Monday, April 16th 2018

TODAY'S PODCAST #

Saturday with the wife, testing out a camera I've been looking at, and Sunday with a busted tail-light, and all the thoughts that followed. 

LINK: "CAN WE PRAY FOR YOU?"  #

If you live in the South, any version of I'm prayin' for you, or bless your heart does not mean that they're blessing or praying for you.  You're being judged.  Period.  Charlotte, I stood up and cheered for you after reading this, and I know I'm not the only one.   

Don't @ me, I haven't one single problem with religion.  I have a problem with the people who preach without practice.  

LINK: WHAT CAR LOGOS MEAN #

I had no idea about most of these.  of course, there's a reason people design the logos they do, a lot of thought goes into design, full stop.   Design has meaning.   This was a fun read.  

LINK:  JARON LANIER "BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION #

"What started out as advertising really can’t be called advertising anymore — it turned into behavior modification,” he said, referring mostly to Facebook and Google. “I can’t call these things social networks anymore. I call them behavior modification empires.”

I feel like we've all been robbed of a lot of cheese.  

2nd Beat: Ever wonder if FB and Google are part of the Deep Thought Program?  Keep an eye out for the Vogon Fleet. 

Friday, April 13th 2018

Before I go any further, I know these posts have been a day behind.  The date is right, the day of the week is off.  The days kind of run together for me lately.  Sorry.  Corrected today.  Now then...

TODAY'S PODCAST #

Comey, Pee Tapes, and holding a grudge

And...

QOTD: HOW DID TV, THE INTERNET, AND TECHNOLOGY RUIN YOUR LIFE?

It didn't.  It's amplified my life. 

I'm a member of the last generation that spent any time without a PC in their home.  I'm a member of the last generation that knows what three channels looked like.  I'm a member of the last generation to bump up against the gatekeepers of media.  I'm a disillusioned disc jockey who figured out I could do a show of my own without having to fuck without a program director.  I'm a creative type that beat my head against the gated community of the vaunted tastemakers and assorted douchebags that controlled what you read, saw, and listened to for years.  I'm a pirate soul with a computer, a microphone, and frequently, a bad attitude. 

I love every minute of this life.  I can record a podcast in my car at 8am in the morning about what's on my mind today, and have it up by 9am.  I can write a blog post with links that I find interesting, and have it out by noon.  I can take pictures and shoot little videos with my iPhone and you get those right now.  I can create little funny wallpapers for your phone and put those out once or twice a month.  I can answer questions like this all the damn time.  

Because tech and the net and media amplified my life, I can entertain, enlighten, and amplify yours.  

Here's the best part: Instead of worrying about how media and technology ruins lives, let's embrace the fact that it's actually revealed who we really are, and use that newfound knowledge to make life better.  

If I had any complaint about tech, it's that I'm from a generation that had three lives to a goddamn video game, and then another 18 hours to find something else to fucking do with my day.  I cannot for the life of me understand people who sit in front of a video game for hours at a time.  Not even the X Box stuff, because I understand that eventually there's an end.  It takes a fucking week, but it ends.  I don't get these games online that people dive into balls first and never come out.  They don't end, they're like, farming imaginary rutabagas and think they're accomplishing something.  Meanwhile you haven't bathed in three days, the credit card company would like a word with you, and the girlfriend doesn't come around anymore and by anymore I mean, you think you saw her three weeks ago for two minutes.  

That is someone I can point to and say that technology is ruining their life.  I believe that wholeheartedly.  

The question you have to ask yourself is whether or not the technology and the internet and the media are the tools you use, or whether you are the tool they use?  

I know how I want that question answered in my life.  What is your answer? 

If you're the tool, you can do something about that today.  Will you? 

LINK: WHITHER HOMEPOD? #

I'm somewhat heartened by Apple's hiring of John Giannandrea, Google's former A.I. boss. That tells me that Apple's finally feeling some heat on the fact that Siri doesn't compete with Alexa and Google Assistant.  If Giannandrea can bring some of that sauce to Apple, Siri may be able to get to a point where it makes sense to get a Homepod in a year or two.  Apple is WAY behind here, and Siri's just a joke right now.  

I bought an Echo for a reason.   That reason is Apple ain't making it.  Change my mind. 

VIDEO: STORMLAPSES

https://www.youtube.com/embed/FSQ3o6AvoE8

What an amazing compilation of time-lapse storm video. This was shot by Ryan McGinnis in Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas.  (Click on Blog title to see post with embed)

LINK:  FIRST TIME EVICTIONS DATABASE SHOWS EVIDENCE OF HOUSING CRISIS #

When wages don't keep up with inflation, and housing costs continue to rise, this is what happens.  It's happening more.  If only there was a way to resolve this issue...

