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This Week in Tech 443
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiT,
This Week in Tech. What a big news week! It looks like we got a new CEO at Microsoft, Google dumps Motorola and finally, a TV show
about us called Selfie. All next on TWiT.
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This is TWiT,
This Week in Tech. Episode #443, recorded February 2, 2014
Selfie in the City
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Leo: It's time
for TWiT, This Week in Tech, the show that covers all your week's tech needs. Joining me are mostly Canadians,
and one guy who forgot there was a game. Jason Hiner from Tech Republic is here, CBS interactive. Nice to see you
Jason Hiner: Hey, good to be here Leo.
Leo: You're a
Jason: I am a
football fan, go Broncos, Peyton Manning, I'm more a Colts fan but you know
Peyton Manning is playing.
Leo: I'm with
you on that. Also here, Rene Ritchie, who is wearing his- Is that your Montreal
shirt, I don't know. I've never seen this shot before. This is a unique shot
Ritchie: I renovated, I put in new shelving and redecorated for you Leo.
Leo: Rene is
of course, at iMore.com, great website. But he also covers Blackberry and
Android and is a regular on MacBreak Weekly every
Tuesday on this network. Great to have you.
Rene: It's a
great shot, by the way.
Leo: I know, I love it. It's
beautiful. Soon to join us will be Mathew Ingram, also a Canadian. You'd be
amazed at how many tech journalists are actually secret football fans. I don't
understand it. Here's a fella' whose got a clear allegiance to some team. Bill
Gates tweeted this a little while ago. He's looking more and more like Woody
Allen as time goes by. Bill, take off the tie, maybe.
Jason: Have you
seen them in the same room together Leo? I think that's the obvious question.
Leo: And the
hat looks big. It looks like the hat didn't fit. Anyway he's wearing SeaHawks garb because he's from Seattle and all of that.
Jason: Balmer is an owner right? Or no, is it the basketball team?
Leo: The Super
Sonics? Yeah. Paul Allen, who is one of the founders of Microsoft, owns the
Trailblazers and I think the Sonics, but Balmer might
be involved in that as well.
those guys.. Those guys up there, they own lots of
Leo: They have
plenty of money.
Jason: Nerds and
their sports, yeah.
Leo: So we had
a little debate whether we should move TWiT and we
decided to do it at the same time, 3pm Sunday. Even though there will be a Superbowl going on at some point during this broadcast.
Jason: A little
football game. Just this little game.
cares? Do you really care?
Jason: You can
watch it next year! That's what I put on Twitter.
Leo: It's on
look, you can watch the Superbowl next year.
Leo: I cared
last year when our team was in it and I enjoy watching. But you've got to admit
it's for the ads. A lot of it, I mean, for a lot of people even if they're not
into football, this is the most expensive ad buy of the year, and it is
usually... You know, you put your best foot forward during these ads, in fact there's many companies that don't advertise anytime. In
fact, very famously about thirty years ago, a little fruit company named Apple
had a Superbowl ad announcing the Macintosh. That was
a big deal.
Jason: 1984 Leo.
Leo: 1984. It
won't be like 1984. I remember the first time I saw a tech ad. It was for a
.com I think in the late '90s during the Superbowl.
Jason: Oh yeah,
remember that? Between '99 and 2000, all the tech companies
that were advertising the Superbowl? They were
companies that put their whole advertising budget into buying one Superbowl ad. And I think some of them only had like one
spot or maybe two spots and their whole budget for the year, they put into one Superbowl ad. That sort of sums up the
.com boom for you.
most of them were out of business-
aren't even still around.
Leo: Squarespace has a Superbowl ad
this year. This is, it's a little creepy. A little weird. I guess it's all of the weird stuff on the
(We can't change what the web has become,
but we can change what it will be. A better web starts with your website.)
that nice? Good for them!
Jason: Not bad,
that's not bad.
some of that venture capital money going in there. I don't know how many other
tech companies- Probably IBM. There was some question by the way, that Apple
might do a 30th Anniversary ad, which would have been great. But these ads are
millions of dollars, so it's not something you do on a whim.
doing 90 second MyVerse commercials everywhere.
What do you call it? Liverse?
Jason: Yourverse, what is yourverse.
Leo: And Robin
Williams, in the tub-
sounded like someone recorded off of the VHS copy.
Leo: So, the
big story of the week. We should probably get right into it because people are
already leaving. I'm sorry, the Superbowl got in your
way. I apologize. They just set up a giant screen so that I wouldn't miss the
game. And of course, we've got people there, so that was thoughtful. The big
story probably- Well there's quarterly results from Facebook and Apple and
Microsoft, but I think the big story has to be the shocker that happened on
Wednesday. Google announced that they were selling Motorola. They just bought
it 19 months ago.
Rene: Yeah, Lenovorola.
Leo: Lenovorola. Now, in 2005 Lenovo bought IBM's Thinkpad business and kept the name, kept the quality,
didn't really innovate tremendously but over time they've improved. They're
probably a good steward of Motorola, yes?
Jason: They wanted
to buy Blackberry and the Canadian government said no.
Leo: Ah, yeah
Lenovo does make phones. They do make, as you might expect because they're a
Chinese company, they do make phones that sell well in China. They don't have a
presence in the US or Europe. Motorola's Moto X is now sold in Western Europe,
in the US, and South America, so it will get them quickly into that market.
Some people said that the problem was that the Motorola phones weren't selling
well for Google and it was a big drain on Google. I have to credit Larry Page
when he says, he posted a blog post saying in order to succeed in the phone
business, I'm paraphrasing here, you have to be all in and we just didn't want
to devote that much energy to it. We're not getting out of hardware, remember
they bought Nest and of course, GoogleGlass, it's not
that we don't want to do hardware, some people
speculated that, we just don't think the phone business is a good fit. Now, I'm
reading between the lines but this is what I think happened. Samsung bitched
mightily, didn't like the idea that Google was competing with them with
handsets. Samsung is selling, I don't know, 100 times more handsets than
Motorola did. They are an important partner and they're starting to pull away.
They're doing Tizen, they're junking up their phones
making it less and less Android-like, and Google had to do a little gut check
and say to themselves what is our business? Are we
trying to make our money on phones? No, we make money when people use Android.
When people use the apps on Android, that's when we make money. What is our
interest here? Getting more companies to use Android. Not scaring them away, but getting more companies to use Android. This to me, makes perfect sense. You might wonder well why'd they even buy Motorola in the first place.
And there was a great joy of tech comic in which- Let me see if I can find it.
Lenovo is shopping and they come to a garage sale and there's a big Android,
it's a Google yard sale, they say, "What's the
story with that blue one?" "It was bought for me but it really didn't
fit," says the Android. "Oh, so it's like a regift.
I'll take it for a billion." "Get serious, they paid 12 billion for it." "What about 2
billion?" "8 billion and it's yours." What else are they
selling by the way? The Nest."2.9 billion is my final offer." "Sold! Let me put it in a bag for you." Lenovo walks off, looks in the bag and
says, "Wait a second, where are the patents?!"
Rene: You know,
if you look at the timeline they kind of clowned around with the entire Nortel
patent sweep, they ended up losing out on that to Rockstar BillCo, and then Motorola was saying we're going to
sue everyone else who makes Android devices because we're not making any money,
but we have these patents. So they bought Motorola and kind of quieted them
down. The litigation they were doing didn't really pay off because it was
mostly standard essential patents, so they couldn't really win on those. They were
producing hardware, but were not producing money and that's not really a very
attractive deal for Google. Nest seems to make much more sense.
this deal is maybe not quite as bad as it looks for Google. I mean Google
needed to get out of this, this thing was a massive
drain on their bottom line. They were not all in, clearly, on this. They tried
to run Motorola separately, I think they told them to go out and be innovative
and do some interesting things, and they were starting to do some interesting
things, so you could make the argument that Motorola was really just getting
started. The Moto X is a good product, they were manufactured in the US, they
were innovating a little bit on the way consumers go and can customize it and that
kind of thing. The middle of last year they had started talking about some of
the cool things they wanted to innovate on. By the way, a lot of that
innovative group that was doing those cool things like
pills that you could wirelessly authenticate, just using the electromagnetic
forces in your body, and crazy stuff like that. Do you remember that? The Verge
reported that they are actually keeping that unit, that-
right, they're keeping Aura, which is the modular phone system that Motorola
was developing, and all of the Blue Sky research the RND.
that RND group that was run by- What's her name?....
