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This Week in Google 234
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWIG 'This week in Google' and the big story just broke as we go to press, as they say: Lenovo buys Motorola Mobility from Google! Is it a huge gain for Motorola? Huge loss for Google? Our analysts explain right after this.
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This is Twit, 'This week in Google', episode 234. Recorded January, 29, 2014
A Six Pack of Rolexes
Leo: This week in Google is brought to you by Personal Capital. With Personal Capital, you finally have your entire financial life in one place. And get a clear view of everything you owe. Best of all, it's free. To sign up go to personalcapital.com/twig. And by SquareSpace, the all-in-one platform that makes it fast and easy to create your own professional website or online portfolio. For a free two week trial and 10% off, visit squarespace.com and use the offer code TWIG1. It's time for TWIG, 'This week in Google'. The show that covers the Google+, the Cloud, Facebook, the Twitter. Gina Trapani is here from ThinkUp.com. Hi, Gina.
Gina Trapani: Hello. Good to be here.
Leo: Watch her carefully because the sun will set in New York City. She will darken.
Gina: It is getting dark. I'm going to get darker.
Leo: I think more snow is on the way. Is it not?
Jeff Jarvis: No, it's just colder than a newspaper publisher's heart.
Leo: Oh! I love it! That's Jeff Jarvis. He is out Journalism expert. Professor of Journalism at City University of New York. Google expert too. What Would Google Do? And of course his latest is Public Parts and Gutenberg the Geek.
Jeff: Which today, this is how students could get it, is free.
Jeff: If you go, you can get it today for free. The Kindle single version, not the audible version.
Leo: Right. Go to Amazon.com and type in 'Gutenberg'...
Jeff: The Geek.
Leo: The Geek.
Jeff: I never require my students to buy my books. So...
Leo: That's nice. That's kind of you. So you know on Sunday, we had 'why gluten-free at zero', now Gutenberg the Geek at zero, you choose! Also with us Kevin Marks, The expert on open standards. The guy who worked very hard first at the BBC, then was hired by Apple to work on QuickTime, worked at Google, British Telecom, Salesforce.com. He has been everywhere. Nice to have you, Kevin!
Kevin Marks: Nice to be back.
Leo: Just before the show began, big news broke. Kind of a shocker even! According to, at first China Daily then Reuters, the New York Times chimed in, as did TechCrunch. Google is in talks to sell the Motorola Mobility division, the Moto X, the Moto G phones to Lenovo, a Chinese company. Google paid more than $12 billion for Motorola about a year ago and now reportedly selling it for $3 billion. Although, what's not clear is how much of the patent portfolio goes along with Motorola Mobility. China daily says, 10,000 patents. But it strikes me that that might be something Google will keep a hold of. Although, the patents haven’t been as useful; oh, we don't know how useful. They might have been a deterrent. They haven't used the patents to sue anybody.
Jeff: Was there ever an evaluation put on the patents or put on the business of Motorola separately?
Leo: No. And there were a lot of articles saying, 'why did Google buy Motorola?', and the consensus seemed to be: patents. Although, I thought, it was a great deal to get into the hand-set business and do something; a pure Google hand set. They didn't really do that. They kept the Nexus line. They didn't want to give Motorola too much of an advantage, and because they didn't want to lose Samsung, HTC, LG and all the others. So, Motorola was just yet another hand set maker. They didn't have much of an advantage by being partnered with Google. Except for that big marketing budget for the Moto X; it saw a lot of ads. But, while we don't know for sure, it seems they were losing a considerable amount of money on the Moto X and the Moto G. In fact, I just bought a new Moto X, an updated Moto X for $100 off. They offered a deal on Monday for one hour. I know, what's the point, right? But they have been doing a lot of those. I think that's coming back.
Jeff: What did you pay for it then?
Leo: So, an unlocked Moto X, 32 Gigs of RAM, wooden back, because that's what I really wanted. It's the main reason I bought it: $350 bucks. That's a good price for an unlocked phone.
Jeff: Very good price.
Leo: It's not a Google experience. But to me, it's more than close enough, it's better in some respects.
Jeff: I wish I did have the wake up with the car thing.
Kevin: That's cheaper than the Nexus 5 isn't it?
Leo: For 32 Gigs, I think so.
Kevin: I bought one last week, because mine got stolen.
Leo: Storage, not RAM. I'm sorry. I said RAM. 32 Gigs of storage is...
Kevin: It's got 2 gig of RAM right?
Leo: 2 Gigs of RAM I think, or 1. No, it might have 1.
Jeff: So, would you own a Chinese cell phone?
Leo: So, here's the interesting thing, and this is the back story to this. Lenovo already makes phones. They make quite good Android phones. There were rumors they might make, considering they are a Windows OEM, they might make Windows phones. But, they haven't to date. And they have not started selling Lenovo phones in the US, although, they said they were thinking about it. While I don’t know how much sense this makes for Google, it makes a lot of sense for Lenovo. It's a way for them to quickly get into the US market. I don't know how popular the Motorola phone is, but it's certainly a great US brand and it is made in the US of A. So, I think for...
Jeff: So, what makes sense to me too is that I don't think...Google gets the value it needs out of Play editions, which by the way is another story that they may change the name of Nexus. The Play and Nexus editions, so they get the value out of that, they can make these things. And they were never really meant to be a large consumer hardware manufacturer, I don't think. I think it's a scope out of their sphere.
Leo: Yet, they just acquired Nest. It's looked like Google has been building a portfolio of consumer devices and certainly they are pushing hard on...
Jeff: Here is another theory. Did it piss of the other phone manufacturers...
Leo: Maybe, maybe.
Jeff: And there's another story on the run down today that says that, Google reached an agreement allegedly with Samsung. In which, Samsung is going to get rid of some of its ridiculous apps and get closer to a purer experience. It's on the run down. So, maybe Samsung is wiggling its own way out and Google says 'okay, okay, we are out of the phone business now, so stay friends.' I don't know.
Leo: It's a disappointment to me, I have to say. This has been my daily driver since the Moto X came out and as I said I just bought another one, I like it so much. And...
Jeff: Would you have bought it today knowing this news?
Leo: Probably not. I would certainly want to wait and see. I don't know what Lenovo is going to do. But I like how closely tied to Google they were and I'm feeling like that's too bad. But I guess you might be right Jeff. They needed to do this to assuage...
Jeff: I never heard tension. I never heard complaints or saw any evidence of that. There was some speculation there might be. None of that seem to rise up. So, it is rank speculation on my part. Rank.
Gina: It's a head scratcher otherwise. I don't know. I thought the Moto X and the Moto G are like their first phones and will get better. And I had kind of the same hopes as Leo had, that they'll become a phone manufacturer, that they'll own Motorola more , than be like 'they are operating under their name and they are a separate business' and constantly kind of making them a separate thing. But I thought Moto X is a great device. Leo, did you say you wouldn't have bought the Moto X if Motorola had been owned by Lenovo?
Leo: It's the same phone obviously so I like it. But part of the reason I like it is because it's a Google phone and one presumes it'll get the updates faster. It got KitKat within two weeks of the release of KitKat. It presumably will get 442 imminently. And the other thing is of course, I worry about Lenovo. Now, to their credit, when Lenovo bought IBM's ThinkPad division, they did a great job with it. And kept that wanted brand in the forefront and it continues to make excellent ThinkPads and other Windows laptops. So, in that respect, they are good. By the way, they are partially owned by the Chinese government, I believe.
Jeff: That's the part that makes me nervous. Though, hell of an American weird thing to say...
Leo: Yeah, but who cares. Somebody is going to spy.
Jeff: What was the joke? Would you rather have an American server in China or a Chinese server in America?
Leo: At this point, you just got to assume everybody knows what you do on your phone and leave it at that. If there is an announcement, Lenovo does say they will be making a big announcement about a major acquisition Thursday morning in Beijing, which is pretty soon I think. This is a big move for Lenovo. $3 billion is a good deal too, I have to say. Given how much Google paid: $12.5 billion. Lenovo has said, the company's tablets and smart phones will be entering the US and western European markets by 2015. Well guess what. Maybe not, maybe sooner. Although, now this would have to be approved right? And who knows? I mean, I don't know what the approval would look like. Will they continue to make phones in the US? Will they continue to make the Moto X and Moto G? I don't know. Will they lard them with crap wear like the other phones are? That would be a great disappointment to me.
Jeff: It's almost 6 AM in Beijing.
Leo: Yeah, so it should be soon. We are all thinking. Apparently, according to Tim Stevens at CNET, Lenovo was taking an active interest in blackberry but the Canadian government said no, remember that? Canadian government said Blackberry has to be, majority ownership has to stay in Canada.
Jeff: Is there any chance that the US government blocks this?
Leo: I think there's a huge chance.
Jeff: On what basis by the way.
Leo: 'We don't like China.' I don't know. Yeah technology transfer would be a good start.
Jeff: Was there a discussion of that possibility when IBM sold? I think it was, wasn't it?
Leo: That's a good question, I don't know.
Jeff: Well, this one has left us stumped.
Leo: It is probably one of the most unexpected things I can imagine. They just bought Motorola for a huge amount of money. It was 2011, it's been over a year . But it just seems like a quick capitulation.
Jeff: Google's stock is down 1.3% or 1.4%, but then so is all tech.
Jeff: Except Microsoft, which is up 1%.
Kevin: The market is tanking. Blame Apple. If Lenovo is going to buy Motorola, the big deal for Motorola is that they have US manufacturing. Maybe that Lenovo is looking to have to acquire a US manufacturing base so that, when there are coming trade...
Kevin: That's one possibility. And I suspect any deal they have to do with the government would involve like, not shutting down factories. Because that's the point where governments get interested isn't it?
Jeff: Well various pieces of the phone will still come from China and still have back doors installed in them, so...
Leo: We just want to keep the jobs in the US. We don't care about spying.
Kevin: You can install back doors in anything now. The story that got me recently was that SD cards, very easy to back door. Because SD cards have stopped being raw storage, a few years ago and they all run little micro controllers because the storage is so small now, it's crappy. So it has to have an OS running a file system on there to sort of hide the defects in it. And though these are all like strange, close source or semi open source micro controllers, therefore you can take them over more easily because they never get patched. So, SD cards are a new...
Leo: Great! that's nice.
Kevin: You put a SD card in your phone and suddenly it's sitting there running software and looking at every image we take and who are we calling in time of the day and things.
Leo: That's why I've given up. Take my stuff, please. Anyway that was the big breaking news as we sat down at the table today. Hello everybody. Good to see you. Welcome. By the way, maybe they are going to use the money to defray the expense for the big deep mind purchase.
