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Ep. 59: Biggest stories of the year, 2010Let's review, shall we? Wikileaks, Antennagate, Stuxnet, and other top events that shaped tech world of tech in 2010. With CNET editor in chief Scott Ard and TWiT's Tom Merritt.
Hi everyone welcome to reporters roundtable -- -- this is our weekly podcast where we talk about single tech -- a week normally. This week we're talking about a lot of tech topic for this is the last round table of the year -- were in keeping with our longstanding one year old tradition. We're going to do the year in review the biggest stories of the year with our traditional guests as we -- at the end of 2009. We have in the studio here first -- -- Scott art CNET editor in chief. And again I remind you my boss would be nice. And a welcome thank you for joining us -- thank you for having here. And Tom -- Former CNET podcast host and now host of tech news today over on the twit network. Tom is no longer allowed in the building so he's telling him from unspent. Correctional sell an apparently has voices and allowed either are you here. Yeah and hired Tom thanks are coming back. Thanks for -- back it's great the -- -- them now before we get into talking about 2010 since you since we were we all did the show last year. And in at the end of 2009 and -- -- -- of review kind of what we talked about the of these stories still have currency to data once we talked about as -- for 2009. Android was a big topic we we spent a lot of time talking about Android. That is still a major issue. -- -- -- -- Yes a -- The big greatly yes and I now actually tell you not done that I don't -- agree with impunity and no. In fact that Android is the and this is. Becoming bigger than we thought it would be. It or is it as -- I'm not sure it's bigger than we. Thought it would be but may be bigger than we expected. I think we had high expectations for it in 2009 it didn't necessarily fulfill those expectations everybody was a little cautious. About predicting big things -- -- in 2010 -- I can't say I'm terribly surprised at it but this is the year that Android really hit. -- the road. Came of age yes -- -- -- into the the stuff and secondly just just to review then -- roll through these we we talk about cubicle B of Smartphones that's definitely happened. Privacy was a big deal in 2009 that has not gone anywhere as far as the big story. Window seven was a really big deal in 2009. We care now now it just works. And we talked a lot about the media business being. Undermined -- destroyed by the Internet music television newspapers books. Our predictions we said I'm Scott you said that there would be an iTunes for publishers this year and if it's one there is coming January 6. -- to that. Well there's iTunes I mean there's iBooks -- -- Only I was it. I was in the app store there watching it well but Mac app store -- -- Radio -- in -- solitaire and yet. Tom you talked about the Apple Tablet in 2009 being a big deal with -- Well yeah I actually predicted it would come in the summer I was wrong and there I predicted to be 899 dollars I was sort of right. Since there is a model carrying 100 -- it is one of -- six model that is about that yet. That's -- they -- a model. You can hear them the only reason. But I I you know I think it surprised us. How popular it became I think every room was skeptical whether would really catch on. And it's not only caught on -- in -- entirely changed the landscape of computer and especially mobile sales everybody's trying to do a tablet the big word for 2010. It is better than anybody -- than most people expected to be and at Morgan impact on computing -- people expect it which. It's still irks me to say that but it's true I mean everybody knew was coming it was rumored talked about it for six months and it seems like they all -- that. We think Apple's wrong on this and didn't do anything and then came -- like a week now we gotta catch up and really the first competitors are just hitting store shelves now via. We've gotten used to than the silly name yes don't have facet the name iPad and more the -- don't stores -- for the week. And I my predictions sucked my -- so -- -- a big focus on mobile it's here. I couldn't be wrong. Is that even a prediction now it was -- -- thought about what the big stories of 2000 and up first of all. This is a recent story. -- blown up recently Wiki -- Is this -- is this a tech story. And -- what is it. -- -- tech story because of the distribution of the technology gives you now it's not like the Pentagon papers being slipped under -- -- -- over to a single New York Times reporter this is -- The Pentagon papers being copied and a billion different times and drop from a helicopter and everybody's living rooms and it's just substantially different from the old -- Leaks coming out of the government -- as text area that. So what does this mean there is there -- there -- eight. I'm sorry there is a tech story about the pursuit. Of -- -- and their reaction of -- -- there's a lot of tech stories around it as far as how they have been attempts to doc Wiki leaks offline and how they've changed their domain name system in and made their hosting more bulletproof. Reactions from groups like anonymous. Two -- A you know and implement analysis service attacks against Amazon MasterCard and -- -- vigilante is perceived as being -- -- critical. Of what -- vigilante exactly orders so there's a it's been an interesting dance to try to figure out okay what are the tech stories here and whether the things that are just politics. Now it. Are we beginning to see thanks in part to -- -- -- the -- taking -- control of the Internet I mean we saw major sites bar -- that bar their services. For -- for being used by -- few -- -- with payment or hosting. Sites were shut down. And there's all there's talk about. That. The