What to Look for in a Podcast Camera

Podcasts have long been an audio medium but today an increasing number of podcasters are now live streaming their content in video too. This means that if you are already a podcaster or you fancy trying it out for yourself you will now have to add a podcast camera to your equipment.

So what do you need to look for in a podcast camera? We checked out some consumer guides and podcast experts to find out where to start.

Record Time: make sure your podcast camera has a long recording time. Many cameras automatically switch off after 30 minutes so ensure that this automatic cut off function can be disabled, otherwise it will destroy the flow of the podcast if it cuts out and you have to switch it back on again.

Battery life: This is equally important. You will need to set up the camera and equipment and you may run through a couple of times before you get it right. You need to know your battery life can keep your camera on, or you will face lengthy details for recharging.

Live Stream Capabilities: Can you carry out live streaming with your podcast camera? Podcasts are very immediate and enable your audience to interact and engage with you. To live stream a video you will need to stream to your laptop or smart phone via wifi or by using an HDMI cable. It is important that your podcast camera has the capabilities to use at least one of these functions. You might not be ready for live streaming yet, but it is something that you will probably want to do in the future.

High Resolution: Picture quality is important and even though it can be daunting to see your own face in high resolution, we have all become accustomed to viewing in high picture resolution. Make sure you choose a podcast camera that delivers the best viewing experience possible. The minimum should be 1080p and with the popularity of 4K, if your podcast camera can record in Ultra HD, so much the better.

There are some great podcast cameras on the market right now which will deliver these capabilities and your choice will come down to your budget and your own personal preferences. So it is very important to carry out research before you buy, or it could be an expensive mistake.

Other points to think about for video pod casting

Remember too that your other equipment is equally important so your podcast camera is only part of the kit you need for video pod casting.

As well as your audio equipment, you will now need to ensure you have the correct lighting and a good place to film the podcast.

Many audio podcasts are recorded in studios that absorb sound to prevent background sound interference. You can achieve this by hanging drapes, carpets, egg boxes or other soft materials that absorb sound.

Now you are switching to video podcasting, it is a good idea to make the recording space as dark as possible and to introduce lighting. That way you can control the light coming into the studio and focus on the participants, rather than other distractions. Black out curtains can be a great idea for the podcast studio because it enables you to fully control the light that you want your podcast camera to pick up.

How are Science and Technology Related?

Science and Technology?  You can’t have one without the other. Science is the study of all of the natural world and how it works. Technology helps us find ways to apply what we have learned and helps us increase discoveries via specialised tools.

In human biology, science and technology work together to create a greater understanding of the human body as well as improve how any necessary treatment is to be achieved. From the simple blood test to life saving cancer surgery, technology finds ways to measure the body’s vital responses and find solutions at all levels.

There is a lot we still don’t know about how the body works. And because the body is so complicated, no medical expert can fully understand every part of it and all its complexities. Your heart specialist for example is not the best authority for a fractured bone. An endocrinologist understands hormones yet may not offer the best advice for a neurological condition.

The problem is that for many health conditions, many parts of the body are interrelated and there is no holistic approach that considers the body as a whole rather than a separate range of compartmentalised symptoms.

One health aspect, on which all health experts agree, is the importance of vitamin C. Your body needs this essential vitamin on a daily basis in order to protect it from many medical conditions and maintain health, yet many people never even consider it.

You can only obtain vitamin C via diet and it is present in all fresh fruits and vegetables, yet owing to the modern day diet of processed food most of us lack this vital component in our daily diet. Your body cannot store or make vitamin C; it has to be ingested every day to provide protection.

Liposomal Vitamin C is a great example of science and technology working together. It comes from Core Med Science who have developed a way to deliver your daily requirements of vitamin C straight into your blood system.

There are numerous vitamin C tablets and supplements on the market but owing to their construction, most of the vitamin C is unabsorbed by the blood stream. And even if you up your fruit consumption and try to consume as much vitamin c as possible, only 18% will get into the blood stream and it often leads to digestive problems such as diarrhoea as a result.

Liposomal vitamin C offers something different. The scientists at Core Medical Science (CMS) have developed the technology to deliver the full RDA of vitamin C direct into the blood system by bypassing the digestive process.

Liposomal Vitamin C is in liquid form. The vitamin dose is protected by natural phospholipids which are microscopic spheres of fat and as this substance is already part of our cell membranes, it enables the body to fully absorb vitamin C without losing any of the serving size or causing digestive side effects.

