Your Tech Life – #75 – Webcast (23 February 2011)

Vodafail becomes VodaCares – do you care, will it change your mind? Callers on Video Conferencing without Downloads, Bluetooth Headsets, Foxtel upgrades, WordPress and a whole lot more! Get...

Vodafail becomes VodaCares – do you care, will it change your mind? Callers on Video Conferencing without Downloads, Bluetooth Headsets, Foxtel upgrades, WordPress and a whole lot more!

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Your Tech Life – Webcast #75

Date: 23/02/2011

00:13           Trevor:  And welcome to Your Tech Life, Your Tech Life Number 75 and you can get in touch with me at yourtechlife.com that’s the                       website you go to send me an email and let me know what you’re thinking; it’s all about helping you if you got a problem with technology, if you have a question about technology.

You might be in the market for something new, you might be just

have bought something new and wondering how to use it, you might have a massive problem with your mobile phone, your TV, your internet, your computer, your Ipad, your Iphone . Whatever it is I try my best to help you out, if I can’t help you I’ll find someone who can, that’s at least what we try to do.

 

So yourtechlife.com. Check it out and send me an email and thank you for listening. Thank you for downloading and thank you for subscribing,  A stack of calls tonight, 4 or 5 anyway and a little bit of news going round plus a couple of other things to talk to you about –  so it’s all happening. It’s all thanks to Harris Technology, Net Gear, Norton 360 by Symantec and Gizmo the home computer expert.  I’ll tell you more about them as the show progresses.

Yourtechlife.com get in touch –  were going to talk about Foxtel,

we’re going to talk about Bluetooth, we’re going to talk about videoconferencing, we’re going to talk about Codec problems and word press. Whole stack of stuff to talk about tonight but most importantly get in touch with yourtechlife.com. Send me an email, let me know what you think of the show, let me know what’s on your mind and let me know how I can help you with your technology problems.

And if you’re listening, last week’s episode # 74 you would have heard me at the end of the show, saying we have a new podcast starting very soon, in fact its going start today –  were going to record it later tonight hopefully by the time you’re listening to this you’d be able to track down that podcast.  It’ll be available on iTunes within the week. That takes a bit of time but well get it there. It’s called “Two Blokes Talking Tech” – myself and Steven Fennec and we’ll run you through the news of the week technology wise and hopefully get some info out of that, some product reviews, the news of the week but yourtechlife.com. Get help with your problems. Here are the people who need help with their problems, hear advice on technology, problems solved and my thoughts on all things technology. “Two Blokes Talking Tech” with Trevor Long and Steven Fennec.  Search for it on iTunes and Two Blokes Talking Tech.com. Every variation of  that theme.

 

Now what interesting piece of news this week is Vodafone. I’ve got to say pretty ballsey stuff; Vodafail is what they’ve become known as, Vodafone- Vodafail because they were having so many network problems and there was a class action started.  The legal team behind class action has had some 20,000 Vodafone customers get in touch with them, so it’s a pretty big problem for Vodafone. Vodafone this week made the quite front-footed step but a little bit late and you can imagine machinations going on behind the scenes in the beaurocracy to get something like this happening.  The CEO Nigel Juice sat in front of a camera and recorded a video address to their customers. (It’s) only a minute and half –  a little “sorry” basically and that’s essentially what it says on the statement they released. They essentially said: we are truly sorry for these problems, and the short answer was they were growing fast and when some problems arose they responded too slowly.  You got to give them credit for getting on the front foot and admitting that  – although maybe a little too late.

One of the interesting things I found was a guy at my work said to me “look I’m having this problem with my phone and reception’s bad and the phone’s bad” and I said “Mate, ring the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, it’s the only thing you can do. It’s the only way you can definitely get action”.

 

Now here’s what happened – he rang the TIO – Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman last week, rang them  – didn’t send them any documentation or anything but ran through everything that had happened and he has documentation for everything. He got a text message on the weekend, or on the Monday, saying, “Dear Sir in response to your action with the TIO, basically you relinquished your contract, you’re out – it’s fine –  we’ll send you a letter” .They sent him the letter and it says Vodafone sincerely regrets any inconvenience or service interruptions you’ve experienced, call volumes at the call centre has been making it hard to get hold of staff and in light of this and as a gesture of good will and in the interest of customer relations and without any admition of liability, Vodaphone has therefore waved the contractual commitment of your agreement. So that’s all he had to do and they enclosed an envelope. All he had to do was send back the phone and bingo he’s off his contract.

 

So they are purging customers by the day I would suspect, purging at a ridiculous rate but the crucial thing is they are setting themselves on a new path, so they may dip heavily in customer numbers but they hope to get it back. They are investing a billion dollars, by the end of 2011, in new network, new sites, and upgrades – all that kind of stuff. They’ve got extra people in call centres, they’ve got call back options, they’ve really listed a whole stack of stuff and I’ve put it all on the website – yourtechlife.com –  if you want to look at what it’s done; but look if you’re a Vodafone customer I’m curious:

a). Have you even noticed the problems?

b). Does this make you want to stick around and stick it out?

I’ve got to say my wife’s on contract with Vodafone and look we haven’t had any major issues and frankly they’re probably going to  have a great network as a result of this. They’re investing a stack in the network and remember everyone hated the Telstra Network a few years ago and then they rolled out the Next G Network and HELLO! Bingo! It’s one heck of a great network. So let’s hold out a little bit of hope for Vodafone here, they may well bounce back from this and

discover a whole new level of customer service and a whole new style     of network.

