This Week in Google 266 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: It’s time for TWiG - This Week in Google. Gina has the week off, Jeff Jarvis is here along with Kevin Marks. We're going to talk a little bit about the Indie Web and a new blogging platform that allows you to own your content, but share it with the world. We also have some updates on the Apple Watch, the MotoX, and a look at an interesting round wrist watch, the 360 is here. it’s all coming up next, on TWiG.
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Leo: This is TWiG - This Week in Google, episode 266, recorded September 10, 2014
The Indie Web
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It’s time for TWiG - This Week in Google. Gina Trapani has the day off, but Jeff Jarvis is here from his... Oh, he already opened it. You were going to do an unboxing, but I see it on your wrist!
Jeff Jarvis: That's my LG!
Leo: There's your LG, okay. Well, he's got...
Jeff: I'm ready, I got the scissors ready...
Leo: Jeff is going to do an unboxing in a moment, of something... We don't know what, but actually we do know exactly what, but... I hope so anyway. Won't it be surprising if it’s something else?
Jeff: I hope it’s not some sexual toy...
Leo: I was just thinking, it could be the vibe-ease digital internet vibrator and then we're in trouble.
Jeff: With the kind of trolls you have, somebody could have ordered it for me.
Leo: You never know. You never know. I have my Android version, but the iPhone version hasn't come yet. This... Oh, I hear the gentle Occasional laughter of mister Kevin Marks.
Kevin Marks: Cantabrigian!
Leo: I'm sorry. Cantabrigian, he's not an Oxonian! Never make that mistake. Good to have you once again, Kevin. Kevin is a kind of, the, one of the spearheads behind the Indie Web movement. We're going to talk a little bit about that today. That'll be fun.
Kevin: I'm looking forward to that, yes. We talked about it a little bit before, but I think going in depth is going to be fun, with you.
Leo: Yeah. And I've been playing with it. So, we should also welcome then, our indie web guests from formerly known as I Know, it’s now called Known. Ben Muller and Erin Joe Ritchie.
Erin Ritchie: Hi.
Leo: Hi, good to see you. Your company is called Known? And the website is with known...? K-N-O-W-N. And I've been playing with With Known, and I'm quite a fan! So, let’s do the unboxing. And by the way, please Ben and Erin, just jump right in any... You're now guests, not guests in the sense that we're going to interview you, you're part of the show. You're panelists on the show, so...
Leo: Participate as you wish. Jeff has a box, he has the box cutter, and he's about to unveil...
Leo: A papercut! No... Something very exciting, I think. No, packing material... Yes, it’s a round box, ladies and gentlemen! And inside the round box... A little black watch, so this was... The reason I kind of knew what it was was because Jason Howell got his, too. You guys went to Google IO and at Google IO you got to choose between the LG and the Samsung watches, and then, were told that down the road, at some time, you'd get a Moto 360, and there it is.
Jeff: And there it is.
Leo: From Motorola. it’s kind of funny because you feel like, all of these watch companies need to get it in before Apple, and that's their watch. And now that I've seen the Apple watch, which by the way, the name of the Apple Watch us Watch. Now that I've seen the Apple watch... You're going to... It takes a little time to set it up. Mine was not fully charged out of the box, so I had to plug it in. Let me show you the charger though, while you're unboxing yours. And again, this is Jason's. So first of all, it’s a first smartwatch, Android wear watch that actually looks like a watch with a round face. A lot of people complained about the round face because it’s the flat tire, at the bottom. But, you know... You don't.. Especially with a black typeface, you don't see that. If you tap the watch, you can see it when you... it’s not too bad, it doesn't bother me. The bigger question on this is going to be... Oh, and by the way, I'm dictating to it right now. The bigger question on this is going to be battery life and responsiveness. I fixed it, tore it down, and they say it’s a four year old TI OMap system on a chip, a very old one. Not a particularly low power one, and that battery life on this watch, some have complained was not even a full day. Andy Anakos had his for a little bit longer, and he says he's getting about 19 hours. We'll see that, it'll be the most interesting thing. But I do like the way you charge it. It comes with a dock. The others, the Samsung and the LG have kind of a flat thing you snap it into pogo pins and it charges. This is an inductive, wireless charger, and it sits right here on the wireless charger... Presumably on your bedside. And it does rotate... Oh, it’s not plugged in so it’s not going to do it, but when it’s plugged in, it'll rotate and show you the time. So that's... So it’s nice, it becomes a bedside clock.
Jeff: There's the two together.
