Earpieces for police radios

There are quite a few police earpieces on the market right now, so the high likelihood is that whatever you need, someone, somewhere will be selling it. If it helps, I’ll give you a bit of an overview…

If you’re in the market for an overt police earpiece, or even if you fancy something a bit more discreet (like, um, a covert earpiece), you’ll certainly be able to find it on the World Wide Web. Police organizations across the world employ a wide variety of communications equipment, from ‘listen only’ devices to PTT (Push To Talk) earpieces and, as I said, a significant portion of that equipment is available for consumer purchase.

Covert earpieces can be wireless or wired and consist on an in-ear receiver and a hidden mic. The wireless models start at about £200 (240EUR), but the better models will set you back about £500 (607EUR). The more basic ‘wired’ models (the ones with the familiar coiled tube) are FAR cheaper, usually costing around £20 (24EUR).

The tube can fit into your ear canal either via a ‘mushroom tip’ (which blocks the ear canal entirely – hence the name, as there isn’t ‘mushroom in your ear’ once you wear it! Groan), or a ‘gel insert’ (I haven’t got any jokes for this one, sorry!) that is a little less invasive. The mushroom tip tends to block out ambient sounds, not unlike noise-cancelling headphones, while the gel inserts allow more background noise to bleed in. Both types work equally well and frankly it comes down to a matter of personal choice.

Finally, we come to the shapes: the two main shapes that police use are G€™ shape and D™ shape. The G shape looks, well, a bit like a ‘G’ and slips over the top of the ear, whilst the ‘D’ shape hooks round the back of the ear and resembles, you guessed it, the letter ‘D’. Once again, this is a matter of personal preference, but according to my reading, the G is considered more comfortable by most users.

The Motorola MTH800 and Sepura SRH series are among the most widely used police radios.

I hope that little info-bomb helps you, Renee. Police communication equipment tends to be sturdy, reliable and high performance, so it is the logical choice for security or surveillance work. It can also be available at very fair prices, which means that everybody has access to decent equipment.

Thanks for your question!

A Look At The Different Motorola Radio Earpieces

When it comes to discreet affairs, there definitely must be a discreet communication. Whether it is a security personnel or just a private group of designated people. Radios are used for communication between compatible devices within a specified location. Nevertheless, it would be less comfortable if someone talks via the radio and everyone hear the entire communication. Given the different types of two-way radios in the market, they usually come with a compatible earpiece. Among the most common radios are the Motorola radios. It would be super discreet and stylish if you had AMotorola radio earpiece to accompany your device. Some of the ideal Motorola 2-way radio earpiece connectors at EarpieceOnline include the following;

CP040 DP1400 2-Pin Connector

This Motorola 2-pin connector can work with a number of Motorola 2-way radios. It can also support some of the old version radios such as the DP1400, GP040 and the GP300. Some of the novel version of radios that are compatible to this earpiece include the DP1400 and the DP1000.

Features of the connector

* It has a changeable Foam sock so that you can replace if it has worn out.

* The earpiece also has a comfortable and flexible C-shaped earpiece.

* There is a secure moulded ear hook, for holding firm on the ear.

* It provides high quality audio.

* It comes with a noise reducing microphone for enhanced reception of incoming voice messages.

* The earpiece has a plastic that is covered by a label clip PTT button. The wire PTT is separated from the microphone and an ear hangar earpiece.

* It has a RoHS compliant feature and comes with Motorola earpiece 2-pin connector GP300/CP040/XTN/DP1400 and GP340 adapters.

DP3400 DP3600 Multi Connector

This is a multi pin connector works with all DP3000 DP4000 range of radios, with a 12-pin connector, it slots perfect onto the side of the DP radio and is securely screwed in so that the earpiece is securely locked in.

Features

* It is incorporated with Kevlar Reinforced for better surveillance and security.

* It has a secure fit tube connector, to avoid accidents of it cut from rough encounters.

* It offers a high quality audio.

* The earpiece has a Lapel clip PTT button and a separate wire PTT. That is separated from a noise reduction microphone and an acoustic tube. The acoustic tube runs over the ear, the FBI style.

* There is a changeable connector for flexible modification and flexible mushroom plugs that you can replace whenever.

DP2400 DP2600 multi connector

This is yet another different multi-pin connector that lets you connect to the DP2000 range of radios. This 8-pin connector fits on to the side of the radio and is locked in with a ‘pull out and slot-in’ connector, reducing the risk of broken screws or damage to the radio.

Features

* The acoustic tube runs over the ear and it has a secure fit connector for super surveillance and comfort.

* It has a separate wire PPT different from the acoustic tube and a microphone that reduces noise from the surrounding.

* The mushroom plugs are changeable and you can simply remove them when they are loose or worn out.

* It produces a high quality audio that reduces strain even when in a noisy environment.

GP340 GP680

This multi connector is compatible the GP range of radios, including the GP340 and GP680. The Connector is a 13-pin connector and is secured on the side of the radio, with a screw-in to secure the earpiece to the radio.

Features

* This multi connector has a high quality audio reception. That makes it comfortable to use anywhere, even in a crowded, noisy place.

* There is a microphone, which is separate from a wire PTT and an acoustic tube. The microphone is a noise reducing microphone, that helps to make the other end-user be comfortable.

* It has a RoHS compliant and an over the ear acoustic tube that holds firm to the ear.

* There is an adjustable connector that is versatile to other devices.

An elegant and well fitted earpiece will not only promote surveillance, but it will also be comfortable on the ear. That will ensure it is safe from damages in rough situations. A Motorola radio earpiece will be beneficial if you want a comfortable communication without having to speak loudly over the radio. Some of the radios are also slightly heavy, which makes them more comfortable when using an earpiece, that is worn beneath the clothing.

What Type Of Kenwood Connector Should You Use With A Kenwood Radio

Although there are multiple types and designs of Kenwood radios out there, there are only two earpiece connectors compatible with these radios. Kenwood has been able to design their earpiece connectors in such a way that they are compatible with all their vast types of radios. A large percentage of Kenwood radios utilize the 2 pin earpiece connector. Among the most popular radios using the 2 pin earpiece connector include TK3000 and TK3300. The difference between the two-pin connector and the multi pin connector is straightforward. The former features two pins while the latter features multiple pins. However, their performance may not be the same depending on usability and the type of Kenwood radio.

The Two-Pin Earpiece Connector

The earpiece of the Kenwood 2 pin connector is featured by an incredible in-line push-to-talk button (PTT) with an in-built microphone. In addition, it comes with a complete clothing clip and a surveillance acoustic audio tube. This Kenwood earpiece connector can be used with most of the Kenwood radios and it normally sells out at a fair price.

This Kenwood radio earpiece connector is Kevlar reinforced for added security. It also features a secure fit tube connector as well as the lapel clip button. These features integrate themselves easily thus ensuring that the final sound output is of high quality. They are also designed with hi-tech microphones which help in reducing the noise level. Unlike other connectors, its wire PTT (microphone) and acoustic tube are separate. This is meant to reduce the amount of vibrations and echoes produced which would otherwise compromise the sound quality.

