This Week in Google 261 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiG. This week, Jeff, Gina and I will talk about Google. Are they reading your email? We'll talk about a great trip to Sicily we didn't get invited to, and Wikipedia links are now being taken down by the European Right To Be Forgotten. It’s all coming up next, on TWiG.
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This is TWiG - This Week in Google. Episode 261, recorded August 6th, 2014
Nature Abhors a Hexagon
This Week in Google is brought to you by Squarespace, the all in one platform that makes it fast and easy to create your own professional website or online portfolio. For a free two week trial and ten percent off, go to Squarespace.com and use the offer code TWIG. And by, Naturebox. Order great tasting, healthy snacks delivered right to your door. Forget the vending machine, and get in shape with healthy delicious treats, like baked sweet potato fries, oh baby! To get fifty percent off your first box, go to naturebox.com/twit. That's naturebox.com/twit. And by Personal Capital. With Personal Capital, you'll finally have your entire financial life in one place, and get a clear view of everything you own. Best of all, it’s free. To sign up, go to personalcapital.com/twig. It’s time for TWiG - This Week in Google. I'm Leo Laporte, and joining me as always, if we can help it, the great Gina Trapani, founding editor of LifeHacker and the author of the Thinkup app at Thinkup.com. Hi, Gina!
Gina Trapani: Hi, how are you?
Leo: Great to see you, welcome.
Gina: Here with my big phone, we're going to talk about it.
Leo: We're going to talk about the big phone. Because as usual, we have to talk Jeff Jarvis down off the ledge. Jeff Jarvis, professor of journalism at the city university of New York. He's... There's his Osbourne 1 over his right shoulder there, or left shoulder.
Jeff Jarvis: I'm still using that. That's how far behind. I don't want to change.
Leo: Also the author of Public Parts, What Would Google Do, and blogger at Buzzmachine.com. Um, so, we were hoping, we talked last week, that for the first time ever all three hosts of This Week in Google would be using the same phone. And Jeff has ruined... No he isn't. So we're talking about the One Plus One, which no one can get. It’s still in very very short supply. You have to either get an invite, by the way don't ask me. I don't have any. I didn't get any. All three of us got it from friendly listeners, and so they have the invites, not us. This One Plus One is from One Plus.net, they call it the flagship killer. And Gina and I, anyway, have been very impressed with it. Especially because the 64gb model, which is the one we recommend, is only $350, unlocked.
Gina: Yeah, it’s great.
Leo: In every respect it is a top of the line phone, Snapdragon 801 processor, 3 gigs of ram, very few phones have that. 64 gigs of storage, 13 megapixel camera, we find quite good... Very nice 1080p display at five and a half inches. They call it a flagship killer, I'd agree. At an unbelievable price. You have to get an invite or play a game to get it. Or you have to have nice listeners.
Jeff: Thank you very much, listeners.
Gina: Thanks listeners, you're awesome.
Leo: Jeff, who is currently using a nexus five is reluctant. From what stems your reluctance?
Jeff: Well, a little bit, it was actually your talk last week. I was being a little bit used here. It’s a marketing gimmick.
Leo: It is entirely that.
Jeff: Then I went on... I was, we'll go over my printer situation in a minute, but I returned a printer this week and I returned something else, and I was looking at it and I said hmm. I went on to their service area, which basically said, "We're too busy to give much service, good luck." And I asked for an RMA, now I think four days ago, and I haven't heard back yet, so... I thought, you're not going to get any service on this thing at all.
Leo: I think that's the case. I think you shouldn't expect that if something breaks, you can send it back and get a new one.
Jeff: And so I thought Gina was going to help with hers, and why not let Mikey eat it... And, um, I'd see what she thought. So if Gina was happy, and Gina knowing how neurotic I can be, and what a pain I can be, and knowing that I now know where to find her and I can show up at her doorstep and say, "Make this work for me!" then she would have to give me good advice.
Gina: Putting this on me! Putting this on me.
Leo: But you made a good point, Jeff, the real question is, in the kind of context of coming from a Nexus five. I mean if you're coming from a GalaxyS, I'd say yes. But Nexus 5, that's a little bit more challenging.
Jeff: You're playing with me, aren't you, Leo? You know my neurosis, don't you?
Leo: Well, the Nexus 5 is a really great, really great phone.
Jeff: Part of it, too, is I feel a bit... You know, how many people in the world would love to have this phone, and here I am, I've got this phone.
Leo: What, are you going to send it to starving people in China? I mean, it came from starving people in China. They didn't want it.
Jeff: That's the other thing by the way, maybe somebody in the Chinese government is going to spy on all of us.
Leo: The real... Thing I... I think I was unfair last week, when I really called shenanigans. By the way, I just accidentally turned on my flashlight. Just by doing a V, I think. Let me un torch you.
Gina: Is it L, or is it V?
Leo: It’s a backwards V. So, um, I think that was unfair. And we talked about it again on TWiT, and the consensus, I think, of the tech journalist community is the reason it’s so hard to get this is they just can't... They are a small company. They just can't make them very fast. There was a tear down from iSuppli that said it probably costs around $200 to make, so maybe it is doable that you could make a $350 flagship killer. Maybe that's not... I was guessing that it was, that they were price dumping. That it’s below cost...
Jeff: They certainly haven't done any marketing.
Leo: Yeah. It’s some plan, to somehow send you over to the oppo phone. But, you raised a really good point, which is that it is too... One thing that is clear, is that it’s too small to offer any support of any kind. I think when you buy a $350 phone, that's kind of it, right? You understand that.
Jeff: I have a $350 phone right here...
Leo: I'm going to say one more thing, which is that that Nexus 5 is a great phone, except for, I think, two things. One, it doesn't have a removable battery, so, you know. The back is sealed. Two, its camera is okay at best. Now, let’s... So would you agree, both of those things are negatives? Size is good...
Jeff: The battery is not wildly removable, something I can carry around.
Leo: This isn't removable either, this is not removable. But it has really insanely good battery life, so that becomes less... That's moot.
Jeff: Really. That's important.
Leo: What are you getting, Gina?
Gina: The battery life is great. I forgot to plug it in the other night. Normally I got into the habit, where absolutely... If I hadn't plugged my phone in overnight, I was basically SOL the next day, and it was fine. It took me through to lunch the next day, so, I've been getting great battery life. I've been really impressed with it.
Leo: I use the GSim battery monitor to kind of assess this, because I think the only way to know is to use it for like a week or so, and GSim keeps all the stats. So GSim was telling me on my HTC1 that I was getting sixteen hours. THis says almost nineteen hours. And I would say that's about right, about, almost twenty hours battery life.
Gina: Yeah, I'd say that's about right. Yeah, we started to talk about this a little bit in the pre-show, and my advice to Jeff, first... The whole like, I have the Nexus 5, should I really have this other phone... You’ve got to get rid of that guilt, because the way that I look at it, is that I feel the same way. I'm privileged, I'm surrounded by amazing devices, but we're doing a service to our listeners, if we're doing our jobs, right? And we cover Android and we cover Google, so you kind of have to get over that. You could always donate your Nexus 5, if that happens.
Jeff: No twitter friends, don't lie now. Don't lie now, stop asking me, alright. Go ahead, Gina.
Gina: So the hardware is awesome. The camera, alone I think is a great reason to switch to the OnePlus. The hardware is amazing, the screen is huge. The phone is so big, that it... I can no longer put this in my front jeans pocket, which if you don't do that, not a big deal. But it just sticks out too much, so if size matters to you, it might be too big for you. But if you've got big hands and you put it in your front shirt pocket that should be fine. It’s super thin, the screen is beautiful, and so the hardware alone I think is worth switching. The software, Cyanogen is really great. And I was saying to Leo that at first I felt a little bit like a stranger in a strange land, I haven't used cyanogen in a long time. It’s not hugely different but there are a few extra settings which I've had to sort of play around with a little bit to get used to them. That might throw you off a little bit at first... But I think once you got launcher and your Google apps, you'll feel right at home, the same way you feel on your nexus 5.
Leo: Just to explain a little bit about that, because people may not be familiar with what's going on here, um. You know, Samsung has Touchwiz, HTC has Sense, those are skins they put on top of standard Google android interface. THe nexus 5 is the standard Google nexus... Android interface. It’s pure. So, cyanogen, I mean, OnePlus did something interesting. They went to a third party Android that has traditionally been used as a replacement, from people would root their phone and replace the firmware on their Samsung or HTC with Cyanogen mod, and it’s an enthusiast version of android. So it had traditionally a lot of kind of quirks and weird things, also had problems with not being perfect because it was always an aftermarket something. Hackers had to get the phone to try to make it work and so forth. But it does have the advantage of having all the Google apps and Google services, and being a hacker response to ugly skins. This version of cyanogen which is designed specifically for the One is much cleaner than the ones that I've used in the past. And totally reliable, GPS works, camera works, all of the things that sometimes can be finicky on cyanogen are working fine. So this is merely what One Plus did, and I'm sure they funded it and they gave them phones and they worked with them to make sure it all worked perfectly. So it is... Even if you've had an experience with cyanogen, it’s not like the one you put on your Galaxy S3, right?
Gina: Right right. And cyanogen, while it offers themes and skins, cyanogen itself is a build of Android that changes or exposes... I would say exposes some settings in Android that Google has chosen to hide. So it makes android a little bit more configurable. For example, in cyanogen, the auto rotate button. You can say lock my rotation on my phone. This is built into Android. You'll see it on tablets, but it’s disabled on phones. Google has decided that this doesn't really matter on phones, but Cyanogen has said, hey let's expose this on phones. I happen to find that really useful. I like to be able to turn on Youtube, lock my rotation and hand it to my daughter and it won't switch around when she moves the phone. And so those are the kinds of customizations you'll see with cyanogen, it’s not just a skin. It feels like a little bit more functionality.
Jeff: Do I lose anything? Or I keep Google now and all that?
Leo: Oh yeah, all that's the same.
Gina: All that's the same. All the Google Apps work with it. I was running the Now launcher on my Nexus, you can run that on this as well.
Leo: In fact, I would recommend that. The stock launcher that ships with trebuchet is very bare bones. It really lacks some things that I've... But I've always used third party launchers. So, Google Now is now available for it, in fact it’s available for all phones besides, not just the Nexus. So it’s going to be the same launcher you're using right now, Jeff.
Jeff: Alright I know where to find you, Gina Trapani.
Gina: Oh, I'm scared. But I think you're going to like it. Be prepared for that inevitable feeling of being a little bit charred at the beginning of using something new, but keep an open mind the first couple of days and I think you'll really like it.
Leo: I am, although he doesn't care what I think.
Jeff: I do.
Leo: No, no no. Let's face it, he assumes that I just get new phones every month for the joy of it.
Gina: Well, you do.
Jeff: I enjoy it... What I like, Leo, is how at the end of the window you're seeing, you think I should use this more.
Leo: That fifteen, twenty is a great phone. I am not, no no no no no no no no no. It’s a great phone, and i'll say the same thing I did there, though. The app store is what keeps me from using it, because like... In fact I even said that I don't have Google now. I don't have Google search, I don't have Google maps. And thats what keeps me from using it, but it is in every respect, a wonderful highly recommended phone, the fifteen twenty. This is a good phone. Jeff, open the box, for crying out loud. The only thing I think, that Jeff makes a very good point is there will be no support.
Gina: But guaranteed updates, for two years I think they said.
Leo: They'll go to the L word as soon as possible.
