This Week in Google 254 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: It’s time for TWIG: This Week in Google. Jeff and Gina are here. We’ll talk about the new Amazon Phone, and take a look ahead to what Google will be announcing at Google IO next week. This Week in Google is next.
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Leo: This is TWIG. This Week in Google episode two hundred fifty four recorded June eighteenth, 2014
I’m Not a Dingo
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It’s time for TWIG: This Week in Google; the show where we cover Google, the Cloud, Facebook, Twitter, everything in that category, kind of, the cloudy, socially..
Jeff Jarvis: Future
Leo: …Future thingie. That’s Jeff Jarvis, he’s Professor of Journalism at the City University of New York, who is proud to say he is tenured, I saw your tweet: “They can’t get rid of me, I’m tenured.” He’s also the author of “Public Parts” his latest book; blogs at Buzzmachine dot com. Hi, Jeff.
Leo: Thanks for being patient, we’re a little late today because of the Amazon announcement; we’ll talk about the Firephone in just a second. Also, here of course, host of All About Android, creator of Think Up at think up dot com, Gina Trapani, founding editor of Life Hacker, Hi, Gina.
Gina Trapani: Hey, good to be here.
Leo: Good to see you. Now, did you, last night on All About Android, did you kind of speculate about what Amazon might be up to with their new phone?
Gina: Well the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday it was going to be an AT&T exclusive, so we talked about that a little bit. I mean, honestly, not yesterday, but we heard kind of rumors of maybe like some kind of Amazon Prime data plan that didn’t really come to fruition, right? It’s just kind of a standard two year contract with AT&T, right?
Leo: Yeah, it’s very standard. You know, the only deal is if you are a Prime member, you get a year of Prime free, which is like a ninety nine dollar discount.
Gina: Right. Yeah, so I mean, that’s something. I thought it was going to be a little bit more Prime orientated. Like, the phone is free if you get Prime, or you get some sort of special data plan that’s Amazon. I don’t know, my imagination kind of went wild with that a little bit because I think there is room for a lot of innovation around contracts, and you know, the way that carriers work here in the US is so awful, I was thinking, well Amazon is really going to draw in Prime members, and they’re going to offer something we haven’t seen before. So they didn’t with the carrier situation, didn’t fit that way, so you do get that Prime discount.
Leo: It’s pretty much, I think Paul Saratto observed this, It’s pretty much a testament of the power of the carriers.
Gina: Yeah, that was an interesting comment. It’s true.
Leo: Yeah. You can’t do a nexus phone anymore, you know. You have to have a carrier. Even Amazon doesn’t have enough market clout to do it, to go its’ own way.
Gina: What’s Whisper Net? Is that Amazon?
Jeff: That’s a way that you too can be listening to the book, and then it syncs with when you’re reading the book.
Leo: No, that’s Whisper Sync. Whisper Net…
Jeff: Oh, you’re right. I’m sorry, I’m sorry you’re right.
Leo: So when Amazon first came out with the Kindle you might remember they offered unlimited lifetime three G connections so you could download your book anytime, anywhere; originally it was with Sprint, but of late…
Jeff: When there was no wifi…
Leo: When there was no wifi, right. And now it’s with AT&T. So, it’s basically internet access on the Kindles. It was originally on like, the basic E-Ink Kindle.
Gina: Right, right, I had thought, maybe with the Whisper Net, I don’t know what network that is, if that’s like…
Leo: It’s AT&T
Gina: It’s AT&T on the back end, that’s what I thought,
Leo: It’s three G
Gina: Well, you know, maybe Amazon will give free access to Amazon dot com, but we didn’t really see that.
Leo: You know, I had really kind of given up on that because they didn’t do it with the Fire TV, that’s ninety nine bucks, they didn’t subsidize anything. I guess the Kindle HDX, the Kindle Fire tablets are less, at least less expensive, but they’re roughly Nexus seven pricing, they’re not wildly inexpensive. Amazon has always said “Hey, we don’t have to make money on the device, we make money when you use it, but apparently, they’ve decided to make money on both sides now. Because that’s an expensive phone, six hundred and fifty bucks, unsubsidized, for the thirty two gig version, seven hundred and fifty for the sixty four gig version. It will be shipping July twentyfifth, five weeks. But there are some interesting things, and I think for this crowd, the most interesting thing is that this is an Android phone. But at this point…
Leo: Barely. I think at this point, I would propose, that we can now say, they call it Fire OS three point five, that there is a fourth major mobile O S. You’ve got iOS, you’ve got Android, you’ve got Windows phone and now I think you could safely say that Fire OS…
Jeff: Because it’s certainly not Android…
Leo: And it’s not skinned Android, it’s not like Touch Whiz, or Sense.
Jeff: It’s amputated Android.
Leo: Yeah, they don’t mention Android, but the only time they use the word…
Jeff: They do, they do. On the page…
Jeff: It starts with Android.
Leo: Oh really?
Jeff: Yes, on the Amazon page.
Leo: Oh that’s a departure; they never said that with the Kindle Fire tablets.
Jeff: Under the paragraph about the OS three dot five, or whatever.
Leo: Starts with Android…I think that’s for developers, too. Like, look your Android app is going to work on this stuff.
Gina: Yeah, that’s definitely for developers. There’s Google, Google Android, and then there’s Froe OS. I think that Fire OS is very legitimate and will be very widespread. Android Fork, I think it’s legitimate to call it a fork…
Leo: It’s definitely a fork. It’s a fork of what, what code do they start with, four two two?
Gina: A O S P. I’m not sure what version. But they are the first company to sort of successfully build an entire proprietary layer right on top of the A O S P to replace Google Services. That’s where Google’s competing, right? With Google Services, and Play Services, and the Play Store, and all those things? It makes me happy because it’s like, oh, Yes, Android truly is open;there is an opportunity here. I think a lot of people said for a long time Android isn’t truly open…
Jeff: Good point
Gina: There isn’t an opportunity, no one would ever start from Android, and build their own thing, they would start from scratch. Well, we don’t need to start from scratch anymore; the operating system is built, now it’s about the services, and the cloud APIs. Which is kind of the interesting part.
Leo: And in fact, Amazon is one of the few companies with enough size, clout and money to provide those services itself. It Looks like, in fact, we know this now, it’s licensed the Nokia Here Maps, for the maps. And those are actually arguably as good as Google Maps, if not better. I think they’re very good. So that’s where it’s getting it’s maps. You don’t have a Play store, because for a long time Amazon has had its own app store, two hundred thousand apps in their app store.
Gina: Yeah, that App Store.
Leo: They could even argue it’s more curated than the Play Store, right? Smaller.
Gina: Of course, Those apps don’t have access to Google Play, Games, Google Play Services, which is part of the Google experience. I uploaded my apps to them on the app store; my sales aren’t nearly what they are on the Play Store…
Leo: Oh, that’s interesting.
Gina: But, yeah, it’s there. On Amazon…
Leo: What did it involve, to get your to do text, is what you’re talking about?
Gina: Yeah, to do text. Well, my app is pretty simple, it doesn’t interact with the Google APIs or proprietary Google APIs, it interacts, of course, with the Dropbox API, it uses the Android STK for Dropbox, which is available for free from Dropbox. And so, submitting it to the Amazon App Store, I didn’t have to make any modifications. It’s the exact same APK as the Google Play Store; there’s a review process, it took some time for them to review it and get back to me; and in fact, at one point, one of my versions, I’ve uploaded several versions at this point, got stuck in the review cue for a really long time, I had to get in touch and nudge them. I don’t know what happened, it fell down a hole or something. But that’s really the main difference, is that there is a review process, and the sales are not as high, right, as in the Play store. In the Play store, you upload it and the binary just goes. Well, it takes some time for the Play Store cache to clear, but you’re talking about a few hours. Amazon has contacted me quite a few times, asking if I wanted to make my app the free app of the day, because they do a bunch of free apps, you know my app is whatever, two bucks, which was nice, and flattering. I turned them down, because I was like, hey, if I wanted to give this away for free I would have just set the price tag to zero.
