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Past Episodes

NC #590 AmazonBasics Tripod, Liberate Your Activity Data, Bandwidth Tests, Emojify your Contacts, Metal vs Glass Prints

Update your iOS devices to 9.3.5 without delay to protect yourself from a really nasty exploit in the wild. Steven Goetz does a guest review of the AmazonBasics 62” Aluminum Ball Head Tripod. I’ll walk you through how to liberate your Activity data so that you can see it in other apps like Activity++ and Pedometer++ from plusplusapps.com. Steve and I performed an exhaustive network test comparing the Apple Airport Extreme against the Netgear Nighthawk X8 (spoiler alert, it is definitely worth the price differential!) Lindsay gives us a fun tip to make our Contacts more interesting. Fantastic metal prints from Adoramapix.com.


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Metal vs. Glass Prints

PoppiesBefore I met Mark Pouley, I was content with taking photos, editing them on the computer and displaying them online. But Mark started encouraging me to get some of them printed in large format. He’s trying to drag me into his madness (his house is FULL of large prints of his photos). It did sound like fun.

A few years ago I successfully captured the beauty of some California Poppies during a trip to Santa Barbara County. If you haven’t seen these, they’re gorgeous bright orange flowers that adorn our local area in the spring each year. Mark kept nagging me to get it printed.

This particular photo stands out because of the exquisite light coming through the blooms. I was proud of this photo because I actually crawled under these little blossoms just to catch that light. In thinking about how to print a photo where light is so important, I decided to try printing on glass. Read More

Liven Up Your Contacts Just for Fun

Contacts with emojiWe’ve been doing some good work here on the NosillaCast, learning about vulnerabilities and the importance of doing updates, exercising to get those little rings to go round and round, diagramming workflows, and testing bandwidth to compare routers. I thought it would be good to take a break from all this seriousness for somethings silly. My daughter Lindsay came up with a little tip for us and I asked her what problem it solved. She said simply, “It’s fun.”

When you go into your contacts on iOS (and there’s probably an analog to this on Android and Windows Phone), there’s a Favorites list. On her phone, there’s an emoji next to each person. For example, her husband Nolan has a heart next to his name. My name has a computer next to it, and her brother Kyle has the poop emoji.

I asked her how she did this and she explained that you simply open each contact and edit the last name field, and add the emoji using the keyboard. How easy is that? I went through on my phone and gave Steve the smiley face with sunglasses, Lindsay has an angel, and Kyle has a smirking face. Oh – and my favorite pizza parlor, Georgio’s, has a pizza emoji!.

It’s fun to look at and there’s some other side effects. When Lindsay calls me using Siri, Siri says, “Calling Allison Computer”! I bet it’s even more fun when she calls her brother! When you get emails from the people you’ve given emoji’s it shows up in there too!

Take a break from all this seriousness and have some fun with your contacts!

Real World Bandwidth Test: Netgear Nighthawk X8 vs Airport Extreme

Airport extreme vs netgear nighthawk x8Back in April I told you about the new router I bought, the Nighthawk X8 from Netgear. I bought this router for two reasons. I already had an Airport Extreme 802.11ac router with beam forming antennas, but after talking to Bart about how insecure the Internet of Things devices are, I wanted to run two parallel networks. The second reason is because it sounded really cool.

Just a few weeks ago, Denise Crown did a review of the same router for us. She’s a serious network nerd (Masters degree in Telecom) so I really liked hearing her perspective on it.

One thing neither of us did was any kind of network speed tests to see whether a) we needed this router and b) whether the new router improved speeds or reduced dead spots in our homes. We had both been influenced by Dave Hamilton of the Mac Geek Gab where he talks a lot about routers. I reached out to Dave and asked him what he uses to check network speeds. I knew that while running speedtest.net was a relatively good way to test your Internet speeds, it wasn’t a good way to test the speed of your internal network. Since the speed test was going through Internet and back, it had far too many variables involved.

Before we dig into the tests, let’s review the devices. The Airport Extreme is the current model, which has internal beam-forming antennas. It’s only a dual-band router, with one radio for 2.4 GHz and another for 5 GHz. The Nighthawk X8 is a tri-band router with two 5 GHz radios and one for 2.4 GHz. By having two 5 GHz radios the Nighthawk can send and receive at the same time. It also sports four internal antennas and four active external antennas. That all sounds swell, but at 1.7x as much money for the Nighthawk X8 over the Airport Extreme, let’s see how they perform relative to each other in real world testing. Read More

CCATP #452 Dr. Garry Asks “Compared to What?”

Dr garry in office with booksDr. Maryanne Garry, Professor of Psychology at Victoria University of Wellington joins us again, this time to talk about how to interpret studies you hear about in the “news”.

