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Tech Culture: CNET Live: November 29, 2007
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Tech Culture: CNET Live: November 29, 2007

30:43 /

Tom and Brian open a box full of hot, new Japanese gadgets.

[ Music ] ^M00:00:10 >> Tom Merritt: Coming up on CNET Live, the key to unlocking your cell phone. >> Brian Cooley: And here's a fun one: the biggest, fattest laptop possible. >> Tom Merritt: Actually, we kind of have 2 of those. And The Box. ^M00:00:22 [ Music ] ^M00:00:31 >> Brian Cooley: Welcome to CNET Live everybody. Back with your dream team for the first time in a month? >> Tom Merritt: Oh really? Who's that? >> Brian Cooley: [ Laughter ] So, Tom and I are back together for the first time in an age and happy to be back with you. >> Tom Merritt: Other than the Holiday Help Desk. >> Brian Cooley: That's right, which was... >> Tom Merritt: I haven't seen you since October. >> Brian Cooley: That was about 30 shows in a row in one day. And if you were one of our viewers or listeners there, thank you so much. It's good to be back here on CNET Live, where the phone number is 888-900-CNET. You know how we do it. Phones are open. You call, we answer. >> Tom Merritt: Sheryl [assumed spelling] actually answers first and once she picks up the phone, gets you all lined up, and we have you on the show. >> Brian Cooley: Okay, you know how we start things off though. Before we get to your calls, get the juices flowing with a couple of Things We Crave. ^M00:01:09 [ Music ] ^M00:01:11 >> Tom Merritt: These are a few of our favorite things from the Crave blog at www.crave.cnet.com. Sometimes I like to do practical things that I crave. >> Brian Cooley: Yeah. Once in a blue moon. >> Tom Merritt: Well this one today is more of a thing I crave understanding about. NEC's portable desktop. >> Brian Cooley: What is that? What is it? What is it? It's huge. >> Tom Merritt: It's an all-in-one desktop machine, kind of like an iMac. >> Brian Cooley: Yeah? >> Tom Merritt: And then you fold it up, and it has a handle, you can carry it around. >> Brian Cooley: Now why would I do that? Gotcha. >> Tom Merritt: Yeah. >> Brian Cooley: I knew it. Gotcha. >> Tom Merritt: I'm not exactly sure. >> Brian Cooley: It's a big ole 17 inch monitor. >> Tom Merritt: I mean every reason -- we actually looked at this before the show. Every reason I could come up with was "Why you would want this?" >> Brian Cooley: Yeah. >> Tom Merritt: You could do with a laptop. >> Brian Cooley: Right. >> Tom Merritt: It's got a 17 inch screen, like you just said. >> Brian Cooley: You just said. >> Tom Merritt: It's got 4 gigabytes of memory. >> Brian Cooley: It can do that. >> Tom Merritt: It's got a Turion dual-core processor. >> Brian Cooley: Yeah, you could do that. >> Tom Merritt: 200 hundred gigabyte hard drive and a dual layer DVD Player. >> Brian Cooley: But, a typical laptop does not have one of these ADA compliant grab handles. That's the difference. >> Tom Merritt: That's true. That's true. >> Brian Cooley: So I guess that's why it exists. >> Tom Merritt: Whole different ball of wax. What do you crave today? >> Brian Cooley: I crave a product that is on the way they tell us: the GPS-enabled digital camera. This is a Ricoh that you can stick a GPS card in. That's not the idea. This is -- the prediction that there's a whole new generation of GPS cameras coming, so whenever you take a shot, as part of that data that is encoded with the picture -- what is that XIF they call it? >> Tom Merritt: Well yeah. Kind of like the date that you have now. >> Brian Cooley: Yeah. But a whole lot more. Not just the exposure and all that but your coordinates which is great if you're traveling. You take a whole slew of photos and let's face it; little towns in Europe all start to look alike after awhile. >> Tom Merritt: At least their cathedrals do. >> Brian Cooley: And you've forgotten them, as it says in the piece here. All those cathedrals look alike after awhile. Which one was that? And this would solve that for you. I think it's a very cool idea. >> Tom Merritt: So basically you just take that and build it in. >> Brian Cooley: Just build it in. >> Tom Merritt: And when you buy your camera, it would have it. >> Brian Cooley: Yeah, and then you'd be able to reveal your coordinates. >> Tom Merritt: Privacy concern? >> Brian Cooley: Oh sure, especially if you're sharing on one of the major sites. >> Tom Merritt: Yeah, if you're putting it up on the web and then people are like "Oh, that's your house." >> Brian Cooley: Yeah, but what a great way to lay this over Google Maps to you're My Google Maps and have your photos automatically distribute across a map. That's pretty hot. >> Tom Merritt: 888-900-CNET is the number, give us a ring. Give us a call. I hope you're not all called out from the Holiday Help Desk? >> Brian Cooley: No, obviously Roberto's not. He's in Portland, Oregon. He's