Global Hearing Protection Devices Market: North America has the largest market by 2020

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Hearing protection devices (HPDs) help to reduce the amount of sound energy being transmitted into inner ear and protect ear against hazardous noise. Hearing protection device prevents people from occupational hearing loss due to operational or presence of noisy equipment such as stone saws and rock drills in the work place. It also prevents from non-occupational hearing loss due to recreational activities, loud music and fire arms. Hearing protection devices are of many types such as earplugs, earmuffs, hearing band, canal caps and uniform attenuation earmuffs. A good hearing protection device has various characteristics such as good seal, comfortable to wear and leads to effective communication. Shape and size of hearing protection device varies according to individual’s comfort, size of ear canal and environmental conditions. Hearing protection devices are used while working in industries such as gold mines, manufacturing sites, construction, forestry and pharmaceuticals. In addition, working in military can also cause hearing loss as some weapons are so loud that can cause immediate total loss of hearing. Therefore, hearing protection devices are required to protect a person from hazardous noise exposure. Hearing protection device helps to reduce tinnitus-ringing in the ears. They can also prevent person from fatigue and irritability.

North America has the largest market for hearing protection devices followed by Europe. This is due to technological advancement, increasing awareness about noise pollution hazards and high disposable income in the region. Asia is expected to show high growth rate in the hearing protection devices market in next few years due to increasing prevalence of hearing problems and rising government initiatives in this field.

Technological advancement, passing of health and safety regulations, rising noise pollution level and growing demand for user comfort devices are some of the key factors driving the growth for global hearing protection devices market. In addition, their easy use, low cost and increasing consumer health awareness about noise hazards are driving the hearing protection devices market. However, manufacturing with lesser noise and off-shore manufacturing are some of the major factors restraining the growth for global hearing protection devices market.

Ongoing innovation in hearing protection devices would develop opportunity for growth of global hearing protection device market. Rising number of mergers and acquisitions among companies and increasing focus on style, fashion and aesthetic appeal are some the major trends that have been observed in global hearing protection devices market. Some of the major companies operating in the global hearing protection devices market are Honeywell International Inc., 3M, ADCO Hearing Products, GN ReSound, Centurion Safety Products Ltd, Amplifon, Delta Plus, Elvex Corporation, Hellberg Safety AB, Moldex-Metric AG & Co. KG., Siemens Audiology Solutions and Sonomax Hearing Healthcare, Inc.

As this article shows, Hearing protection devices are an important part of a lot of peoples working lives, protecting peoples hearing is a very important part of health and safety legislation.

Covert and Comfortable: A new generation of earpiece designed to maintain awareness

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This is a common issue in many industries, the police, event staff and door staff all have to wear earpieces for a long time, this little device is great. We still need to be convinced if this is the answer to a curly tube.

Developed by a team of audiologists using technology originally created for the hearing-aid industry, earHero is a tiny earpiece that provides increased sound clarity without limiting a user’s ability to hear their surroundings, while being small enough to be discreet.

“The response has been really positive. Most guys hate wearing a typical earpiece; after a 10-hour shift, their ears are burning,” said Matt Murphy, founder of earHero. “They just want to do their jobs and be able to hear everything around them without being in pain.”

Built for extreme comfort

Used by the Secret Service, FBI and local law enforcement agencies around the U.S., earHero is more comfortable than a traditional “coiled-tube” earpiece and can be adapted to any standard radio used by law enforcement. Its two tiny speakers, secured by thin silicone guides, fit securely in your ear, providing clear audio without blocking out the sounds around you, all while preventing ear fatigue.

In fact, the earpiece is so unobtrusive that you’re able to comfortably talk on the phone without removing it.

Offers Total situational awareness

A traditional earpiece sits in one ear with a coiled tube leading to the radio, so an officer’s hearing is essentially impeded. Not only does listening through a single ear require the volume to be louder, which can potentially drown out ambient sounds, it also impedes our natural sense of sound localization—the process by which we locate a sound.

“Say you hear something over your right shoulder,” Murphy said. “Because the sound came from the right side, it will be a little louder and come a little bit sooner to your right ear than it will to your left ear. Your brain processes this information and tells you that the sound came from your right. But, with one ear essentially plugged, your brain isn’t able to perform this localization.”

earHero doesn’t obstruct the natural process, allowing users to accurately locate sounds. Having the highest level of awareness of your environment when on the job can be crucial. With earHero, you’re able to hear whisper-level sounds from yards away and determine where they’re coming from.