(Spoiler: Tax cuts to millionaires is not how you resolve this issue.  Thank you.  Come Again.)

Wednesday, April 12, 2018

LINK: TODAY'S PODCAST  #

Content is important, the message is important, but most important is establishing the habit of releasing a show consistently.  This is not my strength, even though I have given myself every tool to do so.  Even though my studio is in disarray, I'm forcing myself to do a show.  

And...

HOW WILL WE CONSUME NEWS TWENTY YEARS FROM NOW?

I think within 20 years, local and network newscasts like we see on TV at 6 and 11pm will be a thing of the past, which I find sad because those are actual newscasts.  Cable news will be more outrageous, and even more aligned to people having their own facts.  I lay the blame for the divisive nature of our politics and culture at the feet of the political blogosphere and cable news.  100 percent.  If I could wave a magic wand and bring back Ed Murrow to kick the heads of the cable news networks square in the balls, I would.  

I think we will consume news on demand, I think voice assistants (like Alexa or Google or Siri) will deliver it.  The real revolution over the next 10 to 20 years is going to be how well voice assistants integrate into our lives, AND how small we can make the tech that delivers it.  Today, I can take just my watch and my Airpods and have a connection to Siri, and to my music.  I think eventually I'll have complete access within 5 years with just those two devices, and then it's just a matter of making it smaller, like a ring.  The obstacle to that is power management, of course.  

I grew up watching Star Trek, and later devouring cyberpunk fiction.  My vision for the future and how I interact with technology, and how I consume content with that technology is biased towards those stories.  I want the option of a screen, not the necessity of one.  I want to verbally communicate with my tech, and have it communicate with me in natural language.  I even want it to be able to anticipate what I need based on some contextual clues.

Of course, there will still be times when a screen is unavoidable, and I haven't given thought to what that would look like, but I'd love to see it integrated with something else that i carry.  Glasses?  Maybe an embedded display on a lens?  So I can read your power level?  

Too much?

 

UNMARKETING?

I got sucked into reading a series about marketing yourself as a personal brand.  I don't deny that gaining a reputation for something is important...I just haven't a clue what that is for me, and that's hitting the niche thing again.  I just don't believe you have to nail yourself down to a particular niche in order to be an authority, or even remotely entertaining.  I have many interests.  Why should I pick one?  

I hate marketing and promotion.  I'm not good at it, I never have been.  I'd much rather say something simple like, "Hey, I made a thing for you, it's about [insert here].  Let me know what you think."  Then, I'll get on with the next thing I want to make.  In a perfect world (yes, I know), my content IS the marketing.  The advertisement for what I do...is what I do.  

The downside to that, is that to do that correctly you have to never stop pumping out content. So, if I want to do that, I have a lot of work to do, and a lot of time to manage in order to do it. The weird thing is, I'm more excited about just carpet bombing the joint with content than I am stopping to talk about the content I made.  The way I see it, if you like what I make--really like it--you'll tell people.  

So, let's see how I can work that out.  Like they say, "Watch This Space."  

 

LINK: MADDOW DETONATES PAUL RYAN #

You may not like Rachel, and frankly I don't care.  I like Rachel.  To my mind, she is the best host on cable news prime time.  Yes, she's snarky.  But she does more prep and gives more background on what she covers than the next three hosts combined.   

 

LINK: PODCASTING IN JOURNALISM CLASSROOM #

Radio still has a dominant hold on American's ears, but podcasting has something radio can't have:  Time, and some amount of editorial freedom.  I'm very happy to see that high schools are starting to incorporate making podcasts about topics into their journalism curriculum.  J-Pods (my name for them) have been an emerging trend since Serial proved you could do long form stories, Shows like Up First are great quick shots to cover the day's news, and Left Right and Center are well made talking heads shows without the vitriol.  I hope this trend continues and flourishes.  

 

LINK: HANDY GLASS #

With as much e-waste as we serve up, I like this idea.  I may get a set of these and report back.  

Tuesday, April 11th, 2018

LINK: Today's Podcast  #

Not everything is political, but I start off that way today. 

Devin update. 

And...

Where Should You Upload Your Podcast?

So, let me tell you what I did starting out, and why that's eventually a bad idea.  Then I'll tell you what to do. 

So, when I was still doing internet radio, and had a button you press to 'tune in', what I had going on back in the late 90s/early 2000s was mp3 files directly on my webhost.  I had a table on the back end that would figure out what time it was where you were, and serve you the mp3 that I had designated for that time slot.  I had it split up in 15 minute segments to make up a 24 hour day.  I had 6 'shows' that you could hear over a 24 hour period.  This was prior to anything about the web we know today. 