got a TiVo question for us. Roberto, welcome to CNET Live. >> Roberto: Hi, thank you for having me again. I got cut off last Friday during the Holiday Help Desk. It was one of those -- I turned on the microwave to heat some leftovers at the same time as I had you on the phone... >> Oh, yep. >> Roberto: And all of a sudden the radiation must have done something, so. Sorry about that. >> Brian Cooley: That's the old lesson we always tell you around here. Never get leftover lasagna... >> Roberto: Okay, 2 questions. It wasn't just for the Wii that I was calling. >> Yep. >> Roberto: So my question is, the TiVo HD -- I have a currently a standard TiVo and I am now came into position of a HDTV ready TV. So it's an older model but it doesn't come with the built in HD receiver. >> That's right. >> Roberto: So what I want to do is get a combination box that has both the HD over the air receiver, and it's able to also record. We don't have cable. I'm not interested in having cable. I was wondering if the TiVo HD can be used for strictly over the air HD transmissions or do I have to have cable service? >> Brian Cooley: Ladies and gentlemen, Tom Merritt. >> Tom Merritt: Yes, yes. The answer is yes you can. Basically yeah, the HD TiVo comes with 2 over the air tuners in it as well as all of its cable controllers. So it has a digital tuner so you can get all the over the air HD broadcasts. It also has a regular old analog tuner that will still be good for a couple more years. >> Brian Cooley: Yep. >> Tom Merritt: So you can get the stuff that isn't broadcast in digital yet, although you should at this point be getting almost everything in digital as well as analog. But, you've got dual tuners in both of those plus your cable card tuner as well. So you should be good to go. >> Brian Cooley: Yes, so an HD TiVo, that will be a little hot rod box there to really get you covered now and for the future. So good luck with that Roberto, I hope that work's out. 888-900-CNET. Lee is in Minnesota. Question about upgrading a video card. This can always be a little dicey. Hello Lee. >> Lee: Hi there. >> Brian Cooley: What's on your mind? >> Lee: I just bought a laptop on Black Friday, and I need a better video card in it to run a couple of the games that I was planning on running. Is it possible to do that or how would I go about doing that? >> Brian Cooley: Usually not, right Tom? >> Tom Merritt: You know? I cut out. >> Brian Cooley: Video card in a laptop's usually soldered down right? >> Tom Merritt: Oh yeah. You can get an external. That would be your option. If it's something that runs through a PC card or a USB device and you can run video that way, but if you're really looking to upgrade, generally you're not going to get a whole lot more because of the throttling of the... >> Brian Cooley: The interface, yeah. >> Tom Merritt: Of running through that interface. You're not going to get a lot of big speed upgrades. >> Brian Cooley: I imagine his VC card's a little more useful than USB? >> Tom Merritt: Should be, yeah. I mean what these are generally used for is putting a tuner adapter on your laptop. >> Brian Cooley: Oh okay, okay. >> Tom Merritt: It's that kind of video card they... >> Brian Cooley: So more function, not higher function? >> Tom Merritt: Yeah, I haven't heard -- I don't know. You heard of any... >> Brian Cooley: No, I don't, I don't tinker around with laptop performance that much. I always think of a laptop as being a little more limited and fixed box. You know, I've upgraded lots of video cards in desktops, but I can't really tell you -- but yeah, they do exist as external devices but as Tom mentions, they're usually about giving you different functionality, not super hot-rod, polygons and shading and all that. So... >> Tom Merritt: Well now does your laptop have an integrated graphics card or does it have a, a separate graphics card in the laptop? >> Lee: That I'm not sure on. It's the mobile chip set or something I believe it said? So I'm not 100 percent sure on what I have for a graphics card. >> Brian Cooley: Yeah, look up your specs. If it says something like "integrated graphics" or anything Intel as the graphics chip, it's built in. It's soldered down and you're not going to be able to upgrade that. Alright, thanks for the call there Lee. We appreciate it. More of your calls coming up at 888-900-CNET and you know, sometimes I think "Life is like a box of weird gadgets from Japan." We'll show you what's inside that box in just a minute. >> Tom Merritt: I can not wait to get my hands in there, but first. It's big. It's heavy, has an extra keypad and LCD display, plus flashing strobe lights. >> Brian Cooley: Yikes. >> Tom Merritt: Who are we talking about? It's not a person. It's a what? And it's an Editors' Choice. Take a look. ^M00:07:10 [ Music ] ^M00:07:21 >> Dan Ackerman: I'm Dan Ackerman, Senior Editor at www.cnet.com and we are taking a look at an Editors' Choice. It's