Tag Archives: BBC Radio

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

The Gadget Man – Episode 163 – Improving Broadband Speeds and Setting up Video Calling

The Coronavirus / Covid-19 crisis continues to affect the entire world. With the newly introduced restrictions of movement of people in the UK, today I spoke to James Hazell at BBC Radio Suffolk about how such a large increase in people at home can affect our Broadband Speeds and what we can do to get the best out of our connections.

In the second half, I talked about how to keep in contact with your family and friends using the likes of FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, Skype and Zoom.

Listen in to the audio stream and let me know what you think?

Don’t forget to like, share, subscribe and most importantly stay safe and healthy

To raise the awareness of social distancing, download our free ready to print A4 or A3 posters by clicking here and remember Social Distancing Saves Lives

Social Distancing Saves Lives
Social Distancing Saves Lives

The Gadget Man – Episode 162 – Working From Home During the Coronavirus / Covid-19 Crisis

Such are the strange times we live in, many of us now face working from home for the first time along with caring for our children.

I have worked from home extensively over the past 20 years and I thought I would try and share some tips on how I have been able to work effectively in a home environment.

This morning I spoke to James Hazell at BBC Radio Suffolk about the trials and tribulations about working from home. Listen in to the stream to hear what I had to say and especially the advice at the end.

Stay Safe and Healthy

If you have been given a laptop to use at home, then there is a danger that you may find yourself sitting in an armchair trying to work and you will soon find this isn’t going to work well.

  1. Set up a work environment in a spare room or even your bedroom where you can away from disturbances and distractions as best as possible.
  2. Find a comfortable chair and if possible sit near a window so you can get fresh air while you are working.
  3. Set up your computer, so that is a semi-permanent environment and will allow you to separate work from home and give you a place to ‘go to work’
  4. Get dressed, you don’t go to your place of work in your pyjamas, so again, getting dressed gets your prepared for work.
  5. Take plenty of breaks. If you have children at home, you will need to be able to give them attention. If you can set specific times during the day to stop work, get up and walk around and make yourself a drink.
  6. Try to begin and end your work-day as you would if you were going to your place of work. Let your employer know that these are your work times. Setting these boundaries will mean that you aren’t on-call 24/7.
  7. Most home-working requires an internet connection. Over the coming months, our communications links are going to be under a great deal of strain. The video streaming services are going to be used extensively and this will put a great deal of pressure on internet connection speeds. Home internet is very different to work internet due to what’s called ‘contention ratios’, so you should be prepared for slower than normal connection speeds.
  8. Ask your employer to provide you with a mobile device that can be used as a ‘tether’. This means that should traditional broadband experience issues, you can fall back onto connecting to the internet by connecting via a ‘personal mobile hotspot’.
  9. Make sure all of your internet-connected devices are up to date. This means ensuring anti-virus is updated where applicable and any operating systems updates on your computers, set-top boxes, TV’s, IpCams etc are updated
  10. Keep all of your battery-powered devices charged up, but don’t leave mobile phones plugged in all of the time as the batteries don’t work as effectively if they all continuously charged.
  11. Use a trusted VPN connection to secure your broadband connection further. I recommend Ivacy VPN. Using a VPN or Virtual Private Network secures your connection.

Finally, regardless of whether you are working at home or not, you WILL find the number of scam calls you receive will increase, mainly because you will find yourself at home so much more. NEVER give out any personal bank details over the phone including PIN numbers or passwords. Ignore all automated calls and just hang up. These people care little for the health or financial wellbeing of their victims. If in doubt, speak to a trusted friend or member of your family before taking any action that will cost you money.

Stay Well and see you soon!

Matt
www.thegadgetman.org.uk

Gadget Man – Episode 160 – Apple Settles for $500m – SSL Issues – Boston Dynamics

This week’s Podcast / Vlog-cast comes from the second floor of Gadget Towers! In this episode, I talk to James Hazell at BBC Radio Suffolk about Apple’s class action settlement regarding the perceived slowing down of older iPhone models.

Running a website with an SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt? Check that you don’t need to request a new one as there has been issues with a large number over the past couple of days.

Boston Dynamics are at it again, this time they have their ever advance automation working in warehouses. Watch the videos after the Vlog to find out more.

Gadget Man – Episode 158 – James Hazell Mix Tape Part 3 – Coldplay – What If?

“I think that there are great ideas which sometimes are rolled out by the wrong people.”

This morning was the third of my Mix Tape tracks played by James Hazell on BBC Radio Suffolk. I’ve attached the YouTube playlist again below which will play the interview followed by the track.

This is a track which I find I go to when I need to wind down and relax. It’s great reflection music, good to chill out to.

Transcript of the interview follows.

