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Weekend of March 6th, 2015 – Hour 3

ech News & Commentary

Sean from Redmond, Oregon listening to the podcast and calling via the App asked: “I was listening to my local station via the TuneIn app, as I’m a truck driver on the road in the middle of nowhere. I heard an ad come on the radio about an app called NextRadio that uses FM chips in Smartphones and supposedly, iPhone is one of the phones that has an FM chip in it that is not activated by Apple or by the carriers. My carrier happens to be AT&T. Are there really FM chips in these iPhones? I have an iPhone 5S and I’ve never heard of them before. I’d like to see how to get this service.”

intotomorrow_logoSean, There is an FM capable chip in the phones, but it won’t do you any good. The chip is there, but it’s not plugged into anything, it’s not wired to the headphones to let them act as an antenna. That means that this phone could play FM radio in the same way your lawnmower work as a power generator, both can technically perform those functions, but you’re going to have to alter the hardware first.

Apple is probably staying away from FM for a few reasons.

For starters, WiFi, bluetooth and cell signals are all microwaves, FM is not. That means that FM reception requires a far larger antenna that will not fit inside the phone.  In cellphones that antenna is the headphone cable. That means that FM won’t work without the headphones plugged in, which is a problem considering that a lot of people use their iPhones via WiFi speakers, AirPlay Speakers, Bluetooth Speakers or even it’s own internal speakers.

Apple likes to sell idiot-proof products and it probably doesn’t want complaints about how FM only works if you plug in your headphones even when you’re listening on speakers, and how that’s stupid since you’re not using your headphones anyway.

Besides that, from a business perspective, Apple is now invested in iTunes Radio and Beats Music, both are money makers for the company via either subscriptions or commercials. Without any kind of massive consumer push, why would they make them less appealing by adding another built-in option for music?

And while we don’t believe the prophets of doom who say that broadcast radio is dead (obviously, since we produce a show here for broadcast radio), we do agree that the landscape for radio is changing. Streaming radio is becoming more viable all the time, especially as more and more people do just as you have and listen on their smartphones.

We understand that you might find FM broadcast signals in areas of the country where you can’t get cell service or other Wi-Fi, but we can’t imagine that this is an everyday occurrence. You can always look into one of the portable satellite radio receivers for auto and truck use, if that’s the case

For more information, tune in to Hour 3 of our podcast.

“Into Gaming Update” Weekly Feature with Mark Lautenschlager

Russ in Washington State asked: “Do you know of a laptop or tablet (preferably with 12″ to 15” screen) that would be safe and effective to use on the farm out in the dusty field? I work part-time for a farmer who often needs online access to search for, access, and order equipment parts and is concerned about having a computer whose longevity and effectiveness would not be compromised in the dusty environment. The larger screen is needed to properly display needed diagrams. Thank you for your help! “

Russ, There are both ruggedized tablets and laptops that should be reasonably resistant to dust, they are not cheap, but they should take care of longevity concerns.

Dell has Latitude Rugged line that includes both regular and convertible laptops, they are bulky, but they should resist dust to a very high standard.

Panasonic has the ToughBook line of laptops and convertible devices, and the ToughPad line of tablets, both are ruggedized and should be able stand a great deal of abuse based on our experience with one we’ve had in the studio for years.

In terms of specs, they’re modern devices with good processors, a good amount of RAM, solid state hard drives, and they should perform very well.

However, they will be a lot more expensive than comparable systems, the Panasonic ToughBook and the Dell’s Latitude Rugged lines both start at over $3000, and their rugged tablets usually start at over $2000, so that longevity and durability will come at a pretty high price.

You might also consider using a tablet in a rugged case. I wrap iPads in the Otterbox Defender series at our school and no child has been able to kill one yet. The dusty environment will bother a tablet (which has no fan), FAR less than a laptop (which does).

For more information, tune in to Hour 3 of our podcast.

John in Anderson, Indiana listens on News/Talk WHBU 1240 and is calling via the App asked: “Everytime I plug my iPod in and it connects to iTunes, the podcasts that I subscribe to show up and most of them download.There’s always a few that won’t download. They’re listed in the directory. I can see them there but I can’t download them. Instead of having the blue dot, it has an exclamation point in a circle. I can’t figure out how to get those episodes to download.”

John, The exclamation point in iTunes is a telltale sign that something has certainly gone wrong with your download– that is pretty self-explanatory. There are two possible solutions we could suggest to help get those podcasts back up and running for you, and both are directly related to storage issues.

First and foremost, you must make sure you have enough space on your device to download these podcasts. I’d suggest getting rid of podcasts you do not plan on listening to again immediately, along with any other materials on the device that you do not need anymore. Freeing up space can sound a lot simpler than it actually is because you sorta have to decide whether you NEED certain apps, photos, songs, etc. and deciding whether you will get rid of Instagram or Twitter can sometimes make you feel like you’re making a Sophie’s Choice!

