guide

Amazon pulls pedophile e-book following outcry

Amazon.com has yanked an e-book written for pedophiles from its Kindle store following a wave of complaints and boycott threats.

As of this writing, "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover's Code of Conduct" still appears in Amazon's search results for the phrase "pedophile guide." But clicking on the link of the book's title now triggers an Amazon page that states: "We're sorry. The Web address you entered is not a functioning page on our site."

Written and self-published apparently by Phillip R. Greaves, the book … Read more

Prius tops in fuel efficiency for 2011 cars

The Toyota Prius has nabbed the top spot once again on the U.S. government's guide to fuel efficient cars.

Earning a rating of 51 miles per gallon for city driving and 48 mpg on the highway, the 2011 Toyota Prius was named the most fuel efficient vehicle by the Fuel Economy Guide 2011, which is produced jointly by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency.

The Ford Fusion Hybrid, the Mercury Milan Hybrid, and the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid tied for second place with all of them getting a fuel efficiency rating of 41 city mpg and 36 … Read more

The 404 706: Where Grandma got ran over by an iPad (podcast)

Scott Stein of CNET's Digital City Podcast is the latest victim we've pulled into The 404 studio to co-host the show while Jeff is honeymooning in Hawaii.

Scott brings his expertise in mobile computing to help us discuss today's stories about elderly iPad-ing, cracking iPhone 4s, the link between hyper-texting teens and risky behavior, mobile STD testing, and how to protect your kids from digital predators that happen to be named Wilson G. Tang.

The holidays are approaching quicker than we thought, but Scott is already prepared with a brand-new Apple iPad for his father-in-law, proving the universality of all Apple products. Scott's a dedicated iPad user himself, but still hopes for the day when all syncing is done in the cloud...unfortunately, that feature lives in same Apple dimension as external storage and flawless cellular reception, so we'll likely see it materialize in the iPad 19G.

We haven't completely fallen down the Apple rabbit hole yet, but we do come up with a new digital concept called the Syncing Centipede, so listen up, but don't you dare steal the idea.

Apple has its own internal problems to deal with, and yet another iPhone 4 flaw has surfaced, this time regarding several cases causing cracks and scratches on the back of the phone.

The irony of this story is twofold: first, Apple used to recommend these recalled cases to mitigate the initial reception crisis, and second, what about Apple claiming that the glass on the iPhone 4 was supposedly 30 times stronger than the 3G's plastic back and therefore less prone to scratches? Let's take bets on how many of these "flaws" will miraculously disappear with the introduction of the iPhone 5.

Or maybe we should just get rid of phones altogether, because apparently teens who text more than 120 times a day (media's calling them "hyper-texters") are more likely to engage in risky behavior like sex, drugs, and alcohol abuse.

So says a study done at 20 public high schools in Cleveland last year, where researchers found that one in five students were hyper-texters, one in nine are hyper-social networkers, and one in four students had sent or received a sext message!

This understandably makes Scott worried for his own young kids, and he makes a good point about the importance of parents setting rules to limit the amount of texting and Internet use per day. Semirelated story: We need more Superparents like this!

Episode 706 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS VideoRead more

FTC proposes clampdown on green claims

The Federal Trade Commission yesterday proposed a revision to its Green Guides for consumer products that would include strict regulations on the environmental claims made by companies.

The 229-page proposal (PDF) includes a wide variety of regulations as to what companies may say in marketing materials about the eco-friendly attributes of products, packaging, or services.

The newly proposed version of the Green Guides, which has not been updated since 1998, would include stricter rules for the use of certificates and seals of approval. It also includes new regulations on using terms like compostable, degradable, ozone-friendly, ozone-safe, non-toxic, and recyclable.

For … Read more

Live Matrix aims to schedule the Web

A new service called Live Matrix, which comes out of private beta Monday morning, is attempting to solve the very large problem of organizing live events from all around the Web into one place.

These are not just Web events though--things like Apple event live blogs, online sales, or streamed concerts--but TV programs, auctions, and sporting events too.

