Thursday is Prince Spaghetti Day

Your morning tech news sir...News that’s not got much spam in it.
Happy Birthday Dashiell Hammett, 1894, Harlan Ellison is 70. Samuel FB Morse completed the first telegraph line 160 years ago today. Richard Drew invented masking tape in 1930. Construction began on Disney World in 1969.

  1. Yahoo has announced a new toolbar chock full of anti-spyware goodnesss. You can download the Pest Patrol powered toolbar from beta.toolbar.yahoo.com.
  2. Police in Canada have nabbed a 16-year old boy for helping distribute the Randex worm. The lad faces charges of computer fraud and mischief to data. Taiwanese police have also arrested a 30-year old computer engineer for writing the Peep.exe trojan horse.
  3. Also on the police blotter, a Buffalo, NY spammer who was convicted of sending out hundreds of million pieces of junk email has been sentenced to 3.5 to 7 years in jail. Howard Carmack had already lost a $16 million judgement to Earthlink.
  4. Great moments in virus history: the first 64-bit virus has been discovered by Symantec. Rugrat was apparently written as a proof of concept by a hacker who specializes in virus firsts.
  5. The California State Senate has approved a bill that limits what Google and other web-based email companies can do with your information. Originally targeted at preventing Google’s upcoming GMail service from scanning email contents to determine ad placement, the bill was defanged to merely prevent Google and others from saving the information gleaned in the scans. The State Assembly has to weigh in next. The Gropinator hasn’t said whether he’ll sign the bill.
  6. The California Public Utilities Commission has passed a model cell phone customers’ bill of rights. The bill prohibits deceptive, untrue or misleading rate quotes, gives consumers 30 days to cancel contracts without penalties, and adds privacy protections. Other states are expected to follow suit.
  7. Microsoft will spend $300 million to launch Service Pack 2 this summer. Some of that money will be spent upgrading new computers already in the channel. If you already own Windows XP you’ll be able to download the 100 MB file via Windows Update or buy a CD from Microsoft for around $10.
  8. Our brothers and sisters to the north can finally use Napster legally. Napster Canada has opened, beating iTunes, Rhapsody, and other US based online music stores to the punch. For C$9.97/month users can listen to an unlimited number of songs on the Windows Media Player. You can buy the songs for C$1.19 each or C$9.95 per album.
  9. Who is Rance? All of Hollywood is wondering who is writing the anonymous blog on Tripod.com. Could it be Jim Carrey? Ben Affleck? J-Lo? Boing-Boing says it’s Owen Wilson.
  10. Cable/phone/broadband provider RCN has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
  11. Eharmony, the web matchmaking site that separates itself from the pack by using personality tests to find suitable matches, has patented its technology. U.S. Patent No. 6,735,568, describes a “method and system for identifying people who are likely to have a successful relationship.” 20% of applicants are rejected because they’re not the marrying type.
  12. Steal music and go to jail in Italy. Sentences of six months to three years can be meted out for “transferring content via the Internet without the permission of the copyright holder.” And we thought the DMCA was bad.

Listen in tomorrow at 8:35a Pacific for my weekly news commentary on KFI 640 AM in Los Angeles.

45 Replies to “Thursday is Prince Spaghetti Day”

  1. Someone should tell the g4 webmasters to take a basic course in HTML and webpage design, something they would have learned a little about if they watched Call for Help.

  2. eHarmony’s extensive personality test somehow misses the participant’s sexual orientation. I’ve been having an amusing time explaining this to the very nice ladies who’ve been matched to my otherwise quite conventional eHarmony profile. Turns out, I _am_ marriage material in Michigan, though.

  3. That’s a nice effort by California PUC, but the problem is that consumers typically don’t know what to do with their rights anyhow. Afterall, knowing the perfect legal language to throw at *any* provider of services gives tremendous leverage. I’ve used that leverage with cell phone companies, cable companies, and even credit card companies. Just gotta know the right “threats’ to make to that company and they will back down and give you what you want.
    Unfortunately, consumers as a whole have become very uneducated and just go along with things they know aren’t right but don’t think they can fight. All these frivolous lawsuits in recent history have proven that consumers hold the upper hand. With that said, they are also about the most ridiculous thing to ever come about in our society. :/

  4. I live in Canada and was excited upon hearing about Napster selling in Canada. I used pureTracks and did not like the restrictions they put on their content. I quickly hopped over to Npasters site and downloaded and installed the software I browse around find some things decide I want to register but NO I can’t cuz the Country combo box is set to U.S. and greyed out! Whats the deal, I sent a message to Customer Service and still have not gotten a response. Anyone out there have an answer!

