Archive for April, 2014
TOPIC: This is the second (of two) in our series of interviews from the floor of ConGlomeration 2014 in Lousiville, KY.
In the first segment, we discuss cubesats, kevlar solar sails, 3D printing and more with Dr. Les Johnson! Dr. Johnson is an author and an honest to goodness NASA rocket scientist, so we have a fabulous and in-depth hard science talk about the future of space exploration. You’ll want to check out his books, both the ones already out and those now available for preorder:
- Les Johnson Homepage – A great place to start, this page focuses on Dr. Johnson’s writing, both fact and fiction.
- Rescue Mode – Co-written with sci-fi icon Ben Bova, this “gritty and scientifically accurate” book will be on shelves in June, but you can pre-order your copy today!
- Solar Sails: A Novel Approach to Interplanetary Travel – To get a better idea of the details of our brief discussion about sails, this is a great book. It provides a truly accessible introduction to solar sail technology, and what they will be used for in the near, and distant, future.
- TEDx Talk – Dr. Johnson also gave a wonderful talk at TEDx in Huntsville, AL back in October.
Immediately following that, we’re graced with Adam English and Rand Bellavia from the band “The Surfing Colonel from Apocalypse Now” … no, wait, that’s not right … it’s “Ookla the Mok!” And make sure you spell that with a “K” unless you’re really, really into reggae.
Seriously though, this is a fabulous interview covering the gamut from filk to tech-pop rock, what it means that “real” music can now be made without ever touching an instrument, and how you too can use Melodyne to sound just like Jon Bonham – without 2 liters of vodka in you! Plus, we discover that Rand truly is a polymath with a prodigious memory that may, just may (shhh, don’t tell him), outstrip our very own Jay Garmon’s!
Here are some useful links for getting even more Mok in your ears:
- Ookla the Mok Homepage – All Ookla, all the time, your best bet for getting CD’s, finding tour dates, and more.
- CD Baby Discography – Get all the Ookla you can handle (and then some?) here for sale on CD Baby!
Podcast only songs of the week are from Ookla the Mok vs. Evil and include “Mwahaha” and “Doctor Octopus (feat. Venom).” Enjoy!
TOPIC: Great show today, Dave “Sparky” Saganaki and Mike recap the ConGlomeration experience, and then jump into a rousing discussion about security, more companies accidentally sharing your credit card data, and of course the Heartbleed bug (NOT virus) and what you should do to protect yourself.
In fact, as promised here’s some great sites to go to and find out more:
- First, read this great article from C|Net about the steps you should take.
- Wondering about a specific site? Type it in here at LastPass and see if it’s still affected!
- And of course, you should make sure you change your passwords AND have unique passwords for all web sites you regularly go to. Our perennial password storage tool is KeePass, but any one will do!
We also get into fonts and saving money by changing them, or reusing ink cartridges, mainly because there was no Jay Garmon this week! Of course, no Jay also means time for some great Cool App of the Week:
- AlarmPad – Android app that’s way better than what you’re using! Set the alarm, and it will tell you the weather, time, events, and anything else you want to type in there! Free and fun 🙂
TOPIC: Straight from the floor of ConGlomeration 2014 in Lousiville, KY – a historic first TechTalk remote, and first convention broadcast too! In a surprising turn of events for regular listeners, casting the show remotely resulted in fewer than the average number of tech issues … not to mention an amazing interview with Sci-Fi and fantasy icon David Drake!
We’re lucky enough to have Dave “Sparky” Saganaki join us as well, and Jay Garmon is live and in-person. Note that this is one of 3 interviews we had on the floor, with Dr. Les Johnson and Ookla the Mok to be released soon.
We were at the ultimate of cool sites, so the only CoolSites of the Week are these:
- ConGlomeration – The show itself; if you missed this year it’s not too early to start thinking about 2015!
- David Drake – Looking for more Drake? Start here.
- Hammer’s Slammer’s – The series Mr. Drake is arguably most famous for.
- Lord of the Isles – The start of his rousing fantasy series, and my personal favorite!
TOPIC: I promise, it only seems like most of the show is spent talking about how excited we are to be heading to Louisville next week! There’s still ample opportunity for us to complain about failing laptops, share tales of how easy it is to install and use a flashdrive Chromium OS boot to create a bespoke Chromebook, and discuss the relative merits of pure Android. Not to mention our ongoing discussion of the loss of XP support and how Windows 8.1 is looking better and better every day!
Jay joins us too, talks about presentation philosophy, answers last week’s trivia and gives us this new one:
What was the mark-up Steve Jobs added over break-even cost of the original Apple 1?
Not much time for coolsites, but if you are looking to do a Chromium install, check out these sites:
- Hexxeh’s Vanilla Chrome – The original Chromium site, with very easy to use instruction to get you running right away. Note that the builds here are quite old however, and are not being updated. For more current builds, go to:
- Arnold The Bat – Very active site dedicated to providing the newest builds, and help people to use it! Supports 64bit builds and desktop installs.
Next week, you’ll be listening to us straight from @ConGlomeration convention in Louisville! Tune in live at www.wrlr.fm or via the links at http://facebook.com/techtalkwrlr
TOPIC: Who are you? And what happens to that “you” when we start using technology to enhance our memory – or can insert new thoughts and memories into that “you”, intentionally or not? Expert neurosurgeon, neuroprostheticist, author and inventor Dr. Eric Leuthardt spends time with us exploring these questions and more! His intense new book, RedDevil 4 is set in a near-future world where these questions – and the difficult, sometimes frightening answers – are not hypothetical but all too real!
What work of fiction is credited with coming up with the concept of the first VR goggles?
Looking for more? You can find out about our topic and guest today here:
- Intellectual Ventures – Full bio of Dr. Leuthardt
- RedDevil 4 – The book!
- Brains and Machines – Dr. Leuthardt’s blog, with current articles and discussion.