Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Television Media

NerdTV Coming in September 212

Random BedHead Ed writes "After years of development, Robert X. Cringely's NerdTV is finally on its way, and will be released September 6th. The program will feature interviews with prominent nerds, such as Bill Joy and Macintosh programmer Andy Hertzfeld. But far from being a normal television show, it will be downloadable. As Cringely explained last week in his column, BitTorrent and the expansion of broadband made this the right time for such a move. The show will be available at pbs.org/nerdtv/, where there is currently an information page. Larry Lessig points out that the show will be distributed under a Creative Commons license - the specific license is not specified, but Cringely and PBS say that noncommercial use and redistribution will be allowed."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

NerdTV Coming in September

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    How many Robert Cringley's are there who write tech columns and host PBS computer shows? Or does the man in question secretly want to be referred to as RXC?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Gee, that ought to make for compelling TV. Earth to Bob: it's now 2005.
  • Yeah! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by de Bois-Guilbert ( 807304 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2005 @03:40PM (#13056688)
    This is way cool.
    Really nice for us geographically challanged non-americans to get it without the usual half-a-year waiting period too.
  • Reminds me of the earlier internet. Thousands of sights on, aghast!, computer programming. Zero on fashion, or gardening.
  • by Fishead ( 658061 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2005 @03:41PM (#13056695)
    So between slashdot stories I can get my "hit" from TV?
  • by Kjuib ( 584451 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2005 @03:41PM (#13056696) Homepage Journal
    Unless they have a mostly white back ground with a funky green menus and fonts. Otherwise I think I will stick with my Slashdot.
    • I remember when I first got cable. I loved having an extra 30 channels. MTV played music.

      Now, channles often have nothing to do with what they are named. MTV might as well be reality TV... 4 episodes of Real World followed by 4 episodes of Road Rules, followed by 8 episodes of Real World versus Road Rules. Ugh. Then, for the 200th time a repeat of "When the 80's ruled".

      But here is what gets me pissed off. Did everyone hear MTV is now using the money we paid (through watching the advertising) to start a

      • Connections! (Score:3, Interesting)

        I'd just be happy if I could get a copy of James Burke's Connections. Man, that was a good series.

        --grendel drago
        • I'm fairly certain that Amazon carries it. I know that at least a year or so ago the channel that carried it (was it TLC? Or was it A&E at the time that carried it) was selling it online.

          Great couple series that, though. I miss those days.

          • I believe it was TLC; I had a stack of VHS tapes that a friend of a friend with cable had made.

            Ah, you're right. It's available [ambrosevideo.com], though $150 is a mite steep. Amazon carries it used [amazon.com] for around $100 per series. Gleep. VHS will run something around $70 each. Still gleep.

            Ah, and I recall The Day the Universe Changed as well. Available for the low, low price of $750 [buyindies.com]. Educational pricing is a racket.

            --grendel drago
        • I'd just be happy if I could get a copy of James Burke's Connections. Man, that was a good series.

          While I thought Connections was a rather poor follow-up, might I recommend the Day the Universe Changed? It's a bit dated, but still good stuff, and can be had on eMule/eDonkey.
      • Yeah, TLC now sucks. I don't want trading spaces, I want Junkyard Wars, maybe some forensics show, etc. And Discovery has the Americna Chopper show. I don't care about motorcycles. There is the Discovery Science channel though. I watch some stuff on there. The once great tech channel known as ZDTV has now become G4, a shell of it's former self. A variety of channels is good though. I like watching game shows, and GSN still has enough from Game Show Network to be a good channel. I also love watching cartoons
      • "I don't need 100 channels. I need 10 good ones."

        What you really need is a tool to separate the good from the bad. Blogdex [blogdex.net] does this for websites. There will always be crap out there or even good stuff that only you consider crap. I don't think the world should be stuck with ten channels of crap YOU find interesting which, based on your apparent intolerance, would probably include that fishing show on fox and "You might be a redneck if..."

