Been there, done that…

article-2569327-1BE27E1800000578-779_634x343Manhattan apartment building door can be opened using just your FACE! A Manhattan apartment block has done away with keycards and replaced them with a system that opens the security door after a resident glances into a camera. Clever stuff-More Here: Never worry about losing your keys again… 

Been there, done that… 42 Commando RM. At 05:00 hrs after the Corps Birthday Regimental dinner. Having glopped port, red wine, Guinness, and a few lucky ones (rum); I proceeded towards my cabin door with my hands in my pockets, tripped, stumbled forward, and opened it with my face. Which was rather fortunate as I had misplaced my key.      Yours Aye.

Technology tot rules the roost

article-2567630-1BD3500F00000578-858_636x382The short film titled ‘I Want My IPad!!!’ shows two-year-old Ashlynn Brooks from Texas throwing a violent temper tantrum after her parents take her iPad away in a bid to get her to bed. ‘I want my iPad,’ the toddler continually demands through a torrent of tears and screams until her father relents and hands her back the device. ‘Forget teddy, I want my iPad!’ Two-year-old has a meltdown in home video as her favorite gadget is taken away before bed

Methinks Mummy & Daddy need to get a grip now… What the hell is a two year old doing with an iPad? And what the hell is a 2 year doing taking charge of her parents? They will certainly reap what they have sown later on in life.    ’Bejeesus!’             Yours Aye.

Bluetooth for white teeth?

article-2567788-1BD38A0000000578-920_636x382Oral B’s SmartSeries electric toothbrush – unveiled by Deutsche Telekom chief executive Timotheus Hottges, pictured, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona – links to a smart phone app via Bluetooth and times brushing to the recommended two minutes with a stopwatch. It also sends signals if its user is brushing too hard and damaging their gums. The app has six settings, can be personalised with a dentist’s help and after each session, the owner is given a summary of how well they brushed with tips to do better next time. It will cost £199 in Britain, $219 in the U.S. and €219 in the rest of Europe. MORE HERE but please ignore it as it is pure bloody nonsense Would you spend £199 on a toothbrush? Oral B launches the ‘smart’ brush that links with your phone and tells you if you’re brushing too hard or fast

Oh my giddy Aunt… No-No-No, and a further thrice No… Please do not be taken in by this bloomin nonsense! We are going to turn our children into mindless ‘bluetooth’ technological slaves!            Yours Aye.

Iron Dome meet your cousin…

Iron Beam! by Abraham Rabinovich Israel has unveiled a laser defense system that it says will be able to shoot down rockets and artillery shells with a high-energy beam. The system, known as Iron Beam, was shown yesterday for the first time at the annual Singapore Air Show. The Israeli defense company that developed Iron Beam, Rafael, said it would become operational next year. If so, it will be the first operational laser weapon in the world. Iron Beam is designed to deal with short-range threats such as rockets, mortar and artillery shells, and drones coming from Hamas in Gaza or Hezbollah in Lebanon. Its maximal interception range is 4.5 miles, too short a distance for other systems to be effective. It would vital to the security of towns and kibbutz settlements along the border that lie within that range. American funding was involved in development of the system.663iron-beam1So difficult has the technology proven to harness, that many in the military and defense industries wrote off lasers as impractical. However, both countries have continued working on weaponizing lasers & have apparently made significant advances. One problem for Israel has been to miniaturize the system & make it easily transportable. Rafael said that Iron Beam can be mounted on a single truck operating with another truck carrying the radar equipment. According to one report, the beam would “superheat” the warhead of incoming shells, detonating them in flight. The U.S. Navy has announced that a laser system will be installed this year on USS Ponce, for extended testing. Iron Beam, a land-based system, has already been tested successfully, according to Rafael.Artist_laser_flume_-_main A spokesman for the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command, Chris Johnson, said that if the Navy moves forward on the project “the first operational weapons could enter the fleet between 2017 and 2021.       Just around the corner on a military calendar!iron-domeRafael also developed the Iron Dome system for intercepting rockets up to 50 miles at present, but this range may be lengthened. The system, which became operational three years ago, has proven highly effective in blocking rockets fired by Hamas and other Palestinian militants from Gaza but it could not intercept short-range rockets fired at kibbutzim on the border. That would be the task of Iron Beam. Another advantage of Iron Beam is that each laser blast costs only several hundred dollars while the Iron Dome anti-rocket rockets cost tens of thousands of dollars each. Israel is also developing an interceptor known as David’s Sling for medium-range rockets beyond Iron Dome’s reach and the Arrow System against ballistic missiles such as those in Iran’s possession.