Leo: There's Jeff. He's got watches all the way up his arm.
Jeff: I should go out on the street this way.
Leo: You saw something right there, the MotoX fades out to save battery. It fades out five seconds after you flip it up. The LG... Are you wearing the LG or the Samsung?
Jeff: I'm wearing the LG.
Leo: The LG, which I have also, stays on. It dims but it stays on. And gets a full day, and I think this is maybe because of the battery weakness on this watch that... It turns itself off.
Jeff: I was at... I just got back from Efan, in Berlin. I was speaking at Efa Plouse, which was a good event. First time they've had talks and stuff. And I went up and saw the LG. There's another LG round watch.
Leo: The R!
Jeff: Which is really nice, and it has the... Leo and I can't remember what you call it, but like a diver's watch round thing that hides the mechanics that are in the flat tire.
Leo: Let’s ask the Cantabrigian, he'll know.
Kevin: A bezel, I think?
Leo: Is it a bezel? What is it? it’s a...
Kevin: I'll have to ask my wife, because she's the one who works as a jeweler.
Leo: Oh she would know! It looks pretty nice, I have to say.
Jeff: It does. It does.
Leo: Is it a tachymeter? That's what Joel says, but...
Jeff: That sounds about right.
Leo: Tachometer. Because if it’s the calculator thing... Adam may have watched... Of course Chad has an illustration. What is the ring... it’s the...
Chad: It calls it the bezel.
Leo: Or dial ring. Or the dial ring.
Chad: I think the dial ring is on the face itself.
Kevin: The dial ring is the numbers.
Leo: it’s the bezel.
Kevin: Yeah, yeah, there we go. Okay.
Leo: Nice. Nice!
Chad: Don't even try to read whatever...
Leo: Points to Cambridge. The bezel.
Chad: Rotating... Unidirectional rotating bezel. Huh.
Jeff: Why does it rotate? What do you do with it? I've never known.
Chad: Diving and timing functions.
Leo: Someone watches the... For pilots you can calculate how much gas you'll have left...
Jeff: Oh, I'll do that wrong.
Leo: it’s kind of almost like a slide rule. it’s a calculating thing. Although if it’s just timing, you would put... You know. But anyway. Oh, that's ridiculous. We've spent way too much time on something completely irrelevant. And this is my problem with the whole watch conversation anyway. The smartphone meant people could finally get rid of that thing on their wrists, and now manufacturers are trying to put it back on their wrists. And we say, NO!
Jeff: I saw it yesterday said that, well now the device that I no longer use to tell the time is tied to the device I no longer use to call people with. I'm sorry, I can't give credit where it’s due...
Leo: So we'll have... Next week we'll have... You know, it’s funny because I took it out and I said, wow, that's pretty and I immediately ordered one. it’s two to three weeks backordered now, which is better than it was. You can actually order them at Play.Google.com
Kevin: I was thinking that Apple pre announcing this could basically thank everyone else's sales of watches over Christmas because everybody's waiting for the Apple one. But it may be the other way around...
Leo: Now that they've seen the Apple one...
Kevin: I can't get the Apple one but I can get one of these.
Leo: In a way that does, doesn't it? it validates the category so, okay. And I won't be able to get it until some unknown time in 2015, so... And I think the Apple one looks like such a Rube Goldburg. It looks like a metal pillow on your wrist, with a button and a dial. it’s like...
Jeff: Yeah, why have the... The button one's company...
Leo: I think Apple, contrary to what we were all hoping which is that Apple would solve this wearable conundrum. Apple's gone the opposite direction, they have little icons in the screen. They're tiny! Looks like you've got a honeycomb on your screen. You're supposed to navigate that?
Jeff: I don't want a navigable watch. The watch is there to give me alerts that are supplementary to my phone. And I try that all the time... I was sitting someplace, I needed to get ahold of somebody and I saw the SMS come in on my watch.
Leo: Look at that, look at that interface! That's crazy! And then, after everybody kind of widely agrees that round is the way to go, it’s why the Moto 360 sold out so fast, and with LG's... Apple has declared, "No no. You know what, a rounded pillow shaped rectangle. That's what you really want." Oh, and by the way, you can draw pictures and send it to somebody else on your watch... You can tap it, send strange emoticons... I think... I... You know, after thinking about this for a little bit, this watch is designed for Japanese schoolgirls. This is the... This is the... This is a watch... I swear to God.
Jeff: i don't want a functionality in a watch.