  • by Marc2k ( 221814 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2005 @03:41PM (#13056703) Homepage Journal
    The Creative Commons license is often heralded among certain music circles, because it affords an artist the ability to remix and mash licensed songs as they see fit for non-commercial purposes. ..personally, I can't wait to make my own 'remixed' versions of Cringely's show for my own nefarious purposes.
    • My problem with "non-commercial" CC licenses is that the term "commercial use" is rather vague and hard to interpret in a lot of cases. Sure, it's obvious when you are offering the specific licensed item for sale. But in subtle, indirect ways almost everything we do (on the web at least) involves commerce in some way or form. Suppose an ISP puts a Google ad on a personal page in exchange for a free personal web site that you're posting the licensed item on? Suddenly it becomes "commercial use." Someone
  • Great! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 13, 2005 @03:42PM (#13056706)
    I have to sit at work listening to my fellow programmers, now I can finally go home and listen to more programmers. Thank you PBS!
    • As a sysadmin supporting programmers, I totally agree! I do actually enjoy hanging out and working with programmers. Now I can hear about even more!
  • Free=Respect (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sigloiv ( 870394 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2005 @03:42PM (#13056708)
    Just the fact that someone is giving their show away over the internet for free earns enough respect for me to actually give this a look. I haven't ever heard of the host, but if he's smart enough to know about Creative Commons liscenses he's better than 90% of the computer show people out there.
    • Re:Free=Respect (Score:5, Informative)

      by justforaday ( 560408 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2005 @03:50PM (#13056797)
      I haven't ever heard of the host...

      I'd suggest you check out his weekly column [pbs.org] from time to time. He seems to be one of the few tech pundits out there that actually has half a clue. Although sometimes it's obvious it's only half a clue...
    • I haven't ever heard of the host...

      My question was going to be "Whatever happened to Cringeley anyway?" I stopped reading his column years ago as the only value seemed to be of the broken-clock-that's-right-twice-a-day variety. Judging from the evaporation of once-common Cringeley links on Slashdot, I'm not the only one.

      As the guest list indicates (Andy Hertzfeld and Bill Joy? Where's Alan Turing?), his circle of Silicon Valley buddies is getting a bit long in the tooth...

      • The Turing interview is waiting for the show to make enough profit to buy the Ouiji board.
      • As the guest list indicates (Andy Hertzfeld and Bill Joy? Where's Alan Turing?)

        Um. Let me put this in terms a nerd can understand.

        Alan Turing has become more powerful than you can possibly imagine. His interview is delayed until such a time as he masters the ability to "come back from The Force."
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Are they going to be licensing Naked News? If they are going to properly service Nerds the needs the right news service.
  • I like the whole redistrubatable deely.. Maybe we could have an apt or portage repository.. Then one could daily do an apt-get install tvshow or emerge tvshow? Now that would be super Cow Powers!
    • I like the whole redistrubatable deely.. Maybe we could have an apt or portage repository.. Then one could daily do an apt-get install tvshow or emerge tvshow? Now that would be super Cow Powers!

      Are you kidding? real nerds make a point of receiving NerdTV in Morse code, manually, then entering the received number in a file with ed, then un-pgp the file with a secret 2048-bit key found on an IRC channel to which you can only be invited if you request it with a phrase found in a file distributed on BitTorre
      • That process took my breath away.

        Not the part where you actually explained it, rather, the part where I realized I understood everything you were speaking about. If you do too, then congrats. You're a nerd.

        Always remember that for 95% of the population, your reply might as well have been in Alien pig latin. Yes. Computers are THAT foreign and scary to people. :-)

      • Are you kidding? real nerds make a point of receiving NerdTV in Morse
        code, manually, then entering the received number in a file with ed,
        then un-pgp the file with a secret 2048-bit key found on an IRC
        channel to which you can only be invited if you request it with a
        phrase found in a file distributed on BitTorrent, then uudecode it,
        then view it with an ascii-art FLI viewer.


