Two interviews from CES: Adonit styluses have come a long way from their simple beginnings, and 360Heros holders for multiple GoPro cameras for surround video. Allister reviews Evernote’s Scannable iOS app which can make short work of “scanning” documents with an iDevice camera. Steve Davidson reviews the Blue Ant Ribbon to “Bluetooth-ify” your favourite earbuds. In Chit Chat Across the Pond, Elaine Giles and Mike Thomas of the MacBites podcast talk about their world of IT training.
Due to a HUGE error in judgment on the part of Allison, the GMen from the MyMac Podcast took over this episode while Allison and Steve are off galavanting about someplace nicer than where most of us are (the NERVE!). Fortunately for everyone (including the GMen), both Allison and Bart Busschots left PLENTY of content for them to talk about. First of course the usual Guy and Gaz nonsense about what they’re doing lately, then we help out Bart from last week as he finishes up on a Dumb Question he’d been asked. Then the GMen go over the events of the last Apple event that occurred last week. This is wrapped around the creamy center goodness of two Allison interviews from CES. The first was from Octa, makers of some cool iPad stands and then Braven, who created waterproof, stackable Bluetooth speakers! Then we finish off with a Security Medium and Light from Bart.
The show starts with a review of the Canon EF-S 10-18mm wide angle lens from listener Steven Goetz. That’s followed by a dumb question from listener Lynda who’s having trouble getting Back to My Mac to work through Double NAT. Then we hand over to Allison for two more interviews from CES, one with the Z-Wave Consortium, and one with bag maker LooptWorks. That’s followed by a Security Medium about the FREAK SSL/TLS vulnerability. As a pallet cleanser before Security Lite listener Sean reviews the game Zombies Run, and the show ends with a Chit Chat Across the Pond (desk really) with Irish classical music blogger Bren Finan, who shares his experiences trying to live his digital life on just iOS.
In a two-part segment on electronic books I weigh the pros and cons of “real” vs electronic books, and then walk you through how to get eBooks on your Kindle using overdrive.com. Two interviews from CES: Wonder Workshop has toys to get your kids started programming, and the Osterhout Group’s Augmented Reality Glasses. In Chit Chat Across the Pond, Donald Burr of Otaku no Podcast tells us how to become a Maker and about the cool things you can make with single board computers like the Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Read all about it at donaldburr.com.
The one thing I still can’t crack the code on is how to get books from the library. I know people far less tech savvy than me who have figured it out, but it still baffles me. Here’s the problem. The electronic connection to my library CLEARLY was written by database administrators, not people who read and love books.
I love to read, especially using a Kindle. Like many of you, a part of me misses “real” books. I miss going to the bookstore and judging a book by the cover. I miss trading in my used books to Dave’s Olde Bookshop and getting store credit to buy more used books. I miss having friends hand me books at the gym that they loved. Book discovery was easier for me back then. I miss the library.
There’s a lot I don’t miss about real books. I don’t miss those paperback books that had the binding too tight so you had a hard time reading the inner edge of a sentence and you swear you’re ONLY going to buy Penguin books from now on because they have easier bindings. I don’t miss reading the beginning of a hard-cover book when I’d lay on my side and the whole weight of the book was on top (or the end of the book when it flipped the other way). I don’t miss the weight of carrying 5 books on vacation. I don’t miss finishing a book and realizing that I don’t have a new one with me. I don’t miss reading books where the text was too small. I don’t miss having to read with the lights on, keeping Steve awake.
On this week’s segment of Chit Chat Across the Pond, Shelly Brisbin is going to demonstrate how to use VoiceOver for the blind on iOS. We needed a way to record just our voices, but we also wanted to be able to record (in high quality audio) the audio coming out of our phones. I figured out how to do this with a combination of the new QuickTime in Yosemite plus Soundflower and Audio Hijack 3 from Rogue Amoeba.
I used it to capture VoiceOver but you could use it to record any sound from your iOS device – games, songs, podcasts, even a phone call!
You couldn’t call me a gamer by any stretch of the imagination which is why you rarely, if ever, hear me talking about a game on the show. Bejeweled was a long time favorite from back in my Sony Clié days and onto my iPhone, and 2048 has captured me for the most recent year but other than that most games don’t intrigue me. There have been a lot of complaints lately about the annoyance of in-app purchases and how they work so I wanted to weigh in and describe a game that I think has done it right.
Before I describe it though, I’d like to explain what I hate in games. I tried playing Candy Crush which is a lot like Bejeweled with some interesting twists. You start out for free but the games go from easy to hard in a sharp cliff. One day you’re toodling along happily solving puzzles, and the next day you hit a level that is impossible without buying your way out of it. Same thing happened with Two Dots for me. Fun…fun…fun…impossible, now give us money. I abandoned both games.
Now let’s talk about how to do in app purchases just right.