government and and big business has more and government and big business influenced by government has more control over the net than we ever thought they did. Are we beginning to see the freedom of the -- begin to crack in part thanks for -- -- Possibly only -- really -- and there's been a few attempts and you know -- Individual companies that can choose to deny payments for whatever reasons they they probably have similar policies pornography -- around. Online betting -- or things like that so I don't know that's a big concern to me I don't know how much the government is actually encouraging that. Versus probably some internal pressure from either shareholders -- customers or whatever that. I don't want their company painted with the whole Wiki leaks sort of controversy with with of course. With with stores like via the iTunes app store -- Apple app and app store. There is the sense of centralized control over what you can and cannot see least maps on your device now there is still the open web on on. An Internet connected devices but. It's. We're not concerned about and of the censorship. Technology. Why I think it away Wiki -- has shown that that you can't. Keep something -- -- the Internet even when you get date most powerful governments on the on the planet and some of the largest companies. On the Internet -- working against you -- -- -- online they've continued to -- things those leaks have continued to be published. Even with Julian -- -- jail. For unrelated charges so. Hit it in some ways if you look at it that way it shows that the Internet is pretty darn resilient and you can do whatever you want and to try to control and tamp things down. But -- it it's almost impossible to do it in that kind of medium. They can make it may be a little bit difficult to find those things but anybody with you know to speak Monica -- Time and effort can -- -- and -- unload. In a related front -- company information freedom and security and openness and privacy was -- -- even bigger story this year 2010 and wasn't 2009. What happened that over the biggest things to happen in the world of online privacy and how -- affect -- I'm at the it's well I historian -- that there was back. I can't reveal that -- online privacy is as how it trickles out whether it's FaceBook -- You know making its -- or you know -- getting caught you know slurping up data via its street view wife buys -- scandal. Nothing really changes these companies just keep plowing ahead and -- kind of waiting for something to snap there's going to be I think some kind of you know Waterloo moment where it's like oh crap you know now it's really seriously you don't everybody's focused on resident -- -- kind of this trickle of kind of people being uncomfortable -- look what happened -- -- what happened school we always have you know the gawkers sort of thing happening that's been going on for years as well but. When is that big moment gonna -- -- like IRS or Social Security's reached it was and it. In many ways what -- to think that her there was a big moment with who will in Germany. When people began to opt out of street view of their homes now this is keep in mind. Just after remind people that people in Germany -- -- and the thousands are opting are wanting the fronts of their homes blurred. Meanwhile the overhead shots of their -- are still in pretty high resolution the front of a -- people walking by. This seems to me -- The -- is also a small percentage of the entire population I mean it's a large total number but most people in Germany are due. I am okay but still I mean this is the front of your house this is that the part that you -- other people think you have -- -- house. Assisting me -- an overreaction to privacy issues and I'm I'm not in Germany I don't know the culture there but it it seems a little. Beyond the and it's that. You know I'm reminded of that quote from Eric Schmidt about getting right up to the creepy line them and not wanting to cross it well -- creepy line is different. For different people right and for people in Germany whatever their culture there is or maybe there's just some you know. Some more media hysteria that's been whipped up around and I'm not really sure but -- the fact is that the Google's and Facebook's and other companies are basically. Walking up to that creepy line. And occasionally they step on it sometimes they step over it and some people are bothered and some aren't. And when house and -- leaders I think at some point somebody's gonna jump over with -- beaten where a large number of people agree like wild -- it is way -- -- -- Google already did this when they mistakenly here through lack of oversight. Sniffed Wi-Fi full Wi-Fi traffic and packets then you know the governments and people in congress -- definitely pulling that issue. Rail line -- in an intimate look into the -- audience. And many many worse violations of privacy of happening gone unnoticed because. It wasn't as high profile the Internet wasn't as widely used with Google calls attention to those sorts of things. And makes everyone pay attention an act I had to laugh as government after government said. You know what you've collected information on our citizens that violates the privacy we need to have all of that information handed -- so that we can see it. Ireland is only one that I know for sure that said you know we don't need to see -- just delete it. And and that to me was the right response -- -- you know -- your privacy was violated even more by having it all handed over to the government what whatever little bit there was in there that. That might be implicated. And named -- about meanwhile like say people are making much more detailed information available. Via FaceBook via Twitter via just posting things onto the Internet. So you are still looking to control a lot of your privacy. It's all a matter of perception it's -- it's like you say Scott it's all a matter of culture and what. What is what is considered a violation one place is not in another and a lot of it's just. Was I asked did I did I reveal this information on my own or org or did someone reveal it without my permission lot of people won't reveal things about themselves. On their own with that they would not like to have revealed on their behalf without their permission -- it's it's it's an interesting game of psychology we talk about. -- you don't know always know how it's gonna be used their one it's a story came out last year that. You know didn't make a lot of ways but for me personally it was it was common gotcha moment it was. I don't. And taking all that information from people's profiles and then storing it on their own servers and so that even if you went to FaceBook and edited or removed or deleted your account or whatever. This guy had a -- near of it and so then it was well now I can even control. What happens on my FaceBook account because when I -- post. To gain you know four years from now on trying to get a job aren't trying to -- merrier my kids get grown up and I don't want that out there. On the outside in my control them and that I thought was a relatively minor story but -- -- it was kind of gotcha like -- be really careful because. There's all kinds of stuff going on with that information may not be aware that you can't control -- talk about FaceBook for a little bit some more. What was the biggest things. With -- FaceBook obviously a man of the year Zuckerberg whatever. -- How important is FaceBook -- what this -- 2010 the privacy issues and are they gonna go over the line are people gonna snap against FaceBook or have -- -- Well are starting to -- some people have yet again not not in -- obviously -- five million users supposedly. I don't know what it'll take I like I said I think there'll be some moment where it -- you know maybe FaceBook does a Google. Street views new being no no I I don't know what that may be but I think the companies the way. The way they seem to be going about this is what can we do from an engineering standpoint. That we can monetize. And that seems to be they're driving and -- and then only after when there's an outcry do -- Do they start to think well maybe we should've gone quite so far and and they pull back a little bit and as a result. That line just keeps moving forward now and I think there -- aggressively. -- looking -- ceremony keep moving that line. It's in their interest commercially to have people not be concerned at all about their privacy and to get. Immune to -- this concerns they want you'd put just about everything you counting -- the fact the school can snoop email. And serve you ads based on the contents of your email if Microsoft hadn't even. Thought of that ten years ago they would have been destroyed in the public relations -- And now it's just yet there's there really interesting tension between FaceBook and Google because Google actually knows a lot more about -- -- FaceBook does at least. They -- out. Up until now FaceBook is pulling even and but the difference is Google never. Billed itself as a place to reveal things to share things to talk to other people they're trying to do that now but they happen. In the past FaceBook has been that from the beginning and so I think you're really seeing the privacy debate play out on FaceBook like you say sky where that line is. We're gonna be able to tell how comfortable culture is in revealing certain things by. What FaceBook gets away with putting out and it's totally different in different places it's different in different demographics. Kids were growing up with FaceBook and Twitter in the Internet. Are much more comfortable revealing things and having things out there and -- much less judgmental. About things that have been put on the Internet than folks who have not -- with that who -- you know much older and say you know why I live my life and in private. All my life why would I wanna put things about myself and pictures up in public -- everyone can see them and they're going to be more judgmental when they see those things happening. On other people's profiles so -- as that tension between the different. Ways of looking at privacy play out I think we're gonna see it happen on FaceBook. We will talk more about other important companies and other big stories like Google Android. Apple iPhone group on ports where etc. we come back from the short -- Hollywood and practically inviting you to join us for the 2010 edition of cnet's holiday help desk that happens every Monday at 1 PM Pacific 4 PM eastern starting November 22. It's where we make you look like a brilliant tech gift giver as we take your live calls and we feel your emails and -- Send us an email right now to holiday help desk at cnet.com and along with the rest of cnet's editors will point you to the right product at the right -- Holiday help desk Mondays at 1 PM Pacific time starting November 22 at cnet.com slash live. Are right we're back let's talk a little bit about and -- and the iPhone Android devices and iphones. Android this year began to surpass iPhone in net sales correct. It did admit yes are right this is to me I this the -- -- I switched. And viewing outside away helped put it over the line you are the pacemaker after you know whats funny what what I find funny is that here at least here in San Francisco. This problem probably not true -- the rest of the universe but here in our little bubble. It is not cool to have an iPhone. It is that's a great device -- Android devices are great devices to I have an iPod it's just not cool -- -- that happened and what is going on with Google and Android. I don't know if it's not cool and I look on Barton -- -- at the mall whenever there's so many people use the -- it's a good product -- personally I just. Gave