Download and watch the episode here:
This Week in Tech 452
Leo Laporte: It’s time for Twit, This Week In Tech, Jeff Jarvis joins us with Patrick Beja, Liz Gannes. We’ll talk about the big announcement from Microsoft’s Build Conference, take a look at the new Amazon Fire TV and Kevin Rose will stop by to explain why he’s not a parasite. It’s all coming up next on Twit.
Net casts you love, from people you trust. This is Twit!
This is Twit. This Week In Tech, Episode 452 recorded April 6, 2014
Kevin Rose, Parasite
And by Go To Meeting with HT faces from Citrix. The powerfully simple way to meet with people, coworkers, and clients anywhere. Share the same screen and see each other face-to-face with HT video conferencing. Even present from an iPad. Start your 30 day free trial at Go To Meeting today. Visit gotomeeting.com, click on the try it free button, use the promo code twit.
And by Square Space, the all-in-one platform that makes it fast and easy to create your own professional website or online portfolio. For a free two-week trial, and 10% off, visit . Use the offer code twit.
And by Jira, an Atlassian product. Jira is the project management solution, for teams planning, building, and launching great products. To learn more about Jira and to try it free for 30 days, visit .
Leo: It’s time for twit, this week in Tech. Hello everybody, welcome to our live studio audience. All of you at home this is the show where we talk about that week’s tech news. And there is a lot of news to talk about. Let’s say hello to our panel, and Liz Gannes. So Liz do I say recode now, that’s the official name?
Liz Gannes: You don’t have to pronounce the flash, it is silent.
Liz: No you don’t have to say that anymore.
Leo: We love Liz Gannes, she of course is a long time feature, all things digital. When all things digital recast itself with recode you went along for the ride.
Liz: Yes all of us did actually.
Leo: That says a lot frankly.
Liz: It is actually pretty awesome. We are still in the same place kind of doing the same thing but we are bigger and better and all that. We hired I think nine or 10 new people since January, so we are going through and crazy growth spurt. And everyone who was there before is still there.
Leo: Ina Fried is wonderful and John Paczkowski and the whole group.
Liz: You even know how to pronounce the names!
Leo: I’ve got to ask you a question. You don’t have to answer this. I don’t see a lot of Walt. Is he semiretired?
Liz: No! Walt is still there.
Liz: But I’ll tell him you said that!
Leo: Tell Walt, while you’ve got to write more. You better get busy!
Liz: I agree. I’d love to see his stuff more. Now that he is not restricted by the weekly column.
Leo: I feel like he’s just kind of…
Liz: He Says he’s going to tell us what it all means about Apple and all that. So look for a column on that soon.
Leo: Come on he is taking it easy! I’m talking about Walt Mossberg.
Liz: You know honestly, Walt and Karen have done a ton of stuff around the company so I think it might not be obvious from the day-to-day. He does business and he is the main guy on the product stuff as well so everything goes through him. Maybe he has been less out in front but he is very busy.
Leo: I read his review of the HTC1, which is my new phone. It just seems, maybe it is just because he isn't writing any less than he was at the Journal that maybe it’s just because I want to see more of him.
Liz: I want to see more of him too.
Liz: Yeah, we’re sending them a lot of traffic! You know that URL’s don’t matter anymore right?
Leo: They don’t. That is exactly right. Oh look who is here, also from France. Not Patrick. Is it Patrick Beja?
Patrick Beja: It is me! Hey, how are you doing?
Leo: Here to give us the European angle on all this. It’s going really well. We had a very busy week this week to kick things off with Amazon’s announcement of their new streaming TV. And I only apologize, I’m going to mention this because it is US only right?
Patrick: Right it is not available for sale in France or Europe, but I’m sure that if you order it from the US you can get it delivered. Amazon has always been pretty good about those things unlike other companies.
Leo: You know it is a me too product, nothing to get really excited about. It is quad core, and android. IFixit tore it down and it is a Snapdragon 600 in there which is not the latest and greatest but it is a nice little processor. It has a dedicated GPU which means you can game, and that is the biggest difference. Netflix, Hulu Plus, and all the usual streaming stuff. And of course it is Amazon streaming. But they really push the gaming, in fact this is $100 for this. It is like an Apple TV without rounded corners. And then they also sell for an additional $40, a game controller. It looks just like an Xbox controller, only as if somebody sat on it. Same buttons and everything.
Liz: And there is voice control.
Leo: Oh let’s not forget. In the remote there is a microphone, and you can talk to it. Have you played with it at all Liz?
Liz: No I’m actually Really entrance to see you holding it up because I hadn’t seen it yet except on the demo.
Leo: You know me I bought it right away. Did you go to the event in New York?
Liz: No I didn’t. I actually didn’t know where it was I had it in my head that it was in Seattle but I can’t say that I even know that.
Leo: Maybe it was, I just thought it was in New York. We had Peter Kafka on during our conversation and I said, “Is Kara there? Is Liz there” and he said no. Maybe nobody knew where it was. Maybe that was part of the problem. Seattle would make sense. They made a giant living room with big-screen TVs. I think it must’ve been New York because Christina Wong was there. So I think it was New York. You know what I’m going to do I’m going to fire it up and I’m going to watch Game Is… oh no I’m not because HBO Go is not on here.
Patrick: You know it's not revolutionary. It’s not going to be the one that makes everyone convinced that they need a box like this. But it definitely seems like they put a lot of work into it. And it’s fairly easy to use from all reports and it is very responsive unlike some of the others that we’ve seen. That voice control, that voice search element is kind of so simple that it is almost a throwaway feature. But it is interesting and it is almost the kind of seeing that you wonder why has no one else done it before? If it works, it’s cool.
Leo: Others have done it. My Samsung has TV has a microphone in the remote. It also does gestures, and as I'm sitting watching TV every once in a while a hand will show up on the screen and controls come up. And I have to say no.
Liz: I’ve got the Samsung TV too, and I like the Roku better and it actually works better because it only does the things you want it to do. Samsung Smart TV will ask do you want to do a workout? No I don’t.
Leo: I’m watching TV! Stop it!
Patrick: That’s the problem with Samsung. All lot of the time. They add so many features, a lot of designers often say, and Apple will say that as well, one of the design principles that you have to adopt not including a feature is as important as including a feature.
Leo: Saying no is critical.
Patrick: The Amazon one seems it’s got just the right amount of stuff and presented the right way and working with the right way. It seems like it is a good choice if you want one of those devices. I’m not sure that it is going to convince a lot of people that don’t already have the need to get one.
Leo: Of course Google is not going to be left behind. Android TV, the replacement for Google TV, is said to be eminent, The Verge says. It will be much simpler than its predecessor, Google TV, which I liked a lot but it was a bomb. They have some screenshots from the leaker and it looks very similar to the Amazon Fire TV. It has more front and center Google stuff like hang out. It will have YouTube, which Roku does not have, although the Amazon box does. This is the real problem.
Liz: I don’t know how you keep all that stuff straight.
Leo: Thanks to Veronica Belmont, she makes a spreadsheet which she no longer maintains, it is being maintained by the community, of set top boxes. I’m going to check it first before I give the URL. But it has every set-top box and people have maintained this over the years. It is bit.ly/settop is the short URL. This is what everybody needs, because… and they've already added Amazon Fire. You have to be the Rain Man to know what does what. Who has HBO Go, who has YouTube, they all have Netflix, that’s one thing you can be sure of. This is crazy, but some of them do Netflix better than others. The Apple TV for instance is a winner with Netflix because Apple runs its own CDN so the data is better. It is just crazy! Thank you Veronica Belmont. Anyway this does not have HBO Go but it does have YouTube. The Google TV will have YouTube but it won’t have… I don’t know. That is the problem there is no one device you can buy. I don’t know what it’s like in France, Patrick but every device they have in the United States plays Netflix. My TV does, my Xbox 1 does.
Patrick: In France we don’t have Netflix. Hopefully soon. Not yet. So that isn’t a problem.
Leo: I’ll tell you my biggest take away from the Amazon TV is that this hardware is fairly commoditized. Because Android is free, and open, and of course this is not the Android with Google services this is just the open source android. Which Amazon has customize. Because the chips from Qual Com are widely available and it is well understood how we integrate them. All of this stuff now could be made in a very high quality package at a very low cost, $99, easily. It is a commodity product. It strikes me that this is just the beginning. Because anybody could do it. People come to visit us all the time with new Android streaming sticks. I have a new Android, I have a new Android, etc. 1 million of them!
Patrick: It is kind of a consolidation of the market isn’t it? There used to be a lot of slightly more niche products for a while but now the big boys want the TV. We are sort of stabilized in the mobile landscape and now all of the big boys are seriously taking another look at the TV. And even Apple is probably not going to be making an actual TV but they are graduating the Apple TV it seems. It is a hobby that they look like they are taking pretty seriously. It wouldn’t surprise me if some of the smaller players in that market start going away slowly over the next couple of years.
Leo: One of the things that is going to happen is at some point, and I know Apple is negotiating hard and I’m sure will be fruitless with Comcast, at some point one of these is going to stream live TV. One or all. Peter from Recode said it was his opinion the contract companies wouldn’t give it to any one player. They are afraid of what happened with Apple, which is dominated. He says they are all going to get it at once.
Patrick: So you guys don’t have ISP TV at all in the US? In France the triple play system or trends started a tier with an ISP. That was very innovative and still is actually code free. We actually have TV live streaming going through IP services. And the thing is, all of the ISP’s do it now. So you pay for your Internet connection and you have obviously Internet phone, TV, and sometimes you even have a package with mobile. But the point is the TV services also go through the IP. Now they are relayed on a special part of the bandwidth and they have special servers at each ISP so that you have consistent quality. But that is something that we have had for years. I’m a little surprised that it hasn’t happened in other countries.
Leo: The reason is because you have government run television and we have Comcast. We are going to table this conversation, I do want to get back to this and we will. But Kevin Rose has joined us and I want to bring him into the conversation. Kevin, thank you will just keep you for a few minutes. I know you have things to do. First of all is great to see you again.
Kevin Rose: It's great to see you as well. Thanks for having me.
Leo: I was so pissed off when I saw your Instagram post this morning. I couldn’t believe it. This is not an April fool’s joke right?
Kevin: It is not a joke. Unfortunately, I wish it was.
Leo: So everybody probably knows there have been these protests in San Francisco. This week a protester vomited on the Yahoo bus, on it. Not a writer, a protester. There have been all sorts of stuff. The feeling is, I guess, that the cost of living in San Francisco has just gone through the roof, particularly the cost of housing, because of rich Yuppies from the Silicon Valley moving in and taking their fancy leather clad Wi-Fi enabled buses back and forth. It is making it hard for San Franciscans to live. I’ve got to point out that the real reason for that is because San Francisco is landlocked. It is actually water locked. It is a small region and the rules the city has created on creating new housing are so prohibitive that nobody is building housing. And that is what puts pressure on prices. Nevertheless, there have been these protesters. And I’m sad to say, and Kevin specifically, is now being targeted. So can I show this?
Kevin: Yeah go for it. Share whatever you like.
Leo: Tech Crunch had an article about it but I saw it first on Instagram. Parasite! Happy face. Already I’m starting to think this guy is nuts whoever put this up.
Liz: What’s with the happy face?
Leo: How big is this banner?
Kevin: That is just a handout. A leaflet they were handing out.
Leo: That there was also a big banner right?
Kevin: Yes they brought like a 10 foot banner, that it took a few of them to hold it up.
Leo: In front of your house!
Kevin: Yes in front of my house. And they were chanting things like “Kevin Rose is a douche, Kevin Rose is a parasite”. And other stuff.
Leo: This makes me very sad. How about that one? I’m going to snip snip your balls. What is wrong with these people? Oh my God. Anyway let me read this. And I want to know what your take is on this, and I’m just so saddened. “Greetings, your neighbor (and they are giving your address), a man named Kevin Rose is a parasite. Perhaps not of you, but of us. This is why we are here, to reveal him for what he is, as a partner venture capitalist at Google Ventures. Kevin directs the flow of capital from Google into the Tech start up bubble that is destroying San Francisco. The startups that he funds bring the swarms of young entrepreneurs that have ravaged the landscape of San Francisco and Oakland. Like locusts! There is no more corn in San Francisco and I ask you why? With each new tech Corporation comes our way the fresh new techies who on average earn four times more than a normal service worker. We are the ones who serve them coffee, deliver them food, watch their kids and mop their floors. Nearly all of them are just like Kevin Rose.”
Kevin: I mean don’t say it aloud but that one that you skipped was a doozy.
