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Drinkworks - Geek News Central (TPN Picks Best of CES 2020 Award)

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Drinkworks - Geek News Central (TPN Picks Best of CES 2020 Award)

2020-01-14

Geek News Central awards its TPN Picks Best of CES 2020 Award to Drinkworks by Keurig.

Nearly everyone knows who Keurig is. Their pod-based coffee makers changed the way homes and offices make coffee. You can purchase Pods directly from the company, or from a variety of companies who all make Pods for their own style of coffee. No longer do people have to portion out the right amount of grounds for a single cup of coffee, or even worse, make a full pot.

Last year, the company announced a new product with a similar goal - Drinkmaker from Drinkworks. Rather than focusing on coffee, like the standard Keurig devices do, Drinkmaker is a pod-based bartender. The Pods that you purchase won't come with coffee grounds, but will instead come with all of the ingredients to make an alcoholic drink. The variety of drinks available is already impressive, with everything from a Cosmopolitan and White Russian to Peach Sangria available on their website.

Like the standard Keurig product, you simply place a Pod of your choice into the machine, press the start button, and it will produce the drink. The biggest benefit of the device is that the drink will always be properly proportioned with quality ingredients without any work on your part. It's perfect for when you have friends or family over and don't want to spend your time bartending but instead socializing.

At CES 2020, the company showed off the final product and announced general availability. Drinkmaker is available now for $299 with free shipping. Because of certain restrictions, shipping is only available to certain states, but the company is working to expand its availability as quickly as possible. Drink Pods are available now starting at $9.99 and ranging to $15.99.

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WhiteFox Defense's DroneFox is protecting your airspace @ CES 2020

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WhiteFox Defense's DroneFox is protecting your airspace @ CES 2020

2020-02-18

As drones and other multi-rotor flying devices have become more common, so have the problems that come along with them. Privacy and security have both taken a hit because of the ability for these devices to enter areas that are supposed to be private because of their ability to go above fences and walls. WhiteFox Defense is looking to help solve that problem with DroneFox.

What is DroneFox?

WhiteFox Defense has created a product called DroneFox, whose purpose is to protect your private airspace. This could be used to create a virtual detection dome around an office building, the Super Bowl stadium, a prison, or even a military facility. DroneFox looks for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and reports them to the appropriate people. This is accomplished by pinging the air for the unique RF signature of each UAS.

Who is DroneFox for?

Take, for example, the airspace around and above a prison. In the past, it would have been difficult to violate that space and even harder to use it to deliver contraband, such as drugs or even weapons. Today, however, using commercially available drones, the process is almost offensively easy. This obviously causes issues for the facility, including in the safety and security of both inmates and staff. But, by using the DroneFox system, the issue can be minimized.

How is DroneFox used?

The prison can use the technology to help them detect objects flying in their airspace that should not be there. If an unauthorized device is detected, someone on staff will receive an alert. From there, they can determine how to respond to the threat. They could meet it outside or they might want to use a jammer to disable the drone in the air. In the case of a more secure location, like a military facility, they might even want to shoot the drone out of the air.

To learn more about DroneFox, check out the WhiteFox Defense website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Nuheara unites quality audio with hearing aid technology @ CES 2020

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Nuheara unites quality audio with hearing aid technology @ CES 2020

2020-02-18

David Cannington is the CEO of Nuheara, a "smart hearing" company, whose potentially life-changing audio enhancement device combines the benefits of a premium headset with many of the benefits of a hearing aid. One of every six people has some degree of mild to moderate hearing loss. says Cannington, and Nuheara can provide customized relief along with a high-quality listening experience for people experiencing the early stages of hearing challenges.

With Nuheara, you can refine your listening - and hearing - experience with a companion assessment app, that automatically calibrates the earbuds to your personal hearing profile. Additionally, the device allows you to further customize your hearing experience with respect to location or situation, including speech and noise control, EQ frequency, directional focus and more. On the audiophile side, the headsets provide high fidelity, Siri and Google Assist, hands-free calling, and all the benefits you expect from a premium headset.

While not technically a hearing aid, nor FDA approved as a medical device, Nuheara is classified as a "smart hearing device". It utilizes a proprietary hearing personalization system called Ear ID to customize solutions for mild to moderate hearing loss challenges in common situations like crowded places. Where background noise - the "cocktail effect", or the "pub deafness challenge" in Cannington's native Australia - may be an issue, Nuheara employs Speech and Noise Control that process the sound aggregated through each of the earbuds three microphones, drops the background noise and amplifies speech. Additionally, the earbuds have a directional focus that zeroes in on audio directly in front of the listener.

The key to the Nuheara experience, Ear ID, is a tonal hearing assessment application that employs a standardized hearing assessment algorithm commonly used by audiologists. The initial assessment takes 8 to 10 minutes, and the results are used to calibrate the earbuds for each user. Nuheara earbuds are conveniently stored in a charging station, and at full charge can provide five hours of Bluetooth streaming, eight hours of hearing processing if used as a hearing product. The charging station storage case, fully charged, can provide three hours of charging time for an on-the-go total of 20 hours Bluetooth streaming and 32 hours of hearing processing.

