Tag Archives: techtv

What is a Blog?

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http://live.pirillo.com/ – What exactly is a blog you ask? I define a blog as a personal publishing platform.

If you use a homepage to keep the outside world updated on your life, your business, and your thoughts, you have to do all the work by hand. Most web pages are edited using HTML, which stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. You’ll edit a single file the hard way, entering code for the formatting…the links…the text. Getting it just right can be difficult.

Enter blog software! Originally created by our good friend Dave Winer, blog software allows companies and individuals to manage their content easily and effectively. Open your blog in your internet browser, type in a subject line and some content, maybe add some links or pictures, and click the publish button. VOILA! You are done. Your blog post magically appears nice and pretty, all formatted and ready to read.

My personal blog is found at chris.pirillo.com. There is an archive of all my videos, along with more written content/description found at media.pirillo.com. Where is your blog? I always love to have new blogs to subscribe to, but I cannot promise to keep updated with everyone’s daily lives. If you put your heart and soul into a post, or have something truly important you want to share, be sure to stop by our chat room at live.pirillo.comand give us the link.

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Trojans vs. Viruses

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Confused about the differences between a virus, a trojan, adware, and spyware? While they all fall under the category of malware, they are all very different types of digital nasties


Have you ever watched the movie Troy with Brad Pitt? It’s the one where the Greeks build a huge wooden horse and hide soldiers inside of it? Yeah – you know the story.

A computer trojan is a lot like that movie. It’s a program installed on your computer (often bundled with another program) that runs in the background. It will open a door to your computer, so to speak, to allow another person to get IN. They can see your files, look at everything on your computer, and even take over your computer and use it for malicious means.

A virus is destructive. It can rewrite your files, overwrite your files, and even wipe out your files. Some viruses can execute themselves to basically cripple your system in a matter of seconds. There are others that simply install themselves quietly, and then send copies of themselves out to everyone in your address book to infect them.

Spyware is a nifty little bugger that likes to… well… SPY on you. For example, those cool toolbars and desktop widgets you install – or a program you downloaded from a file sharing network – often will have spyware bundled with them. This spyware gathers information about you and your surfing habits, and will send it back to the distributor without your knowledge and/or consent.

And of course, we have adware. Adware is just an ad running inside of a program. It installs itself directly onto your computer, and can open new browser windows, redirect your current window, and even hijack your search engine to redirect to its own results. Yes… those annoying popups you can never seem to get rid of are adware.

Everyone has a different opinion on how to get rid of malware. What I’m interested in is knowing how you got infected… and what you did to stop and/or clean your system. Leave us feedback, or visit us in the live chat at live.pirillo.com.

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What is Proprietary?

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Imagine a world where ONE power cord worked with every technological device you have.

Proprietary is defined as “something that is used, produced, or marketed under exclusive legal right of the inventor or maker”.

Let’s use the iPod as an example. Apple has made the iPod proprietary. It is a closed system! You cannot get “into” it. That is why there are iPod connections specifically made for you car. Apple owns all rights to the iPod, and any other connector or cord simply will not work.

The idea behind something being proprietary is to make the owner have a competitive advantage on the market. This is a very good thing in theory. But in reality….consumers hate it. We want ONE cable! ONE connector! NO MORE MESS OF CABLES!!! ok, ok. Calm, cool and collected again.

One of our dedicated chatters said it best: “OPEN – FTW” You bet. Open for the win. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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Mac OS X Security Software

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Think you are 100% safe from security vulnerabilities because you’re a Mac user?

Take a time out, and think again. No operating system is 100% safe. Chances of being infected on a Mac are much less than with Window because the exploits are different. Macs enjoy security by obscurity. If you are an advanced user who is careful with your surfing and downloading habits, you will be safe using a Mac. Knowledge is key, and this situation is no different. You should educate yourself about computer security, no matter what type of system you are using.

**Turn on the firewall that comes built into the Mac. This will keep you from being exploited.

**Consider using an Anti-Virus program designed for Macs. While there are currently no known viruses for the Mac O/S, it is certainly possible that someone…somewhere…will try and create one. Is this a must have? No – but it won’t hurt, either.

Compute smart. Compute safe. Think before you click.

