I was on Tech News Today!!! Check it out at http://twit.tv/show/tech-news-today/856. Sign up for the NosillaCast News if you want a chance to win a free license for Prizmo 3 from creaceed.com. I need your help naming one of my Tech Talks about how to document things to help your friends and families. We have a dumb tip and a dumb question – the first about how to have your Mac read out your serial number for you, the second on where Apple hid the search on this page option in iOS 7’s mobile Safari. RadTech sent me a pile of awesome gadgets – I review first the WaveJamr to give your iPod dock speakers Bluetooth capability, the second is the Saidoka iPhone Dock for iPhone from Blue Lounge. Bluemango Learning discontinues ScreenSteps Desktop but Clarify 2 is coming soon. In Chit Chat Across the Pond, Tom Merritt of Tech News Today and I talk about the past, current and future of Television.
Hi this is Allison Sheridan of the NosillaCast Mac Podcast, hosted at Podfeet.com, a technology geek podcast with an EVER so slight Macintosh bias. Today is Sunday October 13, 2013 and this is show number 440.
Tech News Today
I had SUCH a blast this week – remember I told you I was going to be on Tech News Today? It was so much fun. The pressure was on though because this isn’t all about Apple, I had to be prepared to be brilliant on any tech topic they threw out there. I’d always wondered if I’d be able to do it but luckily Tom did something that gave me a fighting chance. Just a few weeks back he posted a video showing how he prepares for Tech News Today. In the video he starts showing the alarm about to go off, makes coffee, lets the dogs out and then gets to work. He opens up his feed reader and goes to town on it opening tab after tab and rearranging them into the most important stories. After about an hour of this, he starts to populate their Google Doc. The good news was that he showed a time stamp of right around 8 o’clock the stories have pretty much congealed. That meant as soon as 8am hit, Steve could start reading all the stories and putting notes together of some of the details. Then I jumped in after him, reading the stories and his notes and started to make another column of notes on what witty and brilliant things I would say. By the time 9:45 wound around, I was versant on whether Samsung should be looking to buy a bunch of software companies, who should be the next CEO for Microsoft (and why) and whether a $129 smoke detector was worth the money.
I think I held my own pretty well actually, didn’t say anything TRULY stupid at least! Over in the shownotes I embedded the video of the episode entitled “Bob’s House of Detectors” (which, by the way, was a joke I made) so you can go over and watch it if you like it or pick it up wherever fine podcasts are given away!
Using a Screen Reader? click here
Slight Correction on RAVPower Charger
I heard back from Flynn at RAVPower on my confusion about what connectors were included. Turns out that while I thought I got two 30 pin Apple Dock connectors, one of them is actually the Samsung connector they talked about in the manual. Did you know that Samsung had an almost identical 30 pin connector to Apple’s for use with their Galaxy Tab? How come no one ever gives Samsung a hard time for this? They’re ALWAYS giving Apple a hard time for not using micro-USB, right? Oh well, live and learn!
Prizmo 3 Giveaway
Two weeks ago I did a review of an excellent iOS app called Prizmo that does optical character recognition on scans made with your iOS device. The lovely folks over at Creaceed, makers of Prizmo suggested that I do a giveaway of five licenses for Prizmo 3. I’ve decided to give the instructions through the NosillaCast News as a way to get more of you to subscribe to it. I know, it’s tricky of me but hey, want something free there’s always a price.
The NosillaCast News comes out every week after the show posts with the short version of what the show’s about. That’s a nice weekly feature, but the main reason I want people to subscribe is if something ever goes wrong with the show. Once in a while, not very often, some catastrophe strikes, like my host goes down or I get the martian death flu and I desperately want you to know that I didn’t get hit by a bus or simply forget to do the show. That’s where being on distribution for the NosillaCast News pays off. I’ll be sending out the
So ANYWAY – sign up right away for the NosillaCast News by clicking on NosillaCast News in the menubar over at podfeet.com. I will send out the email about how to enter on Friday the 18th of October, and will choose the winners at random on Friday the 25th. If you listen to this too late to get the newsletter on the 18th – send me an email and I’ll check to see if you’ve subscribed and then send you the info on how to enter. Good luck everyone!
