I spend a couple of hours on my daily commute, and because I drive to work, it leaves me no opportunity to spend that time reading. Instead, I do the second best: listen to podcasts in the car. Although I am an avid fan of music, I find that it’s a lot better to listen to spoken word instead of music when driving. Spoken word requires some attention which helps you take your mind off of rude Jersey daredevil drivers who are always cutting you off the minute you give them a car length of space to squeeze into.
One of the podcasts that I regularly follow is The Command Line Podcast. The host prefers to go by the moniker of Command Line instead of revealing his name (more on that later). Command Line talks about a lot of issues that I am personally very interested in, such as programming, security, digital rights, new media, science fiction and privacy. It is usually hard to pull off a one-man show for a spoken word podcast but the host manages to do pretty well. Command Line has a great command over language and manages to speak his thoughts without fumbling or pausing. Unlike a lot of other shows that rely on just covering the news and issues, Command Line accompanies the topics with an in-depth analysis of the issues.
A few months ago, Command Line changed the format of the show to make it twice a week instead of just once. Once a week, the show covers news and security alerts and the other show for the week covers some topic in detail. This format for the show works quite well because the show doesn’t go too long and manages to keep my interest. Command Line talks about a lot of things that are discussed by other more famous people in the field, such as Cory Doctorow, Bruce Schneier and Ed Felten and provides his own opinion on them.
I personally enjoy the podcast a lot because of the intelligent commentary on issues that matter to me. If there is something that I hope Command Line would address, it would be his somewhat deadpan style. It would be good to have an occasional guest co-host for the show, someone who Command Line could bounce ideas off of, and probably have a constructive debate with. Another thing that bothers me a bit is that the host prefers to use a moniker instead of his real name, which makes the show somewhat impersonal. I can understand his rationale behind this because he tends to discuss his current and previous employers, but it would be good to know something about him personally.
I would recommend all die-hard geeks to check out this podcast. I think it deserves a lot more attention than it has received so far. Command Line has a lot to offer to people who care about technology and the affect of technology on society.