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

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 www.doctorwhotv.co.uk, 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…

Experts Investigate Antares Rocket Explosion

Experts are presently investigating the destruction of the unmanned space rocket Antares, which exploded during its launch on Tuesday, October 28th. Official investigations began on the 29th, but no definite cause for the accident has been identified so far.

Almost immediately upon leaving the launch pad at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, Antares became engulfed in flames and was destroyed in midair. The falling wreckage caused considerable damage to the launch pad itself.

Although the cargo was lost, there were no casualties.

Antares was carrying around 5,000lbs (2,200 kgs) of supplies, which were intended for the six astronauts currently occupying the International Space Station. The rocket’s cargo included over 1,300lbs (600kg) of dried food, as well equipment for various scientific experiments.

Despite the loss of important supplies and equipment, the astronauts aboard the ISS will still have enough provisions to continue their work.

Frank Culbertson, executive vice-president of Orbital Sciences Corp, the firm that built the rocket, is confident that the cause of the explosion will soon be determined. He told BBC News that,

“We will understand what happened, hopefully soon, and we’ll get things back on track (…) we’ve all seen this happen in our business before, and we’ve all seen the teams recover from this, and we will do the same.”

Mr. Culbertson has also urged locals not to go “souvenir hunting” along the beach, as the rocket had been carrying hazardous materials.

Some business experts are now predicting that Orbital may suffer greatly in the face of harsh competition to supply the ISS.

The investigation could take weeks, or even more, before analysts are satisfied that they have found the root cause of the problem.

In any instance, it seems highly likely that the investigators will place considerable emphasis on the rocket’s AJ-26 engines, which were used to lift Antares from the launch pad.

Earlier versions of these same engines were developed for Russia’s N1 moon missions, which came to an ignominious end after all four launch attempts failed. The second attempt, in 1969, resulted in a calamity that completely destroyed both the rocket and the launch tower.

Another of these power units actually exploded during ground testing earlier this year.

Whatever the cause, this malfunction is expected to set any further Antares rocket launches back for a considerable amount of time.

Icom Announces New Digital Land Mobile Radios at IWCE 2015

Icom America is showcasing new land mobile radio equipment at the 2015 International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE). The company will be displaying new products promoting digital and IP radio technology. The IWCE conference will be held at Nevada’s Las Vegas Convention March 16-20. Icom will be exhibiting at Booth 621 during exhibit hall hours on March 18-19. Icom associates will also be participating on weekday panels highlighting P25, NXDN™, next-gen communications, and systems deployed in Latin America.

New products on display at Icom Booth 621 include the F1000D/F2000D the F3200DEX/F4200DEX, which belong to the Icom Digital Advanced System known as IDAS™. The F1000D Series is a compact entry-level radio featuring enhanced emergency functions. The F3200DEX Series is a rugged handheld that meets Intrinsically Safe standards. For IP solutions, Icom’s VE-PG3 RoIP gateway and IP100H wireless LAN radio will also be on display.

Icom is also announcing the F5122DD Series transceiver. This data modem features MIL-STD construction and is ideal for field monitoring and remote system management. Additionally, the company is exhibiting its exclusive IC-7850 amateur radio as well as the ID-5100A and ID-51A PLUS D-STAR radios.

Sponsored by Penton Media, IWCE 2015 will host Icom and more than 7,000 dealers, distributors and end-users from various industries. IWCE’s conference program comprises five days of workshops, training courses and short courses. Keynotes, general sessions and networking events are also scheduled throughout the week.

Icom America Vice President Chris Lougee is participating in two IWCE events:

    • “Project 25 Foundations and System Technology Updates for 2015″ workshop on March 16
    • “An Update on P25 Compliance Assessment Program (CAP)” short course on March 19

“The P25 Compliance Assessment Program is critical in the equipment procurement process for government agencies,” says Lougee. “It is the best way to ensure interoperability.”

The following Icom America associates are participating as panelists for IWCE courses on March 18:

    • Mark Behrends (Senior Manager of Marketing) for “Next-Generation Push-to-Talk Roundtable: Cellular, Satellite, Wireless LAN and LTE”
    • Edwin Cortes (Technical Sales Manager, LatAm) for “Estudios de Caso: TETRA, LTE y P25″
    • Rodney Grim (Business Development Manager) and Chris Lougee for “A NXDN Deployment Review”

We are really interested in where Icom have going with their digital radios, the IP stuff is nothing new but Icom have a great history with Two Way Radios, you can find the original source of the article here - http://www.policeone.com/police-products/police-technology/press-releases/8413508-Icom-Announces-New-Digital-Land-Mobile-Radios-at-IWCE-2015/

Introducing the Sensear Intrinsically Safe Double Protection Headset

Many of you might not heard of Sensear, they are making big strides in the headset industry, here is their latest offering.

Sensear, a global leader in developing and manufacturing best-in-class digital communication headsets, announced the release today of their new Intrinsically Safe Double Protection Headset (IS-SDP). Based on Sensear’s existing SM1xSR IS headset, and incorporating the double protection feature from Sensear’s current non-IS double protection headset; the new IS-SDP headset includes an improved boom microphone, and will interface with a variety of two-way radios both cabled and via Bluetooth for wireless operations.  Bluetooth can also be used with IS Smart phones and other IS Bluetooth devices.

The Sensear IS-SDP headset was developed from a marketplace need for a high performance intrinsically safe headset for extreme noise environments that require Class 1 Div 1 certification. Double hearing protection (both ear plugs and ear muffs) is often required when exposures may exceed 95 decibels (dBA) in many critical working areas. At the same time operators in these environments are required to use two-way radios to hear site communications and respond appropriately. Without the use of an appropriate intrinsically safe headset communications on site can potentially be very difficult.

