KARYNE: Hey, I�m Karyne Levy
EMILY: And I'm Emily Dreyfuss.
KARYNE: Welcome to Rumor Has It! The show where we round up the
week's biggest tech rumors.
EMILY: And vote on what sounds legit, and what seems like it'll never ever
KARYNE: And remember: you can vote on all the rumors! Keep your eye
out for the poll in the interactive player, if you're watching on CNET.
EMILY: First, Cult of Android reports that Asus may be working on a new
low-priced Android tablet that�s just a little bit stripped down from the
Nexus 7. Why do they think that? Someone apparently tested an Asus
tablet matching these specs on benchmark site GLBenchmark.com.
Now, Asus is the manufacturer of the Nexus 7, and there had been rumors
that it would team up with Google to make a $99 version.
KARYNE: But then that rumor was called into question when DigiTimes
reported that Google was going to work with someone else -- not Asus --
on the lower-cost Nexus 7.
EMILY: So, this could mean that Google IS going to work with Asus on the
lower-end Nexus after all.
KARYNE: Or that Asus is just making this on its own.
EMILY: Or these benchmarks are an error, this tablet doesn�t exist, and we
should all go back to watching �Homeland� and not worrying about this.
KARYNE: Next up, we have the birth and death of a rumor, all in a matter of
days. TechCrunch reported that WhatsApp was in talks to be acquired by
WhatsApp Messenger is a popular cross-platform mobile chat program
with about 100 million daily users.
The thing is, however, we don't buy it, and here's why: This week Facebook
announced its OWN new Messenger app, which is essentially an instant-
messaging network, complete with separate apps to use the service. But
people need only a phone number, and no Facebook account, to use it. So
it's basically a WhatsApp copycat!
EMILY: Because of that, we conclude that TechCrunch�s �sources� were
wrong. Barring some behind-the-scenes story we aren�t anticipating,
there�s just no incentive now for Facebook to acquire a pre-existing chat
EMILY: Finally, an Apple rumor that some of you are excited about is
heating up again. Back in September we reported a rumor that Apple was
coming out with a streaming-music service, and now market-research firm
BTIG Research predicts that this WILL in fact happen sometime in 2013.
The research report insists that iRadio, as it's being called, will be quote
unquote �vastly superior to Pandora,� however, with: a global solution,
increased skips and maybe most importantly, extended caching so that
wireless dead-zones are no longer a problem...
KARYNE: Remember that Apple bought the music-streaming site Lala.com
in 2009, and according to a New York Times report in September, the only
reason Apple didn't announce this service at the iPhone 5 launch event
was because of failed negotiations with Sony/ATV Music.
EMILY: And that is precisely why I think this report is bunk. Apple is not
good at wooing industry execs. They famously don�t play by the �wining
and dining� rules that music labels operate on. Unless their pricing scheme
is radically better for the labels than Pandora�s, I don�t see the labels
getting on board with this. And I really don�t see Apple offering a better
profit margin than Pandora. Not their style.
KARYNE: Like I said back in September, I think this report is likely true.
Pandora is the one product that Apple has not yet tried to kill. Making the
"Radio" button more prominent in iTunes 11 is further evidence that Apple
has something up its sleeve.
And it could be awesome! It would have access to your music library -- so
it would already know what you like, without you having to tell it.
EMILY: What do you guys think? Will Apple enter the murky mire of
streaming music to release iRadio in 2013? How do you think it could be
better than Pandora? Leave a comment, and don't forget to vote, while we
check in with the CNET council.
KARYNE: And the CNET verdict is...split, three out of six of our editors
think Apple will NOT come out with a streaming radio app, three think they
will, and of the three in favor, only one editor was optimistic enough to
believe it will be �vastly superior� to Pandora.
EMILY: We had so many great comments about Darth Vader�s new role in
Disney�s Star Wars franchise -- it was really hard to pick a favorite. Some
were funny, some were angry, many were creative, all were delightfully
nerdy, but this one seemed like the most probable. Will you please read
this in your best nerd voice.
KARYNE: Sure, my nerd voice has allergies. This one came from triarii3:
In the time between Episode III and Episode IV, Darth Vader took 20 years
to travel around the galaxy and hunt down Jedi in hiding after the Jedi
purge. I can see some epic story (even a trilogy) that might spin out from
this time frame...which could also give us more insight on the early days of
EMILY: That�s our show everyone, share your rumors at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-800-750-CNET. And tweet us!
KARYNE: Tune in next week for more tech rumors.