Easier on your ears

The design of earHero is not only more effective from a performance standpoint, it also is safer for your ears. Because earHero uses tiny speakers in both ears, you can achieve clarity with a lower volume than you would be able to through a single ear. This translates into less pressure on the inner workings of your ear.

In addition, the earHero is small enough to fit inside the ear without obstructing it, meaning that you can hear more and the pressure inside the ear has a way to escape. The result is a more comfortable experience, but also one that is less likely to lead to hearing loss.

Indeed, earHero offers law enforcement professionals a comfortable, effective and covert earpiece option. Its innovative design is easy on the ear and does not impede situational awareness.

Source –

I Just Got a Spy Earpiece…Now How Do I Wear it?

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In simplest terms, the loop goes around your neck and the small earpiece goes inside of your ear. It is important, however, to ensure that the loop is well concealed, otherwise it can totally give the game away. Wear a high collared shirt or blouse in order to hide the loop around your neck.

The earpiece itself is usually flesh coloured (different shades and skin colours are available), but even if it isn’t, the earpiece is so small that people are unlikely to even notice it.

The microphone needs to be positioned near to your mouth, but not so near that people can see it. Once again, a high collar will be of some service here, because you can place it underneath the collar line (spy earpiece microphones tend to be rather powerful for their size – but remember to test the whole setup first before you go into the field). If you happen to be wearing a tie, then so much the better, because the microphone can be easily clipped behind the tie (where it is very unlikely to be noticed).

Next, take the loop (making sure that it is under your clothing) and ensure that you can easily access the battery, beeper button and any other attached gadgets. You can run the battery straight into your pocket, provided your shirt is long enough, or, if you’re feeling particularly clever, you could even cut a small hole inside of your jeans pocket and thread the beeper/battery through the inside of both your shirt and your jeans (this will also work for your phone).

The hardest things to hide will be your attached cellphone or two-way radio. The cell can sit, quite happily, in your pocket (in fact, people generally expect you to be carrying one anyway), but the earpiece’s connection to the headphone socket must not be seen (keep it under your clothes, as discussed above). The two-way radio option is a little more difficult. Two-ways can be hidden on your belt (underneath loose-fitting garments), around your back (again, covered by clothing) or even strapped to your leg. It is definitely harder to hide a two-way, so it isn’t the ideal option for prolonged covert usage.

Finally, we advise you to check the whole thing out in the mirror first. Make sure that outside influences such as wind, rain, pushy crowds or actions such as running to catch a train are not going to expose your subtle setup. If you think you are too exposed, try different permutations on the advice provided, until you find something that works for you.

The Shakespeare Code: Does a 400-Year-Old Portrait Offer a New Image of The Bard?

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Historian and botanist Mark Griffiths claims to have cracked a centuries old code, revealing a brand new image of William Shakespeare.

The picture appears on the title page of the 1598 volume ‘The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes’ by the horticulturist John Gerard.  Apparently, Griffiths was able to decode a Latin cipher “of the kind loved by the Elizabethan aristocracy” which then revealed the identity of the man in the picture as William Shakespeare.

If he is correct, then this picture is the only demonstrably authentic portrait of the famous playwright that exists from his lifetime. But remember, I said ‘if’ – Mr. Griffiths is by no means the first person to make such a sensational ‘discovery’.

It is a spectacular claim for sure, but one that is fast gaining currency in the international news media. The only accepted images of The Bard are the famous picture from the cover of Shakespeare’s First Folio and the effigy on his monument in Stratford-Upon-Avon, both of which were created some time after his death.

Griffiths, who is presently writing a book about Gerard, came across the picture whilst browsing a first edition copy of ‘The Herball’. The image appears to have been created by William Rogers, the first English engraver and a man of much renown in his own right. Copperplate engravings, such as the ones he made of Queen Elizabeth I, are key pieces of historical evidence for the study of England in Tudor times.

Rogers’ title page shows four male figures surrounded by flowers and symbols, so Griffiths decided to try and discern the identities of the four men.

One of the men is apparently Gerard himself, whilst the second image appears to depict the Flemish botanist Rembert Dodoens. The third man is assumed to be Lord Burghley, who was an adviser to the Queen and a patron of the book’s author. The three aforementioned men could be readily identified using existing portraits from the period. However, the identity of the fourth figure, clad in classical Roman garb, wearing a laurel wreath and holding a both an ear of sweetcorn and a fritillary flower, eluded him.