Jeff: Deep mind, $500 million?
Leo: Half a billion. SO, tell me about that. What does that mean? Who is deep mind? It's artificial intelligence?
Kevin: It's artificial intelligence but it's self-training networks. So training neural networks and noisy data was the coverage I read about describing what they were doing. So if you remember the project where they wired up a neural network and fed it Youtube and it found cat faces.
Jeff: Oh right. That was them?
Kevin: That wasn't them but that's the technology. It's that same kind of idea but apparently these guys have been good at training; getting your networks to train when you haven't got a tight feedback loop. A classic neural network is, you show it a thing and tell it what the output should be, and you train it to give that. So you use it for OCR and things like that. Optical character recognitions. So you show it a picture of a number 6 and then you tell it the output should be number 6 and you show picture number 7 and do that over and over again and eventually it builds something that is a little bit like a human brain. One of the things that this group has done, they've taught neural networks to play retro attire video games by showing them the screen and giving them the four up, down , left and right and fire buttons. And not giving them any rules or in the sense, in the game just giving them feedback that is points. So, they've actually got things that can now play break up better than humans.
Leo: Of course!
Jeff: What's fascinating too is that part of the deal, part of what sold Google on the deal, according to one report is their creating ethics committee.
Kevin: No, there was no around it. They said it's a condition of the deal. They wanted it.
Jeff: that's what I'm saying. That it was a condition of the deal.
Leo: Right. Because everybody fears Google as Skynet and they don't want Google to get intelligence etc. etc. So, the question is, is this to improve search or is this part of the robotics research that Andy Rubin in leading?
Jeff: Yes, this is for search.
Leo: Remember that they hired Ray Kurzweil who is one of the premier artificial intelligence experts of some time ago.
Kevin: Yes, he still is. Well his early work was OCR as well. He bought machines that would read text for the blind. That was his. As well as synthesis and a whole bunch of other interesting stuff. But the other thing is that, arguably they are trying to build a different bit of the brain. Kurzweil wants to build a cerebellum like the memory and resolving part of the brain. Not memory, sort of the layered reasoning part of the brain and these guys seem to be trying to build the hippocampus which is the sort of learning and memory part of the brain.
Jeff: Only Kevin Marks would do the anatomical analysis...
Leo: The problem is nobody is building a frontal lobe.
Kevin: That's the question. You have got to build the frontal lobe but also the bit that no one is building is also the emotional response feedback. No one is building an Amygdala.
Jeff: Who is building the Amygdala?
Leo: We need an Amygdala.
Kevin: That's the piece we are going to need.
Leo: Yeah, because otherwise, you got a robot that's smart and has no conscience. And apparently no impulse control. So, you're really screwed.
Gina: They should write like movies and stories about this plot.
Leo: Yeah. Seems like it would be a fritillary at a plum.
Gina: Seems like it.
Kevin: So, I had oral surgery yesterday. I spent the day sitting in front of the TV watching movies holding an eye specs to my face. So, I re-watched 2001, so I am up to date on this.
Leo: So, you are ready. Kurzweil gave an interview to the Sunday Times last month. In which he said that, by 2029 they would have created a machine that understands language and human emotion. Understand it doesn't have it. And well before that by 2018, just a few years from now, the Google brain, he's apparently called it the Google brain, will have revolutionized searches we know of. This is the quote, "Right now search is based mostly on looking for key words, what I'm working on is creating a search engine that understands the meaning of those billions of documents. It will be more like a human assistant, you could talk things over with; that you can express complicated, even personal concerns to. Your always on cybernetic friend! I want this! I don't care if it takes over or starts bitching about all the dials up and down its left side. I want it! Okay so they got the part where you talk to your computer, it's now in all versions of Chrome. Okay Google, room comes alive.
Kevin: Don't say that. All my phones...
Leo: I know! This we have pinpointed the problem by the way. Because I was playing with it the other day and people were saying, 'God dammit, you keep waking up my Motorola X or my Xbox One. Stop it'. All the machines are listening now. I like the idea of it. It is very primitive right now. But you can have a little bit of a conversation. God I love it if it would just let me talk. Just let me talk. You listen.
Jeff: All we do in life is just talk.
Kevin: I think this is a conceptual flaw. I know they are all excited about building a Star Trek computer, but the reason the Star Trek computer worked like that was because that way they could actually use it as part of the plot and have them talk to it and have it talk back. In actually, it is not very practical to talk to the computer, when you are in a bridge full of 20 people doing their jobs. And it is not practical to talk to the computer when you are in a office full of 20 people doing their jobs or on a bus, in a cafe or any of the other places where we use computers all the time. So, for me this is...I don't talk to it. The only time I talk to the computer is when you guys are on the other end of it and I'm doing a podcast.
Leo: Don't get misled though. Don't get misled by that. I mean, you could type your query or whatever. The fact that it would be able to better understand your queries, know what you are thinking of instead of actually what you're saying. Thing like that would be useful.
Jeff: Hold on, hold on. When you live in cubical land, most people are on the phone or used to be.
Kevin: I hate it.
Leo: Kevin is out of work right now.
Kevin: You see you are trying to write code, you really don't want somebody next to you on the phone. This is a problem. They actually did some research on this and they found that people are much more productive when they've got private offices. If they are actually trying to do something that involves thinking and not be interrupted, and having people talking...What happens is, if you look at these open plan offices, everyone has bigger and bigger, more acoustic head phones on.
Gina: It's true.
Kevin: And, that background noise. If you go to somewhere where they have these giant open offices, half the people there have got headphones on and they talk down like that try to hide away from each other.
Jeff: Kevin, my friend, that's not the normal world.
Leo: I think that is the normal world. In fact, have you seen the ads for Beats headphones? They were running during all the football games. And what they were selling was that these headphones, would let you tune out the noise. There was one with Colin Kaepernick and then I guess in response, they made one for Richard Sherman, let me show you. This is the beats ad.
Ad playing. Reporter in ad: The atmosphere was electric. What's it like playing in front of these fans?
Richard Sherman in ad: It's incredible man. I think we have the most outstanding fans in the world.
Reporter in ad: How important is home field advantage?
Leo: That's what's on his head of course. Beats headphones.
Reporter in ad: Do you think trash talk is a distraction to your teammates?
Richard Sherman in ad: It doesn't distract anybody. It motivates.
Leo: This is actually a great timely ad.
Richard Sherman in ad: Well, you try to set an example. You try to be an example.
Reporter in ad: How do you cut out, let’s say, when your secondary plays dirty?
Richard Sherman in the ad: Well I'll take exception to that.
Leo: Poor guy. This is why headphones were invented.
Reporter in ad: Did you fight a lot as a kid?
Richard Sherman in the ad: Not everybody in Compton is a gang member.
Reporter in ad: Richard, have you gone downhill since college?
Richard Sherman in the ad: No.
Reporter in ad: As an athlete do you feel you are untouchable?
Richard Sherman in the ad: I'm not afraid of anything.
Reporter in ad: What about your reputation as a thug?
Richard Sherman in the ad: I don't have that reputation.
Reporter in ad: Richard, do you think you are above the law?
Leo: Time to put on the headphones Richard. Put on the headphones. Peace and quiet. Hear what you want is the new slogan for Beats. I think that's a direct response because how many of us really are in a locker room peppered by questions from the sports reporting press. But, many of us are in offices where people are annoying. This is why people wear headphones.
Kevin: I don't wear Beats. But, I do have Sennheiser 280's.
Leo: I love my headphones.
Kevin: 35 dB's of noise reduction.
Jeff: These Beats are amazing. The studios are amazing. They are comfortable.
Leo: Really, you like them? Because I always thought they were kind of overpriced.
Jeff: They are. They are.
Kevin: Sennheiser 280's: 90 bucks.
Jeff: What happened was that I could only exchange. The only thing I could find in the store was that. So. I used it as an excuse to get it and I'm happy with them now though.
Leo: Yeah. Well, they sound good. Hey comfortable headphones that sound good are really a life saver. I agree.
Jeff: Don't you know. That's your life.
Leo: If I get on an airplane without my headphones, I go ' Oh! no, please'. I mean it's the worst, worst thing that could happen. That baby behind me, the kid in front of me with his phone and I just want to seal the world out.
Jeff: What's right now in New York is that they double as ear muffs if you need them badly because it's cold.
Leo: Right, Gina?
Gina: Yes. It's cold.
Leo: It's not too late to come back to California Gina.
Gina: My real estate lawyer might disagree.
Leo: Have you moved in yet?
Gina: Not yet. Our closing is next week.
Leo: Good luck.
Gina: Yeah, thank you. Thank you. These are expensive headphones. They look good though. I'm still a newbie to the whole open office thing. I've got crappy ear buds and they just don't do it.
Leo: No, no, no. You need sealing headphones.
Kevin: Sennheiser 280's.
Leo: Alright. That's the pick form Mr. Kevin Marks. I personally like...
Jeff: No, Beats studio.
Leo: Okay. Beats Studio. The recommendation form Jeff. I'll tell you what I wear and like...
Kevin: Sennheiser 280's, that's the one.
Leo: Yeah those are nice. How much are those? 90 bucks? That's not bad. They look comfortable.
Kevin: Yeah they are good. Sennheiser make studio headphones. You can pay three grand for Sennheiser headphones if you want real studio ones. But these are actually recordist's headphones. So they've got 35 dB of passive noise cancelling. Which means you put them on and you are already wearing ear protectors.
Leo: I like my classic...
Kevin: And they sound good.
Leo: I like my classic Cannes the AKG K240 studio headphones.
Kevin: Those are good too. But they don't cut out as much sound.
Leo: No, they're actually a good choice for people who want to hear a little bit because they are ported. But if you really want to seal it out then there is also these Sennheiser H 280's. And they seal your head like you've got a clamp on it.
Kevin: They are the ones. Those are my favorite headphones.
Leo: Yeah. We are kind of headphones buffs here. I think we've got all kinds. There are the K240's on Jeff. Most of us tend to wear those because they are comfortable, you can wear them all day. And they don't really seal out the noise. What are these? These are Audio Technica's? ATH-M50's. Both Alex and John who are audio files like these. They are comfy enough. There's nothing comfier than a K240.
Kevin: The fascinating thing for me is that, like 5 years ago, headphones like that were something only professionals wore, and now they're being advertised in Super Bowl by the star athletes. Because, suddenly over the year, it's fashion. I think it's this sense of shared space. The tag line of that thing is right. You listen to what you want to hear and you want to be; as Gina says you are in this open plan office , there's a lot going on and you wan tot pull yourself away from it. And it was the original, certainly Walkman idea of this...'you have your own soundtrack to the world'.
