This Week in Google 237 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWIG, the latest news from Google. Jeff and Gina and I will discuss the latest including breaking new, a big deal for Facebook; $16 billion to buys WhatsApp, What's that all about? We'll talk about it next on TWIG.
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It's time for TWIG, 'This Week in Google.' Episode 237, recorded February 19, 2014
Let Go Let Google
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It's time for TWIG 'This Week in Google' and today it's just the three of us, the core group. Gina Trapani in her mom's house in Brooklyn wearing a Jets blanket. Hi Gina!
Gina Trapani: Hi! Good to be here, as always.
Leo: Nice to see you.
Gina: Just getting the internet set up at the new house, takes a while. Good to see you too.
Gina: Always love my TWIG.
Leo: Are you going with the XFINITY Comcast? Or what are you going to use for your internet service over there?
Gina: We didn't have very many choices. It's basically Time Warner.
Leo: Oh. It will soon become Comcast.
Jeff Jarvis: Soon to be known as Comcast.
Gina: Oh yeah!
Leo: That's Jeff Jarvis over there. He's at the City University of New York, CUNY. Wearing the t-shit...
Jeff: Gina is in her blanket, I am in my warm fleece. We are not in warm California anymore.
Leo: Ah! Did you have a good trip?
Jeff: I had a spectacular trip. Thank you for your magnificent hospitality and generosity.
Leo: Well I didn't do much.
Jeff: And having us in and my boss in. She had a great time, she now knows what fork means.
Gina: Nice! Now that's an education.
Jeff: There was a whole discussion going by about forking Android.
Leo: She admitted it after the show, "I didn't know what that was about."
Jeff: She figured it out. The next day I spoke to the content team at Linkedin, and we saw Flipboard and then the next day, Friday, I saw Vic and Bradley and Richard at Google and then I met with the head product for Google Glass and then met with the strategy team at Google which is an amazing thing and then spent two and half hours with Reid Hoffman which was just plain honor. It was a phenomenal rest of the week.
Leo: Neat. Well it was good to have you out here. Please come out anytime and it was really fun having her, Sarah was great. Sarah Bartlett, the dean of the School of Journalism at the City University of New York and we had a good time. So you're Pixel end of life, April 2017.
Jeff: They better have a new one by then.
Leo: I can't promise you a new one. Is this new the Chrome OS end of life policy?
Jeff: Wouldn't you wish they do this for phones too. They are committing to a date until which they will support Chrome.
Leo: Right. I guess that's one way to look at it. Instead of saying end of life they should say, 'Here's how long we're going to support this.'
Jeff: Yeah it would have been a better way to put it. Because it is a commitment that goes beyond the life of most Android phones frankly.
Leo: Right. So Microsoft does this. In fact, it's in the news right now as April 8th will be the end of life for Windows XP, no more updates. I had not seen this before...
Jeff: No, I hadn't either.
Leo:...with Google. These are Chrome OS devices right?
Jeff: Yes. So my Pixel is till April 2017, that's okay.
Leo: Now it says, "These are unofficial End Of Life dates. Official EOL for these models will be at this date or later.” and the only exception there is the Samsung Series 5, which that's the officially announced end of life, which is January 2016.
Jeff: I guess the difference here would be that after the end of life, you can keep on using your Microsoft devices forever on your own as long as it's fine. This thing it might say, 'Sorry your Chrome, we update Chrome and we can't update you so bye.'
Leo: Will it?
Jeff: I don't know.
Leo: "When a device...", this is what Google says, "reaches EOL, it means that the product model is considered obsolete and will no longer receive full support from Google’s Enterprise team. Additionally, Enterprise customers using devices that have passed their EOL date may find that they cannot manage their devices as expected using the administrator control panel or leverage new management features released. Automatic software updates are not guaranteed." Doesn't say it won't work anymore. This is what happens with Microsoft too, they are just not going to fix it. So if there's exploits, that's bad. Chromebooks I would worry less about exploits. Is it possible having an old version of Chrome will keep you from visiting some sites?
Jeff: Well the thing is I can't ever have an old version of Chrome. Whenever you re start the machine after a new version's come out, you get it.
Leo: Right but you won't after April 2017, that's the point.
Gina: Not necessarily it sounds like.
Leo: Not even that. 'Won't' is not even right. 'May not.'
Gina: I have kind of mixed feeling about this disposable computer thing. Doesn't Microsoft support Windows versions for ten years and there was such an uproar with XP that they extended it?
Leo: Yeah. Obviously we both agree you're a developer, you can't support software forever and ever and ever. Comes a time when you got to move on.
Gina: Particularly software that is so closely tied to the hardware. Microsoft doesn't support so many different hardware configurations anyway by design over the years and part of the reason why Windows is so kind of heavy is because it's got different drivers for different things and Android kind of has the same thing. But the Chromebooks it's like, it's a hardware software that the package is tied together. I don't know, I kind of feel like they could do better than 4 years. I would like them to do better than four years. But then again their whole take on the Chromebook is that it's this disposable computer that you can throw in the river and get a new one.
Jeff: Well when it's $200, not a $1500 machine. Probably Pixel owners should be a little more upset. But when have I ever kept a computer longer than three years.
Gina: Well right, that's true. But you know if they are targeting developing countries or education, people just don't have the kind of resources that we have or the competing demands that we have.
Jeff: That is a very good point Gina.
Gina: I mean look it's a lot better than Android right. Android was reportedly supposed to be every 18 months there were going to upgrade and that's shorter than even a two year contract. We talked about this little bit last night on 'All about Android.' So 4 years is okay, but it's just interesting to see that change, that commitment to backwards compatibility which was very much a hallmark of Microsoft's approach to software for better or for worse. It kind of flipped on its head, I think because in its DNA, Google is a web company. And when you deploy web software you deploy it and it's updated right, so like here's a web company trying to distribute devices running desktop software and they are like, 'we are not going to...'
Jeff: You know Gina, I was talking to somebody when I was at Google, I won't say who but I was just talking to somebody at Google and I talked about web stuff and they kind of just pooh-poohed, 'Ah! web!' They are a mobile company.
Leo: What? Oh wow! I wouldn't pooh-pooh web, I don't think desktops going away.
Jeff: I wouldn't neither. I think it was done for a fact, but wow! Where they are putting their resources is mobile.
