Archives

Archives / 2005 / April
  • Binary WAIS & indexing for searchable Flash animations

    I blogged several days ago about Internet technology at the moment not widely being able to index multimedia files, so podcasting content can be indexed and searched through by services like Google.  So for the moment, WAIS searches are limited largely, if not exclusively, to text documents. 

    Undoubtedly, such functionality will come along and be consumer-affordable, but I would think that the Flash community would be highly in favor of this.  I don't clain to be an expert on Flash, and I know to a certain degree an animation can procude metadata about an animation.  But how far away are we from making this work for long-form animations and movies?

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  • Digital Pontification: Podcast Show Notes (4/29)


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    Topics discussed:

    • I don't think skunks smell that bad...really
    • Listener E-mail: what celeb who would I hook up with?  Alyssa Milano, hands down.
    • Paris Hilton's podcast starts April 29
    • Vallejo in the house: Glenn Munlawin's podcast debut
    • The staple crops of karaoke night: "Mandy" and "Just Once"
    • Other sound-seeing tours coming
    • I'm going to try to hit the road this weekend and see if I can buy a mobile recording device locally
    • My Bad - it wasn't Chris Frazier that had cool feedback on the ability to voice indexing
    • Lori froim Alabama reminids me of National Treasure with Nicolas Cage
    Links mentioned:
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        • Digital Pontification: Podcast Show Notes (4/28)


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          Topics discussed:

          • There was an unbelievably wonderful sunrise this morning...and I'm an idiot for not taking a picture of it
          • Praise from Caesar - Dan Klass e-mails me about my comments on his podcasting book
          • Lemony Snickets on DVD already?  Good grief...this is even worse than Spanglish!
          • I NEVER watch the Director's Version of my DVDs
          • Child rearing at its finest: my fond memories getting spanked by the nuns in Catholic school
          • Mashup - ZZ Top vs. Pink "Sharp Dressed Party"
          • Can/will there ever be a Metallica podcast?
          • Growing up grammatical
          • Charles Chen sounds off on single-page websites
          • Congrats to my main man Dr. Jay Sunga
          Links mentioned:
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              • Business, religon, and porn: the origins of PodcastAlley.com

                Michael Geohegan from Podcast Solutions conducted a great interview with Chris McIntyre from PodcastAlley.com about the origins of his site & directory service, how he cnanged the game of promoting podcasts, and his thoughts on business, religon, and porn - by Chris's own admission, the main content categories that would drive podcasting. 

                Chris also shares his vision for the future of podcasting - producing, distributing, marketing, and archiving.

                It's a great listen: http://www.podcastsolutions.com/archives/2005/04/24/podcast-solutions-interview-chris-mcintyre/

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              • Pre-compilation with ASP.NET 1.x

                OK, I'm thought I understood the page compilation process in ASP.NET 1.x to explain it, but I guess not.  I had thought that in that version of the .NET Framework, each and every .ASPX file HTTP handler and other resources, the first time it's accessed, takes a little while to spin-up because it checks for the existence of a corresponding DLL within IIS, and finding none, creates one.  Subsequent page requests are speedier than the initial hit because of the existence of this DLL.

                I backed up a large web app to another server on the same network today, and expected to have to browse to as many ASPX pages as I could to get the ball rolling.  But while my site's DEFAULT.ASPX page in the root directory did take awhile (actually, a lot longer than I'm used to, like 20 seconds), the entire app seemed to run as if it had been in place for years.

                So with ASP.NET 1.1 does the entire app get pre-compiled?

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              • Wiki feature set: highlight proposed changes to current document

                One thing I'm playing with at the moment is a test module that will work with the ASP.NET page model's OnTextCnanged event, to displayed changed content in subsequent versions of a wiki web page.  So for instance, in a document I wrote yesterday, I edit the content and post the update to the server. 

                Upon looking at the changed content, a small Label control (or other visual device) shows the precise area(s) that were changed between versions, and highlights them as such.

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              • "Podcast Solutions" book looks to be real gem

                I mentioned in my podcast this morning how the good folks at Friends of Ed, an APress company, are coming out with a new book (with a planned September release) on podcasting, "Podcast Solutions".  I've been fortunate to read a few of the pre-manuscript chapters, and it's phenomenal.  It's wonderfully researched, beautifully written, and very thorough for those of us that produce podcasts, or just those who enjoy listening to them.  It's shaping up to be a great read for the novice and experienced podcast enthusiast.

                Do make plans to pick this up.



                Podcast Solutions
                by: Michael Geoghegan & Dan Klass

                Podcast Solutions is a shrewd and comprehensive guide to podcasting. From downloading podcasts to producing your own for fun or profit, Podcast Solutions covers the entire world of podcasting with insight, humor, and the unmatched wisdom of experience.

