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This Week in Google 248
It’s time for TWiG, This Week In Google. Jeff and Gina are joined by Google’s own Matt Cutts. We’ll talk about why you need a body, not just a head. The latest with Google Now and a whole lot more. It’s all coming up next on This Week In Google.
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Leo Laporte: It’s time for Twig, This Week in Google, the show that covers Google, the Cloud, Facebook, Twitter and all that jazz. With Gina Trapani, founding editor at Life Hacker, currently a principal at Think Up, a fabulous twitter and Facebook analytics company; . And a blogger at smarterword.org. She’s probably forgot the address as well.
Gina Trapani: Sad. That’s so sad.
Jeff Jarvis: Whatever happened to blogs anyway?
Leo: She’s got a baby, she’s got a new program. There he is. Jeff Jarvis. He is in Seattle today to meet with some big wigs.
Jeff: At the Gates foundation.
Leo: Jeff is a professor of journalism, City University in New York. He also blogs at buzzmachine.com. What are you doing at the Gates foundation?
Jeff: They have a meeting of all their media fundees so I’m going to stand up and say I’m not a fundee, yet. So my favorite moment with Gina this week is that somebody speculated that new regulations about in Russia about not using nasty words and how I couldn’t ever live in Russia. Gina looked up her data on think up and said that I didn’t use the F word as much as she thought.
Gina: Yeah we have a new insight on Think Up that tells you how often you drop the F bomb on Twitter or Facebook. You know, it doesn’t show up for everybody it only shows up for folks who do that at all. And of course Jeff had that insight. It wasn’t so bad, it was only like eight times in a month.
Jeff: Now I’ve got to oomph up my F and F now.
Leo: I'm going to have to use F one so I can just see. I’ve never used the F word in any of my tweets.
Gina: I haven’t either, honestly. It is just a personal policy for me. But that is not the case for everybody. We just thought hey, why not celebrate it?
Leo: If somebody uses it a lot do you have a red insight?
Gina: We are not judgmental. We merely count. And will let you know how many more this month you had done last month. Once we have the data to show you that.
Leo: I love Think Up.
Matt Cutts: Do you call it F insight?
Leo: Look at that! It’s Matt Cutts, one of the early employees at Google. Currently fights span in Google search results. He does those wonderful web master videos. It is nice to see you from the Google Plex.
Matt: Thanks so much for having me.
Leo: I have a question for Matt actually. I mentioned this before but I never had the guy here. I’ve been getting a lot of email, you guys must be on a campaign to get rid of bad back links. Because I’ve been getting email all of a sudden from people who spammed our forums many moons ago. “ Could you delete all those spammy links or spammy accounts”? A few of them are really mean and say, “ I would hate to have to report you to Google for not doing so”.
Matt: That is a nice form you’ve got there.
Leo: So, should I worry about that?
Matt: No you don’t need to worry. This is basically a one-time correction, where for a long time spammers were “Get links. Get links where you can. As many as you can get.” and now that is not the case. And in fact it makes sense to not have some of those low-quality links. So this is basically a lot of people trying to go back and clean up the mess they made. The nice news is that going forward people will be smart enough to not just say yes, get as many links as possible. But no, you don’t need to worry about it.
Leo: It gives me great pleasure to often respond to them, “Oh you spammed my forum and now you wish you hadn’t”? But somebody pointed out to me, that some of these might be legitimate firms that hired less than legitimate SEO firms and they did it on their behalf.
Matt: Yes that does happen. Or at least that is what people always say.
Leo: We are actually going to shut down those forums because they are not much used and I just think it is probably better. Forums are kind of old hat.
Matt: There is Discourse. That is actually a new one from Jeff Atwood and company. It actually does a very good job of being probable and it includes some user trusts. So you can’t just drop a link. You might want to check it out.
Gina: It is open source right? And install it yourself right? Is there a very popular Discourse installation?
Matt: That is a good question. All I know is, since we are interested in spammed forums we did a bit of an audit to make sure that it qualified and it was actually looking really good. It was one of the very few times that I was like, there is not a lot more to suggest. So if you just want a drop in forum that is sort of like the next generation forum I would start looking there rather than what some of the older ones have.
Leo: I am going to talk to our team because I like the idea of a forum. There are forums like the developers forum for Android that is very active and very widely used. There are some that become kind of platforms. I think of forum is a nice way for our audience to get interactive. So maybe I should take a look at this.
Jeff: There is a sub Reddit for Twit right?
Leo: There are many sub Reddits. I think every one of our shows has a sub Reddit. And we judged launched a new show called Reddit Up. Because I love Reddit.
Jeff: New stuff coming out. We could talk about it later.
Leo: So they will do a hosted version, they haven’t done it yet but they are working on a hosted version. We have a few service lines.
Gina: The sandbox looks great. Front page. Very good discourse.
Leo: Well one thing they do, which I really like you don’t have to go page, next page, next page to read a discussion. You can just look at it. We used something briefly that was very popular called Vanilla. Remember Vanilla forums? They were very clean. But we ended up using some PHPBV tile thing and it really is makes me nervous that it is even on our servers.
Matt: There are entire packages that you can lease out of Russia for $500 a month where they will register accounts, solve the captia, professionals offer packages to spam every type of forums. It is pretty crazy.
Jeff: Have you ever been to Russia, Matt?
Matt: I haven’t. My wife would like to go and I’m not sure I want to go to Russia.
Leo: Really? You’d be safe there. Wouldn’t you?
Matt: I’m sure, but…
Leo: Here is a picture of Vladimir Putin considering the arrival of Matt Cutts in the Soviet.
Matt: There are these new blogger laws where you have to register. That is pretty wild.
Jeff: They will use Think Up to find out who is using the F word and banish them.
Leo: Putin, a few weeks ago said that the Internet was a special CIA project. A lot of governments, China very famously does this. You have to register if you want to publish on the Internet. That is really sad.
Jeff: It really is sad. The Times story goes through the state of things, of how all the countries are.
Leo: Turkey, China. Of course during the Arab spring of a couple years ago. Egypt, Syria, Venezuela. During protests against the government in February was blocking online images from users. Pakistan has banned 20 to 40,000 websites including You Tube. Saying they are offensive to Muslims. Facebook was blocked for a while. To me that is a measure of how powerful and good the Internet is. A force for democracy, and freedom. When the tyrants don’t like something that is a good sign.
Gina: That is a good sign.
Leo: You might hope Think Up gets banned there as well.
Gina: That is my goal.
Jeff: It counts F’s. What a terrible thing to do.
Leo: Didn’t it used to be that if you were an author what you really wanted was for the Catholic Church to ban your book? Then it would sell copies, baby.
Gina: Boost sales.
Leo: Let’s see. Should we talk about classroom a little bit? It launched yesterday. It’s the Apps for Education tool to help teachers create and collect assignments.
Jeff: My fellow faculty members were immediately sending an email around saying we want this.
Leo: Is it Black Board replacement? A Moodle replacement? What exactly does it do? You can create and collect assignments, classroom weaves together Google Docs. You’ve already got Docs right?
Jeff: Black Board is universally Docs.
Leo: Not only expensive but everybody that uses it hates it. We use Moodle at the high school that I’m a part of. That is an open source project. But it is ugly and a little hard to use. We also use Google Docs so I think anything that works with Google Docs would be very powerful.
Jeff: This is an evil conspiracy to get young people on to Google.
Leo: It is the CIA you know!
Matt: It sounds like it allows, if you have a lot of assignments it will create folders in Google Drive for like, here is the class period and here are individual students. So what are we doing with paper in 2014? Just bringing that all in one place is a large amount of progress.
Leo: It is kind of funny Lisa’s son Michael, he is 11 and in 3rd grade, he has to do his first research project. One of the first things is, “get the encyclopedia entry for cactus”. And that is like…. fortunately, back when my kids were that young I bought a World Book Encyclopedia in 1995 and I still have it because it is beautiful.
Jeff: Did you move it?
Leo: I just moved it to my office this week so that Michael could get the cactus. The C volume. For awhile we subscribed to the Year Book because you know it is immediately out of date so now you have to subscribe to a yearly update of what happened in 1995, 96, 97, 98 and 99. It just stops in 1999. It was the last one I got. So I am concerning it an artifact from the previous century.
Jeff: Y2K problem, knowledge.
Leo: Nothing happened after 1999. End of history. It is beautiful. I got the deluxe edition. It is leather bound with gold pages and a little ribbon. I don’t know what I was thinking. I was nuts. It was very impressive. But you know what? I’m glad I have it now. It is a little bit of… you know what it was. When I was a kid in 1965, I read the encyclopedia. I loved it. I would take a volume at random and I would just read it.
Gina: I taught myself sign language of the alphabet using Encyclopedia Brittanica. I was nine. I can imagine my daughter is going to say, “Momma what was an encyclopedia”? I’m waiting for that.
Leo: I had it here at the office and I said, “Can you help me guys” and Russell said, “Did you print out Wikipedia”? Times have changed.
Jeff: You know the Germans did print out Wikipedia.
Leo: What for?
Jeff: The publishers there did an edited version of Wikipedia called the Wikipedia Lexicon. A very thick book.
Leo: Here is the Encyclopedia Britannica entry for Cactus. Look at that.
Jeff: Do they charge you to get to that?
Leo: They do. This is just a locked sample.
Jeff: To continue learning, pay here.
Leo: And look. It has an ad next to it for Vonage, and Trip it. Activate your free trial, members get more. Merrill Lynch. This is not the encyclopedia. An ad for Google ads. Wow. I love books but I think books are a specialty product now aren’t they.
Jeff: There was a wonderful article by Will Self in The Guardian this week about the end of the literary novel. It was magnificently overwritten.
Leo: I hope the literary novel is not dead.
Jeff: Oh he argues that it is. He argues that basically you have to get buried in a narrative and reader is will not go out the link. The link will break the narrative.
Leo: That is so sad.
Jeff: He didn’t say it mournfully. He just said this is the reality.
Leo: That is going to come as a great shock to Jonathan Franzen.
Jeff: So I had his book. Corrections?
Leo: That was a great book. Talk about a lot of work.
Jeff: I was trying to get through it as I was reading it it was in my briefcase on 9/11. And the book got completely infused with all the dust. Absolutely every page. So I threw it out. Then I bought it again. And I couldn’t read it anymore. It seems self-indulgent to me.
Leo: So it’s not the link, it is 9/11 that killed the book for you.
Jeff: For me. I also think that he’s a little bit self-indulgent too. I love his book The 27th City, I am still in the blurb on the cover of people magazine.
Leo: It is interesting when I do a search for Jonathan Franzen I get the Google books page for The Corrections. Look at that.
