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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.

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The Shakespeare Code: Does a 400-Year-Old Portrait Offer a New Image of The Bard?

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Historian and botanist Mark Griffiths claims to have cracked a centuries old code, revealing a brand new image of William Shakespeare.

The picture appears on the title page of the 1598 volume ‘The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes’ by the horticulturist John Gerard.  Apparently, Griffiths was able to decode a Latin cipher “of the kind loved by the Elizabethan aristocracy” which then revealed the identity of the man in the picture as William Shakespeare.

If he is correct, then this picture is the only demonstrably authentic portrait of the famous playwright that exists from his lifetime. But remember, I said ‘if’ – Mr. Griffiths is by no means the first person to make such a sensational ‘discovery’.

It is a spectacular claim for sure, but one that is fast gaining currency in the international news media. The only accepted images of The Bard are the famous picture from the cover of Shakespeare’s First Folio and the effigy on his monument in Stratford-Upon-Avon, both of which were created some time after his death.

Griffiths, who is presently writing a book about Gerard, came across the picture whilst browsing a first edition copy of ‘The Herball’. The image appears to have been created by William Rogers, the first English engraver and a man of much renown in his own right. Copperplate engravings, such as the ones he made of Queen Elizabeth I, are key pieces of historical evidence for the study of England in Tudor times.

Rogers’ title page shows four male figures surrounded by flowers and symbols, so Griffiths decided to try and discern the identities of the four men.

One of the men is apparently Gerard himself, whilst the second image appears to depict the Flemish botanist Rembert Dodoens. The third man is assumed to be Lord Burghley, who was an adviser to the Queen and a patron of the book’s author. The three aforementioned men could be readily identified using existing portraits from the period. However, the identity of the fourth figure, clad in classical Roman garb, wearing a laurel wreath and holding a both an ear of sweetcorn and a fritillary flower, eluded him.

Griffiths began to read up on the sort of codes, ciphers and hidden messages frequently used in Tudor times and, from his research, he concluded that the identity of the fourth man had to be Shakespeare himself.

For Griffiths, there can be no doubt at all that this is the definitive image of William Shakespeare, “For me, it is not about doubt or supposition. I’m faced with a series of facts that I can’t gainsay, as much as I try. This is what these facts are, these are what the plants are, this is what they signify, this is what the symbol decodes as. All of that adds up to Shakespeare. I can’t make that – and believe me I’ve tried – add up to anybody else but Shakespeare.”

However, some of the ‘clues’ unearthed by Griffiths do seem to be somewhat strange, to say the least. For example, the image around the fourth man shows an arrowhead with an ‘E’ stuck to it, alongside a figure four. For Griffiths, this equates to the Latin word Quater, which was (apparently) a slang term for the number 4 in games of chance. Add the ‘E’ on the end of the word and it becomes quatere, which is the infinitive of the Latin verb quatior, meaning ‘ to shake’. Accordingly, Griffiths believes that the number 4 seen nearby can also be interpreted as a spear. Literally, this means ‘shake spear’.

Another ‘clue’ is the presence of the word ‘Or’. Apparently, Shakespeare’s father was presented with a golden coat of arms around the time that ‘The Herball’ was being written – and the heraldic symbol for gold is ‘Or’.

Elsewhere, he also points out references to various Shakespeare writings, particularly Venus and Adonis, in which a fritillary flower appears. He even goes as far as to suggest that the ear of sweetcorn is a reference to a single line of dialogue from Titus and Andronicus.

So, is it Shakespeare’s picture, or is Griffiths simply getting carried away looking for clues as to the identity of a so-far-unknown man who lived 400 years ago? Opinion is so far divided and, given the age of the text and the many-fold interpretations offered by the image, it seems doubtful that anybody will be able to either conclusively prove, or disprove, Griffith’s theory.

Professor Michael Dobson, Director of The Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham said that, “I can’t imagine any reason why Shakespeare would be in a botany textbook. It’s a lovely picture. Everybody is very fond of it. But that doesn’t mean that he had anything to do with it apart from the fact that he read it. (…) It’s a man in a toga, holding a little bit of a corn on the cob in one hand and a fritillary in the other.”

