Alonso unfazed by rule changes

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Fernando Alonso doesn’t believe the changes to the start procedures that will come into effect at Spa will make much of a difference.

As of this weekend’s Belgium Grand Prix, the FIA will clamp down on radio communication between drivers and the pitwall and only critical information will be relayed. Teams will also be prevented from changing the clutch bite point once the cars leave the garage ahead of the race.

However, two-time World Champion Alonso isn’t expecting any disruption to his usual pre-race strategy.

“It will not be a significant change. I know that there is some talk about this but maybe for next year or the following years will be more different,” the Spaniard said.

“What we will have here is just some restrictions in communications with the drivers and the team etc but I think… at least in our team we were not doing any specific communication or strategy during the formation laps etc so it will not change much.”

There will be more changes next year as the FIA has issued a technical directive that states engineers will not be able to coach the drivers over the radio on things like tyre degradation and fuel saving.

Although the McLaren driver admits drivers will have to “pay a little more attention”, he doesn’t think it be a train smash.

“Well, I don’t think it will make a huge change because… yeah, we are receiving some information now on the radio about tyres, about fuel or other things on the car but we are perfectly aware of what is happening in the car and what is the best solution for the specific issues that we are facing during the race so if that information is not coming, it will come anyway by instinct and by the reactions of the car,” he said.

“So yeah, we will have to pay a little bit more attention to a few things that now we rely a little bit on the radio but it’s not a big change and probably it’s welcome, all those changes, to have a little bit more to do in the car and feeling a little bit more important.”

It’s difficult to see why F1 are strangling the communications between drivers and teams, One team does not gain anything over any other by relaying information over the radio, but as Alonso has said in this article on it’s not an issue.

Wrestling Legend Rowdy Roddy Piper Dead At 61

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The world of professional wrestling is in mourning following the death of the legendary Rowdy Roddy Piper last month. Piper suffered a cardiac arrest whilst at his home in Hollywood, California. He was just 61 years old.

For many kids (including myself) that first became fans in the mid-late 1980’s, Roddy Piper was the definitive wrestling heel (industry jargon for a bad guy). Whether hosting his notorious Piper’s Pit segment, or facing off against Hulk Hogan & Mr. T (with partner Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorf) at the inaugural WrestleMania event, Piper was one of the industry’s biggest starts during one of its most popular and lucrative periods.

He was also instrumental in making the WWF (now WWE) brand the biggest in professional wrestling. In addition to headlining the very first WrestleMania event (a pioneering Pay-Per View extravaganza that could easily have ruined the company had it proved to be a failure), Piper also featured in one of WrestleMania II’s three main event matchups, thus securing his position as one of wrestling’s most bankable stars.

His undercard matches at WrestleManias III, VI and (the stone cold classic against Bret The Hitman Hart at) VIII are absolute highlights of a classic era of pro wrestling. He even acted as a guest referee for the main event of Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna at WrestleMania X. Younger fans, however, will undoubtedly remember Piper teaming with fellow veterans Ricky Steamboat and Jimmy Superfly Snuka to face Chris Jericho at WrestleMania XXV.

In an era defined by outlandish babyface characters with bodybuilder physiques and sometimes questionable in-ring abilities, Roddy Piper stood out as a genuine wrestler’s wrestler, an authentic tough guy – and the necessarily evil counterpoint to the simplistic, superheroic good guys being featured at the time by the WWF.

Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1954, Roderick Toombs was always an unruly personality. Expelled from school at a young age and subsequently falling out with his father, (a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) Toombs hit the road, staying in various youth hostels and earning a buck wherever he could. Eventually, the tempestuous youth wound up in a wrestling ring, making his in-ring debut at the tender age of just 15-years-old.

The kid was tough (he had a Black Belt in Judo), displayed a natural affinity for the ring and he had a roguish charisma all of his own. In addition, he really could play the bagpipes. After early stints jobbing in Verne Gagne’s AWA, NWA Houston and Fritz Von Erich’s Big Time Wrestling promotion in Dallas, Texas, Piper debuted for Mike and Gene LeBell’s NWA Hollywood promotion and soon became the outfit’s top heel. A slew of regional Championships followed.

Whilst working for promoter Roy Shire in the NWA’s San Francisco territory, Piper developed his character and ring work. In Los Angeles, he feuded with Chavo Guerrero Sr, Hector Guerrero and ultimately locked up against their father, Mexican wrestling legend Gory Guerrero (father of future WWE Champ Eddie). In The Pacific Northwest, he unseated former NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion Jack Brisco for Mid Atlantic’s version of the World Heavyweight Championship, a title he would go on to hold twice more.

