The Shakespeare Code: Does a 400-Year-Old Portrait Offer a New Image of The Bard?

Historian and botanist Mark Griffiths claims to have cracked a centuries old code, revealing a brand new image of William Shakespeare.

The picture appears on the title page of the 1598 volume ‘The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes’ by the horticulturist John Gerard.  Apparently, Griffiths was able to decode a Latin cipher “of the kind loved by the Elizabethan aristocracy” which then revealed the identity of the man in the picture as William Shakespeare.

If he is correct, then this picture is the only demonstrably authentic portrait of the famous playwright that exists from his lifetime. But remember, I said ‘if’ – Mr. Griffiths is by no means the first person to make such a sensational ‘discovery’.

It is a spectacular claim for sure, but one that is fast gaining currency in the international news media. The only accepted images of The Bard are the famous picture from the cover of Shakespeare’s First Folio and the effigy on his monument in Stratford-Upon-Avon, both of which were created some time after his death.

Griffiths, who is presently writing a book about Gerard, came across the picture whilst browsing a first edition copy of ‘The Herball’. The image appears to have been created by William Rogers, the first English engraver and a man of much renown in his own right. Copperplate engravings, such as the ones he made of Queen Elizabeth I, are key pieces of historical evidence for the study of England in Tudor times.

Rogers’ title page shows four male figures surrounded by flowers and symbols, so Griffiths decided to try and discern the identities of the four men.

One of the men is apparently Gerard himself, whilst the second image appears to depict the Flemish botanist Rembert Dodoens. The third man is assumed to be Lord Burghley, who was an adviser to the Queen and a patron of the book’s author. The three aforementioned men could be readily identified using existing portraits from the period. However, the identity of the fourth figure, clad in classical Roman garb, wearing a laurel wreath and holding a both an ear of sweetcorn and a fritillary flower, eluded him.

Griffiths began to read up on the sort of codes, ciphers and hidden messages frequently used in Tudor times and, from his research, he concluded that the identity of the fourth man had to be Shakespeare himself.

For Griffiths, there can be no doubt at all that this is the definitive image of William Shakespeare, “For me, it is not about doubt or supposition. I’m faced with a series of facts that I can’t gainsay, as much as I try. This is what these facts are, these are what the plants are, this is what they signify, this is what the symbol decodes as. All of that adds up to Shakespeare. I can’t make that – and believe me I’ve tried – add up to anybody else but Shakespeare.”

However, some of the ‘clues’ unearthed by Griffiths do seem to be somewhat strange, to say the least. For example, the image around the fourth man shows an arrowhead with an ‘E’ stuck to it, alongside a figure four. For Griffiths, this equates to the Latin word Quater, which was (apparently) a slang term for the number 4 in games of chance. Add the ‘E’ on the end of the word and it becomes quatere, which is the infinitive of the Latin verb quatior, meaning ‘ to shake’. Accordingly, Griffiths believes that the number 4 seen nearby can also be interpreted as a spear. Literally, this means ‘shake spear’.

Another ‘clue’ is the presence of the word ‘Or’. Apparently, Shakespeare’s father was presented with a golden coat of arms around the time that ‘The Herball’ was being written – and the heraldic symbol for gold is ‘Or’.

Elsewhere, he also points out references to various Shakespeare writings, particularly Venus and Adonis, in which a fritillary flower appears. He even goes as far as to suggest that the ear of sweetcorn is a reference to a single line of dialogue from Titus and Andronicus.

So, is it Shakespeare’s picture, or is Griffiths simply getting carried away looking for clues as to the identity of a so-far-unknown man who lived 400 years ago? Opinion is so far divided and, given the age of the text and the many-fold interpretations offered by the image, it seems doubtful that anybody will be able to either conclusively prove, or disprove, Griffith’s theory.

Professor Michael Dobson, Director of The Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham said that, “I can’t imagine any reason why Shakespeare would be in a botany textbook. It’s a lovely picture. Everybody is very fond of it. But that doesn’t mean that he had anything to do with it apart from the fact that he read it. (…) It’s a man in a toga, holding a little bit of a corn on the cob in one hand and a fritillary in the other.”

