All your emo are belong to Russia

Remember Livejournal? All your angst posts about poignant Vagrant Records band lyrics? Selfies (before we called them that) of your pixie cut? Or crucial fades? Stupid surveys…  It’s safe to say that it played a major role in my social life as young adult years and I have most fond memories of that place.

I’d always known that Livejournal became super popular in Russia sometime after I stopped frequenting the site regularly. I sort of left it at that, assuming it was one of those quirky Russian internet things. Turns out it might be a lot more sinister.

The latest episode of – the excellent podcast – ReplyAll tells an interesting story of what happened with Livejournal and Russia.

Spoiler alert: nearly 10 years after its purchase by a Russian company, Livejournal’s servers finally relocated to Russian soil. It’s not much of a stretch to assume that the FSB and friends have direct access to any of your old content that might still be living there….

My 2012 Podcast Recommendations

This morning I wrote an email to a good friend who’s finally taking a real interest in podcasts, after years me trying to convince him to start listening to something, anything. The email ended up being fairly comprehensive, so I’m going to repost it here.

He already listens to No Agenda, Industrial Strength Nightmares and Planet Money based on my recommendation, I won’t be covering those here.

The 404 Show – They kind of cover tech news. The show reminds me a lot of Diggnation. If you’re going to listen to back episodes, I wouldn’t suggest anything old than about 3 years. If I recall, that’s when the show really started to get good.
Sound Opinions – They talk about music, interview artists and review new albums. Often they cover music I’m not terribly interested in, but I (almost) always find the show entertaining regardless.
Tech News Today – Daily Tech News. I’ve been listening to the main host of the show (Tom Merritt) for on his various tech news shows for around 6 years. Sarah Lane from TechTV is a co-host. I have mixed feelings about recommending this show, I’m not really a fan of the other regular hosts and am kind of looking for a replacement. I don’t recommend listening to back episodes, I think that’d be a little like watching re-runs of the evening news.
There are various shows from FrogPants Studios that I’ve listened to over the years. The network was started by Scott Johnson a web cartoonist all the shows are “humour-based.” The shows are sort of hit and miss and the overall production quality of their shows has really improved over the past year or so. I’d recommend listening to the latest episode of a show before deciding whether you listen to back episodes. A couple of shows I’d recommend from that network specifically are:
The Instance – I don’t understand how you play World of Warcraft without listening to this podcast. I haven’t listened since I quit WoW, but I assume it’s still good.
The Movielicious– A french guy, an Englishman and an American woman review (American) movies. It’s funny.
Hypothetical Help – The hosts help listeners with their personal problems, using wit and humour.
Film Sack – Typically the four hosts review terrible movies. I don’t actually enjoy their weekly episodes as much as their “Bonus Sack” commentary tracks. They record commentary tracks for movies (you play the movie on your TV and listen to their audio on your device).  Their ST:TNG episode commentary is especially good.

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My Top 5 Podcasts of 2011

I still love podcasts as much as I did back in 2009. Trevor and Erica threw up some tweets about posting my favourite podcasts. So I thought I’d take a second to post my faves. In no particular order (the headline is link bait (suck on that)), these are the podcasts that I find myself listening to the most:

Tech News Today

Back in June 2010 Tom Merrit left CNET to start a daily tech show on the TWiT network. It’s serves as my main source for tech news, like a 6 o’clock news for tech.

Industrial Strength Nightmares

I’m fairly musically agnostic. I really like a lot of different genres of music. ISN Radio is my main source for Industrial music. Not a huge fan of the host (sorry), but the music makes up for it. If you’re interested in expanding your music horizons, check it out.

CBC’s Spark

It’s from the CBC it’s about technology, they interview smart people and it’s awesome.

The Talk Show

Daring Fireball’s Jon Gruber is kind of like the Rush Limbaugh of Apple punditry. He mainly talks about how awesome Apple is.

Film Sack

Four extremely nerdy men in their late-thirties review bad movies. If that is not great enough, their “Bonus Sack!” commentary is especially great.

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