The boys from the Dwarf are back! UK TV channel Dave has announced that it has commissioned two new series of the long-running science fiction comedy, the first of which (series XI) will be set to air in 2016.

Series co-creator Doug Naylor, who has been in sole charge of the franchise since 1997’s seventh series, said, “[We were] originally asked for more shows back in 2012 (…) but frustratingly it’s taken until now to get our ducks in a row and all the boys available at the same time. Now they are, we’re all absolutely delighted.”

Craig Charles, who portrays Dave Lister on the show, has reportedly left his long-running role as Lloyd Mullaney on British soap opera ‘Coronation Street’ in order to better commit to the part.

“Lloyd has become a huge part of my life and I’ve had an absolutely fantastic ten years,” the poet-turned actor told Empire Online. “…But I feel I owe it to my colleagues on Red Dwarf to join them in filming the new series and finding out what is in store for Lister and the others.”

The BBC initially aired 8 series of Red Dwarf from 1988 – 1999. From there, Dave optioned the rights to the series and produced a three-part special entitled ‘Red Dwarf: Back To Earth’ in 2009. Fan reaction to this new series was mixed and many saw it as a creative miss-step. However, both viewing figures and DVD sales for the specials were strong and so Dave commissioned a new series, ‘Red Dwarf X’ in 2012. This time around, with the characters returning to the original ‘sit-com in space’ format, the fan reaction was much more positive, which left many fans hungry for more.

Although the viewing figures for Series X were not as strong as they were for the ‘Back To Earth’ specials, the series was still Dave’s highest rated show of 2012.

Since then, however, it’s been a long wait. Having said that, three years between series is nothing for fans of Red Dwarf. After Series III wrapped in 1989, fans had to wait until 1991 for Series 4. Then, after Series VI ended (on a cliffhanger, no less), viewers had to wait four years until Series VII kicked off in 1997. Two years passed before 1999 saw the release of Series VIII and from there it was a decade before Dave aired the three part special, ‘Red Dwarf: Back To Earth’. Even after that venture proved to be (financially, if not entirely critically) successful – it was still three more years before fans saw any new episodes coming their way.

The two new series will be shot back-to-back towards the end of this year and are being co-produced by Baby Cow Productions. Welcome back, Dwarfers, the slime’s coming home!

Anton Purisima, a New Yorker known for filing abnormally large lawsuits over trivial things (even by American standards) and generally for being nuttier than squirrel sh!t, has achieved what is probably his lifetime ambition of filing the world’s largest lawsuit.

Apparently, before he was overcharged for a cup of coffee (oh, the horror!), Purisima was photographed without his permission by Chinese tourists and then got bitten by a dog (nice one, Fido!). For these (ahem) injustices, he is asking for the grand sum of (wait for it) $2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000 in damages.

Two undecillion Dollars (a two with 36 zeroes after it) is more money than presently exists on the entire planet, of course.

Frankly, we hadn’t seen this many zeroes since the last Conservative party conference…

According to the loony litigator, the dog was rabid (we can only hope) and it bit his middle finger. The funniest thing about this case, then, is that every time Mr. Purisima is asked to present his evidence, he will likely be found in contempt of court.

Defendants named in the suit include the Au Bon Pan store (whose La Guardia airport outlet apparently sells overly expensive coffee), The New York Transit Authority and Hoboken University Medical Center (who may, or may not, have botched some sort of experimental brain surgery upon Purisima. Admittedly, that’s guesswork on my part, but it would certainly answer a lot of questions…)

I mean, who goes to an airport for cheap coffee!? If American airports are anything like their British counterparts, you’d have to take out a second mortgage on your home just to afford a ham and cheese sandwich…

Apparently, his pain and additional damages “cannot be repaired by money”, which seems especially odd considering he is asking for so much of it, really. That’s a bit like saying that hunger can’t be cured by food, whilst queuing up in a McDonalds…

Purisima’s previous activities include attempting to sue The People’s Republic of China (no, really), as well as several major American banking chains.

Purisima filed his (hand written) lawsuit to a federal court in April and is (somewhat unsurprisingly) representing himself. Reports do not say if he was wearing a tutu and honey-glazing his own nipples at the time, but it seems likely.

A 1,000 year-old Chinese statue of the Buddha, which contains the mummified remains of a long-dead Buddhist master, has been scanned to reveal hidden artefacts that were tucked inside the body centuries ago.

