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Brothers in Tech

Author: The MESH

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Do you find yourself serving as the go-to "I.T." person in your family? Or are you someone that tends to call other family members for technical support and would rather learn things on your own? Brothers in Tech is a weekly podcast focusing on home technology and provides help to the “default family IT person”. Hosted by Alan & Brian Jackson, a new topic will be discussed each month (main episode) followed by 3 weekly “deep dive” episodes (the B-sides) with additional information. Whether you are the person who everyone calls for tech support, are the person who is doing the calling, or simply interested in technology…this podcast is for you!
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What is Clubhouse?

What is Clubhouse?

2021-03-0528:33

Heard about the new social media app Clubhouse? Well, if you haven’t…you are not alone…but you may just be missing out on the next big thing. Luckily, we have Alan, who is so hip and up on the times. So, come and listen to Alan educate Brian and returning guest Chris Frye (Media Producer @ Jackson Creative) on the ins and outs of Clubhouse…what it is, how it could be used, and whether we should be using it as a new source of information or entertainment. Spoiler alert…this is not the same as MySpace…and if you are still using MySpace, this may not be the episode for you.Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.Alan Jackson is a director with Jackson Creative, a marketing content production company, and director of Jackson Insight, a survey research firm, Executive Producer of The MESH podcast network , and co-founder and co-director of the Footcandle Film Society and Film Festival.Brian Jackson is Professor of Kinesiology at Pacific University, Product Director at Senaptec, former tennis coach and a current craft beer connoisseur.Chris Frye is a Media Producer with Jackson Creative specializing in video production and creating online media, as well as the co-founder and co-director of the Footcandle Film Society and the annual Footcandle Film Festival.
A lot has happened in the year since our streaming services series, and the Brothers wanted to discuss the current state of services and where we feel they are going. No, we are not simply recycling topics this season…we actually have some new things to say! Along with their guest, Chris Frye (Media Producer @ Jackson Creative), the Brothers debate which services are on the right/wrong track, and most importantly...which are worth your money.Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.Alan Jackson is a director with Jackson Creative, a marketing content production company, and director of Jackson Insight, a survey research firm, Executive Producer of The MESH podcast network , and co-founder and co-director of the Footcandle Film Society and Film Festival.Brian Jackson is Professor of Kinesiology at Pacific University, Product Director at Senaptec, former tennis coach and a current craft beer connoisseur.Chris Frye is a Media Producer with Jackson Creative specializing in video production and creating online media, as well as the co-founder and co-director of the Footcandle Film Society and the annual Footcandle Film Festival.
Now we get to have some fun… Our Brothers in Tech Suggestions (BiTs) are now their own episode, so you can get your new tech fill once a month! In the final episode with our first guest, Jeff Hartman, we each bring a tech item (app, device, service) to share. Will it be supported or ridiculed…that is the question.Jeff’s Pick = Sonos Move portable speaker ($399)Brian’s Pick = KIHUWEY iPhone Case Wallet ($14.99)Alan’s Pick = Chamberlain Smart Garage Hub ($39.98)Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
Well, as working from home has continued to be a norm for many, we felt this topic deserved another chat. After ~9 months of working from home, the Brothers (with guest Jeff Hartman) discuss their current home office set-up, tips for juggling a shared workspace, and what tech has helped make the transition easier/more efficient.  If you haven’t already, check out the “BONUS: Working from Home” episode from Season 1. Turns out that a lot of our tips actually held up!Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.Alan Jackson is a director with Jackson Creative, a marketing content production company, and director of Jackson Insight, a survey research firm, Executive Producer of The MESH podcast network , and founder and director of the Footcandle Film Society and Film Festival. And voted most likely in school to have too many job titles in the future.Brian Jackson is Professor of Kinesiology at Pacific University, a “motor behaviorist” (which Alan still has to look up to understand), former tennis coach and a current craft beer connoisseur.Special guest Jeff Hartman is Professor of Exercise Science at Garner-Webb University with an interest and passion for wellness and fitness. Jeff is also the purveyor of the typewritten word… and Alan & Brian's "brother from another mother".
So, you have your usual New Year’s resolution to get in shape…and you are looking for some technology to help out. Enter Apple’s new service, Fitness+. At $9.99/month (or $29.99 as part of the highest level of Apple One subscription, which includes several other services), Fitness+ attempts to compete in a crowded fitness service market. Check out this episode as the Brothers (and our guest, Jeff Hartman) discuss how the service stacks up, and where it has fallen short. Unsurprisingly, Alan chose to play the “haven’t had a chance to try it out” role in this one.Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.Alan Jackson is a director with Jackson Creative, a marketing content production company, and director of Jackson Insight, a survey research firm, Executive Producer of The MESH podcast network , and founder and director of the Footcandle Film Society and Film Festival. And voted most likely in school to have too many job titles in the future.Brian Jackson is Professor of Kinesiology at Pacific University, a “motor behaviorist” (which Alan still has to look up to understand), former tennis coach and a current craft beer connoisseur.Special guest Jeff Hartman is Professor of Exercise Science at Garner-Webb University with an interest and passion for wellness and fitness. Jeff is also the purveyor of the typewritten word… and Alan & Brian's "brother from another mother".
2021 kicks off with a new year, new format, and a guest “brother”! In this first episode of Season 2 of Brothers in Tech, the Brothers (and our ‘brother from another mother’, Jeff Hartman) discuss the Apple Watch. We cover the good, the bad, and our expectations/hopes for the future of this popular device. And guess what?  We actually keep this one under an hour! Rock on 2021!Alan Jackson is a director with Jackson Creative, a marketing content production company, and director of Jackson Insight, a survey research firm, Executive Producer of The MESH podcast network , and founder and director of the Footcandle Film Society and Film Festival. And voted most likely in school to have too many job titles in the future.Brian Jackson is Professor of Kinesiology at Pacific University, a “motor behaviorist” (which Alan still has to look up to understand), former tennis coach and a current craft beer connoisseur.Special guest Jeff Hartman is Professor of Exercise Science at Garner-Webb University with an interest and passion for wellness and fitness. Jeff is also the purveyor of the typewritten word… and Alan & Brian's "brother from another mother".Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
Season 1 Review

