New Podcast – Austin's Very Own, Episode #001

Kim and Nick Cage

My wife Kim quit her job a few weeks ago, so I got her to rev-up her online presence: Utterz and (most important) Twitter as @AustinsVeryOwn. As part of that, we started a new weekly podcast, sort of like our old one Austin Nag, but not focused on “tips for Michael.”

Here’s a direct download of the episode and here’s the feed if you want to subscribe in iTunes.

What do we talk about? Well, so far just what we’ve been up to over the past few weeks, including being in Las Vegas.

Portable USB Headset – Plantronics Audio 470

Someone asked recently for a quick rundown of the new headset I’ve been using, the Plantronics Audio 470, a foldable USB headset:

Plantronics Audio 470 unwrapped

In reality, it’s not a full USB headset: instead, it ships with a little USB dongle that does you hook the headphone and mic plugs into. I actually like this setup a lot since it means I can use the headset with normal, analog jacks, or as a USB connection. Unlike my older, larger Plantronics headset, the USB dongle is quite small and manageable.

The sound quality has been good so far – I’ve used it on several podcasts and for Skype many times. Click here for a short recording test using the head-set. Also, you always want mute and volume controls on your headset, which this one has. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have mic volume, which I always like to think I like having, but then I just jam it up all the way and adjust the input volume on my computer, so maybe it doesn’t really matter.

While sound quality is a “must have,” even more important is the portability. I travel pretty much weekly for work and am always lugging around my laptop bag so I wanted something small enough to carry around “just in case” I needed to record a podcast with good quality sound – running back to your hotel room to pick up “the good headset” isn’t often an option in the cavernous convention centers I’m at, let alone when the hotel is a car-ride away.

This headset’s portability has been good so far. It wraps up pretty tightly:

Plantronics Audio 470 all wrapped up

As with all portable gizmos, the manufacture missed the boat on shipping a small, custom made, hard-case with the headset to protect it. I’m worried that something bad will happen to the headset after a year or so of banging around in my laptop bag next to my MacBookPro, USB hard-drive, and generally getting jammed under airplane seats, in cars, and used as a foot-rest. So far its light plastic frame has withstood the crushing though.

People will often complain about long cords on headsets, but as I tend to walk around while on the phone – or Skype – I like having as long a wire as possible. You just have a little extra wrapping to do.

Overall, if you want a portable headset, I’d say get this one. The price is about $50 depending on where you get it, which is about as cheap as you want to go for a headset that’s not crap. If it broke tomorrow, I’d certainly buy one again. It’s solved my need to always have a good headset for podcasting on-hand and the quality is great.

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New Coffee Lid Technology Spotted

Check it out, I’ve come across a crazy new disposable coffee lid technology. It’s awesome:

Advanced coffee lid technology

Advanced coffee top technology

As you can see, you they’ve built a slider into the cup. It makes me want to keep it to use it again and again. It’s sort of weird we don’t have “good for 5-10 uses” disposable stuff in America too much. There’s those new tupper-ware-like containers, but that’s about it, eh?

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There's a Rip in My Pants

While on the way to Las Vegas for some bid’ness, I thought I’d wear my suit. No real reason: it was just fun. Tragically, as often happens, my pants got caught up on a loose edge, this time a seat recliner:

Soon to rip some pants

And then look what happened:

Ripped pants

I’ve actually done this to several pairs of pants, on planes and no.