking (twice)”.

According to The Telegraph’s Sarah Rainey, around 250,000 letters, addressed to ‘reindeerland’, pass through this highly specialised sorting office every year. Morag Turnbull, who works as the Operations Manager at the Royal Mail in Edinburgh, told The Telegraph that, “The effort the children go to in writing them is wonderful (…) They cut out pictures of toys, draw pictures for Santa, attach stickers, feathers and all sorts of inventive touches. We start getting them as early as August, and we reply to as many as we can before Christmas – but it’s a mad, mad job.”

The letters usually have to be examined by hand, as the Royal Mail sorting machines struggle with kid handwriting, coloured craft paper and glitter. In addition, occasional parcels of food (for Santa and Rudolph, you understand), can (and frequently do), crash the system.

Perhaps the nicest part of this particular story, however, is just what the kids are asking for. In addition to predicable demands for iPads, new bikes and Disney memorabilia, many British children are apparently very selfless in nature.

A small boy named Noah, for example, sent Santa a drawing for his troubles, before asking for new work shoes for his mother and some Lego for his brother, his own request (a DVD player) was listed last of all. Many kids also ask for presents for their pets or their teddy bears and even more request something nice for their brothers and sisters as well as themselves.

A particularly moving letter came from a girl named Casey, who asked Santa Claus to name a star in honour of her granddad, who apparently died in January this year. “Can you give him a big hug and a kiss from me?” She wrote, “I don’t get to see him anymore, but this way I will be able to see him in the sky every night.”

So, the next time you find yourself suffering a bout of the ‘holiday blues’, fretting over January’s credit card bill or getting exasperated by just how busy December can be, take a deep breath and think about that little sorting office in Belfast, a place where the magic of Christmas is still very much in evidence. Think on that and smile.

Thank you for reading, have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Business

What Is a Covert Earpiece?

This website is amazing! i never thought that this could ever get made as an site….hope all enjoys it

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.

Business