Buzz Out Loud 779: Ok A moo Video
Buzz Out Loud 779: Ok A moo Video Transcript
>> It's Friday, August 1st, 2008.
>> I'm Molly Wood.
>> I'm Tom Merritt.
>> I'm Jason Howell.
>> Welcome to Buzz Out Loud CNET's podcast of indeterminate length, it's episode 779, the special Friday episode.
>> What makes it so special? Well, you can get it in audio or video.
>> I know. And the video --
>> Streamline at CNETTV.com
>> -- looks super pretty. We have a custom table for Pete's sake.
>> Oh, my goodness.
>> I know, if you haven't watched it, go check it out.
>> A California judge has ruled that Sprint's early termination fees are, in fact, illegal and that Sprint needs to payback $18.2 million in collected fees to consumers, a decision that could --
>> -- help sway similar decisions against Verizon and AT&T across the country.
>> And this is interesting because I was all "Boom!", and Tom was all, "What? No!"
>> The decision makes no sense to me.
>> Yeah, how so?
>> Like it's a -- I don't like the -- the, you know, early termination fees any everything especially when they don't prorate them --
>> -- but it's a contract. You sign a contract --
>> Right. You signed it upfront --
>> -- for two years --
>> -- you knew what to expect.
>> -- or a year, or whatever --
>> -- and so you know going in and you get a subsidization. You get something for signing that contract. You get a cheaper phone --
>> -- and maybe not with iPhone first generation but most of the time you get a cheaper phone and so, there is -- there is an argument to be made that this is just a legitimate fee that they're, you know, that --
>> That they're --
>> -- they're losing out. So, I haven't quite read a good understanding of the judge's logic here.
>> Yeah, so well, two things to clarify, first it's only a preliminary ruling.
>> So, it is not --
>> It's not a final --
>> -- by any means --
>> -- final --
>> -- the final ruling --
>> -- by the judge. Judge Bonnie Sabrow [phonetic]. But what the judge ruled is not that the fees themselves were the problem but that the contracts were illegal. So, I guess if you, I mean, once you invalidate the entire idea of the contract then, of course, you can invalidate the idea that the fees --
>> Sure, associated with it.
>> -- could be attached to the contract.
>> Well, that makes sense --
>> But it is --
>> -- but then how --
>> -- is still unclear --
>> -- how is the contract illegal?
>> I don't know. I mean --
>> You can't say, I'll give you a cheaper phone if you agree to a two-year --
>> Yeah, what is the specific part of that contract that's wrong.
>> -- like that's the part that I haven't found yet.
>> And one thing I read on Declan McCullagh's [phonetic] post --
>> -- on News.com explained it such that she ruled that the way Sprint charged the fee was the problem --
>> -- and that if -- if they had charged a -- if they had made it a clearly prorated situation in the contract, that then the contract would have been legal?
>> I don't know if that's accurate or not.
>> So, maybe the contract is illegally --
>> And I may be misreading what Declan said --
>> -- yeah --
>> -- I mean, I don't know, but that was my understanding from what he -- he said is that they could have charged a higher fee but as long as they explained it differently and prorated it, it would have been legal.
>> Yeah, that may be, the -- the story, I mean, all the stories that I've read you're right don't -- we would have to read the preliminary ruling itself, I guess, to determine why she's decided that the contracts are illegal. It could be, I mean, with contracts there is sort of that legalese issue that, if you don't write it carefully and inexplicably enough --
>> -- then, or impenetrably enough then --
>> Sort of --
>> You can charge a fee --
>> -- that you could actually invalidate your own contract.
>> -- but not the fee that you did.
>> Your fee that you charge is the problem.
>> And then that made your whole contract illegal, I don't know. So, we'll have to see whether she stands by it and obviously it's going to be appealed, and blah, blah, blah but I think it's a very interesting initial ruling because there's no question that cell phone contracts and the fees associated and kind of all of the detritus that is starting to come with them is getting pretty abusive. Like, I think what is happening here is that there's a consumer sentiment against the way the major carriers are treating their customers and that, frankly, I think is a positive development.
>> So does this potentially drive up the cost of subsidized phones?
>> And no doubt it would if it carried out.
>> You know, if the decision remained this way -- and don't forget this is just California too.
>> It has already sparked some debate that maybe there needs to be a national standard because you don't want to say like well, early termination fees are illegal in California --
>> Well, yeah --
>> -- but they're okay in Texas and --
>> -- that's a nightmare for sure. I don't know, it's --
>> Make it more confusing.
>> -- it is interesting. But would you rather pay more for a phone that you could do anything with or get a free phone that is locked down and has the, you know, I mean --
>> Well, that's the thing different people have different needs.
>> And a lot of people don't care they're like fine, I just want the free phone, I mean --
>> -- our -- our managing producer Bonnie Gannon is one of those people. She's like, I'm not paying for a phone.
>> You know --
>> Get it for free.
>> -- I'll take the contract get the free phone.
>> I know a lot --
>> I don't care about all the fancy stuff.
