What Practical Applications Does a Drone Have?

Drones are becoming increasingly popular for their ability to capture footage with spectacular views. However, most people don’t really have a practical use for a drone outside of just being a hobby that allows them to take cool footage and potentially spy on their neighbours. So to help you understand drones a bit better, we’ve put together a list of practical uses for drones in the modern-day.

Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/H5IXIH254AU (CC0)
Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/H5IXIH254AU (CC0)

Drones can be used to monitor large plots of land

Drones are starting to be used for surveillance purposes. For instance, farmers can use a drone with a camera attachment to inspect livestock that is spread over many acres of land instead of driving around to check on them. Similarly, private companies can use drones to monitor large and complex buildings, especially if they have connections such as pipelines that need to be monitored. Lastly, firefighters can also use drones to track wildfires so they know where to position themselves to help cull the flames.

Drones can be used to survey sites

If you’ve ever been involved in a building project then you’ll understand the important role that drone services can play. Professional services can help you survey buildings, structures and roofs for a variety of different purposes. In most situations, the drone footage can be used to perform inspections, but it can also be used to plan out a building or the placement of structures. Since drones can go fairly high and capture a wide-angle view of a specific area, it gives construction specialists an amazing view of the area that they can work with.

Drones are often used to record footage for different industries

High-quality cameras can easily be attached to drones these days, making them very capable machines that can capture footage from many different heights. This can be used for film purposes, such as capturing overhead footage of a filming location. It can also be used to showcase the area around a property that is being sold on the real estate market. This type of stock footage can also be sold and bought depending on the purpose it’s intended for. Some imagery from drones is highly sought after, such as sweeping overheard recordings of specific cities and night footage of iconic skylines. Drones can help us capture some amazing footage and it’s changed the video service industry in many positive ways.

Drones can just be used for fun

Like many new technologies, you don’t have to just focus on practical or professional uses. You could just own a drone and use it for fun! This can include racing drones with your friends, building an obstacle course or even just flying them around because you like the views that it can capture. There’s nothing wrong with using a drone for recreational purposes and there’s no limit to the things you can do with it–the limit is your imagination! Check out this article for cool things you can do with a drone to get some inspiration.

Edifier TWS6 – True Wireless Earbuds with Knowles Balanced Armatures

It’s not often I get to directly compare technology, but this month is an exception because I’m reviewing another set of wireless earbuds, this time from Edifier in the guise of the TWS6.

The Edifier TWS6 Earbuds come with Knowles balanced armature drivers which in turn, deliver great sound quality.  Without becoming too technical, Knowles is a world-leading manufacturer of ‘balanced armatures’ which use an electronic signal to vibrate a tiny reed that is balanced between two magnets inside a tiny enclosure. The motion of the reed is transferred to a very stiff aluminium diaphragm. This diaphragm is free of unwanted resonances in the audio band, allowing it to produce excellent clarity. They are also exceeding small components which mean that other functions can be added.

Edifier TWS6 - True Wireless Earbuds with Knowles Balanced Armatures

The earbuds connect using Bluetooth 5 which means they can also be used for handsfree calls with microphones in both left and right buds and provide excellent clarity using CVC noise cancellation when making calls.

As with most other wireless earbuds, the TWS6 have their own charger case which can itself be charged wirelessly by placing it on a charging pad which features in most modern cars or via USB-C cable. The buds are magnetically docked in the charger meaning they make good contact themselves and provide 8 hours of battery life but can be recharged three times before the case needs recharging itself

Edifier TWS6 - True Wireless Earbuds with Knowles Balanced Armatures

Playback can be controlled by tapping either the left or right buds and simply provide stop/start and track skipping, it would have been nice to see some more functionality, but generally, you have your phone at hand when listening to music, so it wasn’t a big deal.

In the box were a large variety of interchangeable earbuds of different sizes including two different sizes of Memory Foam which I found really comfortable and they were less prone to falling out of your ears.

They are IPX5 waterproof and sweatproof, so if you get caught in the rain or overdo it in the gym, they will survive just fine.

Edifier TWS6 - True Wireless Earbuds with Knowles Balanced Armatures
As a child of the 80s, I was used to listening to horrible tinny music through headphones, so listening to today’s wireless earbuds in supreme quality still blows me away, especially when they are APTx and Dolby Atmos compatible which makes watching movies really impressive.
The Edifier TWS6 can be purchase through many online retailers for around £90 and thought they are great value for money.

You can currently pick them up on Amazon at this link

Another fab product from Edifier!

Matt

New Edifier S2000MKIII Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf 2.0 Speaker

Feature Bluetooth V5.0 with Qualcomm aptX HD decoding and carry a Hi-res certification for components – the planar diaphragm tweeters and 5.5-inch woofers – normally found in HiFi level speaker models

Edifier® International, prominent designer and award-winning manufacturer of consumer audio electronics for both the lifestyle and multimedia markets announces the S2000MKIII powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speaker. The Edifier S2000MKIII pays tribute to speakers from the past with its elegant wood side panelling, however the components inside are state-of-the-art high-end audio.

