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Culture

Crave Podcast 80: Is BBC iPlayer breaking the Internet?

In episode 80, the podcast team are at loggerheads over whether the BBC should pay ISPs whenever anyone accesses its iPlayer service

It's podcast Friday! The big eight-oh is upon us, but far from going all geriatric, we've attacked the Crave microphones like you wouldn't believe. Rupert Goodwins, Ian Morris and Rich T do their best to inform, enlighten and stimulate with expert commentary on the best of this week's tech developments. Rory Reid is there too, but just makes childish noises.

This week's headline topic is the ongoing battle between the ISPs and the BBC's iPlayer. Web access firms want cold, hard cash from Auntie, because users are clogging up its networks by downloading TV re-runs. Telly man Ian thinks it's ridiculous for ISPs to ask for more money on top of what they get from subscribers, but Rory thinks innocent little Tiscali and friends may have a point. There's only one solution: let's put this baby on trial.

Before all that, we warm up by having a look at some recent tech news. The UK's armed forces are putting a robotic back-seat driver in soldiers' vehicles that will examine their driving and tell them where they're going wrong. We reckon the GreenRoad Technologies initiative would be a fantastic idea for the general public, but surely it's only a matter of time before squaddies get annoyed and shoot the damn thing to smithereens.

We also discuss the imminent arrival of Vista's successor, Windows 7. By 'imminent' we mean some time in the next few years, and by 'arrival' we mean constant, inevitable delays, but you get the point. Then there's Germany's new robotic restaurant. Hungry customers turn up, place their order via a touch-screen, and their food will come sliding down from the ceiling on a mini rollercoaster. There's no surly waitress to tip and you can even muck about on computers while you wait for your grub to arrive.

In addition, we tackle some forum questions, check out your opinions from the Crave Podcast Lounge, and cap it all with an insane WTF. This one concerns the most ill-advised dating Web sites, as seen on Cracked.com. There's one that specialises in linking you to women behind bars, one for the obscenely tall and another that links people who have similar diseases. Only on the Internet.

Download episode 80's aural goodness from this link, or go to our Podcast homepage to subscribe in iTunes and for more information. -Rory Reid

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