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  • Episode 639
  • January 15, 2020

Detect Your Staff by WiFi Using Linux

We all carry a smartphone. Robbie will show you how to use Linux to detect your staff coming-and-going based on whether their phone is on the WiFi. Whether to automatically turn on lights, ring a doorbell, or track staff time on premise, the options are endless and only limited to your imagination.

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  • Episode 639
  • January 15, 2020

Convert Raster (JPG, PNG, etc) to TRUE Vector Paths in Linux

Robbie shows you how to create true vector paths from raster images such as logos. When upscaling raster images such as JPG or PNG, the pixels are stretched and distorted causing edges to appear blocky and blurry. Vector is the preferred choice for graphic design projects such as logos, where color information is much more minimalistic and the edges are what is important. Vector can be upscaled to any size with absolutely no pixelation.

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  • Episode 638
  • January 8, 2020

The Benefits of Sunlight With No UV or Blue Light - LED Therapy Lamp

Sasha’s a cheerful person in general, but the Verilux HappyLight is actually giving her a better night sleep and increasing her energy. Since it has all the positive benefits of the sun with no UV or Blue Light, it’s a great way to get some extra energy through the day and get your circadian rhythm in sync at night.

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  • Episode 638
  • January 8, 2020

$40 Fitness Tracker With a Ton of Premium Features

Some people want fancy, expensive smart watches, where others -- like Robbie -- just want a feature-rich fitness tracker that helps them get in shape by being able to see status graphs and set goals. This sub-$40 fitness tracker offers these premium features (from the listing): Step Counter, Heart Rate Tracker, Call/Text Reminder, Incoming Calls Display, Calories&Sleep Tracking, Find Your Phone, Connect to Phone's GPS, Remote Photography, Social Media Message Reminder, Female Physiological Period Reminder, 24-hour Continuous Heart Rate and Blood Pressure Monitor, Countdown, Stopwatch and more.

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  • Episode 638
  • January 8, 2020

App-Powered Bluetooth Body Fat Smart Scale

Robbie wants to lose weight and be a healthier person, but he's not doing it by a traditional diet (which never seems to work). Instead, he's arming himself with information about himself, which will help guide his eating. Knowledge is power, right? So by knowing all the information this impressive smart scale provides, he hopes to lose 30-40 lbs.

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  • Episode 638
  • January 8, 2020

Jeff Receives a Belated Christmas Gift

There's one thing that seems to have been on Jeff's mind lately, and Robbie found the perfect Christmas gift.

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  • Episode 637
  • December 18, 2019

Linux Partitions and Mount Points: Preparing a DIY NAS

As we begin preparing to build our own NAS server out of a single board computer and USB 3.1 R2 DAS enclosure, Robbie will take us through some fundamentals to help us understand how mount points work, how to partition and format our drives, and even answer questions about the project.

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  • Episode 636
  • December 11, 2019

Amazon Fire Tablet with Google Play, YouTube and Chrome

Amazon Fire Tablets are a good 20-30% cheaper than traditional Android tablets of similar specs. But can you run your standard apps? Robbie set out to try installing Google Play Store, YouTube and Chrome, and the result is quite exciting for those on the fence about Amazon's line of tablets.

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  • Episode 635
  • December 4, 2019

Help Us Decide: USB 3.0 with UASP + eSATA, or 3.1 Rev 2 with UASP?

Okay, here's the dilemma: There are two NAS Enclosures. They're exactly the same price. They are virtually identical. The only difference is the connectivity, and therefore, the speed of data access. Unit 1 provides USB 3.0 with UASP (5 Gb/sec) and eSATA (6 Gb/sec). Unit 2 provides only USB 3.1 Rev 2 with UASP (10 Gb/sec). Would you go with the faster Unit 2, keeping in mind that the computer we want to connect it to only has USB 3.0 UASP (so the unit will still only run at 5 Gb/sec unless we later upgrade our computer)? Or would you go with the more connectivity options of Unit 1? Help us decide, and we'll review the one the community picks (majority rules).

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  • Episode 635
  • December 4, 2019

You Can Run PHP Scripts Like Regular Command Line Apps on Linux!

Whether you want to interact with a database from the Linux terminal, or create a cronjob that automatically caches content to speed up your web site, it's exciting to realize that PHP scripts can be written and run within the Linux command line interface just like a bash script! All you need is the php metapackage (eg., apt install php) and adding a single line to your script header: #!/usr/bin/env php

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  • Episode 634
  • December 4, 2019

Sharing Your Internet? A VLAN Could Help Protect You

Sasha has an interesting situation where her Internet connection is provided by her landlord and shared with another apartment. The neighbor therefore has access to her Spotify account, all her devices, her files, her printer, and more. In this brief discussion Robbie talks about how a VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network) can be added to her apartment to separate her systems onto their own network that cannot be seen by the neighbor. This is not a how-to, just a discussion on the ability of a VLAN to protect her privacy and accounts.

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  • Episode 634
  • November 27, 2019

Unreal Tournament 1999/GOTY Turns 20 Years Old

Unreal Tournament was perhaps the original multiplayer deathmatch. It introduced the best realtime multiplayer experience to players for several years beginning with its release November 23, 1999. Its GOTY (Game of The Year) edition featured additional content and was released the following year. Jeff and Robbie reminisce about how they got to know each other playing deathmatch at a number of LAN parties.

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  • Episode 634
  • November 27, 2019

Amazon Echo Flex - A Wall Plug-In Alexa Smart Speaker

From the "why didn't they think of this sooner" files, Amazon has released the latest iteration of their Echo smart speaker: the Echo Flex. It plugs directly into the wall, has all the Alexa features you're used to, plus features a modular design allowing accessories like PIR motion sensors or night lights to be plugged directly into the device - no need for a smart plug. We'll go through the quick setup, and see just how capable this little smart speaker really is.

