The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the independent charity that promotes the works, life and times of William Shakespeare in his hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon, is launching a new podcast series exploring Shakespeare’s place in the modern world.
Titled Shakespeare Alive, the six-part podcast series launches on Tuesday, 17 November and is hosted by the Trust’s Shakespeare experts Dr Paul Edmondson and Dr Anjna Chouhan. Taking a fresh perspective on conversations about Shakespeare, Paul and Anjna’s guests include theatre professionals and artists from around the world discussing their relationships with Shakespeare, and his relevance in society today.
Thanks to support from Arts Council England, Shakespeare Alive is available for free and is accessible across a number of podcast platforms including Apple, Google and Spotify, and on the Trust’s website shakespeare.org.uk/shakespeare-alive.
Kicking-off the series is a captivating discussion about multi-racial casting in Shakespeare, featuring Dr Farah Karim-Cooper of Shakespeare’s Globe. In this first episode, Karim-Cooper’s discussion includes considering the treatment of race in Shakespeare’s plays and how this might be interpreted by audiences.
Paul Taylor, acting director of cultural engagement at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has emphasised a need to adapt and explore new ways of connecting with audiences via digital channels. With the support of Arts Council England, we are pleased to be able to produce digital content that brings Shakespeare’s culture and his continuing relevance to a contemporary audience in the comfort of their homes. We hope that this podcast will be a compelling source of interest and inspiration to our listeners, especially during these challenging times.”
Shakespeare Alive episode guide:
Shakespeare and Race, with Dr Farah Karim-Cooper – Shakespeare’s Globe
Dr Farah Karim-Cooper, Head of Higher Education and Research at Shakespeare’s Globe, talks to Paul Edmondson about her first encounter with Shakespeare, her experiences of academia and her work on the Shakespeare and Race festival.
Illustrating Shakespeare, with Mya Gosling – Good Tickle Brain
Mastermind of the comic brand, Good Tickle Brain, Mya Gosling talks to Anjna Chouhan about breaking down barriers and making Shakespeare accessible and fun, through irreverence and illustration.
Becoming Othello, with Debra Ann Byrd – The Harlem Shakespeare Festival
The Artistic Director of the Harlem Shakespeare Festival talks to Paul Edmondson about why she founded her company, and the inspiration for her important memoir: Becoming Othello, A Black Girl’s Journey.
Resurrecting Shakespeare, with Victoria Baumgartner – Will & Co
Founder of theatre company Will & Co, Victoria Baumgartner, talks to Anjna Chouhan about her successful play, Will, and all about her ground-breaking project, Bard in the Yard, to bring Shakespeare to audiences during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Directing Shakespeare, with Gregory Doran – The Royal Shakespeare Company
The Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), Gregory Doran, talks to Paul Edmondson about what made him a Shakespearian and what that means to him personally, and to the company. They also discuss cross-gendered casting, and how theatrical performance brings Shakespeare to life in our own time and culture.
Reviewing Shakespeare, with Nathan and Simon Dowling – The Break a Leggers
YouTube vlogging sensations, Nathan and Simon Dowling of The Break a Leggers, talk to Anjna Chouhan about their experiences of reviewing theatre and their expectations of watching live Shakespeare in the modern world.
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.
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
Don’t forget to LIKE, SUBSCRIBE, SHARE and COMMENT.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This morning was the final of my Mix Tape tracks played by James Hazell on BBC Radio Suffolk. I’ve attached the YouTube playlist yet again below which will play the interview followed by the track.
Two Tribes, by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, is a truly incredible track which absolutely blew the music scene away back in 1984 and launched the band into super-stardom.
“From the railway station in the distance came the sound of shunting trains, ringing and rumbling, softened almost into melody by the distance.” – H. G. Wells – War of the Worlds
Transcript of the interview is below.
James Hazell: The mixtape all this week has featured Matt Porter, our very own gadget guy from Matt Porter web design. We’ve been chewing the cud of technology all this week and the fascination with gadgetry and life in the future. Is there one thing, Matt, we talked yesterday about, uh, where the technology may have gone down the wrong route.
Is there one area where you think it might be behind and needs to pick up? The pace of it? Is there. A strand of life that technology
Matt Porter: has yet to improve. I’ve got very poor eye sight to where we’ll go out very thick glasses for years and I now wear contact lenses and therefore when I use things like a virtual reality headset, so when I play with them, unless I’ve got my contact lenses in, I can’t because I’ve got a pair of glasses that get away in all of this sort of stuff.