Dugan, she used to be with Darpa.
that's the one. Regina Dugan from Darpa. Really smart that they kept that-
Leo: They also
had divested the set-top box business, that was 2.4
billion. The patents were worth, some say 6 billion. This is not the
money-loser it looks like.
Jason: No, it's-
probably broke even.
probably did break even.
Rene: It's not
it's not a money-loser if you're not losing money.
clearly, this was between Samsung and Google. There was some massive tension
between those two and it was going to end badly, that was not going to end well for either one of them, honestly. So, this sort of
clears the air on that.
Leo: And it 's
no accident, is it, that Samsung just before this announcement, agreed to A)
put less cruft on our phones, they agreed with
Google, we're going to junk up our phones less and we will give users the right
to uninstall the junk we put on there.
they'll also get rid of that magazine UI that they debuted on their brand new
tablets, which is very different than Android.
Leo: That is
horrible, I have that on Note3, it was really clear to me that Samsung was
saying to Google, we're moving away and are going to do what Amazon did.
Rene: They had
their own developer conference, they'll be doing their
own app store.
Jason: Yep, yep.
Leo: So this
was a rear guard. This was Google saving it's butt
because you can't have the company that's selling 80% of the smart phones out
there, not selling an Android phone.
Jason: And I
have no doubt this is in the works for a while, it's funny, I talked with
Lenovo people at CES and they actually have some phones there. They kept
clearly saying that they hadn't announced that those were going to be released
in the US, they were actually some really nice phones as far as these sort of
devices go, and they kept saying we're not saying we're going to release these
in the US, we don't have carrier relationships yet and all of that kind of
stuff, and so I just had this feeling that they were sort of dancing around
something. Like something big was going on and I had mentioned to a couple of
people privately, keep an eye on this because something is happening with them
because they're really dodgey about this and I've got
the feeling they're either going to announce something with a bunch of carriers
or do a deal or something. And this was the deal, to buy Motorola. And actually
there was another factor we wrote about this, obviously our site, Techrepublic writes a lot of stuff aimed at people who use
these devices to do work and get work done and to pass them out in large
companies. And this deal does have the potential to help Android breakthrough
in the enterprise. Because as you guys know, in the enterprise, in business
especially in the US, it's a big iPhone story, iOS.
It's somewhere in 60-70% of the devices that are sort of sanctioned in the
enterprise, whether they're BYOD or things that you pass out, our iOS devices, Androids have had a real problem breaking into
the enterprise. This is the deal that could help because both Lenovo and
Motorola both have great DNA in knowing how to work with the enterprise, both
sort of BYOD standpoint and traditional enterprise machines and so, this is the
one thing we wrote a piece in Techrepublic this week
that this could be the move that helps Android kind of turn the corner in the
I'm only sad because I just bought another Moto X, I
just bought the wooden one. I guess it's not a coincidence that they just had a
deal on Monday and it was $100 off so unlocked 350 for 32gigs, 300 for 16gigs,
so it was a really good deal. When you see a clearance deal, you should know,
shouldn't you. You'd think I've been buying this crap long enough to know.
they're still selling that device though, they're not
running away from that device.
Leo: Well, and
this may take a while. They've got to get China and the US government to
approve it, this could take anywhere from 6-8 months, to a year. So I figure
I've got a little time left. But I think this Moto X was the best Android phone
ever. Would love to see better hardware, a bigger screen, but you know I bought
the Note 3 and I love the hardware in the Note 3, better camera but it's so
Rene: The ideas
on this phone were better, it took too long to get it out so they have a lot of
old- Like they have 720p display and older chip sets, but a newer version of
this phone, completely spec'd out would be fantastic and you have to think at
least Lenovo short-term is going to keep that road map.
they're capable of doing it aren't they?
Jason: Absolutely. They can execute, Lenovo knows how to execute on hardware. I mean,
they did it when they bought ThinkPad, they executed
their tails off with that.
Leo: They did.
Jason: Year over
year over year, they keep putting out new devices and just keep improving it
and they do good stuff.
Rene: And I,
for one, can't wait for a Nest phone from Google.
Jason: A Nest
Leo: Just a
big dial on the front that know what you want and
knows who you want to call.
Rene: With a
Leo: Am I
wrong in thinking that the value for Google is that more people use Android,
they don't care who's hardware they use at all.
Rene: They make
more money off of iOS still, than Android. They
really don't care what you're doing as long as you have Google services on your
seems right. And I also think that if you could put a better screen and camera
on the Moto X, if Lenovo could do that, the stuff that's in here, the awareness
of what's going on...
listening, the processors, the active display-
brilliant and I think there's something here, but it didn't catch on.
Jason: It was
the most innovative phone of 2013. If I had a list of the most innovative
phones of 2013, that would be number one on the list.
saying a lot.
Jason: They did
things that nobody else was doing and they actually innovated and did some new
stuff and provided new value, in a year where there wasn't a lot of new things going on so I think it's a great device. It's a good start,
it needs to improve in a number of ways but Lenovo just got a huge leap forward
in what they were doing in phones.
Rene: And they
also had a bunch of Google people down there helping them, so we'll see what
it's like when Lenovo gets there.
Leo: Well I
think Google was at great pains to keep a Chinese Wall,
if you will, between Motorola and Google.
Rene: I don't
know, as far as I know they had tons of Google people working closely with
Motorola. That's a Google phone, that runs Google's
version of Android, it has like the Google Now integration and it's better than
Nexus, they've put a lot of effort into making that the best Google phone this
Jason: Yeah, I
they still make it in America?
think they will.
think it’s a selling point, don't you?
it is and they do a lot in America. Remember that’s really a US market only phone too. I remember when it first came out, I knew a bunch of people in Europe that were really
interested in that device. And they were
bummed that they weren’t…
Leo: They’ve added Western Europe. They just started selling in Western Europe and in South America
too. So it gets them in markets that Lenova is not in but they said a year ago “we want to be in
the US market, we’re going to be in the US market”.
were sniffing for a long time to get in there.
are probably knocking on wood saying “Oh, we didn’t get Blackberry, oh wow -
Jason: Dodged a bullet! Dodged a
bullet! You know they are a huge
presence in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. Monstrous, huge.
Leo: Oh. Interesting.
those people that used to work for IBM down in RTP are now working for Lenova. They bought
all of that Think Pad division originally and that was all being run down
there, most of it. And they own that and
now they bought the Server Division from IBM as well and so they’ve got all
those people down there at RTP. So
they’ve got a big presence in the US.
Leo: Matthew Ingram has just joined us. Matthew, great to have you.
Ingram: Thanks. Sorry for being late.
talking about the Nova; first story. You
didn’t miss much. I’m about to wrap it
up though if you have any thoughts. Do
you think people will have a hard time buying a phone from a Chinese
Mathew: No I
don’t think so. I mean, I think it
really depends on the quality of the phone. If they can keep it at a certain quality level I don’t think anybody
would have a problem. At
least not that I’m aware.
Leo: They’re not worried about Chinese spying? You know we got a warning from Congress not
to buy Huawei or ZTE phones or devices because they Chinese Government owned them and the
Military owned them and was spying on them.
the NSA is spying, Leo.
got enough to worry about with the US spying!
ironic but this NSA story actually helps Lenova! It actually helps Lenova, that is weird.
is weird. But you are right.
going to take a break and when we come back we’re going to have a lot
more. Great to have
you. Matthew Ingram is here from
gigaom.com, Rene Ritchie here from iMore.com, from CBS Interactive is Jason Hiner. We’re talking the weeks Tech News.
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this is a first I think. The super bowl
is being streamed this year free. You
can go to superbowl.foxsports.com. You three are on because you don’t care! Actually Jason is on because he forgot it was
Super Bowl Sunday! You guys are from
our football is over.
you got the gray goose cup and it’s over!
gray cup! The same as
our all gray team.
