[ Music ]
>> Jason Howell: Today is Thursday, April 2, 2009.
>> Natali Del Conte: I'm Natali Del Conte.
>> Tom Merritt: I'm Tom Merritt.
>> Brian Tong: I'm Brian Tong.
>> Jason Howell: And I'm Jason Howell.
>> Natali Del Conte: Welcome to Buzz Out Loud, CNET's podcast of indeterminate length. This is episode 944. You survived April Fool's Day.
>> Jason Howell: Congratulations to every [crosstalk] single one of you. And we survived April Fool's Day without doing -
>> Natali Del Conte: Yes, we did.
>> Jason Howell: Any April Fool's stuff.
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah.
>> Natali Del Conte: We almost did. I put a story in today that [laughs] was, I thought was real. So I kind of did get spoofed -
>> Tom Merritt: Well, there's a story -
>> Natali Del Conte: But we didn't make it through to the show.
>> Jason Howell: In your defense, slash got caught up, and everyone thought was real at first. It was a story about, and if you missed that one, it was about IM smileys being passed -
>> Tom Merritt: Emoticons.
>> Jason Howell: Emoticons delivery.
>> Natali Del Conte: Yeah.
>> Jason Howell: But then it turned out, that was, that was actually one that fooled people.
>> Natali Del Conte: I was like, oh, really. [laughs] Yeah. Don't defend me. Your -
>> Jason Howell: Well, I'm just saying, you weren't alone.
>> Natali Del Conte: Airheaded based on my part. [Laughter]
>> Jason Howell: There was a whole group of slash doctors out there too.
>> Natali Del Conte: Some stories that are real, we have one from Ars Technica this morning that discusses Time-Warner's rational for their bandwidth cap. Time-Warner has significantly lower caps on their bandwidth than other cable companies, and they have this whole story out there about why this happened. When, and it's kind of due to this nebulous, their claims on this. They only have caps of 5, 10, 20, or 40 gigs, whereas Comcast has 250 per month.
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah, and they're saying the infrastructure is expensive, which, as Ars Technica points out, what infrastructure are you talking about?
>> Natali Del Conte: There using a -
>> Tom Merritt: All your cable -
>> Natali Del Conte: A 16 infrastructure.
>> Tom Merritt: Exactly. The cable's in the ground. [laughter] And, and really unlike some other ways of delivering the Internet, cable can upgrade pretty cheaply by swapping in DOCS S 3.0 equipment at the head. So, I mean, not that that's costs less. I mean, it's, it's not free, but it's certainly not a huge expense. So the justification here seems a little flimsy plus it turns out that most of the people on cable with the general consensus is most of the people on ISP's only pull down about two to six gigabits of data per month. So, if they are not even using that much bandwidth, the only reason to put in these caps is to block off the really high people because then there's, they the story about -
>> Natali Del Conte: Right.
>> Tom Merritt: Four terabit data transfer from one user. But then why do, why do the, why do the limits have to be so low. If you're just trying to knock off the really high bandwidth, I think Comcast has the right idea with their 250 gigabyte, which is well beyond what most of the users are going to use. It's, it's close enough, though, that if somebody is really like pirating the live long day or, you know, streaming 24-hour video from their house, that they can cut them off and say, look, you need a business account if you're going to use that much data.
>> Natali Del Conte: But their test in Texas showed that people weren't going over their bandwidth. They, they said only 14 percent of users in their trial in Beaumont [assumed spelling] actually exceeded their caps at all, which means that they have a ton of free bandwidth.
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah. If they put that cap up at 100 gigabits, too, you wouldn't even 14 percent.
>> Natali Del Conte: Not at all. Not even close.
>> Tom Merritt: So, this is about, this is about making money. This is, this is not about infrastructure costs. The, this, you know what guys, just be honest, Time-Warner. You want to make more profit. And that's fine, but the only problem is we need to have a choice so that if while you're trying to make a profit, we have a pressure to keep the price down and say, you know what, if it gets beyond something that I don't want to live with, 5 gigabit cap, I can go somewhere else.
>> Brian Tong: Yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: And right now, the only other choice is dsl.
>> Natali Del Conte: So we're onto you, Time-Warner. At least Ars Technica is. [laughter] And Ars Technica, unfortunately, I read this morning, had layoffs. I'm sorry to hear about that. Hopefully, those writers find some other outlet.
>> Tom Merritt: We like those guys. So I'm sorry to hear that.
>> Natali Del Conte: Because we really like them a lot. So, you know, send a little positive thinking in the job market for tech writers.
>> Tom Merritt: Now, Verizon wants to help them give an, an extra choice for broadband Internet to the entire United States including rural areas that are currently not served by any broadband. We hear from you guys every once in awhile when we talk about broadband penetration. You're like, yeah, I can only get dial up where I live. Those places are few and far between, but it's really, really a problem for the people who live in those areas. Verizon owns the 700 megahertz spectrum after the auction last year, and their CTO says, it covers the whole United States. Our intention is to roll out broadband on that bandwidth across the United States. Now, there may be different offerings in different places, but he said specifically, there is no reason we wouldn't do some sort of rural broadband service for people with this spectrum because we want to make money off of it wherever it is.
>> Brian Tong: And this is, this is using the spectrum that, what is it, broadcast analog TV has been on. So, it's essentially been opened up, and everyone pretty much can get an analog TV signal over the air, right?
>> Tom Merritt: Well, yeah. I mean, that's, that's right. I mean there are minor exceptions out there minor exceptions out there for the well actual leaders who want to ride in and say this corner is not covered by [crosstalk], but you know up on mountaintops perhaps, but for the most part, yeah, it's, it's pretty pervasive coverage. So they should be able to cover the whole U.S. Now, the question is how fast because they're not even talking about rolling this out until 2010, for the largest cities. And the way they've done it in the past is they go to the big cities, and they roll it out there first, and then slowly start to fill in the rest of the U.S. So it's not going to bring broadband to, you know, the dark corners of certain counties and, and states -
>> Brian Tong: To the modem users.