Gina: I was talking to a friend of mine about iPad magazines or tablet magazines and the difference between reading webpages. I use Instapaper to save stuff to read later. So if I’m on the subway and I’m off-line and I start looking at my Instapaper queue I have this hyperlink anxiety because there are hyperlinks that I want to follow and I can’t because I am off-line. And so what I like about books and magazines is that they are contained right? And it is up to the author to provide all the context in the words in front of me versus just linking off and letting me decide. Of course I read like that all day but what is nice about the book and the magazine and the contained story is that I don’t have hyperlink anxiety and I can’t go off in a million directions. I’m allowing the author to take me from point A to point B and give me all the information that I need in that straight line. I think there is value in both ways of reading.
Leo: I think SciFi is going away. I feel like at least among the most technically literate folks, the ones that watch our show and so forth, we all love SciFi. We love getting buried in a SciFi novel.
Jeff: Fiction is not going away.
Leo: But you said the literary novel is going away.
Jeff: The literary novel.
Leo: Sci-Fi is not literary I guess.
Jeff: Whoever bought Harlequin, oh News Corp, and the number of romance novels is just incredible hundreds of them a year. People like to read fiction.
Leo: Just not literary fiction. Highfalutin fiction. So I would say that isn’t link anxiety. Why don’t you have link anxiety if you read a Harlequin? Link anxiety is link anxiety. It is just that people don’t have time for highfalutin literature.
Jeff: Well part of the argument is that are people willing to do something hard?
Leo: Definitely not. Too much work.
Gina: Well it is funny because I save stuff to read off-line with TLDR so it is true that a novel is much larger escape, versus the news gathering or reading quick essays.
Jeff: He has one of the best leads I’ve ever read. Let me see if I can do this. “If you happen to be a writer, one of the great benisons of having children is that your personal culture mine is equipped with its own canaries”.
Leo: Holy cow! I better parse that.
Jeff: “If you happen to be a writer, one of the great benisons of having children is that your personal culture mine is equipped with its own canaries”.
Leo: Because you have read so many books.
Jeff: “As you tunnel on relentlessly into the future, these little harbingers either choke on the noxious gases released by the extraction of decadence, or they thrive in the clean air of what we might call progress”. Isn’t that great?
Leo: Wow. That is beautifully written.
Jeff: It’s a great piece.
Leo: But you know this is nothing new. Nobody reads literature. There is only one percent that of ever read literature.
Jeff: Just as Twitter has been declared dead about once a year or so.
Leo: Twitter is actually dead.
Matt: Didn’t you get the memo Jeff?
Leo: It actually, no. But the stock market thinks it’s dead.
Gina: Is that how you measure its life?
Leo: So, yeah, what is going on? The stock market apparently doesn’t believe that twitter is… they believe that because of its falling growth.
Jeff: Growth was down and a whole bunch of insider shares were released yesterday or the day before.
Leo: They were unlocked.
Jeff: They were unlocked so that caused…
Leo: A big selloff. But the shares were dropping a week before that. So it is just, I think it is an adjustment. I think twitter was perhaps overhyped because you couldn’t go five minutes without a TV show or a magazine saying #something or other. And so everybody thought it was mainstream. I don’t know if its mainstream.
Jeff: It’s pretty darn big.
Leo: Here is Jimmy Fallon he uses Twitter to great effect. He plays a game called the #game. He said let’s play the #game. Tweet out a funny, weird or embarrassing thing your mom has said and tag us with mom quotes. Then what happens now is that tomorrow night or the next night he reads mom quotes. They had a funny one, the last one was on Kentucky Derby day it was a Kentucky Derby rap. It was hysterical. And then they had his wonderful house band rap it. I don’t know what they're going to do with mom quotes, maybe they’re going to get Jimmy’s mom to read them. They are good. They do a good job with these I think. I think there are lots of ways that Twitter can continue on. But maybe it was overhyped. Or maybe the stock market doesn’t…
Jeff: The story about Loon, Google Loon, not doing his own thing but now it is in a lease.
Leo: Leasing their balloons to the telcos.
Matt: I was depressed about that. Because I was hoping that Google could provide uber Earth competition to those said phone companies.
Leo: A lot of this comes from Astro Teller. Do you know Astro, Matt?
Matt: A little bit.
Leo: He is the head of Google X. The Google moon shots. I guess he was speaking at Tech crunch about Google X.
Matt: There is a lot of interesting parts in here. Bear in mind that I don’t have any idea what the Loon folks are actually pursuing on a day-to-day basis. But, it might make sense if you could cooperate with some telcos and you could test out the systems, see how it works, learn the navigation of the balloons, how long can you hover over a given place, and if you’ve got seven homes involved in working with someone takes one of those problems off so that you can move a little faster, I think that sounds great. And if down the road someone magically, you know all the FTC’s of the world agree on one communication spectrum that is open that everybody can use, then you could still explore that. But, just to my uneducated eyes, not knowing any inside details it seems like it’s a good way to jumpstart and move a little faster.
Leo: So, it’s not like they want to give Loon to the Teleco’s. For Loon to work, they are stratospheric balloons that are almost in space, above even the weather, that you bounce internet access off of to provide internet access to places you can’t get wires to. You’ve got to have the internet access coming from somewhere. Unless Google wants to build base stations all over the globe it makes sense to use telcos, and others who have access to provide the connection. Certainly for testing. Don’t be depressed Jeff, it’s okay.
Jeff: I’m not depressed. I’m happy now.
Leo: It’s part of the process.
Jeff: I have the Matt Cutts balm on my anxiety.
Gina: It seems like it’s something they could reverse it anytime right? They could decide to solve that problem themselves.
Leo: Here’s the good news. He also said they are not going to do jet packs.
Gina: That was disappointing.
Leo: Well, they considered it that it was that or having a Harley motorcycle on your back. And that didn’t seem like a good experience.
Jeff: Google people with Google jet packs are going to fly over your backyard. They are going to see everything you see. It is a privacy moment.
Leo: I think it’s that they are going to crash into the Amazon drones and that is going to be a nightmare. Burning death falling from the sky.
Matt: So Jeff, back to Loon for one second. I’ll give you one more piece of balm that will make you feel better. If they are actually working and talking to telcos, and talking about cooperating with them, to me that says Loon is still a very high priority and people are exploring it. It is much more of a concrete thing than, let’s see if we can get 100 balloons to stay afloat for so long. So, I think that is a good sign in that direction as well.
Leo: There is also a really good quote in here. Apparently, this is a quote. We thought working with the existing telcos and use their spectrum, buying harmonize spectrum, was going to be absolutely critical to the project and we wanted to get them before we launched. They had worked for half a year to get the spectrum deal done and worked with a number of large companies to make it work. Larry Page told the team, “You’re going to hit a double, that’s not really interesting. You’re going to be very frustrated, you’re going to be really angry for a week and then you will get creative and you’ll come up with a home run”. That’s kind of an inspirational thing to say. I love that. And Teller does say, indeed for a week afterwards the team was angry and came away with something way better than just buying a small piece of harmonized spectrum. Now they use a spectrum that is already exist in a given country. So that is why you have to work with the telco. But it is interesting because you only get the balloon while it passes over. They don’t stay still. So as the balloon is passing over, you’ve got it for however long it is right above you in your airspace, and then it moves on.
Jeff: I thought there was a mesh of them so that you would…
Matt: Right. The idea is you have enough balloons upload at any given time with some spacing between, such that you can do the handoff just like you were in a car doing the handoff between cell phone towers.
Leo: They get more bandwidth that way too. Because these guys have more bandwidth. But right now…
Jeff: What is the life on these? Have they said?
Matt: Well, the latency going 12 miles is so much better than going up to a natural satellite, like Direct TV or something like that, so it remains to be seen how much you can squeeze out engineering wise. The nice thing is that you are only going 60,000 feet and not thousands and thousands of miles up.
Leo: We shouldn't do this to you Matt because I know you come on here as a private citizen. You do not represent, and speak for Google. But I've got to ask you. Google plus. Is it going to stick around?
Matt: I thought there was a really good article about how Google plus in a lot of ways was about trying to get identity situated. For a long time you could come to Google, you can search, we didn’t know the work or anything like that. Only with Gmail did we start to realize that, you know it might be handy to understand the users are. And so, we were always sorted behind. Think about YouTube. We bought in 2006 and had a complete different identity system. So I think what a lot of people overlook is one of the biggest strengths of Google plus, in my mind, is that it has caused Google to bring identity all under the same and relative so that things are somewhat logical. I think it has been a huge success in that realm. I think Google needed to work on that. And now I think we can sort of take a look around and figure out what is the next big thing that we need for Google plus? Do we look at the web, do we look within Google to make identity more strengthened. I have no idea. I don’t really know what the plan is for that point of view. I love Google plus. I use it a lot especially internally. There is a really thriving discussion on our Google intranet and so I hope that they keep it around and it is here for years and years to come.
Leo: Good. We feel the same way. I don’t look for Google plus to become the mass culture hit that twitter is. That is one of the things that makes twitter unpleasant.
Jeff: It is already bigger than twitter.
Matt: Well here we are using hangouts to do our radio show. Right? just getting identity right for those kinds of things are already much further than Google was.
Jeff: That is a really good point Matt, if you did kind of an audit of what Google plus has added and this notion of an identity cross section is added, we made a proposition last week about Facebook breaking up the app. Leo use said the brilliance of Google is that it is in a number of different services and applications. With the platform is really built on is Arcata, but that is so it can serve us better.
Gina: Yeah, even little things the authorship on webpages and search results is such a big thing. Even Google Now, as much as it does sometimes creep me out help telepathic it is, and the fact that I signed in across my devices and Google Now knows that I want to catch the new episode of The Good Wife, now I know that. The services are so smart now. And that is because I am signing in, I’ve created contacts, my content travels across products. And that is really the glue.
Leo: Where is the true believers? Doesn’t that scare the hell out of everybody else? Isn’t that exactly what people are worried about? We had this discussion on Sunday on twit. This is good, isn’t it? What is the nightmare scenario that you’re worried about? The ads will be targeted?
Matt: You have to do that punch the monkey ads. Go back to 1999.
Leo: And you want to the back to those days? The belly fat ads? I don’t need any belly fat ads I’m perfect!
Gina: To see the article about the women who conceived, who was pregnant and she decided that she didn’t want to be tracked? It was a New York Times article about how target knew that this girl was pregnant before she had told her family. And, I think it was the women who decided that she was going to be under the radar about her pregnancy the entire time.
Leo: But she quit Google as a “ conscientious objector”, but yet she uses Facebook.
Leo: Oh my God. Google!
Leo: There is an unstated presumption in this article. That they don’t even have to examine this notion that whatever it is they are collecting this data for it is bad. So they don’t even have to examine that.
Jeff: Which means that knowledge becomes bad. It means that having a personal relationship with us becomes bad. And I yell at media companies for saying we don't know relationships, we don’t know who we serve. We treat everybody as a mass. That is inherently insulting. We have to know people as individuals. But if this privacy goes too far then that will be seen as a bad thing.
