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This Week in Google 253
Leo Laporte: It’s time for TWiG, This Week in Google. Jeff and Gina are here. We’re going to talk about all sorts of stuff: David Carpe of Tumbler interviewing the president, and not wearing a tie. The new Google acquisition. They’re going to have satellites, just a half a billion dollars; it costs nothing. And why they may be buying Songza. Hint. It’s to stick it to Apple. It’s all coming up next on TWiG.
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This is TWiG. This WEEK in Google. Episode 253, recorded June 11th, 2014
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Leo: It’s time for TWiG, This Week in Google. The show that covers Google, the Google-verse, the Cloud, the Twitter, the Facebook, and all that jazz. Gina Trapani is here, from ThinkUp.com. Hi, Gina.
Gina Trapani: Hello. Good to be here.
Leo: Now with layered hair. You look like an Indian princess now.
Gina: Oh, thank you. I got to get ready for IO. It’s close …I can’t look like a work-at-homer.
Leo: No, no. You got to get some pants. Yeah. Also, Jeff Jarvis. He is here too. He is a professor of Journalism City University of New York; the author of What Would Google Do? and Private Parts-and a blogger at buzzmachine.com
Jeff Jarvis: And I’m still pink. Each week.
Leo: Yeah, well, you’re home.
Jeff: Gina’s glamorous, I’m pink.
Leo: You’re pink. Jeff and I are the gray hairs. We have to have a young, attractive woman. Oh, he’s green now.
Gina: That’s good.
Jeff: With envy, Gina.
Gina: Oooh. Getting Avatar, I like that.
Leo: Yow! Somebody just sent me a link for an Android beer dispenser. I don’t know how useful that will be.
Gina: Android Smart Phone.
Leo: Yeah. Running what looks like a Galaxy Note maybe, in there. Look at that.
Jeff: What? What? I actually believe that’s rather old. I think that’s a Moto Zoom in there.
Leo: Oh, it is a Zoom.
Gina: Wow. Yeah.
Jeff: I actually think it says Motorola on it.
Gina: Exhume the Zoom.
Leo: Well, that’s the only good use for a Motorola Zoom.
Gina: Dispensing beer.
Gina: Jeff, I loved your Entertainment Weekly proposal. I’m sorry, I know this is totally off topic, but Jeff published his original proposal for Entertainment Weekly, and I absolutely loved it.
Leo: Anil Dash Tweeted it, and said how timely it was.
Jeff: There’s a woman named Anne Helen Peterson who published an unbelievably long piece on the tortured synergy-ridden life of Entertainment Weekly. I dreaded reading it, I was like, ‘I’m going to get smashed again’, but I didn’t. It was very well thought-through; really well-researched. I thought it was going to be a chapter of her dissertation…
Leo: She wrote a dissertation on the history of Entertainment Weekly.
Jeff: On gossip. She got her Phd in gossip. Celebrity.
Leo: Oh, on gossip. What a great subject. Yeah.
Jeff: And, so, she had a chapter evidently on EW, and she published it. Whether it was part of her dissertation, I don’t know, but I read it with fascination, and it inspired me to scan and put up my original proposal for EW, and at the end of the scan is the rejection that it received.
Leo: ‘MAGAZINE PROPOSAL: The ultimate entertainment guide. Jeff Jarvis, January 31, 1984. I’m proposing an entertainment guide, a magazine that will come to the aid of the consumer in a very confusing time’.
As Anil Dash pointed out, this was about the same time Michael Jackson’s hair caught on fire during a Pepsi commercial.
‘Today there is simply too much to choose from. Movies, network TV, cable TV, satellite TV, video cassettes.’
Gina: Video cassette tapes and VCR’s. They were so confused.
Leo: It was 1984, remember. ‘Music on radio, on records, on cassettes, and now’, he says, ‘on compact discs’.
Gina: Compact discs.
Leo: I remember, that’s about when I bought my first CD, actually.
Jeff: They decided to have laser discs in there.
Leo: And let’s not forget books.
Gina: I’m trying to imagine you sitting at a typewriter, Jeff. I was like, ‘He typed this on a typewriter’.
Jeff: No, no, no, that was typed probably on my Osbourne 1, and my gigantic $300 NEC printer.
Leo: Yeah, but it is a type-face. Looks like…
Jeff: It was an Impact printer.
Leo: Yeah, yeah, yeah. ‘The magazine would review and give you stories about all this entertainment constraining on the programs and the people’. Ah, see, now, it says ‘ as opposed to the magazine I work for now’. Did you work for People?
Jeff: I worked for People.
Leo: I have it up here, Chad. I don’t know what you’re looking at. ‘It also devotes some, but far fewer pages, to hardware, educating, advising readers, and so on. What to look for in a VCR’.
Jeff: VCR. And I should have added, ‘And how to get rid of the damn flashing 12’.
Gina: Blinking 12.
Leo: ‘What’s new in TV sets’.
Jeff: That ages me.
Leo: ‘It would be easy and cheap to start up, not too expensive, prone to solid growth, why the time is right’. This is very cool. You know, I wish I had some of the early treatments I did for things like this site. I would love to have those.
Jeff: If you go down to the last two pages of that PDF, are the rejections it received.
Leo: ‘By BMG’. Who is BMG?
Jeff: Henry Gruner Wald. The editor-in-chief.
Leo: He said, ‘Thanks for sending me the Jarvis memorandum about the entertainment magazine. I’m afraid I’m not high on this. On the surface it makes a lot of sense, but the rationale falls apart when you really look at it. The market for entertainment is so broad’. He was wrong, by the way. Okay.
Leo: ‘I think it’s difficult if not impossible to create a single magazine or guide for it. For instance, the people who watch television are not necessarily the people who read books’.
Jeff: That’s the killer sentence. That was the killer sentence. The people who watch TV don’t read books.
Leo: ‘Even if one were to market strictly to home entertainment, i.e. the tube, there would be lots of problems. We only know too well how difficult it is to provide cable listings. Cassette review? Hardly needed weekly. Perhaps not needed monthly. I suspect people are satisfied with the handouts they get in video shops, and the occasional reviews of other publications. Still, there could be something tor the cassette market. But it might be more like a catalogue than a magazine’. Who is this nitwit?
Jeff: He was actually the brilliant, frightening, Austrian editor-in-chief of Time, Inc. If you could do that in a German accent.
Leo: ‘Movie reviews? Plenty of those everywhere! Besides, and this is a very minor issue, I doubt there really is a broad market for Jarvis’ vision of opinionated and provocative reviews. I suspect the majority of moviegoers pay attention to reviews’. Oh man, did he get that wrong?
Leo: This is pre-Rotten Tomatoes.
Gina: Rotten Tomatoes is the first thing I look at.
Leo: Me too. It’s like, if it’s not an 80 or better on Rotten Tomatoes, I’m not going to see it. ‘News and gossip, there’s plenty of that. News and gossip? Equipment? Well, that’s quite a different matter. And unless you are an absolute electronic nut, you don’t need to keep up with this regularly’.
Jeff: Well, forget your company, fella.
Leo: ‘You will buy one VCR and TV in your whole life. Of course I could be wrong, but with so many other things going on…’ And, did that kill it?
Jeff: That killed it for the rest of his regime. And then next, a new editor took charge and he wanted to make his mark by starting a magazine. And a guy on the business side thought he had this idea on his own, and someone said, ‘No, no, Jarvis wrote this a couple of years ago’.
Leo: ‘I have it here somewhere. It’s in my files’.
Jeff: And so, it started 6 years after I proposed it.
Leo: Wow. 1990.
Gina: Like, is this what people did in 1984 and like, typed out the letter, and then 18 months later they replied to one another by typing out the letter?
Leo: You’re too young to remember this, Gina, but yes.
Gina: I was 9 years old in’84.
Leo: And then a human being would come and get the letter and would bring it to a facility, where we routed by carrier pigeon, and another human being would pick it up and deliver it to your door, and ring the doorbell.
Gina: Insane-o. Insane-o.
Jeff: I should have brought this home. I have it at the office. So we made a bunch of covers. There’s one prototype cover on my blog I put up of The Wonder Years. ‘It’s a wonder of nostalgia’.
Gina: Yeah, that’s a great cover.
Jeff: And we had to make other material. Some fake inside spreads on the things. So that was made. That was made so we could make junk mail. And in the junk mail…now this is illegal to do, it’s called dry testing…in the junk mail we would send out, and say ‘We have this new magazine called Entertainment Weekly. Would you like to buy. Here’s the deal. First 4 issues are free, buh, buh, buh, buh, buh. And then we’d see how many people would come and send in the cards to order the magazine.
Leo: Before you even had a magazine.
Jeff: Yeah. And then we would tell them, ‘Oops. We don’t have a magazine. Here’s People instead’. Which is all illegal now.
Leo: Highly illegal.
Jeff: So somewhere I’ve got, there’s a picture of a coffee table with issues of fake edited weekly spread out, a guy with a bowl of popcorn and a remote control, and some video tapes, all on the junk mails. I made one cover with Roseanne Barr and Murphy Brown. And I said the cover billing was, ‘Kiss Cosby Goodbye’.
Leo: Wow. So you were trying to be provocative.
Jeff: Yeah. Exactly. You know, ‘the sassy woman’ kind of thing, right?
Jeff: And so Cosby hated me because…I have faxed hate mail from Cosby. And I actually adore Bill Cosby and loved the show. But toward the end of his show it got kind of preachy. I dared to say so. So he had it out for me, so he got a copy of the junk mail and had somebody—this is before Photo Shop—had somebody remake it so it said ‘Kiss Jarvis Goodbye’ when I left the magazine.
Gina: Wow. Sensitive much?
Leo: He didn’t really like you.
Leo: This is fun.
Gina: Bill Cosby.
Leo: I read Entertainment Weekly. I loved Entertainment Weekly, actually. But it was a little bit too…it probably was too smart.
Jeff: Oh well, this long, long, long piece by Helen Peterson argued that the first critics were there to be too stark. I don’t know if that was the case, but we definitely got in trouble. This was the time when Time Inc. was going to merge first with Paramount and then Warner, to become Time Warner.
Jeff: And so the way I suffered the synergy beast was that we were being too mean to Hollywood, which was their new industry. They weren’t so stupid as to say we were being too mean to Warner Brothers, but one of the top editors…my conceit that I brought to the magazine was to have grades for reviews. That’s what we did at People. So I did that at EW. And one of the top, top, top editors at Time Inc. sat down and calculated the grade point average of our grades every week, to say that we were being too mean.
Leo: Or maybe they’re making too much junk.
Jeff: Yeah. My point. So the movie critic of the time, Owen Gleiberman, gave a bad review to Pretty Woman. And this sent them into a fit of apoplexy, because clearly he was wrong, because ‘The box office said people liked it. So you’re wrong. You’re wrong’.
Leo: That’s why we have Rotten Tomatoes.
Jeff: Yeah. Exactly.
Leo: So now you can separate the critics from the people.
