Loaded: Everyone needs pantsRumors about Google's Android are as prevalent as those about Bigfoot, Pandora is in danger, and Ralph Lauren launches a mobile shopping site.
^B00:00:00 >> Rumors about Google's Android, [inaudible] met Bigfoot this weekend, Pandora's in danger of closing shop, and a new social network launches, and is by far the silliest one I've ever seen. It's Monday, August 18. I'm Natali Del Conte, and it's time to get Loaded. [ Sound effect ] I can't tell which one is harder to prove these days, Bigfoot, or Google's Android phone. Both are pretty elusive urban legends. Reports surfaced late last week that Google's Android operating system would be unveiled within the next month and possibly start shipping in October. I have also heard that it could start shipping on the day after Thanksgiving, in time for the holiday shopping season. The word is that HTC will be the first manufacturer to make an Android phone, and that it will launch on T-Mobile. Just like the Bigfoot claims, through, we should wait to believe it when we see it. [ Sound effect ] Pandora founder Tim Westergren told the Washington Post that this may be a do or die week for the Internet radio company. Pandora's per-song royalty rates have doubled in the last year, while traditional radio doesn't pay any such fees. The company has been battling with Sound Exchange, an organization that's behind these rate hikes, which operates on behalf of artists and record companies. This week, California Representative Howard Berman will try to negotiate a last minute deal between Webcasters and Sound Exchange. If he fails, and rates are not reduced, Pandora could close down shop for good. Westergren told the Post that they're already losing money and just can't afford to stay in business at this rate. If Pandora does shut down, smaller 'Net radio stations will inevitably follow. I don't understand why more artists don't protest this rate hike. Internet radio is really great for their brand. Nevertheless, there are things that you can do. Go to Savenetradio.org. to find out. [ Sound effect ] Another iPhone firmware upgrade may soon be on its way. Apple insider reports that firmware upgrade 2.1 beta 4 has been seeded to developers. One of the interesting things that could come of this update is the disappearance of push notification. Apple has just not been able to get push to work, so they're gonna shelf it for a while, until they know that they can get it right. There's no word yet on when consumers will see this firmware upgrade. [ Sound effect ] Pictures of the new Palm Treo have been spotted across the web, and the new device is said to be named the Palm Pro. The looks of it are much improved. The old Treo's are so clunky; it's like holding a brick to your face. The pro is sleeker, thinner, and pretty nice looking. Remember, Palm is one of the few phones to have both a touch screen and full keyboard, but it's been so outdated for way too long. The new one is supposed to run Windows Mobile, have 3G support, Wi-Fi, and a two-megapixel camera. It's all very exciting, but we don't know when to expect it just yet, so hold your horses Treo fans. [ Sound effect ] You can now use your cell phone to order yourself a new pair of Chinos. Ralph Lauren has become the first luxury retailer to launch a mobile shopping site here in the US. The company will start placing special promotional codes for the mobile shop in their advertisements in conjunction with the US Open, which is definitely their target demographic. You can also use your camera phone to scan the promotional code, which will then direct you to a phone-friendly version of Ralph Lauren's site, where you can shop or watch tennis videos. Overseas customers are used to doing more shopping with their mobile phones, but that hasn't really caught on in the US just yet. Perhaps this is a nudge in that direction. Everyone needs pants, after all. [ Sound effect ] I just can't resist this story. There's a new social network in town, and what is the basis of it? Love of the Hoff. I'm referring, of course, to David Hasselhoff, the actor of Knight Rider and Baywatch fame. He started his own social network, called "HoffSpace," where users can network over their love of him. The opening paragraph on the home page is just so arrogant that I have to read it verbatim. Quote, "I realize that while two people from two entirely different countries and backgrounds may seem to have nothing in common, the only thing they might have in common is me. So I decided to start a network where people from across the world might come together and get a conversation started over me." I can't even bring myself to gather my thoughts on this one. Seriously, who does this? [ Sound effect ] Now for a little in-house news, CBS, which is our parent company here at CNET, announced plans to stream live, online coverage from both the Democratic and Republican Conventions this year. Our very Katie Couric will anchor live web exclusives specials on CBS News.com, as well as on CNET.com, each night immediately following her prime time TV coverage. As soon as our broadcast ends, Couric will stay live, online, for an additional 15 to 30 minutes to give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the day's events. Couric will also take viewer questions as well, so have those ready. This is an exciting fusion of CNET and CBS, and we're seeing things like this happen every day around here. I know you'll have several options for watching convention coverage this year, and I hope you'll stay with us at CBS, both on TV and online. [ Sound effect ] Those are all your headlines for today, but I will be back tomorrow with more. Thank you for watching. I'm Natali Del Conti with CNET TV, and you've just been Loaded. ^M00:04:36 [ Music ]