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The Buzz Report
The Google Buzz ReportGoogle launches Buzz, annoying Yahoo Buzz, AT&T Buzz, and Molly, but thrilling the tech crowd. Also: one seriously tough phone.
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 Buzz, but not my show, Apple sticking with AT&T and the Olympics on the Internet. But first, it's the Gadget of the Week. The Gadget of the Week is the Motorola Quantico. It's a rugged little flip phone that's good if you are, say, a member of NCIS Los Angeles or a HUGE fan of "Silence of the Lambs," because that's kind of the last time "Quantico" was the cool location of choice. Anyway, what I like about this phone is that it meets military specification 810F, which means it can withstand high low pressure, high temperature, low temperature, dust, shock, vibration AND solar radiation, humidity, blowing rain, and salt fog. And what I want to know is: who gets to test this? Can I volunteer? And now for the news. Google announced its new social networking Gmail integration thing this week, called Buzz. I know, I know, I should have trademarked it when I had the chance. Something about "generic," or whatever. Anyway, Buzz is like, a tab within Gmail where you can post status updates, pictures, videos, follow people, unfollow people, chat with people, and of course, like, email them. There's also a mobile version that lets you view your buzz and let people know exactly where you are, kind of like with Foursquare. It's sort of a combination of Twitter and Facebook and Foursquare, and then it's all in your Gmail. And it means, of course, that if everyone you know isn't already on Gmail, you'd better get them on Gmail, because if they're not on Gmail, you can't Google Buzz. And, judging from the technorati response, if you can't Google Buzz, you're not living. Upon word of the Google Buzz announcement, Yahoo immediately sent out an email to remind everyone that it ALSO has these features ... not in Yahoo Buzz, which is its Digg-like ranking and recommendation system. No, it has it in Yahoo Mail. Don't you know this? They have Yahoo Updates which they rolled out like a YEAR ago, and it does status updates and chat and Facebook integration and all KINDS of cool stuff. I can't believe you guys don't remember. Ouch. And then on Twitter, the official Yahoo account kind of implied like, oh, we had that name first. Which ... you both want to watch it with that. Ahem. Interestingly, AT&T owns buzz.com, and announced AT&T Buzz in late January -- it's sort of a Yelp competitor but not a standalone social network. They haven't commented yet on Google stealing their Buzz. Or Yahoo's Buzz. Or mine. Or whatever. Ok, in other news today, rumors of a Verizon iPhone ... have hit a wall. Two analysts now say Apple may be extending its exclusive agreement with AT&T through 2011. Which means we probably wouldn't see a Verizon iPhone until more like 2012. So, if you've been holding out for one, I guess maybe you SHOULD go ahead and sign a new two-year contract with AT&T. Yeah. Sorry. Speaking of Apple, Macworld Expo starts this week ... and it's the first one in recent memory with no official Apple presence. Meaning NO Steve Jobs keynote and NO Apple booth. So, what's the mood like, now that the show is kind of a really big users group meeting? Brian Tong asked around. Thanks, BT. Can you pick me up a laptop case while you're there? Thanks. And finally, let's have a look at what's Clogging the Tubes. It's ... the Olympics your biannual reason to download Microsoft Silverlight. The opening ceremonies are February 12th and this year, Microsoft and the Olympic committee are serving up 400 hours of live streaming and about 1000 hours of on-demand streaming. And it sounds like the streaming is going to be COOL. Like, if you come in during a live event, you can start it over at the beginning instead of just missing a bunch of it. You'll be able to pause, rewind, and replay, slow down the action, and stream in 720p definition -- nice. And even MORE important? The titles of the on-demand streams won't tell you WHO WON THE EVENT, like they did in Beijing. Brilliant! Bring on the competition. See you in two weeks, boss. And that's the Buzz Report for this week, everyone. I'm Molly Wood, and thanks for watching.