Monthly Archives: July 2007

My Podcast List

Finding and keeping up with quality podcasts is not easy. I have some ideas for a better “podcatching” client that would help with this, but in the meantime it’s a manual process to keep pruning my subscriptions to a manageable level.

Here’s my current subscription list, using the old Sears “good, better, best” lineup and indicating how many of the episodes I listen to completely:

Best

  • The Bitterest Pill – a classic with great, funny stories; sometimes runs a bit long (almost all episodes)
  • Hanselminutes – one of my favorites; in-depth technology without being overly long (all episodes)
  • Reel Reviews Radio – my favorite non-tech podcast, but it’s been quiet this year (all episodes)

Better

  • AP Auto Racing – a recent addition; not overdone, but a nice summary of NASCAR news twice weekly (all episodes)
  • In the Trenches – has been around for a while but still entertaining; sometimes runs long but I like the guys and the topics (most episodes)
  • Killer Innovation – recently started following this podcast from Phil McKinney, CTO at HP (all episodes)
  • Ruby on Rails – I don’t do anything with Ruby or Rails, but I like following along with the community on this one (all episodes)
  • Run As Radio – relatively new, focusing on IT with Microsoft technologies; shows are on-topic and not too long (all episodes)
  • Software As She’s Developed – good stuff on AJAX, design patterns, and usability (all episodes)
  • Venture Voice – unique perspective and interviews with entrepreneurs; generally good but you need your ego-deflector for some of these guys (most episodes)
  • Windows Weekly – generally good and not too long; was better before Vista launched and took some wind out of their sails (most episodes)

Good

  • IT Conversations – in general very good but I pick and choose the episodes; Technometria and Jon Udell are always good, others are mixed (some episodes)
  • Net at Nite – entertaining, but can run long; I’m kind of a long-time Leo Laporte fan, so I keep up with it (most episodes)
  • Polymorphic Podcast – .Net and other technologies (most episodes)
  • Security Now! – when I first found this one I listened to every episode religiously; now I find they can ramble a bit, but the content is generally good (some episodes)
  • This Week in Tech – most topics discussions are good quality and entertaining, but at 1 hour 15 minutes or longer, I’m beginning to fade (most episodes)

Web Development for iPhone

With the launch of the iPhone, Apple has finally posted some documentation to help web designers understand the browsing capabilities of the mobile Safari browser: Web Development for iPhone.

I was looking for this sort of information before the launch, but I guess it was under NDA. Maybe those who attended WWDC this year were privy to the info?

In any case, the most interesting content is a guide titled Optimizing Web Applications and Content for iPhone. The guide gives a good explanation of the user interactions on the phone and explains how to target content, including some iPhone-specific meta tags to help optimize page layout.

As a big fan of the potential of the “mobile web”, I’m hopeful that the iPhone buzz will bring validity to the idea of browsing the web from your mobile phone. Sites specially formatted for mobiles are slowly growing (see my latest list), but are certainly not the norm.

I’m worried that instead of moving mobile web forward in general, the iPhone will only cause a ton of iPhone-specific tweaks. For example, look at all the hacked-together sites listed on rev2.org’s Top 25 Web Apps for iPhone. Or check out 37Signals’ Ta-da List, a great web application, now with a custom iPhone version.

I’ll be on the lookout for useful mobile sites that render well on the iPhone as well as other web-capable phones.