Welcome to Editors' Office Hours: Tech Culture
Tech Culture: Welcome to Editors' Office Hours29:13 /
CNET Editor Brian Tong is ready to take any and all of your tech questions on this inaugural edition of Editors' Office Hours.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:06 >> Alright guys, welcome to the first ever Editors' Office Hours. I'm Brian Tong, editor here at CNET.com. And this is the first time we've done this before so you're gonna bear with us. There might be a little few bumps but we're gonna have some fun here. And basically today's I guess main overall topic is anything you guys wanna talk about, specifically maybe about the new iPhone Firmware. I'd like to hear how it's going with you guys. You know, your comments or questions about the latest iPod releases, and really anything under the sun you wanna ask me about prize finds I did, crave, products I like or don't like, what I ate for breakfast, I'm fair game. So, well I'm just gonna open it up, there's a lot of you guys jumping to chats, we are gonna have some fun. And let me just go over here to our first question. It's from Mr. Mojo, and basically it's asking me what's better, the new Zune or the new iPods? And so I've been able to play with both and really for the first time I could definitely say that Microsoft has really stepped it up with their Zune. Also, really the cool WiFi features, listening to radio, being able to purchase them on the spot. Of course, obviously, you guys know there aren't many Zunes out there to still take advantage of this whole oh I have people with Zunes near me to listen to music. So, that's still cool in theory but it just will never take off until Zunes get in to the capacity of iPods. I really think it would be funny and actually might be cool is if Apple actually stole that idea and incorporate them into their iPods. Because could you imagine, hanging out if you have a Touch or an iPhone with WiFi and you could listen to people's playlist near you? That's kind of cool actually and if they stole it, I don't think anyone would blame them because everyone in the industry keeps on taking features from each other. So, but the question was which is better? I still, I mean it's really comes on in the interface thing, I still love my iPod. I think the Zune's interface though has definitely become so much more easy to use and visually it's really nice. I'm still leaning towards the iPods but the Zune has definitely done a lot of compelling things to make it appealing and attractive for you guys. So, let's go here and see what people are asking about in the chat. Someone said the biggest problem with the 2.1 Firmware in the Netherlands, so this is obviously applying to the iPhone, is that instead of T-Mobile it says T-Mobile, and L. So, it doesn't fit the screen and it shows T-Mobil, T-Mo, and it scrolls every so often, so that's kind of weird. I'd like to hear what you guys think about the latest Firmware there on the iPhone, because I've had it for a while. I owned the first gen iPhone and I love the fact that basically it worked like phone where the 3G kind of had some issues actually functioning properly. But with the new Firmware, I can definitely say my texting is a whole lot faster and snappier. Obviously, when you first update it the very first day the cache is cleaned out so your phone should be snappy. But even since I installed it, it's working nice. I'm not really getting as many drop calls. They say that it's promising better battery life but I don't know. I haven't seen that yet. So, my battery life is about the same. I use it a lot. I talk on the phone. I'm playing my videos and what not and really I probably get through my battery around 6 or 7 o'clock in the day before I have to recharge it. I know it's kind of insane, but that's just how I use mine. So, I'm gonna go take a look. Now, for some of you if you haven't submitted a question or you are involved in our actual chat room, all you have to do is up in the top right-hand side, you gotta click on "submit a question," and if you don't have an account with us, those ask you to create really quickly username, a password, give us your email and then you'll be able to participate. So, give me a second to look at some of these questions that are coming in. I guess I'll address, we kind of started talking about this, but here we go from PlusRich, I know he came directly from the BOL chat. PlusRich asked, he said he is using his Firmware and he loves the faster backups and syncs finely which is true. Before the syncs were so dirty and grouse that we made a quick tip of how to bypass the backup process in iTunes because they are so gnarly. So, they've definitely addressed that. I think I plugged mine this morning and it felt like the backup process only took me like a couple minutes where before it was at least 20, 25 minutes. So, they did a good job there, so definitely PlusRich I think that made you and I both very happy. And obviously this is a one-way conversation, I'm gonna see how long I can talk to a single camera for like 30 minutes but we're gonna do this. We're gonna have some fun. Let's go here. Let's see what we have. I am gonna answer this question. It's from, hopefully, Siennakane619, and I'm gonna show--give me a second to get this popped up so you guys can actually see the question that Sienna has. And the question is, hey Brian, another MP3 question, I'm a big Walkman fan, could you recommend what model to get of the new Walkmans' or maybe another alternative? David from Birmingham, UK, with a smiley, and speaking of smileys, have you guys try and plug them in actually into the live chat? It's kind of funny