Radio spectrum allocated for global flight tracking

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This very simple, very easily executable solution to a problem that is growing. The Frequencies are already allocated to the airline industry and a simple piece of equipment (non expensive) can be installed. You can find the full article here.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has allocated radio spectrum for global flight tracking for passenger aircraft using satellite-based systems.

The move follows developments spurred by the so far unexplained disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in March last year, which prompted the aviation community to look into possibilities of constant monitoring of passenger planes in flight.

The frequency band of 1087.7-1092.3MHz has been allocated, which is already being used for data transmissions between planes and terrestrial stations that are within the line of sight.

Extending the system to cover also communications between planes and satellites and satellites and terrestrial stations will enable creating a complex system capable of tracking passenger planes throughout the flight even over oceans and remote areas.

The ITU agreed on the allocation at its 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference following a call by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Performance criteria for satellite reception of the signals will be established by ICAO.

“In reaching this agreement at WRC-15, ITU has responded in record time to the expectations of the global community on the major issue concerning global flight tracking,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “ITU will continue to make every effort to improve flight tracking for civil aviation.”

ITU has been working on standards to facilitate the transmission of flight data in real time since early after the MH370 disaster.

Already in April 2014, less than a month after the aircraft’s disappearance, Malaysian Minister for Communications and Multimedia called upon ITU to address the issue.

“The allocation of frequencies for reception of ADS-B signals from aircraft by space stations will enable real-time tracking of aircraft anywhere in the world,” said François Rancy, Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau. “We will continue to work with ICAO and other international organizations to enhance safety in the skies.”

In October 2014, the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference meeting in Busan, Republic of Korea, instructed WRC-15 to consider global flight tracking in its agenda.

 

ETRI presents a blueprint of the 5G Future

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We will see a huge change in the way we access the the internet in the future when 5G is here, at speeds that only big businesses and high level internet companies see at the moment, we will have this to hand on our smart phones and tablets. When 5G is hundreds of times faster than any of the UK’s broadbands, households will be looking to the mobile phone companies to supply their home broadband.

A 5G future is no longer a distant one, but an upcoming reality. High quality videos of more than 10Mbps can be served simultaneously to 100 users even in a train running at up to 500km/h. People can experience data rates that are 100 times faster than currently available technologies.

The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) of Korea will hold a “5G technology demonstration” on the 18th December, 2015. It will demonstrate future SNS (social network service) and several 5G core technologies such as “millimeter wave”, “Mobile Hot-spot Network”, “in-band full duplex” and so on.

5G is the next generation wireless technology that would provide even faster data rates, even lower delays, and even more devices connected than 4G. Accordingly, distinct and differentiated applications are expected in 5G.

ETRI’s “future SNS” is a kind of trial service model to apply 5G technologies that provides dynamic user-centric connection to neighboring people, things and spaces. It is characterized by instant content-sharing between users, communication with neighboring things, and Giga-bps(Gbps)-grade video applications in vehicles.

5G core technologies demonstrated by ETRI include the following:

— MHN (Mobile Hot-spot Network) is a mobile backhaul technology that provides high-speed Internet access of Gbps in vehicles at speeds of up to 500 km/h (e.g. KTX in Korea). Almost 100 passengers can watch videos of high quality simultaneously.

— ZING is a near-field communication technology that enables mass data to be transmitted with 3.5 Gbps data rate between neighboring devices within the radius of 10cm.

— Single-RF-Chain compact MIMO technology enables a single antenna to simulate the effect of multiple antenna. It can reduce antenna volume and cancel inter-antenna interference in a multi-antenna system.

— Millimeter wave (mmWave) beam switching technology provides fast switching of radio beams to mobile users, and therefore allows seamless Gbps-grade service in mobile environments.

— Mobile Edge Platform (MEP) is a mobile edge cloud server on vehicles that enables passengers to enjoy customized Gbps-grade content and connects them with neighbors, things and spaces. It provides user-centric services.

— In-band Full Duplex technology can transmit and receive signals simultaneously over the same frequency band. It can increase spectral efficiency by up to two times.

— Small cell SW technology is designed for AP(Access Point)-sized small cell base stations that can reduce communication dead zones and improve data rates per user in a hot-spot area.

