Potentially Upcoming Shows
Here is where I will maintain a list of show topics that I’m either actively working on or am interested in working on at some point, and where you can, via the comments, express interest or disinterest in any of these topics or suggest new ones.
Last Update: 2015-Sep-01
At some point I’ll probably institute a policy where I promise to spend a certain amount of time working on a show for a topic for every time someone says they want to hear it, so don’t be shy with the suggestions.
- Show topics I’m thinking about or actively working on:
- Terrible punishments that should be inflicted upon blog-spammers in the comments because, seriously, you sociopathic doofuses (doofusii?) who keep trying to post rambling robogenerated crap in the comments on this post are the collective pimple on the butt of life.
- Super-Cheap Legal Unlicensed Low-power Radio – another simple concept that I will hopefully be trying soon to see if it works. Here at the Asylum for the Sufficiently Nerdy we run a Bed and Breakfast Inn. I’ve been thinking of setting up some sort of icecast stream with things like current weather forecasts, descriptions of things to do in our area, upcoming events, and so on. It occurred to me that with old clock-radios in the rooms (and only a few actual radio stations in the area that can be received) if I had a legal low-power AM transmitter, I could pipe the same stream for clock-radios in the rooms to pick up. If my concept works, it should be doable for around $35US. Before this edit, that said “$10” (really cheap AM transmitter). “Recently” (well, it WAS “recently” when I last edited this particular potential topic), though, someone discovered a way to abuse one of the built-in RaspberryPi circuits to make it act as a surprisingly powerful FM transmitter. This is now the focus of this project for me. Also touches on streaming Opus audio (as the idea is to have an internet audio stream that the RPi fetches, decodes, and transmits to the radios). I actually have this working now, so other than just a couple of more things I want to test/optimize, I actually have what I need to make an HPR episode out of this project…
- BTRFS follies, a misadventure (now resolved) I had with BTRFS on a couple of occasions, and how to fix it. (BTRFS is actually quite good and I use it for most of my filesystems now, but it has gone through some growing pains…) This short episode is in progress right now (ready to record, to be posted Real Soon Now. This one’s so close to done that I actually sort of thought it already was, or perhaps I recorded it but haven’t edited/posted it yet. Real Soon Now, honest) UPDATE: to be honest, the main reason I haven’t finished this one is I don’t like it: it’s basically just me rambling for a few minutes. I still intend to finish posting this eventually, maybe once I can bury it amid some better episodes.
- The usefulness of discarded, obsolete Android phones: Even without a SIM card/active CDMA account, old Android phones can still have a lot of handy functionality. Bonus: set up a completely no-account and Google-free device using F-Droid, and have mapping, media-playing, note-taking, audio-recording, and various games in a form that can be readily loaned out without worrying about your own accounts online getting compromised. I’ve gotten a couple of people mentioning they’re interested in this one, so I’m moving it up the list. (Now that the btrfs short episode is ready to record, I’m working on this one next now!). This may end up being split into two or three shorter shows instead of one comprehensive one. In fact, probably so: one on just useful apps for factory-reset but not rooted devices, another with things you can do with rooted devices and/or custom roms. Possibly a third for stranger things. This one’s still ready to record, I’m trying to get it finished quickly, followed by the SCM-700 review (see below) almost immediately.
- A review of the Nady SCM-700 Microphone, assuming Nady ever actually produces one and the people I have it backordered through can finally deliver it. This supposedly will happen any day now, but then, it has been due to be shipped any day now for about 8 months since they took my money for it. (UPDATE: This actually showed up finally just a couple of days before the new year. Review to be forthcoming…There’s actually one more thing I want to try with it [the microphone] but I need to get some parts first – I may skip it and just record what I can come up with now instead.)
- Stupidest Reasons Not To Record a Hacker Public Radio Episode: Back in March 2015, Knighwise recorded an episode about 15 Excuses not to Record a show for HPR. I short show wherein I nominate the handful of excuses for why I haven’t gotten the 3 episodes done I mentioned I was working on back in February 2015, even now in late June 2015, for the stupidest reasons possible might be an amusing diversion (and a sort of penance for the delay…)
- MP3, Legally, with the usual IANAL disclaimer, I believe I have discovered how the remaining patents infesting the ancient MP3 audio format can be worked around, even in the US, to make it possible to produce and distribute MP3 files legally free without trespassing on Thomson Multimedia’s Intellectual Precious, making it reasonable to provide “legacy” format support for people stuck on old or limited platforms. This episode will describe why and how.
- Come back to us, Mozilla!: It seems kind of trite these days to complain about Mozilla and Firefox, but I think my take on the general subject of “what’s wrong with Mozilla these days” is somewhat different than most. I’ve been having an urge to do an episode on it, so maybe I will. I wonder if anyone at Mozilla would ever hear it…
- aurora.js: Among other things, with this you can play opus (and flac and alac and ogg vorbis and…) on numerous gecko- and webkit/blink-based browsers, even if they don’t have the codec built in. Recent reports say Microsoft’s “Internet Explorer” browser will soon support the asm.js capabilities necessary for this. This would mean .opus support available for something like 90% of users on the web…
- Epicanis: World Beknown[sic] Futurist: I’ve been thinking about the way social, technological, and economic trends have been going lately. Maybe I could be the next Ray Kurzweil, but without the bizarre computer-heaven thing. If nothing else, I should have an episode’s worth of potentially interesting speculation.
