Motorola Solutions provides secure and efficient communications for Milan airports

Motorola really are the leader in complex communication systems, time and time again we see (and report) stories of Motorola completing projects for prestigious businesses and organisations. This article highlights their latest finished project.

Airport operator SEA Group (Società Esercizi Aeroportuali S.p.A.) has selected Motorola Solutions to improve operations and ensure the highest levels of security, efficiency and effectiveness at Milan’s Linate and Malpensa airports. Deploying a TETRA Dimetra IP Compact radio communications system to connect both of Milan’s airports, SEA is able to provide enhanced customer services with rapid flight turnaround and more efficient terminal operations.

“With 1,200 operating radios and an increase in operations, SEA needed a more dynamic solution for communications,” says Fabio Degli Esposti, information & communication technology director, SEA. “Faced with the need to replace an outdated system and the need to cope with an increasing demand of services, the only choice for us was to switch to digital technology, which is able to guarantee a safe and effective service.”

In Malpensa – where the old and the new systems had to coexist in the migration phase – everything was fully operational within just two weeks, including the configuration of 1,000 new radios. At Linate airport, the system, supporting 400 new radios, was set up in just a week.

“SEA could not afford any inefficiency,” says Giuliano Posenato, customer service manager, Motorola Solutions Italy. “The implementation had to be very fast, because the requirement was to change the engine on the machine while it was still running.”

Motorola Solutions’ high-performance TETRA base stations now deliver TETRA network coverage in both airports. Old radios used by personnel throughout the airports where also replaced with new TETRA digital handsets.

Motorola Solutions has signed a four-year managed services agreement with SEA, guaranteeing technology evolution including the replacement of its complete telecommunication system (controller, base stations and radios). Motorola Solutions will provide global integrated services infrastructure with highly qualified technical support and certified repair centres that will provide fast repair times and expert technical support for the system for many years to come.

In September 2015, Motorola Solutions will upgrade the connections at both airports with the latest generation of Motorola Solutions TETRA system Dimetra 8.2 enhancing data transmission and offering the SEA the opportunity to develop rich data services to further improve both operations and the customer experience at Milan’s airports.

About SEA

SEA and the Group’s companies manage and develop the airports of Milano Malpensa 1 and Milano Malpensa 2, as well as Milano Linate. The airport system managed by the SEA Group is comprised of:

  • The Milano Malpensa airport is situated about 48 km from Milan and connected to the main cities of Northern Italy and Switzerland. This airport includes two passenger terminals and one cargo terminal
  • The Linate airport is about 8 km from Milan. The airport serves a frequent flyer client traveling to domestic and international EU destinations.

At the two airports, the Group offers all services and activities related to the arrival and departure of aircraft: management of the airport safety; passenger and cargo handling; continuous development of commercial services for passengers, operators and visitors.

Wrestling Legend Rowdy Roddy Piper Dead At 61

The world of professional wrestling is in mourning following the death of the legendary Rowdy Roddy Piper last month. Piper suffered a cardiac arrest whilst at his home in Hollywood, California. He was just 61 years old.

For many kids (including myself) that first became fans in the mid-late 1980’s, Roddy Piper was the definitive wrestling heel (industry jargon for a bad guy). Whether hosting his notorious Piper’s Pit segment, or facing off against Hulk Hogan & Mr. T (with partner Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorf) at the inaugural WrestleMania event, Piper was one of the industry’s biggest starts during one of its most popular and lucrative periods.

He was also instrumental in making the WWF (now WWE) brand the biggest in professional wrestling. In addition to headlining the very first WrestleMania event (a pioneering Pay-Per View extravaganza that could easily have ruined the company had it proved to be a failure), Piper also featured in one of WrestleMania II’s three main event matchups, thus securing his position as one of wrestling’s most bankable stars.

His undercard matches at WrestleManias III, VI and (the stone cold classic against Bret The Hitman Hart at) VIII are absolute highlights of a classic era of pro wrestling. He even acted as a guest referee for the main event of Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna at WrestleMania X. Younger fans, however, will undoubtedly remember Piper teaming with fellow veterans Ricky Steamboat and Jimmy Superfly Snuka to face Chris Jericho at WrestleMania XXV.