Leo: It's kind of interesting that it's back, isn't it?
Kevin: The other encouraging thing for me is, these things actually have got acoustic quality. So, you can...there's been this sort of myth of mp3's just drawing audio quality in the music industry and actually what's happened is that people have been mixing balancing things badly and then mp3-ing them. If one is only listening through crappy little ear buds anyway, we go to make sure this stuff works. Whereas, that's apparently not true anymore. Gigantic headphones with audio isolation are mainstream. There are four aisles of them in the electronic store compared to like one aisle of TV's now. And, everyone's walking around wearing this. So, that means that we can go back to good quality audio again and stop mixing everything so that it's compressed for somebody who has got these on and walking in traffic.
Leo: So, you’re absolutely right. It has to start with fashion, Kids can't wear them unless it's okay to wear them. You don't want to be the dork who’s wearing headphones. And I saw that with my son, Henry who started wearing lime green headphones about 3-4 years ago. It was clearly had become the fashion. And that's because these ear buds are so crappy. Not only sound bad, but they fall out. They are crappy. That's what everybody had with their iPod. But I also think, it came from the commerce side, because people realized 'oh you know, you can build these really cheap and sell them for a huge premium if you just attach Dr. Dre's name to it'.
Kevin: The mark up on the Beats and the follow on is amazing yeah.
Leo: So, it's a very very profitable business as well. And, that's why when you go to CES you'll see aisle after aisle after aisle of headphones.
Jeff: There was a great story in the New York Times, I think about a year and half ago about the origin of Beats and the company that originally made them and how Dre and Co. got them out of it and it's been a phenomenal business story.
Gina: See now the Wirecutter, Bose...
Leo: WIrecutter is almost always right in this case, completely wrong.
Jeff: Yeah, I've tried them, I don’t like them.
Leo: No, I love Wirecutter that's Brian Lam and Co. and they do a great job and 99% of the time, I completely agree because the goal of this is pick one and that's the one. And almost always they are right and I agree with their TV reviews. But in that case I cannot, those are not flat headphones and accurate headphones. They are highly overpriced, but Bose is the king of mark up on this particular. You know where you go, is head room which is headphone.com. They sell all the brands. They've been doing that for years and they have a huge variety. Bu they also have a lot of helpful information so you can pick the headphone that makes sense for you. Because it is personal. And really, ideally you would go and listen before you buy because they all have some unique...
Jeff: In the chat room there's a Press release now, thank you who said it...
Leo: It's official. I am shocked.
Kevin: The Gadget Priest.
Jeff: The Gadget Priest just put it up.
Leo: It's investor.google.com. It's the latest press release from the Google...
Jeff: $2.91 billion including...
Leo: "With a strong PC business and a fast-growing smartphone business, this agreement will significantly strengthen Lenovo€™s position in the smartphone market. They will gain a strong market presence in North America and Latin America, both of which of course are Moto X places as well as a foothold in Western Europe, where Moto X has just recently entered the market." $2.91 billion dollars, including $1.41 billion paid at close, $660 million in cash, $750 million in Lenovo shares. That's interesting, that means Lenovo...Google now has a stake in Lenovo, which I find interesting. Lenovo...
Jeff: And promissory notes.
Leo: Lenovo gets the Motorola mobility brand, Moto X, Moto G, Droid. The Droid is now a Chinese company. Wow.
Jeff: "Google will maintain the ownership of the vast majority of the Motorola Mobility patent portfolio, including current patent applications and invention disclosures. As part of it's ongoing relationship with Google, Lenovo will receive a license to this rich portfolio of patents and other IP. Additionally Lenovo will receive over 2,000 patent assets, as well as the Motorola Mobility brand and trademark portfolio."
Leo: Very interesting. Of course, subject to regulatory approval.
Kevin: So, that means the market...what 9 billion of this? They can basically take a $9 billion write down and take a lot of their profits as well.
Gina: So they paid $9 billion for patents.
Jeff: That was about the guess of what it was worth.
Leo: Yeah. And of course, there's more to it than this. Who knows what the agreements include. But they've may have acquired a very strong partner in Android as well. Maybe. they said to Lenovo, 'okay, but you got to keep these Google experience', we don't know.
Jeff: And, not make any more Windows phones.
Leo: Yeah. They might have kept them out of the Windows market. Not that that matter that much. It also means that you could for instance, say that from now on the Nexus line is made by Lenovo.
Jeff: Now, that's the other story that’s up is that they are getting rid of the Nexus line.
Leo: Is this merely a re-naming to Google experience?
Jeff: That's what is perplexing as that's what it says. They renamed it. I don't know what that means.
Leo: Does that mean...I mean, Nexus has traditionally met a pure Google experience.
Jeff: That apparently becomes Play...
Leo: What's the distinction though between an HTC Google experience, a Samsung Galaxy 4 Google experience and a Nexus 5? Is there a distinction?
Jeff: Yes. If they get rid of that, then you have Play editions of other brands phones, but you have no Google brand phone.
Leo: Got it.
Jeff: If this is true, Google got out of having branded devices.
Gina: They are not re-branding right, the Google Play editions that already exist right, like I'm holding one here?
Leo: They are dropping Nexus.
Gina: They are just dropping Nexus. Yeah. It's superseding that Google Play edition.
Jeff: That depresses me far more.
Gina: Yeah, me too.
Kevin: Well, they have a bigger problem in that the next Nexus will be the Nexus 6 and that's actually....
Leo: They had to stop. I got another interesting theory...
Kevin: They've seen how that one ends, it's like Oh God, what.
Leo: What is Google most afraid of right now? Samsung. Because Samsung is creating an Android device that is divergent from Google in an extreme way. Now you were saying they there may be some sort of agreement now between Google and Samsung?
Jeff: It's on the run down. Yeah, I put it under Android.
Gina: There's also an agreement for Samsung and Google to collaborate on patents. Existing patents and like patents for the next 10 years.
Jeff: It's fourth one under Android...
Leo: They are very united in their fight. Remember, Google just recently dropped the lawsuit. Motorola just dropped a Samsung lawsuits right? So, they are really united against Microsoft and Apple. These are the natural. So re/code has the story. "After Google pressure, Samsung will dial back Android tweaks and home grown apps" It's not just Google pressure, I think consumers are doing the same thing. In fact...
Kevin: The thing Samsung is realizing is that they are losing sales to the Nexus 5, partly n price or partly on the fact that their apps aren't that good. As somebody pointed out, if they are built in and around delete-able, it's sort of a dead way on the phone. My wife has the Galaxy 4, I had my Nexus 5 stolen and when I went to replace it, it was like no, I'm good. Another Nexus 5 definitely. I wouldn't think of buying the Samsung one because of the weight of those apps and the way it makes...They're apps aren't bad, they're just not quite as up to date as the Google one.
Leo: Yeah no they're bad. They're bad. They're just bad.
Kevin: The camera app and the slow motion stuff and the things they do in there are fairly good. But, I've been impressed by the Nexus 5 for that too. But they’re not as good as the cloud services and stuff as Google is because nobody is, so that's that.
Leo: You take this Moto X Lenovo, I'm going to tell you what to do. You take the Moto X, you give it a 1080p screen. I don't think you have to make it bigger, I think the size is fine and you put a really damn good camera in it. 8 megapixel, maybe 13 megapixel, let's go for it. Let's make a 20 megapixel damn good camera in here and this is a great phone. So, I'm hopeful. I think Google looked for a partner that could take Motorola where Google has been unable to take it. A manufacturing partner, a partner that can make a much better bit of hardware because Google’s biggest fear is the 18% market share Samsung has in Android and they crapping it up. And, I think it is very deleterious to Android in general. So, it makes sense that they would both pursue this by saying, 'Samsung, you got to knock it off.' Samsung is also hearing from consumers I'm sure. And selling this to Lenovo and saying, 'Here guys, you got to make a beautiful Google experience phone, to kick Samsung to the curb.'
Jeff: But you know what, it's going to be an expensive phone. Google used this opportunity to try to drop the prices down and pressure the entire industry on cost and now that's gone. And, that's why with the Nexus being gone depresses me so much. Because they only way they did it on Motorola was because they owned it. And they had a business reason to do that. They want to expand Android. Nexus, they want to do, to show an experience of a great phone at a low price. Now, Google doesn't have that...
Leo: Here's the statement. Larry Page has just made a statement, "We’ve signed an agreement to sell Motorola to Lenovo. This is an important move for Android users everywhere; I wanted to explain why in detail. We acquired Motorola in 2012 to help supercharge the Android ecosystem by creating a stronger patent portfolio for Google and great smartphones for our users. Over the past 19 months, Dennis Woodside and the team have done a tremendous job reinventing the company. They've focused on building a smaller number of great and great value smartphones. Both the Moto G and the Moto X are doing really well, and I’m very excited about the smartphone lineup for 2014. And on the intellectual property side, Motorola’s patents have helped create a level playing field, which is good news for all Android’s users and partners." So, he’s declared victory, but he says, "The smartphone market is super competitive, and to thrive it helps to be all-in when it comes to making mobile devices. It’s why we believe that Motorola will be better served by Lenovo, which has a rapidly growing smartphone business and is the largest and fastest-growing PC manufacturer in the world." This is good for Lenovo, I have to say. "This move will enable Google to devote our energy to driving innovation across the Android ecosystem, for the benefit of smartphone users everywhere." In other words, 'this will help us not piss off the other OEM's.' "As a side note, this does not signal a larger shift for our other hardware efforts", to your point Jeff. "The dynamics and maturity of the wearable and home markets", Glass and Nest.
Gina: Glass and Nest yeah.
Leo: "For example, are very different from that of the mobile industry. We’re excited by the opportunities to build amazing new products for users within these emerging ecosystems." In other words, 'we are not getting out of hardware, we are not getting out of consumer, we just don't have the resources to devote to phone.'
Jeff: Phones are sucky businesses. Matt Haughey has a great tweet, "I've owned pizzas longer than Google owned Motorola."
Leo: "Lenovo has the expertise and track record to scale Motorola into a major player within the Android ecosystem." This is I think directly in response to Samsung's dominance. "They have a lot of experience in hardware, and they have global reach. In addition, Lenovo intends to keep Motorola’s distinct brand identity, just as they did when they acquired ThinkPad from IBM in 2005." They did a very good job with that. "Google will retain the vast majority of Motorola’s patents, which we will continue to use to defend the entire Android ecosystem. The deal has yet to be approved in the U.S. or China, and this usually takes time. So until then, it’s business as usual. I’m phenomenally impressed with everything the Motorola team has achieved and confident that with Lenovo as a partner, Motorola will build more and more great products for people everywhere."- Larry Page. So, that is...he addressed directly some of the obvious concerns.
