Download and watch the episode here:
This Week in Tech 466
Leo LaPorte: It’s time for Twit, This Week in Tech. I’m back. Frederick Van Johnson is here, along with Dan Patterson and Jason Hiner. We’ll talk about the latest news from the NSA, Twitter, Facebook, Google and a whole lot more. This Week in Tech is next.
Voice Over: Netcasts you love from people you trust, this is TWiT! Bandwidth for This Week in Tech is provided by CacheFly at c-a-c-h-e-f-l-y-dot-com.
Leo: This is This Week in Tech, episode 466, recorded July 13th, 2014
Why So Vertical?
This Week in Tech is brought to you by Stamps dot com. Use stamps dot com to buy and print real US postage the instant you need it, right from your desk. To get our special over, go to stamps dot com, click to microphone and enter TWiT. And by Citrix Go To Meeting, a powerfully simple way to meet with coworkers and clients anywhere. You can even see each other on the screen with HD video conferencing. You can even present with an IPad. Start your 30 day free trial go to meeting by going to go to meeting dot com, click the “try it free” button, and use the promo code “Twit.” And by Carbonite. Whether you have one computer at home or several at your small business, Carbonite backs up your file to the cloud automatically and continuously. Plus access your files anytime, anywhere with a free app. Start your free trial at carbonite dot com. No credit card required, but do use the offer code “Twit” to get two free months with purchase. And by Gazelle, the fast and simple way to sell your used gadgets. Find out what your used Apple or Android device is worth at Gazelle dot com.
Leo: It’s time for Twit, This Week in Tech, the show where we talk about the week’s tech news. Yes, I’m back. Thanks to Father Robert Balastair for filling in for me on Twit. Thanks to the whole Twit team; Michael Elgin; Scott Wilkenson filled in on my various shows. As you know, I was in Hawaii, so was John C. DeMoore. You got quite a tan, John. Frederick Van Johnson is here. He is the host of This Week in Photography and longtime friend of the network. So, I was really glad you were in town. It’s because you live so far away. I notice you have a FitBit Flex on.
Frederick Van Johnson: I do. I’m looking forward to getting rid of this
Leo: Is that a pebble?
Frederick: No, it’s just a regular watch.
Frederick: Just a dumb watch.
Leo: What? A wrist watch? What?
Frederick: It does one thing, and it does it well.
Leo: Tells the time.
Leo: This Week in Photography.com. No, This Week in Photo dot com?
Frederick: Yes, thisweekinphoto.com
Leo: Also, to your right is Jason Hiner from The Tech Republic and CBS Interactive. Glad to have you.
Jason Hiner: Great to be here. As always, like a bad penny, back again.
Leo: Is your email address CBSI.com?
Jason: Um, that’s one of them.
Leo: Because I saw someone from CNet all excited because you had a CBSI email.
Jason: We have CBS, CBSI and CBS Interactive dot com. All those go to the same place.
Leo: Oh, well that’s cool to have multiple choices.
Leo: Also with us is Dan Patterson. Uh, radio freelancing guru. Last time we talked, you were helping teach people in unnamed locations how to use inscription.
Dan Patterson: Yeah, I just got back from Cairo, and I’m working on the data about gun trafficking and Native American reservations data.
Leo: Gun trafficking in Native, Native American. . .
Dan: No, No. Two different stories.
Leo: Oh, Okay.
Dan: Two different stories for your enemy. Two different stories that I’m doing investigative reporting on. . .for the enemy.
Dan: It’s your enemy, not my enemy.
Leo: Well, that’s interesting that you were in Cairo this recently. Wasn’t that a little risky?
Dan: Um, yeah. We can down play it a little bit, but there were a lot of AK47s. . .and Muslim Brotherhood. POP POP POP. You know how it goes.
Jason: Dan’s bad. Dan’s a bad man. He doesn’t care.
Leo: Bad ASS.
Jason: Exactly. I’ll let you say that. I mean that in a good way.
Leo: So good, he’s bad.
Jason: Yeah, the Michael Jackson way.
Leo: Who’s bad? You’re bad.
Dan: I do NOT touch kids.
Leo: You see? You see? It’s gone all the hell. So I started talking about watches.
Jason: Dan is amazing.
Leo: We love Dan. He’s the man. Dan’s reinventing journalism. We all talk about it. We all pretend we care. Dan is living it! He’s got his feet on the ground and his head in the clouds and his pen, his sharpie to the notebook writing it all down. THE journalist, Dan Patterson. Good to have us. It. You. Can I talk about my watch? Do you like first of all that I chose a white band? Is that fashion forward?
Frederick: That’s Android Wear.
Leo: I look like Sprocket. Now is the time we dance. (in German accent). Yes, it’s Android Wear. This is the LG. There are two different ones now available in the playstores, the LG and thirtieth Samsung. They are identical almost except for slight design differences. This is the watch that Google announced at Google IO. It’s finally arrived. I haven’t had a chance to. . . a chance to take it. You aren’t going to be able to see it because it’s so tiny, but there is a CBS breaking news bulletin scroll on the bottom. Germany scores in extra time to defeat Argentina and ruled the World Cup in Britain . . . or something. And now I can swipe it over, and I can open it on the phone or not. I can just go down. Oh look, the New York Times has the same story. So I get notifications from every major news source on my watch. Same damn story (looking at his watch). It’s only 5 minutes to home. You better believe I’m thinking about that. Light traffic on Petaluma Blvd North. That’s kind of cool. There’s a direct message from Twitter. And that concludes. . .
Frederick: Does it have any sensors in it? I mean, will it replace. . .
Leo: It has a pedometer. The Samsung has a heart rate monitor. I didn’t get that one, because I’ve found those to not be so useful when you’re exercising. And I don’t really care what my heart rate is when I’m not.
Frederick: Let me see that? That’s not as big as I thought it would be.
Leo: It’s not bad, is it?
Frederick: Yeah. That’s not too bad. (looking at watch)
Leo: My first response was this is just another. . .well, I’ve had them all. I’ve had the FitBit Flex, the Nike Fuel Band, the Basis Watch…
Frederick: That’s not bad
Leo: I’ve had the Gear, The Gear Fit, The Gear 2. . .Um, this is the best of the bunch. But, I just really feel like this is a category just begging for someone to come up and. . .
Frederick: The round watch is the most interesting.
Leo: The Moto 360? Yeah
Jason: Yeah, the Moto.
Leo: I’ll probably replace this with that.
Jason: I just like that Frederick called his old watch a dumb watch. Right? It’s a dumb phone, right?
Frederick: It’s a feature watch. (laughs) It’s a challenge.
Frederick: It only does one thing, but it does it well! Not high-faluting like Mr. Leo with his crazy. . .
Leo: It’s kinda cool. You can either say, “Google,” to it or tap the watch. “Send a text to Lisa Kensell. ” (speaking to the watch) “Hey, babe. Doing the show. Talking to you from my watch.”
Frederick: Did it get it?
Leo: Yeah, it got it. One thing it does it that it sends it without asking you, or. . .it just sends it.
Frederick: So you could accidentally send a text? (laughing)
Leo: So, it’d be pretty easy to accidentally send a text
Frederick: Accidentally send a text. Accidentally send your entire conversation transcribed?
Leo: Yeah. The microphone is on the watch. Of course it does have to be tied to an Android Phone 4.3 or later. $229 for this one. The Samsung is 200 bucks. Battery life is all day. They have an “always on” watch face, which gives you all day. I haven’t tried the “turn off when you’re not looking” version, but I presume that would give you more battery.
Frederick: But one full day of charge. . .
Leo: Yeah, I don’t mind charging it. I have to charge my phone anyway. I just set it in the watch dock. It has a little dock.
Frederick: Yeah, but this is just one more thing. It’s like. . . (sigh)
Leo: I don’t mind. I’ve got a table full of things.
Frederick: Yeah, but who are you? Of course. (chuckles)
Leo: I got a whole binder full of things. That’s okay. That’s okay.
Frederick: Yeah, too much stuff. It should charge by like kinetic electricity. You walk; it should just charge itself.
Leo: Well, that see is the question. This is not the most perfect thing in the world. We’re getting somewhere, but I don’t know. . .first of all, Ben Thomson on Stratechery pointed out, this is a luxury purchase. This isn’t like a smart phone. Everyone has to have a smart phone.
Dan: This is just like the anticipatory period. Everyone is waiting to see what Apple is going to do next and then after that we’ll redefine the form factor and the features. The market will open up. Until then, it’ll be like flirtation but not sealing the deal.
Leo: But, does Apple still have that mojo? They did it with the IPhone. They did it with the IPod. They did it with the IPad. Even existing markets have reinvented them.
Dan: Even if they don’t have the mojo, everyone is still waiting to see what Apple will do in this market. Even if it’s a total flop, everyone is still waiting to see if it validates the marketplace or not. And that’s what everyone is waiting for. The validation is what we’re waiting for.
Frederick: The football is theirs to drop, right now.
Leo: If Apple announces it this Fall, which seems likely, although some people say not until next year. . .I can see it. I can see the news stories. If Apple doesn’t announce it this Fall, it’ll be “Apple doesn’t announce watch. Steve Jobs’ era is over. Apple is dead.”
Frederick: Or maybe it’ll be something completely different, like “I know you wanted us to release a watch, so we decided to release something different, a head band instead.” Or something like that.
Jason: The Apple Watch. I think they are going to release it. We’ve been hearing about it for quite some time. I think they’ve had versions of this over the years, but it just wasn’t ready. They were the only ones, I would say, who were disciplined enough not to release it. It’s crap. What’s out there. . .nobody would use them. We use them, because we have to. You know, it’s our job to tell people about it, but I don’t think any of us would want one in our everyday lives. So, they’re not integrated into our everyday life yet, but I think Apple is going to go simpler, and it’ll be more focused on health than anything else. And it’s going to have less features than everyone else’s and will be designed on three things: design, health and simplicity. And it’s going to have less in it, so the battery will last longer. And it will focus on health, clearly. And, it’s going to focus on design, something you would want to wear, want to be seen wearing, and not the hideous-looking things we’ve seen so far.
Leo: Do you think Apple is saying to themselves,” We could have made something like that, but we’re not going to?”
Frederick: Oh yeah.
Jason: They could have done that last year. I mean, they’ve had prototypes floating around for like, years.
Leo: Yeah, it all started with the Nano watch
Frederick: You stick it on there and think, “This could actually be a watch.”
Leo: Look at that. . .(holding up watch)
Frederick: Yes, it looks like a Nano.
Dan: What Apple is really going to bring here is translating the idea of a phone into something smaller, something you can wear on your wrist. What Apple is going to do is say, “This is not your phone. This is something that is complementary to your phone.”
Leo: Here’s a couple of thoughts. Apple may not be able to do something better than this. So maybe they won’t release a watch.