>> Natali Del Conte: No. It won't happen tomorrow. We saw this happen in several countries. I read an article recently about, I think it was India or Africa or Pakistan. I can't remember the, the country now as I'm talking about it, but how in some places where they just skipped right over WiFi and went to straight to a 4G connection because more, more people have mobile phones than computers. So this is their broadband solution in other countries, and so this is a solution to many people who use dial up right now.
>> Tom Merritt: And the 700 megahertz spectrum, don't forget, is a low frequency. I mean, your television signal can go over miles and miles and miles. They don't need as many towers to cover that. So, maybe it'll be a little faster than, than 3G has rolled out, and it also should be a little cheaper. At least -
>> Natali Del Conte: Well, we hope.
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah. I mean, it should be.
>> Brian Tong: Yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: The, the cost of rolling it out won't be as high. Exactly, Natali, we hope.
>> Natali Del Conte: We don't know if that's true or not. One thing that's also not cheaper but people are still doing this - going to the movies. According to the MPAA, or the Motion Picture Association of America, moviegoership, which is a word I think I just made up, was up [laughter] -
>> Jason Howell: Good word.
>> Natali Del Conte: Two percent in 2008, and up internationally seven percent to 28 billion. So the movie industry's still making money. They can quit their whining about people not going to the movies because apparently, they are. In a down economy, that's kind of a comforting thing to do.
>> Tom Merritt: They say, though, that they have a sober epic underway in home video. Those are the words of MPAA CEO Dan Glickman.
>> Brian Tong: So dramatic. So yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: As thrilling as this story is, he said it probably in voiceover mode is what I'm guessing at. [laughter] Outside the movies, it's making sure we can offer consumers the authentic genuine article. [laughter]
>> Brian Tong: Well, one thing that the, one thing with the movie theaters have done is, you know, to draw people in also is just being more innovative. Like we're starting to see, like, big-name movies that are, that have this 3D element that I've actually gone to a few just to, just to check it out.
>> Tom Merritt: Oh, "Coraline".
>> Brian Tong: "Coraline", you know, what is it? "Monsters and Aliens, versus Aliens" or whatever it is coming out. But bottom line is, moviegoers, these huge blockbusters like "Batman" and "Iron Man", you, you're going to want to see them in the theater. It's not worth, you know, you can pirate it maybe after you've seen the movie in the theater, but getting that experience. I think everyone I've known, you know, has gone to the theater to see those huge blockbusters.
>> Natali Del Conte: [crosstalk] What about, what about "Wolverine" though? That was big on Vit Torin [phonetic] yesterday, and the studios are all concerned about it, and that's a movie that's going to be really action packed and visual.
>> Jason Howell: When does that come out? When is it supposed to come out?
>> Natali Del Conte: It's, May 1st I believe.
>> Jason Howell: Wow, that's quite a week.
>> Brian Tong: Yeah, that, that is a big week, but I think sometime, at the same time, like if, if a movie's good -
>> Tom Merritt: There were leaks, there were leaks of "Batman" too, right?
>> Brian Tong: Yeah, it's happened. That's what I'm saying. If a movie is good, and it can stand on itself, it's going to still be good. Like the only thing that could really hurt "Wolverine" in my mind is if it's a really crappy movie, no one's going to want to go to the theaters. Now, the trailer doesn't look that way, but if it's still good, from this bootleg download, people will still go and see it in the theaters.
>> Jason Howell: If it's a crappy movie -
>> Natali Del Conte: But what, what people -
>> Jason Howell: They should go anyway.
>> Natali Del Conte: OK, but what about people who pirate it, and watch it early, and then leak the fact that it stinks.
>> Brian Tong: Well, that -
>> Natali Del Conte: That actually will, yeah -
>> Brian Tong: That's what I'm saying. [crosstalk] It would hurt it. It would hurt it if it was a bad, crappy movie.
>> Tom Merritt: But, you know what, if it's a crappy movie -
>> Natali Del Conte: But it's, [crosstalk] it's not even edited. It's not -
>> Tom Merritt: Does it have the right to make a budget movie?
>> Brian Tong: Right, it might be a work print.
>> Tom Merritt: Oh, I see what you're saying, Natali. [crosstalk]
>> Jason Howell: It's a work print, it's kind of an incomplete representation of the actual film.
>> Natali Del Conte: It's, it's not finished.
>> Brian Tong: Yeah, I mean, I don't think it's going to Joe Schmo who's not doing that. It's not going to affect them. I don't, I don't see it making a big dent in the dollars if it's even an incomplete version.
>> Tom Merritt: But you know what, and that's why the movie industry needs to gain control of this cycle instead of trying to stop it. What they're doing, what they're saying, like, we want to make sure people can watch video at home as well, but at the same time, they, they DRM everything. They prevent it from being recorded in some cases. They don't want people to be able to record movies on their DVR. They are limiting your access to their video all over the place for the fear of piracy, which I feel like we've been making this argument for four years [laughter] because we have. It doesn't stop the piracy. It only -
>> Brian Tong: Right.
>> Tom Merritt: Inconveniences the people who want to give you money.
>> Brian Tong: Yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: So take control of this. Instead of allowing "Wolverine" to be leaked, put out your own version -
>> Brian Tong: Yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: Online ahead of time. [crosstalk] And I mean how -
>> Natali Del Conte: Simultaneously?
>> Tom Merritt: [crosstalk] Yeah. How many, how many, put it ahead, as a, as a teaser and say, look, if you think it looks good on your small screen right now, come into the IMAX theater and watch it and pay $20. [laughs]
>> Jason Howell: I'm seeing, well, I'm seeing more and more record labels actually nowadays, and you know, and now it gets to this. Doing that very same thing. You go to the, the record label website, and they are saying, here's an album. A new album, actually. Telekinesis, fantastic album. Merge records. If you go to the website, it's not even out yet. It's released in like three days. You can stream the entire album for free from their site and determine whether you want to buy it. And I highly recommend it because it's really good.
