The biggest news and gadgets of 2014 in CNET UK podcast 415
The biggest news and gadgets of 2014 in CNET UK podcast 415
40:17

The biggest news and gadgets of 2014 in CNET UK podcast 415

Culture
[MUSIC] Hello and welcome. You're listening to the cnet Uk podcast. This is episode 415 for Friday the 19th of December, 2014. As Noddy Holder famously screamed, it's Christmas. And we have a ho-ho-whole lot of exciting stuff lined up, including BT's 12 billion pound Christmas gift to itself, and a look back at the most exciting event of 2014, and some of the coolest gadgets as well. Now, I'm Luke Westaway filling in for Rich Trenholm. Joining me in our high-tech London studio this week is. Me, Andy Hoyle. The one that isn't you or Rich. That's right. The other one that's on the podcast sometimes. Hello. It's me. Now, it is just the two of us this week, I'm afraid, because Rich has already basically decided that it's Christmas. Even though it isn't yet. We're still working. And, we've already had our Christmas lunch, so, we're massively full of turkey and Christmas cheer. And, as always, we're filming the podcast, so do tune in. On cnet or youtube.com/cnet if you don't mind seeing what it would look like, it's two of the wise men ate the third. All right but for now, Andy why don't you start us off with the news. [MUSIC] Speaker: [MUSIC] So, some exciting news this week. Speaker: Okay. Speaker: BT has confirmed that it's currently in plans. Speaker: Right. Speaker: Wait. Speaker: Okay. Speaker: To buy EE. Speaker: What? Speaker: I know. Speaker: But. Speaker: This is huge. [LAUGH] Speaker: I know. But they're, they're both so big. Speaker: You have, I know. You, you have so many questions, and you're right to be shocked. As were we all, when this. When this came out. So, yeah, it's we had originally thought actually BT was looking to buy O2. And there was a lot of talk that it was in in, in discussions to to buy O2. But it this also was a firm offer to buy a mobile outfit, cuz BT is, is the big heretofore. Yeah. Home phones, and land lines, and, and home internet and stuff. But it's mobile offering, I don't really got one. Hasn't got one anymore. And basically wants to, and sort of developing one from the ground up, he just wants to buy one. Obviously. So why not one of the biggest, which is EE, has the biggest ca, customer database, it has the. The largest network reach, I believe. And so it's put a priced on EE of 12.5 billion Pounds. That's a lot of money. A whole lot of cash. Honestly. Honestly. oh, okay. So is it, so it's is this a thing that's really going to happen. Or is it, is it not really a thing that's going to happen? There, there is some debate. Cuz right now this is only the originally, talks are happening, whereas this discussion going on. One of the issues is whether or not the industry watchdogs. People like Ofcom and so on, are actually gonna let it go through. Because, really, in business, it's not good to have one company so big, like BT, having such a stranglehold on, on everything, which it would do. It would have, it, it's such a big presence in, in home stuff, and also in, in mobile. Well, yeah. I mean, and, and EE, of course, recently, trying to get into things like. TV and stuff. So, and BT already has a TV offering. Exactly, yeah. This would be one mega-telco that did your home broadband and your mobile- Yeah. Everything. [CROSSTALK] So much. They be able to basically just destroy everyone else. Yeah. And so. In, in just terms of fair play of these watchdogs are kind of a bit skeptical. Right. Right now. So I, I mean is this, is this really going? Is this guy on top of this or is it not going to happen? Well, lots of things. There are. They're awesome discussions like, it could be that they just block it. Right. Like it could be they said no, you can't do it. And then BET may go back to buying O2 as was originally the plan that, that, that could happen. Yeah, a rumored, a rumored report. O2 was, is smaller so maybe it'll have fewer objections there. But and analysts have said that. In fact I can then quote, says it combines with U.K. market leader in fixed line was the number one mobile operator. We believe it is unlikely that Ofcom would buck the deal, but the combined entity could be forced to dispose of some spectrum assets. That was an analyst too. I was speaking to the Beeb. Yes, to the old Beeb there. So basically the idea there is that. BT would be allowed to buy EE, but it would have to give up some of what it has. Cuz EE has loads of spectrum, right? Yeah. And it would have to sorta give some out to try and make things a bit more fair. But I think this, I've, I've got that it sort of has to to that, through a European regulator. Basically it's really early days. It is early days, yeah. Happen. To change as well because. Mm. Particular if, if they do have to break up EE a little bit in terms of, in terms of what BT is getting out of that deal. Yeah. Presumably then, it will also say, well actually if we're not getting what we feel is £12.5 billion of, of value from EE. Yeah. Let's change the price. If the price changes. Yeah. Then the deal may then change. There are so many things that, that still could happen. At this point- Swimming, swimming invariable. [CROSSTALK] Yes but, that's in time for next year. Is it? Hooray. More importantly, more importantly. Well yeah. What if you are a customer? Is this, it's something, if BET buys your company that makes your phone happen. Yeah. Is that going to mean a big thing for you? Yes and no. It is going to be a big deal. This is one of the, the major unknowns from, you know, from obviously, most of our listeners perspective, is well, what's going to happen. And, and probably