Matt\’s Cuppa

My take on tea, technology, and our environment

Archive for the ‘Podcasts/Podcasting’ Category

Like Trick Or Treating For Your iPod

Posted by telecommatt on October 21, 2007

Free Audio Book and Podcast Downloads to Juice Up Your Workout and Commute | PickTheBrain


To help you find the best audio content the web has to offer, I’ve compiled a list of resources for free audio books and podcasts on a wide range of interesting topics.

This link is thanks to Kevin over 21C. It’s a great list of places to go to get free treats for your iPod. I love audiobooks, but my biggest problem is finding time to listen. You can’t really fold a page over to mark where you left off, so it’s hard to pick up five minutes here or there.

To get around this, I find that I’ll actually do more of the things that give me that time. For example, I’ve slacked off a bit, but when I first discovered LearnOutLoud, I was going to the gym to work out just so I could listen to the stuff I’d downloaded the night before. To make room in my day for podcasts I’ve downloaded, I’ve found that I’m spending more time cooking in the kitchen than before I got hooked on Buzz Out Loud and GLRC’s Environment Report.

As kitchy as it sounds, I believe that my life is that much healthier because I’ve gotten used to finding healthy and productive ways to listen to a new mp3 instead of plopping down in from of the TV. Do you have creative ways of getting your mp3 time in?

Posted in Podcasts/Podcasting | 4 Comments »

Matt’s Cuppa LinkRoundup for 9-22-07

Posted by telecommatt on September 22, 2007

I’m behind on my news feeds again. And that means it’s time for another Matt’s Cuppa LinkRoundup. Here are a few stories that I thought particularly interesting. Please comment or contact me with your thoughts.

Weekend Web 2.0 roundup for September 22nd

Filed under: , ,


group calls from a cell phone, mobile device or a desktop computer.
This service uses your existing landline (if you still have one) or
mobile number, but calls are done through IM applications like AIM,
Google Talk, MSN and Yahoo! The service is currently getting ready to
launch in a private beta.

Somewhat skeptical about mass adoption here. I’m wondering who will find value in this. Is this likely to be conference-calling-on-the-cheap or party line 2.0?

Science: How Evolutionary Biology Explains Office Politics


There may be ancient evolutionary impulses behind modern-day office politics.
If human nature is shaped by our monkey pasts, and the tens of
thousands of years our species spent as hunter-gatherers, we might want
to use some 100,000 year-old solutions to fights over the printer,
snarky sysadmins, and lateral promotions. In that spirit, Stanford
neuroscientist and author Robert M. Sapolsky offers Lifehacker some lessons from human prehistory to solve modern-day office dilemmas.

Now ask yourself, “Doesn’t that explain a lot?” Makes you think about your boss and coworkers in a whole new way, huh?

Information Addiction: A recent survey shows most Americans are …

A recent survey shows most Americans are uncomfortable going more than a day without the internet; online activity also lessens the amount of time people spend having sex and socializing with friends face-to-face.

No comment…

Office Supplies: Temporarily Pin Documents with Your Stapler


Blogger Jacob Grier discovers what Wikipedia calls “the least known
stapling method”: pinning. If you rotate the plate on the bottom of
your stapler, it will bend staples outward instead of inward to fasten
things temporarily. Easily remove a pinned staple by pulling it along
the plane of the document. Many modern staplers don’t have this feature
any more, so pick up an old-school model to try it out.
The stapler’s secret [Eternal Recurrence]

Ah, the joys of being a cube warrior again! Apparently, everything in my office requires a staple. I’ve seen staple marks on single sheets of paper often enough to no longer be surprised. As for “modern” staplers, a modern stapler in my little cube nation is one that still works! Which means I’ll have plenty of opportunity to try this little trick out.

