These affordable audiophile inear headphones banish noise

first_img The Audiophiliac The Etymotic ER2 in-ear headphones  Etymotic Etymotic made a big splash in 1991 with its ER4 in-ear headphones, which brought professional audio monitoring into the mainstream.  The Etymotic ER4 headphone was my go-to in-ear for years, and in 2017 the line was refreshed with the ER4SR (Studio Reference) and ER4XR (Extended Response) at $349/£360 each.  This model was quickly followed by the ER3SE/XR ($179/£199), and it was the Audiophiliac affordable Headphone of the Year for 2018. Now in 2019 we have the ER2 in-ear, which also comes in two versions, the ER2SE (Studio Edition) and the ER2XR (Extended Response). The two models look the same, it’s just that the XR version has slightly more bass. Each one retails for $159 in the US and £169 in the UK. Both ER2SE/XR models use dynamic, not balanced, armature drivers featured in the ER3 and ER4 models. The ER2’s impedance is rated at 15 ohms, the 4 foot (1.2 meter) long cable is user replaceable. The ER2’s warranty is two years. Use the included foam or flanged silicone ear tips with the ER2 and you’ll bask in the quietude of 35 dB of noise isolation, that’s so much better than average. There’s one catch, to achieve the maximum noise hushing you’ll have to jam the tips deeper into your ear canals than most in-ear headphones’ tips. Some folks aren’t comfortable with the feeling, but I don’t mind. True, comfort isn’t stellar, but the ER2’s superior noise isolation on the New York City subway was excellent while listening with my iPhone 8. The ER2 doesn’t use batteries; its deep insertion tips hush noise with their airtight seal. Listening tests I listened to the ER2XR for a few weeks before I compared it with the other ER models. Bon Iver’s soaring vocals were set free by these headphones. The open quality and warmth of the sound balance tickled my audiophile ears; I was a happy camper. I wondered how this new Etymotic would compare with the ER3 and ER4. They all look nearly alike, but what about the sound? I listened to all three ERs with my iPhone 8 (with an Apple 3.5mm to Lightning adapter). The sound was fine, but I couldn’t resist upping the ante with the FiiO i1 Lightning to 3.5mm adapter/digital audio converter ($40 on Amazon) and noted a distinct improvement in the sound of all three Etymotic headphones. The Apple adapter sounded muffled by comparison. 51j2nfw-21l-sl1500The Astell & Kern Super Junior music player Astell & Kern I also listened to music with an old Astell & Kern JR portable music player, which provided much improved sound over the iPhone 8/FiiO i1 combination. The current Astell & Kern Super Junior sells for $220 on Amazon. The ER2XR and ER3XR sound nearly the same, the ER3XR was a bit clearer, but the ER4XR was a decisively more transparent and more open sounding headphone with the Gang of Four’s brilliant Solid Gold album. The spiky guitar riffs cut through the haze like a knife over the ‘4XR, but they were blunted by the ER2XR and ER3XR headphones. The ER3 sounds a little better, and the ER4 is still my favorite, but the Etymotic ER2 has its easy listening charms, and it hushes external noise like a champ.  Share your voice Tags 0 Post a comment Headphones Audiolast_img read more

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Jolie hints at move into politics

