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Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss Uber’s cannabis partnership, Hulu’s live TV price going up, Tesla app unlocking breaking, pets making and answering calls, and more.
Bob in El Paso, Texas listens to the podcasts and asked: “We really like to use some of these social distancing Internet platforms like Zoom. The problem with Zoom is the 40 minute limit on the free version. We’re looking for some alternatives. Can you suggest something that’s good, that allows the family to talk together besides some of the more popular ones that require a subscription?”
Bob, Google Meet should work well for your needs. Their tiled view can show up to 16 participants at a time, if your family members could connect to Zoom they should be able to connect to Google Meet using the same devices.
Google has been pushing it pretty hard lately, so youre unlikely to run into any annoyances until they conquer more market share and want to monetize it more.
Skype has gotten pretty clunky and bloated but it should work for your family too.
If your family already uses WhatsApp, you can also do video conferences there, which may spare them from having to download an extra app. Microsoft Teams might work for you as well, its a little more of a corporate tool meant to help with collaboration on Office documents, but you can ignore that and just use the video.
Other ways of connecting with family is Facebook messenger. They have a video chat option. Snapchat has video chat as well. There you can play games and add filters to your video output. Facetime is another choice if you have an Apple device. It also has filters to make conversations a bit more fun.
Any gamers would probably know Discord is a great way to stay connected while playing video games or you and your family can video chat and play games with one another with Houseparty.
There are many, many others, but most of the good ones have the same problem Zoom has for your use case: theyre marketed towards businesses and have limits.
For example, Whereby is pretty good but it has a low amount of participants on free accounts, BlueJeans costs less than Zoom per month but has no free version, WebEx feels like something someone forgot to keep updating 5 years ago and the free version will cut you off after less than an hour, and GoToMeeting has no free version.
The good news here is that there are plenty of options even if most products are aimed towards paid use for business.
Mark in Windsor, Ontario listens on AM800 CKLW The Information Station, and asked: “How do I know if it’s my router or my modem that’s causing issues because I have some devices that work and some say “connected” but no internet.”
Mark, if some work and some dont, its your router. The routing a router does is in part routing internet requests back to the devices that made them, the modem doesnt take care of that part.
The devices that dont work may have their own settings issues too, so dont forget to check those.
If you want to check and see if your modem is doing its job, plug your computer in via a network cable directly to it and check at the source, if you get a solid internet connection then your modem is working as it should and you can go ahead and replace your router.
Miro in Windsor, Ontario asked: “I just bought an older vehicle that does not have Bluetooth, so I was interested in getting an aftermarket 7-inch screen radio. Just wondering what the big differences were behind the big names like Pioneer and Kenwood, and some of the off brands you find on Amazon. They seem to have more features because they’re full Android radios as opposed to probably better music on the Kenwoods and Pioneers.”
Miro, the main difference is that Pioneer and Kenwood have something to lose, so the quality is more consistent.
Generic radios can be terrible and if needed the manufacturer will just slap a new random label on them and keep pumping them out.
Android car radios are all about the hardware, since the OS is largely taken care of. We say largely because there may be some customization, but the basic functions should come from Android and should be at least somewhat consistent.
In your search focus on hardware reviews, did it last 4 months? is the touchscreen hard to use? Is it responsive? Are all the buttons working? Are all the speakers that were plugged into the unit still working?
If those things all look good, the risk is probably relatively low and the price difference may be large.
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