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Past Episodes

#486 Windows Phone Nokia 635, Another Vote for Jabra BT Headphones, Avantree BT Headphones for $38, Play an Alert Sound with Automator

Would you believe I actually like the Nokia 635 Windows 8.1 Phone for only $92 off contract? Charles Gousha comes on with a second vote for the Jabra Sport+ Bluetooth earbuds, and I come back with a positive review of the $38 Avantree Jogger Sports Bluetooth headphones. Last time with Bart he taught us how to create an Automator action to create passwords with his xkpasswd tool, this week he shows us how to make it play a sound when it’s done creating the password and saving it to the clipboard.


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Can a $38 Pair of Bluetooth Headphones Be Any Good?

Avantree headphones as describedWe’ve talked about the $130 Jaybird Blubuds, and then the Jabra Sports+ $60 headphones, but what if even that price is too steep for you? This week I’ve been testing the Avantree Jogger Sports Bluetooth headphones that will run you a mere $38 on Amazon. To review my requirements – I want something for running and working out at the gym that will stay put on my head and have acceptable audio for podcast listening. They have to be comfortable and not too fiddly.

The Avantree headphones do not have any flangy thingys at all to fit into your ear like the Jaybirds or Jabras. Instead, they have a stiff but flexible cable between the two sides that goes around your ears and then behind your head. The headphones themselves go just inside your ear, and have a large disk that covers most of your ear. No fiddly bits at all, and the part that goes around your ear doesn’t actually need to grab hold of your ear to stay in place. The wire is stiff enough that they just sort of compress a bit on your head. Of the three headphones I tested, they stayed snugly in place better than all of them.
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Another Vote for the Jabra SPORT+ Bluetooth Headphones

Hello Allison, this is Charles Gousha from the Silicon Valley Mac User Group. I heard your recent review on episode number 485 of the Jabra Sport+ Bluetooth earbuds and since I recently bought my second pair of them I thought I’d give you my own findings.
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Nokia 635 – A Windows Phone Even an Apple Fan Can Like

Microsoft's image of the 635You may be thinking I’m having a psychotic episode, but with malice aforethought, I knowingly bought a Nokia Lumia 635 running Windows Phone 8.1. I learned from Chris Ashley on the SMR Podcast that Nokia (aka Microsoft) was selling the Nokia 635 off-contract for only $100. He said it was a decent phone and I figured for that price I could use it as an iPod Touch and learn about the device and the operating system with a very low commitment. It would have been even more fun if I could have taken my SIM card out of my iPhone and really committed to the phone but they take different sized SIMs.

As I said last week, I do not hate this phone. If I were looking for my first phone and didn’t have an investment in one of the other platforms, I would definitely put the 635 in the running. The build quality of the device appears to be quite good and it even survived a 2-3 foot fall to concrete without a scratch. At 4.5″, the screen is a bit bigger than the current iPhone and is bright and crisp. I know it’s not supposed to be a high-end phone but it feels at least as good as an iPhone in my hand.
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#485 Healthcare on Facebook Login, Jabra Sport+ Bluetooth Headphones, Overcast, Todd Whitehead

I was on the Pocket Show this week, enhancements to the layout of the Live show at podfeet.com/live. I did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – donate at alsa.org. Would you trust your healthcare login to Facebook? followmyhealth.com thinks you will. Steve and I search for Bluetooth headphones for exercise and choosy the Jabra Sport+ Wireless Headphones over the much more highly reviewed Jaybird Blubuds X Sport. Terry Austin, aka @ielectrons tells us why he thinks we should check out the new podcasting app Overcast .from Marco Arment. Michael Price in our Google Plus community posted a tutorial (using Clarify 2) showing how to get OSX to let you use an external DVD drive – check it out at grumpydocs.clarify-it.com/d/fyga7n. This week we’re joined by Todd Whitehead of Alpha Geek Radio, over at alphageekradio.com. I asked him to come on the show to talk about the past, present and future of how we consume audio and video content on the Internet.


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Would You Trust Your Healthcare Login to Facebook?

followmyhealthfailThis week my medical group sent me an email inviting me to click a link to get online web access to my medical records and more. Let’s think about that. They thought I would click a link … in an email. Just that by itself is a bad assumption, but better yet a link where I’d be giving access to my medical records? Right. The only reason I was vaguely interested was that my medical group had given me a heads up a month or so ago that I should expect to get this email. I still wasn’t going to click a link in email though.

I navigated by hand to find out if this service was real. It turned out it was, but you’ll never believe what they offered me next. They offered to let me log in using Facebook! Are they kidding me? But no, they weren’t kidding. I could have used Yahoo or Google or Microsoft logins too, which are only slightly less terrifying than using Facebook.

That got me thinking about the next step in this. Can you picture logging into your healthcare site with your Facebook login and then later they offer you an app on your smart phone? Sure, that’s the next logical step. And now imagine the privacy agreement on the app. Do you approve Facebook to contact your doctor on your behalf? How about submitting medical information? Can it use your camera to take a picture of that weird mole on your back and post it for you? Would you like to compete in a Facebook challenge on your cholesterol levels? Do you agree that Facebook can change its privacy policies on these and other usages of your data without written notice? Say Yes, or Yes Please!

