SitePoint Podcast #187: Louis Goes to the Horse Race

Episode 187 of The SitePoint Podcast is now available! This week we have 3/4 of the panel, Patrick O’Keefe (@ifroggy), Stephan Segraves (@ssegraves) and Kevin Dees (@kevindees).

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Episode Summary

The panel discuss topics such as Instagram’s new look on the web, browser trends, security threats, the position of audio on the web and more!

Here are the main topics covered in this episode:

Browse the full list of links referenced in the show at http://delicious.com/sitepointpodcast/187.

Host Spotlights

Interview Transcript

Patrick: Hello, and welcome back to the SitePoint Podcast. This is Patrick O’Keefe, and I’m joined today by Kevin Dees and Stephan Segraves. How’s it going, gentlemen?

Stephan: Pretty good, Patrick.

Kevin: It’s going well.

Patrick: Yeah, it’s good to have you back. Stephan, I know you were sick last time, so we couldn’t get you on the show.

Stephan: Yeah, it’s good to be back. Even if it’s just because I feel better. [laughs]

Patrick: [laughs] Right. It’s just good to be upright.

Stephan: Yes.

Patrick: We’re without Louis Simoneau today, our usual fourth co-host, because of an Australian holiday, I think.

Kevin: Horse races, right? [laughs]

Patrick: [laughs] Yeah, it’s not a horse race. This podcast is going to be released on November 9th, and November 10th marks the fourth anniversary of us starting this show.

Me and Stephan were a part of the initial lineup, along with Kevin Yank and Brad Williams, and of course now we’ve got Louis Simoneau and Kevin Dees, but, yeah, we’re coming up on four years. You know, Stephan, what do you think about that passage of time, [laughs], old man.

Stephan: It’s a long time to be a broadcaster. [laughs] No, it’s good.

Patrick: [laughs] I mean, a broadcaster. Right up there with Brokaw. Yeah.

Stephan: It’s good.

Patrick: No, it’s great, and it’s been fun to see how the show’s grown, and, definitely, thank you to all the listeners we’ve had over the years, and all the people who…

Stephan: Absolutely.

Patrick: …helped us get that .net magazine podcast of the year award, and it’s been a fun run.

Kevin: Four years and going.

Patrick: We’re going to continue on here, with a news panel show. Let’s jump right into it.

Stephan: Well, I have kind of an interesting story, guys, from Instagram. They’ve decided that they’re going to have web profiles. Instagram has been something that’s been on Android and iPhone…

Patrick: Right.

Stephan: …for a long time. And now, they’re going to have, basically, a web version of your feed, available online. So they’ve got these profiles, they have a whole announcement on it, and what they’re going to look like, the concept. There’s a few kind of test profiles that you can look at. Nike’s one of them, and some others, like a cooking website, and stuff. It kind of looks a little like Facebook.

Kevin: Yeah, I was fixing to say that. It looks a lot like Facebook.

Stephan: It’s kind of weird. [laughs]

Patrick: Yeah, it’s pretty cool, though. You know, I have to say, the whole Android, iPhone kind of lockout thing, and of course it was first for the iOS stuff, and then they brought it to Android, and there was a big hullaballoo about that, and now you have the web-based profiles.

One thing I neglected to do, and I should have done as soon as it went to Android, was to get a username. [laughs] I got a username a while back, but certainly after the whole land rush had passed, so I have PatrickBOKeefe on there. I couldn’t get ifroggy, I couldn’t get my first and last name on there. I had to actually insert the initial. So, shame on me, but I’ve kind of used it to follow a few people, and have been wondering when they’re going to blog some sort of web interface.

Have they said anything about opening it up as far as making it easier for people to upload photos via the web, or is that something they’re still not talking about yet?

Stephan: That’s the last section, in their little FAQ that they have about the profiles, and they say that they’re focused on production of photos from mobile devices. They’re not going to be able to upload from the web.

Patrick: Hmm. I mean, I guess there’s an interesting discussion to be had there, of, ‘OK, let’s go as mainstream as possible, or do we have a core focus and be known for something?’ Right? Because if they allowed photo upload, obviously traffic would increase.

Stephan: Yeah.

Patrick: I think that goes without saying. But of course with that come, you know, some additional headaches, possibly more copyright issues, and other types of issues, and then, if they go off of that, then they’re less focused on that mobile photo platform. Instagram is really, it’s it. This is the platform people use to take photos via mobile devices and share them online. It’s extremely popular.

I don’t know if they were to open it up to allow people to upload photos on the web, like you went to shoot with your camera on a photo op with, like, a real camera, and I know some of the cameras can upload to Instagram. Let’s say you uploaded that to your desktop and uploaded it via your web browser. I mean, would they lose the niche of their product? Even though it’s not a small niche, it’s still what they’re known for. I don’t know how I feel about that. What do you think, Kevin?