06:35           All right yourtechlife.com send me an email, get in touch, get on the

show – let’s go straight to calls. Good day Justin.

Justin:  Hey mate how are ya?

Trevor:  Awesome what can I do for ya mate?

Justin:  Just wondering if there’s some one who’s interested in doing a couple of webcam sessions with their families overseas and they’ve been asking me for help and the only person I could think of was you.
There didn’t seem to be a lot when I googled it.

Trevor:  So what do they want to do, what do they want to achieve?
Justin:  They just want to, basically, have a web conference with different people around the world with their families, a lot of foreigners working here at the moment and they need to keep in contact with their families back home.
Trevor:  So have they tried Skype?
Justin:   They tried Skype, yeah, but they want a web based solution.
Trevor:   Right. So they don’t need to install any software?
Justin:  Exactly.

 

Trevor:   I do live streaming of the show when I record it, it’s only       one way in a sense, you can’t see the other person. I can broadcast so you can have a group of people sitting there talking or one person sitting there talking and someone else or many people watching them, but it’s the second person integration that would be more difficult. It’s a bloody good question actually because what you want is a solution that means you can be at any computer and jump on and no need to worry about having Skype installed.
Justin:   I know one of them is currently on holiday so they’re in a hotel but there’s a lot of computers in hotels but they’re for business use and so are locked down so that you can’t actually install anything. You can’t do anything on them except search the internet and if there was some sort of program you could just run as a default, instead of an install – sort of like a windows based MSI or whatever. That would be really useful.

Trevor:   I’m doing a bit of a browse and I have to look around and I have to ask people if there’s any suggestion from the listeners.  There’s a few that I’m seeing when I do basic searches. There’s a thing called “OOVOO” but it says free download – we don’t want that, we don’t want to download. Click here to start a web video chat no download required. That sounds like the go: video call, video chat, and video chat room.

Justin:  Whether its Java based or Flash based – it doesn’t really matter.

Trevor:  They’re pretty standard, I’m clicking it as we speak it’s  asking for a name, let’s see what happens. This is quite interesting –  so it’s O.O.V.O.O  so: Oovoo.com and I’ve literally gone there and typed my name and clicked ‘start a call’. It hasn’t actually asked me who to call. This is pretty cool.  Let your friends know you’re in a video call, it’s come up with this Facebook icon and I can click there and I guess then other people will jump into the conversation and one thing will lead to another and off we go.  So I mean, it’s worth a try mate. If you want to get on the email I’m happy to try and get it going too, video chat room not supported by Safari 64 bit. Well I’m using Google Chrome, you’d probably want Firefox or Internet Explorer but yeah, try that one and if anyone else has any other suggestion and I’ll get them to send me an email and we’ll let you know. But mate I’d be very interested because I think it’s a great concept because people travelling, living in another country for a short space of time – whether it might be, not having the administrative privilege, which is complete nightmare in a corporate  and hotel environment, it’s something you’d quite need isn’t it?

Justin:   Ah yeah, the other thing is, where I work it’s quite a   restrictive platform, as you can imagine, so we don’t allow Skype because of the network chatter they put out and all the other things but if it could be completely web based and either flash or java based it would be extremely helpful to be able to do.

Trevor:  Yeah, well, sounds good so do me this favour I’ll make you the promise anything I get on the email, I’ll send through to you and if you can do me a huge favour in a week or two, once you’ve found a solution or tested a few, if you let me know we’ll get you back on and we’ll be able to share that information with everyone else – cause it’s a great idea.

Justin:  Will do mate. Much appreciated.

Trevor:  Good on ya mate and thanks for getting in touch.

Justin:  Thanks mate

11:29           Trevor:   I love coming across new websites and new things that was           a simple question. Google search and off we go there live. I’ll be                 interested  to see how you go with that Justin, so do keep in touch

and let us know. Thanks for the great sponsors of the podcast yourtechlife.com, Harris Technology is one of them, wonderful group of people and it feels like a small business when you walk into their retail stores in the capital cities but when you go to their website ht.com.au it blows your mind. They have got everything, fairdinkum, everything and so as I do every week take a quick look at the website and here is a demonstration of the variety on their very website. You can see Dell, Lenovo, HP, Sony, Samsung laptops  – just in their feature section –  so I can see clear as day:- Samsung Core Eye 3 13” Laptop $998 dollars, there’s a HP Core Eye 7. Have a look at this 15” Core Eye 7 laptop from HP $1674.  Wow that would be a nice nice machine and comparatively a 16”  I 5 from Sony $1800,  so the HP looks like a great deal $1674 for a Core I 7 laptop looks really nice. Stack of monitors there, there’s the Dell 23” 2908 they’ve still got this hot offer “27” hot offer:  Dell Ultra sharp LCD display $798.  27” display Wow, they’ve got projectors, they’ve got net work storage , they have got keyboards, mice and all those kinds of things –  so check them out. Harris Technology ht.com.au.

13:20           Trevor:  Lets go back to calls, good day Mark.

Mark:  Hey Trevor, How ya doing?

Trevor:  Really good, what can I do for you mate?
Mark:  Mate, quite a few podcasts ago now, I was listening and I

recall there was a guy who had a problem with TV Reception and I                                  think he was having problems with aerials.

Trevor:   It’s a bloody common question I got to tell you, I get it a lot because people get these big new TVs and they have got really old antennas and stuff. What’s your experience been?

