Exactly what is a Covert Earpiece?

A covert earpiece is designed to go unnoticed in a person’s ear. Typically, the iconic image of the bodyguard or FBI agent always springs to the forefront of the imagination when the subject of covert earpieces is brought up, but they are often used by live on-air television personalities to take cues and direction from the production team as well. Politicians will also use them when making live speeches to get immediate feedback and change the course of the dialogue if needed.

Not all covert earpieces are designed for two-way communication, but during sensitive surveillance operations or security details a microphone is often used for real-time communication. The presence of a low-profile microphone becomes a necessity in these types of operations to keep the security forces hands-free at all times. They also allow the user to blend into a crowd without using a conspicuous walkie-talkie or other form of hand-held device.

Covert earpieces are designed not to have any visible wiring and to fit neatly inside the ear without being observable to any passers by who may be in the general vicinity. There are even devices made to fit on an ordinary pair of glasses, which amplify sound inside of the wearer’s ear.

An Earpieceonline acoustic tube earpiece has the features of a thin tube that helps to transmit sound. The tube fits snugly behind the ear, while the bud goes inside the ear. The acoustic tube ear piece is commonly paired with a microphone when used in security or covert operations, but there are some civilians who prefer to use it with their personal devices, such as mobile phones and personal audio devices. The ability to efficiently eliminate background noise in loud areas makes them a top choice for use in television and media as well.

The sturdy tubing of the acoustic tube is vital in protecting the delicate wiring involved in the listening device. The ability to protect the most crucial aspects of the earpiece makes the acoustic tube preferable over other devices with exposed wiring and even wireless devices, as the acoustic tube earpieces are known to outlast others. Anyone who will be performing rigorous activity while wearing a covert earpiece will choose the most durable option.

Many earpieces will be connected wirelessly to a handheld device called a main board, usually kept in the pocket or hidden somewhere on the person. Typically, there will be a beeper button on the main board, which sends a beep noise to connected devices when pressed. It can be used to send covert messages and sometimes has other uses, like connecting to Bluetooth with a long press of the button. Covert messages can also be sent by tapping the microphone, usually discreetly placed on the shoulder or wrist.

A neck loop will is also attached to the main board. This loop will transmit sounds wirelessly from the main board to the earpiece. The loop is worn loosely around the neck under the clothing, so it is not noticed in the collar area by anyone in the close proximity.

So, whether you’re a bodyguard on the job or a jogger listening to music, covert earpieces will fit the bill for any covert listening situation.

Wrestling Legend Rowdy Roddy Piper Dies At 61

The world of professional wrestling is in mourning following the death of the legendary Rowdy Roddy Piper last month. Piper suffered a cardiac arrest whilst at his home in Hollywood, California. He was just 61 years old.

For many kids (including myself) that first became fans in the mid-late 1980’s, Roddy Piper was the definitive wrestling heel (industry jargon for a bad guy). Whether hosting his notorious Piper’s Pit segment, or facing off against Hulk Hogan & Mr. T (with partner Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorf) at the inaugural WrestleMania event, Piper was one of the industry’s biggest starts during one of its most popular and lucrative periods.

He was also instrumental in making the WWF (now WWE) brand the biggest in professional wrestling. In addition to headlining the very first WrestleMania event (a pioneering Pay-Per View extravaganza that could easily have ruined the company had it proved to be a failure), Piper also featured in one of WrestleMania II’s three main event matchups, thus securing his position as one of wrestling’s most bankable stars.

His undercard matches at WrestleManias III, VI and (the stone cold classic against Bret The Hitman Hart at) VIII are absolute highlights of a classic era of pro wrestling. He even acted as a guest referee for the main event of Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna at WrestleMania X. Younger fans, however, will undoubtedly remember Piper teaming with fellow veterans Ricky Steamboat and Jimmy Superfly Snuka to face Chris Jericho at WrestleMania XXV.

In an era defined by outlandish babyface characters with bodybuilder physiques and sometimes questionable in-ring abilities, Roddy Piper stood out as a genuine wrestler’s wrestler, an authentic tough guy – and the necessarily evil counterpoint to the simplistic, superheroic good guys being featured at the time by the WWF.

Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1954, Roderick Toombs was always an unruly personality. Expelled from school at a young age and subsequently falling out with his father, (a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) Toombs hit the road, staying in various youth hostels and earning a buck wherever he could. Eventually, the tempestuous youth wound up in a wrestling ring, making his in-ring debut at the tender age of just 15-years-old.

The kid was tough (he had a Black Belt in Judo), displayed a natural affinity for the ring and he had a roguish charisma all of his own. In addition, he really could play the bagpipes. After early stints jobbing in Verne Gagne’s AWA, NWA Houston and Fritz Von Erich’s Big Time Wrestling promotion in Dallas, Texas, Piper debuted for Mike and Gene LeBell’s NWA Hollywood promotion and soon became the outfit’s top heel. A slew of regional Championships followed.

Whilst working for promoter Roy Shire in the NWA’s San Francisco territory, Piper developed his character and ring work. In Los Angeles, he feuded with Chavo Guerrero Sr, Hector Guerrero and ultimately locked up against their father, Mexican wrestling legend Gory Guerrero (father of future WWE Champ Eddie). In The Pacific Northwest, he unseated former NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion Jack Brisco for Mid Atlantic’s version of the World Heavyweight Championship, a title he would go on to hold twice more.

In the mid 1980’s, Piper entered Vince McMahon’s insurgent WWF. He was billed as being from Glasgow, Scotland and was well known for being the only wrestler to wear a kilt to the ring. Fans ate it up. Feuding with such stars as Hulk Hogan, Adrian Adonis, Andre The Giant, Jimmy Superfly Snuka, Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase, Jerry The King Lawler and Bret Hitman Hart, to name but a few, Piper always brought out the best in his opponents and it was with the WWF that he became a household name, as well as one of the industry’s biggest ever stars.

In the mid-1990’s, Piper wrestled for WCW (World Championship Wrestling), where he debuted as one of the company’s headline stars. He feuded, once again, with Hulk Hogan and also battled old rivals such as Ric Flair, Bret Hart and ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage. Whilst working for WCW, he was even chosen to headline ‘Starrcade’, the company’s flagship Pay-Per-View event.

In his later career, Piper made sporadic reappearances for the WWE, briefly worked for TNA, enjoyed a reasonably successful acting career and also hosted his own podcast. He battled Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after being diagnosed with the illness in 2006, but had completely beaten it into remission as of last year. Despite the setbacks caused by his ill health, Piper wrestled his last match in 2011.

Although he never held a recognised World Heavyweight Championship, Piper will be remembered as one of the greatest WWF Intercontinental Champions of all time, a reign that was attested to during his appearance at this year’s WrestleMania XXXI, where he congratulated then-IC Champion Daniel Bryan on his victory. He also held other notable belts, such as the United States Championship, the WWF/E Tag Team Championship (with Ric Flair) and the NWA World Light Heavyweight Championship.

Piper was a member of the WWE Hall of Fame and the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame, as well as the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the Cauliflower Alley Club.

On the August 3rd edition of RAW, the entire WWE roster, each member clad in Roddy’s signature Hot Rod t-shirts opened the show with a very moving ten bell salute in tribute to the fallen legend.

WWE boss Vince McMahon said, “Roddy Piper was one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE, beloved by millions of fans around the world. I extend my deepest condolences to his family.”

UFC Bantamweight Champion Rowdy Ronda Rousey dedicated her 34-second victory over Bethe Correia to Piper’s memory, “I just want to say that we lost a really close friend, Rowdy Roddy Piper, who gave me permission to use his name as a fighter (…) And so I hope him and my dad had a good time watching this today.”

Former WWE and WCW Champion (and Piper’s frequent in-ring rival) Bret Hart wrote, “I can’t find the words to describe the sorrow in my heart upon learning the news of my dear friend, Roddy Piper, passing away. He was my closest friend in the business, a man that schooled me and guided me throughout my career. In fact, if it wasn’t for Roddy Piper reaching out to help me, I’m sure I would’ve been a mere footnote in wrestling. He was always there for me. He was family to me.” Hart also recalled that, following his stroke in 2002; Piper was the only wrestler who visited him in hospital.