Jeff: Thank you for that little jaunt down memory lane.
Leo: This is fun. I love it.
Gina: Yeah, really fun. Cool.
Jeff: I have a box of files like that downstairs.
Leo: Good. Start one…every week release another original document.
Jeff: Memos. There’s one more. One more. The first design of the magazine was cluttered, and it was a mess. We did a very fast re-design in 15 weeks. I remember one of the top editors of Time Inc. at the time said, ‘You’re using this post-modern font’. It was Caslon. Which was like the third font ever created. And there was this was this huge sculpture in the lobby of Time Inc’s building of Caslon, that was there.
Leo: Medieval typographer.
Jeff: Little geek moment.
Leo: ‘Post-modern. You’re post-modern’. How funny. Well, is Entertainment Weekly still published? It is.
Jeff: Oh, yeah, it is. It lives on right now, so God bless it. And it’s nice to have the baby there. But if I proposed that magazine today, it wouldn’t be a magazine at all.
Jeff: It would be a platform for people. It would be Rotten Tomatoes.
Leo: TMZ, or something.
Jeff: Yeah. Well, no. Not that. Geez. Leo.
Gina: For a while I was really into the iPad app; the EW must-list. Basically just like Top 10 books you should read. Top 10 shows. Top 10 movies.
Leo: Yeah. Yeah. I remember that. That’s what I liked about EW. You could see what you should read. Yeah.
Gina: Mm hm. Mm hm.
Leo: I like that.
Jeff: One of my favorite features…Joan Feeney, who was my number 2 throughout the launch, was such a brilliant, brilliant editor. She had a feature she called ‘The Book Browser’, which was just the first paragraph of 8 new books out each week. I liked that.
Leo: Now you can get Kindle. You can get the first chapter.
Jeff: The first issue of the magazine also had…sorry, I’ll stop there…
Leo: No, don’t stop.
Jeff: …had a…you got me going…
Leo: No, don’t stop.
Jeff: …had a tear-out hard card, which was perforated bookmark-size, so you could mark the shows that you wanted to watch, and you could cut them out and paste them onto your video tapes, because no one ever labeled their video tapes.
Gina: Wow. Wow.
Jeff: I was ahead on technology, guys. I was right there at the cutting edge. The perforated edge of technology.
Leo: Not cutting, actually. More like…abrading. The abrading edge.
Jeff: So, as you were saying Leo. Google. Google.
Gina: About Google, sorry. I'm sorry for the detour there.
Leo: This is the pre Kardashian era of celebrity. It's changed a lot. It really has changed a lot.
Jeff: Well, alright, so keep me going here. I was actually at the cusp of when it changed. I remember Pat Ryan, my beloved mentor and editor of People Magazine, who died recently, she screamed down the hall at me one day when the sales results came in. She said, "TV is dead Jarvis, dead!" and it's because it used to be at People Magazine that if Dallas was a top 10 show, you put Dallas on the cover and boom, it sells. Boom, done. But then fragmentation came in, so we weren't all trapped in the same three shows. Gina, you may think it was cute that we would have to watch Gilligan's Island. But that was all that we had, and it was hell. Hell. So, suddenly, that's when People and company shifted to bodily fluids journalism. To death, and scandals, and affairs, and disease, and all that, because it was the way to sell covers. That's where the opportunity for EW really came in was to get back to the products, not the personalities. Okay, now I will shut up.
Gina: TV is dead Jarvis!
Leo: TV is dead!
Gina: I like that.
Leo: Google owns a satellite now. A half billion dollar purchase.
Jeff: A bunch of satellites I think.
Leo: Multiple satellites. Half a billion for Skybox Imaging, which is a micro satellite startup. Skybox, do they own their own satellites?
Jeff: I think that they have put up little satellites.
Leo: Little baby satellites.
Jeff: Yeah. And they are live HD from satellite.
Leo: That's got to be very expensive to launch.
Jeff: The second link has a video.
Leo: Here is the video from Skybox Imaging.
Jeff: It's not wildly compelling, but what it does is show that when you see like a plume coming out of the factory, you see the plume coming out, and you can measure the output with all kinds of further data that come with richer imagery.
Leo: I think a lot of people look at Google Earth and Google Satellite Imaging on the Google Maps and think that it is live. I mean, we don't. But I think that a lot of people do.
Jeff: It's not? You mean, Leo, that it's not?
Leo: We were watching the chase, the manhunt for the Boston Bomber, and Jennifer said, "Why can't they just check the Google Satellite to see if he is in that boat?"
Gina: Oh wow. How far are we from that really?
Leo: Apparently not that far.
Jeff: Not so far.
Leo: Very interesting.
Jeff: The Germans are going to go nutsy on this.
Gina: Oh yeah.
Leo: Here's the plumb. You can see the plumb coming out in real time. It looks like it is black and white. Seems like for a spy this would be a boom.
Jeff: Well, I'm imagining that the spies have long had this. This is commercial ability now. Surely the spies have had this, we just don't know it.
Leo: Well now it will be easier. If you are a small time spy you will just use Google Maps.
Gina: I feel that somehow all of Googles' business is consumerization of spy gear.
Leo: Spy gear. You know, that's interesting, isn't it.
Gina: Google Glass. Google Maps. And every private investigator.
Jeff: The shoe phone.
Leo: I would love to know more about Skybox. Like how much they have spent to get these up there. How many they have. They are not the only one apparently even doing this. There are competitors.
Jeff: How crowded is it up there.
Leo: Yeah. PlanetLab makes satellites that are smaller than Skybox's. So it could send more up, but the imagery isn't as good. UrtheCast, spelled u-r-t-h, a Vancouver competitor, offers high resolution video imagery, but has no satellites of its own. It uses the Russian end of the International Space Station. Wow. So these are high-def, real time videos.
Jeff: Does this have any relation to, there's mention of the Cloud, is this also a communications purchase?
Gina: No, it seems like this is about creating data from images. So raw imagery created by satellite cameras can be hard to decode and process for non-experts, so Skybox hopes to sell information, not imagery. So it seems like what Skybox is going to do it they are going to tell you how many people are in line at the Shake Shack, or how full the Walmart parking lot is, or how many shipping containers are in that port, you know, kind of live. It sounds like that is what they are trying to do.
Jeff: With most of those examples Gina, if you counted the Walmart parking lot before Christmas, what do you know about the economy? If you count the shipping containers...
Leo: And that is hugely valuable. That kind of stuff. Wall Street alone would pay billions for that.
Jeff: Wall Street wouldn't have the ability to recognize what a shipping container looks like.
Gina: Right. And being able to measure the diameter of a plume and figure out what the emissions are. I think that is why Skybox is offering, not just live imagery, which has obvious plugins for Maps and Earth, right, but figuring out what that represents. I mean, me and my friends watch the Shack Cam constantly to see when the line is short to run to lunch.
Gina: Yeah. Totally. Shake Shack has a cam, a live cam.
Leo: We have come a long way from the Cambridge Coffee Pot Cam. The first cam.
Jeff: What do you get at Shake Shack, Gina? What's your order?
Gina: I'm still kind of new to New York. Back to New York. I like the standard Shack Burger and Fries. Some friends of mine did some calorie counts and figured out that the fries are more calories than the hot dogs. They will get like a hamburger and a hot dog. I'm still sort of in the sort of very standard order. It's like the #1. They don't have a lot of variety with the burgers.
Leo: So there is quite a line at the Shake Shack right now. I just want to warn you. I'm just checking the Shack Cam.
Gina: There always is.
Leo: There is quite a line.
Gina: There always is.
Leo: Look at that. It goes all the way around.
Jeff: It's lemmings man. It's lemmings.
Leo: Well, I've never heard of it. I've never been there. What am I missing?
Jeff: It's just a burger. It's a good burger, but it's just a burger.
Gina: It is a good burger. It is just a burger, it's true. So, now if Skybox could tell me how long it is from the time I arrive at Shake Shack to when I have a burger in my mouth, that's useful.
Leo: Is there just one in Madison Square Park, or are there other Shake Shacks?
Jeff: No, no, no, there is one near me now.
Gina: They are all over. The one in Brooklyn has a much shorter line.
Leo: They apparently also have a custard calendar so that you can plan your custards.
Gina: Yeah, good custard. When you come to New York, Leo, we will do Shack. Jeff sounds somewhat against it.
Jeff: No, I'm not against it at all. I just don't understand the worship of it.
Leo: Whoa, Biscuits and Jam Custard. So custard is a frozen ice cream.
Leo: I remember that much from my time back east.
Gina: It's a little bit of a cult thing here. People are down with the Shack. It's a hipster thing. Hence the line.
Leo: It's a hipster thing?
Jeff: Well, it's no different from the California and the not that great In and Out Burger.
Leo: I like In and Out Burger, but there is never a line like this for it.
Gina: It's better than In and Out, though. I think it's dramatically better than In and Out.
Jeff: I don't take that away from you. But is it alter to worship on? No.
Leo: I just think it is so funny. This is exactly what the Skybox is doing, is to give you an idea of what the line is.
Gina: It sounds like that's what they are promising. That's right up Googles' alley, right?
Leo: And the other thing Google is saying is that they want to use this as internet access as part of their billion dollar plan to wire the world. I don't know how they would do that. I guess these things already have communications. Maybe they can reverse engineer it.
Gina: You Google something that you want to go pick up at Target, and Google knows that the Target parking lot is packed, which it always is here in Brooklyn especially. Google says, hey, why don't we express that to you instead? That's a very simple example. From a consumer standpoint that is a big deal.
Leo: Well if Jeff Bezos is going to launch drones somebody is going to have to do the real time navigation. Maybe this is Jeff is going to have his. How many of these little things are we going to have in the sky?
Jeff: That's the thing.
Gina: Yeah, that's the thing.
Jeff: Between the hilarious war between Bezos, and Zuckerberg, and Page now, Page Brenn. The effort to put little things in the sky above us is going drive us...I tried to taunt the editor of the most luddite newspaper in Germany with this.
Leo: Is that me dinging. Who is dinging? Why am I dinging?
Gina: That's me, I'm sorry. I'm trying to turn it off. My bad.
Leo: Are you sure that it's you?
Gina: Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's me. I'm trying to figure it out.
Leo: Chad is saying that it's me.
Chad: I assumed that it was you.
Leo: Oh, you assumed?
Jeff: Chad. Chad, Chad, Chad.
Chad: It's most likely a textual. It's because I was looking at my sources, and I couldn't figure out where it was coming from.
Leo: You can't tell from the meters?
Gina: It was definitely me. Off, it is off. Carry on. Sorry. My bad, my bad.
Chad: The only thing that I could tell was that it was coming through a microphone, so I thought it was your mic, Leo.
Leo: You assumed it was I who was doing this. Is there air traffic control for satellites? It seems like there ought to be at this point.
Jeff: You saw the story last week that of the satellite that NASA handed over to a bunch of hackers? To take over and do new things. Do you remember that story?
Leo: No, wow.