In his defense, Mr. Griffiths has posited that Shakespeare may have been patronized by Burghley and that he could potentially have worked with Gerard on the book, hence his appearance on the cover, but critics of the theory find this hard to swallow, especially due to the lack of any hard historical evidence to back it up.

World-renowned Shakespeare expert Stanley Wells took his disdain to Twitter, saying (slightly flippantly) “So apparently Shakespeare went around in fancy dress holding a fritillary in one hand and a cob of corn in the other.” Of course, the ‘fancy dress’ could be symbolic of the man’s connection to the theatre, but equally, it could be a romanticized portrait of a nature spirit.

As reported by The Guardian, Griffiths hit back at his critics, saying, “What we have here is a series of incontrovertible facts. I dare say people will think: ‘Oh no. It’s not him.’ But there is no other construction that can be placed on these facts. It is not an assumption that he is Shakespeare, it is algebra … it is an equation.”

Erm…No it isn’t. It is a series of educated guesses, aided and abetted by what seems to be more than a little wishful thinking.

The image and indeed the story as a whole, may put science fiction fans in mind of the 2007 ‘Doctor Who’ adventure ‘The Shakespeare Code’, in which a young and handsome Shakespeare portrayed by Dean Lennox Kelly (and eerily similar to the man pictured in ‘The Herball’) aids The Doctor and his companion Martha Jones in expelling Carrionite witches from The Globe Theatre. Indeed, Griffiths himself compared the image of a young, good-looking Shakespeare to the appearance of a contemporary film star.

So, when we gaze upon this Elizabethan image, are we looking at the only authentic picture of William Shakespeare? Maybe we are, maybe we aren’t, however the fact that Mr. Griffiths is now claiming to have uncovered a new play by Shakespeare does suggest, that, whether he manages to convince us or not, we’ll be hearing more from him in the future.

Concept Headphones That Won’t Get You Killed While Biking

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

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

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

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

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

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

New York To Aid Bird Migration By Turning Out The Lights

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is backing a new scheme to turn off all nonessential lights in state-run buildings as a way of helping migrating birds to effectively navigate their routes.

Birds that migrate through the spring and autumn are thought to navigate by the light of the stars, using the tiny little pinpricks of light in the night sky to undertake their long and arduous yearly journeys.

However, according to ornithologists, many birds can become disorientated by artificial light, which can result in the birds flying into buildings and dying needlessly. This phenomenon is known as “fatal light attraction” and claims the lives of an estimated billion birds a year in the US alone.

Some birds die from the trauma of impacting into buildings, while others merely become lost and die from a combination of exhaustion and other hazards posed by an urban environment. A major ecological worry presented by fatal light attraction is that it can affect all areas of a bird population, killing even the stronger birds, which are vital to the maintenance of a healthy ecosystem.

The idea to preserve migratory routes by switching out – or else dimming – all nonessential lights was first put forward in the early 1990s by Toronto, Canadas FLAP program. This pioneering work was built upon by the National Audubon Society, who have so far either directly instigated, or else inspired projects similar to, their Lights Out initiative across at least 20 American cities.

According to the Audubon Societys website, “The strategy is simple: By convincing building owners and managers to turn off excess lighting during the months migrating birds are flying overhead, we help to provide them safe passage between their nesting and wintering grounds”.

Thanks to Governor Cuomos support for this initiative, the birds passing over New York City at night will now stand a much better chance of surviving than before.

“This is a simple step to help protect these migrating birds that make their home in New Yorks forests, lakes and rivers,” said Governor Cuomo in a statement.

In addition to this good news, the Governor also announced the launch of a new I Love NY Birding website, which will provide New Yorkers with information on bird watching and how to participate in the Lights Out program.

Away from state-run buildings, several prominent New York City landmarks, including The Rockefeller Centre, The Chrysler Building and Time Warner Centre have pledged to take action in support of the states massive bird population. Private citizens will also be encouraged to join in as well, making New York City a far safer place for our feathered friends.

