Tech Monthly

Tech Monthly

From the south-west’s silicon city, Tech Monthly on Phonic FM shines a light on the technology shaping our world.

Your hosts are Helen Connole and Rob J Glover, with Ian Woodbridge.

Contact the programme at, or tweet @PhonicTech.

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We’re taking a break but hope to be back soon. In the meantime, check out our past episodes, below.

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The full programme (including music) can be streamed shortly after broadcast, from Tech Monthly’s Mixcloud page.

Or you can subscribe to the Tech Monthly podcast – through iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn – or by copying our feed URL into your favourite podcatching app. (For rights reasons, most music is edited out of the podcast version.)

February 2018: Beautiful Data

In October 2017, as part of Exeter’s Lost Weekend festival of creativity, technology and ideas, we partnered with Reach South West to host ‘Beautiful Data’, a seminar event at Exeter Library that took in contributions from two artists who have come from an established, traditional fine art practice and introduced elements of data and interactivity.

An independent artist and writer based in Exeter, Gabrielle Hoad makes photographs, objects, actions and site-responsive works, which may invite contributions – often testing objective against subjective modes of description.

In this talk, Gabby discusses her 2014 Arts Council-funded research project Solid Air, which used data as source material. Setting out to track the flight paths of flocking birds and transcribe them into fixed three-dimensional objects, Solid Air was a collaboration with Dr Steven Portugal of the Royal Veterinary College’s Structure & Motion Lab, as well as digital specialists and 3D printing experts. She describes the journey from a fine art drawing practice to a project that made use of state-of-the-art data loggers and fabrication techniques.

Beautiful Data: Gabrielle Hoad (6 October 2017)

Fiddian Warman is the founder and director of Soda, a BAFTA award-winning digital arts studio which has exhibited across the world for galleries, museums, parks and events. His work has evolved from sculpture, ceramics and carpentry, through electronics and lighting, to encompass contemporary innovations including software design, micro-controllers and the internet of things.

Fiddian talks about his career journey from a degree in sculpture through the last 20 years creating artworks using digital technologies. He talks particularly about works that cross physical and virtual spaces and attempt to marry sculpture and installation with digital technologies.

This event was part of the Lost Weekend festival in Exeter, in October 2017. It was produced by Ear, Knows & Throat, and funded by Reach SW, part of the Major Partner Museum work undertaken by Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery and Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery.

May 2017: International Space Apps Challenge special

In a special edition of Tech Monthly, Helen, Rob and Ian spend a weekend at the Met Office for the International Space Apps Challenge, and annual hack weekend kick-started by NASA.

Plus: an interview with Farmer Glitch from Hacker Farm, ahead of his punk console workshops during Art Week Exeter.

International Space Apps Challenge (
Space Apps Exeter (
Met Office Informatics Lab (
TechExeter (
Farmer Glitch (
Art Week Exeter (

First broadcast: 4pm, Thursday 18 May 2017.

April 2017

Helen and Rob discuss YouTubing in the last episode of this series. They’re joined by social media specialist and vlogger Matt Young, professional YouTuber Paul Grogan, and founder of Tubers Academy, Nick Ellison.

Plus: a round-up of technology stories.

Related links:

Tubers Academy (
Gaming Rules! (
Matt Young (

First broadcast: 4pm, Thursday 13 April 2017.

March 2017

This month Helen and Rob explore ‘big data’ with guests Niall Robinson from the Met Office’s Informatics Lab and Professor Lora Fleming from the University of Exeter.

Plus: voices from TechExeter and a round-up of technology stories.

Links to resources mentioned in the programme:

Met Office (
Informatics Lab (
Kaleider (
TechExeter (
Kaggle (
Professor Lora Fleming (
Mostly Weather podcast (

First broadcast: 4pm, Thursday 9 March 2017.

February 2017

This month Helen and Rob explore matters of cyber-security. They’re joined by Bob Bunney from Devon & Cornwall Police and cyber-security consultant Durgan Cooper.

Plus: voices from the Secure South West 8 conference at Plymouth University and a round-up of technology stories.

Links to resources mentioned in the programme:

Devon & Cornwall Police (
National Cyber Security Centre (
ActionFraud (
Get Safe Online (
Cyber Essentials (
Secure South West (
CompTIA (
South West Cyber Security Cluster (
GDPR (The EU General Data Protection Regulation –
CiSP (Cyber-security Information Sharing Partnership –

First broadcast: 4pm, Thursday 9 February 2017.

January 2017

For the new year, Helen and Rob look at starting something new: innovation; entrepreneurship and business start-ups. They’re joined by business advisors Petra Davies and Charlotte Collyer; start-up school founder/coach Neil Finnie; and IP/IT solicitor Jess O’Riordan.

Plus: a round-up of technology stories and music from Filta, Daft Punk, Tom Bugs and David Bowie.

Business Boost (
Corkscrew (
The Generator (
Exeter Business & IP Centre (
FabLab Devon (
Stephens Scown (
Tom Bugs (

First broadcast: 4pm, Thursday 12 January 2017.

December 2016

In December’s Tech Monthly, Helen and Rob look at music, creativity, and how technology can make life better.

Simon Belshaw’s Music Machines ( +
Chris Sergeant (
The Big Life Fix (
Remap (
Plymouth Music Zone (
Digital Plymouth (
The Aptus Guide (survey, including £50 prize draw:

Plus: a round-up of technology stories and event listings.

First broadcast: 4pm, Thursday 8 December 2016.

November 2016

In Tech Monthly’s first programme, Helen and Rob are joined by Joe Pearce (Venturefest SW; Exeter Innovation Centre) and Joel Stobart (Custodian Solutions) to talk about the Venturefest SW conference and its Pitchfest scheme, which Custodian Solutions won. We also hear from the recent TechExeter, Graphical Web and Secure South West 7 conferences.

TechExeter (
The Graphical Web (
Venturefest SW (
Custodian Solustions (
Secure South West 7 (

Plus: a round-up of other technology stories and listings.

First broadcast: 4pm, Thursday 10 November 2016.

Tech Monthly on Phonic FM is an Ear, Knows & Throat production, supported by Exeter City Council.