Quick (kinda) 2015’s The Best Of Podcasts Primer!!


Starting off 2015 let’s do a lightning quick primer on what podcasts are, how you listen to them, and quick recommendations on some good podcasts to start subscribing to. Cool? Let’s begin!

What are podcasts?

Simplest definition they are the radio programs of the 21st century.

But not quite.

Almost 100 years ago radio (the medium, the invention) was the mass media wunderkind and juggernaut and technological cutting edge of the world. It united the world and united disparate geographically separated people in a way that was largely inconceivable just generations before. It redefined communication, but more it redefined entertainment.

No longer did you have to go to New York or LA or London to see the greatest and most exciting acts of the day, the comedies, the dramas, the concerts, the debates, but now with radio the greatest acts in the world, this sea of entertainment, and news, and interests… with a flip of a switch, comes to you.

Radio of a hundred years ago was a watershed evolution in the way people communicated, it expanded the width of our collective conversation, even if lessening to some degree the depth of the impact of the individual and the local community on that conversation.

TV tends to get the hype, but is nothing more than an extrapolation of that model that radio defined, radio being the true 1st evolutionary leap of the 20th century. The next real evolutionary dialog changer of the 20th century would come at the end of that century, with the mass adoption of the WWW, the Internet. The Internet into the 21st century has been the evolutionary next leap in communication from the medium Radio.

That brings us to podcasts and VOD. In a world where traditional terrestrial radio and television just doesn’t meet the needs of a 21st century audience, the on demand nature of podcasts and VOD platforms such as Amazon Prime or Netflix, perfectly fits the needs of an internet age that wants to “watch what it wants whenever it wants”.

And podcasts (recorded audio files on a near infinite range of topics, available for streaming or download or subscription through select syndication hosts) particularly are dear to me, as someone who grew up on the idea of radio drama, the theater of the mind, and loving shows like THE SHADOW, ESCAPE, SUSPENSE, and recognizing the intimate power of the audio format to move you in a way that television rarely does, I’m thrilled to see the flourishing of audio drama and audio commentary in the 21st century.

So that in a horribly non-brief way is what podcasts are and why they rock. But now how do you get them?

There are a bunch of ways to do it, depending if you are doing it on your smart phone, or tablet, or media player, or computer. I use an android tablet, so that’s the process I’m going to cover here. And we’ll wrap this puppy up with some quick shows to get you started with in 2015:

1- Get a tablet. My personal preference is Android 10″. Android OS because I don’t want to put up with the gatekeeping of Apple or Microsoft, and I like the bang for the buck I get. Your preference may be different and that’s perfectly fine, just telling you what works for me. As far as 10″ , I like reading books, magazines, and comics on the tablet, so that form factor works great for me. All this to say you do your homework, you can end up with a great tablet for around Ebook prices.

2- Find an app to use to subscribe to podcasts: Being tech savvy, I have tried MANY, MANY apps looking for the most useful, least obtrusive podcast app (also known as a podcatcher) and most of them are ultimately disappointing. The exception, and my current podcatcher of choice is PODKICKER. You can easily stream shows or you can download shows you want to keep for posterity, the “WTF Robin Williams” episode comes immediately to mind. Have been using PODKICKER for most of 2014, and still using it in 2015. Highly Recommended!

3- And now last but not least… choose podcasts to start your 2015 off right. Just type the following into your podcatcher search engine to subscribe to them, and job done.

WTF WITH MARC MARON
SIDEBAR SIDEBARNATION
11OCLOCK COMICS
HORROR ETC
B MOVIE CAST
GILBERT GODFREY

Start with those few, guys and gals, as they were all shows I consumed voraciously in 2014, and will remain in rotation in 2015 as new shows are discovered.

Hope this primer has been helpful!

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Google’s Android Tablets vs Apple’s IPAD2, Microsoft, Oracle, British Telecom, Ebay!

Who would have thought that I would be on Google’s side on anything, much less feeling sorry for them.

But true to the axiom the enemy of my enemy is my friend, that’s exactly where I am at with Google, at this point in time.

The Android platform came onto 2011 like a breath of fresh air, and its meteoric rise gave the mobile market something it hasn’t had in many a year… choice, and true competition, relief from the Apple Juggernaut.

But that choice came at a price… Namely a feeding frenzy of the most powerful companies in the world all deciding to destroy the Android Platform, Google, itself no lightweight, finds itself having to deal with no less than 6 Mega-Massive Lawsuits, from companies with revenues in excess of billions of dollars each.

The companies lined up to protect their entrenched, monopolistic and consumer enslaving business models and technologies are Oracle, Apple, Microsoft, Ebay, GeMalto and as of today British Telecom. And that’s just counting the ones suing that are valued over a billion dollars.

