British Screen Icon Richard Attenborough Passes Away, Aged 90

British actor, director and screen legend Lord Richard Attenborough passed away last August, he was 90 years old.

The iconic performer, known for a plethora of memorable film roles over a career spanning an impressive six decades, leaves behind a majestic legacy. What follows is an overview of Attenborough’s film work, both as an actor and a director and, after that, a few words about his contributions outside of cinema.

Beginning his career in the 1940’s, the young actor started out in numerous stage plays before attending The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), which he would later serve as president. His early film roles included the Noel Coward directed wartime film ‘In Which We Serve’ (1942), which starred John Mills, ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ starring David Niven (1946) and the original film version of ‘London Belongs To Me’ with Alastair Sim (1948).

Lord Attenborough’s big break came in 1947, when he starred as unscrupulous gang leader Pinkie Brown in the film adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel ‘Brighton Rock’ (which also stars future ‘Doctor Who’ actor William Hartnell). Attenborough’s portrayal was nothing short of mesmerizing in its coldness and cruelty and, by 1949, he was considered to be among the most popular British actors of the day.

Throughout the 1950’s, Attenborough starred in war films such as ‘Dunkirk’ – again with John Mills (1958) and comedies like ‘Private’s Progress’ (1956), he also dazzled as Stoker Snipe in the 1950 film adaptation of ‘Morning Departure’, a highly moving piece about a submarine crew stranded at the bottom of the sea, which also starred John Mills.

In 1960, Attenborough portrayed factory worker Tom Curtis in ‘The Angry Silence’, a British ‘kitchen sink’ movie that saw his character refuse to join his fellow workers on strike as himself and his family dealt with the consequences. He also appeared in the classic crime drama ‘The League of Gentleman’ in the same year.

In 1963, Attenborough starred in ‘The Great Escape’ playing Bartlett ‘Big X’ alongside an all-star cast that included Steve McQueen, James Garner, Donald Pleasence, Charles Bronson and James Coburn.

1965’s Oscar nominated ‘The Flight Of The Phoenix’ saw him playing alongside Hollywood screen legend James Stewart. In 1967, Attenborough portrayed Albert Blossom in the musical film ‘Doctor Dolittle’ and, in 1969, he directed his first feature, the musical ‘Oh, What A Lovely War!’

In 1971, Attenborough performed one of his most memorable roles as the serial killer John Christie, acting alongside John Hurt and Judy Geeson in ‘10 Rillington Place’. He was reluctant to take the part at first, but appears to have done so in order to take a stand against capital punishment.

In 1975, he starred alongside John Wayne in ‘Brannigan’. In 1977, he directed ‘A Bridge Too Far’, a war story that starred Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Gene Hackman, James Caan and Anthony Hopkins.

In 1981, Attenborough completed a true labour of love and his most noted work as a director, the epic biopic ‘Gandhi’, starring Ben Kingsley. The film earned Attenborough two Academy Awards, one for directing and one for producing. In 1987, he directed Denzel Washington in ‘Cry Freedom’, which celebrated the life of anti-Apartheid activist Steve Biko. He would next produce and direct a biopic in 1992, directing Robert Downey, Jr, Marissa Tomei, Dan Akroyd and Geraldine Chaplin in ‘Chaplin’, a film depicting the life of influential movie star Charlie Chaplin.

Attenborough’s two most famous late career roles occurred within one year of each other. In 1993, he portrayed impresario John Hammond in Steven Spielberg’s ‘Jurassic Park’ (a role he would reprise in the 1997 sequel ‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park’) and in 1994, he joyously appeared as Father Christmas in the re-make of ‘Miracle on 34th Street’, both roles won Attenborough critical acclaim, as well as an entire generation of new fans. In 1998, he appeared as Baron William Cecil in ‘Elizabeth’, an historical drama also starring Cate Blanchett, Christopher Eccleston and Geoffrey Rush, which focussed on the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Attenborough directed his last film, ‘Closing The Ring’ in 2007 and gave his final acting performance in 2004, lending his voice to the film ‘Tres En El Camino’.

