Today's episode of The 404 Podcast begins with a conversation about a new bill that would give President Obama the ability to shut down the Internet.
Proposed by Senator Joe Lieberman, the "Internet kill switch" would, in the event of a "cyber-security emergency," suspend access to popular search sites like Yahoo and Google, in addition to placing Internet service providers under the control of the White House.
The bill's biggest opponent is a tech lobby group called TechAmerica, which argues that the law would give President Obama absolute power to silence free speech under the guise of a national crisis. In fact, there's already an online petition that needs 100,000 signatures to stop the legislation formally called the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act.
We switch gears in the first half of the show to an embarrassing rundown of 14 trends from the '90s that still make us cringe, starting with the most hilarious: Pogs. Kids today are too young to remember, but the popularity of Pogs proved that kids will collect anything, even flat cardboard discs with cheap graphics.
Other '90s trends on the list include the glory days of AOL chat rooms, Pokemon, Trapper Keepers, and Beanie Babies. We even have our own fads to add...remember slap bracelets?
Be sure to stick around during the second half as we advise a listener on what to do when a friend or loved one unknowingly buys a shoddy gadget (shadget, for short). It's a difficult question to answer: should you tell the offender to return said shadget and seek a more reputable product, or wish them the best of luck with their eighth Palm Pre?