Friday, 27 December 2013

Samsung’s 22 inches of pure brilliance

HBO isn’t TV, actually, which suggests that Television isn’t HBO by classification. Yet that slogan works or doesn’t work (and we could probably go several rounds over that one), one thing that Television definitely is (at the least nowadays) is SMART.

The standard tv, I imagine distressed at being derided as a ‘idiot box’ for this long, has eventually decided to ‘wise up’. In short, a smart TV can now present many of the same features as a computer or tablet, which is great when you’ve got people over and want to watch ‘The Best of Failblog’ on Netflix.

As well as housing any variety of downloadable applications that hold fully interactive editions of Netflix, FB and numerous, many others, the smart TV also allows the viewer to surf the net, quite as they might on an apple ipad.

Get this, Samsung’s new 22 inch Smart Television will even astutely learn what you want to watch and propose comparable shows, it’ll then automatically seek through live broadcasts and make a selection of suggestions for you. I swear I’m not making this up. I mean, I always guessed Television could do more to pull its weight, but a Television that takes the effort out of channel browsing!? I in no way guessed I would see the day.

The Samsung 22 inch smart TV can also be the only smart Television with the full catch-up service, a service which includes BBC iPlayer, ITV player, Demand 5 and 4OD, meaning that you’ll never miss out on your favorite events again (unless you, like me, usually forget to stream them after which iPlayer deletes them…The Television might be smarter now, but I am still just as dim, sadly).

You too can wirelessly link between your smart phone and tablet, enabling you to view whatever’s on your little display, by transferring it to a big screen. I could go on all day with the sheer quantity of awesome things this Television does, but it seems odd to write about a awesome product when I could, actually, be actively using it.

Hooking an Xbox or Playstation 3 up to the screen is pure delight, however the fun doesn’t end here; the Samsung 22 inch LED TV also features a crystal clear, full High definition 1080p widescreen, which will create an incredible cinematic experience when hooked up to a Bluray player and a 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound system. You’ll be the envy of our neighbourhood. Unless they own a racing vehicle, that is.

Oh yeah, these have built-in games. Did I talk about that?

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Pioneering Rock Musician Lou Reed Dies at 71

Rock n Roll poet Lou Reed, a founding member and principal songwriter of the massively influential band ‘The Velvet Underground’ – as well as a globally recognized recording artist in his own right, has died of liver failure, he was 71 years old.

Reed’s songs were groundbreaking in that they openly discussed issues like outsider sexuality and hard drug use and then married these lyrics to alternative, sometimes avant-garde music.

Reed was a recording artist in every sense of the word. Throughout his life and career, his work was challenging, powerful and often divisive. However, he was also no stranger to a catchy, crowd-pleasing pop chorus, as famous hits like ‘Perfect Day’, Satellite of Love’ and ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ will attest. Lou Reed’s work was the ultimate meeting point between the urban culture of the New York City streets and the highbrow insouciance of the uptown art galleries.

Supremely influential to the development of Pop, Glam, Indie, Punk and lots more besides, Reed was considered to be a godfather of alternative sounds.

Lou Reed was born in Brooklyn in 1942, when World War 2 was still raging around the world. He studied at Syracuse University and, around this time, became a disciple of the poet Delmore Schwartz. Upon graduation, he worked for Pickwick records as a songwriter, generating at least one minor hit. Eventually, he met Welsh violinist John Cale and, together with drummer Maureen Tucker and guitarist Sterling Morrison, formed The Velvet Underground.

The Velvet Underground were an instant hit on the New York music scene, so much so that pop artist Andy Warhol became a fan and incorporated them into his various projects. Warhol would eventually be credited as the producer of the band’s 1967 debut album, for which he also provided the artwork. The band were white hot creatively for three years, until their last album ‘Loaded’ was released in 1970.

Commercially, however, the Velvet Underground were completely ignored at the time. It was only later that they would be considered by a new generation of musicians as a seminal, trailblazing band.

Reed’s first solo album (where he was backed by the progressive rock band ‘Yes’) wasn’t a hit, but his glam-inflexed, David Bowie produced follow up, ‘Transformer’ became a worldwide smash and yielded several enduring pop classics.

For the rest of the decade, Reed refused to be pigeon holed as simply a ‘Rock’ or ‘Pop’ performer, instead producing albums like the tragic, story-based ‘Berlin’ or the savagely experimental ‘Metal Machine Music’. ‘Coney Island Baby’ was perhaps his most accessible record after ‘Transformer’, it was a hard-edged song-set that featured a collection of radio friendly alternative rock tunes and it was well received by the majority of fans.

Over the decades, Reed’s rebellious music continued to divide and delight in equal measure. Albums that had some fans and critics cheering had others scratching their heads. He was wholly capable of being supremely heartfelt and candid one minute and yet totally aloof and incomprehensible the next. He was, however, never less than 100% true to his incomparable artistic spirit.

In the 2000’s, Reed became a devoted practitioner of Tai Chi; he based an album on the works of Edgar Allen Poe and he worked as a photographer (which had been a side passion of his for many years). He also became even more heavily involved in social and environmental activism. His most recent record was released in 2011; it was produced in collaboration with Thrash Metal giants ‘Metallica’.

To say that Lou Reed made a huge impact on popular music would be an absolute understatement; to say that Lou Reed is one of the founding fathers of alternative music/culture would be doing the man something of a disservice. In truth, Lou Reed wrote the book on Rock n Roll, before summarily burning it and doing whatever he felt like doing, whenever he felt like doing it. He will be missed.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Bring beautiful music (and sound effects) to your ears with this headset buying guide

This Headset buying guide from PC world is one of the most detailed we could find for this christmas, if you’re looking for a headset for a family member then reading this will put you in the right direction.

Modern games deliver awesome graphics, but the visuals are only half of the gaming experience. Studies have shown that audio quality can shape your perception of the entire gaming experience. When a high-quality soundtrack reaches your ears, your brain will also perceive the game’s graphics to be of higher quality.

Audio quality can affect your gaming experience in other ways, too. Without good audio, you won’t hear enemies approaching or hiding behind cover. You might not hear your teammates as they try to coordinate with you or give you instructions, and they won’t hear you clearly, either. And you’ll lose that sense of immersion in the game world that turns a good gaming experience a great one. A high-quality headset is just as important as a good graphics card, keyboard, and monitor.

Audiophiles want the best quality they can get, and gamers need the best tech available. Top-of-the-line headsets deliver both. Whichever camp you’re in, the first choice you need to make is between a stereo headset and a surround-sound headset. Stereo—independent sound from the left and right channels—is the more common option, but it can’t match the realism of surround sound.

Headsets that use surround-sound technology simulate realistic room acoustics through digital signal processing. They trick your brain into thinking that sound is coming from specific locations in the environment. It’s a great sensation and can be really helpful in games—when it works. If the designer handles the encoding poorly, however, it can create myriad artifacts and distortions that make audio enthusiasts cringe.

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Inline controls make it easier to adjust a headset’s volume and mute functions.

Once you’ve made that decision, focus on comfort. A headset should fit your noggin the way your favorite sweatshirt fits your torso. A too-heavy headset will pull down on the top of your head and strain your neck, turning you into a broken bobble-head. The headband should be well padded, and the ear cups should cover your ears completely to keep sound in and background noise out.

Natural materials such as cloth mesh and leather (especially lambskin) are the most comfortable to wear for long gaming runs. Vinyl and other types of faux leather tend to peel and crack with age, and they can irritate sensitive skin after several hours.

analog or usb
Headsets can connect via USB or analog. The Logitech G430 lets you choose.

You can connect a headset to your PC in one of two ways: with a USB connector or with jacks (typically, 1/8-inch jacks). USB keeps the audio signal in the digital domain until it reaches a digital-to-analog converter, which can be inline with the cable or inside the headset. These designs prevent electrical noise from the PC’s motherboard and other components from contaminating the audio signal. If you’ve invested in a high-end sound card, or a motherboard designed to isolate its onboard audio components from electrical interference, a good analog headset will deliver excellent audio quality.

Don’t forget the element that turns a pair of headphones into a headset: the microphone. Communication is huge in multiplayer games, so a good mic is invaluable. A flexible stalk will enable you to position it comfortably near your mouth when you need it, and easily shunt it aside when you don’t.

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Some headsets, like the Astro A40s, have such additional features as equalizers, a detachable microphone, and inline controls.

Extra features are the icing on a headset cake. Inline controls provide a convenient way to adjust the volume and mute the mic when you don’t want to broadcast your conversation. A removable microphone allows you to comfortably use the headphones with a digital media player while on the go. And an equalizer or client software can let you establish sound profiles for whatever you’re listening to—games, movies, or music.

Escape the never-ending ambient sounds of holiday music and squabbling families by throwing on your new headset and blasting away in-game baddies while enjoying sweet high-definition audio.

Source –

Merry New Year|Merry Christmas to everybody

The time is now upon us and it’s time to relax, happy Christmas to all our visitors

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Storage Spaces, 2 way Radios used in Warehouse Operations

Most of us don’t really think about it, but warehouses play an important part in our lives. When we shop at a supermarket, visit an electronics store, or order online from a major retailer, we are buying items that, at one time or another, have to be stored somewhere.

Its not just completed products, either. Once an item has been manufactured, it must then be stored before transit, meaning that most factories incorporate a considerable amount of space to the storage of completed products, ready for shipping.

