Saturday, April 30, 2016

TechTalk April, 26, 2016

Andrew Thomas and James sit down and have a good old conversation about the tech that matters, at least to them, this week.

The Podcast Link.

Here are the show notes.

April 26

Review Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
-this is a slick phone.
-not an iPhone so if you are an Apple user this will take a week to get use to!
-the look is simple and it works.
  • Operating System Family
  • Android
  • Operating System
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • SIM Card Type
  • nano SIM
  • Input Device
  • Multi-touch, Multi-touch , capacitive
  • Sensors
  • Accelerometer, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, barometer, gyro sensor, RGB sensor, heart rate, geomagnetic sensor, Accelerometer, proximity sensor, barometer, gyro sensor, hall sensor, RGB sensor, heart rate, geomagnetic sensor
  • Additional Features
  • MIMO technology, Dual Curved display, Multitasking, Easy Mode, MIMO technology, Private Mode, Ultra Power Saving Mode, Screen mirroring, Dual Curved display, Alarm Clock
  • Security Devices
  • Fingerprint reader
Max Depth of Water Resistance
5 ft
  • Clock Speed
  • 2.3 GHz
  • Manufacturer
  • Qualcomm
  • Processor Core Qty
  • Quad-core
  • 64-bit Architecture
  • Yes


  • Internal Memory Capacity
  • 32 GB
  • Max Supported Size
  • 200 GB
  • Supported Flash Memory Cards
  • microSDXC


  • Sensor Resolution
  • 12 pixels


  • Sensor Resolution
  • 5 Megapixel

Casio WSD-F10 Casio Smart Watch loving it even more
Mar 14, 2016 - Casio WSD-F10: Price and availability. All that tech doesn't come cheap: the WSD-F10 will set you back $500. It's on sale now, and available in four colours - red, green, black and orange. However, it's only set to be available in the US and Japan, with no plans for release in other parts of the world.

The WSD-F10 has a dual-layer display that combines a color LCD and monochrome LCD. Developed by CASIO, this new type of LCD was developed with specific targets in mind. One is ease of reading. Another is reduced power consumption.

The best of color and monochrome

A color LCD is essential for the best visual representation of information produced by the apps. However, a color LCD requires a lot of power to run, which is not very good for long-term use. A color LCD is also hard to read in bright sunlight. The dual-layer display was developed to eliminate these issues.
The main feature of this type of LCD is that the monochrome LCD covers for the shortcomings of the color LCD. For example, the color LCD can be used when checking measurement data and when operating apps, while the monochrome LCD can be used when operations are not being performed. By selecting the LCD that best suits your current needs you can easily view data and save power, too. The monochrome LCD is also easier to read under bright sunlight. It's just the thing for outdoor activities.

Chrome browser app-I have been using this for MONTHS!

Quickly capture what's on your mind and share those thoughts with friends and family.
Quickly capture what's on your mind and share those thoughts with friends and family. Speak a voice memo on the go and have it automatically transcribed. Grab a photo of a poster, receipt or document and easily organize or find it later in search.

Capture what’s on your mind

50 most addictive apps, which ones do you have?
Facebook and Snapchat in top 5

App for college grads to find a job
This is very smart!
For all the talk about its benefit to the “economic graph,” one of the main thingsLinkedIn is recognized for is being an online resume — it’s a social network that most professionals understand how to take advantage of. But what about those who aren’t working yet, specifically college students who are about to graduate but have no idea what they want to do afterwards?
It’s a question that some of us face as we’re starting out: What job can I get with my major? LinkedIn saw this problem and has developed LinkedIn Students, an app that gives you a starting point for exploring the first stage of your professional career. Available now to users in the U.S., the app highlights companies and job titles that might be suitable, based on what school you attend and the area you’re majoring in. Students can also get started building their network, as LinkedIn Students lists any alumni that work at each recommended company.

