The Real Deal 201: All-questions (podcast)

We answer questions about iPads, Xboxes, and Windows 7 sleep blue screens.

Tom Merritt Former CNET executive editor
4 min read

We answer questions about iPads, Xboxes, and Windows 7 sleep blue screens.


Subscribe with iTunes (audio)
Subscribe with iTunes (video)
Subscribe with RSS (audio)
Subscribe with RSS (video)

Episode 201


New project: CNET to the Rescue.

First one: Chris Chirstensen, Amateur Traveler, YT ban.

3 weeks, no resolution
Called them, account reinstated, Google saying changing appeals process.
Have an injustice that needs to be righted? An ad that needs looking into? E-mail rescue@cnet.com or join the Rescue forum at http://forums.cnet.com/


Links from calls




1.  Dear Tom and Rafe,

I am an xbox user and would like to be able to connect my xbox to the internet. The problem? I only have a wireless data card from verizon. I know there is a hack to connect the data card to the xbox using my laptop but I can't seem to get the darn things to recongize each other. I have asked my tech savvy friends and searched all over the internet to no avail. Please please please help me solve this dilemma.


P.S.: If it helps at all I am using a laptop with windows vista and a xbox 360 elite.

Josh says: The 360 is decidedly finicky about accepting data from the same devices computers would have no problems with. This is, in part a way to get people to pay for the overpriced wireless adapters, which MS sells for $70 and $100 depending on whether you're getting the 802.11g or N versions (respectively). That said, you can turn your laptop into a wireless bridge, by turning Internet sharing on, then connecting an Ethernet crossover cable from your laptop to the console. The most important thing here is that you need a crossover cable, as a standard cat5 cable won't cut it. Instructables has a fantastic guide here that works for Windows + Mac: http://www.instructables.com/id/Use-your-laptop-as-an-XboxXbox-360-wireless-adap/


2.  Dear Tom and Rafe. I was wondering what is the llegality of downloading TV shows from websites such as the Pirate Bay or even application such as TED (http://www.ted.nu/). I want to download TV shows so I can watch it later on my iPod touch. Some of these shows I don't get on TV.

Love the show


Answer: Downloading copyrighted video from any source without the copyright-holder's permission is illegal. So if TED is making their videos available for download freely, then you're OK. But if you're downloading a network TV show from the Pirate Bay, that's not legal. To download and watch TV shows, make sure the source of the videos has permission to distribute them.


3. Hey Tom & Rafe,
I've been thinking about getting an xbox 360 recently but i'm not sure about the reliability, i know about all the problems in the past and was wondering if current new consoles are any better with reliability and if either of you have any first hand experiences with them. I like the idea of getting one but don't wont the hassle of getting it repaired or replaced over and over, and paying to ship it back to Microsoft.

thanks guy's love the show

Calum from The UK

Answer: Microsoft is making good on defective units with the red rings of death within the first three years of ownership. And the incidence of the red rings has decreased in the newer units. I have so far escaped from the issue, but have friends who haven't. I'd say you have 79% chance of being OK.


4.  Hey tom and rafe, I've been using a plantronics 520 with my computer for the last two months and have fallen in love with it. It works almost throughout the whole house, almost. One day, I found a bluetooth dongle (vakoss) that claimed it could transmit 100m instead of the normal 10m. I bought it, uninstalled the other one, downloaded newest drivers from broadcom and installed this 100m bluetooth dongle. Sadly though, the plantronics gets static and dies at the same spots as when I was using the 10m dongle. My question is, was this some misprint on the dongle, a problem with the plantronics 520, or can bluetooth ONLY reach 10m?

Brandon Hagelgans [cmptrvir@gmail.com]

Hack The Planet!!!

A: Many people buy so-called 100-meter bluetooth dongles and have the same experience. There is in fact a spec for long-range Bluetooth, called Class 1. It takes more power and has longer range than most headsets and devices, which are Class 2, and which are generally limited to about 10 meters or 30 feet. A class 1 adapter connected to a class 2 device, unfortunately, will only work up to the max range of the class 2 device. I believe this is because the radio on the dongle is not sensitive enough to pick up the lower-power output from the headset.

If you want a long-range headset to go with your long-range bluetooth adapter, google Class 1 Bluetooth headset, or look at something like the Callpod Dragon: http://reviews.cnet.com/headsets/callpod-dragon-titanium-silver/4505-13831_7-32780177.html


Next time: 4G vs. 3G