The modern warehouse is a vital component in the supply chain process. As a result, a good, well-run warehouse facility is becoming increasingly important to long-term business performance. Warehouse operations have a direct impact on the availability and quality of the product itself and, as a result, one of the first steps on the road to customer satisfaction is a strong, well-organized warehouse staff.

How do the managers keep the staff so collaborative? Via the use of two-way radio communications, of course.

Warehouses employ thousands of people nationwide and it is of absolute importance to the managers of these facilities that those people are contactable, safe and kept up-to-speed with any relevant information. This is entirely possible only with modern two-way radio systems.

It is not uncommon for a warehouse employee to walk the equivalent of seven to fifteen miles a day and, as a result, the job can be strenuous and stressful. Quick, reliable communication is essential to keep employee supervisors apprised of any medical problems that may arise as a result of a tough working day.

Regular, reliable communications in all areas of the warehouse are of paramount importance to the overall running of the facility (as well as to the profits of the parent company). Management, staff, production, stores and sales need to be informed about any problems as they occur; the company also needs a regular, speedy and accurate stock inventory provided to them at regular intervals.

A successful company is like a well-oiled machine and good, clear communications are key when it comes to ensuring that all of those proverbial cogs are greased up and working in the proper manner. Two-way radios are portable, durable and feature crystal clear audio, allowing for fast, accurate messages to be sent over large distances with maximum efficiency and minimum fuss.

We don’t often stop to consider how important warehouses and their dedicated staff actually are, but we really ought to. Warehouses are just another complex, yet vitally important operation made simple by two-way radios.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Iceman’s Living Relatives Discovered

A team of Austrian scientists has identified living relatives of Oetzi the Iceman, the 5,300-year-old body discovered in the Italian Alps in 1991.

The research highlights 19 Tyrolean men, all of whom bear distinct genetic similarities to samples taken from the body of Oetzi (so named because he was discovered in the valley of Oetz).

It is thought that the same genetic mutation that was found in Oetzi’s ancient DNA will also be discovered in the nearby Swiss region of Engadine.

The men have not been informed about their famous heritage and their connection to the Iceman is known only from analysis of their blood after donation. Women were not included in this particular study, as a different procedure would be required to match their samples to Oetzi’s.

The Austrian team has announced that it will be working with Swiss and Italian partners in order to further their research.

Since hikers discovered the body in 1991, Oetzi has been a source of constant fascination to historians, geneticists, archaeologists and interested media outlets. A high level of research has uncovered how Oetzi died, what his last meal consisted of and even what his face might very well have looked like (he had brown eyes). In addition, the Iceman’s entire genome was mapped and published last February.

In life, Oetzi stood at about 5ft 2in, lived to be approximately 46 years old and suffered from (amongst other things) arthritis and a whipworm infestation.

However, the discovery of living relatives to the 5,300-year-old corpse definitely represents a milestone in a case that has been called ‘the world’s oldest murder mystery’ by some.

Since Oetzi’s discovery in 1991, debates have raged about the Iceman’s final moments, there has even been some speculation that he was buried, but why and by whom remains a mystery.

In addition, a court case raged for years between the body’s discoverers and the local authorities, regarding a 25% finders fee that the authorities declined to pay in full. The court case was eventually settled in 2008.

The Iceman has made news in other areas as well; seven people involved in the discovery of Oetzi have died under allegedly ‘mysterious’ circumstances, leading some to speculate as to the existence of a curse.

Last year, Oetzi made the news yet again, as Italian scientists determined that there were red blood cells around Oetzi’s wounds. This was remarkable news as previously no blood was found within the body. These findings made Oetzi’s blood the oldest in the world, but, amazingly, his bloodline continues to this day.


Sunday, 8 December 2013

Rock Band on the PS3, what you may not find out about it

My friend ‘Little’ Chris, then aged about nine, once stated that he hoped there could be a ‘Bass Hero’, ‘Drum Hero’ and ‘Singing Hero’ to go along with the ‘Guitar Hero’ games he cherished. Someone must have been listening that time, because a year or so later the 1st rockband game appeared on shelves.

Now on its 3rd instalment, the hugely popular rockband series seems to have eclipsed these guitar video games for better, forcing a spot among the best triumphant music sims of all time in the process. Yes, rockband is here to stay regardless of whether you prefer it or not and sure, that’s my friend Kieran playing bass on the cover of rockband 3 (OK, perhaps it isn’t, but it really looks like him).

Ethical debates on the company takeover of rock n roll aside; people are purchasing and enjoying the modern rockband game in record figures. Let us learn why.

Using the brand new rockband game, around 7 friends can jam on well-over 2,000 songs, with extraordinary durability and repeat value. rockband 3 even features a Professional mode, which is praised by musicians because of its closeness to learning your instrument for real.

Certain tricks (just like drum rolls) have been made simpler to achieve this time around, and so the game itself does appear a little more forgiving, this will only be an effective thing, because who joins a rock band to be in a state?

Monday, 2 December 2013

BREAKING NEWS ‘New’ Species of Mammal Discovered in South America

American Scientists from the Smithsonian Institute of Washington DC have discovered a new type of carnivorous mammal previously unknown to Western science.

The creature, known as the olinguito, is the first such animal to be discovered on the American continent in 35 years.

Zoologist Dr. Kristofer Helgen, who works as the curator of mammals in Washington DC’s National Museum of Natural History, discovered some stored remains in a Chicago museum and was reportedly ‘stopped in his tracks’ upon seeing them.

Following further examination, Helgen says that, “The skins were a rich red colour and when I looked at the skulls I didn’t recognize the anatomy. It was different to any similar animal I’d seen, and right away I thought it could be a species new to science.”

DNA testing eventually proved that, whilst the 35-cm long olinguito is a type of olingo (a relative of raccoons), it is definitely a distinct species in its own right. However, not content with simply describing the species from the remains, the real challenge for Helgen was to attempt to observe this new mammal in the wild.

Using educated guesswork and clues obtained from the specimen drawer, Dr. Helgen and his team were able to theorize a possible habitat for the olinguito. Their ideas proved to be correct and the animal has since been established as inhabiting a number of protected areas from Central Columbia to Western Ecuador.

This is not the first time that Dr. Helgen has identified new species by examining museum remains. In fact, throughout his distinguished career, he has discovered around 100 new species of animals. As an example, Helgen’s work has demonstrated that the hog badger, presumed simply to be a single, widespread species, was in fact three different species, albeit with similar attributes.

Historical records show that Washington National Zoo actually had an olinguito specimen in the 1960’s, but it was never identified as such. The animal was exhibited as an olinga, but its keepers were puzzled when it failed to breed. Sadly, the captive olinguito died without ever being correctly identified.

It should also be noted that just because an animal is considered ‘new’ to Western science, the term rarely denotes a species completely unknown to Humankind. People native to the areas inhabited by these animals are usually well aware of its presence and indispensable in locating individuals for observation and study by Western researchers.

A host of other new species have already been discovered this year, including the Cambodian tailorbird, a new type of hero shrew, a reef fish from the Caribbean, a beautifully patterned bat from the Sudan and two new spider species (including a grey and black tarantula the size of an open palm).

To Dr. Helgen, this is hardly surprising, “Conventional wisdom would have it that we know all the mammals of the world. In fact, we know so little. Unique species, profoundly different from anything ever discovered, are out there waiting to be found.” He says.


Saturday, 30 November 2013

If you have got a apple ipad, is it worth purchasing a nexus 10?

It in fact holds up very well. Actually, there is little to choose between the two.

I have to say that both devices are utterly brilliant. Neither one would make for a bad tablet decision, so anyway you’re onto a winner.

Due to the closeness of the competition, a lot of the response is going to be subjective. Because I am a bigger admirer of Apple’s iOS than We are of Google’s Android (though I do like Android lots) I will say that the iPad is a better package. Again, that is just my view. I’ve been using Apple computers for numerous years now and We would personally not go over to anything else.

So, so as to respond this title in more detail, I went in for a 2nd opinion. To this end, I spoke to Seb Warren, who is the founder of the modern online customer tech group AppleFanBoii, as well as the technology expert and all-round polite chap.

For Seb (who, admittedly, is really a little biased) the Nexus 10 has instantaneous benefits over the iPad within the areas of cost and the customizability of Android (compared with iOS). “Personally, and it’s coming from an Apple fanboy, Android wins” he said, “The iPad 4 is still running iOS 6, which includes a tedious, stale layout. However, you may make the Nexus 10 your own”

He followed on to redeem himself in the view of his fellow ‘Apple-ites’ (they dislike it when I call them that) by admiring the iPad’s user-friendliness “If you want a tablet for easy use, then its apple ipad 4 for sure” he laughed, before adding “…and the display is gorgeous”.

When it comes to basic stats, the Nexus 10 is lighter than the apple ipad 4 by some 50g, that’s significant and renders the Nexus as a more transportable of the two. Though, the apple ipad 4 has a slightly enhanced battery life. The iPad also has an option for up to 64GB of storage space, whereas the Nexus only goes as high as 32GB.

What really stunned me is that the Nexus 10 actually has a higher screen resolution than the iPad 4. The Retina Screen may become a great bit of branding, but recent tablet pc’s, like The Microsoft Surface, have equalled it (and perhaps bettered it a few times) in terms of display quality.