In his defense, Mr. Griffiths has posited that Shakespeare may have been patronized by Burghley and that he could potentially have worked with Gerard on the book, hence his appearance on the cover, but critics of the theory find this hard to swallow, especially due to the lack of any hard historical evidence to back it up.

World-renowned Shakespeare expert Stanley Wells took his disdain to Twitter, saying (slightly flippantly) “So apparently Shakespeare went around in fancy dress holding a fritillary in one hand and a cob of corn in the other.” Of course, the ‘fancy dress’ could be symbolic of the man’s connection to the theatre, but equally, it could be a romanticized portrait of a nature spirit.

As reported by The Guardian, Griffiths hit back at his critics, saying, “What we have here is a series of incontrovertible facts. I dare say people will think: ‘Oh no. It’s not him.’ But there is no other construction that can be placed on these facts. It is not an assumption that he is Shakespeare, it is algebra … it is an equation.”

Erm…No it isn’t. It is a series of educated guesses, aided and abetted by what seems to be more than a little wishful thinking.

The image and indeed the story as a whole, may put science fiction fans in mind of the 2007 ‘Doctor Who’ adventure ‘The Shakespeare Code’, in which a young and handsome Shakespeare portrayed by Dean Lennox Kelly (and eerily similar to the man pictured in ‘The Herball’) aids The Doctor and his companion Martha Jones in expelling Carrionite witches from The Globe Theatre. Indeed, Griffiths himself compared the image of a young, good-looking Shakespeare to the appearance of a contemporary film star.

So, when we gaze upon this Elizabethan image, are we looking at the only authentic picture of William Shakespeare? Maybe we are, maybe we aren’t, however the fact that Mr. Griffiths is now claiming to have uncovered a new play by Shakespeare does suggest, that, whether he manages to convince us or not, we’ll be hearing more from him in the future.

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

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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.

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We Suggest These Sepura Radio Earpieces

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If you are looking for an earpiece that doesn’t compromise on performance, Sepura have a wide range of products available. Here are some of the most popular Sepura earpiece products .

1. Lightweight headset – STP8X

This headset can be used in low-noise conditions, and comes with an active earpiece – allowing you to listen to the surrounding environment with the other ear. You also get microphone, which can be fully adjusted. The headset can either be worn underneath protective headgear or on its own – providing you with more flexibility. To connect to the radio, use the chest-mounted RSM unit or large button PTT. This product can be used with a NEXUS jack plug (four-pole). Remember – cover of the Rugged Side Connector (RSC) will need to be in place in hazardous environments, or an approved Rugged Side Connector accessory will need to be used and securely connected. Disconnecting a Rugged Side Connector accessory or removing the cover isn’t permitted in hazardous environment.

2. EarpieceOnline Acoustic Police Earpiece

This earpiece comes with a clear tube that connects to the ear and has a separate press button to talk. It can be used in a covert or overt role, and comes with a microphone. The product will fit standard police radios from Sepura, including the SRP 2000, 3000, AND 3800, while the PTT block will enable users to wear the radio anywhere on their body, including the belt. You will also be able to mount the block easily. The microphone block and PTT come with a strong and durable metal clip which can be attached to duty vests. In addition, the radio can be worn out of sight in a covert role, and the microphone block and PTT can be used under clothing.

3. STP8X in-ear headset with PTT

This in-ear headset is ideal when used in low-noise conditions, and can be connected to the RSC on the STPX. The headset is used with a NEXUS jack plug (four-pole) and comes with an in-line PTT switch. The environmental rating of the product is IP54, and the storage temperature is -40 to 85 degrees Celsius. The weight of the item is 110 grams.

4. RAC STP in-ear tactical headset

This headset easily fits in the ear, and comes with a speaker functionality and microphone in the same product. The tactical headset features a ring PTT and can be used with a neck cord (users to cover the cord with clothing). The assembly can be terminated with a RAC plug.