                In its 200 pages, you'll learn everything you need to know to find, subscribe to and receive quality shows on your iPod, computer or any other mp3 player, how to plan and design your own top quality podcast, including expert advice on designing a show built for success, how to include music, phone calls and audio feedback into your podcast inexpensively and legally, how to Set up your "podcast studio," whether you're a casual hobbyist or a committed professional.  Includes insights and buying advice on finding the right microphones, mixers, software, hardware, and more to meet your needs and fit your budget.

                You will also learn insider's tips on creating a web presence that will enhance the popularity and professionalism of your show, how to make money with your podcast by attracting sponsors, advertisers, and other revenue sources and many more. Podcast Solutions is the only podcasting book you'll need. It even comes with a CD containing all the software you could need to get started, as well as some professional samples to show you how it's done
                 
                Major Selling Points
                • Potentially huge market ­ podcasting is just starting to get really famous. Podcasters include Paris Hilton, Democrat John Edwards, and the BBC.
                • Our book is written by two of the most famous podcasting pioneers
                • Our book not only shows you how to make podcasts, but it also shows you how to start making money out of it, making the transition from amateur pastime to professional pursuit
                • Our book includes as CD with all the software you could need to get started, plus sample podcasts to show you how it's done

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              • Digital Pontification: Podcast Show Notes (4/27)

                I rapidly downed two King Car Lemon teas, which have the world's largest concentration of caffeine, so the rush kicked in during the podcast (and you can tell).  I also talked about my brief flirtation with reality TV.


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                Topics discussed:

                • Yes, I did live in Seattle for 10 days...a recollection of my experience visiting Jimi Hendrix's grave
                • APress' forthcoming podcasting book is a real gem
                • Glenn from Vallejo hypes metal podcasts
                • I'm polemical, NOT political
                • Did I ever tell you I was almost on a reality show?
                • Me and my timing: CastBlaster finally goes to semi-public beta, but only for WindowsXP and for selected soundcards
                • Reading the lunch menu for Chuck's Steak House
                Links mentioned:

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                    • I'm not into "single-page" web sites

                      A lot of people I know from the PHP community tout the fact that they develop entire sites consisting of a single dynamic .PHP file, and numerous query string variables.  These are used to determine everything from syles, to page templates, to dynamic content to load.  It's really quite clever.

                      But, that's not my thing.  As a marketer, I believe in the indirect value of showing a client the site's mere volume, just based on the visible URLs.  The site just looks bigger, implying a lot of folders, implying a lot of content. 

                      I guess we could pull off both tricks simultaneously in ASP.NET by using rewritten URLs and a large switch/seelct case statement in global.asax within the Page_Request event.  And I'm still an advocate of staying away from the query string if I can.  Makes for ugly and hard-to-remember URLs.

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                    • Digital Pontification: Podcast Show Notes (4/26)


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                      Topics discussed:

                      • A tour inside my inbox; a butt-load of spam
                      • I'm going to have the TourneyLogic guys on my sportstalk radio show and then podcast (for real this time!)
                      • New friend from the Netherlands - shoutout to Dino from KISSPodcast.com
                      • APress launching new podcast book
                      • A-ha, it's not pronounced "DEEEtroit" (thanks Bob from Tennessee)
                      • Trust me...you don't want to hear a podcast recorded at 8Hz
                      • First sound-seeing tour when coming up (as soon as my iRiver arrives)...Will, Edo and I test-drive the BMW I'm getting
                      • Damn horny coqui frogs and their 90-decible mating call
                      • Good thing I don't curse in my podcasts...there are kids and mothers listening
                      • I'm trying to lay down an audio read-along track for a PowerPoint talk I'm doing
                      • I gots to get me a copy of CastBlaster
                      • Podcasting is an amazing of expression for a generation influenced by porno and voyeurism
                      Links mentioned:

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                          • Will/can there ever be a Metallica podcast?

                            I'm a huge Metallica fan.  Let's get that straight.  But a thought crept into my brain this evening, which made me wonder if the whole Napster controversy will prevent possible fans from producing and distributing Metalica podcasts, with MP3s being the format in which podcasts are produced.

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                          • A new conundrum for podcasters: web host data transfer limitations

                            I discovered by way of a very stressful and unexpected think tank session a new problem that I believe many podcast producers are going to confront eventually.  The local company that hosts my site's media content (which resells space from a third-party host provider's server, separate from my public web stuff) informed me today that my site was the single culprit causing a huge server bottleneck.  This was due to extremely high data transfer levels from my webspace, leading to reduced performance for the other sites hosted on the server I share.

                            I instantly knew this without doubt was due to my podcasts.

                            First, understand that I started podcasting using a model which I thought was clever, deviating slightly from the general RSS-based model.  I launched my company's podcasts three weeks ago by offering a digital music delivery service, featuring 15 copyright-free songs from local musicians available at http://music.kuam.com.  The MP3s were freely distributed under a release agreement with the artists, and could be downloaded from said URL, in addition to being available via the corresponding RSS feed for those already preferring the podcast format.  The hook (or so I had intended) was that people could right-click and download tracks to their machine, and then learn about the magic of podcasting by subscribing to the RSS feed, which provided additional free tracks, not available merely over the Web.