Oddly, the more tech minded amongst you might find the Google nexus 10 to be a better experience; it’s also the selection to make if money can be a large factor in your decision. Though, the apple ipad, with its winning mix of reliability, sterling popularity, simple use and access to best app store around is unquestionably definitely worth the extra money in my view.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Koudounaris’ book, ‘Heavenly Bodies’ is on the market now.

Paul Koudounaris, who is also identified by his nickname ‘Indiana Bones’ is an author, photographer and foremost authority on bone-decorated places and ossuarys. Earlier this year, Koudounaris published a book that includes high definition images of that 400-year-old ‘catacomb saints’ of Rome, a bunch of corpses that was carefully decked with charms and finery before being offered as the remains of saints to congregations across Europe.

Through the Protestant Reformation of the 16th Century, Catholic churches were routinely stripped of these relics, symbols and finery. In order to defy this, The Vatican had very old skeletons removed out of the Catacombs of Rome and lavishly decorated as a remains of acknowledged saints.

Even though mostly forgotten until Koudounaris published his book, the catacomb saints still fascinate concerned parties; they may also still encourage religious zeal. In 1977, the township of Ruttenbach in Bavaria worked hard to raise sufficient funds to buy back two of their primary saints from secretive collectors, the decorative skeletons had originally been auctioned off in 1803.

The book, that Koudounaris has surreptitiously titled ‘Heavenly Bodies’ sees its author attempt to find and photograph each of the surviving tomb saints.

In their heyday (a age that lasted over 200 years before finally coming to a close in the 19th century), the saints traversed all over the place, being transported at huge expense by the Church. They were venerated as things of devotion, or conduits for prayer.

However the saints could appear unusual to modern eyes (one Telegraph reporter described these as ‘ghastly’), it’s important to understand that people who prayed at the feet of those gilded cadavers were a great deal nearer to demise than their modern counterparts. While in the wake of The Black Death (which recurred frequently right through Europe from the 14th to the 17th Centuries), art, literature and even worship had moved to accept such ghoulish, macabre images.

The remnants were regularly adorned by nuns and sometimes placed in various realistic poses, before being secured in glass cabinets. Some of our careful decoration took as long as five years to finish, with jewellery and costumes being exceptionally impressive.

Koudounaris’ book, ‘Heavenly Bodies’ is available now.

Monday, 25 November 2013

The Microsoft surface Pro, What browsers are the best for that tablet

The Surface Pro is a varied bag, at least in the eyes of most critics.

Consider this review by Marc Weber Tobias of,

“Microsoft has created a sophisticated piece of hardware that can perform the functions of a tablet and ultrabook. The reality is that the Surface Pro works well in both environments but is too much of a compromise. If that works for you, then the Windows tablet will be a great addition to your travel tools arsenal. Just be sure you don’t stay too far from a power outlet for too long a time”.

One or two reviewers/buyers loved it, but most were a little bit let down. A few hated it, but the remainder did not go that far. The truth is that the Microsoft surface Pro did not turn out to become the ‘iPad killer’ that it was speculated to be. Arguments that it is finicky to work, overpriced and unfamiliar all held water, but it’s also worth noting that it is not really a terrible tablet.

In reality, despite most of the aforementioned drawbacks (many of which I touched upon in earlier reviews) this was still a top-end pc tablet and a wonderful display and superb hardware. It handles the Internet better than most tablet pc’s, as well.

Now, when it comes to Internet use, particularly on lightweight devices, many of us have moved from Internet explorer and in the direction of other browsers. Microsoft acknowledges this (albeit grudgingly) but evidently they’d choose Windows 8 buyers to choose IE 10.

So, is Internet Explorer 10 it any good? In fact, when used on the Surface, yes it is.

If you are planning on having a Surface or Microsoft surface Pro, you will actually be at your finest, Web-wise, with IE 10. Several have recommended Google Chrome as the best option, but if Pastor Shaw (writing for a Surface-based blog back in April) is accurate then I doubt that may be true forever, (S)he says:

 “Chrome doesn’t pinch to zoom, but it handles Google’s stuff really well, especially with extensions.  If only Chrome was more memory efficient and had pinch to zoom.  The forums don’t believe there’s much hope for Google to try to support pinch-to-zoom on Windows 8, because of a not-so-secret cold war brewing between Microsoft and Google.  Soon we’ll have to pick sides.  If you use many services like me, this expanding gulf may force you to pick sides”.

 At the end of our day, Microsoft do their best work within their own back garden. Straying too off from the ‘Microsoft Method’ does not usually lead to good things when it is brought to using Microsoft products (same with Apple, #in that# regard).

Like anything else, there can be conflicting opinions plus the question itself is extremely subjective. Personally, I consider that Internet explorer 10 may be the best browser for that Microsoft surface and Microsoft surface Pro. It’s the default browser plus the device is intended to use with it. So that’s the solution I’m going with.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Sena SR10: Wirelessly Add 2-way Radio to Your Motorcycle Ride

Latest news – We have said for a while, Bluetooth is the future for 2 way radios and earpieces. With so many different incarnations of the tech to try and adapt it for that walkie talkie market, nobody has yet got it small enough to work stealthily enough. This analysis from a motorbike website may give us an indication of how the tech is progressing.

Sena SR10 Two-Way Radio Adapter Review with Midland Radio BT Next and Midland Two-Way Radio

I’m an admitted tech addict and enjoy looking for and finding new gadgets that enhance life’s experiences. This is especially the case for moto-related kit and, lately, Bluetooth (BT) gizmos. While writing our recent BT headset reviews, I became interested in pairing a two-way radio to my helmet’s headset.

Some riders to whom I’ve spoken eschew the use of any newfangled item that could distract them or in some way diminish the riding experience and I respect that.

Personally, I find only enjoyment and an extra margin of safety in being able to communicate with other riders, listen to music or FM radio, GPS instructions and make or take the occasional phone call.

Until now, to communicate with my buddies I’ve used the intercom function built into virtually all BT headsets on the market today. Most offer full duplex operation (like a telephone, all parties can talk at once without having to press a push-to-talk (PTT) button) and a line-of-sight range up to a mile but, often, much less.

I read that some headsets allow pairing to a two-way radio which offers not only greater range but the ability to have an unlimited number of participants on the conversation, unlike headset intercoms that have a limitation on the number of pairings.

Also eliminated would be the need to stop and pair the headsets to one another in advance. Wouldn’t it be great if our group did this and agreed upon a certain radio channel? We could shout out to one another when heading to a meeting and converse during the ride. Changes in plans could be made on the fly without waving hands in some, often misunderstood, hand signals. Then there’s “that guy” who always takes the lead on a ride just when there is a critical turn to make and he doesn’t know the way.

The solution is easier than you might think. All you need is a two-way radio and a BT adapter since no consumer priced radios to date have BT built in (that’s on the way but not yet). For this review I used Sena’s SR10 BT adapter along with Midland Radio’s BT Next headset and GXT1000 FRS/GMRS radio.

The SR10 adapter connects to most popular radios via a short cable unique to each brand, so check Sena’s list to make sure they offer one for the radio you want to use. As an added bonus, the SR10 has two AUX ports that enable you to connect non-Bluetooth devices such as radar detector, GPS navigation and non-BT MP3 player but I didn’t try that for this review.

Once all your devices are charged up the SR10 (which utilizes a micro-USB cable – my favorite for simplicity’s sake) pairs easily with the headset with just a few key presses. One important caveat to note here is that the SR10 must pair with a BT channel that supports Hand-Free Profile (HFP) on the your headset. All headsets have at least on HFP channel but that is usually paired to the phone. Some headsets, like the BT Next, have more than one channel supporting HFP and that is a key feature, allowing the two-way radio to coexist with the phone and music player. If your headset only has one HFP channel you may pair it with the SR10 then pair your phone to the SR10 as well. I tried this and it worked but I could not use the music player built into my phone. There are often trade-offs to be made in the world of BT.

For this review my buddy Rick and I each placed a radio and adapter in our tank bag. The SR10 offers VOX (voice-actuated talk) but also has a wired PTT switch included. During our initial testing we found that the VOX worked well but usually required several loud spoken words to switch over so we opted to use the PTT buttons. We zipped our tank bags to allow the antenna to peek out and the PTT cable was routed to the left handgrip and attached with the included rubber strap.

We liked the ease of use with the PTT button which allows quick back-and-forth conversations. The GXT1000 produces a soft beep upon releasing g the PTT button and advises others that you have closed the connection. Better than having to say “over” each time you end a sentence.

Priorities are important in BT as they instruct the headset as to what devices override others. In this case, when receiving from the other rider, the headset quieted the FM radio or music player to allow us to hear the other rider.

As with all BT and other moto devices, my advice is to set them up, test and get acclimated to them before going near your bike. Once we were done with that we rode the freeways for 10 miles to some hilly back roads. Operation was easy and I let Rick head out while I waited near the on-ramp. At a range of about a mile or more I started to lose him even though the radios were set in high-power mode. This is still a far greater range than the intercom but illustrates the limitations of UHF radios. In our canyon segment of the test, range was reduced further but was always better than the intercoms.

The GXT1000 is rated to 36 miles range but Midland advises that this is greatly affected by the surroundings and we proved that. I chose this FRS/GMRS static-free UHF radio because of the relative quiet as compared to CB radios.

Range can be improved by mounting the radios higher up on the bike or by buying a radio with a connector to a better, permanently mounted antenna. CB, on the other hand, while producing more audible noise, is affected less by terrain due to the characteristics of the frequencies in which it operates.

