The 404 897: Where you both owe me 14 bucks (podcast)

Remember the story we told you last week about the woman who spent $180 on what turned out to be a wooden Apple iPad? It happened again! In the same city! There's a lesson to be learned in all of this, and that lesson is to never trust anyone with more than four gold teeth.

Same rule goes for mustaches, and Google's celebrating Freddie Mercury's 65th birthday with a Web app that lets you add a mustache to every face on the Internet! We'll demo it today using someone else's face, however, since none of us are creepy enough to grow our own mustache.

We'll also talk about delivery lockers popping up in select 7-Eleven stores, adding fuel to the fires already burning through the United States Postal Service, and introduce a new photo caption segment that Wilson cooked up over the weekend.

The 404 Digest for Episode 897

This is why Jeff and Wilson owe me 14 bones. After the $180 wooden iPad comes the $250 paper laptop (same city). Google honors Freddie Mercury with Google doodles a complex piece for Freddie Mercury. Amazon starts putting the USPS out of work, one 7-Eleven at a time. The U.S. Post Office says a winter shutdown is possible. Did somebody ask for pizza on a bullet-capsule to the moon? Check out this 404 photoshop, courtesy of Captain Carlos! Join The 404 Facebook Group! Add The 404 on Twitter, and while you're logged in, follow Jeff, Wilson, and Justin too!

Episode 897 Subscribe in iTunes (audio) | Subscribe in iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS VideoRead more

Apple to ship 86 million iPhones in '11, researcher says

Apple will lead all smartphone vendors in total shipments this year, DigiTimes Research predicted today.

According to the market research arm of the Taiwan-based news site, 462 million smartphones are expected to ship worldwide this year, up 60 percent compared with the 288 million smartphones shipped last year. Apple is expected to lead all vendors this year with 86.4 million iPhones shipped, representing an 81.9 percent gain over last year when 47.5 million iPhones shipped.

Nokia, which led the smartphone market last year with 100.3 million units shipped, will ship just 74.4 million smartphones this … Read more

Dell, Baidu team up for tablets, phones for China

Dell is partnering with Chinese search engine Baidu to create smartphones and tablets for Chinese consumers, according to a story today from Reuters.

The mobile devices will run Baidu software based on the company's Baidu Yi mobile platform, which supports Android-based apps, a Dell spokeswoman told Bloomberg.

The move is seen as an attempt by Dell to gain more traction in a market of 900 million mobile customers, and one that's already dominated by Apple and Lenovo.

But at least one analyst is dubious about the strategy on Dell's part.

"I suspect this is just Dell, … Read more

Smartphones Unlocked: How cell phones get their names (column)

Welcome to Smartphones Unlocked, my new monthly column designed to explain the ins and outs of smartphones to help you better understand how they work. The world of smartphones is fast-paced and can sometimes be confusing and difficult to keep track of all the new technology in these devices, particularly if you're new to them, so if there are any topics you'd like to see covered here, please feel free to e-mail me at

Last month, my colleague Jessica Dolcourt wrote a great two-part series on how cell phones are born, along with some … Read more

Five devices to make your folks techno-comfy

The following statement will not qualify as the biggest news scoop ever published on CNET: Older folks are often uncomfortable with modern technology and gadgets.

It's too easy to look at the senior citizens around you and roll your eyes at their techno-hostility or seeming incompetence when it comes to using gadgets or adjusting to a world seemingly ruled more by gadgets every day. But, that's unfair when you consider the ever-increasing speed of gadget evolution we see now and how hard it is to keep up if you weren't born into the techno stream.

To give you a simple example of what your senior friends are up against, what we understand as the motor car (four wheels, internal combustion engine, etc.) emerged into public view around 1888 and was destined to change the world. But, the first successful mass-produced assembly line car in the U.S. (the Model T) didn't come along until about 20 years later. So, that's about two decades for folks to get used to the idea of motorized transport.

