The Buzz Report
Google in everything: laptops, music, and lightbulbsThis week in Buzz, Google I/O has an announcement for you and for you and for you ... and Oprah-style giveaways to boot. Plus Facebook app leaks and talking dogs.
Hi, IÃ¯Â¿Â½m Molly Wood and welcome to the Buzz Report Ã¯Â¿Â½ the show about the tech news that everyone is talking about. This week, Google buries us in Google news, Microsoft buys Skype, and once again, your private bits are hanging out in front of a plate-glass window. Good times. First up! The gadget of the week. The gadget of the week is the new 10.1 inch Samsung Tab, which was one of several of GoogleÃ¯Â¿Â½s Oprah-style giveaways over at the Google I/O conference happening this week. Our editors are calling the WiFi only Tab the iPad 2 of Android tablets -- mainly because itÃ¯Â¿Â½s as small and thin as the iPad 2. Also, in keeping with SamsungÃ¯Â¿Â½s strategy of building products that ALLEGEDLY look exactly like Apple products. Anyway. ItÃ¯Â¿Â½s nice. Thin, sleek, sexy, 2 megapixel camera on the front, 8 megapixels on the back, an Nvidia dual-core processor and, sadly, the ugliest little marching Androids you ever did see splashed across the back. But hopefully thatÃ¯Â¿Â½s just for the special I/O giveaway run. The real version, running the new Honeycomb 3.1 OS, should debut June 8. Look for our full review then. And now for the news. The Samsung tablet is just ONE of GoogleÃ¯Â¿Â½s awesome gadget giveaways from I/O this week. They also announced two new Chromebook laptops -- both running Chrome OS, of course. Samsung is making a 12-inch model that starts at $429 and Acer is making one that starts at $349. Both notebooks are total cloud-books, obviously: no other browser available, no real storage to speak of, no software other than Chrome Apps. TheyÃ¯Â¿Â½re meant to be always on, always online -- they both have options for pay-as-you-go built-in 3G. TheyÃ¯Â¿Â½ll also have all-day battery life, instant-on access, and updates every week so that, Google says, they get Ã¯Â¿Â½better as you go.Ã¯Â¿Â½ Plus, there are versions available for schools and business to LEASE, starting at 20 bucks a month. And yes, everyone at I/O will get one free, to test, when they come out June 15. They just buy their developersÃ¯Â¿Â½ love. Not that anyone minds. Beyond that, I barely even know where to START with Google I/O. Their keynotes are only an hour, but man do they pack in the news. LetÃ¯Â¿Â½s do the bullet points, shall we? An updated version of Honeycomb, the tablet operating system, which, thank goodness, adds resizeable widgets. I mean. ThatÃ¯Â¿Â½s almost as awesome as that time iOS got FOLDERS! We got a look at the new version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, because you can never have too many operating systems. That one will remain open source and will become the OS that runs everything from smart phones to smart HOMES as an embedded system. The Chrome browser gets faster, as usual. You can now rent and stream movies via YouTube -- and even stream them on your Android phone, which is pretty awesome. And here are some of the bigger headlines: First: Google Music Beta. ItÃ¯Â¿Â½s a cloud-based music locker where you can store and play back your music, kind of like AmazonÃ¯Â¿Â½s Cloud Player service. ItÃ¯Â¿Â½s invite-only beta for now, unless you have an Android phone, and then you can download the mobile app. And, like Amazon, Google went ahead and launched it without the music labels on board. Because they remain THAT irrelevant and in the way of everything consumers want. And finally, and this is really the biggest news of all, thereÃ¯Â¿Â½s now a free Angry Birds Chrome App, available now in the Chrome App Store, with exclusive content for Chrome users. AAAAH! Yeah. I already have RSI from using my mouse hand to launch those little birds all day. My boss is not pleased. LetÃ¯Â¿Â½s zip through some of the other headlines this week. Microsoft bought Skype for 8.5 billion dollars, about double what everyone else was willing to pay. But whatever, they get Skype AND Qik for mobile phones, can integrate it into Windows 8, and letÃ¯Â¿Â½s face it: Kinect sex just got a whole lot more potential. NEWS FLASH: The Sony PlayStation Network and Qriocity service are still down. Sony says it hopes to have them up, at least partially, in a few days. And letÃ¯Â¿Â½s not pile on anymore than that, shall we? SonyÃ¯Â¿Â½s having a bad month. BAD. Also bad, it turns out 100,000 third-party Facebook apps have been accidentally leaking personal data for YEARS -- or could have been, but the app-makers say they didnÃ¯Â¿Â½t know about the security flaw that made your profile, photos, and even chats publicly visible. Facebook says itÃ¯Â¿Â½s alraedy fixed the problem, but Ã¯Â¿Â½ just assume you need to change your password to be sure. AGAIN. And Google and Apple visited Capitol Hill this week to explain to Senator Al Franken and others that they really arenÃ¯Â¿Â½t tracking YOUR location with their phones. TheyÃ¯Â¿Â½re just tracking all the WiFi hotspots and cell towers AROUND you. To possibly as close as like, 20 feet away from you. WhatÃ¯Â¿Â½s the big DEAL, unless youÃ¯Â¿Â½re playing horse-shoes or hand grenades? Franken didnÃ¯Â¿Â½t seem to buy it. And FINALLY, hereÃ¯Â¿Â½s whatÃ¯Â¿Â½s Clogging the Tubes this week: the Talking Dog. Yeah, itÃ¯Â¿Â½s been clogging for like a week, but no one told Cooley we do this segment, I guess. Plus, heÃ¯Â¿Â½s a cat person. Enjoy Ã¯Â¿Â½ Mean. And thatÃ¯Â¿Â½s the Buzz Report for this week, everyone. IÃ¯Â¿Â½m Molly Wood, and thank you for watching.