up on AT&T and -- use the phone too many places to me dropped calls and Android has some glitches and everything but now. In the emails a little buggy crashes in the -- delete -- now -- you know issues like that but -- can use my phone on happy. You know we'll -- we'll see what happens when the iPhone goes to Verizon but I don't know the iPhone is not so -- I think it's. It's not so much it's not cool it's just not alone -- clearly at the top of the mountain you know for two years maybe three years there was really nothing out there that could compete with it. And the Android now is is a fairly viable competitor doesn't have quite the apps -- not as polished U -- Are different among the carriers and so forth so there's some walking is still there. That the app store sucks basically. But it's it's not -- a huge difference that used to be between Apple and everybody else so this is have a fairly major move that Android is doing so well isn't that I mean this this -- portends. Very interest thing. A very interest in 20112012. In this in the Smartphone in the mobile market overall. Yeah I not to jumping on -- understatement and this is just to -- and it's been written about and everybody's aware of but it it's very similar to this. 1980s and the Mac OS and the Microsoft OS and you know manufactures having kind of a common OS to incorporate on their machines and so you -- the rise of the dells and all the other PC makers in the market share issues and in Apple fell way behind on market share for -- -- and and then went almost troubles in the ninety's and you know it seems sort of dramas playing out now Apple had agreed and start. It's a very closed. You know top down system and -- you've got something that's more open. Again. It's starting to catch up and is catching up and we'll see how plays out -- -- and importance of Android the report. If not in your. -- -- -- The question I asked if you have to -- -- -- question now let's move on though let's talk about the iPad -- the iPad was introduced in 2010. And as we are talking about at the top of the show. We were I was who cooling in -- -- yet -- devices over price it and doing it is not gonna do anything but you can't do on your laptop or your netbook or your -- -- and nonetheless. Battery. Can you -- just have to make me look bad it does incredibly well and I get one and thank. As much as as Apple and jobs -- this machine the Apple iPad is a singular experience. I think this -- had a gigantic influence. On not -- you know the people trying to -- Launched their own tablets but on what we think about applications and interfaces and how we use the web and apps over -- I think about the importance of -- A different variety helps me keep up on my Wii rules for sure it really let you know really handy with that -- I I think the iPad is. Has caught people's imagination because it can do things. Mobile that your phone can all -- in the couldn't do in that little small window you can now do whether it's around the house on your couch whether it's out at a cafe. And the touch screen interface that Apple again -- -- -- with the user interface Apple wins. Because it's really intuitive to use every one says every child in in the world that you hand and an iPad they know immediately how to use it. And I still think. It's more of a fun device than a productive advice though I know several people who violently disagree with me and they say they use it in their business life. All the time but it certainly capable of that but for me it's more for videos and reading books and comics and and that's sort of thing and it's unparalleled in that way you'd never wanna sit and read a book or comic on your laptop. Every night. But you can with the iPod likewise your phone is too small -- that the screen is too small so if I I think it just. They they captured something that everyone had an instinct needed to happen Microsoft's been pushing tablets for a decade. But Apple just figured out how to make the interface work so that people got it. And realized -- this is how many users. That doesn't what Apple did with -- fold first the phone -- and especially the iPad. So they understand how people want to use technology -- iPad is still. For what it does is expensive when you consider the most people -- and everybody has an iPad already has another computer I mean this is a very expensive toy. But Apple gets something about the way people want to use technology don't. I think so that's their secret sauce -- it I think they do. The phenomenal job at looking at what people want to do and then trying to come up with a solution for that. -- on the phone was too small the MacBook is too heavy. You know out period on the iPad as a remarkable devices you know -- Apple's great at hyperbole number that The Beatles rollout. You know the -- never forget in it was kind of over the top there with that Africa is one that now December -- a -- percent of you don't need -- -- -- numbers are ones that. But with the -- to call -- magical revolutionary and I don't know personally when I first got it -- -- cannot -- I kind of agreed with them I could see it for textbooks -- school. Personally at home you know with one. Desktop that's always being used by my wife and my kids in and buy me this was a very effective device -- in on the couch and actually be comfortable in answering. And surfing the web in look at what we're doing and -- it's sort of thing you know. Flash issues aside obviously. There's so many uses for that was -- 24 hour fitness a couple weeks ago that its new. And they've got these little stand these little podiums set up to distribute information. And they've they've customize the iPad to sit there and do that for them. And it just was another use of it than just style was remarkable travelled with it without a laptop and it works fine and -- -- it's ideal place. It it really