Crowdsourcing Macworld Tech Talk Title
I need your help. I’m working on my tech talk submissions for Macworld. I really want to teach how to create tutorials for friends and family using Clarify. This will not be an ad, they’re not paying me to say it, it’s just that I’m so passionate about this topic I would love to do a full blown tutorial on it. I hope to do a video tutorial some day soon (it’s on my goals in retirement) but right now I need to get my writeup in to the Macworld folks. So here’s where I need your help. What should I call the talk? “Creating Spectacular Documentation” sounds like, “come hear me talk about insurance” doesn’t it? It SOUNDS boring even though it’s not. I’ve talked to Greg over at Bluemango Learning and he says they’ve not had a lot of success coming up with a catchy title either. So here’s what I want you to do. Close your eyes, imagine you’re reading the program guide for the tech talks and deciding which one to go to. There’s a talk on backups, one on how to create video, there’s one on using the cloud, one on iOS tips and tricks, and say one more with a famous person like Chris Breen. But ONE jumps out at you as the one you MUST go to that’s about creating documentation with Clarify…what would that title be that would make you show up to that one instead?
• Teach what you know
* Get people off your back
• Teach only once
• Stop the back and forth emails
• Help your family be more productive
These all pretty much stink I think but if you don’t come up with something better, I’ll have to pick one of them! Please email me at [email protected] or send me a tweet @podfeet with better and more creative ideas!
Dumb Tip Corner – BarryP Speaks Serial Number
Barry Porter wrote in an awesome tip:
Make a Mac Read the Serial Number to You
• From the Apple menu, go to “About This Mac” as usual, then click the “System Report” button
• From System Information, pull down the “File” menu and choose “Speak Serial Number” (or hit Command+4 if you’re a keystroke fan) to instantly and very clearly speak the serial number to you
• Write the serial number down yourself, or just hold the phone up to the Mac to have it read clearly to the other end
this is awesome! Note that you can select ANY text on a Mac. Just select the text you want read out loud, right click and select Speech from the pulldown menu and then Speak Selection. What’s cool about your tip is that it speaks it SLOWLY so you could actually write the serial number down or play it back for AppleCare. I especially like this because my stoopid serial number has 8s and Bs in it right next to each other and I’ve never read it off correctly yet!
Dumb Question Corner – Where’s Search on Page in Safari?
Steve Davidson asks:
I finally migrated my iPad to iOS 7, and I noticed something missing in mobile Safari. Prior versions of mobile Safari had a search field in the upper right corner that two served purposes: One was to do a web search, and the other was to search for text within the Web page you are viewing.
Under iOS 7, mobile Safari has the now-ubiquitous unified/integrated address/search field, and I think we’ve lost the ability to search for text within a Web page. On MacBook or non-portable Mac, a CMD-f key combination evokes the ability to search within a Web page. But I’m unaware of a way of doing in in mobile Safari under iOS 7.
My Dumb Question is: Where did that capability go?
Ooh – I love this one!
I’ve been using Chrome for a long time on iOS because I hated having a separate search and url bars in Safari. However, I loved the “search on page” thing in Safari so I’d still go back and forth. I have been trying to switch to Safari but some of its behaviors are pretty annoying. For example, let’s say you’ve got a url in Safari that you want to copy to put into some other tool without using the share button. As soon as you tap on the url in iOS 6, it would select the text and let you choose Copy.
In iOS 7, as soon as you tap on the url, the page you were viewing disappears and shows you your bookmarks. the good news is that the url is selected, but you don’t get the copy option. Ok, hold down on the url to Copy – nope, it deselects but offers to select again. Now after you select all, you can finally select Copy. Really really annoying.
Oh wait, this was about YOUR question, wasn’t it? I love using command-F to search in web browsers – in fact I use it so often that when I’m reading a magazine my brain actually thinks command-F! When I first heard about it in iOS I was delighted. But as you say, that option appears to be gone. The good news is that the fine folks over at The Mac Observer http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/ios-7-how-to-search-for-text-on-a-page-in-safari actually got the same question and found the answer in the craziest place – in the iPad Users Guide with iOS 7! Who knew that even existed?
They point out that way down on page 46 the manual actually tells you how to do it.
