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Finding Better Tech Broadcasts? 205

Posted by kdawson
from the show's-the-thing dept.
BearGrylls writes "As a young lad and aspiring technologist I have found shows like Revision3's 'The Broken' and 'Systm' to be entertaining, informative, and, most importantly, thorough. As time has gone on revision3 has kept some of the tech-related shows, but dumbed them down to appeal to a larger audience. This annoyed me, but I've continued to be a loyal viewer of their tech shows anyway. However, I suspect this trend to continue and my disappointment to grow. Where can I find tech shows that dive deep into projects and discussions instead of simply skimming the surface?"
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Finding Better Tech Broadcasts?

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  • Re: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dukeofurl01 (236461) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @04:36AM (#25465529)

    I've never had a first post before.

    I haven't found any TV shows I like about Tech in a long time, but I like Make magazine.

    • Re: (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @04:41AM (#25465547)
      Way to blow it
    • by thePig (964303)

      Moderately offtopic - But which are the best tech magazines which one can subscribe to?
      I checked out Make after you mentioned it and it seems to be a very good one. One I can think of myself is IEEE Spectrum . Are there others?

      • by Bandman (86149)

        I asked about trade magazines [] and got a few responses, and I'm always looking for more reading material, so I'm interested in hearing responses too.

        And for the record, I like Lightwave, Dr Dobbs, Network World, Storage Magazine, and I'll be writing soon for Simple Talk Exchange, so you should subscribe to that, too ;-)

  • Educational TV (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mac1235 (962716) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @04:46AM (#25465573)
    The show isn't just getting dumber, you're also getting smarter.
    • Re:Educational TV (Score:5, Interesting)

      by theaveng (1243528) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @06:14AM (#25465923)

      There's more to it than that. The OP's opinion: "dumbed them down to appeal to a larger audience" describes cable television (or any mass media) perfectly. As time goes on, the requirement for more-and-more viewers, requires lowering the intelligence to where even Jimmy-Joe Bob can understand.

      I remember when TLC was called the Learning Channel and actually had intelligent programming. Now it's more akin to the "Tender Loving Care" channel about babies, weddings, and other stuff that doesn't require thinking. Discover Channel has also been dumbed down. Ditto Animal Planet. Ditto A&E.

      The History Channel is the only basic cable channel that still teaches something useful. The rest don't require anything more than 5th grade education.

      • by arotenbe (1203922) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @06:18AM (#25465935) Journal

        The History Channel is the only basic cable channel that still teaches something useful.

        The History Channel... is that the one with all the shows about bible codes and UFOs?

        • by j85ason (1183933) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @06:48AM (#25466059)

          The History Channel is the only basic cable channel that still teaches something useful.

          The History Channel... is that the one with all the shows about bible codes and UFOs?

          They also have programming about Nazis.

          • by arotenbe (1203922) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @07:40AM (#25466295) Journal

            They also have programming about Nazis.

            That was one heck of a fast Godwin.

          • by theaveng (1243528)

            >>>They also have programming about Nazis.

            Yeah but they've toned-down those shows. The Hitler Channel..... er, I mean the History Channel is now showing more programs about the Romans, the Barbarians, or the Middle Ages. Their documentary about the 300 Spartans was more-entertaining (and informative) than the actual movie.

          • "They also have programming about Nazis."

            I've been referring to it as "The Hitlery Channel" for years...

            (Always remember: People are Lazy. Thinking is work.)

        • by Darundal (891860)
          I thought the H stood for Hitler.
      • Funnily enough, History Channel is always at the top of my list of channels that went way downhill. They do still have the veneer of informative programming, but will have things like straight-faced interviews with one of the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail. They love doing segments on wacky crap nobody takes seriously, and paint their quack subjects like some underdog determined to shine the light of truth.

        They should call it the conspiracy channel.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by RulerOf (975607)

          They should call it the conspiracy channel.

          If a new network sprung up with the same budget as the History channel and had that name, I'm afraid to think of how many people would take it seriously.

        • by theaveng (1243528)

          History Channel is a lot better than it used to be. People used to call it "the Hitler Channel" because it was constantly replaying old WW2 film. It became BORING.

          Fortunately over the last five years the channel has expanded its programming to Ancient Civilizations and Middle Ages. It's one of the few channels that has actually improved its coverage of its central topic.

