Where Are Sepura Radios Used?

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For people who are curious where Sepura radios are used, then this article is for you. Sepura is a highly respected company that designs, manufactures and sells radio technology. However, the company is known for providing accessories, like a Sepura radio earpiece to radio networks. The company has gained a reputation to supply radios that are highly secure, feature-rich and durable. In fact, with these so many features, the only real question is – in which situations do Sepura radio are not suitable? The answer is – hardly. Nevertheless, this article is going to enumerate a few popular uses for Sepura radios.

Public Safety

One of the most common uses for Sepura radios is in the field of public safety. There are plenty of reasons for this, but the most compelling one is because of the Sepura’s mobile gateway technology. Because of such technology, officers in public safety will be able to communicate with each other no matter the location, even for “dead spots. Sepura radio also comes with a one-of-a-kind noise suppression technology. It’s so good at it that even with wailing sirens, you can still hear crystal clear audio. However, if you really want to block-out all the background noises, then Sepura radio earpiece can help you with that.

Seupra also provides radio technologies that are all designed to streamline and increase the functionality of the communications like allowing real-time information sharing with emergency services, the control room and colleagues; also, Sepura provides apps that make using the technology easier. The ability of Sepura radios to withstand a heavy beating makes them very ideal for tough and disaster scenarios. Lastly Sepura radios come with a Man-Down feature, which provides critical help for any officers that might need backup or assistance.

Oil And Gas

Another popular use for Sepura radios is in oil and gas industries, especially offshore installations. These kinds of work environments are considered as “high risk”, thus worker safety of utmost importance. Therefore, accurate and clear communication is crucial for the safety of all the workers. Sepura radios offer the one of the best radio communications and technologies to provide that another safety layer.

The notable safety features are the Lone Worker and Man-Down. These features are especially designed to ensure safety of the workers and provide immediate help if the situation arises. The radios and accessories are designed in a way so that it can be easily operated even if the user is wearing thick gloves. Sepura radios also feature real-time information authorization access to different areas. This helps protect assets and ensure information security. Also, Sepura radios come with an app specially designed for oil and gas environments as it helps in reducing incidents, liability exposure, promoting safety and full audit-trail.

Sepura is a company that designs, manufactures and sells radio and radio based-technologies from handheld devices, networks to accessories, like the Sepura radio earpiece. Because of the many features, their radios are extensively used in different locations, industries and agencies. The company has put a lot of effort to put features that ensure safety and clear communications, thus it has earned a place in public safety and oil and gas industries.

New Sighting Suggests That Extinct Tasmanian Tigers May Yet Live

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The Thylacine, an odd, chimera-esque carnivore native to Tasmania, was officially declared extinct in 1986. By that time, no one had seen a live one in 40 years, so it seemed reasonable enough to conclude that a virulent, century-long concoction of wholly barbarous (yet officially sanctioned) hunting methods, disease, deforestation and competition from other predators had wiped the creature from the face of the earth.

However, that may not actually be the case, as recent sightings, including one reported in January of this year, seem to attest.

So convincing are such regular sightings to scientists, cryptozoologists and other interested parties, that a new expedition was launched at around the same time, with the hope of finally capturing proof of the animals long-rumoured survival.

An elusive predator last seen alive in the mid 1930’s, the thylacine, colloquially known as the Tasmanian tiger, has captured the hearts, minds and imaginations of conservationists, explorers, cryptozoologists and, just possibly, a handful of lucky eyewitnesses, for three successive generations.

Dog-like in both size and form, but with an oddly angular head, an enormous gape and chocolate brown stripes running across its tail and back, the thylacine was Tasmania’s apex predator. It was the marsupial equivalent of a wolf, or wild dog (an example of what biologists call convergent evolution) and it existed in Australia and Tasmania for around 23 million years.

The last officially recognised wild Thylacine was shot and killed by a farmer named Wilf Batty in 1930. Six years later, Benjamin, the last captive specimen kept in Hobart zoo, died from a cruel combination of neglect and exposure.

Derided as a pest and a sheep stealer, the extermination of these beautiful, shy and enigmatic twilight hunters was seen, at the time, as a positive step towards the taming of the Tasmanian wilderness.

