Scripting News for 2/12/2007

That’s what I’m talking about! 

Niall Kennedy reports on a Nokia video podcatcher.

This is why I say the iPod is nice but it isn’t the ideal podcast device. We need more designs that are centered around what we do. USB cables are very primitive channels for synchronization. Way too limiting. I’ve got a device in my pocket that’s got local storage and an always on net connection. Now how hard could it be to teach it how to do RSS? Nokia shows us — it’s not so hard!

It’s the flipside of the fractional horsepower HTTP servers that are popping up in so many consumer electronic products. What do you need to feed of all those FHHTTPS? Why its a hand-held podcatcha, of course.

Hey, dat’s waht I’m tawkin about!

WNYC spam 

9 times out of 10, I don’t give money to public radio stations, because once you do, you never hear the end of it.

A few weeks ago, in response to a request for support from On The Media podcast, I gave $100 to WNYC. I don’t even live in NY. Now I’m getting a steady stream of spam from them with all kinds of special offers. This really sucks.

Of course I have asked to be removed from the spam list, and how tacky is it to ask for a pledge less than a month after getting a gift of $100.

Unconference for journalists? 

Reading these notes following the We Media conference in Miami, I’m happy to report that there have been unconferences for journalists — all unconferences are for journalists (and of course for everyone else too).

We had professional journalists, many of them, at the first couple of BloggerCons at Harvard in 2003 and 2004.

Maybe it’s better to flip the question around — I wonder what is served by continuing the hierarchic speaker-panel-audience conferences, where the action migrates into the hallways? Why keep organizing that kind of conference, when the newer models are so much more effective at sharing information and ideas, so much more inclusive and interesting, and so much more fun!

In any case, if there’s an interest in an unconference specifically for professional journalists that’s open to all interested parties, I would be happy to help in the planning of such an event. Anything to help my brothers and sisters in professional media embrace the changes that are in process.

Iran IEDs new? Nah 

Dan Brekke notes that the U.S. has been trying to sell the idea that Iran is a source of weapons in Iraq for quite some time. Nothing new here. We’re being manipulated again.

Wouldn’t it be great if Bush resigned early so we can start fresh with an administration that might not be lying all the time.

Perhaps we could deal with this at an unconference for journalists.

Pre-N perf boost? 

Earlier this month Apple shipped its new Airport Extreme wireless router, and compatibility for certain Mac laptops and desktops. By now some people should have them.

Question — how’s the performance? Is it delivering 5 times the throughput? How about increased range?

Thanks for all the info about the Airport Extreme and pre-N routers. This is what makes Scripting News so great, all the smart generous people who are willing to share what they learn.

17 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by George Herndon on February 12, 2007 at 8:15 am

    dave,

    i’ve been enjoying better throughput from my mbpro since upgrading my primary base station. i’m getting 100Mb/s equivalent speeds in my mixed mode network. i can now do full backups via wireless to my home NAS device without having to reach for my 100Mb cable.

    i have a 802.11g/b existing network that the new N router is now providing WAN, NAT and WDS service for. i haven’t tested range increases, but the speed is definitely there. if you don’t have legacy b/g devices, you should see even better speeds.

    -george

    Reply

  2. On Feb 7 I received my eagerly-ordered-when-announced new Apple Airport Extreme base station, which supports 802.11n. I have two Mac laptops which also support 802.11n.

    So, it works.

    Basically we are talking 5X faster WiFi. It is noticeably faster than 802.11g. I don’t know about 5X, but it “feels” faster. One important consideration is that not only is it faster for any one transmission, but because a WiFi base station is a hub – only able to communicate with any one device at any time – there are fewer collisions and overall better traffic management when there are many devices communicating. (E.g. I can surf faster while my daughter is streaming audio to her computer🙂 In my limited testing there were no issues mixing 802.11n devices with 802.11g devices (801.11g is the conventional 54Mb WiFi). I also have an 801.11b printer (11Mb) which still works, as well as an 802.11g Airport Express which also works.

    I got 802.11n for the AppleTV (which I also eagerly-ordered-when-announced).

    Reply

  3. Dave,

    Before purchasing the new Airport base station, I had the previous 802.11G one, and three AirportExpress units. The airport expresses served as WDS links to the 1st and 3rd floors of the house to provide access for TiVos, XBoxen, and various other trinkets.

    The AEX units are still in place, connected via WDS to the main base station. The new base station is quite a bit faster, despite the fact that I have no N-capable gear, and previous WDS disasters (nodes getting lost, or disconnected from the main base station) is a thing of the past.

    My guess would be that the better antennas required for N, as well as some of the more advanced signal to noise processing needed for N also benefits normal 802.11g networks, and the throughput via wireless is much better. Also, a better processor in the base station might be able to handle more WDS sessions without dropping the ball better than the old base station.

    Previously, we would get speedtest results of around 5-7MB over wireless, but with the new base station, we get around 10MB throughput via wireless to the internet (we get around 12ish MB when wired over GigE).

    The wireless speeds inside the house are much faster, making accessto the network disks far more usable via wireless, although for any serious access to the disks (transferring > 600M) I generally wire up to save time.

    I’ve been pretty impressed that the new base station actually effected a positive change on the network — I really didn’t as big a different with all G gear as it has made, and the increased reliability of the new base station is a welcome change.

    Reply

  4. My speed boost has gone from about 3.2Mbps downloads with the older Extreme to an average of 4.4 with the 802.11n version. That’s with two g-speed Expresses hooked up, too.

