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Buzz Out Loud 814: BOL: now with actual knowledge

On today's show, we get schooled about how cell phone 911 works and we school the music industry on its consistently terrible ideas regarding physical formats.

On today's show, we get schooled about how cell phone 911 works, we school the music industry on its consistently terrible ideas regarding physical formats (seriously? Albums on micro SD cards? Are you kidding us with this?), Obama cools his pro Net neutrality stance, and Japan gets to work on the space elevator. Jason already volunteered to go. He's so brave. We'll miss him.

Listen now: Download today's podcast


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Hi Buzz Crew,

In Episode 813, Jason asked how you could punish pirates, instead of subjecting actual customers to a ridiculous DRM. Well, the answer come from the Super Nintendo of all places: HAL laboratories (the people who made the Super Smash Bros. games) and Nintendo-published Earthbound (Mother 2 in Japan). This game is a cult classic now, and the beginning days of emulation revealed their antipiracy methods. If they detected you were playing a pirated copy of the game, they would display screens telling you that piracy was a crime and cause random enemies to spawn more often. The coup de grace was that, halfway through the final boss fight, the game would freeze and erase all of your save data.

All the technical detail:



I just wanted to let you know that I launched an eBay auction this morning and one of the options was to provide your Skype ID in addition to e-mail. I don’t know what they ever planned to do with StumbleUpon, but at least they’re doing something marginally useful with Skype.

Adam (Centreville, Va.)


JAMOTONA (hopefully),

On Episode 813 you wondered aloud as to how 911 service works on cell phones. Well hopefully I can enlighten you since I work in the E911 department of a major cell phone provider. 911 calls are routed based on what SECTOR of a cell tower they are being made from. So any call made from a cell phone SHOULD be routed to the county that the cell sector they are on is covering. Not all providers manage their 911 as well as they should, however, so this doesn’t always work like it should. We have a staff of about 100 people that work on the 911 system and it’s not an easy thing to manage, but our company is much better than most of our competition, especially when it comes to locating the cell phone making the call using the phones GPS chip (my specialty).

In conclusion, land lines will always be better for calling 911 because they are associated to an address and they don’t move.

Hope I cleared things up.