Steve Gibson needs a blog


Steve Gibson needs a blog. Seriously. I’ve been listening to his Security Now (SN) podcast for over a year, and I do enjoy it, but it seems to be getting longer and longer every week, mainly because of things that Steve and Leo start talking about that are not security-related.

I’m in the middle of episode 184 now, which is a Q&A episode. This is where Steve picks twelve questions from listeners and answers them. This episode is about an hour and fifty seven minutes long. The first question isn’t even begun until forty two minutes into the podcast. Some of the topics discussed before the first question:

  • a minute of advertising for the TWiT network.
  • seven minutes of introduction and talking about Steve’s appearance on another TWiT podcast next week regarding historical computers (PDP-8, PDP-11, and such)
  • two minute commercial
  • ten minutes of recent security news. He mentioned the Pirate Bay trial as well as an authentication problem he had with Paypal. Definitely security-relevant.
  • seven minutes of talking about a couple of computer utilities he uses, his favourite sci-fi TV shows (Fringe is his current favourite, if you’re wondering), more on historical computers, and how he maps his Caps Lock key to Ctrl because Caps Lock is not very useful. Can’t disagree there.
  • a seven-minute Spinrite “testimonial”, i.e. commercial. He does one of these every week, and I’m sure this is one of the reasons he does SN — it lets him plug his software. Again, no big deal since I skip it anyway, other than the fact that it was very long.
  • four minutes on how Steve’s computer plays a “Yabba Dabba Doo!” sound whenever someone buys a copy of Spinrite, and how the number of times he hears this sound is inexplicably higher during the recording of SN than at other times. The only explanation that he and Leo have come up with is that some people like to buy Spinrite while SN is being recorded so that they can hear the sound bite for their purchase (you can listen to the podcast being recorded live at twit.tv on Thursday afternoons). This was kind of funny, actually.
  • two minute commercial
  • two more minutes on the Yabba Dabba Doo thing and other sound bites that Steve’s computers play

The twelve questions take an hour and 15 minutes or so to read and answer, with at least one more two-minute commercial in there. This seems pretty long too, but this is the actual meat of the show, so I can’t complain too much about that. There are some questions that could be answered a little more succinctly though.

Leo starts to read the first question at the 42:00 mark. Some of that 42 minutes was commercials, evil but necessary. Twelve minutes seems a little long though — the Spinrite commercial testimonial should be kept to three minutes. The security news section is part of why I listen to this podcast, so that’s definitely fine. I get that Steve and Leo have interests outside of security, but there’s twenty minutes of just general banter. If you guys want to shoot the shit, do it before recording.

If Steve had a blog, he could ramble on all he wanted about Fringe and sci-fi in general, and old computers, and his Yabba Dabba Doo sound bite, and his network setup, and his Kindle, and his favourite kind of coffee that he drinks seven times a day, and the fact that he gets his first coffee at Starbucks at 5:30 in the morning, and how he writes everything in assembly language, and so on. He could spend thirty seconds per episode plugging his blog and spend the rest of the podcast on actual security stuff. stevegibson.com seems to be taken by an organic farm in Texas, but perhaps he could pull a Dvorak and get gibson dot org slash blog.

Update: For some reason, this particular article has gotten a lot of comment spam, so I have had to disable comments on it. Apologies for the inconvenience.

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