The S2000MKIII is designed for home recording and mixing, bringing a highly professional sound quality to a bookshelf speaker. The S2000MKIII features the latest Bluetooth V5.0 with Qualcomm aptX HD decoding. The chipset will wirelessly transmit lossless and high-definition music signals, so that the Bluetooth playback can obtain the same outstanding music quality as for wired digital transmission.

New Edifier S2000MKIII Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf 2.0 Speaker
New Edifier S2000MKIII Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf 2.0 Speaker

Only high-end audiophile components usually used in HiFi level speakers have been used for the S2000MKIII. This speaker holds a Hi-res certification; the planar diaphragm tweeters and 5.5-inch woofers normally found in HiFi speaker models, deliver clear, powerful tones and outstanding audio quality. The flat diaphragm provides a fast response rate that gives benefits such as excellent high frequencies that lower tiered bookshelf speakers do not provide. An aluminium cone woofer with Digital Sound Processing digital electronic crossover makes sounds unique and clear with high-strength, low-distortion and achieves incredibly loud and heavy bass. With RMS power of 15W for the tweeters and 50W for the woofers, these speakers are perfect for use in a large room or space over 50m² as well as smaller spaces where you really want to rock that audio.

New Edifier S2000MKIII Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf 2.0 Speaker
New Edifier S2000MKIII Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf 2.0 Speaker

The Edifier S2000MKIII active speaker allows you to hook up multiple devices to the same speaker. In addition to Bluetooth v5.0, there are also wired digital inputs plus wired digital analogue input to allow connection to multiple devices such as TV sets, TV boxes, Blu-ray players, games consoles, CD/DVD players, smartphones, computers, tablets and other devices.

You can change the sound of your speakers at the touch of a button. The S2000MKIII has four on-board Equalizer settings: vocal, monitor, classic, and dynamic. The treble and bass are independently adjustable according to personal preference and music/audio choice.

The smart start-up volume protects both your hearing and the speaker from harm; however, a 50-level high-precision adjustment of the master volume ensures a totally immersive listening experience when required. With the wireless remote included you can easily adjust the volume, switch the sound source, select mode and power on/off. To make using the S2000MKIII as seamless as possible, there is a clear OLED LCD screen for source, sound effect modes and volume. With the Display mode selected the input status of the speaker shows you which input you are using.

The speaker casing is made off a wood veneer while the volume, bass and treble knobs are made from metal and have a professional-grade feel.

Main Features:

  • Bluetooth V5.0 with Qualcomm aptX HD decoding
  • 5 ½” aluminium diaphragm drivers for ultimate bass response
  • Patent-pending planar diaphragm tweeters
  • Hi-res sound certification
  • High-efficiency Class-D digital power amplification
  • Electronic crossovers and dynamic control based on dual advanced DSP chips
  • Digital audio signal with a sample rate up to 24BIT/192KHZ
  • Listening pre-sets: Monitor, Dynamic, Classical, and Vocal
  • OLED LCD screen displays source, volume, sound effects modes
  • PVC side panels with matte black finish
  • Newly designed IR remote control

Price & Availability:

The S2000MKIII is available at £449.99 from Amazon Now!

Gadget Man – Episode 166 – Is that really you? Three ways to avoid phishing email, the audio version

Following up on my previous blog post avoiding phishing emails, I present the audio version, but is it really me at all?

Tune in and listen, and do let me know what you think?

See you next time!

Stay Safe, Matt

 

Three Ways To Spot A Phishing Email

Phishing is one of the most common methods of cybercrime, but despite the fact that we all know about scam emails, people often still fall victim to these scams.  Thousands of phishing emails are sent every year and a vast amount of data breaches come from scam emails. Phishing has been used for all kinds of scams, from gaining access to your bank accounts to coronavirus scams that ask you to pay for tests. There are some ways that you can spot a phishing email, so you can avoid having your information stolen or being scammed out of your money. 

One: The Message Is Sent From A Public Email

No genuine organisation will send emails from an address that ends with ‘@gmail.com’, or another free email service, not even then companies that own these email services. 

Only very small operations won’t have their own email domain and all organisations will have company accounts. If the domain name matches the sender of the email, this is a good sign that the email is genuine. If you get an email from your bank from a Gmail address, that’s definitely a fake. 

The simplest way to check what the domain name of an organisation should be is to search for the company on Google. 

Look at the email address, not just the sender. Your inbox will display a name, like the name of your bank, along with the subject line. When you open the email, you will think you know who the message is from, and can often skip checking the email address to just read the content. 

