I've already written about how the International Olympic Committee tries to cleanse all unauthorized references to its logos, the word "Olympics," and attendant innocent words like "Games" and "Winter" and "2010." And I wrote about the endless Olympic Internet spoilers, thanks to NBC's incredibly asinine scheduling. But the longer they're on, the more chances the IOC gets to act like jack-booted thugs and the more chances NBC gets to blow coverage both online and on TV, until I think we've all come to the same, inescapable conclusion: the … Read more
It feels like a critical time for music listening right now. Free streaming services like Pandora and Last.fm are poised to take off, but they're hampered by slow rollout, customer confusion, and the fact that labels like Warner are totally freaked out by free streaming and yanking their music from them.
On the other hand, terrestrial radio is virtually unlistenable, due to its crowd-pleasing format of two songs, then a 30-minute commercial block that's cleverly timed with every other station's 30-minute commercial block. Add to that the constant repetition of the same five songs and radio … Read more
Editors' note: This list was originally posted at CBS News, where you can find ongoing coverage of the Haiti crisis.
Seeking information on family members The FBI and the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) have established a telephone hot line to report suspected Haitian earthquake relief fraud. The number is 1-866-720-5721. The phone line is staffed by a live operator 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also e-mail information directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. The U.S. State Department says Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti should call 1-888-407-4747 or or 202-647-5225. Due … Read more
I'm not necessarily looking to pile on Microsoft Bing or jump on the #bingfail bandwagon. But a lot has been written about how Bing's video searches often return full-motion porn that's not easily blocked, while its SafeSearch options are incredibly easy to turn off. Lately, I've run into a very specific issue with Bing that is both hilarious and indicative of the problem with overly broad filtering. Perhaps it's easiest to simply illustrate the problem.
Here's what happens when I conduct a Google image search for my name.
Here's what Bing returns.
As … Read more
In this week's Buzz Report, I suggested (gently, of course) that the iPhone sucks on AT&T. I'm certainly not the first to suggest it: there's a pending class-action lawsuit over flaky 3G connectivity and AT&T and Apple are pointing fingers at each other over ongoing network and connection issues. Plus, every person in the background of my rant is someone who works at CNET and has had trouble with their iPhone (mostly because we don't even get service in our downtown San Francisco office).
So far, the feedback I've gotten leans … Read more
Let me start by saying that I agree with you on one thing: $359 is a lot of money. I just don't agree that it's too much to pay for an Amazon Kindle 2.
In the wake of the announcement of the Kindle 2, the general response is that it's nice and all, but the price is just too high. A price breakdown of the original device found that you'd need to buy about 60 books to make up the price difference (all while paying to get delivery of newspapers and periodicals you could read online for free). And analysts complain that Kindle is a niche product with a small, upwardly mobile target audience. And here's my question: what is the problem with that?
Isn't the Kindle, fundamentally, an early adopter's device? And aren't we usually pretty tolerant of that in the tech space? You all know this story. In the evolution of technology, devices start expensive, they target a niche audience that can afford the price and care passionately about the product, and then they either adopt more mainstream features or become mainstream through a combination of obvious value proposition and gradually lower prices.
Even though the Kindle is on its second iteration, it's still very much in early-adopter territory. Does anyone really expect that an e-book reader is going to take the entire world by storm and become the iPod-like gadget commodity of its day? Of course not; so why should it be priced like bread and milk?
Then there are the features.… Read more
Forbes just put out another of those crazy lists where it proposes to identify the top Web celebrities--following a recent spate of other lists of top Tweeters and talkers and Web-famous types. And while we don't dispute the attractiveness of doing stupid lists to get people to look at your content (see: CNET Top 5), it could be said that the Web 2.0 elite is getting, well, nauseatingly self-congratulatory.
So, Tom Merritt and I decided to make our own list of influential people on the Web. These are some, but only some, of the top CNET TV fans … Read more
I've just entered some pretty awesome company! I'm going to have a regular column on WowOWow.com, a site for Women on the Web that was founded in part by Lesley Stahl (yep, that CBS synergy paying off again), along with some other pretty big names--the regular contributors and founders are, in addition to Lesley, Peggy Noonan, Liz Smith, Joni Evans, Mary Wells, Sheila Nevins, Joan Juliet Buck, Whoopi Goldberg, Julia Reed, Joan Ganz Cooney, Judith Martin, Candice Bergen, Lily Tomlin, Jane Wagner, and Marlo Thomas.
I will be, not surprisingly, bringing the tech to the party. … Read more