Leo: I will read it out loud. If you've got kids are watching cover their ears. It says, “We are the ones who serve them coffee, deliver them food, suck their…”… REALLY????
Kevin: I never got that perk. It’s not offered to start ups I can tell you that right now.
Leo: is that the end of it? If you tweeted there was more that did they really complain about Diggnation?
Kevin: They complained about Diggnation, they were upset about a joke that I made many years ago.
Leo: You mean that serious? I thought you were making a joke on Twitter.
Kevin: No, I was being dead serious. They were just going through the Internet and trying to find any dirt that they could find.
Leo: They mentioned Diggnation?
Kevin: I don’t have the flyer here but it said that it was an awful show that ran for six years. Basically what they said.
Leo: An awful show that ran for six years! Wow. So this must make you sick to your stomach. This is scary stuff.
Kevin: Yet I mean it certainly. I wasn't home at the time actually, they ring our doorbell and Darius went downstairs thinking it was somebody delivering something and she opened the door and they handed her a flyer. She said what is this? And they started chanting and yelling and she just closed the door and locked it. And then she called me up. I was down the street helping somebody build a skate ramp, actually.
Leo: See? Ravaging San Francisco!
Kevin: It was a skate ramp for a nonprofit to actually.
Leo: I knew you were a bad man!
Kevin: So I came home and I walked out. They recognized me and they walked up to me and they were like throwing lots of insults and then they were saying how can you live with yourself? What you're doing is bad for our city, you know. They were recording the entire thing on an android phone. I said that you guys realize you're on an android phone right? That is a Google product. And I asked him where they work in a post it and they said YouTube. And I’m like do you not see the irony in this? I’m serious.
Leo: YouTube is free bandwidth.
Kevin: The thing that really gets me at the core is that I understand their frustrations, I get it.
Leo: You tweeted, “I agree with them. We need to stop raising rents and keep the San Francisco culture and crack down on landlords.”
Kevin: You don’t throw up on people busses though. There is a conversation to be had here but it’s not by throwing rocks in peoples windows and throwing up on buses… I think that I mean Leo you know how it is when I was working for you at Tech TV when I first got hired in the Bay Area in the early 2000’s, you know I remember my starting that salary was $28,000 year.
Leo: You have learned every penny you’ve made. You worked your way up. You know what it’s like to live in San Francisco. We paid you that little?
Kevin: And then I was pissed off because I found out Dan was making $30,000 a year so I went to Paul and I said “you give me a $2000 raise or I’m quitting.”
Leo: I’m sorry they were paying you that little!!!
Kevin: I just needed a job, you know!
Leo: Tech TVs ruining San Francisco! But that’s the point is that you were building a skate ramp for a nonprofit. This is not the Kevin Rose I know obviously. And it doesn’t even make sense there are certainly issues but there is that issues don’t go back to Google or even startups or any of this and I know you’re sympathetic to that. I wonder if these people are crazy! Are they genuine you think?
Kevin: I think that their complaints are certainly found in reality like there are some really shady things going on here like landlords are kicking out longtime tenants and instantly jacking up the prices because they know they can get it with some of the tech lords that are making more. And so people are being displaced. That is very frustrating to a lot of people. So there are complaints to be had here. But I certainly don’t think that Google and some of these other tech companies are necessarily at fault. Yes we are bringing in more tech workers but I think there is a lot of good being done here as well. I certainly know what we do in Google Ventures founding new tech companies. You know foundation medicine is one of our big company as it is working on cures for cancer. It’s not just funding companies for the sake of funding companies. There is a bigger mission here.
Leo: Absolutely and if you look at… If you wanted to protest against the financial industry all join you. There’s lots of places you can complain. Google doesn’t seem to be one of them, or any of the start-up industry.
Liz: Have you gotten a sense Kevin that you talking about this has meet anyone else say this also has happened to them, or is this just a Kevin Rose targeting?
Kevin: I know that has happened to a few other people. I don’t know who those people are but someone left a comment on my Instagram post saying that happened to them and I know that there was at least one other Googler that it happened to.
Liz: There was the soft track and car guy.
Liz: Are they going to hire a security guard for you? Are you concerned?
Kevin: At this point we have Google security on it so I reached out to them and they have a pretty decent department there that handles this type of stuff. But you know there is no real concern here, my house is pretty locked down I have cameras all over the place and I’ve created a little bunker here so I’m not too worried about that. But it is obviously, you know it gets your stomach grumbling and your little tense in your shaking. Of course my wife was spooked out by the whole thing. You just don’t know how far is going to go. Right now, yes I was able to sit down outside and it should have a conversation with these folks and it wasn’t aggressive like they weren’t here to throw rocks. They were upset and visibly upset but I didn’t feel at all like they were going to start a fight. And then the cops showed up they just kind of ran and they took off.
Leo: I need to tell you though, to be careful about mobs. Individual humans are just fine but sometimes when they get into groups they will do things that they wouldn’t do as an individuals. So don’t under estimate the risks to you when you go out and talk to them. I honor you and I would have done the same thing. But it can be dangerous because mobs will do stupid things. Have you and Daria thought about moving out of San Francisco?
Kevin: No, we love it here this is our home here and has been her home for quite some time. I've been here since 2000 myself. This is the longest of any other place I’ve ever lived. And I consider it to be home. You know I think there this a lot of real positive awesome things that are happening here. In about two different sectors. So I think that this is certainly, for me, something to pay attention to and something that I think that, I saw Ron Conway at The Crunchies give a long talk about other tech media has to come together to solve these problems. I certainly believe that is the case. I would like to take part in that conversation, sit down with some folks that are willing to have the conversation that isn’t aggressive. And hopefully that will happen. But yes this is home, we don't plan on moving anytime soon.
Leo: Kevin, I saw that and I was just so sad. And I agree, there are real problems that need to be addressed but you’re not the cause of them.
Kevin: Well I sent them to your house!
Leo: I am the one, you’re right! It is my fault. I am the one. Petaluma has been ravaged. I say ravaged. By people like me. Thank you Kevin, I thank you for taking your time to talk to us about this. I really actually admire your point of view on it.
Liz: It seems, Kevin, like they chose the right person to target in a way because you’re not… maybe it’s a good channel for conversation to start. I don’t know, maybe that is too… I look at the upside of it. Kevin got the message out instantly with Instagram. I was on this weekend and it went out immediately. People started talking about it.
Kevin: Yeah, they were a little shocked when I… I kind of tried to bring it back to , we started talking about jobs and help you could get started, and I let them know that I wasn’t born in this. I actually was a college dropout. I think it was pretty shocking to them. And so, you just kind of try to have a real conversation rather than yelling. And so, it started to happen at the end but in the police up. We’ll see where this goes.
Leo: By the way we’ve got that picture at kevinroseisaterribleperson.wordpress.com, in case you want to look at it. Isn’t that nice?
Leo: Kevin is one of the great people in the world. He really cares deeply and this is just so wrong. Kevin Rose, leach. It is so wrong folks. That is sad. Here is a guy that has actually done a lot to create employment.
Kevin: I appreciate that.
Leo: Thanks Kevin. Sorry that happened. Love to you both.
Kevin: Thank you so much! Thanks for having me on. Cheers guys!
Leo: Makes me so sad. All right, let’s take a break and when we come that will have more from Liz Gannes from and Patrick Beja from France. I need something better. Do You have a better when Patrick? Something I can save it’s better than Patrick Beja?
Leo: From France! I do want to talk a little bit about how television an content is treated differently in France, in Europe than from here. Because we got to that topic and it was a good topic but first let’s talk about . When you are riding in the Google bus you got the Wi-Fi and the leather seats but there is another nothing better than also having your headphones on, maybe those Bose quiet comfort three headphones on. You know the titanium ones? And listening to a book. Oh look at this, Mary Roach’s Gulp. This is a great book. As a matter of fact any of Mary Roach’s books are good. At you can get two books free so maybe you could do Gulp, which is the story of the Allimentary Canal and Bonk, the story of Sex, or Stiff the story of cadavers. She also wrote a great book called Packing for Mars, the curious science of life in the void; Spook, science tackles the afterlife. And My Planet, finding humor in the oddest places. She is actually one of my favorite authors, I think this is when I first became aware of her a couple years ago. It is the Study of Death. Stiff, the curious life of human cadavers. And then you can go on to Gulp and Bonk. And really have some fun. Audible is a great place to go to get audiobooks of all kinds. Those are nonfiction books but they of course have fiction books too, like Daniel Suarez’s latest, Influx. Wow, is that a page turner. That is a drive around-the-block three times because I don’t want to stop listening, even though I’m home. In your car, at work, on the treadmill, at your desk, Audible is a great companion. 150,000 titles in every category. Oh, this is cool. Mike Elgin was talking about this last week. The Biz Stone book, things a little bird told me, confessions of a creative mind. It is on this list as well. Audible has the best readers, by the way. That is a big part of this. You are listening… oh I really want this one. I think I will put this on my Audible wish list. Flash boys; Wall Street revolt. This is the new Michael Lewis book about high-frequency trading. It is the talk of the town. That’s one of the things about Audible that is great is that you are not getting last year’s books. I mean you could, they've got classics and great literature too. But all of the new books now come out on the day they are released in the bookstore. That is awesome, you are never left behind. Anything by Michael Lewis is a must read. He is just one of my favorites. But his latest Flash Boys, with high-frequency trading, he is really hot stuff. 2 will get you two books when you sign-up for the platinum account and that also includes your daily digest of either the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. That is nice. You are going to get some great listening, you can cancel any time in the first 30 days and pay nothing. Those books are yours to keep. But I think you’re going to want to stick around, it is fabulous. I listen all the time. Chad and I had a great conversation last night, or I guess it was Friday night. I didn’t realize you were such an Audible fan!
Chad: I’m a huge Audible fan. I've been listening to audiobooks in one form or another for years. When I found audible, it is the best way.
Leo: This was like a college education in your iPod. So too. Try it today. I know you’re in a like it. Before we move on I’m going to buy Flash Boys. I have two credits. I love having the credits. It is so nice. Oh there is some other books I want to listen to. Oh and that new Haunted Empire. What did you think of that Liz? I’m sure you read it, did you?
Liz: I haven’t read it actually. It is interesting to see Apple come out against it. I kind of, this is obviously an uninformed take on it since I haven’t read the book, but I think it might be a little too early to write a book about Tim Cook’s reign at Apple.
Leo: It is a little early. The premise is that it is haunted by Steve Jobs ghost, of course. I think it does imply that Apple is not going to do too well in the future. We don’t know that yet. But the criticism, I've heard from some, and I haven’t read it either in fact I’m going to put that in my cart as well, it that it’s a lot of anecdotal stuff and some of it not very accurate. Some of the people deny it, saying it’s not true.
Liz: But Apple, Tim Cook, put out a statement against the book. Which is pretty unusual, I mean I guess it’s not that unusual but, unusual for Apple.
Leo: I don't remember which book it was, but I remember when one of the books about Steve Jobs came out, he pulled it from… what did he do? He pulled the publisher from all the Apple stores. So they punish the publisher.
Liz: Oh that's right!
Leo: This is not a new phenomenon. So, let’s see. We can move on a little bit. There was a big event in San Francisco this week called build. Microsoft’s developer conference. And they announced a time of stuff. Let me go through a few of the big stories. One is of course that Windows is now free on devices with screens under 9 inches. Which would never have happened under Steve Ballmer or Bill Gates. That was the crown jewels and they're giving away the crown jewels! This is a response, obviously to Android. To get Windows on mobile devices. And maybe to get Windows 8.1 out there too.
Patrick: So does that mean, because they are saying phone and tablets, does that mean that Windows phone is free to everyone?
Leo: No, no, no!
Patrick: But they are saying phones and tablets right?
Leo: Well they are saying anything under a 9 inch screen. But there are a lot of 8 inch tablets that have Windows. Lenovo has one, Toshiba has one, Dell has one. So those guys, that is a big deal for those guys. They also cut the license costs in general. Significantly. So I think you could make the case that this is a Satya Nadella move. Some of the things like Windows phone 8.1 obviously in the works for a long time. And the new update for Windows 8.1 has been in the works for a long time. I think Satya Nadella is really taking Microsoft in a new direction.
Patrick: Well they want to get everyone involved in their echo system. And Nadella is very much corralled in the services oriented. So I mean Windows on these types of devices has not been doing too well. So they do need to do something to get it a little bit more popular. And obviously that is one of the things that they could be doing. And hopefully by emphasizing the services aspect of Microsoft then maybe they can pull people in with cheaper devices and get the juice going on the services. But the sad thing is, I’m not even sure that that will be enough.