the Dell XPS M1730. It's the latest 17 inch gaming laptop from Dell's high end XPF line. Like any 17 inch gaming laptop worth its salt, this guy's kind of big and bulky. It's actually got a subtle gray and black pattern to it, which is a nice point of differentiation from the other big laptop gaming brands you're probably looking at, which is Alienware also of course owned by Dell. And laptops on both brands both offer SLI graphics, that's 2 graphics chips. And all the latest Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme processors. Some of the things Dell has done to upgrade this guy from the previous 17 inch XPS model, is they've added a separate number pad. The older version just had the keyboard. It's also got this cool little LCD panel right here which can display the time, how hard your CPU is working, and information for music and games. There's also an optional Blu-ray drive so there's a DVI output if your TV has HDMI and adapter comes with that and will plug into that as well. And a word of warning, if you're planning on taking this guy with you, it has a honking huge power brick worthy of an Xbox 360 so make sure you have enough room in your laptop bag for this guy. And of course it wouldn't be an XPF laptop without flashing strobe lights. And this guy's got them on the back of the lid, the touch pad, and the speaker grills. So let's kill the lights and check them out. I'm Dan Ackerman and that's the XPS M1730. ^M00:08:43 [ Music ] ^M00:08:47 >> Brian Cooley: [ Laughter ] Right. Unload the box. So... >> Tom Merritt: Look at all this stuff. >> Brian Cooley: What was in the box? This was in the box. This is an array of cool toys... >> Tom Merritt: And what is it? >> Brian Cooley: From www.Dynamism.com. These are the guys that do all that cool gray market gear from Asia and Japan that you can't really buy here: at least not legitimately. But you can get it through them. And you have the coolest stuff on the block because your friends almost certainly won't have this stuff. Right? >> Tom Merritt: Yeah like the namaz tag. Obviously this has been around for awhile, but this is a new one. If you can see right there, it's got a little belly button now. >> Brian Cooley: Yeah. >> Tom Merritt: So it can actually hear you. It's not just syncing wirelessly. What this will do is sync wirelessly and you know, get your email and everything over Bluetooth. But now you can get it with voice commands as well. These ears will actually hear you. >> Brian Cooley: Yeah, these ears is made for listening. Let me show you this guy here. This looks like, like what? Like a mouse of some kind, right? It's a Sony Vaio Internet Telephone Skype mouse. Let me take it out and show it to you. So you've got this little cord here. >> Tom Merritt: Not bad. >> Brian Cooley: Here's the mouse, right? So you're got that on the table , you run around here, ya ya ya, rolly scrolly. And then you get a call on Skype "Hello Moto." >> Tom Merritt: It's not just a mouse. >> Brian Cooley: You open this up when you chat and then when you're done, close it back up. Get back to work. That's crazy. This is only $99. Goes into the USB jacket again. Skype certified. >> Tom Merritt: This one's kind of cool actually. It's a little music player from Panasonic. It has a FM tuner on it and it looks, you know -- it just looks like a little Nano knock-off. But they claim there is sound reduction in the player. >> Brian Cooley: Oh noise canceling. >> Tom Merritt: So that if you -- it doesn't matter what headphones you use. You'll get the noise canceling from it. And there's also claimed an 80 hour battery life. >> Brian Cooley: That's enormous. >> Tom Merritt: Dynamism says they were actually able to get 60 hours out of theirs. >> Brian Cooley: That's still good. I like that because when the noise cancellation's built into your headphones, they get bulky. I'd like to have it in there instead. >> Tom Merritt: Totally. >> Brian Cooley: Alright. We've got a bunch UMPC fans in the audience. >> Tom Merritt: Oh yeah, look at this. Look at this, we've got... >> Brian Cooley: Look how many we've got here. This guy here is called the Everun from Raon. These start at 800 bucks and go up from there. This one has a 6 gig solid-state drive, a 60 gig hard drive, a weird angular QWERTY keyboard over here. What's that? About a 5 inch, hi-res screen. Function keys are there, WiFi, Bluetooth. It's kind of the ultimate XP Home pocketable media center thing. It's amazing. It's about 5 to 6 hours of battery life as well. >> Tom Merritt: This one I charged up and now it's not starting up. But it's another little you know, QWERTY keyboard there... >> Brian Cooley: Flip start huh? >> Tom Merritt: Flip start. This has got a Windows in it and you know, you've got a full on computer with a solid-state memory inside... >> Brian Cooley: I like that. >> Tom Merritt: And you know, another little UMPC. >> Brian Cooley: It's a Paul Allen thing