Category Archives: Telephones

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

Gadget Man – Episode 161 – Phantom Calls – Zombie Bots – Hair Straighteners – VAT Free eBooks

In this week’s Gadget Man, I talk to James Hazell about phantom phone calls when phones are set to silent, Zombie Bot Networks, Dyson Hair Straighteners and VAT is finally removed from eBooks!

You can listen to the stream (above) or play the video (below)

James Hazell: [00:00:00] It’s time. We looked at technology, several things to discuss, not least of which can scammers really make your phone ring when it’s set to silent cause mine just did that is find out more from the gadget guru Matt Porter of Matt thought a web designer. Hi Matt.

Matt Porter: [00:00:23] Hi,

James Hazell: [00:00:24] good to speak to you. As always, my friend.

Now I’ve just read this and I don’t know if it’s true or not, but my phone, Jeff definitely just rang in the middle of an interview and it is set to silent and this particular website says, Oh yes, banners can do that. They can make your phone ring even if it’s on silent. Is that true, Matt?

Matt Porter: [00:00:44] I’ve certainly heard of strange things occurring with phones and things like that.

there are. I think particular codes, which can override these kinds of silent system so that you are contacted if necessary, in an event of an emergency. What happens

James Hazell: [00:01:03] despite it said, yeah, emergency call. but it was just an ordinary number, some, you know, a one, three, three or something. So, you know,

Matt Porter: [00:01:12] interesting.

It’s,

James Hazell: [00:01:13] yeah.

Matt Porter: [00:01:14] It’s similar to the traffic. the traffic alert system on cars that even if you have them switched off, there are certain, instances where they will switch on even if you don’t want them to. So then you can, the idea of being, you can be alerted to something that’s very urgent.

James Hazell: [00:01:30] Well, I guess what we can learn from this is that if your phone rings.

And it’s set to silent and you don’t recognize the number. Then as every Bob possibility could be spat, but then if I go say that people won’t answer the emergency calls, so ignore that advice.

Matt Porter: [00:01:44] Well, this is the problem yet.

James Hazell: [00:01:46] Yeah. Okay. anyway, look, yesterday the budget and that map included a VAT scrap.

On eBooks and newspapers. It’s quite specific that,

Matt Porter: [00:02:00] yeah, this has been something that’s been going on for quite a while where, the, the, I mean there’s, it’s very contentious, the sale of eBooks and things like that, or eat publications. But the fact that we. don’t have to pay VAT. If we buy newspapers, books, journals, magazines, et cetera.

It’s VAT exempt, I believe, but eBooks and eat papers and all of those other things aren’t. This has been, now overturned or, or abolished so that from the 1st of December, we won’t have to pay VAT on our eBooks, magazines, et cetera, which is. A great thing. What it doesn’t cover, unfortunately, is audiobooks.

So you still pay VAT on audiobooks, the nib set. That was disappointing.

James Hazell: [00:02:40] Yeah. They, have, issued a statement to say that they find that very disappointing. Is this, do you think an oversight? Because I, I can’t imagine any politician is going to want to deliberately upset a group of people such as the IB.

Matt Porter: [00:02:55] It, it surely must be an oversight, I guess. and I, I, I listened to audio books all the time. I’m not disabled. However, I’m still having to pay a 20% premium on my audio book that I wouldn’t be if I bought the book from a store. So I think that maybe it needs to be looked at. we’ve got a bit of time before this comes into effect of the 1st of December, so hopefully it will be.

but yeah, I don’t see there’s any difference between, reading something online or reading in a book form. In fact, it’s probably. Less, environmentally damaging to read it online, hopefully.

James Hazell: [00:03:27] Yeah, absolutely. And that’s the basis behind this a VAT Carson environment thing, right? Yeah.

Matt Porter: [00:03:34] Hopefully. Yeah.

Gotcha. Alright.

James Hazell: [00:03:35] from

Matt Porter: [00:03:36] the bedroom

James Hazell: [00:03:37] to the bathroom and specifically hair straighteners and something new from Dyson.

Matt Porter: [00:03:43] Yes. Dyson, wanting to be the forefront of all things, domestic with their vacuum cleaners and all kinds of other things. Hand dryers, they’ve now, announced a cordless hair straightener, which apparently, requires less heat, so it’s less damaging on, on the person’s hair.

