Home Blog

What We’ve Learned From The First Round of Formula E 2018

formula e race one

We’re in the winter months where most Formula 1 drivers are either taking a break or diving into early testing. One F1 driver has made the move to Formula E straight away. Stoffel Vandoorne had a disappointing race so I learned he’s consistent, but what else has the first race of the 2018/2019 season taught us? Is it worth watching?

Formula E is Fun and Creative

If you got excited about the possibility of Wipeout featuring on the PlayStation Classic just to have your hopes dashed, maybe give Formula E a chance. After watching one race, I already feel like Formula 1 just takes itself way too seriously.

Formula E appears to be letting people in very similar cars race toe-to-toe with a healthy sprinkling of tactics and strategy in the mix too.

There are a few elements of the race that support this point, but none more so than the halo.

In Formula 1, many debated how useful or necessary the halo protective enclosure is over the cockpit. Pundits, drivers and fans argued over it being ugly and even potentially making cars more dangerous. Formula E has taken a very different approach, embracing the halo as a futuristic, on-car status indicator.

When a driver activates Attack Mode or Fan Boost, their halo lights up blue or magenta respectively so fans know they’re using extra power. I love this idea! Here’s what Attack Mode looks like on the halo:

formula e halo light indicators
Sebastian Buemi’s Nissan e.dams in full Attack Mode

Boosts Make a Difference

Boosts have been ever-present in Formula E though, in the races I’ve watched, Fan Boost has never really made a huge impact. I’ve got a feeling that they may be more of a marketing ploy than an attempt to influence the race.

Attack Mode, on the other hand, makes for some massive tactical manoeuvres and race changing decisions. In the 2018/2019 curtain raiser, GEOX Dragon’s Jóse María Lopez made a dive for the Attack Mode activation zone. The zone is off the racing line and will costs you a second or two to collect your reward of a power boost. The problem for Lopez was he lost the time trying to activate the boost but then missed the zone. Double whammy! No boost and lost time trying.

There was also some clever tactical use of Attack Mode after a safety car. It’s a very interesting addition to the race format.

Formula E is Rough Around the Edges

It’s clear as day that this is a sport in its infancy. I’m not talking about drivers getting used to rules and the likes, but the actual broadcast itself it pretty rough around the edges. Yellow flag graphics on screen when there was no yellow flag on track, commentators speaking over team radios and team radios just being terrible are just a few of the production bits that seemed to be a little flakey on day one of the Formula E season. 

I’m hoping it’s just day one jitters because Sky’s Formula 1 coverage is so brilliant that this is the bar Formula E will be measured against. The introduction of the Attack Mode activation zone proved quite the problem as it was around halfway through the race before I got to see a car go through the zone at all!

There also seemed to be quite a few miscommunications between race organisers and the stream providers and even the teams. Penalties were being dished out but unfortunately, viewers had no idea what the reason was. Thankfully, these are all easy fixes.

It’s For The Fans

Formula E is brilliant for new fans. I mean that in terms of it being very accessible. I was able to watch everything on either Facebook or YouTube. While some TV stations are also showing the races, having it all available on open platforms just makes life much easier.

With that said, I’ve not convinced that the fans are totally in love with Formula E just yet. It’s early days and tickets are cheap, so races do look like they’re being attended by people who just happened to have some free time at the time of the race. I’m also pretty convinced that there’s some dodgy use of stock cheering sounds to make the crowd sound more into things.

via ytCropper

Regardless, I’m 99% sure it’s just a matter of time until Formula E hits the mainstream. Just don’t expect poor old Stoffel Vandoorne to be a blistering success any time soon.

Formula E Season 5: Everything You Need to Know

formula e ireland

I used to be a massive Formula 1 fan, back in the days when RTÉ showed the races. I found it hard to watch races until recently when I got Sky Sports, which includes a dedicated F1 channel. I’m loving having regular races to watch again, but now it’s the offseason so what’s a man to do? Well, if you give Formula E a shot, the winter months pass much faster.

Here’s everything you need to know about Formula E.

What is Formula E?

Formula E was founded in 2011 and is an electric motor only auto racing class. The idea for this new single-seater racing class was conceptualised by Jean Todt, former Ferrari team boss and current President of the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile). The first championship took place in 2014 and it launched to a mixed reception.

It’s an unusual motorsport to watch given the odd sound electric motors make. Naturally, I was immediately comparing Formula E vs Formula 1 and couldn’t help but noticed the much more audible tyre squeal given there are no loud hybrid engines I’m familiar with from F1. All the tracks are road tracks, shutting down 12 cities for 13 races across 5 continents.

I’ll dip into more Formula E facts in a second, but there are some really interesting things you should know about this modern day motorsport which make it clear it’s here to stay.

Today, it’s plain to see that environmental change is having a massive impact on the world. Many governments, including Ireland, have made commitments to ban fossil fuel-powered cars in the not-too-distant future. With that in mind, motorsport will also need to change. I’ll admit, Formula E doesn’t offer quite the same level of excitement as Formula 1 just yet, but it’ll get there. Well, it has to.

Formula E Top Speed: Are They Getting Faster?

The fifth series of Formula E sees the second generation car take to the grid; the Gen2 Car. With the new car comes some pretty massive upgrades.

These cars are absolutely getting faster, with power outputs jumping from 200kW to 250kW and top speeds increasing to about 280kmph. Now, are Formula E cars as fast as Formula 1 cars? No. The fastest recorded speed in an F1 car is Pablo Montoya’s 373kmph but they are getting faster and at 280kmph, Formula E cars can really move compared to most motors.

Formula E Race Format

Ultimately, race weekends aren’t hugely different from what you might be familiar with in F1, but there are some subtle differences.

Practice Sessions

At most race weekends, referred to as the E-Prix, things kick off with a Friday practice session where car power is restricted to 110kW. These sessions are referred to as a shakedown session.

Given the fact E-Prix takes place on public roads, Friday sessions aren’t always possible. 

On race weekend Saturdays, there are two full-power practice runs of 30 minutes and 45 minutes long.

Formula E Qualifying

To determine the race starting order, a qualifying session takes place. This is an hour-long session which divides drivers into groups determined by their position in the championship.

