653 - The Wii hates smokers
Monday, February 4, 2008

Nintendo says cigarette ash is causing problems with the gameplay of "Super Smash Brothers Brawl." Funny, I would have thought that would be more of a problem with Wii Sports, and with players' lungs, not the optical drive. Plus, we keep you up to date on the Yahoo-Microsoft merger prospects and how Google is being a third wheel now.

Stories CoveredEdit

  • Super Bowl commercials on Hulu[1]
  • Google calls Microsoft's 'hostile' bid for Yahoo troubling[2]
  • Google warns on Yahoo-Microsoft[3]
  • Microsoft lashes back at Google[4]
  • Yang e-mail reaches out to Yahoo employees[5]
  • Yahoo music engine shut down[6]
  • Yahoo bought FoxyTunes[7]
  • Sony kills DRM stores--your DRM music will last only until your next upgrade[8]
  • Ships did not cut Internet cable[9]
  • Vista SP1, Windows Server 2008 finalized[10]
  • Microsoft blog post about Vista SP1[11]
  • EA bets PS3 will best Xbox 360 sales in 2008[12]
  • Courts force Danish ISP to block torrent tracker[13]
  • Cigarette ash proves a drag for Nintendo's Wii[14]
  • Overhaul of 'net addresses begins[15]
  • Chips pass two-billion milestone[16]
  • The Xbox 360 Elite laptop: Ben Heck strikes again[17]

From The PhonesEdit

  • Max from Fresno: Customer confusion with mergers.
  • Anonymous: Paid shills for Zune


Are you nuts?Edit

Tom, Molly, Jason--

I was catching up on last week's shows on the morning commute this morning, and you guys just prompted a 'John Rant' (me being John).

If I can paraphrase, you stated that while you oppose legislation regarding filtering, that it was OK for the RIAA to lobby ISPs to ask them to filter voluntarily. Are you flippin' nuts??? This is completely unacceptable. If anything, we should have legislation that specifically prevents filtering!! (Disclaimer: I am referring to U.S. legislation, I cannot speak for other countries and apologize to the International listeners of BOL.)

****While I am a huge fan of competition, open markets, consumer choice, and invisible hands--content on the Internet must remain free and open. If I have my legal MP3 collection on my home server, and I have chosen an ISP who does not filter so I can access that legal content 'anywhere' from my laptop, am I now expected to only stay in hotels who use ISPs who don't filter? Am I now expected to use Wi-Fi services only the coffee shops who use ISPs who don't filter? This is crazy--the whole benefit of an open network like the Internet is I don't need to ask these questions, it just works.*****

Not too long ago, I was at Panera Bread (my favorite free Wi-Fi coffee/sandwich joint), and access to my own server was blocked by their content filtering engine (I have a static IP and have had the same one for about four years). Thankfully, there was a link on the 'blocked' page to the filtering company--I was able to look up my own IP address and request that it be removed from their blocked list (their list was horribly out of date and whoever had my IP five years ago must have had some questionable content on there). My next visit to Panera, access to my server worked fine. This was a nuisance, but I somewhat understand. A public location like a coffee shop wants to have a filter in place to prevent customers from seeing offensive content over another customer's shoulder. I get it. It's the same as requiring customers to wear shirts and shoes. But when you start filtering simply to allow another business to continue their flawed business model, this crosses the line. In keeping with the shirts and shoes analogy, this would be akin to inspecting your customers shirts and shoes for counterfeits: "I'm sorry, that's not a genuine Izod, so I'm going to need to take your shirt..."

Angry in Fairfax,


P.S.: Love the show.

P.P.S.: Does the "PS: Love the show." reverse any and all criticisms of the show above? Should one instead say, "Love the show, with one noted exception (see above)."?

Hey Boys in Boston...Edit

Hey guys, love the show.

Interesting point on the Boys from Boston's comments from episode 652 on the Microsoft/Yahoo merger.

FYI: Reminder: Their concerns were the following. First concern: Significant number of people go to Microhoo portals and information is then controlled by Microhoo. Scary second concern: E- mail - Now Microhoo has your data since they have so much of the e-mail market. Scary third concern: Ads and the consolidation of Microsoft and Yahoo's new acquisitions and are the largest competitors to DoubleClick.

At the end of their comment they said something to the effect of thankfully there's Google there to be a competitor to this behemoth. Hello!!! Google is doing those exact concerns to you today! Jeez! Amazingly, somehow Google got credit as being the good guy in a situation where they are already the bad guy. Amazing. Are people really so blind to the googleverse?

In case you're saying "Huh?": - Google owns 50 percent of search share, and their algorithms determine what information is found based on what you search for, i.e. they already control what you see. - Google's Gmail product produces ads based on the content within your e- mail, therefore they are indeed scanning your data already and they are storing your data with no promise that they aren't saving and using it. Therefore, they own your data (searches +Gmail is quite a telling tale)! - Ads: You're talking about No. 1 in search merging with No. 1 in ads, which is an antitrust concern. The Microsoft and Yahoo merger is actually good for this as a competitor.

It continually amazes me how so many people have blind allegiance to Google, Apple, and all the other trendy companies. Regardless if you like or don't like Microsoft, IBM, Dell or all the other now old and uncool technology companies.