the biggest change they're going to see is just a different logo on the bill that arrives every month. Because you are, you are Sounds like what I tied into a contract Right. When you take out this contracts, 12 or 24 months. You know, they, they are legal contracts and so what BT won't be able to do as far as we believe at the moment, is, is take over your contract cuz it's buying V and its assets and the contracts and database of customers. It can't come along and turn your 20 pound a month contract into a 30 pound a month contract just because it wants to. It'd be in breach of that contract. What we don't know yet is whether or not changing the owner of the contract would make. The contract itself void, so whether or not when the deal happens, you could say, oh, well, I don't want my contract anymore, I'm gonna go to three. Because you've changed, I- Presumably [UNKNOWN] would only want to buy a year if it was keeping all of its customers. It wouldn't want to, it wouldn't, it probably wouldn't be part of the deal if there was any risk that it would sort of let everyone. Just sort of move away. Absolutely. And there are, there are already, in, if you read your contract, they are pages and pages long. There are a number of sort of little clauses and small prints in there. That basically mean that when things like price fluctuations. And they do happen. In fact we've had with T-Mobile over the years. Yeah, they raised prices. They've just put it up by a couple of pence per minute, which. You know, it's a bit annoying, but- They've got leeway, haven't they? They're allowed to sort of raise the price by a certain amount- Yeah, and I do believe that- relative to the rate of inflation. Yeah, and I think the, sort of behind the scenes corporate infrastructure is basically something that you can't use as a reason to get out. It would have to be an actual change to your contract itself. Yeah, that makes sense. OK, so- But, we'll see. I'll tell you, who else, because a,as you mentioned, there were this. Was strongly rumored that BP might be considering buying O2. Yes. It was either O2 or E Yeah. So I think this looks, it's kind of bad news for O2. Because now kind of everyone knows that it wants to get bought. But it didn't get bought and, and actually kind of when you think about O2, it doesn't really feel like it's been very competitive in the last sort of year, year and a half or something. It's not exactly being the most sort of- Yeah. Affair with 4G. Yeah. [CROSSTALK] Or anything like that so I mean, this is. Is, the thing to take away from this may be that, maybe something is going to happen to O2. [CROSSTALK] But it, I mean, we can speculate as long as we want and that sort of thing. Naturally. But it could be the case [LAUGH] yeah, we can, that's fine [CROSSTALK] you know, it could have been bought before. And I don't think it's gonna damage his name or anything, because I think the only people who are really gonna know about this are the industry analysts. Like ourselves and our listeners who really know about O2 maybe wanting to be bought, and as long as it's not changing its own service. But you're right, it hasn't been particularly competitive and [INAUDIBLE] got three offering 4G for free to all its current users and EE, like I said, getting things like TV and stuff as well as part of its offering. O2 isn't quite. Isn't quite there the same- Well, we will see what happens next year. Yeah. Okay what else, what else is news? Well, we had flight disruptions of quite epic proportions. We did, did we? We did, oh we did. On friday, and that was following a technical failure of some of the a bit of the airplane control systems. Right. In airports. So basically no planes could take off or land. In London airspace. Mm. For quite quite a few hours. Which does all sound very concerting. It has all been fixed now, apparently. Luke, you know a bit more about what actually went wrong. Yeah, so what happened was this, it was air traffic controller, NATS, N-A-T-S,. They said that there was a, a technical problem relating to, basically their computer systems in Swanwick. Which meant that- Good old Swanwick. Good old Swanwick, well, not good old Swanwick. [LAUGH] Swanwick's letting, letting the side down, frankly. But they, yeah, they Where's Swanwick? well, I mean how long is Peter's. Straighten that a little bit. Just one of those questions that's literally impossible to answer. [LAUGH] Google's funny. Googling [INAUDIBLE] now. Yeah. Right. Well you find out where [INAUDIBLE] while your're, while you're on that. Let me tell you that they, they actually thought that the whole system was going to be offline for a lot longer than it actually was. Yeah. Than originally was talked about. Actually fixed it reasonably quickly. But, when you think about how many planes are in and out of London every day, just to give you a sense of perspective in 2013, Heathrow handled an average of 1,286 flights per day. Wow. So, yeah, when you think about just over a couple of hours of light. Ya. It meant that there was huge disruption, as anyone who maybe was trying to fly in or out of an airport that involved London over the weekend will have known. Like my girlfriend who was flying a mere hours after that happened. There was a momentary bit of panic in my head about, is that going to be okay. Swanick, incidentally, is down on the south cost, is near Southampton. Oh, is it. So there you go, If it's the same Swanick, which I assume it is. Nice around there. Yes. All right. That's good, but it did all get fixed. So I'm happy to [CROSSTALK] It did well, get fixed. And things are okay now. And so, yeah. Things are okay now? Thing, things are okay now. It's okay to end on that