The statue was scanned prior to being exhibited in the Netherlands as part of an exhibition of mummies, receiving multiple CT scans, DNA testing and an endoscopy, some of which revealed a few unlikely surprises hidden within the corpse.

The team that scanned the remains included Buddhism art and culture expert Erik Bruijin, gastrointestinal and liver specialist Raynald Vermeijden and radiologist Ben Heggelman, all of whom were fascinated to discover the presence of an unidentified material (in place of the internal organs) within the abdominal cavity, this material was joined by mysterious scraps of paper with Chinese writing upon them.

The body is known to be that of a Buddhist monk named Liuquin, a follower of the Chinese Meditation School who died around the year 1100.

Experts have suggested that the mummy of Liuquin may be a case of self-mummification, a slow (and presumably rather painful) exercise that included starvation, poisoning oneself and ingesting materials designed to aid in the preservation of the body after death.

One ancient Japanese method of self-mummification known to historians would entail a 1,000 day diet of nothing more than nuts, seeds and water, this was then followed by another 1,000 days of eating nothing but roots and pine bark and drinking a special tea made from the sap of a Chinese lacquer tree. The tea was toxic, but it apparently repelled maggots and destructive bacteria, thus aiding the preservation process. At the culmination of this severe diet, the monk would be sealed in a stone tomb and effectively buried alive.

1000 days after the monk had passed on, the tomb was then opened and if the had been preserved, he would become a venerated temple relic.

Those that had decomposed simply remained sealed in the tomb.

It is likely that master Liuquin preserved himself using similar methods.

Although this may sound unfathomably grisly to modern ears, it should be kept in mind that, to the practitioner, such an action was likely considered to be among the highest level of meditation and the monk’s colleagues may well have viewed his statue as a sort of ‘living Buddha’ for a great many years.

At present, Liuquin will be on display in the Budapest Museum of Natural History, but there are plans to send him over to Luxemburg in the summer.

This mummy-housing statue is the only one of its kind ever discovered. The piece offers scientists, theologians and historians a privileged insight into the spiritual practices of the supremely dedicated Chinese monks that lived and died a thousand years before us.

Our complete TETRA solutions for hazardous environments provide loud, clear, safe communication in the toughest conditions, and are custom designed to meet the challenges typically found in mining, maritime and oil and gas environments.

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You can find sepura products at http://www.sepura.com and you can find this original article at yourcommunicationnews.com. 

The use of Two way radios on a construction site is the best way to achieve efficiency by saving time, increasing productivity, and enhancing workers’ safety. A 2 way radio device allows workers on a construction site to communicate with each other instantly. The radio is incredibly instrumental where the site manager has to communicate to hundreds of workers spread across a large contraction site. On a construction site, workers are always moving around carrying heavy loads and operating machinery. The working environment requires heavy-duty communication devices such as the Two way radio models. The radio ought to have the same specifications as the radio military personal. These features include shock resistant, water, and dust resistant to guarantee durability for up to 10-15 years. These specifications ensure that the device can operate in harsh environments without spoiling.

A construction manager may need to reach out to workers on a crane, up a sky-scrapper, management office, and security personnel on site using a single network. The Two way radio enables construction workers to communicate over all these possible barriers and achieve clarity and reliability in communication. Whether, it is rainy or windy, the 2 way radio will deliver top-notch communication efficiency. The noisy construction environment does not affect the clarity of the 2 way radios.

The 2 way radio helps improve the safety of workers while on a site. The radio can make emergency calls in explosive environments such as places with combustible dust or even flammable gas. The radio has an emergency alert features that sends instant distress calls, even when a worker is unconscious. For instance, Man Down features sends an automatic alert if a worker falls or the device stays in a horizontal position for a long time. There is also the Lone man function that ensures any worker isolated, in case of an emergency, has special communication options. During emergencies the radio adjusts its system by interrupting group conversations to allow the distress call to go through to the control centre. Such a function is critical to a situation where a worker is alone and in trouble.

Using the 2 way radio guarantees a reduction in both operation cost and delays. Radio communication ensures that construction managers can pass urgent messages quickly to the different departments working on a site. If there are any changes in the course of the day, the manager does not have to call for a meeting or wait until close of business to communicate. The 2 way radio offers the perfect speed to communicate changes during construction work. The technology also saves on the cost of paying cellular charges if the company is using a mobile network to communicate on the site.