When it comes to style, the Kenwood radio earpiece connector is a RoHS compliant connector which has the ‘Over the ear’ FBI style acoustic tube which helps in monitoring sound levels. When you see that the plugs have worn out, there is no reason to worry because these pieces feature replaceable mushroom plugs. This is a changeable earpiece connector which allows you to change the connector to the accessory available. Apart from being compatible with Kenwood two-pin, it also works well other devices such as Motorola 2 pin and Icom 2 pin.

The Multi-Pin Earpiece Connector

The Kenwood multi-pin connected earpiece is a unique and tech savvy type of earpiece. But the earpiece is the same to the 2 pin connected earpiece in other areas. For example, both of them share very important features crucial to the audio type produced. Some of these identical features include an in-line PTT button, the surveillance acoustic tube and the clothing clip. When it comes to its value, it is a little bit pricy than the two-pin version.

The Kenwood Radio Earpieces

The performance and aesthetics of every Kenwood radio earpiece can be fostered by spending a little bit more on optional features such as the ‘swivel’ ear loop. Also, you can enjoy better use and comfort by including a steel clothing clip that reduces noise. Kenwood composes their earpieces from high quality cables featuring a toughened surface. The durable surface protects the cable from accidental strain and offers exemplary cushion to wear and tear. These pieces are lightweight allowing them to be carried and used in wherever you travel. They have been designed to withstand consistent strains common with all earpieces making it easier to be used in any environment.

Actually, the types of connectors which are compatible with Kenwood radios are limited compared to its counterparts. Nevertheless, the Kenwood two-pin and multi-pin connectors provide an excellent performance in all Kenwood’s radios making other connectors of no importance. But some people would say it is worth trying using other connectors to taste the difference. Kenwood radio earpieces consist of polycarbonate microphones which cushions your ears from unexpected high sound levels. When the acoustic tube gets damaged it can be easily replaced ensuring that communication remains uninterrupted. Also, the button or the controller is strategically placed allowing easier management of communication.

Most of Kenwood 2 way radios may only be connected by the two varieties of connectors. Thankfully, their equipment is among the best on Earpieceonline and it can hardly be rivaled. If you would want to have a Kenwood radio for your company, it is futile searching other compatible connectors because the aforementioned two works superbly. Many companies have started using Kenwood radio earpieces because of these hi-tech unparalleled features. Remember that, to gain advantage of uninterrupted communication, safe audio output and additional exclusive capabilities you will have to consider a good earpiece connector for your radio.

What Is a Covert Earpiece?

A covert earpiece is a very small listening device that is often worn by someone who wishes to be able to wear an earpiece and not have it be visible. The advantage of such an earpiece is that the wearer is able to use it as a radio accessory and yet not have others be aware that they are using an earpiece to communicate with others. A covert earpiece is often referred to as either a surveillance earpiece or invisible earpiece and it is quite common for the likes of law enforcement officers on undercover assignments, security personnel, government agents, and also spies, both corporate and government to wear such a device while undertaking tasks that require privacy and secrecy.

While radio headsets are quite commonly used by people in many occupations to communicate with one another, the covert style of earpiece is usually reserved for occasions and circumstances that require sensitivity and privacy when communicating. Those personnel conducting surveillance and / or working in private security would most likely opt for this form of earpiece over a more visible style, allowing communication to occur without alerting others close by. There are many other examples where an invisible earpiece could be worn: attempting to cheat on an exam where the wearer would have someone else ‘feeding’ them the correct answers to the questions, or when trying to cheat a casino by having an unfair advantage over other players. In this last instance, such as at a poker table, the cheating player may have someone stand in an advantageous position on the opposite side of the table and provide information regarding the cards of the other players.

One industry in which the use of covert earpieces is quite common practice is on-air television. Newscasters, sportscasters, talk show hosts and even the weather presenter may all wear an invisible earpiece when live on air, allowing them to receive critical information or instruction without the viewers being aware. Engineers and producers have the ability to communicate with the on-air personalities while airing live and direct them as needed, to ensure that everything proceeds without a hitch. This is particularly helpful with live television where a re-take is not an option, or when a story may break during a news bulletin and the information can be fed immediately to the newscaster, who in turn will advise viewers of the late-breaking news.

A covert earpiece can be beneficial for anyone making a public speech. The speaker can be directed by someone behind the scenes and even given cues to help them remember what to say next, all the while leaving the audience without any awareness of it happening. This is a common practice and can save a speaker from the embarrassing situation of a temporary loss of train of thought. A quick reminder via the earpiece and the speech can continue with any evidence of a slip. Prominent people such as politicians who are often subject to criticism of their public-speaking abilities can find being assisted via a covert earpiece ensures they do not make a newsworthy ‘blunder’.

There are covert earpieces that are designed for the wearer to receive communication only and then there are others that are designed with a microphone in them, allowing two-way communication. Those personnel responsible for ensuring security and / or conducting surveillance can discreetly communicate with each other, an essential asset for these types of tasks. The convenience of having a hands-free means of communicating is also advantageous, particularly when security personnel are blending in with the crowd and do not want anyone alerted to their presence.

A covert earpiece fits discreetly into the ear or sometimes on a pair of eyeglasses and has no visible wiring, and yet the wearer is able to hear clearly and distinctly everything being communicated to him or her. As the name suggests, it is designed to be invisible’ to anyone but the most observant person. While not completely invisible, most people are quite unaware that a person is wearing a covert earpiece. In some instances there may be a wire that is covered by a person’s collar. This is called an inductive wire and although its purpose is to be a sound modulator it is in fact a separate radio device and is not connected to the earpiece.

2 Way Radio Online Asks What Is A Two Way Radio And Who Uses Them?

A two-way radio is basically a radio that is structured to transmit and receive. In general, most voice-wireless communications technology, counting cellular systems, are categorized by two-way radio definition. Usually, a two way radio refers to a radio system primarily utilized for group call communications. This two-way system is also called PAMR Public Access-Mobile Radio, PMR Private-Mobile Radio, LMR Land-Mobile Radio, and PMR Professional-Mobile Radio.

Portable 2 way radios are frequently called “walkie-talkies” or “handie-talkies.” Not much different from “handie,” the term sometimes used to describe mobile phones. While we’re on the subject, it’s probably best to get something out in the open right now. People often interchange the terms two-way radio and walkie-talkie.

However, walkie-talkie is chiefly a generic or slang-term for hand portable two way radios. Moreover, the term usually implies non-professional, license free, consumer type, or “toy” equipment. When referring to two-way radios, people are basically talking about professional licensed equipment. A walkie-talkie is generally a hand-held CB radio. A 2 way radio is of superior quality and utilizes much higher frequencies. Two-way radios can also be found in mobile and base-configurations in addition to using radio network-infrastructure.

In addition, two-way radios are usually decked out with a PTT or “Push-to-Talk” key to trigger the transmitter. Users simply press the PTT key and quickly begin a conversation. The user lets go of the PTT key in order to hear others.

A two-way radio user can talk immediately with other radio users or utilize radio network-infrastructure. A direct-talk amongst radios, normally referred to as direct more operation/talk-around mode, has restricted reach because of limited radio power. To defeat this restriction, a radio network-infrastructure can be used to expand the communication range.