In an era defined by outlandish babyface characters with bodybuilder physiques and sometimes questionable in-ring abilities, Roddy Piper stood out as a genuine wrestler’s wrestler, an authentic tough guy – and the necessarily evil counterpoint to the simplistic, superheroic good guys being featured at the time by the WWF.

Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1954, Roderick Toombs was always an unruly personality. Expelled from school at a young age and subsequently falling out with his father, (a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) Toombs hit the road, staying in various youth hostels and earning a buck wherever he could. Eventually, the tempestuous youth wound up in a wrestling ring, making his in-ring debut at the tender age of just 15-years-old.

The kid was tough (he had a Black Belt in Judo), displayed a natural affinity for the ring and he had a roguish charisma all of his own. In addition, he really could play the bagpipes. After early stints jobbing in Verne Gagne’s AWA, NWA Houston and Fritz Von Erich’s Big Time Wrestling promotion in Dallas, Texas, Piper debuted for Mike and Gene LeBell’s NWA Hollywood promotion and soon became the outfit’s top heel. A slew of regional Championships followed.

Whilst working for promoter Roy Shire in the NWA’s San Francisco territory, Piper developed his character and ring work. In Los Angeles, he feuded with Chavo Guerrero Sr, Hector Guerrero and ultimately locked up against their father, Mexican wrestling legend Gory Guerrero (father of future WWE Champ Eddie). In The Pacific Northwest, he unseated former NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion Jack Brisco for Mid Atlantic’s version of the World Heavyweight Championship, a title he would go on to hold twice more.

In the mid 1980’s, Piper entered Vince McMahon’s insurgent WWF. He was billed as being from Glasgow, Scotland and was well known for being the only wrestler to wear a kilt to the ring. Fans ate it up. Feuding with such stars as Hulk Hogan, Adrian Adonis, Andre The Giant, Jimmy Superfly Snuka, Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase, Jerry The King Lawler and Bret Hitman Hart, to name but a few, Piper always brought out the best in his opponents and it was with the WWF that he became a household name, as well as one of the industry’s biggest ever stars.

In the mid-1990’s, Piper wrestled for WCW (World Championship Wrestling), where he debuted as one of the company’s headline stars. He feuded, once again, with Hulk Hogan and also battled old rivals such as Ric Flair, Bret Hart and ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage. Whilst working for WCW, he was even chosen to headline ‘Starrcade’, the company’s flagship Pay-Per-View event.

In his later career, Piper made sporadic reappearances for the WWE, briefly worked for TNA, enjoyed a reasonably successful acting career and also hosted his own podcast. He battled Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after being diagnosed with the illness in 2006, but had completely beaten it into remission as of last year. Despite the setbacks caused by his ill health, Piper wrestled his last match in 2011.

Although he never held a recognised World Heavyweight Championship, Piper will be remembered as one of the greatest WWF Intercontinental Champions of all time, a reign that was attested to during his appearance at this year’s WrestleMania XXXI, where he congratulated then-IC Champion Daniel Bryan on his victory. He also held other notable belts, such as the United States Championship, the WWF/E Tag Team Championship (with Ric Flair) and the NWA World Light Heavyweight Championship.

Piper was a member of the WWE Hall of Fame and the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame, as well as the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the Cauliflower Alley Club.

On the August 3rd edition of RAW, the entire WWE roster, each member clad in Roddy’s signature Hot Rod t-shirts opened the show with a very moving ten bell salute in tribute to the fallen legend.

WWE boss Vince McMahon said, “Roddy Piper was one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE, beloved by millions of fans around the world. I extend my deepest condolences to his family.”

UFC Bantamweight Champion Rowdy Ronda Rousey dedicated her 34-second victory over Bethe Correia to Piper’s memory, “I just want to say that we lost a really close friend, Rowdy Roddy Piper, who gave me permission to use his name as a fighter (…) And so I hope him and my dad had a good time watching this today.”

