Buzz Out Loud 683: Will you marry me?

Our first Buzz Out Loud proposal. And maybe our last if the flood starts.

Tom Merritt Former CNET executive editor
5 min read
Well we did something we may regret. We allowed a caller to propose on the show. It was sweet, but then we found out it wasn't even the first proposal from that guy to Kristin. Anyway, other than romantic moments, we also had a lot of flash drive discussion, some economic lessons on volume-selling, and a spate of Microsoft news.


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Apple snags 14 percent of U.S.-based PC retail sales in February

Yahoo: We’ll double our cash flow

Justices turn down Microsoft appeal

Amazon: Vista SP1 to ship Wednesday

Online oligarchy: Old guard dominates Net news coverage

Returns, technical problems high with flash-based notebooks

State agency to destroy unauthorized USB drives

Intel moving to six-cores this year; What will you do with them?

Wacky Apple patent application shows dual-screen ‘iPhone 2.0′?

FriendFeed is not the new Twitter, Is it?

One minute of science per five hours of cable news

All hail our robot overloads (Thanks Murray!)


Ausus Eee PC not so open.

Will You Marry Me?
I guess that explains it all.

Jared Philadelphia
Fixed costs.


Buzz Out Loud Lounge: How you make profit with volume on a unit that loses money.


Selling at a loss, but making it up in volume


It’s a joke. Basically it is poking fun at companies that are obsessed with revenue at all costs. Usually it refers to a product you are selling at a negative marginal cost (every unit sells at less than it costs), hence the more you sell the more you lose. The internet bubble was a perfect example of a time when people would use the flawed logic that “we’re selling at a loss, but we’re making it up on volume!” The idea being that they would reach some sort of critical mass before they ran out of money and it didn’t matter that they were selling everything in the store at a loss. One reason this doesn’t work is that people begin to expect your lower price, and once you raise your prices to become profitable, people don’t shop at your store anymore.

The PS3 is a loss leader. You’re selling the PS3 at a loss in the hopes of selling other products later. Razors and razorblades is the classic economic example of this. You sell the razor cheap and sell the razorblades for a lot because while expensive the blades are still less than buying a whole new razor.

David Pollack

Wii and head tracking

Hi Jolly + whoever is there today,

In Monday’s episode you guys were talking about the Wii and how that Johnny kid was able to run around his room and get a 3D image. While I love my Wii and I think that Johnny kid was pretty clever, this technology in gaming is actually kinda old. There’s this device for the PC called Track-IR that is actually quite popular in the sim-gaming community. It works in a similar way, except instead of the Wii’s two points of light it uses three. This means that it can not only track the X,Y, and Z axes of your head, but also rotation. It’s a really cool effect when flying a plane- you can look around for enemy planes, you can peer over the edge of your cockpit, and you can even move your head closer in to look at your instruments. When I’m in a dive, its so much more realistic that I actually feel a bit of fear. Apparently it also works in a lot of driving and space-sim games as well. Only negative thing is that I used to think I kept crashing because I had poor visibility- now I know I’m just bad at flying planes. Anyway, it’s a bit expensive, but it’s my version of gaming nirvana.

Love the show!

Mike (electrical engineer in FL)

Hard drive death watch

On the question about solid state drives replacing hard drives, one of the arguments against it was that flash memory has a limited amount of rewrites. I looked this up on the internet, and according to several sites, the number of rewrites is between 10,000 and 100,000. Lets do the math using the lower number 10,000. If you were to completely rewrite your hard drive every day (10,000/365) that would be 27 years before the drive was used up. Granted there are power users who can use this much sooner. But for the average user, this is not a problem. Now compare this with a hard drive, again a quick internet search shows you can only expect about five years of live for a hard drive. Once the price of solid state drives drops to compare with hard drives, I can easily see HDs becoming extinct. So it seems to me that hard drive are the dinosaurs waiting for the comet. Add them to the death watch.

Columbus Oh


Hey guys,

I may be a bit behind on this, but I made you a Loicat. Just had to be done.



Pi day

The nerd in me decided I must point out hat we missed the most perfect
pi moments, quite a long time ago… March 14th, 1592 6:53:58 AM/PM