While not intended to replace hearing aids, Cannington believes Nuheara has a role to play in making hearing health more accessible and affordable particularly for those in the early stages of hearing challenges. Nuheara earbuds retail for $399 a pair. Visit the company's website to learn more.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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RoboSense: Autonomous Driving With LiDAR Technology @ CES 2020

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RoboSense: Autonomous Driving With LiDAR Technology @ CES 2020

2020-02-18

CES was back this year with some amazing innovations, advanced technologies, and determination to make the world a better place through technology. Every year thousands of people make their way to this amazing event hosted by the Consumer Technology Association.

CES has always been one of the most prominent platforms where tech companies can showcase their new and innovative products. This year was no different. The trade show was held from 7th January to 10th January and saw tech companies from all over the world participate in the event.

We heard from many different companies at the event. One of the companies that got our attention was RoboSense. We sat with their representative, Dr. Leilei Shinohara, at CES 2020 to know more about their company and their innovative product.

Robosense's LiDAR technology

RoboSense was founded in 2014 and since then the company has been working on bringing high levels of innovation in autonomous driving. The company was promoting its new sensor with LiDAR technology at CES 2020.

For those of you who are not aware of LiDAR technology, the concept is all about reflecting light off an object and then using a sensor to measure the distance or range.

The project for RoboSense's latest sensor started three years and is still in the testing phase. Their LiDAR technology allows autonomous cars to detect other cars and objects from a long distance. Dr. Shinohara also shared that the technology is equally as effective in real-time.

Human organs, like the eyes and brain, are very complex. However, human errors can sometimes cause accidents. RoboSense sensors, once installed in an autonomous car, can help reduce the number of accidents on the road.

How does the RoboSense sensor work?

RoboSense sensors work on LiDAR technology combined with artificial intelligence. This means that if your vehicle has RoboSense sensors installed, then it will not only measure the distance from other vehicles, it will take into account the environment, weather, time of day, and many other similar factors. LiDAR technology helps in saving the vehicle from any type of collision by measuring the distance between the vehicle and the other body. The Artificial Intelligence aspect, on the other hand, helps in making the vehicle learn more about the surroundings. The artificial intelligence technology that RoboSense uses is very well trained and tends to learn more with the collection of more data.

How is RoboSense different from other companies out there?

There are many companies in the market that offer technology for autonomous vehicles, so we were inclined to ask about any competitive advantage that RoboSense has over its competitors. Dr. Shinohara told us that there are many companies that focus on LiDAR sensor hardware. RoboSense, on the other hand, offers a complete package. It is not just about the hardware but the AI program as well. RoboSense LiDAR technology is also paired with artificial intelligence which optimizes the functionality of the sensor.

RoboSense technology is still in its testing stage. They have partnered with different autonomous vehicle companies in China who are testing their product and continuously helping them improve their LiDAR sensor. It is speculated that autonomous vehicles will become very common in the coming years and innovative companies like RoboSense are going to enjoy a very prominent place in the market.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Using XLOOKUP in Microsoft Excel - Episode 216

Piltch Point

Using XLOOKUP in Microsoft Excel - Episode 216

2020-02-16

This week, Avram Piltch discusses a new feature in Microsoft Excel: XLOOKUP. Now, we don't usually show off things like Microsoft Office functions, but this one is truly special. The predecessor to XLOOKUP, which is VLOOKUP, is the third most used function in Excel, and XLOOKUP expands on its capabilities by removing a number of limitations.

Both functions allow you to combine data from different sheets or files by joining on common data. For example, if you have one document with employee IDs and names, and another with employee IDs and addresses and phone numbers, these functions will allow you to join on the common data item, the employee IDs, and show the combined data. However, there are some significant differences between the old and new methods.

The most important change is in how you match data. With VLOOKUP, you could only do exact matches between sheets. With XLOOKUP, however, there are several ways of joining data. You can do the exact match, but you can also have it choose values above and below the closest match, or, most importantly, use wildcards. For example, if you want to return the first employee whose last name starts with S, you can search for "S*" rather than using an entire cell value.

Equally important is the amount of data that can be returned. With the older VLOOKUP, you could only return a single column worth of data per query. This means that if you wanted to return first name, last name, and address from one sheet, you would have to do three separate lookups. That means processing power and additional scripting to return everything you want. With the new XLOOKUP, however, you can return multiple columns in a single query. So, one lookup could return the first, last, and address.

In addition to all of this, the function call is actually shorter for XLOOKUP, making it easier to use. If you're about to learn about joining data in Excel, XLOOKUP is definitely the way to go.

February 16, 2020 - Episode 550

F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

February 16, 2020 - Episode 550

2020-02-16

This week, Ring's sharing more information, ICANN's raising your website registration, and YouTube TV is canceling some subscriptions.

Nvidia GeForce Now Launch - Episode 215

Piltch Point

Nvidia GeForce Now Launch - Episode 215

2020-02-09

This week, Avram Piltch discusses the long-awaited launch of Nvidia's cloud gaming service GeForce Now.