Leo: What are the terms of that? They don’t give you any money, free is free for that week, or day.
Gina: For the day. Yes, free is free.
Leo: Oh, interesting. But you said you can turn them down?
Gina: Yes, you can, you can say no thanks. You have to agree, obviously.
Leo: So they lose maps, but apparently the have the one point oh API available, if you wanted to use maps. So if you wanted to do a map and to do that text, you would have to use the one point oh API, but you could call the Here maps using that. You lose messaging, which means you lose hangouts, you lose Voice, that may be more significant, right?
Gina: I mean, not really, because Android just has these hooks into share, or to, you know, there’s these generic hooks, where it’s like, here’s a webpage, you click on it, if you have multiple browsers installed, it’s like, what default app do you want to use? If you don’t, there are generic hooks to invoke the dialer, whatever version of Android you’re running. Of course, Hangouts is proprietary, but I think with Android’s intents and the share menu, if your app isn’t too imbedded into the Google ecosystem, if you’re not using Google play games and leaderboards, and Google maps specifically, you can build a pretty generic Android app that hooks into the low level system APIs that let you customize it no matter what layer you’re in. Of course, Google is making this harder to do, because their proprietary services are increasingly more attractive.
Leo: What is it that you lose?
Leo: Yeah, Amazon now is coming on them to keep the OS up to date. They significantly changed it, so that’s not a surprise.
Gina: I mean, the mapping; if you’re building a game, Google Play Games is great. You have leaderboards and achievements, and you get the social connections…
Leo: But Amazon has an equivalent, don’t they? They have an Amazon game?
Gina: I’m not sure, do they?
Leo: I think so but I don’t remember.
Gina: I don’t think so to the extent; and Google is only going to make this more…we have another story on The Rundown, Google Fit is going to be a big thing. It sounds like it will operate a lot like Google Play Games, where it’s a platform for fitness apps, to talk to it, versus just the fitness app in of itself.
Jeff: So, the Amazon phone doesn’t have Bluetooth LE, I saw.
Leo: Yeah, no Bluetooth, four, it’s Bluetooth three. It has NFC, that’s good, but it doesn’t have Bluetooth LE. But that’s a little bit of a surprise. But what it does have; there are a couple of things I find very interesting. What is this Firefly button, a physical button on the side of the phone? When you press it, within one second, the camera is launched. And much like Google’s Goggles, you can point it at stuff, and it will be identified. Obviously, the first intent is that you point it at a product, and not only does it identify it, I assume, buy it also brings up the Amazon page for it so you can buy it.
Jeff: So we hear Google screamed out about using their market position, and blah blah blah blah, every retailer in the country.
Leo: Can you imagine how Best Buy is worried about this?
Jeff: Because we all do it now, I mean, I go to the bookstore, and shoot it because I also don’t have Nook, I have Kindle.
Leo: Right. It can identify Renaissance paintings; they show Renaissance paintings. If it sees a phone number on a sign, it will give you the number and give you a chance to dial it. So as you’re driving by a real estate sign, you can point the phone at it, Firefly the number and call?
Jeff: That’s going to be easy for everybody else to catch up on though, isn’t it?
Gina: Yeah, that’s great, but yeah, that’s software.
Leo: In fact, Goggle bought Word Lines, if you remember, the automatic translation software. I feel like these are features that Google has had with Goggles, almost every one of these.
Jeff: That’s right. It’s not the button away, but yeah.
Leo: But Google doesn’t sell merchandise. Although they are starting to do deals with people like Best Buy, for delivery? Maybe this pushes Google ahead on that process.
Jeff: I’m waiting for the story; it will come out soon. Some store somewhere will try to ban use of phones while you’re shopping.
Leo: Oh, everyone will. If I’m Best Buy, I’m going to immediately say, “You’re not bringing that thing in here.” Showrooming is the term, right?
Jeff: Have you been in Best Buy recently?
Leo: You might as well buy it online.
Jeff: It’s all marketing space for Samsung and Microsoft, and Google. That’s how they are making their money now.
Leo: Somebody said this, and this is interesting, that the payment API is easier to use for Amazon than it is for Google. So Google goes for the wallet.
Gina: Oh, that’s interesting.
Leo: Amazon obviously, everyone who has an Amazon phone has an Amazon credit card with them.
Gina: Yes. That hadn’t occurred to me, but that is probably absolutely true.
Leo: Amazon made a big point about having an STK for Firefly. So that Your app, even Best Buy, could write an app that says, ”Hey, Take a picture of it and order it from Best Buy.”
Gina: Right, yup.
Leo: I immediately ordered one, of course, because it’s my job. But I’m intrigued by it.
Jeff: I have no desire. Put a gadget in front of me, and ring a bell, and I’ll start salivating. But….
Leo: Now by the way, it wasn’t 3D, I think it was widely misreported as 3D. The phone does not have 3D, it has what they call “dynamic perspective.” Four cameras on the front, in the four corners, that know where your head is; not only angle and position in front of it, but how far away the Z axis, how far away it is. And then based on that, they can modify the image so that you can look around columns, you can kind of look around by just moving your head. This is of limited appeal, it seems. Although they did show a game that apparently uses it. Again, another product that has API. You know what I think is very interesting? Have you ever used a mayday feature on your Kindle?
Gina: I haven’t.
Jeff: I really don’t use a Kindle; I use Kindle App on my Nexus Seven.
Leo: So I have. I used it on the Fire HDX. You press a button…
Jeff: When you get lonely?
Leo: Apparently, a lot of people who are lonely call this. Within fifteen seconds, actually the average time, Amazon released last week, is nine point seven five seconds. A person will answer, you will see them and then they will see a video of you. They can control the device, at least on the Kindle Fire HDX, they can control your device; I presume it will be the same on the Fire Phone; they can help you. AT&T says they will also have the ability to transfer you to AT&T if you need customer service, on the network. We were talking on our launch, Mike Elgan said they will probably have emergency services as well, right? So it is like calling 9-1-1. This Mayday button I think is a selling point for first time software buyers.
Jeff: Oh, I can’t imagine they would want that liability.
Leo: Well ok, what if you call them up and you are bleeding from the head and say help me, what are they going to, hang up on you Jeff? The absolutely have that liability.
Jeff: Oh, Jesus, yeah. You don’t want that.
Gina: All of the Mayday examples I have seen have been pretty softball questions about like how to use the Amazon, but if you have somebody, I’m trying to imagine like my mom, I feel like my mom, not to use my mom as an example, that’s such a terrible example, alright, my father-in-law…
Leo: Alright, use mine, use my mom
Gina: Goes, “Hey Mayday, hi, I saw this commercial, where somebody pointed their phone up at the sky and they could see what stars they were, like how do I do that?” I feel like the questions would be really broad.
Leo: They do that
Gina: Or are there ways that like, could I listen to the monks singing in Italy, right? I trying to imagine there would be very broad questions. So is Mayday like, general tech support?
Leo: Its’ not supposed to be, like a concierge service, you mean?
Gina: Yeah, yeah.
Leo: It’s not supposed to be, but I could see them, they built the infrastructure, why wouldn’t they have the ability to book hotels and answer questions? You know, I’m trying to find the article, I read a nice article recently.
Jeff: You know, supposedly I have that on various credit cards; I don’t use it.
Leo: Right, you call your American Express concierge service.
Jeff: Somehow I can see how well that’s going to work.
Leo: I feel like this is, there could be a lot here.
Gina: Say Jeff is having trouble signing into his two Google accounts, I mean, could you Mayday that?
Leo: Well, not that specifically, but yeah. Something like that.
Jeff: You had to remind me, Gina.
Leo: There was a really good article I read, and it was like, Mayday people have gotten, customer reps have gotten marriage proposals.
Jeff: That’s a little creeped out. That guy in the commercials, whoever, creeped us out.
