Jan 11

Synthetic Voices #13 – December 2012 Top Picks

This month has been a tumultuous one – travel, holidays, and illness.  Podcasted fiction seems to have also had a hard time, December representing the weakest month for fiction that I have yet seen.  Even so, we shake off the snow from our cloaks and gather round the fire to discuss the best stories from December and the year at large!


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Jan 06

Synthetic Voices’ Top Podcasted Stories of 2012

Here on the Synthetic Voices podcast, I see a LOT of fiction over the course of a calendar year.  Now, the 2012th year of the Common Era is coming to a close, so I thought I’d look back over my selections and pick out the cream of the crop.  The podcast has only been running since March, but I have been writing a “Top Picks” list since at least January of 2012, so all of those stories were eligible in addition to those featured on the podcast.

The winners below were painstakingly plucked from over 30 initial candidate stories, so congrats to all the authors, narrators, producers, and editors involved!

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Dec 11

Giant Microbes: A Great Holiday Gift for the Microbiologist in Your Life!

If you’ve wandered near a microbiology/cell biology lab recently, or maybe even a grad student’s apartment, you might have noticed some fluffy-looking microbial denizens.  They’re called Giant Microbes and they have been multiplying for years!

I’ve been collecting these things since undergrad.  Sometimes I’ll add them on to an order at ThinkGeek, or I’ll get them as gifts from friends and family.  At current count, I have eight – enough to fill a box with squishy, lovable, deadly diseases.

So why bring them up now?  Well there are some new Giant Microbes that have just come out and the company was nice enough to send me a few to review. Continue reading

Dec 02

Synthetic Voices #12 – November 2012 Top Picks

November was another fantastic month!  Even the more unreliable markets were on their game.  I hope you enjoy my eclectic Top Picks this time around, plus a few juicy feature sections!


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Nov 30

Why is there a Pop-up on Your Website, Jimmy?

You don’t see it yet, but on Dec. 3rd, a little pop-up window should activate from some code I’ve embedded in my blog.  This is correct and not a drill!

Member of The Internet Defense LeagueThere is an organization called The Internet Defense League (part of Fight for the Future) that has tried to establish an automated response system to major threats to internet rights, security, and privacy.  Those of you who remember the SOPA/PIPA craziness last year will have some idea how powerful users can be in stopping flagrant trampling of internet rights.  Whenever a major threat comes up, code installed in volunteer websites activates and shows a pop-up asking users to contact their representatives in government.

On Dec. 3rd, the IDL is planning to protest a UN action that would give a group called the International Telegraph Union a large amount of power to regulate the internet.  The IDL put together a video that describes the problem pretty well:

This is the first event to come up since I installed the IDL code on my website.  I hope it won’t be TOO disruptive, but it should be a little disruptive, since protesting and getting the word out are really the whole point.  Please let me know what you think in the comments to this thread.

Thanks!
-Jimmy