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This Week in Google 260
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Leo Laporte: This is TWiG - This Week in Google, episode 260, recorded July 30, 2014
Living La Vida Cloudy
It’s time for TWiG - This Week in Google, the show that covers Google, the cloud, the Twitter, the Facebook, whatever our esteemed panelists want to talk about. That's because they're so esteemed. He's just steamed, that's Jeff Jarvis, the king of the rant, from the City University of New York.
Jeff Jarvis: Cooling down my bursitis.
Leo: Oh, ow. What is bursitis? Is that a painful butt?
Gina Trapani: Awww.
Jeff: Well, actually that's where it is, yes. It’s inflammation of the bursa.
Leo: Ooh. Okay.
Jeff: Don't be sixty, people. Don't do it.
Leo: It’s all downhill now, Jeff.
Gina: I thought it was an inflamed bro.
Leo: Anyway, I'm sorry. Jeff has had a no good, terrible, very bad day. A flat tire, a broken mech, a lightbulb just blew out. You should just get under the covers.
Jeff: Yesterday I had a three o'clock appointment and a four o'clock appointment and I transposed them in my other calendar, so I told them both to change, realizing I was wrong for each to try to get back ahold of them to make sure it was back where it was... I'm telling you, it’s not working.
Leo: Let’s just take it easy today. It’s going to be a nice day. Relaxing, fun day, gathering with the friends. Jeff is a blogger at Buzzmachine.com, author of Public Parts, What Would Google Do, and many other wonderful things. Gina Trapani's here, founding editor of LifeHacker, host of All About Android. She's the creator of ThinkUp, a fabulous analytics platform for your social media. Thinkup.com.
Gina: Yes, hello.
Gina: Happy to be here. I like kinda chill days.
Leo: We're going to chill today.
Gina: We can talk about Jeff's computer decision.
Jeff: Let's talk about my computer decision, yeah.
Leo: Wait a minute. What computer decision?
Jeff: Well, my Mac is borked.
Leo: So you're gonna... You need... Well, you know it’s perfect because Apple just came out with new Mac Pros. Do you want a desktop, a laptop, what do you want?
Jeff: Well, you're going to make fun, but this is the advancement of the world, you're living in the past. I'm debating getting anything.
Leo: You don't need a computer, hell no. Get a chrome...
Jeff: The idea that you have to have a computer upon which you download things and store things, was an idea for a while. But the structure of phones, where you have local apps but basically all your data is up somewhere else, that's the way it operates and the apps can operate anywhere, the way Chrome operates. It’s the same architecture. I'm thinking the only reason I got your - what's your box, your thing - what's the printer box that you advertised once?
Leo: Oh yeah, the Xprintserver, yeah, so you can print to Google.
Jeff: Two reasons to exist, one was the print server. I then messed up the, I can't get the printer back into the Google print because I deleted it and I don't have a working computer to put it in there, so aaaaahhhh, but I'll figure this out. And the only other reason, the only other reason for the last year that I've used that machine, was for you.
Leo: Oh wow. Well, don't get a new one.
Jeff: I was thinking maybe to go get a mini.
Leo: The only reason I have a desktop computer is so I can have big screen real estate. That's the only reason, and I have at home on my desk, a thirty one inch monitor, and two twenty seven inch monitors. That, you need a computer to do that. It could be a laptop, I guess, but I have a Macbook.
Jeff: You can do a laptop. I've plugged this...
Leo: But you're not saying, when you say computer, you mean laptop or desktop, right?
Jeff: Yeah, yeah.
Leo: You're just thinking I don't need to get anything to replace it.
Gina: You're getting rid of all local storage, basically is what you're saying. You don't need local storage, like a physical hard drive, right, Jeff?
Jeff: Right. So this is the show about the cloud. I think I'm about to become...
Leo: Well, the cloud needs an endpoint in your home. You can't just... You can't... You do have to have something at home that attaches to the cloud.
Jeff: My Chromebook.
Leo: The cloud doesn't just flow into your mind. So, Chromebook... I think Chromebooks... you have several pixels, thats enough, yeah. Why would you need anything more? You don't edit video. You're not a photographer. You don't play games. If you were a photographer you would not want a Chromebook.
Gina: This is the thing, this is the use case, I think for regular folks or for someone like Jeff who primarily is a writer, right? But like the photo thing is where I kind of stop. And I know that you can pull out all your photos to Google+ photos, and I do that. I have my auto-backup on my phone now, but I have gigabytes and gigabytes of photos that I took pre Google+, that I don't really want to upload to the cloud, because I know to get them out, it would be a multi gigabyte download and why wouldn't I just have the hard drive, myself. But I get the argument for not maintaining your own, you know. I've got stack of external drives at home, my archives of stuff, you know, before the cloud ever happened. I don't know though, it just makes me nervous, like uploading every single thing... Go ahead.
Jeff: I have never been organized, so I don't have any of that.
Leo: But to be fair, you have a use case that doesn't need a desktop computer. You don't have video, you're not a serious photographer, that's shooting camera raw.
Jeff: Serious photographer with a bunch of volume, but the photo...
Leo: It’s not purely for storage, it’s because of raw processing photo, you need Lightroom. You cannot do that on a Chromebook, period. So there's certain things that you need to have a computer for, but you don't do any of those things.
Jeff: I don't design.
Leo: And you're not alone, by the way. Most people don't.
Jeff: So I'm thinking...
Leo: The kind of photography most people do with their smartphone, it automatically uploads to Google+. Google+ gives you all sorts of great features that for a normal person is plenty, most of my photography is done on Google+. I don't use Lightroom for a lot of it. So that makes sense, I'm just trying to think of if there's anything that you might want to do.
Jeff: I can now do Microsoft word documents for those luddites who still use it. And Chrome is not the greatest, but...
Leo: I don't think you need a computer. When you sat down at your Mac, what would you do? You'd use Skype, that's it. Nothing.
Jeff: It sit’s off in the corner or over here, off camera, and the poor corpse and...
Leo: Get rid of it. Save some desk space.
Jeff: I got my pixel, which as you know, I adore. I'm thinking for trips, because they're so interchangeable, you know, I might get the HP with - one of the new ones that has eight or ten hours of battery.
Leo: I think that's a great idea. I would like to get that Dell, but I think they've taken that off the market. For some reason. So we got the, for Michael, we got the Acer CZ 20. It’s two hundred bucks, it’s little, it’s light. If you lose it, no big deal. And that's the best part about the cloud. You log into Jeff Jarvis@gmail.com and now everything's there.
Jeff: I'm the same as I am anywhere.
Jeff: And so, yeah, the only thing about the Pixel is it’s between five and six hours of battery, which, when I'm around town is absolutely fine. No problem, I can go to the office and plug it in, I come here and plug it in...
Leo: You don't game, you don't do photography, you don't do video. There are a lot of uses for a computer but none of them... You do not... I think you're a good candidate, actually, to live in the cloud.
Gina: The whole idea scares the crap out of me, but I think it’s great for you.
Leo: But you're a programmer, Gina. You're not going to program in the cloud.
Gina: That's the thing, I can't do it because that's right. The software I spend most of my day in, is a tech starter with a bunch of plug ins, yeah.
Leo: I guess you could do that. I've seen...
Jeff: That could change too.
Gina: There are some web based editors, it’s true.
Jeff: You're trying to argue.
Leo: I think you want to run your debugger locally, on a local CPU...
Gina: Yes, I do.
Leo: I would feel... Look, programming is hard enough. Here's my issue with Cloud, is if it makes anything at all harder then I don't want to do it. It’s the same problem I have with using the iPad as my main computer, yeah. You could do it, or your phone. You could do it, but it’s just a little harder. Why would you make it a little harder.
Gina: Yeah, right.
Jeff: What I'm trying to say is directionally, where this goes. That you wouldn't have ever stored all your documents on this somewhere else, but it’s been offered for a long time. Apple offered it ages ago, and it was awful and you didn't do it. But it’s fine, it’s now reached its usable critical mass.
Leo: You bet. It’s reliable enough, it doesn't go down much. Furthermore, because we've gotten used to this idea because we have multiple computers at work and home, maybe several at work and several at home, what you want is the same data set up on everything. And the cloud is the only way to solve that, so we...
Jeff: And as disorganized as I am, to be able to synch... Before, I was awful at it. Terrible.
Gina: You probably have reams of documents that you've produced over the years, Jeff. What do you do with those? Have you just uploaded all of those to drive, at this point? Do you use Dropbox or...?
Jeff: I have boxes of clips in the basement, which my wife hates from years and years and years and years ago. But no, you know. Once my book is done, I don't care what the file is.
Leo: Can you, here's the question, I don't know the answer to. Could you take a large USB drive, plug it into your Chromebook and download your entire google drive onto it? Is local storage, can you do that, Gina, do you know?
Jeff: Yeah, you can do that.
Leo: You can? So why don't you do that?
Gina: And you can work offline, right, there's offline support.
Jeff: YOu can do that without USB.
Leo: But to save your stuff locally, which I think is a good idea. Google's not going out of business, but why rely on some third party corporation to store your stuff. You should have a local drive. Or if you can do that, then that's fine.
Jeff: I could sync it to Dropbox.
Gina: Drop box, yeah.
Leo: And by the way, you know, we're doing this in entertainment as well. Do you buy discs any more, do you rent disks anymore? very much now, we stream everything. It’s all in the cloud. You know, I don't want to buy or rent movies. I just get them on demand. I mean, I do rent them, but I guess I don't want the disk. Aren't we all moving in that direction? Because physical media is gone.
Gina: Or even just downloading the giant file. Legitimately you're not. I got tired of that, I don't want to have to download two gigabytes. I don't want to have to wait that long. I'll spend the fifteen bucks on Google Play or wherever I need to buy, just get it right now and not have to worry about it.
Leo: Same thing with music, we used to have record collections. And every time you moved, the biggest pain in the ass, you box up these records, you move them. All of them, you have them all, you don't even have to buy them now, any time you want you listen to google music, and it’s all, twenty million songs. Your entire collection is there.
Jeff: Right. That entire bookshelf behind me. Now on the other hand, I went in to... Sometimes my favorite is to go into the New York Times Time Machine and go to old clips. I found a great one this week. I wrote about it on Medium. What happened to newspaper illustrators when photography came? And it was right in the moment of disruption. When Lincoln died the illustrators rushed on train from New York to Washington to look at everything and sketch and draw and draw their finals on the train on the way back to get them in. When Mckinley died, photographers existed and they didn't have to exist. One daily newspaper had eighty five people in the art department, many of them eliminated. Whereas the picture of what we have today, it was this wonderful piece. In this process I found another book about fire and electricity and, what was the third thing? But 1901 book about oh my god technology. And it’s just so... Mirrors the thoughts we have today. I love it, so I bought that good old book, and I like them. But the truth is, I can also, because it’s so old, I don't need it as a book.
Leo: I kind of like having it as a book though.
Jeff: But you're holding on to your computer, the same way you're holding on to books.
Leo: I agree, I think you're right. I think you're absolutely right.
Gina: I am sort of clinging to it, just because I'm like, I need local... I need my hard drives, they make me feel better, but yeah. You're right, realistically I don't use them during the day.
Leo: It feels like what Jeff's doing is a little risky.
Gina: It does, it feels like he's leaping off a cliff. I'm trying to imagine just having a chromebook. It would freak me out.
Jeff: That's what I wanted to raise it today, yeah. to see what you thought, but I'm not seeing a reason to go out and spend six hundred dollars, at minimum I can buy... I'm not going to buy a windows machine, sorry Paul. Not doing it.
Leo: You'd be nuts to buy a windows machine. You'd be insane.
Jeff: So the minimum purchase would be $600 for...
Leo: Don't do it. You could even hook up a big screen, if you want a big screen monitor and a typewriter keyboard, you could hook it up to your chromebook or get a chromebook mini. Chromebox.
Jeff: But my keyboard is great, and I don't need a mini... I mean, I can hook this up, it’s hooked up right now to my monitor.
Leo: And the truth is, honestly, in the chat room they're saying it’s very risky. In fact it's less risky, because you're trusting the cloud provider to keep your data safe, and I think that it’s mature enough now that thats a reasonable thing to do. The only issue is privacy. The only issue is if you had stuff, nude pictures... Of yourself... That you didn't want to trust in the cloud because the NSA would pass them around ,because you're such a stud. Then you would want to keep those in some local fashion that is not connected to the cloud.
