What Is Audio Surveillance?

This was originally posted on http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-audio-surveillance.htm, credit should go them as this is a interesting article.

Audio surveillance is the act of listening to third-party conversations and recording them. This technique is frequently used by law enforcement, private detectives and government spy agencies. Most audio surveillance consists of either bugging a room, wearing a wire, tapping a phone or distance listening. Each provides distinct advantages and disadvantages, depending on the situation.

audio surveillanceWiretapping is one of the most common and simple form of audio surveillance. This is preferred because it is highly inconspicuous and allows for two sides of a conversation to be clearly recorded. Small audio devices, commonly called bugs, are attached to the internal circuitry of a telephone to pick up a conversation. A signal is wirelessly transmitted to another device that records the conversation. The drawback of this method is getting access to a subject’s telephone to properly wiretap it.

A room microphone is another audio surveillance technique that often is utilized. This involves planting a wireless microphone in a room to pick up conversations. Disguised room microphones are available to look like pens, clocks, stuffed animals and a variety of other covert forms. This microphone sends a signal to a receiver, just like a wiretap does, and the signal can be directly recorded. The disadvantage here is access to some rooms and getting only one side of a phone conversation if it takes place in that room.

Concealable transmitters known as body wires are well-known devices that have been featured in many television shows and movies. A small microphone and transmitting device are worn under the clothes of a person in order to send a signal back to a receiver and record a conversation. This allows the person wearing the wire to ask questions and get specific details that simply listening to other people’s conversations could not provide. The disadvantage of this method is getting access to the person needed to be recorded and also concealing the microphone in a way that hides it but allows for clear recording.

Long-distance microphones are another covert means of audio surveillance. A parabolic microphone, often called a shotgun microphone because of its long shape, has a powerful ability to pick up conversations up to 300 feet (91.4 m) away. Its main disadvantage is its high sensitivity. It can pick up other noises and cannot function if obstructions, such as trees and automobiles, are between the microphone and the conversation.

Amnesty International Creates Anti Spying Program

Amnesty International has announced the creation of a program that can detect the types of spying software frequently employed by governments to monitor activists and dissidents.

The Human rights organization, which partnered with three like-minded groups to develop the program, declared that the new system was very much needed, as standard anti-virus programs frequently miss spying software.

According to Amnesty, many governments employ such spying software to monitor their targets. Some of these programs can hijack webcams, or even listen in to conversation via compromised microphones. The spying programs leave little trace of themselves on the computer and, as a result, are notoriously difficult to uncover.

Marek marczynski, Amnesty’s Head of Military, Security and Police, is quoted on the organization’s website as saying, “Governments are increasingly using dangerous and sophisticated technology that allows them to read activists and journalists’ private emails and remotely turn on their computer’s camera or microphone to secretly record their activities. They use the technology in a cowardly attempt to prevent abuses from being exposed,”

This new program, named ‘Detekt’, is capable of spotting even remote traces of such harmful software and warning the computer’s owner about it. Developed by four separate Human rights groups, Amnesty, The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Privacy International and Digitale Gesellschaft, Detekt is available completely free of charge.

According to Tanya O’Carroll, who works as a technology adviser at Amnesty, spying software has been discovered on the computers of activists in Tibet, Germany, Bahrain, Syria, Ethiopia, North Korea and Vietnam, amongst others. In fact, the world’s governments spend an estimated £3bn a year on spyware products.

In a worrying trend, such software is becoming increasingly popular with democratically elected governments, “Its easier to name the countries that are not using these spying tools than those that are” O’Carroll told BBC News.

Spread via email attachments, hacked websites, sites designed to distribute malware, or even false internal messaging software, unwanted spyware is a major challenge facing every Internet user today. According to Detekt’s makers, the major difference between general malware and government spyware is that illegal software is generally aimed at proliferating itself, whereas government spyware is principally interested in hiding itself and quietly gathering sensitive information.

