This is the third edition of Gismoe in 2014.
Gizmoe will also be posted on www.seniornet.co.nz from 22nd July.
We have winners!
For the past several months our partner, Vodafone has been running a competition as part of the Scan and Save promotion – Scan your phone bill send it to Vodafone for them to help you save on your overall telecommunications bill. All those who participated automatically went in the draw to win a Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 Smartphone. The winner is Ian Packwood from Auckland. Ian will be presented with his prize later in the month at the Sylvia Park Vodafone store.
In addition Vodafone decided to make another draw, this time from SeniorNet members who recently became a customer of Vodafone. The winner of that draw was Alex Stewart from Dargaville. The Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 Smartphone is on its way to you Alex. Our thanks to Vodafone for being such a generous supporter of SeniorNet.
Two vacancies on the Federation Committee
With the recent resignation of Steve Green (Northern Representative) from the Federation Committee and the existing vacancy for the Wellington region we are on the look-out for volunteers to represent both regions (one per region). The Northern Region extends from North of the Auckland Harbour Bridge to the tip of the North Island and the Wellington Region runs from Levin south to Cook strait. If you feel you would like to be part of the national team we would love to hear from you. Please contact Grant Sidaway firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
Our thanks to Steve Green for his enthusiasm and energy during his time on the Committee.
Enjoy reading Gizmoe and be sure to take part in the RealMe competition detailed on page 7 of this edition – there is a $500.00 Prezzy Card to be won, don’t mess about as the competition closes on 29th August.
Have fun and learn something new every day!
Grant Sidaway – Executive Officer SeniorNet Federation
Perhaps the hottest App around – right now!
Flight Radar 24
Flightradar24 is a flight tracker that shows live air traffic from around the world. It combines data from several data sources including ADS-B, MLAT and FAA. The data from these three sources is aggregated together with schedule and flight status data from airlines and airports to create a unique flight tracking experience.
How ADS-B works
The primary technology that we use to receive flight information is called automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B). The ADS-B technology itself is best explained by the image below.
- Aircraft gets its location from a GPS navigation source (satellite)
- The ADS-B transponder on aircraft transmits signal containing the location (and much more)
- ADS-B signal is picked up by a receiver connected to Flightradar24
- Receiver feeds data to Flightradar24
- Data is shown on http://www.flightradar24.com and in Flightradar24 apps
About 99% of Europe is covered with ADS-B receivers. There is also good ADS-B coverage in USA, Canada, Caribbean, Brazil, Russia, Middle East, India, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. In other parts of the world the ADS-B coverage varies.
In some regions positions of aircraft are calculated with the help of Multilateration (MLAT), by using a method known as Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA). By measuring the difference in time to receive the signal from aircraft with an older ModeS-transponder, it’s possible to calculate the position of these aircraft. MLAT coverage can only be achieved above about 10000 feet
Most parts of Europe are today covered with MLAT above 10000 feet. There is also some MLAT coverage in North America, Australia and Brazil. More areas will get MLAT coverage during 2014.
In addition to ADS-B and MLAT data, information is also obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States. Unlike the ADS-B and MLAT data that is presented realtime, the FAA data is delayed by roughly 5 minutes due to FAA regulations. On the Flightradar24 map, all aircraft based on FAA data are orange.
FAA data is based on radar data (i.e. not just planes with ADS-B transponders) and includes most scheduled and commercial air traffic in US and Canadian air space, also parts of Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Just like SeniorNet, Flightradar24 relies on volunteers! (“the world is run by volunteers”).More than 4,000 aviation enthusiasts with ADS-B receivers regularly feed data to the Flight Radar 24 network making it available to view on the internet application.
I’ve had the Flight Radar 24 app on my iPhone for around 6 months now and find it fascinating – maybe because I was a train spotter in a previous life! You can get a free version with limited information or a paid version (around $6.00 US) with much greater data at your fingertips.
A very affordable Smartphone
If you haven’t made a start with smartphones yet the Vodafone Smart 4 Mini is a great way to begin
I have been lucky enough “to test drive” the Vodafone Smart 4 Mini smartphone – put simply I think it’s a marvellous product and terrific value at $99.00. My regular smartphone, iPhone 5, certainly has more chic lines (Mr Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple computers, would have had it no other way!), but for outright functionality and screen definition this smartphone is hardly a second cousin.
My smartphones to date have all been iPhones, not that I am exclusive to Apple as I run Windows and Microsoft software on my business computers.
The Vodafone Smart Mini uses the Android operating system and now with more smartphones running Android than IOs the Apple version in the world it’s hard to argue that smartphones are just the realm of Apple.
- I found the screen size of the phone compatible to the iPhone with equally easy button layout.
- Screen resolution was more than adequate and the all-important settings area easy to understand and use.
- Tethering using the hotspot was intuitive and within two minutes I was up and on the internet.
- The on-board camera at 3.2Mpixels was easy to use and for most of us ideal as a general “snap” camera.
- Phone storage at 2.00 GB may stretch some people less familiar with cloud storage.
- Keyboard size was adequate and responsive and remarkably accurate… a little more so than my iPhone5.
- Overall dimensions being slightly more bulky and slightly heavier than I am used to but certainly easy to pocket.
This phone can be purchased outright and can be connected to casual pre-paid plans; I would recommend the current $19.00 per month pre-paid plan ideal for most of us. If you have an existing mobile phone number it can be “ported” to this phone.
If you purchase this phone only Vodafone SIM cards will work with it, but hey they sponsor SeniorNet so why would you want to connect to any other network!!!
