Features People Programming and Podcasts

Catch Me on This Week’s Leoville Town Square Podcast!

LTS podcast logo

Chris Lee, of LTSPodcast fame [ ] along with Jamie Diamond, Taylor, and Ben May all invited me to join in the weekly discussion at the LTS Podcast, and I happily accepted!

This week’s topics included Adam Sessler’s appearance on last week’s Weezy and The Swish, the TWiT’s vacation over Memorial Day Weekend, the spinoff of MacBreak and This Week in Media into their own little podcast network, Leoville Town Square makes it onto Wikipedia, the new new new Attack of the Show, Webgems downloads go live, and more. I had a great time with the guys on the show, and I’m hoping they’ll have me back again soon.

In the meantime, I’ve been remiss in tracking their podcast here at TechTV Forever, but we’re going to fix that right now. The Leoville Town Square podcast has some very notable episodes and some very notable guests, including the May 28th episode featuring Amber MacArthur, the May 22nd episode featuring Andy Walker, and the February 24th episode featuring the man himself, Leo Laporte!

We’ll keep you up to date from here on out on the LTS Podcast, but if you want the scoop before we get it to you, check out the iTunes subscribe link below.

Leoville Town Square Podcast Episode 24 // June 5, 2006
[ episode notes | iTunes link | download ]

Features People Programming and Podcasts

TWiT, Command-N, and Hak.5 Fundraiser for the EFF!

twit comic

A few weeks ago, in an Adventures of Superman comic (#648, March ’06, to be precise), there was a panel where the artist obviously appreciated podcasting and tech programming, because in one of the scenes you can see some kids looting a store in a ravaged part of Metropolis wearing a TWIT jacket, a Command-N hoodie, and a Hak.5 hat (Hak.5 is another technology videocast that’s available over at their website. [ ]

Well, the stars of all of the shows are helping raise money for the Electronic Frontier Foundation by autographing a copy of the comic that their logos appear in and placing it on eBay! Go ahead and place your bid today, the item’s right here:

[ :: Adv of Superman 648 signed by TWiT, commandN, Hak.5 ]

More info is over at

[ :: Ebay Auction to Benefit EFF ]

Features Site News Sites and Downloads TechNews Bytes

TechTV Forever Supports the Electronic Frontier Foundation!

Partially because the EFF has always been the best lobby the technology crowd has, and because they’re out there working on a regular basis to make sure that our digital rights, privacy, and security are protected both from crooks and thieves who would steal them to scam up as well as companies and government agencies that would trade them, spam us, watch us, and monitor our every move, the EFF has been an incredible force in both government and technology circles in making sure that the real issues and needs of technology are properly addressed in government and in business. For example, take a look at their open letter to Sony BMG here in relation to the Sony Rootkit DRM scandal:

[ ]

Essentially, you broke it, you oughta fix it, and fix it properly, without opening up additional security holes (as they’ve done), deny responsibility (as they’ve done), ignore the issue (as they’ve done), or lie and insult the public (as they’ve also done). Because the EFF has been such an impressive motivator for personal rights and freedoms and technology, TechTV Forever advises anyone interested in becoming a member and support the fine work that the EFF is doing:

Support Bloggers' Rights!

Support Bloggers’ Rights!

Features People Site News

TechTV Forever Chats with Becky Worley, “Mother of All” and TechTV Alum, About Her Life and Her Plans for the Future!

One of my personal favorite personalities from the old TechTV days is the wonderful Becky Worley. [ ] (and keep an eye on her blog: [ ] So I couldn’t resist asking her to sit down with us for a bit and answer a few of our questions about what one of our favorite TechTV alums is doing with herself now, how everything is going, and giving all of us at TechTV Forever the opportunity to catch up with her and keep our eyes out for what’s she’s up to next!

Becky was kind enough to share with us exclusive information about her upcoming projects, gigs, including her NEW JOB! Check her out on Good Morning America from now on, including a spot THIS SATURDAY October 15th on ABC News’ Good Morning America Weekends, where Becky herself rounds up a bunch of really cool GPS Devices and gives you the viewer the lowdown on each one. Personally, I’m in the market for a GPS device, so this is good news for me! Check her out on Good Morning America this Saturday, October 15th! Check your local listings for your local ABC affiliate and tune in!