Jeff: It went around the sun, and came back into the synchronis orbit of Earth. They allowed these hackers to take it over themselves.
Leo: Then hackers is not the right word here.
Jeff: Not the right word. But that's how the story is published, right?
Jeff: Yeah, it was like we were going to uh oh, it's Dr. Strangelove again. So, technologists, volunteer technologists. Part of the point made about it is that it's out of control, it's like a giant Cuisinart out in the sky, and it can start cutting up other satellites, and Sandra Bullock ends up flying between satellites and horrible things happen. I'm surprised that we don't see that story all of the time. There is a lot of crap up there.
Leo: Yeah, no kidding. Space junk.
Jeff: That goes really fast. I'm shrieking.
Leo: Apparently I've lost some geek points from not knowing about the hacker satellite.
Jeff: I bet those geek points come over to me because there are no lost points on Earth. It's a zero sum. The points that you lost I just gained.
Leo: You just gained my...so if you search for "jerkface" on Google, Sergey Brin's face pops up, which I think is kind of interesting. This is all thanks to Violet Blue writing on ZDNet, "Thanks for nothing, jerkface".
Jeff: It's a ridiculous column, I will say.
Leo: Well, let's talk about it. You know, on the one hand it does feel a little bit. I knew you would defend it.
Jeff: Here's where it starts with. It starts with him confessing that he shouldn't have been involved personally in Google+ because he is not social. So he doesn't understand social.
Leo: He said at a conference last week that Google+ was a mistake for him. He said that, "I'm kind of a weirdo, it was kind of me a mistake to be working tangential to be related to social."
Jeff: Which I think is hilarious. But also candid and open. And he is saying I think that I'm a bad influence on it.
Leo: Me too. I'm anti-social. I'm not normal.
Jeff: I think that is fine. She goes off ranting, just using it as an excuse to rant about how she can't stand Google and Google+. Okay. But that wasn't the launching pad for that. That is my point.
Leo: She said Google+ broke our trust. Now she was a victim of the NIMH Wars last year or the year before, although she swears that Violet Blue is her real name, which it may be. I don't know. I don't know her. Apparently many people around here do. But she does bring up this interesting case of somebody was undergoing a gender reassignment who got outed to her work, I'm not sure what the details were, but she had a pseudonym and a real name, and the pseudonym got mixed with the real name in the Google+ mixing of things and people started finding out about stuff that she didn't want them to know about.
Jeff: At the time with Google+ there was a lot of stuff about the names. I haven't heard a peep about that until this for well more than a year.
Leo: People got mad about YouTube, being forced to use a real name on YouTube Comments.
Jeff: But they got over that too.
Leo: They seemed to. In fact, it has improved YouTube Comments.
Leo: I think that there are reasons for anonymity. But you wouldn't want to use Google+ then. The real problem is that it is pretty obvious that this benefits Google to have you use a real name because then they can aggregate all of the signals from your real name together to make a better picture of you. Really, that's the accusation at the end. She says, "With Google+ it became clear that we were all little more than webs of flesh spun over packages of salable data."
Jeff: So don't use it. Don't use it. That was a response in another column, just don't use it. Then don't sit in their self-driving cars.
Leo: Right. Well, I think she feels betrayed. She feels that Google was a company that we trust, that we wanted to trust. And now we find out that we can't.
Jeff: That's where I still, yes I am defending them once again, but I forget who it was that wrote the response to her...
Leo: Also on ZDNet, another ZDNet columnist who responded.
Jeff: Right, and they just said, listen, like you didn't know this? Apple makes things, Microsoft makes software, and Google makes advertising. This is what their business model is. There is absolutely no surprise with this. This is the deal, you get these great free things, but yeah, they are going to use your identity, and that's the way that it works.
Leo: I'm kind of sympathic, though, because I like Google and I want to trust them. I'm a little sympathetic, I' mean, maybe it's a mistake. But we do it all of the time. Apple is a company, but people feel this strong affinity for it. Google, it think the same thing, they feel like "Maybe we can trust them." So what you are saying, Jeff, is grow up, you shouldn't have trusted them in the first place.
Jeff: Well, I'm quoting that guy who said it. But I'm agreeing.
Leo: Right. Okay. "Google is as Google does" was his response, Jason Perlow, and he says, "While I empathize with Violet over experiences in how the social network has been managed, I wish to point out that Google co-founder Sergey Brin admitting to Re/Code, which is made up of the richest and most powerful people in the technology industry, that his personal involvement in Google+ was probably a mistake was not at all uncharacteristic of how Google has been conducting itself since, well, forever. I don't want to defend Google", he writes, "I work for one of its competitors. I don't agree with many of the things that they do. I do encourage people to look for alternatives to Google, but in this situation the only thing that I can offer Violet is, paraphrasing the immortal words of Forrest Gump, Google is as Google does. If you are going to use Google services then that's part of the deal." I've been saying something like that all along. You can't be surprised that Facebook aggregates your information. You are getting a free service and the payment you give them for your free service is your personal information and your attention. It's the same with Google. But I do think, we are going to start to see, and we are already seeing this, this very interesting polarization between the Apple / Microsoft side and the Google / Facebook side where Apple / Microsoft are going to step forward, true or not, and say, well we protect your information. We protect your privacy. Use us and you will be safe. And Google and Facebook say, we are giving you great free stuff and as a result of things that we know we can give you, predictive stuff like Google Now, which Apple can't do. You will have the choice. It would be great if everybody had the choice and could choose privacy or openness.
Jeff: But it’s not privacy that they are choosing. That's the misnomer that I got nuts upon. You know, you subscribe to a newspaper, and they know your address so they get it to you, and they use you to target certain ads to you, and ever thus. Media is as media is.
Leo: Well that's where the real betrayal could happen. Google has never made any bones about it and neither has Facebook. In that sense you really shouldn't protest too much if Google says they are going to use your personal information. That's what they do. That's the deal. It's always been the deal. But Apple and Microsoft saying, no, don't be scroogled, we will take care of you. If they then betray, that's a big betrayal. Then it is more significant.
Jeff: If Google betrays it is a big betrayal. I don't think that Google has betrayed.
Leo: Well, what Violet says betrayal is associating...
Jeff: Google screwed up on the names for a while, but then they fixed it.
Leo: She doesn't like the names, but she's ultimately the problem is that Google sees us as a, what is it, "fleshy web around salable data". Well, yeah, right? What else are they going to see us as?
Jeff: Welcome to the media business.
Leo: It's a little bit reductionist, though, because you could say the same thing about any advertising supported media. Like TWiT. You could say TWiTs' business model is to deliver attention to advertisers, but that's reductionist, because yes, that's not untrue. It is our business model to deliver eyeballs to advertisers. That's how we make money. But that is not what motivates us, what moves us, what gets us excited about what we do, what gets us up and out of bed every morning. It's the way that we can pay for what it is that we really love to do, which is to give you information about technology. So its reductionist, not untrue, but reductionist to say that well, Google is just treating you as a packet of salable data. That's just their business model.
Jeff: There is indeed an exchange of value. The exchange of value isn't just that I get free stuff, the exchange of value is also that I get higher relevance. I get better stuff because they know who I am. Now let's turn Violet Blue pleasantly apoplectically purple. If you go to the third from the bottom within the Google section Google Imagines People as Applications.
Leo: From Information Week.
Jeff: It was a patent found from 2012, but it's actually kind of mind bendingly fascinating because what it says is that, I will be eager to hear what Gina thinks about this, it says that technology is built around the notion of an application. And to that we add people. I will email Leo. Oh, I'm in chat now, I will chat with Gina. But it is organized around the application. If, instead, you organize around the people, so here is my Leo world; I could send Leo a video, I could email him, I could chat with him, I could do this, and I could do that. If you flipped the organization, the taxonomy of technology and connections, and organized it around people instead of applications, what does that world look like?
Leo: To understand what this means, this is a patent application that came from the Chrome team in 2012, it was published last week, you have to understand a little bit of the history of computer operating systems and science. I know that Gina will remember this. For a while we were talking about a document centric way of computing. Computing, in the way that it evolved, and it evolved haphazardly, was around applications. But a lot of people said, well really an application is just a way of processing data. What if we had a document centric way of looking at computing? Microsoft tried this. Apple tried this. It was kind of a flop. Where everything would start with the document. I think this is just another way of recontextualizing what is going on here to make it more efficient and say, well, really it's not applications, it's not data, what it really is, is people. That makes sense Gina, right?
Gina: It does make sense. Particularly our smartphones, which are communications devices. It's really weird that you go to an application to do a thing. It's like saying that I'm going to go into a room and talk on a phone. It makes sense that a communication device would be people centric. I want to communicate with a person.
Leo: I want to communicate with mom. Here are my ways of doing it. Phone, email, messaging.
Gina: Right, exactly.
Jeff: Hangout starts to do very badly when I start to see the thinking behind Hangout.
Leo: But that is the thinking.
Gina: Right, I mean that is the thinking behind Google+, right? Google+ is about people, that's what profiles are about. This kind of unified thing where it is built into your contacts in Gmail. Now if I go to a person's profile I see their website and all of the different ways to get to them, or whatever. This is what Facebook attempts to do. I think Facebook actually does this pretty well. Yes, the NewsFeed is the core component of the Facebook experience, but Facebook is about people in a way that no other app is. Even kind of including Twitter. I think Twitter is still about tweets. I think that it makes sense.
Leo: This article is totally stupid. Whether the guy is just kind of clueless or really doesn't understand what we are thinking, the developers thinking at this level. He is saying that all of these people are corporations, people are applications, and it is up to privacy...
Jeff: It's just another organizational schema.
Leo: It's not. It's noun centric computing. The guy probably doesn't come from a background of technology or a developer background and is really, maybe willfully...
Jeff: And he has been writing about business and technology since 1996.
Leo: Well, he ought to know better because this is just a willful misunderstanding, I guess.
Leo: The patent application says, "Contacts may call upon applications for handling email, chat, voice calling, text, video, file sharing, and social network posting." In other words make that center around the person and not around the application. "For example" they say, this is in the patent filing, "A user may select a file from his or her documents, drag the file to an icon representing the contact, a person, and then the user may drop the icon onto the file which may cause the file to automatically be shared with the contact represented by the icon." That's, I think, just like document centric model going back what, 10 years?
Jeff: Exactly. People centric.
Leo: We are thinking about how we use computers, and frankly this makes a lot of sense. But even if it doesn't it's not some nefarious plot to turn...
Jeff: This is my point back to Violet Blue. This is exactly my point is that for media, for technology, I want a people centered world rather than an application centered world.
Leo: Yeah, it makes sense.
Jeff: It makes perfect sense, but when Google says something like this people are going to twist this around and say, oh my god, they are stealing your soul. They are violating you. No, they are just trying to organize services around you as a person and we need to do more of that. Every time we try to do that it's perhaps badly expressed by the technology or media company and then it chews the techno panic people and then we are going to end up worse off because we are not people centered. I say media has to become a lot more people centered. We have to know a lot more about people to give them greater relevance. Technology companies should know you better so they can serve you better, but it's going to trigger these techno panics every time.