Detekt was created by German security researcher Claudio Guarnieri, who asserts that a great many governments around the world are employing spyware to track and monitor people of interest to them. It has even been alleged that computer security firms have even agreed to ignore government spyware from time to time. Guarnieri told BBC News that,

“The real problem is nobody really asked the public whether that’s acceptable and some countries are legitimizing their use without considering the consequences and inherent issues.”

Amnesty International is presently looking for help to keep the program current, and also to expand it.

To find out more about Amnesty, or to make a donation, visit their official website at http://www.amnesty.org/

Moto X Review: The Very first Bluetooth Headset I was not Ashamed for you to Wear

You’ve probably stumbled upon this looking for information about earpiece’s, hopefully this will help you answer some of those questions, if not please click on one of the relevant links within the article

Bluetooth earpieces have always stuck out. I mean they’ve literally stuck out of your ear. Perhaps they’re not as much of a fashion faux pas as Google Glass, but there’s definitely a stigma about them. To combat the cyborg look, some wearable manufacturers are building smartwatches, but Motorola also has a backup plan: a tiny, handsome earbud that can act like a personal assistant.

What Is It?

It’s an itsy bitsy teenie weenie Bluetooth headset—basically the entire thing fits inside your ear. It pairs more or less seamlessly with Motorola’s already very good voice-control software on the new Moto X, allowing you to do stuff with your phone while it’s still in your pocket/purse/backpack/bathroom floor. Did you see the movie Her? Remember the earpieces they wore to interact with their digital assistants? This is basically the beta version of that. But with a less robust (and less sexy) operating system.

Who’s It For?

It’s for people who have secretly wanted the utility of a hands-free Bluetooth headset but couldn’t bear the stigma of wearing one in public. I mean, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all, but come on, those things make you look like an asshole. Realtalk. While it’ll work with any Bluetooth-capable phone (which is basically every phone) it’s especially designed to work with Motorola’s latest and greatest.

Design

From an engineering point of view, it’s really damn impressive. It packs in a speaker, a touch-sensitive panel, dual noise-canceling microphones, a battery, and an IR proximity detector into something that’s the size of a thimble and weighs only 6 grams (or 0.2 ounces). You can even trick out the Hint with backplates made of different materials, like canvas, wood, and leather, so you can match it to your Moto X though Moto Maker.

Motorola couldn’t cram a very large battery in there, though: Indeed, there’s just a 46 mAh cell inside the Hint’s diminutive chassis. To put that in perspective, that is exactly 1/50th (yes,fiftieth) of the size of the battery in the Moto X. So, to help you get through the day, Motorola also built a rather clever carrying case that doubles as a portable charging station.

Drop your Hint into the little docking port inside the case, plug in a standard micro-USB cable, and you’ll actually be charging two batteries at once: the 46mAh cell inside the Hint, and a second 150mAh battery in the case that holds an additional 2.5 charges worth of electricity. Simply pop the Hint out of your ear when it’s running low, and into the little slide-out cubby on the Charging Case once again. When you close the case, an LED light at the top begins to pulse so that you know it’s working.

The case, too, can be customized to match your earpiece and phone (though I’m not sure if there’s a wood variant). It’s easy on the eyes, definitely pocket-sized, and convenient.

Using It

You pair the Hint with your Moto X pretty much like you’d pair anything else. It’s a simple process and thankfully it worked on the first try (which isn’t always the case with Bluetooth audio devices). Once paired, you can choose to set the Hint as a “trusted device” which means that when the Hint is connected to your phone you can bypass your lockscreen. In other words, if you have the Hint in your ear (not in your pocket), you’ll be able to skip straight to your homescreen as soon as you turn on your phone. Definitely handy. To save power, the Hint uses a proximity detector to tell if it’s actually in your ear, and switch to standby mode whenever you take it out. But when it’s in your ear, it’s constantly listening.

At least, it is if you’re using a Moto X.

