Help Still Needed – OS X/Python Developer

As we move towards launching new channels similar to IT Conversations next year, a big piece of the puzzle is our automated show-assembly system. And one component of that system is a client-side application we can the CNUploader. It does a bit of audio processing and uploads the resulting files to our server. It’s written in Python, and is up and running on Windows, but before we can release it to our team (for beta) and eventually to the public, we need a Mac OS X version. All that’s missing is to wire in a different MP2 encoder and a bit of packaging. It should be a walk in the park for an experienced OS X/Python developer. So if you can volunteer a few cycles to lend us a hand, let me know.

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IT Conversations News: December 4, 2005

(Hear the MP3 version with additional commentary in beautiful monophonic audio.)

New Programs Last Week

Listed in increasing order of listener rating.

  • Mike McDougall – Digital Photography (rated 2.2 by our listeners) Digital photography has taken over the overall picture market as well as the revenues of Kodak. In this interview with Larry’s World host Larry Magid, Mike McDougall from Kodak discusses the current trends across this market and some unique elements Kodak is bringing to consumers.
  • Michael Disabato – The Evolving Technology Organization (2.7) Most people who use Information Technology do not care how it works. They just want it to do what it is supposed to do. Getting to the point where IT is reliable and invisible requires some cultural and organizational changes. Burton Group Service Director Michael Disabato discusses the Service Delivery approach with a focus on the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL).
  • Jim Frank (3.0) On BioTech Nation, Moira Gunn interviews Dr. Jim Frank, Director of Biotechnology and Biodefense Applications at Argonne National Laboratories. He tells us that there’s much, much more to biotech than personalized medicine.
  • Pete Friedrich (3.0) Moira Gunn also speaks with professional cartoonists Pete Friedrich, Keith Knight and Lloyd Dangle. They’ve collaborated with some two dozen others to create "Roadstrips…A Graphic Journey Across America."
  • Esther Dyson (3.3) The Internet offers a degree of freedom unlike any space in the physical world. When you come across something on the Internet you dislike, you simply move on. In this conversation with Esther Dyson, participants in the Accelerating Change 2005 conference discuss the unique problem of Internet regulation in this climate of freedom.
  • Mike Homer and Marc Canter – Reinventing Media (3.3) Several new services offer free storage and bandwidth for creative works submitted by anyone. Among them are Open Media Network, described here by Mike Homer, and, described by Marc Canter. Quite different in their architecture, they share the goal of giving the masses a way to publish creative works.
  • The Prospects for AI (3.4) Neil Jacobstein, Patrick Lincoln, Peter Norvig, and Bruno Olshausen offer four penetrating examinations of the current and future prospects for the differing technologies of artificial intelligence and the science that underpins them. Increasingly, to the satisfaction of advocates of biologically-inspired design, it seems that the best of the new AI enablers look to neuroscience for the most useful basis for their theoretical models.
  • Daniel Wilson (3.6) Dr. Moira Gunn interviews Dr. Daniel Wilson, expert in robotics and data mining. He mixes the popular zeitgeist of robots with the amazing new capabilities they are capable of. It’s all there in his tongue-in-cheek book, "How To Survive a Robot Uprising."
  • Thomas Barnett – Blueprint for Action (3.7) Thomas Barnett argues that globalization is a force for good, bringing hope of an end to both war and poverty. Connection to the global economy reformats societies in positive ways and helping the disconnected world to integrate is a key challenge. In this conversation with Phil Windley, Dr. Barnett describes the new world order and America’s place in it.
  • James Surowieki – The Wisdom of Crowds (3.8) James Surowiecki offers some insights into both the best decision-making behaviors and the worst decision breaking behaviors of groups both large and small in this entertaining talk from the Emerging Technology Conference 2005. Not only providing insights gained from his recent work The Wisdom of Crowds, Surowiecki also lays out some of the perils of group thinking, and provides food for thought for future discovery.
  • Robert Lang – Computational Origami (3.9) Origami is rarely considered to have an impact on technology comparable to computer science or mathematics. Robert J. Lang may surprise you, however, in this talk. He reveals that the application of mathematical techniques to origami has had an impact far beyond paper folding and can even be compared to the way open source software has changed the world.

The O’Reilly Pick of the Week:

This week’s IT Conversations/O’Reilly Pick of the Week is one of my own interviews from last year:

  • Joel Spolsky – Joel on Software (3.9) I interviewed Joel Spolsky, the author of Joel on Software. He worked on Microsoft’s Excel development team, still a strong influence on his opinions on software development. Topics include: extreme programming of which Joel has often been a critic, formal testing, particularly on large projects, why "customers don’t know what they want" and Microsoft (why some developers may not move to Avalon/XAML/WinFX, and what will happen to Win32).

Who and Where are You?

Ever wondered who those volunteer members of Team ITC are, what they look like, and where they live? Now you can see some of them and their locations at Frappr.

And now, I’ve created a *new* Frappr map for all of you: the listeners to IT Conversations and The Conversations Network. The map is currently empty, so if you hurry, you could be the first one to post there.

Podcasting History

Ah, the battle over the history of podcasting has reared its ugly head once again. Gotta check my calendar. Is it a full moon already?

I’ve had a lot of email in the past 24 hours from people who want me to weigh in on the revisionist history issue. Personally, like most people, I really don’t care who invented it. But maybe that’s just because I didn’t invent anything. 🙂 Oh, wait! I was the first person to coin the phrase “podcatcher.” Is that worth something? Should I have my own page in Wikipedia?

I can provide a few factual dates to which I can attest first hand:

  • First IT Conversations program:6/3/03, an interview with Phil Windley
  • First IT Conversations podcast: 9/24/03, about a year before most of the podcasts you hear about. I was inspired by Dave Winer’s RSS feed of Chris Lydon’s MP3 interviews. I hand-copied Dave’s XML to create my own feed with enclosures.

But let’s not forget some of the other true pioneers, some of whose names are rarely mentioned in this discussion. A partial list might include:

  • Jish Mukerji (first audioblogged August 2001)
  • Harold Gilchrist (an audioblogging evangelist who first audioblogged January 2002)
  • Adam Curry (audioblog post ~October 2002)
  • Noah Glass (introduced AudBlog in February 2003)
  • Eric Rice (Audioblog)
  • Rob and Dana Greenlee (WebTalk Guys, going waaay back)
  • and lots of people who published spoken-word audio on the ‘Net as far back as the early ’90s

Thanks to Harold who documented some of these people and dates earlier this year.