Former WWE and WCW Champion (and Piper’s frequent in-ring rival) Bret Hart wrote, “I can’t find the words to describe the sorrow in my heart upon learning the news of my dear friend, Roddy Piper, passing away. He was my closest friend in the business, a man that schooled me and guided me throughout my career. In fact, if it wasn’t for Roddy Piper reaching out to help me, I’m sure I would’ve been a mere footnote in wrestling. He was always there for me. He was family to me.” Hart also recalled that, following his stroke in 2002; Piper was the only wrestler who visited him in hospital.

Hulk Hogan, another of Piper’s famous adversaries, said of Piper that, “He was my best friend. He is a legend. God’s gain is our loss. May his family in this time of need, find peace”

Other friends, colleagues and admirers of Piper’s included former WWF Champ The Iron Sheik, who said “Roddy Piper. I love you forever. God bless you Bubba” and multi-time World Champion Chris Jericho Tweeted, “Sorry to hear of the passing of my friend and Wrestlemania rival #RoddyPiper. One of the greatest who ever lived, but more importantly a legit sweet family man with a good heart”. Former WWE Divas Champion Paige called Piper a “legend” and Tweeted a picture of a broken heart, an image which reflected the feelings of many a wrestler and wrestling fan.

Roddy’s son, Colt, said that his father was his “best friend” and a “great man” saying that he would miss him forever and “always try to be the man he raised me to be”.

Rowdy Roddy Piper lived a life littered with accomplishments. Not many of us will ever be declared as legendary by our peers and fewer still will be able to stack 30+ Championship reigns anywhere on our resume, but those weren’t the man’s proudest achievements. Piper had been married to his wife, Kitty, since 1982 and is survived by her and the four children they lovingly raised together. My thoughts are with them, as well as everyone else who knew, worked with, or simply enjoyed to watch the late, great man work his magic in front of a capacity crowd. R.I.P Roddy.

Computer Helps Paralyzed Man to Walk Again

Cutting edge technology has enabled a paralyzed man to move his legs again.

According to the Journal Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation, the subject, a male suffering from total paralysis of the legs for five years, was able to walk just under four metres with support.

The system used in this breakthrough was developed in the US by researchers from The University of California, Irvine. The test subject had suffered a severe spinal cord injury, which disrupts the link between the brain and the leg muscles. Essentially, this means that the brain can still generate signals to the legs and that the legs are still fully capable of receiving them, but the spinal cord is incapable of relaying the messages between the two.

What the researchers were able to do was use an electroencephalogram cap to read the activity in the man’s brain; a computer then interpreted his brainwaves and electrodes, placed at strategic points along the man’s legs, were then used to stimulate the leg muscles whenever he thought about walking.

It took a lot of gruelling training on the part of the patient, who effectively had to re-learn how to use his legs. He was trained, in part, via the use of virtual reality avatars and video game characters.

The results speak for themselves, although a full cure for paralysis is still a long way off, you have to feel that it just got a little bit closer to becoming a reality.

One of the researchers, Dr. An Do, told BBC News, “We showed that you can restore intuitive, brain-controlled walking after a complete spinal cord injury. (…) This non-invasive system for leg muscle stimulation is a promising method and is an advance of our current brain-controlled systems that use virtual reality or a robotic exoskeleton.”

Although the results of this test are highly encouraging, experts have been quick to point out that there are many hurdles yet to overcome, among them the issue of balance, which has yet to be addressed. The patient was strapped into a harness for the experiment, something that would not be possible anywhere other than a home or hospital environment.

Nevertheless, this is still a hugely encouraging step and the success of this test will hopefully serve as a ray of hope for many people suffering paralysis.

Idiot In Venezuela Mutilates Himself In Order To Look Like Marvel Comics Villain

Created by writers Joe Simon and France Herron, together with artist Jack ‘King’ Kirby, Marvel Comics’ ‘Red Skull’ character first appeared as an antagonist for Captain America in 1941.