because it actually makes a, it's a Lego head, it's not really a true smiley, you should give it a shot. It looks like a Lego head. But, David, there you go, PlusRich just went for the Lego head. Okay, so David, honestly I haven't played with--now everyone is gonna go crazy with it. I haven't played too much with all the Walkmans, but I was able to mess around with the Walkman Phone, the Sony Ericsson 870i. It was really impressive just because of, I like the look and a lot of times everyone compares interfaces to the iPod. But when you put it in that kinda compact form factor of a phone and it's still usable and it's still sleek and sexy and attractive, that it's super hot. And really if you have really more specific to MP3 devices, David, you might wanna come back tomorrow because Jasmine France who is our MP3 editor extraordinaire and obviously that's her focus. She is going to be here, I believe, is that correct? Yes, that's correct. Chris, my man on the side nods yes. So, she'll be here, so you might wanna come back and check it out and see how that's going. Okay, let's see what we have here, I'm gonna keep on running through some questions. We also have a few videos we're gonna show, let's go here. Okay, question from packygamer, let's me just get this in the queue, so you guys can see what packygamer actually has asked us. Is it showing now? Okay, well right now the question is do you think Apple will upgrade the MacBook line? I don't know what you guys think but I think all signs point to yes, yes, and yes. Basically, it's been probably over a year since they released the new refreshes. Typically they've done it right before the back to school season. They haven't yet but there's rumors or reports of the actual shipments coming, being sent into the US. There's actually records where people found in fact that they are moving those units. We don't what they look like exactly but it's pretty much a no-brainier, so any of you guys that are like thinking about MacBooks or MacBook Pros, don't get one. If you have a MacBook or MacBook Pro and you're looking to potentially upgrade, I would get that thing cleaned out, fixed up, looking pretty, pop it on eBay if you want because obviously Apple computers have a huge resale value. Rumblings are there will be an announcement in October, potentially I think it's like the second week of October, people have been talking about for the new MacBooks. So, I'm excited to see them, if they've changed the MacBook line to all brushed metal, which they've never done before, and it kind of make them look the same as the MacBook Pros. I don't know how I feel about that. I think the cost on that might be--it might drive the cost of maybe they'll just do a MacBook Pro that's a little slimmer, sleeker form factor, add a 13-inch and just get rid of the MacBook line if they're even affordable enough. We don't really know. Apple does crazy things, but it would still be nice to kind of--it makes sense for them to keep the line separate, consumer versus higher-end and then have they're ultra sleek portable, the MacBook Air in there. It would be weird to me if they just made it one continuous line but hey, I don't know what you guys think. Let's go here, okay, let's try and take this. This is a question from, it's Mr. Gomez. I'm just gonna try and plug it through here. Hmmm, are they showing up? Maybe it's taking a little time. Hold on one second guys, I'll try and refresh this to see what's going on here. Okay, let's try it one more time. Here we go, it's Mr. Gomez. Okay, the question from Mr. Gomez is, Do you know what's up with the iPhone 3G charging? I have a car charger that does not work with the iPhone 3G but it works great with iPods and the first generation iPhone. Well, I actually have an answer for that, because I used to work in the accessory industry for iPhone, iPods, all things Apple. And essentially the connector, even though it looks like it fits exactly the same, there are different specs that talk to an iPhone first gen versus a third generation iPhone. So, what that means is basically, because Apple always makes you buy accessories that you need to upgrade all the time. You're gonna actually need to get, it's silly but, a car charger that's iPhone 3G compatible. Now, some of them, some of the older ones for whatever reason still work with the original iPhone and the iPhone 3G, but I do know of plenty that don't. So, it's a pain in the butt, but you might have to drop another 20 bucks unfortunately, and hopefully that helps you. I know it's not the answer you probably wanted to hear but it is the answer nonetheless. So, okay we have that. Alright. I'm gonna look at some other questions. What's--Here we go. Let's go here. Give me a second to--This is a question from hiphopforpress and let's see if it's popping up here. It is not showing up but just bear with me guys. This one is from hiphopforpress and he's asking me, What's up Brian? I was wondering what have you heard about the BlackBerry Bold 9000, and how it compares to some of the other smart phones on the market. Now, we've really haven't had much time to physically touch and play with the BlackBerry Bold 9000. We did, Bonnie tried to get a really quick sneak pick of it and her first impressions were she loved the form factor but also the screen itself. They're basically calling it the Bold because the screen is so vivid, it's so sharp and it's so clear. And all you BlackBerry users that love to use it for you email, you'll love the physical cordy keyboard. I mean that's a huge benefit. And why people love the BlackBerry line or the CrackBerry line so much, but still there's also been some issues