WHY USE A TWO WAY RADIO?

With numerous choices in wireless technology today and with 2 way radios being one of the first wireless devices, some wonder if this type of radio is still a useful gadget in the current world of technological communication. Well actually yes. There are two main features that differentiate two-way radios from other wireless gadgets:

-Instantaneous Communication

Two-way radios offer instant communication. Users can simply press the PTT or “Push-To-Talk” key and inside a fraction of a second, the user can instantly speak and convey their message. This is because of the quick-call setup time entrenched in the technology. This quick communication possibility is one of the main reasons why businesses and organizations prefer two-way radios for their operational or tactical communications.

-Group Communication

An additional unique feature of two way radios is its ability to facilitate “group-calls” or “one-to-many” communications very effectively. This means that one user can easily communicate with one, five, twenty, hundreds, or even thousands of other 2 way radio users simultaneously.

In other words, there’s no need for users to repeat themselves time and again if they need to communicate with more than one user. Moreover, two way radios performs perfectly for group communication using a minimal amount of RF channel-resources. If every user were in the same vicinity the majority of the time, they would only need one-channel resources to speak to hundreds of other users.

WHY NOT SIMPLY USE ANY WIRELESS-SYSTEM?

There is an abundance of wireless-technology today, and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. The choice of which technology is idea for one’s group or association will depend upon if the technology can satisfy the user’s requirements. For users who need to function in a group, communicate instantly, and remain mobile, a two-way radio is the best choice compared to the other wireless technology available on the market today.

You may still wonder how this can be possible with smartphones, iPods, iPhones, tablets, mobile phones available. Here are the main reasons why these technological gadgets may NOT meet the above requirements:

-Instant Communication

Consider this scenario. You are out hiking, run into an emergency situation, and must communicate quickly to confirm your dilemma. If you were using a mobile phone, for instance, you must dial a number, wait while the call is being setup and connected; that’s if you get a signal. The phone must then ring to the other person, and they finally answer, if their voicemail isn’t on! The whole procedure could take several seconds and within that valuable time, your situation could easily worsen.

With a 2 way radio, you simply press the PTT key and yell “emergency” while the other users “immediately” pick-up your signal. This is assuming that RF-channel is accessible. However, there is a way that two-way radios features can surmount RF-channel blockage and give highest-priority to emergency calls, a feature not available to other wireless devices.

-Group Communication

Take this example. You need to let your staff know that there has been some changes for a planned meeting. If you have to contact them one at a time, it could become tedious. With a two-way radio, you can simply select your talk-group, press the PTT key, and begin your message to five, 10, 15, or however many staff members you need to communicate with simultaneously. Now, raise that number to 1000 workers and imagine the work involved if you had to go through cellular phone channels.

Though some wireless systems permit group calls, it usually restricts the amount of group members that you can communicate with at one time. With a two way radio, you simply need to speak once and be heard by many.

WHO USES 2 WAY RADIOS?

Two-way radios have been utilized for many years by numerous industries and associations. Because of the nature of their operational requirements, they use two way radios to broadcast their operational and communicational needs. Organizations and industries that may depend on two-way radio usage are:

-Public Safety associations such as EMS emergency medical services, police, ambulance service, fire brigade, disaster-recovery agency
-Security like intelligence agencies and military
-Transportation industries like subway, railways, seaports, airports, subways
-Oil and gas companies
-Utility companies like cable TV, telephone, water, gas, electricity
-Construction companies for road and bridges, residential, commercial
-Transport service companies like trucks, limos, taxis
-Hospitality industries like tourism, restaurant, resort, and hotel
-Service industry such as towing and delivery companies
-Government agencies like public works, embassies, municipal, district governments, and ministries
-Manufacturing
-Contractors for roofing, plumbing, excavating, electrical
-And many more…

Overall, those who utilize two-way radios are frequently businesses or agencies with many staff members or workers who work in groups and are mobile.

TWO WAY RADIOS TODAY

Today, two-way radios come with additional or improved features from years before. For example, display screens show important information at a quick glance, keypads lock to maintain channel settings, there are various ring-tones and silencers to choose from along with out of range alerts, and much more!

In NASCAR, How Do The Drivers Communicate With The Pit Crew?

NASCAR drivers use a unique radio system that is built in to their crash helmets. These are occasionally customized to suit the individual wearer. In addition to this, there is a push-to-talk button (exactly like the one found on a walkie-talkie), which is situated in the steering wheel. A wiring harness connects the various components together and a separate battery operates the whole thing. The signal is broadcast via a whip antenna that is attached to the roof of the car. In this fashion, NASCAR drivers are able to communicate with pit crews.

In addition to this, most cars are outfitted with a spare Motorola two-way radio that is within easy reach of the driver.

A firm out of Atlanta, Georgia named ‘Racing Radios’ provides the vast majority of the radios used in NASCAR races. Racing Radios have provided equipment to NASCAR races for 30 years or so; they are a trusted firm, creating all the standard NASCAR radio technology and also providing custom radios/peripherals for individual drivers.

According to Racing Radios spokesperson Tony Cornacchia, the majority of NASCAR drivers prefer to buy their own specialized equipment from the firm.

Because so many teams are racing and so many people are working on the race overall, it is not uncommon for NASCAR events to feature 100 FCC licensed radio broadcasts at any given time.

Racing Radios is the company that programs the individual frequencies, not only for drivers and pit crews, but also for staff, officials and security personnel. RR do such a good job, that neither drivers nor pit crews suffer regularly from interference or dead spots. Now that’s something.

According to Terry Boyce of ‘HowStuffWorks’, Many teams outfit their entire pit and support crews with custom-engineered, hand-built headphones and two-way radios ordered through Racing Radios. Multi-car teams may choose to connect even more people through their radio communications network. Active Noise Reduction (ANR) technology helps to cancel out distracting background noise. Exceptional communication is one of the reasons a 21st century NASCAR pit crew can change four tires and refuel a race car in around 13 seconds — and do it 10 or more times in a single race”.

The Different Icom Radio Connector Types Available

For a long time now, icom radios have been serving most of the consumers’ interests, offering both feature rich and compatible products. These products however need to be complemented with just the right accessories for them to work right. Here is a look at the icom 2 way radio connectors.

The Icom 2 pin right angle connector
The icom right angle connector is both convenient and flexible. It is used by most of the icom radio users, seeing it serve more people compared to the other two icom 2 way radio connectors. The icom right angle connector features a surgical grade acoustic. This ensures that you get incoming signals clearly, further enhancing efficiency. It is also made in a manner that it is easy to conceal, allowing use in environments that require discreetness. In addition to this, it also offers comfort, allowing you to wear it even for extended periods of time without feeling the itch that comes with most other connectors.

For convenience, the icom right angle connector is made in a manner that it is easy and fast to wear. It is suitable for use with the following range of icom radios: IC-F15, IC-F21, IC-F25, IC-F4GT, IC-G3GT, IC-F15s, IC-F3G, IC-F43GT, IC-F11, and the IC-F31 among others.