Thanks to Liposomal Vitamin C you can now maintain your body’s Vitamin C levels in one daily dose.  So if you care about your health today and long term, taking this scientifically designed supplement is the best thing you can do for your own health and for your family.

Translucent Tech Gadgets Could Be a New Trend (Again)

Back in the 90s, there was a craze for see through plastic toys, gizmos, and tech. Fast forward 30 years and guess what!  The trend for translucent tech gadgets is looking to make a comeback. So, could translucent tech gadgets become a new trend again? For anyone that is old enough to remember, this trend was annoying first-time round, but in style and fashion everything makes a comeback eventually.

The Nothing company headed by designer Carl Pei (recently of One Plus) has promised to revolutionise modern tech design and for this he has looked to the past craze for translucent tech. The company is launching a new brand of wireless earbuds which are completely translucent and look likely to become popular with a whole new audience.

The translucent ear buds are completely transparent. They are not on the market yet and advertising is proving to be a problem. The issue is that the clear plastic earbuds are impossible to see in a picture so until they can be held in the hand it is anyone’s guess what they really look like.

In addition, Carl Pei has stated that creating translucent technology is extremely difficult. All the component parts including screws and batteries must be equally clear or the whole illusion will be spoiled. That said they seemed to have achieved this aim because as far as we can see from the few pictures available, the ear buds do seem to be completely transparent.

Carl Pei says that the Nothing company aims to eliminate branding such as logos from their tech products so that all that is left for the customer is raw technology. However, this doesn’t mean that the customer is in any doubt of the brand because if it is translucent and logo free, then only one company is doing this right now. This means the product itself is the brand logo!

Translucent tech already has a niche following with gamers looking for 90s retro appeal. And in recent years some tech companies have dabbled with translucent tech gadgets such as Xiaomi ‘s transparent TV. The big question is whether people who grew up in the 90s will have such fond memories of see-through tech that they will want to revisit it today?

At the end of the day, the longevity and lasting appeal of the Nothing translucent earbuds will depend upon their sound quality and comfort as well as the price. They will undoubtedly become fashionable with millenials but whether this craze lasts are anyone’s guess.

One major issue with the Nothing translucent ear buds in a see-through case is that they will be hard to find. Many of us already struggle with locating our earbuds because they are so small so often get forgotten in a bag or drawer. Imagine the problems with searching for your see-through ear buds when they are so hard to see that they are practically invisible.

Female Superpowers in Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley has long had a reputation for being a male dominated industry. However, things have changed in recent years and today women are making more of a mark in technology and business and as community leaders. About time too, we say. After all, if you want something done efficiently a busy woman will deliver, whereas a man …. well let’s just leave that thought there…

So, let’s check out some of the female superpowers in Silicon Valley. We can’t include them all but here is just a quick cross section of some of the women of influence, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Laura Lee Norris is an associate clinical professor at Santa Clara Law. She is also the founder of the Tech Edge JD Program which provides graduates with legal, business and technology education. Her Entrepreneurs Law Clinic has provided start ups with legal advice and she has helped countless new business flourish. Laura is one of the few women operating in Tech Law and works hard to bring STEM to women in Africa and the Middle East.

Renee DiResta is the Technical Research Manager at Stanford Internet Observatory and is all about understanding the role of tech platforms and how they spread misinformation and conspiracy theories. She has advised Congress, the State Dept and other academic and public bodies on how to manage disinformation spread over the internet platforms.

Tamar Serna is a corporate accountant who has been nominated a Woman of Influence in Silicon Valley’s awards. She is the controller at Integral Development Corp, the developers of the FX Grid, described as a global multi sided trading facility. We are not sure what this means but it sounds incredibly important!

Elizabeth Holmes is the founder and CEO of Theranos. She became the youngest self-made billionaire when she was in her 30s and her company is all about helping people get the medical care they need.  Her company provides easy to use blood tests that customers can do themselves and then hand in to the pharmacy for only a few dollars. Once the blood test has been processed, the results show up on the customer’s phone. Simple!

Susan Wojcicki is the CEO of YouTube. She has Silicon Valley running through her veins and has been associated with many of the major tech companies, including Google in its early days and now YouTube. Influential and passionate about women’s rights, she is a female superpower to be reckoned with.