note, Andy. Yeah. Things are okay now. I don't need to put in a bit more of a spin. No. Just for the sake of it. [LAUGH] I can just let that sit nicely. Yeah. Like cool, comforting bath of cream. [LAUGH] Right, let's just let's just leave that hanging there for a moment. What's Blackberry been doing? Well. Has it been doing something? Blackberry has been doing something. Oh no. What its done is today launch a new phone. It's called the classic and let me tell you why. Classic blackberry. Classic blackberry. Well, it's because it is very much a classic blackberry. It has gone back to its roots on this. In fact that is the headline of the review that you made. Seen onscreen. I'm looking at a picture of it now. And it, it, I mean, you, you You're not. You're looking at a picture of me right now Oh ya. My, my lovely visage, good looking that. Your, your. You don't need to be looking though, to be honest, at the video feed for this. Because if you picture a blackberry, that's what they've made. It's exactly that. I have a three point, I believe three point. Four square, inch square screen. Physical keyboard below, it's got fairly sort of mid range specs, like a dual core processor, 720p display, it has the physical keyboard, and that is obviously what everybody has always been asking for from Blackberry phones like, when you try to do all touchscreen would be, is that ten. Yeah, and that thing did not sell well. Nobody liked it, nobody wanted it, it wasn't what BlackBerry users ever asked for. So it's really, it's going back to, very much a classic form of this, and it hasn't gone for the high end. Carbon weave and metal thing that the Q10, or Q30 Mm-hm. One of the two tried to do, because was, phone was really rather expensive. So this is a bit more, does the job, it's for the classic user. It's basically a new Bold. And not even that new, it's just a Bold re-release. This fall, late 2014. I mean, this was the phone that didn't work the first time. So. And so now it's a few years later, returned to its roots. But you think it might work, Andy. Is that right? Well. I think so. It's actually, it's, it's now knowing what its audience wants, and apparently what its audience wants is quite niche, and [UNKNOWN] what it used to do. Right. Because what we're seeing, interestingly, from Blackberry recently is, of course, the Passport, which is the square Blackberry phone, completely square with a wide keyboard. And when we first saw that thing, it was just. Ridiculous, but actually, it kinda makes a lot of sense because it, it's super niched and super targeted. Yeah. Towards Excel documents and Word Word users and such, because that's exactly what it's designed to do. It's for business and, so basically nothing else. Yep. I mean Blackberry seems to have given up on the mainstream. but, you know, if it can carve out a niche, if it can keep selling phones to whoever the people are who want. Yeah. [LAUGH] A perfectly square phone for Excel spreadsheet. [LAUGH] Yeah. And, and, and on, and, and on and on and on. Mm-hm. Then, you know, survival is victory. Right? In the, in the, in the difficult business world. So, yeah. Well, quite. Above this. I mean, it's, it's not even,. Yeah. It, it, it's absolutely going out for a niche. But then, is a dedicated core as business users a niche? I mean, cuz that's a sort, sort of big market. It's definitely enough to keep it keep it going. Yeah. And they can target things. And it's also- Kind of directly for that [CROSSTALK] It's also a niche that sort of Blackberry is struggling to keep as well, because, you know, more and more offices are like, hey, bringing an iPhone [INAUDIBLE] Yeah, you want your own phone, you want all your apps, cuz that's- Yeah. The main problem why Blackberry can't go after like the broad audience of people, because it doesn't, it doesn't have the app support. Mm. And people want that. That's why Android's doing well in, in budget. Phones. Well karma underscore guns 21 says, haters will hate no matter what. Bebe is the best and here to stay. Is it the best? yep. It is the best and it's here to stay. Okay. An outdoor fellow meanwhile says an enemy should know when it's been beaten and surrender rather than continue to send. Soldiers to their certain deaths. BlackBerry, you have been beaten. Stop sacrificing your soldiers in a pointless effort to try and stay relevent. Just lie down and die. Show some honor all ready, and let your final few faithful supporters be absorbed into an army with a chance of achieving some level of victory and success,. That, that comment. That was very negative. Yeah, that, that comment went on as well. [LAUGH] I don't know why. Probably the point was made. [LAUGH] I think you were right to stop it there,. Yeah. Yeah. I don't think it's a sacrifice. Nobody's dying. It's just, you know- Yeah. People, people still do want Blackberry. They want the Blackberry name around. Just phones. Just phones. If they want it, let them have it. See we like Blackberry now that it's the underdog. Then when it gets too big again- It's daft, isn't it? Like Blackberry's now the underdog. We have the same with Nokia. We wanted them to do well, but now it's Microsoft's name all over phones. Like, oh, please, do we want that? [LAUGH] Goodness we're fickle. Seriously, do we? Goodness we're fickle. Okay all right. So that's the news. That was looking at. Just next week. Yeah. But now we're gonna be looking back a whole lot further, over the last 12 months. It's the Big Picture, and we're going to do the year in review. So brace yourself. [MUSIC] Well, what a year it's been. We've seen smartphone development finally slow down, letting other exciting gadgets. Finally get a word in we'll get to those