Back then, it was easier to just place the files on your server.  These days, I wouldn't do that.  Especially if you are lucky enough to hit a Trending section.  Most webhosts out there say that they give you unlimited bandwidth, but if you get popular enough to disproportionately affect the bandwidth on a server, you're going to find that the provider isn't going to be happy with you.  Unlimited doesn't always mean unlimited.  

When it comes to podcasting, I would use a service like Libsyn or Blubrry, that are specifically designed to deliver your podcast files quickly, and at scale.  I've used Libsyn for years, and I have no complaints.  One particular episode I released where I explained the Obamacare bill in plain language was downloaded over 10,000 times within 48 hours.  It was a rather large file compared to other podcasts I've done.  It was a 2 hour show, and over 150mb.  If I had stored that locally on my Webhost server--which I no longer use--I'm convinced it would have crashed the server not only affecting me, but all the other websites occupying the same server I did.  Podcast delivery networks like Libsyn and Blubrry have redundancies in place for this eventuality.  They are extremely affordable, and in the case of Blubrry you have the opportunity to get ad placement, which may help defray the cost. 

So, to recap, never put your podcast on your own server.  Pay a little bit of money, and use a tried and true delivery network.  Remember, they won't continue to listen to your podcast if they can't download your podcast. 

LINK: Paul Ryan won't run for re-election  #

When the Speaker of The Republican House decides to throw in the towel, the writing is on the wall.  

One Post To Rule Them All?

Playing with the idea to combine blog thoughts, links, and the podcasts all in one post with the date at the top.  I think I may have done this before, but the more I look at it, I just want the site to be a running stream.  I'm somewhat convinced that the site is still too busy for what I want right now, and that's something minimal.  Maybe just one section down the center instead of three will do it?  

LINK: Prince Tribute Mural  #

That's just amazing.  Pretty sure I know one or two folks wanting to make that pilgrimage.  

LINK: When A Watch Isn't A Watch #

So Apple Insider says that the beta of WatchOS 4.3.1 warns users that apps using the Watch OS SDK 1.0 will no longer be supported.  My bet is that the next OS update won't support the Series 0 or 1 Watch.  Early adopters will be looking at upgrade.  For some of the bleeding edge adopters, this wont be an issue, but I worry more about the normal user.  A well make mechanical watch is something you buy once and wear for years.  You don't upgrade a Movado.  The Movado IS the upgrade from that Swatch you wore in high school.  

There's going to be some whining, I think.  What's going to get lost--I'm fairly sure--is the reason this is actually happening.  The Watch is making it's way towards being it's own standalone device.  The original apps depended on the iPhone.   Personally, I'm very biased towards being able to just have the watch on me and leave the phone behind more and more.

A follow on thought for the day the watch is a standalone device, possibly even a primary communicator.  I wonder what the Cellular companies will do then?  I've got an LTE Series 3, and the data line is 10 bucks.  I almost never use voice.  So the question of a price increase for that line will be interesting, to say the least.  

LINK: Somebody help Stan Lee, man.  #

There's plenty of reasons not to be a fan of Stan Lee.  He wasn't as fair to his creators back in the day as he should have been.  But no one deserves the nightmare he appears to be going through right now.   There's something not right about that daughter.  If I take THR at their word, that woman is freakin' evil.  Stan has ceased being her father, and is now only a commodity to be traded.  For that alone, I'd like to drop her off a goddamn cliff. 

I can't lie, this article triggered the hell out of me.  I read too much that reminded me of my brother. 

LINK: Ataribox is now Atari VCS

Venturebeat:

The company is showing off the Atari VCS, Classic Joystick, and Modern Controller prototypes to the press this week at GDC. And it is working with game developers, content creators, and other partners to finalize details. In April, Atari will announce a preorder date for the Atari VCS. Earlier, Atari canceled a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo because its development hit a snag.

The last thing I am is a gamer.  However, I am a certain age where I don't want this, I NEED THIS. 

 

LINK: Cell Phone Ringtone History: A Polyphonic Wave of Success

Tedium: 

...Around the time that these devices were starting to appear on shelves, a British musician named Thomas Morgan Robertson was working on his debut album, The Golden Age of Wireless, a name in reference to radio, not cell phones. You might know the guy as Thomas Dolby. It’s a rather ironic album name given the second stage of his career.

I remember him doing an interview with Soledad O'Brien on the old MSNBC show The Site about this.  This was mid 90s or so. 

Yeah.  This dude doesn't have to work another day in his life, and he still makes music for us.  

Suck it, Don McLean