Gina: But yeah they are putting their resources into GMS which is that layer on top of Android that interacts with the Cloud. So I equate web with Cloud services and there's a difference between...
Jeff: Yes, I do too. But browser, web browser. I was complaining about something I wanted a web browser and I was kind of told, 'Ah, psst, grandpa jeez!'
Leo: That's absurd, I am sorry, that's absurd. People are going to use desktops for a long time to come.
Jeff: Yeah of course. I think it was illustrative of where their resources were going, where they see the importance of development and given choices of priorities...we see all these numbers now about these huge proportions of traffic to mobile. I think that's a misnomer to a great measure, we've talked about this on the show before. Because I think that bundles in things that are not mobile like tablets. And we need to re define what mobile is. Mobile means a phone to me and you are gone somewhere else. But even then, you're still using a browser; you're still using the web. But I pointed to my beloved Pixel and was kind of 'Ah.'
Leo: Wow so maybe by 2017 you won't. You'll be using...
Jeff: I'll be using my Google Glass of course!
Leo: It makes sense if you are Facebook or Google or Yahoo to think that what you want to do is transition you're revenue to mobile because that's how more and more, more than half now of all computing is done on mobile. But it doesn't mean the end of the world for desktop by any means. I don't anticipate that ever happening.
Gina: I am not asking you to reveal who you talked to, but this depends a lot on who.
Jeff: But I had a very pleasant lunch with Steve Lee who is the head of Goggle Glass product. I just asked as a condition that he not punch me out when we sat down. And he didn't, he was very very nice. And I have ordered my lenses.
Gina: Ah! he turned you around on it.
Jeff: Well, I kind of felt like a Schmuck. And i need to know how that thing operates in optimal conditions and I have never had optimal conditions so my wife's not happy but I ordered my lenses.
Leo: So we had two people in the audience unbeknownst to me on Sunday, during TWIT, one of who does marketing for Google Glass. And she was sitting there on her hands because I saying things like, 'every time I see somebody with Glass on, I feel like I just want to punch them in the nose', but another person came up who was wearing with prescription lenses and said 'you know, you really haven't experienced it.' And I wear glasses like you Jeff and you really haven't experienced it and I think what you were saying, unless you have tried it with your prescription glasses on.
Jeff: I think that's just what I might have to do. Or I should have gotten contacts, but I am too squeamish.
Leo: Then you really couldn't see it.
Jeff: It was over my glasses.
Leo: Oh so you were wearing it over your glasses.
Jeff: Better with these glasses than horn rimmed or something. People who have black framed glasses cannot use it at all.
Leo: How many geeks don't wear glasses? Seems like if you are a geek, the glasses go with the territory. Gina you wear glasses I am sure?
Gina: I don't.
Leo: Oh stop it, you are not a geek.
Gina: I got lucky with good eyes.
Leo: You have perfect eyes really?
Jeff: Gina is perfect in all ways.
Leo: I guess that confirms what we have always suspected. Golly!
Jeff: Gina is an Android.
Gina: Oh I wish, I would be much more efficient.
Leo: Gina is an Android. Gina is an Android. Wow.
Gina: Fueled solely by diet Pepsi.
Jeff: You have reached singularity Gina. A world fueled by diet Pepsi.
Leo: I like it. I don't know if we want to belabor this, I think all hardware has to come to an end. It does seem a little swift, the Acer AC700 which is only a couple of years old ends July 2015, next summer. Three years seem quick.
Jeff: So what's the number? Is five years good?
Leo: I'd say ten. The problem with computer hardware is the hardware itself, especially a solid state drive never wears out. I don't understand why you can't support it. Maybe it's going to get slower and slower...
Jeff: New features...
Leo: What features?
Jeff: I don't know.
Leo: When you make Chrome OS...this is the question, what is Google thinking they are going to do? That would make this happen?
Jeff: Obsolete, I don't know.
Gina: It seems like graceful degradation.
Leo: If it gets slower big deal.
Gina: You know get it to work without that feature on a slower hardware. I mean that slows down the development process and it can add some complexity to your code base but...
Jeff: But Gina isn't the whole notion of Chrome that every device is automatically upgraded to the same Chrome level and that's what makes it secure because it is verifying. You always know it has the fixed up latest version of Chrome, you have no choice but that. You have a choice of which track you are one. But you have a blessed version of Chrome when you turn the machine on. And if it's not blessed it will not work. And that's what gives Chrome it's security and it's consistency. Architecturally that's just different from Windows where I bought the OS.
Gina: Yeah. My favorite sort of little fun fact about Chrome is that the first thing that the developers built, before they built any browser functionality, was the auto update functionality. Like the first thing that they built. People ran just a little executable on their desktop that would auto update. That was the first thing they did because Chrome was from the beginning supposed to do graceful, silent, instantaneous updates that didn't require to restart. You know Mozilla would do these giant big parties about new Firefox releases. We all knew the versions of those. Remember?
Leo: Yeah that's right.
Gina: And Chrome doesn't. I mean Chrome version numbers are insanely long, they are constantly pushing out updates, it happens silently you don't even know...
Leo: You do have to restart though.
Gina: Occasionally you do or the little hamburger turns orange and says, 'please update Chrome.' At this point I really don't shut down my computer or shut down Chrome very often so I'll catch that once in a while. But it's a completely different paradigm than what it used to be. So we came from a world of Windows updates that would be like multiple restarts and service packs and then we had Firefox which was like also sort of very old school version, big version drop releases to Chrome which was silent updates. Yeah so silent updates that and speed were the two things that Chrome really promised. So that's why this end of life thing seems strange to me.
Jeff: From a hardware perspective, we have talked on this show about the potential of the modular phone and Google's working on that where you take an old chip out and put a new one in. Shouldn't a laptop be like that? The screen is pretty much good for a long time, the camera is good for a long time, the keyboard is buttery and beautiful, the track pad is buttery and beautiful, what I need in Chromebook is more RAM and there is a new chip that offers something.
Leo: I think you are missing the point here. Chrome cannot ever get to the point where it won't work on the massive PC hardware that's out there.
Jeff: That's the Chrome browser.
Leo: The Chrome browser, they are never going to say, 'Oh, you can no longer run the Chrome browser on your Intel Core 2.' It just runs slower. There is no way they are making Chrome incompatible with the vast majority of PC's out there right.
