Buzz Out Loud
Ep. 945: Born to be WILBTurns out surfing Facebook at work has a name and it's good for your productivity. A study shows that 20 percent of your time spent Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing (WILB) will improve your output. Texas also says Hasta La Vista to Vista and AT&T tries...
[ music ] ^M00:00:04 >> Today is Friday, April 3, 2009. >> I'm Natalie Delconte. [phonetic] >> I'm Tom Merritt. >> I'm Raish Needlman. [phonetic] >> I'm Jason Howell. [phonetic] >> Welcome to Buzz Out Loud, CNET's podcast of Indeterminate Length. This is Episode 945. >> And if Natalie sounds a slight bit echoy to you, it's because she's coming from her couch today. >> I'm home today. >> She's literally phoning it in today from home. >> Skyping it in. >> [inaudible] >> Very exciting. I know. Sorry. >> All right. >> Keep going! Keep going! >> Yeah, let's start with the, the rumors racing around the blogasphere today about Google and Twitter in talks for Google to acquire Twitter. >> Yeah, so >> Really? >> Tech [inaudible] reports earlier, last, last night I think that Google is in quote, unqote, late stage talks to acquire twitter, which earned a searing rebuke from car swisherover [phonetic] at all things [inaudible]. There maybe talking, but it's not late stage. ANd that's actually a very big difference. >> And then everybody jumped in >> Yeah. >> Took a side, and became an echosphere like the blogasphere always does. But the important thing here is Google has not denied that some kind of talks are going on. >> And neither has Twitter. They've both issued non-denials, basically saying we don't confirm or deny >> Yeah. >> Random wild rumors like this depending on whose sources you believe. But it's interesting that they, they're probably talking about something, whether it's an acquisition, a partnership, or some kind of search field. Which is probably the smart thing to do. I mean Twitter as, Twitter search, former surmise, is a really valuable interesting service. And, and Google needs it badly, Yeah. >> That Twitter has been floating out there as ideas of ways they would make money, build on that search. >> Yeah. Exactly. And somebody in the chat room points out here, Twitter already, or Google already bought Gicou, [phonetic] and that hasn't done much for them. So maybe they, I mean, they don't nes, they need Twitters audience and they, that search function is killer. >> And if anybody can make a lot of money off the search function it'd be Google. >> Exactly. >> Yeah. Definitely. >> Yeah. And there are other ways that they could integrate; for instance, Ask out posted something today about Google incorporating Twitter feeds into ad sense. So that when you search a company, the five most recent Tweets from that company would be in their ad sense display. Which is an interesting way to start to monotize Twitter. Maybe one of the first real ways. >> Well there are a lot of companies out there who are making money out of Twitter, even though Twitter isn't making money on itself, mostly by doing advertising and analytic stuff, and their social network. Measurement companies that will tell, you know, if you're running brand management for a company, they'll tell you how many people are Twittering about your business. And there's a new one called Co-Tweet that will direct D, direct replies and ad replies to people on your team, so you make sure that you respond to those fans, or complainers, or whatever. So there are people making good money off of Twitter, but it's not the massive scale that everybody wants Twitter to magically take the covers off and say, ta da, here's our giant business model. >> Right. >> And Bizz and Ev [phonetic] were both on, on video yesterday. Bizz Stone [phonetic] was on the Colbert Report. >> Yeah. >> Not terribly revealing interview. It was kind of fun to watch Steven Colbert, you know, make Twitter jokes, and Bizz try to stick to his speak, his Web 2.0 speak. But I, I think he did a great job. I think it was a fun; it was a fun thing. And Steven Colbert started Twittering during the show. >> Oh, excellent. >> But Ev was on Tech Zilla, which they did a, a show recorded from Web 2.0 Expo. And, and Veronica actually asked him, like what's up with the Google thing? And he's pretty much danced around it. Which is, you know, what we've just been talking about, no denials. But there, you know, they're defiantly rising in consciousness more and more and more out there in the world. So it makes sense that, that Google would at least be interested in finding out if there's value there. >> A little peek here into the mind of, of Ev, whose, I, he's now the CEO, they keep switching me, he's now the CEO. >> Is he? I thought he was the CTO still. >> Whatever. >> But I don't keep track. >> Any way, he's, he's the, one of the business spokes people for, for Twitter now. And he has, he made a lot of money by selling Blogger to Google. He's been down this road before. He doesn't need, personally though people at the company probably feel differently, he doesn't need to sell Twitter. And he has a extremely grand vision of the importance of Twitter in the world. And one of the, the, the non-denial blog posts that Twitter put up says, says we want to build Twitter into an independent company. Which is almost a denial if they're in late stage talks, but not [inaudible] some kind of partnership talks. >> Yeah, some kind of; well it could, they might, the thing about these sort of things is even the people in the talks sometimes don't know where they're going. They're just like, you know, let's talk and see if there's anything we can do. >> Right. >> Maybe it's a partnership; maybe it's an acquisition. They don't go in with like >> You