You don’t have to have a Moto X in order to use the Moto Hint. The Hint uses a standard Bluetooth protocol for audio which means it will pair and work with any smartphone that supports it (yes, even iPhones). It will work just like a regular Bluetooth earpiece. You’ll be able to use it for all your calls and it will still be discreet and good-looking, and maybe that’s all you really want anyway—a smaller, more attractive earpiece. That said, you’ll be missing some of the banner features like being able to interact with your phone via Moto Voice and the Hint constantly listening for your command.

What’s it listening for? Glad you asked. You may remember that the Moto X smartphone also has an always-listening feature where you can program a wake-up phrase of your choice to instantly unlock the phone and allow you to immediately issue a voice command. Originally mine was, “Miiister Anderson…” a la Hugo Weaving, but I’ve since changed it to, “Hi there Jenny.” I’m not totally sure why. Regardless, assuming you’re using the Hint with a Moto X, it uses the same wake-up phrase, and then you’re free to control your phone no matter whether it’s in your pocket, on your car dashboard, or wherever else you might have stuffed the damn thing (ahem).

When it works, it works really well and is generally very convenient. For example, just yesterday I lost track of time and was scrambling to pack up my suitcase and meet some friends before heading to the airport. We hadn’t picked a restaurant yet. I was able to rush all around the apartment like a chicken with its head cut off, while still receiving text messages and calls and coordinating with my friends. Or two days ago, when I was walking around a new city, I was getting turn-by-turn walking directions piped straight to my ear while looking around and enjoying the scenery.

As for how discreet it is, I wore this thing for three solid days (when I wasn’t swimming, showering, or charging it)—walking down the street, in stores, at restaurants. I was waiting for someone to ask me about it—daring them, even. But nobody seemed to notice. Not once. Maybe they didn’t want to ask me about it because they thought I was deaf in one ear and didn’t want to offend, but honestly, I think it’s so small that it just barely registers. Then again, I was a bit self-conscious about talking to it when surrounded by people. I’d do it walking down the street, but I’d typically wait until any potential cyborg-hunters were a safe distance away.

It comes with a few different sized gel-attachments to make sure it fits snugly into different-sized ears. I found that the pre-installed medium size was the best fit overall, but even so, after a while it did become a bit uncomfortable in my ear. When this happened I would just pull it out of my one ear and pop it into the other, and that gave my ear the break it wanted and solved the comfort issues. It’s not ideal, but it isn’t too awkward. Getting it to fit in your ear just right is very important, because if it doesn’t really get in there it can be pretty hard to hear.

Actually, that leads me to the first strike against it. In my experience, the Hint has very inconsistent volume levels. Some things it says will be relatively loud and easy to hear, and then for other things it just kind of whispers. Seems like a software issue that could be ironed out. More annoying is when you’re trying to issue a voice command and it doesn’t seem to be able to hear your voice over its own sounds. It was particularly problematic when I was playing music: I was shouting my key phrase over and over, but it just didn’t register. This same thing happens with the Moto X, even playing relatively quiet audiobooks with Audible, so I’m thinking it may be a software issue.

And even at max, the Hint really doesn’t pump out as much volume as a traditional Bluetooth headset. I really struggled to hear what it was saying over the sounds of light traffic or even a cranked-up A/C in my car. Pushing it further into your ear helps, but watch out: When you tap the touch-sensitive panel on the back it activates Moto Voice just as if you’d uttered the wake-up command. Or deactivates it just as you were trying to hear whether the Hint had properly interpreted you. Or ends your call, which is a special kind of annoying.

On the positive side, you can start a call on your phone, then simply pop the Hint into your ear and the call will seamlessly transfer to the earbud. Take it out in the middle of a call, and yep, your call is right back on your phone. Pretty slick, but doesn’t happen quiiite as fast as you’d want, so you’ll miss a few seconds of what the other person is saying while waiting for it to switch over.

