High-fashion Versace phone

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the Versace Unique is not an iPhone killer. Or an Evo killer. Or whatever phone du jour we want to kill at the moment.

Why are these high-fashion phones still around? Who uses them? I've never once seen one in the wild. Only once have I ever even heard of one in the wild and that was when my friend Adam Curry said that he was going to buy his teenage daughter a Samsung Armani. He hardly counts. He is a high-profile guy. Mere mortals do not … Read more

Facebook's privacy crisis must thrill Hollywood

Recent changes to Facebook's privacy controls, as well as a litany of new products that share more user and demographic information with third-party partners, are ticking off a lot of users.

Weblogs and Mahalo founder Jason Calacanis recently joined GDGT founder Peter Rojas and prominent Googler Matt Cutts in the ranks of notable tech industry figures who have announced that they're deleting their profiles altogether. Rumors have been swirling about internal disputes at Facebook over whether the company really did cross the line and whether changes should be in store.

But I'm willing to guess that a … Read more

Cartoon contest leads Pakistan to shutter Facebook

A Seattle cartoonist's satirical suggestion that Thursday be dubbed "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" has led to anything but humor in some quarters, particularly Pakistan, which on Wednesday evening shut down Facebook.

An Islamic lawyers association in Lahore, Pakistan, argued that the contest essentially was blasphemous and won a court injunction against the social-networking site on Wednesday. A Facebook page promoting the idea had drawn more than 81,000 members as of 6:30 a.m. PDT Thursday. The cartoonist, Molly Norris, did not create the Facebook page and is actively opposing it.

Facebook will reportedly be shut downRead more

Best Facebook self-portrait ever--from space

If you've ever been on MySpace or Facebook, you'll recognize a phenomenon many refer to as "MySpace pics," or those portraits people take of themselves, usually in a mirror. As with any pictures, getting the right angle is key to making a flattering shot.

But the above photo that U.S. astronaut Garrett Reisman took this week during Shuttle Atlantis' final scheduled mission may be one of the greatest MySpace pics of all time.

He took it of himself from the base of the ISS' robotic arm while working with fellow crew member Piers Sellers to … Read more

Google launches Chrome Web Store

Isn't the Chrome Web Store just an online software store? Or a SaaS store? Why don't we use the terms software or SaaS anymore? Not sexy?

Google announced the Chrome Web Store at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco on Wednesday. It is a place to find and install programs that run in the Chrome browser, and most likely in the Chrome operating system in the near future. So it's Web-based software. Or SaaS.

Now why do we care about this when we can easily just go to a Web site and accomplish the same … Read more

Buzz Out Loud 1231: Seals with frickin' lasers! (podcast)

We wanted Google to announce its set-top box at Google IO today, but what do we get? A new video codec, an app store in Chrome, and (yawn) Google Wave going into open beta. And, oh yeah, homeland security seals (the marine mammals, not the hulky military guys) protecting our harbors.

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The 404 584: Where we make the cut (podcast)

If you weren't hungry before listening to today's episode of CNET's The 404 Podcast, you definitely will be afterward. And lucky for us, there are approximately 7,291 McDonalds locations in Manhattan for us to indulge our cravings for grease. We're also considering moving our uncomfortably hot recording studio to the McDonalds around the corner, mostly because they're about to get a lot more comfortable.

Over the next year, most of its locations will transform into the fast food chain of the future with new "linger zones" that feature Wi-Fi connectivity, comfortable armchairs, … Read more

Facebook launches mobile site free of data charges

Facebook's new mobile site, dubbed 0.facebook.com, is promising quick and data-charge-free access, though it's only accessible through certain mobile carriers.

The popular social-networking site already offers a mobile site designed to display on smartphones and other portable gadgets. But the new 0.facebook.com is being targeted toward mobile users in specific countries who normally face data charges from their carriers when they hop online. Thanks to special deals with more than 50 mobile carriers across 45 different countries and regions, accessing 0.facebook.com won't rack up any data charges.

The new site is … Read more

Google TV is Smart TV

We have a few details about Google's TV project in Wednesday's morning edition of Loaded but we are expecting more from the Google I/O conference later in the day. This is a project that I am excited about if it can do what I think it aims to do: liberate our television set-top boxes!

Set-top software has been unforgivably terrible for far too long. Think about how hard it was for your mother to figure out her cable remote and DVR. Or at least it was for my poor mother and it shouldn't be! She's … Read more

Togetherville brings social networking to children

Thanks to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, social-networking sites like Facebook and MySpace are off-limits to kids under 13. That's not to say that preteens aren't using these sites--many are--but they have to lie about their age to sign up. 

Aside from being "against the rules," there are some real problems with younger kids using sites designed for teens and adults. For one thing, signing up requires lying, which is bad in itself. But, as many adults are finding out, knowing how to protect one's privacy on a site like Facebook can … Read more