Remember my complaint that when you tap on the search bar you lose the page you were on? You actually don’t lose it, it just looks like it’s gone. After tapping the url bar and losing the visual of the page you were looking at, simply type in your search term and scroll down past the google search suggestions, and you’ll se” “On This Page” and the number of matches.
I’m not a big ol’ iOS 7 hater like some, but I think some of the design changes really hurt the user experience rather than helped it, and this is a perfect example. I don’t think I ever would have found “search on page” when I was no longer allowed to look at the page! If they just left you on the page the whole thing would be intuitive but for some reason they decided tapping on the url means tapping on the bookmarks icon. Maybe it was a mistake? We can only hope..
My friend Deb Shadovitz hooked me up with a guy named John Grzeskowiak from RadTech. This company sells and makes some of the coolest gadgets around, stuff that actually solves real problems. I asked to review one product but instead he sent me about fifteen different products in one box! I’m going to spread the fun over a few episodes of the show but I haven’t opened anything yet that I didn’t think was super cool and even priced affordably.
WaveJamr by RadTech
Let’s start with the first thing I opened, called the WaveJamr. Let’s start with the problem to be solved. You invested in a bunch of really nice speaker docks over the years that are now pretty much useless because Apple dropped the 30 pin dock connector. I have two iHomes, and a ??????? that I pretty much only use if I’m listening to my iPod Nano nowadays. The WaveJamr brings these back into being cool again. It’s a very small adapter almost exactly the size of an iPod Nano, that plugs into the 30 pin dock connector…and turns your speaker into an A2DP BlueTooth Speaker!
I opened the box, plugged it into one of my speaker docks, opened my iPad and went to Bluetooth in system settings, tapped on WaveJamr and instantly was able to play audio from my iPad to my speakers. ZERO setup for this thing, it just works. Hey how about this – what if you have a 30 pin dock connector in your car…but you’ve switched to Android or Windows Phone? Not a problem, plug in the Wave Jamr and you’re back in business in your car. They have produced 5 versions of the Wave Jamr and still sell version 4, so it’s important for you to know that it’s version 5 that I got to test. V5 will run you $40 which is a great price to revive a $150 iHome or even better speaker I think.
Remember when I got my new Acura TL and I complained that the menu system is so arcane I can’t figure it out? Well, even though my iPhone connects via Bluetooth to make phone calls, I’ve not yet cracked the code on how to get it to play audio over Bluetooth, but now I don’t have to crack the code. I can plug in one of the 128 30 pin dock connector cables I own to my car and then throw the WaveJamr on it and I’ll be in business! I have to say I love this device. There is of course, a link in the shownotes to the WaveJamr at radtech.us.
Saidoka iPhone Dock from RadTech
The main reason I wanted to talk to RadTech in the first place was a device that they sell called the Saidoka Desktop Dock for iPhone from Bluelounge. Problem to be solved first, right? You’d like to charge your iPhone while it’s sitting on your desk beside you but you’ve grown weary of the spiders nest of white cables lying around your desk. Steve and I both wanted a nice solution so he bought us two of Apple’s new iPhone 5s dock (which works with the iPhone 5 as well) for $29. The good news is you can absolutely clear up the clutter on your desk with this device. The bad news is that it doesn’t come with a USB cable and the cable HAS to be a lightning cable which will run you another $19 if you don’t have a spare. The other bad news is that you have to remove your case to put the iPhone into the dock. And finally after all that, it mounts the iPhone almost vertically, maybe a 15° angle back, so you can’t easily interact with it without pulling it out of the dock. Because it’s vertical, it doesn’t take up a lot of desk space so I guess that’s an advantage.
Let’s look at the Saidoka Desktop Dock in contrast. This dock mounts your phone almost lying flat down on the desk with just enough angle to make it easily readable, and the angle is perfect for interacting while it’s on the desk. The Saidoka is black and comes with a black micro-USB cable that has this nice woven texture on it. The Saidoka has a built in lightning connector, which caused both Steve and me to study the packaging to ensure that this was a certified Apple product. We studied the packaging information that we know Apple is SUPER anal about, and it matched exactly with what we saw on one of our iHome boxes, so we think it’s legit.