Leo: There’s no goose involved! But I
thought this was very interesting. They
do have ads, they are not the same ads as on the
TV. There are fewer of them. But if you go to superbowl.foxsports.com it starts streaming right away and
it does not do as others have done and say, “Whose your cable company, whose
your daddy?”. They don’t ask you who your Daddy is, they just do it.
Rene: It is US only, Leo?
don’t know, try it. If you want to try
it, go ahead. Its superbowl.foxsports.com It must be only
US. But I don’t know, maybe not.
Rene: Because I just want the ads, frankly.
this is the thing. These are not the ads
that you will see on the super bowl.
available in the US.
Leo: Matthew Ingram can’t do it. You’re in Toronto, right Matthew?
of the ads have been released already. A
lot of the companies, very smartly, have released their ads.
Leo: Remember the days pre-YouTube there was a
company that had all the Super Bowl ads on their website and they got shut down? Budweiser said, “How dare you show our ad on
the internet?” What?
the ads got leaked and now the companies are all leaking them themselves!
Leo: So is
there a site that we can go just to watch the ads if you’re not interested in
sports ball? Probably
YouTube exactly. Fast Company had this
great story earlier today like the best super bowl ads ever by category. I twittered it. Let me find it. There are some classics in there. Ones I had totally forgotten about a long
know what’s histerical? If you try to watch super
bowl ads on YouTube they put an ad in front of the ad! It’s one of our sponsors, it’s Legal Zoom so I’m not going to complain but that’s a little weird. I have to watch a 30 second pre-roll ad so I
can watch ads!
in America! Actually, it’s
all over the world now, baby! The ads
are a big part of the super bowl. In
fact I was saying before we began, that the actual game play of any NFL
football game is 11 minutes. So if you
wanted to you could just edit out the ads, the huddles, the crap, and you’d
have 11 minutes of action. And it takes
about 3 hours to watch a game. Sometimes
the super bowl takes even longer because they pause a lot for the ads. If you go to a Monday night football game, I
was at one about a month ago, the game is stalled regularly. There is what they call an Ad timeout. And the poor players just have to stand
there. it is
just terrible. Just
standing around. Hey, it’s
money. Lots of money.
play Rugby Leo.
Rugby there is no standing around! But
you could have a long scrum though. Sometimes they do that thing where they are all huddled and…
should sponsor the scrums!
should! A little ad in the crotch
shot. How much is the Super Bowl
ad? I wonder if there is some way I
could search the internet for that? If only there was the latest info on Super
Bowl ad costs. The record number of expected people to
tune in… blah, blah, blah.
million dollars for a…
million for a 30 second ad? Wow! Square Space - you could’ve bought the Twit
network for three years for that! You
get one 30 second ad and I guarantee you we produce more results on one of our
ads than the Super Bowl ad.
but see, stamps.com couldn’t afford the Super Bowl
ad because they advertise on Twit!
Leo: That’s right! But Square Space advertises
on Twit. They should’ve spent some of
that on… four million!
now they’ll know, Leo. They tested it
and now they’ll know!
Leo: So Go
Daddy is back but I don’t think they will have the sexy Go Daddy anymore.
Leo: Well, I don’t know! Remember the
disgusting ad last year was the geek kissing Bar Refaeli?
Jason: They’ve gotten so much backlash.
know a bunch of people that have said they will never do business with them
pulled all my domains and put them over on Hover. Carmax; that’s a web play isn’t it? A lot of AT&T mobile ads.
Microsoft have ads?
see if we can find a Microsoft Super Bowl ad. It reminds the world of why its software matters. You know, it’s a bad sign if you have to
remind the world. You don’t have to
watch the Super Bowl, just watch the ads. Watch this ad; he’s communicating through his computer, he can’t
talk. Team Gleason. This is a Microsoft ad and they haven’t
mentioned Microsoft once. There it
is: Windows 8. This is very cool. He’s talking to his kid. I’m about to cry. This is the YouTube version and it is a two
and a half minute ad. That is pretty
cool. “Until there is one, technology is
my cure”. That is a great ad.
story telling! It reminds me a little
bit of that Apple ad that they did at Christmas; the one that was two and a
half minutes long. Kind of broke the
kid that was looking at his smart phone and not participating until you realize
he was making a movie.
one was more ground breaking, but that one I thought was really interesting
things in that ad. Whenever you think of
the voracity of it, it was pretty interesting. But the Microsoft ad was just good storytelling. Some of what people do in ads is more about
brand than it is about product. It makes
you feel good about being associated with that brand. They did that pretty well.
Leo: That’s the way to do it. So much
better than to see them scroogling Google or slamming
Apple. Just show what people do that have technology empowering them.
“Technology is not enough” line is good.
Leo: Yeah. This is a whole
series. They have surgeons operating
with Connect. Might make me a little
nervous! School kids using Skype. A 97 year old man creating
art in Microsoft Paint. Remember
the video of Sarah Churmancho who was born deaf but
got Choclear Implants and heard for the first
time? That was a viral video on YouTube;
20 million views - they do an ad with her as well.
Rene: Remember the ads when they introduced FaceTime and and Siri? They showed someone using sign language, someone being read to, someone
being able to walk for the first time in a forest they’d never seen. It makes nerds cry! Powerful storytelling a company needs to do.
ads are not aimed at nerds. They are
aimed at real people, right?
are real people.
Rene: Mainstream technology. It’s that
we believe methodology that we want to make people’s lives better not just make
their technology faster or bigger and louder and noisier.
Apple do a Super Bowl ad in the 30th Anniversary of its 1984 ad?
should just run you with your Mac Profolio on the cam!
Leo: It’s unknown, it hasn’t been leaked if they are doing it. But if you are watching the game in the show,
join the chatroom and let me know. By the way at the same time as Google sold
Motorola mobility they bought an artificial intelligence company. For half a billion dollars the idea being to
use deep minds artificial intelligence to improve search, the knowledge graph,
in specific. Anybody have any insight on
this idea? Remember the great artificial
intelligence scientist, Ray Kurzwell, joined Google’s
AI efforts about a year ago. He’s
working on the knowledge graph, building out something called quite scarily,
The Google Brain. Might as well call it
Sky Net and get it over with.
Google’s not all in on Smart Phones which they never were, clearly. They are all in on AI and Robots right
now. They are investing in lots of startups. If you look at the last six months you look
at the strides that they have made in Robots and in AI. They are clearly betting big that this is the
future of their business.
Rene: I’m trying to imagine you take the people
behind Nest, take the people behind Boston Dynamics and the people behind Deep
Mind and put them all together. Either
tremendously exciting or terribly frightening!
dogs who sense your temperature and anticipate your movements. They might as well call it SkyNet right now!
Jason: Pretty interesting. Brain trust
that they are putting together with all of this stuff
kind of makes sense because if you are Google you look at other companies that
have rested on their laurels and Google could say, “We’re totally a dominate
search. Look at Bing and Yahoo - nobody
is going to compete with us. So we could
just rest in our laurels”. Or if you are
smart, as anybody who runs a company should be, you say, “Ok what is going to
disrupt this, what is the next thing, how do we get there now while we’ve got
revenue from the old thing”?
you think about it, Google has really been doing that for quite some time. They’ve been talking about what happens after
Search. So how can we show you things or
give you things or anticipate things. That’s where Google is now. To
give you things before you actually search. To make it so you don’t have to search.
Leo: Is it
your opinion that Nest was more about the team than the hardware?
Mathew: Definitely. For me, it is
interesting hardware. I’m less
interested in the smoke detectors. To me
it’s the design. Those products are just
a glimpse of what you could do if you rethought home automation and the
internet of things. In order to make
that stuff approachable, make it easier to use and make people want to have it, you’re going to have to design it the way that Nest was
designed. It’s got to be appealing. It’s got to be super easy to use and sexy and
Google just isn’t that good at that.
best thing about Google and Apple to me and what makes them is that it’s very
rare that a big company does not mistake their product for their business. Too many companies think we have a big
product we have to hold on it and then they drive it right into the
ground. But Google will kill anything
that gets in their way. They never
wanted to be the Search engine, they want to be the Star Trek computer, they
want to be an easily accessible repository for all the world’s knowledge. And Google Search was
an easy way to get there initially. But
in order to get bigger and that’s why they started scanning books and that’s
why they got into video. They want to be
able to give you everything at a moment’s notice, and of course harvest the
data that goes along with that so that they can afford to give you even more
stuff. And when you look at Nest, for
example, Tony Fadel is not just making nice looking
smoke detectors. He’s a guy who learned
how to dent universes from Steve Jobs and there are very few product people
like that left in technology. And if you
can get one of those on your payroll and make the end point as amazing as the
central repository and that is what Google gets out of all their recent deals.
