Category Archives: Matt Porter

Gadget Man – Episode 169 – Ofcom orders Phone Networks to Stop Locking Phones + Advice and Tips about Switching Networks

In this episode, I chat to James Hazell on BBC Radio Suffolk about the ban on locking mobile phone handsets in the UK.

Mobile phone companies will be banned from selling ‘locked’ handsets, under a range of new rules from Ofcom that will make switching even simpler.

Some companies – including BT/EE, Tesco Mobile and Vodafone – still sell mobile phones that can’t be used on other networks unless they are unlocked. But this is a potentially complicated process which can also cost around £10. Ofcoms research shows that more than a third of people who decided against switching said this put them off.

Switching between mobile networks should now be simpler following Ofcom ruling
Switching between mobile networks should now be simpler following Ofcom ruling

Almost half of the customers who try to unlock their phone have difficulties doing so. For example, they might experience a long delay before getting the code they need to unlock their phone; the code might not work, or they could suffer a loss of service if they did not realise their phone was locked before they tried to switch.

So, following consultation, Ofcom has confirmed that mobile companies will be banned from selling locked phones. This will allow people to move to a different network with their existing handset, hassle-free. The new rules will come in from December 2021.

Gadget Man – Episode 168 – Snakebyte E-Sports Starter Kit – Covid Track and Trace – Ordo Sonic+ Toothbrush – iPhone 12

This is the slightly delayed episode from 15th October 2020. Packed with lots of news and comment. Here I discuss the Snakebyte E-Sports Starter Kit Package , Covid Track and Trace, the Ordo Sonic+ Toothbrush and the iPhone 12 (in four different sizes!).

You can listen in to the recording above or subscribe using your favourite podcast player. Don’t forget to like, subscribe, share or comment! See you presently! Matt.

Ordo Sonic+ Toothbrush
Ordo Sonic+ Toothbrush
Snakebyte E-Sports Starter Kit
Snakebyte E-Sports Starter Kit
Apple iPhone12, iPhone12 Pro, iPad Air
Apple iPhone12, iPhone12 Pro, iPad Air – Image Apple Inc

 

ROIDMI launches RS60 cordless vacuum cleaner with antiviral technology

Pioneering cordless vacuum cleaner brand, ROIDMI, has launched a powerful flagship cordless vacuum cleaner with proven antiviral/antibacterial technology and a wealth of class-leading features. The RS60 builds on the multi-award winning X20, retaining Scandinavian inspired design and innovative clip-on water tank for simultaneous vacuuming and wet-wiping on hard floors, while adding more power, longer run times and 6-layer micro-particle filtration to capture 99.9% of pollen and dust particles.

It’s colour OLED display shows functions such as power level, battery remaining, filter alerts and even calories burned while cleaning. These features are backed up with a high-power 120000rpm digital motor, automatic headlights on the main floorhead, smart features via a Bluetooth connected app, and the unique aesthetic with its 270-degrees handle that has already secured ROIDMI six International Design Awards.

RS60 Dustbin
RS60 Dustbin

Antiviral technology

The RS60 adds a patented ZiWei Novoron ION antibacterial sterilising system within the brush roller, dust separator and filter system to help eliminate bacteria and other biological pathogens on contact. ZiWei technology is a joint venture between ROIDMI Labs and two Japanese tech-giants, Toagosei and Toray, and is the result of three years of research and development.

The technology builds on the proven antimicrobial and antiviral properties of silver ion nanoparticles (NCBI white paper) that the trio of companies has developed into a long-lasting surface treatment for the vital air-contact points of the RS60 cleaner. The final stage filter is a Toray H11 filter cartridge, more commonly used in home air purifiers, extensively treated with the Novoron ION antibacterial technology. The result is exceptionally clean exhaust air that has passed through multiple stages of antimicrobial treatment and filtration to improve the quality of the air around the home.