There are some other places where improvements need to be made on the software side. For instance, Google is making a push to make Hangouts the default messaging app in Android, but Moto Voice doesn’t really integrate with Hangouts yet. That means that if you’ve already switched over to Hangouts you’re left out of a lot of the text messaging goodness, which is one of the banner features. It will beep when you get a new text, but it won’t read it to you or say who it’s from. You have to say your wake-up phrase and then, “What’s new?” and then sometimes it will read it. Annoying.

Also, when sending a text (or an email), you dictate the message, and then it will ask, “Do you want to send this?” but it doesn’t read your message back to you. So you have to pull out your phone and make sure it heard you correctly before you confirm, which pretty much defeats the purpose. In general, don’t expect too much: Moto Voice (and Google Now/Search for that matter) still has trouble with natural language. You really have to memorize commands in order to get it to do what you want. It’s still ahead of Siri in this department but it’s way behind Windows’ Cortana. We hope Google will up its game very, very soon.

Like

The size is really incredible. The Hint is tiny, discreet, and even when you do notice it, it’s a pretty slick little gadget. The charging case is really well-engineered and it looks good, too.

Being able to do a lot with your phone without even having to pull it out is a pretty big deal and there are times when it’s genuinely extremely convenient.

No Like

Unpredictable volume levels in the earpiece. It struggles to hear you when there’s much ambient noise, and it can’t hear you at all when you’re listening to music or an audiobook. But don’t even bother listening to music with it, because the audio quality isn’t great anyhow. Callers generally understood me pretty well, but I struggled to hear them if there was any ambient noise.

Having to take it out of your ear to charge it every three hours or so is kind of annoying, though I appreciated the break.

It needs work understanding natural language.

Because it’s basically invisible it makes you feel like a crazy person when you’re walking down the street shouting, “Hi there Jenny. HI there Jenny! HI THERE JENNY!!!”

Should You Buy It?

Maybe, but there are some big ifs. If you have a new Moto X, then it’s pretty cool how it can leverage Moto Voice. If you’re the sort of person who uses (or wants to use) a Bluetooth headset anyway, then the tiny form factor of the Hint could definitely be very appealing. If your job/lifestyle/fetishes could really benefit from being able to interact with your phone without touching it (I don’t know, maybe you’re a pastry chef and you’re constantly covered in flour), then, yeah, maybe. But remember, it costs $150, which is pretty steep for a Bluetooth headset.

For most of us, the Hint is a cool little luxury item. Could it be the first step toward a product that we’ll come to think of as a necessity? Actually, I think there’s a pretty decent chance of that. It has a lot of forward-thinking ideas, but the software just isn’t quite there yet. It feels like a beta. If you’re looking to fall in love with a Scarlett Johansson-voiced artificial intelligence — or even a Jarvis-like robotic butler — you’ll need to wait quite a few more years.

http://gizmodo.com/moto-hint-review-the-first-bluetooth-headset-i-wasnt-1645744079

BearCom Offers Guidance on a Clear Migration Path from Analog to Digital Two-Way Radios

BearCom, a nationwide provider of wireless communications equipment and solutions, today outlined the advantages that organizations achieve when they migrate from analog to digital communications.

Two-way radio users around the country are looking to harness the power of digital technology as they improve their communications capabilities, said Jerry Denham, BearCom President & CEO. When comparing analog and digital radios, each has their strengths, however there are clear benefits to migrate your radio fleet to digital.

On its website, BearCom offers a free downloadable guide, Five Reasons to Migrate to Digital Two-Way Radios. The benefits of going digital include:

  1. Improved audio quality

    2.    Enhanced clarity throughout the coverage range

    3.    Greater efficiency

    4.    Extended battery life

    5.    Applications that add functionality

The two-way radio market is clearly moving towards the digital platform, said Hugh Johnston, Product & Purchasing Manager at BearCom For example, the MOTOTRBO line from Motorola provides a range of digital radios that mirror the simplicity of analog. These radios can make the digital migration nearly seamless.

