Q: Hey! When are you going be on the 'net via RealAudio?
A: We are! At least in a rudimentary sort of way. It's at: http://www.digitalvillage.org/audio.html. I say rudimentary because our RealAudio server isn't yet up and running. This means you can still listen to our past programs but (for technical reasons) you pretty much have to listen to the program from beginning to end without a lot of skipping around. We realize this is a drag and it should be fixed in the near future.
Q: How can I get a copy of a show?
A: Generally, the only way to get a copy is to make one yourself or get a copy from a friend. Perhaps if the Pacifica Radio Archive [(818) 506-1077 ] gets enough requests, they'll start making a copy.
Q: How can I find the link to a guest's site or a news story?
A: We always post a link to our guest's site (when there is one) and usually one to each of the news items that we talk about. They are kept in the "Program Archives". If there is an item or a site that is not listed, please write me and let me know. I can usually get you the URL within a day.
Q: When is your web site updated?
A: We update the site all the time. Links to any Saturday's topics are usually added to the Archive by midnight Sunday (Sometimes I'm able to get to it Saturday afternoon. Sometimes it's not until Monday or later. But my goal is that Monday morning will find an updated site). Remember, if there is a URL you want right away, feel free to write me a short email telling me what you want and I'll send it to you.
Q: Why to you guys talk about encryption so much?
A: Because it's *SO* important & most people don't realize it yet.
Q: Which reminds me. Why do you guys talk about politics so much? Isn't this a show about computers?
A: Digital Village is actually a program about communication and technology. When we started the program, we found there were a number of other computer programs on radio (Gina Smith, etc.) and TV (Computer Chronicles, etc.) that talked about the hardware. And that's good, because people wanted and needed to know more about how a computer worked.
But there weren't any programs on the air that focused on the social and cultural ramifications of computers and the Internet (and the whole telecommunications revolution). We decided that we'd be that program. We agreed to focus on this impact until we ran out of topics. That agreement still stands.
Don't get me wrong. Ric and I enjoy the toys and want to talk about the goodies too. But the core of the show is how these technologies are *fundamentally* changing the way we communicate. I can't overstate that point. Because of this, we'll never in good conscience be able to ignore the politics of a digital society.
Q: Why do you always talk about Windows & not the Mac?
A: Don't get me started.
Q: Who are you guys? And how did you get a radio program?
A: Ric and I are each long-time volunteers at KPFK. Among other things, I helped install and maintain the Novell network in the station's subscription department. That led to a request by Sue Cohen to do occasional late-night broadcasts on her late, great program, The We Hours. Jolie Mason and I did a number of these programs over the following couple of years (including two New Years specials with Ed Kroll, author of The Whole Internet User's Guide). Ric heard one of these broadcast and suggested to the station that this become a regular program.
In 1995 the station was going through some major changes. Without my knowledge, they had decided to go ahead with the new program, which they called Computer World. I found out about it the night before the formal announcement. Ric (who I didn't know) was to be my co-host. Two weeks later we were on the air. Don't you love love public radio?
Q: Do you guys read your email? Why didn't you answer my question?
A: I read every piece of mail that comes in. I pass most on to Ric. Once upon a time, I was able to reply to every piece of mail. Unfortunately, that isn't possible anymore, though we do reply to most.
I really really really do try to get around to all your requests. Often the answers to your questions will take me the better part of an hour to piece together. A question as easy as "What's the best computer?" might require a short essay to answer properly. Unfortunately that means a reply from me gets put off until I have the time (and that time never comes).
Often we get well thought out pieces that merit a response, but again, a considered reply is often difficult considering the volume of our mail. If we don't write, it's not because we are ignoring you. It's just that we have nothing to add.
Again, if there is something you need, some question you've asked that we haven't answered, let me know again and we'll see if we can't get it answered this time.
Q: I have a great idea for a show. Can we talk?
A: Send the info to us. We'll get in touch if it we're interested and can schedule it. We do about 45 shows a year. There are WAY more than 45 things to talk about. Some worthwhile ideas aren't going to be mentioned by us. Sorry...
Q: Do you do product reviews?
A: As a rule, we do not. Instead, you'll find that we mention the products that we use, or those we've tried and don't use. If you want to send us a product to try out, terrific. We like getting toys. But we can't promise we'll use it, or that we'll even try it. But if we do, it'll be an honest opinion that you'll hear from us.
Now, there may be times when we have feature a particular product, but generally it's within the larger context of what the particular application does. And even so, we made the rule and can break it when we want.
Q: Will Digital Village ever be on more often or longer?
A: Maybe one day, but don't hold your breath.
Q: How much do you get paid for this?
A: Zero Dinero. We do it for the free t-shirts and demo CDs.
Q: I love your program, how can I help?
A: Tell your friends. Then tell more friends. Then write the newspapers and tv stations. Then tell more friends.