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How To Watch Movies And TV Shows With Your Friends And Family Online

Whether you’re traveling half way across the world or simply can’t make it out of the house, you can set up a virtual watch party with your friends to watch your favorite shows together. As more of our lives (and work) have moved online, streaming movies and shows so your group of pals can watch together remotely doesn’t have a one-click solution.

Fortunately, setting up Zoom with a few tweaks makes it relatively simple to set up your own, virtual watch party. You can see how in this video or read on for the exact steps.

Streamer And Watchers

Pretty much most of the setup required here is for the streamer, the person who’s actually setting up the watch party. We’ll get to everyone else (the watchers) in a bit. First, you the streamer, will need to download Zoom and create an account. The web-only interface won’t cut it. Once you’ve installed Zoom, open up your web browser to the streaming service of your choice (e.g. Netflix, Paramount+, etc.), and queue up your movie or TV show.

In Zoom click:

  • Under New Meeting click the down-facing arrow > find your personal ID number (it will look like 123 456 7890) > click Copy Invitation
  • Next click New Meeting > then click Join with computer audio

zoom copy invitation

You should see a screen that looks like this:

zoom share screen

Text your friends directly or using some VoIP service like Facetime, Signal, or Whatsapp the meeting invitation your copied moments ago. They’ll then need to click the link in the invite, you’ll get a notification in Zoom to admit them, and now they’ll just hold on. At this point, I would suggest setting up a group call with your friends that are watching.

Now you’re ready to share your screen but there are two additional settings which are important not to neglect.

  • At the bottom of the Zoom window, click > Share Screen
  • In the window that opens, make sure Share sound [with Stereo (High-fidelity)] is checked. You can switch from “Mono” to “Stereo” by clicking the down-facing arrow next to Share sound. Then, be sure Optimize for video clip is checked.
  • At this point you can choose to share your entire screen or just the window with the web browser that has your TV show on it.

zoom share screen optimize for video clip

And that’s pretty much it. On the separate phone group call you have with your friends, make sure they can see and hear your stream and if so, you’re good to go. Everyone should mute their phones (otherwise you’ll hear their TVs and visa-versa, which might not be exactly in sync) and you can un-mute when you have something to say, then mute again.

It’s not the most straightforward setup but it’s simple enough once you’ve got through it the first time. You, as the streamer, will need decent bandwidth to ensure a smooth viewing experience but you should be able to get away with 10-15Gbps download and 3-5Gbps upload speeds at the very minimum. Keep in mind if you’re traveling internationally, you may need to use this trick to get around regional restrictions.

 

How To Pronounce Kyiv And Why It’s Not Spelled Kiev

Ukraine has been on the news a lot recently due to the war with Russia and you may have heard its capital, Kyiv and other cities, being pronounced multiple ways. Due to all of that variation from “keev” to “keyee” from journalists, it can be confusing to know how to properly say these places. To help answer those questions as well as the history behind the names of Ukrainian cities and spellings, Irena Chalupa recently joined me on an episode of the foXnoMad Podcast. Irena is a journalist specializing in broadcast from northeastern Poland who spent 23 years working for Radio Free Europe in Germany, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic as the director of the Ukrainian Service. She has also worked for the Atlantic Council think tank and was a Fulbright Scholar in Ukraine during 2016-2017. She is currently an editor at StopFake.

You can watch a clip from our discussion in the video above or listen to the full podcast here.

Airbnb Alternative With Growing Pains: Blueground Review

The Blueground is an alternative to sites like Airbnb and VRBO with a focus on longer term rentals of at least a month long and furnished with a premium aesthetic consistent across their global apartments. If you’re a traveling professional, digital nomad, or tend to have extended stays in one of 18 major cities around the world, then the Blueground has a lot to offer. It basically gets right a lot of what Airbnb gets wrong but unfortunately the Blueground has a lot to learn about what Airbnb and sites like it get right. You can watch my full review in the video above or read on.

Booking And Cost

The way Blueground works is it rents out apartments in 18 cities like Washington DC, Madrid, Istanbul, and Dubai. Their design team then furnishes all of those apartments with similar shelves, beds, televisions, and aesthetic touches. The benefit of that consistency means you know the style you’re going to to get inside the apartment. A modern, minimalist, metallic, white and black look. And it’s a look that’s welcoming and really easy to settle into. The floors and furniture are all nearly new – and the apartments are all professionally cleaned before you show up.

Searching for an apartment is fairly standard although Blueground isn’t entirely upfront about their pricing. You’re shown the lowest prices – no matter the duration or dates the apartment is available – unlike hotel booking sites or Airbnb. You can adjust the dates for a more accurate listing of available apartments but nearly always the difference between a 1 and 6 or 12 month rental is significant. Listings also don’t immediately show you the final price, which can be 30% or more expensive due to utilities, fees, and other insurance.

