Category Archives: Information

Pro-Vision Trademark of Bodycam Demand Letter



On Friday of last week, I received a certified letter in the mail from the law firm of Price Heneveld LLP representing Pro Vision Inc. on the use of the word Bodycam which Pro-Vision holds a registered trademark in reference to a single article on Geek News Central from 2015 which covered the introduction of the PMD-901V by Marantz which they had a issue with me refering to the product as a Body Cam.

This is the first time I have received a demand letter over using someones trademark in an review article and asked that it be changed. It is obvious that Pro-Vision Inc. is doing their best to suppress and minimize companies like Marantz who have a competing camera product from being found in Google by going after sites like mine and demanding we change the editorial content.

Personally I am of the opinion that Pro-Vision should have never been given that mark, and am actually surprised that the Trademark office actually approved their Trademark back in 2014 as the use of the word Bodycam has been used by the media for a very long time.  Sending demand letters to sites like mine must keep their law firm busy, and able to submit a lot of billable hours. Good on Price Heneveld LLP for securing this legal representation.

I fully understand a companies right to protect their Trademark, it just surprised me that they would be so aggressive. I checked on the Marantz Site, and they must have also received the same letter some time ago as they now refer to their product as a wearable camera. For those interested I have scanned and linked the legal firms demand letter of my Marantz PMD-901V story.

Demand Letter from Pro-Vision Inc Legal Firm over Trademark of BodyCam

 


BEDDI – Intelligent Alarm Clock



beddiFor the past couple of weeks I have been sleeping with my first new alarm clock in 30 years (not kidding), and the experience has been refreshing. The folks over at wittidesign sent over their BEDDI – Intelligent Alarm Clock for me to review.

This is not your normal alarm clock this is one of the first Intelligent Alarm Clock’s that integrates with your mobile phone to give you a refreshing daily awakening or go to sleep experience.

Here is a short list of the features. Spotify Integration wakes you up to music, and for those of you that rise before the sun comes up like I do, a soft wake up light with multi-color mood lights for evenings. Has a two USB charging ports to hold and charge your cell phone with an extra USB port to charge another devices. If you have an Amazon Dot like I do  in the bedroom you can even us the BEDDI as an external speaker for your DOT..beddi2

Worried about traffic or weather for your morning commute get an immediate update with programmable touch smart buttons. All programmable with their multi-function APP that syncs everything together. Ready for work and need a Uber you Beddi simplifies your ride request as well.

More than an alarm clock whether it be white noise at night to help you get to sleep, or some FM drive talk in the morning your BEDDI can step in and be the perfect Intelligent Alarm Clock to get you going in the morning or put you to sleep at night..

Oh and yes of course wake you up in the morning.  My 30 year old school Seiko alarm clock has finally been replaced by a modern looking device that fits in with today’s decor.

Priced at $99.00 this is the perfect gift for the couple that needs an alarm clock upgrade.

beddi3


TIME’s 100 Most Influential Images



Time 100 PhotosAs it’s still early Advent, it’s not quite that period between Christmas and New Year where “The Best of 2016” features grace the front page of every media outlet. Still, that hasn’t stopped TIME announcing its 100 Most Influential Images of All Time. Fortunately, TIME has done a much better job than most and this feature explores the background and impact of iconic photographs, from “The View from the Window at Le Gras” by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce to “Alan Kurdi” by Nilüfer Demir. These are the images which define the human experience for nearly two centuries; too many of the pictures show suffering and pain, but others will reassure and confirm the amazing achievements selflessly done for the benefit all.

Pillars of Creation

Pillars of Creation” by NASA / ESA / STScI / Arizona State University

Take some time to review the pictures, dig into their history and understand how that captured moment changed the world and perhaps directly affected you.


Choetech 50W 6-Port Desktop USB Charger Review



Choetech LogoIt’s a real first world problem – finding enough USB charging points to keep your gadgets powered up, especially for families with multiple phones and tablets. Fortunately there’s a solution in Choetech’s 6-port USB-A desktop charger which combines two QC 3 ports and four smart ports that will deliver up to 2.4 A for charging thirsty smart phones and tablets. Let’s take a look.

