LiveTrains UK – My ‘Go-To’ for Real-Time Train Info
Ever found yourself rushing to catch a train, only to find out it’s been delayed? We’ve all been there. That’s exactly why I started LiveTrains UK. It’s a nifty little site that gives you live train times right at your fingertips. Think of it as your personal train time checker – but cooler.
Real-Time Updates Because Who Likes Waiting?
We’re all about making your train travel easier. With LiveTrains UK, you get the latest scoop on train times without the headache. Whether you’re commuting, heading out for a day trip, or just curious, we’ve got you covered. No more guessing games; just quick, accurate info to help plan your journey better.
Easy Peasy to Use
We’ve made sure our site is super easy to use. No complicated stuff – just hop on, find your train times, and you’re good to go. We’re big on keeping things straightforward because, let’s face it, who has the time for complicated?
Still Tweaking Things – Yep, We’re in Beta!
Just a heads-up, LiveTrains UK is still in beta. That means we’re still testing and tweaking things. The idea came from my own itch to find up-to-date train times without the hassle. So, while we’re smoothing out the edges, we’d love for you to give it a whirl and see how it makes your train travels a bit less of a bother.
Having recently adopted the Wavo Boom Arm into my streaming and podcasting setup, it’s hard to envision a time without it. This piece of equipment truly stands as a testament to Joby’s commitment to professional-grade products for the modern content creator.
Right off the bat, the arm is seamlessly tailored for the Wavo Pod Microphone. It boasts a steady, high-quality construction, ensuring that your microphone is held securely and remains in prime position throughout your recording or streaming sessions. With its impressive payload of up to 1kg, you have the flexibility to integrate various microphones, accommodating even the weightier ones with ease.
Aesthetically, the Wavo Boom Arm is a masterpiece. The multicoloured stripes ingeniously hide cables, lending to a clean and contemporary appearance that’s often missing in other boom arms. The matte black shell not only offers a chic look but also provides an added safety feature, shielding users from accidental pinches. Furthermore, the option to personalise the arm with red or black solid rubber covers allows users to maintain a tidy desk space, particularly useful for those like myself who can’t stand a cluttered workspace.
The universal attachment is yet another feather in its cap. It effortlessly supports both microphones and cameras, making it perfect for versatile content creation needs. Whether you’re streaming a podcast, or setting up for a top-down tech review, this boom arm is up to the task.
The innovative clamp design is a genuine game-changer. With rubber protections on both top and bottom, there’s no fretting over potential desk damage. It affixes firmly to any surface, ensuring the arm remains steady throughout its range of motion. Plus, the addition of a desk grommet option offers flexibility in setup, catering to individual workspace preferences.
But the pièce de résistance has to be the unique JOBY design integrating both a cup and headphones holder. It’s this sort of practical thinking that genuinely showcases the brand’s understanding of its user base. No more scrambling around for headphones or risking liquid mishaps; everything is neatly organised, optimising the entire content creation experience.
Priced at £86.95, it might appear as a hefty investment to some. But given its impeccable design, multifunctionality, and the sheer quality of material used – primarily aluminium – it’s worth every penny.
Really impressed with the build quality and ease of use. This is a really good addition to my setup and I love using it for sound recording.
In the rapidly evolving world of technology, it’s easy to forget the gadgets and gizmos that once dominated our lives. Today, we’ll take a nostalgic trip down memory lane, reminiscing about the tech tools that have faded into the annals of history.
Floppy Disks and CD-ROMs:
Once, the clunky floppy disks and shimmering CD-ROMs were our only recourse to data storage and transfer. They have now gracefully bowed out, making way for sleek USB drives, capacious external hard drives, and the omnipresent cloud storage that promises accessibility from every corner of the globe.
VHS Tapes and VCRs:
The ritual of rewinding VHS tapes and the magic of VCRs bringing images to life on screen are chapters from a bygone era. They’ve been overshadowed by the crisp clarity of DVDs, Blu-rays, and the instant gratification delivered by streaming services.
The whirring and buzzing of fax machines, once music to the ears of office-goers have been replaced by the silent, instantaneous delivery of emails and other digital communication channels.
BlackBerry: Once the pinnacle of business communication with its iconic QWERTY keyboard, BlackBerry has been overshadowed by the touchscreen revolution led by smartphones that offer an array of features and applications making communication and management seamless.
