Podcast Picks

2 min read

All of these podcasts can be downloaded from their individual Web sites or from the iTunes Music Store. If you have a suggestion for a podcast to appear in this section, mail it to s.cass@ieee.org—be sure to include ”Podcast Picks” in the subject line.

Image: Texas A&M Engineering Communications

Engineering Workshttps://engineeringworks.tamu.eduBrought to you by Texas A&M University, in College Station, Engineering Works is a professionally produced podcast that focuses on offbeat stories. Shows are 2 minutes long, and recent episodes have covered students competing in a space elevator prototype contest, the use of rat neurons to control a simulated fighter jet, and a robot lawnmower that cuts the grass even when you’re sleeping. The Engineering Works Web site also provides complete transcripts of episodes and an archive of previous podcasts that goes back to 2003.

Image: Matt Powell

COSC110https://uccsse.libsyn.com Tim Bell, an associate professor in the computer science and software engineering department at the University of Canterbury, in Christchurch, New Zealand, usually hosts the show, which is aimed at those taking his introductory course on digital technologies (known as COSC110). But the show has value to a broader audience, as Bell frequently talks with academics and other guests about current issues, such as the advent of digital libraries, changes in New Zealand’s telecom industry, and the recent establishment of the new national center for Information and Communications Technology. There’s also an interesting audio deconstruction of the MP3 file format available.

Image: Fabrizio L’Abbate

Advanced Concepts Teamhttps://www.esa.int/gsp/ACT The European Space Agency’s Advanced Concepts Team is a group of researchers dedicated to looking at technologies with long-term potential, such as manipulating conducting tethers to navigate around the moons of Jupiter without using rocket engines. Headquartered in Noordwijk in the Netherlands, the team is largely made up of young Ph.D.s who stay for a maximum of two years, ensuring a stream of fresh ideas. Although the podcasts are somewhat sporadically produced, they provide insight into a team thinking at the very limits of the possible, and maybe even present a preview of things to come.

Image: Chad Davis

In The Trencheshttps://kevindevin.com A podcast for working system administrators by working system administrators, this show is chockablock with practical advice and suggestions for keeping those networks and servers humming along despite all the problems that inevitably occur when trying to manage systems in the real world of limited resources, obstreperous users, and imperfect technology. Each episode is around an hour long and has a watercooler-style conversational tone as the host, Kevin Devin, and a bevy of regular contributors kick around sys-admin issues that concern them and swap war stories.

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