I have long preferred in-ear earphones for two very important reasons. First, it’s just not possible to get a decent bass sound from lightweight earphones without creating a seal in the ear canal, and as my hearing is more sensitive to high frequencies, I need all the bass I can get, otherwise they sound feeble. Second, my typical listening environment is “out in the world.” I listen to podcasts or music on my 40 minute commute. This involves riding a train with other (sometimes noisy) commuters, and walking in a city with people and cars and buses and construction and wind. I tried EarPods for one day of commuting and confirmed that these two reasons are very good ones not to invest in AirPods, as cool as they are.
When Phil Schiller announced the AirPods, he also announced a few other products which would use the same W1 chip technology. The Beats Solo3 on-ear earphones would be an interesting proposition, but not for commuting –they’d be too bulky for me. The Powerbeats3 are a sport-style in-ear earphone solution. I’m not a fan of the over-ear hooks which secure these, and with their “sports” features, such as water resistance and an incredible 12 hour battery life (which I wouldn’t need), the price goes up, making them the most expensive of the in-ear products. That just leaves the cheapest product which includes the W1 chip – BeatsX. These are in-ear, designed for comfort, and last 8 hours on a charge. Read More
Allison interviews Meesa Maeng from BrainPort about their extremely innovative V100 system that allows the user to “see” using their tongue. The V100 uses a sensory substitution device that allows the blind to use their tongue to feel the object they are looking at. The scene is captured by a special set of glasses with a camera worn by the user that processes and sends the image to the tongue sensor. With some training, the brain learns to interpret these impulses sensed by the tongue as a visual scene. The setting is the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego.
Often when Allison puts out a call for material for the show, I’ll take a look at my installed Mac apps via Launchpad to see if there’s anything relatively new that’s worth a review. Faced with the prospect of sourcing an entire show, I did the same thing, but what I noticed was not something new. In fact, it’s a whole lot of somethings and they’re all quite old.
There’s a folder on the default Launchpad configuration called “Other” which contains all 17 applications from the Utility folder that lives inside your Applications folder, plus 9 other applications that aren’t usually featured in Apple promotional materials.
I thought it might be useful to listeners if I quickly ran through what’s in there and maybe you’ll discover something useful you didn’t know you had. Read More
I’ve seen and heard numerous reviews of Apple Watch Series 2, but not very many seem to mention the newly available swim workouts, so I thought I’d give a brief rundown of how they’ve been working for me. Read More
From CSUN’s Assistive Technology Conference we’ll hear about Tap Systems wearable keyboard, and Tobii Dynavox speech generating devices. I’ll tell you about how Project Fi gives you international data for a really low price and in theory with high speeds (stay tuned on how that works). Don’t forget to send in audio recordings to Bart Busschots at email@example.com (Allister is all set). Bart is back for Security Bits. If you’ve been waiting for his interpretation of the Wikieleaks CIA hacking tools dump like I was, you’ll enjoy this episode.
Allison interviews Ellen Witham from Tobii Dynavox about their tools to help people with speech and language impairment. The first tool is the Compass software iPad app that works in conjunction with written material to help the user learn and speak their first 12 words. Tobii Dynavox also provides a ruggedized tablet with similar functionality as the Compass software but also can be controlled by the users’ eye movement. The setting is the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego.
We’ll have one more NosillaCast before we go off on our grand adventure to the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu, and while we’re gone please send in some audio reviews for Allister and Bart (email addresses in the show notes. I brag shamelessly about an article in the Atlantic about me and other people with specific musical anhedonia. I was on the Daily Tech News Show at a href=”http://www.dailytechnewsshow.com/dtns-2984-fintech-fish/” target=”_blank” rel=”no opener”>DTNS #2984 entitled “Fintech != fish” talking about what it was like to be a woman in engineering and tech for 35 years. I’ll tell a tale of how Bart and I cracked the code on my jerk of a printer using our knowledge of subnets and such, then I’ll tell you about the first HomeKit compatible indoor security camera, the D-Link OmnaHD. Then we’ll hear about a prosthetic implant that allows people with retinal degradation to see crude shapes, the Argus from Second Sight.
In that conversation, he said that an essential tool of how he gets along is by using Google’s Project Fi. You may have heard of Project Fi before but I’m betting that unless you have used it yourself, you don’t quite get what it is.
Project Fi is a cellular service from Google where you pay $20/month for a service fee, plus $10/GB for data. You get unlimited domestic talk and text, and unlimited international texting. Unlike any of the cellular plans from any of the big US carriers, your data usage is prorated so you only pay for what you use. If you come in under what you thought you’d use for a month, Google refunds the difference. Need more than what you thought you’d need? You pay by the MB. Seriously. This would be cool on its own, but the data plan works in more than 135 countries. Read More
Allison interviews Trevor Settles from Tap Systems about their innovative wearable keyboard. Tap is a bluetooth, one-handed “keyboard” that allows the user to type out characters on any surface with combinations of finger/thumb presses on the surface. Tap works with any bluetooth enabled desktop or mobile OS that supports the HID Keyboard Standard. This includes iOS and Android phones and tablets, Windows and Mac computers, and most Smart TVs. The Tap keyboard will be available for purchase around August of 2017. The setting is the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego.