Steven Frein

A Day in the Life / Iclectic Podcast

Iclectic podcast offers news and ideas from technology and the world
A Day in the Life / Iclectic Podcast


Random events of a semi-boring blogger





On the Road Again

Nov 4, 2006


So I am in Oxford UK after some time in London and a day in Manchester to watch England V Macadonia. London was great but the details will have to wait. England has been fun and crazy the last few days. Planes, trains and buses galore, I am in Oxford for a few days to relax. Will write soon. Miss you all.

You know who you are

Jul 23, 2006


Stop posting comments. Your IP address is being recorded and sent to the proper authorities. You have been warned.

Domain Name ? (Educational)
IP Address (California State University, Los Angeles)
ISP California State University, Los Angeles
Continent : North America
Country : United States (Facts)
State : California
City : Los Angeles
Lat/Long : 34.0815, -118.1792 (Map)
Language unknown
Operating System Microsoft WinXP
Browser Internet Explorer 6.0
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; MSN 6.1; MSNbMSFT; MSNmen-us; MSNc00; v5m)

So that's why Zidane did it!

Jul 23, 2006


After eating itself, Couchsurfing relaunches in record time with version 2

Jul 16, 2006

Description:, the online destination of thousands of travelers looking for a free couch to crash on, recently launched version 2.0. Couchsurfing suffered a major database failure on June 27th [
CouchSurfing_Deletes_Itself,_Shuts_Down] and was forced to rebuild from the ground up.

read more | digg story

How to enable all extensions in Firefox 2.0

Jul 12, 2006


I just installed Firefox beta and it shows a great improvement on the Mac. This article shows you how to enable all your extensions for the beta (most extensions won't work yet) with minimal effort. Most of my extensions worked. I hope this 2.0 version is out of beta soon. It is well worth a go.
Firefox 2.0 disables all extensions that are not mentioned as compatible with 2.0 by their authors. Most should work with 2.0 though and the website explains how to make them all work in firefox 2.0.

read more | digg story

Firefox Beta 2.0 to be Released Tommorrow

Jul 11, 2006


Firefox 2.0 Beta 1 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) can be downloaded from Mozilla's FTP site, although the official Beta 1 won't be released until July 11, according to notes published by the open-source developer.

read more | digg story

Current TV

Jul 6, 2006


After going to see the Al Gore movie this past weekend, I re-read an article about him in Wired magazine. What I forgot about Al, aside from the fact he created the Internet, is his project called Current TV. A cable network that is broadcast on some major cable providers, but not on my sweet (read sarcasm) Adelphia package. I heard about it when it launched, visited the web site, and pretty much forgot about it. Because of the and Google Video phenomenon that has been sweeping the internet, Current TV has been swept under the proverbial internet rug. The Wired article indicates a lackluster uptake on the TV channel, but I decided to give it another go.

From the little time I spent on the site (god forbid I do any research before I write), It appears that the great inventor of Internet has reinvented TV with "Viewer Generated" (I love catch phrases) content. Viewers can upload content, it is voted on, and if it meets the muster of the crowd (and some network guy I am sure) it hits the airwaves. The content is far from the backstreet boys lip-sync, every high school girl dance to "I am in love with a stripper", grainy less than 5 min piece of crap that is not worth the 1's and 0's it is written on. No from the few (yes I do massive research when I speak from authority) videos I have seen, the quality is that of PBS or the radio equivalent This American Life. I was impressed by the "", social feeling of the site. It seems that you can "Green Light" (my emphasis for effect) videos to give it one more vote to hit the front page airwaves.

You can check it out for yourself online here or at the following cable stations:


Nationwide 366

Time Warner Digital

New York City 103
Los Angeles 116

Honolulu 108

Other cities Select 'Time Warner' below


Most Cities 107
Los Angeles 255

Some sampes from the site:

24 hours in Rome


Aldo's America

An Inconvenient Truth

Jul 3, 2006


Last night to escape the heat, I went to see Al gore's An Inconvenient Truth. Those who have not been reading the news lately or are a Republican hiding from the truth, An Inconvenient Truth is a documentary by Davis Guggenheim about Global Warming. The premiss is based on Gore's slide show presentation that he has been giving all over the world for years. It is a simple concept that he is trying to get across. If we do not do something about global warming, then the world as we know it may cease to exist. It is not a question of "if it will happen", it is a question of "when it will happen."