With a hot lap completed, drivers have six minutes to set the fastest time they can, with the fastest six competing in a Super Pole shoot-out. The fastest driver secures pole position and with it an additional three points.

E-Prix: The Formula E Race

After the morning’s qualifying, later in the day is the race. Cars make a standing start, waiting for a green light to kick things off. The E-Prix lasts 45 minutes, with the race concluding as the leader crosses the line once 45 minutes has elapsed. 

In previous seasons, during the race drivers would swap cars halfway through to ensure there was enough battery power to complete the race. This meant drivers pitted, jumped out of their car and jumped into another. To be honest, this looked a bit mad but was really exciting, but with the introduction of Gen2 Cars, car swapping is no longer required.

As you can see, Formula E really stands out from Formula 1 on race day where some exciting innovations have been introduced. Here are the big ones.

Formula E Fan Boost

Fan Boost allows people watching the race, including people watching on TV, to have a direct impact on proceedings. Viewers vote for the drivers they want to be awarded a boost in power for a single five-second window throughout the race.

Voting opens six days prior to the race and you can vote right up to fifteen minutes before the race starts. Voting takes place on the Formula E website but also drives social engagement through hashtags.

Attack Mode: New in 2018/2019

Attack Mode encourages drivers to take extra risks on the track. Attack Mode is extremely Mario Kart-esque as drivers must leave the racing line, taking a slower line through an activation zone. The reward is similar to Fan Boost in that they get 25kW of additional power to use.

It’s hoped that the sporting element of Attack Mode will offset the loss of mid-race car swaps.

Does Tesla Compete in Formula E?

Alas, Elon Musk doesn’t seem to believe Formula E is a good fit for Tesla. Here’s the full list of competing teams for the 2018/2019 season and no, there’s no Tesla but some of their biggest road car competitors do feature:

  • Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler
  • BMW i Andretti Motorsport
  • DS Techeetah Formula E Team
  • Envision Virgin Racing
  • Geox Dragon Racing
  • HWA Racelab
  • Mahindra Racing
  • NIO Formula E Team
  • Nissan e.dams
  • Panasonic Jaguar Racing
  • Venturi Formula E Team

Personally, I’m more surprised Red Bull don’t have a team present than Tesla as this would seem to be a perfect fit. The big names from F1 are expected to eventually file into Formula E with Mercedes announcing they would enter the sport for the 2019/2020 season.

Formula E Drivers

I’m not sure you could call any of the Formula E drivers household names or not, but for Formula 1 fans a few well-known names appear.

Felippe Massa took a year out of motorsport following his retirement from F1 before taking a seat with the Venturi Formula E Team.

Stoffel Vandoorne allowed himself a very short break from a disappointing F1 season with McLaren Honda to take a seat with HWA Racelab for their debut season.

Sébastien Buemi failed to set the world alight while driving with Torro Rosso in F1 but since making the move to Formula E he has been a dominant force and is the current holder of the record number of race wins.

Check out the full list of Formula E drivers.

Formula E Car Specs

Much of the Formula E car specs are the same across the board. In the first season, every team had identical cars, but since season two, powertrain manufacturers could build their own electric motor, inverter, gearbox and cooling system. 

Formula E in Dublin

Unfortunately, there are no signs of an Irish driver breaking through to the Formula E series. Adam Carroll came close in the 2015/2016 season though but never quite made the grid. Also, even though we seem to have a growing love for electric transport with the likes of electric scooters becoming popular, attempts to get a Dublin-based Formula E race seem to have fallen on deaf ears for now. Hardly surprising considering the UK doesn’t even have a race yet.

2018/2019 Formula E Calendar

Round E-Prix Country Circuit Date
1 Ad Diriyah E-Prix  Saudi Arabia Riyadh Street Circuit 15 December 2018
2 Marrakesh E-Prix  Morocco Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan 12 January 2019
3 Santiago E-Prix  Chile Parque O’Higgins Circuit 26 January 2019
4 Mexico City E-Prix  Mexico Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez 16 February 2019
5

Hong Kong E-Prix

 Hong Kong Hong Kong Central Harbourfront Circuit 10 March 2019
6 Sanya E-Prix  China Sanya Street Circuit 23 March 2019
7 Rome E-Prix  Italy Circuito Cittadino dell’EUR 13 April 2019
8 Paris E-Prix  France Circuit des Invalides 27 April 2019
9 Monaco E-Prix  Monaco Circuit de Monaco 11 May 2019
10 Berlin E-Prix  Germany Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit 25 May 2019
11 Bern E-Prix   Switzerland TBA 22 June 2019
12 New York City E-Prix Race 1  United States Brooklyn Street Circuit 13 July 2019
13 New York City E-Prix Race 2 14 July 2019

Where to Watch Formula E in Ireland

BBC, BT Sports and Eurosport will be showing Formula E for subscribers in Ireland, but you don’t even need that much! Eager to grow interested in the sport, tickets on the door are pretty cheap and there are few barriers to watching from home too. 

Catch all stages of Formula E races, from practice right through to race day on Facebook and YouTube.

The Formula E website has a handy page which helps you find the best way to find a way to watch in your locality.

Is It Worth Watching or Is Formula E Boring?

Season one lacked a lot of magic, but every season since, Formula E has been growing in popularity. To be honest, the future of high-performance motorsport is Formula E, so watching it is unavoidable in the long term. Every season that passes, the races get faster and more exciting so Formula E is far from boring too.

If you have any doubts about just how exciting electric-powered racing can be, check out this video of former F1 World Champion Nico Rosberg trying out the new Gen2 Car…

Goosed Stats: 34% of People in Ireland Shop on Amazon.co.uk

amazon shopping in ireland

We’re fresh off the back of Black Friday and we’re slap bang in the middle of the Christmas shopping rush. That got me thinking. After publishing our 2018 Christmas Gift Guide and checking pricing all over the place with PriceSpy.ie, I couldn’t help but notice how many times Amazon.co.uk came up as the cheapest place to buy stuff from. But do Irish shoppers actually trust the whole “buying in from the UK” thing?