Kevin: Yeah, I feel like they’re trying not to compete with Flickr right now.

Patrick: Right.

Kevin: With having your phone, you’re not exactly going to be uploading extremely large photos, either.

Patrick: Are you talking about my phone specifically? [laughs] My phone, as we’ve talked about on this show, is cheap, pay as you go, and doesn’t even have a camera on it.

Kevin: Right, yeah, your phone, exactly right, Patrick. [laughs]

Patrick: [laughs]

Kevin: But yeah, I feel like if they introduced the desktop version of uploading your photos, it would become sort of like this gallery of Photoshopped files from your desktop, and just all the things that are involved in that.

Patrick: Right.

Kevin: And like you said, I think copyright’s an interesting thing to think about when it comes to stepping outside of the mobile device, because you don’t exactly upload… I mean, you can technically upload photos from your computer, right? You put it on your phone from your computer and then you upload it to Instagram.

Patrick: Good point.

Kevin: From your phone. It’s an interesting thing, because I guess you can upload it from your desktop already. Considering you had to put it on your phone first, right? Yeah, I don’t know. I think it’s, I think it’s something to just kind of wait and watch. I don’t feel like they’re going to add a webcam, take a picture from your computer feature, ever. But then again, ever’s a long time, so.

Patrick: How big of an Instagram user are you, Kevin?

Kevin: I’ve taken three photos, I think.

Patrick: OK, Stephan, forget you, Kevin. Stephan, [laughs] I know you’re much bigger of an Instagram user. What do you think?

Stephan: You know, I kind of like the fact that it’s mobile. It’s kind of like a view into someone’s ‘right now’. It’s kind of like the Twitter, it’s like a visual Twitter, for me, at least.

Patrick: Right. OK.

Stephan: I kind of appreciate that fact, of, you know, someone’s around the world somewhere, I can see kind of what they’re looking at, or what they’re experiencing. That’s kind of like a little niche part that I like about it. I think the web would be, it would be a huge step up, because what it does, it turns into an archivable service, almost, if they go to the Web, right?

You’re going to start uploading more and more photos that maybe aren’t as good. Like, I know for my Flickr, if you look at my Flickr, I’ve got, I don’t even know, 5,000, 6,000 photos. Not all of them are very good, and some of them were just for me. It’s an archival service. I don’t think Instagram wants to become that.

So, I don’t know, I think it’s going to be interesting too, when Facebook integrates them more, or decides what they’re actually going to do with them.

Patrick: Right.

Stephan: To see which way they go, because I’m looking at one of the profiles right now, that’s kind of got the test profile setup going.

Patrick: Yep.

Stephan: And if you click on a photo, it actually looks a lot like what Facebook already has. Like, the comment section, and the likes, except it’s not a thumbs up, it’s a heart. So, you know, it looks, it’s already got that Facebook look and feel, almost, so I’m wondering if this is kind of a move to get ready to get integrated into Facebook.

Patrick: Yeah, I just wonder how much, you know, because expectations from the start of a product, and as it grows in popularity, those expectations can dictate a lot in the future. I wonder if, even if Instagram opened up to web upload or desktop upload, it wouldn’t structurally change how people use Instagram, because they view it differently from Flickr.

You know, with the whole follower system, people don’t go on Twitter and then use it in a completely different way from the way you already have been using it that has gotten you those followers. Would Instagram be the same way, where people would continue to take photos of the same kind of things?

If they just filled their timeline, so to speak, with all the photos they take in the world, like you mentioned your Flickr stream, and you have thousands and thousands of photos, right?

I don’t know if even if it opened up, a lot of people probably wouldn’t make that switch and start using it in that way, you know, for fear of damaging or somehow not living up to that community that they’ve built.

Stephan: Yeah, yeah, it’s a possibility. Then again, I don’t know. You never know when you open up a service to people. What’s interesting to me about all of these things, what’s with Twitter, and Instagram, and, it’s such like a little community. We build our own communities, right?

Patrick: Right.

Stephan: So the people we follow become these little mini-communities.

Patrick: Yeah.

Stephan: And there’s so much else going on around it. Like, there’s other stuff. There’s people on Instagram that have awesome photos, but I never will see them. Because I don’t follow them, I don’t see them. It’s interesting, that maybe the noise won’t matter, if they do go to the web, because I won’t see it. I don’t know.

Patrick: Cool. It’s been a while since we talked about browser trends, because frankly, they’re kind of boring. [laughs] There’s not a lot to say about browser trends, you know? They go up, they go down, month to month, they change. Really the last really big news was when Chrome overtook Internet Explorer. I think that might have been our last substantial discussion about browser trends.

