Ventev offers innovative combined battery packs and chargers for smartphones and tablets. Scott Franklin, Director, chats with Todd and Don about Ventev’s latest mobile accessories at CES.
External battery backs for smart phones and tablet are very common these days, but the benefit of Ventev’s unit is that the charger is integrated into the pack itself; there’s no need for additional external charger. Scott shows off three different packs in the interview;
- the powercell 6000+, a 6000 mAh unit ($74.99) that plugs directly into the mains electricity socket. Two USB ports, rated at 1 A and 2.1 A.
- the powerdash r900, a cylindrical 900 mAh unit ($39.99) which charges from a car cigarette lighter. One USB port rated at 2.1 A when plugged in and 1 A when running from the battery.
- the utilitycharger 2100, a charger only ($39.99) but powers from both from the mains and from a car lighter. Two USB ports rated at 1 A each.
For more information on availability, visit Ventev’s website at www.ventev.com.
Interview by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor and Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.
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Podcast (specmedia): Play in new window
Perhaps unsurprisingly given Google’s now somewhat defunct plans for GoogleTV, YouTube has been one of the glaring omissions from the Roku platform. But not any longer. Roku has announced that a YouTube channel is now available on the Roku 3 in USA, Canada, UK and the Republic of Ireland. Older Rokus will be getting the channel next year, though the exact timing is unclear. For non-Roku owners, a channel is roughly equivalent to an app on other platforms.
The YouTube channel supports full 1080p HD and the press release suggests that subscriptions will carry over from other platforms so that your favourites can easily be seen on the Roku. The new channel also features “Send to TV”, which after pairing, lets you send a YouTube video from your smartphone or tablet for viewing on the Roku.
As a Roku 2 XS owner, I’m delighted but will have to wait a bit longer until I get the YouTube channel on my device (unless Santa has a surprise for me). Sadly, it will be one less reason to turn on my Nintendo Wii, especially with the HD support on the Roku.
In the last couple of days there have been thousand of takedown notice issued involving gaming footage on Youtube. There are now a number of reports that both individuals and companies that upload gaming footage are being deluged with copyright claims. The claims don’t appear to be coming from the gaming developer in fact many of them including Capcom and Blizzard has offered to help those effected. Many takedown claims are being issued by the companies that own the copyrights to the background music for gaming videos, companies such as IDOL which is a music distribution firm and Bafta (The British Academy of Film and Television Arts). In fact to make things worse many of the take down notices appear to be coming from companies that don”t have the copyrights or companies that are no longer in business. The takedown notices are being issued through the Automated Content ID system, which was recently updated. The system is now flagging videos which previously had been missed. Most of these videos involve cut scenes, game play, outtakes and in-game music.
Many of the companies and individuals that are being effected including major player such as TheRadBrad, GhostRobo and Machinima depend on these Youtube videos for their revenue when videos are pulled no revenue is coming to them. While the takedown occur automatically an appeal can take days even weeks to be settled. The videos may still visible to the user, but the revenue is now going to the copyright holders instead of the individual or companies that uploaded and created the videos. Some people think that this is related to the changes that are supposed to be coming in January in relationship to Affiliates and Managed users and the monetization review process, although that is yet to be confirmed.
Google’s response appears to be less than adequate, basically stating if you don’t like it appeal. This is going to take a while to sort out, it appears there are very few winners in this story. The people who are producing the videos are losing revenue, the game developers are losing free advertisement and viewers maybe losing the ability to see well-developed and useful gaming videos. In my opinion this appears to be another case of copyright enforcement gone amuck.
Your Android and iOS apps are getting some interesting upgrades. Especially one that allows you to go offline and still watch the video.
YouTube announced a host of new updates on their official blog, as well as letting partners know of the upcoming changes:
We’re always exploring ways to bring more viewers to your content. As part of this effort, later this year we’ll launch a new feature on YouTube’s mobile apps that will help you reach fans — even when they’re not connected to the Internet.
This upcoming feature will allow people to add videos to their device to watch for a short period when an Internet connection is unavailable. So your fans’ ability to enjoy your videos no longer has to be interrupted by something as commonplace as a morning commute.
This is part of our ongoing updates
to give people more opportunities to enjoy videos and channels on YouTube mobile. Check out the YouTube blog when this launches in November for more details on how this will work for viewers.
The YouTube Team
Other new features include a new explorer feature: you can keep looking through YouTube while your video is playing in the bottom-right corner. You can also search and browse channels for playlists on mobile apps, then watch the videos back-to-back. Finally, Youtube added the Cast button so you can send your videos to Chromecast, PS3, Google TV or other devices that accept the protocol.
These options (other than offline viewing) are available with the update.
Virgin Mobile is running a new video on Youtube. It’s called “Blinkwashing”. You will need a webcam connected to your computer, which the YouTube page will calibrate your face and blinking. This will act as a remote control to switch the video up.
Every time you blink, the video changes. It doesn’t lose place in the video; it just moves to another video with the exact same script. Blink your eyes and you see two girls talking on the phone about Virgin mobile. Blink again and you see an aerial view of police cars and the script sounding like its coming from the CB. Blink again and two bikers are arm wrestling.
