Saturday, December 27, 2014
...Sadly, the UFO in question turned out to be only as extraterrestrial as a camera glitch.
Interviewed by The Huffington Post, Justin Maki, the main camera operator for the rover, said, "This is a hot pixel that has been around since we started using the Right Navcam (...) In the thousands of images we've received from Curiosity, we see ones with bright spots nearly every week, these can be caused by cosmic-ray hits or sunlight glinting from rock surfaces, as the most likely explanations."
As any photographer will tell you, âhot pixelsâ sometimes occur during long exposure shots. Such glitches are usually caused by the cameraâs sensors momentarily overheating (although they pose no danger to the camera equipment itself).
Amateur photographers occasionally mistake hot pixels for paranormal phenomena as well. In fact, the ghost website âPhotographing The Paranormal.comâ actually has a section on these little buggers. It warns potential ghost hunters that,
âA perfectly symmetric small red dot in your picture is probably nothing paranormal, especially if it is at the same spot in most of your pictures. Thatâs actually called a hot pixel, if you spot one, donât call the press!â
Older astronomy enthusiasts will no doubt be reminded of the discovery of the âMartian faceâ, a famous image captured by NASAâs Viking 1 orbiter in 1976.
Various theorists hurried to suggest that the âfaceâ was evidence of a long-lost Martian civilization (complete with âpyramidsâ and everything), but it was actually just a large formation, captured by the relatively low-resolution cameras of the 1970âs, that looked a bit like a face.
Modern images, of course, reveal nothing so grand. The âMartian Faceâ fiasco is now seen as an example of paraeidolia, a psychological phenomenon that sees people finding recognizable patterns in otherwise random sounds and images, examples of which include The Man in the Moon, Rorschach tests and those times when people see the faces of religious figures in ordinary household objects.
So it seems that there was no reason for us to get excited after all (except that pictures of Mars are unassailably cool).
...Of course, the conspiracy nutters are never going to buy it, but hey, what can you do?
A covert earpiece is a miniature earpiece worn by an individual while being effectively hidden from plain view. It operates as a radio accessory in times when a user does not want other people to know she or he is communicating with others using radio earbuds. Also known as an invisible earpiece or a surveillance earpiece, a covert earpiece is often worn by government agents, corporate security personnel, undercover law enforcement officers and corporate as well as government spies.
While many occupations require the use of a radio headset for communication, a covert earpiece is primarily used in instances where communication is of an extremely private and sensitive nature. This is common in cases of private security details and surveillance projects. Sometimes people also use a covert earpiece to defraud businesses and others. Examples of such instances would include someone using an invisible earpiece to cheat on an exam or to defraud a casino by receiving remote information while playing a game.
On-air television personalities may also use a covert earpiece, which is not distracting to viewers, but allows the person to hear relevant feedback from producers and engineers in order to make sure a taping or live appearance flows smoothly. Individuals may also wear a covert earpiece when making a public speech. By doing so, the speaker can receive important cues or changes in a speech without the audience even being aware that communication is taking place between someone located behind the scenes and the individual delivering the speech.
Some covert earpieces are accompanied by a discreet microphone, which enables two-way communication. These are commonly used by security forces with a need for such communication, particularly during surveillance operations. These types of accessories are not only convenient because they feature hands-free operation, but also because they allow undercover security forces to blend in with crowds without having to use a visible walkie-talkie system of communication.
A covert earpiece does not contain any visible wires and is designed to fit inside the ear without being noticeable to the general public. Some devices are even designed to fit on a pair of eyeglasses while amplifying sound inside a personâs ear. An inductive wire is sometimes worn around the personâs neck, but is covered by clothing so as not to be discovered by onlookers. This wire is not connected to the covert earpiece, but connects to a separate radio device that helps modulate sound.
