No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Please excuse me while I rant a bit…

I wasn’t going to mention this, but the more I stewed on it, the more I had to say something.  I’m getting tired of watching from the sidelines.  It’s time to get involved and, hopefully, make a difference for good.

As you may or may not know, there’s a fantastic gentleman named Leo Laporte, who does more than several podcasts via his own network/company called TWiT (This Week in Tech). His podcasts are all available free from iTunes.  He also does a radio show on many Clear Channel Networks called “The Tech Guy”. This is on weekends, depending on your own market. That’s not all though.

Leo also streams LIVE video and audio from his studio and has a couple of chat rooms.  One is accessible via IRC (Internet relay chat) and one is included with the Stickam audio/video feed.  I’ve always enjoyed watching the “behind the scenes” stuff as well as some things that don’t get put on the various podcasts.  I was even fortunate enough to talk to Leo, via Skype during one of his tapings with Dick Debartolo of MAD magazine.  Leo and his staff keep the chat rooms at most a PG place to discuss the show in progress, ask questions, or just cut up with some nice people.  The moderators do an excellent job of filtering out the jerks.

Now, I mentioned before that Leo live-streams from his studio.  He does this in several places on the internet.  One is the Stickam site, where video and a chat room is available, the other is his own site which has the video along with his own stuff on it, and a link that streams audio only.   To do these podcasts, Leo does not require that the other participants/guests be at his cottage.  Rather, they are networked in either via telephone, or Skype (a voice over IP service that does both audio and video).  There’s no director, camera man or sound person there.  Leo controls all this technology by himself from behind his own massive TWiT desk with sometimes four computers, a mixer and a few other pieces of gear.  Needless to say, with all the various things going on, sometimes something gets by.  Hey, it happens to all of us. Both of these sites are totally open for anyone to enjoy. Unfortunately, sometimes, a few idiots get in when you leave the door open…

Leo had just finished his Tech Guy Radio Show on Clear Channel Network (for me here it’s KFI am 640) and was bantering a bit with those at his studio (affectionately known as the TWiT cottage) staff and guests and setting up for his next podcast recording session.  Well, the Stickam feed seemed to be having issues, and poor Leo was trying to get that fixed, tell the live video/audio what he was doing and watching both chat rooms all at the same time trying to get his next co-host on line and up for the recording session.  He wound up creating a backup feed for the Stickam for no other reason than for the fans who enjoy watching him tape shows, me included.  Talk about your multicasting nightmare!  I have enough trouble using ONE computer and not dumping coffee (or my lunch) on it.  Anyway, Leo needed to pass a number to the co-host.  So prior to doing that he muted the audio to Stickam, and changed camera shots so no one could read his lips.  Unfortunately, he forgot the live audio stream and the number got out over the “air”.  Here’s the part that pisses me off to no end…

No sooner had the gaff happened the number was being called by some idiots who had heard it, tying up the number and generally causing chaos.  Now the number will have to be changed, with a cost included.  You’d think that people would use some common sense or at least manners and realize that the number wasn’t intended to go out, nor be used by the public.  Here’s a guy that is doing a great, pioneering thing, at NO CHARGE, and because of it he now has to endure the financial and logistical hassle of changing a phone number.  Where is the decency in society anymore?

I mean, think about it!  Leo doesn’t have to let the general public into the inner workings of his business for free, right?  You’d think that people would cut him some slack when a gaff happens.  I’m not so sure I’d be able to trust folks like that again.  Hopefully Leo will keep broadcasting his behind-the-scenes shows, for free.  If not, I’ll understand.

I guess no good deed goes unpunished.

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