Being a bit canny
The power of the internet is no better exemplified than when it comes to comparing prices before making significant purchases. From the coziness of your bathtub you can windowshop without venturing out. It’s been around a while and I know many SeniorNetters use www.pricespy.co.nz a lot but for
those that don’t know the website offers quick and easy price comparisons on over 70,000 items in more than 400 stores throughout the country.
The majority of the items are electrical/electronic devices, computers, phones, audio systems, televisions and the like but they have also delved into items such as sporting gear etc. Find the best deal and monitor price drops before you lash out and purchase.
Social Networking may not be the most favourite of pastimes for our age group; with many seeing the negative aspects rather than the positive capabilities on offer?
At the last count in February this year there were 1,858,450,660 people connected to one or more social networking sites – are you included in this count?
We often associate social media with Facebook, why wouldn’t we? More than a billion people on the planet are registered Facebook users, however there are countless other similar sites to choose from; Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Snapchat, Pinterest,
Tripadvisor to name but a few. If you have ever ventured into Blogging then that is another form of social networking as well.
The debate would be never ending on the rights and wrongs of social networking but as you know I am a strong believer in “participating in the age in which we live” and being linked in
some way to friends and family using social networking on the internet is not to be scoffed at – really it isn’t!
With the upcoming general election all the candidates will be doing their best to say how fabulous they are and why we should vote for them. Social media will form an important part of their campaigns, if we want to be informed then perhaps being included on a social media feed may be another way to help us decide?
I have developed a presentation all about Social Media and Social Networking and would be happy to arrange a time to visit your centre to deliver the presentation. In the meantime here are five things you should never post on a social network site:
- You or Your Family’s Full Birth Dates
- Your Relationship Status
- Your Current Location
- The Fact That You Are Home Alone – or Away!
- Pictures of Your Kids Tagged With Their Names
Have you heard of Eldernet?
The internet is an amazing place, as you’ve no doubt discovered! It’s a wonderland of new and exciting places to explore and also to revisit memories and activities from the past.
Many years ago, before the internet was a part of everyday life that people not only had access to, but enjoyed – the founder of Eldernet, Eleanor Bodger, saw the massive potential that the internet offered.
Eleanor was working as a Social Worker and realised that there was a need for a “one stop shop” for important information for older people and those supporting them. The internet offered a place to gather and share all this information, and it would allow people who offered these services to communicate directly with those who needed them. And so, Eldernet was born.
Found at http://www.eldernet.co.nz Eldernet is a site dedicated to providing older people with information. We know that knowledge is power. Focused mainly on four key areas you will find extensive information on Home Support Services, Retirement Villages, Aged Residential Care (Rest Homes etc.) and Other Services (which includes community groups and businesses) on Eldernet.
There’s also a fantastic ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section which is likely to be able to answer many of the questions and concerns you may have about support as you age.
On the Eldernet blog (www.eldernetgazette.co.nz) you’ll find lots of comment and discussion about current areas of interest, as well as competitions and book reviews. They are also looking for new contributors, so if you have something to say about getting old, being old, or would like to share your perspective on things they would love to hear from you.
If you, or someone you are supporting, are thinking that some changes might need to occur then Eldernet is a great place to start considering your options.
What is RealMe?
RealMe is a secure, consent based way to access and share personal information online. It creates trust and confidence for you and the organisations offering online services and requiring proof of identity. Currently RealMe has two key jobs. Firstly a login to multiple services, and secondly a verified account working as an online ID. With a verified account, you can prove who you are for organisations offering online services.
Last week RealMe was announced as a finalist for the Australia and New Zealand Internet Awards in the Security and Online Safety category. Winners will be announced on 25 August 2014.
Why do you need RealMe?
As more services come on board with RealMe, your online interactions will be simpler with no need to turn up in person with identity documents and your needs will be more easily met as important life events occur – such as health, financial planning and taxes, retirement and changes in your living situation. By 2017 the aim is for 70% of New Zealander’s transactions with government to be completed in the digital environment.
At present over 40,000 new RealMe logins are created every month and more than 17,000 people have a verified RealMe account. Almost 50 services use the RealMe login and five organisations are offering services for customers to use their verified RealMe account online. One of these is Births, Deaths and Marriages, so if you’re interested in your family history you can order historical certificates online with a verified RealMe account.
How do you get RealMe?
It’s easy! To get a verified RealMe account get started online on http://www.realme.govt.nz and enter some of your details, then visit a participating PostShop for them to take your photo, and in no time at all, your identity is verified. There’s a step-by-step guide on the RealMe website. And once you have your verified RealMe account, you are in control. RealMe relies on permission from you to share any of your information, and most important – you can see where, when and to whom you have provided information through.
To enter just do the following:
Step One: Visit www.realme.govt.nz and get started – setting up your verified RealMe account.
Step Two: Email your name, phone number and the transaction number on the receipt from your free RealMe photo at a participating PostShop to email@example.com between 21 July and 29 August 2014.
RealMe is free to get and use, and is valid for five years.
Just complete the online application process, get your photo taken at a participating PostShop and five days later you should be ready to go!
Terms and conditions can be found at www.seniornet.co.nz
Give us your good news
We are always looking for “Good News” stories, gosh why wouldn’t we in a world too often peppered with overwhelming bad news. Our SeniorNet Learning Centres are all about helping people enjoy and use technology in their everyday lives – good news in itself.
Not that we want to beat our chest too much but it would be good to learn about some of the outstanding work being done by Learning Centres in their communities. In particular where a new world has opened up for individuals after learning new skills at a Learning Centre – things like, finding a new vocation (paid or voluntary), re-establishing contact with long lost friends by using the internet, being more independent as a result of being more skilful with internet application e.g. internet banking.
End of Gizmoe