Monthly Archives: June 2007

Podcast Studio Update 3

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Today I got my public liability insurance  covering me for TEN MILLION DOLLARS…So now, if some idiot walks into the studio and trips on a cord, I’m not liable. Or, if i get a really annoying client that changes their mind every 5 minutes, or doesnt even know what they want to begin with, then I’m legally allowed to stab them through the eye. Or atleast, that is my understanding of the situation.

I’m Not Really A Geek…

Amongst certain friends, I’m the geekiest guy they know. Amongst others, I’m dripping with social skills..But I feel the need to keep pointing out I’m not really a geek, or whatever the non geek label is, I sit right on the cusp.Further proof: Last week i bought a Nintendo DS. Hardly an early adopter, the machine is almost 2 years old. But I tend to get into stuff just before it hits the mainstream. Take podcasting for example, I started subscribing to shows about a month before iTunes 4.9, the update that brought podcasting to the desktops of millions. So marketeers, read this blog!But the DS is already mainstream I hear you say… Well, no, its not. If you thought that, then sorry, you are a geek. But its about to be. check out this ad:

iPhone, Kinda….

I’m working for some dudes making videos for bluetooth enabled phones. Because of that, i have 9 different bluetooth test phones on my desk from all the major manufacturers, so i can see what codecs play best universally.Of all the phones, ranging from the smart to the very dumb (damn you Sony Ericsson) the little phone that had the nicest gui, quickest response time, and was the easiest to use turned out to be the Cheapo Nokia 6234, a Vodafone branded phone.Only problem was, it didnt Sync with macs. Well, my boss was out of the office today so i had some time to kill, and based on this guide at Mactalk, i was able to modify an existing iSync plugin to play nice with my mac. You can download the plugin here.For installation, check out the thread at Mactalk. Oh, and to justify the iPhone Headline, you can download a pretty iPhone skin for the Nokia 6234 here, To iPhonefy just about any other device, look here.

Google AdSense

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Google Adsense looks at the most commonly used words and search terms of a site and tries to match the ads accordingly.Sometimes it goes pear shaped, like today, when the two most common terms on my site were Podcast and Beg. See if you can spot the out of place ad…You gotta love it.

Aint To Proud To Beg

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As you may or may not know, I’m unhealthily obsessed with Podcasts.The last few weeks I’ve been busy setting up Australia’s first purpose built public Podcasting Studio. Why? Because their are some really great Podcasts available in Australia, but their could and should be far more.Looking at the most popular Podcasts available on iTunes right now, the well produced podcasts fall into two main categories, Old Media spinoffs, and Tech related.Thats understandable, as the Old Media players like Austereo, Macquarie Radio, etc, have been in the audio production game for a while now, and their podcasts are really just repackaged versions of the stuff they broadcast. Not that theres anything wrong with that. Tony Martin’s Get This is one of my favourite podcasts, but the promise of podcasting was to give a voice to independent media producers, as blogging did to print.Then you have the Tech Podcasts. Again, I listen to a shitload of tech podcasts, like the ever popular TWiT and its many spinoffs, and the brilliant Buzz Out Loud. These shows are equally well produced because, well, geeks were the early adopters to podcasting, so they’ve had time and money to work out the kinks.After those two types of shows, sadly, the quality drops way off. Sure their are exceptions to the rules, like the brilliant Boxcutters, a podcast for the tv obsessed. And Footytalk has analysis of AFL that reminds me of the old Macaveny vehicle Talking Footy. But these are few and far between, and almost impossible to find in iTunes.Which brings me back to the studio. I want to create a place where anyone with a voice and a good idea can wander in, record their passion, and wander out again. My team of audio ninjas will clean up the audio, wrap it in a nice RSS feed, and submit it to iTunes. Podcasting need to be taken out of the realm of geek and Old Media for it to break through to a mainstream Audience. Until it does, its just geeks talking to geeks, or a regurgitation of media available else where. To the vast majority, that equals a a big fat “who cares”.But I need your help. I really want to have the studio up and running as soon as possible, but little things keep getting in the way. Little things like Public Liabilty insurance, the cost of a a decent set of microphones, a mixer, more ram, external hard drives, soundproofing etc etc etc.So far I’ve spent about $2000, and had a few bits of equipment donated, but I’m still about $2000 away from my goal. I can and will eventually get there, but if you would like to help, then I would like you to help to.So, there is now a pretty donation button on the side of this blog. Even if you can only donate $10, it would make the world of difference. You will be thanked, loved, and you might even help create your next favourite podcast.Thanks again,Peter Wells.