>> -- a lot of people still think that the phone is just -- a phone is almost a commodity --
>> -- like whatever it's a throwaway thing that you get free with your contract and maybe it wouldn't be that a big a deal for them, I don't know. In -- in news that I think is an extremely big deal, it has now been disclosed that the Department of Homeland Security has an official policy allowing federal agents to take a traveler's laptop or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing --
>> This is the part that --
>> -- as part of a border search.
>> -- really gets me.
>> No suspicion of wrongdoing.
>> Is that anyone coming into the United States, citizen or noncitizen it doesn't matter. If you're a citizen of the United States you're coming back to the United States, they can take your laptop, they can take your cell phone, they can take your --
>> They can take your iPod.
>> -- it says like any pieces of paper in your pocket and they can keep them for an unspecified, it says a reasonable period of time but that's defined by them.
>> And the part that really gets me because, yes, we -- we do need these sorts of things, searches and everything to protect our borders, but they can do it without any suspicion.
>> And that -- that is the problem because that says, well, I'm just going to have to trust that they won't abuse this.
>> Which is --
>> And that's not a good position.
>> -- and it's ludicrous that they can take it away from your sight. That there is then no oversight, they can take it wherever they want, do whatever they want to it, I mean, there is no trust built into that system whatsoever. And then the thing that really astonished me was that apparently this came into being as an official DHS policy and Congress didn't even know about it. Like, you've got Senator Russell Feingold today from Wisconsin saying these policies are truly alarming which indicates that he either didn't know or that they were somehow complicit into putting them into place and didn't say anything. He said he intends at least to introduce legislation soon that would require reasonable suspicion for border searches you know the rights that you currently enjoy as a citizen should also be applied --
>> Within the borders should also be applied.
>> -- crossing the border. Now, the customs deputy commissioner, Jason Herns, said the efforts do not infringe on Americans' privacy. He said that the Executive Branch has long had plenary authority to conduct routine searches and seizures at the border without probable cause or a warrant to prevent drugs and other contraband from entering the country that this is just the way it's always been. And, if you think about it that way, it's true like you don't object to any kind of search coming across.
>> If they say we would like to open your bag, they have the right to open the bag so, part, you know, as much as I --
>> In your presence.
>> -- do not like this is that any different to say like I'm going to go through your laptop?
>> I think the big difference to me -- well, I think it's a little bit different, I -- and I think it takes on a different and terrifying tone since this coincides with sort of the movements of ACTA that Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Act which would potentially require border security to go through machines looking for pirated --
>> -- material, so I think there's a whole different tone that starts to be taken on when you consider the sheer degree of personal information that can be stored in an electronic device like a laptop, and then I think it's also very disturbing that they can take them away for an unspecified period of time. Like they can take it out of your sight for as long as they want. There are, in fact, people -- civil liberties groups are saying that international travelers have been reporting that their laptops, cell phones and other digital devices have been taken for months in at least one case and their contents examined that's very, very different from someone going through your bag in front of you --
>> -- at a border crossing. Like it's just it seems like it's a whole different universe --
>> Although you can't really properly search a lap top --
>> No, you couldn't --
>> -- briefly --
>> -- it would kind of be a joke to open it up and turn it on and say everything looks okay.
>> -- I mean, if you're going to search data, you have to take it off-site to properly search it.
>> I'm not saying that -- I'm just saying that --
>> Then there ought to be reasonable suspicion.
>> -- there isn't an equivalent to searching through a bag. You can do a bag search pretty quick.
>> So --
>> I mean, certainly the policies are going to have to be different for dealing with electronic devices but right now to have it be just that wide open like for any -- for any -- for any/no reason at all and for as long as we want, that's unacceptable.
>> And there are provisions to protect business secrets but not necessarily like --
>> Personal finance.
>> -- doctor/patient confidentiality.
>> Oh, right.
>> Right, totally. And I'm sorry but we are on the verge of turning border cops into copyright cops and that -- that is just going to be like I -- I am not comfortable with a provision like this in place when we are also pursuing the possibility that border cops should be like policing your stuff for pirated, for what they consider to be pirated material.
>> No, I -- I noted that one of your problems with this is that Congress didn't even know that they -- Congress does know about the plans for airplanes to allow cell phones --
>> Yeah. Good thing.
>> -- to be used in flight and they're on the case, Molly, don't worry, they're halting airplane noise to give us peace. The Hang Up Act --
>> The Hang Up Act.
>> -- was approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on a voice vote Thursday. Now that just means it gets moved to the -- to Congressional floor --
>> -- to the House floor. It doesn't mean that it's actually become law yet.
>> Thank goodness.
>> But, you're --
>> Oh --
>> -- you got to be happy about that.
>> Oh, yeah, you know, I'm especially pleased that this is what they were working on while our civil rights were being slowly and doggedly eroded almost completely. And, in fact, frankly I consider a ban on cell phone use in planes when and if it is proven that you can use your cell phone on a plane perfectly safely with absolutely no potential for disrupting the plane's functions itself and then if just they say that I can't do it because I'll annoy people I actually also consider that an unacceptable infringement on my civil liberties. So, you can bite me, Congress, thanks for nothing.
>> Democrat, Peter DeFazio [phonetic] of Oregon actually said, in support of this act, cash strapped airlines could end up charging some passengers to use their phones while charging others to sit in a phone free section of the airplane.