Mark:  Well we went through the same sort of thing ,we had a digital reception but it had some problems and after much cracking down the wireless router is causing some interfering

Trevor:  Really?

Mark:  Yeah- The location of that and also the addition of the booster- signal booster improved the digital reception quite significantly.

Trevor:  So where do you put the signal booster?  Stupid ignorant question but do you put it at the TV point so just in the wall there or do you have to put it up near the antenna in the roof kind of thing?

Mark:   Yeah, well a friend of mine told me about them, it’s basically a small device that plugs into a power point and its actually powered. You plug one end of the co-ax into that (the aerial) and the other end back into my digital set top box.

Trevor:   So basically instead of coming out of the wall directly into the TV you go out of the wall into this little unit that’s in the power board or the wall socket and from that you go directly to the TV and that is boosting the signal to your TV.

Mark:   Like, for an example in Melbourne on a rescan of the digital box were getting all the channels, all the volume, all the pictures and some people experience pictures and no sound ,for an example Channel 31 which is our local..

Trevor:   Yep the community station.

Mark:  Community station yeah couldn’t get that on the digital set top box but we got it perfect now and same with SBS. I couldn’t even get that on my set top box either until we eliminated those two things.

Trevor:  Right. Isn’t it simple things like that? And how far away was the router and how far did you have to put it to get a difference in reception there as well?

Mark:  Yeah well that’s a bit difficult to isolate because I tend to think that maybe the booster was probably the biggest gain but the router, I think, caused more interference and not a ghosting problem but something similar to that – you can just see … you know …things across the screen. But look, even about 15 to 20 meters would make a difference.

Trevor:  The point is, it’s another thing that does cause interference. Very good, that’s awesome mate, anything else in your world? Problems?

Mark: Well just a niggly one.  Since moving to a smart phone off the trusty old Nokias, I enjoy podcast and especially yours.

Trevor:  Appreciate that mate.

Mark:  Always downloading them and listening to them on the go especially when I’m at home and in the garden or out in the property doing something  I’ve always got a,  traditionally have a,  Bluetooth head set in my ear and listening to a podcast.

Trevor:   So you have the phone or whatever it is in your pocket and you have one of those little ear pieces in your ear?

Mark:   Yeah and I got a couple of Bluetooth head sets –  one in the car and one lying around the house.

Trevor:  I got to be honest, I’ve never used one of those to listen to content from a phone, I’ve only ever used them to, you know, make phone calls.

Mark:   Yeah and with your odd smart phone you could even listen to any detail whether it be music, podcast, phone calls and whatever through your Bluetooth head set.

Trevor:   Okay very cool!

Mark:  Now since moving to the smart phone you know the Iphone or Samsung Galaxy S which I have at the moment, you can – only through the Bluetooth head set with the single ear piece – you get either a phone call or a phone conversation on the head set instead of a podcast, music and or otherwise, it’s either the phone’s been cut or the wired bits through the three and half mil jack.

Trevor:  You can’t route the audio to the blue tooth?

Mark:  Correct!
Trevor:  Really?
Mark:  Now I do know that the manufacturer has been Nokia, Motorola etc. They do make blue tooth stereo head sets with two ear pieces and the mic thing over your head. But the preference is the trusty old “in the ear piece” head set.

Trevor:  So you’re trying to do the same thing that you’ve always done with your none smart phone with the little ear piece, now you’ve upgraded your phone but you haven’t upgraded the ear piece. Are you still using the same old ear piece?

Mark:   Pretty much, there’s a couple of different ones I’ve got.

Trevor:  How old are they?

Mark:  They vary, one’s probably 6 months the other one’s around two or three years old, they all work on the phone though.

Trevor:  I was thinking, it could simply be the Bluetooth version in the head set, you know this isn’t an area of expertise of mine, but I have used a few of the Plantronics ones.  I don’t know what brands the ones you’ve got are. Why don’t we do this:  Why don’t I get in touch with Plantronics ,who I at least know, and get them to recommend one and maybe even get one to play with for a few weeks and see what you think of it, you can ring me back and tell me whether its a good device or not.

Mark:  Well yeah, you’re a champion, I know the Plantronics gear on office head is very reputable. I know they’ve got headsets for mobiles but I’ve never used one of their ones before.

Trevor:   Basically let’s recap what sort of phone you’re using? Samsung Galaxy S?

Mark:   At the moment yep.

Trevor:  And you want one that’s one of those little in your ear kind of little tiny things that’s about the size of a couple of centre meters and they just stick in your, or over, your ear as a bit of a loop thing and that’s all you want  – as well as listening to music or podcast or whatever it is from your phone via Bluetooth and in your ear?

Mark:  Correct via the standard traditional Bluetooth head set not those stereo type ones where it requires both ears to be plugged up and its predominantly for podcast .I mean for quality music you obviously have a dual wire maybe even a wired head set.

Trevor:   But you know another great application would be : Tune in radio, you might have that on your Iphone or Samsung Galaxy. Like today, I was driving home today, I  had my Ipad next to me on the passenger seat, I had tune in radio on, I was listening to a New Zealand radio station, listening to coverage of the earthquake and I had a simple three and half mm cord plugged into the auxiliary input of my car and I was able to listen to New Zealand radio through my car. The option for you there, is the same thing – you might be in Melbourne and you might want to listen to a Queensland radio station. You could use tune in radio and you just want to have it in your ear. Bluetooth – it’s not like it’s top quality talk radio and that’s the kind of thing you want to do.  Alright I’m going to send this call to Plantronics and we’re going to see if I can get you one to play with for a little bit and we’ll see what you think of it.

