Essential Vidcasts

Here’s some more progs that are essential if you’ve got an Apple TV or if you don’t mind squinting at podcasts on your computer:

The Merlin Show
The Merlin Show
I’ve got hooked on Mann’s warm, easy interviewing style and the playfulness of his questions. This is a bloke who wouldn’t be out of place as a prime-time chatshow host but, the world being what it is, primetime is taken up with Celebrity Organ Transplant.

My fave eps so far have been with John Roderick, a musician you may know from his work with Death Cab For Cutie, Nada Surf, the Decemberists or his own band, The Long Winters. It’s these episodes that gave us the classic line:

“I don’t think that Ben Affleck’s hair is a crime against humanity but…”

Recommended for geeks and particularly for musicians, there’s a lot of good info here.

Mobuzz is more bite-sized, each ep is around five minutes. In that space, Karina Stenquist (or Iria Gallardo if you’re watching the Spanish version) guides the viewer through the geekier news items of the day. In the past few days, I’ve heard about dark matter, synthetic blood, mobile Ubuntu… well, you get the drift. Geektastic.

And that brings me glidingly to my last pick:



As you can see, it’s presented by two geezers called Robert Heron and Patrick Norton, both uber-geeks, both laconically silly. Now, I warn you, this show is extremely geeky. If you’re the kind of person who likes seeing features on the availability of AGP cards in the PCI age or the best caddy for an ESATA drive, this show is for you. If you’re now going ‘whuh?’ then you can safely avoid it. I love it! I only wish I’d seen some of the older eps before some recent purchases I’ve made, that could have saved me a shitload of money.

And that wraps up the vidcast picks for today. I’ll probably have some more soon as I seem to be be watching more and more IPTV and less old telly.

Wake up, old media world, your audience is waving goodbye!

Police Chief: Britain Becoming Orwellian State


A senior police officer has said he fears the spread of CCTV cameras is leading to “an Orwellian situation”.

Deputy chief constable of Hampshire Ian Readhead said Britain could become a surveillance society with cameras on every street corner.

There are up to 4.2 million CCTV cameras in Britain – about one for every 14 people.

The UK also has the world’s biggest DNA database, with 3.6 million DNA samples on file.

(Source: BBC News)

This is another part of Butcher Blair’s grand legacy to Britain: we are the most surveilled nation on Earth. And it’s going to get even worse. Whether it’s the plan to monitor every single car journey or the money and freedom pit of ID cards, Blair’s Britain is the wet-dream of Stalinist commissars.

We now live in a country where we have less privacy than the average Chinese citizen. Ironically, this Friday, British MPs voted to keep their activities secret:

The House of Commons yesterday voted to exempt itself from its own Freedom of Information Act, ending the compulsory legal requirement for MPs to disclose their expenses and introducing further curbs on the release of already protected MPs’ correspondence.

The Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker said after the vote: “This is a terrible day for parliamentary democracy and in particular for the House of Commons. I am ashamed to be an MP.”
(Source: The Guardian)

So, MPs want their activities to be private but everywhere ordinary citizens go, we’re subjected to banks of CCTV cameras and our DNA is retained just in case we commit some future crime?

For a change, I’ll give the last word to a copper:

“I’m really concerned about what happens to the product of these cameras, and what comes next?” he said.

“If it’s in our villages, are we really moving towards an Orwellian situation where cameras are at every street corner?

“And I really don’t think that’s the kind of country that I want to live in.”
(Source: BBC News)