Gina: I think the thing about people centric technology is that people vary wildly in who they are, and what their past was like, and what they are comfortable with. I think that Violet's article comes from a place where she represents a group of people like folks who have gender transition surgery done. That's a small number of people relative to the whole population, but those are folks who are less comfortable with the possibility that a software bug is going to out them to the world. We've had this conversation before.
Gina: Well right. Buzz accidentally releases the location of a victim of domestic abuse, you know, her location to her abuser. This isn't everybody. Jeff, we've talked about this before. We shouldn't assume that everybody has something to hide that could really change their life, but lots of people are really different. I think it's really hard when you design software, and I know this firsthand, you design this for the majority. Especially in Googles' world the majority is very privileged smart, intellectual folks who are very well off and have a certain kind of life, in a certain kind of country, in a certain kind of culture. I think it's a tough problem.
Gina: Right. I completely agree with you. Giving people the control to say, this is what I am comfortable with in order to do business with you and the vendor saying, this is the bare minimum that you have to give me. Having that sort of transparency and control is really important. It also really complicates the user experience. It's like a constant battle to make things really easy. Most app makers just want to onboard people really quickly. We were sort of having this conversation last night on All About Android. We were talking about the Android Permissions Model and how when you install an app you can have this long list of permissions and you are just like, I accept. Fine. I just want the app. Just let me do the thing. And I think that explaining those things is a big challenge, it's a challenge around education, and it's a challenge around settings and control, and understanding on both sides, and empathy on both sides.
Jeff: Good. Sorry, I was just dealing with a troll.
Leo: Yeah, we've been trolled a lot lately. I hate trolls. Google is in talks. So Apple bought Beats for 3 billion dollars, I'm never going to let this go, for which about half a billion was the streaming music service Beats, and about 2.5 billion were the headphones, which according to some were a money losing business. Google is in talks to buy another streaming music company, which arguably, I think has an interesting, I listen to Songza all of the time, or a mere 15 million dollars. What's interesting is that Beats has 250,000 users; Songza, which has been around for 6 years, has 5.5 million users. Now Songza has no business model at all, in fact they don't know how they have survived all this time. It's absolutely free. It's kind of like Pandora. If they take the money it's probably because they can't figure out how to monetize. There are no ads on it. There's no cost to it. The way that Songza works is that it's curated, so you say, there's a concierge service and you could say "I want music for a Wednesday afternoon" and they say, okay, you want cool jazz? They give you choices.
Jeff: Oh, cooking music.
Leo: Yeah, you could say cooking music. And then they will give you more choices and then it narrows down. It's actually a great service. I love Songza. You've never heard of it? Either of you?
Gina: I've heard of it. I just haven't tried it.
Jeff: Dancing in the kitchen.
Leo: Yeah. Are you looking at Songza right now? Because that's the kind of thing that they say.
Jeff: Yes I am.
Leo: So, here is Songza. It's at songza.com. They do have ads on the website. So It's Wednesday Afternoon, play music for; brand new music, boosting your energy, working in an office, working no lyrics, going to Bonaroo.
Gina: Oh yeah, we wrote this up on Lifehacker a long time ago. I remember this now. There are so many music apps. Yeah, this is a really cool take.
Leo: I listen all of the time. I went and I drilled down no lyrics to classical. Essential classical, classical for studying, essential waltzes. And it just plays. I use it on my Sonos all the time. It's kind of like Pandora but it's mood based instead of artist based.
Leo: But you can do a decade. You can go "I want 1990's party music" and then look at all of the choices; 90's dance hits, 90's school dance, you want your 90's school dance? Alright, let's go to the prom with Gina Trapani. Let's hear what she was listening to.
Gina: It was the prom.
Leo: Of course, I know. I know everything. I'm satellite watching you. Can you identify this song? Of course! I have no idea what it is.
Jeff: I have no idea what it is either.
Gina: Who's singing? I don't know the name or the artist. I don't know the lyrics.
Leo: That's the point. You don't have to. The prom comes rushing back to you.
Gina: This is making Googles' I'm feeling lucky on all access better.
Leo: Well the story comes from the New York Post, so...
Gina: I was going to say, the Post? What is this rag doing in our rundown?
Leo: Right next to the story about the strippers drugging and blackmailing rich clients. Adam Levine apologizing to ex's before he got married. And the Kardashian producers refused to pay in Hamptons. The big 3 stories and this...one source close to conversations says Google is offering 15 million dollars. Second source said the figure on the table was much higher. Page would have to beat out several suitors. I can absolutely see Google buying this because it's becoming clear that the key on music service is, at least if you believe Beats' Jimmy Iovine, and Spotify, and Ario, is recommendations. It's curation of some kind.
Jeff: I also think it’s almost cynically it's almost, they spent 3 billion, just go find the cheapest music service you can buy. Just get in there. It doesn't matter what it is.
Leo: Just to embarrass.
Jeff: Just go to Walmart.
Leo: By the way, that was the Spice Girls, just so you know.
Gina: Oh yeah, the Spice Girls, of course.
Jeff: Oh my.
Gina: Doesn't Google keep 15 million like stuffed in the bathrooms of the plex?
Leo: It's like the quarters under the sofa cushions add up to more than that. I actually like it mostly because it would embarrass Apple quite a bit. I don't know why.
Gina: You are going to get an email about that.
Leo: I've been ragging them about the Beats. At first I thought that this couldn't even be true.
Jeff: Yeah, that was the funniest when you had to say oh my...
Leo: I guess it was true.
Jeff: Who would have thought?
Leo: It makes no sense, but it's true. Google is preserving street art.
Jeff: This is pretty cool. Every time I see a Banksy go by I think that it's going to end up getting ruined.
Leo: That was sad. Didn't the Banksy project, was it in Brooklyn, where was it? I forgot. Or San Francisco. He was somewhere, he did a whole thing, and they are all gone. The same thing with Christo. Christo puts up these big installations and then you can't leave a curtain across the Grand Canyon for very long so you have to take it down. Or giant umbrellas in Central Park, so you take them down. But they should be preserved. Here are photographs of eyes affixed to dwellings in Rio. You can kind of see them.
Gina: That's neat.
Jeff: There is a wonderful, wonderful movie that I would recommend that is related to this, which is Alec Guinness' "The Horse's Mouth".
Leo: Love The Horse's Mouth.
Jeff: About a guy, a crazy guy who just sees a space and must paint it. It is a magnificent, magnificent movie. It just reminded me of that, of Google preserving Gully Jimson's art and The Horse's Mouth.
Leo: Gully Jimson. That was a great novel, was it Joyce Carol Oates? Who wrote The Horse's Mouth? It's a great novel.
Jeff: She's not that old.
Jeff: The movie was 1944.
Leo: You're right. You're right.
Jeff: Joyce Cary.
Leo: Joyce Cary. See?
Jeff: That's how your brain works.
Leo: See how my brain works?
Gina: Wow. Look at you guys.
Leo: It was a Joyce somebody with a C. Anyway, great novel, and even a better, I think, movie. Everybody should just go home right now, stop watching TV, and go watch every Alec Guinness movie ever made.
Jeff: This is the greatest ever.
Leo: And just be happy. But The Horse's Mouth is the one.
Jeff: All about creativity and passion.
Leo: Hey, this seems to me, by the way, the new style for websites. I'm seeing a lot of these. You go there, it's video full screen and there is that down arrow, right? You see this everywhere now.
Jeff: It's the Snow Fall Avalanche.
Leo: Oh, is Snow Fall that created this?
Jeff: No, they didn't create it. That's where Snow Fall got it from. But I think that, in my world, that's what popularized it. And now Medium does similar things.
Leo: Yeah, Medium has got that. We are looking at a web redesign, and that is actually kind of what we are looking at. Shouldn't you, when you go to twit.tv, see a big video?
Jeff: No, my argument, Leo, I've said this to you before, I think you should see the live feed of what is on the network right now.
Leo: Yeah. That's what I'm saying. That should be there, and then the down arrow, and you can scroll down and see other shows, other people, and other stuff. But it should just go right there.
Jeff: What's on now.
Leo: What's on now.
Jeff: Yeah, good.
Leo: But, you know the truth is that the web is dead, so who cares? I mean, it really is.
Jeff: Vox, the new site started out of Vox news media, they created their entire structure, they created their content, they did all of that. Now they are loading a home page. They are admitting that home pages are dead, but you have to have one anyway, so it was an afterthought.
Leo: You totally have to have one. There always has to be a twit.tv, but ultimately it seems to me that it's the apps that matter, right?
Gina: Yeah, and terrible content.
Jeff: In the New York Times report on innovation, they panicked because the homepage usage was going down. But the New York Times still remains a little south of 50%. News sites I know of in America, 5 years ago tended to have only 20% of their audiences ever see the home page in a day. Now it's going down to about 10%.
Jeff: So all of this effort, all of our ego that we put into packaging saying, "Everybody come to our homepage, that's what says us." Nobody sees it.
Leo: It kills me. It kills me. We literally have spent millions on webpages at TWiT, and now it doesn't matter anymore.
Leo: Well, maybe not millions. Hundreds and hundreds of thousands. By the way, this Vox page sucks. But it doesn't matter, does it?
Jeff: Well they haven't started designing it yet.
Leo: This is ugly.
Jeff: Yeah, but they didn't care.
Leo: It looks like they didn't care.
Gina: People are clicking through through Facebook.
Gina: Facebook is the new homepage.
Leo: What really matters is what you see when you go see an article, isn't it?
Leo: That's what matters.
Gina: Yep, most read right there at the top.
Jeff: Melissa Bell, who I think is the managing editor there, she also said that she purposely avoided taxonomy in navigation to see where it went, to see what emerged. That's really smart.
Gina: Yeah, I read that article. I liked her line about how breadcrumb trails would create meetings, and meetings, and meetings, and the website would just never go off.
Leo: It would never get anywhere.
Gina: People don't use them.
Leo: That's really interesting.
Gina: That's smart.
Leo: But it's a little depressing for someone who is trying to keep up because it's only accelerating. It's hard to keep up.
Gina: How do people find TWiT, Leo? I feel like your big challenge is that you don't easily have something that is sharable on Facebook or Twitter because audio doesn't go viral like that article.
Leo: Well, it's an interesting challenge because podcasting, traditionally you go to iTunes. Nobody does this. You go to iTunes, you search for content, and you subscribe to it, and then you download it on your iPod. It even sounds laughable now. So that's ridiculous.
Jeff: You see, Leo, I think that the audience, couple of things; one, the audience should be able to mark the good spots and then that good spot should be sharable directly. The technology is obviously there, you could say start at time code in our case 4:23:14 and share the next 20 seconds, and then make that a highly sharable artifact. I think would be a key.
Leo: Maybe. That will be for the next 5 minutes anyway.
Jeff: That's true.