in a moment. But we've also been asking ourselves some really big questions. About how tech relates to modern life especially here in the UK. This has been a year of big questions hasn't it Andy? It has. Yes so a feature that I am now renaming to Luke's big questions. Why don't you tell me one of the, one of the conversations that's been dominating the tech world. Okay, well, one of the big things, and everybody will probably know, or heard of it from headlines everything is, right to be forgotten. The right to be forgotten. Right to be forgotten. What is the right to be forgotten? Well, now it sounds like a big term, and it is. Let me tell you. That's why it's one of Luke's big questions. Oh that's why. Mm-mm. Cool, okay, now I understand. Why, why. What you're doing with that article. Cool, so basically what it is is that under new EU regulations. Uh-huh. It allows a person to request that an article about them can be removed from Google search results. Right. Now that has sparked quite a lot of controversy and because. Like most things on the internet, there are arguments on both sides. So, on the one hand for example, if a man had committed, say, an assault in the 90s- Right. Which was written about online, then that man may have since served his punishment and, and righted these wrongs and has, you know, and is apologetic for what he's done. And he wants to put that instance behind him and move on. Or for example, if he was wrongly accused. Or wrongly accused. There would still, there would still be news of course, you know, linking him to a crime that he didn't commit. True, yeah, which would effect him maybe if he was going for a jobs and people are finding this stuff. Um-hm. Absolutely, that is that's one that's completely understanding. [INAUDIBLE] Yep. Sorry, yeah. yeah. The other- [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGH] That's what I'm trying to find. Other side argues that it will allow individuals and also companies to request articles to be removed about them that are negative. People say that they can basically control what's in the public eye. so, for example, there've been a lot of stories particularly embarrassing, about MP sex scandals, expenses scandals, all of this sort of thing. And these are important to be in the public eye and to remain in the public eye, to to see that we're informed about what the government's doing. Yeah, sure. What MP's doing, politicians. And this stuff. And and yet these are all sort of articles that could be in line to be removed upon request by the people,. Which a lot of people have argued, that shouldn't happen. That's basically an abuse of, of the system. Well, also I think is really interesting about this, has been Google's reaction. Because you, you very, very fairly put across both sides of the argument. [CROSSTALK] I hope so, thank you. Yeah, I can sort of. I see both sides if it. I mean, I guess, like on a, on a personal level, I guess I fall somewhere in the middle. I, I mean no one wants sort of like excessive censorship or anything like that, but on the other hand, it seems reasonable to me that if, if you know, there's information about you online that sort of isn't representative of who you are. Yes. Or what you've done you should be able to ask. Google to take that down. But, Google has not reacted well to this. Right. They've they called the verdict disappointing when it came out in May, May was the original E.U. decision. And then a few months later, Google revealed which countries made the most requests for result changes. 12,000 came from the U.K. Oh. Which, which is a collection of requests that refer to about 44,000 URLs. Of all, of all requests made across Europe, Google said that 53% were D-listed as ****. Which sort of suggests that there are a lot of people asking for things that Google would like. I don't know. Well, that's the other weird thing about. Like, Google was using it's best judgement. Yeah, exactly, and that's. [CROSSTALK] Languages. [CROSSTALK] Hm-hm. Google does that with lots of things. It's quite cagey about the system, and about. The process it goes through to remove this, so you can put in a submission. But, we don't really know exactly how the conversation then goes about removing this, and who's on this panel. Because, I would think, this, if it's an EU thing, this should really go to a third party panel. But perhaps somebody to do with like, libel law and the courts. Like, it could be a court matter rather than Google itself making this decision, because we have to basically trust that Google's doing the right thing, and is it removing it- Yeah. You know, for the right reasons? So trusting that Google's doing the right thing is basically what the whole world has spent the last decade [LAUGH] sort of, sort of doing, right? Yes! We hope. The other weird thing about this is that it, it seems to be part of a trend of American, or at least very, very sort of like in, international kind of non-European countries kind of coming up against these sort of roadblocks in Europe, or kind of in the UK, like in, another example, this year has been. tax, we've been talking a lot about Google, and Apple, and Amazon. Yeah. Just to name some of the tech companies who sort of operate you know, through islands taking advantage of a, like, a loophole. Yeah. It means that they operate in the UK a lot, but don't pay very much tax. Or not. Oh, yeah. Or not. [LAUGH] You know it's like is that fair? I mean there's sort of, I suppose they're obeying, obeying the law. Yeah. As it is written. It's from a grey area though isn't it? Mm-hm. Cuz technically, technically they're not breaking any laws. Yeah. But morally of course, they're breaking a whole number