How Do Passive Noise Cancelling Headphones Work

It is quite unfortunate that for most music lovers, there is a myriad of ambient noises and sounds that can really interfere with the music coming from your earphones, Now, if you have ever once tried to listen to music on a bus, train or airplane, then you are intimately familiar with this problem. The engine’s roar and/or the incessant chatter from fellow passengers, make extremely hard to hear the sounds coming from your speakers, even if they are on or inside your ear. Fortunately, to combat this dilemma, innovators have come up with far more enjoyable way of listening to your music- Noise canceling headphones of which there are two types:

- the active- the passive types.

HOW PASSIVE NOISE CANCELLATION WORKS

The simplest type of noise cancellation is the passive noise reduction, sometimes called noise isolation. From a technical perspective, just about any kind of earphones are able to provide some degree of passive noise reduction (though some are designed for it more than others). This is mostly as a result of the materials used to make the headphones which block out particular sound waves, mostly those of a higher frequency. The absolute best type of passive noise canceling headphones are however the circum-aural types which are specifically engineered to maximize the amount of noise it filters. We will take a look at this some more in a bit. Essentially, where passive noise isolation, the head phones are so designed that they will fit snugly into or around each ear. This makes it significantly harder for noise to escape and bother others in your immediate environment, and it also prevents the noise in your environment from making it hard for you to listen to your music. Passive noise cancellation earphones tend to have very large ear pieces, with large pieces of foam wrapped around them. You need to squeeze the foam into your ear which them provides a perfect seal for the ear canal, or they fit just right around your ear.

All this is saying that passive noise cancelling earphones in essence imitate what happens when you choose to cover your ears with your hands or put some ear plugs in. The excess padding is always done with materials that naturally act as sound barriers- fitting into your ear and sealing off the ambient noise.

Supra-aural headphones, which are earphones placed over and around the ear, instead of in or around it, are probably the very worst at any form of sound cancellation. They tend to be low density, small and very light, as such there is really not much padding to block and outside sound or ambient noise from entering the ear. Furthermore, because they are only placed on the ear, there is a great deal of space for any external noise to travel around them and into the ear canal. It is on very rare occasions that you actually find a top quality supra-aural earphone, because they are simply unable to provide the kind of noise cancellation that circumaural or in ear headphones provide. Supra-aural earphones are lightly manufactured and as such are usually marketed for customers who are not particularly focused on headphone quality, but mostly looking for basic functionality.

Take for instance, most desktop or video game headsets tend to be supra-aural. They are mostly preferred because they are light and as such are suitable for the long, extended hours they will be used. Additionally, in cases like these audio quality is not of great importance since it they are mostly used for spoken communication, where clarity is the focus and nothing else really matters.

When it comes to passive noise cancelling headphones, circumaural or around the ear headphones provide a significantly better noise cancellation quality. They are bigger in size and as such they include more noise reduction material. This in turn creates a far better buffer against outside noise- think beats headphones. Essentially this means that they are heavily packed with layers of high top quality high density foam,, or some other sound absorbing material. Admittedly, this then makes them a bit heavier than the average headphones, but since they completely block the ear off, they keep out up to 95% of outside noise. Well, this is assuming that the circumaural earphones you choose, fit your ears snugly. If they are either poorly designed or not the perfect fit then ambient noise will still be able to make its way in.

In Your Dreams: Bloke Dreams About Winning The Lottery, Actually Manages It …But Then Has To Give Half Of It Away…

Back in 2012, Fatih Ozcan, a waiter working at the Kucukkoylu Turkish restaurant in York, apparently experienced a prophetic dream which involved him holding huge bundles of cash in both hands, whilst his boss, Hayati Kucokkoylu (either the restaurant is named after him or its an amazing coincidence) was standing in front of him.

Mr. Ozcan interpreted this dream as meaning that, if he played the lottery with his boss’ money, he’d win huge bundles of cash.

…Well, he was half right.

At work the next day, Mr. Ozcan pestered his boss to buy a few ‘Euromillions’ tickets, using money from the till. The boss eventually relented, suggested some numbers and gave him some cash.

…Amazingly, Ozcan later checked his ticket to find that he had won a Million quid.

When Fatih told Hayati of his fortunes, the boss decreed that all of the money was, in fact, his by right, as his money had paid for the majority of the tickets. Ozcan, for his part, was having none of it, and a major falling out occurred between the two men.

Eventually, the argument ended up going to court, where a judge (with apparently more sense than either man combined), decreed that the winnings should be shared 50/50 between the man that had supplied the ticket and the man that had paid for it.