Leo: Here's my thinking on this, because it's been like, waking up in the middle of the night thinking about this.
Gina: I'm sure.
Leo: It's an incredible challenge. And I know why we succeed and have survived. So far the people like the people, and enjoy the content, and they tell other people, and they actually actively proselytizes. It's the only way. What we want to provide is a lot of entry so that you could say, well you can go to live.twit.tv, or you could go to twit.tv, or you could download the shows. But I think that ultimately the best thing for us is going to be to have an app on every platform that says TWiT and the proselytization. The process is going to be, have you heard about TWiT? No. Oh, it’s a really great place to get tech news, and some really great information, and they've got Jeff and Gina, they are great, you would love them. You should watch TWiG. The next step would be to get the app, put that on there, and now discovery is great because the the app has all of the shows, lots of information, we can do featuring, and we can help you discover once you get the app. So the key, and I think that the proselyzation process would naturally lead to the app. So what we've decided is that we've really go to focus on apps. But you still have to have all of these other entry points. You still have to be on iTunes, you still have to have a website, but I think the app is really the key.
Gina: My dream interface to TWiT is Google Now saying to me, "You searched for TrueCrypt, here is a new episode of Security Now where Steve and Leo talked about it at this time code."
Leo: That would be good.
Gina: Or I tap on it, and I can start the conversation where you guys start talking about TrueCrypt.
Leo: How do I do that?
Gina: Well, that's the thing, right? Without text, or without a transcription...
Leo: We have transcriptions and it still doesn't do it. Every show, Security Now show, has been transcribed. Every one of them.
Gina: Right. Right, right.
Leo: So that doesn't help.
Gina: Yep, interesting.
Leo: You are right, I agree. The players should have a, and YouTube does this but it's too hard, people don't do it, you could, if you are watching a YouTube video you could send somebody a link to that point. But nobody is going to do that. We've looked at ways to do that in our player on our website where "share this moment" where you press "share this moment" and then you tweet it. I think that would help. We also put out TWiT Bits which features short clips, highlight clips, of each show and hope that people share those, but they don't.
Jeff: Yeah, but the thing is that I don't want to make TWiT something short. The point is that TV online isn't just 6 second clips. I made this point when I was speaking to the European Broadcaster's Union and bring up TWiT at that moment. It's either six seconds or an hour and a half talking about Google. It can and should be long.
Leo: We do content that is designed not for somebody who just wants a quick hit. We do content designed for people who want to think about it, people who care about it.
Jeff: But it's discovery. The challenge that Gina raises is discovery.
Leo: But you don't want to have somebody discover a short clip and think that that is what they are going to get, because it isn't. It's much more challenging then. This is the eternal verity, that technology is constantly changing. But the eternal verity is word of mouth proselytization by fans. A fan telling somebody else that you've got to try this is really the only thing that works for detergent. Well maybe not for detergent. But for Shake Shack. In any ad that makes Shake Shack's success, for Shake Shack or...
Jeff: It's all of these lemmings pushing each other there.
Leo: It could be the line. It could be people going by Madison Park seeing the line and saying, oh there must be something going on there.
Gina: What's going on there?
Leo: We are going to take a break, and when we come back we are going to do the change log because Web 4248 in our chat room is demanding it. It says, please, can we have some news? Our show, brought to you today by 99designs. 99designs is the place to go if you want to get a design. I think so many people think that they can do it themselves. I want to tell you, you can't. If you are a chef, then cook. But have your menu, have your website, have your Facebook page, have your Twitter designed by somebody who designs as well as you cook. Simple concept, you are going to get a design you love guaranteed. 307,689 designers are sitting and waiting for you to go to 99designs. The way that they've set it up, which is so clever, which is you create a design contest. You say I need a logo, or I need a landing page, or I need a car rack, t shirts. We get all of our TWiT clothing, t shirts, and hoodies, designed at 99designs. We've had such great results, in fact, when we put up contests we get usually so many good designs that we will say, last time we picked 5 of them. We are buying all of them. So what you do is you create the contest, a design brief on 99designs. You share the brief with a community of designers. They decide, yeah, I'd like to try this one. Once you launch the logo contest you are going to wait a few days, then you are going to see those ideas roll in, and then you are going to pay. A logo is $299. You could pay more, in fact what they also do is they offer an identity package, so you get the logo, you get a t shirt, you get a website, you get it all designed around one thing. There is all sorts of ways to do this. 99designs is so great. First interaction between your brand and perspective clients is your logo, get it done right. Did you see our t shirts and our hoodies? We've got such great results. Power Pack gives you more designer time and attention to their bold, highlight, and featured design project in their marketplace. You’ll get nearly twice as many designs. 99designs.com/twig. Thank you. I do have water. I’m drinking it, but thank you. I had walnuts in my lunch and now I’m having them in my throat. 99designs.com/twig. Ladies and gentlemen, play the trombone. It’s time for the change log. Gina Trepani tells us what’s new at the Google…
Gina: Google has released its official app for Google IO, which is two Wednesdays from now. Two Wednesdays from now, I’m going to be sitting next to you guys at that table in the studio. I’m very excited. But this app isn’t just for people who are actually attending IO. This is useful actually for anyone who’s interested in IO content. It’s a free Android app. It lets you browse the conference agenda and add sessions to your schedule. And you get reminder notifications as they start. You can watch live streams through the app, for not just the keynote but for sessions. You can watch videos of previously recorded sessions. Of course, Leo’s going to be doing live coverage of the keynote in the TWiT studios. So you should probably be watching the TWiT stream. But in case you want to see what Google’s official session schedule, check out the app. It is up in the Play store now.
Jeff: I’m not finding it, Gina. I’m not finding it.
Gina: The Play store has this weird thing. The search doesn’t catch up. There are new releases and it takes a little while for the search to catch up. There’s a 9-5 Google article that links directly to the Play store.
Jeff: There it is. Number eight in the list.
Leo: Well they’ll fix that.
Gina: They’ve actually open-sourced this app. I’m not sure if they had done this this year or if this is an iteration of the open-source version of the app. Some good news for Chrome OS users, this is for you, Jeff. Two really good updates. First the Google Plus photos app for Chrome OS, now automatically uploads photos from your SD card to a private Google Plus folder, even when the app is closed. So this is similar to how the instant upload works in the Android and iOS apps for Google Plus. So if you have a ChromeBook, pop an SD card, download photos into your ChromeBook. Your photos get automatically backed up to the cloud.
Jeff: I’ve been able to do that for a couple months on the Pixel.
Gina: Cool. This appears to be the Google Plus photo app for Chrome OS. So I think it’s a Chrome app. It was happening in the background even when the app is closed? That actually interests me.
Jeff: Well there is no such thing as being closed on a ChromeBook.
Gina: Oh cool. Well maybe this is the new news.
Jeff: It works really well. The only issue is, Jarvis complained here, with two accounts I now have to open sign-ins so photos go into my Google Plus which is different from my Google Apps account.
Jeff: I’ve got to figure out how to just be done with that.
Gina: Yea, to merge the two. And it’s a private folder by default, right? So it doesn’t get shared unless you share it, like the way Instant Upload works.
Jeff: That’s true. I’m going to go to my grave, I’m going to have two gravestones. One is my App gravestone and one is my Gmail gravestone.
Gina: While the rest of the world tries to separate their identities, Jarvis really wants to combine them. Let’s see what we can do. Also for ChromeBook users, there’s a new Google Play movies and TV extension that lets you download video purchases or rentals for offline playback. Very cool. So you can watch your videos, your movie and TV from Google Play on the plane without WIFI.
Jeff: I load up on my Nexus 7 like crazy. Now I can also be on here. By the way, Orphan Black folks.
Gina: Oh yea? Is it good?
Leo: It’s a BBC America show. It’s interesting. They’re in their second season now. One woman plays kind of an infinite number of characters, they’re clones.
Gina: Like Dollhouse basically?
Leo: Sort of, not exactly.
Gina: I’ve seen the ads for it on the subway.
Leo: It’s good.
Gina: Two Google Now updates, Google Now will now wake you up before your bus or train stop. If you use Google Now while you’re using public transportation, the app could offer the option to set an alarm to wake you when you arrive at a safe location like home or work. This alarm will estimate when you should exit your train or other form of public transportation. Google will suggest an alarm and users can tap the clock icon once to set it. So Google Now is becoming even more telepathic. Google Now also has a call button to call me reminder cards. So if you say to Google Now, remind me to call Home Depot, for example. This is the example on Android police. The reminder will pop up and not only will it say remind me again in an hour. If Google recognizes that you said Home Depot, and recognizes that this is a store, they can get a phone number for you. There will be a button that you can tap, one tap to call, the nearest Home Depot. It doesn’t work if you say something that Google doesn’t recognize. I’m not sure if it actually works for your contacts. The only example Android police used was Home Depot, was a store. Google Travel Search now has I’m Feeling Lucky inspiration feature. So if you go to google.com/flights, you can enter a region in the world that you’d like to visit as your destination, and Flights will show you the most popular destinations for that region. You can see photos of top attractions and how the price fluctuates by seasonality. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try the I’m Feeling Lucky button and Google Flights and Travel Search will suggest destinations you might like to visit.
Jeff: Where’s it telling you to go, Leo?
Leo: So how do I do that? I go to Now. Do I have to search for something or ask for something?
Gina: If you go to google.com/flights…
Leo: So I’ll do that on the phone, or no.
Jeff: I’m looking for it here on this page, and I don’t see it.
Leo: So it’s on the web?
Gina: Destinations for you, learn more, yea where is the sign? I’m Feeling Lucky button.
Leo: Well these are all places it’s proposing: Tokyo, London. These suggestions are based on information from your Google account including your recent activity and web history. It wants me to go to Edmonton. I don’t know why.
Gina: If you click on the map, the expand map button, there’s an I’m Feeling Lucky button.
Leo: Oh there it is! Let’s click it. It says I should go to Seattle.
Gina: It says I should go to Miami.
Leo: Seattle?! Maybe because I just did Windows Weekly.
Gina: Oh maybe. Miami is $377, not bad.
Leo: It’s also showing how cheap it is to go to Seattle right now. It’s like this is the best time to go to Seattle.
Jeff: Keep clicking it, it’s kind of fun to do that.
Leo: Oh you get other stuff? Let’s see.
Leo: Las Vegas, also a good time to go to Vegas.
Leo: Let’s go to London. A good time to go to London.
Jeff: Interesting. It also shows you a price time chart.
Leo: Yea, that’s what I’m hovering over. So you can see for instance I’m going to Hawaii. This is a good time to go to Hawaii.
Jeff: Manhattan, Kansas. No, Google.
Leo: What? It’s telling you to go to Manhattan, Kansas? Really?
Jeff: It knows that I have Kansas relatives, maybe.
Leo: Oh, wow.
Jeff: I don’t know.
Leo: Oh, Beijing! $1647. Now is that round-trip or one-way? That would be a bummer if it’s… oh no it’s round-trip! Good deal. This is pretty cool.