RS60 Vacuum
RS60 Vacuum

Hygienic clean

For homes with hard floors, the RS60’s magnetic clip-on water tank and wet mopping attachment have been upgraded to improve capillary wetting action, and an Ionic antibacterial coating now reduces potential mould growth in the reservoir tank when stored. The system magnetically clips onto the RS60 floorhead, allowing you to vacuum and wet-wipe with its microfibre cloth in one action – halving the time it takes to clean tiles, laminates, marble and vinyl floor coverings.

Answering customer feedback from the X20, the new ROIDMI multi-surface roller brush has been designed to clean all floor types without swapping brush rollers between carpets and hard floors. The soft textile surface of the roller along with the V-shaped brush fibres offer 30% higher pick-up rate than traditional brushes, as well as being quieter to use and gentler on hard floor surfaces. The floorhead has been designed to comb the roller brush as it cleans, ensuring pet and human hairs are drawn into the bin and do not get tangled around the brush. The roller material has Nanoscale Hydrophobic fibres that resist water and stains, even when you are using the wet mop attachment.

ROIDMI RS60 Handle
ROIDMI RS60 Handle

Light and long-lasting

The RS60 is extremely lightweight at just 2,7kg and can be used as a stick cleaner, handheld vacuum or with its flexible hose and selection of tools to clean every corner of your home. The powered mini-brush / mattress brush tool is ideal for carpeted stairs, upholstery and beds, with its concentrated suction and high-speed brush roller designed to effectively lift dust, dust mites and pet dander from soft surfaces. The Air-X 2.0 8-cyclone dust separation system and 6-layer filtration system ensures these particles are captured in the bin and not blown back into your room. The 0.55l bin offers one-touch emptying to minimise dust exposure from start to finish.

ROIDMI’S largest capacity BMS-X battery system is standard on the RS60, delivering over an hour of cleaning (70 minutes) on a single charge. The high-power mode offers 40 minutes runtime and the Max mode over 10 minutes of cleaning at a potent 150W / 26500Pa suction pressure. The BMS-X battery uses premium LG and Samsung cells, allowing ROIDMI to offer an exceptional two-year battery warranty.

ROIDMI RS60
ROIDMI RS60

Accessories, guarantee, availability

The wall-mounted magnetic dock is a neat addition to the RS60, combining simple charging with a sophisticated storage system. The dock comes with a peel-back sticky pad or can be mounted to tricker surfaces with screw fixings as required. Each RS60 comes supplied with a selection of tools and accessories including the main floorhead and magnetic detachable water tank module, powered mini brush tool (mattress brush), crevice tool, dusting brush, extension tube, extension hose and pet brush. The machine is complete with washable microfibre pad for wet cleaning, washable filters and a floorhead cleaning brush.

The RS60 has an SRP of £579.99 and come with a five-year motor guarantee as standard, with a two-year warranty on the battery. The ROIDMI RS60 is available now from Harrods, Selfridges, Amazon and Euronics independent retailers

LA music industry experts launch premium headphone brand in the UK

Ausounds is set to take the UK by storm as it releases a range of premium audio products designed by some of the most innovative minds in the music business.

The creative team behind the Los Angeles based brand has designed a range of earphones with leading technology and superior sound, featuring tech such as hybrid planar-magnetic drivers, active noise cancelling developed to have zero effect on sound reproduction and IPX5 rating for use whatever the weather.

Five-time Grammy Award-winning producer Brian Kennedy
Five-time Grammy Award-winning producer Brian Kennedy

Made for music lovers and music creators, the range of headphones, earphones and audio signature products start from £119.95.

With a variety of models and colours, consumers can choose from in-ear and over-ear designs with features including true wireless, noise cancellation and wireless charging.

Ausounds want to make its mark on the UK music industry and is keen to collaborate with passionate unsigned musicians, producers and songwriters.

Made for music lovers and music creators, the range of headphones, earphones and audio signature products start from £119.95.
Made for music lovers and music creators, the range of headphones, earphones and audio signature products start from £119.95.

Marcus Sanchez, President and CMO, said: “The role of music creators in the industry is tantamount to everything; this is where our sound comes from.

