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Tech Culture: CNET Live: April 2, 2009

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Tech Culture: CNET Live: April 2, 2009

31:57 /

CNET's resident cheapskate shares his tech-bargain-hunting secrets.

[ music ] ^M00:00:08 >> Coming up on CNET live, deals, deals, and more deals. >> And CNET's resident cheapskate, Rick Broida [assumed spelling] is gonna join us. >> That's a good deal. Plus I'll tell you how to get hundreds of dollars of Mac software for just forty bucks, and help charity. CNET Live starts now. >> Woohoo! ^M00:00:22 [ music ] ^M00:00:29 >> Hello everybody. >> Well hey. >> Welcome back to it, this is our little clubhouse. >> Reeks of brown liquor in here, but you're not here, so you wouldn't really know. >> I wish you did. >> Or care. I'm Brian Cooley, this is Tom Merritt. >> And that is Brian Tong. >> Happy birthday. >> Happy birthday baby. >> Thank you. >> He just turned twenty one. >> Uh-huh. >> Taking him out for his first brown liquor. >> Yeah, my first drink on the town. >> Can you believe that beautiful young man is thirty years old? >> Oh God. >> Look at you, you're incredible. >> You outed him. >> You're damn right I did. Look at you. >> It's genetics. >> Payback baby. >> Nobody knows how old you are, you're like Dick Clark, you're timeless. >> We're gonna rub his nose in that many times more in the show. But in the meantime, how does it really work here? >> Well how it really works is you pick up your phone, or your VoIP device, and dial 888-900-CNET, 888-900-2638. Jamie will get you set up and in the queue, and we'll try to answer your question the best we can. >> Before we jump into those first questions, let's take a look at a couple of things we crave. ^M00:01:20 [ music ] ^M00:01:26 [ background music ] >> These are some of our favorite things from the Crave blog at crave.cnet.com. Mine is from Echostar. It's actually an upgrade to a product they announced earlier this year. It's the Echostar T2200S. >> Sexy. >> But what's important is that it's a DVR for Dish - >> Yeah. >> - with a built in Slingbox, and cable's true two-way. >> Now we got to explain true two-way really quickly here. >> True two-way is a very hard to pronounce - >> It really is. >> - upgrade to a cable card. >> Okay. >> So it's, a cable card has some limitations. It can't always do the - >> Well it sucks, that's one of them. >> - on demand stuff. >> Yeah. >> It can't do some of the customization stuff that you want from your cable company. True two-way does that. Difference is true two-way is built in - >> Yeah. >> - instead of a card - >> Right, no card. >> - that you get. But the Echostar with the built in true two-way allows you to you know, share your video all around the house very easily. It's got a built in cable modem. >> Yeah. >> Like we said, it's got the built in Slingbox, so whatever mobile phone you have, if it has the Sling player, like the Trio, you can watch video from any of your Echostar true two-way boxes. >> See what I like about this box is it's starting to point the way to the convergence of all these little universes of home entertainment that are finally coming into at least here's one example of a box. >> We are in the Balcanized you know - >> Yeah. >> - pre-Soviet era - >> Completely. >> - of TV and [inaudible]. >> This is the beginning of a new Kremlinized - >> Yeah. >> - technology landscape. >> A nice Soviet model. >> Yet I like it. Terabyte drive too, that's nice. I'm looking at some speaker technology. It's actually coming to market, it's not sci-fi anymore, from Warrick [assumed spelling] University, University of Warrick I should say to be correct. They [inaudible] a company called Warrick Audio. What you see that guy holding there, which looks like a piece of carpet underlayment - >> Or an envelope or something. >> Yeah like nothing, nothing there. That's actually a speaker panel, it's a piece of basically material that moves back and forth in thickness if you will, very microscopically, creating sound. So one of the things they could do with this is make the entire headliner of your car a speaker, or regions of it could become the left and the right, the mid, the tweeter, the woofer. This is really gonna flexibilize the idea of speakers, which today are - >> Did you just make that word up? >> I know, I did, God I hate that. Oh Molly would really hate it. You know, today you put your home theater in, you got these ugly speakers all around that are sticking on the wall. Imagine if they would just be flat part of the wall, or in a picture frame. >> I think one of the ways we get out of this recession is having more companies flexibilize things. >> I agree. [ laughter ] Yeah, okay. >> I'm sorry, that