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 cost of doing business in China, the
Microsoft Courier, and how to get famous on Chatroulette. But first, it's the Gadget of
The Gadget of the Week is the HTC Evo 4G, from Sprint. And may I just say: holy lord. Now, I know I
have a long history of getting overly excited about devices that haven't yet been launched, and then they
come out and they're a total bummer.
But ... seriously? I can't think of a way that the HTC Evo could possibly disappoint. It runs on the 4G
WiMax network, it's got a 1 gigahertz Snapdragon processor, an 8 megapixel camera PLUS a front-facing
1.3 megapixel camera, it's running Android 2.1, it works as a mobile hotspot tethered to your other devices,
it has a FOUR-POINT-THREE INCH touchscreen, it takes HD video, and it's got a KICKSTAND. I am so
in love right now.
I guess the only real disappointment is that it won't be available until summer. Want. Now.
And now for the news. It's time for ... a China Update. Google this week made good on its threats to stop
censoring search results in China. The company stopped short of pulling out of the country completely, but
it did re-route all searches through Hong Kong and, for a brief and shining moment -- about 24 hours --
Google was delivering uncensored search results in China. Wow.
And then China shut that crap right on down. And then the government accused Google of cyber-warfare in
collusion with the U.S. government, which carries the implicit threat of espionage charges against all of
Google's 600 employees in China. And it's pushing telecoms to cancel search deals with Google, AND it's
moving to ban Android handsets from the entire country. So, in case you're wondering what this little
display of principle might cost Google? It's ... non-trivial. A few analysts have, actually, criticized Google's
moves, saying the company's stock price could drop by as much as 10 percent.
Yeah. That's what's important in the grand scheme of humanity. Their stock price. Not like, you know,
human rights. Freedom of speech and information. Integrity. That stuff. If I was allowed to buy Google
stock right now? I would. Even though they still scare the bejesus out of me.
In other news this week, a Microsoft job posting may have accidentally confirmed that the very, very, very
cool-looking Courier tablet ... is real. The posting bragged about Microsoft's past innovations and "the
upcoming Courier digital journal." The job post disappeared shortly thereafter. Oho.
For its part, Microsoft immediately issued a "no comment" statement, which is pretty much what they
always say about the Courier. Because, you know, it looks REALLY GREAT and why on earth would they
want to claim THAT for themselves. Sheesh, Microsoft.
Ok, and now, for your headline of the week. Facebook linked to rise in syphilis. Yep, nope, you heard that
right. SYPHILIS. According to a public health official in Britain, syphilis infections are up four-fold in
three areas of the country where Facebook is most popular. The official says several affected young people
said they'd used the site and other social networking sites to meet multiple partners for casual sexual
Huh. Man. I just use Facebook for Scrabble. I had no idea there was a "Casual Sexual Encounter" app. That
Facebook. So slutty.
And finally, let's have a look at what's Clogging the Tubes. This week, it's a mystery in the tubes! See, Ben
Folds did this special concert recently where he went on Chatroulette and started improvising songs to the
people he encountered there. Total viral video gold.
And it was called "Ode to Merton," because there's this guy, Merton, who haunts Chatroulette and he plays
the piano and improvises songs to the people he meets there. Ha, funny. Clever. Except then people were
like, hey, maybe Merton and Ben Folds are the same person!! Which, um. Obviously.
And so, big mystery, whatever -- kudos to everyone involved to simultaneously bringing back both Ben
Folds AND Chatroulette. Well played.
And that's the Buzz Report for this week, everyone. I'm Molly Wood, and thanks for watching.