Jeff: Also, Ina Fried points out, that Google got $2.3 billion for the set-top business.
Leo: Ah, that's right. They didn't lose all that much. I think this might not be a bad deal at all.
Jeff: Tax losses. Kevin says tax losses are a beautiful thing but brutal.
Kevin: They may even actually be able to stop sending all their money through Ireland now.
Leo: Send it through China. Wow. Huge story. Jason Howell is watching with interest because it's all about Android last night. But this changes the landscape for next episode. The next day, they did it just for us.
Gina: It does tell with the news and the rumors about the discontinuation of the Nexus line. Obviously, Google doesn't want to be in the business of making phones or tablets. Very clear right. They want to be in the early, they want to be in wearable's and home because it's not a competitive mature market yet, but phones is. They don't want to...
Leo: Do you think, this was the plan all along?
Gina: I don't think so.
Kevin: I wouldn't think so. I think that they are more in improvisational mode. I think they'll say 'yes we'll buy this and keep it for three years and sell it to somebody else.'
Jeff: No, I think, 'what they hell, let's buy it , let's get the patents, we could turn around right away and sell it, but no let’s use a period of time to demonstrate to the industry, what phones can be. Moto X is that. Okay good bye.' I think you are right in questioning it.
Leo: I tell you, what it does say to me is that Larry Page is a hell of a chess player. Whether he has planned this or improvised this. This is a very interesting and strategic move that makes a lot of sense.
Jeff: I'm still depressed. I like my Nexus 7. I like my Nexus 5. I like my Chrome book. I like what they were doing.
Kevin: I'm fairly sure Lenovo could make a good Chrome book.
Leo: Lenovo does make a Chrome book.
Jeff: They do or they are, they are going to. They are going to yeah.
Kevin: I assume they were to make cheap ones. But I'm saying, they could probably make a high end one too.
Jeff: That's part of the deal probably too. Because that was the CES announcement form Lenovo. They are going to do multiple Chrome books.
Leo: And by the way, they said they are out of the phone business. Not out of the Chrome book business.
Leo: Although, I don't know what Google's play in the Chrome book business is.
Jeff: I can no longer say that I live la vita Google.
Leo: Because say, I live la vita Chrome OS or Android. It makes sense. Google doesn't need to be in the business. They need to foster the business and let many companies get involved. I think this isn't a bad thing at all.
Gina: It helps to be all in.
Leo: Yeah. That's what they are saying isn't it.
Gina: That's what they were saying, ‘we were not all in'. They didn't want to invest the time and resources to make Motorola competitive.
Leo: We shall return. There is more to talk about, including our changed log in just a bit. Gina Trapani is here from ThinkUp. How's it going? Going well?
Gina: Going well. Going well.
Leo: Good. Love my ThinkUp. thinkup.com, soon to be open to all.
Leo: Jeff Jarvin from the City University of New York and the author of Public Parts. Gutenberg the Geek is free today, thanks to his students.
Jeff: It's only 99 cents folks.
Leo: Yeah you're saving a buck. Is it a new semester beginning? Is that what's going on?
Jeff: Yes, it is.
Leo: New semester. And this is good, because most people assume that professors assign their own books to make a little money. So, Jeff's proving...
Jeff: I plug them a lot, but I don't assign them.
Leo: Also Mr. Kevin Marks. Always a great pleasure to have Kevin in his garden. Is it raining down there?
Kevin: No, it's not. It's dry at the moment.
Leo: It will be. We're having rain up here. We need it.
Jeff: You always need it.
Leo: It's been a very dry winter. I must say this, just to make Jeff and Gina feel bad. It was in the 80's here last week.
Jeff: Oh, shut up!
Leo: And we were complaining, because we needed the rain. It's so warm. Gosh, I wish it would rain. There it is coming your way.
Kevin: The reason it's raining is because it's...my son took the car to the car wash yesterday and so it guarantees to make it rain.
Leo: So did Chad apparently.
Chad: Yesterday I got my car washed. Just yesterday.
Kevin: Exactly, yesterday.
Leo: With the car wash over here, it has a sign that says, 'Guaranteed free wash, if it rains.'
Chad: Wait, which one?
Leo: Rain Tree over here.
Chad: Oh, I don't use that one.
Leo: They'll give you a free wash if it rains. I think it has to rain within a few days, obviously. Our show today brought to you by Personal Capital. With Personal capital, you'll finally have your entire financial life in one place on your computer, on your tablet, on your phone, so you can see in very clear graphs a dashboard of how everything is going. They're really two problems in life with how people manage their money. First, it's hard to keep track of. You come to the end of the month and you go, where did it all go? What happened? You got 401K’s; you got bank accounts, charge cards, mortgages, loans, everything's on different sites. It's not consolidated in one place. And then, if you are lucky enough to have something to invest, either paying someone in management or paying fees, to brokerage, you don't know. And there's ways to do it more efficiently. Let's put the power of the cloud to work for us here, with Personal Capital. You'll see your whole net worth, how every asset is performing. No data entry, you just give them the account information. It all is collated and put together in a clean color coded graphs. It shows you if you are paying money managers, how much your fees are adding up to, how they are impacting your profit, how you could reduce those fees. You can get specific advise on your investment strategy so you can balance your portfolio. It is very different when you are young and as you approach your retirement age, it's really important that you re-balance kind of continually, but it's a very hard thing to do. I'm a big fan of this idea. Re-balancing your portfolio at least quarterly. But I never do and this makes it easy. And the best part is it's absolutely free. It will not cost you a penny. Personal Capital. Smart way to make your money grow quicker. That's why they've featured in Times, Forbes, Bloomberg and more. You can set up a free account today as we speak. Go to personalcapital.com/twig. Getting set up takes a minute, it's free. But you got to g to personalcapital.com/twig and we do thank Personal Capital, so much for the support this week in Google. I started using them a year ago when we interviewed, Tim Harris, the founder of Personal Capital, the former CEO of Paypal and Intuit and learned a lot about how this all works. Bill Harris. We interviewed him on Triangulation a year ago and he told me, 'I'm starting this thing Personal Capital', I signed up then and I love it. personalcapital.com/twig I think it's time to break out the horns. Time for another Google Change Log. Ladies and Gentleman, Gina Trapani with the latest from the Google.
Gina: Lego lovers this one's for you. Build with Chrome.com. This is a site that Google graduated from a Chrome experiment to an actual public website to help promote the new Lego movie. Have you seen this?
Leo: No. This is so cool.
Gina: Yeah, it's pretty awesome. This site uses WebGL 3D graphics technology to let users build any creation any virtual Lego they want, using virtual Lego blocks. Very slick web-based interface. You drag the blocks, you choose the color...
Leo: Of course, it's too complicated for me. I can't figure it out. And why do I have a map? What is this map? I don't understand.
Gina: You have to kind of play around with it a little. Now it should be showing you the base. Your Lego base. It doesn't seem to be.
Leo: I'm in Chrome. Left click, place brick. Right click, remove brick. Space and drag, rotate brick. Oh.
Gina: You can add bricks of different sizes and kind and connect them just like regular Legos. It's pretty awesome. Once' you've made something, you sign in with Google+, you can share your creation. You can look at stuff that other people have built on the site as well. There is an explore option, when you first go to it. Buildwithchrome.com.
Leo: This is all the bricks I've ever wanted.
Gina: Prepare to loose many hours. Mine is not working well though.
Gina: There you go.
Leo: Chad, how come yours is working so well?
Gina: There you go Chad. You got it.
Jeff: Chad's smarter.
Leo: Chad's smarter than I am. Maybe if I sign in with my Google+.
Gina: It's a really nice, smooth interface.
Jeff: I'm getting dizzy.
Leo: Chad's really good with Lego. Mine is broken.
Chad: I blame Minecraft.
Gina: It is very Minecraft-y.
Kevin: That's the thing that struck me, yeah.
Leo: No wonder Chad is so good at it. Buildwithchrome.com
Jeff: There's not that satisfying click then.
Chad: Oh, there is! Can you hear the click, it goes...
Jeff: Oh neat!
Chad: I don't know how to trash here... let me remove bricks. Whoa, it is like Minecraft and they just kind of float there.
Leo: There's also a build academy. So, you can train to become a master builder. That's good. So do the academy. Chad show this. This is nice. This is the academy, shows you how to get started. "Every build beings with a base plate, which you can rotate. Try it on your own."
Gina: I think it features the characters in the movie as well.
Leo: It's a movie...
Gina: Yeah, it is to promote the movie.
Leo: It's alright. Who’s not excited about the movie.
Gina: Who doesn't want to build with virtual Lego.
Jeff: A movie?
Leo: Jeff. Jeff. Jeff. It's a Lego movie. There is always a Lego movie.
Gina: So, okay, I know we want to keep building Lego, but I should move along. Google's got a new...
Jeff: Come back to class now.
Gina: Google's got a new OneBox. Search result answer. It's the As the Crow Flies, distance calculation. So if you want to know the distance between two places, these are places that you can fly or drive, you can just enter query into the box. So, if you say, 'how far is it from Padaloma to Brooklyn, or how far is it from Brooklyn to Hawaii', Google will display the distance, the 'As the Crow Flies', distance in OneBox results. Could be a really fun party game as well. How far do you think it is from Hawaii...
Leo: I do this all the time with maps, but it's so painful. And this is great. This is great.
Gina: And another little tweak to Google's search results. Google search pages now show the name of the site next to the URL and if it's a well-known name, a well-known site that they have knowledge graph information about, you'll see a small card with that information in it. So, you Google search TWIT for example or Youtube, there is a little drop down, a little kind of knowledge graph card that shows up and tells you, what the entity is, who it is owned by and any other sort of knowledge graph facts included there. So, I searched for TWIT, there was a little card there for that. There was one for lifehacker. There is not one for ThinkUp yet, because we haven't reached our relevancy yet, but I am working on it. Yeah, see it says owned by Leo Laporte, which I guess links to your Google+ profile, I imagine.
Leo: Or Wikipedia. That's a Wikipedia entry.
Kevin: This is a knowledge graph which is mostly Wikipedia. Well it actually says Wikipedia, okay.
Leo: That's really neat. It's very up to date too.
