Beta Broadcast 003: Good and Evil

by Daniel H. Steinberg

This week, O'Reilly's audio magazine program Distributing the Future takes a look at good and evil. Tim O'Reilly examines the good coming up in Web 2.0; David Smith and Peter Saint-Andrew work on helping you tell who's good and who's evil on the web; Ian Langworth and chromatic help to make Perl development better for everyone by pushing testing; Danny O'Brien shares what he's done to stop evil and encourage good; and Max Goff brings his law of medians. (25 minutes, 3 seconds)

Download the MP3Right-click or Control+click to download this MP3 to your local system. You can also subscribe to the Distributing the Future podcast or add our beta O'Reilly Network Podcast feed to your podcasting application and get the files automatically!

Send feedback on this program to Expect more experiments with compression this week. Also, it's probably time to think about an NPR-style sponsorship ("This program brought to you by" in the beginning and end). We also put together a promo for the show but I'm not really sure where to put it. It's a 60-second spot that summarizes who is on the show this week and what they're talking about. Thanks to those of you who have sent comments in already--we've benefited greatly from your thoughts on how to improve and on which shows to include in our FOO casts.

Distributing the Future Beta Broadcast Number 003: Show Notes

Show Open: Start: 00:00, Duration: 0:50

The initial montage is from Tim O'Reilly, recorded at OSCON '04 and in a phone interview with Doug Kaye of ITConversations, and is used with permission. "The future is here, it's just not evenly distributed yet," is a quote from author William Gibson that Tim used with attribution. The theme music is composed and performed by David Battino.

Tim O'Reilly on Web 2.0 Software: Start: 00:50, Duration: 4:25

Tim O'Reilly talks about what is meant by Web 2.0 businesses, web services, and the perpetual beta. This is excerpted from a press conference phone call that Tim and John Batelle gave to members of the press. You can find the whole thirty minutes posted at Information Week. Web 2.0 is sold out--but we'll bring you clips from the conference soon.

Passel Project: Making the Web More Social Start: 05:15, Duration: 6:15

Some of what is known about you come from things you assert (your favorite color . . .) and some come from things that can be verified (where you got your degree from. . .). Andy Oram continues his interview on identity with Passel developers David Smith and Peter Saint-Andrew.

IT Conversations Pick of the Week: Metcalfe Start: 11:30, Duration: 1:30

We select an O'Reilly IT Conversations pick of the week. If you have any ideas about who we should pick from Doug Kaye's vaults, email us. This week's feature is Bob Metcalfe and our clip explains why his PhD thesis was initially rejected from Harvard.

Perl Testing: Start: 13:00, Duration: 4:10

Ian Langworth and chromatic have recently coauthored Perl Testing: A Developer's Notebook. In this clip from a interview, they explain the importance of testing, whether or not Perl is your language of choice.

Danny O'Brien: To Evil Start: 17:10, Duration: 5:05

As enjoyable as it is to read Danny O'Brien's To Evil column on, he's even funnier to listen to. This is an edited version of Danny's keynote speech from this year's OSCON in Portland. He talks about ways in which he has worked for good or outright fought against evil.

Classic FOO-cast: Goff's Law Start: 22:15, Duration: 2:00

Max Goff takes a break from pondering distributed computing to bring us Goff's Law in this audio clip from before podcasting was podcasting. Max observes that by definition, half of the population is below the mean in whatever you are measuring and that this has important implications if you are developing software.

Show Close: Start: 24:15, Duration: 0:48

Credits, including special thanks to David Battino for composing and performing the theme music. David can be found at and also edits O'Reilly's Digital Audio site. David provided a lot of help and feedback getting this program launched. We used Soundtrack Pro, Skype, and Audio Hijack Pro to put this program together.

Total running time: 25:03

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Daniel H. Steinberg is the editor for the new series of Mac Developer titles for the Pragmatic Programmers. He writes feature articles for Apple's ADC web site and is a regular contributor to Mac Devcenter. He has presented at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, MacWorld, MacHack and other Mac developer conferences.

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