Buzz Out Loud 839: Is 12 inches too big?

What? What's wrong with you people? We're talking about Netbooks. Dell has a new "Mini" Note, but it's a 12-inch laptop. So, the question is: what is going on in the Netbook world these days?

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
6 min read

What? What's wrong with you people? We're talking about Netbooks. Dell has a new "Mini" Note, but it's a 12-inch laptop. So, the question is: what is going on in the Netbook world these days? Also, the Internet makes you both smarter AND dumber, Google Earth shows up for iPhone, and Oprah gives out a Kindle discount. And Natali and Molly love Oprah. Deal with it.

Listen now: Download today's podcast


Sling.com launch

Google Earth for iPhone/Touch

iPhone most popular camera on Flickr

Qik for BlackBerry

Dell Inspiron Mini 12-inch launch


Security flaw revealed in T-Mobile’s Google phone

Netflix streams to Macs

The Internet makes you smarter but may give you ADD

Cable TV provider plans its own wireless network (thanks trails2hike!)

Want $50 off an Amazon Kindle? Thank Oprah

Jason the Runner: get my wife off the Oprah

Michah: Can’t split the UVerse


You mentioned on Friday about the Speed Date application taking over for Oregon Trail. That has already happened at least one time before. I had one of those "wall" programs e.g. Fun Wall, Wild Wall, whatever. The Wall program went away and I got an e-mail announcing it's now Speed Date. I didn't remove the application or anything but I would get these e-mails saying that I matched with someone and someone was wanting to contact me, etc. I clicked on one one day for the heck of it and it asked me to fill in my information like name, e-mail, etc. I am a married man so I decided not to do that! After getting a bunch of e-mails about people wanting to match, I uninstalled the application when I figured out how.


Dear Buzz Crew,

The name ‘Minefield’ is used during all betas. And it uses the Firefox logo without the fox. So basically a globe. With a wick on it. So it looks like a field mine. Think of the mines as bugs. To be exploded and thus removed before the final release.

That is all.

Thanks for reading,
Dylan from KC


Hi Buzz Town,

This is in response to the e-mailer from episode 838 who tried to return his Rock Band 2 video game to Wal-Mart. I worked as a supervisor for a major competitor to Wal-Mart (starts with a “T”) for almost seven years, and was frequently the one behind the counter having to turn away such returns. This is a policy that every retailer I know of that sells unopened media has. Every store has their own policy about how long you have to make the return, assuming that the software/video game/CD/DVD is unopened, but once the product is opened, the ONLY action they can take is to exchange it for the same product. At the time that I was working in this position, we not only could only exchange it for the product, but we actually had to OPEN the product before the customer left the store (for the obvious reason). As a matter of fact, all of the media we sold was supposed to have a little white sticker adhered to it stating this very policy.

While I am not a lawyer, and my education in any kind of law doesn’t stem beyond Business Law 101, I, along with my co-workers, all knew that the reason for this policy was due to copyright, even though our corporate policies never directly stated this. Even in the days of Game Boys and N64’s, this policy applied, I guess because it was assumed that somebody, somewhere, had the equipment to make illegal copies of these console games that you could not even place into your CD drive. In all of the years that I worked in this position, I almost never had a customer give me a difficult time regarding this policy. They all seemed to understand, and even if they did challenge us, we would always offer the excuse the federal copyright law prohibits us from taking back these open products, and they were welcome to go to our competitor to try to return the item, but they would be met with the same frustration. That’s one of the reasons for used video games stores!

A hint for the e-mailer: assuming there are no markings on the copy that you bought online that would identify it as a product from a certain retailer, and the UPC is the same, you can always take THAT copy back to Wal-Mart (assuming it’s unopened).

Love the show…
Stephanie in Atlanta


Hi there, BOL crew (greatest-podcast-in-the-cloud), I was listening to episode 838, and you had an e-mail from someone that wasn’t able to return his Rock Band game he bought from Walmart because of “Federal Copyright Law”, which Molly said she had never heard of and you generally all passed of as BS from a Wal-Mart customer service rep.

Well, I would have been in the same mind frame until yesterday. I work at Best Buy’s Geek Squad, where a customer approached me wanting to return a game she had purchased along with her new $1,200 laptop the day prior because no one told her that it wasn’t compatible with Vista. Despite the fact she came to the wrong counter, since I am not a customer service rep, I was more than willing to see what we could do for her, since I felt it was a simple oversight, and it was only a $10 game. When I asked a customer service supervisor if we would be able to exchange it for a different game for her, I was told that we couldn’t because of “Federal copyright law”! I know our policy is that we normally don’t return open software unless its defective, and even then we can only exchange it for the SAME software, but I figured we could make an exception. It took me by surprise, because I had never heard anything about this law before, and then you at the BOL podcast reiterated it. We made an exception in her case since we didn’t want to come off as total jerks (at least I didn’t). It makes sense, though, that we normally wouldn’t not return it, since we cannot resell open software once its open, the store pretty much has to eat the price of the software, which is not a good business model. Also, if we returned open soft, it would be quite possible for a customer to not only copy software, but copy down activation codes for products such as antivirus, or certain video games, and screw over the next customer who would want to purchase.

In short, this “Federal Copyright Law” in regards to software is not just a Wal-Mart reps attempt to blow off a customer, but actually a policy that carries over to legitimate establishments like Best Buy.

~Wez (The-geek-squad-agent-who-doesn’t-want-to-hear-the-same-best-buy-ads-in-BOL-anymore)


I liked that BitTorrent is used as the distribution method for their content but there is a larger issue at hand: Wikipedia used as a reference source in schools. Isn’t Wikipedia banned as a reference source in many areas of academia?