of, of moral issues. And that's you know, is this right. Even that. There are, which we've discussed at length, we saw there are both sides to that. If, if Apple and, and Amazon and whoever completely pull out of Ireland because of, of changes in, in, in tax codes and what not, then. [CROSSTALK] [UNKNOWN] That's a big number of business and jobs. Pull out of the UK and entirely maybe oh I mean, would they though? Who knows? Or would prices go? You don't know. I mean the, I mean the argument that's sort of made in, in favor of this is like we need to encourage businesses to sort of operate in the UK. Yeah. But you know like if they're not paying any tax,. Do we really? Well, yeah actually. Alright, so, oh all though interestingly on that subject. In the last few months we have seen, one of those tax loopholes which is brilliantly called the double Irish, has been closed. So more exciting change. All right, tell you what- That's the disappointing part of of the year's trends I think. That's kind of a negative side. It's not all, it's not all bad. It's not all bad. Yes. What else is happening, Andy, is there any- Well, Is there any glimmer of light in- Glimmer of light. In what has just been the worst year. Oh, oh, please. Yeah. Let something. Actually when I put my put my head back there was a nice glimmer of light that comes down to my face then. Oh, yeah. So [INAUDIBLE] Illustrates my next point quite well. And it is, of course, about 4G. And the 4G basically has really, really taken off this year. I mean, it's been around since, I think, 2012. When EE first launched 4G only in London, and a couple other places, I think. Yeah, yeah. But it's it's this year we've really seen it spread out. All of the major networks now have a 4G offering that will either roll into their existing plans. So three, for example, has, it just rolled it in. It doesn't charge you anymore. Mm. That's been great, and we've seen it arrive in so many more cities. I believe, how many has EE in now? Is it 100 and- Oh, it's like all of them. We get a press release and they're, they're, they're really sort of- Yeah, these tiny towns no one knows. Covering the lit, little towns that sort of, yeah. Yeah, don't even, nobody's even knew were there. [LAUGH] Even the people who lived. [CROSSTALK] We have 4G and we live in a town, what's happening. Who knew. well, in April, one analyst firm said that 4G is being adopted globally faster than any previous telecommunications technology. Yeah. That's nice. And in that same month, in fact, EE which. Which we've already discussed, boasted interludes 2.9 million customers its speedier services. Wow. Now in April. And that figure hit 5.9 million in October. So those figures aren't really surprising because when you, when you think about what 4G actually brings, what better internet connection brings, like, it's not just the service, it's. Access to all your other services. Having 4G may mean that you can Skype your family in a different country. Whereas on 3G, maybe you had such a poor connection. You're making it work. People really want this, you know? Mm. It's, so it's, it's accessing so many other things. I think also what's been really cool is that we're now seeing the budget networks like Giffgaff. Yeah. And stuff. Who offer just super basic, cheap SIM-only plans. Also getting on board with 4G cuz when 4G first arrived, and we were quite negative about it particularly towards EE. Whoa! Sorry, guys. yeah, because it was so expensive. Are you satisfied with the, the, cuz you're right. Last year, EE launched its 4G network, and it was really, really expensive. [CROSSTALK] It was a luxury, it was a luxury. Yeah, a luxury. [CROSSTALK]. In that thing. And it, and it was, they had a mega premium strapped onto it. Yeah. Because they were the only network that was selling it. Are you content, now, Andrew Hoyle. Yes. In, in December 2014, do you think that EE is more reasonable, or are you disappointed with the competition? I do think it is more reasonable. I'm not completely satisfied. Okay. Not completely. All right. But I am. Almost there, yeah. Okay, good. Not specifically from me, but from everyone else. Because, as I say with three, with what they've done with 4G is great. EE still is the pricier of the bunch, but it does have the scope to offer, I found it [UNKNOWN] to offer various deals of like extra data and Spotify subscriptions. Which I'm not actually sure if it is still doing, so that basically dropped, my net my contract price down quite a lot. [INAUDIBLE] I was paying ten pounds a month anyway so by getting that for free basically made my contract 10 quid cheaper. Now TV is an option as well Yes it is and you can get [INAUDIBLE] too. so, yeah I love 4G. I can download. An episode of Sons of Anarchy between two, two points on my, on my commute, two train stations. Wow. Yeah. And in like, in minutes. Isn't the underground now using Vega meters underground, London WiFi Network? No, it's not. And that's terrible because the login screen pops up all the time. Yes. But we're not going to talk about that, Andy. Beneath that. Don't bring it up again. Sorry. No, that's underground, on, on three actually. Wow No, although, I've got, an unlimited data thing. I wouldn't be down under for sure. Ya. Stuff like that. Do you find, how do you find three since it's gone to 4G. Between two, four. [LAUGH] [LAUGH] I quit. You quit. I quit. You quit. You quit. You quit. He's wondered off. I'm sorry what was this actually asking me? I don't know. I, I was knocked off by your brilliant joke. [CROSSTALK] Yeah, how do you find because I, I had capacity problems with three before, with 3G only. Yeah. How do you find. Now people are moving on to 4G. Do you