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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Ericast 298 - Recapping #Minnebar 13

It's my annual review of Minnesota's technology un-conference, and this time Candela joins me. Interested in a special double-length stereophonic episode? Here's your show.

Website viewers: Click here to listen to this week's episode!
Podcast listeners: Click here for a link to the show notes page!
Everyone: Call 701-645-ERIC (701-645-3742) and comment

Technical note: This week's episode was recorded with my trusty old Olympus WS-320M with two lav mics and a "dual-mono to stereo" adapter plug.  It's the quick, easy, and super-cheap way to record two people and split them on the left and right channels. Let me know if you like the sound and interview style; I don't think most interviews are separated on L and R channels to this extreme, but it works for me

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Ericast 297 - So... What Happened?

So, I said last week that Dan's April Fool's episode saved the show. Wondering what I meant by that and what the plan was?  Here's your show.

Website viewers: Click here to listen to this week's episode!
Podcast listeners: Click here for a link to the show notes page!
Everyone: Call 701-645-ERIC (701-645-3742) and comment

I'm recording this early (which is unusual) and it's an incredibly cold April. But the sun now is the same as it is during the "State Fair" (which is a big deal here in Minnesota; it closes Labor Day weekend) so it's melting off. Recent mornings it's been 10 to 15 degrees, and remember that we do degrees in Fahrenheit around here.

So, I missed March entirely, which is the birthday of the Ericast. We're officially a teenager now!

Anyway, the April Fools show had been in mind since late last year, and what it was going to be was a parody of a radio morning show.  It's Rick and Karen in the mornings, on KZ10! Karen, tell us what kind of traffic we're seeing from Chopper 10 and the KZ Action News team live over Fargo!  ("We don't have a helicopter, Rick.")  Okay, then we'll assume there isn't any traffic, because there never is.  Remember that when you hear the new Bruce Springsteen song, be the tenth caller to the studio line with the 'phrase that pays': Nobody plays more music than Fargo's powerhouse for today's top hits from Bismark to Moorhead to put the rattle in your cattle, 99 1/2 FM KZ10.

It was going to be great.

So, to flesh it out I went out to YouTube to grab some audio from old Duluth TV commercials that I'd put up years ago...  And they were gone.

The entire account was gone.

The way my brain works is I get some sort of whimsical idea, and then I buy a domain name that goes with it, and then I build a site around it, and then nothing happens with it but I hang onto it forever because I can't let it go.  Welcome to my brain.

We bought our first VCR in 1985 and I'm a packrat, so I have all sorts of things taped off-air, and that means that there are snippets of news shows and commercials in boxes and boxes of tapes.  The thing that marked that era was the gigantic hairspray-based hairstyles -- Google "Faith Daniels" if you want to see the epitome of "the look".  So, I bought a .TV domain and "Big Hair TV" was born!  And I never did much with it, except for uploading about a half-dozen clips of mostly Duluth television to its YouTube account, and threw a Wordpress-based video indexer onto the domain.

Now there's no sign of it.  I never got an email saying it was going to be shut down.  It was originally part of a free "Google for Business" account (so it had the "" email address) and that was tied to a Gmail address.  And all of that got deleted.  (Like, completely deleted -- I have all the credentials and things cached on my computer and it comes up as deleted.)  And when that got deleted, the YouTube account got deleted.  And when that got deleted, all the videos disappeared.

So, those videos and their comments are gone.  They original encoded files for upload are still sitting on my hard drive, but the world will never see them.

That obviously distracted me from getting the radio parody done, and really got me thinking about how our digital content is or isn't managed.

I doubt it was a DMCA take-down, because that should've triggered some sort of notice... and nobody cares about old videos.  In fact, one of the anchors is PR and marketing executive in the Twin Cities and used the screenshot from my video in his presentations (which was fun to see -- he'd been one of my father's journalism students so it was one of those "small world!" things to introduce myself and make that connection).  Point being, it was a weird thing to get a reminder that everything on the Internet is permanent... except when it isn't, and might disappear without warning.  If Kevin ever wants to find that old clip of himself at the news desk with Stacie... he can't.

Oh, well.  At least I can drop the domains and save about $35 a year.  Because any time you buy a .TV domain, you really need the .COM to back it up.  :)

Speaking of... as I was putting these notes together, I wondered what was at "" -- because, who knows; if they want to start a television show, I've got the perfect domain for them!  And this is even more interesting (to us geeks):  Their registrar has gone under.  So, their domain (which has never had anything at it) lapsed a year ago, but the registrar hasn't released it for repurchasing, because the registrar doesn't exist.

So even when you think things are completely safe because you've branded everything under your own domain rather than YouTube or Gmail or something you don't control... it's still not completely safe because if your domain registrar ceases operations, you can't get to the place that owns your name.

All of the Big Hair excitement was right before my trip to Utah with Chloe, which was the main focus for March, so those two things are my excuse for not getting some sort of birthday acknowledgement into the feed.

The Ericast continues to be what it always has been:  A peek inside by brain.  In audio form, so is it still a "peek" or does "peek" mean it's visual?  See, that's the kind of observation (another visual term!) that you find only on the Ericast!  Or maybe you find elsewhere, but it's randomly imposed on you only on the Ericast!

One last note:  A listener request.  We have someone who alleges (with good intent!) that I once did an episode about telephone prefixes and the invention of the naming scheme that led to things like swing-era songs named "Pennsylvania 6-5000!"  Do any of my dedicated listeners remember anything like that?  I don't... but I have almost 300 of these behind me.  There's no secret stash of show notes -- what's written is what's published, so you've got access to the same back-catalog of notes that I do.  It would take some sort of memory of "Oh, that came up when you were talking about such-and-such..." and I don't have that.

Remember, your feedback really matters. Let me know you're out there! 701-645-3742 (a.k.a. 701-645-ERIC) or any other means of tracking me down and letting me know what you think.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Ericast 296 - Happy April First!

This episode comes to you thanks to one listener, but that means something different than what it meant last time.  I'll explain next week.  In the meantime... Here's your show.

Website viewers: Click here to listen to this week's episode!
Podcast listeners: Click here for a link to the show notes page!
Questions? Comments? Call the Comment Line mentioned in the show!