Mark:  Fantastic!

Trevor:  No guarantees mate, they might say no. It’s a really funny thing ,I had this three months ago with Sony or someone like that, I can ring them and they’ll send me anything –  fairdinkum – any thing I want, they’ll send it to me and I’ll send it back to them in a few weeks but I suggested to them a listener might get the advantage of that and you know just review it for me, because mate, I get things I can’t even review cause I don’t have time.  As this company said, and I’m pretty sure its Sony, just said “no” and I just went “well what ever… Fine!” so I can’t guarantee it but let’s ask Plantronics whether they’re willing to do it and well go from there, alright mate?

Mark:   Okay. Thanks mate, I love the show and I always listen to it and download it and you do a great job, you’re so helpful to so many of us mate, I really appreciate enthusiasm and energy. It’s really enjoyable.

Trevor:  It means a lot, thanks very much for getting in touch, stay on

the line I’ll get all your details. Cheers mate.

Mark: Cheers, mate.

22:21          Trevor:  And we shall see how we go, I’ll get Plantronics on the show next week to help us with that one. Listen I’ve been playing with a Lenovo laptop lately, don’t even know what it is- Z560. It’s one of the ones I gave away, was it Robert that won that? We should have asked him to ring up and tell us how it’s going.  If you’re listening mate? Anyway one of the things it’s got on it- is when you log in – it’s got facial recognition log in so you don’t have to type your password. I just think that’s cool, a lot of laptops have had the finger print scanning. Facial recognition is just the next level, look I’ll be honest :-bit concerned… don’t know how easy it is to fool with a photo or something but just at a general basic level I don’t look at it as a security issue.  I use it as a simplicity issue –  a lazy issue,  it allows me to get in without having to type anything. Doesn’t work at night- time very well, if you don’t have any light but let me know what you think?  Send me an email : yourtechlife.com.  What do you like to see on your laptop or on your desktop in terms of security either to get into the machine or to secure your files? I think I mentioned I’ve got an Imation USB stick with finger print scanning on it. Fantastic stuff. I’m going to check out their Sydney offices in the next month or so and see the kind of security options people have. But it’s just mind blowing how simple something is – forgetting security and assuming it’s reasonably secure to sit and just turn the computer on and it just goes “VVV’ scans up and down your face for about 10 seconds and then goes “Bing” – logs into Windows. Very cool! Love that piece of technology in the Lenovo.  It’s called the Lenovo Vary Face I think. So if you got one of the Lenovo laptops – one of the recent ones- check it out.

Trevor:  Milo in the chat room says, “Why does it feel like Thursday?”  It’s a very good point. I’m sorry I’ve broken everyone’s trends over the last few weeks by sticking to Wednesday, nice and early on a Wednesday too, might even get some gaming in tonight but don’t tell Amanda. So that will be cool.  Anyway thanks to Net gear for their continued support of the podcast : yourtechlife.com.  I’ll tell you something I think you should check out if you want to connect your home.  It’s the Neo 550 Ultimate HD Media Player.  Look it’s a couple hundred bucks – probably $180 bucks, $190 bucks.  You’ll find it for around there and basically it’s just a little box.  You plug it into your TV, you plug it into your internet and you can share all your files and videos over it. You can watch YouTube videos, all that kind of stuff,  it’s a great connectivity device if you’ve got home storage with your own files and things on it.  So really worth checking that out, that would be my recommendation :  the Neo 550 from Net gear. I did a presentation today to executives where I work, I just happened to show them the Net gear Wireless Universal Wi-Fi adapter and the Net gear power line and you know it’s what I always thought people don’t know about it, people had no idea that you can plug this simple device into your TV or whatever device and turn it into a Wi-Fi device. People didn’t realise you can run the internet through your power line. These are the things Net gear are doing and if you want to check them out go to netgear.com.au.

25:48           Trevor:  And let’s go back to calls:  yourtechlife.com.  If you want to

get in touch send me an email and we’ll get you on the show. We’ll have a chat, whether you got a problem with technology or a question about technology:  yourtechlife.com. Good day, Bob.

Bob:   How are you Trevor?

Trevor:  Mate, I’m great and yourself?

Bob:   I’m pretty good thanks.

Trevor:  What can I do for you?

Bob:  I just thought I’d give you an update on the Foxtel I had a problem with, a few weeks ago, regarding being a regular subscriber and being out of contract.

Trevor:  Ahhh that’s right you were basically filthy in a sense that people who were new subscribers could get pretty good deals where as a good man, loyal like you, looking to keep the contract going couldn’t really get those deals. I think as I recall I passed your details on to Foxtel to say, “Hang on a minute – here’s a loyal customer what can we do for him?” So what have they done, did they help you at all?

Bob:  Yeah they helped me out a bit, they gave me free installation and instead of paying….

Trevor:  Because you’re moving house aren’t you?

Bob:  Sorry??

Trevor:  Cause you were moving house too, weren’t you?
Bob:  That’s right, I was moving house and I just had the standard platinum pack or something, just for normal standard definition and I wanted to go to HD. In the end they offered me a free installation and I think they charged me hundred dollars for the box  – which is normally a couple of hundred.

