T-Mobile Sprint Merger

The FCC should approve the T-Mobile and Sprint merger.  The main argument against it is that the US Wireless market would go from 4 to 3 major carriers and that would lessen competition.

I think allowing the merger to go through would actually increase competition because in reality, the US Wireless market currently has 2 major players, Verizon and AT&T.

T-Mobile and Sprint as of today are too small to be on the same playing field as Verizon and AT&T.  If the T-Mobile Sprint merger went through, the US Wireless market would go from 2 to 3 major carriers and that would lessen competition.  Fewer overall player but an additional player in the top round.  Ask most sports fan, the top level of play is the only one that really matters, almost no one cares about the minor leagues.  The lower levels don’t move the market.

Favorite Podcasts

This is a list of my favorite podcasts. I love listening to podcasts and therefore I listen to a lot of them.  Hopefully you all will get as much enjoyment out of theses podcasts as I do.  Or atleast use it as jumping off point to find something that you do love.  Podcasts are mostly very friendly medium and therefore are known for promoting each others shows so I’m always finding more stuff to fill my ears.

One question I often get is how I can listen to so many podcasts. The answer is that I listen to most of them at 1.5x or 2x speed.  Also, most of them are only weekly.

The list is broken up by categories. Not everything fits neatly into one single category but I tried.

I left off several podcasts that are no longer producing new episodes, that had very short runs and/or I only listen to certain episodes.  I will only include it on this list if I listen to almost every episode but I will still stay subscribed to it.  Also, I omitted podcasts below about politics and religion for hopefully obvious reasons.

Finally a new website should launch soon that promises to be the IMDB but for Podcasts, it is PodChaser.

Updated May 2019

Media Recaps


Hardcore History by Dan Carlin Link
One of the best and most entertaining Podcasts. The podcasts are so long, they are basically audiobooks, amazing juicy audiobooks. Dan Carlin was one of the first and most successful podcasters so it’s not a surprise that most History podcasts sound like his because, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

15 Minute History Link
History professors and grad students from UT Austin

BackStory Link
American History

Bowery Boys Link
NYC History

The First: Stories of Inventions Link
Another series from the Bowery Boys

History Author Show Link
Interviews with authors about new History books.

10 US Presidents featuring Roifield Brown Link
In depth interviews about the US Presidents and the history of the US Presidency

Stuff You Missed in History Class Link
High level overview of most history topics in a laidback style

Ben Franklin’s World Link
Early American History

In The Past Lane Link
American History

Scene on Radio Link
American History

Slow Burn Link
American Political Scandals

Fierce City: A London History Podcast Link

Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History Link
Malcolm Gladwell “will go back and reinterpret something from the past: an event, a person, an idea. Something overlooked. Something misunderstood.”

Mobituaries by Mo Rocca Link
Similarly great to Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast

Against the Rules by Michael Lewis Link
Also similarly great to Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast

Hit Parade Link
Music History and trivia

Mike Duncan Website
Revolutions – Each season is a deep-dive into a major revolution Link
History of Rome Link

American Revolution Podcast Link
25 minute podcasts every week going over US history from the early 1750s to late 1780s.

Pessimists Archive Podcast Link
A history of why we resist new things with a healthy splash of humor.

Brad Harris, professional historian
How it Began – Big picture historical topics Link
Context – Book reviews of famous history books and interviews with other famous historians Link

Lindsay Graham
American History Tellers Link
American Scandals Link

Patrick Wyman
Fall of Rome Link
Tides of History Link

Business Wars Link
Famous and interesting conflicts from the business world

Sports Wars Link
Famous and interesting conflicts from the sports world

Legal Wars Link
Famous and interesting conflicts from the courtroom

50 Things That Made the Modern Economy from the BBC Link
Fascinating stories about everyday objects and how they got that way

American Innovations Link

Household Name Podcast by Business Insider Link
These are the surprising stories behind our biggest, household name brands

Twenty Thousand Hertz Link
Stories about sounds

Lillian Cunningham Website
Presidental – 45 minute bio of each US President Link
Constitutional – Creation and major changes to the US Constitution Link

Parcast Website
Historical Figures – 45 minute biographies of famous people Link
Assassinations – Famous Assassinations Link

FAQ City Website
Random questions answered about Charlotte NC

Away Message Website
Remote spots in North Carolina

Mental Floss magazine’s Favorite History Podcasts Link

Website with a list of History Podcasts Link


Baseball Tonight Link
Daily Baseball show from ESPN’s Buster Olney

Baseball PhD Link
Get your PhD in life through Baseball

The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap Link
Mini audio documentaries by the wonderful Jeremy Schaap

Bill Simmons Podcast Link

JJ Redick Podcast Link

Jonah Keri Podcast Link


PacketPushers Website
Podcast Network with lots of great shows focusing on the Enterprise Networking Industry. Some of my favorite are:
◊◊ Network Break Link
◊◊ Datanauts Link
◊◊ Full Stack Journey with Scott Lowe Link
◊◊ IPv6 Buzz Link