Jeff: That's one disadvantage, you're going to wait ninety days past the nexus 5.
Leo: Yeah, because they have... Because cyanogen...
Gina: Because they have to re-cyanogen it, that's true.
Leo: That is a little disadvantage.
Leo: Okay, so what does he get that's better? Better camera, for sure. Bigger screen, that could be a pro or a con actually. It’s not that much bigger, it’s half an inch bigger.
Gina: Better battery life.
Leo: Oh the better battery. Actually, you know what, that's the reason. What are you getting on your Nexus 5?
Jeff: Oh I get through the whole day, no problem. Unless I leave things on and that just sucks it down.
Leo: Because that's, to me that would be the deciding factor for me. I did not get a full day on a nexus 5, I would have to charge at seven or eight o'clock at night. I have to get sixteen hours, I want to get from the moment I get up to the moment I go back to bed.
Gina: A little bit more functionality, things like tapping the home screen and it lights up. So you're not always searching for the power. Things like, the torch, right? I mean that's, you know... It’s not an app, it’s sort of built in.
Leo: Tesla has a widget...
Jeff: I have that on my phone.
Gina: But it’s built in, and the things like that auto rotate that I talked about.
Leo: Wait a minute, Jeff, what carrier are you on?
Leo: Because this will not work on Verizon.
Jeff: You think I'm on Verizon? Ha ha ha ha ha.
Leo: If the device, you shipped is broken, says F-ing Done, what are you going to do?
Jeff: Oh no, I already asked for the RMA. But I haven't gotten one.
Leo: The clock has started. I think you're going to like it, Jeff. I love it. I like it much more than I thought I would.
Jeff: Alright. I was in return mode because in my Mac less PC, I got a Brother printer that was supposedly going to work on Google Cloud Print, but not directly. It'll only basically if you had a machine, and even the wonderful product machine is not on the list of approved ones, yadda yadda yadda yadda.
Leo: Oh you have the Lantronix, you have the Xprintserver? It should just work.
Jeff: It didn't. Unless IBM screwed up. Gina, come to New Jersey. It works but they've a list of approved... But I also want to be pure, I want to figure this out. So, when I first hooked up on Twitter, a TWiG fan recommended an Epson. So I have an Epson one, which until just now I tried to print at home and it wasn't working, something's off. So the Lantronix is on right now and it'll print through when it’s available, but the Epson should work. But the other thing about messing with the Epson is the Epson will scan to drive.
Gina: Oh very nice.
Jeff: That's a big deal. That's a big deal, because scanning is a pain in the butt. So, if that works, if I can keep that working, then that's, except for Skype I'm done. Skype happens on this.
Leo: Also to be clear, because people in the chat room are asking this. You can't get this from a carrier, you can only get it from One Plus, it’s a GSM phone, so it will work in the US on AT&T and TMobile. I just put my AT&T sim in it and it just worked. Did you just put your TMobile Sim in Gina, and did it just work?
Gina: I had to switch to... I had an ML for the M8, so I had to switch to a micro, so I went to the TMobile store, and the T Mobile guy nearly died when he saw it.
Leo: That's a nice feeling.
Gina: Yeah, he's like what phone is that? I was like, the One Plus, and he was like, I thought so but I haven't seen one in person. I enjoy trolling the T Mobile folks! Yeah, he just switched out my Sim and I popped it in. Yeah.
Jeff: And I bought a Sim even though it turns out I didn't need it, I bought a Sim conversion thing.
Leo: Yeah, it'll work with the micro sim which is still the most common kind, although I have a number of nano sim phones. Apple started this thing and people resisted, but they won, so a lot of phones have nanosims. But you have a micro in your five so you're good.
Leo: By the way, a number of people are talking about the LGG 3 as the killer phone, because it’s ultra-high definition screen. But, a lot of people are reporting poor battery life and sluggish performance, because it’s an ultra-high definition screen. I don't think you can gain anything from having UHD on your phone. So, um, while the G3 looks good in so many respects, that might not be a good choice if battery life were important to you. This is snappy. And twenty hours, come on!
Jeff: Well, you know what's going to happen, the day I open it up they're going to announce the Nexus6.
Gina: Well that's what I'm concerned about. Seriously that's what I'm worried about, the Nexus6 is going to get announced and you're going to hate me.
Leo: And you don't care if the MotoR Plus One comes out. You want a pure experience.
Jeff: I think so.
Leo: See, I probably will give this to somebody when the MotoR Plus One comes out, because I love that. Always listening...
Jeff: I want that. I do want that. I could have sworn that existed on this thing.
Leo: Only through the home screen. But all Google phones now do that, where you can say, OK Google on the home screen. I don't know if there's any way to wake it up other than that. That's special hardware on the M7.
Jeff: Wait a second, One Plus is apparently what informed users chose. Hold on, darnit. I don't want your add. Use the voice based hot word that will wake up the phone. Available choices include, "OK OnePlus," "Wake up, OnePlus,"...
Leo: I have not seen that in this. Yeah that was some early pre-release version that maybe they didn't leave that in. The nice thing is...
Gina: Is there any apps, like special apps that you get with cyanogen mod, you get Voice Plus, and theres some privacy settings that I'm sure that Jeff is not interested in.
Leo: Yeah, by the way, that is the chief advantage of this, to be able who don't want, Google to know what's going on is that Cyanogen is very much privacy focused. Of course, the Chinese government may know everything you're doing...
Gina: But yeah, you can basically block apps from getting access to the personal data, even if you granted them permission to access that personal data, in the play store. Not really sure how this works... But from what I can see, yeah, so like... I clicked on Amazon and it just prevents the app from reading your contacts or looking at your photos or your location, which is really interesting... Or you can set it to ask you, or just flat out deny it every time. It’s extremely granular privacy controls.
Jeff: Hey, try, "Hey, Snapdragon."
Leo: Hey, Snapdragon. And you're saying, with the phone off...? I think you would disable that if it did have that, because that's going to be a battery killer.
Jeff: Actually I'm just thinking of making fun, now I'm going to have you say, "Hey, I'm an idiot." You know...
Leo: Hey, I'm an idiot! Nope. Still doesn't wake up. Squirrel! I'm sure, Gina that you've...
Jeff: Watching a video right now at Geek.com.
Leo: I hate it when they put it in a video, because then you've got to watch it forever. So ,while Geoff watches the video, let’s say thank you to our friends at Squarespace.com. Gina, I presume that you talk all about this on All About Android.
Gina: We did, we did talk about it quite a bit. Jason did the economic review.
Leo: I stole his. This is his. Well, okay, I feel really guilty about this, and so here's my... I did give him the Google Glass.
Gina: You did.
Leo: In both cases, I paid for it. I paid for this, and I paid for the Google Glass. So they technically are mine.
Gina: It’s okay, they are yours. It’s okay.
Leo: But it’s somebody that contacted him, to say, "Hey, I've got a One, would you like it for review..."
Jeff: Look up the voice wakeup feature...
Leo: Voice wakeup feature...
Jeff: There's a voice wakeup feature. Turn that on, then you can train...
Leo: I'll let Gina do that, because I have to do an ad for Squarespace.com. So I feel a little guilty but I asked, I said, Jason. You're going on vacation, you totally can take this with you. He said, "No, I've got a nexus 5 it’s okay." I said, I don't want to take it away, he said no it’s fine. But I think he was being nice.
Gina: Aww, that does sound like Jason but it’s OK Leo. It’s OK.
Leo: So as soon as the Moto XPlusOne comes out, I'm giving this back.
Gina: It’s his, I see I see. OK! That works.
Jeff: Which is really... He's not that crazy about this phone.
Leo: No I love this phone. The only thing it’s missing, and maybe you've just solved that, I want to try it, is the fact that it’s always... I love the thing... There's a few things the MotoX does that no other phone does. It knows when you're driving, it knows when you're awake, It knows when you're in a meeting. It does a lot... I have this Agent app that does much of the same things, but not exactly. I love the thing where the pulse is in it, and it shows you your text messages. There's just things it does... Oh, I hear Google Now launching. There are just things it does that I really like, and it does it because it has dedicated hardware that sips it’s power while it’s waiting for all this stuff to happen, and it has an OLED screen that you can just light a little bit of it, so it does it without hurting the battery life. So, I just... I'm excited about the next generation of MotoX.
Jeff: Gina I'm putting this through to you, on the rundown under 'other'.
Gina: So, wait. I have to watch a video in order how to figure out how to do this voice thing? This is the thing about cyanogenmod, is you find yourself googling things. OK! You do find yourself googling like, "How do I disable voice...?"
Leo: The chat room has put a thread from the one plus forums. You know that is probably where you're going to be worth bookmarking the one plus net forums because probably that's where a lot of this kind of information is going to end up. Not from One Plus staff. It says, initially we plan to release OKOPlus at the end of June to early July. We've collected OK OnePlus recordings from our fans in an attempt for the project to be a community effort. Cyanogen even set up a studio in their office, and people come in and record the phrase, "Blah blah blah." They haven't done it yet. I'm disappointed to say that the release date for this feature has been pushed back, so this is something you'll get later in an update, Jeff. We've now started working with a recording company to re-do the recordings professionally. There is no set release date, but look for the OZOne Plus feature in future updates in a month or two. So that's the problem with a lot of the reviews of the OnePlus were with pre-release hardware.
Leo: Aha! Our show today brought to by our good friends at Squarespace.com, it’s a great place to build your next website, maybe your first website. Actually I envy you if it’s your first website, because you can save a lot of pain. What's great about Squarespace, they do the hosting and the software, very tightly integrated. That means you cannot bring a Squarespace site down, but even better than that, it’s going to give you state of the art, top of the line web design. And I got to tell you, web design technologies change faster than almost anything. So the ability, for instance, to have a great site that looks great that matches your aesthetic, your taste, and is mobile responsive, looks equally good on a big page or a little screen, is huge. Each template, they're very visual. They really have that kind of state of the art feel to them. The designs, of course are your starting point, but it’s very easy to modify the page to match your ethos, just by pointing, clicking, dragging, dropping. If you are a Java Script and HTML or CSS guru, they do have a developer platform that's beautiful, but you don't need to be and that's kind of the point of Squarespace. Best of all, it starts at $8 a month and that includes a free domain name when you sign up for a year. They have Squarespace apps, the metric app for iPhone and iPad that lets you check site stats like page views, visitors, even social media follows. A blog app that lets you post... If you're a photographer the iPad portfolio app is amazing. It'll let you have a Squarespace portfolio site, and automatically pull the images from it to show your clients those images in a gorgeous way. This is the kind of attention to detail that makes Squarespace unique. It is fantastic. Plus, the best support in the world, 24/7 from the Squarespace offices in New York City. I want you to try it, I don't need to give you an offer code or anything. You just go to Squarespace.com and click 'Get Started', you won't be giving a credit card, just an email address, the name of your site, and a password. That's it. You've got two weeks to really play with it, import your content even, and change the templates at your whim. But if you decide to buy, use the offer code TWIG, you'll get ten percent off, and you'll be showing your support for This Week in Google. I don't need to tell you, you've heard me talk about it before, I'm sure. Really is the place to run your site. Leo Laporte, Jeff Jarvis, Gina Trapani - enough OnePlus. This should be for All About Android. This is All About Android stuff. Let's talk about Google. I like this ten...
Jeff: Let's not. They didn't invite us.
Leo: What? To Sicily?
Jeff: Yeah. To Sicily. They invited Ariana, and not us.
Leo: And why do you say it’s their Davos?
