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CES 2018: NASA SLS Orion Capsule and Parachute System

I interview Jared Daum from Johnson Space Center about NASA’s Orion Crew Capsule and its associated parachute system. The Orion capsule sits atop the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket that will take astronauts to the moon as well as Mars. Orion has a diameter of 16.5 feet and supports a crew of up to 4 astronauts. Orion’s parachute system is multi-staged with the last three main parachutes each having an area of 11,000 sq-ft. Learn more at

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CES 2018: Magik AR Toothbrush for Kids

Allison interviews Holly Hasegawa from Kolibree about their Magik AR toothbrush. Magik is the first interactive toothbrush that uses Augmented Reality to motivate and educate kids to better brush their teeth. Magik uses computer vision to estimate the toothbrush position in the mouth as well as the movement the user is choosing. It comes with a mobile app that lets you know how well they brushed. Learn more at

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CES 2018: Oledcomm LiFi Connectivity

Allison interviews Benjamin Azoulay from Oledcomm about their Infrared LiFi wireless solution. Oledcomm uses a Li-Fi-enabled lightbulb to transmit data at speeds as fast as 50 megabits per second. LiFi is secure and private since the LiFi signal does not cross walls. The setting is CES Unveiled at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas. Learn more at

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CES 2018: Eargo Hearing Aids

Allison interviews Raphael Michel from Eargo about their unique hearing aid design. Eargo hearing aids fit discreetly inside the ear canal so they’re nearly hidden when in use. The device is designed with innovative and comfortable Flexi Fibers that hold Eargo in place and help them float in your ear. Eargos are rechargeable and come with a compact charging case. The setting is Pepcom at the Mirage hotel in Las Vegas. Learn more at

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The Night Before Christmas

Since it’s only a week until Christmas Eve, I thought now would be a good time to resurrect the poem that has become a holiday tradition on the NosillaCast. So grab a hot beverage and some cookies, sit back, relax and enjoy a slightly modified version of The Night Before Christmas.

The Night Before Christmas
with an EVER So Slight Apple Bias

(with credit and apologies to Clement Clarke Moore or Henry Livingston)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a . . . track pad; (ok, work with me here)
The ear-buds were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that
all things iMaker soon would be there;
The NosillaCastaways were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of
iPads danced in their heads;
And podfeet in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cravat,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s Skype chat,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the
keyboard to see what was the matter.
Away to the windoze . . . I flew like a flash drive,
Tore open the shutters and nearly did a nosedive.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of
brushed aluminum to objects below,
When, what to my eyes seemed very bizarre,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny cars,
With a little old driver, with whom elves hobnob,
I knew in a moment it must be Honda Bob.
More rapid than 4G his vehicles they came,
And he
tweeted, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, Accord! now, Civic! now, Fit and CR-V!
On, Element! on Ridgeline! on, Pilot! and Odyssey!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
drive away! drive away! drive away all!”
As dry leaves that before the reality distortion field endowed,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the cloud,
So up to the house-top the vehicles they flew,
With the sleigh full of
Apple products, and Honda Bob too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard with a squeal
The skidding and sliding of each little wheel.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney
Bob came with a bound.
He was dressed in coveralls, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with
oil and soot;
A bundle of SSDs he had flung in his Scott-EVest,
And he looked like a geek who was extremely obsessed.
A wink of his eye and a look not too pious,
Soon gave me to know he had an Apple bias;
He spoke not a word, but texted his concern,
And filled all the stockings; then hit return,
And laying his finger aside his levitation app,
A command to his iPad, up the chimney, ASAP!;
He sprang to his sleigh, and his autos, did they bristle,
And away they all flew as if shot from a missile.
But I heard him exclaim, as the poem prescribed,

“Happy Christmas to all, and please stay subscribed.”

DTNS 3132 Live – I Make Videos on the Internet

While Tom is away in Europe, Justin Robert Young hosts episode 3132 of the Daily Tech News Show with guests Jeff Cannata, Darren Kitchen, and Allison Sheridan. The group explores how Podcasting has evolved over the past decade and where it’s going. This episode was held live at the Los Angeles Podcast Festival at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown LA.