“With this demonstration event, we are officially introducing our R&D results on 5G. We will continue to lead the development of 5G technologies. Also, we are trying to develop commercialization technologies needed by businesses, and to construct a 5G ecosystem.” said Dr. Hyun Kyu Chung, vice president of ETRI Communication & Internet Lab.

In January, 2016, ETRI will demonstrate Giga internet service and future SNS in a Seoul subway train installed with MHN and ZING kiosks. ETRI will also introduce hand-over technology on a millimeter wave mobile communication system and 5G radio access technology that satisfies 1 millisecond radio latency.

About ETRI

Established in 1976, ETRI is a non-profit Korean government-funded research organization that has been at the forefront of technological excellence for about 40 years. In the 1980s, ETRI developed TDX (Time Division Exchange) and 4M DRAM. In the 1990s, ETRI commercialized CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) for the first time in the world. In the 2000s, ETRI developed Terrestrial DMB, WiBro, and LTE-A, which became the foundation of mobile communications.

Recently, as a global ICT leader, ETRI has been advancing communication and convergence by developing Ship Area Network technology, Genie Talk (world class portable automatic interpretation; Korean-English/Japanese/Chinese), and automated valet parking technology. As of 2015, ETRI has about 2,000 employees where about 1,800 of them are researchers.

Teleprompters and earpieces are changing theatre, and not necessarily for the better

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This article was originally posted on thestage.co.uk and they highlight that the use of earpieces for prompting actors is increasing, this very simple technology used in this way makes people uncomfortable. But why? Earpieces these days are so small that people standing really close to the wearer would have literally be standing on top of them to see it, let alone be 15m away. Maybe it’s the thought that the actor should be able to remember their lines? or that bringing undue technology into the theatre would decrease the value of it?

Car crash theatre. That’s how a colleague described Al Pacino’s return to the Broadway stage in David Mamet’s new play, China Doll.

For those who may not have been following the story, Pacino’s return to Broadway has been blighted with problems – most notably, reports that he cannot remember his lines. Teleprompters have been installed around the stage and Pacino wears an earpiece, even after the production’s opening was delayed.

Pacino is not the only star on Broadway this season getting help with his lines. If reports are to be believed, Bruce Willis in Misery is also being given a helpful prompt or two through an earpiece, as are Cicely Tyson and James Earl Jones in The Gin Game.

However, Pacino seems to be the main focus of press criticism and a large part of me feels sorry for him. Undoubtedly, he is under intense pressure – despite past success on Broadway, he is in danger of being remembered best, if not most fondly, for China Doll.

The sign outside the Schoenfeld Theater quotes a line from Pacino’s character in the play: “Can you just tell me what’s happening?” In the circumstances, it seems both ironic and ill-judged. Meanwhile, around the corner at the St James Theatre, the comedy musical Something Rotten has put up a cheeky, if somewhat venomous, sign on its canopy, saying: “All actors promise to memorize most of their lines”.

For any actor, it is terrifying to think that one day, no longer being able to remember your lines, you may not be able to work. The interesting point about this situation is that the media have been far more forgiving of other actors: Tyson and Jones have been treated as beloved national treasures. At 90 and 84 years old respectively, they have a few years on 75-year-old Pacino and therefore it’s may be understandable that they require prompts. A similar response greeted Angela Lansbury who, in Blithe Spirit on Broadway and in the West End, wore a cleverly designed hat which incorporated ear pieces.

Despite criticism of Pacino’s use of prompting devices, China Doll has not seen a slump at the box office. Audiences seem to be happy to pay top-dollar ticket prices to see their favourite stars on stage whether they know their lines or not. Does this mean we accept that teleprompters and earpieces will become inevitable in theatres? Has a precedent now been set for Hollywood actors to slip into a play during a gap in their moviemaking schedules believing they don’t need to spend time learning lines? Will audiences continue to tolerate this because of that star’s status and the opportunity to see them live?

I hope not: knowing lines is a fundamental skill in the craft of acting. I want to see star actors on stage but I also want to see and remember them at their best. And the reporting of apparent production problems does nothing to help a theatre industry already faced with an audience which may expect or hope for a disaster on stage to tweet about; the resulting social media noise overshadows anything else to do with the play itself.