The ear-plugs for the IS-SDP are hard wired to the headset allowing for dual protection, and communications to be directly understood by the operator. The IS-SDP’s 31 dB NRR combined with Sensear’s patented SENS™ technology allow operators to protect their hearing at a safe level of 82 dB, communicate effectively between co-workers via two-way radio and Bluetooth and maintain 360-degree awareness.

“We were excited about the development of the IS-SDP the early beginnings of Sensear grew from creating unique solutions for many industrial environments,” said Peter Larsson, CEO.  “The IS-SDP continues to show our commitment to developing practical, usable products that solve the communication challenges in heavy industry.”

Source - http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/introducing-the-sensear-intrinsically-safe-double-protection-headset-300052146.html

When Bob Woolmer and Hansie Cronje fell foul of the ICC in their attempt to use technology to help their communication

While technology has come to play an increasing part in the modern game, when the captain is in the middle he remains very much on his own, able only to draw on advice from his team-mates and the occasional message from the dressing room surreptitiously brought out by a water carrier or physio. But at the 1999 World Cup, South Africa tried – and failed – to find a way around the problem.

For more than a year before the tournament, Bob Woolmer (at the time South Africa’s coach and always someone looking for new approaches to old problems), had been toying with an idea he had seen work in US sport where it was common practice for players to wear small earpieces to allow them to hear instructions from coaches.

Woolmer tried the equipment in a couple of benefit matches during the year; it worked well and, just as importantly, went almost unnoticed. After checking it did not breach either the tournament regulations or the laws of cricket, he suggested to Cronje they use it in the tournament itself. He agreed and when the proposal was mentioned to Allan Donald, he too said he was willing to give it a try.

South Africa tried the earpieces out in one of their warm-up matches and again it attracted no comment, so they decided to use them when South Africa played India in the two sides’ opening game in Hove on May 15. Mohammad Azharuddin won the toss and batted and when Cronje led his side on to the field he and Donald had their earpieces in place.

It did not take long for the television commentators to spot them, and Sourav Ganguly, who opened for India with Sachin Tendulkar, also noticed, bringing it to the attention of the umpires, Steve Bucknor and David Shepherd, shortly before the drinks break.

The umpires spoke to Cronje, who was quite open about what was going on. Unable to decide if what he was doing was legal, they asked Talat Ali, the match referee, for a ruling. He too was unsure and contacted the ICC, which said that while the earpieces were technically not breaching any rules, they were unfair. As drinks came out, so did Ali, making clear the earpieces had to go. Although the audience on TV was privy to the discussion, most spectators at Hove were left bemused, so small were the devices that were being used.

South Africa went on to win the match and afterwards Woolmer was unrepentant. “All I was trying to do was give help and advice,” he said. “I’m sorry if I’ve upset anyone. I’ve tried to be innovative; the idea was to take the game forward. Where we erred was, I should have asked the ICC for permission. Perhaps I’m naive, but it didn’t occur to me. I felt it was a really good idea and I would like to discuss it with the ICC.

“I’m not trying to disturb the batsman or the captain, I’m just wanting to offer some advice. They use it in American football and I believe the French used it in their World Cup campaign, so I felt it was a really good idea. Hopefully, it will make life easier for the cricketer.”

He also went out of his way to explain the system was not aimed at giving instructions. “If Donald, for example, is not bowling with rhythm I could tell him to run in harder or more softly. It is a way of addressing technical faults by looking at the game from a different angle.”

Cronje was also dismissive of criticism. “There’s nothing in the rules to stop us from using it and it’s very disappointing it’s been stopped,” he said. “The coach sits at a different angle from me and he can give me different options when we’re batting or bowling. It’s always nice to hear another voice.” He also asked if the ICC was going to ban gloves being taken out to batsmen “in case a message from the coach is sent with them”.

If the media hoped Azharuddin would be incensed, they were disappointed. “It’s going to happen,” he said. “It does in other sports.”

ICC spokesman Clive Hitchcock said: ‘We made our position clear when we said that the World Cup is not the event to experiment with new devices. We would listen to anything the South Africa management had to say on the issue, but in view of the fact that we would have to get all the countries together to discuss the issue, it is unlikely these devices will be used again in the current tournament. There may be nothing in the rules banning them but neither is there anything there saying that they can be used.”

When the press asked Ali Bacher, the chief executive of the United Cricket Board of South Africa, for his opinion, he admitted he was aware of Woolmer’s innovation. “Bob came to me about 15 months ago to ask about it and I told him at the time that it could be controversial,” he said. “But Bob has a hyperactive cricket brain and sometimes he gets ahead of himself.”

The South Africans left Hove still hoping they would be allowed to use the earpieces but the ICC made clear it was not going to budge and that was that.

What happened next

  • The ICC subsequently banned the use of such devices but Woolmer was undeterred. “I believe that technology is the way to go forward and we will be using earpieces in the nets at Warwickshire so that I don’t have to keep interrupting players to make my point. But I am also hopeful that I can persuade the ECB to allow the use of earpieces in second team cricket to show that they can be a real help to captains and players.”
  • Less than a year later Cronje was uncovered as a match-fixer and subsequently banned from the game. He died in an air crash in 2002.
  • Woolmer resigned as South Africa coach at the end of the tournament and returned to Warwickshire. He died in suspicious circumstances during the 2007 World Cup.​​

With the end of the Cricket world cup approaching, we still don’t see any modern communications coming into the game, does it matter that the coaches are able to communicate better with their players? other sports allow the coaches to shout and lead players, why wouldn’t cricket? you can find the original source of the article here

RFID and AIDC News: What is Zebra’s Strategy for Motorola’s Mobile Wireless and Data Collection Businesses?