Gina: This is really kind of fun.
Leo: I want to go to Tokyo. So if I click it do I get that flight?
Jeff: There’s only so many so I just cycled back.
Leo: So $1647 round-trip. But I have to leave on Thursday and return on Monday. That’s a little tough. Wow, that’s on…
Jeff: Well, honey. Google told me to go there.
Leo: That’s a one-stop.
Gina: I got Manhattan, Kansas too. What’s up with that?
Leo: Wait a minute. Now we know that something’s going on. What is the airport for Manhattan, Kansas? Is it confused about Manhattan?
Gina: It feels that way, right? MHK.
Leo: Is there a non-stop or do you have to go through Edmonton?
Jeff: One stop through…
Leo: I love the image they choose. One is a lumberjack. That is Paul Bunyan, my friend. Do not mock him. Look for Babe the blue ox right next. It is a one-stop.
Jeff: You can choose.
Leo: Dallas-Ft. Worth, so we have to go to Dallas. Then we go from Dallas to Manhattan, Kansas.
Jeff: But it should give you some more information. Like why would you go to Manhattan, Kansas?
Leo: To see Babe the blue ox, why else? It’s a good deal right now. You got Manhattan, too. That’s so strange.
Jeff: Well I searched for it.
Leo: Fun with data.
Jeff: It’s because we should see the flyover, Gina. I’m thinking that it’s just too close, like your life is. This is telling us to go and meet the people.
Gina: It’s true. Alright, last bit of change log. Google public alerts now include tweets to help answer important questions. So if you go to google.org/publicalerts, you will see tweets from disaster-struck locations. So this is when bad stuff happens, it will basically… Google’s sucked it up a little bit after their back and forth with Twitter a couple years ago. And decided that this product is better with tweets. These are extracted from Twitter’s public API. And they’re used to supplement updates. These are tweets from organizations like the National Weather Service. And the idea is to have the public tweets answer the questions like are schools closing, are neighbors evacuating, what are people seeing on the front line of the storm. And of course, Google Public alerts sends emergency messages through services such as Google Maps and Google Now, as well as on the public alerts website, which I forgot about. I had to remind myself, it’s google.org/publicalerts. It’s one of these things you don’t look at until the storm’s coming. But this tweets feature is English-only.
Leo: So a lot of fire weather warnings in our neck of the woods. This is cool. You can say what locations, what kinds, what language, and sort by relevance.
Gina: Yea, if you click on one of these warnings on the left side, there should be theoretically tweets somewhere on that page about the topic.
Leo: It’s not just tweets. It may not just be tweets. It’s coming from NOAA and other sources. Yea this is from the National Weather Service.
Gina: The tweets are supplements to Google’s regular announcements and other sort of aggregation from other sources.
Leo: I like this. The original text from this alert has been automatically reformatted to correct capitalization. See what happens with these… if you look at them, they come in in all caps. They’re very ugly.
Leo: So Google is parsing it to make it sentences, and make it look like pros. That actually is great. I’ve always hated these weather alerts. It’s like they’re shouting at you.
Gina: Yea. It’s much more readable.
Leo: They put it in Hellvedicka, instead of Courier. That’s really cool.
Gina: We are no longer shouting.
Leo: Windy and very dry through Friday! Low pressure over the Pacific Northwest!
Jeff: Weather for the hard of hearing.
Leo: Garret Morris, that ladies and gentlemen is the change log. Chad Hurley and who’s the other guy?
Jeff: Chen, right?
Leo: Jeff Chen. Have split. The founders of YouTube are going their own separate ways. Chad has spun out MixBit. That was the thing they were doing together. Jeff Chen is going, I’m sorry, Steve Chen is going into Google Ventures. I remember Amber McCarther discovering YouTube, before it was a Google thing. We interviewed them. We said what are you going to do when you get sued by every company in the world? They were very bullish. Then we called Jeff Chen the day Google offered him 3.something billion.
Jeff: 1.6 billion.
Leo: Is that all it was? Man, they got ripped.
Gina: Let’s see you call him and congratulate him.
Leo: Yea, the new billionaire is cute. Very sweet guy, I really like Jeff. He’s now working for Google at Google Ventures.
Jeff: Steve Chen.
Leo: Steve. Jeff Chen I do not know.
Jeff: My good friend Jeff, yes.
Leo: It was a long time ago. I’m an old man. That’s cool, I guess. Didn’t they buy… what did they buy, Delicious?
Jeff: Then they sold it again.
Leo: Then they sold it. MixBit wasn’t going so well.
Jeff: 1.65 billion, yes that was right.
Leo: Billion, yea. Gosh, that seems like a lot at the time and now it’s nothing compared to what’s app.
Jeff: Everybody said that Google was nuts.
Leo: Yea, they made their money back.
Jeff: A million dollars a day in bandwidth fees, oh my gosh.
Leo: Twice as much for Beats! I loved John Oliver’s discussion of net neutrality and how he compared the FCC to having a dingo watch your baby. But apparently he made a mistake because he called for trolls to overwhelm the FCC and they did. Very shortly after his rant on Sunday, the FCC’s website was brought down by a database denial service attack.
Jeff: But then there’s another report that says the FCC wasn’t hacked. The company and system is just old. Did you put that link up?
Leo: Well it’s old and it’s easy to mess up by overwhelming it. Interesting. It’s 17 years old, that system. Was there even an internet 17 years ago?
Jeff: I know. Well it’s the same Mark Andreas just had a string, of course that’s all he does now is string tweets. But he was reminding us, what’s that new series? The one from the 70’s?
Leo: Halt and Catch Fire.
Jeff: Right, so he reminds us that the VA system was created when that show was taking place.
Leo: Nobody asserted that the FCC system was hacked by the way. So I don’t know… that article is not actually denying anything that anyone has asserted. It was a denial of service attack, which just means that a lot of people put comments in the system. And of course, 17 years old, it couldn’t handle it. So I don’t know what…
Jeff: Well a pure denial of service attack would be to ping it just for the sake of making it come down.
Leo: That’s what they did. They did a particular thing… the FCC actually said we received a surge in the volume of visits to our electronic commenting file system. A byproduct of the high volume was known as a dead record lock. What happens is, you post a comment and you immediately search for it, and it locks up. That’s not a hack. It’s a denial of service. And I don’t know if that second article denying it was a hack is actually meaningful. Because nobody asserted it was a hack. I guess the FCC said no we weren’t hacked. But it was a denial of service attack. 17 year old system.
Jeff: 17 years old.
Leo: I think, according to an article on Motherboard Insiders, a sustained effort from attackers brought the site down. But it’s not a hack. This is the Motherboard article which I think is an accurate article. It was written yesterday and it describes the database denial of service. Nobody’s denying that. So be careful if you ask trolls to troll, they may.
Gina: Trolls be trolls.
Leo: Trolls be trolls! I’m sure John Oliver loves it that that happened.
Jeff: Oh God yea.
Leo: Probably not the best way to influence the FCC, however.
Jeff: He was also just saying people go leave comments there. The troll part was a joke. But it was a sincere effort to say, go tell them what you think.
Leo: The problem is, because of the database denial of service, nobody could leave a comment. So it kind of had the wrong impact. My favorite movie theater in the world, yours too, Chad. The Alamo Draft House in beautiful Austin, Texas…
Leo: I love them even more now.
Jeff: They’re jerks.
Leo: They’re banning Google Glass.
Jeff: They’re blood-eyed jerks.
Chad: It’s funny because I was reading this article and I kind of had the same impression that Jeff has. They’re jerks. They’re just trying to jump on the Glass bandwagon. But looking at it a little bit closer, they ban cell phones too.
Leo: Right, you can wear your Glass in the theaters. You can wear it while the lights are up, while you’re ordering your taco and your beer. But as soon as the lights dim, you have to take off your Glass.
Jeff: What if they’re your glasses, jerks. They’re my glasses, I spent $400 for them to be my glasses.
Chad: They don’t want them turned on.
Gina: They serve tacos while you watch movies?
Leo: Oh yea, it’s the best place in the word!
Chad: In fact that’s more disruptive than the phones.
Jeff: I don’t want to hear crunching.
Leo: No, they’re soft tacos. And they’re very good. And so when you sit down in the theater, the loudest thing is the Romaine lettuce. Your movie theater seat is in front of a desk, there’s a long table. Well it’s narrow, but it’s a table in front of you. And the waitress comes up to you and you take the menu and say what you want. She delivers your food and the movie starts. It’s great, it’s the greatest thing.
Jeff: They come throughout the movie. I hate it, I won’t go. They come throughout the movie.
Chad: It’s also the whole experience. When you sit down, you don’t get any ads for any other movies. They show you…
Leo: They program it. You would love it, Jeff.
Chad: They show you bits and pieces.
Jeff: Not if I’m hearing open mouth chewing next to me. And the waitress coming back... Could I have another popcorn?
Leo: You don’t. You never speak your order. You always right it down. You have a little piece of paper.
Jeff: But they come walking in the theater.
Chad: Your seat is on a level that’s…
Leo: You’re overlooking them.
Jeff: It’s going to irritate me, no I’m sorry.
Leo: I loved it.
Chad: Don’t knock it till you try it, Jeff.
Leo: I loved it, I thought it was the greatest. And they program stuff.
Jeff: I’m going there with my Glass. Then I’ll get shot because it’s Texas.
Chad: It’s Austin, Texas.
Leo: You remember how they shamed the cell phone user.
Chad: There’s a segment before that’s we’ll take your ass out if you make any noise in our theater.
Leo: If you talk or text during a movie, we’ll kick you out. Sometimes that pisses off an actual talker. This is a voicemail that a customer left.
Chad: Sorry, I’m trying to do the slide.
Gina: I have a whole new perspective on this now that I have a one year old. I have to get a babysitter to go to a theater. And if the babysitter needs to get in touch with me, I keep my phone on. My phone is going to be on and I’m going to take that call or take that text. And maybe I’ll get up and walk out.
Jeff: And what if you’re a surgeon?
Leo: You shouldn’t go to the movies if you’re on call. Stay home and wait for the beeper to go off. By the way, an admirable attempt by Chad in real time to bleep that.
Jeff: It was.
Leo: Really good. Nicely done, Chad. I apologize for the belts.
Chad: There’s a few that came through, wrote down some notes.
Leo: Honeywell is going to do a Nest. Only it’s not called the Nest. It’s called the Lurrick. I wouldn’t mind having it. It’s kind of beautiful. It shows you the weather, and pretty much a complete rip off of the Nest. You can program it from your phone. We’ve designed Lurrick to be mobile-first and DIY says Honeywell. So I wonder really, I mean, it’s a voice-activated… oh wait a minute. Honeywell also has a voice-activated thermostat.
Chad: And it’s so crap. We had it from BYE and installing the Nest was a dream. You take off your old one, you plug it in, you snap it back in. This thing, it doesn’t work if it’s not plugged into the wall. They gave us an extra little adapter, so that it could stay alive off of the wall. And it was just a big pain in the butt. And the interface wasn’t a good capacitative touch screen. It was resistive. It was really just a piece of junk.
