Podcast of the week

I’m not much of a music listener – I don’t like to listen to music idly and I’d rather much listen to talk shows when I’m doing things that do not require absolute concentration – for example while driving, cooking or doing house chores. A couple of years ago I found that podcasts are very handy in those situations – when you are away from a computer and there is nothing interesting on the radio (the demise of the radio talk show would be a subject of a different post). My current podcatching setup I think would interest people, but I’ll also leave that for another post.

Today I want to discuss a new podcast that just started1: Free as in node.

From the guys and gals at freenode.net – the free software IRC network, it is a bi-weekly (“fortnightly”. I can never get myself to say that word, but it is oh so British 😉 ) podcast and they apparently talk about the same things that I find interesting in other podcasts I listen to: Free software, free culture, copy rights and other rights, etc’.

Purporting to be the successors for Lug Radio2 – the popular Linux podcast that went off the air last year – they seem to have a similar dynamic between the hosts, though I would like to hear christel and w00t more. Lug Radio was much more balanced act where all four presenters had about the same major role, while here is sounds like D’s show (who was one of the presenters on the #lugradio “meta-podcast”). I hope they get that better in the following episodes. The audio quality is also not the greatest but they are only starting so they have time to learn.

The reason I’m a bit late to the party is that I first heard about free as in node in the latest Linux Outloaws episode that I only finished listening too on Monday. Anyway, if you want get another free software talk show, I think I will recommend free as in node – it sounds like it will be interesting and fun – they start the show with a modem handshake sound, nobody that have a modem handshake on their podcast can be anything but awesome :-).

While we are on the subject, here is the list of podcasts I’m currently into, just in case you are interested to know, in no particular order:

  • Jupiter Broadcasting: More then just a podcast, Chris and Bryan (with a ‘y’) have created a small empire of talk shows, now done mostly in video. Originally I was a regular listener to their Linux Action Show, and now I try to get all of their audio shows, as all of them are good. They have a selection for any geek persuasion: tv/movie/games reviews on Castblasta, tech reviews on In Depth, the original Linux Action Show for free software freaks and even beer drinking on Beer is Tasty (which is video only so I only watch it occasionally). They also had a series called “Radio Revolver” which show cased old radio dramas (that have went out ofcopyright), but this project seems to be dead which is a shame – I really liked it.
  • The above mentioned Linux Outlaws. Another free software podcast, probably one of the leading Linux podcasts currently – Dan from the UK and Fab from Germany talk about Linux and free software. They start each show with a “new releases” section where they cover all the new Linux distro releases of the week (and make fun of them) and some major free software titles. They also have a section called “Microwatch” (with a news segment intro) where they cover the latest follies of Microsoft and the likes. Much fun for Linux geeks.
  • Tech 5 by John C. Dvorak of PC Magazine fame. A daily 5 minutes short podcast where Dvorak covers the most interesting (in his mind) tech news of the day. A bit of a binary dinosaur and neo-luddite (“eh, this new fangled technology is not worth anything! who in their right mind would want a netbook?”) he is very fun to listen too and interesting at times. Even if you get a daily tech news dose otherwise, Dvorak’s is also good choice.
  • The Stack Overflow Podcast3 is where Jeff Atwood (the proprietor of stackoverflow.com. Am I supposed to know him otherwise?) and Joel Spolsky (of Joel on Software) talk about technology and cool stuff (another one? yes, I’m a technology geek – deal with it). Its a bit too Microsoft cool-aid drinking then what I would normally have liked, but they do talk about lots of generally interesting things such as the complexities of source control, what to do in a tech job interview, how not to setup your RAID array, and such. They also comment on interesting questions from Stack Overflow and take listeners questions.
  • Escape Pod is not really a podcast – its a serial sci-fi short story anthology: every week, or few days or whatever, they put out a new original sci-fi short story being read by a presenter. The stories are mostly interesting and good, and they actually pay the authors for the stories, even though the podcast is free. Its brilliant, and I highly recommend subscribing, listening and donating.

Then we have a few podcasts that I like to listen too, but have not put out a new release in a while even though they did not declare their demise officially (unlike LugRadio):

  • Stephen Fry’s podgrams is supposed to be an audio dump of the adventures of Stephen Fry (a British actor, wrtier and producer as well as a funny guy in his own right) but unfortunately he seems to have fallen of the face of the earth last December. He does have text posts on his blog, but I can’t be bothered to ready them.
  • The Jak Attack is a podcast from Canada by a couple who comment about their life and things. Its mostly technology oriented although can get a bit eclectic at times. Its fun, but they also have fallen of the face of the planet last December.
  • Geekim is a Hebrew technology podcast by prominent figures in the Israeli Internet arena. They had some audio quality issues, but they were mostly interesting and fun to listen to even with the annoying mistakes they had in their commentary. Haven’t been heard from since last September. A pity. I wonder if there is another good Hebrew technology podcast.

Lastly we have the category of “podcasts I would really like to listen too but I don’t have enough time so I keep them in my pod catcher and sadly watch as they queue up”:

  • The Linux Link Tech Show, as the hosts will gladly explain, is not actually a podcast, but a live broadcast that is recorded and made available online. Their recording times are never right for me, but I like to listen to them anyway – so its a podcast to me. Unfortunately each show is an unedited 2 and a half hour dump of the broadcast and it gets really slow at times. This is a huge time consumer and I currently would rather listen to shows that are easier to squeeze into the small time chunks I can assign to podcast listening
  • net@night is a weekly talk show with known tech presenters Leo Laporte and Amber MacArthur (I used to watch techTV when it existed and was broadcast in Israel, a long time ago). Its more about the Twitter/Facebook kind of technology then about the Linux/Free software kind of technology but I enjoy listening in nonetheless.
  • Lastly we have Lotta Linux Links has an interesting concept – Dave Yates uses the 45 minute drive from work to call up an interesting FL/OSS persona and chatting with him while driving. It is interesting at times, but is currently the least of my priorities – sorry Dave.

Anyway, this is my list – and I think it tells much more about my interests then would be otherwise healthy to tell :-).

  1. I’m a bit late on the bandwagon – the first episode was released two weeks ago, and they already have a second episode which I haven’t listened to yet []
  2. D actually says on the show “Lug Radio, our predecessors” []
  3. and blog, all rolled into one. I don’t particularly follow the blog, but NM []

Leave a Reply