And it also. apparently the straighteners are 65 microns thick, which is the width of a human hair. And thus, can effectively, from what I understand, it almost straighten each individual follicule or each individual hair individually so you don’t have to keep going over and over and over and over the hair repeatedly and thus damaging it.

so it’s made from. Ah, goodness me. I did write it. And McEleney manganese, copper alloy. It’s slightly flexible as well, guys. Yeah,

James Hazell: [00:04:32] they, I had no idea how important has straighteners were until quite recently. Actually. I failed to

Matt Porter: [00:04:40] pack them

James Hazell: [00:04:41] and then I said, why or what do you need those for? Put them in the bag now won’t go anywhere without the hair.

Straighteners

Matt Porter: [00:04:48] wow. We live in a, we live in a world where looks and appearance are very important to people. And you know, some people, it helps them with their self confidence. So you can’t really argue against these things. If it makes people feel better, I’m sure they feel delighted to know that this is around 400 pounds less hair straightener but 400 pounds.

Yeah. But conveniently just to lessen that blow. It’s available apparently in dark nickel and fuchsia, or purple and black. So that should make people fill out all the holes. It better make one purchase

James Hazell: [00:05:20] a difference. Vic, would you spend 400 pounds on air? Straighteners.

Matt Porter: [00:05:24] Well, Joe.

James Hazell: [00:05:25] Oh my goodness. She’s thinking about an

Matt Porter: [00:05:28] eight.

James Hazell: [00:05:28] I do have a

Matt Porter: [00:05:30] inexpensive pair of straighteners

James Hazell: [00:05:31] and they’ve lasted me

Matt Porter: [00:05:32] years and they are brilliant.

James Hazell: [00:05:33] So I would consider that what? Consider yes hundred pounds on her splints.

Matt Porter: [00:05:39] Yes, but then I would on my own a flight if that much,

James Hazell: [00:05:42] here’s what’s going to be the problem though, Matt. People are going to be straightening their hair like on the bus and on the tube and things like that.

Only now if they are going to be cordless.

Matt Porter: [00:05:50] Maybe, who knows?

James Hazell: [00:05:52] if they do, I’ll start saving. I’ll start shaving. That’s what I’ll do.

Matt Porter: [00:05:55] Yeah. I may be going to have people having, instead of having the expensive headphones stolen on the tube, they’ll be having their hair straighteners stolen

James Hazell: [00:06:02] out. That’ll be the next crime wave.

Yeah,

Matt Porter: [00:06:04] that’s right. You will not, in no way, even in fact, because the  crime straight

James Hazell: [00:06:13] on a crime, which I’m finally in Microsoft have said they are part all they are responsible. for dismantling a large international network of zombie bots that were causing 9 million computers, problems accessing or facilitating crime.

And goodness knows what is this story man.

Matt Porter: [00:06:37] Yeah. This is a, this is something that’s been apparently eight years in the planning with 35 countries, partners in 35 countries around the world. Basically, there were these, automated systems. A botnet is an automated system that does generally unpleasant things.

In this case, it was finding and registering domain names automatically building websites and then uploading. Infected software onto those websites. The emails would then be sent out to people unsuspected saying, please connect to your X, Y, Zed, and reset your password. They would unwittingly click on those, which would send them to these.

Malicious websites, which would then do things such as steel, identity, gain, access to your bank accounts, and all of those kinds of unpleasant things as stinging passwords, sell you pharmaceuticals and all of that kind of unpleasant stuff. what Microsoft managed to do here was they used an algorithm, which I assume was some kind of artificial intelligence, which could.

In advance, predict the domain names that were going to be registered next and block them before in advance so that people actually couldn’t access them at all, which is really, really good use of technology where you’re blocking stuff before even becomes a problem. And apparently this has resulted in the dismantling of this, this zombie botnet.

So they’ve

James Hazell: [00:08:06] obviously had some success. I do worry though, and Microsoft, I’m by no means alone in this, but their product outlook will frequently put emails from my producer Vick into the spam folder. And you know, there’s, there is a, a balance to be drawn. If we’re too strict with all of this stuff, we end up missing stuff.

Matt Porter: [00:08:27] Yeah. Listen, I, I manage, email delivery for, for dozens and dozens and dozens of customers and many, many times I’m having to contact different providers and not pleading with them, but trying to sort of explain to them that this email shouldn’t be put into spam. That’s billions of emails are sent.

