How To Watch Apple’s ‘Spring Forward’ Event

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We’re less than 24 hours away from the official launch of the new Apple Watch. Apple’s event kicks off at 10am Pacific Daylight Time at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco on March 9th 2015.

The Watch was unveiled in September 2014 but Apple has given very limited details about it’s features, release date, battery life, and pricing. In addition, many unconfirmed rumors lead us to believe Apple may have more than just a Watch to show off tomorrow.

Watch

Photo 2015-03-09, 10 08 11 AM

Apple will be streaming the event on Apple.com, for all of their customers to watch. Live streaming video requires one of the following devices:

  • Mac with OS X 10.6.8 (Safari 5.1.10) or later
  • iOS device with iOS 6.0 or later
  • Apple TV (second or third generation) with software version 6.2 or later

Often, you’ll be able to find online sources rebroadcasting the stream for users who do not have access to an Apple device.

Follow Along

If you’re unable to watch the live video stream on Monday, there’s many other ways you can follow along! For a real-time live blog, we recommend checking out the front page of MacRumors.com.

On Twitter, @MacRumorsLive provides very accurate information and updates from the live event. You can also follow @TechZany for occasional updates, as well as the very-active hashtag #AppleLive.

Time Zones:

  • 10:00 am Pacific (Vancouver, BC)
  • 11:00 am Mountain (Calgary, AB)
  • 12:00 pm Central (Winnipeg, MB)
  • 1:00 pm Eastern (Toronto, ON)
  • 2:00 pm Atlantic (Halifax, NS)
  • 2:30 pm Newfoundland (St John’s, NL)

Reminder: California, and most of North America, observes Daylight-Saving time.

Live Streaming Video using AVConv and the Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized $35 computer that can be used to accomplish many tasks similar to what a desktop PC can do. This includes spreadsheets, word-processing, games, and even…live video broadcasting! By connecting a powered USB Hub and webcam to your Raspberry Pi, you can broadcast live video to an unlimited audience for free. I’ll show you how this is possible.

Please be patient and read through the entire tutorial before attempting.

What You NeedCredit: Wikipedia.org

Getting started requires a few peripherals. To start up your Raspberry Pi and do initial configuration, you will need an HDMI cable, USB keyboard, and USB mouse. In addition:

Recommendations

  • Use the raspberry pi “headless”. Do not run the desktop version of Rasbian on your Pi (xwindows). It uses an excess amount of RAM and precious CPU power that you need to reserve for your live video compression and streaming. Instead, use the command line interface or access via Secure Shell from another computer. (optional)

  • Assign a static local IP to the Raspberry Pi. (Configuration can be found in: /etc/network/interfaces). This is useful when accessing the Pi remotely. (optional)

  • Don’t use a Raspberry Pi enclosure that limits heat transfer and airflow.

Preparation

Update your software repository to the latest version by running the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Plug in your devices.  Webcam –> Powered USB Hub –> Raspberry Pi

Install Screen (optional):

apt-get install screen

Restart your Pi device:

reboot


Installation

To transcode and broadcast the video, you will need to use a Linux application called AVConv (similar to FFmpeg). It is a command line program for transcoding multimedia files using the Libav Multimedia Framework. FFmpeg will give you the same result, but I personally prefer AVConv for ease-of-use.

To Install AVConv, run the following command:

sudo apt-get install avconv

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Buying a Refurbished Mac

Apple.com offers Certified Refurbished Macs, iPods, iPads, and accessories. Apple’s refurbished pricing is usually about 15% off of the regular price of the product.

The products you are getting are completely checked out and certified by Apple professionals. As with every Mac, you get a one year included AppleCare warranty with the option of purchasing additional AppleCare.

A refurbished unit is tested and certified to work as a new machine. A refurbished Mac might even be less likely to fail then a new unit as it has been worked in and manually tested by professionals.

Some people purchase Macs and then return them for no good reason. Apple can’t resell these as new so they test them, fix them up, and then sell them as refurbished. Apple does the same with overstock products and older models of Macs.

My Experiences

I recently purchased a refurbished MacBook Pro from Apple.com. I happened to get a customized model. This means someone didn’t buy one of the base models. Before they purchased, they told Apple to upgrade certain components. I was lucky enough to get one of the SSD MacBook Pros before they went out of stock. In my experience, refurbished Macs go fast because you don’t know how many are available. If you want something you see, act fast.

To be completely honest, I got a great MacBook in great, brand-new condition for about 20% off regular price. By the way, this is the current generation MBP.

I have not had any problems with my MacBook and have loved it since the second I pulled it out of the box. I have no regrets for purchasing a refurbished Apple product.

Buying a New Mac

Buying new seems reasonable if you would like the experience of original packaging or you would like a custom configuration. (ex. multiple video cards, RAM pre-installed, etc)

Refurbished From Other Retailers

I have heard some bad reviews about buying a refurbished Mac from a retailer other then Apple so be careful and be sure to look around online before making any purchases.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you would like to save some some money, refurbished from Apple is a great no-risk purchase. If you have the extra cash and love to get a custom configured Mac, purchase brand new from Apple.

Facebook Video Calling Announcement for July 2011

In a live announcement from Facebook’s HQ in Palo Alto, Facebook CEO Mark  Zuckerberg shows us a new video chat system that combines Skype software with  Facebook’s social infrastructure.

This function is made to be very simple and functions as an app built into  Facebook. You will be able to click a small button on your friend’s chat window ,  you both install a small 500kb plugin and you’ll be video calling in no time.

Zuckerberg also announced two other new features.  One is a group chat feature  that will allow for ad hoc chats between groups of friends. The other new feature  is a new layout that will put a separate bar of friends (both online and  offline)on the side of browser.

All the features are aimed at increasing interaction between friends on Facebook.  Zuckerberg highlighted this as a key goal for his site expansion.750 million  users and counting.

I have personally tested out the video calling feature and the new sidebar. Both  looks very promising. I can’t wait until I can try them out some more.

Are Facebook’s new features as ‘awesome’ as they were said to be? I am sort of  disappointed that group calling isn’t available yet similar to Google+’s  ‘Hangout’ feature which is currently in the beta stage, invite only.

This is going to help a lot of people though, that is for sure. Like I said,  Facebook created this with simplicity in mind. This is going to be a very nice  feature for people who don’t know a lot about computers, to use. No additional off  site programs. No additional set-up, etc. It is all right there, within your own  web browser.

Leave your comments. Let us know what you think about this new service and if you are going to use it.