Leo: The woman did. Because he was like, hitting on her and she’s like “aww.” And by the way, she appeared again in the slide deck, that Jeff Bezos showed today. I really want to find this example. Amazon, obviously preparing for this last week, published a lot of stuff about Mayday, and among other things, some examples of the kinds of things. And it seems like a very broad range. “I can’t open this jar, could you help me?” Probably not.
Jeff: Well that’s going to lead to a whole list of videos trying to push Mayday to its limit.
Leo: Well, we thought that when it came out in the Kindle Fire HDX, and that didn’t happen. I thought there would be a lot of that.
Jeff: But now you can record it easier on your phone.
Leo: Maybe, I don’t know. Yeah. What I’m most interested about is that they now have an OS. Somebody in the chat room said and I think it’s fairly accurate: Fire OS is to Android what Apple is to Unix. Android is the underpinnings, but you don’t see Android; it’s not a skin, it’s an entire interface.
Jeff: And next off was the CPM.
Jeff: And you know, it’s a searching pad that can go off on its own, and be whatever it is.
Leo: Here it is, thank you, Jason Klatiss (Unintelligible) in our chat room, sent me this C-Net article that came out a month ago: “The Mayday Button: Amazon Reveals the Craziest Mayday Customer Support Calls.” This was actually in a letter to shareholders. Marriage proposals, requests to speak with “Amy the Redhead,” we talked about; “Is Amy there?”, “No, she went home.” Thirty five marriage proposals, four hundred seventy five requests to talk to “Amy,” a hundred and nine requests from customers needing assistance with ordering a pizza; and they don’t hang up on you. “By a slim margin,” Jeff Bezos writes, “Pizza Hut wins customer preference over Dominos.” Forty four instances when the Mayday tech advisor sang “Happy Birthday” to a customer. Six hundred forty eight instances when a customer sang a song to the Mayday tech advisor; I could see…they must log this: “Customer sang me a song, it was bad.”
Gina: But we need this last one, for bedtime.
Leo: Three customer requests for a bedtime story.
Gina: So I’m looking at Google Play Services; here is the advantage that Google has over Amazon: they have been working with Android longer, and they have a head start. And the truth is that Google leads development on AIOSP. Google Play Services has a lot of stuff now. I mean granted, while it may not be as strong a s Amazon commerce tools, but you’ve got Maps and Location, and Google Plus, which is like Sign In with Google very quickly, you’ve got Ads, you’ve got Billing, Cloud Messaging, distribution with the Google Play store, Games, Mobile ads; there’s a lot here. Amazon has a lot of things that match, right, they have cloud storage that matches Drive; I wouldn’t be surprised at all if their e-commerce solution, their Quickpay, their STKs, are better than Google’s but, I don’t know, Google has been doing this for a while, even something like Google Cloud Messaging, which makes it easier to send push notifications, I mean that’s something that a lot of apps probably use.
Leo: Who has better cloud infrastructure, Google or Amazon? I could argue that Amazon has been way ahead of Google, in terms of public cloud services.
Jeff: Public services, public cloud services.
Gina: Absolutely, you’re absolutely right on that, for sure.
Leo: This is exciting. No, because competition is good.
Gina: It is.
Leo: Who would have thought at this late stage, mobile phones, we would have a new OS?
Jeff: True. And have Amazon as one.
Leo: And Amazon has played this perfectly, because they started the app store a few years ago; it’s been clear they have been building up to this.
Jeff: I wish…
Gina: But Leo made a comment during the… sorry, Jeff.
Jeff: Go ahead, Gina.
Leo: Ladies first.
Gina: Leo was making a comment during your live coverage that this is like the battle of the; I forget what word that you used, but the ecosystem…
Leo: Oh, ecosystems, yeah.
Gina: Ecosystem yeah; as a consumer you have to kind of make this decision:
Leo: Yes, I don’t like that.
Gina: Am I a Google person, am I an Apple person, am I an Amazon person, or am I a Windows person?
Leo: And there is logic, isn’t there?
Gina; Yeah, there is, right? Especially with these devices; it’s like I either have all the Google services, or I have all the Amazon services, but not both.
Gina: It feels a bit like…
Jeff: I could have Chrome anywhere.
Gina: True, true. It feels like Hacker PC, though, right? Like, it feels like we’re harkening back to like our Mac or PC time.
Leo: It is.
Jeff: I think you’re right, generally, but there are a few leaks in that.
Leo: And I though this with the Amazon Fire TV too. It’s really clear now; Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon: the four horsemen, right?
Leo: Are very much creating their own siloed, as best they can, ecosystems. They don’t…
Jeff: That’s too bad.
Leo: Yeah. In a sense it’s too bad. Its choice, but it’s kind of not an open choice, which is a shame, I agree with you.
Jeff: Because I’m still frustrated I can’t use Skype on my Chrome Book, for example.
Leo: But, isn’t Google’s the most open ecosystem of them all?
Leo: Because you can use Amazon App Store on Google, on Android.
Jeff: That’s the point I’m trying to make, yeah.
Leo: But you make a good point, that on your Chrome Book at least, you can’t use Skype. Although, I suppose, Microsoft could decide to do a Chrome plug-in for Skype. That’s really more Microsoft’s choice; Google wouldn’t stop them from doing that.
Gina: Doing a Chrome app, a Skype Chrome app?
Leo: Right, nothing to stop them from doing that. So I think Google has at least a bias, in favor of Open; that Apple does not have. Microsoft, oddly enough, historically has not had, and is moving towards; we were talking about this on (unintelligible) Weekly, this is very uncharacteristic, but they released the iPad version of Office before they released the Surface version. They have really kind of said, “We’re going to be cross-platform.” So Microsoft may be moving in that direction. But Amazon is never going to move in that...Amazon knows what its business is.
Jeff: And Google’s strategy; that was the entire Amazon strategy, was opening up.
Jeff: And you could say that Amazon used it against them. So here’s a different question then: if you’re Google, how to you exploit what Amazon has just done?
Leo: Well, you do one thing that does; is just as Gina said; it confirms what you have said all along: Android is open. It lets you off the hook.
Leo: I think that any; maybe Amazon has made a mistake, by offering STKs for Firefly, its purchasing technology, and for Dynamic Perspective. See, the problem with Dynamic Perspective is no other phone can do it; or can it? I don’t know. It’s just a GPU accelerated thing, right?
Gina: Yeah, that’s a good question. But likely it’s just for that phone, right now.
Leo: Yeah. And nobody is going to cross-platform that. Or want to do it, frankly. It’s not interesting enough to want to make it on the iPhone. iPhone could do it, for sure.
Gina: It multiplies the fragmentation a little bit from the developer’s’ side;
Leo: It does.
Gina: It’s like, oh, I’m going to compile the EPK versus Talk City’s SDKs for Amazon, I’m going to compile one for Google; I’m going to compile one for whatever. Isn’t that…
Jeff: You have to go through the approval processes for all of them, too.
Gina: Right. Well, just for Amazon, right now. But yeah, yes.
Leo: But it wasn’t onerous, was it?
Gina: No, I mean, you upload it say, hey; you check the box, send them an email, when my results are back, and then you get an automated email a couple days later. You know, it’s just one of those things where it makes it difficult to plan a launch, you know, I’m a small indie developer, and this is a weekend project. But this makes it a little harder to sort of plan a launch and you know, you have to get ahead of it.
Leo: How long before Amazon releases its own language? For proprietary purposes, like Apple did. The next show is going to drop though. Next week it’s Google IO.
Leo: And Google…
Gina: One week.
Leo: And this has been a wonderful month for those of us who cover technology. We’ve had so much to see and hear and play with, and Google gets the last word. Nice timing, Google.
Jeff: Is it good, or are they rushing to match a feature announcement today, or?
Leo: I would think not. But they’re certainly going to get to say; get to respond. And I imagine we’ll respond with some things that only Android Open Handset alliance can do; like for instance, this health thing.
Jeff: The health thing.