>> Why do we even call it Congress anymore, why don't we just call it the body that props up businesses.
>> Well, cash --
>> Congress with two double dollar signs.
>> -- he's saying like --
>> -- we don't want the cash strapped airlines to charge you more, I mean, they are --
>> Wait, what?
>> -- cash strapped. He's like cash strapped airlines could end up charging passengers to use their phones while charging others to sit in a phone free section that this -- this act will stop that essentially is what he's saying 'cause we don't want those cash strapped airlines being able to make any money.
>> Oh, I see, it's the opposite of propping them up. They prop up some and they drive others right into the ground.
>> Like if you were really going to prop up an industry, I guess I would prefer that it be interstate travel.
>> Hmm. Yeah.
>> I'm just saying. Sometimes I need to go some places but really I don't know, I guess I could live without Britney.
>> You could live without airlines?
>> No, I couldn't live without airlines.
>> Yeah, all right. But you could live without Britney.
>> But I could live without Britney, so let's not prop up the music industry --
>> Oh, I see.
>> And do prop up the airplanes.
>> Oh, my.
>> I know just now I was like quit this is a profit mix-up except for airplanes.
>> Let's move onto Apple then shall we.
>> Let's -- oh, good times.
>> So, Noel River [phonetic], Noel River has been involved in making some excellent jail break aps in the past.
>> And they have made a legitimate ap called NetShare, was available for $9.99 in the Apple iPhone ap store and allowed you to tether your iPhone to your laptop and use it as a modem. Everybody thought this was pretty amazing because to get into the Apple's ap store, you have to be approved by Apple.
>> And in some cases people have complained it takes up to a month to get approval --
>> Oh, really?
>> -- before you get into the ap store.
>> So this happened all quickly --
>> So this got through, got into the ap store, everybody went wild, like this is awesome --
>> Made the iPhone super useful 'cause you could freaking finally use it as a 3G modem.
>> -- and then it disappeared from the ap store.
>> Wait, what! No, I know, I already know this that was a totally fake response. Yeah, it just went away, no one knows, it was apparently available for only about 20 minutes and then part of the mystery, I mean, part of the mystery was how did it get there in the first place, the other mystery is why did AT&T kabosh the idea as PC World puts it of the iPhone as a tethered handset when they allow other handsets to be used for tethering? Like you can use most 3G phones now, it took kicking and screaming 'cause none of the carriers wanted to let you use your phone as a modem but, in fact, and I think there may have even been some sort of ruling against Verizon that said they couldn't cripple phones and had to let you use them as a modem. In fact, you can use other AT&T phones as a modem --
>> So why not the iPhone?
>> -- just not the iPhone and then --
>> Well, 'cause that was --
>> -- they teased you by putting up the little --
>> Yeah, right that was just a little too popular.
>> And Apple users might actually use it as a modem, so --
>> Oh, I was going to say that's like too hard for the iPhone people. They don't want to.
>> Right, and you don't want to do that but --
>> And you don't want to do that.
>> Well, it's really odd that it would get approved and the best supposition I have seen is that this would be an ap that was approved for some countries' ap stores because in some countries you cannot prevent --
>> -- tethering. So they would allow it --
>> That would be cool if that was this country.
>> -- in those countries but not in the United States and that somehow there was a mistake and it got pushed to all the aps but now it's gone from all the ap stores --
>> -- from what I understand.
>> And it apparently doesn't -- well, it does say the item you've requested is not currently available in the U.S. store --
>> -- that's the pop up that you get now.
>> The few that were able to get it, can they successfully use it --
>> -- now that it's been removed or is it --
>> It's now it's kaput.
>> -- been like disabled?
>> Yeah. That's -- that's where they --
>> So even if you -- even if you purchased it in the store --
>> -- they said even if they bought it that's where it -- that's where it actually links to the application now pop up with an error message that says it's not currently available in the U.S. store which I don't know why it says store but -- but anyway, now everyone just knows that it's out there and they could have it --
>> -- but they can't, so that's never good.
>> So, you were talking earlier, Molly, about propping up the music industry.
>> Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention, we're totally doing that now. Yeah. Yeah. Our taxpayer funded university and colleges across the United States will be officially in the business of keeping the music industry in business thanks to the Senate and House who have voted to reauthorize the higher education act and approved controversial new provisions that will require universities to provide students with access to commercial music downloading services and implement traffic filtering technologies in order to deter peer-to-peer file sharing.
>> So, by providing access --
>> File sharing.
>> -- don't they already provide access like they give them the internet?
>> No, no, yeah --
>> -- no they have to subscribe like they have to in some this could be interpreted to mean and has in some cases of universities that they have to subscribe to Napstar like the whole school and then offer that music to their students, and then also by the way police their own networks for that kind of thing and not like the things that, I don't know, like any of the other illegal things you could be doing on the internet and or cheating or, you know, whatever.
>> Now here's the good part, well to me anyway 'cause I think that this is ridiculous let me just go on record, I think that there is no business having the government of the country require --
>> -- download service.
>> -- for the institutions of learning to prop up the music industry or filter any of that.
>> Especially not after they were proven to have been lying about the numbers of pirated songs that were even occurring on college campuses or movies, I mean.