In the same way TV listings work, users can cycle through upcoming events by "channel." These are broken down by genres like sports, entertainment, news, and shopping. Users are also able to create their own channels by "following" … Read more

The 404 658: Where we're getting very sleepy (podcast)

If you haven't heard the news from yesterday's Apple music conference, here's a quick recap: All but the iPod Classic feature new designs. The iPod shuffle gets its buttons back, the sixth-generation iPod Nano loses the iconic click wheel but now has a touch screen, and the new iPod Touch receives a super sharp display, a front-facing camera for making video calls, and HD video recording, and a ton of new internal features.

Apple days at the CNET office can be physical and mentally draining, so now's the perfect time to welcome professional Paul Ramsay back into the studio! The three of us are obviously ingrained in tech, but we're learning from Wilson's e-mail addiction that it's necessary to take a healthy break from the computer, work, Facebook, iPhone, or whatever gadget is commanding your life. Paul also practices hypnotherapy and offers us the following tips to save our sanity:

Breathing is the most important thing to help alleviate stress, so next time you're feeling overwhelmed, do the five-five-five: Breathe in for five seconds, hold it for five, and breathe out for five. Adopting this short but meaningful breathing exercise can help as a mini-vacation from the demands of the workday. Once you leave the office and finally arrive home, create a ritual that you can put into practice right away to help you unwind. This could be a bath, a project around the house you've been putting off, or making progress in a light book. Performing this daily ritual adjusts the barriers of your day, aids in battling insomnia, and lets you fall asleep easier at night.

In the second half of the show, Paul actually puts Wilson under and guides him through a meditation process that leaves him visibly relaxed- so much that even the thought of checking mobile e-mail makes him throw his iPhone on the ground!

Obviously Wilson needs to continue the process at home, so Paul hooks him up with a helpful self-hypnosis CD that you can check out on Paul's Web store- there's also plenty of other products to help you quit smoking, stop nailbiting, lose weight, and more!

Episode 658 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS VideoRead more

Drivers ed

Device drivers allow hardware devices and computer programs to interact, so they're obviously an integral part of proper computer function. When drivers go missing or become out of date they can slow down system performance and create other problems. DriverGuide DriverScan is an easy way to scan your computer for outdated drivers. Unfortunately, although the program is free, you're going to have to pay if you want to update your drivers with it.

DriverGuide DriverScan is incredibly easy to use, which is a good thing, because there's no Help file. The program opens with a plain screen … Read more

Greenpeace: 'Michael, what the Dell?'

Greenpeace activists on Wednesday cloaked Dell headquarters in Texas with a banner directed at founder Michael Dell that read, "Michael, What the Dell? Design Out Toxics! - Greenpeace."

The publicity stunt was timed with the Wednesday release of Greenpeace's 15th quarterly "Guide to Greener Electronics" (PDF).

The environmental activist group gave a low score to computer manufacturing giant Dell for its failure to make good on a promise to eliminate toxins like PVC plastics and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from its products.

Greenpeace gave the company low points in its July 2009 guide for missing … Read more

Limited listings

We remember when checking the television listings was a matter of looking in the newspaper or picking up the latest issue of TV Guide with the week's groceries. Times have changed, and now people turn to their computers to see what's on TV. TV-Browser is one such option for this information, at least in theory; the program promises to provide up-to-date TV listings, but we found it to be severely lacking, especially for U.S. users.

TV-Browser starts with a setup wizard, allowing users to select their country and then choose the channels they want to include. There … Read more

Free: 13 Lonely Planet travel-guide apps

Is it just me, or does the planet seem really angry these days? Earthquakes galore, tsunamis, and now this ash-spewing volcano! We're doomed, I tell ya. Doomed!

Anyway, pity the poor traveler who's stuck in Europe until flights can resume. As we reported Tuesday, to help make those folks' lives a tiny bit easier, travel-guide publisher Lonely Planet is offering 13 European iPhone guides free of charge.

That's pretty generous, as they normally sell for $9.99 apiece. And, psst, you didn't hear this from me, but you don't actually have to be stranded in … Read more