Frederick: Why wouldn’t they be able to do something better?
Jason: If they can’t release something that’s better, I think they won’t release it. If it’s not ready. I think they’ve showed that in the past. There were prototypes floating around for years. From what I heard, people said they look pretty slick, but they had problems with battery life, not sure exactly what to do with the thing, not sure what functions to focus on, whatever. And they didn’t release it, because they felt that it just wasn’t there yet.
Leo: Is it wrong for me to think of this as a litmus test for the post-Steve Jobs era? If Jobs were here, Apple would release something that would make us all step back and say, “wow.”
Frederick: I didn’t know I needed that. But I want it. I have to have it.
Leo: Yeah. Can they do that again without Mr. Jobs?
Jason: I think it’s fair to call it a litmus test, to see what they come out with if they release it, how good is it, whether it’s a hit or not. The Jobs’ era was based on hit products, and they had hit after hit after hit, and that’s why they are where they are today.
Leo: They have released flops. We have to acknowledge. They have been ugly. The I-book that looked like a toilet seat. That was ugly. The Cube, which I thought was great and bought, was a flop. Apple has not always been 100 percent.
Frederick: Especially on software.
Leo: And software, yeah.
Dan: They can’t afford mistakes now. Prior, Jobs could make mistakes because he was Steve, but now a flop now would be pretty bad.
Jason: Good point. It would be tough. That’s why it would be a good litmus. Do they still have the discipline? Do they still have the design mojo? Do they still have the ability to create hip products. Because, while they had misses, they had more hits than anybody. You know, that’s what sort of put them over the top, um, and made them the most valuable company in tech. They are going to be able to survive a decade on the things they did the last decade. But will they do it and be creative and innovative? That’s the big question. Or are they just going to be a company that has nice looking hardware and keeps putting out iterative approaches to that?
Leo: Fans of Marcus Brownly heard those two notes and immediately knew that I was playing MKBHD, and there’s a good reason for playing this video. Marcus got a massive scoop. He got what he says, and he may be right because this would be pretty hard to fake, is the Sapphire Crystal from the next generation I-phone. It sure looks like it, and I don’t know how you would fake this. He’s not the only one who has it. There’ve been some Hong Kong videos. A guy named Scotty. . .Scotty, I can’t remember his last name, gave it to Marcus. Scotty had it before Marcus. I have to say, if you’re going to make something that is fake, that would be pretty hard to do.
Frederick: Sunny Dickson.
Leo: Sunny Dickson, that’s the name. So this is Sunny Dickson’s sample. I don’t credit a lot of rumors that come from within Apple, because Apple is always so good about keeping a lid on things. But when it comes to the supply chain, the Chinese companies are so small. Whoever made this may not even be FoxCon, may be a supplier to FoxCon, I’m not surprised that it might leak out. Here’s the interesting thing. He really ripped on this thing. First off, we don’t know that this is Sapphire. It claims to be Sapphire. They’re trying to make it bigger. We do know that Apple bought a big Sapphire manufacturer. Sapphire has been around for a long time. In fact, I-phone 5 uses a Sapphire Crystal on the camera lens and the fingerprint reader. S uses a Sapphire Crystal on the camera lens and thumb, I mean fingerprint reader.
Jason: A lot of watches. I’m sorry. A lot of dumb watches have it.
Leo: Dumb watches? No. Feature Watches. Let’s get that right.
Frederick: Limited Use Watches. Come on!
Leo: So yeah. If you have a high-end wrist watch, Sapphire Crystal is premium product. But watch, he’s going to try to scratch this thing with a knife, with his keys. He tries to bend and break it. If this is what it purports to be, that alone may be a good selling point for the next I-phone. If this is the I-phone Crystal, this is a 4.7 inch screen. So that will confirm that rumor that Apple is going to make a larger screen.
Frederick: So it’s kind of like your HTC.
Jason: They’ve got to. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. They’ve got to.
Leo: And as Marcus pointed out, the thinking of some was that the larger 5 and half inch Iphone would have the Sapphire crystal and the less expensive 4.7 would not. But clearly that’s not the case. He tries to break it by bending it and can’t. Someone did finally did break it. A video In Korea someone drove a 1.6 ton truck over it and finally smashed it.
Frederick: I’d take it back!
Leo: I would still like to point out that there will still be a phone behind this piece of Sapphire.
Frederick: Yeah, some delicate electronics in there
Leo: Still has some fragility.
Jason: Yeah, but the number one failure in IPhones is that broken screen. If they could fix that, it would be huge. People drop their phones all the time, and the way the Iphone screens are made, if you don’t have a case, those screens break. In fact I know of 3 people this WEEK who have dropped their IPhones and cracked their screens and haven’t gotten them fixed yet.
Dan: There’s not a day you get on the subway. That’s a nice sample, right? You can see literally thousands of people in a very short period time, and I see Androids sure, but there’s not a day that I don’t see a cracked screen or three. Every day.
Leo: Here’s the video from China. Apparently the same part and they’re doing the same things to it, but eventually they drive. . .rims. . .1.6 tons. . .(laughing)
Frederick: Look at it! So is the back going to be glass, too, like the Iphone 5?
Jason: Well, we’ve been hearing metal, right?
Frederick: They should go back to metal.
Leo: With metal, you have antennae issues. The 4S had antennae issues, right?
Frederick: Go to plastic?
Dan: Enhance those little gaps, right?
Leo: Well, it’s all rumors. Congratulations to Marcus Brownley. . .who will never again be invited to an Apple event. Just wanted to warn you. But he got 4.6 million views in 4 days.
Frederick: He doesn’t need to be invited. . .
Frederick,Leo, Jason: It’s worth it.
Leo: 4.6 million views! And credit to Marcus and Sunny. . .was it Sunny Dickson, who I guess is a fairly reliable leaker. Glad that’s not my title. Chief Leaker, here!
Frederick: Give it a few more years, Leo.
Leo: Speaking of which, I think I gotta take a bathroom break here.
Dan: I’m a freelance leaker.
Leo: Freelance leaker.
Frederick: Leak on demand
Leo: And in related news, China has taken advantage of the NSA revelation after the NSA information is saying, “We don’t trust the IPhone. We know that Apple has tracking software in it and we believe that the IPhone will track you. This was not official government news, but I think you can safely assume that anything that comes out of State Run TV is the government.
Jason: Isn’t the IPhone like the lowest, like number 5, the lowest adopted phone in China?
Leo: But it’s
only recently for sale in China. Officially. So it’s
still (makes hand motion like an escalation)
I think it’s more. They don’t count the gray or the black market sales.
Frederick: Oh, so they’re trying to head it off at the pass.
Leo: I still think there are quite a few IPhone in China. Chinese State TV said the IPhone is a national security concern. Just as, I might add, the US congress said phones from ZTE and WawWay, Chinese-owned companies, were national security concerns last year in the US. Apple says (this will go a long way with the Chinese government) Privacy is built into our products and services from the earliest stages of our design. Oh wait I should use Johnny IPhone voice. We look tirelessly to deliver the most secure hardware and software in the world.
Jason: You know what voice you should do it in? The voice of Bill Murray in Scrooged, when he says, “We at the IBC are SHOCKED and APPALLED!”
Leo: We are SHOCKED, SHOCKED I tell you.
Leo: And we don’t work with government agency to spy on customers. You don’t really have to work with government agency to be used by a government agency
Dan: I have a source; it’s just a friendly source. He would prefer off the record. He’s a reliable guy. He swears up one side and down the other. He works at Apple, and has for 15 years. He said, “Once it’s out of our data system, it’s gone. We don’t care about your data. We’re not Google” We can take that with a grain of salt, but he is really a true believer, friendly guy. Yes, he knows that they can be used by the NSA or foreign company, but that APPLE doesn’t keep data. They don’t’ sell your data. It’s encrypted, then it’s gone.
Leo: Their business model is different than Google and Facebook. They make money selling hardware, and maybe a few ITunes, and Google and Facebook make money selling ads. So, yeah, their business model is different.
Jason: Apple does boast that they have more accounts, more credit card accounts than anybody in the world, except for Amazon. So I believe, in part, what Dan is saying, what Dan’s source is saying, but they are in the information business. They do want to eventually use that information to make a lot of money. So I think to think they won’t make an e-commerce play to make them. . .a player in this game. . .well, we should expect that.
Frederick: Yeah. I believe the statement that Apple isn’t doing anything nefarious with data, right? That would be stupid. I think a lot of people are worried, not that they are doing something but that they could. They have the ability to.
Leo: It comes down to what do you define as nefarious? Well, I think Google could say, “Well, we don’t do anything nefarious with data!” “We use keywords in your emails and your searches to make sure the ads are something you’re more interested in.” Is that nefarious?
Leo: I don’t think any of these companies are saying, “Did you see that? That’s a nude picture of Leo. Look at that.” The NSA, on the other hand? Well, we’re going to talk about that in just a second. We’re going to take a break. We’ve got a great panel. We’ve got Dan Patterson, freelance journalist. A guy redefining the word “journalism” as we speak. Danpatterson.com @danpatterson on Twitter. Jason Hiner from CBS Interactive, the Tech Republic, ZDnet. They’re all one now?
Jason: They are all one.
Leo: One big ball. They’re all the same. I think it was in my ZDTV contract, “don’t go work for CNet. They’re competition. They’re the enemy.”
Frederick: I didn’t know that.
Jason: Enforce it.
Leo: Well, it’s unenforceable, but I guess it’s alright.
Jason: They were the bitterest of bitter rivals in the dawn of the . . .
Leo: And I worked for both of them. They’re all one, so it’s okay
Jason: Wasn’t that Dan Farber’s deal?
Leo: Remember Dan Farber? He was ZD net. Great guy. Great journalist.
Frederick: Great guy
Leo: Was? He’s not dead! Still around. Sorry. Sounded like we were eulogizing you, Dan. Oh, great guy. And we have Frederick Van Johnson from this week in photography, which is the number one, clearly number one photography podcast. We actually surrendered to you? Did you know that?
Frederick: You surrendered to me?
Leo: Yes, we did a show called Twit Photo, and we said we can’t beat Frederick at this. It was This Week in Photo.com. News, reviews, photography. Great show.
Frederick: Yes, and only getting better.
Leo: You used to actually do it at the Brickhouse
Frederick: Yes, we did. We did it from your desk, I think. In the early days.
Leo: I think I still have your keys. You might want to pick them up. I think you left them. And a Feature Phone.
Frederick: I think I leant you some money back then.
Leo: No. Nice try, Frederick.
Frederick: Couple $Mil here and there or something.