is really cool. >> It's really cool. >> That is pretty, I would like to have that anywhere. >> Yeah, it's great. Yeah, it's real great. >> All right, time for your questions. We'll kick it off with a video question from England. This person speaks better than both of us, really. ^M00:03:55 [ silence ] ^M00:04:04 >> It's Max from England here. I was just wondering if there's a way to connect my Samsung DVD home cinema system, it's an HTX30, to my iMac. I've got it working at the moment, but it's only giving me 2.1 surround sound rather than 5.1. I was wondering if there's any way to connect it using 5.1. I've got an early 2008 iMac. Thanks. >> All right, yeah we could do that for you. In fact I've got a more expensive way, and you've got a cheap way. >> My cheap way is just to get an adapter. Cause on the iMac you have what looks like a mini jack, an analog mini like a headphone connector, but at the very back of it is also an optical lead, a piece of fiber back there, a transducer, it's sending an optical signal. If you have an extra long nose on the connector, it'll get to the optical part and pick that up, and tell the machine I'm getting optical. But you can buy an adapter for like three bucks that goes on a tosslink cable - >> Right. >> - which is a square plug. >> So that would be a pound and a half? >> A pound half, two D16S, I don't know how that goes. >> They got rid of that, all right. Well I've got that tosslink to optical mini adapter that Brian's talking about if we could put that up on the screen so you can see that. It's just a little nubbin thing. >> And that will adapt the tosslink, which is a fiber optic cable that has a little square headed connector on one end, to go into the Mac, which wants to see, what's basically like the little mini connector. >> Or if you don't have a connector already, you buy one of these, it's about seven pounds, ten bucks here in the US. And it will take an optical mini plug at one end - >> Yeah. >> - it'll do what that adapter did - >> Nice, yeah. >> - and then take you right to the tosslink you know, mini jack - >> Yeah. >> - at the other end. >> And it's always cleaner to go without an adapter. >> It's a matter of if you have a cable already - >> Yeah. >> - you might want to get that adapter. >> And then software-wise - >> And then software-wise, we found a great thread at MacRumors.com where a guy, actually several people recommended something called Plex for making sure that you're putting out 5.1 audio - >> That's the key. >> - from whatever you're playing - >> Yeah. >> - whatever video that you're watching. A lot of people really like the Plex media service, so you might want to check that out too. >> And I assume he's gonna be downloading 5.1 surround sound files - >> Right. >> - or creating those. >> Got to keep, or having them - >> We're not talking - >> Maybe he's got them on DVD - >> Right, oh right yeah. >> - something like that, yeah. >> DVD would be a good source for that also. Okay, so we're not talking about synthesizing surround from stereo, we're talking about getting surround to make it to the receiver. Let's go to your phone calls now, the real idea that we're. Let's go to line one. We've got Anthony who's in Michigan, has a hard drive question on his Gateway PC. Hey Anthony, welcome to the show. >> Hi. My question, I've noticed that when both my sister and I have bought new laptops earlier this year that hers is, I can't remember what hers was, but mine's a Gateway. In any case, she had a 120 hard drive, I had a 250, and they're both partitioned exactly in half, hers in that [inaudible] and mine in a whatever it was. And I was wondering if there's a good reason for that, or somebody's just doing something funny there. >> Why do we think they do that? >> We're trying to kick that around. Brian suggested that maybe there's a restore partition on one side, and your system partition on the other. >> I've had machines like that. >> Yeah, a lot of times, the way Linux installs, they make you put several partitions because it's more stable to keep your system separated from your data. So they may be trying to set you up for that in some sort of clunky way. But really, honestly there's not gonna be any major repercussions if you repartition that, and just get rid of that extra partition, and resize that C partition so you got the whole drive on one. >> Yeah, that's what I was wanting to do there. And it's just - >> And you can - >> So I got it, I saw what they did, so I just took off, and relocated all my documents folders over onto the E data drive they set up. >> Yeah. So you know, there's one school of thought that says put OS and software on one partition and documents on the other, but that's really more useful on