Leo: Too late you think?
Patrick: I don’t know if it’s too late. I love my Windows 8 PC. I’m one of the few people that actually enjoys Windows. But I think that people just don't want it.
Leo: Okay I want to talk about an off the record conversation I had with two very well-known Windows watchers, who may or may not do a broadcast on this network. What we were talking about, and I don’t know why they haven’t said this more forcefully on that podcast, but what we were talking about is the idea that what seems to have happened is, for reasons no one fully understands, Microsoft said to Steven Sinofsky, “Go make Windows 8 and we are going to let you rethink the whole thing and we’re not going to weigh in. Anything goes Stephen”. And Sinofsky went off and created this kind of nightmare, hybrid of touch and desktop. And not one person at Microsoft not one person on the board said Boo to Sinofsky. Sinofsky is the right guy to do it, he had great success with Office, the Ribbon, he was very forceful apparently in the way he communicated his ideas. I asked them, is Sinofsky that persuasive? Is it like perceived at Microsoft that he’s a genius? They said no he is just very forceful. Windows came out, Sinofsky was terminated, Ballmer was forced out as a result, it has been a very, I think it is safe to say, a big failure. Windows is the crown jewel. You do not mess with Microsoft’s crown jewels. And the real flaw goes back to management saying go ahead, do whatever you want.
Patrick: Well there is the key thing you said right there. You talked about the Ribbon and how Sinofsky was the one who made it. And, the thing is, a lot of people still hate the Ribbon. It is incredibly better than what was before. It it still has a horrible image. So, I’m wondering if they were getting some feedback or maybe themselves were thinking, that thing that he is doing with Windows - we’re not sure? We don’t like it, but we also didn’t like the Ribbon and it turns out the Ribbon is actually better for productivity. And we need to move in a different direction so it is easy, in hindsight to say, well obviously Windows would never have worked the way it is now. But they had to worry about the touch interfaces and the tablets and all that and they needed to do something radical. So, basically something that a lot of people said at the time as well, if Windows had not done this we would all be sitting here saying, and criticizing them for not moving and thinking differently and doing things in a different enough direction. So, I can’t understand definitely why they would leave him free rein to change everything and not pulled him back in when they realized maybe they, as individuals, don’t like it as much.
Leo: It seems clear that it’s why Ballmer stepped down. I think Satya Nadella was chosen, they wanted somebody inside Microsoft, maybe they wanted somebody outside of Microsoft to have said no. I think he was a very good choice because the future of Microsoft clearly is in the cloud yes? The future of computing is in the cloud.
Patrick: The future of everyone.
Liz: You are getting into trouble when you are talking about giving away the crown jewels. That is an attitude that will not allow you to focus on whatever is coming next.
Leo: Right. So is it a new Microsoft? There is no question in my mind that it is a new Microsoft. Giving away Windows? I would say Windows phone 8.1 is the first, I’ve always thought highly of Windows phone. I think they did reinvent that. In fact I think that is one of the reasons why they let Sinofsky do what he did because they said well, this interface is working really well on the phone let’s try bringing that into the desktop. It is good. It's just like the party and it doesn’t have the apps. But Windows phone 8.1 fills a lot of holes especially with Cortana, which is the voice activated personal assistant for windows 8.1. Microsoft is in a unique position. Apple has Siri, of course, Google has its own voice. Apple is a little hobbled by the fact that it has made the decision, and I think a lot of people embrace the decision, to protect its users privacy. Unlike Google they are not willing to aggregate all the data from all the different things they know about you and make Siri better because of it. With Siri, a lot of people felt like it was better before Apple got it.
Liz: That’s definitely true. Siri was different before Apple bought it. It tied in to the API’s of a whole bunch of different services and so it let you do all sorts of things like plan your whole date for the evening without ever leaving the app. But I think, if you look at the little incremental updates, I'm an iPhone user, and if you look at the little updates it is starting to get much more like a personal assistant. You see that in the voice thing. It’s not just about voice in Siri. if you pull it down your screen it will tell you things like how many meetings you have that day, what the weather is like, it is becoming more and more useful in doing that sort of thing. Anticipating your needs rather than waiting for you to search for things. Which is where Google is going, it is a better experience in a lot of ways. And as long as you are willing to let your phone know where you are located, look at your calendar, and stuff like that. But you’ve already done that if you’re using iPhone.
Leo: What Apple doesn’t have that Google has is the search and email. Your YouTube choices.
Liz: And what Microsoft is saying what they have is your Xbox and…
Leo: They have a lot. They are better positioned that Apple. I’m looking at my Google now and it says how long it is going to take me to get home, I guess Apple could do that, the Giants game, it knows I follow the Giants, for some reason it thinks I like moon Alice but that is a mistake. It knows what stocks I follow. It knows that I ordered a Fire TV - I expect to see more postings because that came in through Gmail. So Apple is not willing to do that. And rightly so.
Liz: They are not far off though. I was just looking down at Apple and it tells me what the weather is, I am currently at home so it’s not going to tell me how long it’s going to take me to get home.
Leo: Would Siri do that? Tell you if you need to get going, you need to get home.
Liz: Yeah. In fact it says tomorrow, your calendar looks clear in the morning but you have three events schedule starting at 12 PM.
Leo: But that is your calendar, you explicitly gave it permission right? I think Apple is going to be hobbled because they don’t want to go so far. Google is willing to go to any length. In fact they just updated the way that logging in to your Gmail works on your iPhone. I’m sure you knew this Liz, but now since you are logged into Gmail you are logged into all the other Google services.
Liz: Yes Google is making themselves much more of a package deal than they used to.
Leo: And of course they are saying we are going to aggregate all that information, so when you watch a YouTube video we associate that with your account. Whether you knew it or not. It doesn’t bother me, but it bothers some people.
Liz: I understand that I am doing a trade-off of privacy for convenience everywhere in my online life. I also have an Android phone and by comparison, I think there are a lot of things it does a lot better because it is a more cohesive experience, it is not all these discrete apps split up with no knowledge what the others are doing.
Leo: My point is that Microsoft is better positioned than Apple to do this because they have Bing, they have enough… I was impressed. I like Cortana, Cortana is the name of the personal assistant, the voice. She has a good voice, in fact she has arguably a better voice than either Siri or Google because some of the speech is pre-recorded actual voice. Some of it is synthesized and some of it is not. It’s a little disconcerting when you listen. It is the same voice but one sounds more synthesized.
Patrick: It’s okay, but it doesn’t feel like oh that was the virtual assistant I was waiting for. It is good. It is nice that Microsoft is getting in on that game as well. What I’ve felt was really interesting and all of those conferences, I guess what Microsoft does best ubiquity and they made a lot of noise about the fact that you'll be able to develop apps that would unified the…
Leo: That is a huge thing too. Windows runtime will be the same across all of its platforms.
Patrick: Including Xbox. They are going really really wide with this. And they are even announcing innovated TV in the car, there was a leak about Windows for devices where they were talking about wearables in general. So it seems like they are, I think that Nadella is going to get the credit for a lot of the changes that are going to be happening this year. But it feels like a lot of those have been in the works for the past couple of years, when Windows 8 first came out.
Leo: He’s only been on the job for a few months so he obviously didn’t have anything to do with Cortana. Nevertheless, I do think that he is more willing to… well you know, on the iPad announcement he said, give me my iPad. You would have never heard Ballmer say that. Ballmer stomped on an iPhone at a meeting a few years ago.
Patrick: The release finally of office on the iPad, that probably would have still taken a bit more time.
Leo:Nadella Is putting his stamp on it. I think it goes along with things, like getting Windows phone 8.1 up to parity with iPhone and Android phone. One of the things you can tell, see this is where Microsoft has a little bit of advantage, they own Skype so you can say, call my mom on Skype. So it will not only open Skype it will call her. You’re going to get some similar functionality with Facebook. Cortana scans the email on your phone. They are going to have to stop doing this Google campaign. It’s over. Cortana scans the gmail on your phone? And recognizes things like a flight schedules and other reservations. So she will remind you what time to leave for the airport?
Patrick: It’s all to show you Apps.
Leo: Oh, so that’s okay?
Patrick: You know, that is their argument with Scoogle. And it is also, I’m sure, the people who do this Scoogle campaign talk to the people who develop Cortana.
Leo: Well, they may. Because the guy that did the Scoogle campaign has been promoting on Microsoft. And is now in charge of digital strategy. At Microsoft. Yeah, he is Executive Vice President of advertising and strategy at Microsoft.
Patrick: And you were saying earlier, is it too late for Microsoft? I never want to say it’s too late. But we do have a tendency as the consumer space watchers to a lot of enterprise that is important. We have a tendency to underestimate how important and how big Microsoft still is. In a lot of places. I really don’t think it is too late for Microsoft, ever. They are so ubiquitous and have such big presence in some of the spaces that matter. That it would take a lot, much longer period of screwing up for them to be out of the game.
Liz: But they are spending so much time on idiotic things. Right? Why are you spending your time once Scoogle? Why are you spending your time on not releasing Office for iPad?
Leo: That is the old Microsoft. I think what we are is seeing a kinder, gentler Microsoft.
Liz: Yes. But you can’t get ahead of your competition if you are just internally messing things up like that. When you are putting your focus on things that are totally not improving what people actually like and use and want to be loyal to your company for.
Leo: And I’m thinking Satya Nadella came in and said exactly that.
Patrick: Probably. Let me take the other side of the argument. You are just coming out with a tablet computer, with a brand-new system, with a brand-new voice. It does look very strange if the next day you come out with office on the iPad and you don’t have the touch version of office on your brand-new system. So, I’m not saying it was the right choice but I definitely understand why they wouldn’t want to come out with office on the iPad immediately.
Liz: Yeah. And I don’t want to say that other companies don’t do stupid stuff, right? Apple is so pissed off about this whole Samsung patent thing. They are allowing their internal emails and strategies from not that long ago, like a year ago, to be exposed in court. Companies do really, really bizarre things.
Leo: How much did they talk about surface at Build? I didn’t see any mention at all. Maybe I just missed it.
Patrick: There wasn’t a lot of it. Except for the runtime, the universal runtime.
Leo: That's for everybody.
Patrick: The fact that you can have the Windows store applications on the desktop. There's a lot of stuff happening in there. But I think that what Nadella said when he announced the iPad version of office was that there was going to be a number of announcements in the next few weeks. And Build is part of that, of course. I wouldn't be surprised if we heard a little bit more, specifically about tablets in the near future.
Leo: I wonder. Maybe we should read the tea leaves and see if maybe they are backing down on the hardware. What else?
Patrick: I wouldn’t be surprised.
Leo: I asked this mythical couples who may or may not host the podcast on my network. Why doesn’t Microsoft just say we blew it? 8 a mistake.
Patrick: They don't need to. They are making eight into seven now.
Leo: They can’t because all the developers would say that’s it I’m done!
Patrick: What do people need now in eight in order to accept it? The start menu, and they are bringing that back. If you go to desktop and you have the start menu you can control everything with the mouse, including Windows Metro style applications. You can put them in a window on the desktop. Eight is, as Sinofsky conceded, pretty much gone, I think it is safe to say.
Leo: Liz, you cover mobile on Recode and of course you have the mobile conference. What do you hear about Nokia and Microsoft? They said next month maybe?
Liz: Yes, I think.
Leo: That is going to change things. Maybe we are waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Liz: Give it some time.
Liz: I mean I look forward to seeing how those things can come together. I think there are still smart people who have a lot of experience on phones who are trying very hard to make something interesting. But, yeah, even in the course of defending Microsoft we are talking about how court, that is just catching up. So there is more to be done.
Patrick: And answer your question, on should they be giving up on service? I think the problem is if they are not going to be building one, then probably no one is. So they really need to keep doing it. They have to.
Leo: I have I guess they do. I think Nokia actually has some great product and the camera is phenomenal. Now that I have seen 8.1, I’m thinking maybe we don’t… I was saying for a long time they shouldn’t just abandon Windows Phone with android, because I want to see that hardware with Android on it. But maybe we don’t need to? Windows phone is actually getting better and better and the cameras are good, maybe they’ve got a strong… boy, from the point of view of users having three major choices would be great. Apple, Android, and Windows. I’d like to see that. Guess who is going to join us in a little bit? Jeff Jarvis is just sitting around doing nothing on a Sunday afternoon. I tell you it was really hard to get people on the show and Chad and I finally figured out why. Game of Thrones! I could not figure it out. That game of thrones debuts tonight.