Most radios comes equipped with GPS tracking that aid both security and efficiency. Site managers are able to locate the position of all workers using the communication device. Making it possible to track the movement of vehicles on site and the position of equipment such as forklifts, backhoes, and excavators. The GPS tracking functions also helps construction managers to improve on-site security by identifying where their equipment is. Since most construction workers will use a 2 way radio device, communication is sure to improve deliveries to and from the construction site. In case of a vehicle breaking down, the control room can receive the messages and arrange for support without wasting time.

The flexible nature of the Two way radio network accommodates construction sites of different sizes. Whether it is a large construction company, a medium sized company, or a small contractor the 2 way network delivers. A big construction company can enjoy the increased calling ability using a single network. If multiple sites use the device, it is possible to have an integrated system that shares the same network but does not allow for interferences. The small contraction company can use a few radios on the single network and cut on cost. Therefore, it is possible to employ the services of the communication devices in different circumstances. Construction managers today are aware of the need for good communication in their sites. An efficient communication network ensures that everyday work is stress-free for the managers and the supervisors.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The range of accessories offered by icom includes earpieces, radios, radio chargers, and microphones. Each product of icom is nicely designed, compact in shape and having one year warranty.

Working of icom earpiece

The icom earpiece is in G-Shape with right angled 2 pin headset along with PTT microphone. The use of earpiece is the most economical and highly preferred by the users while using the two way radio.

It is suitable for long distance communication and also it helps the radio user in making the private communications. The earpiece is made up of smooth material with soft rubbery surface which can comfortably fit over the ear bones.

The icom earpiece is the part of the radio which has coiled wire with a medium sized push to talk. The attached microphone is designed so well that it works in the loudest situations and in noisy environments. The microscope with its PTT unit is attached to the G-shaped earpiece. In most cases the earpieces with 2-pin connectors are the most common to be used in the radios which are useful in both marine field and the aviation field.

The connector having straight angle is present on the earpieces is mainly used by the radios to either switch on or off the sound directly.

Types of icom earpieces

The earpieces with single connection such as IC (with various identification codes which defines the uniqueness of this Icom Radio Earpiece with Microphone) have the straight fit connectors with the cable which controls the volume without affecting the earpiece.

The earpieces with two pin connectors such as IC – (with various identification codes which defines the uniqueness of the earpiece) have separate volume control switch along with the earpieces which will fit into the radio easily without any difficulty.

The 2 pin connectors in available for these Icom radios (with various identification codes which defines the uniqueness of the earpiece) having the well-designed compact switch for sound control and it helps the earpiece to fit comfortably into the radio without affecting its operations.

Features of icom earpiece

Most of the two pin connector fit comfortably into all types of icom radios depending on special kind of earpieces which can match the code number of the radio set. The information gives clarity about the compatibility of earpiece for the particular radio has been given in the detailed chart.

The icom earpiece has in-built microphone which is located in the middle of PTT switch and the flexible usage helps in transmitting the sound without using the microphone.

The icom marine radio

The range of icom marine products includes- Marine VHF, Marine HF and Marine UHF radios. Each one of the products has been time-tested and of higher quality and reliability.

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The marine radio has beenbuilt with the help of advanced radio technology and it works perfectly well based on human reactions. Presently this device is used mainly by the security personnel and the police force in UK.

DISCLAIMER – Usually, we’re a pretty mild-mannered bunch, but every so often, we get a question that we’ve answered so many times that we just don’t know what to say in response to it anymore. For my part, I’m tempted to say ‘magic fairy warriors’, ‘pixie dust’ or just ‘spit and happy thoughts’ – but no, I’m not going to do that. In any instance, this is the last time I will be answering this question. So, after this, you guys will have to look into the archives for answers (still, you might be able to find some good stuff back there).

All joking aside, the science behind the walkie-talkie is fairly simple to grasp (which is good, because otherwise I’d be out of a job!). I’ll render it here as a series of steps.

STEP ONE – Having tuned the walkie-talkie to the appropriate frequency (and charged the battery), you push the PTT (Push To Talk) button and speak your message.

STEP TWO – The vibrations of your voice shake a small membrane inside the walkie-talkie’s microphone.

STEP THREE – The radio’s processor then converts those vibrations into an electrical signal, which it pushes upward towards your walkie-talkie’s antenna.

