Friday, November 22, 2013

Checking the technology - China Weekly Hangout

Once a week the +China Weekly Hangout tries to discuss an important item in China's current affairs, using Google's hangout technology. But while the technology is pretty simple, it seems still pretty intimidating for new users. On top of that Google changes its systems weekly, if not daily, causing problems even for regular users.
Since its last major upgrade, now weeks ago, we did not have one session that went without technical problems, and the reports of people who want to join, but fail to do so increase. That is even tougher if you are from China, where Google+ is blocked, and you prefer to speak Chinese over English.
So, on Thursday 28 November we will for one time dive into the technology. Our US friends will be absent because of Thanksgiving, we will discuss questions you have over the technology, do some testing to sort out our own problems, and give some advice on how to make your appearance in hangouts smoother.

The hangout will start on Thursday 28 November, 10pm Beijing time, 3pm CET (Europe) and 9am EST (US/Canada). You can register for participation at our event page or watch the hangout from our event page and use our Q&A tool to ask questions.

Update: One tip I can give already. Shortage of bandwidth is a common problem. Not only in China, where you have to push the hangouts through a VPN or proxy, but also in both Belgium and Switzerland, where I mostly reside.
Friends told me yesterday that when I do not use WiFi, but a cable, that could reduce problems. But, hey, I have abolished cables as much as possible and would have to add another long cable to my regular travel bag. But today I looked at the interface, and discovered a tool I have not used before. (see pic). I thought it was related to the sound, but when I clicked on it I discovered it was a tool to limit the usage of bandwidth. I have moved it already a bit to the left (standard is fully to the right). And by shifting it to the left, you can reduce it even more. The image does not look better, of course, and to the left you only get audio. But it was a nice discovery I can demonstrate on Thursday.

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