For typical commercial operations, BearCom suggests digital upgrade radios from Motorola Solutions, such as the CP200d, CM200d and CM300d. These models feature a similar look and feel to older analog counterparts with the added boost of digital technology.

The CP200d offers the ability to operate in both analog and digital modes, which makes it especially attractive to organizations in the process of transitioning to digital technology, Denham said. We think that audio clarity, flexibility, high-value and ease-of-use will make the CP200d a tremendous success.

Like the CP200d portable radio, the Motorola CM200d and CM300d mobile radios also offer the option to operate in digital or analog modes, so they fit seamlessly into an existing system, allowing users to migrate to digital at their own pace. Both the CM200d and CM300d radios are durable, easy-to-use and program and offer clear audio performance.

For added functionality, the feature-rich MOTOTRBO line of digital radios provides everything any professional user needs. Two of the most popular MOTOTRBO radios are the XPR3500 and the XPR7550.

Through December 31, 2014, Motorola is offering a rebate savings of $150 with the purchase of six or more CP200d, CM200d, CM300d or XPR3500 models. Also ask about generous trade-in credits towards the XPR7550.

http://www.itbusinessnet.com/article/BearCom-Offers-Guidance-on-a-Clear-Migration-Path-from-Analog-to-Digital-Two-Way-Radios-3647742

Whats’s a Covert Earpiece?

You’ve probably stumbled upon this looking for information about headset’s, hopefully this will help you answer some of those questions, if not please click on one of the relevant links within the article

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.

How do you use a spy earpiece?

First of all, you need to place the loop around your neck, making sure that it is well concealed by your clothes (wearing a hoodie is usually a good option – although, given the average weather in your location we’d likely advise against it!). If you’re using your spy earpiece with a watch or eyeglasses instead of a loop, then you need to put on the watch/glasses (obviously).

Next, you need to insert the battery into the earpiece itself. NOTE – if the battery is slightly out of place, this can (and often does) negatively affect the sound quality; so do make sure that you test it thoroughly before going out.

Now, place the earpiece into your ear. According to Osanellona at Hubpages, you will probably want to get hold of a cotton bud first…

“You should remember that you always have to clean ear canals beforehand. Otherwise, the spy earpiece filter will choke up with earwax and sound will deteriorate significantly. In the worst case the spy earpiece will fail to work”.

Finally, you make a call. Put your mobile into your pocket (making sure that it is locked, so you don’t accidentally hang up or something). If all has gone according to plan, a covert communications link is now in place. Enjoy.

If this isn’t working, we’ll now troubleshoot two common problems…

If there are any lingering problems with the earpiece, then they are likely to be caused by either the battery (which may not be in place properly, or simply may need changing altogether) or the phone itself. When you do remove the battery, it is advised that you be very careful indeed. Once again, from Osanellona,

Are your earbuds making you deaf? 1964Adel says yes, so it created a solution

hey! found this on %link% and wanted to share with most of you, hope you like it

Those tiny earbuds you bring along with you here, there, and everywhere are causing you to go deaf. At least that’s what audio specialist, and in-ear monitor pioneer Stephen D Ambrose would have you believe. To save you from the dangers of the common earbud, Ambrose and his team at 1964|Adel have created an entire new wave of %link% designed with patented technology to be safer for your eardrums, all of which are making the rounds in a new Kickstarter campaign.

The link between hearing loss and headphone use being drawn here is not a new one. For its part, 1964|Adel singles out a study from an L.A. Times report which cites an increase in hearing loss for U.S. teens in the last 15 years from 30 to 77 percent. The study in question ruled out ear infections and external environmental factors as causes, pointing instead to the higher prevalence of portable audio players, though it stopped short of specifically laying blame. That said, there are plenty of other studies blaming the blasting of headphones as a major contributor to hearing loss.

