MacCast 05.23.2005

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Podcast

Listen to today’s show here! podcast-mini2.gif
MC20050523.mp3 [20.8mb 45:19 64kbps]

A podcast about Macs done by a Mac geek for Mac geeks. Show 62. Steve says next version of iTunes to support Podcasting, Apple in talks with Intel? Russian iTunes Music store, a former Apple employee sues and alleges discrimination, malicious Widgets still an issue some say and another new iTunes ad debuts on SNL and it’s not the same old stuff. The MacCast blooper, an apology. I announce the Top 10 Reasons to switch winner, finally. My 2 Cents #3, iPod vs. Cel Phone. Keychains and Mac Backup. Reviews without pity, the Kensington WiFi Finder. Tiger printing, order supplies, feature or bug? You decide. Our community grows with IRC and Jabber. New music, We Gotta Go by David Henderson. Shama, lamb, lamb, lamba, ring, ding, dong.
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Show links:
Tiger Unleashed from SAMS on
iPed Stands from – MacCast Gear and Apparel
The A.D.D. Cast
Kensington WiFi Finder – MacCast jabber server and free account
iPodderX – My favorite iPodder
We Gotta Go by David Henderson – Featured music

There are 20 comments on MacCast 05.23.2005:

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  1. Wilfred Hildonen | May 24 2005 - 01:35

    Hi there

    Just listening to the podcast from 23d and the pitiless input on Kensington’s WiFi-finder – maybe you could have someone to take a look at Canary Wireless Hotspotter:
    It is nothing to put on your keychain, either, but – after having to purchase it via eBay since they don’t sell in Europe – I find it quite practical since it doesn’t only show you if there is a hotspot and the signal but also whether it is open or not.
    Keep up the good work!

    Wilfred Hildonen

  2. James H | May 25 2005 - 01:37

    In regards to your comments about advertising on your podcast. As far as I am concerned, advertising is a part of our lives whether we like it or not. Sometimes we learn about new or interesting products through advertising. Personally, I do not see a problem with advertising on the podcast and the cool thing is that if its something that does not interst me, I can always fast forward and therefore, choose not to listen. Also, I can always edit the ad out …so if you see advertising as a way to support your show, I say go for it and I wish you alot of success no matter what. Thanks for the content you do deliver. As a side note, I am in Italy where it sometimes feels like we get stuff late but with the advent of podcasting, it seems that we are at least kept current thanks to Maccast and other related tech podcasts. Thanks again.

    Best wishes,

    James Helland
    Palermo, Italy

  3. kel | May 25 2005 - 07:43

    Referring to the comment you received by the gent in Canada, he is a Goalie, and his is a certifyable mac geek, I listen to his podcast all the time. I love the Maccast, keep up the good work!

    oh yeah, his site is

    take care

  4. Derik | May 25 2005 - 08:23

    Adam, I think your explanation of the sudo issue wasn’t quite right.

    Widgets do not have any special access to the sudo utility. Rather, they use an existing problem to exert sudo capability without a password check. The issue is that sudo has a timeout that will allow any program to invoke it without a password for a predetermined amount of time following the initial password provided invocation. The utility also writes usage notifications into the system log, which is globally readable. This means that any program (including shell scripts) can monitor that file, wait for sudo to be called, and then make its own calls using sudo soon after, bypassing the password protection mechanism.

    This is a security issue that can be exploited by any executable, regardless of whether it’s an application, AppleScript, shell script, or Widget. So really this is not a failing in Widget security at all. So really, these people that are still screaming about Dashboard insecurity are missing the real issue. They’re trying to get attention by criticizing a new feature that’s getting a lot of the spotlight.

    Widgets are just as secure as applications and shell scripts (any executable code) and should be treated the same.

  5. lauren | May 25 2005 - 09:40

    I am a true fan, if you can keep your integrity and can give an honest assessment (good and bad) of products and not sell out, I say put that in your contract with your potential advertisers and make some money at Podcasting.

    You really have a talent for Podcasting and you should be rewarded for it!

  6. macFanDave | May 25 2005 - 10:53

    It would be a huge mistake for you to commercialize the MacCast. The appeal of the show is that we are hearing the musings of a fellow Mac enthusiast.

    Once I hear a commercial, I start to become more skeptical about what I am hearing and I also feel less connection with the speaker. I doubt that you would blatantly sell out, but I can’t help but fearing that corporate influence might subtly warp your show. Suppose you get sponsored by one maker of iPod accessories. As a listener, do I think you are going to be as likely to mention a competitor’s product favorably as your sponsor’s? Even if you listed several products, I wouldn’t be surprised if you mentioned your sponsor’s entry first and most prominently and the others with a less enthusiatic tone. Subtle, yes, but that is the perverting influence of commercialization.

    I listen to the MacCast for precisely the reasons I don’t bother with Your Mac Life anymore. I saw Shawn King speak and heard his story and you are in the position he was when he started. Now he is highly commercial and SELLS his podcasts on Audible. And I don’t listen to him anymore.

    You’ll have plenty of opportunities to make some money if you keep the MacCast as good and pure as it is. You can write a book. You can make a CD or box set of all of the episodes for convenient listening. Like, Shawn King, you may get invited to speak at Mac Users Groups or other events and garner speaker’s fees commensurate with your celebrity. I’m surprised you didn’t get a little something-something from ThoughtOut for repeatedly hawking the iPed as the prize for the contest (that I should have won ;-) ) Your mentions of the product made me go to the website and made me consider the product for my daughter. I put her mini in a skin so it doesn’t fit into the Apple dock anymore and the iPed might be a nice solution. Your advertising hit the mark!

