The Buzz Report
iPhone StampedeGet your $97 iPhone 3GS at Wal-Mart while you can. The new one is just around the corner, and you'll probably find a prototype lying on a park bench anyway. Plus: Facebook's privacy changes explained.
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 phones at the gym, Facebook's new privacy settings, again, and the invasion of the Wal-Mart people. But first, it's the Gadget of the Week. The Gadget of the Week is the Motorola Droid Shadow. This little beauty looks to be, basically, the Droid 2, and the rumors are that it could be headed to Verizon this summer. It's got a 4.3 inch touch screen, which is huge like the Evo, an 8-megapixel camera that takes 720p video, it's running the 1 gigaherz Snapdragon processor, and has 16 gigs of internal memory. And we know all these specs because supposedly a Verizon employee left it in a company gym and the gym employee who found it knew enough to ask for the specs and call a gadget blog. Uh huh. Nice. Lost it in a bar, left it at the gym. I'm sure the next big phone coming down the pike will be "left" in a taxi that's conveniently headed for CNET. (Actually, could you do that? That'd be cool.) And now for the news. Facebook rolled out its simplified privacy settings this week, and now hopes that we will all just stop our bitching and go away, please. They HEARD us. [[SOUNDBITES]] In a nutshell, Facebook's privacy settings are now all on one page. So that's good. You have more control over public information and Facebook won't force you to make, like, your interests, part of a publicly available page. AND, you can opt out of ALL the applications and Websites that might be sharing your information without your knowledge. And just like, use Facebook as a way to communicate privately with a network of friends! Just like the original plan! So, here's how easy it is now. You just go to this one page, under Privacy Settings, and you can kind of choose from these pre-sets -- like, everyone can see everything, a friends- of-friends settings, a super-private friends-only pre-set, their Recommended sharing settings, or you can customize. The application thing? Oh, yeah, that's kind of just a little text link down here. They don't really want you to turn that off. C'mon. In other news this week, the Department of Justice is reportedly looking into whether Apple unfairly threw its weight around the digital music business. Music industry sources say Apple threatened not to promote songs if those songs were also promoted at Amazon. And since iTunes controls 70 percent of the digital music market, the DOJ is looking into whether Apple might have unfairly used its monopoly to squash competition. Which I would argue is the entire point of having a monopoly, but that's why we have laws. It's a fine line. Also in Apple land, the new iPhone is coming and they are clearing out the old ones. The 16 gigabyte iPhone 3GS is now 97 dollars at Wal-Mart, with a new contract. That's right. iPhone's gettin' a rollback. Heck, almost any WalMart shopper can afford one now! Also in preparation for the new iPhone, AT&T raised its early termination fee on smart phones from $175 to a whopping $325. To be fair, Verizon charges even more, but somehow it doesn't seem so bad because of how if you have a Verizon phone you can actually MAKE PHONE CALLS. And also GET phone calls. And send text messages. Stop me if you've heard this. But come on, AT&T is trying. The company set up a WiFi hot spot in Times Square, supposedly to relieve pressure on the network, and to prepare for the FLOOD of new iPhones that will stress the 3G network even more. See, but, if the idea is that New Yorkers have a lot of iPhones, then why put a hotspot in Times Square? I thought there weren't any New Yorkers in Times Square. Maybe it's for the Wal-Mart people. And finally, let's have a look at what's Clogging the Tubes. This week, it's the oh. so. clever. BP Global PR Twitter account. No. It's not a real BP account. But if you're going to make jokes about a horrible ecologically disastrous oil spill? This is the way to do it. But it's not just mockery! The clever devils also made t-shirts that they're selling for $25, and the proceeds from the shirt go to healthygulf.org. And that's how you do it. Pretty slick, guys. Haha ... get it? Yeah, no, I'll leave it to them. And that's the Buzz Report for this week, everyone. I'm Molly Wood, and thanks for watching.