TechFan #235 – The TechFan Awakens

On December 20, 2015, in TechFan, by Tim Robertson

tf235
Tim and David discuss Star Wars – The Force Awakens on the second half of this episode, and it is NOT recommended for those who have yet to see the movie. Spoilers galore! You have been warned! To start, Tim discusses his Comcast modem problem and the fast resolution, bad Hover-boards and Amazon’s response, Kickstarter projects, and crapware MacKeeper.

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Contact us at theshow@techfanpodcast.com

iHome Fit Wireless Bluetooth Earphones iB73
iHome
$79.99

graphic

I listen to podcasts when I’m working out at the gym. I have a pair of earphones that I really like; however, the cord is always getting in the way. Wireless Bluetooth solutions I’ve tried usually fell out after a few minutes or were uncomfortable. I was offered the opportunity to test the iHome Fit Wireless Bluetooth Earphones, and I’m so glad I did. These are now my go-to earphones.

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Dragon Anywhere for iOS – Review

On December 18, 2015, in iPad, iPad 2, iPad mini, iPhone, Review, by Mark Chappell

Dragon Anywhere.
Nuance.com
Subscription Required — 1 month: $15, 3 months: $40, 12 months: $150 (all USA pricing)

Since the release of IBM’s Via Voice (bonus points to you who know what I’m on about) I have been following the progress of speech recognition over recent years. I’ve been a long time user of Dragon Dictate from Nuance and I use voice recognition on my Mac, courtesy of Dragon Dictate 5, on a daily basis.

Dragon Anywhere iOS

Since Nuance showed a tech demo of Dragon Anywhere earlier this year, announcing availability this fall, I’ve been waiting with bated breath to go hands on. That time has finally come.

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Holiday Gift Guide v2015.6
All-Dock Multi-Device Premium Charger
ALLDOCK USA
(International links are here)
99 to $199 USA (International prices differ somewhat)

alldock 4 copy

European design and styling combine forces in this array of beautiful, world-best, natural wood charging stations for iOS and other portable gear, including the Apple Watch. Different sizes of All-Docks are available. Each charging port has a full 2400mA smart power supply. Cables are out of sight within the base section while your devices are displayed in the order you choose for use while charging, if desired.

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Capture One Pro 9 – Review

On December 16, 2015, in Review, by Mark Sealey

 

Capture One Pro 9
Phase One USA http://www.phaseone.com
$299; $15 per month subscription;
$99 upgrade from versions 7, 8

CaptureOnePro9Logo
Earlier this year MyMac looked in depth (1, 2) at Capture One Pro 8 from the Danish company, Phase One.

It’s an impressive alternative to Apple’s own Aperture, which is no longer being developed and – although the Digital Asset Management system of choice for many – is not guaranteed to work on unspecified future operating systems. Version 9 of Capture One Pro was released this month. It’s every bit as good as its predecessor and remains the preferred alternative to Aperture over Adobe’s Lightroom.

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MyMac Podcast 585: WE ARE GMEN

On December 15, 2015, in Podcast, by The MyMac Podcast

mymac585
Well we finally get the whole 300th episode since Guy and Gaz took over blah, blah, blah so no more about that. Just in time to start hyping the 600th episode of the podcast so, yeah. Guy gets a new mixer, but don’t get too used to it, Gaz gets a new iMac, you can get used to that, Guy finally gets his iPad Pro…unless it’s just some clever mirage, but it’s Guy so he wouldn’t admit it anyway. The GMen eventually get around to 300, in a fashion, and lots of the stuff you listen to this show for. We apologize in advance.

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Logickeyboard Adobe Photoshop CC Shortcut Keyboard
Manufacturer: Logickeyboard
Price: $114.90

Keyboard shortcuts have long been a method for experienced Adobe Photoshop users to increase productivity. The Logickeyboard Shortcut Keyboard will jumpstart the process of using the keyboard in lieu of the mouse.

Logickeyboard2-2

Adobe Photoshop is a product of amazing depth of features, including a daunting number of keyboard shortcuts and a steep learning curve. Logickeyboard Shortcut Keyboard serves to flatten that curve by providing color coded keycaps with graphic and text hints into the deeper recesses of Photoshop CC.

This keyboard will best serve the Photoshop user who uses the application regularly. A Adobe Photoshop novice can easily be overwhelmed by all of the graphics and text on the keys that mean little or nothing to them during the early stages of their learning curve. A Photoshop professional who has worked with the program many hours per day over many years will not need the these color coded cues as their own muscle memory will guide them to the proper key combination with out looking at the keyboard. But the majority will fall between these extremes and derive benefits from the hints included on the Logickeyboard Shortcut Keyboard.