The humble pager, a precursor to the mobile revolution, once clipped to belts, has quietly retreated to the shadows as smartphones dominate the communication landscape with various features unimaginable back in the day.
The instant gratification of digital photography has replaced the thrill of loading film and the patience of development. Though a niche of enthusiasts still cherishes the craft of film photography, digital cameras and smartphones have become our lenses to the world.
The bulky CRT monitors that once occupied desks were replaced by sleek LCD and LED monitors, marking a significant leap in aesthetics and technology.
Cassette Tapes and Players:
The tactile joy of flipping a cassette tape is a forgotten pleasure. Digital audio and streaming services have ensnared the auditory senses with a promise of endless playlists.
The rhythmic clacking of typewriter keys is a sound from a bygone era, replaced by the soft tapping on modern-day keyboards as computers and word-processing software took over.
The nostalgic spin of the rotary dial has been replaced by the swift taps on touch-tone and mobile phones, making communication faster and smoother.
Each piece of outdated technology carries with it stories and memories that shaped the era they belonged to. As we embrace the new, it’s a sweet reminiscence to look back at the tech relics that paved the path for today’s digital wonderland.
You can also listen in to my chat with Steve Ladner on BBC Radio Kent by clicking on the play button at the top of the post
Fake reviews can significantly impact both businesses and consumers, distorting the perception of products, services, and brands. They can artificially inflate or deflate ratings and can mislead potential buyers. Here are some strategies that both businesses and consumers can use to protect themselves:
1. Monitor Reviews Actively: Regularly monitor and analyse reviews for patterns that may indicate fraudulent activity, such as a sudden influx of positive or negative reviews.
2. Utilise Review Verification Services: There are third-party services designed to verify the authenticity of reviews. They can help in filtering out suspicious or inauthentic feedback.
3. Encourage Genuine Reviews: Encourage satisfied customers to leave a review by providing easy-to-follow instructions or even offering incentives. Make sure to follow ethical guidelines in doing so.
4. Implement a Review Policy: Have a clear and transparent review policy that defines what is allowed and not allowed. Make it accessible to customers.
5. Report Fake Reviews: Major review sites often have mechanisms for reporting suspicious reviews. Be sure to make use of these systems when you notice suspicious activity.
6. Engage with Reviews: By actively responding to reviews, both positive and negative, you can often build trust with customers. If you suspect a review is fake, respond professionally, indicating your concern and how you plan to investigate.
7. Educate Your Customers: Let your customers know the importance of genuine reviews and how they can make sure their reviews are counted.
1. Check Multiple Sources: Don’t rely on reviews from just one website. Look at different platforms to get a more comprehensive view.
2. Look for Verified Purchasers: Some platforms label reviews from verified purchasers. These are typically more trustworthy.
3. Analyze Review Patterns: If you see a large number of reviews with the same wording or all posted around the same time, they might be fake.
4. Be Skeptical of Extremes: Extremely positive or negative reviews might be fake, especially if they lack specific details about the product or service.
5. Use Review Analysis Tools: Some online tools can analyse reviews and provide a summary or even flag potentially fake reviews.
6. Read Both Positive and Negative Reviews: By reading a mix of positive and negative reviews, you can often get a more balanced view of a product or service.
7. Trust Your Instinct: If something doesn’t feel right, or if a review seems too good to be true, it probably is.
8. Consider Professional Reviews: If possible, look for professional, in-depth reviews from reputable sources.
9. Engage with the Community: Ask questions on forums or social media to get real opinions from real users.
By being proactive and aware, both businesses and consumers can significantly reduce the impact of fake reviews. It requires a combination of vigilance, utilizing available tools and services, and fostering a culture of authenticity and transparency.
If you have been paying attention to the ways in which we use streaming services, then you might have well noticed that they have changed a lot over the years, and not always (or usually) for the better. Aside from some top-quality shows getting cancelled, it feels like more and more content is getting gated, split off, and otherwise made harder for us to enjoy. We may not be able to return to the peak of online TV streaming, but there are some ways to make it suck less.