34% of People in Ireland Shop on Amazon.co.uk

I did what any sane person would do and turned to the people of Ireland and asked them have they shopped on Amazon.co.uk in the past 12 months. 34% of respondents said they’ve made a purchase from the mega-online retailer in the last year. That’s a fairly significant figure when you consider the relative friction involved in online shopping across the channel. Delivery is often more expensive or requires the use of a virtual UK address.

34% of respondents said they’ve made a purchase on amazon in the past 12 months

Brexit may also play a fairly sizeable factor here, as the value of Pound Sterling has favored those shopping with Euro. If you’ve read my Christmas Shopping Guide, you’ll know I’m a big fan of combining Amazon.co.uk and Revolut to ensure you get a great price while shopping in local currency to save even more.

Beyond the 34% of people in Ireland shopping on Amazon, there are also some other interesting figures worth noting.

Who Shops on Amazon.co.uk?

From the respondents to my survey, 37% of those who said they did shop with Amazon.co.uk in the past twelve months were men. This figure drops to 27% for women. 

Even more interesting is the fact that 51% of those who said they shopped on Amazon in the past twelve months were aged 35 to 44. This figure drops dramatically to just 28% for 18 to 34-year-olds.

For me, that’s an absolute shocker. My age bracket is amongst the least likely to shop with the mega-retailer. What could this mean?

What’s Driving the Numbers?

Younger generations are still suffering from a lack of disposable income. As is the case, they simply can’t afford to splurge on all the lovely things Amazon.co.uk has to offer, even when they are available at a much better price. Of course, I can only make assumptions here, but I don’t believe that older generations are simply more financially astute and shopping around more. Or am I wrong?

Join the conversation using #GoosedStats and let me know what you think about these findings.

 

About these stats: We used Google Surveys to ask 151 people, living in Ireland, at random if they had made a purchase on Amazon.co.uk in the past twelve months.

Spotify Wrapped 2018: Relive Your Year in Music

2018 is almost over and to be fair it feels like the year has flown by. One walk through any busy city centre will show the same thing, people walking the streets with their headphones on, listening to their favourite tunes or podcasts. For many music plays a big part in their day to day life and it can even define a moment in time. Remember that hold “Football’s Coming Home” lark this summer? So as 2018 draws to a close and we begin reflecting on the year gone by, Spotify Wrapped has returned to help you look back and listen to your 2018 all over again.

Released several times in the past, Spotify’s recap not only includes users’ most listened to songs and artists, but will tell users how much time they spent listening on the streaming service. Spotify wrapped will even determine users’ top genre of music and the first song they listened to in 2018.

What’s shown in Spotify Wrapped?

Before we go any further with this let me put out this disclaimer, all the below has been taken from my personal Spotify account, so less of the laughing at my musical taste or time spent on the app. Deal? Ok nice one let’s do it

Firsts:

So naturally first up is the song and album you discovered first during the year, whether that was a minute after midnight Djing the houseparty, or listening to something to soothe the new year hangover the following morning (clearly mine was the latter)

Minutes spent on Spotify

Have you ever wondered just how much of your year you have spent listening to tunes? Well prepared to be well and truly shocked! Think about it every time you are on public transport, in a gym, going for a walk or simply want to be left alone in work the headphones come out and Spotify goes on. Spotify Wrapped let’s you guess your minutes before giving you the results, reckon you know how many minutes you burnt on Spotity this year? I didn’t but at least now I feel I’m getting value for money out of the app.

Top Artist

Well you can’t figure out how long you have spent in the world of Spotify without wanting to know who you spent all that time listening too? Well for me it was Mr. Post Malone….what can I say he’s my writing tunage.. whose yours? is there an artist that you know comes out on top for you when you working? We know Martin has his “get shit done playlist“,hit us up on Twitter and let us know yours! Oh and less we forget, Spotify Wrapped will give you the opportunity to thank your favourite artist through a tweet to show your appreciation for all the hours of entertainment. It’s a nice touch to be fair but Post Malone will probably tell me to go outside and get a social life.

The Charts

Pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. The chart will give you the information on your top 5 most listened to artists, songs and genres for 2018. It is for choices like the below that Spotify Wrapped will generate a “Tastebreaker” playlist to help you expand your musical horizons.

Top 100

It would be wrong of Spotify to do their Wrapped 2018 and not give you a playlist of your 2018 choices, with that in mind the next slide on your Spotify Wrapped 2018 run through is a link to a playlist which will now be on your app of you Top 100 songs for the year. Download it, come back in a couple of years and let’s see how our music taste changes over time.

Top Sub-genre

Again exactly what it says on the tin, plus it will tell you how many other people also have the same love for the genre as you do. To those couple million people, are you also using happy bouncy music for treadmill time or shall we have the worlds largest nightclub experience?

Oldest Song

Thankfully we are nearing the end of this particular music journey and you can hop off and check out your own. No Spotify Wrapped would be complete without finding out who between you and your mates has the oldest song in their playlist. No word of a lie this became a little pub game between mates as we checked our history. Shockingly there is one person whose oldest song dates back to 2016! It’s a cool little addition and while not the biggest deal in the world it’s nice to know that music from back in the day can still be loved and enjoyed today.

Star Signs

If you are a fan of star signs and all that kind of stuff you might be interested to know that Spotify Wrapped will let you know what star sign you listen to most. Not sure what that means but I’m Aries, does that make me an Ariana Grande compatible?

All Talk

During 2018, Spotify started to see the benefit of podcasts more than they ever have before. So much so that they are now opening up the platform to more artists than ever, rather than just your Joe Rogans and the likes. Hopefully this means you will get the opportunity to The Goosed Podcast (yup kinda doing an overhaul from the TechYurt show but that’s a story for another day). Anyway right now you can still get great Irish Podcasts like Those Conspiracy Guys to keep you occupied until we get ourselves onto Spotify.

Tastebreakers

Now that you know your top choices for 2018 you might think 2019 is the year to expand your horizons. Well as we mentioned earlier Spotify Wrapped will generate a playlist of songs that fit into genres you wouldn’t normally explore to create a list custom just for you. It’s a nice little touch and shows that Spotify for all the crap they get want their users to try a variety of artists, thus giving them one more follower then they had yesterday.

