Apple says OK to podcaster for use of the term "podcast"

Can you own a word.

Well, according to the american patent office, you can. Its the most bizarro system I have ever seen , but it does exist. The original idea of patenting was to protect inventors from having their ideas stolen by others. But it has , thanks to a lowlife breed of patent layers, degraded into a parody of that original concept. Where once it was a proud institution to protect those who shone the light of progress into the future, it now is rapidly becoming a stuck hand-brake on the chariot of progress, with evil layers sucking up the fumes of the burning asbestos.

Because patenting is no longer about original idea's, its about going to court, getting a patent approved for the most ridicules thing and then suing everybody in a 300 mile radius if only they dare to THINK about your patent. And why ? As a source of income of course. Now if all of this was just to keep legal departments occupied, we would just give both parties sticks with pointy nails and tell them to get it over with. But patenting (in its sick and twisted form) is slowing down progress. Cause not only can you patent products, you can also patent idea's, concepts, even WORDS.

Apple tried to sue several company's a few months ago for the use of POD in their company name. felt the burn, Ipodder had to switch its name and suddenly PODcasters where getting nervous. What if apple started sending around cease and desist letters to all of us too. Some thought to duck the bullet by changing the term Podcast to Netcast ( I think thats a lame word btw ) but they had good reason. Cause in the whole system you don"t HAVE to be right. Its just a matter who has the most layers, the most money, and the time and balls to fight it out in court. Who cares if the judge rules in your favor after you've sold your house to pay your legal fees.

So the question remained : Can you own a word ? Dave Gray decided not to wait for an answer. With the "pod-patent" in limbo he took some balsy action and wrote to Steve Jobs, sending him a letter in which he explained he would like to continue to use the word "podcast" and included a cheque of one dollar to cover those expenses. Now writing to Apple is like writing to santa. Sure he gets your mail .. but he never writes back… Or does he ?






The kid that got the letter back from Santa.
Surprise surprise when yesterday a letter popped into the mailbox from Apple where they sent him back his money and stated IN WRITING that they would not sue over the term PODCASTING. A ripple of rumor vaulted through cyberspace as the news was noted. This might have big repercussions for future court-cases and to the shows of many pod-casters who feature the word "podcast". Can we rest easy now ? I do not now, there are always legal loopholes in loopholes in loopholes, but the core of the story is : No matter who you are, where you live or what you do . It are those with the guts to be bold that get the rewards of the few.

 Read the original post HERE ,  and related articles HERE.

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One Wii for Me !

atariYesterday I picked up the phone and did something I had never done before. I made a reservation .. for a Gameconsole ! Yep , its official, The Knightcastle is proudly expecting the arrival of one Nintendo Wii ! What else is new, I hear you mumble, well , for me thats kind of a big deal since I have not owned a game console since 1984 (Trusty Atari 2600 ) . I have passed up all the Sega"s so far, All the Dreamcasts, the Cubes, the Playstations (god forbid) and the X-boxes. Why ? Because I thought that gameconsoles where a complete waste of time. Sitting on the couch with some lame ass controller in your hands , hunched over while trying to steer some stupid little car through a maze was not my idea of a good time. If i did want to do something non-productive and de-stressing, a good game of Wolfenstein or Halflife on my PC would do the trick. And even that has been ages ago.

So why change my mind. I seldom play games, hate most console games anyway and whenever i"m NOT behind the computer, I kinda NOT want to be behind a computer. And the whole Graphics hype left me hot or cold aswell. Who cares that Laura Crofts breasts are now made up of 78 polygons instead of 23 ? If a girl like that ever existed in real life I doubt she would be able to do all those flipflops with a rack-like-that. I even dare to presume that standing UP would be her biggest challenge. Many arguments ( for example with one of our loyal listeners DJ Sharky) where about the spectacular evolution of graphic design but the stagnation in gameplay.

wiiWhen I saw the Wii , it blew my mind. Not only did I applaud nintendo for their great innovations in gameplay on the Nintendo DS (A device I found utterly useless until I saw the Braingame) the hook line and sinker for me was that : This was a console for the family. Me and my wife love playing games together (retract mind from gutter please) and can get very competitive. We where looking at setting up a multiplayer Lan at home to talk out our differences over a good shoot-em-up, but Nyana doesn't really fancy the blood-and-gore. So imagine playing tennis together, bowling with the family, conducting an orchestra and all that jazz. The Wii would be the device for us, not only because of the freaky console but because of the "famlily centered" nature of the machine. Its not for nothing that the Wii is pronounced as WE (as in US). The gameconsole has torn the family apart for the last five years, and the Wii is going to glue them back together. I wonder what we will be taking along to this years christmass dinner at the inlaws… To keep everybody including ourselves, occupied.


