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The Buzz Report
Return of the superhero SidekickThe Sidekick gets revived, the iPad 2 is a monster hit, IE 9 is unexpectedly good, and Google wants to get rid of money. Buzz on!
Hi, I'm Molly Wood, and welcome to the Buzz Report, the show about the tech news that e eryone's talking about. This week, the shocking news that the iPad 2 is a hit, IE 9 turns out to be kind of cool, and who's willing to let you pay for stuff with your cell phone. But first, it's the Gadget of the Week. The Gadget of the Week is the Robin to your Batman, the Gilligan to your Skipper, the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G. Just a few weeks after announcing that the Sidekick was dead, and making us all want one with a burning hot fire, they announced the Sidekick 4G. Which is even BETTER, because it's 4G, Samsung makes the hardware, and it's running Android with a 1GHz processor inside. Plus, in Sidekick style, it has new group texting features built in, tons of media options, and even the ability to rent and buy movies right on the phone. So, yeah, you kind of got played by the whole "it's dead, now it's not" marketing ploy ... but really. Do you care? And now for the news. First, the good news (for Apple, anyway): analysts say the iPad 2 sold a million units in one day. It's a monster hit. 70 percent of the sales were to brand-new tablet buyers. Scoooore, Apple! Now for the bad news. For you. The iPad 2 is now sold out all over the U.S. The shipping delay is now 4 to 5 weeks. And that's not even JUST for the white versions. If you're planning on getting one of these as a Christmas gift for someone, now's the time to buy it. Hopefully it will be there in time. Fingers crossed! Speaking of delays, though, analysts are also looking at how the crisis in Japan could affect tech supply chains for things like flash memory, touch screens, and mobile device chips. Short answer: they'll probably be affected, flash memory prices WILL go up, and iPad 2 supplies in particular might be even more delayed. But I think Apple spoke for us all in a way this week when it delayed the rollout of iPad 2 to Japan and said, hey, let's just focus on getting the place up and running again, ok? We'll buy TVs and stuff later. In other news that isn't so devastating and sad, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 9 this week, and dudes. Apparently? It's like, really good. I know, right? In some speed tests, it's been performing faster than Chrome or Opera, it LOOKS a lot like Chrome, all stripped down and nice, it's standards compliant, so it will load Web pages, and like Firefox 4, it includes a Do Not Track feature that's supposed to prevent third- party cookies from following your surfing history across the Web. Not bad, Microsoft! No, I know, I'm not going to use it either. But my mom will! And now for some tech headlines from the week. Bloomberg reports that Google will test near-field communication mobile payment systems in New York and San Francisco. You know, like the wave and pay with your phone thing. Google will try it out on the Nexus Two, one of the few with an NFC chip built in. Should make it a lot easier for the biggest geeks in those two cities to get their damn Red Bull already and get the hell out! BUT, while Google is embracing a way to pay for stuff without using that dirty old money, Apple made it clear that it will NOT embrace NFC technology in its new iPhones because of a "lack of a clear standard across the industry." But I bet Apple really rejected this because in order for it to work, you "have to wave the phone the right way." Ah, that never gets old. Sorry to tell you, Zune fans (or FAN), but Microsoft won't be releasing any new Zune models. You'd think it would've been more popular, considering you could share songs wirelessly from device to device with a feature called "squirting." Oh, no, wait. You can totally see why it never got popular. And finally, let's have a look at what's Clogging the Tubes. It's Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's Star Wars re- enactment. Because Star Wars is always funny, Simon Pegg is always funny, and really, let's be honest. British humor? Always funny. Once again ... yes. Thinly veiled marketing stunt for upcoming movie Paul... Once again ... do you care? I don't. I laughed. And that's the Buzz Report for this week, everyone. I'm Molly Wood, and thanks for watching.