E&T: December gadgets

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All the latest gadgetry plus my hands-on review of the Yale Floodlight Camera subscription-free security camera and the Laica Visione kettle for induction hobs.



ALCS elections - please vote!

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If you're a writer, please consider voting for me in the ALCS board elections. (And if you're a writer but not an ALCS member, skip down a couple of paragraphs for why it's worth joining!)

I have experience on committees of all shapes and sizes. Since the last elections, I've also become a Councillor in local government, so I have even more committee experience. I'm good at working with others, reviewing financials and navigating complex ethical and strategic decisions. I'll put my full statement below and all my links are at https://linktr.ee/caramelquin

You should have had an email with details of how to vote online securely. That takes you to statements from all the candidates. If not, visit https://www.cesvotes.com/alcs2022 You get two votes. Please give one to me!

Finally, if you write for a living and aren't a member, do join the ALCS. It's a not-for-profit that distributes secondary royalties to authors, campaigns and lobbies on our behalf and much more. Members include authors, journalists, academic writers, screenwriters, scriptwriters and visual artists. You'd be joining too late to vote in these elections but it's absolutely worth joining. Thank me later!

My statement 

I’ve been a writer for 29 years, with staff writing and editing jobs in the UK and US before going freelance. I have experience on committees of all shapes and sizes: lobbying and campaigning; reviewing financials and navigating complex ethical decisions; serving as a Councillor. I believe in championing writers, good governance and probity in public life. I'm capable and personable. I work well with others.

Areas in which I write:

I write about gadgets and technology for newspapers, magazines and online. I've been staff and freelance. I wrote a book last year too.

The skills and experience I have which match the current requirements of the ALCS Board (i.e. as detailed in pp 4&5 of the vacancies booklet.)

My most important skills for this role lie in committee experience, campaigning and lobbying. I’m used to working on committees, digesting complex information including financials, making strategic decisions. I've gained relevant experience on the Standard Life Investments Ethical Committee and as a local Councillor (see below).

I also bring the no-nonsense, can-do attitude of a seasoned campaigner. I’ve worked hard on local issues for decades and punched well above my weight in doing so. I’ve successfully lobbied, publicised campaigns, pored over legislation and networked at all levels. I’ve worked with others across parties to transform my local area for the better and push for the best outcomes at difficult times (tight budgets, recession, political pressures, pandemic). This hard work continues as a Councillor tackling, for example, the twin emergencies of climate change and cost of living. It's not one or the other, it has to be both.

I would love to use these skills and experience to champion writers. Collecting royalties is invaluable in helping authors pay the bills but we also need to protect and fight for writers’ rights. I have not only the experience but the passion and commitment to do this well.

My experience of sitting on Board(s) and/or Committee(s) and what I believe I achieved during this time:

I'm a local Councillor for London Borough of Waltham Forest, where I serve as vice chair of the climate scrutiny committee and sit on two other committees.

I served on the Standard Life Investments Ethical Committee, which met quarterly in Edinburgh. We reviewed financial information and navigated complex ethical decisions to ensure funds met investors' wishes and expectations as well as their financial needs.

I’ve chaired two residents’ associations and worked on many community campaigns. I've led Woodcraft Folk youth groups. I have decades of experience lobbying and working strategically. Most notably, I had a central role in saving a highly listed art deco cinema and I’m proud to say it’s now being transformed into a world-class theatre, opening in 2023.

Why I would like to be an ALCS Director:

I’m passionate about being a writer. I’ve been one for nearly 30 years: a journalist, a copywriter, an author. Our industries are changing fast, thanks to everything from the internet to Covid. I want to use my experience to help the ALCS, and its members, weather those changes.

I have many friends and contacts who are ALCS members: not just authors but journalists, academics, scriptwriters, visual artists. The ALCS membership is big and diverse… yet many writers still haven’t heard of it. I’d use my committee experience to work to ensure the ALCS does more, for even more people.

The particular strengths I would bring to the ALCS Board:

Thanks to my time as a Councillor and on the Ethical Committee, I can soak up complex information and navigate strategic decisions, listening to members to ensure decisions meet their wishes and needs. As a campaigner, I’m used to lobbying to get the best results. And as an author, I understand the diversity of ALCS members and our diverse needs. I’ll also work tirelessly to expand opportunities and support for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic writers, women writers and LGBTQ+ writers whenever possible, because the playing field is far from level, in life and in publishing.



E&T: November gadgets

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A roundup of new tech plus my hands-on review of the Osprey Transporter Waterproof Duffel bag.