China Doll is – on paper – a hit show, with its headline star bringing in high weekly grosses that will likely see the play recoup. But in the long term that should not be the only way to judge the success of a production.Teleprompters and earpieces are changing theatre, and not necessarily for the better

Did Hitler Escape Death And Escape To Argentina Under Berlin

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We all know how Adolf Hitler died, don’t we? It was April 30th, 1945. The Nazi cause had been well and truly lost and both the allied forces and the Red Army were invading Germany. Cowering in his bunker, the German dictator put a pistol to his head and fired. His new bride, Eva Braun, took a cyanide tablet and ended her own life shortly thereafter. Their bodies were then placed in a bomb crater, doused with petroleum and burned.

The official story effectively ends there. By the time Russian troops arrived at the scene, all that remained of one of history’s greatest mass-murderers was a charred lower jaw and dental bridge, which matched Hitler’s dental records and so proved that he had indeed died, with Braun, in the bunker.

However, declassified FBI documents reveal that the organisation was actively investigating a number of Hitler sightings during the post-war period. In fact, it appears that quite a few of the powers that be were treating Hitler’s apparent demise with understandably high levels of suspicion. These ideas gain a level of credence from the fact that the US Army was so convinced of Hitler’s survival that they actually mounted at least one covert operation to search for him.

Conspiracy theories abound that he may have faked his own death and escaped to South America, as a number of other high-ranking Nazi party members also managed to do.

Such theories are nothing new. Hitler’s post-war life has been postulated as taking place in locations as exotic and far afield as Brazil, Argentina and even the South Pole. In one instance, a clearly posed-for photo of a man purported to be Hitler made the news, although the facts that a) the man’s face cannot be properly seen, b) he is posing for a photograph in a relaxed and comfortable manner, something a wanted man would be extremely unlikely to do and c) he has a black girlfriend on his arm would suggest that this claim is utter nonsense.

Up until now, any theories of Hitler’s continued survival have had to rely upon elaborate, (often downright fanciful) descriptions of Hitler’s passage from Germany to wherever the authors assert that he ultimately ended up. Historians have exhaustively scoured travel manifests for clues (as if the most wanted man in the world would actually be listed as a passenger under his own name) and questioned scores of people who apparently knew, sighted or spoke to, an elderly Adolf Hitler.

In any instance, Hitler certainly had the means, as well as the motive, to fake his own death and flee Europe. Now, new evidence suggests that, whether he actually managed it or not, escape was almost certainly an option for him.

A hidden network of secret tunnels, located under the streets of Berlin, could hypothetically have enabled Hitler to escape. According to a new documentary series commissioned by the History channel, a false wall, located in a Berlin subway station, could easily have provided an escape route for the dictator.

The team assembled for this task is of a high pedigree, among their number are ex-CIA operative Bob Baer, upon whom George Clooney’s character in the film Syriana is based. He is perhaps best known as one of the men who helped track down Saddam Hussein. Joining Baer is Tim Kennedy, a US special forces operative who was tasked with tracking Osama Bin Laden after 9/11 and Sascha Keil, a German historian representing the Berlin Underworlds association. The team treated Hitler’s proposed escape as a cold case in the modern sense and began a lengthy and thorough investigation into the possibility and plausibility of Hitler’s flight from Germany.

According to the team’s research, a great many Nazis fled Germany from Tempelhof Airport on the 21st April, just one day after Hitler’s final public appearance. Among this exodus were eight planes apparently loaded with Hitler’s personal possessions. Calculating an underground route from Hitler’s last known location to Tempelhof, the team reasoned that he could have made the journey almost entirely underground, except for the last 200 yards or so. The discovery of the false wall/new tunnel, confirmed by sonar analysis, would have connected the subway station (then known as U6) with the airport, allowing Hitler and his entourage to slip away unnoticed as the Soviets marched on the capital and vicious fighting broke out in the streets.

According to The Daily Express, Keil knocked on the wall and the team scanned it after it made a hollow sound. Thus, a plausible escape route for one of the most evil men in history had been discovered. Though initially sceptical, Baer came to admit that it was entirely possible that Hitler survived the war and ended up living out the rest of his days in South America.

As the investigation continued, the team found themselves picking through the ruins of a jungle compound in northern Argentina. The location was full of Nazi artefacts, very possibly the same ones that were secreted out of Berlin in 1945.