Hulk Hogan, another of Piper’s famous adversaries, said of Piper that, “He was my best friend. He is a legend. God’s gain is our loss. May his family in this time of need, find peace”

Other friends, colleagues and admirers of Piper’s included former WWF Champ The Iron Sheik, who said “Roddy Piper. I love you forever. God bless you Bubba” and multi-time World Champion Chris Jericho Tweeted, “Sorry to hear of the passing of my friend and Wrestlemania rival #RoddyPiper. One of the greatest who ever lived, but more importantly a legit sweet family man with a good heart”. Former WWE Divas Champion Paige called Piper a “legend” and Tweeted a picture of a broken heart, an image which reflected the feelings of many a wrestler and wrestling fan.

Roddy’s son, Colt, said that his father was his “best friend” and a “great man” saying that he would miss him forever and “always try to be the man he raised me to be”.

Rowdy Roddy Piper lived a life littered with accomplishments. Not many of us will ever be declared as legendary by our peers and fewer still will be able to stack 30+ Championship reigns anywhere on our resume, but those weren’t the man’s proudest achievements. Piper had been married to his wife, Kitty, since 1982 and is survived by her and the four children they lovingly raised together. My thoughts are with them, as well as everyone else who knew, worked with, or simply enjoyed to watch the late, great man work his magic in front of a capacity crowd. R.I.P Roddy.

World’s first truly wireless headphones unveiled

The world’s first “true wireless” in-ear headphones have been unveiled at the IFA technology show in Berlin, by Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer Onkyo.

Most in-ear headphones that are advertised as “wireless” actually have a cable connecting the two earpieces. They are known as wireless because they do not require a cable to connect to a media player or a smartphone.

The W800BT headphones, developed in partnership with audio group Gibson Innovations, consist of two earbuds that work independently from each other and deliver a balanced sound across a frequency range of 20Hz-20kHz. They connect to each other and to a smartphone wirelessly, using Bluetooth.

Onkyo claims that the headphones offer a clear and accurate audio experience with passive noise isolation. The right earpiece also includes a microphone to enable hands-free calls and can be used with any Bluetooth-enabled device.

World’s first truly wireless headphones unveiled – Telegraph

They come with a charging case for storing the headphones with its own internal battery, providing up to 15 hours of talk time and 12 hours of music reproduction.

“The W800BT allows you to immerse yourself in audio in a free and natural way,” said Sebastiaan Gruijters, Onkyo Business Leaders at Gibson Innovations. “We’re proud to showcase this genuine breakthrough innovation here at the IFA in Berlin.”

The W800BT in-ear headphones are priced at €299.99 (about £220) and will be available in Europe from November 2015.

Onkyo also unveiled a pair of high-resolution on-ear headphones at IFA, in partnership with Gibson, as well as a new range of portable high-resolution audio speakers.

Gibson has been an investor in Onkyo since January 2012, when it acquired a majority share of Onkyo USA.

“We strive to achieve an optimum balance between the ideal acoustic design and a deep understanding of how we, as humans, interact with technology,” said Matthew Dore, sound and acoustics engineering lead for Onkyo products at Gibson Innovations.

P.S – This Message Will Self Destruct: New Email App Allows Automatic Encryption

Remember how Inspector Gadget always got given those top-secret messages that would self-destruct upon reading? Well, a new app has been devised that can do just that for your emails.

Confidential CC is a free app, designed for both Android and iOS devices, that allows the user to send self-deleting, automatically encrypting files that can be viewed only once…And never again.

The app also prevents recipients from forwarding or printing the messages in question. In a very real sense, you can read it once and then its gone.

“You receive all your email like usual, we just add a new address line that lets you send a CCC self-destruct email,” said the app’s Co-Founder Warren Barthes, formerly an executive with French Telecom, at the Collision Technology Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada earlier in the year.

Of course, other secure email apps have been attempted before, but none has proven to be 100% safe. Could Confidential CC be the one that finally achieves it?

