I’ve had the telltale signs for awhile now – not hearing timers go off, comically misinterpreting words in a conversation, turning up the volume on everything to 10. It was time for hearing aids. In typical geek fashion, I was not concerned about how they would look, but I did care about how they would connect to my phone and my car.
Bart Busschots stands in for a vacationing Allison Sheridan. Since the show is recorded on St. Patrick’s Day, Bart starts with a recipe for an Irish hot whiskey. Then we have a review of MFi Hearing Aids from listener Gretchen, an interview with Wonder Workshop recorded by Allison & Steve at CES earlier this year, an AppleTV & AirPod dumb question & answer from listener Dick, an iCloud Photo library syncing story from Allison, a review of Mylio from listener Tom, and finally a solo Security Bits from Bart.
Microsoft have removed the special registry flag which prevented the Spectre/Meltdown patches being applied on machines without AV that explicitly declares itself compatible with the patch. This approach made sense early in the response to these bugs, but it did have an undesirable side-effect, a machine with no AV would never get patched. That’s no longer the case now — arstechnica.com/…
iCloud Photo Library is a glorious thing. With a few dollars a month, you can have all of your photos swooshing up and down to the cloud, resident on all of your devices. On each device, you can choose whether to keep the originals or to let Apple use their algorithms to optimize your photo library. This optimization means you’ll never run out of space on your iPhone, iPad or your Mac.
If you choose optimized photos, some images will be stored locally in full resolution and some come down on demand when you tap on them. At all times thumbnails are available to be tapped, and as long as you have an Internet connection your vast library is always available to you. Any edits on one device are magically reflected on all other devices. Life is good.
My Photos library is giant by any measure, with more than 70,000 images taking up over 500GB of space. And yet I have access to all of these photos on my iPhone and iPad, which certainly don’t have 500GB of storage. I can even get to all of my photos by logging into iCloud.com. It really is a wonderful thing.
Allister Jenks stands in for a vacationing Allison Sheridan. We have a review of Paintcode, a story of using the Apple Watch to track health in ways other than the Activity app, Allister’s own health app Stretch Timer, two interviews from CES with We.Stream and Bellus3D, some security tips with Cyber Essentials, and a fun casual iOS game, Rings.
UPDATE: Since I wrote this post (and recorded for the podcast) an update for Rings has appeared which claims to fix the in-app purchase bug and also streamlines some other parts of the app.
I’m not a “gamer” by any stretch of the imagination, but I do like to while away some time playing logic games – usually ones that don’t have a focus on speed or timing.
I recently came across the game Rings, by Kamil Kucma. The premise is very simple. You have a three by three grid of points onto which you place coloured rings. There are three sizes of ring and each spot can accommodate one of each size. So if a spot already has a large and a small ring, you can still place a medium ring there.
The management at my work often brings up the topic of training. While for many years it was a hollow promise, in recent years there has been a real push on staff to take training courses, and not just those directly relevant to their current roles. Anything that is relevant to our company is considered a good investment.
A colleague of mine had been stumbling his way through building PHP web front ends to various functions we normally just ran through terminal windows. He recently went through an online course in PHP web development, and so that got me to thinking what I might like to try.
My first thought was an iOS development course, to solidify my own learnings, but it turns out that a decent course that I feel would be worthwhile is very expensive and I know that management’s enthusiasm won’t stretch that far.
A few years ago, Allison encouraged me to look at Lynda.com, who offer many courses in business, IT, software development, media production, design and more. More recently I discovered that I can get free access to all of the courses through my local library membership. Late in 2017, I was looking around for something very specific – I forget what – when something else caught my eye.
Allison interviews Helen Tahn from Bellus3D about their new 3D face scanning technology. The Bellus3D Face Camera Pro is an easy-to-use, high-quality, and affordable 3D camera designed for self-scanning using selected Android and Windows OS 10 devices. To capture your face, you attach the Face Camera Pro to a smartphone or tablet, turn your head from left to right, and the camera starts creating a realistic 3D face model in a few seconds. You can share your virtual self with others, be a star in your favorite games, or get an accurate 3D print of your head. The setting is CES Unveiled at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas. Learn more at http://www.bellus3d.com/
In my story about PaintCode, I mentioned I had rewritten an app that I use for timing my muscle stretches. I’d like to tell you about that app now, in a bit of an ‘advertorial’.
I first wrote the app in 2016 when I was having back trouble, and part of the treatment for this involved regular stretching exercises. It was critical, I was told, to hold the stretches for the correct amount of time for them to work properly. While I can fairly reliably count off seconds in my head, also keeping track of the number of repetitions completed can make it easy to lose track, especially if there were also left and right variants to perform. I set about finding the perfect app in the App Store, but I couldn’t find one that wasn’t either difficult to use or overkill for the task. So, I decided to write my own.