Download and watch the episode here:
This Week in Google 246
Show Tease: It’s time for TWiG – This Week in Google. Coming up in just a little bit, Jeff and Gina. We’re going to take a look at the fact that as we speak, I think, the quarterly results that are just coming in from Facebook and from Apple. Good news and bad news. Robert Scoble’s giving up on Glass. What a surprise. And a special plea, to get Gina into Google I/O. It’s all coming up next, on TWiG.
Netcasts You Love… From People You Trust. This is TWiT! Bandwidth for This Week in Google is provided by cachefly.com.
Leo Laporte: This is TWiG, This Week in Google, episode 246, recorded April 23, 2014.
That puts the F in the FCC
This Week in Google is brought to you by Full Sail University. Full Sail offers both online and campus degree programs, centered on real-world experience in the entertainment, media and technology industries. For more information visit fullsail.edu/twig.
And by 99 Designs, the world’s largest graphic design marketplace. 99 designs connects businesses needing quality affordable designs with a community of more than 295,000 graphic designers. Visit 99designs.com/twig to receive a free power pack upgrade, valued at $99.
And by Nature Box, where you can order great tasting healthy snacks delivered right to your door. Forget the vending machine and get in shape with healthy delicious treats like Chile lime pistachios. Oh baby! To get 50% off your first box, go to naturebox.com/twig.
Leo Laporte: It’s time for TWiG, This Week in Google. The show that covers not just Google, I hasten to add, but all of the cloud stuff, the social stuff, the anything online and, frankly, anything that Jeff and Gina want to talk about. Jeff Jarvis is here from City University of New York, CUNY, and he is a professor of journalism there. He is also the author of What Would Google Do? - and his latest is Public Parts. He joins us each week to rant, rave, and shave his beard.
Jeff Jarvis: You got a problem with that?
Leo: We’ll talk about the shaving in just a bit, but first let’s say hello to your cohost, lovely talented Gina Trapani from Brooklyn New York. She is one of the developers behind ThinkUp - I guess you’re the developer of ThinkUp.
Gina Trapani: I’m the CTO, if you want to talk about highfalutin’ titles.
Leo: She’s the CTO of ThinkUp, at thinkup.com.
Jeff: Or as Mark Zuckerberg would say, “CTO, bitch!”
Gina: Not what I would say, but yes. That.
Leo: And I’m glad you’re feeling better. She’s also the host of All About Android and missed the show yesterday. I’d bet you it was killing you because Koushik was on the show yesterday.
Gina: It was killing me. Jason said, “Do you have any questions?” and I started typing a very long email with many questions.
Leo: Koushik Dutta, who is on the CyanogenMod team and now does ClockworkMod fill-in and AllCast. I haven’t seen the show yet. Anything you want to share from that show? I mean, he’s just great. I think he’s a genius.
Gina: I actually have it queued up in my player. I haven’t been able to watch it either. I had a very busy day today. But I was really really sad to miss it. The problem with having a one-year-old is that you get every single cold that her classmates at school get, so. . . I’m very excited. I’m sure it’s a great interview.
Leo: Yeah. Last night’s All About Android.
Leo: Google I/O. Let’s talk a little bit about that before we get into the news. It’s coming up. Were excited about it. End of June, right? Everybody’s going to be there, except not all of us. Well, you know, I think it got to be very popular - and this might be Google’s fault a little bit because they keep giving away so much stuff - that I think everybody wants to go. And of course, Google - this is their developer conference. Their strongest interest is in getting people who are, you know, Android and Google developers. That’s what the event is for. And then there’s press. But we warm up seats, and traditionally we haven’t had too much trouble getting in. This year, they told us, only two passes. So now we have a conundrum.
Jeff: And the only reason I’m included is because I applied by saying TWiG was my affiliation.
Leo: As you should have. Now I’m not going to go, I’ve already refused myself. Mostly because we’re going to cover it live, and it’s impossible to cover the keynote live if you’re in the keynote. I did try once and it didn’t work well. (whispering) “And now, Larry’s coming to the stage . . . He’s brought his 8 iron . . .” So I’ll stay-at-home and will cover it live. We’ll do the live keynote, of course, and then what we’ve done in the past - and this worked quite well - is that Jeff and Gina would be in the event. Actually I went last year but traditionally Jeff and Gina will be in the event, and then rush up here and we’ll do This Week in Google. Unfortunately, we can’t get you both in.
Gina: Yeah, you know I didn’t get a press pass, which I was okay with.
Leo: Well we got two and then I, in my most solemnic mode, gave one to Jason Howell of All About Android. He really wanted to go to it. And then one to Jeff. What I was hoping, this was our gamble, was that you would apply as a developer. We would pay for all of that, but that you’d get in as a developer, because you are a developer. You’re an Android developer. Todo.txt is an Android app.
Gina: Right. So I went through the application process, which asked you, “Do you have an app in the Play store, if so what’s the URL?” They authorized the $900 on my credit card for Google Wallet, because it’s the cost, without charging you. And I thought, “Okay.” I answered a few questions - what I’m interested in - and I thought, “Okay, it seems like I should have a good shot.”
Leo: Do you think they look at all that stuff or is it totally random?
Gina: Why would they ask if you had an app in the Play store if they didn’t look at it? So I thought I had a good shot, but I didn’t make it.
Leo: Did they ask if you had the most listened-to show about Google in the entire world? Did they ask that?
Gina: They didn’t ask that.
Leo: They need a new field on the form.
Gina: They need a new field.
Leo: Two of the most listened-to shows. All About Android is easily the number one android show in the nation, in the world. And this is about the only show about Google in the world.
Jeff: So, Leo? Are you thinking that Google watches this show?
Leo: Well that’s the irony in that, is that nobody in Google watches the show or has any idea we even exist. I was totally going to pay the 900 bucks, that wasn’t a problem at all.
Jeff: Gina’s getting in no matter what. I’m transferring my pass to Gina.
Leo: Hold on Mr. Gallant.
Gina: I know. He’s being so gentlemanly.
Jeff: But, But – we want to have the show there. Gina and I are a Google couple. We need to be there. You can’t split apart this Google marriage.
Gina: We’re willing to crack countries and time zones. We’re ready.
Jeff: We’re even ready to fly coach, for God’s sake. To see this thing.
Leo: I actually would give you my pass, Gina, if I had one. But I don’t. So, don’t think it’s just Jeff who is the only person that would do that.
Gina: Oh, you’re both very gallant.
Leo: I gave Jeff my pass.
Jeff: Don’t want the audience to go after me saying, “Jarvis is going and not Gina?”
Leo: And the reason we want to go, of course, is because we want to give you the best possible coverage. . . . And they might give away a watch!
Gina: I’ll admit I kind of want the watch. You know it’s funny. I have really mixed feelings about this, because on the one hand I’m sad that I didn’t get in, but on the other Kevin might do this whole episode talking about these big developer shows, talking about how they’ve turned into these press events and how people who got in are only people who had money and who were there the two minutes the registration was open. So a part of me is really kind of glad that Google’s cracking down on press and making the application process for developers a lot more sort of equal opportunity. I’m all for that. I think that’s great.
Jeff: And the other developers. You are different.
Leo: I just want to say that if Google’s smart, they will give no swag away at this year’s Google I/O. And they will never have this problem again.
Jeff: People who are going to spend the money and go to the effort to go to the event are going to be those who care.
Jeff: There’s a story somewhere in the run down today about Google Glass. The Google person said, “We charge 1500 bucks because we want people who are serious about this.” So Google should have people who are serious about this. In all truth, by being there last year, I really did absorb a lot and it affects our coverage throughout the year. I understood more about Android’s strategy and Chrome strategy and all these other things. And to hang around with the people who actually do this stuff, for dumb me is very useful.
Leo: I do have to say that I don’t – what is happening in my brain? I can’t remember what I had to say two seconds ago. I do have to say that we will cover no matter what. And that all of these developer conferences are huge, mostly because of the success of things like WhatsApp. If you want to make money in the tech business these days, you’re an app developer. You develop either for IOS or Android. WWDC and Apple do not give away anything to developers. Same issue, the sign ups go instantly. They just can’t make these things big enough. Now, to Google’s credit, the entire thing is streaming. So if you’re a developer, what you lose is the press-the-flesh, the meeting people, the connections you make. But the content is available to you, instantly, right?
Gina: And the swag, I think, is really part of it. It has sort of become like Opera’s Christmas Special, you know, where it’s not just fans, it’s the folks that want to get the stuff. And, look, I admit, I’m part of that. They want to give away a watch; I want my hands on the watch first right? Because most likely it will be a prototype and it won’t be out to everyone yet and I’m a developer and I will get to develop not only in a simulator, but on an actual piece of hardware. That’ll be amazing. Whatever they have up their sleeves, of course I want access to that. So there’s that part of it and I’ll admit being part of that as well.
Jeff: Listen, I’ve proven I’ll buy anything they make.
Leo: And we know this.
Jeff: Two years ago when you guys went, and even though it didn’t turn into a product what was the round thing?
Gina: Oh, the Nexus Q.
Jeff: The Q. That’s what made me jealous. Because you had something that no one else had.
Leo: And never got! And never had again!
Jeff: I wanted to play with it and understand where their brain was and what they were thinking. That’s the more valuable piece of the swag. Google, I’ll buy it! I’ll be buying the Nexus8 if you do it. I’ll buy all your stuff.
Gina: Oh yeah. Absolutely. Is not that you don’t want to pay. So you want it sooner, right? And don’t forget Glass as well. You get to sign up for Glass.
Jeff: And, by the way, Google. I bought the dang Glass. I bought the darn lenses. I mean, really, how far do I have to go? I wrote a book about you. C’mon.
Leo: I don’t want to spend too much of this show begging, that there you go. There you have it. We will cover it no matter what. One of these guys will be there. With any luck, both of them will be there and I will stay home and you can bring back the Glass. We have Facebook quarterly results just coming in. Also, word – and I will check this - that Apple has issued a seven to one stock split? That must be an error. Two to one? Apple splitting 7 to 1. Working to check that out. While I’m doing a little commercial, we will get the latest news. Jeff and Gina are here. This is This Week in Google. The begging is over, the show will now begin. I can just imagine - every time we talk about this stuff - I know Matt Cutts listens, and last time he said he was running while he was listening and he stopped and he ended his run so he could quickly report a bug. So Matt, continue to run. It’s fine. It’ll be fine. Don’t interrupt your run on this, on our account.
Leo: Our show today brought to you by a great sponsor. I’m really excited about Full Sail University. Full Sail University has both a campus and an online degree program, centered on real-world experience in entertainment, media and technology. To find out more, go to fullsail.edu/twig. Marketers, if you’re in the business, maybe you watch our show Marketing Mavericks, you know this is a fast-paced fast-moving world and right now you’ve got to be proficient at using advanced web-based tools and techniques. You’ve got to be able to reach customers and consumers in the digital environment, online marketing, things like web-based channel search technologies, analytics, are all the kind of things you need to know to be at the forefront of today’s advertising and branding strategies. Full Sail University offers an online Internet Marketing Master’s degree program, designed for professionals who want to keep pace with these new marketing technologies. You’ll be learning things like search engine optimization, social media marketing, web metrics and analytics, online consumer behavior. You’ll be working on real projects with real clients. That’s how you can best gain experience and generate results and learn from industry-experienced instructors. Full Sail University’s online and campus degree programs are always centered on real-world education experience with industry technology and workflow. With their innovative curriculum, you’ll earn your Master’s degree in just 12 months, how about that? All while you’re working your regular job. Through Full Sail’s Project Launchbox program, students also get – get this – a MacBook Pro preloaded with Apple’s complete line of creative software tools as well as degree specific sets of pro-level applications. How do you like that? In addition to Internet marketing - it’s not the only one - they also offer a variety of Master’s programs in related fields, including business intelligence – that would be a skill to learn! - innovation and entrepreneurship, the new media journalism. To Learn more about Full Sail’s Master degree program in Internet marketing or any of their related programs, visit their website at fullsail.edu/twig. Full Sail – S-A-I-L, like your sails are billowing out and you’re on your way to the finish line. fullsail.edu/twig for more information.