separate physical drives, for both redundancy and performance. Putting them onto the same drive is a little you know, unlikely to have a performance - >> I think it'd be a little more stable sometimes - >> Yeah. >> - for this or that reason. But certainly if your hard drive crashes, it crashes for both partitions at once. >> Both goes, yeah. >> So you know, you're gonna be done there. I would definitely say if you're gonna resize that partition, don't forget to take anything off that D drive and put it over in the C partition. >> Cause that gets blown out, yeah. >> Because when you resize, you're gonna be getting rid of that partition. And do you have a partition software that you like? >> G Parted. >> Yeah, you use G Parted. That was what I was gonna recommend. >> Okay. >> For anybody else out there that doesn't know G Parted, GParted-livecd.tuxfamily.org will get you to the live CD version. You just boot off that, and you're able to non-destructively resize partitions and move stuff around. It's a really good piece of software. >> All right, let's get one more quickly here about hard drives. On this same theme, Brendan's in Ontario, Canada. We lost his call, he's back in now. Hey Brendan, welcome to CNET Live. >> Hey, how's it going? >> Good, what can we do for you? >> I'm just wondering about replacing an internal hard drive on my laptop. >> How to do it in general? >> Well more or less. Basically I found a hard drive that I'm looking at getting, that comes with a case and everything for an external case, and it's about a hundred bucks and it looks like a good hard drive. So I'm just wondering if I can basically you know, take the new hard drive, put it in the case, plug it in my laptop, copy all my stuff over, and throw it in my laptop with like some form software if that's possible. >> Yeah. >> Should be. >> Absolutely. When I buy cases, I buy them from a place called drive solutions, and they inevitably bundle in this easy hard drive creator software, I can't remember, it's the Easy Gig or something. >> A bit by bit thing? >> And it's a bit for bit copier. >> Yeah. >> So it will take everything on your hard drive and bit by bit copy it onto the new drive. So you just need to find something like that. G Parted will work for that actually, a lot of people use that. There's also Clonezilla out there, I'll put links to all these in the show notes at blog.cnettv.com. And I'll even, there's a little how-to written up by Squidward Tentacles on how to clone your hard drive using G Parted. ^M00:10:01 But if you look around - >> Yeah. >> - there's lots of great cloning software out there if you want to spend some money. >> Right. >> But lots of free ones too. >> All right, thank you very much. >> Okay, thanks Brendan. >> All right, coming up CNET's resident cheapskate Rick Broida has some bargain finding advice for us. But first, let's find some cell phones at CTIA, the big mobile phone show. It's underway in Las Vegas this week, and actually it's not cell phones that are the big deal, it's applications for your cell phone. One of the first announcements, Skype for the iPhone, take a look. ^M00:10:28 [ music ] ^M00:10:35 >> Hi, this is Jessica Dulcort from cnetdownload.com, coming to you from CTIA 2009, with a first look at the much anticipated Skype for iPhone. Now this is an iPhone client that looks a lot like a lot of iPhone applications. It has basic core Skype abilities to view your contacts, to chat, to place and receive phone calls, to view your history, and then to go into your iPhone, and we'll quickly take a look. In the contact window you do have the ability to view all of your contacts, filter alphabetically, or by seeing who is online at the moment. In the chats window you can also filter by all of your messages or just the new incoming messages. You'll have a dial pad to place your call, but this is really neat. The application also integrates with your iPhone Andros book, so pressing a button brings up all of your addresses. Unfortunately right now with Skype for iPhone you can only accept one incoming call at a time. In the history window you will see a history of all of your chats and all of your calls. You can filter by all of them, or just the calls you missed. Finally, in the my info tab you can check and update your status, edit your profile, and click links that will take you to a Safari browser page where you can buy more Skype credit, listen to your Skype voicemail, etcetera. Another all new iPhone feature is being able to actually change your avatar image by pressing this camera button here. You can take a new photo, or you can choose an existing photo from your phone's camera roll. [ background music ] That's your first look at Skype for iPhone, I'm Jessica Dulcort. ^M00:12:06 [ music ] ^M00:12:10 >> Okay folks, speaking of Skype in fact, our guest today joins us all the way from Commerce, Michigan via Skype. Say hello to the cheapskate, Rick Broida, author of CNET's Cheapskate blog. Hello Rick. >> Hi guys, how you doing? >> Good. You're one of our favorite guys around here cause you have the most amazing, uncanny ability to ferret out deals like a hog ferrets out truffles. I mean rooting around - >> Did you just call him a pig? >> Not entirely, no. [ laughter ] >> I'm a fan of your work too Brian, Tom I'm not really familiar with yours. >> That'll learn you. >> And he's the one that called you a pig. >> That's it, you see? I know how to work the psychology of this guy. >> Yeah, I don't know how this works. >> Yeah, see? Now let me ask you something Rick. You know, you have all these great deals, we've talked about a lot of them here on CNET Live over the months. But what one, if you can think of one, off the top of your head, was the deal that made you feel the most heroic? >> Top of my head, gosh. I think the best deal I've seen within the last few months was an HP quad-core gaming desktop that was on sale for a little over six hundred bucks, and that was about 50% less than the price that it was selling elsewhere. And that was a very popular deal. And I have to, I actually picked up one of those myself, which it's a miracle for me to open up the purse, but I did it on that one. >> Well yeah, if you bought everything you recommend, you'd be backrupt. >> [inaudible] cheapskate. >> I guess that would make you have to be a cheapskate more. But yeah, you I mean - >> I'd be bankrupt and I'd be divorced. >> I mean he's the Jack Benny of CNET. Now let me ask you, what motivates you on this? I mean what is it that makes you love to find this stuff? Cause you obviously have to spend a lot of legwork looking for these deals. >> I do. I'm not sure what it is. At the risk of sounding unmanly, I just, whenever I find a deal that's you know, something that's cheaper than I've ever seen it before, I just get a little tingly. And when I'm able to post it and share it with the world, I honestly, I get a little rush from it. I know it's crazy. >> That's not unmanly. That plant behind you is unmanly, but that's not unmanly at all, no. >> So it's spider sense you're saying, you just seize them out. >> Yeah, yeah. >> What's the, what are some tips for people? I mean obviously go to the cheapskate blog, that is the best place to just keep on top of all this stuff. But when people are in between your posts and they're looking for deals, what are some tips for finding them? >> Well you know, there's lots of sites out there that aggregates deals. A couple of my favorites are, there's one called Deals to Buy, and another is Dealnews.com. And I do, I have to say I really like Deal News because they kind of let you know a little bit about the product, in much the same way that I do, but you know, not with the same charm and wit. But they give you a little history, like this is the best deal we've found by sixteen bucks, or something like that. So that's a great resource too. If you were to be giving someone advice on when to buy products, is there an answer to that? People ask us a lot, when's the best time to buy a TV or to buy you know, any of the big ticket stuff, a computer, or even the smaller stuff. Is there a season for most of these products? >> You know, there's really not. Obviously you know, Black Friday and even Cyber Black Purple Monday, I forget what it's called. >> Yeah. >> You know, those times around Thanksgiving are popular, but as for the rest of the time, it's just you know, you got to just kind of keep your eyes and your ears open. There's nothing really seasonal about TVs or PCs or electronics. You just really have to kind of go out there and do your homework. >> Now when you see a deal, how often is it a really short limited time? I think a lot of folks will see your blog and say oh this was posted ten, twelve, twenty four hours ago, I be they're all sold out. What would you say, if you could guess, is the average shelf life of these great deals you find? >> Yeah, you know, that's actually been an issue that's come up quite a few times, where I'll post something, and then hours later it's already gone, it's sold out, or you know, the vendor has taken the deal down. And you know, that gets a little frustrating for me and for readers. But you know, unfortunately there's not a lot of control over that. There's just some items that are around for a few days, or even a few weeks. But a lot of this stuff goes pretty quickly. So if you see something that you like, I would say don't hesitate, jump on it before it's gone. >> Tales [assumed spelling] in our chat