“We wanted to create a brand that addresses the many needs of creators at all levels – in their everyday lives and in their work.

“Using our industry knowledge and working with music influencers and leaders, we are redefining the sound of audio.”

Combining innovative technology with style and design, Ausounds’ products deliver the full music experience to the listener – just as the producers and songwriters intended for it to be heard.

The brand is committed to supporting up-and-coming artists and talent, helping to drive forward the vibrant British music scene.

Ausounds is also working with music influencers and leaders, including its first brand ambassador, five-time Grammy Award-winning producer Brian Kennedy.

The Ausounds engineering team has unsurpassed experience in research and development for established brands such as Beats, JBL, Bose, and Sennheiser; winning multiple awards for audio performance and industrial design. All of the products are designed, developed and manufactured in Ausounds’ own facilities.

Blaq Tuxedo
Blaq Tuxedo

Ausounds represents the future generation of audio technology, and, after huge success in the USA, Canadian and Japanese markets, the earphone giant set its sights on the UK.

The team behind Ausounds is on a mission to provide premium products for everyday use, at an accessible price point.

Lil Eddie Judge and vocal coach on the XFactor US
Lil Eddie Judge and vocal coach on the XFactor US

Ausounds is led by its CEO, Michael Chen, an Oxford Brookes University graduate with over 16 years of experience in audio manufacturing.

Joining him is President and CMO, Marcus Sanchez, a music industry veteran who has worked with huge brands including Audeze, Universal Music Group and Monster Cable, as well as musicians like Rihanna and Usher.

Ausounds’ products are currently available to buy from Richer Sounds, iamaudio.co.uk and independent high street retailers.

Humax introduces AURA: First Android TV 4K Freeview Play Recorder

** UPDATE **
I will be receiving a review unit this week, which is very exciting. Keep up to date with my review of the Aura by subscribing to notifications by clicking on the padlock symbol and ‘Allowing’ notifications

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Ultra High Definition Recorder powered by Android TV with built-in Google Assistant, Chromecast, Google Play Store apps and Kids’ Zone

  • First Freeview Play Recorder powered by Android TV technology with crystal clear 4K HDR picture quality
  • Built-in voice control via Google Assistant and access to Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BT Sport and thousands of other apps via the Google Play Store
  • Freeview Play provides 70+ subscription-free channels and 20,000+ hours of on-demand entertainment
  • Quick and easy set-up – simply log in with a Google account
  • Humax AURA App for iOS and Android enables remote planning, recording and viewing on the go
  • Watch TV on any screen: download and enjoy recordings on mobile devices
  • Chromecast built-in: stream favourite content from phone, tablet or laptop to a TV screen
  • Dedicated Kids’ Zone with timed content, safe for the youngest family members
  • Three digital tuners: record up to four programmes at once while watching a fifth*
  • 1TB and 2TB options for up to 500 and 1,000 hours of recordings
Humax AURA_angle left
Humax AURA

Humax has today announced AURA: the first 4K Freeview Play Recorder powered by Android TV technology. This Ultra High Definition TV recorder provides a multitude of subscription-free and top-up entertainment delivered with crystal clear 4K HDR picture quality.

With integrated Google Assistant and access to thousands of apps via the Google Play Store, AURA syncs with the user’s Google account to deliver a customised home entertainment experience built around the individual or family. For ultimate flexibility, Google Assistant also provides voice control for frequently-used TV commands, and allows users to ask questions, discover information and activate smart home devices.

Humax AURA Freeview Play home_whitebkg
Humax AURA Freeview Play home_whitebkg

Humax AURA will be available from November 2020 from Amazon, Humax Direct and electrical retailers with an SRP of £249 for the 1TB model and £279 for the 2TB version.

Powered by the ultra-fast Android TV platform and with Freeview Play built-in, the new Humax box enables rapid access to favourite shows, movies, sports and other programming on live TV. Freeview Play provides the UK’s most popular on-demand apps such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and All 4, all of which are located together for maximum ease and convenience. For even further entertainment options, users can top up their viewing with paid streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BT Sport and Google Play Movies, and explore and choose from a huge variety of apps and games to download from the Google Play Store.