Jeff: That's not an OS, that's the problem.
Leo: The Chrome OS is just the browser!
Jeff: Well but it does more with the machine.
Gina: Yeah it's the browser on top of some sort of layer that makes up the computer right?
Leo: What you are going to require finger print reading or eye scanning? No.
Jeff: Maybe at some point.
Gina: You’re maybe poking at something there. Right?
Jeff: Yeah, security. Clearly what's wrong with security in this world is that, we should get to the point where knowing your name and social security number and one of the passwords you use for a service shouldn't matter. Shouldn’t matter at all. Because they are better security mechanisms so yeah it could be something like Leo, yeah.
Leo: No. no. They are trying to make people buy new computers I think.
Jeff: Well they just bought a company with a new voice security thing.
Leo: That's bogus by the way.
Jeff: Oh it is!
Gina: Is it voice or I thought that...
Leo: Sound. So you go to a website and it plays an inaudible tone that your phone picks up and authenticates you.
Jeff: Oh is that it.
Leo: And we were talking to Steve Gibson about this, as he is doing something similar that's an open source project. But not with sound. It's his opinion and I think he's right, this was an acquire. This was hiring the engineers.
Jeff: But it clearly shows the direction in which they are...
Gina: But it's a lot better than entering a freaking code from Google authenticator right?
Leo: Well it is if you have speaker; it is too hardware dependent. It's called Slick Logging.
Jeff: Password dependent is no good wither.
Leo: They want the engineers. There are better ways to do this that don't require holding your smartphone up to the speaker that may or may not exist on your hardware. That's silly. I don't think that's the actual reason they acquired this. I think they wanted the engineers. Well see, Google may announce an audio authentication system.
Gina: What I go through for two step authentication at this point like that experience can be improved so much more.
Leo: This is not two step. This is something separate. A password free authentication. And that's what Steve is also doing. I'll give you an example that will ring with you Gina where you use SSH, you have the keys stored on the server that you are logging into. You don't use a password, it's more secure. And this is something similar to that that Steve's doing. The sound would just be like a QR code. I think this is not something Google is particularly interested, but I am just guessing. I haven’t spoken to anybody at Google.
Gina: Could we talk about Google I/O? I know I am skipping ahead.
Leo: Hey Google I/O! It's in June this year.
Gina: Sundar Pichaijust posted to his Google+ page less than an hour ago, the dates: June 25th, June 26th. And they are making changes to registration. "You won't need to scramble the second registration opens", Sundar says. They'll be implementing a new system, where you can submit your interest to attend Google I/O 2014.
Gina: If it is anything like Google developers interviews, I am probably in big trouble. You guys saw the scene in the Internship when it was like, if a tiny man was shrunk down and stuck into a blender...
Leo: But you know it's a measure of how popular this is and I am glad that they did this because in the past, the whole thing has been all gone in 30 seconds. It's like that Nick Cage movie, Gone in 30 seconds. So this is not who can click fastest. Although, it would be kind of a good test. Who can write the best script to auto register for Google I/O. The you would have to be a good coder.
Gina: Well they started to pull back. They started to reel that in a little bit last year right. Remember that moment, I think it was Sundar who said, 'that all of this new phones you are not getting one because it is $179 in the Play store.' And everyone in the room was sort of like...But that whole Oprah thing kind of freaks me out about I/O. I think if we took away that element there will be less competition for people to get in.
Gina: I mean listen, I like my toys too but I was in line at Google I/O one time and I was chatting with the folks in front of me and they were like, 'oh we are students so with the student discount we got in for this much but the value of these that we got is way more than that so when we Ebay them we are really going to make money back.' And I was like, that's why you're here? I mean I am not saying that these kids, they were cute and they were smart. I don't think that they were necessarily representative but it was a weird reason to want to go.
Leo: 'Schnorrers' are chiselers or spongers. A 'schnorrer' according to the Jewish dictionary, "distinguished from an ordinary beggar by dint of his boundless chutzpah. A 'schnorrer' is far worse than a cheap or miserly person. He is often unethical to the point of stealing.' Is stealing always illegal? No. In fact, more often stealing is quiet subtle and perfectly legal. Legal but not ethical, you're a 'schnorrer', knock it off!
Leo: For all we know they are doing that. Because it sounds like there's this pre-qualification a little bit right? Random, but for all we know they are going to take everybody who asks, look at their GetUp account. I bet you they've got a Python script that sorts them and then randomly picks them.
Gina: A lot of developers work for companies who don't open source their stuff and their works' in the dark. That doesn't necessarily mean that they are less worthy and a lot of developers work for companies and build the Android app, but the company's Android app is listed as the company's Android app because they are an employee. So this is tough, this is hard.
Jeff: Well no, I've got 'schnorring' things. I've got my original Nexus phone. I've taken my Google schwag. I should have worn my Google+ hat today that I bought. I got a Google+ hat yes. In the commercial break I'll go up and get it.
Gina: That was there this summer. They escorted us as well. I was there for the Google summer code the mentor summit and there were scheduled times and we were escorted in. We had free run of the store, it was a Sunday, they clearly opened it up for us. It definitely seems like a guest thing.
Jeff: It is and I was with Vic and Bradley and Richard and I am sure he won't mind me quoting to this effect because it is positive to Google+, but Vic saying, "We’ve really grown a hell of a lot in hell of a short time." And he likens it to the growth of an Android or something like that. It's still on a spike. Very clearly the quality of what I do on Google+ versus what I do on Facebook versus what I do on Twitter versus what I do on Medium, they all have their roles. And it's not room for one...it's not zero sum game in my life and so I use Google+, I like Google+, there are a lot of people who use Google+ and just because you don't use it...I mean Claire Cain nowhere is a tech writer and it was just...
Jeff: I guess that must be what it is because she said it's a ghost town. But the real problem then was it comes around and says 'it's not there for you to be social. No, they have a secret agenda. They want to target ads.' No bullpucky! Of course they do! That's their whole business model. You just discovered this? It was just stupid. It was page one stupidity. And I can see what's going to happen. Bradley Horowitz goes for an interview and he gets burned.