>> Brian Tong: You're absolutely right. A lot of artists - [crosstalk]
>> Jason Howell: Having paid to say that. [laughs]
>> Brian Tong: A lot of artists have actually, even in the hip hop artists, have deliberately leaked out tracks just so people can get hyped around them. It's not, they've done it purposely as, as a marketing tool to get people to get interested in their album.
>> Jason Howell: Right. Right. And, and I think the point there is that, you know what, people that are pirating these movies are going to pirate anyways. Whether, whether the movie is fantastic and is a great movie theater thing. You know, some people, it's just in their minds, you know what, I don't pay for movies, and you know, -
>> Brian Tong: Yeah.
>> Jason Howell - I'm going to pirate, and that's just their habit. You're not going to change those people necessarily. I know that cater, you know, cater to them in a way that entices them.
>> Natali Del Conte: And also -
>> Jason Howell: To maybe bypass the inconvenience of it all or something.
>> Natali Del Conte: Also, a movie like "Wolverine" is big for the comic-book buffs, and so this digital file that's unedited is kind of a collector's item, but they're still going to go to the movies to watch it, and just put it with the, I, I don't know, in their collection of stuff about X-Men.
>> Brian Tong: Yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: Now, another way to apparently cut down on Internet traffic, maybe Time-Warner should look at this, is to put a piracy law in place. Sweden's new law, the IPPRED law, allows copyright holders to force Internet service providers to reveal details of user-sharing files. The first day the law went into effect, Internet traffic in Sweden has fallen 33 percent according to this BBC story.
>> Natali Del Conte: It doesn't mean that pirate, piracy itself has fallen, just actual traffic on the Internet.
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah, well, maybe they're pirating slower. [laughter]
>> Natali Del Conte: Probably not.
>> Brian Tong: Doing it over modem now.
>> Tom Merritt: I mean, obviously, p-to-p traffic must have gone way down for this traffic drop to happen. I mean, I think that's fair to say. Eight percent of the Swedish population uses peer-to-peer sharing, and there's a 33 percent drop. So there was some folks out there that were just pirating everything in sight, and now they're like, you know, I might get caught.
>> Brian Tong: Yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: Maybe I'll cut back.
>> Brian Tong: Slow my roll [crosstalk] -
>> Tom Merritt: Now, I need to put a tour -
>> Brian Tong: Right, right.
>> Tom Merritt: In place. [crosstalk] And that's, and that's slower and -
>> Jason Howell: You know, get right back into it.
>> Natali Del Conte: Right.
>> Jason Howell: Yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: But they, they, you can't use as much bandwidth doing it that way. So of course, it's going to cut back.
>> Jason Howell: Maybe that's not a bad thing.
>> Tom Merritt: Maybe, maybe not. [laughter]
>> Natali Del Conte: Here's something else that's a big fat maybe is the Palm Pre. They discussed at CTIA this week that they will be opening up the web OSSTK to developers. In fact, they already have. They are not charging a fee to get the STK. It doesn't look like they're charging to sell an app either. We're not sure about the split on the profit line, on the programs yet. Are we? I don't think we know that.
>> Brian Tong: No, no. No.
>> Natali Del Conte: We also don't know price or release date yet, which is just so ridiculous that we keep getting small nuggets of information but not the one thing that we want to know is how much and when.
>> Brian Tong: When. Yes.
>> Natali Del Conte: Are the two things. I guess those are two things.
>> Tom Merritt: And Bonnie Cha was ranting on the CNET review CTIA coverage about the fact that they still won't let her touch the Pre. Why? Whenever she even takes a picture of it, they won't, they won't let their hand away from it.
>> Brian Tong: It's a joke.
>> Natali Del Conte: She's like, I get it. It's in beta. I'm not going to actually review it and put everything out there and say, it doesn't do this. She's not going to do it. She just wants to hold it in her [inaudible]. I don't understand why she [crosstalk] [laughter].
>> Tom Merritt: Monos the hand of fate.
>> Natali Del Conte: Sorry.
>> Brian Tong: Hands, actually, that's plural.
>> Natali Del Conte: You can always tell when I'm getting worked up about something because I break into [inaudible].
>> Jason Howell: That's true. That's very true.
>> Brian Tong: Oh, that's actually brothers. Get it, vermonouse [phonetic].
>> All: Oh.
>> Tom Merritt: Spanish pun.
>> Brian Tong: Snaps, OK.
>> Tom Merritt: Tong for the win. But anyway, the STK -
>> Brian Tong: Sorry, Nat.
>> Tom Merritt: Is out so people will start to see what kind of apps people are going to develop for this. And one cool thing is the web OS will include an emulator for your old Palm apps. So if you're transitioning from a Treo to the Pre, you'll be able to take along you're apps if you want, and run them in an emulator. No idea how that emulator's going to run. Emulators generally run a little less well than a native app, obviously, but it's a, it's a nice idea and a good way to retain folks who've spent a lot of money with apps in the Palm store or elsewhere. So they'll want to go to the Pre.
>> Brian Tong: Yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: I'm bringing Jot. I don't know -
>> Brian Tong: I know. We were joking about documents to go. [laughter] It's really just popular.
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah. That's, that's just me. IE is showing off their mobile version for Windows Mobile 6.5. It's quite sleek. Jessica Dolcourt got her hands on it at CTIA. It sports a cleaner design. Nice large icons. Enough for you to put down the classic touch screen stylus and start using your fingers, which is a big thing for the touch screen users. Round navigation buttons line the bottom of the screen and then fade from view until you tap them. So it's a much cleaner interface for Mobile IE than we've seen before. It does have copy paste, but no text searching, no image downloading, no tab-to-browsing or support for browser add ons. Those are features that you will find in other mobile browsers like Opera or Fennec, the Firefox mobile.