It can only get better, and brighter, a huge BZ to Israel and the US for sticking with it… Yours Aye.

Oi! Zip it…

The end of fumbling to do up your coat: Inventor creates a zip you can work with ONE hand – and it goes on sale in November. * Under Armour to begin selling clothing with MagZip in november. * Inventor created MagZip after his sick uncle struggled to do up clothes. * Magnets join two parts of the zip together.   £/$ Kerrrching….article-2557826-1B6D094700000578-575_634x398The ‘tongue and groove’ of the new zip are key to the design, effortless & common sense… If you’ve ever fumbled with a zip while wearing gloves, help could be at hand. Clothing firm Under Armour is set to launch a radical new zip that can be done up with one hand. It uses magnets to draw the two parts together, then operates as a normal zip.  Amazing clip showing the simple design and use of Under Armour’s Mag Zip.MagZip For years I have ranted and complained to the high heavens about stupid zips that cannot be used whilst wearing gloves, at long last the Zip God has answered. This idea is so simple and amazing, it will assist so many people especially those suffering from arthritis who struggle under the best of conditions. Of Interest Perhaps? In the UK, the zip handle sits on the left of the jacket, whilst the zip insertion sits on the right. Whereas I believe the opposite occurs in the US, the zip handle and receiver sits on the right, whilst the zip insertion sits on the left. This may have something to do with a woman is always right in the US, whereas we tend to control them better over here?  ;-) Nature proving a theory…lion_01I am about to batten down the hatches, and await the flak I rightly and justly deserve   Yours Aye.

European Union; a secret exposed

A secretive European Union body has agreed to develop a device to be fitted to all cars allowing police to cut off any engine at will, it emerged today. Leaked paperwork has revealed the ‘remote stopping’ technology could be activated by a switch in a control room, shutting off the fuel and cutting the ignition. The device, would also allow police to track a vehicle’s movements as well as immobilise it. The plans were immediately labelled as ‘draconian’ by critics, who questioned whether the Government would be liable if remote kill-switches caused collisions.article-2548638-005F6A3D00000258-386_634x461According to The Daily Telegraph a group of senior EU officials, including several Home Office mandarins, have signed off the proposal at a secret meeting in Brussels. ’Cars on the run can be dangerous for citizens,’  the document reportedly says. ’Criminal offenders will take risks to escape after a crime. In most cases the police are unable to chase the criminal due to a lack of efficient means to stop the vehicle safely. ’The project will work on a technological solution that can be a “build in standard” for all cars that enter the European market.’ The European Network of Law Enforcement Technologies (Enlets) has proposed a timetable to ensure the technology is fully developed by 2020.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said: ‘This is an incredible power grab by the EU. It is appalling they are even thinking of it. Conservative ‘Minister for Parliament’ David Davis added: ‘I would be fascinated to know what the state’s liability will be if they put these devices in all vehicles and one went off by accident whilst a car was doing 70 mph on a motorway with a truck behind it resulting in loss of life.’ Police could soon be able to turn cars off remotely ‘at the flick of a switch’ under secret new EU plans

Fortunately it is no longer a secret! Not that we require an additional reason for a referendum to pull out of the failed socialist circus known as the European Union…      Yours Aye.

