Today In Tech?

One of the radio stations that carries the Tech Guy radio show, KGO in San Francisco, asked me if I would be interested in doing a daily technology minute for them. Just as an experiment I wrote and recorded one – it took me about an hour and a half to do it, but I think I could cut that down to half an hour with practice. I’m not sure if it’s worth the effort. What do you think? Would you subscribe, listen, or watch such a thing if I did it every day?

Yes, I know it’s a terrible acronym. Or is it?

Tired of Twitter Talk? Me Too!

Got this email today from my friend Ben:

Leo, I’d like to propose a challenge.

Next weekend, while you’re streaming, refrain from mentioning twitter. Both days. You’re viewers and listeners love TWiT, but we’re just afraid you have a problem, and we want you to get better. Give it a try?


Remember when the iPhone was the big story? People got awfully sick of that. I’m just as sick of talking about Twitter as you are listening to us talk about Twitter. The problem is that Twitter is a big story, and getting bigger all the time. We talk about it because it’s one of the biggest stories of the day. I understand if you’re bored with it, but we can’t ignore stories just because some of our listeners have heard enough about them.

I refer you to the great radio newsman Scoop Nisker, who signed off every newscast on KSAN in San Francisco with the words,

If you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own!

I look forward to covering your great leap forward!

This Week’s Top Tech Stories

My regular segment on the John Donabie Show, Saturday mornings on CFRB is coming up. These are the top stories I’ll talk about this week:

  • It’s not all iPhone, Blackberry sales doubled this quarter. Black Friday (the day after US Thanksgiving) was the best day in RIM history.
  • After three years in court, Apple rumor site ThinkSecret shutters, but they don’t have to reveal the names of their informants.skitched-20071221-082713.jpg
  • Last minute gift idea: try donating to – this charitable site helps people in developing nations create new businesses with small loans. Gift certificates are available.

Happy holidays to all my friends in Toronto!

The Other Shoe

Nitrozac paintings.jpgFrom Apple – Hot News, his Stevieness says…

Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developers’ hands in February. … It will take until February to release an SDK because we’re trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once—provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc. This is no easy task. … P.S.: The SDK will also allow developers to create applications for iPod touch.

(Emphasis mine.) Hallelujah!

The Race Begins

sputnik.jpgSputnik was launched on this day 50 years ago, beginning the space race.
And there’s a more personal anniversary for me. It was on this day, three years ago, that I created my first podcast: an RSS feed of episodes of my radio show.

You can read my post about it here. We’ve come a long way in three years!

Zunes Now Support Podcasts | Home - Welcome to the Social.jpgMicrosoft has launched its new Zunes and lo and behold they support podcasts! And there will be a firmware update to the old Zunes which will presumably add podcasts to the menu there too.
It’s about time! I’ve never been happier to have been proven wrong. (Just in case you’re keeping score I thought the word “podcast” would never appear on a Microsoft product.)

Apple Eyes the Wireless Auction

BusinessWeek is reporting that Apple is considering bidding in the FCC's 700mhz wireless spectrum auction January 16. 

Google has also indicated it may participate. GooPhone vs iPhone at 700mhz. Or perhaps the two might band together? Interesting.

Monday in the Middle

newspaper.jpgPost CES and pre-MacWorld. Is there anything more to say? Well I’m going to say it anyway.
Indian tea first arrives in the UK on this day in 1836. The first subway opens in London in 1863. Oil is discovered in Texas in 1901. The 45 was introduced in 1949 (ask your parents). First passenger jet flight in 1951. Clara Peller first asks “where’s the beef” in 1984.