Windows: Find Out If Your Computer Is Secretly Connecting to the Web

you are trying to track down why your computer is running so
slooowwwly, try using this simple DOS command from Digital Inspiration
to uncover a possible problem:

  • Type cmd in your Windows Run box.
  • Type “netstat -b 5 > activity.txt” and press enter.
  • After say 2 minutes, press Ctrl+C.
  • Type “activity.txt” on the command line to open the log file in notepad (or your default text editor)

This .txt file will have a record of everything that has made an
Internet connection in the last couple of minutes; you can then check
your task manager to find out where it is and take care of it.
Is Your Computer Connecting To Websites Without Your Knowledge [Digital Inspiration]

I might pull this out and file it under Tech Tips. It drives me crazy when something suddenly starts using my PC that isn’t me! Most of the time, it’s nothing to be concerned about, but when it gets in the way of what I’m doing, it’s gotta stop. This is especially true if I’ve been running Firefox for a while and it’s started swallowing my RAM whole.

Major Media Companies Found Hacking The Pirate Bayfrom Mashable! by Kristen Nicole

Some leaked emails at the MediaDefender-Defenders has granted The Pirate Bay
the proof it needed to file charges against several media companies.
These emails prove that some major record labels and film production
and distribution companies have hired professional hackers and
saboteurs to destroy The Pirate Bay’s trackers.

Okay, that’s just sad!

Beware of PDF Files! Adobe Security Vulnerability Found.

Don’t open any PDF files anytime soon. Better yet, don’t
even go to any websites where PDF files may be embedded. According to
hacker Petko Petkov, there’s a vulnerability in Adobe Acrobat/Reader
that lets malware into your Windows box with no prompts of any sort.
All you need to do is open a PDF file or open a URL that has a PDF file
Petkov says that this has been confirmed for Adobe Reader 8.1 on
Windows XP, though a comprehensive list of other affected versions has
not been compiled or published. It’s important to note that this
vulnerability has not been confirmed by any third parties or Adobe as
of yet. A similar vulnerability for Quicktime on Firefox had been found by Petkov as well, and has been addressed with Firefox’s latest release
[via wired]

Wow! Major setback for Adobe! Not to mention the entire corporate world… In the meantime, I highly recommend Foxit. It’s free, it’s fast, and it’s not Adobe.

Help Find Memory Leaks in Firefox

firefox logo

If you’re a Firefox enthusiast, the Mozilla community is
currently looking for additional volunteers to help reduce memory usage
and fix any memory leaks in the browser. If you’re not a
programmer, Firefox programmer Jesse Ruderman says you can still help:

“If you’re a Firefox user, an easy way to help is to browse
with a trunk nightly build wrapped in a script that calls
when Firefox exits. If it reports that documents or windows leaked, try
to figure out how to reproduce the leak and then file a bug

The goal of the project is to reduce the memory usage in Firefox 3.
On his blog, Ruderman details a number of leaks that have already been
identified and fixed.
For more info on Firefox 3, check out the project’s wiki page at Mozilla.

Count me in! I very often will find that I have to do silly things like eat and sleep when I’m in the middle of a project or writing assignment. I prefer to leave Firefox running so I know exactly where I left off when I come back. And it’s not uncommon for me to find that Firefox is consuming a whopping 350+MB’s of memory. A portion of this is due to memory intensive Firefox extensions, but the majority is due to a known memory leak in Firefox itself. So, if you’re a Firefox user, roll up your sleeves and lets tackle this memory thing!

Your Very Own Podcasts–The Easy Way

you want to be a star? You don’t actually have to want to be a
star to begin recording and distributing your very own podcasts.
Increasingly, businesses and web sites of all stripes are turning to
podcasting for everything from online marketing to tutorials. Also,
many commuters and travelers now get business information from
podcasts. Web workers of numerous kinds can benefit from learning to
produce them, whether they are for audio blogs, remote presentations,
tutorials intended for a workgroup, or other purposes.

The good news is, the equipment you need to do very professional
material is either inexpensive or free, and there are multiple ways to
distribute your content to audiences that can grow in size if you
engage them. In this post, I’ll delve into some of the best
choices for your podcasting effort.

I’ve posted about podcasts and podcasting before, and I can’t stress enough the value a quality podcast can create for any business. It doesn’t matter if you’re a SOHO working in the basement or a marketing exec in a 500+ employee company, a quality podcast proves that you are the expert in what you do. After all, why does Emeril have a product line that sells successfully? Because he has a show that proves to people he’s the expert, with a personality that people come back for, and that people walk away from having learned something that’s important to them. (Just a note, podcasts don’t have to be audio-only. Vodcasting, with video, adds an entirely new dimension with which to engage your audience.) Do you know more than your competition? Prove it! Podcast it!