In the mid 1980’s, Piper entered Vince McMahon’s insurgent WWF. He was billed as being from Glasgow, Scotland and was well known for being the only wrestler to wear a kilt to the ring. Fans ate it up. Feuding with such stars as Hulk Hogan, Adrian Adonis, Andre The Giant, Jimmy Superfly Snuka, Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase, Jerry The King Lawler and Bret Hitman Hart, to name but a few, Piper always brought out the best in his opponents and it was with the WWF that he became a household name, as well as one of the industry’s biggest ever stars.

In the mid-1990’s, Piper wrestled for WCW (World Championship Wrestling), where he debuted as one of the company’s headline stars. He feuded, once again, with Hulk Hogan and also battled old rivals such as Ric Flair, Bret Hart and ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage. Whilst working for WCW, he was even chosen to headline ‘Starrcade’, the company’s flagship Pay-Per-View event.

In his later career, Piper made sporadic reappearances for the WWE, briefly worked for TNA, enjoyed a reasonably successful acting career and also hosted his own podcast. He battled Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after being diagnosed with the illness in 2006, but had completely beaten it into remission as of last year. Despite the setbacks caused by his ill health, Piper wrestled his last match in 2011.

Although he never held a recognised World Heavyweight Championship, Piper will be remembered as one of the greatest WWF Intercontinental Champions of all time, a reign that was attested to during his appearance at this year’s WrestleMania XXXI, where he congratulated then-IC Champion Daniel Bryan on his victory. He also held other notable belts, such as the United States Championship, the WWF/E Tag Team Championship (with Ric Flair) and the NWA World Light Heavyweight Championship.

Piper was a member of the WWE Hall of Fame and the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame, as well as the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the Cauliflower Alley Club.

On the August 3rd edition of RAW, the entire WWE roster, each member clad in Roddy’s signature Hot Rod t-shirts opened the show with a very moving ten bell salute in tribute to the fallen legend.

WWE boss Vince McMahon said, “Roddy Piper was one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE, beloved by millions of fans around the world. I extend my deepest condolences to his family.”

UFC Bantamweight Champion Rowdy Ronda Rousey dedicated her 34-second victory over Bethe Correia to Piper’s memory, “I just want to say that we lost a really close friend, Rowdy Roddy Piper, who gave me permission to use his name as a fighter (…) And so I hope him and my dad had a good time watching this today.”

Former WWE and WCW Champion (and Piper’s frequent in-ring rival) Bret Hart wrote, “I can’t find the words to describe the sorrow in my heart upon learning the news of my dear friend, Roddy Piper, passing away. He was my closest friend in the business, a man that schooled me and guided me throughout my career. In fact, if it wasn’t for Roddy Piper reaching out to help me, I’m sure I would’ve been a mere footnote in wrestling. He was always there for me. He was family to me.” Hart also recalled that, following his stroke in 2002; Piper was the only wrestler who visited him in hospital.

Hulk Hogan, another of Piper’s famous adversaries, said of Piper that, “He was my best friend. He is a legend. God’s gain is our loss. May his family in this time of need, find peace”

Other friends, colleagues and admirers of Piper’s included former WWF Champ The Iron Sheik, who said “Roddy Piper. I love you forever. God bless you Bubba” and multi-time World Champion Chris Jericho Tweeted, “Sorry to hear of the passing of my friend and Wrestlemania rival #RoddyPiper. One of the greatest who ever lived, but more importantly a legit sweet family man with a good heart”. Former WWE Divas Champion Paige called Piper a “legend” and Tweeted a picture of a broken heart, an image which reflected the feelings of many a wrestler and wrestling fan.

Roddy’s son, Colt, said that his father was his “best friend” and a “great man” saying that he would miss him forever and “always try to be the man he raised me to be”.

Rowdy Roddy Piper lived a life littered with accomplishments. Not many of us will ever be declared as legendary by our peers and fewer still will be able to stack 30+ Championship reigns anywhere on our resume, but those weren’t the man’s proudest achievements. Piper had been married to his wife, Kitty, since 1982 and is survived by her and the four children they lovingly raised together. My thoughts are with them, as well as everyone else who knew, worked with, or simply enjoyed to watch the late, great man work his magic in front of a capacity crowd. R.I.P Roddy.

BAE Systems adapts bone conduction technology to aid soldiers on the battlefield

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Bone conducting Technology has been with us for many years, taking sound from your inner-ear to produce the best transmittable communications. As this Article shows BAE have been clever to adapt this technology to Military Helmets. This technology works perfectly in loud environments so it is the best suited technology for the military. 

BAE Systems has developed an innovative communication device to aid armed forces personnel on the battlefield.


