Tech talk 'more confusing than a foreign language'

You might be familiar with the term "megabyte."

For some, though, it represents an emotional megadeath.

You might know what an ISP is, but some need ESP in order to explain to themselves what this actually means.

This, at least, is the conclusion of a deeply disturbing piece of research, performed in the U.K. on behalf of Carphone Warehouse's Geek Squad. … Read more

The 404 1,096: Where we try this again (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 show:

- 'People' defend Chic-fil-A on Facebook.

- Chick-fil-A cashier fired for racist receipts.

- Old records outsell new ones for the first time.

- Circuit City's in-home TV calibration is a total scam.… Read more

Best Buy employee accused of copying woman's steamy photos

Again, the temptation of holding someone else's personal things seems to have been too great for one employee of Best Buy.

Sophia Ellison needed her photos and contacts transferred from an old iPhone to a new one.

According to WTOP radio, she hired the services of a Best Buy Geek Squad employee at Fair Oaks in Fairfax, Va.

Promising to transfer her data, the employee -- called George -- allegedly offered to buy her old iPhone for $60. He also allegedly promised to wipe away all the photos and videos that were on it. And, no, she says that … Read more

Best Buy to cut 650 Geek Squad employees

Best Buy has decided to cut down the number of employees working in its Geek Squad division.

The company confirmed to Minneapolis-St. Paul news station KARE 11 last night that it will lay off 650 Geek Squad workers nationwide. The company told the news outlet that it will offer the affected employees severance, and will aid them in finding new jobs.

Some of those jobs might be within Best Buy itself. KARE 11 says that the last day for Geek Squad employees will be August 1, assuming they don't find another job outside or even inside the company before … Read more

The 404 1,045: Where we're outed on Facebook (podcast)

We love Facebook pranks as much as the next guys, but not when it's coming from an anonymous source at Best Buy. As if we needed another reason not to step foot in the big blue retailer, we read this story about a Best Buy employee that posted a phony Facebook status update on a customer's phone. The message declared, "I am gay, I'm coming out," but there's one problem: the customer is straight.… Read more

The 404 681: Where I Google-d all over my TV (podcast)

The convergence of TVs and computers has been promised for decades, but remains largely unknown for most people outside of the tech world. Fortunately, Google aims to change all that with its Internet-connected Google TV Platform.

Google TV promises to let viewers watch video from a variety of sources--so far YouTube, Vevo, HBO, TBS and even our own CNET TV will have apps available. The big broadcast networks like ABC, CBS and NBC are taking a wait-and-see approach. But Google TV promises you even more, with the ability to search and browse the Web, record your favorite TV programs, and even control the whole experience from your cell phone.

Logitech is holding a news conference today for its own Google TV product, the Logitech Revue, and CNET is at there covering all the news as it happens. Check back again next week when Sony launches its own Google-TV powered box on October 12.

Next up on today's show we're calling BS on an image of a public Twitter booth that recently popped up on Russian Livejournal, aka the premiere site for tech news coverage.

America has its own share of Internet kiosks, but we have a hard time imagining the kind of tweet that would require you to drop everything and pay money to send it out...from a park. We could be wrong, though, so send us a photo if you spot a Twitter kiosk in the wild.

This is the second-to-the-last reminder you're going to get about our official Fall 404 Meetup tomorrow, October 7 at the Frying Pan Bar in New York City.

Join us tomorrow from 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., and an early thanks to the Pan for hooking it up with $15 wristbands good for open beer, well drinks, and wine for the duration of the Meetup!

We'd like to give them an idea of who's coming, so head over to The 404 Meetup page and RSVP for the event ( registration required). We'll see you there!

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The 404 680: Where you really should be working right now (podcast)

"Bringing a date to a wedding is like taking a deer carcass on a hunting trip." Des Moines from Shane left us one of the best voice mails we've listened to in a while, so thanks for the advice, dude! On today's episode of The 404 Podcast, we're looking at some of the most inappropriate Halloween costumes of all time. Plus, a preview of the upcoming Sonic 4, and a list of catchphrases every 404 fan should use at least once a day!

Sonic the Hedgehog is one of the most recognizable titles of all time, right up there with Mario and Tetris. Even an anti-gaming Luddite like myself can appreciate its simple objective: to run as fast as possible while decimating anything that gets in your way. Also, coins.