Season 1 Review

2020-12-3101:29:06

Before Season 2 kicks off, the Brothers wanted to revisit some of their favorite topics from Season 1, highlight some of their favorite (and most useless) tech, and make their home tech resolutions for 2021. Not to give too much away…but if you have been looking for an egg sensor for your fridge, or a handy way of keeping your chicken warm while playing video games…this episode is for you. A sample of highlighted tech from this episode:·      YouTube TV·      Spark Email·      Genius Scan·      SetApp·      Abode Home Security·      Meross Light Bulbs & Outlets·      HomePod mini·      Level Smart LockAnd…some that were mentioned, but not suggested!·      KFC Chicken Warmer Game Console·      Lex Folding Wearable Chair·      Egg Minder (the questions are worth a read…)·      WiFi BatteryHave any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv
Just when you think we had covered all there was to cover in the home automation realm…we have more. Want to know whether you left your fridge open, whether your water heater is leaking, or…and obviously more importantly, whether your beer kegs are getting close to being empty? There are sensors for that. In the final episode of the Home Automation topic (and, the final episode of Season 1 of Brothers in Tech), the Brothers discuss some creative ways that automation is being used for home safety. And, while you are listening…see what ideas we have for new products in the future (copyrighted, of course)! In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Brian’s Pick = Samsung SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor ($19.99). A great little device that can be used to sense/notify you whether a door, drawer, or liquor cabinet is open…and detect temperature change.  Alan’s Pick = Nanit Plus wifi Baby Monitor ($299). A great update to the traditional baby monitor. Wall or floor mount, motion monitoring, overhead video, 2-way audio, phone access to audio/video, and more. Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
Now that we got you hooked with the ‘gateway drug’ of automation (lighting), it is time to step things up a notch and figure out how you can use automation to protect/secure your home. In the second deep-dive into the Home Automation series, the Brothers discuss the types of home security devices, and considerations you should have when choosing which is right for you. Oh, and you will want to stick around until the end (not that you wouldn’t normally…) to see what system Alan is going with in his new home! We know you are on the edge of your seat…In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Brian’s Pick = Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera ($129.99). Indoor/outdoor security camera with some nice features…rechargeable, waterproof, and magnet attachment (for easy removal). Alan’s Pick = Adobe iota Security Kit ($259). Nice package with everything you need to get started with home security. Camera, motion sensor, siren, door sensor, and key fob. **Alan is just getting started with this system, and is only providing a preemptive recommendation!Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
Are you looking to set up your own version of Doc Brown’s automatic dog feeder (you gotta love when Back to the Future gets some love on the podcast…)? Well, the Brothers are ready to get you your first fix. Check out the first deep dive into the world of home automation as the Brothers provide you with what they so eloquently term the ‘gateway drug’ of automation…devices that provide convenience and efficiency. Be careful though, because once you go automated…In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Brian’s Pick = Harmony Companion Remote & Hub ($149.99). A great way to retrofit your home entertainment system for wifi connection. A physical remote (with great buttons) and hub device allow you to control your tv, receiver, etc without direct line of sight and allow for automated tasks.Alan’s Pick = Time Mate ($18…or free, if your loving brother gives you one for Christmas). A small (1”x1”) device that will allow you to track whatever it is connected to (e.g., key, purse, briefcase). Lose your keys? Your Tile app will not only allow you to see where it was last “pinged”, but let you trigger an alarm on the device. Great stuff.Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
Home Automation

