The Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Boy, time flies when you’re having fun (read that as: things change when you aren’t looking). Turn on the TV, or go to the movies after a couple years away and you’ll find that Pokemon is now pronounced ‘Yu-Gi-Oh’ and that early 90’s Shawn Michaels and late 90’s Val Venis have had a baby and named it Dolph Ziggler.

What’s more, it turns out that the fictional world of ‘Pandora’ from the movie Avatar was actually Superman’s homeworld of Krypton after all and, as a related point, ‘Prince of Persia’ is no longer the worst movie I’ve ever seen. In fact, after viewing the risible ‘Man of Steel’ I can now accept ‘Prince of Persia’ as the underrated cinematic classic it appears to be by comparison.

Anyway, the point is that it seems like only a few months ago that I was (favourably) reviewing The Samsung Galaxy Note and now, here I am reviewing a slightly bigger version. Ah, well, join me as I turn and face the strange ch-ch-changes…


The design is nice, smart and modern. The rounded edges and sleek casing of this tablet help it to stand out (if only a little), but also allow it to remain familiar to users picking it up for the first time.

As a hybrid of phone and tablet, referred to by some (stupidly) as a ‘phablet’ this device is quite hotly anticipated and finds itself in somewhat virgin territory. However, as we will soon see, the design is very much more tablet than phone.

Fitted with a 1.6GHz Exynos 4412 quad-core processor and housing 2GB of memory, this tablet goes like the script for ‘Man of Steel’ off of a shovel. As a web device, the Galaxy Note 8 is genuinely lightening quick, even faster than the iPad 4.

As for the screen, the Note 8 features a basically standard resolution. We’re talking Nexus-level here. Not bad at all, but certainly not a Retina screen.

Annoyingly, the Note 8 only runs about 5 hours of battery life, this is really not very good, especially when you consider that the iPad 4 boasts more than twice that amount.


If you’re wondering why I’m comparing the new Note with the iPad so much, well, let me explain. At £339, this is a high-priced tablet. It is therefore directly competing with the iPad for customers; however, the Note is competing without the strength of Apple’s brand identity to prop it up. Also, your £340 only covers the WiFi-only, 16GB version of the Note 8, not the top-spec version.

So far, I’m not convinced, but there’s always time to change my mind. 


There are too many pre-loaded apps on this tablet, the reason why this is a problem is that customers are largely familiar with Google’s apps (available from the Android store) and so it sort of feels that Samsung are pushing their own apps at you when you don’t necessarily want them to. 

Taking advantage of the bigger screen is the excellent ‘Multi-Window’ option that allows you to have two apps operating on screen at any given time. This is actually a wonderful option to have and the processing power of the Note 8 allows for few interruptions, its really cool.

Using this tablet is easy, the stylus works well and there’s even a SIM card slot for phone calls. The array of extra features available here, shows that Samsung have poured a considerable amount of time and effort into this one.


All told, this is a good tablet. It is, however, not a great tablet. I have a hard time justifying it at the price, to be honest. If you’re looking for a phone/tablet hybrid, this is one of the best around, but how many of you are really making phone calls with your tablets?

If Samsung knocked a few notes off of the price, we’d be looking at a real winner. As a value tablet (more in line, price-wise, with the larger versions of The Nexus or Kindle Fire models), the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 would be something rather interesting, but at this price? No, I can’t recommend it.

It’s certainly not a steaming pile of ‘Man of Steel’, but, by the same token, we’re not looking at a future classic either.  

Bringing the Cinema to the home with High definition projectors

Ever see any of MTV Cribs? We do. And we have been always most jealous of these quasi-superstar properties that came built with the miniature motion picture theatre. Well, now that knowledge has come down in price notably enough to provide us mere mortals a go, and wow, are we excited about that!


Big screen experience is just a click away, so let us be your guide. Buying an hd projector has never been closer, simpler, less costly or more worth it. 


Using your hd projector you may make any night a movie evening, showing your favourite Blu Ray or DVD films for assembled friends and family (and the few less-than-welcome hangers-on who always turn up) and astonish everybody. An high definition projector brings out the very best in any film, irrespective of its period and resources.


To actually catch the essence of the cinema in the home, you’ll need an high definition projector and a BIG display, then you can combine old classics with modern blockbusters to your heart’s content. By hooking your hd projector up to a state of the art surround sound system, your bone-crushing celluloid adventures will be complete.