But since we’re recording this show in the first week of the month, I thought I’d take a look at the November 2012 browser trends posted on SitePoint by Craig Buckler. These come from the stat counter global statistics. For the month, from September 2012 to October 2012, you have Chrome with a gain of 0.54 percentage points, Safari gained a little bit, Opera gained a little bit, IE falls. Fell again, fell 0.63% in the month.

But that’s not really the thing that jumped out to me here. It was that Internet Explorer 7 has fallen below 1% for the first time, to 0.98%. And then you have Internet Explorer 6 is down below .5, it’s been there before, it’s kind of meandering around that 0.5 mark, but it’s at 0.49%
right now.

Is that a milestone, a big deal? It’s not as big a deal as IE 6, it can’t be, right? But how much do web developers hate IE 7 to the point where, you know, ‘Yay, it’s finally below 1%!’

Kevin: Yeah, I think, IE 7 has kind of been doing this slow dip. It feels like IE 6 just two or three years ago, kind of that dilemma of, ‘We have to support it because it’s just big enough.’ The thing I have actually found, if you don’t… I think it’s more prevalent in North America, in the past, I’d say year, IE 7 has hovered around, like, 3% to 5%, and it’s interesting to see the global stats go down to below 1%.

I think that is huge, I think that’s a big deal, just because I hate Internet Explorer 7. I loved it when IE 6 was out, and that’s all we had that wasn’t IE 6, right? [laughs]

But now we have IE 9. And to see that now in North America, go down to 1.17, it’s kind of nice. It feels good to know that all of these things that you had to do to support IE 7 are no longer as necessary.

It’s interesting, because I’ve been working on a site that deals a lot with payments, online payments, and accepting those, and so still having to support those older browsers, so folks can still collect their payments when somebody else is using an older technology has been kind of an interesting battle, deciding what features you want to include and which features you don’t.

And just the amount of poly-fills, and different things that you can use to kind of bring Internet Explorer up to speed with some of the newer ones. Now, that’s nothing substantial, or at least not as substantial leap as it used to be, now that we have things like Canvas and all of these other CSS 3 transitions, you can’t exactly port those from IE 7, in an effective way.

Seeing that number go down is always something that feels really good, especially, like you said, Patrick, under 1%. I think that’s a big deal.

Patrick: And, you know, you mentioned the North America number. 1.17%.
IE 6 in North America is 0.2%, so it’s even lower than the global scale. I guess, between the two, it averages out to maybe about the same happiness.
[laughs] But still, IE 6 is used a little bit less, here in North America. As far as the overall stats go, you have Chrome is up to 34.77% of the market now, IE’s at 32.08%, these are global stats again.

In North America, IE is still the leader, with 39.9% of the market, and Chrome is second, with 26.21%, so a lot of Chrome’s, you know, strongest numbers, come from overseas. And year over year, October 2011 to October 2012, it’s pretty predictable what you see here.

Chrome went up 9.78 percentage points, IE went down 8.1 percentage points, so you can see the gain is almost completely at the hands of IE. Firefox also fell, about 4 percentage points over that time, and, you know, the rest probably not as big a deal.

So, yeah, I guess the bottom line is IE 7 is down below 1% globally, and IE 6 is down below .5. And I don’t know when the next new release of browser trends will be, but we’ll have it then.

Kevin: Yeah, it would be really interesting, I think, to see the stats for how often computers break, and people replace them.

Patrick: Right.

Kevin: Because I think that has a big impact on the browser market, because some people just don’t upgrade anything until it breaks. And so it would be kind of, it would be nice to see the statistical curve of how rapidly people start to replace their computers after, say, seven years. Like, how much that number spikes down.

Patrick: It would be interesting, I don’t know if there are already some numbers out there like that. If there are, please, let us know in the comments at sitepoint.com/podcast. So let’s stay on the Microsoft tip, and talk about the story from the next web.

Emil Protalinski is reporting that Kaspersky, the big antivirus software company, has released their IT Threat Evolution Report for the third quarter of 2012. Now, this report takes into account statistical data that is gathered from the use of the cloud-based Kaspersky Security Network, or KSN.

The statistics were acquired by KSN users, who consented to share their local data. Millions of users of the Kaspersky Lab products in 213 countries took part in this global information exchange on malicious activity.

Now, some of the key findings that they highlighted were that 28% of all mobile devices attacked, via some form of vulnerability that they identified, ran Android OS version 2.3.6, which was released in September 2011.

They found that 56% of exploits blocked in the third quarter, which is what this report represents, the third quarter of 2012, used Java vulnerabilities, that’s 56%. And finally, a total of 91.9 million URLs serving malicious code were detected, which is a gain of 3% compared to the second quarter of 2012.

