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January 21 2014

07:23

Cory Doctorow: Digital failures are inevitable, but we need them to be graceful - Boing Boing

Banshee fails gracefully because its authors don't attempt any lock-in. When I find myself diverging from the design philosophy of Banshee to the extent that I want to use a rival system to manage my music, Banshee is designed to assist me in switching. Unlike Apple, Microsoft, and others, who treat you as a product to be bought and sold – and who have engineered laws like the DMCA to make it illegal to convert your files for use with rival products – Banshee is designed to work with me until we part ways, and then to gracefully bow out and let me move on to someone else's version of this particular bit of plumbing. A good example of this is Amazon's MP3 store. Until recently, it worked beautifully. I'd pay a reasonable price for my music, and Amazon would let me download it to my computer with as little fuss as possible. Recently, that changed. Amazon wants to promote its cloud drive services, so now it requires that you lock yourself into an Amazon-proprietary downloader to get your MP3s. The Amazon MP3 store started life with a lot of rhetoric about liberation (they made t-shirts that trumpeted "DRM: Don't Restrict Me!") that contrasted their offering with the locked-in world of the iTunes Store. Now that Amazon has won enough marketshare in the MP3 world, it's using that position to try and gain ground in the world of cloud computing – at the expense of its customers. Lucky for me, MP3 is an open format, so MP3 investments fail well. The fact that I bought hundreds of pounds' worth of music from Amazon doesn't stop me from taking my business elsewhere now that they've decided to treat me as a strategic asset instead of a customer. By contrast, I was once unwise enough to spend thousands on audiobooks from Amazon's Audible subsidiary (the major player in the audiobook world), kidding myself that the DRM wouldn't matter. But the day I switched to Ubuntu, I realised that I was going to have to spend a month running three old Macs around the clock in order to re-record all those audiobooks and get them out of their DRM wrappers. http://boingboing.net/2014/01/20/podcast-digital-failures-are.html

December 27 2013

07:43

New Disruptors 55: Boing Boing Editors at XOXO 2013 - Boing Boing

In September 2013, I interviewed at the XOXO conference and festival the four lead editors of Boing Boing, this fine publication, a descendant of zine culture that is one of the most popular blogs on the Internet, on the occasion of its 25th continuous year in existence. For the day after Christmas, it seems appropriate to celebrate generosity and gift culture with Mark Frauenfelder, David Pescovitz, Cory Doctorow, and Xeni Jardin. (Photo by Jenni Leder.) The New Disruptors: RSS | iTunes | Download this episode | Listen on Stitcher Support The New Disruptors directly as a patron at Patreon starting at $1 for each podcast episode, with on-air thanks, premiums, and more at higher levels of support. We do this show with your help. As with all the sessions at XOXO, the presentation is Creative Commons licensed, and I separately obtained permission from Andy Baio and Andy McMillan. Thanks, too, to Mike Gebhardt and Betty Farrier of brytCAST.com, the folks who videotaped throughout XOXO 2012 and 2013, for providing the high-quality audio file. You can watch the entire session as video, too, on YouTube. To follow along with some of the early part of the interview, as I introduce the editors, you can view this PDF. The New Disruptors is a podcast about people who make art, things, or connections finding new ways to reach an audience and build a community. Glenn Fleishman is the host, and he talks with new guests every week. Find previous episodes at the podcast's home. Glenn Fleishman, @glennf, is the editor and publisher of The Magazine, a fortnightly electronic periodical for curious people with a technical bent. Glenn hosts The New Disruptors, a podcast about connecting creators and makers to their audiences, and writes as “G.F.” at the Economist's Babbage blog. He is a regular panel member on the geeky media podcast The Incomparable. In October 2012, Glenn won Jeopardy! twice. MORE:  New Disruptors More at Boing Boing What we can learn from dialect maps Taking pictures of the Rolling Stones with the 'best pocket camera ever made' ADVERTISEMENT Continue the discussion at bbs.boingboing.net http://boingboing.net/2013/12/26/new-disruptors-55-boing-boing.html