Leo: Oh this is good, thumbnails of your picture, the size of a... it’s only 320 by 320, this is not like... They said retina, but... Come on. it’s 320 by 320, it’s not... And just what I want, a map on my watch. I don't know. It has something they call tactic, not haptic, haptic feedback. Oh, look, you can set the date. Whoa! Whoa!
Kevin: You really need to set the date...
Leo: The first thing they said, was we consulted horological experts, to find out what people wanted in a watch and this watch is set automatically to the atomic clock.
Erin: I love atomic clocks.
Leo: I do too, but you know what, every smartwatch that this is the feature... That's the feature. So... Well, Erin Joe, do you think this is it? This is the watch for you?
Erin: I don't know... I mean, I might... The basis watch together.
Leo: I liked the Basis watch.
Erin: So, I wear two devices. I could potentially see myself wearing two or three watches at once, to test them out if I had them.
Ben Muller: I'm close to making fun of you because your watch runs out of battery before the end of the work day.
Erin: So actually, my watch, the battery on this basis will last a couple of days before I have to charge it. I just forget to charge it.
Leo: To me, that's why, any watch one day is... All it needs is one day, you're going to charge it every night anyway, right?
Erin: But I don't charge the Basis at night because it has the sleep tracker, so I wear it at night. And unless i remember to take it off when I'm at my desk, not doing anything, and charge it, which I usually don't... Then the battery dies.
Leo: You can see the...
Jeff: You should try the... I think it’s called Sleep at Android.
Leo: yeah, love that!
Jeff: You put the phone on your bed.
Leo: But Jeff, you can now choose your watch for that! You do that too?
Erin: I do that. I have the iPhone app that I love. I've been using it for years. That and a couple other things.
Leo: So it’s a little crowded in your bed is what you're saying.
Erin: There's lots of sleep tracking things that I've experimented with.
Leo: Here is, by the way, I just want to show you... So... This is a Nano watch. This is the thing that started this whole silly category. it’s an iPod Nano, in a special band. Remember it was... A kickstarter project.
Leo: This is exactly... The same as everything else. In fact, it looks a lot like the new Apple watch. And it holds your music.
Leo: So... I don't know. it’s very much like the other watches.
Jeff: I don't' want to stay on Apple for too long, Leo, but because I was traveling I couldn't hear you on Sunday or yesterday, whatever the hell it was... it’s Tuesday, I don't know where I am. What did you think of the rest of the phone announcements?
Leo: it’s a new iPhone. it’s huge, it’s really interesting. I think really the thing to take away from the Apple announcement is this is Templates first... He's finally out from under the ghost of Steve Jobs. This is his first... New product category. He announced two new product categories. Not just the Apple watch but also Apple Pay, which may be more significant. As many Android fans pointed out, Apple announced nothing that hasn't been on Android for some time. In some cases, for years. Um. But, because it’s Apple, you know. They're not... They don't need to hurry. And they can spend some time and get it right and I think the Apple Pay thing particularly, is going to bring some clout to the marketplace. I do believe this is the beginning of the end of the credit card and of cash.
Jeff: At long last.
Leo: At long last, yeah.
Kevin: I'm not sure it’s the end of cash, but I think it is potentially the end of the credit card. The interesting thing that... I've been using this phone to pay with, for at least two years. That's when they started doing that, and the retail support in the US has been really poor. You know. I'd spot the terminal and I'd pay with this, but someone would go, "What just happened?"
Leo: Yeah, they don't like...
Kevin: So it'd look like I'd closed the transaction out by attacking it with my phone, because they hadn't seen these things in action even though it’s been quite spread in Japan and Europe for a while. I think that two things... Apple brings two things to this. One is the mind share and marketing muscle, and the ability to persuade all the retailers to upgrade their terminals because all these high value shoppers will be demanding it... So it’s actually great for the people who are using retail terminals. But the other key thing they've brought is the fingerprint ID, because when you use the Android phone to pay, you basically have to tap your phone, unlock your phone, type in your google wallet PIN, so you're faffing about with the phone, quite a lot before the transaction goes through. Whereas, with the Apple one because you can do that with one grab of the fingerprint ID thing and tap, and then tap... They can make that very smooth. That is a big difference in user experience, that you'll have to check out, I think.