Snooperscope. Go on, treat yerself

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What is Snooperscope? Snooperscope is a special WIRELESS invention that, by using your mobile device as a screen and the infrared light as a source, enables you to see in low light conditions and in TOTAL DARKNESS! Plus, under visible light, it reveals hidden things that normally cannot be seen by the human eye.appBy employing special optics, the user can see in the area covered by the light even though the naked eye only detects total darkness. A number of more practical applications have been developed with the Snooperscope because of its ability to peer through any opaque material that infrared rays can pass through.snooperscope-specs-640Snooperscope is perfect for professional and personal applications, like: Night vision: To see in dark places: To see through objects like liquids, inks and textiles: To see dust and motes in environments: For 101 experimental uses: Just for fun! The retail launch price of the Snooperscope is currently planned as $99 and the Early Bird as only $39, so you can make some great savings by backing us here!      Live product link follows below4fe9aa4bf9d293c62ec52426274f4fd0_largeSnooperscope is primarily a Night Vision device and whether by biological or technological means, night vision is made possible by a combination of two approaches: sufficient spectral range, and sufficient intensity range. Humans have poor night vision compared to many animals, in part because the human eye lacks a tapetum lucidum. Snooperscope…

From a tactical viewpoint it would place the user at a great disadvantage, for obvious reasons (illuminating the users face)! But for a variety of other uses non-tactical, its a very useful piece of kit, as stated in the live link. $ £ € ’kerching-kerching-kerching’  Yours Aye

A close shave save’s you 100′s of $/£

One of my biggest gripes in life (one amongst several), is the mark up price on razor blades. I have a tough beard growth and shave daily (some times twice a day in the summer months, purely for the comfort factor, and not out of vanity). The optimum blade for my growth has always been a Gillette product, especially the newish ‘Fusion’ blade as it incorporates a separate single-edged blade, ideal for cutting straight edges around my trimmed goatee. (Facial camouflage for those little scars picked up over the years, that stops me looking like a thug; OK, it slightly reduces the thug effect!)ClaussstraightrazorFremontUSA

My initial shave in life was when I was 13-years-old, stood in front of the sink in the bathroom, with my dad issuing instructions. I was a little shaky going for the first scrape, as I was using his Gillette cut-throat razor that he had effortlessly honed on a leather strop that hung from the bathroom door (some thing that also warmed the seat of my pants on more than one occasion-always justly deserved)…m6k9BCQiBj5wsdU0hsM3hjw After my first hack & slash attempt with an open cut-throat blade, I was left looking like some one had used my face as a cutting board for dicing carrots. Learning from your mistakes being the best education of all, as I soon had the hang of it (besides which, I was tired of playing outside with pieces of wet toilet paper stuck all over my face to control the bleeding.)images

Upon joining The Royal Marines I was forced to place the cut-throat to one side, as a safety razor was the only acceptable blade for shaving. The advantage with a safety razor being, the strips of skin peeled away evenly in long strips, allowing for uniformity and easier damage control!

When the nation evolved into a throw away disposable society, so the plastic disposable razor was born; as cheap as chips initially, until they started adding extra blades and easy slide and grip strips (a cunning marketing plan) that clandestinely and gradually bumped the price up

Onto present day, where we have the following company hype, word for word; Gillette Fusion Blade 10 Pack: £20- (£2- per blade) Great value pack: Up to 30 weeks of shaving: 5 Blades closer together: Precision trimmer: Comfort guard: Fusion cartridges..253909

True enough, their are10 blades, they do cost £20-, which works out to £2- per blade, the 5 blades are closer together, there is a single blade trimmer that aids precision shaving around moustaches and goatees, and there is even a hard gel like comfort guard that slightly softens in contact with hot water. I will vouch for all of that as being genuine! However; the pack is not great value, 10 blades do not last 30 weeks (unless your growth is ‘Beiber’ bum fluff!) 5 blades are not required (4 are adequate enough), nor is the comfort guard required as shaving foam/oil does the job, as it has since Roman’s wore leather sandals. The later two items being marketing hype to substantiate the outrageous price they charge.

I would be lucky to get one weeks decent shave out of one Fusion blade, in fact every Sunday (blade change-over day) I would dread the noisy scrape and the following razor burn, as the five piece blade dragged across my hot towel growth. All of that changed eighteen months ago when I went to change the blade, and realised the cupboard was bare… I had forgotten to re-stock. Whilst making breakfast with my whiskers slowly growing I had a eureka moment “If I could sharpen a cut throat repeatedly, why then could I not do the same with a ‘Fusion’ blade?” After breakfast I used an old leather belt to hone my tired blade, and then shaved as close, if not closer, as with a new blade; even without the worn down to nothing ‘gel comfort guard.’  That following week I bought a short leather strop that now allows me to get a minimum of four weeks from each blade! My eureka moment has saved me £’s, but it has also stopped me ‘chuntering’ under my breath each time I buy a ‘GREAT VALUE PACK’ of blades. 

