30 Podcasts You Should Be Listening To (part 3)

flickr-abletoven-rss-headphonesIn part 1 and part 2 of this series I highlighted the first block of 30 podcasts I listen to very regularly. I have listened to many of these since they began (often retroactively) and very much enjoy them. There are a lot of tech shows in here with a mix of science, food, history and popular culture mixed in for good measure.

Today I bring you the final round of podcasts. I highly recommend you check out any of these great shows and subscribe to them if you're interested.

Mac OS Ken

This show is my day starter. Ken Ray brings together a concise short 10-20 minute podcast with a dose of "Apple news and news related to Apple news." Every weekday he rounds up the latest in news and information surrounding Apple.

Many shows touch on the technical side of Apple either in a little or in a big way. Few of them touch on the financial side of Apple with any regularity and even less consistency. Mac OS Ken on the other hand follows a number of prominent Apple watchers and uses that group to compare and contrast the various Wall Street views of the Cupertino company.

The show has been going 5 days a week pretty near every week since January 2006. The show is very well produced, professionally hosted and a great example of how to deliver a great podcast. I wish I could get a show like this about a great many other topics.

Mac Power Users

Hosted by Katie Floyd and David Sparks the Mac Power Users podcast is a great way to learn more about the tips and techniques that other Mac enthusiasts use to get the most out of their Macs.

The duo varies their format between topical deep-dives and "workflow" episodes which focus on how a given member of the Mac-wielding community gets the most out of his or her Mac setup. These workflow shows provide some great insight into just how varied the Mac experience can be, while at the same time demonstrating that the reason most people love their Macs is that they "just work." Occasionally the guest will be someone like Brett Terpstra who makes a habit (and a living) out of making the Mac do things Apple may never have intended.

The show is loosely affiliated with the 5by5 network and does have space on their site, but the show format is consistent with it's pre-5by5 format and doesn't have some of the other tendencies of 5by5 shows like the strange episode titles. If you want to learn about getting more out of your Mac, this is the place.

The Memory Palace

Hosted by Nate DiMeo and a member of the MaximumFun podcast network, The Memory Palace tells the stories of places and people from history, often american history, and these are almost always very interesting little factoids.

These stories delve into the stories behind the stories that you may already know. As an illustrative example, I point to the case of the bomber that crashed into the side of the Empire State Building. That episode told the story from the perspective of one of the women who worked a few floors above the impact site. She and her office-mates were trapped, scared and didn't know if they would make it home that night. One of them did and DiMeo was able to capture her story.

Though it isn't produced often, it is produced very well and it's another show I look forward to.

Mission Log

Hosts Ken Ray and John Champion are on a mission. To review every episode of Star Trek, from every series, and discuss the messages, morals and meanings therein. This is a crazy undertaking but it's a very fun podcast.

I very much enjoyed their exploration of TOS, a series which I was not very familiar with prior to the series. Being able to explore the characters behind the scenes also proved very entertaining. John Champion's companion blog series "Discovered Documents" which he posts in conjunction with most episodes of Mission Log provide a fascinating look at what goes in to making television work.

If you're a star trek fan you owe it to yourself to check this show out. Each of the very well produced episodes runs about an hour.

The Nosillacast

Hosted at podfeet.com, it's a technology geek podcast with an ever so slight Macintosh bias. This is the signature description that host Allison Sheridan provides for her show. Lots of product and app reviews that focus on "the problem to be solved "make this a go-to source for me each week, and the rotating cast of interviewees on the back-half of the show provide some very interesting deep-dives into everything from learning the Bash shell, to photography.

Allison also focuses quite regularly on accessibility in computing, usually from an Apple perspective. Her quest to constantly seek out better technology and tools to help those with vision or other physical challenges is inspiring. She is also an advocate of accessibility on the software side regularly encouraging developers to think about a wider audience for their products and getting them to make use of the tools provided to make their apps accessible.

Each very well produced episode of the Nosillacast runs about 60-75 minutes. The show is often recorded on Sundays as a live recording. Fun to check out!

Radiolab

Radiolab is a radio show produced out of WNYC in New York. It's also a podcast. Hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich supported by a cast of producers and journalists bring stories that explore very diverse topics and often take unexpected directions.

Unlike some similar shows like 99% Invisible or The Memory Palace, RadioLab's shows try to get you to think deeply about your preconceptions of a given topic. They will also push your comfort zone on occasion. One example of this is the exploration of how the Adoption laws in some US states can cause unintended consequences for the children involved. My opinion flip-flopped a couple times during this episode and by the end I couldn't take a side.

Professionally produced the show sounds fantastic. The episodes range from full-length episodes about an hour each down to Radiolab Shorts which are generally 15-30 minutes.

RunAs Radio

This show is decidedly outside the realm of FOSS; usually. Hosted by Richard Campbell, RunAs Radio is a podcast directed at IT pros, those who spend the majority of their time worrying about things like federated security, 5-9's uptime, and how to effectively replicate an active directory server. The show focuses primarily on the Microsoft tech stack, which I deal with at work, but goes deep into lots of very technical topics.

Campbell also co-hosts a more developer focused show called .NET Rocks with Carl Franklin. This is also geared mostly toward the Microsoft development stack, but occasionally features panel discussions and geek-out episodes where the topic could be anything from self-driving cars to alternative energy.

RunAs Radio is part of the PWOP network and shows usually run about 30 minutes.

Security Now

Hosted by Leo Laporte and Steve Gibson and a member of the TWiT network, Security Now provides a no-nonsense soup-to-nuts view of current security news interspersed with deep dives on the technologies we use every day to help protect our security and privacy.

Gibson's career as an Assembly programmer and software consultant has left him with a very deep knowledge of the low-level internals of today's modern computers. Diving back through the archives of this show will provide a great deal of knowledge about how computers work (from the registers up) and how the Internet works (from the copper up).

The content is great, the production is excellent, and the episodes typically run 90-minutes to 2 hours.

Spark

Hosted by Nora Young and produced out of the offices of the CBC in Toronto Spark looks at the world of technology and the Internet and how it impacts us little ol' humans and our societies.

There are occasionally segments which push the show in directions which might be considered politically-leaning -- many of the net-neutrality discussions come to mind -- but for the most part the focus is on the technology and how people use it. This is definitely about exploring how people and technology interact.

Produced from a Canadian perspective the weekly show runs about an hour and gives a Canadian perspective on the technological issues that affect society and culture.

StarTalk Radio

Dr. Neil DeGrasse-Tyson hosts StarTalk Radio a show dedicated to all things space (and occasionally other sciences.) This is a fun and entertaining approach to science topics and is often co-hosted by Chuck Nice or or another comic to provide a foil for Dr. Tyson.

This show is targeted at a more mainstream audience than something like Astronomy Cast. The topics explored are a bit less pop-quiz and a bit more pop-culture. This definitely makes the show more accessible to the masses and doesn't presume any knowledge whatsoever.

If you are enjoying the new Cosmos series hosted by Tyson, check out StarTalk Radio. Episodes typically run about 45 minutes.