Leo: Our show is brought to you today by Stamps.com. I don’t go to the post office, nor should you. If you are in business and want a more professional solution than going to buy stamps and licking them and putting them on the box. . .here, we need some extra right here so doesn’t get returned. . .NO! If you sell on Etsy or Ebay or Amazon or PayPal; if you send invoices, you should do what we do here at Twit and get a Stamps.com account. It prints right on the envelopes. Your company name and logo are right on there. In fact, we use QuickBooks, and it takes the addresses right from there. We don’t even have to enter those! If you are sending Priority Mail, it automatically sends an email to the recipient with a tracking number. This is professional stuff. You cannot get this at the post office. It really does save you time, save you money, and I want to emphasize; it gives a more professional look and feel to everything you do. You can get your mailing done without ever leaving your desk with Stamps.com. Using a PC or a Mac, your printer, you don’t need special ink. You don’t need a postage meter. You’ll never have to go to the post office again. The mail carrier comes to you. There’s even a big button on Stamps.com that says, “Have the mail carrier come to me.” If you miss the pick-up, they’ll come back. We’ve got a no risk trial offer for you. You see the $80 value when you’re on the homepage. No. No. We’ve got a better deal. Click on the microphone, on that weird-looking old radio microphone. Enter the promo code t-w-i-t. That’s pretty easy to remember. You’ll get $110 value there. Sorry you get a weird picture of me. In addition, you get $55 free postage. You get a free, digital scale worth 50 bucks, I think. You pay postage and handling, 5 bucks on that. To kinda pay you back, they give you a $5 supply kit. Week trial with stamps.com. You can cancel at any time, and you can keep the scale as a “thank you” for trying it out. Go to stamps.com, click on that microphone in the upper right hand corner, and put in my name er our name “TWIT” as the promo code. Stamps.com
Leo: I guess this happened since our last show. Again, more revelations from the NSA. Now this one is a little more controversial. The Washington Post published a story one week ago explaining that Snowden, among the other stuff he gave media; he gave them a big database of information intercepted by the NSA. 160,000 records in there. And what the Washington Post did was hire a database expert, because it wasn’t structured in any way. It was just a dump. So they hired a database expert to parse it. And what they found was that most of these conversations were not foreign nationals, but US citizens. And in there, there were email addresses, pictures, personal information. So 10,000 account holders, they catalogued. Many of the data deemed as useless, yet retained any way was described by the Washington Post as, “startlingly intimate and even voyeuristic in quality.” They tell stories of love and heart break, illicit sexual liaisons, mental health crises. This is all in the data! Political and religious conversions, financial anxieties. So 10,000 account holders who WERE NOT targeted by the NSA, but were nevertheless recorded and catalogued by the NSA. 160,000 emails and intimate messages, some of them several pages long. 7900 documents. 11,000 online accounts. All from President Obama’s first term. This proves that the NSA is collecting and sometimes analyzing data from US citizens. No question about it.
Frederick: Right. No question. That would fall under nefarious.
Leo: THAT is nefarious.
Leo: Now there was a little bit of heat on this, and maybe you Dan Patterson, can shed a little light on this. Some people are saying, “No, it wasn’t the NSA that violated these people’s privacy. It was the Washington Post and Edward Snowden.”
Dan: Now that’s interesting.
Leo: This is a follow up debrief published by the Washington Post and the reporter Barton Gellman who broke the story. Some people have said this is an overheated statement of something that is obvious: that the surveillance of one person includes those who talk to him. Others say that the Washington Post, not the government invaded the privacy of innocents, because we published their conversations, and the NSA did not. They say that the Washington Post showed ignorance of the NSA protocol or knowing chose to distort the way they work. It’s very complicated. He admits that. He explains in the article how they parsed the data. He said, “Most of the accounts we found in a pile were not NSA targets. Some commentators find that unremarkable. Nine out of ten of the account holders whose conversations were intercepted were not the intended target but were caught in the net that the agency had cast for someone else. He says, “Actually, I underplayed that amount, that number. It’s the only one we could measure with any precision. But we think it was actually a lot more.
Frederick: How did they determine that individuals weren’t targeted?
Leo: Well, he says, “We didn’t have an official list of NSA targets. We had to find them in the pile ourselves. So they hired an independent researcher, who tried to figure out, kind of structurally, who was the target and who was the collateral damage. He said, “Some of our questions could not be answered from the data. Therefore, our article did not say, though many reporters have imputed it to it, that there were more Americans than foreign targets in the pile. We suspect that’s true, but we couldn’t establish it reliably.” But they did say that nearly half of the files included names, email addresses and other information that the NSA says belonged to American citizens. What does this mean? I think the general take away is that the NSA is spying on US citizens that may be collateral damage, but they are saving the data anyway. Analysts are looking at that information, and this is going far beyond what they are legal able to do. Others say, like I said, “Well, that’s just what happens when you collect data.”
Frederick: Um yeah. I would say that this just verifies the data that we already know. We already know that American citizens are being spied upon. What it comes down to is if you’re that person fighting for privacy and against privacy invasion, don’t use technology right now. By using any kind of technology, you are opening yourself up to this kind of stuff. Right?
Dan: That is true, but that is an untenable suggestion for most folks in this era. Look I was at the UN for five years, and I’m looking at my bucket of press releases. There are over 150,000 press releases coming from all over the world. There are press releases from Iran, Syria, and Libya. The most terrifying places in the world, I’m on their email lists. It makes a difference when you think of this as an abstract and when you think of this as “you.” And, so you can make a set of criteria. And also we should put “alleged” in front of all this. And you can say, this is the list of criteria that the NSA made a list of the people they will gather information from. Then you can put spokes out from those people who fit those criteria. The you can say whether it’s okay or not okay to gather data, or this is just what happens when you gather data, you can easily connect those dots and see what kind of people have been spied on and the degree to which they’ve been spied on.
Frederick: You know on one hand, at the top of the show we were talking about Leo’s watch and more and more technology that we are getting excited and embracing. But then on the other hand, we concerned about the privacy, but we want more and more technology to make our lives easier. So where do you draw the line? Do you say, “I’m cutting the cord? I’m not going to do anything from now on.”
Dan: What I know is people, particularly journalists and friends of mine, are doing a few things. There’s nothing you can do that really prevents all of this, but there are small measures you can take. The first is encrypt everything. The second is, although it’s not really going to make you safer, you can move to microlab or protonmail or something that is stored outside of the auspices of the US. I don’t think this will really make you safer, but it is a protest move, and it’s one that says, “Listen, I’m willing to take my own privacy seriously.” The other thing you can do is something I’m doing right now. You can take everything of any importance out of Google, and still use the Google account to access things, because you have to, but not allowing an indexing of your personal data. No you can’t escape everything, but you can take measures. They may be half measures, but you can send a pretty loud message.
Leo: Bruce Schneier, he’s the security guru on this show. We love him. He’s the go-to guy on this. He said this in a talk earlier this week at the New America Foundation, a panel discussion called, “National InSecurity Agency: How the NSA Surveillance programs undermine internet security. Schneier said that the issue is not that the NSA is spying on the bad guy. It’s that they are deliberately weakening the security of everyone in the world in order to make that spying easier. Putting in backdoor access, undermining encryption protocols, hacking into Yahoo! Google’s private interconnects; they’re undermining security in general. I think when China says, “Don’t trust the Iphone,” what they are really saying is, “The USA is spying on us, and any company in the US, whether intentionally or not, is acting as an arm of that agency.”
Dan: And it provides permission.
Jason: Most of them don’t know.
Leo: Say again, Dan?
Dan: Sorry, with the lag I keep cutting you guys off. I was saying that it gives this tacit permission. Well if the NSA can do it, then we can do it, and that factors in to security and threat models far more than the NSA. I’m far more concerned about China and Egypt than the NSA, but because the NSA is capable of doing this and has been doing it, it gives these other countries permission to do it. They’ll say, you now, tit for tat. Right. Exactly.
Frederick: Dan I wonder. . .you mentioned the alternative email clients you could use, etcetera, to sort of be more secure online. . .I wonder. I go back to the pile of data they were using and what key they were using to flag those people. Do they then look deeper at people who are trying to hide stuff? Can you hide in plain sight?
Leo: The NSA has said it you use encryption, if you use Tor. . .
Dan: You’re screwed.
Leo: This is their excuse. “We can’t tell if you are a terrorist or a foreign national, so we’re just going to collect everything. So that’s the other side of this equation. I use a PGP encryption on my email, and it’s a flag. It’s saying, “Hey, I might be up to something.” Then they collect everything you do.
Jason: You look like you’ve got something to hide. So we’ve got to look harder.
Frederick: You got a crowd of people, and they all look the same. You see someone going like this (hiding his face like he’s guilty), you’re going to look at that one.
Leo: The other point that the Washington Post makes is that this is data that has already been minimized. The rules are that if it doesn’t have anything to do with the investigation, you should minimize it; you should redact it, remove personal information. They say the data we got was already minimized. So it’s even worse that they say 9 out of 10 people in this database were American citizens not connected with foreign nationals, and that’s the minimized version!
Frederick: Take my word for it, right?
Dan: Or we are all familiar with the panopticon, and that’s exactly what we are experiencing. Why bother? Why bother encrypting? Why bother using Tor or proton mail? Why bother using the flags? So maybe I just shouldn’t say anything. Maybe I should just shut up.
Leo: And I think that one of the conspiracy theories that kind of makes sense is the NSA planted all this to make everyone feel. . .okay the whole point of the panopticon, it was a prison that made the prisoners feel that there was no way they could do anything without being survaled. The design of the panopticon was that the prisoners couldn’t see the watchers, but the watchers could see the prisoners. So, the prisoners would never know if they were being watched. The presumption would then be that I’m always being watched, so I’m going to behave. So I think you could make the case that this is exactly what the NSA would like. This impression that we are all being watched. And, so watch yourself.
Jason: So that psychological bit is far more powerful than any surveillance.
Leo: It’s working.
Jason: I feel like I’ve talked about this so many times. This story specifically. Nothing about it really surprised me.
Leo: No, at this point we’ve heard it all, haven’t we?
Jason: Even though nothing really surprised me, I do think we need a sort of Bill of Rights for the digital era. To have some really hard discussions about what are the rights we are to expect, people should expect on the internet, especially privacy and data and those types of things? Like any time you create something like this, there is going to be a lot of arguing, a lot of give and take. But, I feel like we haven’t had those discussions, and so we’re just sort of sliding down the accepted practices, and I just think it’s a bad road to go down. At some point there has to be a sort of grass roots movement to sort of take back the rights, reset expectations. And I think it’s going to have to be from the bottom up to force people in power to think about it. I don’t like internet legislation. I’m not necessarily suggesting a body to oversee this or be in charge of the internet, but I do think that we can come to some reasonable expectations about what kind of privacy we should expect and what sort of rights people have and things like that.
Frederick: It seems like an obilesque. NSA seems like a big box. It’s impenetrable. Right? There’s all that data in there. You don’t know what they’re collecting, what they’re doing.