However, by the time the creature’s numbers had almost completely diminished (if not actually expired entirely), it had become the first poster-child for conservation, an idea practically unheard of before the early 20th century. The Tasmanian tiger was even among was the first animals to be classified as an endangered species.

Concordantly, there is a suggestion that a collection of individuals were shipped over to the Australian mainland and secretly released into the wild there, as an act of conservation.

However, despite the aforementioned declaration of the thylacine’s extinction, evidence occasionally comes to light which suggests that rumours of the Tasmanian tiger’s death may be somewhat exaggerated.

In South Australia, 1973, a very compelling piece of footage was taken on 8mm film stock. The footage appears to show a thylacine running across a rural campsite. The gait and running style are entirely unlike a dog or dingo’s and the animal’s lithe, slender form and bony, tapering tail, potentially offer us a tantalising glimpse of a creature that just may have survived extinction.

In 1985, yet more photographic evidence was offered, this time by Australian Aboriginal tracker Kevin Cameron, who photographed what appears to be a thylacine digging in the ground behind a rock.

In 1982, Parks and Wildlife Service researcher Hans Naarding was gifted with an opportunity to observe a thylacine up close for several minutes, even going as far as to count the stripes across its back (12, in case you wondered). A similar account, also filed by a Parks and Wildlife Service employee, emerged in 1995.

Eyewitness accounts of the creature are both numerous and, for the most part, highly consistent. Although some reports are obviously mistaken accounts of dogs afflicted with mange, or even foxes, others still are surprisingly credible.

The most recent sighting of this incredibly rare creature occurred in January of 2014. It was reported to the Thylacine Research Unit (T.R.U), via the organization’s official website.

The eyewitness, named as Jeremy by the site, revealed that he had seen a 40-50CM tall creature that was about the same length as a small dog (defined as 1metre), whilst out walking in the Landsborough area of Queensland, Australia, not far from the Dularcha National Park. According to Jeremy, the creature had light, sandy coloured skin and faint stripes across its back and tail.

Jeremy says, “As I watched it from the side angle, I saw its head appear and thought, oh its a wallaby, but as it emerged I saw it was on four legs, so thought it was a wild dog. But as it went away into the next thick bush, I noticed light coloured stripes at the rear near its tail”.

Once the animal had retreated into a more heavily forested area, Jeremy decided to “let it be” and tell his friends about what he’d witnessed. Apparently, Jeremy’s girlfriend later revealed that she had also seen the creature in the area.

Emphatic that neither of them had seen a dog, or a dingo, Jeremy searched exhaustively online for any kind of striped, dog-like marsupial, but came up empty handed. There was only one logical conclusion.

Proponents of the thylacine’s continued survival often argue that sightings are increasing because the animal’s population may be enjoying a recovery. It has been estimated that if a breeding population of tigers did survive the 1930’s extinction, that it would take them a reasonably long time to return to sufficient numbers. If that is indeed the case, then 70+ years ought to do nicely.

Hopefully, it should now start to get easier to spot, and conclusively document, a living, breathing 21st century thylacine.

What Is a Covert Earpiece?

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This site is an old one, but still very important. Without saying i told you so…. but it was always inevitable!

A covert earpiece is a miniature earpiece worn by an individual while being effectively hidden from plain view. It operates as a radio accessory in times when a user does not want other people to know she or he is communicating with others using radio earbuds. Also known as an invisible earpiece or a surveillance earpiece, a covert earpiece is often worn by government agents, corporate security personnel, undercover law enforcement officers and corporate as well as government spies.

covert earpiece

While many occupations require the use of a radio headset for communication, a covert earpiece is primarily used in instances where communication is of an extremely private and sensitive nature. This is common in cases of private security details and surveillance projects. Sometimes people also use a covert earpiece to defraud businesses and others. Examples of such instances would include someone using an invisible earpiece to cheat on an exam or to defraud a casino by receiving remote information while playing a game.

On-air television personalities may also use a covert earpiece, which is not distracting to viewers, but allows the person to hear relevant feedback from producers and engineers in order to make sure a taping or live appearance flows smoothly. Individuals may also wear a covert earpiece when making a public speech. By doing so, the speaker can receive important cues or changes in a speech without the audience even being aware that communication is taking place between someone located behind the scenes and the individual delivering the speech.