    However, configuring the new Extreme to fit in with past multi-unit network setups can be a…challenge:

    http://www.limahuli.net/blog/archives/2007/02/the_new_airport.htm

    http://www.limahuli.net/blog/archives/2007/02/expressway_to_m.htm

    Also, MacFixIt’s Ted Landau posted this today:

    http://www.macfixit.com/article.php?story=20070212081935444

    I really wish I’d had that info handy last Friday night.

    Reply

  5. Dave
    Good point. All unconferences are for journalists — all unconferences are for everyone.
    But I think you get right to the point, unconferences are more effective and fun.

    I’ve been to an unconference for Drupal hackers. I’m going to one for Podcasters. And Barcamp is for techno-people of all walks of life. When I went to the Social Media Club I was hoping this would be it — the unconference for journalists. Sadly, it was more for PR professionals.

    I think it would serve journalists to have a Journo-camp. Hey, it even has a nice ring to it. If anyone starts to organize this (hint hint) — let us know.

    Reply

  6. Thanks for all the great info about the Airport Extreme and pre-N routers. This is what makes Scripting News so great, it’s all the smart generous people who are willing to share what they learn. it’s always been this way.

    Sounds like net-net there is a reason to upgrade. For me that’s going to mean getting a new laptop because my early MacBook isn’t upgradeable to the new protocol. It’s always nice to have another computer around, now the question is which laptop to get!🙂

    Thanks again everyone.

    David, about the unconference for journalists, I’m sure we could make one materialize in Berkeley fairly easily. How do you feel about the west coast??

    Reply

  7. Thanks for the AE postings Dave. Up here in Seattle it’s impossible to actually buy one. A shipment comes in and is GONE within hours, you practically have to be at the store when they open the carton.

    Re the unconference, I’d be glad to help out. Berkeley the uncity seems a perfect place!

    Reply

  8. re: the WNYC spam thing – I’d bet that it isn’t that they’re being tacky, but rather that they don’t actually have the ability to remove “anyone who’s given a donation in the last X days” from their list. When they do an ask, it goes to anyone that has ever given them money and/or anyone they’ve got an email address for.

    Never attribute to malice what can be attributed to incompetence has its own corollary in the database world – never attribute to tackiness what can be attributed to insufficient database skills🙂

    Reply

  9. Posted by Diego on February 12, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    I hope the US doesn’t start another bullshit war based on the foundation of lies and scare mongering. The US has made the world a scarier and more dangerous place by its actions. This is not an anti-US-people comment, not in any way, but an anti-US-government one.

    Reply

  10. I’d say that iPod+iTunes is a fairly mediocre podcasting client. I feel like a consumer whore for even complaining about thist, but here goes. I sync my iPod to iTunes for podcasts, and then plug it in to my BMW via its iPod-interface and listen to podcasts whilst driving. Stupidly, I have to detach the iPod from the BMW, drag my podcasts on to a “BMW” play list, drag the new podcasts up from the bottom of the play list to the top, hook the iPod up to my computer, sync the iPod via USB, and then reattach it to the car. The other messed-up thing about iPod playlists is that when you drag a list of songs to one, they don’t get added in the order that you added them which means more time wasted manually ordering them. So, while I agree this five step process is better than burning CDs, why shouldn’t it be a zero step process? Why can’t podcasts get sync’d automatically to a playlist in the right order? It is less of an issue now that I’ve moved to San Francisco because I take the BART to work rather than sit on Austin’s Mopac Expressway two hours-a-day. Nevertheless, I think this problem needs to get solved. I’ve wanted automatic wireless music synchronization since 1999. Am I the only one?

    Reply

  11. I just got mine last week and I’ve been having problems. Packet loss when I use any sort of security (WPA2, WEP etc) and much slower than my Linksys “G” router.

    When security is turned off, it runs very well/fast.

    Also, there is a known issue (reported on apple.com) that some Windows machines cannot connect to it. My xbox 360 can’t even see my airport extreme…

    Reply

  12. Posted by Bryan Schappel on February 12, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    Tony,

    You might want to look at “Smart Playlists” in iTunes. The iPod also supports them. Create a “Smart Playlist” that selects “Genre” is “Podcast”, limit to 10 items, ordered by date added. Click “Live Updating”. Your playlist will automatically contain the 10 most recent podcasts that were added to your library.

    Reply

  13. Regarding your search for a Podcasting device…

    Check out the Nokia N800 Internet Tablet. It’s open source, can handle downloading of podcasts through gPodder and has an always on connection through wifi or bluetooth to cellular … there’s a mic and a even recording app available, but all could be tweaked with some code love.

    There are also 2 memory slots which can handle anything in the SD family…

    Reply

  14. Posted by Greg on February 13, 2007 at 7:53 am

    Gotta say, Dave, that I think many HP printers for example, has had “fractional horsepower HTTP servers” for a decade or more. And the Denon products you describe have been in production for 2-3 years.

    Reply

  15. A couple of months ago I had to replace a dead 802.11g router. I went with what I could find back then, which was a Linksys WRT300N. Barring some sort of unfortunate accident involving a two-year-old, silly putty, and hammers, I really can’t justify popping for an Airport Extreme just yet.

    With the current setup (C2D MBPro with new N driver, Linksys N) I’m not getting any sort of speed boost. YMMV, but you may want to adjust your expectations if you’re buying the driver and hoping it’ll work with your existing N router.

    Reply

  16. Posted by Anton2000 on February 14, 2007 at 2:39 am

    Thank you for the hint to the Airport Extreme wireless router.

    Reply

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