And it seems like a first world problem. I think that they’ve, there have just been developments made in. Putting displays on building displays into a contact lens, and when that finally becomes mainstream, that would just be amazing. I mean, I’ll wear contact lenses and have anyways on use to put in them in my yard.
James Hazell: It’s odd, isn’t it? Wearing glasses does seem very. Victorian almost way beyond that. We’re still doing it. That can be, I’m not, all right. You can have a call, Tina Mark three air filter over your face like they haven’t stopped. Yeah. Yeah. Apart from that,
Matt Porter: Yeah. I think that it’s, that would be super, but I think that you know, I absolutely love the fact that I could, um, uh, shut my eyes and watch your film.
James Hazell: Um, it feels like it’s a natural extension to the smartphone.
Matt Porter: I mean, I, I was, I had a, a virtual reality headset on. I can a head-up display. I had a hit. I actually had a headset on, um, a couple of years ago, and I was looking for stuff that supported it so you could turn your head around and it would. Turn your head around and it would, um, uh, move accordingly.
And, um, and I was watching these things and YouTube supports it. If you say you’ve got a headset on, it’ll show you stuff. So you can see it will move things around. And I remember sitting there and, um, suddenly. It was a, it was someone doing yoga and I didn’t know what could do with myself and where to put myself because suddenly I’m looking like real.
Yeah. I’m looking at this woman in some strange yoga position and I couldn’t cover my eyes because they were covered by this. Certainly. If it’s done well, you know, it’s fantastic. And yes, so contact lenses with built-in displays would be, that’s the future
James Hazell: Right there. Alright. We’ll wrap up with a set of questions, which we may have borrowed from a certain TV show.
We don’t need to go into that. So, Matt Porter, uh, your all-time favourite word.
Difficult. Yeah. We never tell guests about these questions.
Matt Porter: Um, sarcasm. Sarcasm.
James Hazell: Okay. Your least
Matt Porter: a favorite word or least favourite phrase is “This One”. Really? Yeah. Everybody seems to be putting pictures on social media and saying had a lovely afternoon. People
James Hazell: refer to
Matt Porter: people as this, this one. Yeah.
James Hazell: What would you say was your best
Matt Porter: quality?
I’m very caring. Very caring.
James Hazell: Good for you, and your worst quality.
Matt Porter: Um, I don’t pick up some social cues when it’s time to stop and go. Yeah. So from around someone’s house. Yeah. Don’t get that social cue that it’s now they’re standing there in their pyjamas, within the lights out,
James Hazell: and I’m still
Matt Porter: talking like that.
James Hazell: Uh, ‘Trek or ‘Wars. Careful how you answer.
Matt Porter: Well, isn’t it? Isn’t it? It’s so divisive because they are so entirely different.
James Hazell: They are entirely
Matt Porter: Different because in fairness, Trek is, is utopian.
James Hazell: Trek is a nice place.
Matt Porter: Yes, utopian, clean air, pleasant, a bit more space, that’s why Star Wars is all kind of dirty and used.
So it’s difficult to say, Oh, I’ll say Trek at the moment, because there’s a particular because a Picard’s just come on and it’s nice to see it back.
James Hazell: You’re right. Yes. A sound that you love?
Matt Porter: Trains Passing in the Night in the Distance! That’s a great noise! Oh my God!
James Hazell: Always loved the reference in Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds.
Uh, trains, uh, in the distance, softened almost into melody by the disc. that’s a lovely phrase.
Matt Porter: I used to hear the trains at night when I was young and I think I did actually look it up. And apparently it is a ‘thing’, most people find than the sound of trains passing in the night calm.
James Hazell: It is a thing. Yeah. Most surprising.
A sound or noise that you hate. That ‘dong’ that windows used to make when something went wrong.
Matt Porter: The Blue Screen of Death. Yeah.
James Hazell: Uh, and if heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates. Do we need a website?
Matt Porter: No, God. Oh no! That’d be the worst thing! I’m glad you are here. My computer’s got a problem. Yeah., I think, um, uh, you’ve done a great job.
James Hazell: You are a caring guy.