How Much Does a Good Earpiece Cost?

Actually, quality two-way radio earpieces are not nearly as cost prohibitive as you might expect them to be.

In fact, you can get a professional quality model for as little as just over £10 (not including shipping costs). The linked model even comes with a special noise-reducing microphone included in the price.

Elsewhere, Amazon.co.uk has earpiece and headset deals for as low as £6.00. These won’t be top-end products, obviously, but they are unlikely to let you down either.

As with all things, it depends on what uses you have in mind. If you are unsure as to exactly what your needs are, then it is wiser to spend a little extra (we’re not talking a bank-breaking amount, after all) than it is to buy the cheapest model, saving £7 – £8 in the short term, only to end up disappointed with your final purchase.

You can get a ‘good’ (as in, generally reliable ‘all rounder’) earpiece for £10 – £20. These earpieces aren’t particularly flashy, but they can be relied upon to get the job done. As a general guide, some of the more professional quality pieces available will go up as high as £40 – £50. Depending on what these models are used for, all will do a fine job.

Of course, as with anything, there is a high-end and a low-end to the marketplace. However, unlike some markets, low-end earpieces do not represent an enormous loss in quality. They will work fine for basic/hobby use, but we recommend you spend out towards the higher end of the market for professional usage.

EarpieceOnline is a good place to get your earpiece from, especially since they offer free next day delivery on all their items.

Typically, earpieces are not an expensive item. In fact, they only cost a substantial amount when professional earpieces are bought in bulk for business use. However, the linked site is among the cheapest online and stocks a wide variety of different products.

Of course, all prices listed here are ‘ballpark figures’ unless otherwise stated. The sites/stockists you use may be cheaper, or more expensive, so it will probably pay to shop around a little bit.

If you are able to find any cheaper sites, then you might let us know, that way we can recommend them to other users.

Pryme Radio Products features Bluetooth accessories in latest additions to product portfolio

The IWCE was a great event this year, with lots of great companies and exhibitors. Particular noted showcase’s were Pryme and their new Bluetooth range. You can find the original source of the article on this website 

Pryme Radio Products recently showcased four accessories that leverage Bluetooth technology as the California-based manufacturer continues to expand its product portfolio supporting both two-way-radio and cellular users.

Introduced at IWCE 2015, Pryme Radio Products’ new BTH-600 is a heavy-duty Bluetooth wireless speaker microphone that supports push-to-talk (PTT) capability on two-way radios, according to Pryme Radio Products President Dave George. By loading different software into the headset, the user can utilize PTT applications that are available on cellular phone, he said.

Based on Pryme’s Storm Trooper platform, the BTH-600 is waterproof and utilizes an off-the-shelf, rechargeable cell-phone battery, George said.

“One of the coolest things about it is that it’s got a big battery—it can run for 40 hours of continuous duty on a single charge, and it can be in standby mode for 30 days,” George said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “

The BTH-300 is a small, lightweight clip-on box that converts any wired Apple iPhone accessory into a Bluetooth headset, according to company literature. Featuring 10 hours of battery life, a built-in PTT switch and a built-in noise-canceling microphone, the BTH-300 can be used during covert operations—there is no visible LED light—and supports both radio and cellular communications, George said.

“This will work both with radio dongles and with cell phones at the same time,” he said. “It has a separate button on it for answering phone calls, and it has technology inside of it that will allow you to prioritize whether you want to ignore the two-way-radio calls while you are on you cell phone, or whether you want to ignore the cell phone calls when you are on a two-way-radio call.”

For those using Motorola Solutions’ XPR-3300/3500 series radios on a MOTOTRBO network, Pryme Radio Products has developed the BT-M11, which is a Bluetooth adapter that attaches directly to the radio with a patent-pending locking mechanism, George said. Previously, Bluetooth chips were so large that Pryme’s Bluetooth adapter had to be attached with a cable, he said.

