Podcasting Public Radio

I’m assuming that most of you have heard about podcasting at this point. Basically, it’s XML feeds of downloadable audio that are scanned by an RSS aggregator of sorts which knows to only download the new stuff. I’m using iPodder to grab some news and such.

So while digging around I came across this excellent collection of public radio podcasts.

Roll your own GPS cable (and other hacks)

I don’t know why I keep coming across these great, ugly hardware hacks that require giant globs of glue, but they’re giving me a major buzz. This guy shows how to make your own Garmin GPS serial cable using a piece of old credit card and a serial cable. Amazing.

Padme’s a man, baby!

Someone has cobbled together an overview of the new Star Wars, built from scraped screen shots (where did those come from?) and analysis of fan discussion. This guy would make a great qualitative researcher. I’m sure that Lucas’ Sith lawyers are headed towards this guy’s house even as we speak.

[Massive spoilers]

Hardware Hacks

Peter Torrone, who writes for all the Kool Kids, has some great articles agreggated at Flash Enabled, including links to his Engadget piece on kludging your old digital camera so it will auto-snap pictures every second until the card is full. Hint: good for kite photography.

It warms my heart to see these youngsters carry on the Streettech tradition. How long has this site been in place now? Six years? That’s about three centuries in Internet time (not to be confused with Swatch time).

Starquake Rips Milky Way A New One

Notice anything out of the ordinary in the Milky Way this past December 27? Astronomers did. A neutron star 50,000 light years away had a little event, an explosion so intense, it unleased 10,000 trillion trillion trillion watts of energy. That’s more oh-la-la in a 10th of a second than our sun grunts out in 100,000 years! Incredible. And just to give you an idea of how perilous our universe can be: if this star had been “only” ten light years closer to our solar system, it could have been lights out for much of life on Earth. Makes you wonder if any higher lifeforms were caught in the path of this thing. The good news (so you Nihilists can put down your Glocks) is that, there are none of these unusual types of stars (called “super-magnetic neutrons” or “magnetars”) in our cosmic neighborhood. Read more at BBC News.

Virtual Realm, Real Pizza: Evil, Brilliant

According to a piece on CNet, Pizza Hut has partnered with Sony Online to offer real-world pies to players of EverCrack… er… EverQuest II. Type in /pizza while playing the freakishly addictive fantasy RPG and a Pizza Hut order window will pop up. Of course, you’ll still have to extricate your tremendous ass out of your groaning task chair to answer the front door, and sadly, you’ll have to pay with real-world money not in-game platinum pieces. As much as the thought of this horrifies us, we have to admit, it’s brilliant marketing and probably the shape (a very large, Michelin-man shape) of things to come.

Is THIS the future of home stereos?

iPodLounge has a rather in-depth look at the Sonos Digital Music System. While this particular system might not end up in your home entertainment cabinet, the Lounge ponders:

“Has Sonos developed the home stereo of the future? If we were betting, we’d say “yes” – at least, something very much like the company’s new Digital Music System will soon come to replace the oversized stereo components that have dominated home audio for decades. Given the success of the iPod, it seems only natural that hard disk-based music players will become more common, and they’ll be accessed using iPod-like menuing systems, existing speakers and headphones, and soon enough, wireless technologies.”

Microsoft’s “Attentional User Interface”

Ellen Ullman, a software engineer, has a nice op ed piece in the New York Times about Microsoft’s development of the “Attentional User Interface,” software that thinks it knows when you’re free to be interrupted for reminders to perform various maintenance tasks (save, backup, clean your desktop, and other machine interrupts) and how the general trend towards blinking, winking, crawling, popping up, and chiming in, might not be good for those of us who like to attend on our own time, not the machines, and certainly not Microsoft’s. [Login requires annoying password]

[Thanks, Kate!]

Next iPod Mini to Have Color Screen, More Storage?

ThinkSecret is reporting (via “highly reliable sources”) that the next-gen iPod Minis (to be announced in the next few weeks) will sport a color screen (176 x 132 active-matrix TFT). Storage capacity will also increase from the current 4GB to either 5GB or even 6. Perhaps the coolest thing about this is that, even with these significant product upgrades, the price will allegedly stay the same.

[Via Gizmodo]