Leo: There is an article in Think Progress that said, “You said you quit Google products two years ago what was the breaking point”? She said, “ When Google knew that I was engaged before anybody else, that I did it for me”. What? How did that happen? Well, Google reads your emails. It reads your chats, it knows what you are searching for. It sees you when you are sleeping, it knows when you’re awake. And the server is economically advised to remember. So what happened? She sent an email to somebody using the word engaged and then she saw an engagement ring ad.
Matt: That is my guess.
Leo: So is there is this ad amortization going on. but now I admit, even among our sophisticated audience, it these are among the most sophisticated users, there is very much this feeling of, “Oh, they are reading my email”.
Gina: I think that makes people who have something that they want to hide, and comfortable. There is legitimate times when you have something you want to hide. If you don’t want people to know you’re pregnant. I lived with the big secret before I came out of the closet. That was very scary and I was in constant fear of other people knowing. So if Google Now was selling me to bride cake toppers before I came out of the closet that would’ve freaked me out!
Leo: Except it wouldn’t have been meaningful because no human knew it. There was just a correlation between a keyword and an ad.
Gina: Google’s products, good products, it kind of amortized themselves right? in a friendly voice. So I am just empathetic to both sides. I really see both sides and I am split on this a lot. I am try to offer the other side of the coin.
Jeff: Let me ask you all a question. I think I mentioned last week I get to speak to the Google privacy group, about 300 people, in two weeks. What I want to say first is that I think Google has to have the absolute best practices there are. I want to say the second half we've got to open up and change this discussion from having vaults and having market places open their stuff up. Consider the first half. What would you define as best practices? What should Google do to bring trust and faith and recognize the value of doing these things?
Leo: Let me make it more specific. Would it be enough for you if Google said, “ We are never going to out you to a real person, or an organization in any meaningful way. All that will happen is we will match a keyword in your email to advertising. But that no way outs you. We promise never to give that information….”.
Jeff: Except the NSA and FBI.
Leo: Yes. There are going to be some fudge words. “Except for governmental…”.
Matt: So I will throw out a couple quick ones. Which are, I think there ought to be an encryption. And it ought to be ubiquitous between you and whoever you are talking to so that someone cannot spy in the middle. We ought to offer options like incognito mode all over the place so that people who opt out….
Leo: Wouldn’t that undermine your business model?
Matt: No, that is the thing. I think if you have an option where you know you are doing something private and you want to go incognito that anyone who is savvy enough to care can go and find that out and use it. But the vast majority of people will tell you their password for a chocolate bar. If most people don’t care then there is definitely value that can be given to the average person.
Leo: There was a rumor that Gmail might in countenance and encryption. That you really could implement that beautifully.
Matt: I think that would be fantastic. In fact Gmail tries by default to encrypt between Gmail and other providers. So think like that, or make it easier to do PGP or encryption. And then a gas board which shows you what you know and options to delete it. I think all those things are really good things.
Leo: Anything Google might consider even doing that? Given that it costs money, in effect. We are going to give up that opportunity to monetize?
Jeff: Trust can be a real competitive event.
Matt: Right, absolutely. And what I would argue is that we actually do relatively good among things like we were the first to do encryption. We offered incognito mode before even IE released private browsing. There is a dashboard where you can look at your search history and all sorts of different things about you. But no matter what, it is interesting that Google gets raked over the coals for things like people saying, “ Oh you’re in bed with the NSA”. Like this Al Jazeera article just came out that said Google is doing some special thing with the NSA. And then you read the article and Google’s CEO got invited to a security summit and he said no and that is literally all that was in a particular article.
Leo: And the headlines were like “emails revealed Google’s close relationship with NSA”!
Jeff: I could start a few things. But no I won’t do that.
Matt: And to be clear, if the NSA job is to spy for the US government and also, in theory, to protect US corporations from being spied on. If, in part of that mission, they were going to tell companies here is a potential zero day or a potential hole could you close it? Isn’t that a good communication. That is something you want every company to listen and hear. There might be hackers from a different country trying to exploit your service. That is the sort of thing most people would be happy their tax dollars were going to.
Leo: In the article it said that Schmidt was unable to attend the security meeting but here’s what he wrote, “ Gen. Keith, so great to see you. I’m unlikely to be in California that week so I am sorry I cannot attend. Would love to see you another time. Thank you.” Smoking gun!
Jeff: It is probably the fact that that guy gets so many invitations to so many things…
Leo: I would hope that he has enough social grace to say no politely. Like that.
Jeff: It is probably a memory key on his keyboard with F knowledge.
Leo: I am sorry, but I’m not going to get anywhere near you. I write that all the time. I don’t say no I can be in your stinking podcast but I say I am very busy. I I am very busy but I look forward to seeing you another time.
Jeff: I don’t want to get near you.
Matt: Let me just say if a government agency was offering ways to secure Google services, I think it is great if Google participated in that sort of form. As long as the communications were going one way towards the companies. you would need to take it with a grain of salt. Right? We now know that the NSA subverted missed official documents for how to do in encryption by proposing bad standards but they had a backdoor that they could crack or quickly. But, no matter what with any source you are going to take it with a grain of salt. But in general if someone is willing to provide you with potential feedback that improves your services you want to listen to that.
Jeff: Isn’t the other part of that also true that if Google knew there was a threat out there it has a moral obligation to tell other tech companies and the government?
Matt: Well that happened with the heart bleed. Somebody noticed that and they were going through all the proper channels and I think the news leaked earlier than it was expected to. So you didn’t have time to alert everybody. When you have something that big you can’t alert everyone without the news leaking at some point. But I believe Google was going through all the right disclosure procedures.
Leo: So does that, Gina, feel better: Would that be enough for you if they said will give you encryption if you want it, we will give you private browsing if you want it.
Jeff: We will give you the dashboard and let you take out anything that we think we know about you.
Leo: That is one of the criticisms about the current Google dashboard is that it doesn’t let you delete everything. I don’t know if that is the case or not. Would that be enough, Gina?
Gina: Yes. I think that is a good start.
Leo: Let's say that you are living in a country where you could be at rest it for being gay.
Gina: I wouldn’t use the Internet. I would try my best. If there was a place where I would be harmed or killed or arrested or whatever, I would use Tora and I wouldn’t use the Internet. I would come up with code words. That is what people do, right? They come up with words and phrases that mean other things. I would be really, really, really paranoid.
Jeff: But Tora alone is a signal right?
Gina: Well right. That is one of the points that Janet made in her piece was that she was using cash to buy baby things and missing out on discounts that she gets with cards at target and places. She said, “Just the fact that I was using those things made me a target alone. Just the fact that I was using privacy tools”. Another interesting point that she made was that she asked her friends and family when she called them or talk to them in person and told him she was pregnant, she asked them not to post it on Facebook. And so they wouldn’t post to her wall but they would Facebook message her about being pregnant. And she said to them I told you not to put this on Facebook. They said will that’s why I didn’t put it on your wall. So regular users conception of putting on Facebook was the wall, but the private messages seem like a private channel to them. I think this is just a misconception that people have. That the idea that Gmail is private. That Google doesn’t have access to your email is absolutely not true there is an education aspect around it as well.
Leo: I love it, by the way, that I read this article on Think Progress and I get a pop-up that says “like Think Progress on Facebook”. On Google Plus! Put this on twitter.
Matt: And to be fair, I don’t think it is fair to beat up Gina on this. I think she is absolutely right and she is channeling a large percentage of people that feel that way. And to be fair, there is a large chunk of people who have been surprised by the revelations about the NSA in the last year and are concerned with validity. If you haven’t been someone who hasn’t been paying deep detailed attention and were like, “When did Google rollout its encryption and all that stuff” then it is relatively understandable strategy to be like okay I’m concerned about Google and I’m just went up at that in a box. I will act accordingly. And if people want to dig all the way in then they find out that we fought against just as subpoenas on stuff like that. It is natural that given some of the views over the last year people people would be worried. And how we address that and talk about it, and educated, and respond to it, and what we do better is a very fair question. And something we need to think about.
Leo: We are going to take a break and when we come back the change log, we will put Gina to work with all the change. Quite a bit going on this week. With Google.
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Leo: Now, ladies and gentlemen Jason House filling in for Chad. Jason, do you know where the trumpets are kept?
Jason: No, I got this. I've been waiting the full episode to do that.
Leo: Gina Tripani has the latest from Google.
Gina: A bunch of new cards and improvements to Google now coming out this week. First Google Now now works off-line. So if you don’t have an Internet connection you will still see your Google now cards, your appointments, and all the other reminders. And at the top it will show you when was the last time this was updated. Indoor map and mall directories are now in Google Now for Android. So if you go to the mall, you will be able to find where that store is located. On wet floor and which way you better go. And, related to that, if you search for a product on Google say you are looking for a pair of boots or a crib or a stroller. Talk about telepathy, Google will now let you know if the product you search for, if you are near the store… it will tell you.
Leo: And where the deals are. That is valuable to me. Schmidt was talking about that when he said you could be walking down the street and it would say oh you need pants? It's right there.
Gina: That is pretty amazing.
Leo: I think it is useful and I don’t think it comes at the cost of any real personal information.
Jeff: You know those poor dramatic ads that come after you if you look to the canoe on Internet? It will follow you around for three weeks. My fear is that if I just happened to look up one thing it is constantly going to tell me, go to RadioShack! They have phones. Phones here, phones there.
Leo: From experience we know that with Google now it is very easy to say I don’t want to know this information. So for instance, I watched Jeopardy once so it kept telling me Jeopardy is on. so I can go in and change it. Literally you say I don’t care about Jeopardy.
Gina: It will ask you, is this useful? And you can say yes or no. I love Now.
Leo: I do too.
Jeff: Let me be clear here. I want more Now cards. I want more Now.
Leo: Me too. By the way, see it says interested and more Jeopardy episodes? this was the weird one. For a while it was telling me random people’s commute updates. Finally it asked me are you interested in commute updates for Dennis Appleton Nielsen? I don’t know why, I don’t know who this guy is. He must be in my circles.
Matt: He must’ve turned on community sharing with you. And this is your way of accepting it? I have no idea.
Leo: Yes there is commute sharing.
Jeff: One of the stupidest features is that I really don’t care when Joe Schmoe starts driving to work.
Leo: But you might care what your wife’s commute is. Like, if your wife is coming home from work and you want to know when to put the brussels sprouts on.
Matt: Exactly. That’s exactly how I use it. For brussels sprouts.
Jeff: I pick up my own dinner on the way home. Since brussels sprouts are a nuclear accident.
Leo: They need a Google Now card that says, if you are cooking brussels sprouts tonight you should put them on now.
Jeff: Or have brussels sprouts delivered by Google. They go bad in three days.
