Can You Vlog with a Phone? Yes But There Are Limitations. Let’s Talk!

If there is one piece of equipment that you would need above all others to vlog, what would be it? Your camera. Vlogging without a camera simply doesn’t exist, period. Being that professional cameras can range anywhere from $400 and up (easily toppling the $1,000 mark for something truly good), you might be tempted to use your already camera-enabled smartphone in place of a separate camera.

Is that really a smart idea? Can you actually vlog with your phone? The short answer is yes, but there are some pros and cons to consider, along with a few limitations that you’ll be dealing with while recording.

Phone Limitations

Let’s talk about where your phone falters in the vlogging arena. The first and most palpable problem is the lack of a flip screen. This might not seem like a big issue at first, but it will make it harder to shoot your videos. The vast majority of phones have two cameras: front and back. The front camera is low-resolution and good for video chatting, but not nearly good enough for YouTube. So, we are forced to use the back camera, which is high-resolution and makes very clear videos.

When you’re filming, you won’t see where you are in the shot. This means that you won’t know if you’re center until you’re done recording and you check the playback. Not only that, but if you put the phone on a tripod and step back to capture more of the background, you won’t be sure if you’re too close or too far away from the camera.

Aside from not having a flip screen, we have some other limitations to deal with. First of all, your phone doesn’t have the best microphone, plus it doesn’t have a lens built for professional-level vlogging. This means that your sound might be come through properly unless you buy an external microphone, and your lens likely lacks the wide-angle or focusing capabilities that a camera would normally have.

Lastly, video recording takes a lot of memory, battery life and keeps you from accessing the device while recording. Be sure to have a larger microSD card to accommodate the large video files (if you don’t have expandable memory, then cloud services might be necessary to hold the files) and consider an additional battery so that you don’t run out of juice while filming.

While a phone is acceptable as a vlogging camera, you must be ready to face the limitations. They aren’t that hard to get around, but they may keep you from the being the best.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Camera

Now that you know the major limitations surrounding your smartphone, let’s get into the pros and cons of buying a real camera. While they certainly solve most of the problems above, there are of course some cons to go along with them that present some interesting issues here and there.

The first benefit is that you finally get a flip screen. This shows you what the shot looks like so that you can easily move to the right, left, back or forward until it looks perfect. You can also see if anything is going on behind you that would interfere with the shot. This means no more retakes for being slightly to the side and out of the center.

Perhaps the biggest con is that camera cost money, and you’ll be paying a pretty penny for them. You can usually get a good mid-tier device for around $300-$400 that should get the job done, with some more expensive models having stronger features. Unless you are making most of your money from vlogging (and many people do) you probably won’t want to spend more than $600 for a camera.

The next benefit is the addition of better microphones. Whether it has a better microphone built-in or you need an adapter, these microphones tend to work better with cameras rather than smartphones. You need a good microphone because people want to hear you. They might excuse a video that isn’t up to par, but no one will like a video where they can’t hear you.

On the con side, with the extra hardware comes extra weight. Instead of carrying a smartphone around in your pocket, you have to lug around the camera. While modern cameras wouldn’t be considered heavy, they are certainly heavier than a smartphone. Not only that, but they are also more fragile than a smartphone. You’ll need a special case to ensure that your camera is properly cradled during transportation.

Cameras have a better lens, plus there are tons of additional lenses that you can buy for better effects and shots. You should have no problem getting a good wide angle shot, easily focusing yourself or other objects and in general just having clearer videos.

However, those extra lenses cost money. While some are relatively inexpensive, you might find some that are just as expensive as the camera itself. You shouldn’t have to invest in super expensive lenses, but it’s not uncommon to buy at least a few to enhance your shots.

Lastly, real cameras will almost always have better resolution. For example, most can record in 4K and some even in 5K, while only a limited number of smartphones can record 4K video (like the iPhone). That’s because cameras are dedicated hardware made specifically to record video. They aren’t phones with cameras put on for extra functionality, they are made to give you great videos that will enhance your vlogging experience.