does a lot of different things and doesn't -- And other big story is just this just recent group on the community. Them when they call it discounts -- Was repeat reportedly. Offered the Google offered to buy it for six billion dollars and they said no thank you. Now keep in mind in 2002 PayPal. The check clearing I mean that the -- -- serious financial company was acquired by eBay for. One point five billion. And group -- just turned down six. What is going on I don't believe. The -- the sort happened I'd. There's there's something fishy there they were offered six billion dollars I can't believe that they can take it. And it's inching out today entered their signing up Bernard they're going around I think I saw a brief -- -- -- -- trying to raise. X number of millions of dollars and of course when they have that number thrown around networks in their favor well somebody else we were valued at six billion and all we're asking for new as a hundred million for a 2% stake you know whatever and and you're getting a discount to the six billion and we -- -- -- I guess I don't know exactly how stuff works but. I just can't believe a company that somebody started. Two to three years ago and somebody's gonna karma check for six billion dollars. That they walked away from now maybe they did -- Jerry Yang walked away from Microsoft and 36 billion or whatever that whole deal was for Yahoo!. And obviously and I -- that was huge mistake so. Group -- has the distinction -- could be. The most successful company of twenty -- and paper the biggest -- of twenty you'll have been written by not taking my view do you think they will be Arctic in 2011 our continued yeah I I personally don't think that that's business model that you can. Not replicate I think there's so many newspapers now everybody's jumping into that space it's such an easy thing to do the thing with Google it -- you know. I think it is true that Google probably could've taken that business and on different things -- it day. You know by being able to see your email you the way they serve ads and -- to -- now to be able to target. Specials in the same way I think that there was some synergy -- that they they probably saw I still don't know that the six million dollar question and I do think that there was. Some leverage that they could use with group on group on its own you know I'd be curious like. What exactly they see in their future that told them that six million dollars is too cheap now can I don't see it -- -- faced blitzer. Down Yahoo!. -- it was only a billion -- maybe six billion just isn't what it used to be I don't know. I I think group on really feels bad day. Are worth more than six billion dollars I whether whether they were doing this is a gambit to help them raise funding or not and it -- interesting question. To kick around but I I have no doubt that. That group on feels like you know what we we hit on something and we do it better than ever everyone else and you can definitely go in to the same business and do similar things to us. But that's been true of a lot of other companies like eBay and Amazon who's who rose above because they had. The thing figured out a way that nobody else has. Whether group on has actually done that is totally separate question but I think that's -- attitude is I've seen some interviews with the guy on on online. And and they really feel like no we've cracked this we know how to make this happen and and -- worth -- -- So to hand over control to somebody it's you're gonna really have to make it worth our while I do get the that the since the group bond will continue to grow and and will be comma. One of those surprise companies like a FaceBook where you're like gosh why is this company rising above where other companies haven't. Yeah Andrew mason I think that's his name he came through batteries and -- breaking through her supplements there's very sharp guy. And I think he's got a great handle my business he knows exactly what it's doing it's remarkable because he's not. And he's around when he 930. And he's. They own kind of a geographic. Monopoly. And they have relationships with all -- those types of businesses that he's now targeting the local dry cleaners and -- yoga instructors all the people who would advertise in the classifieds -- -- the little. One inch one column ads and so forth and he's gonna commandments and you don't know what you're doing and I do indeed he's he's doing it's I have you know great respect -- geysers smart. I just -- explain again like -- -- in the -- funny money I don't know but such thing I mean Craig Newmark Craigslist did exactly the same thing to the newspapers on the classifieds business of course. He didn't he -- it for free. It's like yeah it's speak up if only you know he destroyed the newspapers excellent cash cow for nothing. I mean if you're gonna do that at least makes money but I -- -- personally I look at how why use us product or service I think I'm a bit of a litmus test tonight I have preponderance sign up whenever and I've received -- offer -- air whatever they sent out I've only. Been on one and I haven't opened an email from them and probably to three months to none of the offers -- and I did one. -- Now in in that space we also have interest in things going on with foursquare which is becoming more news -- as a revenue stream their ads and it's popping up -- over the over the place. Yelp I mean this is a this wouldn't kind of took off in 2011 what's gonna happen here in 2011 -- we think with kind of mobile commerce. I don't know exact and it's and it's just gonna get bigger and it's gonna get more a lot more innovation going on in there right now. Not to skip -- and mature for Smartphones later but. You know that the rally is is that this Smartphone. Revolution is really just putting the power of computing -- -- and the PCs in the eighties and the