Keeping in the tradition of good interviews with informative and entertaining questions (and interviewees who give brilliant answers), all of us at TechTV Forever (especially me!) would like to thank Becky for taking the time out to answer our questions and give us the scoop on what she’s working on! Again, you’ll find this information FIRST at, so stick with us for the real scoop!


TTVF: Your home on the net is, [ ] which shows you from some of our most beloved memories of you on screen, from hosting TechLive to being kneed in the stomach by a cop while wearing full body armor. Aside from this though, we don’t see much more straight from you on the web. Any plans on a blog or anything like that?

BECKY: I do have a blog, but it’s more of a journal of the things I’m up to on a professional level. I put articles I write up there and pictures from any interesting jobs, but it’s something I update maybe 3-4 times a month. I am writing a lot right now, but it’s a book project. More on that as it comes out, but it’s a follow up to my first book, Security Alert and it’s also about computer security and identity theft.

TTVF: Tell us more about your show on the National Geographic Channel, “Mother of All.” What’s it like working with all that high-powered, hardcore stuff?

BECKY: Mother of All was a great learning experience for me. To host a show outside the confines of TechTV, and to work with a new crew and new style of production was truly enlightening. I learned that I’m a very immersive TV person; I dislike just watching and commenting, I like being a part of things.

At first the producers just wanted me to walk around asking people what they were doing, but in the down-time, I was bored to death, so I took on little projects. It started with cleaning, then painting, then angle-grinding, and finally more heavy-duty tasks like plasma-cutting, MIG and torch welding. There were times when I thought I might take a finger off, but the satisfaction of making even a tiny contribution, added so much to my enjoyment on the projects.

In the third episode we made a tailgate vehicle for Oakland Raider fans. I took on the task of making recycling more fun. I fabricated a miniature field goal that was about 10 feet high, I figured out a kicking tee apparatus that would hold an aluminum can on a spring. And when we rolled out the vehicle on game day, I set up a game where kids (and kids at heart) could try to kick the cans through the uprights and into the recycling bins. It was one of my favorite memories of the whole show.

TTVF: What’s life on the set like? Do you enjoy working on the show? It must be a lot of hard work at the same time as a lot of fun to work on the biggest and baddest of everything!

BECKY: Well to clarify, Mother of All is over. National Geographic changed their programming direction after we had started the show. At first it seemed they wanted to enter the building genre (e.g. Monster Garage, Big, or American Choppers), but while we were in production on the series, new programming executives pushed them back toward the mission of National Geographic, the magazine. So we produced a show they liked, but they didn’t have a home for it anymore.

As for being on the set, we had a great crew. The show was shot by the Corona brothers- two outrageous photographers that used to work at TechTV. We had some really good people in the production crew as well, so we laughed a lot and worked some too.

TTVF: Mother of All is a departure from the work you used to do on TechLive; are you still interested in Technology at all?

BECKY: I will always make my living around technology. I have just signed a contract with ABC to be the technology contributor for Good Morning America. This is the type of job that suits me best. I love explaining tech to the general public: trying to make it more accessible and more fun. Look for me 3-4 times a month, on both weekdays and weekends.

I have also started teaching financial and computer security seminars. I taught my first two at Stanford last month (it’s a little intimidating to go into the classroom for the first time in the collegiate setting). I am developing this curriculum more in the hopes of offering the seminar to corporations and organizations as a benefit for their employees/members.

In the show-host line of work, I have two pilots that are being shopped to cable networks and syndicators right now, one is called “Tradeshow Nation”. As you can guess from the title it’s all about tradeshows: the coolest stuff, the craziest products and the amazing people who make their living by selling products at tradeshows. This would be a natural fit with tech reporting since so many shows now days have elements or an entire focus on tech.

The other pilot is called “Eat, Sleep, Fish!” Total departure from tech, I’ve always wanted to host a fishing show and this one is not just about angling, but about the whole fishing trip experience: the river, the lodge, and the food. My secret love of cooking is revealed: I get to be a TV-Chef, trying out all the fish recipes I’ve learned through the years (growing up in Hawaii- you eat anything and everything from the ocean: seaweed, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and a few fish every now and then, too). The show was a blast to shoot and I have high hopes that you may see it on the Food Network, OLN or some other brave network.