find that it's a bit more stable? Yeah actually. I, I've found it pretty good this year. But you know, we, we sort of live and work in, in Central London. Yeah. Which, which means we sort of are in the place that has priority of coverage, [CROSSTALK] of course. Oh, oh, what really excited me. What I thought was great, which is why I'm doing this with my hands. Your hands are going all excited. When I went. See Linkin Park at the O2 a coupla weeks ago. O2 [CROSSTALK] sold out and it was massive. Yep. Huge, Yeah. everyone was there. And I still had full, 4G signal on mode phone and it worked Hm. in a 50,000 seat stadium. [LAUGH] And that has never happened to me before. Even on O2 at the O2, Yeah. Like, I can try and send a Tweet or something say, oh, look what I'm doing, this is fun. And it won't send, because just, just too many people trying to do it. But it was amazing. I love how, It was brilliant. I love how deep in your like. Body tissues and bone marrow your geekiness is. [LAUGH] That you can come home and it's like oh, how was the Linkin Park gig? You're like oh! Well let me tell you. It was, it was absolutely incredible. Yeah. I had 4G signal the whole time. [LAUGH] And it was consistently working. I was watching Homes Under the Hammer on iPlayer. [LAUGH]. Was that BBC? [INAUDIBLE] are Channel 4. No, I don't know. Well, you know what, you could have found it out. I only watch cooking shows [INAUDIBLE] You could have found that out, downloaded it, and watched it in the time it took for Lincoln Park Yeah. to play the songs that made your childhood come alive. Oh, they did play a lot of hybrid fairies, brilliant. Yeah, all right, so, those are Luke's. Big questions or. But what are Luke's big products? Mm. What are, what are the biggest products of the year, Andy? Tell me some of the. Well. Best actual gadgets that happened. Yeah. What, I mean. [UNKNOWN] It's been a year as of the year of amazing products and flagships. You had new iPhones from Apple. We've had new. I've had to have had a whole host of things. [CROSSTALK] The Galaxy S5. Yes, 5, Of course. The LG3. The LG3. [CROSSTALK] We've had two flagships from Sony. outrageous. Two? Cheeky. That's one too many, at least. Although I am actually using one of them. Right. [CROSSTALK] So I should argue too much. But, what I want to talk about in particular. Yes. First of all, it is the year of Android wear, and other wearables. Like that's. Okay. We've had it, we've had it launched. We've had it come into our hands, and. And leave again quite quickly. [CROSSTALK] Well come into our hands and actually go on our wrists. [LAUGH] Right. So actually. Okay alright, whats your favorite Android [INAUDIBLE] My favorite is the LGGSR that to me is really what android wear should be>>it is It looks like a watch. It looks nice it's round. We talk about this it's great. It still doesn't do a lot, but it is only the beginning for android wear. Next year I think it will be very. Exciting. Yep. For wearables. We have of course seen the Apple watch be announced but not out. [CROSSTALK] Have include it. Because that is not a 2014 product. Right. It's a 2015 product. All right. Well, maybe 2016 if. [CROSSTALK] We'll wait for that in the better or even maybe the worst. Next. Of 2015. Oh yeah almost certainly the best. Next up, Galaxy Note Edge from Samsung. Okay, Cool. Reason being, because finally we're seeing a bit of experimenting in phones. This is why I liked the Blackberry Passport. It's not just, oh, okay. And finally they're. Well, you know, the S5, Samsung's had awful sales of that, and it's, it's had drops in market and profit share and all that because. People are just a bit bored that it's the same thing, but again. And the edge comes along. [CROSSTALK] The edges of it? I know, you know, I know we talked about outer the edge. I mean, the edges of the Galaxy S5s. Yeah, it's plastic. Like, chrome fit plastic, but it chips off. It's not a great phone. It does everything you want. It's just, it needs a lot of refinements. Actually, the Galaxy Alpha with the metal body, really slim. Hm-hm. Really, really nice phone, that one. I hope we see more of that from Samsung. So yeah, the edge, the edge is cool. We've- Yeah. You've, you've, you've played with one, one right. We've had a, we've had a play. We've had a go. Our review is online. Did we like it? What did we give it? Did we like it? We gave it a four stars. We've said it was really good. It was an interesting idea. I think it needs some more software to work with this edge thing. Oh, yeah. But it's just good to see something a bit different. See something actually trying to innovate slightly. Even if it's something that doesn't work' cuz it's tried things like putting a projector in its phone before. Mm. And something's always been one to basically. If there's a product that can exist, it will make it. Mm-hm. And throw everything at the wall. Cuz it's got the budget to and. Make it in five different sizes. Exactly. And see what happens. Yep. And the Edge actually. You know, it's just, it is different. And it's quite cool. And, and it's you, you know, you take one out in the pub and people ask you about it. It's unusual and a bit different. All right. So that's watches and phones. Yep. What else. Drones, Luke. Drones is what else. Drone, no. Drone, yeah. Drone-mg. yes. Particularly, I'm going to talk about the DJI Ispire 1. [CROSSTALK] Drone me you. [LAUGH] [LAUGH] Sorry. Just tell me. So we're seeing, we're seeing these brilliant flying machines coming out. [LAUGH] Yeah. But for. So previously drones are filming and things. And to do like these really amazing aerial shots. Well. Well even if they were gentle you had to basically rent a helicopter