The prototype system is designed to improve soldier safety and drive mission success by harnessing the body’s natural ability to transmit sound through bone conduction, transferring messages directly from the soldier’s helmet to the inner ear. It is being developed as part of Company-funded research which aims to reduce the burden on the dismounted soldier through wearable technology.

Soldiers need to be able to receive audio communications to maximise their awareness and understanding of the challenging environments they are working in, whilst also protecting themselves from extremely loud noises such as gunfire.

To address these conflicting requirements, BAE Systems engineers have adapted existing bone conduction technology often used in commercial headphones and hearing aids for the military domain.

The resulting solution significantly improves the performance of the device and minimising the size and weight of the transducer to the size of a five pence coin. Leveraging off-the-shelf technology to engineer the prototype has allowed the team to significantly reduce development time and costs.

Mohammed Akhmad, Principal Scientist at BAE Systems, said: “We recognise that on the battlefield, auditory situational awareness is essential for armed forces personnel. With this system, the soldiers can safeguard their hearing with ear protectors whilst still clearly receiving military voice communications, to enable them to perform their roles efficiently and safely.

“Through collaborating directly with our customer, we are able to understand their operational challenges and translate them into technical solutions. The key to this concept is that we have been able to utilise off-the-shelf technology and apply our specialist engineering expertise to greatly reduce the time it takes to develop a new prototype. In doing so, we have developed an audio system that offers enhanced capabilities for the military domain.”

In the future this technology will be incorporated into future integrated helmets. A concept demonstrator for BAE Systems’ bone conduction technology will be on display at DSEI (Defence and Security Equipment International), in London this year.

Idiot In Venezuela Mutilates Himself In Order To Look Like Marvel Comics Villain

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Created by writers Joe Simon and France Herron, together with artist Jack ‘King’ Kirby, Marvel Comics’ ‘Red Skull’ character first appeared as an antagonist for Captain America in 1941.

An unreconstructed Nazi supervillain, Red Skull’s plans post-1945 typically centred around world domination, the clever application of his ‘Cosmic Cube’ weapon and a membership in the evil organization ‘Hydra’.

As a result, he has been a popular antagonist in Marvel comic books for several decades and was even selected to be the main enemy of Captain America for the 2011 movie ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’.

One of the most unrepentantly evil Marvel Comics villains, Red Skull isn’t a tortured political idealist like Magneto, or the product of a lousy upbringing like Doctor Octopus. He’s just a Nazi douchebag, plain and simple.

…And now, Henry Damon, a husband and father from Venezuela, has mutilated himself in order to look like him.


Well, he apparently has an appointment booked to have his entire head tattooed red.

Plus, he’s already had his eyeballs tattooed entirely black (which, I have to say I didn’t know was possible) and he has even had sub dermal implants placed under his skin so that his brow and forehead appear ridged and more ‘skull like’.

Next up, he’ll have silicon implants placed under his chin and his cheeks, which will give him the broad, skull-like grimace of the comic book character.

…But by far the most wince-inducing aspect of Mr. Damon’s transformation is that he has recently had most of his nose cut off.

The surgery was performed by Emilio Gonzales (you’ll not the absence of the word ‘doctor’ anywhere in that title), a medical school dropout who earns a living from extreme body modification. In response to critics, Gonzales has said that Damon is “physically and intellectually” a healthy person.

No joke. He really did say that.

OK, so this guy wants to be a Nazi supervillain. In fact, he wants to be a Nazi supervillain so badly that he’s willing to endure no small amount of pain (and spend what is probably a small fortune) on mutilating himself unrecognizably in order to achieve his goal of becoming a Nazi Supervillain from a comic book.

…Yeah, because that’s healthy.

Instead of being offered the psychiatric treatment he obviously needs, Damon apparently passed a number of ‘psychological tests’, but honestly, I can’t imagine any credible, certified psychiatric professional agreeing with that diagnosis, can you? More likely it was the ‘surgeon’, asking him to fill out a few forms in order to cover his ass in case of a lawsuit.

Whatever the reason behind this insanity, there are a great many jokes to be made about this particular idiot. Firstly, if he has no nose, how does he smell? Secondly, he’s cut off his nose to spite his face…And so on.

Joking aside, the really stupid thing is that once this idiot is done mutilating himself, he won’t even own the rights to his own face anymore.

Also, I sincerely hope that he never catches a cold…But that’s more out of concern for the rest of the community than it is for Mr. Damon.

Ericsson confirms 5G radio standardisation participation

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Swedish kit vendor Ericsson has confirmed its “spearheading” of a dedicated European Union project designed to provide a common consensus of the radio network requirements for a standardised 5G network.

