Teletext and Ceefax: A memoir

If you’re an old, wizened crone like me, you may remember a certain little televisual relic of days gone by: Teletext, and its BBC version Ceefax.

Back in the years before we all had proper broadband, we had to rely on blocky 7-bit graphics on our TV screens to get the news, weather, flight information, horoscopes, music reviews, hilarious jokes, and 12-question brainteasers. It worked just like the internet, except it was slower than dial-up and only had 999 pages. […]

By |August 16th, 2016|TV|Comments Off on Teletext and Ceefax: A memoir

What happened when I took my mobile phone on holiday, and how you can learn from my mistakes

Ah, the holiday season – weeks of sun, sea, and Snapchat.

The sad fact of holidays these days is that you can’t completely get away from it all. Bringing your phone with you is pretty much essential if you want to keep track of your flight times, contact your hotel, or even know what the time is.

I went away to a sunny Mediterranean island this summer, and there was no question about it: I was bringing my phone. I’m glad I did, but heavens, it’s a big risk to take a multi-hundred-pound gadget to a tourist haven surrounded by water where roaming costs apply. […]

By |July 22nd, 2016|Mobile Phones|Comments Off on What happened when I took my mobile phone on holiday, and how you can learn from my mistakes

The worst dads on TV, and what their kids should get them for Father’s Day

Greetings card shops are breaking out the golf, beer, and shed insignia, and that can only mean one thing: Father’s Day is coming up.

It’s got us thinking about our favourite dads on TV, and there’s plenty of them – Homer Simpson, Uncle Phil, Marty Crane, the list goes on. Not all TV dads are quite so amazing, though. In fact, we’ve picked out a few who should probably work on their parenting, pronto. Here’s our top five. […]

By |June 17th, 2016|TV|Comments Off on The worst dads on TV, and what their kids should get them for Father’s Day

Child Safety Week – turn off your phone for the kids

A few years ago, I was almost run over by Adrian Chiles.

At least, I think it was Adrian Chiles. It certainly looked like it was him driving the big, flash BMW, but it may have been a lookalike, I suppose.

Either way, here’s what happened: I was trying to find an album to listen to on my phone, and stumbled out into the road without looking both ways. It would have broken the Green Cross Code man’s heart. Fortunately possibly-but-maybe-not Adrian Chiles was an attentive driver and braked before my flabby corpse dented his expensive-looking automobile, but it was a startling experience to be sure.

On another occasion, I wandered out of a pub after a night out, texting friends with ‘hilarious’ ale-fuelled witticisms, and almost immediately walked into a lamppost. Fortunately, I got away with nothing more than a headache, some dented specs, and a nagging sense of shame.

Both events had one thing in common – I was paying attention to my phone, not where I was going. And I’m not the only one to make that mistake.

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By |June 10th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Child Safety Week – turn off your phone for the kids

How accessible is the internet, really?

Broadband is about to become a whole lot more accessible if the government’s new Digital Economy Bill goes through. There’ll be a legal right to fast broadband for everyone, and a cut to the cost of installing cables and masts – more Brits will be able to get online than ever.

Accessibility is a big issue for the internet right now. The new bill covers it from one angle, but what about people who struggle to access the internet because of a disability? […]

By |May 27th, 2016|Broadband|Comments Off on How accessible is the internet, really?

Out of the trash can and into our hearts: The worst and weirdest reality TV

Reality TV is doing pretty well at the moment. Reality-specific streaming service Hayu launched not too long ago, and the BAFTA award for best reality and constructed factual show had some decent nominees – from the genuinely entertaining First Dates to the fascinating Secret Life of 4, 5 and 6 Year Olds.

But the genre hasn’t always had a good run. In fact, it’s been downright awful at times, when it isn’t just plain old odd. Read on, because broadbandchoices has rounded up the very worst and weirdest of the reality TV roster. […]

By |May 12th, 2016|TV|Comments Off on Out of the trash can and into our hearts: The worst and weirdest reality TV

Spoiler etiquette: how not to be a total Joffrey

They say you should never discuss politics or religion with people you work with. Sage advice, but I’d add a third option: Game of Thrones.

Few things are as likely to upset people as talking about the nation’s favourite sex n’ stabathon before everyone’s seen the latest episode. And actually, the same is true of any major TV programme, from the Apprentice to The Great British Bake-Off. People really hate spoilers.

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By |May 6th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Spoiler etiquette: how not to be a total Joffrey

How to be tech savvy AND eco-friendly this Earth Day

22 April means the world to us. Why? Because it’s Earth Day, of course. It’s the day when we’re encouraged to love our planet and do what we can do protect the environment.

And guess what – you don’t have to give up your high-powered gadgets to be kind to the Earth. Read on for a few tips to help reconcile your love of tech with the pressing guilt of what humanity is doing to the environment. […]

By |April 21st, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on How to be tech savvy AND eco-friendly this Earth Day

Should you capitalise the I in ‘internet’? Well, it’s up to you.

Believe it or not, we at broadbandchoices are big fans of the internet. Or should that be Internet? Well, according to the AP Stylebook, as of June we should say internet with a lower-case i.

Predictably, there are a lot of opinions on this new guideline and comment sections are getting nice and rowdy. The question is, why are so many people so insistent on keeping that capital letter? […]

By |April 14th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Should you capitalise the I in ‘internet’? Well, it’s up to you.

Which Virtual Reality headset is the one to get?

VR’s nearly here and I’m very excited. Even writing this now, it’s virtually (heh) all I can do to stop myself from running around the broadbandchoices office flapping my arms around in glee.

That’s because this week’s announcement of the PlayStation VR means that the biggest VR players have put their cards on the table. We know what devices are coming, what you can do with them, and how much they will cost – so it’s time for people to start making decisions over whether they want one, and which one to go with.

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By |March 18th, 2016|Gaming|Comments Off on Which Virtual Reality headset is the one to get?