This week I’m joined by the awesome Joe Dugandzic from Smarter Home Life (smarterhomelife.com) to talk about the huge set of product and capability announcements from Amazon about their Echo line of devices. We talk Echo Show, Echo Look, ecobee4, and the new voice calling in the Alexa app for your existing Echo devices. Joe is really into home automation with a fabulous YouTube channel so he really knows his stuff. Plus he’s fun and entertaining. Links to everything we talked about after the “continue reading” button!
Chris Ashley of the SMR Podcast joins us to talk about all of the big announcements coming out of Microsoft this week. We’ll try to understand where the new Surface Laptop fits into their lineup of mobile devices, and then we’ll shift gears to talk about the new line of Education devices. These devices from many manufacturers will be running the new Windows 10S, a streamlined version of Windows that they hope will compete with Chromebooks. We also talk about Chris’s dream of a world where he only has to carry his phone and can dock it to a display anywhere he goes so he doesn’t have to lug a laptop around when he travels. And we laugh a lot.
With the recent legislation on privacy rules for ISPs in the United States, a lot of people are considering using VPNs to protect their Internet traffic from home. I thought this would be a great time to get Dave Peck on the show, co-founder of Cloak, my VPN of choice. This isn’t a show about Cloak but rather about VPNs in general. We talked about whether we should consider one for our home use, we talk about what kind of information your VPN provider may be collecting on you, we talk about the importance of understanding privacy policies.
Dave is very frank and honest about things like how Cloak handles things like logging of user data. Dave also answers some listener questions. There are some real surprises in this episode, in particular what you should know about those “top five VPN” lists you may have seen recently. I thought I knew where the discussion was going to go, and I was very surprised.
In preparation for this discussion, Dave wrote up his thoughts at davepeck.org/…
I’m your guest host Bart Busschots, and this week I’m on conversation with Dermot Daly from Tapadoo, a mobile app development company based on Dublin, Ireland. We talk about what it’s like being a developer witting apps for iOS and Android, how App Store and Google Play store differ from each other, and the state of the app business in general. We also look at what some of the recent changes to the app store really mean for developers.
This week our guest is Steve Ewell, executive director of the Consumer Technology Association Foundation. CTA Foundation is a public, national foundation affiliated with the Consumer Technology Association, was launched in 2012 with the mission to link seniors and people with disabilities with technologies to enhance their lives. Get this – Steve is a NosillaCastaway too! You can find Steve on Twitter @CTAFoundation or @sewell2.
This week’s Chit Chat Across the Pond was so much fun. I was joined by Megan Morrone and Jason Howell, who co-host Tech News Today on the TWiT network together. Megan also co-hosts iOS Today while Jason co-hosts All About Android. For an entire month, Megan and Jason swapped phones. They’re here to tell us what they liked, what they didn’t like and answer tough questions like, “Did your children mock you?” I know I say this a lot, but this truly was one of the most enjoyable episodes of Chit Chat Across the Pond. They’re both so entertaining and delightful and we even had some great technical conversations too.
I made a deal with Bart when he started his two podcasts Let’s Talk Apple and Let’s Talk Photography that he would never have to be on more than every other week. But this week I tricked him by asking him if he’d come on and explain IPv6 to me. His first answer was that he didn’t understand it well enough to explain it. But of course Bart being Bart, that ear worm I so carefully placed caused him to go out and study it and now he’s here to explain it to us. And of course below you’ll find his excellent show notes.
Steve and I had the great pleasure of meeting Joe Dugandzic in the Home Automation pavilion at CES and I was lucky enough to get him on as a guest for Chit Chat Across the Pond. Joe runs the website and YouTube channel Smarter Home Life at smarterhomelife.com and youtube.com/smarterhomelife, We talked about the complexities of Home Automation today, predictions about who the winners might be as the industry consolidates, and some of the coolest Home Automation ideas he saw at CES. Joe is definitely our people – he’s enthusiastic, loves tech, and has a gift for simplifying tech for average consumers. His videos are amazing so go check them out (when you’re done listening to Chit Chat Across the Pond of course!)
Mikah Sargent, senior editor at Mobile Nations and podcaster at RelayFM joins us to compare and contrast how Siri from Apple and Alexa from Amazon help with home automation and other tasks around the house. He has a vast array of Home Automation devices from Hue lights to Eve sensors to an Ecobee thermostat to an August smart lock so he’s got the experience. I found Mikah’s intelligent commentary combined with his light humor to be a delightful combination.
This week we’re joined by Allister Jenks of the Sitting Duck Podcast. I tricked him into using Affinity Photo (and he loves it) so he turns the tables and convinces me to buy into Affinity Designer. He’ll explain the difference between pixel and vector editors, and why you’d want to use one tool over the other. We’ll talk Beziér curves and strokes and fills. He’ll talk about a few cool projects he’s worked on to learn to use the tools, including reproducing Ryan Sakamoto’s awesome Podfeet Logo.
Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer are both available at affinity.serif.com/… and are both available in the Mac App Store. He also mentions at the very end a little Mac app called Image Vectorizer. You can find Allister at zkarj.me/….