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Monthly Archives: November 2015

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Commonwealth countries adopt action plan towards achieving consensus ahead of WRC15

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Commonwealth countries adopt action plan towards achieving consensus ahead of WRC-15 – CTO: Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation

Commonwealth countries taking part in the group of nations’ preparatory meeting last week in London ahead of the forthcoming 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15) have adopted an action plan towards achieving consensus at the international conference next month.

WRC-15, which will allocate new spectrum for radio communications, including for international mobile telecommunication (IMT) services will take place from 2 to 27 November 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland under the auspices of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

All regional groups–whose positions guide the WRC process–include Commonwealth countries among their members. The London meeting which took place on 7 – 9 October 2015 was an opportunity for members of these regional groups to better appreciate the views and positions of other regions and help achieve greater consensus.

Chaired by Anil Kaushal, Member of the Board of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India, the meeting elected a Bureau to coordinate the views of Commonwealth countries during the Conference next month. The Bureau includes Dr Edmund Katiti (Uganda) as the WRC Commonwealth Coordinator; representatives from Canada, India, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, UK and the Caribbean as Vice-Coordinators; and Edmund Fianko (Ghana) as the WRC Commonwealth Rapporteur. Agenda Item Coordinators were also appointed.

Sharing his satisfaction at the end of the three-day meeting, the CTO’s Secretary-General Shola Taylor said he was satisfied that “this meeting has helped to better understand the various positions by different regions, and has also highlighted areas where clarity was still required, and we are grateful to the ITU for its contributions throughout our discussions”.

Key outcomes of the London meeting include:

  • Strong support for identification of additional spectrum for IMT in most parts of the L band;
  • Resolve to protect digital terrestrial television in the UHF band;
  • Future studies on potential use of part of the S band for IMT;
  • Mechanisms to achieve consensus on the lower part of the C band taking into account the growing demand for mobile broadband and the needs of countries like in the Pacific which depend heavily on satellites;
  • Support for future studies for IMT above 6 GHz to accommodate 5G, excluding Ku and Ka satellite bands;
  • A mechanism for further engagement with various regions on the possible use of FSS for unmanned aircraft, taking into account aviation safety concerns;
  • Support for global harmonisation on Earth Stations on Mobile Platforms; and
  • Recognition of the importance and urgent treatment of global flight tracking taking into account studies in the Director’s report.

“For Commonwealth countries, this meeting gave a clearer sense of the likely outcomes of WRC-15, so we encourage our members to be proactive and contribute to deliberations in Geneva as efficient as possible,” Mr Taylor added.

Mario Maniewicz, Deputy to the Director of the Radiocommunication Bureau at the ITU gave the participants an overview of preparations for WRC-15, and also provided clarifications on WRC proceedings and rules that will guide the Conference.

Festus Daudu, Chair-Designate of WRC-15 who also took part in the London meeting said discussions were “very productive as they enabled countries represented to better understand all regional positions, and I would like to congratulate the CTO for taking this initiative.”

Private-sector operators such as Inmarsat, Avanti Communications Group, and Google, as well as mobile industry association GSMA also took part in the meeting to express interest in specific spectrum bands in pursuit of advancing global connectivity. The case for safeguarding spectrum resources allocated to broadcasting was made by the BBC who gave a tour of its extensive London production facilities to the participants at the meeting.

Representing the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago, Kirk Sookram, Executive Officer for Technical Service and Development also shared his satisfaction at the end of the event: “The meeting has given Caribbean participants a great opportunity to understand within a single forum the views of all other regions that have some of their members in the Commonwealth,” he said.

The initiative of the London pre-WRC-15 meeting by the CTO is part of a wider programme of activities to implement a specific mandate of Commonwealth ICT ministers at their meeting held in London in March 2014 to coordinate all ICT matters in the Commonwealth.

Earlier this week, less than a month after assuming office, Mr Taylor had met with Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General of the ITU in Geneva to discuss wider collaboration between the two organisations.

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Life On Mars? Scientists Find Liquid Water On The Red Planet

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Unless you happen to be a natural history buff or a science nerd, the word extremophile probably won’t mean much to you. However, once the world’s public has a chance to fully absorb the implications of a discovery made this month, I can pretty much guarantee it’ll be on everybody’s lips sooner or later.

Basically, an extremophile is an organism that thrives in conditions that are seemingly too extreme to support any kind of life. Last year, for example, scientists confirmed the existence of microorganisms living half a mile below the ice of Antarctica, but that isn’t the weirdest place you can find microbial life. Different types of extremophiles have been observed in places as inhospitable as the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, the driest deserts on Earth, boiling hot springs and even deep sea hydrothermal vents.

This month’s confirmation that liquid water exists on Mars has gotten a lot of people – myself included – wondering if the Martian landscape may include an extremophile, or two (billion, that is). In general, the rule of thumb here on Earth is that water generally supports life. Of course, it’ll be a while before we know for sure if the same holds true on the Red Planet, but the potential implications for such a discovery are literally enormous. It would be final, incontrovertible proof that Humankind is not alone after all and that, somewhere out there, life does indeed exist on other worlds. Just take a second and imagine that.