METIS-II EU, a part of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 project, is intended to provide the 5G collaboration framework within the 5G-PPP, for both the 5G RAN as well as suggestions on spectrum efficiency and a recommended spectrum roadmap. Ericsson claims its role in the project is to integrate a variety of tech into a radio access design for 5G, and will provide a platform for concerted actions toward regulatory and standards bodies.

It also claims it will be taking the lead on developing new concepts for mobile radio access tech in the 6-100GHz range, in a project catchily called the “Millimetre-Wave Based Radio Access Network for Fifth-Generation Integrated Communications”, or “mmMAGIC” for short. Ericsson’s statement emphasised the importance of reaching a common consensus on 5G platforms and standards.

“Making 5G a global standard is the most critical factor for the digitalisation of industries, the Internet of Things, and broadband everywhere,” it said. “Standardisation is necessary to connect people all over the world. Over several generations of mobile networks, it has been the cornerstone that allows networks all around the world to work seamlessly together, providing users with the same experience.”

Meanwhile, another Horizon2020 project under the European Commission’s wing has now received the backing of 16 launch partners, focussing on the development of the 5G air interface below 6GHz. The “Flexible Air Interface for Scalable Service Delivery Within Wireless Communication Networks of the 5th Generation”, which has somehow been abbreviated to “FANTASTIC-5G”, will apparently focus on boosting capacity, increasing flexibility and improving the energy efficiency of the next generation of mobile networks.

Among the launch partners for the project are Orange and Telecom Italia from the operator community, and Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, Nokia Networks, Samsung and Intel as well as several academic research institutes.

Alcatel-Lucent’s Fran Schaich, who is leading the FANTASTIC-5G project, reiterated the sentiment that cooperation is essential to the development of a common 5G framework.

“FANTASTIC-5G is of key importance, as the multi-service air interface concepts being developed in the project will be evaluated and validated by the partners,” he said. “This helps to build up consensus and to facilitate the standardisation process of 5G.”

This origin of this interesting article can be found here, we have our reservations about this, with the intermittence of 4G, 5G at the moment is a real stretch. Moreover Basing a radio network on a phone network is a dangerous proposition, Mission Critical communications are the reason that two way radios are used, when the infrastructure goes down, these radios should still able of communicate, using a 5G network would mean that a back-up system would have to be put in place.

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.

HP withdrawal leaves just one bidder for two police radio contracts

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It can’t be said that this is a surprising development; mission critical communications have to be managed by radio based companies, not IT experts. Moving into the direction of using 3G or 4G for emergency services is a dangerous direction to take.

The Home Office is still planning to award new emergency services radio network contracts this year despite the fact there is just one supplier in the running for two of the deals, after HP withdrew its bid this week.

The existing network is used by 300,000 different emergency services and public safety bodies across the UK, however it runs on ‘Tetra’ radio, an old technology poor at supporting mobile data.

The government hopes this will be solved by switching to a 4G LTE network, although a number of industry experts have warned the technology may not be ready to support mission critical voice communications, which require constant uptime.

The government plans to award three contracts: one for user services, one for mobile services and another to appoint a delivery partner.

HP’s decision comes just a month after Telefonica pulled out of the mobile services deal, leaving just one supplier left in the running for two of the three contracts:  Motorola for user services and EE for mobile services. There are still four suppliers competing for the delivery partner contract.

An HP spokeswoman told ComputerworldUK the company had chosen to withdraw from the procurement process because it did not believe it could “submit a proposal that met the programme’s requirements and timelines with a level of commercial and technical risk that was acceptable to all parties”.

Despite the dwindling list of suppliers, the Home Office insisted it will still sign contracts later this year with emergency services expected to connect to the new network in 2016.

“There are six strong bidders competing for the main contracts. We have received their best and final offers and hope to sign contracts later this year,” a spokesman said.

However ComputerworldUK understands the department could reject offers if they believe they will not meet the needs of the emergency services or represent value for money, leaving the door open to a potential change in its plans.

The existing emergency services mobile network is operated by Airwave, which has said it is willing to help the Home Office with contract extensions until 2020.

All fire and rescue services have already agreed to continue to use the Airwave network until at least December 2019.

“In the long term we agree that LTE technology is the future of mission critical voice communications for the emergency services, but it is essential that the desire to adopt emerging technologies does nothing to compromise this country’s public safety, resilience and security,” Airwave said.

Source –

Smoke & Mirrors: A royal visit

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This is an extract from How to be Normal: A Guide for the Perplexed by Guy Browning. The extract was found on this website and centres around the bodyguard of the princess and the earpiece they use to communicate with a significant character.


Marsha on reception is wearing a hat. That’s unusual for three reasons. Firstly, she works indoors. Secondly, she normally takes very little interest in her appearance.