Leo: Let me see if I can find some info on – speaking of information – Apple’s stock split.
Jeff: There’s also, we have lots of breaking news. We got the FCC proposing new net neutrality rules that killed net neutrality.
Leo: Oh, that’s nice.
Jeff: Isn’t that nice?
Leo: Bastahds. We’re going to go to investor.apple.com.
Jeff: The chat room says that Apple is raising share buyback to 90 billion from 60 billion. There’s a link in the chat room to TechCrunch on the split. 7 to 1 stocks split boosts dividends.
Leo: I’ve heard of 2-for-1 that’s what Google just did. I’ve heard of 3-for-2. But 7- to-1!
Jeff: Here’s the funny thing. Google’s been falling. It’s only $13 away from Apple being the higher price than Google. You think they’d want to get there first and then split.
Leo: So these are the Apple quarterly earnings coming in for fiscal Q2. 43.7 million iPhones, 16.3 million iPads, 4.1 million Macs. That’s a significant drop in iPhones by the way. It was 51 million.
Jeff: What was that again?
Leo: It went from 51 million in the first quarter to 43.7 million in the second quarter. Big drop! Went from 26 million iPads in the first quarter to 16 million in the second quarter. Big drop.
Gina: Isn’t that a normal low Q2?
Leo: It is, but . . .
Jeff: Is their quarter - are they calendar? No?
Leo: No. It’s fiscal. So Q1 is the calendar fourth quarter, it’s the Christmas quarter. So yes there is always a drop, but that seems like a significant drop. Now, year to year, it’s not so bad. Year to year, the second quarter is often a bad quarter. Last year it was 37.4 million iPhones, this year 43. So they’re up.
Gina: Nice, so they’re up year-over-year.
Leo: However, last year was 19 million iPads and this year was 16 million. So, iPhones are up year-over-year but the iPads… And some analysts have said that the iPad sales have been slowing. They did beat Wall Street’s estimate. So that’s always a good thing. How did Andy Ihnatko put it yesterday on Mac Break Weekly? It was funny. It’s like, if you polled sports analysts about what the finishing time would be in the Boston Marathon and a guy came in, won it, but came in six second below their analyst’s estimate . . .
Chad: No, he said, “If they had estimated that he would come in third, they would punish them for coming in first.”
Leo: Right. Failed the analysts’ estimates. IPod sales now pretty bad. 2.7 million iPods. I’m amazed they’re selling any. Yeah there was no iPod update. Year-over-year performance, and I guess that’s really what you should count is an iPhone growth of 16.8% and iPad drop of 16.4%. And that’s, I think signs that maybe the tablet market has reached its…
Jeff: What’s the concomitant Android tablet sales?
Leo: I don’t know.
Jeff: I wonder if they’re losing business to Android.
Leo: I doubt it very much, but we could check it. We will check it out. Now, maybe in The Call. Trying to find this rumor about the stock split. Maybe they mention something in The Call. Or maybe the chat room is just punking us.
Jeff: No, it is in TechCrunch.
Leo: No. From Reuters, Apple expands buybacks by 3 billion, we mentioned that, and announces a seven for one stock split.
Jeff: And boosts its dividend 8%.
Jeff: Which is to say that the sharks got to him, I think.
Leo: A really seen seven-for-one stock split. So there stock was around $500, so . . .
Leo: It doesn’t really change the capitalization of the company in any way, because you cut the stock price by the factor of the split, but what it does is make the individual shares more affordable and the thinking is that, “Well, it’s more affordable, and if somebody wants to buy one share for their kid, they can.”
Jeff: And then you can buy an iPad with the other share.
Leo: Really? No. That’s a good idea, though.
Jeff: And start a whole new company
Leo: That’s good. It’s a great promotional. Yeah. You think it was activist stockholders that they gave into?
Jeff: Yeah I think that the problem remains - (Oh, I’m going to get in trouble for saying this - it’s nice that you’re sending email, but I get enough email. I can’t deal with email, people send me looong emails -
Leo: We want to ignore you, but we just can’t.
Jeff: So don’t send me emails about what I’m about to say) – but, has Apple lost its mojo? We haven’t seen major development from them, we haven’t had any major innovations from them, they’ve got to satisfy Wall Street, and at some point, Wall Street’s going to say, “What have you done for me lately?”
Leo: You know it’s funny that you should say that, because… I don’t buy tech stock, so this is surely an academic conversation… But I was going to ask Lisa this morning, have you ever shorted stock? Because I think it’s time to short Apple. And maybe this is a response to that. I mean, raising the dividend certainly helps sell stock. Buying it back shows your confidence in your stock.
Jeff: (unintelligible) had something really interesting to say on Twitter yesterday, which is where he says everything, and he said that the whole bubble conversation going on in tech, he said that activists come in when they see things that are undervalued not overvalued.
Leo: There’s no bubble. I don’t believe that. I don’t think there ever has been a bubble in tech.
Jeff: So there is a belief that Apple is undervalued right now.
Leo: Maybe, but I think it’s overvalued, personally.
Jeff: I agree with you.
Leo: Tim Cook did make his quarterly pronouncement that there are new products coming.
Gina: There always are. Aren’t there?
Leo: And he said (this is Nilay Patel quoting the wire story), “We’re eagerly looking forward to introducing more new products and services that only Apple can bring to market.” Why only Apple? We don’t know. Because only Apple can make an iPhone.
Gina: Wire first? Then TV?
Leo: No. More new products and services. Services is interesting I don’t know what services they’re talking about. No, I think what they’re talking about - if they announce new iPhones this year, he will have satisfied “new products”, right?
Jeff: We make the screen bigger, we make the screen smaller. An iPhone with a bigger screen is not innovation. Same problem with Android. How are you going to beat your own prior story here? How are you going to come up with something that’s new and innovative in phones?
Leo: Nevertheless, Apple had another record-breaking quarter in terms of profits and revenues. IPad sales slowed, but iPhone sales increased. And a 7to-1 stock split!
Jeff: And full disclosure, I have Apple stock
Leo: But it’s probably not enough to make you a wealthy man.
Jeff: Ah, no. No.
Leo: You have Apple and Google stock?
Jeff: Apple and Google and Amazon. I sold Microsoft.
Leo: I’m really tempted. I don’t know even how you short a stock. Well, now’s the wrong time obviously.
Jeff: That kind of statement says a lot, though. If you don’t know how to do it, maybe you shouldn’t.
Leo: Maybe you shouldn’t. What is the shorting a stock thing? It always sounded interesting to me. Can I make a margin call? Maybe not.
Jeff: Maybe not.
Leo: Anyway there’s the latest from Apple. How about the latest from Facebook? First-quarter results for Facebook also out. Revenue two and a half billion, up 72%!
Leo: Quarter to quarter.
Leo: I guess we’re not shorting Facebook stock. Revenue from advertising up 82%. Wait a minute!
Jeff: What’s their other revenue? What other revenue do they have?
Leo: Revenue was 2.5 billion mobile versus desktop sales.
Jeff: Oh, advertising.
Leo: It’s all advertising. What is that other quarter billion? Where does that come from? I don’t know.
Jeff: Daily active users . . .
Leo: Monthly active users, 1.28 billion people. That’s a neat number to say – anything over a billion active users. Every month, one and a quarter billion people use Facebook? Wow! Mobile daily active users, 609 million. Daily active years users overall, 802 million. So mobile went up a lot. 43% year-over-year.
Jeff: Does daily really mean daily? Every day of the month?
Leo: Every day. Every day 609 million people use Facebook on mobile. 802 million use Facebook on mobile.
Jeff: And newspapers run 12 pages per user per month, and so visits per users per month often 1 to 3, 1 to 4.
Leo: Yeah, but this is users. This can be 20 pages.
Jeff: I know! That’s what I’m saying.
Leo: This is amazing!
Jeff: A newspaper you can supposedly depend upon for helping society.
Leo: Mobile advertising revenue. And this is the metric I think everybody looks at with Facebook. This is the thing they had to figure out. They had to solve. “How do we get mobile advertising to work?” They obviously licked it on the desktop. But “How do we get mobile advertising to work?” Mobile advertising revenue, 59% of the total advertising revenue.
Jeff: That is incredible!
Leo: That’s double what it was last year. Double
Jeff: And they’re in the catbird seat there, because Google is facing, as we mentioned last show, lower yield on advertising because it goes to mobile. So their picture can only look kind of worse in some ways, because Facebook hadn’t figured it out, their picture is only going look better. I don’t know what the comparative yield is, or any of that, but Facebook is only going up.
Leo: Confirmation that the CFO is stepping down, we knew that. He’s been there five years. He’ll be succeeded by David Wehner. David Ebersman is being succeeded by David Wehner, who is currently vice president of corporate finance.
Jeff: This is like that moment on the Oscars when the accountants come out. Most people just couldn’t possibly say who the CFO is.
Leo: Yeah, Abercrombie and Fritschberg.
Leo: So very interesting. They’re having a conference call right now, or will in 10 minutes, I guess, to talk about it. But very good, very good you couldn’t get much better than that in terms of Facebook results. So the two big quarterly results we expected today, both Apple and Facebook, doing extraordinarily well.
Jeff: What was expected for Facebook does it say?
Leo: I don’t see that.
Jeff: Sorry, I keep asking these stupid questions.
Leo: What, you want me to do research? Come on. So both Facebook and Apple, yeah Facebook beat the estimates. 1 billion users on the small screens. It’s quarterly earnings show the expectations earning 2.5 billion and $.34 per share. Wall Street expected 2.36 billion and $.24 per share, so significant beat on Wall Street. I know we’re supposed to report this, but I don’t understand why it matters what some guys guessed compared to what the actual result was.
Jeff: Only because of what the stock will do next.
Leo: I understand. Stock should go up. That’s right. The daily active users are mind-boggling. There’s a breakdown here by geography. And so, if you look at this graph - For those of you listening, I’ll kind of describe it. US growth is fairly flat. US and Canada’s the dark stuff at the bottom. From 2012 to 2014, two years, went from 129 million daily active users to 150 million active users. The big growth is in Asia. Massive growth. 119 million to 216 million. Somewhat less in Europe, but still growth there. And the rest of the world, big growth there. So that’s what you want to see if you’re Facebook. You want to see big international growth.
Jeff: No wonder he’s buying drones.
Leo: Right. Big international growth.
Gina: This does explain the drones.
Jeff: Boy does it ever. If he gets that kind of level of daily usage, find a way to give away the access! Come on, folks.
Leo: We’ll be listening with interest to see a little more detail, things like young people vs. old people, things like that. You’d be hard-pressed to find any bad news in this.
Jeff: So the proportion of US usage now is what? On that chart Leo? Can you do it proportionally?
Leo: Oh, looks like
Jeff: 150 of 802?
Leo: Yeah. Its . . . What is that?
Jeff: This ain’t no American company no more.
Leo: It’s like 25%, no it’s not even 25%
Jeff: Notice how good we are at math.
Leo: It’s between 20 and 25%., No it’s less than 20. I’m sorry. It’s less than 20%. Wow! Wait a minute, wait a minute. Less than 20% of Facebook users are in the US and Canada.
Jeff: It’s all the company here.
Leo: Does it matter?
Jeff: Does it matter? Meaningless. This is an international global company, global usage, which is always been part of Mark’s vision.