“Now that the Bluetooth chips have gotten much smaller, we’re finally able to get it inside the small connector,” George said. “So, we’ve designed a new small connector that will attach directly to the side of the radio and contain the Bluetooth technology.”

Does The Old Two Cans on a String Thing Actually Work?

It does indeed. The old children’s favourite may have been supplanted somewhat by the relentless march of technology, especially now that almost every kid has a mobile phone and/or access to the Internet, but there is still a lot of fun to be had there.

For those reading this that don’t know, the two cans on a string game involves taking two empty (and preferably washed out) tin cans, the kind you might buy baked beans in, punching a small hole in the bottom of both cans and then threading a length of string in between each hole, tying it in a knot big enough to secure it in the can. Then, when the string is pulled tight, it is possible for one person to speak into the can and another to listen and reply. It also works with polystyrene cups, albeit to a slightly lesser extent. You’d be amazed also at the distance your voice can actually travel using this method.

It is not advisable to use stretchable string for the cans as it just makes life more difficult!

The science behind this game is actually very simple. The vibrations of your voice shake the bottom of the can and that, in turn, vibrates the string. Provided the string is pulled taut and isn’t touching anything, there should be no reason at all for your voice not to travel along the string to be received by your companion at the other end.

In fact, this game actually qualifies as a sort of rudimentary telephone; the theory behind it is very similar.

If you happen to be a parent, this game can keep the kids entertained on rainy afternoons, as well as providing a useful scientific lesson for them. I have many happy childhood memories of playing this game. However, it is very important to make sure that the cans have no sharp edges around the inner rim, for older kids, a simple ‘safety brief’ will probably do, but younger kids might be safer with a little electrical or duct tape stuck around the top of the can (in each child’s favourite colour, maybe? Just a thought). It shouldn’t affect the sound too much, if at all.

It’s amazing the fun you can have with a couple of old cans and a length of string. Hope that helps.

Icom Announces New Digital Land Mobile Radios at IWCE 2015

Icom America is showcasing new land mobile radio equipment at the 2015 International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE). The company will be displaying new products promoting digital and IP radio technology. The IWCE conference will be held at Nevada’s Las Vegas Convention March 16-20. Icom will be exhibiting at Booth 621 during exhibit hall hours on March 18-19. Icom associates will also be participating on weekday panels highlighting P25, NXDN™, next-gen communications, and systems deployed in Latin America.

New products on display at Icom Booth 621 include the F1000D/F2000D the F3200DEX/F4200DEX, which belong to the Icom Digital Advanced System known as IDAS™. The F1000D Series is a compact entry-level radio featuring enhanced emergency functions. The F3200DEX Series is a rugged handheld that meets Intrinsically Safe standards. For IP solutions, Icom’s VE-PG3 RoIP gateway and IP100H wireless LAN radio will also be on display.

Icom is also announcing the F5122DD Series transceiver. This data modem features MIL-STD construction and is ideal for field monitoring and remote system management. Additionally, the company is exhibiting its exclusive IC-7850 amateur radio as well as the ID-5100A and ID-51A PLUS D-STAR radios.

Sponsored by Penton Media, IWCE 2015 will host Icom and more than 7,000 dealers, distributors and end-users from various industries. IWCE’s conference program comprises five days of workshops, training courses and short courses. Keynotes, general sessions and networking events are also scheduled throughout the week.

Icom America Vice President Chris Lougee is participating in two IWCE events:

    • “Project 25 Foundations and System Technology Updates for 2015” workshop on March 16
    • “An Update on P25 Compliance Assessment Program (CAP)” short course on March 19

“The P25 Compliance Assessment Program is critical in the equipment procurement process for government agencies,” says Lougee. “It is the best way to ensure interoperability.”

