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Episode 616: Losing faith in Facebook

Turns out this Beacon thing is really messed up, y'all!

Wow, it turns out this Beacon advertising thing is really messed up, y'all! Now Facebook has admitted that the ad service would track your purchases on third-party sites even when you're logged off. That's evil power, right there. Speaking of evil power, it turns out that a small, power-mad cadre of paranoid editors has been secretly controlling Wikipedia via mailing list. Thought so.


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Michael from New York
Poltergeist in my iPod

Matt from St. Louis
Where can a guy change into his tights these days?

So what would Coke be selling anyway?

How about anti-disinformation digital switch-over flyers?!?
Is anyone like EFF or the FCC working on that? I'm just sayin'--educated tech-heads of the world--be empowered to inform those who don't know better, ya know? I'd be happy to put flyers at my apartment complex and hand them out.

Yeah, that isn't much of a battle cry--feel free to create one...maybe something like "consumer empowerment now!" something.


Digital television answers for everyone
Hey Buzz crew,

A quick note to all of your subscribers, the Web site has a lot of FAQs about digital televisions and digital broadcast signals. Most of your subscribers can probably find this information themselves, but this may be a good site for them to recommend their not-so-techy friends and family to take a look at and learn the facts of the DTV broadcast switch. Note, it does mention that consumers that subscribe to cable, satellite, and phone company services will not be affected by the switch. This will help the not-so-techy get an upper hand on the sales reps telling them differently.

Love the show,
Engineer Joe from Indiana

Gerstmann hoopla
Hey buzzers,

OK, so I was mighty tempted to pull the plug on all my CNET subscriptions in the wake of the Gerstmann-gate hoopla, but have accepted your position that and are two seperate entities, and agree with Molly that not everyone should be tarred with the same big brush. However, I think there are still some issues here that have not been satisfactorily addressed. On Friday's podcast, you promised to deal with the Gamespot issue on Monday's show--you did but, I have to be honest, it didn't feel particularly whole-hearted. As the self-described reporters on Buzz, it seems to me that you missed all sorts of buzz--the intertubes are packed with stories on this, all of which makes for very interesting reading, even if the medium is, in fact, the real message.

But, here's my real issue with this. I'll take, at face value, your assertion that the folks at aren't pressured by editors or advertisers with regard to content. But I can't shake the deep suspicion that the opposite is true at I'll also accept the assertion that those two sites are independent (more or less). The only conclusion to be drawn is that and are being held to different editorial standards. This certainly goes toward the (very skeptical) buzz about 'gaming journalism' that has been zooming around the tubes. At the end of the day, this is a huge sticking point for me, and I still think that 'CNET Networks' has some 'splaining to do.

Todd ("Todd-the-theatre-professor") Hennessey

Comcast offering 100Mbps?
BOL #614--you talked about Comcast DOCSIS 3 and FiOS.

Don't bet on it!

The spec calls for 160Mpbs, right? Well, DOCSIS2 calls for 40Mbps and when was the last time you actually got that "up to" 8Mbps?

You cannot compare a shared cable "up to" xMbps with a true fiber xMbps.

Fiber is considerably faster, and easily upgradeable.

I'm not sure if you are aware, but several communities already offer fast fiber connections to their citizens without relying on incumbent providers. I published a case study Burlington, Vermont, and its publicly owned fiber network at that was later featured on Future Tense.

Christopher M.