It doesn’t matter how many times you blink, the channel will change. If you don’t blink at all, the video will continue on. There is everything from a clown to a karaoke channel talking about Virgin Mobile.
When I tried this on my Macbook Pro, it worked like a charm. However, on my desktop sits an older Logitech 9000 webcam which brought problems. You won’t be able to do this on mobile devices.
Could this be the start of something new? There is a possibility. Other head movement instructions could turn Youtube videos into a “Choose your own adventure” video. Want to walk through a door on the left – turn your head to the left.
In the meantime, I think I’m going to switch over to Virgin Mobile now…
Almost one year ago many of us sat enthralled before our computers as we watched Felix Bomgartner slowly ascend into the sky, not stopping until he reached the stratosphere. The rise was painfully slow, but the man had a much quicker plan to return to earth. At a height so dizzying that the curvature of the earth was visible, Bomgartner emerged from his capsule, said a few words, gave a salute and leaped from his platform.
Now Rdio, a service known mainly for audio, has announced a new documentary of that epic leap from the edge of space. “We’re taking an exciting leap with Red Bull to present Mission to the Edge of Space: The Inside Story Behind Red Bull Stratos, the documentary on the historic space dive project. The film will be available exclusively on rdio.com/redbullstratos for three months beginning on October 14, 2013, which marks the one-year anniversary of Felix Baumgartner’s supersonic freefall from 24 miles above Earth”, the company announced.
However, Rdio is a music service, and songs play a big part in this release. So, for now, you can listen to the inspiring playlists created by the crew from the Red Bull Stratos project.
Vimeo has come up with a very interesting way to support video creators. It’s called On Demand. The purpose is to help video creators sell their films and episodic series by providing them with a way to monetize their work. Vimeo is offering a 90/10 split of revenue. The video creator would keep the 90% (after transaction fees). Vimeo will cover all delivery costs.
Vimeo On Demand is being offered exclusively to Vimeo PRO members. It includes:
* A customizable page design
* You can sell your work for the price you want (starting at $0.99).
* You can sell your work from anywhere you want – including from your own website. You get the option of selling your work only from your own domain (and not having it appear on Vimeo at all) if you want.
* Your work will be available online and on popular mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs in full HD.
* You can choose your audience (select a country, or choose “worldwide”).
* It is possible to allow people to buy your work, to rent your work, or both.
Vimeo has a Best Practices page that gives further details. Again, you must have a Vimeo Pro account to get involved with On Demand. You also need a verified PayPal account, “work that you’re proud of”, a poster and trailer for your work and an “entrepreneurial spirit”. Vimeo also wants you to make sure you have all the rights to the work you want to sell and/or rent.
The Clash did not start the Punk music movement, but the band helped define it in conjunction with others such as The Jam, Sex Pistols and The Damned. More than 30 years later, much of this music has survived the test of time and today Google Play is commemorating one of the most popular bands of the era.
As Google points out, “from the reggae-inspired social commentary of tracks like “White Man in Hammersmith Palais,” to hip-hop infused cuts like “Magnificent Seven” and even Top 40 hits such as “Rock the Casbah,” their songs gave a generation a lifelong connection not just to the Clash, but to music in general”.
In celebration of the re-release of some of The Clash’s most popular work, Google Play has teamed with the surviving members (Joe Strummer passed away in 2002) to produce a series titled Audio Ammunition and featuring unseen footage of the late Joe Strummer discussing the arc of the band’s career.
Part one of this five-part series can been seen on Google Play, and you can check out the other four parts on Play YouTube channel at youtube.com/googleplay. Digging out your London Calling album is optional.
Apple may have slowed down in innovation department lately, favoring litigation instead, but one area where the company has excelled is in lending itself to parody. After last year’s countless videos and images of an iPhone that resembled a bean pole, the new 5S is set to be announced and becoming the subject of comedians before even being unveiled.
The latest video purports to be a group of Apple employees discussing the next-generation of the popular mobile device. The actors do an excellent job of playing the parts of the prototypical Apple hipsters. This is a production YouTube’s Matthias, who has previously posted popular and comical pieces in the past.
I will not spoil the fun, you can’t watch the three-minute clip as it truly needs to be seen to be appreciated. You can check out the clip posted below.
The Lollapalooza music festival has been around for quite some time, originating with Perry Ferrell and Jane’s Addiction. The concert series persists, and will take place this weekend in Chicago — in fact, starting today at 2:30pm CST, taking place from Grant Park and featuring more than 20 artists.
The entire festival will be broadcast live on YouTube. The Google-owned video site announces “From Friday’s kickoff with Icona Pop (we love it), to Nine Inch Nails’ first U.S. performance since 2009, to Steve Aoki and The Cure closing out the weekend on Sunday, it’s all on YouTube”.
Best of all, those who didn’t, or couldn’t get tickets or travel to the Windy City need not worry. because sitting on the sofa will yield the same live action as the expensive tickets and trip to the city. Now the difficult part is up to you — spending your weekend being lazy! Personally, I plan to utilize my Google TV for the big screen experience.