1x81: The Bad Voltage Holiday Gift Guide 2016

It's the holiday season! An excuse to buy interesting tech for people. But... what to get? Well, we're here for you. Stuart Langridge, Jeremy Garcia, Bryan Lunduke and Jono Bacon each give suggestions of some cool things that you might want to look at getting... or asking for, in these next couple of weeks of shopping days. And just maybe some things that you should actively avoid...

Download the show now!

Also, I have just listened to the outro. Merry Christmas to me, eh? :slight_smile:


@sil the app is “Google Opinion Rewards”, not “Google Option Rewards” :wink:

goshdarnit. This is in fact correct and I am useless :slight_smile:

Also, the “Don’t use Uber, use your local taxi firm app” is flawed for me. My local taxi firm have an app (yay) but it’s a white-box app like many others. You can tell this by searching for one of the marketing phrases in the store “Track the vehicle on the map as it makes its way towards you!” and you’ll find a ton of duplicates. That in itself it not a problem, but as the taxi firm aren’t in control of the app, the flaws in it that affect every taxi firm affect my local cab firm too.

The main problem I have with my local cab firm (which uses the above app) is that they’re not motivated to provide a good service because they’re a monopoly in my town. In the last 3 months I’ve had cabs a) not show up, b) turn up to wrong location, c) swerve all over the road while operating their phone, d) turn up over an hour late. Uber drivers are somewhat more motivated to provide a service (never yet had a bad Uber in 5 countries) because bad service affects their score. My local cab firm don’t give a shit. Using their app will not fix that.

Also, not taking credit/debit cards without creaming some extra off the top, and not taking or magic internet coins, and having to deal with that whole tipping lark I hate.

So, for me, no, not using local cab firm app because it’s shit and lacks features.


That’s quite some spud-kicking there in the outro.

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Yeah. I admit freely that my thoughts here may be coloured by how I live in the city and there is competition!

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I aim to please. :slight_smile:

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Also a massive percentage of people don’t have access to Black Cabs, I live inside Greater London on the outskirts ( Ruislip ), even if I’m in the centre of town a Black Cab will drive away rather than take me home, why? because it leaves them in an area where they are unlikely to get another fare.

Local Cab firms are ridiculously unreliable, there’s a cab office near my nearest tube station, I often get a cab from the station rather than walk the last mile after a long day in the Office, I hear the BS they tell ppl on the phone and what they tell drivers on the Radio.

Uber are, hopefully, going to make these local mini-cabs firm get their act together, but I doubt it.

My favourite podcast is starting to sail a little too close to the podfade wave. Shame you guys can’t get together more often.

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As a slight clarification to what Jono said in the episode, we are releasing one more complete show with all four participants this year, which will make 25 shows for the year. Hopefully that keeps us clear of the podfade wave.



Brilliant! Awesome news!

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I agree with @popey about Uber for a different reason. If I’m doing corporate travel I don’t want to carry craploads of foreign currency just so I can use local taxis (and lose the exchange rate whilst at it) as well as figuring out a good cash tip after 18 hours of travel. I want to be able to pay with my company card and expense directly from that. Many local taxi firms in the US are very reluctant to take cards. Uber makes it very corporate expense friendly. If local taxis were linked worldwide using a similar app that took a credit card, sure, I would use it.

The smartplugs… I have 3 of them controlling the inside and outside Christmas lights. Very good investment :slight_smile:

The powerline LAN… It doesn’t work well in every home, your mileage may vary. I recommend anything that meets the AV2 standard though, that is the first one that has been able to stream HD video across my house. Whilst I haven’t benchmarked it I suspect my UniFi AC Pro is still faster to most rooms.

The Pixel… If you aren’t a millionaire go for the OnePlus 3T instead, it is a higher spec phone and cheaper :slight_smile:

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@sil @popey I think Hailo fixes the Uber problem, right? It’s a nice app and allows you to see driver feedback etc. But is used by black cab drivers.

@jonobacon How long have you had the TP Link powerline adaptors? I’ve been through 3 pairs of them in about 5 years. One blew up in quite spectacular fashion, others just started flashing and wouldn’t connect anymore. Now using the Netgear ones, they don’t have the power pass through but have been running for a couple of years now flawlessly.

It would be very nice, if you guys could write the list down here as well.
Preferably with brands, I am looking at you @sil there are many iot wall plugs, but I would like a well supported one, and I want to block the phone home stuff. So I am interested in which brand you picked.
There were some really nice suggestions in this podcast.

It’s true that other cab firms and mini cabs have been certainly been kicked into the 21 century by Uber.
My local cab firm texts me the registration number of my cab and other Uberesque things, and tbh the price diference isn’t all that different from Uber.

I went to Passadena in January for Scale live and it was my first trip to USA and I found getting around LA was not a problem without Uber (I couln’t get Uber on my phone then), Uber are interesting but other cab firms still exist.

Brian’s point at building a reto Dos box seems fun, also it is nicer to make something rather than just buy something, recently I have started making birthday cards rather than just buying them.

Harsh outro lol

And thanks for doing the Bad Voltage podcasts, they are great to listen to.

The things I suggested were:

I’ll let the other chaps fill in their own suggestions.

Thank you for the quick response, will check out the socket.

Well that’s it, I’m through. @jonobacon came through with yet another round of insults… you can always count on him to treat people like crap.

@jonobacon: how the fuck did you ever manage a community, while publicly calling out insults on people’s appearance, personality, skin tone, weight ?!

I don’t know the backstory, and sure he may have been joking, but it went way too far… sorry to @sil, @jeremy & my buddy @bryanlunduke … but that’s my last episode of BV. I can’t take the hate.

@bear454 really? You listened to that bit at the end of the show where I was clearly joking about @sil, who has been my best friend for 15 years, and you thought I was actually being serious?

You say you don’t know the backstory, and this is clearly evident. @sil and I have been poking fun at each other for years. I am balding. He is fat. I have a stupid beard. He is ginger Do we mean these things? Absolutely not. Are we joking? Yes. Have these jokes in any way compromised our friendship? No…if anything we are closer because of it. Him and I have spent the better part of 12 years throwing jokes at each other across LugRadio,Shot Of Jaq, Bad Voltage and elsewhere.

So, instead of jumping to conclusions, why don’t you take a step back and look at the wider story. Also, read a book on how sarcasm works. I don’t expect people to get every joke on BV, that is totally fine, but c’mon…

Now, if this means you won’t listen to the show any more, so be it. Your choice.

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