Saved it in Post

Tonight is one of those nights when I saved a video in post. I explained a feature incorrectly which I noticed when I started editing. I did a new VO and then stitched things together pretty nicely if I do say so myself.

I could have saved myself a lot of work if I used a jump cut but I had a professor in college who failed people for jump cuts. Can’t do it.

See if you can spot it in tomorrow night’s video!

Starlink Holding Up Against Russian Cyberattacks

Starlink has become a key communication tool for the Ukrainian military and the Russians are having a hard time detecting and jamming it. As we’ve found in our Starlink coverage the service is remarkably easy to connect to and offers bandwidth on par with low to mid range cable Internet services.

Elon Musk in a tweet today says that the satellite network has so far resisted Russian jamming and hacking attempts. Starlink’s network engineers are up against a tough adversary with state level resources so they no doubt will have to remain on their toes.

The service doesn’t work as well in the eastern part of the country as the satellite network still relies on ground stations to connect users to the Internet. But SpaceX is working on a laser based orbital relay that would bypass many ground stations to route traffic. At some point we might see SpaceX launch servers into positions to act as CDNs for streaming services, etc.

A Busy Week!

I have two “in and out” New York City trips this week for new product overviews. I did one yesterday and have another tomorrow. My Dad’s best business advice for me was to always go to industry events that you’re invited to. You never know who you’ll meet or what opportunities you’ll find. 

NYC is an easy trip for me thanks to a local commuter rail station. The downtime on the train has been super helpful for my HAM radio adventure as I have time to finish up studying for my technician license exam. I am going to try and test this Saturday!

Whenever head out for a day it means I have to make up the time to keep my production cadence. I like to post a minimum of three videos a week. So today I’m going to try to shoot two videos back to back to take the pressure off the end of the week. I shot Monday’s wrapup on Sunday night. 

More and More 5G Ultrawide Band Towers Popping Up

5G is pretty common around my neck of the woods now, but it’s the “sub-6” variety that operates largely on the same frequencies as 4G. Still I’m finding that speeds are always very consistent and presumably these new 5G cell cites can handle more capacity.

Lately I’ve found that the higher frequency MMWave “ultrawide band” indicator is popping up more and more often as I’m traveling around. They even activated one at my local high school presumably for its football field that attracts large crowds for games.

Generally the MMWave cells require you to be outside and fairly close to the cell. But I’ve found that I’m picking up mmWave inside of trains (if the cell is close enough) and in a few cases next to windows in view of a cell on the street.

The speeds from these MMWave cells can be all of over the place depending on where you are in relation to the cell and what kind of connectivity it’s receiving from its fiber optic connection. Most of them I’ve encountered on Verizon’s network deliver speeds not much better than sub6 or LTE:

But I have experienced some in New York City that deliver crazy speeds. Check out this one from the middle of Grand Central Terminal: 1.6 gigabits per second downstream and a health 141 megabits upstream!

So although speeds will vary dramatically from one mmWave to the next I do think we’ll be seeing many more livestreams from stadiums and other large public gatherings now that the wireless bandwidth is there to support more customers simultaneously. I’m eager to see how things work in Las Vegas the next time I go to CES.

I covered the different types of 5G a few months ago. The wireless carriers are definitely hyping things up a bit but there are some areas where the tech will improve connectivity.

New Video: Taking Back Ownership of my Content

Taking back and decentralizing my content is the subject of this week’s Weekly Wrapup video – this is number 400 in the series! The piece is largely about this blog and my plans for it. 

One of the founding fathers of blogging, Dave Winer, said:

Twitter grew out of the blogging world and the people of blogs and the norms of blogging moved here. That’s why Twitter is what it is. 

To a large degree a lot of people who used to blog a lot (myself included) found Twitter to be much more convenient with far greater reach. The reason is that it centralized the conversation and provided a feed with zero friction. Click the follow button and you were done. 

But what happened is that we turned over our content to the Twitter corporation. They made lots of money off that content and returned very little money to creators. And apparently it’s valued at $44 billion.

Given these developments I decided I needed a home base for written content that I owned and controlled. Hence this blog. And now everything that I post elsewhere will originate here! 

WordPress really impresses me. I used it extensively on a media startup I was working on about a decade ago and was very pleased with how many improvements they’ve made. You can pay them to host it or download the open source version and host it yourself. The cool thing is that WordPress federates content across all WordPress sites no matter where they are hosted and aggregates it into a mobile app feed that also has a useful content discovery engine. 

Its use of RSS allows that federation to go beyond WordPress’ platform. I’m using it to put together my morning and weekly email newsletters and sending them out with an excellent (and super inexpensive) email blasting tool called Sendy (affiliate ink).

Today’s Links

Amazon Strangely taking pre-orders for the 2020 Chromecast in the U.S. – AFTVNews

Hackers are actively exploiting BIG-IP vulnerability with a 9.8 severity rating – Ars Technica

White House says 20 internet companies will provide effectively free internet to millions of Americans – Yahoo News

U.S. Podcast Ad Revenue to Top $2 Billion in 2022, IAB/PwC Study Predicts – Variety

Switch Sports Bowling is Fun

Wii Sports was always popular in my house. It was a perfect pack-in title for a system that had a very unique control mechanism and it was the only motion control game that really worked for me. Motion controls felt very gimmicky in  the other Wii titles.