Now, there’s a few different things about this report that’s interesting, but one of them is that they made a point to highlight that Microsoft products no longer feature among the top 10 products with vulnerabilities. They say this is because the automatic updates mechanism has been well-
developed in recent versions of Windows OS. Y

ou might be wondering what the top 10 vulnerabilities were. OK, so in the third quarter, they identified 30,749,066 vulnerable programs and files on the computers of KSN users, with an average of 8 different vulnerabilities on each affected computer.

Now, the top ten vulnerabilities are as follows, and I’ll just summarize here, than go into a whole long thing. Number one and two are tied to Oracle’s Java products. Various vulnerabilities tied to Java.

Then you have numbers 3 through 6, and 9 through 10, so that’s 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, and 10 are different Adobe products, Adobe Flash, Adobe Flash again, Adobe Reader/Acrobat, Adobe Shockwave, and Adobe Flash Player. Then number 6 is Quicktime from Apple, and number 7 is iTunes from Apple. Number 8 is a Winamp issue.

Microsoft was not on this list at all, and they made a point to note that, and this story at the next clip does as well, because Microsoft products, as the author said, would normally feature in these sorts of lists.

Just to demonstrate that, I went back two years to see what the threat evolution for the third quarter of 2010 said, and Microsoft did feature on the list. They had vulnerabilities with Microsoft Office, Excel, and Word, Microsoft Powerpoint, Microsoft Office Access, ActiveX controls, Microsoft Office OneNote, Microsoft took up five spots on this list.

Java, then was Sun, before the acquisition there, was number one. So Java, once again, is taking the cake there. But Microsoft was half the list. Adobe was, it looks like four spots here. I guess, I don’t know, the question I have here is, is Microsoft doing a lot better on security? Do they deserve credit for that? How do you read this report? Stephan?

Stephan: It’s a good thing, right? It’s kind of one of those good things that you hate to hear, right? It’s… [laughs]

Patrick: [laughs] Come on!

Stephan: It’s good for Microsoft, but it’s something that took a long time to do, I think. You said it was what, 2009?

Patrick: That was 2010. That was 2010, the report I mentioned that had 5 out of 10.

Stephan: 2010, OK. So it’s been a few years, or a couple years, and so I’m glad that they’re off the top ten list. I’d like to know actually where they sit on, let’s say, a list of 100.

Patrick: Right.

Stephan: I’m sure it’s somewhere in there. But, it really shows that there are serious issues with Java, and the story that you linked to, it goes down to say, “You really shouldn’t have Java installed unless you absolutely need it.”

Patrick: Yeah. Because Java was number one in 2010, let’s not forget that, right? [laughs]

Kevin: Yeah, it hasn’t moved.

Patrick: Microsoft was on the list, but at least they’ve changed, right?

Stephan: Yeah.

Patrick: I mean, Java was number one. Now it’s number one and number two.

Stephan: It’s great. It means less headaches for Microsoft users in the long run.

Patrick: Right.

Stephan: I say kudos to them. And I say to the others on the list, get your act together.

Patrick: Right, because this is kind of a further condemnation of, not only Java, but also Adobe Flash.

Stephan: I wouldn’t say it’s a condemnation of Flash, I think it’s a black eye for Flash. I think that maybe it’s a mark on Flash’s record that says, “Hey, not only are you, you know, a system hog, but you’re also vulnerable.” It’s got two strikes against it, and the third, I guess, would be, well, no one really uses it much anymore, so.

Patrick: [laughs]

Stephan: [laughs]

Kevin: Aside from the gaming sites, I think.

Stephan: Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Patrick: I know Kevin’s a big time Flash developer, so what do you think?

Stephan: Sorry, Kevin.

Kevin: Yeah, no, I don’t actually use Flash that much. I think it’s interesting…

Patrick: I know.

Kevin: …that Adobe is kind of taking the same viewpoint and as this article which is, “Hey, Flash, maybe we shouldn’t be doing this so much.” I know they’ve dropped support for Linux systems. So…

Patrick: Right.

Kevin: You know, it’s kind of this trend, and they’re moving more and more towards HTML 5 Canvas platforms, right? As technology gets better in that open-source world, games and that kind of thing will migrate in that direction, and everything will be portable.

I mean, you’ll probably still use Flash and all those things to build your site, so just convert it from Flash to whatever, unless the overhead for that is just substantial enough to disagree with what I’m saying.

Yeah, I think it’s interesting, I think Adobe will drop off this list in the next three or four years, just because they won’t be supporting Flash for much anything. Or, it all comes down, Flash really just has its grip on the gaming community, in my opinion, like video’s kind of moving towards HTML 5. We’ve seen that with Chrome, and with the bleeding edge browsers.

I don’t see why people would want to install Flash, outside of playing on the gaming sites. You’re just, basically, you’re not going to be getting that notification to install it, right? I think they’re going to have a hard time with PDF and that kind of thing, but all these products are just third-party plugins for browsers, right? And that’s where you get most of your vulnerabilities, online, outside of like, cross site scripting attacks. But that happens within websites.