        So that means we found another legal use for Bittorrent?
  • by far_star ( 102599 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2005 @03:46PM (#13056742)
    When did it become ok to start calling people nerds ? Seriously, is it ok to call a hip-hop dance show "N*ggers that dance" ? Before you say "Well that's different because that's a racial epiteth then how about a home remodeling show "Fags have fun with your living room" ?

    I mean, since nerd IS still a word that is used in a negative way it should not be bandied around like this. I don't care if you're not offended by it. Some people are.

    And before you say "Well you are posting this on a site labled 'news for nerds'" I say yes, I know that Einsten. And it bothers me, but I think if anything. This is the place that a discussion like this needs to happen.

    • by jejones ( 115979 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2005 @03:52PM (#13056812) Journal
      I suppose one could try to give it the PC "reclaim a derogatory term" spin, but... perhaps I should just suggest viewing Revenge of the Nerds.
    • Wow. Let's all make a society that's so PC nobody can say what they want anymore. If you take serious offence at words like "geek" or "nerd" then you are a small, small person. Even comparing it to racist and the use of N*gger is pathetic. It's not close to the same.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      haha! nerd.
    • Hell, I'm proud to be a nerd. My girlfriend and I started talking initially because she "really, really likes nerdy guys" (she also likes geeky guys, which I am as well, so it was extra good luck for me).

      I have no problem being geeky or nerdy or being called geeky or nerdy. I am what I am and I'm proud of that.

      I'm sorry you're so ashamed of what you are, but really, if you don't want to be a geek or a nerd, just join a gym, suck it up for a year or two, and start being a jock. S'your choice.
    • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2005 @03:57PM (#13056860)

      how about a home remodeling show "Fags have fun with your living room" ?

      You know the term "queer" as in "Queer Eye for a Straight Guy" used to be an offensive term too, but some homosexuals embraced the term rather than being offended by it. I'd say the term "nerd" is likewise a badge of pride among many people. After all you're reading a site that says, "News for Nerds" right at the top of it.

    • by RobotRunAmok ( 595286 ) * on Wednesday July 13, 2005 @03:58PM (#13056876)
      Here's a tip: You cannot give offense, you can only take it.

      To paraphrase that icon of Nerd-dom, James Kirk, "Sorry about your thin skin, but as we say on Earth, 'C'est la vie.'"

    • by Davis Bacon ( 639300 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2005 @04:08PM (#13056975)
      And before you say "Well you are posting this on a site labled 'news for nerds'" I say yes, I know that Einsten.

      I like it when you call me "Einstein".

      -Jam
    • Seriously, if you let words offend and anger you, then really, all you have done is give up control of your emotions and your mind to those who use the words against you. You are their slave and puppet.

      If I can walk into a room full of [any "sensitive" group] and say ["offensive" name for group] and start a riot, really, all they have done is given me the power to control their lives. Power by mere speech.

      Not saying it's okay, and kind of off the point, but a word is only as bad as your perception of it
    • when I was in high school, a bunch of us started referring to ourselves as freaks. It became a badge of pride to be a freak. If real freaks were offended by that, well, that's just too bad.

      Something similar has happened in nerd circles since the rise of the internet and mainstreaming of video games. You can be offended by it, or you can wear the badge with pride. How you handle it is up to you, but many of us out here are quite proud to call ourselves nerds, and have better things to do with our time
    • I'm a gay, black, geek - you insensitive clod!
    • "Nerd" is negative.

      "Geek" was negative, but at least in the OSS world, has taken on a decidedly positive flavor.
  • My question: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by the_mighty_$ ( 726261 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2005 @03:47PM (#13056753)
    Will it include commercials? If it does, and advertisers are still willing to pay even if the show is not being distrubuted via standard means (i.e. television), then we may be witnessing the beginning of a new era of advertising. Kind of like what Google did with Adwords.
    • Given that this show is on PBS, advertisement will probably FOLLOW the program anyway. I would assume that it might come BEFORE it during the download, if the download includes the sponsers at all.
    • Will it include commercials? If it does, and advertisers are still willing to pay even if the show is not being distrubuted via standard means (i.e. television), then we may be witnessing the beginning of a new era of advertising. Kind of like what Google did with Adwords.