In early 2014, printing and RFID system focused Zebra Technologies announced it was acquiring the “Enterprise Systems” business from Motorola Solutions, in a deal that closed in late October. That left Motorola to focus on its radio systems business.

It was a somewhat surprising move, certainly moving Zebra up the supply chain food change. What was the strategy behind the deal? How fast and how far will the integration of Motorola into Zebra go? Is Zebra now a “solutions” company?

SCDigest editor Dan Gilmore recently interviewed Mike Terzich, Zebra’s Chief Administrative Officer who is leading the integration program, on these and several other topics.

Gilmore: Mike, before we start talking about the Motorola Enterprise acquisition, you’ve been around the Auto ID industry for two decades. Not long ago, it was a very recognized and defined space. Now, not so much. It doesn’t receive much press coverage at all today, though SCDigest is trying to rectify that a bit. Is it because it’s just so easy to make it work today that end users just don’t need much education any more?

Terzich: I think part of the reason that it has evolved the way it has is that if you look at who the industry icons were back in the day, the Intermecs, the Symbols [Symbol Technologies], the Telxons, the Hand Held Products, Datamax – all of them have been consolidated up into large industrial conglomerates. Zebra is really one of the last of the independents.

For years, you had so much independent development, and every manufacturer had their own operating language and everything was proprietary, so that added a dimension of complexity that users had to deal with. Over time, as architectures became more open and interoperable, the mystery kind of disappeared on how to implement and integrate this stuff. The question now is not really about the technical aspects, but issues like how to optimize my assets across my supply chain network. Today it is much more of an application and business question than it is a technical one with Auto ID.

Gilmore: I must admit the Motorola announcement took me a bit by surprise, though it was clear there were some tensions within the old Motorola Solutions between the radio side and the wireless and data collection businesses. What was Zebra’s strategy in making this deal?

Terzich: A little bit history – we tried to be part of the opportunity back in 2006 and 2007 when Symbol Technologies was put on the market and eventually found its way to Motorola. We made a pitch at the time – I was personally involved – and as I like to say we were a day late and a dollar short in terms of making a deal.

So our interest level from a strategic perspective has really been in place for seven years. So when the opportunity re-presented itself last year, our CEO Anders Gustafsson and Motorola started to have some conversations. For us, it was always about the attraction of where we saw the market evolving, and this whole concept around enterprise apps and intelligence, the interest of companies to optimize across their value chains, and we felt that the combination of Zebra and the enterprise mobility business from Motorola made complete sense because it allowed us to offer a broader portfolio and a higher percentage of the solution offering.

For us, it also allows us to become closer to the application development side of the business. As a printing company, while we had a vision and an aspiration to be part of where enterprises were willing to go in terms of managing their business, it’s hard to lead application and solution development around your brand when you’re the printing component. Printing has become almost second nature today, while the wireless business and the portfolio Motorola has there in terms of mobile computing and the trends were we seeing with Cloud-based application development, the Internet of Things, asset optimization, and ubiquitous mobility – that’s what enticed us to say this is still a very relevant strategic opportunity today as it was back in 2007.

Gilmore: I understand you have rather fully integrated Motorola in already. I would have thought that initially, given the very different nature of the business, that you would have started with it as separate SBU. I also understand you are quickly getting rid of the Motorola brand name in favor of it all being Zebra Technologies. Is that correct, and if Yes, what was the thinking?

Terzich: It’s semi-correct. Where we are integrated is in our go-to-market strategy and our face to the customer. When you look at where Motorola Enterprise Mobility was selling, who their customers were and their routes to market, it was a combination of strategically calling on some very large end users and a significant reseller and integrator channel. It turned out that the amount of common end user customers and channel partners between Zebra and Motorola Enterprise is really quite significant.

So we had the opportunity to integrate sales forces, and when you think about it through the eyes of the sales team, your carrying more products in your sales bag, you are selling largely to the same channel partners that Zebra and Motorola were both selling to independently. The largest end users are mostly customers in common, so there was some natural synergistic opportunity in our go to market model.

Where we have remained separate is in the R&D and development side, because the product lines are complementary not competitive, and over time Motorola’s competency in mobile computing, data collection and wireless networks are unique skill sets for us. So we are maintaining separate engineering and product development organizations, but we come together with a common global sales and marketing organization.

Gilmore: And what about the branding? Is the Motorola name gone, it is now all Zebra Technologies going forward?

Terzich: From a contractual/legal perspective, we have to get off the name and the “batwings” [the Motorola logo] as part of the transaction, so it’s not like we have a choice. We can however leverage the Symbol Technologies brand, and we are going to do that as a product brand is some isolated areas. But Symbol as a name has been out of circulation for about seven years, and while it has some affinity say in the reseller community, the long term strategy is that everything will be branded Zebra Technologies.

But in the transitional period there will be some product that have to transfer to a Symbol products sub-brand as a means to get off of the Motorola bat wings.

Gilmore: What’s your take on wireless systems market? It really now is just down in the US to just two major players, Honeywell and now Zebra. Is it is still a good market, a growth market?

Terzich: What’s interesting about the combination is we’re now number one in mobile computing, number one in data collection, and number one in printing. We have a very large global service organization. And then you get to wireless LAN, and that’s the fifth of our major revenue buckets.