When asked about range limitations, Midland’s Emily Frame replied, “While they (FRS/GMRS radios) do have the capability to be used with the BTs, we find this is not our customer’s first choice. Our CBs are made more for use in vehicles, such as trucks, and are great for communication on the road.” Live and learn.

Our BT to two-way test was, everything considered, a success. We proved that one does not need a degree in electrical engineering to make this technology work for you. I am going to try to get my hands on a pair of CB radios and, when I do, I will do another review, hopefully, extolling their virtue.

Look for more reviews on BT headsets and gadgets in the coming weeks with Uclear’s HBC200 Force headset with boom-less microphone technology scheduled for my next review.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

(Potential) Explanation Presented for ‘After Death’ Experiences

The latest scientific analysis has recommended that dying rats encounter an odd flow of extreme neural motion throughout their final moments of existence. This amplified brain use may be in line with (and thusly clarify) Human accounts of close to or after death experiences, as reported by some people worldwide.

Approximately a fifth of all those who have survived a cardiac arrest have reported having an ‘After Death Experience’ or ADE.  This is quite an alarming statistic, particularly as ADE tends to use a profound effect within the existence of that survivor. Having an ADE is seen by many as certain substantiation of an afterlife or a continuation of the individual’s soul after death.

Equally, a ‘Near Death Experience’ (or NDE) is believed to be like to an ADE, but clearly occurs whilst the patient remains to be technically living. Most people who experience NDE’s report a floating sensation or ‘Out of Body Experience’ (OBE), as well as encounters with angels, late members of the family and loved ones. Both NDE and ADE survivors often portray traversing a long tunnel in the direction of an intense light.

Negotiations of life after death appear in early scriptures, archaeological sites and many following works of philosophy and also have fascinated (and frightened) Persons, regardless of creed, ethnic group or culture, since time immemorial.

After recovering from surgery in 1979, Jazmyne Cidavia-DeRepentigny of Hull, Georgia, USA, reported a classic NDE account that was ultimately published in the book ‘Beyond The Light’ by P.M.H Atwater in 1994. Like many people, Jazmyne recounts facts of her surgery that would be very difficult to obtain were she lying.

Jazmyne says that “I was suspended over my body.  I could see and hear everything that was being said and done.  I left the room for a short while and came back to where my body lay.  I knew why I died.  It was because I could not breathe.  I had a tube along my throat and the health staff did not have an oxygen mask on my nostril.  I had also been provided excessive general anesthetic”.

She went to illustrate her efforts to remove the tube from her throat in a relatively disturbing account.

Prior to that aforementioned study, it is established proven fact that brain activity ceases once the heart stops. This has now been demonstrated as being untrue, at least so far as rats are concerned. It’s also the strongest hypothesis thus far concerning the reasons of ADEs, OBEs and NDEs.

One of those scientists responsible for these results, Dr. George Mashour of the University of Ann Arbour, Michigan, USA said that the team was “astonished with the high levels of activity” in the rodents. “In truth, at near-death numerous identified electrical signatures of consciousness exceeded degrees found in the waking state, suggesting the brain is able of well-organized electric activity during the early phase of clinical death.” He said.

The team’s lead scientist, Dr. Jimo Borjigin added that “This research paper tells us that degradation of oxygen or equally oxygen and glucose during cardiac arrest can stimulate neural activity that is characteristic of mindful processing,”

However, Dr. Martin Coath on the University of Plymouth, United kingdom was somewhat critical of the team’s findings.

Dr. Coath said, because the rats were anaesthetized, the findings better demonstrated the unconscious brain’s reaction to the dangerous lack of blood flow and oxygen. He also said that the study had not essentially showed that any ‘sharp cognizant processing’ had in fact taken place, suggesting the wording of that conclusion was “a bit of a stretch”. He commented that, while the consequences were “genuinely interesting” they were also “hardly amazing”.

The results of the report will little doubt be of great importance to many inside the scientific community, also as religious groups, those fascinated in the paranormal and those who have experienced an ADE or NDE.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Could we have discovered possibilities of life from another planet?

A team of British scientists believe that they have found organisms in earth’s atmosphere that originate from outer space.

As difficult as that could be to judge, Professor Milton Wainwright, the team’s chief, insists that this is definitely the instance.

The team, out of the University of Sheffield, exposed the tiny organisms (misleadingly known as ‘bugs’ by a lot of demanding journalists) living on a research balloon that had been sent 16.7 miles into our atmosphere during last month’s Perseids meteor shower.

In response to Professor Wainwright, the microscopic creatures couldn’t have been passed into the stratosphere on the balloon. He said, “Most will presume that those biological particles have to have just drifted up into the stratosphere from Earth, but it is usually accepted a particle of the volume found cannot be lifted from Earth to heights of, for example, 27km. The one well-known exemption is by a violent volcanic eruption, none of which occurred within 3 years of their sampling trip.”

Wainwright maintains that only salient end is that the organisms originated from space. He went on to mention that “life just isn’t restricted to the planet and it almost definitely didn’t originally come here”

However, not everyone is so convinced. Dr. Seth Shostak, senior astronomer with the SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) project stated, “I’m very skeptical. This claim has been made beforehand, and dismissed as earthly contamination.” The team responds to this by saying they were thorough when they prepared the balloon before the experiments begun.

Yet, they’d acknowledge that there might be an unidentified method for those organisms to achieve such altitudes. It should also be well-known that microbal organisms discovered in the 1980’s and 1990’s and called ‘extremophiles’ surprised the scientific community by living in environments that will immediately kill the majority of life on earth.

These creatures have always been observed living deep under Glacial ice or even 1900 feet below the ocean floor. In March of this year, Ronnie Glud, a biogeochemist in the Southern Danish University in Odense, Denmark was quoted as saying “Inside the most remote, hostile areas, you can even have higher motion than their surroundings,” which “You can find microbes in all places – they are extremely malleable to conditions, and stay alive where they’re,” so this indicates more plausible that either the team is in error, or that this is just another case of microscopic life showing up in an unusual place.

In addition, it is not the first time this particular team has come under fire for stating such claims, either. Back in January of this year, astrobiologist Dr. Chandra Wickramasinghe reported that ‘fossils’ found from a Sri Lankan meteorite were evidence of extraterrestrial life, an assertion that was widely criticized by the scientific community.

Other scientists have complained that there frankly isn’t enough proof to generate such a claim, as a theory this significant would require a huge body of proof to prove its validity.

What that says to this reporter is that microbes can exist pretty much anyplace and that it simply is not good science to jump to wild conclusions like aliens each time a more plausible answer is most likely present. Science should not be subject to such wild leaps of fancy. Imagination is a superb aid to science, but it really isn’t a science in and of itself. Sadly, Dr. Wainwright and his group seem to be seeing what they want to see.


Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The new iphone 5s is released, what do we think?

Given the reliability, capacity to entertain and user-friendliness of the iPhone, its a small wonder more people don’t fall in madly love with them. You love your iPhone, it’s only natural to want to protect her. You can start by buying some iphone covers from this very site!

Your iPhone is beautiful, gets on with your friends and is always there when you need her. She’s smart, funny and the envy of everybody you know. So who wouldn’t hire a bodyguard for their iPhone? She’s in constant danger!

iPhones need iphone covers to keep them safe. In the course of a day iphone covers protect her from being dropped, waterlogged, smashed, cracked, burned and otherwise mistreated. In fact, sometimes the only thing standing between iPhones and their total annihilation are iphone covers.

iphone covers come in a variety of colours, designs and prices, so why not look around and see our selection of iphone covers? Ultimately, you may end up cradling your iPhone whilst leaving a busy London nightclub crooning “And iiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeiiiiiiiieeeeeeiiiiiiii wiiiiiiiil alwaaays loooove youuuuuuuu!!!!” at the top of your lungs, but this only happens in very rare cases.

The rest of us, after nestling our little beauties safely in their iphone covers, go on to lead mostly normal lives and in no way ever end up sitting behind a dumpster in Soho, holding our iPhones ever-so-tenderly. “Hey, why are you singing to that iPhone?” “Uh…No reason, officer…”

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Sony Make all kinds of Television"s and this 42 inch Smart Television is one to take into account

Similar to lots of people looking at this, I enjoy the holiday of Christmas time a great deal.

Although I am not religious (in fact, I’ve often described myself like the ‘spiritually inclined’ atheist – despite the fact that I have taken to observing all 8 Pagan Sabbats over the course of the year), I still view Christmas time as the joyous time being spent with family, friends and those you consider as belonging to the closest ring of the ‘inner circle’.

My relatives is one with lots of enduring Christmas traditions, a lot of that will no doubt be passed on to my kids (should my girlfriend and I ever decide to have any). We bring out the same decorations year after year (a number of which have been in the household for over a century).

On Christmas Eve, my Mum will still read ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas’ by Clement C. Moore to my brother and myself (and latterly my girlfriend too), albeit we’re now in our twenties. Until recently, we would go out into the road and chime the ‘sleigh bells’ for our neighbours’ children to listen to from their house (just like their mom and dad did for my brother and I when we were children).

