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Theportable Motorola DP4800 that is best in class

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Despite the massive onslaught of mobile phones and smartphones in recent times, portable radios have managed to hold firm ground as they specifically cater to special communication needs across industries where clear and precise interaction is paramount. Motorola is considered a pioneer and a household name in the radio communications industry. The Motorola DP4800 portable radio proves yet again that the company is committed towards delivering world class communication products that make use of the latest in technology.

The inclusion of GPS, Bluetooth audio and data and full-fledged text messaging capability makes the DP4800 an extremely powerful and well-rounded communication device. Moreover, it provides quick call-capability to individuals as well as to groups. The built-in full color LCD display has day/night modes that facilitate easy reading of messages. Plus, the DP4800 is no slouch in the audio front as well. Its Intelligent Audio feature along with customizable audio announcement capability guarantees enhanced audio performance every single time you communicate with it.

The Motorola DP4800 supports both VHF and UHF frequency bands and has a 5-line keypad with clearly visible and well-aligned alphanumeric buttons. This 5-tone device has a capacity of 1000 channels and comes with five quick programmable buttons, an additional emergency button on the top, IP57 certification for waterproofing, a tri-color LED that gives feedback on the radio operating status, and a FM intrinsically safe option. Apart from these major features, there is a whole host of other notable highlights which makes the DP4800 an appealing choice for consumers. Some of these include VOX capability, option board capability, privacy features, analogue mode compatibility, and digital phone patch compatibility.

Like all other modern day portable radios manufactured by Motorola, the Motorola DP4800 takes complete advantage of the customized applications that have been built for it. Some of the applications include the likes of email gateways, location tracking, remote monitoring, management of work order tickets and man down emergencies. The DP4800 works flawlessly with Motorola’s MOTOTRBO system which maximizes the radio’s capacity using a technology called ‘Capacity Plus’ and thereby permitting high volumes of voice and data to be transmitted up to a thousand users without the need to add any new frequency bands. On the other hand, the ‘Linked Capacity Plus’ technology of DP4800 allows users to use the MOTOTRBO system for covering a wide area in order to link teams working across multiple sites.

Transmit Interrupt functionality provides users with an option to interrupt an ongoing communication in order to relay important or highly critical messages. Its mechanism for Emergency Calling ensures safety of employees. Communication is further improved with the help of PTT ID. The calls are received every time with the help of its channel scanning schemes. In terms of design, the DP4800 ticks all the relevant boxes as it exudes compactness, looks toughened to handle harsh conditions and is also water and dust proof. After going through the features and capabilities of Motorola’s DP4800 portable radio , it is fairly easy to conclude that the product has been built to last and deliver a unified and seamless communication experience which is hard to match by its rivals.

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Unidentified Space Debris, Nicknamed WTF Is Making Its Way To Earth!

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WTF (to be precise WT1190F) is an appropriate name for the unidentified object that is currently hurtling towards our planet at alarming speed. No, my friends, I haven’t taken up a job writing for the Weekly World News. What sounds like science fiction (or at least an episode of Futurama) is actually science fact.

The object is set to crash into us in less than a month. Despite its relatively close proximity to our atmosphere, nobody is quite sure just what WTF actually is. All anyone knows is its size (roughly two metres in length) and the fact that it is hollow, strongly hinting at the possibility that the object is man made.

Experts are suggesting various possibilities as to the identity of the mysterious object, the most tantalising being that WTF is actually a piece of leftover technology from the moon missions (possibly even the fabled Saturn V that took Neil Armstrong and co to the moon). Of course, it could just be here to talk to the whales (Star Trek joke, in case anyone reading this is scratching their heads).

The problem of space junk is becoming more serious by the day. In addition to approximately 3,700 satellites currently orbiting the earth (of which around 2,600 are totally inactive, effectively making them space junk), there are literally tens of thousands of objects larger than a tennis ball floating above our heads at any given time. In addition to that, there are an estimated hundred million objects in the 1mm or less category. Put simply, space is a mess.

In 1997, there were 2,271 man-made satellites orbiting the earth, a number that has increased by around 1,500 since then. Instead of slowing down, however, the recent rise in private satellite launches will likely see these figures (if you’ll pardon the pun) skyrocketing over the next decade or so.

In fact, last year alone, the International Space Station (ISS) had to move its position three times in order to avoid collision with objects large enough to cause serious damage. These collisions were potentially fatal to the astronauts aboard the space station. The ISS actually spends an alarming amount of time ducking and dodging flying chunks of space junk, some of which is detected too late for the ISS to manoeuvre away from it, causing the astronauts to simply shelter-in-space and hope for the best. In 2007, a chunk of debris actually damaged the space shuttle Endeavour.

