What happens when Knightwise and KD get to chatting during an early morning commute? Episode KW1106: PodSafe Tunnels.
We are back with another weekly videoblog and fill you in on whats going down in the Knightwise.com sliders community. We drop a couple of big names on who is signing up for our “Avengers assemble” project where we are looking for guestbloggers, content creators and backend mavens. As a bonus we swivel the camera around and take a close look at the production desk and what kind of clutter we use to punch the show together.
When I opened up my window to cyberspace this morning, the news was all over the web : Google announced the termination of Google Reader starting June 1st. This extremely handy service that has been a major source of information and content filtering for me over the last couple of years , is about to return a ‘404 not found’ page when summer rolls along. Suggestions for alternatives are abundant and possible “replacements” for Google Reader see their servers crumbling because of the massive exodus off yet another Google product that is sinking. As I fret to find out a way to sustain my automated information scripts .. I fearfully glance towards Feedburner and their single basket holding all my podcast feeds (and the only link to my subscribers). As cries of outrage (in the form of animated gif images) fill the web .. the sets in : The cloud fairy tale has no “happily ever after”.
After the collapse of the web 2.0 bubble and the zillions of startups that had no sustainable business model (aside from burning venture capital) we thought that “The Cloud” had come of age. Surely the big players like Microsoft and Google with their countless free services would be a “Safe bet” for our internet needs ? So we laughed at the nerds who ran their own mail servers. We scuffed our local ISP’s with their POP3 accounts and shoved our entire digital communication stream towards Yahoo, Microsoft or Google. As these giants lured us in with extra services and functionality .. that “webmail” account soon started to become a part of an ever growing ecosystem in which we entrusted our data and our workflows. Pretty soon “Sign up here” became the surrogate for “install now” and we watched our laptops turn into nothing more then pimped out Thin Clients. Office in the cloud, Mail in the cloud, Storage in the Cloud, Backups in the Cloud.. everything was possible and we thought it would last forever.
But there is no such thing as happily ever after.
As a cross platform slider who moves from OS to OS (and from device to device) the cloud was a great solution. The downside is that it is not one that is going to last forever. Somewhere, cloud based solutions from big players got the status of being eternal, but they are not. Google Reader brings another name to the list of soon to be terminated services, Hotmail and MSN Messenger being other A-listers here. As we signed up to yet another free service we boldly shouted : ‘If they ever make us pay .. we will leave’. Today I hear people offer cold hard cash to keep their Google Reader (or IGoogle service) alive.
So not every fairy tale has a happy ending and you don’t always get a chance to pay. Sometimes free services don’t stop becoming free, they stop becoming anything. Think about it next time you sign up for an online backup server to house the pictures of your newborn, or as you drag your tax papers onto Dropbox. Will they still be there tomorrow, and if not .. where can YOU go ?
Thus we dig frantically through our mailbox for the address of that geek who runs his own mail server , we hope its not too late to ask him if he ever built an RSS Reader on his own machine. For as this grey cloud crawls across the sky .. we know Google Reader isn’t going to be in it much longer.
The internet is a valuable source of information but the question is : How can we get the most out of it ? In this show we take a look at the possibilities of gaining knowledge and experience from the wide wide web. We look at the different sources of information that are out there and how you can streampunk these informationstreams into your way of life. Last but not least we give you some essential tips on where and how to consume your carefully selected information to “curate the library of your mind’.
Music by Aes Dana : Principles of Gravity.
Since I’ve ported my brand new 11.6 inch Macbook Air to Ubuntu Linux, I’ve noticed that I seldom boot back into OSX on this little machine. Life is good on the Ubuntu side. Because for where it might lack powerful video editing tools or multitrack recorders that come with the same ease of use as Mac, Ubuntu (and Linux in general) shines when it comes to the myriad of free software that is available. Many blogposts will tell you the “top 5 apps” you NEED to install on your Linux machine, but you might know those lists by heart because they always offer the same apps. Today I’ll serve you up three applications that don’t necessarily show up on those lists , but for me make all the difference.
Though, with the Unity interface, Ubuntu might have moved on from spinning desktop cubes and wobbly windows, ‘looks’ are still a big part of the experience. Because 80 percent of your “post install” work consists of looking for “the right wallpaper”, I decided to ‘have somebody do that for me’ : Enter “Variety” a light, well written and awesome application that will switch wallpapers for you. You can choose the interval time, but also many many external sources of wallpaper material. Predefined Flickr groups of wallpapers are just one of the options, you can have Variety search Flickr for certain tags and keywords and pull down those wallpapers for you automatically. Luckily Variety also has the option to add your own folder filled with your personal wallpapers and mix everything up a bit with the external feeds. The menu bar icon up top lets you know it’s been installed and gives you access to all the settings. A cute little app that gives my tweaked system a little extra shine. (AND lets you use the fantastic KNIGHTWISE.COM WALLPAPERS on your machine Available from the Ubuntu software center or via sudo apt-get install variety
Although it was a pretty tough call between ‘soundconverter’ and ‘kazam screencaster’ to make this list, I chose the latter. Having to “capture” some internet video lately, I decided to give my Ubuntu machine the chance to prove its worth. Kazam is an online screen recorder that does its job well. You can record your entire screen, or sections of it, and have that video recorded in H264/mp4 format or VP8. You get to pick the framerate and the folder where the recordings are stored. No rocket science here. However the beauty comes with the combination of Kazam and Pulseaudio Volume control that let you record a much needed ‘sound input combination’. You cannot only record the screen with audio coming FROM ‘the sceen’ (your computer output) OR from your Microphone .. You can combine those 2 sound inputs and give “live” commentary on whatever youtube video you are grabbing. For a screencaster like me thats essential, AND damn handy when you want to record Google hangouts and the like. The output is very reliable and the process is dead easy. Kazam can also be found in the Ubuntu Software Center or via sudo apt-get install kazam
As the winner of the “Ubuntu app showdown” competition Rightlead is an RSS reader. Whow ! I hear you say, another RSS reader ? In order to make this list it better come with belly dancing Ewoks as a key feature because when it comes to RSS reader we have seen them all. The kicker with Lightread is that it constantly “syncs” with your Google Reader feeds ( you subscribe to new stuff, your stuff is in Lightread ) Lightread is simple, elegant, lets you tag and star articles and export them to Instapaper and Pocket. No rocket science but brilliant in its simplicity. I dare say that Lightread could be a native Mac app .. thats how good its done. I boot it up when I open my machine to read my feeds instead of surfing the web. To see is to believe. Lightread is available from the Ubuntu Software Center or via sudo apt-get install lightread.
You can find more applications from the Ubuntu App showdown HERE and HERE.
We kick off season 4 with a great tutorial podcast on how to let the internet work for you. A deep dive into the functionalities of ‘If This Then That’ enlightens you how to tie all of your social platforms together and through automation, have cyberspace work for you.