Griffiths began to read up on the sort of codes, ciphers and hidden messages frequently used in Tudor times and, from his research, he concluded that the identity of the fourth man had to be Shakespeare himself.

For Griffiths, there can be no doubt at all that this is the definitive image of William Shakespeare, “For me, it is not about doubt or supposition. I’m faced with a series of facts that I can’t gainsay, as much as I try. This is what these facts are, these are what the plants are, this is what they signify, this is what the symbol decodes as. All of that adds up to Shakespeare. I can’t make that – and believe me I’ve tried – add up to anybody else but Shakespeare.”

However, some of the ‘clues’ unearthed by Griffiths do seem to be somewhat strange, to say the least. For example, the image around the fourth man shows an arrowhead with an ‘E’ stuck to it, alongside a figure four. For Griffiths, this equates to the Latin word Quater, which was (apparently) a slang term for the number 4 in games of chance. Add the ‘E’ on the end of the word and it becomes quatere, which is the infinitive of the Latin verb quatior, meaning ‘ to shake’. Accordingly, Griffiths believes that the number 4 seen nearby can also be interpreted as a spear. Literally, this means ‘shake spear’.

Another ‘clue’ is the presence of the word ‘Or’. Apparently, Shakespeare’s father was presented with a golden coat of arms around the time that ‘The Herball’ was being written – and the heraldic symbol for gold is ‘Or’.

Elsewhere, he also points out references to various Shakespeare writings, particularly Venus and Adonis, in which a fritillary flower appears. He even goes as far as to suggest that the ear of sweetcorn is a reference to a single line of dialogue from Titus and Andronicus.

So, is it Shakespeare’s picture, or is Griffiths simply getting carried away looking for clues as to the identity of a so-far-unknown man who lived 400 years ago? Opinion is so far divided and, given the age of the text and the many-fold interpretations offered by the image, it seems doubtful that anybody will be able to either conclusively prove, or disprove, Griffith’s theory.

Professor Michael Dobson, Director of The Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham said that, “I can’t imagine any reason why Shakespeare would be in a botany textbook. It’s a lovely picture. Everybody is very fond of it. But that doesn’t mean that he had anything to do with it apart from the fact that he read it. (…) It’s a man in a toga, holding a little bit of a corn on the cob in one hand and a fritillary in the other.”

In his defense, Mr. Griffiths has posited that Shakespeare may have been patronized by Burghley and that he could potentially have worked with Gerard on the book, hence his appearance on the cover, but critics of the theory find this hard to swallow, especially due to the lack of any hard historical evidence to back it up.

World-renowned Shakespeare expert Stanley Wells took his disdain to Twitter, saying (slightly flippantly) “So apparently Shakespeare went around in fancy dress holding a fritillary in one hand and a cob of corn in the other.” Of course, the ‘fancy dress’ could be symbolic of the man’s connection to the theatre, but equally, it could be a romanticized portrait of a nature spirit.

As reported by The Guardian, Griffiths hit back at his critics, saying, “What we have here is a series of incontrovertible facts. I dare say people will think: ‘Oh no. It’s not him.’ But there is no other construction that can be placed on these facts. It is not an assumption that he is Shakespeare, it is algebra … it is an equation.”

Erm…No it isn’t. It is a series of educated guesses, aided and abetted by what seems to be more than a little wishful thinking.

The image and indeed the story as a whole, may put science fiction fans in mind of the 2007 ‘Doctor Who’ adventure ‘The Shakespeare Code’, in which a young and handsome Shakespeare portrayed by Dean Lennox Kelly (and eerily similar to the man pictured in ‘The Herball’) aids The Doctor and his companion Martha Jones in expelling Carrionite witches from The Globe Theatre. Indeed, Griffiths himself compared the image of a young, good-looking Shakespeare to the appearance of a contemporary film star.

So, when we gaze upon this Elizabethan image, are we looking at the only authentic picture of William Shakespeare? Maybe we are, maybe we aren’t, however the fact that Mr. Griffiths is now claiming to have uncovered a new play by Shakespeare does suggest, that, whether he manages to convince us or not, we’ll be hearing more from him in the future.

What’s Two Way Communication?

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Two-way communication is actually a process through which two parties communicate with one another in a reciprocal manner. Basically, it is something that lets you know that the other person has listened and understood you just perfect. Sometimes, it can also can also be referred to as a form of public relations process where a company and another group share ideas. Here is a detailed description of two-way communication and its applications in the field of business.