Matt Porter: Welcome and great. Yeah. Yeah. Brilliant. Yeah.
James Hazell: Matt Porter. Great to catch up. And you will know that, again, beyond the show with us talking technology as the weeks go by of Matt Porter Web Design, final song. is an app salute stonker, it’s Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Two Tribes, for what reason, Matt?
Matt Porter: Um, when Frankie Goes to Hollywood, appeared, it was in 1984, 83-84. That time was quite frightening for people. Eh, you know, we have scary now because we’ve, it’s all to do with the doomsday clock, and we’re closer than ever now.
But back then there was a real, uh, it seemed like it could happen. There were broken down relationships between the Soviet Union and the United States. Reagan had just come in and he was quite boisterous at the time. Um, and. It was a scary time. It really felt I think there were a few movies came out, threads the day after they all kind of nuclear war movies, which are quite frightening.
Threads were very, very scary because it was so much more real. Um, so there was this feeling of impending doom that we really didn’t have much time. summed it up, some great lyrics in it. Um, and. I, it was a tough time around that time for me. You know, I’d have, we had a bereavement. My sister died a year or so before.
And, uh, it was pretty tough going and, and you kind of become involved listening to particular music and really, really enjoying it. So it was kind of a bit of escapism listening to this band. So. It was, and this track, you know, it was one of the first ones to be sort of heavily remixed and different versions.
James Hazell: 4 different mixes?
Matt Porter: Different 12” version, Annihilation, Carnage, Hibakusha and Cassette and things like that.
It was a fantastic, fantastic track. Nine weeks at number one, and I actually speak to, a couple of the members of the band as well now. Yeah. Um. Holly Johnson, not so much now. I used to have a bit of communication with him on Facebook. Brian Nash, the guitarist, he’s a real, real, real nice guy and had a few conversations with him as well.
James Hazell: Interesting. Mark O’Toole. He was another one was
Matt Porter: Mark O’Toole was the bass player. He lives in America. He’s kind of quite out of the public eye now. It doesn’t really have much to do with anything social media.
Paul Rutherford was the backing singer. He lives in New Zealand. Yes, Ped was the drummer who lives in London. I think I’m friends with him on Facebook, but he doesn’t say very much. His son’s quite an avid, surfer.
James Hazell: But back in the day, they all got together with the help of Trevor Horn of course.
Matt Porter: Trevor horn, who
James Hazell: did a remarkable job.
Matt Porter: I went to his house, actually. Yes. So to his house for a Christmas party, 27 years ago. Yeah. So, one of my friends, her uncle. Worked for Stiff Records, right. And stiff was bought by ZTT Records, which was owned by Trevor Horn and Jill Sinclair, they were invited to his Christmas party, which was a place called Hook End Manor in Oxfordshire, right, which was owned by Dave Gilmore, he had just bought it from Dave Gilmore.
James Hazell: You hang about with all the big guys don’t ya!
Matt Porter: They said, we know you’re a great fan. Will you drive us? My friends and her family said, you drive us and you can come along. So, I did. I drove. I drove out, and it was, um, Wendy and Lisa were there from Prince and the Revolution.
Yeah., and Wendy, I think Wendy or no, Lisa Coleman has got a twin, so she was there as well. So there were sort of two Lisa’s and then there was Lol Crème.
James Hazell: They are big mates.
Matt Porter: Stephen Howe from, Yes. Was there, there was a few other people’s, Seal was meant to be there, but he didn’t come. Um, same record label. Of course. Yeah. He was, yeah, he was time. Uh, yeah, it was, it was, it was
James Hazell: It was a great night that was?
Matt Porter: Day. Yeah, a whole day thing. Yeah. Well, playing table tennis in the recording studio and played pool and snooker.
There you go.
James Hazell: Final song from Frankie goes to Hollywood with the genius of Trevor Horn behind it and Matt Porter on the mix tape. Great to speak to you, Matt. We’ll speak soon. Thank you.
I’ve been very lax in uploading the last three Podcast episodes which feature me chatting to James Hazell on BBC Radio Suffolk. I will upload these as audio episodes to keep the Podcast in order.
During this time, I have been experimenting by recording the interviews on video and in some cases, adding additional links within the videos.
This is incredibly time-consuming as the audio from James is lost if using the sound from the cameras and is lower quality. Thus in some cases, I have used a mix of both the BBC stream and camera and when I’m recording at home, I can also use a recording from a Blue Snowball Microphone.
