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This Week in Google 241
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWIG, 'This Week in Google'. Jeff Jarvis is under the weather so we've got two people to replace him, two great guests. Kevin Marks will be here, Danny Sullivan, Gina Trapani of course. We'll talk about the latest in Google, some new features, some old to say goodbye to and the big debate over whether these Google watches, this Google wear will know too much about you. It's all coming up next on TWIG.
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Leo: This is TWIG, 'This Week in Google.' Episode, 241, recorded March 19th, 2014
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It's time for TWIG, 'This Week in Google', the show that covers Google and the Google Verse, the Cloud, etc. Joining us right now from her mom's basement once again in beautiful Brooklyn New York, Gina Trapani.
Gina Trapani: Hello.
Leo: Nice to see you once again.
Gina: Good to see you.
Leo: Host of 'All about Android.' Is Jeff hoarse? Did he lose his voice?
Gina: He lost his voice, poor thing. And he is also on the road, so he was like bad internet connection and no voice, he opted out today.
Leo: He can take a nap instead of doing Google this week.
Danny Sullivan: Interesting Larry Page is using his voice at Ted, so maybe he sucked the voice away from Jeff just for that one.
Leo: I think Larry Page has that evil power actually. That's Danny Sullivan searchengineland.com, marketingland.com, it's great to see you once again Danny, one of the most astute observers of the search scene and it's really gone beyond search too, SCO and everything else too. And of course Kevin Marks is also here who has worked at the Googleplex among many other places. Nice to have you Kevin. I appreciate it. Jeff is in London right? Is that where he is?
Gina: I believe so.
Leo: Maybe you can help him Kevin. Can you recommend somewhere that he should go?
Kevin Marks: To get his better voice? Now that's tough.
Leo: Isn't there a guy there who helped the king? I think he is. Go to Jeffery Rush, he will fix it all.
Kevin: If he just checks Four Square he will find the places that I've been. But my recommendations tend to be like 15 years old. It's like, 'there used to be a good pub around here. Oh right, it's a building now.' Bits of London have been completely turned inside out since I left, so there are new bridges and extra tube stations, it's very concerting.
Leo: This is why it is no good to leave the homeland.
Kevin: But now my sons are at university there so he can ask him. He'll get all kinds of student hip recommendations.
Leo: It started in a Google blog post yesterday but now we've seen video and more. Android is coming to wearables. We knew that Google had some great interest in wearables, both with the Google Glass of course, but with the Google watch too. But now apparently, they’re going to use Android, they want to use Android as an underlying operating system for wearables. They are calling it 'Android Wear', and it is pretty much, in fact we can watch the video, as we expected a kind of version of Google Now for wearing. And in this video, these are all prototypes; nobody is making it including Google by the way. This is something that at least Motorola and LG have announced, they'll make watches. As you can see right there its Google Now cards that will pop up even on a round device, that's the Motorola device.
Woman in video: Let's go to Zumba.
Leo: You know I have to say, this is the first watch I've seen that has a kind of a use case, it gets me excited. I think the addition of Google Now cards is really valuable.
Gina: Definitely. Google Now is the hook here right. That's what makes me want this so bad. And this video is pretty cool. They show some interesting use cases, you notice so many pixels watch up and it automatically shows some contextual information, 'oh you're two stops away from destination.' Those women are dancing on the line and they kind of raise the wrist up and Google Now tells them what song they are listening to, voice search. I mean, and this is the interface we all know and love already on our Android phones so seeing it on the watch, it's like oh yeah this makes complete sense.
Leo: Yeah, exactly. You can say, 'what's the score?' You can actually text somebody via speech, you can...they showed the QR code for an airplane ticket, check in, go through the check in with your watch. This seems like a good idea and it kind of confirms what I've been thinking which is that Google sees Glass more as a way to learn about what wearables can be than as a particularly important product. It makes more sense for them to do with wearables with what they did with smart phones. Not necessarily make them, but make the operating system underlying, make them run on Google. Does that make sense for you Kevin?
Kevin: I mean it makes a bit more sense. I haven't worn a watch in a few years. And the last thing I wore on my wrist was the exercise band thing that stopped working. So I can say it makes a bit more sense, but it's...Does it end up being a peripheral in the same way that the Google Glass is? Do you still have a phone in your pocket and this is just a little extra screen on which things pop on? In the way that some of the things that they have already built on, that could make some sense. But presuming it doesn't replace your... not assuming that it's going to replace the things you use the phone for entirely, are they?
Leo: I would imagine this like Glass ties to a phone I would think, right?
Gina: Yes, it is. I mean, when you make your app Android wear ready, you are adding code in the app to talk to the Android wear device but it's running on your phone. So when you dismiss the notification on your watch, it dismisses on the phone as well. So this is an add-on to your phone. This isn't a standalone device.
Kevin: So it's not like in Chromecast, it doesn't sit there and do stuff...you control it remotely but it does stuff on its own.
Leo: Oh but imagine using with Chromecast as a remote control, that would be a nice feature. To me this is essentially, you nailed it, this is Glass, it's just not on your head. And by the way, it's called 'wearable', it's not called 'watch.'
Danny: It's Glass but I think it's better described from all the videos as Google Now on your wrist. Because Glass has Google Now that comes into it but what Glass typically does not do is pop up in my experience with all the same things I get with Google Now when I actually open it up on my phone. And that's the difficulty with...Google Now is awesome, I mean its scary awesome how well it predicts stuff. The latest thing i saw recently was, I was popping it up and it was reminding me that a television show that I wanted to watch was going to be on, I was like 'Oh my god! How did you know? Why don't you just watch it for me and let me know how it went.' But Glass...
Leo: Spoiler, spoiler, spoiler.
Danny: Exactly. But Glass does that right. If I had Glass on, it doesn't pop up and say reminder, I mean...or I don't have it on enough to whereas, sometimes there's been cases where I haven't had my phone but I would have...and so when I do open up Google Now, there's the reminder there, but you could see that this makes a lot of sense to kind of give you those alerts on your wrist it comes in. So that's very very compelling. And I have, I brought up my Galaxy Gear watch right, which has all these little notifications that come up and 'look I can even tell that my Clash of Clans was raided recently', it's very exciting.
Leo: I get that notification too.
Danny: Which was actually kind of handy. But the Gear watch has really just been the sort of like notifications and what I find is every few minutes I am just 'oh you have an email.' At some point you don't need to know every email that's come in or every Twitter reply that I've got. It's such a stream that I am not in the mood for it. But the Google Now stuff coming in more selectively and things like that, yeah.
Leo: Looks like the Moto and by the way Motorola has already made a site for Moto 360 download at motorola.com. Its round. How do, Gina as a programmer, would you do? Would you just square the circle, do you...?
Gina: This is the first thing that I noticed, 'oh that's interesting.' Because that changes the entire interface paradigm to centered right. I mean, with the Android design guidelines and principles you will often have the hamburger menu in the upper left and the overflow menu in the upper right. This is a totally different design paradigm right. Like for round screens like this, it's got to be more the Google Now type card interface and the main content has to be...the content that has to be absolutely legible and that the person has to be able to interact with, must be in the center. And the corners that get cut off can only be something like a background image or whatever. So that's pretty interesting, but it looks like...
Kevin: But potentially they could have a layout that changes that right?
Gina: Yeah, this is the great thing about Android. It's built to deal with a lot of different screen sizes, it looks like these cards have a pretty standard design and from the example code that I saw, it's not that difficult to extend your app to have these sort of actions, they are very simple actions on the watch. So as a programmer, you don't have to worry 'oh is this round screen going to cut off my corner?' The SDK does that for you.
Leo: Well I think it's also why the card interface makes sense. Because cards are centered. And so this is a different user interface. And now I understand what Google is thinking and I imagine they were thinking this all along. I really like this Moto 360 because it looks like a watch. It's got a programmable face obviously.
Gina: Yeah. I feel like that's the big takeaway from Glass. They had to make a watch that just looked like a regular watch. Like Glass just doesn't...it looks like you kind of got a headset on a little bit, even with the new frames. But this watch looks like a regular watch. it doesn't look like you got a nerdy Casio calculator watch, doesn't look like you got this giant screen on your wrist, it looks like a regular watch. It even looks like it has...you can wind it up on the side that looks like my grandfather's watch.
Leo: I doubt that you can wind it up okay, I am just saying.
Gina: You probably can't wind it up but it looks like it's got that little dial.
Kevin: You can have a pocket watch...yeah.
Leo: I want a pocket watch to go with my monocle.
Danny: It would be great if they had figured out a way to...you have some of those kinetic things that will charger themselves as you are walking...
Leo: That would be neat.
Danny: The big downside I heard from the Moto watch that came out is that, you can't plug in a USB to charge it directly from apparently what they've said. So, I guess the Hangout that they did today, they didn't exactly say how you can charger it. But the idea is that maybe there's wireless charging. But that's been the problem with the Galaxy Gear. I go out on a trip and it's like okay now I got to take the little thing that I clip around it so that I can plug it in and charge it.
Leo: That's a pain.
Danny: I don't want a proprietary thing.
Leo: Well you know it's funny; I just gave my Pebble watch to Chad. He's wearing it.
Chad: I've been loving it.
Leo: How do you charge it? Because I couldn't find the charger.
Chad: So the moment you gave it to me without the charger, I went to Amazon and bought a charger and had it 2-day shipped and so I got it yesterday.
Leo: How much is the charger?
Chad: It's like $7, like nothing.
Leo: Oh good. But that's a good example. It's a proprietary charger, there's no way you can charger it if you lose the charger. So you love the Pebble watch.
Chad: I have been absolutely loving it. It just like as I was sitting down Danny emailed me and it was just like, 'hey assuming we are running a little bit late.' And being able to do triage super fast. Looked over at my watch, noticed that Danny emailed, it could be important, it could be not important, I don't know and you just kind of go down and it gives you the first few sentences of the email to figure out what it is and it was, 'hey assuming you are running late, I am on Skype.' And it was just like oh wonderful, I don't have to pull out my phone, I don't have to pull it up anywhere else and I got it immediately instead of checking my phone 15 minutes later.