Home Automation

2020-11-2001:07:32

Is getting out of your chair and turning off the light too much to ask? Walking to the thermostat to adjust it just require too much effort? Yeah…us too. Good thing that there a number of cool products out there to help automate those tasks! In the first episode of our Home Automation series, the Brothers discuss the ins and outs of automation…considerations, categories, and some examples. Oh, and Brian impresses Alan with how he “gets ready for bed”…you won’t want to miss that!In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Brian’s Pick = Nest Learning Thermostat ($249). A well-known thermostat (now owned by Google) that allows automation of your heating/air system, as well as remote access, program integration, etc.Alan’s Pick = Ecobee 4 Thermostat ($189.99, factory refurbished). The other well-known thermostat that boasts some of the same features (remote access/control, program integration), and also has Amazon Alexa built-in and a room sensor (for better temperature recording).  Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
Now that you are on the health and fitness technology kick…let’s look around the house to see what other types of devices we can upgrade! In the final episode of the health & fitness series, the Brothers discuss some useful (and maybe not so useful) home technology devices that can enhance your workouts, your health tracking, and even your cooking. Be sure to listen and enjoy the final episode where Brian serves as the “teacher” on a topic…as we know that all good things must come to an end. In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Alan’s Pick = Tangram Smart Rope ($39.99). Yes, you read that right…a smart rope. Jump rope that is! If you ever thought to yourself…I really wish I could keep up with the number of jumps you have completed in a workout, well this is for you! Brian’s Pick = Renpho Smart Body Fat Scale-Basic ($27.99). A really good connected digital weight and body fat scale. Step on, open the app on your phone or watch, and you can store weight and body fat %. Integrates with most health apps.Bonus Pick = Wyze Scale ($19.99). Although we haven’t tried it, it looks like these guys have done it again. What seems to be a quality product for a price that won’t break the bank. Weight, body fat %, and heart rate…and connects to most popular health/fitness apps.Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
Looking for a way to cancel your gym membership and working on your health and fitness from home? You may want to look into one of the many health and fitness subscription services that are now on the market. There are a lot of them…but that is where we come in! In the second deep-dive into our Health & Fitness series, the Brothers talk through the considerations you should make before signing up for a health and fitness subscription service. In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Alan’s Pick = Calm ($69.99/year…but you will probably get a coupon after signing up that will drop that cost to $41.99 for the first year). An app/service that focuses on meditation and relaxation. You will be led through sessions to train your mind to focus, relax, and enhance your overall mental health. Brian’s Pick = Peloton ($12.99/month for app use, $39/month for on-equipment). You probably know them from their ads about the technologically advanced (and expensive) bike, but they also have an app that can be used without purchasing their equipment (or, with your own bike). Workout routines, classes, etc. Certainly something to check out before shelling out for the bike.Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
Maybe you are wanting to step up your fitness game without purchasing a lot of new equipment…well, there’s an app for that!  Actually…there are a bunch of them. Whether you are looking for a central hub for all of your fitness data, a way to harness the data that your phone is already collecting, or have a virtual fitness/health coach, this episode is for you. Check out the first deep-dive in our Health & Fitness series where the Brothers (or, at least one of them) discuss the considerations for choosing a mobile app for your health and fitness needs.  And, Alan works on his health by catching up on some much-needed sleep as Brian is talking… In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Brian’s Pick #1 = MyFitnessPal (Free for basic use, $50/year for Premium features). Great app for logging food intake and workouts, track your progress towards a fitness goal, and even receive personalized workouts and coaching (premium features)Brian’s Pick #2 = 7-Minute Workout. Need a workout, but short on time? This is a nice full-body workout within…you guess it, 7 minutes!  There are a lot of ways to access this, but we suggest trying the free mobile app, watch app, or digital assistant skill (e.g., Alexa). Alan’s Pick = Sleep Cycle app (Free for basic use, $30/year for premium features such as tracking). A great way to track your sleep health without wearing a watch/band at night. Set the phone by the bed, and get insights as to your sleep habits.Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
Whether you are wondering how technology can help achieve your health and fitness goals, trying to decide which tech equipment/sensors are worth paying for, or just wanting to hear Brian show off to his big brother? This episode is for you! In the first episode of our Health & Fitness series, the Brothers (well…Brian) discuss the benefits and features of wearables, and considerations you should make when purchasing. In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Brian’s Pick = Garmin Instinct Solar ($399) fitness watch. Yes, it is expensive…but this solar powered fitness watch provides GPS, HR, altimeter, compass, accelerometer, temperature, pulse oximeter…and can provide up to 56 days of battery life. Great option for the outdoor fitness enthusiast.Alan’s Pick = Ted Lasso on Apple TV+.  Ummmm…a television show…on a fitness podcast.  In all fairness, the show does focus on soccer (sorry…English football), so I guess that is something. It is a great show though…Brian’s 2nd Pick (to make up for Alan): Wyze Band. Looking for a fitness band that provides a lot of great features (e.g., touch screen, HR, sleep monitoring, water-resistant, Alexa built-in, notifications) at an affordable price ($24.99)? Check this out.  We love what these guys are doing…Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
After listening to the first 3 episodes of our Audio series (which we know you have!), you have lots of ideas of how to obtain and listen to digital music…but maybe you are inspired to create your own? In the final deep-dive into the Audio series, the Brothers discuss what you need to enter the world of digital music creation. Although there is admittedly not a lot of musical talent between them (unless you count playing power chords or making mix tapes), Alan certainly seems to know what he is talking about. Brian is just along for the ride…In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Brian’s Pick = CDM (Create Digital Music): A great web resource for all of your music creation needs. Reviews of products, apps, and techniques (free website). Alan’s Pick = Focusrite Scarlett Solo: A great introductory USB audio interface. XLR (mic) and ¼” (line instrument) audio inputs ($110). Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
Looking for a new home audio system, or wanting to find a way to bring your coveted stereo system into the digital age? This episode is for you! In the 2nd deep-dive of our Audio series, the Brothers discuss solutions for enjoying your digital music at home…with great sound. Plus, you get to hear why Apple’s HomePod reminds Alan of a toddler? Apple lovers might need to listen to the explanation before they send hate mail.In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Brian’s Pick = Rocketfish Wireless Rear Speaker Kit: If you are looking for a way to send your music to traditional speakers across the room (or outside) without running the speaker wire, this is a great solution ($120). Alan’s Pick = Apple HomePod: An impressive piece of hardware (with improving software) that provides a great listening experience in a small package ($299).Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
Now that you have listened to our first show in the Audio series and are ready to enjoy your new music service…it’s time to look at the options for enjoying your tunes! In the first deep-dive into the world of audio, the Brothers discuss the various methods for personal listening, including an overview of the booming world of headphone technology. From over/in the ear, to noise cancellation/transparency, to Apple’s new spatial technology. And, Tim (Cook), if you are listening…which we know you are…Brian has a suggestion for the audio in your next round of tablets and phones.In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Alan’s Pick = HOOXIN Airpods Case & Accessories Set: An inexpensive ($8.99) way of enhancing your Airpod experience, including a charging case cover, silicone headphone covers, and more..Brian’s Pick = Wyze Headphones: Although not out yet (pre-order), we love what this company is doing, and have high hopes for this affordable ($49.99) pair of over-the-ear wireless headphones. Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
Audio and Music Services

