Home-Tech-Album-125x125_thumb1_thumb1Jim and Andrew and Christian are joined by Mike Howard for this weeks’ installment of the Home Tech Podcast.

After the introductions, Jim reminds us all of the importance of using an Uninterruptible Power Supply or UPS for those of us who live in areas that experience power issues from time to time.

The guys move on to talk about the recent increase in spam, especially around seemingly random people signing up to forums and sites where comments can be posted.  Christian tells us about a site, Stop Forum Spam, which is a service that tracks known spammers, and has plugins for a lot of the popular Bulletin Board and Blogging platforms such as PHPBB and WordPress.

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In an Anti-Spam / Anti-Virus vein, the guys talk about the latest initiatives from the “A Faster Internet” project, from players we’ve all heard of before, including the OpenDNS and Google DNS projects.

The Speed Up effort tries to take this another step further by making sure a user’s request for a content goes to a server near her, making delivery faster and more efficient from a bandwidth perspective.

imageJim talks about K9 Web Protection, from BlueCoat, which is an internet content filtering application that sits on the PC, and makes sure your kids are blocked from websites including those who’s content may contain pornography, gambling, drugs, violence/hate/racism, malware/spyware and phishing.  Well worth checking out if you have young kids who are seeking more “freedom from Mum and Dad” when they are on the Internet.

Andrew brings us an interesting item found on the Skype blog this week, which enables you to make and receive Skype calls on your regular phone handset.

Whilst talking about Skype, Mike discusses the recent updates coming through to the Skype client, where the client may automatically update itself, even if you are in the middle of a conversation.  The guys talk about some of the tribulations of the branding that we are starting to see in Skype calls since Microsoft acquired Skype in May this year.  The most recent changes to Skype were documented over at the Skype Blog back in July.

From Christians’ Corner, the guys talk about the Skype Powered, Facebook Video Calling feature that appear to be gradually rolling out, and which of the guys do and do not as yet have it available in their profile.

SendGridChristian talks about his recent trials regarding setting up an SMTP mailing service, given most hosting companies don’t tend to like you sending large e-mails, as this is often the attribute of an e-mail spammer.  After trying some alternatives including mailing lists, local SMTP servers, Christian finally happened upon Send Grid, an online service that specializes in sending mass emails, as well as providing analytical data around the emails that you send from your email lists.

For the Deal of the Week, Christian tells us about how he added an additional 10TB of storage to their home storage array, using an Intel RAID SAS/SATA controller and a bunch of Samsumg F4 2TB EcoGreen drives from NewEgg.com, bringing the home storage up to 34TB, and leaving the other hosts drooling at the performance from the new storage array.

Mike gets the photographers amongst us salivating with the specifications of the up and coming Sony SLT-A77 digital SLR which at release is set to bring us a 24 megapixel camera, capable of shooting up to 12 frames per second.

Mike also talks to us about Lytro, an exciting new camera that once it comes to market will allow the photographer to adjust depth of field AFTER taking the photograph, something all amateur photographers wish they could have done at some stage in time.

In social media circles, Christian tells us about Seesmic Desktop, which will integrate all of your social outlets into one interface, check it out over at Seesmic.comSeesmic have clients for Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone and Windows Phone, so you can integrate all your feeds on a device close to you.

To close out, Mike tells us how to change the Mouse Hover Time, before the Mouse Hover activates in Windows 7.

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