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The Signal Podcast

For the past several months my friend Jill Duffy and I have been developing a podcast. On Sunday we recorded and released the pilot episode of The Signal, a discussion show about news, technology, and culture.

We put a lot of thought and consideration in to what The Signal podcast could be, and we cycled through various formats. We settled on a (reasonably) succinct weekly discussion show about the news. We will produce an initial season of four or five episodes, then take a small break to assess what works and what does not. Episodes will focus a newsworthy topic, run for approximately one hour, and feature guests and interesting experts.

I have a long history with podcasting and am excited to co-produce a new show with a good friend. While podcasting has always been noisy and fun, I’m pleased to see it emerge as a unique and legitimate medium. The Signal approximates a hobby more than professional endeavor, and it will take many weeks to iron out the rough edges. As the name implies Jill and I would like the show to be interesting and useful, rather than blabby and rambly.

Episodes of The Signal will always be available for download here. The show is also on YouTube, Soundcloud, and soon iTunes.

Ping us any time. Because The Signal is a passion project, your feedback is particularly important. As the show evolves we’d love to hear from you and your thoughts about the news, suggestions for future topics, and critiques.

Thanks for listening.

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Hacking Explained: Jack Rice and Dan Patterson on Progressive AM 950


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Jack and Dan discuss a brief history of hacking, explain how the NSA captured personal user data from major internet providers, and provide a few essential security tips for the web and mobile on Minnesota’s progressive talk station, AM 950.

Learn more about about the NSA from expert James Bamford, and security from host Steve Gibson.

Thanks for listening to Jack and Dan.

Stay tuned.

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Upcoming Projects: NYC Comic Con, Keepr Stories, and the Black Hills Blizzard

Fall is here and along with pretty trees, sweater weather, and early-season blizzards comes a bevy of new and exciting projects! Here’s what I’ll be working on this fall:

* I’m really excited to continue explorations in to future of non-traditional and anachronistic journalism by writing for Neiman-funded NYC start-up Keepr. Starting with the recent Black Hills Blizzard, I’ll use the app to research a series of interesting stories. We’ll mine the social web for interesting content that correlates with stories and contemporary news themes, and post copy to Medium. More on this project in a few weeks.

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Politics, The Economy, and Tech Journalism

I have a new tech startup. It’s called Breadlines. It’s a ‘fitness app’ for your mobile home ‘platform.’

Comrades: the United States economy gained a paltry 80 thousand jobs last month. This is down from a sad 125 thousand jobs (give or take) the month prior. To put this in context, in 2008 and 2009 we lost approximately 500 thousand jobs per month. For several months.

And while most Americans struggle to pay the bills, we – the tech press – continue to obsess over which shiny company acquired which trendy startup for for how many billions of dollars. This is shameful.

Tech press leverage the glamour, affluence, and access of tech companies for its own gain. And I get it: “eyeballs” equal ad revenue.  I’m in this business too. I don’t blame media companies for trying to generate traffic and revenue. Highly vertical blogs and podcasts work and make do money. And it’s perceived as dangerous to venture too far outside of a vertical.

Neither do I don’t blame tech companies for raising money or for selling for the highly number possible. This is what industry does, and that’s fine.

The press does have a responsibility to do more than to talk about the next shiny gadget. Yet most tech press seem terrified of discussing the core relationship between the tech business, the economy, and politics. Politics and tech journalism are perceived to be anathema.

But fear does not excuse responsibility. While many tech blogs and news outlets are eager claim the mantle of journalism, most shun responsibilities beyond those to their shareholders or ‘readers’ (read: clickers). And, many most engage in shady traffic-generating tactics.

We live, work, and play in a diverse and connected ecosystem. The economy is a big deal, and we’re throes of a presidential campaign that will utilize technology like no previous cycle. It is now egregiously irresponsible for the tech press to ignore the convergence between policy, technology, and the economy.

