Yesterday I spent some time with CNET's Buzz Report - kind of a civilized TWiT - and Tom Merritt (former TechTV.com Executive Producer), Molly Wood of Anchordesk, and Veronica the Producer. I had a great time. You can listen to the show by clicking the link to the left under Radio Leo, or through the CNET Site. I've invited them on TWiT to return the favor.
We've clearly outgrown the commenting capabilities of Drupal. Many folks have asked me for forums, so I think it's time to set these up and close down comments here.
The new forums are at twit.tv/forums.
In an effort to avoid the mess that public forums have become elsewhere, and to thank supporters, I am going to limit access to TWiT contributors. I don't have an automatic way to do that just yet, however, so I guess you'll just have to apply for an account.
When you sign up, please provide either your Paypal receipt number (from your confirmation email) or the email address you paid with, so I can verify your membership.
I've been kinda stunned by the negative reaction to this week's TWiT (read the comments to Episode 40 for some idea). Is it really the worst TWiT ever? Or did you like it a lot? I'd like to get some feedback. Please rate it in the poll to the right. As always, we want to give you the kind of shows you like best and the best way to do that is to get your feedback.
The good news is that I think we've figured out why shows were getting truncated and we've fixed the links for 39 and 40. Listenership is up substantially - TWiT 38 was downloaded 223,000 times in one week, not including mirrors, BitTorrent, and video - but we don't want to chase you all away, so let us know what you think.
Someone at DC Comics must like podcasts. This is from The Adventures of Superman - issue 648, March 2006.
Notice the guy in the TWiT Hoodie on the left. HAK.5 and Command-N, too! I guess we're all part of mainstream culture now!
Our beloved primary bandwidth provider, AOL Radio, converted all its servers to Akamai last week. Ultimately this will mean much faster download speeds, and since they were pushing 3.4TB a day they really needed to do it.
However, this has meant some hiccups in the short run. A number of people have complained of truncated downloads for Security Now and TWiT. I believe this is happening because your local Akamai server has an incomplete version of the show. It's a small minority of servers, but we'd like to figure out which ones are not working properly.
If you attempted to download TWiT, Security Now, or Inside the Net in the past week via HTTP by clicking on a link on this page, or via iTunes, and received a short show please send me an email with your local IP address and the length of the file you received. That will help us locate the areas where there are problems.
The good news is that BitTorrent is getting easier and easier. I've been playing with a new client for Windows and Mac called Fireant and I'm very impressed. Not only will it download audio and video files via BitTorrent, the software allows you to copy video and audio directly to an iPod, PSP, Creative Zen, and other devices. If you're having trouble getting TWiT via iTunes you might want to try Fireant.
Here are the BitTorrent RSS links you can use with Fireant:
- MP3 Audio: http://twitorrents.com/bm/rss.php?i=2
- AAC Enhanced: http://twitorrents.com/bm/rss.php?i=1
- iPod Video: http://twitorrents.com/bm/rss.php?i=5
- Desktop Video: http://twitorrents.com/bm/rss.php?i=6
Thanks for your help and patience. Even though TWiT is a year old now, we're still an infant with lots of growing to do.
I have put up a new dedicated BitTorrent server and we're starting to put the files up. Please bang on it and let's see how it works. The new URL is
It may be a little slow while it seeds but it should speed up once we get some seeders on board. Alex is uploading the video, too.
Right now the server has only a 10Mbps connection, but I've put in for 100Mbps so that should help. And the best part is, no matter how it gets slammed, it won't affect this site.
Yes the site has been very slow for the last few days. The server was running, but traffic was slowing it down. I'm not sure why but we're working on it.
It's possible it was a DDoS attack. We experienced similar temporary slowdowns on the leo.am and townsquare server on Sunday. Most likely due to a run on Ilfak's patch for the WMF vulnerability.
Meanwhile I've disabled BitTorrent on the site - that is another candidate for a cause. I'll move the trackers to a third server today.
Everything seems ok now. Sorry for the disruption of service. The TWiT maintenance crews in their snazzy orange jackets are on the job.
UPDATE: Turning off the BitTorrent trackers seems to have fixed things. When I turned one back on things slowed down again - so I think it's safe to say the trackers were the source of the problems. They're all disabled now. I have ordered a new server and will be moving all the BitTorrent files over to there. That way even if it bogs down it won't affect this site. I'm also buying a second GB of RAM for this server which should help when the traffic gets heavy. Thanks for your patience!
Belated holiday greetings to you all. Thanks so much for your heartfelt support in 2005. It's been an amazing year.
I've posted a new poll on the site and I'd appreciate your vote and input. Up to now I've been trying to keep TWiT running on your donations and the little Google ads up top. And you've been very generous. I think we've used your money wisely to add new podcasts and buy the equipment we need to expand into video. Ultimately it's my goal to create an audio and video podcast channel to rival the best of TechTV, and thanks to you we're well on the way. We have a new TV show and several new podcasts in the works for you, and plans to do much more.
All along it's been my intention to avoid the mistakes of TechTV. We TWiTs want to control the production and distribution so that we never have to go through what happened to TechTV again. And I've avoided advertising, because I wanted to preserve our independence and editorial integrity. Your donations and my day jobs in mainstream media have subsidized the growth of the TWiT Network.
But in order to grow beyond this point, I need to take it to the next level. I need to be able to devote more time to TWiT, to hire people to help, to redesign the site to better fit our goals, and so on. This is going to take money. That means one of two things: subscriptions or advertising. I'm torn between asking listeners and viewers to bear the brunt of the production costs, or taking carefully selected unobtrusive advertising to foot the bill. So, as always, I'm asking you to tell me what you want.
What is the best way to build TWiT into a business that focuses on delivering the highest quality and most entertaining tech information online without compromising its integrity or risking its future? Enquiring minds want to know. Please vote in the poll on the right and post your comments below.
Thank you so much for an incredible year! TWiT exists because of your interest and your support - we know that and would never do anything to jeopardize your faith in us. Here's to a great 2006!
Frank Linhares, the indefatigable host of techphile.ca, has organized another meetup in Toronto.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
No Regrets Restaurant
Besides the entire Call for Help and Command-N crews, you'll meet Security Now's Steve Gibson, Pixel Corps' Alex Lindsay, Andy Walker from Lab Rats, Darren, Wess, Jonathan, and Harrison from HAK.5, Jenn Cutter from OpenAlpha.TV, Jim and Tim from MajorGeeks, and WASD.tv's Chad Dyle.
I also hope to have some TWiT hoodies to give away.
Sign up now at TechTVHolidayMeetup.com.