Sharing options

Finally Spotify Wrapped will give you the chance to share your top music choices on a range of different social media platforms. I know this is 100% a free marketing tool in their eyes as your friends will see your info and want to find out theirs and so on and so forth, but besides that it’s actually quite cool, plus you can give your top artist a shout out to thank them for their hard work throughout 2018.

How to check out your Spotify Wrapped 2018

Spotify Wrapped has traditionally been very popular amongst its users and many people would have received emails over the last number of weeks with their charts like above. If you weren’t on their emailing list you can still check out your stats and facts for 2018 fairly easily. Here’s how:

  1. Visit Spotifywrapped.com from your phone or computer. Not available on the app just a heads up.
  2. Login to your Spotify Account in your browser.
  3. Spotify will start to show you info on the music you played in 2018, starting with the first song you played.
  4. Scroll through the screens to see all of your stats, it’s 11 slides in total.
  5. That’s actually it, unless you want to share the info with us, Spotify or your favourite artists.

I wonder if next year they will add a guilty pleasure section. Either way enjoy your Top100 and Tastebreaker playlists.

Save Time and Money This Christmas With These 5 Online Shopping Tips

It’s beginning to look a lot like …

It’s the most wonderful…

Is there actually a non-cliché way to start this guide? Side note: did you know the word cliché is onomatopoeic? Well, that’s one way to start it!

Christmas 2018 has rocked its way into our lives already! Personally, it feels like it’s skipped a few months but regardless it’s here and you need to start that Christmas shopping. With that in mind, I want to share with you some tips I’ve picked up in recent years with these 10 online shopping tips that’ll save you time and money this Christmas.

  1. Use Revolut
  2. Shopping on Amazon.co.uk
  3. Virtual UK Address and Delivery Companies
  4. Check PriceSpy.ie

1. Use Revolut

I’m a massive fan of Revolut and Christmas shopping online is a perfect example of why I believe they are one of the best digital banking providers in Ireland. Shopping online comes with a certain level of unavoidable risk. You don’t bring your purchase home so it might get banged up. You most likely don’t get to talk to someone before you purchase so you could buy the wrong thing. Returns might be more difficult, depending on where you bought from. And, most importantly, you have to hand over your card details to an online store.

Revolut is not an official bank, but it’s also not far off it. I’ve noticed more and more people are using Revolut in Ireland, seeing people every day in queues ahead of be pulling out the distinctive card they offer. For all extensive purposes and day to day transacting, Revolut offers a debit card like all Irish banks. They go one step further, if not several, and offer a wide range of incredible digital services too.

So how can Revolut help you at Christmas?

Well, if you don’t like handing over your payment details to online shops, why not use Revolut? The benefits of this are twofold

1. Security

You can add your own primary bank card to Revolut and easily top it up with cash in an instant. Revolut will send you a physical card but also assign you virtual cards too. This means you can pay online with a throwaway card. If you get a mail in a few months time saying your card was used on a dodgy site, deleted it and get another, safe in the knowledge that your financial details with your primary bank remain untouched.

2. Shop in Local Currency

I’m going to go on about Amazon.co.uk in a minute, but first of all, we need to talk about Sterling. Lads, the arse has fallen out of Sterling in recent months:

value of sterlingNow is the time to shop on Amazon.co.uk. I really do want everyone to try and shop locally at some stage. It’s important. But still, no one has a bottomless wallet to go crazy on, so if you’re looking to save a few shillings, Amazon.co.uk is a great place to make the most out of Sterling and Brexit.

Revolut lets you shop in local currency too. By that, I mean you can pay on Amazon.co.uk in Sterling instead of using Amazon’s currency converter. Amazon’s currency exchange rate has never been great so by using Revolut, not only are you protecting your card details, you’re protecting your funds too!

Sign up to Revolut now and I can almost guarantee you won’t regret it. I’m just back from New York where I didn’t once worry about foreign exchange or carrying cash because I always had access to the best rates for Dollars with Revolut.

2. Shopping on Amazon.co.uk

Ok, this one is Marmite. Ironically, I used a Britishism to kick off this section. Like Revolut, it’s hard to ignore when a new product or service is being increasingly used by the general public. I don’t just mean early adopters either. Older generations are now adapting how they shop, shifting online and even towards UK retailers in search of a better deal. In fact, a whopping 83% of Irish people said they shop online with UK online retailers.

This isn’t a figure to celebrate. Unfortunately, the high street in Ireland and Irish online retailers have been left behind be foreign counterparts and this has led to a massive amount of Irish money leaving the country for goods. Money talks but Irish online retailers haven’t listened. That’s another story I’m afraid. The headline of the story I’m going to tell is shopping on Amazon.co.uk will save you money.

shopping on Amazon.co.uk will save you money

I’m currently reviewing the Nebula Capsule, an Android-powered projector the size of a 330ml coke can. If you want to pick that up on the high street in Ireland you could grab it in Brown Thomas for €580. You can save a small bit by going online with Littlewoods Ireland, picking up the same projector for €560. Or, you could shop on Amazon.co.uk, save €170 altogether and still watch movies on the wall of your gaff.

That’s a lot of popcorn people.

I can attest to Amazon’s after sales care being incredible too. I’ve been in situations where refunds are given without question as the company will always air on the side of caution and side with the customer.

Now, if you’re going to order from Amazon, you’re going to need to know about virtual UK addresses.

3. Virtual UK Address and Delivery Companies

People work. Because of that, getting deliveries shipped to your home address isn’t always an option. While some employers don’t mind you getting packages delivered to the office, others may ban it outright. They creates a massive barrier for shopping online. Fortunately, many courier companies have spotted this gap in the market and moved quick to fill it, stragely, each of them offers something slightly different too.

In Ireland we have:

  • Parcel Motel by Nightline
  • AddressPal by An Post
  • Parcel Wizard by DPD
  • Parcel Connect by Fastway Couriers

Parcel Motel by Nightline

Parcel Motel is probably one of the most popular delivery solutions for people, depending on proximity to a locker. Parcel Motel has built small lockers in select locations around the country where you can get packages delivered for a small fee. You can get packages shipped to Parcel Motel instead of your own address or workplace and then pick it up when it suits you – once that’s within 48 hours of it entering the locker!