Despite laws that state that most satellites must be launched to an altitude that will encourage them to fall to earth and burn up within 25 years of their original launch, launching anything into space is a messy business indeed. This has led to fears that the population of space junk in earth’s higher obits could actually become self-sustaining, i.e. new junk could be created in the frequent collisions between existing junk. This is often referred to as The Kessler Syndrome after Nasa scientist Don Kessler, who first warned us about this process as far back as 1978.

The Kessler Syndrome is a very real concern. In 2009, for example, two small satellites collided over Siberia, creating something like 2000 new junk items, many of which are still in orbit today and posing a very real threat to existing satellites. Keep in mind that these items can travel at speeds exceeding 17,000 mph; at that sort of speed, even a grain of sand could kill.

The good news is that WTF is expected to burn up harmlessly in our atmosphere, meaning that, although we’ll probably never know its true identity, at least it won’t harm anybody. If it fails to burn away completely, WTF is expected to land on the Indian Ocean, somewhere off the coast of Sri Lanka around the 13th of November. So, unless you have a fishing holiday planned in the region, you ought to be safe.

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Bone conduction headphones let me ditch the boombox, but still cycle safe

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Long bike rides are an easy way to burn calories without terrorizing your knees, but it helps to have some tunes to keep things fun. My rides usually take me through bustling urban streets and isolated stretches of waterfront, so pumping out a soundtrack using a Bluetooth speaker is usually a viable option — mostly, anyway. Unfortunately, the wind-dampened output is never ideal and a high audio volume can burn through battery life, and bringing a backup device adds weight. Luckily, the ideal solution recently crossed my desk: AfterShokz’s Bluez 2S bone-conduction headphones.

If you’re not familiar, this style of device delivers audio as sound vibrations to your inner ear through the bone, bypassing the eardrum entirely. I’d never regularly worn headphones while riding, mostly so I could remain aware of traffic and the world around me. (It’s also illegal to wear them while riding in New York City, at least in both ears.) I found the Bluez 2S struck the perfect balance between weight and audio output, while keeping situational awareness levels high. The experience is quite different from your traditional headphones, though, so they won’t be for everyone.

The AfterShokz Bluez 2S is a recent update to the Bluez 2 model, adding the new “PremiumPitch+” technology, which aims to boost the bottom end and prevent sound leakage, alongside slight changes to the external design. There are now perforated openings where the speakers rest on your cheek — before it was a solid surface. Even with this seemingly more exposed design, the Bluez 2S still meets IP55 standards for dust and sweat protection, which I successfully confirmed over an exceedingly hot and humid summer in NYC. The open speaker surface and revamped internals do indeed make a difference in audio quality and volume. It may not be profound, but it’s a noticeable improvement over its predecessor.

The arrival of the 2S dovetails with the announcement of the company’s sporty Trekz Titanium, which hit Indiegogo last month and quickly shot past its fundraising goal. Although we haven’t tested those yet, it’s easy to see the benefit from the Trekz’ flexible design. With the rigid U-shaped plastic band of the Bluez 2S that goes around the back of your head, you can imagine the potential for breaking while bouncing around in a bag. That said, I’ve had them packed in both full bags and jostling around in sparse ones, and nothing has happened to them in several months of use. Also, the headband does get in the way of sunglasses to a certain degree. Since the speakers work best when resting snugly against the cheek, I’ve had the arms of the glasses positioned above the band (outside just feels weird), which tends to tilt the glasses down and crowd my face a bit. It’s not a dealbreaker, but it’s certainly not a great pairing.

So how do they sound? First, you need to understand that this is an entirely different experience than regular headphones, with its own set of trade-offs. Music will sound a bit different with this type of technology. The overall sound may be a bit duller compared to your standard cans, but you’ll also get a pleasantly spacious head-feel when listening, which is hard to convey. Speech comes across clearly, but the low-end will be lacking in comparison. I frequently have the volume near maximum when I’m hustling on bustling city streets and feeling the music. In quieter environments, however, there’s more headroom in volume flexibility. The claim is that PremiumPitch+ helps increase bass, while dampening vibration and reducing sound leakage. The Bluez 2S may not be the loudest pair I’ve listened too — Damson’s Headbones still hold that title — but they provide plenty of kick without going overboard on the vibration.

It helps to be a glutton for aural stimulation with bone-conduction headphones. Unlike the isolating experience you get with in- or on-ear models, you get both music and ambient sound leaking in — which is part of the benefit for me. As long as you’re not rocking full volume, you can easily have conversations and hear cars approaching from behind, making it a flexible and safer option if music is a must while riding a bike. For the same reason, they’re great when you’re walking around the neighborhood, but the sound of a New York subway will certainly overpower your tunes.