Don’t commit to them
Okay, so it might be a little inconvenient to think about which streaming service you’re going to be using each and every month but the truth is that being “loyal” doesn’t pay. You don’t get any bonuses for staying with any particular service for longer and, most importantly, you’re not locked down to any one service for any period of time. Most streaming services operate on a pay-as-you-go monthly basis. As such, you can make sure that you’re subscribed to whatever services are helping you watch whichever shows you’re invested in at the moment, and then, when you’re done with that, use a comparison site to find a service that’s offering a better selection for you next month.
Get access to overseas content
One of the ways that streaming sites have been increasingly gating off the content that they allow us to access is through region-locked content. This can be due to licensing issues, or not getting the rights to broadcast in all countries, but sometimes, it’s literally just because they don’t think certain media will appeal to certain audiences. If you want to learn how to watch Hulu with VPN, it’s super easy to be able to access the roster that some of your overseas friends might be gushing about. This way, you can make sure that you don’t get all amped up to watch something that you heard was available, only for inevitable disappointment when you find out it’s not available in your region.
Consider using some free options
If you’re starting to look at your budget and you’re a little distressed by just how much of it is taken up by subscription services, then it might be time for a detox. While you could switch to a method of switching sites month by month, you should also look at the sheer variety of free streaming services that are still available. Unlike a few years back, piracy isn’t your only option when it comes to watching shows that you can’t otherwise access. Most of these free streaming services do rely on ads, so you might not be getting exactly the same experience, but it’s not that bad a trade-off, overall.
With the increasing move of streaming services to a model that’s closer to traditional cable TV, we might be trying to hold back the tide. However, you can at least ensure that you get to enjoy your streaming services a little better for a little longer with the tips above.
In today’s fast-paced digital world, it’s no surprise that many businesses and individuals are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to help them with various tasks, including writing blog posts. AI technology has come a long way in recent years, and it has the potential to help bloggers save time and improve the quality of their content.
One of the biggest advantages of using AI to write blog posts is that it can help save time. Rather than spending hours researching, outlining, writing, and editing a blog post, you can use AI to quickly generate high-quality content. This can be especially useful if you’re crunched for time or if you need to produce a large volume of content on a regular basis.
Another advantage of using AI to write blog posts is that it can help improve the quality of your content. AI technology can analyze your existing content and use that information to generate new posts that are similar in style and tone. This can be especially useful if you want to maintain a consistent voice and tone throughout your blog. Additionally, AI can use natural language processing to ensure that your content is well-written and easy to read.
Of course, using AI to write blog posts is not without its challenges. One of the biggest challenges is that AI technology is not yet capable of fully replicating human creativity and intuition. As a result, your AI-generated content may not always be as engaging or original as content that is written by a human. Additionally, AI technology is still in its early stages, and it may not always produce error-free content.
Despite these challenges, using AI to write blog posts can be a valuable tool for bloggers who are looking to save time and improve the quality of their content. As AI technology continues to advance, it’s likely that we’ll see even more sophisticated tools that can help bloggers generate high-quality content quickly and easily. In the meantime, it’s worth considering using AI to write blog posts if you’re looking for ways to streamline your content creation process and produce high-quality content on a regular basis.
This post was written by ChatGPT (AI)
Tags produced by ChatGPT (AI)
Images created using Midjourney (AI)
All pasted by Matt Porter The Gadget Man (Human)
Leading listening tech provider, Nuance Hearing, has launched a state-of-the-art directional microphone to help address the ‘cocktail party problem’.
The ‘cocktail party problem’ – an inability to understand speech in a noisy environment – can affect up to 41 per cent of adults, according to research.
The Voice Selector Converse uses built-in microphones and an advanced algorithm to track the source of sounds, allowing the user to easily focus on a conversation and tune out background noise.
In tests, users were able to understand speech on average three times better than without the product.
Nuance Hearing, a leading global provider offocused listening technology, has launched a new device that provides powerful relief from auditory distraction and background noise.
The Voice Selector Converse helps overcome challenging hearing situations for those who struggle with the ‘cocktail party problem’, offering a tech solution to understand conversations in a crowded room, without the need for hearing aids.
Using cutting-edge beamforming technology, eight built-inmicrophones track the source of sounds, reducing the level of background noise and enabling the user to focus on the dominant voice. The result is a world-leading directivity index (the relative reduction of overall noise in relation to the target sound) of 15dB in real-time performance, which compares to an industry-standard of 4-5dB. This improvement helps the listener to focus, effortlessly tuning out the sounds that do not matter and tuning into the ones that do.
