Tag Archives: BBC Radio Suffolk

The Gadget Man – Episode 92 – Three Useful Apps

It was great to be back on BBC Radio Suffolk this morning chatting about technology, today I chatted to James Hazell about ‘Three Useful Apps’

  1. Snapseed – a fantastic little photo editing app that is being used by more than just amateurs as a quick way of fixing photos on the move. Free – (iOS/Android)
  2. How to Tie a Tie – I love this app and make use of it every month. If you want to know how to tie a Windsor Knot or even a Pratt, this is the app to help. Free – (iOS/Android)
  3. RingGo – The premier parking app. Have you even arrived at a car park and not had change. Have you ever had to rush back to your car because the time was running out. Worry no more, it can all be done from RingGo!

Listen in to the stream to hear what I think about these ‘Three Useful Apps’ this week.

 

Gadget Man – Episode 90 – Samsung Galaxy Note 7 recall part 2 – Can consumers expect Zero Failure in the 21st century technology arms race?

The human race’s relentless pursuit of technology has now surpassed the scale of the Industrial Revolution of the 19th Century, it has seemingly eclipsed the USA vs Russia arms race of the Cold War era, becoming itself a 21st Century Technology Arms Race, with commercial ideologies hand in hand with the our unquenchable thirst for better, brighter, faster and ‘always on’ technology and media.

The two super powers in todays ‘Tech Cold War’ are Apple and Samsung both locked in a unbreakable battle to outsmart each other in the multibillion dollar mobile device market.

On the left is Apple ($586 billion) , mega rich tech/lifestyle company with enormous pockets and a fanbase likened to a religious following, unable to do wrong in consumers eyes even beyond the infamous ‘Bend-gate’ and worse.

On the right in Samsung ($161 billion), super diversified tech company with mega deep reserves of cash and the ability to dodge any amount of bad press which would leave other smaller companies broke.

In between, the likes of LG, HTC, Huawei and others mop up the remaining market. Smaller R&D and marketing budgets and the lack of ability to manufacture it’s own components mean they can only look on in amazement and possible jealousy as the two tech Super Powers guide the market as they see fit.

Over time, Samsung and Apple have began aligning their products directly against each other. Initially Apple took the design lead , Samsung followed whilst taking design cues directly from it’s competitor. Apple struck gold with the iPhone and with a mega-hit on it’s hands, were happy to stick with tried and tested form size leaving Samsung to experiment with large screens, ultimately resulting in the almost silent success of the ‘phablet’ sized Galaxy Note range.

Under the command of Steve Jobs, Apple discounted this large screen device as a diversion, a mistake that  took Apple a good few years to cotton on to, but finally resulted in the large screen iPhone 6 and 6 plus.

Make no mistake, these devices are absolutely crammed full of technology of every kind and even without riding on the back of Moore’s Law, the mind blowing miniaturisation that has taken place to enable such a vast amount of technology to be placed inside of these devices leaves the consumer standing back in awe and wonder,. So little room now remains inside the iPhone that Apple we forced to take the decision to remove the ageing headphone socket from its latest devices in order to make room for newer and better tech.

This race and the urgency that it is being run surely means that eventually something has to give, today the news of the 2nd recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 might give an indication that things are simply moving too fast and too precariously.

Smartphone technology is like a comic book filled with heroes and villains, the heroes are the big bright super hi-res screens, fingerprint readers, heart monitors, styluses and beautiful aluminium cases. The villain is the battery, manufactured using the inherently unstable Lithium Ion technology, prone to all manner of faults that can cause breakdowns in components and as reported recently, fire.

Li-ion is not a new technology, with pioneering work started in 1912, but it wasn’t until the mid 70’s that they became readily available for use in equipment that required high loads of power such as drills. Along with this miracle came instability, the cells were prone to ‘thermal runaway’ when charging with resulted in them bursting into flames.

Manufacturers began miniaturising the Li-ion battery and consequently they became higher density cells. The distance between anode and cathode ( + and – ) within the batteries separated by walls of 20-25µm (microns), less that half the width of a human hair!

In reality,  Lithium-ion batteries have reached their theoretical energy density limit and this may give us some insight into the failures in the Note 7, that it was only a matter of time that the thirst for technology should exceed what could be delivered.

Back in the real world, Samsung have stopped production of the phone, informed shops to stop selling it and have advised owners to power off the device and return it until the fault can be located and fixed. It may be too late now for the Note 7, it’s reputation now damaged and we might not see the ‘line’ again.

