Home Archive for category "Tech"
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Everything is Digital

This article originally appeared in the March edition of PBS TechNews, hence the fairly PBS-specific language Stop saying “digital.” I know, it’s hard. A lot of work has been put into convincing ourselves that these silos exist. We ask questions like “how many digital staff do you have?” We use “just for web” as an excuse to

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The Cheap Podcast Studio – 2018 Edition

It’s 2018 and people are still podcasting! I originally just did this as a Twitter thread but here it is as a regular page. The assumptions: you already have a fairly modern computer and headphones, and are recording a max of 4 people. Microphones The MXL 990 is about the cheapest mic I’ve found that doesn’t

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Problem with Wacom Tablet in Chrome? Here are Some Things to Try

Published on June 29, 2017, by in Software, Tech.

I use a Wacom tablet as my mouse. Recently I had to build a new laptop, and half the time when I tried to click something in Chrome it didn’t work. The first thing I found to try was turning off “Use hardware acceleration when available” in the Advanced settings in Chrome. This didn’t fix

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Decrypting the Living Room – A Video Grandpa Special

Published on June 16, 2017, by in Podcast, Tech.

We spend a lot of time talking about what happens in the studio, in Master Control, and at the transmitter – but what’s happening in the living room? In this session we’ll look at the technical details of the consumer side, from TVs and game consoles to the marketing-speak that confuses everyone. HDMI, HDCP, 4K,

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The Importance of Inclusive Diversity

Published on March 7, 2017, by in Featured, Tech.

This appeared in the Spring issue of PBS TechNews. Now you can read it too. Not too long ago I attended an event for broadcast engineers. After more than one welcome to “engineers and wives,” a speaker talked about how important it is for us to bring new people into broadcast engineering. I, and many others, nodded

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Ubiquiti US-16-XG Beta – Invalid Firmware Fix

Published on February 1, 2017, by in Tech.

A while back we picked up a couple Ubiquiti US-16-XG switches for $299 each during their beta period. These are 10G switches, 12 SFP+’s and 4 RJ45’s, at a pretty crazy price. But then I got busy and didn’t mess with one until now. Since some time has passed, the US-16-XG is now out of

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HDR Explained for Regular People

What is HDR? HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. When an HDR source like a game or video is displayed on an HDR TV, there’s a much bigger difference between dark stuff and light stuff than there is on a regular TV. This dramatically increased contrast makes the whole image appear closer to how we actually

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The $500 (ish) Podcast Studio – 2015 Edition

I’ve updated the $500 Podcast Studio store to better reflect the options available currently. You’ll notice that it’s a bit over $500 – at the time of this writing, this is the lowest I can spec without getting into gear that’ll cause you more problems than it’s worth. Microphones Amazon has the AT2020 microphone, plus

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Does Star Trek Teleportation Just Kill You?

Published on January 17, 2015, by in Tech.

In prep for our teleportation podcast, I remembered a conversation I had years ago with @gregbobak about teleportation in Star Trek, and if it’s actually you that comes out the other end. Here’s his explanation of the problem: Transporters work by scanning you at a subatomic level and creating a map of your physical structure, then breaking you

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How the “Meet Me at Starbucks” YouTube Ad Works

A coworker sent over a link to this Starbucks ad campaign, interested to know more about the technology behind the YouTube integration. So of course I pulled it apart to get down to the secret guts. Basically, it’s an external web page, hosted on Amazon S3 and Cloudfront, that YouTube is just embedding as an

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