Apr 18, 2012

Mar - 28 2012 | By

There was no show on the 11th. The bike show & Zentech traded broadcast times because of a special event the bike show needed to cover.


How to Lose Identity In No Time!


Additional notes

Notifications of new show notes and edits are tweeted at: twitter.com/ddhart.
– They're tagged with #Zentech.
– When what's said is unclear to me (or I'm unfamiliar with a topic) I tend to quote (" ") verbatim.

Paul is back from England. He and Glenn were joined by Adam Brodel of Smarter Broadband. Adam called in to talk about terrestrial wireless.

 

At the top of the hour, the guys talked briefly about multi-core processors being common in today's computers. Glenn said the extra power allows much better voice recognition by the dictation program Dragon Naturally speaking.
<Dragon Naturally Speaking was discussed in a previous show>

Glenn mentioned that the new iPad is out & doing well and that the last show had some discussion about its battery life and concerns about the extra heat it puts out. <See the last show here>

Glenn also mentioned he got a Vizio tablet a few months ago. It's an Android based unit. After playing with it for a while, he discovered that he doesn't need a tablet because his netbook serves him well.
<The Visio was discussed in the 11-30-11 show>

Paul said there is a lawsuit between HTC & Apple over the look & feel of the HTC phone. Even though the operating system is different and the applications are written differently, Apple thinks the HTC phones are too similar to their own.

He also said the lines between devices are blurring — between laptops & netbooks, smartphones & tablets, etc.

Glenn said he has to hold his digital camera away from his face to frame the image and, he lamented, he'd rather use an old-fashioned viewfinder.
Paul noted that just because a camera has a viewfinder doesn't mean it's a single reflex camera (DSLR). The view isn't necessarily thru the lens — it can be looking at a LCD screen inside of the camera. He also said the SLR, with it's large aperture lens, allows one to control the depth of field unlike the cheaper point-and-shoot cameras, which are more like a pinhole camera.

Glenn mentioned a photographer who recently made a timed exposure of the Bay Bridge being struck by lightening. He gained notoriety within minutes of making the image available.

Paul said there's a line of cameras by Canon (the SureShot series, he thought) that can be hacked in such a way that the electrical impulse of a lightening strike can trigger the shutter quickly enough to capture the image of the strike. It can even capture the lightening bolt breaking up.

Adam Brodel joined the show. He said his company has recently brought wireless internet service into the Chicago Park area <in Nevada County>. The service is what he called "fixed wireless" which entails tranmitting from an elevated antenna to a receiver outside of the customer's house. The signal is then brought inside the house by an Ethernet cable.
– The speed is comparable to DSL and sometimes faster.
– The receiver at the residence is a panel antenna or dish and can be from a few inches up to 18 inches.
– This setup has low latency so you don't get delays like you can with satellite, for instance. It can even be better than DSL.
– The company has about 40 transmission points and covers the area from about 5-Mile House to Auburn and from "the AT" to Penn Valley
– Their internet data comes in by optical fiber into Auburn from 2 providers (for redundancy). The signal is then beamed to 3 towers and eventually to the rest of the network.
– The system is called Canopy. It's a proprietary system from Motorola.
– People are using up bandwidth like never before because of streaming video sites like Netflix & Hulu. The cheapest plan from the company will allow 7 to 10 movies a month. Netflix lets you turn off the HD feature so you can reduce the total amount of data you receive. Netflix, by default, will send the HD version and changing the setting means going from about 5gig per hour to about .5gig per hour and you probably won't notice the change in quality if your TV is less than 47".

The other bit of news is that Smarter Broadband has recently merged with Full Spectrum, which does DSL, dialup, hosting, email and PC repair. Now they can do all of that plus wireless.
You can contact Smarter Broadband at:
sales@smarterbroadband.com
Or call 530-272-4000

Paul said that in England he can get phone service for 10 pounds per month ($15 or $16) that includes 1gig of data, several hundred text messages and about 15min of phone calls. In England there's 98% cell phone coverage, because it's a highly urbanized nation.

For some time now, the FCC has had a requirement that cell phone companies unlock your phone after you've completed the contract but the companies have been reluctant to do that and requirement has not been enforced. In Britain it's been easy to unlock a phone, you just need to give them the IMEI number (like a serial number) of the phone. Some companies in Britain would unlock the phone even before your contact expired, as long as you're paid up.

In the past, the guys had trouble getting AT&T to unlock their phones.
<Related article: AT&T Will Unlock Out-of-Contract iPhones>

Once, Paul unlocked a phone himself but then lost the function of the GPS chip. This type of do-it-yourself unlocking has been a documented cause of similar problems and, on top of that, is not reversible. For instance, Glenn's unlocked phone periodically looses the cell signal and sometimes the wi-fi signal too. If you have the provider unlock your phone, you should not have these problems.

Rumors about the iPhone 5 say…
– It will be in a unibody case, a bit like the MacBooks.
– The screen will encompass the entire front face.
– It will have a retina display.

Glenn mentioned that Nokia came out with a new phone, but it uses the Windows mobile system. Glenn thinks using this operating system is a mistake.

The disclaimer:
The views and opinions expressed on this show belong to us only, Glenn & Paul, and not necessarily those of this community radio station, KVMR, not even its board, certainly not its management. And the staff and contributors also are not responsible for anything we're talking about. And we're not really responsible for it either.

Bill called. He has an iPad 1 and said he found 2 big drawbacks — it has no USB port and it will not play Flash content. If he buys another tablet, it won't be an iPad.
– Some sites are now using HTML5 to play content, but lack of Flash is still a problem — e.g. he can't listen to audio samples at Amazon and other places.
– Glenn recommended a work-around program called Download Lite. <I guess this is it.> To use it, you download the video and then use Download Lite to play it. The iPad doesn't have to be jailbroken to use it you can get it from the app store. However, it doesn't work in all situations — not with Youtube videos.
– Even the latest iPad doesn't play Flash content and they probably never will. And Paul experienced Flash problems with MacBooks that use the Lion OS.

Bill said his daughter has the Android-based Motorola Xoom that works well.
– ASUS is now making tablets, Glenn suggest Bill check them out.

Janet called. She'll be getting an iPhone and wondered if there's an app for listening to radio programs, KVMR in particular.
– There is an app for Public Radio but maybe not community radio stations (KVMR).
– There's an app for commercial radio. <They both talked at once so I couldn't make out the name>
– "There is an application that the KVMR stream is linked to, it's simply called Public Radio". It's the Public Radio Player from PRX (Public Radio Exchange). If you have your GPS turned on, the app will even find stations near you.

She noted that the iPod Nano is supposed to have a built-in radio.
– This is a FM receiver and is subject to the limitations of a regular radio.
– Just use a regular FM radio.

KVMR has been putting out podcasts — time-shifted content of its broadcasts. Go to kvmr.org and look for where it says podcasts. You can subscribe to them using iTunes. <or just play them directly, double click where it says "Get mp3"> There are about 20 KVMR broadcasters making their shows available.

Podcasting and archiving are not the same. The podcast is delivered to you, but you have to go get the content from an archive.

Mary called to ask if one could listen to a podcast without any Apple equipment.
– Yes. Get the free iTunes software. There's a version for the PC.
– There's other software that lets you subscribe to a podcast. iTunes is not required.
– Simply click the download link when you're browsing an archive. After downloading you can do anything you like with it.

Next show is a week from now: on Apr 25

Last updated 8:30 PM 4/18/2012