My final gig is doing color-commentary for College Sports TV (CSTV). They have covered quite a few men’s and women’s collegiate rugby matches including the final four over the last 3 years. I have had the pleasure of playing analyst for the on-air broadcasts. It’s such a departure from all the other types of reporting I’ve done, but it’s a rush to be able to combine something I’m passionate about (rugby) with my day job (TV).

TTVF: Do you miss the old TechTV folks? Do you stay in touch?

BECKY: I have a pack of TechTV people with whom I am very close. Names you would recognize like Lindsey Arent, Erica Hill, David Stevenson, and Brendan Moran. There are lots of producers who have been great to me in the past 2 years: all the work I’ve gotten since the G$ debacle has been through my TechTV friends. I miss the day to day existence with these people more than you could imagine.

I also miss the advice and wisdom of the people who really influenced and mentored me at TechTV: Leo, Jim Louderback, Greg Drebin, Scott Warren and Greg Brannan.

TTVF: Might we see you guest-voicing in a podcast or two in the near future?

BECKY: I can’t imagine what I’d have to say that could provide enough content for a significant podcast. I think of myself as someone who listens to the high-end of technology news and tries to distill it down and make it fun for the average consumer. Right now, I feel podcasts are for the early adopters, not the average joes. I have opinions- but there are enough opinions floating around out there right now, I’ll stick to listening to TWIT and Security Now!

TTVF: We knew you were finishing up your master’s degree in Computer Science and Education at Stanford (swoon-so smart!), any plans on a doctorate? Dr. Worley has a certain ring to it!

BECKY: Are you INSANE? It took me 5 years to get my master’s, I’d be getting Social Security benefits by the time I got a PhD! (Oh wait, there won’t be any Social Security by then, my bad)

TTVF: Do you still play rugby? Isn’t that…dangerous?

BECKY: I just retired from playing rugby year round, now I play a few times a year and am resting my knees. I am playing in a match this November in Bermuda. It’s the US women over thirty who’ve played for the US national team against the British women over thirty who’ve played for their respective countries. It’s in a beautiful place, usually about 2000 people watch in the stands, and I get to see all my old team mates. Life is good.

TTVF: What do you do in your free time? Anything fun?

BECKY: I run with my dogs, play the Ukulele, go to the beach, fish, go to Hawaii and see my parents, watch TV and read. I am also working for a non-profit called Sports 4 Kids that puts P.E., recess, and play back into schools were athletic programs have been cut.

TTVF: You know I had to ask: do you still have that inflatable surfboard lying around? Was it REALLY any good? (and since then, do you do any more surfing?)

BECKY: The ULI (Ultra Light Inflatable) was one of my favorite TTV segments, but the board- err- no. It was pretty unstable and it did develop a few leaks. I have a real surfboard and I go thrash around on it every once in a while, but I have shown no improvement. I think the problem is I just like being in the water- I’m not really motivated to get better.


Thanks again Becky!

One more thing she wanted to share with us came in an email she sent me earlier today:

“One thing I wanted to say to you and the folks who have been so supportive of the TechTV talent and the concept of ZDTV/TechTV: in an article about Charles Hirschhorn, it mentioned one of the possible reasons for his demise. ‘Efforts by G4 to improve TechTV’s shows with hipper hosts and formats that were more in line with G4’s teenage demographic target resulted in angry backlashes from older TechTV fans online and a revolving door of employee turnover’

As much as it may seem that you, the viewers are banging your heads against a wall, it may have made a difference. As someone who was there from the start and believed in our mission, I appreciate the group’s collective power and persistence.”

Right on Becky! Thanks, and you know we’ll keep up the fight for quality tech programming like the kind we enjoyed on TechTV!

Make sure you guys check out Becky Worley on Good Morning America talking tech! Also, keep an eye out for her on other networks as her pilots get shopped around! All of us here at TechTV Forever wish her the best of luck with all of her new shows and look forward to seeing her on TV wherever she might appear! Check her out on the web over at [ ] bookmark her blog, What’s Up Worley [ ], and stick with TechTVForever for new and updated information on Becky’s projects as we learn about them!

Features People Site News

TechTV Forever Interviews Amber MacArthur, Host of Call for Help and Command-N!

