The Buzz Report
Gadget overload!We inspect a boatload of gadgets and wonder if supersmart robots will put humanity in jeopardy.
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, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona demolished the phone and tablet world as we know it, Apple demolished app developer revenues, and computers are poised to demolish humans. But first, it's the Gadget of the Week. The Gadget of the Week is the ... ha. That is so cute how you think there's only one gadget of the week this week. It's Mobile World Congress time, people. It's RAINING phones and tablets. And you know what that means ... it's time for a Buzz Report Gadgetpalooza edition! Let's jump right in, shall we? First, the phones. The worst-kept secret in tech? The PlayStation phone. It's real now, and it's called the Sony Xperia Play. Android Gingerbread, 4-inch screen, PlayStation controls. And you know the getting's good when that's like the "eh" phone of the show. Samsung Galaxy S II -- Samsung says it's the world's thinnest smart phone, now featuring dual-core processors, 8 megapixel cameras, and WiFi only versions of the Galaxy S devices, to take on the iPod Touch. BOLD, Samsung. We finally got hands on with the LG Optimus 3D, which looks awfully 3D promising, and then HTC came out SWINGING. They announced the Cha Cha and the Salsa, which are Android smart phones that have dedicated Facebook buttons. Which, I don't care what you say. I would use that. F ... is for Facebook. Also, HTC announced updated versions of the Wildfire, the Desire, and the incredibly popular Incredible, by upping their specs and putting an S after each name. S ... is for smart phone? Ok, and that's just the phones. What about the tablets? There was the HTC Flyer, a 7-inch Gingerbread tablet, the 9-inch LG Optimus Pad, which is a dual-core Honeycomb beast that takes 3D video. We got a look at the HP TouchPad, which is the one I think is super promising looking -- it brings the WebOS interface to a 10-inch dual-core touchscreen. Plus, Samsung dropped the Tab 10.1, which is a 10-inch version of the Galaxy Tab and includes 4G, Honeycomb, and an EIGHT megapixel camera on the back, along with one on the front. People, when it rains tablets, it HAILS tablets. And to think ... some people go to Barcelona for the jamon. And while all that was happening, iPhone 5 rumors were raining down all over the place, too. Reports this week suggested Apple might have THREE future iPhone prototypes, ranging from a much smaller, cheaper iPhone, like an iPhone Nano, to a phone with a nice big 4-inch screen, to one that actually has a slide-out keyboard. Which, I mean, if Apple does a phone with a keyboard, I'll eat an iPhone 4. But I would like to see them do an iPhone Shuffle. It just randomly calls people in your address book. It's social! Speaking of Apple, the company announced a new subscription service this week that lets you sign up for movies, magazines, video, and newspapers through apps on your phone ... but the app developers have to give Apple a 30 percent cut of all new subscriber money. AND they can't include links in their apps to let people go buy content -- like say, a Kindle book -- outside of the app. Yep. The most dominant app marketplace on the Web, demanding a 30 percent rake off the top of every transaction that happens in its territory, and also making sure that hardly any transactions DON'T happen in its territory. I gotta hand it to 'em. That is some straight up ballsy mafia sh*t right there. And FINALLY, everyone? The Singularity is here. If that's what they call it when computers officially become smarter than humans, I think it's safe to say that we've arrived. The supercomputer Watson, equipped with just 2,880 CPUs operating at 80 teraflops and 15 terabytes of RAM, put the hurt on champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter at "Jeopardy" this week, using artificial intelligence and natural language interpretation to decipher quiz answers and deliver the correct responses in the form of a question. Mark my words, people. The age of the machines is here. Civilization is both doomed ... and saved. But I think the real question here is: what does a computer do with the money it wins? Go to Disneyland? Ahh, we still gotcha, Terminators. And that's the Buzz Report for this week, everyone. I'm Molly Wood, and thanks for watching.