You add them all together and you have as stated… a bloody feeding frenzy.

With companies using flawed to the point of destructive Software Patents, to stifle innovation and destroy competition.

These Goliath’s don’t want to win customers through creating better products, heaven forbid, they want to sue, and legislate and license and otherwise utilize “Al Capone style” Protection racket schemes, to sell the American people and the world… only their product. Typically overpriced, often severely crippled products. Take the Ipad that is lacking basic design features such as USB and HDMI and SD ports, and it’s only the competition of Android (which does offer these ports) that is making Apple have to address these glaring omissions on their tablet in each successive new model.

So again I’ve had, and had my share of problems with Google, their search engine and email and pretty staggering abuses of privacy and personal freedoms, from digitizing and uploading massive amounts of books, to the detriment of authors and publishers, to extreme methods of uncovering and mapping public and private networks/wi-fi hotspots, to generally being one of the privacy problems on the Internet rather than one of the solutions.

So imagine my surprise that it is Google, for self serving needs to be sure, that through the android platform, offers us, the consumer, the best chance at real choice and real innovation to hit the technology scene in decades. Android isn’t perfect, it’s in its infancy, and as Carrier IQ and malwaqre scare show, it has growing yet to do. I’d like it to get the chance to grow.

And further, Google’s Android platform, in an economic environment that has been going from depression to depression, has actually been allowing businesses to flourish in a way we have never seen in the mobile market. That competition thing again, that is the first excitement, and first upswing in terms of substantial new products, and new players we’ve seen in the market, the first good sign in the economy.

And the Goliaths rather than wanting to compete, and win or lose based on product merit in a flourishing everybody makes money environment, seek instead to sue the Android Platform into a coma, and all the watershed business, and economies of scale, and diversity, and yes choice… that has built up around it… sue them out of business. And continue an economic outlook and policy, that further disenfranchises the bulk of people and companies, in favor of a very few companies and a very few people. Moving ever quicker to an unsupportable age of masters and slaves. And I tell you now, in that age… when the poor man has nothing left to lose… the fall for the rich…. shall be steep.

Apple particularly has been blatant and disgusting in their global attempt to monopolize the mobile market. To allow this monopolization and indeed chilling of innovation and competition is to sign the death warrant of liberties both subtle and gross in America and in the world. It is to Grandfather these six companies in… not as providers of services and technologies to customers, but as imposed entities, protection rackets, selling their products to the American people and the world at the barrel of a lawsuit.

It cannot stand.

And not only is Google the sole large capital company to defend open source, but they are also one of the few big cap companies to battle the media provider rape of the American people that is this horrendous SOPA Bill now, brokered by the same companies suing Google, winding it’s way into law in our congress. Which once done will make freedom of speech on the Internet, like competition, an endangered species.

Find out where your representative stands on this ‘Patriot Act level of wrong’ bill.

Tell them today to oppose the SOPA bill.

So as odd as this is for me to say, I’m rooting for Google, not just to win all six court cases and get to maintain a non-crippled Android, but further to deal a death blow to this horrible ‘its time is passed’ concept of Software Patents.

The enemy of my enemy being in this case… my friend.

All I had to say.

For more on all this go to Eff.

Now go… Defend something. While you’re able.

Just Say No to WINDOWS 8!!! or Star Trek, Al Capone, Linux, Apple and Terrorism!

The snazzy logo courtesy of LinuxBird here.

“The acquisition of wealth is not our prime motivation, we seek to better ourselves.”

That paraphrasing of Patrick Stewart’s dialogue from the film STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT, is central to Gene Roddenberry’s enduring mythos, his conceit of a world… beyond greed.

I think as mission statements go, as core beliefs go… that is as good a one for the human race as I can think of.


“The acquisition of wealth is not our prime motivation, we seek to better ourselves.”

However with the move to an industrial society at the launch of the 20th century, and the gutting of the previous agrarian/barter model, the acquisition of wealth, the consolidation of wealth, became the driving theme of the 20th century.

And it’s no coincidence that the 20th century also became the bloodiest in the history of the world, though clearly the 21st century is on fast track for supplanting it. Never in the history of the world, have so many, died so quickly, from nuclear weapons, to biological weapons, to push button wars, and all of it driven by the 20th century deification of money.

Not to say money is not felt throughout other centuries, but not to the global, and near religious personification, that the pursuit of wealth became with the 20th century, it has become idol absolute of an entire world.

But the 21st century with concepts such as peer to peer, open source, social networking, was poised to create a model for the 21st century. A model that akin to Roddenberry’s dream, could very much usurp the industrial model, just as the industrial model had usurped the Agrarian model.