In audiology testing, users were able to understand speech on average three times better than without the product.
Ori Goren, CEO of Nuance Hearing, said: “Since 2015, we have been delivering powerful and advanced hearing solutions that deliver optimum performance.We know that many people in the UK are suffering in silence, unable to feel comfortable or enjoy conversing in busy environments, and are proud to have launched an innovative tech solution to help combat this.Through innovative technological solutions, we are passionate aboutimproving the quality of life for a diverse group of people, making every environment more accessible and helping ensure personal success and empowerment.”
New research* suggests that41 percent of all UK adultsadmit to having the ‘cocktail party problem’ where they struggle to understand speech in a noisy environment. Over a third (36 percent) said noisy environments caused them stress and anxiety and60 percentof those with hearing problemssaid they would be open to trying out tech to help them hear in a busy environment.
The Voice Selector Converse has unique auto-steering technology which picks up the dominant speaker, even when they are moving about. Alternatively, the user can manually switch between speakers when conversing a group.
It also captures, processes, and plays audio at a record speed of six milliseconds (0.006 seconds).It’s a multifunctional device and can be used as a table microphone or remote microphone – ideal for most scenarios where background noise can be an issue.
Hearing loss currently affects 12 million people in the UK. The World Health Organisation estimates that 1 in 5 people worldwide live with hearing loss, expected to rise to 1 in 4 by 2050. Unaddressed hearing loss can have a devastating impact on people’s ability to communicate, study and earn a living. It can also impact on people’s mental health and their ability to sustain relationships1and has recently been associated with a faster degree of cognitive decline. On average, people wait ten years before getting help for hearing loss. The ‘cocktail party problem’ where people have difficulty understanding speech in noisy situations can often be the first sign of a hearing loss.
Franki Oliver, audiology specialist, RNID, said:“While it might not seem obvious at first, having difficulty understanding speech in background noise is usually one of the early signs of hearing loss. The ‘cocktail party problem’ is the name used to describe the brain’s inability to filter out background noise and tune into what someone is saying in a busy environment. Most people with hearing loss experience difficulty in these situations.
“It’s important to check your hearing if you start to notice difficulty in background noise, feel that people mumble, or you ask people to repeat themselves. It’s second nature for people to have their eyes checked regularly but we don’t have the same attitude towards getting our hearing checked yet. The sooner hearing loss is identified, the earlier someone can start benefiting from life-changing hearing devices. Hearing loss can also be linked to conditions such as dementia so early intervention is vital.”
As a person with an avid interest in technology, getting the chance to review a new piece of Virtual Reality kit was very exciting, so when I was invited to review the new HTC Vive Flow a week before their official launch on October 14th, I jumped at the chance!
So on the morning of October 8th, I set off to Dingley Place in London to find out more.
The preview event was hosted at a modern shoot location near Old Street, and it presented as a modern apartment and outside space, which turned out to be an ideal place to experience this new tech.
HTC now have been producing cutting edge ‘room scale’ virtual reality headsets since 2015 and have both consumer and professional solutions available in the marketplace.
Typically, VR headsets are quite large and cumbersome and work in conjunction with hand controllers and connect to a reasonably powerful PC or dedicated console which does most of the legwork, with mainly immersive virtual reality action games. Not something you can readily carry around with you.
With the launch of the Vive Flow, HTC has turned this whole idea on its head. Rather than focus on 3D action games, instead, HTC has positioned the device primarily in the mindfulness and wellbeing space, with lightweight ‘glasses’ that connect to your Android smartphone (which doubles up as the hand controller).
The glasses themselves are very light, coming in at 180g which I was told was the weight of a bar of chocolate. The front of Vive Flow’s lenses has a mirror finish with a camera hidden behind each lens for motion tracking and a ‘pass-through’ view.
Rather than using a full wraparound design, the Flow fit like standard glasses with speakers built into each arm. The goggles fit very comfortably over the eyes using a soft material, there is also an active cooling system that blows cool air onto your skin when it detects heat increasing.
The Vive Flow uses a very advanced lens system which is one of the reasons why the device is so like, this also allows for diopter adjustment which means many glasses users will be able to use the device without wearing them.
Each lens has a high-resolution display at 3.2k combined (2x 2.1” LCD 1600 x1600 per eye). The displays refresh at 75mhz and have a field of view of 100 degrees. Onboard storage is 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM.