  5. I think the Yahoo! toolbar anti-spyware has a lot of potential to help people. Since Yahoo is so mainstream, I think it will help raise awareness of this growing problem. I just hope SP2 will render most of the need for all this obsolete!
    Brian Sakowicz
    Brian Sakowicz Design
    http://www.briansakowiczdesign.com/

  6. WTF?!?!?!? G4 has COMPLETLY screwed up the TechTv.com site. ALL of the CFH material is gone, the pages don’t load right, and that orange is getting to my RETINAS! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!

  7. Went to the new site today and I can sum it up in two words, IT SUCKS! It is obvious that their interest is in gaming and nothing else. It looks like The Screen Savers will be the next casualty.
    Hopefully CFH will be picked up by DIY, HGTV or some other progressive chanel.

  8. Went to the new site today and I can sum it up in two words, IT SUCKS! It is obvious that their interest is in gaming and nothing else. It looks like The Screen Savers will be the next casualty.
    Hopefully CFH will be picked up by DIY, HGTV or some other progressive chanel.

  9. Even though I really like Sara, Kevin, Patrick and Foo the “NEW AND IMPROVED” Screen Savers is almost to painful to watch – its like all the personality of the show has been sucked out.
    And I concur the new site is ATROCIOUS – The graphics don’t display properly and they have two pictures of you leo and a list of “Leo’s Tips” and not much else – you don’t even work for them anymore – all I can say man is get out while you can and put all your energy into Leo TV and KFI.

  10. The new g4techtv.com website bites monkeys. I just wanted to check to see what was on TSS today and you can’t even get to it. I like to read the articles BEFORE the show so because I learn better that way. The show just reinforces what I learned in the article because they don’t have time to go over the whole thing in a stupid 90 second spot between commercials. G4 SUCKS!

  11. I’m sorry Leo left TechTV. I like Patrick on the Screensavers, but I don’t watch as much as I used to since Leo left.
    Has all the archival show notes been removed to never be seen again? I tried to look at the ScreenSavers website today and got that god-awful G4 site. There’s no show notes, tips or anything. The TechTV site was a great resource for finding programs and information. I don’t give a good G-D about stupid gaming.
    Basically this network for lamer little kid gamers called “G4” aka Comcast bought TechTv simply as an end-around run to get their kiddie shows on more cable systems. There are no true plans for a mixing of the networks. Everyone in S.F. has been canned or given the option to go to LaLa land. That should tell you something. At least the Bay Area has some technilogical depth to it.. LA is all glitz devoid of meaning and substance…just like “G4”.
    Thanks for the space to rant. I can’t even sign up for the lamer G4 forums as the sign up link over there is DEAD!

  12. I agree with the person above. What happened to the resources for “Call For Help” and “The Screen Savers.” Maybe all us viewers should start some formal complaint against Comcast and urge them to put all the old content for us back on there. I have gone to the ScreenSavers site and CallForHelp site many times to get info and downloads, etc. There is a GOLDMINE of information there and it is a CRIME if Comcast has removed it for our access. Leo, I think staying away from G4Comcast is a smart move. I still see you on there and on their website, but it must be tapings they have the rights to.
    Comcast doesn’t have the MORAL RIGHT to take the INTELLEGENCE away from us. It’s obvious that intelligence isn’t what they’re after with their toy network anyway.

  13. Here is what i got from G4Techtv: (and i quote)
    “It [the webiste] is being updated and all the content from both G4 and TechTV’s websites are being moved over.”
    I think that just cause CFH was canned none of the previous tips/show notes will be there anymore.

  14. TechTV to G4: Needs a lot of work obviously. My ID is gone, Call For Help History is not accessible even though GOOGLE can still find it (had the foresight to MS Word all the Photoshop articles), can’t register, web pages have plenty of blank page. Instead of trying to change the look they should have retained the old, and started with the new from today. Looks like they are undermanned, and resources were not dedicated to what the old TechTV watchers wanted to retain. NOT A GOOD SIGN FOR THE OLD TECHies. I’ll give them a break and wait, but so far it appears they are missing their own deadlines and quality transition was not high on their test list. Maybe the former staff still left in SF were the lucky ones.