Airbnb Alternative With Growing Pains: Blueground Review

The Blueground is a premium service so the higher rates are expected but having to wait several clicks to get the final price is a bit disappointing. Ultimately it makes budgeting more difficult.

The Actual Apartments

Once you do book a place though, the furnishing and top notch. The furniture from the couch to the granite tables, and minimalist lamps are all new or in very, very good shape. You’ll have at least one large screen TV with complimentary YouTube TV giving you more than 85 channels to stream from. The silverware and pots and pans are high quality and the kitchens are fully stocked. The refrigerator, coffeemaker, microwave, and other appliances are updated and you definitely don’t feel like Blueground have skimped on interior furnishing. It’s a premium service that does deliver on a premium feel.

blueground

Bed sheets and blankets are really soft, I’m not sure what the thread count is but it feels like linens you’d find at a high end hotel. When you move in, Blueground also have some fancy shampoo, conditioner, and lotions waiting for you as well as soft towels a hair dryer, and ironing board.

The Internet connections too are lightning fast.

What’s Lacking

The Blueground does a very good job of the premium experience. The apartments are very nice, the customer service is responsive, and their app lets you manage your bookings and find out useful information like where to put out the trash and wifi password. On the flip side the site search listings don’t show final prices and there are no reviews of apartments available either. Lacking community feedback can be disconcerting, especially since changing apartments carries a $1,500 fee.

Blueground do fill a niche for the growing digital nomad, remote working population looking for consistency in high end temporary accommodations. Still, they have a lot to learn from their established competitors Airbnb and VRBO, starting with transparency.

8 Creative Ways To Use Apple AirTags

Apple’s AirTags are small Bluetooth trackers than can be used to locate your luggage but also have a number of other good uses. Despite the bad press, AirTags can be a valuable asset in your personal security system both at home and during travel.

These are 8 creative ways you can use AirTags to recover your lost valuables.

1. Luggage

The most obvious use for an AirTag but the obvious place to put on – in the luggage tag – isn’t the best place. Rather, place the AirTag in your suitcase, preferably in an interior pocket so it can’t be easily swiped or lost.

8 Creative Ways To Use Apple AirTags

2. Pet Tag

Using an AirTag keychain holster or a collar made with AirTags in mind, you can track your pets when they’re outdoors in case they get lost or just to find out what your cat has been up to all day.

3. Car

Hiding an AirTag in the trunk or between seat cushions (again, so it’s not easy to spot or locate for a potential crook) can give you some tracking information in case your car is stolen.

sony electric car

4. Keys

An obvious but useful one is using an AirTag key chain because your keys will get lost when you really need to find them.

airtag key chain

5. Backpack

We often think we wouldn’t just leave our bag somewhere until we actually do. The same principle applies here – keep the AirTag in an interior pocket away from any external zippers.

6. Mail

Sure, you can use FedEx or UPS to track your package but now you can theoretically get real-time updates on any piece of mail you send if you place an AirTag in the envelope.

7. Bicycle

There are specialized lights for bikes built to hide an AirTag out of sight of a potential thief. You can also use the lower tech method or duct taping one inside the seat, keeping it out of view.

amsterdam bikes

8. Purse And Some Wallets

Depending on the type of wallet or clutch you carry, an AirTag can fit and help you find it in case it gets lost. Unfortunately, since AirTags aren’t flat, they won’t easily fit in a folding wallet.

Remember This When Using AirTags

AirTags can be purchased individually but Apple does discount them if you get a 4 pack. Alternatively there’s the competing Tile which might work better for you. Still, there are a lot good ways to put multiple AirTags to use, just remember to keep them hidden because the longer their with your stuff, the more chance you have to recover your valuables if they get lost.

The 7 Best Meals In Copenhagen For Less Than 100 Danish Krone ($15)

This is a guest post by Josephine Remo, a former flight attendant of seven years, whose biggest passion is traveling. For the past ten years, Josephine has dedicated all her spare time to travel and is currently living as a digital nomad.

The 7 Best Meals In Copenhagen For Less Than 100 Danish Krone ()

Copenhagen is a lovely city that is well worth any traveler’s time for numerous reasons. You might think of words such as cute, bicycles, NOMA, cold, or Hans Christian Andersen. A word that is rarely associated with Copenhagen, however, is cheap.

Many people believe that visiting Copenhagen is going to break the bank and it is true that Denmark is an expensive country. Nonetheless, over the years a bunch of great and economic options has opened all over the city in terms of food, accommodation, and things to do in Copenhagen. Eating amazing food in Copenhagen should be on the top of your list of priorities when visiting the city, and this does not have to be expensive at all.