The following Icom America associates are participating as panelists for IWCE courses on March 18:

    • Mark Behrends (Senior Manager of Marketing) for “Next-Generation Push-to-Talk Roundtable: Cellular, Satellite, Wireless LAN and LTE”
    • Edwin Cortes (Technical Sales Manager, LatAm) for “Estudios de Caso: TETRA, LTE y P25”
    • Rodney Grim (Business Development Manager) and Chris Lougee for “A NXDN Deployment Review”

We are really interested in where Icom have going with their digital radios, the IP stuff is nothing new but Icom have a great history with Two Way Radios, you can find the original source of the article here - http://www.policeone.com/police-products/police-technology/press-releases/8413508-Icom-Announces-New-Digital-Land-Mobile-Radios-at-IWCE-2015/

Digital radio – which way will South Africa go?

Radio technology has seen very little innovation and development since FM stereo was introduced in the 1960s.  It was the sound revolution of the time, but little has happened since FM took over local broadcasting. It caused the demise of AM stations and the shortwave services of the SABC and LM radio.

The Southern Africa Digital Broadcasting Association (SADIBA) issued a report in 2002 in which it said “to remain commercial attractive, radio as a medium will have to deliver improved quality service, greater choice, interactivity and multi-media. Digital radio technologies must rise to the challenge and deliver the multimedia radio of the future.”

In the document SADIBA made recommendations on the critical aspects to be considered in order to allow for the introduction of digital radio in South Africa.   Little seems to have happened since 2002 until last month when the subject was extensively discussed at the SADIBA Conference where the 2002 paper re-emerged and digital radio mondiale (DRM), one of the technologies, came into the limelight with international speakers and a demonstration of DRM by the BBC transmitting DRM from their  shortwave relay station on Ascension Island with CD clarity – no noise, no interference.

Discussing the advantages of DRM, Ruxandra Obreja, head of digital radio development at the BBC world service and chairman of the DRM Consortium said that DRM and DRM+ have proved to be the obvious choice for digital radio. But not everyone would agree with that.

Let us consider some of the various digital radio technologies available.

IDAB is based on in-band-on channel (IBOC) technology which looks at inserting the digital signal within the existing FM and AM channels without affecting other FM or AM transmissions.  FM IBOC is designed to operate in a 200 kHz FM channel allocation. It would have been very impractical to introduce FM IBOC into South Africa without re-engineering the current  FM frequency plan based on 100 kHz channel.

According to the 2002 SADIBA paper the most established of all the digital radio technologies is the Eureka 147 system.  The technology is based on an open standard defined in a range of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) documents. But it requires different frequency bands which in itself is problematic given the scarcity of spectrum oin the UHF bands which are demanded by satellite communication channels (VSat) and wireless broadband. The so-called digital dividend will also not provide the required spectrum as that process will take a long time to materialise.

Obreja believes that DRM and DRM+ is the obvious solution. DRM,  the acronym for digital radio mondiale, is promoted by a consortium of broadcasters, manufactures’ research institutes and stakeholders that have endeavoured to work toward a world-standard for digital broadcasting in the frequencies initial below 30 MHz, operating on the AM and shortwave broadcasting bands.  Since the original development engineers have moved ahead and DRM+ emerged, the name applied to the DRM standard when used on the VHF frequencies.

“The initiative to extend DRM began with a vote at the 2005 General Assembly to begin the design, verification and testing of the parameters needed to allow DRM to operate in the VHF broadcasting bands between; primarily band I and band II,” said Obteja.

The design process began shortly afterwards and key decisions were made to ensure that the extension completely shared the successful design philosophy of DRM – it is “DRM but at higher frequencies”.

Its spectrum usage parameters are determined from the internationally agreed norms in the FM band (88 to 108 MHz). Therefore it has an occupied bandwidth of 96 kHz and a frequency grid of 100 kHz.

DRM+ provides bit rates from 35 kbps to 185 kbps at SNRs from 2 dB to 14dB and, like DRM, permits up to four services. It is therefore a flexible solution allowing single or small numbers of audio services to be broadcast together.

