Category Archives: Podcast

Tech of the Death Star

Podcasts –  Star Wars – I listened to the two episodes of the Tech Stuff podcast that deal with the Star Wars Death Star earlier this week. These episodes, “Death Star Support Systems” and “Death Star Weaponry”, aired May 7 and May 4 of 2018 respectively.

The host of Tech Stuff looks at the possible propulsion system, artificial gravity, and the main system weapon among other topics and tried to apply a technical explanation as to how they might have (or have not) worked.

As you can tell I am running behind on my podcast listening, but being eight months old did not diminish them in any way. If you are a fan of things Star Wars you may find these podcasts of interest. All of the Tech Stuff podcasts are available through iTunes.


Podcasts: “Apple Context Machine”


Podcasts – As you may have read on previous posts, I like to listen to podcasts. One that I subscribe to is “Apple Context Machine” hosted by Jeff Gamet and Bryan Chaffin from The Mac Observer. As they say on their website:

The Apple Context Machine is Mac, iPhone, and iPod news and analysis that puts the facts in perspective brought to you with a sense of humor.

This isn’t the program to learn the latest technical details of Apple products, but it does give an interesting perspective on the company and their products. It is one of the programs that I regularly listen to.

If you are interested in the world of Apple, this is a Podcast that you should try.

Quad 9, a Better Choice For Your DNS

Tech Tip – As you know if you follow my posts, I listen to a lot of podcasts. While nearly it is nearly 10 months old (I have quite a podcast episode backlog), I listened to episode #638 of the Security Now podcast as I went on a walk earlier today. The primary subject of this podcast was Quad9.

So what is Quad9? From their web page:

Quad9 is a free, recursive, anycast DNS platform that provides end users robust security protections, high-performance, and privacy.

Why would you want to switch to Quad9? The video above gives a short (2:29) overview of how DNS works to resolve Domain Names into IP addresses, and how Quad9 can provide you with more protection. The Quad9 claims:

  • Quad9 blocks against known malicious domains, preventing your computers and IoT devices from connecting to malware or phishing sites (Quad9 pulls in security intelligence from 19 partners including: IBM’s X-Force,, the Anti-Phishing Working Group, Bambenek Consulting, F-Secure, Netlab, and Proofpoint)
  • Quad9 systems are distributed worldwide for quick response with servers in more than 128 locations at present. More than 150 locations in total are scheduled for 2018 (published tests demonstrate Quad9’s response time [1,5,7,8])
  • No personally-identifiable information is collected by the system [4]

The founders of Quad9 include IBM, PCH (Packet Clearing House), and the Global Cyber Alliance (GCA). Quad9 works with several partnering groups to make Quad9 a safer, more secure and private way to do DNS lookup. While they have extensive tech in place to block malware domains, Quad9 also has whitelisting in place to prevent known valid domains from being accidentally blocked [1,4].

After listening to Steve Gibson talk about Quad9 on Security Now I decided to switch to Quad9. Shortly after I returned to my apartment I logged on to my MacBook and set up Quad9. If you are not sure how to change your DNS provider on your Mac, the video above shows you how.

You should make the change to Quad9 on your Mac too! You can also set the DNS on your iOS device.



  1. What is Quad9 DNS and is it Better Than OpenDNS
  2. Quad9 on Wikipedia
  3. New “Quad9” DNS service blocks malicious domains for everyone
  4. A Deeper Dive Into Public DNS Resolver Quad9
  5. DNS Resolvers Performance compared: CloudFlare x Google x Quad9 x OpenDNS
  6. What is Quad9?
  7. DNS Performance Comparison: Google, Quad9, OpenDNS, Norton, CleanBrowsing, and Yandex
  8. Quad9 DNS
  9. Free Quad9 DNS service aims to make threat intel more accessible
  10. New Quad9 DNS Service Makes the Internet Safer and More Private

See my other Mac and OS X articles


The “99% Invisible” Podcast

Podcasts – As you may have read on previous posts, I like to listen to podcasts. One that I subscribe to is “99% Invisible“. So what does the podcast cover? Their description says:

99% Invisible is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world. With over 250 million downloads, 99% Invisible is one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes and is available on RadioPublic, via RSS, and through other apps.