Leo: That is a trick on this. There a lot of things that would be useful. I think they are going to need to come up with a better way of managing the signals that you set in Google Now. as they get more and more signals in here. I’ve already got 16 different items in my everything else category.
Jeff: Well including Leo. sometimes I want to send them more signals, sometimes I want to choose. This is something and I’m actually looking for. I am looking for this kind of shoe and not only do I want Google now to tell me but I want to merchants to compete for my business and give me the best deals.
Jeff: And this is the opposite side of the privacy discussion. I think that Google could be a conduit for signal sharing in a wider marketplace.
Leo: It is all about giving control.
Gina: That is similar to what they do with TV shows now. You search for a TV show and it says remind you of new episodes? And you can say yes. Or not. And it seems like products could kind of be implemented a similar way. The thing about Google Now is something we were talking about last night on All About Android is that consumers superseding all these little apps. That remember where you parked, etc.. It is wonderful if it is all in one place. Literally I look at Google now first thing in the morning and before I go to bed at night. I look at the weather and whatever. It is kind of nice because it opens up these developers to work on other things but not so nice if you need a parking App right? But it is interesting to see Google now starting to gobble up that functionality and presented all on this one interface that we know we are going to see on our watches, our eyeglasses, and everywhere else.
Matt: I would honestly be happy if I could just, you know sometimes Google Now asks do you want to use your Corporal Account or your personal account and I’m like, OH. Yes, yes. I am me, I have all these accounts. Just put them together.
Jeff: You are the all-powerful wizard, Matt Cutts. You got into IO. You have proven your power on earth. You, once and for all, solve this problem. Google is smart, dammit. I have two accounts. I am the same person. Can I just tell you I am the same person? It is driving me nuts.
Matt: I agree. And every time I have heard you complain about Google Now I am off on Orion and I am like there is something wrong with Google apps. I think, personally, it shows that Google has been historically really like you tell us what you want and will give you the answer. And we haven’t really had that great account functionality. And Google plus and all that stuff is gotten us a lot further but it is still like, yep, we’ve got both kinds of music. Country and Western. I like Country Western.
Leo: it is a hard problem. I understand. It is amazing how well you do.
Jeff: Don’t be a nice guy. They are smart. They can figure this out.
Matt: I agree. You want to have capabilities if you work at Google and that is your corporate account. And then when you leave the Google you ought to lose his capabilities but it shouldn’t be the end of the world.
Jeff: I wish I had those capabilities.
Leo: I just searched for a TV show and then the knowledge graph, or whatever you guys call it, comes up and it will remind me about new episodes I can click that and it will show up in Google Now. That is a really nice feature. It is not turned on unless I turn it on.
Gina: And it is great for out coming movies that I really want to see. Just tell me when it comes out. Because I have a baby and I don’t pay attention to that anymore so that is really great.
Jeff: By the way did you watch orphan black, Leo?
Leo: I do, I love it. But I don’t have time to watch all the good TV. All of a sudden TV got really good.
Gina: Sunday nights are jam-packed.
Jeff: Soon I will be able to download those shows onto my corporal pixel. A clear screen.
Matt: And then Leo can watch the Big Bang theory.
Gina: Okay, before we get into the Big Bang theory let me carry on.
Jeff: So I am just watching the show, Leo.
Leo: Matt Cutts, he is big data.
Gina: Google maps. The big update rolling out now on Android. Lane changes. Tells you what lane you should be in before you make that turn.
Leo: Why didn’t other things do that? It is so obvious. Given the left lane now, you're going to be turning left.
Jeff: The Bay Bridge is the one that gets me off before the bridge because I was scared of it.
Leo: For all of us. Because that particular on-ramp if you get on that you can’t get off. You are going to Oakland.
Gina: You can now save maps to use off lines if you are going camping or somewhere where there is no connectivity. You’ve got better filters for fining businesses when you need them. So is that bar open or shut now? And this is really interesting, Uber app integration. Transit and walking directions with Uber access. In cities where the birds supported and only if you have Uber app installed.
Leo: Oh, you have to have Uber app installed.
Jeff: Yes. Fascinating that Uber has an official position here.
Leo: Why Uber? Why not Lift?
Jeff: Google did invest in Uber.
Gina: Google Ventures put more than 150 million Uber. Really really interesting. A little weird I thought. But everybody loves Uber. It’s convenient.
Leo: Not the taxi commission in New York, LA, San Francisco.
Gina: Finally Google shopping express came to Manhattan and West Los Angeles this week. And in fact I was at the think up office on Monday and I decided to try it out and it was great. I loved it. I ordered up some snacks for the office and they got super overloaded the first day in Manhattan so I didn’t get it on Monday but it came the next day. the whole idea is that you can order stuff and get same-day delivery from major retailers, target, fair way, etc. First orders get $10 off that was a nice discount. And Google is also offering a six month free subscription for preferred and limited free deliveries. It is really nice. It is not them Brooklyn yet but is coming to Brooklyn and Queens soon. I am excited to impress my wife with that when that happens.
Jeff: Diapers at the door!
Gina: We do Amazon mom. It is basically Amazon prime but it is a subscribe and save. So we get diapers automatically every month. It is fantastic.
Jeff: Do they up the size automatically?
Gina: No they don't up the size. In fact, I got a bunch of boxes that were too small because my daughter is growing like a weed. Especially ever since we had the baby I realized how much you have this parade of delivery people coming to our door because we just don’t have the time to go shopping as much. I think this is really good business for Google. And it will be interesting to see how they stack up against Amazon.
Leo: You saw the dry goods play that Amazon doing? First six dollars to get a 45 pound box. Did you see that? It is called prime in a box? I can’t remember I’ll have to search it. Amazon prime pantry? Pantry. Thank you. Six dollars for a 45 pound box. It is basically your groceries.
Gina: Wow. There you go.
Leo: Amazon, let them battle. That is good.
Gina: Let the battles begin.
Leo: Safeway get in there and everybody else! Come on.
Jeff: This could create a crash of retail real estate in this country.
Leo: I would hate to be in a brick and mortar store at this point. It is a little scary.
Gina: But shopping express is local retail though. It is like a guy in a cap with the truck that runs toTarget for you and brings it to you.
Leo: And they bought all those old Cosmo bicycles that were lying around? Grocery stores used to do that. There was a milkman. A milkman would come to your door.
Jeff: On the east coast, Leo, there is a chip delivery guy. Charlie’s chips. All he did was deliver pretzels and chips.
Leo: Chip time! I remember, that you had to remember the night before, I think it was Tuesday night, to put the milk delivery out. The empties in the mailbox. And then the milkman would comment he would put the milk in. You knew they were in trouble when they started selling milk shampoo. That was like, uh-oh. That doesn’t seem like a good thing. That was, ladies and gentlemen, the tips. Now Jason do you know where the tips are? Bring me one.
Jason: You know what Gina? You might as well throw in the camera update that hit today.
Leo: There’s an update?
Jason: There is an update that lets you take pictures while you are shooting video. So they added that. So you are shooting a video and you can actually also take pictures at the same time.
But I was unintentional.
Gina: Thank you Jason.
Jeff: Leo I have to go in five minutes. But I wanted to be sure I got in.
Jeff: I told you 2:15.
Leo: You told me? When did you tell me that? That’s okay, you can go anytime you want.
Jeff: I just want to make sure before I leave that there is a whole mess of new Chrome Books coming out.
Leo: Yay! Intel is doing some.
Jeff: Intel is doing lots of them. They did an announcement. So I complained about Acer not having enough new Chrome Books and I was wrong because they have two more new ones now.
Leo: So I feel bad now because I’m starting to come around on the Chrome Book thing.
Leo: I wouldn’t buy one but…
Matt: Come on in the water is fine!
Leo: I wouldn’t buy one but I understand why a school would.
Jeff: Oh, it's phenomenal for schools.
Jeff: I shock even Googlers. I've been in the room with Googlers and I've pointed out that pixel's my only machine, even they look at me funny.
Matt: Yeah, I've been using pixel as my primary for almost a year now, so...
Jeff: You have? Wow.
Leo: Yeah, see I wouldn't go that far. I think that's crazy talk.
Leo: But more and more we get calls like on the radio show from people I had a call, oh I felt so bad for her. Very nice person. Uh, just couldn't, you know Windows 8 was not updating and she couldn't--she didn't--it was clear she had no idea what a computer did or anything. But she had to have one, right? You have to have one. I said, "Well what do you do?" she said "Well I do some email, and we surf, and my husband balances the checkbook." And more and more I'm saying to normal people, "you don't need the complexity of a computer."
Leo: "You need a Chromebook." I mean there are other people like me who need the complexity of a computer and can handle it. But a lot of people can't.
Jeff: There's also things like my parents, and viruses...
Jeff: All that's gone.
Leo: She couldn't figure out to turn the thing off!
Leo: No seriously! And you know, it's not easy in Windows 8. And she said that "the guy told me to press the moon button."
Matt: laughing hysterically, Jeff & Gina join in.
Leo: That's it! That's all she knew!
Matt: I love it! Oh, man.
Leo: So, Chromebook would be so--but this is the problem, and I think Microsoft is responding to this by making Chromebook like, I think they're going to make Chromebook like Windows machines. But the problem is that people say "Well, no, a computer equals Windows. Those are the same." It's a personal computer, it runs Windows and so it's hard to convince them that a tablet will work.
Leo: And I think in many cases maybe they do need a keyboard, or if not a tablet then a Chromebook.
Jeff: There's also a new Chrome desktop machine.
Matt: Yeah. And all-in-one.
Leo: Having Intel Inside helps.
Jeff: I think it does. And there's up to eleven hours on some machines. The thing is, the Pixel to me is the perfect combination: good screen, touch screen, an LTE...
Leo: But it's waaaaay too expensive. You can get for--
Matt: Yeah, but it's to demonstrate the idea. If you were to get a Haswell Chip in there so the battery lasted a little longer... Oh, my heart would...
Jeff: That, that, that. Alright, so going back to the power of that. You've got Gina into IO, you're going to fix this identity thing, you're going to make sure to come out with the next generation Chromebook, ok? Pixel. Alright?
Matt: I promise I've been asking for Haswell Chromebooks like... as soon as they came out.
Leo: I got this set that says Pixel's not really a product, it's a proof of concept.
Jeff: I love this thing. And I would buy that in a second.
Matt: Me too.
Gina: A reference device. I like that Matt has a honey-do list now.
Jeff: Yes, I like this.
Leo: (in a whiney voice) Now next time Matt, when you're up there with Larry and Sergey, would you do me a favor?
Matt: I'll just put it on the quicky-do list.
Jeff: I gotta go, guys. Thanks for taking the time.
Leo: Ok, thanks Jeff. Give my best to Warren, and Bill and the gang.
Jeff: Yep. Will do.
Leo: Alright, take care.
Jeff: If I see Balmer on the street I'll...
