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Posted: 19 February 2007 09:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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I have been downloading most of these, and was thinking, “jeez, someone needs to help them learn to name files, at least so they will sort correctly in a folder”.  Lo and behold, a thread (partially) on this!

If you want these to sort nicely in a directory (no matter what the ID3 tags contain), then you should probably go with (generally):

<Show Name Initialization>_YYYYMMDD_<Underscore separated description>.<encoding extension>

So, “10-06-06.mp3” becomes “POI_20061006_Sam_Harris_Letter_to_a_Christian_Nation.ogg” (or .flac, or .mp3 if you insist.)

Podcasts explode access the teaming masses (like me) have to so much great stuff, and making it easy to find in a file-tree is both easy and really helpful.

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[Intelligence] is the human super-power, but we all have the same super-power so it doesn’t seem very important.  - Eliezer Yudkowsky
Singularity Summit 2005 talk on the Importance of the Intelligence explosion.

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Posted: 30 March 2007 03:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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reality based community

I’d like to add another voice to the tally who dread the “the reality based community” spot.  These four words are the only ones from the spot that have seemed to stick in my long term memory. 

On another note, I googled the term “reality based community”, curious if the spot was using a quote out of context simply to smear the bush administration.  It seems it isn’t.  That means Point of Inquiry gets the pointer and pinky finger based community’s corna accolade.  Apparently the term, and the bush administration official’s comment, originates from this NY Times article, wherein the unnamed official dismisses Ron Suskind’s reference to empiricism:

link to article

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Posted: 01 April 2007 04:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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technical idea for improving audio: double ender

Some of the phone interviews (in this program and elsewhere) have had pretty bad sound quality. For a weekly program there are new possibilities. It would be feasible to mail an mp3 recorder with a headset microphone to the interviewee to simultaneously record her answers to the device while she’s on the phone with DJ. When done she can plug the unit into a computer and email the file to CFI, then return the unit with a provided label (or even send it on to the next guest).
It would be important to pick a recorder that is small, easy to operate, ideally one that has a preset (eg 80kbps/mono/44.1khz) and auto gain control. The interviewee would get simple instructions over the phone (turn unit on, press record, can you see the record icon illuminated, is the counter advancing, are levels being displayed?)

If you have two units you’d be covered. Of course you’d need a budget for postage (say for 30 phone interviews/year, on average $20 (USPS express mail to recipient, return via USPS priority) = $600. The recorders range in price from $100-300.

Patching a “double ender” together is pretty easy in the studio (=on the computer), with a little practice this process takes about 1.5 times real time or less.

Bad audio is an real issue especially if the show is intended for the internet where compression and the fact that the audience listens mostly via (acoustically unforgiving) headphones will seriously compromise intelligibility.

But there’s yet another very simple measure: test the phone quality prior to going live. With some voices the speaker may need to move the mouth away from the phone, or it may be necessary to cover the receiver with a Kleenex (held by rubber bands). Simple measures can make all the difference.

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Posted: 17 September 2008 01:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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My apologies if this particular suggestion has been previously addressed, but has there been any suggestion or complaint regarding Point of Inquiry’s theme music? The theme music is certainly not a deal breaker in regards to whether I continue listening to the show, but it has gotten rather stale over time. Maybe it’s just because I’ve been listening to the show during my commute to and from work almost every day trying to get caught up on all of the previous shows and I’m simply burnt out on hearing it. Either way, I personally feel that it’s a little too beatnik. Quick, somebody call Danny Elfman!

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Posted: 17 September 2008 06:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Clintsc9 - 24 January 2007 11:27 AM

Fast forwarding through the intro isn’t too difficult. 

I do this too but Clitsc9 might be mixing the opening commercial (subscribe to Free Inquiry)  and the closing commercial (send money to CFI to support the reality-based community).
I admit I like listening to these commercials but I try to zip past the audible.com one…there is enough of D.J. in the rest of the show….

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