  15. Ooooh I dont envy the G4 and Comcast people *chuckle*
    You see, nobody was REALLY watching G4 before this (everything points to this being Comcast’s ill-considered choice). TechTV had a MUCH more dedicated following. They are in for a rough ride since all the TechTV viewers are more tech-savvy and oh BOY are we going to be hyper-critical.
    And for the record: G4 sucks, their hosts suck for the most part, and I have doubts that it will stay like this for long… While there certainly COULD be enough programming to make a channel dedicated to gaming, G4 is doing a horrible job of covering it.

  16. ps. If you really have to have an article(s) on one of the TechTV sites and you have NO faith in G4TechTV to eventually restore it ==>
    Go to google.com in advanced feature mode, put in your keyword(s), point to techtv.com (don’t put in the show as the link is broken), THEN after the article title is displayed, hit CACHED. You can cut and paste.
    As I have no faith in G4TechTV (faith is earned), guess what I’ll be doing for awhile. Also trying to find a COMCAST email address that doesn’t point back to the G4TechTV home page, led me to a corporate Media rep’s email. Best I could do after filtering COMCAST cable, internet, etc. out of the list.

  17. ITS LIKE WATCHING XPLAY WITH CRAPPY HOSTS ALL DAY LONG!!! THE ONLY THING I LIKE IS THE SCREEN SAVERS AND ROBOT WARS!!

  18. I’m getting old. I know change can be a good thing, but nowadays it seems it rarely is. I’ve only been watching TechTV for a couple of years and i’ve learned quite alot. It was a shining example of “infotainment” that didn’t treat it’s audience like morons. But now…G4….Keeerist! An entire network aimed at frat-boys and pre-pubescent teens. Which, i guess, is fine. But why did they have to bulldoze techtv for this. I also find it funny that after wiping out almost all traces of Leo from their programming his is the photo they choose to put on the homepage (twice!). I guess his fans gave the execs an earful. HA

  19. I just tried to login to the G4TechTV site and got the error, “Connection Refused.” I can’t even get there to login. I tried on both of my desktops and my laptop. This really sucks!!

  20. I knew it!
    It’s a good thing I unsubscribed from the newsletters and canceled my membership account when I did. I’ve seen the logo and that told me far more about what direction they were going in than anything they (G4) could dream up.
    Leo, For your sanity and everyone else’s. Please resign from the 90 second spots on The Screen Savers before their network sucks SS down to a trickle of water. Patrick has done the right thing by not moving to LA.

  21. Leo, I must admit that at times had reservations about some of the content I saw on Techtv; but I found the how to files etc. to be very helpful. I just logged onto the new site and it is trash compared to how the old sites/pages were layed out. I couldn’t find anything on the site for the Screen Savers now. What are these people up to. In my humble opinion I think they are trying to kill Techtv. To be honest I have deleted all of my shortcuts to the Screen Savers, Call for help, Tech live, and a couple of the others. I hated to do it, but I find the new sites layout less than helpful. I wish I would have had the money to take the network over because it wouldn’t have changed a bit.

  22. Leo:
    There is mutiny afoot. Clearly, G4 is a bust, and it’s only the first day! The only folks who like it have pimples and whine to mommy and daddy for the toys they see on the channel to rot their brains.
    However, the folks who are really left in the cold are we many, many TechTV viewers. Help Us!
    The chinese symbol for crisis is the same one as that for opportunity. This is your chance to get the backing for Leoville to launch as it’s own cable channel! I swear, if you just bring back TechTV as it was (with maybe a few changes like banishing that moron Martin “I’m trying really hard to be funny” Sargent”), we’ll all march in lockstep with you.
    I swear!
    Thanks a million to you, Cat, Roger and the others who got the shaft in this deal, for the great shows and information.
    hd

  23. The new G4-TechTV website all but stinks. No use for it but show schedules. The game shows on the network are not good for me. They have lost another viewer. The new channel seems to be only for gamers and not computer geeks. Screen Savers no longer has the same snap as before -rather lame.
    BIG mistake for Leo not being on Screen Savers anymore and abandoning Call for Help.
    Where do we go now? My digital cable tv will never be the same. I have been viewing Tech TV from way back in ZD TV days.
    Craig

  24. Just wanted to say a quick thank you for posting all the news you do. I used to get this news from Tech TV but no longer can navigate the site to get it.
    Please continue to deliver this content it is wonderful to know what is going on in the tech world and in the music wars.
    Now to wish you were on XM radio so I can have your radio show in San Antonio, Texas. 🙂
    Have a nice day and keep up the good tech work.
    God Bless

  25. I’ve emailed G4 today and told them goodbye. Their website is horrible, the shows are horrible, I could care less about gaming, gaming, and more gaming. G4 for my family is going, going, gone, goodbye. I’d suggest emailing HGTV, DIY, and who knows, even Apple to consider starting their own Tech network…..they sure have plenty of talented people and equipment waiting in San Francisco.

