In Dumb Question Corner, Leon asks for a tool to make his iPhone automatically switch from cellular to wifi. More interviews from Macworld: FLIR ONE Thermal Imaging device from http://flir.com/flirone, Ergotron WorkFit Sit-Stand Workstation from http://ergotron.com, Refurbme to track the Apple Refurb Store from http://refurb.me, Petcube to entertain your pet from a distance from http://petcube.com, BassEgg makes any surface a Bluetooth speaker from http://bassegg.com, sDockAir iPad/iPhone Wallmount from http://smart-things.com, OctoFire 8-Port Smart Charger from Skiva from http://skivatech.com, WeCamChat from http://wecamchat.com and HIDER 2 from MacPaw protects your sensitive files from http://macpaw.com/hider. In Chit Chat Across the Pond we’re joined by Nate Lanxon from the Wired.co.uk Podcast to talk about differences in technology between our countries and the future of podcasting.
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 April 6, 2014 and this is show number 465. Before we get into the show I need to plug a whole bunch of podcasts I’ve been on and are going to be on. Right after we got back from the trip I had the great fun of being on the show Cordkillers with Brian Brushwood and Tom Merritt. The episode is called “In hate with our DVRs” and it’s over at cordkillers.com. Friday I was on Let’s Talk Photography hosted by our very own Bart Busschots, and on Saturday I was on his show Let’s Talk Apple. Both shows are over on lets-talk.ie. In the photography show we talked about using shutter priority which was really fun for me because I’m pretty much the stooge of the show where Tom, Antonio and Bart are the experts so they helped stretch my brain. I’ve got three more shows by other people scheduled for this week but I won’t break your brain trying to remember all of them, I’ll tell you the rest next week! I’m a busy podcaster nowadays!
Well Steve has been going crazy posting the video interviews from Macworld! Last week in the show you heard the audio from the first 11 interviews, and he now has all of those videos posted. Remember how I wanted to kind of change up the way I post on podfeet.com? Well I’m making each video a standalone blog post. I think this is cool because if you hear me talk about Emulsio from Creaceed to steady your videos, you can just do a search on podfeet.com and boom, there’s your video to watch. I think it’s nicer for the software and hardware suppliers too because they can point right to the posts so people can check out the interview they did. All of these vendors doing these booths and exhausting themselves with non-stop questions for 3 straight days are what actually pays for Macworld to exist, so I like to give them as much publicity as I can, and if you like what you see and buy their products everyone wins.
Now with all these social networks out there, I actually have to perform nine actions on each video. I have to make the blog post, tweet it (twice, once as podfeet, once as NosillaCast), app.net it, Facebook it (twice, once as me and once for the fan page), Google plus it, and mail the vendor! I suppose I shouldn’t be whining as Steve does all the work of creating the videos in the first place…but I’m still going to whine! I hope you didn’t feel too spammed by all of this if you follow me more than one place. I thought about trying to space them out but I easily lose track of which ones I’ve done if I do that. For example, I’m pretty sure I only plugged the last two videos from CSUN but I’ll go back and catch up on those later…maybe!
The good news is that we have lots more awesome products to have you hear about. The other good news is that I have an awesome interview on Chit Chat Across the Pond this week. I was lucky enough to get Nate Lanxon on the show. If you haven’t seen him before, he’s a technology journalist and editor of wired.co.uk and host of the Wired.co.uk podcast. I love this guy – he’s a great combination of smart and funny and clever – and he loves science! After we got off the recording I dragged Steve in to talk to him because they both have a love of physics so they traded ideas on where they get to learn more. Anyway that’s a nice long chat were we discuss the differences in technology in the US vs. the UK, and get into the future of podcasting, and I even get to ask him a question that’s been bothering me for a long time and that’s why the creators of the print version of Wired hate old people so much (the print is really small). Anyway, that’s a lot to cover, and we have a dumb question from Leon to start the show:
Dumb Question Corner
Insert Leon’s question here —>
When I first got this question from Leon I decided not to answer his question but rather ask him why he wanted this. The question is relevant because he’s asking for a solution without me actually knowing what problem he’s trying to solve. People often quote me on this and it’s an important thing to always keep in mind. I can’t tell you how many times at work people would come and ask me if I could do something but I would put them in a hammer lock until they could answer that simple question. I remember one guy wanted help setting up a social network for his team, and as I peeled the onion back with that one question he finally admitted it was because his team wouldn’t talk to each other. I sent him back to the drawing board because his team wasn’t spread across the globe…they sat right next to each other. I could EASILY have given him what he asked for but it would have been a big waste of everyone’s time and money because it would not have solved the root cause problem.
