The 404 621: Where turn right we must (podcast)

On today's episode of The 404 Podcast, hosts Jeff Bakalar, Wilson G. Tang, and Justin Yu celebrate annual Embrace Your Inner Geek Day by doing their normal and discussing YouTube's new Partner Grants program, gaming doubling kids' risk of ADHD, Star Wars characters like Yoda and Darth Vader reading you driving directions, and testing cell phone speeds in New York City.


The recent popularity of GPS functionality built into smartphones and stock vehicles might eventually phase out third party portable navigation devices entirely, but folks who currently own Tom Tom systems can now hear their driving directions read by classic Star Wars characters like Yoda and Darth Vader. Tom Tom will release one Star Wars character a month, available as a $13 download- check out this hilarious promo for the Yoda version.

July 13 is the official Embrace Your Inner Geek Day so we're celebrating this annual holiday by doing...the same thing...we normally...do. And just for kicks, we go around the table and recall the exact moment we realized we were geeks. Jeff's epiphany came when he chose indoor gaming over outdoor activities, I understood my geekdom as a kid obsessing over action figures, and I won't spoil Wilson's story, because it's just too tragic (and kind of funny) to retell.

Sometimes it pays off to geek out, and YouTube is financing amateur video creators as a way to encourage more creative use of its Web site, because let's face it- 94% of content on YouTube is a waste of Internet real estate.

YouTube is launching a $5 million Partner Grants program that will distribute thousands of dollars in contributions to content creators whose work appeals to mainstream viewers and could possibility generate ad revenue similar to their profit sharing program that recently netted David After Dentist's parents $100,000.

YouTube videos have to engage the viewer within the first ten seconds, however, or risk losing their attention, which has become an issue itself, according to a study in the Daily Mail UK that claims children who spend long hours watching TV and playing video games are twice as likely to develop attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. If you're still reading this blog, you might be off the hook, but the article points out that teachers in classrooms might struggle to keep up with the rate of stimulation kids are used to in video games and television shows.

Happy Embrace Your Inner Geek Day! Now that the three of us have sufficiently embarrassed ourselves with stories of our young geekisms, we want to hear about the time that YOU let your inner geek out of the closet. E-mail us at the404(at)cnet(dot) or call us up at 1-866-404-CNET and tell us about it! Also, don't forget to watch Bonnie Cha and Jeff Bakalar test the best (and worst) cell phone carriers in New York City!


EPISODE 621

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