Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss Amazon’s Fire TV and voice commands, a hacking risk for Medtronic pumps, Target
Tom in Erie, Pennsylvania listens to the podcast and asked: “I was wondering about these new 8K TVs. Is this even something worth considering? I haven’t even had my 4K TV very long and I even went OLED. I’m one to adopt early when I can afford it, but it seems like this is a little ridiculous at this point since I don’t know that there’s any content yet. Correct me if I’m wrong on that.”
Tom, there’s probably no reason for anyone to get one any time soon and there’s even less reason for you to get one if you went with an OLED 4K set. Those are not cheap. Just remember that when 1080p and 4K came out, for a long time all you could watch in those definitions were flowers swaying softly in the wind and some pretty mountains.
8K probably won’t be any different. Also keep in mind the requirements of streaming at those definitions if you hear about any 8K streaming services (we haven’t heard of any yet). You may need to pay more for internet if your connection is not already pretty fast.
For the time being, you may be better off sticking with your OLED set and waiting for the price 8K to settle and drop and for more content to be available. As it is, not everything is even available in 4K today. Apparently, we were all pretty pleased with 1080p and haven’t been in a rush to demand anything better.
Darrell in Amherstburg, Ontario listens on AM800 CKLW and asked: “What I’d like to do is record a video of myself playing the banjo, as well as one accompanying myself on the guitar. Is there an app for my phone that can record split-screen, aligning the tempo so they both match? I have an LG G7 One phone, as well as an HP laptop with Windows 10.”
Darrell, technically yes there are, but they will be a constant source of frustration.
Just imagine trying to juggle two video tracks each with an audio track or two in a small screen, and trying to line up the audio tracks with the poor resolution that comes with dragging a finger across a screen.
Your best bet will be to use that HP laptop with just about any video editing software that supports at least 2 tracks. Just transfer the videos you take with your phone over to your laptop and try any video editing software. Odds are that even the free and simple programs will do a better job than the apps you can get on your phone for multitrack video editing.
Smartphone video editing apps are pretty great at what they do well, but what they do well is very limited and syncing audio on two different videos and switching back and forth will be a lot of work to be doing on a small screen.
Alan in Ackerman, Mississippi listens on Supertalk Mississippi and asked: “Have solid state drives come into being a reasonable cost, compared to hard drives?”
Alan, they sure are more reasonable than they used to be. Most 500GB SSDs won’t crack $100 these days.
Having said that, they’re still far more expensive than HDDs, it’s not hard to find 1TB HDDs for $40, you won’t find that kind of price for a 1TB SSD.
Having said THAT, most people are using less storage than they used to these days, since their videos, music, and pictures have all left their computers, so you may get a better return from buying a smaller but faster SSD than a larger and slower HDD.
Penny in Windsor, Ontario listens on AM800 CKLW and asked: “I have a Samsung Galaxy A8, and I’m having a problem with the keyboard. I’m wondering if there’s a way to add another keyboard. I can’t seem to figure it out. But with the e-mail program, it won’t start a sentence with a capital letter, so if I’m dictating an e-mail, I have to actually stop voice and start each sentence with a capital letter. I can’t find it in settings. It’s driving me crazy.”
Penny, there’s technically a setting for this in Android. If you find your Language and Input setting in the phone’s settings there should be a section for virtual keyboard where you can select the one you use and set the auto-capitalization setting to what you’d like it to be.
Having said that, no one really seems happy one way or another. There are plenty of people in online forums complaining about the first word of a sentence not being capitalized. Apple does capitalize, which of course leads to Apple forums being filled with complaints about that behavior instead.
You should check those settings and turn on capitalization, but be prepared to be disappointed. Not everyone seems satisfied with it.
Norman in Chattanooga, Tennessee listens to the podcast and asked: “What’s the best security system you can use if you travel a lot and you want to see what’s going on at your house? I’m wondering what your opinions are on all the different ones.”
Norman, it depends on your circumstances. For example, if you happen to live in a townhouse or an apartment then something like Ring may be all you need, but most people end up investing in a little more than that.
If your home is relatively small and easy to cover, battery operated, WiFi cameras like Amazon’s Blink may be a good way to go. They’re relatively inexpensive starting at $80 with packages going for less per unit, easy to expand since they don’t need power or any kind of wiring, and they automatically store their recordings to the cloud. That cloud storage is also free.
If you have a larger house that may require more cameras or a wired connection due to WiFi blindspots, you can find very inexpensive wired cameras systems with in-home DVRs that will still give you access from wherever you’re traveling.
For example, for just over $400 you can find an 8 camera Lorex system with a DVR and remote access, you may need to spend a little more money if you don’t want to do the wiring yourself, but the price per camera is pretty reasonable if you live in a place large enough to need 8.
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