Jeff: That's what the rumors say it is. They invited a whole bunch of important people and they didn't think we're important, and I'm hurt.
Leo: Arianna Huffington among the luminaries attending an exclusive conference in Sicily, being hosted by Google. It’s a golf resort in Sicily, CEOs invest... I know, Gina.
Gina: This is killing me. I'm just as sad about the Sicily trip...
Leo: Free Sicily trip! Chief executives, investors, and celebrities, all of whom, oh now I'm crying... Were invited to bring their families. On the agenda, high minded discussions of global issues along with relaxation by the mediterranean sea.
Jeff: Arianna, we'll teach you how to sleep, you know?
Leo: Ben Horowitz from Cline and perkins. Elon mosq, the tony stark of our times... Travis Callonik the chief executive of Uber... The guy who founded Snapchat, Even Seagull. Even actress Eva Longoria.
Leo: Fashion designer Tory Burch.
Gina: This just gets worse.
Leo: And, this is what I'm sorry to miss. The CEO of Comcast, Brian Roberts. Brian, I want to cancel! Leo, why would you want to cancel? The conference is taking place in luxurious Verdura Golf and Spa Resort on Sicily's southwestern coast. Why did they put this in the Huffington Post? Six clay tennis courts, three golf courses, and a spa. One of the attendee's, Arianna Huffington - this is in the Huffington Post! One of the attendees, our owner, experienced a travel mishap. Oh, no. I'm sorry. This is the New York Times, the New York Freaking...
Gina: Arianna Huffington's passport snafu!
Leo: She tweets, "Arrived at the airport in London, Darling. My flight to Palermo. Realized I'd left my passport at the hotel..."
Gina: It’s like a combination of... Accents...
Leo: I don't know. Now of course, what she doesn't tweet is, "So I sent my assistant Mara to go get it. She better get back quickly." She made it there in the end, Buenos Aires, Sicily. I love how Dulce Maria described it in the Silent Duchess. I interviewed Arianna, when she was Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington.
Jeff: I love Arianna. She's a trip and a half, but I really prefer the political Arianna to the Oprah Arianna. Now she's gone full Oprah.
Leo: Or Jaja.
Gina: Arnold Schwarzenegger, that's who you made her sound like.
Leo: Arnold Schwarzenegger, I'm Arianna Huffington.
Jeff: Arianna says she never says Darling. I've never heard her say Darling.
Leo: She never says Darling... She should say Darling. That's Jaja who says that. Big story, we covered this a lot on all of our shows starting Sunday on TWiT. Google tipped off authorities at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that they had found child porn in somebody's Gmail account. That person was arrested as a child pornographer, but now of course, while that's a good outcome, everybody's wondering well, is Google looking at all the images on my Gmail? No.
Gina: And the answer is no.
Leo: No. I think what we know, in fact I think we...
Gina: I'd only read this headline... What happened?
Leo: What happened, is a houston man was arrested on charges of having and promoting child pornography after Google told the National Center for MIssing and Exploited Children that he had pornographic child images in his Gmail account.
Jeff: Because the images are fingerprinted, right?
Leo: This is the key bit of information, I think makes this OK but let’s you be the judge. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which is kind of quasi-governmental, there actually is a legal reporting requirement, to report child porn to them and they'll facilitate the arrest.
Jeff: If you don't, man, you can go to jail.
Leo: Because you had... Yeah. But if someone sent me a child porn image, I would immediately report them to the National Center for MIssing and Exploited Children, of course. That would be the...
Jeff: If you bruised my one, and...
Leo: It’s in your cache...
Jeff: It’s in your cache and you don't call, you are liable.
Gina: OK so you are legally compelled. This isn't a voluntary thing.
Leo: But to facilitate this The National Center for MIssing and Exploited Children which I will now here and after refer to as the NCMEC, has taken a database. Of course they're always adding to this database of images that are illegal and hashing them. So as you all know, because you're technically literate, hashing means going through that image and creating a number that fingerprints it, accurately, precisely, with a fairly low, we don't know what technology they use... But a fairly low chance of false positives. Maybe one in fifty thousand, one in a half a million, we don't know.
Jeff: It’s not as if they put a fingerprint on the image, it’s they have a... Distillation of the image into a number.
Gina: A signature.
Leo: A signature. And we don't know though if they use an MD5 hash, which has many more chances of false positives or whatever. Nobody's told us that, but they have this database, and it’s my belief that every email provider has this database, and routinely compares images. Now what they're not doing is looking at your image. In processing your email, a computer has to take the email, scan it for things like the address you're going to. It has to do that. And if you've got spam prevention it has to scan for spam signatures. Some of which may be hashes, some may be words. So the computer is always churning through your email, in this process, apparently, Google does make a hash of all images. If the resulting fingerprint matches the fingerprint in the database, bingo. Now what we don't know is what happens next. Does someone at Google look at the image? Some human has to look at the image, because that's how you know if it was a false positive. Do they merely forward the mail automatically to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children who then do that? Some human at some point, or maybe law enforcement has to look at the image and say yes, bingo, this is a pornographic image.
Gina: So do we know for sure that every email provider is required to do this? Does every email provider? Does Hotmail do this, and yahoo mail? Everybody who provides email services does this match against this database of signatures, for all attachments in every email?
Leo: I'm on the United States Department of Justice page... The Child Exploitation and Obscenity section, where it says how to report child pornography. To report an incident involving the production, possession, distribution or receiving of child pornography, file a report at the NCMEC's website, at cybertipline.com or call an eight hundred number. Your report will be forwarded to law enforcement agency for investigation and action. That sounds to me like law enforcement ultimately gets the image and decides. You may also wish to report to local, state, or federal law enforcement personnel. The DOJ says call the NCMEC. I would bet you, there is a legal reporting requirement. I would bet you, that every... I don't know. Because we don't... This is...
Jeff: Reporting requirement, but is there a scanning requirement.
Leo: No, I guarantee you there is not a scanning requirement, but there is a reporting requirement, so I would bet you every email provider, who doesn't want to fight child pornography.
Gina: Right, and if every provider is doing this they're not advertising it, right?
Leo: Of course not, but at the same time, just like you and me, they don't want to be held responsible for forwarding child porn.
Jeff: They don't want the story to come out and say, "Oh the perv used hotmail..."
Leo: Gmail, yeah! It would make perfect sense to me, and if I were Microsoft you damn well better bet I'd be using this database. It doesn't... It’s a simple easy thing to do that I believe does not invade privacy, because, no one's looking at your email.
Jeff: I agree, however... It launched, of course, technopanic immediately. Oh my god, Google is reading all of our email, seeing all of our images and horrible things are happening.
Leo: I admit, and I'm sure Gina too, that until you understand how they're doing it, there is some cause for concern.
Gina: I mean it’s the question, and I thought to myself, does this mean that Google is scanning every image and doing facial or object recognitions...?
Leo: That I do not believe they are doing. And that was the question we had, because we know you can scan for instance, for certain percentage of flesh. And Google has already said we can do that in Google plus, we can distinguish between a child and an adult, so it’s not so far-fetched to think that Google could, in their technology scan for child porn. I don't believe they are doing that, I don't think that's something they'd want to do.
Leo: Because of the chance of false positives.
Gina: They could and this is interesting, I mean, I felt like the techno panic was, well what else, how else is Gmail scanning my messages, in a way that maybe I didn't know they were doing before.
Jeff: that's why Google said we're not doing those things, this is all we're doing.
Gina: Right, right. My aunt mails photos to my mother of the baby in the bathing suit or her diaper, it gave me pause for a second, like... Oh, I mean obviously it’s not child porn, but...
Leo: That's to me, why Google is not going to be scanning for flesh and child. They're going to use this NCMEC database, which is known child porn images, because the truth is, people who are trafficking child porn very almost always are trafficking in these known images. As soon as they bust somebody and successfully prosecute them, they've got the database of their images. These people typically collect thousands of images. This is whenever you hear somebody was arrested for this, they got stacks of stuff.
Jeff: And the way it used to work, we've seen the stories, Gina, you're right. Where you have the innocent bath tub photo and the parents were hauled away because of the kid at the photo kiosk when your film came back, made a bad judgment.
Leo: So here's a court case... This is a court case going back a ways. And thank you to the chat room, they've provided me with this link before. In 2004 and 2005, AOLs image detection and filtering program, a routine scanning program AOL used for security purposes, recognized the digital (This is 2004, ten years ago) fingerprint of certain files as child pornography, and pursuant to the mandatory reporting requirement, USC13032B1, AOL reported the transmission to a cyber-tip line. This is ten years ago. Law enforcement traced the transmissions and arrested somebody. Before trial, the suspect moved to suppress the evidence, saying AOL was acting as an agent of the government when it scanned the email attachments, therefor the government had conducted an unconstitutional, warrantless search of his email, and violated his fourth amendment. The court denied, saying AOL was not acting as a government agent, because the discovery of the pornography was the result of routine scanning conducted to recognize files that may be detrimental to AOL. So, the fourth circuit affirmed that, by the way. So, there is case log, not going to the Supreme Court, but going to the federal court. The fourth circuit... That that is not an unwarranted search and seizure.
Gina: OK, files that may be detrimental to AOL. So Google could be the liable for hosting pornographic, known pornographic images. So this isn't about Google is trying to hunt down child pornographers. This is about a liability issue for them.
Leo: They may scan also for other things. Viruses in images...
Jeff: They certainly do, they do.
Leo: They should, you want them to!
Leo: Okay, 13032 Explicitly states nothing in this section may be construed or require a provider to have electronic communication services to engage in monitoring any user, but there is a mandatory reporting requirement. So to answer your question, they are not required to scan, but they are required to report should they learn.
Jeff: But that goes to your earlier discussion, if you're one of these companies, do you really want to not scan?
Leo: The last thing you want is a newspaper story saying, "And the perpetrator used Gmail to exchange pornographic images with thousands of others all over the country."
Gina: But Gmail caches copies of these images too, so Gmail is hosting these images, and storing them. Even the images that... Even they know that hot links images in other places, Gmail now caches. so there is a liability that they're storing these images on their servers, so I see that and of course I buy the argument that they may feel morally compelled to scan for this kind of thing, but I think that you know, being compelled legally I think, makes a lot of sense as well.
Leo: Somebody in the chat room was pointing out that both Google and Facebook scan faces in images to tag them. That’s not automatically, right?
Jeff: Well not in your email.
Leo: And you're agreeing, by the way, to those terms of service when you...
Gina: You're agreeing when you opt into it and you're seeing that they're doing it, which is different. I think a little different than, I've sent this message and...
Leo: So I think Google is...
Gina: I would like to know what scans. I would like to have a list of all the processes that Google runs on every message I send, and what they're looking for. Viruses, spam, child porn, faces, docs... I don’t know.
Leo: I think that you can assume all of the above.
Gina: But like, what else?
Leo: it’s kind of part of the intake, right? For instance, if they're caching files, then they have to have a unique identifier for each file so... Caching only works if you know it’s identical, right? So, I mean, this is all part of the intake.
Jeff: Jack Schaffer, raises a question, and I think it’s a legitimate one. Let’s say that in another country, where homosexuality is forbidden, they say that you have to find homosexual images and report them to us. Is this a technological capability that could be misused, and we will provide you with a hash of thousands of millions of homosexual photos and require you to both scan and report.
Leo: I think you can pretty much count on Google not to do that.
Jeff: I think you can, but what's the basis, what's the argument?
Leo: Well, that's the...