Some covert earpieces are accompanied by a discreet microphone, which enables two-way communication. These are commonly used by security forces with a need for such communication, particularly during surveillance operations. These types of accessories are not only convenient because they feature hands-free operation, but also because they allow undercover security forces to blend in with crowds without having to use a visible walkie-talkie system of communication.

A covert earpiece does not contain any visible wires and is designed to fit inside the ear without being noticeable to the general public. Some devices are even designed to fit on a pair of eyeglasses while amplifying sound inside a person’s ear. An inductive wire is sometimes worn around the person’s neck, but is covered by clothing so as not to be discovered by onlookers. This wire is not connected to the covert earpiece, but connects to a separate radio device that helps modulate sound.

Benefits of Two Way Radios to the Hotel Industry

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Over the years, hotel communication has had to change and develop, becoming more and more efficient than it was. This is courtesy of the advancement in technology over these years. Passed are the days that two way radios were exclusively for police official use. Nowadays, these pieces of technology that have been improved and made even better are used for hotel communications. These state of the art technology have lots of benefits that any of us have been recipients of in one way or the other. Being in the hospitality industry, I can outline with ease some of the major benefits that these 2 way radios have brought into hospitality.

First and foremost, the service offered to the customers in the hotels has been improved. When taking orders in the restaurants back in the day, the waiters had to go all the way back to the kitchen to request for the order. Okay, this was not much of a problem for the small establishments. However, as the hotel grew and the number of employees grew, the kitchen area would get so crowded that out was difficult to get the job done. With the new 2-way radio technology however, all the waitress have to do is call out the order through the gadget and it is received on the other end saving on the time.

Also, being in the hotel business, I can testify that just like in any other business, there are major up and downs. However, unlike many other businesses, there is no space for screwing up. A single mishaps can cost you millions. The best way to avoid this from happening, is by communicating with the manager and airing out issues that might be there. Communication is key in this business and the sooner an issue is sorted out the faster you can move on and provide quality service to your customers.

Security. Do we really have to spell out the benefits that 2 way radios have with regards to security in the hospitality industry. The hotel industry harbors people of different kinds and who have different intentions. As such, the necessary measures need to be taken to ensure the security of the staff as well as the other peaceable customers. The rate at which the security personnel react to distress calls can be the determining factor to how the security emergency turns out. The 2 way radios have greatly increased the speed in which the security personnel respond to security threats and also ensure that they are on top of every situation as every member in the hotel informs them when there is a security risk.

In addition to the above benefits, the Two way radios are cost effective and are also very easy to use. With the 2 way radios, the management does not have to pay any network provider so that they can communicate. This reduces the cost of operation of the hotel by a great margin. To talk through to the other person on the other end of the line, all you have to do is press a button on the front and you will get through. It is as easy as that.

The benefits of the Two-way radios are numerous. This makes them a major asset to any hotel.

We Have A Look Under The Bonnet Of The IC-F4029SDR

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With very little information on the internet about Walkie talkie’s, it is very rare when we get a chance to re post, with permission, an article from this industry.

Professional Digital Licence Free Transceiver

The IC-F4029SDR professional digital licence-free transceiver utilises the latest 6.25kHz ultra narrow digital voice technologies, providing digital clarity, razor sharp signalling performance and a level of secrecy from less congested dedicated digital PMR channels.

The IC-F4029SDR was recently featured on Channel 5’s “The Gadget Show” winning a comparison test against another leading manufacturer.

DIGITAL PMR 446 FEATURES

The IC-4029SDR utilizes 4FSK/FDMA modulation and 6.25kHz digital narrow channel spacing, which is half the channel spacing of the existing analogue PMR 446 system. This way, the 100kHz band width allocated for digital PMR 446 is efficiently divided into 16 channels, or twice the current analogue voice channel capacity making this product incredibly spectrum efficient.

A Path from analogue PMR 446 to digital PMR 446 in one unit

By changing the channel setting, the IC-F4029SDR can be used on existing analogue PMR 446 channels. This provides users with an upgrade path from analogue PMR 446 to digital PMR 446 in one unit. Being analogue/digital compatible, any businesses or private users currently using analogue PMR446 can begin replacing their analogue radios with IC-F4029SDR and enjoy digital quality as well as relief from congested spectrum.