STEP FOUR – The electron particles housed inside the antenna become excited (they will only respond to the set frequency) and this, in turn, ‘pushes out’ the message in the form of a radio signal.

STEP FIVE – The radio signal is then intercepted by your partner’s walkie-talkie antenna, where the incoming signal excites their electrons (which are attuned to the same frequency, of course). These electrons then in turn translate the signal into an electrical impulse, which is subsequently decoded by the processor and played out via your partner’s speakers. It is exactly the same process as you just experienced except that it has been reversed.

The fact that walkie-talkies do this practically in real time is actually nothing short of amazing, when you think about it.

Part of the reason that walkie-talkie technology has been so very successful since its initial inception is that it works very well and is very easy to use. In fact, you’d be hard pushed to find a simpler, more useful and more user-friendly technology this side of the wheel!

Thanks for your question (and I’m sorry about the rant earlier, Claudia!), hope my answer helps. If not, then I’d go with the magic fairy warriors.

Assuming you didn’t make your own spy earpiece (we ran an instructional piece on how to build one last year), there are three main types of spy earpiece.

  • Bluetooth spy earpieces
  • Mp3 spy earpieces
  • Wired spy earpieces

The appeal of the spy earpiece is simple (and goes beyond simply having the word ‘spy’ in the title). A spy earpiece is largely invisible to the outside observer, allowing the user to send and receive information in a discreet and covert manner. In recent months, spy earpieces have skyrocketed in popularity. According to this blog entry we sourced,

“We may see in the technology of Bluetooth spy earpiece the future in new methods of quick reception of the audio information from any area – with the help of GSM mobile phones and invisible spy ear pieces. Your partner transfers the information you need to your GSM mobile phone which is further transferred by means of Bluetooth technology to the Bluetooth spy earpiece plugged in your ear. Simultaneously, your partner can hear your replies using invisible microphone”.

The Bluetooth spy earpiece is the most diverse of the three types. Using a Bluetooth spy earpiece, it is possible to relay messages and information between two users. In this fashion, these earpieces are now being used in business presentations and high-pressure working situations, when up-to-the second information is necessary for completion of a task.

The Mp3 spy earpiece is a little different. It can only play back audio information (it has no send/receive functions). However, it still proves to be a popular choice, as this Blogspot confirms,

“The main advantage of mp3 spy earpieces is that you needn’t to attract the partner to this process. You can record all-important information in advance on your mp3 device and listen later when it is necessary! Since you are familiar with your own voice and record contents, it will be easier to understand and analyze audio information”.

The final type, the ‘wired’ spy earpiece, is probably the least popular of the three. It’s not difficult to see why; the wire renders the earpiece awkward and conspicuous. Despite wired technology still having a (general) advantage over wireless in terms of transmission speed and reliability, spy earpieces are one technological avenue that needs to attract as little attention as possible to itself (the operative word being ‘spy’) and a wired earpiece just doesn’t camouflage as well as a wireless one.

On this, the blog says,

“It is a bit (of an) out-of-date approach to the problem. Usual wired earpiece does not differ from Bluetooth one except that the micro earpiece is communicated to the GSM mobile phone by wire, often inconvenient in use”.

 The Bluetooth spy earpiece is definitely the best choice in terms of versatility.

Actually, quality two-way radio earpieces are not nearly as cost prohibitive as you might expect them to be.

In fact, you can get a professional quality model for as little as just over £10 (not including shipping costs). The linked model even comes with a special noise-reducing microphone included in the price.

Elsewhere, Amazon.co.uk has earpiece and headset deals for as low as £6.00. These won’t be top-end products, obviously, but they are unlikely to let you down either.

As with all things, it depends on what uses you have in mind. If you are unsure as to exactly what your needs are, then it is wiser to spend a little extra (we’re not talking a bank-breaking amount, after all) than it is to buy the cheapest model, saving £7 – £8 in the short term, only to end up disappointed with your final purchase.

You can get a ‘good’ (as in, generally reliable ‘all rounder’) earpiece for £10 – £20. These earpieces aren’t particularly flashy, but they can be relied upon to get the job done. As a general guide, some of the more professional quality pieces available will go up as high as £40 – £50. Depending on what these models are used for, all will do a fine job.

Of course, as with anything, there is a high-end and a low-end to the marketplace. However, unlike some markets, low-end earpieces do not represent an enormous loss in quality. They will work fine for basic/hobby use, but we recommend you spend out towards the higher end of the market for professional usage.

