This Week in Tech 471 (Transcript)


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This Week in Tech 471

Leo Leporte:  It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech!  John C. Dvorak is here, Ben Thompson from Taiwan, Jason Snell from down the road.  We are going to talk about 10 years of pod casting, 33 years of PC; a couple of big anniversaries.  A couple of leaks; the Motorola 360 shows up on Best Buy's site and the Thailand commissioner of radio telecommunications reveals...there's a new iPhone coming.  All of that, coming up on TWiT.

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This is TWiT - This Week in Tech. Episode 471, recorded August 17th, 2014.

It is Brisk

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Leo:  It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech, the show where we take a look at the week's tech news.  A really expert, astute, smart panel today.  I'm a little intimidated I must confess.  Editorial Director at IDG Jason Snell is here, formerly Editor in Chief at MacBreak Weekly, MacBreak, MacBreak Weekly?

Jason Snell:  Macworld.

Leo:  Macworld, thank you.  I knew I would have trouble today.  But you are now at PCWorld, Macworld, the whole world.

Jason:  The whole shebang.

Leo:  He's got the whole world.

Jason:  Macworld is where my heart is.  But, yes.

Leo:  It's great to have you.

Jason:  It's great to be here, great to be back.

Leo:  Also John C. Dvorak, who is a minister without portfolio here at the show.

John C. Dvorak:  Yeah, that's it.  That's the ticket.

Leo:  Yeah, anything that you want to talk about you can.  Whether it's wine, vinegar,...

John:  Vinegar.

Leo:  ...tech.

John:  Tech.

Leo:  I've got to start making vinegar because we never could finish a bottle.

John:  Well, at least you can start storing it.

Leo:  Can you give me a barrel?  What do you put it in?

John:  Don't put it in a barrel, no.

Leo:  What?  Rubber?  Plastic?

John:  You have to put it in something where you can actually see it.

Leo:  Is it like the scene in Breaking Bad where Jesse tries to dissolve the body, but he doesn't put it in a plastic tub;  he puts it in the bathtub and it goes right through the floor.  Is it like that?

John:  No.  

Leo:  Also with us, Ben Thompson of Stratechery.  Ben has worked everywhere, including Apple and Automatic.  His blog, Stratechery; I guess you are like an analyst for hire kind of.  For anybody who wants to know more you can subscribe and get what's going on.  He's currently talking to us from Taiwan.

Ben Thompson:  Yes.  I mean there are free articles every week.

Leo:  Oh, I read it religiously.  In fact, that's how we got you on the show.  I said, "This guy is smart."  

Ben:  Well I appreciate it.

Leo:  What I didn't realize is that you used to, when you worked at Apple you used to do marketing for Apple University.

Ben:  Not marketing.  I was just an intern.  But I worked for Apple University before anyone knew what it was.  Obviously there are more details coming out.

Leo:  We didn't until last week when the New York Times wrote a long article about it.  What did you think  of that?  Was it accurate given your experience?

Ben:  I think they got the big stuff right.  I think it is one of those things, like a lot of stuff with Apple, where it is kind of taken on this outsized mystique about it.  I think that the way that it comes across in the article is probably about as flattering as can be.  I think that when you get actually into the specifics and the details they are like anything else, trying to figure stuff out.  I think from my perspective it is very useful because the more that is in the public domain the more I can talk about it.  There is a big thing in, Adam Wishinski has written a couple of things about Apple, and he has talked about it.  So that was kind of like, since then I have talked about it more.

Leo:  Adam is great.  I love Adam.  Yeah, if he has been talking about it then the world knows, I guess.  The New York Times' Brian X. Chen really focused on this Picasso Bulls series and how one of their teachers uses the slides to explain how you go from complex to simple.  

Ben:  I think that was actually the big thing when I was there.  Everyone was really excited about it.  

Leo:  Really?  It is old then.

Ben:  Well, no, like within the faculty or whatever they are called.  Everyone was like, oh, this is great, and everyone gets it.  I think that the problem that I have with it is; yes it's great, and it's a wonderful illustration to get the idea of simplicity and what Apple absolutely strives for.  At the end of the day there is a very thin line between a really useful analogy and cliché.  I think the article kind of veered a little into cliché from my perspective.  What I found most fascinating and interesting was some of the nuts and bolts stuff that they talked about when they came to things like organizational design, and managing change, and kind of much more in the gritty details that I think do make Apple particularly unique.  It's one thing to talk about a painting and how about, oh, this is about simplicity.  At the end of the day how do you actually apply that and make it meaningful.  I think there is more stuff that the university has done that is more useful and interesting.  But it probably wouldn't fit very well in your temp profile anyway.

Leo:  Actually, I think that profile gave profile the permission to put Joe Podolny's picture on their executive; they've redone the executive profiles this week.  

Ben:  Yeah, that's really interesting.

Leo:  And Joel, who is Vice President Dean, he was former dean at the Yale School of, no it was the Harvard School of, no it was Yale.  Business Management, right?

Ben:  Yeah.

Leo:  And now is full time at Apple teaching.  He is right there on the front page.  As is Paul Deneve, who is one of the newest hires.  He is from a fashion...Yves Saint Lauret, right, YSL?  But, I thought if you were going to read tea leaves, the most interesting thing is up at the top where you've got Tim Cook, the CEO.  Number two, Angela Ahrendts...

Ben:  I believe alphabetically that she is number two.

Leo:  Oh, that shouldn't be.  Oh, so Tim Cook first and then alphabetical after that.  But Johnny Ive's got to look at that and think, wait a minute.  I should be up there.  Why am I on line two?  Oh, it's alphabetical.

Ben:  If you want to get into Apple cremenology; I think from my opinion the most interesting part, I did write all of that in the daily update, was the correction.  The correction talks about how they originally referred to Podonly as the head of HR, and he no longer is.  

Leo:  In The New York Times, yeah.

Ben:  Right, exactly.  So when he started he was just doing Apple University, and then Jobs asked him to take over HR I think with the idea of redoing HR in the new sort of way.  I don't think it went as well, probably, as everyone would have liked it.  So now there is a more traditional HR head, and he is back to doing Apple University.  It's just very interesting.

Leo:  I have learned as an entrepreneur that HR is a fairly tough thing to do well.

John:  That's why you hire specialists.  Usually heartless people.

Leo:  Heartless.  They have got to be.  That's why you bring in George Clooney to fire people, because you don't want to do it.  Seriously, it is a highly skilled job. 

John:  I don't know about the skill.  Heartless isn't something that you need to go to school for.

Jason:  There are good HR people, and there are bad HR people.  I think HR is a problem in tech because you get so many head strong tech industry executives who really, and Steve Jobs is a great example of this, who really want to do what they want to do and they don't really care about the law, or treating their employees fairly, or anything like that.  A good HR person is the one who has to push back a little and say that "We can't do that."

Leo:  Steve.  Steve.  That's a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, Steve.

Ben:  That has put too fine a print on it.  What Apple has done to its employees is terrible.

Leo:  You are talking about the Jobs' jobs thing. 

Ben:  To say that no one is going to recruit you is basically to limit pay.  I'm not one to complain about Apples' money and say that they ought to do this or that, but in this specific case it is quite warranted.  Apple was raking in the greatest profits ever.  At the same time they were denying a fair wage to their employees.  People aren't nearly as upset about this as they should be, in my opinion. 

Leo:  Well, it's not over.  Didn't the court overturn the settlement and say, let's go back, that isn't a sufficient punishment?  And there was a list published.  A hand written list.

John:  They should take some of the executives from Apple and throw them in jail.  That would change some things.

Leo:  Yeah, unfortunately the guy who was behind it was probably Steve Jobs.

John:  The people had to sign off on it.  Hitler was behind a lot of things too, and a lot of other guys went to jail.

Leo:  The DOJ settled like a few years ago over this.  Just for people to catch up on this; Apple agreed with many other companies not to poach each other's employees.  That is actually against the Antitrust Act, because the idea is that a company keeps wages and salaries low and keeps workers in their place by making sure that they can't get a better offer, that they actually can't negotiate, and that they can't get competitive.  The DOJ reached a settlement with Apple, Adobe, Google, Intel, Intuit, and Pixar in 2010.  I think, as I remember, that the court has just overturned that settlement.

Jason:  This is still going on.  The Pixar thing is another example where I see Steve Jobs' influence.  It's the same thing.  From the perspective of somebody running a company, you are like, "God, we keep losing momentum because our people keep getting poached by other companies, and that is really inconvenient for us."  I honestly don't believe that the reason that they did it was to save money.  But it has the net effect of suppressing the wages of the people.  If you are an Apple engineer and Google comes and offers you a raise the response should be that Apple should pay you more to keep you or say, it's okay, you can walk, not to make a deal with Google to withdraw their offer, which is essentially on a large scale what this collusion did.   And it's awful.

Ben:  That's exactly right.  I think that Jason is right to say that to avoid disruption, I think the other thing with Jobs in particular, and the most fascinating about being at Apple is that everyone in tech has the idea that we are changing the world and that sort of thing.  A lot of it is just talk, but at Apple, it sounds cliché, but it is a very real sentiment.  There is a sense of change that is mission driven.  Certainly, that is the case with Jobs.  I think he had a hard time with anyone that would even consider, like how could you even fathom wanting to go work anywhere else?  I imagine there is a whole potent mixture of stuff that went into this.  At the end of the day, it was wrong.  Your point about HR needing to stand up for that sort of stuff exactly right.

Leo:  Imagine standing up to Steve Jobs, though.  That would be very difficult.

Jason:  Or anybody under pressure who has got a lot of VC investment and is a startup, right?  Those startups happen so fast that they get used to breaking rules or not having rules.  At some point you need HR, and the HR person is just seen as an impediment that is ruining your nimble startup from pivoting from whatever it is pivoting into.  

Leo:  It's your fault.

Jason:  I do believe this is one of the reasons that you hear so many horror stories at Silicon Valley.  One of the reasons is that there is not a culture of responsibility in a lot of these companies because by the time the culture is built that's when they say, you know, we should have some HR people in here.  HR isn't a solution, and oftentimes it can be a problem, too.  I do think that the grownups sometimes are the HR people, and they don't have any power then.  It's too late.

Ben:  The one thing that does kind of raise eyebrows though is that the judge who is presiding is...

Leo:  Lucy Koh!

Ben:  No, I think it's actually Denise Cote who I think is actually the person.  It is Cote?

Leo:  I say Cote because I think it sounds a little more French.

Ben:  Who, by the way, I think is not getting nearly enough credit for what is happening with Amazon and Hachette because this whole mess is her fault.  

Leo:  She's the one who imposed the much hated oversight at Apple.  The guy who went in and interviewed Apple executives; which happened to be her buddy.

Ben:  She basically denied a market based solution to the Amazon / Hachette issue.  She hardly seems impartial when it comes to Apple.  So I think that her rejecting this settlement, while possible being the right thing to do, certainly raises eyebrows, and justifiably so.

Leo:  I'm looking at this article from August 8.  It says it was Lucy Koh who was the judge.  "The agreed upon settlement was $324 million that was overturned by Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, who ruled that the amount to be paid by the giants was insufficient."  

Ben:  Oh, you are right.  I'm totally wrong.

Leo:  But Lucy Koh is really well known, notorious, as the judge of the Samsung / Apple lawsuit.  It seems like there are really only two judges in Silicon Valley and they are responsible for everything going on today.

Ben:  You are right.  I have a much bigger beef with Cote.  So that makes me feel better.

Leo:  Cote was absolutely, clearly, an anti-Apple advocate.  On the other hand, you could probably make the case that Judge Koh is pro Apple.  She has certainly been ruling in favor of Apple in the Samsung lawsuit.  I don't know.  I'm sure both of these judges are clean as the driven snow.  

John:  Sounds like conflict of interest left and right.

Leo:  They have no conflict of interest.  They are good people doing their best in a difficult environment.  They have got to wear those black robes on a hot day.

Jason:  For the summer even.

John:  You don't have to wear a black robe.  You can wear a white robe.

Leo:  You can?  You look like a choir director.

John:  There is no law that says you have to wear the black robe.

Leo:  Really?

John:  No.  Show me some evidence that that is the law.

Leo:  A judge can wear whatever they want?

John:  Yeah, probably.  Why not?  It's for the bull crap just to make yourself look more imposing.

Leo:  Well, it's the scale of justice.  Wouldn't it be good if they wore a little blindfold?

John:  I don't think you get voted out.  Maybe a wig would be good.

Leo:  A powdered wig.

Jason:  This would be a great This Week in Law topic.

Leo:  I want to know.  Why do judges wear black robes?  Are they not required to?

John:  Why would they be required to?  How would this work?

Leo:  You get the job.  You go to the office, and hanging on a peg on the back of the door is a black robe with a note from your predecessor that says, "Wear this."

John:  I'm going to look it up in the book of knowledge.

Leo:  Will you?  Look it up in the book of knowledge while I am doing the show.

John:  Why do judges wear black robes?

Leo:  I love this.  The Secretary of the Thailand FCC, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission Tweeted that he had approved two new iPhone Models, the A1586 and 1524.  Apple is a little miffed.  They are saying, "What?  You've Tweeted two new iPhone models?"  They asked to meet with him.  He said no, there is no confidential information here.  This is within my job.  I'm supposed to publicize this approval.  But they did put out that "You've never tweeted before Mr. Minister."  We know there are two new iPhone models, at least in Thailand.  Do you think, Jason, that that is 4.7 and 5.5?

Jason:  That is the rumor.  That wouldn't be an unreasonable request as a variation on existing models.

Leo:  Like a 5SC.

Jason:  Something.  Sub paragraph H.  It's a very confusing title.  But yeah, it could be.  This is the problem with these devices is that between the supply chain and the regulatory bodies it is hard, these are not things designed to keep a secret, which Apple would prefer.

Leo:  Right.  You have to submit these.  I'm sure that the FCC has whatever they are as well because it takes a while to get approval.  Remember when the iPhone first came out it was announced in January pending FCC approval and it took them six months before they actually released it.  One of the reasons that they announced it so early is because they knew that it could leak out of the FCC.

Jason:  The FCC does have some ways around it.  It seems the details now are often released the day that the product is announced.  The problem with the iPhone was that Apple didn't want to admit that it existed that they were going to have to start the process.

Leo:  I think that if it is a first time product then there is a different track that if it is an update on an existing product.  