room has an interesting question. He's wondering if you've ever gotten scammed, which makes me wonder. Like you must have some really good tips for people to avoid those too good to be true deals, cause those are all over the place. >> Yeah, that's true. I mean there are definitely some deals that are like that. I make a very concerted effort to make sure that everything that I post, that I've checked and make sure that it's, to make sure that it's legitimate. But obviously you know, if something sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is. And you know, a lot of people tell you to stay away from rebates for example. And you know what? I've done a lot of rebates over the years, and I have never had a problem. But I know plenty of people who have. And so if you're a little gun shy about you know, your final out the door price having to wait on a rebate, then you know, skip that deal and wait for the next one. >> Hey Rick, I want to ask you about a product in particular. It's kind of a hot button in our tech community. It's not all that high tech, it's called the Magic Jack. And if you go Google this thing, you find equal numbers of results from people who are posting I love it, and attorney generals posting we're going after it. Where does this thing fall? Is it good or not? I think you've used it, right? >> I do, I have used it. I'm a fan of it. The Magic Jack is a little USB gizmo, oh I've got one right here. >> You've got yours, good. >> It plugs into a USB port, then you plug a phone into it, and you pick it up, and boom you've got a dial tone. And what's obviously most attractive about it is that for forty bucks you get the gizmo, and a year of unlimited local and long distance calling. After that year it's twenty bucks a year. So it is dirt cheap. It works with any phone that you can plug into any ordinary phone jack. Now that being said, lots of people have reported having problems with the service, especially with the customer service for the company. You know, this is not meant to be your primary telephone, it's a great secondary telephone though. If you have kids in the house who want their own line, it does involve leaving a computer on whenever you want to make or take a call. >> Yeah. >> But man oh man, is that some cheap calling right there. >> Yeah that is. >> So it's VoIP in the - >> It's a super simple VoIP. >> - embedded in the firmware, right? >> Yeah. >> Is that how that works? >> The software, yeah, is right in the firmware, so it's very plug and play. There's nothing to install anywhere. I mean you could even take it on the road with you and plug it into a laptop from a hotel for cheap calls that way. It's pretty cool. >> Yeah, kind of a controversial project, but interesting to see that you have that product, but you've had good luck with it. >> Yeah, the hotel internet rates are higher than what you pay for the calls. >> Right, yeah so you will pay more that way. Good stuff, all right. Well as you go look on, and we let you go to look for your next deals, how many do you think are going to be getting better or worse in this crummy economy. Are there gonna be better deals coming, as retailers try to get more stuff moving, or are they saying look, if we don't make money on this stuff, there's no point in selling it anyway. So keep the prices fairly stable. What are you finding out there? >> You know what? There's always a good deal around the corner. You know, what has happened time and again is that I'll post something, and then a week later I'll find that it's ten bucks less, fifteen bucks less. I've almost never seen anything go up in price, so you know, we're lucky in that we you know, we live in a time when even when the economy is taking, it seems like a lot of electronic goodies are getting more affordable than ever. So you know, if it's not at the price that you're looking for now, wait, wait a few weeks, wait a month, and I almost guarantee you'll see a drop. >> And follow the cheapskate blog so you'll know when it's up. >> Absolutely. >> Absolutely. >> Where can they easily get to the cheapskate blog from? >> That's news.com/cheapskate. >> Love it. Okay, that's CNET's news.com/cheapskate. Rick Broida, thanks so much for joining us. >> Yeah thanks Rick, it's great to have you. >> Thank you guys. >> Appreciate having you on board. Rick Broida, one of our heroes for deals. Have you bought any of the stuff from his blog? >> Oh yeah. >> I've bought a couple things. >> No, I've bought a handful of things. >> Yeah, I bought that - >> In fact I try to stay away from the things that he recommends. >> Yeah, I tell you - >> - overdo it. >> It's good stuff there, I've never had a problem with any of his deals, you know, so far so good. All right, good