Sunday, September 18, 2005


PBS has launched Nerd TV, broadcast television's first entirely downloadable series. This series consists of tech pundit Robert X. Cringely interviewing the the biggest (although most not entirely familiar) names in high tech.

The complete list of NerdTV guests includes the first Macintosh operating system programmer Andy Hertzfeld, Pay Pal co-founder Max Levchin, Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy, Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak, internet publisher Tim O'Reilly, Autodesk co-founder Dan Drake, TCP/IP inventor Bob Kahn, computer mouse inventor Doug Engelbart, former Lotus chief scientist Jerry Kaplan, Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle, former Apple chief scientist Larry Tesler, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and the father of Linux, Linus Torvalds.

NerdTV is distributed under a Creative Commons license so viewers can legally share the shows with their friends, post them on their own websites, or even edit their own versions. From the Nerd TV website: "If not THE future of television, NerdTV represents A future of television for niche audiences that have deep interest in certain topics".

Viewers will be able to choose the content or format they download to their computer: MP4 video of the whole program, MP4 video of the juicy excerpt (for a more general audience wanting just a nugget) and MP4 video of the nerdy excerpt (for a more technical audience wanting just a nugget). In addition, a subtitled/captioned version and a variety of audio-only formats will be available. There are also downloadable, portable podcasts. If you find all the tech options overwhelming, print transcripts are also available.

Be sure to check this series, which Wired News describes as "smart people talking at length about important stuff". Could this really be the future of TV? Let me know what you think...

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

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