Away from acting, Lord Attenborough was active in politics; he was appointed as a life peer (as Baron Attenborough) in 1993 and chose to sit on the Labour party benches at The House of Lords. He was a vocal opponent of South African apartheid and a lifelong advocate of racial equality. In 1983, he was awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Non-violence Peace Prize by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Centre For Non-violent Social Change.

A passionate advocate of education at all levels, Attenborough served as Chancellor of the University of Sussex for 10 years (from 1998 until 2008) and he was a patron of University College, Leicester, where his father had served as principal.

He also worked tirelessly on behalf of several charities, including The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, The Richard Attenborough Fellowship Fund (which also aims to fund research into neuromuscular conditions) and UNICEF, for whom he served as Goodwill Ambassador and donated many of the proceeds from ‘Gandhi’ to. From ‘Gandhi’ alone, he raised in excess of a Million Dollars for the charity.

Lord Attenborough received a CBE (Commander of The British Empire) in 1967 and was fully knighted in 1976. From 1969 – 1982, Attenborough, a dedicated football fan, served as the director of Chelsea Football Club. Between 1993 and 2008, he was also the club’s Honorary Vice President.

Richard Attenborough’s career was truly groundbreaking in every sense of the word. He was unquestionably one of the greatest actors of all time as well as a man of moral courage and noble spirit. As an artist, philanthropist, educator and man of conscience, this world will be much poorer without him.

Digital radio – which way will South Africa go?

Radio technology has seen very little innovation and development since FM stereo was introduced in the 1960s.  It was the sound revolution of the time, but little has happened since FM took over local broadcasting. It caused the demise of AM stations and the shortwave services of the SABC and LM radio.

The Southern Africa Digital Broadcasting Association (SADIBA) issued a report in 2002 in which it said “to remain commercial attractive, radio as a medium will have to deliver improved quality service, greater choice, interactivity and multi-media. Digital radio technologies must rise to the challenge and deliver the multimedia radio of the future.”

In the document SADIBA made recommendations on the critical aspects to be considered in order to allow for the introduction of digital radio in South Africa.   Little seems to have happened since 2002 until last month when the subject was extensively discussed at the SADIBA Conference where the 2002 paper re-emerged and digital radio mondiale (DRM), one of the technologies, came into the limelight with international speakers and a demonstration of DRM by the BBC transmitting DRM from their  shortwave relay station on Ascension Island with CD clarity – no noise, no interference.

Discussing the advantages of DRM, Ruxandra Obreja, head of digital radio development at the BBC world service and chairman of the DRM Consortium said that DRM and DRM+ have proved to be the obvious choice for digital radio. But not everyone would agree with that.

Let us consider some of the various digital radio technologies available.

IDAB is based on in-band-on channel (IBOC) technology which looks at inserting the digital signal within the existing FM and AM channels without affecting other FM or AM transmissions.  FM IBOC is designed to operate in a 200 kHz FM channel allocation. It would have been very impractical to introduce FM IBOC into South Africa without re-engineering the current  FM frequency plan based on 100 kHz channel.

According to the 2002 SADIBA paper the most established of all the digital radio technologies is the Eureka 147 system.  The technology is based on an open standard defined in a range of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) documents. But it requires different frequency bands which in itself is problematic given the scarcity of spectrum oin the UHF bands which are demanded by satellite communication channels (VSat) and wireless broadband. The so-called digital dividend will also not provide the required spectrum as that process will take a long time to materialise.

Obreja believes that DRM and DRM+ is the obvious solution. DRM,  the acronym for digital radio mondiale, is promoted by a consortium of broadcasters, manufactures’ research institutes and stakeholders that have endeavoured to work toward a world-standard for digital broadcasting in the frequencies initial below 30 MHz, operating on the AM and shortwave broadcasting bands.  Since the original development engineers have moved ahead and DRM+ emerged, the name applied to the DRM standard when used on the VHF frequencies.

