There are a lot of podcasts out there, an awful lot in fact. The hard thing can be separating the proverbial wheat from the proverbial chaff. I dedicated an entire segment of the IFAS Podcast to good astronomy/science podcasts but I’ve never done a post for tech ones here before. Of all the tech podcasts I’ve subscribed to there are only five I listen to regularly and they are all very different and have different target audiences. Unless you are pretty much my clone you’re not likely to be interested in all five but I’d be pretty shocked if at least one didn’t appeal to you!

[tags]podcast, tech, Apple, Linux, Windows[/tags]

Tech News

If you want to be able to quickly and easily keep up with the important news for the operating system(s) you use then I’d recommend Adrian Bacon’s three tech news podcasts:

Adrian is basically a human aggregator. He subscribes to loads and loads of news feeds and then filters it down to the most interesting stories which he compiles into an approximately weekly podcast. I get most of my Apple and Linux news from Adrian but I don’t bother with his Windows podcast because I’m not a Windows user.

A Podcast for the Interested User

If you use computers and you have an interest in expanding your knowledge and getting your hands on better tools for what ever it is you do with a computer then the NosillaCast is for you. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a power-user you’ll get something out of this podcast. The podcast is produced by Allison Sheridan who has a unique approach that I really like. Allison doesn’t just list cool pieces of software because they are cool.She starts by describing a problem, and only then goes on to talk about software to solve that problem. It’s easy enough to find links to cool software on the web, but usually you’re left asking yourself “that’s cool but why should I even consider installing this?”. By focusing on the problem that any particular peiece of software solves you’re never left with that nagging question after listening to the NosillaCast. I really like this problem-centric way of looking at software. In fact I like it so much that I’ve started writing the software reviews on this blog in a similar problem-centric style.

Although Allison freely admits that her podcast has “an ever so slight Macintosh bias”, this podcast is one for all computer users. Allison prefers to focus on freeware and shareware tools that are cross-platform “so that everyone can play along”. No matter how complex the subject matter, Allison can always explain it in terms that make sense to beginners and power-users alike, add to that the preference for cross-platform software and you really do get a podcast that all computer users can get something out of.

Security – Stuff Every Computer User Needs to Know

If you use a computer at all you need to be aware of computer security. You need to know the kinds of people that are out to get you, the kinds of things they’re after, the techniques they employ to get what they want, and most importantly, what you can do to protect yourself. A lot of computer security comes down to social engineering these days, so the only way to be safe is to be aware, no amount of software tools can protect you from youself! Security Now is the one-stop-shop where all computer users, novice to expert, can make sure that they know what they need to know to protect themselves online.

This podcast is produced by the great tech broadcaster Leo Laporte, and the (sometimes controversial) security enthusiast Steve Gibson. What ever criticisms some people may level at Steve Gibson there can be no doubt that the man has a great talent for explaining complex concepts in very simple terms. When you combine that with Leo Laporte’s excellent skills as a broadcaster you know you’re on to a winner!

The podcasts are weekly and generally start with any security related news that broke over the last week, like new security risks, or new patches that have been released that it’s important people install. Every fourth show is a questions and answers show and the other three shows out of every four concentrate on some particular topic in security. Some recent shows I’ve enjoyed are a series of three shows on Virtualization, an entire show dedicated to the new Vista network stack, a show explaining exactly what buffer over-runs are, an entire show about the netstat command, and a show about the very cool proof-of-concept root-kit BluePill.

If you use a computer on the net then I’d say that Security Now is a great source for the things you need to know to avoid being wiped out of the cyber gene-pool.

Tips for Every Mac User

The final podcast I’m going to recommend is one just for Mac users, but it’s one for all Mac users. I always thought I knew my way around OS X pretty well and that I knew most of the tips and tricks to boost your productivity but I’ve learned a lot from Mac Tips Daily. As the title suggests it’s a daily show which brings you one Mac tip in about a two to three minute episode. Each tip contains one small easy-to-digest piece of Macintosh wisdom! The tips are not only limited to OS X itself but also cover the apps that generally ship with new Macs like Preview, iTunes, iPhoto etc.. The tag-line for the podcast is “providing tips to new Mac users and Mac geeks around the world” and it basically does exactly what it says on the tin!