>> Natali Del Conte: Right. It looks pretty nice.
>> Jason Howell: Yeah.
>> Natali Del Conte: So there you go. To people who tell us we don't talk about Windows Mobile [inaudible] [laughs]
>> Brian Tong: I, I, I, I think it clean. [laughter]
>> Jason Howell: Don't have much to say about it, but it looks.
>> Tom Merritt: I think it looks, I think it -
>> Natali Del Conte: Yeah, it looks nice.
>> Tom Merritt: I think, I think it looks clean. And you know what they went for, which is not adding a bunch of features, but making it easier to use.
>> Jason Howell: Yeah. Right.
>> Tom Merritt: I think that's a smart way to go. They're also releasing an all-new Windows Live client for Windows Mobile.
>> Natali Del Conte: Right. This will include mobile versions of Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Contacts, Spaces, Search, and Enhanced Photo upload capability.
>> Tom Merritt: So, you know, I, I don't know how many folks out there are using Windows Live. It seems like it's been on the decline a little bit, but like my, my nephew uses it all the time. So it's, it's, it's got its audience out there that's, that's going to want this and, and want a nice version of it for their Windows Mobile phones.
>> Natali Del Conte: Alright. Let's move on to talking about Nokia, or Nokia, or however you want to say it. Obie, which is their apps store, is set to launch next month, and we're going to see things come out of their such as video, audio, and game. This is their big multi-media portal for all their mobile devices.
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah. They made a big splash when they announced Obie, I don't know, it seems like it's been almost a year. I don't think [crosstalk] -
>> Natali Del Conte: It was in the fall of 2007. [crosstalk]
>> Tom Merritt: OK. So it's been a long time. It's been more than a year.
>> Natali Del Conte: Yeah. It has been a long time.
>> Tom Merritt: They have a relevancy engine where whether you're in the UK, Italy, or Spain, you will get a more localized experience. That sounds to me like it means that you'll be limited to what else you can buy in those countries, [laughter] but they're trying to make it sound like a good thing. So maybe it's, maybe I'm misunderstanding.
>> Brian Tong: Maybe it's like cool themes and wallpapers.
>> Natali Del Conte: I, I thought it was location-based software. Like location-based -
>> Tom Merritt: So the software would be able to say, hey, you're in Italy. Here's some -
>> Brian Tong: Like searching -
>> Tom Merritt: An Italian restaurant.
>> Natali Del Conte: Yeah. Yeah. That's what I got out of that.
>> Tom Merritt: In Italy, they just call Italian restaurants restaurants.
>> Brian Tong: Right.
>> Natali Del Conte: They call it oseruias [phonetic]. [laughter] Find the best oseruia.
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah. So anyway, that, you know, they, they been outlined the plans. We're kind of still waiting to see more about that. A lot of stuff coming out of CTIA right now. So, so catch our CTIA coverage at CNET.com. And we heard from several of you yesterday after our talk about, hey, let us know what you want to hear, and we'll talk about it, and, and, we got, and some of you said stuff that you want to hear that we're not talking about on today's show because you were the only person who sent it. [laughter] But enough people said, hey, I want to hear some open source stuff. I want to hear you guys talk about the Tom Tom suit, which we really haven't been talking about that much. Matt Asay on the Open Road blog today has an interesting take on how the open source community is getting very angry about the fact that Microsoft settled with Tom Tom in a way that makes it look as if Tom Tom, by using Linux, violated Microsoft's patents. Now, it didn't go to court. It wasn't proven in court that way, but Microsoft has been trying to court the Linux community and say, hey, we're going to be more open. We want to play nicer with you guys, and this has poisoned the well a little bit.
>> Natali Del Conte: Well, because it just looks like they're after Linux instead of actually coming after Tom, it's, it's a big, a big stick kind of, where they go after. Go ahead.
>> Tom Merritt: Oh, no, no, no. I was just going to say, and in response to Linux Foundation, which is a non-profit vendor neutral organization, has said, you know what, let's drop the fat file system. The fat file system is the one that Windows 98 ran on, and the xp's can still run on. And Windows is actually moving away from fat into NTFS, but Linux has often been fat compatible in a way to allow you to move easily from one operating system to another, and they're like forget it. You know what, fat is not very good. Let's dump it, and use a native open source file system like EDXT3.
>> Natali Del Conte: Well, those are some nasty words, which you would not be allowed to use if you live in West Virginia now because West Virginia is introducing a new anti-bullying bill. So if you are e-mailing people, threatening e-mails and using threatening, menacing language, you could be fined up to $500 for those e-mails. So you better be careful.
>> Jason Howell: Wow, $500.
>> Tom Merritt: Anti-bullying bills are pretty common over in, in like the U.K. I hear about them a lot. At least the discussion around them, and it is very common. This is the first time I've really heard of one becoming serious in the United States. And why West Virginia?
>> Natali Del Conte: I don't know. I actually have family in West Virginia.
>> Tom Merritt: A lot of bullies in West Virginia.
>> Natali Del Conte: I've spent a lot of time there, and I've never been bullied.
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah. It doesn't seem like that would be [laughter] the, the pinnacle of cyber bullying. It's a smaller state, you know. I mean, maybe the bullying stands out more when you don't have as many people. You think it would be in, in, in like a, you know, a, a really urban school with a lot of tension and a lot, and a lot of people -
>> Brian Tong: A lot of beef.
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah. A lot of beef going on. Exactly.
>> Jason Howell: Well, and it's Internet harassment in general. So, I mean, it doesn't just have to do with your locality, right. Like, I mean, the Internet is worldwide, or am I wrong in thinking that?
>> Tom Merritt: What, that the Internet is worldwide?
