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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Netheads for 9/11/07

by Ken Newquist / September 11, 2007

Reach for the sky: Could flying wind farms help beat global warming?

Let's just file this under "freaking awesome." The idea is to loft flying wind farms that sit in the high-altitude jet streams (which are far stronger and constant then winds generated at surface level) and then send the power back to folks on earth. Power would be sent back to the ground through a tethering cable. Sounds crazy, but now's the time for crazy ideas. A test wind farm will be lofted sometime in the next few years.

Joystiq: Gaming while driving laws coming soon

ok, I may be old fashioned in this, but why the hell can't we have just one law that applies to all forms of reckless driving, and leave it at that? Do we really need to outlaw each and every new device that comes down the pike? If you're doing something stupid, and cause and accident ... you get busted. Simple as that.

LEGO: Indiana Jones

Thoughts on Podcamp Philly 2007

by Ken Newquist / September 9, 2007

For a while, it looked like the Unconference was going to live up to its name: while Podcamp Philly had a list of proposed seminars, we didn't get a concrete schedule until Wednesday. No worries though -- Podcamp's organized chaos congealed at the last moment, providing a rambling structure to a Saturday full of podcasting goodness.

The chaos lurked just behind the corners as folks tried to use the guest ids scribbled on  whiteboards around the Drexel University classrooms to log into the wireless network … at least until they figured out that the IDs only worked on the lab computers. Wired connections for the wandering bands of Mac, Windows and Linux laptop owners were scrounged however, giving rise to deep-sea scuba-like drama as people swapped Ethernet cables back and forth to share net connections.

The sessions were about what you'd expect at any conference: some good, some blah, with the best ones being those that encouraged audience participation (the exception being Apple's GarageBand session, which gave a lightning fast overview of the software, but still managed to provide some helpful insights into it.  Of course, the conference itself was free, which gives it an edge up over many conferences I've gone to that had so-so seminars but cost a few hundred dollars.

Podcast Philly 2007: Using Garageband for Basic Podcasting

by Ken Newquist / September 8, 2007

Presented by Mike Wolk, Senior Systems Engineer, Apple Inc.. He provided a quick overview of how to use GarageBand to record podcasts and enhance them with photos and web addresses. I knew a lot of this, having used GarageBand before, so I'm just focusing on what I didn't know.

If you right-click on a photo in Safari, you can add it right to your iPhoto Library

Need to record your lectures with PowerPoint/Keynote slides? Use Profcast to record, then edit in GarageBand.

Podcamp Philly 2007: Help, I hate the sound of my own voice!

by Ken Newquist / September 8, 2007

Presented by Rick Glasby, Crashbang Digital, who discusses what mic to use, where to record, and how to tweak your audio setup.

Which mic to use: you want to use some sort of condensor mic:

  • Samson CO1U - cardioid sensor
  • Audio Technica AT2020 - phantom power, cardiod sensor
  • Blue Snowball Mic (cardiod or omni directional, about $100, USB connection).
  • Alesis USB podcasting mic (usb, stand, headphones)
  • Tascam US-122LTNT (requires mixer, but uses a USB mixer)

USB Mics

Podcamp Philly 2007: Your Podcast Statistics

by Ken Newquist / September 8, 2007

Presented by Rob Safuto, RawVoice and the New York Minute Show. Talks about gathering all sorts of different statistics for your podcasts, from downloads to web statistics to community feedback.

Start off with round-table introductions and thoughts about statistics. Ideas include:

  • Libysyn
  • Know Your Audience - engagement
  • FeedBurner - RSS feed, media
  • Know Your Web site - Google analytics,

What's your goal:

Podcamp Philly: Audio Editing Techniques

by Ken Newquist / September 8, 2007

Presented by Mark Blevis, Electric Sky and Canadian Podcast Buffet.

The workshop's popular enough to push us into an overflow room. That means we can't interact with the presenter, but we do have wired connections and power! Mark is using Cubase on the Mac. Starts off talking about the ancient old days of tape editing, then transitions to digital editing.

First up, the clean cut, doing simple editing of clips with little background noise.

Game Day: Quest for the Sunsword

by Ken Newquist / September 7, 2007

Some how Pierce Haligarth has survived his fellow Lightbringer, Donegal, cleric of Daern. The cleric fell while Pierce and his fellow adventurers sought the Amulet of Ravenkind, which they'll need to fight the dread Count Strahd of Castle Ravenloft. While Donegal rests in his gods eternal fortress, he's left the rest of the party to hunt down the other critical magic item they'll need: the fabled (and long lost) sunsword.

Imagination's Toolbox Back in Development

by Ken Newquist / September 6, 2007

Imagination's Toolbox, a gaming system designed around rules-light play, is back in development over at This has been an on-again, off-again project of Berin's for a while, and I'm happy to see it on again. He's got a bare-bones version of the rules up on the site (by bare-bones I mean it's a simple text file, not that it's only a skeleton outline of the system).

Netheads for 9/5/2007

by Ken Newquist / September 5, 2007

I've got a file on my desktop that includes all the stuff I want to write about on Nuketown, but never seem to get to. With a nod toward Uncle Bear's Random News Tables, I've decided to resurrect Nuketown's Netheads as an irregular column about irregular things. Expect parenting tips, science fiction goodness, and general geekery.

Washington Post: In Praise of Skinned Knees and Grubby Faces

Conn Iggulden, co-author of The Dangerous Book for Boys praises the diverse upbringing that he and his brother got, including everything from learning to use pocket knives to stories of Artic explorers to sports you could actually win. Inggulden rails against a society that threatens to make our kids too safe, denying them the pleasure of launching a model rocket or carving their initials in trees because of the eternal, intangible menace of the worst case scenario.

WSJ: The Baby-Name Business

Having a hard time picking a baby name? Hire someone to do it for you.