6/28/97:Hal's Legacy. A conversation with David Stork, editor of Hal's Legacy: 2001's Computer as Dream and Reality. From the forward by Arthur C. Clarke to the last chapter in which Daniel Dennett considers whether or not HAL was a murderer, this is a book that looks at how this mythical machine has had a very real impact on our lives. It also shows how our vision of the future is often as modest as it can be pretentiously unreal.
6/21/97:Privacy and Intellectual Freedom in the Digital Library. Today we reached deep into the Pacifica Archives to bring you a panel discussion from a few years ago. We were quite surprised at how relevent the discussion was. It sounded so current, it could have been recorded yesterday. The moderator was Mark Rotenberg, then of CPSR and now the Director of EPIC.
6/14/97:The return of the Silicon Surfer. Today we were revisited by John Bates, known to many as Radionet's Silicon Surfer. Now with Skunk Media, we talked about the future of Java in developing network based applications.
5/31/97:Spring Fund Drive Today was the one week during this Pledge Drive that Digital Village will be asking for your support. And our listeners came through, once again making us goalbusters! A grateful thanks from Ric & Doran to all those who called. It is deeply appreciated.
5/10/97:Microsoft as Borg. Is Microsoft really The Borg? Will we all be assimilated and is resistance truly futile? To talk about this, we were joined on the phone by Jesse Berst from ZDNet's Anchordesk. Among other things, he considers the idea that, given its huge dominance in so many areas, maybe it would be in the best interest of the company and the industry if Microsoft broke up.
5/3/97:How does Spam effect you? Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE), better known as Spam, has been gaining more attention lately as an increasing number of people find their mailboxes filling up with these unexpected messages. Today we spoke with Steven Cherry of Voters' Telecommunications Watch, which is conducting a survey on the effects of Spam on the users of the Internet.
During the second half of the program, we once again opened the phones to our listeners. One caller suggested using email filters to help battle Spam. Pegasus Mail is a wonderful free email program that has extensive filtering rules.
4/26/97:Open Phones. We were able to open the phones today to listener calls, and any questions we had about about their interest in politics and the 'net were quickly put to rest. Concerns about filtering software, political censorship and teaching vs. training were all topics that were brought up by callers.
4/19/97:Is the Internet Destroying our Democracy? A recent article by Cokie & Steve Roberts has created quite a ruckus in the Internet community. In it, the Roberts suggest that the Internet is a threat to Congress and our representative democracy. The idea of Online Town Hall meetings makes their "blood run cold". Our guest today was Jon Katz, who is among the people who disagrees with the Roberts' assessment. He sees the 'net as a great tool for our democracy. A tool that would have been heartily embraced by the founders of this country.
4/12/97:Jeff Greenwald & The Size of the World After years of being a jet-setting travel writer, Jeff Greenwald realized he didn't really have a sense of how big the earth really was. Traveling like this keeps one away from the nitty-gritty, often leaving the traveler with little sense of having gone anyplace. Airplanes are designed to make you forget you're traveling and when you finally do get there, the terminals are often sterile in a generic kind of way. This lead Jeff to the idea of traveling around the world "without leaving the ground". It would be a kora where his shrine would be the planet itself.
Among the things that Jeff stuffed into his backpack was a Hewlett Packard Omnibook which he used to write bi-weekly dispatches from around the globe. These dispatches made a circuitous route, ultimately being posted on the Web as Big World, a part of the late GNN. This electronic connectedness provided a counterpoint to Jeff's decidedly low-tech way of travel. It also made him the first person to travel around the globe while posting live to the 'net. Internet users could keep track of his progress as he made his way back to Oakland, where he started. The Size of the World is his story about this pilgrimage and the people and places along the way. It's also about his observations on the weightlessness of knowledge and how our connection to our cultures is at once both tenuous and enduring. Jeff is currently writing for Salon and has done a number of pieces for Wired.
4/6/97:Harry Shearer. Whether it's on radio, movies, T.V. or even the Internet, Harry Shearer is a part of the media almost as much as he is a consumer of it. Not a fan of the current Push craze, Harry prefers to go out and fish on his own for content, often from satellite broadcasts. While others don't like Push for technical reasons, Harry says it's more about missing something out there by chance. This is also one of the reasons he makes some of his material available via RealAudio. That way he can be heard by people who would otherwise never hear Wayland Smithers cry.