Ben:  The other thing too, is that I think kind of one of the objections to the 5.5 inch rumor has been that there haven't been parts leaks like there have for the 4.7 inch.  I think over the last week there have been several.  I go back and forth as to whether it exists or not.  That certainly has been a change of signal as far as that goes.

Leo:  I actually want, since you are in Taiwan, we are going to take a break, but I want to ask you about the OnePlus One fiasco and maybe get your take on this.  I talked to one of our editors, who is also from Taiwan, who says that it's not what you think.  And then we are going to find out why justices wear black robes.  John C. Dvorak has learned the facts.  But that is coming up.

John:  You even did a teaser.

Leo:  That's a tease, baby.  Because first I want to talk about my mattress.

John:  You know, podcasts don't need teasers.  You've talked about this before.

Leo:  I know.  Because all you have to do; it's basically just saying "fast forward now".  Right?

John:  The thing is that you are so good.  You are so entertaining with your ads that I don't see anyone going away.

Leo:  This is one that you don't want to miss.  This is a brand new sponsor.  You are going to want to stay tuned for this ad.  It's about mattresses.  We are going to do an unveiling.  I have in my foyer, a box, it's not even a very big box, yea big.  Inside of that box is a queen mattress from Casper.  I can't even believe, I haven't slept on it yet, but I think that this is so cool that I sent one to Henry in Colorado because he just flew out today and he is going to have a new room.  He needs a bed.  I said to him, "Henry, I'm going to send you a new Casper in a box."

John:  Broom.  You said broom.

Leo:  New room.  He's living in a house with 9 other guys in his frat.  That's going to be fun.  These are incredible.  They give it to you for 100 days to try.  I've got to tell you, buying a mattress is not a great experience.   You go to a mattress showroom.  You lie down, you are fully clothed, and you are wearing your shoes.  Somebody is giving you the evil eye.  You are pretending how this would be to sleep.  That's not a good way to test a mattress.  Casper is revolutionizing the mattress industry.  First of all, very affordable.  The queen mattress that I bought Henry; $800.  Good deal.  They cut out the showroom and the reseller.  They pass that savings directly on to you.  People have told me that this is the most comfortable mattress that they have ever had.  I'm going to be the judge of that.  We are going to open that up tonight, and I'm going to sleep on my Casper.  Just the right combination of latex and memory foam.  I love memory foam because you sink in but it is firm.  It's weird.  It's just what you want.  It's a firm mattress that is comfy and provides long lasting comfort and support.  $500 for a twin.  $950 for a king sized mattress.  You can buy it online, and there is no risk because they will deliver it free and you have 100 days, 100 days, what is that, 3.27 months to try it out.  You don't have to lie down in a showroom.  The return is easy if you decide after 100 days that you don't like it.  This is the way to try it.  By the way, this is made in the USA.  This is great.  We are going to give you $50 off of your brand new Casper.  Go to casper c-a-s-p-e-rsleep.com, caspersleep.com/twit and, this is nice, for every mattress purchase to Casper they are going to donate $50 to Child's Play.  So you save $50 and Child's Play gets $50.  Oh, you want to save more?  Refer a friend.  You will get $50 off of your mattress, actually you've already got the mattress, so you will get a $50 retail gift card.  They will get $50 off their mattress.  They do limit you to 10 referral redemptions per customer.  But that's a lot of money.  You could be doing pretty well here.  Brand new sponsor, really thrilled to welcome them.  It's a startup.  I love this idea; caspersleep.com/twit.

John:  Can you buy one with Bitcoin?

Leo:  You know, that's great.  I don't know.

John:  I don't know how great that is, but okay.

Leo:  Buy it with Bitcoin.  I'm going to ask them if they will let me buy it with Bitcoin.  Beautiful.  It's somewhere between the firmness of a cotton ball and a shiny diamond.  Not quite a piece of jello, not quite a dense novel.  Somewhere in the middle.  It's the goldilocks standard of just right.  You are really going to love it.  It's so cool.  I'm going to open the box tonight and sleep on it tonight.

John:  Are you going to film it?

Leo:  Yeah.  Because I don't understand.  You see the box?  It's this big.  How a queen mattress...it's going to go phoomp!  I can't wait.

John:  I would like to see you get it back in the box.

Ben:  That's impossible.

Leo:  That's a good question.

John:  They say you can return it.

Leo:  You can return it.  I don't think that you are required to get it back in the box.  That would be pretty funny.

John:  Have you ever seen those t-shirts that they have compressed into a little ball?

Leo:  Yeah.  They shoot them out of t-shirt cannons.  That's what we need.

John:  You do.

Leo:  A t-shirt cannon.  I could shoot these guys point blank.  Boom!

Jason:  Or a mattress cannon, yep.

Leo:  A mattress cannon.  That would be fun.  Did you guys do the ALS?  You should do this.

John:  I'm not doing any of these things.  It's dumb.

Leo:  I told the world.  I will do it if John tells me to do it.  This is the Ice Bucket Challenge.  Everybody is doing it.  Bill Gates has done it.  Mark Zuckerberg.  Tim Cook did it.  Jeff Bezos did it at an all hands meeting.  So did Tim Cook, for that matter.  

John:  Let's all do it because they did it.

Leo:  Did you see Bill Gates' Ice Bucket Challenge?

John:  Bill is going to catch a cold.

Leo:  He takes it fairly seriously.  Well, he may not, because if you watch the video; you be the judge of this.  It doesn't look like there is actually any ice in Bill's bucket.  That's not a euphemism.  Here he is, Bill is getting the challenge from Mark Zuckerberg.  So this is how it works;  it's to raise awareness and money for ALS, which is Lou Gehrig’s disease.  You dump a bucket, it's kind of dumb, a bucket of ice water on yourself.

John:  To me it indicates Lou Gehrig’s disease; to dump a bucket of water.  Ice water.

Leo:  It doesn't seem like it's related in any way.  Then you challenge three other people.  Zuckerberg challenged Bill, and of course Bill is taking this seriously as an engineering problem.  So he pretends to weld stuff.

John:  He's got better things to do with his time it seems to me.

Leo:  Give them $100 million and leave the welding to someone else.

John:  It doesn't make sense.

Leo:  Watch carefully.  He's about to do it.

John:  It's a publicity stunt for him.

Leo:  This is what bothers me.  I will do it in private.  How about that.  I won't make a video.

John:  Why bother doing it at all?  There are plenty of charities out there.  You should give to the one that you want to.  You shouldn't be shamed into giving to any one of them.

Leo:  Now watch.  There's no ice.  I think it's warm water.

John:  Where's the ice?

Leo:  There's no ice.  I think they said, Bill, if you do that with ice you are going to have a stroke.

Jason:  Nice bucket full of water.  Good times.

John:  It's just like the wet dog that he is.  

Leo:  That's the first bath that Bill has had in years.

John:  I didn't say that.  Although, I've got one of the guys in the room here, "He's allowed to have fun Dvorak."  Yeah, that looks like fun.

Leo:   Elon Musk did it equivalently...

John:  Put jello in the bucket.

Leo:  ...complicated apparently involving multiple, and his five kids.  

Ben:  They each had their own buckets.

Leo:  They each had their own buckets.

John:  They should have thrown a bucket at him.  That would be more entertaining.  

Leo:  He's looking more like Tony Stark all the time, isn't he?

John:  He thinks he's Tony Stark.  Tony Stark was supposedly modeled after him.

Leo:  The one in the movies.

John:  The one in the movie, yeah.

Leo:  So you say it's okay if I don't do that.  That I can give to whatever charity I want privately.

John:  What are you asking me for?  Do you need my permission?

Jason:  If you don't do it, you just give $100 to ALS.

Leo:  Even that is kind of blackmail though, right?  You gave $100?

Jason:  I was skeptical about it.  My friend Lex Friedman did a bucket challenge, and when I analyzed the video frame by frame, and believe me, I analyzed it frame by frame.  I wish I had the link to it.  It appears that the ice completely missed him and he remained completely dry.  So I basically made him do it again.  When he did it again I wrote him a check.

Leo:  Talk about distortion.  Holy Cow.

Jason:  I made him get wet.

Leo:  Did you see Weird Al's?  The funny thing about Weird Al is that he doesn't mention ALS.

John:  Here's another chat room ahole.  "What if your son had ALS Leo?"

Leo:  I actually have a very close friend who died of ALS.  I am not against ALS.

John:  Why would you be?   It's a horrible product.

Jason:  Lex is in chatroom.

John:  Is he?  Oh, I'm sorry.

Leo:  It's a terrible disease and I'm not saying anything negative about that or the ALS Foundation, which is a good association.  So, here's Weird Al.  I don't know if the ALS Association did this.  I think it was done by somebody independently.

Ben:  They've picked it up.

Leo:  They have certainly picked it up.  It's been good.  They've raised more than $10 million.  Watch, here's Weird Al somewhere like Hawaii, I think.

(Video playing)

John:  He actually has ice in his.

Leo:  Yeah.

(Video Playing)

John:  That's pretty good.

Leo:  He doesn't mention any charity at all.  It's a parody of the thing.

John:  Dali Lama, that would be a good one.  I would watch that.

Leo:  Alright.  So it is effective marketing.  Also effective marketing, OnePlus, they make the Flagship Killer phone for 2014.  Really, not only great specs, but very inexpensive, $299 for 16 GB, $350 for 64 GB, I will unlock it so that you can play with it.  But their marketing has left a little bit to be desired.

John:  It's tough to get the back off of it.

Leo:  It's not designed to.  Well, I think you can and put a different back on it.  So the first marketing, by the way you can't buy this...

John:  What are you doing with one?

Leo:  Well, you have to get an invitation.

John:  Jason, did you get an invitation?

Jason:  I'm going to need to check my mailbox again, I don't recall seeing it.

John:  Yeah, you didn't.  That's the point.

Leo:  The way you get this thing is that you can either get an invitation.  If you want to click "how to get one" on the OnePlus site and it will tell you that the way you get one is by either getting an invitation by somebody else who has got one, don't ask me because I don't have any, or you play a game, or do a contest, or a promotional event.  So the first one, which was horrible, was send us a video of you destroying your smartphone and will get an invitation to buy another one at full price.  People pointed out that that is really a waste of a smartphone, that there are plenty of people who would take this new smartphone.  You might even be able to sell it.  Certainly you should recycle it.  So they pulled back.  This is what I want to ask Ben about, because I think there might be a cultural gulf here.  This week they said, well, we want to let the ladies jump ahead in line.  So ladies, what we are asking you to do is...

John:  That's sexist.

Leo:  But wait, it gets worse.  Put the OnePlus logo on your body somewhere, we will put a picture up on our forums, we will let the forums vote, and the ladies who have the "best picture" will get an invitation.

John:  It’s a wet t shirt contest.

Leo:  Okay, that's what I thought.  That's what the world thought.  Gina Trapani, who has a OnePlus also is thinking about sending hers back she's so incensed.

John:  Good for her.

Leo:  And OnePlus has backed off.  However, Tony Wang, who is our Sr. Editor here, and is from Taiwan, said, you know, it might be a cultural thing.  You see people wear logos all of the time.  Not on their butts or their boobs.  But on their cheeks, and their hands, and their arms.  Is that true Ben?

Ben:  I'm not sure.  I don't really have any sort of defense.  To be clear, OnePlus is from China, not from Taiwan.  

Leo:  Oh, I thought they were from Taiwan.  They are from mainland China?

Ben:  Yeah, they are Shenzhen.

Leo:  Okay then, so it is not Taiwanese.

Ben:  I do think in general that there is a problem here, I am by no means defending it, of women being objectified in tech.  I mean the whole booth babe phenomenon kind of originated on this side of the world.  Anyone who has been to Computex ever June the big, it's not as big as it used to be, kind of the big annual PC brouhaha, there is still the whole booth babe thing going on.  And even just going to popular areas, they will be there promoting a game, or an app.  I have zero defense for it.  I think it is horrible.  I think it is highly objectionable.  Quite honestly, I'm appalled they did it, but I'm also happy because now they can get their rear end handed to them for having done it. 

Leo:  Yeah, it brought a lot of attention to this whole issue.  And negative.

Ben:  And rightly so.  So I have no defense of it.  I hate that that happens here, that sort of culture.  It's weird because in some respects there are aspects that being a women here that are quite good.  The head of HTC is a woman, there are quite a few executives that are, and the head of the Opposition Party is a woman.  So there are aspects of the society here that are fairly progressive.  But then there are parts like that that are, you know, anti-doluvian.  I think it is terrible.

John:  So are you saying the same thing about Latino culture being anti-doluvian.  It happens to have all kinds of sexual innuendo on all kinds of angles.  Just wondering where you draw the line?

Leo:  Why draw the line?  If it's sexist, it's sexist.

John:  Do you think that Latino culture on Univision is a sexist horrible thing?

Leo:  I'm not saying that all Latino is.  Ben, step back, because I'm going to tell you, this guy is just trouble.

John:  I'm just wondering what you think.

Leo:  No one is saying that Latino culture is reprehensible.  In any culture there are things like this that are reprehensible, yea.

John:  Like what?

Leo:  Like this contest.  Here is OnePlus' response:  "Women make up half of the world.  We want to help them be more involved in tech.  We understand our contest"...

John:  Hire them.  Give them a job.

Leo:  Yeah, give them a job.  There you go.  "We understand our contest was in bad taste, and we have therefor pulled it."

John:  You know, I find it more reprehensible that these guys haven't got the backbone to stick with what they came up with.  They should have said we are sorry and we thought it was a good idea.  The way they handle it is as though they wimped out on it.  They should have gone through with the contest.  What's it going to hurt?  Who is getting killed by this?  We have people in the Middle East and their heads chopped off.

Leo:  This is Mandy Lee, she said, "I'm not offended by this."  I think she wants a phone.

John:  This is full on outrage.  Oh my god, an outrage.

Leo:  Here is an example of what I think Tony was mentioning.  This is MSI's "How to Build a PC" where the logo is on someone.  Okay, that's not at all sexist.  She's in a bikini.  This is "How to Build a Computer" from MSI.  

Jason:  It's hot in that room.

Leo:  Okay, you can stop showing that Chad.  It looks like we are pandering, too.  Alright.  So I think there is no cultural justification.

John:  I just can't be outraged.  There's outrage, full on outrage.  Again, there are people being murdered in the streets.