know. >> Concrete plans. This is what's gonna happen. >> You know what would be news? If Google and Twitter were not talking. That would be staggering. >> Yeah, you're, you're, you're pretty much right about that. What's more >> So don't you think that Yahoo should get involved then? >> [inaudible] I think I should >> No one makes any peep about Yahoo. Don't you think they should >> Yeah, where are they? >> Be thinking about this in a big way? >> No. They're, they're stunned. They're, they're dems. [phonetic] But I think Microsoft should be in with them though. >> More interesting to me is Google unveiling what's inside those mysterious shipping containers that we've had conspiracy theories floating around about for years. >> It's, it's not hamsters. >> It's not hamsters. Its not concentrated death. It is in fact a really cool system of hardware efficiency that pairs each server with its own 12-volt battery. >> Yeah, so our guy Steven Jenklin [phonetic] was at Google, and he got pictures of what I called the brain cell. Which is basically a, a dual CTU custom built motherboard with, how many? Eight ram sticks on here, its own custom battery, two hard drives. These computers are the core of Google. And what Google does is they take these custom built machines, they put 1,160 of them in racks in shipping container sized data center modules, and then they gang those up, I guess in giant underground lairs, and that's, and then they link them all together, and that's what makes a Google. >> Aren't these; is Google Doctor Evil? >> I don't know. >> Giant underground lairs? >> Well you know they, they were talking about putting them on bargers. [phonetic] They, they, they put these containers in their data centers, which they, they locate downstream of dams, so they get the cheap hydropower, I mean, and cooling. They do all sorts of stuff like that. >> So it is a fascinating article that Shenk [phonetic] wrote up at News.CNET.com. Take a look at it, we'll, we'll throw it in the show notes at BOL.CNET.com. Of course, you can find it on News.com as well. But he's got diagrams in there, nice close up pictures of what these different modules look like. If you're into this sort of thing you're gonna have a ball with this. >> That's fun. >> Meanwhile AT&T changes their terms of service to limit mobile video if you're using their wireless service. This, this isn't just smart phones; we're talking about the wireless cards, if you've got HSDPA cards as well. The new terms of service say that, where's the actually quote here? I'm reading this on new TV. >> It says, downloading movies using P2P file sharing services, customer initiated redirection of television or other video or audio signals via any technology from a fixed location. A mobile, two mobile device web broadcasting at any application that tethers the device to personal computers or equipment. So this is obviously part of their strategy that they just announced that they were going to subsidize 3G Netbooks. So they want to control when, and how, and all of that stuff that you get that stream and what you do with it, which is interesting. >> But, you know, if they, if they hold true to, to this new TOS here, this kills Sling for AT&T Customers, or kills AT&T for Sling, one or the other. This is, >> Now this is for mobile wireless, this isn't for AT&T DSL, just to keep the confusion from the audience. >> Yeah, but mobile is more and more a apart of, especially with netbooks and notebooks, more and more. >> And the carrier is starting to sell these netbooks >> Um hum, this is more and more part of the fabric of the standard Internet, not just smart phones. Smart phones. And this is, I mean I, I'm, I'm foaming at the mouth here. This is so awful to >> We can see that [inaudible] >> To, to, to gate content by type. To say that business is built around redirecting to content, which is coming into my house via Sling Box to my device, which I am paying for access for. Which is touted as, you know, being able to display video. Can't display the video that I wanted to display. >> These wireless networking deals >> Sure. >> Have been getting worse and worse all the time, as Lando Calrisy [phonetic] once said. >> Yeah. >> They went from being unlimited to being 5 gigabytes. They've never been that neutral. There's always been limits on what you could do, you know, what kind of contact to go on. But this is, this is getting ridiculous, because it's essentially saying, hey, were setting up to deliver to you from AT&T. If you got this wireless card you buy a netbook from us, we're gonna provide the video to you, and you're not even aloud to watch your own video. >> We're setting up to send you over to Verizon, that's what this says to me. Well yeah, if, unless, unless they all follow suit. >> Yeah. >> So far they haven't, but yeah, this is, this is awful. If I had AT&T as my wireless data provider for my laptop, I would be dropping them over this. >> Yeah. If, if they follow suit I will follow snake, [phonetic] and then watch out. >> Yeah. Please, please bring on ore wireless options from other people. And Verizon and Sprint, this is your chance to crush them. >> Yeah. >> Yeah! Go, Go and give us a higher data cap with no restrictions, and promote the crap out of it. >> I think I have a, the, the evdove [phonetic] card on it from sprint. And that's got a 50 gigabyte. Not 5, >> Nah, Sprint went down to five. >> Five. >> They were the last one to fall. But they have, they have all reduced to five. Competition the other way here, where they're all collapsing into each other. >> That's pretty bad. >> But you know what? You can, you can gain some market share, because people are starting to use these things. You know, give us a 10, 