Thursday, December 25, 2014
These are battery powered transceivers (it can send and receive a radio message). They operate on half-duplex channels. This implies that one device, on a single channel can transmit one signal at a time though many devices will be able to receive that signal. The radios are primarily designed for short-range communication and transmit signals directly to each other.
All walkie talkies have similar basic components that include a microphone, speaker, antenna, battery and the PTT button. All these features combine to make communication successful. These devices are designed to operate on particular radio frequencies. The United States has designated different frequencies to meet usersâ needs. The public are allowed to use the Family Radio Service (FRS) and the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS). The GMRS or FRS radios operate on the 460MHz range. The government has also set a side frequencies (the Business Band) that corporates can use (it ranges from 450 to 470MHz). Law enforcing agencies such as the police also have their own frequency so that there is no interference from public users. This is helps the agency to prevent their channels from overlapping with those of public users.
As already discussed above, the GMRS and FRS, frequencies are designated for public use. These channels overlap at particular frequencies even though radios that use such channels have several distinct differences.
The FRS radios have a fixed antenna. They are not quite powerful as their power is limited to about 0.5 watts. These features make their use limited to a small area. They are better suited to personal use as they only operate on the FRS bands.
The GMRS radios are more powerful and have a power of about 5 watts. They can also use repeaters to enhance their radio signals and thus boost their range.
There are many hybrid radios now that can be able to operate on both channels. However, only licensed operators are allowed to use the GMRS channel. This is because the GMRS walkie talkies are powerful enough to cause more interference.
Europe has restricted walkie talkies to PMR446 frequencies or those at just around 440MHz. It is illegal to use a radio operating on the PMR466 frequency on the GMRS or FRS channel. Therefore, if you are travelling from Europe to America, it is very important to make sure that your radio operates on the required frequency to avoid getting in trouble with the law.
From the discussion above, it is clear to see that their operation is restricted only by the frequency of the signal and not the brand. When one uses walkie talkies of the same brand, they are least likely to experience problems in signal transmission and reception as they are more similar in operation. However, this does not mean those using different brands will not communicate.
These radios are all about sending and receiving signals. Therefore, signals sent from one radio at a certain frequency can be received by another radio in that range.
What makes these gadgets stand out from cell phones is their simplicity. One does not need to dial any number to call, all you need to do is to push the PTT button when either reaching out to transmit or receiving a transmission. This applies regardless of the brand one has as they all have similar features as discussed earlier.
In conclusion, in more than one word, the evidence suggests that type of brand does not matter. Therefore, do all walkie talkies work together? Yes, they do.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Motorola Solutions and Safeer Integrated Systems Unveil the New TETRA Products & Solutions during the Motorola TETRA Roadshow
Safeer Integrated Systems (SIS), UAE's biggest and trusted name in the telecommunication industry and Motorola Solutions, market leaders providing telecommunication solutions, along with NEDAA Professional Communication Corporation , Dubai Network Operator Partner Professional Communication Corporation recently held the Motorola TETRA Solutions Roadshow at the prestigious Shangri-La Hotel in Dubai.
The roadshow showcased Motorola's new TETRA Products & Solutions and elaborated on how it offers secure, reliable and efficient communications customized to meet the needs of all customers. The roadshow discussed in details the Motorola TETRA Radios & Accessories, third party applications for Motorola TETRA technology and the New Motorola TETRA releases.
Abdulla Al Falasi, Director Commercial Affairs, NEDAA stated "Motorola / Safeer Roadshow confirms the "Nedaa" uninterrupted endeavors to provide the latest to its valuable clients, a matter that indicates the keenness of the pioneer national Corporation to bring the latest global technologies to the UAE Market and to meet all the needs of its dealers by providing devices of high-value and quality, which are easy to use".
