Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss DHS’s tool to calculate the how long the coronavirus can last in the air, Facebook’s new privacy issues, and more.
Liz in Windsor, Ontario listens on AM800 CKLW “The Information Station” and asked: “I was under the impression – quite possibly a mistaken one – that a smart TV would allow me to watch what was on my iPhone or iPad through my TV. I know these devices are smart but me, not so much.”
Liz, to play your iOS content on your TV you’ll need AirPlay. There are a few ways to get AirPlay, but the most common is through an official Apple device, the other ways are a little bit on the technical side and you probably don’t want to deal with them.
The cheapest and easiest way to play most of your content from your iOS device on your TV would probably be a Chromecast. They’re made by Google and they start at around $30. They’re not perfect, but they’re easy enough to use and their only real mission is to put content from phones or tablets onto TVs.
An Apple TV will be the most seamless way to play the content from your iOS devices, but they’re standalone devices as well and will cost you more.
Dave in Erie, Pennsylvania listens on WPSE “Money Radio” and asked: “I have an HP laptop computer and when I go to type stuff in, it will not let me type anything in. I have to reboot and try again. I’m not a computer-savvy person. I don’t know why it keeps doing that. You just can’t type letters in sometimes and I don’t know what’s going on.”
Dave it’s hard to give you any advice just that, but if the restarts work then it sounds like it’s likely software based.
If that’s the case, unless you have some kind of customization that hijacks some of your keys for shortcuts (like press F4 to automatically paste some given text or something similar), the most likely cause is drivers.
The catch there is that keyboards tend to use pretty standard drivers, and the ones that your laptop uses for its keyboard have probably been pretty much unchanged for a long time. Drivers are just software and they can break after an operating system update though, so it’s worth having a look.
If possible see if you can update them, there’s probably something custom running on your computer to account for extra keys, if nothing else removing or updating that may fix the issue.
Tommy in Guntown, Mississippi listens on SuperTalk Mississippi and asked: “Wondering about the VR technology. Where do you think it’ll be in five years, or even 10 years. I think it’s just wonderful and can’t wait to see it advance. Just want your opinion.”
Tommy, it’s hard to say. At the moment VR is pretty much hindered by the lack of movement it affords the user, by the battery life, and by the fact that the user is isolated.
That last part may change by virtue of improving networks that may allow users to be virtually together, but the other two are a problem.
At the moment games require you to stand relatively immobile and clumsily try to manipulate things in a largely static world. The most obvious improvement would be some kind of feedback when the user interacts with a virtual object, but that does also depend on what we can achieve with batteries.
The biggest problem VR has at the moment is that users think it’s neat, but lose interest quickly even after spending hundreds of dollars on specific hardware. While the movement tracking seems ready and in some cases it’s truly impressive, games are painfully dumbed down to work within the limitations of the technology that puts your head and hands into a virtual environment, but not the rest of your body.
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