It’s more of taking advantage of the browsers than the computer. And so, yeah, I think this list will change in the next few years, and we’ll probably see Microsoft back on the list in the next few years, because products change, especially Adobe’s, which are taking up a huge amount of the list right now.

Stephan: Well, that’s a good point, though. I mean, this is all in flux, right? This is all changing all the time. So, you know, next week, it could be something else. But for the year, you know this is what they’ve seen. So…

Patrick: Actually, the third quarter of 2009.

Stephan: Third quarter. It’s one of those things where, yeah, Microsoft could be on there next week. I don’t… [laughs]

Patrick: [laughs]

Stephan: I don’t know, you know?

Patrick: They could be. You’re right. And, you know, the thing to keep in mind with this list is also, it’s based on the percentage of users whose computers had this particular vulnerability. So some of this also has to do with volume, right? It actually has to be on their computer first. Like, they have to actually have installed it, to first have the vulnerability. So of course, its kind biased against the most popular applications.

You know, I don’t know whether that’s fair or not, but that is how this list is going to be compiled. I mean, I think that’s a good thing for Microsoft as well, but like you said, it’s always in flux. The final point I wanted to draw from this report is how they said Microsoft products made it out of this list.

They specifically cited automatic updates, the automatic updates mechanism, and how well-developed it has been in the recent versions of Windows OS. And, you know, we’ve talked about automatic updates here on the show, especially with regard to Google Chrome, and have gone back and forth on the discussion as far as user choice versus taking that choice away.

I don’t know, this report just seems to further cement the idea that automatic updates are an important part of programs on the desktop, especially those that connect to the Web. So that’s another way to look at it as well.

Stephan: So I have an interesting article, which I’d actually like to talk about maybe the relevance of this, and it’s by…

Patrick: It’s irrelevant!

Stephan: Yeah, OK.

Patrick: Oh, sorry.

Stephan: Well, since it’s…

Patrick: [laughs] What is it again?

Stephan: Spotlights, right? No? [laughs]

Patrick: [laughs] No, no.

Stephan: So this article is by John Paul Titlow, and it’s on whether or not we really need a listen later button, and he’s actually requesting it. I guess, my question is do we actually need one of these things? So the article’s titled, “The Web Needs an Instapaper Style Listen Later Button for Audio.” If you’re familiar with the web, and I know the folks that listen to this show are probably more familiar with maybe, Jeremy Keith’s Huffduffer, and similar technologies used to kind of create your own feeds or podcasts, and they cover those kinds of things in this article.

Basically, his argument is that he has something to, he has like a boxy iPad app to airplay to his HD TV videos that he finds online later in life, and he has Instapaper for his articles, and he can kind of go through all his technology news, or whatever kind of news he cares about, in those two formats. Audio is lacking, he says. So he’s kind of saying, “Hey, the marketplace is open for this, if somebody wants to build an app, hint hint.”

Patrick: [laughs]

Stephan: I think it’s kind of an interesting thing, because audio is one of those formats that’s, that’s a little more passive than the other two, right? You have to be looking at text, you have to be looking at video, you have to be listening to video as well. Whereas audio is one of those things you can turn on and then, “Oh, I accidentally tuned out, and now I have to back it up and listen,” or you can listen to it in your car, I guess that’s not quite as passive of a way to do it.

But audio, I feel like, it’s one of those things that’s used for background noise, sort of like music, you know? Like, you’ll listen to good music while you work, but it’s not like you’re listening to every word they say.

Patrick: Right, and a lot of people who try to be productive, I know, swear on music without any lyrics, like instrumentals, and that sort of thing. You know, and this seems like a stupid question to ask, but for those who might not know, Instapaper, what is the difference between Instapaper and bookmarking, or sending yourself a link for later? How is it different functionally in the actual reading of the document?

Stephan: It’s similar to Google Reader, in that you, well, it’s not quite. So with Instapaper, you can basically go through the web, and as you find something, you mark a specific article as something you want to read.

Patrick: Right.

Stephan: Whereas a feed’s more of everything on that site.

Patrick: So then it sends a copy to a device, or how does it work?

Stephan: Right, so it’ll just simply bookmark that page, and then when you pull it up, it’ll kind of filter through the content, and display it in a way that looks nice. It’s sort of like, I think, ‘Read It Later’, that application was used…

Patrick: It’s now ‘Pocket’, formerly was ‘Read It Later’.

Stephan: There’s been a lot of apps out there that have kind of done this. Instapaper has been the one that has been the powerhouse that everybody uses. Mainly, I think, because it was on the iPhone, and such, before any of the other ones. And it’s just a clean interface. So, yeah, it’s this idea that you can kind of pick the content that you want. It’s not really… you create your own stream, right? The stream isn’t automatically created for you.