stuff. >> All right, time to take a quick break, but we will be back with the download of the week that's in the spirit of the cheapskate, help save you some money on Mac software. Stick with us. ^M00:20:10 [ music ] ^M00:20:15 >> Watch every game from the NCAA championship live online for free, with NCAA March Madness on Demand. But please, use with caution. ^M00:20:25 [ music ] ^M00:20:42 >> When the biggest stars meet the biggest laughs, they come to Dave. [ laughter ] The Late Show with David Letterman. >> Why are we laughing? >> I'm not sure. >> Weeknights on CBS. [ music ] >> Okay, we're back to CNET Live, keep those calls coming. >> I just feel like saving some money. >> We don't do this enough on the show I think. >> Call now. >> People don't, nobody hates this - >> And we can end this pledge drive. >> 888, oh no you go on. >> You go, please. >> 888-900-2638. >> 888-900-CNET. >> Yeah, see? Team effort. All right, first though it is time for the Download of the Week. ^M00:21:19 [ music ] ^M00:21:24 Download of the Week is brought to you by our good friends at CNET's Download.com, purveyors of spyware free free software, and this one - >> Is my screen, okay. >> Is that your screen, this is my screen. >> There we go. >> React OS. Now I have to say right off the top, this is not ready for every day use. >> Says alpha on the screen. >> Yeah, this is an alpha version of software, but it's so cool, I had to bring it up. >> Okay. >> It's eleven years in the making. These guys want to build from the ground up a replacement for Windows. And I'm not talking about a Linux replacement, this is Windows, this runs Windows software on Windows compatible hardware. And as you can see, it's got the React OS explorer, where you can move around and look at the things on your hard drive. It's got a solitaire game, you see it's got my computer, my documents, my network. This is a total attempt to say if you want to transition to a free operating system, and Linux doesn't quite do it for you - >> Yeah. >> - we want to build the replacement that doesn't infringe on intellectual property in any way. >> So I see a lot of the same lower toolbar stuff, I see a start button, I see the same - >> Yeah it's [inaudible]. >> Oh, okay. So this is for the person who wants to stay in the Windows look and feel - >> Right. >> - but not spend any money. >> And right now it's in alpha. They say you know what? Nobody's gonna use this every day yet, but what they're looking for is developers. So if you like to work on this kind of stuff - >> Yeah. >> - or you know somebody who does, it's a really cool system to try to give people an option, a free option to run Windows software. And you can install Windows software. I installed the Windows version of Open Office in here, I tried, not everything works cause it's in alpha. >> Yeah. >> I tried to put our call screening software, which is like Windows 98 - >> Yeah. >> - it didn't install, it had some problems. So you know, it comes and goes. >> You would assume this drives Microsoft up the wall. Because there are a lot of folks - >> It does - >> This enters the pirate side of the world. >> It might drive them up a wall eventually. Right now they don't care. >> But the - >> If it ever - >> Pirated copies of Windows out there - >> Yeah. >> - that audience might say oh React, let's go there. >> If it ever gets traction, and it gets out into beta - >> It could be. >> - which it's getting close - >> Yeah. >> - it's a couple versions away from beta, then Microsoft will start to pay attention. But there's no intellectual property thing here, because they built it from the ground up. >> Yeah, not reverse engineering, ground up engineering. >> So they might try to say it's reverse engineering, but it'd be hard to prove from what I can tell. >> Yeah, interesting stuff. >> Anyway I've got, we got a double shot for you today. >> Oh look at this. >> Don't forget about macheist.com if you're a Mac user. This is something they do every so often. >> This is great. >> The way it works is they bundle in twelve programs from independent software developers, and you get them for thirty nine bucks. 