The 404 749: Where we trust rodents more than meteorologists (podcast)

Something ain't right about Punxsutawney Phil's prediction this year, so today's episode of CNET's The 404 Podcast is spent ripping apart the little marmot in lieu of our own Staten Island Chuck. We also chat about The Daily, the dangers of cloud-based storage, and more!


Staten Island Chuck prepares to fight in the shade Death and Taxes

Every year the citizens of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania gather around a small hut in Gobbler's Knob (pause) to witness a 100-year old marmot predict the future, and this year it looks like Spring is on its way. Old Phil may be losing his eyesight, because we also happen to be in the middle of the largest storm in the last few decades, according to a less-credible operation called NASA.

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Maybe we should shift our focus to a closer weather-predicting rodent at the Staten Island Zoo, Mr. Charles G. Hogg aka Staten Island Chuck, who has accurately predicted winter weather 23 out of the last 30 years.

Still don't trust him? What if we told you that Staten Island Chuck has a Facebook page AND lives in a wireless log cabin adorned with solar-powered weather station panels that allows him to make daily weather predictions using renewable energy from the sun? It's not a joke, this guy is legit.

We can make fun of Groundhog's Day for the next 364 days, but let's move onto our next story about an unfortunate photographer in Zurich who lost over 4,000 puppy photos thanks to a Flickr fumble that accidentally mixed up his account with another scheduled for deletion.

To make up for it, the Yahoo-owned photo uploading service generously offered four years of a Pro account for free, worth about a hundred bucks- sounds fair. Think about this story the next time you can't find the time to back up your data to a physical storage drive.

We also suggest backing up your back ups to a disaster-proof drive, but the truly paranoid should also load their precious data on hidden thumb drives around the office for extra security.

Finally, the big tech story of the day is News Corp. and Apple's latest publication generated specifically for the iPad called The Daily . It's a modern news brand that Apple and News Corp. call the first "all media product" and includes highly interactive and curated text articles, photos, and videos, not to mention text-to-speech audio clips of selected stories.

Unlike most of the news sites on the web , however, The Daily won't be available for free. The publication introduces a new pricing model that costs $0.99 a week or $39.99 for the year. The subscription also includes access to the Web version and users can share articles for free on Facebook and Twitter.

The 404 is truly the Paris Hilton of the Web, so we happen to know the Technology Editor at The Daily. We're hoping Peter Ha can join us on Friday's show to tell us more about the publication, so check our Twitter for the latest updates!


Episode 749

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