Digital Village Radio
August - October 1998 Programs
10/31/98Paul Saffo's Future As Director of the Institute for the Future, it's Paul Saffo's job to think about things like the global impact of technology. How will the Internet impact commerce? What will become of personal communication in the age of e-mail? Is there such a thing as a Global Community and who are it's leaders? These are some of the questions facing us as we steadily move forward into the future.
10/24/98Darrel Plant & Flash 3!Macromedia has been aggressively releasing new technology for the Web. Flash is one of the latest and it's catching on Big Time. One of the best aspects of Flash is that it's really several products in one, allowing for the creation of graphics and animation. Darrel Plant's latest book, Flash 3! Creative Web Animation is a look at all of it's features, from creation to distribution.
10/10/98The Coming Domain Name Change For the past five years, Network Solutions has had a contract with the U.S. Government to manage the most popular top-level domains on the Internet and register second level domains (such as kpfk.org). They've also been responsible for the "Root Server" which is central to the working of the entire Domain Name System. That contract expired earlier this year and (after a number of extensions) a new agreement was reached this last week. Our guest this week was Chris Clough from Network Solutions. He told us of plans to transition to a more open form of registration, where many different companies will be allowed to register domain names for people. He also told us of plans to add value to their services by offering such things as instant email when you register a domain. Network Solutions sees itself as a "wholesaler" when it comes to the popular .com, .net and .org top-level domains. Other registrars will pay NSI a fee and will presumably tack it on as part of the "retail" price paid by the individual registrant. The government is accepting comments from the public on the plan until next Tuesday.
10/3/98IUMA & Audio on the Web What's the best way to send or receive audio on the Web? To answer that question there is probably no better people to ask than Ryan Melcher and Jeff Patterson, who have written a new book Audio on the Web: The Official IUMA Guide. Jeff Patterson is the President, Founder, and Technical Director, and Ryan Melcher was the senior multimedia specialist at IUMA, a site which has pioneered the distribution of music over the Internet. In the book they explain many of the different formats and delivery mechanisms offered. They also discuss other topics of interest such as the trade-off between bandwidth and quality.
9/19/98Peter de Jager & the Y2K Menace. Will the World come to an end on January 1, 2000 as computers crash everywhere? Probably not. And if Peter de Jager is correct, it probably won't be more than a major inconvenience. Sure, some VCRs will stop working. There will probably even be businesses that go under because they didn't properly prepare for the date change. But it's not like there still isn't time to fix many of the biggest problems. The message seems to be: Be concerned, but not scared.
9/12/98Jon Katz. This of course is the week that Congress rushed to release the Starr Report on President Clinton's latest scandal to the Internet. Now anybody can read the report and see what all the fuss has been about. What does it mean when you are viewing a report at the same time Dan Rather is viewing it?
Whether you agree with Ken Starr or think he's vermin and wish he would stop, the fact is that millions of people are spending this weekend reading the document and taking part in a national dialog, both online and in their homes and workplaces. There is at least some irony in the fact that the Congress released a document that would have been illegal to put on the 'net if the CDA (or any of its offspring) had been passed. It is being seen by many as a watershed moment in legitimizing the Internet. No longer can a politician claim a lack of precedence when trying to keep incriminating evidence offline.
In the news:
WallStreetSex knows its target audience, but The Street cries foul - Microsoft trial will probably be delayed again - Can we blame Marc Andreesen for selling 200,000 shares?
9/5/98Bruce Schneier on Encryption. What is the difference between "cryptography that will stop you kid sister from reading your files and cryptography that will stop major governments from reading your files"? To find out this and more we turned to our guest today, Bruce Schneier, president of Counterpane Systems and an expert in cryptology. His book Applied Cryptography has become a must-read for anybody interested in the field. He has very definite ideas about a government's role in limiting privacy that probably haven't endeared him to the NSA. That said, his company's program, Twofish, is a candidate for the new AES.
8/29/98Seybold '98 Update. Recognized as the leading conference on digital publishing, this year's Seybold Conference is addressing the importance of the Internet by adding Web publishing conferences to it's series of Publishing Systems conferences. This year also features two special keynote speakers. Steve Jobs, hot on the heals of the record-setting release of the iMac, will address the faithful on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday, it's Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, who will do his best to endear himself to an industry closely associated with Apple.
8/15/98Jakob Nielsen on the User Experience. Have you ever wondered why computers get more difficult to use, despite press-releases and key-note speeches promising ease of use? So has our guest today, Dr. Jakob Nielsen, who left Sun Microsystems last month in order to team up with Donald Norman to form the Nielsen Norman Group. Together they hope to heighten awareness of the user experience, particularly in this age of high-tech (and potentially distracting) bells and whistles which are increasingly being found on everything from home appliances like VCRs & microwave ovens, to computers and web pages.
After a while you'll probably begin to wonder why different search-engines produce different results. Just what are the differences between them? To help answer this question, long-time online searchers Alfred and Emily Glossbrenner wrote Search Engines for the World Wide Web. In addition to talking about the differences, the Glossbrenners also document the various commands that these various sites use to help narrow your search. This can be very useful when you don't have the time to look through 5,050,274 pages after a simple search.
8/1/98Michael Robertson & MP3. The interest is distributing music over the Internet is beginning to reach a fever pitch. On one hand music enthusiasts are finding the ease in which they can record and pass around their favorite tunes is absolutely fantastic. On the other hand, the music industry sees this same ability to easily copy and distribute high quality audio at little cost as absolutely terrible and a direct treat to their industry. Our guest today was Michael Robertson of MP3.com. The site is named after a new format for high quality encoding of audio and has focused much of its attention on the ongoing battle the standard is having in getting respect from the mainstream of the recording industry. There is hope for MP3 though as smaller, independent "record" companies are signing bands to deals which includes (sometimes exclusive) distribution via MP3. Keep a look out for a crop of MP3 players to begin appearing this holiday season. If they become popular, then MP3's foothold will be assured.