Jeff: No, you want to encrypt them.
Leo: Or you can encrypt them. Wait a minute, how are you encrypting them. You can't. You can't encrypt them, not reliably. Because you no longer have your computer. The only way to do that reliably is to do that locally in a local CPU.
Jeff: Or I could email them to myself.
Leo: What do you do in Chromebook for encryption? Is there a plug in?
Gina: I don't know. Is there true...
Jeff: Email, yeah? You mean email? Or do you mean...
Jeff: Well, the other thing...
Leo: It’s not exactly, 'Trust no one' in that case.
Jeff: Back to the risk piece. I accidentally screwed up. Pardon me, I'm writing this long boring thing now, and I screwed up and erased five paragraphs I'd just written. And by god, Google Versioning was there from last night, it was fine. Boom, one button. And I was done and I was happy. So I never versioned my stuff that way, and trying to get through Microsoft Word versioning was torture. It never stored the version you wanted, it was awful.
Gina: Yeah the Docs stuff is really great, it’s really great. In fact, today my co-workers pointed out, and I actually think I missed this in the changelogs. I think this was the week I was on vacation, but you can do suggested edit’s. You can either get somebody edit rites or you can give them the right to comment, which actually turn into suggested edit’s, so they can inject. Yeah, it’s great, it’s fantastic. It’s like, yeah this is the way this is supposed to work. They really have. The versioning is awesome, and you all get that for free. You never have to actually physically save your file. I mean it’s great, it’s great modern software. So Jeff, what happens when your publisher sends you some crazy word template that you have to use for your book, which is what Wiley did to me. They sent me this like, crazy word document with all these different templates and formatting and roundabout thingers, and I had to... I don't even remember what I had to do, but I had to hunt down the right software to open it. I guess an author of your caliber, would say screw you, I'm going to use the template I want.
Jeff: Yeah I think so. It’s just words. The thing that I'm writing now is probably about 50,000 word white paper on now that you're freaking internet has ruined everything, Jarvis, what now? And it’s all my thoughts on new relationships, new forums, and new models. And I put the relationship off on new medium already. So there's now a Google add on, I can't remember... Librio or something like that that will turn your Google docs into any book, mostly in format. So I'd use that.
Leo: Chat room says I should just buy you a computer and send it to you.
Jeff: But we're trying to be pure here.
Leo: I don't think you should. I don't think what you're doing is risky in the least, in fact, let’s face it. It’s much less risky. How many people have lost data on their home computer. Many. Many.
Jeff: Yeah. IOerror, IOerror, IOerror. That would have been enough to put me into cardiac arrest a year ago. Now I just said, Oh crap.
Leo: A Band That Must Be Me says what if Google locks your account? What are you going to do?
Gina: That's the big risk, that's the big risk. That your account gets locked out.
Leo: It would be a good idea to have a backup of some kind.
Jeff: I need to know how to sync to dropbox. I haven't... I'm sure it’s...
Leo: That's why I asked you, and this would be the best way to do it if you can. Plug in a hard drive to a chromebook and say, "Google, give me all my data and put it on the hard drive."
Jeff: That would be even better, but then I didn't do it for a week which is what the case always was. I never backed up. The thing with Drive is it does it automatically.
Leo: So that's interesting."
Gina: Did you do an IFTTT? Yeah, like, if there's a new document in drive, then say get the dropbox.
Jeff: The problem is there, Gina, there's a new document to drive every three characters.
Jeff: So what you'd probably want to do is do it daily. Do an IFTTT.
Leo: That's fast enough...
Gina: It’s pretty good. I mean you know, in this case you saved it last night and you deleted. I mean, that would still have the... It’s drop box can save revisions?
Leo: Chat room. I need your help. We want some way to sync all of your Google data in real time, constantly in the background to some other servers. It could be Amazon, it could be Drop Box. Backupify used to kind of do this.
Jeff: Backupify did. Are they still alive?
Leo: They have been much constrained. I know that they sent me a note saying, "We're not going to be doing..." I think they've gone enterprise. But I wonder... Backupify for Google Apps. They do...
Jeff: The Apple time machine for the home...
Leo: What you want is a time machine for Google.
Jeff: You want a virtual time machine, a cloud time machine.
Leo: This will do it every day, set it and forget it with Backupify automatic. It’s only three times a day, I think that's sufficient. Google Mail, chat, drive, calendar, contact, and sites. It uses 256 encryption, up time. You actually answered our question, Jeff. Backupify.
Gina: Wow, everybody should do this, regardless of their Chrome OS only. Hmm.
Leo: But this is for apps. This is not for the public. You have to have the paid... And thats what happened, they went enterprise. They used to do it, just... They do it for sales, for social media, and for Google Apps. That is a great idea.
Jeff: That is, that is great.
Gina: It backs up to Backupify.
Leo: It needs to be consumer solution for this.
Jeff: And that way you're just... It’s not a lack of faith in Google, it just answers that question. It’s that security blanket.
Leo: Google real time API. This is from BB16 in our chatroom. There's an API, so you could, somebody could easily write using the API. You'd have to give them your credentials. Gina. Why don't we do this, you and I. We'll do this. We'll write this. I'm a little python, you're a little rock and roll. It'll be great.
Gina: Just give me username and password to factor off credentials and we're good to go.
Leo: You'd need to give it access, obviously. Alright, here's another one from CloudHQ. This is great, chat room you're great for this kind of stuff. CloudHQ.net, how to synchronize google drive and dropbox. So this is a product, I guess, I gather, that will do this. Huh. It will back it up to a variety of services.
Jeff: Because the idea is it just does it for you, so you never think. It’s just like the essay I wrote about the death of control less. I'm not saving that way anymore.
Leo: Yeah, right. Who needs that?
Jeff: So you want a backup that you don't ever have to think about it, it’s just there. And the idea is that you're paying for it for pure security, you may never look at it for five years, you know.
Leo: So cloudHQ does this between a variety of things. Evernote, everybody, pretty much. This is really interesting. Google Drive, GMail, DropBox, Evernote, One Drive, One drive Pro, Sharepoint... Which means you could... WebDev would be great, because then you could go to somebody and say I want to set up a WebDav server on Softlayer, and then you'd own it and it would be your private thing and it would automatically bank. Sugarsync, which is a backup solution... Sugarsync might have a... Let me see if SugarSync has a Google Drive solution. So this is the only safety net that I think I would say that if you had this, I would have no problem Jeff.
Jeff: Right. Right.
Leo: none at all.
Jeff: And my presumption is that more and more, we're going to go to Gig connectivity. And we're going to go to absolutely costless storage and processing, within Cloud.
Leo: That's pretty obvious that thats going to happen.
Jeff: So then, your arguments about photo, why?
Leo: No no no, there are certain things you need. A lot of local storage and a lot of local CPU and among those are high, professional photo editing of raw files. Video, no... I'm sorry... You're never... And the reason is not the... Of course the cloud servers will have more power than your local CPU, it’s the transporting large amounts of data back and forth that's required by this kind of stuff.
Jeff: OK, but if it’s a Gig line?
Leo: yeah, OK, maybe. I mean maybe, down the road. It’s certainly not doable now. It doesn't make sense to do it now. It’s not easy to do it now.
Jeff: I'm not saying that. I'm just saying that...
Jeff: We go there. There's WeVideo, you can edit video through the cloud. And the difference in video is you actually get an advantage, because rendering locally on a slower processor is hell.
Leo: I agree one hundred per cent, it’s the transport of the data that's prohibitive.
Jeff: The difference here is you transport it once, and you render it every time on The Cloud. You may be better off, than having to render slowly locally.
Leo: I understand that argument, try it and you'll see why you don't want to do this.
Jeff: I know now, but again, I'm just saying...
Leo: And someday everything will be the size of a dot on your forehead and you won't have to even have a keyboard. But. For right now, I wouldn't recommend that. But the things that you do, which is writing, writing is very small amount of data. That's perfect.
Jeff: I used to work on a green screen with a mono cursor.
Leo: i'm going to talk to my buddy at Carbonite and ask him, why don't you do this... Because this would be a great product.
Jeff: It really would be such a consumer product.
Leo: And there are a few, because CloudHQ looks like it does it. Personal plan is a hundred bucks a year, they don't say how much data... But it will synchronize Google Drive...
Jeff: HQ is not storing this stuff, it’s just a transport.
Leo: It’s a synchronization, that's right.
Jeff: It’s a transport so the data is not that...
Leo: So you could say, have One Drive, the Microsoft solution or DropBox and synchronize them. That seems like a... I'm going to try doing this because increasingly everything I do is on the cloud. The other thing you're giving up, is you don't... I mean... Desktop word is, I think, you could argue better than the Google Word app, or...
Jeff: But I don't edit anymore. The only time I ever have to edit at all, I don't care. All in word, I don't use it at all. I write entirely in Drive now and I see advantages doing that. The versioning is automatic, the saving is automatic. The functionality is easier. I'm not doing fancy formatting, right, I'm writing text. In order for fancy formatting, I'd be doing it in Quark or whatchamacallit. Indesign.
Leo: But you can't do that without a desktop.
Jeff: But if I were doing... Print! Print! Right, where are we now? We're in design separate from content. Presentation is separate from content, that's what the web did. So what you really care about, is your underlying data. Your content. And then design is a layer on top of that.
Leo: As you said, there's a point where the phase change happens. Where you no longer use illustrators, suddenly you use photographers. And we haven't quite come to that... I think we might be at that point, maybe.
Jeff: We're at that point for me, and not for video. We're at that point for writing, for transactions, for communicating.
Leo: it’s happening very fast. I think a lot of... Every time I said, two years ago, oh forget physical media. You will no longer be buying DVDs or Blu Rays or... People still yell at me when I say that, but it’s true.
Jeff: It’s true.
Leo: For all but the most audio file or video file... People still like Blu Ray.
Jeff: I just want to know that I'm living.
Leo: La Vida Cloudy.
Gina: You are. I mean, Jeff, you've been kind of fixing to make this transition for a while. I think at this point, you know, it makes sense for you to just drop the default assumptions that you have to have a Mac. I would say, just don't' buy a Mac, and look worse comes to worst, you need something, you need a Mac, you go to an office store and buy a Mac, you know what I mean? See how long you go. I'd be interested to know how long until... Yeah...
Jeff: My Osborne 1, with 64K... In 1981, cost I think $3500.
Leo: Jeff, this is a momentous moment. You have bought your last...
Jeff: it is. I think so. Here's the question, Leo. Here's the question. What happens when you get pissy and you start cursing me coming in on Hangouts instead...
Leo: Well, we have to live with that. Hangouts is going to get better, I hope. It'll get better, I hope.
Gina: You're doing it for the show, Jeff. I completely... You've gone totally...
Leo: We're okay, with... I mean he's on Hangouts now, right?
Chad: The one issue we're having, on our end, is that I think we need to upgrade our processor here. Because hangouts for some reason does not do... Yeah... And you can see it and this is my assumption here. I'll bring this back up here. And this is what I assume is happening. Is that our processors are just getting Macs right now. It’s because Hangouts... I don't know what is going on there. But yeah.
Gina: oh wow. Yeah... They are pegs. Look at that.
Chad: You can see that. So... I mean, that's... That was a very quick, you know. It could be some other issue, but that was my quick diagnostic was that for some reason Hangouts is using tons of CPU usage.
Jeff: The other issue is that I...
Leo: it may actually use all it can get ,so maybe...
Chad: Well, if it’s doing that, the frame rate is really bad.
Leo: It’s still not great.
Chad: That's the next issue.
Jeff: The other problem I have, is that I paid for the fifty megs of Verizon's service.
Leo: Gina's is only about fifty per cent.
Jeff: Yeah, and they give me 25 so I've got to call them. It was our conversation last week, I have to take a breath and a day to go all... Say I'm paying you for this, I'm giving you, I want to...
Leo: Tomorrow is my day off, it’s Comcast day.
Gina: Oh, man. Comcast day...
Leo: Friday. Oh, Friday is my day off.
Chad: I used to do the same thing to upgrade mine.
Jeff: So I have fifty... When they give me what I pay for, I'll have fifty up, but fifty down.
Leo: Increasingly, my calendar, my to do list, my phonebook, this is all in the Cloud. I have to say, this an actual... Now I'm going to have one day for going to the DMV and one day for Comcast.