Conceivably our best family tradition, however, often is the ritual viewing of the Frank Capra Christmas tradition ‘It is a Wonderful Life’. The flick stars Jimmy Stewart as the perennial ‘nice guy fallen on misfortune’ George Bailey, Donna Reed as his wife Mary, Henry Travers as Clarence, George’s guardian angel and of course, Lionel Barrymore as a truly dishonorable ‘Old Man Potter’.

It doesn’t matter what else goes on (or how hectic Christmas Eve could be, particularly now that travel may be a consideration our coming together), we ALWAYS find time to stream that particular film on that individual evening.

By the time George runs happily through the streets of Bedford Falls shouting “Merry Christmas you superb old building and loan!” My Father is welling up, by the point George’s brother Harry declares him being “the richest man in town”, I’m right there with him. There’s just a specific, sparkling, honest-to-goodness enchartment to it, the writing is wonderful , the direction is miles ahead of its time and the performances, well, (to quote Bernard Black of ‘Black Books’ fame) “Ah, they would melt your face”.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, seeing as there’s no way to boost upon the movie itself, the event would almost certainly only be bettered if we have a Sony 42 inch TV. With the jaw dropping ‘X-Reality’ picture, a wireless smartphone link-up feature and much more besides, this innovative 2013 smart tv is a doozy. It might lack some of our more attention grabbing features of Sony’s other smart TVs, but, after considering the screen and shiny, futuristic design of this TV, it hardly does matter.

With the new Bluray edition of ‘It is a Wonderful Life’, a gleaming Sony 42-Inch TV with a good speaker, you’ll never be happier to see an angel getting his wings.  

Sunday, 27 October 2013

What does a Canon printer have that others do not, you might learn something here

Even though looking like something the crew of that Enterprise may find out on an away mission, the newest canon printer, with Wi-Fi, best-ever picture copy and outstanding scanning functionality, is suitable for more than simply destroying red shirt guys (even if I’m sure there’s a operation for that on there someplace).

The canon printer formerly known as PIXMA is the last word in laser printer chic. Eye-catching, ultramodern design (which always gets geeks like me salivating) of this calibre when functional to a ease-of-process, performance and various capabilities of this novel canon printer is actually something special.

I keep calling it ‘new’ but in truth the canon printer in question is out a small while, but that is OK, it allows for good word of mouth with a de-crease in price.

The main reason I keep referring to this canon printer as a ‘new’ thing is that it appears like one. With its slim, jet black casing, exciting blue switches and compact size, the canon printer can not help but look as if it is left here by time travellers.

Furthermore, this unique canon printer has so many more features than most printers. For instance, did you know you could print out HD films, frame-by-frame? That the print time is about twice as fast as the ‘old’ printer? That it inevitably corrects flaws in the photos before printing? In case you did not, then maybe its time to find out.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

’Earth-Like’ Asteroid Devoured by Dead Star

The Hubble Space Telescope has recorded an intriguing event some 150 light-years from Earth.

A large asteroid was pulled into the White Dwarf star (named ‘GD 61’ by astronomers) and utterly destroyed. This is not an unusual event, as even dead stars still exhibit a very high level of gravity. However, scientists are interested because the chemical signatures left in the star’s atmosphere indicate the presence of water and a rocky surface, both considered to be key building blocks for the creation of life on our planet.

Until this event was observed, water and a rocky surface had never been found together on an object outside our solar system.

The asteroid consisted of the elements magnesium, silicon, iron and oxygen, all of which are usually found in rock minerals, but scientists believe that the abundance of oxygen indicated the heavy presence of H20.

The object was at least 90KM across and as much as 26% of that is thought to have been water. Earth is considered to be just 0.02% water.

This discovery is important because it gives scientists a vindicating glimpse of how inhabitable environments may have been formed, receiving key components (such as water) from outside sources such as meteorites.

It is thought that water first arrived on our planet by similar means and that other planets in the GD 61 system would once have received water this way as well. According to BBC News, scientists consider the presence of rocky planets in the GD system to have been “very likely”.

Scientists have observed over 1,000 planets outside our solar system, but none is thought to contain water.

Closer to home, some planets and heavenly bodies are thought to contain water. Mars is considered by many to once have had liquid water, but if this is still the case, it is a greatly reduced amount.

Elsewhere, Jupiter’s moon Europa raises a tantalizing prospect that there are oceans under its icy surface. This has led to some convincing research into the possible presence of ocean currents there. However, Europa is not alone, its fellow moons Callisto and Ganymede have also been suggested as candidates for liquid water.

In addition, Rhea (moon of Saturn), Titania (moon or Uranus), Oberon (also orbiting Uranus), Triton (moon of Neptune), Pluto (dwarf planet), Eris (dwarf planet), Sedna (possible dwarf planet) and Orcus (another possible dwarf planet) are all speculated to have oceans, some of which may be in contact with the rocky core of the respective body, which would hypothetically result in a steady stream of minerals and salts into the water – an important factor in creating life.

Saturn’s moon Enceladus has geysers, which is seen as proof of the presence of water or at least water vapours. It has even been theorized by some that Neptune contains oceans of liquid diamond.

The heavy presence of water on this asteroid is a vital clue for scientists and their understanding, not only of the cosmos, but also of how our home planet came into being.


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Every year we are offered a new batch of PS3 games, when will this stop! with a bit of luck never.

Lets find out what the latest ps3 games are like.

College mate Bob.

“Well, with a little trepidation I’ve finally done it” the update read “I’ve bought my own detached house. It has all appliances I could need and a beautiful thatched roof”

Only a little bit older than I am and we’re both writers, only he’s had a bit more success than yours truly. I was shocked that he was enjoying so much success. It was nice to see him doing well. Was employed as a street sweeper, which meant he got to see his friends all day. I used to take long lunches.  He moved away and we didn’t really talk until I randomly met him on a train some years later. We still had a lot in common. I was about to post a long message congratulating Bob on his newfound success when I noticed the final two words to his status. Yes, Bob has the perfect place and yes, it has appliances and a thatched roof…On Skyrim. I groaned and joined the legion of talking heads telling him what a nerd.

The point is that its not just Bob who had a good time with his PS3 games last year. Around half my mates had their social lives decimated by Skyrim. Great. In fact, for a couple months, every. Saw him.

Fell prey to. is extremely unlikely to work if they make the title any shorter. Might get on the nerves of some F1 fans, but will thrill vacant window shoppers with disposable income who are attracted to the letter ‘F’. Its the next version along from the last release. Its not anything new.

Another one that did well towards the end of last year. Maybe that’s going too far). I hate Dragonball Z. Sit through earlier episode or showing you what’s to come in the next episode. More pissed off and angrier. Destroys him. The end. Installments. What’s that? Oh, the game? {I have no idea, I got sidetracked|Distracted|Taken off on a tangent…Actually, I should issue an apology before DBZ’s legions of fans stand around getting angrier.

So that’s a round up

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Sylvester Stallone to reprise rocky movie once more

Rumours thrive that Sylvester Stallone will probably be playing the character of ‘Rocky Balboa’ again, in a new movie set in the ‘Rocky’ universe.

The extremely well-liked character Rocky Balboa initially appeared in the Oscar-winning 1976 film ‘Rocky’ and has been the central hero in no less than six movies to date.

MGM films have basically offered the brand new project, currently identified only as ‘Creed’ to director Ryan Coogler.

The planned movie is actually a spin-off as opposed to a straight sequel.

Michael B. Jordan, star of this year’s ‘Fruitville Station’ as well as HBO television drama ‘The Wire’, will play the grandson of habitual series character Apollo Creed. The planned story would call for the young Creed to enter the world of boxing, with Stallone’s Balboa playing the position of his mentor.

Director Ryan Coogler, who worked with Jordan in the aforementioned ‘Fruitville Station’ movie, is said to be enthusiastic about the idea and is eager to co-write the script.

Apollo Creed, as portrayed by Carl Weathers, was originally presented as Rocky’s rival. In his initial role, Creed (who was supposedly similar to a combination of Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and Joe Louis) was the World Heavyweight Boxing Champ as well like the confidence businessman. When faced with a deficiency of suitable opponents, Creed decided to put his title on the line against a local, unknown fighter.

The first film largely centred around the elected fighter Rocky Balboa as he trained for the biggest fight of his life. In the later films, Apollo Creed started to be a tutor plus a close friend to Rocky.

Weathers played Creed in every ‘Rocky’ film until ‘Rocky IV’, where the character was killed during a match with Russian boxer Ivan Drago (portrayed by Dolph Lundgren).

Despite the character’s death, he is prominently mentioned in both follow-up films and remains popular with fans of this series.

The final film within the initial Rocky series, ‘Rocky Balboa’ was released in 2006 to a strong critical and profitable reception. In 2010, Sylvester Stallone was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and Museum for his creation and portrayal of Rocky, as well like the many tributes he has paid to boxers and the sport of boxing in his career.


Using Urine to charge your tablets, can it be feasible

Scientists functioning at the University West of England (UWE) in Bristol, United kingdom, have discovered one way to recharge a cell phone with Human pee.

The company have been able to charge a Samsung phone by placing the liquid through a cascade of microbial fuel cells. With this method, enough energy may be produced to send text messages, browse the World-wide-web and even make a short telephone call.

According to the scientists in charge, the next stage is to completely recharge the device with urine…Seemingly cleaning their hands directly afterwards.

Dr. Ioannis Ieropoulos has labored for ages with microbial energy cells; he is considered an expert in harnessing power from extraordinary sources. The possibe purposes of his work are very interesting from an environmental perspective.