Leo: Let me say this again. Fewer than 20% of Facebook users are in the US and Canada. Something like 82% of all Facebook users are outside US and Canada.
Gina: Wow. That explains WhatsApp as well.
Gina: User base
Jeff: My friend Rafat Ali, founder of Skift, says that every single member of his family’s on WhatsApp. Everybody in India.
Leo: Yeah. That’s because of text messaging.
Jeff: In fact I saw some great pictures of India with them wearing saris with a WhatsApp logo on it. Those wonderful beaded things they do in India, they are so wonderful with the WhatsApp logo on them. It’s part of the culture.
Leo: Wow. More than 80% of Facebook usage is outside the U.S. You know, Facebook is kind of amazing because every single market it’s entered has taken over. So it started at Harvard and dominated. Within a few days, it dominated the Harvard student body. It was like instant. Then they go to all the Ivies. They open up to all the universities in the Ivy League. And it’s immediately. Then they open to all University and it almost immediately dominates. Then they open the United States and its just astounding growth. And the same thing seems to have happened globally. What we need to do is discovers some more planets.
Jeff: Well no what he’s doing is discovering new apps. A) WhatsApp is very telling, B) he was interviewed in the New York times by Farhad Manjoo.
Leo: I thought that was a great interview.
Jeff: It was a very good interview. The most telling thing to me was that Mark is breaking up the app. And as I thought about that, my contacts in journalism, we think everybody’s going to come to our big thing, because you have everything you need, right? But think about how you use Google. I go to things that are appropriate to the use. I do Gmail over here, I do maps over there etc. That’s what’s happening with Facebook. I do friends stuff here, I do photos there, I do chatting here. And so you start to break up, not because they’ve become totally new worlds but because they’re appropriate to the context of my life and what I’m doing at this minute.
Leo: He says, “Were unbundling the Big Blue app.”
Jeff: That’s really important. So what is he really, in Mark’s genius huge vision? These people connecting. It’s where he’s always wanted to be and that’s what he’s doing. Every way he can get people to connect, that’s where he is. Google is about people getting information. And they’re trying to do that every damn way they can. If they each hold true to that vision, they each have incredible good businesses.
Leo: “What we want to do is build a pipeline” - this is Mark Zuckerberg talking to Farhad Manjoo in the Times – “what we want to do is build a pipeline of experiences for people to have. It would be a mistake to compare any of them in different lifecycles to other ones. They’re in different levels. They’re all different.” You know it’s really interesting. There does seem to be two different trends you see. One is to bundle everything into all-in-one right? Let’s make the mobile phone do everything. The mobile phone was condensing an iPod, a phone, a computer into one item. And the conventional wisdom was yeah people just want one item. But then you look at software. You look at UNIX where the philosophy is . . .
Gina: Do one thing well.
Leo: Do one thing well, but, and very important, you can chain them together to one bigger thing.
Jeff: And you can have a relationship across that. So, Mark doesn’t even care about the Facebook brand, necessarily. So these things will not be called Facebook, if they keep to the platform development. One other thing you can see about Mark is when he opened up Facebook to outside developers and that worked and then didn’t work, right? But what is Paper? Paper is saying there’s a basis here of content and relationships. And you can build an incredible new app on top of that, the same thing that Facebook is built on, and get an entirely new experience from it. And so what ties it together? It’s these companies’ knowledge about you as a person, (if we can get past all the creepy stuff) and services.
Leo: So once again if you understand this, Gina, this idea of “do one thing well but then create a pipeline”- and Zuck is obviously, he’s a programmer. He knows UNIX well. He knows Lenox well. So when he says - let’s hear that quote again- “What we want to do is build a pipeline of experiences for people to have.”
Leo: So what is Facebook? It’s a bunch of different apps, but we’re the pipeline.
Jeff: That’s true, but does it need to, Gina? In the case of Google, Google lives and dies on relevance. And relevance means knowing you, and knowing what you want and who you are, and all the stuff about you, right? Facebook, if it’s just connecting you appropriately to the app, does what you do on WhatsApp have to be that tied to Facebook?
Leo: Listen to what he says, because then Manjoo asks him about anonymity, about Snapchat and so forth. He says “Do you expect Facebook will do things with anonymity? Of course anonymity is antithetical to this idea of making sure all the data crosses the pipeline. Mark says, “I don’t know. I do think more private communication is a bigger space than people realize, but anonymity is different. I’m not going to say it can’t work, because I think that’s too extreme. But I tend to think some of these interactions are better rooted in some sense of building relationships.”
Jeff: Which is what he really believes.
Gina: Identity and relationships.
Leo: It happens to coincide with his business model, but… “There are different forms of identity you can use to form a relationship. You can use your real identity, you can use phone numbers for something like WhatsApp, pseudonyms for something like Instagram, but in any of those you’re not just sharing the consumer content. You’re building relationships with people and building an understanding of people. That’s core how we think about the world.” So, and this is the important point, anonymity is not the first thing we’ll go do. Or ever do. He did do Poke, which is like Snapchat, right?
Gina: Was it? Poke was anonymous? No, right?
Leo: No, because it was your Facebook identity. But did the things disappear after time? I don’t know. I didn’t use it. Nobody did.
Gina: And it no longer exists.
Leo: And it no longer exists, so who cares? Farhad said, “You’re 30. Do feel like you’re in touch with the younger audience?”
Jeff: Okay, so here’s another question for you. Twitter is born. And you look at those results, what are you thinking? Where’s does Twitter fit into it? We know what Google is, we know what Facebook is.
Leo: I think there’s a really significant issue for Twitter, which is that - what was it 40% of people on Twitter never post? Ever.
Leo: On the other hand, last night I was watching The Voice. And you know how those shows used to do text us with your vote? Now they just use Twitter. #SaveLeah, or whatever her name is. Boy, that’s brilliant. It’s good for Twitter, it’s good for the show.
Jeff: You know these newspapers. I don’t know. Only 1% of the people who would touch them ever write anything.
Leo: Ha ha
Gina: Ha ha
Jeff: Twitter is a publishing platform.
Leo: Is Twitter a newspaper? So I guess that’s what it is, right?
Jeff: Same with Blogger. How many people read Blogger versus how many people write on Blogger? And that doesn’t bother me. I think Twitter hasn’t necessarily done a good job of answering that fact. Publishing platforms historically always have been more read than written.
Leo: But I thought that the idea of Twitter was it was a more egalitarian . . .
Jeff: Yes, much much more. Than any publishing platform ever, but -
Leo: Yeah, if 60% of the users who read a newspaper were putting something in the newspaper, that would be a very different kind of newspaper, so you are right. 60% of Twitter users post. Although, the 40%, we don’t know how many of those are real, that’s another issue of Twitter. A huge number seem to be fake accounts.
Jeff: I think they do a good job. The funny thing is, when I’ve seen one, I reported it all the time. Constantly. Partly because it gets it out of my feed, but also because it’s so easy to do. And I don’t see that many. Maybe that’s me, but I think they kill them pretty well.
Gina: They do an okay job. I don’t know, I have my doubts about how quickly they have the capacity to actually kill accounts that are displaying that behavior of fake accounts.
Jeff: Did you do an analysis on that Gina?
Gina: No, on how many users you block?
Jeff: Is there a way to see, based on blockings, how many fake accounts seem to pop up in people’s feeds?
Gina: Yeah, you’d have to collect your data over time. I’ve got a pretty big database of Twitter users at this point, because I’ve been running ThinkUp for many years. And so, at some point, you check the user and it’s suspended. It doesn’t exist anymore. So you can do that kind of analysis after the fact, but you have to be collecting those users over time and checking back in on them. There isn’t an easy way right now to say, “What happened to the users that I blocked?” I was just having this conversation on Twitter recently with a couple women who are being harassed and who are blocking people and asking their friends to block these people, users who are harassing them. By the time I had seen the conversation, which was the next day, they actually were suspended, which makes me really happy.
Gina: They were complaining, “There’s no way for just a regular user who doesn’t have a ton of followers, who is it verified, is getting harassed, to get Twitter’s attention”, because there are just so many of these.
Leo: It’s funny you should mention this. I was thinking about this the other day, because I have adopted a new policy that if anybody says something – I don’t mind criticism on Twitter – but I was getting such ugly stuff on Twitter. I just decided that if somebody says something really ugly about me, I just block them, so I don’t see it. I don’t see it, I mean others still can, but I don’t see it. And what I realized is if I block – and it’s only about 15 people - Twitter is a wonderful place all of a sudden! It is a small small percentage of the total that can occupy so much of the content by just tweeting a lot. I have a much better experience on Twitter. So I encourage people block, block, block. Now getting somebody blocked globally on Twitter that’s another matter.
Jeff: I think they take those signals seriously, I’m sure.
Leo: Yeah, but I don’t even care about that. I believe in the person’s rights to say bad things about Leo, I just don’t want to read it.
Leo: If a tree falls in the forest and no one… If a troll falls in a forest, no one hears him. Does it matter? So those women who have been harassed on Twitter, it’s not sufficient for them to just block it so they don’t see it? Or is it?
Gina: Well, it’s a couple things. Sometimes it’s like they’re getting dox’d, or they’re getting harassing pictures, and it’s not just enough to say “I don’t want to see this anymore.” It’s straight-up that this person should be banned. I don’t want anybody to have to see this, anyone else to see this, right? So there’s that. And a lot of it is just this feeling that there should be consequences for harassing speech. The lines around that are really blurry. What constitutes criticism versus harassment versus what’s considered illegal threats? There’s definitely some frustration. I think that sometimes it feels like Twitter errs on the side of protecting harassers over the people getting harassed. Like when they changed their block policy. They actually wound up reverting the change. They changed it so that you wouldn’t see the person harassing you, but the person harassing you can still see your stuff. And it was kind of like protecting the harasser versus the victim. And then Twitter reverted it. So it’s tricky. It’s hard. It’s not an easy problem to solve.
Leo: Yeah, it is.
Gina: And it’s really easy to just make another Twitter account and harass someone under another name.
Jeff: Did you see our story last week? The trolls really are sadists.
Leo: They’re sadists. But it’s so easy to block people. At least in Tweetbot. It’s given me great satisfaction. And now I don’t ever see any…
Gina: I’m very liberal with the blocking.
Leo: I’ve always said that. Be liberal with your following and even more liberal with your unfollowing and/or blocking, and you can create a Twitter feed that’s marvelous.
Gina: And I can tell you, I follow a lot of people, I follow over 1000 people, but I have this private list of people whose tweets I don’t want to miss. And even just kind of changing that up - I mean, folks that I really like in real life who are just really loud or noisy or annoying on Twitter, I just move them out of my list and they kind of fly by. And that makes it a much much better experience.
Leo: I need to do that, because I follow over 2000 people on Twitter.
Jeff: It’s unusable at that level. I have a public media wants list and that’s my main list. I have some other lists, too, but that’s my main one. Those are the ones at that I don’t want to miss, yeah.
Leo: I have lists; it’s just that I never think of purging them.
Gina: I think there’s something to Dunbar’s number. I really think that there is a limit to how many people you can really pay attention to and keep a narrative in your head about.
Leo: On the other hand, I just love this kind of serendipity… of just having a 2000 person Twitter stream; there are all sorts of stuff –
Gina: flying by –
Leo: and I love that. I never know what I’m going to see. It’s just fun. But that’s why you do it in a list, instead of unfollowing. I like that. I’m going to create some lists.
Gina: Right, because there’s the social convention. If you don’t follow someone, folks get upset. And some people I want to follow, but I just want to follow casually. I want to dip in and out when I want. I don’t need to hear every single tweet about the cat or whatever.
Leo: Does somebody know if you’ve blocked them? Do they get a message, “You were just blocked?” No probably not.
Gina: I don’t believe so.