An unreconstructed Nazi supervillain, Red Skull’s plans post-1945 typically centred around world domination, the clever application of his ‘Cosmic Cube’ weapon and a membership in the evil organization ‘Hydra’.

As a result, he has been a popular antagonist in Marvel comic books for several decades and was even selected to be the main enemy of Captain America for the 2011 movie ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’.

One of the most unrepentantly evil Marvel Comics villains, Red Skull isn’t a tortured political idealist like Magneto, or the product of a lousy upbringing like Doctor Octopus. He’s just a Nazi douchebag, plain and simple.

…And now, Henry Damon, a husband and father from Venezuela, has mutilated himself in order to look like him.

How?

Well, he apparently has an appointment booked to have his entire head tattooed red.

Plus, he’s already had his eyeballs tattooed entirely black (which, I have to say I didn’t know was possible) and he has even had sub dermal implants placed under his skin so that his brow and forehead appear ridged and more ‘skull like’.

Next up, he’ll have silicon implants placed under his chin and his cheeks, which will give him the broad, skull-like grimace of the comic book character.

…But by far the most wince-inducing aspect of Mr. Damon’s transformation is that he has recently had most of his nose cut off.

The surgery was performed by Emilio Gonzales (you’ll not the absence of the word ‘doctor’ anywhere in that title), a medical school dropout who earns a living from extreme body modification. In response to critics, Gonzales has said that Damon is “physically and intellectually” a healthy person.

No joke. He really did say that.

OK, so this guy wants to be a Nazi supervillain. In fact, he wants to be a Nazi supervillain so badly that he’s willing to endure no small amount of pain (and spend what is probably a small fortune) on mutilating himself unrecognizably in order to achieve his goal of becoming a Nazi Supervillain from a comic book.

…Yeah, because that’s healthy.

Instead of being offered the psychiatric treatment he obviously needs, Damon apparently passed a number of ‘psychological tests’, but honestly, I can’t imagine any credible, certified psychiatric professional agreeing with that diagnosis, can you? More likely it was the ‘surgeon’, asking him to fill out a few forms in order to cover his ass in case of a lawsuit.

Whatever the reason behind this insanity, there are a great many jokes to be made about this particular idiot. Firstly, if he has no nose, how does he smell? Secondly, he’s cut off his nose to spite his face…And so on.

Joking aside, the really stupid thing is that once this idiot is done mutilating himself, he won’t even own the rights to his own face anymore.

Also, I sincerely hope that he never catches a cold…But that’s more out of concern for the rest of the community than it is for Mr. Damon.

BAE Systems adapts bone conduction technology to aid soldiers on the battlefield

Bone conducting Technology has been with us for many years, taking sound from your inner-ear to produce the best transmittable communications. As this Article shows BAE have been clever to adapt this technology to Military Helmets. This technology works perfectly in loud environments so it is the best suited technology for the military. 

BAE Systems has developed an innovative communication device to aid armed forces personnel on the battlefield.

29637scr_a8b0d9f7dfc418f

The prototype system is designed to improve soldier safety and drive mission success by harnessing the body’s natural ability to transmit sound through bone conduction, transferring messages directly from the soldier’s helmet to the inner ear. It is being developed as part of Company-funded research which aims to reduce the burden on the dismounted soldier through wearable technology.

Soldiers need to be able to receive audio communications to maximise their awareness and understanding of the challenging environments they are working in, whilst also protecting themselves from extremely loud noises such as gunfire.

To address these conflicting requirements, BAE Systems engineers have adapted existing bone conduction technology often used in commercial headphones and hearing aids for the military domain.

The resulting solution significantly improves the performance of the device and minimising the size and weight of the transducer to the size of a five pence coin. Leveraging off-the-shelf technology to engineer the prototype has allowed the team to significantly reduce development time and costs.

Mohammed Akhmad, Principal Scientist at BAE Systems, said: “We recognise that on the battlefield, auditory situational awareness is essential for armed forces personnel. With this system, the soldiers can safeguard their hearing with ear protectors whilst still clearly receiving military voice communications, to enable them to perform their roles efficiently and safely.