>> But there are presently no penalties for failing to comply with the requirement.
>> Oh, okay.
>> You never want to just flaunt the law --
>> It's just language.
>> -- even if there isn't a penalty and that's why Educase fears that it's a Trojan Horse that will open the door for Congress to add the penalties in the future.
>> Hmm, yeah, because --
>> They're saying universities could potentially be denied funding.
>> I think that was one of the earlier provisions and I hope -- it looks like, thank goodness, it was stripped out but at some point it did -- they were saying that denying funding could be attached to it. I'm sure that that is that's the endgame, clearly.
>> Come on, that's exactly.
>> But it's unbelievable that that language even that is just unbelievable to me that that is what we have come to in like our freak out about piracy that we are actually impacting education.
>> The universities do police for crimes.
>> They have university cops. Do they, I mean --
>> But now they are essentially -- yeah, now they are essentially, this -- this particular crime has now been prioritized --
>> -- in legal language --
>> So the university is going --
>> -- the language of the law of the land.
>> -- is now -- the university is now required to go beyond what the normal police have to do.
>> Yeah, yes. They have to do more and -- and possibly, if this were to be attached to some kind of penalty and really enforced, it could imply that they have a government mandate to pay for --
>> So they also filter spam?
>> -- services, music services.
>> So they also like stop --
>> Wow, 'cause there's a lot of spam travelling over those --
>> -- stop any kind of fraud that happens on their own network, should they also, you know, make sure that there's absolutely no pornography, or child pornography or --
>> See what I'm saying?
>> -- shouldn't they also be responsible for every other misuse of the internet --
>> The slope --
>> -- if they have to be responsible for this?
>> Very slippery.
>> The slope she's slippery like a greased pig. That's all I'm -- that's exactly the point like it's absolutely unbelievable that this one issue should be prioritized above all others on our taxpayer funded university campuses like I do not, I don't understand how we -- oh, I understand but I don't like it.
>> The ranting is not going to stop folks, but it will get a little less serious. Delicious has come out with a new design.
>> That's a weird title.
>> Now, I don't know if you guys use Delicious or not out there but we use it, it's a bookmarking site and we use it to share what stories we might want to talk about on the Buzz Out Loud with each other. So they supposedly cleaned it up and made it more efficient, most of the reviews are positive but in my use of it, I'm very annoyed.
>> Because it used to be that I would mark something for Delicious, it would come up with a page that had all the tags, so I would mark a tag for BOL, for Buzz Out Loud, mark one for Molly and one for Jason. Now, when I press the button to mark Delicious, I don't see any tags, I have to type it in myself.
>> And with the old post to Delicious button I had it didn't even allow me to see Molly and Jason, I would have to type in their addresses manually. I found that there is a new button now that if I use that it will allow me to see Molly and Jason but it just doesn't work as well as it did before.
>> And on top of that, when you go into the lineup, we used to be able to see like this one was marked 16 hours ago, this one was marked 18 hours ago which made it really easy to see what steps we had marked since the last show. Well, now it just goes by date and it doesn't have that anymore.
>> Yeah, I can't imagine, losing the timestamp I think is terrible. Also, [inaudible] says that they just now changed it to -- from DEL.icio.us to delicious.com, but I think that's been working for a few weeks.
>> Yeah, they had delicious.com without all the, you know, funkiness going on. I think maybe now if you type in del.icio.us it actually forwards you to delicious.com.
>> I think it used to work the other way --
>> Yeah, exactly.
>> -- you typed in delicious.com it would forward you to del.ic, now --
>> But now that's gone.
>> -- you could still type it that way.
>> I see.
>> Now it's like now it's official.
>> Now it's official.
>> Which whatever, I mean --
>> I think it does the other --
>> I guess like I don't -- I didn't need it to look that pretty but I did --
>> -- I did need the tags that was kind of the point and now to not get those in the plug in when I bring up the little pop up or anything it's very annoying.
>> It did seem like Delicious needed a revamp it had been in the same way for so very long but what we were looking for is additional functionality not less functionality.
>> Not taking away stuff.
>> Yeah, not less.
>> And they completely took away --
>> It's like it's trying to be too clever
>> -- important things that we use.
>> Like it has a tags thing but there's nothing in it because it doesn't know that I want to tag that for Buzz Out Loud. It thinks I want to tag it for whatever, I don't know, some other reason.
>> Yeah, okay.
>> Like it's only come up with the tag suggestions instead of your entire cloud and there's no setting to change that, if there was setting to change that, I'd be fine.
>> Or classic delicious.
>> Or at least --
>> Or delicious classic or just also put up the timestamp come on, like that's just gratuitous, why would you get rid of that?
>> It doesn't look as nice on the screen maybe. I don't know.
>> I guess. In a rare spot of good news today the Chinese authorities, according to the New York Times, bowing to criticism from Olympic officials, foreign journalists, western political leaders and Buzz Out Loud -- it totally doesn't say that, have lifted some of the restrictions that blocked web sites at the main press center for the games, although, other politically sensitive sites remained inaccessible Friday but you could get to things like Amnesty International evidently. They did -- and Human Rights Watch, Radio Free Asia and the Chinese Language Service of the BBC which had evidently been blocked, so who knows if it will last until the games but at least briefly there's a thaw.