Leo:  That's bad, too.

John:  I think it's a little worse.

Leo:  It's definitely worse.  But it doesn't mean that anything short of murder is okay.

John:  I don't think that we should be telling the Chinese what to do in such a way.  If they want to do these contests, just don't take part in the contest.

Leo:  Right.  And don't buy the phone.

John:  You've got the phone.  You are the biggest offender at the table.  You have actually supported this company.

Leo:  But that was before this.

Ben:  I'm really unclear what you are objecting to, John.

John:  I don't know.  I'm just bitching and moaning.

Leo:  Ben, don't try to be logical.

Ben:  I think it's worth calling out.  The reality is OnePlus One has made a fairly significant splash.  I had one myself.  If you don't object, then what is the difference?  Of course I don't think that you are calling to endorse the action.  But to not speak up is no different than going along with it.  Quite frankly, yes it is easy to be upset on Twitter, and that doesn't make a huge difference, and yes to make a real difference for women in tech is to actually change your daily actions and all sorts of stuff.  But for goodness sake, this is appalling and I think that it's okay to call it that.

Leo:  Even if it's not murder.  By the way, what if OnePlus' response was, "Oh, let's do it for guys instead."  Would that be okay?

John:  Ah ha.  Now you have brought up a conundrum.

Ben:  But that didn't happen so why are we dealing in hypotheticals?

John:  That's what they should have done.

Jason:  There's a reason why that didn't happen.

John:  That would have been better.

Leo:  I can formulate a reason why it would be okay.  By the way, do you like the phone, Ben?

Ben:  I had no issue with the phone specifically.

John:  Okay, there you go.   I don't like this phone.  

Leo:  Why don't you like that phone?

John:  I find it very difficult to menu through.  For one, it doesn't have the back button which I like.

Leo:  Well, yeah, that is one thing that is kind of weird.  You have the option of putting it on screen like your Nexus 5.  They have capacitive back buttons that are not lit very well.

John:  And what is this?

Leo:  It's just a widget.  That's how I have mine set up.  It's not how you would have yours set up.

John:  It's just that you can't get off of these screens.  There's no way of navigating.  It's terrible.

Leo:  You should get an iPhone.  Get out of here.

John:  Now, I had somebody in the chat room complain that I just derailed the show with my commentary.  

Leo:  No, that's legitimate.  You don't like the phone because of the things on the screen.

John:  There are a bunch of things that I don't like.  But I think I was being demeaned by the chat room.

Leo:  I think you should go spank them.

Ben:  I think people probably found your comments demeaning.

John:  Well I would hope so.

Ben:  Fair enough.  

Leo:  Okay, why do judges wear black robes?

John:  Apparently it's just tradition.  You can wear whatever you want.  In fact, one of the Supreme Court Justices apparently once went onto the Supreme Court with no robe.

Jason:  William Rehnquist apparently had gold strips put on his, perhaps because he saw it in a play and thought it would look cool.

John:  Some people have gone out with red, white, and blue robes.  So you could go out with a white robe.

Leo:  Was Rehnquist a Nixon appointee?

John:  Yes he was. Did you see the latest Nixon thing that's on HBO?

Leo:  Yes.  Isn't that funny?

John:  It's hilarious.

Leo:  Shearer.  Harry Shearer.  Is that it?

John:  No, this is the one where the whole movie is just Nixon clips of him talking and recordings.

Leo:  I haven't seen it.

John:  Oh my god, it's unbelievable.

Jason:  So Sandra Day O'Connor wrote a piece on smithsonian.com where she says that it seem like no one knows where it comes from.  It seems like in the early days of the US they decided that they didn't want he wigs like the English justices wore.  They had flashy outfits, and it was sort of frowned upon.  By 1800 American judges had just settled on wearing black robes because they didn't want to be fancy like...

John:  Those Brits.

Leo:  But it's okay to have gold stripes on the sleeves.

Jason:  Well, that's her point.  That you could wear anything you want.

John:  But they don't.

Jason:  Yeah.  Maybe in Hawaii they wear like a shorty robe.

Leo:  That's got to be hot.  I think that we have all learned something.

John:  I think so.  That's the takeaway from the show.  That's what you get.

Leo:  That's what I get.  Shouldn't have brought that one up.  

John:  I'm the one who brought it up.

Leo:  Did Adam celebrate his 10th anniversary this week?  You know, it's the 10th anniversary of the Daily Source Code this week.

John:  He was actually very annoyed that I didn't know this.

Leo:  Well, now...you should have come on the show last week, and I could have prepared you.

John:  I didn't know this.  And so he was hurt.

Leo:  Now, nobody says it was the first podcast.

John:  I don't even know.  That was before my time.

Leo:  The first podcast that predated that was Christopher Lydon did a podcast while he was at Harvard.  And of course our good friend Doug Kaye did ITConversations with Dave Liner, I think, who was on ITConversations?  But it was when Adam Curry started writing his iPoder Software in 2004.  He did then do the show the Daily Source Code, it was released first August 12, 2004 to say, I've released this software that will allow you to download stuff via RSS feeds.  Put it on your iPod, it will automatically be added to iTunes if you put it on your iPod.  In order to make this feasible, you have got to have someone to make a show that I will distribute this way, and then you will have someone to test the software out which was the Daily Source Code, which he did for many years.

John:  He still does it randomly.

Jason:  There's a really nice article on Ars Technica by Cyrus Farivar, who actually wrote, I believe, the first article to use the word "podcast" in the New York Times.  And then he wrote a big piece for it on Macworld when he worked at Macworld.  He was the host of our first podcast back in the day.  So yeah, Cyrus has been around, but he wrote a nice little retrospective on ours.

Leo:  Yeah.  To celebrate 10 years since Daily Source Code, which I think many could say was the first commercial podcast.  That you could call a podcast.

Jason:  It's hard to pick a date for when podcasts started.  That's as good a date as any.

John:  Well good for him.

Leo:  Happy anniversary to podcasting.  We are, by the way, I'm quick to point out, not a podcast.  

John:  You are a netcast.

Leo:  I don't know what we are.

John:  From people who love.

Leo:  I like it.  I might want to change it to that.  Netcasts you trust from people who love.

John:  Yes.  I like it.

Leo:  It's good.

Jason:  It's good.  I mean, Cyrus's story says, nobody can even define what it is or what it means or anything like that.  I always tell people it's like radio without the listeners.

Leo:  You do Incomparable.  You do several shows.

Jason:  Incomparable is like a network now, so we've got a bunch of shows on there.  There's one called Clockwise that we do on TechHive.

Leo:  By the way, congratulations to the Incomparable Network.  What else is on it.  Where is it, incomparable.net?

Jason:  Yeah, theincomparable.com or you can go to incomparable.co.  It's shorter.  So there is a bunch of stuff; we've got a Star Trek podcast, we've got a movie podcast, we've got a D&D podcast, we've got a TV podcast, and then the main one.

Leo:  And this is independent?

John:  Is it in your garage?

Jason:  This is all me, and it's just nerdy stuff.  It's a lot of fun.

John:  You must spend all day doing podcasting.

Jason:  I dream of that.  I don't currently do that.

Leo:  It's not all it’s cracked up to be.

Jason:  Leo.  

Leo:  We should talk.  This is great.  Good for you.  This is how I got started.

John:  You want your own merger acquisition?

Leo:  I want to do an M&A.

Jason:  Let’s talk.  I'm right down the road.

Leo:  We could just smush it all together.

John:  Which is the best of these six?

Jason:  The Incomparable.  The mother ship.

Leo:  The Incomparable.

John:  Actually I've heard that.  It's good.

Leo:  It's awesome.  But these are all good shows.  In any event, Adam Curry and John C. Dvorak continue to host a show, twice a week, called No Agenda.

John:  Yeah.  Twice a week.

Leo:  And Adam still does DSC every once in a while.  Is that the one with $10 million worth of airplane strapped to my butt?

John:  I don't know.  I don't listen to that show.  It’s a music show, he's playing his favorite kind of music.

Jason: It's like the new technology where you don't know if it's going to affect your health or not.  We do know at least that you can host a podcast for 10 years and still be alive and doing podcasts.  Adam Curry proves it.

Leo:  This is Steve Jobs on the stage of All Things D.  You will recognize, of course, Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg.  This is in 2005.  Demonstrating the addition of podcasts to iTunes one year later.  Do you have the audio?

(Video Plays):  You could try to sell podcasts, but the whole phenomenon is great it's free.  And I think what we are going to see is an advertising supported model emerging just like free radio.  Here's another one, Adam Curry is one of the guys that invented the podcast.  He has a podcast called the Daily Source.  Let me go ahead and subscribe to that and we can go listen to his latest one.  Just click on it.  This is your Daily Source Code, episode 180.  Something remarkable is happening here.  Radio is springing free of the regulated gatekeepers who managed what you can hear since radio was invented.  It's jumping into the hands of anyone at all who has something, or nothing, to say.  With 16 million dollars' worth of airplane strapped to my ass.  With next generation radio content in my ears.  I like to think that I'm flying into the future.  Podcasting, its Adam Curry.  That's right, its show number 180.  I've actually had to restart the show 3 times, my Mac has been acting up like a mother.  I think it has something to do with a file system.  Okay.  How do you control, say, dirty stuff?  I mean.

Leo:  Alright, thank you Kara.  You don't.  Steve has got to wonder, didn't anybody listen to this show before I played it?  Steve, you are supposed to click show 107!

John:  Whatever, that was pretty funny.

Jason:  Yeah, you were supposed to open the disclosure triangle and click on the specified episode.  Instead he just double clicked on the podcast number.

John:  Curiously, in that intro to the podcast saying that it isn't under control since the inception of radio; it's not true.  The inception of radio, which was in the early 1900's, was a free for all.

Leo:  Right.

John:  People were broadcasting whatever they wanted, wherever they wanted.

Leo:  As is often the case with a new medium, there is no one paying attention until there is money.  

John:  It's going to happen in podcasting, too.

Leo:  Yes,  Jason will attest there is no money in podcasting.

John:  That's not true.  You are making good money.

Leo:  But I'm not podcasting.  I had this conversation with Mike Elgan.  What is podcasting vs. what we do?  Mike came up with a notion that it's really, podcasting is the hobbyist broadcaster, someone who is not trying to emulate broadcasting, not trying to emulate radio, but just talking about something that they care about.  That's a podcast.  It's fundamentally amateur.  What we are doing is much more like traditional broadcasting.  It's more like a television studio.

Jason:  It's fuzzy.  I make money with The Incomparable.  We've got ads.  Myke Hurley, who used to be on 5by5 is starting his own relay, his own network.

Leo:  I'm thrilled to hear that, by the way.

Jason:  He's hoping to make a go at it. I think it can be done.  Some of it is about the business.  Whether it's a business or not.  Some of it is about what the program is.  Because a lot of podcasts, you are right, is people talking about things they love.  I was listening to a podcast the other week, and I was really taken aback, I reacted badly to it.  It wasn't a bad podcast, it was just the way that it was put together.  It felt like an AM radio show.  And I felt kind of offended, and I was like, this isn't a podcast.

Leo:  But it is, obviously.

Jason:  It is.  But it's like, I started to think that podcasts meant a very personal people having conversations, not something that you would hear on the radio.

Leo:  Personal.  Hobbyist.  What we try to do, I think, is bring experts on to discuss stuff.

John:  It's podcasting.

Jason:  Or internet broadcasting.

John:  You've got no antenna, so as far as I'm concerned...

Leo:  So if it doesn't have an antenna, then it's a podcast?

John:  As far as I'm concerned.

Leo: Alright.

Jason:  So Netflix is a podcast?

John:  You know...this kind of third degree is not making me feel good.

Jason:  Orange is the New Black.  What a great podcast.

Leo:  Fun podcast.  I love Orange is the New Black.  They've really taken it to the next level.  Our show today, brought to you by stamps...

John:  Point well taken.  I will now have to reassess.  Pull back, and I will come back with something.

Leo:  Come back with a better one.  I'm going to give you a minute while I talk about stamps.com.

John:  Great operation.

Leo:  Great operation.  Really replacing the Post Office, actually no, that's not the way to think about it.  It's not replacing the Post Office, in fact the Post Office is loving stamps.com.  It just means that you don't have to go to the Post Office.  It means that if you do mailing professionally in your business you can do it more professionally with stamps.com.  You can do it at your desk using your computer and your printer.  Imagine instead of licking and putting a stamp on an envelope when you send out a bill, or a brochure, or a mailer, you actually print right out on the envelope with your corporate logo, your return address automatically filled in, the address of the recipient automatically filled in from your QuickBooks or your website.  You sending packages?  No problem; stamps.com has a USB scale.  You pop the package on there, and it prints out exactly the right postage, again if you want with your logo.  If you are sending mail like priority mail or express mail they will automatically send an email to the recipient with the tracking numbers.  It's very pro.  When postage rates change, unlike a postage meter, you don't have to pay extra to get the upgrade because stamps.com does it automatically at no extra charge.  It's also, by the way, you get discounts that you can't get at the Post Office.  Insurance; you get discounted package insurance just by clicking a button.  No more hand written forms.  Certified mail, return receipt, international customs mail; automatically filled out.  It really is fantastic.  If you are doing mailing in your business you must have a stamps.com account.  I'm going to make it really easy for you.  When you visit stamps.com click the microphone in the upper right hand corner.  Use the offer code TWIT, and we will set you up with a $110 no risk trial.  It includes that digital scale, so you never have to worry about putting too much or too little postage on your packages.  You get $55 worth of free postage that you can use over the first few months of your account.  You get an activities kit, and of course a 30 day trial of stamps.com.  So, seriously, if you are in business and you are doing mailing, visit stamps.com, click the microphone, and use the offer code TWIT.  It really will change your attitude towards mailing.  And your clients and your customers really will appreciate it.  It's fabulous; stamps.com.

There is a little leak coming out of Best Buy, we have been very interested in these.  I've been wearing the Android Wear Watch.  This is the LG.  Samsung makes one.  But they are square, kind of ugly, kind of bulky.  We've been waiting to hear about the Moto 360.  Best Buy leaked it out;  $249 according to Best Buy, a listing on their site for the Moto 360.  They gave all of the specs as well.  Nothing unusual.  Nothing that we wouldn't expect; 1.5 inch backlit LCD touchscreen, 205 pixels per inch, Gorilla Glass 3.  The think about Android Wear, the software is the same on all of these watches, it's really about hardware form factor.  I like the idea of round.  Motorola is going to have a press event in Chicago on September 4, 5 days before Apples' press event.  I should go, because I'm a big fan of the Moto X, it's my favorite phone.

