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  • Dave
    Typically, I would at least mention competitors, if not briefly review them as well. But this time, I want to highlight how amazing the newest Instagram client is for Windows Phone 8. In my eyes, there is no comparison. I am a voyeur when it comes to my friends, family and strangers I follow. Instagram was a great addition to iOS, and later Android. Does 6tag come to the party and help keep people like me on the platform?
     
    My Usage
     

     
    I follow 213 users, and 54 follow me. I don’t post as often as I should, but enjoy keeping up with other’s photography. Launching the app 2-3 times a day, it is important for me to be able to quickly catch up. When Instagram added support for videos, I basically ditched Vine. It is great having everything in one place. I tried a couple other Windows Phone 8 clients for both services, and the developer’s 6sec app was excellent. I hung in there for 6tag, and I am glad I did.
     
    My Experience
     
    6tag shows how unique and powerful Windows Phone 8 applications can be. I kept telling friends and family that apps on the platform should strive to be different. I don’t want recreations of iOS and Android apps. I want fresh new approaches to the services I care about. 6tag delivers. The application loads quickly, and Instagram users will be familiar with the look, but power users will find much more.
     

     
    At the top of the screen is the 6tag logo, a numerical sphere showing the number of unread activity updates, and a small personal picture which links straight to your own profile. Scrolling is fairly smooth, with pauses only noticeable when it needs to load more posts. Clicking on user names and hashtags within the posts works very well. Liking a photo is as easy as on any other platform… just double tap. Click on a username to go right to their profile. Click on the heart to see a list of other users who liked the photo, and click on the chat buddle to see any and all comments. The bottom of the screen has buttons to quick access Activity, Capture and Search. There are also text buttons for Your Likes, Settings and About. Activity brings a scrollable list of updates from both those you follow and news about those who have started following you, and likes or commented your photos. Everything just works, and is fairly fast and responsive.
     

     
    User profile views are clean and match the phone’s font and layout style. You can quickly see their followers, who they are following, along with recent posts and tags. This all applies to your personal profile as well. A Photo Map is available for seeing where photos were posted from/tagged. Searching is also nice to have, and it works very well for both users and hashtags. You can Pin to Start your favorite searches as well.
     

     
    Swiping on a post is where the surprises are. Once you swipe, you have access to quickly like a photo, share via social networking services linked to your phone, and copy the link to share elsewhere. Access to comments is there, along with my favorite feature… downloading and saving the photo straight to your Saved Pictures album both locally and on SkyDrive. There are some great images on Instagram, and I never had a quick and easy way to save my favorites… until now.
     

     
    Capture is the meat of the application for most, and nearly mirrors the functionality found in official Instagram clients on the other platforms. Once in this mode, the default view is to take a photo. Click the icon on the left to capture video or click the icon on the right to upload a previously taken photo. The option to enable a grid is present, along with the ability to quick swap between front and rear cameras, along with flash controls. Your favorite filters are there (mostly), as are the options to frame your photo and use the tilt-shift feature. Tilt shift makes photos stand out on the service, and the linear ( - ) and radial ( 0 ) blur options are both there. You can rotate your captures, add/remove the border, and adjust contrast. The contrast adjustment is one click on or off and basically helps to improve low light photos.
     

     
    When you are ready to post your photos, you can add as much or as little text as you want. Photo Map allows you to add a location to your posting, and you can even tag people (if any). Unfortunately, you can’t tag food… or can you? Besides uploading straight to Instagram, you can post to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, VK and Foursquare. In my experience it take 3-5 seconds to upload and post to both Twitter and Facebook.
     

     
    Settings are well thought out, and let you customize your profile, background functionality, and picture/video options. It is also where you can find new users to follow.
     

     
    Closing
     
    Instagram feels like it was conceived for Windows Phone 8 devices, and especially Nokia Lumia devices with their stellar cameras and low-light modes. I don’t feel the need for an official client anymore, thanks to 6tag. I have found little to no bugs or inconsistencies, and the app has never forced quit or dumped me out to my start screen. I believe the thorough beta testing the developer went through, including members of the community, really helped make 1.0 stable from launch. 6tag helps to remind us all not to believe everything we hear about our beloved platform, nor to rely on first party developers for solutions. Third party app developers will be the ones to make or break Windows Phone. Rudy Huyn just made it even better with 6tag.
     

     
    6tag is free with an in-app purchase to remove ads.
     
    App: 6tag
    Version: 1.0.1.0
    Author: Rudy Huyn
    Link: http://bit.ly/159Epes
    Website: http://bit.ly/17cIDQz

    Joe_Miner
    By: John Stutsman
     

     
    Figure 1 -- HP ProLiant N40L MicroServer Running Windows Server 2012 Essentials R2 Preview used in this Test
     
     
     
    In the previous paper Storage Spaces Performance in Windows Server 2012 Essentials on a HP N40L ProLiant MicroServer I ran performance tests on a number of Virtual Disks in Storage Spaces in Windows Server 2012 Essentials with a Storage Spaces Pool made up of Seagate ST3000DM001’s. While I speculated that recent testing I had done in Creating and Measuring the Performance of a Storage Space Pool in Windows Server 2012 Essentials R2 Preview on a HP ProLiant N40L MicroServer would be relevant when I was able to free up four Seagate ST3000DM001’s -- I took this opportunity to test Virtual Disk performance in Storage Spaces for a pool made up of Three and then Four physical ST3000DM001’s.
     
