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The Buzz Report: BlackBerry: National security threat?

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The Buzz Report: BlackBerry: National security threat?

6:13 /

This week on Buzz, the best Clogging the Tubes ever, the end of Google Wave, and big, bad BlackBerry.

Hi, I'm Molly Wood, and welcome to the Buzz Report, the show about the tech news that everyone's talking about. This week, it's a BlackBerry ban, the death of Google Wave, and the best Clogging the Tubes ever. But first, it's the Gadget of the Week. The Gadget of the Week is the BlackBerry Torch. It's BlackBerry's answer to the touch-screen smart phone craze, and it's running the new BlackBerry OS 6, which now offers universal search, a nicer music player, pinch to zoom on the browser, and better social networking integration. If that all sounds familiar, it's because all the competition has had that for a while. Now, as for the hardware, you get a 624 megahertz processor. Not the 1 gigaherz of say, a Droid X or HTC Evo. 8 gigs of total storage, no front-facing camera, a low-resolution screen, and no extra goodies like HDMI out. Oh, and it's only available on AT&T. But hey. Don't knock it. Because the Torch may look pathetically behind the times to iPhone or Android users, but if the most cutting edge phone you've been using is the BlackBerry Bold? This thing is KILLING it. Low bar. Speaking of BlackBerry news, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia announced they will ban the BlackBerry because of national security concerns. In fact, Saudi Arabia said its BlackBerry ban will go into effect well, now, Friday August 6th. The ban includes foreign visitors, who will be able to make calls while in those countries, but they won't be able to use any data services. The UAE and Saudi Arabia say they don't like the fact that BlackBerry data is stored offshore and heavily encrypted, so they can't monitor the data that BlackBerry users are sending. Which ... when they put it that way, it's a pretty good ad for BlackBerry. In other news, Google is discontinuing Google Wave. In a blog post Wednesday, the company said it won't produce Wave as a standalone product anymore, and will instead work on developing things that all the stupid people who don't work at Google can figure out how to use. Big news from AppleInsider this week, which uncovered information this week that suggests the next version of the iPad will include a CAMERA. They uncovered this information in a big file folder marked DUH. Also from the Department of Really? the FBI is asking Wikipedia to remove images of its seal from its pages. The g-men say that unauthorized use of the seal violates federal law. Even though Wikipedia is ... an encyclopedia. Plus, the FBI says people could use Wikipedia's high-res image to use the logo inappropriately or to commit crimes. OR, they could just Google the image and use one of the 254,000 image results that turn up. Why are we even talking about this? Let's talk, instead, about what's clogging the tubes this week. Because ... wow. Antoine Dodson of Huntsville, Alabama saved his sister from a would-be rapist who had climbed in her bedroom window. Then, he gave an angry interview to local television ... which was autotuned into song by the amazing Gregory Brothers. Obviously. And then, not only did the autotune go massively viral, there are now like, 300 or so REMIXES of the bed intruder song. The Internet is a weird place. And we got to thinking, here at Buzz Report, how could we make this oddly inappropriate Internet meme even MORE inappropriate? Oh. Right. Yep. I think we just bought ourselves a window seat to hell. And that's the Buzz Report for this week, everyone. I'm Molly Wood, and thanks for watching.

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