Podcasts: 8 of the best

Podcasts are a great way to keep up with the latest goings on in whatever subjects interest you. For me this means mainly tech news. I even wrote an application to help me organise all them all! I thought I’d list a few of the podcasts I listen to regularly.

This Week In Tech
Or TWiT, as it’s known is a general technology news ‘netcast’.
The flagship podcast of the TWiT Network, it consists of regular guests discussing the latest tech stories. Being American, it is heavily focused on US consumer issues, but that doesn’t matter since what happens in the US inevitably follows here in the UK, and they do sometimes have British guests. I find a lot of the people are too easily drawn into the latest crazes such as Twitter and Facebook but thankfully regular contributor John C Dvorak is there to bring them down to earth! Overall a top show, highly recommended.

A slightly odd name, until you realise it’s named after the show’s creator, Paul Boag. This podcast focuses on web design, and it aimed at those who work as designers, and to a lesser extent developers. It is light hearted, the guys don’t take themselves too seriously, so while you’re learning new facts and keeping up with what’s going on in the world of web design, you’re also enjoying it. Worth subscribing to if you have aspirations to become a designer, or are a web designer, or if like me, you’re a developer who has to do some designing. Top podcast indeed.

Security Now!
This podcast, from TWiT, is all about the latest news in the world of computer security. The show alternates each week between a listener Q&A session and a chosen topic that the show’s creator, Steve Gibson will talk about. This could be how SSL works, how a particular worm works or sometimes a non-security related topic. All episodes include the latest security news, which is essential if you’re an IT administrator, or care about the security if your own home network. Sometimes the topics can be very complex, then other weeks bizarrely simple – the show has a huge range but never fails to hold my interest. Anchorman Leo Laporte does a good job of representing the average listener, and asking Steve the questions we’re all thinking. Highly recommended.

PC Pro
A discussion of the latest tech news with a refreshing UK focus. The folks are very knowledgeable and raise some good points. They don’t seem to be as obsessed with the latest crazes like Twitter and FaceBook as other podcasts, which is so refreshing. Recommended for anyone who is at all interested in the computer industry.

Windows Weekly
Another TWiT podcast – if you’re interested in Windows, Xbox or Zune then a must-listen. Paul Thurrott has contacts within Microsoft that often mean you will find out things before anyone else. I sometimes wish it could cover more technical stuff for us developers, but we’re not really the show’s primary audience (there’s Channel 9 for that). Overall highly recommended if you have an interest in Microsoft technologies.

I occasionally listen to this one. It’s a roundup of the top stories submitted on Digg. Alex Albrecht is a very funny guy, and so too is Kevin Rose (the founder of Digg.com) A great laugh and good way to keep up with the less serious goings on in the world, also available in video, in fact it’s best viewed in video although personally I’m not so keen on video podcasts since I can’t do anything else at the same time (although watching Diggnation especially is a great Sunday morning remedy to a hangover). Overall I highly recommend.

Geek News Central

I’ve been listening to this podcast on and off for over a year now. It’s a show about technology news, but it’s not one bit dry and boring as one might first expect, this is thanks to the great host Todd Cochrane who has such a great passion for what he’s doing. With two shows a week, keeping up with this podcast requires dedication – and when you first listen you might wonder why Todd spends the first 15 minutes just having a general chit-chat about what’s going on in his world – but as you listen each week you realise that is part of the charm, and what differentiates this tech podcast from the myriad of others out there. This is the cream of the podcasting world, highly recommended!

Mark Kermode’s Film Reviews
This podcast is a repeat of Mark Kermode’s regular Friday afternoon section on BBC Radio Five Live. Kermode, along with host Simon May do an excellent job of providing information and reviews on the new releases each week. If Mark recommends a film, it’s a good sign that it’s worth seeing. Nice way to start the weekend.

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