99% Invisible started as a project of KALW public radio and the American Institute of Architects in San Francisco. Originally, host and creator Roman Mars produced 99% Invisible from his bedroom. Roman Mars is also a founding member of the podcast collective, Radiotopia.

The topics covered are from a wide spectrum of interests. As of the date of this post, there are 320 episodes of “99% Invisible”. If you like variety in what you listen to, then you may want to try some of these episodes or subscribe to it via iTunes.

The Tech of Star Trek

Podcasts Star Trek – I listen to many podcasts and one of the recent programs I heard is “The Tech of Star Trek” on Tech Stuff. I think that it did a good job of covering some of the Tech in Star Trek and how practical it is given what we know today. Their synopsis:

From transporters to replicators, we take a look at the technology of Star Trek. How much of it is based on real technology and how much of it is just plain old magic?

If you are a Star Trek fan this might be a podcast you want to listen to.

Podcasts – This Week in Tech

Podcasts – This is the podcast that I have followed the longest. It was started in April of 2005 and has been published weekly since that time. I have been listening to the program since the beginning. It has become the flagship program of the TWiT (This Week in Tech) Network which now comprises 20 different programs. As they describe it:

Your first podcast of the week [it is recorded Sunday evening] is the last word in tech. Join the top tech pundits in a roundtable discussion of the latest trends in high tech.

The program is hosted by Leo Laporte and routinely has a handful of other panelists from the tech industry. The discussion ranges widely covering the most recent headline topics from the tech industry. Early episodes were shorter, but now they mostly run in the 2-2.5 hour range.

The weekly program can be subscribed to through iTunes. As of the writing of this article, 677 episodes have been published. If you are interested in the tech industry, I recommend this podcast.

Podcast – Manager Tools

I was riding to an IEEE meeting a few years ago with a friend. The trip was going to be about 45 minutes long so he turned on a podcast he regularly listened to, Manager Tools, to help pass the time. After listening during our trip, I was hooked and subscribed to the podcast myself. I regularly listened to it until I retired.

This is a weekly podcast begun in 2005 and presented by Michael Auzenne and Mark Horstman.  It focuses on how managers can be more effective and provides career planning suggestion. There are now over 500 episodes in their library. Each episode of this award-winning podcast is between 30 minutes and one hour in length.

I found this podcast to be very informative and useful. I recommend it to anyone in a leadership role. They can be subscribed to in iTunes.



The Macintosh Story on Tech Stuff


As I have mentioned before I regularly listen to several podcasts. One of those I follow is Tech Stuff and I recently listened to their three-part episode on the Macintosh. These three aired on June 2, 7 and 9 of 2017 (Yeah, I am way behind on my listening). These comprise about 3 hours and 40 minutes of information on how the Apple Macintosh was conceived, how it developed and where it is today.

If you are interested in the Mac, you may want to download and listen to these three episodes.

Podcast – 99% Invisible


Podcasts – As I have mentioned a few times, I listen to a lot of podcasts. One of the more recent additions to my playlist is “99% Invisible“. I like podcasts that delve into the unusual history of things, and this one fills the bill. As they say on their website:

99% Invisible is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world. With over 250 million downloads, 99% Invisible is one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes and is available on RadioPublic, via RSS and through other apps.

Episodes of the show can range anywhere from about 20 to 45 minutes in length. This might be a great little podcast to add to your playlist.

Podcast – “Mac Power Users”


Podcasts – I started listening to the “Mac Power Users” podcast a few months ago. This podcast has been in production for some time (2009). As of the date of this post, the most recent episode of the series is April 8, episode #422. It is hosted by David Sparks and Katie Floyd. Both are lawyers in their day jobs, and Mac advocates in their spare time.

Their shows have covered a wide range of interesting topics. I have learned quite a bit listening to these two and recommend their podcast to any who are Mac users.

Friend Nathan Lott (@nlott) suggested that I also mention the Mac Power Users group on Facebook. Many questions and tips are posted there every day. If you have a problem or a great tip to share, the Facebook group may be just the place for you.