20, 50 gigabyte limit plan and you can steal a lot of customers. >> Eventually these things to have to bounce off that low limit and start going up, because more and more of the content that people want. They'll want just general Internet access, but trying to gate things by, by bit [inaudible] P2P, trying to gate video redirection. That I'd like to believe that that cannot possibly work. >> Now Sling Box is, is kind of at the bad end of this deal from AT&T. But they're not helping themselves any by saying that the new app that they're releasing this time for the iPhone won't be compatible with the older sling boxes. In fact, you'll have to have a Sling Box Pro, Sling Box Pro HD, or Sling Box Solo in order to use this app. And if you've got the older model, eh, they'll give you a discount on buying a new one, but you're out of luck otherwise. >> I, I, >> But you have to remember that this is a Sling Box application that's not out for iPhone yet, this is just what we know so far about it. And the Solo is their entry-level product that costs $180. We don't know exactly when this is even gonna come out. But if, assuming it does >> Yeah, you're right, we don't even know if Apple is gonna approve it, right? >> Yeah. We don't know, we don't know that at all. So it looks like this is gonna be the case, which would be a mistake. >> This looks like a bungled communications strategy on Slings part here. Because, you know, sometimes software gets upgraded, and the hardware that you have can't run the new software. That's what happens. And the question then is what the company that sold you the hardware does to make you right if you want to use that new software. And they can go and say, oh we'll give you a little credit on a new device, but you have to buy a new device, nah, nah. And that just annoys people. If they could package it as, you know what? We've got fancy new technologies here, new software, and we're sorry that you're an early adopter and you got the, the hardware, which doesn't support it any more. We want to take care of you, so here's how we're gonna help you upgrade to the new, new service. They can patch it in the right way. I know of no companies that guarantee that their hardware they sell you will work with all future versions of software. Even the, the, the only one I know that comes even close is a Valentine Radar Detector. >> Well, but here >> And you have to pay for upgrades. >> Hold on! Here's what >> Puts the light of that rafe [phonetic] though. If you're using a BlackBerry or a trio right now with the Sling player app, you can use it on the old version. So why suddenly is the iPhone not able to use the old versions? >> Yeah. I, I don't know. >> Yeah. Right. >> I mean, we don't know exactly what's going on here. If it's because of some kind of hardware upgrade that's required, because the iPhone does more stuff then >> Well yeah, >> [inaudible] >> Because they haven't told us what that stuff is. >> If it's arbitrary, then you're right. >> All right. Let's move onto the fact that you, who are listening to this podcast at work, or maybe watching the live stream of it at work, are actually boosting your productivity right now. >> That's true. There's a new study that shows that 70% of workers who engage in what they're calling, WILB, or Work Internet Leisure Browsing. >> Why does that remind me of milk? >> Are more productive then more, then those who are forbidding from any kind of WILB bean. I want to use this in a sentence. >> WILB Bean. >> WILB Bean. You're WILB. But you're just so WILB. >> WILB. >> It was a WILB night, I surfed all night. No, this is, we joke, but this is, this is exactly what I've been trying to say for years. And, and now we have a responsible study behind it from the University of Melbourne, thank you very much. That a certain amount of break time, and whether it's web surfing or, or whatever, is very good for your brain and good for the workplace. All of these studies given out by Internet filter companies that say, oh, its 200 billion dollars lost to web surfing. >> Stolen, wasted, lost, yeah. >> They're ridiculous. This says, look 20% of your time is spend surfing, your productivity actually goes up, because your brain gets a, a relaxation. And you get back to work you're, you're more focused, you're back at it, you shouldn't just be working constantly all the time. If it's above 20% then those payoffs start to go away, because it's too much time wasted. They're not trying to say that, you know, if you play around all day on the Internet you'll be great. Of course not. But a certain amount is prime. >> Tom, I hate to agree with you, because >> Because that's boring. >> No, but you're absolutely right. The thing is that it's different for different people, and outliers always mess this up. So you've got somebody who is like working straight through, because that's the way their brain works. And they see somebody who's taken a little break to do some Amazon shopping and they tell on them and they get in trouble. Or you have somebody who's just screwing around all day. And even in that, you know, you say it's 20% of their reports say 20%. Some people probably only need a 5 min break a day. Some highly creative people, or just some people in general, might need an hour an day. But that other seven ours of working out, you get out of them is gonna be killer. >> Well this is an argument against firewalls and >> Yes. >> And against locking of certain sites. Hopefully no ones blocked to watch BOL.com. >> Some people are. >> [inaudible] >> We're making, we're making these people more productive. >> But studies have shown for a long time that people with more autonomy in their career are more productive than people who