1x36: Bad Voltage Live at SCaLE 2015

We present the first Bad Voltage live show! Performed at SCaLE 13x in Los Angeles, with the help of the SCaLE team, sponsors System76 and Acelio, and prizes from System76, Pogolinux and Owncloud, our very first live show on stage is available to watch as a video! See the full video of the show at YouTube!

Also including fantastic work from Ilan and Gareth from the SCaLE organising team dressed as clowns, some Creme Eggs, some shots of Fireball, three hundred glowsticks, all the Jorge Castro you could ever want, a modesty-preserving towel to save all our eyes from the horror, and:

  • Developer Mode Linux: should the Linux desktop have a "developer mode" which you need to turn on to get access to hardcore technical things such as root access or a Terminal or performance information?
  • Wrong In 60 Seconds, the finale: the audience compete to rant most successfully to win a System76 Galago Pro laptop
  • The Bad Voltage Challenge: the four presenters start a battle royale to see who's the best at collecting videos, technical knowledge, and poetry
  • The Ubuntu phone: is it bollocks? We discuss with the audience how the newly-released device stacks up against the other open-source challengers to the mobile market
  • Q&A: we answer your questions, and a truly horrible act is performed
  • The long-promised, long-awaited shampoo review

Download the show now!

I was wondering that, for the next show, there would be a combined review, done by @sil, @bryanlunduke and @jonobacon, about crickets! :smile:

A group review has actually been discussed, based on some Bad Voltage Live happenings. I’m not at liberty to say what the topic is, but I can confirm it is not crickets.


Also, it should be noted that @sil and @bryanlunduke both manned up and tried crickets after the show. @jonobacon, not so much.


So, @sil, @bryanlunduke, how was it? I’m really curious.

They taste like little rolled-up bits of cardboard. Not impressed. But I have at least tried.

Personally, I think a developer mode is a good idea in the context of @sil’s intro. You still have all the tools available to you, if you want to manually go and get them, but they aren’t there by default. Turning on developer mode is like adding a meta package that says install all the -dev packages for my installed software, add a “run this with gdb” right click option, turn on all the source package options, those sorts of things that someone who wants to get into the low level code side of things can do. Maybe even have a system wide telemetry system (similar to the adb log) which all apps feed into (regular captures of memory and CPU utilisation by process, notifications of when CPU and memory peaks occur and which apps caused it… Those sorts of things)

I think that would be awesome.

Me too. :slight_smile:

Hey guys,

Your podcast is generally awesome, but having listened to half of Bad Voltage Live in podcast form, I have to hand out the tough love here. (I imagine myself saying that in Brian’s voice.) It is, by some margin, the worst podcast you have made. It may well have been awesome to be there at SCALE. It may well even be good video. But it’s terrible audio.

There are a couple of reasons for this. The first, and actually less significant, reason is technical. There is a ton of background noise. If you’re listening in a car, it’s hard to make out the voices.

But secondly, it seems like you collectively entirely forgot that you were going to release this as audio-only. (Or perhaps you didn’t plan to, originally?) You do a bunch of sight gags which don’t work on audio. You decide to discuss things wit the audience, but don’t give them mics, so we get to hear one half of long discussions which therefore make no sense, and no-one repeats what they said. And apparently “this guy” (that’s all we hear about him) won the Wrong in 60 Seconds competition. It’s only an offhand remark from Aq which helped me to work out that it was the guy who ranted about the rules. Some guy ranted about clowns - that would make no sense at all to anyone who had not seen a small part of the video to work out that, for some impossible-to-understand reason, you added two clowns to the stage. Couldn’t you have given people five minutes to work out what to rant about and plan it? It would have seriously improved the quality. It feels like you planned this show on the back of a beer mat the night before.

We then had a segment of videos, the audio of which seemed to involve each of you finding random strangers to abuse the other team members in a repetitive and deeply un-funny way. Why was this done? It wasn’t really explained? Why is it supposed to be funny? Goodness knows. Yes, BV involves the presenters being rude about one another, but usually in a witty and creative way. “Jono sucks” repeated six times is just not funny.

I will listen to the second half, but boy, I hope it goes uphill from here, because I’m not sure it can go further down. Your usual standard is really, really high. This ain’t it :frowning:

With love, and knowing that you are all big enough to take criticism,


Correct. The live show was recorded as video and presented as such. I also suggested that it should be released as audio because it seemed unfair to entirely deprive podcast listeners of the live show, but it is unabashedly the audio track from a video show, not an audio track in itself; that’s why the description explicitly points to the video. Nonetheless, the criticism is appreciated, and basically correct.

Frankly, trying to figure out what is said by watching the video isn’t much better. It takes a good concentration to try to understand what is being said into the mic because of the background noise. And that brings me to a point in the discussion:

Regarding the topic of the Developer Mode Linux, it was really hard to understand what was being said as to the objections to the idea. Perhaps @bryanlunduke could elaborate?

Thanks for the honest reply, and for taking it on the chin like a gent. I guess I’d say that the decision to release the audio track in the podcast feed was a mistake; better to give podcast listeners a break (or just ship a short explanatory segment plugging the video) than give them poor quality product.

I’ll see if I can watch the second half in video form, although finding time and space to watch a video is significantly harder than finding it for audio. (This is why I like podcasting and radio :-).


This is why we have the audio version of the live show at all, of course, despite it being perhaps difficult to follow. I would suggest watching on video, though! The live show is predominantly aimed at people in the room, and secondarily aimed at people watching the video (and we attempted to edit it to make this clearer than just the live stream, although were limited by lack of cameras).

I was little disappointed reading this. Not that I was expecting to hear you say that they were better than biscuits, but, perhaps a little higher appraisal than cardboard. I wonder if @jeremy or anyone else has tried them a bit fresher instead of packaged? A common view, from what I’ve read, is that freshly prepared crickets taste “nutty”. Or was that describing the person eating them? :smile:

I can confirm that the packaged ones I presented on stage are in no way indicative of what fresh crickets are like, both from a taste and texture perspective.


Do you like them freshly made?

I’ve only had them fresh once and they were pretty good.


A technical question regarding the recording of the show for future reference.

Would it be possible to record each mic separately as a ‘track’ and then be able to edit the recording to the pertinent mic being used? I can imagine that would take some work though.

For normal shows, this is exactly what happens; Jono then individually compresses and balances each mic and mixes down into the final show recording. For the live show, it was not possible; we did ask, but the AV setup at SCaLE was not capable of giving us separate recordings for each mic, which slightly disappointed us because that’s what we wanted to do.

@bryanlunduke, what flavor of Dr. Bronner’s soap do you use?

I’m surprised of how much this important bit of information has been neglected! :smile:

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