MonthSeptember 2012

Sharing in the Digital Age

There is a growing need in our increasing isolated digital world to share.

My wife has an Amazon account linked to Kindle books.
I have my account and own set of books. It is frustrating not to be able to connect those two accounts. To not even be able to lend the “not lendable” books to each other is irritating. ((Thanks publishers!))

I would like nothing more than to read some things she has purchased and she’d like to enjoy some of the things I have purchased in return.

The problem is not limited to Amazon’s Kindle.

In Audible((Also owned by Amazon)), I have a growing collection of audiobooks and it’s silly to have two accounts for one family but there is no way for me to share my books with my wife or for her to share the couple of books she collected before we were married.

This would be a moot point if we had started out with a joint account. However, as single people we each had our own account. Even thought I am able to add her to the Amazon Prime plan for the family, we cannot combine any of our other services and are forced to maintain separate accounts and permissions.

The best Amazon was able to suggest when I contacted them was one of two things.

1. To deregister the Kindle or Kindle app we happened to be using and register it in the other person’s name. Not an ideal solution by any means.

2. I was offered a refund on the books I purchased through the Kindle store. Then the offer was taken away since I had “too many” books already. In the words of the Amazon rep I got a reply from,

>I can understand the inconvenience with this. To help you out, I would like to issue refund on your Kindle content orders, if you have placed fewer orders. So that you would be able to buy the content again after registering to your wife’s Kindle. But, you have placed many orders for Kindle content. So, I’m unable to issue refund on all the orders.

So the only solution is to deregister and reregister as my wife and I trade-off using it. This includes redownloading and resyncing any books we had made progress on. That is the only solution for this problem.

Amazon has revolutionized many industries and changed the book buying world. However, this is an area which has seemingly received little to no attention.

Perhaps it has and perhaps it is the publishers not wanting the risk of “piracy” to rob them of their sales. I would love to be able to limit sharing to a physical address, or even just a single other Amazon account. This is not piracy.

Perhaps one day there will be a way to share digital content between two linked accounts. Perhaps there will come a time when technology will catch up with their analog equivalents.

Podcasts I Love

I started listening to podcasts when I would commute into DC everyday on the Metro and I got tired of listening to music everyday.

My love of podcasts is best summed up by Andrew Marvin in his post Talk Show Thoughts.

That’s the beauty of podcasts: you can listen to thoughtful conversations on the topics that you love.

Most of the podcasts I listen to fall under this idea. They’re tech related and I enjoy listening to the people I respect talk about topics that interest me.

There is one notable exception to the list which is a throwback to the old radio dramas. I remember listening to the radio on Sunday nights growing up. My dad, brother and I would be in the car going back and forth between his house and mom’s house where we lived most of the week.

We would listen to GunSmoke among others as the truck rumbled along the gravel road. Somehow, that gravel road and the rumbly old pickup truck added authenticity to the stories we’d hear on the radio.

In that same vein, I love We’re Alive, which is a drama about life after the zombie uprising. It follows a group of survivors and their trials and tribulations with the living and the undead. It’s brilliantly acted and the production quality is top-notch.

I highly recommend it if you enjoy survival stories or zombie fiction.

Can’t Miss Shows

Enough

Patrick Rhone‘s ongoing quest for balance in the form of Enough. He and Myke Hurley ask the question, What is enough for you? He does a “How Bare Is Your Air?” segment where he asks guests if they had a stock 64GB MacBook Air what they would install on it. I have become a devout follower of Patrick Rhone’s. I had the pleasure of meeting him for lunch a couple months ago and having a wonderful conversation over BBQ. He truly is the nicest guy on the internet. He embodies the idea of Enough in all that he does. He is a deep thinker and each episode makes me think about something in a different way than I had before. I am seeking what truly is “Enough” in my own life. I’m not there yet but I don’t think anyone ever truly arrives. It’s a journey, not a destination.

Back to Work

Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin‘s weekly zany talk about working culture, recapturing your time, funny voices and pearls of wisdom. Very long but always worth the listen. The show often goes completely off the rails, and over into the next galaxy and other times is spot on and absolutely world changing. You never know what the next episode will hold but they’re all good in their own way.

Mac Power Users

David Sparks and Katie Floyd dive deep into a topic that matters to Mac Power Users. They also host “Workflows” episodes which dive deep into how people do what they do. The interviews they conduct are excellent they are both very knowledgeable about the Mac and using it to make their lives easier and more productive.

