• Harrison Jones

Fresh off the IT Block, 27th August 2020

Welcome all, back to today's edition of fresh off the block!


In today's stories, we reveal 3 clever new gadgets to get your hands on, Final Cut Pro is getting a collaborative boost, and how Reddit has plans to expand its "dark house" streaming network.


3 clever new gadgets you should get your hands on today!


Need a tech life hack? We've got you covered - Here are 3 gadgets to get your hands on as soon as you can, because ultimately... They're going to make your life so much easier!



Duex Pro Portable Monitor - Dual monitor setup on the go?


Now, we feel your pain if you're WFH (Working from home). A lot of remote workers have to deal with just the single monitor, and it is a real pain as you can't be as productive as you would like to be.



3 clever new gadgets you should get your hands on today!


Even though this life hack gadget isn't the cheapest, it certainly rules out the pain of single monitor working. If you're travelling, in a library or even just away from any kind of desk, the Duex Pro Portable Monitor can get that second screen up and running in seconds.


It costs around $250 USD on Amazon ($340 SGD), and comes with 12.5 inches of display. Now please remember this is a portable monitor, so it is only for laptops, not your typical all-in-one desktops like iMacs and those Dell computer that have everything built into the back of the display.



Zephyr - The mouse brand that has built-in fans


Is this a common problem? We're not too sure, but the prospect of being able to keep your clicking hand nice and cool seems pretty helpful. When it gets hot in the summer, using a regular mouse can ultimately lead to sweaty palms, slowing down your work rate when gaming, working or surfing the internet in general.


The fan isn't the only good thing of course, the Zephyr weighs just 68 grams, which makes it easy to control and navigate for any purpose. The reaction speeds of the cursor will be great for any user, as the mouse boasts a 16,000 DPI resolution sensor, as well as an impressive array of LED lighting options.



3 clever new gadgets you should get your hands on today!

The fan itself isn't a basic feature you would normally expect in those cheap fans you get from the street sellers. It does have multiple speed options, and will run for a surprisingly long time. The best way to notice the Zephyr's unique selling point is to return to your PC/laptop after being away for a few moments. The mouse's exterior will be pleasantly cool, and on a hot day, this goes so well with a cold beer or fizzy drink! There's 50 million clicks to last you in this handy piece of kit, and we wouldn't be surprised if the Zephyr quickly became your new favourite mouse.


The Zephyr cooling mouse will probably set you back just upwards of $100 USD ($135 SGD), but the combination of fast senors, a unique cooling fan, and customizable LED lighting, you really can't refuse such a cool gadget.



Blync VR Bike Controller


A little more on the exercise side of things. Here's a pretty awesome virtual reality device designed for either cyclists, or simply people who want a better experience when doing exercise while stuck at home.


The Blync VR Bike Controller allows those with bicycles to experience different roads, terrains and cities, all while being in the comfort of their own living room.



3 clever new gadgets you should get your hands on today!

Basically, however hard you pedal will determine how fast the bike passes through different virtual realities. The Blync controller comes with a path sensor which will display your speed within the virtual reality view. If you usually cycle in real life with friends, they can get this gadget too, and you can chat and ride in a group chat together, all through the virtual reality view.





The Blync VR Bike controller is currently available online for around $90 USD ($125 SGD), so we recommend that if you want an easier, and more fun way to do your exercise, without the added hassle of either having to get back home, or possibly getting wet, then you should get this. Give it a go, see what you think? You never know, that bike you haven't used for X amount of years might soon be serving a new purpose!


Apple is giving Final Cut Pro a collaborative boost


Final Cut Pro just got a great new update announced by Apple...


Apple have just announced a new update that will majorly improve the collaborative aspect of their Final Cut Pro application. Plenty of new proxy workflows, and a machine learning-powered "smart conform" are just a couple of the things coming soon.



Apple is giving Final Cut Pro a collaborative boost


So, what is included?


One of the major things we found to be changing is that users will soon be able to crop videos down automatically for their favourite social media apps. Think Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter - They aren't all catered towards your standard 1920 x 1080p or 1280 x 720p display, some are inverted, and others are simply a square video border.


This clever new update will make it easy for companies, individuals, and influencers to roll out content remotely, without having to play around with a video to try and make it "social media ready".


Proxy workflows will mean that users can access projects on their home devices at a lower quality, and hence work at the same speed without the worry of lag. This proxy scales down the quality of project files held on more powerful devices, such as if you had a Mac Pro at work, but just a standard MacBook at home.


Users can expect a gradual roll out of proxy options, scaling down to the likes of 50, 25 and even 12.5 percent resolution. This will simply make editing from home temporarily easier - As long as you can still see the elements of your images and videos that matter, you can edit just as easily on your home laptop as you can from that powerful PC at work.



Apple is giving Final Cut Pro a collaborative boost


Think about it, editing on a service like Final Cut Pro must be tiring for those using lower end devices with processors like i3 cores and lower grade i5 cores, this update will transform their experience. More remote working opportunities, and a quicker turnaround on media projects will mean companies especially can get content delivered quickly and easily, without having to bring staff into the office, and then give them a high-end device (Like a Mac Pro).


Some other minor tweaks include faster 8K video transcoding, a new simplified command for making different audio files cross-fade, as well as being able to see colour temperature, ISO and exposure offsets using the Final Cut Pro inspector tool.


Reddit is preparing to grow its dark horse streaming service


Reddit just recently celebrated its 1 year anniversary of its RPAN (Reddit Public Access Network). Now, you probably have zero clue what that is, but you'll probably know about how Reddit has subreddits, right?


There are around a dozen subreddits with RPAN availability, so you can expect to see active streams in those sections. Reddit's streaming community is said to be a little different, and you don't get the same kind of streamers as you'd see through the likes of Twitch and YouTube.



Reddit is preparing to grow its dark horse streaming service


Reddit's streaming areas are very specific, and users generally feel the streaming community is a lot more relaxed and wholesome compared to YouTube and Twitch, where a lot of content is advertisement driven, and streamers run off subscriptions to support their careers.


A handful of Reddit's streaming subreddits include r/RedditInTheKitchen, r/AnimalsOnReddit and r/whereintheworld. The kitchen subreddit is where people streaming cooking videos, such as tutorials on how to make dishes. Animals on reddit is where streamers share certain animals, such as their pets, or even animals at the zoo or wild animals. The where in the world subreddit revolves around streamers showcasing any part of the world essentially, and its great to scan through which streams are on, as you could really stumble upon anyone.


Reddit's developers hope to expand their RPAN into more subreddits soon - For now though, there is a pretty unique, yet frustrating limitation. Streamers can only go live for 45 minutes. Once the 45 minute timer is complete, the viewers have the option to extend the stream using a feature called feed the meter. Basically, fellow Reddit users can give awards like gold to the streamer to encourage them to continue streaming. It's a little like Twitch, except it's not described as money, it's paying in the form of awards and gifts, which honestly sounds a lot more creative and enjoyable for many people.


If you want a more wholesome and unique streaming outlet, we recommend Reddit, it's only going to grow up from here!


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