                            My station produces four podcasts in all: a three-times-daily newscast, my daily talk show, and a weekly sportstalk radio show, in addition to our music service.  The music service was the only podcast being offered both over the Web and on RSS; the others are exclusively RSS.  And although we've only been podcasting for less than a month, my traffic logs show us passing an astounding 13.3 GB of data...per day.  

                            I've since learned that many people weren't downloading the files in the traditional manner, loading the music in their web browser's embedded media player for playback rather than saving the files to their drives for later use/reuse.  And my server traffic logs indicate that the same people did this continually, for the entire set of songs.  As a result, we've had our music MP3s accessed over 11,800 times, but not necessarily downloaded.  By all the same people. 

                            I've learned a lot from this.

                            Thus, my experience brings to light a new conundrum I believe people like me who really believe in the future of podcasting are going to unfortunately run into: bandwidth and data transfer limitations brought about by severe traffic loads, resulting in increased costs.  This will hurt the medium by restricting many people's potential output, and impose additional charges largely unforseen by service providers.

                            Dion, who runs KISSPodcast.com, shares my projection.  He sees this potentially happening to his site, now in its third episode but already rapidly expanding in popularity, as more and more of his content is put on the Internet.  More files available for download means more traffic as more people access them, which severely inflates the allowed amount of data transfer.  Most web hosting companies don't account for such huge traffic swells and provide for a set monthly data transfer, applying additional charges thereafter.  As an example, my web site is allowed 25GB of data per month, at this rate, I'd far surpass that level by halfway through Tuesday.  In my case, proposed moving my stuff to a different server or service provider.  Which was the worst suggestion they could have made, given my growing audience and already-in-place marketing push promoting our content.

                            I realize in retrospect that offering web-downloadable MP3s may not have been the most responsible thing to do in terms of using server space, bandwidth and traffic.  And this is especially for a site like mine, which is hosted by a third-party provider, instead of internally; and further, hosted on a shared server, as opposed to a dedicated one.  So to manage the load, I removed the ability for people to download files from the public Web and transitioned users to accept the RSS feed as the exclusive delivery mechanism.  We'll see how this plays out in terms of traffic, throughput and bandwidth consumption, but I can already tell you this is going to return things to normal.  So my host is happy, and indirectly, so do are other clients on the server.  

                            With the optimal distribution for podcasts being in archival - MP3s placed and kept online for long periods of time - it doesn't make sense to constantly upload and then delete MP3s (which often for use in podcasts can be large, often around the 30-45MB range) just to stay within a space limitation or to self-regulate a server's aggregate load.  We need to have our stuff online into the future for people to enjoy.  This new medium can't be temporal.  I want a backlog of stuff I've done and see other people's body of work grow over time.

                            But at the same time, this doesn't allow me to design my services in the manner that I'd like to, and come up with something neat.  It was a pretty cool digital music delivery service which the artists and people really enjoyed using.  It sucks that as we continue to get more and more successful I have to have less and less content available.

                            So lay blame to whomever you wish: my host, my users, me.  This ultimately will cost someone, with more resources needed to provide an expanding base of content. 

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                          • URGENT: I need a good Windows Media streaming host, like NOW!

                            "Have content, will move..."

                            I just got word that hard times have befallen the host I use for streaming media/podcasting, so I'm desperately searching for a great media host.  It's not a tall order, simple actually.

                            • Must provide several hundred MB of server space for hosting Windows Media streaming files (WMVs) and MP3s for podcasting
                            • Must be able to facilitate transfer of several GBs of data per day.
                            • Must support Windows Media streaming video (and optionally, audio)
                            • Must be able to disable directory browsing
                            • Must provide server stats
                            If anyone knows of any good hosts (or are one), please shoot me a line at jason@kuam.com ASAP).  Thanks.

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                          • Digital Pontification: Podcast Show Notes (4/25)


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                            Topics discussed:

                            • Last week's 5.5 earthquake...you should have been here for the 8.2 one in '93. 
                            • I've been through 200MPH+ typhoons, too
                            • Metallica's "Some Kind of Monster" review: Kirk defends the solo, rebukes riff-o-rama, Dave Mustaine's moment with Lars
                            • My podcast is a hit in the SEC (Tennessee, especially)
                            • Stephen Hawking covers the BackStreet Boys
                            • SHOUTOUTS: Lori from Huntsville, Alabama / Glenn Munlawin from Vallejo, California
                            • Sir Wally McClure's big podcast debut
                            • LISTENER HOMEWORK: Cut me a promo or shoutout and I'll play it
                            • VIEWER E-MAIL: how will free podcasting affect Howard Stern when he goes on Sirius Sattellite Radio?
                            • MEA CULPAS: Bob from Detroit is not a curling enthusiast
                            • Lots of cool podcasts coming out of Illinois; The KISS podcast rules; EarlAndLeona.com  produce Juno, Alaska's first podcast
                            • "Showgirls" is among VH1's Movies that Rock?  I don't think so...
                            Links mentioned:
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                              • What have I accomplished in 31 years being alive?