Choosing your camera can be tough, especially when you’re starting out and you may not be sure how long you’re going to produce videos. In general, smartphones are adequate if you’re just starting out. Most of them have good cameras that can record HD videos suitable for YouTube. However, you will be missing out on the flip screen, plus the hardware isn’t made for video recording like how a real camera is.

While there is some give and take when it comes to getting a real camera (such as cost and extra weight), it more than makes up for this with extra quality, the flip screen and some other great benefits.

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5 Best Robot Vacuum Cleaners for Hardwood Floor

It seems like only yesterday that we were using brooms to clean the hardwood floor of our homes. In fact, in many countries, people still prefer this traditional method of cleaning their floors although it is highly inefficient. Of course, you can always choose a vacuum cleaner but then again, you have to move it around and do the heavy work.

Lucky for us, technology has come such a long way that we can now delegate the task of cleaning our floors to robots. Yes, you have read it right. The future is here and it begins with using a robot vacuum cleaner that will clean your home seamlessly without you as much as moving a muscle.

In this article, we have prepared a list of five best robot vacuum cleaners in the market for hardwood floor. So, let’s get started, shall we?

  • iRobot Roomba 960

This is, without a doubt, the best robot cleaner you will find in the market. The robot vacuum cleaner is more than capable of cleaning your house with minimal supervision. The engineers at iRobot have designed this cleaner using the SLAM technology, which essentially helps the cleaner navigate your home smoothly and also allows it to keep a track of where it has been and where it is yet to clean. It also uses smart sensors to clean the corners and avoid falling down the stairs.

The Roomba 960 is also quite smart in its own way – its sensors use the patented Dirt Detect technology which enables the robot to focus on areas of high dirt and in turn, clean them swiftly. Its motors and brushes are powerful enough to pull in large debris, dust & dirt, and pet hair without getting stuck.

Needless to mention, the robot cleaner can be managed and tracked easily with the help of iRobot Home App. The only drawback that we find here is that it is priced on the higher side – at almost $700. But given these features, many will say that it is a bargain at that price.

  • iRobot Roomba 880

Roomba 880 may not have that advanced features as its 900 series counterparts, but it definitely makes up for it by working hard, and we mean this quite literally. It can run for up to four hours, making it suitable for large homes. Furthermore, its battery life is twice as much as its predecessors which means that you won’t need a replacement battery for quite some time.

Coming to the features themselves, the iRobot Roomba 880 uses AeroForce extractors which allow it to collect dust bunnies and dirt without letting them get stuck to the brushes. In simpler terms, you don’t have to concern yourself with the frequent maintenance of the brushes. Its other features are quite similar to its peers – it sweeps along the edges, avoids stairs and any obstacles, and moves seamlessly under beds, curtains, and furniture. The iRobot Roomba 800 is also quite affordable seeing that it is priced at $429.99.

  • The bObi Classic

The bObi Classic is a fabulous hardwood floor vacuum cleaner that has been designed to clean your house quickly and smoothly. It has a plethora of exciting features which, for its price point, makes bObi Classic a serious competitor to the big league players. To begin with, it has a 5-in-1 cleaning system which allows it to simultaneously sweep, vacuum, mop, and sterilize the floor using UV radiation. It also has the remarkable Waffle Mode which, when selected, will have bObi Classic focus on a small area of spill and clean it by moving in the waffle pattern.

It also comes with dirt detection technology and navigation sensors which enable bObi to clean the hardwood floors without missing a spot. And of course, when its battery falls below 15%, bObi will automatically make its way to the charging station. Its Amazon price has been listed as just $270, making this a terrific buy.

  • iRobot Braava Jet 240

Placed in the fourth place, we have the iRobot’s Braava Jet 240 robot vacuum cleaner. Its compact square shape allows it to efficiently take care of dirt and stains in small spaces, making it suitable for kitchen and bathroom floors. While other robot cleaners find it hard to navigate their way under the cabinets or around the tricky corners of bathroom, iRobot Braava Jet 240 does it without a hitch. It also has different cleaning modes depending on the surface it is in contact with. Oh, and the best part is that it costs just $199 on Amazon. How great is that for a hardwood robot vacuum cleaner!

  • Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Xiaomi is a name that is quite synonymous with smartphones but do not let it drive you away from considering its line of robot vacuum cleaners. Xiaomi Mi Robot vacuum cleaner has also the features that one can hope for. It has a smart navigation system that lets it methodically clean the hardwood floors without missing a spot. Its suction motors are quite powerful and they come with different user settings. It also uses anti-collision sensors and anti-falling sensors to avoid running into any hurdles. Furthermore, Mi Robot cleaner also uses Laser Distance Sensor to constantly map the interior of your house for a better performance. For the Amazon price of $392, it is a great buy, especially if the high-end Roomba models are out of your budget.

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The Future Of AI: Benefit Or Hazard?

It is inevitable for the saying “Knowledge is power” to come into the fray of AI when how often the saying is misinterpreted as if purely having knowledge means an automatic claim to power. It’s more intellectually responsible for us to glean how its significance lies more so with the implementation of power. Today AI holds the potential to stir up debates between hopeful optimists and concerned cynics who equally recognize that if it is mismanaged, then it can be consequential to the progression of the human race in utilizing this revolutionary, yet equally dangerous technological phenomenon.

In a 2015 TEDx event, Director of Information technology Andre Leblanc spoke highly about the benefits of AI and how it can revolutionize the medical field. The realm of AI is a virtual world, where the most complex of simulations can be performed as a means of finding the best possible outcome for treating multiple diseases, especially when further integrated with the use of nanotechnology. Leblanc went on to present an example wherein any simulation, an AI could very much perform a multitude of repetitive tests through a virtual body and adaptively learn and surpass the technological developments it was designed to perform originally as a means of eventually finding a cure to the medical problem, which makes an AI very human in a sense. Now, human beings are unique and highly intelligent creatures, but even they have biases, which can be reflected in their AI’s design and the dispassion demonstrated in their ability to misidentify certain scenarios.

In discussing the dangers of AI, it’s important to ask ourselves “How far we want to go?” This question was posed in a 2017 TEDx event by Peter Hass, the Associate Director of the Brown University Humanity-Centered Robotics Initiative. When speaking about his own work in robotics, Hass elaborated on how the critical element within a malfunctioning AI is our own intellectual laziness. He further postulated potential examples of how AI could one day be integrated into systems that determine whether citizens get loans, Medicaid, job interviews, or even a proper medical diagnosis at the same capacity that the compass criminal sentencing algorithm is used in thirteen states to determine violent offenders based on racial biases. The saddest point mentioned in his presentation was that rarely are these AI algorithms ever checked and even denied evaluation just because of the model efficiency they provide judges who determine the sentencing of criminals deemed violent offenders by the system.

Leblanc and Hass make valid points on the positives and negatives of where AI can go, and how the development process is something to be skeptical about. However, it is arguable that the benefits certainly outweigh the negatives, but only if the technological development is managed well, which shows that at the end of the day, it’s up to us to usher in the future we strive for before we become obsolete to our own creation. If you wish to know more, here are links to the TED speeches:

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How to Keep Your WordPress Site Running Fast

Aside from choosing a good host with the most modern servers, keeping your WordPress site running as fast as possible will help you make more sales, and it will just make people happier with your website. While WordPress is innately a fairly fast system due to its light installation, there are many things that you can do to improve its speed even further.

Caching Plugins

These plugins, like the W3 Total Cache plugin, are made to improve the user experience on your website. Not only do they make it much easier for the user’s browser to cache your website, but this enhances server and downloading speeds. You will notice a huge difference before and after installing this plugin. Like most add ons, these are very light and they won’t weigh down your system.

Upgrade WP

Never, ever forego a WordPress update. While the updates don’t change many things on a superficial level, you will find that they make major changes to the background information (like coding and security). First of all, getting WordPress fully updated means that there will be fewer ways for hackers to attack your website. Fewer hackers and viruses always improve loading speeds. The second thing that this does is directly improve speed. Many of the updates improve WordPress’s coding so that it’s lighter and runs much faster than before. Just spend a few minutes updating the CMS. Your patience will be rewarded.