The icom straight pin connector
The icom straight pin connector is one of the icom 2 Way radio connectors made primarily for use with icom’s range of marine radios. Just like the icom right angle connector, the straight pin connector also offers excellent signal quality as it also comes with features like surgical grade acoustic. It is also made in a manner that it is easy to conceal, allowing for use in places where discreteness is crucial.

It further comes with a noise reducing microphone, a feature that adds to the audio quality. This allows the user to get clearer signals, and hence make better informed decisions. For convenience, it is also quite easy to put on and quite comfortable to the ears too.
If you are wondering whether your icom radio is compatible with the icom straight pin connector, you can easily verify this by checking the location of your radio’s switch. Generally, the icom range of radios compatible with this connector usually has the switch located at the place where the right angle pin connector would be connected to the radio.

The icom multi pin connector
The multi pin icom connector serves a lesser portion of the icom radio connectors as compared to the other icom 2 way radio connectors, being used mostly on the IC-F50 and the IC-F30GS. It comes with a nine pin connector making it flexible for most of the range products it is designed for. It further comes with a locking screw for effective fastening.
It also comes with surgical grade acoustic for good quality signal transmission. This ensures the user gets good quality and clear audio, ensuring efficiency. For use in sensitive areas, it is easy to conceal, and is designed in a manner that putting it on is easy and fast.

Accessories for icom 2 way radio connectors
Adjustments can be made to make these icom radio connectors work even better and with more ease on both parties’ parts. This can be made so by use of the diverse range of icom radio earpieces. Common accessories include soft ear plugs which make the icom connectors even more comfortable to the ears, allowing use for long periods of time. You may also connect with Bluetooth connectors for better signal transmission as well as to enable connection with other ranges of relevant devices.

Ensure you get good quality connectors
The quality of signal and audio you are bound to get on your icom connectors will depend on the quality of the connectors themselves. As such, it is crucial to ensure that you get good quality products. To ascertain the products quality and legitimacy, check to see that they are ROHS compliant, as this guarantees quality check. Also check to see that they are original icom products.

For enjoyable and assured shopping, it is recommended that you purchase these products from reputable sellers in the market. Market sentiment on icom 2 way radio forums will give you pretty good guidance.

Conclusion
Make the most out of your icom 2 way radio by using the right and good quality icom 2 way radio connectors.

Is it Worth Buying a Cheap Two Way Radio?

It depends on what you want to do with it. Two way radio technology is actually fairly simple. The basic mechanics of a radio don’t really change much from unit to unit, or from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Some radios may have flashier features (which you can decide for yourself if you really need) and others might have extra functions, such as the ability to switch between analogue and digital, but, to a large extent, a two way radio is a two-way radio.

A few of the features advertised (and no doubt added to the overall price) will do you no good whatsoever. For example, a radio claiming to have a range of 25-30 miles is simply lying to you. The average radio has a range of between 1 and 2 miles. Some are a little stronger that this, most are not.

Some radios advertise being waterproof or water resistant (some even come with built-in weather warnings) and, if you’re planning on using the radio in more outdoor conditions, then this is definitely a plus and worth spending money on.

Now, as for the tech itself, your radio’s power output is an important factor, but if you are only having a bit of fun, you likely wouldn’t need to go over 0.5 watts (and thus end up applying to Ofcom for a radio license). Generally, FRS (Family Radio Service) radios are cheapest and they are fine for a bit of fun, but GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) radios, although they cost a little extra, are worth it if you need to transmit a stronger signal over a longer distance.

Other features, such as a built-in LED torch, a stopwatch, built-in alarms and/or a fancy light-up screen are only worth spending out on if you have a use in mind for them. Otherwise, it might be cheaper to simply provide torches and stopwatches to your staff if they require them. That’s a judgment call.

An emergency button, however, is always a good idea. The same is true for a ‘privacy’ function, especially if you are using your radio in an area with lots of other radio signals bouncing about.

Finally, we come to the idea of brand name. Certain products (we could name a particular headphone brand endorsed by a certain rapper, but we won’t) are all about selling the ‘in thing’ with a flashy logo, a branded image, a HUGE markup and little else to offer the customer. Radios are not this way, if you buy a trusted brand (such as Motorola), you can be assured of getting a quality product. In this instance, spending a little more for an established name can definitely pay off.

Essentially, if you want a two-way radio for business use, then it is worth spending out that little extra. However, if you only want one for hobby use, then you can pick one from the lower end of the market and not worry too much about it. Extra features are what add to the price more than anything else and it is entirely up to you to decide if you need them or not.

Time Travel is Possible, Says Noted Physicist

Physics Professor Brian Cox has determined that time travel is theoretically possible and that time machines could one day be a reality.

The British professor, who is also a TV Presenter and pop musician (having some success with the Northern Irish band D:Ream in the 1990’s), used Dr. Who’s famous TARDIS as a broad example of the type of time machine that he believes to be theoretically possible as well as scientifically sound.

“Can you build a time machine?” asked Cox during his speech at the British science festival, before answering his own question with a resounding “yes”.

However, according to Cox’s research, whilst time travel to the future is theoretically possible, time travel to the past is completely impossible. In addition, the trip would only be one way; there would be no going home.

Cox isn’t the first person to make this announcement; in fact, he’s borrowing directly from Einstein’s theory of special relativity when he states that movement at speeds close to the speed of light would theoretically cause time to slow down, but only for the individual travelling at such speeds.

Says Cox, “If you go fast, your clock runs slow relative to people who are still. As you approach the speed of light, your clock runs so slow you could come back 10,000 years in the future,”

Some scientists have suggested that the use of ‘wormholes’ would be a theoretically acceptable form of time travel. In fact, wormholes are a staple of science fiction stories. A wormhole (perhaps better referred to as an Einstein-Rosen Bridge) is, effectively, a passageway, or ‘shortcut’, through spacetime. The effect of a wormhole would be the spacial equivalent of writing ‘A’ on the far end of a piece of paper and ‘B’ on the other side, then putting the two letters together and punching a hole through the paper with a pencil.

However, in his speech, professor Cox refuted the idea that such a ‘bridge’ could ever be truly stable, saying,

“In General Relativity, you can do it in principle. It’s to do with building these things called wormholes; shortcuts through space and time. But most physicists doubt it. Hawking came up with the ‘chronology protection conjecture’ – physics we don’t yet understand that means wormholes are not stable.”

On the heels of this announcement, Professor Cox, an ardent fan of Dr. Who, will be delivering a 60-minute speech about the popular TV show, which will be screened by the BBC on November 23rd. In the speech, the professor will share his thoughts on the possibility of extraterrestrial life, the potential discovery of new dimensions and, of course, time travel.

A Look At The Different Motorola Connectors

When it comes to discreet affairs, there definitely must be a discreet communication. Whether it is a security personnel or just a private group of designated people. Radios are used for communication between compatible devices within a specified location. Nevertheless, it would be less comfortable if someone talks via the radio and everyone hear the entire communication. Given the different types of two-way radios in the market, they usually come with a compatible earpiece. Among the most common radios are the Motorola radios. It would be super discreet and stylish if you had a Motorola radio earpiece to accompany your device. Some of the ideal 2-way radio earpiece connectors at EarpieceOnline include the following;

CP040 & DP4400 2-Pin Connector
This Motorola 2-pin connector can work with a number of Motorola 2-way radios. It can also support some of the old version radios such as the GP040 and the GP300. Some of the novel version of radios that are compatible to this earpiece include the DP1400 and the DP1000.

