Why Do Secret Service Agents Always Touch Their Ears?

audioFor a long time people have been telling me that relations, love and happiness are the crucial things in life…Nowadays I realized that I’m able to take or leave all that so long as I have this earpiece in the world.

When you see American secret service agents on TV or in films, have you noticed that they are always touching their ears? Well, at least one of our readers did and asked me to find out why.

In the ‘Matrix’ movies, Agent Smith and co touched their ears in order to better mimic the behaviour of real secret service agents. Therefore it is obviously a defining trait of secret service agents, at least in America. It is clearly something they have been doing for quite a while now. Then again, the ‘Agents’ also did it to better receive signals from the machines who ran the Matrix program itself…

In the real world (assuming, of course, that this IS the real world hmmm….), the reason that secret service agents touch their ears is not that different. Forrest Wickham, of http://www.slate.com, has the answers:

Are those earpieces uncomfortable? No, it’s just so they can hear better. Pushing in an earpiece makes for a tighter seal, which could mean the difference between hearing or missing a Secret Service codename or another agent’s message about the president’s position while standing in a noisy room. While earpieces are not uncomfortable, they do sometimes come loose, requiring readjustment.

There you have it, a somewhat embarrassingly lo-tech answer, secret service guys push their earphones into their ears because that makes the instructions come through louder and clearer. Being an ardent ‘Spinal Tap’ fan, I can’t help but echo the bemused query of Marti DiBergi and ask “why not just make the earpieces louder?” but that’s obviously a question for another time.

Back to you, Mr. Wickham:

“Earpieces aren’t the only communication devices the Secret Service uses, and not all earpieces have the same design. Some devices, for example, look like iPod ear buds. The one-ear headphone often shown in the movies is standard and comes with a curly wire that runs down under their shirt to a hidden microphone worn in different locations depending on the circumstances of the assignment. One standard spot is just under the shirt sleeve. (That explains why agents are always lifting their wrists to their mouths.) Earpieces also come in different colors, and some agents choose a device that matches their skin or hair”.

So they don’t do it to look sinister, or to get instructions from the machine world that secretly runs all our lives. They do it because, well, their equipment is a little bit crappy, apparently.

Then again, I suppose that if you were trying to hear very specific, very important information in a busy and loud environment, then any headset you used would be severely challenged. It’s hard to hear anything over the sound of large crowds as well.

Mr. Wickham also offers a bonus explanation. At the end of his article, Wickham tells us why the secret service guys always seem to be wearing sunglasses.

“Why are Secret Service agents always wearing sunglasses? To keep the sun out of their eyes. While the Service has often cultivated a certain mystique, preferring to remain “cloaked in silence and mystery,” spokesmen insist they wear shades merely for their traditional purpose, and not, say, to keep would-be assassins from knowing which way they’re looking. The Secret Service has no set uniform, but agents say that wearing sunglasses on a sunny day helps them to scan a crowd for suspicious behavior”.

Sounds good enough to me.

MOTOTRBO Brings Cutting-Edge Communications to Leeds Castle’s 1,000 Years of History

So to resume my run of content on this blog, I have planned to share one of my favourite articles this week. I used to be hesitant to include it to the website because I actually did not want to offend the original author, but I hope he/she is glad that I enjoyed reading their article and planned to share it with my readers.

Enhancing the Customer Experience at one of England’s Busiest Attractions
Home to England’s royalty, lords and ladies since the eleventh century, Leeds Castle is set on two islands on the River Len in 500 acres of rural Kent. Visited in Tudor times by Henry VIII, the castle later passed into private ownership and was used as a garrison,

a prison and a convalescence home as well as being home to a number of wealthy families. Today Leeds Castle is one of nine Treasure Houses of England and hosts conferences, weddings, banquets and concerts. Its many attractions, including works of art, a maze, an aviary, falconry displays and a nine-hole golf course, brought it a record 575,000 visitors in 2007. Seasonal attractions,

such as ice skating at Christmas and jousting, flower festivals, hot air balloon flights and Shakespearean plays in the summer have helped to make Leeds Castle one of south east England’s leading tourist destinations. Real-time communications are essential to the smooth running of the castle and to ensure the safety of staff and visitors.

