MEDIA

Podcasts I actually like

As I said in my last post, I haven’t found many tech/software podcasts worth sticking with, but since people have asked, here are a few that I generally like. LugRadio. Loud men swearing in a small room. Plus Linux and whatnot. This show has some very funny moments, a rarity in tech podcasts. I hear they’re going to do an all-Haskell episode pretty soon. Audible Ajax – good, though relatively infrequent The Ruby on Rails Podcast is worth following.

Podcasting Antipatterns

I periodically go searching for new tech-related podcasts to make my commute-time more edifying, interesting, or amusing. I’ll admit right up front that I’m picky – the only one I find myself returning to consistently is LugRadio, which I know is not everyone’s cup of tea. But I’m not looking for “Bob’s Gadget News”. Anyway, content aside, there are some production and style problems that have turned me off to so many podcasts that I’ve come to view them as established antipatterns.

Steve Jobs to Music Industry: Drop DRM

It a rather astounding open letter entitled “Thoughts on Music” posted to the Apple website today, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that Apple “would embrace… wholeheartedly” a music marketplace free of of Digital Rights Management schemes. The music companies sell the vast majority of their music DRM-free, and show no signs of changing this behavior, since the overwhelming majority of their revenues depend on selling CDs which must play in CD players that support no DRM system.

Textcasting?

From Slate.com: textcasting. The text is actually contained in a 15-minute audio file. (It’s 15 minutes of silence, which is how we make the file so small.) Play the file as you would any other podcast, and then hit the iPod’s center button two or three times until you reach the description field, which contains the full TP text. You can scroll through the text using the iPod’s scroll wheel.

Songbird, open source competition for iTunes

Songbird, an open source would-be iTunes killer, was made available to the public for the first time today. Version 0.1.0. It builds on well-tested open source projects such as VLC and Firefox. Since iTunes is free, and most consumers don’t particularly care one way or the other about open source, the success of Songbird will hinge on the things it can offer that Apple can’t or won’t. The most promising one is easy access to, and integration with, non-iTunes online music retailers like eMusic.

BusinessWeek somewhat confused about Java

BusinessWeek Online has an article today called “Java? It’s So Nineties” which purports to track the fall of Java from enterprise grace. I’ve posted my own brief notes on that theme and I don’t disagree with the general thrust of the article, but it is distractingly, embarrassingly overflowing with technical bloopers. A sampling: Java – once the hippest of hip software… Java certainly had its moments of irrational popularity during the applet mania of the ’90s.

About.com starting to move to WordPress

Interesting – About.com is moving to WordPress. I also learned from Matt’s blog posting, much to my surprise, that they were using Movable Type before. It feels very significant that the New York Times Company is migrating its $410-million-dollar baby over to an open source content-management platform. The usual open source components further down the stack – Apache, Linux, et al. – don’t have the same implications for feel and functionality that the content management layer does, and therefore this feels like more of a significant endorsement of open source.