When a scammer creates a fake email address, they often have the choice to choose the display name, which doesn’t have to relate to the email address at all. This means that a scammer can use a bogus email address that show up in your inbox with a convincing display name.  Unfortunately, sometimes this is enough to trick people. 

Two: The Domain Name Is Misspelt

Scammers are wise to the problem of domain names, and there are clever ways to get around not being able to send emails from the correct domain.

Anyone can buy a domain name. While every domain name must be unique, scammers can buy one that is remarkably similar to the genuine article. Perhaps they add a dash or change a letter that is hard to spot at first glance on a small screen (swapping an m for an n is a classic example). 

If an email seems strange, pay close attention to the domain name. If it isn’t spelt correctly, then it’s a scam.

Three: The Email Is Poorly Written

You can often tell that an email is a scam if it uses poor spelling and grammar. Phishing emails are automated and sent out to vast numbers of people. When these emails are crafted, scammers often use a spellchecker or a translation program. This gives them the right words but always used in the correct context. 

These are errors are often the kinds of mistakes that are common with people learning English. Any message claiming to be official that is written like this is almost definitely a scam. 

An email with a mistake is not always going to be a scam. We all make typos occasionally, especially when typing quickly. It’s up to you look at the context of the mistake and decide if it suggests a scam email or just a mistake made by someone in a hurry. Ask yourself:

  • Is this a common typo, like striking an adjacent key?
  • Is it a mistake a native speaker wouldn’t make, like words in the wrong context, or grammatical incoherence?
  • Is the email consistent with previous messages you’ve received from the sender? 

If you’re not sure if an email is genuine, even after looking at these clues, you should contact the sender, via another method of communication. You could check on their website, call them, speak in person, use an instant message option, or use an alternative email address. They can either confirm that the email is genuine, or you can make them aware of the scam, so they can take action and prevent other customers from being scammed too. 

It’s important for individuals to learn to spot a scam email. Spam filters can only do so much to catch attempts at phishing, and it takes a human to look for signs of something suspicious in the context of an email. Learn the signs, and be aware of what you’re opening or clicking. 

Social Distancing Signs edges ever closer to 20,000 sign downloads!

At the end of March, we decided to start producing Social DIstancing information signs that could be downloaded for free and printed for personal use.

Initially, it was a single sign; Social Distancing Saves Lives. Over the following days and weeks, we added more posters in different languages and with a variety of messages

Customisable Social Distancing Saves Lives Free Downloadable Sign plus it can now be ordered online

At first, the signs were aimed at the general public, to display outside their homes to remind visitors to practice Social Distancing as a new concept to limit the spread of Coronavirus. It soon became clear, the businesses, schools and local authorities were downloading the signs and we quickly expanded the functionality to allow for customisation and with the help of local businesses began offering sign making and floor stickers commercially.

Keep Your Distance Stay Safe Posters – Design and Buy (Pack of 10)

I was never sure how many of the signs would be downloads or indeed the level of traffic the website would receive, now, just over a month since I started counting, the Social Distancing Sign website is nearing 20,000 sign downloads!

It’s been a smashing success and a much-needed service for businesses and schools who have struggled to find the budgets to pay for expensive physical distancing and safety signs.

Social Distancing Customer Information Sign
Social Distancing Customer Information Sign

We’ve had plenty of positive messages from lots of schools telling us how useful they have found the site and that alone has been extremely heartening to read.

Keep on using the site!

https://socialdistancingsigns.uk/

Matt

Easy Ways To Stay Entertained During Lockdown

Since working from home for the last few months, a lot of us have struggled to stay focused and not end up watching tv or doing odd jobs around the house. 

Whether you are furloughed or still working from home during the pandemic, there is a lot of free time where you will be bored and in need of entertainment. We want to help you stay entertained today with some simple ideas. 

Here are some of the things you can do to keep yourself occupied during the lockdown. 

Upgrade the TV 

Now and again the TV will need an upgrade, and during this pandemic you will want the best TV has to offer. This is why trying a Fibre Optic Network is a good idea to ensure you have access to all of the channels and streaming services you could possibly want. 

Download Disney Plus 

If you want some amazing films to watch as well as a healthy dose of nostalgia during the lockdown, Disney Plus is a must. It has all the Disney and Pixar classics, older movies you love, as well as The Simpsons, Star Wars and Marvel. There are so many things to watch using this service that you’ll easily get lost using it. 

Use Playstation Plus 

If you are a gamer and looking for something new to play online during lockdown, PlayStation Plus provides you with what you need. When you purchase this service you’ll get access to Call Of Duty World War II, and the online features of this game are amazing. From War missions to Team Deathmatches and Zombies, you’ll be kept entertained for hours as you play alongside people from all corners of the world. 

Download Audible 

If you have been spending a lot of time doing housework, gardening, or DIY during lockdown a great idea is to download Audible. Audible gives you access to thousands of books in audio form and you can listen to a compelling story while working on whatever project you want. It is a great way to keep the mind engaged and will give you some fun things to learn about and fantasy worlds to visit. 