with it, because originally this phone was kinda being touted as one of the first 3G phones for AT&T. And in the developmental process it's been said that they're being having some issues with it and it's been touted like their next big thing but, they're still having problems with it and that's why it's been delayed. People really haven't seen much or been shown much of the BlackBerry 9000 or the BlackBerry Bold. So, unfortunately, that's all I've got on that. Now we're gonna go to a video where it's Tom Merritt. He's talking to us about the top 5 worst iPhone Apps. Something you guys can chew on if you haven't seen it. We're gonna play it, check it out, and we'll get back to you. ^M00:12:32 [ Music ] ^M00:12:39 [ Background music ] >> Welcome to CNET Top 5 where each time we meet we count down another scorching CNET list, I'm Tom Merritt. The iPhone Application Store is filled with fantastic software, but believe us there's still room for crap. We've made mistakes so you don't have to. Let's count down the top 5 worst iPhone Apps. At number 5, TouchTrain. On the plus side it's free. On the downside it's incredibly stupid. Allegedly training you to use the already incredibly intuitive touchscreen, it presents you a target and gauges how close you get to touching it, that's it. Coming in at number 4, National Threat Advisory. This one is a favorite of CNET Webware's Josh Lowensohn. The national threat level is obviously nothing to joke about, certainly, but do you need an app to tell you it's still yellow or orange? It's not like it can launch itself to tell you if the level changed? But at least it's free. Up to number 3, Bank of America's Mobile Banking. This free offering packs everything into an app you can get by visiting Bank of America's website in the Safari browser that you already have on your iPhone. Sliding in at number 2, Flashlight. Gives you essentially the same thing as putting about blank into the browser or taking a picture of something entirely white and viewing it in your photo galleries. A fully blank screen for a pathetic 99 cents. Before we get to number 1 let's look at the rest of the top 10 worst iPhone Apps. I know Caltos [phonetic] sounds fun, but it's not. Alright, let's get to our number 1, the worst iPhone App in the store. Number 1, its HoldOn. Actually I kinda love the idiocy of this game. If you love the documentary Hands on a Hard Body, you may actually like this free game. The point is to hold the hold button for as long as you can, they say it develops perseverance and concentration, and could make you more productive. I think the last thing this app will do is make you more productive, but it will make the top of our list of worst iPhone Apps. Well, that's it for this edition of CNET Top 5. I have to thank Josh Lowensohn of Webware and Jason Parker of CNET Download, for helping put together this list as well as our best iPhone Apps list. You can give us your 5 worst iPhone Apps at our blog, blog.cnettv.com. I am Tom Merritt, see you next time. >> Okay, we are back. You know what? I was talking about this background. I don't know what you guys think. But, it looks a lot like Max Headroom, if you were alive back then. He's got the whole little digital lines and cube things going on. I wanna get a poster up there, so, you gotta tell, you gotta send your feedback and say, we want some like flavor on the background. So, I guess right now, I am the flavor. So, we're gonna go, keep on jumping on questions. This one is from ellowfrey, hopefully I did that right. Right now the question is, okay, I guess I'll read this first part. Hey, you are one of the best editors on CNET. I wanna know what's the difference between the PS3 80 gigabyte 399 model and the Metal Gear bundle? Is it only the game? So, there's really a couple differences in the two models. First of all, the PS3 80 gig, that's 399 right now, the big deal about that unit is that it's not backwards compatible with PS2 games. So, if you're a big PS2 gamer and you have a huge library that you still wanna play, you will not be able to play it with the current 80 gig 399 bundle that has just been released. That's really been intriguing a lot of people to pick up the PS3, myself included, I'm waiting to get mine and I can't wait. And one other thing is that one of my buddies just got the PS3 80 gig bundles, that's 399, and in the front there's actually the door that allows you to put in your media like a memory stick or a compact flash. He said that that door is actually sealed tight and you can't get access to the ports. Now, I don't know if any of you out there have experienced or know this for a fact. I didn't not know they were gonna do that but he says it's completely sealed tight, and essentially, you don't have access to those memory card slots but obviously you could use like a USB drive to move files around. So I found it kind of interesting that they would take that out if that is the case. And then another thing he said the shiny metal trim on the new PS3 399 model is actually more of a mat metal. Not a brushed aluminum but kind of a duller metal, it's not a shiny chrome. So, that's something to look for. Really comparing it to the Metal Gear Solid package, the big deal with the Metal Gear Solid package is that that model is still compatible with the PS2 games, and that model still gives you the access to those media cards slots and ports. So, hopefully that's gonna help you out, figure out which model you wanna go for. Okay, this question is from cwebblows. And so whoever is writing this, knows that Chris Webber was my favorite basketball player of all time. I say was because he is pretty much