The age of technology, open technology, had it, and has it in its grasp, to bring us more in line with this slightly Utopian concept, of life lived for improvement and discovery, rather than accumulation and subjugation.

But the dinosaurs, The Microsofts, the RIAAs, the Sonys, the Disneys, have co-opted, and outlawed, and sued, and bullied and terrorized the new hope, all so they may maintain… the old terror.

Scared Dinosaurs, holding humanity back… from visionary new days. Companies,courts, and politicians… and their paid enforcement arms, all working so hard to hold onto the bloody old, all working so hard not to evolve.

Microsoft and their setting up of the DMCA, and their last couple of years of buying their way into the open-source movement, worming their way into ‘helping’ with the open-source movement, particularly Linux, all so they could destroy and extort the movement from within.

You see this on the mobile side, where their various mobile Window initiatives cannot compete with Apple or Android. They now are extorting money from companies that do utilize Android on the basis of ridiculous and innovation killing software patents.

(It’s largely recognized that Software Patents are a lunacy that need to be done away with)

It is the act of a gangster and a thug, and if IBM was allowed to act like this in the 80s there would have been no Microsoft and no Apple, because these actions exterminate free enterprise and innovation.

Microsoft has spent the last twenty years burning every bridge and every freedom, that they themselves utilized in order to be innovative and initially successful, and now completely outlawing those liberties, indeed those necessities, for companies other than themselves.

Microsoft’s time has passed. They are a dinosaur using terror and intimidation to extort customers they can no longer earn with quality. They are no different than a 20th century Capone, selling liquor and protection at the barrel of a gun.

And Windows 7 was an improvement over Vista, they had ‘borrowed’ enough of the concepts and look from other operating systems to make it one. But that said, Windows 7 was and is still inferior to any half decent Linux Distribution.

So just as they are committing extortion against Android on the mobile front, on the Desktop/Server front they are dealing with the brilliance and the growth of Linux, that is now ready for prime-time, ready to be the next big thing, to replace the sick, twisted, decaying, and immoral dinosaur that Microsoft has become…. they are dealing with this fresh beautiful new thing, by basically collaborating with hardware vendors to KILL the very ability to install Linux operating systems on your computer. They are so afraid of Linux they want to make it impossible for you to even install it on YOUR computer.

It is so sad and pathetic, that it is almost funny.

Again what if IBM had done that to them, Microsoft and Apple? We would, as a society, be the poorer for it. And we are going to be the poorer for it if we allow Microsoft to continue to get away with dismantling any innovative idea or company they can’t compete with.

Can you understand? For Microsoft to do this, for a tech, for a software person, for someone with a rudimentary concept of how companies like Microsoft and Apple came to be, it is a betrayal of not just everything that is the technology movement, it is an attack on innovation and free enterprise that must stand as one of the most blatant and disgusting that I have ever witnessed.

It is a crime. As great a crime, in its way, as US drone airplanes killing indiscriminatingly in darker lands, so that a white press can gloat about another bounty collected, another arab, another nigger dead.

Though they don’t dress it, this 21st century crusade, in those crude terms, any more then Microsoft dresses its actions as what it is, a bloody monopoly committed to eradicating your option to choose.

“Pay us or else!” That’s how business talks to consumers in the 21st century. And it is a form of war. Less bloody to be sure, but the repercussions of what it can mean to freedoms subtle and gross… is staggering.

And I… am not having it.

I haven’t used Windows in my personal computer in 3 to 4 years. I fix Windows machines and work on them for other people, but for myself Linux is the only OS/distribution I deal with. I love the freedom of it, the very thing Microsoft is working so hard to legalize and sue and intimidate away.

I’m not going back to Microsoft. And to those companies that they are intimidating, extorting, bullying, I can only tell you what I would tell anyone being bullied… you start letting people push you, and they are never going to stop.

You have to stand against them.

And maybe you win, and maybe you lose. But you teach them to pay for every foot of ground. You give them a bloody nose, and win, lose or draw… it will give them pause.

Microsoft is a pathetic, barren, immoral, and worst of all inferior and scared technology company, and they are standing in the way of a better life…for everyone.

They are protecting the rotting, diseased old, when what it is time for… is the new.

And if you’re a company, and have been on the Microsoft merry-go-round it’s scary to consider getting off of it, but it is infinitely scarier to stay at the mercy of an immoral monopoly.

There are viable open source alternatives to Microsoft’s over priced crap.

Explore them.

Not only for your own sake, but for something companies start out believing in, but lose along the way, for the sake… of progress.

That’s an idea that Microsoft gave up on, a long time ago.