Gina: Yeah, and look. Google is going to tout, and they would have done this anyway, they are going to tout the distribution power of the Play store. I mean, they’re going to talk about how many billions of downloads, how many active users, they’re going to talk about how many of those users, I think it’s over seventy percent now, are kit kat or jelly bean, so the fragmentation problem is basically no longer a problem.
Leo: No more Toxic Health Stew…
Gina: Right, no more Toxic Health Stew, right, exactly, yeah. At this point, they’re not racing to answer with any features, but they can certainly just tweak their slides to address any of this stuff. I don’t know, I don’t know if there’s anything here, if Google is even going to; I’ll be surprised, actually, if they address Amazon in the keynote. We should start some bets.
Leo: Yeah, really. Have a BINGO sheet, anyway.
Jeff: A drinking game.
Leo: So you two are going to be there, in the room, and then we’ll do This Week in Google after the keynote ends. You’ll drive up here, and Jeff with his eyes tightly closed, and we’ll do the show from here.
Leo: I don’t know, everybody that we use normally who covers Google is at the event. So I’m going to be all alone here, covering it live, they are live streaming it, we will cover it by live stream, I’m sure Mike Elgan; no, no, he’s going to be there, too.
Leo: I think we have Matthew Ingram, right?
Gina: You might want to ask Ron, because he didn’t get in.
Leo: Okay, we’ll get Ron.
Gina: He’d be great. Ron Richards from All About Android, he’d be great.
Leo: I think so, yeah. There you go: Ron Richards, Matthew Ingram, and me. The three people who didn’t get invited to Google IO.
Gina: He has a day job, so I don’t know, ask him.
Leo: Oh, oh he has a job! Now you tell me! Anyway, we’ll be covering that, is that next week?
Gina: Its next week. We’re going to be sitting there in person next week.
Jeff: I’m going to be flying to San Francisco tomorrow for an event on Friday, flying back Saturday, or early Sunday, and then flying back on Tuesday to be there for IO, and then back on Friday.
Leo: What?! And then stay the weekend and be on Twit? Do you know the flight attendants; “Oh, hey, Jeff?”
Jeff: I ran into one my last flight from Berlin: “I know you!”
Leo: “Hey, Jeff! You’re on the red-eye, huh?” You’re starting to remind me a little bit of Don Draper, here; going back and forth, and back and forth.
Jeff: Or what’s his name? What was the great frequent flyer movie…whatever. I am global services.
Leo: You are global services.
Jeff: I’m that obnoxious brick that gets to go on first…
Leo: Oh, George Clooney on the first. Up in the Air, Up in the Air, was firing people.
Jeff: So everyone on United now is lined up in these five humongous lines…
Leo: Not you.
Jeff: Well I do anyway, because I’m neurotic like that: first, injured people, and then, me.
Jeff: “Excuse me, excuse me, excuse, me,” and then I go to the front of the line. It’s obnoxious and horrible, but I love it.
Leo: One thing we will see at Google IO is a response to Car Play, Apple’s technology that puts iPhones in the car; Automotive News says; we don’t usually report scoops by Automotive News, this is a first; I’m excited. Automotive News says that’s three sources tell it that Google will unveil its first in-car operating system next week at IO. Known internally as Google Auto Link, it will be the first project to emerge from the Open Automotive Alliance. This is a Google ad consortium that adds Audi, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, and Video, which I guess makes the chips for the whole thing. It is not an imbedded infotainment system. In fact, my Audi has that right now, it has QNX, which Blackberry owns. But it will be much more like what Apple is doing, which is a projected system. So that the display displays stuff that its’ getting from the Smartphone. That makes a lot more sense.
Jeff: That also means it’s more updateable, in a sense that whatever your phone is that minute, you can project and use it.
Leo: Exactly, yeah.
Gina: It’s like casting for the screen in your car.
Leo: Yeah, there’s a little Chrome cast screen in your car. So expect announcements there and expect demonstrations for the new GAL: Google Auto Link. We’ll also, according, again, these are rumors, also perhaps see Google Fit. Google has tried to before to provide a database of health information, and ended that, what, a couple of years ago now? Microsoft still maintains something, and of course, Apple has announced it’s going to do Health Kit, with a health app. Google Fit, according to the rumor in Forbes, will also be launched at Google IO. It will aggregate, this is just like Health Kit, through open APIs, constructions sets allows it to share information, will also have partnerships with wearable device makers, and do things, like not only measure steps, but also heart rate; all this is all me, too. I’m wearing the new Samsung Gear Two watch; we finally got a sample of this. And really, this is much nicer than the original Galaxy Gear. The camera is built into the bezel now, instead of being a big protrudence, a little pimple along the band. You can actually talk to it, you can do S voice commands, you can talk on the phone with it, I think. Do you think, we’ll see watches next week?
Gina: Yeah, yeah.
Leo: What about a Google Watch?
Gina: I think it’s going to be the LG, the rumor is that it’s the Gwatch, the LG U-Watch.
Leo: Is that what the insiders call it, the Gwatch?
Gina: The insiders, or…?
Jeff: It can’t be a Gwatch it only works with two phones.
Leo: I want to see the Moto three sixty.
Gina: Right, that’s the round one.
Gina: So I think the one though, that they’re giving away is the square one. That’s the watch…
Leo: So are you guys going to wearing a Gwatch when we?
Gina: Gwatch. I was saying on A.A. last night, with Google Fit, you know what I’m hoping to see at IO next week, is One Keeper and Fit Bits…
Gina: Up on stage saying,” We have integrated our apps with Google Fit and these are the things that made it so much better, right”
Gina: Those apps have been out for so long and they know so much; I hope that it’s about that: Google’s platform sort of helping them out versus trying to replace them.
Leo: Here’s the question: if they do that, does it automatically get on the Gwatch? Or does the Gwatch have to support it? In other words, is the Gwatch, like we were talking about with the auto stuff, does the Gwatch, have to cast to the Gwatch or is it its own thing? Have its own CPU and all of that stuff? Seems like that would be a good way to do that, put less intelligence in the watch itself.
Gina: Yeah, yeah. Actually my Fit that broke and I ended up switching and running the Fit by Android app, and then just switching it to the device.
Gina: And let the device count my steps.
Gina: But my numbers were a lot lower because there’s times that I’m walking around the house and I’m don’t have my phone in my pocket, right, because it’s in the other room, but with a watch, I’m never going to take that off, so I’m hoping to see Fit Bit or Fit Bit Light, or Runkeeper , which is another great app. You know, have the Android Wear app, that’s constantly tracking, and also using Google Fit to tell me when I’ve reached my step goal for a day or burned so many calories. I hope that those integrations; the Google Fit perfectly aligns with Android Wear. They are compatible.
Leo: I do like that you can talk to your; you can say, “Okay Google,” to your watch, just as I do now to my phone, and it will go, “What?” and you can do that. It’s probably got Google Now cards. But, come to think of it, they can’t make it just a cast to the watch, because you probably have the expectation that even if your phone is not nearby, your watch still works, it still measures your steps, it still does stuff.
Leo: Okay, so they can’t do that. The watch still has to have Smarts and a battery, and all that stuff.
Jeff: I have mine; now I have the, what is it called?
Leo: your watch, what is that?
Jeff: This is the…
Leo: It’s pretty, what does that do?
Jeff: It’s a Fit Bit kind of thing; but it’s not a Fit Bit, I lost my Fit Bit, so I have this one. It’s really nice. Shine. It’s the Shine.
Leo: This also fits into the “Me Too” category. The Shine. The faceless watch.
Jeff: This needs a battery.
Leo: That’s the one, okay we did look at that. They use watch batteries, so you don’t have to charge it.
Leo: But it does a lot less, as a result. It doesn’t have a screen, for instance.
Jeff: Well it has the little lights that go around.
Leo: Mike Elgan reviewed the Shine before.
Jeff: I tried to use the Fit Bit as a watch instead of my watch, and it was like saying, “Okay, Google, what time is it?”
Jeff: I just look at this watch, and there it is, the time is right there!
Leo: I’m so skeptical on this category, I really am, just skeptical.
Gina: But I can’t wait to get it on my wrist, I’ll be honest.
