Buzz Out Loud 845: BOL the vote

Hey, here's a thought: a free, open-source video codec that could be universally portable and playable. I'd vote for that, wouldn't you? In other news of the day, Dash stops making hardware to focus on software.

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

Hey, here's a thought: a free, open-source video codec that could be universally portable and playable. I'd vote for that, wouldn't you? In other news of the day, Dash stops making hardware to focus on software, Apple brings in an IBM guy to run the iPod division (other than Steve Jobs), and BlackBerry sneaks the Bold into stores today. Yeah, today. There's got to be something wrong with that thing.

Listen now: Download today's podcast


Apple’s iPod chief to step down

Dash Navigation pulls the plug on hardware. Whoops.

AT&T will gamble with monthly bandwidth caps in Nevada

Comcastic P4P trial shows 80 percent speed boost for P2P downloads

Could Theora solve the video codec confusion?

This holiday season good time to cut a deal on an HDTV?

How to watch Election Day live online

Update: E-voting problems reported early in battleground states

FCC Election Day vote could revolutionize wireless

BlackBerry Bold on sale in U.S. today

Jason in Cincinnati: the joke’s on you (?)


Hey Buzz crew:


We’ve just released openSUSE 11.1 Beta 4, the newest prerelease version of what will become openSUSE 11.1 on it’s planned public release date of December 18, 2008.

Most of the things in this beta are simply bug fixes from the past beta. For more information on the release of openSUSE 11.1, keep in touch with that openSUSE News Web site above.

BTW, on the screenshots, the desktop wallpaper on the right is the actual wallpaper, the other wallpaper is an old testing wallpaper ;-).

Thanks and I love the show and hope to hear more desktop Linux coverage on BOL.

Kevin “Yeaux” Dupuy - openSUSE Member

Hey, Jimoto,
I have Verizon DSL at my home in Baltimore, and pay $44 month for there service. I just received an email (see below) informing me that I “will soon begin seeing advertisements in your Verizon Yahoo! Mail service. Advertising allows us to deliver new and innovative services and helps us keep prices competitive.” To make things clear, Verizon web mail interface is provided by yahoo.

I went to my (non-Verizon) yahoo account, and I do not pay for had no such message. So now I get to pay $44 for DSL and ads in my e-mail. Thankfully I use gmail as my main account, and my Verizon as my spam dump.

Love the show

Aaron R.
Baltimore, MD

I went to vote this morning and was shocked by how long the line was.
As I was walking to the back of the line I was saying hello to the
people I knew but was shocked and impressed that one of my fellow
voters was passing the time with a Kindle. It was smaller than I was
expecting. Of course with the big O’s endorcement of the Kindle I’m
tempted to get one for my wife for Christmas.

Love the Show.

Tim (from Detroit)

hello and happy voting day tmj + 1:

Responding to Tom’s skepticism about yesterday’s email. China doesn’t
purge everything that is banned. A censor’s zeal are on a par with
level of the threat. China won’t actively seek out torrents of New
York Times or The Daily Show. But they will religiously kill anything
about the Tibetan riot.

So Yes, packets are easy to kill. But the Internet and the billion
dollar piracy industry did alter the government’s attitude. As long
as people leave the communist party alone(and stay in power) they will
let you do almost anything.

love the show
J.Chen, the immigrant

Ok, guys. I have to call you to task on this one. Your reporting of the decision yesterday was patently (pun intended) erroneous. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) DID NOT get rid of patent protection for software, nor did it get rid of patent protection for business methods. Quoting, “:We further reject calls for categorical exclusions… We rejected those exclusions in State Street.” They reaffirmed their conclusion in State Street, the decision that emphatically said that business methods could be protected by a patent. What happened in Bilski, though nuanced legally, is basically the CAFC going back to an earlier standard for determining if you have patentable subject matter. The Court did not rule on whether Bilski was obvious (it is, in my opinion), they just ruled whether Bilski should pass the first test, is it patentable subject matter. The new tests are really a restatement of old tests from the Supreme Court, set down in the BFD triumvirate (yes, patent lawyers have a sense of humor).

In my personal professional opinion, this was a horrible decision and mucks about where Congress never intended the Courts to muck about. What the PTO should be doing is determining whether something is new and non-obvious, not trying to decipher whether Congress intended it to be patentable subject matter. we already have good exclusions regarding natural laws, algorithms per se and mental steps. What this decision just did was cost corporate America huge amounts of money to scramble to incorporate the language the CAFC said we should have. My personal prediction is that this will probably only knock out a small percentage of the patent portfolios. Computer software companies should be pretty ok. Business method companies are in a little more trouble, but not fatally so.

The decision was handed down on Thursday of last week, and I have yet to see a mainstream news site get it right. Perhaps because the decision is so nuanced when you really read it. Perhaps it is also because this will not be the final chapter. I believe that the Supreme Court should pick this up and again slap down the CAFC for writing bad law. Unfortunately, when the Supremes do that, they typically write equally bad law in its place.

Bob, “The Patent Lawyer”

P.S. Weather here is beautiful. Love my iPhone. Love the show. Miss Molly.

Hey buzz Crew -

I was just listening to episode 844 and heard your comment about 256 cores and laughing about a supercomputer, but the truth of it is, if Windows 7 does include GPU acceleration (http://www.engadget.com/2008/10/27/windows-7-to-feature-gpu-acceleration-just-like-os-x-snow-leopar/) then its very plausible that 256 cores may not even be enough. Think about nVidia’s GTX 280 that has 240 processing cores and ATI’s 4870X2 that has 1600 processing cores.

Just saying, if Windows 7 could use graphics card processing for everyday tasks, it could be a leap that would make Nehalem/Core i7 look like a joke.

Mike from Georgia Tech, member of Buzz Mafia