“The acquisition of wealth is not our prime motivation, we seek to better ourselves.”

It’s the only goal, that will save us from all this blood.

If you’re a subscriber to this blog and want help ditching Microsoft and finding something that works for you, reach out to me… and we’ll find an answer that works for you.

We’ll be a new age Untouchables, facing the tyranny that is Microsoft’s Capone.

And maybe we win, and maybe we lose. But my God, we’ll give them reason to pause.

Here endeth the Lesson.

The Assassination of Linux?!!! Free Linux CD??

Here nearing the middle of 2011, to make sense of the current open-source landscape, I need to look back and discuss 2010.

2010 will be remembered as the year when Linux made HUGE inroads into the mainstream. Huge strides into giving people a real player beyond the entrenched forces. On the mobile market Android (based on Linux) exploded onto the scene, creating a platform that quickly rose past Rim’s Blackberry (stupidest name ever for a phone, I refuse to use anything that has such a stupid name) and went mano o mano with the market leader, Apples’ Iphone.

On the server side, Linux continued its march toward adoption. But it was on the desktop side, with distributions like Linux Mint and OpenSuse, that Linux proved itself not just ready for Primetime, but valid, and in many cases preferred, alternatives to what Microsoft was hoping to be their hail-mary… Windows 7.

Windows 7 while a definite improvement over Vista, learning and adopting a lot from both Apple and Linux, still fails in that it carries with it a culture of DRM, locking their users down. Out the box Windows 7 requires lots of expensive software, to do just basics.

Whereas the Linux distros, allow access to opensource repositories, thousands upon thousands of applications, so it’s an operating system that, as long as you have an internet connection, is endlessly adaptable and upgradeable.

I haven’t used Windows as my operating of choice for well over 3 years. And Windows 7, like stated while an improvement in Microsoft terms, in Linux terms it’s just a crippled operating system. And 2010 was the year a lot of people started feeling the same. The three major Linux distros, Ubuntu, Linux Mint (an off-shoot of Ubuntu), and Opensuse released their most amazing and user friendly distros ever.

So in 2010, with Linux making unprecedented strides on both the mobile, server, and desktop markets, why is this article entitled pessimistically and I hope incorrectly The Assassination of Linux? It’s because the entrenched powers that be replied to this abundance of choice, the threat of Linux, the way scared corporate dinosaurs have increasingly responded to valid competition, the RIAa and MPAA way,… by trying to sue it away.

The courtroom has become the new battlefield to stifle innovation and choice. In 2010 lawsuits flew fast and heavy, and this year, we’ll see some of the fallout from those lawsuits.

Even more insidious is Microsoft (or Microsoft affiliated partners) buying its way into fantastic Linux Distributions such as Linux Mint (an Ubuntu distribution) and (to a lesser extent) OpenSuse.

I’m not one who has any particular ax to grind against Microsoft. If you want to use Microsoft please do, my only interest is in insuring Linux Distributions… remain. I just want to have a choice beyond Microsoft or Apple. And the current machinations of Microsoft, are very similar to their past machinations, during the early browser wars, pre-firefox, which resulted in the crushing of competing browsers, such as Netscape Communicator, and a host of others.

And that monopoly remained for quite a while. Until the rise of open-source and firefox.

Choice is a good thing, whether in browsers or operating systems.

Unfortunately the venal, seldom think so.

The monied companies, led by Microsoft, are working hard to in-twine themselves into open-source, and open-source projects, and competing operating systems, and cripple them from within. The whole purpose of much of the DCMA was this crippling of opensource, particularly Linux,

And already you can see increasing actions to patent this, and outlaw that.

Again I’m not interested in Microsoft, I would leave them alone, however with them co-opting open-source and Linux distros, they are making that… difficult.

My favorite distro, before Microsoft bought its way in, was Linux Mint. But with Microsoft as a partner I have fear for the future of that Distro specifically, and open-source in general.

Like I said, I’ve been around long enough to have seen Microsoft do this numerous times. Make friends of those innovations they would destroy.

If you’re reading this and have not tried Linux and would like to, I would recommend trying it… sooner rather than later. A good place to start your hunt is here:

http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=major

Distro Watch having a great overview of the major players. Ubuntu is a good safe bet for a distro to start with. There is of course a learning curve, with everything, but with most Linux distros it’s a very rewarding curve.

Plus if you’re a subscriber to this blog, let me know and I’ll send you a copy of the Linux Distro I use. You can always download distros for free, the greatness of Linux, but sometimes it’s just easier to have a CD or DVD sent to you, plus I include tips/tutorial that will keep most newbies from pulling their hair out. 🙂

But however you get the Distro, get it, and see what you’ve been missing.