 

Trevor:  Right, okay, so you still had to pay for the box but you got free installation, you got HD for a little bit cheaper than normal yeah?

Bob: So really a hundred dollars out of pocket for the whole set up sort of thing, which isn’t too bad compared to someone up the street but I guess the best thing was, they didn’t put me on a contract because my contract had already run out they didn’t sign me up for the new contract so I’m sort of free to, if I wanted to downgrade, or get rid of it or whatever – there’s nothing stopping me.

Trevor:  Which is great, this was what we talked about wasn’t it? If they’re smart they’ll know that you’re actually loyal you’re sticking around, you’re not going anywhere.

Bob:  That’s right, I mean the guy up the street has a two year contract or something whereas I probably won’t go anywhere – at least I have the option.

Trevor:  You’ve paid your dues, you’ve done the hard yards with them and gone through the contract but in the end now you got yourself the HD version so what are you finding? Have you had it installed? Have you moved house and everything?

Bob:  Yeah, yeah it’s all up and running. Its great stuff, chalk and cheese.

Trevor:  Do you watch a lot of the HD channels though?

Bob:  Probably not, being a motor racing freak, I’ll be watching speed on HD.

Trevor:   The Formula 1 this year is in High definition as well.

Bob:  That’s right yeah, the odd movie and whatever, I suppose it’s just good to have. It’s boys and their toys you know.

Trevor:  And how big is your TV?

Bob:  What is it? 50 inch  I think.

Trevor:  That the thing I got a 50” LG and I’ve got the Foxtel HD hooked up to it and it’s funny, I’ve said this before, and I know people bag me for it but I don’t think in day to day TV watching, you don’t really notice the difference between HD and SD but just every now and then, what I do is, I go “hang on a minute” and I flick from watching Discovery Channel or something and you flick over to the HD version and it does blow your mind. I mean you can really tell the difference. It’s mind blowingly good quality. Isn’t it?

Bob:  It is, as you say, if you watch it all the time it just looks like another TV channel but if you go from one to the other, if you go from the HD on a certain channel to the same channel that is standard, it is chalk and cheese.

Trevor:  And have you got the IQ set up so that you and the family are recording all your programs and different stuff nicely- you got enough space on there?

Bob:  Yeah I’ve actually recording some stuff while watching another channel which I couldn’t do before and honestly it’s so easy. I thought I’d need the techo person to do it but it’s so easy.

Trevor:  You didn’t IQ at all last time?

Bob:  No I just had the old standard definition box.

Trevor:  Your mind is completely blown then because Foxtel IQ, in fact you don’t realise you can record two programs and watch another one.

Bob:  Yeah, it is mind blowing going from where I was to what I’ve got now.

Trevor:  I remember last night I was just sitting there, was about to watch Underbelly and I flicked across and I went “I’ll remind myself and I’ll record Top Gear now,” then you record it and most of the time, but sometimes, it’s not available. Most of the time you can series link it so that it records every version of that show.

Bob:   That’s right and I think you can actually record something when you’re not there ,like if I’m at work and I forgot to record something I think you can do it from your telephone or something.

Trevor:   Mate don’t even get me started, I reckon that is the best thing. So there’s several applications. You can actually just install the Foxtel desktop application which is a little window on your screen and that allows you to browse through all the programs. You can just go to their website and you can log in there. If you’ve got an Iphone or an Ipad you can do it via there. Nearly any mobile phone  – certainly  a Telstra Next G mobile phone can browse the guide and set things to record. The most important thing you need to do is go to their website now and register. So what you do is register now while you’re at home cause you need to pull the smart card number out and different things like and put all that into the system and then what it does- You only have one box don’t you? One IQ box?

Bob: Yeah.

Trevor: It registers the box but with me I’ve got two so I got one up stairs and one down stairs so when I’m at work or in the middle of nowhere and I want to record this program it says “Up stairs or Down stairs?” Oh mate!

Bob:  It’s amazing isn’t it!

Trevor:  It’s mind blowing technology and it’s the thing that sets the Foxtel IQ apart from most of the other simple systems. You know the Telstra T box which I’ve got as well is great but I can’t remotely access it and it’s a computer and I don’t know why they don’t do that but anyway –  the simple things in life.

Bob: And I mean to go from what I had, to what I got now, it wasn’t a big bit of money you know.

Trevor:  No and like you said you know you’ve paid a hundred bucks for that PVR and that is a big deal. If you had IQ and they upgraded to IQ2 and they charged a hundred bucks, I would have been a bit filthy on that. But you had nothing, you had no IQ, you’ve now got IQ, you’re on the same plan, you’re off the contract. Mate you’ve done well, so I’m really pleased to hear that.

Bob:  I’m quite happy. Yeah.

Trevor: Well you’re a loyal Foxtel customer from now on, I’m betting.

Bob:  I think so.

Trevor: … and the other thing is you’ll be bragging about it to your mates and this drives it, word of mouth drives it. You’ll be at work and you’ll say “hang on a minute I’m just going to record that” and people will go, “what are you talking about” and you show them and they go “Really?” And it blows peoples mind so enjoy it mate, enjoy every second of it.
Bob: Thanks for your help any way, Trevor, appreciate that.

Trevor:  Thanks for getting back in touch.

Bob:  Okiedokie!