The Hunting Hitler team are by no means the first to posit that the fascist dictator spent his final years hiding out in Argentina. Initial investigations and press releases of the 1940’s often allowed for the possibility of Hitler’s continued survival and nobody in either the Soviet, or the allied camps appears to have been 100% convinced of The Fuhrer’s death.

In June of 1945, The Chicago Times reported that Hitler and his wife had absconded to Argentina. This was followed by a number of books, all offering variations on the same story.

The 2014 book Grey Wolf: The Escape of Adolf Hitler by Simon Dunstan and Gerrard Williams contests that Hitler lived in a small village, not far from the foothills of the Andes and died in the early 1960s. The book proved controversial, and was publicly attacked by many historians, but Argentine journalist and historian Abel Basti, who wrote the bestselling book Hitlers Exile (and accused the aforementioned authors of plagiarism) has also claimed proof of Hitler’s arrival to the country. According to Basti’s book, Hitler underwent plastic surgery and then became an art dealer (remember, he was a painter and an art lover).

Basti’s intensive and meticulous research even produced alleged photos of Hitler, Braun and a daughter named Urich living in exile in the country. He also spoke with interviewees, one of whom remembers his family maintaining a close friendship with the exiled Nazi leader. According to Basti, who was interviewed by beforeitsnews.com, the Russian records present “abundant documentation that shows that Hitler had escaped”, all of which paints a chilling portrait of the exiled Nazi leader living out his remaining days in relative peace and never facing justice for his innumerable crimes against humanity.

For now though, the most disturbing piece of evidence for this theory is simply this, why would a man of Hitler’s ambition, drive and rampant egomania spend years building escape tunnels throughout Berlin and then refuse to use them when the time came to do so?

Of course, even if he did escape, Adolf Hitler would have died long ago. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, amongst a plethora of other ailments, he was 56 years old in 1945 and not in good health – and that was 70 years ago. So, any way you slice it, Hitler is definitely dead, which is no bad thing.

Hytera Offers Digital Two-way Radio Solution to 62nd Macau Grand Prix

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The 4-day 62nd Macau Grand Prix was rounded off at Macau Guia Circuit on November 22nd with over 80,000 audiences entering into the circuit to experience the fast and furious brought by the world top drivers and cars. Since tentative collaboration with the event committee in 2013 and 2014, Hytera was finally chosen as the official radio supplier this year to replace the legacy system and terminals with up-to-date communication equipments which helps the event committee organize and manage the global renowned sporting event in Macau.

The Macau Grand Prix is a historical street racing and known as one of the most demanding circuits in the world due to the challenging nature of the track, which consists of fast straights, tight corners and uncompromising crash barriers. Accidents happen almost in every racing competition. This year is not an exception.

Considering the potential circumstances would happen during the race, a tailor-made DMR two-way radio solution to fulfill multiple synchronized calls were proposed by Hytera and adopted by the event committee and all the supporting staff scattered along the circuit. “I have to praise all the supporting staff this year, they have done a very good job in handling the emergencies on the track with really high efficiency,” the live broadcast presenter commented. The radio communication between committee and the execution teams has made indispensable contribution for the high efficiency.

“The adoption by Macau Grand Prix is a significant breakthrough and a great recognition for Hytera,” said Sam Cheung, the Sales Engineer of Unicom Technology, regional partner of Hytera in Hong Kong and Macau.

In addition to the massive use on the track, the Hytera radios can be also found in the pit lane by several racing teams which includes the one FIA F3 defending champion Felix Rosenqvist drives. The Swedish driver successfully retained his championship title in the Suncity Group Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix – FIA F3 Intercontinental Cup this year. “The Hytera PD788 portable radios used by the racing teams are not part of the agreement but brought by the teams themselves,” said Kuan Weng Fai, the owner of Shun Tat Electronic Engineering, local partner of Hytera in Macau.