Humax AURA Freeview Play home
Humax AURA Freeview Play home

Freeview Play provides 95% of the nation’s most-watched TV, all for free. There are more than 70 live TV channels, alongside nine on-demand players: BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, UKTV Play, CBS Catchup Channels UK, Horror Bites, STV Player and BBC Sounds.

With more than 20,000 hours of on-demand content and over 700 box sets to choose from, Freeview Play also helps viewers make the most of its content with its Explore Freeview Play interface hosted at Channel 100. Home to a universal search function and hand-picked content recommendations, it is easy for viewers to find their favourites and discover new shows. As well as the ability to watch, pause, rewind and record live TV, Freeview Play includes an intuitive seven day TV guide with scroll back functionality.

Humax introduces AURA: First Android TV Freeview Play Recorder
Humax introduces AURA: First Android TV

Catering for even the most avid of viewers, AURA incorporates three digital tuners, allowing up to four programmes to be recorded at once while the user watches another live channel*. Two hard drive options (1TB and 2TB) are available, enabling up to 500 or 1,000 hours of recordings to be stored, giving owners almost unlimited capacity to capture their favourite programmes, series and movies.

Thanks to the Humax AURA app, many features of AURA can be accessed on a mobile device, such as streaming recordings around the home or downloading shows to watch later on the move. The app also affords users the freedom to schedule recordings or set reminders when away from home.

Setting up AURA is extremely simple. By logging into their Google account, users have instant access to all their downloaded apps, YouTube settings, music downloads, as well as Google Home connectivity.

Creating a home screen that is completely personalised to the viewer’s preferences, AURA allows app icons to be moved around easily, keeping all frequently-used apps and content in one place. Suggestions for content the user might enjoy based on their Google preferences are also displayed on this page.

Humax introduces AURA: First Android TV
Humax introduces AURA: First Android TV

With Chromecast built-in as standard on Android TV, AURA enables users to stream photos, videos, music and other media to their TV screen from a laptop, tablet or mobile phone via a home Wi-Fi network.

AURA’s accompanying remote control offers several quick access ‘hotkeys’: a Freeview Play button, Top Picks for content recommendations, a Google Assistant button to activate voice control, TV Guide button plus dedicated keys for Android Home, Amazon Prime Video and the Humax Kids’ Zone.

Google Assistant is integrated into the remote control, allowing users to benefit from Google Home services – simply press the button to activate voice control and ask an unlimited number of questions such as finding out the weather or travel information, choose favourite types of content, change channel or volume – or connect to smart home devices to play music, switch on the lights or heating, and much more.

Developed by Humax, the Kids’ Zone on AURA provides a safe environment for children to watch content curated specially for the youngest members of the family. Episodes can be browsed, searched and selected by duration, allowing parents to pick a show that will fill a suitable slot before dinner or bedtime, for example.

Rob Peacock, director at Humax, commented, “AURA is designed to sit at the heart of a family’s home entertainment experience. The very first Freeview Play Recorder to be built on the Android TV platform, it provides a fully integrated environment that reflects the preferences and favourite content of the individual or family – with lightning-fast access to everything they need in one place, and outstanding picture quality. With such an extensive array of features, users will never miss their favourite show, movie or sporting event, and thanks to a combination of Google technology and the Humax AURA app, they can enjoy the freedom of entertainment on any screen or device, wherever and whenever they wish.”

More information on Humax AURA can be found at https://uk.humaxdigital.com.
Visit www.freeview.co.uk for a full list of Freeview Play channels and services.

Pricing and availability

Available from November 2020, Humax AURA has a suggested retail price of £249 for the 1TB model and £279 for the 2TB model. Retailers include Currys, Argos, Amazon, very.co.uk, Richer Sounds, Euronics (CIH), independent electrical stores and Humax Direct. Prices include VAT.

If you click to buy through Amazon via this website, we will receive a small commission.