Leo: And that’s the key to the panopticon. You don’t know what they’re doing. You don’t know when they’re watching.
Frederick: It may not even be collecting anything. And I think it would be great to have some sort of legislation about this, but how can you even affect that if you don’t even know what they are collecting, and they may not ever tell you what they are collecting. How do you even hope to do something?
Leo: I would say that the NSA and the people who are doing this are patriots, and that they are doing this because they want to protect us from another terrorist attack like 911. That they are doing everything they know how to do to protect us. But I think there’s another question. Is this effective? It reminds me of copy protection, you know? The people who are impeded by copy protection are the good guys. The bad guys know how to get around it. I would imagine that the means exist and that terrorists know how to use them. Osama Bin Laden was not using the internet. He was hidden away. He was using a currier to be bringing US B keys. Really it was excellent work that they were able to find out where he was. I would imagine at this point if you’re a terrorist, you’re not using the internet, you’re not sending email. “Hey, Abdula, let’s attack the Pentagon.” You’re not going to send that over gmail. So, who is this protecting us from? Aren’t we the victims without any real benefit, is what I’m saying. That’s the question. In fact, I think you make a case that the terrorists won. This is exactly what 911 was all about.
Frederick: We have terror.
Leo: We’re terrified.
Leo: Let’s take a break. There was a World Cup game today. Germany won. Congratulations. But we all lost, because on Twitter. . .well, I’ll talk about what happened. First a word from our friends at Citrix who have that great GoToMeeting. It is a powerful way to meet with your clients, your friends, your coworkers. You can reach potential clients all over the world. It’s simple. Everyone likes using it. That’s important. If you’re pitching a client, you don’t want to make them jump through hoops to see your presentation. Use GoToMeeting. In business you’ve got to maximize your communication, your collaboration. You can close deals faster with GoToMeeting. You can problem solve better. You can create new opportunities. We use it all the time. When we meet with people we set up a GoToMeeting, and we usually use the Conference Bridge there on GoToMeeting. But it’s nice because if you want to show them something on your screen, you can. If you want to see each other face-to-face in HD video, you can. You just press a button. It’s awfully, awfully good. Citrix GoToMeeting lets you cut out the wasted time and money of travel. With teams all over the country, all over the world, everywhere, who can go to the client? You still get that personal touch. That virtual face-to-face meeting. It’s like you’re in the same room. It is so fabulous. I want you to try if free for 30 days. Go to GoToMeeting.com, click the “try it free” button, then use the PROMO CODE: Twit, try it for 30 days free. It’s absolutely the best. And one of the greatest things about GoToMeeting – flat rate pricing. You pay monthly for as many meetings as you want as long as you want. A lot of teams I know just run GoToMeeting all day. It’s on in the background, and it almost makes satellite offices part of the main office. It’s a really great solution. Citrix. GoToMeeting. Try it today free for 30 days. GoToMeeting.com. Use the offer code TWIT.
Leo: Okay, so it’s over. The World Cup is over, but if you couldn’t watch the World Cup, you could watch a Twitter Account, which was a really neat account called “replaylastgoal.” I don’t know how many people knew about this. So what would happen, is as soon as there was a goal in any of the World Cup games, it would automatically generate a .gif and a video of the play. So, if you missed it, you could go and watch it. FIFA, the international organization that runs the World Cup, owns the TV and media rights to the games didn’t like that and said to take it down. It took a little while, but Twitter took down #replaylastgoal. I don’t know if it’s fair use. I guess FIFA had a write to say its copyrighted material. But, boy that shows you the ignorance. And why are we surprised by FIFA’s ignorance? That is a great promotional material. I would KILL for someone to create a Twitter account #replaylast gaff.
Frederick: They couldn’t get an ad in there. That’s why.
Leo: I think Twitter probably didn’t want to pull it down, but it didn’t have a choice. I think FIFA should have been a little cooler about this. TV rights are more than $4B. But, I don’t think this damages the TV rights.
Dan: Well, it they had slipped FIFA a couple of bucks, then maybe they, too, could have their Twitter account.
Leo: All you have to do is give me an envelope with a check in it.
Leo: Allegedly. Here’s another great Twitter account. I don’t think this one will get pulled down. @congressedits. I started following them. This is an automatic Tweet Bot that whenever somebody who has a congress IP address anonymously edits a Wikipedia entry, it tweets it. And now, in fact, there are so many of them, because they were on GidHub, that they’ve got it for all sorts of governmental agencies. If you go to @congressedits that there’s one for BigPharma. There’s one for the German Parliament, bundestag, I guess it’s called. The scientific institutions in Berlin. So this is a big problem. The members of Congress go in there and fix up their Wikipedia page before the election. They take out the bad stuff, put in the good stuff. Not anymore.
Frederick: They should have a similar bot looking at big companies’ terms of service.
Leo: There you go.
Frederick: Whenever Facebook changes something, send a Tweet out. Let us all know.
Jason: That’s brilliant.
Leo: Now here’s somebody from the House of Representatives edited the Wikipedia article for Mauritius. I don’t think we really care about that.
Frederick: No, we don’t.
Leo: What do you think they did? You know some staffer goes in there, “You know it’s really $16 billion worth of coconut a year. Get that right. Or the Lower Yangtze Mandarin Wikipedia article. However, when a member of Congress edits, you can see the differences in the revisions. See in the margins? You can tell the anonymous from the thing. I love it. So that’s Kyrsten Sinema, she’s a representative from Arizona’s Ninth Congressional District. I guess she wanted to fix that little bit in here.
Frederick: And now she’s on Twitter. Be careful, government.
Leo: That’s a good use of Twitter. . .and, I hope it doesn’t get shut down by FIFA. That’s a violation of FIFA’s copyright somehow, I’m sure.
Leo: Twitter has analytics. Have you been looking at your Twitter analytics? Anyone have a verified Twitter account?
Frederick: I have not been looking at my analytics.
Jason: I haven’t either, honestly.
Leo: You have to have a verified Twitter account.
Frederick: I think I’m unverified.
Leo: No you have to be who you are. If you’re not who you are, then it’s not going to work. But, it tells us different stuff. Our friend Gina Trapani, of course, has “Think Up.”
Leo: I’m signed in. This is a bad account to use, but I’m signed in to links that I use for the TWiT. But it shows you how many impressions I got in the last month, the increase over previous impressions, with graphs. I’ll have to log out and log back in. But this is just dummy account, not a dummy account. It’s just used for news links. I didn’t realize this account was verified.
Frederick: That’s a good way to see if your Tweets are actually reaching your Twitter followers.
Leo: Well, that’s one of the things that are really pretty cool. You can see. . .a couple of things. Search Engine Land talked a little bit about it. People often complain that you put something on Facebook and only a small little. . .
Leo: Yeah. It’s the same on Twitter, because Twitter’s mostly live TV if you’re not there at the moment, you’re not going to go back in time.
Frederick: I think of it like a toilet paper roll.
Leo: Twitter is a toilet paper roll.
Frederick: Oh you’re right. This is scrolling.
Leo: You can export it as a CSV file.
Dan: That’s the title of the show.
Leo: Yeah, Twitter is a toilet paper roll. It is. You don’t ever go backward on that thing.
Frederick: It could get ugly if you do.
Leo: Quartz notes that Mark Andreson, who recently started using his Twitter account at the beginning of the year, but in January 2014, he must have made a New Year’s resolution; I’m going to Tweet more.
Jason: Then he went nuts with it to. He went absolutely nuts. My Italian Grandmother would have called what he did “diarrhea of the mouth.”
Leo: In six months, Mark Andreson, creator of Netscape and now a venture capitalist, Marka on Twitter, tweeted 21,783 Tweets, an average of five tweets an hour every hour!
Jason: I had to quit following him. I had been following him for a long time. It’s good stuff.
Frederick: Is it really him?
Jason: Yeah, it’s him. To be honest, there’s a lot of good stuff in there. It’ll crush your feed. The people that I follow are so good that if he Tweets something good, they’ll retweet it, so I quit following him. I just wait for my people that I follow to retweet the interesting ones.
Leo: That’s a good way to handle it.
Frederick: We need that Wikipedia bot to pull out the good ones and retweet them!
Leo: His most productive hours are between 2 and 4 in the afternoon and between 9 and 11 at night. After lunch and after dinner. He gets a little buzz on, and he starts tweeting. He has and does get in big epic battles over stuff like journalism. He’s very outspoken and for some reason he’s using Twitter instead of a blog or another platform. Twitter is how Mark Andreson talks to the world. So, yeah this is Marketing Lion dot com. The stats show you, this is according to Danny Sullivan, we love Danny, Twitter new impression stats suggest few followers see what’s tweeted. Unlike Facebook that filters the news feed; Twitter doesn’t do that.
Frederick: The visibility on that, add Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, I’d like to know who’s seeing what?
Leo: He’s saying that he’s seen engagement rates as low as .01%. Very low.
Leo: Yowza! And Danny, he’s probably a pretty good quality tweeter. He knows his stuff. Do you guys have any thoughts? We’ve talk about it, but not recently.
Dan: About Twitter?
Leo: Yeah, do have any thoughts? No, about this Facebook study where they tried to influence is it happiness or sadness? And now a member of Congress is saying we have to investigate this.
Frederick: I, I, I have a thought on that, and I feel that’s, that’s just dumb. Advertising, and I think I heard Gina Trapani said this on one of her shows I heard her on. Advertisers, marketers and Hollywood and everyone in entertainment have been influencing our emotions through media in some way or another.
Leo: When you write a story, you’re trying to make somebody cry or laugh
Frederick: Yeah, even in editing, if you make a cut here instead of there, you can make somebody cry. You know, they are puppet stringing our emotions. Because Facebook did it, and Facebook is evil, per se, then it becomes weird.
Leo: It is a little weird, you know, for one week they took 700,000 users, for one week they took half and pumped sad feed stories, you know they looked for key words. And they increased the number of sad posts for those people. And for the other half, they increased the number of happy posts. And they watched what THEY posted of Facebook the next week to see, as a result, if they posted more happy or sad stuff. First of all, who the hell cares? That’s stupid and useless. Yes, if I’m sad, I post sad stories. What the hell? You gotta do a study?
Dan: There’s a lot to this story. We don’t know the origins of this story. Is this one study? It should be one study among thousands, because they are a public company. If they’re not studying this stuff, then they’re irresponsible. This is such a click bait story that I almost feel bad for them. Listen, I want to believe Facebook is evil as much as the next guy. Okay, they’re evil. That being said, this is such a link bait story that we forget all the context. And the questions we should be asking is how many studies did they do? What’s the criterion? What’s the sample?
Leo: I would like to know if they do this more?
Jason: Yeah, well, when I first heard this story, I thought, “This is cold.” What it comes down to is that people sign the SLAs, not the SLAs, the Terms of Service. . .
Leo: It’s very clear. That Facebook can do this.