Thirdly, it looks like the kind of hat you’d wear to a wedding or possibly the races. When I asked her why she was dressed up, she said it was a secret. I said if she wanted to keep a secret, it’s probably best not to look like Dame Edna. She clearly didn’t know who Dame Edna was so I lost the battle hands down and left her on reception applying her lipstick. She must have developed a peri-menopausal crush on a courier with a millinery fetish.


Something is definitely going on. David Eldridge, our operations director, normally wears a short-sleeved shirt with those weird buttoned sleeve turn-ups. I have no idea where you’d go to buy shirts like that unless there’s some kind of Bureaucrat Surplus store somewhere. Today he’s wearing exactly the same shirt obviously but with a bow tie. I managed to restrain my howls of laughter and asked him why he was looking so natty. He tapped his finger on his nose, which could have been an invitation to do a couple of lines of Charlie with him but probably meant that it was a secret. This was slightly galling as I am communications director of the company. We have several values around transparency and integrity, and I should know everything in the company down to a light cough in the mailroom.


We have an extraordinary board meeting today. I got in late because I was still trying to find out what the big secret is. There was one empty seat next to some woman I didn’t recognise. I was about to sit down when this woman waved me away as if I was some kind of IT spod come to fix the projector! Just as I was about to fill in a P45 for her (which I keep on my person for just such an occasion) another young lady strode into the room and sat down in my seat. Once I’d repositioned myself, I suddenly recognised a member of the royal family. Not a big A-lister but definitely royal. While we were all staring at her, the other woman, who had some kind of communication device in her ear, stared at us. Close protection, no doubt.


The Princess is on work experience because the royal baby has shunted her off the civil list. I noticed when we were walking around that her bodyguard was receiving instructions through her earpiece, which she passed on to the Princess who then said something quite perceptive.

I suddenly had one of my brilliant ideas. I popped down to the IT guys and had a chat with one of them who is a bit of an electronics buff. I bribed him with some brightly coloured cable and he hacked into the bodyguard’s earpiece. We listened in to the instructions being given and, I wouldn’t like to swear to this, but I’m pretty sure it was Her Maj on the other end. When the Princess was touring the marketing department and hearing all about digital marketing, we heard some choice language, which you wouldn’t normally expect from Prince Philip, let alone his missus.


Today’s board meeting started off with our bewigged CEO Lynton Spivey attempting to execute some kind of curtsey.

Even the Princess, who’s probably seen a lot of those in her time, couldn’t help giggling. I just sat back and waited politely. During the meeting, the Princess began to come out with all sorts of brilliant incisive ideas about increasing my budget for Corporate Comms and that some kind of large yacht would be a great idea for hospitality. Spivey was nodding and curtseying and I could feel my job getting infinitely more pleasant. Suddenly, the bodyguard took her earpiece out and for some reason looked straight at me. In the ensuing silence, the Princess made a few of her own suggestions, which were all embarrassing tumbleweed moments. Her bodyguard then hustled her out of the room. Bang goes my knighthood.

Concept Headphones That Won’t Get You Killed While Biking

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“EVERY SINGLE DAY, I see at least five or six people with headphones on while cycling,” says Gemma Roper. The designer and recent graduate of London’s Royal College of Art finds the habit a troubling distraction but also an understandable tactic of using music to soften a harsh daily commute.

The problem is that cyclists also need to stay alert to certain sounds in order to be safe while weaving through traffic. Riding is already dicey in London, Roper says, because the local infrastructure accommodates bus and car traffic over cyclists. The city has seen eight cyclist fatalities so far this year; last year, there were 13. Roper decided that music pumping through earphones shouldn’t contribute to the risk. Her Safe + Sound headphone design uses bone conduction to play tunes through wearers’ cheekbones, instead of directly into their eardrums, so they can still detect ambient noise.

Bone-conduction headphones work by playing soundwave vibrations on top of bones, which then transmit the waves into to the Cochlea, or inner ear, bypassing the delicate eardrum. It could work anywhere on the body but works best near the ear. The technique itself is old—Beethoven, who was deaf, crafted a crude conductive listening device by biting on a metal rod attached to his piano—and a few other headphone makers have rolled out models using the technology in recent years.

Roper’s Safe + Sound are made with cycling helmets in mind. Most of the bone-conduction headphones on the market are wrap around the ear (like these, and these), with nodes that rest more or less where a helmet strap would sit. Asking cyclists to layer up headgear is an uncomfortable and unreasonable ask. At the same time, making any modifications to the helmet that might deter a rider from wearing one is out of the question. So Roper created something that could clip onto to a helmet’s straps. While testing out the idea, she also found that asking cyclists to tote around two pairs of headphones will slow down adoption, so her buds convert into a regular pair of headphones; the modular bone-conducting pieces fit magnetically into a pair of gold muffs.

