The Buzz Report
Episode IV: Tablet WarsThe tablet wars have begun ... finally! Also, we discover that the future will be a happy place with nothing but rainbows, kittens, and puppies. Well, and partial lobotomies.
Hi, I'm Molly Wood, and welcome to the Buzz Report, the show about the tech news that everyone's talking about. This week, the Giants came home to San Francisco as world champions, and we all got a little excited. Hence the shirt. Also, death to Foursquare, again, happiness through science, and you! Voting! But first, it's the Gadget of the Week. The Gadget of the Week is Viewsonic's Android-powered Viewpad tablet. It's got Android 2.2, dual cameras, including a front-facing one for video conferencing, and 3G. Plus, a 1 gigahertz Snapdragon processor, all for 479 dollars -- which is more than a hundred bucks less than the Samsung Galaxy Tab -- and that's just the 7-inch model. The 10-inch version can dual-boot Android and Windows 7, should be 629, and will show up next year. Well, hello, tablet wars. We've been waiting for you to begin. And now for the news. Just two months ago, Facebook launched a check-in feature, called Places. We all thought the same thing: goodbye Foursquare. But Facebook lacked a few key elements: Now, this week, they're trying to finish the job. Facebook announced a new Deals feature, so that if you check in at the Gap or 24-hour Fitness, you get coupons. Coupons and deals. The last remaining competitive advantage Foursquare had. I mean, except for the mayor thing. Man. That's gotta hurt. In other news this week, the Microsoft Kinect motion-control system debuted Thursday, amid reports that Microsoft wasn't giving people review units because, well, it's not that good. Challenges include the fact that you need a VERY large room, setup is reportedly a pain in the patootie, and it can't see kids under about 36 inches, who are the only ones with the energy to play a game that involves constant motion. But hey, go ahead and get one! And you, too, could look as cool as the people in the Kinect commercials do. Moving on to science, researchers at John Hopkins University have created a technique that can literally erase traumatic memories from your BRAIN. Like the ones the Rangers have. Whoohoo! They hope to use the breakthrough to develop treatment for post-traumatic stress disorders. But wow. If this ever does make it to pill form, people are going to abuse the hell out of it. That time when you soiled yourself at kindergarten graduation? Gone. When you got rejected by your first crush? Gone. That time you bought the Microsoft Kin? Vanished. It's a dangerous and very cheerful future we're facing. And finally, let's have a look at what's Clogging the Tubes. This week, it's the Social Media Sobriety Test. It's a browser extension from security company Webroot, and it lets you set preferences to stop yourself from drunk Facebooking late at night. First bypass one of the five simple roadside tests. Pass, and youÃ¯Â¿Â½re free to post. (BUZZ) Fail and the Social Media Sobriety Test will post for you. Assuming this isn't a joke, it's freaking genius. In fact, it's so good, it could actually prevent you from causing a traumatic memory that you will end up having to erase. And that's the Buzz Report for this week, everyone. I'm Molly Wood, and thank you for watching.