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UpStanding Desk – Review

On December 14, 2015, in Features, Review, by Russ Walkowich

UpStanding Desk
Company: UpStanding Desk
Price: $199.99 and $249.99 USD

Standard

Double Wide

To Sit or not to sit… To Stand or not to stand… That is the question. It has been a normal daily routine going back to before typewriters and through the computer age for one to sit at a desk to work or to relax and read email or surf the web. In the past few years, the logic of sitting down at a desk has come into review as to the impact upon the user’s body and what happens if one sits down all the time. University studies had shown that extended sitting was having a negative impact upon the human body with a possible increase in coronary heart disease and other health problems from a lack of movement. Yet there was also the possibility of negative impact from extended standing.

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Orbit Wireless Mobile Trackball
Kensington
Price: $60 USA

Trackballs are not just devices for gamers. They can also provide a viable alternative way to control and select for more traditional computer usage. The Kensington Orbit Wireless Mobile Trackball was reviewed in a non-gaming environment to ascertain if it could become part of the arsenal of a first-time adopter. After years of using mice, would the claimed advantages be compelling enough to overcome the natural resistance to change that comes with an old, familiar way of working?

The Kensington Orbit Wireless Mobile Trackball (just Orbit Mobile from now on) resembles an overgrown mouse with the rolling ball where the scroll-wheel would be on a conventional mouse. The Orbit Mobile fits under a hand in a very natural way, with the middle finger rolling the ball to move the screen cursor, thumb and pinkie operating the left and right click buttons, and the second and fourth fingers operating the touch-sensitive pads that control scrolling. If that sounds complicated, be assured that it isn’t: starting to use the Orbit Mobile does not require you to do anything other than place your hand comfortably on top of it with the weight of your hand supported by your palm and your wrist resting on the desktop.

KensingtonOrbitStore the easily-lost wireless receiver inside the battery compartment.

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Why?

cross F A D E.psdI wrote this tome because Nemo wanted my input to help another MyMac writer write a review of a pair of headphones. Nemo asked, so for better or worse (mostly worse),  here’s what I threw together at 2AM one night/morning last week.

Headphones will always suffer from one major factor–true bass response. When using conventional speakers, especially in the bass range, you not only hear the notes, but your whole body feels them, especially if you like to play your system on the loud side, as the speaker (maybe a subwoofer if you are fortunate to have one) is moving a lot of air around. Not so with headphones, which limit the experience to your eardrums, and I guess inducing some of that energy into your jaws (hence the popular jaw conduction Bluetooth earpieces for your favorite cellphones). 

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MediaDevil Artisanphonics EB-01 luxury wood earphones with built-in microphone 
MediaDevil.Com / Amazon
Price: £29.97 (UK), $39.97 (US)

I’ve had reasonable luck with iPhone headphones. For the most part they last a fair while and sound okay, not really giving me much reason to look for alternatives. Until recently that is, where another cable catching on a door handle proved just too much damage, leaving me with audio in only one ear.

ArtisanPhonics EB-01 Hero

Finding headphones is one thing, finding a set with volume controls and an inline microphone at a fair price point is another. So when I spotted the MediaDevil Artisanphonics EB-01 luxury wood earphones with built-in microphone from a British company, out came the credit card and the rest is history.

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BackLight 26L Photo Backpack
MindShift Gear
$250 U.S. Available in gray or green. More photos are on the company’s site for this product.

bag exterior

The $250 MindShift BackLight 26L (the 26L stands for 26 liters of internal volume) is a medium-sized backpack designed for the outdoors photographer but can be very much at home with anyone who wants to carry a lot of photo gear on their back in a handsomely designed bag. It comes in both green and graphite colors; I chose to review the graphite colored one. The first thing I noticed is how light the MindShift BackLight 26L feels (just around 4lbs/1.8kg). I don’t like heavy camera bags for comfort reasons, and this case does not add much more weight to my already heavy camera kit.

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Holiday Gift Guide v2015.5
WIFISD2 Wireless iOS Media Hub and Travel Router
Macally
$56 to $70 U.S. Internet pricing

wifisd3

Macally’s new WIFISD2 is the perfect gift for someone who has almost everything. Not enough space on your iPhone or iPad for your movies, photos, music, games, and more? No problem! This Wireless iOS Media Hub and Travel Router can handle infinite SD cards, USB flash drives, USB external drives, with either network Wi-Fi pass through or an Ethernet cable connection. Even better: WIFISD2 has an internal battery that can both power it and charge an external USB device.

wifisd2

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Holiday Gift Guide v2015-4
Mini H20 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Altec Lansing
$40 U.S. Available in red, blue, gray, black, and orange. (Not all colors are sold on all web sites.)

altec 1

This little wonder is so small and so loud with such remarkable Bluetooth wireless range that it should be in everyone’s stocking this holiday season and in everyone’s pocket or purse or tote bag next year. I was very skeptical upon opening it: how can such a tiny speaker be any good? I was wrong!

