Dr. Bill.TV #380 – Video – “The Screen Savers Lives Again Edition!”

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Intel Compute Stick, Stephen Hawking’s speech system open sourced, new version of Google Glass, Drone Delivery System in Switzerland, Google officially discontinues Nexus 7, GSotW: SendBlaster, The New Screen Savers: TWiT resurrects the Screen Savers!

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET

SendBlaster Email Software


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Dr. Bill.TV #380 – Audio – “The Screen Savers Lives Again Edition!”

Intel Compute Stick, Stephen Hawking’s speech system open sourced, new version of Google Glass, Drone Delivery System in Switzerland, Google officially discontinues Nexus 7, GSotW: SendBlaster, The New Screen Savers: TWiT resurrects the Screen Savers!

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET

SendBlaster Email Software


Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

(Click on the buttons below to Stream the Netcast in your “format of choice”)
Streaming M4V Audio





Streaming MP3 Audio

Streaming Ogg Audio

Download M4V Download WebM Download MP3 Download Ogg
(Right-Click on any link above, and select “Save As…” to save the Netcast on your PC.)

You may also watch the Dr. Bill.TV Show on these services!

 

Dr. Bill.TV on YouTube Dr. Bill.TV on Vimeo

 


The ScreenSavers Returns!

The New Screen Savers: TWiT resurrects the show that launched tech video into the stratosphere

ZDNet – By: Jason Hiner – “Leo Laporte unexpectedly turned the TWiT retrospective into a launch party on Sunday.

At the event celebrating 10 years of This Week in Tech, Laporte announced that the TWiT Network would relaunch the show that launched his career. The New Screen Savers will debut on May 2, using a show format that will echo the classic ZDTV (later TechTV) show that was such a hit with technology lovers during its run from 1998-2005.

Unlike the original show, which was daily, Laporte will host The New Screen Savers weekly on Saturdays at 3:00PM Pacific. It will stream live at live.twit.tv and afterward it will be available on-demand and as a podcast download. The official site for The New Screen Savers will be twit.tv/tnss.

‘This is not something I would have tried even a couple years ago,’ said Leo, in an exclusive interview with ZDNet. ‘But we’ve built this infrastructure over time to be able to do what is essentially a broadcast show over the internet.’

The show will be filmed at the TWiT Brickhouse studios in Petaluma, California using a set similar to the original set in the ZDTV studios at 650 Townsend Street. Laporte will host the show every week and bring in a rotating carousel of guest hosts, including current TWiT hosts and a bunch of former hosts from The Screen Savers.

Several classic names from the original Screen Savers are already booked to come on as guest hosts, including Kate Botello, Patrick Norton, Kevin Rose, Morgan Webb, John C. Dvorak, and Martin Sargent. In fact, many of them were at the 10-year anniversary event but none of them knew about the launch of The New Screen Savers until the announcement was made on air during the show. All they knew was that they were booked to come to Petaluma to do a segment for a new TWiT show.

The New Screen Savers will be more produced than most TWiT shows, which are primarily talking heads discussing the top issues and the most important niche topics in tech.

TWiT CEO Lisa Laporte said, ‘Leo built TWiT because he wanted to capture the magic of ‘The Screen Savers,’ and after ten years of building his vision, we decided it was time to launch our very own variety show. We couldn’t resist naming it, ‘The New Screen Savers.”

The day before the 10-year anniversary event, Leo and his team were in the TWiT studios rehearsing for the first episode. We caught up with him right after it was over and he said, “We just finished the rehearsal. I’m really impressed by the ability of my team to pull together something this good.”

The New Screen Savers will feature seven different segments:

News – Discuss the top 1-2 tech news stories of the week
Call For Help – Answer questions from the audience over Skype
Long variety segment – Rotating
Short variety segment – Rotating
Call For Help – Answer more quesitons
Hot Button – Discuss a trending topic in the tech world
Mailbag – Calls and emails from the audience

People will be skeptical about whether TWiT can recapture the magic, and whether it’s even a good idea to try. “The idea is not to relive the past, but bring back that name,” Leo said. “That name meant something to people — the idea that they were going to be honored and valued for being tech enthusiasts [and] that show was going to celebrate it in a way that nothing on TV at the time did… Still nothing really does. And I got tired of waiting.”

Leo said he stills regularly meets people who come up to him and say, ‘I’m a geek because of The Screen Savers.’ The TWiT team hopes the second iteration of the show will inspire another generation of geeks.”

Geek Software of the Week: SendBlaster!

SendBlasterSendBlaster allows you to send email to a list, and does it in style! The regular version is FREE, and the Pro version adds features, and is $129.00 for a lifetime license.

SendBlaster Email Software

“SendBlaster is the best bulk email software to manage your mailing lists and set up email marketing campaigns in few easy steps. SendBlaster combines into one product the practicality of a mass email software with the flexibility of a bulk email web service. On the one hand you create newsletters and manage lists directly on your desktop: on the other you get a cloud email tracking service to handle reporting and improve your email campaigns.

