TWIT Staff's blog

Mind Numbing Committment to Self-Promotion

Want to read a halfway intelligent article about podcasting while you wait for TWiT 20 to seed?

This article in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat is right on. It has a nice picture of me doing Security Now!, too.

It's Not Their Fault

I've corresponded with Rick Klau at Feedburner and he's explained what happened. He merely quoted numbers that were already available publicly through the Feedburner Awareness API - something I had turned on months ago when I was playing with the feed count badges. I didn't realize having that on made the information public, even though Kevin Rose had shown me the "secret" URL that reveals the information a few weeks ago. I should have been paying more attention. (The Feedburner blog clarifies this API - worth reading for publishers using FB.)

Some good has come of this. Feedburner has wisely changed its policy about publicly commenting on feed numbers. And I've realized the problems inherent in passing my feeds through a third party.

I no longer think Feedburner violated its privacy policy - I had inadvertantly already made those numbers public. Sort of. However, I'm still moving off Feedburner - there was really no reason to use it except my own laziness, and now that I've started the process I see no reason to stop.

They seem like nice guys, however, and genuinely pained by the situation. I'm sorry that I cast aspersions their way. I wish them all the best. It's a good service and I appreciate the help it provided getting my podcasts off the ground.

Boy Was I Dumb

As some of you probably know, we pump our RSS feed through Feedburner. Feedburner processes the feed and generates some stats from it. I've always had some misgivings about using Feedburner - if anything should happen to them our feed would go down. In addition, there are some privacy issues - they see the IP address of every click that goes through them.

Unfortunately I didn't trust my gut and went ahead and used Feedburner. In fact, a great many podcasters use Feedburner. It provides a real convenience. But at a cost.

Yesterday Information Week published an article about podcasting quoting Feedburner's VP Business Development, Rick Klau. Klau quoted a figure of 41,000 for our subscribers. This is in direct violation of Feedburners stated privacy policy, and I consider it a real breach of trust. This information is proprietary and they don't have my permission to disclose it to any third party. It also damages us materially since he severely understated our subscriber base. We have 100,000 downloads per show from AOL alone.

I'm moving all my feeds off Feedburner and to a server I can trust - mine. I apologize to you for using Feedburner and for the inconvenience this may cause.

From now on please use the following URL to subscribe to TWiT:

My other podcasts will reside at the following addresses:

The Laporte Report:
Security Now!:
Radio Leo:

I have no idea how I'll change the iTunes feed - there doesn't seem to be any way for podcasters to directly communicate with the high priests at Apple, but I'm sure in time they'll notice.

The Feedburner Feeds will continue to work for a week or so, but I'll terminate them as soon as possible. Sorry for the trouble.

CFH Returns to USA in one week!

Well it doesn't look like anyone else is going to announce it so I'll confirm what most of you have already guessed. If you check your Tivo or Yahoo! TV listings you'll notice that Call for Help is back on the schedule at G4.

G4 has purchased the show for air in the US. I will continue to fly to Toronto to produce it, and we're not changing a thing. In fact, as those of you who have been watching it know, it's really more like the Screen Savers of old than Call for Help used to be, especially now that Kevin Rose has agreed to appear on the show twice a week. We'll get Patrick up to Toronto, too, I promise.

Starting August 29 CFH will be on G4 weekdays at 11a Eastern/8a Pacific and weekends at 6 and 7a Eastern. If enough of you watch I'm sure we'll be able to move to a better spot in the schedule. G4 has also purchased the last four months of programs so there will be lots of great stuff from many of your TechTV favorites including Kevin, Alex Lindsay, Steve Gibson, Mr. Excel Bill Jelen, Dick DeBartolo, and of course my Canadian cohort, Amber, Andy, Mike, and Sean.

Thanks for your support over the past year. I know all the emails and calls G4 has received has a lot to do with our return. Please watch and tell your friends to watch, too. I think you'll like what you see!

Once again into the breach, dear friends...

So, um, if you're not doing anything around 1PM PST (4PM EST) you can check out a live IPTV/online tv broadcast thing we're doing over at Ziff Davis... does require the Windows Media Player to watch it live.

Later on today we'll have archived version you can download at your whim.


ADDED 2:55:
1) Yup, we're having mad audio problems... we're got new mics and some training coming.
2) We're still getting used to the Newtek Tricaster for switching the show ... we're on our third Tricaster, since we had a software crash on the first one and a hardware problem on the second... that cut down into our rehersal/learn how to switch the show time. Beyond that it's an amazing box.

Stand By For News

Watch for a major announcement regarding Call for Help soon.

UPDATE: I'm sorry I can't say more. I am also sorry that the official release hasn't gone out yet. I wouldn't have said anything if I had known it was going to take this long. I'm not trying to keep you in suspense - honest!

Suffice to say it's good news!

Toronto Super Summit

As I mentioned in the TWiTcast this week, Amber, Andy, and Mike from Call for Help plus Kevin Rose, Alex Albrecht, and Keith Harrison from Diggnation, Dan Huard from systm, and Frank Linhares of will join me tomorrow for the Toronto meetup. If you're in the Toronto area please stop by. I think this is probably a once in a lifetime chance to see all these people in one place.

Location: No Regrets Restaurant (219 Dufferin St., in Liberty Village, Downtown Toronto)
Date : Thursday August 11th, 2005
Time : 7:30 pm

Please RSVP at if you plan to attend so we can get some idea of who is showing up. Thanks!

There's room for up to 200 so get there early. The food is great. Hope to see you there!

Thanks to Frank Linhares of the Techphile podcast for putting this together. We'll be taping a podcast there with him at 6p if you want to watch.

Thank You TWiT Army

You can stand down now. TWiT has won two - count 'em - two Podcast awards - best Technology podcast and the People's Choice award. Thanks so so much to all of you for your votes. I had pretty much given up because I forgot to mention anything until the last two days of voting.

Congratulations to all the other winners and nominees. We were in the running with the best in the medium.

Peoples Choice: This Week In Tech
Best Produced: Daily Source Code
Business: Media Artist Secrets Podcast
Comedy: Distorted View Daily
Cultural / Political: Free Talk Live

Last Day of Voting

This weekend is the last chance to vote for the Podcast Awards. TWiT has been nominated in the People's Choice and Technology categories. If you haven't voted yet, please do soon. And thanks for your support!

Showbiz Again!

CNN Headline News liked me so much, they've invited me back.

I'll be on Showbiz Tonight live at 7:30p Eastern this evening to talk about iPod alternatives: the Dell DJ, iRivers, and Archos Gmini.

That'll make seven minutes left in my 15 minutes of fame.