Chad: You want to go to the DMV together, because I need to go to the DMV too.
Leo: Yeah, let's go to the DMV together. It’s like saying, I've got to put aside a day for a root canal.
Chad: So we'll get breakfast, go to the DMV and then get dinner. OK. Great!
Leo: I decided with Comcast, I'm going to go to the store. I've decided that of all the options, phone, chat, store, I think the store is the best. I've always had the best service in the store. Because you're actually looking at them.
Jeff: The other problem I've had, Leo, is I've gone into the store, and...
Leo: I'm going to bring a box of chocolates.
Jeff: They aren't the best at the whole system sometimes, so they'll mess up something else in your account.
Leo: That can happen with anybody. My experience in the store is they're usually pretty, the most competent.
Jeff: They're nice, and you have to face them. And you're nice to them and you bring your box of chocolates, yeah.
Leo: I've had great results in the store, so I think that's what I'm going to do is, going to, "Hey, I just want to add turner classic movies, can you help me?" And then we'll see. Should I record it?
Gina: Wear your Google Glass!
Leo: Hey, you know what, that's called Defensive Google Glass. Where you don't use it, you just wear it. The threat that I might be recording this.
Gina: The observer effect. Using the observer effect on them.
Leo: You've got to think that Comcast, particularly right now, they're very defensive. So if you start any Comcast conversation with, "Do you mind if I record this?" You'll probably get better service.
Jeff: I saw Craig Newmark the other day at an event here in New York, you know. Wonderful, amazing, delightful Craig. He pulled out of his pocket, I hope I'm not telling this story out of turn... He watches TWiG. He pulled out of his pocket a Verizon executive's business card, and he said, I just saw this person this morning. They're aware of you!
Leo: Oh dear! Oh dear, that could be a mixed bag! Oh, dear!
Gina: That's awesome.
Jeff: And I have my next... They were kind of like, "Oh, is that that the Nexus Seven? Is that the one that's going to have to go to a museum?"
Gina: They're on the blacklist...
Leo: Normally we'd do news on this show. There's actually a good amount of Google news but none of it really got us excited. So what I'll just do is run down the headlines, and if either of you have anything to say, just throw it in. How about that? And then we still want to do the Changelog. Um... I think we've decided no more computers for Jeff. When did you buy your first personal computer, Jeff?
Jeff: My Osborne 1, in 1981.
Leo: So this is, you know what, it's been 33 years. I think it’s time to stop. Stop the madness.
Jeff: Now, Leo, when was the last time... I'll ask it this way first. When was the last time you did serious photo editing?
Leo: I do it every day. Not every day, but I do it frequently.
Jeff: You really do?
Leo: Yeah, the most recent one I put on Plus, Lisa got her... No, so, Lisa... I posted to plus. Lisa got her 49ers Season tickets, so I took photos with my five D, in camera raw, so these are forty, thirty or forty megabyte files. Imported it into LightRoom, processed it in Lightroom, uploaded it to Google and posted it.
Jeff: It’s a wonderful photo, Leo, but with all respect, would your phone have done that much of a different job with those kinds of photos?
Leo: See, Jeff, this is why you can live in the cloud, because you can't tell the difference.
Jeff: I'm saying if you're doing your Hawaii landscape...
Leo: no, I'm telling you, Jeff. You can't tell the difference, that's why you can live in the cloud. Believe me. My phone cannot do this.
Jeff: Alright. That's what I'm asking. Alright. Gina?
Gina: It’s interesting, like I'm of two minds. I think about this in the context of you know, what kind of computers is Etta going to use. How am I going to introduce my daughter to computers. She's one, and I realize that on one hand, I want to build a PC with her. I want her to understand how to snap the ram onto the motherboard and I want her to know what it’s like to buy a case and put a computer together, because I want her to understand what's going on underneath. On the other hand, most likely, first of all, she's already started to use my phone. So she's already been introduced to her computer. She picks up my phone and goes like this, it means, "I want you to start my app." Because she's got a little toddler lock app. On the other hand I think I'm going to get her phones and tablets and chromebooks, right because...
Leo: She is never going to have a PC.
Gina: I don't think she's ever going to have a PC.
Jeff: That's my point. That's my point, Gina. But of course, Etta is going to come on... Jake was starting them at three years old. The big moment in our family was when we thought that we had to take Jake through living Mil Gross's magnificent living books. And he had to do this form, he'd point at that and we'd click on it because his mouse was really complicated. And my parents went up with him, so they didn't know. So he just grabs the thing from them and starts doing it.
Gina: Right, he's like, here, let me show you how to do this.
Jeff: So Etta's going to be using things and creating things, there's great... I forget what the name of it is. There's a programming app for kids that's called Turtle something in tribute, as an homage to the old Turtle MIT stuff. It’s really wonderful and there's great stuff... But she'll be creating and doing phenomenal things without the need for this notion of, a computer is like saying, "Son you really ought to know how a carburetor works." Why?
Gina: No, I know. I just... I learned a lot of patience and I learned a lot about computers by building one myself. By installing windows, you know, from scratch. By Googling what the hell is this DLL, and how do I fix it... Editing... This is really old school stuff, but this was like me figuring out... So part of me figuring that out is gaining the confidence that I can fix anything that happens, that comes my way, because I've fixed so many things to begin with. And I think, like, so to give her a tablet or to say, "You've just got Chrome, right. You've just got access to the web apps..." And if the web app is down or you run into an error there's nothing you can do because that software isn't on your...
Jeff: That's not what I'm saying. She doesn't have to put in the motherboard, to know how to do that. I mean, listen, I ordered a Heath Kit ham radio once. And my... Because I don't know how to fix a radio and put a new tube in... And things change.
Leo: No, in fact, what Etta's going to need. She's going to need to know code, she's going to need to know Python. She's going to need to know Rest APIs. That's the new building a computer.
Gina; That's true. Rest APIs, that's true. That's true. Rest APIs is sort of the new...
Leo: She's going to need to know angular JS and no touch JS, she's going to... those are the bit’s and pieces that are the Heathkit of the future. It’s software, it’s not hardware. Hardware commoditized.
Gina: It’s a done deal. That I accept.
Leo: And that's fine. You know what, a great thing, to teach her python and when she's six, hell yeah.
Jeff: It even goes back, Leo, full square to as old as we are. What did you do in the original days of computing? You went to the lab and you got time on the main frame. Now everybody has time on the main frame. As much time as they want.
Chad: I had already pulled on my headphones because Jeff was talking to me, so I couldn't tell that you were talking off mic, I thought you were talking on mic.
Leo: That lower third over light problem apparently... Yeah, I mean, you wouldn't teach a kid how to build a crystal radio set. You wouldn't teach... I mean it might be fun, and there is this whole 'make' movement that's really retro in many respects and I don't have anything wrong with that. But really, if you're saying, from a practical point of view what are the building blocks of the future... It’s code.
Jeff: I ordered Gross's $200 or $300 printer, his printer. He has an amazing, really reduced price 3D printer. So what's Etta going to do? Etta's going to be able to do CAD software to make things, physically, in the 3D printer and make them fit together and do things with them. And Jesus that beats Heath Codes.
Gina: That's fair, that's fare. Also what's that project, that Google Project... project... The one with the snap, you know, the phone that snaps together the components. That's similar to putting together a PC. Right? It’s just smaller, and...
Jeff: The other thing, too, is we learn in four ways. The story I was told about Jake and programming is that I thought you had to learn those charts with the diamonds and the arrows and you have to plan everything out because every developer says you got to know everything before you do it. And what did he do? He showed them how to dig into a program, tear it apart, put it back together, see how it works. Thats the way you learn.
Leo: Times change.
Gina: That's true. I accept that, alright. Listen, don't buy a Mac. I want to see if you ever come to a place, where you say okay, I have to give in.
Leo: I'm glad, Jeff, that you raised this issue. Because I think you're absolutely right. I don't think... I think the time has come.
Jeff: It occurred to me, it was a step change in cloud world.
Leo: Now, I'm going to continue to buy computers because of the stuff I do, I need a computer. But, I'm sure that time will come for me, at some point, too.
Jeff: The problem is for then there go half of your shows. Sorry.
Leo: No, that's fine. We'll move on, we'll do more code.
Jeff: Yeah. Yeah.
Leo: Code is exciting. Frankly, I'd prefer to talk about code. I think that's much more interesting. And it’s very similar to...
Jeff: Back in the day, when I started watching THaT, and you guys would start launching into specs of a new monitor that's out, ooooooh. Right?
Leo: Well, you're not a computer enthusiast.
Jeff: But I'm saying, even now, we don't care anymore.
Leo: Some do.
Jeff: But not to the detail that we used to.
Leo: You know it’s very much like stereo equipment. Remember how in the... You're old enough, I'm old enough to remember where there were people who were just really into stereo equipment. The fact that the music they were listening to was totally secondary to the fact that they built the perfect stereo. And if they listen to music it was the eighteen twelve overture, because the cannons and the bells were really a good test of the subwoofers on their clich horns. And there were stereo magazines, how to build stereo. People talked about total harmonic distortion... And RMS wattage. And it was, you know, then there came a time, and I think it happened in the sixties when Rolling Stone came out, where the content became more important than the hardware. And that happens over and over and over and over and over and over.
Jeff: Let me put your point, though, in a different way. My father was not a mechanic. I'll tell you this way. Confession moment. So for my sixth grade science fair, which I won... I had built electronic bongos.
Leo: I love it! What does that mean, what do they do? Tell me!
Jeff: It was little egg cups with metal and you could tap them and it caused the amplifier to go bing bing bing, like a drum. But it was not a kit, it was instructions and I built it and had the chart about why it worked this way and all that kind of stuff. But I had to build the amp, or had to take an old radio amp and put it in a new case and the speaker I had to build that. And the thing was tilted every which way, it was as if designed by Escher, right? And my father, this is this kind of a Howard Stern moment. My father came down and said, "You're so clumsy you couldn't stick your finger up your beep, with two hands!" It was. It explains a lot about me.
Leo: This reminds me of last week's Masters of Sex. It’s all about the mean daddy. Did you watch it last week? One of the best episodes of television I've ever seen.
Jeff: Really good.
Leo: Most of it takes place in a hotel room. And the back drop is...
Jeff: I'm totally in love with her. Jeez.
Leo: Yeah, I've loved her from day one. Yeah, she's gorgeous. Lizzy Caplan.
Jeff: Anyway so my father and I never went and tore apart cars and did all that, right? But let’s say that you did. Let's say you did.
Leo: Was he mechanical or no?
Jeff: He was an engineer by training, an electrical engineer. So he wasn't a grease kind of engineer, physical. So Etta, so let’s say that Etta enjoys physical engineering. She's not going to build a Google self-driving car, because it’s too complex. It’s too delicate, it’s, you know... You're not going to... Yeah, maybe you can plug in some things to it, but these days with cars, lots of us run by computers, that chance of really needing to run the thing is gone, Gina. You're right. And there is something lost there, I'm not denying.
Jeff: But Etta's going to have so much more fun!
Gina: She is. And I"m going to have a lot of fun doing it with her.
Leo: It just changes. And there's a guy that said, "I didn't tune into this show to be less techy!" This is not less techy, if you're a hardware fan, this is very disruptive to you. And hardware doesn't go away, by the way. Hardware persists, hardware has to. Servers and all of that, and there'll be plenty of people building servers and all of that. But what happens is that the mainstream of technology moves into software, and I think that that's been coming for a long time, and Gina, I think you'll back this up. Software is where it’s at.
Jeff: Here is my prediction. Etta's revolt is going to be that she goes to renaissance fairs and ends up carrying nothing but technology and just plays the lute.
Leo: Mommy, I'm going to be making buggy whips! It’s the future!
Gina: I'm going to be like, aren't you excited! The FCC approved this GPS chip and I can just embed it under your skin and we can always be in touch! No. I'll take my spiral notebook and a pen, and I"m good.
Jeff: Your generation... All of this technology ruined the world!
Leo: I got to tell you that, though. Neither of my kids is techno... They both use computers, but neither of them are like geeky. And I wouldn't count on Etta being anything that you want her to be, let’s put it that way.
Gina: Yeah... You're right. And certainly the novelty of it isn't going to be there the way that it was for us. Right? Because it’s not new, right? I mean, it’s just going to be around her, it’s going to be part of her life.