Leo: Say hi to Steve and such, yeah. Jeff Jarvis, professor of Journalism at City University of New York. Author of Public Parts, buzzmachine.com. Take care Jeff.
Leo: We will take a break, come back with more, Matt Cutts is going to stick around, Gina Trapani, more of Google, with this week in Google coming up in just a bit.
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Matt Cutts is here, he is the man who fights spam for Google on the web search results. Did you see his video?
Matt: Oh, no!
Leo: So, the best thing that he does is the webmaster tools. It's google.com/ well, not the best thing, but the public-facing thing you do that we love. You probably do very important things that we don't know about.
Matt: Less than you think.
Gina: [laughter] In my mind, Matt is like Rocky, because you're always running while you're listening on TWiG, it's always like [starts singing The Final Countdown by Europe] I mean, I think about the Rocky Song.
[the others join in]
Leo: I love it! Keep posted, let me see if I can find this. You got a lot of attention for this, even though frankly I think most SEO types should know by now that the body is the most important part of your content, not those meta-tags. People don't still do that, the meta tags and the header and all that stuff?
Matt: Yeah, you'd think.
Leo: It's kind of amazing. But you know what, I think your most recent video really gets that point across.
Matt [in video]: Just a quick public service reminder, just wanted you to remember that it's important to pay attention to the head of a document, but you should also pay attention to the body. Encryption, meta tags, all that stuff--
Leo: Shouldn't your head be missing and only your body be there? [The video features Matt's head floating in mid air as he speaks].
Leo: So what are you wearing? He said he's wearing a green suit?
Matt: Yeah. I do have a green-screen suit that I use for such occasions, you know?
Matt: For Halloween, and that kind of stuff.
Leo: That is awesome! Do you have a headpiece too, if you wanted to be completely invisible?
Matt: Yeah, it was actually flipped over on the back, so, um...
Matt: If I could go visit Microsoft...
Leo: And by the way, I think that's a Pixel [in the video].
Gina: I love that you're totally talking with your hands a little bit.
Leo: Every once in a while a hand will show up.
Matt: I can't stop talking with my hands, you'll see invisibility go in front of my face every so often.
Leo: He's got a Pixel in front of him, by the way. I think we noticed that. Google.com/webmasters. It really--I can't believe there would be anybody who wouldn't know this. But, they probably are.
Matt: Well, there are people who literally believe in a meta tag called the Google Pray meta tag.
Matt: And the idea is, you--it's a joke, you know, somebody made it up. But if it gets repeated enough online, people are like, "Oh! Did you add your Google Pray meta tag?" And it's like "Google Pray, make me #1!" or something like that.
Leo: Pray like prayer?
Matt: Yeah! so...
Gina: Not prey like hunted! [laughter]
Matt: No, no, no. Not like hunted. So there's a lot of misconceptions to debunk. Some people still think we use meta keywords for web ranking, and we just don't. We really don't.
Leo: Here it is, here's an article on the Google Pray meta tag.
Leo: Google Pray: Google, please rate me high by keyword UmaxSearch.
Matt: [sighs] People are weird.
Leo: What is the--is that the weirdest thing you've ever seen people do?
Matt: No. Not even close.
Matt: I mean, there's a whole church of Google, I mean, it's crazy, so.
Leo: Is the church of Google populated by SEOs?
Matt: No, no. It was a few years ago, I think it's died off mostly, now. [laughter]
Leo: We worship you, oh church of--Yeah, thechurchofgoogle.org!
Leo: It's the home of Googleism.
Leo: Of course, it says join us on Reddit, so... they may be a little confused. "We at the Church of Google believe the search engine Google is the closest humankind has ever come to directly experiencing an actual God." Wow!
Matt: You can tell that comes from a few years ago, yeah.
Leo: Yeah. [laughter] So give me an example of something else crazy people have done to get #1 on Google.
Matt: Well, people try all kinds of tricks, you know. They're convinced if you buy ads, you'll rank #1, and then there's other competing theories that say if you buy ads we'll demote you, and you just want to get all those conspiracy theorists in a room and let them fight it out. And like, ok, you guys decide, and then whoever comes out, we'll debunk that.
Leo: [laughter] 'Cause there's so many!
Matt: There really is.
Leo: Here's the prayer, by the way. You should put this--"I have heard, if you put this in your meta tag, all your hopes and prayers will be realized: Our Google who art in hyperspace, hallowed be thy domain. Thy search to come, they results be done, on 127.0.0.1 as it is in the Googleplex. Give us this day our daily searches, and forgive us our spam as we forgive those who spam against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from Microsoft. For thine is the search engine, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen." And there it is in binary.
Matt: In binary?
Gina: In binary!
Matt: But the weird thing is, there are people who are literally creating new misconceptions. So I don't know if you saw last week, there was somebody who claimed to be a former Google employee in Adsense.
Leo: Oh, boy.
Matt: And you read through it, and you're like, there's no way this person worked for Google.
Matt: Like every single thing about it is wrong. Like the terminology's wrong, none of the terms make sense, you double-check with the Ads team, and they're like, we don't have any color-coding scheme the way they imply. Like, if you're a real employee, it's not hard to prove that you used to be an employee. You could say hey, you know Charlie's cafe, that electric door on the left, it sticks a little bit.
Leo: [laughter] That would do it!
Matt: That was enough to prove it!
Leo: Bingo! Right? Yeah.
Matt: And yet this paste-bin anonymous thing is like Google is trying to cut off publishers to save the money for itself.
Matt: Well, we actually refund that money to publishers. So you got like, some weird people who are just like, Ok, I'm disgruntled, I'm unhappy with one part of Google, so I'm going to lie and say that I used to work there and here's all these things that people who don't know better might believe. It's weird.
Leo: Couple of --three, actually, Google acquisitions, little ones. Adometry, an online attribution firm. I don't know what Adometry does, I don't even know how to say it. But Google has acquired them to give advertisers a better sense of how their online ad campaigns are working. It's an ad metrics play. Stackdriver, a cloud analysis tool. But my favorite is Appetas! Or Appetoss?
Gina: Oh, if Google can bring better restaurant websites to the world, that's good work right there.
Leo: [dramatic whisper] Appetasssss! Beautiful website restaurants. So it's a provider that does restaurant's websites. Integrating GrubHub, OpenTable. Appetasssssss...
Gina: No more flash! Down with flash!
Matt: No more images instead of text. Remember...
Leo: So it's like a Squarespace for restaurants. Yeah.
Leo: That's nice. You know, somebody's got to do this for radio stations. I think somebody did, but whoever it is has no taste. I've never seen more ugly websites than radio station websites. They're the worst!
Matt: Yeah. Like, black background, it's really bad.
Leo: Oh, and like, well, I guess because radio stations have so many ads. They're all jingly, and I shouldn't pick on this station, I just entered in some magic call sign and I found this. Very typical radio station website. Find the content! Good luck!
Gina: Yeah. Hm.
Leo: I mean...
[laughter at funny pictures on website]
Leo: They're all horrible! I hope this is not one of my affiliates..
Leo: But these guys could do a better job, you know what I'm saying?
Gina: So back to the head & body thing, though. Briefly, we just enabled twitter cards and the meta tags and OG open graph tags for sharing content on like different social networks, like on Facebook, on Google+, and twitter cards in particular. And it was really the first time that I've looked at the head of ThinkUp's pages in a really long time, because it seems obvious that it's the content that really matters. But I think some of those sharing hooks, you know that little snippet that you see with the image and whatever meta data that you see in like a shared social post--that has to help. A little bit, I mean I'd like to think that Google's crawlers are getting decent data from those head tags just because people are hooking up sharing tags.
Leo: Well, you don't want to throw it out...
Matt: Yeah, yeah. And in fact if you do a search for Google webmaster meta tags, there's an official document that says "Meta Tags that Google Understands," and we go through that in more detail. The main one is everybody thinks that if I throw some keywords in the meta keywords tag, that's going to help. And that doesn't help, so if we could just shift that focus to using schema.org, or some of these other ways of describing what you can or can't share, or what's on the page. That stuff could potentially be useful. It's just that we don't use the keywords tag because it's been so spammed.
Leo: Right. But things like URL=author, that's a really useful thing.
Matt: Yeah. Or URL canonical.
Leo: I mean, I use that. URL what?
Matt: URL canonical. So you can say, so this URL is here, but it should be over here. And that gives a Google a great hint to say "show this URL instead."
Leo: And again, this is all described, all of these are described at the webmaster's tool page. Here's the Canonical URL explanation. This is--you would think everybody would know this. And actually, here's the page. Meta tags Google understands, with Matt Cutts many moons ago.
Leo: That is a very young, and somewhat larger Matt Cutts!
Matt: I didn't have gray hair back then, yeah.
Leo: [laughter] You know, you're lucky though, because you look fatter in your old videos. That's good. That's what you want.
Matt: [laughter] The directional trend is in the right direction.
Leo: It's the right direction. I look so much thinner in my old videos., it's very depressing.
Leo: I don't care about hair color [points to gray hair]. You always want to look fatter in the old videos.
Gina: That's why I only do head and shoulders here, guys.
Leo: Smart woman. Just make sure there's no record of any of this. So I don't know whether to believe this or not, this was quite a scandalous article in, of all things, the digits blog of the Wall Street Journal. That Google Glass parts estimated to cost --What?!-- Less than eighty bucks. For a $1500 product. This is from TechInsight's Teardown.com. Google has said that is absolutely nuts, but they didn't say how much it does cost. And I know you don't know 'cause, you didn't build Glass, Matt Cutts, so I'm not asking you. But boy, if that's the case, now some have said, "Well we wanted Google Glass to cost... a painful amount so that people would be serious about buying it, if you want to be an explorer."
Gina: Yeah, we know the Explorer Edition's price was pumped up a bit.
Gina: But we don't know how much.
Leo: But that's more than a bit. I hope it's not $1420 bit,
Gina: There's no way. There's no way.
Leo: That would be...
Matt: Well, and I'm sure that they say, oh, this is 20 cents worth of plastic. But if you're doing a small limited run, doing the injection molding, or whatever the plastic. That's actually a pretty large cost to do that.
Leo: They say the most expensive component is the processor, the TI OMAP 4430 applications processor, that's an ARM chip, $13.96. 16Gb of NAND memory from Toshiba, eight dollars. But you're right, that doesn't take into account R & D, that doesn't take into account custom stuff, molds and so forth. Actually this could be good news if you were hoping for a consumer release of Glass. It means if this is--maybe it does cost eighty bucks if you made a million of them. That could be good news.
Gina: Yeah, in which case Glass might be affordable. I mean, you know, that would be a good thing.
Gina: When it comes out, publicly.
Leo: Do we care about foursquare separating it's--you know, it's a funny thing. When Yelp pushed the update, it said "we're working really hard to keep all of our stuff in one app."