Features of the connector
• It has a changeable Foam sock so that you can replace if it has worn out.
• The earpiece also has a comfortable and flexible C-shaped earpiece.
• There is a secure moulded ear hook, for holding firm on the ear.
• It provides high quality audio.
• It comes with a noise reducing microphone for enhanced reception of incoming voice messages.
• The earpiece has a plastic that is covered by a label clip PTT button. The wire PTT is separated from the microphone and an ear hangar earpiece.
• It has a RoHS compliant feature and comes with Motorola earpiece 2-pin connector GP300/CP040/XTN and GP340 adapters.

DP3400 & DP3600 Multi Connector

This is an adjustable connector earpiece that lets you to modify the connector to be compatible with the accessory. It will also function with other 2 pins such as Motorola, Kenwood and Icom 2-pins. It will also be compatible to Entel, Kenwood and Icom multi pins.
Features
• It is incorporated with Kevlar Reinforced for better surveillance and security.
• It has a secure fit tube connector, to avoid accidents of it cut from rough encounters.
• It offers a high quality audio.
• The earpiece has a Lapel clip PTT button and a separate wire PTT. That is separated from a noise reduction microphone and an acoustic tube. The acoustic tube runs over the ear, the FBI style.
• There is a changeable connector for flexible modification and flexible mushroom plugs that you can replace whenever.

DP2400 & DP2600 multi connector

This is yet another different multi connector that lets you connect the earpiece so that it can be compatible with your device. It goes for about £35 and is compatible with a majority of 2-pin and 3-pin connectors.
Features
• The acoustic tube runs over the ear and it has a secure fit connector for super surveillance and comfort.
• It has a separate wire PPT different from the acoustic tube and a microphone that reduces noise from the surrounding.
• The mushroom plugs are changeable and you can simply remove them when they are loose or worn out.
• It produces a high quality audio that reduces strain even when in a noisy environment.

GP340 & GP680

This multi connector is compatible with any Motorola, Icom or Kenwood 2-Pin. It also works well with a GP340 and DP3400 connector. You can use 2 different connectors on one earpiece and it will not be of any problem.
Features
• This multi connector has a high quality audio reception. That makes it comfortable to use anywhere, even in a crowded, noisy place.
• There is a microphone, which is separate from a wire PTT and an acoustic tube. The microphone is a noise reducing microphone, that helps to make the other end-user be comfortable.
• It has a RoHS compliant and an over the ear acoustic tube that holds firm to the ear.
• There is an adjustable connector that is versatile to other devices.

An elegant and well fitted earpiece will not only promote surveillance, but it will also be comfortable on the ear. That will ensure it is safe from damages in rough situations. A Motorola radio earpiece will be beneficial if you want a comfortable communication without having to speak loudly over the radio. Some of the radios are also slightly heavy, which makes them more comfortable when using an earpiece, that is worn beneath the clothing.

Yahoo! Becomes ‘Yikes!’ as Recycled Accounts Relay Sensitive Information to the Wrong People

Yahoo!’s policy of recycling inactive email accounts has backfired on them, as new account owners are receiving personal emails that aren’t meant for them.

The policy, active since June, means that Yahoo IDs and addresses are reassigned to a new user if left inactive for a year or more. But obviously both Yahoo! and some of its users got more than they bargained for.

The emails have been reported to contain highly sensitive information. As a result, privacy experts have been called in, in order to solve the problem quickly and without further incident.

According to a Yahoo! Spokesperson, “Before recycling inactive accounts we attempted to reach the account owners [in] multiple ways to notify them that they needed to log in to their account or it would be subject to recycling,” The spokesperson went on to say that, “We took many precautions to ensure this was done safely – including deleting any private data from the previous account owner, sending bounce-backs to the senders for at least 30-60 days letting them know the account no longer existed and unsubscribing the accounts from commercial mail.”

Interviewed by BBC News, Tom Jenkins, an IT security professional and recipient of such an account, revealed just how damaging this malfunction could potentially be, “I can gain access to their Pandora account, but I won’t. I can gain access to their Facebook account, but I won’t. I know their name, address and phone number. I know where their child goes to school. I know the last four digits of their social security number. I know they had an eye doctor’s appointment last week and I was just invited to their friend’s wedding.”

As much as Yahoo! has responded swiftly to this scandal, critics who have slated the initiative from the beginning are now finding themselves vindicated. Mike Rispoli of Privacy International said, “These problems were flagged by security and privacy experts a few months ago when Yahoo announced their intention to recycle old emails, and cautioned that Yahoo’s plan created significant security and privacy risks. Yahoo downplayed these risks, and ignored critics, but now we see these concerns were legitimate,”

Mr. Rispoli went on to say that, “This email recycling scheme, an effort to re-engage old users and attract new ones, is resulting in some of our most intimate data being accessed by someone we don’t know and without our knowledge (…) We’re talking about account passwords, contacts for friends and families, medical records – this issue needs to be addressed immediately by Yahoo if they care about the privacy of their users and want them to trust the company with sensitive information.”

Our experts say that the best way to avoid this fate is actually to cancel any email account that is not currently in at least semi-regular use, having first deleted all content from the account.

SOURCE:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24283179

Tech We’d Like to See: Cities on the Moon

What it is:

Placing a city (or several) on the moon has long been a dream of science fiction writers, futurists and ambitious scientists. Recently however, renewed public interest in space exploration, together with a growing realization that the world is becoming dangerously overpopulated, has lead some scientists, artists and zealous would-be lunar colonists to start taking this ages-old dream extremely seriously.

Why we want it:

Because it could potentially be one of the only non-genocidal solutions to the eventual overpopulation of planet earth. Also, who wouldn’t want to sit on the moon and watch the Earth rise?

When can we expect it?

A couple of years ago, a group called Moon Capital launched a high profile competition, allowing scientists, architects and aspiring artists the chance to create scientifically plausible scenes of moon colonisation (in the style made famous by super-artist Chesley Bonestell).

The competition had (hypothetical) moon colonisation taking place in the year 2068. This estimate was good enough for the entrants of the competition, so it’ll be good enough for us, too. Hopefully, then, you’ll get your lunar colony in about 55 years time (just under a hundred years after Neil Armstrong took that one small step….)

Of course, the problems posed by such a feat of engineering are many-fold. For starters, the moon is some 380,000 km away from us at any given time, (which is quite a trip for a moving van, even taking speed cameras out of the equation), then there’s the difficulty of actually building a working city in such a hostile environment…

We’ve built space stations, of course, so we know we can construct things in space, but they aren’t exactly desirable places to live. Also, we can get people to the moon and back (we’ve been at it since the 60’s, no matter what the conspiracy nuts tell you), but the trip is still intensely dangerous and requires a great deal of training and preparation.