Audio and Music Services

2020-09-2501:41:32

Still listening to you 8-track player in basement? Trying to record all of your favorite songs off of the radio? Wait…are you still listening to the radio? It may be time to step up your music game by using a music service. In the first episode of the Audio series, the Brothers discuss (and discuss…) the current state of digital music, and introduce the main music service options. Oh, and Brian has a rant about how today’s youth will never know the pain (and satisfaction) of creating the perfect mix tape for the love of your life…In addition, the “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Brian’s Pick = Shazam: Recently purchased by Apple, this app (iOS & Android…but will be built-in to iOS 14) allows you to find out the song name and artist of music that is playing around you.Alan’s Pick = TuneIn: Looking for a way of streaming real-time news/sports to your phone? TuneIn (Free w/ads and limited content, $9.99/month for premium access) provides you with channels (and podcasts) to enjoy on the go.Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
So, you have listened to our first 3 episodes on digital video and have created some high-quality video clips, right? Well, now it is time to work some magic and turn them into the polished product. Check out the final deep-dive of the digital video series where the Brothers discuss software, process, & tips for video editing. Listen close, as Alan has some nuggets of wisdom that could save you a lot of time and heartache in the process! As always, the world-famous…and Brian’s only real contribution to the podcast.. “BiTS” (Brothers in Tech Suggestions):Brian’s Pick = Lumen 5: App that can easily convert “blog info” into video that can grab your social media followers’ attention (Free for 3 videos/month at 720p with a watermark…monthly service of $10 and up for additional features).BONUS = Crop feature in Zoom: Save yourself several steps in the editing and sharing your Zoom meeting videos by using the crop feature directly on the cloud recording.Alan’s Pick = Frame.io: Cloud-based collaboration tool (works with Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, and others) that allows you to work on video and images as a team (Free for 2 users, 2GB storage limit).Have any feedback for the Brothers regarding this topic (or future topics)? Email info@themesh.tv.
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