Monday, March 23, 2009

Episode 14 - So Say We Four, Part Deux, or, It's Not the Alcohol It's the Vodka

Last Friday was the finale of the amazing sci fi show we have talked so much about, Battlestar Galactica. I was out at the psychology honours thesis conerence but I made it home in time to hang with Maddie, Isabelle and Ken and watch the end of the show.

(By the way it is pretty good that Maddie is getting all of this podcasting experience, as she is taking over for Isabelle on Broca's Area soon).

Once the show ended we all started talking, and we figured we ought to record this episode, even without Robin. He actually asked us the next day 'what are we going to do on Fridays now?"

It was cool to see a resolution of the show (and there are spoilers here in the episode). We talked about colonization in general, and New France in particular a bit. Then, out of nowhere, I got the hiccups. Isabelle blamed it on the alcohol, but I am pretty sure it is the fault of the vodka, not the alcohol (which may be a subtle distinction...) I used my grandmother's old cure of drinking a glass of water upside down, and I was fine!

We hope you enjoy episode 14.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Episode 13 - It's My Duty 2 B 1337 LOL

So, we are pumping these things out like crazy eh? Robin is quite the motivator, as is his choice of Scotch for this week. The three of us went to the Algoma University Senate meeting as we do each week and before the meeting Robin told a story about not getting the proper sort of documentation that he needed for a project. As the story unfolded it was pretty clear this was about nothing other than a bad email, so our topic: communication.

Communication has changed a great deal in the past few years what with email, IM, twitter and the like.

I lamented the lack of communications problems in Sc Fi, but frankly, what are you going to do, the stuff has to be readable, watchable.

Historically one wonders if people were lamenting the decline in language when the phone came out, or when wax tablets started being used.

This episode features the debut of our new segment "Them guys is smart" moderated by Isabelle. When you hear that bit you will understand the title.

Enjoy episode 13.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Episode 12 - Robin Hates Clouds (but loves net neutrality!)

Cloud computing was the topic: connecting all kinds of computers together and seeing what happens. Terms were defined, examples given and discussion ensued. Ken mentioned Evergreen, the new computing system we're going to install to organize the library; Dave talked about time sharing on a VAX computer back in his undergrad days. General discussion about online storage and applications in the cloud developed into a musings about the cost to develop and run software in an organization, and how cloud based computing can challenge that model. Then Robin freaked out.

Robin who was well into celebrating his first paycheck in a long time with a bottle of Jameson's went off on a drunken rant about net neutrality. FOR THE RECORD: Robin is an ardent supporter of net neutrality. He was just thinking about unfair bandwidth allocation practices in a far away place. Feeling rather passionate about this far away place and prodded on by the bottle, he shot his mouth off in every direction and forgot utterly that we were talking, in general, about Canada. Robin and Dave sparred over the issue of net neutrality, Dave supporting, Robin dissenting. Robin then went on to attack Web 2.0 and then Yahoo! Mail. Bottom line, Robin has promised never to bring Jameson's to a taping again.

The issue of autonomous action (ie. working without a connection to your boss via email etc.) was discussed as well as the notion of information as stimulant, by Ken. Captian Kirk was mentioned. Dave did his Sean Connery/Captain Marco Ramius, impression and we passed the bottle, pondering Star Trek and submarine movies.

Dave and Robin sparred (again) over Web 2.0. Robin - really drunk - over simplified things a whee bit and went right off the rails with a defensive rant about people calling the IT help desk and being an IT guy in general. Dave and Ken developed and discussed conclusions: the good the bad and the ugly of the cloud.

Closing music:
"The Letter" by Dan Brodbeck and Corey Thompson, you will see why when you listen to they lyrics...

Enjoy episode 12.