Finally, we come to the complete lack of breathable atmosphere on the moon; this would require scientists to create some sort of artificial environment (or else speed up development of terraforming methods, but that’s a story for another time).

Oh yeah, there’s no food either, not unless you like your Selenite steaks rare.

Yes, the idea of colonising the moon poses a number of mind-boggling obstacles, but if there’s one thing that we as a species excel at, its overcoming obstacles.

So, while it may seem far-fetched to imagine something like this actually happening, consider this; the first powered flight took place in 1903 and just 66 years later, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were hanging out on the moon. Think on that for a second.

Cool Factor: 5/5

Cities on the moon? Now that’s cool.

What you need to consider before buying a Motorola Earpiece

For most people, clarity of sound when using their radios is very important. Only through clear sound will you be able to receive and understand the message being conveyed. For proper sound, you might consider using a good set of earpiece. Motorola radio earpiece is the ear piece to go for. This earpiece has been made using the latest technology to ensure you enjoy top quality sound. Additionally, the huge popularity of the gadget is more than enough proof of its reliability and exceptional performance.

How to choose the ideal earpiece
There are numerous brands of earpiece flooding the market. This makes it hard trying to choose the best earpiece. However, it is very much possible settling for the best. This is possible only if you put a few factors into consideration. Some of the things to note include:

• Cost. You certainly do not expect to spend a lot on this gadget. As much as you do not want to spend much, it is important that you consider the price. Ensure that you go for something that has a reasonable price. This will ensure that you get what you are looking for plus full value for your money.

• Quality. Price will certainly dictate quality. Quality earpieces produce clear sound. Additionally, quality means that the earpieces are durable and can endure any type of conditions.

• Brand name. The brand name on the earpiece is also very important. Therefore, ensure that you only go for a gadget that has been manufactured by an experienced company.

• Reviews. You might want to seek the opinion of people who have used the brand that you want to go for. This will ensure that you get an overview of the product you want to purchase.
motorola earpieceMotorola radio earpiece will definitely meet and surpass the requirements of any customer.
Why you need to chose Motorola radio earpiece
By choosing the earpiece from technology giants Motorola, you are assured of leaping numerous benefits. Additionally, the fact that the earpiece is widely used is more than enough proof of its reliability. The gadget has also undergone testing and has been proven fit for use. Some of the advantages of choosing Motorola earpiece are:

• Affordable. This gadget is offered at a very pocket friendly price. This is meant to ensure that anyone despite class or status can afford to receive the best sound from their radios

• Quality. This is a high quality gadget that gives an outstanding performance. The sound produced is of high quality and crystal clear. This does not pose a threat to the well being of your ears. This makes the earpiece very reliable.

• Durability. The material used in manufacturing the earpiece will ensure that it serves you for long. Additionally, the earpiece is able to withstand any condition without wearing out.

• Widely used. The wide use of this radio earpiece is more than enough assurance that you are purchasing a high quality product.

• Ideal for privacy. At times you might require taking a message discreetly. The Motorola radio earpiece will ensure that you receive the message in a clear manner.

• Striking features. The 3.5 mm jack makes it possible for you to use the earpiece with different gadgets. The earpiece is also built to enhance comfort while using it. It is compatible with: DP2400, DP3400, GP340 and CP040.

Where to purchase the earpiece
With the rise in counterfeit products, it is surely a hard task finding original products. Therefore, ensure you exercise a lot of caution when shopping for the gadget. This is a move bent at ensuring you do not make a purchase that you will later regret. Beware of con artists who are out there to make a kill out of your hard earned cash. Ensure you only purchase this gadget from a trusted dealer. Additionally, the earpiece is available in various online stores. Also, ensure you purchase from a reputable online store. This will ensure that you only purchase an original product that will diligently serve you.

Conclusion
It is time you received messages with a lot of clarity. This is only possible if you choose the appropriate set of earpiece. If you were wondering the ideal type of earpiece to go for, you now know better. Motorola 2 way radio earpiece is surely the choice to make.

Earth-Like’ Asteroid Devoured by Dead Star

The Hubble Space Telescope has recorded an intriguing event some 150 light-years from Earth.

A large asteroid was pulled into the White Dwarf star (named ‘GD 61’ by astronomers) and utterly destroyed. This is not an unusual event, as even dead stars still exhibit a very high level of gravity. However, scientists are interested because the chemical signatures left in the star’s atmosphere indicate the presence of water and a rocky surface, both considered to be key building blocks for the creation of life on our planet.

Until this event was observed, water and a rocky surface had never been found together on an object outside our solar system.

The asteroid consisted of the elements magnesium, silicon, iron and oxygen, all of which are usually found in rock minerals, but scientists believe that the abundance of oxygen indicated the heavy presence of H20.

The object was at least 90KM across and as much as 26% of that is thought to have been water. Earth is considered to be just 0.02% water.

This discovery is important because it gives scientists a vindicating glimpse of how inhabitable environments may have been formed, receiving key components (such as water) from outside sources such as meteorites.

It is thought that water first arrived on our planet by similar means and that other planets in the GD 61 system would once have received water this way as well. According to BBC News, scientists consider the presence of rocky planets in the GD system to have been “very likely”.

Scientists have observed over 1,000 planets outside our solar system, but none is thought to contain water.

Closer to home, some planets and heavenly bodies are thought to contain water. Mars is considered by many to once have had liquid water, but if this is still the case, it is a greatly reduced amount.

Elsewhere, Jupiter’s moon Europa raises a tantalizing prospect that there are oceans under its icy surface. This has led to some convincing research into the possible presence of ocean currents there. However, Europa is not alone, its fellow moons Callisto and Ganymede have also been suggested as candidates for liquid water.

In addition, Rhea (moon of Saturn), Titania (moon or Uranus), Oberon (also orbiting Uranus), Triton (moon of Neptune), Pluto (dwarf planet), Eris (dwarf planet), Sedna (possible dwarf planet) and Orcus (another possible dwarf planet) are all speculated to have oceans, some of which may be in contact with the rocky core of the respective body, which would hypothetically result in a steady stream of minerals and salts into the water – an important factor in creating life.

Saturn’s moon Enceladus has geysers, which is seen as proof of the presence of water or at least water vapours. It has even been theorized by some that Neptune contains oceans of liquid diamond.

The heavy presence of water on this asteroid is a vital clue for scientists and their understanding, not only of the cosmos, but also of how our home planet came into being.

SOURCES

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24491845

Tech We’d Like To See: The Dermal Regenerator

What it is:

A prop oft mentioned and seen in ‘Star Trek’ from ‘The Next Generation’ onwards, the dermal regenerator is a wonderful little slice of 24th century medicine.

Usually depicted as a small, handheld device that emits a miniature laser beam, the Regenerator is used to heal minor flesh wounds, fix scars and repair trauma that would otherwise require stitches.

As far as I know, the theoretical underpinnings of this amazing device are never discussed, so I have no idea how it is supposed to work (unlike warp drive, which is powered by a matter/anti matter reaction, just in case you wondered).