Sounds fair, right? I mean both men still get a £500,000 payday out of it.

In summary, the waiter had the dream, stumped up a little cash and picked a few numbers. The restaurant manager donated the most cash (the princely sum of £9) and also picked a few numbers himself.

It really isn’t rocket science. 50/50 seems pretty fair to me…

Apparently that wasn’t the end of the debacle, though, as Kucukkoylu appealed the decision and took the issue to the London Civil Appeals Court, in the hopes of walking away with the full Million.

This month, after three years of legal wrangling, yet another judge told him to ‘bugger off and stop being so bloody greedy’ (albeit probably using more fancy language than that). The judge then declared that the fairest course of action was (you guessed it) to split the money 50/50, which pretty much any reasonable person would have already done anyway.

According to Kucukkoylu, he chose the numbers and paid for the ticket and thus, the money should rightly be his, however, without his employee having the dream in the first place, he never would have bought a ticket.

The really pathetic part of this story is that neither man appears to be happy with getting a £500,000 payday – and thus both saw fit to fight over it in court for three years, presumably spending loads on their legal fees.

…Seriously, where’s the logic?

Its hard to decide whether these men are simply greedy and stupid, or just stupid and greedy. Either way, it isn’t good.

As for the (presumably now fired) waiter – let’s just hope any dreams about seven fat customers devouring seven lean ones turn out to simply be a case of eating too much cheese before bed!

Formula One Pit Crews Embrace 3D Printed Noise Cancelling Earpieces From Minerva Hearing

The sound of a racing motor at full throttle is a singularly powerful noise. While changes in Formula One motors, from V8s to the turbocharged 1.6-liter V6 motors of this season, mean they generate 15,000 RPM, which is 3,000 RPM less than last year, and though the smaller engines have made them significantly quieter, they’re still loud.

Now that scientists are warning people around the world of the dangers of prolonged exposure to high levels of noise, a Welsh company is using 3D printing to create earplugs to prevent hearing damage to everyone from musicians to Formula One mechanics.599468_513770338658254_1536909041_n

As a point of reference, you can tolerate the noise generated as you ride in a car – around 85 dB – for about 8 hours before hearing damage begins to occur. An average motorcycle generates 95 dB, and you can take about 47 minutes of that, and a loud rock concert can pound out 115 dB.

While the new generation of F1 cars creates some 80 dB of sound, the old V10-based cars pumped out 130 dB. At a level of 128 dB, your hair can actually begin to detect vibration from sound, and at those levels, hearing can be altered in a matter of seconds. A very small hand grenade or bomb can create up to 210 dB.

All this is important as one part of the inner ear, the cochlea, contains some 17,000 small hair cells called stereocilia which float inside cochlear fluid. When sound waves enter the cochlea, the stereocilia move, and that triggers an electrical impulse in the auditory nerve. The nerve passes those electrical impulses to the brain where they’re decoded as “sounds.”

Here’s the problem: once damaged, stereocilila don’t grow back.

Kevin Davies, operations director at Minerva Hearing Protection in Cardiff, Wales, says his company’s custom hearing protection devices built with 3D printing technology have been used for everything from providing protection for the pit crews on the F1 circuit to musicians on stage.

The products are custom molded to an individual’s ear canal to completely eliminate external sounds, and they’re formed in 3D printed hard acrylic. The earplugs feature tiny, built-in acoustic filters which take into account the natural response of the ear.IF

“With Formula cars producing volumes over 100dB under race conditions, multiplied many times over in a busy Grand Prix pit lane, the need for hearing protection as well as safe communication are paramount,” Davies says. “We have been working with the majority of Formula 1 teams over the past three years, and we are really proud to be part of a world that demands the highest standards of engineering technology.”

The devices are made from a soft, medically-approved silicone, and they can also be made from a firmer acrylic material which can be plated in silver, gold, or titanium.

The production process begins with a technician making an impression of a client’s outer ear canal, and then pouring in liquid silicon. The resulting molds are then digitized for input into a 3D printer, and the company says it produces more than 4,000 ear pieces per week. Davies says 3D printing technology has advanced well beyond simply the ability to produce prototypes.

1889080_698346236867329_8772122851610298217_oThe company has produced more than one million 3D printed products at their Cardiff manufacturing center. Minerva was one of the first companies to embrace additive manufacturing as a commercial proposition, and Davies says they acquired their first 3D printer in 2004 “at a cost in excess of $150,000.” They also receivedMHRA approval for medical-grade resin they use to 3D manufacture the ear-pieces.