May 14 2013

00:36

Tell Me Something I Don't Know 007: Jeff Smith

This is episode 7 of Boing Boing's, Tell Me Something I Don't Know. It's an interview podcast featuring artists, writers, filmmakers, and other creative people discussing their work, ideas, and the reality/business side of how they do what they do. Jeff Smith began writing, drawing, and publishing Bone in 1991, through his company, Cartoon Books. He championed self-publishing in the 1990s with other independent cartoonists known as the Spirits of Independents and continues to self-publish through Cartoon Book. Since 1991, Bone has become a world-wide phenomenon, published in nearly 30 languages. In 2005, Scholastic reissued Bone in color through their Graphix imprint, inspiring an entire generation of young cartoonists who found his work through traditional book stores, comic book shops, schools, and libraries. He followed the Tolkien-esque, Bone, with Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil (DC Comics) and RASL (Cartoon Books) - a sci-fi noir about a dimension-hopping art thief. Smith recently announced his next project, Tüki Save the Humans, about the first human to leave Africa during the Ice Age. Tell Me Something I Don't Know is produced and hosted by three talented cartoonists and illustrators: Jim Rugg, a Pittsburgh-based comic book artist, graphic designer, zinemaker, and writer best known for Afrodisiac, The Plain Janes, and Street Angel. His latest project is SUPERMAG. Jasen Lex is a designer and illustrator from Pittsburgh. He is currently working on a graphic novel called Washington Unbound. All of his art and comics can be found at jasenlex.com. Ed Piskor is the cartoonist who drew the comic, Wizzywig, and draws the Brain Rot/ Hip Hop Family Tree comic strip at this very site, soon to be collected by Fantagraphics Books and available for pre-order now.
Tags: boing boing

January 03 2012

20:32

Apps For Kids 002: Robot Wants Kitty - Boing Boing

Jane and Mark review the platformer, Robot Wants Kitty.

March 23 2011

02:49

Get Illuminated, Ep. 10: Steven E. Landsburg

In the latest episode of the Get Illuminated podcast, I interviewed Steven E. Landsburg, author of the delightfully thought provoking book, More Sex is Safer Sex: The Unconventional Wisdom of Economics. To get an idea of what we talked about, here's part of the preface to Landsburg's book: "Common sense tells you that promiscuity spreads AIDS, population growth threatens prosperity, and misers make bad neighbors. I wrote this book to assault your common sense. "My weapons are evidence and logic, especially the logic of economics. Logic is most enlightening -- and surely most fun -- when it challenges us to see the world in a whole new way. This book is about that kind of logic. "Daughters cause divorce. A thirst for revenge is healthier than a thirst for gold. A ban on elephant hunting is bad news for elephants, and disaster assistance is bad news for the people who receive it. Malicious computer hackers should be executed. The most charitable people support the fewest charities. Writing books is socially irresponsible; elbowing your way to the front of the water-fountain line is not. The tall, the slim, and the beautiful earn higher wages -- but not for the reasons you think. "Each of those statements is closer to the truth than you might imagine. If your common sense tells you otherwise, remember that common sense also tells you the earth is flat."

March 22 2011

18:56

Evernote Podcast #26

In this episode, we talk about the recent updates to iPhone and Android, and our experiments with video Q&As using Vyou.com. Also, we have a very special interview with Mark Frauenfelder of BoingBoing and Make Magazine.

March 11 2011

23:53

Interview with Timothy Leary biographer John Higgs

An interview with John Higgs, author of the biography, I HAVE AMERICA SURROUNDED: THE LIFE OF TIMOTHY LEARY http://www.archive.org/details/leary_higgs
23:50

Interview with David Byrne

I enjoyed David Byrne's presentation at TED2010. He spoke about the way artists create their music and other works to look and sound their best in the venue... http://www.archive.org/details/InterviewWithDavidByrneAtTed2010
Tags: boing boing
23:46

Get Illuminated, Ep. 07: Chris Metzler

On the latest episode of Get Illuminated, I interviewed Chris Metzler, the co-director of a fascinating documentary called Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea, which is coming to theaters later this month. Once known as the "California Riviera," the Salton Sea is now called one of America’s worst ecological disasters: a fetid, stagnant, salty lake, coughing up dead fish and birds by the thousands. Yet a few hardy eccentrics hang on to hope, including a roadside nudist waving at passing European tourists, a man building a religious mountain out of mud and paint, beer-loving Hungarian Revolutionary Hunky Daddy, and the real-estate “Ronald McDonald” known simply as The Landman. Through their perceptions and misperceptions, the strange history and unexpected beauty of the Salton Sea is revealed.
23:35

Get Illuminated, Ep. 10: Steven E. Landsburg

In the latest episode of the Get Illuminated podcast, I interviewed Steven E. Landsburg, author of the delightfully thought provoking book, More Sex is Safer Sex: The Unconventional Wisdom of Economics. To get an idea of what we talked about, here's part of the preface to Landsburg's book: "Common sense tells you that promiscuity spreads AIDS, population growth threatens prosperity, and misers make bad neighbors. I wrote this book to assault your common sense. "My weapons are evidence and logic, especially the logic of economics. Logic is most enlightening -- and surely most fun -- when it challenges us to see the world in a whole new way. This book is about that kind of logic. "Daughters cause divorce. A thirst for revenge is healthier than a thirst for gold. A ban on elephant hunting is bad news for elephants, and disaster assistance is bad news for the people who receive it. Malicious computer hackers should be executed. The most charitable people support the fewest charities. Writing books is socially irresponsible; elbowing your way to the front of the water-fountain line is not. The tall, the slim, and the beautiful earn higher wages -- but not for the reasons you think. "Each of those statements is closer to the truth than you might imagine. If your common sense tells you otherwise, remember that common sense also tells you the earth is flat."
23:33