But Ambrose argues that hearing loss from in-ear headphones and earbuds, specifically, is different due to the way they isolate the eardrum inside the ear canal. In the video below, Ambrose claims it’s not acoustic pressure (i.e. loud noises) that causes hearing loss, but the pounding of air pressure from the moving driver being sealed inside your ear canal, causing “pneumatic pressure” from the movement of the driver itself.

In response, Ambrose and 1964|Adel have proposed a new way to solve the very hearing loss epidemic Ambrose claims to have helped create with his original in-ear monitor design; four ways to be exact, stemming from four different headphone series. The new headphones employ 1964|Adel’s patented RealLoud Technology, which incorporates a “second eardrum” inside the earpiece designed to take the brunt of the air pressure to protect your real eardrum. The company even claims the design makes audio “sound louder,” requiring a lower overall volume level.

Adel in-ear module diagram

The first, and most affordable solution in the arsenal is the new Adel Control, a modular earphone that allows users to adjust features like bass and external noise to taste, tailoring the sound signature. At time of publication, the Control was still available as an Early Bird special for $100, half off the suggested retail price.

Next in line is the Adel Ambient series, which offers 4 multi-driver models, from the entry-level dual-driver Ambient 2, to the Ambient 12 which (you guessed it) is jam-packed with a whopping 12 drivers per side, labeled the “jewel” of the Ambient line. Pricing for the Ambient series starts at $200 for the dual driver set, and goes up to an impressively (relatively) affordable $500 for the 12-driver version, again, priced at half the cost of suggested retail for each. For reference, the quad-driver Westone W40 will run you the same price as the Ambient 12.

Next up are the 1964|Adel U-series, which take the shape of more traditional in-ear monitors, covering the entire ear canal. The U-series starts with a quad-driver pair for $300 — down from a suggested $500 retail price — and the series goes all the way up to the 8-driver U-series 8, which will run you $720. The latter offers 4 drivers for the bass register alone, with two each for the midrange and treble, to create a massive sound.

Finally, the 1964|Adel A-Series includes both 10-driver, and 12-driver models, priced at $1,000 and $1,200 respectively — 40 percent off the claimed MSRP. Like most top-tier in-ear monitors, the A-series are custom tailored to the user’s ears for the ultimate fit and sound, while harboring a RealLoud secondary eardrum for safety.

Not only is 1964|Adel’s new project already funded, but it has already reached its stretch goal of $350,000, which provides an optional inline 3-button mic piece for all of its headphones. All of the new models are slated for release in May of 2015, with the exception of the A-series, which will be available earlier in February.

While we certainly can’t attest to the claim that RealLoud Technology actually makes these headphones safer, they are priced very competitively under the Kickstarter deal. And hey, if they offer competitive sound in their respective genres, what’s the harm in playing it safe, right? If you’re interested in finding out more, or ordering up one of 1964|Adel’s latest designs, you can do so today at its Kickstarter page.

Have You Ever Thought How Do 2 way radios work?

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

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

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

Receiving Radio Waves

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

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

Sending Transmissions

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

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

Multiple Channels

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

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

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

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

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

Why Choose A Two Way Radio

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

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

Group Communications

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

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

The Doctor Who Earpiece Experiment

The short answer is ‘no’. Apple Earpods debuted in 2012, a full six years after the ‘Doctor Who’ episode ‘Rise of the Cybermen’ first aired.

Within the context of the series, the Earpod devices were designed as a metaphor for society’s perceived over-reliance on portable technology in the 21st century. The name ‘Earpod’ was a play on words, meant to superficially sound like the word ‘iPod’.

In addition, the fictional earpieces were mainly utilized as a way to re-package classic Doctor Who antagonists the Cybermen for a new audience (who may have been unfamiliar with them following the gap between the show’s cancellation in 1989 and its subsequent reintroduction in 2005). Variations on the Earpod device are also utilized in later episodes from the same series (in particular, ‘Army of Ghosts’).