5. STP8X SCORPION headset

The SCORPION headset has been designed to be used with protective helmets, making it an excellent choice for civil protection officers, fire brigades, and police officers. It comes with a receiver, microphone, and can be used with a NEXUS jack plug (four-pole). To connect the radio, you can use the large button PTT or advanced RSM. There are also a number of accessories that can be purchased for this product, including adapters for different types of helmet. Please note, unconnected headsets cannot be carried into a hazardous area. The weight of the product is 85 grams.

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2 Way Radios for Business

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Communication is extremely important in business, whether you’re business offers a security service or just likes to keep certain departments in close communication. There are many options for you to choose from when it comes to effective communication within your business, but a two way radio system is by far one of the best.

Buying two way radios for business use can be extremely overwhelming, there are many different types of radios available on the market. Not being properly educated on the features and specifications of each one could have a very negative impact on your business.

Why Should I Choose Two Way Business Radios?

Using a two way business radio is much more advantageous compared to other communication options such as a mobile phone. When you decide to use a two way radio system, you’re getting away from all the distractions that other communication methods have.

These business radios only have the features that you need , which will result in better communication, an increase in productivity, increased safety, and so much more.

Where Will I Use the Two Way Business Radios?

One thing that you need to think about before you decide which radio system to buy is where you will be using the radios. If the radios will be used mostly outdoors then a VHF two way business radio would be your best option. On the other hand, if radio usage will be confined mainly indoors then you’ll want to go with UHF radios.

Speak with your local deal about your circumstances specifically, he/she will help you find the best radio for your usage requirements.

So What Types of Two Way Business Radio Are There?

There are four different types of two way business radios available on the market today. Let’s take a quick look at each of these options:

Handheld — The most common type of two way radio, these are the handheld devices often used by security firms.

Vehicle mounted mobile — The best choice for drivers and anyone who will be spending long amounts of time in a vehicle.

Desktop base station — These radios connect to a main power source and an external antenna to achieve an excellent range.

Repeater base station — A repeater base station is a device that can boost the operational range of your radio systems.

How Do I Choose What Sort of Two Way Radio System I Need?

You need to think about what sort of radio you’ll need, there are many varieties available. Think about how many people you are planning to have on your frequency, what operational range you’ll need, what type of radio system (we’ve discussed this above), your budget, and other factors. It’s always a wise decision to talk with your local radio dealer.

There are also a few extra features that you might want to consider. For examples, if you would like your two way radio system to have an emergency call feature, selectable power, or any type of accessories, this is something you should think about.

Analogue or Digital Two Way Business Radio?

Choosing between an analogue or digital two way business radio is extremely important and something that you’ll definitely want to consider. Apart from lower cost, there really isn’t any reason to choose an analogue radio over a digital one.

There are many benefits with digital two way radios when compared with analogue. Digital radios can handle more users, offer better sound quality, and provides more stable audio.

Closing Notes

Two way radios can be extremely beneficial for just about any business, as proper communication is becoming more important each and every day. You need to make sure that the radio you decide to purchase meets your criteria and can fulfill your needs properly. The advice and guidance given above will help you with this.

Don’t forget that you will need a license to operate your business radios, this can be acquired by reaching out to Ofcom. 2wayradionline.co.uk should be able to help you with your license application and your radios.

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F1 DRIVER COACHING VIA RADIO – WHAT IS AND IS NOT ALLOWED IN 2015

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As this article shows rules on what information can be relayed from the team to the driver over the radio have been restricted, it actually started last season and has been carried over.

Drivers racing the 2015 season will still be subject to the same radio message restrictions imposed by the FIA last year, with the governing body adding that a “a few more” may be included before the start of the season.

Last year, in response to a belief that information being relayed to drivers by engineers concerning performance was against the spirit of article 20.1 of the Sporting Regulations, which state that “the driver must drive the car alone and unaided”, the FIA contemplated a blanket ban on radio traffic between teams and drivers concerning car and driver performance.