John:  Chicago is fun.

Leo:  Chicago is great this time of year.  Nice and sweaty.

John:  Oh yeah.  Not a good idea.

Leo:  Not a good idea.  But that's exciting.  I think we are going to see both whatever the successor is to the Moto X is, the Moto G, and the Moto 360 Watch on September 4th.  Do you agree?

Jason:  Yeah.  A lot of us are skeptical that the bottom half of the little circle screen is missing.

Leo:  What do you mean, missing?

Jason:  There is a little flat part where the screen doesn't continue.  It's there, but it doesn't show data.  Right down there on the bottom.  It's like a flat tire.  I keep thinking that if I was wearing that watch that is driving me crazy that the whole circle isn't drawable.  There is a little flat part down at the bottom.

Leo:  That's like there is some electronics stuff there.

Jason:  Yeah, because they can't fit a whole screen on there. 

Leo:  What goes there?

Jason:  Nothing.

Leo:  But I see something.  Oh, I see what you are saying.  That's like a flat tire.

(Male voice):  They mentioned that that is part of the digitizer and screen assembly.  They cannot create a full circle.  

Leo:  Let me go to the actual site.  This isn't much of a leak since they had the website, moto360.motorola.com for some time.  This is still a Google company, I don't know when they are going to become Lenovo.  Oh, I see what you are saying.  That black crescent at the bottom there.  You can show the screen.  There you go.  Well, we will see.  Maybe I will hate it.  I didn't notice that until you told me.  

John:  Well, it's just a matter of time before you hate everything.

Jason:  I'm sorry that I ruined it for you.

Leo:  Wait a minute.  That's your job.

John:  I'm good to go, right at the get go.

Leo:  Are you going to buy that?  Oh, you hate it from the beginning is what you are saying.

Jason:  Yes.

John:  You worked your way to hating it.

Jason:  John feels the way we all will feel.

Leo:  Someday, too, you will hate this.  Uh huh.

Jason:  It saves a lot of time.

Leo:  Until I wear it I don't know if I am going to say.

John:  You've got a watch on.  How many watches do you think that you are going to buy?

Jason:  I think it is going to look good because it is graphics.

Leo:  I buy them all.  It's my job dude.

John:  This is the one.  Now it's just a watch.  I can't do anything with it.

Ben:  Is that the Pebble, Leo?

Leo:  No.  I had the Pebble.  Chad has my Pebble.  This is the Android Wear.

Jason:  I've got my Pebble.

John:  Zoom in.  

Leo:  Don't zoom in.

Jason:  Zoom in and enhance.

Leo:  Over here.  I can zoom in over here.  What do you want to show?

John:  Hello Google.

Leo:  Zoom in.

John:  Okay Google.  

Leo:  What did you get?  Where did you get this?  Where did you get that thing?  This is what you normally see, and then if a text message comes in or whatever they will fill the screen.

John:  If you do a circle, and then a line, and then the sign of the cross, then the other screen comes up.  

Leo:  I don't know what you got.

John:  I can do it again if you want.

Leo:  Okay.

Ben:  The problem with the Wear is, remember when Window Mobile literally had a start menu on it?  It just feels a little too Android on the wrist.  That said, I've been trying to make a conscious effort to spend less time on my phone, particularly being with family and stuff like that.  I would love to just take it off and put it in my bag, but then I will never actually hear it.

Leo:  That's the funny thing about this.  It almost always results in me pulling the phone out.  I don't know what I've saved, really.

Ben:  I love the idea of it.  But one of the curses of Wear is that it's hard to really limit who you get stuff from.  Once that is in place, just for that reason alone, it sounds really good.  Having something I think sounds quite compliant to me.

Leo:  One of the reasons that I do wear all of these is that I'm trying to find out what the real experience is.  Generally I would say nobody needs any of this stuff.

Jason:  For me, I'm still wearing a pebble a year later.  For me, it's all about the notifications.  

John:  Where is it?

Jason:  Right here.  I like the fact that I don't have to take my phone out sometimes because I see who the text is from.

Leo:  This will let you respond to text.  Not only respond, but respond with your voice without taking out the phone.

John:   The other thing too is that it's a light product.  

Leo:  Is it lighter than this?

John:  It doesn't have any weight at all.  

Leo:  Compare it to that.  Is that more substantial?

John:  Well, yes.  Yes, by a lot.

Leo:  We just bring in John to weigh things.  He is our official weigher.

Jason:  He is a master of standards and balances, yep.

John:  I can do that.

Jason:  It's not a touch screen.

Ben:  The other thing for people, kind of the underappreciated things for watches in general, I think that women in general are more likely to have their phone in a bag.  For that reason, I think the notification aspect is more compelling.  I've certainly had that issue trying to get a hold of my wife.  I think that what makes what's coming across right now so weird.

Leo:  Ironically, no women wants to wear these because they are so ugly and clunky.

John:  Yes.

Ben:  Exactly.

John:  Women have taste.

Ben:  They are really missing the point right now.  If that watch comes out I think that is going to be really interesting.  If it is very explicitly marketed to women.  I think Apples' products have been traditionally more popular with women then with men.  

Leo:  Wait a minute.  Say that again.

John:  He nailed it.

Leo:  Apple products are more popular with women than men?

John:  He nailed it.

Leo:  Is that true?

John:  Oh yeah.

Jason:  I think that's true.  Women a lot of times don't have their phone in their pockets.  They've got them in a bag somewhere and so they don't even know if their phone is ringing, they can't do anything but remove it.  You are fortunate if you are a guy and you have it in your pocket.  I think it will have more appeal.  That's why I like to use the Pebble more.  It's like, do I really need to look at my phone for this?  Oh, no, I don't.  Or I can use it as like a remote control.  But really mostly it is just, is this text important or not?  If it's not I can just go on.

Ben:  The other thing, too, and this gets into the whole phablet thing, is that here in Asia its which is Apples' future?  It's the future of every tech company.  It's much more common for men to carry bags.  So, in that particular case, I think that it's even more compelling.  For the reason that it's compelling to women everywhere I think that it's compelling to men here.

John:  That could be.

Leo:  Why do men more often carry bags in Taiwan?  Is that just cultural?

John:  They wear tight pants.

Ben:  It's probably a cultural thing.

Leo:  Tight pants?

John:  Tight pants.

Ben:  You take public transportation more often.  People are riding scooters and stuff like that.  It's more acceptable, and quite frankly it's quite nice.  I embrace the murse.  I take it with me.

Leo:  You have a murse?

Ben:  Of course I do.

Leo:  Can you show us your murse?

John:  Yeah.  Let's see.

Jason:  Even Indiana Jones has one.

Ben:  It's out sitting by the door.

Leo:  See, that's the problem with murses or purses.  They are never where you need them.

John:  It's out by the door.

Leo:  It's so he can grab it on the way out.

John:  Oh, I see what he's doing, he runs out.  It's a satchel.

Ben:  There is one more thing, too.  I have so many keys.  There are very complicated doorways here, and just not having all of the bulk in your pocket is quite nice.

Leo:  I feel like, in fact, that the murse is very similar to the smart watch.

John:  I am stunned, stunned, that you don't use a murse.

Leo:  Much like the smart watch, I keep trying them on.  I want to like it.  I understand the utility and the value of it.  After a while I just give up.  What did he do?  Did he start your phone?

Jason:  He did.  He turned on my podcasting app from across the table.

John:  It was an accident.  I don't know what I'm doing.

Jason:  All of the sudden John Siracusa's voice was on my podcast.  It was crazy.

Leo:  I should have warned you.

Ben:  It's happened to the best of us.

Jason:  I should have turned off Bluetooth.  My mistake.

Leo:  Twitter is changing the way the world works for verified users.  You can now decide how you want to see tweets from other verified users.  Or the unwashed masses.  Twitter says, well we want all of the verified users to interact with one another.

John:  This is elitism.

Leo:  It's absolutely elitism because Twitter  realizes that most people that use Twitter don't post much, or if they do it's usually just silly stuff that they post for their friends.  The celebrities are the ones that really make Twitter valuable.

John:  To them.  To Twitter.  To the stockholders.

Leo:  Well who else should they worry about?  Twitter is not worried about you.

John:  Well, I'm verified.

Leo:  There you go.  Now, would you turn that on?  

John:  No, never.

Leo:  No.  Because you are a man of the people.

John:  I am a man of the people.

Ben:  I think that is a little short term, though.  I think in the long run that Twitters' goal is to have most people verified.  The reason is because if you can guarantee that is that particular person, then you can build a profile around them and they are more valuable to advertisers.  I think that this is more putting infrastructure in place.  I think their goal in the long run is that everyone has a blue check.  At least everyone who is a real person.  The real Jeff Jarvis, not the professor Jeff Jarvis.

Leo:  Poor Jeff.  We will talk about it, of course.  Of course Jeff is one of the hosts of This Week in Google every Wednesday on the network.  He has been really going off about this Professor Jeff Jarvis, who is a parody except that he started saying nasty things about a colleague who didn't know the difference and blamed Jeff Jarvis for it.

John:  Yeah, a biting parody.  That's how it works.

Jason:  The only problem I have with Professor Jeff Jarvis is that he doesn't seem to be directly parodying Jeff Jarvis as much as it is a whole broad cross section.

John:  Well, talking about him complaining I want to bring something up.  Do you remember when you did a show with David Pogue, who was blaming me for writing some nasty thing?  It was at the old cottage, and Pogue was going on and on about, oh Dvorak said this, and Dvorak said that.  But it wasn't the real Dvorak, it was some phony thing.  Don't you remember this?

Leo:  I do remember this.  It's coming back to me.

John:  Yes.

Leo:  He thought it was you.  But it wasn't.

John:  And I had to clarify this and I had to apologize.

Leo:  It was the same thing that Jeff was suffering from.

John:  This happens.

Leo:  Twitter doesn't seem to give us very good ways to prevent this from happening.  They've been coming under attack.  Robin Williams' daughter, sad, had to leave Twitter because she was getting so horrifically trolled.  There are stories again and again of Twitter.  Just because it's a celebrity's daughter now they may be doing something about it.  But there were a lot of complaints just a couple of weeks earlier about trolls on there.

Jason:  Most of the harassment on Twitter either doesn't meet their standards or they don't respond when you report it.

Leo:  They are not very cooperative.  But I also understand what a difficult position that puts them in.  Because then they become judge and jury.  Is this parody?  Is this a troll?  I mean Professor Jeff Jarvis is...now you are making music.

Jason:  The content isn't the problem.  It's the mistaken identity that is the problem.  It's assuming someone else's identity.

Leo:  Now apparently the professor that the parody account was making fun of didn't know enough to look for the verified check mark.  

Ben:  Let me be contrarian on two points.  

Leo:  Okay.  Good.  Please.

Ben:  One:  the Professor Jeff Jarvis account is really funny.

John:  I agree.

Leo:  But, out of respect to Jeff, I don't follow it.

Ben:  It's not a parody of Jeff Jarvis.  It's a parody of all of the Silicon Valley changing the world thing.  That's the stuff he is taking on.  

Leo:  His most recent tweet, "The Sermon on the Mount was the first Ted talk."  That's funny.  I like it.

Ben:  Most parody accounts I follow for a couple of days, and then I end up unfollowing them because they don't end up being as funny as the retweet that I saw.  But he is one of the few that I have followed for a long time because he's consistently quite good.  It really does skewer the Valley kind of mindset in a very distinct kind of way.

Leo:  I kind of wish he didn't use Jeff Jarvis' name.  You are right, it's very funny.  If he had used Professor Jerry Jarvis.

Jason:  Or if he was Fake Jeff Jarvis.

Leo:  Or even just Fake Jeff Jarvis.  This would be fun.  "Hyper local Thinkfluencer.  Journalism 3.0 advocate.  Co-founder at Mogadishu reinvent unconference.  Inventor, CIO, and Chief Imagineer at Nexitfy unwork space".  This is actually awesome.

Jason:  And his hyperlink is to app.net.  That kills me every time.

Leo:  I love that.  The anti-Twitter.  

Ben:  My other objection though, is just to be, it's super explicit.  What happened to Zelda Williams is terrible, and I certainly understand where Jeff Jarvis is coming from.  At the same time, what's been dominating the news this week is what has been happening in Ferguson.  In that community in particular there is a whole thing called Black Twitter.  Like Twitter has really given a voice to, and a view on what is happening here.  If this had happened 10 years ago this would be a one sided story.  There would be one side of the story coming out.  It probably wouldn't even be a big deal.  You get all of this stuff.  There is good with bad.  The bad is that you have this abuse going on, and it's terrible, and it absolutely needs to be dealt with.  But we need to be careful not to do the baby with the bathwater sort of thing because this same mechanic that makes abuse possible also takes the marginalized people who have never had a voice, gives them a voice, let's them get things out that weren't out previously.  That's a really great thing.  I think it's really easy to over-index on one or two examples and forget about the good side.  Just as it's good to overly focus on good stuff and not appreciate the bad stuff that goes with it.  Everything is a tradeoff.  Twitter, in particular this week, has been really striking to have these kind of opposite narratives happening without really realizing they are actually two sides of the same coin.

Leo:  Very well put.  It does put Twitter in a very difficult position because you want to foster the things that are happening out of Ferguson.  And we've seen it again and again; it happened out of Cairo, it happened out of Istanbul.  This is Twitters' amazing power.  But, it is very powerful, and it can be used against people as well.

Ben:  The thing is that a lot of that power, you talk about the things in Cairo and the things in Ferguson.  There was a story in the New York Times  about Twitter and the effect that it's had.  There was this quote from the head of police basically saying that they use Twitter.  The tone of it was very bothersome.  The idea is that as soon as we get the idea of what Twitter should control, and then it's only a small step into what the government should control, and then it's like where is that line being drawn?  Again, I'm not at all saying that what happened to Zelda Williams or to women everywhere...like what happens to women on Twitter is terrible, it's horrendous.  Twitter, I think, does need to figure out some solutions.  But I think everyone should appreciate and be thoughtful about what is happening because it cuts both ways.  There is a lot of censorship / limiting objectionable speech, there is a very thin line there.  I can appreciate Twitters' hesitation and I think that people who push on one side should be conscious of what is happening on the other.  That goes for people who celebrate it, too.