On the hardware side, you get Bluetooth connectivity, a volume control rocker that doubles as a battery check and EQ changer, power and a multipurpose button on the left earpiece. Since I’m right-handed, the left-side button is perfect for me. It can pause/play music, skip tracks, redial the last phone number and take calls with its onboard mic. The battery life is rated at six hours of continuous play and 10 days of standby. Indeed, it’s great to find the headset charged after neglecting it for a week. It takes about two hours to charge up, but I’ve rarely drained the headset fully, so it seems to top off rather quickly for me. Bluetooth range is the standard 33 feet, letting you pair with a computer and wander around the kitchen or nearby room without stuttering. It stays paired with your last device though, so be sure to check it’s not still tied to the computer if you leave the house and don’t hear your tunes. Also, once paired, if the current track isn’t playing still, try skipping forward or back one.

As a comparison, I tested the Damson Headbones, a Kickstarted bone-conduction model from the UK. First, both models get points for awkward naming conventions. The Headbones do have a lot more features including a line-out for earbuds or as a passthrough for non-Bluetooth speakers. They have a bit more playtime at eight hours, APT-X and NFC support, and fold down into a rigid carrying case. As I mentioned, the audio volume is also significantly louder than the Bluez 2S.

This comes at a price, though: The Headbones are more than twice the weight, with a bulky portion that sits at the back of your neck to house the extra flourishes and battery power. Since I ride with a backpack, the hefty rear section bumped up against it making them difficult to wear. While it pumps out a beefier sound, I found the ear (actually cheek) pieces to be a bit too snug and at higher volumes the vibration was uncomfortable. They’re definitely a quality set of bone-conduction headphones, but didn’t mesh well with my needs and preferences.

The bottom line here is that while you’re not going to have the same audio experience as a standard set of headphones, the benefits of the Bluez 2S outweigh the negatives, at least for me in how I use them. I get a comfortable, lightweight wireless headset that provides tunes at a respectable volume, while still being able to maintain awareness about what’s going on around me — an ideal scenario for bike riding. The AfterShokz Bluez 2S is available for pre-order now for $100, while the Trekz Titanium version should arrive in January 2016 for $130.

Bone conduction technology has been around for many years in the walkie talkie accesory market, it has made a several appearances over the years in the leisure headset/earpiece industry, it is perfect for using whilst driving or cycling, like this article shows,  not having to talk into a mic is a massive plus for using this technology.

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Important things about Buying a Walkie Talkie

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Running a restaurant is hard. Personnel in different areas need to communicate well in order to provide the best dining experience for customers. The conventional way people restaurant staff communicate is by shouting or talking loudly at each other. While this can be an effective way to communicate – this method has worked for years – it turns a restaurant into a noisy and chaotic place. Many customers are actually looking to dine in peace. So having all those noises, even if they are meant to provide better service, can actually turn off customers. Restaurant staff can communicate without disturbing the dining experience of customers with the use of walkie-talkies. two way radios for restaurants provide plenty of benefits. The most important ones are discussed below.

A good Investment

Many restaurant owners are having second thoughts about buying walkie-talkies because of the additional investment that it entails. The hesitation is understandable since running a restaurant is expensive as it is without a communication system. But if you are a restaurant owner, you can look at buying a walkie-talkie as a good investment. Having a walkie-talkie for your restaurant can help you serve your customers more efficiently. It can improve customer turnaround time and it can help provide a better dining experience for your patrons. All of these improvement can translate to more profits for your restaurant. So if you are looking for a way to improve your operations and make more money in the process then improving communication system by getting walkie-talkies is a good idea.

Improve Communication

In any organization, good communication is important. A bad communication channel can ruin the good relationship among the staff and between a manager and the people around him. If you own a restaurant, then you probably already know that it is a pressure-packed environment. It doesn’t take much for someone to crack under this kind of pressure. A good communication tool such as walkie-talkie can help ease the pressure. It can avoid miscommunication. If you are a manager, for example, and you noticed that tables are not set yet. Instead of shouting across the room and creating an angry atmosphere in your restaurant, you can simply relay your instruction on the walkie-talkie.

Choosing the right Walkie-Talkie

Of course, not all restaurant walkie-talkies are the same. Some are better than others. Not all walkie-talkies are created equal. When choosing a walkie-talkie, the first thing that you need to consider is performance. The system should be able to provide clear audio that has the ability to break through the noise that is usually present in a restaurant. A bad walkie-talkie can affect your business as adversely as the absence of a walkie-talkie system. Can imagine a restaurant staff trying to decipher the message being relayed by his manager over a walkie-talkie that is sending choppy signal? This kind of scenario can turn into a tragedy very quickly. The next thing that you should look for is comfort. The walkie-talkie should allow freedom of movement for the staff to be able to perform their job well.

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Motorola Solutions provides secure and efficient communications for Milan airports

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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.

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

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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.

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Wrestling Legend Rowdy Roddy Piper Dies At 61

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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.

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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