Very occasional thoughts concentrating on the useful.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Podcasts (Updated Dec 3, 2007 and continuously after that.)

I've had my blackberry for a few months now, and it's great. One effect of having it is that I don't even bother to turn on the car radio anymore. I listen to podcasts instead!

Here are some of the better ones. This links probably won't come up unless you have iTunes installed on your computer. (The podcasts are free using iTunes, which you can download for free here.) If the link doesn't work then you can just search for the podcast from within iTunes.

The Commonwealth Club radio program.

Listen to the Lancet. (Yes, it's a medical journal. But often it's interesting stuff.)

Andy Rooney from 60 Minutes.

Science Magazine Podcast.

The Berkeley Groks Science Show. (Goofy hosts, but interesting guests.)

This American Life from NPR.

The international spy museum podcast.

The counter-intelligence center podcast.

WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show.

Stanford on iTunes.

MIT on iTunes, especially The MIT Introduction to Biology course, Fall 2004, with Eric Lander and Robert Weinberg.

I've been keeping a folder on my harddrive of the most interesting episodes of the podcasts I've listened to. Send me an email if you'd like me to burn you a CD of them. (If you leave a comment I likely won't notice for a good while.)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

HOSTS file

I found a nice little hack on the web for blocking websites.

All operating systems have a file named "hosts". Before you computer looks up the IP address for a webpage it checks your hosts file for prespecified IP addresses. By editing this file you can:

1. block sites
2. give nicknames to useful sites (such as "g" for Google).

There are downloadable host files on the web to block large lists of adds, spyware, and trojans. Block if you need to get some work done.

Google does it again: 1-800-GOOG-411

Tired of paying $1 to dial 411 on your cellphone?
If you need a business number then just dial 800-GOOG-411. It's free, and Google will connect you and/or SMS the number to your cell. (Yes, you access this by phone, NO COMPUTER REQUIRED.)