Leo:  It's a really good point.  Twitter does provide one tool that anybody can use, just the block tool.  I've blocked people.

John:  They've changed this now, so that you can also squelch and block.

Jason:  You can mute people.  You can block people.  

John:  They have advanced it.  So now you can report them.  If you get a page that is abusive you can send the page in.

Ben:  The problem is that some of these harassers they open up like thousands of accounts.

Leo:  It's impossible to block somebody permanently because they just create a new account.

John:  If they want to go through all of that effort.  It's easier to block than it is to create the account.  So I would just go for the block.

Jason:  Glenn Fleishman wrote a piece on boingboing this week about these collaborative block tools.  It can be scary, but it's an interesting idea where you really have a community to do things because Twitter is not able to help them.

John:  The black list.

Leo:  Jeff Jarvis has been very pro on this black list.  But, I have to point out that the one black list that has been created blocks President Obama and Lady Gaga as well as...

Jason:  It's a cautionary tale in a way because what it is saying is that you can have a block list, but any block list is going to have the biases of the community that is policing it.  So, in this case there are some very specific types of political arguments that are not even quite the opposite.  It's like the orthodox that get blocked.  It shows that there is a need for this sort of thing out there.

Ben:  It shows the need, but it shows the danger, right?  Because as soon as you get into this area it is the law of unintended consequences.  It will always rear its ugly head.  Again, I don't have the solution.  Probably the best one I've heard is that you should be able to block ad mentions from newly created accounts which possibly makes sense.  But as soon as you get into any of these areas then stuff is going to happen.  It's not just Twitter, it's the internet in general.  The internet is the most open sort of thing.  That's awesome, it's great, and it lets things like what I do be possible.  It lets terrible things happen as well.  It's not an easy solution.  Anyone who thinks that it is on either direction is doing kind of the whole medium a disservice.

Leo:  Very well said.  I think that you are right.  It's clearly challenging.  I don't know what the right answer is.

John:  The right answer is to shut it down.

Ben:  There are some people that think that.

Leo:  It's pretty amazing what Twitter has become, I have to say.

John:  But the state department can cause trouble overseas for one thing.

Leo:  It's used by everybody to do everything.  Like the internet.  

Jason:  Ferguson is a great example, where we wouldn't know what was happening in Ferguson.  There's a point...

Leo:  Wouldn't it have sprung up somewhere else?  Wouldn't it have happened on Facebook or somewhere else?

Jason:  Possibly.  Although the point there is that the Facebook filters your Tweets or your status updates.  Twitter is much more word of mouth.  That first night of riots in Ferguson where the police were shooting rubber bullets at people and tear gassing people the TV networks weren't there.  They weren't on.  Twitter was reporting the news live, including by journalists as well as people on the ground.

Leo:  Absolutely.

Jason:  You got this moment, and this has happened every now and then, that wow, Twitter is doing a better job at this story and the mainstream media is not doing as good a job on it.  That happened because of the Ferguson #, and because no one was in control, and it also happened, to Ben's point, it happened because there was not policy that allows say a police department to suppress accounts for illegal activity which would probably have been abused in that situation to shut down people in Ferguson. 

John:  Yet.

Jason:  Not yet.  Thank you.  Again, John is moved all the way to hate. 

Leo:  John, are you going to sign this document?  I can't allow you into our studios unless you do.

John:  I was really stunned that you have this document.  

Leo:  Why are you stunned?  Every one of these people, these good people here, you all signed this document, did you not?  Protecting us from liability.  Don't they look like a litigious bunch?

John:  No wonder you have Fidelity as a sponsor.

Leo:  We have been having them sign that for years.

John:  Really?

Leo:  Yeah.  It just says you won't sue us.

John:  I understand what it says.  I'm just stunned because it seems like some lawyer got into the operation.

Leo:  Totally a lawyer got into it.  It was written by a lawyer.  Mostly it is to warn you that you are in a working studio.  There are wires on the floor, and there are hazards, and you should be aware of the fact that this is going to be a hazardous environment.  This is a liability waiver you have to sign when you come in.

John:  For people out there who don't know what we are talking about, this is an important document.  Ready carefully.  So if you come to the TWiT operation.  You have to sign off on this.

Leo:  You can't sue us afterwards.  I think that is fair.

John:  I don't think it's unfair.  It's pretty common.

Leo:  We did that at TechTV.

John:  I was just stunned that you had gone along with this sort of bureaucratic crap.

Leo:  I will tell you why it happened.  Somebody fell.  He got tangled up in the headphones, and he fell, and he injured himself fairly severely, and was taken to the hospital.  He broke his knee or something.

John:  This is great.

Leo:  He was fine.  He was a big fan.  We then started getting calls from his insurance company.  That's the problem.  You guys wouldn't sue us, but your insurance company sure as hell would.

John:  They know what they are doing.

Leo:  So this is as much for them as it is for you.

John:  Okay.

Leo:  That's unfortunate.

John:  "What if a light drops on my head?" somebody asks.

Leo:  You've got no recourse.  You are screwed.  Actually, I don't think you can sign a piece of paper that gets us off.  I mean, if you get hit by a light...

John:  These are bogus.

Ben:  I think if there is gross neglect on your part then you can still, yeah.

Leo:  "You acknowledge when you come in here that this is active and functioning studio and office with a broad range of equipment, wiring, and furniture."

John:  There is a lot of crap here.

Jason:  A broad range of furniture.

Leo:  I should read this and you should rewrite this in plain English.

John:  There is a lot of crap in here.

Leo:  A lot of crap.

John:  And wires...

Leo:  "Guest acknowledges these are inherently dangerous, and fully realizing the danger in participating in the activities fully assumes the risks associates with it."

John:  You will die.

Leo:  By the way, they do define activities as, "each and every activity from and relating to the visit".

John:  The visit.  It sounds like the name of a movie.

Leo:  Well, the visit is your desire to visit and tour the brick house.  We call that "the visit".

John:  I think it should be an episode of Under the Dome.

Leo:  It goes on.  I actually started the dramatic reading a while ago.

John:  You should do it in German.

Leo:  (with German accent) I shall read section six seventy.  No, I'm not going to do that.  No!  Why is boingboing looking more like Medium by the way?

Jason:  Well, they went to a new design that is long form.  They are focusing on long form.

Leo:  It looks just like Medium.

Jason:  It does look a lot like Medium.  Especially the pictures.

John:  I like the old boingboing.

Leo:  I like the old boingboing.

John:  The side blog.

Jason:  I think it wasn't working for them businesswise, so.

Leo:  What was it, a compendium of interesting things or something like that?  Well, it's a sign of the times.

John:  And now someone says, "We should sue for an interesting TWiT."  Very funny.

Leo:  Thank you.

John:  Very funny.

Leo:  By the way, at no point during the visit are you guaranteed anything of interest will happen.  It says so right here.

John:  No, it does say that.  

Jason:  I believe that is on the websites' terms of service.  This may or may not entertain you.

Leo:  A sign of the times, Facebook is going to start flagging satirical articles as satire because so many people reshare them as true.  It's a pilot project, but I guarantee you it is going to spread.

Jason:  Oh, the old satire hashtag.

Leo:  The satire hashtag.  A Facebook person tells Ars Technica, "We are running a small test which shows the text {satire} in front of links to satirical articles.

Jason:  Extra funny.

John:  This is like the guys who can't write an April Fool's column without the warning at the beginning of the column.

Leo:  You know, the real culprit here is a great, I think, column in the New Yorker called the Borowitz Report.  Andy Borowitz writes satire for the New Yorker, but its satire that cuts so close to the bone that it often seems like it could be true.  Like this article, "Millionaires Unite to Defeat Minimum Wage".  That sounds plausible.

John:  Yeah that does sound like a real possibility.

Leo:  John Travolta apparently screwed up Ukraine calling it Cranium and Crimea calling it IKEA.  I could see him doing that.

Jason:  Because of the Oscars, right?

Leo:  Because of the Oscars.  Anyway, I think it's...

John:  Well, the people that use Facebook day in and day out are susceptible to this sort of thing.  They should be, I don't know.

Jason:  I sort of hate to say that I sort of see some value in it if you have an audience that doesn't understand these things.  When you are reposting it loses some of the context and you are reaching people who don't get it.  You know.

Leo:  It's also the case, and we know this, that people reshare without reading.  

Jason:  Certainly.  There are studies that show that most shared links were not read.

Leo:  They read the headline and say, "Whoa, you've got to see this!"

Jason:  You've got to have my experience of not reading this article.

Leo:  I don't have time to read the article.  I'm just going to share it.  Matt Honan, in another interesting experiment, decided to Like everything he sees on Facebook for two days.

Jason:  I'm one of his Facebook friends.

Leo:  What was it like?

Jason:  It was like, Matt, did you you get hacked again?  Are you okay?  Did you have a stroke?

Leo:  Did you have a stroke?

Jason:  Did you go off of your medication?  What happened?  Because he Liked everything.  So it was like "Matt Honan Likes crazy things".  

Leo:  And it all gets in your stream!

Jason:  Yeah.  Not all, but some.  Some of it bleeds through.  And then his stream becomes completely insane.

Leo:  He says, "My news feed took on an entirely new character in a surprisingly short amount of time.  After checking in and liking a bunch of stuff over the course of an hour there were no human beings in my feed anymore.  It because about brands and messaging rather than humans with messages.  Likewise, content mills rose to the top.  Nearly my entire News Feed was given over to Upworthy and The Huffington Post.  As I went to bed that first night and scrolled through my News Feed the updates were, in order, Huffington Post, Upworthy, Huffington Post, Upworthy, Huffington Post, Upworthy, a Levis ad, Space.com, Huffington Post, Upworthy, the Verge, Huffington Post, Space.com, Upworthy, Space.com".  That would be a good rap song.

John:  It's a beginning there.

Jason:  I guess that Space.com is a marketing something.

Leo:  "As soon as I went to bed I remember thinking, awe crap, I have to Like something about Gaza.  As I hit the Like button on a post "The Pro-Israel Message".  And that's the problem.  Immediately you are sending a strong message, probably stronger than you intended, to Facebook, and they say, ah, he wants more of that.  By the next morning the items in my News Feed had moved very far to the right.

John:  I thought there were experts behind all of this stuff making it so that you actually got stuff you wanted to read?

Jason:  I think his point here is that if you like everything what you expose is just how much you think it is your core Facebook experience is actually based on your Likes.

John:  Shouldn't this be taken into account by some expert in the back room?

Leo:  Robert Scoble.

Jason:  Is he in the back room?  Did they finally get him into the front?

Leo:  Robert Scoble.  I have been complaining about my News Feed for a long time.  Robert said, "I'm going to take you and I'm going to show you how to make your News Feed."  "My News Feed" he said, "is incredibly great and it has a lot to do with what you like.  You unlike corporate things, you start liking thing that you want more of."

John:  You should not have to do this.

Leo:  "By the next morning my News Feed had moved very, very far to the right" continues Honan.  "I'm offered the chance to Like the Second Amendment and some sort of anti-immigrant page.  I Like them both.  I Like Ted Cruz.  I Like Rick Perry.  The Conservative Tribune comes up again, and again, and again, and then again.  I get to learn its very particular syntax."

Jason:  This is really great.

Leo:  "Usually it went something like this.  A sentence recounting controversial news.  Good.  A sentence explaining why this is good.  A call to action, often ending with a question.  Once I see this pattern I start noticing it everywhere."  It's true.  It's the Upworthy pattern, isn't it?

Jason:  Yeah.

Leo:  It tells you how you won't believe what happens next.  How you feel about something.  You will cry when you see this video.  

John:  What happened to the top of this guy's head?

Leo:  You won't believe, yeah, this guy lost the top of his head.

Jason:  You won't believe how.

Leo:  You won't believe what happens next.

Jason:  I think, though, going back to us talking about Twitter, when Ben was talking about Twitter.  This is a good example of how Twitter and Facebook are different right now.  At least for now which is, Facebook decided that its users couldn't deal with a stream of everything that they signed up for.  So they are aggressively trying to guess what you will like.  And Twitter, so far, doesn't do that.  The Twitter timeline has some ads in it, but it's basically untouched.  That time is coming, because I think that Twitter is going to be saying how to we modify these feeds as well.

Leo:  Doesn't this just prove, though, that this is doomed to failure?  What Facebook is doing?  That it's just crap.  Because you are better off with what Twitter is doing and just let everything through.  Anytime you try to intermediate you screw it up.

Ben:  I disagree.  I think John Gruber says something about the site, he's like, this is Facebook's wet dream, or whatever.  I think this is actually exactly wrong.  Because Facebook doesn't want this to happen.  The entire goal is to better understand you, to better understand your interests.  The result is twofold.  One, you will increase engagement, you will stay on the site longer, you will come to the site more frequently.  And I know that Facebook get a bad rep in tech, but if you look at the numbers they are being quite successful in this.  Their engagement continues to rise, and it continues to rise quite a bit.  And then number two, when it comes to advertising, they have that much more accurate of a profile of who you are and what you are interested in.  So I think, yes you can abuse everything, but the reality is that no one Likes everything in their stream.  If anything, the speed with which the stream adapts is almost more impressive than anything.  It shows how sensitive it is.  I have found the same thing as Scoble, to be honest.  I use Facebook a fair bit because when I use it I get a lot of value when going in to it.  I see primarily a few people that I care about, and they dominate my feed.  I don't see much crap because I have always been very careful with my Likes.

Leo:  I must have done something really wrong.  I thought I had been careful about my Likes, and my Facebook Feed is awful.

Jason:  You know, marketing groups use it, you know, as here's a contest.  You have to enter it by Liking our page.

Leo:  I don't do any of that.

Jason:  That helps junk up your Feed.  Then I think that Gruber's point was more that, not that Liking everything was Facebooks' wet dream, but that Facebooks' goal here, like Googles' goal or any of these ad driven business' goal, is to get as much signal as possible out of your behavior so that they can market to you better.  And yeah, get more engagement.  That's absolutely what Facebook is doing.  I think Matt's experiment was really about making it as kind of ridiculous as possible, because that's Matt.  He writes very funny articles.  To show that your Feed is being manipulated by Facebook.  That's a kind of simple thesis, but it is true.  What you Like determines what you see.  There is not a lot of serendipity left on Facebook.  It's about Facebook trying to make guess about what exactly is going to benefit them in terms of you being engaged and in terms of what they can sell you.