Leo:, I’ve worn everything there is, and they’re all just glorified pedometers, really.
Jeff: By the way, your phone is anyway.
Leo: Your phone is anyway, as Gina pointed out. You carry it around, and it measures all your steps.
Gina: I feel with Google Now, and this is me totally being a fan girl, by the way, I feel as though with Google Now behind Android Wear, Android Wear being connected to Google Now, I feel like the Google watch running, or the Smartwatch running Wear, and having their hooks into the Google lair, is going to be way better than anything we’ve seen in terms of Smartwatches.
Leo: I hope you’re right.
Gina: That’s why I’m excited about it.
Leo: Canadian court has told Google they have to take down websites all over the world.
Jeff: All over the world; whereas the EU case of the Right to be Forgotten, they only had to be taken down in EU territory. So here is Canada, imperialistic, world invading Canada, saying that they rule the world; that you have to do this around the whole world.
Leo: British Colombia Justice L.A. Fenlon ordered Google to remove websites that have stolen intellectual property from Equustek Tech Solutions, used to manufacture competing products. Google had removed Equustek links from Google dot CA, but they wanted more. The judge said, “No, you have to remove them everywhere in the world.” “I note,” the judge wrote, “that on the record before me the injunction would compel Google to take steps in California or the state in which its search engine is controlled, and would therefore not direct that steps to be taken around the world, but the effect the injunction could reach beyond one state is a separate issue.” So, in other words, he says the search index in California, or wherever your servers are, but that’s a side effect, that is goes all over the world.
Gina: Wherever your severs are?
Jeff: It affects my ability to know something, my right to know. This may lead to a very, very dangerous trend in censorship. She can…
Leo: She compared them to an innocent warehouse: “Google is an innocent warehouse that has been forbidden from shipping out goods for companies subjected to an injunction. The local order not to ship could also have broader geographical implications.” This is an example of a real word physical analogy that just doesn’t work so good.
Jeff: It just doesn’t work. Canada, get off our lawn.
Leo: It’s not shipping, it’s not a warehouse.
Jeff; So we have the Right to be Forgotten decision in Europe, we have this, Joe Nocera, journalist for the New York Times, defended the Right to be Forgotten, which I find as a journalist, shocking. They shouldn’t have nasty things up there; they shouldn’t have yucky things up there. So what, the New York Times should just have good news? Then we have Joe Scarsborough, who went ballistic on Google, there’s video I think up on the Rundown, on the same issue, saying that Google should be forced to take down everything that we don’t like. Hello people! Can we spell “free speech” anymore?
Leo: We get the internet we deserve, but it’s not looking like it’s going to be a very good one. Let’s take a break, when we come back it’s going to be the Change Log. Gina Trapani, you’re going to have to go to work, I’m sorry. You lazy person, you. I get to take a break.
Gina: Thanks, Leo. Here I was, just chilling, and…
Leo: By the way, I could point my Amazon Phone at your painting and I know exactly who painted it, like that.
Gina: If it works, it’s true.
Leo: Wouldn’t it be wild if it did?
Gina: It would be pretty great. I think this is a local Brooklyn artist, so I would be curious to know if it did.
Leo: Yeah, there you go. We’re going to talk about Squarespace dot com, a better web awaits at the fabulous Squarespace dot com, the best web hosting, ever; plus, a fabulous content management system. That means you’re going to get an incredible website whether you are a photographer…by the way, they invented, I should go back and show you, they invented exactly what Amazon just put in their phone, this idea of dynamic perspective. If you go to the Squarespace site, and you move your mouse around, you’ll notice the background moves and the foreground doesn’t. You see? It’s just that easy. You can even do it on the web with a little Html five. All you have to go to Squarespace dot com, after you’ve played with that for a little bit, click the “get started” button; twenty five gorgeous templates, all of which are mobile responsive: they all use the latest and greatest technology, web technology. Let me pick one here: Momentum. This is a full bleed, very visual; and I notice this is the trend now, with sites, with modern sites. There are big pictures, and then you scroll down, and you see how some people have used this template; of course each is unique. And some of them are commerce, like Portland Press, that looks like it is using Squarespace to sell, it looks like, coffee stuff. Or, what is that? Oh, it’s a gallery. I don’t know what this is. It’s actually kind of fun to go to the websites and see what the different stuff is. Oh yeah, they sell like, these pitchers. It’s made out of what? It’s made out of wood, wool and steel; only in Portland would you make a coffee maker out of wool.
Gina: And a mason jar. Pretty great.
Leo: And a mason jar. This is very Oregonian. But that’s a Squarespace site. Here, you can create your site. All they want: your name, your email and a password for your site; for two weeks you have the run of the place. You can do all sorts of cool stuff with it, play with those templates. And you know, if you decide I don’t like this template, you can even import all your stuff from your existing site, if you don’t like the template, change it! And all the content stays there, it just looks different. Even pictures, everything, it’s all mobile response; it looks great no matter what size screen. They all have commerce, e-commerce buttons, if you want to sell something, or take donations, or do a wedding registry, you could do that. The mobile apps are spectacular, the blog app, which lets you post on your Squarespace site, and moderate comments. The metrics app, which is a very nice way of measuring, not only your analytics, like how many people visit your page, but also track social followers and so forth. They have some other stuff too, the portfolio, that synchronizes with the galleries on your Squarespace website. This is really cool: they put this on the iPad; if you’re a photographer, you have a Squarespace site, and the portfolios on your Squarespace site are now beautifully displayed on your iPad. This is free; this is part of the deal. I just love Squarespace. I want you to, and by the way, yes, Android apps are coming soon. They really are good, and the price is right. They start as low as eight dollars a month; when you buy an annual plan that includes the domain name, they will do they registration for you, and hook it all up. You want e-commerce? They have the best e-commerce solution out there, just twenty four bucks a month. They will help you get set up with credit cards, you can have shipping information, shipping calculations on your site, label printing by Ship Station, integrated accountings by Zero, so you get inventory controls and all of that. By the way, if you are a competent web developer, you can, of course, use the developer platform to do anything, but you don’t need to be and that’s the beauty of it. Eight dollars a month get started right now. And if you decide after your two week free trial, you want to buy, all I ask if you use Alpha code T-W-I-G TWIG, and you’ll get ten percent off on your new account. Squarepace dot com. We would like to thank them for their support of This Week in Google. Now, play the drums slowly, it’s time for The Change Log.
Announcer: The Google Changelog.
Leo: Here’s Gina Tripani with the latest.
Gina: It’s the lull before the IO storm, so this Changelog is relatively short, but I have a couple of things. Google Knowledge Graph adds phone numbers with Hangout integration to your search results. So if you search for a local restaurant, a bar, a business, Google will show you, in the Knowledge Graph, at the top of your search results, a big phone number, you click on it, and it will initialize a call via Hangouts. I’ll tell you the truth, I tried it with a couple of pretty famous restaurants here in New York City; it didn’t always work, sometimes it happened, I got the listing and the Knowledge Graph on the right side and the number there was clickable, but, really nice, if you want to make a reservation, or ask what time they are open, it’s kind of a nice hookup. But I hope this means that at IO we’re going to hear a little bit more about Hangouts and Voice and kind of really unifying all the messaging apps together. Waze got an update, I thought this would make Jeff really happy.
Leo: I love this one, yeah.
Gina: Yeah, yeah. Waze is updated for Android and iOS, the mobile apps with a new UI, and enhanced location sharing features. The new Waze update, it syncs your phone contact list with your Waze friends, and now you can share your driving routes with multiple friends at a time, and the people who you share your drive with can track your progress and will be provided with a real time ETA, which we will probably use this next week when we’re driving up to Petaluma to do (unintelligible) it will be really helpful, yeah. Lat one: Google Accounts…
Jeff: We have to add in the time for me to be getting out of the car and puking before we get on the bridge.
Leo: Oh, come on.
