People's phones and all of the various sensors that may be built in to them is a source of scientific data logging that almost everyone carries around. Although the selection of sensors varies from phone to phone, they almost all have a camera. In this article, I take a look at a piece of software called Tracker that can be used to analyze videos you take of experiments. more>>
People who study the history of languages probably will look back at our current time and scratch their heads. We keep inventing verbs! First, Google became the verb we use for searching. Then, "Facebooking" someone became a viable way to contact them. Heck, I forgot about "texting" someone. It seems we just keep taking perfectly good nouns and making them verbs. more>>
People who study the history of languages probably will look back at our current time and scratch their heads. We keep inventing verbs! First, Google became the verb we use for searching. Then, "Facebooking" someone became a viable way to contact them. Heck, I forgot about "texting" someone. It seems we just keep taking perfectly good nouns and making them verbs. We keep verbing all our nouns! But I digress.
Unfortunately, I've noticed a trend where people who want to do video chat are starting to say, "Facetime me." The problem isn't with the terminology, it's with the proprietary technology. If you're an Android user, you can't "Facetime" someone. Google Hangouts sort of solves that problem, but it's not as user-friendly as Facetime on iOS is.
Google hopes to change that with its new Duo app. It's designed very much like Facetime, but it has native iOS and Android apps. In my trials, the video quality is fine, so it's really only adoption that needs to happen in order to become the standard across platforms. It's worth a try, but you'll have to convince your Apple friends to install a new app for video chatting. Also, "duo" doesn't really lend itself to verbification, so I'm a little worried Google has a non-starter on that note alone!
I listen to a lot of books. A lot. And honestly, although I've written about the "Listen" app for audiobooks, I tend to use Audible more than anything else anymore. Part of the reason is the Android app finally has more fine-grained speed settings. (I prefer around 1.4x speed.) iPhone people don't have that seemingly simple feature. Just saying. more>>
I listen to a lot of audiobooks. They're not the sort of thing you blast from your car speakers, because invariably when you pull up to a drive-thru window, it's at an awkward part of the book. Thankfully I don't read many books with sex scenes, but it's a bit embarrassing when it's a super-cheesy-sounding part of the book that plays while you're paying. But, I digress. more>>
I like Pandora. I like it because it doesn't require me to know anything other than whether I like the current song. I'm sure other music services offer more features or a larger catalog, but Pandora is simple. So am I. more>>
You would have a difficult time today finding a radio station that was all-live and did not have some kind of computerized, automated means of storing and playing audio. more>>
Telco TV/OTT and IPTV operators must deal with the fact that many IP transport streams are asynchronous. This makes the streams prone to poor video quality due to jitter if they are sent to Program Clock Reference (PCR)-compliant devices. more>>
Although most music lovers stream or download music today, the stubborn pre-millennials among us have legacy CD collections at home. This demographic is the perfect target group for Nativ Disc, a bit-perfect CD Ripper that allows users to import up to 12,000 CDs—in lossless FLAC, uncompressed WAV or lossy MP3 format—into their Nativ Vita high-resolution music player. more>>
Video editing and visual effects are two closely related fields. They're also dominated by expensive proprietary software. There are open-source alternatives to some of these packages, and some of them stand up very well by comparison. more>>
I love Kodi. (This is just an evolution of my love for XBMC, since it's the same thing with a new name.) In fact, although I've expressed my love for Plex over and over (and over) the past few years, I still use Kodi as my main interface for the televisions in my house. more>>
I love Sonos. There probably are some audiophiles reading this who rolled their eyes at my lack of auditory prowess, but honestly, the speakers sound wonderful to my 1980s-damaged eardrums. Granted, the Wi-Fi-enabled speakers are very expensive, thus limiting my supply. more>>
Streaming video to multiple people always has been a challenge. Back when Kyle Rankin and I did "Linux Journal Live", we'd use services like ustream or justin.tv in order to accommodate the bandwidth requirements. The problem with those services is that unless you pay significant money, the features are extremely limited. more>>
If you're a cord cutter (and a nerd), you most likely have a server or two dedicated to serving and possibly retrieving videos from the Internet. Programs like Kodi and Plex are awesome for media delivery; however, there's more to a complete system than just playing the videos. more>>
If you've ever wanted to make an animated film, the learning curve for such software often is really steep. Thankfully, the Pencil program was released and although basic, it provided a fairly simple way to create animations on your computer (Windows, Mac or Linux) with open-source tools. Unfortunately, the Pencil program was abandoned. more>>
I don't listen to music very often, but when I do, my tastes tend to be across the board. That's one of the reasons I really like Pandora, because the music selection is incredible (in fact, I can't recommend the Pithos client for Pandora enough—I've written about it in past issues). Unfortunately, with Pandora, you don't get to pick specific songs. more>>
Everyone has wasted an afternoon on YouTube clicking through videos of talking cats, screaming goats and bad-lip-reading renditions of popular movies. Heck, there are plenty of YouTube videos of me doing odd and silly things as well. (Does anyone remember 'Buntu Family Theater?) For important family videos, however, I much prefer to control my own data. more>>
No matter how much I love Plex, there's still nothing that comes close to XBMC for usability when it comes to watching your network media on a television. I've probably written a dozen articles on Plex during the last few years, so you know that's tough for me to admit. more>>