“The initiative to extend DRM began with a vote at the 2005 General Assembly to begin the design, verification and testing of the parameters needed to allow DRM to operate in the VHF broadcasting bands between; primarily band I and band II,” said Obteja.

The design process began shortly afterwards and key decisions were made to ensure that the extension completely shared the successful design philosophy of DRM – it is “DRM but at higher frequencies”.

Its spectrum usage parameters are determined from the internationally agreed norms in the FM band (88 to 108 MHz). Therefore it has an occupied bandwidth of 96 kHz and a frequency grid of 100 kHz.

DRM+ provides bit rates from 35 kbps to 185 kbps at SNRs from 2 dB to 14dB and, like DRM, permits up to four services. It is therefore a flexible solution allowing single or small numbers of audio services to be broadcast together.

During the process of gaining endorsement from the ITU for DRM’s extension to the VHF bands, test results from various field trials conducted around the world were submitted.  One of the interesting trials was carried out in December 2011 by Vatican Radio carrying out broadcasting tests of DRM+1 in the VHF band II at 103, MHz. The aim of the tests was to verify the performance of DRM+ in a difficult interference scenario such as the FM VHF band II in Rome and to check the compatibility of the digital technology with existing antenna arrays having complex RF coupling systems such as the one located in the Vatican. The frequency used was assigned to the Vatican in the GE84 Agreement and was chosen for two main reasons: it is not used during a few timeslots in the morning and it suffers from some strong interference coming from stations operating at 103,7 MHz and 104,00 MHz located close to Rome. The tests were carried out taking into account the normal programme schedule. During the tests the digital transmitter was connected to the antenna feeder via a changeover, leaving the analogue transmitter in stand-by. The antenna array is a complex system: four FM transmitters at different power levels share the same antenna with elliptical polarisation and omni-directional horizontal radiation pattern. The results were great. Acceptable stereo coverage under mobile reception conditions has been verified in areas where predicted field strength is comparable with 44 dBmV/m and interference is negligible. Using the most robust configuration for DRM+, it was possible to achieve better coverage in full stereo  than an analogue FM signal; the overall subjective listening experience was better than that of FM interfered with by splashes coming from adjacent stations.

With South Africa’s poor performance in changing from analogue to digital TV, it may be some time before government will applies its mind to take a decision on digital sound radio. The first step have however been taken by commercial enterprises.  Pulpit Radio is conducting a DRM pilot from their transmitting station  at  Kameeldrift near Pretoria. The 50 kW transmitter was installed by Broadcom International and made history with the first DRM audio broadcast in the Southern African region on 1440 kHz AM. “The results were very good. The station was received in Botswane some 400 km away with CD quality audio,” Obreja said.

One of the issue is however the availability of receivers but Ruxandra Obreja said that experience from elsewhere where DRM was introduced local industry began manufacturing. “This will be a great opportunity to grow South Africa’s electronic manufacturing industry.”

There is software available to decode the DRM signals using a sound card and a dongle is under development that can be used on a laptop or even other devices that have a USB port.

With DRM, the use of medium and shortwave will open up many new radio channels. Each DRM channel can carry three radio programmes and one data channel requiring very narrow bandwidth of less than 5 kHz. Another advantage is that the system is also more energy efficient.

It is very true that we’ve not seen much innovation in the two way radio industry, Here we have seen the Digital revolution in the past few years, but it is far more complex in Africa. Larger coverage area and less technological advancement. You can find the original news story on this website.

Would you wear sunglasses that double as headphones?

Google Glass may be on hiatus, but our appetite for high-tech spectacles endures. One of the latest efforts comes in the form of a Kickstarter campaign for a pair of sunglasses that double as wireless headphones.

Buhel’s Bluetooth SG05 SOUNDglasses obliterated their $80,000 fundraising goal a mere 48 hours after launch, ending up with more than $400,000 by the end of the campaign. “SOUNDglasses give you innovation, freedom, safety, and easier life,” Buhel promises.

Great, but how will the music sound?