>> Jason Howell: No, I'm right [crosstalk] [laughter], I'm right in thinking that, but I mean, something like this [crosstalk] being West Virginia and prevent cyber bullying, yes, that could apply locally, but it can also apply outside of the state.
>> Tom Merritt: I only, I can only insult people that don't live in West Virginia, right.
>> Natali Del Conte: Or only be insulted by people who are not from West Virginia.
>> Brian Tong: And don't send insulting e-mails while you're visiting West Virginia.
>> Jason Howell: Right. Right. Exactly. Exactly.
>> Brian Tong: That's key.
>> Tom Merritt: I like the inquisitor's final line. No more posting that your boss is an idiot if you live in West Virginia because besides getting you fired, you can end up in jail. Double whammy. And interesting news that in gadgets passing along, according to Verizon Wireless VP of open development, Tony Lewis, there are five e-book readers out there soliciting the various wireless carriers to use them as the delivery mechanism for e-books. These are competitors to the Kindle, but in his vague statements to Engadget [assumed spelling], he gave the impression that they weren't going after the Kindle. That they were going to go after segments of the market that Kindle isn't currently catering to, and that would be things like textbooks. They're -
>> Natali Del Conte: But they don't know who the hardware manufacturers would be yet, and who was the, we heard from Verizon a couple of months ago saying that they wanted to get in with Samsung? Was it Samsung?
>> Tom Merritt: Was it Samsung that Verizon was, yeah. I mean, all of these guys, AT&T and Verizon are looking at the money Sprint's making off the, off of the Amazon deal and saying like, you know what, we need a little piece of that action, and so it's not surprising that they want to get in on it. I'm a little surprised with the number of e-books that might be coming out. I, I don't know who these, we don't know who they're coming from.
>> Jason Howell: We've heard Plastic Logic. We've heard Hearst. So there's, there's a, there's a few names that are probably among these five. So no one thinks that Apple is eventually going to come out with this whole e-book thing?
>> Tom Merritt: No. I, I really don't.
>> Natali Del Conte: I don't think so.
>> Tom Merritt: I wonder if Sony will come out with one that has a wireless built in. Because the, the Sony e-book, I mean, you did the price right, and, and it's -
>> Jason Howell: Yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: It's good. It's -
>> Jason Howell: No, the Sony thing, yeah, it's -
>> Tom Merritt: It's a nice, you know, it's got a touch screen. It's a good system, but really I still prefer the Kindle just because I can get those so much easier. I don't have to sync. I don't have to ever plug it into a computer.
>> Brian Tong: I mean, that's the killer, that, I mean, obviously, the over-the-air whisper net feature is the killer feature in the Amazon. So if Sony finally added that element, it would help raise the ante a lot because the design is hot.
>> Natali Del Conte: I'd take the glare off.
>> Brian Tong: Yeah. [crosstalk] But they have to work -
>> Natali Del Conte: The glare [crosstalk] -
>> Brian Tong: They have to work -
>> Tom Merritt: Little bit of glare.
>> Brian Tong: That, that, the latest model they had a had a lot, the readability was a lot worse than some of the previous models like the 505. So, they need to work on that too.
>> Tom Merritt: And finally, our executive producer, Bonnie Gannin [assumed spelling] passed along an ABC News story about a new site called personratings.com that allows you to rate anyone that you want -
>> Brian Tong: Oh great.
>> Tom Merritt: In several categories. So, you don't, it's not just hot or not. You, you go in, and, and you rate them on smart, confident, friendly, [laughter] kind, energetic, sexy, successful, funny, classy, trustworthy, and then a composite rating is created.
>> Brian Tong: This -
>> Natali Del Conte: This is awful.
>> Brian Tong: This takes too much time. I'd rather it go to hot or not.
>> Tom Merritt: Well, you know, I've seen these sorts of things before like biography types of things and, and like, you know, rating anything including people. There was that, remember, that, that site that did the bidding where you could like buy a website and -
>> Natali Del Conte: Yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: And then, and then buy and sell stock in a website like a virtual stock in a website.
>> Natali Del Conte: Oh, yeah.
>> Jason Howell: Oh, yeah. That was just a couple of years ago.
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah.
>> Natali Del Conte: So what's the one that Molly talked about on Buzz Report where you sort of see how, who you've either slept with or made out with and then you see like -
>> Tom Merritt: Oh, right. Yeah.
>> Natali Del Conte: Who they made out with and how many degrees of separation you are from like. That was disgusting.
>> Jason Howell: I've never heard of that.
>> Natali Del Conte: It was on the Buzz Report. [laughter] And, and she said anyone who uses this is just telling the world what a kiss-and-tell a-hole they are, which is true.
>> Jason Howell: Yeah. No kidding.
>> Natali Del Conte: And this is something where you're like, alright, I'll go and see if my babysitter is on here, and if they're a crazy drug addict or, you know, whatever, then I won't hire them for babysitting. But, it's just so much maleintent [phonetic] in this kind of website that I don't see going anywhere.
>> Tom Merritt: And don't you think these sorts of things get a lot of attention right off the bat -
>> Brian Tong: Totally, and then they disappear.
>> Tom Merritt: And people have fun with them for a couple of days, and yeah.
>> Brian Tong: It's, you know.
>> Tom Merritt: And they're gone. Are you [crosstalk] are any of you in here yet?
>> Natali Del Conte: I looked for myself and Veronica, and, fortunately, neither of us are.
>> Tom Merritt: Jason Howell from South Carolina is.
>> Jason Howell: Tom Merritt, you're in there.
>> Tom Merritt: I am?
>> Brian Tong: But do you, what, you have to create your own profile first?
>> Tom Merritt: I, I didn't create my profile.
>> Brian Tong: Someone, someone can actually create a person ratings for you without you knowing it?
>> Natali Del Conte: Yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: Oh, yeah.