Dr. Ieropoulos said, “We’re very excited as this is the world’s first, no-one has harnessed energy from pee to try this so it is an exciting discovery. Using the final waste product as a source of energy to produce electrical power is about as eco as it gets.” Eco-friendly tech is, seemingly, the good doctor’s main area of appeal.

The microbial cells work as the energy converter, they turn the organic matter directly into electricity, via the metabolism of live bacteria. The electricity is the by-product of a microorganism’s natural life phase, meaning that as they ‘eat’ the pee, they produce energy the energy that powers the mobile. Now that’s what we call ‘pee as you go’.

Toilet humour aside, the team have engineered a world first, as nothing as large as the phone battery has ever been charged using this method before.

You’ll notice, nowadays, no plans to promote this technology on a large scale, but perhaps someday we could be signing a ‘P’ mobile agreement, the trick, as they are saying, will be pissistance.

PS – I’m apologetic about this one. The work and its implications are astounding. All credit to the UWE team. On the other hand, I constantly needed to do one of those ‘And Finally’ type tales and now I conclusively get to. Please forgive me, one and all.


Friday, 11 October 2013

Does amazon make a keyboard that works with the kindle fire

You’d imagine that outer keyboards for tablet pc’s could be ‘pretty much of a muchness’ by now, wouldn’t you? If only it was as simple as ensuring the keyboard in question is compatible with your Operating system and then, oh, I don’t know, purchasing the damn thing…But it does not seem being that way, unfortunately.

Now, Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD is well-matched with outer keyboards, but not with all of them. So you’ll possibly be stuck rooting through an extensive list of keyboards (many of which don’t seem to bother letting us identify whether they are ‘Kindle friendly’ or not).

The ‘Amazon Basics keyboard’ doesn’t appear to work for each reviewer, either. Some like it, some do not.

Frustratingly, opinions are often unreliable when it relates to Kindle Fire compatibility, with a few claiming that individual tablets work and others furiously reporting sentiments akin to “do they b******s”.

Nonetheless, all isn’t lost, gentle reader. Customers on have claimed that the following models are compatible (to varying degrees) with the Amazon kindle fire:

The Advent Bluetooth Keyboard

The Perixx Keyboard

The Microsoft Bluetooth Keyboard 6000

The Belkin Android Mobile Bluetooth Keyboard

Visibly, I cannot personally verify these user experiences, but online forums are commonly a good way to find what’s out there and what models other people have used without spending any of your money.

As I’ve said elsewhere about the web, it really does pay to shop around. I robustly recommend reading the opinions for every of these keyboards prior to you commit your heard-earned wonga to any of them.

On another interesting forum, I discovered that there’s even some debate as to whether Amazon have locked out third party keyboards intentionally. Amazon are renowned for their (infrequently) restrictive hardware, so it is not really a massive leap of the mind to think about the corporation blocking out exterior keyboards. Yet, I can find no endorsed statement from Amazon about this one way or the other, so your guess is as good as mine.

If you do decide to conduct a web search in order to find out more, please keep in mind that the Kindle Keyboard is a type of eReader that is unrelated to that Kindle Fire or Fire HD. Reports, opinions and boards regarding this one will hinder any investigate containing the terms ‘Amazon+Kindle+Keyboard’. ‘Annoying’ scarcely does it justice.

ADDENDUM: Since it seems, there’s an official Amazon keyboard that works with Kindle fire, but it doesn’t appear within the UK Amazon website. Personally, I would suggest getting this if you’re a US-based customer. If Amazon guarantees that it’ll work, then it’ll almost certainly work.

In the UK, well, its essentially frustratingly vague as to what keyboards work and what is going to not. Another suggestion is to head down to the local computer store and ask them if you can try one out. That typically works.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Microsoft returns to CES Las Vegas tech show

Latest News - With Steve Ballmer leaving microsoft as head honcho, we are beginning to see signs that microsoft is aligning itself with the other big players in the market. After pulling out of the 2012 CES show they have announced that they will return in 2013, obvioulsy with the Xbox one and windows 8 improvements, along with quite a few windows 8 tablet pc’s, they will use this publicity to promote a new look microsoft.

The organiser of the US’s biggest tech show has revealed to the BBC that Microsoft is returning to the event.

Microsoft announced it was pulling out of CES in 2012, saying that its “product news milestones” did not align with the January tradeshow.

Although it is not scheduled to host a keynote speech at 2014′s event, the firm has booked meeting rooms again.

One analyst said the news reinforced the Las Vegas show’s claim to be the year’s most important tech event.

Others had previously suggested Microsoft’s departure might mark “the beginning of the end” of the show.

A spokesman for Microsoft said he was unable to comment.

‘Tactical blunder’

Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Electronics Association – the lobby group which hosts CES, disclosed the news during a visit to London.

“Microsoft is officially back in the International CES,” he told the BBC.

“They are taking out significant space in meeting rooms – it’s actually a larger presence than I believe they have ever had.

“Microsoft will have to make the decision who the rooms are open to or not, but I imagine they’re very open to the press.

Steve Ballmer at CESSteve Ballmer made a guest appearance during another firm’s press conference in 2013

“We have had a tremendous partnership [with Microsoft] going back to the very beginning. You know, we had one little blip this year… but now we’re happy to have them back with a physical presence.”

The company was not totally absent at 2013′s event. Chief executive Steve Ballmer made a brief surprise appearance during chipmaker Qualcomm’s keynote event, and Microsoft’s chief technology strategy officer spent a few minutes on stage at a Samsung press conference.

But one tech consultant who regularly attends the show said the US company had made a “tactical blunder” by not hosting its own event or having space to show off its wares.

“There was an opportunity to really assert the Windows 8 story and they completely missed it,” said Ben Wood, from CCS Insight.

“So, you had a show floor full of convertibles, tablets and all-in-one Windows 8 PCs but no narrative to go with them. You can align that to the fact that Google’s Android was omnipresent and Windows Phone didn’t really get a look-in at all.

“If you look at the assets that Microsoft has now, I’d argue that it’s virtually essential that it steps up its efforts at not just CES but also other shows like Barcelona’s Mobile Wold Congress where its absence has been noted.”

Microsoft is in the process of taking over Nokia’s handset unit; recently launched the second generation of its Surface tablet, despite missing sales targets with the first one; and is about to put its Xbox One games console on sale.

Tech titans

More than 152,000 people attended 2013′s CES, according to an independent audit, with 3,282 exhibitors taking part across a range of venues totalling 1.92 million sq ft (178,370 sq m).

Bill Gates and Slash at CESBill Gates appeared alongside musician Slash at Microsoft’s 2008 CES keynote event

The event is not open to the public, but presents an opportunity for firms to host public and private meetings with the media, analysts, retail chains and other industry professionals.

Although there has been a trend in recent years for tech-makers to hold special events to launch products, rather than competing for attention at a tradeshow, many of the industry’s biggest names continue to hold gadgets and other announcements back for CES.

Intel and Audi are both holding what is termed “tech titans keynote” events at the forthcoming show, which runs from 7 to 10 January.

Sony, Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Huawei and Toyota are among others hosting both press conferences and stands. Google, Yahoo and Dropbox prefer to just book private meeting rooms. Apple does not attend in any formal capacity.

‘Set the agenda’

Microsoft is currently going through a period of upheaval. Last week Mr Ballmer gave a tearful farewell to staff having previously announced his resignation.

Gary Shapiro had previously described Microsoft’s pull-out as a “pause” rather than a permanent departure

Reuters is now reporting that some of the firm’s biggest investors are pressing for Bill Gates, its chairman and co-founder, to also step down.

Gary Shapiro and Steve BallmerMr Shapiro did not speculate whether changes in management might see Microsoft further bolster its presence in later years. However, Mr Wood had little doubt this would happen.

“I can see a renaissance, particularly given Microsoft’s move into hardware,” he said.

“It’s going to be in the heartland of consumer electronics – you’re looking at tablets, Xbox and mobile phones all working together for not just a mobile story but a connected homes story, and that’s the epicentre of CES.

“It’s all about how these different bits of gadgetry hang together, and CES helps set the agenda.”

Source -

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Scientists Determine Size of Biggest Ever Sea animal

A combined Scottish-Canadian team has verified the prehistoric fish leedsichthys problematicus is the biggest boned fish yet to journey the seas of the earth.

Growing to lengths of 16.5 metres over a projected development phase of 40 years, the Jurassic-era fish would have outgrown even today’s massive whale sharks. In spite of its imposing size, though, leedsichthys is believed to have been a filter feeder, just like baleen whales, basking sharks and whale sharks are these days.

Found from the late 19th century and formally named (after British farmer and fossil collector Alfred Leeds) in 1889, skeleton of leedsichthys have been unearthed right through Europe, and also in South America.

The ‘problematicus’ piece of its technical identity stems through the indisputable fact that leedsichthys fossils are disreputably difficult to spot. It is due to a incontrovertible fact that leedsichthys’ skeleton #was not# made entirely of bone. Large portions #of the# animal’s internal structure were actually #made from# cartilage, just #as a# shark’s bone structure is. Cartilage #does not# mineralize as willingly as bone and, as a result, fossil cartilage is a little bit uncommon.

Out of perspective, the fossilized bones can symbolize a challenge to palaeontologists. Over the years, remains of leedsichthys have even been posited as belonging to bone-plated dinosaur stegosaurus!

