brainwagon "There is much pleasure in useless knowledge." — Bertrand Russell


Giant squid ‘taking over world’

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

"In his house in R'lyeh dead Cthulhu lies dreaming"

Filed under: News Comments Off

Bad Film? You are soaking in it!

Interested in fan films? Then try giving Attack of the Flesh-Eating Subterranean Bog-Monster from the Center of the Earth and Beyond the Moon: Apocalyptic Revenge! a try. (Link courtesy of Kevin).


Dvorak is not just irrelevent, he’s a jerk…

It could be possible that someone might disagree with what many others view as the promise of podcasting, or might not possess the foresight to see its possibilities. That in itself is no great crime. Honest disagreements occur even between the informed, and far too few people make the work to even be informed.

It was with this basic philosophy in mind that I first read Dvorak's claim that podcasting was not really ready for prime time. It was sloppy and uninformed, and propagated several myths which are obviously untrue, and even much of what it did tell you was irrelevent. I began doing podcasts in early September, and I was an early adopter. It's now the end of October. What does this mean? That the entire buzz around podcasting is only eight weeks old. Dvorak's criticism seems to me like standing on the keel of a cruise liner as it is being contructed and then complaining that they don't serve very good Mai Tais.

But I'm able to brush off criticisms from the ill-informed quite easily, although others got a bit hot under the collar about it.

But in his own personal blog, Dvorak continued his offensive:

I wrote a column questioning the overall concept of podcasting for PCMagazine and more than a few bloggers blasted me for not being an immediate booster. So troublemaker Chris Coulter sent me this link to a classic and typical podcast that I have trouble believing is serious. It mostly resembles a guy talking to his dog for hours on end. I still think it's a put-on. Although there are plenty of techies out there who ramble like this. I always imagine these guys on dates going on and on with their date and and eventually out-talking her. There is some justice in that.

At least, unlike other podcasters, he's not over-modulated and is very understandable although very adenoidal.

Not content with merely slamming the entire concept of podcasting, he is now taken to actual personal insults of an individual who takes time and energy to develop a podcast solely for the benefit of his listeners. John, here you stray over the line of being merely ignorant and lacking in any kind of vision to actually just being a jerk.

I listen to Geek News Central all the time. Combined with The Linux Link Tech Show, these stand as two examples of programs for geeks and as such they are incredibly successful. If you compare the listening experience I have in listening to an hour of this programming combined to traditional radio programming there is simply no contest: I'd much rather be listening to the podcasts.

Todd, if you read this, take heart. Your listeners can see through the transparent idiocy of Dvorak and his mean-spirited barbs and see them for what they are: the increasingly irrelevent ramblings of someone who has lost any vision. Keep up the good work Todd.

Addendum: According to, Dvorak's website is ranked 6,054, while Todd's is ranked 4,616. Obviously he is just trying to ride your coat tails to popularity. 🙂


Halloween Podcast!

Well, it's still a couple of days till Halloween, but I thought I would to this special halloween themed podcast so that you could still have time to use some of the ideas and downloads that I present here in whatever spooky proceedings you may have planned. Here are some of the links I mentioned:


Am I part of the popular crowd?

In some ways, I'm blown away by the popularity of my podcasts, and yet in listening to people like Adam Curry, Dave Slusher, or even Todd Cochrane's Geek News Central, it seems clear that far fewer people are listening to my little podcasts than others. For instance, I tried looking up my lowly weblog on and compared it to others.

  1. Adam Curry's Daily Source Code ranked 955.
  2. Dave Slusher's Evil Genius Chronicles scores a ranking of 1,961.
  3. Todd Cochrane's Geek News Central ranked 4,209.
  4. Brian Cantoni's personal weblog ranked 15,507.
  5. My own weblog? Ranked 852,031.

Should I be encouraged or discouraged by this?

Incidently, I mentioned Brian Cantoni's weblog only because I created a subscription list on that tries to find links to, and he showed up today and had nice things to say about my podcasts.

