Linked by Adam S on Tue 13th Dec 2005 23:43 UTC
Podcasts We are very excited to share our first podcast (this one's a bit of an experiment). We are hoping to make podcasts a semi-regular feature on OSNews. In this episode, we discuss "bloat" and the way the term is used today. OSNews, episode 1 can be downloaded as an MP3 (4.37 MB) or an Vorbis (3.85 MB) file. Update: For those who claim it's not a podcast until it's published via RSS, we're now publishing a valid RSS 2.0 feed that can includes the podcasts. Update 2: Different filename for podcast RSS feed.
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iTunes?
by Anonymous on Wed 14th Dec 2005 00:09 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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is this available in iTunes? It would be much easier for me if it were...

Reply Score: 0

RE: iTunes?
by jeffbax on Wed 14th Dec 2005 00:14 UTC in reply to "iTunes?"
jeffbax Member since:
2005-07-27

Also want to see an iTunes subscription ;)

It just makes things so much easier!

Reply Score: 1

RE: iTunes?
by Temcat on Wed 14th Dec 2005 14:52 UTC in reply to "iTunes?"
Temcat Member since:
2005-10-18

You mean "does iTunes contain bloat"? :-)

Reply Score: 1

where is teh RSS feed?
by modmans2ndcoming on Wed 14th Dec 2005 00:10 UTC
modmans2ndcoming
Member since:
2005-11-09

even if it is not published on iTunes yet, or ever, you can still DnD the feed into iTunes.

Reply Score: 1

Excellent Start
by RGCook on Wed 14th Dec 2005 00:18 UTC
RGCook
Member since:
2005-07-12

Suggestion: Please try to balance the opening/closing sound clip with the rest of the podcast. I couldn't hear Adam until I turned up the volume and then I almost got blown out of my chair at the end!

Feedback: Excellent topic and discussion -- great start and I look forward to more.

I think you point out that the term bloat is best defined by subjective reference than objective definition. Even in the end when you talk about features exceeding user needs, I can ask, what user?

Bloat has a negative connotation and that is lethargic, fat (which has its own subset of negative connotations), etc. Two systems with the same feature set could be compared. One might run slow or have a poor GUI and be considered bloated, while the other might be perceived as more useful because the features are better implemented and therefore useful.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Excellent Start
by Vorlath on Wed 14th Dec 2005 08:13 UTC in reply to "Excellent Start"
Vorlath Member since:
2005-12-03

I just want to second that it was a good start. The audio at the end freaked me out too. I think it'd be funny if it was like that all the time though.

Also, I don't like the word podcast. Isn't that copyrighted or something?

I always thought bloat was not caring about the size of your software. I never thought about it from a features perspective.

Reply Score: 1

RSS
by Anonymous on Wed 14th Dec 2005 00:25 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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I think it should be available through an iTunes RSS feed, that way I can download it automatically through rhythmbox.

Good Job OS News.

Reply Score: 0

bloat is...
by morganth on Wed 14th Dec 2005 00:26 UTC
morganth
Member since:
2005-07-13

"podcasting" in 4MB a rant which could have been expressed in a few k of plain text ;-)

That said, I think bloat is one of those subjective terms... what's bloat to one person is a swiss-army knife to someone else. UNIX philosophy has tended against bloat, which is why you hear about it in our community so much ("do one thing and do it well"). The argument for single-purpose programs only makes sense if there are easy ways for programs to be "stacked" in some sort of pipeline -- this was possible on the UNIX shell, isn't so possible anymore with the rise of GUIs. That said, I think that bloat in Free Software mainly refers to overengineering the code. This is the case with XOrg for example, whose codebase is wholly unapproachable even for talented C hackers. Some people jest that Xorg is just about the biggest and most complex program that "does nothing." From a technical viewpoint, Xorg does a lot, but it seems like there must be some way to have a graphics server that is leaner and just does its job of spitting graphics to your screen.