For those interested, I’m using a Sony Xperia 1 stabilised by a DJI Osmo 3 Mobile. In the case of the third video, I also recorded the interview on a second static camera using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium.
The first two videos are 1080p using the Xperia 1 front-facing camera and the third uses both phones rear-facing cameras and thus is rendered in 4k.
I hope the video recording add value to the interviews, I would be very interested to hear your views?
Following reports of an increase in car-related crime, I spoke to Mark Murphy on BBC Radio Suffolk about what can be done to reduce the chances of falling foul to Keyless Car Crime.
Keyless Keyfobs are devices that have come to replace the ‘traditional’ car entry methods which required us to actively press a lock/unlock button on our fobs. Instead the car constantly ‘polls’ the keyfob and when you within a short distance of the vehicle, automatically opens its to allow for entry. It also enables the driver to start and stop the car using on dash buttons.
As is usual, technology strives to make our lives easier, but also it seems gives criminals new opportunities to steal our vehicles. Readily available gadgets can be purchases specifically to scan for these ‘handshake’ signals between car and fob and upon interception, thieves can drive the cars with an instantly cloned device.
It is important to note that many cars will allow the car to be driven even if the key is no longer present. Check with your manufacturer if this is the case with your vehicle.
Rather than concentrate on the specific technology to achieving this wireless theft, drivers should concentrate in the short term on how they can ensure their cars are secure.
Leading car security organisation, Thatcham Research have published a list of steps we as drivers should follow to ensure this security. This very list has been adopted by Police forces across the UK.
Contact your dealer and talk about the digital features in your car. Have there been any software updates you can take advantage of?
Check if your keyless entry fob can be turned off. If it can, and your dealer can also confirm this, then do so overnight.
Store your keys away from household entry points. Keeping your keyless entry fob out of sight is not enough – thieves only need to gain proximity to the key before amplifying the signal.
Be vigilant. Keep an eye out for suspicious activity in your neighbourhood – and report anything unusual to the Police.
Review your car security. Check for aftermarket security devices such as Thatcham-approved mechanical locks and trackers, which are proven to deter thieves. A list can be found on the Thatcham Research website, here.
You can also download the Suffolk Constabulary ‘Tips for Drivers’ factsheet below. I have also included links to key pouches that block scanners. These can be purchased from Amazon using the links below.
Don’t forget to ‘Like’, ‘Subscribe’ and of course ‘Comment’ and stay tuned for our reviews and comment.
The Genie is now officially out of the bottle! We use our smartphones too much!
Most of us will already know this though, how could we miss it? You only have to travel on buses, trains and planes to see myriads of people sitting quietly staring at their smart phones, glued to Facebook, Snapchat or Twitter, scrolling through the latest news.
In restaurants alongside the place settin will sit a smartphone, ready at a moments notice to be snatched up and used to photograph a plate of food of a group selfie.
At rock concerts, the crowd is now lit up by mobile phone screens at they live stream or record a band whilst watching on those same screens, perhaps forgetting to watch and enjoy the band live rather than by proxy.
In homes across the world, millions of people are sitting scrolling through their devices, then standing and walking into the kitchen, the phone still in front of their faces, then to bed, when finally after another 10 minutes of messaging, the phone is plugged in to finally rest and recharge, it’s peace only broken in the middle of the night as a hand reaches out to grab it and check Facebook.
As morning breaks, a sleepy hand reaches out, slowly grabs the device and the day begins again.
This information overload is affecting peoples brains, our bodies are fooled by the blue light from an LCD screen and now we believe it is daylight 24 hours a day. We are conditioned to rely on our devices for everything, for affirmation from our friends, to give that affirmation back in a pre-formatted ‘Sending Hugs 🤗🤗🤗’ .
So, have we forgotten how to communicate? Are we now so reliant on our smartphones, that we no longer feel the need to use it for it’s original purpose? That of speaking to people and conveying our true feelings without relying on pre-programmed ’emotions’ invented by clever people in California.
Time will tell, but no amount of intervention by software giants will put that Genie back. We as a race have to take that step.
I spoke to Mark Murphy at BBC Radio Suffolk about the obsession with smart phones this morning. Listen to the stream above, I would love to read your comments on the subject.