          • right, like having ufologists, ghost hunters/paranormal investigators, cryptozoologists, and other assorted loonies on as "experts." no wonder America is getting dumber by the minute...

            compare the History Channel to real educational TV networks like the National Geographic Channel and the BBC, and you'll see what a complete joke History/Discovery channel are. they produce intentionally sensationalized programs on topics like Big Foot or the Chupacabra, which only have "believers" speaking on the show about

            • by MightyYar (622222)

              I like "Modern Marvels".

            • by theaveng (1243528)

              Also "300 Spartans" was a good documentary. Ditto "Lost Civilizations". And "Underground Cities" which covers the past, mostly the middle ages. "The Barbarians" was a 10-part documentary about the fall of Rome and eventual formation of modern Europe. From time-to-time they also show great movies or miniseries like "Holocaust".

              There's a lot more good stuff on History Channel than bad.

            • by mattack2 (1165421)

              You can't "bare" [sic] to watch History Channel programs anymore?

              It sounds like you need to subscribe to the English Language channel.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by YrWrstNtmr (564987)
        I remember when TLC was called the Learning Channel and actually had intelligent programming. Now it's more akin to the "Tender Loving Care" channel

        I refer to it as "The Ladies Channel".
      • by Hatta (162192)

        Even PBS is garbage these days. Have you seen Wired Science? Or Nova: ScienceNOW? It's pretty bad when the best science show on PBS are 5-10 year old reruns of Scientific American Frontiers.

        • by xappax (876447)
          Yeah, but at least they have real ads now from their corpglomerate sponsors (aka owners). All that "supported by viewers like you" crap was so tiresome.
        • NOVA ScienceNOW is alright. they're aimed at younger audiences to stimulate interest in the sciences in kids. i think that's a worthwhile goal. but i agree that PBS is pretty bad. i once even saw a KPBS documentary program denouncing the Separation of Church and State as "unconstitutional."

          however, the BBC, CBC, and the National Geographic Channel still provide decent quality programming. though i'm a little afraid that NGC is becoming more like the Discovery/History Channel. but so far they haven't tried t

      • Screensavers: dumbed down so much it ceased to exist.
        • Screensavers going down was a fucking tragedy. I remember when they first broadcast in Canada, I saw the very first episode they aired here and thought "Finally! A TV show for ME!"

          You knew things were turning to shit when they cut the shows length to 60 minutes (because 90 minute shows don't work was the argument) and started having celebrity interviews. Writing was clearly on the wall from then on.

          I still miss TSS. These days the only tech show I watch regularly is Tekzilla, which I like, but I find it end

      • What's funny is if I recall, half the reason Rose and friends started Revision 3 was because stuff like Tech TV got dumbed down and killed off.

        How soon the rebels become the establishment.

    • by denttford (579202) *
      Possibly the former; likely the latter. But -

      when have these shows ever been for the bright? I remember watching one or two of these shows a few years back and it seemed like skriptkiddie 101 for stoner wiggers.
    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      May I get borderline trollish ? Hell yeah, I have karma to burn...
      TV broadcasts are for dump/passive people. Smart, tech-savvy users search pro-actively on Internet the informations they need or want. The bandwidth per people of TV broadcast is so low that they can not afford to make shows solely for specialists that would make them compete with Internet.
      • by MightyYar (622222)

        That's not trollish... smart people tend to read. It's a cycle... there's not much "smart" TV, so people pick up a magazine or book or browse the internet - which reduces the potential viewership for "smart" TV. Rinse, repeat.

        • Yeah, definitely not a troll. Five years ago I couldn't have imagined not having cable TV. Since then I've spent 3 of the last five years TV-less. I don't miss it at all. No asinine commercials. Reality shows. Bullshit news reporting. Reruns... The money is being spent elsewhere and really, for what I paid I can pick up a couple of DVD's, and spend more time watching them then I spent watching TV when I had it.

          • by mattack2 (1165421)

            Well, I do think it's somewhat trollish. I have avoided "asinine commercials" for a very long time with VCRs and now with Tivos. I like some reality shows(*). Some are dumb, some are entertaining. I avoid reruns the same way I avoid commercials. I also like various dramas, a few sitcoms, and various documentaries. (Slashdot readers should watch "The Big Bang Theory". Though I laugh a lot at it, I think the cliched main storyline is unfortunate.. It is still very funny.)