>> Natali Del Conte: You can search,
>> Brian Tong: That's stupid.
>> Natali Del Conte: And it's like, oh, this person's not here. Do you want to add them?
>> Tom Merritt: Right, right.
>> Brian Tong: Hell, no.
>> Jason Howell: Tom, it says that you are a five out of five for smart as well as confidence.
>> Tom Merritt: I didn't rate that either. That must have been, must have been Bonnie [laughs] when she passed along this story.
>> Jason Howell: You have one total vote on each, so. [laughter]
>> Brian Tong: But, but classy looks like you have no stars.
>> Tom Merritt: No stars, oh [crosstalk].
>> Natali Del Conte: You really are on here. I thought you guys were joking.
>> Jason Howell: No.
>> Tom Merritt: And there really is a Jason Howell, but not our Jason Howell.
>> Jason Howell: Yeah. It's OK.
>> Tom Merritt: I'm going to put Tom Merritt the [crosstalk] doppelganger from Oxford in.
>> Natali Del Conte: You know how the 404 asks their listeners to put them in every site or wiki all over the place -
>> Jason Howell: Oh, yeah. [crosstalk] Well then.
>> Natali Del Conte: I'm going to ask that our listeners do not to anything [laughter].
>> Tom Merritt: Let's ask them to put the 404 people in here. I'm going to rate Jeff Bakalar right now.
>> Natali Del Conte: Feel free to put the 404, but leave us out of this.
>> Brian Tong: Damn, Merritt, your, your average person rate is 4.64. That's pretty high.
>> Tom Merritt: It just went down. Oh, oh. People are going in and deleting me down.
>> Natali Del Conte: Aw.
>> Jason Howell: See. [crosstalk] That's how these things happen, and then you get all upset. All you have to do is mention it on the show. You have to know that was going to fall.
>> Tom Merritt: I'm really, frankly, come on, people. I mean these sorts of things are a waste of time and a distraction from the real problems that are facing us in the United States.
>> Jason Howell: It's true.
>> Tom Merritt: Zombies.
>> Jason Howell: But, but, OK.
>> Natali Del Conte: We're moving onto the voice mail.
>> Voice Mail: These days, there's a lot to be afraid of. The economic crisis, the Conflicker worm, the large [inaudible] collider ripping a hole in the fabric of space and time, but one thing you don't have to be afraid of is zombies. At least not if you're prepared for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. That's why the good folks at the National Center for Zombie Preparedness have chosen April 2nd as National Zombie Preparedness Day. We decided last year that we needed a day to raise awareness about the threat that the mindless undead pose to good, hardworking people. So take today to make sure that your disaster kit has everything you need to survive a zombie attack. Go over the zombie evacuation plan with your loved ones. Make sure that you know who is on your zombie team and that their numbers are programmed into your cell phone. And above all, make sure that you have a baseball bat handy at all times. For more information, write to us at nationalzombieday at gmail dot com. This is Jason in Georgia wishing you a safe and happy National Zombie Preparedness Day. Thank you.
>> Natali Del Conte: Wow. Thank you. I don't have a zombie team.
>> Jason Howell: Sounded so formal.
>> Tom Merritt: See. That, it's a good thing that they're doing this to raise awareness so that you create one.
>> Natali Del Conte: Anyone want to be on my zombie team?
>> Tom Merritt: Well, you want to have your zombie team created in your local area. So, you know, maybe a couple of co-workers, couple friends, and then agree on a plan that if the zombie attack breaks out where, what mall you will go to and what cache of guns you will access.
>> Jason Howell: Right.
>> Tom Merritt: In order to defend yourselves. I mean -
>> Natali Del Conte: Alright. [laughter]
>> Tom Merritt: So, see, this is that, this is how serious it is. I mean, everybody, everybody here is just kind of speechless because they're thinking about like -
>> Jason Howell: I know, you know, I am.
>> Natali Del Conte: Can I find one on Craig's List? A missing zombie connection. Missing connection.
>> Jason Howell: Missing zombie connections.
>> Tom Merritt: No. Don't make light, Natalie. This is a serious, serious -
>> Natali Del Conte: I'm not. I'm not at all.
>> Brian Tong: Zombies have feelings too.
>> Tom Merritt: Yes. Feelings of hunger.
>> Jason Howell: For brains.
>> Tom Merritt: Alright. So we, we yesterday had a couple of attempts to call us by Skype over a mobile phone, and they didn't work out [laughter] quite so well. So a couple of other listeners have tried again with their phones. We're going to play them back to back. Here you go.
>> Hey Buzz Out Loud. I just thought I'd, after you guys talking about all of your Windows Mobile phones calling in from Skype over 3G, I thought I'd use my iPhone [inaudible]. I'm on OS 3.0 using Skype calling over 3G. No, this is not, this is not a bug. iPhone's OS 3.0 allows Skype to call in over 3G. It might be a bug, it might not. I think my audio quality is going to be a lot better than those suckers over there on using their Windows Mobile devices. Alright. I'll just yell. Bye.
>> Tom Merritt: And then we have one more.
>> Hi. I'm calling on my e, Nokia E71 using the [inaudible], and I hope you can hear me loud and clear. Love the show.
>> Jason Howell: Wow, [crosstalk] that last one was so loud.
>> Tom Merritt: Nokia E71 [crosstalk] wind.
>> Brian Tong: Butter.
>> Natali Del Conte: Yeah. That's the best one so far.
>> Tom Merritt: Of course, he didn't talk as long either. [laughter] He didn't want to, didn't want to risk it.
>> Jason Howell: That's true.
>> Tom Merritt: But it was nice and clear all the way through.
>> Brian Tong: Was he calling, did he [crosstalk] -
>> Natali Del Conte: He must have recorded it, and then recorded a voice mail -
>> Brian Tong: Well, was he calling over WiFi, or over 3G though?