During the process of gaining endorsement from the ITU for DRM’s extension to the VHF bands, test results from various field trials conducted around the world were submitted.  One of the interesting trials was carried out in December 2011 by Vatican Radio carrying out broadcasting tests of DRM+1 in the VHF band II at 103, MHz. The aim of the tests was to verify the performance of DRM+ in a difficult interference scenario such as the FM VHF band II in Rome and to check the compatibility of the digital technology with existing antenna arrays having complex RF coupling systems such as the one located in the Vatican. The frequency used was assigned to the Vatican in the GE84 Agreement and was chosen for two main reasons: it is not used during a few timeslots in the morning and it suffers from some strong interference coming from stations operating at 103,7 MHz and 104,00 MHz located close to Rome. The tests were carried out taking into account the normal programme schedule. During the tests the digital transmitter was connected to the antenna feeder via a changeover, leaving the analogue transmitter in stand-by. The antenna array is a complex system: four FM transmitters at different power levels share the same antenna with elliptical polarisation and omni-directional horizontal radiation pattern. The results were great. Acceptable stereo coverage under mobile reception conditions has been verified in areas where predicted field strength is comparable with 44 dBmV/m and interference is negligible. Using the most robust configuration for DRM+, it was possible to achieve better coverage in full stereo  than an analogue FM signal; the overall subjective listening experience was better than that of FM interfered with by splashes coming from adjacent stations.

With South Africa’s poor performance in changing from analogue to digital TV, it may be some time before government will applies its mind to take a decision on digital sound radio. The first step have however been taken by commercial enterprises.  Pulpit Radio is conducting a DRM pilot from their transmitting station  at  Kameeldrift near Pretoria. The 50 kW transmitter was installed by Broadcom International and made history with the first DRM audio broadcast in the Southern African region on 1440 kHz AM. “The results were very good. The station was received in Botswane some 400 km away with CD quality audio,” Obreja said.

One of the issue is however the availability of receivers but Ruxandra Obreja said that experience from elsewhere where DRM was introduced local industry began manufacturing. “This will be a great opportunity to grow South Africa’s electronic manufacturing industry.”

There is software available to decode the DRM signals using a sound card and a dongle is under development that can be used on a laptop or even other devices that have a USB port.

With DRM, the use of medium and shortwave will open up many new radio channels. Each DRM channel can carry three radio programmes and one data channel requiring very narrow bandwidth of less than 5 kHz. Another advantage is that the system is also more energy efficient.

It is very true that we’ve not seen much innovation in the two way radio industry, Here we have seen the Digital revolution in the past few years, but it is far more complex in Africa. Larger coverage area and less technological advancement. You can find the original news story on this website.

In Your Dreams: Bloke Dreams About Winning The Lottery, Actually Manages It …But Then Has To Give Half Of It Away…

Back in 2012, Fatih Ozcan, a waiter working at the Kucukkoylu Turkish restaurant in York, apparently experienced a prophetic dream which involved him holding huge bundles of cash in both hands, whilst his boss, Hayati Kucokkoylu (either the restaurant is named after him or its an amazing coincidence) was standing in front of him.

Mr. Ozcan interpreted this dream as meaning that, if he played the lottery with his boss’ money, he’d win huge bundles of cash.

…Well, he was half right.

At work the next day, Mr. Ozcan pestered his boss to buy a few ‘Euromillions’ tickets, using money from the till. The boss eventually relented, suggested some numbers and gave him some cash.

…Amazingly, Ozcan later checked his ticket to find that he had won a Million quid.

When Fatih told Hayati of his fortunes, the boss decreed that all of the money was, in fact, his by right, as his money had paid for the majority of the tickets. Ozcan, for his part, was having none of it, and a major falling out occurred between the two men.

Eventually, the argument ended up going to court, where a judge (with apparently more sense than either man combined), decreed that the winnings should be shared 50/50 between the man that had supplied the ticket and the man that had paid for it.

Sounds fair, right? I mean both men still get a £500,000 payday out of it.

In summary, the waiter had the dream, stumped up a little cash and picked a few numbers. The restaurant manager donated the most cash (the princely sum of £9) and also picked a few numbers himself.

