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From The Archives Podcasts Review

Podcasts: what’s on my iPod

I’m pretty sure I’ve made at least a couple of posts about podcasting. I can’t be bothered to read my past entries to see exactly what I said, but I’m pretty certain it was somewhat negative. My main problem with ‘podcasting’ was (and still is) the term itself…Even though I’ve made a couple attempts at podcasting myself, truth be told I didn’t really get it. That is, until I got an iPod.

My wife bought me a black 2GB iPod Nano a couple of weeks ago as an early birthday present. Once I got comfortable with the iPod interface in general and iTunes itself (not a pretty app to run on windows) I started subscribing to a couple of podCasts. A few I’d listened to before and a couple of new ones – I’ll get to that in a minute. After loading up a few hot new podCast, I was immediately impressed, it gave my iPod a completely new use. The way the iPod seamlessly syncs with iTunes makes it an extension of my computer and the internet. If you have an iPod and you’re not listening to podCasts you’re missing out on half the functionality. If you spend a lot of time in front of the computer and you find yourself getting tired of listening to music (maybe you’re just old), check out a podcast.

Anyways, I thought I’d list a podcasts I’m currently subscribed to:
CBC Radio 3
100% Independent Canadian Music
A weekly podcast, with 19 episodes to date. Plays a mix of indie music, similar to what you might hear on DNTO, everything from emo to hiphop. I’ve listened to 3 episodes so far. One of them was pretty good, but i might just be saying that because they played moneen. The other 2 weren’t really great. It’s the sort of mix I might like to listen to a road trip, or late at night. It does makes use of mp3 chapters, which is interesting from a technical standpoint.

Diggnation
Diggnation is a weekly tech/web culture show based on the top digg.com social bookmarking news stories. Hosted by former The Screen Savers hosts Kevin Rose & Alex Albrecht.
Always entertaining, usually informative. As these two guys have actual broadcast experience, it’s one of the best. Also has a corresponding ‘vidCast.’

Hi My Name Is Mark
defeat, crushed dreams, and high karate. The life and times of Mark Hoppus…
former bass player for blink 182. Only 2 episodes. So far it’s better than I’d expected. For fear of legal repercussions most podcasts either stay away from music altogether, or limit themselves to “podsafe” music. Because Mark Hopus is actually *IN* the music industry he’s able to get permission play anything he likes, additional he interviews almost every artist he plays. The music is obviously lite, pop punky/emo. Mark also makes great use of the mp3 chapters feature.

Security Now!
Steve Gibson, the man who coined the term spyware and created the first anti-spyware program…discusses the hot topics in security today with Leo Laporte. Published weekly late Thursday night.
I’ve listened to all 7 episodes. The topics discussed in classic Leo Laporte style fairly rudimentary. I could see this show being educational/useful to a lot of customers i used to talk to when i did tech support. Initial I thought I’d give it a chance, the subject matter is a little more technical that the normal Leo fare. It’s going down hill. If the dumbing down-ness continues next week, I will probably unsubscribe.

techPhile
Gadget, Tech & Geek on the go. Listen in for news, reviews, and interviews with today’s shakers and movers in the techworld.
Essentially tech news with a Canadian spin. I was about ready to unsubscribe – the content isn’t too interesting – but it looks like he’s got some good interviews coming up. So I’ll give those a listen.

The Dawn and Drew Show
Gadget, Tech & Geek on the go. Listen in for news, reviews, and interviews with today’s shakers and movers in the techworld.
This show is podcast daily (as far as i understand it’s their fulltime job at the moment, they’re syndicated on satellite radio). That’s probably one of the only reasons I listen to it. I first heard about this show on another podcast. Dawn and Drew get a lot of props, but the show isn’t anything special. The show really isn’t about anything, they basically talk about their life and their fans and joke about sex. It’s serves as my mildly amusing morning radio show on the bus.

The Web 2.0 Show
Welcome to the Web 2.0 Show podcast with your hosts Josh and Chris! Join us as we discuss Web 2.0 technologies, business and ideas with industry leaders.
Pretty straight forward. If you’re not familiar with the term ‘web 2.0’ check the wikipedia article. They’ve only put out 3 episodes to date. The first had horrible audio quality, I couldn’t listen. The second was only midly educational. The 3rd is still sitting on my iPod. I’m pretty excited about web 2.0 so I’ll give this podCast another chance.