    I also would like to point out the downfall of MacFixIt as a result of its ill-fated money-grab. It used to be the premier Mac help site, but when it went “Pro” it drove away the critical mass and has become merely mediocre.

    Keep it real.

  7. GreenAlien | May 25 2005 - 11:41

    re advertising. I dont think I’d have a problem with advertising, but 30 seconds to me sounds like quite a long time. If it was a single advert between 10 and 20 seconds I think it would be much better received. As a sidenote I’m also a bit curious about this techpodcasts affiliate – I think the maccast could easily find it’s own source of advertising, and I’m wondering how big a cut techpodcasts would take for this and whether they really deserve it.

    You could always do a trial. Put a 30 second advert, and then put a poll in the forum with options 1) Advert was too long, 2) About right, it doesnt bother me 3) More adverts please, I love ’em, 4) I want rid of the adverts, but would continue to listen either way, 5) I hate the adverts and will stop listing unless they stop. Something along those lines and you should hopefully see what effect it would have on the number of listeners.

    re the wifi finder: I don’t have the Kensington, but I own two other wifi finders..

    Here’s the first. Mine is white and branded “sony ericsson” because is was a gift from them, but identical otherwise: The size is handy, and I keep it on my keychain so always at hand. It seems to work fairly well with public hotspots, but has been hit ‘n’ miss detecting a couple of wireless G networks I’ve setup.

    The other is called the “wifi detector wfs-1” which is a fair bit larger, but gives better results.

    I’d recommend both really, but the size of the first one outweighs the poorer sensitivity of the larger one IMHO because it’s always at hand. Just bear in mind that you’ll get better results from wireless B (which all public hotspots are AFAIK) than with wireless G.


  8. GreenAlien | May 25 2005 - 11:15

    upps soz typo there, the last paragraph should read “I’d recommend both really, but the size of the first one outweighs the better sensitivity of the larger one IMHO because it’s always at hand.”


  9. Squozen | May 25 2005 - 06:30

    Not interested in advertising. I’ve stopped listening to the Daily Source Code and Inside Mac Radio due to it, I can stop listening to the MacCast as well. Do what you gotta do.

  10. Brian | May 25 2005 - 06:38

    Hi Adam,

    I would be sorely disappointed if you started airing ads. I was first drawn to podcasts precisely because of a lack of commercial influence and the in-your-face ads that are so prevelent in everywhere else. The lack of commercial influence gives a huge amount of credibility to the content.

    It’s obvious from the quality of your show that you put a lot of time and effort into its creation. If you are feeling you must resort to advertising for compensation, I hope you will consider mentioning your “tip jar” more often instead. I just made a donation there, hopefully others will continue to support you that way, too.

    Also, if the amount of time you are putting in is becoming too much, I personally would rather have one high quality ad-free show per week than three shows with ads.

    There’s nothing more annoying than in-your-face advertising, and sooner or later, all advertisers devolve to screaming and shouting to be the loudest voice demanding listeners to buy their stuff. Please keep this from happening on the MacCast.


  11. Peter | May 26 2005 - 06:04

    One short commercial wouldn’t bother me, and if it means that you’ll be more likely to keep up the good work, then I’m all for it.

    In any case, it’s a Podcast! If people don’t like the commercials, they can just skip them!

  12. Tom Williams | May 26 2005 - 08:34

    Really enjoyed your latest show – makes travelling to work a pleasure (and going to bed!). I’d be sorry to see any advertising and agree with a lot of the points made by macFanDave above.

    Keep up the good work.


  13. macFanDave | May 26 2005 - 08:07

    By the way, does anyone think it is just a coincidence that the singer of the band promoted on SNL has a daughter with the exact same name as the company who brings us the iTunes Music Store?

  14. Lonnie | May 26 2005 - 01:07

    I agree with Derik about the comment about Dashboard security. Dashboard widgets do *NOT* run as the root user, or under “sudo” permissions. Widgets can execute external commands under permissions of the user just as every application can. Widgets can execute sudo, but a password is required, unless the user had already used sudo in the last 5 minutes. This is no more insecure than any other application.

    Any user that will execute sudo will understand why and how to read the system.log (very easy with Console).

    The update to 10.4.1 causes Safari to prompt a user before installing a widget exactly like unpacking an application. This is perfectly acceptable. Any further complaints about Dashboard security should be addressed to *ALL* application security, not just widgets.

  15. matt | May 27 2005 - 11:20

    Hey adam,

  16. Carol S | May 29 2005 - 02:06

    Adam, I truly enjoy your podcast and it’s obvious that you put a great deal of thought and effort into each show. As far as advertising goes, I’d rather that you didn’t go commercial for all of the reasons stated by others above.

    How about mentioning your tip jar or simply put a subscription $ link on your site so that we can choose to subscibe and help support your efforts?

    You’re doing a great job!

  17. Robert B | May 29 2005 - 10:59


    I wanted to comment on the rumour about a russian iTunes store. I am wondering how they plan to compete with allofmp3, an apparently legal russian service which charges 2 cents/megabyte for mp3 files without DRM.


    I have no problem with ads in a podcast. Everybody has to make a living.

    One personal wish: Please put them in at the beginning so that I can fast forward.

    Keep up the great work!


  18. Michel | Jun 02 2005 - 12:10

    Hi Adam,
    I like your show and think you are doing a good job but I am pretty sure that a ads will make me stop listening to podacast in general. I understand that you want to get something back for all your effort. But just to give you an idea there is a show inside macradio (or something) and I stopped listening to them (that said they have roughly 30% ads 60% bullshiting and 10% content).