Internet to -- them all together in the ninety's. Now you've got product that can fit in your pocket the most. Importantly is there a price point where millions of people who. Wouldn't have had PCs or when it had broadband connections now have them because it's largely subsidized product Pena -- box. And agreed is sixty dollars a month period dollars a month or whatever it is and you basically get all that goodness that everybody with PCs and broadband connections had for the last fifteen years. And I think that's the biggest change is happening right now when you go on to. You walk down the street you see kids in EC older people all the stuff and -- all. Basically doing desktop computing with -- broadband connections and their mobile but was -- but there's more to it isn't because of the location. Aspect and the personal -- -- personal -- of the guys I mean and it adds a layer of opportunity for businesses for here. I think that -- GPS is what gave rise to that foursquare tech phenomenon that you're talking about an ending near field communication. May be that thing -- In the future whether it's next year maybe a year after after they get the bugs worked out that the ability to say if we know we know where you are. You're not gonna give you any easy way to make a transaction with your device. I I have to say I am skeptical of near field. Because I I think it's superfluous technology you have good geo location -- really all it its its its hyper accurate geo location right. Within less than ten -- so it's yeah ability to say you know and and just let me with my credit card yet. But that's what you can do with your Smartphone you can -- and identifies you at stores -- at a register means just. Tightening screws to give it hasn't gone by each it yeah it is kind right. Anyway I like it that I I believe that near field is slightly superfluous it's a big aid to you know points they'll transactions on the map I don't know. Wrong. We will see you've been wrong before but that I make it correct me career of being wrong are you kidding me. Other stores are gonna run at time Apple tried to kill a well old used they'll say well love technology when it wants the -- paddles flashed what how big -- deal with that or. The Internet overall in and pored over in particular. I don't know why it. To -- it's -- frustration I mean Apple made a decision to to not that support that technology and to me it's still a major hole in. The usefulness of the iPad I'd just last -- I'm on my iPad trying to follow the -- school -- game you know against the chargers which was a disaster from on Bart you know -- -- Three G connections of port than they have the live play going on on the on the screen and it's all in flash and I'm just locked out I have to kind of follow the text version of itself -- -- Android -- Yet unnamed I was Chinese my iPad and I just to be looking at the user experience and thinking you know him and I'm not happy -- it's it's a major. Problem. So you know they -- -- -- reasons they wanted to do and I think it's interesting that they decided to do and it was. Steve himself -- kind of took up the charge in and you know explain to users in the -- and was kind of space. But that decision that's -- uninteresting to me but I just think from a user's standpoint it's not doing people service. On how people and people who go to a site on their iPad doesn't work they just think of the site doesn't work in my act had to wonder why that is. People of a countered that before they go to a site in Internet Explorer and it doesn't work or or vice Versa in Firefox or Chrome and it's meant for Internet Explorer doesn't work. People just think that's the Internet they don't they don't blame Apple they don't blame flash they don't even know flashes. So it's it's just one of those -- in -- like -- my iPad doesn't get that site. And there was already a backlash against flash before Apple got on the scene with this this year. And Apple just kind of fanned those already existing claims of people who thought flash was a security hole and a -- -- stock. And so they've boosted that a little bit. But I don't think they really made any difference lots of folks are still. In designing and flash because html five is too young or not widely distributed enough or capable. To do the things that they wanna do in flash so. I think we'll see -- disappear and maybe Apple will take credit -- get the credit for it. But it won't disappear for a while and it really won't be because of Apple it'll be because flashes. Is like real player it it was to me in the 1990s it's a technology that works very well for what we need to do right now. But I don't think it's the thing that's going to last forever like an html yeah I -- to stand. A media and the technology -- the better technology will win out and you know flash probably will lose the David does that mean for the next two or three years with my -- and maybe some other products I just I can experience and on that hardware because it does yeah and and I just think that's not good for the -- -- that is unlike. Apple other big stories. From 2010 that that really changed the landscape you know where's Microsoft. The lack of a Microsoft -- -- the peninsula. -- their residents. That they -- that's. Connect it to connect the solid red but you may forgotten and Xbox snake in the Xbox is a success. United 9% of those guys that make the Xbox but. So on the mobile front man on the OS front and then to see so many fronts they're just not part of the conversation. How much -- arguable how much longer to think -- will be studio. I don't know you know obviously they're still healthy complaining to a ton written on business and support but it's just. It just feels like they've they've lost in the end they've always been criticized for never being at the forefront of innovation and just gonna swooping and then