Leo:  Meanwhile, I went to my Facebook page, and I've been sucked into a video of a cat fishing for another cat.  This is why I don't go to Facebook.

John:  A cat fishing for another cat?

Leo:  See that cat?  See that fishing pole?  See who is on the other end of it?  Another cat.

John:  Another cat.

Ben:  Not to have this be the Facebook 101 session, but if you hover over that you can say block this post or whatever.  It's a negative signal, and that more than anything will clean up your feed pretty quickly.

Leo:  I don't want to see this.  

John:  How could you not want to see that?  Come on.

Jason:  Don't do it for that one.

Leo:  I don't want to see that.

John:  Why?  You don't want to see more catsplotation?  What's the deal?

Leo:  So you are saying that if I spend more time working with my feed, curating Facebook, that I will get a better feed?

Jason:  Yes you will.

Ben:  It doesn't take long, honestly.  Just a couple days of actively curating it and it cleans up really quickly.  It's pretty impressive, actually.

Jason:  You used to have to Unfriend your person from high school who you don't actually care about but you've said, "Sure, I will Friend you on Facebook."  You don't have to do that anymore.  It's very easy to say, "I'm not interested in what this person writes." and then they go away very quickly.

Leo:  They are still your friend, but you don't see them.

Jason:  You never see them which is how you like it, probably.

Leo:  Okay.

John:  Very insincere.

Leo:  If you missed anything.  What's insincere?

John:  That idea.  What he just described.

Leo:  Why pretend to like people?

John:  Yeah.

Leo:  You don't do that all that time?

John:  No.

Leo:  You just don't bother?

John:  Right.

Leo:  You don't like anybody.

John:  No, I like a lot of people.

Ben:  Have you been listening to the podcast Leo?

Jason:  He eliminates the middle man and goes to the later point where we hate everything.

Leo:  I like everybody.  You know, we've had a great week, John.  I bet you would like to see a house ad right now.

John:  House ads, especially the way you do them, are fantastic.  There are a lot of people that do house ads in different ways, but yours are outstanding.

Leo:  I wouldn't get your hopes up on this one.

John:  Oh, okay.

Leo:  In fact, would you mind signing this disclaimer before we begin?

John:  No, no.

Leo:  Let's take a look at what happened this week on TWiT.

John:  I've got to talk to my lawyer.

(Music intro plays - This Week on TWiT plays).  Does he just do the one dance or does he do other stuff?  Root, I'm sorry.  Previously on TWiT.  Triangluation...  The author of The Martian, Andy Weir, so great to talk to you.  More people would buy it from Kindle than download it free from my site.  All About Android...  OnePlus, which is the maker of the phone, which I have purchased and love.  So they have launched this Ladies First Contest.  Post a photo in the spread, and the 50 most well liked ladies will get an invite.  No nudity please.  This Week in Enterprise Tech...we welcome onto the show, TWiL, This Week in Law.  I have often wondered what would happen if we combined TWiL and TWiET, and we unleashed that evil spawn on the world.  Tech News Today...I can't bring myself to do it.  I don’t want to see the tech's Sad Tweets.  Before you do it, get a couple of hankies.  These are Jason's Sad Tweets.  Two months without RT or favorite.  TWiT, technology for your eyes and earholes.  This is what it looks like when two humans kiss from the inside.

John:  Disgusting.  Why are they showing that sort of thing?

Leo:  I can't unsee that.

Jason:  Chad, why did you have to do that?

John:  Chad is sick.

Leo:  Meanwhile, here are my sad tweets.  Two years without a retweet or a favorite.  

Jason:  I like the music.

John:  Packing them in.

Leo:  This is sadtweets.com.

John:  It looks like a Jimmy Falon bit.

Leo:  It is.  It's the same thing.

John:  Too close.

Leo:  It is.  But with your tweets, which is great.  He's using Twitter quite well I think.  Don't you think?

John:  I think he is.  I actually prefer the Craig Ferguson approach to the Twitter.

Leo:  What is that?  Where people read their angry Tweets?  

John:  No, no, that's actually Jimmy Kimmel.  

Leo:  Jimmy Kimmel does that.

John:  Yeah.  Actually that's a very good bit.

Leo:  That's very funny.  When you get people who are nasty tweeted at get to read the nasty tweet.  That's one way to handle trolls.  What is Ferguson?  I like Ferguson.

John:  Ferguson is very metta.  He is the most postmodern of all of these talk shows.  It's bizarre.

Leo:  He's got a robot cohost, no band, and guy in a horse outfit.

John:  And it's mostly ad libbed, that show.  I read an interview with a guy that does the robot.  But he just brings some bull crap tweets that are crap and then throws them off the thing and just stops.  You have to see it.  He does it every show.  He has a huge introduction to the segment.  It's always over produced and then the segment itself he doesn't do it.  Doesn't do the segment.

Leo:  He's anti television.  He's leaving I'm sad to say.

John:  Well he got a deal.  In his contract...

Leo:  He got a buyout.

John:  He got a buyout, and if he renewed he would lose that buyout.  

Leo:  It was like 40 million dollars.  For doing nothing.  Good for him, he deserves it.

Jason:  Good for him.  He's a smart guy.  He deserves it.

Leo:  You know who I say at dinner last night?  Chelsea Handler.  Right down the road here a piece.

John:  What?  What restaurant?

Leo:  Central Market.  She's an example of where her Comedy Central show has ended, but she's going to Netflix.  I think she's going to do the same thing for Netflix.

Jason:  Yeah, and that's the big question.  How do you do a timely show on Netflix?

John:  What's she doing in Panaluma?  

Leo:  We had a nice dinner.  We bought her a couple of drinks.  It was good.

John:  So I go over to the Panaluma Market over there to pick up some lettuce and some stuff that I need for dinner tonight.

Leo:   A little grocery shopping.

John:  What a rip-off.  We are in this farming community.  This is a farming community.  We are in Sonoma.  What would you be paying $3 for a head of lettuce or $1 for some green onions?

Jason:  Get this man some wine, stat.

John:  This is a scam, this town.

Leo:  John.  John C. Dvorak.  Sad Tweets ladies and gentleman.  Our show tonight.  Hey, before I do that actually, let's see what's coming up on the week ahead.  Mr. Michael Elgan.  

Michael Elgan:  HTC is announcing something on Tuesday, August 19th in New York City.  Possibilities include a Nexus 8 Tablet, a Windows Phone handset, or a wearable device of some kind.  On Wednesday, August 20th, Samsung and Barnes and Noble are having a joint announcement where they will roll out the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook.  That launch will also take place in New York City in a Barnes and Noble store in Union Square.  Sprints' new CEO said at a companywide town hall meeting Thursday that would announce new "very disruptive" price for wireless plans.  So we will be looking for that announcement, as well.  Back to you Leo.

Leo: Announcement city next week.

John:  Seems unlikely.

Leo:  I think, you know, HTC is going to do their HTC One with Windows 7, or Windows 8 rather, which would be awesome.  It will be a nice phone.

John:  You don't know that.

Ben:  Windows phone hasn't had a good week.

Leo:  It hasn't been a good week for Windows phone.  I bricked my 1520.

John:  What?

Leo:  It's sad because that's a nice phone.  I love that phone.  Six inch screen and gorgeous.

John:  How did you brick it?

Leo:  It was Paul Thurrott's fault.  He told me no, it isn't really his fault, and he told me that because I had the 1520 and it was on Windows 8.1, he said you can get the update to 8.1, actually it was 8.0 and you can get the update to 8.1 by joining the developer preview, which was free.  So I did.  I downloaded it.  Then Microsoft in their infinite wisdom decided to freeze the firmware for those of us who did that because they were having some problems.  It was crashing some people's phones.  So Daniel Rabino of Windows Phone Central, who was on Windows Phone Weekly on Wednesday said, well, just roll it back, it's easy.  You just the Nokia software removal tool, or revival tool, or NSRT and run it on a Windows machine.  So I did, and it bricked the phone.

John:  Oh...

Leo:  I can't get anything, nothing out of it.  It won't start.

John:  What are you going to do?

Leo:  Give it to you.

John:  I will take it.  I can get it unbricked. 

Leo:  I would love to see that.

John:  Okay.

Leo:  Do you think you could?

John:  Oh yeah.  I know I could.

Leo:  That would be awesome.  Don't ever tweet stuff like this, because then you get everybody, Nokia USA, Cortana was tweeting at me.  The first thing everybody tweets is all of the stuff you already tried.  I'm like, I googled it, I tried everything that you can find on Google.  Do you have anything else?  Because I've done all of that.  I'm not an idiot.  By the way, one of the things, Cortana or Nokia USA sent me a screenshot of power up, power down, power up, power down, off, off, off, camera, phone off.  

John:  It sounds like a game thing.  Some old code to get on...

Jason:  Cortana is trolling you Leo.

John:  Totally.  Up, down, up, down.

Leo:  I'm being trolled.  Maybe it's Fake Cortana.

Ben:  It should be better labeled.

John:  Okay Google.  Apparently people who listen to the show, I was reading this, they would be at home and say, "Okay, Google" into the podcast.

Leo:  It was worse than that.  Today on the radio show I said "yes siree" and somebody's Siri IOS 8 went off.  I said "yes siree" and it went off and it then transcribed everything I said and then searched for it on the web.  He sent me a screenshot.  

Ben:  That happened with the Xbox, too.  There was an advertisement...

Leo:  Yeah, it was Aaron Paul, who was Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad.  It is a great one.  He says "okay Xbox", he's talking to his Xbox and at one point he says "play Titanfall" and he starts playing Titanfall.  Apparently people were complaining because in the middle of the ad Titanfall was launching on their Xbox.  It never happened to me.  Here it is.  "Okay, I found this on the web for her on the phone questions better serve you want to stay with California North Carolina please everybody check it out.", which was a failed transcription of what I was saying.

John:  I would think.

Leo:  All because I said "yes siree".

Jason:   This is going to be a new thing.  Somebody is just going to shout out, "Hey Siri, send a text message to my mom saying I'm sorry for what I did."

John:  That's a good one.

Ben:  It's time to come clean.

John:  It's time to come clean.

Leo:  Is this something new on IOS 8?  That it's always listening?

Jason:  It's an IOS 8 think that you can turn on.

Leo:  Does it know it's your voice?

Jason:  Well, that's the question.  I'm unclear on what they are going to do.

John:  I doubt it.  That's too much work.

Leo:  The Motorola X if you said okay Google or okay something...

Jason:  Okay Google.

Leo:  No, it wasn't Google because it was Motorola.  I think it was, anyway, it would talk, but you trained it three times with your voice.

Jason:  I hope they do that with Siri, or it's going to be funny.

Leo:  It does work with Google Glass.  It's voice independent on Google Glass.  You can yell, "Okay Google, take a picture." and it will take a picture.

Jason:  It's a bad idea.

Leo:  I like that.  Then they will punch you in the nose.  Because most people that wear Google Glass are so macho.  So tough.   They have to be, they are wearing Google Glass.  Our show today brought to you by squarespace.com.  The secret pod on some of the best websites in the world.  Squarespace makes it easy for you to create a great website.  You don't have to know HTML, or CSS, or JavaScript.  You just need to want to make a beautiful site and have a vision for what you want.  They have incredible software and hosting together to make it a great experience.  We've never been able to break a Squarespace site.  Everybody go to noagendashow.com.

John:  Noagendashow.com?

Leo:  That's a Squarespace site.  Break it now.  Everybody that is watching goes there right now and sees if we can bring it down.  We can't.  If you are a developer they have a great...see?  Boom, it came right up.  Snappy.  Keep hitting it.  Keep hitting it everybody.  Keep hitting it.  If you are a developer they have a great developer platform with Syntax Coloring and all of that stuff.  They have templates that are just stunning.  There is some stuff behind the scenes you may not realize.  Every template is a state of the art HTML file template,  mobile responsive.  When you upload an image it automatically makes nine thumbnails for every possible size.  It reflows the screen no matter what size or shape the screen is on.  So there isn't a mobile site per say, every site looks great on every size of screen.  Every template has E-commerce.  They've got a logo creator tool that is very simple, but individuals and small businesses can create a simple identity for themselves that is very beautiful.  They've got apps for the iPhone and the iPad that are second to none, in fact, they won four Webby Awards for their apps this year.  The Metric App, for instance will let you get page views, unique visitors, social media follows for your website.  They've got a Blog App that makes is easy to post and moderate comments.  Squarespace is beautifully done, and right now for the next two weeks just go to squarespace.com and click the start button.  You don't need to give them a credit card.  Just start playing with it.  You can import all of your existing stuff.  They've got importers for all of the major block APIs.  A better web awaits you at squarespace.com.  All it asks is that if you decide to buy you use the offer code TWIT and you will get 10% off on your new account.  10% off and you will be showing your support for This Week in Tech.  Squarespace.com, $8 a month.  When you register for a year that gives you a free domain name, too.  Squarespace.com offer code is TWIT.  10% off if you go.

John:  They are giving you a free domain name nowadays?

Leo:  If you register for a year, yeah.

John:  That's a good deal.

Leo:  Yeah, well it's not that much, what does it cost $15?  But still, it's something, right?

John:  It's a rig amoral to go through it.

Leo:  That's the thing, it's more important than that because they hook it up.  It makes it much easier.  You know, it was 33...hard to believe.  August 12, 1981, you know what happened.  Thirty-three years ago on August 12th?

John:  Uh huh?

 Leo:  You do.

John:  I do?

Leo:  You were there.

John:  I was?

Leo:  Yeah, you will never forget it.

John:  Okay?

Leo:  The IBM PC was released.

John:  Oh, right, I was actually at that.

Leo:  I know you were.

John:  Yeah, I was.

Leo:  The 5150, it's 33.  It seems like it was older than that.  But look at how far we've come in 33 years.  Your phone has 10 times, 1000 times the power that we had in that PC.  I mean, it was a 4.77 Megahertz 8080, right?

John:  Right.

Leo:  Let me see if I can find all of the specs because it was expensive.  Do you remember what it cost?

John:  It had a tape interface too.

Leo:  Yeah, it had a cassette interface.

John:  You could put a floppy in it, but it had a cassette interface.  Yeah, it cost a fortune, it cost about $3,500.

