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Buzz Out Loud 804: 'Spore' sporked by Dr. M

The evil power of Dr. M is even greater than we thought...strong enough, in fact, to tarnish the shining reputation of the long-awaited Spore. Also in the news today, DVD ripping goes legit, a little too late, thanks to RealDVD.

The evil power of Dr. M is even greater than we thought...strong enough, in fact, to tarnish the shining reputation of the long-awaited Spore. Also in the news today, DVD ripping goes legit, a little too late, thanks to RealDVD, but we determine it's probably not worth getting sued over. And we put gurus against geniuses in a battle to the tech support death.
Listen now: Download today's podcast


Happy Birthday Google - 10

DVD ripping goes legit with RealDVD

Gamers fight back against lackluster Spore gameplay, bad DRM

4,000 Anti-Scientology Videos Yanked From YouTube

Apple admits iPod is from 1970s U.K.

Microsoft “Gurus” coming to a store near you

McAfee brings nearly instant malicious software updates

New e-newspaper reader echoes look of the paper

Creating a ‘Facebook for spies’


Joel Chandler
Demolition Man is here.

On the guest hosts.

Sgt. Wagner
ON Chrome's password storage.


Hello, Buzz Crew!

I’ve been listening to the speculation about how hard it might be for Comcast to provide users with a bandwidth usage number and though I’d comment on a few realities. The idea that “they already have this data in a database with your account number because they assign your IP address” is just plain silly. Your IP address is irrelevant to the process. Carrier-class routers are amazingly powerful computers, but… the Comcast device that’s in a position to meter your usage is a fast but cheap and none-too-smart Layer 2 aggregating neighborhood switch modem that has a port physically connected to the cable that goes to your house. It knows your port number and not much else--even your IP address is assigned at a higher level by another device. The neighborhood switch isn’t primarily built for accounting--fast and cheap, remember?--and asking it to report very much info in real-time will blow its tiny mind.

Those port-level traffic counts have to be passed up to an accounting computer in batches--and not too often or for too many ports at once. Otherwise Comcast starts using up too much network bandwidth and router processing power for accounting, reducing what’s available to users.

And then the accounting computer has to correlate the neighborhood and port ID and traffic count data with the billing records to account for network changes, port reassignment and customer movement in the middle of the accounting period, and all that other boring real-world stuff. I’d guess that the only way it’s practical to do this for millions of users is an overnight mainframe batch run--and maybe not every night.

How many years did it take cell phone companies to get geared up to do a similar job and tell you *approximate usage as of a day or two ago? They don’t ever seem to tell you EXACTLY when the cutoff for the online > total is, and they never guarantee it will correlate 100 percent with your bill, do they?.

Certainly Comcast has an obligation to provide me with a usage meter if they’re going to cap my usage. No doubt they will--once they get their IT and Billing departments to catch up with the Grand Concept their executives decided was appropriate for the FCC. But give them a little time and recognize that it just might not be QUIE as simple as it looks.

Spokane, Wash.

Hey buzz-crew, long time listener Bob (from Michigan) here. I had an interesting experience today with Micro$oft and thought it deserved a rant. I sold my Xbox 360 via Craigslist, but forgot to delete my credit card information off of the console. I get billed $25 the next day from Microsoft. I rush to Microsoft’s Xbox Web site to cancel my account, but I can’t. I can’t even remove my credit card information! After wrestling my way through the tangled Webs of their customer service site, I ended up getting their 800 number. I immediately gave it a call and was put on hold. I talk to a girl after a few minutes and she transfers me to her supervisor. Ten minutes into this hold, I get charged again for $12.50 from Microsoft. That sunuvagun is still using my card! I finally get the supervisor, and after another long hold, she tells me she cannot refund any of the funds. Not even the funds that were charged during the ridiculous 45 minutes of waiting I did! To add insult to injury, she said she could only put a “hold” on the account and that my card could not be removed from the system for a billing cycle! GRRR, Molly, please back me up on this one.

ps. I’m happy I switched to Sony for my gaming needs.

Hello Jamoto,

I’ve been a long time listener and have heard you refer to the listeners of BOL as the “buzz army”. Well….we already have an army…the twit army.

Therefore I move that we adopt “The Buzz Force” or “The Buzz Air Force” moniker. I’m an Air Force Communications Officer and believe that the sophistication of the BOL audience lends itself to an elite Air Force rather than the a ground pounding Army (just kidding Leo).

Just a thought, keep up the great work and LOVE THE SHOW..

Brian, in O’Fallon IL.