Host a Zoom quiz 

Zoom is a staple for communication at the moment and everyone is using this service to keep in touch with colleagues and friends. If you are looking for the perfect way to stay in touch with your loved ones, Zoom allows you to share your screen and have quizzes. Create a PowerPoint with questions and picture rounds and enjoy spending some time with the people you love. 

Try technology-free games 

If you want to go a bit old fashioned during lockdown, there are plenty of games you can play without using technology. If you want to keep your brain active and working you can try building a jigsaw. You could play monopoly with your family, and there are lots of other board games to enjoy. 

Don’t be bored this lockdown and enjoy trying some new things! 

Is Your Productivity Tanking While You Work From Home?

A lot of us have been working from home during the COVID-19 crisis, and a lot of us have been finding it comes with its own set of challenges. For some, those challenges are all a matter of mindset or environment. You might be finding it difficult to get used to the fact your coworkers aren’t nearby or have trouble dealing with family and work at the same time. However, a lot of people initially find that it can be a challenge to get as much done from home as they might get in a better catered professional environment. Here, we’re going to look at five technological solutions that can ensure you’re a more productive and efficient worker.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels
Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

Know what you’re doing 

First of all, if you’re not certain where to start with your workday, then it’s time to take a strategic look at all of your current deadlines, responsibilities, and projects. Take the time to list out everything you might have to do. Then you can use tools like the https://appfluence.com/productivity/prioritization-matrix/ to see which you should do first. This tool lets you take your to-do list and quickly measure it by which tasks are most crucial and which are most urgent. As such, you won’t be stuck wondering what you should be doing at the start of the day. Five minutes can help you quickly layout the tasks you will be taking care of for the day.

Know when you’re doing it

Once you’ve effectively prioritised your tasks and you know what you’re doing for the day, then it’s all about knowing when you should do it. Workflow management software can help you set aside blocks of time so that you know when you’re going to be working on one thing and when it’s time to move onto the next. It ensures you don’t get stuck on one task for ages but rather you give everything the time that it needs and deserves.

Automate and streamline what you can

If you have any tasks that you have to do on a regular basis or that threaten to become monotonous, it’s important to find a way to standardize them efficiently. If you’re simply chipping away at them bit by bit, it can reduce your engagement with your work in total, making it harder for you to focus even when you get onto another task. There are plenty of tools designed specifically to automate your work, such as https://www.templafy.com/document-automation-software/ that can help you quickly format and standardize documents before you send them off. Look at your most regularly performed processes and see what you can do to automate them.

Make sure you can get what you need from your team

Of course, you’re not going to be doing all of your work, yourself. Most people are going to need to rely on their team at some point and, to that end, quick and effective communication is possible. A decent team collaboration app such as is going to be the basis of many a remote team’s communications. It gives you a centralised space to check your messages, talk about projects, or request help when you need it. If it’s not centralised, then it becomes all too easy to lose track of. After all, people have different communication preferences, be it by using IMs, sending emails, calling directly or otherwise. By centralising it, you get everyone using the same tools and following the same standards, reducing the chances of missed messages and miscommunication.

Get rid of any type of distraction

When it comes to distractions, there are two main types: external and internal. For the external, such as outside noise, you need to make sure you secure the work environment and ask that your family (or whoever you live with) respects your need for privacy and alone time when working. For internal distraction, you need to know what you’re most prone to be distracted by and to block it off. When it comes to working on digital technology, it’s usually the internet. However, there are plenty of tools like https://selfcontrolapp.com/ that you can use to set permissions, blocking your access to websites and social media within work hours. You can even block them entirely on your work device if that would make you feel more comfortable.

The above tech tools should hopefully help you get much more engaged and better organized with the work you do from home. Sometimes, the solution isn’t technological, however, so you need to take a better look at your work environment, too.

Edifier Announces TWS6 Now Available in the UK

Ultra-high Clarity Balanced Armature Driver In-ear Headphones with Bluetooth 5.0, 32-Hour Battery Life and IPX5 for water and sweat resistance.

Edifier® International, prominent designers and award-winning manufacturers of consumer audio electronics, announce the availability of the new TWS6 in the UK. The TWS6 won an iF Design Award 2020 for consumer electronics by the Hanover-based iF International Forum Design GmbH.

The Edifier TWS6 Earbuds feature outstanding sound quality in a compact, ergonomic 12mm design. With built-in balanced armature drivers from leading manufacturer Knowles, paired with an electroacoustic structure, vivid, high-resolution sound is delivered with exceptional clarity, enriching every detail of the sound.

With clear Voice capture (cVc) noise cancellation technology, sound clarity is improved, producing an immersive listening experience and excellent call quality. Thanks to Bluetooth 5.0, Qualcomm aptX audio and the Laser Direct Structuring antenna, the TWS6 offers fast transmission with ultra-low latency and a range of up to 10m (33ft). The touch controls also offer easy playback.

