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Jamstik Uses BLE MIDI

Friday, March 11th, 2016

Jamstik LogoThere are many people who dream about learning how to play the guitar. Jamstik can help you make that dream a reality. It is a portable mini controller that was designed around the idea of making music more accessible to everyone.

Nick spoke with Senior Producer Matt Cannon from Jamstik. It is a mini controller that has a sensor that knows where your fingers are at. It shows you on screen in real time either on your iPad, iPhone or Mac. (Android compatibility is coming). First timers can use the Jam Tutor app to go from knowing nothing at all about playing guitar to being able to pluck strings, fret their first chords, and more.

What makes Jamstik unique is that it is one of the first devices to connect through Bluetooth and use BLE MIDI. It is lightning fast and has no latency. Another unique feature of Jamstik is that it feels natural and has real strings and frets.

Musicians who travel, and cannot take their guitar with them, can bring Jamstik along instead. It comes with a travel case and fits in carry on. The ideas they get while traveling can be played and recorded in Jamstik.

Jamstik is available via the Jamstik website, at Amazon, and at Apple stores. It is priced at $299.

Nick DiMeo is an audio engineer and show host at F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Keezel Personal WiFi with VPN Security

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

KeezelVPNs are great for keeping snooping countries, Orwellian agencies and thieving criminals at bay, but they’re not always straightforward to setup and when you have a laptop, mobile phone and tablet it’s a pain to maintain the VPN on each of them. Keezel has a solution in the shape of a personal wifi hotspot which has VPN software baked into the firmware. Daniel finds out more from Aike Müller, Co-Founder and CEO.

The way the Keezel works is that when out-and-about in coffee shops and other public wifi areas, you connect all your personal devices to the Keezel wirelessly. The Keezel connects to the public wifi network, establishes a VPN connection to a secure server and then all your communications travel securely across the network. Neat.

The standard price is US$99 for the Keezel and then $5 per month for the VPN service. The Keezel is currently on Indigogo’s InDemand having been originally 540% funded back in August 2015. There are some special perks available with devices are expected to ship in March 2016.

Daniel J. Lewis is the host of the award-winning podcast about podcasting, The Audacity to Podcast. Daniel helps others launch and improve their own podcasts for sharing their passions and finding success.

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CES 2016 Wrap Up Show & TPN Picks

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

The TPN Team present their 2016 TPN Picks to 10 companies that we felt had the best new products at CES 2016. Off the 1000’s of companies booths we walked by these 10 where tops by our team.

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CES 2016 Primer

Monday, December 28th, 2015

Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central gets our CES channels fired up with a primer of what is to come in the coverage department from the 20 team members of the Tech Podcast Network who start preparing to head to Vegas in a couple of days.

D-Link AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Router

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

D-Link LogoWith wifi routers and access points, there’s a subtle game of one-upmanship based on the number of aerials sprouting from the device. If unit has only one aerial or it’s embedded in the unit, it probably comes free from the broadband or cable provider; two aerials is soooo 11g, three aerials and the router’s got some chops; six aerials….now you’re getting serious. Todd gets up to speed with the AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi router from Daniel Kelley, VP at D-Link.

The AC3200 is a serious piece of kit. To start with, it looks like something straight out of a sci-film, a red stealth fighter fully armed with six laser cannon. And while the laser cannon are really aerials, you get the point – it means business. The AC3200 is a tri-band router using one set of frequencies in the 2.4 GHz range and two sets in the 5 GHz. It intelligently assesses the bandwidth and QoS (Quality of Service) demands of the connecting devices and allocates them to the most appropriate channels, and if necessary, can aggregate all three bands giving a maximum theoretical transfer rate of 3.2 Gb/s. No matter that the actual data rate will be much lower, it’s still screaming fast.

Additionally, the AC3200 uses beam-forming technology to focus the wifi signal to where it’s needed, rather than transmitting uniformly everywhere. On the wired side, there are four gigabit ethernet ports and two USB ports (one USB3, one USB2) for connecting up storage (DLNA server built-in) or printers. The AC3200 can be the hub of a connected home.

The AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Router (aka DIR-890L/R) is available now on-line for around $300. It’s pricey, but you get what you pay for.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Sennheiser Momentum Wireless Headphones

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Sennheiser LogoSennheiser have always been one of my preferred headphone brands and I previously reviewed the Momentum On-Ears for GNC. Consequently, I was very interested to hear that a second generation of Momentum headphones were on their way with both Bluetooth wireless and noise-cancellation features. Marlo chats to Scott Houston from Sennheiser about the Momentum Wireless.