    I first began my testing with three Seagate ST3000DM001’s in my Storage Space Pool:
     

     
    The video can also be found at this link: youtube.com/watch?v=lebo9o5sPf4
     
    Figure 2 shows the Physical and Logical view of how Storage Spaces works and how we will set it up in the beginning of the video.
     
     
     

     
    Figure 2 -- First a Storage Spaces Pool will be created with Three physical ST3000DM001's and from that Three 10TB Virtual Disks will be created
     
     
     
     
     

     
    Figure 3 -- I will follow the STORAGE SPACES WORKFLOW Process described in the TechNet article "Deploy Storage Spaces on a Stand-Alone Server"
     
     
     

     
    Figure 4 -- Typical Performance of the ST3000DM001
     
     
     

     
    Figure 5 -- Performance of the Simple Resiliency VD1, Thin Provisioned 10TB NTFS Virtual Disk Storage Space with a Pool of Three ST3000DM001's
     
     
     

     
    Figure 6 -- Performance of the 2-Way MIRROR Resiliency VD2, Thin Provisioned 10TB NTFS Virtual Disk Storage Space with a Pool of Three ST3000DM001's
     
     
     

     
    Figure 7 -- Performance of the PARITY Resiliency VD3, Thin Provisioned 10TB NTFS Virtual Disk Storage Space with a Pool of Three ST3000DM001's
     
     
     

     
    Figure 8 -- Performance Comparison of a single ST3000VM001 to VD1 Simple Resiliency, VD2 2-Way MIRROR Resiliency, and VD3 PARITY Resiliency – with a Pool of Three Physical Drives
     
     
     
    Figure 9 shows the Physical and Logical view of how Storage Spaces works and how it will be set up after I add a fourth Seagate ST3000DM001 to the Pool.
     
     
     

     
    Figure 9 – For the next round of tests a Fourth ST3000DM001 was be added to the Storage Spaces Pool containing the Three 10TB Virtual Disks
     
     
     

     
    Figure 10 -- Performance of the Simple Resiliency VD1, Thin Provisioned 10TB NTFS Virtual Disk Storage Space with a Pool of Four ST3000DM001's
     
     
     

     
    Figure 11 -- Performance of the 2-Way MIRROR Resiliency VD2, Thin Provisioned 10TB NTFS Virtual Disk Storage Space with a Pool of Four ST3000DM001's
     
     
     

     
    Figure 12 -- Performance of the PARITY Resiliency VD3, Thin Provisioned 10TB NTFS Virtual Disk Storage Space with a Pool of Four ST3000DM001's
     
     
     

     
    Figure 13 -- Performance Comparison of a single ST3000VM001 to VD1 Simple Resiliency, VD2 2-Way MIRROR Resiliency, and VD3 PARITY Resiliency – with a Pool of 4 physical Drives
     
     
     
    While adding a physical drive to the Pool does increase the available Pool size supporting the virtual disks in Storage Spaces it did not seem to do anything to improve the performance of any of the three virtual dives being tested.
     
    Please join us in the HSS Forums or in the thread related to this blog posting with comments or questions.
     
     
     
    Additional References:
     
    TechNET Library: Deploy Storage Spaces on a Stand-Alone Server
     
    TechNET Library: Storage Spaces Overview
     
    Creating and Measuring the Performance of Storage Space Pool in Windows Server 2012 Essentials R2 Preview
     
    Storage Spaces Performance in Windows Server 2012 Essentials on a HP N40L ProLiant MicroServer
     
    Performance Comparison of Windows Server 2012 Essentials on the HP ProLiant N40L MicroServer and the HP ProLiant N54L G7 MicroServer
     
    TechNET Library: Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials & Windows Server 2012 Essentials
     
    MSDN Blog posting: Virtualizing Storage For Scale, Resiliency, and Efficiency
     
    TechNET Blog Posting: Windows Server 2012 Storage Spaces: Is it for you? Could be….
     
    TechNET Blog Posting: Windows Server 2012: How to Import a Storage Pool on Another Server

    Dave

    BYOB Episode 130

    By Dave, in BYOB,

    We have a bunch of topics to cover tonight.  We  talk about some RAID 0, Essentials upgrade, update on the Nexus 7, Untangle, and memory timings as well as spend a few minutes discussing our thoughts on the retirement of Steve Ballmer.  Home you enjoy the show and as always we look forward to your feedback.
     
    Samsung EVO's in a RAID
     
    Post by Joe_Miner in the HSS forums
     
    Essentials R2, no upgrade path and not a free upgrade???
     
    My First 4 weeks with android (Nexus 7)
     
    Untangle Build
     
    Using Untangle for tunneling
     
    CAS timings on memory
     
    _______________________________________________
     
    Remember to send us an email at byobpodcast@gmail.com
     
    Follow BYOB on Twitter!
     
    Mike Faucher’s Blog
     
    Michael Martis’ Blog
     
    E-Mail – byobpodcast@gmail.com
     
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    Joe_Miner
    By: John Stutsman
     

     
    Figure 1 -- Lian-Li PC-A70F with GA-Z77X-UD5H and RocketRAID 2720 installed that was used in this test
     
     
     
    Recently I upgrade my Testing Server that had been introduced in A Server Build With A GA-Z77X-UD5H In A Lian-Li PC-K9WX (see the references below for subsequent mods) to a Lian-Li PC-A70F case. The additional space of the Lian-Li PC-A70F allowed me to install Four Seagate ST3000DM001’s that I could create a RAID10 storage array with my HighPoint RocketRAID 2720 and free up one of my HP ProLiant N40L MicroServer’s that I had been using as a Storage Server.
     