The IPX5 water resistance will protect the earbuds against sweat or rain, making these the perfect partner for a gym workout. The interchangeable earplugs come in three different designs – foam, silica and ear wings – for maximum comfort. Varying sizes of each provide the user with an excellent and stable fit for prolonged and secure wear.

The TWS6 provides up to eight hours of playback in a single charge, and the efficiently designed, 22mm charging case is easily portable. The case allows for three extra charges, totalling 32 hours of use between mains charging.

Edifier does not sacrifice aesthetics for sound quality. The TWS6 earbuds have been created with the LG scratch-resistant finish, ensuring your earbuds stay in top condition. Along with being durable, this finish is also environmentally friendly, avoiding the need for paint, electroplating and post-production surface treatments. With the seamless and sleek design of the earbuds and charging case, comfort, style and great technology are at the user’s disposal.

Main Features:

  • Built-in Knowles balanced armature drivers feature, reacting to weak signals, enriching each sound and producing exceptional sound quality. 98dB sensitivity.
  • Bluetooth 5.0 with Qualcomm aptX audio and Laser Direct Structuring antenna offering fast transmission and ultra-low latency.
  • Up to 32 Hours of Playback; with one charge providing eight hours of battery life and the slimline, wireless case providing three additional charges. USB Type-C charging also available.
  • IPX5 water, sweat and dust resistance, perfect for intense workouts and sport activity.
  • Lightweight, ergonomic design including a variety of earplugs and wings to ensure a comfortable fit.

Price & Availability:

The Edifier TWS6 is available at £89.99 from Amazon:       https://amzn.to/2WpWJ1k

The Gadget Man – Episode 165 – How to get going with video calls with Rob Dunger from Felixstowe Radio

Today, I spoke to Rob Dunger on Radio Felixstowe about getting going with video calls using Zoom, Houseparty, Skype, Messenger or Google Meet!

You can listen to the segment via the attached file or read the

Is was great to catch up with Rob after so long!


Matt Porter: [00:00:00] Well, we, we start with, I think familiar, tools that we might already be using. So we’re a Facebook user. We can use messenger and that will allow us to have video chats on a one to one basis. We can also do that in, FaceTime if you have an iPhone or an iPad. But if he wants to talk to more people, then there are other options such as zoom and Houseparty.

[00:00:32] And both of those allow you to have, a number of people in a chat. At the same time, Google also unlocked their, group video chat functionality, which I believe can give up to a hundred people at a time. Into into, into a group chat or a mix. I’m not sure how well that would work.

[00:00:51] Rob Dunger: [00:00:51] I can imagine the

[00:00:53] Matt Porter: [00:00:53] same time.

[00:00:55] Rob Dunger: [00:00:55] Do they have individually advantages and the different zooms and the Skypes and these sort of things?

[00:01:00] Matt Porter: [00:01:00] Yeah, I think, Oh yeah. Skype. For instance, he’s very well known, so it’s a trusted brand in a sense. It’s the same as zoom. Lots of people are talking about zoom at the moment. it’s getting lots of positive press, some negative, but it’s a familiar brand, so people are more likely to trust that it’s a safe place to go.

[00:01:22]so. Yeah. There’s, there’s, there’s good and bad on all of these things. Houseparty I’ve used a little bit. you do have to lock the door on that. Effectively. There’s an option to lock the door to stop people just wandering into a conversation, which I believe you can do on that. I

[00:01:37] Rob Dunger: [00:01:37] didn’t know that.

[00:01:38] Zoom. Zoom is private, isn’t it? Is it just your own, your own group or can anyone join in your

[00:01:43] Matt Porter: [00:01:43] conversation? There was discussions about potentially people can, jumping to conversations. I’m still not entirely clear how they go about doing that sort of malicious way, and I believe that it’s been locked down, but generally you would.

[00:01:59] With zoom, you’d be sent, you know, set your own meeting up and then send out an invite to your, your friends, trusted friends, and then they can use that invitation code to join the meeting. Or even just add them in. if you have them set up those contacts within zoom so you can aggregate group of people that you trust, that you add to a, add to a meeting or to a conversation.

[00:02:21] Rob Dunger: [00:02:21] A lot of people trying this for the first time and they’re, they’re learning by like, I do like making mistakes. For, for novice, what do we need to do? What’s the equipment we need? If they’re just someone, say, a retired person now and they’ve got a computer, what do they need to have?

[00:02:37] Matt Porter: [00:02:37] Ideally, they need to have a relatively modern computer.

[00:02:41] Say the last five or six years old needs to have a web cam. Many laptops or notebook size computers have built in webcams. that can be beneficial because the software will generally. recognize them, from the start so you don’t have to mess around trying to configure things. and you need to have something that could, it’s got the pair of speakers on it.