Leo: Now of course this is the Pebble. And one of the advantages of the Pebble, long battery life and cross-platform. it works with almost any device. I don't know if Android Wear, I guess it's going to require Android on the phone, I don't know. But I would guess so. In fact, what it sounds like is, if I am looking at the developer’s site, 'your apps notifications will already appear on Android wearables'. That means your Android app right?
Kevin: Isn't it using the Google Cloud notification thing which is they already have a unified notification between browser and Chrome Verse and it works on Android if you use that. I think they are using that.
Gina: It does the notification dismissal across devices. So you dismiss the notification on your phone, oh sorry on your watch and it gets dismissed on your phone. And I believe, from what I saw on the developer’s site, existing apps notifications will work in a rudimentary way on the watch out of the box. But if you add a little bit of code you can enable voice reply, for example and it does look like of course, it was the developer marketing video, it looks like a pretty manageable bit of code that you have to add in their to make your app work with...
Kevin: I can play with mine.
Leo: And to Google's credit, they've really made an effort to go across platform. Game center or whatever they call it now...
Gina: Play games.
Leo: Play games is cross platform now. All of a sudden Apple folks can use it as well, which must peeve Apple off a little bit.
Danny: So Gina, so I am clear, does it sound like that it's possible you could have one of these watches and it would still interact with apps on the iPhone as well through the Cloud notification?
Leo: Can I phone app support Cloud notification?
Kevin: No, not at the moment.
Gina: I believe so.
Leo: Not at the moment?
Kevin: They can?
Gina: I am not sure.
Leo: I bet you were headed that way. I would...
Kevin: I think Google apps do, but I am not sure there's the third party API, maybe that's...
Danny: But if the watch is pulling...because the watch is going to probably depend on a data connection between it and your phone. And if it's like Google Glass, you can use an iOS device to run Google Glass and in fact you have the Glass app. So, it would be interesting and really clever and it makes sense with the whole Android Wear name now that if it turns out that there's an Android Wear app that you can get for the iOS that helps you set it up. Because, what surprised me was, you remember it used be the Android market right and then Google turned it into Google Play which to me was like, 'alright, we are kind of losing control of that whole Android thing, so we are going to put our Google brand back on it.' So when they called this Google wear, I was sort of like, Android wear I mean, I was sort of like oh, I guess we are all embracing Android again rather than Google this or Google that. But it is clever if you do that, then you can have people who want their Android watch or Android Wear device that they use with their iPhone which then starts thinking, 'oh the Android thing on my wrist is good. Maybe I should get one of those Android phones that maybe it would work even better with it', or something.
Gina: That's a good question. The code that I saw was clearly like extending your Android app to work with Android Wear. But you are right, there's a My Glass app for the iPhone and it connects to your...Is that true? The iOS does interact with Glass.
Danny: I am pretty sure I have that on my iPhone, the Glass app.
Leo: This is actually really exciting. If it does and it's Apple preventing it, I think Google wants to do it. If you look at the developers site, you can receive voice reply, so if you want to customize it beyond the kind of simple notifications, it says, your app's notifications automatically go to the Android wearables, but you can then have something like 'say reply', and the system will deliver the text to your app on the phone for sending on. You can add notification pages, visible specifically for the wearable. You can stack notifications, that's kind of cool on the wearable. And you G offense, so you can trigger notifications contextually and that's what was happening I guess as people were...yeah you arrive at the airport and pop up the QR code.
Gina: And that's happening in Now now.
Leo: Activity detection APIs will let you know if the users’ bicycling for instance. "You can gather sensor data and display it in real-time on Android wearables." This to me sounds; this is what a wearable should be.
Gina: And this sounds like an API to Google Now. I mean, we forget Google Now is Google's proprietary app, that's not part of AOSP. And this Android Wear, this layer where you can get your apps to talk to Google, to what seems a lot like Google Now. I hope that extends to the phone. I mean, I would love for my app to be able to go into, plug into Google Now as well. Essentially Google Now might just become like the super widget on your phone. We've got widgets of course, but Google Now is kind of become the stream of all the contextual things. So, it's interesting to me because I wonder is Android Wear, is there going to be an open source version of Android Wear? Or is Android Wear Google's proprietary extension that goes on top of Android that apps can talk to? it sounds like right now it's an extension, it’s a layer on top of AOSP.
Danny: Well and the other interesting thing too, is that it kind of turns Google Now potentially into...it kind of lets Google potentially centralize all the app notifications. So, again if I go back to the Gear, I have an app on my phone, that app talks to my phone and then talks to my watch. Whereas, if you are an app developer it maybe that, your app is constantly doing things even if the phone is not even on, right. So, if the app developer is rather than trying to send the stuff wirelessly from the phone to your watch, it's sending it through Google Now or the Google Now API or whatever and then it pops up as a Google Now alert, yeah then Google kind of gets...one of the things people talk about is, 'well Google's going to lose control because everybody is moving to apps and it doesn't control all the apps.' And so, 'okay we won't control all the apps, we'll just control the Cloud notification system for the apps', so that you have that synchronized notification. And the apps can go beyond just being on one device as well. You can see it going further right. You are watching TV, why wouldn't you want an app that has something to tell you necessarily to...you might want it to pop up on your Google TV or your Google Chromecast or whatever.
Leo: I am sorry we missed the Moto 360 Hangout. Did you go to that Danny?
Danny: No, I read a couple on CNET and I think Gadget had a thing on it too, and it was interesting. They talked a bit about the circular design, why they went that way and they said it's because, if you have a big watch, if you have a rectangular watch and it's that large, they felt like the circular actually makes it a bit softer.
Leo: I agree.
Danny: They apparently said, 'women want to have big watches on their wrist too, so that will be fine.' It's not just a man watch.
Leo: It is big.
Danny: It is not just man sized. They talked about the wireless issue. They talked about how the charger might happen. It's water resistant not water proof.
Leo: Look at the... in the Hangout one of the hosts', the woman on the right is wearing it. So as big as it, it doesn't...it's clunky, but it's not, I don't think it's...
Gina: It's a style of watch. Some people like chunky, I like chunky watches.
Leo: I do too.
Kevin: Is it that big because of the battery? It needn't be that big because of the screen.
Leo: I think it's the battery. Battery and whatever else radios it might have in it.
Danny: Oh, they didn't put a camera in because they felt like it wasn't necessary. And I have to say that's been...when you go back to Galaxy Gear, it's like, I mean it's nice you got the camera in there for the odd occasion I want a novelty value, but it's this $300 watch that doesn't, that if you dropped all this stuff off...
Leo: I don't want a camera because I don't want to get beat up in bars in San Francisco.
Kevin: Camera in a watch is kind of weird anyway. You can't really use it. It can only be used for selfies, I am assuming and it's still going to be weird.
Danny: I mean I have used it and I actually have gotten...it's usually when I am at a restaurant and I am playing with the kids and they are doing something and I just snap a little thing. There are odd cases where it has been kind of neat to have. Because I haven't had to fumble for my phone. I have been able to just do a quick little shot at whatever. But it's so rare. It's kind of like, yeah when I have Glass I can just take a picture this way too and there are times when that's useful. But for the most part my phone is going to give me a much better picture. And if they had dropped the camera out of the Galaxy Gear and the price had come down, that would have been one of the bigger things that would have helped with it. What's going to be interesting now I think is, I just don't what Samsung is going to do because they are progressing with the Galaxy Gear thing using their own platform. And then, I think Android Wear and this is getting way ahead of stuff or whatever, but I think Android Wear might come across as a much better sort of platform even for Samsung users because they can use it with the Samsung phone.
Leo: You know what's cool, if you download the SDK or the preview SDK it has emulators for square and round. So you can immediately see what you display is going to look like in the emulator and you'll know, am I going to cut off the corners, so that's good. I mean, they are really preparing people for the idea that it might be on a variety of screens. I am so excited.
Gina: I am really excited too.
Leo: I think that it's bye bye Gear and Samsung is got to be...and I think if you are Apple you are starting to think, 'by taking our time here, we are kind of letting these companies get ahead of us and it's going to ruin our chance to sue them for copying us.'
Gina: I don't know if that's Apple's goal.
Leo: I know that's what they are thinking...No. But they must start to feel a little pressure, 'these guys are already integrating and we haven't even hit the starting blocks.'
Danny: I think that everybody has been talking about and now Apple is going to come along and show you how to do a watch right and maybe that will still happen. But I think Google Now is really the key to what I was going on with Android Wear. Apple doesn't have Google Now. They've got Siri stuff and they've got something they can predict and maybe they can come with a Siri that is sitting on your wrist as well. But what I have seen the Google Now data is so much more rich, especially in that it is coupled to Google going through your email and your calendar and all the other stuff that you do if you have agreed for them to go with that stuff. And so, Apple I think will feel even more pressure now to turn their watch into basically a Siri watch if this looks compelling. But then they also have to do much more to try to gather some of this data and they don't have some of that data.
Leo: I agree, there is a little bit of barrier for entry right now.
Gina: Google Now is only good though if you are really hooked into the Google Verse right? If you are using Gmail, if you are adding...
Leo: I wonder why Google would want you to do that.
Danny: But it was interesting, we had the head of Google search Singhal and he was at our conference last week and I was saying to him, so are you going to finally change the name of the Gmail field trial, if you remember that is what they did to say if you hook up Gmail to let Google go through it and let you to search to power Google Now and he says, 'oh no it's already been that way'. And I don't remember that happening. If it happened a month ago and passed me but I don't remember at some point where Google said, 'now all your Gmail is being analyzed for Google Now.'
Gina: I thought that was part of the privacy change.
Leo: I bet it was in that unified privacy setting.
Danny: And that was a big change.
Gina: Seeing Google Now's cards reminds me of how much data I've given Google right. And that's why Google Now is only as good as the data you give it. I am set where my home is, where work is located, I use Gmail as my primary email, I use calendar, I add locations for calendars, time, I add invitations to people who are attending things with me in calendar. If you are using iCal and your own iMap server and you are not signed into Google search very much, Google Now isn't as useful. And I think there are a lot of iOS users who aren't hooked into that and if they fired up an Android device and signed in with a Google account that they only use to catch spam mail, Google Now wouldn't look that compelling.