            (*) I can't find a reference to

      • which is why we shouldn't be giving the largely consolidated TV & radio networks control of so much of the radio spectrum. if we used those spectrum blocks to roll out municipal WiFi/WiMax, we could have a nationwide wireless broadband infrastructure in place by 2012 (just in time for the world to end =P).

        but seriously, why dedicate so much bandwidth potential to closed proprietary communications networks controlled by a handful of media corporations. the internet is a generalized open communication net

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by yttrstein (891553)
      That happened to me with Slashdot many years ago. I noticed one day while I was sitting on my cube reading the comments for some post about network security...and I realized that the comments were generally completely factually incorrect, the theories being handed up were generally weak, and the article itself was pitted with subjectivity and blurred facts.

      I thought Slashdot was changing then too, but it wasn't. It turns out that while I wasn't paying attention, I'd become more experienced in the ways of s
      • by xappax (876447)
        The student bests the master. And thus the cycle begins anew. You are ready, young grasshopper, to face your ancient foe: those lamers in your CS101 class who think they're so smart because they know about "ports" and "mac addresses".

        Go, now! Leave your mod points, they are of no use to you any more. From now on your moderations will be made in blood. The blood of inferior nerds.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Then IMO you have a responsibility to CORRECT those wrong assertions. Not all of them, but at least one or two, or else nobody else is going to learn.

        Just a thought.

  • by mldkfa (689415) <mark AT takeyourmark DOT net> on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @04:47AM (#25465579) Homepage
    I have also found them to dumb down the old shows. But they just added Hak5 to their lineup. This show is great for advanced users. They really get technical with all things network, hacking, games, .... I also found the audio pod casts from Leo Leport to be good.
    • by ozamosi (615254)

      Great for advanced users?

      I only watched one episode, but it consisted of them talking about "pwning n00bs", and interviewing someone who was supposedly "seriously 31337" about some shareware app of his, before talking about counter strike for a few minutes. They also mentioned some game on Steam, which they commented on by saying - and this is a direct quote - "of course, everybody uses it already".

      I'm not saying it was bad - I would have loved this show when i was 13-15. But... Seriously?

  • On TV? No. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by iamapizza (1312801)
    You won't find any. That's why these shows are on TV - for people who don't want to bother reading specs and details.
    • That can't be true at all, it'd be like saying stargate is pure make believe and not the fine set of documentaries that it is. Next you'll be saying HEROS isn't real either. What's the world coming to! People don't even believe photographs any more!

  • by elendrum (800687)
    I have never found any of the tech shows to discuss Tech for the most part. I wanted to her about the core level stuff, life what languages was best for what types of developments. What trends where in the works and how to best use them. How to make the most of product XYZ and not just O hey we installed it and it made nice pretty charts. I wanted to know how best to secure my networks and what products did what and what was the best approach and how to make product xyz do it. But, all I got was "Hey this i
  • (Score:5, Informative)

    by davidpfarrell (562876) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @05:01AM (#25465637) Homepage

    I listen to TWIT [] (This Week In Tech) regularly, mainly for Leo Laporte and any guest who isn't Dvorak. I don't find Leo to be particularly techy, but he's quite entertaining and controls the flow of the show well.

    They mention Rev3 alot and also a new site called GDGT [] (GaDGeT) which is supposedly good - I must admit I haven't found time to check it out yet.

    Okay no excuses, subsribing to an RSS feed is dead simple, so I'm going go ahead and subscribe to GDGT and check it out. - Oh and IO9 [] while I'm at it.

    • There are several TWiT podcasts, and some of them only partially meet the criteria of the person who submitted the question. Let's review the criteria: "entertaining, informative, and, most importantly, thorough," not dumbed down, "dive deep into projects and discussions instead of simply skimming the surface."

      The two TWiT podcasts that meet all the criteria that come immediately to mind are Security Now [] and the (unfortunately now defunct) MacBreak Tech []. Security Now is very technical and educational, and

  • Google's Tech Talks (Score:3, Informative)

    by NoTheory (580275) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @06:05AM (#25465891)
    The internet is just jam packed with info. Just go sign up for Google's tech talk RSS feed on youtube, that's just a small corner of mostly tech, most of the time (and the occasional diversion into human rights or harry potter as a philosophically christian themed narrative :P ).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TobascoKid (82629)

      I stopped watching Google Tech Talks after they moved form Google Video to YouTube. Back on GV, I could download a fairly high quality AVI that I could easily play on my TV. Now that they're on YouTube, downloading isn't quite as easy and the video quality is nowhere near as good.