I was impressed with the film and it made me think how I can help solve this global issue. The films main point that I took home is that people go from denial about the issue to Despair, because it seems like an unstoppable problem, without stopping to analyze what we can do. I hope everyone that will see this movie will stop and think. I know an looking deeper into the issue, so that I can get a better understanding and ultimately be an informed citizen.

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Do we need another Podcast Directory?

Jul 1, 2006


I hate to be cynical about new technologies, but it seems that Podcasting is getting a little crowded in the directory space. With Melodeo being in the spotlight this week, it is hard to say Blubrry will make a buzz. Fresh for Gnomedex, Raw Voice, the creators behind Geek News Central, has released the web 2.0ish application in the wild. The first impressions in usability is a good one. The site looks clean an is easy to use. There doesn't seem to be a massive amount of content at this time, so it looks like a site that requires podcasters to sign up to add their podcast to the site. I say "looks like" because there is no information about what blubrry actually does. I assumed it was a podcast index site that would go out and aggregate content, but with so few offerings at launch, I think that assumption will be wrong. As you can see they are more than mysterious with their about page
About BlubrryOne network that meets your needs and keeps you independant.So how are you going to meet my needs? And joining a network keeps me independent how? Yes I know it is beta, but when you launch a product, please tell me what it is and what it does.

Searching the web, I found an article in the

Podcast Herald,

where Todd Cochrane talks about his new service.

From reading I gather this much:

"Dynamic user-driven connecting place featuring "MySpace" - Style social navigation, ranking and commenting for each show""...listing requirements for podcasters...including""...One advertising spot for your podcast...."..Blurbrry promo if no advertising is available..."and here's the rub....."honor your commitments to advertisers and not compete with Blubrry outside the network...."Like Flickr and other name catchy applications, they just couldn't find any room for that additional letter in the name (I mean come on, they don't charge by the letter when you register a domain name)Now that has "user-generated", "social network", "folksonomy", web 2.0 buzz kill written all over it. Why would anyone want to join this network and be a part of the advertising pool if they can't subsidize with outside advertising? Talk about your walled garden, people come to sites for the content and ease of use. Yahoo, Odeo and others have made finding podcast's easy, so now others will have to compete on content.

The upside in joining blurbrry for podcast producers is a share of the revenue. The split will be 70 -30 split with the big chunk going to Podcasters. A fair deal, but you need advertising dollars in order to fund this share. The key question is how can blurbrry differentiate themselves from other podcast networks where advertisers will want to invest.

Monitization can be tricky in podcasting, and given the lack of big names on the network, I don't see a huge uptake to blurbrry.

Todd has some experience in podcasting and building networks, so I do think he has a chance to get some buzz, but over the next year I am sure we will see more networks with other types of business models hit the space and bring more competition to a already crowded market.

Good luck Todd, I just have one request. Please add more content to the site so users and producers know what it is all about.

Update: Friday June 30, 2006 4:30pm PDT

Anthony from Podcast herold sent me an email to clarify the comment I made about not being able to advertise on the outside if you join the network. He says:

One correction about Blubrry: podcasters can subsidize with outside advertising.

I think what Todd Cochrane means is that he doesn't want a conflict between the advertisers Blubrry is setting up for member podcast spots. Any previous advertising deals a podcast may have and any other ad deals are no problem and are up to the individual podcast producers.

And yes, the collective bargaining power and 70-30 split does look nice.

I took more time on the site and signed up. When you go to add a podcast to the network there is more informaiton on what the expectations of both parties are.

From the podcast sign up page:
What are the terms?

Blubrry values our relationship with you. Here are important points from our agreement with you:

At Blubrry you will always own the content that you produce.

If you produced it you own the copyright. Blubrry wants to promote your content not own it!

