In August’s episode of Tech We Like, we introduce you to a piece of user-friendly video editing software. And we’re all treated to a science lesson if ever we decided to make our own beer… like Mike! If you see anything you like the look of, below this video is our ‘Link Library’ to direct you to the different products.

We chat all things ‘Tech We Like’ in August

Link Library for August’s Tech We Like

X-Rays

Levitating Globe

Amiga A500 Mini

Hydrometer

Powerline Adaptor

Veed – Video Editing

Artwork for Sound Baffling

The Quietest Room in the World


Transcript

00:00 Chloe I can't believe we're actually in August. How quickly has this year gone?! But this is our session of Tech We Like and we'll just go through each and every one of us, and hopefully we've all got a piece of cool tech that we've come across, that we've read about, that we've used, something that we just think is awesome, or perhaps something that's made your life easier. So let's start with Chris Rhodes.

00:30 Chris My Tech I Like this week is X-rays. Or, specifically, X-ray imagery. So I went to the dentist yesterday, hence why I'm thinking about X-rays, and it just got me thinking about all the amazing things you can do with them. So obviously, there's all the medical applications, you know, broken bones, checking your teeth are fine, all the, kind of, non-invasive investigation. But, you can also, they also, I did a bit of Googling afterwards and they're also used massively in industry as well. So you can use them for things, like, in oil and gas. They use them to check whether pipes have tiny little fractures that you're never gonna see with the naked eye in, and all that kind of thing.

01:08 Chris So you can use them for imaging different materials and you can use other things as well, you can use -. So x-rays, it's any kind of radiation. So they use gamma rays for the same process. It's a similar principle so it's a, kind of, photography but you use that for much harder things. So it's just a, yeah, it's just really interesting. You can use it to -. It's kind of the same principle as for medicine, you use it to check that stuff's working properly, but you can use it in construction, or in gas, engineering, all that kind of thing. It's testing things and making sure it's okay without having to, well, cut them open and have a look basically.

01:39 Chloe Nice.

01:40 Chris So, yeah, it is pretty -. It's one of those things that you just, you know, happens every day, you don't really think about it. But, actually, it's pretty amazing and without them, or without that technology, we'd have a lot of problems, basically.

01:53 Chloe Yeah.

01:54 Linda Yeah.

01:54 Chloe I didn't realise it could be used in other applications so, yeah, that's cool. Thank you very much and I hope everything went okay at the dentist as well.

(laughter)

02:05 Chloe Linda.

02:07 Linda Mine is something that I've seen that, it's a magnetic levitation floating globe.

02:14 Chloe Whaatt?!

02:15 Linda Yeah, and I just liked it and I just thought it was really good for learning probably in schools and I love the fact that it just sits through a magnet on a device and then it just floats around and you can spin it round and learn all the different countries and the electromagnet is pulling the force from the other magnet at the bottom.

02:45 Chloe Wow. Do you know, is it expensive? Have you seen how much?

02:49 Linda No, I think they do it on Amazon. No, I think it's about £20-£30, something like that. I suppose you probably can get them more expensive but we, I was just looking for a gift for a friend's little boy and I just thought, ooh it'd be quite good for -.

03:06 Chloe Yeah, my little boy is at that age now where I'm thinking I need to get a globe or something so, yeah.

03:12 Linda It just makes learning geography and it's much easier to do.

03:18 Chloe A bit more interesting and fun.

03:21 Linda They can spin it round as well, and it just floats.

03:27 Chloe Nice.

03:28 Tom I think Florence would like that, although she might then just throw it about as well.

(laughter)

03:33 Linda Yeah.

03:34 Chloe There is that!

(laughter)

03:35 Linda Yeah, it does look nice.

03:36 Chloe Cool, thank you very much. Okay, let's go to -. What is your nickname now? Is it Mikey C or Mickey C?

03:44 Myke (Mickey C) Mickey C. You can call me, you call me whatever though. I'm not too fussy really.

03:47 Chloe I'm not sure how I feel about it but, okay, over to you.

(laughter)

03:52 Myke (Mickey C) Well, some people already call me Mickey C so it's quite natural…

03:54 Chloe Ahh, fair enough.