and have a massive budget to get a pilot. Yeah. Or BBC started using, like, those really big six or eight router things that cost about 40,000 pounds and they've got cinema level cameras strapped beneath, but now we're seeing from companies like DJI with their Phantom Vision Two drone. Which is about 7, 800 pounds, I think. Easy to fly little quadricopter with a camera. And you can fly, I flew it over Chatsworth. And I've, and over Chatsworth has got this amazing footage, which is there's no way you could have, could have got before. The Inspire One is their latest one that they've just announced. And they brought into our office, in fact, to play around. Very cool. It's been shooting for K, and it's got stabilization on it. And it's easy to fly, easy to use. And it's bringing this. Really cool, filming techniques and stuff that you normally ultra pro level sets for making blockbuster films into the hands of me and you. [CROSSTALK]. Hasn't all been good news of drones, we have also had stories about people flying those same drones onto to like Heathrow Airport and getting in the way of planes which of course causes national military panic. Which is bad. Which is a bad thing to do. So don't do that. Okay. Yeah. Anyway. So drones. Drones. Drones. And we've also. There's one more thing on the list. [INAUDIBLE] What's that? Here's one more thing on the list and that is OLED TVs. Hm. Because for me, one of the things I'm very happy about is that we sa, stopped seeing new innovations in 3D and other- [CROSSTALK]. Dodgey/ gimmicks that I don't think add anything to the viewing experience. We can stop trying to see both sides of the 3D thing now we can all admit. That it was a bit [INAUDIBLE]. Yeah, that it was a bit stupid. But Overland is actually all about image quality. It's about having vibrant color. It's bright, black levels. All black so you get high contrast. Good looking panels. And you've seen plenty in [UNKNOWN]. Yeah, yeah. And you, you've really liked them. I'm a huge OLF fan, and actually, so is David Casmyer. Who is our sort of t.v. review head honcho in the U.S. And he reviewed a LG, I think, of their t.v. this year and the, the headline review was best picture ever. And so actually, I mean, we're hearing that not everyone is getting into OLF. You thought Samsung's not as interesting as it once was. No. But, yeah. RLA, RLA TV one to watch. So you know, it's nice that things are sort of maybe finally moving in the old TV world. Yeah, I hope so. But I asked I actually also asked on Twitter- Yes, you did. As to what a bunch of people's favorite products of the year. Just to get a bit of feedback. And what did they think? So we had Kris. Well, it's Kris with a K. Hi, Kris with a K. Was excited about the Microsoft Band, the iPhone 6, and the Samsung Galaxy Note. For. Okay. Now actually the Note 4, also had this metal edge, so that's quite cool. Mm-hm. Christopher Finn actually agrees, except for DJI Inspire 1 is the thing he's most excited about this year. Okay. Ben says he's still loving the Pebble. That's the e-ink smartwatch. Mm-hm. Mm-hm. The Galaxy, oh, no Galaxy Note Edge is novel. All right. actually we agree with that. Una says Apple Watch and the innumerable upgrades to 3D printing. Very cool. Actually, 3D printing is a. Is a good point. Now we've seen loads of cool things coming out that are being 3D printed and stuff. Mm-hm. Jack says the spork, game changer. [LAUGH] Not really 2014 product. Hashtag game changer. Yeah. Not that 2014 was the year where the spork really. Came into its own. Came into its own. Yeah, yeah. This has been the sporks year. Yep. Andrew Marty says the Nexus. Six! Number six. Yes. We have a new, yeah. Okay, all right. Big phone. Freddie says Androidware as a whole. So. All right. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. It's cool. The mid-seventies. That's not a name. That's a, that's a time period. It is but it's the handle this person has chosen. Yeah, it's [INAUDIBLE]. The Rock You streaming stick. All right And [UNKNOWN] says, the Blackberry Passport is the best enhanced phone this year. All right, so yeah, here we go, and there's loads of cool gadgets if we've forgotten any, if there's anything particularly exciting that you think has happened this year. Do let us know. Our email address is cnetukpodcast@cbsi.com, or you can find us on Twitter or Facebook, and we love hearing from you. Yes. All right, that's enough looking back. Now let's do a Christmas quiz. [MUSIC] All right, now I know what you're thinking. How are we gonna do a quiz with just two people? But I thought, well, seeing as it's Christmas, can you really do no quiz? Can we leave the listeners with no quiz at all? Mm. And the answer, of course, was yes. But. My Christmas present, actually from you, as well. Yeah. Was I want a guaranteed win on the quiz. Yeah. And I'm the only one here, so. And you are gonna get that guaranteed win. I win by default. Although you're. You won't, you are not playing for points on the leaderboards this week. You are playing for a mystery Christmas gift that I will give to you if I'm happy with your answers. Okay, so here's what's gonna happen. I'm gonna give you quick fire questions. Okay. About Christmas. And about the technology of this year. And you just answer them as quickly as you can. 