Trackback to my first WII post : Things that make you go Wii

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The Knightcast Episode 37 : Remote Domination part 2,

The Knightcast Episode 37 : Remote Domination part 2,

Direct link to the show.

Summary : Join us for episode 37 : Remote domination part 2 as we dive further into the world of remote controlling your computers. Learn how to use Hamachi to become the ultimate road-warrior, Set up remote assistance scenario’s or roll out your own severfarm across the net.

Shownotes :

Hamachi :
HamachiX :
Wiki Hamachi :
Hamachi on Security Now : and
Screencasts Online :
Use Hamachi and VNC :
Setup Hamachi on a linux system :

Music :

Alienation : Morning Sky

B-4 Now : Tresspasing




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TEENAGE HARDCORE WEBCAM SLUTS … erm .. I mean : Unintended concequences.

pronJust before the week is out, a quick roundup of what has been going down on Casa Del Knightwise. Be warned, that if you are offended by bad language, pornographic content or adult material, you might not want to read this specific post. You also might want to consider never coming outside again, blowing up your tv and radio, burn all your magazines and glue your ears and eyes shut with glue before sealing yourself in a coffin that is parked in the top left corner of the church. Only that way will you never be offended again.

Unintended concequences.

The reason for this warning is a funny event that happened this week with the website. As you know we keep logs of who  visits the site and from where they are redirected. These stats ( Gracefully set up and checked by Codemonkey Rob) tell us where our visitors come from, what they like .. and what they search for. While digging through our logs, Rob found some very strange searchterms that led users to our site. Before I go on , let me quickly disclose how a search engine works. A seachengine like Google send out a Spider program that litelary "reads" through somebody's website and indexes the content accordingly. Mostly these spiders just look at the words but not exactly at the context they are written in. This lead to some 'unintended conciquences' following the combination of our BRUNO article and our MSN article. Suddenly we found visitors stumbling onto the Knightsite, their fingers still sticky after typing in all kinds of NAUGHTY searchterms. After typing in TEENAGE MSN WEBCAM SLUTS the website popped up on ranking number seven. GAY HARD WEBCAM brought people to our "coin du www" using some other obscure searchengine. How come ? Well , since searchengines READ the posts , the found these specific words either in one post (the MSN post) or in a combination of 2 posts ( MSN and Bruno). Talk about disappointment for these pornsurfers when they got here.  So what is the conclusion ? Sex sells. So hello there fellow internauts looking for scandly clad girls behind webcams. I'm sorry to disappoint you but you might want to stick around and see if there is anything else you want to learn today. Cause lets face it .. there is more out there then just sex …. No wait … There isn't !




Closing the post the haunting thought dooms on me that , because I have used so many words like xxx, webcam, sex, porn, teenagers, slut, gay, hard, core and so forth.. This will probably get me in even more of these x-rated search results .. Oh well … Like the song says : The internet is for porn.

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Me and Slashdot Review !

Some people ask me : Knight, how come you know all this stuff. Mostly they are referring not to my intricate knowledge of quantum-mechanics and the fact that a cup of cappuchino holds the key to the secrets of the universe, but .. Other stuff.

sdrI hate to disappoint their faces everyday when the come and run up to me with the hottest news on the web either about some new peace of software hitting the market, or for example, the juicy story behind Steve Balmer getting his eyebrows plucked. " Yeah .. I know" I answer them in a blasé way, only to give them the full details on the story. They look at me as if struck by lightning : How Do You Know All That.  ??  they manage to mumble.  I dramaticly turn my head , ruffle my nonexistant evil poncho and whisper … " I have my Sources ".

andyOne of those sources is a little elf that has been sitting on my shoulder, whispering information into my left ear whenever the sun hits the skyline every morning. Well , perhaps not an elf, but a loyal podcaster by the name of Andy McCaskey who religiously hosts a podcast called "Slashdot Review " (now christened SDR News) where he reads the headlines of the most popular geek news websites on the internet. For more then two years now I have been a daily listener. Most of my comutes start out with " This is Slashdot review for …." as the first thing that pops out of my ipod. 15 minutes later , after andy has given me a quick roundup of the "real news" (not the one on the radio) I am mostly up to speed with the web as it exists today.