Susan Leary is the co founder of the Next-Door app. The app provides a way for people in neighbourhoods to communicate with each other and discuss local issues such as trade recommendations and even just pass the time of day. Previously holding high positions at both eBay and Microsoft, Susan Leary is passionate about the app which has already generated over $1 billion.

Best Tech Websites for Students

There are some great tech websites out there which are aimed at students and kids of all ages. So let’s take a look at some of the best tech websites for students. All our choices are fun to use, engaging and informative without the distraction of loads of clickbait articles to distract attention.

NASA Space Place

This website is a great place for kids to “explore Earth and Space” so is ideal for those who already have an interest in our planet and the great beyond as well those who are just getting started.

NASA Space Place is very well laid out and interactive. There are some great games as well as good quality information about the latest developments in science and tech. This site is extremely good for younger children with an interest in STEM subjects so it will help kids understand more about tech. If there is a downside, it is that it may need additional plug ins to run games and that older students may find it over simple.

Code

As suggested by the name, the Code website aims to get you coding as soon as possible and it is ideal for kids or for novices. That said it is suitable for all levels of abilities from 4 year olds to college aged students. The site offers some great ways for kids to build code and tutorials include, building worlds on Minecraft, programming droids and more.

Code is popular with consumers. 30% of US students have an account on Code and with the aim of the site to support learning and computer science, signing up to this website is a great idea for kids and for people who would like to learn coding but don’t know where to start.

Kinetic City

Kinetic City is a whole science program online that helps kids learn all about different science topics. The site includes plenty of science experiments, games and challenges. One great feature is Science Gym which combines physical education with activities such as jumping and dancing where you can measure heart and pulse rate. We also like Spark Club which is all about energy and sustainability such as wind and solar power.

Funology

Aimed at elementary school children, Funology is the science of fun but despite this, the site is educational and it is fun too. Funology offers some great experiments that can be carried out using household items and some of the games are absorbing and fun to play. The only downsides about Funology are that the site is full of distracting pop ups and that this one is definitely aimed at the younger age group.

To find the best tech websites online for adults, check out our recommendations on the Techular website. That way you won’t waste time wading through hundreds of sites in order to get the information you want.

Women in Tech: The Top Influencers You Need to Know About

Women are under represented in the tech industry. A survey carried out in 2018 found that women make up only around 25% of the tech workforce and in most cases earn far less than their male colleagues. However although this makes for depressing reading, many women are smashing through the gender wall and helping to shape a more equal future.

There are thousands of influential women around the world working and influencing the tech industry. Let’s take a look at just a few of the top influencers you need to know about.

Susan Wojcicki – CEO of YouTube

Susan Wojcicki was Google’s first marketing manager and was only the 16th employee of the internet giant, back then an internet minnow! She suggested the acquisition of YouTube back in 2014 after her experience in the development of Google Images and Adsense.

Today Susan Wojcicki is the CEO of YouTube so is massively influential across the tech industry. “Tech is an incredible force that will change our world in ways we can’t anticipate. If that force is only 20 to 30% women, that is a problem,” she has said. She is very vocal in the movement to include more women in tech and has written of her experiences in articles including “How to Break up the Silicon Valley Boys’ Club.”

Kate Crawford, co founder of the AI Now Institute

Kate Crawford is an Australian author and influencer in the tech industry. She used to work as a senior researcher at Microsoft but today is the major voice against the use of facial recognition software which could transform society and not in a good way. She is the co founder of the AI Now Institute and highlights why using facial recognition could be so dangerous for all of us.

Kate Moussouris, founder and CEO of Luta Security

Kate Moussouris developed an interest in hacking when she was a girl, teaching herself to programme a Commodore 64 when she was in third grade.  This early interest led to a career in internet security , working for the US Dept of Defense as well as Microsoft. Her aim is to make the internet safer for everyone via her company Luta Security.

Ellen K Pao, CEO of Project Include

Ellen K Pao was the CEO of Reddit before founding Project Include a non profit organisation set up to improve diversity in the Tech Industry. She has led the battle against sexism in Silicon Valley.

We have only had time to include a few of these notable women here but it is inspiring to learn that so many women are involved in the tech industry at a high level. There is still much to do to improve diversity and gender equality in the tech industry but at least we do have some pioneers that show it is possible.

To keep up with the latest advances in technology and science, check out the Big Think website.

