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The 404 637: Where college is expensive (podcast)

On today's episode of The 404 Podcast, hosts Jeff Bakalar, Wilson G. Tang, and Justin Yu take a closer look at Blackberry's new Torch smartphone, Facebook's ethnicity trend study, regional gadget trends, and why it's never a good idea to sing John Denver at karaoke.

Credit for today's 404 Podcast show goes to the random madman in The 404 Live chat room this morning, who popped in only to shout "COLLEGE IS EXPENSIVE" before getting booted for using all caps. See you tomorrow, phantom screamer! Today's episode of The 404 takes a closer look at Blackberry's new Torch smartphone, Facebook's ethnicity trend study, regional gadget trends, and why it's never a good idea to sing John Denver at karaoke.

Now playing: Watch this: Ep. 637: Where college is expensive

Tech Web site Retrevo recently conducted a gadget survey to find out which states buy up the most consumer electronics. Out of 7,500 men and women surveyed, findings show that shoppers in our own home state of New York buy up the most Apple iPads, likely due to boredom on public transportation.

Some of the other study findings show that Massachusetts residents lead in e-reader purchases, Maryland has the most HDTV owners, Michigan is home to the most consumers with point and shoot cameras, and Colorado buys the most latops in the country. Surprisingly, California is not the highest of any electronics in the list, which is odd considering the Golden State is home to many technology companies including Google, Yahoo, and our own On the other hand, California is the most eco-friendly, with residents 47 percent more likely to own a recycled electronic device in the last year.

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A team of researchers at Facebook is gathering its own trending data, focusing on the analysis of the country's four largest ethnic groups as they pertain to the social network: Caucasians, African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asian/Pacific Islanders. The Facebook Data team uses the government's Census records to make an educated guess about a user's ethnicity using his or her last name; the guess is then refined by cross-referencing with the users' first names.

Interestingly enough, the data shows that users are more likely to be online friends and even enter into relationships more with people of their same ethnicity, and each ethnic group has its own Facebook. For example, the study shows that Asian/Pacific Islanders engage in an "unexpectedly high number of wall, video, note, gift, comment, and group-sharing actions" compared with others online. Not surprising, especially if you've ever been to an amusement park or a karaoke bar.

Be sure to stick around for the second half of the show where Jeff morphs into "TerrorByte" and recites a couple user-submitted Nerdcore lyrics over the airwaves, like this gem from 404 listener Tyler:

I'm the only MC that can kill y'all electronics,

Better watch out cause when I'm droppin ebonics

Ya might find I jacked ya plantronics.

Listen or watch today's show to get the horror in all its rapping glory. Finally, don't forget to hit us up on our Blackberry at BBM #2482F452. Feel free to submit more nerdcore lyrics, comment on the show, complain about Wilson, all hail Justin, whatever! Anything you send will receive a response, and operators are standing by to BBM you back!

Episode 637


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