What is quite funny is that, through my membership of the Techpodcast Network , I've gotten to know Andy personally and he is the coolest geek alive. Being a gazillion time the age of most average geeks and podcasters, Andy is somewhat considered the "Godfather" of the TPN Scene, but his modesty prevents him from rolling out his powers and sending out his thousands of listeners to … thrash Appelby's or something.  I was very honored yesterday when the episode of SDR-news ( now with the headlines of Digg, Slashdot , and others) picked up my little story about Cyber archeologists . So if you are interested : Here is the link to the show.

Thus if you want to stay tuned to whats goin down on the digital frontier, be sure to subscribe to this one. Regular as clockwork, accurate as a laserscalpel and clear as mountain dew. Andy McCaskeys .. SDR News.



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Feedyourzune : What microsoft failed to deliver.

Great Story from Dave Gray , over at the Roosters Rail and The Global geek podcast blog about the player no one wants.  The presumable Ipod Killer from Microsoft : The Zune. Welcome to the social is their catchphrase if you want to believe the Zune Homepage. But Balmer sports no love for us podcasters. Since no doe is to be made from the podpeople Podcasting is as nonexistant in the Zune software, as are its drivers in Vista. A vacuum in developement leaves room for : FEEDYOUZUNE.

Feed Your ZuneGreat As regular readers of this blog would know the Zune will ship without podcasting support software. But that is okay, what Microsoft could not or would not deliver an independent 3rd party developer has managed to do just fine. Not as hard as Microsoft would have you believe. But then podcasts are free quality content, there is no money in that. Feed Your Zuneô is a featured RSS reader and a media player. It has some great features and looks to be very slick and well designed. It is a pity there is not more about the features on the site or some larger screenshots. With this development so close to the release of the Zune it beats me why Microsoft failed to deliver a product that could give the user access to features such as:

  • Automated downloads of video and audio content and synchronisation to your Zune
  • RSS playback of Video Podcasts, supporting all video formats
  • Built in channel guides from Network2 and FireAnt (with the promise of more to follow)
  • Open web architecture supporting RSS, Bit Torrent and permalinks
  • The ability to create playlists, favourites and manage disk space

The program is a pretty hefty 12MB download. But it looks very shiny with a clean design and lots of functionality. The interface looks simple and uncluttered with a typical looking RSS feed layout. Clearly some time has been invested to bring a quality product. Did I mention that it is free? It even looks a bit like Windows Media Player 11, I wonder if this was a jibe. Or was it good marketing, to give the user a strong brand association with a product that they know? We talked about the Zune release on the latest episode of The Global Geek Podcast. My co-host Knightwise; suggested that perhaps the lack of Zune podcasting support was due to the fact that podcasts are free. Microsoft would not be interested in promoting free content when they are trying to push their own online music store. With the quick release and functionality of this client it does not seem to have been beyond the reach for Microsoft to have provided something like this on release. So perhaps his opinion has some weight. Money may well come first for Microsoft, at the expense of making podcasts more accessible to the user. This could also make way for other 3rd party applications to be developed in the near future. I hope so. As has been proven time and time again it is often the first iteration of a product in which users make their choice, anything else is a clone. Digg and YouTube are good examples of this trend. In which case users may well disregard and openly reject any offering from Microsoft that supports podcasting in favour of the applications that they are used to. Microsoft could have just shot themselves in the foot. Or will it be another case of the browser/operating system scenario? Where built in software overrides any other third party application to the point it is impossible to use anything but theirs. If nothing else it will make the space well worth watching. So until Microsoft decides to counter offer have a look at Feed Your Zuneô to keep your Zune happy and well fed.

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Get smarter with Google Lectures !