Jeff: Follow the law...
Leo: That's the big issue that we're seeing with the Right to Be Forgotten, right? A country can compel Google to act in odd ways, I mean you can't sell Nazi memorabilia on Ebay, that's a German requirement. Thats kind of a larger question for this global world, you know...
Jeff: On the face of it, I have absolutely no problem with what Google did.
Leo: Google explicitly told Business Insider that it does not scan for evidence of other potential crimes.
Gina: It said explicitly that's the only crime it scans for.
Leo: And they have said this all along, in 2006 Google chief Legal Officer David Drummond said, Google has a zero tolerance policy against child sexual abuse imagery. They've been very very active in that. They say explicitly, that they don't look for other crimes, however in the terms of service, quote, "Our automated systems analyze your content, including emails. Analysis of content occurs as content is sent, received, and when it is stored." So, you know, they have kind of a blanket license to go through your stuff.
Jeff: The next step here, is that somebody looked at the site telling you how to make a shoe bomb. Somebody emailed a picture of a shoe bomb.
Leo: Okay. And this is... You know, by the way Jack is saying the dangers of deputizing Google to bust child pornographers... They have not been deputized.
Jeff: They're not making judgment here.
Leo: So it’s completely possible to come up with a million scenarios that would be very very bad, but that's a foolish exercise.
Jeff: That's the essence of technopanic, I agree.
Leo: I mean, I can think of all sorts of horrible scenarios, but they're not doing that, so... The fact that they have the ability, you may not like but the thing I tell everybody is... I think you guys would agree with that... If you want to make the internet private you're going to break the internet. That's what the right to be forgotten does. It breaks the internet. And so, yes, I can see3 all sorts of horrific scenarios, but the fact is using the internet is not private any more than going to the mall is private, and trying to mold the internet to make it private is going to break it. Just as if you said, "I have the right to be private at the mall." You don't. So don't go. All I can say is don't go to the mall. I don't think it’s possible to make the internet private.
Jeff: It’s not possible to have a presumption of privacy in public, because then this is what I wrote in my book. It’s when we ruin the notion of the internet but of public, and it ruins things like journalism. Oh no no no, you can't report on me the mayor, being caught near the opiate den, because I have a presumption of privacy.
Leo: What did you think of Emil's wonderful article in Medium?
Gina: oh yes, I'm glad you asked, Leo. I was going to ask but I didn't want to...
Leo: Such a great article and I think so right on about this whole issue of privacy. I'm sure you read it, Jeff, right?
Jeff: I started to and then forgot...
Jeff: Because there was also, I think Dana did a response to him.
Gina: Dana did a response on what is privacy, yeah.
Leo: Now Dana Boyd, of course, and by the way she had something to say about all of this stuff, but I presume she would err on the side of privacy because with all her work with young people she understands how important privacy is to them.
Jeff: But no, Dana also understands the value of public and sharing, and sees the technopanic. Dana's very, quite quite rational about these topics.
Leo: I just thought what Emil brought up was really right in his article. What is public? It’s so simple, right? He points out that, let’s say, an addiction recovery group decides to take advantage of the summer weather and meet in a park, across the street. Legally you could take photos of the members, you could tag it with the names of their employers, friends, and family, make sure no one missed it. Conversations that take place in public parks are public. We have this problem now with drones, and paparazzi are using drones. It isn't illegal unless it violates FAA rules because you're in public. Public is not simply defined, it is a fragile set of social conventions about what behaviors are acceptable and appropriate. He kind of berates media, the news media that benefit’s from the grey area, by for instance, republishing tweets by saying, well hey it’s in the public eye.
Gina: I think this is where he Emil, and Jeff probably depart. Because Email is going for consent in journalism, and he and i have this debate over lunch a few times, and I wouldn't necessarily go that far.
Leo: He quotes Hamilton Nolan of Gawker. "The things you write on Twitter are public, they're published on the World Wide Web. They can be read almost instantly by anyone, with an internet connection on the planet. This is not a bug in twitter, it’s a feature." It sounds like he's channeling Jeff.
Jeff: It’s a feature of society. If I, alright, so we're off the air, and I tell you something Leonoff the air...
Leo: On the show but we're in the pre or post show...?
Jeff: No no, I mean we're in your office and I tell you something. The way I expressed it in public parts, is that privacy is responsibility. It’s an ethic of knowing someone else's information, and so once I've told you, it is public to that extent. I no longer control that at all.
Leo: However, in the past, there has been, I think, in journalism a scale that you can weigh it on, public good versus personal privacy. And if, for instance, you are the attorney general of the united states, you have a lowered expectation because the public needs to know if you're up to no good. Whereas if it’s just some guy down the street, there is kind of a burden on the journalists to say, "Lets respect that guys privacy, even though he's put it on Twitter, there's not a need to know this." Right?
Jeff: It’s not privacy, it’s more of a question of choosing not to use the power of media to give notoriety to something that doesn't deserve notoriety.
Leo: I think that is all that Emil is calling for.
Jeff: But there is... It’s not just the internet, it’s not just technology. Whatever I've told anyone, you know. We learn this in the third grade playground. You tell someone something and you think they're not going to tell everybody and you go to the lunch room people and they've told everybody.
Leo: it’s uncool.
Jeff: It is and it isn't'.
Leo: And if they say, "It’s my right because you said it in public!" I'm going to sock them.
Jeff: But I tell you I have prostate cancer and a malfunctioning penis, and you think I'm going to keep that quiet, and I go around and I'm broadcasting it to the whole world. But the point is you have to judge the context which is point that Webber makes at NYU. And it’s very hard to do.
Leo: The reader you, or the person whose privacy was violated.
Jeff: In this case I told you in your office, and I maybe telling you because I'm confiding in a male friend of mine. I may be telling you because I want to make sure you get tested, and may be telling you because I want you to spread the word in your powerful voice to get other people tested, there's a context.
Leo: I understand, but the issue that Emil is raising is that there are in some cases, a real journalist responsibility to reveal this information and then there are in some cases, it’s exploitation. That it’s good for business, but there is no public need to know.
Jeff: it’s Responsibility, It’s notoriety, it’s exploitation.
Leo: It’s technically public, but that's important consideration when revealing it. What he's saying is that the business models of some of the most powerful sources in society are increasingly (The media) are increasingly dependent on our complicity in making our conversations, our creations, our communities, public whenever they can exploit them.
Jeff: The difference is this, if I go to Facebook and I do a private message to you, or I go to email a private message to you, same as if I do on the street, same issues I just outlined. Twitter is different because I can go into twitter and I can search on...
Leo: I understand, no of course. I understand. All of this is factually true. He's just saying don't be a jerk.
Gina; Right. There's a difference between technically public, right... Fragile social conventions.
Leo: But don't be an asshole.
Jeff: Fine but there's also a difference - it is a more public act. Being on twitter is a more public act than telling someone through private channels.
Leo: I disagree, but I think a lot of people use twitter, knowing it’s public but they're having a semi private... They're at replying someone else, they know technically that it’s public. But they don't expect... But you think it’s completely wrong of them to expect that people by social more alone...
Jeff: Because of the functionality, Leo, of the search. Two things can happen, one is whoever I sent this to could retweet it and it could go around the world. And who's at fault there? The first retweeter or the tenth retweeter? Second, Twitter search, if I go searching for small penis pictures, god knows what I'll find but I'll find them. And it is that’s no... If I put up a webpage and I only tell you the URL but Google finds it, is that wrong? No. It’s on the net.
Leo: What do you think, Gina?
Gina: I mean, you know... I agree with Emil that it’s extremely complicated, but I... I mean, does... The reason why part of this came up is because you know Chanley Cain was getting profiled by Medium, by Elisabeth Spears, and she objected to the entire process, because she felt like she did not give her consent. There was a point during the interview, where she felt like the questions were invasive and she didn't want to participate. And Liz basically said, look, I'm doing this profile. I'm going to talk to your friends and family, this is how journalism works. And Chandley was like this is harassment, you should require my consent. And that prompted Jason Calcanna saying journalism doesn't require consent. And I actually agree. I don't think that journalism does require consent, and Emil was saying in that piece, that he thinks that it should. I think that that would mean that you know, only the stories that people were okay with getting reported would get reported and, that I think would do a great disservice. So, I agree with Emil's larger point that it’s complicated, and it’s nuanced, and Dana's take on the privacy part of it was kind of the same thing. That it’s nuanced and complicated, and it’s not about whether or not something is technically public or private it’s about social convention or mores and these things have to evolve especially with the new tools that we have... And they are new tools. But I don't think they are sort of black and white lines here on this.
Leo: Here's what Dana says, and I actually very much agree with Dana Boyd. She says, "The very practice of privacy is all about control in a world in which we fully know we never have control." Our friends might betray us. Our spaces might be surveilled. Our expectations might be shattered, but this is why achieving privacy is desirable. People want to be in public, but that doesn't necessarily mean they want to be public, and there's a huge difference. She says, as Emil points out our lives are shaped by all sorts of unspoken social agreements, allowing... And this is where I do agree with her, although I don't know what you do about it. Allowing organizations or powerful actors to undermine these social agreements for personal gain may not be illegal but it does tear at the social fabric. You can't disagree with that, Jeff.
Jeff: It always has, that's why the hacking case in the UK with Murdoch's publications, it goes exactly to that, because they tore into something that indeed was private. It was messages, your phone. It tears at the social fabric.
Leo: We would all agree that that's wrong and bad and they did get prosecuted and some of them...
Jeff: You know, going overboard. You know, some fifteen year old says something on Twitter and the New York post puts it on page one, ridicules the person. That's bullying. Yeah, I agree, but that's not about privacy. That's about the overuse of that power for no good reason but economic gain.
Gina: Is that clear though? I mean when Buzzfeed does a top ten list and just does a list of tweets by people who have ten or twelve followers who are just regular twitter users, just talking to their friends and kind of puts them in the public eye, and then wraps it in ads, is as Emil said, is that... Do web content producers see that as unethical? Is it unethical? Is it okay?
Jeff: You gave the same example I just gave. If I put up a webpage and give you the URL, but it’s searchable on Google... And you can find it, is that wrong? No, it’s on the public net.
Leo: Let me give you a personal example. Because these are very abstract. So, I post pictures of my family trips, I inadvertently reveal text messages on the air... A reporter at Gawker Ryan Tait goes through all of this stuff, really spends a long time, obviously, going through all this stuff to write a story about how I'm having an affair and my family doesn't know... A story that wasn't factually wrong, except my family did know but... I wasn't having an affair, but he didn't have all the details because there was some private stuff about the fact that I'd already separated from my wife, and it was a very hurtful article that came out on Christmas Eve. Nothing illegal done, completely unmasked from public record, however an extremely hurtful, and I think wrong article. Am I wrong?
Gina: And I threw down with Ryan about that article. I was really pissed at him about that, and he went back and forth about it in private, over email because I said to him that I thought that it was... My problem with that piece is that he hadn't ever gotten in touch with you for comments, and he published it on Christmas Eve and it felt like such a hit. Whatever, I don't want to get into the whole thing and I had a serious problem with that and I talked with him and I talked with Nick and we kind of agreed to disagree. And he really argued with me about it, because I guess my opinions still hold sway because I used to work at Gawker. But the line isn't clear. I guess this is what I'm saying. The line isn't clear.
Jeff: Leo, there was no, journalistically, there was no news value, news judgment for what was done. It was done clearly just to exploit and to get....