EarpieceOnline is a good place to get your earpiece from, especially since they offer free next day delivery on all their items.

Typically, earpieces are not an expensive item. In fact, they only cost a substantial amount when professional earpieces are bought in bulk for business use. However, the linked site is among the cheapest online and stocks a wide variety of different products.

Of course, all prices listed here are ‘ballpark figures’ unless otherwise stated. The sites/stockists you use may be cheaper, or more expensive, so it will probably pay to shop around a little bit.

If you are able to find any cheaper sites, then you might let us know, that way we can recommend them to other users.

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…

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

Although 2 Way Radios can be used on a daily basis for different things, I use mine primarily at work. My best friend, and partner on the job, takes his on family vacations so that he and his wife can keep up with everyone. Sure, cell phones are all the rage, but when you are out relaxing on the beach or snowboarding down a mountain, who wants to keep up with a phone? Just stick that little earpiece in and take off. Plus the kids, and the elderly parents, can all use them with ease.

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

In addition to the ways I use the 2 Way Radio now, kids seem to really love these things. My partner’s kids love to play on them around the house, but also during games of paintball and airsoft when they need to covertly communicate with other kids on their team. The 2 Way Radio earpiece is also convenient if your kids ever venture off on their own. For example, my parents owned horses when I was a kid. They were always paranoid about my sister and I off riding horses throughout their land with no one around to help us if something went wrong. Thankfully, we had Two Way Radios so we could radio them periodically to let them know we were fine and having fun. This situation could also apply to kids running around the neighborhood or out camping in the yard.

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

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is backing a new scheme to turn off all nonessential lights in state-run buildings as a way of helping migrating birds to effectively navigate their routes.

Birds that migrate through the spring and autumn are thought to navigate by the light of the stars, using the tiny little pinpricks of light in the night sky to undertake their long and arduous yearly journeys.

However, according to ornithologists, many birds can become disorientated by artificial light, which can result in the birds flying into buildings and dying needlessly. This phenomenon is known as “fatal light attraction” and claims the lives of an estimated billion birds a year in the US alone.

Some birds die from the trauma of impacting into buildings, while others merely become lost and die from a combination of exhaustion and other hazards posed by an urban environment. A major ecological worry presented by fatal light attraction is that it can affect all areas of a bird population, killing even the stronger birds, which are vital to the maintenance of a healthy ecosystem.

The idea to preserve migratory routes by switching out – or else dimming – all nonessential lights was first put forward in the early 1990s by Toronto, Canadas FLAP program. This pioneering work was built upon by the National Audubon Society, who have so far either directly instigated, or else inspired projects similar to, their Lights Out initiative across at least 20 American cities.

According to the Audubon Societys website, “The strategy is simple: By convincing building owners and managers to turn off excess lighting during the months migrating birds are flying overhead, we help to provide them safe passage between their nesting and wintering grounds”.

Thanks to Governor Cuomos support for this initiative, the birds passing over New York City at night will now stand a much better chance of surviving than before.

“This is a simple step to help protect these migrating birds that make their home in New Yorks forests, lakes and rivers,” said Governor Cuomo in a statement.

In addition to this good news, the Governor also announced the launch of a new I Love NY Birding website, which will provide New Yorkers with information on bird watching and how to participate in the Lights Out program.

Away from state-run buildings, several prominent New York City landmarks, including The Rockefeller Centre, The Chrysler Building and Time Warner Centre have pledged to take action in support of the states massive bird population. Private citizens will also be encouraged to join in as well, making New York City a far safer place for our feathered friends.

The IWCE was a great event this year, with lots of great companies and exhibitors. Particular noted showcase’s were Pryme and their new Bluetooth range. You can find the original source of the article on this website 

Pryme Radio Products recently showcased four accessories that leverage Bluetooth technology as the California-based manufacturer continues to expand its product portfolio supporting both two-way-radio and cellular users.

Introduced at IWCE 2015, Pryme Radio Products’ new BTH-600 is a heavy-duty Bluetooth wireless speaker microphone that supports push-to-talk (PTT) capability on two-way radios, according to Pryme Radio Products President Dave George. By loading different software into the headset, the user can utilize PTT applications that are available on cellular phone, he said.

Based on Pryme’s Storm Trooper platform, the BTH-600 is waterproof and utilizes an off-the-shelf, rechargeable cell-phone battery, George said.