Leo: A Nest is expensive. This is as expensive. $279. It will be available at Lowe’s and somehow they got Steve Wosniack… is that Steve or some other Wosniack?
Jeff: Bruce Wosniack.
Leo: Okay, anyway. Thought I’d mention it, I don’t know. What happened with Tweet Deck? Were they hacked or what happened there?
Jeff: What happened was, I had it. If you opened up Tweet Deck it was showing you this message and it was retweeting this stupid little tweet with this image on it. So it turns out, and they said they fixed it.
Leo: On your account or no?
Jeff: Anybody who used Tweet Deck.
Leo: So it was tweet out something on your behalf?
Jeff: Yea it tweeted my account. It was terrible.
Jeff: And it turns out it was some Australian or Austrian kid, I always get them confused, who wanted to get a heart. And he realized if he started the tweet with a heart it opened up the vulnerability. He notified Twitter immediately. But meanwhile other hackers evidently found it and executed on it. And so you couldn’t do any… and they were saying just sign out and it will be okay. It’s fixed. You couldn’t sign out because it was taking over. So I killed the app, brought the app back, then de-authroized it. I wasted a half an hour complaining about it on Twitter. That’s life.
Leo: So this was only in the Chrome version?
Leo: So if you’re using the apps…
Gina: Well they’re not supporting the desktop app anymore, as far as I know.
Leo: Oh they’re not? If you go Tweet Deck, you can download it. I just did because I wanted to see…
Gina: I think it’s the desktop app is a second class citizen. I think they basically said we’re going to be in active development. I grumbled and switched over to the Chrome app. And I really like it actually.
Leo: So is it safe now?
Gina: I haven’t gotten into it since this happened. Jeff, are you in it?
Jeff: I’m using it now.
Gina: Because I was late to this and I tried to log in and it couln’t at all. I assumed they just disabled log, and once they were aware of the vulnerability.
Jeff: And they took it down for a while. I’m trying to find the…
Leo: Somebody’s beef says in the chat room, I don’t know if this was true. I was running Tweet Deck for Windows and it happened to me.
Gina: I stand corrected. Oh yea, I’m back into the Chrome app, no problem.
Jeff; David Whiner, not to be confused with Dave Whiner, said his tweet was fixed. One, log out of Tweet Deck. Two, never log back in. Three, take a deep breath. Four, look out the window. Five, find a partner. Six, procreate. Seven, die.
Gina: My wife walked past my desk when I had Tweet Deck expanded, and I have ten columns. And she was like this is what you do? It’s a pretty active app.
Leo: I like to stay in touch.
Gina: That’s why you do Twitter, I don’t understand.
Leo: I have a three monitor setup at home. I’m going to have Tweet Deck fill up a whole monitor.
Gina: Tweet Deck is pretty crazy.
Jeff: It took me a long time to get used to the column. The problem is that I would scroll down and the columns will move. The other thing is, it’s supposed to if you just scroll one up a little bit on Tweet Deck, it’ll stop the moment. But it doesn’t do that. So I’m reading a column and suddenly… those tweets and I really hate that. That should be so easy to just stop.
Gina: I have clicked on the wrong link because the tweet ran down and the time it took me to click. The activity column particularly on mine moves really really fast. It shows all your friends’ favorite bits and everything that’s happening. And it’s kind of always kind of flying by. I still love Z-tech though.
Jeff: I’m waiting for the moment. He says you’re flying, you’re talking to the whole world. And you’re
complaining about this?
Leo: I would say that the Mac versions or wrappers around, essentially web in her face. And that’s probably why they lost sight.
Gina: For a while, they were Adobe Air, and I think they stopped doing that. I’m not sure what they are. I think they went native, then I think they said they were going to work on the Chrome app.
Leo: This was the product your friend Bill Gross was poised to buy along with Echo Fund. He was going to buy up all the Twitter clients and create a Twitter competitor. And Twitter swooped in and offered them an obscene amount of money.
Jeff: Not even a Twitter competitor, but a Twitter ad network, just a serving mechanism for Twitter. But they swooped in.
Leo: Twitter didn’t let it happen.
Jeff: Yea, they swooped in alright.
Leo: What did they pay for it, do you remember?
Jeff: I don’t remember.
Leo: More than Bill was offering. More than what it was worth.
Jeff: I don’t think it was just a question of that. I think it was also that, we won’t be nice to you.
Leo: Right. Yea, if you want to continue in life, you must exceed our demands. Anything else? Let me see before we get to our tip and number and tool of the week. Obama did a Tumblr Q and A. The new AMA is a Tumblr Q and Q.
Jeff: They fist-bumped.
Gina: Look at David chilling with the President.
Leo: He’s what, 12? How old is David?
Jeff: I know, it’s amazing.
Leo: He actually looks younger in this than he is. Can I get this full screen? No, Yahoo doesn’t apparently do full screen. This is a news story. David Carp is the founder of… look at him. This is so small! Why is it so small? Let me make it a little bit bigger. He’s like I’m in the model UN and I would like to interview the President.
Gina: Is he not wearing a tie for the President?
Leo: Not wearing a tie. Give him a break, he put on a jacket. He might have combed his hair, maybe. Looks like he might have shaved yesterday. Holy cow.
Gina: You know, just another day. Whatever.
Leo: I think truthfully, at this point Obama doesn’t have a whole lot of respect built up in the piggy bank.
Jeff: In the tech community.
Leo: In anybody. I think the NSA has kind of soured that. I feel like I don’t even… is he President still? Is he still…
Jeff: I’m waiting for Hillary man, waiting for Hillary.
Leo: So is every other democrat.
Jeff: So, on the list will you get in trouble and get pulled down if you play any Celine Dion?
Leo: We won’t get in trouble with the copyright police,
but I think our audience might disappear. Where is this one?
Jeff: You’re right next to it now. Stuck in Vegas airport, Canadian man lip-sings… he’s alone all night in the Vegas airport and he makes a video of a…
Leo: Of a lip-singed video because he has nothing else to do.
Chad: It’s brilliant.
Leo: Let’s watch. Put it on Vimeo.
Jeff: Pick out a few seconds.
Leo: I don’t think I can get in trouble for playing Vimeo clips. No I’m just joking. What do you do when you get stuck at the Las Vegas airport overnight? Shoot a music video on your iPhone. Apple should pay this guy.
Chad: You should probably skip in to halfway.
Leo: Takes a while to get started? It’s a five-minute song. Oh it’s an Eric Carmen tune called all by myself.
Jeff: So he used the movie sidewalks to do pan shots.
Leo: How is he doing the zoom?
Leo: He does look alone there. He’s using the Delta counter. It is 4 in the morning and there is no one there. Oh my God.
Gina: Alright, I’ll give it to this guy.
Jeff: Richard Gingris on Google Plus pointed me to it and has said this guy is his hero.
Leo: What do you think the thought process was?
Jeff: He got bought out, he got bumped off voluntarily two flights. It was a 6 am flight, no time to go to the hotel. He said how am I going to get in trouble? So he does this.
Leo: Now do you think he had playback? Oh, he’s… oh my God. Women, women.
Gina: In front of the women’s room. Alright, that was a good one. That was worth it.
Jeff: That was kind of great. I like that one. Here’s another one that might be… go ahead, I was changing, go ahead.
Gina: I was going to ask, totally random, I saw on your Think Up that TWiT’s going to be on the newsroom. Is that a confirmed thing? Was I not supposed to bring that up?
Leo: Did you read the tweet where it said private?
Gina: Confidential on a public tweet? I don’t understand!
Leo: I agree. I said okay, but it did say confidential in the tweet so I’m not sure if I’m supposed to mention it.
Gina: I’m doing it for you.
Leo: But I got to tell you… when I saw this in the Silicon Valley, and not only did Kara Swisher get a massive cameo, so did Mike Errington. I’m a little hurt. So apparently the same… and all we got in Silicon Valley was a tab. We got a favicon. But the same people apparently that do that, do the onset playback on the computer, they apparently, I cannot say any more than this, they apparently are going to try, not guaranteed, get us into the newsroom. Not me, nothing like that, but you’ll see.
Gina: I’m excited. I’m excited for you.
Leo: I now love the newsroom.
Gina: You now love the newsroom.
Jeff: I was once on Murphy Brown, mentioned on Murphy Brown. The network vice President… because I had smashed an episode. So the network vice President on Murphy Brown, said Jeff Jarvis is a bottomless pit of hate.
Jeff: A proud moment in my career.
Leo: It is, because that means enough people know who Jeff Jarvis is…
Jeff: Or was.
Leo: Have you asked? That could explain the pink texture. No, that’s really good that people… it means you’re popular, your pop culture.
Jeff: But it was also just their way to just…
Leo: Did you not like Murphy Brown?
Jeff: I loved it but then like Cosby it got bad after awhile and I said so.
Leo: All shows do, they go on too long including this one. So that’s why we’re going to wrap it up.
Gina: Sorry sorry! Lots of detours today.
Jeff: Well I do want to mention, because we come out to the bay area twice in the next month. And I’m not going over the Bay Bridge. The sacrament will be a major investigative piece of everything wrong with that bridge.
Leo: The new one or the old one?
Jeff: The new one. The welds are all bad.
Leo: They’re saying the new one is a completely new structure. By the way the Sacramento Bee is very with it. Their design, that is the modern design. Look at that.
Jeff: For the next ten minutes.
Leo: This looks just like medium. Wow, I can’t believe the Caltran’s Choice of an inexperienced company… it was a very expensive bridge. I think it cost billions to, many billions to build. It cost as much as what app to build this.
Jeff: I just want to say, I’m not nuts to dislike bridges, that’s all I want to say.
Leo: Actually I’m sorry. It only cost 6.5 billion to build the bridge, it cost a half o what’s app. A half of what’s app. Can you believe that an iPhone app cost more than twice an actual bridge? Admittedly we didn’t have the best builders. So well no you don’t have to go over the Bay Bridge to get here.
Gina: Okay I was going to say, how are we going to get to Guataluma.
Leo: The Golden Gate Bridge that was built 60+ years ago, is actually quite structurally sound.
Jeff: Yea, that’s what you say.
Leo: Are you afraid, so your fear is that the bridge will fall?
Jeff: It’s San Francisco folks!
Leo: Or is your fear you will go over the edge?
Jeff: Either one. It’s a cliff effect thing.
Gina: It all counts.
Leo: It will start shaking, the car will start vibrating.
Jeff: Gina’s driving that part, I think.
Leo: So you’re going to be here when? When are you going to be here?
Jeff: For IO.
Gina: We’re going to come up after the keynote that Wednesday.
Leo: That’s right. That’s in two weeks.
Jeff: Anybody else coming up with us?
Gina: We’ll gather up whoever we can.
Leo: Just get them all, drive them up. We’ll get a big car, we’ll get a stretch limo if you want. That’s how Annie Anaco and Rena Ritchie came up after WWDC. We thought there were going to be a lot of them, it was just the two of them in a stretch.