Leo: Maybe that would help. Maybe not. You can look it up.
Gina: I feel like that would, in the case of a troll, that would really aggravate the person and motivate them to make another account.
Leo: Let them just shout into the darkness.
Gina: Yeah. Exactly. Although I believe if you block someone, then they can’t follow you, so then they do know. Right? Because they’ll just stop seeing your stuff, so actually they do know.
Leo: By the way, Jeff, to kinda sorta answer your question, not about iPads, but about Macintoshes. I’m monitoring Tim Cook’s phone call right now. Apple is gaining PC market share. And making OS X Mavericks free led to the largest ever percentage of installed Mac users using the latest version. So they’re going up, even though everybody else is going down.
Jeff: Here’s another question about the mobile numbers for Twitter.
Leo: Two thirds of iPad users are new to iPad. Two thirds of iPad buyers are new to iPad. Half of iPhone buyers are new to iPhone. Those are very good numbers. That’s what you want.
Jeff: Mobile too often – mobile includes tablets and I think that’s a misnomer because you’re sitting on your couch. So the mobile numbers for Facebook, does that indicate that some proportion of people just aren’t even using laptops now, they’re using tablets?
Jeff: Or, at the same time you’re saying that tablet sales are going down - and I don’t know how to read that.
Leo: Okay well you have a desktop. I have a desktop. You have a desktop, Gina. But when we go on Facebook, two thirds of the time we do it on our phone. Or a tablet. But I would guess phone.
Gina: I actually uninstalled the app. I just use the webview now on Android, because I can’t deal with all those permissions.
Leo: You’re right. It asks for everything.
Gina: You know what? Web browser works.
Leo: That’s a really interesting point. The new app is getting more and more stripped-down, you know? They’re taking messages out. It’s getting simpler and simpler and simpler.
Jeff: Breaking up the Big Blue Apple.
Leo: Yeah, they really are doing that. And so, in a way, it’s nice because it’s very clean and simple.
Jeff: So the essence of Facebook itself, Big Momma Facebook, is what? Managing friends? Managing content? Because communicating, you’re going to do elsewhere.
Leo: I would say the news feed has been, up to now, the heart of it right?
Jeff: I think that becomes the heart of it, is that Facebook is content, and communication is other things. Does that make sense?
Leo: But, what I should also point out, is that Facebook dominates in social login. You know Facebook Connect versus, say, Google+. It’s Facebook. And that is more a measure of the future of Facebook. It’s the connector, it’s the pipeline.
Gina: That’s also because Facebook Connect was the first to market with that.
Jeff: That is so damn convenient.
Leo: Well, when given the choice, I always use Google instead of Facebook.
Jeff: Yeah, when given the choice, but it’s rare that I see the choice.
Leo: Hmm. That’s interesting.
Jeff: (light flickering) I’ve got a get a new light.
Gina: Although I’ve got to say that on Android the Google login is obviously way easier right?
Leo: It just does it!
Gina: It just does it, you don’t have to do anything else.
Leo: Well, but doesn’t Facebook do the same thing? Well you don’t know because you don’t use the app.
Gina: It pops open a web view and I have to login or whatever.
Leo: Yeah, that’s not easy, but if you have the app installed, you can use both about equally easily. It does give you permissions… I don’t remember what Google does, I guess it does the same thing. It says allow, you have to allow it.
Gina: Yeah, it will ask you what permissions, and you say allow. I’ve got two Google accounts on my phone, so it will ask me which one, tap which one, and I’ll say this game - usually it’s games these days. But when you want to post to your circles, you just private to you, to keep the kids out know your email address, then you’re just like “okay” and you’re good to go.
Leo: Let’s take a break. We’re going to come back with more. Gina Trapani, Jeff Jarvis. We’re talking about anything we want to talk about. Quarterly results, Facebook, Google, Twitter. Did we really answer that question, “What’s the central experience of Facebook?”
Gina: Newsfeed, right?
Leo: Newsfeed for now, but not for the long-term, I don’t think.
Gina: Facebook is just about that social six cents. Sort of knowing what’s going on with my acquaintances, in a way I wouldn’t have beforehand.
Leo: Our show today brought to you by 99 designs.com. Have you seen our new T-shirt? Go to teespring.com/twit. This was a design we got from 99 designs. And if you’re in business, you need great design. More than a quarter million, actually almost 300,000 now, graphic designers are waiting to talk to you at 99 Designs. We put up a contest. We said we wanted to do a hoodie. We got a bunch of really great designs. We actually ended up buying five. And this was one of them. We did the hoodie last month, we’re doing the T-shirt this month. I love this design. In fact, it looks great on a black tea or a white tee, which I think is one of the reasons we chose it. There’s a tank, there’s a spaghetti strap for ladies. There’s a woman’s tee, for ladies as well. As well is the men’s – what’s it called? – a Gildan. I don’t know what a Gildan is. It’s a tank top, I guess. $20! If you want to get our TWiT T-shirt. And thanks so much to 99 designs, because we have designers and house, but it’s so great to get the different looks, the different ideas. If you haven’t updated your websites design lately, does the layout serve the needs of your business? Can visitors find what they need? Remember, simplicity and navigability are your friends. And that’s what designers are so good at. Try to view your site through the eyes of a new visitor. Are there barriers to use of the screens? Do the screens flow logically from one to the next, do all the tabs and buckets and burgers and sliders and buttons work as they should? Can customers get a hold of you? Can they buy if you’re selling? If you find something annoying, the first time visitor will for sure, too. But site design is so important, that’s… Look at that, that’s nice, I like that. That’s a 99 Designs design. At 99 Designs you can get anything designed in just a week. For a startup-friendly price. See you can start promoting your business online right away. You can have a great website design, a powerful logo. 99 Designs really can help you build your client base, even if you’re brand-new, before you open up your doors. Visit 99designs.com right now. Start a design contest. In fact if you go to 99designs.com/twig you’ll get, free, a $99 power pack of services. That’ll give you more designer time and attention. They’ll bold, highlight and feature your design project in their marketplace. You’ll get twice as many designs. Here’s how it works. You say what you need. You set a price, as low as $199. And then designers give you some ideas. You work with them, you refine it, pick the designer you want. The designer gets paid and you get a great design. 99designs.com/twig. Give it a try today. We couldn’t be more happy with the designs we get from 99 designs. I love this T-shirt. I shall send you both one.
Jeff: I like that design a lot.
Leo: Isn’t it great?
Gina: Yeah, it’s great.
Leo: Speaking about design - Apparently Google, according to an interview with John Constantine at TechCrunch, Google’s going to focus on design at the Google I/O this year.
Leo: What is with the big sigh?
Gina: Because if you have to announce that you’re focusing on design . . . I love you Google, you know that I do, but if you have to announce it you’re focusing on design…
Jeff: You want to go I/O, and you hate to be critical, but . . .
Gina: I hate to be critical. You know, Marco actually did a post on this. And you know whatever Marco… Is Marco. He’s very pro-Apple, and not so generous with the Google. But I’ve got to say, I think he was kind of spot on here. I don’t know, I might be risking my chance at a Google I/O pass, but it feels… I don’t think that you can have thrust on design in one particular cycle of development. It has to be embedded in your whole entire process and in the values of the company. And I don’t think that Google’s there. I think that they’re getting there, but. I don’t know, when I saw that they were going to focus on design at I/O, part of me felt, “Oh, that’s great” and another part of me thought, “Hmm, design has to part of every single I/O, every single product, and every bit of development.”
Jeff: I think design is one of the most overused words right now. I hear it constantly. What it means often is, let’s get out the Post-it notes. Design thinking!
Leo: I hate design thinking
Jeff: And design thinking and design are two different things. One is use of aesthetics and the other one is listening to people. And listening to people is a good thing, it’s an input, but everybody’s gone nuts saying it’s all about design design design. I think it’s being overused and it comes to mean less. However, somebody who believes in this told me a few weeks ago that IBM is hiring designers like crazy - I think I said this in the show - because they think that the technology is going to get easier and easier, but experience is what matters.
Leo: You can blame IDO and David Kelly for all this. It’s hard for me not to be cynical about it. Having run out of people for whom it could design actual things for, they decided that design applies to everything we do in life. And we know how to do it. It’s just expanding the market.
Jeff: Yep. Right.
Gina: What does that mean?
Leo: I have mixed feelings about that. Well, you know it does look… Basically IDO - and I believe it’s primarily Kelly - but their thinking was these principles of design should be applied to everything, including how an organization is run, how meetings are run . . .
Jeff: How you experience buying a hamburger. Whatever.
Leo: Everything. In the example, it uses a good example. If you’re designing a hospital, you’d better lie on a gurney and look at the ceiling, because that’s what your patients are seeing. And that’s a good point. I don’t think is a bad point, but then I’ve been in these meetings, the sessions of design thinking and it feels a little cultish, frankly. It’s weird.
Gina: Yeah. I mean isn’t design just a code word for thoughtfulness and empathy?
Leo: Basically, they have the methodology that they want you to use. And it’s good. It’s brainstorming and free-form and how to then incorporate that into actual planning. I guess it’s okay. I’m allergic to some of that stuff. I’m like a New Yorker in that regard.
Jeff: What if it becomes jargony? I think there’s something to it. I’m doing a lot of work now on engagement in journalism and listening to community before you think you know what they need. That’s the essence of design thinking. It’s cultural anthropology, it’s watching people, it’s discerning their needs. I agree with all that, but you’re right. I think really putting it in this marketing shell turns it into cliché ridden…
Leo: So Marco writes, “The idea that Google needs to attract designers to win against IOS is misguided at best. A software platform’s UI and design ethos can’t be changed on a whim, at conference sessions, and a marketing push. It’s deeply ingrained, built over the platform’s entire lifespan and very slow to change.” See I would disagree with Marco in that respect, because the first Android phones were admittedly a nightmare. You know, fonts for different sizes, icons were weird everything felt very cobbled together. But over time Android has become much more polished and that’s because Google has pushed it there. I think Holo and everything that they’ve done has set a tone and a standard, just as Apple did by the way, Marco. The reason Apple’s got it, is because Apple imposed it day one with the Macintosh.
Jeff: I would argue – and I’ll get email about this, too, but don’t bother – is that the single best design in the history of the net was the original Google homepage.
Leo: There you go!
Jeff: There’s a box, the world’s behind it.
Leo: It was a design that was un-designed.
Leo: And Marco says that the thing that has become a cliché cant, “Android’s best apps usually aren’t as good as IOS’s best apps, because” – and this is the part I disagree with – “people who value and demand the best apps overwhelmingly choose IOS.” Well that’s really old-fashioned.
Jeff: All that’s not even true anymore. “We’re better than you because we have iPhones.” That’s just so…
Gina: Yeah, no, he’s wrong about that. But I do think that he’s right about a design being part of the culture from the beginning. And Android’s approach is so different than Apple, right? It was like, put it out even if it’s dirty and broken, and we’ll fix it later, whereas Apple would be like, “If it’s not ready it doesn’t go out. We’re not going to put out Copy and Paste until we have it perfectly right and you just going to live without Copy and Paste.”
Jeff:But the difference there is, we’re going to define what right is, versus what Google says the public is going to define what right is.
Gina:That’s, I think the fundamental difference. Apple is willing to be totally authoritarian and Google is not, Google says, “Well, we want choice, and we’re not willing to lay down the law. We will encourage people to use Holo, but we won’t make them use Holo.”
Jeff:“... and we have a methodology of A B testing and we listen to signals, we’re data driven.”
Leo: Apple says “We’re Steve driven.”
Jeff: And there lies its weakness. It’s strength and now it’s weakness. There lies the reason for (?) stock split, and a buyback and a dividend op.