    The following video follows my creation of a RAID10 with a HighPoint RocketRAID 2720 on the Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H and then test the Performance of the RAID10 made up of Four Seagate ST3000DM001’s:
     

     
     
     
    You can also get to the video by pasting this link into your browser youtube.com/watch?v=USCG9wmRb_c
     
     
     

     
    Figure 2 -- Typical Performance of each of the Four Seagate ST3000DM001's used to make the RAID10 in this test
     
     
     

     
    Figure 3 -- Performance Results for the RAID10 on the RocketRAID 2720 on the GA-Z77X-UD5H
     
     
     
    Please join us in the HSS Forums with comments or questions.
     
     
     
    Additional References:
     
    Home Server Show RAID Blog Posts
     
    Previous Blog Posts with the GA-Z77X
     
    Performance Tests using a RocketRAID 2720 in a HP ProLiant N40L MicroServer
     
    HP ProLiant N54L G7 MicroServer – First Look
     
     

    Dave
    It's just under one hour but it's full of Essentials goodness. Tonight the SBSDiva, Susan Bradley, joins me to talk Essentials 2012 R2, Update Rollup 3, Server 2012, Enterprise, Small Business, and a little bit of Windows Home Server! I show off a $129 Chromebook, and talk a little news.  It's a lot of podcast this week! Enjoy and see you in the forums.
     
    Big thanks to the SBSDiva for podcasting with us again! SBSDiva Blog
     
    Install 2012 R2 on a MediaSmart EX490 
     
    Color Me Microserver! Red, Blue, and Black for you Gen8 folks.

    Twitter rss feed for twurking is  http://kj-app.appspot.com/getrss?name=   <insert the name of the twitter user
    http://kj-app.appspot.com/getrss?name=alysfowler  
     
    (UK gardening lady for example)
     
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    Dave
    I want the 8 inch Surface RT and I want it now!  I'm installing Nokia Pro Cam while Darren is explaining how WP8 stranded him.  It's an up and down podcast that you can probably relate to.  Don't forget about the meetup that is happening in one month, Sep 21st.  I show off a Chrombook as well.  Enjoy and see you in the forums!

    Twitter: Darren Cohen, David McCabe
    Darren’s site, darrencohen.me
     
    Nokia Pro Cam

    Google disables Microsoft’s YouTube Windows Phone app, blames Internet Explorer, GigaOm, Janko Roettgers, August 15, 2013

    Google blocks Microsoft's Windows Phone YouTube app... again (updated), Engadget, Terrence O’Brien, August 15, 2013

    Why is Google blocking the new YouTube app for Windows Phone? ZDNet, Mary Jo Foley, August 15, 2013

    From the Forum: Should Surface Geeks Abandon YouTube?

    Microsoft offers schools free Surface RTs as Bing search rewards, ZDNet, Liam Tung, August 21, 2013

    Microsoft offers classrooms free Surface RT tablets with ad-free Bing for Schools, The Verge, Tom Warren, August 21, 2013

    Microsoft to push Surface tablets to businesses in Canada and Europe, Computerworld, Juan Carlos Perez, August 15, 2013

    Surface channel distribution tempo shows Microsoft lacks Plan B after sales debacle 'Gross miscalculation' of sales for Surface, but still stuck with 'measured' roll-out to businesses, Computerworld, Gregg Keizer, August 19, 2013

    A boost for Microsoft Surface? Workers demand keyboards with their tablets, ZDNet, Steve Ranger, August 16, 2013

    Microsoft Reboots Battered Surface With Razorfish After Taking $900 Million Write-Down, Is There Any Saving Its Troubled Tablet? Adage, Alexandra Bruell, August 19, 2013

    Microsoft dumps ad agency touting Windows 8, Surface, ITWorld, Tim Greene, August 21, 2013

    Lenova Yoga vs. iPad: College

    Acer Iconia W3 vs. iPad Mini

    Surface RT vs. iPad

    Microsoft's new ad: Students fail if they use an iPad, CNet, Chris Matyszczyk, August 19, 2013

    Mark your calendars for Windows 8.1! Blogging Windows, Brandon LeBlanc, August 14, 2013

    From the Forum: Windows 8.1 Preview To Rtm

    Microsoft merges Skype with Outlook in several countries, CNet, Dara Kerr, August 19, 2013

    Outlook.com users can now rename an account to any email alias, The Verge, Tom Warren, August 21, 2013

    On Switching from Android to Windows Phone, Dave Amenta, August 17, 2013

    Touchdown for NFL Mobile, newly redesigned and rebuilt for Windows Phone 8, The Official Microsoft Blog, August 16, 2013

    6tagram renamed to 6tag as Instagram cracks down on connected apps using “Insta” And “Gram” WPCentral, Daniel Rubino, August 20, 2013

    Microsoft updates Windows Phone App Studio as DIY developer projects skyrocket, PCWorld, Mikael Ricknäs, August 20, 2013

    Gameloft announces 15 new titles for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8, Windows Phone Blog, Michael Stroh, August 20, 2013

    Locked out? Not with OnStar RemoteLink for Windows Phone, Windows Phone Blog, Michael Stroh, August 20, 2013