right? >> Tom Merritt: Yeah, yeah. Paul Allen is backing this thing. Looking for a price on it. I know I've got it here. >> Brian Cooley: While you're looking at that, let me show everybody this -- this may be the craziest thing here. Look at this guy. I'm going to put this little Rolly guy on the ground here. This is called Rolly from Sony. I turn it on with a little button here on the back: powers up. Now I start him. Watch this. Don't fail me now. There we go. Those are little speakers that just got revealed on the ends. And I'm going to pull up to my shirt here so you can hear on my microphone. Yeah. So Rolly rolls around to the beat of the music. Now he won't do it for us, because he's cantankerous, but they promise me he will do that. And you can stream music from your portable to him via A2DP stereo Bluetooth because that's the spec inside. A gig of RAM. 479 is pretty steep. >> Tom Merritt: Get going. >> Brian Cooley: He is motorized. >> Tom Merritt: Yeah, he's a little robot. >> Brian Cooley: Come on. Oh by the way, this is only in a Japanese interface on the software and the menuing, so not only is it a cool speaker, it's also a Rubik's Cube for your language skills. >> Tom Merritt: 1500 bucks for this. >> Brian Cooley: Okay. >> Tom Merritt: But it comes ready for Sprint broadband. >> Brian Cooley: Oh okay. >> Tom Merritt: So that's your connection. And we've got another little Panasonic R7 with Windows XP in there. >> Brian Cooley: Yeah, I love that machine. >> Tom Merritt: It's just 2 pounds but it's got a real hard drive in it. It's not a flash-based hard drive. They've just got a stabilizer in there. And then otherwise, it's got the specs of a normal PC but about 2 pounds: a normal low end PC. >> Brian Cooley: Yeah right. Whoa, where am I? >> Tom Merritt: Are you okay there? >> Brian Cooley: Whoa, whoa. Stop, stop. >> Tom Merritt: You're in a spreadsheet Brian. You're in a spreadsheet. >> Brian Cooley: Whoa Tom. I'm shooting cell C3 and it shows a deficit. This is a set of theater headphones that you put right over your head like this. 330 bucks. They have a tiny set of QVGA displays right in the eyeballs here, which simulate a 50 inch hi-def TV. And let me tell you, they're kind of cool. They can plug into your iPod or to any typical red-white-yellow composite -- no component audio outputs: not component, composite video and audio. >> Tom Merritt: And then there of course is the GP2, the GPX2. This is a kind of a DS Lite knockoff. But it takes games using this SD card at the top. And so it's got the right-left buttons, your normal kicking around buttons here. >> Brian Cooley: Yeah. >> Tom Merritt: A, B, X, Y. And you can play Pacman on this thing loaded, but you can download games, stick them in here. >> Brian Cooley: Yeah. >> Tom Merritt: And it's a cheaper, flexible... >> Brian Cooley: But it looks nice. >> Tom Merritt: ...little handy game player. >> Brian Cooley: Looks really nice. >> Tom Merritt: Also, there's a touch screen, and it comes very stylish. >> Brian Cooley: And a good size screen too. >> Tom Merritt: Yeah so it is very much kind of your Nintendo -- your cheap Nintendo DS alternative. >> Brian Cooley: But with a touch. Alright cheap skates, here's our last one. This is a little -- what does it look like to you? Maybe some kind of a USB keychain or some kind of remote control for a car? No, it's synthetic bubble wrap. You just press these little things and they feel and sound like you're blowing up bubble paper cells. This makes no sense. But it's only $15. If you've got that as one of your cheap, nervous ticks first of all, bless you: second of all, this will keep you happy for a long time. And it is a keychain also by the way. >> Tom Merritt: Yeah, I can carry this around with me too. >> Brian Cooley: Except you look really odd. >> Tom Merritt: Yeah you don't look odd with that though. >> Brian Cooley: [ Laughter ] That's all at www.dynanism.com folks. They have all this stuff and at a ton of cool toys. They've been one of our favorite sites for amazing cutting edge stuff: but it's real. It's not junk. It's from real name brand makers, as well as some you don't know. Good stuff. When we come back, the download of the week, that's on the way. And a tip on how to unlock a cell phone. Check it out. ^M00:14:50 [ Music ] ^M00:14:56 >> Klaus Unlock [assumed spelling], umpire at the '85 US Open? >> McEnroe. >> Wait, there's a chance that ball did hit the line. You're not evil. >> Are you handling disputes with a simple phone call? Are you a card member? ^M00:15:09 [ Music ] ^M00:15:21 >> Catch the baddest Techsploitation vids at www.cnettv.com. ^M00:15:26 [ Music ] ^M00:15:41 >> CNET Editors: connoisseurs of fine technology. ^M00:15:46 [ Music ] ^M00:15:47 >> Want to check the tech on the latest rides? CNET TV's Car Tech puts you in the driver's seat, with in depth reviews of the newest models. >> Some of the worst technology implementation I've