don't. So if you work for one of those people who needs to micromanage you, and you need to clock in at a certain time, and then you clock out. Those people are less productive than people like, well like us, that's journalists who work around the clock, but no one really makes us check in and check out. And so we work more. And we work more productively, because we have agency over our own schedule. >> Now. >> So this is another proof of that same >> And lets just be, let's just be clear. >> Phenomena >> There are, there are jobs where we can get away with this kind of thing. And I do consider kind of getting away with things. And there are jobs where you can't. I mean I don't want my customer service rep, I mean if I'm running a room of, of CSR's, and their job is to be on the phone, you know, these hours then I want them on the phone. And I certainly don't want them like trying to listen to a BOL or surf the web while they're on the phone. >> Well you know what? With that situation what I would say is you should be mandating that they take rolling 20 minute breaks. >> Yes. >> You should be going and surfing the web and using Facebook now, not answering the phones for 20 minutes to give yourself a break. >> You know what else? Bring back >> No that's silly. >> Bring back. >> You can't, you can't mandate those. >> Well that you can't mandate that they surf Facebook. You can mandate a break. You can say, like look 20 minutes, get away from the phones for a while. >> Also, rum rations. >> And grog. >> Yes. >> Mandating any kind of break like that is, is a situation, is, I think >> It's not optimal, I guess you're right. But >> What's ideal is letting people decide for themselves. >> But it's >> And just monitor their deliverables better than actually. >> I know what Rafe's saying. >> Like micromanaging time that way. If you let the whole call center decide when to take a break, and they all take a break for 20 minutes, then you're whole call center goes away for 20 minutes, and that's not good. So there's gotta be some kind of management. But you over management and then you get into this things, I don't want to take a break right now, I'm on a roll. No, you have to take a break. But I don't want to. Well you have to. >> I think we're going far a field. Let's, let's get back to the, the story here from Charlie Cooper about the TeleCode possibly testing out a system where would have all of your enterprises computers virtualized from the TelCo. So instead of having servers and desktops all over the place, pretty much everybody would have a thin client at their desk, so they could bring in their own computer if they want, or they wouldn't have to. They could use a desktop. And all the processing is done on the other end. So you have virtualized enterprise systems. It cuts costs quite a bit. It actually, you know, it's a security question, because you have to trust the Telco with your security at that point. But you can have anybody using their laptop, and because it's virtualized it keeps the security of the laptop from affecting the security of the enterprise. >> What, what is this 1996? >> Right. >> Yes, it is. It's exactly it all over again. You know, Larry Ellison tried this, Scott McNeally [phonetic] tried this, but the difference is broadband is cheap enough and so pervasive now that the Telco's think, you know what? This time we might be able to work, make it work, and we're the ones that have the bandwidth. >> Yeah. Except you can't have it, and you try to do P2P over this and we'll shut you down. >> Yeah, well it's not gonna be done wirelessly, right? Because then everything is broken. >> And you must take breaks, so turn it off. >> I, I think it's intriguing, but you bring up >> It's gonna bring up a support issue. >> Oh, it's a huge support issue, you're right. >> There will >> Because all your supports coming from one place. >> There will, there will certainly be companies that, that want to do this. But what, what's really interesting about this, is that ever since the personal computer revolution in the 80's and the IBM PC came out and made it into companies, IT people, and Telco's, and Internet companies have been trying to bring the personal computer back into the glass house. And they get a little bit of traction each time, but overall people still want their local processing power. >> Yeah. >> You do this and people will be bringing in laptops to work and doing work on their laptop. And then there'll be some little synchronization thing that doesn't work, so they need their local processing power. Well this makes >> [inaudible] synchronizing thing, this is virtualization, so [inaudible] >> Yeah. >> But the sync won't work is what I'm saying, because they'll need to do it for some reason. The thing is these things make perfect >> You could be anywhere. >> The thing is these things make perfect financial sense, they make perfect sense from a corporate IT perspective, and end users always rebel. They always want their own cars, their own computers. >> Well they can have their own computers with this. >> Yeah. >> And you're just running a virtual machine on your own computer. >> For their business stuff. >> Yeah. And you can run it anywhere. >> Right. >> You could have it at home. You could have it at work. You can have it on several machines, because you're virtualizing into the same machine at the time. >> We've been able to do this for a long time. I mean time share apps, this is time sharing except it's, you know, using modern technology. >> Except it's managed by your ISP. >> Yeah, which is kind of spooky. >> I think that's the spooky part. It's gotta be significant cost savings to really push people to do this. >> I'll bet ya, I'll bet ya