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An UndoTV Update

In a matter of hours, DNS should be resolving for UndoTV.com. Before you rush the site (as I’m sure you will), please note that we’re only letting vetted talent in at first. Submit your email address to be added to the queue for invitation codes – which will start going out mid-November. You’ll see our temporary “about” page soon enough, but here’s what Leo and I have written:

Today, the idea of a tech-centric TV network has disappeared from the minds of Hollywood’s elite. Par for the course! Passionate communities are often kept an arm’s length away from their favorite broadcasted content in traditional media circles.

It’s time to undo that way of thinking, don’t you think?

TechTV alumni just wanted a place where we could all come together and funnel our independent efforts. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” keeps ringing through my head – not just our existing content, but NEW stuff (and NEW faces) as well. Leo Laporte and I have done our best to set the stage for UndoTV.

The blogger Steve Borsch commented in a previous thread: “So, who decides what gets ‘on’ UndoTV? Who the talent is? What emerges?” The UndoTV talent base is starting with the former ZDTV / TechTV staff, previous show guests, and vetted friends. Without a base of quality content, we’d be nothing more than a video portal clone.

Everybody is welcome here – and everybody retains 100% ownership of their own content.

The community (you) will determine the direction of our efforts. Certainly, some former TechTV talent has gone on to do fantastic productions far outside the realm of the tech industry. Everybody is welcome to help us undo the idea of television – helping reinvent the way community can influence the active development of a site, its content, and its superstars.

You are tomorrow’s network. You control the horizontal – and the vertical, too. As such, we only want to see your own creations here. If you want to upload someone else’s content, please do so elsewhere? It’s the community’s job to keep this community clean, cool, and collected. We hope you take that responsibility to heart.

Expect, in short time, new features and functionality, new ways to interact, and new ways to find a passionate audience for your own talents.

TechTV = UndoTV

TechTV was a television network that held within it so much promise, so much talent. We had an army of fanatics stationed all around the globe. The Internet-savvy did everything in their power to empower that very community – but many of those efforts fell victim to a traditional media mindset. We’re now on the cusp of a new media revolution, and I’ve begun to spearhead efforts to ressurect the ideals of TechTV.

When I seeded the idea about letting the community help us centralize, the response was overwhelming – both from TechTV alumni and our ever-present supporters. I’m here to tell you now: it’s going to happen. I don’t know how it’s going to happen, but… that’s what makes it worth doing! The most difficult hurdle has already been overcome, in my opinion: we have an audience that is NOT being served effectively.

ZDTV/TechTV brought us all together, but that brand belongs to somebody else – to a completely different time and management style. It’s not the name that’s most important – it’s what we do with that name which will prove our validity and worth. The whole is always greater than the sum of its parts!

Leo and I have discussed a few core values this impending structure must support, the most revolutionary of which is content producers owning 100% of their contributions. We want to enable former TechTV talent to upload new and existing content, and we want to bring new talent into the fold as well. Sales will also be an important part of this process, so we’d also like to help match sponsorship with these personalities.

The working (and likely final) name for this project is simple, poignant, and genre-neutral: UndoTV. I’ve registered UndoTV.com, Undo.tv, UndoTV.net, and UndoTV.org through GoDaddy. I believe that UndoTV.com will be the primary domain (with Undo.tv being a permanent redirect to it). It’s my hope to turn over UndoTV.net and UndoTV.org to the community, letting vetted leaders craft those sites with tools of their choosing. Perhaps one could hold within it a wiki, another could hold a customized version of MUWP (which I’m developing for Lockergnome.com anyway)? That’s completely up to you, my friends.

Why UndoTV? Several reasons:

  • Some former TechTV talent are no longer producing tech content.
  • We’re undoing TechTV’s untimely and unwarranted demise.
  • The television industry is changing, and we’re all helping “undo” it.
  • There are few preconceived notions with the word “undo.”
  • The CTRL+Z reference is geeky enough, but it doesn’t turn off non-geeks.
  • The appropriate domains were available.
  • Informal reactions to the “UndoTV” name were positive.
  • All TechTV/ZDTV fans will find us, no matter what we call it.

A good name is important, but not as important as what we make of that name. What did “Digg” mean before the community pushed it to a powerhouse? What’s more, we’re really trying to help people who are afraid of technology – and getting a technophobe to pay attention to “tech” anything is nothing short of impossible. Let me put it to you another way: how do normal people discover YouTube videos?

I’m confident that the timing for UndoTV is perfect. Leo and I have identified a potential platform to begin publishing through, but an actual launch date is still in the air. We have every element in line for success: an amazing community, a range of great talent, and a strong desire to push the media industry forward.

Could be the Peet’s talking, but… I’m excited. Next steps?