Leveraging Digital Two-Way Radio to Eliminate Communication Black Spots, Guarantee Secure Transmission and Maximize Visitor Enjoyment

As long standing users of Motorola analogue two-way radio, Leeds Castle’s managers were already benefiting from instant communications between castle staff and catering crews to maximize staff productivity and provide the highest levels of customer service. The castle’s increasing popularity had seen visitor numbers grow to 20,000 over Bank Holiday weekends with 3,500 cars each day in the main car park and four smaller overflow areas. As a result, Leeds Castle was looking to increase its stock of Motorola radios to enable the 150 full time employees and 60 additional staff recruited in the high season to coordinate their activities.

In addition, managers also wanted to boost radio coverage in outlying areas of the grounds where gardeners, green keepers and event coordinators often worked alone, particularly outside opening hours. Visitor rooms located deep inside the castle often suffered from poor transmission as the analogue signal was often unable to penetrate the one-metre-thick walls.Leeds Castle also wanted to enjoy clear communications in high-noise environments.

Leeds Castle wanted to benefit from the advances in two-way radio technology to improve communications security by eliminating the possibility of eavesdropping by amateur scanners, a potential risk during high-profile concerts. In addition, the ability to communicate critical messages via text instead of voice would ensure discretion in a customer-facing environment.

MOTOTRBO Digital Improves Range, Clarity, Flexibility, Functionality and Health and Safely while Providing Compatibility with Analogue

Leeds Castle’s communications partner and local Motorola Authorised Dealer recommended MOTOTRBO for its breadth of coverage, unrivalled audio clarity and uncompromising transmission security. The stronger digital signal would enable employees to communicate in remote parts of the grounds and in all areas of the castle. In addition, MOTOTRBO’s support for TDMA technology would allow a single channel solution to be split into two virtual channels to provide twice the capacity of analogue. This would reduce both licensing and hardware costs by halving the number of base stations and repeaters needed.

The castle commissioned a single channel system, which was pre-configured to its specific requirements and installed in less than 24 hours. Eighty-eight MOTOTRBO DP3600 hand portables were purchased for use by managerial staff, event managers, security teams, first-aiders, gardeners and customer assistance staff. Two desk-mounted MOTOTRBO DM3600s keep customer service managers and senior administrators in touch with mobile workers. Both hand portable and fixed models benefit from an alphanumeric display, easy-to-use menu keys, textured push-to-Talk button and large volume control knob.

A single DR3400 repeater base station ensures strong signal coverage across the entire site. MOTOTRBO’s intuitive functionality meant that all staff, even those new to two-way radio, became competent users of the core functions after just twenty minutes training. MOTOTRBO’s greater range has enabled Leeds Castle to eliminate the problem of black spots in remote parts of the grounds and deep within the castle. Clear voice communications over the entire 500-acre site mean that calls get through first time, which has improved response times and customer service.

Ten user groups have been set up to enable staff in each area to communicate instantly with colleagues on a one-to-one basis by selecting names using the alphanumeric display function. Group communications are also possible to everyone within the same user group. In an emergency situation, where a staff member or visitor requires first aid, pressing the emergency button broadcasts to all live radios in all user groups simultaneously. Using the previous analogue system, users were only able to communicate within their group and calls for medical assistance had to be routed via the switchboard.

MOTOTRBO has further improved the efficiency of Leeds Castle’s health and safety procedures by cutting emergency response times to just a few minutes.

MOTOTRBO’s text messaging functionality allows staff to communicate discreetly, without the risk of being overheard by visitors, when discussing potentially sensitive issues or reporting a security alert. Pre-defined text messages have been set up to provide rapid caller responses such as “what is your location?” “in meeting – is it urgent?” and “please see me ASAP”. The ability to send text messages has helped improve staff efficiency and streamline routine operations.

