But It's Over Now, Go On and Take a Cow: TM 124
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- British Airways is finally offering onboard Wi-Fi
- Facial recognition for cows in focus as Irish start-up Cainthus gets backing
- Mobile phone coverage in Scotland is ‘unacceptable’
- Three million homes to get ultrafast broadband by 2020
- The CEO of Openreach aims to connect 10m customers to 'ultra-fast' by 2025
- Brief first hands-on take with Apple's HomePod from Nate
- Your emails and questions answered!
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- EXTRA STORY: 'Nokia' is introducing a 4G version of its old-timey phone
- EXTRA STORY: S9 pricing leak suggests it will be £100 more than the S8
- Relevant tangent into discussing whether Nate's wife has ever put an arm up a cow
- Outtakes and more!
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00:00 You're listening to text message. The U.K. focused technology podcast with me. Nate's Longton Dan may Morris and brought to you by you. Thank you to all beautiful and fantastic patrons supportiveness every week at patriae on dot com slash U.K. tech. Obviously if you all one of patrons you are getting our extended ad free version of this week's show and if you're not but would like to get the ad free versions are extended long diversions on live streaming which is going on right now. Hello to everyone listening live in our Disko chat room. You can start all that by going to patriae on dot com forward slash UK tech and find out how you can support those with no commitments. And that's key. You can try and if you don't like it you can just cancel and we'll be very grateful to you giving us a shot. Thank you to Will Dawson and Martin who have joined us most recently. Fantastic to have you guys on board. And later on everybody. Later on we're going to talk about something we have never talked about on the podcast before ever. That is a that's the length and promise right. Let's begin with British Airways. It's finally finally getting onboard Wi-Fi. But here's a funny thing.
01:07 Can you guess guess without looking at the run of OK how many planes are getting Wi-Fi full. Oh very close mate very close three yes three according to Engadget.
01:21 This week the company did say the number will rise to 118 planes over the next two years. But last year. Last April it said customers in all cabins would shortly have access to Wi-Fi on long haul flights. And then connectivity would be added to the short haul ones you know domestic stuff later that year although B.A. did say to Engadget that Delattre the show whole stuff will come later this year.
01:47 Now however no one is particularly bothered about Schul or we could all live without it on a trip to them. It's the transatlantic and further that needs Wi-Fi.
01:57 I completely disagree. Think about how how annoying it would be to remove Wi-Fi from the London tube.
02:02 Now you have to fund the London Wi-Fi very annoying anyway because it doesn't work in the trains.
02:10 Yet we've talked about extending it I'm sure.
02:14 I'm sure it's only a matter of time. But the point is that yes I would miss it but I couldn't live without it because it's stations. And I find the whole process very frustrating in fact I find it more relaxing because while there's wait for the doors to open frantically try and get it back on the Wi-Fi and then do whatever they want to do and then it's shut again. So actually it's in the Chiefs. I would I don't want to get rid of the thing.
02:39 Well it will be in the large tubes floating through the air at 35000 feet that are getting these and B.A. is going to offer to Wi-Fi as to what's called browse once called stream and you can guess which is designed for what browse one starts at five quid and that limits you'll use it to websites and messaging up social media stuff like that stream has all the previous benefits presumably but will allow you to stream video and they say that it will have no less than approximately 1 megabit per second. So that alone is enough to stream to stream Netflix and some other player and things like that. Although what will be interesting is where the exits IP on the plane says the plane is because that might cause havoc with the region blocking Oh I would imagine that it would be routes back to bialys network and would exit from London or wherever they're head office is.
03:37 I believe that's probably going to be the only way to realistically do it.
03:41 But you know it reminds me of the whole DVD region thing where there's all these different region codes but there a special region codes for things like oil rigs and submarines and even spacecraft or some bizarre thing because like technically they're not part of any any country and it sort of strikes me that there's an opportunity to say well this only applies if you'll feature on the ground and if you are in the plane or in a space station or on something you're Musk invents in ten years time then you're not subject to region blocking all or what have you. Be quite interesting.