My search for a new leather honing strop revealed the following, which I will follow up with a phone call/e-mail on Monday… Razor Renew – Like Shaving with a New Razor Blade Every Time … It does what it says on the tin…            Yours Aye.main-image-large

Introducing The LIGHT-BOARD

This lightboard was designed by Michael Peshkin, professor of mechanical engineering, for use in MOOCs (free, online courses that attract large numbers of participants seeking to explore a new field or feed a curiosity) produced by the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University.        Northwestern University “Lightboard” YouTube LIGHT BOARD In the words of Professor Michael Peshkin “I developed the Lightboard to be able to record attractive online lectures, easily. In technical subjects equations and sketches are important, and I use my hands a lot as I write and talk. I’m not writing backwards; the board is videotaped in mirror reflection. This process is direct-to-disk, so you can do it yourself with little or no post-production.”

A great idea that will almost certainly develop further. Tests are underway to allow the teacher/instructor to walk behind a sheet of non reflective glass in an open class room, allowing instruction direct to the students present, as shown in the link (the disruptive few will have no place to hide)… Yours Aye.

Learn more, on how to build a lightboard: https://sites.google.com/site/northwe

iMirror by POSH, for your home

In My Most Humble Opinion… Technology and the information age is a digital double-edged sword. The reduced size of hand-held gadgets designed to help us save time and organise our lives, has actually had the opposite effect. We have more access to information through our devices, but by asking for it we are also revealing what our interests are. Each ask receives an unwanted reply, through one digital form or another, worst case scenario is that the information is stored for later use.DownloadedFile

Just recently friends of mine visited London for a weekend adventure. As they perused the lanes and alleyways of old London town, their phones kept pinging text messages informing them of ‘shops, cafe’s, and restaurants of interest’. It was quite obvious that their research had been tracked and passed forward to various shops and cafe’s who used the same information to keep track of them on their visit. Needless to say they gave each sender a damn good ignoring.   (As IT experts they are now conducting their own research)imirror-by-posh-viewThe latest gadget about to hit the market is the iMirror (nothing to do with ‘Apple’ but I have no doubt that ‘Apple’ will want a bite of iMirror’s product). I have no further doubt that every home will have at least one or two set up and running within a few years, which will probably spread to glass tables in restaurants, cafes and pubs. No doubt glass window panes in shops will offer the same, as will taxis, personal vehicles, public transport; and the mind boggles as to where it will all end. iMirror by POSH for your perusal Big brother is not watching you, for you have become big brother watching yourself, without realising it…

For those with money to invest, I would recommend buying shares in a company that manufactures a glass cleaning product and soft absorbent polishing clothes, as there are a lot of sticky greasy fingers out there. Would I have an iMirror in my home. NO! Definitely not, I would want ‘several’ as I am a tech and gadget addict, of sorts…            Yours Aye.

Made in China…

For use in the West; Whether it is being used or sits dormant, white goods produced in China have been found to contain Spy-Bots that steal data from you…  Russian investigators claim to have found household appliances imported from China which contain hidden microchips that pump spam data and malware into wi-fi networks. Authorities in St Petersburg allegedly discovered 20 to 30 kettles and irons with ‘spy microchips that send some data to the foreign server’, according to Russian media. The revelation comes just as the EU launches an investigation into claims that Russia itself bugged gifts to delegates at last month’s G20 summit in an attempt to retrieve data from computers and telephones. article-2480900-0DAB506000000578-823_634x465 

This has led to speculation that the chips allegedly found in the home appliances may also have the ability to steal data, and send it back to Chinese servers. The allegations against the Chinese were made in St Petersburg news outlet Rosbalt, which quotes a source from customs broker Panimport, but does not detail what data was being sent or to where. According to The Register, which translated the article, it would be possible to build a malicious microchip – sometimes referred to as a spambot or spybot – small enough to hide in a kettle. China is spying on you through your KETTLE: Bugs that scan wi-fi devices found in imported kitchen gadgetsMy old tin mugWe are well and truly buggered, every thing is made in China; I’m going back to boiling my water in my old faithful tin mug.           Yours Aye.