>> Also, in good news, Alex Edwards played final fantasy online for a few months, grew tired of the game wanted to cancel, his parents Frank and Cinda were playing $13.00 a month subscription tried to cancel the account online and had problems. According to this Allie insider story they finally found a number via their credit card statement that they could call but, when they called, they spent an hour and forty-five minutes on hold before someone answered the phone.
>> Oh. That's patience right there.
>> And so they just had to jump throw a lot of hoops --
>> Yeah, a lot.
>> -- to cancel this. The interesting part here is that Frank Edwards, the parent in this case, is an Alderman in Springfield, Illinois, and a good friend of local state representative, Raymond Poe [phonetic], and this week Illinois has passed a law that requires all game sites to let subscribers cancel on line.
>> I --
>> It is HB 4178.
>> Yeah, I love it. And it makes perfect sense --
>> It does.
>> -- like it has gotten really unconscionable how hard it is to unsubscribe and cancel subscriptions and the whole auto re-upping, oop, we'll just charge your credit card every year until you tell us to stop which is really hard is pretty -- it's pretty sleazy.
>> Yeah, it used to be like back in the 1800's that you, you know, make your money and you keep it. Maybe you pay rent on something like your house and then electricity came along and started charging you every month and then gas and now car payments and now we're paying for freaking everything.
>> I know.
>> It's like, you know, your music that's a monthly charge.
>> Oh, a little bit here, a little bit there.
>> And, once they got you, they don't want to let you go.
>> No, of course not.
>> I mean it's kind of --
>> Just think how much more money everyone would have --
>> -- hilarious, it's hilarious how --
>> -- if we just lived without the internet and electricity.
>> If we owned things instead of renting things.
>> -- as all those things came up then all the laws started piling up on top of it.
>> Like it's obviously cause and effect and I don't know if they -- seems kind of crazy that they have a state law specifically for video game cancellations, maybe it could be like any service but I do like it that they're basically like no, babe.
>> What's the marketplace correction for this too because, I mean, it is not in the company's best interest to make it easy for you to cancel, right, they want to keep your money. And one of the ways the market works is, if you don't like the way something works, you cancel it and move to something else --
>> -- but if you don't -- if you can't cancel --
>> Cancel. Then I would say --
>> -- how do you cancel and move to something else and you don't really know that that's going to be a problem until you're ready to cancel --
>> Until it is a problem.
>> -- so you're all ready to leave --
>> -- so it's not like that's going to make you more likely to leave.
>> Well, luckily almost all these subscriptions and things that we're now tethered to are based on some form of credit like paying with your credit card.
>> Or whatever and we're facing a global credit market collapse right not --
>> -- so probably we can assume that financial ragnorock will, in fact, be the market correction for all our increasing debt.
>> Ragnorock will always save us.
>> Won't it though or, you know, global zombie war.
>> That's coming too.
>> Yeah. Okay. We have an awesome story today that I also found -- I had a good time, a good little romp through Allie Insider.com today.
>> You sure did.
>> They pointed to the best few posts on Twitter that have ever occurred. Evidently James Leelacks [phonetic] went to the dentist, got some pills, you know, they give you the little --
>> Yeah, right.
>> -- happy pills, you know, that little blog point.
>> You get put under while they work on your teeth.
>> Yeah, and then evidently he started twittering.
>> Oh, see that's not good because I know people who say crazy stuff when they're under at the dentist.
>> Yeah, he twittered. So, then like the first -- the first tweet, three pills though 'cause he took three little tiny pills, the second tweet is just oh, just a little oh, the third one is a picture of like his finger or something and then it goes on like that for about five or six tweets and they just get outstanding and then the best part like it says [inaudible] he was sending it on an iPhone. And then he comes back out of it later and was like, I was apparently trying to twitter from the dental chair and I have no recollection of sending it to them. Like none, he didn't even know that it was happening and doesn't remember it and it's awesome.
>> Well, apparently he was just supposed to send a twitter from the chair to let his wife know --
>> Oh, maybe.
>> -- or her wife.
>> Him it's James. And his twitter was three pills and then it goes like [inaudible] it's awesome.
>> I like the picture of the.
>> I know, like [inaudible] should become.
>> Also the on the other twitter news the Mars Phoenix lander is breaking news about itself over twitter. Most people found out that the ice containing sample was in fact water from twitter.
>> The Mars Phoenix Lander.
>> Yeah. It was water that came from twitter, I'm sorry.
>> Ice containing sample made it into the teega of and I can know say I'm the first mission to mars to touch and then taste the water, FTW.
>> FTW. I know I saw that and I was like hee hee hee and then today I started reading all the stories and I even had that thought for a moment I was like wait did I seriously just read about this first on twitter.
>> And this is this is big because
>> Is that enough.
>> -- we've seen evidence of water. We've seen likely water.
>> We've seen I think I have an ice block, this is the first time that it's been "tasted", quote/unquote where it's like that is most certainly water.
>> Yeah. He put it in his little mechanical mouth.
>> Aww. I want a Mars Phoenix Lander.
