WW1-Era Shipwrecks To Receive Protection

July 28th 1914 was a day that changed the world forever.

A global war was declared that would last for four long, bloody years and would cost Humanity millions of lives. Although the images of the gruelling, inhuman trench warfare that was waged in France are the perhaps most indelible from the conflict, it should also be remembered that an awful amount of lives were also lost at sea.

Britain alone lost over a thousand vessels from 1914 – 1919, together with about 89,300 sailors and merchant navy personnel. Germany lost hundreds of warships, as well as about 35,000 sailors. In addition, civilians were also caught in the ocean-going crossfire, as a German submarine sank the liner Lusitania in 1915, killing almost 2000 people in the process.

As we approach the centenary of the First World War, the seafloors are littered with the stark, skeletal remains of vessels leftover from this conflict. In recent years, however, these ruined ships have come under an increased level of threat from salvage teams, looters and profiteers, many of whom are intent on destroying the wrecks outright.

Shipwrecks such as those left over from the First World War, are a target for two main reasons. Firstly, they can be commercially exploited for scrap metals (and other artefacts) and secondly, fishing trawlers dredging the ocean depths in search of deep-sea fish can impact the ships, destroying them altogether.

In 2011 alone, three British cruisers, the final resting place of about 1,500 sailors altogether, were completely destroyed because copper and bronze had reached sufficiently high prices as to make such destructive salvage exercises profitable.

However, because the 100th anniversary of World War One begins this year, more and more of these ships will be protected by Unesco’s 2001 ‘Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage’, an agreement that extends International protection to shipwrecks over 100 years old.

Many people worry that these laws will prove difficult to enforce, however. Others still are worried that this move will increase the destruction of shipwrecks from more recent times, in particular, vessels from World War Two (1939 – 1945), before they come under Unesco’s protection.

Today, historians are attempting to use the centenary of the First World War as a way to educate people about the history and legacy of the conflict, as well as to demonstrate the cultural and historical importance of these undersea war graves. Many, including this writer, feel that such sites are deserving of our respect and reverence.

Shipwrecks also provide a very good habitat for local marine life and can even form the basis for coral reefs (if left undisturbed for long enough). These vessels are also studied for scientific interest, with experiments carried out on everything from metal erosion to marine biology.

At the time of writing, the British Government has failed to sign the convention.

SOURCES

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-28056244

Wolves at the Door? The Species’ Reintroduction to Britain is Entirely Possible, Says Charity

The last wild wolves known to have lived in Britain were killed in the 1700’s. When they died out as a native species, it ended the reign of a creature that had captivated the British imagination since time immemorial.

However, unlikely as it might seem, wolves could be returning to our woodlands (in Scotland, to be precise) in the not-too distant future.

In the most recent edition of the John Muir Trust (JMT) Journal, the conservation charity declared that there was ‘no ecological reason’ why wolves could not be reintroduced to Scotland.

“We have the climate, the habitat and the food,” wrote JMT Communications Chief Susan Wright and Head of Land and Science Mike Daniels in a companion article to the journal piece.

“Many are afraid of the ‘big bad wolf’ even though they are far more likely to be harmed by their pet dogs, or indeed their horses, than by a wolf, if it were present.” States the article.

The environmental reasons speak for themselves, but there could be potential financial benefits to Scottish tourism as well. So-called ‘ecotourism’ is on the rise and travellers willing to pay to see wolves in their natural state are common throughout Europe.

The systematic and chillingly efficient extinction of Scotland’s native wolf population involved organised hunts (not dissimilar to fox hunts, but on a far grander scale), as well as deliberate habitat destruction and the use of traps. It is a mistake of the past that it is now possible to repair.

In Tasmania, to quote from a similarly dark chapter in ecological history, carnivorous marsupial the thylacine (or ‘Tasmanian Tiger’ as it was colloquially known) was aggressively hunted to extinction in the early 20th Century. The last remaining individual died from a lack of proper care in Hobart Zoo in 1936. The thylacine cannot be reintroduced to Tasmania, because the population simply wasn’t spread over a wide enough area when extinction came calling. However, the Eurasian Wolf has a chance that the Tasmanian tiger did not; it is a strong species, with an excellent chance of building a good-sized breeding population in Scotland, if reintroduced there.

Eurasian Wolves were also in serious decline up until the 1950’s, even being rendered completely extinct in some areas of Europe. However, since that time, populations have been on the rise and reintroductions have become more common.