Lighter Template

The heaviest thing about WordPress is the template. This takes the longest to load and it requires the most memory. While you definitely need a good template to ensure that people like your website and continue coming back to read new content, you shouldn’t choose one that has unnecessarily large files or an expansive coding footprint. It’s best to use a theme or template that uses small images, relies mostly on clean and optimized coding and is made for speed.

No Heavy Files

As mentioned above, the theme is usually the heaviest file because it has many colors and shapes. At the same time, many bloggers use heavy files to make their articles look better. However, these are ruining the use experience because they will make it take much longer for the website to load. For example, do you have an overly large picture or a long video uploaded to your website? These types of files will slow you down. Either get rid of them or shrink them down so that your website will load much faster.

Valid Coding

All of the coding on your website should be valid. Some web designers and developers prefer to use hacked coding because it makes it much easier to get around common restrictions and problems, but the issue here is that invalid coding is slow. This is because it slows down rendering. First of all, the browser may not know how to render a certain area. Having invalid code forces the browser to make assumptions about your design. This also slows down the browser because it doesn’t know what to do. It will take a few extra seconds for the browser to decide how to use the hacked code. Be sure to run your theme and entire blog through a validator. This will check the blog for any bad coding so that you’ll never exactly where the problem is.

CSS and JavaScript Placement

Rearranging where CSS and JavaScript appear in your coding can make a big difference in your loading speeds. CSS should appear in the top in the head section. This is because CSS will load fastest here. Placing it anywhere else will prevent progressive loading. JavaScript is the opposite. It should be placed in the footer section, otherwise it will prevent progressive loading. Your page will be exactly the same, but this slight rearrangement will make your page load much faster. This is because CSS is very easy to load, and it will come up in a second or two. JavaScript is a little harder, so placing it near the bottom will give the server more time to work on it.


WordPress is a fast system, but there are many things that you can do to make it even faster. This is essential if you want to get the most organic traffic or have happy visitors that would enjoy coming back.

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DirecTV Now Review: It’s a Stinker

I don’t recommend DirecTV Now unless you’re bundling it with your AT&T account. It’s awful. It maxes out at two concurrent streams and has a terrible interface and a messy stream. Here’s why:

Stream Quality:

  • This is where this review should start and stop: their stream doesn’t work. You’ll frequently get an “Error 40” notice and won’t be able to watch anything. If you can’t watch what you’re paying for, channel lineups and features are irrelevant. There were nights when all of my other live streaming services were working perfectly, but DirecTV wouldn’t play. I am not the only one with these issues. But there is hope that DirecTV will improve. They’re newer to the streaming space and are still figuring things out.
  • You’re only allowed two concurrent streams, which is fine, but comparatively low. The problem is there’s no way to pay for more. On DirecTV’s site, they recommend you buy a new account if you want more than two streams. What?
  • The whole channel lineup is 60 frames per second to get a smooth stream for any type of content.


  • DirecTV already has all of the licensing deals (they’re the biggest cable company in the world), but no package allows me to watch the Red Sox. You can get your local Fox and Comcast regional sports channels, but if your team has its own channel (like the Sox or Yankees), you’re out of luck.
  • The channel lineup is alright otherwise.


  • The interface is a mess, and it’s awful at curating shows. Also, when using my Apple TV remote, touching anywhere near the trackpad changes the channel. While it’s a unique feature, I’d like the ability to disable it. It’s frustrating and reminds me of old-school TV, where the channel order actually matters.
  • You can pause, but you can’t fast forward after pausing; you can only play.


  • DVR is coming to DirecTV NOW, but there’s still no definitive timeline.
  • There’s a good on-demand selection, but you can’t skip commercials.


  • DirecTV Now is on Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox, iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. This doesn’t mean the apps work well, just that they’re available.


  • DirecTV Now is $20 if you already have AT&T as your cell phone provider. That’s a great deal, but it’s just for the first year. Do you really want to bundle everything in contracts? The whole point of live TV streaming services is to have more control.
  • The HBO add-on is only $5. You won’t get a price that low anywhere else, but it’s a watered-down HBO without access to old content.
  • If you pay for three months upfront, you get a free Apple TV 4K.

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