Gina: We have to get Waze to send scared emoticons when we’re on the bridge. Google Accounts Settings area has a new section called Google Account History. Go to Google dot com slash settings slash account history, or you just click on the account history tab, you’ll be able to kind of control your history tracking so you can pause, and it’s interesting that they call it “pause,” you can pause your search history tracking, location history tracking, and your Youtube history, of things that you’ve watched and that you haven’t. What’s neat about this, and it doesn’t sound like much, what’s neat about this new tab is that this page, first of all, is beautifully designed, and when you do click “pause,” you get a little pop, it grays out everything, and you get a little pop up that says, “hey, if you pause your search history tracking, Google Now is going to be a lot less useful; these are some of the features that you’ll be missing.” And, I really like that, so I feel like Google does, not only needs to give users the ability to control what information Google logs and shares across apps, from Now to Gmail to Calendar, etcetera, but I think it’s a really good way to communicate, like hey, this is what you get. Google Now is smart because this is on, and if it’s off, then these are the features they won’t get. I also think it’s interesting that “pause” is the word that they chose, instead of “stop,” or “don’t do this,” because “pause” implies that you’re going to start it again, right? So it’s like gentle coercion.
Leo: we’re just pausing, but not stopping.
Gina: Just pausing; yeah, yeah, just pausing for now. This is the kind of thing I would love to see for Android app permissions, which are long and complex and complicated. I just would love to see like, hey, if I revoke this one permission, or you want this one permission for what reasons, what features aren’t I going to get? Anyway, that’s all I have this week for Changelog. Next week the entire episode is going to be a Changelog, I’m very excited.
Leo: Oooh, can’t wait! That’s The Changelog. Thank you, Gina Tripani.
Leo: Thank you. Let’s do a couple other stories, because I want to get you out of here for bedtime.
Gina: Thank you.
Leo: Adobe, at the same time Amazon was having its event; Adobe had an event to update the creative cloud. I don’t know if there are a lot of big stories out of that. They are going to continue a promotion, that I’ve taken advantage of, that lets you get, as a photographer, ten dollar a month access to Lightroad and Photoshop, the two things that photographers use the most. I got that as an upgrade to the earlier version or something, but now they’re going to make that permanent. If you have never had a Photoshop license, ten dollars a month, you get Lightroom and Photoshop. They are adding some features to the iPad app, for Lightroom, which is really a spectacular app, a very nice adjunct, if you use Lightroom on the desktop. They have added some new apps, Ink and Slide. Are those apps, or a physical pen and a ruler?
Jeff: There’s a physical pen that’s pressure sensitive, it does neat stuff, and the neat thing about the ruler is when you set it down, and you just draw next to it, it will draw the line where it shows you drawing the line, so you can use it for more drafting kinds of things. It’s pretty cool, and there’s a video in there, it’s pretty cool.
Leo: Wow. What’s really interesting is its two hundred bucks. Wow.
Gina: I’m so not used to seeing Pouge on Yahoo Tech.
Leo: Yeah, David Pouge is weird, yeah I know.
Gina: It is weird. Is Lightroom, so when you’re like a real photographer, is Lightroom sort of, the accepted app?
Leo: Yeah. For a while, Apple had a strong competitor with Aperture, but they haven’t updated it in years, so I think most people use Lightroom or Windows and it’s great. If you use Lightroom, if you take a lot of pictures, Lightroom is fabulous, but you probably also use Photoshop, and if you use Lightroom, you probably want to use the iPad app as well, because it allows you to preview your stuff. They have added now the ability to rank photos and do all sorts of stuff, and it syncs up. There it is, that’s the pen, which you know, is just a stylus. It’s the ruler that’s interesting. And then you have a new app, or two new apps, called Sketch, and Line. Alright, very nice. David’s getting a demonstration.
Gina: So you draw directly onto the iPad?
Leo: So weird. I just, I don’t. Okay.
Demonstrator: What we realized was its digital, so we can do a lot more. If we just have a single button on here, we can choose different shapes. Like, click this button..,
Leo: It’s just going to scratch your screen up like crazy.
Jeff: No, it’s not.
Demonstrator: And each of those can be manipulated.
Leo: I don’t like it. I don’t get it. Just use a…
Jeff: But look at that, you can really be all kinds of exacting.
Leo: I guess, I guess. So architects use iPads to…
Jeff: Well that’s the point, but who knows?
Gina: Is this how my kid is going to draw?
Leo: I hope not. By the way, iOs only, there’s no Android.
Jeff: No Android, which pisses me off.
Leo: There is a route for the Galaxy S5, thank you, Geo Hot. Man, that Geo Hot is good, he has released a route to the S5, which has been difficult to route, including the AT&T and Verizon versions of the S5. XDA members took up a collection for Geo Hot, over eighteen thousand dollars, and once he got the money, he created Towel Route.
Gina: Wow. I like the button it says make it rain (unintelligible)
Leo: And if you’re running with four two two you can route with that method, including; I’ll test it because I have a S4 and I’ve never been able to route; it’s the unlocked S4, suing a Samsung processor, which Samsung has managed to lock down pretty well. It is based, as all of these route solutions are, on a kernel vulnerability; Pinky Pie, the well known hacker Pinky Pie, discovered that one. So that is the problem, of course they’re going to immediately, now that they know there is a vulnerability, fix it, which means Towel Route won’t work anymore. But I do think, Google has always said it, you know, you should have the right to route your phone. It’s the carriers and manufacturers who have thwarted people. Here’s a convenience: there’s a new phone out of China that comes with the malware installed, saving you time and trouble.
Jeff: Also a convenient feature: it won’t download updates to security, which is convenient. Keep the malware.
Leo: Yeah, simple, simplify your life. It has a spy function on it, it’s invisible to the user; it cannot be deactivated. And well, maybe they are selling this to jealous husbands, because I have seen this before, phones that have this built in spy capability. LG says “No, Google hasn’t contacted us about building a Nexus Phone.” So LG, which built the last two Nexus phones, the five-four and five, apparently not working on any new phones.
Jeff: Is there a new Nexus, that’s the big question.
Gina: I was going to say, that’s the question right? Is there a new Nexus at all? Maybe not?
Leo: I don’t know.
Jeff: I hope so.
Leo: Isn’t that the rumor we heard, there wouldn’t be, and then everybody said, “No.”
Gina: Android Silver.
Leo: Matt Cutts said no, there will be a new Nexus.
Gina: Yeah. Right, that’s true. Not exactly, but that’s what he strongly implied.
Gina: That he didn’t think.
Jeff: I want a new Nexus, I’m ready for a new Nexus. I like this one.
Leo: I don’t know if I believe this story. I’m going to take this with a grain of salt. This comes from a site called Social New daily. And they are alleging, well first of all, the rumor is true, that Youtube is going to launch a music service, kind of like Spotify or RDO, add supported free streaming music, paid tier on top without ads and offline streaming. Google already does this with Google Music, I might add, but I guess you get video, but according to Financial Times, about ten percent of the music industry has not yet agreed to the terms of the new Youtube service. Many of them are indie labels, like XL Recording, whose artists include Adele and XX Domino, they also represent The Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand. It’s over money, obviously, but the thing I’m not sure I buy, according to Social New Daily, Youtube will begin blocking videos from indie musicians on those labels. If your label does not agree to terms for Youtube Music Service, according to this article, Google is not going to let you upload videos at all. Does that sound possible?
Jeff: I wanted you to explain this one to me. I think not.
Leo: I think this is false. I think this is just bogus.
Jeff: But this story has spread like crazy.
Leo: It seems to me Google would have a huge problem if it did that.
Jeff: I think so too.
Leo: It sounds highly anti…
Jeff: Well, I got this: The Guardian says the company’s’ head of content and business operations, Robert Kyncl?
Leo: Yeah, Kyncl.
Jeff: Robert Kyncl told the Financial Times that the service, previously rumored to be called Youtube Music Pass, will be launched more widely later in the year. His confirmation that Youtube will block videos from artists, from labels…
Leo: Kyncl said this?