  1. Microsoft says that patches for the three critical Windows flaws I told you about last week will hit Windows Update next week.
  2. Mozilla and Firefox have security problems of their own. One hole makes phishing schemes easier, another allows a buffer overflow exploit in the newsreader, and a third involves predictable temp file names in Thunderbird and Firefox.
  3. There will be no live coverage of Steve Jobs’s keynote address tomorrow at MacWorld. Apple will delay the webcast until 6p Pacific and it’s rumored that no reporters will be allowed to transmit comments during the speech. This might kill our planned chat, but I’ll file here immediately after.
  4. The iHome media center is one rumor that’s clearly a hoax, but lawsuit against Think Secret seems to confirm the rumor of a sub-$500 Mac and solid state iPod. The suit claims that the information posted on Think Secret in November and December of this year, and earlier, could only have been obtained by someone who had signed a confidentiality agreement with Apple. I’m looking for the iWork package featuring a new word processor and Keynote 2.
  5. In the blogger world this counts as a massive merger. Six Apart, aka, the people who wrote Movable Type, aka Ben and Mena, have purchased Live Journal.
  6. According to the Wall St. Journal, Comcast is planning to offer voice over Internet service to 15 million of its cable customers this year, and to all 40 million customers within 18 months.
  7. Forget the moo-cow, I want a µcard. The Mu-Card alliance of Taiwanese solid state storage companies is promoting a new format that will hold two terabytes of data. The spec should be final next month with production beginning shortly after.

Listen in tomorrow at 6:45a Pacific for my weekly news commentary on KGO 810 AM in San Francisco.


Friday’s Foot In Mouth

All the news that's fit to rant aboutAccording to my Lego grandfather clock, it’s news time…
The metric system was established in France on this day in 1799. The first Nobel prizes were awarded in 1901.

  1. IBM has, in fact, sold its PC division to Chinese manufacturer Lenovo for $1.4 billion and $500 million in debt. Lenovo is now the number three PC maker after Dell and HP. There’s a good history of the IBM PC at Internet News.
  2. Oh crap. Even though four other movie companies have decided on the HD-DVD format for their movies, Disney has opted for Sony’s Blu-Ray, ensuring that there will be a Beta/VHS style format war in the new Hi-Def DVDs. Disney said they’ll start putting out Blu-ray DVDs as soon as the players are available in 2006. That’s just Mickey Mouse.
  3. Yahoo is going to copy Google. Again. The Yahoo desktop search tool (based on the excellent X1) will be released in the New Year.
  4. The Inquirer says console games are in short supply this holiday season. The Nintendo DS is very hard to find, although Nintendo is planning to add an additional 400,000 units to the 1 million shipped to the US this year. Surprisingly, it’s very hard to find Sony’s two year old Playstation 2, too. Sony lauches the PSP in Japan next week, and that’s going to be a quick sell out no doubt – reports are that only 100,000 will be available at launch.
  5. Careful where you put your laptop. According to a study published Thursday in Human Reproduction, the habit of keeping your laptop in your lap can cause permanent sterility in men. It’s the heat generated by the laptop and the positioning of the thighs. How many times have I said that?
  6. A Gameboy is better at relaxing kids before surgery than tranquilizers, according to research from University Hospital in Newark. The study said “We find that the children are just so happy with the Game Boy that they actually do forget where they are.”
  7. Where was I? Oh yeah. Another reason to hate pop-ups: they’re security risks. According to Secunia, any browser that displays pop-ups, including Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Firefox, Opera, Konqueror, Safari and Netscape, is vulnerable to an injection attack that could make a malicious site look like a secure site. Turn on pop-up blocking and breath a sigh of relief.
  8. The December Windows XP patches will hit Microsoft Windows Update December 14. There will be five fixes, none of them critical – how long has it been since we’ve been able to say that?
  9. As one of its last actions before recessing for the holidays, Congress has passed a law prohibiting cell phone voyeurism. Upskirters will face heavy fines and prison time if caught. The bill only applies to Federal jurisdictions. President Bush is expected to sign it.
  10. Federal regulators will meet next week to consider revising rules to allow cell phone usage aboard commercial airline flights. It’s not the safety issue that concerns me, it’s the annoyance factor.
  11. AOL has accidentally deleted an unknown (but apparently large) number of screen names in an attempt to purge unused names from its database. The company says it will take until Monday to restore the accounts.
  12. Vonage is going to follow Packet8 in adding video to its Voice over IP (VoIP) service next year.
  13. News imageSun CEO Scott McNealy was fooled by a hoax photo that’s been circulating on the net for years. Claiming the photo came from a 1954 Popular Science article on the “home computer” he noted how far we’ve come in 50 years. More like how far Photoshop has come in 50 years.

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