Leo: Well, I wish... You know, the happiest day of my life was when Henry said, "Hey, can you teach me how to hack?" And I said, "Great, we're going to start with Python and then we're going to..." And he said, no no no. "I just want to get into my grades and change them..." Well, you've got to learn code first... No, no. I don't want to...
Jeff: My father loved going golfing. And he tried to get me out to golf, I hated golf and it all ended once on the driving range when I ended up pulling back my driver and hitting him in the shin... Accidentally, I'll be very clear, because I'm clumsy. And then he ended up hitting me in the head with a ball off a drive, and... No...
Leo: A good walk ruined! Alright. Here are the headlines. According to the cable companies, it’s not the cable companies that threaten net neutrality, it’s Google!
Jeff: Which is pretty ridiculous.
Gina: This is classic reversal, but I still don't understand what their argument was.
Leo: In a filing to the FCC, Time Warner says the controversy over internet providers charging websites for access to special fast lanes is a, "Red Herring", the real danger is that Google or Netflix could demand payments from them! See they're living in the cable world, which is exactly how that works, by the way.
Jeff: And they think that Google's going to put up a paywall, to them. Which is absurd.
Leo: They're living in the past. They're living in the days where you pay HBO to carry HBO on your cable company and then charge the customer and that was how the financials all worked. It’s not going to happen, because Google's not going to set a paywall. No. I hope. No. Nooooo.
Jeff: It’s not their business model.
Leo: It’s really a very old fashioned way of looking at things. This is, by the way, what's happened now with the debate. I'm not sure exactly what to think, we were talking about it on Security Now, the debate between level 3 and Verizon over who's causing the congestion and Verizon says, "Well, it’s Netflix/Level3, their carrier's fault, because you're pumping, it’s all asymmetric. You're pumping so much data one way, and so it’s not really a peer relationship in the sense that we're symmetrically sending data back and forth, so we want money from you because it’s not." And that's how peering works. And I don't know what a good argument against that is.
Jeff: Netflix just did a deal with AT&T. Yeah, they're going to do deals, the cable companies are, charging for service.
Leo: Google X has a new project to collect anonymous genetic and molecular info... From people, to help detect disease earlier. This is the Wall Street Journal.
Jeff: What interested me about this one was, that Google XLab really is the closest thing we have, I think, to Bell Labs.
Leo: You bet. It’s better.
Jeff: It’s not as big.
Leo: I think it’s better than Bell Labs.
Jeff: So that's what I want to talk about. So how?
Leo: Bell Labs was very much focused on AT&T, what technologies could make AT&T money. I think, always.
Jeff: They did pure research. Things that they didn't know were going to have an impact on them.
Leo: Give me an example.
Jeff: There's even an argument that Unix wasn't going to be terribly useful to them.
Leo: Because Unix was probably one of the good... Bell Labs invented the transistor, they invented Unix, they invented so much of the technology that we use today. It seems like Google is going even farther afield. Google's business has nothing to do with autonomous vehicles or the human body. This reminds me of 23AndMe, in some ways. The baseline study will collect anonymous genetic and molecular information from 175 people initially, later thousands more, to create a picture of what a healthy human looks like. It’s being led by a fifty year old molecular biologist named Andrew Conrad. He joined Google in March of 2013. Seventy to a hundred experts. I think this is a very... And Serge is very open to the idea of putting money into the public wheel.
Jeff: But it's also smaller, but the question... I live near the old Bell Labs, and it’s one of two major facilities, and it’s phenomenal. It’s huge, and the parking lot is just empty now. And it’s quite sad, because so much happened there. It was phenomenal. Does Google+ have to be as big as Bell Labs, do you need as many scientists to do things? Is it more distributed, you know? If Google is our most successful technology company as AT&T was at the time, and they're doing this for the future, which I think they are... Is Google X big enough?
Jeff: Some people complain it’s too big, they're doing too much crazy stuff. But maybe they're not doing enough, I don't know.
Leo: 1957, maybe you saw this in school, Hemo the Magnificent.This is from Bell Labs. You wouldn't see this in school today. They're quoting Leviticus. This is 1957. I guess they did a series of educational videos. So that doesn't help AT&T.
Jeff: They did a lot of stuff like that. Don't you love it when they... Yeah...
Jeff: When they rolled the projector into class, weren't you happy?
Leo: Oh, they had major hollywood movie stars in there. Yes, love the movies.
(Playing a video...)
Leo: This was like a real Hollywood movie.
Jeff: What's his name, the guy on the right?
Leo: A great character actor, I can't remember.
(Still watching a video - Hemo the Magnificent.)
Jeff: This was entertaining to us, Gina.
Jeff: Well, actually just not having to do classwork was entertaining.
Leo: I think we could watch TV. Yeah, I think he was the voice of Winnie the Pooh. But I'm trying to place his name... The chatroom won't tell us. And who's that guy? He's a movie star. Magic screen! It’s in the cloud!
(Still playing the video.)
Leo: Well, that's Mel Blanc. So they really... This is big bucks, and you can, I think you can safely say that this is not a money maker for AT&T.
Gina: I don't understand... This is an educational video about blood?
Leo: About blood. There was a whole series of these, there are quite a few of them. Wow.
Gina: So you know, Google doing this...
Leo: Holloway, is that right? Is that who that is?
Gina: I read this article about Google doing this and I think, why is Google doing this? Why isn't a medical... I know that Larry and Sergey are particularly obsessed with health issues, because I forget which one of them has the predictor gene for some disease. I forget which but... I don't know. And I think that their intentions are good and of course the data is being collected, I'm not mislead in all that. But I just wonder, it just seems like, whenever they do projects like this that involve massive amounts of data collection and of course data analysis and data collection is what Google is good at, but there's always that question about what are they doing with it, and there are privacy concerns. And I know, Jeff, there shouldn't be, but there are. And it makes me worry that they're going to do more harm, than good. You know? Like, because the headline is, "Why is Google... Indexing your DNA?" Right?
Leo: In fact, the MIT technology review and Tony Regulator writing says Google X's project to study human health. That's no Apollo 11, it’s a secret lab. He really poo poos this. It isn't a moon shot, I mean, come on. I don't know. It seems like... I mean, we can be...
Jeff: But I think Gina has a really important point here, but I believe that these guys really mean that health data should be open for the good of all. It’s a cause for them. And you're right, Gina, there's a risk that if they mess this up, then they ruin their own cause. But if they do it right, we are limiting the knowledge that we have. We're losing lives because we don't know enough.
Gina: Is Google the best organization to do this? I guess is my question. I wonder if Google is the right...
Leo: Well, okay, so there's an interesting argument here. You remember the human genome project, the project to map the genome. There were public sector scientists working on this, and there were corporate people working on it and it was the corporate people who solved it very quickly. Very much quicker than anybody thought. And I think that at that point it opened people's eyes that this could be done in the private sector, and that of course there was some incentive to map the genome because maybe you could patent it. There is a project that's been going on for considerably longer, the Personal Genome Project. I tried to get in on this. Esther Dyson is one of the people who has donated her data to this, this is from Harvard so this is public sector. And they've collected, I think, both the genome and the medical information for something like a hundred people. Or this was the plan. And the whole deal with this, and the reason was very difficult and I asked to participate and have not been invited, is because you have to be willing to give... There's no privacy involved. In order for this to work, you had to consent that your name would be... They said, "We are not going to be able to keep this private so your name will be known. Your phenotype, your genotype, everything will be public. Researchers will have access to it, and there you go." And because you can't keep this private, if you're going to participate you should understand that.
Jeff: I was talking to Esther Dyson about this issue, once and I said, well, I suppose Ester that if I'm talking about my prostate cancer and I reveal something about my son's genome. And she says, "Oh, Jarvis, get over it. Everyone gets prostate cancer."
Leo: It’s true, eventually. George Church is doing this, and we talked to George on our show Futures in Biotech, some years ago. And I tried to get in on this and I think it’s a great thing, and I just don't know if, you know if you sign up you agree to pay for the tests, which are several thousand dollars and I wanted to do it because I felt like this would be a contribution. But you have to do extensive medical questionnaires, because they're trying to match your genotype with your history. It’s great. And this is totally for the public good. And I think somewhat similar to what Google is up to.
Jeff: I went to the privacy event of the All Hands Privacy event at Google about two or three months ago, and a guy, I think his name is MIkey Nickerson, he's an engineer at Google. The chat room maybe will know and I'm maybe getting his name wrong. But he was the guy who went off to rescue Obamacare technology, with a few others. But he was the main guy, and he came back and he gave a really eloquent wonderful talk about having a lack of knowledge, what a lack of knowledge has done through history of health. Right? And the classic example is Steven Johnson's retelling of, what was it, Typhoid?
Gina: Yeah, the water...
Jeff: The one well...
Gina: The tainted water, yeah.
Jeff: The tainted water, right. It was knowledge that cured that. It’s data that cures that. And keeping that data private, you know, still seems illness is something to be ashamed of. Punished by society, so that people do hide it. It’s only going to hurt us. And yes, if you have ebola, there's a reason that we want to keep you off and keep you separately, and the family didn't have to have it affect them and that's not good for society either, and I understand that there are always going to be strictures about health information. But in general, more information is good full stop. You could misuse it, about privacy, you could misuse it in bad science. But, to chose to have less information is insane. So I think this makes sense of Google, but who was better to gather and analyze large amounts of data, at a consumer level? And you know, who's better at it than their level? The NSA, but I don't want them to have it.
Leo: But then there are people who equate Google with the NSA, just a private sector version of the NSA. Alright, lets... There's good conversation. We can talk so much more about all of this stuff, but I think it’s time to play the drums, play the trumpets, play the horns. Put Gina Trapani to work, because it’s time for the Google Changelog. What's new with the Goog. Gina has the latest.
Gina: Google maps got a pretty big update, our new feature... IOS and Android, it’s the new explore feature! I don't know if you've gotten this already, on your phone, Leo. So you launch google Maps on your phone and there's a brand new button on the bottom right and it’s the Explore Nearby button. And you tap that, and Google looks at the time of day, and the weather and your location and then basically just recommends what's the nearest best thing. Kind of nearby. Very similar to Foursquare. Clearly using Saget, clearly using your social connections. It'll tell you from your circles who has gone places or rated things, um. It’s pretty nice, so the new feature expands Google Maps, as more than just kind of a directions app. It'll make suggestions for you and inject them based on context.
Leo: I do have it! So it’s next to the bullseye that says pinpoint where I am. There's a new button, that has a little pin dropped into a circle, and if I tap that, it says, "Here's what's near you within a ten minute walk." It says, it’s the afternoon, it’s 88 degrees. Here's some quick bites, Mary's Pizza Shack. There's some parks, here's ice cream, tea houses... Bakeries. They think I'm a fatso! Where's the nearest gym? Here's some Zagat's stuff. I'm glad to see Zagat's... It’s on the maps, so I get...
Gina: Literally it’s a new button right on the interface.
Jeff: It’s not Google Now, I see.
Leo: it’s right on the interface. But it is kind of now ish, isn't it?
Gina: It is kind of Now-ish. I was saying on All About Android last night, it is great. I would normally use Foursquare for this kind of thing, but I went to explore…near my office. My office is in kind of an industrial area in Brooklyn, and there’s not a lot of lunch options. And it actually found a place that I hadn’t heard of before—
Leo: That’s awesome.
Gina: —that I wound up saying, “Oh, I’m going to check this out, so it’s pretty good. Lots of images, lots of ratings.
Gina: Takes into consideration open/closed times. I believe it does not recommend places that are not open at the moment that you’re checking. So it’s pretty good.
Leo: Wow. This is sweet.
Jeff: You know my favorite thing that Google does to me now?
Jeff: On Saturdays, only on Saturdays, in my Google Now it tells me how long it takes to get to Bridgewater Commons. And the reason is is because on Saturdays I go to Chipotle there.
Jeff: And it knows that I’m going to Chipotle, so 17 minutes to Bridgewater commons. Yeah, okay. It’s time for a burrito. It knows when to do it. It knows when I’m there. Of course, Germans would find that freaky. I don’t. I find that amusing.
Leo: I was actually thinking. I’ve talked with Mike Elgan and others about the Android Wear Watch, and if there’s a negative to the Android Wear Watch, it doesn’t do enough of that.
Jeff: Enough. I agree; I agree.