Danny: It's crazy. When I was leaving the conference the other thing it was doing was coming up and telling me like, it came up and I was like now I need to go catch my flight and I open it up and it was telling me like, 'you are seven minutes late to leave to go to your flight.' And I was like oh my god, you've calculated where I am, you know when my flight is, you've estimated how much time it's going to take for me to get from where I am at to the airport and you've assumed a certain amount of time for me to check in and yeah.
Leo: And maybe we're just kind of weird. I know that some people would say, 'oh that's creepy, I don't want to give that much to Google.' But this is what computers were invented to do.
Danny: I am looking at it now and it's telling me, it's like, 'hey here is your Amazon shipping.'
Leo: No, no I am looking at mine and it's the same thing.
Danny: That's just from my email.
Leo: I searched for Jeopardy and now it's telling me when Jeopardy is on.
Danny: But that's the challenge they and Apple face because in order to get that data, you have to read their email and then you have to store their email and go through it. Of course, this is the thing that Microsoft puts up against it, this is the thing that involves the suit that Google is going with that just got dismissed as a class action which is, even if you are not showing me ads, you are reading my email and doing all these things with it. But if you are comfortable handing it over to them you get some pretty awesome stuff that comes back.
Kevin: One thing that I find amusing about it is that, it gets confused about how I travel because I sometimes cycle and I sometimes drive. So it thinks that I am going to cycle to San Francisco, it'll take me five hours.
Leo: If you wanted to.
Gina: It assumes that I am walking to work in Manhattan so like in the morning it will be like, 'you should have left an hour and 3 minutes ago, if you want to make it to work on time.' And I panicked and then was like oh no, I am taking the train.
Leo: But can you not go in the setting and fix that?
Danny: It is just trying to encourage you to use public transport.
Kevin: If you keep one mode or the other then yes. So on this one I can click it and say, but it says. 'How do you usually get around?' If it's San Francisco I'll go on the train, but if it's round the corner, I'll go on my bike.
Leo: Hey it's early days; they are going to refine this. I think it's great, it’s going to get better and the more data points it gets, the better it will get. This all makes sense now if you look at what Android Wear does, this all makes sense. We knew we were headed this way.
Kevin: Have you seen this stuff? It says 'new content available.' So this is places I have looked at, by blogs I read and it is starting to show...somebody's done a new blog post.
Leo: Is that in notifications, where is that?
Kevin: This is in Now.
Gina: It'll say a site that you have recently visited.
Danny: Those are research notifications. If it can tell or assume that you have been doing research on a particular area...
Leo: Well yeah, okay so it's showing me an article that says, 'what might season 2 of True Detective have in store?' because I did some searches on True Detective. But that's not searches, it seems like...are those searches Kevin?
Kevin: No, no this is from my Chrome history.
Gina: This is sites you visited.
Gina: I completely freaked out my wife. We had talked about on this show how American Idol, how you can vote for the contestants in the Google search results but it was only during a certain amount of time so we couldn't demo it during the show, so we were watching American Idol one night and I just grabbed my wife's phone, I had just bought her a Nexus 5 and searched for American Idol and then the next night the results show was on and she picks up her phone and she switches on Google Now and she goes, 'oh my god, Google knows that we are watching American Idol, it knows.' And I was like no, no it's not listening. She's like, 'it's listening to the TV and it knows, it's telling me I should vote.' And I was like no, no I searched for American Idol on your phone yesterday, but it does do that sometimes if you have the right TV but it's not doing that now.
Kevin: They do have a patent on that but they are not using it.
Gina: It does that for smart TV's right; doesn't it know what channel you are watching?
Leo: It does.
Kevin: They have a pan for actually listening to the sound of the TV and knowing what channel it is.
Leo: It does, but then you have to do it. So what it will say is, it does this to me all the time, 'I see you have a Samsung TV turned on, what are you watching?' And then you press a button and it listens, but then it has to be live TV, if you are DVR-ing it doesn't do...
Danny: What part of Google does this?
Leo: The black helicopter part. The Google NSA joint venture.
Kevin: That could be really bad though.
Leo: Danny you have to have a TV on your network obviously for it to see it on the network.
Danny: Google Now will do that?
Leo: 'I see you have a Samsung TV on, would you like to tell me what you are watching?' Yes, so my master I will.
Gina: And then it will say, 'hey do you want to vote for your favorite contestant on American Idol?', if you are watching American Idol.
Leo: I think they are showing great restraint because in fact they probably do know what I am watching.
Danny: Or it says, 'hey we voted for you because we pretty much knew who you have liked anyway', so...
Leo: You know you'd like the Voice better. I don't know why you're still watching American Idol.
Gina: 'We sensed this, your pulse quickens when so and so started singing so we voted for them.'
Leo: Kevin Marks prefers the Voice.
Danny: Your watch was telling them, 'just put this watch on and we will vote for anybody who is inspiring you.'
Leo: And I got to admit I feel guilty. I love this and I feel like, am I Winston Smith just kind of walking into the brave new world? I've mixed metaphors, I've mixed books.
Danny: If you go back to something like, if you go to something like Her right, I mean, it was a great movie, there's all sorts of interesting things you can talk. But, you get this assistant that's helping you do all this stuff and you are going, 'ah that's nice, it's great.' And Google Now does that. So, on the one hand if it was a science fiction thing, you'd be like 'oh isn't that great, I've got this or whatever', but I think the reason that we feel uncomfortable with it is because in the back of our minds it's getting paid for in some way. And that's getting paid for with the ads, which is the whole we are the product type of thing.
Leo: I don't care. That means I don't have to pay for it.
Danny: And lots of people don't care and don't worry about it, but it's...there is that sort of issue that they...now I just came from a 2-day ad agency conference and they are, 'here's our latest way to track down people who are watching a particular show.'
Leo: Shut up, I don't want to know.
Danny: I know but they are going to hit you with those ads or whatever.
Leo: First of all, I got to say something. I would far prefer an ad that reflects my interest than one that doesn't. I don't want to see ads for Fritos coin chips. I don't mind seeing an ad for the hot new computer, that's better.
Danny: You say that but then you go back to that case where the father was trying to understand why Target kept sending all this stuff for pregnant women to his house and it turned out that his wife was pregnant.
Leo: That's an outlier.
Danny: I know, but it's an outlier now. But when you start to understand these sorts of things and you start to really intimately understand what’s going on with people, and then you can start getting some...
Leo: Then don't use Google, because I want it.
Danny: But it's not that easy because even if you aren't...
Kevin: If you email me, then my Gmail has your email.
Danny: Even if you opt out of different things, the profiles are being build up around you even outside of Google.
Leo: Let me show you this from 1987, Apple thought this was a good idea. This was a video they made under John Sculley not under Steve or maybe Steve was...I think this was a Sculley production. They called it the knowledge navigator. But this is almost twenty years ago, almost thirty years ago. And this is what they envisioned the future of computing looking like and I got to say finally it here and I wanted this. For those of you listening he's a...
Laptop voice in video: Your graduate research team in Guatemala just checking in. Robert Jordan a second semester junior requesting a second extension on his term paper.
Leo: This is his little laptop talking.
Laptop voice in video: Today you have a faculty lunch at 12 'o' clock. You need to take Kathy to the airport by 2.
Leo: Minus the guy in the bow tie in the screen, this is Google Now. And I don't really want the guy in the bow tie.
Man in video: Let me see the lecture notes from last semester.
Leo: Computers are faster today.
Gina: It's very iPad-y too.
Kevin: But this also has visual effects, video effects on the screen which I remember at that time thinking was oh they'll never do that on computers.
Leo: This is actually...He's a professor, he's going to compare...
Kevin: Basically this is him being a massive douche if you watch it. Because he's like, don't put my mum through, ‘oh let me phone up my colleague, who actually understands Amazon rain forest so I don't have to do any work for my lecture.'
Leo: Yeah, he's kind of a dick. And that was maybe what we thought is somebody who will be doing this...obviously he is wealthy too.
Danny: Apple was well predicting how they can improve the life of middle aged white men in the future and...
Leo: This was Apple's, this was Jeff Raskin's dream, this was Apple's dream and I think they really did want to do something along these lines.
Danny: But to go back to the thing, it is the kind of thing douche guy or not, that you think that would be barely useful. And the reason I think that some people don't get concerned about that happening is because you paid for it. You probably paid a lot of money for your Apple Navigator device or whatever and Apple didn't...
Leo: Man, they don't know enough about you to make it useful.
Danny: Right and I agree with you that Google is very powerful and I will give it all this stuff and want to give it even more because it has become incredibly useful and yet there's still that part of you thinking, boy they sure know a lot about me. And that's an evolution with what's been going on with search from the very beginning. I often talk to people about search engines and people are always like, 'why are people talking about start using Bing! and why won't they just go off' and I say well look, a search engine is like your best friend that you turn to it every day and ask it thing and in fact sometimes ask it things you would not even ask your best friend, right. And you have built up a relationship with your search engine through these dialogues and your search engine predominantly uses Google. And it has come back with good advice and so when Bing! comes along and wants to be your best friend, it literally is like some new person coming along and saying, 'hey lets be friends.'
Leo: 'Who are you? I got a friend.'
Danny: 'I got a friend', exactly.
Leo: It already knows about my fungal infection. I don't want to share that with you Bing!
Danny: Exactly, 'I don't even know who you are!' And so Google Now is really becoming even more this personalization of search. I mean, search has never been that you just put in key words, although that's again predominantly been how it’s done. But, it is another extension of search and it is another extension of our relationship with Google. They've yet not given a cutesy name, which is odd right because Microsoft is going to have their Crotana and we have Siri and Google Now continued to be this product where it's not an application, but it's something else, it's a technology and I feel like they haven't quiet closed the loop on what that is and maybe we'll get a name...
Leo: It really does feel like this has all been strategized and Larry has this on a white board somewhere from ten years ago.
Kevin: They talk about the Star Trek computer, they've talked about this in public, they did at IO last year and their idea is that computers are always there in the background, and it knows when you are talking to it and then it gives you something helpful or it will say, 'klingons of the star world bow' or something, if there is something actually happening.