Jeff: That do not sign licensing deals for the new premium tier will be hugely controversial among indie labels, with trade body WYN already filing a complaint with the European Trade Commission, (unintelligible) negotiating strategy.
Leo: Maybe it is true. It could be that they are going to block them from the service, but not from uploading to Youtube anywhere. If they block them from Youtube everywhere, I think they’re going to have a…
Jeff: There’s trouble.
Jeff: “While we wish we had one hundred percent success rate, we understand that’s not likely an achievable goal, and therefore, it is our responsibility to our users and the industry to launch the enhanced music experience,” said Kyncl, claiming that Youtube has signed up labels representing ninety percent of the music industry.
Leo: Right. Wow. Well, we will watch that with interest, I find that hard to believe. If they do do that, it’s not just going to be the EU that slaps them around.
Jeff: Because this just doesn’t make sense. It just doesn’t. And there are people like Adele, Arctic Monkeys and Jack White, who have bigger labels.
Leo: I think it’s probably a misinterpretation that he’ll block them from the service, but the implication is that Adele would no longer be able to upload a music video to Youtube…
Jeff: It can’t
Gina: It can’t be.
Jeff: Because I can upload a music video.
Leo: Right. But we’ll see.
Jeff: Right, anyone can upload; I can upload a music video.
Jeff: “La la la halelujjeh” and I can make a music video, right, and I put it up there, what’s to stop anyone else, including Adele, from doing just that.
Leo: What is would come down to, is if Google had, was of sufficient size, for this to be a monopoly issue, a restrainive trade issue. If Google can effectively say, “Well, there’s eight hundred other services they can upload it to, we just don’t want them on ours,” I guess they could do that. I think Google is at this point big enough, is Youtube big enough, maybe not in Europe, but certainly in the US, that would be restrainive trade, I think.
Leo: Here’s another one; you know I don’t know what to say about this. This is a, I guess the best thing to do is warn people about it. This is a Kickstarter project called I Find. It’s an item location tag. They went up a few weeks ago, they asked for twenty five thousand dollars, they have raised nearly half a million dollars, well over their goal; and as far, and I would love to hear from somebody, but as far as I can tell, there is no way this could physically work. It is a battery free location tag. They claim that they will be gathering energy through the air, and storing it, there’s no battery, it recycles, this is the text on the page, at Kickstarter it recycles electromagnetic energy and stores it in a unique power bank.
Jeff: Is this the one that Sarah Lacey’s site had been going crazy on?
Leo: I think so. This exciting feature frees you from the trouble of charging batteries or replacing them through the manufacturer. I don’t think that’s physically possible. I mean, there is RFID, but that wouldn’t help you if you lost your keys. It says sync the tag to your phone and you’re all set. The thing is they have raised a lot of money. Now, I thought Kickstarter had precautions against this kind of thing. In fact, I know one of the things that Kickstarter requires is a physical prototype, there is none visible. The president of this company’s previous job was selling herbal supplements.
Leo: And they’ve been really unresponsive in the Q and A’s and the thing that really bugs me, is look at this paragraph under risks and challenges… it’s a short paragraph that says, you know the main risk is our reliance on outside sources within the supply chain. If they can’t give us these circuits, they don’t mention the fact that this is a physical impossibility. That would seem to be a risk. Maybe I’m wrong.
Gina: Also, we’re not sure if this will work.
Leo: We don’t have a prototype. We have a very nice video.
Jeff: I’m a patriot of a Kickstarter to have a professional motion machine. What do you mean, Leo?
Leo: That’s exactly right. If you participate in this, buyer beware, it seems to me unlikely that there is such a thing as a battery-less item location tag. But maybe they’ve got one. They’ve not been very responsive in the comments. There’s a lot of people in the comments who say hey how does this work, blah blah blah. Just a word of warning. I think maybe a little bit of due diligence on the part of Kickstarter may be indicated at this point. What is their responsibility on this, right?
Jeff: I can’t find the story where Pandora’s going… not Pandora, Panda Daily. Jarvis…
Leo: But if you just look in the comments, you’ll see quite a few people who are saying what.
Gina: I don’t think Kickstarter, I don’t think they review any… I mean they certainly don’t…
Leo: They rejected our project.
Gina: That’s true, they reject projects and times, right.
Leo: A lot of people have said I’ve complained to Kickstarter and I’ve flagged this. But Kickstarter has left it up. Remember, Kickstarter makes a percentage of that $480,000. Maybe I’m wrong. Is it possible? It seems unlikely that this is a real thing. But there you go. Just a word of warning, and I’ll keep looking into it. Panda Daily has raised a stink on this. Let’s take a break. When we come back, our tool, our tip, our number of the week. Gina Trepani, Jeff Jarvis, Leo LaPorte, the show today brought to you by our great friends at 99designs.com. If you want to know more, this is a community of over 300,000 designers who are sitting there waiting for you to go to 99designs.com and create a design contest. You need a logo for your business. Do you need new websites, do you need a landing page for your Facebook? Menus, car wraps, business cards, you can get a great designer at 99designs to give you some great designs. In fact, the way it works, I love this, is you’ll set up a design contest and then designers will go to the contests and will submit suggestions. You can work with them a little bit to refine it. You pick the best design and you get a great design for a very reasonable price. It’s also a great way to kind of improve your website. To find out if your website design is really good UI. People shouldn’t be doing their own designs. If you’re not a designer, you should not be doing it. To date, there have been 310,000 contests and $77M paid out. Last month, 2.2 million alone. That’s a big jump from the month before. I think they doubled the amount of payouts since last month. Go to the website, 99designs.com/twig and you’ll get a $99 power pack of savings, absolutely free. Just because you heard about it on This Week in Google. What is a power pack? Well you get more designer time and attention. They’ll bold and highlight and feature your design project in 99designs marketplace you’ll get nearly twice as many designs. Find out why nearly 300,000 designers are happily waiting for your work at 99designs.com. And you’ll be very pleased with the pricing. Very affordable. If you do a logo design there, they also have a whole identity package including business cards and stationery and all that. I think that’s a great deal. 99designs.com/twig.
Gina Trepani’s tip of the week.
Gina: Google is showing step by step instructions in search results right now. Which is kind of interesting. If you search for something like iCloud restore or how to poach an egg, in the knowledge graph, Google will actually show step by step instructions. And you can also do this for Google-related questions. So if you Google Gmail exporting contacts, you’ll see step by step instructions.
Jeff: How are they doing that?
Gina: With something like iCloud restore, where it’s clearly step by step instructions from the Apple support pages, they must be parsing the markup and figuring out. As far as I know, there aren’t semantic tags for step by step instructions. But Google’s doing a pretty good job.
Leo: This is so cool. They gave an example, what is the distance to Mars? And they say sometimes we’re close to Mars, other times the minimum distance is this… so there’s even teaching here. I really like that. That’s really great. You got to figure kids now days when doing their homework, do Google searches.
Gina: For sure.
Leo: Chris says, yep. What year are you? Are you a junior? He’s a rising high school junior. When I said kids today do Google searches, he raised his thumbs. How to take a screenshot, this is great. Now it looks like they’re actually… so there’s no semantic markup for user instructions?
Gina: Not that I’m aware of, not that I believe so.
Leo: They must understand it somehow.
Gina: Maybe they’re just looking for OL/LI’s or a list… I don’t know how they’re doing it. But it’s pretty cool. And I tried a few that I would have thought would not have had answers and they don’t. Maybe they white-list these sites. But pretty nice.
Leo: How to make tasty quinoa. Well, man, that’s a good search! How do you cook quinoa? Chad, do you really want to know that.
Jeff: Put in how do you get a date.
Gina: How to pronounce quinoa.
Chad: Here’s how to get a date. Oh no, nothing.
Leo: It gives you 10 dating sites. Well there’s some things that you just don’t want to touch.
Gina: I’m surprised they didn’t take Wikihow and just show that.
Leo: How to get a wife and get a good life. That is from Wikihow.
Chad: They didn’t give me the step by step. I need it all spelled out. How do you… get a job?