>> I love Mars Phoenix.
>> And now the Mars Phoenix Lander comes to life as an alien life form.
>> Luckily --
>> Because of the water.
>> -- oh, yeah, because the water has got stuff in it.
>> Apparently also the Mars Phoenix Lander its life has been extended.
>> Yeah, that's right.
>> It got a new lease on life. Which is good because I think we've all anthropomorphized it a little bit too much by we I mean wii. And if it were to, in fact, disappear from twitter and or die it would be heartbreaking horrible.
>> All right. Let's move on to the voice mails. We got one from Graham who has a quite terrifying gift card story.
>> Hi, guys, this is Graham in New York. Want to tell you a little story, I went into the AT&T store today, the AT&T Wireless Store to buy the iPhones for my wife and I and one of the reasons I went there instead of Apple is that I had $150.00 worth of gift cards that I have been hanging onto for a long time, never used them, been with Verizon for awhile but I'm going to make the switch look at this money that I have in my hand. Well, after some consulting the woman with the gift card and said you'll notice that your cards are capital letters AT&T Wireless. Well, our company is now -- and now I realize that they went to Singular and back, well now they are lower case at&t with no wireless after the letters. So, we're really a different company, therefore, your gift cards are no longer valid. So I'm going to go to the Apple Store, thanks, guys, love the show.
>> Oh, don't do it.
>> Yeah, go to the Verizon store.
>> Why would you go to the Apple store that subscribes with them! > Yeah, go to the Sprint store.
>> Yeah, go to the T-Mobile store, dude. I can't even believe that that's like the -- that is like the worst thing I've ever heard.
>> Yeah, that's really bad.
>> Big ATT, little att.
>> Come on.
>> Yeah, first of all that is the worst way of describing that --
>> You got to be kidding.
>> -- like, oh, we changed our caps so your gift -- no, I mean, it's bad --
>> -- enough to say like well that was pre-merging so we can't accept it anymore which is also ridiculous.
>> And I would fight it.
>> You definitely need to get on the phone with somebody and and/or -- no, don't subscribe that's horrible.
>> That just sounds misinformed, it doesn't sound real, I mean, it sounds like it could be their policy --
>> Accept they went off and said like oh, we talked to someone and, you know, we talked to like a manager.
>> Yeah, you know what, it could be a -- I don't know, it could be a Singular store that doesn't know what it's doing, you know, if it's now AT&T.
>> I wonder, I'm trying to find out like I thought that you couldn't give --
>> Could be an expired gift cards --
>> -- gift cards that can expire maybe in the city or in California.
>> No, he's in New York so.
>> I'm not really sure, there's definitely -- there's definitely though the consumers union though has a whole, there is a whole lot of -- oh, look at this, Consumersunion.org has a whole list of consumer protection laws related to gift cards in different states. Okay. So he was in New York, let's see, expiration fees or other terms and conditions to be clearly and conspicuously stated on the card package or accompanying printed document with toll free numbers so if it didn't say anything about, you know --
>> Change of control
>> -- change of logo, then I don't think that would --
>> Change of caps.
>> -- no dormancy fee before 13th month of inactivity. So you don't have to -- you can't pay a fee if you don't use it for 13 months. It covers cards with single retailer or affiliated merchants. Does not cover prepaid calling cards, flexible spending cards and cards like bank cards.
>> It could be that they're just too old and that that that is something that is allowed in some states --
>> -- is if you don't use the gift card after a year --
>> But then it has to say.
>> -- clearly and conspicuously --
>> And maybe it does --
>> -- at least in Califor -- in New York.
>> -- but, if it doesn't, then you got a case.
>> Yeah, that's outrageous.
>> Let's go to our next call.
>> Take it.
>> A little hands free headset stuff for you.
>> Hello, Buzz people, in regards to Molly talking about the headset for the Blackberry, 7/7/08 I think it was, I actually have the Blackberry Curve and the iPhone but the Blackberry Curve came with an awesome headset that looks like stereo headphones but it has this little microphone on it and a little button and you can actually pause media while playing with it and I like it so much that I actually stole it from my Blackberry to use it with my iPhone because it is the best headset ever and it's wired as well. I can't stand BluTooth. Love the show.
>> That headset is totally in my box.
>> You going to use it?
>> Yeah, you should use it.
>> I should get it out and try it, yeah. Well, I'm actually getting a new, a replacement Blackberry because of my issue with the wifi and how it can't make calls and stuff but after that then I'm totally going to use that thing that's in the box that I never really looked at.
>> It has a use, and a fan.
>> You go.
>> Okay. You go.
>> Want to wrestle.
>> No, you'll win.
>> Wow that makes the video show much cooler, right.
>> It does and it makes the table a lot more useful, too.
>> I know, right. Waldron in Boston wrote in in emails to Buzz@cnet.com, and said a word in defense of providing lunch for employees. I recently joined a start up here in Boston which does this. We just reviewed the policy, concluded that it's a great investment. My personal top three arguments in favor, one, builds camaraderie and fosters healthy mixing of individuals from different departments, two, keeps an otherwise distractible team in the office rather than wandering around Chinatown looking for Boston's best dumplings --
>> Which sounds like a worthy pursuit, you know.