Leo: That's why I have a smart toilet because I want that kind of information. We are going to take a break and come back, this is really good conversation. Danny Sullivan is here, Kevin Marks is here, Gina Trapani, more to come in just a bit. Including, it could be bad news on Google Voice and this is the other side. To me, this is the only dark side. But, I heard you talking about it last night and we're going to talk more about it in just a second. But first a word from Personal Capital. Here's an example of how giving information to a site can be very, very useful. If you are trying to keep track of your financial life and you've got it on 18 different sites, with 18 different passwords, the idea of making it one dash board where you can see all the information in a single place and then act on it is just fantastic and that's exactly what Personal Capital does. it's a wealth management tool, but you may say, but I am not wealthy', well guess how you get wealthy by paying attention to where your money is, what it's doing, how much your paying in fees. Get an investment checkout, find out what your fees are costing, and get great insights and great ideas for investments that could make. Unbiased financial advice so that you can become at least well enough off to retire, wouldn't we all like that? Now is the time. If you visit personalcapital.com/twig, you can sign up for this absolutely free, it could cost you nothing and I promise you, you'll get some benefits. I started using this, but now it's almost two years ago, when Bill Harris who created the company was on our show on 'Triangulation', and I just a huge fan and I know you are going to like this. personalcapital.com/twig, it's free and you will thank me. personalcapital.com/twig.
I don't see any negative to giving Google all my personal information. I love it, I love the benefit I get out of it. The negative isn't whatever targeted ads or finding out my wife is pregnant when I didn't know it, the thing that I worry about is, Google killing this stuff. I am depended on it, that's what I am worried about. And now I heard that Google Voice maybe on the block. I am happily owned by Google.
Gina: But wait a second. Is that distinction really true? I mean you can pay for a service and the company could decide it's just not good enough business and decide to shut it down anyway right? That isn't really a difference between...
Leo: But what's the benefit I get from Google paid or not? It's not that I don't have to pay for it, that's not the benefit to Google because I'll gladly pay for it. The benefit is that by aggregating all the information they get from all these different sources they can make an amazing big data discoveries that are valuable to me.
Danny: And in fact...sorry go ahead.
Leo: No, you go ahead.
Danny: I was going to say, and that doesn't go just to them being able to target you, but it also goes to why it is so incredibly difficult for someone to compete with them. Because aside from the best friend thing, you have the whole anti-trust lawsuit thing that happened which I always found laughable because it was competitors complaining they weren't getting enough traffic from Google itself, which to me was like, NBC complaining that CBS wasn't airing enough of its shows, it was absurd. The real reality if you are going to go after Google and antitrust grounds to my understanding originally came out of was, you didn't want to have a manufacturer owning all the elements of production. You didn't want the railroads owning all the land alongside of the railroads, owning all the things that made the railroads, which provide the energy for the railroads and you didn't want them to have all this stuff because they could then concoct the thing where somebody else can't compete. And Google has so much data in so many ways that it's incredibly difficult for someone like a Bing! to go through and compete when they can harness all the stuff in email or an Apple. But Apple is not trying to compete with them in terms of being...
Leo: Apple has taken the opposite tech. 'We're going to be the privacy company.' But there's a disadvantage to making that your goal.
Danny: Apple has taken the view by and large that 'we are going to produce great devices.' Google is producing great, if you want applications. You wouldn't call it applications, but 'Search' is an application, 'Google Now' is an application, 'Information' is an application. And so, you can also argue that they can both survive this because even if Google's devices are terrible, the information application that they provide can show up on anybody else's stuff and in fact does show up on all sorts of Apple devices. And then even if Apples' information is lacking, it as a beautiful hardware manufacturer could tap into, if it wants to all the Google stuff that's out there as well. There's a lot of reasons why they can still work together. I think the challenge tends to be like if you’re somebody who wants to compete on the information side...Google potentially has a weakness that they are not as good if you don't use their email right? So, what do they do in that case to kind of pull you in to get that sort of information? Or what does somebody who wants to compete with them pull in the email and do some of that stuff as well.
Leo: So the reason I am worried is because for instance, Google Voice which I live by, in fact, I just told somebody about and he was all excited and he moved all his stuff to Google Voice and now I see from 9to5Google, that they are planning to move it to Hangouts. Now, you might say, 'oh that's not a problem, just move to Hangouts', except they also moved other things to Hangouts and not all of it went with it, like, Google Talk. So I am concerned about features disappearing. I heard you talking about this yesterday on 'All About Android', Gina.
Gina: Yeah we did. I mean look, the promise of Hangouts was always that it was going to be Google's unified messaging service right. So you can in that screen shot that Chad's got up, the icons keep disappearing. Google Talk went away, Google messenger went away, it all got rolled into Hangouts. But we've still got Google Voice out there now. I mean look, if any body's been paying attention, anybody who uses the Google Voice app particularly on Android can see that it is just old and creaky. It has not been updated, the design is just old, they have not been putting work into updating Google Voice the app so now they're saying, 9to5Google is reporting that word on the street is that Google Voice is going to get rolled into Hangouts. And we are already starting to see some of that. Like somebody just called me before and my computer rang.
Leo: Yeah that's fine, don't mind that.
Gina: That's fine but if the Google Voice Android app goes away that means, hopefully it means that all of the features of Voice go into Hangouts. That means voice mail transcriptions, call forwarding, filters, blacklist, white list. I mean that Google Voice is such a great powerful application, I love it, it is my primary number, it has been since it was grand central. And yeah I mean my worry here is that some of the features are going to get lost in translation, lost in the transfer over and we saw that happen with Google Talk. And yeah I am kind of worried.
Leo: It's not like we haven't seen Google kill stuff that we love before. Google reader, Google wave, they are capable of that, so that's the other side. By the way let me show you the upside of Google owning the world. I am on this article from 9to5google and I go along and say, hey wow that's a neat co-incidence. There is the ad for the Gentleman's Emporium I just visited for the first time ten minutes ago to look for fake mustaches. Well of course it's a Google ad. But that's fine. I would rather see that than an ad for lawn furniture, that's the stuff I am looking for that makes sense for everybody.
Gina: Human hair mustaches.
Leo: Yeah, cheap $10, reusable. What are you laughing at? It's time for the Google Change Log.
The Google Change Log.
Leo: Gina Trapani has the latest from the Google Verse.
Gina: Well besides the being Android Wear preview announcement this week a couple of other new things happened. First, your search results on google.com and your desktop are looking a little cleaner, a little nice. Google rolled out the rare re-design with a few nice updates.
Leo: I like The Verge's headline on this.
Gina: Yes. The Verge's headline is "Google removes underlined links, says goodbye to 1996." So your links are no longer underlined unless, you hover over them with your mouse.
Leo: It used to be, that's how we would know it's a link because it was underlined right?
Gina: That's right. Yeah, I mean it's still that old school default browser blue which I love...
Kevin: But the green links they put underneath are not actually clickable which is really annoying because I always try and click them.
Leo: Oh that is annoying.
Danny: They were never clickable.
Leo: That breaks the web that is wrong. If it has a '.com' on it...
Danny: They were never clickable...
Kevin: Why were they never clickable?
Danny: Because they were never clickable.
Leo: Because Melissa said so.
Danny: You are complaining about something that hasn't happened for 15 years. But the reason...the design is interesting because... I asked the guy at Google search about this earlier, 'it's just an experiment' and then the next day they are like, 'okay now it's official.'
Leo: It was a quick experiment.
Danny: You would better ask the question of why do you the URL listed when you also have a link? And the answer is because people look at that URL...they have found people look at that URL to help interpret whether or not they want to go to the search results.
Leo: That's actually very useful.
Danny: The other really significant change is can you spot the ad?
Leo: Well it says ad, there is a big yellow ad.
Danny: And at first you'll think, oh it says ads because it’s got that big 'ad' next to it, but the ads previously had a...
Leo: Box around them, yeah.
Danny: They had colored boxes right.
Leo: There is still a little, little thin line...
Danny: Yeah, yeah but initially my feeling was yeah how can you miss those big orange ads. You go back to searching now after about a week, and I found myself struggling to understand, was that an ad or not? I had to seek out to identify that. So maybe the next thing that will happen is the ads will turn into cards on the desktop as everything turns into mobile so that eventually there won't be a mobile, everything will just be same things again. But I think that change that they made is significant and it is likely to cause people to...
Leo: Confusion, yeah.
Danny: Yeah, I think overtime people will stop thinking about that stuff as ads. But then there's other things going on there where it’s...do a search for 'nest thermostats' by the way, you'll like this, if it comes up.
Leo: Alright, typing. Okay I am doing it Chad. Oh wow, it went right to Nest!
Danny: Click on the thermostat and spin it around, see the icon? Oh yeah, so that is like a whole new ad unit that they have tossed in that wasn't there before. But you probably don't anticipate it looking like an ad unit because it looks a lot like the knowledge graph boxes that they had over there...
Leo: It does. It says sponsored but it does, yeah.
Gina: I don't love this. This does feel like trickery.
Danny: Oh you'll get used to it, it says 'sponsored.'
Leo: So it does say 'ads' on the top of the column once but then the rest of the column does not. And so if you scroll down a little bit, you aren't seeing ads on the left but you are seeing ads on the right but it’s not clear, there is no distinction at all now.
Danny: Technically, they are labeled but I think that over time people will probably ignore...I mean people already struggle anyway with the old system. And to some degree you can argue that it doesn't matter right. As long as the information is relevant.
Leo: It matters to me. I don't want...you don't want to intermix those, that's a mistake.
Gina: Didn't it used to be like a big honking green box?
Danny: Yeah. It was green then it was orange and it was purple, they go through all sorts of things. It's like fashion.
Leo: Those could be blocked by ad blocking programs though right?
Danny: Well unless you are using the ad blocking program that Google has a deal with to not let your stuff...
Leo: Ad Block Plus, yeah right. 'These are high quality ads, we are not blocking those'. Alright, continue on, more into Google Change Log.
