“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it.” - Lloyd Alexander
13th March 2020 / Issue #361
The Homemade Easter Thread 2020
Yes, it's nearly Easter time again, and @kath72 has brought us a great thread to share what we're making and baking this time around. It isn't just for Easter, though, please share pictures of any spring flower baskets and other seasonal (or not so seasonal) makes and bakes. Read the thread here.
Save up to £100 when you choose refurbished from 05 March
Big discounts on refurbished phones at giffgaff. It's a smart, savvy and sustainable way to make sure you're making the right choice with your mobile with up to £100 off when you choose a selected refurbished phone between 05 March and 02 April 2020. Have a look at @stebee1977's thread here.
NEW Creative corner
Our new member-led community activities, competitions, and hobbies. Head over here and see the new place.
We're pausing 'Sell your phone' update
To make sure that the ‘Sell your phone’ service is able to operate at the high standard you expect, we need to pause it until we’ve been able to resolve some issues. UPDATE: giffgaff are in conversation with the supplier to solve these issues that some of you have been experiencing. Either myself (@kashwell) or Will will update you as soon as we can. Read the full update here.
Our weekly round from our fellow members' recent discussion threads, head over and give them your views:
Our new member @sfonl53 has heard a lot of good things about giffgaff: "I decided to finally take the plunge and join us." Welcome our new community friend here.
Please give our new friend and giffgaff @nanuk34 a big hug and welcome to the community here.
Ou new member @justi76435 has just joined us and says: "Let's see how it goes." Well, we think it's going to be a fab experience for you. Welcome to giffgaff and the community, my friend. Say hello right here.
Please welcome another recent addition to the giffgaff club, @darre27739. Our new friend has a few questions, so head over here and give them a hand.
We've added a new feature to The gaff to celebrate a selection of our members who've recently had their giffgaff day.
@micky6599 "really appreciates this network provider and community forum where we get instant help and 24/7 online support."
Lots of love 6th year
@nazahm has "been with giffgaff for 6 years, along with 3 other family members and any visitors also get giffgaff if they need."
12 months on the network
@gotha51 says "didn't realise it but been with giffgaff over 1 year now. 13 months to be precise."
If it's YOUR giffgaffiversary, please let the team know by sending a private message to @ijustcantdoit.
On This Day In History
1935 Voluntary driving tests were introduced and were subsequently made mandatory in June of the same year.
1996 Lone gunman Thomas Hamilton, killed 16 children and their teacher with 4 guns in Dunblane School gym.
2004 Luciano Pavarotti performs ‘Tosca’ at the New York Metropolitan Opera in his last opera ever.
Photo Of The Week
This week's featured photo is Woodland Walk by @yvonnearmstrong. Some of the comments on the photo included:
- "So lovely, makes me want to step into the photo and walk through that gate!" (sarahjardine)
- "Lovely photos as usual Yvonne... Well snapped" (jeanlk)
- "Looks absolutely stunning, really nice" (themzbiker)
- "Great photos, as always Yvonne. Sometimes bad weather can make for a better photo. I especially like the second shot - the tree really makes it" (essie112mm)
- "Beautifully composed photos Yvonne with intense colour, so richly detailed. Well done, thanks very very much for your posting" (derekluke1)
It seems as if the rain is never-ending, apart from the occasional dry day. As always, you all manage to get out there and take some excellent images to share with us all and brighten up our days. Thank you all and please keep the images coming.
Honor MagicWatch 2 Review
Hi everyone. This week I thought I’d cover a review/overview of the Honor MagicWatch 2 which is a new smartwatch released by the brand Honor (yep, Honor, not Honour). This is a 2 part series of posts in The gaff, you can check out part 2 in the 20th March Gaff. The watch is mainly centred around being a fitness watch though does also allow a connection to your phone. Before we start, the functionality/features mentioned below may differ if you use the watch with an iPhone as pairing an Android smartwatch with an iPhone can lack some features.
It’s important to first note that the Honor MagicWatch 2 is pretty much just the Huawei Watch GT 2 – it’s pretty much the same watch with little difference between them other than the Honor being slightly cheaper. You can see the (little) differences between them in GearBest’s overview. What’s more important is whether you go with the 42mm version or the 46mm version of either watch. The 42mm version has an advertised 7 days of battery life whilst the 46mm has 14 days and also has a smaller screen, though it is slightly cheaper and lighter. The 46mm can also take and receive calls whilst the 42mm can’t (though both have a speaker to play music out of).
Fitness-wise, the MagicWatch/GT 2 holds up well with both indoor and outdoor sports modes such as running, walking, cycling, hiking, climbing, rowing and swimming (50M water resistance). There’s also a timer and a stopwatch. Whilst you’re performing physical activity, a ‘voice assistant’ reads out statistics like your heart rate, distance and time and tells you whether you’re in the ‘heart rate target’ that you preset before you start exercising. On the app and the watch, you can start ‘courses’ that have a particular target and include a particular (sometimes alternating) exercise.