    Windows Phone App Studio Beta response exceeds expectations, new capabilities released today, Windows Phone Developer Blog, Emilio Salvador Prieto, August 19, 2013

    New Rts Sooner Than Later? http://www.surfacegeeks.net/forums/index.php?/topic/693-new-rts-sooner-than-later/

    Meetup Info:

    September 21st, 2013

    Indianapolis, Indiana

    Holiday Inn Express, 9791 North by Northeast Blvd, Fishers,
    IN 46037

    http://www.surfacegeeks.net/forums/index.php?/topic/488-surface-geeks-meetup-2013/

    https://twitter.com/lewisbenge/status/370316176137535488 - Macbook air vs Ultrabooks

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    Dave
    Just when you thought the HP ProLiant MicroServer Gen 8 server couldn't get any cooler HP is adding front bezel color kits.
     
     
     
    The kits will sell separately from the two Gen8 Microserver skus and will come in blue, red, or black colors.  Or as forums member gstarks writes, blueberry, cherry, and licorice!  The best news about this add-on kit is the price.  It will list at $69 and is now available on the HP online store. (although i was not able to select color)
     
     
     
    PN: 722320-B21  List Price=$69
     
    Source: HSS Forums

    Joe_Miner
    By: John Stutsman
     

     
    Figure 1 -- HP ProLiant N40L MicroServer Running Windows Server 2012 Essentials R2 Preview used in this Test
     
     
     
    In the Video, Creating A Storage Space Pool in Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Preview, I show how to create a pool with three relatively small hard drive. From that pool I show how to create three 1TB virtual hard disk drives (“HDDs”). Each had different levels of resiliency:


    Simple Resiliency (essentially no resiliency and much like a RAID0)
    2-Way Mirror Resiliency
    Parity Resiliency

     
     
     
    Figure 2 shows the Physical and Logical view of how Storage Spaces works and how it was demonstrated in the video.
     
     
     

     
    Figure 2 -- A Storage Spaces Pool will be created from three physical 150GB HDD's and from that three 1TB Virtual HDD's will be Created
     
     
     
    After the Storage Spaces Pool is set up and the Virtual HDDs are created I measured the performance of each Virtual HDD. Before I created the Storage Spaces Pool I had measured the performance of each of the 3 HDDs that would make up the Pool to have a reference to compare to the Virtual HDDs performance.
     
     
     

     
    Figure 3 -- Typical Performance of each of the Three Physical HDD's that Make up the Storage Space Pool
     
     
     

     
    Figure 4 -- Performance of the Simple Resiliency, Thin Provisioned 1TB NTFS Virtual HDD in Storage Space
     
     
     

     
    Figure 5 -- Performance of the 2-Way Mirror Resiliency, Thin Provisioned 1TB NTFS Virtual HDD in Storage Space
     
     
     

     
    Figure 6 -- Performance of the Parity Resiliency, Thin Provisioned 1TB NTFS Virtual HDD in Storage Space
     
     
     
    Please join us in the HSS Forums with comments or any questions you wish to ask.
     
     
     
    Additional References:
     
    If you have trouble seeing the video link above go to: youtube.com/watch?v=IF-bCzsZe0A
     
    Storage Spaces Performance in Windows Server 2012 Essentials on a HP N40L ProLiant MicroServer
     
    Performance Comparison of Windows Server 2012 Essentials on the HP ProLiant N40L MicroServer and the HP ProLiant N54L G7 MicroServer
     
    TechNET Library: Storage Spaces Overview
     
    TechNET Library: Deploy Storage Spaces on a Stand-Alone Server
     
    TechNET Library: Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials & Windows Server 2012 Essentials
     
    MSDN Blog posting: Virtualizing Storage For Scale, Resiliency, and Efficiency
     
    TechNET Blog Posting: Windows Server 2012 Storage Spaces: Is it for you? Could be….
     
    TechNET Blog Posting: Windows Server 2012: How to Import a Storage Pool on Another Server

    Dave
    There really wasn't going to be a podcast this week.  I've been working on the Meetup and some other things for the site.  We were just chatting and this 30 minutes podcast came out of it.
    It's short show about Xsplit, gear, and Home Server Show Meetup 2013. I have a bone to pick with a couple of guys in our forums. I have a huge stack of stuff I'll show you in the video and I'll call these gentlemen out by name!
     
    Honestly, this one is probably better served via
    .   It's a short one guys so enjoy. Actual Home Server Show coverage will continue next week. 

     
    Jim Collison can be found here and on Twitter.
     
    Mike Howard can be found here and on Twitter.
     
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    Dave
    A Podcast Pick(er)
     

     
    Intro
     
    I listen to podcasts everyday. So much so, it annoys my family and baffles my friends. But I love them. Being new to Windows Phone 8, I require a solid podcasting application in order to use the platform. iOS has had them for awhile, Android recently caught up, but does Windows Phone 8 have what I need?
     
    My Usage
     
    Over time, my feed tends to grow and shrink depending on the quality of the shows, and the current topics I am enthusiastic about. Currently I subscribe to approximately 30 podcasts, and consume them all on my phone. I listen to my shows on the morning commute (Bluetooth streaming to myFord Touch), in the office through headphones, and around the house via a Bluetooth speaker. I tried multiple podcast applications, and after two weeks of usage, feel that I landed on a winner.
     
    The App
     
    Starting the app up brings you to the Subscribed panel.
     