Because leedsichthys vertebrae was cartilaginous, it may be very hard to determine how long the fish may have been, with some unsubstantiated estimates signifying that it was as long as 30 metres.

Nonetheless, when a new, more complete, fossil was discovered near Peterborough, UK, scientists were eventually in a position to get an accurate measurement. Professor Jeff Liston, of our National Museum of Scotland, said, “We sat down and checked out a good series of specimens, not only at the bones, but their internal growth set ups as well – just like the expansion rings in trees – to get some ideas about the ages of these animals, in addition to their estimated dimensions,”

The team finally determined that a small adult leedsichthys would grow to 8 or 9 metres after some 20 years and, in another 20 years; it could reach roughly 16.5 metres in length. This is larger than the whale shark, the largest bony fish living now, in spite of persistent and credible reports of whale sharks growing as long as 14 metres in length.

This news is thrilling to scientists and natural history fanatics as it guarantees a useful insight into the changes in ocean life that occurred around and through the Jurassic era.

Scientists now think that filter-feeding fish started out as quite tiny animals, before increasing to the huge sizes we know nowadays. The amazing size of leedishthys problematicus thus implies that there was an enormous surge within the plankton population of the Mesozoic seas.

The invention also demands a significant change to the records.


Icom Launch New Training Aids for VHF/SRC Radio Instructors

Editorial - {Many People|Many of us|Lots of people|Many individuals|Some people} {wouldn’t|would not} know {much|a lot} about DSC {technology|tech}, {but {it’s|it is}|nevertheless {it’s|it is}} a safety system built into {2 way|two way} radios, {primarily|mainly} in marine and sea {communications|comms|equipment}, {because|as} of the increase in use of smaller and {individual|personal} boats on the {water|rivers}. {As an|As a} island this {technology|tech} is {becoming|getting} {more and more|increasingly more|ever more} {popular|well-liked|accepted}, the {technology|tech} is linked {to the|to your} boat {in case|just in case} of an {emergency|disaster|tragedy}, more {details|facts|information} {can be found|is found|is available} from this icom uk {article|post|blog}..

DSC technology is becoming more widely used today and it is important for potential users to see how it works and to be trained in its use. To this end, Icom UK have now added their latest range of VHF/DSC radios to their VHF/SRC training simulator range. The models now available for instructors to purchase include the IC-M423 Fixed Mount VHF/DSC Transceiver and for the first time from Icom, a Handheld VHF/DSC in the form of the IC-M91D. Both training simulators provide a real ‘hands on’ experience of both voice and DSC message sending and receiving, in the classroom without causing interference. Both models share a new easy to use interface which is easy to learn, meaning that trainees will be able to understand the basics of two way radio quickly. Ian Lockyer, Marketing Manager of Icom UK Ltd, said, ’When choosing the Icom IC-M423 VHF/SRC training simulator, the instructor will receive two fully modified radios that will communicate via the cabling so that it is unlikely to cause any interference to other users nearby . This enables the trainee to send ‘live’ distress and voice calls without alerting any other radios. Both units come with an interconnecting cable up to 20 metres in length, which is ideal for any training environment. The IC-M91D is supplied with an adapter and a cable to allow it to communicate with the fixed sets.’ To help trainees further understand the need for DSC, Icom has a new microsite dedicated to Handheld DSC radio. The new website sheds light on this relatively new marine technology. It explains what DSC Handheld VHF radios are, where they can be used and why boat owners need one. It also answers several questions about the ownership and registration of DSC handheld radio in an informative FAQ section. To go to this new site, click on The microsite will provide a handy resource for both instructors and students alike. Ian, said, ‘Customer reaction has been incredibly positive to our recently launched IC-M91D Buoyant VHF/DSC Handheld with GPS. However we have had lots of questions regarding where and how they can be used. So we decided to put all our information on an informative microsite.’ Icom Marketing:


Source -

Promoting Health and Fitness, World"s strongest man give a helping hand

At the end of the other week, countless schoolchildren from Round Rock, Texas came head to head with the World’s Strongest Guy.

Texas native Mark Henry, a past Olympic weightlifter, record-breaking powerlifter and Proficient Wrestling World Champion, was joined by a bunch of ex-NFL stars as well as his WWE best friend, Mark Callaway, AKA The Undertaker.

The event was invented to advertise the need for schooling, wellbeing and exercise in time for that new school term. Henry flew in from New York so as to visit the kids and inspire them to better things for coming school months. As part of the day’s celebrations, Henry pulled a Semi Truck for a great distance in front of a group of amazed kids, event organizers and parents.

Mark Henry’s list of athletic accomplishments is impressive. He competed in both the 1992 and 1996 Olympic games as a weightlifter; Henry was also a Gold Medal winner in the 1995 Pan American Games and was named Drug-Free World Champion Powerlifter in 1995. He was named U.S powerlifting champion twice. He’s a reigning world record holder in several areas and is credited with the largest raw squat and raw powerlifting total ever performed by a drug-tested athlete.

Henry is also a 3-time U.S National Weightlifting Champion, an American Open winner, Two-Time U.S Olympic Event Champion and NACAC Champion. In 2002, he won the very first annual Arnold Strongman Classic Competition and has publicly performed many feats of strength, including pushing a tank.

Mark Henry’s assertion to being the ‘World’s Strongest Man’ is fairly disputed and never thought sanctioned by most organizations, but later set lifting records all through his life and winning no less than one strongman contest, his declaration is respected by most (and the visual evidence is difficult to deny).

Henry has also had a 17-year career in Professional Wrestling, competing within the WWE (formerly WWF) ever since company owner Vince McMahon learned that Henry was a wrestling aficionado. His ensuing profession has seen him win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship twice, as well as a ECW Championship and also the WWE European Championship.

Notwithstanding his no-nonsense on-screen persona (a personality who regularly welcomes his enemies to the ‘Hall of Pain’) Henry is extremely active within the ‘Make a Wish’ Foundation, (a charity group that grants wishes to children with life-threatening or fatal ailments) also as frequent anti-drug and anti-bullying campaigns.

When interviewed over on the day, Henry said: “I would like the kids to have what I didn’t have. I didn’t have a great deal growing up. I hope more people did it for me, so I aim to do it in kind.”


Thursday, 19 September 2013

Connect, Update and stay in the know on the best social networks whilst watching programmes on your Smart TV

As its foundation in 2004, ‘Facebook’ has made it as an giant success story, albeit not one without controversy. Plenty of controversy. But I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to let you know a little about social networking and why it is a great addition to any Smart TV.

In some ways taking off through the now elapsed ‘Myspace’ and the plethora of imitators it left in its wake, Facebook emerged as champion of the social networks, (until the next one comes along, that is). Facebook has conquered the Internet with a smart exploitation of these 3 ever-reliable principles:

1)         People love talking about other people, particularly anonymously.

2)         Folks are very keen on and poking their noses into the lifestyles of others.

3)         People’s unquenchable self attention, which, when fuelled by Facebook, is narcissism on steroids.

Facebook is a remarkable tool and one that has easily tailored itself to mobile phones, portable devices and now, even TV. Ultimately, Myspace was the cumbersome Neanderthal, who, despite being popular, smarter and more powerful than Homo Sapiens, succumbed to that retreating ice age somewhat speedily, failing to adapt to the world he could no longer understand. Facebook, conversely, was the eventual Cro Magnon victor, shaking in the cave during Neanderthal’s time, he emerged on the warm plains of the modern day and, either directly or indirectly, eliminated his rival before moving within the changing technology and times, to the point he might sit at his desk and update his position several times a day.

‘Twitter’ is a particularly limited site that acts like a miniature Facebook. Users have a number of words to announce their actions, thoughts and/or feelings to the world that frequently does not care unless its worried that it’s being cheated on. However, while famous people on Facebook tend to not update their pages, on Twitter an individual can follow (and sometimes commune with) the activities of Hollywood luminaries, celebrities, sports stars and other notable individuals, who are often surprisingly honest about their day by day lives.

Facebook and Twitter are the two big ones, but there’s others, a lot more than I can add up that follow a similar simple model but specialise in a new area (LinkedIn, for example, deals with business relationships more than personal ones). Many websites co-exist with Facebook nowadays, feeding off their scraps like remoras on the back of the Tiger Shark. With most online content, there’s even an option to ‘Like’ it, thus adding it to your Facebook page (if you look carefully at this page, you’ll almost certainly find one, which serves to spotlight just how all-encompassing Facebook’s presence is.

Smart TV, recognising the ubiquity of such websites and the emphasis that current online business places on this ubiquity, has Facebook, Twitter (and the other social network websites) readily available for download. This means that you can have full (or nearly full) access to your Facebook account and update it without maybe going to a PC. Last night, I had to update my very own Facebook to state that I was watching, for what must be the hundredth time, the movie ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin’ I could have easily done it during a tea break in the movie itself rather than meaning to take action and ultimately forgetting, as I essentially did.

If you’re wondering how folks are doing and you need up-to-the-minute information, Facebook is usually the place to go. Facebook the website is free to use, may be the Smart TV app at time of writing and is a wonderful communication tool, especially for people you don’t essentially know that well. These days, people change their mobile numbers every point three of another, so Facebook remains the one consistent way to ensure you can always keep in touch.  I like to think of it like a really badly written newspaper, where the headlines are a bit sunnier, a great deal less biased and contain people I essentially give a damn about.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Can you play games on a smart Television

Abiding its strategy of integrating almost everything into itself, the Smart TV also has a restricted number of games, obtainable as downloadable apps, for the playing delight.