What’s interesting about wireless LAN is that it has the highest growth profile of any of those segments, but clearly Motorola’s position here is not number 1. You have some very large players [e.g., Cisco] that operate in a more horizontal market mode, and focus generally on more “carpeted” areas of a business, versus a distribution center or shop floor or a retail store. I think Motorola had done a nice job of carving out a niche relative to some markets that we service, principally in the retail and some of the hospitality markets, and the product has been successful and we have quite a bit of customer loyalty in these sectors.

So our strategy going forward from a wireless LAN perspective is to be very vertically focused and application specific where the product has some advantages, and to build off that customer loyalty. We don’t think the answer is to compete broadly in the wireless LAN marketplace because we don’t have the R&D engine or the brand equity in some of those markets or applications.

So we are going to stick to our knitting, which will concentrated in retail, hospitality and healthcare, where our product seems to resonate.

Gilmore: You and Motorola use primarily a channels strategy. Are you in the solutions business, and can you do that if you use a channels strategy and are one-step removed from the customer?

Terzich: Great question.

One of the things that most people don’t realize is that Zebra, organically before the Motorola acquisition, had about 80% of its business through channels and about 20% through some large, named strategic accounts. And those accounts tended to be some very sophisticated adopters of technology that effectively act as their own systems integrator.

These are large retailers, large transportation companies, and large manufacturers that well understand how to deploy technology to drive efficiency and productivity. So that was our composite, and Motorola’s was very similar, the difference being that because Motorola offered enterprise mobile computing, they tended to call a little higher in those organizations, and they worked more closely with application developers and independent software developers because usually the real problem is solved by application software and re-engineering of business processes.

So Motorola may have been calling on maybe 40% of its revenue from a strategic account perspective, and that means they had a seat at the end user table and they are influencing those companies, even if those are sometimes still being fulfilled through channels.

So where do we fall in the solutions spectrum? Both product lines do not constitute a solution by themselves, they still need to connect to application software and that requires integration support. So the channel will remain a very vital part of the strategy.

At a very simple level, we see that there are opportunities for better enabling application software. So how do we make mobile printing devices and mobile computing and data collection devices better together from a product design set? How do we make our technology more interoperable and attractive for application development?

When you look at this technology and how ubiquitous it is you, find that deployment is really though many hundreds of application developers. You don’t see a small number of applications as being really dominant. Our job is to continue to work with those developers to make our solutions as easy to integrate with them as we can.

No CIO or CFO goes to bed at night thinking “I need to bar code something.” But they do wake up and say I need to take a billion dollars out my supply chain, or whatever the figure is. What we do is often a key piece of what becomes the strategy to achieve those goals.

Gilmore: If I understand it right, you have released your own Voice solution, originally developed by Motorola’s Psion unit in Europe, here into the US market. Before, Motorola relied exclusively on partners here for Voice software. What is the strategy?

Terzich: Ultimately, Voice as a technology is just another extension of using mobility to make operations more productive and efficient, especially in warehousing applications. So it’s really just a continuum to us of bringing more capability to those that are trying to optimize workflow. Workflow has become without question one of the biggest areas of opportunity across anyone’s supply chain. This is part of why we are so excited about the combined portfolio in general, and our Voice solution is part of that.

Gilmore: Mike, appreciate you sharing your insight today.

Terzich: Thanks Dan. I enjoyed the conversation.

For more information and conversation visit the source of this article – http://www.scdigest.com/ontarget/15-02-04-1.php?cid=8965

What are the benefits of the Motorola DP2400?

If you work on a construction site or in a factory, you know how imperative it is to keep your employee safe at all times. MOTOTRBO digital radio solutions can help you achieve exactly that, providing you with the chance to communicate with other members of staff quickly, safely, and effectively.

The Motorola DP2400 is one of the world’s most advanced digital radio solutions, and can be used in a number of different environments, from production lines to construction sites. Just give your team the communication device in order to improve safety in the workplace. The Motorola DP2400 comes with intelligent voice announcement and audio features which facilitate easy communication in work environments that require instant contact with other staff. The product is available in both VHF and UHF frequency bands, giving you greater flexibility than ever before. You’ll also be able to upgrade to digital at your own pace, and take advantage of a wealth of different features.

Product specification

The DP2400 features 16 channel capacity, IP55 specifications for water protection, and three programmable buttons. The VHF frequency operates on 136-174 MHz, while the UHF frequency operates on 403-527 MHz. With a three-color LED screen for visual feedback when operating the digital device, the product has large push-to-talk buttons which ensure instant communication wherever your staff are. The product is easy to use, and comes with a full instructional guide – with all the information you need to get started. You will also be able to contact Motorola if you have a technical query, or just need some more advice on how to use the Motorola DP2400 to its full capability.

Other features

Other product features include two programmable buttons which can increase operator efficiency, analogue mode, and a remote monitor which can allow you to quickly assess remote user status and make sure your employees are safe. Group, All-call and individual capability is also available. The product has an attractive design, with VOX capability, five tone signalling (via software purchase), and privacy features (with even more privacy options via software purchase). You’ll be able to quickly attach and remove accessories without using a tool with a new accessory connector, and take advantage of intelligent audio which adjusts background noise and makes communication clearer (ideal in noisy workplaces like construction sites and factories). The product also provides conventional multiple site coverage, as well as capacity plus and linked capacity plus via software purchase.

ICC World Cup 1999: South Africa coast to win over India and there is tumult in ear-piece

May 15, 1999.  The atmosphere was touched with merriment and bonhomie as India took on South Africa at Hove in just the second match of the tournament. And before a rather anticlimactic 47th over of the second innings, the match was a close, tense affair. Arunabha Senguptaremembers the day when a superb game of cricket was needlessly marred by an ear-piece controversy and an inebriated fan.