     
    It lists the shows in alphabetical order, with a bottom row of buttons. From there, you can add a new feed, manually refresh your list of subscribed episodes, access settings, and find app/developer info. You can add a feed by searching the library of thousands of podcasts, or by manually entering in (or more likely pasting) an RSS link.
     

     
    I didn't have to manually enter anything, as all my shows were found in the apps library. Scrolling anywhere in the app works as expected, thanks to the smoothness of the OS. You have the choice to stream episodes immediately, or download episodes for offline playback.
     
    Next up is where I spend most of my time, the Unplayed listing.
     

     
    Here, in order of download, are your favorite podcasts waiting to be played. No buttons, no options. Just click on the podcast you want to hear. (There is a setting that allows a podcast to immediately play on click, but I like to manually do that.)
     

     
    The Episode panel displays cover artwork between the show title and episode name. A nice row of buttons allows you to skip to the previous episode or next episode in the list.
     

     
    Best of all, there are customizable rewind and fast forward buttons. There can be preset to jump by 5, 10 or 30 second increments. Smack in the middle is the Play/Pause button. Swipe left for Show Notes, and the ability to upload to SkyDrive, share an episode link or post a link to Facebook and/or Twitter via the People Hub.
     
    The next panel is simple and is rarely used. It displays actively downloading episodes.
     

     
    Scroll to one more panel, and find the Playlist. Here you can create your own playlist of just the podcasts you want to hear now. There is only one playlist. An option exists to allow all downloaded podcasts to be automatically added to your playlist. Personally, I keep that option off and don't use the playlist feature.
     

     
    The Experience
     
    I have the app set to refresh the feed on launch, and automatically download new episodes whenever I am on WiFi. I let the app delete episodes I manually skip or that get marked as played. (Windows Phone 8 restricts some downloads to both WiFi and power, but I haven't run into many 100MB+ episodes.) In general, I can listen to podcasts, stream via Bluetooth, and fast-forward over sections of the episodes with ease. Refreshing of my personal feed list is very fast, both over AT&T's 4G and my home WiFi. Occasionally, it takes an extra beat or two to startup and states it is "Resuming..." but is typically as responsive as any other good Windows Phone 8 app.
     
    Sometimes the application can behave unexpectedly. I have discovered an issue where previously listened to podcasts pop back up in my Unplayed listing. Sometimes I manually remove an episode, and find it appearing once again. The last played position can also be lost, and has been doing so more frequently. I have emailed the developer, and they are looking into the issues I am experiencing.
     
    Closing
     
    If you enjoy listening to podcasts, care about the experience, and want to easily take your collection with you... check out Podcast Picker. It could use some additional features, and the developers could squash a bug here and there, but it is the best app I have found for consuming podcasts on my (current) favorite mobile platform. Give the app a Try, and if it works for you, please support the developer and give it a Buy! [$1.99]
     

     
     
     
    App: Podcast Picker
     
    Version: 3.2.6
     
    Author: Volker Voecking Software Engineering
     
    Link: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/podcast-picker/79b72069-b656-47d2-bab1-fa2d4061825e?signin=true
     
    Website:
     
    Test Platform: Nokia Lumia 925
     
     
     
     
     
    Quick Comparisons
     
    BringCast [http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/bringcast/e5abef38-d413-e011-9264-00237de2db9e?signin=true] has a unique interface. Buttons are all over the place in this app. I do not like this approach, and the way episodes are presented in general is lacking. Over half of my imported subscriptions (via OPML) were added with broken feeds. I also can’t find them in the app’s built in database. That is deal breaker for me, but BringCast is not the only app to fail in this regard. However, it is the only app I know of that successfully imports feeds from OPML but refuses to sync with them. [$2.99]
     

     
    iPodcast [http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/i-podcast/c0e9110d-5d75-4970-9937-1854393b3f0e] does not offer the importing of OPML files, so everything has to be manually added. Not a terrible fault, as others (including my top pick) are manual as well. However, not all of my shows can be found. I don’t love the interface, and find it too simple and a bit unintuitive at the same time. Settings are all on one page, and for the most part make sense. Users with multiple Windows Phone 8 devices will appreciate the playlist, metadata and played position syncing. [Free]
     

     
    Pod.ding [http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/pod-ding/1bd6fb14-8380-47e4-950a-6fdd97323398] was one of my first podcasting apps on the platform. The one “bug” I found, that the developer informed me is inherent to Windows Phone 8, meant that the playback of podcasts would resume automatically if a Bluetooth source was disconnected. I would be listening to an episode on my commute, get out of my car, and notice audio playback was still in progress. OS based issue or not, many of the other podcast clients tested did not have this issue. The interface tries to do too much, and the settings pages are a nightmare with some items not displaying correctly. This app did find all my shows when I manually searched for them. No OPML import option is present though. [$1.49]
     

     
    Podcast Lounge [http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/podcast-lounge/83bc0329-8e02-410e-b6d2-da3c0c1d971d] states they fixed the Bluetooth audio bug thanks to “BlueSmart” and it appears to be true. However, other apps not touting the feature also work fine. I don’t love the interface, and there is a disconnect between show listings. I am not sure why, but imported OPML feeds go into a Favorites list, with My Library remaining empty outside of manually added feeds. I don’t appreciate how unplayed episodes have to be dug up. The settings are hidden on multiple pages as well, with lots of empty space. [$1.99]
     

     
    Podcatcher [http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/podcatcher/5d5cebe9-420a-4566-a468-04c94aa34d93] is the final app in my roundup. It has a dead simple interface. Only OPML export is support, and I am not sure why they couldn’t add import as well. The app just works, but it did not find all my shows. With those that it did find, it did not always display cover artwork properly. This could work for some, thanks to the simplicity, so the app is perfect for the novice user. [$0.99]
     


    Dave
    I’m a WP8 Fan
     
    I’ve been a fan of Windows Phone 8 since I purchased a Lumia 920 in November of 2012.  From my perspective, one of the great distinctions between the WP8 platform and other smartphone operating systems is what I’d refer to as the ‘word prediction’ function.
     

