Tag Archives: Video Chat

Facebook Opens the Door to your Home with Portal



Facebook today announced its entry into the video calling market with Portal.
Facebook today announced its entry into your home…

With two models in the range, the smaller Portal goes up against the Echo Show, and a larger Portal+ brings a new form factor to the market. The former has a landscape 10″ screen with the latter plus model rocking a 15.6″ screen that rotates between landscape and portrait orientations.

Facebook’s track record in hardware isn’t great. Remember the Facebook phone, aka HTC First? No, you probably don’t so it’s good to see that both devices are well-designed and look a whole pile better than the original Show.

Having said that, they don’t actually do much other than video chat and media, such as Spotify and displaying photos from Facebook. Amazingly, there’s no Facebook app itself. Amazon’s Alexa is built-in, so all her skills are available to make up for some of the deficit. Friends and family don’t need another Portal to chat and can use Facebook Messenger to take the call.

Facebook goes to great pains to emphasise “privacy by design” and that the camera and microphone can be turned off. Facebook assures us that “Facebook doesn’t listen to, view or keep the contents of your Portal video calls. Your conversations stay between you and the people you’re calling.” I still don’t trust Facebook and this device is in your home listening (“Hey Portal”) all the time.

Facebook goes on to say, “For added security, Smart Camera uses AI technology that runs locally on Portal, not on Facebook servers. Portal’s camera does not use facial recognition and does not identify who you are.” If you are reassured by this, good for you. If not, there is a button on the top of the unit which, when pressed, will physically disconnect the microphone and camera.

Let’s not forget Facebook has a very poor track record on security and the abuse of personal information. Where shall we start?
Cambridge Analytica
50 Million Accounts Breached
Using 2FA phone numbers for advertising

I think Facebook have made a mistake, pairing the Facebook brand with Portal. My advice would have been to do “Portal from WhatsApp” and majored on the security features of WhatsApp and end-to-end encryption. Facebook might own WhatsApp, but I would have had far fewer concerns if Portal had come from the WhatsApp team.

If you want buy one, pre-orders are open with the Portal is priced at US$199 and the Portal+ comes in at $349. There’s a special offer on buying two Portals with $100 off. Pre-order here with deliveries expected in November. US only at the moment.


Chatlight at CES 2016



logoChatlight is a rechargeable light for your smartphone, tablet, or laptop that illuminates all your video calls and selfies. Chatlight recognizes that it’s not the quality of your webcam that makes a good image, it’s the quality of your lighting that reaCHATLIGHT-inpost1lly makes a difference.

Chatlight is specifically designed for video chatting, no matter when or where you are. The small, unobtrusive light mounts onto your device and provides lighting with fully-adjustable brightness and direction for optimal image quality.

One of the things that makes Chatlight so Chatlight-02special is its long-lasting bulbs and rechargeable battery, something rarely found in other lighting attachments. Chatlight’s bulbs last for over 50,000 hours, and the battery lasts up to 90 minutes on a single charge.

Chatlight is compatible with almost any smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop monitor less than 3/4″ thick. It’s sure to improve the image quality of almost any webcam since better lighting means the camera lens can focus more easily and capture a much clearer image.

Chatlight retails for $29.99 and is currently available for purchase on the Chatlight website.


GNC-2010-07-09 #591 Hollywood’s Funny Accounting



Quick week for many of you, thanks to everyone that called in to the hotline to leave comments. Wait till you see how Hollywood does their accounting no wonder they can claim they are loosing money. Did you notice the mini format change? First big change in over 500 shows not a really big deal but lets see your reactions!

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