Gina: I've really turned the corner with Google+ I have to say. If you go to my Google+ profile, it looks as if I don't use it at all. But Google Hangouts has become a part of my daily life. The video conferencing with my daughter is amazing. The little hats, the little effects cracks her up so we use that all the time. The other day I had forgotten to push some stuff to get up from my home computer so I Hangout with my wife and said, 'hey can you just allow remote desktop access' and I wound up remoting into my home computer using hangouts. I turn on auto backup for my photos and videos. I am never going to edit video, but I take video now only because of Google+ because the auto-awesome videos are great. The auto backup of my photos is amazing. So I use Google+ a lot but just in the dark. I use the private features. So I am not using the social tool really but yeah for a while we actually wound up switching to Slack but my company was using Google hangouts as our internal chat. Speaking of Slack, it's really really good. It's in preview.
Jeff: Flickr co-founder and Stewart just as a side here, wrote a fantastic resignation letter from Yahoo! years ago about how he was in the tin business and now he wrote a letter to his staff about being in the saddle business.
Gina: It's communications, it's chat. It's a really beautifully designed web based similar to IRC. I hate to say IRC because IRC even the nice clients, like I am using Textual, it's so much better experience than that. You can attach files, you can have different channels or whatever. But it's been really great for my team. The mobile apps are just gorgeous...
Gina: Yeah we used Camp Fire for a while, then we're using Hangouts and yeah it's really nice. Let's see what I can do. Anyway back to Google+. I use Google+ all the time but it's not obvious from my page on Google+ because I don't use it to post public updates. I could, I should. I have guilt about it, just like I have guilt about not blogging, that's another thing. But I think that people have to stop equating Google+ with the social product.
Leo: it's internet based messaging. It's a very crowded space. People use Facebook, Apple's messenger and other programs for it. It allows you to send media as well as text. Facebook for $12 billion in stock and $4 billion on cash according to Business Insider. That is a stunning amount of money. Given that Youtube was just a billion some.
Leo: WhatsApp which is a mobile app for iOS, Android, I think they have it for Windows phone, I'm not sure I have to check. It's cross platform, it's internet based text and audio and video messaging. It is probably the number 1 of these programs. Remember they bought Beluga not too many years ago as well, which was a very similar program. So it's strikes me that the technology they probably already have. This must be, they are buying this for the users, which is a big user base. Facebook bought Beluga in March of 2011, three years ago.
Jeff: The press release is just numbing. "Pursuant to the terms of the Merger Agreement, Merger Sub will merge with and into WhatsApp, the first merger, and upon consummation of the first merger, Merger Sub will cease to exist and WhatsApp will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Acquirer. The surviving corporation of the First Merger will then merge with and into Acquirer, which will continue to exist as a wholly owned, in part directly and in part indirectly subsidiary of Parent. Upon consummation the closing of the transactions..." Jesus Christ!
Leo: It's not unusual that...yeah that's basically what we are seeing is the SEC. It's not unusual for you to do something like this when you acquire a new company. Because what you're doing is acquiring the assets of the company without the employees. There's reasons that they would structure it that way but...
Leo: So now when Mark Zuckerberg gives a record billion dollars to charity, you can just kind of say well that's nothing. Mark common! I've got some ideas. I'll do it for $500 million, honest you know. Jeff wouldn't you and I get together to save journalism for half billion easy?
Gina: I've had a serious addictive WhatsApp period. I've since graduated but it's a good app. It's for people who don't want to pay for text messaging or don't want to use regular text messaging you know. It's chatting on the phone. It's Facebook messenger basically.
Leo: It is, Facebook has the technology. In December of 2013, WhatsApp passed 400 million monthly users regular users. 400 million that's all. That's double what they had in April though. So they were growing quiet fast. In fact you might assume that it's considerably over 400 million if they're doubling at that point.
Leo: Here's a critical note. There's a survey that came out in December that said at 44% of all smartphone users polled...I'm sorry, WhatsApp overtook Facebook as the leading mobile messaging service back in December. They have 44% of all mobile messaging.
Leo: 35% Facebook messenger. Now this was a survey of 4,000 worldwide in 5 countries. 4,000 users in 5 countries. 44% use WhatsApp at least once a week. Yeah that's a huge amount of money. if you are just tuning in this is kind of breaking news. Facebook has just announced the acquisition of mobile messaging app, WhatsApp for $16 billion. $12 billion in stock, $4 billion in cash. That is huge. Huge. We are going to take a break; we'll come back with more. You guys if you want can do a little thinking about what this means and we'll return and we’ll show you WhatsApp. I have it on a number of my devices, if you've not used it. I can't imagine anybody who’s not use it. Somebody in the chat room said, 'at the current rate of WhatsApp it would have been able to buy Facebook in six months.' So this was almost necessary. This is a defensive move.
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Leo: Looks like a single round of Venture funding in April 2011 for $8 million. Brian Acton, Jan Koum are the co-founders and they had a big payday today. Let's see if the blog at WhatsApp...yeah here it is. "Five years ago we started WhatsApp with a simple mission. Building a cool product used globally by everybody. Nothing else mattered to us." You see the platforms thy are on by the way. iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Nokia and Windows phones. So they are very universal. "Today we are announcing a partnership with Facebook that will allow us to continue on that simple mission. Doing this will give WhatsApp the flexibility to grow and expand, while giving me, Brian, and the rest of our team more time to focus on building a communications service that’s as fast, affordable and personal as possible." With Beluga it went out of business. They just incorporated the Beluga engineering team and some of the code interface and that was it, it was gone. We liked Beluga, we liked it for group messaging. See that's another thing people use this for, group messaging.
Leo: Yeah they don't sell ads. In fact, they didn't want to sell the app, they were very focused. And I guess it's paid off. On a personal note he writes, "Brian and I couldn't be more proud to be part of a small team of people who, in just under five years, built a communication service that now supports over 450 million monthly active users worldwide and over 320 million daily active users."
Leo: So the question is and I get this feeling from the blog post, I know the answer to the question is does it get folded into Facebook messenger or does it stand alone as a separate app? It sounds like they expect it's a standalone as a separate app which then really makes you wonder what is the gain for Facebook that is worth $16 billion.
Gina: Yeah it's interesting. Seems to be the refrain from acquired companies. From Nest and Motorola and we heard this from, now WhatsApp, the 'we're not changing, We're going to operate.' Even the way they worded it, 'we are announcing a partnership with Facebook.'
Leo: Well Youtube was a bargain. We didn't know it at that time. In fact it's kind of amazing but it really was a bargain. I can't think this is a bargain in any respect. It is definitely eliminating competition.
