WiFi cameras, super-soldiers, and remote-controlled kitties
Hi, everyone, I�m Molly Wood and welcome to the Buzz Report,
the show about the tech news that everyone is talking about.
This week, Netflix in hot water again, fun with neuroscience, and
cat videos reach a new viral high.
But first, the gadget of the week.
The Gadget of the Week is the WiFi-equipped Panasonic Lumix
DMC-FX90. See, point and shoot cameras are pretty much
losing out to smart phones everywhere because, duh, you can�t
share photos easily! SD card dance? Out. Instagram to
Facebook in seconds? In. So, yay for the Lumix, which has WiFi
and all the good point and shoot camera quality for just 300
bucks. Winner! Eeeehhh � kind of. I mean, the WiFi settings are
like, impossible to use, and actually the image quality is kind of
crappy, especially in low light. But you know what? I�m so happy
to see WiFi showing up in point and shoot cameras that I�m just
going to be encouraging on this one � good start, Panasonic!
Keep it up!
And now for the news.
Amazon just announced a new streaming video deal with
Viacom that brings Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1,
and other shows to its instant streaming library. Amazon now
has 15 thousand titles for streaming, about triple what it had
when it launched a year ago. And, near as I can tell, about the
same amount as Netflix has. UH OH!!
ALSO, Verizon is apparently teaming up with Coinstar, owner of
the Redbox boxes, to deliver on-demand streaming video on the
Web and on mobile phones.
Considering that Amazon already killed bookstores and Redbox
killed video stores, if I were Netflix, I�d be thinking the Mayans
were right about 2012 � at least for Netflix. Too bad, they had
been having kind of a good year so far.
Mobile World Congress starts at the end of February in
Barcelona, and Nokia�s plans are already trickling out. Basically,
the plans are, win or die. A Nokia vice president told a Swedish
newspaper that the company�s entire plan involves Windows
Mobile. Period. It�s plan A AND plan B, and there is no plan C.
The company is planning some kind of high-end phone release
and I, at least, am mostly just hoping for no embarrassing crying
or begging. Messy.
U.S. unemployment? There�s an app for that. Sort of. According
to a study released by TechNet, the so-called App Economy has
generated an estimated 466,000 jobs since the iPhone debuted
Honestly, if you had told me 10 years ago that a company could
make a TON of money on a game for your phone where you use
your finger to fling birds at obviously-not-code-approved
structures, I�d have checked you for a crack pipe. Turns out
anything can be an economy!
And neuroscientists with the Royal Society in the UK issued a
report this week that basically says to governments and the
neuroscience community itself, �Dudes, you need to be careful
with this stuff.�
They say neuroscience should be used for good, like making
people think better or treating their post-traumatic stress
disorders. But then it comes to experimenting with super-soldier
stuff, like making people smarter, or making them need less
sleep, or creating implants that let people actually sense the heat
of an object or person in the same room as them? Tread
Tread carefully? Really? We can turn people into real-life
Captain America and you think a strongly worded report is going
to stop governments everywhere from doing stupid irresponsible
crap that leads to the apocalypse? Have you ever seen a
movie?? ANY movie?
And now it�s time to relax with what�s clogging the tubes. this
week, it�s kittens.... on live streaming video.... wait for it.... with
remote controlled toys that YOU can control. Genius! Friskies
launched a Facebook campaign featuring a live-streamed kitty
playhouse with like 10 adorable kittens in it that gives YOU the
chance to play with three toys and control the cameras while the
kitties play with your toys. You thought like, March Madness was
a productivity killer? Wow. And when people WEREN�T watching
the live stream, they were dreaming up ways to set up their
OWN live-streaming Webcams with remote controls for their own
homes. Which, come to think of it, Brian Cooley already did a
How-To on that, I think.
And that�s it for this week, everyone. I�m Molly Wood