Choetech 50W 6 port charger

This is the Q3-4U2Q model and the packaging follows the standard Choetech style of branded outer sleeve with plain cardboard inner box. Inside the carton, there’s the 6-port charger, desktop stand, USB-A to USB-C cable, power cable, instructions and help sheet. The instructions are largely superfluous other than to confirm the charging voltages and currents for the USB ports.

Choetech 50W 6 port chargerTo be clear, the Q3-4U2Q is only a USB charger: it’s not a USB hub and won’t connect a mouse and keyboard to a PC. There are two Quick Charge 3.0 ports for devices that support the QC standard and will deliver the higher voltages required.The other four smart ports will charge up to 2.4 A at 5 V and the charger will deliver 50 W across all six ports. The tongue inside the QC ports is helpfully coloured blue and an LED lights up to show that the charger is powered on.

Physically, the charger is about the size of a fat pack of playing cards – it’s roughly 9 cm x 7 cm x 3 cm. The charger is covered in a soft rubber coating except for the back panel and a small area at the rear. There’s a figure 8 two pin power socket on the back. The Q3-4U2Q fits snugly into the desktop stand which does make it look much neater than if it was simply lying on the desk.

Choetech 50W 6 port chargerIn use, the Choetech charger performed as expected – devices seemed to charge at their maximum rate, whether that was 1 A, 2 A or QC, and was able to provide power to all the connected tablets and smartphones regardless. For transparency, I wasn’t able to test this with a QC 3 device but it worked fine with a Galaxy S6 (QC 2). At one point I had a OnePlus 2, two Nexus 9s, a Motorola Xoom 2, a Chromecast and a USB battery pack all running off the charger. It got a little warm at full pelt, but certainly wouldn’t describe it as hot.

Overall, the Choetech Q3-4U2Q is a competent six port charger with QC 3 support. While I liked design and feel of the charger, there’s no single feature to mark it out from the many competitors. QuickCharge support is good for the latest phones, the stand is handy for a desktop charger and it seemed well enough made, so it’s definitely worth considering. If interested, the Choetech Q3-4U2Q is currently for sale on Amazon for GB£20.99.

Thanks to Choetech for supplying the Q3-4U2Q for review.

 


International Podcast Day – September 30th



This coming Friday Sept 30th is International Podcast Day. Todd and the Blubrry team will be participating during the event catch them on Friday for their sessions.

  • 10am PST- Blubrry – From Branding To Promotion
  • 8pm PST – Todd Cochrane – Podcast Audience Engagement and Metrics that Matter
  • 11pm PST Todd Cochrane – Closing Hour with Steve Lee found of International Podcast Day

There will be a host of other luminaries during the 30 hours of coverage that kicks off on Thursday! The live event will happen on Firetalk so join us.


Microsoft begins rolling out an update to Windows 7 and 8, removes the get Windows 10 message



getwindows10Despite seemingly endless complaints from customers, it still isn’t gone even though the free period has passed. Now the company is finally relenting and removing the nagware from both Windows 7 and 8.x.

Let’s face it, you’re either already on Windows 10 or you’re sticking with version 7. people never saw much middle ground with 8.x. Now those sticking with any older version will no longer need to periodically curse and close that window., and it only took until two months after the offer ended.

Microsoft Knowledge Base (KB) article 3184143 can be checked for more information. If you choose to ignore the update then it’s still possible to get the free upgrade if you’ve had a change of heart.

Complaints about the “feature” have trailed off in recent times, though some people are likey nagged by it. A response received by Mary Jo Foley read simply:

“The Get Windows 10 (GWX) application was designed to make the Windows 10 upgrade process easy for existing Windows 7 and 8.1 customers for the one year free upgrade offer which ended July 29th. Beginning on September 20th, the Get Windows 10 app and all other updates related to the Windows 10 free upgrade offer will be removed from Windows 7 and 8.1 customer’s devices. Beyond the statement above, the company has nothing more to share.”


Twitter is Rolling Out a Quality Filter



Twitter iconTwitter announced some new changes that are in the process of being rolled out to users. Their blog post about the changes is titled: “New Ways to Control Your Experience on Twitter”. These new features are intended to give Twitter users more control over what they see and who they interact with on Twitter.