Nintendo updated the game for the Switch and changed its name to “Switch Sports” (Affiliate link). The new game (at the moment) includes soccer, tennis, badminton, volleyball, Chambara (stick fighting) and bowling. My kids enjoyed most of the sports in the game and it kept us occupied during a rainy afternoon. They will be adding golf and possibly another sport with some free updates in the near future.

Will Sports bowling was one of my favorites on that original console and the new version is just as good. What makes it better than the original is an online mode that pits you against 15 other players. I won my first match as evident in the post image!

Unfortunately to get a four player experience you’ll need to buy another two joy cons (which means more accessory sales for Nintendo). Soccer requires two game cons for each player plus a leg strap for kicking.

RSS Mania

I love RSS. It is an important underpinning of the web that a lot of folks don’t even know is there. I’ve recently updated my RSS workflow and it has made content consumption both for work and entertainment immensely more efficient. 

I use the Bazqux reader to do that consolidation. It requires an annual fee but it most certainly pays for itself in the efficiency it brings me every day. There are a number of open source options that provide similar functionality. One of the cool things Bazqux does is that it will bring in Twitter, Facebook, and Telegram content the same way it brings in RSS – and then it’ll allow you to create RSS feeds from those sources! 

I just added a static page to the blog where you can subscribe to my RSS feeds individually or a master one that incorporates all sources. You learn more about how I’m using RSS here

New Video: Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4k Review

Buy one on Amazon: (compensated affiliate link) – Anker’s new Cosmos Laser projectors look great but are very pricey. There is, however, a narrow use case that this projector will work well for which is why I bought it.

I ended up getting a great deal on it. I preordered the 1080p version on their Kickstarter page a few months ago following its announcement at CES. When it showed up about two weeks ago they accidentally sent me the 4k version! Whoops!

Why I bought it: I always find myself in need of a projector for presentations & video playback for some of the things I volunteer with locally. I’m also the guy people call when they need a projector for whatever it is they are doing.

I have been using an old Acer that runs with a halogen lamp. It’s as bright as this laser projector but it runs at a low resolution and its halogen lamp is probably not long for this world.

So for my purposes this is an excellent replacement. It works great in a fully lit room, has an awesome set of speakers, and is relatively portable and easy to set up. The Android TV experience is the best I’ve seen on a projector to date. It better be for its price!

See the review here and find all of my projector reviews here.

Today’s Links

Crazy video of a car chase scene from a helicopter being filmed for an upcoming Michael Bay Film – Facebook Reels

How millions of Russians are tearing holes in the Digital Iron Curtain – Washington Post

Every ISP in the US has been ordered to block three pirate streaming services – Ars Technica

The Future of Space Tourism Is Now. Well, Not Quite. – NYtimes

Saturday Morning May 7, 2022

Hope you all had a good week and are looking forward to the weekend. My little ones (6 & 9) have birthdays this weekend. They are 3 years and a day apart so we’ll be celebrating those today and then mother’s day on Sunday. I’m also going to sneak in a little work to get ahead on next week as I’ll be traveling to a few press events in NYC. 

Monday’s wrapup will be about centralizing my written words around a blog vs. other platforms. I’ll also be reviewing the Sensibo Air (compensated affiliate link) which is a really simple smart thermostat & controller for remote control enabled air conditioning and split systems.

I’ll have my review of the Nebula Cosmos Laser Projector 4k up tonight! 

Stay tuned! 

Shortwave Radiogram

I picked up an RTL-SDR (affiliate link) Software Defined Radio dongle recently and have been having a blast with it. You can see my adventures so far with it here

My most recent project is to discover and decode all of the digital signals transmitting through the air around me. I looked at lot of different things like the FT8 weak signal protocol, POCSAG pager decoding, and packet radio to name a few. 

A viewer tipped me off to another digital signal to look for which is the Shortwave Radiogram broadcast that transmits a few days a week on shortwave frequencies. It consists of a 30 minute broadcast that transmits text and small images. Part of the challenge is to keep the signal strong enough to decode it! You can see what it looks like thanks to “Shacking Off” on YouTube.  

More information can be found at the SW Radiogram website. They also have links to recordings so you can practice ahead of the next broadcast. 

There’s a whole community around this too. Check out their Facebook group

I am almost done studying for my HAM radio technician license. Just need a few more days to run through the practice exams. Stay tuned! 

Today’s Links

New High Resolution Scan of “Extraordinary” UAP Image – UAP Media UK

Everything You Need to Know About Apple’s Self Service Repair Program for iPhones – Macrumors

Mercury’s Comet-like Tail – Space Weather Archive

Teslas using Autopilot are eight times less likely to be in an accident – Teslarati

Goodwill Sold a Bust for $34.99. It’s an Ancient Roman Relic – NYTimes

Frontier Ordered to Pay Millions After Internet Speed Allegations – NBC Connecticut

New Video: Unboxing and First Impressions of the Nebula Cosmos Laser Projector

I preordered the Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser Projector when they rolled it out on Kickstarter. I ordered the less expensive 1080p version but it looks like they mistakenly sent me the 4k version! Here’s a link to the video.

My current projector that I use for presentations is almost 11 years old and was only 720p so I wanted something with comparable brightness that offered higher resolutions.

I am putting together a full review but in the meantime you can watch an unboxing and first impressions on the Extra’s channel. The visual quality is remarkable but it’s very pricey.