Gina: And finally Google announced new designer frames for Glass. So, if you have already spent $1500 on glass, you can now spend another $225 to get new custom frames that have been designed in house by Google. They are much more normal looking glasses than the visor like version. And Google also partnered with one of the largest...sorry I lost the ...insurance company's...
Leo: VPS is the insurance company.
Gina: Yeah, thank you, Vision Insurance Providers and will cover glass and get prescription frames. Thank you Leo. So, yeah these frames are nice.
Jeff: They are better than the dorky...So, two problems I have. One, they don't make clear, because I'm about to send in my old glass on the exchange program that they have. First question, these work with Glass properly, you are not going to get different Glass right?
Gina: Right. You can actually remove the Glass apart from your current glass and snap them on to the new frames, which apparently only work if the electronics are snapped on. And apparently, it's very smooth and easy transition and it just snaps on and works.
Jeff: What do you mean it only works if it's snapped on?
Gina: I believe that the new frames are designed for Glass specifically. I'm not sure exactly how this works, but I don't think that the frames will stay on your head if Glass isn't attached to them.
Jeff: Oh, I see.
Leo: They are Glass.
Jeff: So, you can't just take the Glass off your glasses when you go into the movie, but we don't want to go there again.
Leo: That would be a nice feature though. Why can't you just unsnap it?
Jeff: The reaction to that last week, it was so polarized. Some said, that I was being a horrible jerk, some said that you were being a horrible jerk. It was amazing. But everybody loves Gina. Everybody said, poor Gina.
Gina: But I realized, I really didn't say what I thought. I could see both of your points of view but in the end just to make sure...I was with Jeff in the end. If I were in a locker room, it's not quite the same in women's bathrooms, but if I was in a gym locker room, I would put the glasses on top of my head at the same time. I didn't want to open that can of worms again.
Jeff: Leo's getting ready to shoot. Here's my other question, I swear and since Gina you have Glass too, there's a problem in the form. Every time I and many other people went to try to buy them, it says 'hey become an explorer.' No, I am a fricking explorer, let me buy the frames. And I can't figure out how to buy them.
Gina: Is that a multiple account sign in thing?
Jeff: No, I don't think so. Now I have my Glass transferred to Buzzmachine, to my apps account.
Gina: Oh you do, okay. But when you become an explorer, they white list your account. So they may have white-listed your Gmail account. So try logging in, try seeing if you are signed in as your other account. Maybe it's some weirdness around that. When I went to go pick up Glass, they manually added me to some sort of white list. They asked me for my Gmail address and did it. So that might have been the issue if it said that you should become explorer.
Jeff: Just do me a favor here folks, look at the four frames, which one should I buy?
Leo: There are four frames? I thought there was one. So they are all titanium. I like titanium frames. And how much are they?
Gina: $225 on top of the $1500.
Leo: That's not bad.
Jeff: Plus the lens you then have to buy to fit into it.
Leo: Now, there are companies that I have seen here who sell...optics planets who sell adapters for Google Glass, so that you could then attach them to prescription glasses.
Jeff: That's thin, which isn't as thin as Split. That's bold.
Leo: Oh, that's your look right there. Can you get your lips to look like that too?
Jeff: So kissable.
Leo: How come they all have puffy lips? I guess they are all young.
Jeff: I think that one is the one for me.
Leo: Glass gives you nice lips.
Gina: Yeah this one?
Leo: Let's put Jeff...Jeff tilt your face down little bit. Purse your lips, grow your...no, your beard's good, your're ready with the beard. It's not a good look.
Jeff: My nose over his nose, okay we are on now.
Leo: Yeah, you got to match it all up, there you go. You look like John Boehner, it's not working.
Jeff: If I look like John Boehner, it's like this...
Leo: Boehner was darker than Obama, that was the weirdest thing. Has he been in a tanning booth? What's going on with him? And of course, the whitest man in the world, is our Vice-President. This is better. Smile Jeff.
Gina: I think those are for you.
Leo: Yeah sure, that's a good look.
Jeff: This is freaky.
Leo: Turn your head a little bit to the left Jeff.
Gina: Turn, turn. No the other way. Yeah.
Leo: There you go. Now when he smiles it works, so it's good.
Jeff: Okay screen shots to come in.
Gina: They need an Android app that lets you try on the frames on your face.
Leo: Yeah, doesn't Warby Parker do that? That was the rumor that they were going to do a deal with Warby. They should have. I don’t know. I think that's your look right there Jeff. That's kind of the horn-rimmed Professorial.
Gina: The glass hardware is still too big, like it still looks... better than the visor but still. Well, that's all I got.
Leo: And that's the Google Change Log. Does it mean that if they are dong frames that it is imminent that they are going to make Glass a consumer product?
Jeff: They already said they would.
Gina: I think so. They have been pushing updates. It's not like though nothing has changed with it for a while, I think they are doing framers, pushing out updates, I think they are committed to Glass. Committed for the consumer release. It better be this year.
Leo: You just saw Larry Page in his statement on the Motorola acquisition mention specifically wearable. He didn't say Glass, he said wearable.
Gina: Right. And Sergey is the Glass guy right?
Leo: Right. Gmail goes down for 50 minutes, the world reels. Well, maybe not.
Gina: Over half of our ThinkUp subscribers use Gmail. It's amazing that how many people use it and how it really can throw off a lot of things when it's down. I mean it's just never down. Yeah 50 minutes without the...
Leo: I didn't notice. It must have been a time where I wasn't paying any attention. Youtube comments didn't work. Google+ didn't work.
Kevin: It wasn't just Gmail, I think it was the user graph thing that went down.
Leo: So, that 's kind of interesting. So, there is a service that Gmail, +, both use?
Kevin: It was the contacts thing from Gmail and while I was there it got made into this centralized service that everyone could use. Every Google product could use and that's what all this + and everything is built on top of.
Leo: So it was this identity service that went down basically.
Kevin: There is an internal service that is all the profile information and it was migrated from being your contact details, inside your individual Gmail thing, to being a very, very large database of everyone's contact and everyone's personal profile.
Leo: So that would for instance, if that’s the case then you would have Google connect go down as well or whatever Google calls it, the log in or centralized log in
Kevin: No the log in is separate from that. I don’t think that went down that thing hasn’t seen in like nine years because that is like looked down on like everything else but I think the profiling stopped the ability to pull information about people the bit that was down, and that’s was heavily called by these services they lost it as well.
Leo: Here’s the picture of Larry Page with Lang Mon Ch’ing, the Chairman and CEO of Lenovo apparently, at Mountian View right now to seal that deal. This is the picture that Google released with the announcement. We are giving you giant robot…
Gina, Jeff (laughing)
Leo: we are giving you this giant robot, it looks like he just bought a used robot, I am sorry but it does.
Kevin: it’s a Trojan horse, it gets there and little Google cars come out of it.
Leo: If the Chinese regulators don’t approve this deal it will be THIS picture that did it.
Kevin: I want to ask a question by the way, does this reflect the relationship with the Chinese in any way?
Leo: I don’t know, So that’s news that I don’t think anybody had that news and it was very interesting Kevin Marks but because of your internal knowledge of how this is all wired
Kevin: I have not seen a post mortem on it yet nobody wrote a post mortem posts but I may have just missed it
Leo: I have not either.
Jeff: Charles Arthur of the Guardian lets puts this up Google’s original evaluation for Motorola mobility will be 2.9 billion cash , 5.5 billion patents , 730 million customer relationships, 2.6 billion goodwill, 670 million net assets and then I guess that’s plus so I guess that’s separate from the setup business.
Leo: So, they are keeping the Goodwill but they are selling the phones.
Kevin: When, as they say, you can write down Goodwill whenever you feel like it so that means you can take it as a loss when you adjust your books.
Leo: New patent for Google glass, this is a newer design, this just appeared at the US patent and trademark office. Does it look different? It says it’s different, but that looks, it’s kind of, I don’t know you’re the guys with the glasses!
Kevin: Are those actually earphones as opposed to version connection things?
Leo: Yeah, well, we knew that was the new version of Google glass right, it had headphones.
Kevin: I don’t know I did not pay it much attention.
Leo: Yeah it’s on both sides, so that’s what’s new.
Gina: This piece of hardware on both sides doesn’t extend back as far as the current one does, so they are lessening the hardware, Unfortunately they are at the back of your ear that you don’t care about right? You care about what’s on your head.
Leo: Well this was all battery back here, right?
Gina: Yeah, right it was a battery.
Kevin: This is part that it kind of balanced, right? Instead of it falling off, you got the weight back here instead of it falling off the front.
Leo: Erwin come here; bring your Google glass over here. So Erwin I saw you had A USB connector, is that to keep it charged? So this new design eliminates this whole temple piece back here.
Leo: Yeah, but that’s the battery isn’t it? Oh that’s the phone connector though, too. Yeah, Erwin’s visiting from Hong Kong. How long have you had your Google glass? Since November? And you’re wearing it over prescription glasses and your wearing all the time? Are you going to get the new, he says he doesn’t wear it when he drives, at least not in California. You never want to get stopped. The other thing is no longer is it over your right eyebrow it’s a reversed image it’s over your left eyebrow, yeah.
Jeff: That’s confusing, you know the problem with all of these is that you can’t fold them like glasses, and put them in your pocket.
Leo: So there’s no easy way to do that?
Jeff: So if I go to the movie it would be difficult for me to take them off. Because I couldn’t fold them.
Gina: But these new designs, they’re foldable, right?
Kevin: Well, the glasses can hang around right.
Jeff: Oh Yeah, I’m not doing that.
Leo: Oh come on, you’re going to do it with your readers any day now so you might as well just do it with your glass.
Kevin: Ooh there’s a jewelry opportunity here I can see it.
Leo: Yes! A layette a Google layette, I’m waiting for the Google monocle.
Gina: To go back to the Gmail or the people graft outage, first, the Google SRE’S site reliability engineers, were doing an AMA and asked me something on Reditt at the time the outages happened.
Leo: Interesting! That’s the problem, yeah.
Gina: And then Yahoo on their official Twitter account, tweeted that Gmail was down and then later deleted the tweet and issued an apology saying that they shouldn’t have mentioned it.
Leo: It was their mistake that was the mistake, because it was just a news thing they didn’t snark they just thought that it was down, the mistake was the apology.
Kevin: It’s a news feed and Gmail being down was a story.