Leo: And that's the kind of stuff we're talking about. That's where I'm saying the balance, between the public's need to know and the legal right to do it versus the socially responsible thing to do.
Jeff: And that has existed since the penny press. That has existed for a hundred years. That's why people feared the camera, and this is exactly what led...
Leo: But I think what Emil is saying is that balance is no longer being observed, we've in the past trust our institutions.
Jeff: It’s never been observed. Media... Yellow journalism was around for years and years and years. And shmucks are schmucks. They shmuck around and that was a schmuck is, horrible thing to do. There was no good reason for it, and it was, yeah.
Leo: There was a good reason for it, that is a very highly read article. They got lots of revenue.
Jeff: There's economic reason to do it, but there was no social reason to do that. There was no higher journalistic end to doing it.
Leo: Well, that’s what I’m saying, and by the way, there’s not a law you’re going to make about this, but I think it’s appropriate to call out media institutions—
Jeff: Yeah, I agree with that.
Leo: —when they choose to exploit for economic benefit as opposed to do what they’re supposed to do, which is represent the interests of the public.
Jeff: So I just finished my draft. You’re never going to want to read it. Believe me; you’re never going to read this.
Jeff: I’ve written a 55,000-word tome—
Gina: A white paper.
Jeff: Yeah, now that the Internet has screwed up everything, Jarvis, what now? And I focus on new relationships and new form and new models. And in trying to judge what journalism we should save, if we’re so worried about journalism—well, we’re not worried about helicopters showing you the fire 10 miles away, which isn’t going to affect you. We’re not worried about those stories you just mentioned. We’re not worried about the 40th reporting of the weather or for that matter reporting on a football game or a celebrity. What’s the essence of journalism that we really care about? And I end up giving a—I start with a very broad definition of journalism, which is helping communities organize their knowledge to better organize themselves. And then I narrowed it down in this analysis of saying, “What do we save? What are we at risk of?” That’s a very narrow part of journalism, and that’s journalism to me that is in fact advocacy, and it’s advocacy for improving society—
Jeff: —for improving your life.
Jeff: And that includes things like getting the bad guys, but it includes other things.
Leo: Yes, I agree.
Jeff: Now to me, that is journalism. Everything else is entertainment. Now if I say that, I’m going to get in tons of trouble, and economically I have to broaden that back out again and include the football in it again and include the fires and the weather.
Leo: I would agree with you 100%. I think you’re right on.
Jeff: So in that case, to make a journalistic analysis of this, there was absolutely zero justification for what Gawker did to you. It was not journalistic at all. It was purely salacious entertainment. Full stop. They should be ashamed of themselves. It wasn’t journalism. Next argument is, “I don’t accuse myself of doing journalism. I do what I do.”
Leo: No, but this is what he’s saying is that—these institutions say, but it’s all in public. Everything they used was in public.
Gina: But wait. The argument was Leo’s a person of interest and this screenshot was mad at you or whatever, was in the video, and it was public.
Leo: It wasn’t just a screenshot. It was images from my Flickr feed. It was all public. They didn’t delve into anything that was not public. The only thing they did is they focused it by taking it all and putting it together—
Jeff: It’s not an issue of publicness or privacy. That’s the wrong analysis I would argue with Anil and I’ll take him out for drinks and we’ll do this. I would argue it’s a public interest analysis as the core of journalistic—
Leo: I agree. I agree with that, yeah. But that’s what I’m saying is that you have to weigh public interest versus people’s right to be left alone. Now let’s not use privacy. Right to be left alone.
Jeff: So the guy who took the picture of the plane in the Hudson—
Jeff: —he had—I don’t know how many he had. Let’s say he had 10 followers. Well, that was public interest.
Leo: Yeah, I agree. I have no problem with that.
Jeff: So the issue is not in how many followers he had. You can’t use that. You can’t—
Leo: No, it’s public. You posted it.
Jeff: That analysis doesn’t work.
Leo: It’s a good article. Read that. Read Danah Boyd’s response. Both of them are Medium. Anil Dash and Danah Boyd. I think it’s a really important argument, and it points to a really good piece by John Oliver this week on native media and I’m sure native content, which is another form, by the way, of this kind of I think slipping standard in journalism.
Jeff: Yes, I agree.
Gina: Oh, I didn’t see this.
Leo: Oh, it’s good.
Gina: Is this on his show?
Leo: It’s pretty long. I don’t know if we’re going to air it, but I’ve got to air one little bit of it. The New York Times saleswoman.
Jeff: Oh, that part, yeah. But I also think the song. What’s her name?
Leo: You know what? At first, I didn’t watch John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight or whatever it’s called because I said it’s just a rip off of the Daily Show. Come on, John (laughter). You know, you stole John Stewart’s format. And of course, he’s a former Daily Show reporter, but I have to say he has done such great advocacy.
Gina: He nailed a couple of segments, huh?
Leo: He’s done such great advocacy journalism, and who knows anything about native content? This is not something that is talked about in mainstream media. We talk about it all the time. This is the advertisement hiding as editorial content. Very famously, was it Forbes that allowed the Church of Scientology to write a—
Jeff: No, that was the Atlantic.
Leo: The Atlantic? Even worse
Jeff: Yeah, they just went off the deep end.
Leo: That Atlantic allowed the Church of Scientology to write a puff piece about the Church of Scientology posted on their website as if it were an article. It says in fine print, “This is paid for,” but this new idea of native content is everybody knows an attempt to trick viewers into thinking they’re watching editorial content when they’re really just watching advertising content.
Jeff: So Forbes is the one that allows advertisers to have what they call “brand voice.” And they have a little link next to it that says, “What’s this?” As I’ve said to them, “If you have to say, ‘What’s this?’ clearly the label ain’t clear enough.” So it’s an effort to move. Now the New York Times on the other hand has started into this and it says, “Paid Post,” and they change the color; and then change the font. They do all kinds of stuff. So they did a feature about women in prison tied to Orange is the New Black, but it troubles me because the reader is going to ask and say, “Well, this is such a good story. Why did you assign this? Why didn’t you do this journalistically?” And if it’s an ad really for that, then did you soften this? What was the influence of the advertiser? Fine you said paid post, but you’re using your motif of telling me a journalistic story now for the sake of the advertiser. It’s going to hurt the brand. It hurt Forbes’ brand. They were sold for less than they wanted because of this.
Leo: Good (laughter). And that did hurt the Atlantic’s brand briefly. Let me see if I can find this. The New York Times has engaged in this as well. You’d think the New York Times would be somewhat above this. And he plays a little bit of a clip from the—
Jeff: Well, wait a second. You know which one? At four minutes, start it at 4 minutes because that’s the—
Leo: Here’s Meredith Levy, and she’s executive vice president of advertising. Let’s be fair at the New York Times at—
Meredith Levy: Let me start by vigorously refuting the notion that native advertising has to erode consumer trust or compromise the wall that exists between editorial and advertising. Good native advertising is just not meant to be trickery—
Leo: Well, obviously, it wouldn’t be good native advertising if it didn’t trick the reader into thinking they were reading editorial.
Meredith Levy: …Meant to be publishers sharing its storytelling tools with a marketer.
Leo: It’s publishers sharing their storytelling tools with marketers.
Gina: (Laughter) Wow.
John Oliver: Exactly, exactly. It’s not trickery. It’s sharing storytelling tools. And that’s not (bleep). It’s repurposed bovine waste.
Jeff: If you go to four minutes, there’s stuff I think is pretty funny too.
Leo: Okay, let me find that. And then we’re going to play the Pepsi commercial, because I think that’s a really good example.
Jeff: That was—
John Oliver: …These messages that are often clear endorsements, and if you’ll excuse me I’ll just take a break from making this point by enjoying the refreshing taste of Mountain Dew Code Red. And then it’s at this point that you usually realize, “Oh, this isn’t the thing that I was looking for. You were just advertising the most disgusting (bleep) drink ever manufactured.”
John Oliver: Although, it does undeniably taste of red.
Leo: (Laughter) Here’s the Peretti stuff.
John Oliver: Native advertising though has been so lucrative for new media organizations that they’ve basically built their entire business model around it.
Johan Peretti: One hundred percent of our revenue comes from branded content, so we have a lot of partners who are marketers.
Leo: This is the CEO of BuzzFeed, Johan Peretti, talking about—
Jeff: Brilliant technologist. He was the technologist behind Huffington Post. Jonah is amazing.
Gina: Jonah is amazing.
Leo: Well, and he’s succeeded amazingly. Here he justifies BuzzFeed.
Johan Peretti: …And major brands. We work with 76 of the top 100 brands now.
John Oliver: That’s the CEO of BuzzFeed, Jonah Peretti. And his face is like BuzzFeed itself, successful, appealing, and yet somehow, you want to punch it.
Leo: So he’s saying that almost all of our content comes from advertisers. Is that what he said?
Jeff: No, but they have top advertisers.
Leo: John Oliver says, “Hey, if you’re going to stick advertising in our news, we ought to be able to stick news in your advertising.”
Unknown Woman: When you get hot, you get thirsty. And when you get thirsty, there’s only one choice.
Leo: He’s drinking a Diet Coke.
Unknown Woman: Diet Coke.
Unknown Man: The recent Ebola outbreak has killed over 700 people in West Africa. The World Health Organization says they don’t yet have it under control and the situation threatens to become catastrophic.
Leo: Now that is a better world, ladies and gentlemen (laughter).
Jeff: Native journalism.
Leo: Last Week Tonight. It’s on HBO. I wanted to hate it. I love John Oliver and his Daily Bugle is one of the best podcasts ever recorded, and still doing it I think. But he’s taken it to television, and you know what, John, go ahead steal John Stewart’s format. Doesn’t matter. You do a great job.
Jeff: Doesn’t matter. It’s so good.
Leo: It’s so good. We’re going to take a break. Our show today—it’s snack time. This is not native content. This is an ad.
Jeff: But a delicious one.
Leo: A delicious one. Please make me feel better, Jeff. You know when you see an ad on TWiT that it’s an advertisement, that somebody paid us to talk about it?
Jeff: Yeah, this is radio forever, so we know that. You change tone. The question is if you don’t know it.
Leo: Right. Am I trying to trick you?
Jeff: If you’re trying to fool the viewer.
Leo: If I did a review of the OnePlus and raved about it, and it was paid by OnePlus, that would be a complete betrayal of my integrity and our compact—unwritten, unspoken compact with the audience.
Jeff: If all through the show, you kept popping in those very delicious and they are delicious by the way, kettle corn nuggets—
Jeff: —that happen to come from your sponsor and never told us who’s your sponsor, just said, “Mmm, yum,” that’s fooling people.
Leo: However, we do have to have snacks, so this is Nature Box. And I love this for a couple of reasons. First of all, these are really good snacks, as you both know because we’ve sent you Nature Boxes.
Gina: Ohh, so good.