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Posted in Betas (as in not-the-fish), Firefox, Free/Open Source, Freelancing, LinkRoundup, Mobile, OMG!, Podcasts/Podcasting, Tech Tips | 2 Comments »

Songbird is Flock for Music Lovers

Posted by telecommatt on August 10, 2007

Remember Flock, the highly anticipated web browser that let you upload and download photos, post to blogs, and do other social networking type stuff easily from within the browser? If you have more mp3’s than jpg’s, then Songbird might be your personal Grail.

For some reason, I can’t seem to include the screencast in this post, so to view that, please check out the Lifehacker article.

Screencasts: Play the web with Songbird

from Lifehacker by Gina Trapani
Free Firefox-based media player Songbird makes playing local and online
music a whole new experience. View web pages, play music linked on them
and drag and drop the files to your own local library right in
Songbird. We’ve mentioned Songbird before,
but the screencast above demonstrates how cool the bird really is. If
you’re an MP3 blog lover, music searcher, or podcast subscriber, hit
the play button.
[Songbird via Daily Cup of Tech]

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Posted in Betas (as in not-the-fish), Music, Podcasts/Podcasting | Leave a Comment »

Matt’s Cuppa Interviews Andy McCaskey of Slashdot Review Podcast

Posted by telecommatt on July 5, 2007

People I know clear their schedules so they can follow American Idol or The Amazing Race. For me, it’s Andy McCaskey’s Slashdot Review podcast. I knew I was hooked the very first episode I heard. McCaskey’s podcast highlights top stories on Digg, Slashdot, and Reddit, and points out one interesting YouTube video each day. And somehow he does all this in about ten minutes! In a recent episode, McCaskey mentioned that he was traveling, and podcasting from his hotel room. He does such a excellent job that, had he not mentioned that anything was different, I never would have known.

McCaskey made the time to answer a few of my questions about how he takes his show on the road. He included some great information regarding the equipment and software that he uses now and what he plans on moving to in the future. He also talked a bit about how he decides what stories to talk about. Like most great bloggers and podcasters, McCaskey always keeps his audience in mind.

SDR Logo

# Tell me a little about how you manage to stay on top of your news when you’re on the road.

I use the RSS feeds from each of the primary sources – Slashdot, Digg and Reddit as well as some searches that I have converted to RSS feeds. On the selection of YouTube materials, I really appreciate the efforts of listeners to recommend material, and help from SDR News “Video Scout” – David Gilson in the UK. David has been a tremendous help locating and filtering YouTube for interesting material.

# Do you work between multiple PC’s, and if so, what do you do to make sure you have everything you need from one when you’re working from another?

I am in the process of moving the entire operation to the MacBook – but right now have the production split between a Toshiba laptop and the Mac. Add in a third laptop from the company and it makes for a slow security check at the airport. I have only had to do that once. I use so that I can work on copy on both machines.

# How long does it usually take you to produce an episode?

About three hours – depending upon how much background reading I do. When I go out for a week, I try to prepare the postings (YouTube selection and Daily Comments) in advance and leave them in draft form on WordPress. When traveling on business, you need to get out of the evening’s social event quickly. I can usually get back to the room by 10:00pm (although that is rugged on the west coast since you will be up until about 4:00AM Eastern) . Sure cuts down on the temptation to have a few more drinks at business dinners!

# Do you have any favorite applications or tools that you use in regards to your podcast?

I use Propaganda as my primary editor and mp3 encoder. For several years I used Audacity, but find I can edit faster in Propaganda. I used id3Tagit to add mp3 info and then Filezilla for FTP. I will be shifting over to the Mac, but will probably use Parallels and the Windows apps for a while. I have been looking at Ubercaster and it is really impressive – I will probably shift to that in the next few months. I use the Gigavox Levelator for pre-processing of .wav files on the PC.

# How do you decide what stories to cover, and does being on the road make this more difficult?

I try to select a variety of stories and remove some of the anti-Microsoft slant from Slashdot and the overtly political from Reddit, unless the political has a technology impact or angle. Since most of my audience is mid-career professionals, I will generally select with that demographic in mind. On the road, the limitation is the amount of reading you can do from the feed and the original source pages each feed item leads you to.