Comparatively, the iPhone--the first big salvo in the age of elite touch-screen smartphones that changed how we communicate, work, and socialize--was released in 2007. In just four years, we've had to get caught up on the concepts of the App Store, FaceTime, airplane mode, and Angry Birds. … Read more

Hottest stories, craziest moments from summer 2011

Officially, we still have three weeks of summer, but we all know that after the three-day Labor Day weekend it's all but over. And it's probably a good thing. After the blistering pace of big news and wild moments over the past three months, we could all use an autumn vacation. Here's a look back at the stories that made summer 2011 so memorable:

iOS 5 and "one more thing" from WWDC: No blockbuster new device announcement came out of Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Instead we got updates to Mac OS X and iOS to anticipate, as well as one more very intriguing thing. Steve Jobs announced iCloud, which rehashes a lot of cloud concepts that are already old hat for Android users, but adds that special Apple polish and iTunes Match, which syncs up users' music and media collections across iOS devices. The service still hasn't debuted, but Spotify landed in the U.S. (see below) in the meantime, creating some serious competition.

Everything's coming up tablets: The great race to catch up to the iPad continued, but no one seemed to gain ground. RIM's PlayBook flopped and HP's TouchPad... well, more on that later. But the tech world is far from giving up. Microsoft started the summer by introducing Windows 8, which is basically built to be tablet-ready with a touch interface. Of course, who knows if we'll see it before 2014--by that time tablets will probably have been replaced by nanotech thought-controlled devices. Amazon also looks to be throwing its hat in the tablet ring, with a rumored iPad-killer coming soon, maybe?

Everyone hacks everything: What's summer without a fresh Mountain Dew and Low-Orbit Ion Cannon by the glow of a flat-screen monitor, DDoSing the lazy days away? You're not anyone in this world anymore until someone hacks you. By that measure, a whole lot of people, companies, and governments finally "arrived" this year. Tongue-in-cheek congratulations to the CIA, Sony (several times over), Citigroup, Electronic Arts, Turkey, and so many more for making the long list of targets.… Read more

Top 10 AirPlay-compatible apps

If you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, and an Apple TV, you're most likely familiar with AirPlay. It's a feature built-into iOS devices that lets you stream videos, music, YouTube videos, and photos from your devices to your home theater system without any cables.

But now developers have begun integrating AirPlay with their apps, allowing you to stream in-app content to your Apple TV or (other AirPlay-compatible product.)

There are only a couple dozen AirPlay-enabled apps, but we've picked the top 10 free and paid apps that bring entertaining and educational content to the big … Read more

How to get started with Apple AirPlay

AirPlay--a technology built into the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch--brings wireless media streaming from your iOS device to your home theater. Although it has limitations, it's one of the most seamless ways to get your favorite YouTube videos, music, and home videos onto the big screen.

Watch the video and follow the instructions below to get started.

What you need:

An Apple TV. At $99, this is the most inexpensive way to use AirPlay. Other options include AirPlay-enabled speakers, Apple AirPort, and some receivers.

An iOS device running iOS 4.2 or above. To check your software, go to … Read more

Leaked Verizon doc tips LTE Xoom and HTC Rhyme

In what's becoming a regular occurrence, yet another Verizon MAP (minimum advertised price) list has landed online.

Typically, these documents detail pricing and product plans over the next few months and today's is no exception. According to the leak, the HTC Rhyme will arrive in late September. Though we have the model number (ADR6330), we don't know much more about the handset at this point.

It's possible that the HTC Rhyme ends up being the rumored female-focused HTC Bliss as both share the same expected launch date. Considering its $199 price point and that the model … Read more

The 404 896: Where 'tis a far far better thing doing stuff for other people (podcast)

We have big announcement to make today! At the end of this month, CNET will begin a daily block of live podcasts, starting with The 404! You asked for longer episodes, so we're extending the show to fit in all the news headlines of the day, plus Calls From The Public, more weekly segments, including the return of Tang that Tune, and more!

On today's extracasual episode, we jump into a few stories we weren't able to discuss yesterday, like Apple losing yet another unreleased iPhone prototype, Germany lifting a 17-year ban on Doom 1 and 2, and a Tang That Tune with a surprise ending!

The 404 Digest for Episode 896

Apple loses another unreleased iPhone (exclusive). Doom finally unbanned in Germany. Apple customer accidentally given store hard drive.

Episode 896 Subscribe in iTunes (audio) | Subscribe in iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS VideoRead more