James Hazell: The mixtape. All this week featuring Matt Porter of Matt Porter Web Design our gadget guy, who regularly is on the show talking about technology and the like. We spoke yesterday about, cars and autonomous vehicles and, and changes in our attitude to technology. Matt. It’s everything. Is every advance in technology, in your perspective being a welcome and violence?

Are there routes that we’ve gone down that have not sat come to me with you?

Matt Porter: It’s a very interesting question. Rarely. Yeah, sure. I think that,

James Hazell: right. Obviously medical technology is always to be applauded and you know, any technology, I guess that makes our lives easier. I just don’t know if it’s all been..,

..in the right direction.

Matt Porter: I think that there are great ideas which sometimes are rolled out by the wrong people.

James Hazell: That’s a good response.

Matt Porter: They don’t necessarily understand what the implications of fact technology is or the decisions about which equipment to use may not have been made for the. Right reasons, rather than our thought maybe a financial reason.

So you might not be getting the best results that you could be because of their strengths of budgets and other things. So

James Hazell: You think of the gaming, which is massive in this country, in many countries in the world, the gaming profession, which it is. but many people are now citing that. As the reason behind obesity in children not getting exercise and daylight and friendships.

Would that be an example of where technology has let us down a bit?

Matt Porter: I think so. I think one of the things that. Many of us would agree with that, although they’re all seem to be a double edge sword to everything and smartphone technology, mobile smart technology is an amazing invention. However, the, negativity, negative sides of, there are so many people becoming so antisocial through something that’s meant to make you.

So it’s almost as if you’ve channelled your…

James Hazell: Towards bringing out personal something in us rather than the technology itself

Matt Porter:  into something and like, yeah, so you’re sitting there with a phone stuck against your face, ignoring people whilst talking to somebody else who’s a hundred miles away or a thousand miles away, and it’s actually caused this seems to have caused people to become less social.

People are less happy to pick a phone up and speak to you. They’d rather message you, or they’d rather send a, a text message. And I did actually watch it. It was a  documentary or a piece of a news piece about, the traditional telephone effect that people aren’t using plugged in landline, no, no phones anymore.

And they interviewed people and, and people were, people were saying, well, actually making phone calls makes me anxious, so I’d draw this and now what happened there? You know where I think it

James Hazell: Probably always has. Some people just don’t like going on the telephone and do the button. So if there’s, and I don’t suppose there ever was a real alternative, so they had to do it.

Matt Porter: I think that now there is that telephones are fantastic. Voice communication is fantastic, that you don’t have to have this tech tennis match of emails and texts me example conversation. You can hear somebody how they actually mean something. You don’t have to look at it and try and read into what they’re saying.

And then through

James Hazell: Arguments in the workplace are caused by, so, you know, text, not conveying a smile.

Matt Porter: Communication beats. Exactly.

James Hazell: Yeah. Okay. When you see documentaries about the future and obviously into Sci-Fi stuff, there’s always a dystopian kind of future that we seem to be headed for. Because we become slaves to technology.

Do you think that’ll ever be the case where we become so entwined with it that

Matt Porter: Actually without it, we stop

James Hazell: Functioning as a, as a species?

Matt Porter: I mean, you

James Hazell: Could argue that

Matt Porter: That day is already around you. I was going to say, I think that we, I think we might’ve even passed that tipping point now where we become so reliant on, on this technology that we would struggle

James Hazell: to without,

Matt Porter: without it, that a dangerous place to be.

I think it probably, yes, I think he is. I think

James Hazell: That one CME from the sun, all the power goes off and we’re back to the stone age. Well, that’s very

Matt Porter: True! And we’ve seen that to a smaller extent where you have power cuts and we had a power cut last year and trains stopped running. Everything just stopped running.

Whereas, you know, there was a time when there were power stations running specifically to back up the electricity on the railway and the underground systems in London and things like that. Purely for that reason, that reason. and we had a situation where people just suddenly didn’t know what to do.

And the first. The alternative they had was to be angry and upset and stamp their feet and say, why am I late home now? This is not on. Well, it’s what would happen if there was a, an outage which wasn’t quite as easily read. It didn’t have such an easy remedy as, yeah, it’s a failure in some, protects, it was a test that went wrong and shunned down.

So, yeah. How would people cope without these things? I think we would struggle. I guess

James Hazell: We are the last generation who can remember life before the internet.

Matt Porter: Yeah. So we could

James Hazell: Probably just about, you know, go back to our child. I think, well when we were child children, this is what we did.

Matt Porter: Yeah.

James Hazell: But children now have no idea of life without the internet.

And it just worries me that they’re not such suggesting for one moment that it will ever all go off. But you don’t know. You know, that could be a major, massive fault one day, and all of a sudden. It’s off for a week and you wonder how people are going to cope.

Matt Porter: I always, always think of the Truman show.

