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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...

Gadgets & Games

Thousands not ready for digital TV switchover

July 1 2010

Around 20,000 homes in Tayside and north Fife are still not prepared for the digital switchover a month before the analogue signal in the area is switched off. The Angus transmitter group will start the switch to digital television on August 4. In the first phase BBC Two will go off air to be replaced by an array of the corporation's digital broadcast channels. On August 18 all other analogue television channels will be scrapped and additional digital services added. A spokeswoman for Digital UK said, "Latest research indicates that most viewers in the area are well prepared, with nine out of 10 households already having made the switch to digital TV on their main set. "Those still watching in analogue are now being advised to get ready for switchover. "Viewers watching via Freeview will need to retune their TV or digital box at both stages of switchover satellite and cable TV services are not affected." Many of those facing the loss of their TV signal are the elderly and infirm, who tend to struggle with the technologies. The Digital UK spokeswoman said there was help available for those having difficulties with the switchover process. "People aged 75 and over, eligible for certain disability benefits, registered blind or partially sighted or living in care homes are entitled to practical help to switch to digital TV from the BBC-run switchover help scheme." She added, "Everyone eligible will be contacted directly by the help scheme before switchover. "Digital UK and the switchover help scheme also work with local charities to provide information, advice and support to those who may need some extra help managing the switchover process themselves, or opting in to the help scheme if they are eligible." More information about the switchover is available from 0800 408 7654 and at helpscheme.co.uk. Photo used under Creative Commons licence courtesy of Flickr user liewcf.

Gadgets & Games

Digital switchover reaches final stage

August 17 2010

The final stage of the switchover to digital broadcasts from the Angus television transmitter will begin early on Wednesday. After the ending of the BBC Two analogue service on August 4, all the remaining analogue channels will be stopped permanently from around midnight. The Angus transmitter serves most of Angus and Dundee along with parts of Perthshire and Fife. Anyone receiving its signals should be able to get more than 40 channels on the digital Freeview service. Its 23 relay transmitters will not be able to carry as many TV channels and they are expected to broadcast only around 15, from the BBC, STV/ITV, Channel Four and Five, although they will also carry radio and text services. The switch means that anyone who relies on broadcast television and has not yet fitted their set with a Freeview set-top box, or bought a TV with an internal Freeview decoder, will lose all reception. The changes taking place to the transmitter and its relays mean that all Freeview viewers will need to do a re-scan to pick up their services. Freeview should be back on air from the Angus transmitter by 6am and also from the Perth and Tay Bridge relays. The rest of the relays will be upgraded during the day, with Grandtully and Methven expected to be the last added by late afternoon. Viewers receiving their TV service by satellite or cable will not be affected by the switchover.

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km

Gadgets & Games

All change as Dundee tunes in to digital TV

August 19 2010

Dundee is the first city on Scotland to lose its analogue television signal and go all digital. Yesterday Dundee became Scotland's first digital city when the analogue ITV signal was switched off for good just after midnight. The second and final stage of the switchover to digital from the Angus transmitter has now been completed, covering 200,000 homes in Dundee, Angus, Perth and parts of Fife.Digital UK, which has co-ordinated the switch, ran a roadshow yesterday in Dundee City Square to provide help and advice for viewers. The first part of the switchover for the Angus transmitter took place on August 4 and Freeview viewers had to re-tune their sets to avoid losing the BBC2 channel. Following the second stage, those viewers again had to re-tune their sets to enable them to continue receiving all the channels. Viewers with satellite or cable services are not affected by the switch, but those with Freeview set-top boxes or televisions with a built-in decoder will have to re-tune. Paul Hughes, Digital UK's manager for Scotland, said the Angus transmitter change represented by far the largest switchover in Scotland so far. "As with any change on this scale, some people may need a bit of extra help so we and the help scheme are on hand to give advice and assistance to those who may need it," he said. Mr Hughes said the switchover appeared to have gone very smoothly. "The message had obviously got through to the vast majority of people in the area in advance of the August 4 change and they have responded very well," he said. A help line is available on 08456 505050 and information can also be obtained online from the digitaluk.co.uk website. Aberdeen will be the next area to go digital with the switchover due to start there next month.

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.


Digital switchover is coming closer

August 3 2010

Residents in Tayside and Fife have been preparing for the start of the region's digital switchover by snapping up set-top boxes and televisions. The Angus transmitter and its 23 relays serve around 200,000 homes in the area and the two-stage switchover begins on Wednesday with analogue channel BBC2 being replaced with the first group of digital services. On August 18, the switchover will be completed as the remaining analogue channels BBC1, ITV1, Channel 4 and Channel 5 are switched off. Electrical retailer Comet has reported a dramatic surge in sales in the local area with set top boxes up by over 90%, LCD TVs soaring by 119% and digital TV recorders increasing by 82%. Dundee store manager Mandy Griffin said, "We've been giving all of our customers advice on how to make the switch to digital and have seen sales of digital products soar as they get ready for switchover. We know that many people are ready for the switch, but there are late converters." Digital UK said last month around 90% of viewers in the region were ready for the switchover, but that figure left around 20,000 households, which will lose the service. There are a number of options for people who haven't yet switched, including Freeview, Freesat, Sky, Virgin Media and BT Vision. Those not ready for digital will automatically lose reception for BBC2, but the time of day of the switch will vary. When the remaining analogue channels go digital later this month, people who have not switched will lose their TV service. People with Freeview, BT Vision or Top Up TV will need to retune existing equipment. It is recommended that any set people wish to keep watching after the switchover should be converted with a digital box, digital recorder or replaced with a digital TV. Vulnerable residents have been receiving help to ensure their screens do not end up turning blank. Help is also available for those having difficulties with the switchover process for a £40 fee. It will be free of charge for eligible households receiving pension credit, income support or jobseekers allowance. The Digital UK Roadshow will be in Dundee's City Square on Wednesday and Thursday, and again on August 18. There will also be advice points in Arbroath, Perth and Cupar. For more information about events, contact Digital UK on 08456 50 50 50.

Gadgets & Games

Digital TV switchover starts this week

August 2 2010

The switchover to digital TV begins Tayside and Fife on Wednesday, with a special warning made for some Fife residents. Although most of Fife won't lose the analogue signal until later this year or next, some residents are to be affected by change to the Angus transmitter group in the STV North region, due to start on August 4. There are five transmitter groups in the STV Central TV region that will switch over at different times, starting on October 13. When you switch depends on which transmitter group you are watching. To find out which transmitter you are likely to be watching at your address and the switchover dates and channels available, visit the switchover website. For more advice about how Fife is affected, call the contact centre on 08456 505050. Opening hours are 8am on 7pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm Saturdays, plus extended hours on switchover dates.

Motoring news

Join the queue for littlest Audi Q

November 9 2016

Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit - a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk


Getting ready for the digital switchover

August 2 2010

Parts of Fife could be affected by the switchover to digital TV as from Wednesday, it has emerged. Although most of Fife won't lose the analogue signal until later this year or next, some residents may be affected by change to the Angus transmitter group in the STV North region, due to start on August 4. There are five transmitter groups in the STV Central TV region that will switch over at different times, starting on October 13. When you switch depends on which transmitter group you are watching. Information about the transmitter you are likely to be watching at your address and the switchover dates and channels available is available here. For more advice, call the Fife contact centre on 08456 505050. Opening hours are 8am-7pm Monday to Friday and 10am-4pm Saturdays, plus extended hours on switchover dates.