Now, the times of downloading ‘Tekken Vs. Street Fighter’ or this years ‘Resident Evil’ directly to your TV are some distance away certainly, so you’ll yet require your Playstation 3, Xbox 360 or Wii for the time being. Additionally, none of those games available (with the possible exemption of that massively addictive ‘Angry Birds’) will equal the gaming skill already on offer in your consoles, but that does not denote that the choice of games available in your Smart TV come in any way incomplete. You will find sim games, puzzle games, card games and lots more also. Once again, Smart TV is making huge advancements to a capable area of TV (as anybody who ever loved the old ‘Teletext’ games will confirm).

An additional much-maligned type of entertainment regularly patrolled by ‘fun police’ is video games (see our first post for particulars). Which began with a simple misunderstanding, one stating that console games were exclusively for kids.

Now, this was not primarily true but it is not true today, but there was an era where consoles and peripherals were principally aimed towards kids and young teenagers. Then of course, the cultural watchdogs backlashed against gaming in much the same way they did against movies in the 70’s, music in the 60’s and comic books in the 50’s.

For that General gamer knows implicitly that a number of games are created with adults at heart (these are usually those that have the title spelt out in blood, or the options to disembowel hookers for additional points) while some are designed for children (its a hint if nobody actually tries to kill you over the course of the game and you’ll finish it in a matter of hours) just like movies, books and everything else it is possible to imagine, everyone is catered for. The games you will find on your Smart TV are mostly pretty simple plus the wonderful thing about downloadable apps is, if you’ve any difficulty at all with lurid game content on offer, then basically do not download it.

Right next, let’s have a look at some of those games you are able to download on your Smart TV (NOTE: Please do remember that not all games are compatible with all models, therefore the games mentioned below are just a variety that I find fascinating. In case you’re after a specific game for your Smart TV, ensure you purchase a TV that will be able to play it).

‘Texas Holdem’ is the poker sim that permits you to play games of virtual poker, either alongside the computer or your friends. So far as I know, no real money changes hands in TH, but you may want to double ensure before you bet your mortgage (even though you possess a straight flush). Another game that’s great fun to play with mates is ‘Dynamic Bowling’. DB is another simulation that allows you to, yep, you guessed it, go bowling. This game can be played alone or with mates. My guidance would be to practice at home after which dazzle your friends by bowling an ideal game. ‘Bejewelled 2’ is a sequel to the admired ‘Bejewelled’ a game title that has enthralled and addicted my very own father for about three years now. Bejewelled (which I will not break right down to initials for evident reasons!) is addictive, stimulating, challenging and, above all, fun.

So there you go. I’m certain that, as the months and years go on, an excellent many other gaming apps might be added to the Smart TV’s options. Watch this space!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

REVIEWS:The Kindle Fire HD 8.9

So, as the apple ipad at last gets a completly slighter version, the Kindle Fire HD gets a rather bigger one.

Both models are, essentially, similar as the modern variants of the respective series. Though, both are oddly sized additions to their respective families. The iPad Mini is 7.9 Inches and so isn’t, strictly speaking, a 7 Inch tablet and, to not be beaten, this new Kindle Fire is 8.9 Inches and so is consequently not, strictly speaking, a ten-inch version of their (usually 7-Inch) Kindle Fire HD.

Historically, tablet pc’s come in 2 sizes, 10″ and 7″, and both sizes have their advocates, just as much as both sides have advantages and drawbacks. I checked out this latest Kindle Fire in an effort to find if larger actually is better…


Perhaps I would have been more contented evaluating the Kindle Fire HD to the Google Nexus instead. The Nexus 7 is, after all, really the only tablet pc in Kindle Fire’s price range that matches it for effectiveness, specifications and reputation.

Initially a 7 Inch tablet pc, the 10 Inch Nexus 10 was released to about as warm a welcome as George Costanza’s wig and sold pretty poorly from there. Actually, there is barely around 680,000 Nexus 10 models currently in use, which looks bad, especially in comparison to estimated 6.8 million Nexus 7 tablet pc’s.

Why is this? The Nexus 10 was just as good a tablet the Asus nexus 7 (and the Nexus 7 is an incredibly, excellent tablet). On the other hand, for some reason, it just did not cut the mustard.

Perhaps it’s a size thing. Bigger tablet pc’s basically are not as lightweight (or as cheap) as their smaller counterparts. Fundamentally, it appears that when people go big, they go apple ipad.

Seemingly, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is identical classy, multinational accessory as the standard Kindle Fire HD, however it’s just slightly bit bigger this time about. This implies it has a similar duel WiFi aerial, identical astounding array of downloadable apps and content and also the same specially designed Dolby surround sound system.


The 8.9 version + Kindle Fire HD is a great buy costlier than the 7 Inch model. For example, I can buy a 7″ Kindle Fire HD (with free delivery, no less) from Amazon for £160, but the 8.9-Inch version, that is, barring one or two minor modifications, the identical device, will set me back about £230. That is quite a bit to think about.


Right now, I’ve talked (at great duration) regarding the Kindle Fire HD in a variety of other places, so I’ll frankly summarise here so as to save space and avoid repeating myself.

The Kindle Fire HD is a stunning success of condensed computing; it offers a simple, likeable user interface, outstanding media playback with a fine array of apps to boot. The Kindle Fire HD is an excellent all rounder that provides great value for money and is a very sensible choice for the commuter, first-time purchaser and/or the casual consumer.

Experienced software engineers may find the Fire HD restrictive (Amazon are notoriously heavy-handed about what you can and cannot install, for example) and its not on the level of an iPad or a Surface in terms of processing power. Though, it is a good product overall.

The 8.9 Inch version differs in only one, achingly obvious, way.

The dimensions increase does benefit from a bigger display, that’s a genuine boon to the visually impaired user, but beyond that, this indicates slightly superfluous. The enlarged size makes the Kindle Fire HD feel that rather more cumbersome and clumsy, whilst also making it less prone to fit on your bedside, or as cozily right into a handbag or rucksack.

The difference in size is not as jarring as the 10 Inch model would have been, but it is certainly noticeable. #On the# one hand, its nice to have increased options, but on the other…


Basically, the smaller size of the Kindle Fire HD is among its main selling factors. Cheap and cheerful, the 7″ Kindle Fire HD was seemingly made for livening up boring bus journeys, replacing the book on your nightstand and being a perfect travel companion on the last-minute holiday. Conversely, the 8.9″ version lacks most of those charms, whilst at the same time also lacking the processing muscle of the 10 Inch pc tablet.

This new Kindle Fire HD continues to be a excellent device, but the size (along with the cost) increase does not seem prone to make it many new friends. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the series, but I forecast this one sharing the same fate to the Nexus 10.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Possible Cure for PKD

What it is:

PKD stands for Polycystic Kidney Disease, it’s a condition which effects some 12.5 million people worldwide. PKD is amongst the most common life-threatening genetic disease on the world. A person who has PKD will spread kidney cysts slowly throughout their life, affected organs can, after 40-50 years, reach the scale of footballs. It goes without saying that they can become a supply of acute hurt and, sooner or later, affected kidneys will succumb to renal failure, no matter what. Ultimately, a kidney transplant is the only way to save the patient.

For a few years, sufferers of PKD went undiagnosed and the illness claimed a great many lives without ever being appropriately identified. Now, however, it is an internationally recognized illness and sufferers are carefully monitored from an young age.

In November of 2012, doctors at the KU kidney institute in Kansas, USA, developed a drug called tolvaptan. The medication was found to slow the growth of cysts and also lessening the loss of kidney function, this was a much-needed step by the right direction, but it isn’t a treatment.

This year, things have been looking up even more. Scientists functioning at Massachusetts For the General Hospital were actually able to improve a viable rat kidney and transplant it into a living animal. In addition of this, Dr. Xiaogang Li of the KU Kidney institute recently discovered that vitamin B3 can slow the expansion of cysts; in fact, his team was able to completely restore kidney use in test mice with PKD. Now that’s development.

Why we would like it:

Because 12.5 million people around the world are suffering with that genetic, life threatening disease, also, babies with PKD are being born every single day. A cure is needed and it is needed now.

When can we expect it?

A bona-fide treatment may yet be decades away, but if standard vitamin shots should be considered to control the condition itself, allowing patients to live longer, better lives, then I would say that we were definitely on the right track.

Drugs that manage the illness can be obtainable soon, however. Large-scale Human trials have confirmed that vitamin B3 is safe for widespread use. This means that it must be available to patients all over the world comparatively soon.

Doctors eventually hope to be able to manage PKD in the womb, stopping the disease before it begins. That would, effectively, represent a cure. Such technology is probably 10 years (or more) away, but we are getting there.

Cool Factor: 5/5

Keep in mind that scene in ‘Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home’ where the crew of the Enterprise journey back in time to that mid 1980’s and Doc McCoy encounters an elderly Woman who wants kidney dialysis. Exploding in disbelief, the great doctor cries “what is this, the dark ages!?” before giving the Woman a tablet that promptly grows her a brand new kidney, much to her delight. That’s where we can be within a few decades – ‘Star Trek’ technology. What could be cooler than that?

Joining the NHS organ donor list is the way you may help this situation, today.