Spoiler alert

It was Lance Klusener who spoiled the fun in the end.

The match had been close, keenly contested. The Indian innings had seen controlled aggression, scientific pace setting. The South African chase had been crafted with care, the race between the balls remaining and runs required a neck and neck affair, none gaining on the other, all the indications pointing to a near dead heat as the finish line approached.

India had rejoiced. Jacques Kallis, his mastery providing the plinth on which the South African innings was built, had just been sent back by a Venkatesh Prasad throw from the deep.  The match had been poised on the edge of a knife,  with 27 required off 26 balls.  Traditional tight limited- overs fare.

And then Klusener had walked in, taken guard and bludgeoned the first three balls he faced for boundaries. It had been unfair. Two teams had contested on level playing field and suddenly a man had entered busy batting in another dimension.  The wire had not even been in sight when the game had ended, the Proteas had won with as many as 16 balls to spare.

The City of Princes

It was Hove, the home of willow wielding Indian princes who had turned out for Sussex. There had been the genius of Ranji , the elegance of Duleep and the ephemeral promise of Pataudi. As the memories lingered and expats flocked  in on the Saturday, the modern heroes did not put on a bad show.

Sourav Ganguly, on his 100th appearance for the country, stroked the ball fluently, drives flowing like fizz amidst the festivity. And once he took time off from the crisp off side strokes to dance down the wicket and clobber Nicky Boje out of the ground.

Sachin Tendulkar did not make many, but his five boundaries delighted onlookers. Rahul Dravid added 130 with Ganguly, reviving memories of the day at Lord’s just three summers ago when the two had made their smmultaneous Test debuts with strokes echoing around the world.

India perhaps should have got more, but Allan Donald was excellent with his line and aggressive with his speed. Ganguly turned nervous and sluggish as he approached his hundred and took on the arm of Johnty Rhodes to be run out five short of the landmark. And the rest of the batting did not really distinguish themselves in the slog overs.  The score read 253 in 50 overs, but in 1999 that was not a bad total on the board.

Remote control captaincy

The drama during the innings was played out beyond the 22 yards as well. The South African coach Bob Woolmer, that advocate of scientific innovation in the game, was experimenting with technology. Captain Hansie Cronje and ace bowler Donald both wore ear pieces, and Woolmer was busy communicating with them as they took the field.

In the box meant for officials, match referee Talat Ali was far from amused. When the drinks were brought out, Ali came out fuming and confronted the coach. The experiment had been a partial success, but now Ali clamped down on it. Later ICC ruled against such advice dispensing  devices for the rest of the tournament.

Classic Kallis

As South Africa started their response, a charged up Javagal Srinath ran in to send down a furiously fast first spell. The speed gun surprised one and all. The Indian speedster was bowling as fast as Donald. And he fired out the openers as well.

Herschelle Gibbs was struck on the pads, on the knee  roll with the ball swinging a long way. There were enough doubt, but one had to budget for Steve Bucknor. A long wait was followed by the raise of the finger.  The other opener, Gary Kirsten, tried to send an express delivery through the covers and was bowled off  the inside edge.

It was 22 for two, and another wicket could  have increased the pressure exponentially. Indeed, with the South African think-tank using Mark Boucher as a pinch- hitter, such an eventuality was definitely on the cards. But on this day the move came off. Srinath started straying in line, more in length, and Boucher pulled him for two boundaries before sending one spiralling over the wicket-keeper’s head for six. Anil Kumble bowled him with a googly,  but the quickfire 34 had got the Proteas moving.

And at the other end, Kallis had settled down. Two drives, played square of the wicket with minimum effort, spoke of genuine class. Darryl Cullinan slogged against his phobia of leg-spin and got four off Kumble. A couple of drives flowed off the medium pacers. South Africa were past 100, the partnership looking just a tad threatening.

Skipper Mohammad Azharuddin chucked the ball to Ganguly. Cullinan tried to lift him towards the vast open spaces of the on side. The leading edge took it to point. The man from Kolkata was ecstatic. It was 116 for four. India had the advantage.

But, they needed another wicket. And they had run out of quality bowling. Robin Singh, Ganguly and Tendulkar tred their best but were not really ideal men to create pressure and opportunities. Srinath ran in for another spell and sprayed it far too short or way too down the leg. Kallis helped himself to calm boundaries. Cronje played a brisk little cameo. The balls remaining never quite lagged behind the runs required.

Ajit Agarkar, less than impressive through most of his spell, sent down a short delivery. Cronje pulled it in the air and Ajay Jadeja plucked out an athletic catch at mid-wicket. The equation read 74 off 68 when Rhodes entered. And immediately he started pushing the ball into the gaps and haring down the wicket.

Kallis and Rhodes pushed the score along. Singles were there for the taking, many converted into twos, and there were enough boundary balls in between. The stand amounted to 47, off just 42 balls. And then Kallis slashed Srinath to third man. Rhodes scampered up and down, and sprinted up again. Kallis, uncertain, hesitating, hovered midway between yes and no, and Prasad’s throw to the bowler’s end caught him well short. 27 required off 26 balls.  And  we already know what happened next.

The tornado

Rhodes took a single, Srinath ran in again, and Klusener bludgeoned him for four.

22 remained to be scored off 24 balls. Agarkar had the ball. And the match virtually ended in the course of that over. Rhodes cracked him for four, and repeated the stroke. A single came next. Klusener squared up. Agarkar ran in. Whack. Four. Whack. Four. It was merciless. The strokes were too powerful. The boundaries too short. The fielders too few. The over cost 17.