After begging and pleading (actually, she was very happy to help out!) our prayers have been answered and the lovely Amber MacArthur granted us an interview! Amber MacArthur is host of Call for Help [ ], on TV worldwide, started in Canada being produced up there, and now finally back in the United States on G4 Televison, showing at 11AM weekdays Eastern/8AM weekdays Pacific. Set your Tivos! In addition to the busy and rigorous schedule of making a world-wide television show, Amber also hosts and helps produce Command-N, [ ] a weekly video show with incredible popularity distributed over the web about all things technology and technology news and trends both online and offline. Amber’s home on the web is over at [ ], so check it out and don’t forget to bookmark it, she updates all the time!

A little over a month ago we had the opportunity to chat with her sadly ex-cohost Andy Walker [ ], but this time we wanted to ask her a few questions, and boy did she! We wanted to ask her questions about Call for Help’s return to American screens, what life is like on the set, upcoming segments and events on Command-N, and of course about her speciality, webdesign and usability! It was a lot of fun, and we want to thank Amber for taking the time out to answer our questions, again, a TechTV Forever exclusive!


TTVF:How did you react when you learned the news that Call for Help would be on the air in the United States?

AMBER:We were all very, very excited about the sale to the U.S. It opens up a huge market for us and there is something very rewarding about being in three countries (Canada, Australia, and the United States). The nice thing about this “expansion” is that we can still produce the show in Canada and we can continue to maintain editorial control over all our content.

TTVF:Do you get the feeling that Call for Help will change significantly now that it’s back in American markets?

AMBER:I never had the feeling that we would be forced to change any of our content. The only thing we have to mindful of now is that the shows in the U.S. are airing, at least at for the time being, much later than when we shoot them in Canada, so we have to watch our references to new software, new sites, new products, prices, and so on. Other than that, I never anticipated any major adjustments. In short, I’ve always trusted Leo’s commitment to producing quality objective tech content and I know he would never compromise on this.

TTVF:Tell us a bit about your role on Call for Help, for those of us who may never have seen it. Is it fun?

AMBER:My official title is co-producer/co-host. What this means is that I produce (research, write, present) all my own segments (one segment per show and one free download per show). I also present 30 tips each month; Leo and Mikey help me with these tips. I’m planning to do a few gadget roundups each month on Call for Help; Sean Carruthers (one of our tech researchers) helps me out with these segments. Basically we all help each other, no matter how minor or major the task. Is it fun? Yes, it’s a blast! We have a really small team, but we’re all friends and there are constant pranks, laughs, and jokes in the works on a daily basis.

TTVF:Give us some insight into what we might be seeing from you on Call for Help in coming weeks!

AMBER:In the coming weeks I’m going to try to do some field reports, get outside and interview some interesting tech folks and cover some innovative projects. I plan to be at DesignFest (a web design conference in Toronto) and I will be doing my Web Workshop reviews with the help of some web professionals on site at this event. I can’t wait! It looks as though we’ll also be traveling to a few tech events so we can produce some thorough segments.

TTVF:How are things working out with Command-N? It’s an excellent show; are you and Mikey looking at doing this long-term?

AMBER:commandN is an amazing learning experience for all four of us on the team (Jeff, Brian, Mikey, and me). We’ve put out shows regularly for the past 15 weeks and we’ve asked our viewers to come along for the ride as we improve each and every episode. We’re going to continue to do this for as long as we can, and we’re going to continue to try to shoot at a different location each week, include a segment from Jeff in Halifax each week, and encourage Brian to do some more on-camera work (he’s awesome!). We plan to do this long-term, but our plans might differ somewhat from others in this space. We don’t want to ask viewers for money for the show, but instead we’ll focus on eventually getting a sponsor per show or per segment. The idea is not to wrap the entire show with ads, just to cover some of our costs and have a little money on hand to travel as a team to events like NextFest, WebZine 2005, or CES and report from there. We firmly believe that the more eyeballs we get watching commandN the better the chances we have to offer the show for free to anyone with an Internet connection and 22 minutes to learn about what’s new in tech, online and offline.

TTVF:Command-N Is getting pretty popular pretty quickly. About how wide an audience have you guys got? Are you going to keep the show free, oR maybe sell some gear? I’d love the little “command” logo on a t-shirt!