Flossing is bad for you! Hormone Replacement Therapy causes cancer! Mediterranean diet lowers cholesterol!

Dr. Garry explains how to research these claims and what to look for in terms of scientific process vs. drawing correlations from existing data.


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Don’t Let Your Activity Data Be Held Hostage

Activity plusplus pretty circlesI think that Apple has done a terrific job of getting us healthier with the Apple Watch and the iPhone but it’s a miracle that any of us have figured any of it out. Just to start a workout is often six separate steps of tapping and swiping and scrolling. But that’s not the hard part. For me the hardest part has been trying to unravel the mysteries of getting data to show up about my exercise.

I’ve started the writeup for this article four separate times. I keep walking away from it because I realize that I don’t fundamentally understand it. I’m hoping that I’ve finally cracked the code but I fully expect one or more of you to write to me and say, “no dummy, THIS is how it works.” I’m going to take a crack at it anyway.

The iPhone has a motion co-processor in it, the function of which is to collect sensor data from integrated accelerometers, gyroscopes, and the GPS. Armed with only an iPhone you can track your health and fitness. But let’s not do the easy thing, let’s throw the Apple Watch into the mix because it becomes SO much more entertaining to explain.

I’d better start with an end goal here, or some might call it a Problem to be Solved™. My goal is to have an app or apps on my iPhone that will collect metrics of my activity and display them in a graphical way. On the Fitbit app I used to get a nice graph of the week or months step count with a line showing my goal so I could see how often I was beating my goal and how much. So I want that kind of information for the active calories, and my step count as a minimum. Read More

NC #589 Live Show Sausage Making, Diagramming Live Show, Hangouts Moving, Screensharing, Fit and Healthy NosillaCastaways, Security Bits

In this week’s show we talk quite a bit about the tech behind the live show. I did a new diagram of how I broadcast my audio, Steve’s audio and my video to YouTube Live and to Alpha Geek Media and more. I created it with draw.io and you can see it at podfeet.com/blog/nosillacast-live/live-show-setup/. I made a 1 minute long video for Megan Moronne and Leo Laporte to talk about how the Smartbean from Antec can turn any headphones into Bluetooth, but my cat Ada sorta photo bombed it. I walk through the different methods of screensharing I use, including Skype, Messages and how adding QuickTime into the mix lets you include your iOS screens in the screen share. NosillaCastaways are becoming more fit and healthy because of our recent discussions and i read you a few anecdotes and tell you how even I upped my game because we’ve focussed on the tech. Bart Busschots is back with Security Bits too.


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NosillaCastaways Are Getting More Fit and Healthy

Activity++ move statisticsBack in the middle of June we had Bastian Wölfle come on Chit Chat Across the Pond to talk about how he got fit and healthy. Then a few weeks ago Bart came on Chit Chat to talk about how he used technology, specifically the Apple Watch and My Fitness Pal to finally take off the weight the doctor ordered.

This discussion has caused an awesome effect in the NosillaCastaways. I’ve been getting emails and tweets telling me how people have been inspired. Steven Goetz and I have often talked about fitness (I’m a bore that way), but after Bart was on, Steven said something wonderful. He said:

I like My Fitness Pal because if I don’t have enough calories, I can walk around the block and it gives me more.

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Mac and iOS Screensharing with Skype, Messages and QuickTime

We all have times where we really wish we could see the screen of someone we’re helping on their computer. There are a lot of commercial options like Log Me In, and Team Viewer, but I wanted to tell you about a couple of free and relatively easy ways to do it.

Screensharing with Skype

Skype share screenI’ve been doing a few remote presentations over Skype lately and it’s worked out pretty well. For example, we didn’t make it to Macstock this year, but with Mike Potter’s help, I was able to show my presentation to the crowd and be able to see them at the same time using Skype. I also like to use it when I’m helping someone with a computer problem.

First launch a video Skype call. You don’t have to have a video call going to do screen sharing but I wanted to see the person I’m talking to while I talk. I like a little feedback you know? In the menubar for Skype you’ll see Conversations. From there, pull down to Share Screen…
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CCATP #451 Programming By Stealth – Solving JavaScript Challenges Part 2

In episode #449, Bart Busschots walked us through how he’d solve the first half of the JavaScript challenges from PBS 19. This week we finish the second half of the 5th problem about Complex Numbers. Just like the last episode, we’re giving you the audio in the podcast, but if you’d like to watch the video of Bart building the solutions, you can watch right here.

Using a Screen Reader? click here

If you’d prefer the audio, of course that’s still available in the Podcast feed or directly below.


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