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Episode 615: Tase me, bro

DRM deathwatch heats up, Facebook advertisers flee, and EA suddenly has some competition.

Rumors of DRM's demise heat up as Wal-Mart and Amazon both issue demands for DRM-free tunes. That pretty much, at least to us, signals a coming era of unfettered MP3 enjoyment. Meanwhile, Facebook advertisers flee the Beacon debacle and yes, we're talking about Gamespot firing Jeff Gerstmann, too.


Listen now: Download today's podcast



Mike Cox
Tom got it wrong.

Google handpicked search can be gamed as well.

Chris the podcaster
A little DirecTV hack.

Jason from New Hampshire
Tom, what kind of man are you?

Google's customized search results
As I was listening to Molly and Tom disagree about Google's customized search results, a few thoughts crossed my mind. The first was "I agree with Tom", the next was "That girl is tenacious." The more I thought about it, the more I realized that Molly had a valid argument. I still agree with Tom, but I sure enjoy it when you guys really dig in to an issue. Thanks.

Vic the Texas rancher pilot

P.S. Don't give up Molly, you may win me over yet. I'm just a little slow.

Patent news (a questionably good patent)
Ever wonder how you are going to protect yourself when the jack-booted thugs have energy weapons? Wonder no more, good BOL listeners, your personal protection project is here.

This thing is a hoot. Just make sure you are hit in the vest. When the jack-booted thugs adapt, they will start shooting you in the leg with their phasers. :-)

Bob the patent lawyer

P.S. This is not legal advice, but go ahead and build your own. The patent claims are questionable in my mind. :-)

After action report from BOL aerospace defenses
FOR: Tommolly

RE: iPhone use in Cybercommand

As a early commissionee into the BOL Defense Command (and occassional USAF B-1 Weapons System Officer currently stationed at a Navy base training new BOL Air Force and Naval aviators...must have the priorities straight, after all) I am always entertained by the iPhone related stories, especially the aviation-related ones. Allow me to add a couple to the pile.

First, a much better use of the iPhone for aviation: This weekend I happened to be TDY to NYC in a couple of Navy jets when a fairly nasty winter storm rolled in. Using only my iPhone while still tucked warmly in my bed at 5 a.m. (perhaps...I won't confirm that...even under waterboarding), I was able to check the radar picture, icing conditions, terminal area forecasts, contact my chain of command back home (sorry, you didn't answer), make the decision to cancel the flight for the day, and alert the entire rest of the crew before they checked out of their hotels and trudged through the snow to the airfield. All this with one device, and without so much as having to crawl out of bed. Seriously, a mobile device with solid data capability (debatable with EDGE, I know) and great resolution is a definite boon to aviators needing to fill in the accessibility gaps to aviation planning centers.

Second, to corroborate Tom's rationale for desiring offline data capability for documents, the lack of access to various references, presentations, and spreadsheets is also a serious problem for all those people who deploy regularly on the boat, as I recently discovered while participating in carrier landing qualifications in the Atlantic! While of course true on any ship, a carrier is a small city of 5,000 people, with no wireless or EDGE, to be sure; so it's just an iPod unless you happen to have emailed yourself the document and were fortunate enough to have it download to the iPhone prior to leaving the network area. (BTW, is anyone else annoyed by not having larger messages download to your phone when you most want them?) Having an iPod on the boat or a flight is terrific, but it would be doubly so were I able to use it to access PDFs and other documents in that environment. Aviators of all types and especially military have need to reference many, many publications and documents quickly, and while there are other very expensive electronic options to deal with some of that least on the commercial side...the ability to do some of that on the iPhone would be tremendous.

Last, you may rest assured that as a former IT Director-turned Air Force Weapon Systems Officer (wizzo), your podcast not only makes fairly frequent flights, but also entertains on a daily basis in the squadron while configuring and deploying new computer and software I always seem to get tasked to do. So, you might say that the Cybercommand section of the BOL Aerospace Defenses (BOLAD???) is already being brought online (and should become self aware in approximately....arghhhhhh) (perhaps I was dictating).

Capt "Neo", USAF
(no, we do not get to choose our own callsigns)

Bathing in money
In show number 614, you stated that bathing in money would lead to paper cuts.

Well, *act*ually, that would be a nylon cut, thank you very much.

Love the show,

Forrest the high school student from Eugene, Oregon