04:12 Yeah I mean blocking should have a long time ago.
04:16 Yeah well. So yes the basic service starts at for ninety nine that's for the Browse and the streaming service the top two is seven pounds ninety nine eight eight eight pounds and you can start. Ten minutes after takeoff. Which isn't which isn't Bob.
04:33 Do you have to wait for ten minutes.
04:35 I did. It's the amount of time it takes to get into the the you know the heights that the seatbelt sign generally goes off and you can turn your device back on hold. Don't forget about not anymore.
04:45 No because you're allowed to have devices on now as long as they're small yes you don't lives in the office to shut my iPod. In the past but phones they don't have a problem with Kindles and stuff like that and headphones.
04:56 Crucially they don't mind you having headphones on now when you're taking off.
05:00 Yeah I mean does that make sense. Well I mean I'm sort of in a way I kind of think is a bit silly because I think people should be aware of what's going on during takeoff and landing. I think people should be more are expected to pay attention. I know everyone's flown and we all know how to get out of a plane but there's something about that kind of thing. Well you know just listen to them.
05:22 Well Richard in that chat room says that the large noise canceling headphones the ones they do ask you to remove. Now say something I've never been asked to remove mine I mean since the new rules came in. Generally speaking even if it's wireless you plug the cable in and they seem to they don't seem to care. Richard. She also mentions that Canada presumably flies to Canada costs 20 dollars for Wi-Fi access during the flight. I'm hoping that one of the three planes that does have Wi-Fi is one of the one is the one that Kate and I are flying to Japan on at the end of the month because that would be delightful.
05:57 Well be interesting to see people's experiences with these sorts of things because the the issue with things like latency and and what have you makes real time communication. I would have thought quite quite challenging but there are so many planes around the world now that have to be really interesting to get some real world examples of people's experience using plane Wi-Fi what to use it for. Is it annoying or do you get to know the people using it. Do people actually use the phone because that was always the fear that people would be on the no fly far as I've seen.
06:29 I've used it and it's fine. It's a great experience but it was for me it was worth the money because it enabled me to tweet and work and stuff on that site.
06:38 Yeah. And but you can let us know any experiences you have had please. Hello Tech podcast you can.
06:50 IAN Yes. It's time to talk about cows. Oh yes.
06:55 I've been looking forward to this. Yes. It's because it was first mooted earlier.
07:00 I'm glad you started with the puns because they're all I'm. I'm going to milk these puns for all that well this week already. I am indeed.
07:08 According to The Irish Times came us probably woefully mispronouncing that but it's an Irish ag tech called agricultural tech startup has developed facial recognition for cows. We all knew that but he's received funding from a company called Cargill which is one of the largest crop traders and meat producers in the world. I saw this story and instantly thought huh. What's wdf. So I did a little bit of probing around on this now and apparently this is a really really useful piece of technology for farmers because at the moment you don't you aren't really able to get real time monitoring of what a cow. I don't say who was what was a cow feeling like you know milk yield and water intake food intake or stuff like that. But the technology here actually allows the farmer to monitor the health and well-being of livestock and it uses images photo basically of the cow using either body Paton's markings and facial recognition as well in order to track all of this sort of stuff including things like behavioral patterns and then the software can deliver real time analytics back to the farmer on a cow by cow basis. So we talk about the ins and outs of things being like a machine to machine communication. This is I don't know what this counts as see to see how to consume the cow. It's very bizarre but it kind of identify individual cows by their features in apparently several seconds and then recall the animal's identity and then yeah as I say it means that what used to take days or weeks gone to useful information from can now basically be done in in real time and they've got investment in funding from a gigantic meat producing conglomerate. I think the U.S. base which the call go buy need to add up to double check that in order to expand and they're going to bring that technology now to more dairy farms around the world. And they're also going to expand into other species including pigs and poultry and things and maybe even fish. Now that to me is amazing. And as soon as I heard this story I thought I'm going on Monday or Tuesday to pitch a video to Bloomberg to go over to islands and see how facial recognition tech in action because it just sounds utterly fantastic.