Gina: Yes, so no underlined links and some other tweaks, bigger typography and better line spacing so cleaner results Google says. Next change, last week we talked about this class action by this mom who handed her Android device tablet to her 5 year old who then purchased like $70 worth of in app purchases from a game. Well, the Google Play store application on Android got an update or an update is rolling out I should say. New version 4.6.16 has a new setting in the Play store. You can require a password for every purchase or...sorry the setting is called 'require password' and you can say, set it to 'every purchase after 30 minutes' or 'never require a password'. So, a little more control over how easy it is to spend money on these apps and hopefully your 5 year old doesn't know how to change that setting. That's rolling out in stages right now. Google Drive storage costs less now than it ever has. The monthly prices have been reduced to $2/100 gigabytes, $10 for 1 terabyte and a $100 for 10 terabytes. These are down; I mean these are big reductions.
Leo: That's huge. One might almost say anti-competitive huge, right? At what point is it dumping?
Gina: Right. I mean deeply under cutting.
Kevin: I think it is with the price of hard drives, but yeah.
Leo: Well it becomes cutting when it so undercuts the competition that everybody moves over and then they raise the prices back up.
Gina: Google says that they made some infrastructure changes which made it cost effective for them so lower these prices and they are passing on the savings to the consumers and it's pretty amazing deal, I have to say.
Kevin: I can buy a terabyte drive for a $120; actually I can buy a terabyte drive for $60 so I could buy a local drive for that and have it in six months...
Leo: Here is how you know whether it is dumping. Is it below Google's own cost?
Kevin: Right. And the difference is, I think part of the difference is they used to store all of this stuff in Bigtable which made six copies of it and was complicated and was required to be in more than one place. And they have done some new storage architecture, so that it is actually cheaper. At one point, it wasn't just raw storage in one server because Google is designed to be very redundant.
Leo: Many copies, yeah.
Kevin: So I think a part of this is what they said, 'we've re-architected the bulk storage piece of this and this is behaving better.'
Danny: The challenge that I find with is that I have a, I mean I already have like a terabyte or 2 terabytes or whatever that came with the Chromebook but my Mac book only has 500 gigs and I'm getting to that point where I need...and I have all, I've got terabytes out of my ears with all the external drives around me but I don't regularly have them hooked up and I am getting to that point where I want to have the physical Google Drive like that is constantly talking and keeping in sync because I love having the remote backup, I would especially...but I kind of need the physical side on my other end as well because I don't trust Google. I wouldn't trust anybody which is like leave it all in the Cloud. But I don't have that. Or if you get on like a Mac book Air, I am down to like 256 gigs so I can't have all that with me and so I would like to have that terabyte drive that is talking. And maybe I can set it up in this; I just need to get around to doing that.
Leo: I feel like it becomes a viable backup solution. At that cheap, it is less than Amazon S3 right? So I am now saying maybe I should...I have about 500 gigabytes of images over the last 12 years, maybe I should put all my images on Google Drive instead of somewhere else.
Danny: But see that's one of the frustrating things that happened and I have talked with Google about this before and need to get back to. But you do have a lot of storage they give to you through Google+ photos, but the difficulty is, I have got photos that I have pulled off my camera and I have the photos that I auto upload and I have them being basically stored in two different places and when you ever try to go back through and use Google+ photos to sort through the stuff, it's a nightmare. They've improved it but it's still one of these things where it is hard to scroll through all that stuff and I have a whole, I call it the trying to get to a better digital shoe box, I did a CNET article about this and I have explained like 'and this is where I have put all of my folders and they are by date etc.' and I can get to stuff with it but it’s that remote backup that's sort of a challenge. And I want the storage to follow up with a better way of locating things. And when it comes to documents it's not so much of an issue right. I don't necessarily care because it is textual, I can find it, with the photos it's like 'ah, when was that photo taken?'
Gina: Yeah, photos are harder to index.
Leo: It’s just back up though. I wish they didn't kill Picasa Web because that was a nice...
Gina: And everPICs didn't make it.
Leo: And everPICs died yeah.
Gina: Google is presumably more stable than everPICs.
Leo: Yeah, continue on, I am sorry.
Gina: Last item in the Change Log, last week we talked about a bug in Android KitKat that caused some apps that access your camera to just suck the life out of your battery. The main app being Skype. Well, Google is working on an update to Android to fix that problem but in the meantime, Microsoft released an update to Skype for Android which introduces 'aggressive battery savings', they say. It includes a work around for this KitKat bug and in order to save, to not kill your battery with Skype installed, it had to basically disable instant notifications of messages in group chats, which you can turn on settings but with the warning that it will affect your battery. So, if you uninstalled Skype because you had that KitKat problem, you should be able to re install the new version which I believe is version...I don't know what version number it is, you'll see it in the Play store and you won't have that camera battery drainage problem anymore. That's all I got.
Leo: And that's the Google Change Log. YouTube is apparently building a version of itself for 10-year-olds. I thought that’s what YouTube was. Maybe I’m wrong. They want creators to create child-oriented content. This is all from Jessica Lessin’s The Information. A version of YouTube for those under 10 is actually a great idea, because you don’t want little kids to be browsing YouTube.
Gina: It’s pretty clear that my daughter’s going to watch YouTube a lot more than then she watches TV. We watch puppy videos on YouTube and she’s thrilled. She just wants to watch clips of cute puppies. I can see that that’s probably not going to change much. We do watch the Sesame Street clips.
Leo: Kids two years old know how to get a tablet, launch YouTube and watch videos. They just know. So we really need to do something. Apparently it’s not anywhere near release, but I hope this is true. YouTube also has trusted flaggers. Chad, are you a trusted flagger?
Chad: I don’t flag enough, I don’t think.
Leo: If you flag a lot, you become a trusted flagger?
Chad: Yeah I believe it’s based on how many times you flag and how many times you flag -
Leo: Correctly -
Chad: Yeah, and then it actually does get pulled.
Leo: You don’t want a bad flagger.
Chad: It kind of reminds me a lot about what Matt Cutts was saying with the Content ID that we were explaining. And we always get put back up with content ID, and so it should care more for people who constantly get put back up. Seems like that’s what they’re doing. If you flag it, it does get pulled.
Leo: Google has given a roughly 200 people and organizations the ability to flag up to 20 videos at once and presumably when they’re flagged by those organizations, they get special care. And by the way, this includes the UK Metropolitan Police’s Counterterrorism Referral Unit. It’s getting rid of extremist videos, apparently.
Danny: That’s all to help Dave Cameron with his “We can’t have child porn we’ve got to get re-elected” campaign.
Kevin: His advisor got fired for having child porn. Did you see that part of it?
Leo: Yeah. What is that – his . . .
Kevin: His advisor.
Leo: His advisor all right. Well I don’t know porn but I know it when I see. Viacom in Google settled their seven-year-old lawsuit. According to sources on recode.net, no money changed hands. This is what kind of launched YouTube, wasn’t it? The Viacom/YouTube lawsuit? That’s what launched YouTube.
Danny: Well the YouTube was already going. What’s really interesting is, it was almost a footnote yesterday., And when it happened it was like, “This will kill YouTube.” Kind of like the lawsuits when Google had “Click Fraud will kill YouTube” or other privacy things. You know what? Lawsuits will not kill YouTube. We got that point now. But yeah it just shows you how much things have progressed in the seven years. Where Hollywood has gone from, everything’s infringing us, we’ve got to shut it down - to you know what? Seven years is apparently enough time to get to the new reality. I’m not taking away from the fact that Google’s had to catch up and make changes to make it happen, but what a transformation from, “YouTube’s stealing all our content” to ‘We probably ought to stop suing somebody that we actually partner with.”
Leo: I said no money changed hands but I forgot to mention that Google and Viacom’s lawyers bought a very nice country home on the proceeds. By the way at the bottom of the <re/code> article, Peter Kafka apparently makes the note that the CEO of Viacom’s son, Philippe Dauman Junior, works for Google Enhances 2007. Kafka tweeted, “No more awkward chatter for Philippe and his son”, to which Philippe the son replied, “Finally I can go home for Thanksgiving this year. Just kidding almost forgotten the suit was still on.” I guess they don’t talk about that. Philippe is working on the Wallet program. By the way, I’ve got a problem with my Google Wallet. Maybe you guys can help us. Oyster, you’ve heard of Oyster? That’s the bookstore where you pay a monthly fee and you can read all the books. It’s like a Netflix for books. Did I subscribe to that on a show once? Does that sound familiar at all?
Leo: Because I get an $8.99 charge every month on my Google Wallet from Oyster.
Kevin: That’s nice of them.
Leo: And I can’t figure out how to stop it. I have no Oyster account. Can’t log in.
Danny: Have you considered having your credit card get stolen?
Leo: I’ll call Google. You know what I’m watching, because I only put $200 in the account, it’s slowly dwindling. I’m wondering what will happen if it runs out of money.
Kevin: Then they will take it out of your bank.
Leo: Will they? Oh crap. I better call Oyster.
Gina: So you didn’t sign up for Oyster?
Leo: I don’t know I don’t have a password. It doesn’t have my email address.
Gina: Well you know about it. You’ve heard about it. Like it’s familiar to you.
Leo: Will that’s why it could be. Because I’m old, and I forget things. I could have signed up for it and forgotten. I’ve tried all my email addresses and it doesn’t know any of them, so I don’t know what the heck’s going on. And of course if you call Google all you get is a Python script. I don’t know. If you call Wallet, you probably get a banker.
Kevin: Call that guy from the Interns.
Leo: You’d get Owen Wilson. “Hey man.” Or the other guy. The Indian guy. That’s who you’d get.
Danny: So if I click on “My Subscription” in Wallet, I have a link that says “Manage Your Subscription”. You don’t get that?
Leo: Yeah I get that. It doesn’t give you a chance to cancel it.
Danny: This one does.
Leo: Well let me look. So I sign in to Google Wallet. Let’s see - Transactions. I got music, - oh apparently I just bought In Da Club. Actually, that was free folks. Okay?
Gina: It’s a good song.
Leo: Okay, transaction. Here’s a transaction. Payment methods. Offers or subscriptions. Okay. Here are the subscriptions. Google Play music, Google Storage, Path. There is no Oyster. They charge me every month, but it’s not a subscription, apparently, it’s just they charge me every month.