     
    While I’d never call myself an expert, I’ve used different types of devices – iOS, WebOS, Android and BlackBerry.  One of the most frustrating components of all smartphones for me has been the word prediction and auto correct features.  My experience worsened since the introduction of screen-based keyboards.  I can’t say how many times I’ve wanted to stomp on my device for insisting that it knows best what I want to type.  Apparently, I’m not alone – check out the site called Damn You Autocorrect for some hilarious examples.
     

     
     
     
    The keyboard and typing experience on Windows Phone 8 is exceptional and I’ve always wondered why Microsoft or the device manufacturers don’t emphasize its performance in advertising.  I’d even mentioned this to a Microsoft WP8 representative who agreed that this is an important benefit that needs to be highlighted in the marketplace.
     
    Word Flow – The Secret Sauce
     
    So what is it – a Microsoft feature, a Nokia application, coincidence – that makes Windows Phone shine where others struggle?  The answer – a feature called ‘Word Flow’.  Word Flow is a continuation and renaming of the Quick Correct component of WP 7.5.  Taking a look under the hood helps to explain why Word Flow is so superior to other solutions.  Here are the most important aspects taken from the following Windows Phone blog post - The secrets of the Windows Phone 8 keyboard:


    Built-in Dictionary – As you would expect, the operating system contains a dictionary of commonly-used words.  What’s unique about Word Flow is in the collection of data around how people use words.  It’s interesting to consider that Microsoft has a considerable amount of historical data around word usage based on the success of the Office platform for as long as any of us can remember.
    Relevance – Accurate word prediction also requires proper associations.  Word Flow uses geographic and linguistic analysis to make decisions to help determine your typing intent based on the perspective of everyday conversation.
    Trigram – As explained in this Wikipedia page, trigrams include characters and words and refer to a contiguous sequence of n items from a given sequence of text or speech.  Analysis of trigrams are what enables Word Flow to determine that ‘happy’ is often followed by the word ‘birthday’ and that the words ‘New York’ are often followed by the word ‘City’.
    Variable Key Targets – This takes the analysis of language to the next level – in this case – to the physical layer of the on-screen keyboard.  What happens is – as the analysis of the typed words ‘New’ and ‘York’ proceeds, the screen keys for characters in the word ‘City’ expand.  This attempts to prevent my frequent fat finger mistakes.

     
    Let’s Talk It Up
     
    Now it’s clear to me –word predictions in WP8 are superior as a result of Word Flow.  In the never-ending series of commercials attempting to highlight what’s special about WP8, why have I never heard this mentioned?  It’s time that Microsoft starts trumpeting the superiority of the feature in its advertising.  Ladies and gentleman, start your keyboards!

    Joe_Miner
    By: John Stutsman
     
     
     
    The HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServers are now available and many have asked how its CPU’s performance compares to past machines and potential CPU replacements.
     
    The purpose of this report is to update previous reports (included in the References at the end of this posting) where I used PassMark CPU index scores to compare the performance for a variety of devices including the HP MediaSmart series, the earlier MicroServer series (N36L, N40L, & N54L) and the new Gen8 -- plus many confirmed as well as potential CPU replacements for the Gen8.
     
    Check out the latest table in CSKenney’s thread: ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 Links Message #8!
     
    Then join us in the HSS Forums with comments on the above and other threads.
     
     
     
    References
     
    ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 Links
     
    Performance Comparison of Rumored HP ProLiant G8 MicroServer CPU’s G630T & G530T
     
    HP ProLiant MicroServer CPU Performance Index Comparisons
     
    Performance Measurement of the HP ProLiant N40L and N54L G7 MicroServer and Other NAS Devices
     
    Useful MicroServer Links & References
     
    MicroServer Hardware Links
     
    MicroServer Blog Postings

    Dave

    BYOB Episode 129

    By Dave, in BYOB,

    We have a bunch of topics to discuss  tonight.  Michael and I talk about Storage Spaces on Essentials R2, some laptops, Fractal Design Mini case, some new Dell monitors, as well as some grips about Windows RT 8.1.
     
    Storage spaces
    http://thedocsworld.net/storage-spaces2012-essentials-r2/
     
    HP split x2
     
    Fractal Design Define Mini Cases, Black Pearl (FD-CA-DEF-MINI-BL)'>Fractal define mini
     
    Dell UltraSharp U2412 24-Inch Screen LED-lit Monitor'>Dell U2412 24 Inch IPS Displays
     
    Dell XPS 18
    http://www.dell.com/us/p/xps-18-1810/pd
     
    Toshiba Satellite
     
    _______________________________________________
     
    Remember to send us an email at byobpodcast@gmail.com
     
    Follow BYOB on Twitter!
     