Get Illuminated, Ep. 09: Adam "Ape Lad" Koford

In this edition of the Get Illuminated podcast, I interviewed cartoonist Adam "Ape Lad" Koford, the mastermind behind the 700 Hoboes Project and all-around creative dynamo. (Here's a drawing he made of Boing Boing's own Jackhammer Jill as a hobo). In this interview we discuss hoboes, the comic strip Gordo, he previous job at a hotel chain call center, the awesomeness of Jack Kirby, Golden Books, how he creates those $20 postcard drawings, and many other topics.
23:24

Get Illuminated, Ep. 08: Comic Art Magazine

In this episode of the Get Illuminated podcast, I interviewed the publisher (Alvin Buenaventura) and the editor (Todd Hignite) of one of my favorite magazines, Comic Art. Alvin also publishes other books of and about comics -- check out the line-up at Buenaventura Press. Hignite is the author of a terrific book called In the Studio, in which he visits well-know cartoonists and interviews them about their process and inspirations. (Shown above: The cover of the upcoming Comic Art 9 by LA cartoonist and musician Tim Hensley.)
23:22

Get Illuminated, Ep. 03: Rudy Rucker

In our third Get Illuminated podcast, we interview author and mathematician Rudy Rucker about his two upcoming books: Mad Professor and Mathematicians in Love. In our third Get Illuminated podcast, we interview author and mathematician Rudy Rucker about his two upcoming books: Mad Professor and Mathematicians in Love.
23:22

Get Illuminated, Ep. 06: William Gurstelle

On the latest episode of Get Illuminated, I interviewed William Gurstelle, a contributing editor to MAKE magazine and the author of five fun-filled books, including: Backyard Ballistics: Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match Rockets, Cincinnati Fire Kites, Tennis Ball Mortars, and More Dynamite Devices Adventures from the Technology Underground: Catapults, Pulsejets, Rail Guns, Flamethrowers, Tesla Coils, Air Cannons, and the Garage Warriors Who Love Them The Art of the Catapult: Build Greek Ballistae, Roman Onagers, English Trebuchets, and More Ancient Artillery Building Bots: Designing and Building Warrior Robots and most recently, Whoosh Boom Splat: The Garage Warrior's Guide to Building Projectile Shooters. In the interview William talks about how he approaches problem solving, how he escaped from a life of designing pay phones, and how to get free delicious food in almost any city in the country.
23:20

Get Illuminated, Ep. 05: Scott Rosenberg

In 2001, Mitch Kapor, the designer of the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet, and the co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, started the Open Source Applications Foundation, or OSAF for short. Kapor hired some of the most talented programmers and software designers around and went to work to create a new kind of personal information manager, code named Chandler. In 2003, Scott Rosenberg, the cofounder of Salon, asked Kapor if he could embed himself in OSAF for the purposes of writing a book about the development of the application. For three years, Rosenberg sat in on company meetings, met with programmers and designers, and observed the progress, or more accurately, lack of progress, of Chandler. Rosenberg's book Dreaming in Code: Two dozen programmers, three years, 4,732 bugs, and one quest for transcendent software, examines why making good software is so hard. Dreaming in Code is addictively good reading. Rosenberg tells the story of the smart people at OSAF and why they can't seem to gain traction with Chandler, even though they were veterans of other successful projects at places like Mozilla and Apple. Rosenberg also examines the larger picture of software development, recounting episodes in the history of computer science that add insight and context to the main story. I interviewed Rosenberg about his book on February 13.
23:19

Get Illuminated, Ep. 04: Steven Levy

In episode 4 of Boing Boing's Get Illuminated podcast, I spoke with Steven Levy, author of the excellent book, The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness. Steven talks about Steve Jobs' role in the creation of the iPod, why the Zune is lousy, why Sony can't make a good MP3 player, and what the rumored iPhone is going to be like.
23:16

Get Illuminated, Ep. 02: Loren Coleman

On this week's edition of Get Illuminated! we chatted with Loren Coleman. As BB readers know, Loren is the world's leading cryptozoologist who has spent the last four decades studying "hidden animals," from Bigfoot and Yeti to Nessie and Chupacabras, and the culture surrounding them. He blogs about his curious findings at Cryptomundo and is the author of seventeen books, including my favorites Bigfoot: The True Story of Apes in America, Mysterious America, and Tom Slick: True Life Encounters in Cryptozoology. We spoke with Loren about how he became a cryptozoologist, what it means to be a Fortean, recent tales of Sasquatch, the case of the Dover Demon, and why the world is getting weirder.
23:14

Get Illuminated, Ep. 01. Douglas Rushkoff

In Episode 1 of Boing Boing's Get Illuminated, we interviewed cultural critic and author Doug Rushkoff. He talked about the renewed interest in Timothy Leary and Aleister Crowley, let us in on the plot of the new comic he's writing for Vertigo comics, and talked about the book he's been waiting all his life to write.
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