“Through collaborating directly with our customer, we are able to understand their operational challenges and translate them into technical solutions. The key to this concept is that we have been able to utilise off-the-shelf technology and apply our specialist engineering expertise to greatly reduce the time it takes to develop a new prototype. In doing so, we have developed an audio system that offers enhanced capabilities for the military domain.”

In the future this technology will be incorporated into future integrated helmets. A concept demonstrator for BAE Systems’ bone conduction technology will be on display at DSEI (Defence and Security Equipment International), in London this year.

Angry Birds 2: They’re Back – And This Time…They Want Your Cash (Part Rant, Part Review, All News)

First of all, the mobile/tablet game that is Angry Birds 2 is, in actuality, Angry Birds 13 – let’s just get that out of the way right now, OK? Good.

Easily one of the most addictive video games of ALL TIME (era/format be damned), Rovio’s Angry Birds will forever be remembered as the most iconic game of the early smartphone era. In years to come, our grandchildren will watch amused as we indulge ourselves in dewey-eyed nostalgia for the birds, the pigs, the licensed merchandise and everything else Angry Birds related – in much the same way that those of us old enough do whenever the early Sonic, Mario Bros or even Pac Man games come up in conversation.

Now, after everyone on Earth has played it to death and after the Angry Birds image has been plastered on absolutely everything (I myself have an Angry Birds coffee mug), Rovio have released Angry Birds 2 which is bigger, badder and (apparently) better than ever.

In preparation for writing this article, I eagerly downloaded this new version, only to find that my iPhone couldn’t run it because the damned thing took up too much space. To better put this into perspective, the previous version of Angry Birds takes up 197MB, while this latest instalment eats up a whopping 255MB. Grumbling in a distinctly Yosemite Sam-like fashion, I deleted a couple of apps, closed down all my presently open apps and set to work trying to run the thing again…With no luck. Next, I drained 5 video clips and something in the neighbourhood of 70 photographs onto my desktop, deleting them from my iPhone before trying again. Still nothing.

So we’ve established that a) My iPhone’s storage capacity is pretty pathetic, but also that b) Rovio have really gone to town on this one, apparently mistaking a smartphone app for a PS4 game in the process. But that actually makes sense the more you look into the game, because if you can’t afford a bigger phone, chances are you can’t afford to play Angry Birds 2, either…

The fact that players using smaller phones/tablets need not apply is disappointing, but what has more players up in arms is the sheer amount of money making strategies the game employs.

For starters, Angry Birds 2 now comes complete with its own in-game currency system. Players can use gems in order to cover all in-game purchases (such as spells to make the levels easier). As the levels get harder, players can use these gems to make their challenges easier and advance further in the game by doing so.

However, like theme park money, you have to purchase any significant amount of extra gems with ACTUAL money from your own bank account. Secondly, if you fail a level and don’t want to pay for another go around with your hard-earned gems, you now have to watch a 30 second advert instead. Thirdly, thanks to the new Life Count feature, you’ll have to use gems (or money) in order to regenerate your character…Unless you fancy waiting around for half an hour between turns, that is.

In this way, Rovio have employed pretty much every moneymaking scheme currently used by app designers, all within the confines of one game. The effect is much the same as an insistent panhandler or perpetually cash-strapped friend bugging you every 25 seconds for money. Although most reviewers are quick to point out that such profit generating methods are common to mobile apps of every description, the big marketing blitz that has accompanied AB2 has gone to great lengths to make the game feel like a big, blockbuster event, whereas the game’s annoying habit of constantly asking you for money gives it a stink of desperation, causing reviewers to look towards the relative failure of Rovio’s recent games such as Amazing Alex and Retry as reasons for their newfound profiteering.

Now, I want you to imagine all those times you ran out of rings on Sonic The Hedgehog, right before the boss turned up. There was no rich boy get out of jail free function to buy more rings in those days. Putting the kibosh on a boss like that took effort, skill and a level head – and it made a man (or woman) of you. It put hairs on your chest (but hopefully only if it made a man of you first). Want a continue? Earn one in the Special Stage or don’t have one at all. Yessir, we worked for our power ups in the old days. Good times.