Gina: You know, I think the trend is worth commenting on. We actually talked about it in last week's episode.
Leo: Sort of, yeah.
Gina: It's interesting to see this sort of -- so we have Foursquare splitting its app into a check-in app, and then to a recommendations app. We see Dropbox making Carousel, and what was the other one that Dropbox did?
Leo: I don't know.
Gina: Uh, I thought there was another Dropbox app.
Leo: Evernote's done this for a long time. Evernote has Food, and Hello, yeah.
Gina: Yeah, they've got Food and Hello. And even Google did it with Drive, so Drive is basically--
Leo: Yeah, I still don't understand that one. That's kind of weird.
Gina: Yeah. It is a little weird.
Leo: Well, they took the editing capability out of Drive, and put it into Docs.
Gina: Right, there's a Sheets app and a Docs app for editing, and then Drive for browsing your files.
Matt: My naive take on that is that when you say Google Drive, people think of
Matt: some place to store stuff.
Matt: And so there might have been some mismatch where people were like, "Oh, Google Docs, I can understand that, that's where I edit my Docs!" and so maybe they were trying to bring that more closely in line with users' expectations or what they thought the app would do, you know. If you're just looking at an icon and a name, you're like "Oh, ok. This is where I'll go to edit my Google Docs," or whatever.
Leo: JC Calhoun has created a new verb for this kind of thing. It's called Quickstering yourself.
Leo: Because remember Netflix was going to divide itself up into streaming and this business and wanted to--one of them was called Quickster, which didn't last long.
Gina: That's not a positive association! No.
Leo: You've been Quickstered! No.
Gina: You've been Quickstered. Quickster doesn't exist anymore. And of course I did mention Facebook, separating out Messenger from its app.
Leo: Right, right. They're being Quickstered.
Matt: I'm very curious to get your take on a story, there was this article on ZNet about Google experimenting with hiding URLs in Chrome.
Leo: I saw that! You know it's funny, because I remember talking to Tim Burners-Lee, the man who invented URLs, and incidentally the world wide web. And he said "I never thought humans would look at URLs at all!"
Leo: The URL scheme was really designed to be machine readable, and he just never thought people would say anything like www.google.com. He thought, "that's not going to happen."
Leo: So Chrome, how is Chrome doing this?
Matt: Well, so this, I think, is in a Canary, and essentially what it does is there's a chip, I think it's called the origin chip, and it shows you just the domain name, of the URL. And then I assume you can click and get more information if you want to. And there's pros and cons, it's very rare you see people from Google sort of disagree outside of Google, but I think Paul Irish has said "Oh, I hope this doesn't happen," and meanwhile Jake Archibald, who's also at Google, has said "Oh, this can help with phishing." So that sort of shows that people have different points of view on this, and I was kind of curious, what would you guys think if Google started to show this origin chip instead of URL in Chrome.
Leo: Well that makes sense because the idea being because a URL is so complex, people often misread it. So they think they're going to google.com, when instead they're going to google.hacker.com.
Leo: And so by making it more clear as being the real URL... But I'm looking at these examples, from Jake's blog, I can't tell the difference! I don't understand which is which.
Matt: Well one is halifax.co.uk, and the other one is halifax.co.uk.creditcards.whatever.
Leo: Right. You keep going until you get to the com part.
Matt: Yeah, to the slash.
Leo: Well I've seen, this happens all the time with phishing.
Gina: Yeah, really, you know, I'm kind of split on this. On one hand, I really like the idea that the user doesn't have to deal with the URL, and I really like the changes that Chrome has made to URLs thus far, like hiding the http, and graying out the path, whereas the domain is black.
Leo: Ah, that's a good way to do it, yeah.
Gina: I really like that. And so that's happened kind of slowly over time and it's like, oh yeah, you don't need to see http or https, and the lock, you know, indicates https. And so this seems like a natural progression, this feels like the same kind of debate that people have about whether or not the file system paths should be exposed to the user or not, I know people have been split on that.
Leo: Apparently iOS, I didn't know this, but apparently safari in iOS7 does that, so here's the example on that, where it just shows the top domain, it doesn't even show the extended domain, you have to tap it to see more. That's a good way to do it!
Gina: At the same time, you know, when you're dealing with, particularly someone like me who's coming from being a blogger, where like the idea of a permalink, or you know the full URL is sort of very important, the idea of sharing URLs, of sharing pieces of content or a piece of content is assigned to a particular URL, that if it's structured well then it actually does read well and mean something, like there's--
Leo: That's part of the problem, that a lot of URLs are not well structured.
Gina: Well right, a lot of URLs aren't. So if this change were to happen, I wouldn't be totally against it, but it would have to be a piece of UI that made it really easy to share a permanent link to a piece of content.
Leo: Yeah. What happens if you copy it? In order to share it, it would copy the full URL.
Matt: Yeah, I'm sure it would. But I'm with you Gina, I'm really torn, because as a power user, I really want to know what the full URL is, but I can see, you know, for an average person who doesn't need all those details and might get phished...
Leo: There's other ways to phish, I was phished on twitter a couple years ago. I didn't fall for it but it had a link for T-V-V-I-T-T-E-R.
Matt: Oh dear!
Leo: Which looks like twitter if you type it out.
Leo: And it was by chance, I think, that I noticed that that wasn't twitter. It looked like it was a log in page and everything. So there's other ways besides having an obfuscated URL. People start using bit.ly and other stuff, you know, they'll just mess with it.
Leo: I don't think it's a bad idea though, to syntax highlight. We can agree that would be ok, right?
Gina: Yeah, yeah.
Leo: Color code the top level domain.
Leo: Anything else? Thank you Matt for asking about that. I'm glad, I wanted to talk about that.
Matt: Yeah, I was curious.
Leo: Tim, you know, it was never the plan to see these things. He thought only the machine would see it. I don't what he thought the humans would see, but...
Matt: [laughter] That's crazy.
Gina: And now I say things in conversation like Nope.com, which my daughter is picking up, so.
Leo: Really? Oh, that's cute.
Gina: You know, when we're messing around.
Leo: When you don't want to say no anymore, so you say Nope.com.
Leo: It's really worked its way into the culture, yeah.
Gina: It's worked its way into the culture, exactly.
Matt: There was one interesting story about the observations of an internet middleman.
Leo: Yeah, this one, I actually tweeted this out, because I thought this was really great. Mark Taylor writing at Level 3. You know, the debate is on about open internet, about what the FCC is doing or not doing to potentially protect the internet, about the idea of charging access fees for edge providers, things like that. But this really puts some facts into the arguments. Because one of the things, we had a big argument, I had an argument with Brian Brushwood, who has a libertarian streak, on TWiT this Sunday. He said, "You don't want regulation of any kind!" But when you have companies acting so anti-competitively maybe you have to. So Level 3, they're an intermediate internet provider, they provide big connections to big networks. And they have a lot of peering relationships, 51 peering relationships, that's how they get access to the rest of the internet. So if you're... Google uses Level 3, if you're google.com you get on to the internet via Level 3, they need to still get you to other places that aren't customers, they do that by having relationships with other big backbone providers who have relationships with their customers. So it turns out that by having 51 peers in 45 cities, they're able to reach the entire internet. 13.8 gigabits per second in bandwidth going through all of these points. They say--actually, it sounds technical, this is very readable, Mark does a great job of explaining this. Read the article, you don't have to be a geek to understand it. He says the average number of interconnection cities per peer is five, but ranges from one to twenty. But, there's a little bit of an interesting thing happening, with six companies, five in the US, one in Europe, they're all six of them broadband providers. If they've got five in the US you could probably name them. Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, AT&T, he doesn't. In fact, he obfuscates the information. But what it does show is a graph. He says normally in peering relationships, it's not unusual in a peering relationship for these switches to get saturated, as traffic moves around on the internet. They get saturated. And what everybody in the business does is they put more equipment on. What you're seeing here is a graph of saturation happening, a 100Gbps connection... Let's see, I'm sorry, this is a 100Gbps interconnect in Dallas, for the week of April 3rd. You see those flat tops on the left hand graph, that is a congested port. The flat tops are packets not getting through. They're just, it's getting clipped at the top. And if you look at the right, you'll see the graph that's dropped packets. That's a lot! So many dropped packets, that if you're on the other end of that connection, your video's not going to play, you're going to get buffering, you're going to have all sorts of congestion. Traffic won't get through, or it will get through delayed. It's a mess.
Now go down to the graphs below, Jason, if you would, A 100Gbps interconnect in DC with a different peer, no congestion. So you see peaks, but those peaks are never clipped. And if you go to the right, dropped packets: none. So it's normal to get congestion, but what's also normal is, without sending a bill [laughter] you fix it! That's how the internet works.
He points out though, that these five broadband providers in the US haven't been. He says they're all large broadband consumer networks with dominant or exclusive market share in their local market. He says in countries where consumers have multiple broadband choices like the UK, you won't see these congested peers. These congested peers have been in place for well over a year, where our peer refuses to augment capacity. In other words, they know there's congestion, they know there's packet dropping, and they don't do anything--intentionally! They violate the unwritten compact, and they don't fix it. He says they're deliberately harming the service they deliver to their paying customers, they're not allowing us to fulfill the requests their customers make for content. That gives the customers a bad experience, in fact, if you look at customer satisfaction, it's very low for all of these broadband service providers. But he says there's one purpose and one purpose only: to blackmail us into giving them money. To blackmail us into paying them to upgrade. And this is what we heard from Netflix, what we're hearing more and more. This is not a case of--this is a case of blackmailing peers, but this is also going to happen on edge networks. His final line: "Shouldn't a broadband consumer network with near-monopoly control over their customers be expected, if not obligated to deliver a better experience than this?" What they're doing is going to Level 3 and saying, [mobster voice] "If you would like to reach our customers, perhaps you would like to give us some money so we could..." You know, they're crying. "Oh, it's costing us so much money! You gotta give us money to upgrade our switches!" That's not what's going on.
Matt: Very well explained. Thank you. That's why Leo should be president of the internet.
Leo: It's just--it's very frustrating. And you know, Brian and others, and I agree government intervention is a blunt weapon and it can have all sorts of negative consequences. But when companies act in monopolistic ways, there is no other--there's no free market force that can save you. There is no competition. And he points out, I think very well, that in countries where there is competition, this doesn't happen. If you had a choice and you were getting crappy service, you'd go somewhere else.
Gina: Yeah, my home internet connection, my new home internet connection here in Brooklyn is now, is definitely the upper graph and not the bottom graph. [laughter]
Leo: Isn't that frustrating?
Matt: So frustrating.
Gina: Yes. Yes.
Leo: It's frustrating. And yeah, I don't know if the solution is to get the FCC-- I mean, my feeling is, that the solution is to get the FCC to do the right thing and declare these common carriers telecom companies, regulated as the telecom companies are. But maybe that's not the solution, I don't know. I mean, we've got it, it's clearly a problem. And I'm glad Level 3 stepped forward, they didn't name names, because these are customers etc., etc. But they stepped forward and I think that these are very telling graphs.
