Buzz Out Loud 647: Oops, DELETED

Deletions happen, people. Would you rather look out for crazy employees and careless ISPs, or just back up and settle down? (Hint: back up.)

Molly Wood Former 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.
Molly Wood
5 min read
Deletions happen, people. Would you rather look out for crazy employees (like the one who deleted $2.5 million worth of architectural records because she thought she might get fired) and careless ISPs (like Charter, which accidentally wiped out 14,000 e-mail accounts), or just back up and settle down? I bet a Drobo's looking pretty good right now, eh?


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Wild podcaster

Alan the bean counter
Coffee, yeah, coffee.

Verizon gets marketing but little else, and sunspot update
Molly, Tom, and Jason:
I have been listening for a year and half and also love the podcast.
I really look forward to my BOL each morning.
Of the hundreds of vendors, customers, and governmental entities I deal with, only two stand out as abysmal.
Verizon does not get it at all at the day-to-day service level. Customer response time, access to knowledgeable technical support personnel, and the knowledge and workmanship of onsite service has sunk so low over the years that it is truly beyond belief. I deal with them every two or three months, and they never disappoint in their ability to be the bane of my business existence.
BTW, Comcast is a very, very close second.
Well actually: As a ham radio operator (call sign K3FY) we depend on sunspots to supply ionizing energy to certain layers of the ionosphere to enable us to bounce our radio signals back to earth. The angle of this reflection varies with the ionosphere's density, the frequency of radio waves used, and the take-off angle of the originating signals. This reflection allows us to greatly extend our communications range, and at times with several bounces a complete circle of the earth occurs. Now back to the sunspots themselves. The occurrence frequency of sunspots varies within an 11-year cycle. Each cycle is given a number. We are currently at a sunspot minimum with virtually no sunspots. However, this marks the beginning of next 11-year sunspot cycle number 24. The occurrence of sunspots and generally their size will both be slowly increasing over the next 5-1/2 years. Only the big ones tend to threaten power grids and communications. Please refer to the links below for more information.
Graph from http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/SunspotCycle.shtml
An excellent source of sun information.
Tom, I also love "The Real Deal."
Mark Holzbach

Ice cream
Hey B.O.L. crew,
I was listening to show #646 at work yesterday and had to stop everything and concentrate on the show. My attention was grabbed by the voice mail at the end of the show. I heard this woman bouncing through thoughts like she was hopped up on caffeine. I liked that. It reminded me of me. The only difference is I have Netfilx streaming to my laptop, and I have the HBO on broadband. The only thing I need is someone to bring the ice cream.
Love the show,
Mike from Wisconsin

Cellphone heaven
Hi Tom, Molly, and Jason.
Was listening to Episode 645 where you talk about cellphones and SMS and the costs involved, and how you sort of speculate how nice it would be to just buy a GSM cell and stick your SIM in it and everything works.
I live here in Manila, the Philippines. I've never really given it much thought, but now I realize how great we have it here, and repressed you guys are over there with phones and everything.
Here, a typical midrange postpaid plan from a provider costs about US$28.50/month, which includes 344 minutes of call time, and 350 free text messages. If you go over, they start charging 20 cents a minute for calls, and .02 cents per SMS.
You can also buy prepaid SIMs for about $3.50, loaded with a few free minutes of call time and SMSs. You just buy credit and load up the (anonymous) account in increments of $2 or even smaller, or you can ask friends with postpaid accounts to pass you credit phone-to-phone which gets charged to their accounts.
The nice part is you can buy a SIM chip anywhere to create havoc with your enemies, or to play pranks or do scams, then just throw it away after, since the prepaids aren't monitored or regulated at all. Imagine the possibilities.
And of course, you can just pick up any open-line phone at any store anywhere, from cheapo disposables to the top-of-the-line units from our region, where it all comes from.
That's it. Love the show.
Adel from cellphone nirvana
Manila, Philippines

I have experienced this crishing twice in the past week from the other end. This is how it works: cheap car posted, send e-mail for more info, then get a response saying that they are in a divorce, visiting family etc., and that they want to ship it to me, all they need is name, address, and to Paypal money in advance.
Tyler W.

A PS3 wish engine
Hey Buzz,
Given that all of Sony's PS3 denials seem to come true about a week after they deny the claim, perhaps we could use this information to our advantage. Maybe they aren't hiding anything when they deny, but some how the asking of the question is creating the reality where the price drops occur. Basically what I'm saying is why don't you all send a question to Sony looking for an official response to the question:
"Is there any truth to the rumor that Sony plans to give away 10,000 PS3 units for free over the next few weeks?"
"Is there any truth to the rumor that Sony plans to pay off Frank L.'s student loans?"
You never know, it might work :)
Frank J. M. Lattuca, Esq.

'Pausing' iTunes movies?
Macworld has an article about pausing iTunes rental and resuming well after the expiration time.
Thanks for the show!
Mike R.