Why you’ll Love the Futuristic Elon Musk Cyber truck

Elon Musk seems to live on a different planet to the rest of us but there is no underestimating his role as one of the world’s original thinkers and designers. Now Elon Musk has come up with a new product for the Tesla range: the cybertruck. This is not yet in production but the company is already taking orders with a launch date predicted for sometime in the future!

So what is so special about the Elon Musk Cybertruck?

The Cybertruck is an all electric battery powered truck with a massive range of 500 miles before it needs recharging.  And according to the advertising the Cybertruck offers better utility than a truck and more performance than a sports car. It does 0 to 60 in 2.9 seconds and has a massive towing capacity and storage capacity.

The cybertruck  comes with autopilot as standard.  The “exoskeleton” of the car is made from stainless steel so it does look extremely hardwearing and rugged for all environments.

We love that the cybertruck has been designed with environmental concerns in mind. Similar non electric sized trucks are gas guzzling beasts but despite the meaty appearance of this truck, it utiilises alternative energy including solar panels so how cool is that!

Of course the most revolutionary aspect of the Cybertruck is the appearance. It looks like a cross between a futuristic space vehicle combined with a computer animation and teenage boy’s drawing. In truth it is an odd looking truck with straight edges and boxy design but it is certainly eye catching and wouldn’t look out of place in a movie about a dystopian future. We will all probably come to love it if it ever goes into production.

If you want to buy the Elon Musk cybertruck yourself you could be in for a wait. Production has not started yet but you can reserve your model with just $100 which is fully refundable should you change your mind.

According to the website once production starts you can finalise your specifications as there are differences between models. The Elon Musk Cyber truck so far exists only as a computer animation. Whether or not the truck will ever become standard is anyone‘s guess but it is impressive in the way that it has revolutionised auto design.

There are a few models available and you can customise your design. The most inexpensive model the single motor RWD costs $39,000, rising to $69,000 for tri motor AWD. You can opt for fully self driving model for an added $10,000

To find out more about the Elon Musk Cybertruck check out the Teslar website.  The prices are not beyond what you could expect to pay for an “ordinary “truck yet you do get far more for your money with this one.

After all what other truck in the world offers such rugged utility combined with sports car performance? We can’t wait to see the Elon Musk Cybertruck once it rolls off the production line.

Big Tech Companies Face Legal Scrutiny

There have long been concerns about the role of social media platforms and the manipulation of election results as well as disinformation and fake news. Now Big Tech companies are facing legal scrutiny from conservative sources following Trump’s expulsion from Twitter.

The Florida Senate has started a campaign to punish the Social Media companies who the Senate accuses of discrimination against conservative thought. This of course originated with President Donald Trump.

If you remember, Trump was permanently banned from Twitter after the storming of the Capitol. His tweets were seen as inciting people to violence and law breaking and although Trump denied this, the evidence to outsiders suggested otherwise. The protestors were filmed quoting Trump’s tweets and his Twitter message and the talk of storming the capital plus talk of a stolen election result did inflame the crowd. There was zero evidence of any election wrong doing leading his tweets to be restricted. Finally the calls to violence led to Trump being banned permanently in an independent move by social media platforms.

However Trump’s supporters unsurprisingly have not agreed with the Social Media companies view of Trump’s Twitter ban. And now republican governor of Florida, Ron De Santis is recommending that social media companies should face hefty penalties for censoring conservative ideology. According to some Republicans, Trump was not guilty of inciting violence and civil disturbance even though it is hard to follow this reasoning.

Instead of preventing potential violence, according to the republican hard right, the social media companies were guilty of trying to censor free speech and prevent conservative views from being aired.

Worryingly the bill has won approval in the House of Representatives. De Santis has recommended that the Social Media platforms should be fined $250,000 a day for censoring conservative ideology.

As ever, the First Amendment was bought into the argument, “If you vote against this bill, you’re voting against freedom of speech, you’re voting against equal protection, you’re voting for censorship,” Rep. Thad Altman said in support of the measure. “We have evil people trying to silence our voice.”

Opponents of the bill say that the Social Media Companies which are private entities have the right to control the information which is broadcast on their platforms. However the bill may have wider reaching implications for all of us.

There are concerns about the data stored by Social Media companies such as how our information is harvested and what it is used for. So the package of bills passed by the Florida Senate that looks at personal privacy may help regulate how the Big Tech companies interact with people’s daily lives regardless of their political persuasions.

