Buzz Out Loud 871: Pirates on the paradigm ship

In today's show, horrible ship-related pun-crimes are perpetrated and we learn that in Russia, emoticons wink at you and try to charge you for them. Also, we bash a ton of gadgets, like the still-overpriced Sony PlayStation 3, the $99-with-contract Acer A

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 today's show, horrible ship-related pun-crimes are perpetrated and we learn that in Russia, emoticons wink at you and try to charge you for them. Also, we bash a ton of gadgets, like the still-overpriced Sony PlayStation 3, the $99-with-contract Acer Aspire, and the Android phones running apps that turn on roaming and data use without your knowledge. Then we bring it on home with puppies.
Listen now: Download today's podcast

Episode 871

Chrome breaks outta beta

Nintendo Wii outsells Xbox 360 more than two-to-one

Sony’s PS3 A sinking ship: Sales plummet (SNE)

Acer Aspire One goes official on AT&T’s 3G network

Android susceptible to apps that turn on roaming

Cellphone jammer crammed into key fob, ends texting / talking while driving (thanks, Greg and Michael and Jordan et al)

FCC Commissioner blames World of Warcraft addiction for huge college dropout rate

Five PC power myths debunked

NFL launches “Game Rewind”, every game on-demand in HD with no commercials

Russian hopes to cash in on ;-)

Puppy Cam: Viewed 15 million times, for 773 years

Hello Buzz crew,

Since you talk about it SO MUCH, yesterday I finally signed up for Twitter . And looking for CNET celebrities to follow, I went to see who does Rafe Needleman follow. Guess who. Yahoo’s top search term for 2008. That’s right, Rafe Needleman follows Britney Spears on Twitter. I just can’t imagine Rafe listening to "Baby One More Time," so, may I ask why?

Love the show.



Have you all been following the USPS outages? I am 2 episodes behind (been to cold and rainy to walk my dog), so apologize if you've mentioned.


Seems it is affecting small business, too:



/John in Fairfax

AAAAAND its fixed.


Hey JaMoTo / buzz crew +1,

I think the whole ‘In The Wild’ bingo game is great, and I’m just
waiting for someone to run up and snap a picture of me, being that I
bring my Kindle everywhere and I am a ‘Kindle in the wild’.

Anyhow, after yesterday’s show where Molly mentioned a Retro Edition
of BOL Bingo would be fun, I decided she shouldn’t be denied and I
made one up and attached it below. I’ve also uploaded it to my Flickr
account so it can be shared with the citizens of Buzz Town. It can be
found here:
I hope you enjoy it. Love the show!

-Aaron the Delorean driver (and Kindle in the wild)
New York


Hi guys!

In the last show, Molly made a comment about how the ustream
video-page “isn’t an RSS-feed”. Well, now it is! I used Yahoo! Pipes
to create an RSS-feed of your live video shows. I wrote it up in the
forums, at:


Hope you like it!



Ahoy Buzz Brigade,
Regarding episode 870 on LTE, y’all made a few missteps about the facts.

First off, the commonly held misconception is that LTE has anything to do with GSM. This is similar to the misconception that WCDMA, more commonly known as the tech behind UMTS, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA and HSPA+, has anything to do with GSM. While the tech that preceded GSM for AT&T, TDMA, was the technical precursor to the speaker-buzzing wonder iPhone fans know and love, HSPA (the 3G in the iPhone 3G, etc.) is only GSM’s successor because that was the preferred upgrade path of most GSM carriers. LTE is OFDM-based (as is 802.11g WiFi and…gasp…WiMAX in higher-speed modulations), and is thus another completely different underlying technology with no built-in backward compatibility to either GSM or HSPA. However, the majority of GSM carriers across the world, plus many CDMA carriers (Verizon being one of them) have chosen LTE as their upgrade path. It’s like saying that Mac OS X is a technical upgrade to OS 9…while the same company is going with the precedent as the successor, OS X is based on BSD/Unix while OS 9 is based on some witch’s brew Apple cooked up eons ago.

To be clear, I’m not bashing LTE, though WiMAX is out in the field now whereas LTE has so far not ventured out of lab doors. But to say either technology is the technical successor to either GSM/HSPA or CDMA (which has a direct 3G upgrade, EvDO) would be flawed. Though the same standards board responsible for GSM and WCDMA also dreamed up LTE (3GPP)…

Second and finally, though tests confirm that LTE, at similar range to WiMAX it seems, can provide link speeds comparable to WiFi, you won’t see speeds like those in the wild for quite awhile. The reason is mostly that of backhaul. To provide 100 Mbps to a subscriber, LTE not only needs a liberal swatch of spectrum (something only ClearWire, the WiMax guys, has), but it needs a tower connected to some serious backhaul. To give you an idea of how serious this backhaul would need to be, think about your local cable company’s node, that serves a few hundred people. If your cable operator is Comcast and you just got a speed upgrade, they can offer a total of 114 Mbps over an entire node on the downstream, and 30 Mbps on the upstream. This would be enough for a single LTE customer to get full-speed access. Then again, AT&T U-Verse and Verizon FiOS have the infrastructure for LTE at the node level, but you’re still looking at more bandwidth than anybody is pushing over copper or cable right now. Of course, if Verizon rolls it out in FiOS areas (WiFiOS anyone?) it’ll work on the backhaul side, but…

…you have the problem of femtocells. Anyone using a femtocell for LTE has their internet connection as the bottleneck for service. You can’t get 100 Mbps over a 6 Mbit cable connection. Of course, if Verizon allowed femtocells to hook directly into customers’ FiOS installs, independent of the 10-50 mbps download and 2-20 mbps upload limits on users’ accounts, that’d work. But that’s about the only solution if they want to actually get the speeds they’re boasting about.

Hope this clears things up and love the show!

Ian (the Colorado college student, iansltx on Twitter)