And then just to end it quickly, Rhodes lofted Prasad over mid on for another boundary. 27 had been required off 26 balls when the two had come together. They had got them in 10. The Indians, spirited and determined till the 45th over, suddenly looked as if hit by a tornado.

The Aftershock

They were jogging off the field, morose and disappointed, when the traditional Indian fan appeared. Big,  boorish, inebriated, without whatever rudimentary sense he might have possessed when sober. He was obviously feeling let down by the team, who had not managed to win it for him while he had guzzled his beer.

He snatched at Azharuddin’s shirt, and the captain shook him off. And then his eyes fell on Dravid. His lumbering hulking form made towards the Indian batsman and rammed into him. Dravid was shoved off his course.

Unfortunately for this splendid specimen of Indian cricket fandom, the man immediately behind Dravid was Prasad — tall, well-built, and with the mindset of a fast bowler. Prasad’s eyes grew fierce. He glowered at the guy, charged at him, and did unto him as the oaf had done unto his teammate. The brute tottered, toppled and fell in the arms of pursuing policemen.

The well-fought match had to wind up with this bitter after-taste. But that has so often been the story of Indian cricket.

Brief Scores:

India 253 for 5  in 50 overs (Sourav Ganguly 97, Rahul Dravid 54; Lance Klusener 3 for 66) lost to South Africa 254 for 6 in 47.2 overs (Mark Boucher 34, Jacques Kallis 96, Johnty Rhodes 39) by 4 wickets with 16 balls to spare.

Man of the Match: Jacques Kallis.

Source - http://www.cricketcountry.com/articles/icc-world-cup-1999-south-africa-coast-to-win-over-india-and-there-is-tumult-in-ear-piece-254169

Faced with a tech tsunami, Motorola fights to preserve cop‑com franchise

As Chicago cops braced for protests in advance of the NATO and G-8 summits in 2012, hometown radio giant Motorola made what seemed like a grand gesture.

JOHN FITZHUGH / SUN HERALDMississippi Highway Patrol Trooper Calvin Robertson, MSWIN land mobile radio system at MHP Troop K headquarters on Wednesday Dec. 11, 2013.

The company, which for years has used tenacious marketing and clout to reign over the emergency radio business, donated to the city $1.8 million worth of telecom equipment that could beam data and videos to law enforcement officers shielding the world leaders.

Generosity wasn’t the only motive behind the gift.

In a letter, Motorola Vice President John Molloy said the company also could operate a network for the city as a “test platform” until year end and provide Chicago’s public safety agencies entree to the world of emergency broadband LTE – the new global standard for transmitting huge amounts of data at rocket speed.

Motorola’s gift was designed to keep on giving.

From Mississippi to Texas and California, the company now known as Motorola Solutions Inc. has reshaped its business strategy in the face of a technology tsunami that threatens to upend its decades-long hold on the emergency communications market.

While fighting to preserve its immense walkie-talkie franchise, Motorola has maneuvered to become a player in broadband, where it must contend with new and bigger competitors in a scrum for billions of dollars of taxpayer funds pledged for a coast-to-coast emergency data delivery network.DROPPED JAWS, PROTESTS OVER

Motorola’s aggressive push into broadband, however, is a cause for consternation among officials of the First Responder Network Authority, or FirstNet, the Commerce Department agency tasked with building the first nationwide public-safety communications system. To garner broadband business, Motorola has relied on many of the same strategies and deep customer relationships that helped it capture more than 80 percent of the radio market.

As McClatchy reported in a series of articles last year, the industry giant has landed scores of sole-source radio contracts and wielded enough pricing power to sell its glitzy handsets for as much as $7,000 apiece, at a taxpayer cost of hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars that could have been saved in a more competitive market.

At the request of three senior Democrats in the House of Representatives, the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general, John Roth, recently ordered an audit to examine McClatchy’s disclosures and determine whether federal grant money has bankrolled biased contract awards to Motorola.

The new broadband network, backed so far by a whopping $7 billion federal commitment, is expected to spawn a competitive market involving names such as ATT, Verizon, Cisco, General Dynamics and Alcatel-Lucent.

How 4G broadband LTE (Long-Term Evolution) works

4G stands for the fourth generation of broadband, the same technology that beams data to your cell phone. It effectively works as a high-speed radio signal that relays tiny packets of data between the internet and base stations on cellular towers outfitted with antenna equipment and microwave dishes.

The cellular towers flash the data to first responders’ handsets or perhaps to a mobile unit mounted in a police car’s dashboard.

4G LTE can save lives: It can deliver images of suspects within seconds, where previously it could take 10 minutes or more, as well as offering live streaming of disaster or crime scenes.

While people around the world use 4G technology to make cell phone calls, because calls are frequently interrupted, it has not yet been deemed ready to produce voice communications reliable enough for public-safety agencies. The current public-safety standard requires that the connections operate reliably 99.999 percent of the time – or all but about five minutes per year.

What threatens Motorola is the possibility that technology advances could within a few years enable ruggedized cellphones to transmit voice communications as reliably as two-way radios, a development that eventually could crumble the company’s radio franchise, which serves thousands of public safety agencies.

One Motorola tactic for penetrating the new market has been to donate equipment, as the company did in Chicago.

It’s a way to “lock in future relationships and future opportunities,” said Steve Koman, a former Motorola employee who was a consultant to the city of Charlotte, N.C., when it sought unsuccessfully to build a broadband network a couple of years ago. Koman said he finds such equipment donations by a market kingpin to be troubling.

“I’ve always wondered if these kinds of gray-zone practices violate the spirit of federal antitrust laws,” he said, “because they appear to be a continuous attempt to corner the market.”