      PBS shows, being public television, can not have commercials. What they have are underwriter credits instead. There is a difference between the two, but it can be murky at times. Basic difference, underwriter credits are a promo for t
  • by JohnPerkins ( 243021 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2005 @03:48PM (#13056763) Homepage
    It will gradually build its own cast of ecclectic personalities, building a loyal fanbase. Eventually it will reach a critical point at which it starts to slide more into the mainstream. This of course will be its doom as actual nerds are replaced by increasingly bland and mediocre television personalities. Then end will come when that scion of drek, G4, buys NerdTV out.

    No, i'm not feeling hostile. Why do you ask?
    • I know what you're talking about.

      But... consider that the reason that occurs is the pressures caused by the distribution mechanism, which strongly favor$ mainstream distribution over niche.

      This starts out from day one depending on BitTorrent, which strongly (though not quite) entirely flattens the costs to the creator for mainstream vs. niche.

      There is reason to hope this will never suffer that fate, as long as the same people stay in charge, because it can afford to stay niche. Then again, if they get to
  • by ZSpade ( 812879 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2005 @03:49PM (#13056779) Homepage
    If more programs start jumping on the p2p bandwagon, then it's going to start getting harder and harder to pass laws against it under the argument that it is only used for illegally trading files.

    The success of this show may directly effect the future of p2p, and the internet as we know it; because if it does make it, others will likely follow suit.
  • Bittorrent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 13, 2005 @03:49PM (#13056784)
    It would be great if they used bittorrent to distribute the programming. The more valid legal reasons for bittorrent to exist the better.
  • by rahlquist ( 558509 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2005 @03:54PM (#13056832) Homepage
    ....is doing at http://twit.tv [twit.tv]
  • Nerd TV (Score:4, Funny)

    by Conspiracy_Of_Doves ( 236787 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2005 @04:05PM (#13056944)
    I want my...

    I want my...

    I want my Nerd TV.
  • by crovira ( 10242 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2005 @04:07PM (#13056966) Homepage
    now we get NerdTV. (You know you need the 'bleeding edge' and early adopters before you get to the generally accessible fun stuff, but since they're not time-locked, it doesn't matter when you 'discover' a series.)

    Wait until producers realize that they can use broadband and a content aggregator or Google to skip the entire 'kowtow and then bend-over facing the other way' process that they go through with the current lot of content disseminators.

    No more canceled shows until there's no audience for them, not the current trade-off of "we can squeeze more profits with pushing ads on schlock than we can with your high concept stuff, so piss off."
  • Not being broadcast? (Score:4, Informative)

    by slapout ( 93640 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2005 @04:07PM (#13056969)
    "Beginning Sept. 6, PBS will make available - exclusively over the Internet - broadcast television's first entirely downloadable series"

    So it won't actually be airing on PBS, just on the internet?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 13, 2005 @04:07PM (#13056971)
    "We're pleased to be offering this new video-download news format free to Slashdot customers." said CmdrTaco, who would not indicate whether he was hard or soft-shell, "It is another example of how Slashdot is on the fringe of digital news."

    When asked why viewers should get their video news from Slashdot rather than going straight to PBS and downloading the whole news program, CmdrTaco replied "Well, we know our Slashdot readers are busy. Some of them can only check the site 10-12 times a day, and as everyone knows they don't have time to read the articles. So what we've done is cut out everything but 10 seconds of the interview, the best inflammatory bits we can find, and then added an audio-only cynical or sarcastic comment at the end, with an occasional 'Linux is getting better every day' comment for good measure. We tried video footage using a web cam for the comment, but it was, well, kinda creepy."

