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Episode 576: One man's burning NanoPants

Pants on fire--it sounds flashy, but it's not really news. What is news? The RIAA wins a major file-sharing lawsuit.

Pants on fire; now that's a headline for you. Too bad the story's your basic lithium-ion battery blah-blah-blah. In bigger news of the day, the RIAA wins the Jammie Thomas case, to the tune of $220,000, unless they play nice. Also, rumor mill points to Mac Nano, and Linux boxes are running massive botnets. No, really.


Listen now: Download today's podcast



Charles from Sugarland
BlackBerry with full Web browser on Verizon.

Gary from Ft. Worth
Just need to beat on the Zune for a while.

A BOLer predicted the Apple TV (dan from toronto).
Hi BOLers,

I was just bored and was going through some old BOLs from the TMV days and discovered that Dan From Toronto predicted the Apple TV. In the episode (sorry, forgot the episode number) Dan sent in an e-mail about a friend who went for a job interview at ATI and discovered had he won the job he would have been working on creating "an Apple streaming device with hard drive," which Dan thought could potentially be a DVR. So while Dan might have been wrong about the whole Apple DVR thing, he did send some very prescient info to BOL--and frankly, I thought it was a bit dissapointing that the great CNET community we are all part of never really got round to thanking people who give us the scoops. Anyway, once again, to quote Molly, "two points!" to Dan from Toronto.


Pronouncing YPP2
My versions of pronouncing the name for the YPP2 would sound like "Wipeeeee2" or "whip2".


Have a nice day :-)

Jean-Francois Messier

Nokia and podcasts
Hi Tom and Molly,

I'm new to your podcast. I found it after hearing it mentioned on Adam Curry's show. I'm not sure if you've ever covered the topic before, but just wanted to say how good Nokia's podcasting program is. I download podcasts over 3G on my E61, and although not all the CNET podcasts show up on the search function, I can always download from the Web site. It's free to download the application and really simply to use. For me the E61 is the best smart phone, over here I get free Web access (up to 1 gig) for £30/month on T-Mobile. It's worth it for the mobile podcast downloading alone.

P.S. Regarding DRM, I use iTunes all the time, but always burn the tracks to CDRW then import as DRM-free MP3s. It takes no time at all, I know it's annoying, but you get used to it.

Great show, really impressed with all the CNET podcasts, keep up the good work,


Simon Dacke
Surrey, U.K.

iPhone processors and apps
Tom / Molly,

Regarding your recent discussion on the iPhone and its processor, Apple can easily change processors, since the ObjectiveC runtime is a large part of the API for iPhone apps. The other APIs are likely normal Unix / POSIX APIs, like OSX, so as long as the apps are written to those APIs, and there are runtime libraries for the new processor that implement those APIs, the apps themselves likely only need to be recompiled, and not much else, and I'm sure Intel would provide these runtimes, or at least help quite a lot in their development, if Apple were to commit to use their processor in the next iPhone. It's much like how Java works--Java virtual machines are available on many different processors, and the Java apps themselves don't usually care what processor they're running on, since the Java virtual machine is what does the translation from the Java app to the processor type. The ObjectiveC runtime and POSIX API runtime would do the same thing.


John, one of the GameSpot developers (Gamespot Download Manager)

Re-downloading digital music
Here's a data point...

I like Amazon's new digital music store. I've already bought over 400 megs of music. I heard you guys mention the store's terms of service with regard to re-downloading and decided that I should pause the show and add the "Amazon MP3" directory to my off-site backup service. A few hours later the files had been uploaded and I checked the cost... $0.05 in bandwidth and $0.05 per month to store the 400 megs. Really quite cheap, IMO.

The backup service I'm using? Amazon S3.

Why can't Amazon and Apple figure out that the biggest issue preventing people from feeling safe buying digital music (after DRM dies) is backing up the music. Why not just charge $10 a year for a "secure" or "insured" account with three restores a year? They'd be making a premium and rather than storing the data N times (the original and my backups) they'd just store a bit in the database that says I can download it again.

