Episode 613: Don't believe the lies

The EFF says Comcast is lying about BitTorrent blocking, users say they're lying about digital cable, and we're just all fired up about GPS-enabled cameras.

The EFF says Comcast is lying about BitTorrent blocking, users say they're lying about the digital cable switchover, and we're just all fired up about GPS-enabled cameras. In other news today, AT&T's CEO says, um, the exact same thing that Steve Jobs says about how there's going to be a new 3G iPhone next year, and Congress is getting a little scary.

--Molly


Listen now: Download today's podcast

EPISODE 613

TODAY'S LINKS:


TODAY'S VOICE MAIL:
Sterling Miami
Joost needs weeding.

Jason of the Jillion Jasons
Hack to skip previews

Curtis from Michigan
Confused about cable. See FCC ruling.



TODAY'S E-MAIL:
Courtroom cell phones
You mentioned that it's not fifth grade, you can't just punish the whole class. Well, you're right, these people aren't in fifth grade. Be an adult (which seems to be very hard for most people these days), say it was yours, apologize, and get on with your life. If I was the person sitting next to the cell phone culprit, I would tell everyone else who got detained and beat the snot out of him/her.

-slonkak

The Universe is OK
Hey, TMJ,

Lawrence Krauss clarified his remarks about the contracting universe in today's Cleveland Plain Dealer. What he meant, he said, is that by observing dark energy, scientists might have pinpointed more accurately where the universe is in its evolution--and that it might be less stable than we thought. I guess that means that unfortnately, reading your spam won't make it go away.

Scott from Cleveland

The Net-connected fridge issue
You missed out BIG time.

The Googlefridge. With commands and control via wireless on the 700MHz network they will build after wining the auction.

And it doesn't stop with just the Googlefridge. Let's say you are at the office, you think what should I make for dinner? So you go to googlekitchen.com, sign on and select recipes. It polls your kitchen at home and builds a list of recipes that could be made from things on hand.

You could then select a recipe and then click the GPS radio button so your GoogleKitchen will preheat the over when you come within 2 miles of the house.

It will then post the recipe on the OLED screen of the oven ready for your arrival.

Don't want that recipe? No problem, click the I'm Feeling Lucky button, and up will come a random recipe.

Any ingredients NOT available in your GoogleKitchen will be sent to your local grocer who will pick the items, bag them and charge you with Google Checkout.

You drive to the store and pick them up, as you approach home the oven preheats and the recipe pops up on the OLED again and you are good to go.

And if that still does not work for you and there is nothing in your home you want, then select the Delivery Option and Google shows you a list of restaurants with either take out (on your route home) or delivery. You place your order and either drive by and pick it up or it will be delivered as you pull into the driveway.

And best of all, it will maintain a history of what you ordered before so you can just click on a restaurant and the select the radio button, Give Me What I Had Last Time.

The future is now.

Cursor_

HD-VMD hits the US!
Molly,

Prepare to gloat...according to the AV Zombie blog (avzombie.com), HD-VMD gets hardware distribution in the US via PCRush.com.

Enjoy.

Dave M,
London.

A phone update you missed...
Hi, Buzz crew

Peter The Dane here,

Just wanted to mention a rather significant phone update that was released Monday, which aparently you all missed.

First a short background story:

When Nokia released the original N95, people found it had a few shortcomings: the RAM memory was on the low side for such an advanced phone, and the battery life was not that good either.

Then Nokia released the US N95 and the N95 8GB with more free RAM and a better battery, and all us original N95 owners felt a bit betrayed that new phones that fixed the problems where released only six months after the original, and since most phone companies do not do major updates for older models, we were all pretty sure that we where screwed.

Well, turns out Nokia decided to do the right thing; the new firmware that was released Monday pretty much puts the original N95 on par with the newer models in terms of software (i.e. same music player with podcast support, Nokia Music store, N-Gage preview, etc.) and, even though they of course could not add additional RAM chips they have managed to give us 50 percent more free RAM compared to the old firmware--which pretty much eliminates ALL previous RAM problems. On top of that, they have improved battery performance in apps like the music player by 30 percent.

All this in a free firmware upgrade!

I think Nokia deserves a "good on ya" for taking care of their "old" customers.

