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The Buzz Report
Kindle under fireThis week, it's safe for the airline pilot to use an iPad during take-off, but not for you. Also, Molly fixes the Kindle Fire and a lizard plays video games.
Hey, everyone, IÃ¯Â¿Â½m Molly Wood, and welcome to the Buzz Report, the show about the tech news that everyone is talking about. This week, itÃ¯Â¿Â½s no cell phones in cars and this time we mean it, iPads in cockpits, because, why not, and the drunkest airplane flight of all time. But first, itÃ¯Â¿Â½s the Gadget of the Week. The Gadget of the Week is the Kindle Fire all over again. The Kindle Fire is taking a BEATING this week over usability issues, software bugs, and lack of parental controls that let any kid -- or anyone, really -- just come along and buy whatever they want with its all-too-easy one-click purchase capability. And donÃ¯Â¿Â½t forget the hardware--there are tons of complaints about the annoying power button on the bottom of the thing. It was even compared, recently, the the Edsel. I mean. SERIOUSLY? The EDSEL? Quick tip: Power button bothering you? Turn it upside down. The screen rotates. Now, sit the hell down and wait for your software update. Then, take the 300 bucks you saved by NOT buying an iPad, go to Hawaii, sit on the beach, and read a good book on your Kindle Fire. With a Mai Tai. See what IÃ¯Â¿Â½m saying? And now for the news. This week, the National Transportation Safety Board NTSB recommended a COMPLETE national ban on cell phone use by drivers in cars. The ban would cover all 50 states, it would include hands-free devices--but not Bluetooth systems already installed in cars--and would be accompanied by a huge awareness campaign that highlights the dangers of distracted driving. And while I think this is a complicated issue with far-reaching ramifications, and thereÃ¯Â¿Â½s no doubt in my mind that texting while driving in particular is an epidemic and dangerous problem, I have to admit, my response to this idea can be summed up in these two simple responses: 1. You wish. And 2. Self. Driving. Cars. MEANWHILE, as weÃ¯Â¿Â½re trying to get drivers to be less distracted, the FAA just approved the use of iPads in airplane cockpits Ã¯Â¿Â½ at ALL PHASES OF FLIGHT. During takeoff and landing, the whole way to and from the places, all of it. Each pilotÃ¯Â¿Â½s iPad will replace about 35 pounds of paper, which will apparently save more than a million dollars worth of fuel every year. American Airlines will start rolling out the iPads in cockpits this week. YOU, however, will still have to turn off your Kindle during takeoff and landing. Just Ã¯Â¿Â½ donÃ¯Â¿Â½t get me started. Scientists say they are closing in on evidence of the elusive Higgs boson particle, sometimes called the God particle. Researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research say theyÃ¯Â¿Â½re Ã¯Â¿Â½tantalizingly closeÃ¯Â¿Â½ to discovering the particle, and they should be able to close the book on this puzzle sometime next year. If the Higgs boson is found, it could theoretically help explain why other particles have mass -- AND lead to all kinds of other discoveries, like super particles and dark matter. Really blow open the field of physics, in fact. And lead to flying cars and teleportation. What? No flying cars and teleportation? Seriously? Why are they doing this, then? In other unlikely events in the universe, hereÃ¯Â¿Â½s an update on the AT&T T-Mobile merger! [rimshot] A federal judge will allow AT&T to temporarily withdraw its petition to buy T-Mobile and delay an antitrust hearing that was scheduled for February. AT&T now has until January 12th to either present a new plan for buying T- Mobile somehow some way, or decide to cut bait, because they ainÃ¯Â¿Â½t fishinÃ¯Â¿Â½. Considering that the FCC, multiple states, every other wireless carrier in America, and most consumers OPPOSE the deal Ã¯Â¿Â½ IÃ¯Â¿Â½m leaning toward cut bait. But who knows, itÃ¯Â¿Â½s AT&T. New details emerged this week about what happened when two now former RIM executives got so drunk on an airplane that the flight had to be diverted and they had to be dragged off the plane in handcuffs. WELL. It turns out, these poor guys were drunk before they even got on the plane, they were screaming at each other, one laid down on the floor and kicked the ground, they assaulted and yelled at flight attendants, and they were so rabid with rage at their lot in life that when they were put into plastic handcuffs, they CHEWED THROUGH THEIR RESTRAINTS. Oh. My. God. Those poor guys. On the plus side, though, any out of work executives Ã¯Â¿Â½ job openings at RIM! And finally, letÃ¯Â¿Â½s have a look at whatÃ¯Â¿Â½s Clogging the Tubes. Higher forms of life. My favorite animal video in recent times, and thatÃ¯Â¿Â½s saying a lot Ã¯Â¿Â½ this bearded lizard, DELIBERATELY playing a video game. Happy holidays. OH, and donÃ¯Â¿Â½t miss the baby seal that sneaked into someoneÃ¯Â¿Â½s house and cuddled up on the couch. Because, I MEAN. I feel better about life now. And thatÃ¯Â¿Â½s the Buzz Report for this week, everyone. IÃ¯Â¿Â½m Molly Wood, thanks for watching.