                                Now being a full 31 years a 1 day old (sharing my b-day with Barbara Streisand and Kelly Clarkson), I'm reflecting on what's happened:

                                • I've lived through 5 presidential terms
                                • I've witnessed the death of a king (Elvis)
                                • There are as many flavors of Baskin-Robbins ice cream for years of my life
                                • I've witnessed the change in Michael Jackson
                                • I've lived through two wars
                                • John Lennon was assassinated
                                • I saw the greatest volleyball team to ever set foot on a court (1988 USA Olympic team)
                                • I've been to college twice, attained a bunch of degree and certifications, all of which I've yet to use (technically speaking)
                                • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl
                                • The Boston Red Sox won the World Series
                                More to come...

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                              • Getting lots of spam this weekend

                                I'm not sure if it's a seasonal thing, but I've been getting a ton of unsolicited mail since Saturday.   I know my mail server's spam filter isn't down, because the quarantine is chock-full, too...it's just weird to get loan offers, low mortgage rates, inquiries about my ability to "perform", and letters from kings of African countried I didn't know exist asking for insane amounts of money.

                                Damn.

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                              • A blog-only Google subcategory? Would it work?

                                One thing at times I'd like is for Google to filter its search results to those being non-weblog pages, and then genuine blog posts.  I've arguments both for and against using blogs as credible, reliable sources of info, but I think if Google and others like AllTheWeb could segregate their searches into a separate category just for blogs, as is done for news, this would be cool.

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                              • Funny pic from a weekend yard sale

                                I saw this today while driving around, so I snapped a camera phone pic of it.



                                I wonder if they grant bulk rates for buying multiple family members at the same time.

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                              • Digital Pontification: Podcast Show Notes (4/22)

                                Man, I'm hardcore....a 5.5 earthquake hit right in the middle of my podcast, but I stayed at my desk and kept recording (although my co-worker went ballistic...you can hear her)!  Yet another reason I need to get an iRiver mobile recorder.


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                                Topics discussed:

                                • Yes, I'm drinking ginger ale…no I don’t have the stomach flu
                                • My favorite suit looks great on TV, but in real life I look like a used car salesman/game show host reject
                                • SlaveSoul gets no love from Guam radio
                                • When next we speak I'll be 31 (Barbara Streisand and Kelly Clarkson, too)
                                • Happy belated birthday, Jenna Jameson!
                                • A 5.5 earthquake hit right in the middle of my show...real-time reactions
                                • Oops...Laurel is NOT from the UK, she's from the Bay Area
                                • Shoutout to Mike Tanguileg
                                • The spring hiring blitz - KUAM's been getting resumes from Arizona State, Penn, Miami, Syracuse...but no UOG
                                • Useless TV trivia - Willard Scott was the first Bozo the Clown & created Ronald McDonald
                                • Of all the people to not be able to view our streaming video...my boss
                                • I need to get 12-year-old Alex The Baseball Phenom on my radio sports show
                                • I get more MS job offers for gigs i'm not qualifed for than before
                                • ASP.NET quickstart turorials working now
                                Links Mentioned:
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                                  • Digital Pontification: Podcast Show Notes (4/21)


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                                    Topics discussed:

                                    • So today's that "420" thing in the mainland, huh?
                                    • Real-time argument with my co-worker if today is Bob Marley's birthday
                                    • I'm back on the King Car Iced Tea
                                    • You want to hear me open a drink?  What the hell is wrong with you people?
                                    • Thanks to new friends for setting me straight on World Curling Championships
                                    • Do Microsoft jockeys not know what podcasting really is?
                                    • My good buddy Wally McClure deserves to be knighted
                                    • I love Benny Hill, but I never really got Monty Python
                                    • Public school kids just showed up and excpected a tour of KUAM's station
                                    • The downside to podcasting: show contents can’t be indexed by search engines…yet
                                    • I want to know how you're accessing my podcasts (RSS aggregators, OS, PC/Mac, do you get it off my blog, etc.)
                                    • I get > 10x more traffic from RSS aggregators than over the web for my blog
                                    • Have you ever copied something on one PC and tried pasting it on another PC?  I did.  Duh.
                                        Subscribe to my podcast

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                                      • Want the REAL philosophy in The Matrix? Play the game, watch the animated short.

                                        It's unfortunate that most of the fairweather people (and I would assume many who fancy themselves hardcore) don't get the whole picture of the Wachoski Brothers' "The Matrix" saga, meaning they've only watched the three films.  Or perhaps it's more preferable that the deepest philosophical concepts lie within the series of animated shorts "The Animatrix" and in the video game "Enter The Matrix". 