“One of the coolest things about it is that it’s got a big battery—it can run for 40 hours of continuous duty on a single charge, and it can be in standby mode for 30 days,” George said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “

The BTH-300 is a small, lightweight clip-on box that converts any wired Apple iPhone accessory into a Bluetooth headset, according to company literature. Featuring 10 hours of battery life, a built-in PTT switch and a built-in noise-canceling microphone, the BTH-300 can be used during covert operations—there is no visible LED light—and supports both radio and cellular communications, George said.

“This will work both with radio dongles and with cell phones at the same time,” he said. “It has a separate button on it for answering phone calls, and it has technology inside of it that will allow you to prioritize whether you want to ignore the two-way-radio calls while you are on you cell phone, or whether you want to ignore the cell phone calls when you are on a two-way-radio call.”

For those using Motorola Solutions’ XPR-3300/3500 series radios on a MOTOTRBO network, Pryme Radio Products has developed the BT-M11, which is a Bluetooth adapter that attaches directly to the radio with a patent-pending locking mechanism, George said. Previously, Bluetooth chips were so large that Pryme’s Bluetooth adapter had to be attached with a cable, he said.

“Now that the Bluetooth chips have gotten much smaller, we’re finally able to get it inside the small connector,” George said. “So, we’ve designed a new small connector that will attach directly to the side of the radio and contain the Bluetooth technology.”

Google Glass may be on hiatus, but our appetite for high-tech spectacles endures. One of the latest efforts comes in the form of a Kickstarter campaign for a pair of sunglasses that double as wireless headphones.

Buhel’s Bluetooth SG05 SOUNDglasses obliterated their $80,000 fundraising goal a mere 48 hours after launch, ending up with more than $400,000 by the end of the campaign. “SOUNDglasses give you innovation, freedom, safety, and easier life,” Buhel promises.

Great, but how will the music sound?

Thanks to “bone conduction technology,” SOUNDglasses let users listen to music, conduct a phone conversation, or talk to computerized personal assistants like Siri without the “impediment” of earphones. Two speakers situated in the glasses near the wearer’s temples send vibrations through the bones of the head and into the inner ear. A built-in microphone picks up what the wearer says.

This isn’t exactly revolutionary. Many hearing aids transmit sound with bone conduction, as do other headphone brands. But a main complaint for these kinds of headphones is that the sound quality leaves a lot to be desired. Will these be any different?

Here’s how the creators of SOUNDglasses address that question: “We don’t pretend that Bone Conduction is your perfect HiFi music companion, but we can say that it serves a specific purpose, which increases your safety in an infinite number of situations. The military and Google chose Bone Conduction for some of their devices…They must have thought it was not that bad, and so did nature with dolphins and whales.”

Hmm. Not the most reassuring comment, is it?

Buhel is pushing the safety angle hard to make up for any lousy sound quality. Because nothing has to actually go inside the ear for this technology to work, wearers will still be able to hear the sounds going on around them. This is a plus for what seems to be Buhel’s target demographic: athletes. It would be great to be able to bike down the busy avenues of Manhattan blasting some excellent riding tunes without losing access to one of your most vital senses.

Another problem: using these headphone-less glasses to have a phone conservation could produce some funny looks from passersby. To convince people to accept this kind of public embarrassment, any headphone-glasses combo will have to be excellent in every other way. Sound quality is important, but equally essential is style.

The SOUNDglasses come in a variety of colors and lens shades, and from the outside seem no different from your average sporty shades. This is rule number one for smart glasses: they have to be something you actually want to wear in public. Google found this out the hard way. Not even its own developers wanted to wear the goofy-looking face computer. Of course, SOUNDglasses don’t actually project any visual effects into a wearer’s line of sight, which probably eliminates some of the encumbering hardware that could inhibit a sleek design.

What would make these glasses better is if they came in a variety of frame styles. Right now, the only design on offer looks best on athletes and outdoor explorers, but doesn’t have much fashionable appeal otherwise. Google Glass got a trendy redesign to provide some fancy frame options because it knew it needed to look less geeky if it wanted to be worn by anyone other than, you know, geeks. The same goes for SOUNDglasses, especially if it wants to catch on with anyone other than athletes.

The first shipment of glasses to Kickstarter backers is slated for May of 2015. If you want to wait for the first reviews to roll in before buying, they will retail for “more than $270” later in the summer.

