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PC Mike's Techcast

Award winning reporter "PC Mike" Wendland, host of the PC Mike Techcast seen on NBC-TV stations nationwide, explores the latest in personal technology with no "geek speak."
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Now displaying: February, 2015
Feb 26, 2015

In this episode of the PC Mike Podcast, we tackle one of the most daunting tasks the average Internet user faces: How to take control of those constantly piling up emails.
To help us, we consult with one of the world's foremost experts - Laura Stack, known far and wide as "The Productivity Pro."
Laura is a productivity expert who provides training and keynotes on office productivity, personal productivity, time management at http://theproductivitypro.com/. She’s also the author of author of What to Do When There’s Too Much to Do”
Among topics:
- What is the best email client available? Outlook? MacMail? Lotus? G-Mail?
- What are the six D’s” that will give you the methodology to properly deal with your email
She offers us some very handy tips for managing your overflowing inbox:
-    Is it even possible to get inbox zero anymore?
- How can inbox zero improve productivity? Any other benefits (less stress from being more organized, for example)?
- What’s the real problem behind the glutted inbox?
- Why are people so disorganized with email? Why can’t we just keep up?
- How can we keep from having thousands of emails?
App review
With brutal cold winter weather gripping much of the country, cabin fever has set in and it’s clearly time for a break. If you’re planning a spring break trip, by taking a few minutes to set up your smartphone with the right apps, you can make sure your trip is hitch-free.
One of the best overall travel-planning apps is TripIt. The app takes all of those email confirmations you’ve had piling up in your inbox and turns them into an itinerary. That means consolidating info from airlines, hotels, and car rental services and putting it into one place instead of standing in a busy airport or hotel lobby trying to find that one important email you need at that exact second. Available for all platforms Free for 30 days, but $49 a year for full features.
Viator will help you make sure you don’t miss what you shouldn’t miss from wherever you may be. The app will ensure you at least know of all the local attractions and hang-outs. But that’s not all – Viator also helps you find lower cost ways to book and take advantage of available option, receive deal notifications, check out user reviews and more. Free for Android and iOS.
If you’re looking for a fun way to capture the sights from your trip and let everyone know where you are and when, try TripColor. The social media album-creation app allows you to put everything into a portfolio with your captions and location details – including an interactive map so friends and family can “follow” you on your travels. This one is for iOS only.
See them in action on my NBC-TV report http://youtu.be/xcPftguqfGE
In the News of the week:
News and trends

Net Neutrality Passes
New Cyber Security Agency formed
Apple Watch Info Coming March 9

Complete shownotes and links at http://pcmike.com/12

Feb 19, 2015

The car you drive is extremely vulnerable to hackers, who can do everything from use technology to steal your car, steal your personal information and even take over the steering and braking functions of your vehicle.
In this episode of the PC Mike Podcast, we learn:
-The car manufacturers are scrambling to find a way to shut down the vulnerabilities that are so wide open the even a 14 year old kid with $14 in parts he got from a Radio Shack was able to hack inside the vehicle's electronic system
-The there are some who believe the 2013 death of a crusading investigative reporter may be the result of a cyber attack on his car
-That a Congressional report this month says the public needs "the electronic equivalent of seat belts and airbags to keep drivers and their information safe.”
We interview Cyber security expert Craig Smith, who has written a book on car hacking, who tells us:
-Hackers are electronically "hot wiring" cars right now and stealing them
-The auto industry, used to long range projects, has an immediate crisis on their hands s they try to shore up vehicle security.
-Internet connected cars create the possibility that hackers, from anywhere in the world, can access a vehicle's electronic controls
Complete show notes can be found at http://pcmike.com/11

Feb 12, 2015

After answering a bunch of listener-submitted tech questions  and reviewing the top tech news of the week, we dig into the controversial and highly politicized issue of Net Neutrality.
Our special guest is Michael Weinberg of Public Knowledge, a Washington D.C.-based advocy group that promotes freedom of expression, an open internet, and access to affordable communications tools and creative works and works to shape policy on behalf of the public interest.
We discuss:
- What is Net Neutrality and why it matters to consumers
- How the gatekeepers of the Internet are showing favoritism to those who can "pay to play"
- Why the big Internet and mobile service players are so opposed to Net Neutrality
- What role should Congress play in the debate
- What it would mean to reclassify the Internet under telecommunications law
In our apps of the week, we look at two big fitness apps:
- MapMyFitness, bought up for $475 million million by Under Armror and  part of a huge move into what’s called Connected Fitness.  It;s an app that reads from activity trackers, heart rate monitors, watches and fitness accessories.  MapMyFitness gathers all that data, tracks movement, measures calories, counts steps, maps routes and even tracks nutrition in food.
- Endomondo, a powerful fitness training app also bought by Under Armor for a whopping $80 million.  It’s billed as a personal trainer in your pocket and it has customized workout plans and tracking data available for just about every kind of fitness training you can imagine, indoors or outdoors.
Complete show notes, links and resources at http://pcmike.com/10

Feb 5, 2015

 

What will Apple do with its billions?

 

Can Apple keep it up? Have they hit the “next big thing” ceiling? What’s coming next from the corporation that just made the biggest quarterly profit in history - $18 billion in just the last three months of last year.

 

In this week’s podcast, we interview leading media and tech analyst Paul Sweetin, a lead Analyst for Gigaom Research and the founder of Concurrent Media Strategies, a Washington, D.C.–based consulting and editorial services firm specializing in digital media technology and policy issues.

 

He tells us:

 

- With all that money, Apple is going to have to have something huge to move that profit margin again

 

-His skepticism of the success of the coming Apple Watch

 

- His prediction on what Apple TV will be like – not a set top box

 

- Why the bigbox retailers like Walmart, Best Buy and Target are pushing back on Apple Pay

 

- Apple Pay is perhaps the most secure way to make purchases with a credit card , a huge advantage because of the growing hacking problems

 

- That Apple has so much money in the bank that they can buy just anout anything.

 

In addition, we discuss how listeners can get a free download of an audio book by going to http://Audibletrial.com/pcmike

 

In News and trends, we look at:

 

- Net Neutrality - https://www.yahoo.com/tech/fcc-chairman-proposes-regulating-internet-like-110082591994.html

 

- A Huge data breach of Anthem Health Services http://www.bbc.com/news/business-31012410

 

- What you need to know about hacking http://pcmike.com/6

 

App of the Week

 

Bill splitting apps - http://pcmike.com/bill-splitting-apps/ The Tip N Split app for Apple perfectly describes what it does. It adds in the tip automatically and then divides it up between those at the table. It splits the tip uniformly, equally among everyone. The Lite version is free. There’s also a similar Tip N Split Caculator for Android on the Google Play store.

 

But if some ordered more expensive stuff, you may want to instead use the Billr app for the iPhone. It splits the bill unevenly, for up to 16 people. It adds the tip, takes into account the cost of each item ordered, assigns them to a person and then gives each person their fair share amount.

 

The ultimate bill splitter though is called Divvy. It makes sure everyone pays their fair share like the other apps but it does so by having you snap a photo of the bill and the people at your table. It reads each item and then you just drag each item to the photo of the person who ordered it. It only works with the iPhone

 

Complete shownotes at http://pcmike.com/9

 

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