England, for example, has seen the successful reintroduction of European bison, while red squirrels have been brought back to Anglesey, Wales. European beavers are, at the time of writing, being released across the UK and white-tailed eagles are now successfully living (and breeding) in the Hebrides. Those are just a few examples; the list is actually quite long (and getting longer seemingly every day)

You may be surprised to learn this, but there are even tentative plans to return brown bears, elks and grey whales to our shores.

Could the grey wolf once again stalk its prey in the beautiful, untouched Scottish Highlands? For now, it’s just an idea, albeit a tantalising one. 

What is Communications Technology?

Broadly speaking, the term ‘communications technology’ can refer to any technology that allows its users to communicate with one another. Using this (admittedly loose) definition, two-way radios and mobile phones fall into the category of ‘communications technology’.

The term also refers to computers and computer-related work. Here in the UK, schoolchildren study a subject called ‘ICT‘ this stands for ‘Information and Technology’ (although when this rapidly ageing writer was at school, it was known simply as ‘IT’ or, ‘Information Technology’).

As the Internet has become a more and more prevalent part of our society, communications over longer distances have become significantly easier. In fact, such communications are easier now than at any other time in Human history. Ergo, it stands to reason that computers should be considered as a prime form of communications technology.

communications technologyBasic, everyday acts such as checking your emails, updating your Facebook or Twitter feed, answering the phone, or taking Skype calls are all a part of ‘communications technology’ as are the two-way radios used by public transport, security firms and the emergency services.

A person who makes a living by working with ‘comms tech’ is likely involved in the designing, creating, implementing or maintaining of communicational systems. Such systems can include radio networks, mobile phone providers, telephone companies, even television. It is a broad and ever-expanding field, which makes it difficult to ascertain exactly what a person actually does if they list it as their job title.

When somebody tells you that they are a plumber, for example, you get a broad idea of what they do for a living all day. If I tell you that I am a professional copywriter, you at least have some notion as to what that entails. A person who works in the field of ‘comm tech’ could be doing almost anything.

In case you’re wondering, the Internet itself can be considered as a communication technology, given that any person who uploads videos or writes blogs is communicating the very second that those blogs are read or those videos are watched.

Telecom’s is a huge field and, as I think you’ll agree, a pretty important one. Without the ability to communicate with others, either via short distances on your mobile or much longer distances (such as the distance between our office in the UK and your home on the African continent), this world would be a vastly different place.

Russian Officials Brand The Sims 4 as ‘Harmful to Children’

Russia has come under fire from both gamers and the global LGTB community for its decision to restrict sales of Electronic Arts game ‘The Sims 4’ to 18+ gamers.

EA have claimed that this 18+ rating is due to the game’s depiction of same-sex relationships, images of which are deemed by Russian law as being “harmful to children”.

The Sims, in any incarnation, centres on the lives of a group of virtual characters. Players must ensure that the characters are fed, enjoy gainful employment, have somewhere to live (preferably with adequate toilet facilities) and are generally happy in their lives.

sims 4 2014There are very few mission-based objectives within The Sims. In fact, it is intended as a virtual depiction (some may say satire) of modern life. To this end, relationships play a part in the game, although characters are neither explicitly heterosexual nor homosexual, these are largely choices made on the part of the player. Relationships can either be brief flirtations, casual flings or monogamous, steady partnerships; it is entirely up to the gamer.

Depictions of sex (called ‘woohoo’) within the game take place under sheets, or in other private places. Players can tell that something is going on, but one would be hard pushed to guess that it was sex without some prior erm…Woohoo experience.

In 2010, Russia passed a law known as 436-FZ, which was created, ostensibly, to protect children from harmful content. The law gives Russian officials the right to censor anything that may elicit “fear, horror, or panic in young children”. It sounds fair enough, except when you try to envision any child, no matter how sensitive, being rendered ‘fearful, horrified or panicky’ at the sight of two, essentially genderless, computer sprites exchanging, essentially nothing, under a duvet.

For the record, Sims cannot take illegal drugs or self harm in any way (with the possible exception of being up all night woohoo-ing and then falling asleep at work and being fired, which I don’t think qualifies), so it is hard to imagine why else the game could have garnered such a severe age restriction.

Oh wait; I forgot to mention that in 2013, Russian authorities amended 436-FZ so that it prohibits the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships”. Now there’s an ill-fitting definition if ever there was one.