Leo:  Incredible.  Here's the IBM PC's debut reference guide.

John:  I think stripped you could get it for like...

Leo:  $1,600 if you didn't get anything.

John:  You got nothing.  It was stripped.

Leo:  Which meant you couldn't do anything.

John:  No, you needed to buy a memory card.  You needed to buy IO.  You needed to buy floppy disks.  You needed to buy a monitor. It came with a keyboard, I think.

Leo:  Pretty amazing.  It was 20 inches wide, 16 inches deep, 5.5 inches high, and 21 lbs.  21 lbs.  Yeah, with the disk drive it's 25 lbs.

John:  You had a 4 lb. disk drive.

Leo:  Memory;  it came with 40kb build in ROM.

John:  That should be enough for anyone.

Leo:  And 16kb to 256kb user memory.  That was the top.

John:  Yeah.

Leo:  256.  It did come with a keyboard.  Nice keyboard.  Still to this day a good keyboard.

John:  Yeah, that's a fact.

Leo:  Cassette player jack for a cassette player.  Five expansion slots.  Built in speaker for musical programming.  Really?

John:  Yeah, it would squeak.

Leo:  What kind of musical programming is that?  It comes standard with power on automatic self-testing system components.  It had a basic language interpreter in 16kb.  That's the standard.

Jason:  I would like to think that musical programming is that you could write basic programs using a musical keyboard.   Like play a little something and it would make a program.

Leo:  I think it was more actually like this.  I will play it for you right now.  You've seen this.  You know what I'm talking about.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the IBM PC...oh there's an ad.  Don't you hate that?

John:  Well it takes like three seconds.

Jason:  This ad brought to you by Squarespace.  Oh, here we go.

Leo:  Here we go.  Get ready.

(Music Playing.)

Leo:  Name this song.

John:  It's pretty good.

Leo:  It's floppy disks and one hard drive.  That's probably the bass.

John:  It sounds like angry birds.

Ben:  Is that the Surface commercial?

Leo:  Somebody somewhere has a version of this with the actual lead singer of Soft Cell singing along, Mark Almond.  Wait a minute, here we go.  This is of course on BuzzFeed.  Where else?

Jason:  You won't believe what happens next.

Leo:  You won't believe what happens next.  Does this one have an ad, too?   That's the one you should listen to.  Let's jump ahead.

(Music Playing.)

Jason:  Of course the drives are actually playing the vocal track.  

Leo:  Who I really feel sorry for is Mark Almond because that's pretty much it.  That's a highlight right there.  That's as good as it got.  As long as we are talking about robots, how about a robot that makes hamburgers.  Ten hamburgers a second?  That can't be right.  Ten seconds a hamburger.

John:  That's still pretty fast.  Especially when dealing with a soft tomato.

Leo:  The Burger Robot is poised, according to Jason Dorrier writing for Singularity Hub, poised to disrupt the fast food industry.

John:  Oh yeah.  That's for sure.

Leo:  "Our device isn't meant to make employees more efficient." says co-founder Alexandros Vardakostros, "It's meant to completely obviate them."  Fortunately, somebody who might work at McDonald's doesn't know what the word obviate means.  

John:  Neither does McDonald's.

Leo:  McDonald's doesn't either.  The man who invented pop up ads says, "I'm sorry".  Here's the burger machine by the way.  

Ben:  I'm writing about the saying sorry thing.

Leo:  Ethan Zuckerman.  Tell us about that.

Ben:  The problem with the article, it's basically saying how, I think it's called the internet's original sin, it's mainly about advertising.  It's one of those things where it's very fun to write an article if it's okay to forgo any semblance of economics or how the world works.  

Leo:  He says in the subhead, "It's not too late to ditch the ad based business model and build a better web."

Ben:  It's the same thing as the Twitter discussion.  There is a good and a bad side to everything.  The good side of the internet is that now everyone has a platform, everyone has a voice.  The bad side to that from a certain perspective is that there is always going to be cheaper than everything else that is out there.  To reproduce an article costs zero dollars, which means that any general piece of crap is going to be zero dollars.  If you want to charge for it, that doesn't happen by magically waving your hand and saying "I'm not going to use advertising".  You are going to pay for it.  The reality is that no one is going to pay unless you are going to really deliver value and people are going to find it meaningful.  Advertising is inevitable when it comes to something like the internet with its frictionless content.  It's like podcasts.  The reason that Steve Jobs made that comment that podcasts would be free is that podcasts are for fun, for passion.  Like there is always going to be a free alternative.  That's a result of economics, not the result of someone making a mistake.  There's no putting the genie back in the bottle.

Leo:  Actually, John and I have differing opinions on podcast success.  No Agenda is totally donation driven, and it's doing quite well.

John:  Yeah, we've done okay.

Leo:  And I think that that is fine.

John:  You would have probably done okay, too.  But not with a big studio and all that stuff.

Leo:  Yeah, I wouldn't have done to this level of okay.  We couldn't have grown to 30 shows and all of that.

John:  But you could have done that model if you had stayed at the cottage.  And probably have as much money in the bank.

Leo:  Yeah, well that's another story.  I can talk about that if you want.

John:  No.

Leo:  I wanted to do more.  And the same with you.  You are trying to build more of a network.  We tried to do donations in the beginning and they were fine.  You were right, for one man that would have been enough to live on.  But it didn't give us a chance to do a second show, or add additional staff, or build a studio, or any of that stuff.  The ad model is great.  I like Mike Elgan, who said, "I like it because it is fundamentally democratic".  These are free, and they are kept free, even though we have a fairly high cost of production, by the fact that our sponsors choose to pay for them.  We only do an ad every half hour.  It's not like we overwhelm you with it.

John:  Yet.

Leo:  Well, you are right.  That's a big yet.  I don't want to ever do more than that.  I never wanted to do that much.  The reason it could be yet is because there is downward pressure on pricing.  That's coming from groups like Podcast One, who are charging radio rates for podcast.  Very cheap rates.  

John:  Yeah.

Leo:  And what does it that radio, because nobody paid attention to the number of ads or the quality and experience to the listener, they merely paid attention to how much money can we make, has 19 minutes an hour of advertising on AM radio.

John:  That's what TV has too, or 20 minutes.

Leo:  Yeah, 20 minutes.  So that's what happens if you push the price down.

John:  We could have done that too, but we felt that with the kind of show we do we cannot afford to do that.

Leo:  Well you don't want advertisers because you want to speak your mind, right?

John:  Pretty much.

Leo:  Yeah.

Jason:  Well, but you also get two tiers of people. You get the people who are just interested in what you have to say, but they are not going to pay anything for it, and they want to listen, and that's good.  Then you have got your big fans.  I think the challenge for a lot of podcasts and a lot of other things on the internet is can you do a two tiered approach where you give things away, but there is also something that people who want to support you or who want even more can give you some money.  Ben, you are running a website that's got some free stuff but then has also got a paid subscription.  It's the same sort of story, you've got a little bit of both.

Leo:  Freemium.  Yeah.

Ben:  Yeah, exactly.  Freemium, I think, is the only model that works on the internet because the reality is when there is so much out there why should someone give you money sight unseen?  It's unrealistic because they can just go visit a million other things.  The internet gives you, I have free distribution and it doesn't cost me anything to serve people for free.  This is very different than before.  People can come to my site, they can read articles, and they can build trust.  They can assume, man, every time I come here that is very interesting.  Now they are much more willing to spend some money to get more because they have a reasonable expectation that that is going to be worth their money.  

John:  You say that freemium is the only thing that works, but you are talking to Leo here who is making 8-9 million dollars a year not using that model.  I think that works just great.

Ben:  I meant as far as charging people directly.  I don't think it has to be free.

Leo:  Here's my problem.  It's hard to charge for something that you have given away.

John:  We don't have that much trouble.

Jason:  Or you have to find something else that is additional that goes beyond.

Leo:  My other problem with that is copy protection.  As soon as you start charging for something you want to control distribution of it, then you want to copy protection.

Jason:  People who are giving you money are not giving you money because you are handing them something that is super exclusive that they can't give to a friend.  They want to support you, and plus you can give them some convenience.  They don't have to pirate it, they don't have to find a place for it.  And they feel good, because they like you and they want to give you money.

John:  I think you have plenty of models.  I think the freemium model is a perfect model for certain kinds of things.  We want to actually do DH Unplugged using the freemium model because when we do stock tips that's the value of the show.  People, when it comes to the financial world, all they want are stock tips.

Leo:  They want to know how to make money, and if you give them information that helps them make money, they will pay for it.

John:  That's when you go to a freemium firewall.

Jason:  Make sure you are having them sign a disclaimer.

John:  Oh, we are always having them sign that, of course.  But anyways, so we could do that.  But for the straight up donation model I think that works fine.  And I think the pure commercial, I think that all 3 models work fine.  I disagree that the donation model doesn't work.

Leo:  Here is an interesting point that Ethan brings up in his article.  The problem with online advertising is that it makes so little money.  It's worth so little.  Last quarter Facebook reported it had 1.32 billion users, connected $2.91 billion in revenue, and made a profit of $791 million with a profit margin of 27%.  Clearly, he says, Facebook is doing a great job making money from ads.  But the profit per user is $.60.  That is a fascinating figure because Facebook reports that users spend 40 minutes per day on the site, 60 hours a quarter.  So they are getting paid a penny an hour.

Ben:  Leo, you just articulated how crap you think Facebook is.  So it sounds like they are getting charged exactly what they should be.

Leo:  It's worth a penny an hour to me!

Ben:  That's exactly the point.  The whole thing with the internet is that it makes it trivial to generate content, and that by definition means that content is worth less.

Leo:  But I think it is possible to make content that is worth more, right?  We are trying to make content that is worth more.

Ben:  I charge people $10 a month, $100 a year, and I have quite a few subscribers who think it is worth it.  I'm not saying it's impossible.  I'm just saying that the non-differentiated content is by definition going to go to zero.  That doesn’t mean you can't differentiate.  By any means.

Leo:  This is my point about podcasts of one or another.  It gets harder to differentiate because there is pressure to lower your rates.  Advertisers say well look, I can get the same ad on another podcast for a buck.  Why are you charging $10 for it?  I tell my sales team, that's it.  You can't lower the price.  But there is a lot of pressure to do that by the advertisers.

John:  But you are a specialty operation.

Leo:  Well, that's how you handle it, right?

Jason:  Premium content.  Also you talk about the results, and your audience is more attached and all of these things.

Leo:  That's funny.  But it's true.  But the advertisers still are like it's only a buck.  I know I won't get the same results, but it's only a buck.  It's hard to convince them that they are getting what they pay for.  But it's getting harder and harder to convince them.

John:  I don't see any evidence of this that it's getting harder and harder.  You have more advertisers every time I come on the show.

Leo:  No.  Take it from me.  It is getting harder.

John:  I will take your word for it.

Leo:  It's not like I'm throwing in the towel.  I don't mean to say we are broke.  But I notice it's getting harder and it worries me that there is downward pressure.

John:  But it's also a cycle.

Ben:  The other thing is that there is increased competition.  If you look at it, take the Facebook thing for an example.  He's complaining that people are spending all this time on Facebook and they are only worth this money.  What that is in economic terms is excess value is all going to the consumer.  I think because the people who have the big podiums, the soapboxes, are being hurt by this.  Everyone talks about internet economics as being this terrible thing, when from a consumer perspective it's actually pretty great.  I live in Taiwan and I have full access to my friends and family, and I get it for free.  Everything has its good sides and its bad sides.  What irks me about this article, I think I'm going to write about it on Monday so everyone can check it out; it totally focuses on this one side and it ignores 1.  the good things about it and 2.  is in this fantasy world that pretends it could have even been anything different.  I am more irritated in the people that retweeted it.  I feel like they should know better.

Leo:  They didn't read the article.  They just liked the headline.  Seriously.   

Ben:  Full circle.

Leo:  Put satire around it then everybody will be okay with it.  Our show today brought to you today by...one last ad, do you mind?

John:  I have nothing to do with it.

Leo:  Okay, I'm just checking.

John:  Whether I mind or not is irrelevant.

Leo:  One last ad.

John:  I think you should do two more ads.

Leo:  I would love to.

John:  Rake it in.

Leo: Rake it in.  But no, I've limited it to one per half hour.  We are in our fourth half hour, our fourth ad.  I want to tell you about ziprecruiter.com.  If you are hiring, if you are looking for people you know, there are plenty of places.  The internet really makes it easy to find staff.  There is a lot, a hell of a lot of job sites.  More than 50.  Plus there is LinkedIn, there is Twitter, there are a lot of places that you can place an ad for staff.  Where do you want to go?  Where is the best place to go?  Well ZipRecruiter solves that by posting with 50+ job boards with a single submission.  And to LinkedIn, and Facebook, and Twitter, and Google +.  It makes it very easy too as those resumes start rolling in.  You can use their system to view and share formatted resumes.  Screen candidates quickly and easily.  You will get a customized jobs page for your website.  A company careers page as well.  You can track and rate applicants from their first visit to the hire.  It is very powerful stuff and I want you to try it free right now by visiting ziprecruiter.com/twit.  Yes, employers should visit ziprecruiter but so should job seekers.  It's a great place to go to get a job as well.  If you want to find the perfect hire you have got to go to ziprecruiter.com.  Join over 200,000 businesses.  Make it 200,001, because we use it too.  Ziprecruiter.com/twit.  4 days free.  See exactly how it works.  That's ziprecruiter.com/twit.  That's one thing you don't have to worry about John.  That's good, you don't have to hire staff.

John:  We try to run on a low budget.

Leo:  Staff is what kills you.

John:  I would think staff would.

Leo:  They expect to be paid.

John:  Well, I don't think that is the worst of it.  You have to manage them.

Leo:  HR.

John:  HR.  We are going all the way around the horn here.  We are back at the beginning.

Leo:  We actually recently outsourced our HR.  

John:  Why?

Leo:  Some guy named Jimmy.

John:  At least it's not a guy named Ben.

Leo:  No, no.  Actually ADP, who does payroll, we can outsource HR through them.  It's not going so well.

John:  I wouldn't think so.

Leo:  That's why I know what a challenge it is.  Do you work in HR?  Is that why you are laughing?  She's laughing.  She's laughing.  I think she works in HR.

John:  She might.  She might work be an HR person.