The glasses are designed to be powered via an adapter, they do contain a battery for management purposes rather than completely wire-free use.
I tried 5 different modes of use.
Mindfulness and Chillout Area – I experience the mindfulness side of this technology where I was transported to a beach someone exotic and watch the sunrise, whilst I was gently coached on my breathing and reached a really nice calm place!
Disney+ – Here I was able to experience the full cinematic version of the Disney+ streaming platform and had a chance to watch a segment of Free Guy starring Ryan Reynolds. The video quality was exceptional as was the surround sound. It was very impressive!
Pirates – This was a VR pirate game where I had to shoot cannonballs at pirate ships – Lots of fun!
V&A Curious Alice – This was an interactive experience in conjunction with the Victoria and Albert Museum. It was really good fun again, you can find out more here.
Lo-Fi Cafe – I really liked this experience, it was an incredibly immersive and calming experience. I was sitting in a Cafe with a steaming coffee in front of me, music playing on a record player, an open book on the table and a laptop. There were empty tables which I was able to transport over to. I could also surf the internet in a VR browser. I could also draw and write in thin air. Most importantly, I found it really relaxing. Living in a house that can be very very noisy, I really felt I could actually take myself away from the hustle and bustle of life into that virtual cafe and watch the rain running down the window and just relax.
I realised more than anything was that VR has indeed reached a point when the brain can be fooled enough to be calmed into a sense of relaxation wherever you might be. In a workplace, busy home or even on a transatlantic flight. I was very, very impressed.
The demand for convenient, intelligent, and incentivised electric vehicle charging has been met with the launch of the INDRA Smart Pioneer.
Unveiled to drivers for the first time at Fully Charged OUTSIDE 2021, INDRA’s Smart Pioneer signals a new standard for electric car charging. With a simple plugin and go message for users, the charger is an intuitively smart piece of kit, making it easy for drivers to shift their charging patterns to off-peak times, save money and earn rewards.
Coupling leading technology with reliability, the Smart Pioneer helps drivers to reduce their environmental impact. By managing their charging schedule and shifting up to 80% of energy use to off-peak tariffs, it can lessen the demand on the grid and see customer carbon emissions fall by an average of 20%.
Working in tandem with the ev.energy companion app, the rewards platform automatically taps into the times when energy is at its cheapest, and offers rewards back, meaning drivers can claim over £250* per year in energy savings, retail incentives and get involved in projects like local tree planting to help offset their carbon emissions.
Commenting on the benefits of smart charging sessions Indra’s founder and chief technology officer, Mike Schooling, comments:
“Households that drive a lot of miles on electricity, and charge mostly on electricity, need smart charging to avoid putting more demand on the UK’s power supply. We know that drivers are happy to shift their charging patterns to off-peak times, but they need peace of mind that it will be simple to do and reliable so that when they get in their car at 6 am for work they can get straight on the road.”
Continuing to break down charging barriers, INDRA’s latest product builds on the initial success of its Smart PRO. With an extended 5-year warranty, the Smart Pioneer also offers all the same benefits as the INDRA Smart PRO, including smart-scheduling, house-fuse protection, solar panel integration and advanced safety features – meaning EV drivers can guarantee safety and ultimate utilisation of renewable energy.
Schooling, further adds: “Electric car sales have surged to 17% market share and innovative, smart charging is key to greater uptake of electric cars so that number keeps rising. The launch of our Smart Pioneer is a step-change in the smart optimisation of EV chargers and will be the world’s first commercially available V1G product that rewards customers for being flexible with when they charge their EV at home.”
The Smart Pioneer collaboration between INDRA and ev.energy sees drivers getting rewards passed on from the V1G smart charging technology, something which is a world-first proposition from a charge point company.
V1G charging varies the time and rate at which an electric vehicle is charged to respond to surges in power demand. This type of smart charging can harness extra revenue, above a driver’s tariff savings, by accessing flexibility services across the distribution operator and National Grid.
The Smart Pioneer uses leading technology to aggregate thousands of devices to provide a local or national response to grid events and when revenue is generated, shares those back with drivers.
Nick Wooley, CEO at ev.energy, concludes: “We’ve admired INDRA for a really long time, they have a fantastic history of building great products so we’re really excited to be partnering to bring even more drivers cheaper, greener charging.”