Yeah. The film, the Truman show where if anyone hasn’t seen it, where it’s like a giant, almost like a world, a town-sized, version of big brother really isn’t aware whereas someone’s born and grown up in a, in a reality show and doesn’t know they’re in that reality show. But has, I, I think.

Feeling they might be. but the thing that always made me chuckle is at the end of that,  then effectively, it finishes and that’s the end of the show. They switch it off and everybody just carried back to something else. Went back to their normal lot. Alex

James Hazell: Is on the telly. Yeah, exactly. Oh, right. A song choice for this Wednesday.

Matt Coldplay. What if for what reason?

Matt Porter: This is, Interesting one, because I used to take our children to nursery when they were younger, and one day, I particularly liked the album that this distracts on. but I remember dropping them off one day. My wife taking them in and I was standing outside the car and it was quite a sunny day and the doors were open on the car, and then this came on and it kind of grew.

Echoed around the street where we were parking, but it was kind of quite a nice, it was a lovely, lovely song. and this particular verse in that, in this song, which is really thought-provoking, you know, it, it’s one of those songs where you could read into your, something out. You could put something out of your, something that’s happened to you in your life, and maybe draw it out of this song.

“Every step that you take
Could be your biggest mistake
It could bend or it could break
That’s the risk that you take
What if you should decide
That you don’t want me there in your life
That you don’t want me there by your side”

I think it kind of encompasses everything. And my son James has a sleep disorder. bless him, terrible trouble getting him to sleep since he was born and he’s nearly 10. We used to have sleepless nights over and over again. And one of them, if I look at my playlists on, on my phone, I, it shows which track has been played the most.

We used to play music, all kinds of music, but this one, this one’s just this one has been played about 796 times or something to him. it’s a great track. Yeah. “What if?” by Coldplay? Brilliant. Yeah.

 

Gadget Man Episode 157 – James Hazell Mix Tape Part 2 – Energy 52 – Cafe Del Mar

This morning was the second of my Mix Tape tracks played by James Hazell on BBC Radio Suffolk. I’ve attached the YouTube playlist again below which will play the interview followed by the track.

This is probably one of my favourite pieces of music ever, I don’t know quite where I first heard it, but it is a very, very, very popular dance track.

I went on holiday with my parents and some friends in Portugal. We had a villa and I brought this CD that someone had lent me, which was free on the front of Ministry Magazine, Hooj Choons.

I took that with me and it was a beautiful Villa and I went in and dragged the stereo system out beside the pool and put this on and had it blasting out sitting by the pool, and it was, it was like being in Ibiza when I was 20. It was fantastic!

Great Tune!

This doesn’t include the abrupt ending broadcast today on air!!

Below is a playlist which includes the track after the interview.

 

 

Gadget Man Episode 155 – James Hazell Mix Tape Part 1 – The Beloved – Satellite

This morning was the first of my Mix Tape tracks played by James Hazell on BBC Radio Suffolk. I’ve attached the YouTube playlist below which will play the interview followed by the track.

The transcript of the interview follows below.

Gadget Man Mix Tape – Part 1

James Hazell: The mixed tape all this week features the gadget man himself, Matt Porter of Matt Porter web design, our regular guide. You man. Now choosing tunes for us. Matt, great to see you

Matt Porter: Great to see you as well.

James Hazell: How are you?

Matt Porter: I’m alright, I’m good, very good. Thank you.

James Hazell: Now you’re a man. Of course. We know now is very much involved in the latest technology and all of that. You regularly report for us on the latest by way of gadgetry and all that. Have you always been that “guy”?

Matt Porter: for technology, I suppose I have. Actually, when I was at school, I had a Commodore VIC-20. That was interesting because the budget for that present was the Commodore VIC-20 on its own without the tape drive.

So, I would spend a lot of time programming and writing programs to do things. Either leaving the VIC-20 switched on because if you switched it off, it’s gone forever. So, it was a good way of learning to program because you kind of had to memorize a lot of what you did or write it down.

So, when you wanted to do it again, you had to re-type it all in. It was a painful thing. But, we’re not talking about writing a copy of Microsoft Word, there was a very limited amount of memory in a VIC-20, so the programs were never that long, but it was still a good start.

James Hazell: So, what was it, 10 PRINT “HELLO”, 20 GOTO 10?

Matt Porter: With Commodores, it was POKE 36879,22 or something like that!

James Hazell: Yeah. We’ll talk more about this as the week goes by, but we want to find out more about the man himself. So, Matt Porter, who are you? Are you a local? I get the sense you’re not Suffolk born, are you?

Matt Porter: I was born in Hitchin in Hertfordshire. I lived in that area for around 33 years and then I met a young lady on an online dating site called Udate, which is long gone. I met her on Udate and we got to know each other and fell in love.