Jason: Nest is a beautifully executed and there is
a bit of artificial intelligence in Nest even. A very small bit in this internet of things. But Nest follows your patterns, learns your
patterns, also they know and understand spikes and they automatically will do
things for you that save you money. There’s no movement, it’s got that sensor that senses movement and if
there is no movement then it drops the temperature, it finds your
patterns. Honestly, when I got one I was
expecting, “Okay I’m going to have to put some time into this thing and figure
it out” because you can set up the patterns yourself. Like at 9:00 move the temperature down or
that kind of thing I never had to do it. It figured it out with in a week and
I’ve never had to set anything. So it basically has a small amount of its own
AI and it’s just a beautifully executed product. So like Rene is saying when
you when you have the opportunity to work with or bring in a team that is doing
these really smart things with this very next generation, in the internet of
thing you do it. The fact that Google seemed to buy it when there didn’t seem
to be much of a bidding war for it was probably the biggest surprise. Maybe
Google just went to Defcon 5 and said we’re going to
spend whatever we have to, to get it but I’m surprised others didn’t try to get
them. Not just Apple either, GE, IBM, lots of other people, Cisco, that are
really interested in this kind of space. That Google got them is a little bit
of a surprise to me and it’s clearly a big win for Google to get those guys.
Leo: Now here’s an interesting story that’s related. In 2009 Carol Barts, then CEO of Yahoo said we’re not going to do search
any more, we’re going to do a 10 year deal with Microsoft – the Microsoft –
Yahoo search alliance and Bing will be Yahoo search. They got out of the search
business but according to Cara Swisher writing and re-code this week there are
2 secret projects Marissa Mayer started at Yahoo to bring back search. One is
called Fast Break and one is called Curveball. They’re committed to Microsoft
until 2019 but does anybody know anything about what’s going on behind closed
doors? Sources according to Cara said Mayer put a priority on the projects; a
3-4 month time frame, which could eventually result in a full search engine
possibly more oriented to mobile than desktop.
Rene: She wants to own her own technology. Any big company wants to
own their core technology – at least a serious big company. She doesn’t want be
dependent on – it’s incredibly Marissa Mayer move to not want to be dependent
on Microsoft for her core business.
Jason: I’d be shocked if they do not make their own and long before
2019. If they do not break off from Bing and do their own thing in search I
would be shocked. I think that Yahoo is destined to be Google’s biggest
competitor in search. I think that’s why they brought in Marissa Mayer, I think
that’s why she’s been doing the aggressive things she’s been doing for a while.
They are just trying to reinvent their product from the ground up and search
has got to be at the center of it. It’s where the big money is and she knows
how to do it.
Mathew: I totally agree. It’s smart; they more or less have to do
it. Marissa has deep background in that but you know Yahoo has been such a
train wreck for so many years. Do they have anyone good in search who stuck
around? Or are they going to have to go out and buy things and hire people
because they were nowhere. They gave up. If you were interested in search you
just quit and left. You can’t just reinvent that stuff overnight.
Jason: I agree, It’s not going to happen
overnight but I’m sure that somebody should go through the job listings and
probably Cara and others have. They are hiring people in search.
Rene: There are a lot of board engineers sitting around big
companies like Google and Facebook who got hired because they wanted all the
talent that have very little to do and these people don’t like sitting around;
so if you can identify them and make them an offer that lets them think they’ll
be able to create a great new product you’ll probably have an in with them.
Mathew: You’ve got to admit if you like underdogs…
Leo: Right and having Marissa Mayers gives them some credibility. You might want to say oh I want to work for Marissa, she is doing something there at Yahoo. She’s
bringing the pride back to the purple.
Jason: They are doing some good things. I’ve been impressed with
some of the stuff they’re doing. They’ve created momentum, they are product
Leo: I think there is a clue in here too – it says Mobile. It’s
really clear that if you’re going to succeed going forward it’s going to be on
mobile. People are just not using desktops. The future is in smart phones, in
tablets and it would be one way that perhaps you could scoop Google although
with Google Now and the things Google is doing with Android I don’t know.
Rene: - media search on mobile, cause mobile people go to - on the
desktop people go to the browser and it’s going to be very hard to teach them
the habit of not going to Google.com but on mobile people go to apps. Apple
does it with Siri and Google tries to stop people from doing it with Google now
but on a phone it’s open season.
Leo: Yahoo’s done a couple of really good apps, they’ve just done
Yahoo weather and the new Yahoo news app is very good.
Jason: That’s what I was thinking of a minute ago when we were
talking. Those 2 were the first that came to my mind. They do great stuff with
that, it’s almost like micro search. It’s like of like the way social. Social
is a big thing, you go to Facebook and all your stuff is there and now it’s
breaking out actually. You do Instagram for photos, you do different smaller apps in different way. It’s not the mammoth. Search
can go this way I think Rene is what you’re getting at. You can break this into
different pieces and you could be doing it in smaller slices where it makes
sense. Things like searching for books, searching for a service, like you might
do with Angie’s list. That’s who Yahoo should buy next.
Mathew: When you think about it, it’s still a huge, huge – I mean
even if that is true. Look at what Google has when it comes to Google Now. Look
at the massive amount of data and signals and information, deep information
that they have about me and my usage of the web or my interest or any of that
stuff. My email, all those things – Yahoo has nothing.
Leo: I still don’t have the Super bowl scores on my Google Now.
Jason: They still have lots of people using Yahoo Mail, they still have lots of people using Home Page. They
don’t have what Google has, Google is clearly way ahead. They don’t have much
on me either, but they do have lots of people who aren’t techies that are into
Yahoo or into Pop Culture – things like that. I guess that’s why people go to
Yahoo.com. Yahoo has more traffic than Google if you count all their stuff
together. They passed Google in 2013. So they do have people, they do have
data. They don’t have what Google has and certainly if they’re going back into
search it’s not going to be going head to head with where Google is strong now.
It’s going to be them figuring out what is next and probably it is more mobile,
it is more internet of things. Easy targets, wearable’s, maybe, if they can
power search in that. Whatever it is they’re going to go for what’s next and
not where Google is strong today. That would be the obvious answer.
Leo: We’re going to take a break. When we come back Facebook’s
quarterly results – bring it back to life. I might have been premature on
declaring their death. First a word from FreshBooks:
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Week in Tech. Getfreshbooks.com. Facebook: record quarterly results. Facebook
turned 10 this week, Mark Zuckerberg turned 30,
revenue of 2.59 billion dollars in the quarter, up 63% but most important in
these numbers: Mobile. They turned it around and this was always to me the big
question mark about Facebook; can they make mobile pay? Well they have. It’s
pretty clear they’re going great guns, they just announced, it’s coming out
tomorrow, Paper for iOs which they say is a news app.
It’s the next Facebook. Don’t you think? I think Facebook has figured out
mobile, now Paper does not have any adds.
Mathew: It’s interesting, I looked at it because I wrote about it
but it’s interesting because we were just talking about sort of fragmentation
that mobile can bring and how – this is exactly what Mark Zuckerberg is talking
about. He talked about it on the earnings call and Paper is the perfect
example. They’re going to make a whole bunch of these bets where they take a
specific type of activity or a used case and turn it into a separate app.
Instagram is a good example, instant messenger is too. Whether it’s going to
work I don’t know to be honest. Whether there are going to be enough people who
want to use Paper I don’t know but it’s a smart strategy I think particularly
Leo: Of course Facebook Home was a resounding flop, Facebook went
all in on this modified launcher for Android –
Rene: Isn’t it amazing Leo that they’re willing to let Mike Madison
and his team mess with their core experience. I can’t
see Apple or even like the Google Front Page letting – no matter how good the
designer is, just saying you want to try something new? You want chat heads? Go
ahead. Make flip book interface for Facebook, go ahead. We’re willing to try
Leo: Again this is what I was talking about. You have to be willing
to cannibalize your business if you’re going to continue forward.