09:31 It does seem like a genuinely interesting story. I mean honestly it's not it's not surprising to me that every calcifies is unique and different people can. You know technology can differentiate them but the idea of how they do it is quite fascinating actually.
09:47 Case in the chat room is positing that spray painting numbers on cows would be too obvious as a way of identifying. I don't think that that necessarily tracks it wouldn't allow a machine to track these cows and the idea is that it's increasing the efficiency of the sort of farm to table strategy if you like.
10:07 You could just put QR code on them you know like in Qana. Q all kinds I don't think that will work.
10:13 I mean a cow is basically Well it basically is a giant QR code isn't it a black and white cow. Yeah I'm just.
10:21 The whole cow. I mean that's what they're doing. It must be essential that exact thing it's the patterning on why of all cows are black and white. Let's not forget lots of cows are not all brown all you know just a different colour. That's basically my cow knowledge exhausted.
10:39 They have full stomachs.
10:41 Yes I know.
10:42 It's an interesting point isn't it.
10:44 I mean sometimes you have to stick your whole mops up the backside of one to ascertain problems. I did use to watch all creatures great and small and there wasn't a week went by where James Herriott didn't have his arm of a cow.
10:58 This isn't the first time we've seen facial recognition been used for animals because there has been a report of a full time in fact a couple of years ago three or four years ago where software had been developed to identify cats and part of the reason for this was to innovate the door technology. So instead of having a CACs colour with a little magnet or RFID chip which is how some of the more advanced cat dogs can detect your cat from another cat software now exists to track the cats on a you know machine learning basis. So it knows your cat's face and only lets you walk out through the door and similar has been done for cat feeders as well so they can recognise each individual can't distribute the right amount of food based on what the specific cat has how to be really useful because we've got to as you know and Hugo will eat all of his food and then eat all of Chinese food.
11:57 She's Osipov that she's not a big eater anyway but she does deserve more food than she gets. So that's a good way of getting some facial recognition to stop that fat cat from eating his sister's food.
12:22 We're going to talk now about one of our favorite topics broadband.
12:27 Oh god I'm so excited and in fact you know we can we can we can preempt this because there is a slight mobile phone related story that we can use as a segue here because the Scotsman reported this week that the UK government has to fix Scotland's unacceptable as a quote unacceptable mobile phone coverage. This is according to the federal federation of small businesses and that's what it's planning to tell MP next week. Essentially it says again the FSB says that 17 percent of Scotland's geography has 4G mobile coverage compared to 60 percent of England's. Now my immediate thought was well Scotland has a lot more hills that makes 4G an awful lot more difficult to you know to penetrate if you like. And I don't know how that could necessarily be addressed since a lot of those geographical areas are also sparsely populated.
13:26 That's exactly what I was going to say because it's those mobile phone numbers are never given on the basis of landmass that given our population reach. So it might be that they reach 99 percent of Scotland's population and in fact that's what I would say you me Popery far easier to get 99 percent coverage right in Scotland than you could in England.
13:49 Interesting. Well yes yes probably actually. Richard Taylor in the chat room says that in Northern Ireland transmitter's are on top of hills so that makes sense. Yeah yeah so you get better a signal out there than you do in towns and certainly when I've been in Scotland we have received 4G but it varies wildly and it also differs quite dramatically you know based on what network you're on because the networks use different frequencies of spectrum which are sometimes better getting around obstacles than than others but that's what the FSB is going to tell is going to tell amperes next week that more needs to be done here.
