Keep up with our show in real-time on the web today via Brian's Twitter channel. Twitter is a service that allows people to share short messages (no longer than 140 characters) via the Internet, e-mail, and cell phone text message systems. It really showed its usefulness during the San Diego wildfires in October.
The airport at Area 51 has been given an identifier code: KXTA. That's for "eXtra Terrestrial Airport", if you will.
Lenovo -- the Chinese company that bought IBM's PC division a few years ago -- is out with a handheld computer that has a lot of bells and whistles, including GPS and a camera. It's supposedly available only in China, but it's hard to imagine that they'll resist trying to enter the US market for long.
Steve Jobs is having trouble getting the movie studios to cooperate with his plans to offer videos on the video iPod and other Apple services. On a related note, the CEO of Seagate says it doesn't matter whether Blu-Ray or HD-DVD wins the high-definition video war...he thinks online delivery and downloads of videos will simply replace the conventional hard-copy DVD medium. Obviously, as the CEO of a company that makes hard drives, he has a horse in this race. But the concept is interesting.
India's new $3,000 car may create a tremendous opportunity for India's growing middle class to get on the road, but it also could be an unbelievable source of new air pollution. They're planning to build 250,000 of the cars each year, and that would mean 2.5 million small engines roving around India within a decade. Imagine the impact of that many small combustion engines, which are notorious for their ability to produce smog.
On a related note, the CEO of GM says he thinks America needs ten times as many gas stations with E85 as we have now in order for his company to really make a lot of money. Flex-fuel vehicles, of course, can run either on E85 or on regular gasoline. But if there aren't enough places to get E85, then it's going to be hard to convince people to express a preference for those cars. (The Department of Energy has a calculator for E85 costs and benefits.)
Hackers managed to break into the website of the City of Cleveland the other day. It's a reminder that these crooks target everyone, and it's important to make sure you're always following basic security practices, like running your computer on a limited-access account.
The FAA is worried that the fly-by-wire system on the Boeing 787 makes it vulnerable to hijacking by laptop. Scary.
Keywords in this show: air pollution • Apple • Area 51 • automobiles • Blu-Ray • Boeing 787 • China • E85 • ethanol • FAA • flex-fuel vehicles • fly-by-wire • General Motors • hacking • handheld computers • HD-DVD • hijacking • IBM • India • iPod • Jobs, Steve • Lenovo • limited-access accounts • movies • online delivery • San Diego wildfires (2007) • text messages • Twitter