…But that isn’t to detract from the enormous significance of finally confirming that there is water on Mars, a planet long considered to be dead and devoid of anything even remotely connected with life as we know it.

New data retrieved from a NASA satellite has been used to link the long, dark streaks that appear on Martian slopes with salt deposits. If this is indeed the case, then these salt deposits could allow water to remain in a fluidic state for long enough for it to move around. This is no mean feat, as Mars features average temperatures well below zero and the low atmospheric pressure means that any liquid water would boil instantly. However, it has been theorized that the deposits of salt could change all this, altering the freezing and vaporization points of water and, in the process, allowing for the existence of the life giving liquid.

Long-term observation of the Red Planet corroborates this theory, as the streaks tend to change with the seasons, leading some scientists to link them with trickling water, however this could never be proven, until now.

Luju Ojha, a PhD student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has used data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which makes use of an instrument called Crism to determine the chemistry at work on the Martian surface, to make the incredible claim.

By employing the Crism data and looking at four separate locations where the dark streaks regularly appear and disappear during the Martian summer, Mr Ojha was able to prove that these formations are covered with salts, particularly magnesium perchlorate, chlorate and chloride, the exact types of salts that are known to alter the freezing and vaporization points of running water.

So, it is fairly safe to say that we now know that there is water on Mars. The next big question (before we get to the possibility of anything living in it) is, where is it coming from? It has been suggested by some that ice exists at a great depth below the surface and by others that the salts are literally pulling moisture from the atmosphere itself. For now, we just don’t know.

…And now back to the million Dollar question, first put to us by the philosopher David Bowie in 1973, Is there life on Mars?

Interviewed by BBC News, Dr. Joe Michalski, a Mars researcher at London’s Natural History Museum was optimistic, “We know from the study of extremophiles on Earth that life can not only survive, but thrive in conditions that are hyper-arid, very saline or otherwise extreme in comparison to what is habitable to a human. In fact, on Earth, wherever we find water, we find life. That is why the discovery of water on Mars over the last 20 years is so exciting.”

The wonderful, exhilarating reality of this discovery is that, through its profound implication, you may very well see within your lifetime an answer to that most vexing (and famously unanswerable) of questions, are we alone in the universe?

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THE USE OF 2 WAY RADIOS INSIDE THE HOTEL INDUSTRY

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In the hospitality business, improving customer service, increasing staff productivity as well as enhancing efficiency is always believed to be a winning strategy. One of the surest ways of streamling operations in the hospitality business is by ensuring your team is well equipped with better ways of communication. Two way radios are cost-effective , easy-to-use as well as a proven solution that can be very effective in optimizing efforts in food service, customer service, housekeeping, engineering, maintenance, valet, security and transportation as well.

The level of success that you can achieve in your hotel basically relies on the fundamental brickwork that you lay down for your hospitality business. These fundamentals include exceptional customer service, attention to detail, and rapid responses to your customers’ needs. Whether your hotel staff members are responding to the guest requests or the concierge team is communicating with one another other, Two way radios are proven to offer the best functionality. With clear audio systems and quality handsets, these Two way radios are capable of helping staff members improves their efficiency and productivity.

Quick, discreet and efficient communication strategies should be the main priorities for any businesses within the leisure and hospitality sectors. Small hotels, guest houses, health clubs and small leisure operations are well-suited to analogue 2 way radios. In such businesses, Two way radios are needed to pass any form of information between many staff members, get updates of conditions in different areas of the business or even monitor activities within the premises. In addition to supplying analogue 2 way radios to various businesses, 2wayradionline.co.uk also supply waterproof radios for different swimming pool areas or specially toughened Two way radio models for outdoor activity centres.

Large hotels and leisure complexes like the golf courses and gyms usually require digital 2 way radio systems, which are capable of working over greater distances. The need to install complex digital systems to enhance radio coverage only arises if the distances are very large or there is a lot of concrete (for instance high-rise hotels). In a bid to keep 2 way radios unobtrusive especially at corporate events and in public, the use of earpieces can make radio communications covert and help keep sensitive information out of public knowledge. Added benefits can include incorporating building management intelligence into the radio system; for instance a message can be sent to the control centre automatically when any given lift breaks down or the fire alarm is triggered.

Accommodating a lot of guest can leave you with a lot of things to do and coordinate. All this can be made quite easy on your part and that of your hotel staff members through the integration of hotel-based 2 way radios into your workflow. Having Two way radios in your hotel can smooth your path to guest satisfaction. In addition, it allows you to build a great customer loyalty base as it allows your staff members to present a professional image which is backed by a rapid response to any guest requests.

