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The Buzz Report
Palm Pixi: Cute overload!This week, the Palm Pixi threatens the Droid in terms of sheer cuteness, Facebook gets hacked (maybe), and space almost kills us--again!
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 new and improved Bing, Facebook hacking, and asteroid fly-bys. But first, it's the Gadget of the Week. The Gadget of the Week is the Palm Pixi! It goes on sale this weekend, it's tiny, it's adorable, it's running the deck-of-cards WebOS, it kind of reminds us Droid-obsessed techies that Palm still exists, and that you know what? Sometimes it's not all about the Android development environment and whether you have multitouch and tethering and virtual versus physical keyboards. Sometimes it's about a limited edition Artist Series back cover with hummingbirds on it. Everyone's different, people. And now for the news. Microsoft is making all kinds of changes to Bing, in hopes that you will actually use Bing. Microsoft rebranded its MSN video properties as Bing Video, where it turns out they have all kinds of TV shows. Who knew? Plus, Microsoft also announced this week that it would start to integrate the "advanced algorithms" of Wolfram Alpha. The example the Microsoft team gives is that Wolfie, as I like to call it, can now help you calculate body mass index or offer nutritional information about foods. And of course, it will help you make crazy math. So, that's great! You get all the accidental porn and pretty- looking search results of Bing, plus the crazy math making whatever-it-does of Wolfie. It's ... a little more complicated than Google. But it could work! This week, there were reports that hundreds of Facebook groups had been hacked. A group calling itself Control Your Info claimed that it had hacked the groups, changed their names to Control Your Info, and was threatening to use information about the group members in "a bad way which could damage your image severely." But between the bad writing, Facebook's denial that any actual hacking had occurred, and our general obliviousness about personal information and privacy on Facebook, I think most of us just thought it was something related to that damn Mafia Wars. Man. I hate that game. In free Internet news, Google announced this week that it will offer free WiFi in 47 airports around the country during the holiday season. Previously, Google had announced it would sponsor WiFi for the holidays on Virgin America flights. And Microsoft is dropping free WiFi in other airports just for making one Bing search! Wow! WiFi must be pretty cheap and easy to provide, and all these giveaways only serve to remind us how infuriating it is that we have to pay exorbitant rates for it all the OTHER times we're trapped in airports and on airplanes for hours on end because every single flight in the world is apparently now just always late or canceled or the airplane is broken. So. You know. Thanks for that. And now, for one of my favorite Buzz Report segments, DEATH FROM ABOVE. Apparently this week, an asteroid roughly the size of a garage passed within nine thousand miles of Earth! That's pretty much enough for us to like, feel the breeze. The asteroid got so close that the Earth's gravitational pull bent the asteroid's orbital path. Trying to pull it on home, maybe. Ha ha. And the best part is that the space-watchers didn't notice the asteroid headed right for us until about 15 hours before it whizzed by. I mean, you know, it sounds like it wouldn't have been a big deal if it had hit us, but space writers are taking this chance to note that this is a reminder that a much bigger asteroid probably WILL hit us someday, and we should be prepared. Yeah. How about if THEY be prepared by spotting the asteroids more than 15 hours before they hit us so we at least have time to duck before we're incinerated? Freakin' space. And that's the Buzz Report for this week, everyone. I'm Molly Wood, and thanks for watching.