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                                      • Creating Wikipedia-like links in your wiki

                                        One of the things that bugs me about wikis these days isn't that the majority of them rely on some sort of standard string pattern (often CamelCasing) to identify internal links that point to destinations within the wiki containing content on that subject - it's that the links are quite often presented as CamelCasedLinkTextWhichCanGetHardToReadAndIsUgly.  Get it?

                                        Providing normal-looking links in a large wiki application is something WikiPedia does extremely well.  Considering the literal millions of content areas it features, it renders links as real words, not garbled text.  In my opinion, this is a user experience towards which we should all aspire.

                                        I believe in form as well as function, so below is code I developed for a wiki parser component that allows text entered into a TextBox to accept camel-cased syntax for automatic link assignment, but then displays the link-worthy hypertext as normal dialogue, without words bunched together.

                                        <%@ Page Language="C#" %>
                                        <%@ import Namespace="System.Text.RegularExpressions" %>
                                        <script runat="server">

                                        private string camelCase = @"[A-Z]\w*[a-z]\w*[A-Z]\w*(?=\b)";
                                        private RegexOptions options = RegexOptions.Compiled;

                                        private void btnSubmit_Click(Object sender, EventArgs e)
                                        {
                                        // parses the text and return custom-formatted HTML
                                        lblParsed.Text = Regex.Replace(txtFirst.Text.Trim(),camelCase,new MatchEvaluator(this.FormatWikiText),options);
                                        lblParsed.Text = lblParsed.Text.Replace(System.Environment.NewLine,"\n\t<br/>");
                                        }

                                        private string FormatWikiText(Match m)
                                        {
                                        return "<a onmouseover=\"this.style.backgroundColor='#6699CC';\"
                                        onmouseout=\"this.style.backgroundColor='#ffffff';\" href=\"/content/" + m.Value + ".aspx\">"
                                        + BreakCamelCasing(m) + "</a>";
                                        }

                                        private string BreakCamelCasing(Match m)
                                        {
                                        // add a blank space in between each uppercase letter within the camel-cased word
                                        string s = m.Value;

                                        if((s == null) || (s.Length == 0))
                                        return string.Empty;

                                        StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();
                                        sb.Append(s[0]); // ignore the first character in the word

                                        for(int i=1;i<s.Length;i++) // count from the second character on
                                        {
                                        char c = s[i];
                                        if(char.IsUpper(c))
                                        sb.Append(" ");

                                        sb.Append(c);
                                        }

                                        return sb.ToString();
                                        }

                                        </script>
                                        <html>
                                        <head>
                                        </head>
                                        <body>
                                        <form runat="server">
                                        <h3>Sample Wiki text parser
                                        </h3>
                                        <hr />
                                        <p align="text">
                                        <asp:TextBox id="txtFirst" runat="server" Width="693px" Height="237px" TextMode="MultiLine"/>
                                        </p>
                                        <p>
                                        <asp:Button id="btnSubmit" onclick="btnSubmit_Click" runat="server" Text="Parse this text for the wiki"/>
                                        </p>
                                        <p>
                                        <asp:Label id="lblParsed" runat="server"/>
                                        </p>
                                        </form>
                                        </body>
                                        </html>
                                        Thanks to Dave Wanta from 123ASPX.com and AspNetEmail for his contributions.

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                                      • Digital Pontification: Podcast Show Notes (4/20)


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                                        Topics discussed:

                                        • Aw, crap...my WinXP PC wouldn't boot this morning
                                        • I am wiser now for having caught the World Curling Championships on ESPN
                                        • I'm stoked NBC is getting the NFL back
                                        • Open casting call for a dedicated weekly ASP.NET podcast
                                        • Guam's growing online community image gallery industry
                                        • eMarketer report says 6 million Americans have listened to a podcast
                                        Links mentioned:
                                          Subscribe to my podcast

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                                        • My e-mail pet peeve for today

                                          I hate it when people e-mail me from a certain address and then ask me to kindly respond to another.  Sorry, no dice.  I'm a lazy bastard, and unless it means getting me a job at ESPN, I'm not going to go through the extra step of copying-and-pasting a mailto into their To field.  I hit "reply" and whatever address it goes to, it goes to.  You figure out the rest.

                                          If you're so concerned about getting mail sent to a certain address, then send it from that address.  Period.

                                          And don't even get me started on people who have their secretaries call for them and say "Hi Jason, kindly hold for Mr. Jones...", or admin assistants who call up after sending me a fax to verbally confirm that I got it...

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                                        • A primer on podcasting for newbies

                                          An earlier casting call I made to co-host a weekly podcast dedicated to all things ASP.NET has gotten a pretty decent response from the Microsoft community, with one thing common: all respondents admitted they had heard of the podcast platform or have listened to a podcast, but hadn't ever produced one themselves.

                                          No sweat!  Here are two great links that show how easy it is:

                                          Enjoy!