The Model

Two-way communication involves an individual or group expressing an idea, which is then received and comprehended by any other group or individual. The message is processed by the receiver who then returns with a message. This message is further received by the first sender, thereby letting both parties to communicate with each other and understand the ideas.

The detailed two-way communication model comprises of several specific steps. The first step is to create an idea that a party wants to deliver. The mode of transmission is chosen by the sender to organise symbols and words for transmission. Then the message is transmitted via the selected method. The next step is about allowing the other party to receive a message, that also transfers the initiative to the receiver. Further, the receiver decodes the message to understood it exactly how it was meant to be according to the sender. Some employers tend to ignore this when providing instructions and assume that telling someone is enough. But it is important to realize that communication is ineffective until there is proper understanding. The last step is the use of the message or communication by the receiver who may discard it, complete the job as directed, save the information etc.

Modes and Applications

People and organisations engage in two-way communication in several different ways through a variety of modes and devices. One of them is face-to-face contact which involves two or more people gathering within the same space and talking to each other directly, thereby allowing for the greatest or best possible communication ranges ensuring the perfect transmission of verbal or non-verbal signals. Another very effective mode is telephone that also lets the voice tone and inflection to help in communication to the meaning of the message. Written formats, whether letters, text messages or emails, can also prove to be quite effective, but usually they lack the nuance and subtlety often found in verbal modes of communication.

When it comes to the features and parameters associated with two-way communication systems, the list ranges greatly from basic hand held two-way transceivers using an individual channel to the very complex systems enabling the sharing of different channels between a large number of users. A number of elements such as geographical location, frequency band, system costs, number of people involved and purpose of communication work as the deciding factor while selecting the type of system. A very essential feature for all types of two-way communication systems is the compatibility and co-ordination of each and every component.

Two-way communication systems have always been used by a large number of businesses for staying connected with their staff or employees while working inside or outside the office premises. Some spheres that use two-way communication regularly are mass communication, public transportation, construction businesses, aviation, advertisement, security, marketing and several others. Police department, fire personnel and emergency response teams also use the two-way communication systems such as telephone, computerized dispatches or radio that allows the professionals to stay informed and updated about the activities of their teams or employees.

Types of Two-Way Communication

When it comes to public relations or marketing, two-way communication basically involves two types of processes – Asymmetric communications and Symmetric communications.

Asymmetric communication takes place between two parties with one of them usually holding more control or power over the process. Typically, this happens in case of a huge company that engages in Public Relations to communicate a variety of ideas to specific markets or general public.

Symmetric two-way communication involves two parties being equal in the process. Such process is generally used by a company to let customers give more feedback that works for bringing improvements to the business. The expression also makes the customer feel a sense of value to the company.

How to be a better headphone listener

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When you’re listening to speakers the sound comes from “over there,” but with headphones where is the sound? A lot depends on the recording and the headphones. With mono recordings the sound is centered inside your head, with stereo the sound picture is more complicated. Vocals, or any sound mixed to appear centered between the left and right channels, will be inside your head, like a mono recording. The sounds over to the left and right might come from next to your ears.

Listening over one of the better open-back full-size headphones, the sound might feel like it’s surrounding you. You’re in the middle of the sound field, or it might come from slightly above your head. The headphones melt away and you are one with the music. Sometimes when I’m watching a movie I forget the headphones. The sound isn’t over there, it’s all around me; I’m in the middle of a sound “bubble.”

I’m not suggesting that headphones can ever mimic what we hear from speakers. Headphones can’t do that, but the downside to speakers is they can never be heard directly; the speakers’ sound is combined with the room’s reflections, reverberations, and other forms of acoustic interference. With headphones the sound “couples” directly to your ears, so you have a far more intimate connection to the music.

With full-size over-the-ear headphones, the contours of your outer ears direct the sound to your inner ears in the same way sound is heard from speakers. In-ear headphones “bypass” the outer ear and produce a more direct connection to the recording. With purely acoustic music, the sound over headphones takes on what I call a microphone perspective, you hear what the mics “heard.”

That’s not the case with electronic music since no microphones were used to make the recording. Even so, I find lots of electronica sounds amazing, and some of the best albums were mixed to produce out-of-head stereo imaging. Listen for depth, does the sound seem very close to your ears or further away? Recordings vary a lot in their stereo imaging, but the more closely you listen, the more aware you will be of spatial cues in headphone listening. Try some of Brian Eno’s ambient albums like “On Land” and “Apollo” to hear what I’m talking about.