Mathew: They do that really well, and you know we make fun of them
because poke flops or they try some new thing that’s just terrible but they
just keep trying and trying. You cannot stop them and some of that stuff works.
Leo: So you’ve been playing with it Mathew, in your headline you
said Facebook heard you liked newspapers so it decided to make a newspaper app
out of your Facebook. But it does strike me that if this succeeds is this not
going to be your Facebook feed plus?
Mathew: To be honest I don’t think that is what they are trying to
Leo: They’re trying to put real news sources in with your feed?
Mathew: They’re trying to give you a more curated version of your
feed and other people’s feeds.
Leo: But they’ve been doing that all along. I mean my news feed is
completely curated at this point.
Mathew: Yes and this is a sort of an extension of that diverted
into a specific app and I think it’s sort of a bead testing. They’ll see if
people like this better or if they like that better and how does being on
mobile change the way you interact with your feed. I think that the design of
it is really interesting because it doesn’t look like Facebook.
Leo: It’s gorgeous.
Mathew: There’s none of the brand name, none of the sort of colors,
there is none of the look so they’re clearly trying to carve a separate thing
but still use all the assets they have with in the Facebook feed and to me
that’s smart. They’ve probably seen engagement decrees through the news feed so
they’ve got to figure out a way to fix that.
Jason: What Facebook has done in mobile over the past year is kind
of what I consider to be one of the best big company pivots that I’ve seen in
the digital age since about 2005-2006. Or maybe we call it the social mobile
age. It’s tough, Facebook got really big, really fast and they actually were in
some trouble as we’ve all talked about in the past couple of years. They really
did turn the corner the last year and it’s almost a mobile 1st,
Facebook thing now. It’s working and I have relatives
that are on Facebook now and they use it solely on their phone. They never go
to the site, they only use it there. They don’t have all these other apps yet,
these are kind of for earlier folks like us and younger folks who are on their
phones all the time. But the fact that Facebook is serving both audiences and
doing it pretty well and have pivoted is pretty big.
Mathew: It is pretty amazing when you think about it. Not that long
ago their mobile revenues were 0.
Rene: They saw that mobile was going to be the next big thing, they messed around with and decided they didn’t want
to make a phone, made Facebook Home, they hired a slew of iOs and Android engineers. Mike Madison made delicious library, he made the photo
and camera apps on the original iPhone and iPad. They got Loren Brichter in, they had a very
specific mentality. They didn’t want to drop a frame on Facebook. Paper – they
built this like it was debut product on a mobile device.
Leo: It doesn’t say Facebook anywhere on it.
Rene: They’re recognizing that there are multiple ways to Facebook.
Leo: It’s much better. You know what? Facebook is a negative.
They’re fooling you. So they did this kind of in an Apple-y way, they took this
thing called Creative Labs, they isolated them right? They said you can do
anything you want to, something completely different, although I suspect
because Mark and Chris Cox have both said they wanted to do a news focused
thing, they’ve been saying that for a little while.
Mathew: This has been a vision of Chris Coxes for some time.
Rene: Their friends are all still way better than mine Leo, except
for you guys.
Leo: This is the problem with something like this, you look at it
and you go “boy that’s gorgeous” and then you realize that’s not my feed. But
that’s kind of the point, it could be 1 of the other things they said, you
mentioned this Mathew in your article that was a little shocking is that we can
use any content we want, we can use any status update, any Facebook feed we
Mathew: Yes it’s all public.
Leo: Everything is now public? The other thing that is built into
this is that you can share from it. I gathered – I haven’t used it but you tell
me Mathew, you’re kind of encouraged to share images, you can do fonts and type
in… they’re trying to encourage you to make beautiful content.
Mathew: Which is an interesting thing again; It’s a little like what if Facebook didn’t exist already? What would you do? What
would your output look like? How would it work?
Leo: It’s funny because at 10 years old it looks very dated. Even Flipboard now is responding, Flipboard is a little scared. I think Mike Mccue said Oh boy and Flipboard is changing how it works a little bit. It’s a fine balance, people don’t go to
Facebook to read nothing and post there do they? They want to see what their high
school classmates are up to or their kid and grandkids.
Mathew: I think the risk for me at least is not just that Flipboard already has 100 million users and it’s a pretty
well designed app, they’ve got a big head start on the content reading, recommendation
side. For me, what has stopped me from using Facebook so much is the utility of
the new feed has gone down. And so is this going to help with that? I don’t
Leo: It could go either direction. Rene you’ve talked a lot about
the technology built into iOs 7 and the new A7
hardware including this tilt capability, this paralyzed capability which you
see on the desktop of iOs 7. Facebook’s using this
“tilt to explore vivid“ – let’s see if I can refresh
this page so you can see it again. Tilt to explore full screen vivid images.
This is something that is iOs specific I would guess.
They say they’re going to do an Android version. But boy I wonder if you can do
this on Android?
Rene: It’s interesting, A lot of these
people did come from Apple and a lot of them use iPhones as their devices and
they enjoy developing for the iPhone. There was a story a while ago about them
being forced to use Android devices when they were working on Facebook Home and
they did Android first last time, they’re doing iPhone first this time so it
goes back and forth. That was the whole point of iOs 7 was to make stuff come to life. They had static screens and things that
didn’t really interact or respond with the world around us and now when you
start tying things in to not necessarily M7 but accelerometers and gyroscopes
and things like that, it makes it feel like the phone is part of you. It’s not
a book or something static that you’re holding in your hand and it’s very
powerful as a interface
Leo: I guess there is Facebook branding because you have the thumb.
Everybody knows that’s Facebook right? I’m thinking I should get my iPhone out
of the cabinet and fire it up for us. Because I don’t see an
Android version coming too fast.
Rene: They’ll have to pick what devices they pick and what
capabilities those devices have and how easy it is to do it on how many
Jason: I look for it on S4 and maybe S5 devices before long.
Leo: By the way you can customize your Paper with real sources like
the Huffington Post or the New York Times. Is Giga home part of the player?
Mathew: Yes we’re a partner.
Leo: Interesting, Should have made a deal. How was it we were
saying last week Facebook is over, it’s dead. That probably wasn’t
strategically….and you know what? I was wrong but I didn’t see that they were
going to - who
knew that their quarterly results would be so mobile forward, who knew that
they had Paper in there. They surprised me and I’m actually very impressed
although remember how excited we were about Facebook Home and how far it went?
Jason: I’m much more excited about this than I was about Facebook
Home. I want to down load this thing as soon as it’s available tomorrow.
Leo: This is an app so it’s not as intrusive. So Mathew are you using it currently?
Mathew: I’ve not gotten it yet. I have only seen it sort of in
Leo: Rene, did iMore do a deal?
Rene: No and it’s also not going to be available in Canada at
launch so I’m doubly -
Leo: Doubly screwed is what he's trying to say, but he's too nice because he's
Canadian; he's very polite. Wow. This is what you need to do when a company is
10 years old. That's an eternity in the internet and you need to do stuff like
Jason: There were already business cases about this.
Leo: Yeah, I agree.
Mathew: When this idea first came up, my first instinct was: this is going to
Leo: We've seen this before.
Mathew: I'm not even convinced not that it's not going to fail. But another part of me was thinking, you know it's
great that they are doing that. It's great they can devote the resources; they
can set up something like Facebook labs. They're not that many companies that
can do that or are willing to do that. They might start little kind of skunk
works to give people time to do something, but they never take it seriously.
Facebook seems to be willing to bet large parts of the company on these new
things and I find that refreshing.
Leo: Love that.
Jason: I think Facebook and Google are actually both
really good at this. They take R&D and they roll things out and they let
people try them and they let people, they hold themselves up, let people get...
hold them up to ridicule too right. You think of Facebook Home, you think of
Google wave, these things were ideas. You think about, what was that little
round thing that Google sphere they handed out a couple of years ago?
Leo: The cube.