…Sorry, what was I saying?

To better put all the fan outrage into perspective, Angry Birds 2 holds you up for cash BEFORE the tutorial that begins the game is even over. In-app purchases are a key revenue source for mobile games developers – and it would be nonsensical to take a stand against them. To do so would be akin to demanding that ITV loses the ad breaks. However, I can’t help but wonder why AB2 is so heavily peppered with them.

Surely the idea is to be enjoying the game so much that you don’t mind making the odd in-app purchase, not to be absolutely bludgeoned over the head with popular video game characters repeatedly demanding your money.

In some respects, then, Angry Birds 2 appears to be the gaming equivalent of accidentally catching eyes with a charity troll on a busy urban street, mistaking their eye contact and slight smile for a sign of attraction and not noticing the GreenPeace shirt and clipboard until its too late.

That, or being mugged.

Sepura: Market-leading communications solutions for hazardous environments

Our complete TETRA solutions for hazardous environments provide loud, clear, safe communication in the toughest conditions, and are custom designed to meet the challenges typically found in mining, maritime and oil and gas environments.

When compared to analogue, NXDN, proprietary and GSM radio based systems, TETRA offers increased functionality and, crucially, higher data throughput for telemetry and data applications.

Fully certified to the highest level

The STP8X range is IECEx/ATEX certified – the highest level of classification available for Intrinsically Safe radios. The first IP67, submersible, TETRA Intrinsically-Safe radio on the market, the STP8X handheld radio has a host of unique features:

  • market-leading audio for clear communication even when drilling or excavating
  • large, hi-resolution display: crystal clear in all conditions, including bright sunlight
  • MicroSD image viewer – ideal for looking up hazardous material data
  • extended battery life
  • reduced keypad option for use with gloved hands

A comprehensive range of IECEx/ATEX certified accessories is also available.

The complete solution

We offer a full suite of extensively tested and certified products to complement our STP8X IS range and enable confident working in challenging conditions.

The high performing eXTRAS Solo TETRA base station has been specifically designed to meet the demands of industrial organisations. Offering low power consumption, it can be configured to automatically reduce or shut down RF power output in an emergency situation.

The SICS-NET TETRA dispatcher allows operators to track vehicles and personnel, visualise location via building and street maps, and communicate efficiently through a combination of voice and data. Man-Down and Lone Worker emergency notifications further ensure worker safety in potentially hazardous conditions.

The Message application allows email, SMS and SDS messages to be received on IS radios, removing the risk of workers covertly carrying non-IS devices such as smartphones into hazardous areas.

STProtect, the only TETRA-based integrated lone worker protection and indoor location system on the market, maps to user-supplied building plans, allowing control of access to restricted areas and swift location of staff members – particularly useful in an emergency. Fully scalable, STProtect is also compatible with our Man-Down and Lone Worker solutions, further enhancing user safety.

You can find sepura products at http://www.sepura.com and you can find this original article at yourcommunicationnews.com. 

How Do I Choose a Good 2 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.

Much of the information listed here was sourced from 2 way radio online so look them up if you want to know more.

New Smart Cast Mobile Phone Has a Built in Laser Projector

Oh, now THIS is cool. A new phone unveiled by Chinese corporation Lenovo (makers of the Ideapad tablet, amongst others), will be able to project interactive objects, such as virtual keyboards or piano keys onto almost any flat surface.

The ‘Smart Cast’ phone (which could have been branded better, it has to be said) will also be able to project videos and photographic content onto walls, desks or any other flat surface, allowing the user to share videos (and even potentially screen movies) with multiple viewers.

The phone is able to project a fully functional replica of its own touch screen, or even a full-size computer keyboard if desired.

Despite being utterly tiny (34mm x 26mm x 5mm), the phone’s laser projector does not need focussing in order to project far larger images onto walls, desks, or anywhere else you might need to project an image (and for all you nerd lings aiming on creating a pocket Bat-Signal, forget it. I got there first!).

