Let there be light


Interesting conversation on MacBreak Weekly about how low light impacts on video quality when using Google Hangouts or Skype. With low light, you need more gain, which means a more grainy video. More grainy video interestingly requires more bandwidth, so as a result services such as Google Hangouts or Skype have problems and downgrade the quality or buffer the video.

So if you use Google Hangouts, you may be at home or in the office, you very likely don’t have any studio lights (why would you) and therefore the environment is probably darker.

So if you are having connection issues using a Google Hangout, laggy video, latency issues, buffering, you might want to turn the lights on.

Podcast Choice #03 – MacBreak Weekly

I have been asked a fair few times about the different podcasts I listen to. I not only have a lengthy commute to work, but also travel a fair bit for work, so it’s vital to me to have something to listen to. This series will discuss and review the different podcasts I listen to or have listened to. In a previous blog post I spoke about the why and how I listen to podcasts, now we look at the actual podcasts I listen to.

This week’s podcast is MacBreak Weekly.

Get the latest Mac news and views from the top journalists covering Apple today. Another great show from the TWiT Netcast Network.

I know I have a bit of a reputation as what some people would call an Apple Fanboy. I do have an iMac at home and one in the office, yes I do have an iPhone and an iPad. So in terms of using Apple hardware, yes I am a bit of a fan. However am I anti-Windows which is in my opinion what really make a fanboy, the answer is no. I do run Windows on my iMac, XP and 7, I do have an Android powered Google Nexus One. I also do use Linux.

Some people may consider MacBreak Weekly, a show about Apple, Macs and iOS as just one for the fans. I won’t say it isn’t about Apple stuff, as it is, however this is quite a balanced show with a focus on Apple stuff. If they don’t like it, they will say so, if they do likewise.

Each week a varied panel of Mac experts and journalists, chaired and hosted by Leo Laporte, review the weeks news, releases and occasionally rumours! They also have weekly picks covering hardware and software, both OS X and iOS.

It’s certainly the show I listen to, to find out what is happening with Apple and also what is happening with OS X and iOS software developers. I have picked up many ideas from the picks and made a fair few purchases. If you use Apple kit and software then you will certainly get useful tips and fresh ideas from the podcast.

As with many podcasts you might need to listen to a few episodes to get a feel for it. As you might expect there may be a few in-jokes that don’t fit if you only hear them once.

Unlike many podcasts each episode is a fair length, sometimes up to two hours, so be prepared for a lengthy listen.

Subscribe to MacBreak Weekly in the iTunes Store.

Flip Mino HD

I don’t have a Flip camera, but certainly have thought they could be useful.

MacWorld reports on the release of the Flip Mino HD.

Pure Digital Technologies on Wednesday announced the release of the Flip MinoHD, which it bills as the world’s smallest HD camcorder. The Flip MinoHD can store up to 60 minutes of HD video.  

Andy Ihnatko (from MacBreak Weekly) has written an informative blog post comparing the Flip Mino HD and the Kodak Zi6.

I’m actually planning a rather ambitious comparison of cheap HD cameras in the next week or so. But there’s certainly been an enthusiastic — bordering on, well, “annoying” — amount of interest in a direct comparison between the Mino HD and its natural commercial enemy: the Kodak Zi6.

I think I might get one.

Podcasts on the Nokia N95

Generally if I want to listen to a podcast, I use iTunes and sync with the iPod.

The other day I realised that I had forgotten to sync the iPod and therefore the latest version of MacBreak Weekly was not on my iPod.

Problem was, I was in my car and away from the computer.

So I stopped the car, and using my phone, a Nokia N95 I browsed to twit.tv and clicked the relevant link for MacBreak Weekly.

The phone then started to download the podcast over the 3G data connection. So I drove off…

Unfortunately the first attempt failed for some reason, though I guess I may have lost the 3G signal.

So I tried again and this time it worked fine.

Now what I liked was that the operating system on the N95 knew it was a podcast and added it to the podcast area and started to play it.

I liked the way the phone downloaded the podcast really really fast and then knew what to do with it.