I'm the one driving so no video. Are there any good audio podcasts out there on web dev, web news, media?
About 5 years ago, I had a 60 minute commute each way for about 6 months. So I learned French.
It worked really well. Lots of listening and repeating, both in French and English. Increasingly difficult levels. And stuff you'd actually use. I went to Paris and surprised myself. All that repitition in the car actually paid off.
The best part is that you learn without sacrificing safety or focus on your driving. Just start the CD and follow the directions. That was the most impressive part to me.
I'd like to learn Spanish now, but my commute is only 5 minutes. It's just not important enough to take time away from my other work. But converting lost time in your commute into a new skill is a no brainer.
I tried Pimsleur and couldn't stand not seeing the words--I felt like I was both adding and missing letters.
No. But I forgot to mention that Behind the Wheel is strictly a "conversational" program. I seriously doubt if I could read Victor Hugo after going through it. But in everyday conversational situations, the repetition and training, like weight lifting, paid off nicely. The conversation flowed, almost effortlessly. I even surprised myself, finding the right word (except the time I ordered a sidewalk sandwich) and properly conjugating all the verbs. Pretty cool.
While I was commuting I listened to so many that literally changed my life.
My favorite being Never Eat Alone, by Keith Ferrazi
(You can also download a few mixergy interviews).
I use audible.com. Started with a gold account, and jumped right to platinum. Been using it for more than a year, and I've been incredibly happy. The only complaint is that the site sometimes feels slow. But I'm not on it often. Usually just once a month to get my new books, though I've been buying books as well recently to fill in gaps.
Couple audiobooks with podcasts and you'll do fine. I like stuff from Twit.TV. And then the d6Generation does a good podcast, too.
I find the audiobooks and podcasts are great ways to handle not only the commute, but most mundane activities I need to partake in. Folding laundry, shopping for groceries, cleaning the house. Anything where I don't need to think, I'm usually listening to something.
I had a problem one time, as I'd authorized my iPod one too many times on many different computers, and forgot to deauthorize the iPod on them. I contact Audible and they reset the authorizations back to 5 without a problem. At the same time, they also let me download the audiobooks again if I want, even if they get a new, higher quality version in.
I look at Audible as Steam for books. Steam is DRM I'm willing to accept. So is Audible.
Edit: Just to be clear, I'm not dismissing your comment. It's a valid and reasonable point.
I should also point out that the cost of books through Audibles subscriptions are massively lower than if I bought them from a retailer. The cost is significantly lower that the DRM doesn't feel unreasonable.
A couple years ago I had to weekly commute from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia. Audiobooks not only kept me sane on the 5 hour commute, but I began to wish the commute were longer.
And just yesterday I finished a 3 day driving trip across the US. Had an audiobook running the whole time and it made the trip great.
How true. Sit in the driveway or in the parking lot, wanting to finish the rest of the chapter. Or hating that you have to get out and start the day when you know your 10 minutes away from finding out what his plans really are.
* I Drink For a Reason - very funny
* Stumbling on Happiness (sounds self helpy but is actually a great book on our inability to predict how we will feel about situations in the future)
* A Brief History of Everything - one cool story after another
* A Long Way Gone, Memoirs of a Boy Soldier - hard to bear, but eye-opening
* Getting Unstuck - buddhist talk by Pema Chodron
* Born to Run - great, exciting story. Sometimes I would sit in the parking lot or the driveway after arriving in order to keep listening.
Unfortunately, I only have a fifteen minute commute, so I can't personally vouch for what it's like to do this every day, but I've done it a few times when driving to other cities, and it seemed to help a lot.
There are lots of good reasons. These days you just might be stuck in a mortgage because the value of your house has fallen below what you owe. Given the current "economic climate" it's very easy to have gone from a 70% LTV to 110% LTV.
I have another friend with a long commute because he lives close to where his wife works.
Another person I know used to have a commute of over 2 hours. His job location, like some others, was deliberately located away from population centers for security and safety reasons. Moving significantly closer would have been very difficult and meant being a long way away from everything in his life other than his job.
On a more on-topic note, I've looked hard and found little as far as good tech-learning podcasts. My regulars are The Moth (storytelling, fantastic), Long Now Foundation's Seminars About Long-term Thinking (all great, but maybe start with Dmitry Orlov, Saul Griffith, and Will Wright/Brian Eno). I just discovered Math For Primates; quite good if you're interested but not overly well-educated in math.