So ANYWAY, after Leon and I went back and forth quite a bit, he explained that the problem he was avoid was chewing up cellular data when his device could be using wifi. Now I could answer the right question (and his actual question just for fun.)
I explained that your iOS devices will automatically switch to wifi when they come within range of a known network, so you don’t have to actively switch radios or have a tool or a setting to do it – it’s already happening automatically.
The answer to the question he did ask is no, that’s not available on iOS but it’s definitely available if you jailbreak your phone or go Android. In fact, one of the cool things you can do with NFC on the Samsung Galaxies is program one of those sticker thingys so that when you get into your car you tap it and the phone switches off wifi and turns on cellular. But like I said, you don’t actually need it with iOS!
Ok, let’s get into some interviews!
FLIR ONE Thermal Imaging Device
Interview with Jim McGowan from FLIR Systems Inc. about their FLIR ONE thermal imaging device for the iPhone. The FLIR ONE can be used to enhance personal security; locate unwanted hot-spots, such as home energy leaks; and several other consumer and prosumer uses. Learn more at http://flir.com/flirone.
I thought this was a pretty cool device and I would LOVE to have one to play with. The price is a bit steep for play but I’m guessing that this is a super reasonable price if you’re going to use it professionally. When the video is up I’ll be sure to let you know because watching it do the heat sensing is really cool.
Ergotron WorkFit Sit-Stand Workstation
Allison interviews Daneen Kiger from Ergotron about their fully adjustable WorkFit workstations. WorkFit workstations can be easily adjusted for a sitting or standing user and are available to accommodate all MacBook models as well as iMacs, and they’re actually reasonably priced! Learn more at http://ergotron.com
I actually hate the idea of standing at my desk unless I can be walking but I know a lot of people swear by it. If I were to go the standing route, the Ergotron workstations would be where I’d go because you don’t have to buy a whole new desk, it’s just bracket that you attach to your existing desk, AND at $649 for the iMac or $329 for the MacBook Pro version they’re much more affordable.
Refurbme to track the Apple Refurb Store
Allison interviews Mohammed Elalj from RefurbMe about their service to automatically notify the user when a desired product becomes available in the Apple Refurb Store. The user can search for refurb products directly based on selection criteria or set up alerts which are sent via e-mail, SMS or push notification. Learn more at http://refurb.me.
I think this is one of the best things I heard about at Macworld. I have recently become a fan of the Apple refurb store; I bought Steve a 27″ Apple Cinema Display for Christmas this year and using the refurb store saved me 20% on the price, and it comes with a full year warranty just like a new one. I definitely plan on using refurb.me to track devices for me and my friends who are always asking, “how can I get a good price on an Apple product?” I was also glad to see that RefurbMe had a good business plan.
PetCube to entertain your pet
Allison interviews Yaroslav Azhnyuk from Petcube about their product that allows users to stay connected with their pets when they are not home. Using an iPhone and mobile app, the user can watch live video of their pet and control a laser pointer to encourage chasing remotely. The user can also hear and speak to their pet with Petcube. A sharing facility is available for others to join in on the fun. Learn more at http://petcube.com.
Ok, I know this is silly but there is something about getting a pet that turns most of us into goofy little kids. I love this idea and if they’d had them for sale right then and there I TOTALLY would have bought two – one for us to play with Tesla and Buzzy when we’re away and one for Lindsay and Nolan so we could play with Dodger. Plus our animals would probably go insane after a while trying to figure out where we were so that would be fun too.
BassEgg makes any surface a Bluetooth speaker
Allison interviews Adam McPherson from Bass Egg about their portable Bluetooth speaker on the Macworld/iWorld 2014 show room floor. This novel and very compact device is not a full speaker but instead is a transducer that can be placed on any firm surface, turning it into a full speaker of comparable size. Learn more at http://bassegg.com.