[00:03:02] Normally, again, laptops, notebook type computers will have speakers on them. Or you can use an iPad or a tablet, because it’s going to have a reason to be decent size screen and decent sound and microphone and everything.

[00:03:14] Rob Dunger: [00:03:14] There’s no special connection you, you need for this, just so it’s just on your ordinary internet connection.

[00:03:19] Matt Porter: [00:03:19] Yeah. When we say ordinary internet connection, I mean, yeah, it’s broad band. you know, reasonably high speed. I think most, most households appear to have this. I know there are some that don’t. but yeah, broadband, 30 megabits per second or something like that would be sufficient to have a video conversation because your video is actually going out to another server and then being served back to you using complicated things so you’re not having like 20 people connecting into your computer or anything.

[00:03:46] It’s all done from a centralized set of servers based on whichever provider is is you’re using.

[00:03:55] Rob Dunger: [00:03:55] But as an ordinary user, we don’t have to be bothered with those things. Do we? With the governance that goes on behind and let you let you boffins do it like that.

[00:04:03] Matt Porter: [00:04:03] Oh, that’s right. I think simplicity is the key.

[00:04:06] And if these things are too complicated, then that’s the stumbling block. People become frustrated and they out of what they’re doing. And I have to be honest, I find that sometimes I use a piece of software. Someone says to me, try and try this out, and I just think, what is going on here? Why is nothing.

[00:04:22] Where it should be. This is really difficult to use and you know, people’s concentration or their patients, especially at a time like we’re going through at the moment, it’s low. So it needs to be simple to set up. Funnily enough, the, the phone and the tablet apps tend to be much easier to use, in my opinion, than the, PC based.

[00:04:43] I think it’s because they’re simplified. From the start anyway, so they can’t get too complicated. So there’s a lot of swiping to the left and right to get options or stuff like that, but it’s fairly easy to use.

[00:04:55] Rob Dunger: [00:04:55] Okay. Take me through like a typical couple. Today in Dover court or in , they’ve got their PC and they want to set up a zoom meeting.

[00:05:02] What do they need to prepare.

[00:05:05] Matt Porter: [00:05:05] I think they need to find somewhere where they’re going to be comfortable, where there’s not going to be glare glare on their screen. And consequently, if there’s glare on the screen, it’s probably going to glare on there. A camera as well, and obscure the other person’s, view of them.

[00:05:25]and also what’s kind of useful is if you’re going to have something like this running, is to try and position. Is the device that you’re going to be looking at sort of as close to head height as possible. otherwise, because you really, you get better results, you get nasal hair picking up somebody’s nose.

[00:05:49]And, and it, and it’s a lot more, and it’s a lot kinder as well. You know, you don’t, even if you don’t have a double chin, if you have, the, the camera too far down, it will extend you those kinds of things as well. So you, you know, this is why you see lots of selfie photographs where they’re holding them up high and looking down.

[00:06:08] It’s because it has that slimming effect on them.

[00:06:11] Rob Dunger: [00:06:11] So if you put your laptop on your table and probably put it on some books and have it higher up, so almost.

[00:06:18] Matt Porter: [00:06:18] Yeah, I mean, if I’m, where I’m sitting at the moment, I’ve got, a like a scanner printer and I could effectively lift my laptop up on top of that and that would lift it up by six inches and give a nice, a nice, pleasant framing of me if I was on a video chat.

[00:06:34] So yeah, just a couple of books, a couple of big books, so it’s nice and stable and that would just lift it up if it’s a, and again, if it’s, if you’re using a device, you don’t have to hold that device in your hand. You can lean it up. Against something, you know, or secure it somewhere so it’s nice and steady and then you can, you’ve got your hands free to, to be comfortable.

[00:06:55] Rob Dunger: [00:06:55] And how far away should it be? I mean, we, we can see a tiny little picture of herself, but often we forget that picture and we forget that. What’s what they’re looking at other people looking at. That’s important, isn’t it? That we look good.

[00:07:07] Matt Porter: [00:07:07] Yeah. If you’re too close, then the camera on these devices going again is going to make you, cause they’re quite wide angle.

[00:07:13] You see going to get a bit of a fishbowl effect if you’re not careful. If you’re too far away, then you’ll get your, your sound is going to be affected as well. So you kind of need to be in a comfortable sort of position. I know maybe a foot two foot away from whatever you’re looking at. Just a. You know, you don’t want to be completely filling the, the frame, but you also don’t want to be so far away that you’re just a little tiny spot on someone’s screen because these chats, systems will have multiple people on the screen at the same time sometimes, and therefore they’ve got to recognize who you are.

[00:07:48] So, yeah, you just got an experiment really, and get comfortable and feel comfortable with what you look like, or it sounds like we’re being super, Obsessed by how we look, but you’ve got to be comfortable if you’re going to do these things because it can be scary to people, you know, when they first start using them.

