Back on episodes 120 and 223 we featured Mike Rhode to talk about Sketchnoting. If you’re interested in practicing your sketch noting skills, Mike has issued a challenge to the Sketchnoting Army, to sketch note a podcast. In this case, they’ve picked one of ours, MPU episode 219 featuring David Allen.
If you’re interested in participating, listen to the episode and sketch note the things that stand out to you and submit them to the Sketchnote Army. There are some great prizes.
More information at sketchnotearmy.com
This week on Mac Power Users David and I are joined by Stephen Hackett of 512pixles.net to discuss his previous life as an Apple Genius, how he juggles a day job, Relay.fm and being Editor-in-Chief of the Sweet setup with his family life, his love of old Macs and more.
Last Saturday was the first Saturday of the month which means it’s time for our monthly MPU-Live episode. This month David and I talk about auditing your accounts with guest Bradley Chambers, quitting Family Sharing, follow-up on PDFs, discuss applications for money management, and share tips for managing RSS feeds on the go, sharing an iTunes library, managing photos and videos, preserving two-factor authentication codes, discuss the Evernote Stylus, family journaling options and more.
Today at CES, Dish Networks announced SlingTV, a $20 monthly internet TV service that will be coming to Roku, Amazon Fire TV, iOS and Android in the “coming weeks”.
The $20 Sling TV base package includes ESPN, ESPN2, Disney Channel, ABC Family, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, TNT, CNN, TBS, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and the “best of Internet video” with Maker Studios. Add-on packs with additional kids and news programming will be available for $5 each.
[Roger] Lynch [CEO of Sling TV] said the launch channel lineup was set but the lineup would evolve with time and that other channels would be added. No DVR capabilities or local channels would be available to Sling TV subscribers, but they’d be able to access plenty of on-demand content, he added.
While I’m not sure I’m ready to open my wallet to subscribe just yet, I think this is an interesting development for a couple of reasons. First, it shows that networks are willing to make these types of content deals for non-cable TV subscribers. I’ve long said I’d pay a reasonable monthly subscription to access networks like CNN or HGTV on my Apple TV if that subscription allowed me to have access to their live stream and previous shows. Currently I can access some of this content through their iOS apps, but most of it is locked down unless you’re a cable TV subscriber, which I’m not.
This newly announced Sing TV package offers a nice collection networks that has a little something that will appeal to most households. What’s notable is the inclusion of the sports channels. Access to sports coverage has been one of the biggest reasons for keeping a cable or satellite TV package. ESPN and ESPN2 will alleviate that concern for many.
While Sling TV isn’t perfect, it’s a start. No mention of availability for Apple TV and we’ll have to wait and see if or how the program lineup grows or can be customized. But I’m excited about the possibilities. Ok Apple now it’s your turn…
For the past few weeks I’ve been testing the Audioengine B2 Bluetooth Speaker.I’ve long been a fan of Audioengine products, I have a set of their A2 speakers (now replaced by the A2+) in my home office and have a B1 Bluetooth Receiver connected to speakers in my living room. Over the few years I’ve been slowly replacing my AirPlay based home speaker system with Bluetooth alternatives as I’ve found AirPlay’s range and reliability to be less than desirable. The B2 is a standalone bluetooth speaker and makes a nice addition to my setup.
Audioengine is known for premium quality sound at reasonable prices. You can certainly buy cheeper speakers bluetooth speakers, and portable bluetooth speakers have their place. But I doubt you’ll find a better sounding, or better looking, bluetooth speaker than the B2. The speaker pairs simply with a push of a button and has a hidden antenna on the back to extend the range. With the antenna and the speaker centrally located I was able to walk around my 3-bedroom (single floor) and maintain a solid connection.
I’ve been using the B2 in my bedroom for the past few weeks and have been using it primarily for listening to podcasts and Christmas music. While I am by no means an audiophile, the sound quality both of music and spoken word content is noticeably superior than on the Jawbone Jambox I previously used as well as an iHome speaker dock I keep by my bedside. With an admittedly untrained ear, I’d say the B2 sounds just as good if not better than most wired speaker sets. Audioengine prides themselves on their custom built components. In addition to quality and clarity of sound, the B2 also can pack quite a punch. It will easily fill a room with sound. I found when sitting on my dresser in a large bedroom the B2 would more than fill the room with sound and even when on a moderate setting could be heard over the sound of exercising on an elliptical machine.
The B2 comes in an all wood cabinet made in a couple of different finishes, Black Ash, Zebrawood or Walnut. The speaker screen connects with a series of magnets and is removable depending on your preference. Personally, I prefer the more modern look of the B2 without the cover. At $299 the B2 is more expensive than many bluetooth speakers but with the B2 you’re getting a very different class of device. While you can buy many portable bluetooth speakers for half or a third of the price, this is one that you will be proud to make a permanent fixture in your room.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive travel bluetooth speaker, there are a slew of options. But for a higher-end speaker that will pack great sound and look gorgeous in your home, the Audioengine B2 is hard to beat.
This month’s issue of ScreenCasts Online Monthly Magazine is now available in Apple’s Newsstand App. In the January issue you’ll find an article from me about Technology Resolutions for 2015
The monthly magazine is packed with streamable versions of Don’s excellent video tutorials as well as articles, reviews and tips from authors including David Sparks, Allison Sheridan, Wally Cherwinski and more. The magazine is free for ScreenCasts online Premium Members or available as a separate subscription or you can pickup individual issues. You can download it in the AppStore or find more info at http://www.screencastsonline.com/magazine/