So, should we as consumers expect Zero Failure on one hand and on the other demanding phone batteries that last for days when the only technology available to achieve this is unable to live up to the first demand?

It’s not an easy question to answer as we are used to failure as a race and the actual percentage of failure in Li-ion is very low. However with enormous quantities of devices being sold containing these batteries, the manufacturers now need manage the expectations of the consumer against their safety in the future.

I spoke briefly about this on BBC Radio Suffolk earlier today, to listen in to the stream click the play button at the top of the page.

What do you think of the Samsung battery issue, let me know by commenting below.

 

 

Grumpy Old Gits – 17 June 2016 – Shared Driveways, England Football Kit, Profiteering from Bad Luck

This week the Gog’s discuss Shared Driveways, England’s Football Kit, Profiteering from Bad Luck, Music on Hold  and many more!!

PAUL GASCOIGNE has the contents of the water bottle pored into his mouth by Alan Shearer as Steve McManaman and Jamie Redknapp join in his goal celebrations. EURO CHAMPIONSHIPS 1996, ENGLAND v SCOTLAND, 15/6/96. WEMBLEY CREDIT: COLORSPORT / ANDREW COWIE
PAUL GASCOIGNE has the contents of the water bottle pored into his mouth by Alan Shearer as Steve McManaman and Jamie Redknapp join in his goal celebrations. EURO CHAMPIONSHIPS 1996, ENGLAND v SCOTLAND, 15/6/96. WEMBLEY CREDIT: COLORSPORT / ANDREW COWIE

Grumpy Old Git’s it broadcast every Friday between 11am and Midday on Mark Murphy’s Morning Show on BBC Radio Suffolk.

The Gadget Man – Episode 87 – Drones. Should they be licensed?

I was back on air this morning with Mark Murphy and James Hazell to talk about drones and the immense rise in their popularity.

With popularity comes a degree of public worry and a much larger degree of press coverage. Should drones be licensed? Should people need to take a proficiency test to use them? All of this was covered on BBC Radio Suffolk this morning along with interviews with The Civil Aviation Authority and local pilots.

Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles come in all shapes and sizes and can range in price from £10 to literally thousands. Many of the more expensive semi professional drones have ‘Geo Fencing’ which stops the drones from flying in banned areas or ‘No Fly Zones’.

Of course it is possible to build your own drone. Kits are widely available and many people have built their own drones from scratch using light weight computers such as the Raspberry Pi. In this case, no licensing is going to stop the production of these kinds of drones and increasingly advanced techniques such as GPS ‘way point’ route planning means that the pilot does not need to be in radio contact during the flight and therefore distances of 7km possible before battery charging is necessary.

Currently in the UK, I can’t see how any ‘proficiency’ testing can be brought in being, it would be far too costly and reliant of the purchaser of the drone. Tracking the drones is equally difficult without elaborate (and expensive) tracking transmitter/receivers being added to the drone.

Consequently, it lays with the manufacturers of these devices to ensure that their equipment is safe, easy to use, legal and abides by any global no fly zones.

I will be reviewing the Parrot Bebop 2 camera drone very soon, so stay ‘tuned’.

 

The Gadget Man : Parrot Bebop 2 Drone with “Follow Me Bebop”

I‘ve finished testing the Parrot Bebop 2 camera drone. A fully review is coming up shortly. In the meantime here is a selection of footage I have taken over the last couple of weeks.

Grumpy Old Gits – 4th March 2016 – School Rugby – Sunday’s – Royal Watchers – Cold Calling – Air Shows

Royal Watchers
Royal Watchers

This week Matt again joined the Grumpy Old Gits on Mark Murphy’s Morning Show on BBC Radio Suffolk, where together with Ian Healey and James Easter they had a collective grumble about the following:-

  • Banning Contact in School Rugby – James Easter
  • Sunday, no longer the day of rest – Matt Porter
  • Royal Watchers – Ian Healey
  • Cold Calling – Ian Healey
  • Air Shows – James Easter

You can listen in to the stream to hear both what this weeks ‘GOG’s’ had to say and  what they agreed or disagreed on.

 

The Gadget Man – Episode 86 – Tesla Model S P85D – Auto Pilot

The Gadget Man - Episode 86 - Tesla Model S P85D - Auto Pilot
The Gadget Man – Episode 86 – Tesla Model S P85D – Auto Pilot

I have been driving the latest Tesla Model S P85D over the past few days, specifically to experience software update 7.1 and the improvements to Autopilot functionality.

