Hi, I'm Molly Wood, and welcome to the Buzz Report, the show about the tech news
that everyone's talking about. This week, it's Facebook's new privacy controls, a LOT of
AT&T news, not all of it terrible, and the Apple freakin' tablet a-freakin' gain. But first,
it's the Gadget of the Week.
The Gadget of the Week is another top pick from our holiday gift guide: it's the HP
TouchSmart 600 all-in-one PC. It's a touchscreen PC, as the name suggests, and it's
basically made for the kitchen. FINALLY. It's got a built-in recipe app, app partnerships
with Netflix, Hulu, and and Twitter so you have easy access to yakking and video
watching, and it's super pretty. Just try not to splatter hot grease on it, and it's a
And now for the news. Facebook rolled out its new privacy controls this week, and
they're gradually urging all of you to go your Settings page and, you know, change up
your privacy controls. Which you're probably going to want to do. Because apparently,
in the new privacy settings, Facebook went ahead and chose some default settings for
most of you ... and those settings show your information to everyone. On the Internet.
By default. The "Everyone" setting doesn't include kids or some people who have
already made certain privacy changes. Just ... everyone else. Which is a lot of people.
Which is a bad idea for a default. Facebook ... just kind of can't stop being creepy, can
they? So, anyway, go change your settings. I'll wait.
And now, it's time for our weekly installment of ... Everybody Hates AT&T. Actually, this time it's a story
about AT&T trying to fix the problem! They've released a new iPhone app called Mark the Spot, which
basically lets AT&T know when you've dropped a call. Word is that when they first rolled it out, it had so
many users it was crashing left and right. No surprise, right? Actually, I think this is a genius plan. Now
they'll have PROOF instead of just people like me whining all the time! Actually, it sounds like they might
have SOME proof. This week, the chief executive of AT&T Mobility, Ralph de la Vega, admitted that voice
service in New York and San Francisco is "performing at levels below our standards." Right? What did I
say. And he said the company's working on it. Thanks for finally admitting that, Ralph.
Oh, but in other news, de la Vega also said that AT&T is working on ways to keep the people who use the
most data on its network from, uh, so much data. He said he wants smart phone owners to be more
"aware" of how much data they use, and said the company might consider a "pricing scheme" for heavy
data users. Who currently pay for what are supposedly unlimited data plans. But he doesn't want them to
use ... so much ... see, if your network can't handle unlimited data plans, why do you, um, offer them?
But ok, let's throw AT&T a bone, ok? As it turns out, AT&T's network may be spotty and also fragile,
apparently if you CAN get 3G coverage, it's pretty fast. A survey by Root Wireless found that AT&T's 3G
wireless network is, in fact, the fastest in the country. So, there's some good news. And it's the holidays,
so I'm going to leave it at that. You're welcome, Ma Bell.
And in other news this week, one analyst says the Apple tablet is right around the corner. Yair Reiner
of Oppenheimer says he's got supply chain sources that suggest the 10-inch
tablet is coming in March or April of 2010, it'll have an LCD touchscreen instead
of OLED, and Apple is working on cutting publishers some super sweet deals to
convince them to put out e-books for the device. All of which sounds great,
except that it sounds like the device, which I personally still don't totally believe is
going to exist, will indeed cost like a thousand dollars. Actually, I guess in my
mind, that's practically the same thing as not existing.
And that's the Buzz Report for this week, everyone. I'm Molly Wood, and thanks for watching.