Liz: And also the nicest weather that San Francisco has ever had.
Leo: It is almost 80°.
Patrick: Oh shut up!
Leo: Wait a minute! April in Paris! You’ve got to tell me it’s gorgeous there right?
Patrick: In fact it is wonderful. But it is 24°.
Patrick: No Celsius of course.
Leo: So it’s a very nice! 24 is perfect!
Patrick: Yes, it is wonderful.
Leo: Wonderful in Paris right now. Hey Jeff Jarvis, welcome.
Jeff Jarvis: It is nice here too.
Leo: New York is beautiful too. But see there is no leaves on the trees.
Jeff: No leaves on the trees. It is barren and sad. And gray.
Leo: What is this? All of a sudden you are joining us on a Chat room on Sundays now?
Jeff: We don’t have the Bozo’s of San Francisco here and that is a good thing We don’t have the Commies.
Leo: Oh my god did you see that?
Jeff: You talked about the story, but I missed it.
Leo: We had Kevin on. Kevin Rose was on.
Jeff: Sorry I missed it.
Leo: You’ll have to go back and watch the on demand. Kevin is much more gracious than I would be.
Jeff: He is way more. I would’ve just gone berserk.
Leo: He went out and talked to them. Can you believe that? Brave man!
Patrick: Oh, and I just wanted to say about this story. In Paris the prices have been going up for 10 years. It is getting completely crazy. And we are trying as hard as we can to get the start-up echo system to take off in Paris.
Jeff: No offense, but Parisians are known to be even nuttier than San Franciscans! San Franciscans are outdoing them right!
Leo: To the Barricades, it used to be the Parisian call, now it is the San Franciscans.
Jeff: Now, let’s go barf on a bus. So every bit of money should just leave San Francisco!
Liz: It is funny though because I think that there is this internet trolling comments kind of come to life. I almost don’t believe that… look, I am from the Bay area and I understand there is a lot of different nuances here. But to have someone come to your house and say that without kind of cracking up? It is hard for me, I have to wrap my mind around it. It seems like it is in the Internet comment section, which Kevin helped to set off on Digg, coming to life and appearing in front of his house.
Leo: It is the ultimate trolling. The trolls have come to life.
Jeff: The one thing that I hope to see, Liz, the same San Franciscans stand up and say, okay folks enough. We benefit from technology being here, we benefit tremendously from this, so some buses come by, prices go up. Welcome to capitalism welcome to the market. But at some point is really going to hurt the city it is really going to harm, I think image of the city. I lived in San Francisco in the days when it was known as nutty, the days of Jonestown and other craziness. It has also always been known as somewhat nutty. But I think this is harmful for the city.
Liz: I am interested to see, for me personally, alarm bells are not going off yet. But nobody has come to my house this morning. We did get some evict our tech loving mayor graffiti on my side door that we had to paint over but that has been the personal that has impacted me so far.
Jeff: That would drive me nuts.
Leo: I am very sympathetic to people who are getting evicted and he were getting pushed out of their neighborhoods. People that live there their whole lives. That is sad and that is not right. But I don’t think you can blame Google or Yahoo for that.
Jeff: And would you rather do without? Would you rather be Des Moines? Would you rather be Detroit?
Leo: What scares me even more than anything is just this notion, I feel like it is a backlash against technology in general. It goes along with the privacy issues and all that. I really fear that there may be a lot of backlash in the making. And that scares me because that would not be good.
Jeff: I think you’re right Leo, I think there are two things going on. One is the technology back lash and the other one is the economic backlash. There is a technology 1% being created, as jobs are eliminated, there is higher profitability and higher productivity. Greater wealth being created in Silicon Valley. And that is an issue that Silicon Valley has to figure how to deal with.
Leo: I guess income equality is a major issue. It goes too far. You know that Patrick, back in 1789, these things go bad. They don’t end well!
Patrick: I don't think we are quite there yet, but yes let’s keep our eye on the situation.
Leo: When they build the guillotine in union square then I'll know trouble is a brewing.
Liz: Techi's don't go to Union square.
Leo: They don't go there? I would protest there. Go protest Neiman Marcus. You want to protest something, protest Nieman Marcus. Our show brought to you by, Jeff stick around yeah, can you give us a minute? Lots to talk about.
Jeff: Sure I can, I was just going to go out for a healthy walk but I would rather be here with you.
Leo: Oh yeah this is so much better than exercise.
Patrick: I have a topic for Jeff after the ..
Leo: Good. Patrick is going to give you a topic to expound upon. Ladies and gentleman it is my great pleasure and privilege to talk to you about Go to Meeting. Our friends at Citrix have created a fabulous way to stay in touch, to meet with, to collaborate with co-workers and clients. Anywhere they are, anywhere you are. It is so important to build a strong relationship with your team. Meet and collaborate with co-workers and clients on a regular basis to brainstorm, develop quality ideas and solutions. You got to do it in a meeting but you don't all have to be together. With Go To Meeting you can get everybody in the same room in effect, you are on the same page sharing your screen. Your seeing each other face to face over GoToMeeting with HG faces. It is fabulous. Look at this, this is really cool if your using Google Chrome you can now use GoToMeeting free. Video conference with up to 3 people, no sign up, no download. They are always trying new stuff at GoToMeeting. I am wondering if this is using web RTC, we got to check this out. This is really cool. It is so easy to use GoToMeeting at your business. You can sign up for 30 days free, get the full thing. As many people as you want, as often as you want. It is no surprise that this is the choice in business for meetings. Visit gotomeeting.com click the try it free button and use the promo code twit. Gotomeeting.com, try it free button right there, promo code twit. Take advantage of this, a really great deal if you are using Google Chrome, you can use Go To Meeting free for up to 3 people. That is awesome. Gotomeeting.com on mobile, on ipad, on iphone, desktop, on laptop on android it is all there. Alright Patrick Beja is here notpatrick on the Twitter. Patrickbeja.com. Liz Gannes, I always ask you is how do you say your name?
Liz: Gannes rhymes with brains.
Leo:That is the answer she gave me the last time. Recode.net and I mentioned it before but I go back a ways with Liz's dad Stu Gannes. It is nice to work with his daughter. It is so cool.
Liz: I am trying to get him to come watch basketball with me tonight. The Stanford woman's basketball is in the final 4.
Leo: Oh how exciting.
Liz: So I might see him later.
Leo: Are you an alumni?
Liz: No, but you know growing up in Palo Alto, it is kind of a fun thing to go out for. The women have won the NCAA since I was growing up in Palo Alto.
\Leo: Now's the time
Liz: So yeah looking for a win.
Leo: Yeah, Huskies in there. I mean this is exciting. I don't follow this stuff at all but you know. I pretend I know Sport ball.
Jeff: As I always say I am neither a real man, neither am I a real American because I don't know sports.
Leo: You’re not a real man because you don't into sports but what is the American part?
Leo: You like freedom fries? Oh sports, ok.
Jeff: I don't know sports.
Leo: So Patrick you have a challenge. Jeff Jarvis is also here by the way. Normally host in This Week in Google. We can't keep him away. It is so nice to have you on a Sunday afternoon. Thank you Jeff for joining us. He is with the Professor of journalism City University of New York. He is also a really accomplished author.
Jeff: You are the plugmister.
Leo: I like to get the plugs in because you guys come here for free.
Jeff: You’re good.
Leo: I've got to give you something. Something in return. Actually Stearn is the plugmister. But he saves it for the last 10 minutes of the show. Nobody is listening at 10 o'clock. So I like to stick my plugs in earlier. So Patrick. Wait a minute oh that is funny. Jeff says did you already do the audible add I was just signing up again.
Jeff: It is true, it is why I wasn't watching the show. I was busy signing up again because I realized I was buying 3 books and this is stupid paying 22 bucks a book. So I subscribed again.
Leo: What books are you buying? All of Jeff's books are on Audible. Don't you get a complimentary membership or something?
Jeff: No, I should. Gutenberg the Geek is only 99 cents. I have just finished The Island at the Center of the Universe or the World whatever it is called. Russell Shorto's History of Manhattan. It is wonderful. Read before that Russell Shorto's History of Amsterdam as the great liberal city. It is just magnificent. I just bought the Biography of Money.
Leo: Wow you are an intellectual.
Jeff: No I just need something while I walk.
Leo: This sounds good, The Island at the Center of the World.
Jeff: It's great. There is a guy named Audrian Vonderdaunk.
Leo: Those dutch.
Jeff: Who I really want to start a kick starter campaign to build a statue for Audrian Fonderdaunk.
Leo: If Vonderdaunk hadn't done it there would be no Manhattan.
Jeff: Right, Vonderdaunk is really one of the fathers. Unheralded fathers of the American way of life. Of independence, equality, self-government, and I am just amazed by this. Have you ever heard of Audrain Vonderdaunk?
Leo: Never heard of him. Never heard of the Vonderdaunk.
Jeff: Mr. Vonderdaunk is amazing. So I am inspired by Audrian Vonderdaunk. Right now across America people are going to Wikipedia to find out who the hell is Audrian Vonderdaunk.
Leo: Well just get that book.
Jeff: It's good, it is very good. I listened to the whole thing on Audible. In the last exciting minutes, just as British are about to take over Manhattan and I am rooting for the Dutch to win myself.
Leo: So Patrick you has something to pose to Jeff?
Patrick: Yeah, well I wanted to gloat a little bit and also get Jeff's take on this topic. You are aware I am sure of the European parliament passing very strong net-neutrality laws this week.
Jeff: Good topic Patrick.
Patrick: Thank you I thought you would like it.
Leo: Tell me what they did because I did not know this. Being a provincial American.
Patrick: So basically the EU, the European parliament had a very important vote on net-neutrality. I believe it was this week.
Jeff: Yes it was this last week.
Patrick: Yeah last week obviously sorry.
Jeff: Nilly Crouse.
Patrick: Yeah Nilly Crouse had a somewhat, semi controversial text before the parliament. But then a number of very active left wing parliamentarians just swept in and changed it completely changed the text. Passed a number of amendments that makes this text very very, well makes the text very net-neutral. In the sense as we in techies would think of it. There are no exceptions, very very few exceptions. No special services that were a big point of contention in the text that would have allowed the ISP's to create special channels for certain deals that they would want to make. All of that gone and what remains is a text that enforces net-neutrality in all of Europe.
Jeff: Patrick is absolutely right.
Patrick: Honestly it is amazing. We didn't think it was going to happen like this and it was the best news of the year for people like us.
Jeff: I salute you. I sometimes make fun of my European friends. I sometimes make fun of the EU. I am wrong, I salute you. Excellent legislation. As Patrick said the law came in when it was done with all the EU politics. Had a lot of exceptions and as Patrick said all the left wing pulled one by one amendments to pull the exceptions out and it is real net-neutrality legislation in the EU. It leaves us in America in the dust.
Leo: Wow, tell me a little bit because I am an ignorant American. This has the force of law everywhere in the EU? Everybody has to adhere to this? What is the enforcement, how does it work?
Patrick: It needs to be adapted to each country but essentially yes it has to be adapted in every country that is a member of the union. So it has force of law. It comes in opposition of certain rules that people were thinking about putting in place. To counteract Netflix coming in France for example. There were a number of those special services that people wanted to implement. But it is essentially law unless in the next few months something incredible happens that I am not aware that could happen. It is now law, net-neutrality as we think of it. That is very important because a lot of people have been starting to try and sort of re-brand net-neutrality. To try and say yes you need to be neutral but if you have this case or this case then you can make exceptions. But that is not the way the law was passed. So yeah again it is law in all of the member states of the union.
Jeff: The reason we know it is good is 4 big telecommunications companies, according to a Michael Furtive piece in Forbes, condemned the legislation. So that is how we know it.
Leo: It could never happen here. You know it is so funny because I was watching TV3 just the other day and I saw. Let me see if I can find it here.
Leo: Yeah in France. And it was so good.
Jeff: Speaking French.
Patrick: Speaking French.
Leo: Maybe is that what they are calling it now?
Jeff: I love hearing you say that, that is so good.
Patrick: I can say names of cheese later, if you want.
Leo: We could just listen, it will be so fun.
Patrick: The really weird thing was that the initially was basically tailored initially to ISP's and to cable providers. I am not sure exactly what happened but within 2 days it completely changed and it passed. It was very strange. And of course in light of what happened U.S. A couple of months ago with the net-neutrality being, not debunked but rejected. I think, to make it a little more global I do think it is going to make it a little more difficult for other countries to reject net-neutrality.
Jeff: Screw their customers. Screw their citizens should we put it that way.
