The list this week is tech-heavy and later than usual, mainly because of the "last" MacWorld Expo. {See all lists].

  • MacBreak Weekly 122: Macworld Expo Live from the floor at Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Leo Laporte gathered some of his stalwarts, following the last Apple keynote (the company is pulling out of the convention, a fact that seemed to hang over this event with sadness). The discussion focuses on the high points of the keynote presentation from Phil Schiller of Apple: improvements to iMovie editing; new iPhoto features like facial recognition, geo-tagging, and integration with Flickr; the new 17-inch MacBook Pro; and the end of DRM on iTunes. General agreement that Schiller is no Steve Jobs when it comes to giving a speech. Many of the panelists are camera geeks who don't use iPhoto, so they are hoping that some of the features will be ported to Aperture, Apple's high-end photo software. No real picks, though Boxee was plugged; some good show notes are here. I also watched a short 5-minute MacBreak video podcast featuring Merlin Mann pestering people on the convention floor. It was amusing with low information content. Length: 1 hour 9 minutes. Released: Jan. 6.
  • Mac OS Ken: 01.07.2009, 01.08.2009, 01.08.2009 Ken Ray puts out brief roundups of Mac news six days a week. I used to listen to him every morning, but then it got to be just too much information. Still, he does a great job, so I checked back in for his MacWorld coverage. The first episode this week started out with listener predictions for keynote announcements and fan voicemails, then covered the basics from Phil Schiller's presentation of iPhoto, iMovie and so forth. He seems a tad disappointed at the shortage of new hardware this year from Apple. Thursday's episode featured a conversation with Glen Roberts, product manager for HP Media Smart Server, and about how the high-end product was getting by in a struggling economy. It uses Windows home server, so you need a network with both Macs and PCs, but it is Mac-friendly. Ken talks fast and transmits a lot of data, and he's promising more interviews from the show. He admits to be wiped out and jetlagged. Interestingly, he provides better insights and sounds more awake on the rival MacCast (see below). The final episode featured interviews with Microsoft's Mac Business Unit and the CEO of MarketCircle and listeners' voicemail reactions to the Schiller keynote. Many are not happy with Apple pulling the plug on its Expo participation. Length: Ranged from 10 to 20 minutes. Released: Jan. 7, 8, 9.
  • The Mac Observer's Mac Geek Gab 185: Live From the Macworld Expo Dave Hamilton and John F. Braun thought Schiller did a good job with the keynote. They note the auditorium was not full, as it always was for Steve Jobs. An extensive discussion of the technical challenges of covering past keynotes, followed by extensive discussion of how they live-blogged this one. There are several technical interruptions. They get down to business chewing over the same few morsels as other podcasters. Some gripes about the new battery in the 17-inch MacBook, which is not replaceable. They point out that in introducing Tony Bennett, Schiller made a bit of a gaffe, calling the show the "last Macworld Expo." Of course while Apple won't be there next year, the hall is booked. This is a bit of a meandering show with a lot of geeky digressions, but that seems to be part of its charm, as well as the reason I am not a regular listener. Length: 53:38 minutes. Released: Jan 7.
  • The MacCast: Macworld 2009 Keynote Wrapup Adam Christianson discusses his impressions from sitting in the audience at Schiller's keynote. He is joined by his fellow podcasters Victor Cajiao (Typical Mac User) and Ken Ray (Mac OS Ken). Ken points out that Schiller made a point that 3.4 million users per week visit Apple stores, which is 100 times the number of people that the company used to reach at MacWorld Expo. "It was kind of harsh... It wasn't even subtext. It was text: 'We don't need this.'" Victor: "It was hurtful." Adam hopes Macworld continues as a community event in future years. They still give his performance high marks. Face recognition in iPhoto "kind of creepy." Cool aspects of geocoding for sorting. This podcast also has the best explanation of the value of the 99-cent Keynote iphone app. Ken thinks the charge is weird. More complaints about the MacBook battery. Compared to the other Macworld podcasts, this was the clearest and most thorough, and also the calmest, perhaps because it was recorded in a quieter location. Length: 1:32:42 Released: Jan. 7.
  • Typical Mac User Podcast: Macworld Expo Post Keynote Wrapup Victor Cajaio's podcast. I was dreading the thought of listening to another hour and a half discussion of Phil Schiller's presentation, so I was happy to discover that it was identical to the Maccast above. Length: 1:28:35. Released: Jan. 6.
