PCM13 PC Mike Podcast: Why a Dash Cam Should Be Your Next Tech Purchase

From strange lights over Colorado to exploding houses in New Jersey, stunning video that would otherwise go unseen is being caught by dashboard cameras.

In fact, we predicted dash cams would be one of the hottest tech gizmos of 2015 and still think it really should be your next tech purchase.

That’s why we dedicate most of episode 13 of the PC Mike Podcast to the subject of dash cams. We talk to Dewey DeVane, CEO of Windshield Witness, the company behind my preferred dash cam, about what you should look for when buying one – and after you buy one.

I also deconstruct Apple’s big news conference with PC Mike Techcast Producer Andrew Dietderich and we also talk Google’s plan to provide worldwide WiFi via high altitude balloons.

Shownotes from episode 13 of the PC Mike Techcast:

Tech News and Trends: Apple’s Big Event, Google’s Big Balloons

Apple held a big event Monday, March 9, revealing details about Apple TV, MacBook, new heath-related products and, of course, Apple Watch. We review what they said, what it means, and I give my grade on each aspect. You can view the event here.

Google is research the use of balloons to deliver high-speed Interent to untapped areas around the world. (Read more)

App Review: Make Money From Spring Cleaning Using These Apps

Time to clean out the house and garage and do some spring cleaning by getting rid of all that stuff you no longer need. Sure, there’s eBay and Craigslist. But  a growing number of apps are available to serve as alternatives to those older online marketplaces.

Mercari is one of the most popular online marketplaces outside the U.S. and starting to build its service stateside. The app is free for Apple and Android. It links buyers and sellers. Categories include everything from antiques to sports gear to electronics. Listings can be shared via social channels. And Mercari doesn’t charge a listing fee or take a commission.

Depop bills itself as the little shop in your pocket. Think “Instagram meets eBay,” with an even more personal and interactive version of eBay’s limited feedback system. Like Instagram, you can apply filters to spruce up your photos. Descriptions can be short. Listings are free and Depop doesn’t charge any commission. Free for Apple and Android.

One more online marketplace – Chairish. Also free for Apple and Android, it specializes in higher end home décor, furniture, and jewelry. You provide the pics and details – they provide the online market. Chairish helps manage payment, shipping and online presentation, but there is a 20 percent commission for this one and other fees, such as insurance on shipping, could be involved.

See them in action on my NBC-TV report here.

Interview: Dewey DeVane, CEO, Windshield Witness on Why You Need a Dash Cam ASAP

We interview Dewey Devane, CEO of Windshield Witness, the maker of the dash cam I use.

Use of a dash cam revolves on a simple concept: Documentation of your drive, be it across North America or to the corner convenience store.

There are three basic reasons for adding a dash cam:

Protection: Accidents are often become a blame game with one driver’s word against another’s. Dash cams offer proof of what happened.

Documentation of a trip: When traveling great distances, there are just too many beautiful places and things to stop and photograph. A dash cam provides for a thorough recounting of your journey with high def video.

Capturing the unexpected: Entire websites are dedicated to this use of dash cams. The reason is simple – so many things happen so fast for even the most skilled camera quick-draws. Take the Chelyabinsk meteor that was caught flying over Russia last February. Because so many dash cams are used in Russia, plenty of documentation of the event exists. Now, you may not be likely to catch such a visual and impressive event, but then again, maybe you will.

Reports indicate Russia, in fact, has led the way with dash cam use because of the weight the legal system puts on the video evidence, especially when it comes to auto insurance fraud, a particularly problematic issue in the region. But with so many dash cams from Europe making the You Tube rounds, dash cam use has now become a worldwide phenomenon.

Windshield Witness offers some great benefits:
– It mounts to the dash/windshield to video capture what happens in front of the vehicle.
– It records automatically when driving.
– It powers on/off with vehicle.
– It recycles media (i.e. deletes the boring stuff and, when the little SD memory card fills up, it starts recording over the oldest clip) automatically.
– It has a G-sensor. This sensor will earmark any video connected with detection of an impact.

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The Windshield Witness System includes a 32GB Class 10 SD memory card and Transfer Kit. The system delivers 1080P video quality and comes complete with everything needed to video your travels and to better protect yourself and your loved ones from a fraudulent accident claim.

It is quality all the way. Plug and Play. Mount it on your windshield, plug the power cord in your cigarette lighter connector and it starts recording. It’s that simple. The video is 1080Pp HD, super high quality. It also records audio, which you can turn on or off as you please.

The Transfer Kit allows customers to easily move the Windshield Witness between two vehicles, without having to remove and re-install the window mount and power cord. You can easily transfer their Windshield Witness back and forth between your RV and your daily driving vehicle. Simply unscrew the camera and then screw it into the window mount on the other vehicle.

I couldn’t be happier with this camera.

Like it? You can buy it here. Total price including USPS Priority Mail delivery is $221.16.


Online Learning – Free Trial for PC Mike Listeners

I get asked a lot about finding online courses for learning how to use photography software such as Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom CC, which are both on my recently updated list of tech gear. I talk about how I benefited from taking online courses as well as a special deal available only to PC Mike Techcast listeners at pcmike.com/lynda, where you can even try it free for 10 days and see if online learning works as well for you as it has for me. By the way, they have more than 3,300 courses to pick from – including more than 100,000 video tutorials – in subjects ranging from photography, video and audio to graphic design and web development. With Lynda, you can get:

– Unlimited access to all 3,314 courses – more than 100,000 video tutorials

– Learn new software and stay up to date

Listeners of the PC Mike podcast can get a free 10-day trial. Try any course. Start your trial now and see what you can learn. Just go to http://pcmike.com/lynda to get the free 10 day trial.

Free Audiobook

We have news on how you can get a FREE audiobook download and 30-day free trial by going to http://audibletrial.com/pcmike. Audible offers over 150,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player. For listeners of the PC Mike podcast, Audible is offering a free audiobook download with a free 30-day trial to give you the opportunity to check out their service. To download your free audiobook today, go here.

PC Mike Techcast listeners may enjoy “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson. Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than 100 family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing. Regular price is $34.99, but it’s free if you sign-up for a trial with Audible at http://audibletrial.com/pcmike.

We Need Your Help!

As we begin a new podcast like this, it’s very important to get a bunch of reviews to be able to show well in the iTunes listings. So if you can, I’d sure appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave me your rating and review.

Here’s how:

First, open up the iTunes app on your computer or mobile device. Click on Podcasts on top
> From the iTunes Podcasts page, use the “Search Store” field up at the top right corner of the page. Type in PC Mike Techcast under the Podcasts category.
> Click on the logo image of the PC Mike Techcast on the search return page
> From there, you can:

1) Subscribe

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3) Leave a written review.

Thanks to all for the kind reviews we’ve received so far. I read and appreciate every review! If you haven’t left a review please do so. I will be so grateful!

And remember, you can appear in future episodes. Ask a question or voice your comments by clicking the Leave Voicemail tab on the right side of this page here at pcmike.com. You can then use the microphone on your computer to record your question.

Thank you!

 

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About the Author:

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.