Cranky Geeks is one of the best video podcasts I watch… probably because it's one of the only video podcasts I watch. No but seriously it's a fantastic show, I encourage you to check it out especially if you enjoy lighthearted and cranky discussion of tech trends and the well-deserved ridiculing of stupid news stories.
This was my review Episode 081 dated the 11th of September 2007.
Of all the episodes of Cranky Geeks I've watched (and that includes all of them) this would definitely be up there as one of the crankiest of them all. Not to mention the fact they mentioned Singapore twice and Malaysia three times!
First off Sebastian was really sharp again this episode. In the whole AMD Barcelona (or Bencoolen or Breatstick or whatever the chip is called) debacle he made the point that even though clock-speeds are less relevent now that they've ever been when compared to the efficiency of said chips, it's still an important consideration. I don't agree with the Crank-o-metre ratings, I think he's been right on the ball the last few episodes.
I'm afraid I had mixed feelings about Marc Canter's appearance. I first became aware of him after learning about his Ourmedia free media sharing site he set up with J.D. Lasica. Listening to him at the time I thought he was a very interesting person, so when I saw his name on the guest list for this Cranky Geeks I was excited. While watching it it was obvious he also had the best coloured shirt.
By the end of the episode though I was a bit tired of him. I'm certainly one of the last people he needs to convince with regards to his political views (I feel we're about the same on the flawed left-right spectrum analogy) but the way he brought it up during a discussion about net neutrality didn't have much tact, or for that matter relevence. Had he stayed just on the topic being discussed and delivered a few smart barbs against the people in question I think it could have made far more of an impact without bogging down the whole panel into a discussion about Republicans in American politics, which isn't what the show is about. With those points he would be a great guest to have on a Cranky Washington show, but not Cranky Geeks.
Despite the fact I really couldn't care less about Revision3 it was a real pleasure to have Patrick Norton and his awesome set-destroying coffee thermos on, he always brings good points and material to the table. Despite my agreeing with Sebastian on the processor debate, I do agree with what he said regarding efficiency: if a much slower CPU can do the same amount of work with far less power and at a lower clock-speed that's definitely a good thing. Plus, I couldn't argue with someone wearing such a swish hat you see.
This episode had the best introduction to a show I've seen yet, John looked as though he was on a totally different planet for a second! I loved the shots of him looking at his hands with his head down when the political discussion started getting intense, as if to say "I'm not here".
As I said above, it was interesting that Singapore and Malaysia got such coverage this episode. Being an Aussie (sorry John, an Australian!) who has lived in the former for over 10 years and the latter for 2 it was great to hear such heavyweights in the American technology scene talk about my region of the world, even if it was about the taking over of American telcos or piracy! The corridor that Marc was talking about was the "Multimedia Supercorridor" that the former Prime Minister Mahatir introduced to try to get the more economically properous areas of the country in the Klang Valley (Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Cyberjaya) digitally connected, but as of 2007 most of the goals still haven't been met. All you have to do is type TMNet or StreamyX into Google to see how people love the only DSL provider in the country.
To me the biggest story they talked about was the whole issue of Botnets. I have to disagree with the panel's general consensus that people who use computers are on the whole stupid, I just think that many people use computers as tools, just as they do their cars for example. Just because you use a computer doesn't mean you're also automaitcally aware of how to maintain one, just as people who own cars aren't automatically mechanics. Therefore just with cars I've always thought you should have to get a licence to use the internet. Nothing overly difficult, just basic training on how to spot fraudulent sites, block viruses and whatnot.
Very interesting episode. I'd love to see Marc Canter again, provided he left his political macho at the door next time. Dvorak dot org slash blog.