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                                        • Retrofitting Vignette-style story links to existing news articles via a custom parser

                                          One of the things I'm doing with a new custom content parser I'm prototyping is retrofitting it with my company's existing news database.  This is a pretty large project, considering we've got over 15,000 articles, spanning multiple devices.  But therein lies the beauty.

                                          I'm basing a rework of our articles to include wiki-like internal links to (1) content pages describing people, dates, places, and events, and (2) linking to related articles we've already got posted.  The parser runs through an article's body prior to rendering and applies additional HTML formatting, which is the links themselves.  It's a pretty cool implementation model, because it's only applied for our main pages on the WWW, so the same content when viewed in WAP or mobile environments (or for printable pages) isn't touched, as that content comes out as bandwidth-friendly text.

                                          I've wanted to do this for years, but could never afford a content management system like Vignette.  Pretty slick, if I say so myself.

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                                        • Me and my wiki: I just can't bear ugly URLs and links...

                                          I mentioned previously the work I'm doing to get friendly URLs in my pet wiki project, and now I'm extending this to the on-page hyperlinks.  The base logic for my parser is based on recognizing camel-cased text, which links to content pages containing information about the camel-cased term. 

                                          Here's what I'm shooting for:

                                          1. The user enters "Find out more about JasonSalas and podcasting" in a TextBox control in an admin tool
                                            • the text is entered as-is into a database
                                          2. The text, when treated by my parser, is rendered in the page as an anchor link "<A>" reading "Find out more about Jason Salas and podcasting"
                                            • a helper method within the parser breaks up the camel-cased string into its logical parts
                                          3. The text points to an destination internal within my wiki
                                            • http://localhost/content/JasonSalas
                                          As I'm coming to understand, this is pretty much what WikiPedia does.  It works fine as-is, but damn this self-imposed QA of mine, I just can't live with it being ugly.

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                                        • Digital Pontification: Podcast Show Notes (4/19)

                                          No Cover Song 'O the Day today...sorry.  Left my CDs at home.  Lots of cool talk though...Beta 2 is out!


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                                          Topics discussed:

                                          • ASP.NET 2.0 Beta 2 is a go
                                          • No cover songs today - WEAK!
                                          • There's a local DJ named "Gordon Shumway" (that's Alf's real name from the 90's cartoon)
                                          • I spent yesterday morning reworking KUAM.COM's "Jobs" page and writing our wiki parser
                                          • An Introduction to CamelCasing for non-techies
                                          • I met Bob Marley's son last week....really!
                                          • I wonder if iRivers have better compression than desktop programs
                                          • LISTENER e-mail: Does it bother you that KUAM is almost always the first and quite often the only company to use emerging web technologies on Guam?  Hell, yeah!
                                          Links mentioned:
                                            Subscribe to my podcast

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                                          • Casting call: anyone want to co-host a weekly podcast on ASP.NET?

                                            I had an idea over the weekend to ask my fellow media savvy ASP.NET developers if they'd like to partner up in developing the format and hosting duties for a weekly podcast on ASP.NET topics.  I realize now that having done so over the weekend, it might not have gotten the exposure I was after, so I'm rehashing: http://weblogs.asp.net/jasonsalas/archive/2005/04/16/401123.aspx

                                            Drop me a line at jason@kuam.com if you're interested and we'll talk about it!  ;-)

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                                          • Job opening: Guam television reporter

                                            My company, KUAM, is Guam's largest broadcast firm and has immediate openings for TV reporters.  Qualified applicants must possess great visual storytelling abilities, interviewing savvy, must communicate extremely well, work under pressure and against tight deadlines, and be an outstanding communicator, both orally and in writing.

                                            Trust me...this is part of what I do, and it's the best gig in the world.  A really fun job in a U.S. territory (think of it as Hawaii divided by 100), a great working atmosphere, the chance to meet interesting people, and produce Guam's top-rated, award-winning newscast!  12 months of summer, relaxed island atmosphere, and great experience doing multimedia, multiplatform news (TV, radio, Web).

                                            If you're interested, e-mail your CV/resume ASAP to jobs@kuam.com, and if you've got a resume tape and/or writing samples, snail mail them to:

                                            KUAM, attn: News Department
                                            600 Harmon Loop Road
                                            Dededo, Guam 96912


                                            Hope to hear from you soon!  I'll make ya famous.  :)

                                            Check out KUAM online: www.kuam.com

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                                          • Digital Pontification: Podcast Show Notes (4/18)

                                            I cheated...I did the podcast a few hours early (24, in fact)...got some stuff to do Monday morning so I recorded the show on Sunday afternoon.  Enjoy!