03:56 Myke (Mickey C) …to hear.

(laughter)

03:57 Myke (Mickey C) Okay, so for my tech that I like, oh hang on, so okay. Imagine a device that can text people nearby and also individually or as a group but it doesn't rely on a phone network, it doesn't rely on the internet and it came out in the year 2000.

04:23 Chloe Right.

04:24 Myke (Mickey C) Cyberco. It was a thing guys.

04:27 Chloe What on Earth is that?!

04:30 Linda Yeah.

04:31 Myke (Mickey C) So these are, like, these incredible devices. I've got two actually. I don't know if I can demonstrate. I was gonna, I was going to but I don't have enough hands. So these incredible old devices that I've retrofitted with modern lipo batteries and chargers, they communicate over radio waves and you can literally text and play games wirelessly with other people and they came out and were a perfect solution for a problem for about 4 minutes before mobile phones and completely decimated their business plan, so it was a massive flop. But the idea is, kind of, sound, you know, they communicate, like I said, wirelessly over the radio for a really short range of about 100m. But they form a mesh network so, in theory, you can message people quite far away, providing that loads of people nearby also have bought the device, which didn't happen. It was a, it was a catastrophic business failure, but I mean what a wonderful, awful retro, kind of, a device.

05:40 Chloe I mean, it looks like a scientific calculator.

05:42 Linda Yeah it does!

05:43 Myke (Mickey C) Look at this, it's got an aerial on it. The keys are awful to press, they're little rubber keys. But, it comes with a stylus and now you'd think, you'd think ooh is it touchscreen? No, it's not. The stylus is for the keys.

(laughter)

05:58 Linda Wow.

06:00 Tom That's amazing.

06:02 Myke (Mickey C) Perfect solutions to problems.

06:06 Linda It's like a walkie-talkie!

06:08 Chloe That, I mean, in 2000 as well. I mean, come on, you'd expect that to be something a bit, you know, earlier than that. Wow.

06:18 Myke (Mickey C) I know. I remember when it came out and it was, I think, it was a little bit too expensive for what it was and everyone was talking about mobile phones like, yeah, it was too late. It was too late. But it could have been cool a little bit earlier.

06:32 Chloe Wow. That is a very cool piece of tech we like that actually is quite useless but great nonetheless.

(laughter)

06:40 Myke (Mickey C) Well, when the internet and the phone networks all explode at the end of the world -.

06:45 Rick Yeah, we'll be using those.

06:47 Myke (Mickey C) I'll be able to talk to someone.

06:49 Chloe True!

(laughter)

06:50 Chloe Someone else who doesn't have one.

(laughter)

06:52 Chloe Brilliant.

06:53 Rick Got a very Fallout feel to it that has.

(laughter)

06:58 Chloe Okay, on to Tom.

07:01 Tom Well, talking about retro tech that was ace back in the day, anyone remember the Amiga 500?

07:09 Rick Oh yeah.

07:10 Tom That was a computer that I never had but a few of my friends had and I was very very jealous and we'd play on it a lot. –

07:15 Rick Really? Because of the demos?

07:16 Tom Yeah, yeah. And, like, so I was looking and I thought I've always wanted one of those but never had it. And then I just clocked yesterday that there's an A500 Mini due to be released soon.

07:27 Rick Oh yes there is.

07:29 Tom A full emulator. So you're going to be able to re-play classic games and I know there's a lot of Worms fans in our audience here today and, yeah, Worms comes built-in. So, for 100 quid or something, you can get yourself a little A500 Mini emulator, play loads of games. Just trying to think what they've got in there. They've got, like, stuff like Alien Breed and, like, I don't know Speed Ball and stuff like that. Really old games.

07:55 Rick Oh yes.

07:56 Tom I remember playing. I was reading the list of games going oh my god, I'd forgotten all about these games. But, that looks like a lot of fun!

08:02 Chloe Nice. Very cool. I mean, I hate to say it, I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

(laughter)

08:11 Chloe The device and Worms as well. I'm now thinking, do I need to go and have a look at what that is?

(laughter)

08:16 Chloe Because you all sort of went like this (nods head).

08:20 Tom Best game ever!

