Podcast Recommendations

Darknet Diaries

True stories from the dark side of the internet. It’s truly amazing how close the cyber world gets to the edge of disaster every single week.

My favorite episodes include:

  • MS08-067 was a serious zero-day exploit that Microsoft found under limited use, they wrote the patch, but do they release it off-cycle and show everyone the flaw. Welcome to the world of obfuscating patches and the risk of not updating when a zero-day is exposed.
  • WannaCry took the world by storm in 2017 by using EternalBlue exploit in Windows SMB and then encrypts the drive and shows a ransom to get it back. This episode maps it back to the creator.
  • NotPetya took place in 2017 started by adding malicious code to an update of a Ukrainian tax accounting package called MeDoc that used the EternalBlue exploit to mostly damage Ukraine companies but also Maersk and FedEx.

You're Wrong About Podcast logo of a thumbs down image

You’re Wrong About

Do you remember growing up and being told part of the stories about historical things that you were too young for someone to explain to you? You’re wrong about revisiting many of those events and filling in the details about how the thing you probably thought happened, didn’t quite happen that way.

My favorite episodes include:

  • The 2000 Election – you probably thought Florida actually did a recount, but they didn’t. Both sides, at different points, tried to stop and continue the counting. In the end, the deadline hit and many counties just resubmitted the same numbers.
  • Stranger Danger – most children that have gone missing were taken by family members during a messy separation, not a white van with free candy on the side, but that did happen, one reported time, and won’t let you forget it.
  • The Challenger Disaster – the team that built the rocket were the lowest bid contractors. The night before the launch had a record breaking cold snap and the engineers pleaded to scrub the launch. But management wouldn’t hear it, as the mission has been delayed multiple times. The o-seals in the solid rocket booster rocket cracked, and the video footage on TV with an explosion was dubbed in because the real footage was a horrifying three-minute-long crash ride back down to Earth.

American Hysteria

American Hysteria is a podcast exploring the fantastical thinking and irrational fears of Americans through the lens of moral panics, urban legends, and conspiracy theories, how they shape our psychology and culture, and why we end up believing them.

My favorite episodes include:

  • The Curse of the Lottery – rumor has it that 70% of winners lose it all, but really it is closer to 30% declare bankruptcy, which it is higher than the average person at about 5%. If you do win the lottery and want to avoid losing it all, you should keep out of the limelight, take annual payments instead of the lump sum, and hire accountants to help manage your spending. The media will always highlight the train wrecks over those that quietly enjoy their earnings.
  • Televangelists
  • War On Christmas Special – The history of Christmas is more winding that you know. What we call Christmas today was created in the 17-18th Century.

Pessimists Archive Podcast logo of a half filled glass

Build For Tomorrow

Why do people keep resisting new things? This podcast looks back through history and shows how EVERYTHING invented had a group of people against it and the same arguments we have about new tech today were said about something in the past that we now view as trivial.

My favorite episodes include:

  • Umbrellas – In the 1750s, a London man took to the streets holding an umbrella and braved jeers, rock-throwing haters, and even a cab that tried to run him over.
  • The Walkman – Travel back to the 80s with us, where the portable cassette player was accused of turning people into “wind-up non-humans,” laws were passed to keep them off the streets, and one New Jersey man risked jail time for his right to walk with headphones.
  • Mirrors – In 1912 hand mirror use evoked similar reactions to smartphones today, the Chicago Tribune reported: “WOMEN CONSTANTLY WALK INTO DANGER. Accidents which are due to women’s passion for looking in mirrors in stores are slight compared with ones which result from the use of the fascinating little hand mirror.”
  • When Were the Good Old Days – Every generation says the next genreation is falling apart and if we could just go back to the good old days. This episode follows back through history uncovering the exact same complaint by the previous generation. Turns out we remember our past better than it actually was and the same concerns people have of new self driving cars or 5G wireless are the same concerns about radios and newspapers.

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I'm a 35 year old UIUC Computer Engineer building mobile apps, websites and hardware integrations with an interest in 3D printing, biotechnology and Arduinos.