Gina: Because it's not about the technology. It's not about the code. It's about users and being int he right place at the right time and having the right branding and the right copy and getting in the right hands and having that one lucky moment where somebody mentions it right. This is a really humbling realization for me, different parts of my career, I have to keep re-having it. The code doesn't matter as much as I as a developer would like to think.
Leo: In case of something like WhatsApp, it's the network effect. It's what made Facebook a success. Your friends start using it so you use it. It's a snow ball that gets bigger and bigger and it's just like lightning in a bottle. I don't know if you can make rules for virality.
Leo: By the way, breaking news just coming in from the New York Times, Nick Bilton writing about it. Facebook acquiring WhatsApp for $16 billion. Wall Street Journal...the Journal got it at 2:12, we got it about same time Business Week published it which was about 2:15-2:10 something like that. 2:23 for NIck Bilton, I love that.
Leo: They know it's dying. Hey if you are in a market where you don't have gigabit internet access, good news, this to me is a huge surprise, Google is going to add new cities or at least investigate adding new cities to Google Fiber. I had really thought that this was just a kind of...
Leo:...a demo. They launched in Kansas City, Provo and Austin. But now they are investigating Portland, San Jose, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, San Antonio, Nashville, Atlanta, Charlotte Raleigh- Durham, yeah you're right.
Jeff: I would love to see...hey folks in the chat room, look at those markets and see who the cable companies are who are major in those markets. Who are they going after? Are they Comcast markets? Are they secondary markets that Google can win in?
Leo: San Jose is a Comcast market. That would include Santa Clara, Mountain View of course...San Antonio is Time Warner cable and AT&T according to our chat room. Nashville is Comcast, Phoenix is COX, Portland is Comcast and Charter.
Jeff: I used to work on the side of the cable business and all the deal making there is to get clusters that worked together efficiently. And so there is trading of systems that go on. So the more you can cluster, the better off you are, economically.
Leo: That's exactly what they did in the Bay area. Comcast has a fiber loop around the Bay area and they bought all the regional cable that were there to make it a 100%. And regionality is what makes it economical. So it would make sense. If you look at Atlanta there, there's a whole bunch of suburbs...
Leo: No I don't think so. This seems like it is a business. You're right, Mason Dixon lien heavy, south of the Mason Dixon line. Although, there's Portland, Salt Lake City and San Jose. But the rest of it is in the south. And these are by the way not guarantee. These are potential. So what they are doing as they did with Kansas City is they are asking these communities to step forward and get involved.
Leo: What they say is, "we'll be working close with the mayors and staff from each of these 34 cities. We'll walk through details about the Google study and about the fiber ready checklist and we'll answer any questions they have. After that we'll be working closely with the cities over the next few months as we work on our study and they work on the checklist. The the completed checklist items will be due to us on May 1." It's not clear if they'll all be selected or not. Google does say, "the process will take some time, but we hope to know by the end of 2014 which cities are going to get it. These cities are led by people who have been working hard to bring faster Internet speeds and the latest technologies to their residents." Remember when we were all campaigning for Google fiber? If these are the next best cities, I don't know. "We believe these are communities who will do amazing things with a gig. And they are diverse, not just geographically, but in the ways they’ll give us opportunities to learn about the wide range of challenges and obstacles that communities might face in trying to build a new fiber network."
Leo: Remember Google makes money in a lot of ways from this. Lately there's been a great push and I've been kind of run over the cause for defending Google for both on TWIT this week, on 'Security Now.' There is this growing anti-Google, Google is evil movement. I think these people are going to say, 'yeah. Google just wants to become your ISP's so they can know more and more and more.'
Gina: No. Unfortunately they don't. They are really good at a lot of things but...I don't know what they can do to fix the creepy problem. The feeling of I am being watched. But every new product it feels like that's the...
Leo: Jeff, in the book about Amazon, Brad is writing about Jeff Bezos talks about, at the very end of the book he talks about a book Jeff Bezos made. He sent out a memo amazon.love. The list he made is attributes of companies that are loved versus attributes of companies that are hated or feared. He actually included google, at the time of the writing, in the companies that are loved and Microsoft in the companies that are hated and feared.
Leo: He was really, It was really interesting to read this, because here is a guy that is very analytical, and very thoughtful about this stuff. Trying to figure out, it is just like trying to figure out what makes something go viral. What makes a company loved versus a company that is not loved? Is it.
Leo: In the memo, Bezos says, he said why do not Microsoft hundreds of millions of users support Microsoft against attacks, they do not. They don't have any, there is a few, and I know this because we hear from them all the time, Microsoft fan boys, but in general Microsoft users base is indifferent to Microsoft.
Gina: That has not always been the case. People used to line up for the new version of windows, the Microsoft discussion were heated. I think that google is moving toward, maybe shifting company you loved to a company that maybe you fear. Amazon is a company you love, because they bring you the things you need to your door, right that is pretty straight forward and googles products. Are amazing, and I am to a point where I could not live without them. Even for me who is very informed, I think like hmmm. Could I imagine could I go google free? I do not' know that I could. Jeff: I am in the same position. I am completely apple free except for Skype. The only reason I am still on Microsoft or apple product is you.
Leo: Those work. Here is from the book, here is what Bezos wrote, he talked about cool and not cool. That some things are cool, customers consider cool, apple, whole foods, Costco, Nike, and google. Others get piled on rather than defended if things go badly; think Microsoft, Goldman Saks, Exxon mobile and Walmart. He says the things that are cool, young risk taking, winning, polite, defeating bigger unsympathetic guys, inventing, explorers, these things are all what google is right now right. Empowering others, leadership, convictions, straight forwardness, that is something google could do, I think they do very well, but continue to do. He says pandering to the crowd is not cool, hypocraciy is not cool, Authenticity is cool, and thinking big is cooling, unexpected cool.
Gina: Humanity is the work that comes to mind for me and i guess that tells me authenticity. Some products in glass comes to mind, in particular, there is a sense that google a cold bot, who is very efficient and very good at what it does right, but there is I think humanity is the attribute.
Gina: Yes, exactly what is the catch? Also, you know they want to drive our cars, they want to get everybody online, they want everyone online, and they want to put a screen in front of your face. I think the perception about those things, even though they are highly efficient, I am totally sold on a self-driving car but it feels, I think people feel like, we are taking humans out of life.