25% of the money goes to charity. So you've got cool stuff here, like Phone View, which turns your iPhone into a hard drive, Wire Tap Studio, which can take any audio whether it's coming from outside your computer, or it's coming on Skype, or iTunes - >> Yeah, really handy. >> - and record it. >> Just intercepts it on the audio bus. >> Acorn, a photo editor. And as you can see, some of these are locked. You can download all of them when you pay the thirty nine dollars, but you don't get the license codes for registration until they raise a certain amount of money. So they've raised enough money that nine of them are unlocked, if you buy it right now you'll at least get nine of them, and the more people buy them, the more of these that get unlocked. >> So you may get additional license keys after you buy in. >> Yeah, that's right. >> Okay, that's very nice. And by the way, and this threw me for a minute, the 25% on the left side is not a discount, that's how much goes to charity. >> Yeah, that's how - >> The price is just thirty nine bucks. >> You actually get to choose your charity. >> Oh really? >> They have ten charities to choose from, or you can split it up amongst all ten. >> That's important. BT what do you think about that? You've used some of this stuff. >> Yeah, the main thing about this is that when Tom showed me the deal, I've owned three of these apps before this package even came out. >> And you paid way more than this for any one of them probably. >> These are usable applications. The Phone View, the what is it, the Wire Tap Studio, I use that all the time. And even the eBay program which makes, if you're an eBay person publishing eBay auctions really easily. >> Yeah. >> I mean this is kind of a no brainer. >> Nice stuff. >> So Macheist.com for the bundle, and I'll put the link in the show notes at blog.cnettv.com. >> That's good eating. Okay, let's get to some phone calls now. I want to jump in here and talk to Bob, he's in Brooklyn. Been waiting patiently with a question that to be honest, we've never had before. Hello Bob, welcome to CNET Live. >> Yeah how are you? Would you be able to recommend a device that can repair a large number of scratched CD's? >> How deep are the scratches? Like if you run your fingernail over them, does it catch? Or does it not really catch in the scratch? >> most of them don't catch, most of them are just superficial - >> Okay. >> - from just lying around. >> Okay. >> But some of them do catch. >> All right, so this is where you're lucky. Because if they can catch your fingernail, it's a pretty good rule of thumb that you've got too deep a scratch. They do make these things that you kind of put a CD in and it has a little polish, and it goes whoo, and it smoothes it out. BT, you've used one of these? >> Yeah, I mean you've seen these a lot in like the video game shops where it kind of buffs it out and then you polish it to kind of smooth out the surface. But those aren't as effective. You talked about some industrial stuff that you might use? >> Yeah, you might go to the auto parts place and look for a material that they use, a polish that they'll sell you. Tell them you've got fogged plexiglass headlamp covers, cause a lot of the cars in the eighties had plastic head lamp covers and they got fogged over time. They make great polishes now that'll take that real clear. I have great luck with that on CD's. >> So what is it called? Plexiglass - >> Yeah, just say you need head lamp polish, they'll know what it is. Go to the auto parts place and tell them you got to polish up your plastic headlights, and they'll give you this really super fine liquid polish. You just get a soft cloth and just buff it out like you're polishing your car. That's worked well for me. >> Okay, thanks a lot. >> All right, you bet. Good luck. Let's go to Adrian, Texas. This can be really, really frustrating. Adrian, welcome to CNET Live. >> Hey guys, how are you? >> Good. What's your issue here? >> I have an HP Slimline PC that I'm working on for a friend. It's getting no video out. I've removed all the components and installed them in one of my PC's, they're all functional. I've put my components in his case, there is still no video out. Is that a motherboard issue? Or where should I go? >> What are you connected to? A card or integrated graphics on the motherboard. >> On the motherboard it's connected to the integrated graphics. >> Okay. >> Nothing. I installed a backup video card that I have - >> Yeah. >> - and it's still getting nothing out. >> That's weird. Have you, can you at least get a BIOS screen? Or you never get video at all. >> Nothing at all. When I plug any monitor into it, the little RGB display on the monitor disappears. >> Where do you start with this, unless he's got a bad VGA physical connector is all I can think of. I mean how do you begin to diagnose something when you can't get a monitor up. >> I mean yeah, I mean if you've tried both video cards that are in there, and you've tried extra video cards - >> Yeah. >> - and it still just won't send out video, there's something wrong inside of the processor - >> Yeah. >> - from what I can tell. >> That's really odd. Because I mean you can't bootstrap beyond having no monitor. What do you do? You can't even get to BIOS to make sure that your integrated graphics are enabled, cause that's one of the