To get started, relax and focus on the sound. Your surroundings should be fairly quiet, close your eyes, and sink into the music. After a few minutes the separate left, center, right stereo perspectives should fall away, and your head will feel like it’s in the center of an expansive sound field.

Share your thoughts on spatial headphone listening below.

We found this excellent article here and as you can see it give us valuable information on why headphones aren’t better than speakers, but if you don’t want your neighbors complaining or your family moaning, then you’ll have to wait for the technology to come up with perfect acoustic sound.

Did Someone Say Walkie Talkie Earpiece?

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Gone are the days of having to actually hold a 2 Way Radio while using it, thank goodness. Today’s world is one of convenience and I am so glad that it has translated over to Two Way Radios in the form of an earpiece. When everyone in your vicinity can hear what your conversation is about, or hear other conversations that just happen to be on the same station as you, it can get annoying. Not just when I get those side glances when the person “calling” speaks there mind, but it must be pretty aggravating for those having to hear my (sometimes) loud conversations, but not anymore! 2 Way Radios aren’t just something I can benefit from, but my family can too (kids love to play with the things, but the walkie talkies help parents to keep a check on them).

Although walkie talkies can be used on a daily basis for different things, I use mine primarily at work. My best friend, and partner on the job, takes his on family vacations so that he and his wife can keep up with everyone. Sure, cell phones are all the rage, but when you are out relaxing on the beach or snowboarding down a mountain, who wants to keep up with a phone? Just stick that little earpiece in and take off. Plus the kids, and the elderly parents, can all use them with ease.

Like I said, I use mine mostly at work. I need my hands to help my customers, so I do not have the extra hands to fiddle with a phone or the whole walkie talkie. Also, they help to keep sensitive information private. The speaker volume is easy to manoeuvre and the mic picks up words without getting all the background sounds. If the weather is nice, the walkie talkie earpiece is great to wear while on the motorcycle. The earpiece fits comfortably under my helmet, so if an emergency signal is sounded from work, I can still get it. This is also great for when my husband and I go on motorcycle road trips. We can always easily talk to one another while always keeping both eyes on the road.

In addition to the ways I use the Two Way Radio now, kids seem to really love these things. My partner’s kids love to play on them around the house, but also during games of paintball and airsoft when they need to covertly communicate with other kids on their team. The walkie talkie earpiece is also convenient if your kids ever venture off on their own. For example, my parents owned horses when I was a kid. They were always paranoid about my sister and I off riding horses throughout their land with no one around to help us if something went wrong. Thankfully, we had walkie talkies so we could radio them periodically to let them know we were fine and having fun. This situation could also apply to kids running around the neighborhood or out camping in the yard.

The good thing, technologically speaking, about walkie talkies is that they have been around for many years, and tech teams have worked to make them all the better. No longer do they just reach a couple of feet, but many miles depending on which set you get and the purpose of them. The new earpieces are amazingly convenient and easy to use, at a low cost. How you will be using a 2 Way Radio is something that you should keep in mind when looking for purchase one and the same goes for the earpiece. Although many can be used for multiple purposes, some walkie talkies work better further distances than others. Along the same line, some earpieces work better to keep out background noises (if you are on a motorcycle, per say) and some are more comfortable under a helmet. It is all about how you are going to use them, but they are all convenient and fun to use!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…Well, he was half right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…Seriously, where’s the logic?

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

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

BIG Changes Announced By DC Comics…Again

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When veteran comic book publisher DC Entertainment announced that it was ending its entire line of comic books and starting everything again at Issue 1, the fans went crazy.

Some comics had been running, there or thereabouts uninterrupted, for 700 issues or more – and now it seemed that it was all over. Still, in 2011, when DC announced this major upheaval, naming their initiative ‘The New 52’, the first few issues actually sold rather well.

DC had started out by promising a company-wide ‘reboot’ of all their characters/stories, but then baulked at using the term after fan outcry became too great. Instead, it became seen as a ‘soft reboot’, or a ‘revamp’, which left fans – and creators too, evidently – scratching their collective heads regarding which major storyline events had still happened in the new timeline and which hadn’t.