Leo: That is what google needs to do more than anything else I think is communicate, why they want, what's the deal. Why do you want this, what are you doing with it, communicate, and be honest tell me what it is.
Jeff: Let's remember a conversation’s we had on this show back about a year ago, Where we all said we trust google, we kind of don't trust Facebook. Now right Facebook just spent 16 billion dollars to buy users, I have not heard yet, uh-oh what is Facebook up to. I'm not hearing that yet and I don't know why.
Jeff: The argument a year ago was you couldn't. The argument a year ago was that you could opt out of every google service you could use Bing, you could use Hotmail, you could use all these other services, but if your friends were on Facebook, you could not opt out of Facebook. What has changed is that all your friends are not of Facebook anymore, they are everywhere.
Gina: Google is a part of the fabric of every single interaction I have on the web, on every web page, google analytics, every google product, Gmail, I’ve opted into. I realize I could run my own imaps server or email server sure, I went for the convenience over kind of rolling up my sleeves and doing it myself.
Jeff: That vulnerability, so there is a vulnerability there that they need to understand and deal with. They need to reassure you, they need to go over the top with reassuring you because you are so dependent on them as am I.
Gina: Yes, That whole thing you could use Bing, you could just incognito window, I do not know, it kind of rings hallow to me at this point. I guess I could use Bing, but I have been using duck go, for quite some time. I often switch over to google.
Jeff: I would rather be on Android then IOS. I certainly am not going to Blackberry. Gina: I could pure Android aosp, like could run Android without the play store and everything else, but it would be just a completely different thing.
Leo: I just, I think a lot of people rightly, especially in the last week, have accused me of not paying attention to the threat posed by google. What O'Mallick talked about on Sunday on TWIT, maybe now they are harmless but at what point does it switch and there is nothing you can do.
Leo: Maybe he is not statutory, I think, he says with power, absolute power corrupt, power corrupts. The bigger a company gets, the more powerful it gets. Inevitably it will get corrupted. There is just a natural size that a company should not go beyond. There is no statutory, there is not a law, there might be a law of nature.
Leo: I am not saying the government needs to come in and say google is too big. Users could very reasonable say I am not sure I want to really continue to support this company because they have gotten to be a behemoth and they have too much of my information.
Jeff: The answer to it even for the users sake, I don't think is size, do they stop doing some functions, it doesn't work as well, I want maps to tie to my nest, to tie to my mail, to tie to my google.
Jeff: I think that Google’s you know I was there on Friday, and every time I am there I come away even more enthusiastic because they are so freaking smart. Some would say that is the problem they are to smart, they are too big and too smart.
Leo: Let me read Mark Zuckerberg's statement, we are going to take a break, we have a lot more coming up including the google change law coming up. Boy as always on this show we get in these great conversations, this has become the philosophic heart of the twit network. I like it, it really is.
Leo: I think we talk about big stories here. Mark Zuckerberg, by the way, I would love to be able to write a post on Facebook and thirty minutes later have 98, 000 likes, no I am sorry 95. Well maybe not, he does have.
Leo: He does have 25 million followers. I am excited to announce we have agreed to acquire what's app and there entire team will be joining us at Facebook. They will stay the team, the product roadmap will remain unchanged, this team will stay in Mountain View, and What App will continue to operate independently within Facebook. Facebook messenger will continue, Facebook messenger he says, is widely used for chatting with your Facebook friends, what’s app for communicating with all your contacts and small groups of people. Since what’s App and Messenger serve such different and important uses we will continue investing in both and making them each great products for everyone. Credible?
Leo: The process by the way for signing up for it, let's run through it really quick, signing up for What's app is really simple, you download it, you'll give it your phone number, which i will do off the air, not that it really matter, all the people that hate me already have my number, and then, I don't even remember my number so I think that is right, and then it will send you a text message to verify. Apparently What's app gets permission to read your text messages much like Facebook does and will automatically detect the sms coming in and read it and say got it.
Leo: Might mention that, this is poor timing, there are four according to panda labs, four android apps that are malware, what they do is sign you up for paid sms services, one of them for instance is how to lose weight, you know on your belly or something. It signs you up for an sms service gives you a quick ok, and you say ok, these are very expensive sms services and the reason it can instantly validate you is it can go into the what's app listing, the public what's app listing, which has your phone number, and it can do that apparently by looking at your What's App information. So what’s App is actually a security hole
Leo: Really show off your best side. That is it next, and now it is going to go you get a free year of service and after that it is.99/year. You know it does not really ask you for anything, it goes out there and gets everything out of your phonebook and fires away. It is very easy I think it is the reason a million people a year sign up for this thing. Let us take a break and when we come back the google change logger brought to you by Sutter stock images. Lisa just started a new blog and then she was saying last night, I love shutter stock. Whenever we want to do a blog post we like to have images as part of our blog post. Shutter stock is a source royalty free images, illustration’s, vectors, video clips, over 30 million of them. Right now very affordable, you can try it free by the way. They have a great app, android and iPad app. Which is almost like one those great gorgeous photo apps, but they have the fantastic search engine. Let’s you search not only for nouns but for adjectives and nouns, so you can search for happy hippos, cranky hippos, blue hippos, it is just a fantastic system. You can sign up for free, which means you can search for images and save images into a light box or share them with others, or buy packages of images, or do what we have a subscription 25 images a day, which is great for a company. They add 20,000 images a day, so there is always something new, each reviewed individually for content and quality. I just love Sutter stock, multi-lingual, truly international, with service and support in more than a dozen countries full time throughout the week. Don't forget to click the footage tab, we also have a footage subscription, we use it a lot during our shows to do matte images, there is always a free feature clip. I am a big fan, I want you to try shutter stock, and we actually have a good deal for you. Start the account you don't need a credit card to do that, but if you decide to purchase images use the offer code twig214, that's for February 2014 obviously, twig214 and you will get 25% off any package including the subscription package, which makes it a very good deal, twig214 at shutter stock.com. Now break out the drums it’s time for the goggle change log. Sorry Sorry Sorry Here is Gina Triapani.