I then sold my house in Bedfordshire at the time and moved to Ipswich to be with her. We got married and we had two children and we’re still together.

James Hazell: It’s good to hear of an online success story because they can be frowned upon in use by some people,

Matt Porter:  Certainly and as usual, I have to jump into something right at the beginning, it was good.

James Hazell: You were one of the first, I reckon, cause I had no doubt.

Matt Porter: Yeah, it was 2002 or 2003

James Hazell: That’s got to be early days. It’s got to be pioneering!

Matt Porter: So there you go, that’s what brought me here.

James Hazell: So your Missus must’ve been on it as well, so I suspect she’s a bit of a tech-head as well?

Matt Porter: She’s not actually, she’s not massively, almost certainly she’s not a tech head. She’s not as enthusiastic as I am, but we run Matt Porter Web Design together.

James Hazell: She won’t go out and buy a gadget just because it’s just been released by somebody.

Matt Porter: Absolutely not. No, she’s not interested. Her smartphone battery will last for days because she doesn’t use it that much.

James Hazell: When you moved to Suffolk, was there a concern with your technology minds that you’re moving to a place it’s not, shall we say, renowned for technology. It wasn’t at the forefront, I guess?

Matt Porter: I guess not. Yeah, it turns out I ended up having an office on, on the BT campus for a number of years, and it’s a super place, not many people know what a vibrant technology community is there.

But when I came here, actually, I handed my notice in for my full-time job in Hertfordshire and sold my house. I came here and started Matt Porter Web Design when I arrived, which was madness. I didn’t know anybody personally or in business.

James Hazell: So, you’ve come here this week to choose some songs for us. You’re going to start with Satellite by The Beloved.

Matt Porter: This track came out in 1996 and at that time I was house-sitting for somebody in Stevenage. During the time of the housesitting was Euro 96, which was England played absolutely amazingly! It was one of the most fantastic tournaments with classic players.

James Hazell: We were supposed to win that one!

Matt Porter: It was an amazing tournament. But I was house sitting there. So obviously I remember, watching the games and every time we scored, I think we played The Netherlands winning 4–1.

Every time we scored, I kept ringing my mate up and screaming down the phone. At that time, they also had satellite TV with MTV, and I was watching that and hadn’t really watched it before. This particular video for Satellite by The Beloved came on and it’s quite memorable. If you ever watch it on YouTube, it’s quite a memorable video, quite groundbreaking I guess, and the song’s fantastic as well. I actually have contact vaguely with Jon Marsh, who’s the singer with The Beloved by being a member of The Beloved Facebook Group. He regularly posts on there. It’s quite geeky, I guess.

(Cue Satellite by The Beloved)

 

Gadget Man – Episode 154 – Protecting Small Businesses from Cyber Attacks

More and more businesses are being targeted by criminals who are hijacking there websites and online accounts in order to blackmail them.

Here I am talking to Georgie Jameson on BBC Radio Suffolk about what small businesses can do to protect themselves from these kinds of attacks.

Matt Porter, The Gadget Man speaking on Radio Suffolk

Gadget Man – Episode 152 – Hyundai Drive Different Test – Radio Interview

This week I travelled to London to take part in the Hyundai Drive Different Test. In my previous post, I provided details on the thinking behind this initiative.

Today, I spoke to James Hazell on BBC Radio Suffolk about my experience and what I think made driving each car different.

Listen to the stream above and view the cockpit videos below to see some of what I experienced during the day.

Hyundai Drive Different Results for Matt Porter
Hyundai Drive Different Results for Matt Porter

 

 

The Gadget Man – Episode 149 – Virgin goes from EE, via BT to Vodafone, Britbox launches and Drone Registration is now compulsory

Welcome to Episode 149 – It’s all go again with the mobile phone market in the UK, the confusion surrounding Mobile Virtual Network Operators and actual network operators becomes confusing again! Virgin Mobile is currently carried by EE which in turn is owned by arch-rival BT, so now Virgin is moving to Vodafone. It shouldn’t affect your service, but you should check your coverage as EE and Vodafone may differ!

Britbox has now launched in the UK, although it was launched in the USA some time ago. Britbox offers BBC and ITV material and will also offer Channel 4 and Channel 5 stuff to in time.  It becomes confusing when much of the material is still offered on BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4 and My5, you can even pay for some of these services to remove the adverts with ITV Hub+, 4+. I’ve signed up to check it out, so more on this later. I’m not terribly sure it has room to operate alongside global players such as Netflix, Amazon and Apple TV.  Time will tell.

UK Drone registration is now compulsory for anyone flying an aircraft over 250g.  Operators have until the end of the month to register their drones. It requires the payment of a £9 annual fee and you must affix your Operator ID to any drones you choose to fly.

Listen in to the stream to find out more,

Matt