Tech News Today 209

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Tech News Today
Episode 209

Tech News Today 209: Sloppy Science Talk

Windows Phone 7 will outsell iPhone, Another AOL-Time Warner merger, Netflix throttles Canada, and more.



Discussion Stories

  • Microsoft Wants to Make Emails More Interactive: Partners with LivingSocial, Netflix, Posterous and Others
    • Partnering with LivingSocial, Netflix, LinkedIn, Orbitz, Monster and Posterous to bring interactive elements to their emails when they appear in Microsoft’s Windows Live Hotmail service. To ensure that the emails that arrive in Hotmail are safe, Microsoft actually sandboxes the code and isolates it, so that it can’t harm a user’s machine. In addition, it checks who the sender is and will only display these messages when they come directly from the source.

News Fuse

Kickers and Weird Science




"Hey TNT, I think I have a guess as to why the Motorola Xoom isn't the Nexus of tablets. While it is pure Google and has nearly every feature you could want, it does not feature NFC, which is all the rage with Google lately. I bet if we see the Nexus Tab from LG it will have baked in NFC.

Also, I highly doubt that the Xoom will get blurred. I wouldn't put it past Moto to skin future tablets, but I can't fathom them retroactively skinning my precious Xoom.

One more thing, I looked at Best Buy's site to check up on the wi-fi only Xoom, and I noticed that now that the Wifi model is available, the 1 month Verizon service requirement for the 4G model is back! I don't know if they are enforcing it, but it's very prominently stated on the web page. All I can say is that I'm glad I bought my Xoom before that was put in place.


"Tom has made at least a couple of comments on Ce-137 that are inconsistent with science.

In show 207, Tom made a comment to the effect that there is no known path to damage from Ce-137, unlike I-131 which concentrates in the thyroid.

In show 208, Tom made a comment to the effect that while all radiation is dangerous, Ce-137 is less dangerous.

Both of these statements are incorrect or misleading.

Ce-137 gives off a gamma ray in its decay chain. 500 RAD of Ce-137 will kill just as well as 500 RAD of any other gamma ray isotope.

Ce-137 has a shorter half life than Plutonium, for example. Thus a given quantity of Ce-137 (say 1 mole) will give off more radiation per second and thus be more dangerous than the equivalent mass of Plutonium.

From Wikipedia:

"Because of its beta decay (to 137mBa), 137Cs is a strong emitter of gamma radiation.[41] Its half-life makes it the principal medium-lived fission product along with 90Sr—both are responsible for radioactivity of spent nuclear fuel after several years of cooling up to several hundred years after use.[42] For example 137Cs together with 90Sr currently generate the largest source of radioactivity generated in the area around the Chernobyl disaster.[43]"

See also

Overall, I appreciate the general tone of discussion on TNT regarding Japan, knocking down the excessive panic, etc. It is just that the good guys need to get their facts correct.

Also, one can get direct from the source information at or


Ralph Elwell Nuclear Engineer Richland WA"

"Hey TNT Crew,

I just wanted to let you know that after a long day of travel issues which began with leaving my house at 5am in freezing cold weather, cloudy skies, rain, delayed flights, rental car problems, and a hotel which had oversold it's rooms...I just received an email from Saul Colt at Freshbooks letting me know that I had won a cake! Then the sun came out, my rental car was upgraded for free, and the hotel called me back telling me that they actually do have a room available for a discounted corporate rate! (All true...I swear.) It could be coincidence, but I choose to believe that the Freshbooks cake email was somehow a trigger of a spate of good luck. I may even play the lottery later on.

Anyway, I wanted to say thanks for letting me know about Freshbooks and thank you all for the thorough and thought provoking show you guys do every day. It is much appreciated.

-- Del Putnam 757.952.6030"



Production Information

  • Edited by: Jeff
  • Notes:
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