14:26 However interested to know why it's heading the UK government it's not a Scottish myself for the Scottish Parliament but that's a very nice question and it's not one I mean aggressively it's one I'm genuinely interested in Yeah and I'm interested as well I mean I wonder if it's something to do with devolved parliaments not necessarily sighing funds in the same in the same way but who knows they can still put pressure on them by offering to do a better job in Scotland if it's a concern if you know they should be saying to them Look you know Europe rising up here you got me to get some more coverage.
15:00 Yeah. If anyone in Scotland listening has knowledge or experience about this would be very useful to have you write in. Hello Tech podcast talk UK maybe give us a bit of local insight on what mobile networks and coverage of things like in general up there why you make the best whisky in the world. However it related to another story that we saw this week about Scotland and broadband in general in Edinburgh is going to be one of the first eight cities that Openreach is going to bring its ultra fast Internet connections to by 2020. BT obviously BT still owns Openreach.
15:38 It's just not yet legally separate entities but they are still a sign company.
15:45 Yeah. So Openreach said this week that it promises to connect three million premises to ultrafast fibre connections by 2020 and in addition to that I say in addition by ultrafast they're talking about increasing speeds from 24 megabits per second to 100 megabits. However I looked at the original press release that this news came from Clive celly who's the chief the CEO of Openreach said bloody blah blah blah blah blah. This was working closely with central and local governments. Our communications provider customers we will identify the cities towns and rural areas where we can build a future proofed fibre to the premises network that's capable of delivering gigabit speeds to all homes and business businesses at an affordable cost. What you can read into that is that they are having to very gently roll this out in order to make sure that it remains affordable while at the same time not offering a competitive service perhaps compared to what Virgin and city fibre and others are doing. But nonetheless the CEO still said they're going to connect 10 million customers to this ultrafast connection of gigabit fibre to the premises stuff by 2025. And I know you re tweeted this story on the text message account this week with some criticisms which I shared would you like to discuss Said's critique.
17:07 Yes no enough paper is it. It's really I just want I just want money to be spent on this from the kind of money that is being wasted every dime on things like high speed. I think it's going to be much better deployed on making it so that people don't have to go into cities to do work. I would like the situation to be where people can live wherever they feel geographically happiest. For example I don't like to say I've no interest in living by the sea I find sea to be thorny irritating thing. It's great you make could be boring personally annoyed by water. Very much so. I find a fun fantasy side to be an affront to my desire to be full blown over by wind. The challenge is that we laugh because I think complaining in the funny that's a two drink minimum. So yes I strongly feel is that you know as soon as we can make it so that people can live in the middle of rural Scotland and still have a job where they're working with colleagues in London in Manchester or in New York I kind of feel that that's where the future is. I don't think the future is getting on a metal box with a hundred other sweaty people feeling miserable for an hour of unproductive time. When we move ourselves into a capital city. It's just ridiculous. Yes and also.
18:37 So yes I always I also think that if we got rid of that people would be far less likely to have the iPad's stolen going through the station.
18:47 Exactly. And then that's another thing you know we've all we've all had problems the trains whereby we've lost something or or gained a good friend.
18:57 But you know a lot of people will tell you about you know high speed 2 which is supposed to make it easier for people in Birmingham to come to London. Now that whole attitude is completely wrong. It's like in old Mike easy for London hooligans. It's just it's just stupid it's causing a small amount of time for a you know billions and billions of spent on infrastructure. When do people really need to go. I mean we don't need to be in the same room to do a podcast too. And I don't need to be in the same country as Forbes to write all schools for them I I'm able to you know understand the markets in the UK and the US to an extent. The only thing stopping me from working for an American company is just the fact that I need to understand the market over there enough to give it some context to an American audience. You know it's really not all jobs are the same but the majority of people do not need to be in an office in London every single day. And I think as soon as we can make it so that the whole country is on a level footing with good broadband that's mandatory. You know the government says you must be able to provide speed and it should go up by a decent amount every year you know to allow for new technologies and you know whatever people need to do because they are is going to offer people a lot of opportunities to you know to physically see things like you could I could get a briefing from Apple and they could tighten the veil to California and I could see the product without leaving my house. That saved countless Cobban and I'm still getting you know I know it's obviously not quite the same and you can't take photos of a virtual environment. But what I'm saying is I think that this is a very you know previous century solution to a problem. And broadband is still not fast enough for huge numbers of people. You know we were chatting in the chat room about it. You know people still getting DSL version 1 Spates you know sub 1 megabits per second in this day and age is just not good enough and it can be solved with a relatively modest investment.