London has yet to pass a ban on wearing headphones while riding a bike, and only five states in the U.S. forbid the practice. For now, Roper’s design, a working prototype, could be the transitional object cyclists need before giving up their headphones cold turkey.

Wearing a headset or a pair of earphones whilst cycling is a dangerous game to play, particularly in busy cities. This headset from is a simple idea and more importantly is safe. 

Are Your Headphones Causing Your Acne?

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We all take reasonable care of our stuff, particularly when we wear it, we wash our clothes regularly, we shower, more than twice a week! but when was the last time you cleaned your headphones? they might not look dirty, or do they? this article seemingly does.

Headphones are a necessity for the modern music-lover or phone user but your gadgets could also be taking a negative toll on your skin.

Some things in life never seem to last as long as we want them to: Your last paycheck, free cookies, or (perhaps most disappointing of all), clear skin are all relatable examples. Sure, we know that there are tons of prescribed, over-the-counter, and even some go-to natural ingredients that can treat an annoying blemish in a flash, but wouldn’t it be less frustrating to know why our pimples are, well, popping up in the first place?

While genetics and hormones play a huge role, there are certain sneaky, everyday habits that could be irritating your skin too. Like coveting those beloved gadgets of yours.

For instance, think about how your headphones go everywhere with you—school, work, the subway, the gym—and you slide them on without giving it a second thought. Cranking up the music is totally therapeutic (and yes, great for drowning out an annoying sibling), but it turns out if you’re seeing spots on your temples and jaw line, the headphones you use for your daily jam sessions to Taylor Swift might be the culprit for recurring breakouts.

“Wearing over-the-ear headphones is a perfect setup for causing an increase of acne breakouts and skin infections,” says dermatologist and Simple advisory board member Dr. Debra Luftman. “This is especially the case when you wear them during and after a workout, or if you keep them on for long periods of time. Sweat and moisture collect on and around the headphones, compressing the skin and therefore encouraging bacteria and yeast to multiply.” Gross, but true.

Luckily, a blemish-free complexion doesn’t mean retiring your giant pair of Beats or new Frends headphones for good. To keep them gunk-free, Dr. Luftman recommends giving them a daily rubdown with a makeup remover wipe. (Simple’s Cleansing Facial Wipes are so easy to toss in your bag!) Then, remember to use another wipe to clean the areas around your ears, hairline, and jaw before the next time you toss your headphones on again.

If you find that your headphones get discolored or grimy particularly often, you can also keep a stash of anti-bacterial cloths handy in your purse or backpack. Feel free to pick these up during your next drugstore run. Just be sure to let the earphones dry completely before using them again. The same bacteria that develops from sweat and moisture, can build up from any dampness that stems from your cleansing tools. Come on, putting whatever you’re listening to on pause for 10 minutes isn’t too much to ask now, is it?

Dealing with acne is never fun, but preventing it with these simple tips is music to our ears—literally!

British Screen Icon Richard Attenborough Passes Away, Aged 90

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Does Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Work?

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Are you a light sleeper or do you face problems in a crowded office and cannot concentrate to work properly? Then surely you will need the active noise cancelling headphones. This is excellent for creating a silent atmosphere even in the noisiest place. Many people prefer to use this while meditating, sleeping in a thin walled apartment or even while travelling via flight. With the help of these headphones, you can eliminate all the unwanted noise and sound. Does it sound weird about how can headphones create silence? It may, but that is the technology.

How Does It Work?

It works due to the noise cancelling technology which works brilliantly. This technology is controlled by analogue circuits or even by digital signal processing. This technology is created by some algorithms that are designed in such a way that it can analyse the waveform of the background noise. Then a signal is generated based on the particular algorithm that will either reverse the original signal or shift it. This signal which is reversed is amplified and another sound is created by the transducer.

This sound wave created is directly proportional to the amplified version of original sound wave. It can create a destructive interference which can effectively reduce the noise volume. So, this is the technology that works in the active noise cancelling headphones. The sound you perceive through these headphones is reduced in volume with the help of noise reducing or cancellation technology. These headphones are different from that of the normal headphones that you use for listening to music.

Benefits Of Noise Cancelling Headphones

There are many amazing benefits of the noise cancelling headphones. These benefits make it quite popular among many people who stay in some noisy area or travel a lot via flight or even who are light sleepers. These benefits are –

  • It can block almost all types of ambience sound and noise. It can really mute the outer world letting you sleep, work or travel peacefully.
  • With the help of this noise controlling headphone you can even listen to music at a low volume and you do not have to raise the volume unnecessarily to hear clearly.
  • Even if you want to study in some crowded and noisy classroom or while travelling, this will help you to concentrate on your books by eliminating outside noise.