ever seen. >> And special reports from auto shows around the world. Just go to www.cnettv.com. ^M00:16:02 [ Music ] ^M00:16:06 >> Brian Cooley: Welcome back to CNET Live. It's me and my new co-host Nabaztag. What do you think about that, homey? >> Tom Merritt: Yeah, he likes that. You moved that with your finger. He can't answer a Vista question. >> Brian Cooley: And that was real clever, wasn't it too? 888-900-CNET is the phone number. >> Tom Merritt: I'm jealous. >> Brian Cooley: Sorry, you're fired. Alright, let's get some calls shall we? >> Tom Merritt: Without a co-host for you, I guess it's time for Download of the Week. ^M00:16:29 [ Music ] ^M00:16:32 >> These are some of our favorite downloads from www.download.com. They are free and spyware free and we reveal a new one each episode. Love it. >> This time, Azureus. >> Azureus. >> Azureus. This is my favorite BitTorrent client. It's very popular on www.download.com. But it's more than just a BitTorrent client. It's actually a front end to a whole media store. You can get movie trailers in hi-def. >> Brian Cooley: Yeah. >> As well as -- let's go to the browse content. You get all these channels. >> Brian Cooley: Now again, this was a complete pretty interface on of [inaudible]. >> Oh yeah. All of this stuff is being delivered via BitTorrent. So you get free shows, anime, games... >> Brian Cooley: HD stuff? >> ...hi-def. You can -- it's got some Sci-fi stuff in here. It's a great place to find content over BitTorrent legally. >> Brian Cooley: Right, of course. >> Avoiding any of the problems of messing about with piracy. And you can go to the Azureus screen any time you want by hitting the advance tab. Now this is your... >> Brian Cooley: So you can go under the hood... >> ...basic, old, BitTorrent interface for running your Azureus. >> Brian Cooley: Okay, so that's where you could go to the hood and roll your own, put in your own, you know, links to get your own Torrents going without needing their interface? >> Yeah. So Azureus is the program. >> Brian Cooley: And free I noticed. >> Free, at www.download.com. >> Brian Cooley: That's the way we like it. Let's get onto your calls now at 888-900-CNET. Let's see what we've got here perking along. I want to check in with John in New York, because he has a question I suspect a number of you have dealt with. Hi John. Welcome to CNET Live. >> John: Hey guys. How are you guys doing? >> Brian Cooley: Good, good. What's on your mind? >> Tom Merritt: Doing good. >> John: I have an Amp'd mobile RAZR phone, and I want to know how to use it with another service because Amp'ds is out of business so I... >> Yeah. >> John: ...yeah. So I want to know what I can use with it. >> Well you should be able to use it with Verizon, because Amp'd ran on the Verizon network. >> Brian Cooley: CDMA, same frequencies. >> Tom Merritt: It's the same frequencies and everything. You should be able to call up Verizon and get that phone on the network with Verizon. However if you don't want Verizon, you're kind of stuck because although Verizon has announced they're going to open their network, they haven't done it yet. And even if they did, it doesn't allow you to run it on Sprint, Nextel, or Alltel which is the other CDMA. >> Brian Cooley: Now, I think with a little bit of social engineering they can activate your phone on Sprint or Verizon -- I think. I'm not sure about this. They are supposed to. >> Tom Merritt: Yeah, you might be able to because the company went out of business. You might be able to get them to unlock it and activate it... >> Brian Cooley: Yeah. >> Tom Merritt: ...on Sprint. You could ask them. They don't have to though. >> Brian Cooley: Right that's the thing. You might... >> Tom Merritt: Because it's a CDMA phone you're pretty much limited to those carriers. >> Brian Cooley: Yeah, or move to Korea or Japan which is the only other place that that network is used. And by the way, I think there is no way to have number portability so you're not going to be able to recapture your old number in any instance. That's what I'm getting from a couple of groups. So, I think you're going to get a new number no matter what you work out. But try that. Just drop down to Verizon or Sprint and say "Can you help me out? My phone doesn't work and I really like this phone and cut me a break." Let's go to Sai [assumed spelling] in Las Vegas. He's got a question here on gaming, he's been sitting here [Sai]. Hello Sai, how are you? >> Tom Merritt: You get that a lot don't you? >> Brian Cooley: Sai, you there? >> Sai: Yes, I'm here. >> Brian Cooley: Hi Sai. What's your question for us today? >> Sai: I have a gaming question. I just want to compare like the gaming capabilities of a -- between and PS3 and a hardcore gaming machine like the Dell which you have just seen on the show? >> Tom Merritt: Yeah, the XPS or... >> Sai: Which is the better gaming machine, you know? >> Tom Merritt: What kinds of games