Well if you had said to us, how about a sunglasses/headset mash-up we would have thought you were mad! but this kickstarter, using bone conductive technology, too which we have lots of knowledge about, We’re looking forward to receiving our pair when they are dispatched. This article was originally posted on this site.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“The horror…The horror”

It is quite unfortunate that for most music lovers, there is a myriad of ambient noises and sounds that can really interfere with the music coming from your earphones, Now, if you have ever once tried to listen to music on a bus, train or airplane, then you are intimately familiar with this problem. The engine’s roar and/or the incessant chatter from fellow passengers, make extremely hard to hear the sounds coming from your speakers, even if they are on or inside your ear. Fortunately, to combat this dilemma, innovators have come up with far more enjoyable way of listening to your music- Noise canceling headphones of which there are two types:

– the active- the passive types.

HOW PASSIVE NOISE CANCELLATION WORKS

The simplest type of noise cancellation is the passive noise reduction, sometimes called noise isolation. From a technical perspective, just about any kind of earphones are able to provide some degree of passive noise reduction (though some are designed for it more than others). This is mostly as a result of the materials used to make the headphones which block out particular sound waves, mostly those of a higher frequency. The absolute best type of passive noise canceling headphones are however the circum-aural types which are specifically engineered to maximize the amount of noise it filters. We will take a look at this some more in a bit. Essentially, where passive noise isolation, the head phones are so designed that they will fit snugly into or around each ear. This makes it significantly harder for noise to escape and bother others in your immediate environment, and it also prevents the noise in your environment from making it hard for you to listen to your music. Passive noise cancellation earphones tend to have very large ear pieces, with large pieces of foam wrapped around them. You need to squeeze the foam into your ear which them provides a perfect seal for the ear canal, or they fit just right around your ear.

All this is saying that passive noise cancelling earphones in essence imitate what happens when you choose to cover your ears with your hands or put some ear plugs in. The excess padding is always done with materials that naturally act as sound barriers- fitting into your ear and sealing off the ambient noise.

Supra-aural headphones, which are earphones placed over and around the ear, instead of in or around it, are probably the very worst at any form of sound cancellation. They tend to be low density, small and very light, as such there is really not much padding to block and outside sound or ambient noise from entering the ear. Furthermore, because they are only placed on the ear, there is a great deal of space for any external noise to travel around them and into the ear canal. It is on very rare occasions that you actually find a top quality supra-aural earphone, because they are simply unable to provide the kind of noise cancellation that circumaural or in ear headphones provide. Supra-aural earphones are lightly manufactured and as such are usually marketed for customers who are not particularly focused on headphone quality, but mostly looking for basic functionality.

Take for instance, most desktop or video game headsets tend to be supra-aural. They are mostly preferred because they are light and as such are suitable for the long, extended hours they will be used. Additionally, in cases like these audio quality is not of great importance since it they are mostly used for spoken communication, where clarity is the focus and nothing else really matters.

When it comes to passive noise cancelling headphones, circumaural or around the ear headphones provide a significantly better noise cancellation quality. They are bigger in size and as such they include more noise reduction material. This in turn creates a far better buffer against outside noise- think beats headphones. Essentially this means that they are heavily packed with layers of high top quality high density foam,, or some other sound absorbing material. Admittedly, this then makes them a bit heavier than the average headphones, but since they completely block the ear off, they keep out up to 95% of outside noise. Well, this is assuming that the circumaural earphones you choose, fit your ears snugly. If they are either poorly designed or not the perfect fit then ambient noise will still be able to make its way in.

This originally was posted on this site, Military communications always lead the way to other communications. When this market grows, the knock-on-effect is huge for other communication industries.

The global military communications market is expected to grow over the forecast period on account of growing emphasis on providing data-centric and network-centric communications. Rapid adoption of new satellite communications platforms such as Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) and US-based Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) provides protected communications capabilities for strategic command and tactical warfare operating on various platforms.

Additionally, various communication technologies such as high frequency services and software-embedded radio systems Ka band in order to limit the bandwidth limitations are some of the emerging trends in the military communications market.

The report “Military Communications Market Analysis, Market Size, Application Analysis, Regional Outlook, Competitive Strategies And Forecasts, 2014 To 2020” is available now to Grand View Researchcustomers and can also be purchased directly at

http://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/military-communications-market

Considering the rise in demand of handheld software defined radios such as mobile radio, joint tactical radio and tetra radio systems is expected to favorably impact military communications market growth over the forecast period. The military is poised to replace and modernize aging equipments and utilize virtually unlimited IP peer-to-peer connections for embedded systems.