                                            Download this podcast

                                            Topics discussed:

                                            • I finally know what iRivers are
                                            • Best way to kill the mood at a party is have your iPod go from playing tunes to playing a podcast in Shuffle mode
                                            • Podcasts are killing the diskspace on my iPod Mini (maybe I really should have gotten the 40GB iPod)
                                            • New teaching position for me is Integrated Marketing Communications, NOT advertising
                                            • Technical talk coming up: "The Pentathlon of Web-Centric Applications: RSS, WAP, blogs, podcasts, and wikis"
                                            • The Holy Trinity of producing winning Internet radio - broadcasting/satellite radio, streaming, podcasting
                                            • VH1 and MTV really leveraging custom ringtones
                                            • Listener Email: How long does it take to produce a KUAM podcast?  How did KUAM Podcasts get started?
                                            Subscribe to my podcast

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                                          • Disabling directory browsing: different approach, same result (kind of)

                                            I recently learned something about customer services, from a customer's point of view.  I like to keep things nice and separate, so although my company's site sites on a web server hosted by ORCSWeb in North Carolina, a have a separate web server where I archive my media files for streaming and podcasts.  When setting up our podcasts about two weeks ago, I had written the local company from whom I lease the server space to disable directory browsing. 

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                                          • The Holy Trinity of producing winning Internet radio - broadcasting, streaming, and podcasting

                                            More and more lately, I've been stumbling across podcast feeds that are web-"rebroadcasts" of professionally produced and aired radio shows, like SportsBloggersLive and WebTalkRadio.  I've noticed that many of them mention the fact that they are also accessible as live audio streams.  Talk about blanket market coverage - having mass media relevance with traditional radio listeners; those accessing the content via streaming platforms who geographically wouldn't be able otherwise to tune in; and the mobile, time-shifted nature of the podcast community.  One might justifiably consider this the Holy Trinity of Internet content.

                                            This very well might be the saving grace of the synchronization concerns so many potential radio advetisers voice when considering whether or not to place ads.  It guarantees exposure to targeted and generalized audiences, allows for replay, and spans markets.

                                            One of the four podcasts I produce for KUAM, JockTalk 61, my sportstalk radio show, is distributed in this fashion.  This is a major advantage for me, because me show's target audience, being sports aficionados, isn't largely available from 11am-12pm on Wednesdays, and don't even get me started on the fact that I'm on an AM signal.  Yikes.  But, the streaming and after-market podcasts are greatly accepted by people from all over (and in the case of the latter, I've been told better quality, since we're recording straight out of the air studio and the resultant MP3s aren't subject to AM degradation).  Pretty sweet deal.

                                            As a professional broadcaster myself, I don't fear or discount emerging technologies like these - I embrace them.  Better I use them to my advantage as a means of getting my message out that be buried by them.

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                                          • KUAM Wiki and rewritten URLs

                                            I've been completing work on the fourth and last of my big quad of platforms over the last 18 months: WAP, blogs, podcasts, and wikis.  My sample KUAM Wiki project is being based on several wiki models, including Tyler Jensen's Coroporate Wiki demo, and Hector J. Correa's sample wiki, in addition to the more well-known public projects on SourceForge, like SushiWiki.

                                            There's nothing overly spectacular about my project, just some typical R&D to fit it into my company's app center.  Still, I'm a big believer in form as well as function, so I'm not big on using the query string to pass variables or data, whn such can be avoided.  I blogged in 2003 about this very fact, mentioning the abilities of the .NET Framework to rewrite URLs.

                                            So, wiki URLs that would normally come out like: http://localhost/kuamwiki/edit-content.aspx?keyword=Jason_Salas will probably appears like http://localhost/kuamwiki/edit/Jason_Salas

                                            It works for us.  :)


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                                          • Anyone want to hook-up in hosting a weekly podcast on ASP.NET?

                                            I was thinking last night about how much I enjoy podcasting.  As a professional broadcaster, it's really cool to take time-shifted content delivery to the next level.  I listen to many feeds, and permanently subscribe to several.  I sincerely applaud Carl Franklin with the podcast he produces for .NET & Microsoft development in general, however, I've yet to find a feed that concentrated on my love, ASP.NET.

                                            I produce four podcasts for my station, including my own talk show (none of which are explicitly intendeed for developers), and I'd be willing to put in the production legwork if anyone out there would like to collaborate on and host a weekly talk forum about all things Microsoft web development related. 

                                            Drop me a line at jason@kuam.com if you're interested and let's discuss.

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                                          • Book Review: "ASP.NET 1.1 Solutions Toolkit"

                                            ASP.NET 1.1 Solutions Toolkit
                                            by Victor Garcia Aprea, Daniel Cazzulino, Rick Delorme, et al.

                                            Published by APress

                                            APress has done it again.  I really enjoyed the theme and focus of this book, as it deals directly with custom control development and function-centric tools built with ASP.NET.  The utilities presented are practical, timely, and those that any modern-day web programmer will need or has considered at some point.

                                            I'm didn't find the title to properly connote the content within, but it's certainly a great read.

                                            My favorite examples are the RSS Reader, Globalizable Page, and Reviewing Control, being new, up-to-date features most web sites need these days.  And the Chart, Straw Poll and Search Engine examples show new takes on old standards.  Many of the examples deal with pattern-based programming, which is helpful.

