11 April 2020
0045: COVID-19 Catch Up
by Steven B. Combs, Ph.D.
It been some time since my last podcast episode and a lot has changed. In this episode, recorded live on YouTube, I take time to catch up on what’s been going on since episode 0044. Can anyone say COVID-19? I talk about how things have changed in my Pixel-powered world, how I use Pixel devices in my virtual office, and then send out a call to each of you to share your experiences. Unusually, the Addendum segment does not make an appearance since this episode is basically one long Addendum segment. Enjoy the show and wash those hands, listeners!
NOTE: This show was recorded live on YouTube. The video can be found below and includes additional content not found in the audio version of the podcast.
YouTube Live Video:
Below are the show notes for this episode.
- Trying out live streaming with this episode of the podcast
- Using YouTube live and OBS Studio
- Considered recording video and just posting later but though the inclusion of a live audience with chat will be interesting
- Will edit the audio and distribute as normal
- Chat window is open, but don’t expect any folks since I didn’t publicize widely and this is more of a test
- Will check views on YouTube and combine with traditional podcast to see if I can build listeners
- Have a goal and if I don’t hit goal by end of the year, will reevaluate
- If you are watching, let me know your thoughts in comments below and be sure to subscribe to updates on future episodes
COVID-19 Catch Up
Let’s talk COVID-19 and how the coronavirus has changed our lives. Here’s what’s changed in my life:
- We closed the campus almost three weeks ago after a week of being on campus and social distancing
- Working from home to help keep a college operational
- Daily meetings using Zoom and MS Teams
- Working in my geek cave full time but also have the Pixelbook upstairs with a separate USB-C monitor hanging off the side for two screens at the dining room table where this more natural lighting
- Now teaching my traditional course in a synchronous format using WebEx and keep all my notes for class in Google Sites on the Pixelbook or Slate - I’ve been surprised at how well my students have taken to the new format and even finding their own ways (Google Duo for one) to meet in their teams
- Finding time to dig into some of my hobbies such as video and learning to use DaVinci Resolve 16 (how is this free?)
- My YouTube channel is growing, but my subscribers aren’t! :D
- Hope to get back to a book I’ve been writing
- Back on a regular running schedule
- Venture out about once a week to get supplies or support local economy with a takeout or drive-in stop
- Washing my hand more frequently than ever
- Spending more time with my wife (I think I enjoy it more than she does since I’ve invaded her normal workspace!)
How have my Pixel devices helped?
- Watching free War of the Worlds and Pennyworth on EPIX (YouTube TV)
- Watching free Picard on CBS All Access on Android TV
- Watching free For all Mankind on Apple TV+ (broke out an old Apple TV)
- Using Pixelbook and Slate for online meetings (have not had an issue with any platform)
- Using Pixel 4 as well for meetings when I want to go outside or take meetings standing up (using the USB-C headset)
- Use my Google Assistant enabled devices to listen to music throughout the day
- Use my Lenovo tablet to catch up on the latest news using Google News and Feedly
How is technology helping?
- We are staying in touch with others more than we did in the past using email, social media, and online meeting software (we noticed this at work)
- Virtual environments like Zoom, Google Hangouts, MS Teams, and WebEx are now a part of our normal workday and these will likely hang around as we learn the benefits
- Makers everywhere are helping by printing mask components for local healthcare providers (I’ve not joined in yet and probably should get to work)
- Wyze Cam firmware upgrade to help offset the shortage of webcams (see my video)
- Testing is faster and easier than when this thing first started
- Google is skipping Chrome OS 82 to allow their employees to focus on bug fixes rather than new features (likely while they are working from home)
- Google Fi is temporarily doubling data limit for customers amid coronavirus pandemic as are other providers of mobile and Internet access
- Google is using data analytics from location tracking to help understand the spread of the virus and predict cases nationally when tied to fitness wearables.
What’s holding us back?
- Because testing is easier, more cases will be revealed and that will continue to scare us
- Speaking of Zoom, they are receiving some bad press about security and Zoom bombing! Add passwords to sessions to stay safe.
- We keep learning new things we need to do; wash hands, social distancing, masks, etc. What’s next? I’m afraid to ask
- Access to supplies, healthcare, and support
- Politics and that’s all I’m going to say on this matter.
- Some folks are still choosing to ignore this is a thing. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not over anxious about anything, but this one is scary.
- We still don’t know when this thing will be over and when it will be safe to go back to work
- The best thing you can do is to find a hobby (tech, LEGO, reading, running, anything!) and get your mind off of this. If you sit around and watch the news all day, it’s going to be a very long and scary year.
That’s my world. What does your look like? How are Pixel-powered devices helping you during this time? Drop me an email, comment on the Subreddit, or send me a voicemail. We are all in this together and sharing our tips and tricks is a good diversion that can also be useful.
No addendum this episode since the whole show is one long Addendum segment.
We will get back to the normal format in the next episode. In the meantime, be sure to let me know you are out there.
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tags: covid19 - pixel - pixelslate - pixelbook - pixelphone - pixel4 - blog - youtube