Jason: Like the really dumb stuff that they put out there, but they are taking risks
and they put their research projects out there and then they let people hear
see them, poke holes in them and then they go out and do something different if
it's not good and the market doesn't accept it. Whereas, if you look at the old
way of doing research, honestly the way Microsoft and Apple more do it. I mean,
Apple is different because they take a completely different approach to it. But
even Microsoft, spends a ton of research and most of it never comes to light or
maybe it might influence a product development cycle a little bit. But they
don't do sort of crazy things where Facebook and Google, I mean, these guys are
still throwing the ball deep to use a football metaphor for today.
Rene: They did Ping Jason.
Jason: Yeah you're right.
Leo: Oh God! That was painful. There was just an ad, it was exactly an Apple ad, it was a U2 ad on the Super Bowl. U2 is giving away a song
on iTunes called 'Invisible', and for everybody who downloads 'Invisible', Bank
of America will donate to Product Red a $1 up to a total of $8 million. That
and that's a very interesting thing to do. I don't know what it means for U2 or
Bank of America or Apple, but in a way that's an iTunes ad. I don't know who
benefits from this more or if anybody benefits from it really.
Rene: The charity.
Leo: The charity benefits.
Leo: Yeah. U2’s song invisible is free. We will talk about Apple. We will also talk
about Microsoft. There's lots of news. We’ve got a great panel to talk about
it. People who don't like football apparently. Jason Hiner, whose regretting his calendar error right now from
CBS Interactive and the Tech Republic, always good to have you Jason. Rene
Ritchie a regular on MacBreak Weekly, doing
double duty this week, thank you. You can catch him on
iMore.com. We always love having you on Rene and of course, beloved Mathew
Ingram too from GigaOm. You got three guys here with
their fingers on the pulse of technologies. Always nice to
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So, Apple apparently met with the
Food and Drug Administration. This is something that's required if you are
going to do an application that makes medical recommendations. Nick Bilton and Brian X Chen on the New York Times Bits blog
caught this one. It was on the public calendar from December 9 through 13 on
the FDA. Jeff Williams, Bud Tribble, Cathy Novelli, Michael O’Reilly, and Tim Powderly from Apple met
with the FDA commissioner of food and drugs to discuss mobile
medical applications. This to me more than a lot of the rumor leaks, gives
me reason to believe they might be doing a watch right Rene?
Rene: They are all in. So, it's not just a watch, they are all in on health and the
problem with health is, if you have for example a blood sugar sensor or a
hydration sensor or a heart monitor, that in your phone has very limited
utility, but if you start to put sensors outside the phone, for example, on a
wrist band or a watch, then you can start taking that data and
bringing it back to the phone and that makes the service and credit to Mark
Herman, because he had an amazingly good scoop on this too. That
makes this service that they can provide so much better than just a phone
technology by itself.
Leo: Yes. And I think, they've learned from the
23 in me, you don't bypass the Food and Drug Administration. If you want to do something of value.
Mathew: Bad idea.
Leo: Bad idea. They could shut you down. This was discovered by an attorney Mark McAndrew who is with Taft Stettinius and Hollister. He said
in a phone interview with the Times, "Given the prominence of the
people in the meeting from both the
government and Apple side, these were not your run-of-the-mill
conversations." He says, “They are either trying to get the lay of
the land for regulatory pathways with medical devices and apps and this was an
initial meeting, or Apple has been trying to push something through the
F.D.A. for a while and they've had hang-ups.”
Jason: If you go back, I think it was 2011 where they announced their text book and
education initiative, there's a few things Apple as a company and individuals in
Apple care deeply deeply about; one of those
is education and the other one is heath. Obviously, text book is much
easier to get to the market. Health has been a couple of years
coming and this year looks like the year they go really big into offering
health. I don't know if people would be happier if an iPhone threw
cheeseburgers at them or if they'll actually enjoy...
Leo: I'll rather have the cheeseburgers, the cronuts, the
taste, the Krispy Kremes. Give me
a cigarette once in a while. You know what, baby boomers are
getting up there and we've got some money to spend and that makes
a lot of sense.
Mathew: And when you think about it, there's a lot of things
that are some relatively low hanging food. I know Om Malik who started GigaOm is diabetic for example, has to take his blood sugar
dozens of times a day, so it's incredible time consuming and painful and
irritating. If you could have a wrist band or even
a contact lens, something that would do that type of stuff
automatically, it would be a huge huge time
saver and sort of a pain saver. I mean it would be a massive.
Google's doing that right? They've got a contact lens that looks in the sugar
in your tears for diabetics and diagnoses their sugar levels from
that. The only thing, Om actually wrote about that, because he
was advised by his doctor that he shouldn't wear contact lenses
because of his diabetes.
Leo: See, this is why you want to check with the FDA before you invent
Mathew: And users.
Leo: And people who have diabetes so that they
know. That's interesting.
Jason: I mean the thing that I think would be really, is going to be really
interesting here is Apple...that was my hope when the iWatch thing started leaking out; was that they were doing something like
this with health. Because if you think about the way that they created the iPod
ecosystem and later the iPhone. The iPod ecosystem eventually made it possible
and paved the way for the iPhone in a lot of ways that are forgotten
now. In terms of like docks and accessories and all of these things
that...all of these third party accessory makers that had plugged into the
ecosystem. Because it had scale and because Apple had some of
that product mojo behind it. If you take that and you apply that...if
they can do that same thing with heath to where every time you go to the gym,
you're iPhone or by extension if you have the iWatch,
or whatever, bluetooths or whatever the technology
makes it happen, you can scan that and it can pull in that information for
whatever the machines you worked on. You could do the same thing with all these
health sensors. That it can pull in that information and all
of that ecosystem and obviously Apple is best positioned to do
that. Microsoft and Google have tried this to a lesser extent. They
tried to do it more with a software. But if you can do
that kind of thing, and Apple has all of these devices in these hundreds of
millions devices already in circulation, it's going to be easier for
somebody like Apple to do it and they have experience doing this kind
of ecosystem play that of a sudden could become
a really really interesting thing to be
able to use your Apple device. I don't think it's going to be
exclusive to the watch honestly. I think the watch just might be a way that it
could potentially make it easier without happen to pull your
phone out of your pocket or make sure that's it's connected and that kind of a thing.
Leo: Also the watch could be a monitor right, because it's on your wrist.
Rene: If you look at how Apple does things, they have hero products, flag ship
products like the iPhone and the iPad and they also have
things like the Apple TV which are ecosystem enhancers. You can plug
your iPhone or iPad into a television and watch stuff. But it's so
much easier and it makes the product so much better if you get an Apple TV and
the iWatch sounds similar to that where you can get
an iPhone absolutely, and do this kind of stuff, but it'll be so much more
convenient if you have that on your wrist reporting directly. And it always sounds like a hyperbole when Tim Cooks says, 'We want
to make great products that improve people's lives.' But when you break that
down, it basically means Apple wants to make better products that make them
more money that enhance the value of their ecosystem. And an iWatch fits all three of those criteria for their
entire product line.
Leo: It's interesting because you're first thought about a watch, is it would be a
fashion product, it would be kind of an accessory, it
would be expensive, it wouldn't change anybody's life, but you make it a health
and fitness monitor, it does.
Rene: Airplay, iOS, I mean, there are so many technology
that they are doing that look unrelated right now, but they are de-coupling iOS from the device and they are letting iOS communicate back and forwards with
other technologies and that's when their play whether it's iOS in the home or iOS on your
wrist, iOS in your car, starts making so much sense,
two years out, three years out.
Leo: By the way, first GoDaddy ad, and talk about a shift
from last year. Last year of course, it was nerd kissing Bar Rafaeli with disgusting smacking sounds. This year was a
slightly overweight woman who makes puppets talking about her GoDaddy site. I think we see the new direction for GoDaddy. It ain't sexy
Rene: It's new but not better.
Leo: Not putting her down. We love puppet makers. Apple is taking that Arizona
sapphire plant live this month, according to Mark Gurman in 9to5Mac. Aggressively pushing. Now Sapphire is used
for watch faces, but it could be alternative to gorilla glass is that right?
Jason: Oh Yeah. It's too expensive right now, but eventually yeah.
