The Buzz Report
PlayBook: another tech unicorn?RIM introduces its new PlayBook tablet, but it seems too magical to be true. Plus, Internet wiretapping and a singing dog. It's Buzz!
Hi, I'm Molly Wood, and welcome to the Buzz Report, the show about the tech news that everyone's talking about. This week, it's the dangers of texting-while-driving ... LAWS, Google's vision of the future, and a singing dog. But first, it's the Gadget of the Week. The Gadget of the Week is the RIM PlayBook. Sweet specs, people. The PlayBook is a very cool looking 7-inch tablet with a front-facing and rear-facing camera, a DUAL-core 1 gigahertz processor, multitasking, an HDMI port with full 1080p support, HOT, an integration with BlackBerry Enterprise servers and devices. Plus, no wireless contracts required. HOWEVER, there was no real demo of the device, no specific ship date other than the "first quarter of 2011," and no price given. Hm. The specs you've always wanted with none of the details? Does it come pre-loaded with Duke Nukem Forever? Or wait, is it going to be bundled with the DirecTV TiVo! Yeah, no, that was delayed again this week. Until 2011. Maybe you felt the disturbance in the force. As though a million DirecTV subscriber voices suddenly cried out ... and were suddenly silenced. And now for the news. A study out this week finds that bans on texting-while-driving are not working. In fact, in three of the four states surveyed, there were actually MORE crashes reported since the bans went into effect. Now, we assume it's because instead of texting like this ... people are now texting like this. OR it could be that even if people stop texting, you've still got plenty of them Why? Simple: You've got people out there who will try to read the paper, shave, put on makeup (though hopefully not the same person), all while driving. Our solution: Exploit the tech. Voice activated services, hands-free systems that don't make you look like a dingleberry, self-driving cars ... you get the picture. Seriously. Self-driving cars. It's the only way. The U.S. government wants to make it easier to wiretap the Internet. The Obama administration wants social networks, VOiP services, and even P2P services to change the way their technology works so that federal agents can, with WARRANTS, intercept, decrypt, or even tap into communications. The government says terrorists and other criminals are using new technology to communicate instead of traditional phones or cell phones, which can be tapped. Now, obviously, that opens up a TON of privacy concerns, not to mention the fact that hackers would probably use those technology back doors even more than the government would. Then again, it's true that it's harder for law enforcement to catch the bad guys when they can hide all their chatter in the cloud. It's a complicated issue, and I don't pretend to have all the answers. But maybe ... we could just send all the terrorists a puppy? Speaking of puppies, let's have a look at what's Clogging the Tubes. It's been a while since we had some YouTube gold, especially the kind that combines cute animals AND auto-tune. Witness ... Mishka the talking husky singing. She's on iTunes. Seriously. The auto-tuned dog is on iTunes. There's your beautiful technology future come true, Mr. Schmidt. Not quite how you envisioned it, was it? And that's the Buzz Report for this week, everyone. I'm Molly Wood, and thank you for watching.