Jason: That Facebook can do this. Absolutely. And it kind of reminded me of what I was saying about the NSA earlier. The digital world is fundamentally changing in the way people interact and their expectations. And in the existing world, you know, there are um, regulations and guidelines in place to protect people from these kinds of entities who can do these sorts of things to them in manipulative and not very cool ways, unethical ways. For example it made me think of “informed consent.” You know, when someone is asking you to do something in the medical community, and they’re getting your consent for a surgery or to use some of your cells for something and that kind of thing. Like the book “Immortal Cells.”
Leo: Henrietta Lacks.
Leo: I LOVE that, by the way.
Jason: What happened was failure of informed consent, because informed consent hadn’t really fully formed yet. And they had to explain it to you in a way a normal person could understand. And that’s what it made me think of. There are things people are signing and agreeing to that are being covered in these Terms of Services. And we’re just now starting to see some of the use cases where the companies are, you know, stretching the bounds of those things to see what really they can do, and that’s what happened in this case. Facebook was stretching the bounds of what it can do with its users in ways that not all of us are really comfortable with in terms of them trying to manipulate people in ways that is essentially a science experiment for them, but in ways that could potentially have negative effects on average people, users of their service.
Leo: Senator Mark Warren sent an open letter to the FCC, saying you need to. . .that they full explore the ramifications of the experiment and whether they violated their terms of service. Which they did not.
Jason: No, they didn’t
Frederick: Not at all
Leo: Their terms of service mention this kind of stuff. Let me ask you this, Frederick. You said it’s like a novel, or Gina said that, but you repeated it. When we read a novel, we expect that. It’s an expectation to be lifted up or depressed, there’s no shock. But isn’t my expectation when I read a Facebook feed just to see what my friends are up to?
Frederick: Less and less so.
Leo: Well, that’s why I’m mad.
Frederick: Yeah, well we don’t know what’s in our news feed. They’re creating our feed for us, for one. And now we know that they are on purpose guiding the feed. So unless a post is from your close friends or family, you know you really can’t trust it, anyway.
Leo: I don’t know if I can even trust that. I feel like I see what Mark Zuckerberg wants me to see, and that really bugs me. I don’t think Facebook violated its own Terms of Service, in this respect. I think it’s creepy, and they should have known better.
Frederick: Have you seen that documentary on Netflix? It’s called “Terms and Conditions May Apply.” You should watch that.
Leo: Is it about all this?
Frederick: It’s about Facebook and Google and what you sign and what you sign away because you’re in a hurry to get into the service, and what rights you give up by just clicking “okay.” You should watch that.
Leo: What’s it called?
Frederick: Terms and Conditions May Apply.
Leo: I will watch that tonight AFTER Ray Donovan’s Masters of Sex. I’ve got some catching up to do on True Blood, and I think next week I’ll watch that. We’re going to take a break. But if you were busy watching TV instead of TWiT this week, you missed some wonderful stuff. In fact, I wasn’t either, so let’s watch the best of the week gone by.
COMMERCIAL BREAK: Previously on TWiT.
This Week in Law: A German site revealing some information that BoingBoing and Linux might be targeted for long term surveillance by the NSA. Overstock.com is the first site that accepts Bitcoin. The financial system has far more cracks, far more sponginess than you have any idea is actually there. This crypto revolution is a world changing historical event. And what it will do is turn off the oxygen tube to the oligarchy which has hijacked our society.
Floss Weekly: This is a very special show. This is our Christmas in July show. This is episode 300 of Floss Weekly. I’m wearing my ridiculous headphones from the last time I did this 200 episodes ago.
TWiT: Say, “hello” to the NSA. They’re listening!
Leo: I’m sorry I missed that FLOSS, I was going to be here but as I mentioned, we actually extended our trip. I was supposed to be back for that. Back on Monday, we like Hawaii so much we stayed.
Frederick: I would have too.
Leo: It was very nice. Let’s check in with our news director, Mr. Mike Elgan, host of Tech News Tonight, see what he’s got on the agenda for the week ahead.
Mike: Coming up on the week ahead we’ve got five major earnings reports, Intel and Yahoo report on Tuesday the 15th, EBay on Wednesday the 16th, and IBM/Google on Thursday the 17th. That is what’s coming up this week. Back to you Leo.
Leo: Monday through Friday, 10 am pacific, 1 pm eastern, 1700 UTC. Your daily dose of tech news. Tech News Tonight. So Aerio when we last talked, before I went to Hawaii, lost in the Supreme Courts. The Supreme Court said no that is a public performance, you are like a cable company. The judges were very confused. You‘re kind of like a cable company, so what you’re doing is illegal. So Aerio, said ok, we’re a cable company and we want retransmission rights and we’ll pay those fees. The broadcasters who had sued them, said no. You can’t be a cable company. So the broadcasters basically said you’re a cable company until Aerio said yes we’re a cable company. Now they’re saying no you’re not a cable company. Whatever Aerio may say about its rationale for raising it now is astonishing says the cable industry. Astonishing for Aerio to contend the Supreme Court’s decision automatically transformed Aerio into a cable system. It seems to me, that this is exactly what this was all about. The Supreme Court sent them back to the lower court and said figure this out. Aerio said ok. I thought this would happen actually. We want retransmission agreements. We’ll pay the retransmission fees. Now the networks say no. They’ve basically, it’s pretty clear now the networks just want Aerio to go away.
Leo: It’s not about the money, it’s about Aerio
Frederick: They’ve got some good lawyers over there
Leo: That’s kind of sad. A London firm has created mind controlled commands for Google Glass. It was only a matter of time, if you don’t look dorky enough in Google Glass try this out for size, MindRDR. We’re looking at the picture of it, it adds a little doohickey to your Google Glass that goes on your forehead.
Frederick: That cannot be real!
Leo: It’s a bio sensor. Capable of detecting brain waves.
Dan: Dumb, dumb.
Frederick: Now if you can’t speak, or you are otherwise impaired, I can see a use for that.
Leo: Well the question is, does it work? I mean am I beaming commands out from my forehead?
Dan: These are going to be at parties next week what do we call these, Glass head holes?
Leo: After turning on the MindRDR app, users will see a camera interface on the screen of their Google Glass. They can then pick a subject, aim their head in that direction. Ok so far so good. Then concentrate on it. While the Glass displays a meter showing the level of their brain waves. As you intently focus, the meter climbs, and when it reaches the top the Glass camera takes a picture. This should be on TWiT Photo.
Frederick: It should be.
Leo: By repeating the process you can then direct MindRDR to upload the photo Twitter.
Frederick: When can you just do this, click. How about that, just take a picture.
Leo: I had a Japanese thing that made you little bunny ears and you put it on your head. Same place, and the bunny ears or cat ears would simulate your state of mind. It was like a Facebook experiment. If you were happy the cat ears would stick up. We, no.
Frederick: And the NSA will hack into those to get into your brain waves.
Leo: Explain to me this. Oneplus One, this is the smartphone everybody is very excited about. Its $300, $350 for the 32GB version. 5.5 inch screen, great battery life, 13 Megapixel camera, quadcore, snapdragon 801 processor. According to Ars Technica, unnecessarily nice front facing camera and a handsome design that you can’t buy. If anybody in our vast listening audience has a Oneplus One invite, I’d like to get one of these. So if you go to oneplusone.net, the 2014 Flagship killer starting at $300. How to get one, click this. Well, you can get an invite or play some contests. But you have to get an invite to buy. What? What is the business model?
Frederick: Marketing company building an email list.
Leo: You think?
Frederick: That reeks of building an email list and they won’t have new phones but they’ll market this other cool stuff.
Leo: Well there are phones, people are getting the phones but slowly.
Leo: The price is right. Oneplus One OPO is pretty much, I would guess, a subsidiary of OPPO. The founders are former OPPO employees, and OPPO sells a very similar phone called the Find 7 and the Find 7A is even closer to the specs here.
Frederick: Eerily similar
Leo: Yeah, runs the CyanogenMod. Actually the OPPO 7 has even higher quality screen it’s a UHD
Frederick: That is very pretty.
Leo: 538 pixels per inch. 5.5 inches. That Gorilla Glass 3 you can’t drive over it with a truck. I can’t figure it out why would you make something and then make it so hard to get.
Jason: Yeah its marketing we wouldn’t have talked about it if they hadn’t otherwise. It’s a way to get some attention. Remember when the Wii first came out and they constrained demand for like a year. Because it was a story, it continued and made it a story. Maybe that’s why. Scarcity right.
Frederick: Scarcity, like Google with Gmail remember? Anyone couldn’t get a Gmail account when they first launched it. You had to know a guy.
Jason: A valid marketing strategy.
Leo: Sign me up I’ll buy it. I want it.
Jason: I know a guy
Leo: Gmail was invite only, remember they used to sell invites on EBay.
Jason: Oh my gosh yeah.
Leo: I wanted that too
Dan: It’s been a decade now
Frederick: You had to have it
Leo: Can you believe it’s been 10 years?
Frederick: Has it been 10 years?
Dan: Yeah, I got mine August 2004
Leo: Did you buy it on EBay?
Jason: He was special
Dan: That’s where I buy my guns.
Leo: Really, can you buy, no you can’t buy guns on EBay anymore.
Dan: It depends on the state. Yeah, straw purchasing. You can get guns anywhere man.
Leo: Oh. That’s good to know
Leo: JCCalhoun in the chatroom is referring us to a Wikipedia article on a subject called artificial scarcity. There’s an article.
Frederick: Yeah that’s a marketing term.
Jason: It’s a valid marketing strategy
Frederick: And it works. Limited quantities, buy now.
Leo: We should make this show shorter by that measure. We’re giving you too much for your value.
Frederick: Or you only allow a certain amount of viewers.
Leo: Oh. That’s a good idea. Do you have an invitation to listen to this show?
Frederick: Get on our list.
Leo: Get on our list. That’s a good idea
Dan: I bet that works.
Leo: We should try that.
Frederick: We’ll be giving away some secret things on the next show but you have to get on the list.
Leo: Wait a minute, you can buy guns on EBay but you can’t buy cigarettes.
Dan: Well, one will kill you. Which one?