The app was created by co-founders Warren Barthes, Rachel Triggs and Jeremy Landau and their story (according to the group’s official website, anyway) goes something like this:

“Confidential CC was born when the co-founders realized they had a common need – to send an email without a trace. A short time later they set out for this goal. After working hard to confirm the technology, legal and execution were possible, the CCC team took their idea to the next level by striving to provide not only confidential email, but an updated, smart, and attractive user interface across all systems, catered to our users’ daily lives”.

Compatible with Yahoo!, AOL, Gmail, Hotmail and Outlook, amongst others, the app allows users to access all their email accounts from one place and has been designed to be as user friendly as possible. Confidential CC can also cancel accidentally sent messages and can be instructed to send email messages out at a specific time of day.

It looks good, but the customer reviews have been a mixed bag so far.

iTunes user Alukakum praised the usability and the continuing updates, but a customer named IT User Review panned it, calling the app “clunky at best” and pointing out that users can only synch one email account per provider to the app itself.

Of course, this app is new to the marketplace, so customer reviews are few and far between.

Nevertheless, it goes without saying that, if Confidential CC can deliver on its many promises, then it could become a very profitable enterprise indeed. Co-Founder Rachel Triggs certainly thinks so.

“It’s unacceptable that email, which is free and open for all, is presenting such huge risk to users. Maybe, in five years, people will use CCC lines in Gmail, Outlook, everywhere.” She said at the Collision Conference.

If all goes according to their plans, this could be the first chapter in the story of how a small start-up firm from the US revolutionized email security for all online customers. As with all things, time will tell.

Motorola Solutions provides secure and efficient communications for Milan airports

Motorola really are the leader in complex communication systems, time and time again we see (and report) stories of Motorola completing projects for prestigious businesses and organisations. This article highlights their latest finished project.

Airport operator SEA Group (Società Esercizi Aeroportuali S.p.A.) has selected Motorola Solutions to improve operations and ensure the highest levels of security, efficiency and effectiveness at Milan’s Linate and Malpensa airports. Deploying a TETRA Dimetra IP Compact radio communications system to connect both of Milan’s airports, SEA is able to provide enhanced customer services with rapid flight turnaround and more efficient terminal operations.

“With 1,200 operating radios and an increase in operations, SEA needed a more dynamic solution for communications,” says Fabio Degli Esposti, information & communication technology director, SEA. “Faced with the need to replace an outdated system and the need to cope with an increasing demand of services, the only choice for us was to switch to digital technology, which is able to guarantee a safe and effective service.”

In Malpensa – where the old and the new systems had to coexist in the migration phase – everything was fully operational within just two weeks, including the configuration of 1,000 new radios. At Linate airport, the system, supporting 400 new radios, was set up in just a week.

“SEA could not afford any inefficiency,” says Giuliano Posenato, customer service manager, Motorola Solutions Italy. “The implementation had to be very fast, because the requirement was to change the engine on the machine while it was still running.”

Motorola Solutions’ high-performance TETRA base stations now deliver TETRA network coverage in both airports. Old radios used by personnel throughout the airports where also replaced with new TETRA digital handsets.

Motorola Solutions has signed a four-year managed services agreement with SEA, guaranteeing technology evolution including the replacement of its complete telecommunication system (controller, base stations and radios). Motorola Solutions will provide global integrated services infrastructure with highly qualified technical support and certified repair centres that will provide fast repair times and expert technical support for the system for many years to come.

In September 2015, Motorola Solutions will upgrade the connections at both airports with the latest generation of Motorola Solutions TETRA system Dimetra 8.2 enhancing data transmission and offering the SEA the opportunity to develop rich data services to further improve both operations and the customer experience at Milan’s airports.

About SEA

SEA and the Group’s companies manage and develop the airports of Milano Malpensa 1 and Milano Malpensa 2, as well as Milano Linate. The airport system managed by the SEA Group is comprised of:

  • The Milano Malpensa airport is situated about 48 km from Milan and connected to the main cities of Northern Italy and Switzerland. This airport includes two passenger terminals and one cargo terminal
  • The Linate airport is about 8 km from Milan. The airport serves a frequent flyer client traveling to domestic and international EU destinations.

At the two airports, the Group offers all services and activities related to the arrival and departure of aircraft: management of the airport safety; passenger and cargo handling; continuous development of commercial services for passengers, operators and visitors.