Gina: That's a great piece.
Leo: [sighs] it's frustrating. I don't know what we do about it.
Leo: Savetheinternet.com, that's what you do. Savetheinternet.com, they have a page, What Can I Do? You know, you can fund the Alexis Ohanian's billboard across the street from the FCC, you can pick up the phone and call the FCC, you can email openinternetFCC.gov, There's lots of things you can do. You can write a letter to the editor, you can write to your congress critter. Lots of information at savetheinternet.com.
Gina: How is the billboard coming along?
Leo: Oh, let's check! You do this on crowdtilt, which is a Alexis's startup crowdfunding. Let me just search for... save net neutrality billboard in FCC's back yard, I gave them a thousand bucks, I just wanted to jumpstart it. Oh, he's so close! Eight days left, he needs $20,000, he's raised $15,000, that would be another thing you could do. Give him a buck, you don't have to give him a lot. Just five bucks. Whatever you can do.
Gina: Yeah, I'm going to do this right now.
Leo: Just, you know what? I think one of the it's hard to raise the money is because it's like, well this isn't going to change anything! You put a billboard out in front of Tom Wheeler, he's already getting millions from the lobbyists, why would a billboard change anything?
Matt: It would make him walk past it every day, you know?
Leo: You know, actually there is one crowdfunding thing that I really am interested in. It's Larry Lessig's plan to create a super PAC.
Matt: Yeah, mayone.us
Leo: Isn't that interesting?
Matt: Yeah, it's really cool.
Leo: So you're all for it, huh?
Matt: Yeah, yeah. I've donated and uh...
Leo: I should give money to this, too.
Matt: There's a couple groups, and this is one of the larger ones that's starting to use this idea of like, PACs, you know, let people spend... a PAC can take lots of donor money and then spend that in some very flexible ways. So if you can use that same machinery against some of these super PACs, that could be very cool. And so I think they're trying to raise a million dollars in thirty days! And they're actually pretty far along.
Leo: Are they?
Matt: Yeah. Like in four days they'd raised like half a million or something like that.
Leo: So the idea is let's get congress people elected, it's the Mayday PAC. Let's get congress people elected that will vote to get money out of elections. [laughter] And it's actually kind of perversely sensible. You're never going to get people who are dependent on big money to get elected to vote against big money in congress. So here's what you do: create a super PAC, lobby it, raise funds, get--this one last election we'll pay for! Get these people in, reform the whole thing. And Larry of course, everyone knows, the guy who created creative commons, law professor at Stanford and Harvard. We've had him on, we love Larry. He's just fabulous.
Gina: This is awesome! Yeah, good for him. This is great.
Leo: An his idea, you know, he for a long time was talking about, you know, creative commons was all about getting the music industry off our backs. He finally realized, this is never going to happen until we get the influence of money out of politics. So he said let's go after the root cause of all of this, which is Tom Wheeler, it's chairman of the FCC, every member of congress, the president of the United States, they're all basically doing the bidding of people who have deep pockets. Because that's how you get elected. So let's change that. Let's reform the influence of money in politics.
Matt: And I think, I mean, if you look at it, they're almost up to $600,000, and it's the seventh of May. So they're doing like $100,000 a day, so they're trying to get a million before the end of the month.
Leo: Wow. They're 59% funded.
Matt: Yeah, I say, go way over the top, because if they've got more ammunition, or power, or whatever you want to call it, to tackle money in politics, they can have a lot more of an impact.
Leo: And if you feel bad, you can say, "I only want to fund Democrats, or I only want to fund Republicans," so you can choose. I really like this idea. Now, because it's a super PAC, you're going to have to say who your employer is. There are, oddly enough, rules about contributions that they have to adhere to. But you know what, they're pretty easy to get around. *laughs* That's the problem!
Leo: The website is mayone.us. I like this idea. I'd hate to see what Brian Brushwood thinks of it.
Leo: I love Brian, but he lives in Texas, and he's living in a... just as we in San Francisco live in a bubble, he lives in a bubble. That's all. I love it.
Gina: On a much lighter crowdfunding note, my friend Andy Baio actually sold his company Upcoming.org, to Yahoo back in 2005, and--
Leo: I saw he had an announcement today at 10 AM.
Leo: What was that?
Gina: Yes. So a few months ago Yahoo calls him, they shuttered, they sunsetted upcoming, right? But they, Andy had a team of people try to archive it. And then a few months ago, Yahoo sends him an email, says hey, do you want to buy back the domain upcoming.org? He buys back the domain, and he launched a Kickstarter to rebuild upcoming! [laughter]
Gina: Yeah, from the bottom up, using modern tools, which is really kind of amazing!
Leo: So... that is hysterical!
Gina: And he, I think he launched the Kickstarter today. He blew through his goal.
Gina: It was a small goal, it was like $30k he was trying to raise.
Leo: Ok. I gotta find the page. Well I'll just search for Andy Baio on Kickstarter.
Gina: Yeah, Andy Baio at kickstarter.
Matt: Well he--Andy's associated with Kickstarter a little bit, which helps as well.
Gina: Yeeeaaaah. He helped build Kickstarter, so he's associated. And he did XOXO on Kickstarter and... yeah, wow, look $47,000 already.
Leo: So what was upcoming, was it like...
Gina: It was a community events calendar, it was a social events calendar.
Leo: I remember using it, I thought it was really great.
Matt: Yeah yeah. And there's still not a great events solution for the web yet, so, I mean there's lanyard for conferences.
Leo: Is it like Evite, kind of? Or what is it?
Gina: I think it's more like, a local band is playing next Friday, I'm going to submit this event, which of my friends are going. Less like Evite, I thought more of like a community-based events calendar. I don't know. Matt, would you characterize it that way?
Matt: Well, yeah. Or think about like Craigslist events, except with, you know, a modern UI, and trying to keep all the spam out, and that sort of stuff.
Leo: Alright Andy! That's the first time I can think of that happening.
Gina: Yeah! Well this is why I brought it up!
Leo: Where you got bought out, Yahoo as usual just kind of screwed it to death, into the ground.
Gina: And a big company shut you down, years pass, and...
Leo: He must have had the deal that, you know, he could compete by now, or something like that, right? Because usually they have non-competes and all that.
Gina: Yeah, must have. Because this was a while ago. Almost ten years ago.
Leo: That's awesome!
Matt: I remember there was some spam on Upcoming where someone was posting spam events that were like watch free online Super Bowl whatever, so I dropped him a note, and I was like, can you get rid of this spam? He was like, no, I can't. I don't own the domain anymore.
Matt: So if he can pull that back and make it his again, that would be so cool.
Leo: Yay! See, Andy, even Google wants you to bring back upcoming.org!
Gina: [laughter] Thirty grand in 90 minutes. Good for him.
Leo: Hey, look who's here, Heather Gold just walked in. Hi Heather, how are you?
Heather Gold: I want Andy to bring it back, too!
Leo: She says she wants Andy to bring it back too.
Heather: There's nothing as good, still. Still!
[laughter and cheers]
Leo: Hey, we're going to take a break, when we come back, maybe we'll get Heather to do Jeff's number, I don't know. She's in the studio. Matt Cutts is here from The Google. Gina Trapani, founding member of Lifehacker. And our show today brought to you by--and of course, Thinkup.com--brought to you by TWiT, AND, 99designs.com. 99designs, the world's laaaaargest design marketplace, it's where we got our beautiful T-shirts designed, our TWiT hoodies, in fact, what we did was we had a design contest. What you do is you say, I need a design, I need a logo, I need a landing page, I need a mobile app design. So you go to 99designs.com, and you create a contest. There are more than--did they cross 300,000 designers? I think they did. There are more than 300,000--that doesn't even sound possible! 300,000 designers there, waiting to see your contest, and then you know, they say, Oh, yeah I'd like to do that, and they give you some ideas, you can go back and forth, you pick a design, pick a designer. They get paid, you get a great logo, starting at $199, we like the--oh, they're so close. 299,762 designers. So close! We got so many great designs for our hoodie that we bought five of them! And we're going to make them all one by one. So in fact at teespring.com/twit, our second design is now available as a t-shirt. T double E spring.com/twit. 99 designs is so cool. We've really been happy with it. Logo design starts at $299. T-shirts $199. And one of the best--there it is, there's the T-shirt, that was from a 99designs designer. It's beautiful! Isn't that great?
Matt: Yeah, that's cool.
Leo: If you visit 99designs.com/twig, you'll get a $99 power pack of services absolutely free. That gives you even more designer time and attention. 99designs will bold, highlight, and feature your design project in their marketplace, you'll get nearly twice as many designs. Designers love it, customers love it, you'll love it. 99designs.com/twig. And thank 99designs, for their support of This Week in Google. They'll do custom typefaces. They'll do all sorts of stuff. You can give your logo a metallic glint or a color shadow, or any of a hundred different design tricks. It's all done in the digital space. I love 99designs. 99designs, 99designs.com/twig.
It is time for Gina Trapani and her clip of the week.
Gina: I've been playing around with Google Camera, the Google camera app for Android. The lens blur feature which we talked about a couple episodes ago.
Gina: And a photographer at guidingtech.com did a couple of--did actually a pretty good post about all the different ways he's kind of experimenting with lens blur. And a couple of good tips for getting lens blur to work most effectively. Some of them kind of obvious, you know, have a subject real close and then the background farther back, so you really get that depth of field. Centering your subject, apparently helps a lot, to get the effect that you want. And just tips on kind of raising, because you're moving your device in order to get the effect. So the subject centering I didn't know about. I often try to off-center, because that's sometimes, a lot of times, better composition. It looks like lens blur, it looks a little bit better if you center. So a couple good tips there for lens blur.
Leo: How to use the lens blur.
Gina: Mmhmm. I have to say, I like Google Camera's implementation a little bit better than the A2C1s.
Leo: Than the A2C1s?
Gina: Yeah. It was much better.
Leo: I will do Jeff's number of the week. He says, 2.5 million Chromebooks shipped last year. A 68% increase expected this year. And he also mentioned that Flux--look at that. He's such a Chromebook Virschill.
Gina: He is. [laughter] he loves those Chromebooks.
Leo: He also mentions that Flux is a Google X project that emerged from Google X, and received $8 million in funding to build eco-friendly buildings. Matt, you got something, or wonderful you'd like to pass along?
Matt: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. So since you already mentioned webmaster videos, you can search for webmaster videos and find all of my stuff.
Leo: The best.