Leo: But more than that, they’re healthful snacks because they’re nutritionist approved. No high fructose corn syrup. No artificial flavors. No trans fats. None of this stuff that we know is bad. And good stuff, and you can even tailor it. There’s hundreds of snacks, so if you want a Nature Box—and by the way, these are delivered to your door monthly, so it’s a nice little subscription thing—or you can buy just one box. But if you want to say, “I’m a vegan. Just send me vegan stuff,” they can do that. “I am gluten conscious. None of that gluten.” Okay, no gluten. You can have savory. You can have sweet. You can have spicy. You totally control this. And before you buy even you can look at the ingredients, look at what’s in here. I think you will be very happy. These are very pure, very simple, but very delicious. Like sea salt sun Crunch. Sunflower, sesame seeded crackers. Oh, oh. I’ve been wanting to open this one. Coconut cashews. Yeah, baby. So what’s in coconut cashews? What do you think? Cashews, cane sugar, coconut, rice syrup, natural flavor, and salt. That’s it. And you know that, right? You know what’s in it. Now here’s the deal, we’re going to give you half off but no GMOs. That’s right. We’re going to give you half off when you go to NatureBox.com/TWiT and use the offer code TWIT so you can at least try a box and see if you like it. Mmm. This shouldn’t be allowed. That is so good. Coconuts and cashews together. And by the way, they do a nice thing. What is it called? Meals for America? They donate meals. Scroll down. It’s on there somewhere. They donate meals when you buy a Nature Box, so they’re going for 1 million meals to hungry families in the U.S. So you’ll feel good about it all ways round. NatureBox.com/TWiT. Yeah, there it is. Together we fight hunger. For every box we deliver, we are donating a meal. Wow! Through Feeding America. For every box, you get a meal. That’s good. Nature Box.com/TWiT. Use the offer code TWIT to get 50% off. It’s good stuff.
Jeff: This is really good.
Jeff: It is good stuff.
Leo: It’s all zip locked though so you can have a small amount, put it away for later. Don’t eat on the air, Leo. No slurping on…
Gina: There’s been spousal negotiation about which of those I’m allowed to bring to the office.
Gina: My box arrived at home—
Leo: You took my Nature Box! (Laughter)
Gina: —and I was packing away. And I got, “Where are you going with those? No, no, no. Hold on. I get to choose the ones I want.”
Gina: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Leo: Which ones are favorites at home. Which ones are favorite—
Gina: I got the plantains.
Leo: Oh, the plantains? You got to take those in?
Gina: I got to take those. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, given a Nature Box, I would do in a moment.
Leo: Yeah, it’s good stuff.
Gina: It is.
Jeff: My favorite so far is those hard corn kernels.
Leo: I love those.
Jeff: Oh, I love those.
Leo: I’m not allowed those because I will eat the whole bag.
Jeff: I mean, you put a bag of cheese doodles this big, I’ll eat the whole thing.
Jeff: I’m not doing that. I am using the—just go in and get a little handful.
Leo: Good. I love the zip lock.
Gina: The zip lock helps, yeah.
Leo: Now that was native advertising right there (laughter).
Leo: Hey, I’m sad. The Google Barge, headed for the scrap heap. That mysterious barge, they were building one here and building one in Portland, Maine. The one in Portland, Maine, which was intended to be sailed down to New York City for a luxury showroom for Google hardware is being scraped. They were doing three different barges. It was a mystery at first. San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. The Portland, Maine one, there’s 63 containers. They’re selling the barge off. It’s worth about $4 million. Wow, barges are expensive.
Leo: It’s so amazing that Google has so much money they can just say, “Let’s try that.”
Gina: Oh, let’s try that. Oh, just kidding.
Leo: Didn’t work. Didn’t like it.
Leo: Maybe it’s a Yahoo barge now. Chrome, this is amazing. You’re going to like this. Chrome 20% market share. It’s now bigger than Firefox. Internet Explorer, of course, is totally dominant, 58%, but that’s mostly because it’s on Windows and everybody just uses what they got. So IE 58, Chrome 20, Firefox 15, Safari, which is Apple only 5. And then the rest under 1%. Proprietary or undetectable 0.24%. Conqueror, which is a Linux browser 0.5%.
Gina: Oh, Opera?
Leo: Under 1%, 0.99.
Jeff: Poor Opera. Are they still making new versions of that?
Leo: Oh, yeah.
Leo: In fact, it’s pretty good software. I never thought it was very aesthetic. Always felt a little clunky.
Jeff: Well, I never got into it.
Leo: Yeah, but the technology’s good.
Jeff: You know, I found something amazing the other day.
Leo: What’s that Jeff Jarvis? Was it Nature Box?
Gina: Oh, now. Not anymore.
Leo: That’s native advertising.
Jeff: I went to CompuServe.com, and there’s still a CompuServe.com, in reference to customer service at CompuServe.
Leo: Wow. Do you remember your CompuServe number?
Gina: Uh, no.
Leo: That’s how you know she’s younger than us.
Leo: Everybody over…well…
Gina: I don’t know. I think I was late to the Internet scene. I mean, it really wasn’t until college until I—and that was—
Leo: All of our chatrooms are putting their CIS—
Leo: See? This is what you get.
Gina: I know what it is; I just don’t have one.
Leo: So you had a CompuServe account? Or no?
Gina: No, I never had a CompuServe account.
Leo: Never had one, yeah.
Gina: Never had an AOL account either.
Gina: Nope, nope.
Leo: Yeah, AOL owns them, so it’s really just AOL.
Jeff: But it’s weird that it’s freeze dried.
Leo: Mm-hmm. Hey, ladies and gentlemen, let’s break out the trumpets, get the horns a-ready. No, it’s not Gabriel returning to destroy the planet Earth. It’s the Google Changelog.
Announcer: The Google Changelog.
Leo: And here’s Gina Trapani with the latest from Google.
Gina: All right. I just actually (laughter) switched up the rundown because I decided to lead off with the best one, which is that Google Maps added 3D imaging for both Mars and the moon.
Gina: You just have to know how to get to it, so you go to Maps.Google.com, and you’ve got to be using the new Maps, so you can’t be using that tip I had a few episodes back on how to switch the old one. You’ve got to use the new Maps. Google Earth or Earth mode enabled. If you zoom out, you can zoom out and see the planet Earth, but if you zoom out far enough, you’ll see Mars and the moon as well.
Jeff: You turn left?
Leo: (Laughter) That’s pretty funny. Yeah, can you get directions to Tranquility Base?
Gina: It’s pretty awesome. Yeah, there are definitely items—yeah, so there you go. So zoom out. Zoom, zoom, zoom all the way…
Leo: So who would have gone beyond that part? No one.
Gina: There you go, bottom left.
Leo: There they are. And now 3D imagery of what’s that? The moon.
Gina: That’s the moon.
Gina: There you go. Zooming in.
Leo: That’s neat.
Gina: Zooming in. Yeah. Clearly, there are some better pictures of some places than others.
Leo: So Chad, if you drop a pin there and say, “I want directions,” will it give you directions?
Gina: (Laughter) I don’t think it will. I do not believe it will.
Chad: I can’t find where to drop a pin.
Leo: Build a Satin 5 rocket.
Chad: I was trying to figure out if there’s a way that I could get the—oh, there. That’s what I wanted.
Gina: Step one, enter your space elevator.
Leo: You know, we just celebrated the 45 anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk, and I’ve been watching all the videos and stuff. It’s so inspiring, and I felt like gosh we were really on the edge of the future there.
Gina: And it’s been two years since the Mars rover, right?
Leo: Yeah. Yeah, is that really— two years?
Gina: Yeah, can you believe that?
Leo: Can you find Curiosity there?
Chad: Oh, gosh. Explore.
Chad: Let me… hmm.
Leo: Oh, that’s neat.
Gina: It’s not as searchable as... (Laughter)
Leo: Yeah, but they got it. That’s the point.
Gina: …Google Maps on Earth, but still really, really neat.
Leo: Love it.
Gina: Yeah, some really cool images. Of course, it’s kind of quilted.
Chad: I don’t know even where to look to find any sort of…there’s a lot of names here. It seems like this is an important spot. Hmm.
Gina: I guess, yeah, they name all the craters?
Chad: This must have been where the Martian happened.
Chad: Stobes, stobs. Anyway, sorry.
Leo: Where was he? He was on the…
Chad: Yeah. He was near some—
Leo: Some plane.
Chad: The problem is I cannot find a place to search.
Gina: Yeah, there isn’t really a place to search.
Jeff: I loved “My Favorite Martian” when I was a kid.
Leo: (Laughter) That’s a different Martian, but okay.
Gina: Is this one of those things that I know Eta’s going to grow up and she’s going to be doing some book report on the planets and I’m going to be like, “Look at this. It’s so cool,” and she’s going to be like, “Yeah, mom. I mean, didn’t we always have this?” “No, we didn’t!”
Leo: We didn’t have this!
Gina: We didn’t have this! You should be excited.
Jeff: Gina, Eta is going to be into Lutes and Middle Ages.
Jeff: I’m telling you, that’s my prediction. She’s going to get rid of all technology and think that it’s just ridiculous.
Leo: Hey EndUserUK wonders if they blur the Martians’ faces.
Gina: I hear that the Martians are having some sort of privacy issues.
Leo: The right to be…
Jeff: There is a hexagonal storm on Saturn, folks. Have you seen that? It’s a storm that’s bigger than Earth.
Leo: And it’s a hexagon?
Jeff: It’s a hexagon. Yes, it’s on—
Leo: That has to be manmade. That has to be manmade. Nature abhors the hexagon. No, it doesn’t. There’s hexagons all over nature.
Jeff: Yeah, yeah. Just look up Saturn’s hexagon. Yep, there it is.
Leo: A common crystalline formation.
Jeff: Don’t forget about the—
Leo: Wow. That is quite hexagonal, however.
Gina: Yeah, it is isn’t it?
Leo: Wow, that’s kind of hard to imagine that just spontaneously happening that way. Wow. Wow. What do they say about that?
Jeff: I don’t know.
Leo: It could be hundreds of years old.
Chad: Whoa, this was placed December 2013.
Leo: It’s old.
Leo: Why isn’t anybody saying anything about this? Quick, get Adam Curry on the horn.
Jeff: We haven’t even talked about the asteroid.
Leo: Rosetta. Well, that’s not the asteroid’s name. it’s got some boring old name. Rosetta is the European rocket that’s there visiting.
Jeff: The Twitter account is pretty cool.
Gina: Oh, yeah. I saw it in the rundown.
Leo: Yeah, because it’s been pretty neat to watch it as it gets closer and closer to this comet.
Jeff: Yeah, it really is.
Leo: The comet’s name is 67P, so that’s why we don’t get excited about it. That’s neat. Yeah, ESA, because is the European Space Agency, Rosetta mission. William Shatner’s tweeting.
Jeff: Oh, he is? (Laughter)
Leo: I love that when you get William Shatner talking to the commander of the ISS and things like. It’s like, wow, we do live in the future.
Gina: It’s fantastic.
Leo: That’s it, a big space rock.
Gina: I want more app reviews that are Shatner.
Leo: (Laughter) Are there Shatner apps?
Gina: (Laughter) Shatner wrote a whole piece about how he hated Facebook’s new analytics app.
Leo: Yeah. I feel like he actually wrote that, but it couldn’t be, right? It must have been his social media guy who wrote it under his name.
Leo: And yet, that would be such a massive misrepresentation. He must have written it. On his Tumblr.
Gina: Yeah, I don’t know. It kind of had his tone.
Jeff: Yeah, it did. Because it also had the George Takei joke in it.
Gina: Oh, right, yeah.
Leo: But of course, his social media buy would do that.
Jeff: Yeah, I know, but—
Leo: And by the way, I was so devastated to learn George Takei doesn’t post his own stuff.
Gina: Oh, yeah.
Jeff: He does some, but not all.
Leo: He’s got a team. Oh, my. So he’s reviewing the Facebook app, which only he gets to see that’s for celebrities, and he hated it. He thought it was really stupid. So he says, “I have to have both apps.”
Leo: Shatner Speaks is the name of his Tumblog.