Zigbits Network Design Link

Network Collective Link

Relay.FM Website
Podcast Network that describes themselves as “an independent podcast network for people who are creative, curious, and maybe even a little obsessive – just like its hosts.” Some of my favorite are:
◊◊ Analog(ue) Link
◊◊ Clockwise Link
◊◊ Under the Radar Link
◊◊ Ungeniused Link
◊◊ Upgrade Link

ATP Link

The Talk Show with John Gruber Link

Vector with Rene Ritchie Link

Internet History Podcast Link
Interviews with people who were the leaders of the tech industry back in the 1990s

Exponent Link
Two MBAs discuss the technology industry from a business perspective

Pragmatic Link

The Tesla Show Link
Tesla as viewed through the lens of two technologists

Media Recaps

The West Wing Weekly Link
Recap of West Wing Episodes

The Rewatchables Link
Movie Reviews

Myke at the Movies Link
Movie Reviews

The Incomparable Link
Movie Reviews

Robot or Not? Link
Jason Snell asks John Siracusa to rule on the meaning of various words and concepts.

Pod4Ham Link
Hamilton Podcast

The Hamilcast Link
Hamilton Podcast

Broadway Backstory Link
Behind the Music for Broadway shows

Political Beats Link
Political reporters discuss their musical passions


Freakonomics Radio Link
New ways to look at world from smart people with data

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know Link
Fun and brainy game-show from the Freakonomics crew

Hidden Brain Link
Similar to Freakonomic IMHO

99% Invisible Link

The Memory Palace Link

The Longest Shortest Time Link
Parenting Show

After On Podcast Link
Interviews with scientists who are at the tops of their individual fields

Responsible Code

At an increasing rate, software now controls our lives.  A few examples are credit scores, loans, stock trading, releasing people from jail, new job screenings, getting into college and just about everything else.  Those decisions have major impacts on our lives.  Since they have such a huge impact on our lives, they need to be done properly.

An example of hugely important and impactful software is self-driving cars.  People’s lives directly depend on it, therefore it must be properly and correctly.  This is not like building a database, people’s lives are at risk. Lots of lives are at risk.  This is not something where someone should just fail-fast and then fix it.  But mistakes in production should not be acceptable.  Mistakes will happen, that is inevitable but it needs to fail gracefully.

No one enjoys unit testing but it is necessary for quality software.  There are so many different driving scenarios that they all can’t be accounted for and coded in.  Data needs to gathered from a wide variety of sources (such as still images, videos, radar, lidar), then it needs to be put together and analyzed.

In addition, no one enjoys government regulations but when it comes to self-driving cars, those regulations need to be followed.  All regulations need to be followed, I’m sure that some of them are ridiculous but please don’t skip them.  If they are ridiculous, object to them but still follow them while the laws are on the books.

I’m not saying this is easy.  This is a very hard problem that requires a lot of smart people working really hard.  I just want the people involved in this and other software projects to remember that this isn’t just an academic thought problem but people’s lives depend on this software.

I also think that technology can solve so many of the worlds problems.  I am optimistic,  not pessimistic, about the future of technology.  I do not want us to stop innovating.  We cannot stand still, we should always be moving forward but we need to proceed with caution.  The new and innovative technologies of today will become the foundation of tomorrow.  I want to make sure we have a solid foundation for everyone in the future.

This post was inspired by The Tesla Show Podcast, episode 85 about Comma.ai, “the Android of self-driving car companies” Link


Why Network Engineers Should Learn Programming

A typical network engineer starts off in a NOC and does break / fix work and that doesn’t require them to know how to write code.  But it would be great if they did AND it would help them advance.

Most other IT infrastructure engineers need to know either how to write basic scripts or at least edit or debug other’s scripts. Networking Engineering folks should learn about coding to expand their tool set and to better understand their Software Engineering brethren.  Even better to work better with the programmers that we are supporting.

An example is Powershell.

Powershell is a necessary skill for folks who work on servers, Exchange, Active Directory and Office 365. Lots of networking folks who want to dabble in other disciplines will  need to know Powershell and basic coding to keep up.  Here is a link to Greg Farro from the PacketPushers.net talking more about this very scenario.

Here are a few examples off the top of my head that other IT infrastructure engineers routinely perform.

Server / Storage Admins
•Automated backups
•Datacenter failover script
•Automatically setup new VMs and resources
•Linux Linux Linux

Security Admins
•Writing Firewall rules

Voice Admins
•Phone tree scripting

•Switch failover rules
•Pings sweeps
•Device auto-discovery script

The IT world is becoming more and more automated.  That automation is done by scripting and coding. The networking world is far behind storage and servers in terms of automation.  Better for you to automate your own job away before someone else does… and it will happen eventually.  We’ll be examining automation in the IT world in general more in another post.