Hi, I'm Molly Wood, and welcome to the Buzz Report � the show about the tech news that
everybody�s talking about. This week, bright lights, fast cars, and Point/Counterpoint. Let�s begin
with the Gadget of the Week, courtesy of one Brian Cooley.
Brian Cooley here, the Gadget of the Week is this really cool Blackberry (beep) thatm the Gadget
of the Week is this 2010 Mustang Shelby. I�m at the track with it, are you kidding me? Yeah,
Now that is living. Look for his full report on those cars, coming up soon at CNET TV. And now
for the news. In the headlines this week, Netflix announced that it will raise prices for Blu-Ray
rentals. A lot. For the heaviest users, the monthly cost will increase from one dollar � to NINE
DOLLARS per month. For three-disc users, the price goes from 1 dollar to four dollars. It�s all part
of Netflix�s top-secret plan to kill Blu-Ray. Or � uh � Netflix.
On Saturday, March 28th, more cities than you might imagine took place in Earth Hour � an
event dedicated to raising awareness about global climate change. Basically, cities turned off the
lights for an hour, and the results were quite impressive.
Actually, and I�m not gonna lie here � my first thought was � we are using WAY too many lights
on this planet. CHINA.
And, uh, Vegas.
Ok, let�s get to the big buzz of the week: the Conficker worm. The insidious worm was set to
blow on April 1. It�s infected some 10 million computers and is basically a giant sleeping botnet,
and security researchers weren't EXACTLY sure what the worm would do when it started
"receiving instructions" on Wednesday. So, you know, they panicked. And everyone else
panicked, and the whole thing was Y2K all over again. But then the worm began phoning home
on schedule, just like it's done a few other times since its rapid spread, and, you know, it didn't
really do anything. THAT WE KNOW OF.
I mean, all this hype may have been exciting and overblown, but that doesn't mean
Conficker isn't still a ticking time bomb of cyber doom, just waiting to receive the
crucial command that will cause it to shut down the world's infrastructure.
TOM: OR it's just like every other worm and is sitting waiting quietly for someone to
order up its services in order to send out spam.
MOLLY: Oh, look! It's Expert Tom Merritt. It must be time for a little �
The question: are massive botnets and cyber attacks the inevitable harbingers of
doom? The answer: obviously, yes. And scares like Conficker do more harm than
good, because they convince people that the security industry is crying wolf every
time just to get attention.
TOM: I'll grant you that there's too much crying wolf, but it's because these security
threats aren't likely to take down the Internet. That would be counterproductive for
the people who wrote it. They want it to LIVE on the Internet and pass around their
data, not kill your dog or light the lakes of the world on fire. Doom they do not
MOLLY: How can you say that? So ... weirdly? These botnets are the equivalent of
the world's most powerful computers, and then some. Conficker is way too
sophisticated to be the work of some script kiddies. This thing is an instrument of
death, and we'd be LUCKY if it were merely government created. It'll keep spreading,
and there will be no way to stop it!
TOM: Again yes, it will keep spreading, but it's being used mostly to send you ads for
Viagra. And it's already easily stopped. Patch your computers folks. Or switch to
Ubuntu. The thing is fixed, you're just not keeping up. The solution is in your own
MOLLY: I think the sheer size of this infection shows that people are simply too
stupid to protect themselves. Security doesn't work. I think we should all switch to
TOM: YOU think we should switch to Mac? You're Molly Wood. You can't say that. I
think you've been infected with conficker.
MOLLY: Well, that's where you're wrong.
TOM: Maybe I am.......
MOLLY: Yeah, no, you're right. I can't believe I said that.
And that�s the Buzz Report for this week, everyone. I�m Molly Wood, and thanks for watching.