Aaah, another great weekend has come and unfortunately gone. A weekend full of fun stuff, and also full of rest and relaxation. Some part of that relaxation was spent in front of the TV. Still a dominant channel of entertainment in most homes (i do say MOST homes) it offers sparse recreational value in the form of Sitcoms, Reality shows and of course movies. But being the digital sluts that we are, it has become hard for us to sit down in front of the tube, set our brains to runlevel one and start zapping or consuming this linear form of entertainment. Most of the time WHEN we even watch tv its allmost always with our laptops perched up in front of us. Peering over the computerscreen at the tv realy shows that it is only a secundary form of entertainment for us. 

Old things and boomin stuff. 

vulcanoBut sometimes we DO watch the weirdest things. Only yesterday, the Antiques roadshow on the BBC grabbed our attention. This is a show where people come with their old stuff and have it valued on tv. Most of the time THEY think its worth something while in reality it is not. Yet sometimes the roles are reversed and stuff that was deemed ripe for the looney bin gets estimated at thousands of pounds. Its about the nerdiest lamest show on the BBC, yet it caught our eye yesterday. After that it was a breathtaking documentary about the biggest eruption of mount PinaTubo in the Phillipines. Now National Geographic is a wonderfull source of info. But with this documentary the human mind just could not fathem the size of the event. The millions of tonns of ashes, the temperatures and the pressure that where associated with this eruption are just beyond the realm of imagination. The best quote to visualise the terrential rains mixing in with the ashes in the atmosphere was that " It rained concrete ". It kept us glued to the tube ! 


Google Lectures !!!! 

videoSo in hindsight i must say : We are information junkies. We like some brainless shit-com from time to time, but if you DO want to keep us occupied feed us some information. So why not go to the one stop information shop on the net ?  Google ! I'm no G-slut (well , perhaps I am) but they offer their own internal educational lectures up on Google Video. This lets you be one of the boys over at google and watch lectures about all kinds of things. You can see a full list HERE.  So thats pretty darn cool ! I've browsed through some topics and must say this is realy something to watch not only to spend the time, but to get smarter in the process. This information crack-whore is going to get her fix here !  You can even download them !

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For me to poop on !

The first time I saw him, I went like "What the frack is this ?" Some rubber handpuppet in the form of a dog with a sigar in his mouth ? Why is he shouting at all those star wars fans .. And why haven't they beaten him up yett ? (oh yes,  cause they are nerds). It was one of the most bizarre opening scenes to "yet-another-internet-flick" that I got in my Email. 20 minutes later, after playing the video in its totality, tears where rolling down my cheeks with laughter. Even after watching the flick for five times it still cracked me up. I had discovered Conan O'briens Insult Comic dog .. Triumph.
It all took of from then, In those pre-youtube days one actually had to digg (no , not that kind of digg) around for videos. So my schoolbuddy Swift and me spent hours scrounging the net for new little flicks of our favorite insult comic dog. The line " For me to Poop On" became a classic and everybody started looking at us funny, whenever we said it. But the bottom line is : Triumph is a part of the internet Cult. An inside joke with geeks, a running gag with nerds. Perhaps his memory has faded away in this fast moving digital timeline as even the Numa-Numa kid wants to get back into the action…. But just for old times sake : The clip that started a revolution.
Triumph at Star Wars.
Ps : Don't crap your pants when the Dragonslayer enters the picture.  

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Msn Messed-up-inger.

msnI'm one of the last people who likes to walk in the blue Microsoft line. Its not that i'm anti MS, I just think Steve Balmer in all his sweating glory foaming at the mouth while screaming 'Developers', looks like a  walking EVIL version of Jaba the Hut. ( And let me point out : Evil version , Cause the Mighty Jabba is pretty cool). One of the things that bugs the crap out of me is when I "need' to walk in the blue line. I need to navigate my open-source-linux-mac-minded brain through the illogical reality that is the Microsoft Dominated world.

And so people send powerpoint presentations, create .doc files, and shower me in .wmv streams. And thanks to more then one year of "switching" experience, where I completely changed every computer in our house from Windows to Mac or an open source variant of Linux. Using operating systems like Ubuntu, Mac OS, but also free open source alternatives to most software like The Giimp, Neo-Office, Adium, Gaim, Skype and many many more.