    Mike Faucher’s Blog
     
    Michael Martis’ Blog
     
    E-Mail – byobpodcast@gmail.com
     
    [iTunes] Subscribe to the Podcast in iTunes(MP3).
    [Zune] Subscribe to the Podcast in the Zune Marketplace.
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    Dave
    Finally, we have some positive things to say this week.  It seems like we have only been able to find the negative but we see the light at the end of the tunnel!  Great things to discuss and a lot of apps to go over.  I am finally happy with a podcast app. Tune in to find out which on it is!  See you in the forums.

    Twitter: Darren Cohen, David McCabe
    Darren’s site, darrencohen.me
     
    Twitter App Showdown in the Forums - List what apps you use for Twitter and what features you require.

    What to watch for at Microsoft's September 19 analyst meeting, ZDNet, Mary Jo Foley, August 7, 2013

    British Airways takes to the cloud with Microsoft Office 365, Toby Wolpe, August 7, 2013

    Meiji Yasuda: One of Japan’s Biggest Life Insurance Companies Moves 30,000 XP Machines to Windows 8 Tablets, Windows Blog, Erwin Visser, August 7, 2013

    Microsoft cuts Surface Pro price by $100 following Surface RT reductions, The Verge, Tom Warren, August 4, 2013

    8 Inch Surface Speculation, Surface Geeks, Leonard Welch, August 7, 2013

    Apple's Tablet Share Falters As Customers Wait For Next New Thing, Microsoft Making 'Notable Progress', Forbes, Connie Guglielmo, August 5, 2013

    Microsoft's Bing updates for Windows Phone: Who gets what, when, ZDNet, Mary Jo Foley, August 6, 2013

    Microsoft Goes WYSIWYG To Broaden The Appeal Of Windows Phone 8 App Development, TechCrunch, Darrell Etherington, August 6, 201

    Microsoft's new Windows Phone dev tool: Will it reduce the app gap? ZDNet, Mary Jo Foley, August 7, 2013

    IDC: Windows Phone sees largest year-over-year increase, Android still dominates, ZDNet, Matthew Miller, August 7, 2013

    Windows Phone shipments surge 77 percent in second quarter, CNet, Lance Whitney, August 7, 2013

    Sorry BlackBerry: based on shipments, Windows Phone is running ahead, GigaOM, Kevin C. Tofel, August 7, 2013

    Good or Bad for WP8?  This is a hint for next week's rant!  Windows Phone App Studio - http://apps.windowsstore.com/ApplicationTemplate/Template

    Meetup Info:

    September 21st, 2013

    Indianapolis, Indiana

    Holiday Inn Express, 9791 North by Northeast Blvd, Fishers,
    IN 46037

    http://www.surfacegeeks.net/forums/index.php?/topic/488-surface-geeks-meetup-2013

    If you want to support this podcast please shop via our affiliate links.
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  • Our picks

    • I throw this out every once in a while.  Is anyone interested in writing up "semi-formal" reviews here on the forums?  I say semi-formal because they don't have to be pro level, just a good attempt at telling the story about the gear.  Something you have purchased lately.  You don't have to go buy stuff, just incorporate what you have already have purchased.  Hit me up with any questions.  You never know where it will lead!
        • Like
      • 2 replies
    • D-Link has dropped a couple of new products and additions to their lineup of smart home gear.  Hold on because there is a lot of gear!
      Let's start with cameras.  D-Link has new Wi-Fi cameras, the Full HD Pan and Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera (DCS-8302LH) and Full HD Indoor and Outdoor Pro Wi-Fi Camera (DCS-8526LH).  These are not just new, and good looking cams, they can now perform people detection and glass break detection.  The new cameras also feature expanded ways for customers to save video, including ONVIF Profile S, which enables custom storage and streaming options to personal NAS devices, built-in storage microSD capacity up to 256 GB, as well as free and paid cloud storage options. 
       

       
      This year's camera models include both an indoor and an outdoor model. The outdoor model features a spotlight and siren that can be triggered when motion is detected, deterring potential intruders. The indoor model pans around to give a full 360-degree view of any room and tracks motion. Both include two-way audio. 
      Full HD Pan and Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera is the model (DCS-8302LH), available in Q2, 2020, and retail pricing will be $99.99.
      Full HD Indoor and Outdoor Pro Wi-Fi Camera is the model (DCS-8526LH), available in Q3, 2020, and retail pricing will be $119.99.
      One of my favorite products is Wi-Fi.  D-Link has a whole lot of new products coming including Wi-Fi 6, Mesh, Alexa and Google Assistant integration, IFTTT, Parental Controls, and more!
       

       
      There are so many new SKU's that I can't make heads or tails of them!  I'm going to be speaking with D-Link more this week and will sort all of these out. I do want you to see all they are offering and what the release date and projected retail pricing will be.