Many studies/groups (such as America’s TREVOR project) maintain that media-enforced pressure to conform to heterosexual norms can cause depression, anxiety and even suicide among LGBT youths, essentially proving that only showing one type of romantic relationship can actually be harmful to young viewers. On the flipside, as far as I know, there is no evidence to suggest that seeing a same-sex partnership in a video game will cause an otherwise heterosexual gamer to become a homosexual and even if there was, how exactly would they be being harmed by this unlikely metamorphosis?

Critics maintain that this move reflects little more than personal prejudice in the guise of child protection. Who’s ‘fear, horror and/or panic’ are Russia really preventing here?

In the rest of the world, The Sims series has either been rated at 10+ or 13+ (mainly because of all the woohoo, I suppose). Electronic Arts was voted as being one of the best places to work for LGBT individuals by the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) in 2012, it got a score of 100%.

One has to wonder what score the Russian government would get.

SOURCE

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-27374539

Earpieceonline Explain What Are The Different Types Of Earpiece?

An earpiece allows security professional to communicate in a covert manner without anyone noticing. Earpieces are important to allow communication between the wearer and his/ her team discreetly. There are many earpiece models and makes that a security agent can wear but typically, earpieces are of two major categories i.e. wireless and wired. Within these two categories, there are varying versions and models available. Several factors affect the choice of the ideal earpiece, these factors include:

  • Discreetness- Security officials can chose an earpiece based on how discrete they want to be. The level of discreetness is determined by the earpiece style and color of the coiled tube. In-the ear earpieces are obviously discreet because they are worn inside the ear than over-the ear earpiece- with the wires and all. You can choose a colorless earpiece as opposed to a colored one for more secrecy or choose a wired earpiece altogether for total secrecy.
  • Comfort- You obviously want the earpiece you chose to be comfortable to wear. Choose an earpiece that fits well and that is made with hypoallergic materials. Some of the important questions to ask before choosing an earpiece include how easy the earpiece is to wear and remove, how easy is to use and control the device, can the earpiece remain intact as long as necessary without falling off.
  • Versatility- The right earpiece should make it possible to wear underneath the clothes, attached to a collar or back of the tie.
  • Tastes and preferences- Different individuals have different tastes and preferences. You can chose an earpiece that meets your needs and preferences in terms of comfort, style and color
  • A security earpiece is normally worn inside or put around the ear depending on the type you choose and is usually connected to a 2- way radio or related device. An earpiece is also worn with a microphone and receiver that makes it possible for a person to communicate with other people wearing a similar earpiece.

Earpieces are normally won by bodyguards and security personnel for instance the US secret service, law enforcement officers and private bodyguards and security personnel to allow discreet communication for security purposes. Earpieces are either wired or wireless, with each type having different models, types, styles and makes

Earpieces can either be worn around the ear or in the entrance of the ear as a small ear bud. For extra discreetness, wireless earpieces are often preferred over wired ones since it’s hard to tell that someone is actually wearing a wireless earpiece as opposed to a wired earpiece. Wireless earpieces often receive signals wirelessly. A person needs to wear a separate microphone at the end of a sleeve or on a lapel. To send a message, the wearer needs to speak into the microphone and receive messages via the wireless earpiece

A wired earpiece works in the same way as a wireless earpiece the only difference is that the receiver is connected to the earpiece with a wire that anyone can see. However, the wire can be transparent to make it harder for people to notice. The wire is normally worn around the back of the ear to get out of the wearers way.

There are different types of wired earpieces including one wire, two-wire and three wire. One wire microphone consists of a single wire and no microphone, two- wire comprises of an earpiece and a single wire connecting the earpiece to the microphone which is usually connected to a sleeve or lapel.

A three-wire earpiece comprises of an earpiece, a microphone worn on the lapel, and a third wire that normally connects to a separate device on the hand to allow the wearer to activate the microphone at his discretion.

As mentioned above there are typically two types of earpieces and a wide variety of models under each type. The ideal earpiece will be determined by the wearer’s preferences, level of secrecy wanted, cost, comfort, and how versatile the device is.

Earpieceonline.co.uk is flooded with various models and makes so it’s important to understand your needs before buying an earpiece. Buy your earpiece from a reputable source, Do some research before buying your ideal security earpiece to understand the features, components, advantages, and disadvantages?