Why I don’t like podcasts

Podcasts initially seem like a great idea. But there are problems with them:

  • The speed at which you listen is limited to the speed at which people talk. I’m a very fast reader, and I do a lot of skimming. When I’m stuck at the pace at which people speak, not only do I get bored easily, but I also waste time.
  • Skimming, or skipping intelligently, is nearly impossible. With sound only, it just doesn’t work. If you’ve got video as well, you can at least provide captions or some sort of text on the screen to let people know generally what’s going on. Also, if you’re able to somehow index the sound and have a player that understands the indexing, that helps.

That’s my final thought before heading off to vacation.

Off to Minnesota

I’m heading home to Minnesota for the next week to spend Christmas with family. The laptop’s coming with, and I have high hopes of getting lots of work done. Friday will probably be my last day online until the 30th.

I will still read only non-list email on my BlackBerry (more because it can’t handle IMAP subfolders than anything else), and if I’m really bored, feeds via Google Reader Mobile. Happy holidays!

Migrated to overlays.gentoo.org

Thanks to genstef, I’ve finally moved my overlay hosting to overlays.gentoo.org. The new way to grab a copy is:

git clone http://overlays.gentoo.org/git/dev/dberkholz/

I’ll update the other READMEs and such floating around shortly, and attempt to set up a cron job to sync over to the old location daily or so. Flameeyes, you’re also a committer. Anyone else who would like commit access, let me know and give me a patch or two to stuff I care about.

Smartphone choice

I finally chose the smartphone I wanted. Turns out that I got the BlackBerry. The main problem with the BB was lack of IM, but Google Talk recently became available for it. Through Google’s Jabber server, I can connect to any IM transports on any other server.

Another driving force was cost of data service. With Cingular’s sky-high prices ($55 for unlimited PDA data + SMS, $10 cheaper for a BB), I ended up going with a pay-as-you-go SMS plan to drop my per-month costs to $35 for data. Through T-Mobile, unlimited data + SMS only costs $30, and the network’s just as good in Corvallis and Minneapolis.

I’m sort of looking into getting the BB unlocked, then using a small loophole to get out of my contract. Cingular’s raising SMS prices from $0.10 to $0.15 per message (sent or received) on January 1, which constitutes a material change to the contract. I have 30 days from then to drop it.

If money were no object, I probably would’ve gone with the Cingular 8525, which the local store just got in a few days earlier and sold for $450.