  26. Yo Leo! Pass the word along that I personally won’t be back to the TSS website until I hear that it’s been restored to it’s previous glory. The new one sucks big time! Bad move, really big bad move. 🙁
    Not a gamer either.

  27. Leo – re #7 SP2. Hopefully those with existing preloaded OEM software on machines/laptops will get some direction. I loaded SP1 successfully, but this sounds much more complex and definitely a must have. No problem paying the $10 for a cd, but to date, HP has said nothing to its users. Best Buy Geek Squad said not to buy an O/S off the shelf to load on an OEM machine. Quite frankly, everyone I know has an OEM setup.
    Re the G4TechTV message boards. My TechTV login did work, but the tone and character of the G4s against the TTV contributors is just not my thing to spend time on. Hate to admit it, but I do have a life. Alternatively, I agree with all other G4techtv comments previously posted here today. There is a welcome to all TTV members who have “showed up”, then goes on to apologize for any difficulty they may be having with the G4 board. A “welcome” it’s not.
    Re the TTV message boards. Prior to the G4 launch, the question of would the TSS and CFH site archives be made available was posted to both message boards. The TTV moderator, can’t remember the screen name, stated that initially the most recent information would be available and later the full archives would be made available. Obviously another committment broken. I sent an “are you aware” message to webmaster@g4tv.com and that programming Vinnie character at vlongobardo@g4media.com, for all the good that will do.
    What is leoville.tv?

  28. Well… I don’t think I have ever posted anything over at TechTV, but from my brief look at the site just now, it looks like they are stomping out dissent (censoring/removing negativism) in the forums.
    How friendly!
    The TTV site has been juvenated and stripped. I can’t imagine this working out for we TTV fans. I think we have been toasted.
    G4 has messed up too many things too well for redemption.
    Leo, why bother with those patronizing 90 second clips?

  29. Leo, I watched “The Screen Savers” Friday evening for the first time in many days, and was surprised to see Cat and Roger (I hope that’s his right name, I remember him more by face) on the show. Seems that Sarah and Kevin were away, and they were substituting. I was very pleased to see that the show hadn’t been revamped anymore than had been done by TechTV recently. With the two segments you were in, it was almost as if nothing had changed. Does this mean that G4 is realizing that it may have made a mistake by dropping hosts that we liked and were familiar with?

  30. Man g4techtv stinks…what happened to TechTV it was so good. Leo can you save us!!!! I mean they took the worst of Techtv and added it to a 24/7 video game screenshot channel. This bad very bad!

  31. In the glory days of TSS and CFH I would watch live and reruns shows hoping to pick up something new each day or at least reenforce that what I already knew still worked. Of late and since G4TechTV I’ve noticed that the show summaries are reduced to a 1 or 2 line links that points to …. the link itself. Show reviews, if present, have links to an outside web site with no detail about the segment itself. makes you wonder if there is anyone left who understands what being said on TSS to summarize it. //Yeah, I know the hosts can be over the top sometimes, but do you know how dry this could be if you just have a talking head (reminds me of physical science courses in college). The negative feedback I’ve read on the G4 forums and other sites lead me to believe there a long way to go to rebuild credibility. Has anyone else notice that G4 only has the forums for feedback.

  32. What a bummer! I tried to find an archive of a show that was done earlier this year. and I finally found a link on g4TechTV and guess what, it came up blank. I think more than a few of the viewers of CfH could have done a better job than the idiots over at g4. They must be hiring 14 year olds to set up the webpage. And man! That orange color has to go!!!! They aquired TechTV supposedly to attract more viewers. I think they grossly underestimated the intellingence of the TechTV viewers. Not much of a surprise though, what did you expect from a channel that targets 12 year olds. I can only hope that when g4 goes bankrupt, someone will restore the old TechTV.

  33. TechTV is gone. It was my favorite channel for 4 years. The people that made the channel work are no longer there, or are shortly leaving. The channel had been bleeding talent for over a year. Sometimes you just have to let go. G4 will only take the young hosts because they’ll get them at bargain basement prices. They are not willing to pay the real TV professionals like Leo. What’s left is young, inexperienced people that have no entertainment back ground. It takes years of experience to get comfortable and entertaining while ad libbing live TV. Some never do get good at it, for it requires talent also. Quite frankly I think they want hosts that can be pushed around, manipulated, and easily dumped if need be. The producers don’t want creative input, just for them to shut up and read the TelePrompTer. I can’t imagine Leo Laporte in that environment as long has he had any alternatives at all.