Besides the official collaboration with Grand Prix Macau, Hytera also facilitated Macau International Marathon for the first time; in addition, Hytera completed projects for Top 3 bus services operators in Macau including Transportes Urbanos de Macau, Sociedade de Transportes Colectivos de Macau and Macau Nova Era De Autocarros Publicos, which marks big breakthrough in the field of mass transit segment; in the meantime, Hytera also fulfilled a number of commercial projects such as FBC Centre, Macau Golf Country Club, Suncity Group and Galaxy Macau Phase II and Broadway Macau, a new landmark destination launched in May this year for Macau. “It is our honor to have the recognition from customers, we will carry on our work to satisfy more and more customers in Macau,” said Wilson Hu, Sales Director of Hytera.

The Macau Grand Prix is a motor racing event, surprisingly held in Macau, China. So it’s not a surprise that the biggest two way radio communication company, based in china, are suppliers of the communications. It’s known as a street circuit race for cars and bikes, the only one in the world. Held in November with one of the highlights a Formula 3 race with the winner being awarded the FIA Formula 3 Intercontinental Cup. We sourced this article from here 

Radio spectrum allocated for global flight tracking

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This very simple, very easily executable solution to a problem that is growing. The Frequencies are already allocated to the airline industry and a simple piece of equipment (non expensive) can be installed. You can find the full article here.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has allocated radio spectrum for global flight tracking for passenger aircraft using satellite-based systems.

The move follows developments spurred by the so far unexplained disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in March last year, which prompted the aviation community to look into possibilities of constant monitoring of passenger planes in flight.

The frequency band of 1087.7-1092.3MHz has been allocated, which is already being used for data transmissions between planes and terrestrial stations that are within the line of sight.

Extending the system to cover also communications between planes and satellites and satellites and terrestrial stations will enable creating a complex system capable of tracking passenger planes throughout the flight even over oceans and remote areas.

The ITU agreed on the allocation at its 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference following a call by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Performance criteria for satellite reception of the signals will be established by ICAO.

“In reaching this agreement at WRC-15, ITU has responded in record time to the expectations of the global community on the major issue concerning global flight tracking,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “ITU will continue to make every effort to improve flight tracking for civil aviation.”

ITU has been working on standards to facilitate the transmission of flight data in real time since early after the MH370 disaster.

Already in April 2014, less than a month after the aircraft’s disappearance, Malaysian Minister for Communications and Multimedia called upon ITU to address the issue.

“The allocation of frequencies for reception of ADS-B signals from aircraft by space stations will enable real-time tracking of aircraft anywhere in the world,” said François Rancy, Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau. “We will continue to work with ICAO and other international organizations to enhance safety in the skies.”

In October 2014, the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference meeting in Busan, Republic of Korea, instructed WRC-15 to consider global flight tracking in its agenda.

 

Motorola DP4800 – The portable two way radio that packs a punch with best in class

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Despite the massive onslaught of mobile phones and smartphones in recent times, portable radios have managed to hold firm ground as they specifically cater to special communication needs across industries where clear and precise interaction is paramount. Motorola is considered a pioneer and a household name in the radio communications industry. The Motorola DP4800 portable radio proves yet again that the company is committed towards delivering world class communication products that make use of the latest in technology.

The inclusion of GPS, Bluetooth audio and data and full-fledged text messaging capability makes the DP4800 an extremely powerful and well-rounded communication device. Moreover, it provides quick call-capability to individuals as well as to groups. The built-in full color LCD display has day/night modes that facilitate easy reading of messages. Plus, the DP4800 is no slouch in the audio front as well. Its Intelligent Audio feature along with customizable audio announcement capability guarantees enhanced audio performance every single time you communicate with it.

The Motorola DP4800 supports both VHF and UHF frequency bands and has a 5-line keypad with clearly visible and well-aligned alphanumeric buttons. This 5-tone device has a capacity of 1000 channels and comes with five quick programmable buttons, an additional emergency button on the top, IP57 certification for waterproofing, a tri-color LED that gives feedback on the radio operating status, and a FM intrinsically safe option. Apart from these major features, there is a whole host of other notable highlights which makes the DP4800 an appealing choice for consumers. Some of these include VOX capability, option board capability, privacy features, analogue mode compatibility, and digital phone patch compatibility.