Now, if this doesn’t seem to be your issue because you have plenty of free space– some iTunes users have found that the problem could be where these podcasts are being stored on the device. Finding where exactly these podcasts are being stored is important, so you should go through your preferences and choose a folder for these podcasts to be stored on. This solution has helped several members on the Apple forums solve their download issues.

Have you been listening to those podcasts that won’t download? You should be able to download them manually either way, but Apple responded to criticism that podcast subscriptions were eating up too much memory by halting the download of abandoned podcasts. If you haven’t listened to the last 5 episodes of a podcast, you iPod may stop downloading them automatically and give you the option to restart the automatic downloads when you next open the podcast.

Even if this is the case though, resuming the downloads requires one single tap on the screen where it says “start downloading this podcast again,” so you shouldn’t be too puzzled when you see it.

And is it an exclamation point in a blue circle, or is it the lower case letter “i” in a blue circle? We suspect it might be the latter. That’s Apple’s symbol for “information here.” If you tap that blue circle, you should get another screen that explains what the issue is with the podcast. It might be, as we said, that you haven’t listened to any episodes of that podcast recently and it’s gone dormant. Or, it might be that something is glitched in the podcast’s feed and the actual files can’t be found.

When a podcast is listed in iTunes, that’s done through a slightly altered version of a standard RSS file. That file contains a lot of information, such as the date of an episode, the speaker’s name, a description, and so forth. It also has the size of the actual audio file and a path to where it can be found online. If that path is incorrect, you will get the little blue i inside the blue circle.

For more information, tune in to Hour 3 of our podcast.

Guest Segment:

Brian Bergstein, Deputy Editor – MIT Technology Review
to equip its audiences with the intelligence to understand a world shaped by technology.

IFA History Feature
“IFA History Feature” brought to you by Messe-Berlin

The first in-car media center was presented during the Internationale Funkausstellung in 1993 in Berlin. Blaupunkt presented a model, named “Berlin” of course, which combined a mobile music- and information system with a three by two inch video screen. The “Berlin” already had interfaces for a CD changer, telephone, television and video players, plus a complete navigation system.

Brian in Nashville, Tennessee listens on SuperTalk WTN 99.7 FM asked: “Are there any tablets that do not run on Microsoft, Apple, or Android?”

Brian, There are a few, they’re just not very good… For example …RIM pushed out a tablet called the Blackberry Playbook in 2011, it was a 7 inch tablet that ran a proprietary Blackberry OS. RIM made some extraordinarily boneheaded decisions when it designed the device, like requiring it to be paired with a Blackberry phone in order for it to have any access to email, calendar, or contacts… it just did not have native apps for that. Eventually they released an update that gave it access to those things natively, but the tablet never took off and it was totally discontinued in 2014…

Here’s the thing, it did so poorly on the market that you can still buy brand new ones for like $100. You’re not stuck with whichever one you manage to find either, you can pick one with the amount of storage you want, there are still piles of unsold Playbooks around. There are also eReaders that run their own OSs and function as tablets, Kobo has a few, and nook and Kindle also do something like that. They all tend to be Android-based, but they won’t look or feel like Android.

Generally speaking though, they are all vastly inferior tablets, even the HP TouchPad, a WebOS-based fan favorite that sold out and became ultra popular after being discontinued a few years ago, would be pretty bad by today’s standards.Android, iOS and Windows tablets are not alone, they’re just better.

For more information, tune in to Hour 3 of our podcast.

John in Columbia, Missouri listens on TuneIn asked: “I’m looking for a program that can run multiple streams of Twitter, maybe a video and some other things on a large monitor for a school.”

John, If you have a computer available to dedicate to the task, then pretty much any web browser will do. You can use websites like or to show fullscreen Twitter feeds for free. may appeal to you too, as it’s also free and it allows you to block tweets containing words that you don’t want to see displayed at your school.

You asked for a program, though, so if you prefer something that won’t live in a web browser, TweetDeck should do the job for you. It can do more than just displaying timelines, it also let’s you manage multiple accounts. TweetDeck will also let you mute tweets containing words you don’t want students to see.

That same computer, running in mirrored mode, should make very easy to play movies on the screen, just play them as you normally would and they will play on the screen as well.

For more information, tune in to Hour 3 of our podcast.

If you have any questions about any of this week’s show info, please email us here.

This Week’s Prizes for Our Listeners

Education.Com: Several “Brainzy” 12-month codes for online early-learning programs for math and reading. If you’ve got Kids … you WANT one of these!

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The Grommet: iRoller liquid-free touchscreen display cleaners to remove smudges, fingermarks & dirt from your Smartphones, Tablets and other electronic devices.

G-Technology: Several 500GB 7200 RPM Touro S High performance portable Hard drives with easy & local Cloud Backup and in a variety of colors!

NanoTech: Several UltraFlix Gift Cards for 4K Content, like movies and a ton of other cool stuff. Let us know if you have a 4K Ultra HD TV!

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Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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