[00:08:05] Rob Dunger: [00:08:05] When I’m watching interviews on tele, I love looking in the background. That’s important as well, isn’t it? Make sure you tidy up and puts, put certain things away. Don’t leave Matt on show for everybody to see what you’ve got.

[00:08:15] Matt Porter: [00:08:15] This happens to me all the time. I do quite a lot of video stuff where I’m recording myself and I’ll sit there, set myself up and record and get everything set up, and then I’ll suddenly realize that there’s a clothes dryer in the background with a pair of underpants hanging out or something, and you’re suddenly rushing around trying to move everything out of the way.

[00:08:36] So have a think about where you’re going to sit. You can actually, with a lot of these systems, you can actually pick her back. Ground, which it uses a bit of trickery the last it lasts you to get to effectively get out of shot. So we can just see the background and then it takes a kind of picture of the background, and then there’s like a blue screen effect on it so you can put some other background behind you, but that’s, sometimes it doesn’t work at great.

[00:09:02] If you’ve got long hair and things like that, you’re, you can find your hair disappears. And reappears again. but if then you can do that if you want to, if you really want to completely disguise where you are, you can put your own backgrounds in.

[00:09:14] Rob Dunger: [00:09:14] I’ve tried that. I was on the beach last week, and that looked really good, but it’s sounds should be careful as well, because we’re on at the moment.

[00:09:21] I noticed when I was on the air today, I’ve got a really creaky chair and you can hear that. So again. Watch what sounds you’ve got and watch what counts, what a surface you’re working on, because you can hear, you can hear every knock. Got you.

[00:09:32] Matt Porter: [00:09:32] I’ve got exactly the same problem. The chair that I’m sitting on at the moment.

[00:09:35] Every time I move, there’s a nice little Creek.

[00:09:39] Rob Dunger: [00:09:39] so that was back

[00:09:42] Matt Porter: [00:09:42] when it was really, so you know, again about those, some of the things, it’s really about what I tell one of them. Big issues is that when you get into these conversations, I saw it yesterday. I was somehow started watching, a competition where these people had to eat a particular biscuit.

[00:10:02] How  did you say? And, yeah. There was a one guy on there, they did say, can everyone mute their microphones, please? And this one guy hadn’t. And you could hear him, him clattering around in the background. And of course what happens with especially zoom is that it’s triggered by sound and motion. So if you make a noise or if you speak, it gives you the floor, if you like.

[00:10:26] So you become center stage. And because this guy was clattering around quite a bit, he kept. Jumping to him. so yeah, be aware that all the noise you make around your computer is going to be picked up by the microphone.

[00:10:38] Rob Dunger: [00:10:38] It can be quite inappropriate sometimes when you’re watching the church service.

[00:10:42] Matt Porter: [00:10:42] So can you imagine,

[00:10:44] Rob Dunger: [00:10:44] and of course, make sure that.

[00:10:46] Other people in the household know what you’re doing, so they don’t shout out to you, your dinner’s ready or walk, walk in or that. That’s fun as well.

[00:10:52] Matt Porter: [00:10:52] Yes. I was on zoom the other day, which was a blue shot at six other people were in and normally we’d meet up. But this was the first time that they tried to do it remotely and there were grandchildren walking in, in the background asking for a drink.

[00:11:08] There was someone knocking on the door and getting up and all of these kinds of things were going on. And I think we started out with about seven people, and by the end of the meeting, there were about three of us left because everyone else had acted off and do all these other things. So yeah, make sure that you sort of apply yourself or you’re going to go and do it, especially if you’re hosting it, you know?

[00:11:26] Don’t try not to get too distracted.

[00:11:29] Rob Dunger: [00:11:29] It’s fun though, isn’t it? I mean, unless it’s a business beat in which it’s different, but it’s fun and it’s a different way of communicating and it is crucial this time that we have something like this. It

[00:11:39] Matt Porter: [00:11:39] is, it’s incredible where we’re, it’s such a drastic, time in all of our lives.

[00:11:46] We’re so lucky that technology has. In some way saved us from, a much worse fight in as much as we have all this technology, all these ways of doing things that we didn’t have 20 years ago. So we, you know, we can order our food, we can do all of these, I think, and we can communicate with our loved ones, which is really, really important.

[00:12:09] And especially when we’re being honest. Try and distance ourselves from people. Keep socially distance. You know that by being able to have that interaction with our family and friends via video is great. Friend of mine has had quiz nights with his family where they actually set up quiz boards and they all sit in there and asking questions and answering questions.

[00:12:32] It’s incredible how inventive and creative people have become with something that probably wasn’t initially designed for this, for this, this kind of thing. You know, it was intended for business meetings and stuff like that, but actually the family gets together is great,

[00:12:49] Rob Dunger: [00:12:49] and it’s not scary to try the first time, try it with some friends or family or, or maybe some coffee mates to bring them up and say, Oh, to Skype him or zoom and say, should we ever go?