  • Draft a unique logo
  • Prep the site structure
  • Locate smart sponsors
  • Contact interested talent
  • Solicit community feedback
  • Identify organizational needs
  • Define necessary roles
  • Flesh out legal structure

Here we go. Let’s see if Dvorak likes the idea.

What Made TechTV Different

Television affects everybody – some, more than others. I couldn’t imagine my childhood without Saturday morning cartoons or afternoon specials. When I first heard about ZDTV, I was thrilled – though I was never in a position to receive it. The network became TechTV after Paul Allen’s aquisition, but its programming remained as remote as ever. Still, I wanted my TechTV like teens of the ’80s wanted their MTV. Music has mass appeal, but talking about technology has always been relegated to the lunatic fringe. We choose technology as a lifestyle, but often forget that most lifestyles have no choice but to use technology. In this sense, Hollywood is probably not going to serve our community needs half as well as we can serve ourselves. Yesterday’s rally is testament to the idea of a “TechTV” – not just the talent supporting it, but the very concept of technology content on the television screen. The Web is wonderful, but the TV is still socially legit.

Robert said… “TechTV is already here and it’s WAY better than what was on the real TV network. Did TechTV ever put videos up to teach you how to do something really geeky like use ASP.NET 2.0? No. They couldn’t have. They would have pissed off 90% of their audience.”

No, it’s not already HERE – it’s “all over the place,” and that’s only part of the problem. It’s true that you don’t need a lot of money to make something look good, but “talent” is equally as important (if not moreso) than the content itself. If TechTV ever put up videos about ASP.NET 2.0, it wouldn’t have pissed off their audience – it would have put them to sleep. Sometimes, all people need (and want) is a high-level overview. It’s the same reason why you probably only look at the first ten results from a search engine (and seldom scroll past the fold). Do you think the entertainment business would be in business if it wasn’t entertaining? I hate to say it, but knowing how to operate a camera doesn’t make you a photographer – just as knowing the difference between nouns and verbs doesn’t make you a writer. This isn’t about pissing off an audience, Scoble – it’s about supporting, embracing, and extending a community that was abandoned! 6,000 diggs is tough to ignore, dude.

The TechTV Alumni discussion list is totally jazzed – because we miss connecting with our ol’ community as much as they miss connecting with us (yes, even the people who hate me). As more details emerge, we’ll be sure to share them. The “TechTV” name is dead, but its spirit is still very much alive – and marching forward.

TechTV: Rebuilt by Community?

Looks like Leo may have let loose the flood gates: TechTV Reunion? It’s possible. I think it’s very possible. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that I want to help make it happen. I think we could make a good go of the idea on the ‘Net before taking it to a television studio – unless, of course, there’s a studio out there that understands just how much TechTV helped both technophiles and technophobes. That’s one idea.

I’m thinking we could do something a bit more permanent (at least, online). I believe the community can bring the idea of “TechTV” back to life. What we’ll need, of course, is YOUR HELP.

For starters, I’m looking for a centralized site where TechTV Alumni could log in, post a video via Flash controls, then have their recordings indexed (tagged? syndicated?) and streamed on-demand. There’s probably an open source app I’m not seeing at the moment, but if any of the TechTV faithful can help… we’re all ears. It could be a TechTV Variety video site – but can the community build it for us to use? We could likely do this through a video portal, but… I think a TechTV community-controlled (or directed) solution is the big win.

Until then, I’m going to knock on a few more doors to see if I can generate genuine interest – for sponsors and/or studios.

G4 is a Big, Fat Loser

Per the article posted today in TG Daily, Xfire gaming network to be acquired by Viacom, rolled into MTV Networks, comes a biting statement about the G4 network:

Viacom’s competitor in the cable arena, Comcast, is the owner of the newly semi-redubbed G4TV network, which was originally devoted 100% to video games, but has recently branched out to, shall we say, unique forms of “interactive television,” including repackaged reruns of the original Star Trek series with added graphics that interact with…themselves. Ratings numbers give G4TV the unlucky distinction of being the least viewed basic cable network in America – less than evangelistic channels, less than third-rate shopping channels.

Holy sh*t… dead last? I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry, quite honestly. I loved being at TechTV, and I believe there’s still a place for technology on the television screen. This news is really too bad, as it’s likely to discourage any other network to pick up the ball and run with it. Talented geeks are hard to come by – and even when they can be found, you have to be willing to pay for their services.