Leo: This is it I think. Francua.
Jeff: You are just showing of Leo. International Leo, Mr. Cosmopolitan.
Leo: I love French television. I even understand it which is great. Did you see this Patrick.
Video Playing in French
Patrick: I did not.
Leo: This is Saturday Night Live last night. This is the French dance. It is the new sprockets. I am sorry we are going to get banned from Youtube now. This is all in coverage of the new French net-neutrality law.
Patrick: Completely appropriate.
Leo: Ok enough of that.
Liz: You know what is so sad. I was trying to look up all the Saturday night live skits from last night of which that was one. You can't see, that was the only one you could actually find online. A bunch of them used Amy Hendrick as a singer so they used a bunch of music for skits and it is just like.
Leo: They don't have the rights.
Liz: Why can they show it on TV but not online. I know they don't have the rights but it just seems stupid.
Leo: So frustrating. Turkey lifts the Twitter banned. Apparently it was illegal. And the Youtube ban violates human rights.
Leo: Yay. This is why you don't want to try and shut down the internet in a democratic Republic. Court limits restrictions to 15 videos on Youtube. That was right after the ruling scrapped the ban on Twitter. It was the Turkish prime minister Urdigon was trying to shut down social media. Primarily because it carries stuff that is unflattering to his government.
Jeff: He was coming up with, there were some great great mimes of him online. Pictures of him with ridiculous statements of his about the net and Twitter. About how Twitter is evil and awful.
Leo: Well there you go victory in Turkey so far anyway.
Patrick: It is kind of interesting to think that he's banning them and he's got this image of dictator almost to people. To a lot of people who probably hear of him for the first time with this. Then the court says he can't do it and he's like oh right OK well I guess we won't do it then.
Leo: I tell you one thing you can't do in this country. You can't take a selfy with the President of the United States using a Samsung phone.
Patrick: That is not exactly what happened.
Leo: David Ortese the Red Sox ball player apparently has a deal with Samsung, and took a selfy with the President in which the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 was fairly prominently revealed. Very much like Ellen's selfy. The White House says the Presidents legal team objects to the company’s commercial use of the photograph.
Jeff: What can they do about it?
Leo: He is a public figure, it was done in public.
Jeff: Yeah, there is nothing they can do about it.
Liz: It is not the selfy that is problem, the problem is that someone took a picture of the picture taking, right?
Leo: Oh yeah because it isn't, that's right they aren't transmitting the selfy.
Liz: The selfy doesn't say sponsored by Samsung on it.
Leo: That isn't the selfy of course. Samsung tweets the picture of the selfy. That of course, another home run for Samsung. Social media.
Jeff: Here is my prediction, my prediction the next one, the Pope.
Leo: Ooh I think we can arrange that.
Jeff: I think it is going to happen.
Leo: I know the Pope's tech guy.
Jeff: Samsung is heading to Rome scene at the White House.
Barack Obama on Video: It looks like it might fit him better than me, though.
Leo: Ortiz gives Obama his own Red Sox jersey. Then whips out his conveniently placed Samsung Smart Phone. Big Poppy selfy. You know that Note3 looks kind of small in Big Poppy's hand. That's the guy that phone was designed for. I think they made the right deal on that one. I guess the white house is objecting but what do you do you do.
Patrick: Wait you can wear that suit but you can't take a selfy with the President?
Lep: That suit is quite something. For those listening, I don't know which Red Sox that is but he is wearing an American Flag suit.
Jeff: In my day you honestly could have been arrested for desecration of the flag for wearing that.
Leo: That is thanks to the liberal supreme court now. Anything goes with our American flag. Hey speaking of Scotus, of course it was this week that the supreme court disenfranchised all of Americans. By saying there is no limit of the amount of money that you can donate a corporation or any individual could donate.
Jeff: Your limited percanada but you’re not limited in total. Did you know you can donate to every damned Republican across the country should you wish.
Leo: Right, or using a variety of different packs and interest groups. The sky is the limit go have fun. Knock yourself out. What do you think of that Jeff? We'll just ask Jeff Jarvis off the top of his head. What do you think of that?
Jeff: I agree with Larry Lesig that money is unbelievably corrupting to our legislative and government branches. I believe it's the root of our mess. I don't think the companies are people and have rights. However at some point in a media economy that is built on buying TV time, artificial limits are difficult to put forward. So I don't think the solution is to try and limit the money. I think the solution is not having 5 year campaigns. But I don't know how you do that?
Leo: I do feel like we are on our way to a plutocracy where the rich get to buy congress. But there is a solution to this. A tech angle to this frankly, which is why I bring it up. There is a solution to this. Really what they are buying with all that money is votes. Their buying ads, their buying influence, but ultimately the voter still controls who is in congress.
Jeff: Here is the question about it all.
Leo: I think the internet offers a real alternative to making a decision of who to vote for from television commercials. So maybe now there is no limit on the amount of money you can donate to a campaign. But folks, there is an opportunity to figure out who you like and who you don't like by going on the internet doing your research and then voting.
Jeff: The key here is to me, we are only going to end the hegemony of television in this country. I mean it doesn't happen in Europe because you are limited on what you can spend on campaigns and the campaigns are short. So once again I salute Europe. But in this country, Mark Andreson was talking about in Twitter, he went off on another Twitter rant, saying but don't even poor people even have one vote so how do they limit this. But clearly there is money spent that has an impact on opinion, that has an impact on everything. The question is this, the first person who's elected to let's say congress by the internet without television that's when the revolution starts. We are nowhere near there, we are nowhere near that. Everybody still gets elected by television but if you could possibly use the internet to get elected that makes the internet an equally powerful tool.
Patrick: So what you are saying we need the Justin Beber of congress.
Leo: Well you could make the case.
Jeff: Well we don't forget we had Gopher from Love Boat we proudly say in this country. And Sunny Bono, so yeah, what the heck. But then again you have a head of state who is having affairs around and nobody thinks it’s a big deal which I think is pretty cool.
Leo: Francqua Holland for congress.
Patrick: That's what we're managing to achieve.
Jeff: Yes, you should be proud, Patrick.
Patrick: We are.
Leo: I just want to say, I know with a lot of techies it is very fashionable among geeks to say oh your vote doesn't count. Your participating a corrupt system I just, I am not going to get involved. Your vote does count. If you think it is a corrupt system, vote. Because if you don't vote it is, guarantee you, it will be a corrupt system.
Patrick: You know how much it counts, it counts exactly as much as everyone's vote. That is the idea of the thing. So yes it does count.
Leo: And this from a Frenchman. You know I thought it was interesting what was the story about, it was a French story. Wasn't there Chad, people were scandalized by something, by some form of nudity.
Chad: I don't remember this at all.
Leo: Then I was talking about Librate and she is bare breasted but the French didn't mind, what was that? I have forgotten now.
Chad: Was this a tech story?
Jeff: Darn it Chad where is your memory.
Leo: Yeah well it might have been a tech story I don't remember.
Chad: I don't remember this at all. Chatroom?
Leo: Just edit this part out this is where senility finally happened.
Jeff: I am going to try Google, bare breast.
Leo: No it wasn't bare breast, it was something else that the French were scandalized by. I thought this is odd given that Liberte has been naked since 1789.
Jeff: Oh I see.
Patrick: Oh we have no problem with bare breasts.
Leo: Well I thought so maybe it was just a dream, a dream I had. Speaking of game of thrones, right after game of thrones all of silicone valley will be watching a show called Silicone Valley debuts tonight. It is kind of game of thrones for geeks, actually. Oh it was the strap on the shoulder, thank you, thank you. It was the controversy, we were talking on Macbreak.
Chad: Oh yeah
Leo: It was on Delaquas altered, no it wasn't Delaqua, oh I am really starting to forget.
Chad: And then you found 10 dollars right?
Leo: It the painting, remember the painting he was talking about in the Boston Public Library. Oh I forget. Back to Silicon Valley.
Patrick: Cultures are weird.
Leo: Chatroom back me up. Anyway Silicone Valley, I don't know why we didn't get invited to this but there was in Palo Alto a screening this week.
Liz: In Redwood City, I went to it.
Leo: Did you go?
Liz: I can offer a report, yes.
Jeff: So what did you think Liz?
Liz: I laughed. I am not, I don't have a great track record for knowing what will resonate with a larger audience but it was very funny. So the premiss is it is a group of guys of all guys. One of them has an idea and they live together in a startup incubator/hostile sort of thing. He has an idea that turns out to be technically significant. In the first episode his company wants to buy it from him or a VC who is modeled on Peter Teal wants to invest in it. So the drama is, is actually the drama of running a startup of should we take the money. The second episode is all about can we involve the guy who's not really contributing to the project, how much equity should he get. So does that have large management appeal I don't know but it is really funnily written.
Leo: Mike Judge did it, he did Beavus and Butthead but more importantly Office Space. Which is to this day the classic on life in a cube farm in a tech company.
Liz: Yeah and he gets it too. There's not like a lot of lines that fall really off.
Leo: See that's good.
Liz: He doesn't have a lot, yeah. There's definitely the Dr. pitching you the app as he is giving you, your check up for anxiety attack. Which has happened to me. Not for an anxiety attack but my doctor has definitely talked tech with me.
Leo: What app would you recommend for... So Nellie Boles was there from Recode. She wrote an article worthy of Gawker. Congratulate Nellie on this.
Liz: No it is better than Gawker because she doesn't hate everything. She is awesome, she is a culture reporter who thinks culture is interesting.
Leo; She was great, she went to the movie, I guess with you? Or the TV show I should say. Then afterward s there was a little get together. This was at the Fox theater in Redwood city. She says Elon Musk was there.
Jeff: This is hilarious.
Leo: He says the truth is stranger than the fiction most start-ups are a soap opera but not that kind of a soap opera. He didn't like the show. He says thumbs very much down. None of those characters were software engineers. Software engineers are more helpful, thoughtful and smarter. They're weird but not in the same way he insisted. I was just having a meeting with my information security team and they are great but they're pretty f-ing weird. One used to be a dude, one's super small, one's hyper smart that's actually what it is. This is weird.
Patrick: That would make for an awesome show.
Leo: It gets weirder. I feel like Mike Judge has never been to Burning Man.
Liz: That's the best line.
Leo: Which is Silicon Valley. If you haven't been you just don't get it. You can take the craziest L.A. Party and multiply it by a 1,000 and it doesn't get f-ing close to what's in Silicon Valley. The show didn't have any of that.
Liz: What's funny is if you look on the Wall Street Journal I think. Elon Musk also gave them an interview and I think maybe it was a few beverages earlier in the evening. He had a slightly more even keeled take.
Leo: He does sound a little snockered here. The parties in Silicon valley are amazing because people don't care about how they are perceived socially which I don't think Mike got. See if you read it like that it all makes more sense. Hollywood is a place where people always care of what people think of them and the show is more like that. I live in Hollywood 12 years and I have never been to an f-ing good party. He then reached for a bacon waffle; writes Nellie and
Liz: It was a tasty bacon waffle.
Leo: It sounded tasty.
Liz: I had a little tiny bite.
Leo: I would love a bacon waffle hors devour. And he proclaimed he would take Judge to Burning Man this year. Wait a minute this is my favorite line: Despite some misgiving about the show it was clear that Musk was more than a star than anyone present at the premier. A Coventry of Millennium women waiting for him to break away from the group circled him and he disappeared in to the night. I added the disappeared into the night but I think that's what happened.
Liz: It's true he was definitely the biggest star there. That includes all the people in the show because they're kind of like.
Leo: They're new.
Liz: They play the nerdy guy in every other movie and they brought them all together into one show now.
Jeff: There was a description, I don't know where I saw this but I think it was the Aspergers entourage.
Leo: That's terrible. But it is true if you look at this picture of the cast Mike's in the middle. You've seen them all before as the nerdy guy. On various, at least The office.
Liz: I think a bunch of them, at least that one on the far right he was in the Google movie, the Internship.
Leo: He was in the Internship, yeah yeah. This guy is to good looking he is obviously in marketing. This guy he was in The Office.
Jeff: They guy in the brown shirt was in the Outright.
Leo: this guy looks familiar, anyway I don't know. You got your token Indian guy.
Liz: Yeah, he was in Freaks and Geeks.
Leo: Freaks and Geeks, thank you. Loved that show.
Jeff: So Leo, I should know this about you. I should see it on your Bio, have you been to Burning Man? \
Leo: No, I saw the line.
Liz: You are going to answer the question.
Leo: Here is the line you say, Oh I haven't been to Burning Man since I left San Francisco. That's the line, that one ups them all.