Patrick: Yeah.

Stephan: I’m sure you could, you could create your own stream automatically by doing whatever you want with Instapaper. But the premise is you create your own stream, versus having stuff just pushed to you. As you browse the web, as you browse Twitter, you can say, ‘Oh, I like that link, I’ll create this feed,’ so it’s sort of this filtration device, where you go through all your stuff, and then you can read it later.

Patrick: Instapaper is based mostly on text articles, right? So it’s basically kind of curating your reading experience for later, when you’re in the mood, or in the right spot to be reading.

Stephan: For me, it’s travel, right? I put a lot of long-form stuff, like news articles, on Instapaper. And then before I get on the plane, I just download them all, and then I read them on the plane.

Patrick: Yeah.

Stephan: It’s not an archival method, really, it’s more of a, ‘I’m going to read this, here’s my reading list for the next whatever I’m doing,’ and then I get rid of it.

Patrick: Right. So there’s nothing like that for audio right now, there’s nothing like, ‘send this clip.’ It doesn’t have to be podcasts, but any kind of audio to this thing, this other app, or document. There’s nothing like that right now?

Stephan: There are services that’ll create a stream, such as Huffduffer, well, actually, Huffduffer, you kind of submit your audio links, you create your own feed, so it is similar. Huffduffer, I saw this title, and I was like, “Oh, Huffduffer, maybe they mentioned it in here.” I checked it out, that’s why it’s in this show. Because I have used Huffduffer. So there are services out there like this, but apparently just not any that kind of meet John’s standard.

Patrick: Hmm. OK.

Stephan: Apparently, from posting. So he names a few that do it, and there’s different ways around it. But just, just not in the format that’s kind of, this elegant, I really feel like he’s asking for an app for his iPod, or iPhone, or whatever.

Patrick: So what do you think? I mean, you asked the question, but it is this necessary? [laughs] I mean, do you listen to a lot of podcasts?

Stephan: Yeah, so I have a few, not as many as I used to, but I do have a few, and I feel like podcasts and audio are a little bit different than videos. Simply because it’s like the radio, you have these stations that you listen to and you stick to them, right?

Patrick: Right, right.

Stephan: So if you listen to SitePoint podcast, you kind of stick with that, and you listen to that, or if you… and some people kind of piecemeal different things, but for the most part, I also feel like there’s this other piece to it, which hasn’t been talked about, and which kind of goes into whether or not you need this, right? Which is, audio just isn’t as popular as video.

People who are out there create these video feeds and video blogs, and video tutorials on YouTube and the like, just to do it. I feel like, audio tends to be longer, I’ll just leave it at that. Audio, you’re going to be listening to something for 30 minutes to an hour and half.

Video, you can get three minutes. And people just don’t do audio really quickly. I know Boagworld, Mr. Paul does his smaller tidbits that you can get on his site, but yeah, I think it just has to do with the format, and the length, and time required to actually listen to that format that creates a necessity for something like an app for it.

Kevin: I think, you know, part of his point is, “I want to come back to this audio later, like I want to listen to it later.” I don’t see the need for that, because if I’m going to listen to the audio, I’ll just bookmark it, right?

I don’t say, “Oh, well put it in this app and let me listen to it later.”
I’m not going to, to me, it’s one of those things since I’m just listening, I wouldn’t want random stuff that I had just bookmarked on the Internet just to come up while I’m doing whatever around the house.

Patrick: Right.

Kevin: I got my iPod plugged in or whatever, and I’m listening to just random audio as I walk around the house. [laughs] I don’t…

Stephan: [laughs]

Patrick: Yeah, heaven forbid you might have accidentally downloaded the SitePoint podcast and heard my voice.

Stephan: [laughs] Well, you know, I’ll go from a technology podcast to a cooking show. Do I really want to do that? I don’t know.

Patrick: Right. You’re a diverse guy, Stephan.

Stephan: I’m a diverse guy, yeah. But, I mean, is that really what you want? It’s different with reading, because I can say, “Well, I’m not going to read that right now, I’ll just skip over it.”

Patrick: Right.

Stephan: That’s that visual side, with listening, it’s like, “Oh, well now I have to take out the iPod, change the song, because… whatever I’m listening to right now, because it’s not what I wanted to hear.”

Patrick: Maybe this is an app that’s not, I don’t know. I don’t know how would it work, like there might be a button on it that would say, ‘Skip for later,’ or something? Right? I don’t know. [laughs]

Stephan: I guess I’m kind of with Kevin, like, audio just doesn’t seem that prevalent in short bits on the Internet.

Kevin: Yeah, exactly.

Stephan: It’s just like, I don’ t know if I can justify an app to do this, based on what content’s out there, in short term, like in short form, I guess. Does that make sense?