Leo: Our show today brought to you by carbonite.com online backup whether you have one computer at home, a bunch of them at your small business. Carbonite has got a solution for you. Its cloud based backup that means even if the worst happens. I know nobody wants to think about it disaster, fire, flood, tsunami. Somebody stealing your stuff, human error, even if the worst happens you still got your data. Now a lot of folks backup right next to their computer. That’s fine, I encourage that. Have a little hard drive and just back it up. There’s a couple of problems with that. First of all, you got to remember to do it. Second of all it’s sitting right next to your computer if there is a fire you’re going to lose the backups. Carbonite, you don’t have to remember anything. The whole idea with Carbonite, go to carbonite.com, you install it, and you forget it. You pay once a year, unlimited amount of data. You don’t have to think about, am I going over my limit or anything like that. As long as you’re connected to the internet it’s automatically backing up to the cloud. It is just a great solution. They’ve got everything, personal, pro, server plans. They’ve got a special Carbonite for bigger businesses. Hardware device that does both local and cloud backup. It really is a great solution. I want you to visit carbonite.com and try it out. Your free trial is awaiting. For the personal plans its two weeks, it’s longer for the business plans. You don’t need a credit card. Do use the offer code TWiT, they’re going to ask you and you’ll get two free bonus months when you buy. Mac or PC unlimited backup. Pay once a year. $59.99. This is an example, per year for everything on your Mac or PC. Every photographer should use Carbonite. It’s a really great solution. You don’t have to remember it. Its piece of mind, Carbonite.com. Judges don’t like distribute memos about what, they don’t collude. Here is why I say this. A federal judge sued by Ubervita. Ubervita which is a nutritional supplement company. There were bad reviews on Amazon and Ubervita says no this is a campaign of dirty tricks against Ubervita. In an effort to put us at a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace. They went to court, the judge, has said no, you Amazon have got to reveal to Ubervita who posted those negative reviews. And Craigslist same thing. The maker, they make testosterone boosters, multi-vitamins, and weight loss supplements. What could be wrong with that? Unknown commenters had placed fraudulent orders to disrupt their inventory, posted a Craigslist ad to offer cash for favorable reviews about Ubervita products. That wasn’t us. And posted as dissatisfied users. US district judge, Marsha Pechman, said that Ubervita can serve subpoenas on Amazon and Craigslist, what they call John Doe subpoenas, saying we need the identities of these people and Amazon must comply. So that’s the first, I’m not crazy about that but it feels like, so it’s probably good to know that when you post a negative review on a site, you can be liable for libel.
Leo: You can get sued for slander. But then there’s this other decision.
Frederick: Doesn’t Amazon have the concept of verified purchaser?
Leo: They do, in some of the cases you’re not anonymous. You can be anonymous, but you don’t have to be. So if you’re a verified purchaser, I presume you’re not anonymous. NanoViricides is a, I presume, biotech company, they make something. They were upset by a guy named Pump Terminator, who posted, allegedly, defamatory articles about NanoViricides on a website called Seeking Alpha. NanoViricides says the guy is a short seller. He’s trying to dump the stock. This happens all the time, trying to get the stock to dump so he can sell. So he can make some money. Seeking Alpha, which is a free online platform and source for financial information went to court. The judge ruled, you don’t have to reveal the guy’s information at all. This is from the Supreme Court from the state of New York. The Honorable Cynthia S Kern decided no. So if I may summarize. If you are a short seller trying to dump a stock on a forum that’s ok. You can do that anonymously, but if you’re writing a negative review about a product on Amazon, you better watch out. They need to exchange memos, I’m just saying. Figure it out, one way or the other. That happens all the time.
Frederick: The whole commenting architecture needs some help
Leo: what do you think of internet anonymity?
Frederick: Can you say it first of all?
Leo: There is a reason for anemones. Life as we now it on earth would not exist without anemones. There is a reason for anonymity, but there’s also a reason, for instance on G+ and Facebook too supposedly, you have to use your real names. That changed YouTube completely right? The comments in YouTube are very different aren’t they Chad? After the new policy that you have to have a Google+ account, a verified identity, to post a comment. That’s completely changed the tenure of commenting on YouTube.
Chad Johnson: Yeah there’s still the same type of people will still comment but it’s a lot better because the cream rises.
Leo: And because you know the person’s name.
Chad: Yeah and it’s a lot more difficult to create an alternate identity
Leo: My name is Pump Terminator and I think that Chad is just a terrible person. That stuff is gone you know.
Frederick: For the most part
Leo: So there’s your reason for forcing real identities, but there’s also another reason for anonymity.
Frederick: I think on YouTube if someone is commenting on a random video of a cat dancing or something, who cares? It can be anonymous. But if it’s related to a product and profit is involved as a purchaser, consumer, I would want to know that the person that’s commenting is a real person and does not have some hidden agenda.
Leo: It’s true on Yelp and other places that you know the business will give bad reviews of competitors, good reviews to themselves.
Leo: It’s hard to know
Dan: It’s a different type of trust dynamic. Right? It flips both ways, Chad I’m sure you know this, but within gaming, a ton of the gamers, the YouTube gamers, their commenters had this trust relationship precisely because they could be anonymous or at least pseudo-anonymous, but then when we flip to a consumer type of relationship, just like you’re saying Frederick, that it’s a different type of trust relationship and I need to be less opaque about my identity but I think there is certain types of behavior and the gamers are really the easiest ones to point to. Where trust comes from anonymity
Leo: How interesting.
Frederick: I want to read the bad reviews. That’s what I generally read online
Leo: Don’t you think people should, there’s a chilling effect if you think someone might sue you for a bad review. If you genuinely don’t like somebody you should be able to say I think this thing sucks.
Leo: I shouldn’t have to be sued for libel. I guess you’re not liable for libel or slander if
Dan: If it’s true, and there is not an intent to cause harm
Leo: Right, so I can’t say, Frederick Van Johnson is an extortionist.
Frederick: We agreed not to talk about this
Leo: Unless he is. I want my pictures back. NO, but I could say he’s a jerk because that’s an opinion. So there’s provable matters of fact and then there’s opinion and you could say I don’t like this product, this Red Bull tastes crappy, I don’t like it. You’re not going to get sued over that. If you say Red Bull is made from babies’ blood, you could be sued for that because it’s obviously not right. We don’t think
Frederick: Right. Online, on Amazon, because so many people make purchasing decisions based on those negative reviews…
Leo: I do
Frederick: …I do too, the weight is there. If I see 3 people that say hey I ordered this thing and it showed up broken, I’m not buying it. Regardless of how many positive reviews there were.
Leo: But you learned don’t you, to weigh it and to say there’s only one negative review, ignore that. But if I see three all saying kind of the same thing, uh oh. I very much pay attention to Amazon reviews. That’s one of the best innovations.
Frederick: Amazon Reviews, app store, everything reviews.
Dan: Although, chilling is, Leo you said a moment ago, that’s the exact right word. I keep coming back to gaming but that’s where you will see some of the most offensive, childish, ridiculous language. It’s precisely because people can be anonymous. They use a gaming name or a pseudonym or handle and that’s childish, ridiculous language but that’s very important, they use that because they feel I can be free to just stay stupid stuff at night and whatever, nobody cares and it doesn’t reflect on my work persona or my public persona. It’s not chilled behavior and I think that’s really important too.
Leo: By the way, that’s a skill we should be teaching in schools today. How to read Amazon reviews. That’s a real skill
Frederick: You can take the Amazon Reviews part off of that sentence. How to read.
Leo: Ok start with that. Aim low.
Dan: Start at the bottom
Leo: This is a life skill right? I think we’ve all learned how to do it. Nobody taught us, we just kind of figured out what to look at, what not to look at. That’s useful tough, boy that’s awfully useful.
Jason: Critical thinking, it’s not high on the list of most schools sadly in the U.S.
Leo: But it ought to be. We’re going to teach you how to use Microsoft Word. Who knows when that kid graduates from college if we’re going to still be using Microsoft Word?
Frederick: We’re not
Leo: Critical thinking will always be in style.
Dan: Critical thinking will keep you from using Microsoft Word.
Leo: That too
Frederick: Well Said
Leo: YouTube weighs funding efforts to boost premium content sources, this isn’t the first time they’ve done this. Remember they put aside $100 million to fund something like 100 new channels from big names like Oprah and Shaq. Some question about whether that $100 million really was effective. YouTube says that of the 115 channels launched as part of that initiative, wait a minute. Over 115 of the channels launched. I don’t understand that because they only launched 100 channels. This makes no sense at all. They launched 100 channels. Madonna, ESPN, as I mentioned Shaq. Over 115 of the channels launched as part of that initiative are now in the top 2% most subscribed channels. I don’t understand if that’s, how that’s right. It says they only launched 100. But anyway, they’re going to do it again but this time they’re going to be cagier. They have actually going to do it a little more quietly than apparently, according to Reuters, they’re having discussions with Hollywood, producers, to fund premium content. In other words, pump a little cash into the better YouTube channels so it’s not all groin shot videos and talking oranges. Wait a minute, talking oranges is the premier content. Sorry. Apparently YouTube, it’s very similar to the previous initiative. They’re going to offer between $1-3 million to produce a series of programs by contributing marketing funds as well. They want shorter than the tradition 30 minute TV shows. But they want web network quality shows. Nothing to say about that
Frederick: Cool. Good for them. Sign me up, where’s the form
Jason: They’ve been on this road for a while. Absolutely
Leo: But without any success because the real hits on YouTube are not network quality television shows
Jason: That’s why they keep trying
Leo: Yeah. Let’s see, Microsoft, this is a big change for Microsoft, did Robert talk about this at all last week. Satya Nadella has started to write letters to employees he says we want you to be bold and ambitious. That’s all right but he’s also started to downplay his predecessor, Steve Ballmer, on devices and services. Particularly the devices part. Gives the strong impression of a lot of observers that Microsoft is moving away from hardware and is moving towards an enterprise and a cloud company. This is after what Nadella’s background is in
Frederick: Back to basics
Leo And Bloomberg’s Betty Liu, who reported the memo, said that according to people familiar with the plans, this means job cuts. So get ready there may be some belt tightening at Microsoft as Mike mentioned that the Microsoft quarterly results come out July 22,
Frederick: This is the final nail in the coffin for Windows Phone? Is it over? Is this the white flag?
Leo: Maybe not the Windows Phone but windows 8, I didn’t know this, they have spent $6.2 billion to market windows 8. $6.2 billion.
Frederick: With a B
Leo: With a B and it was obviously a flop
Jason: It’s a turd. It’s a complete turd.
Leo: a complete turd
Frederick: And that’s being nice
Leo: The PC market is dying. Partly because of Windows 8, partly because of tablets, smartphones. Microsoft own smartphone imitative is late to the table although they acquiring Nokia is not a bad, Nokia makes great hardware. Have you used the PureView cameras?
Frederick: No, I’ve seen them, but I’m still not on that bandwagon of I want one unified device for everything
Leo: A camera should be a camera
Frederick: A camera, granted I’m a sample size of 1, but I want my phone to be a phone and an excellent smartphone and I want my camera, when I’m in that mode to do my photos for me
Leo: it does that happen, well I’ll give you an example. When we were in Hawaii, we hiked up to the 7 sacred pools and it’s tropical, it’s raining. I didn’t want to bring my 5D up there, so I only had my camera phone but I was able to do things, this is the HTC One, I was able to do these things like the Google Photospheres
Frederick: That’s nice
Leo: That I couldn’t have done and I didn’t mind if the phone got a little damp but it was an amazing and you can see how muddy and wet it is. I did not want my 5d…
Frederick: An ideal situation for that, you don’t want and you have many reasons to take photos
Leo: Wish I had the 5d, I would have loved to get beautiful pictures of this. But I got some
Frederick: You got ok stuff
Leo: I’m pretty happy with what I got, this is all from a camera phone. I think that’s one of the things about a camera phone is it’s the camera you have
Frederick: Right and there getting better and better
Leo: That’s the think if you have the Pureview, this bamboo forest by the way. Have you ever been in a bamboo forest?
