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Monthly Archives: February 2016

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Audiology Affiliates Explains the Process of Selecting the Right Hearing Aid Model

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When someone start talking about hearing aids and hearing loss, most people run a mile, but as this article shows choosing the right hearing aid can make a difference, using the 4 factors framework listed below. 

Modern hearing aid technology is capable of treating just about any type and degree of hearing loss. This has resulted in a proliferation of hearing aid models that can feel overwhelming to the consumer. Navigating through the maze of hearing aid manufacturers, styles, and advanced functionality can seem like an insurmountable task.

That’s why Audiology Affiliates has release a helpful guide titled How to Pick the Right Hearing Aid Model. The guide describes how all hearing aids work, what makes the various models different, and how to choose among the many options by considering four factors.

The four factors to consider are style, ease-of-use, functionality, and price. These four factors cover cosmetic preference, issues with handling and care, specific functionality based on the type of hearing loss, and financial concerns. With all the hearing aid models available, there is likely a model that will meet all of the criteria for each individual patient.

After reviewing the four factors, the patient is ready to work with a hearing specialist to find the ideal model. The hearing specialist serves three very important roles. One, they can test the patient’s hearing to determine the type and degree of hearing loss. Two, they can guide the patient toward the optimal hearing aid model. And three, once the hearing aid is selected, they can program the hearing aid to amplify sound according to the exact characteristics of the patient’s hearing loss.

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Teleprompters and earpieces are changing theatre, and not necessarily for the better

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This article was originally posted on thestage.co.uk and they highlight that the use of earpieces for prompting actors is increasing, this very simple technology used in this way makes people uncomfortable. But why? Earpieces these days are so small that people standing really close to the wearer would have literally be standing on top of them to see it, let alone be 15m away. Maybe it’s the thought that the actor should be able to remember their lines? or that bringing undue technology into the theatre would decrease the value of it?

Car crash theatre. That’s how a colleague described Al Pacino’s return to the Broadway stage in David Mamet’s new play, China Doll.

For those who may not have been following the story, Pacino’s return to Broadway has been blighted with problems – most notably, reports that he cannot remember his lines. Teleprompters have been installed around the stage and Pacino wears an earpiece, even after the production’s opening was delayed.

Pacino is not the only star on Broadway this season getting help with his lines. If reports are to be believed, Bruce Willis in Misery is also being given a helpful prompt or two through an earpiece, as are Cicely Tyson and James Earl Jones in The Gin Game.

However, Pacino seems to be the main focus of press criticism and a large part of me feels sorry for him. Undoubtedly, he is under intense pressure – despite past success on Broadway, he is in danger of being remembered best, if not most fondly, for China Doll.

The sign outside the Schoenfeld Theater quotes a line from Pacino’s character in the play: “Can you just tell me what’s happening?” In the circumstances, it seems both ironic and ill-judged. Meanwhile, around the corner at the St James Theatre, the comedy musical Something Rotten has put up a cheeky, if somewhat venomous, sign on its canopy, saying: “All actors promise to memorize most of their lines”.

For any actor, it is terrifying to think that one day, no longer being able to remember your lines, you may not be able to work. The interesting point about this situation is that the media have been far more forgiving of other actors: Tyson and Jones have been treated as beloved national treasures. At 90 and 84 years old respectively, they have a few years on 75-year-old Pacino and therefore it’s may be understandable that they require prompts. A similar response greeted Angela Lansbury who, in Blithe Spirit on Broadway and in the West End, wore a cleverly designed hat which incorporated ear pieces.

Despite criticism of Pacino’s use of prompting devices, China Doll has not seen a slump at the box office. Audiences seem to be happy to pay top-dollar ticket prices to see their favourite stars on stage whether they know their lines or not. Does this mean we accept that teleprompters and earpieces will become inevitable in theatres? Has a precedent now been set for Hollywood actors to slip into a play during a gap in their moviemaking schedules believing they don’t need to spend time learning lines? Will audiences continue to tolerate this because of that star’s status and the opportunity to see them live?

I hope not: knowing lines is a fundamental skill in the craft of acting. I want to see star actors on stage but I also want to see and remember them at their best. And the reporting of apparent production problems does nothing to help a theatre industry already faced with an audience which may expect or hope for a disaster on stage to tweet about; the resulting social media noise overshadows anything else to do with the play itself.

China Doll is – on paper – a hit show, with its headline star bringing in high weekly grosses that will likely see the play recoup. But in the long term that should not be the only way to judge the success of a production.Teleprompters and earpieces are changing theatre, and not necessarily for the better

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Motorola Solutions to buy UK’s Airwave for $1.24 billion

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As this article shows, Motorola move closer to sealing the deal to supply the emergency services for the whole of the UK, this move seems to prove what we have been saying, as Airwave have a working relationship with the emergency services and a good majority of the equipment they use are Motorolas’ own products they are in an excellent position now.

Walkie-talkie and radio systems maker Motorola Solutions Inc said it would buy UK-based communications company Airwave Solutions Ltd for 817.5 million pounds ($1.24 billion) to beef up its services business.

Shares of Schaumburg, Illinois-based Motorola were up 3.4 percent in extended trading on Thursday.

Airwave, owned by a fund of Australia’s Macquarie Group Ltd, provides voice and data communications to more than 300 emergency and public service agencies in Great Britain.

Motorola’s sales have slipped as its major customers, which include police and fire departments as well as other government agencies, curtail budgets.

The company is trying to strengthen its services business – which provides communication services to governments, businesses and public safety agencies – to drive growth.

Activist investor ValueAct, Motorola’s largest shareholder, said last month the company’s shares were undervalued and that it would talk to its board about ways to enhance shareholder value.

Motorola Solutions said it plans to fund the purchase of Airwave, which has about 600 employees, with bank financing and cash on hand.

The deal is expected to add to adjusted earnings and free cash flow immediately after closing in the first quarter of 2016, Motorola said.

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Lenovo to phase out the Motorola brand name

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The Motorola brand, which has been a fixture in the technology world for 85 years, is about to be phased out by its parent company Lenovo.

The US-born company was bought from Google by the Chinese giant in 2014, with the company continuing the lineage of Motorola handsets.

However, the days of the Motorola name appearing on phones and in marketing materials will come to an end this year.

Motorola Chief Operating Officer Rick Osterloh told CNET: “We’ll slowly phase out Motorola and focus on Moto.”

The company plans to simply use ‘Moto’ and the familiar batwing logo for high end devices, while all other handsets will feature the Lenovo Vibe branding. Even the top devices like the Moto X will feature the blue Lenovo logo rather than the Motorola name.

The rather complex blending of the two brands will involve Moto devices being introduced to Lenovo stronghold territories and marketed it as premium devices.

The budget Vibe devices will also be introduced to western markets to complement the high-end Motorola devices according to the report.

If this wasn’t confusing enough, the Motorola company is being retained from an organisational perspective and that division will now oversee all of Lenovo’s smartphones activity.

Motorola is credited with inventing the first mobile phone with the DynaTAC released in 1984. Likewise, the company’s importance to the development of consumer technology in other sectors cannot be overstated.

In 1930 it released one of the first commercially successful car radios and in the 50s had a major role in the foundation of cable television systems. In 1969 a Motorola radio transmitted the first words from the Moon to Earth and in 1990 it launched the world’s first digital HD television.

Adios, Motorola.

Whilst the Motorola Brand name is strong in the mobile phone and two way radio industry it is an important institute in the communications field that should be preserved, as this article says it was there at the start of telecommunications and has been around for longer than most of us can remember, it would be a shame if it was pulled apart by Lonovo.