Our brand new release SendBlaster 3, full of amazing features, is available both as a free email sender software download and a professional one with no subscription needed, just a single payment for a lifetime license. Plus, we are proud to offer a 15 days money back guarantee.”

Farewell Nexus 7!

I have the Google Nexus 10 and it is cool, but, as the article suggests, now may be a good time to get a Nexus 7!

Google officially discontinues Nexus 7 tablet

Slashgear – By: Adam Westlake – “If you’re in the market for an affordable, highly-rated, not-too-big-not-too-small tablet, your chances to buy the Nexus 7 are quickly running out. If you were planning to purchase one from Google directly, then your ship has already sailed. That’s because the company officially discontinued the 7-inch tablet on Friday, and is no longer selling it on the Google Store’s website. You can still find one from other places, but you better act fast.

The Nexus 7 was first released back in 2013, so it’s fair to say it had a good run. The Android-based tablet received great reviews, but what really made it a long-term success was the fact that it was affordable and continually received updates from Google.

Manufactured by Asus, the Nexus 7 was even treated to Android Lollipop, the latest version of the operating system, although not with bug-free results. The discontinuation shouldn’t come as a big surprise, however, as Google pulled a similar move back in March with the Nexus 5 smartphone, not to mention the Nexus 9 tablet’s release last fall.

If you still want to get your hands on a Nexus 7 before it’s too late, Amazon and eBay are probably your best choices. Even if you didn’t have Google’s aging tablet specifically in mind, this is a great chance to score a bargain, as the Nexus 7 can be found for prices much lower than the Nexus 9.”

Get Your Mail by Drone – In Switzerland

Drone MailIt would be cool, but do you give the drone a Christmas present?

Matternet To Test The First Real Drone Delivery System In Switzerland

Techcrunch – By: John Biggs – “The Swiss postal service, Swiss Post, is going to attempt drone deliveries for the first time ever using Matternet, a company working on perfecting drone-based delivery systems. The first tests will happen in Switzerland this summer as proof of concept to ‘to clarify the legal framework, consider local conditions and explore the technical and business capabilities of the drones.’

That’s right: robots are about to deliver our mail.

The first Matternet drone, called the ONE, can transport items up to 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) over 20 kilometers – or about 12 miles – on one charge. The company hopes to use the drones to deliver light packages like medicine, documents, and parts.

Founded by Andreas Raptopoulos and Paola Santana, the company was rooted in Raptopoulos dream of building a flying car. After attending the Singularity University summer program at NASA Ames Laboratory, he founded Matternet to bring quadcopters – on a smaller scale – to places where they were needed most. They have raised $2.2 million in seed capital from investors including Flextronics, Scott Banister, and Nas.

Matternet previously tested its drones in Haiti where it delivered medicine and supplies to inaccessible areas. The company now hopes to run three pilots in Switzerland and they have already flown more drone hours than anyone else in the world.

‘Our product is vertically integrated into a complete transportation solution. Swiss Post comes to us, we supply them all the technology (drones, landing pads, batteries, charging stations, cloud software) and they just focus on operations,’ said Raptopoulos.

‘Quadcopters may be the biggest invention in vehicle technology since the internal combustion engine. They allow us to build vehicles that are extremely simple mechanically and are 90%+ software which is bound to improve dramatically over then next 3-5 years. Things like weather performance, performance in GPS-denied environments, ‘sense and avoid,’ etc will make these vehicles way more robust and useful by the end of the decade. This platform will allow software to eat transportation,’ he said.

The ultimate goal is to bring transportation to places where it is currently nearly impossible. By sending a drone – or a few drones – into sparsely-populated areas, you can create a flying postal service that is autonomous, safe, and speedy.”

Cheaper Glass?

Google Glass for the rest of us. But, will anyone care?

New version of Google Glass coming soon, says Luxottica CEO

c|net – By: Richard Nieva – “The new version of Google Glass, the search giant’s Web-connected eyewear, may be here soon.

The chief executive of Italian eyewear company Luxottica, Massimo Vian, said his company is working on the new product, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. He said it’s coming soon, but did not give a specific timeline.

Luxottica, the company behind Ray-Ban and Oakley, has partnered with Google since last May to make frames for the device. Vian was speaking at Luxottica’s general meeting in Milan, Italy, the Journal said.

‘The team is heads down building the future of the product and we’re not commenting on rumor or speculation,’ Google said in a statement.

The news is only the latest indication that Google has not given up on its experimental product. The device, which overlays images and graphics on what a wearer already sees, has had a rocky development since it was unveiled in 2012. Privacy advocates have criticized the product’s built-in camera and people have derided the device for being nerdy. Early users of the product earned the nickname ‘Glassholes.’