21:08 Well John in the chat room is saying that he can't really do his job from home unfortunately because he's a teacher and that immediately my first thought was Oh yeah of course. And then my second thought was I went to the bet's Education Conference last couple of weeks ago and one of the panels one of the sessions that I went to sort of looked at remote schooling and how Skype and a couple of other technologies can be used to improve access to education. And one of the examples that they that they gave me was a way of having one country students learn about another student country following me. Yeah even if they didn't speak the same language by talking over Skype and trying to describe that country to the other the student and Skype has this real time translation feature in it that Microsoft Research developed and was baked into skype. That meant you could have a group of students speaking English and a group of students speaking Spanish and they could talk to each other as if they were speaking the same language and try and guess which country the student or group of students was in. And I thought when I went I thought that's a thing that actually exists now that actually how long can it be that a teacher could work from home in a traditional environment. I don't mean things like open university lectures and some people who may do a lot of grading or online tutorials from home or run a Mueck but an actual you know typical 30 plus ticket plus secondary school. Oh I can't make it in today because I know I'm Snowden but instead I'll project my image onto the wall and we're going to we're going to have the lesson exactly the same which again as you say broad very fast broadband and low latency broadband would be essential for that. I'm sure that's if it's not a thing now. I bet it will be in the next five years.
23:11 You know the all of the stuff that worries me most about our government tends to be the fact that even with party quite competent advisers they still aren't getting the future is not going to be getting on a train and I see no evidence that anything can be done. I mean you know traditionally schooling would be quite a challenge to do virtually but I feel like it must be possible and in some countries it would make a huge difference if you could if you could save a school. The Chinese children you know centrally or whatever so that everyone has the same access to the same quality of education. I mean frankly if if in a hundred years time we're still moving kids into a building for school when they could have you know you can have one teacher. You could have specialists for every kind of education and every child in the country you can get the same schooling and you know and with great results you the very best teachers and you would save huge amounts of money. If that's if that's not happened by the time I'm shuffling off and you know I'll be be surprised and annoyed because we're doing everything wrong.
24:22 Well John is John out in the chat room actually that the school that he teaches and has a sister school in China and they do the or are they planning to do the Skype chats between between between his school and the Chinese school. And he's he's done he says he's done videos as well of him teaching lessons. Says it's very labor intensive. So it feels like technology is beginning to correct that problem. But as you say there's a lot of there's a lot of obstacles that need to be overcome.
24:51 I just don't think that we should also be subsidizing something that you know trains may seem to be one of these things that with their money and broadband on the other hand isn't so much it's possible to make money from broadband. If you invest in it then the government can get a return on that that would pay off. I don't think you need to invest very much it certainly wouldn't need to be billions probably although it may be that I think over the course of the next five years you could completely pay that money back to the public purse if you run it properly. So you know I just feel like it's one of those things that should be happening anyway. They could do both if I won. If I want to do both if I want to do high speed and broadband that just don't care about broadband. And I think it's much more important than that.
25:36 Well the for now at least Openreach is going to be beginning the first phase of its superfast ultrafast broadband rollout to eight cities later this year. Birmingham Bristol Cardiff Edinburgh Leeds Liverpool London and Manchester. No surprises there. And that would form the first phase. Yes the first phase of the program to connect 40 towns cities and boroughs but maybe too little too late I think is possibly the consensus yes. Let us know any feelings you have on this.