Spam emails are sent on a daily basis, and the fact that these systems are in place that can, you know, we would have, our mailbox is absolutely full with rubbish. Yeah. Well more rubbish to the normal. if the systems weren’t in place and he’s just, you know, you’re chasing your tail because you get these folks positives all the time.

And I get them, I get people, I’m fat. I had a company ring up and berating me saying, why did you delete our email when you asked? You told us we were interested, and I go look in my spam and it’s sitting in there.  absolutely. Yeah.

James Hazell: [00:09:21] That’s right. So

Matt Porter: [00:09:22] that is great news that they’re working against these things.

James Hazell: [00:09:24] The advice, never click on a link unless you are absolutely certain it is a genuinely, right.

Matt Porter: [00:09:30] Yeah. These malicious, you know, there’s popups that come up on websites, anything like that, saying, your computer’s infected, all of those things, please, please, please don’t ever click on any of those links. Don’t ring any of those numbers.

They are not there to help you. They’re there to steal your money and they don’t care a jot about what situation you might be in financially or in health. They just want your money. So don’t click on anything like that. Don’t ring any numbers. Just go to go to the, you know, go to your nearest supplier or something and speak to somebody you trust.

James Hazell: [00:10:02] Matt bought it of Matt bought at web design with the tech update for this week. Might have a great week. Thank you my friend.

Matt Porter: [00:10:08] You too. Thanks.

Don’t Let Your Old Electronics Go To Waste

If you’re somewhat of a gadget lover, then the chances are that you most probably have a number of old and unwanted gadgets stashed around your home. It’s always hard to part with a previously used gadget, isn’t it? However, storing them all up around your home will not only leave you with little storage space left, but is also extremely wasteful. 

Instead of holding onto your old electronics and letting them go to waste, why not opt to get creative with what you do with them? Think how much better you would feel if you knew that your electronics were actually being put to good use, instead of just sitting there wasting away in a cupboard unused and unloved. 

The question is, of course, what can you do with your old electronics? The good news is that there are plenty of ways that you can make use of everything, from your old tablet to your disused camera. Keen for a little inspiration? Have a read of the ideas below!

Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay 

Sell your unwanted items 

When it comes to what you should do with your unwanted devices, be it an old toaster or an unwanted iPad, you could opt to sell them. Of course, where you choose to sell them is up to you, and will depend on what the item is, as there are different marketplaces designed for different items. 

For instance, are you looking to sell your Apple Watch? If you are, then you could sell this to a company like Mazuma, for example. Whereas, if you are looking to sell a drone, then perhaps you would be better placed selling it on somewhere like Facebook Marketplace or a second-hand selling site like eBay. 

Selling your unwanted items is a great way to get rid of them while making a little extra money. Just think, whatever you make you could put towards your next big tech investment. 

Recycle your unloved devices 

Another option for getting rid of your old, unwanted electronic devices is to recycle them. The fact is that there are programs across the globe that encourage tech lovers to recycle their old technology, allowing it to be revamped and reused. If you’re keen to recycle your old devices, perhaps you could consider looking at the projects that are being run in your local area? 

Alternatively, there are a number of global electronic recycling projects that you can find information about online, if you take the time to do some research. You would be surprised about the number of things that old pieces of tech can be turned into, from garden furniture to jeans – there seems to be no limit to what recycled tech can be used for. 

While it might be tempting to keep all of your old devices stored in your home, the fact is that they’re just wasted sitting there. So why not opt to do something more productive with them, such as selling or recycling them? There are plenty of options available for each – it’s just a case of finding the one that’s right for you.

Choosing The Best Phone For You

There’s a lot of talks around mobile phones these days, and we are all looking for the best mobile phone for our needs. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype and advertising, but when it comes to choosing her phone for yourself, then there are a few things that you need to keep in mind before taking the plunge. Many of us average a fair few hours on our phones every day according to studies, so if we have a phone that doesn’t suit our needs this can be frustrating and reduce our enjoyment of the activities we choose. So try and stick to these simple ideas and make a decision that’s right for you.