However, following consultation with teams, officials modified their position, saying, at the Singapore Grand Prix, that it would delay restricting car performance messages until this season due to the complexity of introducing the ban at short notice and the potential for differing effects among teams. The FIA issued a revised advisory specifying a range of messages that would no longer be permitted.

According to an FIA spokesman the F1 Strategy Group has now ruled that the current restrictions are sufficient and that race officials will expect teams to continue to respect the technical directive issued in Singapore.

“The Strategy Group, from whom the original request to limit what messages could be delivered to the drivers, now feel that the balance is right by only limiting messages that can be considered driver “coaching”,” said the FIA spokesman. “Therefore, the only messages we will not permit are those listed in TD/041-14 from last year.”

He added, however, that there is still scope for further message types to be prohibited.

“We may add a few to this before the start of the season and re-issue the TD,” he said.

The issue of driver coaching is of particular relevance this year to teams such as Toro Rosso, who are fielding two rookies, including F1’s youngest driver, 17-year-old Max Verstappen.

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 14.33.35

Toro Rosso’s Franz Tost was strong opponent of the coaching ban, with the team boss saying last September that the changes contained in the technical directive.

“The changes are absolutely not necessary,” he said during the FIA’s press conference in Singapore.

“All the information the drivers get is also entertainment for the people in front of the TV to hear,” he added.

“For us of course it’s a big disadvantage because the more un-experienced the driver is there’s more information you have to give him.

“For me it’s absolutely nonsense what we are discussing here because in all the other kinds of sports a coach gives some informations, instructions to a football player, for example, on the sideline or wherever.

“This does not mean that the sportsman is not able to do his job, he can do his job, he does do his job, but maybe he can do it in a better way, it’s just a performance improvement. Therefore I don’t understand it.”

Under FIA technical directive TD/041 messages concerning the following are not permitted (either by radio or pit board)

           Driving lines on the circuit.

-           Contact with kerbs.

-           Car set up parameters for specific corners.

-           Comparative or absolute sector time detail of another driver.

-           Speeds in corners compared to another driver.

-           Gear selection compared with another driver.

-           Gear selection in general.

-           Braking points.

-           Rate of braking compared to another driver.

-           Rate of braking or application of brakes in general.

-           Car stability under braking.

-           Throttle application compared to another driver.

-           Throttle application in general.

           Use of DRS compared with another driver.

-           Use of any overtake button.

-           Driving technique in general.

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Concept Headphones That Won’t Get You Killed While Biking

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“EVERY SINGLE DAY, I see at least five or six people with headphones on while cycling,” says Gemma Roper. The designer and recent graduate of London’s Royal College of Art finds the habit a troubling distraction but also an understandable tactic of using music to soften a harsh daily commute.

The problem is that cyclists also need to stay alert to certain sounds in order to be safe while weaving through traffic. Riding is already dicey in London, Roper says, because the local infrastructure accommodates bus and car traffic over cyclists. The city has seen eight cyclist fatalities so far this year; last year, there were 13. Roper decided that music pumping through earphones shouldn’t contribute to the risk. Her Safe + Sound headphone design uses bone conduction to play tunes through wearers’ cheekbones, instead of directly into their eardrums, so they can still detect ambient noise.

Bone-conduction headphones work by playing soundwave vibrations on top of bones, which then transmit the waves into to the Cochlea, or inner ear, bypassing the delicate eardrum. It could work anywhere on the body but works best near the ear. The technique itself is old—Beethoven, who was deaf, crafted a crude conductive listening device by biting on a metal rod attached to his piano—and a few other headphone makers have rolled out models using the technology in recent years.

Roper’s Safe + Sound are made with cycling helmets in mind. Most of the bone-conduction headphones on the market are wrap around the ear (like these, and these), with nodes that rest more or less where a helmet strap would sit. Asking cyclists to layer up headgear is an uncomfortable and unreasonable ask. At the same time, making any modifications to the helmet that might deter a rider from wearing one is out of the question. So Roper created something that could clip onto to a helmet’s straps. While testing out the idea, she also found that asking cyclists to tote around two pairs of headphones will slow down adoption, so her buds convert into a regular pair of headphones; the modular bone-conducting pieces fit magnetically into a pair of gold muffs.

