Sunday, December 2, 2007

Episode 4 - Format is the Enemy of Content

Yes we still exist. However, working at a University you tend to get sorta busy during the term. We aplogize to our listeners, especially faithful commenters like Markus and Rachel, not to mention our recent emailers, Tom and Autumn.

The amazing thing is that, in the four intervening months between episodes 3 and 4 there has been no change in what we wanted to talk about. Format wars affect us all. Indeed, the writer's strike going on in the US right now (which means no new episodes of House, Numb3rs or the Unit, much to Dave's chagrin..) is about formats. Writers get nothing for internet video. So that is why they are on strike, seems like a good cause.

The classic format war is VHS vs. Beta back in the 1980s, and now we have HD DVD vs. Blu Ray. In between we had Amiga vs. Atari ST vs PC vs Apple, we had cassettes vs records, hell, you could even consider Papyrus vs. Paper, sorta....

This comes up of course in Ken's line of work. What if you have a database that was built in the 1970s that nobody now knows how to rad? Dave mentioned that on Star Trek they never seem to have a problem reading alien computers, indeed, it seems that everyone uses some for of UNIX in the future...

Please email us, and thanks for you patience.

Enjoy Episode 4

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Episode 3 - Did Medieval Scribes Have to Deal With Analogue Rights Management?

We have had a bit of an absence, but are now back better than ever. OK, that may be a cliche, but we are back nonetheless.

TC Episode 3 is devoted to DRM, digital rights management. You know DRM, the stuff that stops you from doing what you want with stuff that you actually own. We both come down on the anti piracy side of things, but we also are opposed to DRM. It breaks stuff, and it simply does not work, everything is crackable.

We talked some about historical stuff and ideas about copyright. It seems this is a rather old concept, much to Dave's surprise, if not to Ken's.

Probably the best known sci fi book with copies and copying as a theme is The Man in the High Castle. We both love that book, and both hope to hell that Hollywood does not make a movie out of it (or a movie out of a Canticle For Leibowitz, but that is another matter....)


Direct Episode Download.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Isabelle strikes again

Isabelle has made this awesome logo for TC. Thanks Iza! Isabelle also made the music for the podcast. She has also done the music and logo for thunderbird six, as well as the music for Why? and Broca's Area. (The Broca's Area logo was not her doing, it was made by one of our listeners). I wish I had some sort of talent...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Episode 2 - Helpless Without the Internet but we Can Still Get Herring From The Hanseatic League

On July 11, 2007 a fibre optic cable was cut somewhere between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury ON. Well we are in the Sault, and that meant no long distance, no cell coverage, no ATMs, and NO INTERNET. This was very distressing. Well in troubled times like these, friends come together and draw strength from each other. OK, we couldn't get online so we had to interact with real people.

Well this seemed a fine topic for TC episode 2. Going offline. There are many examples in Sci Fi and history of people being on and offline. Of course there are always a number of Star Trek references in any of our discussions as well as Battlestar Galactica. Historically one could think of the so called Dark Ages as a time when much of the West was offline. However, there were still networks, but they were slower than dialup...


Direct episode download

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Episode 1 - The iPhone and Gutenberg

Well the iPhone came out on June 29, 2007 so what better tech story to start with? It turns out that the iPhone reminded the two of us of some other tech innovations, such as the printing press, the telegraph, the telephone, TV etc. Now we are not comparing the iPhone itself to these much more important innovations, but well Steve Jobs, Steve Gutenberg... OK, we meant the printing press guy, not the actor.

When you think about it, the iPhone, and other multimedia devices like it, are not unlike the tricorder. That must have been one hell of a wi fi connection that Spock had.

Thanks to Isabelle for the music.

Direct Episode Download

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Coming Soon

Coming Soon, the Tangential Convergence Podcast.

One tech story per episode will lead us somewhere, where? We have no idea. With Dr. Dave Brodbeck from Algoma University's Psych Department and Ken Hernden, Algoma University Library Director. We are a couple of geeks, interested in history, Sci Fi and Tech. Give us 30 min and we will take you, umm, well we will take you somewhere where you did not expect ot go.

A thunderbird six podcast.