Bad Voltage - Future Directions

As a new moderator both @joe and myself have been tasked with trying to come up with future topics for the show. Of course @jonobacon, @jeremy and @sil will have the final say as it’s their show.

I know what interests me but if they made a show just for me hardly anyone else would want to listen to it: I intend to set up a poll in a future post, once I have worked out how, but in order to frame the question I’m looking for suggestions of things we want to here more of, or less of.

For example I am a developer so would be interested in discussions on technical and licensing issues for open source software but I suspect developers on this site are in a minority so may not be suitable for a show though it may be a suitable topic on this forum.

I also have strong political views and I am a human rights activist so I have enjoyed the discussions we have had on UK and US politics, Israel and privacy. I know many on this site are aligned with my views but I am sure some are less so, I welcome the debate. You may think the show needs more of this or that it’s already too political and we need to cut it out Let us know

Product reviews: Do we want more of these? if so what products? Note we have a category on the forum for “Community Reviews” so if there is a product out there that is being hyped and you really think we shouldn’t be buying tell us and conversely if there is something that is not being talked about but you feel we should all be using let us know that too.

Anything else: You may be interested in many other things I have not mentioned For example both Jono and myself are musicians, there are probably several others here too, though I suspect there are better sites than this one to discuss heavy metal, it’s also probably not the best site to discuss my interest in astronomy but there may be many other subjects we should be talking about.

Let us know your thoughts, I can’t guarantee anything will make it to the show but it has significantly more chance if the presenters know you want to hear it.

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Are you sure? Like Suart I’m a “web guy”, PHP LAMP jQuery is stuff I get paid to do lol

As for politics, it is something interesting and a I think we could discuss it, but often political web forums end up getting crazy.

I am intersted in privacy too, although I would not want Bad Voltage to be a negative finger-pointing-at-companies podcast, i.e. company X is nasty, I would be much more interested in hearing about alternatives and fun tricks to keep ownership of data etc.

The product reviews are a nice option to let us know about new products. I think reviewing big expensive things like cars is not for me something I would be intested in but quirky items that do something fun might be nice.

I would be interested in build-your-own segments, maybe talking about DIY stuff, also maybe you could go out and interview people at labs and stuff?

Warren, what do you play?

Apparently Henry Ford once said if he asked the public what they wanted they would just say they wanted a faster horse, so maybe we could have some supprises?


I’m very much into folk music. I’m a very bad keyboard player but I am grade 8 (Top grade you can get in the UK) on Guitar and Tenor Banjo, I’m also self taught on Ukulele and Mandolin,[quote=“nshiell, post:2, topic:11001”]
Are you sure? Like Suart I’m a “web guy”, PHP LAMP jQuery is stuff I get paid to do lol

As for politics, it is something interesting and a I think we could discuss it, but often political web forums end up getting crazy.

This is why I am asking the question. I’m more than happy to follow both the technical and political roads but only if I can take you with me.

If nobody else is interested there are other subjects we can discuss.

Thanks for kicking off the discussion, @WarrenHill - we definitely want to hear what people love, what they are less into into, and what kind of things fans of the show would love to hear in the future.

So, folks, let us know what you would love to hear more of, or what we should avoid. Thanks!

I would love to learn more here. What kind of things do you want to hear reviewed? Gadgets? Movies? Services/websites?

Also, do you only want to hear about new things or are older things also of interest for review?

If you are going to have more political discussions, you need to invite a guest whose presence broadens the range of opinions on the show. Not that our fearless three agree on everything, but surveying the broad spectrum of poitical opinion, they are fairly closely clustered.

Agreed. Not just with politics, but we want to ensure we have different opinions on the show. This is why I think the guest presenters will be fun to have.

One thing I wouldn’t mind hearing is, on occasion, to revisit some earlier reviews. It wouldn’t have to be a very long segment at all. Maybe having @sil sharing how the media center is doing for his parents. Did he wish he did something different? How’s the sous-vide going for @jeremy? Or, after some time, is @jonobacon still in love with his Cadillac or does he wish he would have found a 1994 Geo Metro? Just some quick updates would be nice.


That’s a great idea, doing a re-review of gadgets. How do they perform at longterm use? Are they still in use or at the meantime are there better alternatives available?

I couldn’t agree more I’m less sure about Jono and Jeremy though I suspect they are both left of centre. Stuart’s and my politics align quite closely though so I suspect anyone listening to a discussion between Stuart and myself with similar beliefs would find it comforting.

Those with conflicting beliefs however would probably just dismiss us If we had someone we who disagrees strongly with us however it changes things we would change things. We would be forced to justify our claims and that would encourage the rest of you to think. It may strengthen your politics against us or you may find your self agreeing. My goal is to get people thinking and I love to promote discussion.

Another interesting subject might be what products have we bought because one of the presenters suggested it? Of those which do we regret and which are we still using?

Not just presenters but what other items have we bought on community recommendations?

I love the book:

On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee

I can’t remember where the recommendation came from but it was this site.

That is a cool idea. Could be neat for a short update (a few mins).

I was also hoping for a toothpaste review from @bryanlunduke. But, alas, my hopes were shattered. Any of you others up to the challenge? :smile:


@bryanlunduke has promised to guest on at least one show in 2017. Perhaps we can hold him to the toothpaste review.

No idea when schedules will match however so. It could be a few months.

Another developer here. I think getting programming or development related things into a podcast in an entertaining way is a tough line to walk, but if it comes off it tends to be great. Its a tough task to anything about a specific technology or programming language as it generally only appeals to those invested in that eco-system (e,g as a python developer, a talk about only PHP wouldn’t hold my interest). I regularly listen to podcast and although its often a good listen, the interviewee often decides whether I skip the episode or not.