Leo: That’s a news story it’s not a snark, for them to apologize is to admit something that did not happen, and to raise questions about why it happened. But who knows. So it said at 10:55 a.m., this is the official post the internal system that generates configurations information that tells other systems how to behave encountered a software bug and generated an incorrect configuration, which was sent to live services over the next 15 minutes, causing user requests for their data to be ignored in these services and generating errors. Wow!
Gina: It gives you a glimpse at how complex this machine is right? So the code that writes code wrote the wrong code that which then pushed code and caused other codes to respond with a failure.
Leo: Get this, engineers, this is all from the Google official blog. Engineers were still debugging 12 minutes later when the same system having automatically cleared the original error, generated a new correct configuration , 20 minutes later at 11:13 a.m. and began sending it, in other words it self- corrected, errors subsided rapidly at this time, by 11:30 the correct configuration was everywhere, all user services were restored. In other words, they say this happened automatically and was fixed.
Jeff: That’s really interesting
Kevin: That’s pretty cool but the challenge was or for somebody to cause an outage at Google it had to be some kind of cascading failure because they have redundancy, that any given thing will cause a failure but it’s when something chains to some other system and some other system; that’s when things get horribly bad, and the big ones that we have seen they have always had something like that happen where something causes something else to happen because something else happened and therefore, they are blocking each other. The system when Emerson goes down and what happens over time is they find these new found ways to protect against them. It’s interesting they have now gotten a system that protects things generically.
Leo: Yeah, did it affect, according to this blog it’s by Ben Trainer, It says, according to Google posts, it says Gmail, Google plus and calendar and documents were affected, for about 25 minutes, 10% of users for as much as 30 minutes Longer, so..
Kevin: Did it say Tube was affected or
Leo: No, Gmail, Google Plus and calendar and documents
Jeff: The comments on YouTube because now those are done by Google plus
Leo: I guess that’s not considered a separate service, there’s actually another bug that’s actually considered kind of a different bug, and Google calendar was for awhile adding others to your private events without warning. So f your having a birthday party tonight and somebody shows up you didn’t invite, it’s not your fault.
Kevin: I just have this vision that’s how Cramer gets to a meeting in the company on Seinfeld, the modern Seinfeld
Kevin: If that’s the same one I think it was Is that them being over smart so if you’re making notes to someone and you include their email address or then Google would say oh you were trying to arrange a meeting, so for say contact email@example.com, as a note to myself in the calendar then it would sends a meeting invitation to firstname.lastname@example.org if you write it in the title. That was the bargain you can see how they thought of that as the thing but you could, but clearly you don’t want them doing that or at least you want a confirmation dialogue.
Leo: Yeah and probably you shouldn’t use email addresses anyway in your event titles. So this guy named Terrence Eden, who says he writes about mobiles, Shakespeare and user policies, I don’t know where the Shakespeare comes in but anyway, he said “My wife likes to send reminders to herself in Google calendar, well she added a note to a personal Google calendar reading email Alice@example.com to discuss the pay raise and set the date for a few months from now. A few months later, Alice her boss, sent her a meeting accepted email!
Kevin: If you hit the smart create button click on it and say if you could do that then I wouldn’t be surprised but if you click, add and say, meeting with.
Gina: Quick entry
Gina: Email email@example.com his company
Leo: Be careful whose email you use here because they might think… Leo@twit.tv because I don’t read that I always seen a would you like email an invitation to this person dialogue box an which you could then say no send
Gina: Send don’t send yeah
Leo: yeah, though here’s the video of it, yeah you know its quick entry it is what you said the quick entry that’s what you are trying to do. If you put an ad in there, it does location if you put a time or date it automatically figures it out. Now see there’s the configuration but see he clicks do not send and it still sends
Kevin: see that’s what I got when I got there it said send email invitations, yeah so the quick entry is trying to pause the
Gina: That’s a bug.
Leo: Actually I have had that happen, I have seen this bug. But unlike Terrence I just wasn’t paying attention. I always make, I put somebody’s email in calendar stuff when I do a show, like put the email or whatever, your email or whatever, Gina in the calendar and say, don’t send an email because I want the Moto to think I’m in a meeting and unless there’s somebody in the calendar event it won’t be a meeting so I always put names and Chad maybe. Do you get emails from me like every week?
Charles: Yes, I get a “this week in tech is starting now.” Did you see in that video he was showing, if he didn’t do the quick ad it didn’t do the pop up?
Leo: Oh, so it isn’t the quick ad, that’s the problem.
Charles: It was when you click and click edit and then the new event and it just did it automatically in that video.
Leo: He said Google has tried to be clever; some Lisa Britt they all say the same thing; is tried to be clever here it’s failed, just because I’m talking about someone doesn’t mean I’m talking to someone, that is exactly right.
Leo: But again it’s a failure of artificial intelligence.
Jeff: You can imagine how much worse it could have been .
Jeff: Talk to boss about resigning or talk to employee about firing them!
Leo: Chad, forget those emails I sent you!
Kevin: That’s interesting it says guest yes, maybe, no, awaiting, or move on
Leo: Oh, you must have sent me an email!
Gina: Yeah, I did.
Leo: (Gasping) Well let me check my mail, well that’s going to take a while to do that, yeah I don’t even know what the password is.
Jeff: No wonder you don’t respond to my emails
Leo: No, don’t email me there, you know better than that, don’t email at firstname.lastname@example.org that’s that? I’m going to log in, fortunately I have Lastpass to remember to see if I got an invitation from Kevin Marks. Nope not yet.
Gina: Well, they fixed this right?
Leo: Well yeah they fixed it
Kevin: It did say awaiting a guest
Leo: Well maybe it’s not in important and unread maybe it’s in everything else
Chad: No, it’s still doing it so here I can do it live.
Leo: Did you get one?
Chad: So here, delete and notify guest. I f I’m here and I just add an event and immediately hit edit event and then I type in something, so I have email Leo@twit.tv to ask him to stop leaving Ozzie to poop at my desk and I hit save, one second, let me hit and then jump back in; you’ve been added as a guest on this event.
Leo: Didn’t ask? Well that’s normal but it doesn’t mean I got an email. See the thing about email guest, but Kevin’s’ seeing that thing about awaiting as well.
Kevin: I seen that awaiting is quite suspicious.
Leo: Yeah, like that means in theory it’s emailed me an invite, but I haven’t seen an invite so
Gina: At the bottom of this gorge story it says Google says it’s aware of the issue and Google is actively working to fix it so, maybe it is not fixed.
Leo: You cancelled the event Chad? I got an email that you cancelled the event. It’s been removed from my calendar but it was added to my calendar and I didn’t even say anything.
Kevin: Well, go to your calendar on that.
Leo: I don’t have a calendar at email@example.com but it’s been removed so we got to do it, I know, enough. It’s a problem!
Kevin: So the moral to the story is, do not type people’s email addresses into invitations unless you want to invite them!
Leo: Because Google is very, very helpful. You know this is the problem with robots and computers in general they don’t understand anything but they’re trying to be helpful.
Jeff: Fix the problem!
Kevin: But this is the problem with the AI project right? They are trying to build us a system that works.
Leo: Maybe deep mind will fix this.
Gina: Deep mind?
Kevin: Did you see the state of the Union one?
Kevin: Well, I put it in the rundown
Leo: I’ll check that, I’ll run down
Jeff: Gmail just saved me when I cut out the wrong John in an email and it am another one in there.
Leo: Did you give then a good job! For that?
Kevin: Yeah that can be fun, especially when there are three people with the same name or the same color, I want the meetings like, well, during the State of the Union, a friend of mine searched the State of the Union and it showed a link to a CNN story with a picture and link to a President Nixon.
Leo: Was it this year or was it linked to picture in 1967?
Kevin: It was during the State of the Union, it’s at the bottom of the
Leo: Oh I see it, oh tantec did this
Kevin: This is an extension of the knowledge graft stuff and I, it’s like a free association tryout, they are trying to make these machines have right brains and they aren’t having right brains they are like, oh President of the United States.
Leo: Oh, Here’s the president Richard Nixon! I’ll help you with a small picture of him.
Kevin: And I’m not sure where that comes from?
Leo: It’s the first thing they found under State of the Union I guess?
Leo: It maybe came from CNN, you know what that’s probably what happened. Well Tontec says there was no Nixon image on the links page.
Jeff: No, the images often, very often do not match pictures from elsewhere.
Kevin: So I saw that with the feature Gina talked about with the grafts , the knowledge graft things being attached to stuff, in a search for my name on various websites I found different little cards about me that had bits of different information, they had different places, then I actually go on my own website which I carefully marked off with micro formats and stuff and entered them and they would recall that but they would crawl here and there and a couple other places and come back with, “this is what we found and what we think we know.”
Leo: I got an idea from a new feature on the show, the Google glitch of the week, just where the computer did something really dumb trying to do something smart because you know what this just the beginning.
Kevin: My theory about AI is that they will have to build a sort of self-certification AI which is the latest theories about how our brains work. If the lower levels of our brains decide something unconsciously and then this sort of personal merit part of our brain makes up a reason why we did it. And there’s all these wonderful experiments where they can do this by getting people to this by sharing something with their non dominant eye and then they will then confabulate an explanation about what they were thinking about that thing with the part of the brain that does speech with the other eye. There are a bunch of experiments like this and which is basically showing we decide something, we make an association and then we come up with a plausible sounding explanation to ourselves as to why we did that. I suspect that’s going to be the next phase of AI. I suppose that they would really get good at that and that’s why they showed that showed that picture of Nixon.
Leo: You know it’s really sad and I hope this doesn’t become a trend but we are seeing it in San Francisco, protesters not only defacing and protesting the busses of Google and Apple and other big corporations that have a bus for their San Francisco employees to bus then down, the complaint is of course, the gentrification of San Francisco, the increase of rent and all of that stuff and now here is one: a protester shows up at the Berkley doorstep of the guy who wrote the code for the self-driving car; an image was distributed by a group called Counterforce, Anthony Levendowski in an unconscionable world of surveillance , control and automation, he is also your neighbor, urging people to go to his home on Tuesday and protest! This is so sad.
Jeff: We don’t want to fall into the Perkins, comparing this to a Crystal knocked.
Leo: No, it’s not Crystal knocked, but he said of course, the founder of Perkins in a Wall Street journal piece, he likened this kind of stuff to a progressive Crystal knocked: the Nazi persecution of Jewish shopkeepers by breaking their windows.
Jeff: The most extreme example of Godwin’s Law I have ever seen.
Leo: Yea, I also don’t think it is but what he is saying is what we are seeing is demonization of computer scientists.
Jeff: Fine, I don’t want to argue with that but comparing that to a murder of 6,000 people is not exactly correct.