# Is there anything that you wish you knew before you started your podcast that would have made things easier, especially relating to taking things with you on the road?

It took me about two years to settle on the BeyerDynamic DT290 headset with pop filter screen for my mobile rig– it helps tremendously keeping constant mic distance and helping with echo in various hotel rooms. You need the Edirol UA25 interface with the Mac to run it in directly. I generally record into a Marantz 671 digital recorder and then use the USB cable to bring the .wav files into either the Mac or the PC.

I learn a lot when I’m listening to Slashdot Review, and not just about the current buzz on the blogoshere. As I talk to more and more people about how producing a podcast can help drive their business, I often find myself thinking back on McCaskey’s show. I can say, “Did you hear how he did this?” or “Do you see how he always does this first?” And the people I’m talking to, people who have never produced a podcast, will say, “Yeah, I get it.” I think that is a sign of a successful podcast!

It’s always good to have a role model, even if you feel like you’re proficient enough on your own. One of the things that draws me to McCaskey’s podcast is just that. In my mind there are a few things that define an effective podcast, especially if you’re using it to drive business:

  • Consistency: Whether you produce your podcast once a day, once a week, or once a month, it needs to be done regularly so that your listeners know when to expect the next episode. If you produce a show whenever you remember, you’ll be speaking to empty space. No one will know when to tune in, so they won’t. Be consistent, be regular.
  • Length: In my opinion, a shorter show is a better show. Ten to fifteen minutes is perfect. Why? Because people have short attention spans and short memories. If you want your listeners to remember something, say it and stop talking. Give them the opportunity to digest, then tell them more in the next show. Also, you’ll find that many (most?) people just don’t have time to sit and listen to 45 or 60 minutes of you talking. Fifteen minutes is a manageable block of time. You may find that your show lengthens naturally. If this happens, let it happen, but don’t force it.
  • Organization: Do your audience a favor and present things in the same order from show to show. See if it’s possible to organize yourself in such a way that you can break your show into smaller chunks of related content. Then string together these chunks in the same order for each show. For example, you might start every show with a quote and a brief discussion about it, and follow that by answering questions listeners have emailed you. With recognizable patterns like this, your listeners’ brains can focus on what you are saying instead of how you are saying it.
  • Audience: This seems like it would be a no-brainer, but it’s not. McCaskey pointed out that his audience was mid-career professionals. He tailors his show to that demographic. It’s tough to remember that your show is for them and not you. You may have something important to say, but saying it to the wrong crowd is worse than not saying it at all. Always know who you are addressing. One exercise that I like is to imagine someone who is in your target audience. Give them as much detail as possible, hair color, eye color, gender, clothing, shoes, even how they are sitting or standing. Then, put together a show that your imaginary person would want to listen to. When you record your show, speak to that imaginary person like they’re right there in the studio with you. Don’t ever do a show without that person next to you.

As you can see, an effective podcast takes preparation, practice, patience, and persistence. I love the fact that you can listen to McCaskey’s Slashdot Review and see all these things in action. He makes a great role-model for any would-be podcaster. If you don’t already, I encourage you to invest the time to listen to Slashdot Review. McCaskey offers up a valuable learning experience and, as an added bonus, you get to hear the best of Slashdot, Digg, and Reddit, all in about ten minutes.

Posted in Hardware, Interviews, Podcasts/Podcasting | 1 Comment »

Matt’s Daily Diigo Post 05/06/2007

Posted by telecommatt on May 6, 2007

Pdf on-line form filler, Pdf editor Annotated

  • This is a very cool tool that is going straight in my freelancing toolbox! I hate filling out forms because I ALWAYS spell something wrong. (Like my name, which I should know by now…) I usually scan them just in case I need a new copy. Now I can scan them, upload them, and quit filling the darn things in by hand!
    – post by telecommatt allows you to fill any PDF form on-line.