Gina: They got your . .
Leo: Actually it’s $9.95. Yeah they got me. I’m down to $4.75 in my wallet so I have a feeling - -
Gina: Yeah, This is going to get resolved in the next month!
Kevin: I get to Error Resolution, but it’s just a gigantic pile of legalese. Hang on.
Leo: I know. This is the problem with Wallet. It is a credit card, you’d think…
Gina: Well it’s a charge card, right?
Danny: I’m so desperate for it to work. I’m so tired of credit cards.
Leo: I know.
Kevin: It says call 1-855-492-5538.
Leo: I will, I’ll call them. I better, because I realize I can’t let this run out of money, because then I won’t get my music anymore. Or apparently my storage. So I have until April 14. All right, I just wanted to ask if you guys remember me doing that? Chat room, do you remember me signing up for Oyster? Apparently, once you check in, you can’t check out. I’m stuck. But I can read any book. We’ve got to run because Danny’s almost out of time here.
Danny: I’m all right. I’m hanging in there.
Leo: Are you? You not bored yet?
Danny: I’ll run up to the 3 o’clock.
Gina: You’ve got a plane to catch, Leo.
Leo: I’ve got a plane to catch. Oh maybe I signed up for Oyster with my Facebook account.
Kevin: I’m going to cycle to San Francisco, It’s going to take me five hours.
Leo: You got to leave.
Kevin: I have to be there at 8. I need to leave at 3.
Leo: You’ve got to remember to check Google Play because there’s always free stuff. I got a movie for free the other day and I got In Da Club for free so. That’s a good thing. Nobody’s getting excited about that! Well, all right, I’m just telling you.
Kevin: I paid them eight bucks a month back when everything was free.
Leo: Oh, Music, that’s true, why do I need In Da Club? I can listen to it.
Gina: That’s true. I’ve got all access.
Leo: So do I.
Kevin: So that’s kind of weird.
Leo: But then I can have it on my device for when I’m on an airplane. Then I can listen to it over and over again.
Danny: Just pin it.
Leo: Okay. Actually I’ve already done that.
Kevin: I’m trying to work out what that metaphor is. It’s like you couldn’t really pin any kind of physical media that contains music, could you? So you make a hole in it, then it works.
Leo: It is kind of odd, isn’t it?
Kevin: It’s like having a tack for vinyl record.
Leo: It is an odd thing to do. There’s no real-world analog. And it doesn’t even make sense, because I don’t own it. But I can have it on my device.
Danny: They’re just saying stick it here so it works when your network goes away.
Leo: Off-line access right? Yeah - Transformers, Dark of the Moon, and Big, I got free.
Gina: Yeah Transformers I think came as an extra -
Leo: But Big was just free. It was a little while ago and it was just free.
Gina: It’s a good movie.
Leo: And you can see I own Three Hundred, too, because I like men with nice washboard abs. So there we go.
Danny: You can see them better with a monocle too.
Leo: Google Play, as I mentioned, has got IOS multiplayer support now. I am amazed that Apple allowed that given that they have a directly competitive product. But it’s great for those of us who use Android devices and iPhone or IOS devices.
Kevin: Oh, and they launched Chrome Cast in the UK.
Leo: Ah, today!
Kevin: And they have BBC iPlayer support for it. Which would be pretty cool if I was in the UK.
Leo: I’m so jealous!
Danny: See my goal is to get a Google Chrome Cast from the UK, and just bring them back here. But then you still have to have the faked IP address, so . . .
Kevin: You still need a title on the device you sending it from and on the Chrome Cast so you need it on both which is kind of annoying.
Leo: The only reason I want the iPlayer is because it lets you see all the BBC stuff.
Danny: Just get a VPN and use Lookout.
Leo: We have a proXPN. One of our sponsors has a London server so you just go through their server and you’re local.
Kevin: Have to do that at the root level so both of the devices can see it, that’s the problem.
Leo: I just felt guilty doing that.
Danny: Don’t feel guilty. The British taxpayers are happy to foot that bill for you.
Kevin: I will happily pay BBC license fee and cancel my Chrome Cast if they’d let me.
Danny: That’s the struggle is that there are so many people who would happily play the BBC directly and it’s not even the case where the BBC is like stupid, it’s just difficult when the BBC has cut a big deal to distribute its content through BBC Americ,a right? So then it’s like they can’t sell those sorts of things.
Kevin: But they sell individual shows.
Leo: Well here’s the show I want, but I don’t think I can get. Maybe you can help me, Kevin Marks. Stephen Fry’s QI.
Kevin: Loads of it on YouTube.
Leo: That’s probably illegal.
Leo: Oh, it’s legal?
Kevin: Every time I go on YouTube, it recommends me, like, 25 QI’s.
Leo: I love QI. I think. I’ve never seen it, but I want to see it
Kevin: I wouldn’t know. It doesn’t actually work to binge watch it. You have to space it out or you get sick of it. My recommended YouTube are like Stephen Fry QI.
Leo: So Google’s been listening and they hear your English accident and they know what you want to see now.
Kevin: I watched a couple of them on YouTube.
Leo: So here’s where I got the free stuff. I didn’t realize. Now I realize. It’s the birthday for Google Play.
Gina: Oh right.
Leo: So because it’s their birthday they’re offering free apps, free music, free movies, cheap albums. See this doesn’t really look free when it’s $11.49 for the album. But here’s In Da Club. Maybe this was free, but now it’s not free. I don’t know. Whut’s up, gansta? Anyway, happy birthday and I guess you can go to play.google.com and . . .
Kevin: I watched The Voice UK. It’s more fun than in the US.
Leo: What a great show that is.
Danny: Are they crueler?
Kevin: No. I just like – there’s no country music for a start. It’s a little different music and different judges.
Leo: Hey what do we think of - we covered this on other shows, but it be nice since we got smart people here -about this thing that the US is going to give up control of the DNS root zone and is go to let ICANN float freely? Good or bad? Vint Cerf, of Google, and one of the fathers of the Internet said, “No, this is good. You don’t want a government running the Internet.”
Kevin: I think you don’t necessarily want a coalition of international governments doing it either.
Leo: Well that’s the problem. We’re benign. At least we think we’re benign.
Kevin: We no longer think were benign is the other problem.
Leo: The NSA’s ruined that for everyone.
Kevin: The NSA’s completely ruined that, so stepping back from that is a good thing in that respect I think. Given all the stuff they’ve been doing about zero days and so on you can imagine them finding a way to strong-arm that. So if they could find a way for them not to do it that would be good.
Leo: Yeah. And the Department of Commerce, who’s been running it up till now says, “We’re not going to let Russia or somebody, we’re not going to let some rogue nation, we’re not going to let the United Nations do it”, which seems likes a likely scenario. We want it to be cross-governmental, non-governmental body. I don’t know.
Gina: And it kind of makes sense to me
Leo: Yes it does. I understand why people want that. All right. I think it’s time to take a break and get our tool, and tip, and number and Danny Sullivan’s thingey.
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Kevin: I have something on a throw in but we might want to do it later.
Leo: Oh, throw it in, throw it in. Kevin Marks, the news never sleeps.
Kevin: There was this tricky problem of how do I contact people? Because we had various different identifiers, different systems, different apps for doing it and how we get in touch with them. And the other ones they’re all trying to sort of - Apple and Google and Facebook are all trying to take over your text messaging. Each of their apps will take over if you let them. One of the things we talked about in the Indie Web Camp last week was how to turn this inside out and make it people-focused. So I put a link here to something Tantek wrote up about this. This is the interesting way of inversing it. So what it says is what you can do is, you can go to someone’s website and you can add them to your homepage. Add them to the homepage of Android or whatever. You get a little face there. The next phase is how would we make this work for somebody who wants to contact me? At the moment, you could do it on Android - I can pull someone out of my address book on Android and put them on the desktop. But then it only gives me the ways of contacting them that I’ve already got in my address book. It’s assuming the Google media to contacts is the answer.
Leo: Will that’s easy. You just use Finger. Right? See, that’s why we need Finger back!
Kevin: Finger is email-based. You’ve got things like public identifiers, emails and phone numbers, that if you have that you can text me one way or another. You can make physical objects make noise it me or you can fill up my inbox with stuff.
(bird chirping in the background)
Leo: Like that bird. It seems a little upset right now. I think he’s mating. I apologize to everyone who hates birdsong, if you’re driving in DC traffic right now.
Kevin: If you click on my website, what if you get a set of icons for the apps that we both use that you can contact me, and we put them in the order that I’d like to be contacted? So working for the ideas of how we can make this work, because you can’t actually throw the link on a web page that launches these apps one way or another. You’ve got different URLs for this. So if you’ve got the app installed, then pressing on the link will work. If you haven’t it won’t work. I will set up a web page to you that has the icons of the apps that I use. You will recognize the ones that you use and click on them.
Leo: Great idea.
I’m managing this and sharing that with you. The downside to this is you’re publishing your contact details on your website. But the answer would be to publish only with the only ones you care that you don’t mind anyone clicking on and you can still reject the call. And potentially later you can do a login-based version of this and be able to see different things. But it’s an interesting different way to think about that problem. But it’s a problem we have all the time like how should I ping this person at the moment? I thought that was interesting. I find that half the time even with my kids I don’t know if they’re using Facebook or hangouts or what I should be using.
Leo: What do you use as the canonical name though for these people? Would you use their email address?
Kevin: No you don’t need to. That’s the point. You use their website.
Leo: You use the URL
Kevin: It’s Kevin Marks.com
Leo: So everybody has to have a canonical URL. But you could specify that in your Google profile.
Gina: I like that idea a lot. There’s a bigger decision tree about how I contact someone then what’s their preference and what I have access to? Do I wanted to tweet hundred 40 characters publicly to Leo? Do I want to send him a link? I can DM that. I have to email. You know what I mean?
Leo: You could put all that in.
Kevin: If you see those sort of iPhones that Tantek is saying he supports, then you can say well I’m going to use that one.
Leo: This is a missed opportunity for the sites like about.me.
Kevin: Well about.me is a missed opportunity.
Leo: Who bought that?
Kevin: I think Yahoo. And then they bought it back I think.
