Buzz Out Loud 713: Chore Wars--The Cleanening

We unveil the MMORPG to end all MMORPGs: Chore Wars--Cleaning the kitchen has never been so epic. Also, iPhone comes to Canada!

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
There can be only one (see Highlander II, you n00bs) MMORPG that makes you clean your room. And we have found it. Chore Wars. Also, iPhone comes to Canada and we go green: new Prius talk, disappearing ink to save on energy and people, and how to stop buying CDs (uh, once the labels get on board).
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XP SP3 is out today! (oh wait… never mind)

iPhone coming to Canada

Psystar in the wild

OQO hacked to run Leopard, now world’s smallest Mac

New Prius to be bigger, better

New way to save energy: Disappearing ink

HDtracks: Why settle for iTunes now that you can get CD quality music downloads?

WB comes back on the Web

Start-up hopes to outdo eBay with online market

Holographic storage, 150GB discs finally coming to market

EULAs For malicious software

Chore Wars


Victor New York
My problem with Web version of sites.

Zander Canada
So about Microsoft delaying Yahoo stuff.


Cell phone jammers on a plane

I am not unfamiliar with the cell phone jammers to which you referred in #712, having tested a few different models, from the “create your own peaceful bubble” model to the “silence a football stadium” version. I’m also a pilot. Lest anyone get the idea that cell phone jammers on a plane is a reasonable way to get some silence, let me point out something.

Now, I’m not too concerned about the effects of cell phones on avionics; I’ve used my cell phone on my own plane many times without ill effect–many pilots’ headsets actually have cell phone adapters to make this even more convenient (officially for use on the ground only).
However, not all cell phones are created equal. Most phones are relatively safe, but the older, lower-frequency phones have been demonstrated on a few occasions to mess with the navigational radios.
Cell phone jammers, of course, are generally designed to block all cell phone frequencies, and are significantly higher-power than the cell phones themselves. The result: you’re going to make a lot of crew very angry very quickly. Along the same vein, TSA will probably pronounce you a terrorist if you attempt to bring one on a plane for this very reason.
And honestly, who would argue?

On a related topic:
For what it’s worth, many innocent-looking devices can interfere with cockpit instruments: For example, I heard a story from another pilot of a Palm Pilot messing with his in-flight weather instruments and showing up as a lightning strike every time the user tapped the screen. However, it’s all a balance between keeping the passengers both safe and happy. A certain amount of interference can be safely tolerated if the passengers demand it. No pilot worth employing is going to crash a plane just because his radio went all screwy half-way between LA and New York.
They’re trained to be better at it than that.

However, during takeoff and landing, stuff gets a bit more sensitive.
When the plane goes below 10,000 feet, you’re supposed to turn everything off, just in case. During this phase of flight, the pilots aren’t even allowed to talk about anything not related to the task at hand. When the pilot is landing the plane and getting time-sensitive instructions from the tower, the last thing he needs is the “beep-bipty-beep-bipty-buzzzzzz” of your cell phone screwing with his headset.

Don’t put everyone’s lives in jeopardy by choosing this, the worst possible moment, to send a text message to your girlfriend saying you’ve almost landed. Show a little sense, people.


--Frank L announces candidacy for Mayor of Buzztown

My Fellow Podcast Listeners:

Like you, I am a great fan of CNET’s Buzz Out Loud. Every day I anxiously await for the latest episode to appear in my RSS feed. I fret over whether all three of our regulars will appear, or if there will be a co-host. Also, like you, I find myself not just entertained by Buzz Out Loud but energized as well. Each morning I scour my own tech and geek blogs to find something suitable to send in to Tom, Molly and Jason-or I listen intently, trying to find something intelligent to contribute to the conversation.

Over the last week we have heard listeners Larry and Shawn announce their candidacy for mayor of Buzztown-and we have heard Remy vocally offer his support to a candidate-calling all of his other Super-delegates to do the same. They have promised us things like Bacon and solutions to the CAPTCHA problem. They want us to vote for them, put them in a position of (pseudo) responsibility and power-and yet they’ve forgotten one of their largest constituencies.

E-mailers. I find myself worried by the prospect of either of two voice mailer callers assuming control of a tech town like Buzz-a largely e-mail, message board and wiki-site based community. Even though the phone is no longer, strictly speaking, a 19th and 20th century technology, the predominant use of voice mail shows a lack of understanding and compassion for the text based brothers and sisters of Buzztown.

This is why I find myself compelled to enter the race for Mayor of Buzztown. Having been almost exclusively an e-mailer to the show over the last 2+ years, I feel as if I have a connection with the “everyperson” of Buzztown. Further, while promises like Bacon and Captcha are easily made and broken, I think we as citizens of Buzztown can tackle far more important matters together than this. Such as:

The Brian Cooley/European Peace Talks: How long will this unnecessary war of words go on?

Brandy For All Co-Hosts: Why should our benevolent and loving dictator-hosts NOT have Brandy (or the drink of their choice).

Indeterminate Length, Not Indeterminate Slogan: As Mayor, I promise to do everything I can (which isn’t much, probably) to ensure that our favorite slogan stays the same, while the No Listener Left Behind Initiative will ensure new listeners know just what the show is about.

These are just some of the more pressing issues Buzztown faces, and as your mayor I would be happy to address your concerns as well-whether they are sent by e-mail, voice mail, MP3, message board or smoke signal (although I don’t read those yet). Thoughts are thoughts, comments are comments, ideas are ideas-and they should all be given equal weight, no matter what form they come in.

[Insert Love the Podcast here]

--Frank J. M. Lattuca, Esq.