Patrick: Yeah, and he makes a bold statement, that whoever nails this wins at web audio. I don’t know. I mean, because he mentions a company like SoundCloud or Stitcher Radio adding this type of functionality to their web and mobile apps. Yeah, I mean, I could see that, as like kind of a baseline feature. Like, it might already exist, I don’t know if there’s some way to just, “Yes, I want to listen to this later. Save this. Bookmark. Favorite it.”

You know, there might already be that, and that functionality is essentially, I think, what we’re discussing here. It’s possible that, Titlow has kind of a grander vision for that, and maybe there is this part of the web that, or this segment of the people who use the web that really want this type of thing.

That said, you know, he mentions that some of the issues about licensing and stuff will come up, which is highly possible, then building a profitable business around this to encourage development.

Is this something enough people want, that enough people will pay for, to keep it in business? I don’t know, I don’t want to discourage the development, but for the reasons you guys have discussed, it, I’m not sure.

Stephan: I think it’s settled, then, that audio is just irrelevant, and… [laughs]

Patrick: [laughs] No, no, it’s not settled at all!

Stephan: [laughs]

Patrick: You know, subscribe to listen to the SitePoint podcast! That’s… no. Yeah.

Stephan: Again, it is kind of something interesting to think about, because of the different types of formats that content shows up in, right?
So audio just happens to be one of those formats that you use for a specific type of content that you just don’t necessarily want to bookmark, I guess.

I mean, if you do, you subscribe to it, if that makes sense. If it’s going to be short and sweet, it’s going to be a video, and so you’re going to use that format for that type of content.

Patrick: Right.

Stephan: Or the longer content tends to be audio, because it’s longer, and it’s less bandwidth, and you don’t need video, if that makes any sense. So, the content kind of defines what type of format you’re going to use, reading, watching, or listening, and so based on the type of content, you get these different formats, and the more consumed types of content are the text and video, because of the content that’s displayed on it. So I think that’s kind of where we see this disconnect in application support for audio.

Stephan: I think that sums it up.

Patrick: All right, well, great discussion, and, yeah, let’s dive right into the spotlights. Who would like to go first?

Kevin: I will go first. I don’t normally go first.

Stephan: [laughs]

Kevin: I have this amazing, and epic YouTube video, that I’m sending you guys right now.

Stephan: It’s epic.

Patrick: And amazing.

Kevin: It is epic and amazing, and it’s not, it’s not to do with Star Wars at Disneyland.

Stephan: [laughs]

Kevin: Just for the listeners who are like, “Great, I’m going to learn about Star Wars and Disney buying Star Wars,” but no. This is even better. This is Angry Birds in Star Wars. The official gameplay trailer, coming in by the time this podcast is out. So, Thursday. The day before you get this, so. But yeah, Angry Birds Star Wars trailer, it’s kind of cool. You get to be a Wookie, you get to be all these different things, so it’s really cool.

Patrick: I’ve got to say, I’ve still never played Angry Birds. [laughs]
I don’t know why. I’ve talked about that with people and friends, and they laugh, and say, “How can you have not played that yet?” [laughs] But I haven’t. I don’t know.

Yes, this is pretty cool, this looks like a pretty, you know, I’ve seen, obviously, Angry Birds before. But it’s like they’ve added a bunch of new gameplay mechanics to it, right? A lot of shooting, and this seems like a much deeper, richer Angry Birds, am I right?

Kevin: Yeah, you can definitely tell they’re using all the pieces that they’ve been developing over time, you know. It’s kind of the nice part about making a video game series, if it catches on. You can reuse the code, you don’t have to start over, and you can reuse the graphics, so you can just really, really spend time on the details, and building this immersive kind of experience.

Which we see with Angry Birds, right? It’s kind of been one of those iPhone apps, or, yeah, I guess it was iPhone originally, one of those apps that came out that people gathered around and supported, and because of that, they were able to do a lot of really cool stuff that not many other games have the chance to do, outside of the console.

Stephan: Looks pretty cool.

Patrick: It does make you wonder if this is something that Disney would have signed off on, because this has obviously been in the works before the acquisition. I guess we’ll never know. One thing that I did see, though, on Twitter, Seth McFarlane of Family Guy, he responded to someone who asked on Twitter, ‘Does this mean this is the end of your Star Wars parodies?’ They made these well-known parodies of the Star Wars franchise.

He said, ‘It’s probably so, yeah,’ because he can’t see it happening anymore. But, you never know. Why don’t I go ahead and go next since I’m talking about Disney, I just realized that ties into my spotlight, which is at themeparkconnection.com, they are selling a house, and what this house is, is a replica of the haunted mansion at Disneyland in California.