An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow

In the centre of Melbourne, two blocks from my office, a man was shot and killed this morning. Two others were shot aswell, and at the time of writing this were both in a critical condition. The gunman fled the scene, and our entire block was ‘locked down’.For whatever reason, when i first heard about this it didnt register. When a police officer told me to stay in my building, I ignored him to get a coffee. Later, when i realised i needed some cords to finish a job, I headed outside again, saying to some friends on a forum “I’m going out, wish me luck,” The response was gallows humour. Latest Age Headline: “Nerd Shot Dead Buying Cords”When i got to the corner of Collins and William Street, just slightly north of the intersection of the shooting,I could’ve kept walking. But like so many other people on that corner, i walked down to the police tape to see the body, covered only with a sheet. I don’t know why i did it, and i wish a hadn’t. I only glanced at the body for a second, but it was long enough for the situation to become suddenly real, and to realise that someone, someone innocent, lost their lives trying to help a stranger. I’ve felt sick ever since.I’m not trying to be overly dramatic, I know awful things happen everyday. But chris it was awful. And Melbourne became such a surreal city today. I heard snippets of conversation as a wandered the city, buying my nerd cords. A Newsagent said “You just can’t be a hero these days”. A british accent said “I thought Melbourne was safe…”Even after the reality of the body had passed, i stumbled upon the scene where the suspected shooter had dumped the gun. Bored journalists smoked cigarettes around the site. Some Forensics Officers walked passed me and my first thought was to admire their High Definition cameras. Life goes on.I dont know why i bothered writing this. I’m sure it hasnt helped. I’m just trying to record what it felt like in the city today. My heart goes out to the family of the victim.An Absolutely Ordinary RainbowThe word goes round Repins,the murmur goes round Lorenzinis,at Tattersalls, men look up from sheets of numbers,the Stock Exchange scribblers forget the chalk in their handsand men with bread in their pockets leave the Greek Club:There’s a fellow crying in Martin Place. They can’t stop him.The traffic in George Street is banked up for half a mileand drained of motion. The crowds are edgy with talkand more crowds come hurrying. Many run in the back streetswhich minutes ago were busy main streets, pointing:There’s a fellow weeping down there. No one can stop him.The man we surround, the man no one approachessimply weeps, and does not cover it, weepsnot like a child, not like the wind, like a manand does not declaim it, nor beat his breast, nor evensob very loudly—yet the dignity of his weepingholds us back from his space, the hollow he makes about himin the midday light, in his pentagram of sorrow,and uniforms back in the crowd who tried to seize himstare out at him, and feel, with amazement, their mindslonging for tears as children for a rainbow.Some will say, in the years to come, a haloor force stood around him. There is no such thing.Some will say they were shocked and would have stopped himbut they will not have been there. The fiercest manhood,the toughest reserve, the slickest wit amongst ustrembles with silence, and burns with unexpectedjudgements of peace. Some in the concourse screamwho thought themselves happy. Only the smallest childrenand such as look out of Paradise come near himand sit at his feet, with dogs and dusty pigeons.Ridiculous, says a man near me, and stopshis mouth with his hands, as if it uttered vomit—and I see a woman, shining, stretch her handand shake as she receives the gift of weeping;as many as follow her also receive itand many weep for sheer acceptance, and morerefuse to weep for fear of all acceptance,but the weeping man, like the earth, requires nothing,the man who weeps ignores us, and cries outof his writhen face and ordinary bodynot words, but grief, not messages, but sorrow,hard as the earth, sheer, present as the sea—and when he stops, he simply walks between usmopping his face with the dignity of oneman who has wept, and now has finished weeping.Evading believers, he hurries off down Pitt Street.Les Murray

Can I Check Your Bag?

One of those things that piss me off far more than it should is being continually asked by a checkout chick if they can ‘check my bags’.It pisses me off mainly because i always have a bag over my shoulder, where ever i go. And being a bit of a geek, its one of those bags that has 43 separate pockets, and is full of usb thingys, cords, hard drives, dvds, atleast one camera, etc etc etc.Every now and then i crack and get a bit annoyed with the poor bored bastard asking, and mutter something like “well i dont think you fucking sell macbooks…” But never have i simply said No. Which is weird, cos at the end of the day its just a question…Today i was in a great mood, so when asked by a girl at Kmart i said “Sure, its called a Small Loft, its from STM. The Chocolate and Orange combination. Its really nice isnt it?” She stare at me blankly, but just said “thanks”.But why don’t I ever just say “No. You cant look in my bag.” Or, when they ask “Do you mind if i look in you bag?” can i simply say, “Yeah i do mind, no you cant. But thanks for asking…”?I asked my girlfriend this today and she said its because of the sign at the front of most stores that read something like “Its a condition of entry to this store that you present all bags for inspection blah blah blah…” But i don’t know. Surely those signs make me less likely to argue the point, but how enforcable are they? If i hung a sign above my door stating if i found you attractive, you were required to blow me, could i demand it? If i hung a nice little sign saying that if you were an annoying client who had no idea what they wanted i could punch you in the face without notice, could i be charged with assualt?Surely those signs would be as legally binding as the check you bag signs, or atleast, they should be. So, if any lawyer is reading this, please, let me know. Can I legally refuse to show my bag to a minimum wage 14 year old at Coles?