first_imgAngelina Jolie arrives at the British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTA) at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Britain, 18 February, 2018. Photo: ReutersAngelina Jolie hinted on Friday she could one day enter politics, as she urged global leaders to do more to help refugees and women in conflict.Asked whether she was moving towards a political career, the Hollywood star, an envoy for the U.N. refugee agency who has also campaigned on sexual violence against women, said she would “go where I’m needed”.”If you asked me 20 years ago, I would’ve laughed,” she said in an interview with British broadcaster the BBC. “I don’t know if I’m fit for politics, but then I’ve also joked that I don’t know if I have a skeleton left in my closet.”Jolie said her work with the United Nations and other organisations enabled her to “get a lot done without a title”, but did not rule out a future switch.”I honestly will do whatever I think can really make change and right now, I am able to work with a U.N. agency … to do a lot of work directly with the people in need,” she said.”I’m also able to work with governments and I’m also able to work with militaries. And so I sit in a very interesting place of being able to get a lot done without a title and without it being about myself or my policies. So for now I’ll sit quiet.”The Oscar-winning actor has in recent years visited refugee camps to highlight the plight of those uprooted by war, and broadened her international efforts to protect women, working with NATO and governments to help stop the use of rape as a weapon of war.With 68.5 million people uprooted globally, she said more needed to be done to support refugees and host communities in developing countries.”The focus should be what is happening to these people? Why is this happening? How do we have this many people uprooted and what are the causes?” Jolie said.U.N. members earlier this month adopted a deal aimed at improving the way world copes with rising migration.The non-binding pact, meant to foster cooperation on migration, was agreed in July by all 193 U.N. members except the United States, but only 164 formally signed it at the meeting.”This should not be seen as a headache for people. This is how we need our leaders to be thinking about balancing our world,” she added.VOICE FOR WOMENJolie, a mother of six who last year released her film “First They Killed My Father” about Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime, launched the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative in 2012 with Britain’s former foreign minister William Hague.NATO agreed in January to help report on sexual violence in war to help bring perpetrators to justice and challenge the idea that rape is an unavoidable aspect of conflict.But there have been questions over the effectiveness of the initiative, especially in light of the mass rape of Rohingya women in Myanmar during a crackdown that forced 720,000 refugees to flee to Bangladesh.Interviewed on BBC Radio’s Today programme, which she guest edited, Jolie said the campaign had made a difference.”I have met victims who finally got reparations when they didn’t have them before,” she said. “When there are prosecutions and when there is accountability, we will see a real change.”last_img read more

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Automated meter reading systems make life easy for intruders

first_img Citation: Automated meter reading systems make life easy for intruders (2012, October 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-10-automated-meter-life-easy-intruders.html An aerial view of the neighborhood where the researchers performed their eavesdropping experiments. Each blue triangle or red star represents a group of four or five meters mounted in a cluster on an exterior wall. Using an LNA and a 5 dBi omnidirectional antenna, they were able to monitor all meters in the neighborhood. Some sniffed meters may be out of the scope of this view. Credit: Ishtiaq Rouf et al. More information: Research paper: www.winlab.rutgers.edu/~grutes … ers/fp023-roufPS.pdfvia Newscientist Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (Phys.org)—Intruders of the break-in and snooping variety have their work cut out for them by just picking up wireless signals that are broadcast by utility meters, say researchers from the University of South Carolina at Columbia, IEEE and Rutgers. As with many other technological advances that bring new pathways for criminals, advances in meters have created concerns about intrusions. Millions of analogue meters to measure water, gas and electricity consumption have been replaced by automated meter reading (AMR) in the U.S. The newer method enables devices to broadcast readings by radio every 30 seconds for utility company employees to read as they walk or drive around with a receiver. Intruders can tune into the same information, however, according to Ishtiaq Rouf and his colleagues, authors of a paper that delivers a security analysis of AMR systems. More than 40 million meters in the United States have been equipped with AMR technology over the past years. The smart meters collect energy consumption data which could reveal sensitive personal information from homes, they said. Because energy usage often drops to near zero when a house is empty, the readings could be used to identify which owners are at work or traveling. Their work shows that currently deployed AMR systems are vulnerable to spoofing attacks and privacy breaches. The research was presented earlier this week at the 19th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, which ran from October 16 to 18 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The AMR meters that they studied make data publicly available over unsecured wireless transmissions. “They use a basic frequency hopping wireless communication protocol and show no evidence of attempting to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity of the data,” added the research team.They picked up transmissions from AMR meters operated by companies. They said that the communication protocol can be reverse-engineered with only a few days of effort. They made use of radio equipment and information available through online tutorials. They used software radio equipment publicly available for about $1,000 (GNU Radio with the Universal Software Radio Peripheral). “We were able to both eavesdrop on messages as well as spoof messages to falsify the reading captured by a commonly used ‘walk-by’ reader,” they said. Through wireless monitoring, they harvested consumption data from 485 meters within a 300m radius region.As remedies, the authors suggested alternative schemes based on defensive jamming, which they said may be easier to deploy than upgrading meters themselves. Jamming could protect against the leakage of legacy devices and requires no modification of the deployed meters. © 2012 Phys.org Google’s PowerMeter Will Help Reduce Energy Consumption (Video)last_img read more