A Motorola executive vice president, Robert Schassler, contended in a phone interview that many companies routinely invite government agencies to join them in testing new products.

The 2012 donation of a mini-broadband network wasn’t Motorola’s first gift to Chicago, which has been buying the company’s radios since 1956.

In 2009, the company gave the city a mobile radio network to help protect members of the International Olympic Committee coming to town to weigh Chicago’s bid to host a future Olympics.

Motorola’s philanthropy was rewarded later with a $1.5 million no-bid contract from Cook County to use the donated equipment to build a “high-performance” data network for the city and county – a system that was doomed from the start because its radio bandwidth was too narrow to transmit data at high speeds, said Sophia Ansari, a spokeswoman for the county sheriff’s office. The county now plans to swap the equipment for new Motorola radios, she said.

As for the broadband LTE (for Long Term Evolution) equipment donated for the summits, the city has obtained a temporary license to build a test network but is still mulling what to do, said Melissa Stratton, a spokeswoman for Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

Charlotte also was a recipient of Motorola’s largesse before hosting the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Motorola loaned the city about 3,000 radios free of charge to assist state and federal law enforcement officials in communicating with one another.

Such gestures, which are not always trumpeted publicly, typically grow from carefully cultivated relationships that have helped Motorola steamroller competitors for nearly 20 years in the multibillion-dollar radio business.

I’ve always wondered if these kinds of gray-zone practices violate the spirit of federal antitrust laws.

The company’s formula: build top-quality equipment; dote on police, fire and sheriff’s departments; woo contracting officials; pursue every angle to gain a sole-source deal or an inside track, and where possible, embed equipment with proprietary features so it can’t interact with competitors’ products.

It’s worked so well that a single company – Motorola – has dominated state and federal two-way radio markets, untouched by federal antitrust regulators although there’s been little price testing to assure that taxpayers got the best deal.

Motorola executives make no apologies for their market supremacy.

“Motorola Solutions’ public safety success is because we offer the best solutions and service at competitive prices, because our customers trust in our products and commitment to stand behind them, and because of our continued investment in innovation,” said the company’s chief spokesman, Kurt Ebenhoch.

Motorola’s Schassler said the company that pioneered the first police radio in 1930 is the only manufacturer that has stood behind cops, firefighters and emergency medics “uninterrupted” for 85 years.

…our customers trust in our products and commitment to stand behind them…

That commitment has engendered strong loyalties from the nation’s more than 4 million first responders, legions of whom insist on toting a Motorola as their communication lifeline.

But to rivals and frustrated government officials, Motorola is the industry’s version of “Leave it to Beaver’s” unctuous Eddie Haskell (“You look lovely today, Mrs. Cleaver”), whose charms are but a cover for myriad connivances. Using an array of tactics, the company repeatedly has found ways to stick taxpayers with the priciest equipment when far cheaper options performed to the same standards.

Schassler was asked whether Motorola sales representatives propose ways for government officials to award sole-source contracts.

“No,” he replied.

State and local government officials have done the dirty work, frequently skirting laws or federal grant guidelines requiring competitive bidding.

Motorola officials acknowledged that the company’s seemingly ubiquitous sales force has wined and dined some government officials where state laws allow, but Schassler called that “a very, very rare occurrence” that is first approved by a company attorney.

However, two government officials who lacked authorization to speak for the record said the company has hosted state or local contracting employees in some of Las Vegas’ priciest restaurants .

Despite its scant experience in broadband, Motorola has been fastest out of the gate in applying the technology to public safety. In 2010, the company entered an eight-year partnership with the Swedish colossus Ericsson, a leading supplier of broadband equipment, especially the cores that serve as the brains for each network. Motorola also has partnered with cellular industry giant Verizon Wireless, and it has developed a handset that can both receive broadband data and enable voice transmissions over a standard two-way radio network.

The Schaumburg, Ill.-based firm has secured contracts to assemble four of eight federally funded emergency broadband pilot projects – in Los Angeles County, Harris County, Texas, the San Francisco Bay Area and Mississippi, though the latter two later collapsed because of negotiation impasses for leases of frequencies on the federal wireless spectrum. Motorola also is among five vendors approved to sell equipment for New Mexico’s statewide pilot project.

The company’s early success in the pilot projects has been controversial:

  • An official of Harris County, Texas, sent gasps through a hotel conference room in May 2011 when he said he handed Motorola the $7.5 million first stage of a pilot broadband network because the company told him “a great story,” according to two people who were present. Both insisted upon anonymity for fear of reprisals. The award in the county surrounding Houston drew protests from two major competitors because they weren’t invited to bid, even though most of the financing came from a Department of Homeland Security port security grant. Motorola and county officials contended the contract was competitively awarded, because it was written as a modification to a 2007 radio contract for which Motorola won the bidding.
  • In San Francisco, Motorola won a $50.6 million Commerce Department grant in 2010 to build the first metropolitan-wide emergency broadband network – a deal arranged by former Motorola sales executive Laura Phillips in her new job overseeing public safety grants to the region. Phillips was later fired amid outrage that the grant was awarded without approval from any of three major cities and 10 counties involved, said several current and former government officials who spoke anonymously because of the matter’s sensitivity. Phillips pointed to a Commerce Department audit that cleared her of improprieties.
  • Former San Jose Police Chief Chris Moore said he implored Motorola’s No. 2 executive, Mark Moon, to wait until a regional board approved the grant to avoid city and county protests. He said Moon responded: “I’d rather take the $50 million and bad publicity than not get the $50 million.” Motorola spokesman Ebenhoch said Moon doesn’t recall making such a remark and “strongly believes the statement to be inaccurate and false.”
  • While a joint authority representing Los Angeles County and more than 80 cities reviewed bids in 2011 for twin public-safety radio and broadband networks, Motorola added William Bratton, a former Los Angeles police chief and currently the New York police commissioner , to a lucrative post on its corporate board. A team led by Raytheon Corp. won the bidding, but Motorola threatened a suit, and a county lawyer urged nullifying the award because it might violate an arcane state law. During two more rounds of bidding, Motorola slashed its prices and ultimately won both contracts, worth a half-billion dollars.

