The Buzz Report
Molly's Gadget of the YearVerizon hates the Galaxy Nexus, PayPal tries to ruin Christmas, but Molly saves the day with her Gadget of the Year shopping tip.
Hey, everyone, IÃ¯Â¿Â½m Molly Wood, and welcome to the Buzz Report, the show about the tech news that everyone is talking about. This week, my gadget pick of the entire year, Verizon poisons the Galaxy Nexus before it even launches Ã¯Â¿Â½ whenever that might be, and PayPal applies to be Biggest Grinch of 2011. But first, itÃ¯Â¿Â½s the Gadget of the Week. TURN RIGHT FROM LEFT The Gadget of the Week is a little pimp for our CNET Holiday Gift Guide. holiday dot cnet dot com for all of our recommendations, including top gift picks, tech under 50 bucks, tech gifts for wiseasses Ã¯Â¿Â½ all kinds of good stuff. Last year I chose MY number one gift pick for the year, and it was Roku. This year, if thereÃ¯Â¿Â½s anyone on your list who doesnÃ¯Â¿Â½t already have a Roku, hereÃ¯Â¿Â½s my Gadget of the Year Ã¯Â¿Â½ the gift you could easily give just about anyone and make them happy. That gadget is Ã¯Â¿Â½ The MacBook Air. Yep, IÃ¯Â¿Â½ve got up in cost a little bit here, but I, personally, have found the 11-inch MacBook Air to be basically the perfect laptop for casual, around-the-house use, travel, photo, video, and music management, and daily use. The newest models are fast, have great battery life, and start at a relatively affordable 999 dollars. I love mine so much I go to bed with it most nights. But thatÃ¯Â¿Â½s probably a personal problem. And now for the news. Verizon continues its slow and steady hit job on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. WeÃ¯Â¿Â½d expected that it might come out this week, after being released in NOVEMBER in Europe. Now there are reports that itÃ¯Â¿Â½s been delayed, even though it never had a launch date to start with, and IÃ¯Â¿Â½m just saying, didnÃ¯Â¿Â½t I tell you this back when it was announced? Sketch. Ee. AND, to make matters worse, even if it does come out it apparently wonÃ¯Â¿Â½t have Google Wallet on it, even though itÃ¯Â¿Â½s got a built-in NFC chip for mobile payments. Verizon apparently ASKED Google not to include the Google Wallet feature, citing security and user experience concerns. ALSO, Verizon is part of a group called Isis, which consists of Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T, that is trying to establish a competing mobile payment platform. HOW CONVENIENT. What I really find amazing, though? Is that Google apparently agreed to take out its Wallet feature from its flagship pure-Android phone that was supposed to get mobile NFC payments off the ground and give us a Japan-style mobile phone payment system for the future. Um. Grow a pair, Google. In other Verizon news, the company is launching a movie and TV streaming service that would compete with Netflix. It would be Web-based, and not limited to just FIOS subscribers, and could launch sometime in 2012. Ooh, hey, maybe then Verizon could like, block Netflix apps from its phones or maybe keep the Website from working for FIOS subscribers. You know, if they REALLY want to be evil. After all, you have to work harder when youÃ¯Â¿Â½re in 2nd place! AT&T was just rated the worst cell phone carrier for the second year in a row, by Consumer Reports. Customers continued to complain about poor voice service and terrible customer service over the phone. And actually, um, its ratings were slightly LOWER than they were last year. To be fair, ALL the major carriers saw lower scores this year, and the top three finishers in the Consumer Reports survey were all small MVNOs or regional carriers. Like the credit unions of the mobile phone world. Continuing on our Grinch theme, PayPal stole Christmas from a bunch of poor kids this week. Or almost did. Regretsy dot com, a brilliant site that makes fun of bad crafts on Etsy, held a Secret Santa fundraiser to buy toys for needy kids. But apparently they used the wrong button -- donate instead of buy now. So PayPal froze the Regretsy account, KEPT ALL the transaction fees, and apparently got a little bit AT&T with the customer service on Regretsy operator April Winchell. ItÃ¯Â¿Â½s all blogged in great detail on the Regretsy site. My favorite is the part where they tell her she can use the donate button to raise money for a sick cat, but not poor kids. Oh, GOOD SHOW, PayPal. So, you know the story. Blog post, Twitter outcry, Internet SMASH, story shows up on CNN. PayPal issues apology roughly 48 hours later and offers to make a donation to Regretsy and unfreeze the accounts. CHILDREN GET TOYS. Was all that really necessary, PayPal? I mean. And now letÃ¯Â¿Â½s take a look at whatÃ¯Â¿Â½s clogging the tubes. This week? ItÃ¯Â¿Â½s a cannonball smashing through the burbs. NO REALLY. Mythbusters, the popular Discovery Channel show that scientifically tests common beliefs to find out of theyÃ¯Â¿Â½re true, accidentally missed their target while firing a cannon at a firing range. The cannonball overshot some water barrels meant to slow it down, went through a cinderblock, and bounced into a residential area, where it went through a bedroom, bounced off the roof of a house, through the window of a minivan, where it finally came to rest -- THANKFULLY without hurting anyone. Turns out cannonballs Ã¯Â¿Â½ hard to control. I hear they built those houses way too close to the firing range, anyway. We got your back, Mythbusters. And thatÃ¯Â¿Â½s the Buzz Report for this week, everyone. IÃ¯Â¿Â½m Molly Wood, thanks for watching.