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah, he didn't say.
>> Brian Tong: He didn't say.
>> Tom Merritt: He didn't say whether it was WiFi or 3G.
>> Brian Tong: If he was on WiFi -
>> Tom Merritt: It makes a difference.
>> Brian Tong: I'm [inaudible]
>> Tom Merritt: It does make a difference.
>> Jason Howell: That's true.
>> Brian Tong: I'm just saying.
>> Tom Merritt: The iPhone 3.0 is not carrier locked. You, you have to be a developer or know a developer to get it.
>> Brian Tong: Yes.
>> Tom Merritt: And so that's how he was able to do the Skype over 3G on the iPhone.
>> Brian Tong: And it does work.
>> Tom Merritt: Because you have to put the, you have to put the 3.0. So that's not available for anyone right now.
>> Brian Tong: Except for me. OK.
>> Tom Merritt: Well, and except for registered developers and people who are, know how to bribe them like Brian Tong.
>> Brian Tong: You're absolutely right. [laughter]
>> Natali Del Conte: Let's move on to the e-mails, and before we get to the e-mails, I will have to say one more thing about this Natalie backlash that we've had lately. I never used the term flyover state. That was in the e-mail to the guy who wrote to me that said Natalie doesn't know anything about the flyover state. So never would I use a term like that so please stop writing me about that. I've gotten no fewer than two dozen disparaging remarks about that term, and I promise never to use it. OK. Jason.
>> Tom Merritt: We can't promise that Dan Ackerman won't use it though.
>> Natali Del Conte: Ackerman probably will use it.
>> Tom Merritt: He has.
>> Natali Del Conte: But never, never have I said anything of the sort. Go ahead, Jason.
>> Jason Howell: Alright. Here we go. Steve in New Jersey writes in and said, "I made a Google calendar with all the CNET shows' times on it. Please share it with the podcast audience at CNET." There's a button to add the calendar to your own Google calendar in the bottom right of the screen, and I will put the link to that in the show notes.
>> Brian Tong: Hey.
>> Jason Howell: So, yeah. He just kind of lays out the, the times and days of all of our shows, and you know, most of the time that's probably going to be accurate, but sometimes like this week, for instance, the dialed in folks aren't here so they didn't do a live show. So it wouldn't have happened. But it's, you know, if that, if that works for you guys, hey.
>> Brian Tong: But if Steve constantly updates it, it'll work. [laughter]
>> Jason Howell: Yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: I was just about to say, I appreciate the work, and then Brian gives him more assignments.
>> Brian Tong: Alright. This is a, this is an e-mail from our buddy, Eric [assumed spelling] from New York, and it's kind of a little bit of a response to Tom. It says, "Tom, I love the show, and while we disagree on certain subjects, I appreciate your experience and opinions. However, this is not the case when you are discussing Blu-Ray and Netflix. On a personal note, I can't believe that you are holding out on Blu-Ray. It's great, and since you don't have a PS3 or standalone Blu-Ray player, I don't think you should be commenting as if you have real world daily experience on supposedly equal alternatives. It all boils down to one argument I've heard from you more than once. You suggested on Tuesday's show that Netflix HD streaming is a viable alternative to Blu-Ray. First of all, the quality of the Netflix streams are actually labeled HD, that are actually HD are DVD quality at best, and that's being generous. I checked again last night to make sure. It hasn't improved. Second, you know that the availability of new releases on Netflix streaming, the area that Blu-Ray shines, is virtually non-existent. I've been a Netflix customer since January 2000, and I love it, but their streaming as it currently exists will never even replace my need to physical DVD. I feel that this is one small but important area you are doing your listeners a disservice, particularly the ones who are on the fence and trust your opinions as fact. Eric from New York."
>> Natali Del Conte: I'm not -
>> Brian Tong: That's so Tom.
>> Natali Del Conte: Sure that you said that.
>> Tom Merritt: Alright. Well, no, no. That's fair. That's fair. Let's, let's, let's talk about this. [crosstalk] OK. He can't believe that I don't have Blu-Ray. It's too expensive. That's, that's why I don't have it, but it's a, it's a, it's a fair comment. It all boils down to the argument that he's heard me make all the time that Netflix HD streaming is a viable alternative to Blu-Ray. I, I think it is a viable alternative. Now, if, be listen carefully when I say these things because I'm not saying that Netflix HD streaming is better than Blu-Ray, but what I'm saying is most people aren't going to be the ones who say, I have to have the very best all the time. In fact, a lot of people with HD TV's don't even care if it's in HD or not. They just want the big screen. So I'm talking to a wide mass of people, and for those to look at the expense of Blu-Ray discs and the expense of Blu-Ray machines versus the ease of something they already have like Netflix streaming or a $99 Ricoh [assumed spelling] or TiVo that they already have, it's totally a viable alternative. And, you know, he's, he's got a well-reasoned argument here, and I, and I, I don't want to disparage it, but don't disparage my side of it -
>> Brian Tong: Yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: Which is this is, this is an alternative that people are going to look at, and I'm not even making a recommendation when I say this most of the time. I'm just saying I don't think people are going to do it.
>> Brian Tong: Yeah. And -
>> Tom Merritt: And when Netflix raises the price on Blu-Ray, that's even less of a reason they're going to want to do it. So that's what I'm trying to say.
>> Brian Tong: Yeah. And the, the thing about it is he's, well, you can kind of tell he's coming from the perspective of the best video quality available. That, that's his angle.
>> Jason Howell: [crosstalk] and for some people, that's important enough.
>> Tom Merritt: And this is a common argumentative rhetorical principle is if I want to disagree, I'm going to narrow the field down to the part where my argument is strongest, and he's definitely right, which is if you're talking about what is the best, I, you know, Blu-Ray wins.