It costs just €3.95 per night for your package to stay in one of these lockers and if you’re ordering from the UK, this can pay for itself.

For example, if you order from Amazon UK, they may not always ship to Ireland. Sometimes, they’ll ship and it’s the same price but other times you pay extra for Irish delivery. Parcel Motel, like many of the providers I’ve listed here, provide you with a virtual UK address. This means you can get a package shipped to Northern Ireland to avail of free UK delivery and then your package travels south of the border by Nightline’s vans. For all of this you still pay just the €3.95 per stay in the locker.

AddressPal by An Post

An Post offers a similar service, but instead of using lockers, you can get your items delivered to the local post office. AddressPal pricing varies depending on the weight of your package, starting at €5.99 to €12.99 from the UK and €15.99 to €53.99 from the United States.

Yep, AddressPal also offers a virtual US address opening up a whole new world of gadgets.

One massive advantage as emerged over the past twelve months with AddressPal too. Their virtual UK address is based on mainland UK while Parcel Motel and many other providers are based in the North. This means you can have trouble shipping battery powered tech gadgets, so keep an eye out to see if AddressPal is a better option for you.

Parcel Wizard by DPD

Parcel Wizard is probably the smartest solution from all on offer. Once you create an account, you add in a calendar which dictates where you are on certain days. For example, if you’re going to be home, at work or even on holidays you can reroute or delay the delivery of your packages. If you’re shopping on Amazon.co.uk, Parcel Wizard’s virtual UK address also means that you can route packages from the UK direct to your home or office.

Typically, a Parcel Wizard delivery costs  €3.85.

Parcel Connect by Fastway Couriers

Another slightly different take on the same service comes from Fastway Couriers. Offering the same services again, but this time your package gets routed towards a local store which partners with Parcel Connect. I’ve used these guys a few times because they’re in the shop under my gaff!

You can also route packages from the UK with Parcel Connect and their deliveries generally cost €4.50

Which Delivery Service Should You Use?

Every one of these services offers something different. Over the course of a year, I’d possibly use each one in different circumstances. Always do the math and check how much insurance you have too. If you’re ordering something expensive, Parcel Motel will let you expand your cover to more valuable items.

Finally, order well in advance and the closer we get to Christmas move away from Parcel Motel. They offer a popular service and as such many locker stations get completely full which can lead to delivery delays.

4. Check PriceSpy.ie

As you may have spotted above there, shopping around can save you a fortune. But checking every single store isn’t always possible, leaving you with the biggest worry of them all. Could I have gotten this cheaper somewhere? PriceSpy.ie takes a lot of the guesswork out of shopping for the best deal.

Their system does depend on stores maintaining their online pricing. So, the example I gave earlier of the Nebula Projector actually wasn’t showing at all in Brown Thomas, but still, there’s no harm in taking two minutes to see if Argos is offering a better deal than Currys. It doesn’t cost you a penny, but could save you a small fortune.

5. Check the Goosed.ie Christmas Gift Guide

It wouldn’t be right of me to plug our own gift guide too. Every year we trawl the internet for the very best in Christmas gift ideas and bring them together in our annual Goosed.ie Christmas gift guide. We’ve got something for everyone in there and always aim to tick at least one name off your Christmas shopping list.

If you’re not sure, all the gadgets are sorted into categories but if you’re still stumped, you can chat with Gé – the Christmas Gift Guide mascot and chatbot. They’ll ask you a few questions and find the perfect gift for whoever it is you’re shopping for.

Enjoy Your Christmas Shopping Online

Beyond these tips, practice common sense where you can too. Shop from reputable websites and if a deal looks too good to be true, look two or three times at it before making the call. Shopping online can, and likely will, save you a fortune when it’s done right. I hope this guide helps you out and as always, if you have any questions, jump onto our Twitter account and fire them at us.

 

Best eReaders for Christmas and Where to Get Cheap & Free Books.

I’ve always been a book reader and there is nothing quite like the tactile feel of real pages turning or the smell of an old book evoking hidden adventures inside waiting to be (re)explored. I’m also a big eBook fan, a loyal owner of various eReaders for the past 8 years or so and wouldn’t dream of traveling without one. For me there will always be a place for a device that can store thousands of books, easy to carry and you don’t have to worry about charging every day.

Anyway, we are not here to compare physical books and eBooks. That discussion has been well debated and folks will always have a preference for either and often appreciate both like me. If you are thinking about gifting an eReader or perhaps taking the plunge yourself or maybe just want to upgrade your old device, well unfortunately these days, especially for us Irish based folk, there are really only two manufacturers left still producing eReaders, namely Amazon Kindle and Kobo. That’s of course assuming you only want a dedicated eReader, you could instead choose a tablet computer and use an app for your reading pleasure. The advantages of a tablet are that you can do much more than just reading on them. However, try taking them outdoors in bright sunlight (don’t even bother) and you definitely will not get 8 weeks battery time with a tablet.

Amazon Kindle eReader

Image result for amazon kindle e reader

One of the very first eReaders to the market. The name Kindle is now practically synonymous with eReaders in day to day parlance. Its humble beginnings with a physical keyboard and grayscale E ink display, to today’s LED backlit and high resolution E Ink displays (called “paperwhite” to mimic the look of real paper).  The latest Kindle is also waterproof, so no more worrying about dropping it into the bath or pool. The model that probably offers the sweet spot in terms of value for money and features is the Kindle Paperwhite (4th generation is the latest model). If you’re not concerned about having a waterproof device then earlier generations can be had for a lot less bucks. Prices start at €69.99 up to €239.

Kobo eReader

Image result for kobo e reader

The biggest advantage the Kobo has over the Kindle is that there are no restrictions on which books you can load onto the device. Kobo supports Adobe Digital Edition which means you can download books that support that standard, as many websites and public libraries do. A disadvantage is that it’s online portal doesn’t match the Kindle store for range or in some cases book prices.