Whilst it is something of a stretch to imagine that nobody at Apple has ever watched ‘Doctor Who’, the use of the name did not seem to affect the American computer firm’s decision to create and market their own brand of ‘Earpod’, in 2012.

doctor who earpiece

In terms of legality, it seems reasonable to assume that ‘Doctor Who’ created the brand name for satiric purposes, rather than to create an entirely fictional brand/product (such as The Simpson’s ‘Duff Beer’).

Had Apple simply adopted a product name already owned by the BBC, there may have been a legal scuffle between the two corporations, but since BBC’s product was obviously intended as a wry commentary or, at most, a satirical send-up of existing technology (in particular technology made and marketed by Apple), then it is highly doubtful that there was any friction at all.

Apple’s Earpods (which, as far as we know, have never caused anybody to be turned into a cybernetic creature hell-bent on universal obliteration) are available at a fairly affordable price (the Apple site lists them at £25.00 before P&P), but do not have a reputation for being one of the company’s better products. In a particularly scathing review, TechRadar wrote that,

“The tinkle at the high-end is certainly better than before, and there’s improved bass as well. So they’re more than good enough if sound quality is not something you are bothered about. If you’re going to be buying an iPhone 5 or one of the new iPods, you’ll be getting some marginally better earphones than you might have expected, so that’s a good thing. But for anyone thinking of buying these things separately for £25/$30 – forget it. That price is utterly ludicrous. For that money you could bag yourself a decent pair of Sennheisers – low end ones admittedly – but they would still be head and shoulders better than the Apple EarPods. In fact, we challenge you to find a pair of £25 earphones on Amazon that sound worse than this – you won’t be able to”.

All things considered, the Earpod is a pretty basic variation on the standard Apple headphones. It is not even marginally related to the mind-controlling earpieces utilized by the Cybermen. At least, as far as we know…

What is a Communications Engineering

Communications engineering is a disparate array of technological disciplines brought together under one all-encompassing banner. The disciplines considered to be part of a communication engineer’s skill set include telecommunications, mobile phone networks and Internet maintenance (but are by no means limited to those examples).

As we wrote earlier this month, any technology that aids in communication, from a walkie-talkie to a Skype account, is technically a communication technology; therefore, it also follows that anybody who works in these different areas can call him/herself a communications engineer.

The theory behind this move is that communications technology is becoming more streamlined and, to some extent, more homogenized (think of the ubiquity of mobile phones and social media) and so, it makes sense to bring communications technology together as a single subject as well.

As I type this, it is actually possible to get a Degree in Communications Engineering (as a single subject) from many universities worldwide. However, communications engineers frequently hold other Degrees such as electrical engineering, physics, telecommunications and/or computer science.

The sort of students that apply for courses like this (and subsequently work in the related areas) are generally logistically minded, tech-savvy people who are comfortable learning new skills and adapt quickly to new technology. Certainly, the money can be good for a decent engineer with a good reputation and an up-to-date skill set. Industries that rely on the expedient exchange of information (news networks, the stock exchange, big businesses and etc) should be the goal for the ambitious communications engineer (as well as the eager graduate).

Communications engineering is a vast and somewhat esoteric subject, because it combines so many different disciplines. Ideally, good communications engineers would be just as able to handle microwave engineering as they would a downed computer network, so it takes a smart cookie to be really good at the job.

Communications engineers are often quite business savvy as well. A big part of the job is dealing with clients or management, making presentations and working effectively as part of a team. Experience of modern business practice is not essential, but from the looks of things, it certainly helps.

The vast majority of communications engineers work for specific telecommunications companies and/or manufacturers, although some are self-employed as consultants or on fixed contracts.

According to Targetjobs.co.uk, typical job responsibilities for a communications engineer include: undertaking site surveys, agreeing to and staying within a client budget, staying up-to-date with technological information, problem solving (obviously!), creating test procedures, creating ‘worst case scenario’ plans for companies to follow and presenting companies/clients with the best way to manage their communication systems.