08:21 Linda They used to have competitions in the office on this game, Worms.

08:24 Chloe Really?!

08:25 Linda Yeah.

08:26 Chloe Oh, I'm going to have to check it out because I don't like not being in the know. So, I need to be part of this. Brilliant. Thank you very much. Okay, onto Mike.

08:37 Mike Hi. Hello. Well, after Tom's slightly, kind of, retro old school, my technology is really old school and kind of inspired by Ben last week, possibly, talking about finding your position on Earth with the Stars. I have a very old device which is a, can you see that okay? It's a hydrometer.

08:58 Rick Yeah, nice.

08:59 Mike It's used in beer brewing for working out the, how much dissolved sugar or the density of the liquid and I thought it was interesting because I use it quite regularly, but I, it's been around for two-and-a-half thousand years.

09:16 Chloe Wow.

09:17 Mike Used by Archimedes originally so, yes, a really useful tool and -.

09:25 Chloe What do you use it for?

09:28 Mike For making beer.

09:29 Chloe Is that what you use it for?

09:31 Mike Yeah, yeah yeah.

09:32 Chloe Cool, okay.

09:33 Mike Well, to work out how much alcohol is in the final, final beer.

09:37 Chloe Nice!

09:38 Mike Which is really good. But, amazingly, nobody's really come up with a better solution. There are other ways of finding out the alcohol content of beer. High-pressure liquid chromatography, according to my wife, who's a scientist and knows about these things.

09:55 Chloe Nice.

09:56 Rick (inaudible) are always involved.

(laughter)

10:00 Mike Yeah! But, realistically, you know, there's not a cheap and easy way to do it apart from something that's two-and-a-half thousand years old so I thought it was a good -.

10:14 Myke (Mickey C) Drinking it is also the empirical method.

10:16 Rick …same for thousands of years.

10:17 Tom I find if I drink 5 pints of anything, I can work out how strong it is.

(laughter)

10:23 Mike That was actually a method that I came across during my research of other methods to find out.

(laughter)

10:31 Mike How much you can drink before you go to sleep.

(laughter)

10:35 Chloe Brilliant. I didn't actually know they used that so, very cool, thank you very much. Okay, and Perry.

10:40 Perry I don't know if I've already done this one or not, but I don't have another so too bad if I have.

(laughter)

10:50 Perry But, powerline adaptors for the broadband and the internet. It's, basically, enabled me to work in the office because, obviously, my Wi-Fi is in the house and, rather than getting a cat5 and wiring it up around the house and underground and all that stuff, the powerline adaptors easily make it so I can just plug it into the wall and, yeah, magically the broadband magically goes through the power cables.

11:23 Rick It can be very effective, yeah. because I've -.

11:26 Perry Yeah. It's really weird because I've tried it in the house to wire up something and it didn't work at all, but doing it from in the house to outside the garage, it's working absolutely fine.

11:39 Rick You need the -.

11:40 Perry Probably newer wiring, that's probably helped.

(laughter)

11:43 Rick Partially that will help. Also, you need to make sure there's no other noise on it because you'll find that some…

11:49 Perry Yeah.

11:50 Rick …chargers and devices create a lot of noise, so what I tended to do was plug everything in slowly and watch the speed drop and when something plugs in and it dropped, you know that's a bad charger.

12:01 Perry Probably going from, like, 50mg download to 400 helped as well. It just powered through it.

(laughter)

12:07 Perry Regardless of how much noise there was, I still get some internet by the end of it.

12:13 Chloe Nice.

12:14 Perry Yeah, so that's been really useful. It's saved me having to get a really long cat5 and figure out where I'm going to wire it so it doesn't blow away.

(laughter)

12:26 Perry Or whatever, outside.

(laughter)

12:27 Linda Or the cats have a play with it.

12:30 Chloe Yeah.

12:31 Perry Kids running over it and tripping over it or -.

12:33 Chloe What's this? Yeah.