In January, Google said it was discontinuing the current version of Glass, and putting the product development under the purview of Tony Fadell, co-founder of Nest, the smart-home device company that Google acquired in February 2014. Fadell is a former Apple executive and the hardware guru behind the original iPod music player.”

Intel Open Sources Stephen Hawking’s Voice System

Now, YOU can sound like Stephen Hawking! How cool is that?!

Intel’s Lama Nachman on taking Stephen Hawking’s speech system open-source

Wired – “In December 2014, Intel revealed that it had been working with Professor Stephen Hawking to create a new system to help him communicate and interact with the world around him. In an unprecedented move, the company also announced that it would be opening up the platform to the international research community so that it could be adapted for the three million people suffering from motor neurone disease and quadriplegia.

‘As we started to work on this, we realised that we could also impact a larger group of people,’ says Lama Nachman, speaking at WIRED Health in London about developing the platform.

Nachman points out that redesigning Hawking’s system wasn’t about providing more computer power, but finding a way to enhance the system he was using in a way that would allow him to enjoy the same experiences he had become used to. ‘He wasn’t interested in something revolutionary; he wanted something similar to what he had but that could solve a lot of problems,’ says Nachman.

The team at Intel was faced with the challenge of changing the software interface without making it unfamiliar. ‘If you think about a Windows system or any graphical interface it assumes people can easily move around,’ says Nachman. ‘When you are using mouse simulation that is clearly not the case.’

The team spent time with Hawking and his carers so as to understand how he used his system. ‘We’ve come to understand all of these common functions that he does on a daily basis,’ says Nachman. From there the researcher managed to reduce the number of interactions it took to complete a simple task, turning opening a file from a three- or four-minute operation to a ten-second operation.

Professor Hawking has spoken extensively to WIRED about the development of his assistive context aware toolkit and what a difference it has made to him, but Intel realised the technology had much broader implications.

‘In the process, what we recognised [is that] we had to make a system that was very configurable,’ says Nachman. The team realised, she adds, ‘if we actually open source that system it will enable researchers to bring their solutions to the community’.

The assistive context aware toolkit is now an open-source project that allows Intel to work with researchers and understand how it can enhance the system. Nachman believes that it will help to bridge the gap between assistive technologies and the general public. Computing has been transformed over recent years from being a destination to ‘something you can carry with you everywhere, and as a result has needed to adapt to some of our own disabilities’.

Until now, assistive technologies have not really utilised the economies of scale she says, but the work that Intel has done with Stephen Hawking shows that ‘people can create assistive healthcare technologies without reinventing the wheel’.”

Tiny “Compute Stick” by Intel

Intel Compute StickTurn your HD TV into a PC, OK, that would be cool!

Intel Compute Stick now available: $149 for Windows version, $110 for Linux

ZDNet – By: Sean Portnoy – “The concept of a ‘PC stick’ — a processor and RAM embedded into a gum-pack-sized device that can connect to your HDTV via an HDMI connection — is nothing new, but when a company like Intel embraces the concept, a lot more people start paying attention.

That was the case at CES back in January, when Intel showed off the Compute Stick, its version of a teeny-tiny PC that includes a quad-core Atom processor and — depending on whether you want the Windows 8.1 or Linux edition — comes with up to 2GB of RAM and up to 32GB of onboard storage. All of this fits onto something with dimensions of just 4.1×1.5×0.5 inches.

Fast-forward to April and the chip giant is announcing that the Compute Stick is now ready to order — and has started sending sample units out to tech reviewers to put through their paces. Newegg, for example, shows the Windows version available to pre-order for $149.99 with a shipping date of May 8, while the Linux model runs $109.99 and will be released on May 31. You’ll also see rebranded editions of the Compute Stick floating around from other manufacturers.

So should you be giving up one of your TV’s precious HDMI ports for the Compute Stick? Reviewers certainly wanted to like the idea of a pocket-friendly PC, though there were some caveats across the board. First, while you’ll ideally use it with wireless input devices as you sit on your sofa, you need to have a wired keyboard and mouse for initial setup of the Compute Stick (made more complicated by the device’s single USB port). Graphics performance was seen as pokey — though not necessarily a surprise given the form factor, the device’s inadequacies for casual gaming (even in streaming games from another PC) really vexed Gizmodo.

On the other hand, PCWorld praised the Compute Stick’s ability to handle basic Web browsing and Microsoft Office use adequately, and HotHardware ran a number of streaming tests that showed that it copes with HD video decently as well. PC Magazine points out that the Compute Stick ships with the 32-bit version of Windows 8.1, so don’t expect to use any 64-bit programs with it.

The consensus seems to be that if you keep your expectations realistic about what the Compute Stick can do, you may find it a bargain to have a Windows PC that can fit in your pocket for a mere $150. In fact, it could find a life outside the living room (as could its Google Chromebit competitor) as a business solution for companies with displays and input devices already in hand. Are you going to buy the Compute Stick?”

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