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 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.
Terry Austin here with a brief review of my brand new Matias keyboard. I recently found myself in need of a new wireless keyboard and on the very reliable recommendation of the ineffable Jeff Gamet over at the Mac Observer, I went with the Matias Wireless Aluminum Keyboard in Space Gray (to match my MacBook Pro).
This keyboard has a few key features that make it invaluable for my home office. I’m a work at home professor who teaches college level anatomy & physiology classes online. On top of that I do some consulting work for a major publisher of higher ed textbooks. My work station is something of a geek’s dream…
The show isn’t too long this week, but it’s action packed. We’ll start with a conversation about what surprised Steve and me about HomePod. Then we’ve got Steve in front of the microphone (and camera) with an interview from CES with Fortem about their Drone Killing radar. I’ve got an interview with OWC at CES about their wicked fast Thunderbolt 3 Storage and their docks. Then I’ll tell you about how we finally broke down and installed a smart lock – the August Smart Lock Pro + Connect. Back to CES and we’ll talk to Guardzilla with their 360 security camera. We’ll wind up the show with a review of the Belkin Valet Power Pack that charges both your iPhone and your Apple Watch with a built-in Apple Watch charger puck.
Steve and I have been moving very cautiously into having a smart home. We started with a smart smoke detector with the Nest, then a couple of Hue lightbulbs came on the scene. We added a couple of Wemo switches somewhere along the line, and eventually a couple of security cameras, as I’ve told you about before. The one thing that really gave us pause was the idea of a smart door lock.
But then I started talking to that crazy Joe Dugandzic of Smarter Home Life, and he talked about his cool August Smart Lock. I was jealous, but I still didn’t jump. Then I listened to a podcast (and I wish for the life of me I could remember which one) where they talked about someone testing a whole pile of smart locks and determining which had good security models. The August Smart Lock was on the good list. Additionally, the August Smart Lock is HomeKit-compatible. It isn’t the only smart lock that’s HomeKit compatible, but that definitely played into our decision. If you’re a fan of Alexa, she can play with the August devices as well.
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?
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.”
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.
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/….