I don't think either KDE or GNOME are bloated as far as desktops go. Some applications are--say, Evolution, which has no way to use it as just a mailer (you have to take the tasks, calendar, etc. with it). And OpenOffice's "bloat" is compared to AbiWord's leanness. Undoubtedly with bloat you often lose features, but AbiWord is meant to be a fast, usable alternative that covers the 80% case and only worries a little about the 20%.

After all, the bloat/no-bloat argument boils down to the old adage, 80% of the effort is required to solve the 20%-case of the problem. In this case, the effort is code and the 20% case is special uses/preferences for applications.

Reply Score: 4

RE: bloat is...
by Anonymous on Wed 14th Dec 2005 00:43 UTC in reply to "bloat is..."
Anonymous Member since:
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Bloat can be dealt with by:

1-good coding practices.

2-Good design.
2a-Modularity.
2a1-Plugins.
2a2-The design of the program among small, functional lines.
2b-scriptability.
2b1-Importing small code bits. e.g. greasemonkey, Mozilla 1.5.
2b2-A macro recorder.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: bloat is...
by bytecoder on Wed 14th Dec 2005 00:53 UTC in reply to "RE: bloat is..."
bytecoder Member since:
2005-11-27

You might as well link to this:
http://www.faqs.org/docs/artu/

Reply Score: 2

RE: bloat is...
by bytecoder on Wed 14th Dec 2005 00:51 UTC in reply to "bloat is..."
bytecoder Member since:
2005-11-27


The argument for single-purpose programs only makes sense if there are easy ways for programs to be "stacked" in some sort of pipeline -- this was possible on the UNIX shell, isn't so possible anymore with the rise of GUIs.

It may not be very possible now, but it would be fairly easy to design a GUI designed around program interaction.


I don't think either KDE or GNOME are bloated as far as desktops go.

KDE is bloated interface-wise. Gnome is bloated code-wise.

I fail to see how arguing over the definition and use of a word is productive, though.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: bloat is...
by angrymike on Wed 14th Dec 2005 08:59 UTC in reply to "bloat is..."
angrymike Member since:
2005-07-27

"The argument for single-purpose programs only makes sense if there are easy ways for programs to be "stacked" in some sort of pipeline"

KParts does this. The best example is Kontact, which is made up of individual stand alone applications that are integrated.

Reply Score: 1

RE: bloat is...
by Anonymous on Thu 15th Dec 2005 06:11 UTC in reply to "bloat is..."
Anonymous Member since:
---

exactly, BLOAT should be defined by what you are getting out of it...

if you are getting a desktop environment that provides basically 95% of the apps most users will EVER use it isnt too bloated.

if there is shitloads of erenious crap in there that interferes with normal operation then thats different.


I use gnome... but KDE would be similar. if they are providing a complete environment, PLUS a framework for extras to be added in that isnt bloat (provided the right design is actively ENGINEERED)

i can see this with Gnome and Epiphany vs the older web browsers, basically gnome was still actively developing the libraries until they felt it was what they envisioned. now epiphany works and fits right and is not bloated whereas no offense to the good work ohter people have done, but older gnome browsers work as well because they use more antiquated older libraries.

Reply Score: 0

Podcast..
by Ronald Vos on Wed 14th Dec 2005 00:27 UTC
Ronald Vos
Member since:
2005-07-06

A different word for putting a compressed audiofile online.

Stupid hypester word.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Podcast..
by modmans2ndcoming on Wed 14th Dec 2005 01:30 UTC in reply to "Podcast.."
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

with an RSS2 feed attached to it so that audiences can just get the media using a web service app rather than going to the site

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Podcast..
by jayson.knight on Wed 14th Dec 2005 03:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Podcast.."
jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

Then they lose advertising revenue on their site (until RSS adverts become more mainstream).

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Podcast..
by Celerate on Wed 14th Dec 2005 04:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Podcast.."
Celerate Member since:
2005-06-29

Actually the advertisements could be put in the podcast. Have you ever listened to Digitally imported radio, they have the idvertisements in between every few songs. OSNews could do very much the same.

