Podcast #10: Ask Different turns one, Industry Shakeups, Musical Apps

2011-08-22 by . 0 comments

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This is the tenth episode of the Ask Different Podcast. Your hosts this week are Kyle CroninJason Salaz, and Nathan Greenstein.

  • We begin with some Ask Different news:
    • On August 17, we celebrated Ask Different’s first birthday! On that date in 2010, Ask Different entered private beta. Since then we’ve seen tremendous growth, exceeding all our expectations. We’d like to give a big thanks to all of our supporters, users, and everyone else who’s helped make the site what it is. We’ve celebrated this and have more details in the the birthday meta post!
    • This leads us to a discussion of moderating Ask Different. We talk about how the Stack Exchange engine makes it easy to keep a site clean while being friendly towards users. We’d like to thank all of our users who flag posts as well as encourage everyone to click flag if they see something in need of attention. We couldn’t do it without you!
    • We also briefly discuss the concept of Community Wiki posts, and the recent movement to get rid of CW-style posts across Stack Exchange. While we sympathize with this point of view, we feel that there are certain types of expression that are very valuable to the community even though they don’t exactly fit the Q&A format. We cite as an example our Question of the Week from last week; “What tiny thing in Lion makes you smile or has caught you off-guard?“. We discuss why we think this is a worthwhile post to have on our site, but we also acknowledge the times when Community Wiki hasn’t worked. Please be aware that Community Wiki questions have their place, but their place is sparsely present.
    • We bring you a public service announcement: Ask Different will be participating in a beta testing service! Stack Exchange will be running a service that matches developers from the community with testers from the community, including Ask Different users. All the details and forms to fill out to sign up are on Abby’s Meta Post.
  • Moving on to tech news, this has been an exciting week! For starters, Google is going to acquire Motorola Mobility. We predict the implications of the sole developer of Android also being a major handset manufacturer. Will this move improve Google’s products and worsen their competitors’? We’re betting that some device manufacturers are seriously considering their other options in the mobile OS department.
  • The other major event of the week comes from HP. They’ve announced what amounts to a radical shift in their focus as a company. For one, the TouchPad and webOS are both being discontinued. While HP claims they will continue to allow apps to be added to the webOS app store, there will be no more software updates and no new hardware using the OS.
  • Additionally, HP, the single largest computer manufacturer in the world, announced the possibility of spinning off its consumer computing business. We discuss the possibilities ahead for their new direction, and how this could change the consumer computing landscape.
  • Our main topic for this episode is Owning Your Data. With the proliferation of server-side content services (e.g. Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Music, Delicious Bookmarks), we consider it unsafe to treat these services as sole-source backup solutions. We cite examples of disaster due to loss of account access, the service closing its doors, or suffering its own disaster.
  • Our Question of the Week is “Why doesn’t the red dot shut down the program?”, asked by Andrew Warner on August 10.
    • We discuss the reasoning, implementation, and comparison of this feature that has existed for all of Mac OS X’s life.
  • Our Apps of the Week revolve around music!
    • Kyle picks AudioGalaxy, a utility that runs on your computer and let’s you stream music stored on your computer to any other computer or Smart Phone connected to the internet. AudioGalaxy is currently free, including it’s iOS client.
    • Jason picks iScrobble, a utility used to submit your music listening history from your iOS device to Last.fm. iScrobble has a free version, called “iScrobble Pick and Mix” (ads and limited functionality, upgradable via in-app purchases), or $6 for “iScrobble Premium” with all features up-front and no ads.
    • Nathan picks I Love Stars, a menu bar app used save time when you want to rate the song you’re currently listening to, without having to open the iTunes interface. I Love Stars is available for $1 on the Mac App Store.

This episode was recorded on Saturday, August 21st. You can subscribe to this podcast via RSS or iTunes. We welcome any feedback, so please leave a comment on this post or e-mail us at podcast@askdifferent.net.

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