and you know compromising and getting amounted to more users and make a lot of money off -- that. So that's been in their history but it just seems now they're really just not part of the all the conversations whether it's -- can and the Google's in the search and mobile. -- obviously -- has across the board they just seem to not be. At the buzz about now. I think Bing is probably the most important thing they did this year because they were entirely irrelevant -- the search based space and that made them part of the conversation again. I don't think they're hurting Google yet and I'm not sure that they will even in the next year but it at least. Put them as the only other competitor so you now have Google and -- it as as actual search engines were talking about. And before that you really didn't have anything yeah Yahoo! was so in decline -- figure we if you count Yahoo! pinkie is like 28% of the market -- it little side note. Here yesterday or the day before Yahoo! announced that it was going to terminate a couple of services like delicious and rest in peace we hope they managed keep -- alive but. Actually -- spinning out collisions he. We're trying to and one of the things they're gonna kill as AltaVista remember AltaVista -- search engine. Yahoo! has that now and that apparently that's get those searches and -- out of a Cisco noise. I'm a -- a little out for -- Alta -- right now in memory that was his that was the last search engine I used predominantly before switch to Google instant -- it was. It was the cream of the crop back and nine user accounts -- in the before time what else. How about the changes over it HP that a big stories that mean anything non -- that's just a fun story is there anything Larry Ellison gets involved and it is coming on the watch exactly opponent list was wrong -- that. The the hack that the that weaponized virus that targeted -- Iran's nuclear plants how ridiculous that. I think it's a big deal -- we don't know about yet I mean there were some stories this week. About how it was used to take down the nuclear ambitions of -- -- -- -- them back two years and in others one line it said as a result they're they're gonna have to rebuild a turbine and you know some. Some big machinery. -- he -- cyber warfare has resulted in. Infrastructure. Damage. How remarkable -- -- Without killing anyone without firing a shot at the -- if they -- they're able to -- there's a really good article in Forbes. Explaining that it very well could be a Finnish company in China. Possibly under Chinese direction that is responsible for this. Because they're the ones who made the driver for of the peace in the nuclear. Machinery that went wild -- caused the damage. And I I think. What's really agencies we don't know who did it everywhere else to jump to the conclusion well as Israel -- the United States. But this Forbes article made a really good a point to say you know what. They didn't have as good of an opportunity to do this as China. And China might have wanted to do this. And still maintain good relations with Iran. So if they can do it and make it look like it's the US and Israel had -- -- the better for them. Does that -- Cranston now there was a movie I don't remember what it was but this is the danger to win you don't know who it is you know when it was you know the nuclear warheads and we can detect. When Russia might launched an against the US and support the new you know you kind of verify that there was a movie -- -- -- which. It was it nick it was -- to look like Russia had -- -- war against that's and so now wouldn't you know as Tom mentioned. When you're not really sure -- the perpetrators know what's next to somebody to do this to North Korea and make it look like the south. And then in a matter of pages can have possibly nuclear conflagration. Over that so that. That's very scary and and how how well as the US prepared for this sort of thing I'm not. All that convinced that the USA. Can. You know right now many were still ahead of the game but in in ten years are -- other countries that are our head of the game and cyber warfare China most notably and what kind of damage could be done so as we. National Security Agency has said we assume that our networks are compromised at this point you just there's just no way to secure everything and by the way as we move. Two a world which are airports fighters are unmanned. Computer controlled network controlled. Interesting so he's gonna get those pictures got it just kind of makes antenna gates seem like a non story residence. Only thing that happened yes I did have -- just an estimated government's -- idea -- in my list that it was just like this church. -- Olympics. Because Steve Jobs actually had a press conference to respond to that needed. A big deal well yeah and -- and the handling by the company. You -- lot of lot of products from Anderson had winds and some issues with them and they're not really handled the same way I think you know when the advice was hold different. Or whatever that was -- holding -- wrong I don't know what that was exactly but. I think that really lifted the curtain a little bit and I think people look consent Willy Wonka might be a little -- The little yeah little little you know when -- -- -- the wall and -- but now and then even with the attacking the other people who make the phones and in just the whole way that thing on on I think it was more reflection on. I think a lot of people saw that companies differently in the that's what was interesting about that. But yet I mean it was it they made a mistake he counted and engineering change in the phone and have a real impact on the -- call quality and and drop -- calls it we documented it we have video that showed very. Very clearly it's it's replica mobile. So it it was a real issue for sure you know inviting people to put. A Robert case