do you like to play? >> Sai: First-Person Shooter? >> Tom Merritt: I would probably, this is a matter of religion, but I would probably lean toward the PC in that case. Because you can get the latest and greatest hardware in it, which the PS3 has pretty darn good hardware in it and it is all integrated. But you can't upgrade it down the road, right? And First-Person Shooters are one of those things that are excellent on a real high end PC gaming system. They're not bad on the Xbox 360 or the PS3 by any stretch, but if that's what you're really into -- again it depends. If there's a First-Person Shooter that's only available on the PS3, that makes the decision for you. The gap isn't so wide that I wouldn't follow your game. So, it's more about what games you want to play than anything. >> Brian Cooley: Okay, so as usual, what game do you like and then make the decision on platform. But like Tom says the grade-ability gives you a lot of head room and it feels like you made the right purchase no matter what you do on a PC, because you can keep it up to speed. Let's get one more before the break here. We've got Tim in Milwaukee with a Vista headache. Imagine that. Hi Tim, welcome to CNET Live. >> Tim: Hey guys, how's it going? >> Brian Cooley: Good, thanks. >> Tim: Yeah, I downloaded iTunes and I've had iTunes on several computers before this. And I just purchased a laptop recently: fortunately has Vista on it. If I don't have a stable copy of XP Pro to put on it, so I'm kind of stuck with Vista. I'm getting a lot of with iTunes and video playback, I'm getting a lot of synchish [assumed spelling] use between video and audio. The audio plays fine, no problem. But then the video becomes real choppy. >> Brian Cooley: Well that's going to be -- one place to look, and I'm sure you've already done this, is to go -- make sure you've got the latest drivers for your either integrated sound or your soundcard or your external sound device, whatever you use. Because you're probably talking about something centered around the sound card... >> Tim: For the video card. >> Brian Cooley: Yeah the video card. >> Tom Merritt: Cause if he's having sync with the -- it the sound's fine... >> Brian Cooley: Yeah, right. >> Tom Merritt: ...and the video's stuttery... >> Brian Cooley: It could be either one. >> Tom Merritt: It could be the video card driver. Maybe it's not upgraded for Vista yet. We've run into that. There's actually a whole thread on this at www.forbes.cnet.com. I've got it in my laptop right now. >> Brian Cooley: Oh good. >> Tom Merritt: Shiresberry [assumed spelling] is one of our users who's been kind of leading the charge to talk about this. And there's a lot of people who've tried a lot of different solutions. It's one of those things where somebody tries something that works for them, and them somebody else tries it and it doesn't work. But I would start with the basics. Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes because they have been patching to work better with Vista, solving some issues. And then I would upgrade those drivers for your video card. And if you're sitting there right now going "Yeah, I already did all of that Tom" then dive into this forum and see if you can try some of these other tweaks people have been trying to help that out. But you're not alone. It's actually a fairly common problem. >> Brian Cooley: Start by updating everything. Alright Tim, good luck with that on Vista. CNET Live continuing with your calls in just a minute at 888-900-CNET. >> Tom Merritt: Now for an email though. We've got a question from Claire. She wrote in to CNET Live at www.cnet.com. Why don't you write in as well? Claire said "Tom and Brian, I keep hearing you can do something to a phone that let's you use it on a different company. Is that what they mean when I see unlocked phones on the web? How does this work?" Well Claire, if you're into unlocked phones, we've got some answers for you in today's Ask Anything. ^M00:22:55 [ Music ] ^M00:23:00 >> Tom Merritt: Hi, I'm Tom Merritt, Editor from www.cnet.com along with Kent German, our Senior Editor for cell phones here at CNET. And we are going to answer the question "How do I unlock my phone?" Kent, thanks for joining us. >> Kent: Sure. >> Tom Merritt: Alright, so unlocking a phone, first of all what is unlocking a phone mean? >> Kent: Well, unlocking a phone means to remove any settings that tie it to one carrier. So every phone sold to the carrier here in this country, you can only make calls on that carrier. But if you unlock it, then you can make calls on other carriers. >> Tom Merritt: Okay, so if I buy a phone from AT&T, I can go down the street to T-Mobile and use it on that carrier. I can change my plan. >> Kent: You can. >> Tom Merritt: Alright, how do you unlock it? >> Kent: Well, first you need to understand the difference between GSM and CDMA because you can unlock every cell phone, but GSM phones are a lot