Leo: But, if they are saying make something now, it's got be something this
Rene: It's already used on the touch ID's sensors. It's already used on the camera
sensor. Putting it on small display that people might wear that,
that gets hit against things more often than a phone in your pocket
Mathew: Makes sense.
Leo: This doesn't mean, this isn't definite evidence that
they are going to do a watch.
Rene: They haven't used liquid metal yet Leo. So, you never know.
Leo: We are waiting for liquid metal.
Jason: Now, there was, I'm trying to remember where this report was, that there was
somebody that bought, they bought a company. The company that's doing some of this, that had figured out a way to stream line this
process, save you time, save you money, and creating the sapphire.
Leo: That's this.
Jason: That's this one right? Okay good.
Leo: Project Cascade.
Rene: That was their eye on Canon or something that they got.
Jason: If you guys remember that phone, remember a Boon was going to do that phone,
their big thing; they were going to use sapphire crystal for the whole face of
the phone. So, its not like
it's out of bounds, that you can't do it yet, or it's completely prohibitive.
But it is expensive, but if these guys have made a break through, then it's
possible it could go on a phone. I think, it's probably more realistic that
that's another year or so away. But for a watch phase where you don't have to
use as much of this stuff, it makes sense. I think glass, we are going to look
back in a few years and we are going to laugh at all these devices that use dot
have glass and that we used to drop and break all the time. That's going to be
a thing of the past pretty soon. I think within 2-3 maybe 3-5 years at the
most. Because, they are a number of competitors that are
going to go after this one. When I was in Israel last year, looking at
some technologies there, there was a professor and some students that had
developed a polymer that is virtually indestructible. They use it in Israel for
windows for missile proof. If a missile hits that window, it
doesn't not break it. And they are saying that they can take that and
use that, they could potentially use it on smart phones on touch screens, they are trying to commercialize it. So, there's a number of
ways that they are going after that. So, I think it's only a matter of time
before gorilla glass is, their gig is up there.
Leo: As long as we are talking Apple technologies, we can mention iBeacon and the Super Bowl, here is the tie-in. iBeacons all over New York city, Times Square and Met Life
stadium, playing ads on your iPhone, things like 'looking to buy some Super
Bowl merchandise?, straight ahead Macy's 4th floor.' 'Get your tickets right
here.' According to this article in New York Times, "For now, the alerts
are mostly limited to practical news like the nearest entry gate or promoting
in-store sales. But already the technology has privacy advocates and legal
experts brimming with concern." When do they not brim with concern. They are either frothing or brimming. You never see
a privacy advocate just sitting quietly on his hands. So, iBeacons will be in several hundred stores in public areas in the next coming
months, including two dozen major league baseball stadiums.
Rene: It's like a hammer-ly. You can take a hammer and
knock on a nail or you can hit somebody on the head with it. iBeacon is the same thing. It will
let blind people use national parks; fantastic. It will bother me with ads in a
store; terrible. And it's up to us to tell people what we will tolerate
and won't tolerate with this technology.
Leo: Here's a graphic from the National Football League, you are on a
Verizon phone, a pop up message says, 'Get your picture taken with the Lombardi
trophy located between the 43rd and 44th streets on Broadway.'
So, if you are walking through the fan zone, you could do that. We were at
the fan zone last year at New Orleans at the Super Bowl, I'm so glad they did
not have this. That would have been extraordinarily annoying. Anyway, I
guess this is in some ways a national debut of iBeacon.
Rene: You just go to privacy settings and turn it right off, you will never be
Leo: Did you know that ABC is going to do a TV show
Mathew: Sounds great, doesn't it?
Jason: Surprised it took them that long.
Leo: It's a comedy inspired by "My
Fair Lady tells the story of a self-obsessed 20-something woman",
well there you go, "who is more concerned with ‘likes’ than being
liked. After suffering a very public and humiliating breakup, she becomes
the subject of a viral video and suddenly has more social media followers than
she ever imagined, but for all the wrong reasons. She enlists the help of a
marketing expert at her company to help repair her tarnished image."
Rene: Can you imagine the pitch for this. It's going to be a social media
Leo: Social media! Selfies! What is the word of the year
2013? It's 'Selfie'. Now, you have a pilot named 'Selfie'!
Rene: It's Sex and the City with Selfies. Selfie in the city, sells
Leo: So far the good news is, it's just a pilot. Doesn't
mean it's going to go anywhere. We're going to take a break. I want to talk
about the situation about Microsoft. Who is the next CEO? Apparently the New
York Times business week and others have decided. Because, they just couldn't
wait for the board to figure this thing out. But first a word
from our friends at Audible. The best way to listen to a book:
audible.com. Have you tried audible.com? If you haven’t, I want to get you
two books, two titles, absolutely free. There’s a great feeling when you’re an
audible subscriber, as I am, and you see two credits available at the top of
the screen. You think, “Oh yes! I get two books!” Well I’m going to give you
those two credits right now! Lots of wonderful, wonderful
literature, Fiction, Non Fiction, Classics, History, Science fiction. They’ve got a fabulous Science Fiction category. I’ve been listening to a lot
of business books, technology books, like Nick Belton’s, Hatching Twitter. I
just finished the Amazon book by Brad Stone, The Everything Store. Leander
Connie’s new book about Johnny Ive, is on Audible.com. But what I like to do is do the
nonfiction, fiction dance. So one nonfiction, one
fiction. Karl Hiaasen, Dance of the Reptiles. I love Carl Hiaasen. Dance of the
Reptile, I’m going to be listening to that, I’m sure. Monuments Men, you ready
to go to the move? Well, read the book first, it’s the true story, that the
movies based on. So here’s the deal, if you go to audible.com/twit2, you can
sign up for the platinum plan. That’s two books a month, but you can listen… or
you can download those two books for free because your first month is free.
You’ll also get the daily, oh this is new! A Hundred Years of solitude, oh and
John Lee narrates it. He’s one of the better narrators. They have great people
reading these books. So you get the Daily Digest, the New York Times and the
Wall Street Journal, plus your two books. Ground hog day is here, books you
won’t mind rereading. Oh yeah, Daniel Suarez’, Daemon. That’s what I love about Audible. I’ve been an Audible member since 2000. I
have 500 books in my library, I can listen to them
again. If you have the audible app in your iPhone or your
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and say, “Oh I want to listen to that again!” And you can. This is very
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know if you know this, but The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, before it was a
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first time I can remember, offering the original Douglas Adam, BBC radio plays.
First broadcast in 1978 on Radio 4. This is very exciting to me, that this is
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you do, you get your two books. And for a buck ninety five you get this too.
This should be in everybody’s collection. The greatest radio play of all time! The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. If you’ve read the
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original. Just love it. And they have all of them. They have it all!
Wow! We love them. Audible.com Go to Audible.com/twit2. You get your two books free, your credits, your Daily Digest, New York Times,
and the Wall Street Journal. Great deal for people who love
listening to Audio. Which I think you do, or you wouldn’t be listening
to this show. Love it! Offer good in the US and Canada. So you know what? If you’re outside the US or Canada, Audible has book stores
all over the world, just check your local Audible site. You can’t use this
offer but just join it. You’ll love it. Audible.com/twit2. So apparently it’s Satya Nadella.
You have the story on Giga Ohm, the New York times reported, I think it was
business week…Who first leaked this?
Jason: Bloomberg Week, I think had it first.
Leo: Bloomberg Business Week.
Jason: I just wanted to hear you say that.
Leo: Is everybody just playing off the Bloomberg story, or is this
independently confirmed now, from other sources? No idea!
Jason: I think it’s mostly Bloomberg, but this is not a stretch though. They went
after some other candidates. Possibly got turned down and Nadella was the guy sort of waiting in the wings, and they need to move on this I
think. This is dragging on longer than they wanted, and it’s time for them to
move on it. And Nadella’s not a bad choice.
Leo: A boring Choice! He’s their enterprise, right? And Cloud. It’s
all the stuff Microsoft cares about
Leo: But it’s not going to make the stock market set up and take
notice. It’s not going to get users excited.
Rene: It’s not consumer facing stuff.
Leo: No it isn’t.