things I'd asked first is maybe you've got integrated graphics turned off. >> You don't even see the BIOS screen when you boot up? >> Nothing. >> It's like, what do you do? >> Yeah, there might be a bad connector in there as well. >> Yeah, look at your VGA connector, and make sure none of the pins are broken off or shorting. But you'd know that when you plugged in, you probably wouldn't get the connector in. >> Although when you put in a new video card you get a new connector. >> Oh right, he's tried the other cards. You might want to start checking out Rick Broida's cheapskate blog for a new computer. >> A new computer. Have you tried a different monitor? >> Oh yeah. >> Oh yeah. >> I've tried three actually. >> Okay, three okay. >> Yeah, well you just got a boat anchor, so get your hard drive out of there and go shopping for a PC tonight. >> All right - >> I mean seriously, I don't know what else to do. >> Yeah, other than taking the motherboard out and putting it in a whole other box. >> Oh that's fun, yeah. >> And just see - >> That's a fun weekend. >> Yeah, I don't think it's worth it. >> Okay, you want to do a last call? >> Sure. >> Let's do it. >> Oh well, we only have one, let's do that. >> There we go. Let's go to Keith, San Diego. Hey Keith, you're the last call. >> All right guys, well I'll make it quick and right to the point. I've got a Blackberry Curve, and I keep a lot of sensitive information on it. I keep it all in the password section of my Blackberry Curve, so there's the pass code to get into that, and I also have another pass code just to basically open up my Blackberry. >> Yeah. >> But assuming that my information goes onto my sim card and not the internal memory of the Blackberry Curve, could somebody basically bypass all these security options by popping out my sim card, putting it into another Blackberry and saying oh, there's ten thousand pass codes. >> That's interesting, I don't know how that works. >> I don't know how Blackberry handles its sim cards. >> Yeah. >> But my, without knowing any more, I would guess yes, they could. Because you know, that's just the safest assumption. >> That's the safest assumption, yeah. >> That they're not complexly encrypting, because most people don't. >> Yeah. >> Most companies just don't encrypt unless they really have to, and that's not something where most of their users are going to be taking sim cards and putting them out, or you don't hear about sim cards getting stolen a lot. So they're probably not, it's not worth the effort for them to do it. >> Yeah. >> That's totally a guess. >> That's the safe hunch. Let me ask you this. Can you set your Blackberry up so that the contacts don't go to the sim card, that they stay in the system, and memory instead. Is there a kind of an option for that? >> I think I could probably do that, the only problem is that there's limited internal memory size. >> Yeah, all right. >> So obviously went with the two gig of MySpace, FaceBook, and every other pass code you can imagine. >> You have that much in this pass code library? That's a lot, wow. Yeah, I use a program called Splash ID, which is good on the Blackberry and on the Bold, but what isn't. So you might want to try that if you're looking for a third party. ^M00:30:39 Go research it, Splash ID will encrypt the card based information. It's a pretty powerful program. It's not free though, I think it's twenty, thirty bucks. >> Yeah, I found a few - >> - than losing all my info. >> Yeah, I like Splash ID, it's pretty good. >> I found a few programs just searching around online that promise to encrypt your sim card. >> Okay. >> So you might just do a search around. I haven't used any of them so. >> So try that. All right, so good luck with that, and thanks a lot for the call. And that is the last call for this week. >> All right, that's it for this week. Happy birthday once again to Brian Tong. >> Thank you very much, I appreciate it. >> And speaking of birthdays - >> Thirty year old man climbing around the rafters of our building. Don't you love that? >> I know. >> Soon they'll be fifty, back will be creaking. >> They'll ask him, have you climbed around rafters a lot in your life? Cause we're showing wear - >> There'll be a pre-existing condition waiver in your insurance, it'll get really messy. >> Next week we're gonna mark our own birthday for CNET Live, the second anniversary. >> Who could believe it? >> So join us Thursday next week, four pm eastern. >> That's one o'clock Pacific. >> Oh yeah, that's like - >> And thirty one years old you. >> - seven am, seven am Australian time. >> Already the memory goes. >> I was looking it up. >> Sad how quickly it happens. ^M00:31:42 [ music ]

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