MOTOTRBO’s backward-and-forward compatible platform allows Leeds Castle staff to communicate with the analogue radios often used by production companies who manage its on-site events. The radios can quickly be switched to analogue mode to provide seamless communication between the castle’s security operatives, customer service staff and catering crews and the back-stage teams of the event organisers.

Optimising Efficiency with Cost-Effective, Future–Proofed Communications Within three months of going live with MOTOTRBO, Leeds Castle is benefiting from improvements in staff productivity and even higher standards of customer service. The single-channel system, which was adopted rapidly by staff and continues to be extremely popular, is busy for 60% of the time during opening hours, leading managers to consider adding a second channel. Good radio etiquette has cut the average call time to 20 seconds, with the increasing use of text messaging cutting transmission times still further.

MOTOTRBO’s ease of configuration enables Leeds Castle’s operations engineers to modify functionality themselves, without the need for external expertise. The castle also plans to enhance the radios with some of the new, innovative features continuously being developed by Motorola and its partners. Integrated telemetry would enable remote monitoring of many castle installations, such as intruder alarms, automated watering facilities and lighting systems, from the MOTOTRBO handsets. This would further increase the return on Leeds Castle’s investment in Motorola two-way radio.

What are Earbuds

I don’t know if you came here because you read it on social media, twitter, facebook, google +, stumble upon or somewhere else. But thank you for coming and I hope you take pleasure in reading this as much as I did.
Earbuds are headphones, typically made out of a hard plastic material, that fit inside the ear, just outside of the ear canal. These arent the same thing as ear canal headphones, which have a rubber tip and seal within a listeners ear canal.

headphonesSeveral portable music devices, like mp3s and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), come with earbuds when the device is purchased. Earbuds are a less expensive alternative to ear canal headphones or other listening devices. Consumers tend to purchase earbuds for their convenience, as they are easier to carry around than other headphones because of their small size.

This style of headphone also tends to be more inexpensive than other kinds, like ear canal headphones, circumaural headphones that fit outside the ears, or the supra-aural headphones that have pads that are placed on top of the ears, rather than around or inside them. Circumaural headphones are typically used in recording studios and supra-aural headphones can still be purchased at some stores, though these kinds of devices have given way to headphones that fit within the ear.

Because of the design of earbuds, there can be a few drawbacks to owning them as opposed to owning another style of headphone. First, the rigid design of earbuds can sometimes make it difficult for them to fit comfortably inside a listeners ear. If theyre too large or too small, they can either slip out of the ear or wont fit inside it at all. Another problem reported by consumers is that because earbuds dont seal the ear canal, the sound quality is muddled through other ambient noises.

Essentially, most earbuds work the same as other headphones and the set-up is relatively simple. Wires move up from the electronic device that is putting out sound, such as an mp3 player. These wires connect to a voice coil. The coil is attached to a cone, which is flexible and plastic. A magnet is attached to the back of the earbuds. When sound passes up through the wires and to the magnet, the voice coil becomes electromagnetic and moves up and down with the sound. The cone then pushes the sound out through the earbud and into the listeners ear.

When listening to earbuds or any other type of headphones, physicians recommend to keep the volume at a reasonable level, as research had proven that prolonged exposure to high noise levels can lead to permanent hearing loss. Prolonged listening to loud noises, including music, puts unnecessary stress on the hairs in the cochlea. This causes permanent damage to the hairs and can eventually lead to hearing loss.

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Will I be Able to Hear Bone Conduction Headphones Even if I Wear Earplugs?

Well ladies and gentlemen, i’ve a new exceptional radio accessory piece for you to read, i know, you do not need to thank me all, just add a social like to the short article to show your appreciation.

Hi Nick,

The short answer is yes, yes you can.

Because bone conduction bypasses the ear entirely and directly stimulates the ossicles (which is the scientific name for the tiny bones that reside in your inner ear, as well as the rationale behind comic book hero Daredevil’s athletic prowess), it is entirely possible to stick your ear plugs in and still listen to your ‘Bonephones’.