Leo: I want more Google Now, not less Google Now. In fact, that would be—I mean, I guess you’ve got to constrain screen. You can’t just load it up with stuff, but I really like this new maps feature. I love it.
Jeff: Yeah, that’s great.
Gina: I mean, it could be like oh, I see it looks like you pick up coffee most mornings at 9 a.m.—
Gina: —at this place. Have you tried this other place down the block? Your friend, Jason likes this place or something like that.
Leo: Oh, look! We’re on it. We’re here. We’re a popular attraction in the Play & See section.
Leo: TWiT LLC.
Jeff: No way.
Leo: Yea! Well, there’s not that much stuff within five minutes, so I guess that’s probably—
Gina: I like it. Popular attractions.
Jeff: Have you guys played—is the new Foursquare out? Because they did the split off of the check-in as a separate—
Leo: I use Swarm, which is the check-in part.
Jeff: The check-in thing.
Jeff: Is the new core Foursquare out yet?
Gina: I don’t think so. I haven’t gotten the update.
Jeff: Okay, so they‘re going to redo that at the same time?
Jeff: Because that’s where Foursquare and Google are going to compete again.
Gina: Yeah, yeah.
Leo: I don’t know. Google, I mean they own Zagat. Boy, I mean, they really—the have Google Places, so they have all those businesses.
Jeff: They know where you go. To me, the huge trove of data that’s just waiting is they know which restaurants they go to.
Jeff: They know how many people of what type go to what restaurants.
Leo: Google’s been fairly judicious. They obviously don’t want to go too far down that…
Jeff: But Google also knows gee, Mr. Laporte stopped for 12 minutes at this address. That’s a gas station. Hmm, everybody seems to be going to that gas station. I wonder what the price is? There’s more data to play with there, that’s phenomenal.
Leo: Yeah, yeah.
Gina: So you’re talking about the passive tracking of your phone’s location. So Leo’s not checking in at that gas station. Right?
Leo: It just knows where I am.
Jeff: Boom, exactly.
Jeff: Which is what Foursquare tried—that Dennis Crowley tried to get to by having people sign up for the app and just do it, but he was still stuck with the check-in motif and wants to break out of that.
Gina: Yeah. Yeah, you’re right. Yeah, so explore there in maps. You’re right. Now it’s interesting. I hadn’t really thought about Google Now, but I guess Google Now does do that, right? You don’t necessarily check in at Chipotle every Saturday, but Google Now says, “Hey, it’s Saturday. Are you headed to this place?”
Jeff: You hobgoblin of habit.
Leo: Yeah. Mm-hmm.
Gina: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Yep. What else do we have? Oh, Google Voice. Google Voice is now offering Web-based calls through Hangouts, no Google + profile needed. So this is a little bit of a minor new feature, but if you use Google Voice, it might come in handy. So now, this means just Google Voice on the Web. If you go to Google Voice on the Web, if you search for a user, and you click on the call button, you can choose which phone to call for that contact and under that choice, hangouts is now a new option. So you can call the person through Hangouts and you don’t have to have a Google+ profile set up in order to use that. So a little, tiny, minor move toward integrating Voice and Hangouts. I want to see more of that. I want to see Voice and Hangouts merge completely at some point. Gmail for iOS is getting the update that Android’s had I believe for a while now—not for a while, but a few weeks. Gmail for iOS just got insert from drive and save to drive. That update released this past week, and just like with Gmail on the Web, that means that iOS users can now insert files directly from Google Drive into emails and save attachments from emails into Google Drive. If the recipient of the email that you’re sending doesn’t have access to the Google Drive document, you can send them, Gmail for iOS for inform you, and then you can change the sharing settings for sending it, and that update is rolling out now. I think it came out this week. Google Translate has added crowdsourcing features to improve its translations. I’ve got to say, I mean, crowdsourcing works really well in a lot of situations. Translations particularly well. So Google established the Google Translation Community, which is open now, open to everyone. That gives users who speak more than one language fluently the option to offer their own translations and valid current translations. So if you are bilingual or multilingual, you should go to translate.Google.com/community. You can tell Google what languages you speak, and then if you click on the get started button, Google will just show you a phrase and say, “Here’s a phrase in English. How would you translate this in another language?” The more people who do this, the better translations will get. I think that Google will also show you current translations that it has and let you correct them or update them.
Leo: Is that an acknowledgment that machine translations just is never going to get as good as human?
Gina: Yeah, yeah.
Gina: (Laughter) Definitely.
Leo: Because given Google’s inclinations, it probably would like the machine to do it all.
Gina: Yeah, yeah. I mean, even with Android apps, when I localize my app into a few different languages, there’s just things that are—there are different translations, and you want a human looking at them. And even Google, they’d added the developer console for Android apps that you could basically sign up for a service that had actual humans reviewing your translation, so they have conceded that machine translations don’t work completely.
Leo: Yeah, yeah. Well, we’ve all known that, but…
Gina: We’ve known that, right?
Gina: Language is just a little too hard.
Leo: It’s hard.
Gina: Finally, chrome beta for Android, which is actually my default browser—and it’s been great for me so I recommend it—got the material design makeover or a material design makeover. Ars Technica has a nice rundown of the changes. The changes are subtle but also very nice. Just kind of open, flatter, wider, just much more sort of material design-y than you think. A little simplicity, fewer lines, more space. The logo got a little bit punching up, a little more colorful. A couple of things are broken because it is a beta. I think the numbers don’t show up on your tabs button anymore. They’ve combined the address bar and the search bar in some contexts. Incognito mode, the new tab is completely black and has got a new icon, which is really kind of neat. Yeah, so really nice update there. I’ve been running the Chrome beta. Like I said, it’s my default browser, and I really like it. I like it a lot. So the material design makeover for Chrome hasn’t been completed yet. I think it’s still a work in progress, but it’s kind of neat to see material design rolling out to Chrome and to the Play Store and to the kind of proprietary Google apps before Android L drops. And that’s all I’ve got.
Leo: And that’s the Google Changelog. Boy, it‘s really depressing when you go to volunteer to help with Google Translate and it says, “Select the languages you know.”
Gina: (Laughter) And you’re like, “Ohh.”
Leo: None of those.
Jeff: Bunch of terrible Americans.
Leo: Oh, we’re terrible. Look at all the languages I could know, but don’t.
Gina: I had to fake it and say Italian, even though that was totally not true.
Jeff: I would say I speak 1.1.
Leo: Speak fluently. Wouldn’t you like to be one of those people that has—but it won’t let me check more than five.
Leo: Why limit me? I can speak so many languages fluently.
Gina: Is Klingon listed there?
Leo: Yeah, probably. Let me see. That’s a good question.
Leo: No, they’re not looking for Klingon translation, sorry. They also had like Leetspeak, but none of those in here.
Leo: These are actual languages. Cherokee. That’s interesting. Chichewa, Igbo, Telugu.
Leo: (Laughter) No, I’m just saying nonsense words. I’m sorry.
Gina: There’s a lot of languages.
Leo: There’s a lot of languages.
Gina: A lot of them with us.
Leo: Right to be forgotten. Let’s give Jeff a chance once again (laughter).
Leo: There’s so many—I don’t even know what to say. Fifty percent now—
Jeff: Stupider, stupider, and stupider.
Leo: Stupider and stupider.
Jeff: A new frontier in Spain.
Leo: What’s going on in Spain?
Jeff: Spain has passed a law that requires payment to link.
Jeff: It’s called the Google tax and it’s a required payment to link, and then they’re going to give the money to big old media companies to save them. It is just beyond—it even goes beyond the rest of Europe.
Leo: So what is Google going to do? I mean, they‘re not going to pay people to put links in Google search results.
Jeff: Of course not. Of course not and I think as boing-boing pointed out that even if you’re a small blogger you can’t opt out because it’s now considered like a human right in the bill. I don’t think it’s gone all the way through. Ridiculously stupid. And now I understand why Google wants me to come over and speak. And full disclosure, they pay for my airfare because I’m not going to lose money on this, but they don’t pay me. At a Big Ten event in Madrid, and now I know why they want me to come to Madrid.
Leo: Good, yeah. You idiots! (Laughter)
Jeff: Because geez.
Leo: How do you say idiot in Spanish?
Jeff: Yeah, how do you? Chatroom? If we were fluent in five languages, we’d know that.
Leo: We’d know.
Jeff: So there’s that, but there’s a ray of hope this week. The Lords, The House of Lords in the U.K. has said that right to be forgotten is undoable and stupid.
Leo: Good. The Lords know. It’s the commons that—
Jeff: Meanwhile, the Google Advisory Committee is going to hold a bunch of basically public hearings, and they’ve invited people to send them their views. It’s as if the advisory committee is kind of a foe FCC now on this.
Leo: Geez Louise. I think they should have open hearings. They should let you watch the sausage being made and then it would become very obvious very quickly how untenable this is.
Leo: Fifty percent of all the requests, over 100,000 links from 91,000 people have been granted so far.
Jeff: And there’s a list of questions that Google and Bing and Yahoo were called on the carpet shay woodshed about their implementation because they weren’t happy that Google was notifying that they’d be delinked because the media would just write stories about that. So there’s this list of questions of what they demanded of them, and it’s just—again, it continues the tremendous idiocy of this.
Leo: What information do you request from a data subject prior to considering a deleting request? Do you filter out some requests based on the location, nationality, or place of residence. Do you delete results—
Jeff: Data subject. It makes it sound like serfs.
Leo: Ughh. What explanation do you provide to data subjects when you refuse to delist? Well, we said not to (laughter).
Leo: This is … God.
Leo: This is like—I guess it’s a jobs project for the EU. Like Google’s going to have to hire thousands of people for this.
Jeff: In both places, it’s war against the link, and the link is the fundamental architecture of the Web.
Leo: Yeah. No, it’s a war against the Web. It is.
Jeff: The link is subversive, and government has finally figured that out. They’re trying to subvert the subversion of the link, and let’s hope they fail, folks.
Leo: Google has made another big acquisition. According to sources, Venture Beat and other reporting, Google has paid $1 billion to buy Twitch.tv, the Justin.tv spinoff that allows you to watch live game streaming, sources familiar with the matter told Dean Takahashi. A billion!
Gina: $1 billion.
Leo: And you know what? I don’t think anybody’s saying it’s not worth it. That’s certainly the number one thing to watch on YouTube right now is game play, right? PewDiePie and others, people love it. I watch Michael. He’s 11 years old. That’s pretty much all the television he watches is YouTube videos of game play. That’s it. It’s big money here. This is the future. Both Google and Twitch declining comment at this point. They bought YouTube for 1.65 billion, so wow.
Leo: $1 billion. Twitch has 50 million—it’s not that big—50 million monthly active users, more than a million members who broadcast videos each month, but that’s big growth. They’ve grown considerably over the last couple of years. They also distribute shows from people like CBS Interactives, GameSpot, Joystick, and Destructoid, which are gaming news sites. Thirteen billion minutes of video are watched every month on Twitch.
Jeff: I said it the last time we talked about this. I don’t get it.
Leo: Well, you’re old.
Jeff: I’m old; I’m old; I’m old.
Gina: Yeah, I’m old. This just makes me feel old.
Leo: And you’re not a gamer.
Leo: We interviewed on triangulation this week on Monday the first really successful gamer, Dennis Fong. His handle was Thresh. In ’97, he won the tournament to be the best Quake player in the world. He got a John Carmack’s red Ferrari as a prize. He pointed out that now these tournaments have prize purses in the millions, tens of millions. And these tournaments really make their money by broadcasting the game play of the tournament and then having big events and so forth. So what was it? League of Legends Tournament? What was the tournament that—
Chad: Yeah, League of Legends.
Leo: So it’s pretty impressive, I have to say. It’s become big business, but it’s not for you and me.
Jeff: I guess I should celebrate that entertainment becomes interactive and people are more involved.
Leo: You should watch. Some of these are very exciting. Some of these videos are very exciting.
Jeff: See, I can’t play them in the first place. I’m not a game player at all.
Leo: Well, that’s why you don’t need a computer (laughter).
Gina: No, but you can watch Twitch on your Chrome OS (laughter).
Leo: You can.
Leo: You can.
Gina: You need to have some context, right? It’s only exciting if you have some context.
Jeff: What’s going on right now on Twitch?
Gina: Like what’s this game about? What’s the point?