In my opinion, A more interesting direction would be more general topics around coding/development:

  • Do we think its important for programming/logical thinking to be a part of everyone’s education?
  • An interview with someone on the ground with a project like raspberry pi and how they are being used in schools.
  • The effects of being a developer on mental health or general personality? Is there anything substantive or is it just stereotyping? probably would need an expert in to give their opinion.
  • How to use your programming skills for the greater good? I’ve been reading a lot about the US digital service in the last few days, and whether its propaganda or no, they seem to be on the right track. As someone from Ireland, now living in the UK, what can I do outside of my working hours to help society?
  • As a developer, how do I tell other people about my job, or technology in general. I sometimes put my wife to sleep with me waffling about how something on the internet works (latest installment was TLS Certificates). How do we engage others and make the general population more tech-savvy? Is this even something we think society needs?

I love the show, so please keep up the good work, even in @bryanlunduke’s absence. Guest presenters sound like a great idea.


I’m still of the opinion that there are less developers here than non developers but it’s starting to look like the number of active developers on this site is more than I originally thought.

I’m very interested in the idea of to what extent we should be teaching others, particularly children, coding. In my opinion it promotes logical thinking and critical thought. Both of these should be promoted because if we are going to escape some of the problems facing the world today we need more engineers and scientists who while they listen to the opinions of authority are happy to question it. I’m not saying you should believe what I tell you, in fact closer to the opposite, but I’m saying we should be questioning schools, churches and governments too. Think for your self and tools such as coding promote logical thought so I’m in favour of it.

I see a similar problem: The company I work for manufactures machine vision systems, the ones that look a conveyor belt full of say apples (or peas or several other goods) and detect the bad ones and dispose of them by various means such as blasts of air to redirect them from the main path.

There may be people here who are really interested in how this works but I suspect few really want me to go into the mathematics of image recognition and a discussion of the best language to implement it in.

In 2015 I went to Ogg Camp in Liverpool UK, Met @sil there but that’s beside the point. Ogg camp was a Linux and maker conference and there was one young girl about 10 who ran a talk where she explained she was a digital assistant, meaning she helped with IT at her school, and was asking those of us who had been involved if FOSS for many years longer what she could/should be doing. She was doing simple stuff with a Pi.

Very interesting question in my opinion most good engineers have never properly grown up.

“Growing old is inevitable. Growing up is a choice”

I don’t necessarily see this as a problem because a child like fascination in how things work and how you can make them do what you want them to pushes frontiers. I know many programmers and engineers who drink too much or have mental issues such depression. I have issues with depression myself and cope with it quite well most of the time but have to remain aware of it.

Very interested to know if my depressive events are indicative of my career or if I know lots of people who suffer just because I have in the past and so have been introduced to others as part of a support network. A mental health expert would be an excellent guest.

Another point to bear in mind is that while the forum is in many ways guided by the podcast they do have separate existences so we may want to create a new category say “developer talk” for more technical issues that may be less interesting to the non developer but others here would want to see.

Let us know your thoughts: there are other sites we could use if only a few people are interested but if a significant number of us are it may be worth considering creating.

Interesting, and I agree to a point. I’m not personally convinced that coding and programming is a way to guarantee people talk about the world. I think there is room for a different educational class for that. I think where programming and computer science in general may play a role is in Digital privacy, and the importance the population places on that.

Cool, Computer Vision was one of my favourite courses in College. One of the first places in my life I really saw applied mathematics in play. Extremely interesting field.[quote=“WarrenHill, post:16, topic:11001”]
I suspect few really want me to go into the mathematics of image recognition and a discussion of the best language to implement it in.

However point taken, its a fairly niche discussion point.[quote=“WarrenHill, post:16, topic:11001”]
I have issues with depression myself and cope with it quite well most of the time but have to remain aware of it.

As someone who doesn’t suffer from depression (at least not yet in my life), I feel unqualified to talk on this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if our occupation does have something to do with this. The indoorsy aspect along with the often solitary nature of our work is not the most natural.

I like the idea of starting this category. As you mention there are other sites to chat about these things, but this community is nice and small, and mostly civil, so think it would be fun enough to start chatting about some development specific things.

One other thing I’d like to hear others opinions on is a shared project. I think its really hard to do this in a way that keeps peoples interest, but would be nice to build something together, using everyone’s skills (there seems to some maker skills in the forums also).

Directly no teaching programming does not guarantee people will talk about the world but it does teach some of the skills necessary to be able to do so because you need to develop a sense of conditional procedure

   if (this && that){

The above piece of pseudo C illustrates the point. It shows you can break things down to logical decisions.

It is no substitute for a formal analysis of logic and a demand that we require an explanation of the sources and validity of so called facts we are given.

When I woke up yesterday morning Climate change and LGBT issues were a significant concern in America and around the world according to the Whitehouse website today they are not, Nothing has fundamentally changed in terms of fundamental physics or true morality in these hours except for the voices reporting on it so clearly we have either been lied to for years or are being lied to today.

I’ll leave it to you to decide for your self who you choose to believe but surely we must be questioning and thinking for our selves here.

Bad Voltage On Ice?

That’s the point. Getting people to think. I have the feeling that people stopped using their brains. One can observe people doing stupid things all the time even if the right way is obvious. And I’m not talking about ideology where multiple opinions can be right and it’s important to have different points of view. I’m talking about the little things in life like getting in the subway and stand in the doors even if many people behind want to get in too.

Please respect our code of conduct which is simple: don't be a dick.