Gina: They know how you’re sleeping. You'll notice a link on the bottom right of your current spreadsheets, google sheets and google drive, that says try the new google sheets and update to the app. Which you have opt to into your settings, lets you edit spreadsheets while offline, which is very nice, scrolls and loads faster which is nice. Has other new feature for spreadsheets users like new filter views, easier to use formulas, advanced conditional formatting. You can't convert existing spreadsheets to the new version, which by the way, I tried to do for the TWIGS rundown today but failed. You can opt into the new sheets for any new sheets you make going forward
Gina: Doesn't look very different, just acts different, just scrolls better, is faster and works offline, which is kind of nice. The google maps, which I had forgotten was new, because I had been trying it, using it for a long time now. This is the new google maps that google announced that the io developer conference. That has been in preview mode this whole time. Well that is coming out of preview, you had been able to switch back and forth from classic to the new mode. The new mode is now becoming the default. It will be the default pc experience going forward. Finally, I haven't actually gotten this on my phone yet, but goggle has added detailed transit schedules to the google search app on android, so if you have the update and you tap the microphone on your google search app and you say from New York City to Boston by train, for example, google will display detailed information for schedules and fares for the requested destination and countdown timer that will show you how long until the next train or bus.
Gina: Kind of nice. If a train gets delayed, there's is a maintainer issue or accident you will see status alert in the results. Much like google maps alerts you if there is a faster route while you’re on route. This feature I think is limited to users in the US, and like I said I tried it on my phone, but I haven't gotten the update yet. I tried from New York City to Boston by train but didn't get it. Just seeing goggle search getting a little smarter, it's must be rolling out little by little. That's all I got. Pretty short change log today.
Leo: It's a general purpose concurrent garbage collected programming language and runtime system, According to Wikipedia. Designed originally, I did not know this, by Ericson. This is one of the reasons it scales is it is distributed and supports hot swapping. This is probably the perfect language for this particular application. Erlang is a reference to a Danish mathematician and engineer that no one has ever heard of. So there you go.
Leo: They have 99.9% uptime, and are another reason why users love them is they just don't go down. 50 billion that's with a B, messages a day across 7 platforms, that sounds like the are perhaps, rack space, amazon, and rasher
Leo: What's App does not collect personal information that may change. Registration is authenticated with phone number, once delivered messages are deleted from what’s App's servers. Wow, they have grown to dislike there time at Yahoo. That is why they hate ad's so much, they didn't like targeted ad', that is why they charged a buck.
Leo: So Yan grew up in Russia, under the soviets, he arrived in the US as a 16-year-old immigrant living on food stamps. With the extra, wanting to stay in touch with his family in Russia and the Ukraine, his mentor was Brian at Yahoo and that is when he began to build what’s App.
Leo: Yeah I am really curious what the network platform is. God, Sequoia has got to be happy. An 8 million dollar investment, you guys work for Sequoia? They are nodding, party at Sequoia tonight baby.
Leo: Yeah, Wow, you know having used What's App for a long time and I don't really having a compelling use case, and that is probably why I don't use it, it is easy, straight forward, it just works, it's reliable. Do you use it, Chad, on a regular basis.
Leo: Now here is this. You'll like this Gina, on there What'sApp.com/opensource page they contribute back into their erlang project, which is open source. Free bsd, jq grid which is Ajax java script control. Lib phone number, that is googles common java c plus plus and java script library for phone numbers.
Leo: Light open ID, a php 5 library for open id authentication, oh they use light, i don't know how you would say this, Light ttpd, that's the web server they use. That's a very popular light web server, php
Leo: All this someday will be you’re, except that part there that's Steve Jobs, and that part over there that's Eric's, but everything else is yours my son. Google tracker this is put together by Ron Amadeo at RS technical, this is a useful thing, all the projects we know google is working on this year.
Leo: I'm just going to tell you if you really love R's you could just subscribe. Which I am, unfortunately it uses flash to show the subscribers link, which I don't have because flash is out of date on this machine. Then you can get in all on one page or in PDF which I will do. I couldn't figure out why should I give (..) 60 bucks a year, R's is so good
Leo: It is worth supporting. The Q is still in this list by the way. That is because the Q might have given away to a console set top box we have been hearing rumors about that. This could be a crib sheet for a google ad. Why don't I make a bingo sheet of all this and when we go to google IO
Jeff: Yes and when I was with this really wonderful woman really charming, Anna Richardson who does comm's with them, who sat at lunch with us to make sure we didn't punch each other last week told me that this was coming out. They went to people, explorers and discussed this, very smart use, I argued with them that they should have done the same thing about the frames. They should use google plus as an example how a company should reach out and interact. So they went to google plus and they went to the explorers there and they discussed. Let's start talking about the norms here, and this does go to this trust question here in a way. Google should take a lead role in these kind of trust issues Say hello don't be an idiot even though I think it's very close to insulting us, to say I know I don't into the bathroom, and take a picture of your junk.
Leo: Let me pull up the link here, here we go, and it’s on uTube, so glass lets you record video. You would have to save it at a time, and presumably people would know that you were. Well let's see, let's watch, let's see. Is there audio? You know what you’re going to have to do it Chad because I have issues. Wait a minute let me see if I can fix that. Here I think I can, let’s try it,let me try it and we will do it again, now you’re getting it now, let me rewind it so we get.(Movie)(laughing)Wait a minute I am going to pause this, this only works, no I guess he, ok sometimes
Jeff: Here is the problem, when I did that I was in the google strategy group, if i ever wanted any job in the world it was to be in the google strategy group. So I am talking to the whole strategy group at google, and I forgot something like that a minute ago, and I said to them all who were all very young, don't get old, and one of the guys without missing a beat said we are working on that.
Leo: There are a lot of go pro proposals by the way. Steve Pearlman, we know the name, Creator of Web TV. Right and Moxi, he has done a lot of interesting things. He has been working on a wireless broadband technology called pcell. He is the guy that did online and then sold it.
Leo: Brilliant guy, Pcell will enable according to Pearlman, full speed wireless broadband to every mobile device regardless of how many users are using the same spectrum. The startup is Artemis Networks, they have apparently been working a long time on this. Pcell will enable mobile data users to enjoy faster internet with no congestion, dead zones, weak signals. I wonder if it's a spread spectrum. He says you will feel like you’re on fiber, it's compatible with LTE.
Jeff: The... from the New Your Times today was that companies can't put cells to close together because they conflict and what this technology is make that an advantage. It passes it off in smarter ways and you don't have to change your phone, you will still be able to use your same phone.