“Having been one of the first UK producers to take the plunge and switched over entirely to this form of additive manufacturing, we believe we have proven the case for 3D printing as a serious manufacturing process,” Davies says. “It has well and truly arrived as a cost-effective and efficient production technology that brings us many advantages, and has truly stepped out of its technological novelty phase of recent years. We will continue to invest in new and improved 3D systems ensuring our products stay at the leading edge of our field.”

Davies says 3D printing technology has also helped Minerva produce over 8,000 variations of color and materials, and he adds that in-ear monitors and ear plugs are now laser-printed with logos, names, or images according to a customer’s preference.

Additional InformationAs we see the advent of 3D printers we will see more and more products that are relatively expensive to produce in small quantities and to see one of the most technologically advanced sports using this shows that it will have a bright future, you can find the original source of the article here

What are the different types of Radio Headphones?

Like most people you may think that you can only listen to a radio via the traditional means. Introducing the element of headphones for radio can however change all that. Radio headphones can be used by different types of people particularly to listen to a radio. Still you have to consider several factors to determine the effectiveness, functionality and general efficiency of a given earpiece. When selecting headphones for radio, you would want to choose those that only pick AM and FM frequencies for listening purposes. But where you also want to talk over the radio, then you would require a headphone that allows for two-way communication. Such headphones usually come as headsets complete with miniature speakers plus a microphone.

Most headphones for radio are often larger if you compare them to other models commonly used. Comfort can therefore be an issue that you can grapple with. For a gratifying listening experience as a user, lightweight headphones or those that are easier to wear will suit you better. Sound quality is also another key factor that you should consider. This is because the headphone you pick will determine whether the audio sound you are receiving is coming distinctly without static or other forms of interference. The added advantage with most radio earpieces is that they are designed in such a way that they can cancel noise. Depending on what your preference is, this property may or may not be beneficial to you.

There are basically two types of headphones for radio, the 2-way and the AM/FM headphones. The 2 way headphone comes as headset and will only suit you if you want to establish a hands-free radio communication. Otherwise, for listening purposes only, the AM/FM radio headphones allows you to tune into radio channels and listen to music. They may look similar to the communication headsets in term of construction and appearance but they serve a very different purpose which is to listen to audio sounds.

Most headphones for radio are larger than common units. Therefore, they are heavier and bulkier too which can cause you some level of discomfort especially if you are using them for the first time. As mentioned earlier, a lightweight earpiece will not only work best for you but will also fit perfectly over your ears and not irritate them or the side of your face. If you must wear the headphones for hours, then this is an important factor that you should not overlook.

With the best headphones for radio, the sound has to be clear enough without static interference. If there is interference, it should be minimal. For both communication and listening purposes, then you would want to consider a 2-way headphone that allows for both incoming and outgoing audio sound. Communication headphones must produce clear sounds when you talk into the speaker. To hear other people accurately, the sound from the earmuffs also have to be distinct.

Also bear in mind that as with all audio devices or components, the sound quality on the headphone is an important feature. This is because it will determine the type of earpiece you should choose for easy listening. If you are mostly concerned with the incoming sound quality, then headphones that pick up AM/FM frequencies will work best for you.

Since most headphones for radio have noise-cancelling features, there won’t be much interference while using them. This is because they have larger earmuffs which will prevent noise from interfering with the incoming audio sound. This will not only maintain the audio quality but will also provide for a rewarding listening experience. Noise-cancelling devices can however be hazardous especially if you are working in a construction site or any other related situation. Using headphones for radio in such environments will only expose you to potential dangers. That is why it is essential that you choose a style of earpiece depending on the environment in which you plan to use it.

As much as radio headphones are made with varying audio reproduction capabilities, the best will prevent other people from hearing the same sound thereby promoting privacy or disturbance especially in public places. Their quality is also unrivalled by loudspeakers of similar cost. Remember to limit the volume level as well because blaring audio sounds may cause temporary or even permanent hearing impairment.

ICC World Cup 1999: South Africa coast to win over India and there is tumult in ear-piece

May 15, 1999.  The atmosphere was touched with merriment and bonhomie as India took on South Africa at Hove in just the second match of the tournament. And before a rather anticlimactic 47th over of the second innings, the match was a close, tense affair. Arunabha Senguptaremembers the day when a superb game of cricket was needlessly marred by an ear-piece controversy and an inebriated fan.

Spoiler alert

It was Lance Klusener who spoiled the fun in the end.

The match had been close, keenly contested. The Indian innings had seen controlled aggression, scientific pace setting. The South African chase had been crafted with care, the race between the balls remaining and runs required a neck and neck affair, none gaining on the other, all the indications pointing to a near dead heat as the finish line approached.