 

Tesla Model S P85D
Tesla Model S P85D

We discussed the technology behind Tesla Autopilot and also the future of autonomous and driverless cars.

 

You can listen to a recording of the stream and find out what we thought.

 

The Gadget Man – Episode 85 – FlyONE Dark bluetooth headphones from DEEWEAR

FlyONE Dark HeadphonesThis week I have been testing a set of FlyONE Dark bluetooth headphones from DEEWEAR.

The headphones have an real ergonomic design coupled with extremely high audio quality, they are designed in such as way as you stay fixed in your ear by using built in flaps which fit into your ear and remain there even during exercise. Deewear employed Luigi Lorenzi, Parkourer with Team Jestion to test and develop the headphones to ensure they stay in place even during somersaults!

FlyONE Dark HeadphonesThe earphones are contained in a display case charged ready to go, just couple them to your bluetooth device and you are ready to go, the box also contains a USB charger cable , buds and flaps.

The earphones utilise Bluetooth 4.1 and 6th generation CVC noise reduction which means that constant usage stretches to 5 hours music or talk time (using the integrated microphone) or 180 hours standby time.

The earphones are connected together with a flat cable which is reflective on one side which can be seen when headlights shine on it, a usual safety measure if you are exercising in the dark.

FlyONE Dark Headphones in box
FlyONE Dark Headphones in box

When you switch on the ear phones a voice is heard saying ‘Power On’ and ‘Connection Successful’, holding the centre power button will switch off the earphones again with a voice telling you ‘Power Off’.

The three button control allows you to adjust the volume up and down and pause music, you can skip backwards and forwards between tracks by holding the volume up and down for 2 seconds.

When you are ready to charge the earphones, you remove the cap on the back of the right earphone and plug in the micro USB cable. Charging doesn’t take too long, however you can only check the battery level by pairing with an Apple device, be that iPhone, iPad or iMac.

The sound quality of FlyONE Dark is supreme, although you need to ensure they are fitted correctly before using them to experience the excellent bass reproduction. While I was testing them, I viewed a film trailer on my phone, I found myself rewinding the trailer to experience the cinematic bass, it really was very good indeed.

FlyONE Dark can be purchased from Amazon currently more than 30% off at £39.99 which is a very appealing price for such a high quality item.

If you are looking for a set of Bluetooth earphones, FlyONE Dark comes highly recommended.

To listen to the Mark and I chatting about the FlyONE Dark, click on the link at the top of the page or click below

A massive thank you to DEEWEAR for providing the earphones for test and review.

 

 

The Gadget Man – Episode 84 – Loop – Real-time energy monitoring for your home

The price of oil is never far from the news these days, especially as it has a direct effect on the price of petrol, diesel and domestic fuel.

Loop Real-time energy monitoring
Loop Real-time energy monitoring

There has always been a direct correlation between the price of oil and electric and gas bills and the feeling that we as consumers are somehow trapped with a provider because it seems so difficult to move to an alternative.

 

Well, it looks like Loop have the answer to this problem by supplying a very nifty bit of that monitors your gas and electric usage and after a period of monitoring will be able to find a cheaper provider based on your usage.

It’s very simple to set up and I will cover all of this further in a full review soon. In the meantime, listen in to the stream to find out more about Loop.

 

The Gadgetman Episode 80 – Mini Sun SAD Lamp – plus ‘Ed Sheeran Quits Twitter’

The Gadgetman Episode 80 Mini Sun SAD Lamp plus Ed Sheeran Quit Twitter InstagramIn the words of Deep Purple; “The Nights Are Closing In”, and with it the increase of Seasonal Affective Disorder or S.A.D.  which affects around 3-6% of the UK’s population.

I‘ve been testing a SAD Therapy Lamp from Mini Sun which helps to lessen these symptoms through light therapy. Use of the Therapy Lamp for 60 minutes a day, not only produces the correct levels of serotonin to help fight the effects of SAD, but also comes in a very nice padded carry case similar in size to an iPad.

I sat the device to the side on my desk which gave the impression of sitting by the window on a sunny day. Having suffered from SAD in the past, I found it comforting as the natural light produced by the lamp gave a feeling of the sun shining on my face.

The lamp is available in both white and pink designs and can be purchased via Mini Sun‘s website and is an excellent addition during these dreary winter months.

To find out more, listen to this mornings recording above which also features a discussion about Ed Sheeran quitting social media.
The Gadgetman Episode 80 Mini Sun SAD Lamp plus Ed Sheeran Quit Twitter Instagram