Frederick: Not like that no
Leo: Wow, they’re probably 20 ft. tall and it was mystical. It was magical all bamboo. Lisa walking through it.
Frederick: That’s cool
Leo: You know what the 5d might have captured it better
Frederick: But at least you got something
Leo: And Google does those fun auto awesome, there was a big sing that says, fatalities have occurred do not go here. So what does Lisa do? Right there! Fatalities have occurred
Leo: That’s the argument for Nokia Pureview cameras is that it’s still a phone but you maybe have little bit better camera. I agree, you’re not going to replace the 5D or anything else.
Jason: Can we talk more about the bamboo forest?
Leo: Yeah have you ever seen a bamboo forest?
Jason: No that looked amazing.
Leo: It is so
Jason: How cool!
Leo: We went, you go to see the falls. Which are, here’s the sign. This is a big sign. Do not pass this point, fatalities have occurred, violation of this order is $100 fine and then, wait a minute let’s look behind. This is a little Jurassic Park isn’t’ It? There’s Lisa down there, what is she doing? Do not cross during flooding, I’m just standing back here going please don’t die. I don‘t know we’ll have to helicopter you out. These fall were
Frederick: What’s wrong with your video?
Leo: Well it’s a camera phone
Frederick: Why is it so vertical?
Leo: You know what ok?
Dan: I was going to bring that up
Leo: Wait a minute, this is the test case for vertical video. That is a 100 ft. waterfall of course you’re going to shoot that vertically
Dan: You got to pan up if you wanted to get it all
Leo: You’re not going to shoot it wide it’s up! This is again another case where sometimes it should be, Mr. Photographer
Frederick: Sometimes, its ok Leo, you’re ok
Leo: I was hoping nobody would notice that all my videos. Everyone one of them were shot. Well it’s a waterfall and even in this I had to pan up
Frederick: Panning up on a vertical shot that’s creative
Jason: Serious waterfall though
Leo: It’s an awesome waterfall. 7 sacred pools. 2 miles straight up in the mud
Frederick: You can almost hear it
Leo: You can hear it if you listen to the sound – I guess we don’t have the sound turned on. You want to hear it now turn up the sound, listen. It is truly magnificent
Leo: So we went to see the falls right? 7 sacred pools, this is a national park by the way, Hana, Hawaii on Maui. The bamboo forest were what actually what knocked me out. I thought these things were truly incredible. The other thing I love is that Google, the Android. Ok they’re a little weird but this gives you a sense that you’re there. Right?
Leo: You can pan around and I did this one all the way around
Frederick: We need a little audio snippet for some ambiance
Leo: You can do that on some of these camera phones. I couldn’t do that very easily with a 5d. If I had a special head and tripod and 4 hours
Frederick: Yeah and a pack mule
Leo: It’s pretty amazing, there’s some errors but it does a pretty good job considering I shot that in like 30 seconds with a phone. Isn’t that amazing?
Frederick: You’re still enjoying Hawaii see
Leo: I’m still enjoying it thanks to the phone
Jason: Are these posted somewhere?
Leo: I haven’t posted them yet, you’re seeing private, my private collection. But I will post this soon.
Jason: Those are magnificent I would love to see that
Leo: Highly recommended. The natives in Hana are smart what they basically told everybody. The road is, the publicity, rental car companies won’t let you drive our road. The road is horrible it’s dangerous. It’s got a lot of twists and turns and you get out there and it’s unchanged because everybody is afraid to drive there. It’s gorgeous
Jason: Bamboo forest is on my bucket list now
Leo: It should be. There’s bamboo forest, one in Kyoto, they’re in China of course, but this one is completely wild in the rain forest.
Frederick: I need to get there and see the lava flows that’s on my bucket list
Leo: If you go out to the beach is all volcanic pumice out there.
Frederick: That’s new earth
Leo: So maybe you want to sell your phone and get a new phone. Then I want to go to Gazelle.com trade in that old phone. This is the HTC One this is a great phone. Maybe you have the old HTC and you say I wouldn’t mind having the new one or maybe you have one of the iPhones and you want to get a better phone. Go from the 4S to the 5 Gazelle is the place to go. If you’re getting a new iPad or new Moto X if you want to get rid of your Moto X and get a new phone, you’ve got stuff in your drawers, every geek does that is just gathering dust. I can tell you, you’ve got cash sitting in those drawers. Go to gazelle.com. They’ll even buy broken iPhones and iPads they’ll buy Blackberrys, they’ll buy Samsung phones, LG, Nokia, Motorola, they’ll get tablets from all the manufacturers, including, maybe you want to get the new Microsoft Surface. You got the old one? Trade it in, get cash, cash on the barrel head and Gazelle does it fast the best part is these quotes. Here is the first generation iPad Air, $300. Now these quotes are good for 30 days, now if Apple announces a new iPad next week, that price is going to go down , but you got it locked in for 30 days so that’s why you shouldn’t wait. Go now, get the price locked in, you have 30 days to decide, if you decide ok I’m going to take it you click the button, they send you a box they pay the postage they turn it around fast. Wipe the data if you forget or if you can’t because its broken and then they send you a check or PayPal credit, or if you buy a lot of stuff on Amazon get an Amazon gift card because they bump that up 5%. Gazelle.com over $100 million paid out and over 700,000 happy customers. Gazelle.com. Don’t sit on those old gadgets that’s like sitting on money. You wouldn’t leave 150, 200, 500, 1000 bucks in your drawer. I’m just going to leave it there and everyday a dollar gets taken away, no you wouldn’t do that. Gazelle.com
Frederick: It’s much easier than Craigslist or eBay
Leo: I bought, I got you here this week, I got to talk to you about this Frederick Van Johnson. This Week in Photo, I bought Lightroom years ago $200 or whatever it was. I have the perpetual version or something like that. Now they have $10/month you get Photoshop and Lightroom but you have to subscribe to Photoshop. I figure I’m going to buy that there was some concern that if you’ve got this creative subscription and then you don’t continue to pay Adobe $10 each month that you will no longer have access to, is my Lightroom going to go away?
Frederick: Why would you your Lightroom library go away? If you lost access to Lightroom you mean?
Leo: Yeah because I didn’t pay for the subscription anymore
Frederick: Yeah, that’s a good question
Leo: Well I can tell you the answer because Tom Hogarty explained
Frederick: I know tom very well
Leo: I’m sure you do, I do too. So the issue, and a lot of people were worried about this, I think $10 for both Lightroom and Photoshop is a good deal. If you bought Lightroom ever, like the full version. You don’t have to ever worry that is always going to work you’d have to pay for updates of course but that’s forever going to work with full functionality. If you only get it through subscription some stuff will stop working. Develop and map module, if you stop paying the subscription, you will no longer be able to use the develop module and the map module. So you have your photos they’re not gone. You can see what you’ve done with your photos, you can still print them, you can do some minor modifications but develop is where most of the stuff, the modification stuff lives.
Frederick: Right and the other thing to understand, is Lightroom is adjusting your phots into some sort of weird database. Right?
Leo: No they’re sitting in there in the original file
Frederick: So the things you’re losing access to are your changes if you made any development changes and not exporting to a new TIF of something than those are going to be locked in because you can’t access the develop module but everything else is there. You can run some other app and point it at that directory and boom all your photos are back
Leo: Right. You won’ be running Aperture probably
Leo: What do you think of that? Apples announced they’re not going to continue Aperture.
Frederick: We did a whole show on that. I called that like 1.5-2 years ago
Leo: It’s pretty obvious they haven’t updated it in years
Frederick: It’s a car sitting in the garage. Adobe…
Leo: Just sitting on blocks
Frederick: …is steam rolling down
Leo: They’ve taken all of the oil out of the pump. You’re not going to run that car
Frederick: And people are like, its coming they’re going to make an update. They haven’t updated it and finally, they in fact on the show the announcement was kind of an admission. It wasn’t an announcement. Ok you’re right we’re done with it. Were onto other things and the new thing is photos
Leo: I feel like they are abandoning the professional user. We don’t really care about you
Frederick: On the photography side, yeah and it makes sense
Leo: That’s what I have to wonder. If you’re a video editor, you’ve been using Final Cut, you know what we’re moving to Premier
Frederick: Premier pro
Leo: That’s what we’re doing here at twit
Frederick: You can’t blame them
Jason: We are too
Frederick: You’re moving to premier? Really?
Leo: Yeah, we’re buying pcs
Leo: Premier runs fine on a Mac and we’ll continue to run it on the old Mac Pros but, instead of buying the new Mac Pros because our Mac Pros are 3 or 4 years old. We’re going to buy, more affordable, we’re going to Dell and buying, 8 PCs loaded with all the video cards and stuff. Premier
Jason: With Windows 7?
Leo: Good question. I should go look at Russell’s fax. I don’t think it matters because you live in Premier. Is it Windows 7 or 8?
Chad: I’m not sure but you’ll switch over to the desktop and never leave
Leo: I think it’s 8.
Jason: Just kidding
Leo: No that’s a good question actually
Jason: Anything we run, we run Windows 7 on it.
Leo: No business, in their right mind, because you’d have to retain.
Leo: Let’s see if Russell shared that document with me. I could tell you. When you add up the price it’s not cheap. I think we’re going to completely replace all hardware for like $50,000. It’s just money, who needs it?
Frederick: So you decided against the Mac Pro because it’s cheaper on the PC side?
Leo: Yeah, I bet people would be interested, I won’t’ waste your time now. I’ll find that information and publish it.
Frederick: I want to know
Chad: We have some really old computers right now ere working off of
Leo: They’re old Mac Pros, even you have the last Mac Pro its 3 years old
Chad: Yeah. It’s really going go speed things up, so excited
Leo: Yeah so excited
Frederick: You going to do a big garage sale for the old computers?
Leo: What are we doing with the old computers?
Chad: Making the skype o rex and, just kidding I don’t know
Frederick: That’d be cool
Leo: Last story…
Chad: We’ll donate them to a high school
Leo: …frustrated for a lot of people and a word of warning if you are coming from Europe into the United States, the TSA will require that you power on your gadgets. If you can’t, if your battery is dead, they’ll take it.
