BOL 12-2-09

December 4, 2009

The podcast is from Buzz Out Loud on December 2, 2009. In this podcast they discuss many new stories that have surface in the past week. First, Google has decided to alter the news indexing to accommodate pay walls. Google has a program where anybody had a pay wall up such as Wall Street Journal could still have there content indexed. Google will let the first click off of Google be free off of wall street journal. So people started figuring out that if they wanted to read a journal for free all they have to do is click on Google to read journals for free. Now, Google and the newspaper came up with the five count rule so now individuals can only view five free journals. Other websites have robot files that allow people to read journals for up to the maximum limit and cookies will make them pay after that limit is reached. Next, in the annual consumer reports have ranked all carriers in customer satisfaction which surveys fifty thousand people and AT&T came in dead last over all. Verizon Wireless came in above average and T-mobile came in at average. Many think AT&T gave up on there customer service but AT&T said that those customers aren’t going anywhere. But many say the reason behind this due to high costs for leaving contract early. Obviously AT&T needs to be more concerned with the customers and try to find ways to improve their ratings.

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BOL 1114

November 29, 2009

WikiLeaks is offering pager communications intercepted from September 11, 2001. You can see what information/misinformation was being passed around. Pagers are fairly simple to hack and intercept messages. Hook up a modified pager to a Windows machine and then intercept, its similar to a police scanner. There is a lot of personal information in these pages, like personal phone numbers and the names of children and family members. Gives a lot of insight into how the government continuity plan worked.

 Blackberry finally got a free EBay application. Maybe tied into black Friday and they wanted to increase shopping.

 In the State of New York, The New York Post reports that the Amber Alert system and New York’s Emergency Management Office have a system called NYC notify that is going to be tested on the Xbox 360. If you are online and connected and an emergency happens you will be notified. Should be like the alerts you get on your television. It could be a good idea depending on how they use it. The game will pause and a warning about imminent danger will appear on the screen. Eventually if everything goes well they want to make it a regular part of the way the console works and you will not be able to opt out.

 An online dating service measured the attractiveness of their submitters versus message traffic. Women rated 80% of the men as worse than medium looking whereas the men made an almost perfect bell curve saying that half the women were most attractive and half the women were least attractive. Men are much more likely to send messages to the most attractive women, and women are more likely to send messages to men who are slightly less than average looking.

11/20/09 BOL

November 21, 2009

A new operating system will be available from Google in late 2010 called Chrome OS for netbooks.  It is basically a plug and play operating system that is  browser based.  All the applications are virtually on a cloud, Very little if anything is actually stored on the computer itself.  The files you save are available to you if you use another computer.  Some storage capability is available through HTML 5.

 Some of the pros of this operating system developed by Google is the backup is good.  You no longer have to worry about your computer crashing and losing everything.  You can access your information from any computer because of it being stored in a cloud.  It functions more like a browser with an operating system and is very fast

 Some cons about the operating system is that the data is not “owned” by you anymore. You may feel a loss of control over your data.  In addition, there is a single point of failure with this type of data storage. However, your data won’t die in a fire.  This operating system will change the way businesses will offer browser based applications.  Not sure how all that will work. 

All in all the new notebook operating system, Chrome OS, looks great.  It is designed with tabs of your favorite sites at the top of the page.  You can have multiple browsers opened at one time and access your data anywhere.  Microsoft is working on applications like excel and word that can be accessed through this operating system without having to purchase a suite of office products.

BOL 11/3/09

November 14, 2009

This discussion is from Buzz Out Loud on Friday November 13, 2009. This Podcasts discusses how Dell is launching a smart phone. Consumers wonder if it is going to be profitable. Also, this podcast talks about the pros and cons of  Comcast and their new TV everywhere.

Dell has decided to launch a new smart phone. It will debut in China and it will run on the Google android operating system. It will be a Dell branded phone shipped here then back to China. After looking at photos of the smart phone, it looks like a Palm Pre. The hosts conclude that it is most likely made by HPC. The mini three will use O-phone and will not have Wi-Fi because China does not allow Wi-Fi . It will also be sold in Brazil, but China will get it first. Obviously this is a big trend by business to promote there product somewhere other then the U.S. to make a bigger profit. The O-phone is a China version of android. Some say it is yet another android phone that will be great.