But as much as you want to change the world , you can only start with yourself. So i'm stuck in a blue lined world where a lot of the people I know are using : MSN MESSENGER. Yes sure , it can be condemmed as the wire of the noobies but .. still . I don't hang out with geeks ALL the time. And the other 'normal' people just use msn.

Gone are the day of ICQ (THOSE where the days !), now everyone is on MSN. This program has evolved of being just another chat client to some kind of orgasmic over-pimped  version of a lovechild between Myspace and a box of Play Doh . They call it : MSN  LIVE. Populated by idiotic emoticons, flash animations and all kinds of horrible graphical extra's. Top it all off with some insane activex controls that alow people to shake your screen and you have a hackers ice cream sundae ! Needless to say . I despise having to USE msn even more then MSN itsself. 

offAnd not because its Microsoft. No , I hate the program because its a carcrash between Ali G and a drag queen. But I hate Microsoft for refusing to open up the one vital component that is a switchers dream : MSN Webcam support. Untill now the only reliable and fast way to set up a connectoin between two computers running the msn messenger protocol , is using MSN Messenger. If you are on LInux  ? Tough luck, If you're on Mac, Tough luck. The only way to get it working properly is by using their lame excuse for a peace of software. Before ANYONE screams "Mercury" as an open source Webcam alternative for chatting to MSN Messenger users from a REAL computer, think again buddies, Mercury is a good stab at it .. nothing more.

Yet today these troubles are far from my mind, because Msn Messenger is DOWN , and it looks like its global.  " Service temporarely unavaiilable' says the msn messenger website. And the social repercussions do seem to be quite farreaching. My MSN list (I use Adium) is populated but nobody is talking. Reason ? Somehow msn users are unable to send any messages to eachother. I'm experiencing not only a  new social plain of existence ( I have no one talking to me) but a mental "maré tranquilatis" as I can work away unbothered. Surely MSN will be back in a bitt and the catter can commence … I thought this small moment of instant messaging repose, was something worth mentioning. 

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Oh Ow ! I'm going 2.0 !

It is only a recent phenomenon. And I do blame Dave from the Globalgeekpodcast for it, but i've turned into a web 2.0 slut these days. I catch myself in the middle of the day, surfing to my NETVIBES homepage and looking at my RSS feeds, reading over my mail accounts and trying to decide what color I would like to use for my Gmail calendar. Later that day I download a cool desktop picture from wallpapr or resize it using resizr . And as I sync up all my bookmarks between my browsers with Googlesync I am beginning  to see that no longer my cd-bag, but my bookmark collection is becoming my biggest bag of tricks.




My web 2.0 future ?

I think its a natural evolution. By doing the Global Geek Podcast for about 2 months now I have been exposed to a great deal of web 2.0 sites and services. Some of the ones I review, stick around and before I know it I start using them. And then there is of course Dave's never ending fascination with Firefox Extensions. Until not to long ago I thought them to be silly, and none standard. Some of these little add-ons for your firefox seemed trivial at best. At the most some flimsy thing you play around with for ten minutes, then forget all about it, only to have it eat away hard disk space for the rest of the day.  To me a browser was just what it was. A browser. Ok , with Internet Explorer its also a save haven for all the stuff that wants to fuck-up your pc (basically your windows-XP-html eating suicide kit) but nothing more.

And yet , things evolve. The browser is becoming my tool of choice more and more. Wether it is to write this blogentry, resize pictures, or even draw flowcharts online. Its all through trusty firefox.  And it gets worse ever weekend. When Dave drags up yet another bunch of excellent "sites and services" to use on the WWW. Every week I add more and more bookmarks (and i'm very picky about what I bookmark) yet my "web 2.0 toolkit" is gaining weight like Oprah on a Donut Diet.  

paWhat HAS taken me by surprise is the way I have adopted Google Documents (let's just call it Google Writely) as a place to store online documents. Not that I write up essays, but just quick peaces of information, configuration settings I should not forget, and mostly a lot of stuff I create or need on the road and am just to darn sloppy to hold on to. (EVEN on my laptop). I'm horrible with paper, and I'm bad with .doc files. So storing them on line is a great way to keep track.

What it all ends up on is that i'm becomming a web 2.0 slut and that the broadband connection running into my house is my heart-lung machine once again. 

More information : What is Web 2.0 

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