The Blubrry Agreement is not an exclusive commitment.

The Blubrry Agreement does not prevent you from signing up with other networks and it does not prevent you from promoting other podcasts or making paid or unpaid appearances for your show.

You give Blubrry the right to negotiate one advertising spot for your podcast.

Blubrry will negotiate advertising contracts with full disclosure of the deals, and offer them to you. You always have the right to refuse to take part in any advertising campaign.

You agree to run a non obtrusive short Blubrry promotion in your podcast if no advertising is available.

Listing on the network is free but each show will help build the network. Blubrry will promote your podcast and when there are times that you are not engaging in a paid advertising campaign we ask that you to promote Blubrry with a short promo usually in spoken form indicating your listing on

Of course we don't want you to do deals privately with vendors that advertise with Blubrry.

To facilitate advertising to multiple podcasters, it can become destructive if blubrry members make special deals with clients who are advertising thru the Blubrry Network. See the terms and conditions for more details.

Advertisers expect a commitment.

Let's say that you sign up to be a part of a three- month advertising campaign. The contract with the advertiser is for a three-month commitment. You are expected to produce your podcast regularly and remain a part of the Blubrry network during those three months.

No one wants "cease and desist" letter.

Therefore, if you use copyrighted material in your podcast you must have permission, and you must be following the terms of the permission the copyright is giving you.

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WTF - Couchsurfing takes a dive

Jun 30, 2006


Techcruch has reported that Couchsurfing has taken a dive. The site is down and most likely has closed it's doors for good. Being a user of couchsurfing, I am saddened to see this happen. It seems there was a series of mistakes made by the administrators of the database and now the data is gone. I really though Couchsurfing was a great site and great community of nearly 100,000 users. I used it when I travelled to europe to meet locals and get travel advice. Techcrunch has a deadpool list of startups that have failed, but this brings to home a bigger issue that we must consider. Who do you trust with your data, and who will be around to make sure it lasts?

Flickr is one service that can go by the way of couchsurfing and impact thousands of users, and there are examples of popular services like this where consumer investment is low (read free) and company funding is nonexistent. (yes Flickr is now owned by Yahoo, so it is here for now)

I just don't know what to say.......I know there will be a new site that will take it's place, but it is a sad day in the "social networking" world.

Update: For those who have not seen the service, the wayback machine has a copy of the site as of 2005 here

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Scoble The Exit Interview

Jun 29, 2006


Scoble has left the building.....Good luck Robert on your new adventure.

On you last day at M$ I moved you from my MS folder to the Bloggies folder in Bloglines. You are now right next to scripting news......Keep up the good word

read more | digg story

The first OS X Leopard (10.5) Video

Jun 29, 2006


Digg Article:
Not much to the video, but we love to hear Apple is working on new OS.

"Of course this falls under rumors. This is supposed to be a video of Mac OS X (10.5) Leopard. You be the judge."

read more | digg story

Google Book Search - 1, Publishers - 0

Jun 29, 2006


It looks like Google's Book Search Program just earned a little validation. German publishers have dropped thier copyright suit against google. Now lets see if this will influence publisher's here in America.

Read the article here

You can also listen to the debate between Google and the AAP that took place earlier this month here.

Bloggercon IV

Jun 25, 2006


Day one at bloggercon was very successful. As a small blogger, I was able to get a lot out of all the sessions and meet some really great people. The blogging community is great about coming together and sharing ideas. Dave Winer's "unconference" format works very good and everyone is the speaker and the audience.

I will have more to write about each session, but for now I am enjoying day 2. Many people are here and you can find them and their photos.

The live stream and mp3 files can be found here.

Thanks Dave and Doc and all those who made bloggercon work.

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Jun 24, 2006


Bloggercon IV is about to begin here in San Francisco. Last night's kick off party was great. I met some great bloggers that I have been reading for awhile now.

Dave Winer has kicked off the conference with a traditional song. The Hoki poki was suggested and sung by the crowd. This is a unique conference in the fact that it is interactive and the audience is the panel. Everyone has a voice and it is not about companies trying to sell you something, but bloggers discussing technology and issues.