(laughter)

12:35 Chloe Nice. Okay, thank you very much. Okay, I'm going to go next and mine is related to something that I use pretty much every day for video editing and I mean there's so many different things you can use now, but rather than using the Adobe package, I found something online called Veed which is just, I mean, I'm not a video editor but it's just a really user-friendly way of editing videos using different clips. You can upload different clips and then cut and you know put them together. It does automatic subtitling, you can add images and text, you know, you can do everything and I just think it's a really neat way of, I think it's time-saving more than anything and the whole interface, I just get it a lot more than I do with Adobe. And they've also just recently introduced a teleprompter part to it as well, so you can actually put your text so that it comes up on your screen and record a video without having to have an old school teleprompter and, you know, then having something to record you on on the computer.

13:53 Chloe So I've got to try that out at some point as well. So yeah, that's mine this month. Something that I think has made my life a lot easier.

14:02 Linda Mm.

14:03 Rick I like that as an example because it's an area that everybody thinks has already been done to death.

14:07 Chloe Yeah, that's true.

14:09 Rick And it's always an opportunity to give people more creative ways of using technology without feeling trapped in it like you can do with certain tools.

14:19 Chloe Yep, definitely. It's just making it more accessible to people that aren't so in-the-know with other -.

14:25 Rick Yep, expect Adobe to mimic this within months.

14:28 Chloe Well, yeah, true. That is -. Although it's one of those things with Adobe, like, it works and so many people use it so would they, would they redo anything, you know?

14:40 Rick I think it depends from bigger company's point of view, it's another way in for their tools if they can get people starting on something that they want more control over later.

14:50 Chloe Yeah.

14:51 Rick And that's what they've tried to do with a lot of their, let's say, freer tools from Adobe, they are basically limited versions of their expensive tools that they want people to be able to educate themselves on and then use but, yeah.

15:03 Chloe Well, watch this space.

15:05 Rick Mmhm, indeed.

15:06 Chloe Okay, over to you then Rick. I think that's the last, you're the last one aren't you?

15:10 Rick Okay, well this week I'm going to go with something quite basic. Not what you would think of but it's sound baffling. Technology in sound baffling is really very interesting and I've been looking at it for a couple of reasons. One, I was looking at it for a client this week due to the fact rooms for meetings are terrible usually. They're echoey, noisy spaces where people can't hear, microphones can't pick up very well, so I've looked into a lot of different things and there's some lovely stuff out there and I mean lovely because artwork is being incorporated into sound baffling. People are making stuff that can be hung on walls, that looks really good, that reduces sound. And while I was investigating it, I found another thing that I really liked and it reminded me, actually, because I've heard about it before, but there is a room somewhere in Washington state, I think that Microsoft created, that is the quietest place on Earth.

16:00 Rick It holds the record. They were making sound baffling technology and they've made the quietest place on Earth. Apparently the record for anybody to be able to stay in that room is 45 minutes. Most people can't take more than a minute because there is no noise, no sound, no nothing. You can hear your own bones move, you can hear your heartbeat. There is nothing to interfere with the sound of your own body, so therefore that's all you hear and that drives people insane. So it's a technology that I find interesting but I'll send some links, but there is there is a lot think about there, but we've talked about sound before on some of our shows Chloe, but you can now buy these wall hangings that would sit behind you, stop that echoey sound and create a more soft, warm natural sound in the room. And a lot of people are doing this for their office spaces as well as their remote spaces so that you feel connected.

17:00 Rick And the last thing I'm going to drop in, a tech I don't like but should. I should like it but I don't like it because it's the beginning. So Facebook have showed off their new meeting technology tool which is using the VR headsets that they bought from Oculus and Mark Zuckerberg has done a demonstration that makes me feel kind of nervous about the whole thing. But, anyway, go have a look. It's kind of unnerving because I don't want to be a cartoon character in Facebook's meeting spaces. We'll see what everyone else thinks.

17:32 Chloe Doesn't sound great. Yeah, send the link for that as well then. Wanna have a look at that. Brilliant. Well, I like the tech we don't like but we should like element. That's quite a good -. We should have one of those every month actually, I quite like that.

17:48 Chloe Brilliant. Well, I haven't missed anyone have I?

17:51 Linda Nope.

17:52 Rick No, don't think so.

17:53 Chloe Cool, thanks very much and quite a retro feel to today's one actually so, yeah, I like it.