though that AT&T doesn't actually do this themselves, or they outsource it somebody else like IBM Global Service, Services or something like that. And it's a company that actually knows how to run virtualized server farms, that is delivering this and AT&T will just, or Verizon, or whomever, or will just, you know, relabel it. >> On the a, the same topic of it being costly to upgrade your systems, and then that's one of the reasons people might go into some sort of virtualized things like this, because it's a subscription model. Systems keep getting upgraded, they're virtualized. The Texas Senate has proposed a budget that includes a restriction saying no one in the Texas Government can upgrade to Windows Vista without getting written approval from the Texas Legislature. >> Ouch. >> So apparently the entire state of Texas thinks that Vista is so complicated that they just can't afford it in their IT budget. The quote says, because of the many reports of problems with Vista we're not in any way, shape, or form trying to pick up, pick on Microsoft. But the problem with this particular operating system are known worldwide. And XP is working very well, so no thank you on any upgrades; we don't need the extra headache. >> That's senator Won Kinahosa [phonetic] of the State Legislatures Finance Committee. >> So while this may be getting to something that is based in reality, I have two big issues with this. One, the law says it's based on reports on journalism, probably, on blogs, who knows, on hearsay. I want to see, if he's gonna put this law through, it's gotta be more than, well people have said. You know, it's got, because Vista, you know there are issues with it, yeah, they're big. But it's, ah, this is, this is >> Fair, fair enough. Fair enough. I think you're right. >> The, the law doesn't belong in, in; this is not a good. In my opinion, it is not the right part of the law to say what products you can or cannot buy. Secondly, this is bigger than it sounds. Texas has enormous federal influence in a lot of things. Where Texas goes when it comes to textbooks, that's where education goes. Except for California, >> Because there's such a huge market. Yeah. >> Yeah, because they, they >> Texas, California, New York kind of dictate it. >> They control a lot, Texas controls a lot of market by shear size of its economy. So this is a dangerous precedence. >> And the other thing is Microsoft >> Well >> Is saying, why are we getting singled out? Why, I, I, they think it's amazing that you would single out a specific corporation and product for unequal treatment. >> But I mean it's not that bad on Microsoft. They are saying we like XP, we're gonna stick with that. And who knows what happens when Windows 7 comes out. But I don't think that there's any data, or IT administrators staying longer, because they're, they're administrating Vista. Or, like where does this data come from? How do they, how do they arrive at this conclusion? >> You know what else about this is really wrong? This is anti economic stimulus. Because Vista, A, you have to spend money to get it, B, it cost more money to administer. IE job creation. This is Texas saying no, we like things the way they are, screw you economic recovery. We're gonna stick with things the way they are, or stick with XP. >> Well one of the reasons that Microsoft is that being >> Just saying. Thank you, let the hate come in. >> One of the reasons Microsoft's >> Here it comes. >> Is being picked on here is, because they are 90+ percent of the market. You know, that's why you end up getting picked on and, and singled out, becuse you're it. >> Yeah. >> You know, I mean, yeah there's Linux, there's OSX, there's FreeBSD. But really 90% of the market plus is Microsoft. >> Yeah. They can take it. Yeah. >> And so you're gonna get singled out when you're in that position. The mobile phone market doesn't have that problem. And apparently that's helping its security, according to a, an RS Technical [phonetic] report. >> Right. This report says that viruses like Conficker could spread all over mobile phones. They just don't, because the operating system usership is so diverse. Because some people use iPhone, some people use Windows Mobile, there's Symbian, there's just so many that no one really bothers to write or spread a virus in this way. In the same way that one spreads over Vista. >> This >> The evolutionary >> Or Window's rather, sorry. >> This is the evolutionary diversity argument, which is that the more diverse your, the, the, the species and the eco system, the less likely a particular virus is to take down, is to crash the whole system. This is a, this is an old argument. It's good to see it backed up now with new data. But it just stands to reason. And that is the danger, of course, of everybody using the same operating systems. Then everybody tries to attack it, and one successful exploit crash the whole system. By that I mean on a macro level. >> The studies gonna be released on line in Science Express. Now the authors do say that in the old days that, that in almost infinite combinations of hardware and software left little room for a virus writer to figure out what to target. But since 2004 there have apparently been over 400 phone specific viruses. And the authors say that many of these show a level of sophistication that indicates their authors have been following developments in the PC world. Some of these viruses were even able to spread by Bluetooth and MMS. So the narrowing of hardware and software to be more standard, and because of the rise of Smart phones we've got platforms that are used in, in large amounts, like the iPhone, like BlackBerry. So now they're getting bigger targets, so we may start to see bigger