Leo: You want to watch some Twitch video right now? Was it this show or was it TWiT that we showed the Pokemon Red Victory?
Jeff: We did on this show?
Leo: That was on this show, so you’ve already seen some.
Chad: And it’s not really all that much about the game. It’s about who’s streaming—
Leo: It’s the personalities of the people who are commenting.
Chad: Yes, absolutely.
Gina: Oh, it is? Okay.
Leo: Well, it’s a mix. Michael watches a lot of these to learn techniques and stuff.
Chad: Like right now I think—what time is it? No, he’s stopped. There’s a few streamers that I tune into just to watch their streams.
Leo: Really? Because of what they say because they’re funny?
Chad: Right. They’re great people to hang out.
Leo: So a thousand people watch this guy playing. You’re saying I shouldn’t do this?
Chad: Well, no. They’re fine.
Leo: Because there’s usually profanity, right?
Chad: Absolutely. And then also you went into an area that is probably the least appropriate.
Leo: Now look at what he’s doing. He’s on a green screen I would guess. And there’s him and in the background is his screen. So this is a fairly sophisticated setup. Where should I go? Games, channels? Right?
Chad: No, no. Games is perfect and they’re rated by most viewed. So right now, League of Legends is on top.
Leo: Yeah, it’s boring to watch League of Legions.
Chad: Sure, absolutely. So go watch Minecraft.
Leo: All right. Minecraft. That’s fascinating.
Chad: Right. That’s number six.
Chad: Who’s up there on the top?
Leo: MadPack. He’s got the John Bam’s wild. Dfield Mark, Beast Machine 911, Chaoschunk, any of those ring a bell?
Chad: No, none of these guys.
Leo: Look, this guy’s got 1,500 viewers. Oh, this is for mature audiences.
Chad: Yeah, so they’ll let you know that too.
Leo: I’m surprised people are playing Plague Inc. on here. That’s not exactly an action game. We’re going to start watching. I might warn you there may be fleeting expletives. This is a tablet-based game.
Chad: Well, Plague is now a PC game.
Leo: Yeah, you can play it on any platform, but it came out a tablet and it’s really a touch game where you’re trying to conquer the world with your plague. So you design your plague, adding capabilities as you go. It’s not exactly, as you can see, an action game. So you’re saying it’s this guy that makes it interesting.
Chad: Yeah, it doesn’t matter. In order for these people—
Leo: I feel like I missed a bet.
Chad: There’s a guy named Bacon Donut, and every night he has 7,000 people tuning in to watch his stream where he plays games.
Leo: If I search for Bacon Donut, can I watch one of is videos?
Chad: Yeah, he probably has stuff archived.
Leo: All right (laughter). Making bacon donuts.
Gina: Making bacon donuts.
Chad: Or Sevadus is another big guy.
Leo: See, Chad knows all about this because he’s under 30.
Chad: (Laughter) And he streams seven days a week for four hours, five hours.
Leo: Does he make money on this?
Leo: Bacon Donut is the tastiest. How does he make money on this?
Gina: Yeah, how does he make money?
Chad: Donations are a big ploy.
Leo: So people give him money.
Chad: Yeah, and so what they’ll do is they’ll have a ticker that shows the latest donations, the top donation of the night, the top donation of the week.
Leo: I bet you Michael’s watching Bacon Donut.
Chad: See? There’s Bacon Donut.
Leo: He looks like a Bacon Donut. He’s on a green screen?
Chad: Yeah. Some people choose green screen. Some people choose face cam box.
Leo: Right. I like the green screen. You really look like you’re—although putting your head in the lower—well, anyway. So let’s listen. What’s going on here?
Chad: You have it muted, so we can’t.
Leo: I have it muted?
Leo: Well, let’s unmute it. Let’s listen to all the Twitch glory.
Male Voice: What’s the record? Our record’s two hours and 30 minutes. Right now it’s about an hour an eight minutes.
Leo: He’s doing a speed run.
Male Voice: And we’ll increase it by an hour.
Leo: So he’s got somebody narrating because he’s obviously busy.
Chad: He’s actually in a call with someone. That’s not Bacon. Sorry.
Leo: Oh, that’s not Bacon Donut. One of the things that I find less interesting in this is the expression on people’s faces when they’re playing video games is pretty much that of an unconscious zombie.
Gina: (Laughter) It’s true.
Leo: There’s no affect. There’s no smiling. There’s no laughing. They don’t look like they’re having fun.
Jeff: It’s true.
Gina: it’s true.
Chad: As you can see at the top of his video, top this month, top today, most recent.
Leo: There you go. He’s laughing now.
Jeff: I was about to say I hope my surgeon has this much concentration. Of course, after you die, he laughs.
Jeff: I take it back.
Leo: Anyway, there you go. That’s an example, and he’s making a living doing this. Oh, it’s five bucks to subscribe.
Gina: Also, I just feel like it seems like watching someone else control a first person—like watching someone else game is like I don’t know.
Leo: It’s even more passive than playing.
Gina: Yeah, but no. I mean, the movement of the camera, it’s just very—
Leo: Oh, yeah. Makes you queasy.
Gina: It’s disorienting.
Leo: We’re just old.
Leo: We’re all too old for this.
Gina: (Laughter) Clearly.
Leo: I missed a bet. I really think I could have done a good job at this had I been a little younger. I think I‘m funnier than a lot of these guys. I could have done a good narration as I play the game. I blew it. I could be making millions now instead of sitting here talking about Google.
Jeff: On your table with lines in it.
Leo: Yeah, I’ve got to get a new table, and can I afford it? No, Bacon Pancakes is taking all the air out of the room.
Leo: Google offering three months of free unlimited music to celebrate one year of Chromecast. You’ve got to buy a Chromecast to get it. Chromecast has been now used 400 million times to cast sessions to TVs. Are they counting?
Jeff: I guess. A kind of meaningless stat.
Gina: Oh, yeah. They definitely are.
Leo: It seems like that’s a small number, 400 million.
Gina: Four hundred million casts, and they sold how many million Chromecasts?
Gina: Four hundred per device?
Jeff: Okay, yeah, yeah.
Leo: Services like YouTube, let’s see. People are Chromecasting. All they say is they’ve sold millions in 20 countries, millions.
Gina: Oh, they’ve sold millions. I’m sorry. So it’s not one million. Okay. Okay.
Leo: Millions. We don’t know what that is. We don’t know what millions means. Could be anywhere from one to nine.
Gina: Yeah, right. So even if it’s 2 million or 3 million—
Leo: It’s probably in that ballpark.
Gina: We’re talking about 200 casts per device. That’s good. That’s active use.
Leo: That is active use, and I would say most people who have a Chromecast use it fairly actively, yeah?
Jeff: When I finally got a smart TV where I watch TV most of the time, I don’t use my Chromecast.
Leo: You stopped using it. Yeah.
Jeff: Yeah. Pretty much because I—
Leo: Do we care that the judges of the FISA Court—the FISA Court’s rotated in and out. The judges come from a pool, but that some of these judges own Verizon stock? (Laughter) Do we care about that? Is that a big story?
Jeff: Uh, it’s fun to be able to find any fault we can with this whole system, but the truth is, it’s not like Verizon makes money hand over fist from FISA decisions.
Leo: FISA Court judge Susan Wright purchased Verizon stock valued at—unfortunately we don’t know the amount—$15,000 or less on October 22. Dennis Saylor got a dividend of less than $1,000. Government disclosures don’t include hard amounts, so… You know, you’ve said many times you own what? I don’t know. A handful of shares of Google.
Leo: I don’t think that—I don’t know. I mean, normally, a judge will recuse himself or herself if it’s ruling on a case that he has a financial interest in. So if he owns stock, he should recuse himself on a case that involves Verizon, I guess. I don’t know. Promise all of this is so secret you just don’t know what’s going on.
Leo: Are we going to see a Nexus 6, a Nexus Phablet? Sources say Google and Motorola are working on something. Android police—
Jeff: Of course, just as soon as I buy the OnePlus One, of course, there’s a new phone.
Gina: (Laughter) But it’s a Phablet.
Leo: 5.9 inches is a little bit bigger. The information corroborates the earlier report, provides additional detail.
Jeff: I wonder if doing a Nexus phone on Motorola was a condition of sale? Lenovo.
Leo: Oh, interesting.
Jeff: Just speculation.
Leo: Might be. Who would make that condition? Google or Lenovo?
Jeff: I think it’s good for Lenovo.
Leo: It’s good for Lenovo. Gives them something to sell.
Leo: The code name is Shamu, as you know, a killer whale. So it makes since it would be a large device. I’m waiting for the new Motorola, whatever that they’re going to call it, that they registered a trademark for Motorola Maxx. They already have the Droid Maxx. The Moto Maxx.
Gina: The X successor of the Moto X + 1 or…?
Leo: That’s what I‘m wondering. That’s the one I’m very interested in. We haven’t heard a thing. Motorola has trademarked Moto Maxx.
Leo: They already have Maxx for the Droid. I guess they don’t have Moto. All right. We have now gone through every story that seems of—
Jeff: Yeah, we made a show out of it. There wasn’t much news.
Gina: Should we talk real quick about the Twitter hashtag? Well Twitter’s announcement and then the ask Costolo hashtag getting taken over a little bit yesterday?
Gina: That’s kind of interesting.
Leo: So Twitter stock went up 30%. They beat their street on their Q2 user growth revenue and they even turned a profit. Congratulations Twitter and their most recent quarter. And so what? Evan did a Q&A? Or Dick did?
Gina: Yeah, Dick Costolo does a Q&A on CNBC, and CNBC says, “Okay, hashtag your questions for the CEO of Twitter with ask Costolo, instead of ask Dick, ask Costolo.
Leo: (Laughter) Probably better, yeah.
Gina: And a tremendous number of users, particularly in sort of my community and sort of the folks who rail again harassment and abuse on social networks particularly around gender and race and all that stuff really kind of took over the hashtag demanding to know what is Twitter going to do about abuse and harassments. Because truth is it’s very easy to report spam on Twitter, and spammers get dealt with pretty quickly, but when you’re being called names, when you’re being threatened and abused or whatever, often there’s no response or very small response or a response that’s two months later. So it was interesting. It was very interesting to watch the whole thing go down. A bunch of people who I follow were participating in the hashtag and then retweeting questions that people were posting. And I actually participated in the hashtag. I don’t do that very often. It was interesting.
Leo: What did you say? What did you ask?
Gina: I just said that I hope that he was listening to those questions. I knew CNBC wasn’t going to pose those questions to him, right? And it looks like—
Leo: People asked, “Does Twitter cull violent accounts? How many times do you have to report an account that exists solely for smearing people?” By the way, I get abused mercilessly on Twitter. I just block the account so I don’t ever see it, which seems to me fine. My Twitter stream for a long time I just didn’t want to even look at it because it was so negative. So I just realized well, I can just block those people and I just block them and I don’t see them.
Gina: But you know, someone like Adria Richards, for example, when that whole thing went down. I mean, she was actively threatened and abused. There was a huge spike in activity for that kind of thing and you do feel helpless. And when I defended her, I got crazy—and I get sort of a low level of harassment always.
Leo: Yeah, Twitter’s full of assholes.
Gina: Yeah, oh, absolutely, absolutely.
Jeff: And Leo, just because you don’t see it and it’s going on about you, that’s not a lot of fun to just have this unimagined—
Leo: Well, no. I’m completely in the dark about it unless somebody comes to me and says it’s going on, I don’t see it. Maybe you guys see. You probably do see it, but I don’t—
Leo: —it doesn’t bother me. And frankly, it seems like—and there’s a good article, a blog post, about the least Twitter could do, Danilo Campos writing, about some of the things that Twitter could do. For instance, block users who account—you should have a block all users—allow users to block all users who’s accounts are less than 30 days old.
Leo: Because the problem with this, and I can understand Twitter’s position. It’s the same thing as saying to Yahoo, “Hey, you got to stop spam.” Well, good luck.
Leo: It’s easy to create a Twitter account. People do it all the time, and they do it particularly to harass.
Gina: And they just keep creating new ones.
Leo: So I guess giving us better tools… And they just create new ones. So Danilo’s saying give us tools to block users whose accounts are brand new. Block users who’s follow accounts are less than a threshold. A lot of the accounts that attack me have ten followers and they were created last month. Block new users whose at replies include any words the user decides. So you could say, “Hey, if they say screw Leo Laporte, well, I don’t want to see that.” Block any user who’s been blocked by a certain number of people I’m following. It works pretty well for me just to go into my feed and whenever somebody says something I find trollish, I just block them, and I never see them again.