32-status messages

32 codes of prefixed status messages can be sent and received. 16-character messages and 6 types of alert beeps sound that for call reception, are programmable for each message.

“Common ID” group code

This function is similar to an analogue CTCSS/DTCS code. By setting 1–254 common ID codes, the IC-F4029SDR opens its squelch only when a matched code is received. It provides quiet stand-by and group call functions while sharing a channel with several groups. The code “255” is the fixed code for an all stations call.

Security of digital voice

‘Eavesdropping’ by current scanner receivers is impossible at this stage. Since there are no other competing radios, initial users will have a high level of security in digital voice communication mode.

Additional Digital Features

Group call functions (up to 254 digital codes available)

Programmable 32 status message of up to 16 characters each can be sent to individual or group member radios when in digital mode. This is configurable by a PC

In addition to Icom default channel settings, other channel zones are preprogrammed to have matched settings with Kenwood and Motorola PMR446 models currently on the market. These radios can be sold to match Motorola/Kenwood current analogue configuration reducing the necessity to reprogram radios for customer’s fleets consisting of non- Icom radios.

ANALOGUE PMR 446 FEATURES

“Smart-Ring” and “Ringer” function

The “Smart-Ring” function checks the availability of your group members within the operating range. The “Ringer” function is used for manually sending a ring tone instead of a voice call. 16 types of ringing tones are available.

Tone find function

The tone find function allows you to find a tone used in a channel to decode a tone.

Built-in CTCSS/DTCS

50 CTCSS tones and 84 DTCS tones provide quiet stand-by. DTCS inverse mode is also programmable.

Lithium-Ion battery pack and rapid charger as standard

The IC-F4029SDR series shares Lithium-Ion battery packs with the IC-F3062, IC-F3022, IC-F34G and IC-F15 series. The IC-F4029SDR series is supplied with the BP-231 1150mAh li-Ion battery pack (provides 9 hours* of operating time) and BC-160 desktop rapid charger as standard. An optional BP-232 larger capacity battery pack and BP-230 economical battery packs are also available. Lithium-Ion batteries provide larger capacity and a longer operating time than a Ni-Cd or Ni-MH battery pack and allow flexible charging without memory effect.

Small and lightweight body

The IC-F4029SDR has a fixed type antenna and weighs just 280g (including BP-231). It measures only 53 x 195 x 32.5mm including the antenna. The aluminium die-cast chassis and polycarbonate casing combination is designed for durability. A rugged dual-rail guide chassis securely locks the battery to the back of the radio.

Alphanumeric LCD

The IC-F4029SDR incorporates an 8-character 14 segment alphanumeric LCD. An automatic LCD backlight is employed for night-time operation.

IC-F4029SDR Additional Features

Shares the same battery packs and accessories as the IC-F15/F34 series

Power on password

2-step Power save function

A first in the market, professional digital licence free radio

A Path from analogue PMR 446 to digital PMR 446 in one unit

Fantastic audio quality

Useful communication tool for light commercial users (initial users can benefit from security of digital voice)

Compact, lightweight body

High capacity lithium-Ion battery pack and rapid charger as standard

8-character alphanumeric display

32-status messages for digital PMR 446

“Common ID” group code

Existing analogue PMR 446 channels available with CTCSS/DTCS tones

Optional headset provides hands-free operation

2 year warranty on transceiver, 1 year warranty on accessories.

Have You Ever Thought How Do 2 way radios work?

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To put it simply, a two-way radio is a device that can both receive and transmit voice messages. In broader terms, it can be said that most wireless communication, and it may include cellular systems, fall under the definition. However, these days, two-way radio is a term to describe radio system for group call communication. The two-way radio comes in several technical names such as Public Access Mobile Radio, Private Mobile Radio, Land Mobile Radio and Professional Mobile Radio. These present times, two-way radios are often called “walkie talkies”. There are several kinds of two-way radio systems and some are able to make use of base and mobile configuration, while some re able to utilize a radio network infrastructure.

A typical two-way radio includes a PTT button, also known as Push-To-Talk button. The button activates the transmitter and the user simply needs to talk to the device to start communicating. The user must release the PTT button in order to receive transmissions from the other line.

A two-way radio is able to communicate with other radio devices. However, direct radio communication has very limited range. To overcome the problem, a radio network infrastructure may be used to extend the range of communications. The rest of the article is going to cover more details about how 2 way radios work and other useful information.

