Podcast: Wikipedantry, Firefox and Mac Smoke

This week’s podcast is from my weekly slot on Radio Australia Today with Phil Kafcaloudes and Adelaine Ng:

To listen to the podcast, click on the button below. To subscribe, click here

Loose Wireless 091127

I appear on Radio Australia Today every Friday at about 9.15 am Singapore time (that’s 0.15 GMT/UTC.) There’s a live stream of the broadcast here, or find out your local frequencies here.

Foleo, Surface, Stumbling etc

There’s lots of news out there which I won’t bother you with because you’ll be reading it elsewhere. But here are some links in case:

  • Palm has a new mini laptop called the Foleo. I like the idea, but I fear it will go the way of the LifeDrive, which I also kinda liked.
  • Microsoft has launched a desktop (literally) device called the Surface. Which looks fun, and embraces the idea of moving beyond the keyboard not a moment too soon, but don’t expect to see it anywhere in your living room any time soon.
  • eBay buys StumbleUpon, a group bookmarking tool I’ve written a column about somewhere. I don’t use StumbleUpon that much but I love the idea of a community-powered browsing guide. Let’s hope eBay doesn’t mess it up like they seem to be doing with Skype.
  • Microsoft releases a new version of LiveWriter, their blogging tool. Scoble says Google is planning something similar. True?

Oh, and Google Reader now works offline. Here are my ten minut.es with it, and a how to guide at ten ste.ps. This is big news, because it’s the first step Google have made in making their tools available offline. I’ve found myself using their stuff more and more, so the idea of being able to use the Reader, Calendar, Docs and Gmail offline seems an exciting one. (We’re not there yet, but Google Reader is a start.)

This brings me to again plead with anyone offering an RSS feed of their stuff, to put the whole post in the feed. Offline browsing is not going to work if you can only read an extract.

My Del.icio.us Links

If you’re visiting the site and not reading the feed, you might have noticed one or two slight changes to the blog. This is part of a move to an overhaul which I’m approaching with my usual timidity and poor sense of urgency. First off, sorry for the changing photo. I did include one from the other night when I wore the former ruling party’s outfit to Planet Hollywood which didn’t go down well with a regional governor sitting at the bar. I got a few scowls from him, especially when I grabbed a metal detector and started swiping the bags of passers by. Indonesians are way too nice.

Secondly, I’ve added a link roll from my del.icio.us collection. This is an attempt to pass on to those who are interested those links I’ve come across that I thought were worth saving. If you move your mouse over the link a bubble should appear with some comment in there to give you an idea why I thought it was worth saving.

 I’d be interested in your thoughts. The downside of this is that those subscribing to the feed won’t see it unless they subscribe to my del.icio.us feed, which is probably more than you really want to do. Anyway, it’s an experiment. There may be a better way to do this.

Finally, for those of you subscribing to the feed: thanks. And, if you’re not already, take the FeedBurner feed, not the TypePad one. It’s better, I can get a better idea of what’s of interest to you (generally speaking, not you in particular) and it should look nice in your aggregator.

Podcast: The Joy of Monitors

The joy of having more than one screen, and controlling other computers from one keyboard. It’s less nerdy than it sounds. This is podcast version of my BBC World Service column, which runs on the World Business ReportDownload it and/or subscribe to the podcast feed here. For more on extra monitors, check out my resource page here.

(This link should work. Thanks Syd, for pointing out the error.)

Podcast: New Words

Here’s another podcast version of my BBC World Service column, which runs on the World Business Report. It’s about new words and where they come from. Download it, or subscribe to the podcast feed here.

A Directory Of Podcast Directories

To accompany my column this week on podcasting (which will appear here when it’s out; subscription only I’m afraid), here’s a directory of podcast directories (and search engines), in no particular order:

Some are better than others. Depends what you’re looking for. I’m sure there are more: Please feel free to add.


Great piece (thanks, Bleeding Edge) by Randy Kennedy in today’s NYT about podcasting audio tours: With Irreverence and an iPod, Recreating the Museum Tour :

The creators of this guide, David Gilbert, a professor of communication at Marymount Manhattan College, and a group of his students, describe it on their Web site as a way to “hack the gallery experience” or “remix MoMa,” which they do with a distinctly collegiate blend of irony, pop music and heavy breathing. It is one of the newest adaptations in the world of podcasting – downloading radio shows, music and kitchen-sink audio to an MP3 player.

Specifically, these museum guides are an outgrowth of a recent podcasting trend called “sound seeing,” in which people record narrations of their travels – walking on the beach, wandering through the French Quarter – and upload them onto the Internet for others to enjoy. In that spirit, the creators of the unauthorized guides to the Modern have also invited anyone interested to submit his or her own tour for inclusion on the project’s Web site, mod.blogs.com/art_mobs. (Instructions are on the Web site.)

As Charles of Bleeding Edge points out, this is an outgrowth of the soundseeing movement, where people offer an audio narrative on something they do, or someplace they go.

What I’d like to see are audio commentaries to accompany movies, TV programs, sporting events, done by amateurs with interesting stuff to say. Is anyone doing this yet? A sort of alternative director’s commentary: Easy enough to synchronise with the program in question, it would be like having a knowledgeable friend come along to whisper interesting snippets of trivia in your ear while you watch. If nobody has really started off the movement, I want to call them Podentaries, just so I can get a silly name in there somewhere. Who’s up for it? I call Bladerunner.

A New Kind Of RSS Reader For Macs

For Mac fans, there’s a new RSS and Atom News Reader for OS X, with an interesting new twist.

Mesa Dynamics today said it had released Tickershock, “an interactive RSS and Atom news headline reader inspired by the news crawls of 24-hour cable news channels”. Tickershock, it says, is “a departure from typical RSS applications that emulate web browser or email reader environments. Focusing on the “push” nature of the technology, Tickershock aims to be a passive experience only until the user decides a headline is worth exploring: a double-click on a news headline brings up a “News Inspector” from which one can explore a story in greater depth.”

It sounds quite funky. Unfortunately at the time of writing there’s no mention on their website of the product, although the press release says a trial version of Tickershock is available for download at http://www.mesadynamics.com . It requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 (Jaguar) or later and will cost $20.

Is Sauce Reader The One?

Further to my posting about searching for the perfect newsreader for RSS feeds, a lot of folk have pointed to the web-based Bloglines. It’s not bad, not bad at all, but I am not on a particularly reliable Internet connection so it is a tad too slow for me.

Nathan of Australian software company Synop, meanwhile, has quietly mentioned their own Sauce Reader, which I have to say on initial impressions looks like an excellent candidate. Indeed, this posting is being composed with it, so why not check it out yourself: Sauce Reader v1.6 is now available for download.

More as I get to play around with it some more, and chat to the creators.

RocketInfo, A Revamped Business Search With RSS Built In

RocketInfo has released a new version of RocketNews, its three-year old news and business information search engine. The Ottawa company also has a pretty cool RSS reader which I’ve mentioned before somewhere.

Here are some of the changes:

  • limit the scope of searches to news from today, yesterday or up to 5 days ago;
  • limit searches to sources from a specific geographic region, such as North America, Asia or Europe;
  • specify the content type of publication, such as a business, entertainment, finance, general, health science, sports or technology;
  • RSS feeds of searches for use by anyone for non-commercial or individual news tracking.

Definitely worth checking out.