Leo: And it’s really made my Twitter feed a lot more pleasant.
Gina: Right, right. But if you have a concentrated attack (laughter), I don’t know, if some Reddit board decides to attack a particular user—and I block a lot.
Leo: But what could Twitter do? I mean, how could Twitter…?
Gina: Yeah, I mean, I think that some of these suggestions that he made are pretty good. This gets into issues of free speech and what could they possibly do and is it Twitter’s job to police what people can say on their service. But it does sort of get down to that—and this is the same question what happened with Reddit with the troll who was posting whatever it was. Posting photos of young women in bikinis or whatever. I forget. Violentacrez. The Violentacrez story. And it kind of came down to this thing where it’s like we’re a platform and does the telephone company moderate what people say on the phone and this whole question. I sort of land on the side of Twitter has built spam filters, right? And so has Reddit. These platforms for communication have built algorithmic ways to deal with spam in order to improve the user experience, and I think creating algorithms or offering users more control, like some of these controls that Danilo proposed, is a way that they can also improve the user experience. But they typically don’t because these are usually folks that get threatened and harassed on Twitter are disempowered groups of folks and people.
Leo: Right, right.
Gina: They’re people of color. They’re women. They’re not privileged folks with lots of free time and lots of money and lots of power who don’t feel threatened by someone photoshopping an image of them.
Gina: So anyway, I thought it was interesting.
Jeff: Gina, it goes to the right to be forgotten question too.
Gina: Mm-hmm. It does.
Jeff: Because Google does block certain things, and I’m objecting greatly to the right to be forgotten. Some people say to me, “Hold on Jarvis. They kill certain stuff.” And if you go back to Brandeis and Warren and their ground-breaking essay on privacy in the U.S., it came down to a right to be let alone. And that was their definition of privacy in the end. And so part of what you’re saying really is the sense that if you’re not well known, if you’re not trying to be out there, if you’re not trying anything and people are just coming after you, do you have a right to be left alone? And it sounds right that we should, but then again, you have to get pretty far down the road on harassment in real life to get an injunction slapped against you.
Leo: Gina, would it be sufficient for you if Twitter provided some of these tools that Danilo’s suggesting?
Gina: Yeah, I think that these are some ways to give users control. I mean, I’ve certainly been in situations where my mentions column not only made me feel sort of upset because I was being called names and whatever—
Jeff: Yes, yes.
Gina: —but made me feel helpless because I felt like I can block this person. They can continue to say things about me that I will no longer see, but will still be out there. Is it my job to sort of monitor whether or not these people are going to show up at my house or what? And it’s that feeling of helplessness. I think that if the platform is built well, you want to give users a feeling of control. So yeah, I think that some of these controls are good suggestions.
Leo: The best they could do is make it so you don’t see it. That does not respond to your issue of—
Jeff: Right, exactly.
Leo: —should I pay attention to what they’re saying in case they’re actually going to commit an act of violence.
Leo: You have to read those to do that. So in that case, what do you do? Does Twitter have to—?
Gina: Well, I’d want faster responses from Twitter—
Leo: If it’s abusive speech, they should ban that person.
Gina: Yeah, and they have to make that decision every day.
Leo: But that person can instantly create a new account. I mean, it takes no time.
Gina: Right. That’s right. That’s right, but it feels like there are ways both programmatically and with a little human intervention that you could detect those kinds of things.
Leo: Block somebody’s IP address?
Gina: Yeah, you could detect if it’s coming from the same IP address. You can detect to see—
Leo: Yeah, we do that in the chatroom. We actually do do that in the chatroom. We enforce those rules.
Jeff: You know, Leo. I think part of the issue though it that—I’m not going to give this person a moment’s attention, so please allow me to be very generic—somebody wrote a really nasty piece about me some time ago. Well, somebody really nasty one you know about a long time ago, but a little more recently, and I could tell what it was going to be a paragraph in and I just didn’t read it.
Jeff: And yeah, I saw a couple of people tweet about it at the time, and I just ignored it. I’m not going to give the person the slightest satisfaction that they—
Leo: What else can you do? What else can you do?
Jeff: Yeah, I didn’t see it. And so to some level—I haven’t had anything that women have, but I’ve had a few nut jobs come after me, and at some point if they get absolutely no satisfaction from—if they know that you are not seeing what they’re saying, it takes away some of their motivation.
Leo: Well, I’ll give you an example. Some of the people who are tweeting against me are tweeting that to sponsors. Now what do we do?
Leo: And it concerns the sponsors. The sponsors don’t understand. I mean, we tell the sponsor, “Oh, they’re just trolls. Don’t worry about it,” but it concerns them.
Jeff: It’s the celebrity. The troll’s a celebrity. Yeah.
Leo: That concerns them. So that’s an economic—I mean, violence is a whole different thing and much, much worse, obviously. But I don’t know what you do—
Gina: I think the three of us have been public figures to some extent for a long time. I mean, Life Hacker, my first two months at Life Hacker, I was getting into the boiling water of being just exposed to so many people. I mean, I was shell-shocked. I just never had such a big audience and—
Leo: It’s horrible, isn’t it? Yeah.
Gina: —I’d never been criticized so—and nitpicked and just discussed so publically. It’s very jarring if you’ve never had that situation before. And now I feel like I have a much thicker skin. I’m much more likely to just brush off somebody who you know. But in the beginning, and for someone who’s not used to it—and I think that this is happening to people who have a couple hundred followers and this is the first time they’ve really had any sort of public persona or they’re getting some sort of following for whatever reason. I think it’s genuinely frightening, and I don’t think the solution is, “Hey, just don’t pay attention. Don’t worry about it.” I think in the moment, you feel really alone and you think, “What have I shared online? What can somebody find out about me if they’re really dedicated to making my life miserable?” And you start to reevaluate and feel unsafe and disempowered and helpless. It spirals. I think it’s a hard experience for nubes. And I think for us it’s easy to say, “All right, this is another crazy.”
Jeff: It’s all true, but I don’t think the solution is an algorithm that’s going to cut it out because right to be forgotten, right to be let alone. I want you to wait for the next law to come out of Europe to say that people have the right to kill people who are being abusive to them, kill comments by people who are being abusive to them. And we’re back in the same discussion about freedom of speech.
Leo: One of my trolls is mentally ill.
Gina: Oh, yeah. Mine too.
Leo: Diagnosable. And perhaps could be dangerous. Who knows?
Leo: The process exists, and I’ve done this before where you go to Twitter. You actually go to your police, and if they think that that’s reasonable that you should be in fear for your personal safety, they get a subpoena; they go to Twitter. Twitter won’t give you this without a subpoena, but Twitter will give it to you with a subpoena. They give you the IP address of the person. Then you have to get another subpoena, go to that person’s Internet service provider. We have done this. And track that person down, and then the local police in that jurisdiction go to that person’s house. That’s all you can do. What is Twitter supposed to do in that? Would you want a Twitter that just says whenever I ask, “Oh, yeah. I’ll give you that person’s IP address”?
Gina: No, no, no. No.
Jeff: There’s a few things that you can do.
Gina: Go ahead, Jeff.
Jeff: There’s a range here, right? Take for a moment the person who needs their meds out of this because nothing can fix them.
Leo: Believe me, I am sympathetic to mental illness. Mental illness is a disease. It’s an illness.
Jeff: I mean, literally, they need their meds.
Leo: Yeah, they’re in trouble and I feel for them.
Jeff: But for the people who just troll for the sake of trolling, the sake of getting at you, what we need is for society’s norms to mean that people pile up in defense of you and deal with it and reject the people.
Leo: Is that the right thing to do though?
Jeff: There’s a horrible show on ABC I think it is. The What Would You Do? show.
Jeff: They’ll have a guy, sleazy guy picking up on some girl who’s alone in a café.
Leo: I hate that stuff.
Jeff: I hate the show. I hate the show because it tries to make people look bad.
Jeff: But some brave grandma will go and defend and say, “Get away from her” and “Come here, honey.” Then it shows that there are still decent people on earth. But there are and why won’t a sleazy guy go into the café and just hit on any 15-year-old girl? Because there are norms and somebody will stand up and somebody will do something. We have to be in a society but to figure out ways where that happens—
Gina: I agree.
Leo: Problem is, yeah, it’s true in a café that works. It doesn’t work on Twitter. It does the opposite on Twitter. It encourages them.
Gina: Twitter can offer tools that would make that happen. For example, Leo, if I see somebody abusing you and making threats toward you, I can’t report that person for abusing you. You have to report that person, right? That doesn’t really make sense.
Leo: So they could change that.
Gina: Why shouldn’t we all be able to look out for one another?
Jeff: Good point.
Gina: Why shouldn’t I be able to see oh, ten of my friends have blocked this guy?
Leo: Right, right.
Gina: That would make me feel less alone. It just feels like when I was a little kid and I was getting bullied—
Jeff: Yeah, great question.
Gina: —my sister marched around the corner and told the girl she’d punch her in the face (laughter). This is how it works sort of in life, and I feel like Twitter could provide more tools to help people feel—to help users feel more empowered. I felt like the point of the hashtag yesterday is that a lot of users, Twitter users, and the majority of Twitter users are people of color and at least I would guess about half are women, right, feel disempowered and feel helpless and feel like their reports don’t get any sort of response and don’t feel like they have the tools that they need to deal with them.
Leo: It’s my guess that Dick is pretty sympathetic to this, and I would expect him, to the degree that he can, that he would respond to this, right?
Gina: He is. He said that he was in a meeting with his abuse team today—
Leo: Good, yeah.
Gina: —after this whole thing happened yesterday.
Leo: Yeah, I feel like he’s a good guy. I don’t feel like he’s evil in any way.
Jeff: No, not really.
Gina: Yeah, no. I don’t either. I don’t either. It’s interesting though that this (laughter)—hat the earnings report was what spurred this, the hashtag takeover. I found it really interesting to watch.
Leo: Yeah. Well, in a way, he was a victim of Twitter’s (laughter) malleability, flexibility.
Gina: Well, I guess the dick bar was pretty bad as well, right? That was also the hashtag movement right against the Twitter (laughter).
Leo: You’ve got to think that Dick Costolo, the CEO of Twitter gets more of this than anybody, right? Don’t you think he gets a lot of abuse?
Gina: He can afford security. He can afford security (laughter).
Leo: All right. This is the only show that we talk about this stuff on. It’s a good conversation.
Gina: Thank you for indulging me on that one.
Leo: Yeah, I think it’s very important.
Jeff: It’s really good points, Gina.
Leo: As always with this show, we talk about the bigger philosophical issues, the bigger issues that we are faced with in this new world of ours. But now would be a good time to get to the back of the book, the tip, the number, and the tool of the week. Let’s start with your tip, Gina.
Gina: So you can now ask Google Now for directions to My Hotel.
Leo: Oh, I like that.
Gina: Yeah, yeah. So if you’ve got hotel reservations stored in your Gmail account, Google Now knows about it, and you can say, “Show me restaurants near my hotel or get me directions to my hotel from here,” and Google Now will automatically map the phrase “my hotel” to the hotel where you’re staying. Pretty neat. So it’s kind of an extension of “get me directions to work” or “get me directions to home,” and it’s just now a temporary location if you’re staying in a hotel. Pretty smart.
Leo: Yeah. My hotel.
Gina: My hotel, yeah.
Leo: Do you have to have a confirmation from that hotel in your e-mail or something like that?
Gina: Yep, yep.
Leo: That’s how it knows.
Leo: Cool. Jeff, you have, as usual, many numbers. Pick as many as you want.
Jeff: I’ll go over this one.
Jeff: So after the stock went up this week on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, you might have seen, is now worth more than the Google founders.
Jeff: Not that that’s terribly meaningful, but what the heck? So it’s $33.3 billion, ranking him at number 16. The Google founders are 17 and 18. Bezos is 20.
Leo: Wow. Bill Gates used to be the richest man with a mere $32 billion dollars.
Gina: So wait. Who’s number one then?
Jeff: I was afraid you were going to ask me that, Gina.
Gina: Oh, sorry. I’m sorry (laughter). I don’t deal in number 6 or 7, Jeff. I want to know—
Leo: Who’s number one? Who’s number one?