Many fans, for their part, were upset that Frank Miller David Mazzuccelli’s ‘Batman: Year One’ was no longer the Bat’s official origin story, replaced instead by the gruelling, overlong ‘Zero Year’. In fact, fans were further annoyed when other classic texts such as Alan Moore Brian Bolland’s ‘The Killing Joke’ and Jeph Loeb Tim Sale’s ‘The Long Halloween’ also departed from Bat-continuity.

Elsewhere in the DCU, Superman was no longer after Lois Lane, instead striking up a romance with Wonder Woman. Barbara Gordon, the original Batgirl – latterly the company’s only major disabled character as Oracle – was miraculously able to walk again and The Flash Mk III, AKA Wally West, was simply erased from continuity altogether.

As time went on, we learned that The Joker was probably immortal, that Dick Grayson gave up his crime fighting identity of Nightwing to become a spy, that Green Arrow was somehow a kid again and that Catwoman and Batman enjoyed regular ‘on the job’ sex. In costume.

Of course, there were good stories, too, but as far as many fans were concerned, the end result was, to borrow a line from Red Dwarf’s Kryten “garbled, confusing and quite frankly duller than an in-flight magazine produced by air Belgium”.

Now, just four years later, sales have apparently slumped again, so DC’s reaction has been to plan another, still more drastic, reboot of the company’s characters.

The starting gun will be a story called ‘Convergence’ and it is set to officially begin next month. After that, the company will take a two-month hiatus and return with a new and completely rebooted line. Again.

Well, you know what they say, if at first you don’t succeed…

DC has already teased a ‘new look’ for Superman and Wonder Woman, designs that, personally, I’m hoping are April fools’ jokes. Superman will now be fighting crime and injustice with a buzzcut hairdo and a jeans-and-t-shirt ensemble that makes him look like, to quote one commenter “a gym douche” and Wonder Woman now has a 90’s style armoured battlesuit.

By working within the continuity established by The New 52, but moving it to the ‘back burner’ as it were, DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio hopes that “In this new era of storytelling, story will trump continuity as we continue to empower creators to tell the best stories in the industry.”

Launching 24 new number 1 issues in June (‘The Poor 24?’, ‘Less Is More, 24?’ – I’m just trying to come up with an angle for this), DC Entertainment is hoping to capture a funnier, sunnier feel with some of its characters. 25 successful series will be kept, but tweaked with new creative teams and whatnot.

Sadly, at least as far as online discussion is concerned, the overall feel is not one of ‘glorious new rebirth’ as much as it is ‘here we go again’. The image in the eyes of this long-time fan (and former ‘New 52’ apologist) is one of DC hitting the panic button in yet another sad attempt to appear ‘modern’ and ‘contemporary’ whilst actually revealing itself as stodgy and out of touch in the process.

Here’s Co-Publisher Jim Lee, usually one of the sharpest minds in comics, essentially blaming the audience for the failure of ‘The New 52’…

“It was really weird when we launched the New 52 — there were so many fans focused on, “What happened between the five years, when this character showed up, and this character” — it almost overshadowed what the original intent of it was, which was basically to put a fresh face on the universe, boldly go forward, tell new stories. This is an attempt to refocus the line, focus on story, focus on producing great stories that become canon, and letting the creators have some freedom to tell those stories, without necessarily being confined by the restriction of “continuity.”

Of course, comic book creators have been working with continuity, in one form or another, for 75 years or more, so it actually just seems to be the current crop (and thus, a tiny percentage overall) of creators who find it to be a “restriction”. But I digress, here’s more from DC’s Co-Publisher.

“I’ll just use one example — there was a tweet I saw, someone complaining about “Throne of Atlantis,” the DVD adaptation of the comic book. The complaint was, “Superman and Wonder Woman don’t breathe underwater. You failed.” Maybe the continuity proves that right, I don’t know — I’m pretty sure I’ve put Superman under water, and he was fine, and he’s been to outer space, same with Wonder Woman — when those things start overshadowing the story, and the emotional beats, I think there’s something wrong with what’s going on in the marketplace. That’s my perspective”.

One might argue that being DC’s Co-Publisher, it’s actually his job to know everything there is to know about Superman, including whether or not he can breathe underwater, but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg here.

Anyway, love the idea or hate it (and I think I’ve made my own feelings pretty clear on the subject), DC’s new line will be launching in June. Make of it what you will.

For many fans, (including myself) the reaction is not one of excitement and glee, but is, in fact, more akin to Seinfeld’s J. Peterman being confronted with ‘The Urban Sombrero’.

“The horror…The horror”