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: May, 2015
May 15, 2015

Two topics in this episode tihs week:
Why Apple can't deliver and how that caused PC Mike to cancel his Apple Watch order and how Facebook can harm your mental health.
Mike outlines the dismal delivery dates that the Apple Watch is having, with an explanation of why he cancelled his order.
And then t comes to Facebook, there are a whole list of potential mental health issues that it can aggravate/ We talk to Psychologist Doug Kenrick
and researcher Jessica Bodford.

May 7, 2015

Shownotes from episode 19 of the PC Mike Techcast

The World of Wearables: Apple Watch Watch, Google Glass Back in the News

With so much noise coming from the world of tech these days - it can be hard to tell to what you should pay attention.

That's why this week we talk about what you actually need to know in no-geek-speak terms about things like wearables (Apple Watch, Google Glass), drones, live video streaming and apps designed to turn you into an instant astronomer.

Mike and producer Andrew Dietderich even talk about some business cards from the world of tech fetching $10,000 for charity at auction, proving you should never,  ever throw anything away. Ever.

Many people, including PC Mike, continue to wait for their Apple Watches to arrive. Mike talks with Andrew about what he might do if his doesn't show up soon.

At the same time, Google Glass is back in the news thanks to a new patent and eyewear giant Luxottica saying last week that the next version of Glass is coming soon.
The World of Drones: FAA Addresses Drones, Kinda, With Announcements This Week

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration made several announcements regarding model aircraft and unmanned aircrafts (aka drones) at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Unmanned Systems 2015 conference in Atlanta.

Some of the announcements involved the FAA partnering with companies to gather news, monitor crops, and inspect train tracks. Most relevant to consumers/drone hobbyists, however, is the announcement of an app called B4UFly, which Andrew swears he saw on a vanity license plate while covering EAA in Oshkosh, Wisc. years ago.

The World of Meerkat: Live Streaming Now on Facebook

PC Mike did a report for NBC in March about Meerkat. A lot has happened in the world of Meerkat since - namely, Meerkat has dumped Twitter for Facebook with its Meerkat Update #2 (Read more)

Apps of the Week: Stargazing Apps to Up Your Astronomy Game

In PC Mike's report for NBC-TV this week, he takes a look at apps that up your astronomy game - just in time for warmer summer nights under the stars. Two of the best are SkyView and Star Walk.

SkyView is an easy to use smartphone or tablet app that provides an impressive look at space. Aim your camera at the skies and get a detailed display on your screen of the galaxies, stars, constellations, planets, even satellites that your device is seeing. Move your camera across the sky and your screen will change, allowing you to explore space from your backyard. Or want to find something specific, like the International Space Station? Arrows will guide you. Skyview is $1.99 and available for Android and iOS, including Apple Watch.

Star Walk is another stargazing app that shows celestial objects in the exact positions above you. It, too, uses your phone’s camera and augmented reality to get a detailed map of stars, galaxies and planets on your screen. There are also cool animated and 3D graphics to make watching the skies even more fun. For all major platforms and the Apple Watch. It’s between $2.50 and $2.99 depending on your version.

One Last Thing: Steve Jobs' Business Cards Fetching $10,000+ in Charity Auction

Jobs'  high school in California is auctioning three Steve Jobs business cards for charity. The cards were obtained by someone who did catering for Jobs. With a couple of days left in the auction as of this writing, bids for the cards were over $10,000.

May 1, 2015

It's time to do some spring cleaning of your tech world - especially related to maximizing the efficiency of your Internet connection.

In this podcast episode, we talk to Michele Gilbert from Comcast, who shares some very practical tips for everyone - no matter who their Internet provo\ider may be - that will help thei eke out every bit of connectivity speed possible.

Most people aren’t aware of all the value-add features available to them from their video, Internet and phone provider. What are they and where can you find them?
·         Your Internet service provider might already offer online security products at no additional charge. Are you taking advantage of them?
·         There are ways to ensure your home Wi-Fi is set up to give you the most robust signal strength and speed. Is your router located in right spot?
·         The number of connected devices in your home and how you’re using them can impact your Internet performance. Most people don’t even realize how many of their devices connect to the Internet. How many do you have?·         Figure out where in your house you use wireless most often and put the router within a clean line of site to that room.
·         A central location off the ground and out in the open is ideal.
·         Avoid putting your router on the floor, in a remote corner of the house, or near a window or other electronics, as it could impact signal strength.
·         Also, keep your router away from a fish tank. Wireless signals don’t pass well through water.
·         If in doubt, conduct a speed test to ensure you’re getting the speeds for which you’re paying.