Love the show

Peter The Dane

Ads missing from 'Pushing Daisies'
Tom,

In episode 612 you mentioned that you were watching Pushing Daisies online, there were no ads and speculated that the reason was that the ad servers were down. They may have been down, but not for the reason you think. According to TV Week[ http://www.tvweek.com/news/2007/11/web_ad_action_surprises_nets.php] the networks have run out of paid ads for streaming content. The lede from the article:

Advertising time in full episodes streamed online was a hot property during the upfront, ad buyers said, but some networks appear to have underestimated how many people log on to watch them. And once the networks streamed the number of spots they promised advertisers, they switched to promos and tried to find new online advertisers.

I'm sure they will sell more, and the ads will be back soon.

P.S., I think you should do an entire show in "Breaking news from the 40s voices." Hilarious.

Thanks,
Ricky

Comcast and analog cable stories
I couldn't resist sending in a comment about Comcast and what I believe should be illegal acts on their part. I live in Portland, Oregon.

About a month ago I received a letter in the mail stating that on Nov. 12, 2007, Comcast, because of the pending digital TV switchover would be phasing out the analog service. The letter went on to try and get me to switch to digital, listing the packages, etc., but it stated on Nov. 12, 2007 that four of the current channels that I receive will be turned off.

Knowing that Comcast isn't being forced by anyone to turn off their analog service, I called, below is the edited version as I remember it.

Comcast Support = CS

cs: Hello, Comcast
me: Hello, I'd like to ask about the recent price increase on my cable bill.
cs: Sir, I'm not aware of any increases, what do you mean?
me: Great, I was worried because I have this letter stating that 4 of my channels are going to disappear on Nov. 12, and it didn't state how much money my bill was going to go down.
cs: Well, sir, the letter is correct, but your bill isn't going to change.
me: So this is a price increase.
cs: No, sir, we are just phasing out the analog service in an orderly fashion in preparation for the digital switchover.
me: First things first; this is a price increase.
cs: No, sir, it isn't.
me: OK, follow along. If I bought a gallon of milk for $2 yesterday and today I walk into the same store and I can't buy a gallon of milk anymore but I can by 3/4 of a gallon for $2, isn't that a price increase.
cs: Well, sir, yes I guess if you look at it that way, it is a price increase.
me: OK, so there is no way I can opt out of the change, I just want to keep my service the way it is.
cs: No, sir.
me: OK, second why is Comcast lying to its customers about the federal government forcing them to discontinue analog cable service?
cs: Sir, we are not lying. Have you heard of the digital tv switchover? Along with that, nobody is going to be able to broadcast analog tv signals after February 2009.
me: Yes, I have heard of that, but Comcast doesn't broadcast analog signals, it sends them down a wire, which is not broadcasting, so Comcast is more than able to continue forever offering analog service.
cs: Sir, you are wrong.
me: No I am not; would you like the federal Web site stating the rules?
cs: No, sir, you are mistaken.
me: OK, so is there a schedule of when each channel is going to be removed? Because it sounds like you are going to slowly remove channels over the next year and a half, forcing everyone to switch to digital for no reason.
cs: Yes, you are correct we are going to be turning off the analog channels, but there is no schedule that I can give to you; just watch your mailbox.
me: So basically my analog service is going to be more and more useless until I either switch to digital or switch providers or just go back to rabbit ears.
cs: Yes.
me: Thank you.

What do you guys think? Isn't this illegal for them to misrepresent facts? What can a person do to try and change Comcast's behavior?

Side note: My brother has an HDTV that he has hooked up to his analog cable service. It recognizes the HD channels, so in Portland the local channels are 2, 6, 8, 10, and 12. His TV would also see 2.1, 6.1, 8.1, 10.1 and 12.1, which were HD. He set up his TV to view these channels and not the standard ones. Yesterday he tells me that channel 12.1 just disappeared without warning. So we now believe that Comcast is really slowly turning off analog service one channel at a time.

Thanks.

Tim

Man is disqualified from unemployment for using OperaMini

http://operawatch.com/news/2007/11/guy-uses-opera-mini-and-gets-disqualified-from-unemployment-claim.html

http://www.someinterweb.com/?p=7

Robert C
Prince Albert, SK
Canada

 

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