Jeff: I can rent a car too.
Chad: We’re going to send you a gigantic butterfly net and we’ll see how many you can gather.
Leo: We’ll get a stretch Hummer, you can just load up.
Gina: It’s like get Kevin Marks, Scoble…
Leo: Kevin Marks, everybody. Actually we’re trying to figure out who will do our live coverage. I’m going to be here anchoring the live coverage as we watch the keynote. And everybody we think of is going to be in the keynote. So we’re going to have to get somebody who’s not famous or something. Are you worried about flying, Jeff? You’re actually in the air three miles high and that doesn’t bother you.
Jeff: No. If I think about it too much it would.
Leo: Okay, don’t think about it.
Jeff: We’re in the air!
Leo: It is time ladies and gentlemen for Gina’s tip of the week.
Gina: This is a little bit of a geeky one but I liked it. There’s a new Chrome app extensions developer tool that you can install and you can kind of watch what your apps and extensions in Chrome do. History basically of their behavior. When they access your browser cookies, when they search through your open tabs or modify a site.
Leo: That’s great.
Gina: Kind of neat. I’m not saying this isn’t necessarily a paranoia thing. This is just interesting in technology, how do these things work type of thing. This is a free Chrome extension itself. I has a long name. It’s the Chrome Apps and Extensions Developer Tool, and it’s by Google. It’s free to install in Chrome if you want to see the stuff you installed. In fact, Adam Pash, my former co-editor at Life Hacker just released a really cool bike sharing Chrome extension and I installed that and then I got to install this developer tool and got to see oh look, he’s going to city bike and seeing how many bikes are in the open docks nearby. So this developer tool lets you see that and gets you a view into what your extensions and apps are actually doing.
Leo: So it says I just installed it and it’s been added to the Chrome app launcher. So now where is that?
Gina: It goes into your dock. Are you on a Mac there? It’s in your dock now. Which I didn’t like that.
Leo: Let me find my dock here. There’s my dock. Oh there it is. That’s weird.
Gina: Yea, it’s weird.
Leo: That’s weird.
Gina: I went directly to options, remove.
Leo: Can you just drag it out of here? Yea, you can. But now I can’t close it.
Leo: Now I have it permanently installed! Did it used
to be in the menu bar?
Gina: It’s actually in your bookmarks bar and you can show or hide it.
Leo: That’s where it should be.
Gina: Yea, that seems reasonable. I didn’t like that Chrome was showing up on my desktop.
Leo: Apparently I did it the wrong way.
Gina: Is that launcher still open?
Leo: No it’s gone now. Hangouts is doing that too now. When you click Hangouts, it’s like an app. I don’t know if I really approve of this.
Gina: Yea, Chrome is becoming more of a desktop app.
Leo: It’s taking it over. Alright, the Chrome Apps and Extension Developer Tool. If you can say it, you can use it.
Gina: If you can say it you can download it.
Leo: Jeff Jarvis has some numbers for us.
Jeff: Henry Belotch says that a source of his says Uber’s brotherin has a lot of talk about it. Uber’s latest investment is really worth 17 billion, is it really worth 20 billion? Well the gross revenue of which they get 20% is supposedly running at 10 billion dollars.
Jeff: But the number I wanted to go to was the number of the heart, zero. That’s where according to business insider, an analyst says RadioShack stock will be buried soon. They had really bad results. Where am I going to go buy my resistors and capacitors and RCA plugs?
Leo: Online, and that’s the problem. But what about the battery club?
Jeff: I know.
Leo: You know the last time I was in a RadioShack, there no customers and four or five clerks but they were all on the phones so nobody helped me.
Jeff: I know, it’s really a bad experience.
Leo: So I just helped myself and walked out the door. I slapped a $20 on the counter just so they’d be happy. Wow, that would be sad. I think RadioShack is the last basket of electronics stores in many cities of the country. We tried to talk them into doing an ad campaign.
Jeff: Because it is the place where you can get geeky stuff still.
Leo: We could have saved them. Maybe it’s not too late, RadioShack. Call me. It may not be too late. Save your stock price from going to a zero. I have an app, somebody told me about this before this show. You’re going to love this, Gina. You know how you can have this new swift key app that just came out. It’s free. Everybody should get swift key. New features with it. I guess they’re going to in-app purchase, so they have all these themes. I love swift key, it’s my keyboard choice on Android. But there’s some times when you need to communicate in a different fashion. And that’s what the Hodor keyboard is for.
Leo: All it says is Hodor.
Gina: So I was just telling my coworkers about the time I was standing in line at Comicon, waiting to get into the Game of Thrones session, and the guy who plays Hodor comes out and is shaking hands with the fans. And everybody is chanting Hodor, and he is saying Hodor back. It was amazing. And I love this keyboard.
Leo: You’re going to love the reviews. 4.9 out of 5 stars. Erin Casting said Hodor, Hodor Hodor! Now, if by the way you are baffled by what we’re talking about, I am sorry. Look at all the reviews. Hodor Hodor Hodor! You should have this in the app arena next week.
Gina: I know! I’m regretting not putting this in the app arena.
Leo: You would have won!
Gina: I like that it’s long-press for maximum Hodor.
Leo: Look at the reviews, Chad. I’ve got the reviews up on my screen. They’re so good. Hodor Hodor Hodor! You couldn’t write a bad review if you wanted to with the new Hodor keyboard. The sad thing is it’s 99 cents.
Jeff: My favorite thing is if your password is Hodor, it’s the fastest way to get your password in.
Gina: That’s true.
Leo: All my passwords are Hodor. Ladies and gentlemen, we have come to the end of this wonderful edition of This Week in Google. I think by now you’re getting the idea that you never know what’s going to happen next.
Jeff: Yea, neither do we.
Leo: Even though we rehearse as much as possible, you never know. That’s Jeff Jarvis. He is the professor of journalism at the City University in New York, founder of Entertainment Weekly, also the author of Public Parts, a fine book and the Gutenberg, the Geek Book, an Amazon Kindle single. Amazon hasn’t delayed deliveries of your Kindle single has it?
Jeff: I doubt it.
Leo: You’re in good standing with them.
Jeff: With my three readers. It’s also on Audible.
Leo: Yes, Jeff reads it. Gina Trepani, she writes Think Up. That’s where you’re going to see these amazing insights about your social media, who follows you. Actually I really like my Think Up because I learn a lot. My retweets outnumbered replies by 48, favorites by 14. My biggest admirers… my status updates from last week got the best responses between 10am and 11am. So that’s when I should tweet from now on.
Gina: You get good Think Up, Leo.
Leo: I love my Think Up. It’s getting better all the time. On this day in 2011, my most popular tweet, I had 13 tweets last week, that’s 7 fewer. So I have to get going. How many tweets do you have each week, Gina?
Gina: Let’s see what my latest is. Your data is fantastic. We’ve actually found a few good bugs thanks to your data.
Leo: That’s like two tweets a day. How often do you
Gina: Let’s see. About 18 a week.
Leo: Okay, I thought I was little bit of a slacker but maybe not. Jeff probably tweets like 50 or 60 a week.
Jeff: I’ve got a great one. Gina’s own application made her a humble brag. Go to jeffjarvis.thinkup.com and go to the third box down.
Leo: So I can read your Think Up?
Gina: Yea, jeffjarvis.thinkup.com.
Jeff: Yea, sure. So the third box down.
Leo: Somebody with twice as many followers than Jeff retweeted this tweet.
Jeff: That somebody happens to be… Gina Trepani!
Leo: Now if I retweet that tweet, maybe I can even improve it more. Let me retweet that tweet. See what I can do for you.
Gina: Think Up has the Twitter problem where it’s a little hard to explain what it does. We launched a new home page this week.
Leo: Oh how is that going?
Gina: Just at thinkup.com, which I hope it does it better.
Leo: There’s buried treasure in your social network. Think Up uncovers fun and fascinating insights about your Twitter and Facebook activity. I like it. A big Join Now button, get started, see a live demo. Choose your plan. This What is Think Up? I like this. Very nicely done.
Gina: Homepages are hard.
Leo: Believe me, I know.
Gina: You know, Leo. Jeff had 109 tweets this week. Jeff’s prolific. He’s good. He participates in the network.
Leo: OMG, Chad got added to 121 lists.
Chad: Does TWiT seem like a good description of Chad?
Gina: Yes it does.
Leo: Matthew Ingram can thank Jeff Jarvis for twice as many people seeing his tweet. See, we love Matthew. One fat frog followed me, selling new and used restaurant equipment in Orlando.
Gina: Oh, did Think Up tell you that?
Gina: That’s awesome. Like I said, your data’s really good if you’re surfacing bugs.
Leo: You never know what you’re going to find. Leo LaPorte is getting personal. See this is better than the old pros.
Gina: All about you.
Leo: I’m getting personal. 42% have I, me, mine, or myself. My most popular status update of the week had 158 comments and 1,005 likes. Wow.
Leo: That’s pretty dang good.
Gina: Good stuff.
Leo: Thinkup.com, join today! Thank you Gina.
Gina: Thank you, Leo.
Leo: Thank you, Jeff. Gina also is all about Android every Tuesday afternoon, 5pm Pacific, 8pm Eastern time. Highly watchable.
Gina: Lot of fun. Great show.
Leo: In fact we took that Android app arena and we made it its own. Still all about Android, but Jason’s doing his own show with that.
Gina: Great call on that.
Leo: It’s my favorite part, I love it.
Gina: Jason’s going to kill it. I can’t wait to watch that myself.
Leo :He was working hard last night. He was up late doing
it. We do this show every Wednesday, right after Windows Weekly, about 1pm
Pacific, 4pm Eastern. That’s 2000-UTC on twit.tv. If you can watch live I love
it. It’s great to see the chat room and the interaction and all. It’s
wonderful. We didn’t mention by the way that Zygote points this out in chat, Sunday will be the third anniversary of the ChromeBook.
Gina: Wow, time flies.
Leo: Jeff, you have to pack your pixel.
Jeff: I love my pixels.
Leo: Both pixels. He has two of them now.
Jeff: No, I have more than that. I have an old Samsung.
Chad: He’s got ChromeBook’s off the go.
Jeff: ChromeBook’d up.
Leo: Yea. That was the first one, that’s three years old now. I’ve actually completely come around on ChromeBooks. I recommend them on the radio show all the time to people that need something simple.
Jeff: One of the stories, Woolworth’s, the Australian food chain just went off Windows and onto ChromeBooks and just ordered 8,000 machines. One school district ordered 36,000.
Leo: Well we were great on the ChromeBook, as well as anywhere else. All you have to do is go to twit.tv/twig. You can get every episode, you can subscribe too, if you have a pod catcher. Or use our apps, they’re on every platform, including Android. There are several good apps on Android. All done by third-parties that deserve your praise and dollars. Thanks for joining us. We’ll see you next time on This Week in Google!