Let there be light!

article-2474800-18D7D62300000578-695_964x641article-2474800-18D7969A00000578-39_964x640The Industrial town of Rjukan that sits deep in a Norwegian valley receives no sunshine between September and March of each year; until now! Three giant mirrors or ‘heliostats’ have been set up on the mountainside, where they track the path of the sun and beam light onto the town square. The idea was first suggested 100 years ago, but a cable car was built instead taking the townsfolk to the top of the mountains to bask in the sun.

There are quite a few towns around Norway, as well as Scandinavia that remain sun-less between Autumn to Spring. Each town celebrates its own type of Sun-festivel when the first beams hit the town marking the start of summer; people tend to go ‘light’ crazy on such occasions making the Sun-festival’s a popular venue for visitors.  And here I sit typing this with the sun blazing through my window, having just returned from a wandering field patrol wearing jeans and a T shirt.  We do tend to take life for granted sometimes…     Yours Aye

Sigma Lens for Sale

Do you need a camera lens for your Canon? I found this ad intriguing for several reasons:

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM II for Canon

It has been well taken care of, kept in a Tamrac camera bag during ownership and rarely used. The lens is great on a crop sensor, I used it with the 60D and with the 5D mk3. I’ve never noticed anything negative about it, auto focus is fast even in lower light. I compared it to a Canon 70-200 f2.8 L IS and this is sharper than the L version. It is not my main lens so it is ok to sell, I have some serious emergency expenses and do not have a choice about selling it. It is in mint condition. Feel free to test it.

Also, if you know any of the highly respectable Yakuza who would like to make a small loan, please have them contact me directly. I was robbed by the police in shinjuku and need to raise emergency money.

Hmm, nevermind. The lens would have worked for me, but I am allergic to drama.

ISP frustration & venting steam

Connecting to the ‘Net’ via my Internet Service Provider has been a nightmare these past few days.  Adding to the nightmare has been the fact that each time I need to talk to my ISP’s unhelpful line, I am patched through to India? It’s quite obvious that the Indian unhelpful line worker operates from a scripted set piece, from which they cannot deviate, because when they run out of excuses they put you on hold; or just cut you off!

Several times in as many hours I explained the problem, eventually being put in direct contact with “Andrew’ a supervisor (all of the Indian staff have to take on a Christian name to give the Western customer comfort); he told me he had identified my problem. I sat with bated breath to hear the wisdom flow over his tongue. “One of your neighbour’s is running a ‘Wi-Fi router’ that is interfering with your own transmission”!  I remained calm and dignified, replying “Andrew, mate, I know you can access Google Earth on your system, please type my post-code into it, you will see that my closest neighbour is five miles away; besides which, I am not using Wi-Fi, I am linked to my home Hub direct via the cable”.  I was promptly cut off…DownloadedFile

In my garage hanging from one of the heavy wooden beams is a worn leather punch/kick bag, which is where I spent the next ten minutes venting my spleen against, after which I walked the dogs, made a pot of tea, and wrote the day off as a loss.

The following morning (Wed) the ‘postie’ arrived with a package that had to be signed for. I walked back into the kitchen and opened it as I waited for the kettle to blow its top. There contained within the parcel was a brand new business Hub, with all of the bells & whistles required to kick-start my morning. As per the instruction contained within, I loaded the old one into the now vacant box, and installed the replacement; of which I had no idea was being sent out…

Please re-read the first short paragraphs above for a brief synopsis of what followed, after I hit the newly supplied Hub’s ‘power on switch’. I left the garage completely drained with the sweat pouring from me; I had a quick shower, and put the kettle on. Nothing will beat me; I will never give in, the call centre battle continued after lunch. The afternoon led on to a partial, intermittent success, allowing me to clear backlogged e-mail, and even add one or two posts to this blog… More telephone calls ensued, and the frustration at being disconnected from the Hub every forty minutes led to the kettle and my blood boiling, often. Between pots of tea, extra walks for the dogs, and kicking hell out of the punch bag in the garage, the day just flew by…DownloadedFile

Unbelievably, the following morning (Thu) the ‘postie’ arrived with yet another ‘to-sign-for’ parcel, one more totally unexpected business Hub with the same detailed instructions asking for the replacement to be returned? Some one in India was messing with my mind, and I did wonder if ‘Andrew Patel’ was the culprit. The Hub remained unopened in its box, sat next to the original one waiting to be returned. Thursday ran along the lines of Wednesday, with an intermittent service forcing the connection to drop erratically, followed by numerous frustrated calls to India. I thought time only flew by when you were enjoying yourself?