Gina: Yeah, it would be a pretty big misrepresentation, without actually saying that.
Leo: I mean, it says, “These posts are my own. They should not be construed as anything but my opinion and views.”
Gina: Okay, well, there you go. I believe that.
Leo: Wow, that’s very cool. Facebook Mentions versus Facebook Pages app. “ I want to talk and compare an app that most of you don’t have access to, Facebook mentions. Compared to the Pages app that anyone who has a Facebook page can download and use, I found out about Mentions from a banner ad that was at the top of my Facebook account earlier this week. And it was customized with my icon on an iPhone, so I downloaded it,” says William Shatner, James Tiberius Kirk.
Leo: This is like a full-blown review like you would write for a magazine.
Gina: It’s a full review. It’s on Lifehacker. Screenshots and comparisons.
Gina: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, Shatner took a turn at tech journalism or opinion.
Leo: That’s so awesome. Bill, if you’re watching, get in touch with us. Let us know.
Gina: Come on the show. Come on the show.
Leo: Did you write this? Come on the show. He says, “I’m not quite sure why Facebook released this app for ‘celebrities.’ It seems to be ill conceived. I’ll probably use it to post to my Facebook when I’m on my phone, but it doesn’t allow for mail or groups. I’ll continue to use my regular Facebook app as well as the Pages app.” Which means that Shatner, and Zuckerberg likes this, has three Facebook apps on his phone.
Leo: Gosh, that’s amazing.
Gina: All right, I can finish off the Changelog.
Leo: Oh, yes. Sorry.
Gina: There isn’t much left. No, no, no. That’s okay.
Leo: We really got side tracked there. Whoo!
Gina: I brought up the Shatner review (laughter). I actually think we talked about this a little bit earlier, but just to make sure that everyone knows, the formerly Nexus only Google Now launcher is now out for all Android 4.1 and up devices. So this is the Google Now launcher that came out when KitKat was released on the Nexus 5. It’s my default launcher. Leo, I know that it’s not your default launcher. I really like it because you swipe over to the left and you get Google Now and it has some different interfaces for widgets. It has the voice-activated Google search. Really, really nice, so if you didn’t have a Nexus or your phone hadn’t gotten updated, you can go to the Play Store now and try it out. Yeah, it’s a pretty nice launcher.
Leo: You know what’s great about that is it means that Jeff can go from his Nexus 5 to the OnePlus and it’ll be the same launcher.
Jeff: I’ve never changed the launcher. How do I change the launcher? I don’t even know.
Leo: Oh, my God. (Laughter)
Leo: Actually, it’s automatic. If you download the launcher—
Leo: The next time you press the home button it’ll say, “Ooo, would you like me to launch the launcher or Google Now?” and then you—
Jeff: But my Nexus 5 is automatically on the Google Now launcher?
Leo: Right. It is.
Gina: Yeah, right. So on the OnePlus One, you’ll download the Google Now launcher from the Play Store because that’s going to default to Cyanogen 1, which I switched to Google Now launcher. But just download the Google Now launcher and you press the home button and it’ll say, “Which launcher?” Just tap it and say always, so there’ll be a little bit of configuration, but you only have to do that once.
Jeff: You, Gina Trapani, I know where you are.
Gina: This just means we have to have lunch. That’s all. I’ll get your phone set up.
Leo: It’s another nice thing about Cyanogen because unlike the regular Android, you have home, personalization for home in the settings. So you can also just go to home in your settings, and it’ll show whatever launchers you have installed and you can pick which one you want to use. So it’s now a setting. That’s something that is not part of the regular Android. That’s something many different versions have. HTC’s Sense does that as well.
Leo: Yeah, so it makes it very easy to choose, but you get offered it right away as soon as you download it.
Gina: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Yep.
Gina: Couple of quick Gmail changes. First, Gmail adds and easy unsubscribe button next to a sender’s address in your e-mail.
Gina: So if you’re subscribed to a mailing list—they used to have some subscribe button—
Leo: Oh, hallelujah.
Gina: Yeah. They used to have this link, but it was kind of buried in the headers. You had to expand the headers, if I remember correctly. Well, now it’s right next to the sender at the top of your e-mail.
Leo: Oh, that’s got to piss off some people, huh?
Gina: Yeah. (Laughter) Yeah, if—
Jeff: Bye-bye! (Makes explosion sound)
Gina: If the sender includes an unsubscribe link in a promotion, social, or forms message, Gmail will include that unsubscribe link at the top of the message right next to the sender e-mail address.
Jeff: I just came from this address. I’ve got to type it in. I had one the other day that did a caption for me, like a robot is going and unsubscribing. Jerks.
Leo: Yeah really.
Leo: You must be a robot to unsubscribe to this list (laughter).
Leo: Why would you ever want to leave the number one Internet service provider in America? You must be a robot.
Leo: Wow, that’s just low. That’s like native advertising.
Gina: It’s true. It’s true.
Leo: It’s just low.
Jeff: It is.
Gina: And finally, last Gmail change is that Gmail is finally starting to recognize email addresses with non-Latin characters in them. So that’s starting now. Gmail and shortly calendar will recognize addresses that contain accents that are non-Latin characters are supported officially in the e-mail protocol, but not a whole lot of service providers support it (laughter), so it makes it essentially impossible to use, but—
Leo: That means I could now have an emoji. I could be Leosteamingpileofpoo@gmail.com
Gina: There you go.
Leo: Is that right? Because that’s in the Unicode.
Gina: So the problem is you can’t create an account with those characters yet on Gmail.
Gina: But it means that Gmail users can send e-mails to accounts that do have accented characters and non-Latin characters and receive e-mails from.
Leo: Oh, okay.
Gina: And this is just kind of the first step, and Google says that in the future they’re going to make it possible for you to create Gmail accounts with non-Latin characters in them. So you can be Leosteamingpileofpoop, Just not right now. Not right this second. So it’s a nice first step, and Google’s saying, “Hey, somebody’s got to do it. So we’re going to continue to build support into it and hopefully once that domino falls, others will follow suit.” And that’s all I got.
Leo: And that, my friends—play the drums slowly—is the Google Changelog. I have a problem with Gmail. I’ve been having it a lot lately. Gina, maybe you can help me with this. It doesn’t load. I go to it and it partly loads and then I have a blank—do you see this, Chad? This happens to me all the time.
Gina: Whoa, that’s unusual.
Leo: All the time, like more than half the time. Is there something I’ve done bad? I click the inbox, loading. That’s it.
Gina: Whoa, wacky.
Jeff: Are you using the Chrome app or…?
Leo: This is Chrome. No, this is just Chrome, Chrome.
Jeff: Is it the app or it just the web page?
Leo: No. Well, let me try the app. I think the same thing happens when you do the app.
Gina: Oh, the offline app you mean—
Leo: Oh, no, no, no.
Jeff: No, there’s also an online app.
Leo: It worked. It worked. So you know where you go to the grid and it show you your apps, that way worked. But just going to Gmail.com didn’t. Now that’s interesting.
Leo: I maybe have some security setting.
Jeff: …Laporte technology problem.
Leo: You did. I might have some weird security setting. You fixed—thank you tech guy, Jeff Jarvis.
Leo: You are my new IT hero. Well done.
Gina: There used to be a quick load lab and it does not appear to exist anymore.
Leo: I may have some LastPass stuff on there or something that’s doing it.
Gina: LastPass or some sort of security setting because that’s an Ajax load I’m pretty sure.
Leo: Right, right.
Gina: So it’s asynchronously loading the messages in the inbox—
Leo: Right, exactly.
Gina: —maybe something’s blocking it. Is it happening just on that computer or all your computers?
Leo: No, at home too, everywhere.
Gina: Oh, hmm.
Leo: I have a Stock Google theme. Maybe I’ll try a different one.
Leo: Hmm. By the way, they’re telling me that Stock Android now does have that home setting in the settings menu. Go look in your Nexus 5. Look at your Nexus 5. Go to the settings. See if there’s a home entry.
Jeff: Yeah, home.
Leo: All right, that’s how you change your home.
Jeff: I was looking for launcher. Excuse me.
Leo: You were looking for launcher. Yeah, yeah. No, and I don’t use an ad blocker because I believe in looking at ads as often as possible. Wikipedia pages has taken down—well, not pages. Just the links in the right to be forgotten. Go ahead, Jeff. I’ll just have a snack. Everybody gets to sit back, relax.
Jeff: This thing is spreading. This thing is dangerous.
Leo: It’s just horrible, just horrible.
Jeff: It’s wrong. Europe, you’re wrong. Leave it there.
Gina: Wait, wait.
Leo: Jimmy Wales is not too happy about this.
Jeff: No, and Jimmy Wales is on the Google right to be forgotten council of advisors.
Gina: Hmm. So what happened? Wikimedia uploaded copies of the takedown requests and then those were removed via right to be forgotten? Is that what happened?
Leo: Wikimedia, Wikipedia has uploaded the most recent notices it got from Google, all of which were removed from search results due to the European right to be forgotten laws.
Gina: These were removal notices for Wikipedia pages?
Leo: Links, yes. Links removed very widely from a picture of a man playing guitar to a page about Renato Vallanzasca.
Gina: So the source URLs are notified? I was confused about this. So Wikipedia’s notified when someone requests that—
Jeff: Google has been notifying people.
Gina: Oh, Google has been right?
Leo: This is what you get, by the way. This is from Wikipedia. This is the notice. This is from the Netherlands, I think. “Due to a request under data protection law in Europe, we are no longer able to show one or more pages from your site in our search results in response to some search queries for names or other personal identifiers. Only results in the European versions of Google are affected. No action is required from you.”
Jeff: The great thing is the Wikimedia blog post points to a Wikipedia entry for memory hole.
Leo: Good (laughter). Geez Louise, is this broken. Jimmy Wales’ statement on this is I think echoes somewhat you say as well. He says, “History is a human right and one of the worst things a person can do is attempt to use force to silence another. “
Jeff: Amen, Brother Jimmy. I’ve been saying this for quite some time. He said on Twitter recently too, “There is no right to be forgotten, but there is a right to remember.”
Leo: Mmm. Like it.
Gina: Mmm. Yeah, I like it a lot.
Jeff: He’ll get credit for saying that. Now I said it before he did, but never mind. It’s all for a cause.
Leo: Are you following the robopanic? (Laughter) Elon Musk starts it be saying, “AIs, could be more dangerous than this.” We’ve actually interviewed a couple of people, including a guy named I think James Barrett who wrote a book that’s saying it could be our last invention because once machines get as smart as humans and then start designing themselves, they’re just going to say, “Hey, we’re just like a mess. Wipe those carbon-based things off the face of the earth.” And then Mark Andreessen says, “Ohh, don’t worry about—“
Jeff: Well, that’s more about taking your jobs.
Leo: Well, that’s one of many things artificial intelligence could do.
Jeff: Right, but will robots take your jobs, no, he says. Then—who’s very smart, came back and said, “Sorry, I’ve got to disagree with you, Marc.” And Marc tweeted that. And then the New York Times did a whole roundup of people who are and are not worried about robots.
Leo: (Laughter) Are you—? Let’s get on the record. Are you worried about robots, Jeff Jarvis?
Jeff: (Speaking robotically) No, no, no, no.
Leo: Are you worried about robots, Gina Trapani?
Gina: (Making robotic sounds) No.
Gina: I’m not worried.
Leo: I want a robot now.
Jeff: She‘s just worried about getting out at six. That’s all she’s worried about.