26:10 Obviously any other broadband topic we try not to overdo the broadband stuff that is becoming a little bit of a it's become a little bit of a joke that we talk about broadband a lot but the reason for it is that we have an incredibly competitive broadband market in media market in the UK and Europe and it's one of the areas where I think we've got a lot more to talk about than the US does.
26:35 You know they can talk about broadband and telecoms in the context of you know abuse of monopolies or or too little choice. We have always the exact opposite problem which is we have we generally have far too much choice not too much.
26:49 I mean we have so much choice that it can be quite confusing and there's an awful lot of developments going on very very fast and so we know we'd like to break that down for you but if you want to talk about broadband less then obviously you can you can let us know in the email.
27:08 Let's move into some e-mail shall we. I can feel the the mail bag bulging with the sort of hope and expectation and dreams. Would you like to take the first email we've had here from Tom.
27:20 Yes I would. Hello 99 your discussion about Wi-Fi calling got me thinking about visual voicemail. Why is it still available on Vodafone Vodafone. I am for work without. An O2. I find to use with surely after so many years should be available on all carriers. Thanks Tom. Yes it's not available in free either as Richard points out in the chat. Is it still just stoats.
27:47 I believe so. I mean it definitely still is a vote but I mean a big part of the reason why is simply because you have to enable a lot in the backend to make it was a significant investment isn't it.
27:59 And it was done O2 did it because it had said it wants to get the contract to sell the iPhone exclusively and no one else has to do it although I'm surprised that Apple didn't sold insist on it really because it is what it was a huge part of the iPhone wasn't it.
28:13 I think the other reason for as well is that the move away from traditional voice communications and towards over-the-top services you know you know messaging apps and your things have made the need or at least the justification of the investment kind of redundant now which definitely wasn't the case when the iPhone first came out. But today I mean I mean when was the last time you had a useful voicemail.
28:39 You know what my I'm going to turn my voice off because it is nothing but nonsense.
28:43 You know I don't think it's either that it is massively in need. But that's probably why. What's your question. Tom Stewart Stuart and this is something about Wi-Fi calling because I know our original e-mail probably I mean he emailed and he said he's very grateful for all the support the community has given which is which is great. But Stewart did write in and said that I just wanted to add the Wi-Fi calling works for the pixel and Nexus 6 P which he and his wife uses and he shows a link to the supported phones on E's website.
29:13 So maybe we'll include that link in the showboats and consider or consider a repository for for all things Wi-Fi calling but thanks to everyone for all that help and an input. It's great having such a big community to draw experience and knowledge from Kurian has written in. Hi guys I'd like to chime in. My personal experience with CI charging and general I agree with NAIT sentiment about the current state of wireless charging. It's not really much different than just using the cable and generally a worse experience. You now have a slower charge which to be fair isn't a problem if it's overnight. He points out and often those pads are fairly fussy about the position of the phone. If you're not placing it close to dead center the rate of charging drops exponentially. The one place where I have seen a good use for it is when I was at a Starbucks in San Francisco and each seat has a keypad casually charge my device without hunting for Plug points was pretty nice he says. What I am optimistic on the tech is if they can scale it to the point where a large mats or pad can be used to charge several devices simultaneously. When that becomes available and affordable then I'd see that as a marked improvement over the current wide method. As a recent ex pats you guys one of the ways that I used to keep one of the ways I used to keep track of what's going on back in the UK so very appreciative of what you guys do. Well thank you very much Karen. It's it's great to have you as a listener and actually the whole multi bought multiple device charging thing that's something Apple's bringing out. I believe it is yes.
30:37 What is it. Where. Where is this Flippen charger.
30:41 I'm not sure at the moment. They're still pushing the the third party ones the belkin ones yeah but the the one that they have announced and certainly is due to come out can charge up to 3 devices. You know the idea being that it's an iPhone and an Apple Watch at the same time I think has three devices isn't it.