However, multiple standards in devices, financial constraints towards procurement and interoperability issues are the few factors that may challenge market growth through the forecast period.

North America featured among the highest adopters of military communications in 2013 and is expected to remain a key market throughout the forecast period. Adoption of latest data links and mobile satellite technologies are the factors attributable for regional market growth.

The U.S. government is expected to secure commercial capacity due to lack of appropriate military satellite systems. The Asia Pacific regional market is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period.

Key military communications industry participants include Rockwell Collins, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, Alcatel-Lucent, Lockheed Martin, Harris Corporation, Thales Group and L-3 Communication.

Although it meant disobeying direct orders (and a court martial if he was discovered), Lance Corporal George Hackney obviously felt a duty to document The Great War from a soldier’s perspective. Now, to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, his incredible photographs are being displayed in public for the first time.

The astounding collection, which includes candid photographs taken in the British trenches – and at least one amazing shot of a German surrender in 1916, was compiled between 1915, when Hackney was first sent to the front lines, and 1918, when the brutal conflict finally ended, and the photographer returned home.

Before he was called up, Hackney was a keen amateur photographer, and it shows. His pictures demonstrate a very accomplished sense of composition, but never feel forced or especially posed for (as some photography from the era can). In fact, the images are easily among the most intimate and credible pictures that exist from the conflict.

Among the most remarkable shots is a poignant image of a lone soldier writing a letter home, as well as another showing a group of soldiers (in full uniform) casually napping on the deck of the ship that would eventually deliver them to the front lines.

At the time these photographs were taken, no unofficial photography was allowed on the front lines. However, using a portable folding camera about the size of a modern smart phone, the Northern Irishman was able to document the war effort discreetly and respectfully.

Hackney then gave the photographs to his own family upon his return. In addition, many of his pictures were given as gifts to the families of the men photographed, sometimes offering grieving loved ones a chance to see their missing husband, brother or son, one final time.

To cite one such example, Hackney’s Sergeant, James Scott, was killed at the Battle of Messines in May 1917. After Lance Corporal Hackney returned home, he presented Scott’s family with three pictures of him, including a striking depiction of the officer looking proud and dashing on horseback.

The Sergeant’s descendant, Mark Scott, was instrumental in uncovering the stories behind these wonderful, and often profound, images…

Hackney’s pictures also provide excellent accompaniment to the war records of the men in question, rendering them as much more than simply names and numbers, or even as symbols of pure courage and sacrifice. Hackney’s photographs present these remarkable men to a new generation as simple Human beings fighting through an incredibly difficult time to be alive.

A photograph taken at County Antrim, which depicts Hackney’s friend John Ewing writing a diary entry (or possibly a letter home), adds a Human element to the historical facts that Ewing was eventually promoted to Sergeant and subsequently won the Military Medal for bravery in the field…

Stories like this abound in Hackney’s work, which ably presents the war in a far more evocative way than the official press photographs and propaganda of the time could ever have hoped to.

When George Hackney passed away in 1977, his family donated the pictures to the Ulster Museum, where they stayed in the Museum’s archives for over 30 years. These unique, powerful documents were, in turn presented to TV Director Brian Henry Martin by museum curator Dr. Vivienne Pollock, in 2012. Martin was shown the images alongside a collection of Hackney’s personal diaries and was captivated by them.

Lance Corporal Hackney eventually became the subject of a BBC Documentary, directed by Martin, entitled, ‘The Man Who Shot The Great War’. The show aired in Northern Ireland earlier this month.

In addition, Hackney’s work is soon to be the subject of a major exhibition at the Ulster Museum.

Mr. Martin is now bringing 300 of Hackney’s images to the BBC for future use, although it is estimated that there are around 200 more that are undiscovered at the time of writing.

Amanda Moreno of the Museums of The Royal Irish Regiment, told Yahoo! News that, “As a collection of photographs of the First World War, they are totally exceptional.”

Interviewed for the film, Franky Bostyn, Chief of The Belgian Ministry of Defense said, “I think you made the photographical World War One discovery of the century.”

100 years on, George Hackney’s unique, vivid and (above all) brave photography presents us with a deeply Human portrait of life in the trenches of The Great War.