Thanks to “bone conduction technology,” SOUNDglasses let users listen to music, conduct a phone conversation, or talk to computerized personal assistants like Siri without the “impediment” of earphones. Two speakers situated in the glasses near the wearer’s temples send vibrations through the bones of the head and into the inner ear. A built-in microphone picks up what the wearer says.

This isn’t exactly revolutionary. Many hearing aids transmit sound with bone conduction, as do other headphone brands. But a main complaint for these kinds of headphones is that the sound quality leaves a lot to be desired. Will these be any different?

Here’s how the creators of SOUNDglasses address that question: “We don’t pretend that Bone Conduction is your perfect HiFi music companion, but we can say that it serves a specific purpose, which increases your safety in an infinite number of situations. The military and Google chose Bone Conduction for some of their devices…They must have thought it was not that bad, and so did nature with dolphins and whales.”

Hmm. Not the most reassuring comment, is it?

Buhel is pushing the safety angle hard to make up for any lousy sound quality. Because nothing has to actually go inside the ear for this technology to work, wearers will still be able to hear the sounds going on around them. This is a plus for what seems to be Buhel’s target demographic: athletes. It would be great to be able to bike down the busy avenues of Manhattan blasting some excellent riding tunes without losing access to one of your most vital senses.

Another problem: using these headphone-less glasses to have a phone conservation could produce some funny looks from passersby. To convince people to accept this kind of public embarrassment, any headphone-glasses combo will have to be excellent in every other way. Sound quality is important, but equally essential is style.

The SOUNDglasses come in a variety of colors and lens shades, and from the outside seem no different from your average sporty shades. This is rule number one for smart glasses: they have to be something you actually want to wear in public. Google found this out the hard way. Not even its own developers wanted to wear the goofy-looking face computer. Of course, SOUNDglasses don’t actually project any visual effects into a wearer’s line of sight, which probably eliminates some of the encumbering hardware that could inhibit a sleek design.

What would make these glasses better is if they came in a variety of frame styles. Right now, the only design on offer looks best on athletes and outdoor explorers, but doesn’t have much fashionable appeal otherwise. Google Glass got a trendy redesign to provide some fancy frame options because it knew it needed to look less geeky if it wanted to be worn by anyone other than, you know, geeks. The same goes for SOUNDglasses, especially if it wants to catch on with anyone other than athletes.

The first shipment of glasses to Kickstarter backers is slated for May of 2015. If you want to wait for the first reviews to roll in before buying, they will retail for “more than $270″ later in the summer.

Well if you had said to us, how about a sunglasses/headset mash-up we would have thought you were mad! but this kickstarter, using bone conductive technology, too which we have lots of knowledge about, We’re looking forward to receiving our pair when they are dispatched. This article was originally posted on this site.

Motorola Earpieces For All Types of Industry

Are you in the security industry? Using Motorola Walkie Talkies? Need the ability to not have your conversation overheard, or need to silent on an event or restaurant service area, yet still in contact with your team? Do you need to walk and talk, so that you can multitask, or get other tasks completed while you are on the phone?

Then Motorola is the company, and the earpiece, for you and your team.

If you are in security, events or hotel management, you wouldn’t necessarily want everyone to be able to see that you are wearing an earpiece, and there are a variety of ways to minimise the “I have a radio in my pocket and I boss people around” kind of look.

First clip the charged radio on to your belt. Select the station or frequency that you will be using. Make sure that the team are all on the same station. Attach the Motorola earpiece to the radio, by slotting the two prongs at the bottom of the cable in to the side of the Motorola walkie talkie. You will see there is a big prong and a small prong, make sure you have them the right way round.

Run the length of the earpiece cord under your shirt, and pop the top out by the collar or top button of your shirt, thereby hiding the wire from site. You will see a clip portion with a little speaker button it. That can be clipped on to your tie, shirt front or collar to allow you to speak in to it easily.

The Motorola earpiece is a curved half moon shape. Make sure the wire is tucked securely in to the casing, as it can sometimes come out during storage and insertion. Clip the half moon shape over the ear and insert the round black earpiece in to the ear. The earpiece is covered with a removable soft cover that can be taken off and washed if the radio’s are used by different people, in the interest of best hygiene practises.