security threats as the operating systems coalesce. But still you don't have that big looming easy target. Every virus writer for a PC knows exactly what operating system will get him or her the largest spread. >> And that's what, that's one of the things, one of the things, not the only thing, that keeps, you know, OS, OSX safe. >> Well a village in the UK is feeling unsafe by Googles Street View. They chased out Googles cars that was roaming their neighborhood in order to take pictures for Google Street View and possibly Google Earth. And said, we don't want your kind here, because this is an affluent area, they've already had too many burglaries, or burgles, burgles, locally in the last 6 weeks, and they just don't' want their homes on Google. So they said get out of here. And they chased them with pitchforks, and, and knives. >> They were afraid it was going to steal their sole. >> Google Maps, casing the joint for the world at large. >> Ah, yeah, Broutin [phonetic] and Buckinghamshire [phonetic] was, I think they were suspicious. They probably thought it was some sort of terrorist thing. They saw this weird camera that looks sort of like an alien from War Of The Worlds sitting on top of a, a car, and, and got freaked out. And apparently the police came, and the police kind of talked them out of it and said, it's, it's okay. It's just the Google car. And I saw several people point out the irony that Britain, being one of the most public photographed places in the world, there are security cameras everywhere. And, and yet this is the place where they get freaked out. I guess they've been pushed by one too many cameras. >> And the idea they're rolling down the street. >> Well yeah, but the stories we've seen lately about people using Google Earth in order to steal things, like the roof, lead roof tile one we did just a few weeks ago. Those are happening in the UK. So they have a reason to be somewhat suspicious. >> Maybe Broutin and Buckinghamshire have something to hide in its backyards? >> Yeah, I've seen a lot of old episodes of The Avengers. And a lot of those smaller towns in England have mad scientists hiding out in pubs >> Right. >> Doing strange experiments. Until Steed [phonetic] and Ema Peel [phonetic] come and unveil them. >> I'm just saying. >> And so they probably miss took Google for that. >> Right. Well they >> With Steed or Ema Peel being in Google, yeah. >> Yeah. >> Because they fight evil. >> Perhaps. >> Speaking of evil, we have another robot story thanks to Chris, the former snowman hunter, for sending this along. A laboratory robot called Adam is being hailed as the first machine in history to discover new scientific knowledge on its own. Adam formed a hypothesis on the genetics of bakers yeast, and carried out experiments to test its predictions without any intervention from the people who made it. >> Did it publish? >> I don't know if it's been peer reviewed yet? >> No, come on. >> Raish, you're never impressed by the, by the accomplishments of robots. >> I know. >> Scientific robots, bah. >> Don't you think this is amazing that a, a robot can synthesize its thoughts >> That is crazy. >> And come up with a possibility, and then test it? >> Things are snowballing here. >> No you're >> It's all building up right now. >> You seem so not. You don't care at all? >> Yeah Raish >> Well no, I was just making a funny there. I actually think it's pretty freaking cool. >> The team has just completed a successor robot called the Eve, by the way. >> Get it. >> Adam and Eve. And it's going to work with Adam on a series of experiments designed to find new drugs to treat Malaria, and skistosomyasis. [phonetic] >> And then we'll have robot mosquitoes that go and deliver the drugs. >> That's right. >> Or kill, kill the bad mosquitoes. >> Yeah, exactly. We'll, we'll have little nano mosquitoes that >> Swarms of scientific robot mosquitoes saving the world for now. >> Now what about when robots cure cancer? Then will you be impressed? >> All right. All right. That would do it. That, that'll be good. >> That would be the straw that broke the back. >> I'll give you that. >> All right. >> When robots cure cancer, only rebels against robots will have cancer. >> Hum. >> It's true. >> That's a thinker. >> Ah MI >> Speaking of viruses, researchers at the University of, at, at MIT, rather, have genetically engineered viruses to build positively and negatively charged ends of a lithium ion battery. So these are virus powered batteries, which could be useful, perhaps, in your next electric vehicle. >> Yeah, they genetically engineered viruses to coat themselves with iron phosphate and grab onto carbon nanotubes to make a network of conductive material. Each iron phosphate nanowire is then wired to conducting carbon nanotube networks. And the electrons travel along the networks until they reach the iron phosphate where they transfer the energy. It's that simple. >> MIT scientist say that the viruses are common bacterial phages [phonetic] that are harmless to humans. >> For now. >> We hope. >> But we're a bit weary, the Fast Company [phonetic] store says. >> So if the robots [inaudible] >> Anything that works in tandem with infectious agents. >> I think I'll not volunteer to test this, even though I don't drive. >> You know? When this finally does roll out eventually, how many headlines are gonna say your car has a virus and it's a good thing. >> Well, you know, >> How confusing. >> If, to be, go away from this ridiculous stuff for a second. You know what's really interesting is the, the combination of physics, and biology, and chemistry working to like build batteries. I mean, the world of physics isn't all cut, and dried, and at right angles. It's, it's