[00:12:57] It’s worth trying, isn’t it? Yeah.

[00:12:59] Matt Porter: [00:12:59] Of course it is. And you know, I was trying out with my dad the other day and he was talking to me and I ended up bringing him on the landline and saying that, you’ve got your microphone muted. Can you just unmute it? Well, we’re doing that then. So I’m trying to talk him through unmute and his microphone so I could hang up on him and him.

[00:13:18]I think it was face-time actually at the time, but yeah, it was fine. You know, if you’re doing it with people that your family and friends and you should be comfortable enough to, to. You know, take, take direction from them and everything like that without feeling daft. And it’s great fun. I know that there’s lots and lots of people involved.

[00:13:36] I, I’ve noticed a lot of church services actually. I’ve started doing zoom, church church services, which I think is great. I did ask my mom the other day, I said, are you standing in the living room singing the hymn? but she didn’t, she just, she thought I was joking.

[00:13:52] Rob Dunger: [00:13:52] Allegations are bigger on the, on the, on the, FaceTime and zoom than ever they had in the church. So it’s just good. It’s a new way.

[00:13:59] Matt Porter: [00:13:59] It is a new way of doing things. And, and we seem to be able to find a way around these difficulties. And that seems, this seems to be one of the amazing things. And it’s also interesting to see how, TV, programs have now started using the same technology and how you can see the.

[00:14:17] They’re used to doing things a particular way and they’re suddenly having to use a new technology. And somehow, sometimes it doesn’t work that well because you don’t get that audience feedback that you would, they would only be used to. Whereas you have the people that are used to using YouTube and most those kinds of platforms all the time, they’re much more comfortable with that whole thing, and then they come across bear.

[00:14:42] So it’s a very interesting time.

[00:14:44] Rob Dunger: [00:14:44] This is only part of what you do. You’re your gadget mad, aren’t you? Absolutely addicted to gadgets.

[00:14:49] Matt Porter: [00:14:49] All kinds of things. Technology and gadgets, everything. Yeah.

[00:14:53] Rob Dunger: [00:14:53] What are you working on at the moment then? What sort of things?

[00:14:56] Matt Porter: [00:14:56] well I’ve, I’ve still got a business to run and I’ve still been doing things relating to that.

[00:15:02] I’ve been lucky that. my customer base hasn’t been terribly affected so far by what’s been going on. So that’s been going on as normal. But I’ve also been doing lots of different pet projects at the moment. I started, a few weeks ago building a website to give people the ability to print signage for social distancing and, and, and information, and it’s all free and things like that.

[00:15:27] And it’s turned out, but, it’s become really, really busy. I’ve got. At any one time I’ve got 10 or 11 people all tying to make their own signs on the website. So, that’s been really, really challenging. And also from just having some, basic posters that I designed myself, now people can go on there and design their own and put their own texts on there and then download it as a PDF, print it and put it on their walls or wherever else they need to.

[00:15:53] So that’s kind of trying to give it back, give something back to. Community and society, you know, rather than, find a way of making money off the back of it, but actually do something that’s creative and good for

[00:16:10] Rob Dunger: [00:16:10] skills that we can learn at this time. It would take for us when we, when we do eventually get better times.

[00:16:15] Matt Porter: [00:16:15] There is, yes, I’ve been bit, I’ve also made some, some gadgets, some, some electronic gadgets and, and built, cameras, which can, do film, film stars and things like that and all kinds of different things I’ve done since. Just because I’ve had the time to do it. I’ve always wanted to have these things, for other reasons.

[00:16:35] But because there’s been so much spare time to be able to sit, and it’s an excuse, you can kind of excuse yourself. So don’t you worry about what there’s lots of people,

[00:16:44] Rob Dunger: [00:16:44] don’t you worry about Australia and on inside your head.

[00:16:48] Matt Porter: [00:16:48] I tell you lots of things. You know, I, the other day I, I, I made a, built a very, very simple website that could, generate.

[00:16:57] 1980s t-shirt slogans like Frankie, say, relax or choose life, but have all the text align correctly and resize in a site there for our evening doing that and and able to do it, you know? And then you can look at the logs to see what other people might be doing and you find out that they are all making their own t-shirt slogans.

[00:17:17] Yeah, it does worry me really why I thought that was an important thing to do, but I’m sure I tried to find an excuse for. Doing that project to solve another problem on something else.

[00:17:27] Rob Dunger: [00:17:27] You better tell people where to find you, then

[00:17:30] Matt Porter: [00:17:30] yes, you can go to the gadget man.org.uk, which is my gadget review site.

[00:17:39] And from there you’ll be able to link to the other websites as well, which is. tshirtslogans.uk and socialdistancingsigns.uk

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