SAFEER has been the solution integrator for Motorola Solutions for over twenty years. One of their most recent accomplishments is the installation of Motorola TETRA system at the biggest automated port in the world, such as DP World
Jihad Sulaiman, General Manager, Safeer Integrated Systems said "Recognizing the importance & strategic role of Nedaa as Professional Communication Corporation in providing one unified communication network, SAFEER Integrated Systems is proud of being a key contributor to Nedaa continuous endeavors in pursuit of excellence in the telecom industry"
Amer Achour, Sales Manager, Safeer Integrated Systems also added "UAE is no doubt one of the most competitive markets in the telecom industry; however we are confident that with our current strategies and partners we will ascend SAFEER to even a higher level"
Aside from the representatives of SAFEER, Motorola Solutions and NEDAA, the roadshow was attended by officials from Dubai Police, Dubai Airport, DEWA, Dubai Civil Defense, DP World, and Protocol Department typically use such products and solutions during their operations.
Monday, December 22, 2014
In a column celebrating 'Inception' actress Ellen Page actually coming out as gay, Czyzselska wrote "some gay people, such as Sir Patrick Stewart, think Page's coming out speech is newsworthy because a high-profile and surprisingly politically aware young actress has decided not to play by the rules that so many closeted Hollywood actors are advised to follow if they are to enjoy mainstream success,"
It just so happens that the 73-year-old Shakespearean actor, best known for his roles as Professor Charles Xavier in the 'X-Men' movies and as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the TV series 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' and its companion films - isn't gay.
In fact, Stewart has been married - to Women - three times, most recently in September of last year, when he married American jazz singer Sunny Ozell. He also has two children from a previous marriage.
The Guardian rushed to correct its mistake, adding an addendum at the bottom of the page, but Stewart didn't seem to mind a bit.
"It makes a nice change" tweeted Stewart in response to the 'outing'. "At least I didn't wake up to the Internet telling me I was dead again". At the time of writing, that post has been 'retweeted' 1,181 times.
For those who don't know, Sir Patrick Stewart is a huge supporter of LGBT rights. He vocally supports gay marriage and was even given the 2013 'Straight Ally of The Year Award' from PFLAG.
Fellow 'Star Trek' star William Shatner joined in the fun, Tweeting, "I never get that kind of coverage! I'm jealous!"
The confusion may have arisen because Sir Patrick's best friend is openly gay actor Sir Ian McKellen. If that was the case, Stewart tweeted this response: "I have, like, five or even SEVEN hetero friends and we totally drink beer and eat lots of chicken wings!" Is it just me, or is it impossible to read the above quote without hearing Captain Picard's voice in your head?
On a more serious note, Stewart has often spoken about civil rights, he once said, "From my earliest years as an actor I have always been proud of the support the creative community gives to all forms of human and civil rights,"
In fact, Patrick Stewart is no stranger to fighting the good fight, the actor has been a vocal opponent of domestic violence (working with Amnesty International) and he is also a patron for Refuge, a UK-based charity for abused Women.
... And no, he isn't dead.
the origin of the article is here
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Depending on how you look at it, this is either tantalizing âfantasy film makingâ or else an utterly horrible, cash-in exercise in Hollywood excess. Whatever your viewpoint, it does seem likely that someone, somewhere will try this in the near future.
About three years ago, the news broke that George Lucas, the genius behind the âStar Warsâ merchandise (and a couple of related movies), was buying up the likeness rights to a plethora of iconic, yet deceased, leading men and famous actresses from Hollywoodâs golden age. His plan? To use a concoction of existing footage, CGI and motion capture to create reasonable facsimiles of classic Hollywood stars and have them appear in future films, despite the notable handicap of being, well, dead.
Initially, it was just for one project, but it raised the prospect of other films being made, as well as a number of interesting philosophical issues.
The majority of critics reacted negatively to the notion of these âFranken-filmsâ, some saying that the magic of an individual acting performance would be notably absent in the films, others upset that the actors themselves could potentially âstarâ in projects that they may not have supported in life.
It really must be said, however, that blockbuster movies like 2009âs âAvatarâ and 2011âs âRise of the Planet of the Apesâ already received plaudits for their use of motion capture techniques and CGI âactingâ. It is an accepted part of modern cinema, like it or not.
