What me, Podcast?

Um. Well, not quite. Sorta. See, I was asked to do a show for Indiefeed‘s Electronica channel. So I started, and then my home computer crapped out on me. I eventually got it up and running, and so I managed to put together a couple of feeds. This took me all night, and I’d been drinking a fair amount of rum and peach (put a wedge of peach, well-scored, into a glass of rum). Fortunately I was wise enough to not immediately send the results to the guy who runs Indiefeed, because when I listened to it the next day I realized I sounded like total ass.

I had gotten a good grip on the mechanics of recording the thing, though, and I was down with the time-shifting multiple tracks and noise removal and all that shit. So I tried again last night, when I was mostly sober, and got a much more pleasing result. I emailed the link to Indiefeed and the guy liked it! So it looks like I’m going to be on the feed! Go me!

So does this mean I’m going to start podcasting? Probably not. Although I did come up with an interesting idea while I was pooing today. I think it would be neat to make a habit of recording a show every day on my drive home. I figure, what with all the spacing out I do when I’m weaving through traffic at 135 kph, I do a lot of brainstorming and come up with a lot of neat ideas. Usually those ideas just come out in the form of me talking to myself for as long as it takes me to drive home, but what if I could inflict that rambling on others? Wouldn’t that be cool? Plus I get to have additional distractions, what with the talking and making sure my mic is okay.

This idea has much merit. I think I just like the idea of a podcast punctuated with “Aaagh! You ASSHOLE! Learn to fucking DRIVE!

Fafblog: the whole worlds only source for Fafblog

I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say so again: If you don’t read Fafblog you really ought. Go now. Read it NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!

Here’s an excerpt for your amusement:

breakdown at the festival of democracy

So me an George been sittin on the Ferris Wheel of Freedom for a couple days or so when I get to thinkin maybe somethin’s wrong.

“Is the ride supposed to be movin?” says me.

“This is a great ride,” says George. “This ride is a monument to the spirit an principles a Freeocracy.”

“It’s just that’s it’s not,” says me.

“You gotta be patient with the ride,” says George. “Rides don’t work overnight.”

“An there’s all these fire trucks an rescue helicopters an people yellin ‘get off the ride’,” says me.

“There’s always gonna be doubters an skeptics,” says George. “People who hate the ride because of its freedom.”

“An when we got on the Roller Coaster of Liberty it broke down too,” says me.

“That’s a great ride, a great ride,” says George. “I know it cause I rode on it. I got instincts, see.”

“In fact it looked exactly like the Ferris Wheel of Freedom,” says me.

“You bought your ticket,” says George. “You bought your ticket so you liked it. You know you liked the ride.”

After a while I wave to one a the helicopters. George looks mad. “How you gonna ride the ride if you’re tryin to get OFF the ride?” he says. I am ashamed!

“Is the ride supposed to be on fire?” says me.

“God bless this great carnival attraction,” says George.

Note: all of the above should be considered “[sic]“ed.

Cassini-Huygens rocks Iapetus

Various sites are reporting on the recent pictures from Cassini-Huygens. It sent some images home that give some insight into the formation and history of Saturn’s moon Iapetus. The most remarkable feature of the moon is a ridge, a few miles high, that is visible on Iapetus’ forward hemisphere.

“Forward hemisphere? What are you talking about?” Well, like our own moon, Iapetus has one face that always points toward the planet. Thus Iapetus has one hemisphere that always faces into its own orbit, and it is on this hemisphere that most impacts occur (compare the number of squashed bugs on your front bumper to the number on your back bumper).

Deja Vu

So Apple came out with a bunch of new toys.

Correction: Apple came out with a bunch of old toys in new packages. Let’s see: An MP3 player, smaller than a pack of gum. Yep, it has been done before. A medium-power computer that costs less than 500$? Really, there are too many links to present in a snarky way. You can find far more powerful machines for less on Froogle.

So what’s my point? Am I an embittered Linux PC user jealous of the slick line of designs that Apple has come out with? No. I’m all for making your stuff pretty. As a geek, I like the fact that Apple based their latest OS on Unix, even if it takes quite a bit of work to get it to a state that a diehard *n?x user would call usable. What I don’t like is that people are deluding themselves into thinking that they are buying something on the forefront of technology. I’d like to say that Apple is presenting their products as something they are not, but the ads are actually pretty honest: “You can already do exactly this, but now you can do it with style.” It’s just the users, perhaps suppressing some guilt at shelling out more dough than they ought for pretty packaging, who decide that Apple is all bleeding-edge.

The iPod is a perfect example: I keep hearing people talking about the iPod as if it were a breakthrough, as if it were the first hard drive-based MP3 player on the planet. In fact, it is (arguably) the slickest-looking. It’s not the most featureful, it’s not in any technical sense the “best”. But it does have a hell of an ad campaign. Do I think people should not buy iPods? Fuck that, I like to have pretty things as much as the next person. Buy an iPod. But don’t delude yourself into thinking that this is something new.

And then there’s a whole community of people rallying around the iPod and “inventing” supporting technologies for it. “Podcast” is a new term that’s been bandied around the internet over the past… months? A year, maybe? Before that it was known as “audioblogging”. Yes, I’m afraid so. Adam Curry and Dave Winer did not invent audioblogging. They coined a word. The success of the iPod was what made audioblogs so popular, and the creation of an easy interface to it made the technology accessible to the washed and manicured masses. But if you are a podcaster or a listener don’t fool yourself into thinking it is anything more than an MP3 version of the millions of people on Blogspot or Livejournal.

Anyway, a point. I think I’m supposed to have one of those. My point is, buy Apple’s machines, if you can justify spending the extra money. But know why you’re buying them. It’s okay to spend more for glitz, but know that you are.