IT Conversations News: May 21, 2005

(Hear the MP3 version in beautiful monophonic audio.)

New Programs This Week

Listed in increasing order of listener rating. For descriptions, visit the IT Conversations home page.

This week’s Doug’s Favorite from the IT Conversations archives:

We’ll be at Supernova again this year. [San Francisco, June 20-22] Make sure to say Hi if you’ll be there. If you’re on the fence I strongy recommend it. It’s one of the great networking events of the year.

Pledge Week

Here in the U.S. it’s Pledge Week for our public radio and television stations, and whenever that happens it reminds me that it’s time to beg for money to support IT Conversations. Until we can get more of those big-time underwriters on board, I’m paying all the infrastructure costs (hosting, telecom, etc.) and our awesome partner, Limelight Networks, continues to distribute most of our audio through their worldwide content-delivery network (CDN). But in the spirit of listener-supported audio, we depend on donations from you for all the post-production audio and editorial work done by our Team ITC volunteers.

But if they’re volunteers, I hear you say, how come they need money? Good question. At our current production rate of ten shows per week (~45/month) and a two-person crew for each show, no one gets enough $$ to even dream of quitting his or her day job. But it helps. Your donations to our Tip Jar are a way of saying Thank You to Team ITC, and it encourages them to keep producing our shows in their spare time.

So just take a moment to think about how much IT Conversations means to you. Think of the number of hours you listen each month and how valuable those hours are to you. Then think about how much you’d be willing to pay if we had to charge for our content, and give at least a portion of that amount to our Tip Jar. Not only will the members of Team ITC be most grateful, but you’ll be helping us prove that the concept of listener-supported audio really is sustainable.

FYI, we received nearly $2,000 in the Tip Jar in April (our first month for Team ITC), and distributed nearly half of that to the team members. We held off distributing it all because we anticipated a drop-off in contributions after the first month. Perhaps not surprisingly, many Team members turned down the money and asked us to either keep their share in the pool for others or to donate it to a third party. For April, we gave $200 to the EFF and $160 to the Internet Archive. For the forseeable future we won’t use any of the Tip Jar funds for infrastructure, and none of it goes to me.

Recording Stringers Wanted

At least once a week we get a request here at IT Conversations to record and publish some terrific tech event. Most of them are of the users-group variety, some of which have some awesome speakers. I used to do some local recording here in the San Francisco area, but now I just don’t have the time and I certainly can’t justify recording something that’s not within driving distance. It’s a shame that we can’t capture these terrific presentations and that they’re lost forever.

To address this, we’re creating a new position on Team ITC: Recording Stringer.

At the very least you should be able to take a feed from a mixer or distribution amplifier (DA), and record sessions of at least two hours without a media change. (MiniDisc and DAT work great.) If you have microphones and a mixer as well, you may be able to handle even smaller events. Check out our submission standards for more info on the technical requirements.

If you have the time, equipment and skill to record events in your area, please let me know. (doug@itconversations.com) Please include your location and ZIP or postal code.

Think Global

Our friends over at the Public Radio Exchange are distributing a terrific week of audio programming:

Hosted from London, Boston and Los Angeles, and reaching audiences on five continents, this special two-hour call-in program will explore the impact of globalization on your way of life, wherever you live. Hosts Robin Lustig (BBC’s Talking Point), Dick Gordon (WBUR’s The Connection) and Larry Mantle (KPCC’s AirTalk) will guide a lively global conversation between experts from around the world and listeners who call, e-mail or send text messages.

But of course, they’re also producing the podcast version for those of us who live time-shifted lives. [Source: Steve Schultze]

IT Conversations News: May 15, 2005

(Hear the MP3 version in beautiful monophonic audio.)

New Programs This Week

Listed in increasing order of listener rating. For descriptions, visit the IT Conversations home page.

This week’s Doug’s Favorite from the IT Conversations archives:

Goofing Off

Okay, I’ve been caught playing hookey. Instead of working one of my usual 12-hour days on Monday, Philip Greenspun and I went flying. The aviation weather forecast Sunday night looked pretty bad, but thanks to a big oxygen tank in the back of the Bonanza, we were able to fly high and managed to thread our way around the thunderbumpers all morning, thenflew underneath them on the way home. We landed at Castle Air Force Base for a tour of their WWII warplane museum. Philip is taking his Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) checkride next week, adding that to his fixed wing, helicopter and instrument ratings. He shouldn’t have any problem passing. I tried to get him interested in adding a glider rating, too.

We ended the day, back in Mill Valley, at In-N-Out Burger — arguably better than the Bomber Burgers we passed on at Castle.