around the phone in order to prevent that problem. That's ideals that we for a company ideals -- -- accompanied by. -- its interest exists he said the exact same problem would -- evo. In the exact same way where you -- a certain way and it and the reception goes down. And -- HTC said was like yeah we're aware of this it's a known issue. And -- no antenna gate no big. To do it's because it's Apple -- both what the expectations are Apple and how Apple responds to things that turned that into huge story out. Yet what -- things it did not become a big story this year what sort of in the movie industry and out of the consumer electronics industry -- 3-D thank goodness. As have to say that because I would write this bottom line up what else anything else that most important product of of 2000 and iPad. Yeah yeah probably -- think it's something else because it seems too obvious but yeah. Number two. One as we talked the emergence of Android I think that's very significant and it it's not just the competition -- Apple with on the watching that drama and all that I do you think -- entries. And a democratizing. You know Smartphones beginning and more Hansen and making more options available in different price points and so forth so it's very similar to me says Apple and windows in the eighties what do you guys what do you port gonna come. Does its mascot do you think windows phone seven would be higher profile right now if it weren't for Android. Because Blackberry seems to be a little on its heels and windows phone seven is Google is a great interface. But it's got too much to compete with to -- to be able to get -- it seems. It's a great interface when there's other great interfaces that are out there happen out there for awhile so again it's classic Microsoft leaked to the party. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- You know I think the mobile market and Smartphones they they have to be there for the long haul and so -- I can write him off I don't think that that's a great you know being. Momentous product for on for this year. About our next to what's gonna happen next here let's look or running at times with the port 2011. We've got Chrome OS finally coming up with them -- at our Chrome books that going to be a big deal in 2011 or the gonna get killed by entering. I think it's gonna eat the rest of the netbook market and that's not saying much. Because the never took market is sort of shrinking anyway. But I think when it comes out in the middle of the summer at the whoever -- left who still wants that form factors gonna -- Chrome OS that's gonna be defended him. -- I don't know I think what. Google just throughout the sources and I think they're gonna want duke it out from and it looks like Android Scott the inside track right now they're still. You know pushing Chrome and developing and improving it and came out with a laptop that's. Based on it. But I don't -- two years I would say Chrome -- via -- of a relic of who we think about anything else for 2011 we should look forward to. -- good -- and -- -- I think there's gonna be congressional action on net neutrality one way or another because of the disputes on the backbone that we've seen between levels three and Comcast. I think that's gonna touch off a lot more disputes that -- sort of been simmering. At the FCC is gonna get dragged into written the new Republican congress it is going to do it could also be dragged into it. And I I think we're going to see something -- happens that some sort of action on it whether it's a direction to the FCC. Whether it's a new kind of legislation that we haven't seen before and I don't even know what site it's gonna -- necessarily but I think that's good that's going to be forced isn't an issue because it's not on the consumer side now it's going to be in the industry sites -- gonna have the lobbyists. It going to congress saying we need to fix this. -- By I think there will be that. Privacy moment of that comment. Gets everybody focused on it I think that creepy line will be crossed in a big way and either a company -- and on their owners are some -- security breach that puts a lot of price private information out there. What we -- -- you know what what if we can -- was able to get into packets and the tires that dates or something like that. I just don't think there's going to be a big moment in privacy where he says while what's been going on we really have to monitor -- more closely. And do something about it and I don't have an answer exactly but I just think that the emergence of more. Products that are tied either through the the TV or through mobile means very exciting now with mobile emerging -- the iPad. Or computing hitting the living room via Internet connected TVs I don't think -- you know we've seen. The type of innovation yet that -- is gonna -- us you know I think there's gonna be. You know Netflix is a great product is there a Netflix type of service that emerges. Either for the Internet connected TV -- for the iPad where it's like. While I think that that's the next company that Google wants to buy for six billion dollars from I think that's -- play out next year. -- Okay great well. Thank -- -- -- -- -- good -- Tom it's good to see you again hope things go well drilled on at twit. Thanks everyone for watching reporters' roundtable this -- the last show the year will be back next year. I think our first -- -- -- from CES as we get last year got a couple guests and we'll have a show there. Live from Las Vegas. Have a great new year -- a great holiday follow me and Twitter are AFP -- news on what's next if you want to send an email to reporters roundtable it's roundtable at cnet.com. If you want to see what it's it'll show notes on this and previous shows its reporters roundtable dot cnet.com the needle thanks for producing. Thanks again -- and Scott and he -- -- they care.