32:30           Trevor- Good on ya Bob, I do love when people get back in touch so

if  you’ve been on the show and some things happened let us know how it went.

yourtechlife.com that’s where you can get in touch with me. That’s where you can find the podcast every week as well as on ITunes. Another thing I announced last week and it started up on Friday thanks to freelancer.com.au,  I’m really excited to be able to provide full transcriptions of the show predominantly for the benefit of people who are deaf or hard of hearing but the whole things there so you can actually read my rants ( kind of weird actually). The guy that did the first transcription was quite amazed I was able to fit some eight thousand words or something like that into the hour the show is. yourtechlife.com if you know anyone who is deaf or hard of hearing and doesn’t get the benefit of what podcasting is, because its obviously a audio medium, vodcasting obviously videoing may have captions but I don’t see many vodcasters doing captions so really it’s great to be able to do that. Hopefully be able to keep that up for a while and thank you for freelancer.com for supporting that. Freelancer.com great place unbelievable expertise. I put up a transcription thing and they had forty people respond and a whole stack of them were in Australia so I’ve given it to an Aussie who’s sitting there listening to my ramblings and ranting and transcribing it. So the transcription will be up hopefully by Friday night every week. yourtechlife.com.

34:06          Trevor:  Lets keep going with calls, good day James.

James:  Hey Trevor

Trevor:  What’s happening mate?

James:  Just the other week you talked to some guy about word press for setting up his website. You said there was word press.com, wordpress.org and there was another one and I was just wondering what the differences were?

Trevor:  Okay so word press?  Just a recap for people who weren’t listening to that last one –  Word press is a what’s called, a content management system but basically it’s a really simple way to build a website. Your word press allows you to create a theme and type info in and its really really simple, even my wife uses it. What it is – is a piece of software.  Now wordpress.com is a website you can go to and you can create your own wordpress site straight away, so you could ask for a sub domain which might be like james.wordpress.com or something like that. And they’ll create a site there for you, now the problem with wordpress.com is – it’s limited. With wordpress the beautiful thing about it is you can install all these plug in and themes and wonderful things like this but wordpress.com is somewhat restricted in that it’s very cautious so they don’t let you install just anything which is because they don’t want their servers to crash, they don’t want hackers and all this kind of stuff. It’s a very simple, cheap, I think it’s even free, a free way to set up a website okay? So wordpress.com but you won’t have your own domain name and things like that. You may be able to add a domain name on to it. I’ll need to check that. WordPress.org is basically the place where word press lives. it’s where the developers of word press live and all those kinds of things and you can go there and you can actually download WordPress but downloading WordPress is completely useless. You have your own server so they’re the first two that I mentioned. The third one would be “the server” so essentially I have my own web server but you can go to any web host (Mediatemple, Melbourne IT, Webcentral, you can even use Godaddy in the states) whatever it is and you have a web server, you pay a bit of buck for, that it might be fifty bucks or it might be a few hundred bucks a month and then most web servers will be WordPress compatible. You then install WordPress and then you’re free to do whatever you like with it and that’s what I do and it’s mind blowingly powerful. It really depends whether you’re just setting up a really professional business site or whether you’re just having a bit a fun and want to create a blog.

James:  Yep No worries

Trevor:  If you just want to create a blog wordpress.com is a great way to go and then if it becomes really popular and successful there are ways to merge or transport and download your data and put it up in a new place. Is that what you’re looking to do?

James:  Yeah mostly start a blog and then transfer to a site a bit later on.

Trevor:  Yeah once you know that it’s working or whatever. So mate wordpress.com there’s a big button “sign up now” and you know what?  You will spend days, I promise you, looking for themes. It’s the best fun in the world looking for word press themes. It’s very hard to find them for free. There’s a lot that pretend to be free but they’re not really and stuff like that and I’m just looking at wordpress.com now and you can actually create your own domain name there. They’ll set it up for something like seventeen dollars a year. You can have your own dot com so you could have james’s sillyblog.com or whatever and they’ll set it all up for you there and it’s as simple as that. And literally, I promise you, it will take minutes – they say seconds but you know once you step yourself through it, it’ll take minutes and you’ll have your own website. Its brilliant.

James:  Alright no worries thanks for that, Trevor.

Trevor: Alright James, thanks for getting in touch.

37:54          Trevor:   Now another great sponsor: Norton by Symantec . Norton

360 Version 5  is out now, it was announced last week at 2 am on Thursday morning, so I recorded the show before that, so I couldn’t mention it, embargos and all that and the other thing, if you’ve got Norton 360 the upgrade’s available and if you haven’t got Norton 360 check out Norton 360 Version 5. Just another step up for Norton and ever increasing attempts to make it low intense resource usage and really look after and care for your system. Great way to go Norton 360 by Symantec for any virus, malware, identity protection, data back up and all those sorts of things. The other thing that was announced last Thursday morning was the Norton Cyber Crime Index.  Now this is very interesting it’s a great simple thing. Now there’s a website nortoncybercrimeindex.com. I’m going to type it in the chat room so I say it out live “cybercrimeindex.com”  and the other one if you’re on a mobile phone : “nortoncybercrimeindex.mobi”   M.O.B.I with the greatest respect to Norton people I prefer the mobile site.  I’m looking at it on my Blackberry right now and you can see that it’s really graphically beautiful and what it shows you there is that today 80% of all email is considered spam. That’s you, Nathan, spam. 63% is today’s risk level, down 5% from yesterday and most high jacked terms, most dangerous websites, how identities were stolen today: 78% through hackers, 21% were accidently made public (my goodness) and  35% through theft or loss of computer. It’s basically a great place to go on a daily basis essentially to check the threat on the internet so you know how safe you are online and yes 80% of all email today is considered spam on this very day. 71 billion email messages and 56 billion email were considered to be spam. Isn’t that mind blowing ?  So nortoncybercrimeindex.com and nortoncybercrimeindex.mobi  – great initiatives from the people at Symantec. The people who look after your identity if you install their software.  They’re there to protect you, that’s what it’s all about Norton safe web, Norton online family –  all these great products to keep you and your family safe. Norton 360 by Symantec.

