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/….
One of my best friends on the Internet, Chris Ashley of the SMR Podcast joins us to talk Microsoft. We talk about what the implications are of Windows coming out for the Arm processors, why the Surface Studio has made such a splash, I confess that I bought into Office 365, and how Chris is pretty close to switching from Android back to the iPhone. Chris is delightful, intelligent and funny as always.
This week’s Chit Chat Across the Pond is a fantastic blend of technology, physiology and ingenuity to solve a very common problem. We’re joined by Terry Austin, a professor of Anatomy & Physiology and microbiology at Temple College in the Texas Hill Country. He turned his research background in neuroscience and his love of technology toward a solution for a very personal problem to be solved.
Terry has some hearing loss, but not bad enough (in his estimation) to warrant hearing aids. He went on a hunt for an app to help. He found Hearing Aid Plus from hearingaidproapp.com for iOS.
I don’t want to steal his entire story, but in this episode he tells us how his knowledge of physiology combined with the mad skills of developer Gábor Száanto may have come up with a breakthrough solution for those with non-cochlear hearing loss.
Terry tells the whole story on his blog at intelligentelectrons.com/…
Also referenced in the recording: Trekz Titanium bone-conducting headphones: http://amzn.to/2fUF2hV. He also suggested using an app to test for the high frequency point for your hearing, and here’s a few he found: Mimi Hearing Test, or Hearing Test – Check Your Hearing Health, or Audicus Hearing Test. You can find Terry on Twitter @ielectrons.
Hi, this is Allison Sheridan and you’re listening to Chit Chat Across the Pond episode #463 for November 10th, 2016. This week’s recording is very different from anything I’ve done before. This story took place on September 16, 1945. On that date a horrific typhoon hit the island of Okinawa, Japan during World War II. My father, Ensign John Paul Moorhead, was serving as Chief Engineer aboard the LST 965 and was in that typhoon. He wrote a letter to his parents and my mother describing the harrowing experience of living through that typhoon.
I thought about reading my father’s letter aloud to you, but it didn’t sound right in my voice. I asked my dear friend and noted voiceover artist Ron David to read the letter to you instead. You may recognize Ron’s voice from Raise The Titanic on National Geographic and Wings on the Discovery Channel.
Before we hear the letter, I’d like to give you a little background. The ship on which my father served was an LST, which stands for Landing Ship, Tank. LSTs were amphibious ships designed to bring cargo and troops to unimproved shorelines.
I remember my father explaining to me that the LSTs were never expected to last long enough to come back home, because they were designed and assembled in such a hurry that they weren’t likely to survive for very long. I read online that the contracts were let to build the ships before a single test ship had ever been completed. This is not the kind of ship you’d choose to be in, in a typhoon.
The typhoon you’re about to hear my father describe reached winds of 150 miles per hour, beached 122 ships and small boats, sank five others and killed or injured hundreds of American service personnel. Since this week is Veteran’s Day in the United States and Remembrance Day in Canada, I thought it would be an appropriate day to bring you this very special Chit Chat Across the Pond.
I’ve included the full text of my father’s letter in the blog post along with a few snapshots of the ships aground after the typhoon. If you want to know more, I’ve included a zip file of four news articles my father kept that you can download.
And with that, I’ll let Ron David read my father’s letter to you.
18 September 1945
If I don’t write now I’ll miss the feeling of this experience. It seems a million years ago that I wrote home. I will start with our trip down from near Kobe to Nagasaki, Kyushu. We were about halfway there when storm signs started showing up and we reversed course to run before a typhoon.
This week, Steve and I share hosting Chit Chat Across the Pond with retired electrical engineer, ham radio nerd, and remote control flier, Brian Johnson. Brian explains how he has taken his love of electronics and works to spread his enthusiasm to kids through volunteering at local schools.
The pinnacle of his experiences was when he got to help the kids at St. Bernard High School talk live using ham radio to astronauts aboard the Endeavor Space Shuttle. Lately he’s been teaching kids to build tiny ham radios and shoot compressed air and water bottle rockets and even learn the math behind why they work.
We’re joined by Shelly Brisbin, author of the book iOS Access for All and host of The Parallel Podcast. As she’s written more than a dozen tech books, I asked her to come on the show to explain how she creates her books, what tools she uses, and how she migrated from using an agent and a big publishing house to doing self publishing. It’s a really fun episode because while you’d think creating a book is all about writing, Shelly gets into how she uses TextWrangler and writes her own Cascading Style Sheets to create her books.
Links to things Shelly mentioned in the show:
- Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur by Guy Kawasaki
- EPUB Straight to the Point by Elizabeth Castro
- Take Control Books
- Apple support page on making an ePub with Pages
- ePub Zip/UnZip AppleSripts
- ePub Converter
- TidBITS article on using iBooks to proof ePubs
Allister Jenks joins us to talk about how he uses programming as a hobby and as a tool for solving problems.
In his always delightful way, he talks about early experiences programming and how they sparked such joy in him. We’re talking a TRS-80 clone here and a programmable calculator! He tells the story of how just last week he and I were talking about the relative weights of the iMac models vs. their screen dimensions and how he solved the ratio equations using Swift.
- Drawing circles and lines with the Dick Sith System 80 (TRS-80) – classic-computers.org.nz/…
- Night Clock – zkarj.me/…
- High school maths with the Casio PB-100 – old-computers.com/…
- Preventing plane crashes – caa.govt.nz/…
- RPG II – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_RPG_II
Find Allister @zkarj on Twitter.
Mike Elgan is an opinion columnist, currently working on a book about digital nomad living. You may have seen or heard him on the TWiT network where he’s a frequent contributor to TWIT, MacBreak Weekly and he was formerly the host of Tech News Today.
Mike and his family spend many months at a time living in different countries and he tells us about how he does it, what he’s learned (don’t buy the boots) and of course the tech he uses to do his own podcast and contribute to others. You can find Mike on Twitter @becomingnomad, he’s a huge contributor on Google Plus, and he’s got all of his tech gear and his photography from each country over at becomingnomad.com. You can also find him on the FatCast – Mike Elgan’s Food and Technology Podcast.
Mike has written many articles for Computer World on this subject:
- When A.I. whispers in your ear all day
- Goodbye, America. I’m becoming a nomad (again)!
- Why Google Fi? Because it’s fast, cheap and easy
- Why Amazon Echo is the future of every home
- New earbuds give you super-hearing