easier to use unlocked. >> Tom Merritt: Okay, how do I tell the difference between CDMA and GSM? How do I know which one I have? >> Kent: Well by your carrier for one. If you're AT&T or T-Mobile, you're GSM. If you're Sprint or Verizon, you're a CDMA. Also a SIM card. SIM card is that little tiny chip you see a lot. It's only used in GSM phones. So we have a GSM phone here: see the SIM card's tucked. I have removed the battery first. That's usually where you find it. But on the other hand, the CDMA phone, nothing there. >> Tom Merritt: Okay, so it's either Sprint, Nextel, Verizon: no SIM card. You can unlock it but you're not going to really be able to do anything with it. >> Kent: No, because a SIM card, when you pop it in a phone, it activates the phone for you and the phone gets your identity and you're number. If you have a CDMA phone, you actually need that other carrier to activate the phone for you, which they're going to be unwilling to do in most cases. >> Tom Merritt: So I get a new phone, I can just pop that SIM card out and pop it in the new phone? That's all I have to do? >> Kent: You can make calls right away, other things, data features, you'll need some programming done, but we covered that in our quick [inaudible] phone's features. >> Tom Merritt: So I don't have to do anything else to unlock a phone? >> Kent: Well, you have to take -- you have to get the unlock code. And what that is, it's a code that you punch into your phone and it will unlock it for you. You can get that place from -- you can get that from a few places. You can get it from the carrier, your carrier actually, and it just kind of depends on who you talk to. Sometimes they'll give it to you, sometimes they won't. Also, they'll give it to you more likely if you are off you're plan cause they want to keep you as a customer. You can get it online. There are places you can buy it online. Kind of beware doing that. You want to make sure you're getting something legitimate. And you can take it to sort of a third party gadget shop, and they might be able to do it for you well. But again, just beware and make sure you're getting something that really works. >> Tom Merritt: Or you could actually -- you could buy an unlocked phone from the get-go, right? >> Kent: You can. >> Tom Merritt: It just doesn't give you the discounts, so it's going to be more expensive. >> Kent: No, you don't pay that carrier rebate. But unlocked phones, if you buy them from the onset you can get a lot bigger selection that you're carrier might offer. You can get higher phones, more advanced phones you see in other countries. So get a better selection and you get the freedom to use it on any carrier. >> Tom Merritt: Okay, so I take the SIM card out, put it in my unlocked phone. The one exception on the GSM networks here in the United States is the Apple iPhone, right? >> Kent: Apple made it difficult for you. >> Tom Merritt: Is it illegal to unlock a phone? >> Kent: No, it's not actually. And the federal government ruled at the end of last year that it is not illegal to unlock a phone. >> Tom Merritt: Okay, so if you can do it you might as well go ahead. >> Kent: Absolutely. >> Tom Merritt: Alright, but be careful. Don't brick your iPhone. As far as other phones, follow Kent's guide on our website. Go to the cell phone section of www.cnet.com. Look for our Quick Guide to unlocking cell phones. Thanks for joining us Kent. >> Kent: Sure. >> Tom Merritt: I'm Tom Merritt. See you later. ^M00:25:58 [ Music ] ^M00:26:00 >> Brian Cooley: A lot of talk about opening up phones, especially with the word that Verizon plan to open up their network that came out this week. So people are getting all into this idea of hey. >> Tom Merritt: Yeah, already our little discussion of CDMA there is not out of date, but next year it will be. >> Brian Cooley: Yeah, right. >> Tom Merritt: Because they'll be opening up that CDMA so that you could take, say a Sprint phone and get it unlocked, and put it on the Verizon network. >> Brian Cooley: And you can bet other carriers are going to follow. I don't think Verizon's going to be alone in this one. Let's go to our last call-in here. Nick is in Maryland. He wants to do something with Windows Vista and XP at the same time. >> Tom Merritt: Unnatural. >> Brian Cooley: Hello Nick. >> Nick: Hey Brian. >> Brian Cooley: It's against the law in Arkansas. But anywhere else you're okay. What's your question? >> Nick: Well okay, I know this is a very common problem or issue about booting XP and Vista on the same machine. So what's the best way to do it? >> Brian Cooley: Well the easiest way to try it is to go get Virtual PC from Microsoft, which is free. I like that part of it, and I'll show you here. We've got a, a look at a spec screen for what it takes to run it. They say when you get Virtual PC, the free download, then you want to add up your resources. You add up the memory required by the guest OS, the hard