Saved the best for last…
This Week In Tech
Your first podcast of the week is the last word in tech. Join Leo Laporte, Patrick Norton, Kevin Rose, John C. Dvorak, and other tech luminaries in a roundtable discussion of the latest trends in high tech. Winner of People’s Choice Podcast and Best Technology Podcast in the 2005 People’s Choice Podcast Awards. Released every Sunday at midnight Pacific.
This is *THE* tech podcast. It’s a behemoth. They don’t know for certain, but I don’t think anyone would be suprised if they found upwards of a million downloads per episode. The original name of the show was “Revenge of The Screen Savers” and that’s essentially what it is. In addition to the reccuring hosts, the discussion often includes former TSS guests and personalities. Despite Leo Laportes presence, this show manages to be an exteremly informative discussion of tech topics. Reoccuring topics tend to be: google, digital rights, IPTV/IPMedia, bittorrent as well as other generally geeky topics. They’ve recently moved the show to a “live” venue (first the apple store in cupurintino, then a bar in toronto, now rotating california resturants) with a live audiance and a video shoot – a first in podcasting. The majority of hosts are media veterans making this a very well produced affair. Episodes typically run 60 – 90 minutes.

Categories
From The Archives Google Review Websites

IM, OS and Pirates, Oh My

Google Talk

If you haven’t already heard Google released Google Talk Beta on Wednesday, Google’s answer to AIM and MSN. As a nerd I feel it’s somehow my duty to talk about google even though I’m sure this has already been “blogged” about 10,000 times since Wednesday. Wired has already written a review. My two cents: the classic google simplistic design is sheer brilliance as always, I couldn’t be happier with Google’s choice to to use the jabber protocol – open protocols are where it’s at – fo shizzle, voice sound quality is superb – the use of cellphone style connect quality bars is brilliant, i hope they implement file transfers soon, multi-chat is overrated – i hope they don’t include it, tabbed chats would be nice. That’s a quick rundown of my thoughts on gTalk. Next up, windows Vista…

Asta la Vista

I installed Windows Vista Beta 1 (legally obtained, I assure you) the other day. I am definitely unimpressed. Granted I didn’t take a super close look at it. I’m convinced that Vista is going to be to XP what ME was to 98, especially at the rate they’re removing features. The main features I noticed where silly GUI ‘improvements.’ I suppose GUIs are what desktop OSes are all about. But the Vista GUIs features fall into to categories 1) ripping off Mac OS X, 2) stupid/pointless. blah….i can’t talk about this any longer

Pirates of the Spanish Main

I recently moved in close proximity to a Geek Games Store. While waiting for my bus the other day I noticed an interesting looking game in the window, Pirates of the Spanish Main. The publisher is calling it “world’s first constructible strategy game.” It’s essentially a miniatures game, wrapped in the facade of a collectable card game. You purchase the game in packs of cards which punch out like paper dolls. The cards consist of ship pieces, crew members, islands and treasure. The empty cards can then be used for in game measurement, all measurements are in S or L (short or long side of the card), pretty brilliant. The rules are dead simple and the ships are fun to build. So in conclusion, add me to your gtalk list and buy yourself some Pirates! cards i need someone to play with. (cards are water and wine proof btw)

PS. Check out A List Apart 4.0, interesting layout.

Categories
Culture From The Archives Review

Episode III: RotS (litterally?)

Egad, I’m glad that debacle is finally over. Star Wars episodes I-III has got to be one of the worst trilogies of movies ever. As a moderate Star Wars nerd, I’ve been waiting a good 8 or 10 years (since the first rumours of EPI) for this moment. I can honestly say my teenage boy dreams are feeling a little shattered. I need to use my next day off to purge myself, who wants to come over for an EP IV,V,VI marathon Friday?

I started writing the post a few days ago, i was going to talk about how much I hated episode III right here. But I keep changing my mind. I need to watch it one more time. My only comment at this point will be that the last half of the movie seemed like a checklist of things that had to be covered by episode IV. Lucas seemed to go through this list without much thought. Other than that, action and effects were awesome!

I’ve done some thinking about the differences between the original trilogy (OT) and the prequel trilogy (PT). The main difference has got to be childhood. Watching star wars as a kid i was fully engrossed by everything about it, everything was new and completely amazing. The OT literally brings a young boy’s imagination to life. Also, even when I first watched the movies in ’86 or so, the technology was still quite groundbreaking. Much fresher than the current effects. There is also something about the presentation of the Star Wars Universe in the OT, everything is thrown at the audience at face value. For example, we don’t: understand R2D2, know what “e chu ta” means, know who yoda used to be, care who built ATATs, understand the nature of the force in scientific detail, etc. The PT trilogy spends far too much time on exposition, but again, this could be a product of my age.

That’s all for now.
I will probably launching the php section later on today or tomorrow, in anticipation of a few hits from potential employers