Leo: And then another one was just sold, but it had a weird name that I can’t remember.
Kevin: But the indie web thing is “have your own URL, don’t have something that can be sold because then it all goes away.”
Leo: So we should all have a canonical URL. So is Tantek going to move forward? Would these be done with XFCN, what is it?
Kevin: XFN. XFN is part of this. XFN is just a link between sites saying “this is me” or “this is my friend” or whatever. You would use RealMe to say this is me elsewhere. One of the way you verify Real Me is you make sure both of them point in each of the directions. If I point to Twitter and Twitter points back to my home page, then I’ve verified the connection from both sides. One of the tricks we use for the indie web is I can use my homepage to login despite having an off server because I link to Twitter and Twitter links back, so if I log into Twitter you know it’s me. So it’s a way of using all the effort that these big companies put into maintaining off service but still being able to use your own domain. So there’s that idea. But this is an extension of that. This is saying my domain is a difficult place to find me and here’s a set of links to connect to me. I thought that was interesting in light of the Google Voice thing, because there they’re trying to coalesce the different icons down until one. The problem is that is removing the heuristic of how am I contacting this person which you do by clicking it. I’m not sure if it can make a video call or send an SMS or make a text message. And it could do voice as well. So that’s potentially problematic. Facebook does the other way around. They have a separate messenger and a separate Facebook app
Danny: It seems to be similar to the confusion that I still find people dealing with, when it comes to Apple messages. It’s like - Did I send a text message or did I do this iMessage thing? I didn’t know which way it happened or which way it went.
Leo: Now we’re going to take a break. When we come back, your tips, your numbers - I love this idea and I hope Tantek, who has the clout to do it, does something. And we will promote it like crazy if it does. I think it’s a great idea. We need some way… That’s what Finger was, by the way, a protocol long lost in the annals of…
Kevin: Even someone with an email address will give you the plan -
Leo: I used to have a plan. I don’t remember what it was right now. My plan is to have a nice meal, go home, put on my slippers - that kind of thing. We’re going to get back with more with Kevin and Danny and Gina, but first I want to talk a little bit about squarespace.com. A better web for all, starting at your website. Squarespace has the best hosting, never goes down. But the best software as well. One of the things I love about square space. Sometimes we see companies that do web hosting and offer some form of site builder. And all the sites look the same, they all look kind of 1990s. This is the beauty of square space. You’re getting state-of-the-art modern web design with their templates. Click the Get Started button at square space.com and you can actually play with these right now free for two weeks. Create a site, import your data, see what it can do. First of all, 25 beautiful designer templates - more all the time. But also the sites are gorgeous. Just right out of the box and easy to customize, so it isn’t a cookie-cutter situation. Every site looks different. In fact, if you go to the template like here’s Momentum, and look at these. These are real customer websites using Momentum and you’ll see that each one is very different a different style. Momentum is great because it’s for photographers because it’s a full bleed design that goes all the way to the edge. Great for giant images, but also great for a portfolio. We can take a look. This is a photographer who’s using the site - Let the Girls Play Outside. I like it. Actually, I think this is a nonprofit. That’s the other thing. Every one of these sites gives you a lot of nice features. They’re all mobile responsive, which means that they’re going to look great on any size screen. Let me squeeze my browser down a little bit here and show you that as we squeeze the website down it resizes. Everything resizes beautifully, so that you still get a great experience on the site. Right all the way down to the three-inch screen and all the way up to a 30 inch screen. All of the sites have built-in e-commerce, which is great too. Because it means if you want to start a business, you can do I,t but even if you just want to set up a donations page or a cash wedding registry or maybe for your school you want to have a fundraiser. Easy enough. Set up a Squarespace site in fact you can do it for free for two weeks. Then take those donations. When you decide to buy, it’s very affordable. Eight dollars a month, when you buy a yearly plan and that includes a custom domain name. The professional plan a little more, 16 a month - still very affordable. Gives you unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, unlimited pages and galleries and blogs. So there’s a site that can grow as you grow at no extra cost. And of course they have full e-commerce. As many products as you want services, products - physical or digital - but it also has real-time carrier shipping, label shipping, integrated accounting, and a custom domain name will be registered for a year – for 24 bucks a month. You’re going to love Squarespace. Get over there. Start your site. Two weeks free. If you decide you want to buy, that’s when you want to use our offer code TWIG and you’ll get 10% off on your purchase TWIG is the offer code at square space.com. Gina Trapani has our tip of the week.
Gina: Oh it’s just a cute little Easter egg, but I couldn’t resist it. We know that Google’s kind of obsessed with the Konami Code. You know up down up down left right left right, they’ve got that Easter egg on the pixel in a few different places. Well Search Engine Land, thank you Danny, points out that there’s a Konami Code voice search Easter egg.
Leo: Should I try it?
Leo: Okay Google. Up up down down left right left right, oh you’ve got to do it faster. What is it? up up down down left right left right BA BA, right? All right, let’s do it again. Up up down down left right left right BA BA.
Chad: No BA
Leo: Only one BA?
Chad: No no no, just left right left right.
Leo: That’s not the Konami Code! Up up down down left right left right -
(cheat mode unlocked. Unlimited free google searches.)
Leo: I unlocked cheat mode! Unlimited free Google searches! For how long, Danny; for life?
Danny: You know what’s funny, we had a video when we interviewed Amit Singhal, the head of Google Search. I was interviewing him on stage and we started out with this little video of all the Google conversation search could do, and this was how the video ended and everybody laughed; but I don’t think anybody thought it was real. It’s been out there for at least a week and no one actually tried it until today.
Leo: That’s so funny.
(Video playing: up up down down left right left right. Cheat mode unlocked. Unlimited free Google searches.)
Leo: I love that. If only that were true.
Gina: They forgot the BA.
Leo: Am I wrong? Isn’t there a BA in there?
Gina: Yes there’s a BA in there. You’re absolutely right.
Leo: It’s the short code.
Gina: It’s the short code.
Leo: I love it.
Gina: So thanks Danny.
Leo: Very nice. Kevin you have said many things, but you have not yet said a thingey.
Kevin: My thingey is 2048. Have you guys seen this yet?
Leo: No what’s happening then?
Kevin: No it’s not a year; it’s a game
Kevin: Go to the first link – for 2048. You want to then hit arrows and you’re going to coalesce then umbers together.
Leo: Oh it’s like Threes!
Kevin: It is like threes, exactly, except it’s twos. Which are must nicer than threes; you don’t have all that pink blue white crap, and they just coalesce much more easily. The danger of this is that you will spend hours doing this now because I have formed an addiction to this. I did hit the 2048 this week.
Leo: You did?
Leo: Holy moly! So you’re doubling every time but to gets 2048 is a lot of doubling.
Kevin: You have to press the key at least 2048 times for it to work.
Leo: Is there a trick to this? Is it better to always go up for instance?
Kevin: I find it’s best to try and keep things to the bottom, always go left left down right down like that.
Leo: You want to go down, okay.
Kevin: And then every now and then you have to move it up, but try not to. Anyway, Gina this will eat your brain; it’s a very programmy game.
Gina: Oh my God. This is awesome.
Kevin: But then there are variations on the theme. The next link is Doge 2048. So the key to that one; it takes away the numbers and replaces them with different doge graphics. So as you so as you coalesce the doges, you get different pictures of doges.
Leo: Oh coalesce the doges.
Kevin: And this is even more relaxing
Leo: More relaxing!
Kevin: And it says little doge things to you as you as you coalesce them. So I haven’t actually one this one yet.
Leo: You can win it?
Kevin: You have to hit 2048, which in the doges case - I’m not sure what the last one is. I haven’t gotten to that yet. They get sunglasses and different things on them. And then someone did the next one, which is the Dr. Who edition, because there are the right number of doctors. Because due to the 13, there’s 2048. So you start off with William Hartnell and then you can keep coalescing doctors together until you get -
Leo: Here’s my favorite version! You also have this Jenny Peng’s version.
Kevin: So Jenny Peng starts with 1024 and every square.
Leo: I win! You can’t lose.
Gina: “Adequate performance skills.”
Kevin: Then there’s the next one. This one is if that one’s too easy for you.
Leo: Geez Louise. Can you get to 900. . .
Kevin: . . .7199254740992
Leo: I can’t even fit it on my screen
Kevin: This one is actually easier because there’s too much space, so you can just hit any old key and it’ll basically work.
Leo: It’s easier but it takes a long time.
Kevin: Obviously you’re not going to get to that number, because that would take you, like, 30,000 years. Don’t play this version.
Leo: No, I want to win. I’ll see you in 30,000 years.
Gina: This is bad.
Danny: Can you imagine if you get all the way and then it fills up and you can’t get to the number.
Leo: I have a feeling it’s going to crash and overflow, actually.
Kevin: There’s a couple things. One is this is a terrible brain virus that will lose hours of your time.
Leo: The number, by the way, is 9 quatrillion,7 trillion, 199 billion, 254 million, 740 thousand, 992.
Kevin: I wish it was 2 to the power of what?
Leo: Okay, that’s your next challenge, ladies and gentlemen. Chat room, get to work. Is there flappy bird 2048? Yes there is. You ready to play? Of course there is, where’s the link. Where’s the link? I’m in the wrong chat room.
Kevin: It even made XKCD Today. That’s how famous this thing is now.
Gina: Oh man.
Leo: I guess I got booted out of my own chat room. So much for that.
Kevin: The other fascinating thing for me is that there were versions of this before, but this version actually works really well in mobile, because the swipe gestures work with it. Whoever wrote the original one, Gabriele Cirulli, did a good job of integrating the swipe gestures and making it responsive, so I can play it on phones and tablets and things as well. On the desktop, can use arrow keys. On the phone you just swipe in the direction because it coalesce in the direction you swipe
Gina: Very cool.
Kevin: The other fascinating thing is it loads much faster than Threes does so I’m not sure what Threes is doing while it’s animating.
Leo: Yeah no kidding because this is really not that complicated.
Kevin: It’s also a marker for web app versus mobile app, which is one of those eternal debates. It’s a marker that the web platform is at a point where you can actually boot a game that takes over lots of people’s brains. I’ve definitely seen this gradually eating mine over the last week. I’ve done my bit to make that worse.
