The Buzz Report
The Internet will destroy us allCyber-attacks, malicious spam, and botnets are the future, and we can't fight the future. Thank goodness attractive men on horseback are there to distract us.
Hi, I'm Molly Wood, and welcome to the Buzz Report, the show about the tech news that everyone's talking about. This week, Google made a boo-boo and the Internet is going to destroy us all. Let's begin with the Gadget of the Week, while we still can. The Gadget of the Week is Windows Phone 7. It's not a phone, and it's not really Windows 7, but Microsoft announced a new version of its mobile operating system that actually looks kind of cool. It has a deck of cards interface like the Palm, it looks more like the Zune OS than Windows, and it integrates with all kinds of cool Microsoft stuff -- most importantly, your Xbox and your Xbox Live gamer tag. And can I just say ... wow! Finally! I hope it's even half as cool as expected, and if it is ... good show, Microsoft. And now for the news. Google is extremely sorry. You see, it simply never occurred to them that if they dropped this Buzz thing into your Gmail inbox, made the list of people you communicate with most often TOTALLY public, and gave those people and anybody else who friends you access to your pictures and RSS feeds ... that people might thing that was a little bigfoot in the privacy department. It ... did not occur to them. At all. So, Google spent the better part of this week apologizing profusely for the mistakes of last week, and building in configuration screens to let you decide who you want to follow, untangling Buzz from your Picasa and Google Reader accounts, and letting the world know that they now realize they REALLY should have tested this thing with some people who like, didn't work at Google. And may I just say again that ... after all of Facebook's privacy kerfuffles ... after all the times Google itself has been sued over StreetView, and all the different ways that people are freaked out about Google's control over our personal information ... these guys had NO IDEA that people might freak out about Buzz? What are they smoking inside that bubble, and can someone let me in for a few hours? Because I want to try it. In other news, cyber war games. Former U.S. officials staged a huge fake cyber-attack this week, and concluded that, in sum, we're screwed. In the simulation, the attack first took out cell phone networks, then land-lines, then the Internet, and then there were two bombings at power stations and the entire Eastern seaboard's power grid went dark. Which, I think all that was the plot of the last "Die-Hard" movie. The former officials who participated in the simulation, including the former deputy CIA director and the former National Security Advisor, all said the scenario seemed quite possible, however; and in the simulation, they couldn't figure out where the attacks were coming from in order to stop them. And they also said that Russia and China have the capabilities to launch such an attack and they don't really know if Al Qaeda does, but they might! Yay! See, I know they do this stuff to educate the government and the people? But, ahaha, yeah. Maybe top-secret war games next time. And in other cyber security news, a new report says the number of malicious spam messages sent per day went from 600 million to 3 BILLION in just the last six months of 2009. Three billion spam messages per day. Most of them contain links that will infect your computer and turn it into part of one of the giant botnets that are responsible for sending all that spam in the first place. Am I the only one thinking it might be time to like, turn off the Internet? But if we did, we wouldn't have Clogging the Tubes. So, let's keep the Internet, because the latest king of viral videos is one of those commercials you don't watch when it's on TV, but you do watch on YouTube. It's ... this old spice ad. Yep. That is officially the best commercial I've ever seen in my life. Ahh. Don't wear Old Spice, though. it smells like old man. And that's the Buzz Report for this week, everyone. I'm Molly Wood, and thanks for watching.