Model wise there is plenty of choice from the cheap and cheerful to the more expensive models. The best choice is probably the Kobo Clara HD which features Wifi, 6” HD display, ambient lighting and 8GB on board storage(6000 books). Prices start at €139 up to €309.

iPad/Android Tablet/Amazon Fire.

Image result for tablets

If you need a device for other activities besides reading such as web surfing, email, Netflix and music, then a tablet is best for you. The downside is that generally tablets need to be charged quite regularly(i.e. daily), are much heavier than an eReader and are hopeless outside in sunny conditions. Apple iPad, Amazon Fire HD and various Android supporting tablets like Samsung are the main choice. Price wise, they vary considerably and in more expensive models, offer features akin to very powerful computers. Recommended are the Android Fire HD(€99) or Samsung Tab A(starting €99), Lenovo Tab E7(€89) or the basic iPad(€369). Basically you can use your tablet as an eReader if you are a more casual user as you have the other features a tablet offers, however if you are a bit of a bookworm then a dedicated eReader is probably the better option.

Where do I get Cheap/Free Digital Books ?

Amazon and Kobo online Book Portals.

The two biggest online eBook portals are Amazon’s and Kobo’s stores.

Amazon has the biggest range and generally can offer better prices than Kobo’s, particularly on newer books. Amazon offer special daily deals and a selection of €1 to €5 books. They also have a subscription service called Unlimited where you can buy one book a month for approx. €10 monthly.

Kobo Book Portal offers a fairly decent selection of free books and a good range of cheaper books from 99c to €5. They don’t offer a subscription service just yet but you do get €5 credit when you first sign up, careful you don’t spend it all at once…

Libraries in Ireland via BorrowBox.

If you own a Kobo or Tablet, you can borrow eBooks from your local library just like a physical book. All you need is a library card Number/Pin and then register with BorrowBox. Books can be download via their dedicated App or a computer connected to your device. Simple as borrowing a book really.

Project Guttenberg.

If it’s only free books your after then head to Project Guttenberg. It’s range may be smaller than the bigger rivals but all books are completely free. Books can be read on a Kindle, Kobo or Tablets. Just create an account on the site and you can transfer your chosen books to the device via a computer.

Google Play Books.

Forget about this site if you own a Kindle, they don’t work but if you’re a Kobo or Tablet owner then this is a another option. You do need a Google account (of course you would) but it’s a fairly painless experience getting setup and downloading books to your eReader of choice. There is a large choice of books with most of the latest releases and price generally on par with the other portals.

Apple Books.

If you’re an iPad or iPhone user then this is another eBook option. The store is huge with prices on par with competitors and they list special offers and free books. Apple have improved the app and curation recently but it’s still not a patch on Amazon’s or Kobo’s eBook stores.

YouTube Rewind 2018 Lands With Fortnite, Will Smith and MKBHD

I genuinely love YouTube Rewind every year. But I’ve got to admit, with every year that passes I know less about the trends. Like, I vaguely get the flossing thing from Fortnite, but the Baby Shark song, as adorable as it is, I had no idea that happened. Anyway, sit back, relax and enjoy YouTube Rewind 2018:

Ad Blocking: How To Get Rid Of Ads on RTÉ Player

As you may have already read, RTÉ is finally giving the RTÉ Player a long overdue overhaul. The rollout hasn’t been very smooth with the Beta currently only available on Desktop. There is some good news for desktop users though. While RTÉ said they’ve listened to feedback to improve the ad experience:

The internet has gone one further and removed ads altogether. Massive hat tip to Dean, Goosed.ie resident Redditor who spotted this over there.

How To Remove Ads from RTÉ Player

Yup, you can just block the ads altogether. How long this will last for remains a but of an unknown, but enjoy it while you can. With this little trick, you’ll get to smirk as RTÉ Player videos do this weird little dance at the start, skipping through the ads and starting straight into that show you actually wanted to watch.

What You’ll Need

  1. Chrome (it may work with Firefox too)
  2. uBlock Origin (I tested others and couldn’t get this to work
  3. A snippet of code (copy and paste job)
  4. RTÉ Player Beta

Right, let’s get to it.

Blocking Ads on RTÉ Player Beta

Open up Chrome. That was an easy start, right?

Next up, you’ll need to install the uBlock Origin Chrome extension. Once that’s installed, open up the extension from the top of your browser. If you’re wondering what that looks like, it’ll be similar to the one in this here picture, in the orange box:

In the window that opens, you need to go to the tab called “My Filters”:

Finally, you’ll need the blocking code. Don’t worry, this is a simple copy and paste job:

Then switch tabs, popping into Filter Lists and click on Update Now.

This is the best part. Get on over to RTÉ Player, click into the Beta and pick out what you want to watch. Next, you’ll see the ads freak out briefly before you show starts!

Isn’t that great!

Is Ad Blocking Ok?

I’m not even going to say this is a grey area. Ad Blocking is perfectly fine. If you are one of the good ones who also pay a TV license, it’s a double whammy. I think the real question is whether or not it’s moral that you have to sit through crappy ads from the state broadcaster!

 

Samsung Galaxy Watch: Best smartwatch for Android?

The humble smartwatch, the most inherently contradictory piece of tech on the market. We expect them to do so much, to look sexy and yet at the same stage be simple to use. They need to look and act like a watch but also have a battery life to do all the extras we expect without an issues. The power to run apps, take calls, track health and fitness, monitor location and all the rest requires power that we barely expect from a phone but in a watch we want it all. That’s what Samsung are hoping to achieve in their brand spanking new Galaxy Watch. Branded as the Samsung flagship smartwatch, this is by far the most feature packed wearable Samsung have ever made. So let’s have a look and see what it’s all about.

Pricing

Related image

If you are a fan of the Galaxy Watch series you will be pleased to hear that despite this being the best and best looking watch they have launched to date, this new model actually comes in cheaper than the Gear S3. Well at launch anyway. I’ve been using the larger model over the last couple of weeks and as a self professed watch fan (grow up in a family of jewellers and try not be) I have to say that the price of the new Galaxy Watch is very fair considering what you would get for spending the same money on a standard watch.