London has yet to pass a ban on wearing headphones while riding a bike, and only five states in the U.S. forbid the practice. For now, Roper’s design, a working prototype, could be the transitional object cyclists need before giving up their headphones cold turkey.

Wearing a headset or a pair of earphones whilst cycling is a dangerous game to play, particularly in busy cities. This headset from broadbandchoices.co.uk is a simple idea and more importantly is safe. 

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New Smart Cast Lenovo Phone Has a Built in Laser Projector

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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.

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10 Businesses That Benefit From Walkie Talkies

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Walkie talkies, or two-way radios, are no longer only meant for military and police use. Their usefulness and versatility has made them indispensable in a number of business environments, with units available that are handheld or built into vehicles. Although walkie talkies have a limited range, they are free to use and, as a result, cheaper to run than cell phones. Once handsets have been bought and paid for there are no monthly call charges. They are simple and easy to use, with most models featuring a push-to-talk button that allows the user to send messages, and a speaker to relay messages back to the user.

In general, a wide variety of businesses benefit from the use of walkie talkies. They are often used to enhance businesses’ health and safety practices, as public address (PA) systems, and to keep employees informed of urgent information throughout the course of the day. A discussion of 10 businesses that benefit from the use of walkie talkies follows. The benefits to these businesses may be similar to those of a wide range of other enterprises, and one can gain a clear idea of overlapping advantages for one’s own business. Two-way radios can be purchased online or from radio handset dealers.

1. Event Organizers and Convention Center Management

Special events and conventions are usually thronged with attendees and staff. The ability to find one’s staff or key contractors is crucial when organizing large events. For example, chairs can be rearranged or set up in a matter of minutes, or problems with the food delivery or service cleared up in a few moments. Better communication means fewer glitches. In addition, one can contact security or emergency services without any hassle when it is urgent, ensuring the safety and comfort of one’s staff and visitors. People will notice a well-organized event, and managing to present one with few hitches will lead to an increase in business through a well-deserved good reputation.

2. Farms

Farms of any size will benefit from two-way radios. Rural areas often have cellular dead spots where cell phones simply do not work as there is no coverage. In addition to this, workers are spread over a wide area, with teams or individuals attending to different tasks throughout the day. Using two-way radios means that workers can ask for help if they need it and everyone knows who is where and doing what. If a worker in a remote location finds an injured animal, help can be summoned quickly, without the worker needing to return to his or her base or to an area with cell phone reception. In addition, farming equipment is dangerous and can cause serious injuries that, if left untreated, could result in death. Carrying a walkie talkie means that one can shout for help in an emergency, even when working alone.

3. Hotels

A hotel requires a large staff for effective day-to-day operation and happy guests. Two-way radios can be used by just about the entire staff, from those performing reception duties to concierges, bell staff, and the security team. As with events management, the hospitality industry relies on effective communication to ensure that plans work out with a minimum of problems. If more discreet communications are required, staff can be equipped with headsets or earpieces.

4. Construction and Related Trades

On a construction site, walkie talkies are essential to inform a large number of people of crucial information immediately. In some cases, this can save lives. In addition, construction sites can be hazardous environments, and a fast response when a worker is injured could save his or her life. Time will also be saved looking for people and tools. Tradesmen on site can communicate with each other about specific jobs, integrating functions more easily.

5. Security

Security teams are only effective if they can communicate with each other without delay. Whether they are patrolling an empty building or working in a crowded shopping mall, guards need to keep in touch with each other for their own safety and to ensure the safety of the persons and property they are protecting. In addition to allowing security staff to keep in touch with each other, walkie talkies allow staff to stay in contact with a base or central office in order to request assistance from emergency personnel or police when needed. One should consider investing in earpieces to keep communication discreet, especially in crowded areas. Security staff that work in plain clothes, like store detectives, will benefit from wireless earpieces and discreet push-to-talk systems.