Leo: Although as we found out in the Samsung/Apple trial in the revelations there, Apple did in fact use focus groups. They encouraged the opinion, the feeling that it was all Steve, but they in fact did some research. They did some A B testing.
Jeff: These guys do ethnographic research, that’s part of the process, to watch people in their environment and what they do and try to solve problems, that’s a form of listening, it’s just..
Leo: I, for one, choose the free form sometimes messy, Google way, over the authoritarian way. Yes, the trains run on time, but it’s not a good feeling.
Gina: I think both approaches have their strengths and weaknesses.
Leo: Yes, and you have your choice. You get to choose, which is great.
Gina: Yeah, I know a lot of designers that would say, you know, designing by data is insane. I forget the name of the designer that was at Google and said they A B tested every shade of blue. Right, where as a designer I couldn’t say “this is the right time”. So I see both sides there, there’s strengths and weaknesses to both. But design was definitely not at the forefront of Google’s mind when they were pushing out Android. Part of that is because they were doing it after the IPhone, and that’s just not part of their culture.
Leo: They were playing catch up too.
Gina: Yeah, they were playing catch up. There were a lot of different factors.
Leo: And, by the way go to play.Google.com and what is on the front page of the Google store than that, one of the most beautiful designed things ever. And Google bought the company. I think Google doesn’t hate design, Google loves elegant, beautiful stuff.
Gina: Oh, definitely. One of the few products that’s at both the play store and the Apple store as well.
Leo: Yeah, isn’t that interesting, I wonder how long that’ll last.
Leo: Google of course owns Nest. I bought three nests at the Apple store not so long ago.
Gina: Which are now bookends?
Leo: Yeah, I don’t use them anymore. When we moved I didn’t bother installing them because I didn’t find it made that much of a difference. And I really hated anything turning on the heat without my say so. I just don’t like the idea of a smart thermostat. And by the way, I noticed Googles not selling the smart smoke detector. I think Venture Beat got this wrong, but maybe not, they say Google is researching ways to put encryption in Gmail. This article by Harrison Weber says that in response to Edward Snowden’s mass surveillance revelations, Google is working on a way to put PGP into email. This is from a source at Google. They Venture Beat’s source at Google acknowledged that end to end encryption is the best defense for message protection. We know that. Though it comes at considerable cost to functionality. I don’t think it comes at a cost to functionality to the end user, just it’s a pain in the ass to implement. The cost in functionality is to Google which can’t see into your email and put ads in it. So I wonder, I can't imagine, this would be a real gut check for Google. Google believes in privacy. Right. This is part of Google’s ethos. It believes in privacy, it believes encryption should be easy to do. On the other hand there is absolutely no way to monetize email without charging.
Jeff: Hold on, I have, have you ever, ever, ever seen money, seen figures, on how much Google makes from ads on Gmail? I think it’s got to be minimal.
Jeff: As we talked about the other day, I usually don’t see ads, any on Gmail. And when I do I’m engrossed in an activity. Why do I use Gmail, why does Google still want me to use Gmail even if it doesn’t have direct revenue from it? Well, because it’s part of the server…
Leo: It’s Google Now.
Jeff: It feeds all kinds of things. I’m addicted to Google. Why did I buy all my la veta Google devices? Because they’re Gmail. Because it was integrated. So Gmail has huge value to them, I think they could stop advertising on Gmail tomorrow and I would bet you, we would never know, but I would bet you the impact on bottom line is diminimous. So what’s more important to Google? Trust. Trust, trust, trust. I’m going to speak to the privacy folks at Google in a few weeks. And I’m doing that as a favor, so you know, I don’t know, you may want to let Gina and I help, but we’ll get back to..
Leo: I love you.
Jeff: What I’d love is help from listeners of TWIG, and for this you can send me an email, or you can talk to me this way. Is what would the perfect ultimate “Google as the absolute leader in privacy”, what would that look like. And I think, I want to give them a wish list about that.
Leo:Well this is interesting ‘because I’m looking and I don’t see any ads at all.
Jeff: Gina, do you see any ads in your Gmail?
Gina: I do, I do. So I turned off the little bar across the top, I have ads on. If I open up a message I have a related Google+ page...
Leo: Oh, yeah there it is.
Gina: ...And then on the right, on the bottom.
Leo: But they’re very, very minor, doesn’t bother me. Here’s a dot net development. This is an app, this is an email from Jason.
Gina: I don’t know, if anyone can figure out how to …
Leo: Sometimes I don’t have anything.
Gina:... get these ads to show up with encryption, it’s Google.
Leo: Okay, here’s a couple of options. Here’s a couple of options. Right, you could have ads that just aren’t targeted. Or they’re just not from your email. Why not? This a hot button for a lot of people. Get off the scroogled bandwagon. Or charge 5 bucks a year, or whatever, how much, I mean, it can’t be…
Gina: Well this is what I was thinking, Google apps users, who are paying, businesses and organizations, this is something that they want. So you pay for this premium service, you turn on privacy and your communications are encrypted. Now your communications are all stored on Google servers and if the NSA or whoever is getting whatever's coming in and out of Google servers then the encryption doesn’t do anything for you, right?
Jeff: Well, wait a minute, if it’s end to end encrypted than it does.
Gina: Right, ‘cause ...right.
Leo: So I use this service called hushmail right now. Hushmail was created by Phil Zimmerman who created PGP. Its PGP encryption, it’s, if you use it to aco outbound, outside of hushmail it’s not encrypted anymore. But if you’re sending it to somebody within hushmail it’s fully PGP encrypted. And that’s what you would do. But if Google did it, almost half the people I write to are on Gmail already. That would all be encrypted.
Jeff: Okay, now Gina, Leo, explain this to me, because I get confused by encryption. Shouldn’t be but I still do anyway. So, if it’s end to end, anywhere outside of Google, then I still have to publish a public key and…
Leo: You would need to encrypt mail to me if I’m on Yahoo mail, you would need to know my public key and encrypt it to that public key. Now, Google could make that easy by saying, “oh I see that this is not a Gmail address, would you like to encrypt”, and then “is this the person to whom you’re sending the mail, does this match your knowledge of Jeff?”
Jeff: Okay, but here’s another question. Here’s a clever way to do what we’re doing. Ah, we’ll make it really, really easy to encrypt, like hushmail, inside of Gmail, because I don’t know anyone who uses hushmail, except for you Leo, but I know a lot of people who use Gmail. And if you are concerned about this being private communication, hey, just find your user on Gmail, and send it to them on Gmail, and you don’t have to worry about publishing….
Leo: You don’t have to think about it. Right, that’s right.
Jeff: So that becomes a real premium service, I’m not saying they have to charge for it, but I’m saying it becomes a real benefit, another benefit to using Gmail. It becomes the most secure place to email.
Leo: Now here’s a question, Google, if it did that, Google would have to hold your private key, right? How, where would the private key live Gina?
Gina: Yeah, that’s the question right, it has to be…
Leo: It could live on your hard drive, it could live your client, yeah, I guess it could. It could live in your client…
Jeff: That’s not the hard part. The hard part is I want to send private email to Gina. I don’t know her public key, I have to go looking for her public key. Instead, in Gmail it says Gina accepts encrypted mail. Would you like to send something to her encrypted? Yea, check here, yes I would. That’s the hard part. Made easier. Right?
Leo: Yes. Yes, it has your public key, it knows your key so it’d do it automatically.
Jeff: What Google could do in addition to that, just to play along here, is that it could make it a standard to make it really easy for anyone in Google+, get this, click one box and you get a public key. And Gmail will use it automatically, it’ll put it in your Google profile, it’ll put your public key there, your private key in your Gmail, and you’re rolling.
Leo: So actually, I think that’s the only way to do it, you know, hushmail keeps the private key. Which means they have in the past turned over unencrypted emails to the federal government on subpoenas. That’s not the way to do it obviously. And by the way, Levar Levinson who created Lavabit, the encrypted mail that reportedly Edward Snowden wanted to use, or did use with Glenn Greenwald. He shut down Lavabit because the government wanted the keys and he said “no, I’m not going to do it.” He’s now in a wad of trouble because of it. But he and Phil Zimmerman are creating something they call Dart Mail that will presumably do it correctly. The key is that to make it trust no one, in Steve Gibson’s famous phrase TNO, the only person who could have access to that private key would be you. So that no other third party could turn over your unencrypted email. And that’s what we all want. We all understand that now. So all Google would do is maintain a directory of private keys automatically use that, I’m sorry, of public keys, automatically use those public keys on your request to encrypt, but it would not be able to decrypt. Your client would have to do that in the window or whatever.
Jeff: Absolutely, it’s the only thing that gives you security and safety and the only thing that prevents the NSA from getting your stuff, unless they can crack PGP, we don’t know that, but yeah. In thinking about this talk at Google, the other thing that occurred to me as I was walking the street the other day, is I did more thinking about this personal data the wrong way. We keep thinking about vaults. Protect it. But I think instead that what you really want to do is see that there is an economy here, a benefit of sharing your data, but you want more control over that. When do you share something? So really, a platform for being able to publish and share things, making that possible, and getting me value in return, is where I think this goes. So this idea that you can encrypt something so easily in Gmail, and keep it private from everybody including Google and the NSA, that’s a powerful statement. If that’s what they’re going to do. And if you weren’t thinking this way, you think it’s a good idea, we'll, invite Gina and me to IO.
Leo: We’ll explain it to you.
Gina: This would prevent them from doing all the cool Google Now features, where it’s like “oh, you have a flight coming up, and you’ve just arrived at the airport, and oh, your package has shipped.”
Leo: So that’s why I don’t think they encrypt automatically, the encrypted on request.
Jeff: Yeah, yeah it has to be, because Gmail also, United Airlines is not going to encrypt its boarding pass to me. So that emails still there. That doesn’t change anything.
Gina: When you do talk to them, tell them that if they really want to get this right, nobody ever says the phrase “public key”. No regular person should ever have to say the phrase “public key”.
Jeff: You have to treat it like the secret mailbox.
Leo: See Gina, if you were only going to Google IO you could say that to them yourself.
Jeff: You could say that to them.
Leo: Too bad, you won’t be there.
Gina: Right, instead of priority inbox, its private mailbox, its secret mailbox. It’s you know, like okay, are you going to send a postcard or are you going to send it certified mail? Some sort of analogy that makes it easy to grock. And no public/private key. I mean Lastpass does this right? I mean, I installed the LastPass extension on all my different browsers. When Heart bleed happened LastPass said, “Hey, you know what, even if our servers were vulnerable, we don’t have your data, we can’t decrypt your data.” Like your data, they have my data right, but it’s encrypted so even if a hacker had been using heart bleed, they wouldn’t have been able to decrypt anything that they had. This is what’s going on right, all my stuffs getting decrypted when I activate the extension on my client. And this is basically how PGP works as well. But I don’t deal with keys with that, I just install it and log in.
Jeff: I also want you to know here, it’s not just I go or Gina goes, we’ve collaborated here together, we’re a team. You don’t want to split us up, that’s the key to this.
Leo: Oh my goodness. It’s helpless, forget it guys.
Jeff: I know, I know, we don’t, nobody pressures Google.
Leo: I just wanted to say, we were thinking of trying to game Google, by just signing up a hundred people and, but uh, I thought that was probably a foolish idea as well. Gaming Google is probably the last thing anybody ever wants.
Jeff: Right now Matt Cutt’s ears are probably perking up.
Leo, well, you know, next time we get Matt Cutts on, I want to just thank him because I guess Googles’ cracking down on bogus inbound links or whatever because I’ve been getting, did I mention this before? Tons of email from people saying “hey, you know, we spammed your forum a while ago, can you remove that spam because Google is cracking down on us?” It gives me such pleasure to send them back “you know what, no.”
Gina: That is the sound of my feet dragging.