In some respects, it’s actually preferable. Y’see Nick, using headphones is fine and dandy, until you have to turn the volume all the way up in order to drown out noisy children, busy traffic and/or people shouting into their phones all around you. After that, if you increase the volume to too great a degree, you can expose your ears to sounds that can actually permanently damage your hearing.

Bone conduction, however, carries much less of a risk, because it does not effect the parts of the ear most at risk from loud noises.

Hearing is a process that actually has several stages. At first, your ear picks up sound waves, the sound waves pass into your middle ear (specifically, your auditory canal) before hitting the eardrum. The eardrum then vibrates, passing the sound down to the aforementioned ossicles (‘aforementioned ossicles’ is a lovely phrase, don’t you think?) From there, the ossicles transmit the sound to the cochlea, which is a fluid-filled structure that encodes the sound information in order for our brain to decode it (this is not unlike the way a wireless mouse works, actually).

Yup, the inner ear is a wacky world.

Essentially, bone conduction technology rattles the ossicles in the same way that they’d rattle in your inner ear, it just, to turn a phrase my father is particularly fond of ‘cuts out the middle man’. It really is an interesting invention.

So, as you see, there is no way a pair of earplugs pose any problem at all to your enjoying music or audio content on your Bonephones. I hope this helps. You’ll likely find this method especially useful if you happen to find yourself on a long plane journey and seated next to a disgruntled infant.

I’m actually fairly certain that bone conduction technology was invented during a similar scenario.

Have fun, Nick.

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The Evolution of Walkie Talkies

The world is stuffed with really awesome, well written posts. When you find one that catches your eye, you have to repost it, well i do! so with authorization of the original blogger i have posted this for you to get pleasure from

headphonesWalkie talkies are very commonly used for communication between two points. The half duplex channels allow only one radio to transmit at one point of time and the other would have to just listen. It is only one way communication that is possible.
They have built in speakers in them and hence do not need to have a separate earphone like that of a telephone to be held to the ear.
The handheld units are similar to box radio but fitted with an antenna and both units get connected to radio stations that transmit and receive messages from a fixed point or range.

The credit of inventing the first radio transmitter and receiver goes to Motorola. Motorola created and coined the word ‘walkie talkie’ and the model was called Motorola SCR -300 that was based on frequency modulation. This version was a backpack mounted version.

It was during World War 2 that Motorola produced the ˜Handi Talkie”, the older version of the modern ‘walkie talkie’. The performance was not as good as the ‘walkietalkie’ but still it was the first self contained and handheld device that was available in the industry.

Today you get a lot of models and varieties of ‘walkie talkie’ that are available for use in different purposes. The prices as well as the range and quality of the devices vary depending upon its usage. These are today used in a variety of applications including defense sector, outdoor recreation, various businesses as well as public crowd management and security agencies.
With improved technology the ‘walkietalkie’ have also become sophisticated, more compact and user friendly. The commercial ‘walkietalkie’ tend to be a lot of studier, bigger sets with protective casing and operate on limited frequencies but with clarity. On the other hand the personal and individual sets tend to be sleeker, compact and light weight and can operate on many channels that are available within the band, but tend to lack in clarity.

You get ‘walkie talkie’ for kids too. These are very basic and minimalist featured units and low tech when compared to the others. They are not very expensive and do not require a license and operate within a range of few meters only.

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Boots the Chemist Goes Digital with MOTOTRBO

audioAgain a different short article i thought was remarkable on the subject of radio accessory’s, what would you need to do if i didn’t post this ehh? you’d have to look at the original article, the chances that you found it could be slim, so think yourself blessed that i have shared this excellent piece with you.

Boots Enjoys Future Proofed Communications in a Single Handset at National Stores Service Centre in Nottingham

Boots the Chemist is the United Kingdom’s leading health and beauty retailer. The company supplies its 2,600 outlets in the UK and Ireland from an 800,000 sq ft Stores Service Centre (SSC) in Nottingham. The SSC stocks thousands of

product lines and is set to handle Boots’ entire range by 2009. It operates 16 hours a day, six days a week and services many stores on an almost daily basis.