Jeff: It does.
Leo: Right, oh I stopped going when I left San Francisco. Which is actually true but I don't think that really counts.
Jeff: By the way I want to make an invitation to Kevin Rose, to all San Francisco tech people leave the Bay area, come to New York we love you.
Leo: yeah people would be.
Patrick: You already have a rent problem in New York so
Leo: so nobody would notice.
Jeff: I'll amend it Patrick, come to New Jersey.
Leo: New Jersey could really use you.
Leo: So I guess the question is should I watch this live or should I wait and watch it on demand later?
Liz: Well it's on demand tomorrow right? So watch it
Leo: Watch it whenever you want, right?
Liz: Yeah. There are only 8 episodes in the first season.
Jeff: how many stars out of 5?
Leo: How many stars?
Liz: Oh me?
Jeff: You were the one who actually saw it, so you can actually say something.
Leo: Jeff used to be a TV critic.
Liz: Yeah I know it's funny. It's 3 to 4. You know it made me crack up but it didn't change my life.
Leo: Three and half stars says Liz.
Jeff: Here is the question from what I have seen and from what Judge has said, its seems to be adoring of the tech community. Is it too fawning?
Liz: Oh no, it's very funny. It's very sly about making fun of people. Actually it was funny, I don't know if you saw the Valleywag review, but they loved it because they thought it because they thought it was fittingly mean to the Silicon Valley community so that's.
Leo: Yeah, but we can laugh at ourselves. Alright, people in the chat room are saying I should live Tweet it tonight
Liz: You should, that would be great.
Leo: Okay then, I will live Tweet my viewing. Actually, to really do it right I should Tivo it and watch it in a week, and then live Tweet it.
Jeff Jarvis: You should talk about Letterman. You should be the next Letterman, Leo. I just wanted to get that on record.
Leo: I am sad about Letterman but-
Jeff: I'm very sad.
Leo: He is- Yeah, so I think it's our generation, Jeff.
Jeff: Yes it is.
Leo: He is the Carson of our generation. He was the fresh, young, funny guy who kind of thumbed his nose at mainstream television and made it work.
Jeff: My father's generation's timing in comedy was made by Carson. If somebody my father's age tells a joke, you hear Carson timing. At our age, you hear Letterman timing. I think my son's age, it's Jon Stewart timing.
Leo: Jon Stewart is, absolutely. One of the reasons why Letterman's retiring, he announced his retirement this week, next year when his contract runs out. He's 66, and I think one of the reasons that it didn't get a lot of attention is because the world has moved on a little bit. Stewart and Colbert, who is supposedly number 1 to replace him. But they've replaced him already culturally. But I'm very much influenced by David Letterman.
Jeff: Same here.
Leo: And Carson.
Jeff: Somewhere I have a Thank-you note from David Letterman.
Leo: Johnny Carson used to-Really? That's nice.
Jeff: Yeah, it was signed 'your friend, Dave' however, Letterman never let TV critics sit in the audience so I wasn't allowed to go sit in the show.
Leo: I went once and they spotted me immediately because they have a scrum that afternoon at the CBS theater to get tickets for that show. And so I went to the scrum and they've got people- It's really interesting. -They've got producers walking around in the group because they talk with you and if you're fun and interesting, they give you a ticket. You have to earn a ticket. So they're talking to everybody and this guy immediately said, "Hi, Leo. Here's a ticket." And they put me way up in the balcony. First of all, the fact that they even knew who I was blew my mind, but I think that's his job is to spot industry types and put them in the balcony. Because they want real people who are going to go, hey David!! I love you, in the front. But it was fun, and I got to go to a Carson too.
Leo: Yeah, really amazing. And I'm not talking Carson Daily. Patrick, Johnny Carson used to go to France because nobody knew who he was. Do you even know who we're talking about here?
Patrick: I watch a lot of American television and movies but I'm fairly sure that the average French person does not.
Leo: No idea. Carson said it's the only place that he can go and be a normal person. Couldn't do that in America. Thank you so much for being here Jeff, Patrick, and Liz. You are my best friends forever because everybody else is watching Game of Thrones right now. Bastards!
Jeff: We're the extra choices here. The 5th and 6th and 7th choices. That's what Leo's saying. Patrick already observed that. Hey we had Kevin Rose! That's number 1, top of the list! And Liz has been booked for months, she forgot this was Game of Thrones night. She would be at the Red Wedding Parties with everybody else.
Liz: It's 4:45, it hasn't started yet.
Leo: You've got time. Yeah, it's the East Coast folks that we couldn't get. Our show today brought to you by Squarespace. Oh, we love Squarespace. Mostly because every time I send people to a website I have to quickly type in the site and then tell them the URL because it brings every site down, I actually did it earlier.With Squarespace, you don't have to worry about that. If you're running your website on a Squarespace site, you cannot bring it down. We've tried it a hundred times. That's because they are doing the best hosting out there. Part of the reason their hosting is so good- They've explained this to me, and I'm not going to try to explain it... I was in New York with a Squarespace team; They were a great group of people, and they were explaining, well the integration of the software with the Java virtual platform allows us to do virtualization on the servers and we can turn up the bandwidth whenever there's a... There's a whole technical reason. But it's because the software and the hosting are so tightly integrated, that they can do this. And man, are they always working on they're platforms. Smart people. Designers, engineers, etc. who are really making it work. There are 25 templates now, but that's just a starting point. It's not a cookie cutter because you can move stuff around, point and click, get everything in there. They've got the logo creator tool, the mobile apps which are the best in the business and are truly gorgeous. It's very easy to use but they also have brilliant support including live chat and email support 24/7. A completely redesigned customer help site for easier access. These guys can't sit still, they've got to make it better all the time. Easier access to self-help articles and video workshops is now included and they've now got e-commerce on all subscription levels. Which is just great for the low $8/month plan that would be great for a school or a non-profit. You can accept donations, that's always built in and you could even have a cash wedding registry. I mean, $8/month... And you get the free domain name when you sign up for the Annual Plan: That's the hosting plus the software. Full e-commerce for $20 and that includes shipping, calculators, inventory, control, and integrated accounting. They'll do the fulfillment... Everything! Plus a developer platform that's second to none. If you really know what you're doing, you're going to love it. Squarespace. Here's what you do, go to squarespace.com, click the 'get started' button. You don't have to give our offer code or anything, or even a credit card number. Just two weeks of playing with Squarespace, really. Import your data- They have importers for all of the blog API's. -Import your data from your existing site including the pictures and the comments. Everything. Play with it and change templates. The templates are beautifully done so that they are completely independent of the content so it's like that Zen Garden where you could just change the template- Push a button, and everything looks different. It's so nice, play with it and you'll love it... Squarespace.com and if you do decide to buy you can receive 10% off when you use our offer code: TWIT. Squarespace.com. If you missed this week- We don't have the 'best of?'
Chad: We do, I was just-
Leo: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to wake you.
Chad: I didn't have it ready. From the back I-
Leo: The bright red hair... I can see it when you've got your- He's got his head on the desk and I said, "If you missed any-" And his head pops up.
Chad: Aaa! We got to get ready for that- That one thing!
Leo: If you missed anything this week, take a look.
(Previously on TWiT, TWiT live specials. Leo Laporte: I am thrilled for the opportunity to talk to Vint Cerf. He's often called one of the fathers of the internet.
Vint Cerf: The value of the network comes from what we put into it and what we get out of it and the benefits far outweigh some of the risk factors.
Tech news tonight.
Sarah Lane: We start the program today with Amazon's Fire TV, a new set-top box the company unveiled at its media event.
Devindra Hardawar: Amazon has potential to kind of build this niche market: Make Android games that could be the equivalent of console games.
Leo: And he's looking even more emo with that haircut than ever before. And I'm afraid I mocked him.
Paul Thurrott: I am reasonably sure he still can't grow facial hair.
Michio Kaku: We can read minds, move objects with our minds, record memories, upload memories, and even photograph a dream. All of that has been done in the laboratory.
TWiT, broadcasting from the capital of the free world- Petaluma, California.
Leo Laporte: Somebody did point out, who is watching at home, that your shoulders are so much broader than mine.
Paul Thurrott: Yeah.
Leo Laporte: And they said maybe you should fix the cameras, but no that's--
Paul Thurrott: I am in general, more masculine than you are.
Leo: You are, in general.
Leo: They really are broad. That was Paul Thurrott. I'm sorry I interrupted you Jeff. Were you saying something?
Jeff: No, I was just making fun of you, that it was your job to vamp until Chad's ready.
Leo: Oh, I can fill like nobody's business. It's kind of my job. I'm the filler. Maybe that's what they meant at my first job when they said, you're the filler. Apple is suing Samsung for $2 billion, I feel like we've seen this before.
Jeff: Can't we just get along?
Leo: Geez, Louise! $2 billion over five iPhone features that Apple said they created, but Google stole. Are you ready for this? Is this really... Oh this is April Fool's, is this not an April Fool's--
Liz: This is the software version, the last one was the hardware.
Leo: It feels like a joke. Addresses, dates, phone numbers, and times appearing as links in text messages. You get a text message with a date, you can click on it, and your calendar opens. Apple says, we got a patent in 1999. Background data syncing is apparently not allowed unless you're Apple, or else license it. They have a patent for data synchronization among devices while in use. You know, if the court rules this a good patent, they've got them. Universal search... When you search for something on your iPhone, it gives you the option to search the web or Wikipedia. Apparently Apple owns that, too. They got a patent in 2005 for a universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system. It seems like Google has been doing that for-
Jeff: Yeah, it's all so offensive.
Leo: Slide to unlock, we invented that too. I'm reading Fred Vogelstein's book, he's the Wired writer who wrote the book "Dogfight" and these two companies do not like each other. This is the legacy of Steve Jobs. Auto-complete texts. Again, something it seems like I've seen before the iPhone. Apple has a patent called Method System and Graphical User Interface for providing word recommendations or auto-complete. Apple says, we own auto-complete.
Patrick: Well like when you hear the title of a patent, it seems like it covers a very large type of operation but aren't those patents actually very specific?
Leo: No, so here's how our patent system works here in the United States of America. And every patent lawyer knows this. When you write a patent specification, you write it absolutely as broadly as you possibly can intentionally. And it's for this very reason. So, as long as you get the patent, you're golden. The problem is, the way the patent office seems to work is they feel that barring any substantive dispute, we're going to approve this patent and let the courts decide if there should be an issue. The problem is software patents, plain and simple. These should not be allowed.
Patrick: So do they ever not grant a patent?
Jeff: When is the Supreme Court going to rule on that, Leo?
Leo: It's this term. Have they heard the arguments, I think they've heard the arguments. I understand, I mean, reading Vogelstein's book is great because you really go back in time to 2007 when Apple, yeah, did a lot of brilliant work. The iPhone was not a given, by any means. None of this had been done. Right down to touch screens on a screen that size, multi-touch... This was all brilliant work and they deserve all credit for that.
Patrick: And there's no question that Google completely copied, right? I mean, they're version of Android was basically a Blackberry before that. I'm not mistaken there am I?
Leo: Yeah, there's the smoking gun. We've seen the email that said, oh Christ, we just saw the iPhone. Back to the drawing board. And it's really true when I hold up this new HTC One. You know, this is all- Slide to everything. It's all in there, and it's not just Samsung. In fact, I think it's pretty clear that this Samsung is a proxy for Google in all of this, right?
Liz: Yeah, I had a chance to look through the documents yesterday since I am on weekend duty. And it's pretty clear in some cases that Samsung was just looking at- Like there's a document... There's a mock up where they have, here's our slide to unlock feature that doesn't really work and here's Apple's slide to unlock feature. Like, how could we make it more like their feature? But I just don't understand Apple's rationale here. Why they're going to court to defend themselves for things that are really quite obvious. It just seems like they are really upset about something that doesn't really matter that much.
Leo: That's what I feel. Steve Jobs' initial upset over this were going nuclear, he told sir Walter Isaacson, we're going nuclear against Google on this. That still lives on and I really did think that-
Liz: Yeah, and actually the documents that came out there was him saying he was mounting a holy war. That was his plan for 2011, a holy war against Google. But you know, there's some interesting tid bits in there. For me, it's fun reading. I don't understand why they hate Google and Samsung enough to bring this stuff out. But there is Phil Schiller watching the 2013 Samsung Super Bowl commercial, and it has like an emergency note to their ad agency saying like, these guys are nailing it. Samsung's ad is awesome, why don't we have something as good as their ad. I don't know, it's a little peek behind the curtain.