- Various episodes discussing various scientific papers (directly, not secondhand accounts of the papers from university press-releases)HPR1513 is an example of this concept,let me know if you want more! (I’ve only gotten a few comments so far but people who have an opinion seem to like it. Therefore, I’m bumping this topic up! Also, the following two topics are also versions of this one. Comment if either sounds interesting!)
- The Gram Stain demystified (with real scientific references and everything!) I got tired of hearing/reading that “nobody’s really sure exactly how it works” and people’s mostly unnecessary fetish for mentioning that some bacterium or other was “Gram-negative”, so I went digging through “the literature”…
- Shinrin Yoku: (literally: “Forest Bathing”). on the subject of “health hacking” and the benefits of walking in the woods. Would likely include some philosophizing in addition to medical/biological subject matter, and would probably tie in nicely with an episode on OpenStreetMap (see below). Actual peer-reviewed science publications are primary sources for this one.
- The Opus audio codec: I’m actively working on this one (yes, I know it’s said that for a while – it’s been temporarily usurped by the above topics that have been requested, but it’s coming!). Opus is awesome.
- GNU MediaGoblin: I’ve finally managed to get the thing up and running. It’s a very promising project, though it’s currently still got some “early version” limitations. This is the sort of project I’ve really felt would be helpful for legally-free media online and that I wished the FSF or Mozilla would back. The FSF is backing this now and I’d love to see it take off. Seems like it should develop into a beautiful platform for podcasting eventually, other than their current insistence on only allowing webmv1 audio (not even webm2 i.e. with opus rather than vorbis).
- Sugar and its substitutes: food-hacking – what is sugar (sucrose), dextrose (glucose), fructose, isomaltulose, trehalose, sucralose, tagatose, aspartame, acesulfame, etc. (I just got 25Kg of isomaltulose…)
- Geotagging media (not just photos). No, really, I still mean to do this one soon, it’s not just a running joke that I never get around to it…
- OpenStreetMap is our Friend: using OpenStreetMap to map out little-known walking trails, and using OSMAnd to have current local (“offline”) maps even without cellphone coverage. Would probably tie in nicely with an episode on the surprising usefulness of discarded Android phones that no long even have phone or data plans (as mentioned above)
- Intentionally Contentious: “Firewalls are for Babies”: wherein I editorialize/argue in a manner intended to provoke discussion that firewalls are unnecessary for anyone who knows what they are doing…(prompted by people freaking out over IPv6, originally)
- A recording of me reading from a phone book – specifically, “The Internet Yellow Pages” from 1995. (Someone made the flattering suggestion that I’d be able to just read from a phone book and still generate a good episode, but it occurs to me that reading from the 1995 “Internet Yellow Pages” could actually be genuinely interesting hacker-material.)
- Steganography I actually really want to do something with this topic one of these days, but I need to do some research so I understand it better first. I want to cover different ways of hiding messages, not just a few already-written tools that only hide data in jpg or mp3 files. (I just recently discovered that deepgeek did an HPR episode on this half a decade ago, so this wouldn’t be the first but rather a relatively extensive followup, or at least that’s the goal). Incidentally, this topic gets a BRIEF mention in Episode #1393 on audio metadata (see near the top of this list), once it gets posted.
- How to build the cheapest aerial surveillance drone ever – just a simple concept I came up with, I’ll need to get a chance to try implementing it before I try doing a show on it of course.
- A collaborative mini-series concept for Hacker Public Radio This would really just be a short “filler” episode if HPR gets desperate for shows. Just an idea I had for a concept involving 2-4 (or so) contributors collaborating on a theme.
- Many other topics that I’ll need to come back and put in there when I think of them or when someone suggests one that sounds interesting
My goal is to have enough overall interest to keep me motivated to produce audio more regularly. I figure that if I can manage to work up to a habit of producing something every week or two it’ll become a lot easier for me. Hopefully I’ll get there eventually.
The votes of confidence are awesome, but I can’t do them all at the same time!…
I love the RPi/clock radio/cheap idea! I would really love to hear that episode!
Matt aka g33kdad
ps ~ as an avid pursuer of fun vacation ideas, would you care to share your B&B info? Cheers!
Thanks for the feedback, g33kdad! I’m actively trying to get the RaspberryPi-Radio thing turned into a useful system, so I’ll probably be doing that episode pretty soon. I suspect it’ll be right after the “what to do with old Android devices” one (though it might even be before that if I make rapid progress on the project!)
As for the location of what I’m calling the Asylum for the Sufficiently Nerdy, the secret is “hidden” within the metadata of the “Audio Metadata” episode. We’re up in the middle of Vacationland – if you like playing in the Big Room (trees, wildlife, rivers/streams/lakes, snow, etc) we’re in a great spot for it!
And furthermore, blogspammers should have their nostrils filled with used-cat-litter-infused hot molten wax.