                                             The only two major detractions I think the book exhibits are the tight-knit binding to Visual Basic .NET for code examples and marriage to Visual Studio .NET.  Still, it's well worth it.

                                             ll in all, this is a great read that even experience ASP.NET devs should go through.

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                                          • For the record: I'm NOT writing an ASP.NET V2 book (not at the moment, anyway...)

                                            I was involved just now in the very vain activity of Googling myself, when I came across an interesting link that had me down as the author of a forthcoming title on ASP.NET v.2. development, "ASP.NET 2 Everyday Apps for Dummies".  Laughing, I recalled how I was actually in the process of negotiating a publishing deal to write this book, but it fell through after I thought I might be moving to Bristol, CT to work at ESPN.

                                            I regrettably had to turn the book deal down, although it was really a sweet gig...good pay, nice timeline, fun topic, cool target market.  As such, I informed the publisher as such, and didn't sign anything.  But oddly enough, the link citing me as an author was still posted.  Weird.

                                            I've always wanted to write a "For Dummies" title, and while I realize that they're not the preferred book line for "advanced" devs, I started out reading them, and I'd like to help that community learn in that fashion.  And though I've been cited as being "the insatiable programming book reader" by Julia Lerman and and reading "an obnoxious number of books for reviews" by Kirk Allen Evans - both good friends of mine - I still look forward to reading the V2 title when it comes out, whomever is lucky enough to write it.  It's still a very sound idea, and a worthwhile book.

                                            So just in case you're wondering....for the moment....it ain't me.  :)


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                                          • Wachowskian philosophy: the overlooked duality of Agent Smith's name

                                            In considering the numerous references made by the pop culture phenomenon that continues to the Wachowski Brothers' "The Matrix" saga, I've recently developed a theory about one character - a main one - that has curiously gotten overlooked in the dissection of his name, one that may carry more meaning that at face value.

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                                          • Combining "traditional" RSS & podcast feeds

                                            I was thinking a few weeks back about combining my company's RSS newsfeed and what ultimately became our podcasts feeds.  I blogged about wondering what the tradeoff/pros/cons were about mixing varied MIME types within an RSS feed, using blog-friendly text with  <ENCLOSURE>-based podcast data, but tragically, to no response.

                                            As it stands, I've got separate feeds, and its not bother managing them as such.  No worries (but curiosities linger...)


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                                          • OK...I finally diversified my podcasts

                                            I realize now in retrospect (admittedly foolishly), that in combining a bunch of market-specific audio files as MP3s in my station's new podcasts (Guam's first podcasts, thank you very much), that I was diluting the product offering and perhaps turning the audience off.  I finally warmed up to the fact that such feeds are niche-based, and thought it wiser to offer seprate RSS feeds, since we're fortunate to generate enough content,

                                            So, I've separated our music, news, comedy, and talkshow podcasts into separate feeds (see below), and likewise isolated my own podcast, "The Digital Pontification."  Thanks to Joel Suplido for checking out the podcast and letting people know about it..

                                            KUAM Podcasts

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                                          • Launching Guam's first podcast

                                            What started out as a little research project became a full-blown business venture (ain't that always the case), with the release of my station's podcast, which is the first for Guam.  I'm really stoked about this...it's a new way to connect with our audiences and really lets us do things we couldn't do traditionally as a broadcast company.  The elimination of the synchronicity aspect of broadcasting is really the big drawing point for me.

                                            Our business model is pretty simple: we produce several kinds of content in-house distributed as MP3s, like audio versions of our newscasts, talk shows, and DJ skits, etc., which are included in the podcast feed, along with free local music samples.  These local samples are available off of our public site, under the brand "KUAM Music".  This latter data constitutes the main draw to the larger Web audience (with the artists permission, of course), as my station is a big supporter of local music.  Most local artists are starving for big-time, free exposure and don't mind sampling their work as MP3s as a trade-off for us linking to e-commerce sites selling their CDs.  This type of major stage is what we deliver. 

                                            I use a filtered view of the contents in the RSS feed for the podcast to only show the music on the web portion, hiding all the other stuff.  The allure is that anyone can browse to the URL and download a few MP3s...genuine podcast subscribers get an "enhanced experience" by getting music and a whole lot more.

                                            It's received a really positive response in its first few hours since I launched it, and I mentioned it on my TV show tonight, which you can see here (select Friday's show and its near the end).

                                            Prior to release, I had a bunch of podcast savvy people testing it, and they really liked it.  I even spent some time at the University of Guam (my alma mater, or one of them, anyway) and talked to kids, letting them in on the fact we'd be podcasting.  They flipped - they couldn't believe someone locally was going to do it. 

                                            Cheers!

                                            Free Guam music: http://music.kuam.com
                                            KUAM.COM Podcast: http://www.kuam.com/archives/podcasts/podcast.xml

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