So, all these benefits make it an ideal accessory for you while travelling, reading, meditating, listening to music at low volume and even while you are sleeping. These active noise cancelling headphones are ideally the best way to get rid of the unwanted noise and sounds that do not let you travel or sleep peacefully.

Where To Buy From?

There are thousands of various types of noise cancelling headphones. But you need to be careful while investing and buying one for yourself. Here are some of the tips for you:

  • Researching is very important. If you buy one headphone blindly for yourself without knowing and researching about it then you may face issues too. So, browse through internet and check for the best headphones from some reputed companies.
  • You can shortlist some of the best active noise cancelling headphones for yourself. Then check the reviews and feedbacks regarding those selected ones. This will give you a good idea about the products. If it has some great reviews and customers are satisfied with its performance then you can buy that.
  • Also do not forget to compare the prices of the headphones. There are many brands which keep the prices higher than others while it offers the same features and performance. So, you need to do a thorough comparison of price as well as its features. Invest on the most affordable and cost effective product.
  • Lastly, make sure that the website from where you are buying is reliable and trustworthy. If it is not, then either your money will be wasted or you may not get a genuine product too.

So, it is very important for you to invest wisely and get the best product for yourself. These active noise cancelling headphones are more expensive than that of normal headphones but really worth it. You will definitely get the result which you will expect from it.

“I Won’t Tell Them How To Make Movies, If They Don’t Tell Me How To Solve The Mysteries Of The Universe” Says Stephen Hawking…

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Theoretical physicist, cosmologist and best-selling author Stephen W. Hawking appeared in holographic form at Australia’s world famous Sydney Opera House earlier this month. The professor engaged in a wide-ranging (and frequently very funny) discussion, which was streamed live from Cambridge University.

Long known for his keen wit and candid sense of humour, Professor Hawking tackled the issues of the day in his own inimitable way, at one point suggesting to grief-stricken One Direction fans that the pop band’s departed singer Zayn Malik still fronts the band in a parallel universe, and that fostering an interest in theoretical physics may yet help them to discover proof of this.

He also discussed the popularity of long-running science fiction franchise Star Trek, a series that Hawking has himself appeared in, saying “We have come to expect a steady increase in standard of living that science and technology have brought. But people distrust science because they don’t understand it or feel they can control it. (…) The popularity of science fiction like Star Trek is because this is a form of science with which people feel safe, but an understanding of science fact would allay their fears … much better.”

According to Hawking, it is imperative that a public interest in science is fostered and encouraged so that we can become better informed on issues such as climate change and genetic engineering.

As a for-instance, Hawking recalled that he had been warned not to add too much scientific detail to his International bestselling book, 1988’s A Brief History of Time. According to Hawking, he was told that each equation he included would effectively halve sales. “I included one – Einstein’s famous E=MC2. Perhaps I would have sold twice as many copies without it,” he said, only half joking.

The professor also discussed the recent biopic of his life, the Academy Award winning The Theory of Everything and was generally positive about the movie, especially actor Eddie Redmayne’s portrayal of him.

Whilst he admitted to being initially apprehensive about the film, because it was adapted from a book by his ex-wife (as Hawking himself once said, “I’m no better than anyone else at understanding what makes people tick, particularly women”), Hawking was pleased with the script and enjoyed the finished film, calling it “surprisingly honest” about his life and marriage. “It was as close as I’ll ever get to traveling in time,” he said.

Hawking’s one issue with the movie was that he would have preferred “more physics and fewer feelings”, although he rushed to point out that this was how he felt about all films. However, on the subject of any nagging inaccuracies (which he insisted were minor), the great mind simply stated, “I won’t tell them how to make movies, if they don’t tell me how to solve the mysteries of the universe”.

Finally, Hawking commanded “Beam me up, Scotty!” and within seconds, his digital presence had disappeared in a flash of bright light. Now that’s showmanship!

Twelfth Doctor To Battle Vikings (And Other Series 9-Related Rumours)

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Just a few short weeks after series 8 of the long-running sci-fi show garnered a Craft Award at the BAFTAs (for ‘Deep Breath’s excellent T-Rex sequences), shooting is already under way for Block 3 (that’s episodes 5 6, in case you were wondering) of Series 9. Phew! Don’t these guys ever take a break?

According to, series 9 will see everybody’s favourite Time Lord and his trusty companion having a Viking-themed adventure, guest starring Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams. Cast and crew have begun filming at Cosmeston Medieval Village, and leaked on-set photos appear to show crewmembers hard at work building period-specific boats. Other leaked info points to a showdown between The Doctor and the Norse God Odin. Should be fun.

