This weekend I’ve been with the BBC One Rip Off Britain team in Liverpool giving consumer advice and top tips in the show’s pop up shop.
As a technology and communications expert for the show I get asked a lot of questions throughout the year about mobile phones, landlines and the internet.
A common theme for many viewers in this year’s pop up shop has been how to deal with nuisance calls; there were also complaints about call charges to 118 directory services numbers, particularly when they offer to connect the call on your behalf.
In a new item for the show I gave a workshop on top tips for using your mobile phone while abroad: Gloria Hunniford and I took to the streets of Liverpool to show how, with a little planning, everybody can safely roam with their phones while avoid a nasty bill shock when they return home.
Season 5 of Rip Off Britain is due to broadcast on BBC One during daytimes in September.
I’m thrilled to be working with the team once again after fronting the daily live broadcasts for Adobe’s UK Creative Week last year. As well as being live-streamed online this year there will also be a 400-strong live audience in the theatre.
The show (#CreativeDays on Twitter) is part of a larger worldwide event in which Adobe’s evangelists show off the exciting new features and workflows coming up in the next release of Adobe Creative Cloud.
During the day I’ll also be interviewing some exciting luminaries from the creative industry including photojournalist Nick Danziger, designer and typographer Swifty, and author of The HTML and CSS Book Jon Duckett.
Here’s a teaser trailer we filmed to promote the show. Hats off once again to the superb team at Flint London.
You can find out more and watch the live stream between 10am and 4:45pm by clicking here, and the show will also be available afterwards on demand.
Earlier this week I got hands-on with Nokia’s new flagship smartphone, the Nokia Lumia 925, at the global launch event in London.
Aside from the all-new aluminium body the big stories with the Nokia Lumia 925 are the PureView camera’s insane low-light capabilities and the integrated Nokia Smart Camera software, both of which we had plenty of opportunities to try out at the event:
As you can see, it’s a cracking handset with a very interesting camera that I’d love to take on a holiday with me to try out in more detail.
I was delighted to be working once again with Pat Doyle, who produced the O2 Guru TV Fast Forward film from the Gadget Show Live.
To watch more top tech films from O2, including Fast Forward, the monthly show presented by me all about future trends and technology, visit the O2 Guru TV YouTube channel and his subscribe.
Picking up my pen once again for Computer Weekly’s Inspect-a-Gadget column I spend some quality time with BlackBerry’s brand new handset, the Q10.
The Q10 is the first BlackBerry device to feature a physical keyboard since the release of its new operating system and Z10 all-touchscreen smartphone earlier in 2013.
The familiar looking handset is a big deal for the recently renamed canadian tech firm, marking its first real foray back into its core corporate market since adopting BB10 as its strategic OS.
Head on over to Computer Weekly to read what I make of the BlackBerry Q10.
At the Gadget Show Live this week I recorded the first show for my new O2 Guru TV series. Called Fast Forward, it’s all about future trends and technology.
The Gadget Show Live at the NEC in Birmingham is the UK’s largest consumer technology expo and the ideal location for the first episode with lots of terrific tech to get our hands on.
To keep up to date with all the latest Fast Forward episodes make sure to hop on over to the O2 Guru TV Channel on YouTube and hit subscribe.
I’m delighted to be back with the Gadget Show Live once again this week at the NEC in Birmingham.
As well as hosting the TechRadar Showcase Stage here I’m presenting my very own show on the Photography Stage all about the best apps and accessories for creative photography and videography using smartphones.
If you’ve come here looking for the notes for my show then click here for a full run down of the smartphone photography and filmmaking apps and accessories I showcased.
Of course, smartphone creativity is something I’ve written about and presented on a lot over the last 12 months, and I’m very excited to have the chance to talk about it here at the Gadget Show Live, as well as to show off my filming accessories workflow.
As if all that wasn’t enough, I’ve also been filming my new future tech trends show, Fast Forward, for O2 Guru TV – more on that coming very soon…
In app purchases have been in the news again recently following the revelation that one junior gamer unwittingly racked up a £1700 bill on his dad’s credit card during a particularly prolific 15 minute gaming session.
The BBC One Rip Off Britain team paid a visit earlier this week to ask me what in app purchases are what the so-called ‘freemium’ business model means; plus I demonstrated how you can very easily be no more than three screen taps away from expensive in app purchases within a supposedly free game.
We also filmed a lovely sequence of me and my 3 year old daughter Evie playing CBeebies games together on our iPad.
If you let your children play on your smartphone or tablet then here are my 5 top tips which I suggest will safeguard you and your family from any inadvertent in app purchases:
- Never share your password, even if it’s to download a so-called ‘free’ app.
- Enable restrictions on your device. At present they aren’t enabled by default so you must take action to make your phone or tablet safe.
- If the game doesn’t need a network connection then turn on your device’s airplane or flight-safe mode – this will disable its network connection preventing any purchases.
- Regularly check your purchase history, make sure you recognise all of the downloads on there – each app store has its own easy link to do this.
- Supervised play – vet the games you let your kids play and supervise when they play. Not only can you keep an eye on what your children are playing it’s a great way to share in their excitement, entertainment and education.
I’ve written in the past about how adults can safely introduce their children to smartphones and tablets, most recently for the National Childbirth Trust. This item on in app purchases for the BBC will be broadcast on later on this year.
Consumer affairs show Rip Off Britain returns for its Spring 2013 primetime run on BBC One.
I’ll be appearing once again as the golden girls’ telecoms expert advising the good people of Great Britain how to fight their corner against unfair contracts, shocking bills and tricky terms and conditions.
Here’s a quick clip from the opening episode of this series where I help a former squash world champion get to the bottom of a dispute with his phone contract:
This season airs on Monday evenings at 8pm (just after Eastenders!) from January 7th 2013 for 8 weeks.
You can catch-up with the rest of the Rip Off Britain series over on BBC iPlayer.