>> I know I want to know. More importantly, keeps lunch hour contained within a fixed window of time, 1:00 p.m. is a useable meeting time in our company, ha, ha. Oh, believe me, noon is considered a perfectly useable --
>> I know.
>> -- meeting time in our company.
>> We just don't get lunch.
>> We just don't get lunch, yeah.
>> We're not allowed to eat.
>> Three, in a competitive recruiting environment free lunch is an attractive perk. We get far more bang for our lunch dollars than if we allocated them towards standard comp. Love the show.
>> Wow. All good reasons.
>> That's totally a good point, I mean, one of the things we wish we had here at cnet is a cafeteria and creative compensation is a really good idea that's true.
>> Waldron, do you mind if we just cut and paste this and send it to Quincy --
>> Yeah could we do that?
>> -- at CBSinteractive.
>> I would like to do that.
>> You know, he made his points very well.
>> We'll send you a sandwich if we get one.
>> We'll just change Chinatown in Boston --
>> We'll invite you to lunch.
>> -- to Chinatown in San Francisco.
>> Yeah, I like it.
>> Shaleen wrote in with a point to a story about drunk dialers in Norway getting here through the Fjord, it's actually an art installation by dialing the telemegaphone phone number --
>> Oh, boy.
>> -- your voice will ring out across a fjord, a valley near the village of Dale. A bright light at the top of the pole will be lit as your call goes through projecting your voice across the valley. Want to try? On August 2nd go here for the phone number and we'll include the link in the show that's BOL.cnet.com.
>> It's a pretty -- it's a pretty long distance call unless you live in Norway but dude, that's terrible.
>> Long distance in more than way.
>> It's actually an interactive piece but it's not just by like an artist, right, it sounds like it's also, oh, they're not a company but it's a pre-project of parafunctional pay phones a new series of self-initiated public telephonic art installations and series. They're going to have a series.
>> Are you kidding me? Wow.
>> The telemarketers will be all over it.
>> I don't think people in the village nearby are okay with this.
>> I wonder how many people --
>> Yeah, exactly.
>> -- and say and sing the hills are alive.
>> Even though it's not those hills, I know but still.
>> It would be kind of fun to stand there and here what people say.
>> Yeah, or yell Ricola.
>> Oh, I would totally yell Ricola.
>> And how many people are going to spam it.
>> This is a terrible idea.
>> Promos we call it, please listen to Buzz Out Loud at BOL.cnet --
>> A terrible idea.
>> -- cnet.com.
>> Steve from Buffalo, New York -- oh, wait that's yours, go ahead.
>> Yeah, Steve from Buffalo, New York, wrote in and said, Tom --
>> Yes, I'm listening.
>> -- that cracked me up 'cause you could have --
>> Tom, to help you out on the iPhone end go into settings under Safari there's an option to switch the search from Google to Yahoo. This is Steve's first well actually --
>> Congratulations, Steve, and a good one too, actually duh.
>> I must blame cold medicine because if you didn't hear it on the previous show, I am living without Google for a week, and I had mentioned that my one frustration was that in Safari your default search was Google, of course --
>> Of course.
>> -- you can go into settings --
>> 'Cause it says --
>> -- change the default.
>> -- as soon as I got this e-mail from Steve this morning I went in and changed it, so, nice.
>> I thought it was like there was a Google search button or something.
>> And so far I have to say the only thing I miss is Google news.
>> I was looking for a recent story yesterday and that was the hardest thing to find without Google.
>> That would be my biggest problem I use that all the time.
>> I ended up going to Technorati to find it --
>> Technorati --
>> -- actually --
>> -- really, you don't say --
>> Wow, that's a --
>> -- yeah.
>> -- what what.
>> 'Cause I found somebody, I found somebody blogging about it but yeah. The search engine part has been fine, not a big deal.
>> Interesting I don't know, man, I use that news all the time so they need to get that.
>> You had mentioned yesterday that you didn't know whether or not Yahoo actually gave you news results --
>> Yeah, they do --
>> -- it worked for me. It's not as obvious --
>> -- but, yeah, all right it doesn't work very well.
>> -- Google puts it at the very top --
>> Yeah, I like that.
>> -- they sometimes bury it like three or four deep.
>> Oh, really, they just mix it in with the --
>> Yeah, it's --
>> When you go into the new search on Yahoo it has not worked very well.
>> Andrew in Portland, Oregon, wrote in said that the caller in Episode Number 778 who clarified some info on China's great firewall is right. VPNs are one path around China's netsensors, a friend of mine attended the Beijing University of post and telecommunications where she was taught how to you VPNs and other proxy server techniques to evade the great firewall entirely. I visited her dormroom when she was still in grad school there and all of her roommates, computer science students, were browsing and downloading content quite freely. Apparently they're still huge fans of Friends.
>> What do you know.
>> The real impact of the great firewall is psychological, China's government knows they can't block everything but, if they make certain information inconvenient enough to access for most of the population, almost all the users just get frustrated and give up. I'm constantly surprised by how disinterested and oblivious my friend is of world events although I can't speak of the other 1.32 billion. She's coming to the States for the second time in August and I'll be very curious to see how she reacts to western media's perception of the Olympics coverage.
