CNET UK Podcast 119: Goodbye to Steve and LaserDisc

It wasn't hard to pick the top story in this week's discussion: we wondered what would happen to Apple, with Steve Jobs taking some time off. Plus, the demise of lovely LaserDisc

This week on the CNET UK Podcast, Ian, Nate and Rich join forces to discuss the recent technology news from around the world. It wasn't hard to pick the top story: we wondered what would happen to Apple, with Steve Jobs taking some time off to recover from his recently announced illness. Some pundits have argued that the big man will never return. Is that good or bad news?

Then it was on to the sad announcement that Pioneer is halting production of its LaserDisc players. The machines, which read analogue video from a 12-inch disc, had mostly niche appeal in the UK, but in the US and Japan were much more widespread. There's much to love about this format -- for a start it brought digital surround sound into the home cinema. But most of all, we'll miss the comically huge discs, which had a real sense of occasion about them.

With the ongoing economic problems, it's not a surprise that Google has decided to shore up its finances by making a few cuts. It's decided to cull 100 people from its workforce. The company will also cut funding to several of its less successful projects.

We were surprised, however, to hear that girls under the age of consent who share nude photos of themselves with older boyfriends can land themselves and the chaps in hot water. In Pennsylvania this week, two consent-age boys who were found to have naked pictures of underage girls on their phones were charged with possession of child porn. The girls were charged with "manufacturing, disseminating or possessing child pornography".

We also discussed the Windows 7 beta, and were generally positive about it. Particular hits were the new user interface and the apparent speed of the OS on older hardware. All of our test machines have coped surprisingly well with the new operating system, which is a lovely change for a new version of Windows.

In the Crave section, Rich told us about a  Lego digital camera , which got everyone very excited. Meanwhile, Nate gave us a round-up of the new iTunes music store , which is vastly improved now the DRM has been eradicated from most of its music.

In our special feature, we took a few minutes to discuss our highlights from CES 2009, as well as cuss a few of the less impressive technologies that were on display.

Feedback came from tursiops this week, who asked about the iTunes conversion to DRM-free, and had a few choice words about how much it cost. If you'd like to send feedback, you can do so in the CNET UK Podcast lounge or one of our specific sub-forums if you have a product-related query.

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