Here is a list of the 7 absolute best places to eat around Copenhagen, for less than 100 DKK. All places mentioned below are local favorites that provide a great gastronomical experience, far away from overpriced tourist traps.

1. Folkehuset Absalon

Folkehuset Absalon is a particularly interesting and unique spot in Copenhagen that can be visited for more than just the food. As a converted church, Folkehuset Absalon functions as a restaurant, great café, event location, and hang-out spot.

Folkehuset Absalon copenhagen

The church opened its doors in 2015 intending to become a spot for the people that was both economic, inviting, and fun. Everything happens in the main hall where you find long tables, a bar, and ping pong tables. With its communal nightly dinners and events ranging from quizzes to croquis, Folkehuset Absolon is a place for all.

Dinner is served every night at 6 PM and presented in a communal format where everyone eats alongside at the long tables. The menu changes every night and costs 50 krone Sunday – Thursday. Friday and Saturday Folkehuset Absalon offer a 2-course menu for 100 DKK. Likewise, lunch is served every day from 12 PM and costs 50 DKK all days of the week.

You can check out their website for weekly events and an updated menu. Folkehuset Absalon is located in the trendy Vesterbro area at Sønder Blvd. 73, 1720 Copenhagen V.

2. Fabro

If you are craving a delicious and simple pasta dish in a laid back setup, head to Fabro. This small corner restaurant is located in the very center of the city and stands out with its economic prices and simple concept. You won’t find anything fancy in this place but instead simplicity, a nice atmosphere, and extremely friendly staff.

fabro copenhagen

For just 85 DKK, Fabro serves great pasta dishes without the fuss. The menu doesn’t change much and the options are cut to the bone. Fabro offers 4 different pasta dishes, a few simple starters, and usually just one dessert. Check out the menu on their website if you are curious to know more beforehand.

Note that Fabro doesn’t take any reservations and you will have to drop in and possibly wait a bit for a table. Fabro is in the very center of Copenhagen at Borgergade 134, 1300 Copenhagen K.

3. Poulette

Poulette is a tiny joint in the heart of the Nørrebro area that specializes in fried chicken or vegetarian tofu burgers for 75 DKK. Other than that, you have a few other great options in terms of extras and fries – that’s it. Even though the place and menu are small, Poulette serves one of the best fried chicken burgers in town and the people know it. With its growing popularity and limited space, it’s not uncommon to be in line for a medium-short while at Poulette.

poulette copenhagen

Note that you can’t sit inside at Poulette and with just one small bench outside, people tend to grab their food as take-away or pair it with a glass of wine from Pompette next door. You’ll find Poulette at Møllegade 1, 2200 Copenhagen N.

4. Holy Krapow

Holy Krapow is the only place in Copenhagen that serves the Thai spicy dish “Krapow”, and they do so perfectly. For 95 DKK you get an incredibly flavorful meal including rice, the meat or vegetarian topping of your choice, and a fried egg on top. Simple, tasty, and exclusively found at Holy Krapow in the Vesterbro area.

holy krapow copenhagen

Holy Krapow is located in the Vesterbro area at Sankt Jørgens Allé 6, 1615 Copenhagen V. Note that you choose your own level of spiciness and when they say Thai spicy, they mean it.

5. GOLA

Located next to some of the best bars in Copenhagen, Gola has copied the New York concept of a pizza slice joint. Here Gola combines this concept with the Italian culinary tradition of the Roman-style pizza.

gola copenhagen

GOLA has a very casual and informal setting where people can order a few slices of pizza, costing 40 DKK a slice, and either grab a seat at the counter, in the front window or simply walk out the door with the pizza in hand. The menu at Gola changes seasonally and most toppings are made in-house using organic and locally produced ingredients. Besides pizza, GOLA serves a few fried bites called “fritti”, a few desserts, and a weekly pasta.

To know the exact menu, you have to either call the shop or visit GOLA at Ranzausgade 47, 2200 Copenhagen N.

6. Madglad

Madglad is a cafeteria in the Vesterbro area that serves tasty homemade meals at an affordable price in a fun and homey set-up. In the evening, Madglad serves the dish of the day, either including meat or as the vegetarian option, and offers side salads, bread, dips, and other fresh and home-cooked things in the buffet bar for 85 DKK. Alternatively, as take-away you can either choose the dish of the day including bread and hummus for 60 DKK, or get the full experience with salad for 75 DKK.

madglad copenhagen

Find Madglad at Eskildsgade 13, 1657 Copenhagen V.

7. Garbanzo

This pita-specialized place opened in 2019, quickly became extremely popular, and is now spread out over the city with 4 different stores. Garbanzo has the philosophy that fast food doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Freshness is the foundational stone of their concept and Garbanzo prepares fresh salads, homemade pita bread, and sous-vide prepared protein fillings daily with vegan and gluten free options.

garbanzo copenhagen

Photo courtesy Garbanzo.

