Tag Archives: Radio

Gadget Man – Episode 112 – Too Much Smartphone!

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.

A designated 'Cellphone Sidewalk' in Chongqing, China. Photo credit: China Daily/Reuters
A designated ‘Cellphone Sidewalk’ in Chongqing, China.
Photo credit: China Daily/Reuters

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.

Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are one of the most popular smart phones in the UK
Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are one of the most popular smart phones in the UK
Image Credit: Apple

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.

Samsung Galaxy S9 with Infinity display
Samsung Galaxy S9 with Infinity display providing vast displays in the palm of your hand.
Image Credit: Samsung

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.

Matt Porter
Gadget Man

Gadget Man – Episode 111 – Cashless Society

The cashless society is economic model that removes physical money from our wallets and replaces it with fully digital transactions. So, we no longer carry banknotes and coins, instead we carry our traditional bank cards or mobile devices. These transactions can be made in our home currencies (in my case Pound Sterling), an international currency or even a digital currency such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.  When using our traditional currency, we can completely remove a ‘standard’ bank from the equation and use alternatives from Paypal or Amazon.

Gadget Man 111 - Cashless Society

Apple Pay and Google Pay give us access to our bank accounts to transact contactless payments using our mobile devices and also track our payments using linked cards, thus attempting to give us the best of both worlds. The sting in the tail is the utterly endless opportunities to spend at will which will surely lead to intervention by governments to protect individuals from spending above their means.

Consequently, cashless and contactless systems give us greater power to transact business quickly and painlessly. However, whilst online and large businesses can easily transfer to these systems, there is a great danger of smaller businesses being completely crowded out either by lack of infrastructure or lack of funds.

Yesterday, I was interviewed by Tony Gillham at BBC Guernsey about the cashless society and how businesses in remoter islands in the Bailiwick, such as Alderney, can continue to transact business in a rapidly cashless world.

Listen in by clicking the link above. If you have a comment, please feel free to add your opinions below. Don’t forget to like and subscribe and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Gadget Man – Episode 109 – Mobile Devices in the Classroom

On Friday I spoke to Jenny Kendall-Tobias on BBC Radio Guernsey about children carrying mobile phones in classrooms.

This followed an interview  in the Daily Telegraph two weeks ago with Matt Hancock MP, Minister of State for Digital and Culture. He gave his views on the use of mobile phones in class by children and what he believed headteachers should be doing to tackle the issue.

Matt Hancock - All rights reserved by Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Matt Hancock MP – Credit: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

“Technology makes being a parent much harder. And schools have a big role too. I enthusiastically support using technology for teaching. But we also need to teach children how to stay safe with technology. Why do young children need phones in schools?”

“There are a number of schools across the country that simply don’t allow them. I believe that very young children don’t need to have access to social media. While it is up to individual schools to decide rather than government, I admire headteachers who do not allow mobiles to be used during the school day. I encourage more schools to follow their lead. The evidence is that banning phones in schools works.”

“Studies have shown mobile phones can have a real impact on working memory and fluid intelligence, even if the phone is on a table or in a bag.”

Following this article, I was asked to appear on Jenny’s show to discuss my thoughts on children carrying mobile phones in classrooms.

Mobile phone use in school - Credit: IntelFreePress / Flickr
Mobile phone use in school – Credit: IntelFreePress / Flickr

You might be surprised to hear that I don’t think mobile devices have a place on the classroom. They are an enormous distraction and I think they pose a very real safeguarding issue within the school where they could be used inappropriately and there is also a very clear issue of peer pressure, with device cost stretching to £1000. There is also a problem with children carrying extremely valuable devices to and from school, which again exhibits a danger of theft.

If you feel differently, please let me know if the comments and of course you can listen in to the interview by click on the link above.

 

Pure Evoke F3 with Bluetooth, 25,000 radio stations at your fingertips!

Pure Evoke F3 with BluetoothDigital Radio is now firmly established in our lives with more and more stations switching to DAB and the hardware finding itself in our homes and more importantly in our vehicles, the choice of stations is now bigger than it’s ever been. The move to DAB has been much slower than the recent transition to Digital TV and the consequent switch off of analogue services, mainly due to the availability, simplicity of installation and pricing of Digital TV boxes, something that is not quite so practical with radio.

To help with this transition in our homes, Pure have been working hard to squeeze multiple technologies into their already well known range of DAB radios. I’ve been testing the Pure Evoke F3 with Bluetooth for the last month and really like the additions.

Pure Evoke F3 with Bluetooth - Traditional Looks
Pure Evoke F3 with Bluetooth – Traditional Looks

Out of the box, the Evoke F3 looks very much a traditional modern DAB digital radio, it’s a good size and weight, but it’s so much more than just a DAB radio, Pure have included traditional FM, Bluetooth connectivity, Internet Radio and Podcasts, Spotify Premium streaming, Aux in, Line out and network browsing of your locally stored music.

This is possible by adding WiFi connectivity to allow you to browse in excess of 25,000 radio stations across the world and more than 100,000 podcasts including BBC listen again content and Spotify Premium. It should be noted that if you want to make use of the Spotify function, you will need to subscribe to their £9.99 per month service.

Pure Evoke F3 with Bluetooth - Rear View
Pure Evoke F3 with Bluetooth – Rear View

You can stream your own music from your mobile phone using Bluetooth or via line in. If you want to get an even meatier sound from the device, it can be plugged into an amp via the 3.5mm line out socket.

Setting up the radio was really straightforward and connecting to a WiFi network is really straightforward, the radio is controlled from the front panel buttons or a separate remote control. You can also link the radio to Pure’s ‘Connect’ web service which makes organising playlists and stations much easier. The sound quality is very good for the price and the smart design means that it will sit happily in a kitchen, office or bedroom without standing out too much.

Pure Evoke F3 with Bluetooth - Tuned to The Gadget Man
Pure Evoke F3 with Bluetooth – Tuned to The Gadget Man

The radio has alarm and sleep functions built, so you can wake up to the wonders of your favourite Balearic Dance station or simply an alarm tone if you prefer. The colour display is not mobile phone quality as it was a little washed out, but nothing that ruins the experience and is perfectly adequate for day to day use.

The Pure Evoke F3 is good value at about £129, which is pretty competitive especially given the enormous amount of functionality included, I thought it was a great piece of kit.

Thanks to Nick at BT Shop for providing the radio for review

 

The Gadget Man – Episode 75 – Self balancing two wheeled board

Hover boardThis week we chatted about the Self balancing two wheeled board’s that are currently very popular. You might know them as Hoverboards, Segways, Balance Boards, Monorovers etc. This is because the device is being manufactured by ‘copycat’ companies in the Far East and is being marketed under a whole host of different names in the UK alone.

It takes a bit of time to get used to riding the board, but once you get it, you are away. It’s great for smooth surfaces, not so good on bumpy ones.

Listen in to the audio stream to find out all about it. Lots of video shortly.

Thanks you a million times to Charles Claughton for the loan of the board, he is indeed a star!