Buzz Out Loud 699: The smell of pong

Episode 699, in which we coin a new phrase, "swang pong." You figure it out. Also, video on Flickr and bad news about promotional CDs (and goblins).

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
7 min read
It's episode 699, in which we coin a new phrase, "swang pong." You figure it out. Also, video on Flickr and bad news about promotional CDs (and goblins). Also, if you live in the U.S., it's time to feel good about yourselves and your Internet. According to a new European study, it's one of the best in the world. Who'da thunk?
Listen now: Download today's podcast


Video on Flickr!

Wal-Mart going hardline on DRM-free online music store; SonyBMG and Warner Music Group hold outs

Universal Music Group: Throwing away promo CDs is illegal

Senators still sweating digital TV switch

Pixar to release all new movies in 3D

Apple error leaves iPhone developers in the lurch

Mossberg: I have no idea when 3G iPhone is coming, and I don’t care

Nokia’s touch screen Tube out in the wilds?

Your identity is worth less than $15

Study gives high marks to U.S. Internet

HP strikes chord with Mini-Note PC

All your baseball are belong to Rick Astley


Vic Norway
The smell of Pong

Why so mean with the promos?


3D printer + copyright law = pandemonium

Wow, as if we didn’t have copyright issues before!

“You can’t print that wheel for your dishwasher Merritt! We own the patent! You have to buy it from us for $29.99!”

“You can’t fabricate a life-sized copy of Col. Sanders! We own it!”

“You can’t make a copy of that Star Wars figure! George Lucas owns the patent to your childhood!”

The intellectual property issues are staggering. Someone call Lawrence Lessig!


E-mail to Apple

Hi guys
I sent you a copy of an e-mail i sent to apple, what do you think of the reply i got ?

Dear Doug,

I understand you’re wanting some information about how to stop the prompts from asking if you’d like to install Safari for Windows. My name is Noël and I will be happy to assist you in this matter.

First off, I’d just like to say that Safari, in my opinion, is by far the best Web browser available today. It has everything you could want or need built in. I’d highly recommend you try it out to see for yourself.

To discontinue getting the message, you will need to either install the browser, or disable the Software updater from the scheduled tasks. The following article I found by googling this issue may help:

Disable Apple software update screen (Windows) http://www.technipages.com/disable-apple-software-update-screen-windows.html

I have issued 2 song credits to your “dep112362@aol.com” iTunes Store account for this frustrating matter. You can use these to buy the individual songs of your choice from the iTunes Store.

When you next sign in with this account, the song credits will appear by your account name (in the upper-right section of the iTunes Store). The next individual song you buy from the iTunes Store will use one of your song credits instead of your primary form of payment (until all credits have been used or have expired). Please note that song credits cannot be used for purchasing songs that are listed as “Album Only.”

If you don’t see your credits, refresh your account information by signing out and back in to the iTunes Store. You can find both “Sign Out” and “Sign In” within the pull-down “Store” menu. If you don’t see this menu, you should need only download the latest version of iTunes from our Web site for free:


Let me know if you need any further assistance with anything and I will be happy to help you. Thank you for being a valued customer. We want your experience to be as enjoyable as possible. Have a wonderful day!


iTunes Store Customer Support in California Sunday-Thursday 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.


Response to staples chair cost

Hi Buzz Crew,
This is Ken the Staples guy.
I am writing in response to Alex the law student and his comments on a recent visit to Staples of his mentioned in episode 698. I have wanted to call or write in many times, but I feel I need to defend my paycheck and explain the policy on this one.
The policy in general is we charge a $5 assembly fee if the customer would like a chair put together.
We waive the fee if we do not have any more of the same chair in stock, and the customer would still like the display model. So if that is all we have, then you do not pay extra for it. And we often give a discount.
However, if a customer is looking for a deal by asking for the display model then we do not waive the fee, because they are trying to get something for nothing. Of course exceptions can be made then as well. But someone spent valuable time assembling the chair for a reason other than that customer.
Although he would have been surprised by the price difference in trying to get a deal in asking for the display model, I think if you ask for the display model (for a reason other than it being the last one) then you should not complain about the other people who would have tried it out.

Thanks for being my daily tech roundup--Podcast Of Indeterminate Length!

Ken, the Staples guy from near Pittsburgh Pa.

Wii mouse


I do not know about any Bothans, but your desire for Wii mouse combo sounds a lot like the logitech MX Air:


It doesn’t work with the Wii, but same principle.


Wii controller for the PC

Hi Buzz Crew,

Just responding to Tom’s comment about the Wii controller mouse for PC (I’m sure ton of other folks will be sending this to you as well), there’s a company called Gyration (www.gyration.com) that makes mice that have a gyroscopes to detect motions like the Wii controller, and they function like a regular mice when put on a flat surface.

Looking up on Wikipedia, Gyration actually made a concept controller for Nintendo back in 2001 (http://www.answers.com/wii+controller?cat=technology&gwp=13).

I actually wrote about it way back for a small tech site back in the day, it is now defunct, although the main page still works (http://www.edgereview.com).

I really like the mouse I had back then, but it wasn’t perfect. Left clicking isn’t accurate at times while using it in motion detect mode because the process of clicking the mouse button moves the mouse, so you might not click on the right link or missed the prompt boxes at times. It definitely has a learning curve to it.

Jack C. Ngai

Evil link service

Hi Jason, Molly and Tom,

I ran across this on a twitter friend’s blog. It’s a service called LinkBlip. It basically allows you to send someone a modified link to a page and then will notify you when they click it.


Big bruther is in ur links, watchin wher u clik!

aka dOgBOi

iTunes tax

Heya Buzz peoples,

In episode 698 (yesterday) you talked about California charging a tax that would apply to music downloads, specifically iTunes.

Well I live in Arizona and I pay a tax on iTunes download. I pay 1.08 for a song and about 2.10 - 2.11 for a TV episode.

So I don’t know what ya’ll are complaining about. I have been paying taxes on iTunes downloads since day one.

Anyway just wanted to let you all know. Also I think I only pay sales taxes on Internet sales if that company I am buying from has stores-etc in my state. Apple has stores in Ariz., therefore I pay tax on Apple products. That’s my understanding anyway.

Keep up the buzzing.

Mark - Grand Canyon State

Is there a term for BOL killing a site?

Hi JaMoTo,

If you haven’t already coined a name for it yet, you need to find a BOL equivalent to Slashdotting or the Digg Effect. Buzzed, maybe? In episode 698 you mentioned http://www.applejeans.com, and when I visited that the afternoon of the show, all it showed was a Microsoft ODBC Drivers error. I hope you’re happy — you’ve killed the dream of Apple Jeans!

Ottawa, Canada