E&T: October gadgets

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All the latest gadgets plus my hands-on review of the Victrola Revolution Go portable record player.



Ideal Home: 3 more heat pumps features

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To follow on from my piece on Heat pumps explained, here's an Air source heat pumps guide, a Ground source heat pumps guide and an article on Heat pump grants. Watch this space for even more on the subject, or keep an eye on my Ideal Home author page.



E&T: September gadgets

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This month is an online special, which means it features videos of all the cool new gadgets in action and an in-depth review of the Acer ConceptD 7 SpatialLabs Edition laptop with a glasses-free 3D display. And if you subscribe to the fab tablet edition it looks like this...



Ideal Home: Heat pumps explained

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The first of a series of long reads by me on all things Heat Pump. You can keep an eye out for more in the series, coming soon, by keeping an eye on my Ideal Home author page.



E&T: August gadgets

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Fantastic new gadgets plus my hands-on review of the new Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro.



BBC World Service: Loot boxes

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Me on BBC World Service, talking about video game loot boxes and gambling (at 28:36). I think the thing to remember is that they're less like Kinder Eggs and more like buying chocolate bars in the hope of getting a golden ticket...



Woman & Home: Coming out later in life

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I wrote this piece about coming out later in life for Pride Month... and by the time it was published with a Rebel Wilson news hook, Dame Kelly Holmes had come out too! Awesome.


 

E&T: July gadgets

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Gadgets galore plus my hands-on test of the Arlo Go 2 remote security camera and my bid to use it to catch the allotment party mice.



Stuff: Cordless lawnmowers

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In which I put six cordless mowers through their paces.



E&T: June gadgets

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Brilliant tech for around the home, plus I test the Miele Boost CX1, a compact new vacuum cleaner. Full disclosure: those are not my stairs pictured. Mine are now clean but it's a vacuum cleaner not a magic wand...





Sarah Vine's Femail podcast: Elon Musk buying Twitter

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Chatting with Sarah and Imogen about why Elon Musk wants to spend billions of dollars on Twitter and what it might mean for the rest of us. Listen at 17:43 for 13 mins of chinwagging. Yet again, I rabbit on and help make her Femail Half-Hour more like 40 minutes. Oops! 🤐



E&T: May gadgets

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An online special tech roundup this month, including gadgets to revolutionise everything from games to houseplants. Also check out my hands-on review of the Obsbot Tiny 4K, a webcam with built-in gimbal to track you.



E&T: April gadgets

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Gadgets galore plus I test the Bissell Pet Stain Eraser with help from my dog, two cats and 12 rescue hens. That's not me pictured: people with 15 pets don't have white carpets, no matter how good the gadget.



From the school archives

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Ha! My friend Penny found this in the archives. Early gadget girl work from the eighties. I was 14, I think. Note not just the nerdiness but the comms skills of knowing what big ticket items would be to attract students to the fair. Technology, robots and lasers, oh my! Top illustration by Henrietta too, I'm glad she signed it!



BBC London: Mini Food Banks

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3D artist Sean Rodrigo and I talk about Mini Food Banks. This one is used to connect donations for our local food bank PL84U Al-Suffa in Waltham Forest, east London.



E&T: March gadgets

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The latest technology plus my hands-on review of the Kokoon Nightbuds headphones you can wear in comfort through the night for sleepy sounds.



BBC Radio London: Mini Food Banks

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Talking live about Mini Food Banks with Anna O'Neill on the Vanessa Feltz morning show. This link should work for 29 days if you'd like to listen! (from 1:42)



Sarah Vine's Femail podcast: NFTs and the Metaverse

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Great craic with Sarah and Imogen as I attempt to explain the basics of virtual art, blockchain and whether to buy virtual designer clothes. Listen at 19:47 for more than 12 minutes of bants. Oh god, am I personally responsible for making her half hour nearly 40 minutes this week?!

Pictured: 'The First 5000 Days' by Beeple, which sold as an NFT at Christie's for $69,346,250.

Pictured: 'The First 5000 Days' by Beeple
Beeple / Christie's


TechRadar: Wunda WundaSmart review

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The one where I say that I suspect my parents are reptiles. 



Ideal Home: Connect an HP printer

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In which I detail how to connect an HP printer to WiFi.



E&T: February gadgets

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The best healthy hi-tech tech kit for the new year, plus my hands-on review of the Coros Vertix 2 outdoorsy watch that talks to all the satellites.



Wired recommends: Binoculars

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Binoculars for all occasions tested by me for Wired. And now they actually have bylines so I have a Wired author page. Yay! I love an author page, makes it much easier to find my stuff.