AMBER:Our audience is getting bigger and bigger each week, which is obviously our goal! The interesting thing about video content online is that there are often times when new viewers are going back and downloading old episode to catch up; it’s all on the viewers’ schedule, which is the best thing about producing our show online. You can get it when you want and watch it when you want. As for keeping the show free, that is our plan. We do accept donations and
our new GoDaddy promotion works for us because it fits nicely within the inSITE segment (and we all truly believe GoDaddy is a great service). Our deal with them is that they pay us whenever someone buys a service using the COMMANDN promo code (so if you need domain/hosting services and you use this code, you’ll be supporting us). We’ll also be launching our J!NX shop next week, which is another way viewers can help us out. The biggest help is from our hosting companies (SMUnique, ProGamer, and VizaWeb). Without their support wouldn’t be able to continue because the number of total downloads
now of all episodes is above one million.

TTVF:Do you believe the future of television (or at least technology content and programming) is in IPTV shows like Command-N [ ], DiggNation [ ], and Digital Life TV [ ]?

AMBER:I believe that the future of good technology programming is definitely online, but I don’t think it’s all going to change overnight. There are lots of folks who will continue to watch TV on a television set, so there is no reason to believe that a traditional medium, such as broadcast television, will die altogether. At the end of the day I think it’s all choice. There is an obvious shift insofar as how people are getting information and one of the major trends as of late is that more and more people are spending the bulk of their time online. I am definitely one of these people. I rarely
turn on my TV, but I love good video content and am dying to see more of it available on the Web. I think the most interesting element about commandN, Diggnation, and Digital Life TV that will affect traditional broadcast is not so much that we’re doing anything that differently than other TV shows (aside from distribution), but we are
doing it at a far reduced cost and we’re able to offer our video content to an international audience. There are no boundaries to accessing our shows, which means that for advertisers this is a goldmine. The numbers are huge. This is why we don’t want to force viewers to pay, but instead educate advertisers about this extremely powerful way of attracting a new and limitless audience.

TTVF:If someone is interested in technology journalism, and to do what you do, how would you get them started? What would you suggest they do?

AMBER:I would suggest that anyone who wants to get into technology journalism works in the tech field for some f time. It is also very important to develop a particular area of interest. I’ve been able to stay focused on web businesses, services, and applications, which is an ever-growing industry and the products just keep on getting better. It is also good to start a blog and start writing your own content and networking with others in this area.

TTVF:Any interesting segments coming up on Command-N that you can share with us?

AMBER:As for what’s coming up on commandN, we’re going to be doing more tech product reviews in the future and we’re going to try to schedule some interesting interviews with tech geeks (traditional and untraditional). We’ve even contacted a few actors who also happen to be into tech, so these episodes will definitely draw an even different audience than the one we currently have. We also plan to try to travel with the show, just to keep it fresh and fun. We will also cover what’s new on the web, particularly Web 2.0 biz, and also I’ll be keeping up with my inSITE web segment to help folks make better websites. Among all four of us, we really cover a wide range of all things tech – Mac, Windows, web, audio, video, music, and more.

TTVF:What are some really basic usability tips you would give to amateur webdesigners?

AMBER:I would suggest that anyone building a website tries to keep it as simple as possible. Also, it’s important to know your strengths. If you’re good at laying out information, but you’re not a good designer, then it makes sense to get help on the design front. I would also suggest that all the basics of good usability are covered in Jakob Nielsen’s book Designing Web Usability. Here are some more tips from my website to help get started:
[ ]

TTVF:When you see a site where all the navigation tools are in Macromedia Flash, what’s your first reaction? 😉 [ed. note: this is a joke question with a really good answer. Among web designers, some people see no higher usability and webdesign crime than to design a site’s navigation tools(menus, links, etc) all in a program that requires a user to download another program just to view your site. Flash is common indeed and flash content is usually fine, but flash navigation is something of a taboo! ]

AMBER:The most important thing to keep in mind is to design for your users, so only use technologies that your audience has enabled. I’m also a big fan of simplicity, unless there is a definite reason why spicing up your site makes sense. Sure, Flash is cool but if your visitors (target audience) live in a rural area on dial-up you’ll likely to
only frustrate them.

TTVF:What’s your favorite HTML editor?

AMBER:Dreamweaver is a great tool, definitely my favourite.

TTVF:What new web technologies do you think we’ll be seeing more of in the next few years? (more search capability/tagging a-la

AMBER: Tagging is obviously a popular new way to manage content, which is changing the way we use the Web. I’m also a huge fan of AJAX apps. Here is a list of some of the best: [ p=13 ]
I do believe a lot of people will also move more and more towards web-based applications, so services like Blinksale, Writely, and Basecamp will become increasingly popular.

