2x07: Exercise in Futility

Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia, present Bad Voltage, in which there are packs of hacks, backs are waxed, Aq has snacks, and:

  • [00:03:25] The first "hack" -- suggestions and tips for little bits of software that we use and are amazed that others don't -- from Jeremy, which is a clipboard manager. Jeremy uses Diodon, but there are loads of others!
  • [00:06:24] In the news this week: the US Congress voted to allow US internet service providers to sell the browsing habits of their customers to advertisers, we solicit your opinions on which VPNs are good (tell us on the forum), Amazon's physical staffless shop beta is a disaster, AT&T join the Linux Foundation, the Linux Action Show close their doors, and Google publish a site listing all their open source software
  • [00:23:50] Stuart's "hack": KDE Connect, which connects your Android phone and any Linux desktop (KDE or not) to show notifications, send files, control music, and generally tie them together
  • [00:26:15] Jono reviews the Garmin Vivosmart HR+ activity band, and whether it's better than the rivals and whether you should get it if you wear an activity band like everyone does these days
  • [00:40:35] Jono's "hack": how does he edit the Bad Voltage show to get the audio production that he requires, and how do we record so that other people can use the same techniques for recording a remote podcast if they want to
  • The competition to win a Dell Sputnik laptop will close before the next show! So if you're in the US and you haven't already entered, go to badvoltage.org/fruit and get your fruit-based entries in!

Download the show now!

Love the idea of the new Hacking Aq’s Sack (or whatever is is) segment. But if you are going to recommend software, please say its name clearly :slight_smile: I’m glad to find Diodon mentioned in the show notes, because despite it being what Jeremy uses, he only said the name once, and then not terribly clearly. “Deoden”? “Deodin”? “Theodin”? Thanks!

This article in The Guardian reminded me of two quotes.

“Foolish is the man who never reads a newspaper; even more foolish is the man who believes what he reads just because it is in the newspaper.”—August von Schlöze

“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.”-Mark Twain

So, here is another example of media news twisting things for an agenda, and they all have agendas. A couple of examples in that article (which is basically what you will see from most all news media outlets):

The headline “Here’s how to protect your internet browsing data now that it’s for sale” (italics mine).

From the article: “Congress voted this week to allow internet service providers to sell the browsing habits of their customers to advertisers.” “Now that they have been scrapped, ISPs such as Comcast, Verizon and AT&T are free to track all your browsing behavior and sell it to advertisers without consent.” (italics mine)

I ask, what is the impression given by these statements? Is it not that congress made legislation for the only purpose that ISP’s can sell data? Isn’t The Guardian trying to imply that ISP’s use to not have the selling of data available, but now they do? Maybe The Guardian felt obligated to mention that it was regulations that were being blocked, but it is clear, to me, that they were trying to give the impression that something new is going on, when, in fact, ISP’s have been able to sell data all along. The only thing accomplished by the removal of the FCC’s regulation is to maintain the status quo. If these media outlets were sincere about this situation, why were they not crying for Google and other entities being added to the ISP’s in this regulation that the FCC enacted last year?

I do wish I could find a news outlet that is honest.

I didn’t notice the US-only part the first time around. Bad. Bad, Bad Voltage.


Hence our mea culpa; we didn’t mention it the first time around, for which we apologise, and there is a non-US competition coming up.


Importantly I noticed it before sitting down trying to record fruit.


This is in fact why it is mentioned in the show notes :slight_smile:

Great show guys! I liked the shorter format and really enjoyed all of the the hack-* segments:

  • I never used a clipboard manager but after hearing @jeremy segment I will give a try to Diodon;
  • I really thought KDE Connect was to be used only with KDE so I had never tried it before, thanks @sil for pointing it out!
  • And @jonobacon segment on recording the show was really interesting too. A question on this: what does “compress” do exactly? I’m fiddling with audio tools, but I’ve never used that before.

Finally, Jono’s review and the additional info from Jeremy was really interesting. My wife has a Fitbit charge HR+, but she got a lot of sync issues. Ultimately, Fitbit sent her another unit which works better, so as Jono pointed out, Fitbit’s quality is bad, but at least their customer service is good. Which makes me wonder how much money they make on these units to be able to ship extra units for free to disappointed customers… maybe investing in better QA would be worth it.

That said, when I heard the review of the Garmin device, I was imagining those super bulky running watches and was surprised to find out that Garmin also has slimmer devices (the Vívo series). I may consider that in a near future :slight_smile:

If it’s the “compress” tool I’m thinking of, it’s Dynamic Range Compression - it basically works to make the entire range of volumes more consistent.

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