Organizers: Got bags? Make a plastic bag keeper – Lifehacker Annotated

  • This is really one of those “duh” ideas that I wish I’d thought of before my pantry floor filled up with perfectly useable and mostly unamanageable plastic bags.
    – post by telecommatt

At this moment, I probably have a good 100+ plastic bags underneath my kitchen sink. How-to site Curbly has a quick and dirty tutorial on how to make a plastic bag keeper that will help me take care of this mess.

Less Accounting :: track expenses & sales leads, create / send proposals & invoices Annotated

  • Less accounting is something I’d like to have more of!
    – post by telecommatt

  • We choose not to function, act or even smell like Peachtree or Quickbooks.
  • Wesabe is great, we just aren’t anything like it.
  • Freshbooks or Blinksale: we invoice, just no robust calendar time tracking functionality.
  • Not a robust CRM by any means, just check out Highrise by 37signals.
  • If you need a sales management component that is built for a large sales teams, try Salesforce.
  • We’re not an address book or a check registry.
  • No Calendar here, try iCal or Google Calendar.

  • Stream live events over the web for free. This seems like pretty big stuff! I’d love to play around with this more. Anyone else tried this yet?
    – post by telecommatt – Outsource Your Life…

  • I wish this had been around for my calculus homework…
    – post by telecommatt

Famiva : online genealogy and family social network with family tree, photos, stories, events, reminders, maps and more…

Famiva : online genealogy and family social network with family tree, photos, stories, events, reminders, maps and more… Annotated

  • This looks very well put together. I’m all about finding ways that families can use the internet together.
    – post by telecommatt

Welcome to the premier social network for families, a secure and password-protected
place for you and your relatives to connect and collaborate. Work together to build the family tree,
visualize the extended family network, share photos and stories, stay
current with family events and reminders, explore
family maps, and much more. Best of all, Famiva is completely free.

Event Wax | Web-Based Event Organization Lubrication Annotated

The easier, smarter way to organize special events, from conferences and workshops to parties, gigs, and receptions.

Bubble Guru Beta

  • This looks slick, interesting, and more than a little useful. I know someone I need to pass this onto!
    – post by telecommatt

Posted in Finance, Freelancing, Lifehacks, Podcasts/Podcasting, Social Web, web-based services | 2 Comments »

Matt’s Daily Diigo Post 04/24/2007

Posted by telecommatt on April 24, 2007

Webware : The
Webware 100

Lists – Meditation Music


Lists – Yoga

Posted in Betas (as in not-the-fish), eMusic, Meditation, Podcasts/Podcasting | 1 Comment »

Sustainability topics via podcasts/ video documentaries

Posted by telecommatt on April 20, 2007

Sustainability Podcasts

This post also comes via the Greenleap email list. The site hosts an impressive list of podcasts on environmental issues. There is a lot of great material here. It’s definitely worth checking out. As the message states, please pass this along to anyone who might be interested.

People like to get their information in different ways through different media . With new web initiatives, like You Tube and podcasting, there has been an explosion of creativity on the web. Over the last year The Natural Edge Project has found a number of really interesting sustainability podcasts and video documentaries , many of which are freely available online. The Natural Edge Project has created a new web page of these podcasts. ( ) The web page includes podcasts that were chosen to appeal to a broad audience . Hence it includ es Leonardo Di Caprio’s first global warming doc o , the latest ABC TV Catalyst program’s segment on the future of cars, and amazing footage explaining the threat of climate change filmed as far back as 1958 .

Also the web page features a number of ABC’s 4 Corners shows that relate to sustainability issues. ABC 4 Corners is now creating more in depth online video streamed versions of some of their shows on sustainability issues like climate change and Australia’s urban water crisis. As more and more of Australia’s cities face higher water restrictions, the issues raised in the 2005 ABC 4 Corners program “City Limits: Australia’s Urban Water Crisis” are just as relevant today. These are also featured on this new TNEP web page.

