The Buzz Report
Nokia never learnsIn the big buzz of the week, Nokia's Lumia 800 gets beat by a thermostat for nerd attention. Plus, the Jobs bio, Netflix's hard road, and political crazy talk.
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 NokiaÃ¯Â¿Â½s hail Mary phone, Steve JobsÃ¯Â¿Â½s secrets at last, and political suicide on YouTube. But first, itÃ¯Â¿Â½s the Gadget of the Week. The Gadget of the Week is the Nest Learning Thermostat. Yep. Thermostat. But theyÃ¯Â¿Â½re calling it the Ã¯Â¿Â½iPod of thermostats.Ã¯Â¿Â½ Partly because Nest Labs was founded by Tony Fadell, who led the design team that designed the iPod. Nerd cred. Anyway, the thermostat. ItÃ¯Â¿Â½s programmable, obviously. ItÃ¯Â¿Â½s also networkable over WiFi, and you can control it remotely with a mobile app. You can network several thermostats together and control them all at once. And it has a motion sensor built in so it can Ã¯Â¿Â½seeÃ¯Â¿Â½ when people are in the room -- then, it supposedly learns your habits and can auto-adjust to suit your heating and cooling needs. Nest says the thermostat could knock 20 to 30 percent off the average utility bill -- which is good, since it costs 250 bucks. Best part of all!? Look how easy it is to install!? ThatÃ¯Â¿Â½s amazing, letÃ¯Â¿Â½s watch that again, in slow-mo. Uh huh. Have your electrician on speed dial. OTHER than that, pretty Ã¯Â¿Â½ awesome, um, thermostat. Now, the other big gadget news of the week is Nokia showing off its firstborn child with Microsoft. The Lumia 800 is NokiaÃ¯Â¿Â½s bet-the-farm smartphone, Microsoft and Nokia are calling it the first REAL Windows Phone. ItÃ¯Â¿Â½s a tricked up N9 with gorgeous hardware, although the specs are just ok -- single core processor and whatnot. The camera will be pretty amazing, 8 megapixels, with a Carl Zeiss Tessar lens and on-phone editing features, plus HD video capture. And since Nokia never, ever learns, it will debut in Europe for about 420 Euros, with no word whatsoever on a U.S. release. And THAT, my friends, is why the THERMOSTAT is the gadget of the week. In other news this week, the official Steve Jobs biography came out Monday, and it was full of fascinating stories -- not all of them flattering. On the one hand, Walter IsaacsonÃ¯Â¿Â½s biography portrays a cool, counter-culture genius who left an incredible string of achievements and inventions behind him. On the other hand, abusive manager, bad temper, family issues, calculating and more than willing to screw his partners out of money and stock, brittle personality. Stuff like that. But the WORST thing he did, by far, even worse than abandoning his daughter or worse even than the Newton Ã¯Â¿Â½ was that he hurt the feelings of that cute, cute Jonathan Ives, the vice president of design at Apple. In the book, Ives says it really upset him that Steve Jobs would often take credit for his fabulous designs, and GET all the credit for being the only innovator at Apple. Oh Jonny, donÃ¯Â¿Â½t worry sweetie, we always knew you were the smart one, and WE here at Buzz totally appreciate you. Moving on, Netflix. Sigh. The companyÃ¯Â¿Â½s quarterly report said that after it hiked prices 60 percent, WAY more customers actually canceled their subscriptions than Netflix expected. Like 800,000 of them. NetflixÃ¯Â¿Â½s stock fell 37 percent on the news, and limped along down there all week. See. And now. IÃ¯Â¿Â½m not in the stock advice business, and IÃ¯Â¿Â½m not allowed to buy Netflix stock. But Netflix ALSO reported record revenues, theyÃ¯Â¿Â½re expanding into the UK, and theyÃ¯Â¿Â½re not splitting up their business after all. Calm DOWN, investors. And as for the rest of you? Buy low. Just sayin. That streaming catalog still sucks, though. SPEAKING of panicky investors, even Amazon was down this week after the company reported a dip in profits because it spent a lot of money making Kindle Fires and the rest of the new Kindle lineup. But they ALSO said theyÃ¯Â¿Â½re rushing to produce way more Kindle Fires than they expected, because everyone wants one. And then when they have them, Amazon may take a loss on the hardware, but theyÃ¯Â¿Â½ll sell bajillions of 15- dollar eBooks and also movies and TV shows and magazines with their little one-click genius, and theyÃ¯Â¿Â½ll be printing their own Kindle-branded dollars. But what do I know. Wall Street has done a great job with America so far. And now itÃ¯Â¿Â½s time for whatÃ¯Â¿Â½s Clogging the Tubes, this weekÃ¯Â¿Â½s itÃ¯Â¿Â½s the Herman Cain Crazy Train. The Internet went crazy for his most recent campaign video, which features his campaign manager Ã¯Â¿Â½ aka the smoking man from X-Files. So, that was baffling. But THEN, we all realized that heÃ¯Â¿Â½s been doing this for MONTHS! Go to his YouTube page! Check out the Yellow Flowers video! ItÃ¯Â¿Â½s like a 4-minute video with some guy claiming to be a famous actor and talking about how Herman Cain is great. Except the unknown actor is a total a-hole who canÃ¯Â¿Â½t drink a margarita without a straw and is rude to everyone around him and isnÃ¯Â¿Â½t good at his job. At all. so, like Ã¯Â¿Â½ what? How is this HELPING Herman Cain? OHHHH, I get it. HeÃ¯Â¿Â½s trolling America. ItÃ¯Â¿Â½s VIRAL. Smart. Maybe. And thatÃ¯Â¿Â½s the Buzz Report for this week, everyone. IÃ¯Â¿Â½m Molly Wood and thanks for watching.