The same thing has been done on the radio for years, except there it's several advertisements after each song (yuck!).

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Podcast..
by jayson.knight on Wed 14th Dec 2005 04:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Podcast.."
jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

I have indeed...I guess it's past my bedtime and I'm not thinking straight :-).

Reply Score: 1

RE: Podcast..
by David on Wed 14th Dec 2005 01:34 UTC in reply to "Podcast.."
David Member since:
1997-10-01

Strictly speaking, a podcast needs to be in an RSS to be a podcast, otherwise, it's just an mp3 of people talking. So I guess this isn't really a podcast.

Reply Score: 5

Quasi-First Release?
by QuadSix50 on Wed 14th Dec 2005 00:29 UTC
QuadSix50
Member since:
2005-07-07

Another podcast to add to the collection. ;-)

However, I think I will skip this one. As RGCook mentioned, the levels are WAY off. The music was too loud and the actual content we want to hear is toooo soft. Is it possible that you guys can fix this? Right now, it's the only reason I am not paying too much attention to what's being said. This version is not quite ready for prime time until you get it fixed.

Here's to more podcasts from OSNews. :-)

Reply Score: 2

It's not really a podcast until...
by fryke on Wed 14th Dec 2005 00:30 UTC
fryke
Member since:
2005-07-06

... you put it in a pod. And that'd be an RSS feed. Hmm... Right now it's just an MP3 file to me. ;)

Reply Score: 2

can you please..
by Anonymous on Wed 14th Dec 2005 00:42 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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encapsulate it in the rss feed so rss readers automagically download it?

Reply Score: 0

LOL
by ZaNkY on Wed 14th Dec 2005 00:48 UTC
ZaNkY
Member since:
2005-10-18

LOL. That is my first Podcast that I've listened to ever. Good Job OS News, I expect to hear more from you guys in the podcasting area.

On another note, My sound is just fine, everything came through at decent levels without me needing to adjust my sound, and I'm using headphones atm.

I've never really thought about "bloat". Now I know a little more about the term ;) (although i would have said the same thing that adam said, more or less, had you asked me what bloat was BEFORE the podcast)


Good Job Adam, Good Job :-)

EDIT: I forgot to add that the podcast made me laugh alot. Bloat sounds like such a funny topic ;)

--ZaNkY

Edited 2005-12-14 00:49

Reply Score: 1

Guest Podcasters at Some Point?
by jayson.knight on Wed 14th Dec 2005 01:25 UTC
jayson.knight
Member since:
2005-07-06

Will you guys be accepting submissions for guest podcasters at some point (similar to how you do for articles now)?

Reply Score: 3

Celerate Member since:
2005-06-29

That sounds to me like a potential can of worms :-)
but on the other hand it is an interesting idea.

What about having the actual news articles in a podcast, that way I can listen to the latest articles instead of comming to the site and getting distracted with a thread which costs me a few minutes, or a few hours. Listening is also much easier than reading when you're already doing something else.

Reply Score: 1

jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

"That sounds to me like a potential can of worms :-)"

Just to clarify, I meant original podcasts from OSNews subscribers (for example (going w/ Adam's meme in this thread's podcast) I want to do a short blurb on some cool new feature I found in <foo> technology...just an example).

I really like your second idea though, and it wouldn't even have to mean turning Eugenia (or whoever) into essentially a broadcaster...speech recognition is good enough now that new threads could automatically be parsed and dumped into an <insert audio format here> file, then a link sent out via <insert transport mechanism here> to subscribers so they can download the file. Of course bandwidth costs are probably prohibitive, but it's definitely an interesting idea...for low volume sites this could be a godsend. Great idea!

Reply Score: 2

re. Podcast..
by JohnMG on Wed 14th Dec 2005 02:07 UTC
JohnMG
Member since:
2005-07-06

> A different word for putting a compressed audiofile
> online.
>
> Stupid hypester word.

Yeah...