Lest we forget, George Lucasâ own âStar Warsâ films also featured a number of purely CG characters. In our era, we are becoming very used to CG characters; even CG versions of real actors are commonplace. It really isnât a huge leap of imagination (or available technology) to foresee deceased stars headlining blockbusters once again.
We are also living in a world that specializes in the glorification of deceased idols and recycled imagery (take a look at this monthâs music magazines and count how many times you see Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain or other dead stars on the covers). Look at the movie magazines as they feature young DeNiro as Travis Bickle, or Ray Liotta as Henry Hill. We, as consumers, are being conditioned to expect our stars to be able to do anything we can imagine, including coming back from the dead.
Why we want it:
The questionhere, to at least some degree, is âdo we want it?â but for now, Iâm going to be positive and assume that we do...
Bringing classic actors back to âlifeâ would be a daring and controversial decision and would inspire all kinds of debates. It would also, no doubt, stimulate the film industry by providing literally hundreds of thousands of new prospects, pairings and casting choices.
On the downside, it would probably create an updated version of the old Hollywood studio system that would likely prove to be a legal nightmare involving no small amount of heartache for the families of the stars being featured. It could also have the negative effect of holding down upcoming talent.
However, many Hollywood actors do what they do for a shot at immortality and this is, frankly, the closest that they are likely to get to that goal. It would not surprise me at all if âlikeness rightsâ contracts started containing an âafter deathâ clause that specified use of the actorâs image in posthumous film projects.
Culturally speaking, in a world where dead musicians like Hendrix and 2Pac routinely release albums and where popular music is dominated by the âsamplingâ (and in some cases, outright theft) of other works, or where film texts constantly, almost obsessive-compulsively, reference each other (in whantat has become the intertextual equivalent of an M.C Escher drawing), rehashing the stars of the past seems like an obvious choice.
Dead icons could spice up Hollywood by adding controversy, class and bankability to the summerâs contrived blockbuster selection. Plus, all their skeletons, secrets and shameful actions are already a matter of public record, so thereâs no ill-timed revelatory âgossipâ thatâs going to rear up and threaten the production.
Even those who oppose the making of such movies will still have to watch them in order to write the requisite bad reviews, this simply proves the old adage that controversy generates cash.
When can we expect it?
Oh snap, it already happened. In the year 2000, actor Oliver Reed sadly died during the filming of Ridley Scottâs âGladiatorâ. In order for him to finish what would become his final role, the VFX team created a CG âmaskâ of Reedâs face and used a body double to complete their film.
Remember that car advert with Steve McQueen? It has already begun.
Real, workable CGI stars are already a reality, but the technology does not yet exist to create a completely CG James Dean for a sequel to âRebel Without a Causeâ. Iâd give it maybe 10-20 years before we start seeing the stars in respectful, tasteful cameo roles, or else old actors performing alongside their younger selves. After that, itâll be 3-5 years before we see the screen idols like Errol Flynn, Clark Gable and Grace Kelly headlining movies again.
Cool factor 3/5 â" It really depends on how these âstarsâ are handled. The results could, potentially, be beautiful codas to a starâs career (which is how they could be sold to the audience), but they could also be horribly insulting, denigrating the work of great actors and actresses. Time is going to tell, as usual...
the source of this post is here
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Friday, June 13, 2014
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Sunday, May 4, 2014
Commonly, the apple ipad Mini is ok for viewing movies (as well as doing basically everything else). The processing power is about the same as a apple ipad 4, so there is no real difficulty there and the playback is usually as easy just as one android’s bottom (Star Trek joke).
The only real concern with the iPad Mini may be the lack of a ‘Retina Display’, the stunning display tech featured on apple ipad 3 – 4, iPod Touch (4th – 5th Gen) and iPhone 4 – 5 (among the rest). The apple ipad Mini does suffer a little with the deficit of a Retina Screen, however it’s probably not a problem.