India had rejoiced. Jacques Kallis, his mastery providing the plinth on which the South African innings was built, had just been sent back by a Venkatesh Prasad throw from the deep.  The match had been poised on the edge of a knife,  with 27 required off 26 balls.  Traditional tight limited- overs fare.

And then Klusener had walked in, taken guard and bludgeoned the first three balls he faced for boundaries. It had been unfair. Two teams had contested on level playing field and suddenly a man had entered busy batting in another dimension.  The wire had not even been in sight when the game had ended, the Proteas had won with as many as 16 balls to spare.

The City of Princes

It was Hove, the home of willow wielding Indian princes who had turned out for Sussex. There had been the genius of Ranji , the elegance of Duleep and the ephemeral promise of Pataudi. As the memories lingered and expats flocked  in on the Saturday, the modern heroes did not put on a bad show.

Sourav Ganguly, on his 100th appearance for the country, stroked the ball fluently, drives flowing like fizz amidst the festivity. And once he took time off from the crisp off side strokes to dance down the wicket and clobber Nicky Boje out of the ground.

Sachin Tendulkar did not make many, but his five boundaries delighted onlookers. Rahul Dravid added 130 with Ganguly, reviving memories of the day at Lord’s just three summers ago when the two had made their smmultaneous Test debuts with strokes echoing around the world.

India perhaps should have got more, but Allan Donald was excellent with his line and aggressive with his speed. Ganguly turned nervous and sluggish as he approached his hundred and took on the arm of Johnty Rhodes to be run out five short of the landmark. And the rest of the batting did not really distinguish themselves in the slog overs.  The score read 253 in 50 overs, but in 1999 that was not a bad total on the board.

Remote control captaincy

The drama during the innings was played out beyond the 22 yards as well. The South African coach Bob Woolmer, that advocate of scientific innovation in the game, was experimenting with technology. Captain Hansie Cronje and ace bowler Donald both wore ear pieces, and Woolmer was busy communicating with them as they took the field.

In the box meant for officials, match referee Talat Ali was far from amused. When the drinks were brought out, Ali came out fuming and confronted the coach. The experiment had been a partial success, but now Ali clamped down on it. Later ICC ruled against such advice dispensing  devices for the rest of the tournament.

Classic Kallis

As South Africa started their response, a charged up Javagal Srinath ran in to send down a furiously fast first spell. The speed gun surprised one and all. The Indian speedster was bowling as fast as Donald. And he fired out the openers as well.

Herschelle Gibbs was struck on the pads, on the knee  roll with the ball swinging a long way. There were enough doubt, but one had to budget for Steve Bucknor. A long wait was followed by the raise of the finger.  The other opener, Gary Kirsten, tried to send an express delivery through the covers and was bowled off  the inside edge.

It was 22 for two, and another wicket could  have increased the pressure exponentially. Indeed, with the South African think-tank using Mark Boucher as a pinch- hitter, such an eventuality was definitely on the cards. But on this day the move came off. Srinath started straying in line, more in length, and Boucher pulled him for two boundaries before sending one spiralling over the wicket-keeper’s head for six. Anil Kumble bowled him with a googly,  but the quickfire 34 had got the Proteas moving.

And at the other end, Kallis had settled down. Two drives, played square of the wicket with minimum effort, spoke of genuine class. Darryl Cullinan slogged against his phobia of leg-spin and got four off Kumble. A couple of drives flowed off the medium pacers. South Africa were past 100, the partnership looking just a tad threatening.

Skipper Mohammad Azharuddin chucked the ball to Ganguly. Cullinan tried to lift him towards the vast open spaces of the on side. The leading edge took it to point. The man from Kolkata was ecstatic. It was 116 for four. India had the advantage.

But, they needed another wicket. And they had run out of quality bowling. Robin Singh, Ganguly and Tendulkar tred their best but were not really ideal men to create pressure and opportunities. Srinath ran in for another spell and sprayed it far too short or way too down the leg. Kallis helped himself to calm boundaries. Cronje played a brisk little cameo. The balls remaining never quite lagged behind the runs required.

Ajit Agarkar, less than impressive through most of his spell, sent down a short delivery. Cronje pulled it in the air and Ajay Jadeja plucked out an athletic catch at mid-wicket. The equation read 74 off 68 when Rhodes entered. And immediately he started pushing the ball into the gaps and haring down the wicket.