Like all other modern day portable radios manufactured by Motorola, the Motorola DP4800 takes complete advantage of the customized applications that have been built for it. Some of the applications include the likes of email gateways, location tracking, remote monitoring, management of work order tickets and man down emergencies. The DP4800 works flawlessly with Motorola’s MOTOTRBO system which maximizes the radio’s capacity using a technology called ‘Capacity Plus’ and thereby permitting high volumes of voice and data to be transmitted up to a thousand users without the need to add any new frequency bands. On the other hand, the ‘Linked Capacity Plus’ technology of DP4800 allows users to use the MOTOTRBO system for covering a wide area in order to link teams working across multiple sites.

Transmit Interrupt functionality provides users with an option to interrupt an ongoing communication in order to relay important or highly critical messages. Its mechanism for Emergency Calling ensures safety of employees. Communication is further improved with the help of PTT ID. The calls are received every time with the help of its channel scanning schemes. In terms of design, the DP4800 ticks all the relevant boxes as it exudes compactness, looks toughened to handle harsh conditions and is also water and dust proof. After going through the features and capabilities of Motorola’s DP4800 portable radio, it is fairly easy to conclude that the product has been built to last and deliver a unified and seamless communication experience which is hard to match by its rivals.

WTF Is On Its Way To Earth As Unidentified Space Debris

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WTF (to be precise WT1190F) is an appropriate name for the unidentified object that is currently hurtling towards our planet at alarming speed. No, my friends, I haven’t taken up a job writing for the Weekly World News. What sounds like science fiction (or at least an episode of Futurama) is actually science fact.

The object is set to crash into us in less than a month. Despite its relatively close proximity to our atmosphere, nobody is quite sure just what WTF actually is. All anyone knows is its size (roughly two metres in length) and the fact that it is hollow, strongly hinting at the possibility that the object is man made.

Experts are suggesting various possibilities as to the identity of the mysterious object, the most tantalising being that WTF is actually a piece of leftover technology from the moon missions (possibly even the fabled Saturn V that took Neil Armstrong and co to the moon). Of course, it could just be here to talk to the whales (Star Trek joke, in case anyone reading this is scratching their heads).

The problem of space junk is becoming more serious by the day. In addition to approximately 3,700 satellites currently orbiting the earth (of which around 2,600 are totally inactive, effectively making them space junk), there are literally tens of thousands of objects larger than a tennis ball floating above our heads at any given time. In addition to that, there are an estimated hundred million objects in the 1mm or less category. Put simply, space is a mess.

In 1997, there were 2,271 man-made satellites orbiting the earth, a number that has increased by around 1,500 since then. Instead of slowing down, however, the recent rise in private satellite launches will likely see these figures (if you’ll pardon the pun) skyrocketing over the next decade or so.

In fact, last year alone, the International Space Station (ISS) had to move its position three times in order to avoid collision with objects large enough to cause serious damage. These collisions were potentially fatal to the astronauts aboard the space station. The ISS actually spends an alarming amount of time ducking and dodging flying chunks of space junk, some of which is detected too late for the ISS to manoeuvre away from it, causing the astronauts to simply shelter-in-space and hope for the best. In 2007, a chunk of debris actually damaged the space shuttle Endeavour.

Despite laws that state that most satellites must be launched to an altitude that will encourage them to fall to earth and burn up within 25 years of their original launch, launching anything into space is a messy business indeed. This has led to fears that the population of space junk in earth’s higher obits could actually become self-sustaining, i.e. new junk could be created in the frequent collisions between existing junk. This is often referred to as The Kessler Syndrome after Nasa scientist Don Kessler, who first warned us about this process as far back as 1978.

The Kessler Syndrome is a very real concern. In 2009, for example, two small satellites collided over Siberia, creating something like 2000 new junk items, many of which are still in orbit today and posing a very real threat to existing satellites. Keep in mind that these items can travel at speeds exceeding 17,000 mph; at that sort of speed, even a grain of sand could kill.

The good news is that WTF is expected to burn up harmlessly in our atmosphere, meaning that, although we’ll probably never know its true identity, at least it won’t harm anybody. If it fails to burn away completely, WTF is expected to land on the Indian Ocean, somewhere off the coast of Sri Lanka around the 13th of November. So, unless you have a fishing holiday planned in the region, you ought to be safe.

P.S – This Message Will Self Destruct: New Email App Allows Automatic Encryption

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Remember how Inspector Gadget always got given those top-secret messages that would self-destruct upon reading? Well, a new app has been devised that can do just that for your emails.