If you’ve already seen the official DTNS video, jump right to the outtakes for some fun:

Pre-show outtake at 46:08
Particularly funny moment at 49:30

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One Minute Time-Lapse of 2017 Solar Eclipse

I’ve included one last video of the 2017 solar eclipse (can you tell I can’t get enough of this?). This one is just the close up of the eclipse as it passes through totality. I’ve added some music for effect and have not included shots of the landscape and audience. Except for entry into and exit from totality, the video is time-compressed 10 to 1 to keep it one minute in length. A solar filter was removed just before totality began and reattached shortly after totality concluded. The music is “Mystic Spirit” by Digital Juice.

You can find how we recorded the eclipse while still enjoying the experience here: How Do You Capture a Total Eclipse … and Still Experience It?

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diamond ring on total eclipse

Eclipse 2017 from Madras, Oregon – 3 Minute Video

Jean MacDonald, Allison and I had the indescribable pleasure of viewing the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse in central Oregon near Madras. We arrived at 5 am at the one of the Round Butte Park overlooks in Cove Palisades State Park and met several people who joined us at our viewing location. Other than Jean, we didn’t know any of these people before the event but we made friends with all of them while sharing an awe inspiring experience.

You’ll hear us talk on the video about a couple solar flares we thought we saw: one on the right side and the other on the upper right quadrant of the sun’s corona. After the eclipse I checked high resolution NASA eclipse photos and confirmed there were indeed two solar flares just where we thought we saw them. Cool!

December 2017 Update: I was very pleased to see Google used a portion of my video in their “Google – Year in Search 2017” video which you can find here: Google – Year in Search 2017. It’s only a one-second clip that starts around 1 minute into their video. Look for where the guy in the lower right points upward toward the eclipse (they flipped my video horizontally). My 15 minutes of fame lasted only a second, but maybe I have another 14 minutes and 59 seconds coming?

To read about how I captured this and enjoyed the experience, read this post: How Do You Capture a Total Eclipse … and Still Experience It?

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Confession From a Former Mouse User

Steve Sheridan here, the man behind the podfeet. I’ve been a die-hard mouse user ever since I started using a Mac in 1984. I’ve upgraded over the years, even using one of those fancy ergonomic mice from Logitech (the Performance Mouse MX) with lots of buttons and features, but to be honest I pretty much just scroll and click with it.

Whenever I’d sit down at Allison’s desk and try to use her Magic Trackpad, I found myself frustrated. I often said disparaging things about her trackpad, usually starting with the words “I hate …” When Allison would come to my desk, she would always complain about my mouse, even if it was me using it at the time. She claimed that it physically hurt her to watch me scroll and scroll to go down a web page.

You might have heard that Allison bought me a new iMac for Father’s Day. Since she was buying, she bought it with the dreaded Magic Trackpad. She figured that I would continue to use my Logitech Performance Mouse and she’d get a spare trackpad out of the deal.

I set up my new iMac on the left side of my desk with the old iMac on the right while I did the transfer of my data. Allison strongly urged me NOT to use Migration Assistant, simply because I haven’t done a clean install in five years. What could possibly go wrong? Keeping both systems up at once meant that I was forced to use the new trackpad on the new Mac until I decommissioned the old one. Continue reading “Confession From a Former Mouse User”

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Dumb Question Corner – What’s the Difference Between an Amp and a Receiver?

Gen 4 Apple TVListener Jill sent in a great dumb question this week, and Allison decided that I was more qualified to answer. Here’s Jill’s question:

What is a “receiver”?

The reason for my question is, Apple told us at WWDC that the 4th gen Apple TV could be used as a destination for Airplay 2 (multi-room audio). But the 4th gen Apple TV has no audio out, so how can that work? I don’t want my TV screen lighting up every time I want to play a podcast! Well, I asked around, and I got told “You need a receiver that offers HDMI connections”. Hence my question. So … what is a “receiver”? Also, supplementary question – why is it called a “receiver”? I have a good old fashioned amp, because I’m nearly as old as you are. I get amps: sound sources go in; you choose one, adjust the volume, job done. You can’t buy them any more – just these receiver things, and since I never got on that train, I haven’t a clue where to start asking about them.

Good question, Jill. You actually pose a couple questions. The first is “What is a receiver and why is it called a receiver?” and the second (implied) question is “How do you play audio from a gen 4 Apple TV?”

Let’s start with what is a receiver and why is it called a receiver. There are several types of receivers but the relevant ones for this discussion are an audio receiver and an A/V (audio/video) receiver.

Continue reading “Dumb Question Corner – What’s the Difference Between an Amp and a Receiver?”

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