The village will also be the setting for the brand-new monster that was officially unveiled by the BBC last week. Looking like a giant Warhammer figure brought magically to life, the monster may (or may not) be called The Cyclone and the teaser photos already have online fans buzzing.

Meanwhile, other on-set photos (leaked by Twitter user Amberlabamba) appear to show star Peter Capaldi in a new outfit, specifically, a pair of Tartan trousers that knowingly remind us of Twelve’s innate Scottishness, whilst also recalling some of the outfits worn by Second Doctor Patrick Troughton.

…He’s keeping the Doc Martens, though.

The costume change is also interesting because Capaldi’s initial series 8 outfit, a stylish, scaled back Crombie coat (designed specifically with cosplay in mind), also recalled an outfit worn by Jon Pertwee’s Third Doctor during the 1970’s. It certainly looks like the BBC costume department are taking a bit of inspiration from the show’s early days. Its all good, just as long as he leaves the six-foot scarf at home – some things aren’t meant to be touched!

…And that goes TRIPLE for any Technicolor dream coats that the costume department might be planning to unleash on us.

In other Who news, it appears that director Hettie MacDonald, best known by Whovians for her sterling work on the Tenth Doctor episode Blink, will be returning to direct a couple of U.N.I.T-related episodes entitled The Magician’s Apprentice and The Witch’s Familiar, which are set to act as a two-part series’ opener. The adventure will probably feature the return of Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart, daughter of the legendary Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.

Other cast members announced (or rumoured) for series 9 guest slots are Game of Thrones and Ripper Street actor Paul Kaye, comedian Rufus Hound, The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Kelly Hunter (who may or may not be reprising her role as The Shadow Architect from Series 4’s The Stolen Earth) and Clare Higgins, who recently appeared in the Eighth Doctor mini-episode The Night of The Doctor as The High Priestess of The Karn Sisterhood.

Michelle Gomez will also return as Missy – the female incarnation of The Master, as seen throughout series 8.

A particularly juicy rumour (apparently started by The Daily Mirror) has the series returning The Doctor to the Dalek homeworld Skaro, whereupon the Time Lord must contemplate whether or not to murder his nemesis Davros, creator of The Daleks, during childhood. The episode, if indeed it is an episode at all, would therefore re-tread philosophical ground first walked during Terry Nation’s classic Fourth Doctor serial Genesis of the Daleks.

The story may also pick up on the as-yet unused Davros origin story written by former series boss Russell T. Davies, which was cut from series four’s The Stolen Earth/Journeys End two-parter (it can be read in Davies’ Doctor Who companion book The Writers Tale). If this is the case, then this proposed episode might also explain the return of Kelly Hunter to the Whoniverse, for obvious reasons.

Of course, you can never trust the rumour mill too wantonly, but if the idea of a series that features The Sisterhood of Karn, The Shadow Proclamation, Davros, The Master and Odin doesn’t float your (long)boat, then, quite frankly, I’m not entirely sure why you read this far…


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A British surgeon wants to make the operating room virtual with the Oculus Rift headset.

Dr. Shafi Ahmed, a laparoscopic and colorectal surgeon, has already worked to integrate Google Glass into his lessons as an associate dean at the Barthes of London Medical School.

As co-founder of the tech company Medical Realities, Ahmed now wants to use the virtual reality system Oculus Rift to create the “Virtual Surgeon,” a pilot program that would allow medical students to practice surgeries inspired by actual operations before setting foot into an operating room.

Ahmed and his team presented Virtual Surgeon at the wearable technology show this week.

“It’s very easy to train people in a correct operation,” Ahmed told ABC News on Friday. “It’s not so easy when things go wrong. … We’re all put in situations where things can go wrong.”

Last month, Ahmed took the first steps towards creating that program by making a 360-degree video of an operation.

Anyone wearing an Oculus Rift headset could then be able to get an immersive view of the laparoscopic procedure when the video is played back.

The virtual reality experience of Oculus Rift is a better simulation for students, Ahmed said, because it can more easily mimic a real operating room.

“It’s as close as you can get to replicating it,” he said, noting that education should always embrace the newest technology and a virtual reality operating room could be the next major tool for students.

The Oculus Rift headset has not been made available to consumers yet, but the company was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion last year. The headsets have already been utilized by a range of people, from real estate agents to driving instructors and fitness companies.

The oculus Rift has huge potential, this is a great one where it can save lives. Much like pilots, racing drivers and firefighters use simulators to improve training this is a good thing, the only issue will be the standard of the software used with the headset.

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