Thanks, Brandon from Minnesota

Wii, iPhone, etc...Edit

This is Jonathan from Philadelphia, currently visiting Shanghai, China.

Well, I found all the missing Wiis here. All these little game stores here have Wiis in stock and modded. They sell for about 300 dollars and can play all the backup discs, import discs, etc. The pirated games sells for 75 cents each, go figure. I have been trying to get a Wii in the states for months and couldn't get one. I might just go get one here- -take that, Nintendo.

Also, iPhones, plenty of them at various stores as well, all jailbreaked and ready to go. They do sell for a premium, about $550-$600 each. Still, pretty hot sell here, saw several people using them on the subway.

OK, that's my buzz report from Shanghai. Love the show.


Multiple cellphonesEdit

On Friday's episode, you wondered what the cab driver in Israel would need his third cell phone for (speculating one being for business, the other for personal use). I'm currently living in Venezuela and people here also have multiple cell phones. That's because, like in the U.S., you can get cheap or free mobile-to-mobile minutes. Therefore, people tend to have one (usually prepaid) for each carrier their friends and family use. It's pretty amusing the first time you see them but after a while you get accustomed to someone digging through their cellphones to find the one that's calling to them. Love the show,

Albany in Venezuela

Another small grammar thingEdit

Hola people!

AJ wrote in yesterday to say that "unsecure" was the correct word to use in stead of "insecure" when discussing security topics. I was lovin' AJ until he said this: "I'm pretty sure my Wi-Fi router doesn't need therapy because it feels badly about its easily hackable WEP encryption."

Ohhhh AJ. You're breakin' my heart, brutha. You are breakin' my heart.

The verb "to feel" is a linking verb when used the way that you used it in that sentence. So if one ever "feels badly", it means that there is probably something wrong with one's hands. You meant to say that the router "feels bad" not "badly". If "feel" is used as an action verb, it is modified by an adverb like badly. But "feel" is used as a linking verb the way that you used it so it is modified by a predicate adjective.

Forget all the fancy grammar talk. An easy way to remember when to use feel bad vs. feel badly is this way: Do you feel sadly? Do you feel madly? Then you don't feel badly. You feel bad. Unless, again, there is something wrong with your hands and you are literally feeling something incorrectly, then you are feeling badly.

Get it?

Oh, I love that other people care about good grammar in Buzztown. It makes me so happy!

I posted today in the forums on my other pet peeve, which is the difference between gender and sex if anyone is interested. It drives me nuts when people mess that one up. Nuts, I say.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Their Kung fu was not so strongEdit

Greetings Buzz team,

What follows is a post from my Weblog about my day yesterday. I'm the manager of the wireless network for a mid-sized university in Western Kentucky. Go Racers! It's not terribly news-worthy, but we all listen to Buzz Out Loud around here and immediately upon the unfolding of these events, a coworker turns to me and says "You gotta tell Tom and Molly." I agreed, but only on the condition that we also tell Jason. Enjoy.

"So yesterday while in class I was robbed. Someone stole my brand new Columbia winter jacket from the table right next to me. I'd gotten hot and taken it off, placing it within arm's reach; I mean, like a foot and a half away. When I got up to leave, my jacket was gone. Someone stole my jacket, three feet away, during math class!

(Insert first round of mental expletives.)

So that sucked. Then I remembered my iPod Touch was in the breast pocket of said jacket.

(Insert second round of mental expletives, many of these audible to nearby civilians.)

This was rapidly turning out to be a bad day. Then I walked back to my office in the freezing rain in my short-sleeved polo shirt.

(Insert third round of out-loud, pseudo-intelligible random expletives, cursing the very nature of such a dirty rotten scoundrel to any available passersby.)

So now I'm cold, wet, hungry, and sans $300 MP3 player! I swear a Klingon blood oath of vengeance upon his soul, and get to work.

Here's where had this been an action movie the next 30 minutes of work would be pieced together into a 60-second montage, complete with Nine Inch Nails soundtrack in the background. I'll give you the short version:

The iPod Touch is more than just a simple MP3 player. It's got a Wi-Fi connection and a browser built in. (This being, to me, its main utility.) Any time you turn on the device, it automatically tries to find a wireless network and join it. If you've ever joined the network before, it won't even notify you it's doing so. (He he he.)

Notice to criminals: If you're going to steal a wireless-capable device, don't steal it from the manager of the wireless network.

To make a long story short, I was able to use the campus wireless network to track down the exact location of my jacket and iPod. I had it send SMS messages to my cell phone, updating me on its current position. Police officers made an arrest last night, and first thing this AM I got my cheese back. Don't mess with a network ninja. That, my friends, is weak sauce. Weak sauce!

This morning I get a call from the detective involved with the case. "We just received a report of a laptop stolen on campus. Think you could do that again?" (Fade in theme music.)

Addendum: A coworker came up with the perfect analogy for this occurrence. "Hey, how about I steal this huge homing beacon and take it back with me to my secret lair? What's that beeping sound?"

Network ninja out."

Thanks for a great show guys!

Drew the Wi-Fi guy from Kentucky

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