My local public library has a semi-decent selection of books on CD.
Also, don't underestimate the value of that time for just thinking. Turn off the radio and just let your mind wander.
This Week in Tech can be good - even if it is often dominated by talk about Twitter and Facebook.
For non tech podcasts I can also recommend:
- The History of Rome (http://thehistoryofrome.typepad.com/)
- 12 Byzantine Rulers (http://www.12byzantinerulers.com/)
However, for driving I find that nothing beats unabridged books from Audible - just finished "The Big Short".
Ones I especially recommend:
History 5 The Making of Modern Europe, 1453 to the Present
Economics 113 - American Economic History by Brad DeLong
I particularly recommend:
The Philosopher's Zone: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/philosopherszone/
All in the Mind: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/allinthemind/
The following two are fairly Australian-based, but quite interesting if you're into this sort of thing:
The Science Show: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/scienceshow/
Ockham's Razor: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/ockhamsrazor/
I went through maybe 20 of the JapanesePod101 lessons and it helped my grammar and expanded my vocabulary a bit. A friend liked the ChinesePod101 which he was listening to in Taipei at the same time as taking formal Mandarin Chinese lessons.
There's a full access no billing info required seven day trial, and you can download as many as lessons as you want during that time. They're fun and easy to listen to, worth checking out if there's a language you'd like to brush up on or get introduced to.
Mises @ itunes u (austrian economics)
The teaching company:
Also consider regular audiobooks. I have a subscription to Audible.com (site is lame, product is good). These aren't limited to the latest thriller novel: there are plenty of good non-fiction books available.
Edit: now I read web news. But still this is an excellent show.
BTW: The only way I've found to browse (not search) through old episodes is paging through the twitter feed http://twitter.com/itconversations Does anyone know a better way?
Of course such course will not make you fluent, but it's excellent to put you on a good path.
I am an American native learning Chinese as my first additional language. I found Pimsleur to be marginally useful, but I am now almost done with Unit 1 of Rosetta and for me, Rosetta is much better than Pimsleur...
It really depends on a combination of things, such as your learning style, and perhaps which language you are learning.
One thing of note, is that Rosetta is more about the long haul. If you just want to learn a few conversational pieces it might be better to go for Pimsleur... Rosetta doesn't give you much you can use conversationally at first, it spends a lot of time teaching you things like "this is a girl" "this is a girl and her dog playing" and what not.
Also, if you used Rosetta v2, from what I understand v3 is leagues ahead of v2. I have no personal proof of this however, since I just use v3.
If you want to get somewhere approaching fluency without going to classes, I don't think it can get much better than Rosetta Stone + Flash Cards.
Imagine: "well, the code is like this - open brackets defn whatever open brackets map open brackets list open brackets whatever clsoed bracket closed bracket" (for Lisp) or "well, we created a class with a method called foo that iterates through the 'bar' argument, and returns a array of strings" (for Python/Java etc.)
I tried listening to a podcast like that (about Python IIRC) when I was on the Eurostar train once. I did have my computer with me, but I just couldn't follow it without being able to see the code. At the point I realised this, I was deep under the English Channel, so couldn't exactly log on to the blog and see the code samples...
The closest things I've found are either things like RailsEnvy - now reborn as The Ruby Show and not IMHO as good - which provided some useful news each week about new libraries and plugins for Rails. Or there's some higher level best practices, software engineering type programmes which often seem to be people preaching to me about how I need to be more and more test-infected and agile and (insert methodology buzzword of the week).
It's actually quite difficult to find good, geeky/programming-related podcasts that don't either just descend into general news chit-chat or end up with someone trying to sell me a new engineering methodology. It's a very hard balance between being too technical for audio-only and not being technical enough. A lot of the newsy podcasts like TWiT are way too damn long and rambly.
I mostly don't bother with tech podcasts for the reasons I've just described and stick to things like In Our Time, and quite a few course podcasts on philosophy and other interesting stuff - quite a lot of universities are now doing podcasts: Oxford, UC Berkeley, MIT, Stanford etc. There are thousands of people now following along with lecture courses remotely using podcasts - see http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-podclass24nov24,0,7889...
Dan Carlin's Hardcore History: http://www.dancarlin.com/disp.php/hh
Stack Overflow (inactive, but might come back)
In Our Time (BBC Radio 4)
Stuff You Should Know (How Stuff Works)
Also check out ted.com
So instead I'd recommend to try shortening your drive or switching to a passive commute like a bus or train.