>> Oh, yeah, I bet.
>> That would be interesting.
>> Very big difference. And then, finally, someone wrote in and said, dear, Tom, Molly and Jason, we need to get their name out of the e-mail. While the new firewall standard may be faster than the current USB standard, the soon to be released USB3.0 spec has a max throughput of about 4.8 gigabits per second.
>> Ka-ching. And the arms race goes on.
>> And on, and on, and on --
>> And the beat goes on.
>> -- and probably USB is has a good race.
>> I think USB is going to be the winner in that one.
>> We got lots of other podcasts here at the old ranch, podcast.cnet.com is where you can find them.
>> I think I'll change it from podcast central to podcast ranch, I like ranch.
>> The podcast ranch.
>> I think it's kind of a dude ranch I guess if I'm being honest.
>> What you mean in that there's a lot of dudes on it or do you mean that in a way like --
>> Our west --
>> -- it's not real podcasts, they're fakes like citified podcasts.
>> 'Cause that's what a dude ranch is.
>> Yeah, no, I guess that would be like -- well, I was thinking, you know, as opposed to real ranchers we're more like dudes.
>> Oh, right that's not a real ranch.
>> I was thinking in a ranch way --
>> -- yeah, it's not a real ranch.
>> It's a western podcast.
>> I stretched the metaphor too far.
>> It's not a --
>> I didn't mean to break your metaphor, sorry about that.
>> Over think, over think.
>> Anyway, yes, they do exist, podcast.cnet.com.
>> Yeah, it's down on the ranch.
>> Is there one in particular we wanted to highlight perhaps.
>> Car tech! Oh, car tech.
>> I was thinking about car tech the other day because I asked Pooley a question and he said I was going to be on the little mailbag section.
>> Oh, very nice.
>> 'Cause I wanted to know when carmakers in order to help improve fuel efficiency were going to stop making us have to buy automatics. I was like why don't they make a standard, you know, the manual an option on more cars, wouldn't that help fuel efficiency. He said he thought no that on average the fuel efficiency came out to be about the same.
>> Automatics have gotten pretty good you don't get as much fuel efficiency out of the difference as you used to.
>> Yeah, but there's still sucky to drive. Anyway it's that kind of information that you would fine on that show, not so much on our show but a lot of talk like that on car tech.
>> So check it out podcast.cnet.com and if you want to get in touch with us, 800-616-cnet is the phone number. When I'm in the studio --
>> Yeah, you're totally like --
>> -- that the video want to know want to give the cnet live thing, BOL.cnet.com is our blog and that has all the -- all the content.
>> Yeah, check it out.
>> All right.
>> And have a great weekend.
>> Bye all. ^M00:37:42 [ Music ]
Experience the awesomeness of the Buzz Out Loud pre/post show.
On this week's show, BOL special counsel Gil Cabrera joins us to break down the mobile apps privacy protections (meh), the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights (unenforceable without Congress), and the "Do Not Track" button (weak). He's kind of a buzz kill. Also, poor little T-Mobile, Microsoft's most unprofessional legal lawyer ever, and Nilay Patel buzz-kills Pinterest, big time. Plus, "Into It/Not Into It" returns!
Paramount is dropping sounds out of your movies, Canadian customs guards might be rifling through your laptop for ripped CDs, and aliens are real. See, now, it sounds like today's show is all made-up stories, but the first two things are true, and the last one is ... well, I don't know, I guess it might be true. There's a guy in Denver who says he's got a video. YouTube it!
On today's Buzz Out Loud, why "your stupid face" works to get you to install malicious software, why eBay just flat out isn't for small sellers anymore, and why you shouldn't trust your IT guy...or at least not one in three of them. Also, EA releases Creature Creator, people create porny creatures, and EA attempts to crack down. Something about this picture just doesn't add up. Like, how novelty-sized bosoms can even exist on the side of a cow.
How to get to the top of the iTunes podcast list--we think. We'll let you know Monday. Also, breaking news! Amazon goes down midshow! Was it something we said? In other news, we attempt to solve issues of global hypercapitalism, the growth imperative, and their inevitable consumer-unfriendly consequences. Plus, we find out why you have to go through voicemail hell when you call customer support, and the answer makes us lose our ever-loving minds.
Introducing the BOL digest! The biggest stories of the week from Google to Facebook smears, plus our favorite funny bits.
The monkeys are running the zoo: Rafe Needleman, Brian Cooley, and Brian Tong, with producer Lynn Fu, cover the iPhone finally getting MMS, Google's patent on its home page, Amazon re-delivering 1984 to Kindle, and the closure of the Oakland side of the Bay Bridge.
Oh, dear fans...we're sad to say that Buzz Out Loud is ending, after an amazing six-year run. Tom, Veronica, and Jason will join us for an epic final show on April 5, and we hope you'll all stick with us as we move on to new projects, including Molly's new show, Always On, launching in June. Meanwhile, enjoy a little tech news, won't you?
Comedian Aziz Ansari joins us to talk about putting his stand up show Dangerously Delicious online. The House shoots down legislation that would prevent employers from asking for our Facebook passwords, and you too can make $30,000 a day from Pinterest!