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Episode 614: CyberCommand is go

Can the Air Force CyberCommand station withstand Molly's magnetic field? And is Google just one big popularity contest?

Today, we're reminded that the Air Force is setting up a CyberCommand in order to deal with online threats. We have two questions: can we work there? And: when is that going to become a television show? In other news, MTV's putting "South Park" online, Google's bidding on the 700MHz spectrum for sure, and good news for TiVo.


Listen now: Download today's podcast



Just charge more for bandwidth.

Here's how to take care of them.

Wally from Minnesota
Keep your fridge off the grid.

Alex from Miami Beach
Black Friday...the sequel.

Ads in TV programming

I just wanted to comment on episode 613?s discussion of old TV programming and their non-too subtle advertising. It seems to me that we?re seeing this a lot more on television today. I was watching Chuck a few weeks back and they went on about playing Call of Duty 4, Heroes has showed several seconds of a PS3 game being played (Heavenly Sword I believe) in the first season, but the biggest offender I have ever seen is the soap opera Passions. Unfortunately, my girlfriend watches the show despite my protests, and I have been in the room while it was playing. There were moments when they would go on for several minutes about Avon products, and about how selling the products was a great way for a young girl to make money. Now that the show has left NBC for DirectTV, they talk about how great the football season ticket package is for men. I know this show is the bottom of the barrel, but hopefully this old marketing technique won't make a resurgence. Fantastic show! Thanks!

Paul Porter

Cyber Command
Tom and Molly,

On yesterday's BOL, youz guyz (I can hear Molly saying "youzzz guyzzz" talked about how certain countries are being accused of making bot attacks against other countries and thereby putting us in a cold war. Well, if that were true wouldn't you think that our government would do something about it? Well, guess what (hmm, or maybe this should be a "well actually")...our government is doing something about it. The U.S. Air Force is creating the "Cyber Command". It is being built 50 miles from me at Barksdale Air Force Base. It's been all over the news here, and it's just a matter of time before everyone around the country will be hearing about it I'm sure. Below is part of the Wikipedia entry:

The Air Force Cyber Command (Provisional) (AFCYBER) is the newest United States Air Force major command whose development was announced by the Secretary of the Air Force on November 2, 2006.

Designated to stand up around Summer 2007 (announced March 21 in Congress), the AFCC will draw upon the personnel resources of the 67th Network Warfare Wing as well as other resources of the Eighth Air Force; it will be placed under the command of Major General William T. Lord. Secretary Wynne summarized the mission of the AFCC: "The aim is to develop a major command that stands alongside Air Force Space Command and Air Combat Command as the provider of forces that the President, combatant commanders and the American people can rely on for preserving the freedom of access and commerce, in air, space and now cyberspace,"

Enjoy the show.

Robb in Texas

Statutory vs. punitive damages
Hey gang,

Sorry I didn't get to this one sooner, but I had the mother of all colds the last couple of days and had enough trouble focusing on what I needed to do. However, Buzztown is never far from my heart. So if you still care to know, here is the diff between statutory and punitive damages, along with a quick comment on the Copyright case in question.

Statutory damages are not whatever you want them to be, they are (in fact) prescribed by statute. So when someone breaks law X, you go look up law X and it says "the damages for breaking are $1,000." Hence, no fuss or worry, just charge the Defendant. Of course, this has the disadvantage of not really taking a lot of exceptions into play, and so it's not as great as it sounds.

Punitive damages are state law here in the U.S., and are more about punishing the Defendant than rewarding the plaintiff. These are used in civil, not criminal, cases and are often awarded by juries.

So while a statutory award could seem punitive, because it comes across so punishing, it's actually not. In fact, the point of statutory is quite the opposite of punitive--statutory damages are designed to deter people from committing the crimes, versus punitive punish those crimes that have already been committed.

Enter copyright law and the RIAA. I think the point of these excessive damages for copyright infringement are so steep because the cost of infringement is so low. Pretend you've pirated 1,000 songs and got caught. We assume the market value of each song is $0.99 (based on Itunes) and so you've stolen $990 worth of music.

Well they just charge you the $990--what's the big deal? You got caught, you paid what you owed, and you weren't harmed really. This type of model would encourage people to steal music because the worst that is going to happen is you are going to get caught and have to pay what you owe.

The trick then is to try and figure out just how much you would have to charge people to discourage them from pirating music. Is it $15 per song (the average cost of an album?) Is it more? The Statute says $150,000 per work (song) if you willfully infringe, and as low as $200 if you are completely unaware.

It doesn't really mean the RIAA should get this money, it's more about scaring people--a tactic we all have voiced at one time or another isn't that great of an idea. I think these values are the product of an entertainment industry with a lot of economic and political weight, coupled with a complete misunderstanding of the technology involved (keep in mind these damages were set at least 5 years ago).

Anyway, that's just how the law works. It's slow, and takes a while to get caught up--and that usually is a good thing. Here however, it just comes off all frustrating.

Frank J. M. Lattuca, Esq.

Buzz help with my thesis!!
Hey Buzzers, this is Jayce from Beijing,

I'm majoring in bilingual hosting and it's time to write my graduation thesis!! I just wanted in to see if I could maybe get your guys help and maybe the audience's help in coming up with a topic for me.

It can relate to anything we've studied, a wide range of things from traditional and electronic media management to linguistics, audio/video editing, journalism, speech, writing, cross cultural relations, and communications. Media and broadcast in general.

I was considering something having to do with the Internet etc. as a new avenue for media, or something relating to new media in general, new distribution methods, user generated content as a product, etc. etc.

You guys and the audience always come up with interesting avenues of thought and debate, and i would love to get your input!!

Thanx in advanced from Beijing!

Jayce Haliwell

Internet-connected fridge
Hey Buzz team

Your recent talk about an Internet connected fridge is actually a reality. Meet the LG LSC27991, an Internet connected fridge that provides weather and recipes, also with a birthday and anniversary alarm, oh, did I mention the 15-inch HDTV television.


Online TV
Hey TMJ,

I watch all of my TV online.

However, it is slowly driving me insane.

I pose this question to you:

Do you think that it would kill them to get new ads once in a while I mean, after watching that AT&T ad with the two kids and the grandma talking in texting speech (LOL, etc.), which isn't even real texting speech. Whenever I hear the first few seconds of it, I shudder in utter loathing.

I would almost rather two minutes of ads rather than one 20-second one over and over and over and over again. Or I could bittorrent it. Yeah, I think I'll do that.

Slightly twitchily,
Forrest the high school student in Eugene, Oregon

CPU fan death song...RIAA better get on this!
I wonder if Award has a license to use those songs. Isn't this a mass distribution of copyrighted music? The RIAA may be on this now!