TR Hot 5: The devil's advocate takes a stab at the iPad
March 5, 2010, 5:59am PST | Length: 00:05:10
In this episode of TechRepublic's Hot 5, Sonja Thompson highlights the most active discussions of the week and gives a shout out to the TR members who provided the most chatter on the site.
If you're not a fan of video, you can choose to just download the mp3.
Sonja Thompson: I'm Sonja Thompson with TechRepublic's Hot 5, and in this episode -- on March 5th, 2010 -- we're going to count down the hottest discussions of the week.
Sure, TechRepublic's Head Technology Editor Bill Detwiler is mostly known for his TR Dojo video series, but he also writes about some interesting things in the TR Dojo blog -- such as this popular post about a lawsuit filed against Pennsylvania high school officials for spying on their students via the school-issued Macbook webcams. And this was discovered when a student was told that he had engaged in improper behavior at his home -- but if you're at home, that's where you should have the freedom or at least the privacy to be improper, right? Well, even though the judge's verdict isn't in yet, the TR community was certainly vocal about their disapproval of this practice in the discussion thread. And when Bill asked, "Does 'hardware monitoring' extend to taking photos through a laptop's webcam if not explicitly spelled out in the acceptable-use agreement?" 90% of the poll respondents, at least at the time of this recording, answered "NO!"
It was good to see folks getting their Geekend on this past week with Nicole Bremer Nash's post about science in science fiction -- does it have to be accurate? As you can imagine, there were quite a few responses in the discussion thread, but one of my favorites was from TR member Alex. He said, "I think the whole idea that the science in Starship Troopers was too unbelievable is laughable at best. First of all, it's fiction. Key word folks. FICTION. F-I-C-T-I-O-N.
Michael Kassner hit my funny bone this past week with his post about a Chuck Norris botnet, because it opens up a whole new direction for Chuck Norris jokes. Chuck Norris doesn't need IT security, because there is no such thing as protection from Chuck Norris! Chuck Norris doesn't use passwords. The Internet fears Chuck Norris and logs him in automatically! Malware does exist. It's just waiting for Chuck Norris to die before it attacks!
I really haven't said anything about the Chuck Norris botnet, but luckily, Michael tells us that avoiding it is relatively easy.
Well, Google's gone and done it this time -- or have they? Toni Bowers, TechRepublic's Head Blogs Editor, recaps a horrifying story about three Google executives being charged with privacy violations. Apparently, an Italian court connected them with a YouTube video that showed an autistic teenager being bullied -- but they had nothing to do with the harassing incident, its filming, or its uploading onto Google Video. Hmmm... needless to say, a lot of TR folks chimed in on this one -- some say that content providers should be held liable and others argue that this is just another example of censorship and/or the invasion of privacy. One thing that was very clear -- this is a HOT issue! Is something burning?
And finally, the hottest discussion of this past week was sparked by Donovan Colbert, who you all know and like to argue with as dcolbert on the site. What can I say? He loves playing the devil's advocate, because he really enjoys it when people challenge his thoughts and even make him think of things that he hadn't thought of before. So, this time around, Donovan went off on why he thinks the iPad will (thumbs down) pbbbt. In the discussion thread, no one was able to convince him otherwise, but he did strike up a bet with TR member Vatdoro, who thinks the iPad WILL dominate the market. They agreed on the terms -- how they're going to measure its success -- and now all we have to do if check back in a year to see who won!
And you know, if you have a strong opinion about something going on in the tech industry -- a product or even a philosophy -- whip it up and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can post in the TR Out Loud blog.
And here are a few folks who are responsible for generating a lot of chatter on the site this past week: santeewelding, Oz_Media, dcolbert, seanferd, Neon Samurai, and Deadly Ernest.
Ta-da! See you all next week with another TR Hot 5.