When turned on, the filter can improve the quality of Tweets you see by using a variety of signals such as account origin and behavior. Turning it on filters low-quality content, like duplicate Tweets or content that appears to be automated, from your notifications and other parts of your Twitter experience.

It goes on to say that the feature will not filter content from people you follow or accounts you’ve recently interacted with. Every user gets to choose for themselves if they want to use the quality filter feature. You can turn it on or off whenever you want (and can find it in your notification settings).

The other feature is a change that allows Twitter users to limit the notifications they see. Starting today, everyone will be able to limit notifications to only people they follow on mobile and on Twitter.com. Just like with the quality filter setting, Twitter users can decide for themselves if they want to make use of this change to notifications.

I’m assuming that when Twitter says the quality filter will filter out duplicate Tweets or content that appears to be automated, they mean it will filter out spam accounts and those annoying automatic direct messages people push out seconds after someone follows them. It is unclear if it will, or will not, filter out Tweets that were automatically scheduled (via the use of something outside of Twitter itself).

Ideally, I want to believe that the quality filter, that looks at “account origin and behavior” will put an end to the serial harassment that occurs far too often on Twitter. I’m also hoping the quality filter will finally make looking at a trending hashtag (or any other hashtag, for that matter) nicer by finally filtering out the accounts I’ve blocked.

 


Coinbase Now Supports Ethereum



Ethereum logoIf you think the world of cryptocurrency is limited only to Bitcoin, you are mistaken. There are a number of other digital currency systems currently in operation. One of these is called Ethereum, which is self-described as:

Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference.

These apps run on a custom built blockchain, an enormously powerful shared global infrastructure that can move value around and represent the ownership of property. This enables developers to create markets, store registries of debts or promises, move funds in accordance with instructions given long in the past (like a will or a futures contract) and many other things that have not been invented yet, all without a middle man or counterparty risk.

Ether is the appropriately named currency of the Ethereum network. Cryptocurrency trading company Coinbase recently added support for Ether. Coinbase users can buy, sell, and trade Ether directly from their Coinbase accounts:

In May, we added Ethereum trading on GDAX, our professional digital asset exchange. With the addition of Ethereum on Coinbase, consumers in 32 countries can acquire Ether and take part in an open financial system facilitated by Ethereum and Bitcoin.

Honestly, I don’t really understand any of this. But if you want to learn more about Ethereum, Coinbase has posted a helpful information page that may (?) provide some clarity.


Geek News Central Radio



Geek News Central Radio is expanding our listeners listening options, by introducing Geek News Central Radio. You can Live Stream the show 24/7 from a variety of platforms. Over the next week you will start to find the show in about 20 more streaming locations. We will keep you advised as we get approved on the platforms below.

Podcasters looking to get their shows on Internet Radio check out Podcast2Radio by Blubrry and StreamGuys.

gnr


FarmBot Is the Automated Gardener of the Future



FarmBot 3DThe promise of a work-free life, where mechanical devices do all of humanity’s drudge work has been little more than just that; a promise. And while we’re still a long way away from a time when we’ll be able to sit poolside all day, sipping fruity drinks, while armies of robots take care of the cooking, cleaning, and other mundane tasks, there is evidence that we’re coming slightly closer to that utopian vision. One such bit of that proof comes in the form of FarmBot, billed as “Humanity’s first open-source CNC farming machine.”

FarmBot may not look like the shiny gardening bot of your android dreams. But it is an innovative idea that makes growing your own vegetables fun and easy. Prospective farmers can use a computer app to plan out a garden using a game-like interface. Then, FarmBot plants seeds and waters them as needed. FarmBot operates 24 hours a day, tending your plants day and night.

FarmBot takes a variety of factors into consideration as it handles your plants:

  • Weather readings
  • Soil conditions
  • Your personal growing preferences

FarmBot allows growers to plant many different types of plants at one time. This creates a more natural bio system to occur within the garden, which can yield crops that are healthier and more nutritious than those created by large-scale industrial agricultural operations.

FarmBot is an open source project. All of the software and documentation needed to built and operate your own FarmBot is free to be downloaded and manipulated. If you’d like to just buy a FarmBot, the creators of the platform are currently selling FarmBot kits at a 25% discount for a total cost of $2,900.00.