Now, "perlcast", *that's* the genuine article!
http://perlcast.com/

;)

Reply Score: 1

Podcast
by Anonymous on Wed 14th Dec 2005 02:11 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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1) Maintain a consistent volume. I had to adjust it several times.
2) Topic "bloat" is ambiguous; bloat means different things to different people. It is actually more of a rant on peoples actual usage of a term.
3) There isn't a need for music.

Well, actually; I can live with the music; but it is the change in volume levels through out the actual recording.

Just giving my .02 cents worth.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Podcast
by Celerate on Wed 14th Dec 2005 04:51 UTC in reply to "Podcast"
Celerate Member since:
2005-06-29

"1) Maintain a consistent volume. I had to adjust it several times."

Yes, I nearly had a heart attack when the finishing music started because the actual voice was so quiet and all of a sudden there was loud music (because I had to turn it up to hear the voice).

"2) Topic "bloat" is ambiguous; bloat means different things to different people. It is actually more of a rant on peoples actual usage of a term."

I don't know if this is your way of saying you didn't like the topic, but I'll say that for myself. I would much rather see positive articles and comments posted rather than negative articles and comments, the same goes for the "podcast". People always find something to hate, they write a bad opinion piece on it and all of a sudden you have an endless loop of negative claims followed by a defensive/offensive reply. Things could be perfect and still people would find or make something to have flamewars over. I get tired of being reminded of that :-( . The podcasts shouldn't make me feel like someone is simply reading me the comments from the latest flamwar.

"3) There isn't a need for music. "

What?!! Heresy!! ;-)

Every podcast I've ever listened to had some kind of introduction akin to music, or perhaps a few special sound effects. It seems to me like a tradition carried on from radio. The nice thing about the music is that when the volume is done right the beginning music provides you an option to set a good volume without missing anything important. Perhaps a more refined introduction piece would change your mind.

Reply Score: 1

v False advertising hype spin
by Anonymous on Wed 14th Dec 2005 02:12 UTC
Bloatware ...
by Anonymous on Wed 14th Dec 2005 02:30 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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Bloat is subjective in my opinion. It occurs when the features exceed the needs of the user and causes some sort of negative effect. That negative effect may be an overly complex interface that hinders the usability of the software, or it may force the user to upgrade their hardware or software in order to run it (an example of the latter would be upgrading the OS so that the software developer has access to a couple of new API).

Bloat is a bad thing because of the lack of choice in the marketplace. If I could use a lean word processor to read and edit Word documents (sans the features that I do not need, like scripting, mail-merge, and so forth) then all would be well. But we don't really have that choice.

Reply Score: 0

Bloat and podcast
by jaygade on Wed 14th Dec 2005 04:02 UTC
jaygade
Member since:
2005-06-29

I'd never listened to a podcast before, and I never realized that it was supposed to be RSS. I just clicked on the MP3 link and listened to it.

I agree with most here that bloat occurs when features exist that are hardly ever used, wanted features exist but are difficult to use, and/or coding efficiency. I thought that it was a good opinion article.

That being said, I think the article would have been better as a text article. Sure, the podcast sounds like an awesome idea and I liked hearing the voice of someone whose articles I read from time to time. But save podcasting for interviews or round table discussions instead of "regular" opinion pieces.

Reply Score: 2

Better Presentation
by Mystilleef on Wed 14th Dec 2005 05:32 UTC
Mystilleef
Member since:
2005-06-29

I think the term bloat is directly related to how information is presented to users, as opposed to features, speed or functionality. Time and again, it has been shown that information that is delicately formed and properly organized is more appealing to users. Intelligent use of space, elimination of redundancy and consistency can easily evoke the emotion of cleanliness and less bloat. The reason people like me think KDE is bloated has nothing to do with its technology/features/functions, but rather the intimidating manner in which it presents its information.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Better Presentation
by sappyvcv on Wed 14th Dec 2005 08:46 UTC in reply to "Better Presentation"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Right. And the point is that a product is not bloated because it appears bloated. Maybe poorly designed, but not "bloated".

