It’s another action-packed episode this week. I’ll start by telling you about the August Smart Lock Pro and how Steve and I got prepared psychologically for such a scary idea. Then we’ll hear a CES interview about the LIZN Wireless Hearpieces, Bluetooth headphones that could improve your hearing. Then we’ll head back to CES to hear about the Wagz Smart Pet Collar. If you’ve ever wanted to sit with someone but watch something completely different from them on TV, you’ll be interested in our CES interview about the MirraViz Multiview Displays. Everything has to be smart these days, and GE tells us how their Connected Lighting products fulfill that dream. As if that wasn’t enough goodness, we have Bart back with another great Security Bits segment.
Security Medium 1 — Google’s Ad Filter
On February 15 Google’s Chrome browser gained a nice new feature for controlling ads. It’s been reported on as an ad blocker, but that coverage misses a very important subtlety. Google itself calls the feature ad filtering, and an ad filter describes this feature very well indeed.
Google is an advertising company, it is not in their interest to destroy the advertising industry. They’re trying to solve a subtly different problem — the rise of ad blockers!
This week Don McAllister published my video tutorial of the iOS app Focos on ScreenCasts Online. This is an amazing app that works with dual-lens iPhones: iPhone 7+, 8+, and X. I’m really proud of this particular tutorial and the feedback has been amazing on it.
Remember the Lytro camera that took the world by storm because it’s proprietary image format allowed you to change what was in focus after the fact? It never became really popular because it was proprietary. Focos allows you to do the same thing (change the focus point) on portrait-mode photos taken by one of these dual-lens phones.
That’s not all though, you can change the virtual aperture of the image, thereby changing the depth of field. You can simulate an f/1.4 lens up to f/22. You can change how the background (fuzzy) bokeh looks by simulating famous lenses, you can change how far forward and backward the fuzzy part is in the image using an amazing visual representation of the depth data, and you can even change the shape of bright lights in the background to new shapes up to and including Apple logos.
I’ve embedded the video preview into the shownotes, but you can proceed over to ScreenCasts Online from the provided link to watch it for free with his 14 day free trial. Don’t do it though, you’ll get hooked when you see how much amazing content is there and you’ll want a subscription.
This week Bart and I celebrate 50 episodes of Programming By Stealth. As Bart points out, we’ve been at this for two years now. I’m so happy he’s stuck with me on this and he says he’s got literally years of material yet to go. To commemorate this occasion, Bart got the crazy idea to build a web app live on video. We used a YouTube Live Hangout on Air while he shared his screen. He started with a blank canvas and when he was done we had a working web app. The video is probably a better experience but the audio is supplied for those who prefer it. We did try to narrate what was going on to help with the audio.
You can find the download of Bart’s final file at bartbusschots.ie/…
You know I’m a fiend for taking screenshots and annotating them. I’ve most recently told you about TeamPaper Snap which is a somewhat limited, but still useful menubar app for screenshots. Its big advantage is that it allows you to instantly upload to the web and copy the URL to your clipboard so you can insert the screenshot into any place that only allows text. As useful as that is, the annotation tools are really limited.
Claus Wolf tipped me off to what might be an even better app called Monosnap, from monosnap.com. Monosnap is available for free for the Mac and Windows and has an in-app purchase option that seems useful enough that this could be a viable business. We like that in our apps, right?
Continue reading “Monosnap – So Much More Than a Screen Snapshot Tool”