about chemistry. And chemistry overlaps with biology. And why not, you know, grow molds or viruses to build batteries that power our gear? Why not? This is, this is just using evolution. This is cool. >> Or teach chicks to do math. >> And that was >> Yeah. I don't want to hear any more gender related >> Not a sexist remark. I mean small chickens. >> Science stereotypes, because >> Oh, we're talking at the same time. >> Yes. Talk small >> Sorry. My, my headphones not bringing me audio. >> Small chickens. Not the, not the ladies or the birds, we're talking about the little baby chickens. >> Yeah. The actual baby chicks. >> Go on. >> Somebody get this thing. >> So researchers in Italy have found that chicks are able to choose, they, they put them in little tunnels and made them choose which one to go with based on where the most eggs are. And chicks can count, which means they can do simple arithmetic and make choices based on math. >> Who knew? I never thought that chicks could do math. By that I mean chickens. >> Sure, monkeys, dogs, horses, we know they can do math. >> They can fake it anyway. >> But >> No, wait, wait. Seriously? >> What? Well now maybe not the horses. The horses fake it. But actually monkeys and dogs can do math. >> Monkeys have very simple math. >> Yeah. >> But not calculus. >> Monkeys are great at math. And writing Shakespeare, if you have enough of them and enough typewriters. >> Moving on. >> All right. Let's move onto the voice mails. We have Steve from Calgary who is very excited about the Jason Howell world tour. >> Hey it's Stero Steve calling from Calgary, Canada again. I just wanted to put in my two bits about the Howell world tour. Bumper stickers, T-shirts, I howl for Howell. Yeah, it works. Anyway, love the show. >> Bumper stickers? You gonna do it? >> I don't know if I have enough time to do that. It's taken me, what? >> Crowd source it. >> Two years to get Buzz Out Loud stickers. >> Yeah. >> So. >> Right. >> Howell stickers might be a little more difficult. >> You just need to crowd source it. >> Okay, hey. >> Yeah, cause it's not a C, well I mean your not, your name is not a CNET property. >> That's true. >> So you can get the folks out there. >> Yet. Yet. >> Alex in Buffalo is upset about Time Warner's ban with cab seats, thinks he will blow right through them. >> Hey guys, this is Alex in Buffalo. I just did a quick check of a couple of directories on my system. Just updating Gen2 Linux once a month on 2 machines is 5 gigabytes of transfer. I'm on Time Warner; I'm really worried now. Thank God FIOS is moving in. Bye. Love the show. >> And that's just one machine? >> Two machines. >> Two machines? Two machines? >> Well I think, what's his limit? Probably 150? >> No Time Warner? >> Yeah. >> Their limits are at the most 40 for the most expensive plan in this test that's going out. And then it goes down to like 20, 10, and 5. >> For those of you who can't see I'm raising my eyebrows incredulity. >> Yeah. >> We blow. >> We talked to >> Hey, lower those eyebrows. Put them back down. >> I'm being credulous, that's, that's not enough. >> It's a sign of incredulity. So yeah, there's another example of it just not being a good idea at that level that Time Warner's testing it. >> Yeah, really. >> Although I warn you about Verizon FIOS. Don't give them your credit card number, they won't stop charging you. >> At least they never stopped charging you, right? >> No. >> Did they ever stop charging you? >> They did, but they never gave me that, because I just changed my credit card number. >> Oh, wow. >> And then they >> Yeah, that's what it took. That's an excessive nuclear option. >> But I still. But I still haven't gotten my, my refund from the overcharge. >> They probably put it on your old credit card. >> A holes. >> All right, let's, just don't send them any insulting emails, because Tony points out that even if your not in West Virginia it could be a problem. >> Hey Buzz crew, so I can't send an insulting email to anyone in West Virginia. I can't receive an insulting email from anyone in West Virginia. Not even when I'm traveling in West Virginia. So what happens if I send an insulting email and it gets routed through West Virginia, that's not something I can control that presumably would be just as bad? >> I don't know. >> It's a good point. It's a good point. >> That's a good, a good question. >> You don't' know where your packets are getting routed. >> At least careful where your emails are being routed from. >> Fly over regulations. >> And just don't harass people. How about that? >> Yeah, just. What? >> No. >> The Internet is for insulting, not for porn. >> What would we do? >> I don't know. >> All right. Onto the emails, these were all sent into Buzz@CNET.com. You can do likewise. >> Okay, MC Fistacuf [phonetic] writes, this looks cool. Add this to the list of alternate game consoles. And Visions [phonetic] announced that it is taking orders for an open source Linux gaming system, and will start shipping beta units to game develops, resellers, and software partners on April 10th. The EVO smart console is, is based on a 2.4 gighertz athlon, [phonetic] and includes a Pandora [phonetic] based Linux destruct. >> I've been waiting for somebody to do a good version of this for a long time. So I don't know if this will be the one, but I'm, I'm gonna cheer for it. What, $380 bucks is the price point though? >> For a console? >> Yeah. >> For a Linux? What, what are the games. >> That's a lot. That's not cheap anymore. >> Yeah. And there are a lot of games for Linux actually. >> There's, there's good shooters. A lot of good shooters. >> Yeah. Okay. >> And there's, there's some other cool open source games here and there. Yeah, I don't