I thought the Bass Egg was a pretty cool device if you want to turn any room into a party room without having a giant speaker set. I’m not sure it came through in the audio but that was REALLY loud – when I asked him if he’d pick it up again it was because I could barely hear him talking. Very cool device.
sDockAir iPad/iPhone Wallmount
Allison interviews Michael Donohue from Smart-Things Solutions about their unique sDock Air wallmount for iPads and iPhones. The sDock Air is a charging wall mount system that also serves as a photo frame. It allows the user to pivot and lock the iPad/iPhone into various orientations. Learn more at http://smart-things.com.
I don’t personally have a use case where I need or want an iPad mounted to a wall but I know people have been clamoring for this kind of thing for a long time, like to mount your iPad in the kitchen for example.
OctoFire 8-Port Smart Charger from Skiva
Allison interviews Mandeep Kumar from Skiva Technologies about their OctoFire 8-Port Smart USB Charger for portable devices. The OctoFire can simultaneously charge up to 8 iPads at full speed. Learn more at http://skivatech.com. Watch the video here: https://www.podfeet.com/blog/2014/04/octofire-8-port-smart-charger-from-skiva-at-macworld/
There’s something whimsical about the OctoFire with it’s legs hanging out in 8 directions, it solves a real problem to charge so many devices (and not just Apple devices), and I thought the price of $55 was insanely good – even $80 after the sale is over was still a great price. I actually bought one while I was writing this up!
Allison interviews Jason from WeCam about their new WeCamChat app on the Macworld/iWorld show room floor. WeCamChat provides video chat communication between iOS and Android users. Learn more at http://wecamchat.com.
Now I don’t think I’ve ever interviewed someone in a monkey suit, but Jason did a good job of explaining how cool WeCamChat works even though it was hard to keep a straight face while talking to him. I really want to check this app out, any application that pulls all these disparate services together is cool – and it even supports Chris’ beloved Windows Phone!
HIDER 2 from MacPaw protects your sensitive files
Allison interviews Phillip Struchkov from MacPaw about their HIDER2 file security application for the Mac. HIDER 2 allows the user to selectively and securely hide files and folders from anyone who does not have the HIDER 2 password, including in the Finder, Spotlight and even Terminal. Learn more at http://macpaw.com/hider.
The folks at MacPaw gave me a license to test out of HIDER 2 and I’m really looking forward to working with it. I know how to encrypt my files by hand but this was soooo much easier and slicker, can’t wait to run it through its paces.
I’ve talked a lot about how cool it is that you can store your Clarify documents inside Evernote, so it essentially acts as a database to store your tutorials so you can see them and update them. I haven’t talked much though about how easy it is to share your tutorials with people. Let’s say Steve’s dad sends me a note that his printer has disappeared from his dock (again). I could spend a bunch of time asking him what real problem he’s trying to solve but with some people they just want things a certain way and unless you can make it exactly the way they had it, they won’t be happy. I’ve tried explaining to him that your printer shows up in the dock when it’s actually printing but he really really wants it there all the time, and occasionally he accidentally drags it out and it goes poof and then he’s sad. And we don’t want dad sad, right?
I can whip open Clarify, take a couple of screenshots of how to open his Library folder, and then find his printer in the Printers folder, and drag it into the dock. I can put nice arrows showing the dock moving in space and annotate each step so he doesn’t get frustrated. But how to share the document with him? Easy peasy – I just hit the Clarify-it button in the menu bar and Clarify moves all the steps and images and annotations up to the cloud giving me a beautiful web page where I can copy the link and send it to him. Steve’s dad LOVES these tutorials, prints them out and puts them in a notebook and makes his own annotations. The best part is that he thinks I’m a GENIUS because of this. You do have to do a smidge of setup the first time to get yourself an account on clarify-it.com but it’s completely free and will make your family think (know?) you’re brilliant. Go download the free trial of the beta for Clarify 2 for Mac OR Windows over at the link in the shownotes. They’re getting close to delivery of the final version – I’ve been holding my breath so long I can hardly stand it!
Chit Chat Across the Pond
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 Clarify. Don’t forget to send in your Dumb Questions, comments and suggestions by emailing me at email@example.com, 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.