4 Simple Ways To Make Your Smartphone More Unique

We all carry a smartphone on us at all times these days and we rely on them for so many things. But if you carry something around on you at all times, shouldn’t you make it look good? A lot of people don’t really think about how their phone looks and they aren’t bothered that it looks just the same as everybody else’s phone, but if you want to make your phone more unique, there are some simple ways to customize it and make it your own. These are some of the best ways to personalize your smartphone and make it more unique.

Image From Pexels CCO License

Choose A Different Brand 

Everybody is walking around with iPhones or Samsungs, so if you want to set yourself apart from the crowd, why not go for something different? When you are choosing a phone, look at some of the less popular brands and see what they have to offer. In a lot of cases, the phone itself will be just as good as the well-known brands, but it will be a lot cheaper. You’ll get a more interesting phone that not as many people have and it will save you a lot of money at the same time. 

Get A Good Case 

Getting a good smartphone case is important because phones are fragile and the screen will easily break if you drop it. But you should also see your case as a good opportunity to personalize your smartphone and make it more unique. There are so many amazing cases out there, so when you are buying one, think about something that reflects you and your interests. For example, if you love cars, you can get some great Formula 1 Phone Cases online. You can also get custom made photo ones with pictures of your friends and family. The right case can make your phone a lot more unique to you while also protecting it from damage. 

Customize Your Wallpaper And Lock Screen 

The case makes a big difference, but you should also customize the wallpaper and lock screen on your phone. Usually, your phone comes with a default wallpaper, which will probably be pretty boring. If you want your phone to be unique to you, make sure to change it to something different right away, like a photo of your family and friends or a great picture of something that you are passionate about, like your favourite place. You can also make a live wallpaper with dynamic moving images, which is much better than a boring static picture. 

Add Widgets To The Home Screen 

You can improve the look of your phone and boost the user experience at the same time by adding a few widgets to the home screen. Most people already have things like a clock or the weather on their home screen, but why not add something more interesting?  You can get some great note-taking widgets to keep things organized or even use a custom widget-maker to create your own. 

Make these simple customizations and you can make your smartphone a lot more unique to you.

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!

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

Gadget Man – Episode 164 – Debunking the COVID-19 / 5G Conspiracy Theory

Yesterday myself and industry expert, Dario Talmesio, Principal Analyst & Practice Leader at Omdia spoke to James Hazell on BBC Radio Suffolk about the COVID-19 / 5G Conspiracy Theory.

You can listen to the stream above or read on to find out more.

5G has been under attack by conspiracy theorists for as long as it has existed. Every conceivable disease, illness or cancer has been blamed on the technology. It has been open-season for several years.

During this time, every single theory has been repeatedly debunked by teams of scientists and experts throughout the world, but still, it prevails.

Enter Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the highly infectious disease caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) first discovered in December 2019 Wuhan, China.

At the time of publication, COVID-19 has infected more than 1.36 million people in 184 countries. Sadly, resulting in the death of an excess of 76000 people. This virus has become a global killer on a scale not seen since the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918.

Dario Talmesio
Dario Talmesio Principal Analyst & Practice Leader
Country UK – Image Credit OMDIA

At a time when our highly advanced telecommunications networks are one of the saving graces of the crisis, the last thing we need to hear is that people are beginning to try and link COVID-19 to the building of the 5G network. Worse, there are now acts of vandalism being enacted upon the newly installed equipment, damaging expensive equipment and putting peoples lives at risk.

This damage and continued encouragement from high profile celebrities have resulted in the UK providers issuing a joint letter to customers asking for the damage to stop.

Frankly, I continue to be exasperated by the need for every single thing that happens on our planet to be blamed on technology, government or secret societies! The sooner we knuckle down and work together to defeat this appalling virus in every way we can, the better!

Stay at Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives

Open Letter to Customers from EE, O2, 3 and Vodafone
Open Letter to Customers from EE, O2, 3 and Vodafone

Don’t forget to LIKE, SUBSCRIBE, SHARE and COMMENT.

See you next time, Stay Safe

Matt