Technology is wonderful and empowering. Greater access to information equals a greater society. But the massive scale of tech product adoption and corporate money juxtaposed with job loss and depressed workers is glaringly ironic. And thus far much of the tech press has done a woeful job of covering non-vertical issues.

The press was once viewed as public servants. While never a major profit center, journalism once asked the tough questions of industry leaders and politicians. This is, was, and should remain our responsibility.

There’s nothing at all wrong with ethically making money. But Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest rise as the Eurozone collapses and the US economy sinks. And The Quest for Clicks has justified the media’s focus on the sensational and rewarded other other base and sycophantic behavior.

Much of the tech press performs great commodity reporting, and this is fine. The insideous nature of traffic-driving tactics is reletive, depending on an organization’s culture. Yet the ‘clickbait’ tactics and editorial emphasis on triviality employed by a few of the ethically questionable organizations is starting to creep in to many journalistic institutions.

As the world becomes more reliant on technology we need to foster a culture within tech journalism that encourages inquisitiveness and a willingness to investigate the closeted skeletons of tech leaders. Now – Right now! Today! – we need a responsible tech press that is willing to trade a few clicks for increased social responsibility.

- DHP

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KoPoint Shows, Season One

A few thoughts on the first few weeks of producing KoPoint programs, via KoPoint Shows, Season One.

KoPoint just accomplished one of our first major content-focused goals. We produce shows in ‘seasons’ of six episodes. Yesterday The KoPoint Comic Book Show reached episode 006, concluding our first successful season. Co-hosted by Jeff NeweltJon Lazar, and myself KoPoint Comics was our first produced and syndicated show and was first to reach it’s season milestone. KoPoint Weekly and The KoPoint Minecraft Project will reach similar goals this week.

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Apple, Foxconn Report Retracted by ‘This American Life’

Link: Apple, Foxconn Report Retracted by ‘This American Life’

kopoint:

A report on conditions of Chinese workers who construct Apple Inc. (AAPL) products has been retracted by the radio program “This American Life,” which said the broadcast contained “errors.”

“We’re retracting that story because we can’t vouch for its truth, and this weekend’s episode of our show will detail the errors in the story,” Ira Glass, host and executive producer of “This American Life,” wrote in a statement.

Glass said the errors came from an excerpt from “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” a production by monologist Mike Daisey that was included in the broadcast.

Link: Apple, Foxconn Report Retracted by ‘This American Life’

kopoint: A report on conditions of Chinese workers who construct Apple Inc. (AAPL) products has been retracted by the radio program “This American Life,” which said the broadcast contained “errors.” “We’re retracting that story because we can’t vouch for its truth, and this weekend’s episode of our show will detail the errors in the story,” Ira Glass, host and executive producer of “This American Life,” wrote in a statement. … Glass said the errors came from an excerpt from “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” a production by monologist Mike Daisey that was included in the broadcast.

aNewDomain: SXSW 2012: Rain, Crowds, and the Banality of the Popular

Over the past decade, tech culture has gone mainstream into pop culture. The size and influence of the SXSW Interactive conference has grown in concert with the popularity of tech culture. This year that change was painfully evident in Austin…

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Writer, Editor – aNewDomain [dot] net

Today I’m excited to join the editorial staff of aNewDomain [dot] net.  aNewDomain is an exploration of technology culture founded by great tech luminaries (and TWiT cohorts) Gina Smith, John C. Dvorak, Eric Mack, and BYTE senior technologist Dr. Jerry Pournelle. My emphasis at aNewDomain will be editing and writing about technology in politics, culture, and media. And probably zombies.

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SXSW ’12, the Quick and Dirty Takeaway: “He Had A Lot To Say”

The following post is a bullet summary and A New Domain reprint review of the 2012 SXSW Interactive conference.

Comrades:

I have recently returned from the sin and SWAG-filled series of life lessons known to the world as #SXSW Interactive 2012. I experienced much and may have learned a few things.

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