Leo: It’s not saying that it’s killing six million Jews but, it is nevertheless, a demonization of computer scientists.
Kevin: Did you see him when he went off on Blumberg? That was even more.
Jeff: I could not find that online, is that online?
Kevin: I don’t know, I would assume that Blumberg would post it.
Leo: He is older and out of touch, I give him, well, let’s not. I understand what he was trying to say, he said it in a very ham handed and inappropriate way. However, I do understand what he was trying to say which is, and I think this is something that could be potentially feared, is the mob turning against technology.
Jeff: Well, a more important aspect of this too, and again, I hated following what he was saying because it is such idiocy, but the new 1% is the technology community. If you take my argument that technology leads to efficiency over growth, it leads to greater profitability and productivity and thus wealth in the hands of the technology people, at the expense of huge numbers of jobs, not directly from robotics or any of that kind of stuff but just through new efficiencies and new networks.
Leo: Well, let me just say that you called me a luddite last week in a way that highly inappropriate and I resent it.
Jeff: Oh, I’m going to picket your office!
Leo: But this is the Luddites because Ed Ludd and his protesters broke the mechanized looms as they were being put out of work by this technology, That is where the word ludi comes from, Ned Ludd may be a mythical character but nevertheless it’s where this came from and that was in 1779 so, the more things change, the more things stay the same.
Kevin: But luddite was an explicitly job displacement so that is…
Leo: There is a legitimate and this is an economic protest, its housing displacement, we are being evicted by the gentrification, this new 1% is taking away our city.
Jeff: I say, would you prefer that the entirety of the economic benefit and the jobs and everything of the technology revolution happened in Cleveland? Or San Francisco? So you are complaining about success, we are the American thing.
Kevin: I was having this debate on Twitter. I see the analogy is like they are sending busses to Brooklyn and Manhattan to take the employees over to their jobs in Newark where they feed them all day then send them back and call it a day. If you actually look at the distance it’s actually the same travel
Jeff: Newark would be delighted to have.
Leo: I think Mountain View is very much like Newark; that is actually a very good analogy. The reason they do it is because no one wants to live in Mountain View they want to live in San Francisco or Manhatten.
Jeff: So ironically, it’s not Mountain View that’s complaining, it’s San Francisco that’s complaining!
Kevin: Yeah, they’re complaining because they are clogging up their city bus stops with these busses.
Leo: But yeah, if you took all of the people out of the busses and have and have them in their cars it would be a hell of a lot worse for everybody.
Kevin: Yeah and obviously it might be much better if they have subsidized and put WIFI on it
Leo: Never the less, I think what this I really about, a legitimate point here is the fundamental problem of income inequality, which is a growing problem nationwide.
Kevin: And that at some point Tom Perkins is polling a poster child for the poor
Jeff: you know these poor people are just really getting on my nerves, what was the watch part of the Perkins thing?
Kevin: It was something about Rolex watches and as an aside, Perkins said for this watch , I could buy a six pack of Rolexes and then the interviewer followed up with him and he said well it’s a Richard May and it was given to me by the company that built my yacht.. This is like fracto conspicuous consumptions
Leo: He is too rich and too out of touch, He can’t stop, that’s the problem.
Kevin: There is this weird problem, it’s the fundamental of atributionaries which in psychology is called “when I do something it’s because I’m great, when you do something it’s because you’re weird.
Leo: Here’s the Blumberg piece
Blumberg: Silicon Valley is, I think Kleiner Perkins itself over the years has created, pretty close to a million jobs and we are still doing it. It’s absurd to demonize the rich, for being rich and for doing what the rich do, which is get richer by creating opportunity for others. How do you feel threatened? I said I don’t feel personally threatened, I feel however, that as a class, I think we are beginning to engage in class warfare, I think the rich as a class are threatened, through higher taxes, higher regulation
Leo: “Get off of my case! I want to move to an Island! You know, we have an island for you, you and Lovey can move there, bring your Rolexes…” (laughter) But he also has a point,
Kevin: He has a point, but it’s this dreadful trickle down point that was made 20 years ago and has shown not to actually work. He hasn’t created that much wealth with his yachts and his watches. It’s job security…
Leo: I think I agree, Venture capitalists aside, technology is a democratizing
Kevin: It can be both! The Luddites had a point. They were being displaced.
Leo: Yes, it’s only a matter of time before all the travel agents rise up and go to the Expedia offices and with torches and pitch forks
Kevin : It is a structural problem that we have economically which is the kinds of jobs that we create with technology are much fewer in number and require much more qualifications to be employed with them.
Leo: I do think there is more opportunity there’s opportunity if you have education, there is a lot of opportunity.
Kevin: The large swath of the American middle class, which were people who were doing factory work and things like that, that’s gone.
Leo: We have seen this coming for 20 something years , Jeremy Rifkin wrote about this literally almost 30 years ago in “The end of work”, we knew this was happening .
Kevin: There was a fascinating thing from peer research, which I am going to stick the link in the chat room, which was fewer Americans identify as middle class, this is like quite striking so from 53% saying they were middle class in 2008, now 44% say middle class and 40% say lower class, up from 25%, so there is two things going on here one is the notion that everyone thinks they are middle class which has been the premise in American politics for a long time and the other part of this is the Occupy movement saying actually there is a big problem of the 99% and there are people who are taking money from you and there is definitely a clear sense of loss of aspiration there, a loss of this and saying oh yes we can all be middle class and see it kick in, like 2011, there is a step function here.
Jeff: There is a drone coming for you Kevin
Leo: Be very careful what you say next Mr. Marks, it could be your last.
Gina: Maybe they are just dropping off an Amazon package who knows
Jeff: What about Davos?
Leo: Davos, yeah let’s bring up Davos right now, that’s going to calm the waters, yeah.
Jeff: Touché, touché.
Jeff: So Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee from MIT who wrote “Race Against the Machine” the Kindle single, have a new book out, and they are exploring this. I had started reading but it was boring. I think it’s a gigantic story we haven’t dealt with. I wrote about it a year and a half ago, about the notion of a jobless future; we are simply going to have fewer jobs and we are not dealing with that.
Leo: That was what Rifkin said in 1995, actually he said it earlier than that, but, anyway all right we are going to take a break because this is depressing.
Jeff: And I have got to go take my Lexus to the dealer and I can’t understand it keeps taking me through poor neighborhoods I have got to get that GPS fixed.
Leo: That’s a joke, Boy there is no laughter at all
Gina: no, No, I’m with you I am giving you a smile
Leo: I bought an $1800 dollar toilet the other day
Kevin: And you’re going to sail it on the sea.
Leo: I am making jobs for people making toilets!
Jeff: You know the people did ask you to stop with the poop on the show and it was my fault.
Leo: Who is people? Four people on Twitter! That’s not, people that’s four people on Twitter that’s a different thing.
Jeff: This is the third poop in a row week.
Leo: I have not mentioned
Jeff: Everybody poops, it’s poop.
Gina: If my daughters taught me anything, it’s that poop is a big part of life.
Jeff: Freud said it’s this fundamental thing!
Leo: Let’s talk about Squarespace, this is a much nicer topic. Shall we?
Jeff: Sure you don’t want a buffer here, Leo?
Leo: I should buffer, I should briefly buffer. Everybody just look at your Rolex for a moment or whatever watch your architect happened to give you for building your yacht and say toc tic.
Leo: No, I do that I think that income inequality is a growing problem; it’s clear from the numbers and you know what maybe these protests from San Francisco are just the beginning of something that could be much more dramatic.
Jeff: Occupy Wall Street, that was aimed at bankers and this is now aimed at technology.
Gina: Yeah occupy Wall Street.
Leo: Wait a minute, here is a new picture from the chat room, thank you FN Dunn, for your Photoshop buffer, low mileage 2.91 billion, the sale has been made. A surprisingly large number people came into the chartroom and said, Lenovo just bought Motorola have they talked about it? You’ve got to watch the show from the beginning if you want to get it. Our show today brought to you by squarespace.com, the all-in-one platform that makes it very easy to create your next website. You know I think this is a, well for all the issues I have to say; one thing that does democratize this world is the ability to create your own website for as little as $8 a month at squarespace.com. If you make or maybe you make something that you could sell, you would have a global marketplace for $32 dollars a month you could do Ecommerce, unlimited products, whether real, digital or services, real time carrier, shipping label printing, integrated accounting $32 dollars a month. And the world is out there ready to buy your stuff. $8 dollars a month for a personal site, the unlimited professional site $16 dollars a month when you buy an annual plan. Every Squarespace site looks unique, in fact, they make it easy to start, it’s free, you don’t need a credit card or anything, just go to squarespace.com, click the get started button and you will pick from 29 different gorgeous templates, each of them not only mobile ready, but Ecommerce ready, that means your site’s going to look great on any size screen and will have Ecommerce built in. If you choose, pick the template you want, of course, content is never tied to presentation so enter in your content or import your content; they have importers for all the major blog API’s , look at all the pictures, all the links will be preserved, the comments too, and then, if you don’t like it, push a button and you get a new design, and all the content remains, it’s just beautifully done . The code is so elegant, its hosting so it’s the best software, the greatest support team, 24/7 from their headquarters in New York City, they have great apps too, their Squarespace metric app, for iPod and phone stats, lets you check like, page visitors and social media follows, the blog app lets you make text updates, tap and drag images, change layouts, monitor comments from your phone! And this is all the best hosting with the best software; you’ve got to try it, a two week trial free, you don’t need a credit card, you don’t need our offer code, you just go to Squarespace and click that get-started button, if you like it and use it for two weeks and you go, I think this is good I want this to be my new webpage! Use our offer code twig1 and you will get 10% off and you will be showing your support for This Week in Google. Squarespace has been a great supporter of our efforts for a long time now on This Week in Google and we thank them. Squarespace.com, use the offer code twig1 and the number one TWIG1.
Time for Gina Trapani’s’ tip of the week
Gina: Just in time for the Super bowl, Twitter has some new search filters and I’m kind of excited about this, when you search Twitter you can now filter results by people, photos, videos, news. This is my favorite one, you can say, just show me tweets from people I follow or just show me tweets from people near me. So much easier to kind of go back and see your friends’ tweets or back topics or hash tags or whatever, and you can try it out with the Super bowl, you can see if any of your friends have talked about the game, or any of the ads you could say just show me the videos with the word super bowl in the tweet, so you know commercials before they go live or after they get posted. Really a nice way to kind of honor old tweets, I went back and favorited, you know a bunch of my friends got notifications that I had favorited what they had favorited months ago because I had just searched around keywords and found good stuff that I had missed and kind of flown by me in my stream.