Matt: We've got 500 videos. But here's a little trick that I hadn't heard about. And if I hadn't heard about it, then most people haven't. There's on the AdWords site, there's a similar group of people who film videos. And what they do is they take requests for questions on social media. So if you leave the hashtag #AskAdWords on your tweet, or your Google+ post, I don't know if they can search Facebook or not, but basically just leave #AskAdWords as a hashtag. And they film about once a week, they've been filming for about six months, and they typically answer 1-3 questions per video. So I haven't actually told them that I was going to mention this, so let's just flood them with good questions about AdWords, and they'll be like, "What happened?! This is crazy!"
Matt: So I think that would be kind of fun.
Leo: You should do this, Matt. Why don't you do this? #AskMatt.
Matt: Well, we have done a couple sessions like that. It is a lot of fun to do, yeah.
Leo: It's a lot more work, too. I mean, I say you should do it. Am I doing it? Noooo.
Gina: [laughter] I was going to say, I think that Matt probably has enough incoming queries on a regular basis.
Leo: You do mention this site, and this was really useful for us because we did get the warning from Chrome, "This website contains malware!" Our site was hacked almost a year ago, and you have a great website from the webmasters page, google.com/webmasters/hacked. What to do if you're a site owner and you see those very depressing, scary words.
Matt: We built this specifically as a multi-stage thing to take you through, here's what to do, don't be scared, you know, we can help you recover, and then at some point if you need to ask for IT help, great. But this leads you through the basic procedures of recovering from having your site hacked.
Leo: Yeah. I mean, we did all of that, including get our experts to go in there, find the exploit, find out how it got in, to patch that hole, and then of course to get rid of it. And it's hard! I mean once that happens, just like with a home computer, there's an unlimited number of bad things that could have been done to you, so you really have to scrub.
Matt: Yeah, sometimes it's better to nuke it from orbit, just to be safe.
Leo: Yeah, well that's what I tell people to do with their home installs. I mean, I'm not going to nuke my--I'm not going to start my website from scratch!
Leo: [in a silly voice] Let's just start all over again! Download Drupal, step one. Step two, pay $400,000. Step three, you have a site! God, that's expensive. Uh, we did not pay that much, thank goodness. That is Matt Cutts, my friends! We love The Matt, mattcutts.com/blog, two T's, two T's, an M and an S. You provide the vowels.
Matt: And a C.
Leo: Anything else you want to plug?
Matt: Uh... [laughter] Uh, there--
Leo: What's your 30 day challenge this month?
Matt: My 30 day challenge this month is to try to get good sleep. So I'm trying to get 8 hours of sleep a day.
Leo: [scoffs] forget that!
Gina: Good for you! That's why you're so happy all the time.
Matt: Yeah, it's actually pretty good.
Leo: What are you doing to get good sleep?
Matt: What am I doing? Well I'm just trying to get to bed a little bit earlier, and if I don't have to get up I'll set the alarm a little bit later. That sort of stuff. So, and I went for a run this morning, and
Leo: That's good, that helps.
Matt: I actually went faster than I've gone ever before after a good night's sleep, so.
[music from Rocky fades in from the background]
Leo: Ladies and Gentlemen.... Rocky! Part 8, featuring Matt Cutts as Rocky!
Matt: So can I tell you Leo, I actually ran the Boston Marathon 2-3 weeks ago.
Leo: You did? I didn't know that!
Matt: Yeah, well...
Leo: Rock on! Did you finish?
Matt: I did, yeah.
Leo: Oh my god...
Matt: So it turns out I can't qualify for speed. I'm very, very slow. But if you raise money for charity, then you are allowed to run in the Boston Marathon. They put you at the very back of the pack. And I have to tell you, every time I run a marathon, I start out, the first hour and a half, listening to TWiG, because I'm like, I don't want to start out too fast!
Leo: We can get you all the way home! We'll make 'em longer!
Matt: If you make it, I'll listen to it.
Leo: Four hours, I mean what was your time?
Gina: You could listen to a few episodes. That would get you the whole marathon. So great!
Matt: And again, I'm very slow. But I just wanted to say thanks, because I saved that episode so I could listen to it on the marathon.
Leo: Gina, don't you feel good?
Gina: I do! First of all, that's amazing. All hail [bows]. Coming from the person who can't walk half a mile, [thumbs up] good job. But also, that's so exciting. That's so cool that you're listening to us on the run. That's amazing.
Leo: I put the treadmill on a 10% grade and I promptly fell off.
Leo: It wasn't even going! So I'm not ready for the marathon. What is that, 26 miles? What is it?
Matt: 26.2, yeah.
Leo: You did in, how long did it take you?
Matt: Oh man, like five hours and 12 minutes. It takes me a long time, but...
Leo: Ok. Make a note of that Jason, our next TWiG will be five hours and 12 minutes.
Gina: Just the fact that you were in motion, I'd be double-fisting inhalers. I can't even... [laughter
Leo: That is so awesome.
Gina: Good for you. That is awesome.
Leo: Did you see Denz go running by--Dennis Crowley from FourSquare? [makes wooshing sound]
Matt: I didn't. He did pass me at some point, but I didn't see him go by.
Leo: Well then he had to walk for the last few miles, so that's ok. Did you run it, I mean like jog it the whole way?
Matt: So that's what I didn't realize is, the Boston Marathon there's crowds the whole way, cheering for you.
Leo: Yeah. You can't exactly rest.
Matt: No. I had a shirt that said "Go Matt Go," and so the whole crowd was--they'd shout, "Go Matt Go!"
Matt: Which turned out to be a blessing and a curse, you know, the last two miles you're like, "I just wanna run!" and there's like a bunch of frat boys that are like "Go, Matt! Go!" "Ok! Fine!"
Leo: Ohohoh! "I just wanna rest!"
Matt: But it was really good. It was a phenomenal experience.
Leo: How did you train? Obviously you had to train for that one.
Matt: So I'll do one quick plug. There's a website called USAfit.com, and what they do is they have chapters around the country, so I'm with San Jose fit, and over six months, they take you from one mile a week to 26 miles a week. And it's like $100 to join, you get discounts on marathons. It's all normal people, anybody can run a marathon, you just--all it takes is, you know, six to nine months of training. And so, the season's actually starting now. Anybody who wants to run a marathon, I'd highly recommend that organization.
Leo: Really, you think I could do that?
Matt: Yeah yeah.
Matt: I had never run more than eight miles, I'd done beta breakers and nothing longer than that, and then I joined USA Fit and over the course of a season, ran the San Francisco Marathon.
Gina: That's incredible. Well, I mean what it takes is, commitment and a lot of time and stamina, and yeah. That's incredible.
Matt: I mean, it's fine to go slow. If you finish a marathon in six hours and 29 minutes, you still finish, right? And anybody who hears that you ran a marathon, they don't ask, usually, what your time is, they just say oh wow, that's great.
Leo: I only asked if you finished, and you finished!
Matt: Yeah. Exactly. So...
Leo: If you finish, you beat everyone who didn't.
Matt: Yeah, all the people on the couch.
Leo: All the people who didn't run!
Matt: I was in the bottom 10%, so I was very slow, but all the people on the couch...
Leo: I would not--if I ran a marathon, I wouldn't care. I could be literally 12 hours, the last guy crossing and I'd be happy.
Gina: Do you know how many doughnuts I could eat in 12 hours? A lot of them.
Gina: I could eat a lot of doughnuts.
Leo: Matt's really--I just went to USA Fit, you're really tempting me here.
Matt: You should try it!
Leo: What was the charity that you raised money for?
Matt: The charity was the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Leo: Oh yeah. Very good.
Matt: Which is a fantastic group of people, they do a really good job.
Leo: Really great.
Matt: They had 700 runners at Boston, and they raised over six million dollars.
Leo: Oh, isn't that great?
Matt: It was very cool.
Gina: And the vibe at the race was good, there were spectators the whole way, and--
Leo: Boston's strong, baby!
Gina: It was good?
Matt: It was incredible.
Matt: You know, I was ready to cry two or three times because you know, the signs, and the cheering, it was...
Leo: Oh, my god. What a good one to run!
Matt: Yeah, exactly.
Leo: Wow. Well.
Gina: Right on!
Leo: Once again, Matt Cutts makes us all feel bad.
Gina: [laughter] No, Matt always makes us feel good.
Leo: That's nice. Hey, it's so great to have you Matt, thank you for joining me.
Matt: Thanks for having us.
Leo: You're the best. Gina Trapani, smarterwear.com, I don't know why I even mention that.
Gina: I know, yeah, don't go there!
Leo: Don't go there, there's nothing there, she has been busy doing something really, really exciting, which is ThinkUp.
Gina: I blog more actually at ThinkUp's blog, which is blog.thinkup.com these days.
Leo: Oh good.
Gina: This was a lot of fun!
Leo: You could go there and ThinkUp.com and sign up, it's what, how much a year? $60?
Gina: Yep. $5 a month, $60 a year. Mmhmm.
Leo: And you could have your own insights like these. Look, I boosted iTunes Podcasting tweet to 200,000 more people!
Gina: Generous, Leo!
Leo: One retweet! Well, actually they were tweeting about our interview with Pomplamoose, so...
Gina: Oh, excellent.
Leo: I guess it was what goes around comes around.
Leo: Here's--and by the way, Matt Cutts, here is my tweet linking to that Level 3 article.
Gina: Yeah, that got a nice response.
Leo: 103 favorites, 40 replies, 102 wetreats. Wetweets (trying to say retweets).
Matt: Wow. That's awesome!
Leo: [Elmer Fudd voice] Wetweeting. They're wetweeting.
Gina: Wetweeting. [laughter]
Leo: So it's fun to see this stuff, and it includes Facebook as well as twitter. So it's great.
Gina: Mmhmm. Instagram forthcoming.
Leo: Oh, yeah?
Leo: Wow! Hey look, Re/code followed me. I must be real.
Gina: Yeah. Oh yeah.
Leo: I must be the real deal.
Leo: Mmhmm. So you too could have these great insights. If you use the f-word you get a really great one!
Leo: Thinkup.com. Thank you Gina, great to have you.
Gina: Thanks for having me. Lotta fun.
Leo: We do this show every Wednesday afternoon, 1 PM Pacific, 4 PM Eastern time, 2000 UTC. If you want to watch live, I would love it if you did. Because we have a live active chat room and it really is great to get that feedback during the show. But if you can't watch live, never fear. You can record it, well actually, I tell you what, we'll record it for you! You can download it, audio or video. Put it on your... what did you use for a player, Matt, for your run?
Matt: Uh, PocketCast.
Leo: PocketCast on an Android device.
Matt: Yes. Which is a recommendation I also got from TWiG.
Leo: Yeah, no I love PocketCast, too.
Gina: Yeah, PocketCast is great.
Leo: So use PocketCast! Download it, or Stitcher, or you know, iTunes if you're on an iOS, and there's plenty of places you can find it. But twit.tv/twig has a list of them, too. You can always get the show there. Thank you for joining us, and we'll see you next Wednesday on TWiG! Bye-bye!