Watch movies the best way they were preordained to be viewed, with your high definition projector. Take the cinema home with you (minus the sticky flooring, over-priced snacks and obnoxious kids) and bask within the luxuriousness that only your high definition projector can provide. Who needs a way of life like the rich and (apparently) shameless when you’ve got a cinema in the home?

I recently started watching NASCAR and I was wondering how the drivers communicate with the pit crew?

(Asked by Paul from Dublin, Ireland)

Y’know, I visited your fine city of Dublin many years ago and had a wonderful time. It is a truly magical place.

Anyway, on to your question….

NASCAR drivers use a unique radio system that is built in to their crash helmets. These are occasionally customized to suit the individual wearer. In addition to this, there is a push-to-talk button (exactly like the one found on a walkie-talkie), which is situated in the steering wheel. A wiring harness connects the various components together and a separate battery operates the whole thing. The signal is broadcast via a whip antenna that is attached to the roof of the car. In this fashion, NASCAR drivers are able to communicate with pit crews.

In addition to this, most cars are outfitted with a spare Motorola two-way radio that is within easy reach of the driver.

A firm out of Atlanta, Georgia named ‘Racing Radios’ provides the vast majority of the radios used in NASCAR races. Racing Radios have provided equipment to NASCAR races for 30 years or so; they are a trusted firm, creating all the standard NASCAR radio technology and also providing custom radios/peripherals for individual drivers.

According to Racing Radios spokesperson Tony Cornacchia, the majority of NASCAR drivers prefer to buy their own specialized equipment from the firm.

Because so many teams are racing and so many people are working on the race overall, it is not uncommon for NASCAR events to feature 100 FCC licensed radio broadcasts at any given time.Racing Radios is the company that programs the individual frequencies, not only for drivers and pit crews, but also for staff, officials and security personnel. RR do such a good job, that neither drivers nor pit crews suffer regularly from interference or dead spots. Now that’s something.

According to Terry Boyce of ‘HowStuffWorks’, “Many teams outfit their entire pit and support crews with custom-engineered, hand-built headphones and two-way radios ordered through Racing Radios. Multi-car teams may choose to connect even more people through their radio communications network. Active Noise Reduction (ANR) technology helps to cancel out distracting background noise. Exceptional communication is one of the reasons a 21st century NASCAR pit crew can change four tires and refuel a race car in around 13 seconds — and do it 10 or more times in a single race”.

I hope that answers your question, Paul. Have fun!


Ever wondered what earpieces the FBI use

A radio Earpiece gives you more covert and secure communications for the 2 way radio, but you may be confused with the word earpiece. It is used in many different guises, the most popular is the mobile phone earpiece, use for many of the main manufacturers and can have Bluetooth connectivity.

The Two way radio earpiece is primarily used by people that work with walkie talkies, the secure and covert communications that are demanded by doorman, event worker and security persons to do their job adequately. Continue reading


The Mototrbo two way radio has numerous uses, but it works best at communicating two or more persons between one another, be it leisure or commerce, long distance communication is often vital in many different environments. This promotional article was initially a PDF at the motorola Site.


Your people are on the factory floor, at the front desk, moving across campus or around the country. Hauling freight or handling emergency repairs, MOTOTRBO connects them instantly and efficiently, everywhere they go. Continue reading

Google are starting the robots race

Google has officially announced that it has acquired seven robotics companies in the last six months, with the ultimate aim of creating a Google robot.

As far-fetched as it might sound, the firm’s takeover of companies like ‘Bot & Dolly’, ‘Industrial Perception’, ‘Autofuss’ and ‘Redwood Robotics’ is a clear sign that Google has big plans in this area. Continue reading

Will I be Able to Hear Bone Conduction Headphones Even if I Wear Earplugs?

Because bone conduction bypasses the ear entirely and directly stimulates the ossicles (which is the scientific name for the tiny bones that reside in your inner ear, as well as the rationale behind comic book hero Daredevil’s athletic prowess), it is entirely possible to stick your ear plugs in and still listen to your ‘Bonephones’.