Confidential CC is a free app, designed for both Android and iOS devices, that allows the user to send self-deleting, automatically encrypting files that can be viewed only once…And never again.

The app also prevents recipients from forwarding or printing the messages in question. In a very real sense, you can read it once and then its gone.

“You receive all your email like usual, we just add a new address line that lets you send a CCC self-destruct email,” said the app’s Co-Founder Warren Barthes, formerly an executive with French Telecom, at the Collision Technology Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada earlier in the year.

Of course, other secure email apps have been attempted before, but none has proven to be 100% safe. Could Confidential CC be the one that finally achieves it?

The app was created by co-founders Warren Barthes, Rachel Triggs and Jeremy Landau and their story (according to the group’s official website, anyway) goes something like this:

“Confidential CC was born when the co-founders realized they had a common need – to send an email without a trace. A short time later they set out for this goal. After working hard to confirm the technology, legal and execution were possible, the CCC team took their idea to the next level by striving to provide not only confidential email, but an updated, smart, and attractive user interface across all systems, catered to our users’ daily lives”.

Compatible with Yahoo!, AOL, Gmail, Hotmail and Outlook, amongst others, the app allows users to access all their email accounts from one place and has been designed to be as user friendly as possible. Confidential CC can also cancel accidentally sent messages and can be instructed to send email messages out at a specific time of day.

It looks good, but the customer reviews have been a mixed bag so far.

iTunes user Alukakum praised the usability and the continuing updates, but a customer named IT User Review panned it, calling the app “clunky at best” and pointing out that users can only synch one email account per provider to the app itself.

Of course, this app is new to the marketplace, so customer reviews are few and far between.

Nevertheless, it goes without saying that, if Confidential CC can deliver on its many promises, then it could become a very profitable enterprise indeed. Co-Founder Rachel Triggs certainly thinks so.

“It’s unacceptable that email, which is free and open for all, is presenting such huge risk to users. Maybe, in five years, people will use CCC lines in Gmail, Outlook, everywhere.” She said at the Collision Conference.

If all goes according to their plans, this could be the first chapter in the story of how a small start-up firm from the US revolutionized email security for all online customers. As with all things, time will tell.

A Right Cock-Up: Hilarity Ensues As Council Workers Paint Huge Tarmac Penises For Fun & Profit

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A residential area in Tamworth, Staffordshire has become the talk of the Internet after council workers painted a bunch of dicks on the tarmac there.

Staffordshire County Council contractors Amey were tasked with the job of re-painting some old road markings in the area and apparently, they decided to get a little bit creative with the task. Using their school desks and the cubicle walls of gents toilets for artistic inspiration, the team apparently painted a dazzling array of gigantic penises all along the tarmac.

Featuring members of many different shapes, sizes and states of apparent arousal, the phallic paintings have angered local residents who, yknow, didnt necessarily want dicks painted on the floor outside their houses.

The official line is that the paint somehow caused a reaction with the existing markings, creating the distinctly adult imagery completely by accident. Uh huh.

Now, is it easier to believe that Staffordshire County Council has access to magic penis paint, or that the workers got a little bored and covered the street in dicks?

Given the amount of the constantly complaining, utterly humourless residents frequently quoted in articles, the street appears to be full of uptight pricks anyway, so its likely that the contractors didnt think anybody would notice a few more.

Since The Penis Incident, the Council has received a bewildering 300 complaints about the “disgusting mess” caused by a bit of magic paint and a few repressed urges. 300? The average fella wouldnt get that many complaints if he took his actual penis out at a gathering of 300 people!

Resident Graham Wood (no joke, thats really his name!) was quoted by Yahoo! News as saying, “There are some very bizarre, obscene shapes. One of them looks like someones giving someone the finger sign”.

Well, if you can create a detailed hand giving someone the finger using road paint, Id say that youre probably some sort of artistic genius. However, my personal favorite is still the extra long, almost mournful penis that appears to be dragging his two big balls across the street in search of food…Theres just an unspoken poetry to it all if you ask me.

Apparently, the paint settled down long before the local residents did and any surviving penises have since been hunted down and eliminated by the contractors.

All joking aside (but not for long, I promise!), whether the phalluses were painted there deliberately or not, this story really serves to highlight what a humorless bunch of dicks the British public can be at times.