Kallis and Rhodes pushed the score along. Singles were there for the taking, many converted into twos, and there were enough boundary balls in between. The stand amounted to 47, off just 42 balls. And then Kallis slashed Srinath to third man. Rhodes scampered up and down, and sprinted up again. Kallis, uncertain, hesitating, hovered midway between yes and no, and Prasad’s throw to the bowler’s end caught him well short. 27 required off 26 balls.  And  we already know what happened next.

The tornado

Rhodes took a single, Srinath ran in again, and Klusener bludgeoned him for four.

22 remained to be scored off 24 balls. Agarkar had the ball. And the match virtually ended in the course of that over. Rhodes cracked him for four, and repeated the stroke. A single came next. Klusener squared up. Agarkar ran in. Whack. Four. Whack. Four. It was merciless. The strokes were too powerful. The boundaries too short. The fielders too few. The over cost 17.

And then just to end it quickly, Rhodes lofted Prasad over mid on for another boundary. 27 had been required off 26 balls when the two had come together. They had got them in 10. The Indians, spirited and determined till the 45th over, suddenly looked as if hit by a tornado.

The Aftershock

They were jogging off the field, morose and disappointed, when the traditional Indian fan appeared. Big,  boorish, inebriated, without whatever rudimentary sense he might have possessed when sober. He was obviously feeling let down by the team, who had not managed to win it for him while he had guzzled his beer.

He snatched at Azharuddin’s shirt, and the captain shook him off. And then his eyes fell on Dravid. His lumbering hulking form made towards the Indian batsman and rammed into him. Dravid was shoved off his course.

Unfortunately for this splendid specimen of Indian cricket fandom, the man immediately behind Dravid was Prasad — tall, well-built, and with the mindset of a fast bowler. Prasad’s eyes grew fierce. He glowered at the guy, charged at him, and did unto him as the oaf had done unto his teammate. The brute tottered, toppled and fell in the arms of pursuing policemen.

The well-fought match had to wind up with this bitter after-taste. But that has so often been the story of Indian cricket.

Brief Scores:

India 253 for 5  in 50 overs (Sourav Ganguly 97, Rahul Dravid 54; Lance Klusener 3 for 66) lost to South Africa 254 for 6 in 47.2 overs (Mark Boucher 34, Jacques Kallis 96, Johnty Rhodes 39) by 4 wickets with 16 balls to spare.

Man of the Match: Jacques Kallis.

Source - http://www.cricketcountry.com/articles/icc-world-cup-1999-south-africa-coast-to-win-over-india-and-there-is-tumult-in-ear-piece-254169

220-Year-Old Time Capsule Finally Opened This Year

A home made time capsule thought to be over 220 years old was opened in Boston, Massachusetts, USA earlier this month.

The brass box was originally buried in 1795 in a cornerstone of Boston’s State Capitol Building. It is thought that Paul Revere, the famous American Patriot, silversmith and metalworker was responsible for placing it there, along with US Founding Father Samuel Adams.

Due to the age of the capsule, it took an hour for experts to access the contents of the box. Once the lid had been carefully removed, officials found a copy of the Boston Daily newspaper, two dozen gold and silver coins, various documents and a metal plate engraved by Revere (who was also a famous engraver).

The engraving is likely to be of special interest to some, as Revere’s work is very highly prized in the United States.

For those unfamiliar with the name, Paul Revere is considered to be a hero of the American Revolution. He is depicted in statues and even has several towns named after him. The company he founded, The Revere Copper Company, still produces copper products to this day.

Samuel Adams, for his part, was a leader in the movement that ultimately became the American Revolution, and also served as Governor of Massachusetts in the 1790’s. Many historians consider him to be the father of the American Revolution.

This time capsule is especially significant because it was originally buried by two such notable men, both of whom were obviously interested in leaving something for future Americans to experience and enjoy.

It is believed that the box was first discovered in 1855 and that its contents were disturbed then before being reburied. As a result of this earlier opening, some of the coins had suffered erosion. However, for the most part, the capsule’s contents appeared to have aged fairly well.

Marcel Comeau, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Archive and Commonwealth Museum, told local news affiliate wsiltv.com that, “We as custodians have an awesome responsibility, the protection and preservation of these materials. They’ve been entrusted to us by generations past, so generations in the future can see them as well,”

Officials at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston have said that the box, together with its contents, would be put on display for a limited time, before being resealed in the cornerstone for future generations to enjoy.

How Do Ear Defenders Work?

Are you working in a very noisy environment? Do you find yourself under very loud working conditions? Then, you definitely need the best Ear Defender in order to keep your hearing system unaffected by the surrounding noise.