Updates will come as the sessions roll.

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The Battle Over Books - LAPL and Wired Magazine

Jun 15, 2006


The Talk that took place on monday is now available here

For additional information you can view Lawrence Lessig's presentation here

Google vs. the world

Jun 13, 2006


The google book search debate was great. The arguments were well laid out and I found the debate to be on point at most times. I recorded much of the debate and some commentary afterwards. It will take a day or 2 to edit, but I am excited about the audio I recorded.

I had an opportunity to meet Lawrence Lessig and it was truly an honor. Check back in a day or 2 to hear the audio.

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Google Book search Debate

Jun 13, 2006


I am at the central library downtown to listen to a debate between publishers and authors and Google about the program to scan all the books in the world. Larry Lessig will be involved and it should be a good debate for fair use and the control of words and knowledge as we know it.

There have been some good debates and discussions on this issue in the blogosphere and I think Lessigs position of fair use make a compelling argument. I hope I can learn more from tonights discution.

I will see if I can blog a summary whilst the discussion is going on. For now I am going to enjoy the beauty and architenture of the Central Library.

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Vloggercon 2006

Jun 12, 2006


Vloggercon was happening this weekend in San Francisco and it sure seems to be a success. One of the valuable offerings this year was the live video streams of all the sessions and the real time chat for online attendees. Being a Video Blogging conference this was a great idea. The chat feature worked as remote participants were able to ask questions and get involved.

Video blogging and podcasting are making it easy for the average person to get involved. If you want to report or just teach or offer commentary, Video and audio that is easy to produce and distribute is the future. Not to say the Main Stream Media is going away soon, they will just have more competition, which I hope will make them better.

Good job to all the organizers of vloggercon. I appreciate the effort and value to remote participants.

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World Cup Fever

Jun 11, 2006


The World Cup is finally here. With months of anticipation the opening game was not a disapointment. Germany vs. Costa Rica was a great match to watch and I hope it has set the tone of games to come. Being in America, we are disadvantaged by the time difference and thus the games being played during the morning and afternoon. I have a "No Scores" policy for anyone that I talk to during the day because I want to see the Games via my trusty Tivo. Everyone has seem to caught the World Cup fever, so it is hard not to hear whats going on, but I am sticking to my policy, because noing the outcome of the game makes it no fun to watch.

Germany looked good yesterday. Their defense is suspect, but they should make it far this year. I think Italy has a good chance to take it this year but Brazil seems to be the perrinial favorite.

In any event, the next month should be exciting and we will have some temporary football fans here in the us at least for the summer.

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Time off

Jun 9, 2006


As you can see I have not been posting lately. Mostly busy, but also wanted to take time off from writing and just enjoy life. This next month is busy, but I will get a chance to get to go to Bloggercon IV. I hope to take more time this summer to enjoy camping and hanging out at the beach.

For now adeu


May 2, 2006


Sundays remind me that life is spent in short bursts. We live for the weekends, they come, enjoy and they are quickly gone again. One thing that will be gone forever in my weekends is the West Wing. A perennial favorite TV show of mine since it was cool to be a democrat, I am sad to see the show off the air forever. I think Dave says it best.

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Quick links

Apr 25, 2006


Time fly's by when you are having fun. So here are a few quick links that I came across:

Good speech on the criticism of wikipedia by Jason Scott here Da Vici Code has been out in paperback for the last few weeks. I am re-reading in time for the movie.Found a new online office suite that looks good. has a whole slue of applications to replace that copy of office.I still need to post a review of Val Landi's book A Woman From Cairo check it out at AmazonSee ya soon

New podcast

Apr 18, 2006


It has been awhile since I posted a podcast, so I thought I would record a quick one. Talk about books and publishing and some interesting links in the sphere.

Enjoy here

Anon Asshole

Apr 13, 2006


There is someone that thinks they are funny by posting rude anonymous comments about me. Whoever it is either, post with your real name,site and email address or go away. It is amazing how childish and weak people are when they hide behind anonymouse comments.

By the way your comments will never make it to my blog.......