Leo: Wow, they’ve decided that terrorist threats Al Qaeda operatives, could very easily hide bombs in what looked like a laptop, or some other device, so they want to have you turn it on. I do remember having to turn on laptops before.
Frederick: Laptops, I remember that
Leo: They haven’t done that recent
Dan: If you travel, when I was just in Cairo. I often and my colleagues as well, travel with a ton of external batteries and they just look like a backpack loaded with these dense small little things that don’t turn on and when you’re overseas it can look pretty scary to the guys doing your customs.
Leo: No kidding.
Frederick: When does this go into effect? Does it say?
Leo: Also if your gadget is broken, like you dropped your phone. You can’t take it with you. Cory Doctorow writing about this on Boing Boiing. Apparently linked to Syrian and Armenian bomb makers thinking they can blow up airplanes with fake electronics, we don’t know. It’s also not clear if making a LED blink on a battery is enough, that’s meaningless, because if it is a bomb they can easily make a little LED light that turns on
Frederick: Right, yeah. Related story, best buy kiosk sales in airports of batteries is booming
Leo: If stuff is broken, same thing, does not say. TSA is basically asking places like Heathrow to do this. Unclear if and when they will but there is certainly something to be aware as many of our views are, Sebastian that came here from Berlin. If you’re traveling into the United States. Make sure you power up your stuff before you go. Charge it up. Transports officials said in a statement passengers could be asked to switch on devices and equipment that does not power up would not be allowed onboard. This is an official from Sunday July 6, 2014, TSA, press release
Frederick: That’s seems weird, what if you’re on a connecting flight and you used up all your juice to watching movies and you got to go through security again for some reason
Dan: I think a lot of this is in reaction to, TSA is amped up in the last month with ISIS, TSA is just amped up all kinds of restrictions. This could be just a general thing where some bureaucrat was just what else, and all electronics, just that’s it power them on. This sounds like a bureaucratic decision as opposed to one that was specifically targeting tech.
Frederick: It could be an excuse to charge people
Leo: Here’s the official press release as the traveling public knows, you know this, all electronic devices are screened by security officers during the security examination officers may also ask the owners to power up some devices including cell phones. You can’t put much of a bomb in a cell phone. Powerless devices will not be permitted on the aircraft. The traveler may also undergo addition screening. That sounds like body cavity search.
Frederick: You’re going to have a bucket of Google Glass over there. Because they always dead. This is not going anywhere, here you go sorry.
Jason: It sort of seems like maybe they were tipped off to something that’s the only thing.
Leo: That’s what they’re saying it’s something about Yemen bomb makers.
Jason: Yeah, they really do, they’ve seen some of this at least they’re being, they’re being transparent about it. Used to be they’d say by the way you can’t power your phones on now. You’d be like what and at least, I kind of like that they’re saying look we found something we see that there are people trying to pass of devices…
Leo: I’m sure it’s based off of actual intelligence
Dan: Your phone is the right size to put a lot of things in. At least powering it on shows that this is a phone. I don’t support blanket actions like this but at the same time
Leo: It might not be blanket. It sounds like they’re saying this could happen. Just be prepared absolutely if you’re traveling in the U.S. and I know a lot of you do, whether you come here to see us, make sure everything is charged up
Frederick: One of your commenters said something about the Mofi Juice Pack. It was on your phone. That could hold something in there too
Frederick: My phone turns on and now I’m on the plane with you know
Leo: It’s all security theater you can think of lots of ways around this. Put the bomb in the suitcase, they’re not going to make you turn it on. This whole thing is
Frederick: It’s the shoes, shoe bomber thing
Leo: I’ve flown a lot in the last few days and half the time I’m TSA pre just walk in, they randomly pick people and making them pre go ahead you’re, thank you welcome come on in Leo and then half the time take off all your clothes and bend over. It’s random.
Dan: I’m not random though. Every time I am searched
Leo: You look like a terrorist
Dan: Yeah right
Leo: If you combed your hair just a little bit Dan
Frederick: It’s the glasses
Dan: I know, it’s hot, it’s Brooklynn. Its 80 million degrees
Leo: How hot is it in Brooklyn? 80 million degrees?
Dan: 89 million degrees
Leo: I’m surprised the paper screen behind you hasn’t burst into flames.
Dan: I know I’m just trying not to show you all my sweaty laundry
Leo: It’s so great to have thank you being here Dan.
Dan: Thank you
Leo: Dan Patterson, he’s working on a couple stories. One on Indian gun running in casinos in Cairo right?
Leo: Did I get that right?
Dan: Close enough. Actually Leo, I love you having me here because I know I don’t cover pure tech. I know it’s not pure tech and I know that your audience really love’s pure tech. I apply pure tech to the jobs that I do and I always have but I understand it’s a tough sell often when somebody doesn’t do pure tech reports
Leo: You’re a smart journalist and that is what I really care most about and I think you don’t have to be a tech reporter to be a value on this show or any of the shows we do. You have to be smart and have a journalistic point of view.
Dan: That’s what I get out of consuming your shows that its smart discussion is not just the pick me throw away stuff. That’s very important in this day and age of click paid.
Leo: Thank you Dan. Appreciate all of the work you do as well
Dan: You too
Leo: Forwarding the world of journalism starting with Occupy Wall Street. It all started there.
Dan: Earlier than that
Leo: Really? But that was the first to tell that story and was it ABC didn’t really want you to do it on the air so you used social media?
Dan: Yeah, I don’t want to talk about me unless were actually talking about me right? I was using social media to cover Occupy because there were no reporters there. There were no reporters at Occupy. Nothing and I used social media only because, I respect and love my former colleagues at ABC, they would not put me on the air at Occupy so I used Twitter and the social web to report down there. Then they asked me to look for another job.
Leo: Wow. Well were glad you found many other jobs in that time. Also, the great Jason Hiner who elected me president of the internet and a lifetime position. Good man Jason, I’m absolutely grateful, he’s a t CBS Interactive Tech Republic, joins us frequently and also is frequently on TNT. We love that. It’s so great to see Frederick Van Johnson after an age. It’s been like 4 years right?
Frederick: It’s been forever.
Leo: Right. We’ve been in the brick house, our 3rd anniversary is in 11 days
Leo: You’ve never been here?
Frederick: I’ve been here once. I was on that photography show you guys did
Leo: Oh yeah that one. Twit Phot
Frederick: Yeah. Twit Photo
Leo: That was the death now of that
Frederick: Yes, I planted some phone explosives
Leo: I think so. Anyway it’s great to have you back. Don’t be a stranger
Frederick: I will come back all the time
Leo: This week in photography is at Thisweekinphoto.com
Frederick: That’s correct
Leo: A real pat in the back to Matthew Inman you know he’s the cartoonist who does the Oatmeal. He has been raising money for a museum to honor Nikola Tesla. A man who really was eclipsed by Thomas Edison. But did so much, he was kind of a crazy guy, he was a little nutty, Tesla was. But at least he didn’t kill an elephant. He did a lot to promote the use of electricity in this county and really isn’t acknowledged. One form of acknowledgment he got of course, was the Elon Musk named his electronic automobile and his company, the Tesla. So it’s kind of a nice conjunction Matthew Inman suggested it in fact, that Elon Musk help him with the Tesla museum. Elon Musk has done so he says he’s going to build a Tesla supercharger station in the parking lot. Which is very appropriate and he’s donating $1 million. Matthew wrote about this on the 158th birthday of Nikola Tesla which was just a few days ago. That’s good news. Anything else, Chad, that I should mention, have we plugged everything? Oh yeah, yesterday by the way was Kepler appreciation day in Petaluma, CA. Very odd, they had a little ceremony. Not Johannes Kepler the astronomer, the satellite named after him. The space telescope that’s designed to discover exoplanets. Earth like planets. They’ve discovered more than 400 so far. Because yesterday was a super moon and I don’t know why, but for some reason the city council of Petaluma, CA decided to honor Kepler with Kepler Appreciation Day. They had a little party at the metaphysical café in Lydia’s Sunflower Center. I’m sorry you missed that
Jason: California is awesome
Dan: Dozens of people arrived. Dozens were there
Frederick: They shut the place down
Leo: Kepler project scientists, Steve Howell and his band played the song Super Earths and they talked about the super moon which was yesterday. Which apparently, super moons were conceived by an astrologer, so astronomers don’t like that term. There will be 3 this year. You want to talk about how to photograph a super moon?
Frederick: You really, I’ll talk about that on This Week in Photo.
Leo: Would you do that on this week in photo?
Frederick: This week in photo, I will talk about how to and photograph the Milky Way. Which is a project I want to do.
Frederick: It’s fun stuff
Leo: The whole Milky Way?
Frederick: Part of it.
Leo: We’re in it. It’s kind of a selfie it’s kind of a galactic selfie.
Frederick: Were in a spherical globe thing
Leo: We are in the Milky Way. We are the Milky Way
Frederick: Were in the suburbs of the Milky Way
Leo: Were in a distance spiral arm, somewhat far from the center of the Milky Way
Frederick: That’s right, so we can get kind of part of it. It’s like shooting your neighborhood from the top of your house.
Leo: A galactic selfie. I like it. We do TWIT every Sunday afternoon 3 pm pacific, 6 pm eastern, 2200 UTC. We would love it if you watch live we certainly pay attention to what you say in our chatroom at irc.twit.tv. But if you can’t get here live, that’s ok we make on demand audio and video available after the fact on our website twit.tv and wherever finer podcasts are aggregated of course were on Stitcher, Slacker, Sucker and whatever else that you have on your phone. We have some great TWIT apps. None of them generated by us but we have a great group of 3rd party develops who do TWIT apps and there’s one on almost every platform. Including the Roku and many Samsung TVs so check it out it’s an easy way to watch. I’d come back next week and join us live. Thanks for being here.
Chad: Did you know we have a page for all the apps?
Leo: Where would that be Chad Johnson?
Chad: Twit.tv/apps and it has a really good comprehensive page on all the different apps for television, android, iOS,
Leo: There’s a fire TV app. Thank you. That’s Mark Lang at F-Con did that.
Chad: Yep and one of the new ones is this floating mini player app for Chrome. It’s just an extension which is kind of neat
Leo: There are Chrome casts. Mark has also done a Twitcast for Chrome cast for android and that works really well too. So there are some really good ways to watch.
Chad: Patrick put this together
Leo: Thank you Patrick. Very handy. Thank you to producer Chad Johnson. I called him about midnight last night saying are you alive? Did you die? What happened? I don’t see anything from TWIT. I’m sorry chad
Chad: It’s fine
Leo: I just got a little nervous. I was back from Hawaii, I wanted to make sure, and I thought maybe you were on vacation. Thanks to everybody for joining us. Well see you next time on This Week in Twit another TWIT and thanks to our live audience, great to have you all here and if you want to be in the live audience email email@example.com and we’ll set out at a chair for you. Another TWIT is in the can! Thank you.