Streamlining On-Site Communications in a Time-Critical, Performance-Driven Environment Built on Lean, Efficient Operating Practices
SSC employees were using a number of disparate technologies to communicate with colleagues in their functional group. Engineers, system managers and production line ‘jam busters’ had all set up one-to-one communications systems based largely on DECT or mobile phones to meet their individual needs. Poor coverage in some areas was impacting on voice quality and the ability to reach key people quickly.

In addition to one-to-one communication, group calling was becoming essential to coordinate teams instantly, resolve issues rapidly and maintain the fast order turnaround times and high service standards that Boots stores around the country depend on. The SSC decided to replace its multiple communications systems with a single, integrated solution. Logistics managers evaluated the options

for providing communications for its 140 users and considered implementing a trunked analogue two-way radio system. The team consulted a Motorola Authorised Dealer who proposed a cost-effective conventional digital solution for its wider coverage, improved audio clarity, greater capacity, efficient use of

spectrum and ability to combine a broad range of functions into a single device.

MOTOTRBO Offers Maximum Value for Money with Unrivalled Performance and the Flexibility to Meet the Needs of Multiple User Groups
The SSC selected MOTOTRBO for its comprehensive, scalable, next-generation feature set that would also support its requirements for a lot longer than older analogue technology and make on-site communication between all functions and work groups simple and efficient.

The slightly higher network costs of digital over analogue were compensated by its lower set-up, hardware and licensing overheads. Digital’s ability to provide two slots on a single channel meant that only three MOTOTRBO DR3000 repeaters were required to deliver six talk channels and ensure complete coverage in all buildings and outside areas on the Boots head office complex. The SSC purchased

55 MOTOTRBO DP3600 hand portables and 18 MOTOTRBO DM3600 fixed mobiles for use by its 140 users.

After the radios had been pre-programmed to meet the needs of different work groups, setting up the new solution took just half a day. Users were already familiar with the cell-phone look and feel of the MOTOTRBO handsets, which made training quick and easy. Most staff became confident in the key functions after just 20 minutes training, which helped increase their effectiveness from day one.

MOTOTRBO DP3600 hand portables come complete with UHF antenna, 1300mAh NiMH battery, belt-clip and Impres single unit charger, providing an out-of-the-box solution. The long-life battery means that most Boots SSC employees are able to work 16 hours without the need for recharging. Dustproof, water resistant and subject to accelerated life testing to military standards, in common with all Motorola radios, the DP3600s are resilient enough to withstand the everyday wear and tear of a busy warehouse environment.

The MOTOTRBO DM3600 fixed mobile radios with their plug-and-play functionality are used by desk-based staff such as line managers and function heads. Both hand portable and mobile models benefit from a two-line alphanumeric display, digital calling options, call forwarding, easy-to-use menu keys,

and large volume control knob. Channel switching allows supervisory staff to communicate with all user groups. Five programmable buttons allow users to tailor functionality to streamline communications and have been programmed by DCRS to customise the radios to the SSC’s needs. Three of the buttons are used to provide one-stop hot lines to the warehouse management system control room, the engineers’ help desk and the Engineering Flow controller. A fourth button delivers manual dialling facilities to save users scrolling down the menu list if they know the ID of the radio they are calling. The fifth button is used as a keypad lock to protect against accidental transmission. The SSC’s jam busters, who resolve non-technical faults such as broken pallets and tears in packaging, use the MOTOTRBO radios to communicate across the distribution centre and smooth the flow of goods coming in and out of the SSC. Frequent calls are made by the jam busters but transmission usually lasts for only a few seconds. The team of engineers also has its own channel, which is used to alert colleagues

instantly to equipment problems and ensure machinery breakdowns are fixed before they impact on delivery schedules to the stores. Engineers only communicate when machinery is malfunctioning, which tends of mean that fewer, longer calls are made. The SSC’s information technology managers use the MOTOTRBO hand portables to liaise with each other when monitoring performance of the automated warehouse management solution on the factory floor. Other user groups include controllers, production teams and operations managers.

