NC #560 Apple Rant, Facebook Group, PIQ Sports Sensor, Brydge Keyboards, Ring Video Doorbell, ALLie Spherical Camera, SureCall Cell Booster

We start with an Apple rant about some “interesting” tech support calls I endured. I explain how I gave in and created a Facebook Group after all, but please don’t judge me. We have four interviews: PIQ Sports sensor to help you analyze your game, adorable Brydge keyboards for your iPad, ALLie Spherical Camera and SureCall cell phone booster (I think I might buy one of these). I also did an in depth review of the Ring Video Doorbell.


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NosillaCastaways Facebook Group is Live

FacebookOne of the dangers of asking people’s opinion before you make a decision is there is an expectation that you’ll take those opinions into account. A while ago I asked you whether you would lose all respect for me if I created a Facebook group for the NosillaCastaways. We got a ton of comments over on podfeet.com and I really appreciate the feedback. Opinions I heard included:

  • Over my dead body will I get a Facebook account (and no, it isn’t just Bart who feels that way)
  • I joined Google+ just so I could play in communities but I often forget to go there (several people said this)
  • Bart suggested the danger that if I divide the community in two by having Facebook and G+, we would be left with less than half a community. Others expressed the same concern.
  • It was suggested by a few that having a dedicated platform that wasn’t on any of these services would be the right way to go
  • Some people were worried that having both communities would be too much work for me
  • There were many people suggesting that resistance is not futile and that I should look to Locutus for inspiration

I’m really happy that so many people helped me noodle this. I’ll give you my thoughts in no particular order.
Continue reading “NosillaCastaways Facebook Group is Live”

Hands on With Ring Video Doorbell

Shaq head 2Steve and I had far too much fun setting up and testing the Ring Video Doorbell from http://ring.com. Because it was so much fun I have way too much to say about it. I’m going to break this review down into segments that perhaps will help you understand the bits you care about and, if you read long enough, learn why we had to buy a Craftsman wood router. Oddly I’m going to start with the Bottom Line and then back into The Problem To Be Solved followed by Usage, and then by Setup & Troubleshooting. Installation is where I really start to ramble so we’ll do that last.

Bottom Line

Bottom line: the Ring Video Doorbell is really cool, it solves real problems and it only costs $200. Buy one. Here’s my Amazon Affiliate link. Continue reading “Hands on With Ring Video Doorbell”

CES 2016: SureCall Cell Phone Signal Booster

Allison interviews Frankie Smith from SureCall about their new EZ-4G cell signal booster. The EZ-4G system boosts 3G and 4G cell phone signals including voice and data so you can stay better connected in more locations within your home or office. The EZ-4G will be available at the end of January, 2016. The setting is the CES Pepcom Digital Experience show floor in the Mirage hotel.

Learn more at http://surecall.com

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CCATP #423 Dave Hamilton Talks Digital vs Analog Headphones

Dave HamiltonI asked Dave Hamilton to come on the show to help us understand the impact of Apple removing the analog headphone jack. I didn’t want to do a big hand wringing about how annoying it might be to replace all of our headphones, rather I asked Dave to come on the show to explain in geeky detail what it means to have analog vs. digital headphones. We start at the beginning talking about how sound is produced in a computer and work our way through sample rates, bit rates and into some of the mechanics of a digital to analog converter (DAC). We also talked about the impact on audio when you use Bluetooth headphones.

Dave and I mentioned a couple of things in our conversation:

Understand the math: Nyquist Frequency
Annoy Children: Frequency Only Kids Can Hear
Add Bluetooth to any headphones: Antec Smartbean Bluetooth Receiver ($11 on Amazon)
Can you hear the difference? ABX Tester for iOS, ABX Tester for OSX

Find Dave on Twitter at @davehamilton. He’s the host of the Mac Geek Gab Podcast and the Gib Gab Podcast with Paul Kent.


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Magically Turn Text Into Podcasts with Narro

Narro in podcasts appI’m going to call this next subject the “Professor Maryanne Problem”. Do you find that you have lots of time where you can listen to podcasts (driving, exercising, vacuuming) but very little time to simply sit still and read long form articles? Or do you find, like me, that you’ve lost the ability to pay attention while reading long form articles? I remember years ago Leo Laporte putting it perfectly when he said, “I’ve lost the will to pay attention. I don’t even want to any more.” That’s me for sure.

Professor Maryanne Garry (you remember her, she ruined everything you believed about your memories) often sends me articles to read that are well beyond my capacity or desire to pay attention. I think my brain is so trained by reading 140 characters that my mind wanders partway through the first paragraph. She mocks me for this. The last article she sent me was 5960 words. Seriously. Who, other than a research professor, has that kind of mental stamina?

Well Jason Goff aka @eske on Twitter found the solution for me. It’s a freemium service called Narro.
Continue reading “Magically Turn Text Into Podcasts with Narro”

CES 2016: PIQ Multi-Sport Sensor

Allison interviews Vincent Mons from PIQ about their new Multi-Sport Sensor and sport specific accessories. The PIQ sensor can track performance metrics of various sports including golf, tennis, skiing and others. The sport specific accessory works with the sensor to capture data and send it to your smartphone. The athlete can measure, track, and even compete with their friends in real time as the PIQ accessory displays information instantly to their smart phone. The setting is the CES ShowStoppers show floor in the Wynn Hotel.

Learn more at http://piq.com

Using a Screen Reader? click here

ScreenCasts Online App on AppleTV

Sco meYou know I’m a big fan of Don McAllister’s ScreenCasts Online. I think it’s the best way to learn how to use applications on the Mac and iOS. It’s a subscription service at $6/month if you buy the yearly subscription. Think about that price compared to other online training courses.

I’m biased because DonĀ lets me create screencasts for him every couple of months but I’ve been an avid viewer of his subscription podcast for ages. I’ve learned so much from him even about products I’ve used for years.

Anyway, I’m bringing all of this up again because I’m delighted to tell you that ScreenCasts Online now has an official AppleTV app and it’s really really cool! Don hasĀ built a great interface and you get access to the entire ScreenCasts Online back catalog on your big screen TV.

Not only can you view simply the latest videos, you can also view by categories. Categories include Apple Watch, Business, Design, Productivity, and my favorite, Photography. For some reason Don’s got tutorials on Audio and Music too. There are hundreds of videos in his catalog. You can also view by playlists, like his entire series explaining iOS 9, or All about Apple Photos, and a series on El Capitan and a lot more.

I’ve included a few photos of the interface so you can see how pretty it is. Another thing you might want to take into consideration is that Don goes to great expense to have subtitles included in his screencasts, so if you’re hearing impaired, or even if you want to watch while your partner is sleeping, he’s got you covered.

Now it’s time to plug myself here. The latest video screencast on ScreenCasts Online is one of mine! It’s the one I talked about a couple of weeks ago where Steve helped me do a three camera shoot using a screencast, a camcorder, and an iPhone 6s for 4K video. I demonstrated three cool tools: Duet Display to let you use an iOS device as a secondary monitor for your Mac or Windows PC. Then I showed Astropad, which lets your iOS devices access your Mac apps by mirroring the screen. It works on all iOS devices but it rocks to use an iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil for find detail work. Finally I wound up with one of my favorite apps, Bookpedia from Bruji, that lets you create a database of all your books.

If you want to check out my latest video for Don and get access to the entire back catalog, you can get a free 14 day trial over at http://screencastsonline.com

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