In doing this month's top ten for IT Conversations, noticed two things:
First, since Doug put in our own code for ratings, the number of ratings per show is way up. I think with the new homepage design (oops! Did I let that slip?!?) we'll see even more ratings. We've not had enough in the past for me to put a lot of confidence in them, but that's changing.
Second, the number of overall downloads is down. We recently had to update the feed URL and this didn't get propagated correctly in all feedreaders and podcatchers. Please take a minute to check right now and make sure you're still getting IT Conversations on your MP3 player. The correct feed URL is:
http://feeds.conversationsnetwork.org/channel/itcOr just head to feed subscription page and resubscribe.
The following is the list of the top ten shows on IT Conversations (by number of downloads) for April 2008.
- Phil Libin - Personal Outboard Memory (Rating: 3.69)
Phil Libin was the CEO of CoreStreet when he appeared as the first guest on Interviews with Innovators. Now he's back as CEO of EverNote, a company that aims to build the memex, or personal outboard memory, that Vannevar Bush famously imagined in his 1945 article "As We May Think."
- Scott Sigler - Infected (Rating: 3.39)
Dr. Moira Gunn speaks with Scott Sigler, who talks about his bioterror thriller "Infected." While it's based on the premise of a biological weapon on the loose, he's actually a modern day Charles Dickens.
- Amory Lovins - Energy Efficiency in Buildings - Part 2 (Rating: 4.79)
Well-designed buildings not only conserve energy and reduce costs but also create conditions for better health and wellness. Amory Lovins, founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, uses several examples to show how the right mix of materials, resources, and expertise can create structures that celebrate living. From MAP.
- Wagner Au - The Growth of Second Life (Rating: 3.44)
Dr. Moira Gunn speaks with Journalist Wagner Au, who embedded himself in the virtual 3D online world, Second Life, and talks about its incredible growth.
- James Reinders, Dirk Hohndel - Exploiting Parallelism with Multi-core Technologies (Rating: 2.90)
There has been a lot of talk about the difficulties of parallel programming, but Intel has decided to do something about it. Intel representatives announce the open sourcing of Threading Building Blocks, a product used to simplify parallel development. TBB has been around for several years as a proprietary tool, and Intel hopes that by opening it up, it will reach a broader audience and be adapted to more situations.
- Jeff Hawkins - Why Can't a Computer Be More Like a Brain? (Rating: 4.20)
Despite amazing strides, computers are still relatively poor at performing high level activities that come naturally to the human brain. Co-founder of Palm, Inc., Jeff Hawkins, describes recent breakthroughs in the modeling of brain functions based on the theory of Hierarchical Temporal Memory. New insights into how the neocortex supports cognition, inference and prediction can be applied to a variety of problems using Hawkins' Numenta computing platform.
- Matt Zimmerman - Ubuntu Technical Roadmap (Rating: 3.20)
Matt Zimmerman delivers exactly what his title promises: a technical roadmap of where Ubuntu has been and where it is going. He discusses the collaborative development process, an overview of past and future releases, the expansion of Ubuntu from the desktop to server and mobile environments, and what's next for Ubuntu. Highlighting key features of the latest releases, this presentation will be of interest to existing Ubuntu users as well as anyone considering migrating to this popular linux-based operating system.
- Werner Vogels - A Web-Scale Computing Architecture (Rating: 3.83)
Developers are increasingly using Amazon, not only as a source of technical books, but also as a web services platform to build robust and scalable infrastructure. Amazon CTO, Werner Vogels, reveals how to make the most of the popular S3 service and uncovers some of the features underpinning the new EC2 (Elastic Computing Cloud) service. As a bonus for Conversations Network listeners, there's even a cameo appearance from our own Doug Kaye, who explains how Gigavox Media is exploiting the web services functionality Vogel describes.
- Jamais Cascio - Metaverse Singularity (Rating: 3.55)
Technology is becoming more entrenched in every part of our life, and we need to be aware of where that might lead us. Jamais Cascio gives four possible scenarios based on whether technology is used to augment or simulate reality and whether it is internally or externally focused. Because of the human bias inherent in any technology, he argues that we need to democratically include all of the world's stakeholders to avoid having these scenarios become dystopias.
- Fred Krupp & Miriam Horn - Earth: The Sequel (Rating: 3.22)
Today a complement of new energy technologies exist, but are they economically feasible? Dr. Moira Gunn speaks with Fred Krupp and Miriam Horn, from the Environmental Defence Fund, about their new book, "Earth: The Sequel."