Leo:  She knows all about it.  Here's a site that’s probably a parody site, Mary Tyler Whore?  I think that is probably a parody site.

John:  Mary Tyler Whore?

Leo:  If I were Mary Tyler Moore I would be offended.  I'm just looking at my Twitter.  I just know this.

John:  So you are following Mary Tyler Whore?

Leo:  No, I'm not.

John:  So then why did it show up?

Leo:  This is the new Twitter.

John:  Oh that's right.  They slip all this crap in.

Leo:  They slip all of that crap in.  I don't want to follow her.  How can I block that?

John:  Why would they slip that in?  Are they paying extra?

Leo:  No.

John:  This is a parody site.

Leo:  I'm pretty sure I'm not following her.

John:  Click on it and find out.  On her.

Leo:  Oh, I am.

John:  It says that you are following her.

Leo:  Let's unfollow Mary Tyler Whore.

John:  So much for that query.

Leo:  I don't remember following her.  I'm just saying.

John:  Uh huh.  Ew, whore.  Click.  Where's the Like button?

Leo:  That's it.  I'm done.  Wait a minute, let's see.  There is a couple of quickies when can do here.  Comcast tells a customer the only reason he's getting bogus charges refunded is because he recorded the call.  That's fair.

John:  What?

Leo:  He actually had to play be the recording he made saying no, no, you said this would be free.  Then they said, well, it's not free, it shouldn't be free.  But you've got a recording I guess we will make it free.  The moral is to record every call with Comcast.

John:  Illegally, I might add, in the state of California.

Leo:  No.  Yeah, because we are a two party state.  But it's simple.  When they play that recording that says the call is being recorded for quality purposes say, "I'm recording this call"!  That's it.

John:  Did an attorney tell you that?  

Leo:  I read it on the internet.

John:  You read it on the internet.  Talk to your lawyer.   

Leo:  Okay, this is what I believe to be true.

John:  This Week in Law.  

Leo:  I'm reading this.  I believe this to be true that they don't have to consent, that their consent is by merely staying online.  You can't say it to a recording, but if you say it to a human, "I'm going to record this call".  You don't have to say do you mind, is that okay?  You just have to say that I'm going to record this call, and that's it.

John:  That's fine.  What if they say I don't like that idea?

Leo:  If they hang it up, that's fine.  Then you have to call another Comcast rep and say the same thing until you find someone who doesn't.  I wonder if they would hang up.

John:  How about changing the law?

Leo:  No, no, no.  I think that two party is pretty good.  It's not in every state, it's only in about half of the states.

John:  Why?  What's so good about it?

Jason:  I think if one party is recording shouldn't you be able to record it yourself at that point?  If they are recording your call you should be able to record theirs.

John:  That would be an improvement at least.  If they are going to record, you can record to verify that their recording is accurate.

Ben:  By the way, Leo, did you tell me that you were recording this show?  Because I don't recall agreeing to that.

Leo:  It's not a phone call.  It's a Skype call.  I could do anything I want.

Chad:  I forgot to hit record anyway.

Leo:  Oh good.  Alright.  We forgot to record the show, so you are alright.  Oh, Samsung BART Smart is one of our sponsors.  See, they are shrinking already.

John:  Yeah, there you go.

Leo:  Smart Things was a Kickstarter that got its funding on Kickstarter.  It's a home automation hub, it's a really good product, and I use it.  They just sold out to Samsung for $200.

John:  $200?

Leo:  $200?  I'm sorry, I left out the million.  

Jason:  Well, it's a Kickstarter.  That's the owner package on Kickstarter.  The owner tier.

Leo:  Couple of zeros left off that.  I have to wonder though, the same thing happened with Arcus Fiarre, which was also a Kickstarter.  Is there an ethical issue raised by this?  That you give money to a Kickstarter project, you fund them, and you get them off the ground?

John:  You feel good about it.

Jason:  You are not investing in their company.  

John:  You are not getting stocks here.  There's a way to get stocks.

Leo:  Don't you feel a little bit like...

John:  You've been taken?

Leo:  You've been taken. 

Jason:  That they maybe didn't need your help?   Well, no you kickstarted them into the stratosphere with that.

John:  Yeah, it's a positive thing.

Leo:  Well, where's my portion of the $200 million?

John:  You can go to the company itself and give them money directly.  Have them sign a document and you get a couple of points.  You can do that.

Leo:  Do you think that people understand when they go to Kickstarter that this could happen?  They do now.

Jason:  I think people by and large.

Ben:  The Oculus thing started that up.

Leo:  Oculus pissed some people off.

Jason:  I think people think Kickstarter has restored the order to things.

John:  They should have given everybody, I think that you should put some money in Kickstarter and you should get something out of it.

Leo:  You do.  In this case you got a Smart Things set.  

John:  That's fine.  What's the big deal?

Leo:  So it is like a store in that respect.  Same thing with the Oculus Rift.  I got the developer edition.  People were more pissed off with Oculus because there was this great hope that it was going to be this grassroots...

Jason:  The whole idea was that we are supporting you so that you can do this thing that nobody else wants to do.

John:  And then you sell out.  You sell out.

Leo:  That's the risk.

Jason:  I think that it was more viewed as a moral failing, not that they didn't get the product.  That's what idealism will get you sometimes.  Disappointed.

John:  That's what I say.

Ben:  Sometimes?

John:  Always.

Jason:  I was hedging for the internet TV, netcast, podcast broadcast.  But yeah.

Ben:  I've been infected by John.  Sorry.

Leo:  You guys are turning into cynics.

Jason:  We are.

Leo:  Alright, here's something that will make you happy.  The folks as Tesla have decided people who will own Model S Teslas' an infinite warranty on drive unit.

Jason:  Yeah.

Leo:  Infinite miles.

Jason:  Infinite miles.  Its 8 years or infinite miles, whichever comes first.

John:  Eight years.

Leo:  Well wait a minute.  How do you drive infinite miles in 8 years?

Jason:  You can't.

John:  That's the point.

Jason:  You can never reach infinity.

Leo:  So it's basically an eight year warranty.

John:  It's an eight year warranty.

Jason:  No matter how many miles you drive.

Ben:  This Week in Math.

Leo:  How does that work, exactly?

John:  Yeah, how many miles can you drive?

Leo:  Not more than 100,00 a year.  That would be a lot.

John:  That would be outrageous.  You would have to be charging it all the time.

Jason:  You literally couldn't drive it that much.

Leo:  That's a good point.  How long does it take to charge it?

John:  Overnight.  I think you know.

Jason:  On a supercharger.  I think that would be a good problem for This Week in Math.  First episode, or Pii episode, or the -1 episode would be that.  Literally how many miles could you drive in a Tesla for 8 years?

Leo:  If 20% of the time you use a supercharger, and the rest of the time you home charge it.

Jason:  Sure.  But you are driving as much as possible.

John:  It's not going to be that much.  Not that many people are going to be driving a Tesla to death.

Ben:  Here's the deal.  All of these like brilliant tech guys, what people don't appreciate is that they are all brilliant marketers.

Leo:  The headline on the blog post doesn't say 8 years or infinite miles.  It says infinite mile warranty.

John:  I disagree.  I think everybody realizes, at least people in the valley realize that the whole industry is one massive sales scam.  Everything is sell, sell, sell.

Leo:  And not only is infinite, I'm going to make it retroactive to every Model S ever sold.  How about that?

Ben:  The problem is the assumption that sells us that.  If we are going to buy into the hype that we are "changing the world" that requires people to change and be sold to.

Leo:  Here's the best sales line in this blogpost.

John:  I agree with that Ben.

Leo:  Here's the best line.  "To investors in Tesla I must acknowledge this will have a moderately negative effect on Tesla earnings in the short term."

John:  Bull crap.

Leo:  This is going to cost us money, but we believe in doing this!

John:  Oh yeah.

Jason:  In the tiny sliver of cars that are going to be over the mileage number in 8 years.  Really?

John:  It's just a warning.

Jason:  Don't throw me in the briar patch.

John:  This may be an attempt to cover up some revenue problems in the next quarter.

Leo:  Ah!  It's because of our infinite mile warranty.

John:  That's a possibility.

Jason:  That's a nice piece of marketing.

John:  That stuff is so inflated.

Leo:  its brilliant marketing.

Jason:  It's a nice piece of marketing.

Leo:  It's the headline everywhere is not infinite or 8 years, it's infinite.  In fact, I'm looking at the headline here, and it says "Model S drive train warranty increased to infinite miles.  It applied retroactively."

John:  Nobody does that.

Leo:  Nobody does that.  Who would do that?  I'm going to make a car with a one year or infinite mile warranty.  

Jason:  Whichever comes first.

Leo:  Whichever comes first.  One year or infinite miles.  It's the same thing.

John:  Pretty much.  More bull crap.  It's good, though.

Leo:  I like this premise that basically that all of Silicon Valley is basically just one big marketing scam.

John:  You know where I found that?  I was at a party, big party at Scott Cook's place, actually.  It was a big mansion.

Leo:  Founder of Intuit.

John:  I was in the back and I said something stupid.

Leo:  Apple Board of Director's member.

John:  I had something stupid to say about all of this is good for the economy or something.  This guy went off on me about this and said, "You are in the Valley, you don't realize that this is all a crock of crap.  This whole system is set up to extract people's money."

Leo:  It's a castle in era house of cards.

John:  It's a scam.

Leo:  A pyramid scheme.

John:  I walked away from that very upset, and then I realized that he's right.

Leo:  So what?  As Ben says.  Nothing wrong with that.

John:  No, there's nothing wrong with it.

Leo:  Not that there is anything wrong with that.

John:  As long as you get some of the action.

Leo:  I just want a piece.

John:  Anyway, so I am all in on that.

Leo:  I just want to tell everybody who watches this show that this show is warrantied for infinite miles.  If anything should break in this podcast over the next 8 minutes or infinite miles I will give you your money back.

 Chad:  I thought it would be a week.  Until the next TWiT.

Leo:  Until the next TWiT.  That's good.  Ben Thompson stayed up late.  Either that or got up early to join us this week.  It's like 8 in the morning in beautiful Taiwan.  Are you in Taipei?

Ben:  I'm right across the river from Taipei.  It's easiest to say Taipei.

Leo:  You know what?  He is a type A, and that's why he writes a lot.

John:  Type A.

Leo:  Zing.  How's the podcast?  Brand new podcast, Exponent.  How's it going?

Ben:  It's going very well.  We are up to thirteen episodes.

Leo:  Just a tip, most podcasters skip episode 13 and just go right to 14.

Jason:  That's not true.  That's totally not true.

John:  I've never heard that either.  That's bull crap.

Jason:  Totally not true.

Leo:  Okay.  I give you an infinite warranty or 13 episodes.  Good.  I'm glad it's doing well.  It's the same kind of stuff you write about at Stratechery?  

Ben:  To a degree.  I think we are particularly interested on the impact of tech on society.  A lot of stuff we talk about for the Tourista for example, and BuzzFeed and the advertising debacle this week.  Also the impact that tech is having on jobs and the way that it's really upsetting a lot of...

Leo:  It's life.  Tech is now life.  We were debating editorially whether we should cover Ferguson or not.  Some were saying that it's a really big tweet story.  Of course everything is a big tweet story now, and the fact that there is tech in any story does not make it in fact a tech story.

Ben:  But that's the whole point, though.  I think that tech kind of spent the first 20-25 years eating itself. Different companies would start up to challenge other tech companies.  Now it really is infiltrating and affecting almost every industry.  That's going to have big consequences, not just economically, but societally.   That's kind of what we are focused on.

Leo:  I actually read with great interest, and we are going to talk about it, your article "Is BuzzFeed a Tech Company or a Media Company?"  We debate that here.

John:  It's a media company.

Leo:  Are we a tech company or a media company?  We are a media company.

John:  You are a media company.

Leo:  We are not a tech company.  We use technology, but we are not a tech company.

John:  Who doesn't?

Leo:  But BuzzFeed is getting valuations much more like a tech company.

John:  That's the scam.

Jason:  The guy from Groupon was on the stage at the D Conference a few years ago and a bunch of people said, wait a second, and is Groupon really a tech company?  It's a marketing company on the internet.

Ben:  Is Uber a tech company?  Is Airbnb a tech company?  It actually applies to the majority of companies.

John:  I think none of them are tech companies.  A tech company is Intel.

Leo:  Why does that matter?  Whether it’s a tech company, it's just a word, just a name.

John:  It matters to me.

Ben:  That's the point.  That's what is changing.  It used to be about Intel, and Apple, and Microsoft.  But now these new companies they are not, so when a new company comes along, like Cisco was there, then Juniper Network comes along it's a tech vs tech sort of thing.  Uber comes along, and they are not looking to compete with another tech company, they are competing with taxis, and eventually UPS and FedEx, that sort of stuff.

Leo:  But with a back end that tech enables that couldn't exist without tech.

John:  That's not a tech company.

Ben:  But the economics are like a tech company.

Leo:  Let's save this for another day.

John:  Well the economics are alike.  I agree with you, they are alike.  But that's part of the scam.  Leo, aren't you are going to close the show first?

Leo:  No, you close it up.  I'm taking off.

Chad:  Leo has to go pee.

John:  Well, put the camera on me.  I can say it as good as anyone else.  

Jason:  So thanks to our 4 sponsors today.  Casper, they make mattresses and sell them to you on the internet, and it comes in a little box.  Also, stamps.com, Squarespace, and ZipRecruiter.  That is the end, Leo is in the bathroom, and we will see you later.  Thank you John Dvorak.

John:  Thank me, yes.

Jason:  For bringing the show and making it really happy.

John:  Well, don't forget yourself.

Jason:  And thanks to myself.  Thank you very much.

John:  Let's thank each other for a while.

Jason:  Right.

John:  Then I will do the...

Jason:  Ben Thompson, thank you in Taipei, Taiwan.

John:  Ben actually got the closeout by Leo.  So do you want to do it together?  You want to do another?

Jason:  You take it man.  You are here more than me.

John:  Well, this is going to be it.  This is another TWiT is in the can!  And Leo was in the can.

Leo:  I'm doing it for ALS, but who am I going to challenge for this?   I know who I'm going to challenge.  Oh god, that is a little chilly.  Okay, now I challenge John C. Dvorak, Adam Curry, and Jason Snell.  Go out and dunk yourselves.  Thank you everybody, another TWiT is in the can!  It is brisk, oh my god…