Jason: The future of Microsoft is not… I strongly believe this, and
I know I’ve set it many times on this show and other places but, the future of
Microsoft is not consumer facing products, I don’t think.
Rene: I would agree.
Jason: The future of Microsoft is cloud and enterprise. They’re
doing well there, they have user trust there. They don’t have user trust, they
don’t have good brands in, you know, consumer
business. Other than Xbox and most people don’t think of Xboxes as Microsoft.
They don’t connect the two that often, for better or worse.
Mathew: And this guy seems like what the market would want. If that
is true, and I agree it is. He seems like a good guy
Leo: One of the things that, according to Bloomberg. He’s, they’re
in negotiations, right? By the way, the Times is not
quoting Bloomberg BusinessWeek. They’re quoting their own sources. So you get
Business Week and the New York Times together on something, I’ve got to think
this is pretty close. Now according to times, the selection has not been
completed but could be announced as early as next week. Bloomberg said that the
board was meeting this weekend, but not during the Super bowl because, you
know, they’re in Seattle,
Jason: It’s a Seattle thing.
Leo: It’s a Seattle thing. But anytime, so they
either, have met already and voted on this, or they’re going to get together
after the game. If Seattle wins, Nadellas in. If Denver wins, it’s…
Jason: Sundar Pichai.
Leo: Sundar Pichai.
Okay, that was a BS rumor, that rumor was crazy.
Rene: The interesting thing for me, Leo, was they said Bill Gates
might be stepping out of the way. And one of the big problems that any would be
CEO would have, was the idea that was put forth that Bill Gates would be more
involved in Microsoft. Which is not an attractive proposition
for many who would be CEOs.
Leo: That’s in fact, what Business Week and Wall Street Journal
have been saying all along, is that what’s holding this up, is that nobody wants to report to Bill Gates. But Bloomberg said that Gates might
step down as chairmen, but John Thompson, board member and head of the search
committee in as chairman, but part of the reason Bill would step down, and one
of the things they’re saying that Satya Nadella wants, is more Bill Gates involvement. So, what I’m
reading this as, yeah, bill won’t be chairman of the board but he’s going to be
right there with Nadella. Is that just PR fluff?
Jason: It could be. It might just be, defined power. If Nadella is the
guy, and he’s not well known outside of tech circles, outside of tech insider
circles. Bill Gates could be useful. Those two sort of standing together
announcing some things, as Nadella becomes more well known. Bill gates has a lot of PR value to Microsoft still. Even if Nadella is running the show, I could certainly see
that being the case, where Gates is stepping out even further of an involved
roll. Because it’s tough to be chairman. Chairman is
still a very active roll and Gates is obviously busy with other things. But
stepping back from an active role on the board, but stepping into a little bit
of a PR role to help Nadella, become more of a name,
and become well known. Be justified, to have that kind of roll.
Mathew: The bill Gates bump.
Leo: The Sundar Pachai thing came from a guy I know, John Freer, in Silla canal, not known for his
scoops or his presence and everybody even Carrots wishers said No!
Jason: Yeah, it doesn’t make any sense.
Leo: Yeah, it doesn’t make any sense. Sunar Pachai of course, in charge of Chrome for google. Actually I’d be thrilled to
see him, maybe be more interesting but I think it makes no sense at all. Nobody
knows for sure if they’re going to announce Nadella,
but I would guess, Swisher by the way, has said that Nadella the likeliest internal candidate. I think that would make sense, and I think it
would be this week. They need to move quickly to get this over with. We’ve
heard a number of people, Paul Thoraten and Marajo
Fully both have said, on the Windows Weekly show that at Microsoft, the insiders feel like they’re
stuck in limbo, they’re waiting to hear who’s going to run this place, what is
that person going to want? They’re unlikely to take a lot of initiative. So
apparently, according to the latest the contract negotiations are ongoing
according to Wall Street Journal, with Satya Nadella. And that Nadella has
asked for Gates help, which I think is fascinating.
That may just be PR.
Jason: That’s what I would think.
Rene: It’s a way to save face for anybody.
Leo: I’m going to ask Bill Gates before I do anything, don’t worry.
Alright, so it sounds to me, if this is true, it’s Microsoft that is focusing,
hunkering down and focusing on enterprise and cloud.
Rene: They’re becoming IBM higher.
Rene; Feels that way. Which is
a great business, it’s just again, it is not one most people ever see anymore.
Jason: Not consumer facing, you know, brained.
Mathew: They can still make a lot of money.
Leo: Tell you what, the best way to follow
this story is to watch Daily News on Twit TNT is at 10 AM Pacific, 1 PM
Eastern, 1800 UTC. Tech News Tonight 4 pm pacific, 7 PM
Eastern time, 2400 UTC. That way you’ll know, and we’ll certainly break
you in, if they announce. Let’s find out actually, I think Mike Elgan has an idea of what’s up this week.
Coming up this week, the first conference dedicated to Mobile devices starts
this Wednesday, called ‘In Contacts.’ Also Twitter, Pandora, and Yelp report
Earnings Wednesday. LinkedIn and AOL have earnings Thursday. That’s what’s
coming up this week. Back to you, Leo.
Leo: And I’ll add to your list, Mike. I bet you anything, we’ll be
announcing the new CEO of Microsoft sometime this week, so stay tuned. If you
missed anything on TWiT this week, you missed a mouthful!
Let’s take a look!
Twit. Tech News Tonight.
Sarah Lane: Google is selling Motorola 2 Lenovo. Page said the sale, “Does not signal larger shift for our other hardware
Leo: This is a soap Opera, Hatching Twitter, is Nicks next new
Nick Bilton: The best way I’ve described
it, is it’s a game of thrones but with nerds.
This week in
Jeff Jarves: Just do me a favor here
folks, look at the four frames, which ones should I buy?
Leo: There you go! Now when he smiles it works!
Tech News Today
Sarah: A new product called ‘Oh Toto’ can plug into any set of
objects, and when you touch those objects the notes play. I’ve got a neighbor
that plays the accordion, and he’s not very good at it yet.
rack them up.
Leo: Alright, there you go, that’s what was happening this week, on TWiT. We have had a great time here. I want to thank
you guys for taking a little Sunday time with us. Matthew
Ingram, from Gigaohm.com. What are you going to be working on this week?
What big stories do you see coming up?
Mathew: I have no idea! I have to wait for people to do things so
that I can write about them! I’m going to be watching twitter for sure.
Leo: Oh that’s so old fashioned.
Leo: By the way, it is Blackberries first anniversary of the
release of Blackberry 10, and the market share has hit the 00s, is that
Mathew: Oh yeah. That’s definitely possible.
Leo: Market share is 0.0 according to this graph from the Consumer
Intelligence Research Partners.
Mathew: That might be overstating it a bit!
Leo: (laughs) I think that’s a…
Rene: Market, yeah. That’s different than installed base, people
still have Blackberries but not many are buying Blackberries.
Leo: Thank you Mathew. Great to have you, I really appreciate it.
Mathew: Thanks for having me.
Leo: What’s it like in Toronto, is it a bit chilly today?
Mathew: Actually it’s warmed up a bit. It’s much more mild than it
was a week or so ago, when it was -30.
Leo: Yes! I really appreciate you spending some time! Also in the
frozen North, Montreal, Rene Ritchie. It’s always cold there, I’m not even going to ask you. Warming up for you would be 2 degrees.
Rene: Winter is not coming, winter is here.
Leo: When does Game of Thrones start up again? Soon right?
Rene: It’s got to be soon.
Leo: They had the trailer. Also from the Tech Republic and CBS
interactive, The great Jason Hiner,
who, I will never forgive, elected me president of the internet, it’s been a
terrible, terrible reign.
Jason: Elected for life!
Leo: For life! President for life. El Presidente. (Laughs) Thank you gentleman
for spending Super Sunday with me. Thank you all for watching, if you
watched live, you really aren’t in the sports ball are you? But if you didn’t,
okay maybe you are, we do this show live 3 pm pacific, 6 eastern time. 2300 UTC, right before midnight,
International time, universal coordinated time. If you can watch live,
do! I love it if you do. We watch the chat room, it’s
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we’ll see you next time! Another TWiT is in the can!