Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss a Toyota patent for a car smell system with a theft repellant system, the decline in Facebook use, Google and the Canadian elections, Apple’s sustainability effort, streaming services and awards, IBM and Flickr users’ photos, facial
Cindy in Lewes, Delaware listens on Delaware 105.9 FM WXDE and asked: ” I have 1,000 questions, but I’ll only do two right now. I want to go and take all my videos that I’ve taken over the years – what’s the best and most reasonable way to go about putting them on discs? My second question is: I heard you talking about smart plugs. I’m wondering how does one go about that. I have the Google Home. I wondered if I could use that with the smart plug.”
Cindy, how to get your videos on disc depends on where you shot them in the first place.
If these are old VHS tapes, your best bet is to take them to a professional business to do it for you. There’s some equipment required and it’s a slow process since you need to play the tape in real time. You’re better off outsourcing that kind of work.
If they are smartphone videos, you can probably transfer them to a computer and burn them to a disc from there. The problem you’re going to run into is that the transfer part is easy, but finding a computer with an optical drive is less easy these days.
Still, if you know anyone with a computer with an optical drive you can transfer them that way. Keep in mind that DVDs are pretty much on their way out too, so you might as well just skip over them and keep the digital files instead, since you can play those on TV too.
As far as smartplugs, typically when you buy one, it will come with instructions to download an app, and it’s usually that app that does the set up for you and lets you connect it to Google Home. It’s not very hard, but the steps will differ from app to app.
You won’t have any issues with it though, you’ll just use the app, probably connect to a WiFi network put out by the plug and give it the password for your real WiFi network and go from there. It won’t be difficult for you to figure out.
It seems everyone is making smart plugs, and that can be confusing to the first time home automator like you! Fortunately, Every home automation device — be it a plug, wall switch, or even a single light bulb — will indicate which digital assistant it’s compatible with. Most low cost solutions use the same electronic components from a single manufacturer, so there’s little difference in which one you purchase (unless you’re going for premium products). Just be sure of two things. One: the plug you buy features the “Works with Google Home” or “Works with the Google Assistant” sticker on the box. Two: It’s within your budget but not TOO inexpensive — plugs on sale for less than $10 from no-name companies overseas tend to not last very long.
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