We will keep updating the web page with new and interesting podcasts such as this one by Dennis Meadows talking about a 30 year update he and colleagues did of the Limits to Growth book . ( ( )

We would be most grateful if you could please pass this web link onto anyone you feel would be interested. If you find good , freely available , online sustainability podcasts, documentaries, lectures or footage, please send it to me and The Natural Edge Project will review it and consider adding it to this web site,


Mike Smith

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Posted in Energy, Environment, Green, Podcasts/Podcasting, Websites | 1 Comment »

Matt’s Daily Diigo Post 04/13/2007

Posted by telecommatt on April 13, 2007

    Freelance Writers – Expore the Freelance Writing Jobs at LifeTips

    • Become a Guru, post tips or publish a book. Get paid.
       – post by telecommatt

    Helium – Where Knowledge Rules

    • Get paid for your writing if you get rated high enough.
       – post by telecommatt

    Associated Content Frequently Asked Questions

    • pays $3-$20 for freelance writing.
       – post by telecommatt

    SplashCast: Channel Yourself Across the Web  Annotated

      About SplashCast

        The Principles of Beautiful Web Design [Design Principles]

          SQL – Wikibooks, collection of open-content textbooks

   – Free Computer Books, Tutorials & Lecture Notes


                Best Places to Get Free Books – The Ultimate Guide | Friedbeef’s Tech


                  • This seems like a really cool and potentially useful app! It’s basically a web bot that allows you to store, add, and edit random bits of information via their website or via sms. For example, you have what they call a GAD that lists your coworkers’ birthdays by the month. You SMS MyGads “May birthdays” and it sends you back the GAD that lists your coworkers who have May birthdays. This has some serious GTD potential too!
                     – post by telecommatt

                  Children bear brunt of climate warming: report – Yahoo! News  Annotated

                  • This is a chilling thing to think about, that our children, who look to us as their protectors, will suffer the most from climate change. And it’s too late. There is nothing we can do to take this thing we’ve helped create away from them. Yes, we can stop what is happening from getting worse, but we can’t stop what is already in motion.
                     – post by telecommatt
                  LONDON (Reuters) – Children will increasingly bear the
                  brunt of global warming, a report said on Friday, while another
                  said the climate would continue to heat up in coming decades
                  regardless of efforts to curb emissions of carbon gases.

                    UK policy body wants health warnings on flights – Yahoo! News  Annotated

                      LONDON (Reuters) – Advertisements for flights, or holidays
                      that include flying, should carry a tobacco-style health
                      warning to remind people of the global warming crisis, a
                      leading British think-tank said on Thursday.

                        Posted in Betas (as in not-the-fish), Ebooks, Free/Open Source, Freelancing, Green, Our World, Podcasts/Podcasting, Politics, web-based services, Webdev | 1 Comment »

                        SplashCast: Channel Yourself Across the Web

                        Posted by telecommatt on April 12, 2007

                        SplashCast: Channel Yourself Across the Web

                        SplashCast enables anyone to create streaming media ‘channels’ that combine video, music, photos, narration, text and RSS feeds.

                        I haven’t even tried this out yet, but I’m really excited about this service! I can see just tons of uses for SplashCasting (if that’s a word…) and not just for fun either. Check this out:

                        The SplashCast service enables anyone to create streaming media ‘channels’ that mix together video, music, photos, narration, text, as well as RSS feeds, PowerPoint presentations and PDF documents. These user-generated channels can be played and easily syndicated on any web site, blog, or social network page. When channel owners modify their channel, their content is automatically updated across all the web pages ‘tuned’ to that channel.

                        I can see this meeting the needs of more than one of my clients in ways that something like YouTube just can’t provide. I think that the lack of branding will appeal to a lot of bloggers out there too.

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                        Posted in Podcasts/Podcasting, web-based services | Leave a Comment »

                        Open Culture: Podcast Primer

                        Posted by telecommatt on March 20, 2007

                        Open Culture: Podcast Primer

                        We talk about podcasts a good deal around here. But given that only 12% of internet users have ever downloaded a podcast, and only 1% does so daily (see this Pew Research Center study), we wanted to provide an overview of podcasts and how to use them. In a few minutes, we want to get you up and running and exploring our rich collections of educational and cultural materials.

                        I’ve found some really great stuff over at Open Culture. If you can find a podcast on it, it’s probably there. This article is a really, really nice breakdown of podcasting basics. I did a little feature earlier on podcasting, but this article does a nice clean job of breaking the whole podcasting thing into understandable bitesize bits and offers some additional links to download a few yourself or learn to become a podcaster.

                        Posted in Podcasts/Podcasting | Leave a Comment »