By now you’re either sick of hearing about HomePod, or you’re so curious about it you’re paying attention to this. I thought it might be fun to talk about what has surprised Steve and me about HomePod.
I’ve read the reviews, I’ve heard the hype, and I’ve heard the naysayers. I would suggest to you that you think about HomePod as a speaker. A really awesome speaker that has great sound. And it also comes with a frequently recalcitrant, always myopic, and slightly dimwitted assistant. How about we avoid the word “smart” altogether?
Allison interviews Jan Greenspan from Nite Ize about a couple of their new products: the Cordcollar and the Steelie Mount System. The Cordcollar is a durable cover to reinforce cable ends where they bend the most to help prevent fraying while providing color coding to help distinguish similar cords and cables. The Steelie Ecosystem is a family of products that make it easy to mount and view your mobile device just about anywhere. Featuring magnetic mounting technology, this two-part ball and socket system creates a hands-free viewing platform with continuously adjustable viewing angles in your car, at home, and on the go. The setting is Pepcom at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. Learn more at https://www.niteize.com/
Bart’s tutorial for this lesson is at bartbusschots.ie/… starting where he inserted the line, “Note: This is the point in the notes where the first podcast episode ends and the second begins.”
Allison interviews Greg Siwak from Guardzilla about their new 360-deg security cameras. Guardzilla’s family of security cameras deliver live HD video, inside and outside of the home, up to 360-degree views, automatic arming, night vision, two-way audio, instant motion alerts, and cloud video recording. Guardzilla also offers an accompanying easy-to-use app to control and monitor their cameras. The setting is Pepcom at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. Learn more at https://www.guardzilla.com/
Allison interviews Andrew Gerth and Larry O’Connor from OWC about their Thunderbolt 3 storage and docks. The OWC ThunderBlade V4 SSD RAID supports capacities from 1 to 8 TB for Macs and PCs and offers screaming data transfer speeds up to 2800 MB/s over Thunderbolt 3. It is rugged, portable and comes in a custom-fit ballistic hard-shell case. OWC’s new Thunderbolt 3 Dock is similar to their previous TB3 dock except it now supports Windows as well as Macs and the Firewire port has been removed. The setting is CES Unveiled at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas. Learn more at https://www.owcdigital.com/
When Steve and I were retiring, many people asked us if we were going to travel. I said, “no plans at all to travel.” Evidently I was wrong! It seems we travel an awful lot these days, to both foreign lands and locally to go see the grandson.
I’ve gotten so that I can pack in my sleep, grabbing all of the necessities. There are of course two lists in my head. Silly things like clothes and toothbrushes, and the more important list of things like laptops, tablets and of course chargers.
The one thing I often seem to forget though is my Apple Watch charger. I even have two of them, one on my desk and one by my bed, but every 3rd trip I forget to bring one. My theory on why I forget the Apple Watch chargers is it’s because the little charger pucks are threaded into a stand and so they’re not so easy to make easily portable.
In a pinch, you can usually drum up a lightning cable and a USB-charger block to charge your phone, but there’s no way to piece together a charger for the Apple Watch.
I interview Timothy Bean from Fortem Technologies about their new, compact radar designed for use on drones. The TrueView radar is lightweight (< 1.5 lbs), draws little power (37 W) and enables beyond visual line-of-sight autonomy for drones. This radar allows the drone operator to quickly and easily detect objects from the air at long range to avoid manned aircraft or other non-cooperative objects such as birds or other drones. Optional modules allow for complete end-to-end integration for tracking, classification, command and control, and pre-integrated autopilots. Using TrueView-equipped drones, companies can provide safe and cost-effective package delivery services, large infrastructure inspections, border patrols, etc. Once federal laws are modified, a drone equipped with the TrueView radar and a net gun can be used to locate and take down other drones flying in unauthorized areas. The setting is Pepcom at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. Learn more at http://www.fortemtech.com/r20.html
Security Medium — Strava Heatmaps have Unintended Consequences
The popular exercise tracking app Strava regularly produces a really cool heat-map that shows where most people run, cycle, swim etc.. The data is anonymised, so it all seems like some innocent fun. The latest version of the heatmap was published back in November, and no one thought it was a problem.
All the cool kids are moving to Discord for podcasting and chat, and so is the NosillaCast. We’ll hear a CES interview with August about their smart locks (spoiler, I’ve got one). TJ gives us his review of the HiFi ELITE Super66 headphones. Back to CES with the Velco Connected Handlebars for bicycles, and the new fleet of Jabra wireless headphones. In Security Bits, Bart Busschots brings us up to date on Spectre and Meltdown, along with an interesting lesson about spareness and density of data collection regarding how the exercise app Strava showed military installations.
In this week’s episode of Programming By Stealth, Bart had intended to work on improving our Cellular Automata, but we ended up spending a lot more time on reviewing the challenges from last week that we stopped before getting to the new stuff. The good news is that we’re going to do the Cellular Automata improvements in only one week (it will be PBS 49B), and we have no homework for the week! As always, Bart’s excellent tutorial shownotes are available at bartbusschots.ie/….