People can get short of hearing and even deafness if they work in noisy work conditions for long and even short terms. Thus, using a hearing protection aid is a must for them. If you are a professional music player, you need to fit electronic devices like Apple iPod or MP3 style players with your ears. The noises from these headphones can damage your ears and your hearing power can be reduced.

Thus, you need to use the noise reducing headphones for these purposes. These types of devices are also known as the ear defenders, How Do Ear Defenders Work? This can be a first question in your mind.

How the Ear Defenders Work?

The noise reducing or noise cancelling headphone ear defenders work in two major ways. The first one is that these are usually designed to perfectly fit over the years with a thickly padded outer layer.

This layer acts as a physical barrier and blocks the high noise frequencies very effectively of the surrounding environment. These types of headphones are a bit bulky but these are highly effective ear defenders. These headphones are also commonly used in the noisy construction industries and perform very well.

This device leaves the low frequency noises and these get away through the physical barrier portion of the noise reducing headphone. There is a very small microphone inside the headphone that pocks up the unwanted noise or sound.

The highly advanced electronic circuits inside the headphones turn the sound wave into an opposite sound wave and play it back along with the music you are currently listening. The 2 sound waves of the external noise function to eliminate one another.

Because of these two technologies the passive high frequency barrier and the active lower frequency noise cancelling technology and the noise reducing headphones are the ideal for using in noisy environments of any type like offices, train plane journeys, etc. These devices cut off all the unwanted background noises which may disturb you.

Even if you want to listen to music peacefully you can only listen to the music by cutting of the unwanted surrounding noises with the help of the noise cutting headphones. These devices also work effectively while you are talking with someone on your mobile phone and the call is disrupted by unwanted surrounding noises.

How to protect your years?

The sounds are all turned into electrical signals that finally reach your brains. The tiny hairs of your cochlea pick up the sound vibrations. These hairs can get damaged if the sound vibrations are too high. The inner ear damages cannot be reversed.

Noise in the factories is one of the biggest sources of severe hearing losses. Thus, the workers in the factories, who have to work for long hours face serious hearing problems. They must use the most technically advanced ear defender for protection during the working hours.

Bill Would Allow Coloradans To Use 1 Earphone Behind The Wheel

Cellphone makers have come up with lots of devices that make it easier to drive with both hands on the wheel while using their technology, but in Colorado one common setup for going hands-free is illegal.

Using earphones while driving is illegal in the state, even if only one ear has an earbud in it or the headphones have audio coming out of only one side.

Rep. Jovan Melton, a Democrat who represents Aurora, says that’s a problem.

“I definitely understand and respect that they’re following the letter of the law, but people shouldn’t be punished for trying to drive safely by keeping both hands on the wheel,” he said.

Melton says Denver police has written 172 tickets in the past three years for people wearing earphones or a single earbud.

“It’s important that we clean this piece of the statute up,” he said. “Allow people to drive safely without having to worry about being fined or ticketed or pulled over for wanting to do the right thing.”

This is illegal in the US, and is also illegal here in the UK, it’s not common to see drivers in the UK doing this. But the worrying rise in touchscreens in cars could increase the chances of more accidents.

Melton is carrying a bill that would allow motorists to use one earphone or earbud while driving.

“A lot of the earbuds that you get with your phone will come with two for music listening, but we wanted to make sure that you are only using one earbud so you can still hear emergency vehicles,” he said.

Melton’s bill doesn’t require hands-free devices like earphones when talking on the phone behind the wheel. Melton tried and failed to get such legislature approved last year. But he says he’s not giving up.

“I think if we can get this passed it’s just one more step in that conversation which will hopefully lead to a successful (hands-free) bill next year,” he said.

The one earbud bill has passed in the House of Representatives and it was approved unanimously in a Senate committee on Thursday. It now moves on to the full Senate.

Colorado has several laws currently on the books related to distracted driving:

– It is illegal to text and drive

– If you are under 18, you can’t text or talk on the phone

– You cannot have a TV or computer that shows entertainment, social media or email in a position in the vehicle where the driver can see it.

Source - http://denver.cbslocal.com/2015/03/05/bill-would-allow-coloradans-to-use-1-earphone-behind-the-wheel/

ICC World Cup 1999: South Africa coast to win over India and there is tumult in ear-piece

May 15, 1999.  The atmosphere was touched with merriment and bonhomie as India took on South Africa at Hove in just the second match of the tournament. And before a rather anticlimactic 47th over of the second innings, the match was a close, tense affair. Arunabha Senguptaremembers the day when a superb game of cricket was needlessly marred by an ear-piece controversy and an inebriated fan.