know. The price seems high. It's because the, one of the ideas with Linux is you bring down the price. So $380 bucks that's right in there with the PS3 and the XBox 360. >> Well, if the hardware specs are open source, then maybe somebody will be able to figure out a way to make it cheaper. >> Oh, yeah. And you should be able to mod it easily. >> Yeah. >> I mean that's, that's another big advantage there. >> Right. All right, we have an email from Wessel, [phonetic] I hope I'm saying that right. He's from Amsterdam. He says, Hi guys, about the Windows Live Update for Windows Mobile 6.5, Tom said, I don't know how many folks use Windows Live any more. Where here in the Netherlands and some other European countries many people use Windows Live mail. And almost everyone has Windows Live Messenger account. Actually, I don't know anyone who doesn't use the Windows Live Messenger. Just wanted to let you know. >> So there you go. It's the Netherlands. The Dutch are using Windows Live. Now we know. >> It's funny where things will pick up. >> I really wasn't saying nobody used it, I was just asking. Because only one person I know >> Because we don't. >> Is it not true that nobody uses it? Is that, that how you asked? >> I didn't say, when did you start beating your wife or anything like that. >> Oh, okay. >> Patrick >> We don't want to know that either. >> Patrick Basha [phonetic] writes in and says, I forgot to tell you about this very cleaver conficker. Is it conficker or conficker? >> You know, I like to just say it as ridiculously as possible. >> Conficker. >> I hardly knew her. >> Or test in my previous email. Not sure if you've heard about this, but if, if you have it it's worth checking out. Raif [phonetic] heard that for the first time. >> Sorry. >> And basically it's a conficker eye chart. Which if you load it up it's got some, some graphics that it displays at the top. A few of them for security websites. And it has the little diagram down at the bottom that shows you that shows you that if some of those security website graphics don't appear, then it's very likely that you have one of the strains of the conficker virus. >> This. This is a very, very cleaver test. And it works, because conficker blocks access to various security related sites. >> Right. >> So it tries to load those graphics and it can't load them. And then it knows those sites are being blocked, and you might have the virus. >> And we'll put that link in the show notes at BOL.CNET.com. >> Yeah. It's cool. >> Finally, Paul in Hawaii writing in saying, interesting one here, Moblin [phonetic] is a Linux [inaudible] created and until managed by Intel that is aimed at the atom-based mids, those are the netbook sized devices. Mobile Internet Devices. It's looked pretty interesting taking lightweight and fast XFCE desktop environments and a standardized API to make it easier for programmers. Wilst, [phonetic] including GTK and QT as well. It also manages something few other OS's have achieved, a true boot up in 5 seconds from scratch, not suspend a ram or hibernation. With that announcement, Intel has passed over management of the application to the Linux foundation, whilst retaining a person on the steering committee. What hasn't changed is the core developers. Intel is still employing them full time to work on it. So it appears to be an almost political rather than practical change here, to try and pull other parties in and get them invested in the development. A pretty cool thing for Intel to just hand over their project. Even, or, you know, it's pretty cool to be open sourced to begin with, but then hand it over to the Linux foundation and say, we'll keep paying the guys to work on it, but they're under your management now. Get it out there. Get it worked on. Make it happen for us. >> Intel just wants to move the chips man. >> Yeah. Exactly! >> Yeah defiantly. >> And that, and that, that's a very smart move for them. Also got a couple of people, we got one caller. I want to throw this out there. I know it's not on the lineup. But one caller suggested that the, the myth box cable card is a April Fools joke. So we might have got taken in on that. Sorry to get you all excited. We don't have confirmation or not, but anyway. >> Yeah, it's just one call. No email. >> Just, just a little addendum there. >> Yeah. >> Well if you want to bust through some of the FUD, the Fear, Uncertainty, and the Doubt out there you should check out the real deal, which you can now get in audio as well as video. You go to CNETTV.com there's a video podcast drop down menu, which the Real Deals last episode is posted up there, I believe on smart phones. Is that right? >> Yes. Yes. Smart phone software. And the next one will be on specs that matter on digital cameras. >> Yeah. >> Excellent. >> And the, the smart phone platform that we did miss in that episode of the real deal was android. >> Totally. >> One guy sent a really angry email about it. I, I talked to him about it. But that wasn't because we didn't like androids, because no one sent us any apps. So if you're an android user out there we'll, we'll cover that in the, the email section of the show and get some android app recommendations out to people. >> And if I may, don't forget to vote for your favorite web apps in the Webware 100 Awards. Voting is open all month at www.webware.com/100. >> Very good. >> [inaudible] >> Tell them about our blog Natalie. >> Oh, you can find our notes to all of our stories, our emails and our voice mail summaries at BOL.CNET.com. So go there, leave us a comment, leave us a voice mail, and we will hopefully hear from you and play it next week. >> All right. Talk to you later folks. Thank you. Bye. >> Have a good one. ^E00:38:06