Leo: I love this XKCD. This will be a joke for very smart people in the next few weeks. The talk is in room 8224. What? Oh, nice. Great now I’ll spend the rest of my night noticing numbers that would make good 2048 columns. 8224?
Leo: Don’t you love XKCD?
Kevin: The satisfying thing is when you’re poking around and suddenly you get like a set of thousand and two that you can collect together so you don’t have2 ways that goes to a 16 and the 16 goes to the 32 and 64.
Leo: It’s 263, ladies and gentlemen!
Kevin: So, someone asked are their cheat for that? There is a long discussion on stackoverflow about the best algorithm for solving it.
Leo: Of course there’s a long discussion on stackoverflow!
Danny: I just got 1024 on mine.
Kevin: Whoa, on that one – good.
Leo: That one’s easy; you still have to go to 263.
Danny: But I got two 500s. I can’t imagine how many left rights it took to get to that.
Leo: You might be able to get to nine quintillion pretty easily actually. I don’t know if it takes 30 years. Jeff, I want you to work out a program figuring out how long it will take.
Kevin: You have to hit the key at least that many times or at least half that many times. So you have to hit the key 262 times, which is a lot of times.
Leo: No, no it’s just 62 times.
Leo: No? If you were really lucky.
Kevin: No, because it only drops in twos and fours. Okay so it doesn’t drop anything bigger so 261 times you could get away with if you get a lot of fours.
Gina: Oh, god, I love this!
Leo: I should have done Jeff’s thingey last, I apologize.
Kevin: We’ve destroyed everyone.
Leo: We’ve lost everybody now, but Danny if you want to mention something go ahead.
Danny: This came in. Mike Elgan wanted to make sure we didn’t miss anything. It just came out today. If you have Google Search and you go “Okay Google, take a picture.” Google Search results will open up an app for your camera and then take your picture. Oh, I guess I just took it, too.
Leo: Oh, that’s nice.
Danny: It’s funny, I was getting it set up on the Samsung to show that it would do the same thing and it did. It’s sitting off to the side. In this case, this was the Nexus5, so it’s always listening for those words. Like the Samsung you have to the have the Google Search app open and if you say, “Okay Google . . .”
Leo: I just did it on my Nexus7. That’s awesome.
(phone - “opening app”)
Danny: There you go.
Leo: And you all have seen the Moto X “okay Google now what’s up?” That’s awesome. I love that.
Gina: Oh yeah. That made me jealous
Leo: Moto X is awesome. There will be a new this summer. Maybe you can trade in your HTC One.
Kevin: “okay Google take a picture”
Leo: Okay, it doesn’t like taking a picture of Danny.
Danny: Nexus7 is not doing this.
Leo: No, my Nexus7 doesn’t wake up when I say “Ok, Google”, but if I tap Take a Picture . . it does it. It’s pretty cool.
Gina: It’s freaking game.
Leo: 2048! 2048!
Leo: Can I real quickly just throw in a pick of the week? If you are on Android, this is really cool. Mark Canton who does TWiT Pro for Android, said it was too much to add Chromecast support for the TWiT Pro app because it blew it up by quite a few megabytes. So he’s made a standalone app, TWiT Cast for Chromecast that is very simple. You just put it on your Android device, you need of course a Chromecast device. Those of you in the UK of course can now use this as well. You can send the live video or downloads directly to your Chromecast device. Thank you, Mark, for doing that. That is really a nice thing to do and we really appreciate it. TWiT Cast on the Play store. After you send it to your Chromecast, you can control it. Very nice and it’s free although there are in-app purchases. I’m not sure what you get with in-app purchase, I don’t know. Should be here somewhere. Those birds are quite –
(birds chirping in the background from Kevins’ monitor)
Kevin: Spring is in the air!
Leo: Ladies and gentlemen we just better just wrap this thing up!
Kevin: It is like this thing in -
Leo: It’s a brain worm.
Gina: It’s mesmerizing.
Leo: Well, I’m sure there’s a version on Android. There’s no 2048 on Android? I find it hard to believe. So you could get the app.
Kevin: the other thing I realized when using this was that
Leo: You know what is happened? It has captured all the programming cycles of the world. They’ve now written 3000 2048 apps and more to come
Kevin: Oh it’s a web app. I can make a map to it
Leo: Why would you need to?
Kevin: the other thing I realized while playing it that the other reason the iOS people hate web apps is that if you click the link on iOS from Facebook or twitter you don’t get to the browser you get to a web inside the app and if twitter goes to sleep and wakes up again you lose that web view. Which means that if you click a link to 2048 from twitter and the doorbell rings and you put your phone in your pocket and you come back, and you’ve lost the game in progress. And that was really annoying so suddenly I realized this is why iOS people hate web apps because half the time they’re not actually in the browser when they click on the link whereas android people are on the browser. That was one of those like subtle platform things.
Leo: Ladies and gentlemen I want to thank you for joining us for this insane edition. This was lots of fun. Kevin Marks.
Gina: He’s a lot of fun.
Leo: Where could people find out more about this great initiative you’re doing with the Indie Web?
Kevin: If you go to indiewebcamp.com, that’s the best place to look that up. Indie Web Camp; we run events every so often. We just had one in San Francisco. There’s one in New York in April, there’s some others planned for Portland and possibly Paris and definitely Brighton. So there’s more from there. And there’s a good set of links there. There’s also an IOS e-channel that’s linked off that page. That’s the best place to start. indiewebcamp.com.
Leo: You’re starting to gain momentum are you? This is great.
Kevin: Well there’s a nice page in their called generations. This has been a bunch of geeks doing geeky things and you basically had to write code to do any of it for a while. One of the nice things about the last Indie Web Camp is that Dan Gilmor and Scott Rosenberg came along and were able to get themselves up and running on Indie Web just using off-the-shelf Word Press and some plug-ins and things and connect out to us. So our sense is that it’s getting to the point where you don’t actually have to have your own site to do this and write your own code to do this. But that was definitely the design center for it. It’s very much community that was built around “let’s actually build things rather than talking about building things.” That’s been in its DNA. That means it took a while to ramp up, but we’ve now got lots of people building things with it.
Leo: Here is the official most recent picture and look who’s on the computer? That looks like a familiar face there on the computer. Who is that? It’s Bear!
Kevin: It Bear, yeah. Mike Taylor.
Leo: Mike Taylor.
Kevin: Bear remote-attended.
Leo: Yeah, of course he did. Bear doesn’t leave his cellar anymore. Nor does Gina Trapani. She doesn’t leave her mom’s cellar. We love it!
Gina: Stop playing this game!
Leo: She will never leave!
Gina: Best score! Best score!
Leo: Gina Trapani is at, of course, thinkup.com. Soon to be public.
Gina: Soon to be public yes. In fact, we’re doing a preview tomorrow so put your email address on our waiting list so you can find out about it. It will be public at the end of next week.
Danny: What do you mean? You’re not public? Nobody can get in yet?
Gina: Sign-ups are not public yet. Yes we opened up sign-ups for an hour and all of our servers died.
Danny: So what happens tomorrow at the preview? What’s happening there?
Gina: Were opening up sign-ups for a three-hour window from 9 AM to noon Eastern to test out our new architecture. We moved to Amazon and added a bunch more servers into the mix. And if that goes well we will open up to the public entirely next week. But if your name’s on the mailing list you get first chance at claiming a username and signing up with our new architecture so… Fingers crossed, it’s going to go really well.
Leo: I love the insights I get from my think up.
Danny: It’s awesome absolutely awesome. I’ve got a get something written ahead of you going public. My favorite thing is it comes up and says something like you used I and me 27 times last week. It’s nice to talk about yourself but maybe you’re talking a bit too much.
Leo: I get that one a lot yeah. I tweeted 33 times last week, that’s 16 more tweets than the prior week.
Danny: It just really is so clever that Twitter should just buy it before you open it. And then just give it to everybody. It so wonderful.
Leo: It’s so great. I am just thrilled. These are my biggest admirers! But enough about me, that’s the one you’re talking about Danny. “Leo Laporte’s status updates contained the word I, me, mine or myself three times.” Three times out of 33’s not bad.
Gina: Not bad. It’s not bad, I think we’re going to change that to percentage versus total. Because I think that that makes more sense.
Leo: Yeah this is great stuff.
Kevin: See the problem I have with it is when I do the live tweeting thing that reduces my average number of retweets.
Danny: I also liked where it tells you that someone saw so much more. I want other people to know that.
Kevin: Send them all the screen shots. Look!
Danny: Well that’s it but that’s what I, anyways it’s cool.
Gina: You could share it and be like, “You’re welcome.”
Leo: Pres. Obama received 4000 more -
Danny: In a conference, I retweeted them and they came up to me introducing me to someone else and said “Oh yeah, this is Danny, 3000 more people just saw my think because of it and I said are you using thinkup?
Kevin: I want to know who’s giving me thousands of retweets, so I have to get them to sign up and need to reverse it.
Gina: If someone retweets you who has significantly more followers than you do, thinkup will tell you that as well.
Leo: Oh, that’s nice. That’s really nice.
Gina: It has to be multiple of your followers. I forgot with the rules are.
Leo: I’m pleased to say I just crossed half a million. I’m very happy about that.
Kevin: So Leo retweet me more.
Leo: Okay because then I’ll get “Kevin Marks got half a million more views thanks to you.”
Leo: Danny Sullivan is at searchengineland.com. I think you probably gathered from watching the show that that is a site you much read must read each and every day. He’s also on Twitter @dannysullivan, so retweet him.
Kevin: It’s because this time I didn’t post anything you on Facebook last week.
Leo: Aw, gee what a shock. We do this show Wednesdays 1 PM Pacific 4 PM Eastern time that’s 2000 UTC on twit.tv. Please tune in and watch live because we love it if you do, but if you can’t, there is on-demand audio and video although if you listen to the audio you’re just going to get a lot of birdsong. Available after the show on twit.tv/twig. My God the birds just taking over. I feel like we’re in a Hitchcock movie! The birds are in the video? Really? We have to take it out of the video. We’ll see you next time on TWiG!