Reply Score: 2

Cool!
by WZot on Wed 14th Dec 2005 07:20 UTC
WZot
Member since:
2005-07-06

Cool that OSNews is getting on the wave of podcasting, a really great phenomena imho. ;) I listen to a lot of podcasts every day and it's nice to see one from one of the websites I visit daily (several times). I havent gotten around to listen to it yet though. But I'll get around to that in a mo.

Oh and by the way... It should be registered on iTunes as someone pointed out. Might even get some new visitors to osnews.com. ^_^

Reply Score: 1

Kinda a letdown
by Anonymous on Wed 14th Dec 2005 09:29 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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I was excited to listen to this podcast. OSnews usually has some pretty good articles, editorials, links. However, this podcast seemed little more than a personal opinion simply stating "bloat is subjective", then offering a vague definition. I was hoping to hear something more illuminating on the subject, maybe a new take on the idea, or some inside details on a specific project. I agree with one of the first posters, nothing that couldn't have been done in a few KB of text. I'd say 1 paragraph.

Looking forward to the next one, all the same. And yeah, what the heck? Podcast = mp3??

Reply Score: 0

My definition
by Tyr. on Wed 14th Dec 2005 10:52 UTC
Tyr.
Member since:
2005-07-06

I can't listen to the podcast right now (I'm at work), but here's a definition of bloat that served me well.
I see bloat as related to feature-creep. When you keep adding new features and those features don't add value to the user but instead have a negative effect (increased complexity of app, slowness), those features are bloat.

Bloat is a universal problem, as illustrated by "Zawinski's Law of Software Envelopment" : "Every program attempts to expand until it can read mail. Those programs which cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can."

Reply Score: 1

RE: My definition
by eMagius on Wed 14th Dec 2005 16:00 UTC in reply to "My definition"
eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

And what of programs that provide minimal functionality but have a huge codebase, slow loading, and massive resource consumption? Are they somehow "lean" because they're lacking in features?

While an excess of features may lead to interface bloating if not properly structured, this is far rarer than cases of huge, slow programs that provide less functionality than their speedy, lighter, yet more feature-packed competitors.

Reply Score: 1

Podcasting
by Anonymous on Wed 14th Dec 2005 11:47 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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The wikipedia has podcasting down as

"Podcasting is a term used to describe a collection of technologies for automatically distributing audio programs over the Internet using a publisher/subscriber model."

The automation is the whole point! The fact that it happens to be technologies that you might know from before does not make it any less useful now does it?

Reply Score: 0

audiocast
by JrezIN on Wed 14th Dec 2005 13:13 UTC
JrezIN
Member since:
2005-06-29

I hope you guys don't stick too much on these brand-based terms...

I could go on and talk about viral-marketing and lot's of evil vs good things... but the truth is, OSNews has readers from all the world, I don't thing something so close related to a brand and specific product suits better the description of these service for readers around the world and using all other devices with the service (PCs, appliances, DAPs, etc).

And about the news... great new service. I hope you guys don't use it for critical articles and etc, as I do prefer reading for these (usually faster and I don't need to interrupt my music for reading... =] ), but the service have lot's of good uses for!

Oh! (late edit) A content description in some form would be great too (for searching, archiving and for easier browsing the audio file). I know it adds a lot of work, but it has lot's of benefits too! =]

Edited 2005-12-14 13:15

Reply Score: 1

RE: audiocast
by Anonymous on Wed 14th Dec 2005 14:24 UTC in reply to "audiocast"
Anonymous Member since:
---

> I hope you guys don't stick too much on these
> brand-based terms...

Exactly. Millions of people around the world neither use Itunes to download these files, nor ever listen to them on their players. And most dont even have Ipods or have ever seen one.

To force the hipster brand name "Ipod" down everyones throat, even if this distribution method doesnt have _anything_ to do with the Ipod is clearly biased and fanboyish.

I support calling those mp3 feeds "audiocasts", to stay impartial, the same way nobody would like to hear that every "PC user" also uses windows, or that it is presumed that he uses windows.

