Use your Android phone as a sensor system

MaxMon is a free Android app that lets you use an Android phone as a monitoring system. Rather than just using your personal phone to connect to the internet and find out what your sensor is reporting, the MaxMon app turns your phone into a data collecting device.
The MaxMon app monitors mains power and vibration using sensors built into the phone (with a shake-to-alert feature useful for people in distress) and if you have Wi-Fi at your remote location you don’t even need a SIM in the phone, or a mobile phone contract.

Great uses for MaxMon include monitoring elderly relatives living alone, boats in marinas, unoccupied properties and so on. MaxMon are very keen to stress the social benefits of their app and the lost cost nature of their business. Not only is the app free to download and able to run on cheap hardware, but the entire business was started with just £10k. Founder Martin Lambert is over the moon with this, saying he “burned through $50M+ of investment” in his previous venture.

If you need extra sensing capability such as temperature, humidity or motion monitoring you can purchase an external gadget (the cutely named Quatropus – picture above) from MaxMon that connects to your phone and enhances its inbuilt sensors.
More details at
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Do you suffer from Nomophobia?!

Nomophobia or the fear of being out of mobile phone contact, is sharply increasing in the UK. A recent survey of 1,000 people in employment, conducted using OnePoll, discovered two thirds of respondents fear losing or being without their mobile phone. The study, sponsored by SecurEnvoy – the global leader of tokenless two-factor authentication, reveals that 41% of people interviewed, in an effort to stay connected, have two phones or more. When asked if they’d be upset if a partner looked at the messages and texts on their phone almost half said that they would.

Digging a little deeper, more women worry about losing their phones than men – 70% of the women surveyed compared to 61% of the men, yet it is men that are more likely to have two phones – scoring 47% and 36% respectively, perhaps in an effort to stay connected.

When split by age it is the younger age group (18 – 24) that are more nomophobic at 77%, with the 25 – 34 age group second at 68%. Perhaps a little more surprisingly is that third most nomophobic are the 55 and overs!

Another interesting revelation is that, with 49% of people getting upset if their messages and texts were viewed by a partner, they’re still lax at securing these devices. Forty-six percent do not use any protection at all; 41% use a four pin access code; and just 10% encrypt their device. A security conscious 3% use two factor authentication. Andy suggests, “With 58% of the respondents using at least one device for business use, this lack of security is a worrying trend that needs addressing.”

How would you feel about being out of contact from your mobile?

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World’s smallest mobile phone ever!

Neat, compact and very sparkly the sWap Nova Crystal is officially the world’s smallest mobile phone (the Guiness Book of Records says so). It’s around 7cm by 4cm so is pretty tiny and weighs a weeny 43 grammes. It packs a full touch screen and a USB port making it easy to connect to your PC. As it comes with no contract you’re free to use with almost any SIM card with the exception of Three Mobile.  Listen to your tunes on the MP3 player or the radio and browse photos too. sWap headphones and neck lanyard are also included to make your outfit complete.

Price £259.99 Available from


Keychain loop and neck lanyard in white leather

FM radio and built-in Music Player

Includes sWaP earphones

Includes mini stylus to help with texting

Selection of 25 ringtones

User guide

Comes in a white leather presentation box


TFT 1.76″ Colour Touch Screen Display – 176 x 132 pixels

GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz

Supports: Midi, WAV, AAC and MP3

Supports: 3GP and MPEG-4

Internal Storage: 256mb + 64mb (Used by OS)

External Memory: 2GB MicroSD Card (Expandable upto 8GB)

Built-in slide out USB Port including additional USB Cable for data transfer and charging

Bluetooth CSR V2.0 A2DP

WAP internet connection

Incorporated loudspeaker and microphone for hands free operation

Battery: 230mAh

Talk Time: 120-150 minutes

Standby Time: 82 hours

Alarm Clock: 5 Optional Ring Tones


Dimensions: 6.8m x 3.8 x 1.6cm (LxWxD)

Weight: 43g (Phone) 261g (Box)

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Mixing art with protective know how

Proporta and world renowned artist Ben Allen have just announced a new collaboration on two stunning hard shell protective cases for the Apple iPhone 4.

The range has been designed to add minimal bulk, but maximum style to your iPhone 4. Super tough and robust, the hard shell case comes in two stylish designs – Skull and Zebra. The British punk movement inspires the ‘Skull’ design whilst the ‘Zebra’ is Allen’s vision of the streets and the wild becoming one. Both are visually arresting, and are printed in high resolution on to super tough Proporta shells protecting against knocks and impact damage, whilst remaining soft and silky to the touch.

Ben Allen’s paintings have been exhibited in venues and galleries internationally as well as being purchased by celebrities including Richard Branson, Stephen Dorff, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, DJ Dan Williams and Jade Jagger.

Available from priced at £24.95

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Back and bolder than ever!


Yehhhh I finally got my new Blackberry Bold 9700 up and running and yep you guessed it, I LOVE it!! The last one was well just too big for me (mmm don’t say that very often!) and this new one is slimmer and sleeker and features a touch-sensitive trackpad that makes navigating easy peasy, we like! There’s also HSDPA and WiFi connectivity, so you can access all your fave sites, and with the push email service you can get up to 10 accounts.

Packed with features, the BlackBerry Bold 9700 has plenty to keep you entertained, with a 3.2 mega pixel camera, on-board GPS, media player and 3.5 mm stereo headset jack, plus 32GB of memory storage via an interchangeable microSD card to store your music, videos and photos. It also syncs with your iTunes® and Windows Media Player accounts*, so you’ll never be without your choonz.

And for those who mean business, it couldn’t be easier to work on the go. Word, Excel and PowerPoint attachments can be viewed, edited and sent using BlackBerry Bold smartphone’s user-friendly QWERTY keyboard. A built-in calendar, memo pad and task list helps to keep everything organised.

Fab Features

  • Sleek design measuring 109 mm x 60 mm x 14.1 mm and weighing only 122 grams
  • Full QWERTY keyboard
  • Innovative touch-sensitive trackpad
  • Built-in WiFi (802.11 b/g)
  • 3.2 MP camera with variable zoom, autofocus, flash and video recording
  • Built-in GPS for maps and other location-based applications, as well as photo geotagging
  • Media player for videos, pictures and music
  • 3.5 mm stereo headset jack, dedicated volume controls, Lock and Mute keys seamlessly integrated across the top of the handset
  • microSD/SDHD memory card slot that supports up to 16 GB cards today and is expected to support 32 GB cards when available; a 2GB card is included
  • 256 MB of Flash memory
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