Leo: Ina Fried's article in Re/code is all about this Apple document, it's a really good article. Apple was worried, do you think Apple still is worried? I guess they are, they should be. Samsung is selling like hotcakes.
Patrick: The problem is, I think that there's a little bit of resentment on Apple's part there because it's happened before. They were there with the Mac before when Microsoft copied them and won. They won the war. There's still, more or less, balanced iOS and Android now, but there's a real chance that Android is going to eclipse the iPhone even more than it already has. There was a time where the iPhones were 80% of the smartphone business. So, it might be a little bit of fool me once kind of thing. Like, they could live with it but it's happening again? So, I could see why Jobs would be very upset about it.
Leo: Yeah. In fact, The Verge has a Steve Jobs email... What's great about the lawsuit is the discovery because we're seeing all of this stuff. This is, "FYI - DO NOT FORWARD" from Steve Jobs to E.T. Which is, I guess, a group. And what the strategy is, and there's the line, "2011-Holy War with Google," it's on their road map. It's on their-
Liz: Yeah but it goes both ways though, if you look at the documents that Apple has released about Samsung, there's one that says, our #1 objective is to go up against the iPhone. This is our total focus, is kill the iPhone. It's not patent infringement to say that on your internal road map, but it is kind of salacious and interesting for the rest of us who are watching.
Leo: Yeah, I'm not thrilled about the lawsuit but I really am enjoying the discovery, I have to say. And really, that's why Apple shouldn't be doing this. I think they're paying a higher price doing this. So they get $2 billion, maybe they win and get $2 billion. But really, do you want all of this stuff to come out? And do you want people to perceive you as petty when by making a better product.
Jeff: And the problem is, Apple hasn't made any new better products lately. So it starts to look like a patent troll unless it has some real creativity coming out.
Leo: In the United States, iPhones are dominant. They really are, everybody carries them, certainly in the coasts.
Jeff: No, just among your friends. The numbers are Android.
Leo: Well, it's maybe 50/50 but a lot of iPhones-
Leo: I thought it was, even if you look at total sales, I know you've got a Nexus 5. I see your Nexus 5, and I'll raise you an HTC One.
Jeff: Yeah, what do you carry? Yeah.
Leo: And a Moto X. I'm going back and forth. Back and forth. You know, there's a rumor that there's this X +1, the Moto X +1 might be coming out. This is Evleak's post of a very cryptic Tweet yesterday. But the cool thing about that is we do expect, and they've even said, a new Motorola X this summer. You know, Motorola, just be paying attention to this and just make a better one, okay. Apple is 42% of US smartphones and growing. And growing, that's important. Market share is growing. Tell me Patrick, in France...
Patrick: Yeah, I don't have the exact numbers-
Leo: But what's the perveption?
Jeff: Blackberry, probably. I know France is Blackberry,would you still lose the phones?
Leo: Come on.
Patrick: Jeff, that is not funny! I can take a little bit of fun but that's just-
Leo: That's gone too far.
Patrick: So, yeah obviously when the iPhone first came out it was the Holy Grail I guess. Everyone wanted one and it was everywhere, you know? You'd go on the metro and everyone would get their iPhone out. But now I think now it's a little bit more in line with the US, I think it's maybe 40%-30%? Something like that, it goes back and forth. But the image of Apple has eroded a little bit and we don't see it as interesting as it was when it first came out. Even myself, I got the first few iPhones the day they came out, I'm still using a 4s now and I'm happy with it.
Leo: What? Oh, I'm not going to talk to you anymore. The 4s, what are you nuts? That's years old.
Patrick: Yeah, and so I'm not the only one. There are a lot of people who think that- I guess that's how I would frame it. It used to be that, if you were serious about getting a cool phone, or actually a good phone, you would get an iPhone. Now, it's really a matter of choice. There are lots of good reasons to get an iPhone, lots of good reasons to get an Android phone, and a few reasons to get a Windows phone.
Leo: So Jeff, your perception is very interesting. Because I think you're right, I think that is the general perception. But according to NPD, Apple has 45% market share, at least, in sales last year compared to 26% for Samsung.
Jeff: Well that's Samsung, what's Android overall?
Leo: Android over all is like 40%, it's like 50/50 overall.
Jeff: 50/50, which is phenomenal, considering that Apple created the market. And world-wide Android is going berzerk because the price-
Leo: That's what I was interested in, world-wide. Yes.
Jeff: In India and places like that, it's Android now.
Patrick: Sure, but Apple is not even competing on that segment. So it's a little bit unfair to include all of those cheaper Android phones as well.
Jeff: Well, it's not unfair...
Patrick: Okay, you're looking at a different strategy.
Jeff: What's the strategy. Right, it's the strategy and what Eric Schmidt said years ago is that the strategy for Android was, with a free operating system, you would end up with more users, thus ending up with more developers, and you would thus, take over. And the price point is exactly part of the strategy.
Liz: There's a slide though, if you look at one of the documents that we've been talking about from the discovery. This is an Apple internal executive retreat around strategy from last year. So April, looking forward to 2014 strategy and this is the slide, I put it at the top of my article because I thought it was crazy to see this in kind of an Apple slide. The headline is, 'Consumers Want What We Don't Have.' And it talks about-
Leo: Big phones.
Liz: The smartphone market is coming from two places. One of them is phones that are cheap, and one of them is phones that are big. At the time, they didn't sell either of those. Now that they have a little bit of a cheaper phone.
Leo: That does lead us to maybe believe the rumor that we've heard that there will be a big iPhone for the next release sometime later this year.
Liz: Well they definitely recognize that weakness.
Jeff: I'm sorry, I'm not sure- I don't want any Apple fans to come after me, but if that's your innovation, let's take the same thing and make it a little bigger, that's not terribly inspiring.
Patrick: Yes, it's true. No, I agree. I completely agree. What I want to challenge is this idea that there needs to be constant incredible innovation in that space. You know what we had maybe 3 incredible years when the new types of smartphones arrived. But then nothing has really become incredibly innovative.
Jeff: But that's the problem, Patrick. Apple charges a premium because Apple is supposed to be wowee, but if it doesn't bring new wowee out, it isn't worth the premium.
Patrick: The premium is not necessarily there for the innovation, I mean, they've been selling Mac's that have not really been that innovative for a very premium price for a long time. The build quality, the image, you know... That's, I think, what their core wowieness, if we're making up words, comes from. It's not necessarily from the- We sort of have this weird idea now that Apple is failing if they're not revolutionizing the market with every product they come out with. And historically, I don't think they've done that with every new product they come out with. It's happened every 3-4 years, but I think people are expecting a little bit too much and are being a little bit unreasonable in their expectations.
Jeff: Let me introduce you to my Chromebook.
Leo: He loves his Chromebook. Although, why anybody would spend that much money for a computer that doesn't do anything except browse is beyond me. I just don't understand.
Jeff: All we do is browse.
Leo: Oh, I do a few other things.
Jeff: Like what? Like what?
Leo: Write Python code, I don't know. Edit video, edit photos. That kind of thing. Let us take a little break. I've been putting it off but I guess we have to talk about Brandon Ike.
Jeff: I'd be eager to hear what you think. Very eager.
Leo: Oh geez, I don't know.
Jeff: It's hard.
Leo: I don't know, anyway, we'll take a break, then come back and talk about it. Our show today brought to you by Atlassian, the folks who make Jira. Don't ask me what Jira does because I don't have to worry about it, but if you are managing a big code project you probably know all about it and I'm sure you are interested in what it could do for you. It is the world's most powerful and customizable issue and project management system. So the whole idea is it's something that will capture your workflow so you can take action on what's important, stay up to date on the activity going on around you. Plan, track, work smarter and faster. Great for you team. This is the jazzy video from Atlassian. A simple interface for collaborating with each other, in real time, by the way. This is not Twitter, here. Well I mean, you have a Twitter-like interface but there's a whole lot more. There's a full real time activity stream. You can do anything you want, pretty much. Any business process you can imagine, you're team can work the way you want. You define your own issue types, track the information that matters to you. They've got email chat, @ mentions, RSS, you can moniter streams of activity, self-updating reports, dashboards... Really significantly- Angy Nerds: Bug Work Flow. I like this, this is a good project they've got here. Angry Nerds, they're making. It works of course, with Git and that means you can follow the code from development all the way through delivery in a single system. The planning dock is in there, the files, and changes, and the code repository all the way. You can even build onto Jira yourself. A lot of people do with Atlassian's rest ap, as it's easy. Flexible and simple enough for a five person start-up, powerful and reliable enough for a 100,000 person enterprise. That's why 70% of the Fortune: 100 uses Jira, NASA uses Jira, 25,000 companies are using Jira. Jira is at the heart of Atlassian's offerings for managing your entire application dev process. From concept to launch, and I want you to try it right now at atlassian.com/twit you'll get more information, try it free for 30 days, and it really is affordable. It's as little as $10/month for up to 10 users. Atlassian.com/twit to find out more about Jira. I do hope they make that Angry Nerds game. We could use that. So Kara wrote the story, and I think that's great, about Brenden Ike resigning. He was one of the creators of Mozilla and had been tapped by the board to become CEO. Like a week ago, right?
Jeff: About 3 weeks ago.
Leo: 3 weeks ago. Almost instantly, 3 members of the board resigned, there was a Twitter
Jeff: Though, some say that they were already planning to resign.
Leo: Well they didn't deny that it had to do with Ike.
Liz: -Came out on the record in the New York Times this weekend saying that he did resign because of the Ikeman-
Jeff: He did, okay.
Leo: Yeah, I mean there wasn't any attempt to separate the two events.
Liz: No, there was.
Leo: Oh, there was?
Liz: Yeah, there was some kind of fuzziness around it. Particularly because Jon Lilly was the former CEO, Gary Kovacs was the former CEO and maybe it was time for them to move on as they were naming a new one. There are some plausible reasons but in the New York Times, Lilly was quoted as saying he didn't want to be involved while Ikeman was CEO.
Leo: The controversies over the fact that Ike donated $1,000 to Prop A, which was the Anti-gay marriage initiative that passed in California. That became public only because the data bases are public, as they should be in this country. So you can see who gave money to what. Cupid kind took the most extreme point of view by forbidding people using Firefox to use their site.
Liz: No, they don't forbid you, the put up a pop-up suggesting you use something else.
Leo: They didn't lock you out, they just said don't use it.
Leo: Oh. Alright. They're calling this clickdivism, which is a terrible word. I misunderstood and thought you couldn't use Firefox. So they really just took it as an opportunity to raise the issue and then move on.
Liz: Yeah, plenty people have done that, said something like you might want to come back with a more modern browser. Not usually over political issues, but in this case, something like that.
Leo: On March 28th, Ike blogged he has sorrow at having caused pain but he did not however, say I now support gay marriage. I don't know what, Jeff... You put me on the spot because I don't know what to say about this.
Jeff: I don't know, and then after this Andrew Sullivan, obviously well-known gay political writer argued that gays had basically put a head on a stake and this was going to be bad for the cause of gay rights. Mark Andreessen, who had worked with them at Netscape said that this was going too far. Josh Marshall wrote a very interesting column today saying, listen nobody has the right to be a CEO. A CEO is a different job. If somebody just plucked out somebody from a federal agency and said you're fired, that wouldn't work. But if a Cabinet member with a controversial view like this, then people would understand and say you've got to go.
Leo: There's legitimate concern if you're in the LGBT community that you're maybe not going to get treated well at Mozilla under Ike.
Jeff: Which, then I think is legitimate concern but on the other hand-
Leo: Well, he made a point of posting- I don't know whether this is sufficient, but he made a post on the blog saying, I'm committed to equality in everything we do. I want to work with the LGBT community, etc., etc. Maybe that wasn't enough, it does feel a little like a witch hunt I've got to say.
Patrick: That's the issue.
Liz: I think that there is a couple of things going on here that are important. One, is that Mozilla is not just a company. They're a community of activists that work together on a non-profit all contributing and they have this kind of radical openness of a culture where they actually encourage their employees to criticize their CEO on Twitter if they feel like criticizing them. That wouldn't be the case other places. So, I think it's less about feeling like you won't be treated well at work, and more about feeling like you're in this mission-driven line of work and if your CEO has a close-minded approach, to something that's crucial, to how you define your values. It's hard to reconcile that with a notion of openness.
Jeff: But Liz- Number one, I'm resolutely in favor of gay marriage, resolutely against the proposition, and I agree with what you just said. The question then becomes, where are the lines?