The screen is both vibrant and clear. It’s 1.2 inches in size with the 42mm version and 1.39 inches on the 46mm version. Colours appear vibrant (AMOLED – 16M colours) and crisp and the brightness is good in dark and bright environments. The colours really do help watch faces that are more vibrant stand-out.
The battery is perhaps the strongest part of this watch and is partly why I bought it (along with its fitness features). Huawei/Honor advertises 14 days of battery life. This would probably be possible if you didn’t use the functions the watch has though realistically that probably won’t be the case. In my usage (which does match up with the battery life that many others seem to experience) I got 9 days out of the watch. This included constant GPS and Heart Rate features off but with Huawei TruSleep (sleep tracker) and Stress Monitor on. This also included 2 hours of walking/jogging over the 9-day period which is when I did have GPS on. It’s important to remember that some features such as the Heart Rate feature or GPS feature can dramatically affect the battery life of the watch so your mileage may vary but overall the battery life is fantastic compared to smartwatches (which seem to last around 3-4 days). Charging is also fast (around 1-2 hours) and uses a magnetic docking station in the shape of a puck that can be charged via USB-C (though can easily be lost - certainly a negative in my eyes though most smartwatches have charging stations like this).
The Huawei Health app is the main port of call when changing settings on the watch and seeing what it tracks (things like Stress Monitor and TruSleep can be seen on the watch though there’s more functionality using the app on your phone). You can see your Heart Rate (if you have it on on the watch), stress levels, sleep tracking, exercise records and steps using the app – these all include many different statistics for each of the things the watch has tracked. Initially, I was taken back at just how much the watch can track as it clearly goes a lot further than the ‘steps’ and ‘distance’ that I’m used to tracking on my Samsung phone.
The above content relies on a lot of facts which could be wrong. If you notice any factual inaccuracies then please @ mention (in a comment below) or private message Toxiic.
There is actually a ‘cashback’ offer (selected retailers, see links) that Huawei is offering until the 26th March 2020 where you get £50 in cashback for buying the Huawei Watch GT 2 (I’ve described the Honor MagicWatch 2 above though they are pretty much the same watch!). The link to the cashback offer overview can be found here and the terms and conditions can be found here. Not sponsored, just trying to save people money!
Thanks for reading. If you’re interested, check out my content hub on the giffgaff forum here.
Technology and Coronavirus: An unlikely pair?
We couldn’t jump back into normal reporting this week without mentioning COVID-19… and of course, many of you may be asking “What on earth has Tech Developments got to do with the virus?” and that is a fair question. However, in today’s society technology stretches far and wide, into many different fields. A lot of people have been asking what they can do on their own to combat the virus, and of course, the advice is to stay clean, but how do we do this with technology? So today I thought I would run you through a few things you can do at home to help contribute to the fight against the virus, they may be small, but they have a big impact. Before anyone mentions, yes I know that bacteria and viruses are different, but having clean habits reduces your risk of infection in the first place.
The first way we can all combat the virus is the most common sense one, and it’s been promoted by the government relentlessly over the last month. Hygiene. Specifically mobile hygiene. We spend all day at work, at school, out and about, whilst still using our phones, and they accompany us everywhere, so should we not keep them clean? It sounds simple, but fewer people than you might think regularly keep their phone screens and cases clean, which can lead to a build-up of nasty bacteria and other things on our devices. The screens are the most vulnerable places as it is the place on our phone that we touch the most. Bear in mind that I’m not just talking about fingerprints, so a quick wipe down with a sleeve won’t be cutting it. What will you need? There’s plenty of kits out there that include everything you need to keep your phone clean, without damaging it.
One simple solution is having a microfibre cloth and anti-bacterial screen cleaner which helps keep your phone clean and always safe for us. Phones are a petri dish of bacteria, and it is important to remember that you may pick up dirt on your phone, keyboard, mouse or any technological device from anywhere. You can pick up a phone cleaning kit on Amazon for less than £10, and if you clean your phone well enough a few times a week, you will be doing yourself a favour. Remember to never directly spray any anti-bacterial spray or liquid onto any electronics, whether it be your phone or a computer keyboard, spray onto a cloth, and then wipe down the device.
Another, more substantial way you can contribute to the fight against Coronavirus, is if you have a PC or laptop. You may have heard of processing power from PCs contributing towards research, and now this is publicly available. There are programmes out there that let you download an app, which will then (whilst your computer/laptop is on) run in the background and take up some processing power, and use such processing power to help contribute to academic research of viruses such as Coronavirus. The U.S-based Stanford University has launched a project called Folding@Home, which uses its ‘folders’ (as it’s participants are called) and their computer’s reserve processing power to help solve equations, problems and overall contribute to the research which helps fight against many different diseases and viruses. So far Folding@Home and other projects have helped research into Ebola, Zika, Kidney Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Hepatitis C. All it takes is a quick download and the program will run in the background on your computer whilst it’s turned on. For full effect, I personally leave my PC running at some extended stints during the day whilst I am not using it but am nearby. The project is completely open and honest about everything, and even recently posted an update on the progress that users of Folding@Home have contributed to.
Thanks for reading!
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