When you first go to slide your iPhone down into the dock, you’ll notice that it has a rubber gasket lining which holds your iPhone nice and snug if it’s not in the case. This lining is easily removable and then you can actually slide your phone in with a case. If you have a giant Otterbox, this is not going to work for you, but I tested it with Apple’s new iPhone 5s case and it slipped right in with some room to spare. I don’t see any dimensions listed on the site for what kind of case you can use with it but think slimmer rather than giant!
One thing I forgot to mention on the Apple Dock – to remove the iPhone you pick it up and then pull the dock off of the bottom. The Saidoka has two rubber pads on the bottom with “micro-suction” that hold it down to the desk so all you have to do is slide the phone right out as a one-handed operation. I should mention that at first it was sliding all over the desk but then I realized they had those plastic peelies on the rubber to protect them, so once you peel those off that dock is not moving unless you want it to.
The Saidoka Desktop Dock for iPhone is $49.95 at RadTech.com, but remember that’s with the cable included so it’s about the same price as the Apple Dock and soooo much more functional. I also like that it’s black so it sort of disappears on my desk instead of adding to the visual noise of all those white cables! You can also get a 30 pin dock connector version of the Saidoka for $29.95 over at Radtech.com
ScreenSteps and Clarify
I want to tell you today about some really big changes going on over at Bluemango Learning. As you know if you’ve been listening for any length of time, they sell three distinct products. They have Clarify, ScreenSteps Desktop and a hosted service called ScreenSteps Live. Over time it’s become apparent that ScreenSteps Live is a terrific solution for businesses, educational institutions and nonprofits who need to create an online knowledge base, collaborate on it and keep it up to date, while Clarify is the right tool for individuals creating more short form tutorials. What’s left sort of in the middle is ScreenSteps Desktop, the standalone application. It was a really tough decision but they’ve decided to discontinue development of ScreenSteps Desktop.
Don’t panic, your ScreenSteps Desktop application won’t suddenly stop working or disappear from your Mac or PC, it will still continue to function just as it is today, there just won’t be any new development coming for it. If you do want to have the latest and greatest, you’ll have two options. If you do have the need for a hosted service for creating an online knowledge base, then you’ll want to migrate over to the ScreenSteps hosted service, but if you’re an individual with less complex requirements you’ll want to migrate to Clarify 2 – a whole new application for the Mac and PC that will be in beta testing pretty soon. The new ScreenSteps is really for teams and businesses while Clarify 2 will be geared towards individuals, just like the current version of Clarify.
I have heard a bit about what’s coming in Clarify 2 – and it’s AWESOME, but they won’t let me tell you about it just yet. Let me say that I’m really excited about the new stuff; the new features are definitely things I want to use as soon as possible.
The main message the guys wanted to get across to you was that you shouldn’t run off and buy ScreenSteps Desktop unless you really really want that standalone application that’s no longer under active development. Again, individuals will want to go to clarify-it.com and check out Clarify for the Mac or PC (or even a cross platform license if that’s how you roll. I promise that as SOON as they let me get my hands on the beta of Clarify 2, I’ll be sure to be gabbing like crazy about the new features.
Chit Chat Across the Pond with Tom Merritt
Tom Merritt of Tech News Today on the TWiT network joins us to talk about Television. He’s co-host of Tech News Today, Sword and Laser and It’s a Thing, Science Fiction Author of three books Boiling Point, and United Moon Colonies, the Chronology of Tech History and his most recent novel Lot Beta, and comic book author of Ten State.
We talked about where we are in Television now with
• Broadcast TV, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video
• TiVo, AppleTV, Roku, Chromecast, Blu-ray players, media servers like Xbox or even Mac Mini
• Over the air antennas and Aero
We talked about how hard it is to watch TV today, and how Netflix might be the winning trajectory right now. We get Tom’s views on where the future lies.
Find out about all of Tom’s work at tommerritt.com
That’s going to wind this up for this week, many thanks to our sponsor for helping to pay the bills, Blue Mango Learning at bluemangolearning.com makers of ScreenSteps and Clarify. Don’t forget to send in your Dumb Questions, comments and suggestions by emailing me at [email protected], follow me on twitter and app.net @podfeet. Check out the NosillaCast Google Plus Community too – lots of fun over there! If you want to join in the fun of the live show, head on over to podfeet.com/live on Sunday nights at 5pm Pacific Time and join the friendly and enthusiastic NosillaCastaways. Thanks for listening, and stay subscribed.