Leo: Isn’t Wikihow kind of demand media?
Leo: Yea? Kind of sort of?
Chad: But they don’t look at the search results. They just want everyone to contribute to everything.
Leo: Because it’s Wiki. Jeff, your number of the week?
Jeff: Number of the week. Well I want to mention as a side, I commend to your reading, Was’s essay in an open letter in the Atlantic to the FCC for reporting on the open net. I just wanted to say that was great.
Leo: It was in our rundown. I didn’t get around to it.
Jeff: I just wanted to mention it.
Leo: If you search for Waszniak and the Atlantic, you can tell he wrote it himself. I can hear his voice as I read it.
Jeff: So I didn’t know he ran the first dial-jokes.
Leo: Worst jokes ever. Mostly Polish jokes.
Jeff: Was it really?
Leo: Oh yea. Because he’s Polish so it’s okay. They’re allowed to.
Jeff: So I guess I’ll use this number. Garmin, remember them? Slightly disrupted company? They’ve released a $1.99 navigation app. On sale now.
Leo: It used to be $100, didn’t it?
Gina: Slightly disrupted…
Leo: Now you get the encyclopedia for 55 cents and a box top.
Jeff: And they still charge you more if you want live traffic. Well hello?
Leo: Don’t you know there’s a free solution? Ugh… I do think that Google Maps, I used Google Maps for navigation and we had talked about it in the change log where they now give you better information about when you’re taking an exit and stuff like that. Some of the turn by turn is so much better than Garmin’s. Isn’t it great?
Gina: What lane you’re supposed to be in, yea.
Leo: Take the two left lanes, one of them turn off. It’s just so much better.
Chad: It’ll even say second from the right or second from the left. I was driving in San Francisco, and it saved my butt! Because it normally says turn left, and it’s like now take the second from the left. And it put me in the perfect lane to change onto the next street I had to take. It’s amazing.
Gina: It’s great.
Leo: So your number is $1.99?
Jeff: Yea, I know that’s quite a number.
Gina: You almost pity Garmin on this one.
Jeff: You do.
Leo: It’s still, $2 is expensive.
Jeff: Exactly. There was a Jill LaPorte… or whatever her name is. She wrote this smash on Clay Christensen on disruption and cut apart his theory of disruption. And Mark Andreason has come back and answered it really well, I think. Why don’t I start on that?
Leo: We’ve had Clay Christensen on Triangulation. We talked about that.
Jeff: Oh really?
Leo: Yea. So my device is this, it is the Galaxy Gear 2. I was talking about it earlier. I have a very attractive clock face on it, which makes it a little bit more palatable. It is touch, you can talk to it. You can do S-voice. You can send texts by talking to it. It does exercise-heart rate monitoring.
Jeff: Heart rate from a watch? Without the chest thing? That’s a good deal.
Leo: I have a couple watches that do that. It has a camera in the back with a meter. You have to sit still, it doesn’t do it when you’re running. What good is that? They’ve simplified… it used to be the camera is a little pimple on the band. Now it’s nicely recessed into the bezel. You can dial a phone direct from it and you can even talk into it. Do a Dick Tracy and hold it up to your ear. But, that’s the good stuff. The negative is $300, it only works with Samsung Galaxy devices. I had to run out and find my Note 3, which I buried in a pile of stuff, so I could set it up. I’ll give it a full review before you buy next Tuesday. I just feel like this is such a craved category. This is nice, it’s okay. But it’s not like…
Jeff: Is there any… let’s say Google has a watch. What’s your dream watch?
Leo: I’m looking at that Moto 360 and I like the round face but it looks really thick. As we all saw the Daily Show’s mocking of the Google Glass explorers, and the reporter kept saying you could just pull the phone out of your pocket and look at it. Why do you need to wear that on your head? What did you think of that, Jeff?
Jeff: I thought it was just old jokes. I think if you’re on the shows…
Leo: They’re right for mockage.
Jeff: They are. And they were too serious and that’s what they wanted.
Leo: One of the guys said, you know the guy who got his Glass stolen in the Mission district, he said I knew what I was in for. They interviewed us for 2.5 hours. They showed like 30 seconds of us.
Leo: But hey what the heck.
Jeff: It’s funny. The better comic moment of the week, I think, was the FCC chairman answering John Oliver and John Oliver answering in return. The dingo, have you seen this?
Leo: No, because John Oliver did a fabulous discussion of net neutrality in which he likened having Tom William, the FCC regulate the cable industry likened it to having a dingo watch your baby.
Jeff: So, Chad if you would search for John Oliver FCC dingo?
Leo: There we go.
Jeff: This is short.
Leo: He responded?
Jeff: You have to watch this.
[Voice 1]: … about net neutrality. And there was a moment in it where we pointed out that Tom Wheeler, the chair of the FCC which is tasked with regulating cable companies was previously a lobbyist for the cable industry. Something of a conflict of interest that was summarized thusly: that is the equivalent of needing a babysitter and hiring a dingo. But sure, it’s a little offensive to Australia’s favorite baby-eating animal, but a must for the joke. And you’re probably wondering why I’m playing it again now. Well, Friday the FCC held an open meeting and this happened:
[Voice 2]: I’m just wondering if you watch the John Oliver segment about net neutrality, and what you can provide about it?
[Voice 1]: Oh, [expletive]. So, what did he think?
Tom Wheeler: I think that it represents the high-level of interest that exists in the world. The topic in the country, and that’s good.
Leo: I am not a dingo.
Tom Wheeler: I would like to state for the record that I’m not a dingo.
Leo: He actually said it!
[Voice 1]: First, wow! And second, we never said you were a dingo. We said you were like a dingo. But now you’re denying it so strenuously, I’m honestly starting to wonder if you are actually a dingo, after all! He even tried to throw us off the scent by pretending not to know what a dingo even is.
Tom Wheeler: I had to go look it up. It’s a very wild animal in Australia.
[Voice 1]: That’s exactly the kind of thing a dingo would say if he didn’t want anyone to know he was a dingo. Just look at the split screen right now! It’s uncanny! Think about it, if you shaved the one on the left, would it not look a little like the guy on the right? Because now, I have lots more questions, Wheeler. Such as, have you at any time every consumed a swamp wallaby for its nutrients? You probably have you [expletive] dingo! What’s your answer to that?
Tom Wheeler: I’m not a dingo.
[Voice 1]: You keep saying that! But now the button of proof is on you. Unless you produce an official document, verified by licensed zoologists, certifying that you are in fact not a 100% talking dingo, I don’t think you can complain if Americans refuse to leave you alone…
Leo: You got to go back and see the full net neutrality clip, because it’s probably the best description of why we’re worried about the FCC. I should mention that Patrick Leahy has come back and proposed a bill that would prohibit fast-lane prioritization.
Jeff: Chances of passing, God knows. But at least we have better legislation on push it. And I want a t-shirt Leo that says a dingo ate my internet.
Leo: A dingo ate my bandwidth! Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes this edition of This Week in Google. That is Jeff Jarvis, who is at the City University of New York. He is a professor of journalism there. Very prestigious, very highly esteemed. Also the author of Public Parts and a world traveler. We will be here next week doing TWiG. He might be a little pink instead of green, but he’ll be here. Thank you, Jeff. Great to have you.
Leo: And of course, Gina Trepani who will be here next week as well. Has one minute to put down Anna. Thank you for being…
Gina: I do! Thanks.
Leo: Hey, you said four o’clock.
Gina: I did. Thank you very much, I’m excited.
Leo: Thinkup.com. Sign up today. Wonderful app, we all love it. Thank you for being here. We do This Week in Google at a normal time when we don’t have an Amazon announcement at 1pm Pacific, 4pm Eastern time. That’s 2000-UTC on twit.tv Wednesdays. Tune in live. If you can’t on-demand audio and video available after the fact at twit.tv/twig. And wherever you get your casts, get it. Listen to it. Subscribe. Get it every day! It’s the best. Thanks for joining us. We’ll see you next time on TWiG!