useless and no longer existent. Where can I get a cool racing stripe on my head? I am not going to answer that, okay. But, thank you for that question. We have another question down here. Give me a second to kinda scroll through this. Okay, what is the best way to convert contents from a mini--this question is from tech247--what is the best way to convert contents from a mini DV to a DVD. My laptop has an iLink port, should I get a cable using that port? So really with the mini DV format, the only way to really get that content from the camera over to your computer, there's a couple ways. One way is take the camera and run a firewire cable. Now, if your computer has an iLink port, I am guessing that it's probably a Sony laptop, and so you'll need a 6 pin to 4 pin firewire cable. If, actually on your camera, it might actually be a 4 pin to 4 pin, so you'll need to check that out, but really it's just a firewire cable. Probably 4 pin to 4 pin, go from your camera directly to your computer and then you can transfer the video that way. Another thing that people do, people that are kinda running their own dependent video production studios and they don't have the time to just set a camera down, import your footage, because they need to be shooting something else. People will also get an additional, kind of a dedicated mini DV plain deck. So, it's essentially just a player where you pop in your tape, your camera is now free to do something else. And then you get, again, your firewire cable go from your deck to your computer to import your video. And that's really all you got to do. So, tech247, I hope that helps you out. If you have any other questions, hit me up because I have--not only do have I done a lot of video in my past, I also edit some of the segments here. And not only do I write my stuff, I also sometimes edit some of the stuff you see. So, it's kinda like a mini production factory going on here. Okay, this question is from Nick Netter and it is, what is the best secret feature on the Mac you know of that you don't think many people know? Now, that's kind of hard to say what's the best secret feature. There are just few tricks I mean that I can just tell you that are kinda fun, but we've never made a quick tip because it's really useless. But if you've ever used Expose for all you Mac users, and Expose is the feature where your screen, you hit F9 and all of your windows, whether it's your web browser, your music player application, all these applications that are running at once, maybe one is on the front but they all kinda shrink into little windows. And then you can select which window to bring to the front. But what you can do is when you hit the button to do Expose, before you do that hold down the shift key and then it does this really cool slow motion effect. And it's totally iCandy and it's totally lame, and it's not necessary but if you are a Mac head, I know you'll like that. So hopefully you can have fun and hold that shift button all day long. Okay, let's see, this is awesome, you guys are sending in a ton of questions. The next question, here we go, what is the best video editing software for the Mac? This question is from fugawe, if I'm saying that right or fugawe. What is the best video editing software for the Mac for the money? iMovie is too limited for me, which I agree, but I don't want to spend too much money. And at least on the Mac platform, if you really want that easy user interface, I am just gonna say that Final Cut Pro is the way to go. They also, if you are in education, they do have an education pricing for Final Cut, so you might wanna look into that. Because if I recall right, I believe Final Cut stand alone, someone can correct me, is either 299 or 399. But with an education discount, if you didn't know, I use to actually work for Apple retail way back in the day. So, I believe education discount was somewhere around a 100 or 150 dollars off. If you have a friend in education, you might ask them to help you out. I definitely advocate buying software that you're really going to use and take advantage of professionally. Because I am all grown up now, I do that myself. So, definitely if you want to look in that, take a pick educational discount, Final Cut Pro, you can't go wrong. That combination you might be able to get the package I think for around 250 dollars or 200 dollars, so that's really cool. Okay, how can I transfer my, this question is by icomby? Is that right, icomby? How can I transfer my music from my iPod going to my new PC? So, check this out, if you're going to your new PC and it's a Windows PC, there are some freeware and some shareware utilities that allow you to connect your iPod and actually pull the music off the iPod and suck it onto your computer. I can't remember the names of them off the top of my head, I think it's called, one of them is called like iPod to iTunes. And it takes those files exactly how they are on your iPod, whether they are MP3 files, whether they are the DRM free files from Amazon, or the DRM protected files from Apple. It allows you to literally drag and drop the files on to your computer. And I've done that for several friends who are like, my computer crashed? I only have an iPod, how do I get it over there? And so just search online, most of the shareware apps are around 15 to 20 bucks, but I would say it's totally worth it to do that and get those files over there. Okay, let's go. Give me a second to kind of look through a few questions. What I'm gonna do is let's go jump into a video because I'm sure you're tired of seeing my grill, you're sick of it. But actually, this next video features me, doesn't