You know, there are some exterior changes to it, but it is quite similar, and it was built to be that way. Inside, it’s like a modern home. But outside, it’s a lot like the haunted mansion in Disneyland. And, you know,
[laughs], if you ever wanted to own the haunted mansion, I guess, this is your chance.

It’s going for a little under $900,000, $873,000, and it was built by a man named Mark Hurt, who is a Disney contractor, and owner of the company Constructioneer. He was able to measure the actual haunted mansion in California, and get the right dimensions and stuff, so it’s a pretty cool house. [laughs] I don’t know if I want to own it, but I wouldn’t mind if it was in my neighborhood.

Stephan: [laughs]

Kevin: [laughs]

Patrick: It’s apparently near Atlanta, Georgia.

Stephan: That’s cool.

Patrick: Yeah. It’s a pretty cool-looking house.

Stephan: Interesting.

Kevin: I imagine this launched just in time for Halloween for some celebrity to want to snag it for their party.

Stephan: [laughs]

Patrick: Yeah, I mean, they say they’ve had parties there, and even a wedding. So, I guess it could make some money as well.

Kevin: It’s kind of cool.

Stephan: Only kind of, Patrick.

Patrick: Thank you. [laughs] Thank you. Very kind of you, sir.

Stephan: I’ll go last. I’m going to kind of do a shameless promo. This past weekend, I got to go hang out with a United Airlines, and see the inaugural 787 U.S. flight, that they operated for revenue service. And I got to do a little tour of the airplane and stuff, and those that don’t know about the airplane, it’s pretty unique, in that it’s all composite material on the outside, for the most part.

It is, it’s a beautiful plane, and seeing it take off, just to give you an idea of how much composites bend, the wings go from just a normal flex on the outside to above the airplane, and they look almost like bird wings, going up, because they flex so much.

It was just neat, and got to do that, so I took some photos and stuff, and I posted them, and I’ll post a link so that everyone can get a look at what it looks like, so.

Lot of cool features, it’s actually humidified inside now, and pressurized to a lower altitude, so you aren’t as tired when you get to your destination. Just, it’s really neat.

Patrick: Very cool. And that, they had you on there, all because of your cloud score, right?

Stephan: Oh, yeah, right. [laughs]

Kevin: [laughs] I don’t know how I feel about my airplane’s wings being…

Patrick: Bendable?

Kevin: Bendable, yeah…

Stephan: Well, they all flex, it’s just how much more this one flexes.

Kevin: I didn’t…

Patrick: Right. They already bend, Kevin.

Kevin: I didn’t even know that, though. I didn’t need to know that, Stephan.

Stephan: They have to, you want them to bend. If they didn’t bend…

Patrick: Right.

Stephan: …the plane would fall out of the sky. [laughs]

Patrick: They would break off.

Stephan: Yes. [laughs]

Patrick: Which… that’s another image for you to be thinking about.

Stephan: [laughs] Sorry. I’m sorry, Kevin.

Kevin: See if I ever get on a plane again, now.

Patrick: [laughs]

Stephan: [laughs]

Patrick: Yeah, and you won’t need to get on a plane to come to IndieCon on November 17th, which is where Kevin… [laughs] which is where Kevin and I will be, in Raleigh, North Carolina, it’s a great con, it’s for freelancers, and lifestyle entrepreneurs, and more, so if you can make it out, you should definitely come and attend. indieconf.com, is the website. And that’s how it’s done, gentlemen.

Stephan: [laughs]

Kevin: I like it, I like it.

Patrick: Thank you, why don’t we go around the table.

Kevin: Sure. I’m Kevin Dees, and you can find me at kevindees.cc, and
@kevindees on Twitter.

Stephan: I’m Stephan Segraves, you can find me at badice.com, or on Twitter @ssegraves.

Patrick: I am Patrick O’Keefe, of the iFroggy network. I taste sodas and sodatasting.com, and I’m on Twitter at @iFroggy, I-F-R-O-G-G-Y.

You can follow SitePoint at @sitepointdotcom, that’s SitePoint D-O-T C-O-M. You can visit us at sitepoint.com/podcast, leave comments on this show, and you can subscribe to receive every show automatically.

Please email us podcast@sitepoint.com, with your questions for us, we’d love to read them out on the show and give you our advice.

The SitePoint podcast is produced by Karn Broad. Thank you for listening, and we’ll see you next time.

Audio Transcription by SpeechPad.

Theme music by Mike Mella.

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  • http://jza.me JZA

    I like this show althought it kinda went a bit too off the tracks.

    • http://www.managingcommunities.com Patrick O’Keefe

      Thanks for the comment, JZA. It can be a tough thing to get perfect for all, but we just try to let it flow naturally. That said, we’ll continue to be mindful. Glad that you enjoyed the episode. We appreciate your support of the show.

      Patrick