Why we want it:

Can you imagine never needing to have stitches or never having to painfully heal up after a nasty run in with a kitchen knife? Moreover, can you imagine a world where serious injuries, 3rd degree burns or facial scars could be treated permanently, in a matter of seconds?

Many painful minor injuries would be rendered completely harmless and hospitals would get through most of their A&E in-patients in a matter of minutes.

When can we expect it?

Dermal regeneration technology is actually not as far away as we might think.

A few years ago, scientists pioneered what they called a ‘skin cell gun’ as a method for treating burn victims. This little doohickey literally sprays stem cells taken from the victim onto the inflamed skin.

While a skin graft can be prone to infection, take ages to heal and involve a long and agonizing recovery process, the skin cell gun can replicate a successful skin graft in a matter of days, completely removing the need for surgery.

The skin cell gun can be used to treat second-degree burns, as it relies on the body’s natural healing abilities and works with existing skin cells. It is, however, not quite at the level of Star Trek’s favourite medical tool.

The gun cannot be used to treat third-degree burns, for example, because they strip away both the epidermis and dermis skin levels, leaving the cells nothing to work with. In addition, the gun can only be used on fresh burns.

There are other drawbacks too, leading to the skin cell gun’s status as ‘not yet approved’ by the FDA. Principally, the device is still relatively untested and no one knows what sort of long-term future the repaired skin may have.

On the upside, Jörg C. Gerlach, inventor of this amazing device, has also been able to demonstrate that the newly grown skin cells actually go on to become fully functional in every way, forming epidermis, dermis and even new blood vessels. The new skin also better matches the original pigmentation of the victim.

It is hoped by many in the scientific community that a similar method as that used by the skin cell gun may also one day be used to grow replacement organs for those in need of a transplant.

Star Trek’s dermal regenerator may yet be a convenient fiction, but the prototype for it exists in the here and now, with extremely promising results. Will a technology that closely resembles the ones used by Beverly Crusher and her colleagues in the 24th Century be available in the real world one day? It certainly looks likely, I’m happy to say.

Cool Factor: 4/5

Nothing says progress like laser beams that re-grow injured skin in a matter of seconds. Imagine the amount of people who’s suffering would simply cease. Here’s hoping that we eventually see this device in action (or not, as the case may be, given that I’d probably have to endure a painful injury in order to do so).

I Want to Buy a Long-Range Walkie Talkie, What Should I Look out For?

Long range walkie talkies (which we’ll abbreviate here to LRWT, for short) come in many different shapes and sizes. They also typically boast a wide variety of extra features, such as LCD screens, weather warnings and emergency buttons. It is up to you to decide which of these extra features are worth spending out on.

Shopping for an LRWT is essentially the same deal as shopping for any other kind of walkie-talkie or two-way radio. Of course, you should ignore any claims that the radio can communicate across distances of 30, or even 25, miles, such claims are always to be considered fallacious (as we’ve discussed elsewhere this month). In addition, it is worth investing in a radio that has a ‘privacy’ function if you are planning to use it at a crowded event, or indeed in any place that is likely to play host to a lot of signal traffic.

I Want to Buy a Long-Range Walkie Talkie, What Should I Look out For
I Want to Buy a Long-Range Walkie Talkie, What Should I Look out For

Remember also that VHF and UHF radios are completely incompatible. DO NOT attempt to buy a VHF radio to go with a UHF radio (or vice versa), just trust us on this.

It also pays to be aware of licensing requirements. Many radios will need to be used with a license, which you can attain relatively easily (and often surprisingly cheaply). It does, however, absolutely need to be done. Of course, an LRWT that is listed as PMR446 (or has a power output of less than 0.5 watts) requires no license.

Other questions you could ask yourself are:

What type of batteries does your prospective LRWT use? Are they AA, AAA or rechargeable (we recommend the latter)?

Is the radio water/shock proof? Does it need to be?

Another consideration is ease of use. In order to be truly effective, a walkie-talkie needs to be easy to use. There is a school of thought which suggests that, the more buttons there are to press and functions there are to master, the less effective the user will be in a crisis. If you can get extra functions that do not otherwise impede the simplicity of layout and use, then you’re probably onto a winner, but otherwise, we reckon simplicity is key.

The most important thing to keep in mind, however, is what you want the radio for. Do not, under any circumstances, lose sight of the task at hand. If you are looking for a professional piece of equipment, many of these decisions must be made with your staff in mind. However, if you’re just looking to have a bit of a laugh, then you needn’t be as picky as we’ve suggested.

What is Ham Radio & How Does it Work?

Ham radio (so called because its operators were originally derided as being ‘hammy’ in the 19th century, when the technology first emerged) is a term that applies to any form of amateur radio broadcasting.

There are designated radio frequency spectra available solely for public use. Uses range from recreation to communication and the non-commercial exchange of ideas. ‘Hams’ take advantage of these frequencies in order to transmit any number of things

Strictly speaking, there should not be any money involved in amateur radio (hence the term ‘amateur’). Although the majority of Ham radio practitioners are actually extremely knowledgeable about radio technology (don’t let the ‘ham’ part fool you), they are not considered professionals because they do not profit from their endeavors. Conversely, commercial broadcasting involves (a lot of) money: royalties are paid, producers and performers are paid and the whole thing is ultimately a commercial exercise.

Hams use a large amount of frequency bands from all across the radio spectrum, but the majority of frequencies are to be found just above the AM band.

A lot of hams, however, use VHF FM, operating hand-held transceivers that send on one frequency and receive on another. Local radio clubs set up FM Repeaters (which borrow space from other broadcast devices such as towers and, in doing so, amplify the radio signal’s strength hundreds of times over), so that hams can communicate with each other wirelessly over a distance of hundreds of miles.

As an example of what hams get up to, here’s an excerpt from Gary Brown, of ‘How Stuff Works.com

“Although a ham radio does broadcast in all directions, hams generally do not use their radios in a broadcast kind of way as a disk jockey would at a radio station. In normal AM or FM radio, one disk jockey transmits and thousands of people listen. Hams, on the other hand, conduct two-way conversations, often with another ham or with a group of hams in an informal roundtable. The roundtable of hams may be in the same town, county, state, country or continent or may consist of a mix of countries, depending on the frequency and the time of the day. Hams also participate in networks, often called nets, at predetermined times and frequencies to exchange third-party messages. In the case of disasters, hams exchange health and welfare information with other hams”.

To become a ham, I recommend that you join a club. You’ll need an amateur radio license, of course, but this won’t break the bank, I’m sure.

I hope that helps.

Why do secret service guys wear those earpieces with the coiled wires instead of something less conspicuous?

That’s actually a pretty good question. Good quality wireless earpieces are available, affordable and would be far more inconspicuous than the classic ‘wired’ models. So why don’t the secret service make their presence a little more, well, secret?

The main reason is largely psychological in nature (though there will be a technical component later on). You see, if a potential troublemaker looks into a crowd and sees nobody there that he/she identifies with as a threat, then said troublemaker will be far more likely to start making trouble. However, if they notice secret service guys using their trademark earpieces, then they might think twice about it and a lot of unpleasantness can actually be avoided.