'Kay. Okay. Are you ready? The modern figure of Santa Claus is derived from the Dutch figure. What's his name? Sinterklaas. Oh, yeah. Of course. That's all right. The difference in inches between the iPhone 6 and the 6 plus is? 0.8. Yes! Very, very good. Good match. In 1993, Mr. Blobby had a Christmas number one hit. What was the song called? oh, I bought that single. I have a home video of me and my brother [CROSSTALK] singing along to that. We all bought the single, Andy. What was the single's name? Is it just, was it just Mr. Blobby? Yes, it was! Congratulations! Well done. Very good. The Amazon Fire thing. we reviewed it this year. How many starts did we give it? Oh dear, three. Correct, that's very good. It's more than I would have given it. And finally, in November of this year Elves met in Bangkok to break the record for the most elves in one place. How many elves were there? A million. [LAUGH] Yes, there were a million. No [LAUGH] No! Sorry, that's not an answer, that was a guess. I'm sorry. The answer was 1,792, [CROSSTALK] according to- That's the most they could do? According to Reuters. I mean, that's, that's a reasonable amount of elves. It's not! You can just go to. If you like, did Elf Live where at the O2, you'd get more people dressing up as elves there. Who would go to Elf? It doesn't matter, it doesn't matter,. You did very well, Andy. [CROSSTALK] Thank you, I thought I did. What do I win? Is it Mr. Barbie? You win, what you win is this elf hat. Aww. [CROSSTALK] I'm gonna wear it now. Which you can wear when we do the feedback. So put it on now, please. It's on. I hope everyone is feeling suitably festive. All right? I am. If you are listening to the audio version, make sure you still find the feed on YouTube, here because. My goodness, it's, Pretty happy about that. It's just, it's just stellar. Oh, yeah. Okay. Right. It's time to move on. That's enough Christmas now. Let's find out what you guys have been saying in the old feed back. [MUSIC] Okay. Dave Lester says, where does snot come from? [LAUGH] Like right out the gate there, Dave, with a really, really great question. I dunno. [UNKNOWN] I think it comes from your nose. [CROSSTALK] I don't think anyone really understands it. No. I think the important thing is just not to panic and not to ask any questions. Yeah. Leave it be. Yep, exactly. Marat Kabadag says, best uses for an old computer from 2001 to 2004 era? Back when the XP was the bees knees. Best uses for an old computer. Potentially.Use it as the media server actually. You can maybe hook it up to your TV and if you hit the play and play the view files. Yeah. Do you have to do heavy lifting? No. Store things locally. [UNKNOWN] Yeah. You'll be glad to know that Sena has written out the this option. School Five Great Uses for Your Old Windows Computer. Was that one of them? Something we wrote in 2011. It was, actually. med, the Nervous Center, the Media Center. You could also think about using it as network media storage or a home security monitor, maybe. Or just something as simple as a backup storage device. All good suggestions. Could also work. Chris Roebuck addresses Morat and says. Try Key Pod or Ubuntu. What's Key Pod? What is Key Pod? Well, then, in fact Chris Roebuck follows that comment up with, actually, that's my question, have you used Key Pod or similar? [LAUGH] I've just bought one for an old computer but not really used it yet. It seems to work pretty well for basic stuff. I'm not sure about more demanding apps. So Key Pod is this Indie Go Go project that raised more than $40,000, which is very impressive. And it, it's kind of like a little operating system on a stick. It's supposed to cost, it's just $7, I think. Right. And the idea is you'll be able to take an old, discarded, or potentially nonfunctional PC and revive it and kind of make it usable. And I think the idea, as well, is that people will be able to sort of share one old computer, but because they sort of maybe will have their own stakes, they can get their own sort of computer experience through it. Oh, okay. cool. Yeah, sounds cool. Which is kind of cool. But actually, Chris, I have to say, I haven't, I haven't used one. [CROSSTALK] Not, but may, maybe we should. I'd be interested to. What else have we got? Mike Bat says why do birds suddenly appear? When you're near. I actually keep birdseed in my pocket so that I can smell it. Yeah, well that's that answer then. Very concise. Very well done. Andrew [UNKNOWN] says No questions to ask except to say a big thank you for all the insight and reviews throughout the year. Happy Christmas and a great New Year. I think that is a lovely feedback point to end on, and of course. Happy Christmas to you too, Andrew. Yeah. Happy Christmas, Andrew. And to all of our listeners, and to all of our viewers, and to all a good night. But wait! That's not actually the end. If you want to send us some feedback, [LAUGH] then you can do it at CNetUKpodcast@cbsi.com. You'll see the email address on screen now,. Okay, that is it for this week, and in fact, for this year. Aww. CNet the podcast will be returning in 2015. I mean, 2015 sounds very futuristic. That's the year when Back to the Future gets it's hover boards. Yeah. We'll probably, next time you see us we'll be sliding slowly out of shot as our hover boards tilt unwieldy. Yeah, we fail to control it. At the beginning of the year you'll be in CES as well, seeing some of the best. Tech launches for the year being unveiled in Vegas. That's right. Producer Mark and I, who you will never see are going transatlantic to find all of the coolest new technologies. So key, stay tuned to c|net, in early January to see what's happening at CES cuz it's gonna be really cool. And I'm sure that's gonna be the first thing that we talk about when we come back. All right, thank you very much Andy. Thank you Luke. And thank you to myself. I think I did an adequate job. And thank you to our producer Mark. Who you will never see. All right, we're off to do some really, really last minute Christmas shopping. Good-bye. [MUSIC]

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