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

Experience

Sometimes it can be simple to find the perfect phone for you, and thebigphonestore.co.uk can help you with this, but sometimes we need to draw on our experience and experience of other people to make our decisions. If you have always had an iPhone then it may be difficult for you to make a decision to switch, but if you speak to other people who have experienced the switch before, then you may find you have a better idea of what you are about to decide. Your own experience is also important and something that you need to ensure is taken into account. Also if you have had a bad experience with a brand in the past and this can also alter your opinion. And rightly so. So make sure you take into account your experience and that of others, and even have a look at YouTube videos with people reviewing these phones to see which one you like the look off.

 

Purpose

The main purpose of your phone is going to help you decide, functionality and exactly what you need to do to be able to get the best out of your mobile phone, it’s something that we should all consider carefully. If you use your phone just for calls and texts, then you aren’t going to necessarily need to have a phone that is all singing and all dancing. It’s not always about having the flashiest phone and taking pictures all the time. Some of us just need a phone that works. So don’t feel as though you need to purchase the latest iPhone if it isn’t going to fit your purpose. However, if you do need something that works well, and has all of the access to apps, and functionality then, of course, go in for a top of the range phone is a good investment for you.

 

What matters

At the end of the day, what matters to you is the most important thing here, and making sure that people make the right decisions for themselves ultimately prevents any problems. Getting the right phone to the right people can be tricky, but eventually, we all find the right handset for us, and it’s all about trial and error. Some people have great brand loyalty, and some of us are just looking for a phone that works so decided on what is important to you will help you come to the right conclusion.

How To Be A Part Of The Smartphone Revolution

Each day the average amount of time a person spends on their smartphone increases, and now we have reached a stage in which some young adults spend upwards of 6 hours mindlessly scrolling. Getting involved with this from a business perspective can cause you to gain a considerable amount of profit, as you can join the smartphone revolution with your own unique company concept and become a great hit! Figuring out exactly how you can become a part of the mobile industry doesn’t have to be a difficult task, as there are a few unique ideas that may just be the perfect choice for you. So, if you want to know more about how you can cash in on modern societies smartphone obsession, then read on for some of the greatest pathways that you can take to reach ultimate business bliss in no time at all.

How To Be A Part Of The Smartphone Revolution
Image Source – Pexels

Get Creative With Applications 

One of the best things about smartphones is that you can download and play a seemingly endless amount of different games that can be tailored to suit your own specific likes and dislikes. The App Store contains a wealth of different genres for you to make the most of, whether that means education, socialising or just plain fun and games! If you have some knowledge regarding programming and previous technical experience to base your project on then feel free to dive straight in and code the algorithms yourself, as you will be able to get the most unique application that’s individual to your company. If you struggle with electronics then there’s no need to worry, as you can find bespoke iOS application Development teams that can do all of the hard work for you – simply approach them with your plans and explain your goals for the future so that they can fully understand your requirements. 

Repairing & Refurbishing

Despite the seemingly limitless selection of cases on offer today, so many people end up dropping, smashing or generally breaking their smartphones. It’s common to see a young person sporting a cracked screen, as it would seem that smartphone related built-in obsolescence has one of the shortest life cycles ever. As a result of this, getting into the repair business will ensure that you always have a job to do – people are always going to be clumsy, and smartphones will always be made just well enough for you to experience them in their prime for no longer than a couple of months. Sourcing old smartphones that can be refurbished into working models is also a good route to take, as you can buy parts for a very cheap price and make a full phone that can generate a nice profit. 

Being a part of the smartphone revolution has never been so simple when you can take the ideas detailed above on board. Whether you decide to get creative and develop your own app or do something hardware related such as repair and refurbish old models – there are so many choices you can choose between.

Step into the World of the 108 Megapixel Penta-Camera with the Xiaomi Mi Note 10

Today Xiaomi (Shy-Oh-Me) has announced the launch of the worlds first 108-megapixel Penta camera, a blockbuster device packing FIVE rear-facing cameras!

The 108MP Xiaomi (Mi Note 10) Penta Camera Phone is packed into a  6.47 inch 4G Phablet device. Onboard you find 6GB RAM with 128GB ROM powered by a 5260mAh battery which supports Fast Charging.


First 1000 Orders can use the Code:  GBMINOTE10
Gearbest Step into the World of the 108 Megapixels Penta Camera with the Xiaomi Mi Note 10

Xiaomi compares the photo quality of the Mi Note 10 to that of professional high-end DSLR systems and allows users access to quality not seen before on Smartphones.