To put this in perspective the Gear S3 came it around £350 when it hit the market, whereas the best price I have seen on the Galaxy Watches was €310 for the 42mm and €320 for the 46mm. Now these prices are from Amazon.co.uk

But if you are concerned your snazzy watch won’t come in time for Christmas you can order from Samsung Ireland or Carphone Warehouse.

Galaxy Watch Pricing
Amazon.co.uk
Samsung Ireland
Carphone Warehouse
42mm €310 €320 €320
46mm €320 €340 €340
To be fair the prices aren’t that different and you might be cool with plumping the extra couple of quid to get your hands on one straight away rather than waiting, totally up to you. Also these prices are for the Bluetooth variants of these sizes, with LTE / 4G variants costing more and coming a little later in the year. Plus let’s face facts here, who actually buys the 4G model? Literally no-one as we always have our smartphones on us and Bluetooth does exactly what we need.
The Galaxy Watch is available to buy now.

Design

As I mentioned in the previous section the Galaxy Watch is available in a 42mm or 46mm model, you also get three colour options in Rose Gold, Midnight Black and Silver. Now personally I couldn’t be wearing Rose Gold so I got the Midnight Black model and as you can see from the picture above, it’s a really nice looking bit of kit.

Anyone that has been unfortunate enough to hear my rants down the years about smartwatches will know I want my watch to look like a watch that just happens to be smart and on first glance the Galaxy Watch looks just like a watch. A big win in my books. I think its the nicely rounded face, bexel detail and steel framing… and while fans of the Apple watch won’t agree with me, this is how I want my watch to look.

One slight issue comes from this approach though, while the Apple watch has a design that sets it aside as a smartwatch you are more inclined to forgive a weak battery, however here you either get used to charging the Galaxy Watch so you can use the always on display or risk looking at a black circle more often than not. I plumped with the charging option and it’s been lasting me three days at a time easily. So it kind of comes down to style preferences and asking yourself the question, how much do you want people to know your wearing a smartwatch? if like me you prefer the subtle styles of a cleanly designed watch, then you will like the Galaxy Watch.

Hardware

Image result for galaxy watch

 

Sorry now that little style rant is out of the way we can talk hardware. How you interact with the Galaxy Watch is a thing of clever beauty. Genuinely rarely am I this impressed by a smartwatches usability and ergonomics, that’s why when buying my own smartwatch I went for the Emporio Armani Connected, but Samsung may have just beaten it here.

The spinning bezel and two side buttons not only add a “watchy” style to the Galaxy Watch but they also double up as a brilliant way of navigating though the UI. Basically spin the bezel to go through your menus, hit the top button to go back and and bottom button for recent apps. Simple and that’s a big positive. Funnily enough the bezel makes this satisfying click noise when you turn it and it’s worth noting that this is so tactile that after a couple of minutes a three year old was able to navigate the Galaxy Watch with ease.

We said that there is two version of the watch which means there will be slight differences in terms of the base specs of the variants so here they are:

Specs
42mm
46mm
Display 1.2 inch 1.3 inch
Strap size 20mm  20mm
Weight 42g 63g
Battery 270mAh 472mAh

 

So as you can see the differences are marginal, basically my recommendation here is go for the model that fits you better, no point going for the bigger model if you have tiny wrists just for a slightly larger display.

Finally in terms of what else is going on under the hood both models sport a Bluetooth and 4G version with a dual-core 1.15GHz chipset and 4GB of internal storage space. The only difference between the Bluetooth and 4G model is that the latter has 1.5GB of RAM vs 768MB but that’s just for the extra power needed to maintain a mobile connection.

In terms of the OS, we once again get Tizen 4.0. This means the Galazy Watch is compatible with all Android phone running Android 5.0 and beyond and it will even work with any iPhone running iOS 9 or above. Sure you won’t get calls or texts but the fact it works with Apple is another plus point for those Apple folks who want their watch to look like a watch.

It’s a bit of a love and hate relationship with the Tizen OS, on one side it puts Wear OS and watchOS to shame in terms of how simple and fast it is to navigate. However as a result we can only use Samsung’s own apps as third party support is non existent. Now the third party thing isn’t a deal breaker, it just would have helped make the Galaxy Watch better again.

Features

Image result for galaxy watch fitness

Samsung Health is the big focus on the Galaxy Watch with a hole host of new features such as stress management,breathing features and activity reminders for all of us who spend their days in an office chair.

We also get a collection of 21 indoor workouts and 39 tracked workouts, which is cool and intuitive. Walking the dog? The watch will know your walking and start tracking for you, busting out some time on an elliptical machine? again the watch knows and will track things like your activity, heart rate, steps and calories burnt live. Through this simple tracking I’ve lost a couple pounds so woo big win, look the watch doesn’t do the workout for you (which would be great) but the ability to monitor and track yourself in real-time can help you push out that little bit extra.

Anyway here’s the full list of tracked workouts:

  • Running
  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Other workout
  • Treadmill
  • Exercise Bike
  • Weight machine
  • Circuit training
  • Arm curls
  • Arm extensions
  • Back extensions
  • Bench press
  • Burpee test
  • Crunches
  • Deadlifts
  • Elliptical trainer
  • Front raises
  • Hiking
  • Lat pulldowns
  • Lateral raises
  • Legs curls
  • Leg extensions
  • Leg press
  • Leg raises
  • Lunges
  • Mountain climbers
  • Pilates
  • Plank
  • Pull-ups
  • Push-ups
  • Rowing machine
  • Shoulder presses
  • Sit-ups
  • Squats
  • Star jumps
  • Step machine
  • Stretching
  • Yoga

A very impressive list and if that’s not enough you can easily switch between the various tracking functions and modes by rotating the Galaxy Watch’s bezel. For the standard user the Galaxy Watch is on another level when it comes to health and fitness.

Outside of the fitness stuff the Galaxy Watch also has the ability to measure stress (which is hilariously stressful in itself if you have never monitored it before), it will also remind you to take a couple deep breaths and of course it will monitor sleep. For research purposes I wore the watch once while sleeping and it tracks perfectly but who actually sleeps wearing a watch?

The final feature to mention is Bixby and in all honesty while it’s an improvement on S Voice it’s no Google Assistant. That’s all I have to say on that.