There has been a plus side to this saga so far, as the dogs are thoroughly enjoying their extended outdoor life more than ever, my skin colour has taken on a healthy tea tannic tone, and the punch bag has been re-roped to the hanging chain, which was long overdue. Not to mention my improved hearing, no doubt attributed to the amount of steam being vented through my ears in pure frustration.DownloadedFile 

Friday morning arrived, as did the ‘postie’ with yet another parcel, which once again was placed un-opened alongside the other two. This day I was determined not to call India, selfishly they could improve their English with another customer through hours of conversation. I would use my connection time to research another Internet Service Provider, which I was part way through doing when my good mate (a tech wizard) returned my call. His advice was “Call India, then refuse to speak with them about the problem, insist they put you through to the call centre in Ireland, they will connect you, then immediately ask the Irish help line for their number for future reference; then explain the problem ”!

 The wizard had spoken; his words were the words of a true wizard, as the Indian unhelpful line did in fact re-connect me to the Irish help desk. An Irish angel with a true soft Irish accent by the name of Siobhan [Shiv=awn] whispered seductively into my earpiece, and explained the situation in layman’s terms. From her side of the Isle of Erin she passed forth detailed instruction with a magical reset code. She then promised to call back within one hour to see if every thing was up and running. Every thing was up and running, perfectly! True to her beautiful Irish word, Siobhan called just as I had finished making a cup of tea. We both chatted over the previous situation where I recounted my problems as well as discussed my collection of Hub’s, which she identified on her system “There have been two more despatched, but I’ve put a block on anymore going out”?DownloadedFile

Having retained Siobhan’s helpline number I sat confidently throughout Friday evening, and cleared the majority of my on-line work (and even posted on this blog). This morning (Sat) the bemused ‘postie’ did indeed bring another parcel, and I assured him there would be one more on Monday, which would be the last. ‘Gawd’ knows what he’s thinking, as the parcels come plainly marked, without any marks or identifiers relating to the sender, and I saw him rattle the parceled box gently against his ear; the gossip around these little villages can ruin a man’s reputation…            Yours Aye.

How often do you check your phone

According to data compiled by New York-based app Locket, some users unlock their devices up to 900 times over the course of a day. People look at their phones the most between peak hours of 5pm and 8pm. During these hours, 75% of users are actively using their devices. This drops to a quarter of active users between 3am and 5am, the average number of times a user checks their phone is nine times an hour. This increases to once every six seconds for ‘highest frequency users’ How often do you check your phone?  article-2449632-189BE91500000578-629_634x320It would appear that I do not fall within the ‘average person’ category, that’s if the latest research is to be believed. But then I have friends and family who would probably testify that I am far from normal anyway, and nowhere near average on most things?  Yours Aye.

Ten minutes to death-O-clock

Asking the grim reaper for the time. Now there’s a watch that not only predicts when you will die, it also begins counting down. Users fill out a questionnaire about their medical history before subtracting their age from the overall results to get their death score, his score is entered into the Tikker and the countdown begins. Dubbed ‘the death watch‘, Tikker has been created by Swedish inventor Fredrik Colting but far from being morbid, Colting calls it ‘The Happiness Watch‘ and claims it has been designed to help people make the most of their life and cherish the time they have left.   Would YOU want to know when you’ll die? Now there’s a watch that can predict your death to the nearest SECOND  While death is non-negotiable, life isn’t. All we have to do is learn how to cherish the time and the life that we have been given; seize the day, and follow our hearts.”article-2448539-1893CEA100000578-618_634x309  If this catches on and becomes as popular as the $ 1- X RAY SPECS  from the 60′s, then Fredrik Colting can order his XC90 Volvo now.  But who on earth would want to know what time they are going to hell in a handcart (and who on earth would want a Volvo). Yours Aye.