Receiving Radio Waves

Just like other forms of Wireless communications, a two-way radio sends messages over the air. In order to achieve this, the antenna of a way radio contains a specific set of electrons. If the two-way radio features multiple channels, then there is specific sets of electrons are each channel. Whenever a radio transmission is received by the two-way radio, the electrons get excited. The electrons then create electrical impulses. Electrical impulses are then sent to a small processor, which will then convert the electrical impulses to words and sounds that can be understood by humans. The sounds are produced by the speakers within that two way radio.

Keep in mind that there are always radio waves are floating in the air. Because of it, there is always a nondescript sound that may be produced by the two-way radios. To solve the issue, a lot of two-way radios feature a “squelch” setting; and with it, the user can adjust the signal threshold for clearer communications.

Sending Transmissions

Two-way radios can also send messages across the air. The main idea is to convert the sound to radio waves. However, the defining characteristic about the way radio is its ability the convert back the radio waves back to legible sounds.

Whenever a user speaks into a two-way radio, a membrane within the device will vibrate as a response to the sounds. The vibrations are sent to the processor, which in turn converts them to electrical impulses and readies it for transmission.. Finally, the transmission is sent to the antenna which is then broadcasted in the form of radio waves. These radio waves are then received by another device and convert them back to a legible sound.

Multiple Channels

As two-way radios are getting more and more popular, it is possible for more than one party communicating in the same line or frequency. This can cause a lot of confusion and interference. To solve the problem, modern two-way radios are able to utilize multiple channels.

For a two-way radio to broadcast on multiple channels, the device must be able to generate radio waves in multiple frequencies. Furthermore, the device must be able to send frequencies with very little fluctuations. These fluctuations are actually caused by the transmitted voices. The fluctuations can be minimized through “frequency modulation”. The modulated transmissions are then sent to the device’s antenna.

The device must also excite the proper electrons. Once the proper electrons are excited, an outgoing radio wave is then produced.

These radio waves may be picked up by another device tuning into the same frequency. Furthermore, the device must be within range of the transmitting device. The range of two-way radio is usually determined by a couple of factors such as atmospheric conditions, radio’s battery power and the size of the two-radio’s antenna.

Whenever a device picks up the transmission, the receiving radio must filter the signals through an electronic filter known as a bandpass filter. Finally, the transmission is then converted back to sound.

Why Choose A Two Way Radio

The two-way radio is one of the earliest forms of wireless communication. However, in today’s modernized communication environment, a question arises – is the way radio a viable technology? The answer to that question is a yes. This is because the two-way radio has its own unique advantages that may not be found in other forms of wireless communications. Below are two of them:

Instant Communication – the ability to communicate between two or more parties almost instantly is one of the most defining advantages of the two-way radio. A user only needs to press the “Push-To-Talk” button and within seconds a receiver will be able to receive the audio messages. Furthermore, the entire system is set up around the idea of “quick call” and “quick receive”. This is the main reason why the organizations rely on the two-way radio technology for operational and tactical communications. The system can also make use of encryption technology for a more secure communication.

Group Communications

Another unique advantage of two-way radio is its ability to facilitate “group call” or “one-to-many” communications very efficiently. By efficient, it means that the user can communicate with one, hundreds or thousands at the same time. There is no need for a user to repeat the same message if he/she needs to communicate to more than one individual.

A two-way radio is one of the earliest technologies used for wireless communications. Even though it is a bit outdated compared to other forms of wireless communications, but the usefulness is still very applicable today. The main idea of how 2 way radios work revolves around on sending and receiving radio waves, which in turn is converted to legible sounds. The idea and technology behind two-way radio may be simple, but nevertheless it is still a very well-used form of communication in today’s world.

Mars Rover Spots UFO…Or Does It?

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After much global speculation, NASA has at last put out an official statement regarding the true identity of the ‘white spot’ or ‘UFO’ seen on Mars by the Curiosity Rover on June 20th.

…Sadly, the UFO in question turned out to be only as extraterrestrial as a camera glitch.