Leo: One guy just sent me “we’ll pay for whatever it takes to get rid of these spammy links.” Now probably what happened in some of these cases, it’s that they hired a sort of rogue SEO group that did these spammy links and they didn’t know it. Maybe. I’m going to give them a little benefit of the doubt on this. On the other hand maybe not. And the ones I really don’t like are the ones who threaten me “because we would have to have to go back to Google and disavow the links because that would adversely affect your own Google ranking.”
Gina: What? Jerks, jerks.
Leo: Yeah, that was my, that kind of was one of the words that came to mind. Can you believe it? “We would hate to have to go back to Google and tell them you wasn’t cooperating with us. That’s a nice horse you have there.” Can you believe that? So evil. Yeah, and I’m getting them almost every day now. ‘Cause I guess we have a forum that we set up, the twit town comments, and it’s not widely used. And of course as soon as you have any place like that spammers just glom onto it, because they’re hoping, because it’s at twit.tv, so they want to get our Google juice to their evil client or whatever. Anyway, don’t write to me, because I’m not going to be a nice guy, and Matt, if they try to smear me, I presume you won’t affect our ranking.
Jeff: Our beautiful friendship.
Leo: Our beautiful friendship.
Jeff: I miss that, we’ve got to get Matt back on.
Leo: Yeah. Get the Cutt man on.
Jeff: Send him an email.
Leo: He’s such a sweetie. Google fights stunning erasure gag order on First Amendment grounds. It’s stunning!
Jeff: Well, that’s my word for stunning.
Leo: What is this, Google fights gag order from the Houston Chronicle.
Jeff: So, so some guy said “you have to take down all these lists about me” on, on, on and Google of course says “no” and...
Leo: We see these lawsuits all the time right?
Jeff: Yeah, exactly. But then they, oh, I can’t…
Leo: I can’t read it because I’m not a subscriber.
Jeff: Right, I read it once and now I can’t read it again because... Well, you know what, never mind Houston Chronicle, you lose.
Gina: Paywall, paywall.
Jeff: Next story Leo?
Leo: There’s been a lot of them. Who was that, the guy who was, there was pictures circulating of him in an orgy and he wanted Google to take them down? How about animated gifs as high art.
Jeff: Gifs. Gifs.
Leo: This is kind of cool. So London’s famous Saatchi teamed up with Google+ for the motion photography prize. The world’s first competition for artists working with animated gifs.
Jeff: I have a wonderful colleague here named John Smock who’s in charge of our photography and he was, he wanted to teach animated gifs. And I just went after him for half an hour, saying “My God, this is the end of journalism, civilization, esthetics, everything that is holy...”
Leo: You are wrong sir! This is Saatchi gallery! London! England!
Jeff: We showed during the last US Open that I’d shot tennis players doing their things, and I’d admitted the errors of my ways, and now I’ve actually since gotten some cool….
Leo: This ones the winner, it is Brooklyn artist Christina Ranaldi, it’s of a window washer. And I presume it’s just a, I don’t know if it’s autoawesome gif, or if she did…
Jeff: I’m sure it’s manually done.
Leo: It’s quite beautiful.
Gina: It is beautiful, there’s some really nice ones in this article.
Leo: Here’s another one, it’s from Kostas Agiannitis a cinematographer from Rhodes Greece. You might say “wait a minute, that’s not animated” but if you look closely, her hair is blowing in the wind as she looks at a jukebox.
Gina: And the record is spinning.
Leo: Is the record spinning? Oh yes, it is. So that is not a, what I call an animated gif, this is what I call a cinemagraph, but I guess the distinction is lost on the prestigious Saatchi Gallery. I like that. Cinemagraph, and there’s an app that does that, it’s called cinemagraph, there are other apps that do it. You can say “this part should be moving, this part should be moving, but not the rest.” Here’s a kind of beautiful one of a guy standing in a pool underwater. And the reflections of the light, he’s not moving, again, a cinemagraph. Unless I guess he’s just not moving. This says artist Matthew Clarke, shortlisted for the night category. I don’t know if I like this. It’s, but you see a person walking by, a fellow sitting on the sidewalk. And the fellows moving back and forth.
Gina: I like the pigeon.
Leo: Here’s a pigeon. From Micael Reynaud. A pigeon.
Jeff: I want it noted that none of these winners have cats.
Leo: There are no cats! In these animated gifs. There are no cats. I don’t know what makes this special. Anyways, there’s, this is an article from CNN. I really do like the winner though, I think that’s quite nice. Because the patterns made by the soap suds as he wipes them off the window are quite interesting. Now I’m going to start playing with it. Is autoawesome the best way to make an animated gif?
Jeff: No, it’s better controls, because autoawesome you don’t control, you don’t know which images it’s going to use and all that.
Gina: Yeah, it just does it for you automatically, yeah. I don’t know, but I should plug “and then I was like” which is from a former Lifehacker editor. Andtheniwaslike.com it’s selfie gifs.
Leo: Selfies not belfies right?
Jeff: That’s combining two horrible trends into one mega horrible trend.
Leo: Its .co not .com right? Its .co
Gina: Right, right. So you sit in front of your webcam and you make a face.
Leo: Okay, let me do it, alright. I’m going to do it through Google, why not, yup, yup. This is that Google log in, see how easy that is? I love that. So easy. Alright, click aloud, turn on your webcam, okay, my webcam is now on, okay, on the count of three, you have three seconds to record your gif. Alright, ready. Alright I’ve recorded a gif.
Gina: Come on, tell me that’s not awesome.
Leo: Now you can have normal looping action, or back and forth. Which in this particular case it doesn’t really matter.
Gina: This is made by Adam Pash.
Leo: Adam Pash made this?
Gina: Uh-huh, yeah he did.
Jeff: What is that address again Gina?
Leo: UH, andtheniwaslike.co
Gina: Yeah, andtheniwaslike.co because it’s supposed to be a reaction to things so…
Leo: Oh, you can do a jaw drop, shall I do a jaw drop? After it’s done saving. So that’s the, that we were talking about the other day is the, instead of shooting...
Gina: Come on, isn’t that fun?
Leo: I like that, now I want to do a jaw drop, now I want to do another one. Oh, three seconds. Did it get it? What happened? Start over.
Jeff: It’s asking for a caption. I think.
Leo: Oh, it wants a caption. Let’s try this, okay one, two, three. I can’t see anything. Oh, it’s not allowing it, that’s why. Okay, we got to start over, it’s getting blackness, that’s why. Stop it, start over, okay. I’m ready for my close up.
Gina: I knew you would like this.
Leo: No, that’s not what I wanted.
Jeff: There’s no action.
Leo: You have to tell me when action is.
Jeff: You did it too fast, you did it too fast. It counts down. Wait, wait, wait, keep waiting, and go!
Gina: Three, two, one.
Leo: It’s terrible, that’s great! It looks like a fish. Alright, we’ve spent way too much time on that, let’s.
Jeff: Let’s make a whole show of that.
Leo: I can do better, I can, I’ll do it later though. And then does this automatically post it somewhere?
Gina: It just gives you your own, you can share it where you want, I don’t believe its public by default though.
Leo: Okay. Record three seconds of video with your webcam, edit the video, oh you can edit it. And then save it. So this is pretty sophisticated. Adam, nice job.
Leo: And he works with Ellen Flaherty who’s a designer.
Jeff: See, everything is design.
Leo: It’s all about design. Look at these icons.
Gina: He went to hacker school and got into webcams. So…
Leo: He went to hacker school?
Gina: He did, yeah.
Leo: What’s hacker school?
Gina: Hacker School is that um, that program that’s here in NY, it’s for … it’s like a summer long program, for inspiring encoders...
Leo: So he wasn’t a coder before?
Gina: You know he dabbled quite a bit when we were at Lifehacker on side projects and things but he just felt that he wanted to get better at it and be more competent, so he did hacker school for a few months and andtheniwaslike was one of the things that came out of it. He’s working on a few other projects too now.
Leo: I want to go to hacker school.
Gina: Yeah, tell me about it.
Leo: Google is testing a new service for the Chrome Browser called Google Stars that will let you star items on the web as well as add them to folders. Once saved these items are called stars and they can be searched for as well as shared with others. So it’s kind of, I don’t know, Google’s Stumble upon? Now they...
Jeff: It’s kind of like Twitter stars, favorites, but now you can do it to the whole web.
Leo: Star the web, wow.
Jeff: You know what we haven’t done Leo?
Leo: The change log, I just realized that. Holy moly, ladies and gentlemen, my God, what have we been thinking? It’s time for The Google Change log. And now here’s Gina Trapani with the latest from Google.
Gina: Time lapse, Google street view is rolling out time lapse photos to its street view feature, which lets you go back in time and see previous photos that Google street maps car took of the same place. Once you have the feature enabled, and I’m not seeing it here on my maps, I don’t know if you do…
Leo: I do, I was looking for it just earlier, you’ll get an hourglass right?
Gina: Yeah you’ll get an hourglass, I’m not quite seeing that yet. You’ll get a little time icon, and a slider control that lets you slide back. So you’ll see, Chads got the video up there, you’ll see, if you go to see One World Trade Center, the Freedom Tower, you can go back and see the construction, you can see buildings kind of get, pop up out of the ground, it’s really cool. Google says the new feature lets you see landmark’s growth, or you can see things like reconstruction after 20/11 earthquake, tsunami in Japan, you can even experience different seasons and see what it would be like to cruise roadways in both summer and winter, so yeah, really neat, Time-lapse.
Leo: When I first saw this I was like Oh, cool I could go back to 1856 or something, but the street view wasn’t around back then.
Gina: No, no. Street View was only around about seven years and the photos are about one to two years old. So, you can really kind of see, there’s big differences between them. Especially at construction sites, like down at the World Trade Center. What else do we have? Oh, updates to the hangout app, for Android. That will be released later this week, merges SMS and hangout conversations, with the same user in a single log. So if you start a conversation with someone over SMS and later you chat with them via regular hangouts, you’ll see all of these messages kind of in the same view. If you don’t like this change, no big deal, you can disable it on the fly, and you can switch between SMS and hangouts while you’re chatting with someone, so you’ll get the choice. You can text that person or regular hangout them. And you can see in that screenshot, I think the hangout messages and the SMS messages are shown differently, I think ones white and ones green. So you can kind of tell, you can tell which way it was send. Right and there’s a little ‘via SMS” below each message. Yeah.
Leo: I still don’t use hangouts for SMS, it’s too heavy weight.
Gina: Unified messaging happening. So what do you do? Did you download a separate texting app like textra or something?
Leo: I’ve tried a bunch of them, I just use the HTC app.
Gina: You just use the HTC app that makes sense. Yeah I don’t mind using hangouts, but I’ve had a lot of people say that they don’t want their SMS in hangouts and they just...textra is the one I’ve heard about.
Leo: So you use hangouts for your text messages?
Gina: You know, I use Google Voice, so I don’t even use the native texting app.
Leo: Oh, you use Google Voice.
Gina: I just use Voice for everything…
Leo: Which is really clunky.
Gina: It’s true.
Leo: I don’t know how, but Voice ties into the text messaging app, the native text messaging app. On your phone. So I’ll get Google Voice text in my SMS, and if I respond to that, it stays in Voice. But if I initiate, I have to initiate from Voice if I want it to be from my Voice number. So it’s a little weird.
Gina: It’s all very weird.
Leo: We need a unified system in a, that would also allow third parties, like Facebook messenger to be become part of it.