TTVF:What are a few of your favorite websites, and what sites do you think everyone should have bookmarked?

AMBER: I think I am starting to speak to everyone I know in URLs! In other words, check out [ ] to see some of my favorite sites (listed along the left-hand side). I do love [ ], [ ], [ ], [ ], and [ ]. I’m constantly saving all these sites and more within my Furl feed/site, which is available here: [ ]


Thanks a million Amber!

Again, if you want to know more about Amber, check out her bio over at the Call for Help website: [ ] and visit the Call for Help homepage here: [ ] But that’s not all! If you don’t watch already, head over and check out the first 15 episodes of Command-N at [ ], and check out Amber’s site at [ ] for links, tips, tricks, tech and personal news, and much more!

Features Site News

Doing Our Part: Helping the Victims of Hurricane Katrina

The members of TechTV Forever, LongLiveTechTV (and 535 York, LLTTV’s podcast, available at, and all of us here at TechTV would like to take a moment to reach out to the entire community to do whatever they can to help the victims of hurricane Katrina, to help those people whose lives have been forever changed by this enormous tragedy slowly begin to put their lives back together.

There are several things that all of us can do to help, even in some of the smallest ways, where anyone, regardless of your location, income level, or position in life, can do something to make a difference. First of all, the American Red Cross [ ] is taking donations, both monetary and of course, in blood. Please please please give blood. Blood supplies are constantly running low, and thie event will only strain or deplete additional supplies. Regardless of your blood type, please contact the Red Cross to see where and when you can give blood or make a donation. Remember, each donation of blood can save up to three lives. Look at it that way. A few minutes of being mildly uncomfortable and a free cookie, and you’re helping 3 people get their lives back.

Also: for a wider array of ways you can help victims in the many states devastated by the hurricane, head over to the US Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website [ ] to see ways the various states have set up ways to help out. They have also presented a list of excellent charities and organizations collecting donations of money, clothing, and non-perishable food for delivery to the storm-torn areas and their phone numbers:
[ ]

Last but not least, whatever religion you practice, or spirituality you have, I suggest praying or meditating or whatever you may do, send positive thoughts, energy, even hope to the victims and the people working hard around the clock to repair the damage and save lives. If any new information comes up and we can find new and better ways to continue to help in the face of this tragedy, we’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, one of the members of the LongLiveTechTV group condensed a lot of this information here:

UPDATE // Two sites, NetworkForGood [ ] has compiled an incredible list of charities and donation links that anyone looking to help might find more than useful. Head on over there and help out as soon as you can!

MSNBC will be hosting a telethon this weekend to support the victims of Hurricane Katrina! Read more here:
[ ]

The Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance has compiled a list of important tips for anyone who has donated or is planning to donate to a charity committed to helping the victims of Katrina slowly rebuild their lives. Remember to protect yourself when giving, and to make sure that the most of your donation goes to the people who need it the most.

[ ]

Additionally, if you are looking for a loved one, CNN is posting a “Safe list” of people who have been found and are out of harm’s way here:
[ ]

If you’re unsure that your donation is needed, or want to see the devastation firsthand, check out the following link, which includes sattelite photos of the affected areas in a before/after fashion. The damage is incredible and the need for assistance enormous:

[ ]

The political activism group is hosting a website where people can donate spare rooms or beds to people in need of a place to stay. Visit to sign up, and refugees from the devastated areas will be able to search the database when they have internet access or speak with someone who does, and they will be able to find a place within reasonable distance to stay. Please, sign up and offer a spare room if you can-homes especially within 300 miles of New Orleans are especially needed.