30:56 Yes it is. Yeah it's the app upholds that watch on the phone. Yeah I would really like that because the Apple Watch isn't widely supported. Apparently you can get to charge on Saddam WADAs charging pads bots the iPhone charges flawlessly on all of my wallets charging devices including a really old one from a company called till I got 7 years ago.
31:25 The devleti but brilliantly with Samsung and LG phones is always kind of hit and miss whether you could actually get it on you know the charging thing and get it to work but not sure when the iPhone was full of say the iPhone was full of. Both of my sons song puck charges as well which Wallace. It's just I've written about this before but the apples implements it is just somehow better. I don't know how. I'm sure he would be a massive fanboy but you have to work a lot less hard to get an iPhone. Lockets charge. Maybe it's still a victim of that slow charging thing and they just don't tell you. But it's a lot more keen to pick up a charger than any of my Android phones.
32:10 Yeah I mean I've found that the iPhone 10 does charge very slowly on the wireless charging pad but it doesn't seem as fussy as to the exact placement but it's still slow enough that I haven't used it since doing the review because once on month on my desk.
32:27 So what I do is because I used to just use a wooden key phone stand. But now what I do is I just put it on the charging dock. And so whatever it's whatever it's got down to during my walks beside the kids to school or whatever I put it on my desk going to get back and it starts charging and then it's ready to go when I need to go when I pick it up and it's charged. It's a lot easier. I've got one by the bed. I put it on the thing and it's all right to charge I don't care if it's quick or not it's fine. Well it's pretty annoying.
32:56 So for me it's it's ideal and it means I don't have the fat around me cables Macworld reports suggest that the Apple's Power Pad will launch maybe Q1 of this year. So by March or April possibly. Yeah but it's still not it's still not out and leak has suggested that it might cost as much as two hundred pounds.
33:18 That's the cost that's that's a big mistake.
33:21 Yeah I mean that is an awful lot of money to very slowly charge your device.
33:25 I would suggest it will be false. It's I think that helps the wattage it can do now that night as false charging because there was an online update that enabled it wasn't there.
33:40 There was. Well Stephen in the chat room has asked if anyone's audit a home port. The answer is no. However I am picking one up on Tuesday and I did go into say Apple last week and got to hear one if fact to go ahead two side by side in the PED's configuration that isn't available at launch for some bizarre reason.
34:02 So given the amount of delays that been getting this thing how you would have thought they'd have cracked that by now.
34:08 Yeah I mean so I'll give you a brief summary if for those of you who are interested it does sound very very very good. Yeah I'll give them that it sounds I've compared it to an Amazon Echo. A What else was that Google home thing and a couple of others. And it's definitely hands down the best sounding of any of those devices categorically.
34:34 However to me the killer feature is having in a paired configuration so having two of them I've heard it play a piece of music with two together and it sounds insanely good like really really good to the level. It wouldn't surprise me if some people won't buy bookshelf speakers and instead use this.
34:56 It's that impressive how the the the way they do the room mapping is very very clever and it sounds very good as a result.
35:05 It does. It sounds very very good. You wouldn't replace a hi fi with one of them but I could definitely see some people who are maybe not like crazy high fi nuts but do like good sound and do light design. I could see those sorts of people replacing a hi fi and you know and bookshelf speakers with these. It's expensive but it sounds fantastic. The problem with it though is that the home pods has very limited kind of automation features if you like compared to something like the Amazon Echo and the Google home. You know it's it was only able to stream news from Sky BBC and LBC and I asked I why you know why add more and they told Apple said that part of the reason is that those stations actually it's not the streaming radio show they're producing custom produced news summaries every half an hour or so that can can be streamed via the home pod. So it's a bespoke streaming news system.
36:10 Presumably it's also it's also a site used for Sky News Break on Amazon Alexa and other like minded devices.