In some respects, it’s actually preferable. Y’see Nick, using headphones is fine and dandy, until you have to turn the volume all the way up in order to drown out noisy children, busy traffic and/or people shouting into their phones all around you. After that, if you increase the volume to too great a degree, you can expose your ears to sounds that can actually permanently damage your hearing. Continue reading

Innovative or Simply Post-Modern? New Paradigms in the Study of “Radio”

Radio is the wireless transmission of signals through free space by electromagnetic radiation of a frequency significantly below that of visible light, in the radio frequency range, from about 30 kHz to 300 GHz. These waves are called radio waves. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space.
Information, such as sound, is carried by systematically changing some property of the radiated waves, such as their amplitude, frequency, phase, or pulse width. When radio waves strike an electrical conductor, the oscillating fields induce an alternating current in the conductor. The information in the waves can be extracted and transformed back into its original form.
The etymology of “radio” or “radiotelegraphy” reveals that it was called “wireless telegraphy”, which was shortened to “wireless” in Britain. The prefix radio- in the sense of wireless transmission, was first recorded in the word radioconductor, a description provided by the French physicist Édouard Branly in 1897. It is based on the verb to radiate .
The word “radio” also appears in a 1907 article by Lee De Forest. It was adopted by the United States Navy in 1912, to distinguish radio from several other wireless communication technologies, such as the photophone. The term became common by the time of the first commercial broadcasts in the United States in the 1920s. The term was adopted by other languages in Europe and Asia. British Commonwealth countries continued to commonly use the term “wireless” until the mid-20th century, though the magazine of the BBC in the UK has been called Radio Times ever since it was first published in the early 1920s.
In recent years the more general term “wireless” has gained renewed popularity through the rapid growth of short-range computer networking, e.g., Wireless Local Area Network, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, as well as mobile telephony, e.g., GSM and UMTS. Today, the term “radio” specifies the actual type of transceiver device or chip, whereas “wireless” refers to the lack of physical connections; one talks about radio transceivers, but another talks about wireless devices and wireless sensor networks.
Radio systems used for communications will have the following elements. With more than 100 years of development, each process is implemented by a wide range of methods, specialized for different communications purposes.
Transmitter and modulation
Each system contains a transmitter. This consists of a source of electrical energy, producing alternating current of a desired frequency of oscillation. The transmitter contains a system to modulate some property of the energy produced to impress a signal on it. This modulation might be as simple as turning the energy on and off, or altering more subtle properties such as amplitude, frequency, phase, or combinations of these properties. The transmitter sends the modulated electrical energy to a tuned resonant antenna; this structure converts the rapidly changing alternating current into an electromagnetic wave that can move through free space.
Amplitude modulation of a carrier wave works by varying the strength of the transmitted signal in proportion to the information being sent. For example, changes in the signal strength can be used to reflect the sounds to be reproduced by a speaker, or to specify the light intensity of television pixels. It
was the method used for the first audio radio transmissions, and remains in use today. “AM” is often used to refer to the mediumwave broadcast band .
Frequency modulation varies the frequency of the carrier. The instantaneous frequency of the carrier is directly proportional to the instantaneous value of the input signal. Digital data can be sent by shifting the carrier’s frequency among a set of discrete values, a technique known as frequency-shift keying.
FM is commonly used at VHF radio frequencies for high-fidelity broadcasts of music and speech . Normal TV sound is also broadcast using FM.
Angle modulation alters the instantaneous phase of the carrier wave to transmit a signal. It is another term for Phase modulation.

Continue reading

Touch Bionics creating an app for Prosthesis limbs

A new bionic hand has been unveiled that can be remote controlled via a smartphone app.

The app’s developer, Touch Bionics, unveiled the groundbreaking application, along with their latest prosthetic hand, in April of this year.

The hand’s artificial thumb is controlled by signals from the users arm muscles, which are interpreted by the hand’s internal systems. However, in a world first, it can also be controlled, very simply, via the use of the new app. Continue reading

A look back at some of the best PS3 games

In which our hero (namely me) compares and contrasts three big-selling adventure games and reports to you, the consumer, which one he likes the best.


1)     Assassin’s Creed – Released by Ubisoft in 2007, Creed’s major selling points are twofold; firstly, it has a long and absorbing storyline for players to engage with. A young man is captured by mysterious forces, and placed in a machine that forces him to re-live the past adventures of his ancient ancestor, who belonged to an ancient cult of (you guessed it) Assassins. The second thing is the gameplay; Creed is tremendously playable, evoking memories of such classic games as ‘Metal Gear Solid’ and ‘Prince of Persia.’ What’s more, the story ends on a cliffhanger that leaves you wanting more. Fortunately there is now a whole series for you to play, together with at least one more ancestor to inhabit as our young hero struggles for his freedom. It is, in short, excellent. Continue reading