[ ]

As the Gulf Coast begins to dig out in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, emergency organizations are executing cleanup and rescue plans, seeking donations and setting up outlets to provide information on the storm and its victims.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency is taking the lead role in coordinating relief efforts. The agency is posting information about the storm on its Web site:
Federal Emergency Management Agency [ ]

State responses and emergency information are being coordinated by the following:
Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness [ ]

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (site down as of Tuesday morning) [ ]

Louisiana Governor’s Office [ ]

City of New Orleans [ ]

The Salvation Army’s Team Emergency Radio Network was taking requests for information on the welfare and status of loved ones in the hurricane area at its Web site:

As of 9 a.m. ET, the Federal Aviation Administration reported that airports had been closed in New Orleans; Baton Rouge; Mobile, Ala.; Gulfport-Biloxi, Miss.; and Pensacola, Fla. Major delays were expected at other airports in the Southeast and the domino effect from them could spread all the way across the country. Further information was available at:

Federal Aviation Administration [ ]

The relief effort is still being hampered by flooding in some areas. Up-to-date information can be found at these Web sites:
The National Weather Service [ ]
Hydrologic Information Center (river flooding only) [ ]


American Red Cross [ ]
Episcopal Relief & Development [ ]
United Methodist Committee on Relief [ ]
Salvation Army [ ]
Catholic Charities [ ]
National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster [ ]
Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals [ ]

DONATIONS – PHONE NUMBERS (Give cash or volunteer)
American Red Cross (800) HELP NOW (435-7669) English; (800) 257-7575
Operation Blessing (800) 436-6348
America’s Second Harvest (800) 344-8070
Adventist Community Services (800) 381-7171
Catholic Charities, USA (703) 549-1390
Christian Disaster Response (941) 956-5183 or (941) 551-9554
Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (800) 848-5818
Church World Service (800) 297-1516
Convoy of Hope (417) 823-8998
Lutheran Disaster Response (800) 638-3522
Mennonite Disaster Service (717) 859-2210
Nazarene Disaster Response (888) 256-5886
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (800) 872-3283
Salvation Army (800) SAL-ARMY (725-2769)
Southern Baptist Convention — Disaster Relief (800) 462-8657, ext.
United Methodist Committee on Relief (800) 554-8583

Red Cross

Features People Site News

TechTV Forever Sits Down with Andy Walker, Host of Call for Help!

Recently the TTVF crew had the opportunity to chat with Andy Walker, host of Call for Help [ ] with Leo Laporte and Amber MacArthur, which is currently being aired on G4TechTV Canada and on several other fine networks around the world, (in places like Austrailia, the Phillipines, and more!) not to mention the owner of must-bookmark sites like Cyberwalker [ ], which includes his blog [ ], and the Cyberwalker Software Library [ ]!

We wanted to ask him questions about his new book, what its like working on Call for Help, his insights on the direction of technology, and of course his own personal preference in gadgets and gear. It was a good time, and we really thank Andy for taking the time to answer our questions, exclusive to TechTV Forever! Now then, on with the interview!


TTVF: Andy, tell us a little about your new book, why did you choose to write a book about these topics?

ANDY: It’s one of the most important topics in personal computers today. A lot of our questions on the show relate directly to security, and Que Publishing felt the timing was right. With the encouragement of Leo, who has agreed to write the foreword, I couldn’t say no!

TTVF: Where will we be able to pick up a copy of your book?

ANDY: The book, called The Absolute Beginners Guide to Security, Spam, Spyware and Viruses, is being published by Que. They will distribute it internationally, so you’ll be able to get a copy from all major book chains as well as and and other online book sellers. Pre-ordering is available now. More info here: [ ] I sound like an infomerical!

TTVF: What was the inspiration for the Cyberwalker Software Library? [ ]

ANDY: I just thought there was a lack of good software library resources on the Net that reflected what Cyberwalker was all about. is awesome but it’s too big and unfocused. On, I was always linking out to other computer fix it resources and thought why not create a mini site to keep it in the family. It’s early days yet, but you’ll see a lot of new content on there that no only shows you freeware, payware and shareware but also helps you choose the right programs and lets the community participate with comments and product ratings.

TTVF: How does the Cyberwalker Software Library differ from sites like

ANDY: It mostly focuses on fix-it tools for the PC. The focus was Craig Worden’s idea. He’s my software site webmaster (you may know him as tambits10 on Leoville). However we want to include all the great freeware out there in a separate section.

TTVF: Tell us a little about Call for Help, what is the average day on the set like?

ANDY: It’s a crazy schedule. We’re in for makeup and prep in the AM and then we get to it. And we do one show after another with a break in between for more makeup and a wardrobe change and maybe a coffee. We shoot it in realtime as if it’s live. So no stopping for tech issues or gaffes – its all in there. Then we go til the end of the day. We go out for a bite sometimes at dinner and then off home to bed. It’s grueling, but tons of fun. It’s my favorite part of the job. And we do that for four days in a row.

