sci-tech software

The last chance to upgrade to Windows 10 for free expires at the end of 2017

PSA for Windows 7 and 8.1 users: Your last chance, via a loophole, to upgrade to Windows 10 for free closes on December 31, 2017. After 2017 you will have to pay $119 for the upgrade to Windows 10. Update now before it’s too late.

To see how visit c|net for instructions.

reviews software

Push notifications solution for custom Twitter searches

I follow several Twitter accounts and like to be notified if they tweet something important with specific hashtags. None of the twitter desktop apps I’ve seen can push out notifications for a custom search. I’ve heard you can do it with Hootsuite if you pay their monthly subscription. I haven’t seen an iOS or Android app to do this either for free. There are several online services which start at about $9/month.

Old Solution

My workaround for Twitter search notifications has been to use an IFTTT applet to play watchdog on specific Twitter accounts and to watch for a certain hashtag then it would send me a text message via an SMS gateway. A Rube Goldberg type of set-up for notifications.

The cons to using IFTTT are:

  • IFTTT applets only perform actions every 15 minutes
  • The set-up can be buggy, I’ve had notifications sent to me hours late

New Solution

TwitPush is a new app in the iOS App Store so I can’t really blame myself for not using it before. It was originally released on January 20, 2017 and was updated on February 7, 2017. This is a good sign amongst so many apps that have been abandoned in the App Store. It looks like the developer is in/from Brazil as they have an app for public transportation, maybe they can do one for Hawaii County but maybe not in Portuguese.

TwitPush is very easy to set-up, is free (there’s an in-app purchase to get rid of ads when viewing your custom search logs) and it works great.

I set-up my custom search following a Twitter account and a specific hashtag and waited to see who would win the notification race between IFTTT and TwitPush. Upon every posting that fell under my custom search TwitPush sent me a notification within about a minute. Notifications were pushed to both my iPhone and my Pebble Time watch and it did this even with TwitPush running in the background on the iPhone.

Quake tweets by USGS
Quake tweets by USGS

If you’re a social media professional and need to get notifications from custom searches then get TwitPush. Let’s say you follow Hawaii 24/7 on Twitter and only want to get notifications when we tweet the hashtags #HItsunami or maybe #hiwx you can do that. Or maybe you follow DC and want a notification as soon as he tweets a BRAINBUSTER you can do it!

Get the app, make your life easier, pay the $0.99 to get the Pro ad-free version to encourage the developer on their great work. I don’t know how long this great app will work as Twitter sometimes cracks down on the usage of their API unless this app is somehow scraping feeds without the API.

If you’re an Android user and know of a good Android solution post something in the comments below and I’ll check it out and update this post.

Here are some screenshots below from the iOS AppStore.

hardware journalism software videos

We’ll do it live!

Live streaming rig and the crowd in the Pahoa High School Cafeteria for the community lava flow update meeting held by Hawaii County and the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
Live streaming rig and the crowd in the Pahoa High School Cafeteria for the community lava flow update meeting held by Hawaii County and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

I’ve broadcast most of these community lava meetings live from Pahoa via Ustream and our website at…

It’s a juggling act of equipment and resources to do this live broadcast. The main problem is getting an Internet connection to send out a live video stream. The school’s network is no-good as it’s firewalled preventing video from going out. Cellphone signals in the cafeteria are terrible. AT&T barely works, Verizon can be spotty and T-Mobile is impossible to send data out.

If you zoom in to 100 percent on the photo and look to the left of the presentation screen you’ll see my Hotspot hanging on the window. It has a medium strength signal and I can’t roam far from it or the WiFi signal will be too weak. Anyway, that’s the Internet connection.

As for the camera rig, an iPhone or iPodTouch in a BeastGrip mount, Rode VideoMic with TRS to TRRS for audio, a battery pack to give the device full power and a video tripod for smooth pans/tilts.

Again, it’s a mess of gear but it’s the simplest I could make things to assure success for the broadcast. I have to laugh at folks who claim they can do better as they have no idea what it takes and what parameters I have to work in. Yeah, you can do live broadcasts from there like how the Oahu TV stations do it. Just buy a videocamera with SDI out, a $60K LiveView backpack and server and enough cable to leave the backpack outside to gather the cell signals while being indoors shooting. Then feed the server’s video to your streaming server.

Not the highest quality video but good enough, especially when nobody else is doing it. You can view the meeting here:…