The Buzz Report
WiFi cameras, super-soldiers, and remote-controlled kittiesThis week on the Buzz Report, point-and-shoot cameras try a new angle, we hope neuroscience doesn't get out of hand, but if it does, we have Friskies cats to watch.
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 in 2007. 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 carefully. 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