Welcome to June here in the year 1918 + 1929 + 1968! El Kaiser and J.D. drop in for a quick roundup of tech news, including rising tensions at social media companies, ongoing pandemic fallout and the newfound popularity of… online word-processing software. Take a break and dial up PTJ 339!
As more states and cities tell citizens to stay out of public places and do their part to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, El Kaiser and J.D. fire up the microphones in their respective recording bunkers to discuss the latest tech news. El Kaiser also offers his pro tips for looking and sounding better on those office video-conference meetings, and J.D. has a few ideas for parents trying to keep the kids busy after they’ve finished their online lessons for the day. It’s all here on PTJ 329 — right in the comfort of your own home!
Forget those grainy old newsreels of Republicans and Democrats putting on large hats and gathering every four years to nominate a candidate for president. Thanks to YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and various other social platforms, wonks and watchers alike have instant access to high-definition video right from the arena floor, plus ongoing commentary from viewers around the world. Will this massive wall of easily accessible data make for a more informed body politic — or just lead to more online body slams? And what about those the hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee that some say were courtesy of Russian operatives trying to influence the results of November? Journalist Laura M. Holson drops by PTJ HQ with her observations on it all.
And, after a week off so J.D. could work on her monitor tan, she and El Kaiser are back behind the mic with a summary of the week’s tech news, including Verizon’s purchase of Yahoo and summer projects from Microsoft and Google. Pour yourself a cool, refreshing beverage and settle on in for a listen!
On the topic of Twitter, the bird-themed is launching a new marketing campaign where it will attempt to explain why it’s a unique delivery mechanism for breaking news and gossip. However, do not expect any mention of the colossal amount of troll poop that clogs the best of timelines.
Microsoft’s free Windows 10 upgrade offer for Windows 7 and 8.1 users ends this month, so if you didn’t get it before July 29th, you probably didn’t want Windows 10 in the first place and fought hard to avoid it. If you did install Windows 10 (or bought a new computer that already had it), look out on August 2nd for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, the biggest upgrade heave since last November.
Microsoft also announced updates to its Office 365 suite, including a new Researcher service for Microsoft Word that helps you find, fit in and format reliable and legitimate resources to cite in your academic papers. Word has also been updated with a virtual cloud-based writing assistant called Editor that provides better document proofreading and analysis of your writing, which might make it less painful for you to compose and others to read.
Microsoft has added a new feature called Zoom to PowerPoint as well. Zoom can easily create interactive non-linear presentations for those who really don’t care about slide order and want to go freestyle.
The Outlook mail app also got a Gmail-like “Priority Inbox” update that helps weed out distracting fluff in your mailbox. Microsoft calls its version “Focused Inbox” instead.
Google has done some updating of its own this week and has released updates to Google Maps for desktop, Android and iOS. The company tweaked the color scheme and design of the maps to make them cleaner, sharper and easier to read. Google Maps also has new orange-shaded “areas of interest” that show algorithmically selected pods of restaurants, bars and other attractions nearby. According to the Android Police blog, Google Maps is rolling out notifications for mass-transit delays and a Wi-Fi only mode to help you keep your data allowance under control, too.
Nexus and Android Phone users are getting a nice gift from the Google phone app – a warning that an incoming call may be spam. If you do get a spam call, the app makes it easy to block and report the offender.
And finally, Pokémon Go dating was only a matter of time and yes, now it’s a thing. A company name RazorGo will be coming out with a site and app for Pokémon Go players to chat with their teams or privately. And you know that tune…
Love soft as an easy chair Love fresh as the morning air One love that is shared by two I’ve found thanks to Pikachu
In the comprehensive segment the discussion includes tips for manually controlling cameras on both iOS and Android phones and how having a good directional microphone is critical for shooting great video. Here are some links to a range of microphones you can use on your mobile device:
Additional lenses for smartphones also help budding smartphone directors shoot like professionals. Products from Schneider Optics, Olloclip, and Photojojo offer external solutions that allow you to bypass the phones limited lens options.
Also on the show J.D. tells us how we can record time-lapse video and stop-motion animation with our iOS and Android phones and tablets.
Last but certainly not least we serve up a heaping helping of tech news with an extra dose of snark, just the way you like it.
The independent audio magazine devoted to mashing up pop culture, technology and more. J.D. Biersdorfer and Pedro Rafael Rosado are your hosts. It's an Internet Radio revolution!