6. Retail Stores

To keep one’s customers happy one should provide the best customer service in the business. Enabling staff to communicate without leaving the sales floor means that the maximum amount of coverage is available without sacrificing efficient stock levels. Sales staff can contact warehouse staff to replenish stock levels or to swap damaged items with pristine ones. For an added layer of protection, staff can change channels to contact security staff if they observe suspicious behavior, or they can contact a cleaner to quickly clean up spills and remove trip hazards. Although employee turnover is generally high in retail, new staff will learn how to use radios in minutes due to their simple design.

7. Medical Offices

Nurses, doctors, and administrative staff can stay connected via walkie talkie to improve efficiency and eliminate running back and forth between the doctor’s office, the waiting room, treatment rooms, and supply rooms. In addition, clients will have the added peace of mind that a medical emergency will prompt a quick response. To keep client details secure and protect people’s privacy, earpieces or headsets can be used in public areas.

8. Car Dealerships

The success of a car dealership also hinges on customer service and customer satisfaction. People spend substantial amounts of money on new cars, and shoddy service will not inspire them to spend their money at one’s dealership. After all, one wants to be assured of excellent after-sales service when buying a car. If a customer wants to see a specific car in a specific color but that car is buried at the back of the lot, simply let a member of staff know that the car needs to be brought to the display area. Receiving great service will mean that customers gain trust in one’s business, making them more secure in their purchase. Happy customers offer the best form of advertising for one’s business, and excellent communication between staff members is the first step in keeping customers happy.

9. Caterers

While success in the catering industry relies heavily on providing excellent food, it is also affected by one’s customer service. Walkie talkies allow front of house serving staff to alert kitchen staff when food levels are running low, or when it is nearly time to start serving the next course. In addition, kitchen staff will know what is needed in a timely manner, meaning that customers’ needs are met quickly and efficiently. Supervisors can monitor channels to stay aware of issues and concerns as they arise, and resolve them as quickly as possible.

10. Warehouses

Warehouse staff is often loading and unloading vehicles, stacking shelving, retrieving orders, and shipping items or item lots. Because workers are on the move, keeping in touch in the maze of shelves can be a challenge. Good communication and an awareness of staff positions and tasks will help the warehousing operation run smoothly and efficiently, keeping workers productive. In addition, being in touch constantly means that people can ask for help in case of injury or emergency. Working in a warehouse around loading machinery means that workers are more at risk of injury.

Buying Walkie Talkies on eBay

Walkie talkies or two – way radios are listed in eBay’s Electronics department, under Radio Communications. Browse the selection available, using the menus to decrease the number of listings shown. Alternatively, type a keyword in the search box to search for a specific item, and use the advanced search function to narrow or expand your search. Remember to take a look at the listings in eBay Stores for a wider selection.

Meet the Seller

Before you buy on eBay, check out the seller. eBay’s seller feedback scheme is designed to let buyers purchase items with peace of mind. After each transaction is concluded, every buyer is encouraged to leave feedback about their eBay experience, including information about the quality of the products and the seller’s level of service. This information can be found by clicking on the number next to the seller’s user ID, but must be read with the number of sales the seller has completed. Also take the time to check the seller’s preferred payment methods to ensure that you can pay for the item you would like to buy. Never use an instant transfer method like MoneyGram or Western Union to pay someone you do not know. Lastly, check the seller’s terms and conditions of payments. Some offer a money back guarantee or free shipping, while some have returns policies in place like the ones offered by regular retailers. If you have any queries relating to a listing, use the “Ask a Question” link to ask the seller a question.

Conclusion

Walkie talkies will come in handy in any business with a number of employees spread out over a large area. A strong staff needs to stay in touch. Two-way radios are especially convenient in customer service and hazardous environments, or where the staff covers large distances. Two-way radios come in two basic designs, namely portable or handheld, and mobile or in-vehicle. The latter tends to be stronger than the handheld version. Before buying walkie talkies for one’s business one should make sure that one is aware of any FCC licensing requirements, and that the applicable requirements are met

This ebay article shows how versatile the walkie talkie is and how many different types of businesses rely on using this old type of communications for their business to run effectively.