Steve: Turn off certain things built into LTE, like for example error correction, so if there are any imperfections you will see them. Cause we want to show you them. Alright, you can see each of these PC's back here
Leo: This is his bid, if he can do this, apparently in his lab he shown iPhone playing back 4k ultra hd versions of house of cards. They are putting pcell transmitters on 350 rooftops in San Francisco and now of course they have to sign up other folks. I guess if it works, it won't have any trouble doing that. Oh it works on your computer, I get like 800-year-old Mac Book here. He is talking plainly. I am going to bring in my pixel. Dennis Woodside the CEO of Motorola has moved on to Drop Box. He was a googler for a longtime and they assigned him to Motorola mobility when they bought the company. It's the first time they have had a CEO at Drop Box. Peter Magnusson former engineering director at google is now VP of engineering at Snap Chat, probably expecting a big exit anytime now. Snap Chat turned down 3 billion, maybe they were holding out for 16. Alright we are going to wrap things up with tips, tools, numbers of the week, in just a bit. Our show today brought to you today by Legalzoom.com, Legal zoom is not a law firm better than that, they help you get your legal documents worked out. Just online, cause in most cases you know what you need to know to do it yourself. There are some things like starting a business or protecting your family with a will that have to be done. So legal zoom lets you incorporate or form and llc, with their simple questionnaire, starting at just 99 dollars. This is great way to start a business, chapter S, chapter C corps. You should also do your trademarks, legal zoom will do your trademarks for 169.00 dollars and that's important. A lot of people have brands that they are building but if they don't protect them you know they can be stolen from you. Do you have a last will, how about, there is more advanced kinds of things like, health care power of attorney, pet protection agreement, real estate, wills, trust, trademarks, business services, Legalzoom.com. They are not a law firm but they can connect you with a third party attorney. I love this, there legal zoom plan, legal plans, pre-negotiated flat rate, very affordable. Attorneys in almost every state, you can read there profiles and unedited reviews to choose the attorney that is right for you. From wills, to business formations, trademarks, powers of attorneys and more visit legalzoom.com. I just have just one little favor when you check out use the offer code twig we will take ten bucks off your bill and they will know you heard about it this week in google. Legal zoom.com please use the offer code twig. A really great company, they are empowering people all over the country to get started, to start their own business. Let’s get Gina's tip of the week.
Gina: Oh I know I am. I mean, honestly too, I have been trying to estimate how many hours, a particular engineering task would take, are taking of think ups and try to time myself. To see how close my estimates are. I know, I know, I have a whole sheet. But this whole timer feature is back. In order to set a timer in the search box, you say set a timer for 30 seconds and you will see in the one box a giant timer come up and live count down. Let's try it out.
Gina: You can set a timer for an hour and a half, set for 30 seconds, timer. Yeah there you go. So you have a 30-second timer counting down there. You can full screen it, there is that button on the right there. If you go full screen it's just a giant timer which is actually really useful if you are doing presentations.
Gina: Yeah you could use this for your students. In fact google don't they the timer up on the wall in certain meetings, in certain big meetings where people are getting up and doing short presentations.
Gina: Full screen timer. So it defaults to five minutes, so if you do set a timer it will be five minutes. You don't have to be as obnoxious as me, you can use it actually for presentations or for your students Jeff.
Jeff: A number this week, by the way Jake said to me that in What's App it's mainly international, Rafad Alee, the founder of Skifft and paid content said that every one of his relatives in India is on What's App and this is where it is big. But I will use a different number. A new study from Ohio Wright state university, finds that one of every thirteen tweets includes, in English, a curse word. Most of them of course mine
Jeff: Yes, Users swear the most on Monday's, Tuesday's and Wednesday's. Men swear more than women though we, everyone swears more around there own gender, and f-bombs are far and away Twitter’s curse word of choice.
Leo: Excellent number, so I just got this in the mail. I got a couple of things to show you. A lot of people have been asking me about republic wireless. This is an interesting play, they offer Moto-X phones, it's the only phone they offer, it's a pretty good phone if you ask me. What they have done is integrated Wi-Fi calling into the phone app in such a way that when you’re in a Wi-Fi area it will make a Wi-Fi call, and it will use cell if you are outside the Wi-Fi area, and by doing so they have very affordable plans. If you don't need the cell coverage at all, which they get from sprint by the way, and the phone, I should check, they go up and down, but sometimes it's as little as free. They have a ten dollar a monthly plan that includes unlimited talk and text but no data, for twenty-five bucks a month you get unlimited 3g data, for forty bucks a month you get unlimited 4g data and you always get unlimited talk and text. So this is a really interesting idea for affordable plans. Now I just got this today so I haven’t had a chance to use it but it is a stock Moto-X, they only have black and white. I think this is a really interesting idea, I would sure like to see this take off, this do well. Right now two hundred dollars, I think this is unlocked 299.00 unlocked. So, I shall let you know but an interesting play. I am also going to be reviewing a Sony Experian android phone for T-Mobile only, it has a 20-mega pixel camera with Sony processing. It's the Experian.
Leo: No that would be nice, but I shall give you a review. It does have the Sony interface, which is not a bad, it's a pretty straightforward interface. My app of the week is what’s App. Have you heard of it? We thank you everybody for joining us this week Gina Tripani lifehacker.com and also thinkup.com, let me just go to Leo Laporte, I love thinkup, thinkup does a statistical analysis on your twitter and Facebook feed and tells you what you’re thinking.
Gina: You know where our code is open source but we are also trying to open source our business model and the way the company works, so today on our blog my co-founder and CEO posted our investor update, we send an update to our investors every month and so we just were like our users are our investors, particularly our cloud... backers. So we posted the full everything, it kind of made me uncomfortable, I thought this would make Jeff proud, there is really nothing to private here. The full Monte everything that has gone well and everything that hasn't gone so well, everything that we are working on.
Leo: You have a big milestone coming think up. Everybody should take a look at it and soon you will be able to get it. Thinkup.com Jeff Jarvis's latest book is public parts, life in public and why it's a good thing, he also lives that life in public at BuzzMachine.com, teaches journalism at the City University of New York and is always a welcome voice here on This Week In Google. Thanks to both of you for a great show. We will see Gina back again next week on Tuesday for all about Android p.m. PT. p.m. ET.