 

40:43           Trevor:  Let’s try and wrap it up, couple more calls. Good day Robby.

Robby:  Hi, I’d like to know is there a way to measure the amount of people downloading a simple podcast?

Trevor: What do you mean a simple podcast?

Robby:  Well like my own podcast so if  I put it up to iTunes is there a way to measure how many people are downloaded it?

Trevor:  Where do you upload it to, that’s the big question?

Robby:  Well I upload it to my work server and then it goes onto the iTunes website –  from there I would not know.

Trevor:  So what happens is the audio file itself, so the little MP3 file that’s sitting like you say on a server, it’s basically just a web server so that’s  available from anywhere. All that iTunes gets is a link to an XML file which is a piece of text so when you add a new podcast it says there’s a new one, this is what it’s about and here is where to find the file. So iTunes never keeps the audio or anything like that so what you need to do is to have access to the server logs to be able to see the downloads, I’m fortunate enough to have my own web server and I can see the absolutely by the number like every digit one by one the number of people downloading my audio files. I’m guessing you don’t have access to that?

Robby:   No… I don’t.

Trevor:  So the other thing you can do and it is slightly more complicated but I started doing it for a couple of reasons there’s a thing called pod track. And you may notice if you go to yourtechlife.com and you hover your mouse of one of the download audio files links, you’ll notice it’s a pod track website address and it goes on to be a longer yourtechlife thing.  So what happens is that pod track again doesn’t actually get the audio at all, what they do though is they basically set up a forwarding reference to that file and every time someone clicks that link it ticks off a box and it records that download. So I can log onto a website called pod track and I can look at how many people have downloaded it.  Now it’s not fool proof. It’s also not updated in real time so there’s a few things like that but just for a weekly quick check for what’s going on, its pretty cool.

The whole point behind pod track is that they want to sell advertising in your podcast but you don’t have to but that way they want people doing it so they can see what podcast is really popular and then they can sell ads in it. I’ve never used it for that because I sell my own ads thanks very much. Its useful, but the only problem is, and again it’s a complication you put the audio on your web server right you’ve done that and you’ve got that, then you create this link through pod track but you need to make sure that the upload of the XML has that pod track reference in it, so once you’ve uploaded the audio how do you add the item to your podcast list? Like how do you add notes saying this is us talking about x,y,z?

Robby: Yep.

Trevor:  How do you do that now?

Robby:  Oh how do I do that, ummm I use aqua duck….

Trevor:   Cyber duck?

Robby:  Yep

Trevor:  Well that’s how you upload the file. That’s where you upload the FTP file but surely you must do something after that?  There must be a step after that where you go to a piece of software maybe feed burner or …

Robby:  “Fee for all”

Trevor:  “Fee for all” right, so that’s what you’re doing, so what you need is someone who set up “fee for all” to just slightly tweak the address of the file to reference pod tracks so it is possible, but in the end, depending on how close your relationship is with the web master – of the person who runs your web server. They should be able to tell you pretty easily and produce logs for you off the website logs because every web server has logs and you know it’s very interesting stuff sometimes you think a hundred people are downloading it but maybe five thousand are or you might think five thousand, and  there’s actually only a hundred.  It helps you gauge what you’re doing you might be uploading individual little segments for an example, a radio show or you might be uploading a whole radio show. And you might find that people are much more interested in just the segments. It’s like you look at Hamish and Andy and the smartest thing they did ever on iTunes was separating out their podcast so there was a Monday one, a Tuesday. This was last year obviously, so that on iTunes every single day was in the top, in the count down, what’s it called the charts?  So that was smart. So it wasn’t just this one podcast, it was every single day and so they have best interview of the day, funniest moment of the day and they had a different podcast for each thing.

Robby:  Yeah that’s a good tip, good way to look at it.

Trevor:  Anyways it’s a pain in the bum to do if you don’t have full server control which I’m fortunate enough to do, but mate you need to talk to the person who runs the website see if they’re pulling out server logs and you can generate some files. Otherwise investigate the pod tracker and I’m happy to help you on the email with that.

Robby: Alright thanks very much.

Trevor: Thanks Robby, thanks for getting in touch.

Robby:  No worries!

45:48           Trevor:  And thank you once again Harris Technology, Norton 360 by

Symantec, Net Gear, and the good people at Gizmo. And it was great to catch up with the guys from Gizmo last week at the Internet Industry Association Gala Dinner.  It was a good night, some interesting speeches and things. So good to see the team there. Gizmo there, the guys who have read the manuals, they’ll come to your house or they’ll do it over the phone, they’ll help you set your computer up or your new gadget.  They’ll get your network happening wirelessly or if you just got a problem – a virus, running slowly whatever it is Gizmo.  Gizmo.com.au. 1300275449. That’s how they help. Gizmo.com.au they come to your house or they can do it over the phone, flat fees, no fix no fee guarantee, quick response and seven days. Weekends, weekdays and evening so check them out gizmo.com.au.