If you are going for minimal look, arrange your hair to cover the earpiece or cord if possible. There are also high security options that run up the back of the neck and over the ear, and come in see through, clear tones to minimise the obviousness of them. These can be secured in to place using see through tape made especially for this purpose.

Motorola also makes very hi-tech options for security personnel, with items that can clip on to sunglasses, shirt cuffs etc, and give a very FBI, protecting the president look, but are extremely functional. They ear buds are also more fitting and are snug in the ear, to allow for better audio.

To speak through the microphone portion bring the unit close to your mouth. Press the button in and wait one second before speaking, to allow time for the radio’s to connect. When you are finished speaking, release the button. Wait for your team member to respond to your message. Remember to talk slowly and clearly. Although Motorola radios are really great quality, you are still a distance away from each other, and things such as mobile phones nearby, thick walls or ceilings, being underground etc can interfere with the signal and reception.

If you are a Motorola mobile phone user, then there are also a wide variety of Motorola earpieces available, that won’t make you look like a call centre agent, or hurt the inside of the ear if you wear them for long periods at a time. The Whisper Smooth Talk, comes with a retractable boom with 4-mic CrystalTalk and offers the user cutting edge clarity and wind noise reduction, especially useful if you are calling from outside, or talking while you are walking.

Bluetooth headsets clip over the ear, and allow you to connect wireless to your phone, which can be in your pocket or bag, and allow you to walk along and talk, without any cables or wires hanging around and getting in the way.

Motorola has been innovating in the phone and walkie talkie industry for many years, and the constant innovation and bettering of their Motorola earpieces and products for ease of use and comfort is inspirational.

Does The Old Two Cans on a String Thing Actually Work?

It does indeed. The old children’s favourite may have been supplanted somewhat by the relentless march of technology, especially now that almost every kid has a mobile phone and/or access to the Internet, but there is still a lot of fun to be had there.

For those reading this that don’t know, the two cans on a string game involves taking two empty (and preferably washed out) tin cans, the kind you might buy baked beans in, punching a small hole in the bottom of both cans and then threading a length of string in between each hole, tying it in a knot big enough to secure it in the can. Then, when the string is pulled tight, it is possible for one person to speak into the can and another to listen and reply. It also works with polystyrene cups, albeit to a slightly lesser extent. You’d be amazed also at the distance your voice can actually travel using this method.

It is not advisable to use stretchable string for the cans as it just makes life more difficult!

The science behind this game is actually very simple. The vibrations of your voice shake the bottom of the can and that, in turn, vibrates the string. Provided the string is pulled taut and isn’t touching anything, there should be no reason at all for your voice not to travel along the string to be received by your companion at the other end.

In fact, this game actually qualifies as a sort of rudimentary telephone; the theory behind it is very similar.

If you happen to be a parent, this game can keep the kids entertained on rainy afternoons, as well as providing a useful scientific lesson for them. I have many happy childhood memories of playing this game. However, it is very important to make sure that the cans have no sharp edges around the inner rim, for older kids, a simple ‘safety brief’ will probably do, but younger kids might be safer with a little electrical or duct tape stuck around the top of the can (in each child’s favourite colour, maybe? Just a thought). It shouldn’t affect the sound too much, if at all.

It’s amazing the fun you can have with a couple of old cans and a length of string. Hope that helps.

Security Earpiece For the iPhone

With every passing day, technology is improving and it has made lives of people easier and better in many ways. Some of the latest technologies and gadgets have really been helpful to many people. If you look at the security earpiece then you will understand how advantageous it is for specific people. There are different types of these earpieces available and you can also get these for your iPhone. You just have to check whether or not these are suitable and compatible with your handset.

Use Of Security Earpieces

These earpieces are only required when you want to communicate with someone secretly. The security earpiece is fitted into the ears and normally people around you cannot see it. It is small and is connected by a very thin wire. Security personnel mainly use these types of earpieces. But people also use this when they are in a conference and want to communicate or hear something while communicating. You can also find it useful in movie sets, broadcasting of radios etc. Even it will be great for using inside classrooms and not getting caught by teachers!

