The Buzz Report
Anarchy on the InternetThe U.S. gives up control of the Internet's domain-name regulator, and Molly predicts anarchy on the Nets!
Hi, I'm Molly Wood, and welcome to the Buzz Report � the show about the tech news that everybody�s talking about. This week, it's slow, slow Internet and no one is in charge of it at all. But first, it's the Gadget of the Week. Let's begin with the Gadget of the Week. The Gadget of the Week is the NEWTON 2! a.k.a. the Apple tablet. Heaven help us. Now, I've been trying to ignore this rumor mill, but it is now, officially, impossible. This week, iLounge posted 10 tidbits about the device, saying it's 80 percent likely to come to market if Steve Jobs gives it the green light. iLounge also said it'll be announced on or about January 19, it'll be like an oversized iPhone, and it might run the iPhone OS. Plus, Apple recently hired back a guy who worked on the original Newton. Tablet CITY, babies. Except ... let's remember that Steve Jobs killed the original Newton, he's the guy in charge of deciding whether Newton 2 here makes it to market, and he's pretty smart. So, he's probably already figured out that no one would buy it, because no one ever buys tablets. Unless it's the Courier. Now that looks cool. And now for the news. Big developments this week in the arena of who controls the Internet! It's not the U.S. anymore. According to an agreement this week, the U.S. Commerce Department will no longer have direct oversight over ICANN, which is the body that assigns and regulates domain names. ICANN will become an independent body. Totally in control. Well, sort of. See, there will be this accountability panel that will keep an eye on things over there, and the U.S. will still have a seat on that accountability panel. But then there will be these like, independent review panels that will oversee ICANN operations. With people from all different countries and varying agendas and no like, one country or organization really in charge, exactly, and ... it's kind of. Huh. You thinking what I'm thinking? Hell in a handbasket. Oh, I'm just kidding. It's fine. It'll be fine. Mostly in Chinese, probably. But fine. It's fine. Just don't forget. We invented it. In other news this week, Microsoft released its free security suite, called Security Essentials. The move caused makers of for-pay security software, like Symantec and Trend Micro, to get downright nasty in response. I mean, of course they're not happy about Microsoft putting out free security software that threatens their business. But man. SNARKY! A Trend Micro general manager said, "you get what you pay for," and then Symantec's VP of marketing said Security Essentials was a "poor product" and wanted to know, "when was the last time that Microsoft innovated?" Sounded like the comments section of Digg up in there. But you know what, guys? You can do all the high school-style sniping you want. But Security Essentials is free, and it's from Microsoft. People are gonna use it. Microsoft is the prom king. Live with it. And now for entertainment news. The Facebook movie will begin filming next month in Boston! It's called "The Social Network," and will reportedly be in production on the Harvard campus for about three weeks before moving back to L.A. Aaron Sorkin of "The West Wing" wrote the screenplay, and it's being directed by David Fincher of "Fight Club." I'm hoping there will be some fast walk-and-talks, and some major ass- kicking by a totally hot imaginary Brad Pitt. Because, otherwise? It's a movie about a dude who made a Website. Snoooozer. And finally, bummer news from the FCC. According to them, the broadband Internet speeds we're getting are WAY slower than what we think we're buying. See, the agency has been working on its national broadband plan, and they're putting out some initial findings. And those findings say that actual broadband speeds are often 50 to 80 percent slower than ISPs advertise. Yeah. It's funny how no one ever gets in trouble for that. The findings also say it will take billions of dollars of infrastructure investment to build broadband networks that can handle all the people who will want to do high-bandwidth activity in the coming years. But that shouldn't be a problem, in my mind. After all, I pay a LOT to get 50 to 80 percent slower broadband than I expected. A LOT. Don't be telling me you don't have any money to build me up my broadband. Get to it, ISPs. And that's the Buzz Report for this week, everyone. I'm Molly Wood, and thanks for watching.