The Penta-camera setup includes 108MP primary camera, 20MP ultra-wide-angle camera, ultra-telephoto lens, 12MP 50mm portrait lens and macro lens. It also supports ‘Super Night Mode giving soft-lit, sharper images in low-light. Alongside are dual soft light and dual flash.

The display is a 6.47 inch AMOLED hyperboloid screen curved to fit the body of the phone and making a beautifully comfortable grip with an embedded in-screen fingerprint sensor.

Inside, the device packs a Snapdragon 730G with Adreno 618 GPU with AI capability. Memory is plentiful with 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage. NFC and infrared remote control are included as is the standard headphone jack and 1216 superlinear speaker.

Power is provided by a 5260mAh battery supporting 30W fast charging. Xiaomi suggests 30 minutes charging to 58% and 64 minutes to 100%.

Available to buy in three colour options:

Xiaomi Mi Note 10 - 108 megapixel penta-camera smartphone
Midnight Black – Xiaomi Mi Note 10 – 108-megapixel Penta-camera smartphone – available from Gearbest
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 - 108 megapixel penta-camera smartphone
Deep Green – Xiaomi Mi Note 10 – 108-megapixel Penta-camera smartphone
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 (CC9 Pro) 108MP Penta Camera Phone Global Version - White
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 (CC9 Pro) 108MP Penta Camera Phone Global Version – White

Camera Specs:

Primary: 108MP sensor 1/1.33-inch sensor, 1.6μm 4 in 1 megapixel, 7P lens, f/1.69, 4-axis optical anti-vibration.
Short telephoto: 12MP 2x optical zoom, 1.4μm, Dual PD dual-core focus, f/2.0
Long telephoto: 10x hybrid optical zooms, 50x digital zooms, 4-axis optical anti-vibration, 1.0μm, f/2.0.
Ultra-wide: 20MP, 117 degree ultra wide lens, 1.0μm, f/2.2
Macro: 1.5cm super macro, 2-10cm AF macro shot
Dual flashes, Dual soft lights

Networks:
2G
GSM: B2 / B3 / B5 / B8

3G
UMTS: B1 / B2 / B4 / B5 /B6/ B8/ B19

4G
FDD-LTE: B1 / B2 / B3 / B4 / B5 / B7 / B8/ B18/ B19 / B20/ B26
TDD-LTE: B38 / B40/41(2545-2645MHz)

Buy the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 from Gearbest

Buy the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 from Gearbest
Buy the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 from Gearbest

Gadget Man – Episode 140 – Retro Gadgets Part 7 – The GPO Telephone Handset

Before the age of privatisation of utility companies in the United Kingdom, the General Post Office (GPO) of the United Kingdom was responsible solely for the provision of telecommunication services for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The notable exception was Kingston Upon Hull which has been granted the licence to provide it’s own telephone services in 1906.

Alongside its telephone services, the GPO also issued a variety of telephones for use on this service. Although handsets were supplied in different forms, it wasn’t until 1937 when a new line of ‘portable’ telephones was introduced using the Type 332 code number. These telephones used the rotary dial system with the handset sitting directly on top of the unit.

During 1959, the 700 series was released by the GPO. This was launched after public demand for handsets similar to those featured on US television shows. These devices were modern in design with anti-tangle cord and came in very smart two-tone colour schemes. This was the design which is still found in many homes some 60 years after launch (although some modification was necessary to bring them in line with current BT sockets).

The 706 models came in two-tone green, topaz yell, concorde blue, two-tone grey, topaz yellow, lacquer red, ivory and black. The red models being in great demand still today.

Such was the popularity and demand for the Model 706 and later the Model 746, several manufacturers were contracted for its manufacture with both table-top and wall mounted version was available to rent.

GPO Type 746 Telephones
GPO Type 746 Telephones – Image Credit: Wikipedia

In 1981, the GPO was privatised and the New Plan Socket was introduced for all new handsets, this allowed for approved 3rd party telephones to be either rented or purchased for use on the British Telecom network. The public was quick to drop this rotary dial phone in favour of new Tone-Dialing push-button models and the 746 was consigned to history and in many cases rubbish-skips and land-fill.

However, I think every house needs at least one Model 746.

Listen in the audio attached and listen to me talking to Matt Marvell on BBC Radio Suffolk about this amazing retro gadget

Thanks for reading and listening, don’t forget to LIKE, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE and I will see you next time.

Matt
The Gadget Man

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