Gina: Oh, this is okay. This is just the tech guys. Okay.
Leo: It’s probably Warren Buffet or something.
Gina: Yeah, probably. All right.
Leo: No, Bill Gates is still the richest man in the world, $84.7 billion.
Jeff: That’s with him giving it away.
Leo: His net worth has grown 8% this year, but it’s not just Microsoft. He also has significant investments in the Canadian National Railway Company.
Leo: And Republic Services. I don’t know what they do. Four hundred million dollars in dividends alone this year. Number two, Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecommunications tycoon with the best name in the name world.
Jeff: And a lot of New York Times stock.
Leo: Carlos Slim sounds like he’s a poker player. He has $78.8 billion. So Bill Gates is still the richest man in the world. Inflation, that’s all that is. Boy, just give me 1 billion, just 1 billion.
Gina: Just one? That’s all you want.
Jeff: You’re greedy. I’ll do the 100 million.
Gina: (Laughter) I’ll go a hundred 100 million.
Leo: All right, all right, all right. Each of us gets 100 million.
Gina: (laughter) All right, perfect. It’s only 300 million.
Leo: That’s just 300 million. That’s nothing.
Gina: Now we’ve got to convince somebody to give it to us (laughter).
Leo: Listen. And my tool is—I think it’s pretty obvious. It’s a great story because you cannot get the OnePlus 1 phone, at least not at its face value, which is a remarkable $300 for the 16GB, $350 for the 64GB. Top of the line. They call it a flagship killer, and it is with the Qualcomm 801 Quadcore Snapdragon with a great camera. You saw probably Jason’s review on Before You Buy or yesterday on All About Android. He’s been using this phone. But we’ve been trying like the dickens because you have to either play a contest. I entered all the contests I could and I was going to destroy my phone on video, but I did everything else and asked for invitations. Finally, one of our viewers very kindly offered—
Jeff: Did you get the same person I did?
Leo: I don’t know.
Gina: No, I think they were different.
Leo: Offered us a phone, so we said yes. Jason bought it, reviewed it. Well, I bought it. Jason reviewed it, and Jason very kindly has let me take it from him.
Jeff: Yeah, poor Jason gets Google Glass and you get the OnePlus. Not fair.
Leo: Well, maybe I’ll give it back when the Moto X + 1 comes out or whatever.
Jeff: I want to give a shutout to Ryan Suzuki who tweeted publically the offer.
Leo: Is that how you got one? Is that how you got it?
Jeff: Yeah, and then he offered Gina one too, but Gina had already gotten a kind viewer.
Leo: So thank you to all three of our benefactors, but what the hell is going on with OnePlus? Why are they making it so hard to get this phone?
Gina: I mean, if it’s a marketing stunt, it’s working.
Leo: Yeah, but at this point you want to say, “Okay, now we’ve got a million of them.”
Jeff: Maybe they don’t.
Leo: I’m calling shenanigans.
Jeff: Yeah, I think it’s marketing.
Gina: They said in their shipping e-mail that they’re a startup and they’re still refining their processes and to be patient. And it took them a couple of days, like several days to process my order.
Gina: Just to process the order. So I don’t know. Maybe they’re—
Leo: Here’s what I think. I think they’re selling it below cost. I think there’s no way this costs $350.
Leo: It is definitely marketing, but it is not marketing for OnePlus. OnePlus was founded by two people who I think may even still work for a company called OPO. And OPO makes
Leo: OnePlus One. O-P-O. And OPO makes a phone that is virtually identical—
Leo: It’s virtually identical called the Find 7, and it costs a little bit more (laughter). It costs what it should cost, around $700 right? This is currently not available yet either in the United States, but we’ll—
Gina: Oh, and the websites look so similar by the way.
Leo: Yeah, so here’s what I think. In fact, in some ways, the Find is even better. It’s got a higher res display, etc. This they’re selling it at a loss so they don’t want to sell too many. It is a marketing ploy, but not for this phone. It’s a marketing ploy for OPO and the Find. That’s my—
Gina: Interesting. Oh, you turned on the light (laughter).
Leo: Jason complained about that. It’s too easy to do because it does this gestures. A V turns on the light. Otherwise, I can’t figure this out.
Gina: I’m convinced. Now that I saw that the UI and the website is basically exactly the same, I think you might be right there.
Leo: I think OPO very cleverly said, “Okay, we’re going to create this dummy company, fund it, build this phone that is essentially the same as the Find, Find 7.”
Gina: We’re going to ship Cyanogen, do invites, and we’re going to get the most influential and dedicated Android power users to—
Leo: Yeah. And by the way, the Find also runs Cyanogen.
Gina: Oh, the Find does run Cyanogen. Okay.
Leo: And I think what they’ve done is that they’re selling this—we got this at half the actual cost. Although I saw—was it I-Supply? One of the companies said it should cost them around $200 to build, so maybe they are making some money on it. I’m not sure.
Gina: Is the Find unlocked in the whole deal? I mean, maybe this is their play edition.
Gina: I mean, maybe this is their play edition. This is their Nexus. This is the developer enthusiast phone.
Leo: And that’s the other thing is you can get the older Find. You can’t get the new one that’s really close to this. You can get the N1, the Find 5, but this new Find 7 is just about to come out. I think this is all a marketing ploy for the Find 7. The reason they don’t want a lot of people to buy it is because it costs them. That’s my guess. Otherwise, why do it? I mean, at some point, you’ve got to pull the plug, you’ve got to end the marketing and make millions.
Leo: I don’t know. The OnePlus One is slightly larger, a millimeter wider. It’s thinner and lighter than the Find, but I think functionally, it’s pretty similar. I don’t know. I can’t figure it out. You tell me.
Leo: But if you can get an invite—now there are companies selling these at a premium. Expansys US has it for $500, a $200 markup.
Jeff: Find 7a in Germany, they quote it in U.S. dollars, is $500.
Leo: But it is my tool of the week. I am really impressed with this phone, and it feels good. It’s a 5-1/2-inch screen. The other one that you probably would want to look at is the G3 if you want to get a big screen phone. But I’ll be curious—so you’re both getting OnePluses.
Gina: I was going to say, I mean, with the exception of one of the Nexuses, this might be the first time that the three hosts of TWiG have settled on the same phone—
Leo: Have had the same phone.
Gina: —as our daily, every day phone. That’s saying something.
Gina: Hook, line, and sinker, man.
Jeff: I’m just pissed I’ve change to SIM.
Jeff: I also want to be able to go back and forth.
Leo: It is not a nano shaman; it is a micro SIM.
Jeff: And every time I change to SIM, something goes wrong with my unlimited data account.
Leo: Aww, that sucks.
Gina: Aww, that’s not good. You’re going to have a Comcast day too.
Gina: Well, apparently, there’s an adapter. You can snap the Nano SIM into a Micro SIM adapter?
Gina: So that’s a possibility.
Leo: When I use my SIM cutter I saved the frame, so if I could only find that, but yeah, it’s just a little bit that goes around it.
Gina: Yeah, so Jeff, maybe you want to try that.
Leo: Yeah, it pops into it and then it’s a full size.
Gina: Every time I go to T-Mobile, they’re like, “How did you get this plan?”
Gina: I’m just like, “Don’t change anything. Just give me a new SIM. Just don’t change anything.” (Laughter)
Leo: All right, ladies and gentlemen, this concludes a very fine this week in Google. It was nice. We had just a little time to sit back, relax, talk philosophy. And I like that.
Leo: I appreciate that.
Leo: Thank you so much for being here. Gina Trapani, you’ll find her at Life—no, not Lifehacker. Smarterware.org. But mostly at ThinkUp.
Gina: ThinkUp, yeah. I’ve got to—
Leo: In fact, if I go to—I haven’t looked at my insights this week. LeoLaporte.ThinkUp.com.
Gina: We launched a free trial I think actually since the last time we talked. You can try ThinkUp now for free. Just go to ThinkUp.com; you sign in with your Twitter or Facebook.
Leo: Oh, do that.
Gina: You get totally free, all the features for 14 days. Yeah, yeah.
Leo: So here’s the top level. What’s happening with my tweets. Whatever Leo Laporte said in the past week must have been memorable. There were 77 favorites, 63 replies, 23 re-tweets.
Gina: Nice chart.
Leo: Three interests—yeah, it’s a good chart. I like that. Three interesting people followed me. More than that. Ohh, but I only had 10 tweets, which is four fewer than the week before. Here’s what I favorited in the years passed. It’s great stuff. Thirty percent of my tweets (laughter)—I like this. Self-reflection is powerful stuff.
Leo: She’s definitely changed that one. Thirty percent of my tweets contain “I, me, mine, or myself.” That’s an awful lot.
Leo: You know, it’s not all of them. My best response between 5 and 6 p.m. See? That’s good to know. I want to keep track about that, so this is good. My popular tweet a year ago. Gosh, that was a year ago?
Gina: (Laughter) I know, right? I say that every day when I see that insight. I’m like, “Whoa.”
Leo: A year ago? Really?
Gina: Time flies.
Leo: This is fun. So ladies and gentlemen, I thank you so much. Gina Trapani, for being here. We couldn’t do it without you, and don’t forget to watch her on All About Android, which is every Tuesday evening on this network.
Gina: It’s a lot of fun.
Leo: 5 p.m. Pacific, 8 p.m. Eastern. Jeff Jarvis is going to relax today. He’s not going to attempt anything too complicated. Whatever you do, stay off ladders. Do not try to fix the well.
Jeff: Well, we did that last week. I told you that—was that last week?
Leo: No, you had well problems last week?
Jeff: Yeah, we did. Yeah, yeah. At the same time, we were putting in a new septic because the septic broke.
Leo: I was just going to say, if the well’s gone, the septic must be next.
Jeff: Yeah, it was both of them.
Leo: Country living, country living.
Jeff: So $28,000 for a place to put my...
Leo: So you had to dig a new one?
Jeff: Oh, yeah.
Gina: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Twenty-eight grand?
Leo: Oh, yeah. It’s expensive.
Jeff: Twenty-eight grand.
Gina: Oh, I’m living in the city.
Leo: Yeah, well, you have to dig it.
Jeff: Well, I didn’t dig it.
Leo: (Laughter). Go out there with a shovel.
Jeff: Oh, the technology now is unbelievable.
Leo: Oh, it’s not just a little backhoe?
Jeff: Oh, God no, god no. So there’s two cisterns.
Leo: Yeah, you have to switch back and forth right? Every six months.
Jeff: Oh, I didn’t know that part.
Leo: Oh, yeah.
Jeff: Okay, so it goes into the thing. Then the leach field is half a football field.
Jeff: Dug down, four feet of stone and sand.
Leo: That’s right, yep.
Jeff: Then these big, black, thick tubes across that. And then the white tubes into that.
Leo: Yeah, yeah.
Jeff: Then more sand on top of that. And then of course white pipes sticking up all over my yard now.
Leo: Aww. (Laughter) We’re both on septic systems. We’ll have a little conversation (laughter).
Jeff: Yes, yes. Off the air, we can paraphrase—
Leo: How old was your system?
Jeff: Forty-five years.
Leo: Oh, yeah. Well, you got a good use out of it.
Gina: Oh, okay. Twenty-eight grand!
Leo: Oh, it’s expensive.
Gina: That’s crazy.
Leo: But you save up. Every year, you put a thousand dollars in there and you’ll be all right.
Leo: You save up for your leach field (laughter).
Jeff: I’m never getting a new car.
Jeff: My car is now 10 years old.
Leo: That’s the joy of country living.
Leo: Thank you all for joining us. We do TWiG, This Week in Google, every Wednesday. It’s kind of my last show of the week before my weekend, which is tomorrow and Friday.
Jeff: You get to go to Comcast.
Leo: I’m devoting my weekend to DMV and Comcast. That’s exciting.
Leo: That’s exciting.
Gina: It’s a good time.
Leo: One p.m. Pacific, 4 p.m. Eastern, 2000 UTC on the TWiT network. Please stop by and watch us live if you can. If you can’t, on demand audio and video, always available Twit.tv/Twig or wherever you get your shows, including iTunes, Stitcher, Xbox Music, or any of the great third-party apps developed for the TWiT network including Roku, Windows Phone, and of course iOS and Android. Thanks for being here. We’ll see you next time on TWiG!