My popularity does seem to be growing. Yesterday I had my first day of > 1gb bandwidth consumed, with 87 people downloading my latest podcast. If that keeps up, I may be able to exhaust my 40gb of monthly bandwidth.


The Internet Turns 35

Happy Birthday Internet!

In the 1960s, computer scientists at American universities and in the U.S. Department of Defence devised a plan for a network of computers that could all communicate with each other.

After the hardware was put in place, researchers at UCLA attempted on Oct. 29, 1969, to log in to a computer at the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, Calif.


In order to log in to the two-computer network, which was then called ARPANET, programmers at UCLA were to type in "log," and Stanford would reply "in."

The UCLA programmers only got as far as "lo" before the Stanford machine crashed.

Happy Birthday!


The New Yorker: The Talk of the Town

The New Yorker endorses Kerry in an essay that in most respects echoes my own thoughts on the upcoming election. We shall see who prevails on November 2.

Filed under: Politics Comments Off

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – The Adventure Game

The BBC has the 1984 Infocom adventure based upon Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy running as a Flash applet. Cool stuff. Don't forget your towel!


There’s Something About W and Stolen Honor

Today documentary filmmakers Robin Chin and John Grimes dropped by Pixar to show their film and to answer questions about their documentary film There's Something About W, which you can now view in its entirety from their website. In addition, we also screened a showing of Stolen Honor, the film which the Sinclair Broadcast Group initially was going to air, but later pulled when its advertisers began to protest and their stock dipped.

Watch both of them, dig into the facts behind them, and then be sure to vote on November 2.

Filed under: Politics Comments Off

Interview with a Lawyer for Tivo

Wired is running this interview with a lawyer for Tivo regarding their new changes to respect broadcast flags for pay-per-view content. While it's bad news for consumers, I think it is refreshing to hear a lawyer speak this candidly.

Best exchange:

WIRED: TiVo has always been about empowering the viewer. Why change now?
ZINN: Macrovision changed its policy. So the question was, Do we want to have a Macrovision license with certain restrictions, or none at all? We decided that as long as the restrictions were limited to pay-per-view and video-on-demand, consumers would still have the choice. If they don't like a narrower window in which to view programming, they won't purchase it. That'll send a message to the content owners.


Dead Walk, Hell Freezes Over, and Red Sox win the World Series

Tonight the Red Sox completed a 4 game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals, which was the first World Series game played during a total lunar eclipse. The ghost of Babe Ruth apparently stopped carrying a grudge.

I'll be watching for the Apocalypse just the same.

Filed under: Baseball Comments Off

Free George Bush and John Kerry Jack o Lantern Patterns

Enjoy carving those large wintertime vegetables!


Happy Halloween!

In an effort to get in the mood for Halloween, I thought that I would change the default color scheme on my weblog until after the ghosts and spooks are gone. Enjoy the pumpkin orange colors, soon we will be back to Brainwagon blue.


Podcast #27: Magnatune, DMCA and the Treo Podcast

Where your host plugs the worthy record label Magnatune and their gracious use of Creative Commons licensing, plays a bit of American Baroque's rendition of Vivaldi's Concerto No.1 in D Major RV, better known as the Spring Concerto among us people who don't know much about music, and lauds the 6th Court of appeals decision in the Lexmark case. You can read the court's opinion here as a PDF file, provided by the EFF.

Bonus links:

Errata: I erroneously called Doug Kaye David Kaye. Sorry Doug! I don't know what blip caused my brain to make this mistake.


Wow! Thomas P.M. Barnett at Pop! Tech

On the way home I stopped to pick up a few things, and decided to catch up on my Podcasts while pushing the cart around. I was initially not that interested in I.T. Conversations which had the vague title Emerging Worldviews by Thomas Barnett, but wow! It's an amazing tour-de-force, dynamically presented and covering the economic, political and military development of the world, and why we are encountering difficult times. I hate it when politicians speak to us as if we are stupider than we really are: by contrast, Barnett speaks to us as if he believes we are smarter than we probably are. Refreshing. I'll be adding his weblog to my reading list and will probably order his book The Pentagon's New Map.

Great stuff!