it? Alright, whatever. We'll play the video. We'll see you guys in a second. ^M00:23:46 [ Music ] ^M00:23:52 [ Background music ] >> If you're an iPhone or iPod Touch owner, Apple's included stereo has it what's they call the microphone capsule on it. Now you probably know that while you're playing your music, one click pauses the song, and you can click it again to resume the music, now two-click skips to the next track. But now with the latest 2.1 software, three-click allows you to go back to the previous track. So, you don't have to go into your pocket to here that song that you just can't get enough of. I'm Brian Tong with CNET.com and there's a quick tip, use it wisely. >> Okay, I told you it's going to be quick. I'm back, 35 seconds away from me, did you miss me? No, you probably didn't. Okay, here we go. Let's jump into some more questions because we've got a few more minutes left. This one is from, it's Mr. Gomez, hey Bryan, where do you get all your awesome shirts? Well, first of all thank you for that. But I don't know. With online shopping now these days, it's really cool. I go to a website called Karmaloop. They have a bunch of cool creative. It's a mix between urban gear and kind of more like I don't know street wear but still it kind of has a classy edge to it. It's not totally like this is a shirt that like, a homemade. So I really like rough shirts that kinda have rough edge to it, but also look nice. There is another really cool website, Beautiful Decay. It's actually like a graphic designer, artist website, a showcase artists and they also have collaborations with artists, and they release limited edition t-shirts. I just go wherever, if I see something that I like it just like you guys do, I just pick it up and I kinda make it happen I guess, it's a one of those things. Okay, here is a cool question from patgamer, and hopefully this doesn't get me in trouble. He or she is asking, which podcast do you like more, the 404, which the 404 boys were so nice to have me last week, or the Buzz Out Load? So, I gonna say I love, you know this is so PC but I love both of them. But Buzz Out Load is really, you're goanna get your news, you're gonna get your legitimate tech news with a little entertainment spin. But really it's a great discussion of back and forth about what's happening in our world, and I know some people have said like you're too crazy for Buzz Out Load. But you know I'm just gonna be me, do my thing and have fun but I just love working with Tom, Molly and Jason. I mean they have been here for so long and they've really made CNET what it is and what it was. So, I'm just really honored to just be a part of the whole mix. So, if they're watching, I got love for you perhaps to Molly, Tom, and Bryan, and the entire CNET TV crew. 404 is balls to the wall, they just get crazy. The topics can be related to anything from like the secret recipe of KFC, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and I think it was something like episode 180 or so that I went and visited them. And it just reminds me of three buddies sitting back on a couch, kicking it, shooting the you know what and just having fun and talking. But there is a tech pop culture angle and I really love seeing stuff like this on CNET because we are geared as a product company. People come to us because they want to know what the skin is on what's good and what's bad. But at the same time, there are times where you want also to be entertained and that's what the 404 is all about. So, as we keep on diversifying the stuff that we have for you guys, I know some people love stuff, some people hate stuff. I got a new show coming out and hopefully you'll love it more than hate it. I really, you'll let me know and we'll see how long it runs for. But you know, we're able to try new things and try different things at CNET, and if there's things that you guys wanna see on CNET, email us and let us know. If you have a show idea or some topic that you think is really missing from the CNET line, let us know and you know we are listening. I'm here. I'm talking to you. I'm listening. Okay, where is the Justin Timberlake poster? I don't know where this came from? But I think I said I would put up a Justin Timberlake poster, oh unless it's from Buzz Out Load. We're talking about Timberlake posters, no. No Timberlake posters, nothing, nothing. Okay, let's see if we've got any other questions here. I'm sorry there's so many questions. Okay shannymac123, he just asked me a little while ago if I personally noticed any improvement of the battery life for the new 2.1 Firmware running on the iPhone. And like I said before we touched upon it, I haven't seen any improvements. I used mine heavily and I always have to charge it around 6 or 7 o'clock. One really cool accessory, if you guys don't know about it, there is Kensington battery pack. And what it allows you to do, it's this really slim maybe around 1.5 inches long, and you can charge it on your computer with its USB cable. But I just take it around with me in my bag, I pop it into the bottom of my iPhone and it juices it up. If my iPhone is dead, I probably get around 70 to 80 percent of battery life. So, it's beautiful. If you're on the go and you need something like an emergency power boost, that's what you wanna go with. So, we're gonna wrap things up. Now remember, thanks for coming out here, it was awesome talking to you guys. I'm sure we'll see more of you down the road in the future for Editor Hours. Tomorrow, Jasmine France, she's gonna be talking MP3 players and accessories. So, that's pretty much all we've got today, thanks a bunch. See you guys next time. ^M00:29:06 [ Music ]