The projector itself can also be manually moved into at least one other position, which ensures that the projection quality should always be first rate.

…It even has a motorbike style kickstand to keep it upright when you’re using the virtual keyboard. How cool is that?

Justifiably proud of their new creation, Lenovo hired Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang to play the phone’s virtual piano as projected on the desk in front of him. I suppose they could afford to, as it was recently announced that their profits are up 20% from last year.

Of course, projector phones have been explored in the past, usually without success. The Samsung Galaxy Beam, released in 2012, was a failure of Star Trek: Into Darkness proportions (the joke being in the ‘beam me up’ area – in case you missed that) and the technology is notoriously hard to use. Still, perhaps this time somebody has finally gotten it right? Time will tell…

Sadly for us Brits, the Smart cast phone seems unlikely to be released here in the UK, so for us, it’s all a moot point in the end.

The Smart Cast phone was officially unveiled at Lenovo’s Tech World conference in Beijing, China, an event that also saw the debut of a new smartwatch, which has a ‘public’ and ‘private’ mode for some reason (all I can imagine it would be useful for is if somebody asked you the time whilst you were watching porn – at which point, keeping the screen on your wrist would defeat the object somewhat anyway).

It is open to interpretation as to whether or not the Smart Cast phone will be a stroke of consumer electronics genius or a costly failure, but for now, the early buzz certainly looks intriguing and you can pretty much guarantee that various engineering bigwigs employed by other developers will be following its progress with interest.

Ericsson confirms 5G radio standardisation participation

Swedish kit vendor Ericsson has confirmed its “spearheading” of a dedicated European Union project designed to provide a common consensus of the radio network requirements for a standardised 5G network.

METIS-II EU, a part of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 project, is intended to provide the 5G collaboration framework within the 5G-PPP, for both the 5G RAN as well as suggestions on spectrum efficiency and a recommended spectrum roadmap. Ericsson claims its role in the project is to integrate a variety of tech into a radio access design for 5G, and will provide a platform for concerted actions toward regulatory and standards bodies.

It also claims it will be taking the lead on developing new concepts for mobile radio access tech in the 6-100GHz range, in a project catchily called the “Millimetre-Wave Based Radio Access Network for Fifth-Generation Integrated Communications”, or “mmMAGIC” for short. Ericsson’s statement emphasised the importance of reaching a common consensus on 5G platforms and standards.

“Making 5G a global standard is the most critical factor for the digitalisation of industries, the Internet of Things, and broadband everywhere,” it said. “Standardisation is necessary to connect people all over the world. Over several generations of mobile networks, it has been the cornerstone that allows networks all around the world to work seamlessly together, providing users with the same experience.”

Meanwhile, another Horizon2020 project under the European Commission’s wing has now received the backing of 16 launch partners, focussing on the development of the 5G air interface below 6GHz. The “Flexible Air Interface for Scalable Service Delivery Within Wireless Communication Networks of the 5th Generation”, which has somehow been abbreviated to “FANTASTIC-5G”, will apparently focus on boosting capacity, increasing flexibility and improving the energy efficiency of the next generation of mobile networks.

Among the launch partners for the project are Orange and Telecom Italia from the operator community, and Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, Nokia Networks, Samsung and Intel as well as several academic research institutes.

Alcatel-Lucent’s Fran Schaich, who is leading the FANTASTIC-5G project, reiterated the sentiment that cooperation is essential to the development of a common 5G framework.

“FANTASTIC-5G is of key importance, as the multi-service air interface concepts being developed in the project will be evaluated and validated by the partners,” he said. “This helps to build up consensus and to facilitate the standardisation process of 5G.”

This origin of this interesting article can be found here, we have our reservations about this, with the intermittence of 4G, 5G at the moment is a real stretch. Moreover Basing a radio network on a phone network is a dangerous proposition, Mission Critical communications are the reason that two way radios are used, when the infrastructure goes down, these radios should still able of communicate, using a 5G network would mean that a back-up system would have to be put in place.