Charge it up for a few hours, then turn it on. A spoken alert lets you know Mini H20 is powered and ready for action. Connect it to your iDevice or Macintosh wirelessly via Bluetooth in a couple of seconds, or via the included auxiliary audio cable. When using Bluetooth, seal up the small rear port area for waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof enjoyment anywhere and everywhere.

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Holiday Gift Guide v2015-3
Kineta K2 Clock Radio Bluetooth Speakerphone Plus USB Charger
iHome Audio
$80 U.S.

iHome 1

It’s a Bluetooth wireless speaker and speakerphone. It has a built-in USB charging port plus a removable iPhone charging USB cylinder. It’s a clock radio and dual alarm with an excellent time and date display. It’s attractive, compact, lightweight, and crisp-sounding. It has innovative digital touch top deck controls and an auxiliary audio input. And it has an affordable price for all this convenience and functionality.

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MyMac Podcast 584-5: TheMacMommy is Angry

On December 8, 2015, in Podcast, by The MyMac Podcast

mymac584-5
Gaz has some family stuff going on and couldn’t make it this week, so Melissa Davis TheMacMommy agrees to subject herself to the terrors of doing a podcast with Guy. Still no iPad Pro for Guy since apparently AT&T wants to punish him because he’s, well Guy and because they can. Melissa is mad at Paula Poundstone because Paula thinks she knows something about tech (no), education (GOD no), and raising children (PLEASE GOD NO!). She also deploys a BILLON iPads (Melissa no Paula) which is probably closer to 28 than a billion. The 300th show will happen next week or whenever.

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Links:
http://www.cbsnews.com
http://macstockconferenceandexpo.com/

Guy’s App Pick: 1000 Miles by Emma Whan. Free with one in app purchase to fully unlock the game. If you’re a fan of the French card game Miles Borne you’ll enjoy this simple rendition.
Melissa’s App Pick: Recolor (so hard to pick just one) I also want to mention Grocery Gadget and Jigsaw Collection HD on iPad but I’ll save those for another time or maybe talk about them on a rant about responsible and beneficial tech use.

Contact / Follow Us:
Guy@mymac.com
MacParrot on Twitter
Gaz@mymac.com
GazMaz on Twitter
GuyandGaz on Twitter
Feedback@mymac.com
Skype +1 Area code  703-436-9501

 

olloclip Active Lens for iPhone 6/6s and 6Plus/6sPlus

On December 7, 2015, in iPhone, Photography, Review, by John Nemerovski

Holiday Gift Guide v2015-2

Active Lens for iPhone 6/6s and 6Plus/6sPlus
olloclip
$100 U.S.
OLLOCASE
$30 U.S.

olloclip active lens

olloclip continues to be the industry leader and innovator in lenses for iPhones. The company’s latest combo product, Active Lens for iPhone 6/6s and 6Plus/6sPlus, has an integrated pair of front/back lenses to assist with wide angle and telephoto image making. You and your phone won’t be too far or too close to your subjects when these lenses are handy.

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TechFan #233 – Jacked Up

On December 4, 2015, in TechFan, by Tim Robertson

tf233
Tim brings up the rumor of Apple abandoning the headphone jack on the next iPhone and goes off on the idea. Metal roofs are also discussed, as well as Konami getting egg on their face, the Wolsen portable gaming console, a broken Xbox 360, the disappointing sales of the new Halo and Star Wars Battlefront games, and much more.

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Links:
WOLSEN 2.5″ LCD Portable Game Console Speaker
Konami blocked Metal Gear creator from accepting award

 

 

Congratulations to our Author of the Year 2015 — Martin Evening 

photographers at work cover

Photographers at Work — Essential Business and Production Skills for Photographers in Editorial, Design, and Advertising
by Martin Evening
New Riders Press
ISBN-13: 978-0-321-99414-1, 312 pages
$45 U.S., $52 CN (Internet pricing is lower)

lightroom book cover

The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC / Lightroom 6 Book: The Complete Guide for Photographers
by Martin Evening
New Riders Press
ISBN-13: 978-0-13-392919-5, 722 pages
$60 U.S., $69 CN (Internet pricing is lower)

photoshop cc cover 2015

Adobe Photoshop CC for Photographers, 2015 Release (3rd Edition)
by Martin Evening
Focal Press / Routledge / Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 978-1-138-91700-2, 730 pages
$60 US

Martin Evening published three books in 2015 for serious photographers. Each title is excellent on its own merit. Together they add up to a heavyweight trio that will excel for many years. His Photoshop and Lightroom books continue two series that have thrived in multiple editions. His most recent topic is the distilled wisdom of a lifetime career as a working professional. Congratulations to our Author of the Year 2015 — Martin Evening.

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