Leo: Very Cool! Of course you should have ThinkUp as well, that way you know everything that’s going on, on twitter and all of the people following you and all your most popular tweets and all that stuff.
Gina: Yeah, well of course, and Facebook.
Leo: And Facebook oh! I forgot to add my Facebook, I’ve got to do that. I Love Thinkup.
Leo: You know, look
Jeff: I was showing it to folks just this week.
Leo: This one cracks me up; did you see that free advertising followed Leo Laporte?
Leo: No that’s somebody that follows me; I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. You see my most popular tweets from years gone by with lists I am on.
Gina: Oh, you’ve got something going on, you’ve got an error there that shouldn’t be there.
Leo: You know, an object number B bracket P is no method F, I think you might want to go to work on that, Gina.
Gina: That’s a Google charts API bug. Google? What is up with that?
Leo: What, what? That should be a nice graft there, that’s the only one I saw, though, everything else looks good. Oh, what? Wait…
Gina: Oh, what? (He’s surfing on her web site and something is not working.) Oh, no! Well, I’ve got a bug to fix tonight!
Leo: Hmmmm! (She’s laughing) By the way, I had 42 people retweet my posts, 112 people replied, 42 favorites, that’s pretty good on a tweet!
Gina: That is pretty good, that’s some serious activity.
Jeff: Which tweet was that?
Leo: That was me bitching about my GPS. “I keep getting pulled through poor people’s neighborhoods!” No, you know I have this fancy Audi, I shouldn’t have, you know, it was a big mistake.
Kevin: Oh, don’t tell us, don’t.
Leo: The GPS doesn’t work, and they say, “Oh, we don’t have a fix. Just use your phone.”
Gina: That’s the fix? Just use your phone?
Leo: By the way, it’s beautiful, it has Google Earth, I can zoom, straight view, but it shows me here, I should show you, it shows me going off road, sometimes I’m in Bodega Bay!
Kevin: Sue them!
Leo: Sue them? Can you sue them for something like that? I guess if I drove off road,
Kevin: Yeah, there is this liability issue.
Leo: I can sue; I think you have an obligation to look out the window, don’t you? Am I wrong?
Jeff: There have been cases, I do believe.
Leo: Really? I should look up the case law. I just want them to fix it! I like the car in other respects, I just want them to fix the GPS. I’ll show you the picture. This is the smoking gun picture. I am driving down the road but apparently it is in the middle of the woods! (laughing)
Gina: Technology gone bad!
Leo: And you’re right it’s a nice car; somebody said, “Just enjoy your car!” Yeah, but
Jeff: It’s a time machine!
Leo: Oh that’s what it is, before they built the road, Google Earth is saying this is a new feature of Google earth, (laughing) Google prehistoric earth; I think I see a dinosaur down there... Kevin Marks, you have a thing you’d like to talk about, a tip you would like to share with us?
Kevin: A couple of things. One is it’s home group website club tonight in both San Francisco and Portland, so if you want to chat about building your own websites and any web things it’s 6:30 p.m. tonight, we have now a video link between the two, chat about indie web starts and web sites, that happens tonight and it’s every two weeks, every other Wednesday.
Leo: You mentioned you were doing this; I am glad it’s going well, that’s great.
Kevin: Yeah, I know, it’s interesting, it’s a nice group of people and it’s trying the build the web of your own staff primarily and then use the social networks to share it, that’s the sort of cool thing about it. It’s a nice group. The other thing I wanted to mention was model a view culture, which is a new magazine about the deeper perspectives on technology and some of the stuff we talked about in the middle of the show today about its impact on society and what’s happening and things like that so that’s a Shandy Kane’s new startup; she’s been in many different companies and she quit that and got this magazine so that’s very interesting, I recommend that.
Leo: Very nice!
Gina: Very cool.
Leo: Cool, what the URL again?
Kevin: I think its Model View Culture.
Leo: ModelViewculture.com Mr. Jeffery Jarvis, your number?
Jeff: I have so many.
Leo: Give them all!
Jeff: We could do the 100 seconds that it took to fire two thirds of Patche’s staff in a voice message…
Jeff: We could do Prince sues 22 now former fans for 1 million dollars each,
Leo: Yeah I saw that, what’s he suing them for? You’re a fan, I sue you!
Jeff: Yeah, we could do the Guardian says blogs turned 20, I’m not sure I agree with that so I’m going to skip that one, for the 5th year Google is the best place to work but I think I will settle here on an old Lagos patent Ringo wins 1.36% of ad words revenue…
Leo: Oh yeah, I forgot that, that was actually in our run down, I should have mentioned, that is huge! Is Google going to appeal?
Jeff: Oh, yeah!
Leo: So what is the patent?
Jeff: The patent, I read it earlier…
Leo: 1.2% of ad words revenue has got to be a lot of money!
Jeff: It’s 1.36% so I’ll just take that rounding error, or are you just lost?
Leo: The rounding error alone would buy you a very nice home in San Francisco.
Jeff: The ad words program was freaked by Google after the Ringo verdict wasn’t colorfully different from the old infringing problem.
Leo: Oh man, that is terrible, so I presume there is room to appeal this?
Jeff: Jackson followed the methodology laid out in an East Texas case in which Yahoo was found to infringe on an advertising patent by a famed patent troll and it’s just one more of this stuff but Jesus, 1.36% of Google AD WORDS?
LEO: It’s good money, nice work if you can get it!
Jeff: Yep. Can I tell another story real quick please?
Jeff: I steer my yacht out of Davos (laughing) and come into Zurich airport to go up to the hotel for the night since I have an early flight out the next morning and I stop by the Starbucks and I can’t stop by Starbucks today in Davos because there aren’t any and I can’t get decaf coffee and I have to have decaf coffee and
Leo: I can’t believe there is no Starbucks in Davos.
Jeff: It is tough. Well actually the café Klatch in Davos is one of the best places in the world for coffee. So I go into a basement Starbucks in the Zurich airport and I go up and I say “Guten avent” and I ask for a medium decaf skim latte. Name, please. Jeff. The guy looks up and he says Twig?
Jeff: And so the picture is in there of… I forgot the name, Chad can you put the picture up?
Leo: I saw it actually on your Google bus it’s such a cute picture it’s so great
Jeff Can you remember his name? I can’t remember his name,
Gina: It’s adorable!
Leo: Isn’t it cute? He is a TWIG fan and he is working at the Starbucks,
Jeff: Tense, that’s his name.
Leo: That’s a Tibetan name. That’s a Sherpa name, I wonder if he is from, he looks like he’s from Tibet.
Jeff: So he said, “Oh, can we take a picture?” And I said, “I’ve got to have one too.” So the fellow took a picture of us which I just think was great.
Leo: Isn’t that great!
Gina: That’s fantastic!
Jeff: This is the power of Leo Laporte; it’s happened to me in Munich, it’s happened to me in Zurich and it happens to me that people recognize me from this wonderful show. Thank you, Bless you, Leo Laporte!
Leo: All over zee world! I recognize you must be the Davos guy? Let me see your Rolex! I don’t have a pick of the week, I was going to pick this Talon app, which is a new Twitter app, which is gorgeous and beautiful. Have you guys talked about this at All About Android?
Gina: Which app is this?
Leo: It’s a new page Twitter app called Talon
Gina: Oh, No, we haven’t talked about Talon.
Leo: It’s specifically for KITKAT, it’s quite beautiful but, and I was going to recommend it but it has killed my battery… and they even say that, because this will do streaming of your tweets and he does say, I don’t recommend this because it could kill your battery. its T-a-l-o-n, I can’t remember how much it is, I think it’s $4 or $5.
Jeff: But you know that’s nothing compared to the cost of this wrist watch. (laughing)
Leo: So, Talon, there it is, Talon for Twitter.
Gina: I had looked at it and I thought I’d use it for a couple of days and I hadn’t gotten up in the arena and I just had not gotten around to installing it . SOO YOU LIKE IT BUT IT KILLED YOUR BATTERY?
Leo: it’s wonderful and one of the reasons I want talk about it, is the story about the author is kind of cool too, if I can find his name. He is a full time student who kind of just wrote this in his spare time he has a number of other Apps as well…
Gina: Yeah, I don’t think there are any businesses that are writing Twitter apps.
Leo: It would be crazy. But is has Talon poll, a lot of things that would just kill your battery. There it is Clinker Apps; it’s just a neat story.
Gina: We are familiar with this.
Leo: This kid’s going somewhere. Jacob Clinker.
Gina: Circa sent me an update about the Motorola purchase and apparently Google is going to retain ownership of the project Arra which is the modular Smartphone, an effort making smart phones you can snap together, so Google’s keeping that.
Leo: Oh interesting! Yeah I’m not surprised because that’s a very “labby” kind of thing.
Gina: Yeah, The division in charge of project Arra is called advanced technology projects, headed by former (unintelligible), so Google holds on to Arra.
Leo: I really wouldn’t want to be in that division right now, just saying… By the way, the chat room is telling me its $1.99 it just was updated yesterday so maybe the battery life issues are better. I will try it again. And the author is a student at the University of Iowa, Jacob Clicker, he has written some really good, (by himself!) some really good apps, this is a kid to watch, obviously very, very smart. It’s compatible with all versions of Android, you don’t have to have KitKat. All right, that’s it for the show! Thank you very much! Gina Trapani is at Thinkup.com. Do you have a timeframe for a consumer version?
Gina: Next couple weeks, Mark’s going to be at New York Tech Meetup next Tuesday night, so we’re scrambling, but if not next week, then the week after.
Gina: Yeah, I’m excited. Thank you, another great show!
Leo: Always a pleasure! We will see you on All about Android on Tuesdays, 5 PM Pacific, 8 PM Eastern time. Jeff Jarvis is at the city of the University of New York, also a fabulous writer, you can catch many of his books at Amazon.com, all of his books, including the Fabulous Public parts, free today only. Save a buck! Kevin marks at kevinmarks.com. Follow him on Twitter and Google plus. Great to have you!
Kevin: Great to be here!
Leo: We do This Week in Google every Wednesday at 1 PM Pacific, 4 PM Eastern time, 21:00 UTC. Twit.tv, please watch live, we love it if you do, and when there’s breaking news it’s exciting but if you can’t, don’t worry, on-demand audio and video always available after the fact at Twit.tv/twig or wherever finer netcasts are aggregated and delivered to your device via the interweb, like iTunes, perhaps, or Google play. Thank you very much for joining us, we’ll see you next time on Twig!