drive space required by the guest OS, and the memory footprint of the resident OS to see if your machine can do virtualization of 2 OS's at once. And they've got a chart, you see it right there. You just add it up, make sure you've got the right hardware. Cause really what it is, it's getting enough big piles of resources heaped because you're running 2 operating systems simultaneously. The other way, it's simple but clunkier, is just to dual boot. You can install XP and Vista on the same machine and just when it comes up, it will ask you "Which one do you want to run?" And you hit 1 or 2. But, I think what you want to do is run them at the same time, right? >> Nick: Yeah. Well... >> Brian Cooley: So, I mean you can try that. Go to Microsoft's Virtual PC -- just Google Virtual PC and they'll take you right to it. And like I say, it's free. Just not to try, it's free to... >> Tom Merritt: You'll probably want to emulate XP in Vista, not the other way around because there's license issues in Vista about emulation that you have to watch out for. So, keep that in mind. >> Brian Cooley: Oh, interesting. >> Tom Merritt: And if you go the dual boot route, start with XP on the machine if you can. Cause it gets dicey with having to repair the boot loader if you try to put XP on after Vista. >> Brian Cooley: Yeah, yeah. Yeah I do think the XP as the base works in a lot of ways if you're doing this. And then put Vista on top, as what they call the guest OS. Alright, thanks for the call. You are the last call. I'd buy you a drink, but unfortunately you're in Maryland: a little too far for my arms to reach. >> Tom Merritt: What about that website? Send a drink... >> Brian Cooley: www.sendadrink.com or something. >> Tom Merritt: That was one of the Best of the Webs right? >> Brian Cooley: A long time ago. Speaking of which, it's now time for the Best of the Web. ^M00:28:30 [ Music ] ^M00:28:31 >> Brian Cooley: Best of the Web is brought to you by our good friends at CNET's www.webware.com. Check it out folks, if you use Google Maps on your phone, and lots of us do... >> Tom Merritt: I'm excited about at this. >> Brian Cooley: It doesn't know where you are. You have to tell it "Here's where I am" and "Here's where I want to go," or whatever. Now they've just announced that starting this week, they're rolling out a version that has location awareness, using cell tower telemetry. >> Tom Merritt: Like triangulation. >> Brian Cooley: Okay. >> Tom Merritt: They kind of bounce signals off the different cell towers in your phone, and figure out "Okay, cause of the delay, we think you're about here." >> Brian Cooley: Alright now this is... >> Tom Merritt: It's not exactly GPS, but it gets you close. >> Brian Cooley: Yeah, this says it's accurate within 300 meters. What do you think about that? >> Tom Merritt: That's like, that's the limit, right? That's as accurate as it can get? >> Brian Cooley: That's the confidence margin. >> Tom Merritt: I've used this in a third party app on my iPhone, and most of the time it gets me real close. I've been in Berkeley and it gets me right on the street corner. Here it thinks I'm over there in the Transbay Terminal. >> Brian Cooley: Alright, so a block or 2 away. >> Tom Merritt: Which is you know, a block or 2 away, but it's not bad. And the cool thing is you'll be able to drag your start point. So the cool... >> Brian Cooley: Yeah. >> Tom Merritt: You know, you're sitting in a coffee shop and you're like "Geez, I don't know what the address of this place is?" You can just use this to get your starting point... >> Brian Cooley: Yeah. >> Tom Merritt: And you're like "Oh, I know I'm kind of at that intersection," drag you right there, and then start your navigation. >> Brian Cooley: This is very cool so if you're using Google Mobile, Google Maps for mobile, you can go to their website for this which is www.google.com/gmm I think, and they've got a little tutorial there. I don't quite see how to get it on your phone. I'm not sure if they're pushing it out selectively? So check it out if you've got it. I don't see a direct download link yet. But it's on the way. And that is very hot. And that is our Best of the Web for this week. >> Tom Merritt: Alright, we've got a big guest for next week. >> Brian Cooley: Oh baby. He's got a mind to run, and 2 light feet. Who else could it be? MC Hammer. He's partnering up with the guys from Flock and launching a new website called Dance Jam and we're going to be showing him our moves. >> Tom Merritt: So join us then at 4 pm Eastern, 1 pm Pacific. >> Brian Cooley: Or Hammer Time anywhere. >> Tom Merritt: See you next week. ^M00:30:17 [ Music ] ^M00:30:29 >> Klaus Unlock [assumed spelling], umpire at the '85 US Open? >> McEnroe. >> Wait, there's a chance that ball did hit the line. You're not evil. >> Are you handling disputes with a simple phone call? Are you a card member?

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