 

45:46           Trevor:  We’ll wrap it up with one last caller. Good day Marvin.

Marvin:  Hi Trevor, how’s it going?

Trevor:  Really good, what can I do for you?

Marvin:  I’m a blind person and I use a screen reader called “Jaws for Windows”.

Trevor:  “Jaws for windows” was it as in “The shark”!

Marvin:  Yes, from freedomscientific.com .  The other day I was playing ASX files from live audio strains.

Trevor:  ASX files yep.

Marvin:  On the weekend, from the ABC, listening to the cricket, you know, since Sunday I’ve not been able to play them. I’ve tried to download some other audio codex, I’ve tried to do system restore, it gives me an hour of saying it cannot play these. Either computer memory is too low or it can’t add to….

Trevor:  And have you done anything else to the computer in that time?

Marvin:  It says basically it can’t play the audio codex and you may need to download it.

Trevor:  But have you made any changes to the computer, uninstalled any software or anything like that.

Marvin:   Umm no

Trevor:  Well that’s a bit weird, I mean these things…

Marvin:  I did install a program called “malwarebites” which is an anti mal wear, I do have super anti spy ware and I did a full scan today and there’s no malware.

Trevor: What antivirus program have you got?

Marvin: Anti Malware

Trevor-: What’s it called?

Marvin:  Malwarebites.

Trevor:  Was that free?

Marvin:  Yes, well I can get the free version yes.

Trevor:  I’ll be honest.  The first thing you need to do is get yourself some decent antivirus so I’m going to send you a copy of Norton 360.

Marvin:   Nah I’ve got AVG already. Norton 360 is just coenix, I had it on my Internet Explorer on my laptop and it was totally inaccessible.

Trevor:  For a visually impaired person

Marvin:  Yep

Trevor:  Okay interesting, that’s really good feedback.

Marvin:  It was a pain, it would pop up and do a full scan and you couldn’t do anything else. It was just hard to like.  I use a different cursor to move around the top of the document, I was clicking the wrong buttons and it was a real pain to uninstall as well.

Trevor:  The next question is where about are you based?

Marvin:  Davenport in Tasmania

Trevor:  You’re coming up with nothing good for me, mate cause I’m trying to find a way to get you some support.  I’m not even sure if the Gizmo guys can get there. What’s the postcode for Davenport?

Marvin:  7310

Trevor:  Gizmo doesn’t do on-site reports to Davenport but they do do over the phone support. Let me get you a voucher for Gizmo which will give you the cost of one of their normal onsite services but you’ll be able to use it for a remote service. What happens with gizmo is basically this:  you ring them up and say I need this help and they will ask you permission to log onto your computer. You will need to go to a specific web site to type in a code. And you can do all of those things that’s no problem and then they’ll be actually at your machine and log into it and try and help you out, I just think that it sounds like a rather complicated problem. They might be able to help you with a bit of a virus scan and make sure everything up to date for you.

Marvin:  I did just do an AVG virus scan and it didn’t find anything.

Trevor:  And it could be a simple Codec thing so let’s just get Gizmo on the line, let’s get them to help you over the phone  and do a remote access to your computer and then see whether they can fix the problem for you directly and hopefully in the next week or two you’ll ring me back and you’ll be a happy man cause it’ll all be fixed all right?

Marvin:   I just want to listen just to the cricket, just at the ABC and its updated there, and the screen’s just flashing and I’m not really a flash person. So I’ve got my Windows Media player and I’m used to that.

Trevor:  Well look, you stay on the line, I’ll get your details and I’ll get Gizmo to remotely access your computer and help you out okay?

Marvin:  Okay

Trevor:  Good on ya,  Marvin, Thanks for getting in touch

Marvin:  Okay.

51:17

Trevor:  Alright so let’s see how we go there, difficult one. I mean it’s difficult and I got the transcript available for the hearing impaired and deaf.  Hard of hearing I should say, that’s what the Deaf Society describes it as, but you know visually impaired piece of software that don’t quite work for accessibility. Very interesting stuff. Before I go, congratulations to Banjo in the chat room. Baby blonde.  You might remember Banjo and his mum, we had him on the show a few weeks- probably a month or so ago now, Georgy Marie who’s been born recently, he hasn’t bothered to tell us anything more than that.  He has got the handy cam out recording a stack of videos which is awesome. So good on you Ben, I think you’re out Deniliquin way or something aren’t you? Anyway my memory’s terrible you all know that.

 

Now the other thing, I’m not sure we’re going to have any calls next week. I’ve got so many things lined up but let’s do our best.

So yourtechlife.com – if you want to get in touch. I’m going to try and get someone from Platronics on to help with Mark’s call earlier. I’m going to talk to someone from Symantec about the Cyber Crime Index and Version 5 of Norton 360, and we’re going to talk to someone from Norway.  Hopefully one of the cofounders of opera, as in “Opera” the web browser, which is an  interesting little company. How do they survive? What is it for? Why would you download it? These kinds of questions – so we’ll ask all those things next week on your tech life. Thanks for listening, thanks for downloading. Jump on the email yourtechlife.com. Go the website – send me an email, any question you’ve got I’ll try and help.  yourtechlife.com

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Trev produces two of the most popular technology podcasts in Australia, Your Tech Life and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He hosts a nightly radio show on Talking Lifestyle, 8pm Monday to Friday in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show and A Current Affair. Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave. Like this post? Buy Trev a drink!
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