      AC1900 Scalable Mesh Wi-Fi Router (COVR-1900-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      AC1750 Mesh Wi-Fi Router (DIR-1750-US), Q1 2020, $99.99
      AC1900 Mesh Wi-Fi Router (DIR-1950-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      AC1750 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender (DAP-1755-US), Q1 2020, $99.99
      AC1950 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender (DAP-1955-US), Q1 2020, $109.99
      Smart AX1500 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X1560-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      Smart AX1800 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X1870-US), Q2 2020, $139.99
      Smart AX2400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X2460-US), Q3 2020, $159.99
      Smart AX5400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X5460-US), Q1 2020, $279.99
      AX1800 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Range Extender (DAP-X1870-US), Q2 2020, $129.99
      AX1800 Whole Home Mesh System (COVR-X1872-US), QX22020, $269.99
        • Like
      • 0 replies
    • RESET Merch Shop
      Get ya Merch here!  I've created a T-Shirt shop with the famous RESET paperclip. I've pasted that clip on just about everything so you can wear it around town!  Cable bags, Coffee Mugs, T-Shirts, and more. 
       
      https://reset.threadless.com/
       
      or you can get it it via
       
      https://reset.fm/store
       
      Here is the main design.
       

       
      Below is a part of the order that I put in!  
       
       

       
      The Heather Grey above is the Extra Soft version and it is awesome.  I highly recommend the softness!    The "Chili Red" is the Tri-Blend and probably my favorite feel and color.

       
      This is the Zip-Up Hoody, Heather Indigo, Sponge Fleece, Men's, Large.  In my podcast I couldn't remember what style it was but it is Sponge Fleece. It's REALLY soft on the inside. Soft outside as well. The only problem is with the zip up hoody the logo is on the back. Regular hoody, it will be on the front.
       
      https://reset.threadless.com/
       
      or you can get it it via
       
      https://reset.fm/store
       
      Thank you for supporting this community. Everything you purchase will help keep the lights on the hard drives spinning.
       
      • 0 replies
    • OneDrive Personal Vault and expandable storage
      Microsoft's OneDrive has a few new features and options worth pointing out.  Personal Vault and Expandable Storage.
       
      Personal Vault is a protected area in OneDrive that can only be accessed with a strong authentication method or a second step of identity verification, such as your fingerprint, face, PIN, or a code sent to you via email or SMS. 
       
      Personal Vault gives you an added layer of protection for your most important files, photos, and videos—for example, copies of documents such as your passport, driver’s license, or insurance information—should someone gain access to your account or device.
      Plus, this added security won’t slow you down. You can quickly access your important documents, photos, and files with confidence wherever you are, on your PC, OneDrive.com, or your mobile device.

       
      Beyond a second layer of identity verification, Personal Vault also includes the following security measures:
       
      Scan and shoot—Using the OneDrive app, you can scan documents or shoot photos directly into your Personal Vault, keeping them off less secure areas of your device, like your camera roll.
      Automatic locking—No need to worry about whether you left your Personal Vault or your files open—both will close and lock automatically after a period of inactivity.
      BitLocker encryption—On Windows 10 PCs, OneDrive automatically syncs your Personal Vault files to a BitLocker-encrypted area of your local hard drive.
      Restricted sharing—To prevent accidental sharing, files in Personal Vault and shared items moved into Personal Vault cannot be shared.
       
      Taken together, these security measures help ensure that Personal Vault files are not stored unprotected on your PC, and your files have additional protection, even if your Windows 10 PC or mobile device is lost, stolen, or someone gains access to it or to your account.
       
      Expandable Storage
       
      If you are and Office 365 Subscriber you get 1 TB of OneDrive storage space with all the other Office goodies like Word, Excel, etc.  I know personally that I have gone over the 1TB limit and have always wanted to be able to add additional storage to my account.  Now you can!

       
      Pick and option and keep on hoarding, errr, I mean saving! Cancel anytime, upgrade at any moment.
      • 1 reply
    • Ubiquiti adds new items to the Unifi Line including UAP Flex HD and the Unifi Dream machine
      Ubiquiti has been busy.  There area ton of new items to recently released and I'm going to share two of my favorites.
       
      The UAP Flex HD and the Unifi Dream machine. The Flex HD is a mouthful of descriptors like most of UI gear is.  It's a 2Ghz 2x2 MIMO, 5GHz 4x4 MU-MIMO, POE, Indoor/Outdoor, multi mount, mesh point that is no bigger than a can of Coke.

       
      You will still need the Unifi controller although you can configure it with basic functionality with the Unifi App.  I've always found it's best to configure with your controller and then use the app as an add-on.  There are several mounting options that include sitting it on a shelf! That is something that Unifi has not had before unless you count the ceiling AP I have awkwardly mounted placed on top of a few books.  It can be found on the Unifi store for $179.
       
      https://store.ui.com/collections/wireless/products/unifi-flexhd
       
      The Dream Machine is an altogether different beast that I hope lives up to its naming.  This is the gateway drug, for lack of a better term, to the Unifi world.  The starter kit.  It is an Access Point, Gigabit Switch, Security Gateway, and the Cloud Key all in one package.  The latter being the most significant as this is something that has deterred new users from getting started with Unifi.  Requiring new users to purchase a $100 item just to run the AP's has been somewhat of a roadblock in the past.  Granted, that is improving every year with the ability to run it in the cloud, on a NAS, a Pi, Docker, MacOS, and of course Windows, it is still a barricade to getting up and running when manufacturers such as Eero offer simplicity in an app.
       

       
      The switch includes 4 LAN Ports and 1 WAN port.  All of which are Gigabit and security services such as IPS are rated at Gigabit speed. It's $299 in the Unifi store but I'm unsure how nicely it will play with other Unifi gear.  This may be a nice "first AP" with its built in Cloud Key if you can add additional units or other Unifi access points.
       
      https://store.ui.com/collections/routing-switching/products/unifi-dream-machine
      • 4 replies


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