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The Buzz Report
Proof of a Verizon iPhone?In buzz this week, there's a possible corroboration of a Verizon iPhone; Twitter wants to make money for real this time; and a Molly Rant in video form.
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 Twitter's business plan, your embarrassing status updates preserved for all time, and a Molly Rant video. But first, it's the Gadget of the Week. The Gadget of the Week is the new Microsoft Kin line. The company announced two new feature phones this week, as a result of its Pink project and that time it bought Danger, you know, the ones who make the Sidekick. Now, there's a lot to distract you from the phones themselves -- the weird name, the hilarious hipster Website and video, and the fact that they have a social media sharing feature that they call the "Kin spot." That's ... bizarre. But ACTUALLY, these are pretty cool little phones for the social media set -- it's super easy to share pictures and comments and messages with your friends, and everything you do, like text message and, say, pictures you take with the Kin 2's 8 megapixel camera, is backed up into the cloud at the Kin Studio Website. I mean, they're neat. I might even want one ... if I spent more time at the beach or in clubs. Alas, I am a grown-up and must settle for the Droid. And now for the news. Twitter has a business plan! It's spam. I mean, "promoted Tweets." They are tweets that advertise something, but at first, they'll only show up as like, sponsored results when you search for something. Or, you might see them if you follow a specific company, like Starbucks. Although I guess Starbucks whole twitter feed is kind of a sponsored tweet. Anyway, Twitter says it's THINKING about maybe allowing these promotional tweets to show up in your regular Twitter stream down the road, but right now they really want the ads to be "contextual," and "organic," and "non- intrusive." In sum, it's like the most half-hearted business plan you ever did hear, and it seems like if anything it's just to get Venture Capitalists to stop freaking out and keep giving Twitter money. Guys. You're a free service on the Internet. It's time to face the facts. Ad- supported or bust. Literally. In other Twitter news, everything you've ever twittered will soon be indexed and searchable on Google. So, yeah, you thought future employers searching for you on Facebook was bad? Your drunk tweets and breakfast updates are now part of Web history forever. OH, and Twitter just donated its entire archive of tweets to the Library of Congress. Because ... we need to have a historical record of that one time in history when everyone communicated their arbitrarily abbreviated banal thoughts to each other all day, every day. So that, like, our grandkids can use it to make fun of us. This is going to be so embarrassing. In other news this week, Apple has delayed shipment of the iPad overseas, saying it has much higher U.S. demand than anticipated. Like I said ... eBay. Right? Right. And in other Apple news, new rumors that the date of the next iPhone announcement is June 22, and some screenshots surfaced this week that seem to show traffic going to an iPhone app from a Verizon iPhone. Didn't I tell you not to sign a new contract with AT&T? Didn't I? And finally, announcing a new segment on the Buzz Report ... Molly Rants. Hopefully you know about my new blog, at news.com/molly-rants -- the hyphen is its own rant. Well, some of you have been asking for it in video form. And here goes. This week, a government watchdog agency reported that most estimates about the impact of piracy AND counterfeiting on the economy are either totally made up or are simply wild assumptions. For example, the FBI said in 2002 that U.S. businesses lose 250 billion dollars a year to counterfeiting. When the General Accounting Office asked the FBI where they got that number, the FBI basically said ... we pulled it out of our butt. The Business Software Alliance said it lost 9 billion dollars to piracy in 2008. The GAO said ... that number also came out of their butt. The report also mentions the MPAA, which has already been busted for totally lying about the number of illegal downloads happening on college campuses, but keeps on making piracy look worse than it is with numbers that ... you guessed it ... totally came out of their butt. All of this fantasy-based information is the kind that leads to really bad, overly broad laws like the DMCA. And that lets the RIAA sue people into bankruptcy or just extort payouts from them based on totally fictional claims of lost revenue. Or, even better, it lets our own administration continue to negotiate this crazy global Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement in secret even though it's probably going to break the Internet and who knows what else. That is appalling. Some ... number-producing butt should seriously get spanked for that. And that's the Buzz Report for this week, everyone. I'm Molly Wood, and thanks for watching.