Interviewed by The Huffington Post, Justin Maki, the main camera operator for the rover, said, “This is a hot pixel that has been around since we started using the Right Navcam (…) In the thousands of images we’ve received from Curiosity, we see ones with bright spots nearly every week, these can be caused by cosmic-ray hits or sunlight glinting from rock surfaces, as the most likely explanations.”

As any photographer will tell you, ‘hot pixels’ sometimes occur during long exposure shots. Such glitches are usually caused by the camera’s sensors momentarily overheating (although they pose no danger to the camera equipment itself).

Amateur photographers occasionally mistake hot pixels for paranormal phenomena as well. In fact, the ghost website ‘Photographing The Paranormal.com’ actually has a section on these little buggers. It warns potential ghost hunters that,

“A perfectly symmetric small red dot in your picture is probably nothing paranormal, especially if it is at the same spot in most of your pictures. That’s actually called a hot pixel, if you spot one, don’t call the press!”

Older astronomy enthusiasts will no doubt be reminded of the discovery of the ‘Martian face’, a famous image captured by NASA’s Viking 1 orbiter in 1976.

Various theorists hurried to suggest that the ‘face’ was evidence of a long-lost Martian civilization (complete with ‘pyramids’ and everything), but it was actually just a large formation, captured by the relatively low-resolution cameras of the 1970’s, that looked a bit like a face.

Modern images, of course, reveal nothing so grand. The ‘Martian Face’ fiasco is now seen as an example of paraeidolia, a psychological phenomenon that sees people finding recognizable patterns in otherwise random sounds and images, examples of which include The Man in the Moon, Rorschach tests and those times when people see the faces of religious figures in ordinary household objects.

So it seems that there was no reason for us to get excited after all (except that pictures of Mars are unassailably cool).

…Of course, the conspiracy nutters are never going to buy it, but hey, what can you do?

My Other Computer’s a TARDIS: Virtual Reality Makes Time Travel Possible

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A new virtual form of ‘time travel’ could be employed to help victims of traumatic experiences overcome their ordeals.

In a computer generated ‘virtual world’, participants can move about and interact with their environment in a similar manner to how they would in the real world.

Professor Mars are unassailably cool, told BBC news that,

“In virtual reality, the brain’s low level perceptual system does not distinguish between the virtual and the real world; the brain takes what it sees and hears in a surrounding environment as given (…) Therefore, if they had an experience with the illusion of time travel, there is implicit learning that the past is mutable, that is: ‘my own past decisions don’t matter because they’re changeable’.”

The latest study, published in the journal ‘Frontiers in Psychology’ featured a scenario wherein 32 test subjects witnessed a brutal multiple murder. In the virtual scenario, (presumably designed to induce both a moral dilemma and a controllable level of trauma) a man opened fire in a crowded art gallery and ‘killed’ five people.

Gunman starts shooting in the virtual world

The group then elected to ‘go back in time’ and attempt to prevent the murders.

Half of the group were not allowed to change their actions and simply had to repeat the event, the other half were allowed to intervene, but knew that doing so would result in the death of one person. Essentially, these people had to face the ethical dilemma of forfeiting the life of that one person in order to save five people.

Unsurprisingly, most of the test group chose to sacrifice the one life.

In terms of practical applications, this equipment is expected to allow people suffering with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and other psychological issues to confront their previous actions/inactions and better understand them in order to forgive themselves and move on.

Such technology might also be applied to prisoners undergoing therapy and/or rehabilitation, or even survivors of violent assaults.

Dr. Friedman Doron of the Sammy Ofer School of Communications in Israel, who worked as the study’s lead author, said that, for now, his team’s work is the closest people can get to actual time travel. He told BBC news,

“Highly immersive virtual reality is very visceral. People hide behind the desk when they get shot. Some of the subjects duck down. It’s the best thing we can do for time travel until the physicists do their job and come up with a time machine. For now this is the closest thing.”

What is a Communications Engineering

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Communications engineering is a disparate array of technological disciplines brought together under one all-encompassing banner. The disciplines considered to be part of a communication engineer’s skill set include telecommunications, mobile phone networks and Internet maintenance (but are by no means limited to those examples).

As we wrote earlier this month, any technology that aids in communication, from a walkie-talkie to a Skype account, is technically a communication technology; therefore, it also follows that anybody who works in these different areas can call him/herself a communications engineer.