It really isn’t rocket science. 50/50 seems pretty fair to me…

Apparently that wasn’t the end of the debacle, though, as Kucukkoylu appealed the decision and took the issue to the London Civil Appeals Court, in the hopes of walking away with the full Million.

This month, after three years of legal wrangling, yet another judge told him to ‘bugger off and stop being so bloody greedy’ (albeit probably using more fancy language than that). The judge then declared that the fairest course of action was (you guessed it) to split the money 50/50, which pretty much any reasonable person would have already done anyway.

According to Kucukkoylu, he chose the numbers and paid for the ticket and thus, the money should rightly be his, however, without his employee having the dream in the first place, he never would have bought a ticket.

The really pathetic part of this story is that neither man appears to be happy with getting a £500,000 payday – and thus both saw fit to fight over it in court for three years, presumably spending loads on their legal fees.

…Seriously, where’s the logic?

Its hard to decide whether these men are simply greedy and stupid, or just stupid and greedy. Either way, it isn’t good.

As for the (presumably now fired) waiter – let’s just hope any dreams about seven fat customers devouring seven lean ones turn out to simply be a case of eating too much cheese before bed!

How Do You Choose a Good Two Way Radio?

Choosing a good two-way radio is relatively easy. In fact, the vast majority of radios are good in the sense that they will do their specified job to a reasonable standard.

With the majority of two-ways, you don’t need to worry about operating systems (like you would with tablet PCs) or compatibility issues* (like you would with games consoles). All you really need to worry about, in fact, is what you want to use your radio for; this is by far the most important question you need to ask yourself if you’re ever buying a walkie-talkie or two-way radio.

If you’re just looking for a way to keep track of the kids on your next cruise, or you want something to add a bit of fun to your next outdoor excursion, then all you really need to do is find a trusted brand and buy a medium-priced model. It’s as simple as that. However, if you’re a businessperson and looking to buy a radio with a license, then you need to be a bit more careful. In that respect, you definitely want a trusted brand and you definitely want to consult a specialist before you invest in your equipment.

If you happen to fall somewhere in the cracks between these two examples, we’ve prepared a fact sheet (of sorts) for you.

  • There are Four Main Types of Two-Way Radio

GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) – Is a higher-powered radio, popular for its reliability and versatility. GMRS is the most common choice among users.

FRS (Family Radio Service) – Is usually more of a basic model, lower powered, but generally cost-effective.

MURS (Multi-Use Radio Service) – Is an unlicensed radio that only has a limited capacity. MURS radios are not a particularly popular choice, although they do have their adherents.

And finally,

CB  (Citizen’s Band) – It is called different things in different countries, but CB is a personal service and is a popular choice, however it does require a long antenna. Good for drivers, though.

  • Wattage is Important

No, we’re not talking about that Italian-sounding hybrid of a bluebottle fly and Cyril Sneer from the Star Wars prequels here; wattage is the measurement of watts, as in power output. Wattage is important in radios because it affects licensing. In the UK, for example, radios that have a power output greater than 0.5 watts require a license to use.

It is also important to note that any radio, no matter the power output, will automatically downgrade to a half watt when operating on FRS-specific channels.

  • Keep Signal Coverage in Mind at all Times

Two-way radio manufacturers do a lot of lying and exaggerating about the range of their products. Their claims almost never take into account the signal interference caused by objects in the way, natural obstacles, atmospheric conditions and a plethora of other variables.

On average, the actual signal coverage for any given radio is between one and two miles. CB radios can communicate over longer distances, but those extra long antennas can make them tough to carry around!

  • Privacy Codes are Useful Things

If you’re using your radio in a busy area (i.e. where there are lots of other radio signals bouncing around), you will probably find that the available channels get used up pretty quickly. However, a radio that provides CTCSS will offer a privacy code function that allows you to subdivide your channels by creating a combination of channel and code, this will allow you to better communicate with others, even if the available channels are full.

It should be noted, however, that this function does not make your conversation private; it just reduces the levels of other signals in the area that your device may be intercepting.