The Buzz Report
Samsung Galaxy Note: phablet phever?On this week's Buzz Report, the biggest phone (or smallest tablet) ever, iPad 3 rumors, and why Google's not really that scary, even with Motorola Mobility on board.
Hi, everyone, IÃ¯Â¿Â½m Molly Wood and welcome to the Buzz Report, the show about the tech news that everyone is talking about. This week, the English language takes a nose dive, Google gets Motorola Mobility, and radio reception in a can. But first, the gadget of the week. The Gadget of the Week is the Samsung Galaxy Note. ItÃ¯Â¿Â½s a phone/tablet hybrid. ItÃ¯Â¿Â½s a phablet. i AM NOT MAKING THIS UP PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY CALLING THIS THING A PHABLET LIKE ITÃ¯Â¿Â½S A NEW CATEGORY OF DEVICE KILL ME NOW. Anyway. The Galaxy Note has a 5.3 inch screen, so itÃ¯Â¿Â½s just about as big as a tablet, and it comes with a stylus so you can take notes and draw and stuff. But mainly, itÃ¯Â¿Â½s a phone. A really, really, really gigante phone. ItÃ¯Â¿Â½s LTE capable, it has an 8 megapixel camera, and like every new Android phone that should be running Ice Cream Sandwich but isnÃ¯Â¿Â½t, itÃ¯Â¿Â½s expected to get an upgrade sometime around someday. ItÃ¯Â¿Â½s pretty good as a phone, but itÃ¯Â¿Â½s pretty much only for people who carry purses or man purses. And can say phablet with a straight face. Phablet. What has this world come to? And now for the news. Back to the good old days when tablets were tablets and phones were phones Ã¯Â¿Â½ the world is awash with iPad 3 rumors, and those rumors say itÃ¯Â¿Â½s coming SOON! The latest batch of unnamed sources say the newest iPad could debut March 7, which would be right on time, considering the iPad 2 came out just about exactly a year ago. iPad 2 prices are down to 429 bucks, by the way. Rumors suggest the new iPad could have a Retina Display, a faster, maybe even quad core processor, and support for 4G LTE data. And some reports say Apple has been testing a new, smaller version of the iPad, closer to about 8 inches. Which, if it also came with 4G LTE networking built in, heck, why not use it as a phone, too, and then it could be the worldÃ¯Â¿Â½s first iPhablet! Ok, last time, I promise. The U.S. and the European Union have approved GoogleÃ¯Â¿Â½s bid to buy Motorola Mobility, which means the deal is VERY close to done. The purchase gives Google access to its own phone hardware and a treasure trove of crucial phone-related patents, PLUS MotorolaÃ¯Â¿Â½s entire TV set-top box business and its relationships with cable companies who license those boxes. The EU and DOJ approved the deal with no strings attached, saying, hey, yeah, sure, Google COULD combine its search, services, and operating system business with hardware to create a technological juggernaut that would control and distribute most of the worldÃ¯Â¿Â½s information, music, TV, video, and books on its own branded platforms, crushing all other competition existing and nascent Ã¯Â¿Â½ but letÃ¯Â¿Â½s be honest. This is GOOGLE weÃ¯Â¿Â½re talking about. TheyÃ¯Â¿Â½re not really that organized. Anyway, weÃ¯Â¿Â½ll all soon forget ALL our troubles, because the two great opiates of the masses, Ã¯Â¿Â½Angry BirdsÃ¯Â¿Â½ and Facebook, have just joined forces Ã¯Â¿Â½ itÃ¯Â¿Â½s Ã¯Â¿Â½Angry Birds for Facebook.Ã¯Â¿Â½ The wildly popular physics and puzzle game now gets new features, new powers, like a Ã¯Â¿Â½birdquake,Ã¯Â¿Â½ and social gamification features, like the ability to compare scores, daily rewards for playing all the time, you know. That kind of crack-type stuff. In order to save society, letÃ¯Â¿Â½s make a new rule, ok? No Facebook Angry Birds at work. Just Ã¯Â¿Â½ NO. No whiskey at lunch, no Angry Birds at work. The fate of the world is at stake, here. Google recently held a conference called Ã¯Â¿Â½Solve for XÃ¯Â¿Â½ -- itÃ¯Â¿Â½s part of a new project to encourage people to come up with crazy tech solutions to huge problems. And the big hit at the first conference this week? Spray-on antenna. Startup Chamtech says you can spray the antenna-in-a-can on almost any surface and improve your various radio receptions, including cell phone reception. They showed it off by spraying it on a tree. Yeah, really! Ooh, hey! Maybe if you mixed this with the spray-on hair stuff, then pretty soon all the tall, balding guys in the world could be like, walking femtocells! Man. I love Solve for X. And thatÃ¯Â¿Â½s it for this week, everyone. IÃ¯Â¿Â½m Molly Wood and thank you for watching.