36:22 So I'm not implying it's bespoke for Apple but it's a good way of explaining if you it on Amazon then it's very likely eventually a bill in the home.
36:30 Yeah I think I think so too. You know it's it's very much locked down to an Apple device. You know you can use it with anything else unless you have at least one iOS device to set it up then you can use AirPlay to stream to it. That's very very limited. It is expensive. It's 350 pounds. In my experience using it I would I definitely like it sounds great. And I think it's got potential but I wouldn't buy one for 350 quid. Even though it sounds amazing with two of them I certainly wouldn't buy two at seven hundred quid to get that I think it needs in my limited experience with it so far very good sounding but I think the version 2 with more serious integration I think will be will be will be more impressive. And I think it's one of these things. It depends what you're buying it for. If you're buying it because you live in the Apple ecosystem you want to read the great sounding speaker and you know actually not bothered about Siri too much then it's actually probably quite a good product to buy. Certainly something that I can see being used in bedrooms and kitchens. And when I actually questioned Apple about the whole Limiteds functionality of Siri they said that you know they look at what most people use Siri for things like setting timers checking weather terrain times setting reminders and alarms playing some music you know doing voice calls and stuff on speakerphone. They're all the things that the homeport can do because apparently that's what the majority of people are using Siri for. So they've sort of said let's just take that giant percentage make sure it does those things and all the other new stuff and specific stuff. You know we can maybe leave out buildOn Siri kits the whole API framework for people to take home put it into apps. So it's in the hands of developers to an extent. But that's this is all based on about you know an hour with the device under Apple's sort of demonstration if you like in the office. So take all that with a pinch of salt. I'm getting one this week and I'm going to do a pretty thorough review of that. I would imagine for the show if you have any questions to send them in I'll happily work those into the review or just answer them on the show. That's is it. I think that's that's that's what we have to say on the mailbox. We did have one of the e-mail from Charles actually he says in a name because every gentleman should have a shoe horn. I made my son one for Christmas. See attached. He has indeed made him a shoe hole and it's a very attractive picture.
38:59 It's amazing. And we had a number of people who have emailed us to say that they've bought or been bought shoehorns at Christmas as a direct result of our championing of the labor saving device that we found off.
39:15 We all have really incredible impacts on the shoe horn industry thing that we should if it's ever a you know a shoe horn Marketing Board and they don't have you and I absolutely must.
39:29 Yeah will be the Mitchell and Webb of the shoe horn equivalent.
39:34 So I'm a shoe. Hold on I'm a hand. OK. Tell me. Do you like having to be used in order to remove a shoe. That's probably run its course anyway. If you have any further thoughts on anything we've discussed today or may discuss tomorrow or indeed at any point in the future or past you can do so on.
40:00 Hello Tech podcast dot uk. Now let's check in with our good friend Tom Marriotts over daily tech news show. Tom do fill us in what's been going on in the wider world of tech this week.
40:11 Thanks so much. This week on day two units we learned why Nikkei will continue to report iPhone production cuts but it probably doesn't mean actual iPhone production cuts. Ryan Shrout explained why crypto currency miners are sending you prices up and why you probably don't need to hold off buying a new PC just because the whole specter meltdown thing. We also discuss the joys of renting things through the Internet rather than owning them. The benefit of a stylus standard and assess the dangers of machine learning that create fake videos all that more a Daily Tech News show dotcom Thank you Tom.
40:43 OK well I think we're about done. Chief whereabout done. Thanks again to all of our patrons and to everyone who's started supporting us this year. We really are I'm going to steal something that Tom says on his show they try and every month try to have at least one more patron than the previous month and have more listeners than us.
41:01 But I still like to think we could maybe have one more patron at the end of each month than the previous month. So if you'd if you've ever been thinking about joining us maybe join Joiner's this month. We don't need to start writing a podcast on this. This one presumably yes indeed. This particular one ceria.