  • This Week in Tech 176: Fat in the MiddleLate in the week, I finally got around to this one, which was recorded before Macworld and the CES consumer technology show, which started on Thursday in Las Vegas, presenting technology fans with a choice. Leo Laporte is joined by John C. Dvorak, Robert Scoble, and the Houston Chronicle tech reporter Dwight Silverman (who said he was skipping Macworld for CES). Laporte blames Twitter and social media for celebrity nerd feuds. They give their predictions, which were mostly on the mark (17-inch MacBook and its non-replaceable battery had both leaked, but the iTunes DRM decision had not). They were rightly skeptical of iPhone Nano rumors. Some discussion of 3D TVs: still too blurry. The value of location-aware laptops.The new Palm Phone and the "fat middle." (Seems like a tough fight ahead for Palm.) On the PC side, discussion of the Windows 7 beta and dead Zune day. At the conferences: The weirdness of being covered by an audience of live-bloggers, heads down, clicking away. Why bother going? It's better to watch the game on TV. They end with an interesting and alarming discussion of remote law enforcement hacking of home computers in England, without a warrant. This somehow segues into Dvorak comparing treatment of Martha Stewart and Bernie Madoff. All entertaining. Length: A manageable 1 hour, 8 minutes. Released: Jan. 4.
  • Net@Night: Fly the Friendly Skies Yes, more from Laporte. He's the undisputed tech-podcast king. This one is a sometimes overlooked gem, featuring Laporte and Amber MacArthur talking about cool sites, viral media and online happenings. A previous episode's interview with Mr. Tweet inspired me to ramp up my twittering (both reading and posting). Robert Scoble was on last week talking about microblogging and the real-time Web. This week, Laporte talks briefly about his Macworld presentation about the crumbling mass media monopoly (not available online). Other topics included layoffs at Livejournal, Facebook Connect, the simple hack and security flaw that upended Twitter on Monday (compromising the accounts of Laporte, Barack Obama, Fox News and others). Tip: Don't use dictionary words for passwords, especially if you're an administrator on a network. The hour also features good discussions and explanations of Blip.FM, a sort of social networking music playlist service, and the indie-music sharing service Amaze.Fm. A brief chat with MrCalzone, developer of the Google slapper gog.is (just type http://gog.is/KEYWORD.KEYWORD where each KEYWORD separated by points represents the search terms the person asking you for information should have Googled). Leo notes that he Friend-ed too many people on Facebook and has no room for his actual friends and family members now joining. (Leo, you can drop me.) The viral video of the week is the Onion's overexposed and only kind of funny spoof video (The MacBook Wheel) and an interview with Micah Mazier, host of the podcast of the week, Lucas County Choppers, featuring four air traffic controllers and their motorcycles. Length: 1 hour, 1 minute. Released: Jan 7.
  • This Week in Media 120: Cotton, Salt and a Bubble Machine and 121: The Good, the Ad and the Ugly More enjoyable new media discussions from a panel led by Daisy Whitney. I'm catching up here. The first of these episodes included a discussion of the Kindle and e-books, YouTube battles and Hulu, and the greatest nude scenes in movies, and it felt a bit like holiday filler. This week's episode is more informative, with a discussion of some recent smart moves by Netflix, part of a trend that ought to worry cable companies. Semantic distinctions matter: Netflix uses the term viewers understand -- "movie rental" -- instead of "pay per view." The Time Warner-Viacom battle. A discussion of iPhone applications, including the translator that was co-host Alex Lindsay's pick last week on MacBreak Weekly. The panel also discusses what works best for a podcast: a strict format or a loose conversation. Consensus: It depends on the target audience, and the host. Does it make sense for a small business like a dry cleaner to have a podcast? Some on the panel think it could work, with the right creative concept. Lindsay: "If it is not seen as something that is impartial, or somewhat impartial, no one will listen..." He's right. Lengths: 56 minutes; and 1 hour, 4 minutes. Released: Dec. 30 and Jan. 6.
  • Uhh Yeah Dude, Episode 148 After all that tech talk, I needed a break. In their explicit comedy podcast, Jonathan Larroquette and Seth Romatelli riff this week on dumb laws, cocaine-loving bees, the hazards of third-hand smoke. idiots who shoot guns in the air on New Year's Eve, the world's stupidest bank robber, the Jan. 16 opening of the Notorious B.I.G. biopic and the movie "Mall Cop,," a drunk woman who hit on Jonathan on Christmas Eve, truck antlers, and the oldest person in the world, Gertrude Baines, 114, who lives around the corner. Way back in Episode 112 in April 2008, they described a visit to her at a nearby nursing home, when she was merely the third-oldest person in the world. She outlasted the competition. Seth: "We totally like lamped at her place... and we have pictures to prove this." Length: 1 hour, 15 minutes. Released: Jan. 6.