FirstNet officials did not respond to requests for comment about Motorola’s dealings.

JOHN FITZHUGH / SUN HERALDMSWIN land mobile radio system at MHP Troop K headquarters on Wednesday Dec. 11, 2013.

Some members of Congress, including Democratic Rep. Anna Eshoo of California, have said a major reason they voted for a 2012 law allotting a bloc of the spectrum for public safety and financing a national broadband network was their hopes it would smash Motorola’s near monopoly in two-way radios.

Yet some say that Motorola is fighting for survival, especially if broadband handsets that sell for $500 to $1,000 can replace the pricey, more lucrative emergency radios. Already, spinoffs and layoffs have shrunk the company’s payroll from over 20,000 to 15,000 employees.

“The change that Motorola is getting hit with is no less substantial than what hit IBM or Kodak. It’s a technology wave,” said former Charlotte consultant Koman, referring to technology advances that overtook IBM Corp.’s mainframe computer franchise and Kodak’s film empire.

The company’s predicament “is actually life or death in this transition” because of its huge infrastructure, said a former senior Motorola executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid harming relationships.

If so, Motorola executives sure don’t seem panicked.

Schassler said he expects Motorola to accrue incremental gains from broadband projects while continuing to serve most of the nation’s 60,000 public-safety agencies with radio equipment for 10 years or more.

The reality is that Motorola, with tentacles reaching virtually every emergency agency in the country, may be miles ahead of the government in its planning.

Already, the Motorola-Ericsson combine has planted broadband network cores at Motorola’s Schaumburg headquarters, at Texas AM University to cover the Harris County system and in Los Angeles County.

New Mexico officials, whose network layout can easily be extended to the Mexican border, has requested permission to use the Texas core as part of its statewide broadband network. Because Motorola writes the software rules that determine what equipment can be used on that network, the company could be positioned to be the logical broadband provider for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency on the southern border.

To put that in context, if a Senate-passed immigration compromise became law, the number of border agents would soar over the next decade from 20,800 to 38,000, each needing a handset.

At a recent conference of financial analysts, Motorola CEO Gregory Brown sounded more eager than worried about broadband. He called the new emergency communications technology “the single best opportunity we have in front of us.”

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/static/features/Motorola/Index.html?brand=sta#storylink=cpy

Nedaa and Hytera Provide World-Class TETRA Radios for Dubai Tour 2015

Nedaa, the sole and largest TETRA operator in Dubai proudly teamed up with Hytera Communications, a world’s leading Professional Mobile Radio communications solution provider, which offered reliable and smooth communications support to the grand cycling event Dubai Tour 2015, which kicked off on Feb. 4th and is to complete on Feb. 7th.

The inaugural Dubai Tour was held in 2014, and the race expanded and hosted 16 World Tour teams in 2015. From the very beginning, Nedaa was officially chosen as the communications solution provider by the organizing committee for its excellence in technical planning and service.

For the 2nd Dubai Tour, Nedaa integrated Z1p, Hytera’s latest handheld TETRA two-way radio, into its network, which offers full coverage of the 4 tracks measuring nearly 700km in total. Hytera Z1p was developed in complete correspondence with the open ETSI standard TETRA. Its military-standard ruggedness and public-safety level functionalities come with an ultra-slim full-keypad body as thin as 23mm. The site survey executed by Nedaa shows that its system and Hytera Z1p synergize very well in skyscraper-crowded downtown, open terrain and hills.

During the Tour, the radios were intensely used by the staff from the organizer and Dubai Sports Council to ensure smooth collaboration among different work groups. Nedaa’s network also offered cross-department communication to the police and other institutions. “Nedaa is very proud to be the official communications provider for such a powerful event. Hytera Z1p TETRA radios are well designed for mission critical communication during events like Dubai Tour in terms of both functionality and usability. It has great potential of serving our customers. We look to provide services according to the highest international standards and the best practices in the field of public safety and telecommunications security in order for Dubai to rank amongst the most prominent countries in the world in this field,” commented Mr. Mansoor Bu Osaiba, Deputy Chief Executive Director of Nedaa.

About Nedaa

Nedaa is a Dubai Government-Owned and Controlled Corporation (GOCC). Established in June of 2008, the company made significant waves as it became the first in the Middle East to implement the Terrestrial Trunked Radio Network (TETRA). To date, Nedaa’s services are tied up with Dubai Government’s Strategic Plan, which aims at setting plenary plans and potential scenarios for crises and catastrophes. The company’s list of clients include RTA, Dubai Police, Dubai Municipality, MAF Group, Dubai Investment Park, The Address Hotel, G4S, Dubai Health Authority and Dubai Aluminum, to name a few.

http://www.nedaa.ae

About Hytera

Hytera, a world’s leading Professional Mobile Radio (PMR) communications solution provider, promotes major open standard technologies, including TETRA, DMR and PDT, and endeavors to ensure smooth technology migration to LTE broadband for its customers. Founded in 1993 in Shenzhen, China, Hytera became a public company in 2011 at Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

http://www.hytera.com

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