>> Brian Tong: And, and the point that you were making that you're right on the money is the reason why Blu-Ray still has yet to take off is because of the price and the perceived value of what a DVD offers right now versus Blu-Ray. There's that not, it's valuable enough for someone to spend $20 more, $15 more on a Blu-Ray disc and a player, which is a lot more expensive, to make that jump.
>> Tom Merritt: And that's coming from somebody who owns a Blu-Ray player and does streaming video.
>> Brian Tong: Yeah. So I myself own a Voodoo box, which has the best HD quality streaming, and I own a PS3 as well. And I've shifted over, you know, I'm a, I, I like the video quality as well, but I'm there, sorry. I can't even talk. I'm there for the video quality, but I'm shifting away from getting Blu-Ray because the quality on the Voodoo, the ADX code that they're using is, is almost just as good as Blu-Ray, it's ridiculous.
>> Tom Merritt: But Eric, in the end, love this e-mail. I'm totally glad you sent it. It's well constructed, well thought out, -
>> Brian Tong: Yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: And it makes us think, makes us reconstruct the argument to make them clearer, and that's good.
>> Brian Tong: Amen.
>> Tom Merritt: Moving on to Mark from the South Florida social, Mark, the South Florida social geek. He's also technoman [phonetic] if you see him in the forums, pointing out that yesterday on Planet of Booto [phonetic], the Distro's [phonetic] community's blog feed, the Myth Booto DVR media center team made a huge announcement which scores a major victory for Linux users everywhere. They've scored an arrangement/deal with both Time-Warner and Comcast for them to offer support for cable card in the 9.04 release of Myth Booto. So if you don't know what that is, that means that you can build a machine, install Myth Booto on it, turn it into a Linux-based media center, buy a cable card, and be running cable right in the Myth Booto box.
>> Natali Del Conte: That's pretty sweet.
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah, that is pretty sweet. Got to love that. And now [crosstalk] I know part of the reason that Time-Warner and Comcast are willing to do this is they're trying to move everybody to Tru Two Wave. So, you know, it is, it is playing catch up, but I love the fact that you'll be able to do this now. And hopefully a bunch of you can, can try this out, and let us know how it works.
>> Natali Del Conte: Alright. We have another e-mail from Nick. He met us at South by Southwest in Texas last month, and he, I actually have a picture of him on my Flicker album. He says, "Hi Buzz crew. Wanted to let you know that I uploaded a 3D photo I shot of you using the 2Flip camcorders at South by Southwest. There are two scenes, the one before your live show, and another from a panel which had Jonathan Coulton [assumed spelling] on it." Also, he was on the 404 today. That's me saying that, not Nick. [laughter] Back to Nick's e-mail. "I've uploaded the 3D composites as well as the source videos. If anyone wants to download them, here's the link. I used Stereo Moviemaker to create the composite. It was great meeting each of you. Now that I've seen a live BOL taping, I can cross it off my bucket list. Now I just have to meet Molly and Veronica. Love the show. Thanks for being so awesome towards your fans." Thank you, Nick.
>> Jason Howell: There's the video.
>> Tom Merritt: Cool. Yeah, that was, that was, I'm, I'm like scratching around today trying to find some of those red and blue 3D glasses because I want to see the actual glorious -
>> Jason Howell: Yeah.
>> Tom Merritt: 3D instead of the just the, the double image that's up there right now. So anybody in the building happens to be listening to Buzz Out Loud, [inaudible] right now.
>> Jason Howell: Yeah. There's got to be someone here in the building that has to have 3D glasses.
>> Tom Merritt: Somebody's got to have 3D glasses hanging around. Somebody at TV.com, right.
>> Jason Howell: Well, we'll put the call out. So, finally, I'm just going to wrap up by saying, hey, we've got a bunch of meetups on the calendar. So I thought I'd just throw them out there really quick. Tonight, if you happen to be in the San Francisco Bay area, come on up to the Revision 3/Techzilla/BOL, meet up at the Mosconi [assumed spelling] Center. I believe that's 4:30 to 6:00, 6:30 right around there, and where's the Mosconi Lounge?
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah.
>> Jason Howell: You said?
>> Tom Merritt: If you go, if you click through from the, from the forums link to the -
>> Jason Howell: Which will be the [crosstalk]-
>> Tom Merritt: Techzilla link, it'll give you all the information you need.
>> Jason Howell: Alright. Perfect. This Saturday in San Francisco, we're doing Brunch Out Loud. There's a bunch of people coming up from, from LA, and so we're all going to get together at the Ferry Building in San Francisco at 10:30 at the Peets [assumed spelling]. So we can meet there, and then go from there, and just kind of hang out. And then, of course, two Thursdays from now, April 16th in New York City with the 404. Details on that will follow, but put that on your calendar.
>> Natali Del Conte: Don't have too much fun without me. [laughter] A little bit of fun, but not too much.
>> Tom Merritt: Well, you're, you're, are you going to be up at the New York one, right?
>> Natali Del Conte: Yeah.
>> Jason Howell: Well, don't have too much fun without us.
>> Natali Del Conte: Well, Jason will be here.
>> Tom Merritt: Yeah, [crosstalk] Jason got -
>> Brian Tong: [crosstalk] To go to all those incentives.
>> Tom Merritt: This is the Jason Howell world tour.
>> Natali Del Conte: I know. [laughter]
>> Brian Tong: That's right.
>> Natali Del Conte: What is common denominator?
>> Tom Merritt: You should print up shirts.
>> Brian Tong: All Howell all the time.
>> Jason Howell: Oh boy. I will print up those shirts.
>> Natali Del Conte: More H per H. Howell per hour. [laughter]
>> Tom Merritt: Alright, thanks for listening everybody. We'll talk to you tomorrow.
>> Jason Howell: Yup. Bol.cnet.com.
>> Tom Merritt: Right. Bol.cnet.com is our blog. Totally forgot. Go there. See you guys later.
>> Natali Del Conte: Bye.
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