Buzz Out Loud 784: Border collies are the real cowboys

In the fine tradition of subject lines that tell you nothing about the show or clue you in to the fact that this is, in fact, a tech show.

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

In the fine tradition of subject lines that tell you nothing about the show or clue you in to the fact that this is, in fact, a tech show. But sometimes, we also like to talk about cowboys. And dogs. And extra-malicious hackers at Black Hat, Vista security "rendered useless" by same, and the low, low interest in Blu-Ray.

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Times Online: 'Fakeproof' e-passport is cloned in minutes

How I got hacked at Black Hat

Black Hat expels reporters in network snooping

Windows Vista security ‘rendered useless’ by researchers

Windows XP still outselling Windows Vista

Between a rock and YouTube, video execs see promise

New study finds low interest in Blu-ray

Wall Street Beat: Time to put off buying LCD TVs, displays

Report: HTC Android handset not coming until 2009

Date set for operation of Large Hadron Collider

Report: Facebook tried to buy StudiVZ

Eight people bought useless $1,000 iPhone application


Scott Tucson
About the cows


Hey Buzzcrew,
Real quick. I wanted to help Molly with her hotspot@home (UMA) BlackBerry issue. If she goes into the “Manage Connection” dialog, selects “Mobile Network Options, and set the “Connection Preference” to Wi-Fi Preferred, that will prevent the Curve from switching to and from UMA. It will now maintain a solid connection when in range of your authorized Wi-Fi networks. Hope that helps

Love the show
Chris - Airplane Gasser Upper in Texas

Just some quick notes regarding the PTO and the Cloud Computing trademark:

-Molly just fyi-the “obviousness” standard is a Patent thing, not a Trademark thing

-The standard in Trademark is descriptiveness. If a mark is descriptive or generic it can be refused registration (there are options to get around this for descriptive marks, but generic marks are dead in the water). So the standard of descriptiveness is whether the potential consumer of the goods would view it as descriptive. So while “cloud” might a descriptive word w/r/t computers, its kind of technical. A lot of consumers are going to think “oh cloud! Fluffy! It must be a trade name!” instead of the actual type of networking. So I think there is some room here to be forgiving of the PTO.

-Also, while a search today of “cloud computing” would yield the descriptive meaning, take a look at the history of the wikipedia page:


It looks like it was barely an entry in March of 2007 and not really updated until September. It could be that “cloud computing” wasn’t a very well known term at the time it was examined (which looks like June of that year) and so it was still a sufficiently unheard of/not descriptive term.

And ultimately-it looks like it was caught, which is a good thing. Heck, even if it wasn’t there are plenty of opportunities for other parties to file to cancel the mark so I’d have to say the system worked fairly well this time.


Hey buzz crew,

This is the anonymous wardriver and I wanted to let you know that the H&R Block network did not let me join, but I don’t know whether that was a signal strength issue, or if they had some kind of MAC address filter enabled and I did not care to really figure it out as I had the coffee place who’s Internet worked better for me in the first place. The SSID was HRBlock.

Lets assume that it was MAC address filtered. Honestly, this would scare me more than wide open because MAC address filtering is so easily spoofed, that it is not even funny. And if the network is for a guest then MAC address filtering would be a bad way to go. Can you imagine, “Yep, you can log on to the wireless here, we just need you to tell us what your MAC address is?” So if someone went through the trouble of setting up filtering then that means they are trying to protect something, but are doing a crappy job of it. If there is no filtering and signal was my problem, then lets hope it is on its own internet connection, or a DMZ of the firewall.

Anonymous Wardriver

Hey BOL,

Just wanted to let you know that the Grill PC you made reference to yesterday was at this year’s QuakeCon that took place in Texas last weekend. You can look at other neato mods at this link: http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/1530/quakecon_2008_paint_glue_sponge_bob/index.html

Some really crazy-insane mods @ QuakeCon this year. Love the show!

Dustin Solis

Hey buzz crew,
On episode 783, the discussion was about Google , Microsoft, and Yahoo were tweaking results for the Olympics and Molly couldn’t find a reason to do this. Hopefully, this might be an idea for the reason.

If you search for a popular athlete, like Michael Phelps, you’ll get results. Trying searching for a non-popular athlete, like Austin Sperry, and the results will get mixed from his Linkedin account to Wikipedia to results from 2006 Bacardi Cup. His profile from the U.S. sailing team is the third result on Google.

Hope this will provide some input into tweaking the results.

Greg “mass comm student”
Baton Rouge, La.

P.S. If a lawyer suggests not going to college and several people have told me not to major in journalism, then what’s the point of going to college? I say, if your not majoring in Business or Science, don’t bother going.

Reference episode 782 you said that the ear around for cows wouldn’t make cowboys obsolete. I can tell you that for rounding up cows, cowboys are already obsolete. Out here at the ranch my hobby is raising and training working stock dogs and for my money a good working cowdog is worth five cowboys. First of all the dog actually listens to the boss and does the job the way the boss wants it done. If the dog does something different than the boss asked it’s probably because the boss was wrong. You put 5 cowboys on a herd and it will look like an episode of the Keystone Cops.

Don’t fear, however. The cowboy is still needed for manual labor and the rodeo stuff that gets all the publicity. Just leave the brain work to a border collie.

Vic the Texas pilot rancher

P.S. My collies prefer Linux

Come on tom, the iPhone is just a word processor? Don’t word processors have cut and paste?

-some random guy from north carolinaece