Fred Sampson's Radio Weblog
a card-carrying member of the reality-based community


Contact Fred:


I listen to IT Conversations


Subscribe to "Fred Sampson's Radio Weblog" in Radio UserLand.

Click to see the XML version of this web page.

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

Electronic Freedom Foundation



  Monday, October 18, 2004

Have you?

I'm a permanent absentee voter in California. I'm sick of this campaign, sick of the news, sick sick sick. So I voted tonight, and will mail my ballot tomorrow. Then I can, in good conscience, ignore all the sick blathering for the next two weeks.

7:31:18 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be:

Who's on first?. From the Harry Shearer site comes this RealAudio clip from his ooold comedy group, The Credibility Gap. It's a clever play on the old Abbot and Costello routine. I hadn't heard it before...... [Joho the Blog]

I distinctly remember listening to Shearer's gang, The Credibility Gap, on KRLA in the late Sixties. It was topical news comedy, like the earlier TV show, That Was The Week That Was (TW3 for short). It was truly remarkable radio, in AM no less. Great stuff for an impressionable teenager. What I didn't realize is that David Lander and Michael McKean (yes, Squiggy and Lenny) were part of the Gap.
7:15:44 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

I don't write much about my personal life, as I see this blog as an extension of my professional persona. But some things I just can't let go of without a comment.

We spent five years struggling with the realities of life with a disabled child. While raising a developmentally-disabled youngster has its rewards, it's a tremendously challenging experience, one that affects every aspect of family life. Jean Safer's book, The Normal One, gives a sense of what happens to such families.

JJ was fortunate enough to have a talented, devoted one-on-one aide at school with him for his last two years. Colleen bacame a second mother to the little guy, and has remained a close and valued friend. After JJ's death, Colleen was assigned another child at another local school, an 11-year-old boy named Juan. She could barely handle him: he was strong, big, just close enough to adolescence to be unmanageable and even dangerous. And there was no communication: Juan didn't speak, English or Spanish, and Colleen had little communicatation with his parents, either. At the end of the year, Colleen was assigned yet another child.

Colleen called this evening. Juan's parents couldn't agree on what to do with him. His mother, burdened with being primary caretaker, wanted to place him in a group home. His father insisted that Juan remain at home with his family. On Friday, the father took his two sons out for a short time.

Juan's mother took the opportunity to hang herself.
6:36:35 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

As a participant, and a relative new-comer to this UX thing, it's difficult for me to provide a cogent review of last Tuesday's little get-together at Stanford. Fortunately, other more-qualified individuals have provided their feedback:

Review of 'User Experience: Why Do So Many Organizations Believe They Own It?'. "One consequence of bringing together all of the design groups was that experience design could appear as a kaleidoscope, twirling wildly, or a mosaic, cementing every one in his or her place. It remains to be seen whether synergy or separation is the result, and the ultimate outcome for experience design as a unified practice." (Bob Jakobson - Corante) [InfoDesign: Understanding by Design]

Bob Jacobson (I took the spelling from his business card) was indeed enthusiastic. I should contact him to see what he wants to do next.

See also Luke Wroblewski's review, Who Owns User Experience?

A transcript of the evening's commentaries may be available at a later date; I'll point to, it if and when.

4:53:36 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

As it was a lawyer who made the mistake, will he sue the fax machine manufacturer for providing inadequate instructions, or maybe for allowing pages to be inserted wrong-side-up? He clearly has a product liability claim:

Upside Down Fax Costs 100 Million Euros. People make mistakes all the time, but how often can you think of a simple mistake that cost in the range of a 100 million euros? It's even more impressive when you realize that mistake was putting important documents into the fax machine upside down. A lawyer (you wonder how much he was paid per hour) trying to fax a 100 page document outlining the European Commission's case against a bunch of banks for running a cartel couldn't be bothered to look at the instructions, and put the document in upside down. Since the court ended up with 100 blank pages instead of an argument, they ruled for the banks.[ Techdirt]

3:18:49 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

Dave posts:
LA Times article on podcasting. "They follow in the footsteps of blogs, from which podcasts were born." [Scripting News]

Oddly enough, this piece was picked up by the Monterey County Herald and referenced by WWR in today's podcast blog. Why Monterey? Those folks are still in the last century. Where's the Mercury News on this?

2:58:52 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

Doc sez:
By the way, we're getting some great comments to Why Podcasting isn't Radio, which I posted on Saturday. [The Doc Searls Weblog]

No, I don't think of podcasting as radio. Primarily because many podcasts don't come from radio, are not repackaged radio programs. It's not just timeshifting radio shows. It's something else. And no, it isn't unique to iPods, but one of the things that makes it so attractive to me is the way podcasts are automagically delivered to my iPod. If I had to go looking for Internet audio, download it, move it to iTunes, then upload to the iPod, I wouldn't do it. Podcasting makes it (nearly) painless.
2:32:20 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

As much as I dislike being called a "consumer," that pretty much describes my relationship with podcasts over the last few days. While recovering from minor surgery, I sucked in, chewed on, spit out, and digested numerous podcasts from some of the most notable purveyors of the new format. Herewith my reactions:
  • Whole Wheat Radio -- fun stuff, I enjoyed listening to Jimbob and his daily rants, even when he was at his ranting-est. Jim tells me he used KPIG as inspiration for WWR's format, which shows remarkably good taste on his part.
  • Adam Curry's Daily Source Code -- interesting, sometimes entertaining, sometimes a bit long-winded. I'm not impressed by his history with MTV, but Adam combines tech savvy with an insider's knowledge of music. He could lose the built-in echo. But I'll listen again.
  • Dave Winer's Trade Secrets and Morning Coffee Notes -- boring, self-indulgent.  I can handle Dave when skimming his blog, but I don't think I can listen to him regularly.
  • Dave Slusher's Evil Genius Chronicles -- like Adam Curry, interesting and sometimes entertaining, a nice variety of chat, tech, and music, packaged at an appropriate length (15-20 minutes). He gets a bit rambly at times, but I'm willing to listen.
  • IT Conversations -- delicious geeky goodness. One of the best things is I can usually tell from the title of the podcast if it's something I want to listen to. Like do I care about the future of online advertising? No. So I don't waste an hour listening. Woz? You betcha.
  • Leo Laporte's Airchecks -- I liked Leo on TechTV, but three hours of responding to call-ins is a bit much.
So much for four days of podcast consumption. Side note: I started out using iPodderX software, which just flat stopped working after a day or so. So I switched to iPodder, which has worked well, although the automatic scheduled podcast-check seems problematic.

My other activities, while on my back in bed or in the bathtub, included reading Neil Slaven's biography of Frank Zappa, Electric Don Quixote; listening to plenty of music on the iPod (mostly Zappa, oddly enough), and checking mail and news on the PowerBook. I had set up my Airport Extreme for access from the bedroom, but I still lost connection several times -- seemed mostly related to regaining an IP address after the several power outages (it started raining this weekend).

Oh, yes, I love the iPod. Thursday morning, I started listening as soon as the nurses were through asking preparatory questions, and the lovely little thing was still playing away in the pocket of my hospital gown when I came to in recovery. Started off playing Philip Glass as interpreted by Uakti (Aguas da Amazonia), followed by Glass's Heroes and Low symphonies. Just right.

1:17:01 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website. © Copyright 2002-2005 Fred Sampson.
Last update: 5/21/05; 10:24:14 PM.

October 2004
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Sep   Nov

Search this site:

Fred's Blogroll

ACLU Safe and Free

What I'm Reading:

The WeatherPixie