Written by Radio

Some Good Recent Radio

I sometimes find This American Life a little irritating. It’s hard to quite put my finger on why I find it this way, but I do. That said, it’s mostly excellent and well worth subscribing to their podcast. A couple of weeks ago they broadcast When Patents Attack – a thorough look at the patent system in the US and why it’s thoroughly broken.
I’ll leave it to others to fill in the details, but essentially the patent system – at least in the US – no longer encourages innovation as it was created to do. It actively prevents companies – particularly small ones – from creating new ideas. You only have to look at a recent post from Google about the perceived threat to Android from vast hordes of patents being stored up by companies created for the primary purpose of “taxing” competitors. Of course, Google openly admits that it too has acquired large numbers of patents.
As the episode explains, not only are there these “patent trolls”, but many of the very patents that they’ve been awarded are spurious at every level. Really worth listening to.
Peter Day’s prodigous output sees him presenting both Global Business on the BBC World Service and In Business on Radio 4. While they sometimes share episodes, they often don’t. The BBC thoughtfully collates all his programmes in a single podcast stream. New Dimension examined 3D printers, and in particular the fundamentals of manufacturing that can change as a result of these technologies. Since the manufacturing of the Model T Ford, producing in massive quantities has been the preferred way to produce things. Now, 3D printing means that spare parts, for example, could be “printed” on demand.
Finally, I’m sure everyone here has listened to Danny Baker on Desert Island Discs. But if you haven’t head straight over to the website, and listen to a cracking edition of the programme.