  • by RobinH (124750)

    So far I've found Hak5 interesting (also from Revision3). It's definitely unpolished (I find it charming), but it does introduce you to some interesting topics I wouldn't normally have noted. Of course, nothing's going to go into 100% detail, but at least it's a starting point.

  • Hackermedia (Score:4, Informative)

    by droops (807432) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @08:03AM (#25466421) Homepage [] is a site that aggregates awesome tech shows. If anyone sees anything that I am missing please email me. While I am pimping out projects I work on, [] is a great show that is done by the community, not any set hosts.
  • TWiTNetwork (Score:4, Informative)

    by rlp (11898) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @08:08AM (#25466449)

    Leo Laporte's TWiT (named after the flagship show "This Week in Tech") network at It includes downloadable audio casts and streaming video. I listen to it on my daily commute. Two good ones are FLOSS Weekly with Randall Schwartz and Security Now with Steve Gibson. I was just listening to FLOSS weekly today -- they had a KDE developer on discussing the latest developments.

  • The open university do a few good ones here in the uk (like the Atom series) and the history of maths
    shown on the bbc.

    They don't go into 'serious' depth and the history of maths didn't actually cover much of the maths details but it did cover the the theroies and the history quite well.

    You may be able to find them on a torrent site. (and if your really lucky you may be able to find some of those late night open university broadcasts).

    There not really strictly tech but they do cover the science tech is based

  • Expand your horizons (Score:3, Informative)

    by sp332 (781207) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @08:19AM (#25466531)
    If you're looking for in-depth tech, you can't beat the video archives of technical conferences. Sure, there are some boring presentations, but you can usually tell the boring ones in the first few minutes and go try another. My favorite site is the Chaos [] Communication [] Congress [], which has everything from presentations from the Mifare hackers, to technical improvements to nmap, to geek culture presentations. Great stuff in there.

    Citizen Engineer [] only has one episode out so far, and looks like it's going to be mostly hardhacking, but it's definitely not dumbed-down.

    On the other hand, if you're looking for a serious discussion on the future of tech with a stronger grip on reality than Popular Science, try MIT's LabCast [] videos, with footage of working prototypes.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      You can find serious tech, from the realm of computing at least, in the ACM conference proceedings which can include video of tutorials and paper presentations at conferences, e.g. the SIGGRAPH conference proceedings DVD. Check out []
  • Why not DIY? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Phreakiture (547094) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @08:34AM (#25466671) Homepage

    In the spirit of open source, if something is making you itch, you have the opportunity to scratch it.

    I used to host a tech-oriented radio show on a local community radio station. I also syndicated the show using

    Television is a little harder to do, but thanks to sites like YouTube, it is possible to do on the cheap, because Google will absorb the bandwidth costs if your show is a success (and reap the ad revenue).

    You can also do what Kevin Rose did in the early days of the Broken: Encourage your show to be distributed far and wide by whatever means are available.

    Granted, none of these are likely to produce a result with as much production value as Revision3 shows (there's nothing like geeking out in HD), but it can get you started.

    . . . if you want to go that route. If not, that's okay, too

  • NPR Science Friday (Score:5, Informative)

    by jddj (1085169) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @08:51AM (#25466843) Journal
    It's not always tech, but it's never dumbed-down. 2 hours a week. Podcast available.
  • If you want to learn about something complex and nuanced, then your television is the wrong place to look. It has been argued by sociologists like Neil Postman in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death, and even by admen themselves, like Jerry Mander in his Four Arguments for The Elimination of Television, that the medium of television is a poor conduit for complex ideas.

    Even the networks which have not arguably been "dumbed down," like the History Channel mentioned here, are a pretty poor provider of accurat

  • Everything.

    Did you ever read the late, lamented Dr. Dobbs Journal?

  • For tech and science news and commentary, I listen to (and in one case, watch) these tech-oriented podcasts, available via iTunes...

    In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg

    Make Podcast (video)

    The Naked Scientists (Good, intelligent reporting and discussion. The hosts each have professional academic specialties and speak from their respective areas of expertise. Nice children's segments in this show.)

    NOVA Science Now

    Krulwich on Science (A classic British attempt to make science as deep and boring as possible. Luv it!)


  • I get UCTV on my Dish Network satellite and its tech programming is excellent. Plenty to fill a DVR. Schedule here [].

panic: kernel trap (ignored)