E&T: January gadgets

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An online special tech roundup this month, complete with videos of the products. Also check out my hands-on review of the Aqua Optima Aurora, a gadget so powerful it can persuade teenagers to make their own drinks.



E&T: December gadgets

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The latest and greatest tech, plus my in-depth review of the Razer Kraken BT Kitty Edition kawaii headset.



Ideal Home: Passwords

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Expert advice on whether, and how best, to change your WiFi passwords.



*book launch klaxon*

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My new book The Gadget Show Big Book of Cool Stuff goes on sale TODAY. It's real. It's on Amazon and everything! 

Featuring Craig Charles, Georgie Barrat, Ortis Deley, Jon Bentley, Jordan Erica Webber, Chris Haslam, Paul Henderson, Rob Waugh and lots of me. 

https://www.blackdogonline.com/product/the-gadget-show-big-book-of-cool-stuff/ 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gadget-Show-Book-Cool-Stuff/dp/191216535X/



E&T: November gadgets

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The latest and greatest tech, plus my in-depth review of Wunda WundaSmart heating controls.



Ideal Home: Boiling water taps

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Six of the best for making cuppas, Pot Noodles, formula and more in a trice. But which should you replace your kettle with? Read my boiling water taps roundup or you can find it and more on my Ideal Home author page.



Just one week to go...

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Just one week till my book The Gadget Show Book of Cool Stuff comes out. Excited and v proud to see an early copy... yes I was already wearing the T-shirt! 

Featuring Craig Charles, Georgie Barrat, Ortis Deley, Jon Bentley, Jordan Erica Webber, Chris Haslam, Paul Henderson, Rob Waugh and lots of me. 

Pre order at Black Dog Press or Amazon



The Gadget Show Big Book of Cool Stuff

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Ooh! My book is out 14 Oct. Order on Amazon now. Contributor details on my Twitter. It has an Amazon page and everything. Must be real!



E&T: October gadgets

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 The best tech of the month plus my in-depth review of the Nexar Beam dashcam.



E&T: September gadgets

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My round-up of tech for the month plus a hands-on review of the Trust Taxon webcam.



E&T: August gadgets

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Every month, the gadgets pages now go online, hurray! So you can enjoy my August column and also my in-depth review of the Gigabyte Aero laptop. 



Another award!

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Admittedly it's not an Olympic medal, but fab to see that our E&T Magazine gadgets team won another Tabbie Award



Ideal Home: Steam cleaners

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In-depth tests of the latest models from Bissell, Black & Decker, Hoover, Kärcher, Polti and Vax. Alternatively, they're all linked to from my Ideal Home author page.



Zoopla: Garden tech

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Everything you need for 2021, the year of socialising in the garden. Also on my Zoopla author page.



Daily Mail podcast: John McAfee's legacy

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Me talking to Jim White, standing in for Andrew Pierce, on the Daily Mail podcast (from 29:57) about the legacy of tech pioneer John McAfee.

By the way, this Wired piece, about how Vice magazine once gave away his secret location in Guatamala, is a great read.

E&T: July gadgets

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See also my in-depth review of the Majority Audio soundbars. The rest of the gadgets are now online too, hurray!



Sarah Vine's Femail podcast: QR codes in restaurants

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I'm so-so on ordering with a QR code but I do like to book my (outdoor) table via app and it is *always* a birthday! Listen to the Femail podcast from 19:44... did I change Vine's mind?




E&T: June gadgets

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See also my in-depth review of the Proscenic T21 Smart Air Fryer. Back in May I reviewed the Prima Projector too, but the other the stories were app only.



Evening Standard: Mini food banks

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They say "never become the story" at journalism school. But I never went to journalism school. So here's a piece about the amazing 3D-printed mini food banks popping up in Walthamstow, one of which is in my front garden!

It's also on my Evening Standard author page.



Zoopla: Spring cleaning

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All I want is someone to look at me like that pup looks at her...

Read my pick of the best spring cleaning tech for 2021. Also live on my Zoopla author page.



E&T: April gadgets

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See also my in-depth review of the Garmin Lily smartwatch.



Zoopla: Home office

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Read my pick of the best smart, stylish WFH kit. Also live on my Zoopla author page.



E&T: March gadgets

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See also my in-depth review of the latest Cuisinart Cordless kitchen gizmos.



Zoopla: 2021 Tech

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Read about the Queen, the silver screen and more. It's going to be the year of the garden cinema, I swear. Just do it and thank me later!



Evening Standard: WFH

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Tech for better coffee, easier smoothies and looking better on Zoom. From yesterday's Evening Standard p17.