Gina: Yeah, agreed. Absolutely. I look forward to Google Voice being part of hangouts, because it’s clearly been a neglected Android app and that’s clearly the road they’re going down. What else do we have? Oh, Google Trends. So this is a tool that shows you what users are searching for on Google, now offers email subscriptions. So if you want to keep on top of a sports team, a celebrity or a brand, you can subscribe to get email notifications if searches for those topics spike and you can get those email notifications once a week or once a month. You can also subscribe to hot searches for any country, so, or any U.S. monthly top chart, entertainment, news, etc. So you can kind of keep on top of what’s popular among web searchers. And finally, Google Analytics, making life easier for app developers and content providers. And a new update that’s rolling out in the next few weeks, the Analytics app will merge web and app data into a single report, so if you’ve got content on the web and you’ve got content inside of an app, Google Analytics will show those all in one space. So instead of talking about visits, which only makes sense on the web, Analytics now refers to sessions. So it’s users in both your app and on the web. And instead of calling people visitors, like traditional, conventional web terms, they’re just called users now, so, merging app and web. It’s kind of interesting, so you can get better reporting and better insights about how your users are interacting with your stuff across different touch points. And that’s it, that’s all I got.
Leo: Play the drums slowly. The Google Change log.
Jeff: Now I want to put the soundtrack behind your wangy-wangy-wangy finger things. I want to use that music behind that. In time.
Leo: I will share that to Google+ and you guys can do whatever you wish with it. Before we wrap up, a couple of quick stories, I know this was a big one for you Jeff, so I don’t want to let it go. FCC proposal that would destroy net neutrality, according to The Verge, and the Journal, okay, the Verge is quoting the Journal, so let’s go to the original. The FCC plans to propose a new open internet rule on Thursday that would allow content companies to pay internet service providers for special access to consumers.
Jeff: So let’s be very clear here folks, that’s not net neutrality, that’s not …
Leo: That’s the opposite!
Jeff: That is killing net neutrality, gaaaaahh.
Gina: That’s the gif we need.
Leo: Yeah, I want that animated gif. Apparently they think they’re going to fool regular people by saying “the rules will prevent the service providers from blocking or discriminating against specific websites”. Like that’s the problem. “But would allow some broadband providers to give some preferential treatment, so long as such arrangements are available on commercially reasonable terms.”
Jeff: So in other words we’re going to charge you for decent carriage of your content. Everything else is going to be delivered like molasses.
Jeff: That is unbelievable, it is terrible, it is wrong, wrong, wrong, it kills the internet, FCC, guess what the F stands for?
Leo: This is really disappointing. Now the chairman of the FCC Tom Wheeler, former cable company lobbyist, has absolutely got to take the flak for this.
Jeff: He absolutely does, the revolving door went around and slapped his butt as he’s going in to the FCC. And it’s just awful, just terrible.
Leo: He says he’s following the roadmap that the court prescribed to give the FCC jurisdiction here. But to say “oh yeah, you can’t block a website” which was never an issue, “but you can charge for access to consumers”, which is exactly the issue, is not, this is not an open internet rule. This is a closed internet rule.
Jeff: This is the exact opposite, this is a kill the internet rule. F you FCC.
Leo: Funnel cake? Fandango? Frilly? Whether the terms are commercially reasonable would be decided by the FCC on a case by case basis so…
Jeff: Oh yeah, that’s going to work well.
Leo: Yeah. If Comcast wants to squeeze twit and say “if you would desire to reach our customers with your programming, we’d like to charge you one million dollars”, then I would have to go to the FCC and say “wait a minute, that’s not commercially reasonable, and then …
Jeff: And Comcast has 87,000 lawyers and you have none. You have a very nice service advertiser that gives you forms you can fill out. But you don’t have lobbyists.
Leo: The companies would be paying for preferential treatment on the last mile of broadband networks, connects directly to consumers. The words preferential treatment…
Jeff: Right there.
Leo: That should tell you something.
Jeff: Listen techville out there, you fought sopapipa, what was that, “yeah I want to be able to watch a movie”, that was nothing, that was unimportant. This is the very heart, soul and essence of the internet. Fight people, fight. Batman signal time.
Leo: This has nothing to do with what Netflix already paid Comcast for, the peering, this isn’t about peering. This isn’t about back ended internet connection. This is saying “if you would like to get to the house, what are you going to give us?”
Gina: I just don’t get this. What is the point of this? Why?
Jeff: Unless the Wall Street Journal got it wrong, and it’s a trial blewn and we don’t know, if true, it is utterly, completely, absolutely disgusting, and I’m telling you people, to the barricades. Gina and I have this conversation on the show very often, all you geeks think you can hack around something, you can’t hack around this. This ruins the internet. This ruins it for companies like twit.
Leo: Well it does open an opportunity for an internet service provider that chooses not to do this, the problem is, the same FCC gave these duopoly rules, which means we don’t have, in most cases, a choice between more than one or two internet service providers. So if …
Jeff: Even if you do, who is it? In my case it’s Cable Vision and Verizon. Hmm.
Leo: Well I can give you an example, Sonic Net, which is a great internet. Independent internet service provider, here up, they would of course never do this, but the problem is they come in over copper, there is no way to do it over cable, that’s not allowed. They come in over copper so um, they’re at the mercies of the phone companies and I’m sure the phone companies will find ways to screw these guys. Oh this is really bad news. I’m glad we ended the show with this and didn’t begin it. I wouldn’t have been happy. This is terrible. Let’s watch With Interest tomorrow. They have not been released, but this is a huge departure from previous open internet rules. This is Tom Wheeler cashing the check from cable companies.
Jeff: Yup, yup. Mister Wheeler, we know what’s in your wallet. Last week when I brought the show down I tried to get a little amusement back into it then, so I’ll try that again this week. The Google Glass, there was a “funny bank ad mocks Glass”.
Gina: Oh boy.
Leo: Okay, so I’m going to play that for you now here. I think I might have seen this. Actually.
Jeff: Well maybe its old I don’t know.
Leo: No, no, I think I saw this on Time, ‘cause … First bank.
Leo: So mom is serving dinner, this has nothing to do with the bank by the way, obviously they just felt like “we oughta really skewer Glass here.” I think this is kind of true.
Gina: Go away, go away.
Leo: Go away. Dads pushing away pop-ups, moms putting the peas on the table because she’s watching TV while she’s serving. The little kids, the boy, the son is playing video games, the daughter is trying to, you know, food spot. This isn’t so far from reality.
Gina: It isn’t is it?
Jeff: No it isn’t actually.
Gina: So what happened, Scoville did a 180 on Glass?
Jeff: That was, well gee, you couldn’t see that coming could ya?
Leo: What does he, he doesn’t like it now?
Leo: Last night before Skrillex a Coachella came on. Two guys were talking next to me, says Robert Scoville. One said, I want to get away from the Google Glass guys, I turn around and I see two guys wearing Glass. Google has a problem here. I haven’t worn mine all weekend.
Gina: Oh Robert goes to Coachella.
Leo: He did, he took a lot of pictures at Coachella.
Gina: Not from Glass I’d guess.
Jeff: With his camera, not from Glass.
Leo: With his very big camera. I have been saying this all along by the way, I just want to point out.
Gina: You hear somebody random say “I want to get way from those guys with Glass”, aahhh okay, okay, but you know…
Leo: Google says this is because we didn’t make, have enough people wearing Glass. It was too small a roll out. Marketing guy, responding in fact to this backlash, marketing guy Ed Sanders says the backlash is a result of the way Google decided to roll out Glass. But it was a deliberate decision to do it that way with a limited public beta surrounded by a nimbus of hype and curiosity, it was an unusual step of doing it so exposed and risks come with that. Actually some of this is quotes, some of it is not. This is Forbes writer, Jeff Bercovici. But the quote is “we knew there would be a downside, but we also knew, and know, there would be a tremendous upside.” So I guess this makes sense, in fact any publicity is good publicity. Having Robert Scoville bitch about Glass on Facebook is good for them.
Jeff: As somebody said, exactly, somebody said on twitter, you know, Glass is going to take off. Buy Glass futures.
Leo: I don’t think so.
Jeff: Once Scoville gives them up.
Leo: I know, but I frankly don’t think, I think, I, know. This is a fascinating experiment.
Gina: But interesting the fifteen hundred dollar price point was chosen to only get people interested, not based on the hardware, which, I got to tell you, I didn’t love that.
Jeff: Makes me feel like a schmuck.
Gina: Well, it doesn’t choose for people who are really interested, it chooses for people who are really rich. Right, I mean.
Leo: Right, for whom fifteen hundred bucks is not a challenge, exactly.
Gina: And there are other ways to limit access right, like I’m sure there are plenty of explorers, and I know there are plenty of explorers who got chosen but couldn’t afford it. I mean we saw lots of indegogo campaigns and people trying to pay for Glass in different ways. I didn’t love that so much. I was like mmmh. You know. If you want all your beta testers to be rich, then that’s what you do, but I don’t think that was the point.
Leo: Sanders, who is in charge of marketing for Glass, says “nothing great has been achieved where it’s incremental. You have to go all in.” “The high price point”, another quote, “isn’t about the cost of the device, we want people who are going to be passionate about it.” Does that really mean that it didn’t cost them that much?
Gina: I mean, that sounds like the implication right?
Gina: I mean maybe they wanted people who were so passionate they were willing to raise money for it.
Leo: Well, hmm. Alright, let’s take a break, when we come back, tool tip number. We’ll wrap this puppy up. Our show today brought to you by snacks. Here comes my Nature Box, bring me my Nature Box! I feel like Old King Cole. You know about this, this is snacks delivered to your door every month, there are three different sized boxes, you can go to naturebox.com/twit, put together your first box and get 50% off. Now what makes Nature Box unique is that these are not only great tasting delicious snacks, but they’re healthy too. Zero trans-fats, no, zero high fructose corn syrup, nothing artificial, no artificial sweeteners flavors or colors. This is good stuff. You can select by your dietary needs of course, vegan, dairy, soy free, gluten conscious, lactose free, nut free, non GMO, also by taste, savory, sweet or spicy. My suggestion is on that first box just get an assortment. Because there’s so many delicious things. What am I opening here? Oh peppery pistachios. So this is a good example, just delicious healthy snacks. So much better than going to the machine and getting a candy.
Jeff: Ooh, apple pie clusters.
Leo: Oh those are good. Oh those are good.
Jeff: Mango fruit chews.
Leo: Alright, you would really like this then. I can see you’re going with the fruit. Blueberry almond bites. Crispy almond and rice squares with blueberries. Now all these bags are resalable. They have the, you know, that zip lock thing. Aw, look at this.
Jeff: Citrus chipotle chickpeas.
Gina: That sounds amazing. The citrus chipotle chickpeas sounds good.
Jeff: How about seaweed rice pops? Not so much.
Leo: But that’s the thing, you can pick and choose, go ahead.
Jeff: I’ll not pick the seaweed rice pops.
Leo: Free shipping anywhere in the US. Delicious, 3, 6 or 12 month subscription. Just get that first box and try it today. Naturebox.com/twit, it’s my favorite part of the show.
Jeff: Praline pumpkin seeds.
Leo: Mmh, that’s good, I’ve had those.
Jeff: Whole wheat apple pie figgy bars. I just like saying that.
Leo: They do a number of different figgy bars that are fabulous. Don’t go to the evil vending machine my friends, go to naturebox.com/twit. Mmh. This is really good. It’s like healthy rice crispy treats kind of.
Jeff: Would I rather have regular shit than some razor blades, or…
Leo: Get both.
Jeff: Chewy box. Yeah, I want them both.
Leo: Did you ever get, did we send you, was it you that I sent Harry’s box to? I can’t remember.
Jeff: Cause I already have Harry’s box. I already have Harry’s.
Leo: Oh you already have Harry’s? So tell us about this shaving thing. Is it for charity?
Jeff: No, no, this is for you.
Leo: You want me to shave for charity?
Jeff: No, no there were two shaving sponsors who were fighting, and I said you can have my face.
Leo: Oh I get it. Whoever wins gets to shave you.
