The winning Grand Designs feature

If you'd like to read the award-winning feature, here you go - just click on the thumbnails to see each pic big enough to read. Enjoy!

Ooh, I won summat!


Now that the hangover has finally receded, I'm proud to announce that on Friday I won "best technology feature" in the CEDIA Awards 2011. It is very shiny. And heavy. Here's a snap of it on our awards shelf (ahem) in the home office - alongside my Blackberry Women In Technology Award from 2006 and Simon Munk's two GMA awards.

Many thanks to the good people of CEDIA, the judges, the Grand Designs magazine team, my readers, my freelance colleagues (especially Chris Haslam), my family, etc. I'll stop now before I go all Gwyneth...

Update: there's a video of the awards on YouTube. See approx 1min 31 for my 3.5 seconds of fame. Sorry about the music!

Intelligent alarm clocks

I've had a few listeners who heard my Radio 2 interview get in touch, asking about the alarm clock I mentioned. It always has the right time and even automatically resets the time when the clocks go forward or back.

There are in fact two options, as far as I'm aware. The first is a clock that gets its time 100% accurate using a radio signal from an atomic clock. Oregon Scientific are the leading brand for this.

The second is a DAB radio alarm clocks that takes its time from a signal sent out from radio stations. I can't say with 100% certainty whether all DAB alarm clocks do this, but the good ones do. Pure is the market leader in DAB radios and the one that I personally use is the Pure Chronos iDock Series II (pictured), which does an excellent job with DAB radio, music from iPod/iPhone or just a buzzer. The sound quality is excellent and if you forget to dock your iPhone it automatically switches to buzzer - very clever!

Should you put your laptop in the fridge?

No, no, no, no, no
I never find the time to upload old clips of radio and TV interviews, but here's one from last week. I'm being interviewed by Simon Mayo on Radio 2 drivetime about women, gadgets and whether or not it's a good idea to put your laptop in the fridge.

(Spoiler: No!)

In truth, some people do end up sticking their laptops in the fridge to get jammed up hard drives working for a few mins just to pull the data off. But only as a last resort and only in a Ziploc (self-seal) bag!