TTVF: What goes into getting an episode of Call For Help from idea to screen?

ANDY: Amber and I cook up our own segments (15 per mo) and free files (with suggestions of course from viewers). Mike preps 5 free files and helps with preproduction. And Sean and Mike do loads of lab work on segments for each cycle. Leo chooses calls from the email and is our ultimate content adviser approving everything you see on the show.
Jenny Chase produces the callers and Claudia does guest booking with input from everyone. Producers Katya and Matt work with use to develop ideas and are the backbone of the show. Matt also works with me on field segments. He is amazing. Katya is just a dream to work with too. They are all young hardworking excellent people. I feel so lucky to work with such a strong team and such awesome co-hosts.

TTVF: Do you think there is a future for technology on television? In Canada? Abroad?

ANDY: It’s hard to say. I think you’ll see a lot of IP TV based content about tech. And you’ll see tech content make its way into lifestyle shows on mainstream TV. A dedicated channel with full blown content? Not as we have seen in the past. But IP TV is about to happen. TV is changing and its future is bright. Tech content will lead the way. All you have to do is look at TWIT [ ] and Command-N [ ] for proof if its popularity.

TTVF: Do yo think that the future of TV is on the internet using downloadable programs such as Systm [ ] and Command-N [ ] as early examples?

ANDY: See above. YES! The world is about to change.

TTVF: So many of us know so little about G4TechTV Canada. What do you think really puts G4TTV Canada apart from their American counterpart?

ANDY: The recognition that technology is a key part of the content. G4 is all gaming of course while, G4TechTV Canada recognized non-gaming tech content is as important. However it’s a business decision. G4 has made a lot of people angry for what they did to TechTV, but in the end it was business people making business decisions. And business people think with their wallets not with their hearts.

TTVF: Where do you see computers and related technologies going in the next 5 years?

ANDY: Smaller, faster, lighter and more mobile. Wireless will be a suite of technologies not just one or two specifications. The marketing keyword on product boxes is “networked”. Consumer electronics will be paired with the internet as a given. Just as you would expect color on a screen and wouldn’t think about buying a black and white screen, you will see non-connected consumer electronics as yesterday’s technology.

TTVF: What’s your favorite gadget?

ANDY: My laptop is my life. Right now I have a Toshiba P20, but soon I’ll be replacing it. Thinking Thinkpad T42.

TTVF: Do you own an iPod, what’s your favorite mp3 player?

ANDY: I have a 1GB iPod shuffle and I love it. I use it in my car with a Belkin Tunecast II that plays music on my car FM radio. My iMac has been a disappointment as a multimedia production machine, however it has become my “stereo”, if I can use such an old fashioned word.

TTVF: Can you give us a quick run-down of some of your “must-have” gadgets and gear?

ANDY: A Bluetooth cellphone that disappears in my pocket. I have a Motorola RAZR. A PVR – I am shopping for one here in Toronto. I miss my TiVO from my Berkeley, CA days. An HDTV – I have an HD CRT at the moment. Waiting on a Samsung DLP. Have to save my pennies. Laptop. Wi-Fi router. Fastest broadband connection I can find (I have a 5 M/bps cable service). MP3 player for exercise and the car.

TTVF: Are there any projects in your future that you can share with us at this time?

ANDY: There are so many. Another book for sure. will launch soon, designed by Tackie. You’ll also see a “Tackie” resdesign of with RSS and XML content from [ ] and [].
My Jetson book — the Jetson Prophesy — is still being looked at by the New York publishing houses. I am also looking at doing a podcast, but the other projects are a priority at the moment so I’ll be guesting here and there.

TTVF: How are your kittens Biff and Boo settling in at your home, do they own it yet?

ANDY: Biff and Boo are terrorizing my apartment. The have doubled in size and they have learned to eat the plants, climb on the kitchen table and monopolize my time. They are driving me nuts. But I adore them! More pix on my blog soon and an appearance on the show in a demo soon!


Thanks Andy!

You can check out Andy’s bio at [ ] and visit the Call for Help website here [ ] for more information about the show, and of course visit [ ] for loads of tech tips and tricks, Andy’s blog, the Cyberwalker software archives, and much much more!