Solid State Drive vs. Hard Drive

When it comes to buying a new laptop, you will need to make the choice between Solid State Drive vs. Hard Drive. Both methods of storage and functionality have their advantages so let’s take a look and find out more.

What is the difference between Solid state Drive and hard Drive?

Both SSD and HDD do the same job. They boot your system and store applications and your personal files.

The Hard Drive is the traditional method of computer storage and although the size of these have reduced and the storage space they can provide has increased, the principle has remained the same since the early days of computing. The hard drive is a physical spinning metal plate in your computer. It stores all your information onto this plate so this is held on your computer whether it is on or it is off.

Solid state drive is a far more recent development, first being seen in the rise of netbooks in the early 2000s. This type of storage does not have any moving parts and instead information is stored on a series of interconnected flash memory chips.  Because some SSDs have a very limited memory capacity, users can exceed storage space very quickly so the idea is that you store your information on the cloud.

SSD Speed vs. HDD speed.

SSD is undeniably faster than HDD. It boots faster, launches apps and programs faster and has a faster operating speed. HDD by comparison can get filled up very fast if your data exceeds your storage space. When this happens the drive can suffer from fragmentation where the data has to be stored in the available space on the drive which is not necessarily in the same block of data. The drive then will be slower because the computer has to access all these pieces of data and put them all together.

HDD is better if you need to store a lot of data.

If you need to store a lot of data such as films or your complete music collection HDD may be better because you have all this information in place on your own computer rather than stored in the cloud.

HDD is cheaper too and you do get a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to storage space.

SDD by contrast is rarely available at over 2TB and these larger memory capabilities are very expensive when compared with HDD.

In conclusion

SDD is the way of the future. It is fast working and with fewer moving parts in your computer, performance is generally faster and better. In addition if you carry your laptop around and are generally not very careful, it is less likely to go wrong than HDD with its spinning plate storage.

However if you are working to a budget and need storage without necessarily subscribing to cloud storage, HDD is still a good option for many.

What is the Dark Web (and is it real?)

The Dark Web is one of those things that everyone has heard of and although it does exist, only a small percentage of internet users actually use it. According to statistics, the Dark Web accounts for around 5% of all web space.

There is a lot of misinformation about the Dark Web. One reputable news organisation claimed that the Dark Web took up over 90% of all web space. However this is not strictly true. This confusion has been caused by a misunderstanding of the term Deep Web. This refers to online content which is hidden to online searches but includes mundane functions such as your email messages, medical records, bank statements and web forums where registration is required. Deep Web is not the same as the Dark web but does often get confused because of the name similarity.

So what is the Dark Web and what is it for?

The Dark Web is a collection of websites that use anonymity tools, usually Tor and 12P to hide their IP addresses. Sites on the Dark Web often deal with dark illegal matters such as child pornography, selling illegal drugs, weapons and anything else that is outside the law. One famous dark web site was Silk Road which has now been taken down by the FBI. This site provided a platform for selling and for buying drugs online and the founder Ross Ulbricht has since become the subject of a movie. Silk Road was described as the Amazon store of drug sites.

So how do you access the Dark Web?

To access the Dark Web you need to download the Tor Browser which enables anonymous browsing. This is free but is extremely clunky to use because each search will go through a series of proxy servers across the world in order to make your IP address untraceable. According to users it is maddeningly slow.

Dark web sites look the same as any other website (apart from the content which can often be questionable). The main difference is that whereas most websites end in .com or .co, dark web sites end in .onion. The names of the site are also encrypted too and may just be a series of numbers and letters. However if a site ends in .onion, it is operating on the dark web.

So is the Dark Web used only for illegal purposes?

The Dark Web is mainly used for illegal purposes so a browse through this world throws up plenty of opportunities for criminal activity such as buying credit cards, guns, drugs and more. Often sites will disappear overnight so if you do buy something from a dodgy site you can’t always rely that you will actually receive your items and not lose your money.

But there is more to the Dark Web than crime alone.

The Dark Web provides a platform where you can communicate without being tracked so has been used by whistle blowers who would be rightly worried about attracting surveillance.  And with the vast amount of information held by Google and companies like Facebook on all of us, we can see the attraction of using the Dark Web which does at least assure anonymity for all its users.