Comcast has decided that there TV everywhere will be able to access the video stream of all or most of all the channels they get on regular TV to there computer screen or mobile phone. All you have to do it take laptop and register it to the application then as long as your on the internet for Comcast you can access channels. But there can only be 3 devices per home. They are afraid because they want to restrict you from passing around the password. The problem with this is that Comcast is a family service and most families have more than 3 individuals living in their household. So I guess consumers will have to make the decision about Comcast on their own or wait until further options are available.

BOL 1097

November 5, 2009

The first issue discussed in this episode airing 11/2/09 was BlueBeat.com claiming they had signed an “exclusive” deal to sell the Beatles music for $0.25 per Mp3. BlueBeat.com is a US-based site offering high-quality streams of full albums as well as downloads for $0.25 a track. The commentators on the show mentioned that a spokesperson for the Beatles said that no deal had been signed, and the commentators joked about how long it would take for a lawsuit to be filed. A web search done later in the day revealed that the Beatles record label, EMI, was suing BlueBeat.com for selling Beatles songs without permission. The Beatles catalog is famous because it has never been licensed for sale as digital downloads.

The commentators then mentioned a recent study that had been done on filesharers. The study indicated that filesharers spend more money on music than anyone else. It showed that filesharers may spend up to 75% more on music than those who don’t share files. The commentators think this is because music enthusiasts will sometimes download illegally to sample music and then purchase the album to have a higher quality version. Only 10% of the respondents in this survey admitted to illegal downloading. Many more people are purchasing music today instead of downloading illegally because of the sound quality, and the risk of viruses make downloading illegally not worth it anymore.

DVRs and their ability to help improve ratings were discussed later in the show. DVRs have helped some marginal shows become hits. Some networks have had ratings increases of 20% when DVR playback was included. When DVRs first came out, many companies were afraid it would kill television because people would no longer watch commercials. It has been proven however, that nearly half of all people still watch commercials. Neilson ratings show that 46% of viewers aged 18-49 on all networks watch commercials during DVR playback.

BOL Episode 1096

October 31, 2009

 Judge rules that email is not protected by 4th amendment rights.  Basically, this is information that one already knew in the work place.  However, this deals with emails from home.  Once you email from your home that email goes to an ISP server.  Therefore the judge says that if the ISP owner can see it, the email is no longer private.  Should there be a law enforcement’s request to see the emails, there is no constitutional requirement of notice to the owner of the email.  Once you email and send it, it is no longer in your physical home and therefore not protected by 4th amendment rights.

Encryption was discussed as a way of “privatizing” the email but even that has draw backs because 1)once the email is sent it is not in your home, 2) ISP server can see it and 3) one would think there is a reasonable expectation of security .   There is no security with emailAccording to the this blog there should be “A NEW LAW” pertaining to email medium.  Currently the only law referred to in this blog is DMCA which states you cannot break encryption. In addition, more and more people are using IM and Twitter due to the fact email is fundamentally insecure.  This is breaking news for email users.

BOL 10/23/09

October 24, 2009

In the podcast for Friday October 23, 2009 to issues were talked about, the new Microsoft windows 7 and also how the French have passed a three strikes law that will disconnect the Internet if accused three times of piracy. Windows 7 seems to truly be good for Microsoft.  Microsoft is reportedly making 3.5 billion in revenue at this point. But, Microsoft is continuing to make other electronic devices because if they stuck with just operating systems they would loose revenue because the money people pay for operating systems is going to die out. Also discussed was how the European commission has not yet approved the conversion of Microsoft 7.

Next France has a constitution council that discusses the three strikes policy. The first time they tried to pass this law, the politicians decided you can’t cut off someone’s internet. Amendment 138 allowed people to have privacy on the internet but now it has been ditched in committee. Europeans are upset that the government would pass this.  Most Europeans think that this law will really not affect people. Some use the example its like trying to fight terrorism with military force, it will not work. Another issue about this topic is how the council can prove pirating with wifi these days. Some people are not at there computer! Plus it’s so much work to have to send out letters and prosecute people!! Most Europeans do not think that this law will be effective. Cutting off someone’s internet is not an appropriate punishment for a person pirating. Some feel like the government is using this to make an example out of people. All that would happen to the person, is a letter would be sent out for the first time to address the issue of pirating, and then he/she would stop. Time will tell if this law will ever be enforced