Spoiler alert

It was Lance Klusener who spoiled the fun in the end.

The match had been close, keenly contested. The Indian innings had seen controlled aggression, scientific pace setting. The South African chase had been crafted with care, the race between the balls remaining and runs required a neck and neck affair, none gaining on the other, all the indications pointing to a near dead heat as the finish line approached.

India had rejoiced. Jacques Kallis, his mastery providing the plinth on which the South African innings was built, had just been sent back by a Venkatesh Prasad throw from the deep.  The match had been poised on the edge of a knife,  with 27 required off 26 balls.  Traditional tight limited- overs fare.

And then Klusener had walked in, taken guard and bludgeoned the first three balls he faced for boundaries. It had been unfair. Two teams had contested on level playing field and suddenly a man had entered busy batting in another dimension.  The wire had not even been in sight when the game had ended, the Proteas had won with as many as 16 balls to spare.

The City of Princes

It was Hove, the home of willow wielding Indian princes who had turned out for Sussex. There had been the genius of Ranji , the elegance of Duleep and the ephemeral promise of Pataudi. As the memories lingered and expats flocked  in on the Saturday, the modern heroes did not put on a bad show.

Sourav Ganguly, on his 100th appearance for the country, stroked the ball fluently, drives flowing like fizz amidst the festivity. And once he took time off from the crisp off side strokes to dance down the wicket and clobber Nicky Boje out of the ground.

Sachin Tendulkar did not make many, but his five boundaries delighted onlookers. Rahul Dravid added 130 with Ganguly, reviving memories of the day at Lord’s just three summers ago when the two had made their smmultaneous Test debuts with strokes echoing around the world.

India perhaps should have got more, but Allan Donald was excellent with his line and aggressive with his speed. Ganguly turned nervous and sluggish as he approached his hundred and took on the arm of Johnty Rhodes to be run out five short of the landmark. And the rest of the batting did not really distinguish themselves in the slog overs.  The score read 253 in 50 overs, but in 1999 that was not a bad total on the board.

Remote control captaincy

The drama during the innings was played out beyond the 22 yards as well. The South African coach Bob Woolmer, that advocate of scientific innovation in the game, was experimenting with technology. Captain Hansie Cronje and ace bowler Donald both wore ear pieces, and Woolmer was busy communicating with them as they took the field.

In the box meant for officials, match referee Talat Ali was far from amused. When the drinks were brought out, Ali came out fuming and confronted the coach. The experiment had been a partial success, but now Ali clamped down on it. Later ICC ruled against such advice dispensing  devices for the rest of the tournament.

Classic Kallis

As South Africa started their response, a charged up Javagal Srinath ran in to send down a furiously fast first spell. The speed gun surprised one and all. The Indian speedster was bowling as fast as Donald. And he fired out the openers as well.

Herschelle Gibbs was struck on the pads, on the knee  roll with the ball swinging a long way. There were enough doubt, but one had to budget for Steve Bucknor. A long wait was followed by the raise of the finger.  The other opener, Gary Kirsten, tried to send an express delivery through the covers and was bowled off  the inside edge.

It was 22 for two, and another wicket could  have increased the pressure exponentially. Indeed, with the South African think-tank using Mark Boucher as a pinch- hitter, such an eventuality was definitely on the cards. But on this day the move came off. Srinath started straying in line, more in length, and Boucher pulled him for two boundaries before sending one spiralling over the wicket-keeper’s head for six. Anil Kumble bowled him with a googly,  but the quickfire 34 had got the Proteas moving.

And at the other end, Kallis had settled down. Two drives, played square of the wicket with minimum effort, spoke of genuine class. Darryl Cullinan slogged against his phobia of leg-spin and got four off Kumble. A couple of drives flowed off the medium pacers. South Africa were past 100, the partnership looking just a tad threatening.

Skipper Mohammad Azharuddin chucked the ball to Ganguly. Cullinan tried to lift him towards the vast open spaces of the on side. The leading edge took it to point. The man from Kolkata was ecstatic. It was 116 for four. India had the advantage.

But, they needed another wicket. And they had run out of quality bowling. Robin Singh, Ganguly and Tendulkar tred their best but were not really ideal men to create pressure and opportunities. Srinath ran in for another spell and sprayed it far too short or way too down the leg. Kallis helped himself to calm boundaries. Cronje played a brisk little cameo. The balls remaining never quite lagged behind the runs required.

Ajit Agarkar, less than impressive through most of his spell, sent down a short delivery. Cronje pulled it in the air and Ajay Jadeja plucked out an athletic catch at mid-wicket. The equation read 74 off 68 when Rhodes entered. And immediately he started pushing the ball into the gaps and haring down the wicket.

