We won't get into the myriad ways to impress one's audience while engaging in a live video podcast, but here's one that slides into the 'surefire' category. The crafty folks over at MAKE decided to construct an automated On Air light for their new live sessions, and rather than automating it with a human hand flipping a switch at a predetermined time, they decided to wire it up to receive signals from a UStream API. In essence, the light is programmed to turn on when the podcast shows 'online,' and turn off when that status changes to 'offline.' It's a beautifully simple concept, and yet, so illuminating. See for yourself after the break.

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Networked 'On Air' light illuminates when webcast begins, dims when it ends (video)