Buzz Out Loud 1253: Google has an honesty problem (podcast)
Here's the thing: Google keeps insisting that the data it snared from open WiFi hotspots isn't a big deal, it's useless, it was an accident, and so on. But now, some French investigators discovered that the "useless data" contains obvious passwords and recognizable snippets of email. Which isn't as "useless" as Google suggested, you know? Also, Apple iOS 4 is here; the Nook is, hopefully, resetting e-book reader prices to somewhere they should be; and you decide: Toshiba folding tablet, awesome or DOA? Or both?
Molly WoodFormer Executive Editor
Molly Wood was an executive editor at CNET, author of the Molly Rants blog, and host of the tech show, Always On. When she's not enraging fanboys of all stripes, she can be found offering tech opinions on CBS and elsewhere, and offering opinions on everything else to anyone who will listen.
Hey Buzz crew,
I admit, I'm not a fan of going Chicken Little about something as small as random drive-by packet sniffing, but I do feel that Google really may be much less technically aware than they are thought to be. Not only were they collecting this data "unknowingly," but now we learn that they actually collected passwords in this so-called "useless data?" What's going on with Google? It seems that they have either terrible judgment regarding security (Buzz), or they are just plain incompetent. Anywhere else, breaches would lead to serious heads rolling, and I have a hard time believing there is or EVER was any legitimate reason for Google to have ever collected this. Also, I take offense to Eric Schmidt's defense stating “”Who was harmed? Name the person.”" The way Google operates, even if they know who the person is, we likely never will unless a third party exposes their identity. Love the show.
I’m a long-time listener and I just wanted to check in on the whole AT&T MicroCell issue. I understand where your criticism is coming from, but I recently purchased one of these units and I must say that I am very satisfied with it. I live in an old brownstone apartment in Chicago and have had problems getting a signal in certain rooms. I’ve noticed that this is not so much an AT&T issue as it is a general radio transparency issue- friends who are on other networks also seem to have a difficult time when they come over. I now have full bars in almost every corner of my apartment and will be getting rid of my landline. The savings from not paying for a landline will pay for the MicroCell in a matter of months. I also wanted to correct a misconception that you seem to have about the MicroCell. It doesn’t actually improve AT&T’s network. You need to register your individual cell number to the MicroCell (up to 10 numbers per device) and only registered devices can use the boosted coverage.
I was sad to see Tom leave and I kinda think that Leo Laporte is like the Yoko Ono of Tech podcasts, but I love the show and continue to listen.