Grant Sidaway Entertains and Informs April Monthly Meeting

At our April Meeting, SeniorNet NZ founder and long-time CEO, Grant Sidaway gave a presentation to a packed Seminar Room. As always, it was both entertaining and informative. A PDF of his slide show can be downloaded by clicking here but you really needed to be there because Grant’s many anecdotes had us all in fits of laughter. They say that important information delivered with a bit of humour is never forgotten and that will certainly be the case here.

You should go steadily through the list on the PDF but, some of the many things that I especially noted included:

  • WhatsApp – that allows free communication between any two people on the planet who both have it open.
  • Various smart phone parking apps being increasingly adopted across NZ. Rather than walk to the machine – if there is one – you simply enter the number on the kerb and proceed from there.
  • Peel Remote – that can supplant and integrate all your remote control devices
  • Flight Radar 24 – that can track the flights of every commercial aircraft in the world as they take place!
  • Virtual Reality goggles – which are cheaper and easier to use than I thought and which provide an amazing experience with an ever increasing range of content.
  • Intelligent Assistants – like Google’s Assistant, Apple’s Siri, Android’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana. These are steadily becoming less like geeky gimmicks and more like useful, hands free apps.
  • Voice Print ID – where banks can match your voice with its pre-recorded voice print of you to provide easy verification.

BUT – with the latter, Grant warned of a new scam whereby the scammers will phone your number and simply record you saying your usual greeting (with maybe your own name as a bonus). They will then hang up (without having said a word themselves) and later use your voiceprint as a way of hacking into your bank account. So, Grant advised that, when an unknown number rings your phone, just pick it up, stay silent and wait for the caller to identify themselves. I have already tried this just this morning when an unknown number called. It turned out to be the local dentist’s nurse advising that it was time for another check-up. I really must add that number to my “Favourites” list even if receiving any form of dentistry is not among my favourite activities!

By contrast, listening to Grant certainly is one of my favourite activities and the turnout showed that many other members concur. Thanks, Grant!

Wayne Power


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