The 404 689: Where it's a work in progress (podcast)

Check out our new studio on today's show! We also discuss "ping marketing," father/son space launches, and Sprint's 4G rollout dates.


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Apologies to all the live listeners, this morning's broadcast had to start later than usual to give Wilson some time to tweak our new studio set-up we mentioned last week.

We have an all new tricaster, new mic stands, HD video, and more, so definitely be sure to check out the video feed to see all the improvements, because we're all really excited and have Wilson plus the rest of the CNET crew to thank for helping with the installation!

As hard as it already is to stay away from Starbucks' seasonal coffee flavors, here's another reason to avoid the overpriced chain of cafes: shoppers will soon see the arrival of "ping marketing," a tactic that bombards shoppers' smartphones with electronic discount coupons as they pass by participating stores.

Flickr user: Pierofix

The vouchers are delivered in the form of a text message, and the technology relies on GPS satellites to keep track of your location in relation to the partnered storefronts. Britain's O2 network is the first to test out the opt-in service, where customers can sign up for a six-month trial that releases information about their age, gender, and interests to relevant retailers. We're all in agreement that this crosses the privacy line, but is anyone else worried that tech companies are just poaching ideas straight from "Minority Report?"

While other fathers teach their sons how to throw a baseball or catch a fish, Luke Geissbuhler went the NASA route and helped his son send an iPhone into space . They fitted a small weather balloon with an HD camera, an Apple iPhone (to track GPS location), and several handwarmers before launching the contraption into space.

Sixty minutes and 90,000 feet later, the balloon actually broke the thermal wind barrier and burst after 10 more minutes, but not before it recorded 100 minutes of footage from take-off to landing. In their self-shot video, the father/son team reported that the contraption had to survive "100 mph winds, temperatures of 60 degrees below zero, speeds of over a 150 mph, and the high risk of a water landing." Somebody needs to give Papa Geissbuhler the official "Best Father of All Time" award, right now.

Check out the rest of the full show below for more stories, including Sprint adding 4G access in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and don't forget to add @BlakeStevenson and RT this message for a chance to win Blake's awesome 404 Halloween poster!


Episode 689

Podcast





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