The six talk channels were configured to match the calling patterns of the different user groups while ensuring maximum availability. Average talk time is five seconds, with a time-out timer after 30 seconds.

Some 60% of the calls are group calls, but the ability to broadcast to all users in a group simultaneously has made a significant impact on response times in a time-critical environment.

Digital Doubles Channel Capacity and Halves Licensing and Hardware Costs while Improved Operating Efficiencies Save Five Man Days Per Week

Choosing digital over analogue has improved channel efficiency by doubling capacity per channel and reduced licensing costs. Hardware costs have also been cut by 50%, while TDMA protocol batteries extend talk time by 40% and enable most users to work two shifts on a single charge. MOTOTRBO’s ease of programming and comprehensive feature set provide the flexibility to accommodate the different communication needs of Boots’ 20 user groups within a single handset.

Reworking day-to-day practices and escalation procedures around the functionality of the MOTOTRBO two-way radio system is already generating significant efficiency benefits. The SSC estimates that it saves five minutes per person per day using the radios, which adds up to almost six hours per day or nearly five man-days each week. These efficiencies have been achieved within only three months of go-live and the SSC anticipates even greater savings in the future.

Is The Motorola Bluetooth Earpiece Weird Fitting?

What’s your favourite feature of the radio earpiece? Personally, I like the design job – Its cooler than an Inuit’s underpants!

It is a fact that hands free technology for mobile phones have been around for quite a long time now.
However, with all those dangling wires, you are never really free. It can be uncomfortable making and taking calls with all those wires dangling and snagging parts of your body and other objects. This is why Motorola offers a new kind of hands free technology called Bluetooth earpiece or Bluetooth headsets.

Thanks to Motorola’s new hands free headsets, you get to enjoy freedom from wires thanks to its use of Bluetooth technology.  This technology has been used by cell phones, to allow for file transfers.  Today, you’ll find Bluetooth in many other devices, allowing them to link together in a way never thought possible a few short years ago.  This enables you to connect a Bluetooth enabled phone with a Bluetooth enabled printer, allowing you the ability to print images, or print out your phone book easily.

Motorola is one of the leading mobile phone manufacturers in the world. With their state of the art phone with the latest technology integrated, you will definitely want one for your own. They offer convenience as well as quality to their products. Most new Motorola models today are now Bluetooth capable for more convenience to users.

With this technology, they also took it another step forward by providing their customers with yet another innovation in Bluetooth technology. The Motorola Bluetooth earpiece or headset is now widely available in the market today to serve as an accessory to their phone and also other Bluetooth capable phones.

This is a convenient tool that you can use anywhere you go. If you are a person who is always on the go and prefers not to miss any calls or if you want additional convenience in mobile phone usage, you should consider getting one of the Motorola Bluetooth earpiece or headset.

Quality audio of course is a very important concern for earpieces. What good is it, if you cant hear, or if your speech sounds garbled on the other end. The key benefit of this Motorola earpiece is that even if its noisy around you, you’ll still be able to hear.  Also, the person you’re speaking with will be able to hear you just like you there was no one around.  No more shouting.

Gone are the days of ear pieces that didn’t sit well on your ear.  Special attention went into the design of the earpiece to ensure that it was ergonomically correct.  Its lightweight and comes complete with comfort features that will follow the contours of your ear.  Not surprisingly, people has said that they dont even notice they are wearing the earpiece until someone called them.

Now that is comfort.
Another quality that you can expect with Motorola Bluetooth earpiece is that it offers a lot of talk time and standby time hours. This means that you won’t need to recharge the batteries frequently.
So, if you want a wire free to communicate with your family, friends, or business associates by using your mobile phone, you should only consider getting the best in wireless hands free device, which is the Motorola Bluetooth earpiece. It will provide you with comfort, style, and maximum audio quality.