Jeff: If it’s enough. If it’s enough and if it’s on twig. Not just twit, it’s gotta be on twig.
Leo: Oh you’ve gotta be on twig. Alright Harry’s, listen up. Listen up Harry’s. He’s already a Harry’s customer. Martin in Europe says “the nature box ads are torture.”
Gina: For us too.
Leo: Alright, time for Gina’s tip of the week.
Gina: Well, I gotta tell you, I didn’t, I was having a hard time finding a tip this week, so andtheniwaslike.co, you should definitely check out. And I couldn’t remember if we covered it on this show, I know we definitely talked about it on All About Android, but did you cover the Last Pass update where now it does auto fill on Android? Did we talk about this?
Leo: It seems like we did, I love it.
Gina: I apologize if we’ve talked about this already but...
Leo: See if this sounds familiar. Because I found a bug in it that caused the HTC 1MA camera to crash every time.
Gina: Oh, that’s crazy, the camera?
Leo: Yeah, because the camera didn’t expect Last Pass to pop up for some reason. Last Pass wanted to pop up. It puzzled me. Now this pop up is great, it’s inconsistent, unfortunately, and something, I don’t know, for some reason I’m able to find a lot of sites that won’t let me paste. So when it works right it works wonderfully. So you’re on a site like Path for instance, and you want to log into Path.
Jeff: An app, not just a site.
Gina: A native app, not just a site but a native app.
Leo: Did I say site? I meant app, exactly. In fact let me log out of Path so I can show you what this looks like cause it’s really awesome. So I’m going to log out of Path. And then I will log back in. so you launch Path, you say log in. and if you have Last Pass on your android device. And you start typing the password, oh it’s not going to do it is it? There it is.
Gina: There it is, yeah.
Leo: Now don’t look cause I have a PIN, and by the way, I would recommend that you do that, require at least a PIN, if not a full log in. but once I gave the PIN, which I did, it says “oh you’re on Path, should I fill it in?” I tap it, it fills it in, and I’m done. And I’m going to log in. so that is a really nice feature. Now, there’s a couple of weirdness’s, sometimes it doesn’t pop up. Sometimes it does pop up and it says “copy and paste, copy and paste.” It can’t auto fill. And sometimes on sites, I don’t know about you but I’ve found sites where I can’t paste. Not sites, but apps.
Gina: Oh, weird, huh. I haven’t run into that. It works for me more often than not.
Leo: it works enough.
Gina: It makes me, yeah, it makes me so happy because it used to be “copy, add to the notification shaa, and flip the duuu and copy and paste”. It was such a pain, it was such a rigmarole, but it’s so much better now. So yeah it’s got a little weirdness here and there, but for the most part I’m really loving it yeah. Yeah.
Leo: Better than nothing. Everybody knows, because we’ve told them, that because of the heart bleed bug that you should be using a password vault, we love Last Pass. I do want to point out one other way that you could do this before. This new features really nice, but you also get a Last Pass keyboard. And you can, and it’s a crappy keyboard, and I do make it my default keyboard when I’m first setting up a new phone. Because then, it’s kind of the same thing, when the keyboard comes up you can say, hey just fill it in. so that was the previous way of doing it, and it’s still around. Last Pass is a must have on Android, on IOS, on Mac, on Windows, on just, you, I love it.
Gina: Yeah, I feel like I’ve cheer leaded for LastPass a few times, but that particular feature, it still delights me every time it works. I’m like “ahh”, cause I set up my new M8 and it was so much easier with that. Yeah.
Leo: Right. So one other issue, like I mentioned, at least on the HTC version of the MA, the camera app was crashing, crashing, crashing. And I did a lot of searching and I finally found it. I think LastPass has fixed it with an update. But when I was launching the camera app, for some reason it was launching, LastPass was trying to launch its pop up. And it would crash the camera app. All I had to was go into the LastPass settings and say, cause you can control which apps you launch, and say don’t launch.
Gina: Right, and say don’t launch for this app. Yup. Yeah that wasn’t happening with the Google Play edition, and it’s not happening with the regular Google camera from the Play store. Which is what I’m using now.
Leo: Does the Google Play edition of the MA come with the camera? Or an actual HTC camera?
Gina: It comes with the Google camera. But it’s a special version. Like they forked the Google camera to include the focus shifting and the 3D. So it has a view of the HTC features, yeah I think it’s actually a special build, yeah.
Leo: So here’s where you change it. This is in the LastPass preferences. First of all you have to enable “fill into apps”, that’s not on by default, so you want to go into LastPass preferences, scroll down, and enable fill into apps. That’s what Gina is talking about. And then the app associations are a list and that’s where you can say, hey when the camera launches, please, don’t try to do a password log in. That’s the first one I’ve found, there may be others and of course LastPass probably fixes it as time goes by. But just a little tip if you do have a problem with it crashing app all of the sudden. You know what it was, it was the confluence of a new phone and then an update to LastPass, and neither could test, because both were brand new. Not unusual.
Leo: I highly recommend it. Jeff, your number of the week?
Jeff: Alright, I’m a little confused about this number, maybe you can explain it to me Lucy. So as you remember Google did a stock split. And it came out with a class C shares, a brand new kind. Which are non-voting. Class A shares are voting. And the, and a price differential has developed.
Leo: There wasn’t supposed to be.
Jeff: Eleven dollars.
Leo: Eleven Dollars.
Jeff: Eleven dollars on average according to the story that I have in the… Today the class Goog shares, which are class C, five hundred and twenty seven dollars. Googl, shares which are class A, are five hundred thirty seven dollars, so you’re talking about eleven dollars between. So the non-voting shares are worth more than the voting shares.
Jeff: That doesn’t make sense to me. Did I get the story wrong? You would think that the voting shares would be worth more than the non-voting shares. Right? Unless the story got it reversed.
Leo: Yeah. I don’t know.
Jeff: I don’t know, it’s a mystery to me.
Leo: Everything that happens in the stock market is a mystery to me.
Gina: Yeah, me too unfortunately.
Leo: No, no, not unfortunately.
Jeff: Leo, Leo, go short one of them, but I don’t know which one.
Leo: I’m going to short something. I’m going to short something.
Jeff: The number is eleven but I don’t know what it means.
Leo: Eleven dollars a share. I was going to actually do that Google Maps time machine thing.
Gina: Oh, whoops, sorry.
Leo: No, I don’t care cause you got it in, that’s a better place for it really. I guess, this is a tool, but I do want to, a warning, if you haven’t upgraded to Kit Kat yet and you use an SD card, and I actually wanted to ask you about this Gina, because you’re the developer here. Have you talked about this on All About Android yet? On Kit Kat, on 4.4 Google really changes how SD cards are handled, with file permissions, and I think they, I, this is a long Google Groups posting which includes a response from Jeff Sharke, who’s on the team. On the Android team. Before Kit Kat, public ATIs only supported a single primary external storage device. And most of the time that was emulated, it was the internal storage not the SD card, primary external storage devices, that is SD zero on most Android devices, have not, they continue to work the way they always have. However, the SD card, secondary external storage devices, they have limited write access to directories belonging to the app. Now this makes sense. An app shouldn’t be able to write anywhere it wants on the SD card. At least it seems to make sense. Initially. But it breaks a ton of apps and developers are really pissed off. And there are a lot of use cases where it makes sense, especially camera apps, things like that where an app might want to be able to write, let’s say you take a picture with an app, the app has its own storage in the SD card, but it would like to save the picture to the cameras store. It can’t because it doesn’t have access. Now that’s a security thing I think.
Gina: Yeah, they do, Android does sandbox app permissions to particular folders, which really is good practice.
Leo: But a warning, because this is new to Kit Kat, before Kit Kat, some OEMs chose to leave external storage devices unprotected, in other words, apps could write wherever they want. If they could understand the path. But he says, these were never part of any public platform API, they were internal implementation detail, we warned you again and again, you shouldn’t depend on these hidden behaviors, well, now you’re screwed. But as an end user you might want to be aware of this and you might check your app. Before you upgrade to Kit Kat if you haven’t done so already. I haven’t had any problems yet.
Gina: Yeah, I haven’t seen any problems yet, I wonder how this manifests. I guess this is a crash or…. Unable to write…
Leo: Sometimes I will crash, if the app is well written, it’ll just say “I can’t write to that directory”, but some apps crash.
Gina: Yeah for the longest time Todo txt wrote to, assumed you had a SD card, this was early in in our development, but it assumed you had a SD card so, like, if you didn’t it would just crash. It would try to write and it would just crash. It was terrible. It was terrible.
Leo: So like if you have ES file manager, which is a very popular file manager I use, it can’t, it thinks it can delete files from other directories but it can’t. So it says “I’ve deleted the file” and then you see its still there.
Gina: So there’s no way to request that permission. Wow.
Leo: Well, I kind of understand it, it is more secure, but it does make SD cards a lot less useful.
Gina: Yeah, it does. It does and it seems like that should be a permission that the user could grant. I mean a file manager you want to give access to all your files so that it can manage them. Right, I mean, the way that, for instance, Drop Box implements this in their API, is that by default apps get a certain folder, but you can ask for full permission to your entire drop box, but the user has to grant that. So yeah, this is interesting. You can see the security argument right. Because those render certain things like a file manager.
Leo: You also see, then, fewer apps using SD cards, or working with SD cards.
Leo: Because they can’t or they won’t.
Gina: Because they can’t, yeah, yeah.
Leo: So that makes an SD card somewhat less useable going forward in Android devices. Just thought I’d mention that. It’s not a tool, it’s kind of a tip. Hey, thank you, good luck to getting into Google IO you two. I wash my hands of it.
Jeff: Could we prostate, or prostrate ourselves anymore or prostate ourselves anymore?
Leo: You can prostate yourself.
Gina: You can prostrate yourself.
Leo: Speak for yourself, Jarvis.
Jeff: I can’t anymore.
Leo: The prostate free Jeff Jarvis will now prostrate himself for your benefit.
Gina: I’m also prostate free so…
Leo: Hey, there you go. Women don’t have prostates? No wonder the rate of prostate cancer in women is so dramatically low.
Jeff: Men have two sphincters, women have one. We won’t go into that today. I lost one of them.
Leo: I’ve been a man my whole life and this is the first time I’m finding out about this. I’m devastated. I need a user manual.
Jeff: That’s why we grip. I’m going to leave it at that. Ladies and gentlemen, we thank you so much for being here. Jeff Jarvis, the City University of New York, a journalism professor there, he’s also the author of Public Arts blogs at buzzmachine.com, must read. Must read. Gina is at Think Up, she’s a CTO there, thinkup.com if you haven’t subscribed yet, do, it’s great, we love it. I love the insights, it’s made twitter so much better for me.
Gina: Hey, so glad to hear that, thank you.
Leo: Yeah, really love it. It’s fun. So go there and sign up.
Gina: Thank you sir.
Leo: I’m just looking right now at my insights. Here’s the deal with Leo Laporte’s tweets. Wow, Vint Cerf really got them going eh?
Jeff: Vint Cerf was a big one.
Leo: Yeah. There were 23 likes. Anyways. This is all (I think I’m stuff) Really recommend it. We do this show, This Week In Google every Wednesday afternoon, 1pm Pacific, 4pm Eastern Time, 2000 UTC, on twit.com. Please join us live if you can, you can even come to the studio if you email firstname.lastname@example.org, we’ll be glad to welcome you and put a chair out for you. But also you can get on demand audio and video of each and every show merely by visiting twit.tv/twig or by subscribing, I think it’s the best thing to do. On Dog Catcher, or Instacatch or whatever it is you like to use. ITunes to keep track of your, Google reader, to keep track of your podcasts. Hey thanks for joining us and we’ll see you next time, on TWiG!