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Pakistans NADRA sacks 40 officials on graft charges

first_imgAt least 40 senior officials of Pakistan’s premier agency responsible for managing database of citizens have been sacked on graft charges.National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has sacked a Director General, GM projects, DGM operations, Intelligence Officer and various managers yesterday after an internal probe showed some of the top ranking officers guilty of corruption and other crimes.The sacked employees were working in different NADRA offices in Karachi and were allegedly involved in issuance of fake Computerized National Identity Cards besides various other crimes, Geo Tv reported.Also, four Director Generals were demoted to lower positions for misusing their authority.NADRA is responsible for automated record of Pakistani nationals and issuing national identity cards, passports and other documents.last_img read more

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IIMC Innovation Park ICC sign MoU to promote startups

first_imgKolkata: IIM Calcutta Innovation Park and Indian Chamber of Commerce(ICC) on Wednesday signed a MoU for energising the startup ecosystem in East and Northeast India. The MoU will bring incubator and industry together in a more formal way, IIMC Innovation Park CEO Subhrangshu Sanyal said. “We have certain strength while ICC has wide industry connect which will help us a lot to promote the startups whom we are incubating,” he said. ICC Director General Rajeev Singh said the eastern and northeastern region need greater attention in the startup growth story of the country and the chamber can offer a platform for market linkage for the startups and promote their products and services. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”The start-ups would hugely benefit from the opportunities for mentoring and industry connect. We hope this initiative would be a game changer for the start-up movement in East and Northeast India,” he said. Singh said ICC is currently working on a new program that aims to offer all key services under a single roof at a very low cost for startups beginning from initial advisory, market linkage, fundraising and legal service. IIM Innovation Park is currently incubating 40 startups with almost half from Bengal, sources in it said.last_img read more

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Robots Are Basically Teenagers They Ace Video Games and Barely Pass Math

first_imgJune 15, 2017 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. The question of when and how robots will eventually take all of our jobs is perennially up for grabs. It would appear that we’re safe for now — our potential overlords seem more like average high school students at the moment than terminators.Earlier this month, a robot called AI-MATHS created by Chengdu Zhunxingyunxue Technology took the math portion of China’s national college entrance test.It completed the version given to students in Beijing in 22 minutes and got a score of 105 points out of 150 points. This was an improvement on the robot’s showing from February when it got a 93. The minimum passing grade is a 90.Related: I Had a Conversation With a Robot, and It Taught Me Something About HumanityChengdu Zhunxingyunxue Technology’s CEO Lin Hui told Xinhuanet that it hopes AI-MATHS will have better luck next year. “It would take two hours for a human to finish the test. I hope next year the machine can improve its performance on logical reasoning and computer algorithms and score over 130.”The robot is being designed to get accepted into Chinese institutions of higher learning such as Peking University and Tsinghua University. The test is no joke — average high school students in China generally study for the test by answering 30,000 questions — the robot so far has 12,000 questions under its belt.Related: Bill Gates Believes Robots That Steal Jobs Should Pay TaxesBut while AI-MATHS is cramming (fine, machine learning) for the big exam, an AI system developed by Malubba, which was recently acquired by Microsoft, just crushed the competition in beloved 1980s game Ms. Pac-Man.It got a perfect score of 999,990 points. Apparently the unpredictability of the game makes it an ideal training ground for artificial intelligence because it allows the machines to learn by trial and error to get to the best result.And isn’t that what growing up is all about? 2 min readcenter_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now »last_img read more

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