    CmdrTaco also said Slashdot is working on another new feature called Slashdot ReMix, where existing news items are posted by different Slashdot editor and given a slightly different spin, to see how different angles of the story are received. Perceptive Slashdotters, he noted, have noticed this system in beta testing over the past few years, with more heavy testing in the last 1-2 years. He believes the system is now nearing perfection.

  • For some reason I don't think that there will be any kittens sacrificed because of this program.

    --
  • There used to be a whole cable TV channel devoted to nerds called Tech TV. (The name, but not the shows or people was sold in 2004.)
  • Cringely noted, "With more than half of American homes with Internet access now using broadband"

    So when will website designers start to realize that half of us aren't able to get broadband?

  • by gearmonger ( 672422 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2005 @04:15PM (#13057039)
    "Cringely and PBS say that noncommercial use and redistribution will be allowed."

    Excellent! Now the nattering naybobs of negativism here at work, who currently have conniptions whenever I try to use something from TV in the classroom, can't complain. Well, they can still complain, I just won't have to comply.

  • Die G4 Die (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TRRosen ( 720617 )
    Cool now if this catches on (and it will) we might be able to get some real Tech shows. I would love to see Laporte and the gang do a video podcast so I can try and erase the any thoughts of "attack of the show" out of my mind. Ewwwwww!!!!!!!!! Bad TV man.... Bad TV
    • Yes, we need someone to build a TV podcasting program based on Bittorrent. PBS should have an RSS feed with the torrent files, and then your TV cast software will start downloading the torrent with each new release. Combining podcasting and bittorrent would be very nice for Nerd TV in so many ways.
  • Leo Laporte (Score:3, Interesting)

    by frode ( 82655 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2005 @04:36PM (#13057241) Homepage

    They should add Leo Laporte to the line up. He was one of the few good things on TechTV.
  • How many nerds prefer watching TV to, say, a bloviating website full of typos and dup's? How many geeks?
  • You had my interest with this, really, you did.

    Then you said the word "Cringely".

    Now I don't care about this anymore.

    ;shrug;
  • Here's a five second primer on Andy Hertzfeld from Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:

    One of four of the original primary software architects of Mac OS

    Created the MagicCap OS (it had a really cool/funky GUI and AFAIK is sadly complete dead)

    Founded Eazel in 1999, which gave us the Nautilus file manager for the GNOME.

    'Nuff said.

    • Hertzfeld (and Woz, Raskin, and similar) are a lot more responsible for the amazing technical strides made by Apple than Jobs, who inexplicably seems to get the lion's share of the glory. Jobs is notable for (a) cheating his "friend" Woz out of their shared earnings on the first Apples, (b) always blowing his own horn as loudly as possible and appearing in as many magazines as possible, (c) being an incredible prick towards those who worked with him, (d) refusing to acknowledge the daughter he fathered out
  • by technix4beos ( 471838 ) * <cs@cshaiku.com> on Wednesday July 13, 2005 @06:33PM (#13058118) Homepage Journal
    This is the beginning of the mountain of content that will be soon be online, free of charge.

    Google already knows the future of "television" is shared hosting (via bittorrents, etc) of user-submitted content, and I'm sure Robert Cringley knows this well too.

    Nothing stopping these producers from advertising, and it might even be cheaper to maintain an online presence than to broadcast the show the regular way.

    I'd like to candidly plug my own small contribution to internet video here:

    BeGeistert 14 Interview with yellowTAB [google.com]

  • by visi ( 825204 )
    Check out http://www.legaltorrents.com/index.htm [legaltorrents.com] There is a program called Go Open.

    Their claim to fame was that it is the worlds first ever TV Program dedicated to "All things Open Source."
    It includes interviews with major open-source figures such as Richard Stallman, Lawrence Lessig, Jon 'maddog' Hall, and Bruce Perens, as well as case studies and discussions of Shuttleworth's Ubuntu Linux.

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson

Working...