Is wireless the new tobacco?
4:30

Is wireless the new tobacco?

Culture
Welcome to the Buzz Report. I'm Brian Cooley in for Molly Wood who�s engineering her own buyout of The Pirate Bay so she can just down the damned thing and we can stop hearing about it. This week: why this video is sputtering, why you�re too distracted to care, and Microsoft�s new technology for racial integration. But Ffrst, the Gadget of the Week! Is the pocket bacon fryer. Yep, you�ve already got one. You know, your cell phone. This week The International EMF Collaborative � which sounds like an ambient chill group � put out a paper saying much of the previous research that says cell phone radiation is perrrrfectly safe � research funded by the cell phone industry � may not be very solid. You think? The report lists 15 concerns and 11 specific flaws in previous research -- including the fact that many cell phone manuals instruct you not to hold the phone against your body, because its totally safe. And now for the news. If this stream is buffering, glitching and sputtering, I know why: They U.S. is a three-legged horse in the world broadband race. Avg downlink speed of a consumer broadband connection in the U.S. is around 5 megabits � and in Idaho and Alaska its half that! Some parts of the U.S. fare better, like DE with a leading 9.9 average, but they�re still looking at Latvia�s ass, which boasts 12.4 megabits. South Korea is the speed king with a mouthwatering 20+ mbps average. The CWA calls for this to be rectified by a comprehensive national broadband policy, a thinly veiled attempt to drum create government-sponsored jobs for its members. But my real concern is that this report revives the term �digital divide� yet again. Aren�t we done calling things that? This one�s a beauty: Microsoft running around, scraping and bowing this week after folks began to Twitter about a Microsoft ad that had more than the language changed when it was prepped for the Polish market. Check out the brother in the middle. Now check him out again. I�m not sure what�s worse, that he changed from black to white or that his hand didn�t. Bad enough this suggests Microsoft or its ad agency think Poles are racist, but maybe worse is the white guy�s expression suggesting suggests Poles are WAY too easily amused by Microsoft Productivity Solutions stuff. That should power the first street protests. Oh, and his laptop -- Isn�t that Macbook? If you�re watching this while texting and playing a video game, editing a spreadsheet and listening to voicemail, feeling smug about your ability to do it all, I have news: You�re a mess. That�s right out of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They studied over 260 students and found the ones who multitask the least did best on a battery of standard tests of organization and putting things in order. The heavy multitaskers did a whole lot worse. What isn�t known yet is if multitaskers have disorganized minds to begin with or if multitasking made them that way. Either way, next meeting, put the BlackBerry down, hide your shaking hands, steady those jiggly eyes and try to concentrate on something. Wikipedia generated some indignant buzz this week when it said it would introduce some adult supervision: Changes to pages about living people can�t go live until approved by a volunteer senior editor, contrary to the anyone-can-edit free-for-all that has been policy so far. Wikipedia says this new policy is in response to -- --wait a minute: I don�t even have a Wikipedia page. Who gives a damn? That�s the Buzz Report, I�m B.C. Don�t worry Molly�s back from orbit next week.

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