There is, evidently, the matter of that 16GB apple ipad Mini struggling to store information, however, but that’s mostly common sense
Gareth Beavis, in the authorized ‘TechRadar.com’ appraisal of the Ipad mini, said:
“The iPad mini suffers from the same thing that all the other iPads do: namely that the 16GB version, which is the poster child of the new cut-size range, is too small to really pack with the movies and apps that you want”.
He followed on to talk about the iPad Mini’s lack of file compatibility. This is, as far as I’m concerned, the Mini’s largest disadvantage as the media tablet.
“There’s the other issue here: the lack of file compatibility. The iPad mini will play .mp4 files fairly easily, but if you fancy chucking on a DivX or AVI option then that’s out of the question. There are third party applications you can use, but these can be extremely buggy and cost extra to put on your tablet…But that’s the griping out of the way – as a video player, the iPad mini is excellent. It’s just the right size and weight to hold two-handed in landscape mode, and if you’re OK with it not feeling as secure in one hand, a decent heft to hold with a single set of digits”.
I feel that Beavis provides a pretty good rundown of the positives and negatives.
In a different place, the Head of Tech on the Daily Telegraph, Shane Richmond, addressed the smaller screen size in the review, when he wrote,
Additionally, the 7″ size in fact makes the apple ipad Mini easier to hold when watching a film; the device really uses its petite stature for a bonus. Moreover, the screen remains to be above sufficient. Devindra Hardawar, of ‘Venture Beat.com’, wrote,
“Movies and games don’t look as sharp as they do on Retina Display-equipped iPads, but it’s a more than worthy tradeoff. It takes a discerning eye to notice the benefits of Apple’s Retina Display, but anyone can immediately recognize how much more convenient the iPad mini is. (And naturally, that’s a problem that will be fixed in future models when Apple brings Retina Display quality to the iPad Mini.)”
All things measured, the apple ipad Mini is ok for watching films, but I personally recommend you opt for the tablet with additional storage space (and also that you keep in mind the file type limitations of that iPad Mini).
can be found on my blog
Monday, April 7, 2014
Monday, March 17, 2014
It has been said that using headphones increases the bacteria levels in your ears over 700 times.
To whatever degree this somewhat alarming statistic is true or false is, quite frankly, virtually impossible to determine. Put simply, there are just too many variables in the equation. Issues arise like ‘how many other people have used the headphones (are they shared devices like audio museum tours)?’ ‘How much bacteria is in the average person’s ear in the first place?’ or even ‘where are the headphones stored when not in use?’
All of these questions (and many, many more) would need satisfactory answers before we could start picking our way toward a definitive answer. According to our old friend Cecil Adams of www.straightdope.com, the ‘700 times’ factoid has its origins in a 1992 study in which experts measured bacteria found on 20 headsets of the type used by commercial airlines. According to Adams, the amount of microorganisms present on the ‘phones increased by 11 times, not 700 (as is often reported). A year later, the New York Times ran an article that is, according to Adams, the root of the old ‘700 times’ bit.
However, it should also be said that many different kinds of bacteria are vital to living organisms like us and, at any given time, there is an almost indescribably huge level of bacteria operating in your body. Yes, there is an increase in your in-ear bacteria if you use headphones, but it’s really not much different from the bacteria levels you encounter in your day-to-day life.
You may worry that this increase in bacteria can be damaging to your health (that is, after all, a reasonable concern). However, unless you suffer from regular ear infections, or any other easily aggravated ear-related ailments, the answer is a pretty definitive ‘no’.
Maybe if you dangle your headphones in the toilet before use, or get a flu-riddled relative to cough on them, you may have some trouble, but otherwise, the content of your ear is likely to be far more bacteria-friendly than the contents of your pockets (where the headphones are usually kept before use – if I’m any guide, that is).