  34. With all the whining going on (and believe me, I’m whining the loudest), I think we should all send Comcast a big message and go to the dish. I’ve already cancelled my cable broadband and went with Verizon DSL and let them know why I switched. As soon as I can get a dish set up its goodbye Comcast totally. Hit ’em where it hurts, and let ’em know why.

  35. I’ve never been one to sentimentalize television, but I can’t help but feel that something incredibly valuable has been lost with G4’s takeover of Tech TV. Tech TV was more than entertainment- I feel as though I learned a great deal from it. With its uncomplicated, honest and enjoyable translation of complex issues and technology it was a democratization of information. I think the people who made it saw that too. What I saw when I watched was people who did their jobs for more than a paycheck. Now when I turn to the channel I feel dumber for having watched it. It’s as though MTV bought CNN and fired everyone with the excuse that because they have Kurt Loder doing the news everything else is surplus.

  36. Actually calling Comcast will probably not do much. I have a far more effective idea:
    Contact the advertisers. Tell them that due to the changes that G4 and Comcast brought on, you will no longer be buying their products since they are going to pay for programming that is far inferior in quality (make sure you mention that) and politely tell them that they are wasting future monies on the channel since you will not watch it further.
    If enough people do THAT, we’ll see changes FAST!

  37. i think Pete has a great idea. If Pete, oe anyone else compiles some sort of list of advertisers, would you please post the name of the companies and any contact information here? I can think, of course, of NVidia and IBM.
    I don’t have time to watch much TV, so I haven’t watched anything bessides CFH and SS, but I can’t even recall many of the advertisers, thanks to watching almost exclusively on PVR.

  38. that is ironic, Pete Cassidy, that you have a plan like that one, but you are a member (or whatever) of Comcast. what advertisers are these and how would you get their phone numbers?

  39. P.S. G4 does suck royal %*#@! as someone aboove me said, the old TECH TV was more of a learning experience than anything; and you had fun learning! it was better than school!! the website was one of the best parts, because there was just so much to do

  40. Leo, the new G4TechTV.com Web page has the same picture of you posted in two different places on its pathetic first page. Don’t you find this a teny bit exploitative, given you appear on one 90-second spot per SS episode?
    If I were you, I would tell G4 where to place their 90-second spots. And if you have any control, I would attempt to prevent them from using your likeness in any way they are not entitled to.
    You are too much of an assett to be used in this way to promote their trash, where they are unwilling to give you more exposure and control.

  41. Heck yeah! I like the idea about contacting the advertisers. I think that might be the only chance we viewers have at showing Comcast their mistake. They won’t listen to phone calls, voice mails, emails, etc. And I don’t even really think people dropping cable service will matter too much. They’ve got a huge customer base… and their customers were already graced with G4 anyway, so… they are used to it. (This is obviosuly a regionalized generalization)
    Anyway, I also wouldn’t go as far as to switch from Cable modem to DSL… DSL is less bandwidth and much less reliable in many areas — unless of course you live practically next door to your Central Office (Telco).
    As for G4’s website… yes, it’s trash. I am very unhappy with it and I could personally find some 11 yr old’s with better web design skills. They’d better bring *ALL* the information and show notes back from all previous shows because that was one of the benefits to TechTV’s website layout… easily searchable for free files, etc. G4TechTV site is terribly lame and unorganized, not to mention impossible to search through what little they have.
    Get a clue Comcast… you made a huge mistake…

  42. G4 has butchered everything, we’ve only had TechTV for two years and it was excellent, then this had to happen. WHY? Why? How bout just starting all over again. No stoopid stuff like Robot Wars, Body Hits, or Wired for Sex. Just the good stuff like Fresh Gear, good ole TSS (Megan and Leo back), CFH, Xplay, and TechLive. I know, so unrealistic, but I miss having all these without the G4 turd shows with “hip” people that have never played a game in their life.

  43. To reply to Mark, and any that are interested, Dish network is offering a similar plan to “trade in your dish”, comcast will pay $400 for you dish, but dish network is offering $500 to trade in you cable box and switch to dish network, this may be one way to “hit” comcast where it counts, i too have been addicted to TTV, if it were not for that channnel i wouldn’t watch any tv, good luck to you Leo and your family, what ever dircection you go, i am confident that your expertise will allow you to succed.

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