I posted about this (on Facebook) and my friend Paul Wilson wrote “I can just see it now the software posts the results of my colonoscopy on Facebook. Yeah I bet I would get a lot of likes.” Absolutely! I would totally post “great work on the cleanse, Paul!”

In all seriousness though, the service, called FollowMyHealth is actually pretty cool. I can see things like my blood pressure for the last so many visits, and what medications I’m on. Even better, it was really interesting to find out that I’m in stage 3 kidney failure. Um, what? Not that I’d wish an error like that, but without this online system I wouldn’t have known they had that in there. And who knows what medications I might have been denied in an emergency because they thought it would conflict with my kidney medication? Because the system exists, I was able to send a message through the system to my doctor that said,

Just signed up for the “new and improved” Follow My Health online program. Working pretty well but under my various diagnoses it says: CKD (chronic kidney disease) stage 3. This is news to me – is this maybe a mistake or did I forget some really bad problem I have?

And because my doctor is connected to this system she was able to write back:

I have reviewed your kidney function labs, and they are normal. You do not have chronic kidney disease. I will correct your chart.

What my doctor lacks in bedside manner she makes up in efficiency and brevity.

It’s an interesting topic whether you trust your medical records to the cloud. I’d say without a doubt I wouldn’t click a link in email to enable it, and for the love of all things good in this world I would NOT use my Facebook login to access my records. But overall I think this is a useful, if scary trend in the medical field.

My Ice Bucket Challenge to Benefit ALS Research

A lot of people are not “getting” what the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is all about. I had heard about ALS before but had no idea how awful and terrifying of a disease it is until I saw the Ice Bucket Challenge carried out by a 26 year old man named Anthony Carbajal who’s family is riddled with ALS, and who has recently been diagnosed with ALS himself. If you want to be inspired, go watch his video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cK7UUYt_vRI

You don’t have to be loud and crazy and dump ice water on yourself to help. All you have to do is go to http://alsa.org and donate some money to help find a cure.

In my Ice Bucket Challenge I throw it down to Knightwise, and the G-Men, Guy and Gazmaz.

Enhance Your Podcast Listening with Overcast by Terry Austin

logo from the app storeHi there, Castaways! I’m Terry Austin and I’m here to tell you about an awesome new podcast app called Overcast from Marco Arment. You may recognize the name, Marco created Instapaper and was the co-founder of Tumblr. There’s a great interview article over at TechCrunch titled “Why Marco Arment Built a Podcast App”.

I’m always looking for a new podcast player, in fact faithful listeners heard a review of another one from me about this time last year. Ok… why is Overcast my current favorite – this one may last longer than the previous year-long winner for me.

  1. It’s FREE in the app store. Currently it’s iPhone only though of course it will work on your iPads as well.
  2. There is one in-app purchase and YOU WANT IT. For $4.99 you get SmartSpeed and Voice Boost. I’ll come back to those in a minute. Let’s talk about ease of setup first.

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Search for Bluetooth Sport Headphones or No to Jaybird, Yes to Jabra

The Problem to be Solved

Steve and I both do a lot of exercise, and love to listen to podcasts while we run and go to the gym. For ages we’ve used Sony over the head headphones, like the ones you could get with a Walkman in 1972. You may recall me talking about this and how we discovered a way to add the functionality of iPhone headphones – pause, play, volume and more – by added an adapter to the old fashioned headphones. We bought 3 different ones and I told you the virtues of them. Unfortunately, every single one of them failed after a while. We’re back to having to dig our iPhones out of our Spibelts if we need to do any of those functions.

We decided it was time to look into Bluetooth headphones. You can find about 238 articles on the Internet that will tell you the top five Bluetooth headphones for running. The top contender on many of these sites is the Jaybird Bluebuds X Sport. I read an article at squidoo.com that gave us some really good advice. The author specifically said to make sure the batteries last at least 6 hours, look for small size, and to make sure they’re sweat proof. Like the other sites, they recommended the Jaybird headphones, for the for it, the battery life, and especially the sound quality. They were more expensive than Steve and I were hoping for at $130, but they came with such great reviews we figured we couldn’t lose…
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#484 10th Anniversary of Podcasting, eM Client, Zoom iQ5 Mic for iPhone, Automator Service for xkpasswd

Reminder to opt in to the NosillaCast News to get the shownotes fed to you every week via email at NosillaCast News Signup Page, my maudlin and sentimental look back at 10 years of podcasting and what it’s meant to me, Kevin from Connecticut reviews eM Client which allows him to check iCloud email on Windows, and Ken Knight reviews the Zoom IQ5 Microphone for iPhone. My Dumb question this week was about Clarify 2, and I do experiments to prove that your PDF output won’t be huge if you let Clarify scale your images. In Chit Chat Across the Pond Bart walks us through how to run xkpasswd locally and then how to modify it using scripting, and finally how to create an Automator Service which we can run from any application to generate secure passwords on the fly.


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