This is cool! And why we need to learn coding!
The Pi is hard wired into a home automation board that controls a fan, light, AC, and the temperature. It’s then controlled over Twitter direct messages so it’s super easy to check the status or flip the toggle on any of the connected devices. The Twitter link is a pretty handy way to get around some of the programming requirements that would otherwise be required here, so it’s worth taking a look at how it’s done here if you’re making your own home automation controller. Head over to ARM Tutorials for the guide.

What about not upgrading?

Mr. Lai, 49, tested the Treo and found it still worked. So he took the device home and made it his everyday mobile companion, much as one would adopt an abandoned animal on its way to being euthanized.
“That’s how I think about a lot of my tech stuff: candidates for 11th-hour pet rescue,” said Mr. Lai, adding that he was fired from the recycling facility in 2010 after continuing to take home unwanted gadgets, against the wishes of his boss. Now he works for the Fixers Collective, a social club in New York that repairs aging devices to extend their lives.
Many tech companies are trying to train people to constantly upgrade their gadgets — part ways with a device, the argument goes, as soon as something newer and faster comes along. Companies like Apple, AT&T and T-Mobile USA now offer early upgrade plans that allow consumers to buy a new cellphone every year. Philip W. Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president for worldwide marketing, said at a product event last month that it was “really sad” that more than 600 million computers in use today are more than five years old.
Mr. Lai’s behavior might be extreme, but his experience with the Palm Treo illustrates there is another way: If you simply put some maintenance into electronics as you would a car, you can stay happy with your gadgets for years.
It is part of a movement of anti-consumerism, or the notion of cherishing what you have rather than incessantly buying new stuff. Signs of this philosophy are spreading: Industry data suggests that consumers are waiting longer to upgrade to new phones than they have in the past.

Accident could lead to better battery life!
Researchers at UC Irvine built a battery that substituted gold nanowire in electrolyte gel for the lithium and lost barely five percent battery capacity over 200,000 charge cycles — but they aren't totally sure how it worked.
The researchers were hunting for an alternative to lithium, whose liquid state helps conduct charge but is combustible and sensitive to temperature. Nanowires have been a long-theorized dream battery material as their high surface area holds a lot of electric charge, but wire corrodes in traditional lithium environments after several thousand cycles.
The researchers discovered how to prevent that corrosion while fiddling with different materials. They coated the gold nanowire they were using in manganese dioxide and swapped the lithium for electrolyte gel. The gel and oxide fused into a protective sheath around the wire, and voila: the experimental battery completed hundreds of thousands of cycles over a period of three months with no detectable degradation.
Of course, even the tiny amount of gold wire used was expensive. While they haven't tested it yet, the researchers suggest nickel as an adequate substitute should the concept reach mass production.
New Apple Watches apps to work without iPhone!
Apple's laying the law down: Watch apps must operate without an iPhone nearby. In a blog post, the company mandates that anything submitted for App Store approval from this June 1st forward has to be a native apprunning watchOS 2. This should be a boon for anyone using the wearableduring a run or workout where carrying a phone would be a hindrance. And ultimately, it'll result in higher quality applications that make full use of the device and what it's capable of rather than just being shoehorned to run on that OLED screen.
The netflix for books??

Windows Ink!
Windows Ink is available today for Insiders in the Fast ring, allowing users to sketch, write notes on sticky pads and draw all over screenshots with a digital pen (or your finger, if you're an au naturel kind of person). The update adds a Windows Ink Workspace, which is accessible from the system tray or by clicking the back of your connected pen. The Workspace brings up pen-enabled apps like the sketchpad, sticky notes and screen sketch, and it has a space to suggest more pen-friendly experiences.
The sketchpad is a blank canvas with a slim selection of drawing tools, including a ruler and various ink colors. Screen sketch allows you to draw on top of a screenshot and then share the finished product with friends or colleagues. The sticky notes app receives some updates, such as the ability to customize the notepads by size and color. In the future, users will be able to jot down a flight number and Bing will pull up the relevant info, and they'll be able to set Cortana reminders attached to their notes, among other planned upgrades.
Users can also customize their pens, changing what happens when they click, double-click or press and hold the back. All of this is part of the bigWindows 10 Anniversary Update.
What happened the prize in the candy is a QR Code?
When you place your ballpark side order of peanuts and Cracker Jack this summer, be prepared for a shock. Instead of a box, your Cracker Jack will be delivered in a slimy plastic bag. And instead of a prize, you get a QR code.
The box-free packaging, new logo, and “prize” are part of an overhaul of the brand by to provide “baseball-inspired mobile digital experiences directly from the sticker inside,” according to PepsiCo Frito-Lay. So rather than experience the instant gratification of winning a prize, kids can borrow their parents’ phone, download a special app, then scan the code inside and play a baseball-themed game. Or—who am I kidding, they probably have their own phone because aren’t they requiring all children have phones by age four now?