This is quite small in size the voice transmitted via this cannot be heard outside. Only the person who is wearing it can hear the voice. Thus, you can secretly converse with someone while none will even know about it. In case of audio surveillance, security guards and bodyguards use this earpiece to make sure they can hear each and everything distinctly. When a person is speaking on radio in front of a microphone, he/she has to make sure that even a message comes through the earphone it is not heard outside. So, with the help of the security earpiece it is very much possible.

Connecting To Mobile

Though these earpieces are meant mainly for security purposes, many people find it cool! They use this as a style statement and wear it just for fun. It has become a part of cool accessories which many enthusiasts prefer to use while going out. It is not necessary that you have to be a spy, bodyguard or a secret agent in order to buy or use this. You can simply buy one security earpiece for your iPhone too. it also comes with a separate mouthpiece which you can put on anywhere you feel comfortable.

If you are an owner of an iPhone then you can get the security earpiece for your particular handset. The jack which will be connected to your earphone port of the mobile has to be compatible to each other, normally a 3.5mm Jack. If not then you will not be able to hear or listen to anything. This is very much important. So, it is best to buy the security earphones specially made for each model of iPhone. With the help of this you can talk over phone while driving or even you can hear songs and watch movies.

Some Useful Tips

Since you have to wear these earpieces inside your ears, you have to be much more conscious of it. Make sure that you are not allergic to the material by which earpiece is made up of. If you are then avoid using that material as it can be harmful for you. The earpiece is fitted inside the ear exactly beside your eardrum. While wearing it you have to be careful about whether or not the earpiece is touching your eardrum. If it is not touching then you will not be able to hear anything or you will hear a low voice. When you are done you have to take out that earpiece as well. In this case also you have to be very much careful.

Your ear, mainly eardrum, is very much sensitive. You have to make sure that the security earpiece you are buying for your ears is not made up of some low quality material. It can react badly with your inner ear skin. So, when you are buying one for your iPhone, you have to choose the best one made up of high quality material. These are mainly available in rubber and thus you have to confirm that you are not allergic to it. This is surely a great technology and a cool accessorise for the one who want to use it just for fun for their iPhone.

New report shares details about the military communications market analysis, size, share, trends,growth and forecasts to 2020

This originally was posted on this blog, Military communications always lead the way to other communications. When this market grows, the knock-on-effect is huge for other communication industries.

The global military communications market is expected to grow over the forecast period on account of growing emphasis on providing data-centric and network-centric communications. Rapid adoption of new satellite communications platforms such as Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) and US-based Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) provides protected communications capabilities for strategic command and tactical warfare operating on various platforms.

Additionally, various communication technologies such as high frequency services and software-embedded radio systems Ka band in order to limit the bandwidth limitations are some of the emerging trends in the military communications market.

The report “Military Communications Market Analysis, Market Size, Application Analysis, Regional Outlook, Competitive Strategies And Forecasts, 2014 To 2020” is available now to Grand View Researchcustomers and can also be purchased directly at

http://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/military-communications-market

Considering the rise in demand of handheld software defined radios such as mobile radio, joint tactical radio and tetra radio systems is expected to favorably impact military communications market growth over the forecast period. The military is poised to replace and modernize aging equipments and utilize virtually unlimited IP peer-to-peer connections for embedded systems.

However, multiple standards in devices, financial constraints towards procurement and interoperability issues are the few factors that may challenge market growth through the forecast period.

North America featured among the highest adopters of military communications in 2013 and is expected to remain a key market throughout the forecast period. Adoption of latest data links and mobile satellite technologies are the factors attributable for regional market growth.

The U.S. government is expected to secure commercial capacity due to lack of appropriate military satellite systems. The Asia Pacific regional market is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period.

Key military communications industry participants include Rockwell Collins, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, Alcatel-Lucent, Lockheed Martin, Harris Corporation, Thales Group and L-3 Communication.

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