The Goosed Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Watch is by far the best smartwatch Samsung have ever made, fact! I personally have been very impressed with the style and the range of straps available which makes this one of the few smartwatches that is viable in a suit or shorts. The Galaxy watch is a lovely looking bit of kit that comes stacked with a couple new fitness tracking abilities which is cool for the gym bunnies out there.

The fact that you can by the watch is 2 sizes also adds to the appeal, while a decent battery life, Tizen Os and the funky bezel used for scrolling makes this a very intriguing bit of kit.

But and I hate that there is one but as good as the Galaxy Watch is I think it could be better. Bixby need to be replaced by the Google Assistant and there could be some support in terms of third party apps. While I appreciate the little pack on the back the watch gives you for simply getting up some might find it annoying but that’s no reason to not buy the Galaxy Watch.

You know what it’s a great watch but there wasn’t anything that made me jump out of my seat and go “Oooooh” because in the era where flagship is once again standing for innovation this is sadly just lacking in that area. Final thought, want a good smartwatch with that will monitor your life and all that jazz? Go for this it’s pretty, functional and easy to get your head around, but if you want to use Google pay maybe look elsewhere.

Summary

Pros

  • Great Design
  • Battery Life
  • Software
  • Rotating bezel – really slick
  • Screen – Options of size to suit you best

Cons

  • Style won’t be to everyone’s taste
  • Bixby
  • Charge time – not a major issue but some might find it a turn off
  • Lack of “Wow” feature
  • 3rd party app support

Angela’s Christmas: The Irish Christmas Film Proving a Huge Hit on Netflix

It’s officially December and we all know that means Christmas is well and truly upon us. For the team at Goosed it means a couple of things:

1. Ramping up reviews to help you get the best Christmas presents for those techie folks in your life.

2. The annual argument about whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie (it’s not there I said it, sorry.)

3. Watching a rake load of “real” Christmas movies to find the best one’s to watch this holiday season.

Well taking step number 3 quite literally, I sat down over the weekend and watched the best of what Netflix has to offer. What I found was this adorable, 30-minute long animated short named Angle’s Christmas. Here just check out the trailer:

A potential Christmas Classic?

Maybe not quite the Christmas classic but to be honest if Angela’s Christmas doesn’t make you go “Awh” then you have a heart smaller than the Grinch himself. The story as you might have guessed by now is set in Limerick in the year 1914 and is based on the story by Pulitzer Prize winning Irish author Frank McCourt.

Anyone from Limerick is probably going to spend a good portion of the film recognising streets and buildings that look like they haven’t changed since way back then. Keep an eye out for South’s Pub cameo appearance.

Anyway Angela’s Christmas was made by Brown Bag films, you might remember them as the makers of Give Up Yer Aul Sins (and the Fig roll ads too), as well as other children’s shows such as Doc McStuffins. If getting these heavy hitting creators on board wasn’t enough, Frank McCourt’s wife Ellen McCourt even got involved in the production.

“It was Frank’s dream to see this delicate little Christmas story transformed into a classic Christmas tale” Said Ellen McCourt “He would be thrilled with Angela’s Christmas, as is the entire extended McCourt family.”

The cast included Oscar nominated actress Ruth Negga as Angela’s mother, and Lucy O’Connell (from the Oscar nominated Song of the Sea) as Angela.
It was written by Song of the Sea’s writer Will Collins and Damien O’Connor, who is one of the writers behind Doc McStuffins.

Angela’s Christmas StorylineImage result for angela's christmas

“McCourt has a way of capturing the mind of young Angela that will have you laughing and crying. The story lends itself beautifully to animation and we are so excited to share this with audiences around the world.” Darragh O’Connell, Creative Director at Brown Bag Films

As with many short films, Angela’s Christmas leaves you yearning for that little more, but maybe that was the hole point?

If you have kids you should sit down and watch this with them as the brilliance of the story is the understanding of how the mind of a child works. As we all know a child’s mind can run wild and in Angela’s Christmas, the little lady herself has a moment of wonder as the local priest tells the story of the baby Jesus.

Seeing the doll of the little baby in the cot and relating it to her own life experiences, Angela decides that baby Jesus needs a blanket or he will “catch his death” in the cold. Well as you can imagine this sparks her wild imagination and leads her to stealing the doll to keep it warm, much to the dismay of the Church going community.

Without giving much of the story away, the rest of Angela’s Christmas sees the little girl trying to protect the doll to make sure he is warm and safe. What we get is a heartwarming story that represents the child’s persistent and innocent desire to ensure everyone even the baby Jesus is taken care of during the loneliest time of year.

Angela’s Christmas is a delightful little Irish short that’s earning rave reviews and rightly so, give it a watch you won’t regret it.

Other Notable Christmas Movies on Netflix:

Image result for arthur christmas

It’s that time of year to make yourself a hot chocolate, wrap up in the blanket and hide from the cold winter weather. To be fair, Angela’s Christmas is a nice little warm up to get you in the mood for the Christmas flix. So here is a list of movies on Netflix worth getting stuck into (in no particular order):

  • Arthur Christmas
  • The Christmas Switch
  • Christmas Chronicles
  • The Nightmare before Christmas
  • Jingle all the way
  • A Very Murray Christmas
  • Love Actually
  • Scrooged
  • Home Alone
formula e race one

What We’ve Learned From The First Round of Formula E 2018

We're in the winter months where most Formula 1 drivers are either taking a break or diving into early testing. One F1 driver has...
formula e ireland

Formula E Season 5: Everything You Need to Know

I used to be a massive Formula 1 fan, back in the days when RTÉ showed the races. I found it hard to watch...
amazon shopping in ireland

Goosed Stats: 34% of People in Ireland Shop on Amazon.co.uk

We’re fresh off the back of Black Friday and we’re slap bang in the middle of the Christmas shopping rush. That got me thinking....

Spotify Wrapped 2018: Relive Your Year in Music

2018 is almost over and to be fair it feels like the year has flown by. One walk through any busy city centre will...

Save Time and Money This Christmas With These 5 Online Shopping Tips

It's beginning to look a lot like ... It's the most wonderful... Is there actually a non-cliché way to start this guide? Side note: did you...