Gina: Me worry? Oh, yeah, Leo. I have to give you my five-minute warning (laughter).
Leo: We’re done; we’re done; we’re done. We’ll just get your tip in a second. I do want to point out that a Microsoft tip has led to the arrest of a man in Pennsylvania for sharing child porn. So this just came in. Not sure, but it was from Microsoft’s Live.com e-mail accounts, and this happened at the end of the month last month. So as we surmised, it’s not just Gmail. We’re going to come back with your tip of the week in just a minute, Gina Trapani. But first a word from Personal Capital. We all have this problem, some of us more than others. If you are aging, you’ve got to prepare for your future. You’ve got to manage your investments. You’ve got to manage your money so you have something to live on when you retire. Personal Capital can help with a free and secure tool. It solves two big problems. One just keeping track of everything in your portfolio, not just stocks and 401ks but your bank accounts, your charge cards, everything. The other is you may well be paying way too much for that retirement whether you’ve overpaying in mutual fund fees or for advise, Personal Capital can help you. They can bring all of your accounts to a single screen so you know what you’re doing. They’ll help you with your asset allocation. That may be the single most important thing in investing for the future by the way in my opinion, portfolio management. They’ll give you an investment checkup, a 401k analyzer. Now somebody asked me, “Well, how do they make money because there’s no ads in all of this stuff?” It’s really simple. Some but not all, you have to have a net worth of a certain amount. I can’t remember what it is. They will call you and say, “Would you like to use our certified financial planner for a fee?” That certified financial planner is independent. They do not sell on commission. They are not only certified, they are really good, and you can decline it. So this stuff is free, absolutely free. And most of us will never get a call like that. It is really great stuff. Bill Harris founded this. We interviewed him on Triangulation. I signed up immediately. It was almost two years ago, and I’ve been very happy. Free to try, free to use. Free, free, free. They have apps for Amazon’s Fire Phone, Google Play, and apps in iOS as well. And by the way, they’re one of the first to do an Android Wear version, which is really cool. So I can see how I’m doing on my wrist (laughter), which is amazing. PersonalCapital.com/TWiG. Sign up for it today. It’s free. Gina Trapani, your tip of the week.
Gina: My tip of the week is to check out the new Foursquare app for Android or iOS.
Gina: It just dropped today. I’m a big Foursquare fan, and I think for a long time, Foursquare was the check in app. It is no longer the check in app. It’s now think of it as a smarter Yelp. It’s a discovery app for finding places around things that you love. It’s got a lot of data about people who you know on various networks or contacts. You can follow experts. So for example, it might suggest Jeff to me as a Chipotle expert.
Gina: And I can follow him and I can see his tips and I can discover places. I think it was last episode or the episode before when I talked about Google Maps new explore feature, which is pretty good. I really like the way that Foursquare has implemented this new app. It’s completely kind of reinvention of their app. Took the check ins out and just did a really nice job of discovery and helping you find places that you like based on what you like. So you go in and you say, “I really like tacos. I really like crepes, and I really like awesome playgrounds for my daughter,” and the recommendations are fantastic. It really serves up some great tips. And I’m really digging it, so if you haven’t looked at Foursquare in a while, check it out. It’s out now for Android and iOS.
Leo: They’ve got a potential problem because you’re in a big city, so you’re going to find stuff. But I’m in Petaluma and it’s not very good at finding stuff. And that’s because people have to use Foursquare and check in, and I guess people haven’t.
Leo: And by the way, I added tastes and everything. And of course, as they’ve moved check outs out of Foursquare and into Swarm, the question is are they going to reduce the amount of data they’re going to get from people? See there’s the first recommendation after all of this is Lagunitas Brewing Company for nightlife.
Gina: Yeah, that’s a bummer. I mean, I certainly noticed that Foursquare was way better in New York and San Francisco than it was in San Diego, for example.
Leo: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Gina: And it does have to do with whether or not your friends are using the app, so I’ll definitely—it might be a matter of you’re traveling to a big city and you want to follow your friend who lives in San Francisco and see what their tips area. I mean, it’s worth it just for that.
Leo: I use it, and I use Swarm too to check in because I want to keep that database going.
Gina: Yeah, at this point, it’s a life log. I just want to remember where I was—
Leo: Yeah. It’s really nice.
Gina: That plus Timehop is pretty awesome.
Leo: Yeah, I love that.
Gina: Sort of remember.
Leo: Somebody at work is turning your Internet connection down slowly, Gina, so that you’ll get out of here by 3:00, 6:00.
Gina: (Laughter) Sorry about that.
Leo: Real quickly, what’s your number—? In fact, you want to go now, Gina, you’re done. You can take off anytime.
Gina: All right, cool. Thanks, guys. I’m going to take off.
Leo: See ya, see ya. Bye-bye.
Gina: Talk to you next week.
Jeff: I want to mention that OpenSignal.com is doing what I’ve long wanted to do, which is to put up reports on hotel Wi-Fi.
Leo: Oh, great!
Jeff: The scourge of travelers.
Jeff: So they have a report out about not only that, but they have a report out about how Google, Starbucks Wi-Fi is better than AT&T’s Starbucks Wi-Fi has been and other things. But that’s not my number, Leo. Go ahead and show this. So there’s an app you download on Android. I just downloaded it.
Leo: This is actually not just Wi-Fi. You can see which carrier in best in your neighborhood.
Jeff: Cell, all kinds of things.
Leo: Oh, that’s great.
Jeff: This is about keeping these guys honest.
Leo: So Verizon is 23% worse than the U.S. in Petaluma.
Leo: That would be a bad network. Wow.
Jeff: Wow. The app too is here. I just checked my connection here at school, which happens to be pretty good today because nobody’s here. I’m the only guy here. And it’s God’s work to keep these guys honest, especially hotels.
Leo: (Laughter) Good.
Jeff: They did an earlier report, and I said, “Boy, I wish you did hotels.” They said, “Coming soon.” So they tweeted it today that they’d just done their hotels report and I said I would—
Leo: This is great!
Jeff: But I have one more for you, Leo.
Jeff: Just to drive you batty.
Jeff: Three main stars of your least favorite show, “Big Bang” are now getting a million dollars per episode.
Leo: Good, no. They deserve that. No, I have no problem with that.
Jeff: All right.
Leo: I think actors, performers should be paid exorbitant amounts of money so that they can fuel the U.S. economy.
Leo: No, I like that. That’s fine. I don’t mean that they shouldn’t get paid. I’m not going to laugh at them.
Jeff: (Laughter) I think they’re great.
Leo: I liking OpenSignal. I am really liking this.
Jeff: Yeah, isn’t that great?
Leo: This is a great website. Everybody should know about this.
Jeff: If you go to report…oh, jeez.
Leo: It’s only Android and iPhone by the way. You can download the app.
Jeff: Go to the report that’s on the rundown. They also track the cost of the hotel room versus the cost of the Wi-Fi.
Leo: (Sputtering) (Laughter)
Jeff: Now I thought it was going to be the opposite. I thought it was going to be contrary, that the cheaper the room, the better the Wi-Fi.
Jeff: Apparently not. The more expensive the room, the better the Wi-Fi.
Leo: That’s interesting. That’s an interesting graph. And what percentage of your room—like if the Wi-Fi’s $23.00 (laughter) a day, what percentage of your total hotel bill that is (laughter).
Leo: My pick is wallpaper. I know, boring, silly, but I like having good wallpaper not just on my computer but on my smartphone. When you have a phone with a 5.5-inch screen, wallpaper is actually a pretty important consideration. And a lot of times, it’s just some static image, but the guys who do Chainfire, the guys who do SuperSU, have done—and by the way, be careful with wallpaper apps. It’s a very common way to get malware on your system. This is not because it’s a very reputable company. They’ve done something that pulls from 500 PX, which is my favorite website for photos. You can update the images. You can choose the categories, and there are quite a few categories on here. You can say whether it’s the editorial pic or just the most popular. I’m choosing animals, city, and architecture; landscapes, nature, and underwater because I like those kinds of things. It will download these, and you can set update intervals. So every five minutes, I can have my wallpaper change every five minutes, every ten minutes, every day. And they’re beautiful.
Jeff: I like that they’re SWF images. I like that (laughter).
Leo: Yeah, what the hell.
Jeff: What the hell.
Leo: If somebody’s breast shows up on here, I’ll just have to live with it (laughter).
Leo: But these are beautiful images. They really look great on the desktop, and it’s nice to have different images all the time. So this is just a really sweet app. It’s free. They have in-app purchases. The only difference is the in-app purchases caches the images for a week instead of one day. It’s called 500 Firepaper, and it’s from Chainfire, who really does a great job. And I’m very happy. Such great images. If you use the editorial pics, you’re just going to have stunning images. Oh, it also resizes it to fit your screen exactly, so you’re always going to get high-quality images on your desktop.
Jeff: I like my picture of Big Ben.
Leo: Yeah, that’s nice, but see you could have a travel section and then have all different pictures all the time.
Jeff: I don’t want change, Leo, and…
Leo: Oh, that’s right. You’re averse to change.
Jeff: Actually, I’m not, but that’s…
Leo: (Laughter) Jeff, open the box, okay?
Jeff: I’m going to open the box.
Leo: Come on. You’re going to love it.
Jeff: I’m going to do it.
Leo: And by the way, if you don’t, I’ll be very glad to buy it off of you.
Jeff: Oh, plenty of people want to buy it—
Leo: Yeah, I don’t think you’ll have any trouble at all going back to the Nexus 5 because this is selling for a premium on eBay for like 500 bucks. You’re going to make money on it.
Leo: Pull that big red tab!
Jeff: I’m going to do it.
Leo: Jeff Jarvis is a professor of journalism at the City University of New York, and that means there’s some very lucky students there. You can also find his work at BuzzMachine.com. Great author. His books include “Public Parts,” “What Would Google Do?,” and the Amazon single, “Gutenberg the Geek.” And he is a regular on this show and a much appreciated friend and colleague. Thank you, Jeff, for being here.
Jeff: Always a pleasure.
Leo: Gina Trapani is at ThinkUp.com, and even though Gina’s not here, we’re going to give her her ThinkUp plug because they’re offering a free trial right now.
Jeff: Yes, I’ve been tweeting this myself. Free trial on ThinkUp. Do it. It gives you new insights about your own Twitter feed, your own social world. Fascinating stuff. Just do it. It’s a free trial. You’ve got nothing to lose.
Leo: I love it.
Jeff: We love Gina. We like Anil. Not as much as Gina, but we—
Jeff: And we like Gina best, but by all means, go get ThinkUp.
Leo: I love it. I love the insights I get every time I check it. I have to say I learn something about my tweeting and my Facebooking that’s of great value and has improved my tweeting over time. Thank you, Gina. ThinkUp.com is the website, and she’s also at Smarterwear.org, although she doesn’t blog much there and has other great things. Just search for Gina Trapani, and it’s easy to find. She has no right to be forgotten. We thank you for joining us every week. We do This Week in Google on Wednesday afternoons, 1 p.m. Pacific, 4 p.m. Eastern Time. That would be 2000 UTC on TWiT.tv. can’t watch live? Don’t worry. On demand audio and video is available always after the fact on our website, TWiT.tv/TWiG and wherever you can find podcasts. We like Stitcher. We like iTunes. We like it all, including those great third-party apps written for us on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Roku. Just search for TWiT and you’ll find it. Thanks for being here, and we’ll see you next time on TWiG! Bye-bye.