Please let vocal apple fanboys who firstly pushed the "pod" into this name, back out of the game.

Reply Score: 0

RE: audiocast
by Luke McCarthy on Wed 14th Dec 2005 16:28 UTC in reply to "audiocast"
Luke McCarthy Member since:
2005-07-06

Well I'm not a big fan of the word [podcast] myself. It doesn't bother me that it derives from iPod. I would be more accepting if these MP3 players had wireless Internet connections so they could download as soon as something is available, it isn't really a broadcast otherwise. But the damn word is in the dictionary: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4504256.stm

But back to the topic... Nice to put a voice to someone on OSNews. I would love to hear an audio interview in the future. You could fade the music more gently ;-) It cut off abruptly when you said hello.

What you are describing is what I would call feature bloat or featuritis. There is also user-interface bloat. Generally I understand the term as a ratio of functionality and the amount of code that implements it. By 'amount' I generally mean code size, but it's not fair to compare programs compiled for different ISAs even if you count instructions instead of bytes.

I would say a 1MB text editor is bloated since a text editor doesn't (shouldn't) really do much besides manipulate text and display it. 50K tops even if the developer has featuritis. But a 1MB flashy 3D online game would certainly be considered lean because there is a lot of functionality to implement. I'm not sure whether auxiliary data (e.g. textures and models for a game) should be considered part of bloat.

Edited 2005-12-14 16:32

Reply Score: 1

Nice!
by maxx_730 on Wed 14th Dec 2005 16:46 UTC
maxx_730
Member since:
2005-12-14

Nice! I really liked it. What will the next be about?

Reply Score: 1

Criticism
by Anonymous on Wed 14th Dec 2005 18:15 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

Great idea! (perhaps I should have put this into the title ;) )

But well hmm, I think the contents are really, really, really uninteresting.

Oh and I didn't like the intro and outro, apart from being much to loud.

On the plus side, Adam has a good voice, clearly articulated an easy to listen to. Much better than what you hear from many internet stations ;)

Please take this as constructive critcism and not ranting. I look forward to hearing another part soon ;)

Reply Score: 0

What's in a name?
by puddleglum on Wed 14th Dec 2005 18:55 UTC
puddleglum
Member since:
2005-07-20

Why all this argument over podcast, audiocast, broadcast?
Why all these rants on a proper RSS feed? The way I see
it, the last thing we need is yet another way to download
a media file. I'm just glad OSNews provided an ogg file
that i can wget.

Thank you.

Reply Score: 1

Thx. :)
by fryke on Wed 14th Dec 2005 20:29 UTC
fryke
Member since:
2005-07-06

Seems like my critical comment on it being no 'podcast' without a pod called for action. Thank you, guys. ;) I'm redownloading it now through iTunes.

Reply Score: 1

Hmmm.
by Kroc on Wed 14th Dec 2005 23:35 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Someone needs to invent some RSS2 that can contain multiple versions of one stream and the aggregator download the one you want. It'd be annoying to have seperate feeds if you published in several formats.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Hmmm.
by sappyvcv on Thu 15th Dec 2005 00:19 UTC in reply to "Hmmm."
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

You meant EXTEND the specification? Something that Microsoft was considering doing and got criticized for? ;)

I actually agree. RSS is too limited. It works pretty well for basic stuff now, but hard to extend. They just keep modifying it slightly, and then apps habve to support like 5 versions of RSS, which is not fun.

Reply Score: 1

Nice...
by AmigaRobbo on Thu 15th Dec 2005 15:44 UTC
AmigaRobbo
Member since:
2005-11-15

Conceptual joke. A huge great big MP3 to say a few kb of information.

And it's a about bloat, oh my sides...

Reply Score: 1

Odeo?
by Anonymous on Fri 16th Dec 2005 03:48 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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I like to listen to podcast via Odeo (www.odeo.com) so how about creating an OSNews channel there?

Reply Score: 0