Truth be told, the prizes inside Cracker Jacks haven’t been that cool for some time. There used to be decoder rings and toy figurines. In the most recent “box” of Cracker Jack that I ate, I got a temporary tattoo. But they were prizes! They were real. They did not require a smartphone to appreciate them.
The Cracker Jack 'Prize' Is Now a QR Code 
A world with prize-less Cracker Jack is not a world I want to live in, but I think I’m more upset about the loss of the box. The Uncanny Valley-ization of Sailor Jack and his dog Bingo in the logo is awful enough, but taking the box away is an affront to baseball fans everywhere. The distinctive “waxed” cardboard package was invented in 1899 and has stuck around with only a few modifications all this time. And that’s because it’sperfect. The boxes fit perfectly in a cupholder, but could also be easily closed and stashed to save the last of your Jack for the ride home. AND, the box, half filled with Jack, also easily doubled as a noisemaker during the game.
I’m sure all “prizes” will be delivered by app soon so this is just the next logical step toward that future. But to replace 117 years of packaging genius with a boring striped pillow? It’s an affront to American innovation.

8 Instagram accounts for Earth Day!

National Geographic (NatGeo)

World Wildlife Fund (world_wildlife)

Kevin Richardson (lionwhisperersa)

Australia (australia)

US Department of the Interior (usinterior)

The Visuals Collective (thevisualscollective)

Insta_Ireland (insta_ireland)

NASA (nasa)

Check Pictar out!
Given the popularity of smartphone photography, many people no longer even own a stand-alone camera. That said, there is something to be said for the physical buttons and ergonomic design of cameras, that a phone just can't match. As a result, we've seen severaldocking devices that essentially turn smartphones into cameras. The Pictar is the latest, offering some handy features.
Working with iPhone models 4 through 6s, the Pictar has a molded hand grip along with several button controls. This allows for one-handed (and gloved) picture-taking.
The main shutter release button works like that of a DSLR, in that a half-way press sets the focus, while a full press actually takes the shot. There's also a ring that lets you zoom in and out, and that switches between the front and rear cameras when pressed.
Robot Delivery
Dispatch is currently testing automated delivery by way of its small autonomous vehicle, nicknamed “Carry,” which houses four compartments and can carry up to 100 lbs.
This vehicle isn’t exactly tearing up highways. It travels at a pace similar to that of a walking pedestrian, and takes sidewalks and bike paths instead of roads to get where it’s going.
Currently, it is testing these automated delivery robots at CSU Monterey Bay and Menlo College, in an effort to generate a proof of concept in an environment where a slow-moving automated platform like this is perfectly suited to meet people’s needs.
College campuses regularly receive mail for students housed in dorms scattered around campus, and delivering these packages on foot takes a lot of manpower and time. By delegating these tasks to “Carry,” colleges and universities stand to save money and provide a useful service to their students and faculty.
So, what makes Dispatch more interesting than a traditional delivery service? Its vehicles are available for on-demand deliveries of virtually any kind of product, as long as it doesn’t exceed its weight and size capacity. So, if you want to get your laundry delivered, lunch, or even your package from the mail office, a Dispatch delivery vehicle is just a few taps away with its mobile app.

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