The next evolution, Sonic 4, is a throwback to the original games but this time with HD gameplay, so look for it in stores for the Nintendo Wii, Sony PS3, and the Xbox 360, and it'll be featured on a future episode of CNET's PreGame as well!

The next story in the daily rundown is a public Twitter booth spotted in Russia, but it'll have to wait until tomorrow because we'd rather talk about the most inappropriate Halloween costumes of all time. Watch Wilson's head explode and follow along as we show off a couple controversial costumes, including the sexy Finding Nemo, the Suicide Bomber children's outfit, the "Shocker," and one other play on word costume that brings Wilson to tears- don't miss this segment!

We spent the first half of yesterday's show talking about the disturbing world of Renaissance faires, and I told a story about a young fan of The 404 who spotted me in attendance but couldn't stay long to talk with his mother in tow.

Well, he actually called us up with a voice mail that illustrates exactly how bad my sense of observation is--sorry dude! Come to our Meetup at The Frying Pan this Thursday, October 7, and I'll buy you a drink! If you're not a member of our Meetup Group, sign up for more details and RSVP if you can make it!

Here are the meetup details.

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Geek Squad wants to save me from myself

Did you know that my birthday is less than a week from now on March 17? That's also St. Patrick's Day, which everyone celebrates by going out and getting wasted. I'll admit it, that's exactly my plan for my birthday/St. Pat's.

The smart people at Geek Squad, knowing it's my birthday (because I've collaborated with a PR person there in the past), sent me this wonderful cell phone recovery kit in the off chance I drunkenly drop my phone into my beer, a toilet, or, more likely, Puget Sound. It wouldn't be the first time.

What's in the kit, you ask? Everything you need to attempt to resurrect a dunked cell phone. And what better way to show it off than with a series of unboxing pics? Because for some reason people who read tech blogs love unboxing pics.

First off we've got a generously sized Tupperware container that can also be used for storage of last night's leftover lasagna. Inside we see a handy card that features the seven key steps for saving a waterlogged handset: … Read more

Wal-Mart preps to battle Best Buy's Geek Squad

Wal-Mart is preparing to offer in-home tech support to its customers, according to Reuters.

The retail giant will partner with product-support firm N.E.W. Customer Service Companies, the report said. By the holiday-shopping season, all U.S. Wal-Mart stores plan to offer customers the opportunity to use N.E.W.'s service in their homes. Reuters said the service already kicked off this month in specified locations.

Wal-Mart will give shoppers the option of buying service plans "on a prepaid card, ranging from $99 to $339," Reuters said. The service plans will provide "basic television installation … Read more

The 404 429: Where we'll never use that one again

Now that I've moved into a new mouseless apartment, I can finally settle down and live the dream of digital cable television. First things first, though: I need a new TV. Since it's been eights years since I've even considered buying a new box, needless to say I need all the help I can get. Luckily I've got Jeff, Wilson, and CNET's HDTV World to help me decide on a size, resolution, and brand! Feel free to send me your shopping advice or hot deals at the404(at)cnet(dot)com or @the404 on Twitter.

Everyone's talking about the latest gossip: Attack of the Show stole our show motto! In light of this controversy, our buddy Blake Stevenson drafted the amazing fight announcement poster you see to the left.

With so many awesome fans like Blake on our side, we're sure to win this Battle for the Brow. And if you think that Kevin Pereira and Olivia Munn can even occupy the same air as our low brow-itude, you're on the wrong side of the ring. D-Topping, pearl necklaces, bean bag chairs, buzz-outlouding!? We DARE Attack of the Show to step to us and find out what happens when you mess with the Nerdy Dirty (please don't steal that one).

Jeff brings a great first story to the table about Best Buy's Geek Squad charging $130 to set up a PlayStation 3! This story is so ridiculous that it actually prompts Jeff to bring back the classic "ARE YOU KIDDIN' ME!?" and sadly...they aren't. Neither Best Buy nor Geek Squad have the best customer service reputation, but this might as well be a crime. We understand that there are some fairly techno-inept folks out there, but setting up a PS3 literally requires one plug. Save your $130 and buy some games.

Finally, much thanks to Brian from Pittsburgh--the first winner of our "Take-a-photo-of-yourself-in-a-hockey-rink-with-a-404-sign" competition! Click on the thumbnail over yonder to see him in all his hockey-garb glory. A copy of NHL 10 is on its way to your doorstep, Brian! There's still time left to submit YOUR photo to the404(at)cnet(dot)com, so don't sleep on your chance to win!

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