Digital and Analogue Two way radios are already in use at some of the most exclusive and largest hotels, resorts and casinos all over the world. The digital and analogue Two way radios and systems used in these resorts, hotels and casinos to keeps the guests feeling safer and also significantly enhance customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. For instance, the management of your hotel can make sure that the housekeeping department is capable of prioritizing the type of rooms that are meant to be prepared first which in turn helps housekeeping departments to contact stores and laundry for additional guests’ amenity kits, linen and so on. The same also applies to the safety and security within the hotel building and its grounds, so in the event of security breaches or in emergency situations where safe and fast movement of a large number of people will have to be managed. With 2 way radio stations installed in your hotel buildings, you will be able to enhance the security of all your guests as well as staff in case of any emergency situation that arises

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P.S – This Message Will Self Destruct: New Email App Allows Automatic Encryption

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Remember how Inspector Gadget always got given those top-secret messages that would self-destruct upon reading? Well, a new app has been devised that can do just that for your emails.

Confidential CC is a free app, designed for both Android and iOS devices, that allows the user to send self-deleting, automatically encrypting files that can be viewed only once…And never again.

The app also prevents recipients from forwarding or printing the messages in question. In a very real sense, you can read it once and then its gone.

“You receive all your email like usual, we just add a new address line that lets you send a CCC self-destruct email,” said the app’s Co-Founder Warren Barthes, formerly an executive with French Telecom, at the Collision Technology Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada earlier in the year.

Of course, other secure email apps have been attempted before, but none has proven to be 100% safe. Could Confidential CC be the one that finally achieves it?

The app was created by co-founders Warren Barthes, Rachel Triggs and Jeremy Landau and their story (according to the group’s official website, anyway) goes something like this:

“Confidential CC was born when the co-founders realized they had a common need – to send an email without a trace. A short time later they set out for this goal. After working hard to confirm the technology, legal and execution were possible, the CCC team took their idea to the next level by striving to provide not only confidential email, but an updated, smart, and attractive user interface across all systems, catered to our users’ daily lives”.

Compatible with Yahoo!, AOL, Gmail, Hotmail and Outlook, amongst others, the app allows users to access all their email accounts from one place and has been designed to be as user friendly as possible. Confidential CC can also cancel accidentally sent messages and can be instructed to send email messages out at a specific time of day.

It looks good, but the customer reviews have been a mixed bag so far.

iTunes user Alukakum praised the usability and the continuing updates, but a customer named IT User Review panned it, calling the app “clunky at best” and pointing out that users can only synch one email account per provider to the app itself.

Of course, this app is new to the marketplace, so customer reviews are few and far between.

Nevertheless, it goes without saying that, if Confidential CC can deliver on its many promises, then it could become a very profitable enterprise indeed. Co-Founder Rachel Triggs certainly thinks so.

“It’s unacceptable that email, which is free and open for all, is presenting such huge risk to users. Maybe, in five years, people will use CCC lines in Gmail, Outlook, everywhere.” She said at the Collision Conference.

If all goes according to their plans, this could be the first chapter in the story of how a small start-up firm from the US revolutionized email security for all online customers. As with all things, time will tell.

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Reasons For Using Radio Earpiece for Security

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Radio earpieces allow people in the security industry to communicate in a covert manner. They ensure other people don’t hear the information they are sharing, to maintain secrecy. Security earpieces come in various models, although there are two major categories: wired and wireless. The two categories come in varying versions to match the varying needs of different security personnel. The following is a close look at benefits of using radio earpiece for security.

Covert communications

Security professionals use radio earpieces to pass confidential information without disclosing it to third parties. The level of discreteness and covertness is determined by the kind of operation in hand so as to increase the chances of completing it successfully. Some of the messages that need to be concealed from third parties include information about;

Chasing criminals: Security agents within the affected geographical area are alerted immediately. This encourages quick action by the security forces and ensures there is no information outflow to third parties.

Emergencies and attacks such as robbery: They need a quick response to restore the situation and save lives. Additionally, only security officers with a radio earpiece are notified to speed up the operations .

Rescue missions: The success of rescue missions is dependent on teamwork and concealed communication. Security officers use radio earpieces to get updates about the mission without tipping the enemy.

Radio can be hidden away

Undercover security agents work to provide reliable information during investigations and cases. With weak links in the security network they need concealed communication equipment to avoid suspicion by the general public. Radio earpieces make this possible because they allow them to hide their radio and communicate effectively. Some of these earpieces are also difficult to notice, especially the wireless ones which are worn inside the ear. Additionally, some look like ordinary earphones making it hard for the public to differentiate them.

Better communication

All security agents need proper communication to protect the contracted clients and property. Clear communication ensures high level of awareness about the surroundings at all times. Earpieces guarantee proper communication regardless of the surrounding environment making it possible for the security agents are able handle noisy areas with ease. Some of the noisy areas and moments that demand use of radio earpiece include shopping centres, when controlling traffic, pubs and events such as concerts, live performances and shows.

They give a professional look

Security guards with proper working gear like communication equipment and uniform look professional and more approachable. Radio earpieces show preparedness and encourage the members of the public to interact with them. They also act as a mental barrier to deter criminals since they denote swift reaction and availability of a backup team.

It is clear that there are many reasons why security agents use radio earpiece for security. The earpieces allow them to communicate clearly regardless of the amount of noise on the surrounding to maintain law and order with ease. Subsequently, security enforcers are able to work behind the scenes to provide security at public areas, office buildings and during large gatherings.