The new Sennheiser Momentum Wireless takes the original Momentum and updates it for listening on the move. No tangled wires with Bluetooth wireless; environmental sound kept to a minimum with active noise cancellation; integrated microphone to take calls without removing the headphones, improved padding for extended listening and folding arms to pack the headphones away neatly. Overall, it looks like a tidy package.

Of course, this doesn’t come cheap with the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless costing US$499 or GB£379 from Sennheiser’s web store.

Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch for the TechPodcast Network.

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Wi-Fi Alliance Looks To The Future at CES

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

WiFi Alliance Logo

The 10 billionth Wi-Fi-certified device will be shipping around now. That’s impressive considering that Wi-Fi is still young, going back only 15 years. I remember 802.11b and my first Wi-Fi PCI card which had an antenna the size of a pack of playing cards. Those were the days. Anyway, Don Blaine, the Gadget Professor, gets a little more up-to-date with Edgar Figueroa, President and CEO of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Expected this year is new feature called Wi-Fi Aware which gathers information from the surrounding environment and pushes it to the user (subject to preferences). For example, when in a supermarket, a message might pop up to show the shortest check-out queue or special offers. If combined with the Internet of Things, other clever things can happen such as a garage door sending a message indicating that it’s been open for two hours, or turning the water off if a leak is detected. Sounds like a great technology to make life easier and safer for everyone.

Interview by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor.

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Wireless Charging From the Inside Out

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

NxpAs you probably already know, we are big fans of the Qi wireless power standard. One of the biggest Qi partners is NXP Semiconductors, a company that makes devices connectable.

The company demoed a set of custom Qi-powered devices, and talked about their involvement in the industry. The demo included custom chargers, built directly into a table. They pulsed when nothing was on them and went solid to indicate they were charging a device.

While the demoed charging plates are not for sale, they do show that a plate can be a lot more interesting than what Nokia and others have built. They can compliment, or even enhance, furnishings instead of being generic black plates that sit on top of a desk or table.

In addition, we got to see some retrofitted phones; devices that were not shipped with Qi support, but had it added aftermarket. Some can be done simply, with small adhesive plates that stick to the back, or under a battery cover or case, and plug into the USB port. Others had been opened up, and the insides altered to add native support to the device. This is a hobbyist’s dream come true.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

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BLU Products Talks About Their Windows Phones Devices

Friday, February 20th, 2015

BluWindowsPhonesYezz wasn’t the only company showing off Windows Phones; Miami, Florida-based BLU Products also had a pair of Windows Phone handsets on display. These devices have been available through the Microsoft Store for a little while now, but we wanted to get a better idea of why BLU decided to join the Microsoft family, how they have been doing and what the future holds.

The two current handsets are the BLU Win Jr ($89) and the BLU Win HD ($179). In BLU tradition, the handsets are all done in wonderfully crazy colors, and available unlocked for better than reasonable prices. More importantly, the specs manage to keep pace with the better-known brands.

Apparently, this combination is enough to keep the phones on the move. The company says that the Microsoft Store has big demand for the handsets. In fact, while discussing the current handsets, we had the opportunity to discuss the company’s future in the Microsoft ecosystem. Luckily, we will see new handsets added to the lineup, likely to coincide with the release of Windows 10 for Phones.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

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TazTag Creates a Physically Secure Android Device and Service

Friday, February 20th, 2015

TazTagSecurity was a big topic at this year’s CES. From watches to USB keys, there were all sorts of products trying to solve the problem of security, in physical and virtual world.

TazTag has a new smartphone designed to ensure secure communications between devices. The devices have a combination of hardware and software security, helping to guarantee the person you are trying to communicate with is the person on the other end.

Using biometric sensors, the phone requires a physical unlock before any of the secured applications can be accessed. Currently, the system supports secure chat, email, SMS and others. Also available is an encrypted voice service, available between compatible devices. The company also provides a secure, private application marketplace.

The hardware of the phone is also secured, preventing a thief from simply flashing the firmware and getting around its security. Without the right configuration, the hardware will be come useless.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
Welcome to the Eureka! Factory, where great programs, projects, events and creative spaces and places happen!
Follow F5 Live: Refreshing Technology on Twitter: PLuGHiTzLive; Facebook: F5 Live; Google+: PLuGHiTz Live