BOL Episode 1083

October 15, 2009

T-Mobile customers are outraged because there has been an outage on the T-Mobile sidekick for over a week now. T-Mobile uses “cloud services” and user’s data is hosted on a server. Some customers discovered personal information and contacts missing and when they tried to restart their phone or take the battery out and reset it, which usually fixes the issue, they still could not recover their data. Once T-Mobile discovered this, they urged customers not to turn off their phones and not to take the batteries out. T-Mobile originally offered customers a free month of data service to make up for customers outrage and now they are offering a $100 “customer appreciation award” if you cannot recover your data. Microsoft is not concerned with taking any of the blame even though they own Danger, which is the company that hosts the data for the Sidekick. Microsoft only bought out Danger for project Pink, and the loss of Sidekick customers’ data could be potentially harmful to Microsoft’s Pink if customers find out Microsoft owns Danger. After the T-Mobile incident who would trust Microsoft to host data for their phones? T-Mobile has now suspended sales of the Sidekick online and in retail outlets as Microsoft and Danger work to resolve the issue. I can see why T-Mobile customers are outraged. The loss of contacts and other personal information has impacted customers business and personal lives. However, this could happen with any company that uses a similar data hosting service. Customers should not depend solely on companies like Microsoft to host their data as a backup. Customers should use remote storage devices to also back up their data.

Another issue discussed was the use of Lossless audio files vs. Mp3 files. Some artists are now beginning to offer their albums in a regular version and a Lossless version. Lossless compression does not sacrifice any signal fidelity and all the quality of the original music/ audio signal is retained. Mp3 is only supposed to be taking out the things you cannot hear. There is a perceived difference of quality in Lossless and only audio freaks will care about it or be able to notice it. The Lossless versions cost more than other versions. I know that I would not be able to tell the difference therefore I would be unwilling to pay the extra money for Lossless. I am satisfied with the quality of Mp3s.

Buzz Outloud episode 1081

October 10, 2009

Discussed several topics concerning e-book readers, Mac’s Snow Leopard, iPhone by AT&T, Computer memory glitches, Microsoft Office 2010 pricing, Two issues were discussed on  security issues.  The first issue discusses Comcast and the ability to monitor your PC for malware and Bots that may be affecting your computer.  Comcast will send you a message stating you have the potential for an infection. The service is called Comcast Constant Guard,the “Service Notice” will include a link to a Comcast security Web site where customers can follow a set of instructions to remove the malware from their computer, according to Elinor Mills from Insecurity Complex. There is a certain amount of trust factor that goes with this according to Blog commentary.  How much does Comcast watch my PC?  Is this some kind of PC Profiling that is going on also?  These were other questions discussed during the Blog.  However, after reading the information from Mills in the Insecurity Complex, I would agree with the fact this is a great service being provided by an ISP that will help residential computer users in preventing these infections.  In addition, this is paving the way for a new niche for Comcast in the business/IT world.

The second issue discussed included Pressure sensitive keyboards.  This type of biometrics can help in providing additional security when keying in your password information.  The keyboard would measure your keystroke pressure to prevent others from using your password to get into your computer.  The concept is great, however, do we always use the same pressure each time to key in our password.  What happens when your hands are full and you use just one hand to key in?  The question remains will it keep even you out of your own computer.  Biometrics will play a key role in security applications in the future, but further development is still needed.

Buzz Outloud 9/30/09

October 2, 2009

During this podcast the Apple Tablet and then internet were the main topics of discussion. The Apple Tablet is making consumers wonder if it is hype worthy. Apple plans on introducing this tablet in Jan 2010. One thing to keep in mind is that if it is an Apple product it will be expensive. Also, since nobody has seen the product it can only be compared to the Kendal DX. The Kendal DX is another tablet product that has been used in a top school such as Harvard but failed. The Apple Tablet will let consumers be able to look at magazines with pictures and also let them take notes in the margin. If this product does come into production then it will inevitably upset the textbook business for college students. Why would students need to buy high priced textbooks when they could download them on iTunes? If Apple does produce the Apple Tablet it will be very useful in today’s society. Another major topic was about the internet and how the government has relaxed their control over it. It makes users wonder if it was a good or bad decision. The government says that the internet could function in a free state. But, some people wonder about protection and other major factors that involve the internet.

Next, there was a discussion about how the internet is the biggest advertiser in the UK, taking over TV. Some express the reasoning for this is because the internet is cheaper and newer. But the question is raised about whether it is fair to compare internet advertising to television advertising. The reason for this is because the internet has so many other outlets which include: email, video, classifieds and much more.