To you or I (assuming that you aren’t a troublemaker, Joe), the secret service guys are just that, they usually appear to protect someone or something, so we ought to have no reason to fear them. Ergo, they stand out just enough to deter the would-be troublemakers, but not so much that they frighten the rest of us or distract from whatever proceedings we happen to be, um, proceeding with.

If you’re sitting there saying, “hang on, what happens if they want to sneak up on someone?” then my answer is still the same, expect that I would imagine that the secret service would put two or three agents within visual distance of a suspect and then ‘herd’ the troublemaker towards other agents in the vicinity. I have no evidence (or experience, I’m grateful to say), to back that up, but it seems reasonable to me to do it that way.

Now, onto the technical part: wireless communication, whilst it has improved greatly in the last few years, is still not as reliable as the more old fashioned forms of ‘wired’ communication. Wireless communication can be subject to signal interference, as well as suffering from a more limited bandwidth.Finally, wireless communications gobble up battery power far more than their wired counterparts, so for tasks that may last for several long hours at a time, long battery life is a must.

When the wireless technology improves, I suspect that the secret service will make the leap, but I also suspect that they’ll keep the coil, for the reasons stated above.

Also, as an added extra – if you’re wondering why they touch their ears when they receive a message (much to my fellow Brit James Bond’s chagrin), well, that’s because pushing the earpiece into your ear drowns out background noise and also makes the message louder. They simply do it for sound clarity when receiving important information.

Why Do Earphone Chords Get Tangled in Your Pocket?

The answer “because they just do” may be your first response to this question (indeed, it was mine), but its knot a good one (Yeah, yeah, I know…)

Actually, it has to do with Entropy (the second law of thermodynamics) and things tending toward disorder. In fact, the universe seems to exist in a state of ordered chaos (or chaotic order, whichever way you choose to see it) and your headphones are obeying the order of the Universe by causing chaos whilst in your pocket. Maybe.

Alternatively, Summer Ash of ‘NPR.org’ says that,

“Mathematicians have studied knots forever and developed all sorts of theories and classifications of their variations, but physicists have only recently began to explore what equations govern their formation”.

She goes on to describe an experiment, carried out by Physicists Douglas Smith and Dorain Raymer, which involved spinning a length of string with a motor to see if it was tangled or not, they did this 3,415 times. Why that precise number?

Well, according to Smith, “The scientific answer is that 3,415 was around the point where we had statistically compelling results. The human answer is that 3,415 times was about as much as we could stand.”

You wouldn’t expect a guy who appears to have taken the term ‘String Theory’ literally to have a sense of humour, but there you go. I’ll let Summer explain the rest;

“They concluded that with a minimum length of string (18.124 inches) and sufficient space for the string to shift around in its container, knots formed fairly quickly, often within the first few seconds. Inputting these results into a computer model, they even managed to create a program that could identify the “Jones polynomial” for each resulting knot, a mathematical property based on parameters such as the number of string crossings”.

Ergo, when you consider the length of your headphone chord and how much space it has to move around in your pocket (especially when you’re out and about, going to/from work, jogging, walking the dog or whatever), it becomes clear that you’re knot going to avoid the odd entanglements (sorry. I’ll stop now). Its just physics. In fact, if it doesn’t happen all the time, you’ve probably beaten odds close to winning a decent amount on the lottery. Think about that.

Anyway, to sum up, today, we’ve now learned together that knotted headphone cables are a natural symptom of business as usual in the Universe. It is indicative of the great wide somewhere winking down at us and reassuring us that it’s all going to be alright and that everything is going exactly according to plan. A way of saying that the days of our lives are as predestined as every grain of sand on every single beach on every single world in every single galaxy…

Or, if you prefer, the Universe is basically a Grant Morrison re-write of a Phillip K. Dick wet dream.

Or, if you prefer:

Headphones get tangled up in your pocket. Why?  Because they just do.

Why Did Blu Ray Beat HD DVD?

I’m embarrassed to admit this, but my first though upon seeing this question was ‘what is an HD DVD?’ This indicates at least two things:

1)      That HD DVD was never all that successful.

2)      That I’m a bit of an idiot.

Well, for the uninitiated (such as myself) a quick search to Wikipedia, reveals that

“HD DVD (short for High-Definition/Density DVD) is a discontinued high-density optical disc format for storing data and high-definition video. Supported principally by Toshiba, HD DVD was envisioned to be the successor to the standard DVD format. In February 2008, after a protracted format war with rival Blu-ray Disc, Toshiba abandoned the format, announcing it no longer developed or manufactured HD DVD players or drives”.

In an amusing blog posted by Thomas Ricker at Engadget.com (the principal image of which is Monty Python’s totally dismembered Black Knight with the words ‘HD DVD’ superimposed on his helmet), Toshiba’s backing out of manufacturing HD DVD was very much the death knell for the ailing format. He says,

“HD DVD was developed to offer consumers access at an affordable price to high-quality, high definition content and prepare them for the digital convergence of tomorrow where the fusion of consumer electronics and IT will continue to progress”.

Elsewhere, whilst there are some other blog posts of the time that seem to maintain a tone similar to ‘the South shall rise again’ (no, it won’t. No matter how many times you say it), the majority can see the writing on the wall by February 2008.

But why did Blu Ray beat HD DVD? And why did it apparently happen so suddenly?

Well, it seems that Sony and Toshiba both wanted to develop an HD disc format as a natural successor to DVD, however, they just couldn’t agree on the specifics. For whatever reason, no matter how hard executives argued on both sides, no compromise could be made as to which approach was best. According to T3.com’s Chris Smith,

“Talks took place in April in an attempt to unify the formats, but ended in a stalemate and studios began to pick sides. Paramount, Universal, Warner Brothers, New Line, HBO and Microsoft Xbox initially backed HD-DVD, while Disney, Lionsgate, Mitsubishi, Dell and the PlayStation 3 had Blu-ray’s back. Both companies enjoyed minor victories, but it would all come down to the grandest arena tech has to offer: the Consumer Electronics Show 2008. Both sides were primed and ready for CES to turn the tide. Then Warners defected to Blu-ray. HD-DVD’s celebration Champagne corks came out not with a victorious pop but with an embarrassed fart”.

 Smith goes on to report that the trade show was an unequivocal disaster. The decline of HD DVD seems to be traced directly back to that moment, with Warner Bros striking the killing blow for the fledgling format. It is amazing just how quickly a technology can go from a neck and neck race for the top spot to an ignominious death in just a few short hours. From the standpoint of the consumer, it was easier (not to mention cheaper) to have a clear option to buy, which ultimately meant that there could only ever be one winner.

I’ll let Chris Smith deliver the postscript, following the CES failure,

“HD-DVD tried to counter with almost daily price cuts, but its remaining partners deserted it. Just five weeks after CES, Toshiba shut down the HD-DVD production line and the hi-def death match was over. After a brief, face-saving assertion that DVD upscaling was now the way to go, Toshiba eventually caved in and released its first Blu-ray player last year. For Sony, 20 years after being forced to embrace the VHS format that killed Betamax, it must have been an exceedingly sweet moment”.

Sweet indeed.