Steve and I are back from CES with tales of adventure. We’ve got interviews with Akoustic Arts who are developing a highly directional audio antenna, Belkin with a Thunderbolt dock and more, Kwikset with their HomeKit-enabled locks called Premis, and Luma with their mesh routers. After that we have an installment of Security Bits with Bart Busschots.
Chit Chat Across the Pond was a discussion with Allister Jenks about Affinity Designer and the place vector-based image applications have in our workflow. We’ve got a lot of listener feedback about AirPods, including Garth Humphreys from the iBlindTech podcast. Jill recommends the small and lightweight Bluetooth remote control from Satechi for use with the iPhone and AirPods. We talk about the AirPods and the Trekz both having trouble playing audio from iOS this week. I do a bit of an anti-review, explaining that the USB-C Griffin Breaksafe will not take the place of Magsafe in your life. Then we’re back to more AirPods talk where I delve deep into why Bluetooth headphones have lag and syncing issues where wired headphones do not. Many thanks to Chris from Rogue Amoeba and Stephen Coyle who tested Bluetooth vs wired headphones for lag and published his results here. Finally I answer Steve Davidson’s question about whether it’s possible to plug a USB drive into the Netgear X8 router and run a Time Machine backup on it.
It’s Christmas Day but there’s a fresh NosillaCast anyway – no best of show for us. Allister Jenks joins us to talk about the photo manipulation app Primitive for Mac from primitive.lol/…. I’ll tell you the tragic story of how Melissa lost her father’s voicemails and our joint discovery of how to get them back. I’ll give you my review of the Apple AirPods and we’ll talk about whether Bluetooth on them is fiddly, how they fit, and usability with Siri. Steve will jump in to talk about music playback quality (since that’s not my strong suit. Rush Sherman tells us about how he and I worked out a way to help him support the podcast through Patreon at a price his family could afford. Bart Busschots joins us for Security Bits.
We WILL have episodes of the NosillaCast (and live shows) on both Christmas and New Years day (unlike those other slacker podcasters). Check out last week’s episode of Chit Chat Across the Pond with Chris Ashley from the SMR Podcast (fun with Windows!). I’m one of the new rotating co-hosts for Eye Chart Radio with Mike LaPlante. Bart comes on for just a few minutes to chat about the ginormous Yahoo breach of 1 BILLION accounts is even worse than it sounds. He explains why it was so absurdly bad that Yahoo was hashing passwords with MD5. Terry Austin sends in a review of Nomorobo for the iPhone. Shelly Brisbin does a dramatic reading of her poem, “I Did Not Buy the MacBook Pro”. I’ll tell you about a way to achieve simultaneous onsite and offsite backups using the new Amazon Duet drive from Seagate.
I got to be on the Ritual Misery Podcast at ritualmisery.com/…. In a completely non-tech story I tell you about my path to exercise and give you some really practical tips on how to get in shape yourself. Joe LaGreca and I collaborated on a review of IRCcloud at irccloud.com, which helps you stay logged into all your favorite IRC clients. The folks at Serif have done it again, coming out with Affinity Photo 1.5 for Mac AND Windows that adds HDR, Tone Mapping, Focus Stacking and more. Bart Busschots joins us with his fortnightly Security Bits segment.
Amazon tricks me into buying stuff with the Echo Dot, OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock review by Trevor Drover, tech stocking stuffers under $50, new SCO Member Tutorials iOS app for ScreenCasts Online, $22 AllSmartLife USB-C adapter to make your DisplayPort monitor work with a new MacBook Pro.
Hello Allison and NosillaCastaways. Trevor from Australia with a short review of a product that has helped breath new life into my 2011 iMac and could be the ultimate dongle for the new range of MacBook Pros.
With more Macs coming with fewer ports to connect your external devices, adding an additional monitor, external hard drives, other USB-based gear, or legacy Ethernet or FireWire peripherals can become a bit of a problem. My 2013 MacBook Pro only has USB 3 and Thunderbolt ports and the newly released MacBook Pros only have USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.
Enter OWC’s Thunderbolt Dock which might just be the adapter you didn’t know you needed. It seamlessly adds lots of useful ports to your Mac.
A little while back I bought an Amazon Echo Dot. For some reason, I haven’t really taken the time to learn what it can do yet. Sure I can ask it the weather and to play a song, but not much more. This is not for lack of Amazon trying to motivate me, though. I get emails every few days suggesting I teach Alexa some new skills. If I would just open the Alexa app on my iPhone, surely I would find happiness there.
Nobody does marketing better than Amazon. This week on Cyber Monday, Amazon sent out an email specifically for Echo owners. The deal was pretty cool. If you used your Amazon Echo to order one of the things on their list using your voice, you’d get 25% off the purchase price and a $10 Amazon gift card.
This was too good to pass up. I went to the kitchen where I have the Echo Dot, and called out her name. The little blue / turquoise ring floated around the top to let me know she was listening. I said, “Order a Fire Stick.” She said, “it’s not in stock right now, but will ship on Thursday. The price will be $29.99 plus tax. Do you want to order it?” I said, “yes”.
It was the most frictionless purchase l’ve ever made. Now think about what Amazon accomplished here:
- They got me to buy something
- They taught me how to use what I’d already bought to buy more things
- The thing they got me to buy was a device to help me buy and rent video content from them
- They gave me a gift card… so I could buy more things from them
- And they taught me to like it
There will be no live show next week as we’re going to hear Shai Yammanee (good friend of the show) perform in Mamma Mia! If you’re in the LA area and can join us, check out scfta.org for matinée tickets. I was on the Clockwise #163 The Ultimate Dongle and Let’s Talk Photography at lets-talk.ie/… this week. Chit Chat Across the Pond was actually a Taming the Terminal episode and you can see the shownotes at bartbusschots.ie/…. I give a rant on the show first about how HomeKit isn’t making home automation any easier, and then I’ll complain about how I just can’t win on delivery of Apple products. Then I’ll finish up my two part series on how different apps implement 3D Touch on the iPhones 6s and above. Finally I’ll give you my first look review of the 15″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.
On this 600th episode of the NosillaCast, I included the same audio from Chit Chat Across the Pond, which was the dramatic reading of a letter from my father to his family during World War II. Then we’ll discuss why I think the printer is a lie, and I’ll try to convince you that 3D Touch is more useful than you might think. Bart is back with Security Bits.