February 9, 2020 - Episode 549

F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

February 9, 2020 - Episode 549

2020-02-09

This week, AMD's coming to a PC near you, Clearview AI is spying on your face, and ViacomCBS wants to compete with itself.

Intel's New NUC Direction - Episode 214

Piltch Point

Intel's New NUC Direction - Episode 214

2020-01-26

This week, Avram Piltch talks about the Intel NUC and the future direction of the product line. In the past, the company has released a limited array of models and configuration options to correspond with its processor upgrades. While the line has never been incredibly popular, it has been consistently stable.

This year, the company announced a change of direction, but one that is also familiar. The next generation of NUC will no longer be just an Intel-branded product. Instead, it will become a product standard, powered by the Intel NUC Compute Element - a self-contained computing card. These cards will plug into a daughterboard for power and provide the essentials of the computer. The manufacturers, including Razer and Adata, will provide both fully built and bare-bones models that customers can customize.

These systems can be upgraded, unlike previous models. They support discrete graphics cards for the first time. There are also upgradable RAM and SSD. The biggest upgradable component, though, is the Compute Element itself. When you need more power, you can simply replace the Compute Element and the system is upgraded.

If this idea sounds familiar, it's because it is. The concept is very similar to Intel's Compute Card, right down to the name. The Compute Card was designed to power embedded devices, such as smart TVs. The idea was that, rather than replacing the television, you could simply replace the Card. This would, theoretically, avoid the situation where Hulu and Netflix recently stopped supporting older smart TVs.

Like the Computer Card, the NUC Compute Element sounds like it is a solution looking for a problem. The price is higher than a regular PC while being only slightly smaller and being powered by laptop hardware. The video cards may be desktop quality, but the processors are not. Intel is going to have trouble finding an audience for this product.

January 26, 2020 - Episode 548

F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

January 26, 2020 - Episode 548

2020-01-26

This week, Apple's playing fast and loose with privacy, Fortnite is invading schools, and Google's hiding the favorites.

Wonder Painter - Tech Podcasts Network Best of CES 2020 Award

PLUGHITZ Live Presents

Wonder Painter - Tech Podcasts Network Best of CES 2020 Award

2020-01-15

The Tech Podcasts Network team awards its TPN Best of CES 2020 Award to Wonder Painter.

As a kid, almost everyone imagined themselves as the protagonist in their favorite stories. Heck, most adults do it when they read. However, those picture books never actually feature your face, right? Wonder Painter has created a technology that can directly bring any drawing or photo to life. The technology can allow publishers to use the reader's drawing or photo as an integral part of their storytelling experience.

Imagine a story about two kids going on an adventure - it's a fairly standard kids book concept. However, using Wonder Painter's technology, that story can feature you and your best friend as the kids going on said adventure. During the story, the two of you need a horse to get across a large field. Simply draw your own horse and the drawing comes to life as your transportation. This is nearly every kid's dream scenario and it is now a possibility.

The company has published a few demo apps to the Apple App Store to show off the basics of what their technology can do. While these demos are a ton of fun, the really important part is the technology. It is available in a platform-agnostic way, making it possible to build for the web, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, macOS, and more. The company licenses this technology to content creators to allow them to make their own products and services more interactive. They are currently working with LG, Baidu, Alibaba, and more to make interactive applications a reality.

If you want to see the technology in action, check out the Wonder Painter apps in the App Store or the company's website. You can also learn about the SDK, Cloud service, and ask for a private demo of the development tech.

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URGONight - Talking Sound (TPN Picks Best of CES 2020 Award)

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URGONight - Talking Sound (TPN Picks Best of CES 2020 Award)

2020-01-15

The Talking Sound awards its TPN Picks Best of CES 2020 Award to URGONight.

Have you ever had a period of time where you just couldn't sleep at night? Maybe a week leading up to a big event like CES. Maybe you've got a big project at work that you're worried about. Maybe you can't figure out what's going on, you just can't sleep. That's where URGONight comes in. Their product is a training device for your brain that helps you learn to get into the right state to sleep.

Rather than the common scenario of wearing a device while you sleep, which can negatively affect your sleep, URGONight is worn during the day. Even better, it is worn for only a few minutes per day. It does this using an electroencephalogram (EEG) sensor combined with brain exercises on the connected app. The device is based on existing technology that was previously only available to those who took the time and expense to go to a sleep clinic.

Early testers seem to love the device. The fact that it doesn't require wearing the device to bed is seemingly the most popular feature. The fact that it doesn't use any wave emissions or sounds is a big deal, too, though. Because it doesn't try to make any changes through the device itself, it can create ease of mind for the user. And, even without any electronic stimulation, users could see lasting results, thanks to the guided exercises. Those exercises are recommended based on the readings of the device with the intention to help you sleep faster and better.

URGONight is not currently publicly available, but it is coming. If you want more information about the company, the product, or want to sign up for updates, you can check out the company's website.

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