The only thing preventing me from buying all my music online is this feature. I'd never buy another physical disc again.

Kirk Petersen

Snail mail forwarding
In regards to episode 575 and e-mail address forwarding, Tom mentioned that you currently cannot move from your physical address and still send your mail there (without forwarding, obviously).

What if... we could apply through the USPS (or the local mail carrying agency of your choice) for a "Permanent Address." Nonelectronic deliveries could always, for instance, be sent to "Buzz Out Loud" and the delivery services could use an Address Resolution system to resolve that to 235 2nd Street, SF. If, for some reason, CNET moved, all you would have to do is update the global address registry and change your address. In effect, this is the domain name system for nonbinary environments.

Hi Jason, oh ye of Random Introduction.

We could go a step further: All mail is sorted/controlled by computers--they probably have the best OCR technologies in your local post office. Perhaps an interface can be created to supply rules for your permanent address to, for example, send junk mail directly to the recyclers, or bump the priority of certain packages that meet certain criteria.

Just some random musings,

Livermore, CA
(on my BART ride home!)

Redownloading music from online music stores
First, let me apologize for the tone of my rant. I had, the day before, a customer accuse me, personally, of using info she sent to steal her gift card code and use it myself. As if I would risk my kid's health insurance for $50 in store credit. I was just having a kind of day or to borrow the tagline from Kevin Smith's "Clerks," Just Because They Serve You, Doesn't Mean They Like You. Anyway...

My comment about how customers are not entitled to download their purchases a second time, I more or less stand by. If you agree to certain Terms, you shouldn't expect you are then entitled to things specifically prohibited by those Terms. But my opinion of what the customers are entitled to doesn't actually reflect what happens. As Tom pointed out, the uberhacker back door method of getting your stuff a second time is to write in and request it. Boom, done. I do this 50 times a day, every single freaking day.

Molly, there was a note of confusion over my statement that the "good customer" who gets their stuff a second time isn't that good. Allow me to explain and this should shed light on why Audible (and the ebook retailer I buy from) allows you to download as many times as you want while the iTunes Store (not Music Store) and Amazon MP3 store don't.

The short version: Book publishers are cool, music publishers aren't. When you download your book from Audible for the nth time, I seriously doubt that Random House, for example, is charging Audible each time. On the other hand, Universal gets 70 cents every time an iTunes Store customer downloads one of their songs. No, not a typo. Not every time they buy one of their songs, every time they download one. So, you buy a song one time you pay Apple 99 cents. Apple give 70 to Universal and keeps 29. Apple gives you the song again and it gives Universal another 70 cents. So instead of making 29 cents, Apple has lost 41. Multiply this by the number of songs returned and you can see why Apple and Amazon don't want to get into doing this sort of thing on demand.

My point in the last e-mail (minus my bad mood) was that the consumer's attitude that they are entitled to things with digital content that they wouldn't dream of claiming for other types of products (your shoes for, example) is likely what is causing the extreme behavior of record labels. You'll never catch a book publisher saying that lending your book to someone is theft because book publishing has always worked on the model of pursuing the single sale of the book whereas music label lawyers are claiming in court that ripping CDs is theft because they come from a world of basing income on each performance. These attitudes have carried over to the online marketplace. Book publishers don't care how many times a distributor gives the book to the customer, they only care about that first sale (think used books) but music labels charge each time the song is downloaded so the music distributors can't do the same as their literary counterparts. Would Apple love to give its customers the songs as many times as they want? Sure, what do they care. I mean, why would you buy the song more than once? Digital music stores just can't afford to give the customer experience they want to. My belief is this all stems from record companies wanting to clamp down on customers who see digital content as some sort of ethereal gift rather than a real product, the attitude that leads to piracy. A shift in consumer attitude is what we need to show them that they don't need DRM and that allowing a single customer to get multiple copies of the same item is a good thing.