The theory behind this move is that communications technology is becoming more streamlined and, to some extent, more homogenized (think of the ubiquity of mobile phones and social media) and so, it makes sense to bring communications technology together as a single subject as well.

As I type this, it is actually possible to get a Degree in Communications Engineering (as a single subject) from many universities worldwide. However, communications engineers frequently hold other Degrees such as electrical engineering, physics, telecommunications and/or computer science.

The sort of students that apply for courses like this (and subsequently work in the related areas) are generally logistically minded, tech-savvy people who are comfortable learning new skills and adapt quickly to new technology. Certainly, the money can be good for a decent engineer with a good reputation and an up-to-date skill set. Industries that rely on the expedient exchange of information (news networks, the stock exchange, big businesses and etc) should be the goal for the ambitious communications engineer (as well as the eager graduate).

Communications engineering is a vast and somewhat esoteric subject, because it combines so many different disciplines. Ideally, good communications engineers would be just as able to handle microwave engineering as they would a downed computer network, so it takes a smart cookie to be really good at the job.

Communications engineers are often quite business savvy as well. A big part of the job is dealing with clients or management, making presentations and working effectively as part of a team. Experience of modern business practice is not essential, but from the looks of things, it certainly helps.

The vast majority of communications engineers work for specific telecommunications companies and/or manufacturers, although some are self-employed as consultants or on fixed contracts.

According to Targetjobs.co.uk, typical job responsibilities for a communications engineer include: undertaking site surveys, agreeing to and staying within a client budget, staying up-to-date with technological information, problem solving (obviously!), creating test procedures, creating ‘worst case scenario’ plans for companies to follow and presenting companies/clients with the best way to manage their communication systems.

The Doctor Who Earpiece Experiment

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The short answer is ‘no’. Apple Earpods debuted in 2012, a full six years after the ‘Doctor Who’ episode ‘Rise of the Cybermen’ first aired.

Within the context of the series, the Earpod devices were designed as a metaphor for society’s perceived over-reliance on portable technology in the 21st century. The name ‘Earpod’ was a play on words, meant to superficially sound like the word ‘iPod’.

In addition, the fictional earpieces were mainly utilized as a way to re-package classic Doctor Who antagonists the Cybermen for a new audience (who may have been unfamiliar with them following the gap between the show’s cancellation in 1989 and its subsequent reintroduction in 2005). Variations on the Earpod device are also utilized in later episodes from the same series (in particular, ‘Army of Ghosts’).

Whilst it is something of a stretch to imagine that nobody at Apple has ever watched ‘Doctor Who’, the use of the name did not seem to affect the American computer firm’s decision to create and market their own brand of ‘Earpod’, in 2012.

doctor who earpiece

In terms of legality, it seems reasonable to assume that ‘Doctor Who’ created the brand name for satiric purposes, rather than to create an entirely fictional brand/product (such as The Simpson’s ‘Duff Beer’).

Had Apple simply adopted a product name already owned by the BBC, there may have been a legal scuffle between the two corporations, but since BBC’s product was obviously intended as a wry commentary or, at most, a satirical send-up of existing technology (in particular technology made and marketed by Apple), then it is highly doubtful that there was any friction at all.

Apple’s Earpods (which, as far as we know, have never caused anybody to be turned into a cybernetic creature hell-bent on universal obliteration) are available at a fairly affordable price (the Apple site lists them at £25.00 before P&P), but do not have a reputation for being one of the company’s better products. In a particularly scathing review, TechRadar wrote that,

“The tinkle at the high-end is certainly better than before, and there’s improved bass as well. So they’re more than good enough if sound quality is not something you are bothered about. If you’re going to be buying an iPhone 5 or one of the new iPods, you’ll be getting some marginally better earphones than you might have expected, so that’s a good thing. But for anyone thinking of buying these things separately for £25/$30 – forget it. That price is utterly ludicrous. For that money you could bag yourself a decent pair of Sennheisers – low end ones admittedly – but they would still be head and shoulders better than the Apple EarPods. In fact, we challenge you to find a pair of £25 earphones on Amazon that sound worse than this – you won’t be able to”.

All things considered, the Earpod is a pretty basic variation on the standard Apple headphones. It is not even marginally related to the mind-controlling earpieces utilized by the Cybermen. At least, as far as we know…