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  • Episode 632
  • November 13, 2019

EASY Recycle Keurig K-Cup Coffee Pod

20 billion single-serve coffee pods will be consumed this year and most will end up in landfills. We eco-conscious coffee drinkers need to do our part. But it's hard and messy to tear these things apart and strip them down to their individual components for recycling. We'll show you two ways you can completely eliminate your K-Cups from the landfill without the mess, and with very little effort.

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  • Episode 632
  • November 13, 2019

Massive Capacity Portable Charger

It's like having a power outlet to charge your devices that you can carry with you. Its colossal 26,800 mAh capacity means you can charge multiple devices multiple times on a single charge. Features like iSmart 2.0 and a combined 5.5A current really put this portable USB charger a head above the rest.

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  • Episode 631
  • November 6, 2019

Which are Best? Testing 5 Pairs of Bluetooth Headphones

Enjoying our music and videos depends a lot on finding the right set of headphones, but it's not always easy to know from an online shop which is going to be best suited for us. The Category5 team compare 5 sets of Bluetooth headphones and discuss their opinions of each to help you get an idea for which may be the one for you, or the person on your list.

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  • Episode 631
  • November 6, 2019

Discussion: Bring Your Kid To Work Day

Robbie's oldest got to spend a day working with him. From pulling some gear from the e-waste pile to building her own computer: It was a great opportunity to infuse a daddy-daughter day with a little STEAM education.

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  • Episode 630
  • October 30, 2019

Soldering Headers to a PCB

Once you start working with Arduino or even Raspberry Pi HATs and pHATs, you're likely going to find yourself needing to attach the headers yourself. As a rookie maker who's quickly learning the ropes, Robbie shares a couple quick tips that he has found can make it easier to solder these pin headers directly to the PCB.

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  • Episode 628
  • October 9, 2019

THE ORVILLE - Finding Its Legs

When we asked Tom Costantino and Brooke Noska if The Orville had found its legs in Seasons 1 and 2, we learned that the show may even be evolving into a very sexy toad.

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  • Episode 628
  • October 9, 2019

When THE ORVILLE Season 3 Will Be Released

We asked Tom Costantino and Brooke Noska when The Orville Season 3 will be released. Spoiler alert: They don't know! But let's talk about why that is.

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  • Episode 628
  • October 9, 2019

THE ORVILLE is Moving to Hulu - What it REALLY Means

We asked Tom Costantino (Co-Producer) and Brooke Noska (VFX Producer / Co-VFX Supervisor) what the move to Hulu really means for fans. Their response has us excited about what's to come from the Hulu-release of The Orville Season 3.

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  • Episode 628
  • October 9, 2019

THE ORVILLE - Space Dramedy or Serious Sci-Fi

Before The Orville was released, we were originally confused: Was it going to be a Star Trek spoof? An outer space comedy? While it has some amazing comedic moments, there came a point in viewing The Orville where we all sat back and realized, my goodness - this is a SERIOUS sci-fi! We asked Tom Costantino and Brooke Noska if there was a moment like that for the people creating the show. What we found instead is that their plan worked perfectly and Seth MacFarlane has been excepted as a sci-fi genius.

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  • Episode 628
  • October 9, 2019

New THE ORVILLE Merchandise Coming Soon

The Orville merchandise is coming soon! Did someone say "die-cast ship models"? How about "Krill action figures"? Oh yeah! As Co-Producer Tom Costantino says, soon, we'll be playing with little Orvilles. Please note: Unfortunately flamethrowers will not be part of the lineup.

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  • Episode 628
  • October 9, 2019

THE ORVILLE - Digital Tech in TV Production

Back in the old days of sci-fi TV production, a ton of trickery had to be used to create the effects and even perform the editing. With everything being digital these days, we wanted to know how the TV production workflow has been impacted. Tom Costantino and Brooke Noska join us from The Orville to talk about how the use of digital tech has revolutionized the process, and how they've even adapted some old tricks to pull off big effects.

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  • Episode 628
  • October 9, 2019

How Social Media and Direct Fandom Interaction is Impacting THE ORVILLE Producers and Show

It's a different world for television producers than 20-30 years ago in more ways than one. Tom Costantino and Brooke Noska share what it's like as creators of The Orville to be able to interact directly with the show's fans over social media.

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  • Episode 628
  • October 9, 2019

Unboxing The $400,000 THE ORVILLE Model Ship with Tom and Brooke

We asked Tom Costantino and Brooke Noska if we could see The Orville model used to shoot the show. It's absolutely astonishing. With the help of this model, they use sophisticated robotic motion capture cameras to allow them to capture realistic camera movement and give a real feel of the ship's physical space. Then, using CG, they detail the ship and place it in the virtual space to become the ship we all see on the show.

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  • Episode 628
  • October 9, 2019

How the creators of THE ORVILLE use a physical model to create their CG ship

When creating The Orville, Seth MacFarlane and his team wanted to use a physical model of the ship to provide a realism that can't currently be matched by straight CG. We asked Brooke Noska (VFX Producer / Co VFX Supervisor) and Tom Costantino (Co Producer) how it's done.

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  • Episode 628
  • October 9, 2019

THE ORVILLE - Backstage Tech and Huge Sets

We spoke with Tom Costantino and Brooke Noska from The Orville to see what kinds of interesting consumer tech has influenced their production workflow. It's no surprise that Apple tops the list, but it's impressive just how much Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad Mini have permeated the video production chain, and even the set of The Orville.

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