512 Podcast

Stephen Hackett‘s love letter to Mac tech, sometimes old and sometimes new, and journalism. He talks with Myke Hurley and it’s a great listen for the old Mac nerd. Recently, they talked about the entire history of the iPod from start to present and the history of the Apple Display. A little geekier than your usual tech show but very informative and a lovely stroll down Mac memory lane.

Build & Analyze

Hosted by Marco Arment and Dan Benjamin – Don’t let the name fool you into thinking it’s a development show. It’s a show about coffee, parenting, Macs, Instapaper, Coding, Computers, and text editors. There is also talk of development from time to time. I really enjoy Marco and Dan’s talks. It’s replaced a spot in my lineup that Leo Laporte’s used to fill. I think Dan and Marco have a great chemistry and they clock in at less than 2 hours.

Rising Stars & New Arrivals

Mikes on Mics

Mike Vardy and Michael (he whose name must not be spelled) Schechter are like two brothers who are best friends but know exactly what buttons to press and how to playfully incite disagreements. The show covers all sorts of topics about productivity, focus, working with people and working for yourself. There is a segment each show called what are you drinking where they share what beverage they’re enjoying as they talk to each other and to us.

ZenGeek Podcast


Zengeek is a newcomer to the podcasting scene but is quickly becoming a can’t miss show. Andrew Marvin of Quarter-Life Enlightenment and Jeffrey Inscho of StaticMade discuss topics like money, sports and the written word from their diverse backgrounds. The differences in age, background and geography lend themselves to the topics they choose to cover. They choose one topic for the episode and dive deep into it and explore it from their individual perspectives. The resulting conversation is always interesting and constructive. They’re only seven episodes in so start listening now to catch up.

CMD+Space (formerly The Bro Show

When I started this review, this show was still called The Bro Show and starred Myke Hurley and Terry Lucy talking tech news together, often with a guest. The show has had a metamorphosis with Terry stepping down from the show and Myke describing the format as a “late night talk show” and his goal is to move it more in that direction. Tired of rehashing the same news everyone else does, the show was relaunched August 1st with Merlin Mann, who Myke managed to keep fairly on topic, as its first guest. I liked the show before but ever since the relaunch, Myke has been on fire and the show is only getting better and better. Each week Myke sits down and dives into the world and interests of his guests asking interesting questions and exploring their areas of expertise. The show was good and has only gotten better since it became CMD+Space.

Home Work

I don’t work at home but Dave Caolo and Aaron Mahnke talk through a lot of things that not only help the home worker but is solid advice for all people who have to work with teams, battle distractions or have a side project they’re trying to work on from home. The show is valuable every week and Aaron and Dave are a delight to listen to and I look forward to their voices in my headphones.

Systematic

Systematic is Brett Terpstra‘s new show. I feel the man needs no introduction but he is a programmer with AOL, he had written a markdown previewer called Marked, contributes to the Notational Velocity fork called NVAlt, has an array of TextExpander snippets among other things. Brett is a man of many talents and seemingly never sleeps or slows down. He may or may not be a robot. However, when he’s not writing fantastic scripts, developing his own software, contributing and helping out anyone who asks and somehow working to support himself, he has a show now. The show has been excellent. It is still in its infancy but eight episodes in, it has quickly become one of my favorites. Brett is the kind of guy you’d want to hang out with and pick his brain because he knows so much about so many things and is a genuinely nice guy.

Seasonal

The Fantasy Football Guys


I love football season and I run a fantasy football league every year for a few friends. It’s friendly and fun and it gives me something to pay attention to when my home team is having abysmal year. Kevin and Lyle podcast and poke fun at each other each week and answer questions from the community. They’re knowledgeable and always fun and they’ve put the time in watching games and looking at players so I can make smarter moves.

Hidden Gem

Huffduffer is little known but absolutely vital part of my life. Huffduffer will allow you to take any audio from the web and save it for later. This is great for listening to a single episode of a podcast, or for capturing audio from a blog post like an interview you want to listen to later.

Huffduffer allows you to collect these various audio files from across the web and turn them into a podcast by providing an RSS feed. Then, I can take the RSS feed and put it into iTunes and it will download the audio I add to my feed and when I sync my iPhone, it will pull those interviews, single podcast episode, and whatever else I’ve found.

If you enjoy podcasts or want to capture audio for listening to later, you need Huffduffer. And the best part is it’s free.

Huffduffer, the Instapaper for audio.