Jeff: I'm sorry, this fits in with the Kevin Rose story. Because at some point, if you become dogmatic and don't allow other voices or other ways to view the world, then you have an issue of openness. And mind you, I couldn't disagree more with Ike's stand on this issue.
Leo: But it's his right to do it.
Jeff: At some point, isn't it?
Patrick: It is, it absolutely is.
Leo: He should be allowed to have his opinion. Should it cost him his job, is the question. And you make a good point, which is his job is an open source project, it's an open community, and he'd be managing gay employees. Would he be fair and equal to them? I think he would have been.
Liz: Yeah, I think the witch hunt or online discussion is moving faster than ever, but also the discussion about this particular issue. 6 years ago, Proposition 8 passed in California. A majority of people who voted, voted yes on Proposition 8, and that's basically equivalent to- I mean, it's a little bit more to give money to it but he was on the side of the majority 6 years ago. So yes, the online witch hunt is moving faster than ever but also the which is the right and which is the wrong side of history is moving faster than ever as well. And so you're living in that new dynamic.
Jeff: Exactly, really well said. And that's what Josh Marshall's point, which I think was a good one, that says the victors in a moral war need to give the losers a chance to come in time. And I think that's true, I think the victory of LGBT communities about these issues was magnificent and you're right Liz, swift. So swift that some take time to catch up. President Obama himself, had to catch up on this issue. It wasn't that long ago that he said, I'm all for gays, but I'm against this marriage thing. And he had to catch up, and I guess the issue for Ike was he wasn't making any effort to catch up.
Jeff: And very similarly, I actually looked up the-
Leo: By the way, at exactly the same year.
Jeff: Yeah, when he was elected. Yeah, and Meg Whitman, who I think is maybe even a better comparison because she's the republican CEO of a technology company and a former candidate as a republican for governor of California, she said in February that she changed her mind and now is in support of gay marriage.
Patrick: We're talking about people coming around, and sure. Let's say he doesn't, and like Jeff, I have to say that I am very much in favor of gay marriage, so that's not even the issue. But the guy was not an incredibly militant person it seems. The issue is not that he was at rally's, that he was trying to raise money, he just gave $1,000 for a cause that he thought he was folding on one side of the issue. And if he is being stigmatized for it in this way, 6 years later, he's being stigmatized for an idea. An idea, that yes is probably going against the openness that the company Mozilla wants to promote, but it's still very concerning that he's being stigmatized like this. And not just just stigmatized you know, forced out, for the extent of what he did. Which doesn't seem to warrant that kind of ire.
Jeff: Patrick, I think as we're going to argue more and more about protecting the internet for the sake of free speech, that we have to decide as an internet culture, what that means. What is the level of tolerance that we have about different opinions. And I consider it a wrong opinion, flat out. At some point you defend the rights of others to have those opinions. We defend the notion- We make fun Erdogan for shutting down Twitter and Youtube because of beings he doesn't like. Did the militant side of Mozilla shut down Ike for an opinion they don't like. And I don't like that opinion either, but we have to decide what is the culture of free speech on the net.
Patrick: We've had this issue in France very recently about gay marriage, and believably it became an issue in France. I thought it was just you weird Americans that would make it an issue. And I've been taking a little bit of crap but we've had an open dialogue with my followers and the people who want to discuss this issue.. And that's exactly the problem, Jeff, what you're saying. We have to be tolerant of other people's ideas. I think that's what I was trying to emphasize in what I said earlier. He's not running around strangling puppies or drowning people, you know? He just expressed his idea, yes a little bit more forcefully-
Leo: What if it were racism? What if he'd-
Jeff: That's a good question, Leo.
Leo: I always try to define it in those terms and the reason I do is because as times change, bigotry changes. And so it's now pretty well accepted that if you don't like somebody because of the color of their skin, that's clearly wrong. And I think we're rapidly moving into that situation with discriminating against people because of who they love. We now know that's wrong. But we're catching up on that. What if it were racism? Which is widely agreed that's a problem. I think there would be no question if there were some smoking gun in an email in 2008 that said, I don't think we should hire black people at Mozilla, he would be out. He wouldn't have been considered.
Patrick: Well that's not even what he said, Leo. He didn't say I don't think we should hire gay people...
Leo: Okay, you're right. I don't think black people should be allowed to marry white people, what if he said that?
Jeff: Make an analogous here, what if he had said that in 1965?
Leo: Yes and I think we did in fact, after the Civil Rights Act and after integration finally came to this country- Although we still have a long way to go. -I think we did forgive a lot of people. Not George Wallace, maybe, but a lot of people for racism. I think we recognized that times had changed and people have come a long way. Now, Ike has never repudiated his point of view. For all we know, he still has that point of view.
Jeff: Well that's the other issue, and I thought about that too. What if he'd said, well I changed my mind. But then that would mean that the mob made him change his mind to keep his job.
Liz: Yeah, I think it was the original act. Not to be the stickler here, but one other point that came out in reporting is that, at least according to the folks who are talking about it, which is not Ike except for a very brief blog post. Mozilla contends that they did not ask him to step down they just asked him to not serve as CEO. He decided that he needed to leave the company. So I thought it was an interesting distinction of him- He was ultimately the one who kind of ran from the fear that he ignited.
Leo: Okay but if you'd be asked to step down as CEO after 3 weeks, you're probably going to leave the company. You're probably not going to stick around. I wouldn't blame ya.
Liz: Well and he had been there for 15 years, in the senior technical world.
Leo: Yeah, and the thing to point out is he was a senior technical guy. He was one of the creators, not just some guy off the street. If they'd brought in Chainsaw Al Dunlop, it'd be different.
Liz: Yeah but that was Josh Marshall's point, that it's different to be part of the deal rather than the figure head.
Leo: Right, he was a founder. Oh and Josh said that means you have a higher standard. Is that right?
Liz: As CEO.
Leo: Yeah. That's a tough one, I don't know. One-third of consumers are abandoning wearables. Hundreds of Galaxy Gear smartwatches listed on Ebay, according to Charles Arthur writing for The Guardian. Is the wearable market dead already? I've heard a lot of good things from people who buy Pebbles. They've sold hundreds of thousands, what was it 400,000?
Jeff: I was going to reach for my Glass but it's not here.
Leo: That's your number of the week. But I do think that wearables are not quite accepted yet.
Patrick: Well, the market is not dead already, it hasn't started yet. That's the problem.
Leo: Yeah, maybe that's it, no one has made the one that we need.
Patrick: Exactly. Nest is going to stop selling it's smoke alarms. And that was a feature they touted in it and everybody's had this happen where you'll start cooking bacon and the smoke alarm goes off. Who doesn't fan a newspaper in front of it until it quits? Well here's the beauty of the Nest, smoke alarm goes off and you just wave your hand in front of it. So it'll go, oh you're just making bacon and it shuts up. Well...
Jeff: I always wondered about this.
Leo: Apparently, Nest feels like maybe that's dangerous. In testing, it was discovered that you could accidentally dismiss the alarm and maybe burn to death.
Jeff: Hey everybody get out!!
Leo: So Nest has halted sales. Tony Fidell recommends that users disable the feature and Nest is going to update units that will allow it to work correctly. If your Nest Protect is connected to the WiFi, well we're just going to turn it off for you right now. It did seem like it was a little too easy to disable the smoke detector. That is not good news. Now did the Nest Google acquisition go through?
Liz: Yeah it's done.
Leo: It is done. So it is a Google company.
Liz: Yeah, they're still based at their own office in Palo Alto but they're now wholly owned by Google.
Leo: Well they don't need to sell that silly old smoke detector anyway. Who needs it? We'll make something else.
Liz: That's a good point I guess. Maybe it gets old businesses swept out of the way.
Leo: Might be a good thing.
Liz: I was surprised that there was no record that this actually happened to anyone, they just said that this happens in their own testing there's a possibility but you know, you don't mess around with safety equipment.
Leo: Yeah, and when I heard about that I thought well I like that but should it be easy to disable a smoke alarm? Oh stop it. We were talking at the beginning of the show about how our TVs wake up and say what do you want when I just move my hand so maybe this all should be disabled.
Liz: It's crazy though, that they just have two products and one of them is now off of the market.
Leo: Hey I'm telling you, sell to Google you can do anything that you want. I think we have completed the list of stories that I had brought to the table. We've even thrown in one from Patrick Beja, congratulations. You have net neutrality now.
Jeff: And you made me salute.
Leo: I salute you.
Patrick: Wow, I get a double American salute. I'm impressed and intimidated.
Leo: But you still don't have Netflix, so who cares?
Patrick: Well they're coming and the funny thing is, they're coming to France. And are in other places in Europe, but they don't want to establish their headquarters in France, they're going to Luxemburg because of regulations. And as much as the government is angry about this, they can't do anything because that's how the world works.
Leo: The chat room is reminding me about how we were talking last week about Goat Simulator- If this is an April Fool's joke or if it is real and it is absolutely real. In fact, we have now spent many hours on air playing Goat Simulator during the week so just go back and look at the tapes. You too, for $10 on Steam enjoy the Goat Simulator. It's actually a really fun game.
Liz: I saw that there was an April Fool's joke that has continued to go viral and now people don't know it's April Fool's related. Which is Beyonce is looking for an intern in which she will pay in Pepsi and three selfies taken with her.
Leo: Was that a joke or is it real?
Liz: Yeah, it was not from Beyonce but now I continue to see irate Tweets about people being like, come on Beyonce! Pay your interns. It wasn't even her April Fool's joke.
Jeff: God, I hate that day. I hate April Fool's.
Leo: Me too we talked about it on This Week in Google and this year was not as bad as it has been in the past. For some reason, Google did not do the 800 April Fool jokes they often do.
Jeff: Well they were later. Matt Cuts changing his shirt color.
Leo: It was cute.
Jeff: It was cute, we knew what it was and it was a joke.
Leo: I like the auto Hoffsam.
Jeff: That was good. But you knew what it was. In the age of native advertising and up worthy, you won't believe this, and all these things that try to manipulate us, problems with April Fool's is the effort to say, I got ya'! It really was irritating, whereas the things like Hoff appearing your picture I'm fine with because it's not trying to manipulate me, it's not trying to fool me it's just a joke. And that's okay.
Leo: I did get, by the way, a number more Hoffsam's as time went by- Hasslehoff appearing in my photos on Google+, I got a ton of them. After April Fool's was over, they didn't take Hasslehoff out of my pictures, he's still there so Google, you've got some 'splaining to do.
Jeff: That's still my favorite.
Leo: Liz Gannes thank you again, for being here. We really appreciate it. Liz writes regularly for Re/code.net it's a great site. The reincarnated all things digital it's just fabulous. You knock it out of the park every single day, must read. Thanks to Patrick Beja, at patrickbeja.com he's @NotPatrick on the Twitter.
Patrick: I am.
Leo: Any podcasts you want to plug or anything like that?
Patrick: Well you know, I still have my French tech news show. So if you speak French, want to learn French, or have anything to do with France and tech, that show is where you want to go.
Leo: Is there French dancing?
Patrick: That's a question that is automatically answered by of course.
Leo: I want you to do a segment of the show, or maybe just do a whole new segment- That would be awesome.
Patrick: That can be arranged if I am paid well enough.
Leo: Jeff Jarvis- A surprise guest, wasn't planned but I'm so glad to have you.
Jeff: Thanks for letting me butt in. I love this.
Leo: Yeah always a pleasure.
Jeff: You could have had people in the East Coast, Game of Thrones is not on yet.
Leo: Alright, but they were having parties-
Liz: They were watching the end of Pitch Perfect again.
Leo: Oh I love that show. Speaking Anna Kendrick let's do some French dancing. Here's the Cups song from Pitch Perfect. Thank you Jeff, we'll see you on TWiG on Wednesday. Thank you Patrick, thank you Liz thank you everybody for joining us. Real quick let's take a look at the week ahead.
Mike Elgan: On the week ahead, the NAB show starts today and runs through Thursday. We're sending Father Robert Ballasaire to cover it. Also Natalie Morris joins me as our guest co-anchor on Tech News today all week so don't miss a single episode. Back to you Leo.
Leo: Monday through Friday 10 am Pacific, 1 pm Pacific, 1700 UTC for you daily dose of tech news and of course don't miss tech news tonight which is at 4 pm Pacific, 7 pm Eastern time so you can get your evening and your morning fix of news news news. We do TWiT Sunday afternoons 3 pm Pacific, 6 pm Eastern time, 2200 UTC on Twit.tv please watch live you miss all of the profanity if you don't watch live. But if you can't, on demand is always available, and please subscribe. Thanks for joining us and we'll see you next time on TWiT!