Kallis and Rhodes pushed the score along. Singles were there for the taking, many converted into twos, and there were enough boundary balls in between. The stand amounted to 47, off just 42 balls. And then Kallis slashed Srinath to third man. Rhodes scampered up and down, and sprinted up again. Kallis, uncertain, hesitating, hovered midway between yes and no, and Prasad’s throw to the bowler’s end caught him well short. 27 required off 26 balls.  And  we already know what happened next.

The tornado

Rhodes took a single, Srinath ran in again, and Klusener bludgeoned him for four.

22 remained to be scored off 24 balls. Agarkar had the ball. And the match virtually ended in the course of that over. Rhodes cracked him for four, and repeated the stroke. A single came next. Klusener squared up. Agarkar ran in. Whack. Four. Whack. Four. It was merciless. The strokes were too powerful. The boundaries too short. The fielders too few. The over cost 17.

And then just to end it quickly, Rhodes lofted Prasad over mid on for another boundary. 27 had been required off 26 balls when the two had come together. They had got them in 10. The Indians, spirited and determined till the 45th over, suddenly looked as if hit by a tornado.

The Aftershock

They were jogging off the field, morose and disappointed, when the traditional Indian fan appeared. Big,  boorish, inebriated, without whatever rudimentary sense he might have possessed when sober. He was obviously feeling let down by the team, who had not managed to win it for him while he had guzzled his beer.

He snatched at Azharuddin’s shirt, and the captain shook him off. And then his eyes fell on Dravid. His lumbering hulking form made towards the Indian batsman and rammed into him. Dravid was shoved off his course.

Unfortunately for this splendid specimen of Indian cricket fandom, the man immediately behind Dravid was Prasad — tall, well-built, and with the mindset of a fast bowler. Prasad’s eyes grew fierce. He glowered at the guy, charged at him, and did unto him as the oaf had done unto his teammate. The brute tottered, toppled and fell in the arms of pursuing policemen.

The well-fought match had to wind up with this bitter after-taste. But that has so often been the story of Indian cricket.

Brief Scores:

India 253 for 5  in 50 overs (Sourav Ganguly 97, Rahul Dravid 54; Lance Klusener 3 for 66) lost to South Africa 254 for 6 in 47.2 overs (Mark Boucher 34, Jacques Kallis 96, Johnty Rhodes 39) by 4 wickets with 16 balls to spare.

Man of the Match: Jacques Kallis.

Source - http://www.cricketcountry.com/articles/icc-world-cup-1999-south-africa-coast-to-win-over-india-and-there-is-tumult-in-ear-piece-254169

Sony To Launch VR Headset In 2016

Well, the headline above pretty much says it all. Electronics company Sony have announced that they will be ready to launch their hotly anticipated PS4 virtual reality headset as early as next year.

…And I don’t mean late next year, either. Although no official release dates have been given, Sony have assured consumers that the new VR headset will be available for purchase during the “first half” of 2016. This is exciting news for any gamer (as well as for those of us that make a living writing about such advancements!)

Project Morpheus as the headset has been nicknamed by its developers, was officially announced at the recent Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, USA. One year earlier, the annual event saw the unveiling of an early prototype headset.

This latest prototype, however, features a larger screen and exterior LED lights that aid in the tracking of movement. The new screen has a 100 Degree field of view and can render imagery at a speed of 120 frames per second.

Improvements include the redistribution of weight toward the back of the user’s head, as well as a section of the headset that accommodates the user’s eyeglasses.

Anyway. Now that the real deal is nearly ready to “rock and/or roll” (as Springfield’s Reverend Lovejoy would have it), gamers can eagerly look forward to the addition of a new dimension to their favourite pastime.

Yahoo! News reported that, Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide, announced the news, along with the following, “Our goal with VR is to deliver a sense of presence, making the player feel as though they’ve stepped inside the world of a game (…) The new Project Morpheus prototype brings us closer to that goal, as it improves the visual experience and tracking accuracy, both of which are critical to achieving sense of presence.”

As my old Nan used to say, “it’s all clever stuff”. However, Sony aren’t the only computer company dabbling in virtual reality entertainment. HTC and Valve are expected to release their Vive system later this year, while Oculus VR are also heavily involved in the development of a similar device, the Oculus Rift headset.

As with all new technologies, there will probably be a few ‘ghosts in the machine’ to start of with, however, VR gaming is certainly going to represent a fascinating step forward in the field of computer-based entertainment.