Everything Garbanzo serves is mouth-watering good, and with pitas costing 69 DKK and bowls 89 DKK.

Visit Garbanzo either in the center of the city at Sværtegade 3, 1118 Copenhagen K, at Falkoner Allé 82, 2000 Frederiksberg, Århusgade 149, 2150 Nordhavn or in the Østerbro area at Ndr. Frihavnsgade 4, 2100 Copenhagen Ø.

Eating In Copenhagen

Eating in Copenhagen is a great and fun experience with numerous amazing options. While the city is pricey, eating great food in Copenhagen does not have to be. Know that Copenhagen is much more than NOMA and provides great economic options for a great dinner and even street food markets or local favorites.

At the 7 places in Copenhagen mentioned above, you are guaranteed a great meal at a very decent price.

Thank you Josephine for this tasty tour of Copenhagen! You can follow Josephine’s journey through her website, Instagram, and Pinterest. All photos in this post are courtesy Josephine Remo, except where otherwise noted.

Earbuds That Let You Hear The Outside World: Sony LinkBuds Review

Most headphone and earbud manufacturers focus on sound control, isolation, and active noise cancellation. Not the Sony LinkBuds though, which don’t even feature ANC. Rather, the Sony LinkBuds have a hole right in the middle to let you listen to music while still be able to hear the world around you.

They’re weird but packed with a lot of great features and might be sign of earbuds to come.

Recycled Parts, Updated Design

Right out of the box you’ll notice Sony have opted for a recycled paper box (like their WF1000XM4) to reduce plastic use and the plastic that is used in the LinkBuds case itself is made up of recycled materials. The result is a 95% reduction in plastic packaging and a smooth matte case that is very small. Measuring 41.4 x 48.5 x 30.9 millimeters and weighing on 34 grams, the USB-C charged LinkBuds case adds 12 hours of battery life. That’s on top of the 5.5 hours of battery life of the LinkBuds themselves, which isn’t great, but the smaller size means less space for batteries on par with Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro. (And no wireless charging either.) Also, enabling some of the more advanced features like the Digital Sound Enhancement Engine, may get you less battery life.

Earbuds That Let You Hear The Outside World: Sony LinkBuds Review

Coming in two colors, a textured white or a darker grey, the real story of the LinkBuds is their physical shape. There’s a rounded hole over your ear canal, leaving it exposed, while the battery and V1 Integrated Processor sits above that. The result is a very comfortable fit (these are very light earbuds) but having your ear canal open is much less restricting. Not only can you hear sounds around you but you also don’t feel like you’re in a warm sound booth either and these earbuds actually stay in your ears.

LinkBuds Sound

To get the most out of the Linkbuds you’ll want to download the free Sony Headphones app but even out of the box they sound crisp – pretty impressive for earbuds that don’t cover your ears. They tones really excel in the higher pitches and trebles but the bass sounds muffled. You can use the Headphones app to select one of a few different sound profiles or save your own custom EQ preferences as well.

sony linkbuds

Most earbuds focus on noise cancelling whereas the LinkBuds are designed for optimal transparency mode. That’s useful for when you’re jogging outdoors, they are IPX4 sweat proof, or when you’re walking around a city. Sony have also included features like speak to chat which turns off what you’re listening to automatically when you start speaking.

The microphone for calls is decent – it does tend to have a somewhat hollow sound a lot of earbuds do but the person on the other end of your phone call or virtual meeting should be able to hear you fine even if there’s moderate background noise on your end.

Futuristic Features

Sony have really leaned in to the software customization of the LinkBuds. Using the spatial sound feature, moving your head up and down then left and right, the LinkBuds will adjust their sound based on how you specifically wear them. Another feature found on other Sony earbuds is ear analysis where the headphones app uses your phones camera to optimize the sound quality based on the specific shape of your ears.

Another elegant design choice that cuts down on the size of the LinkBuds is that they don’t have any onboard buttons, rather you double tap the side of your head for adjustable functions like pause/play or volume up and down. And it works pretty well, even if you’re chewing gum, even if it does feel a bit weird to tap the side of your head to skip ahead a song.

There are some quarks like the case hinge feels a bit flimsy at certain angles and the headphones app can’t show you the case battery life unless you take the earbuds in and out but those are mainly minor complaints and one that can be fixed with a software update. These might not be the best earbuds if you fly frequentlycheck out the Bose QuietComfort – but for daily use around town where hearing your surroundings is useful, the LinkBuds might be weird looking but could be a good fit.

About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutHi, I'm Anil. foXnoMad is where I combine travel and tech to help you travel smarter. I'm on a journey to every country in the world and you're invited to join the adventure! Read More

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