Leo: Timing is funny, it’s both good and bad. Of course the timing is bad because Apple is like, "Cloud was hacked..." And to the great embarrassment of a lot of celebrities, but good because of the recent hacks, on Target and Home Depot are really making people very aware of the vulnerability of point of sale systems. Apple's done it right. it’s a single use number, but both credit card and confirming pin. One time only, can't be reused. And this is even more important. The retailer gets no personal information at all. Apple maintains that. Well, yeah. I mean that's to Apple's benefit, and of course you have to trust Apple. On two levels, one not to invade your privacy and two not to be accidentally hacked. But as soon a you can do all of that, that's a far sight better than giving your credit card to a waiter who wander off. In Europe they don't do that, right? They actually bring a terminal to a table and show you swiping it?
Jeff: And all cards have chips.
Leo: And they have PINs. This is better than that, even, though. This is a step beyond that. The target wouldn't have any information about you at all, that could be hacked.
Kevin: I mean, the difference between this and the icloud hack is that money is fungible. So, if they take your money by mistake they can refund you. Whereas if they take your naked pictures, they can't...
Leo: Can't give them back, nope.
Kevin: And that means a lot of this security blah blah blah, but it’s all really a benefit for you because the credit card companies are already liable for doing things wrong and they can refund the money. And thats why they ran the, you know, TV ads about identity theft.
Leo: it’s hard to take you seriously with a cat's tail tickling your chin.
Leo: No, I think that... And of course, you know, Google's start... Trying to do this, has been doing this. But it’s too fragmented, doesn't have the clout that Apple does. Apple has the market clout to make this happen. So this is good for everybody, because your Android phone will also do it.
Jeff: But this is not an open system, right?
Leo: It won't do Apple pay but it will do Tap To Pay, and I think Tap To Pay is here.
Kevin: It's an attempt to pay, and it’s not that apple... All Apple is doing, internally is facilitating the merchant payment. You still have to sign up for instant payment as a merchant in the payment process, and they're just making the transaction happen. So they're not becoming the middle man here, they're just becoming the broker of the device, effectively. Now that may change, I mean... I suspect this is one of the things where they've, like when they launched iTunes originally, they said, "OK, we're going to digitize your industry but we don't actually want any of the revenue, we just want to sell the gadgets to the music business." And they may change every time, with the ability to spend money you've got in your Apple account by, you know, putting money in that way. Thats the bit that's not clear yet. That happens with the Google account. You can put money into your Google account and spend that, rather than actually using a credit card. And it’s not clear that that's a possibility with the Apple Play thing here. It seems that they're actually with broking a credit card at the moment.
Leo: Anyway, there's not... I mean, if you want to know more, watch Macbreak Weekly and every other show this week. This is a Google show! But no, but I think... Look, Google is in these spaces. And I think the other thing that is... Struck me last night, is Apple was smart to delay because their watch can now build upon what they've learned, and what we've learned from previous watches. And by delaying they also avoid things like, wearable glasses, and so, Google takes some arrows in the back by being up front on these. Apple's content to sit back, say, "Good luck. Have fun over there."
Jeff: I'm surprised. Glass just went for sale on Play.
Jeff: I'm actually surprised. I'm surprised it wasn't just killed.
Leo: There's no market for that. I mean, they probably have some in the warehouse. What are they going to do? Maybe it’s an embarrassing admission. I want to take a break for snacks and then, I know there are a lot of people from the Indie web movement watching, we've got Ben and Erin here, it’s crazy to waste them. We want to talk a little bit about Indie web. Kevin Marks is going to explain what that means. I've set up, unknown, and I'll show people my site and show you. And then I will have a lot of questions for Ben and Erin, so we'll talk about the Indie web movement, known, formerly known as Idknow. And Jeff's already started on the snacks! Hey, can you wait? For one second? I hope you brought enough for everyone, Jarvis. We're talking NatureBox snacks. Ben and Erin are not sure...
Erin: How do we get some of those?
Leo: How do you get in on this is the question! NatureBox are delicious, healthy snacks delivered straight to your door, every month. And when I say healthy, I mean it. These are nutritious brewed, never any trans fats, HFCs, artificial colors, artificial flavor... They're delicious snacks. Comes about this time of the day for a lot of us, we just want to get a little something and you don't want to go to that vending machine and buy that candy bar. it’s wonderful if the office, and our office does, has NatureBox, and your home can too! What am I holding up here? PB & J granola, peanut butter granola with dried fruit. OMG. Pistachio power clusters... There are more than a hundred different snacks, from NatureBox. Praline pumpkin seeds... You can narrow it down by sweet, savory, or spicy. You can also, if you've got special dietary needs, specify vegan, gluten conscious, soy free, and a variety of other choices so you can get just what you want. But that first box is waiting for you! Absolutely free, at NatureBox.com/twit. If you don't take advantage of this, you're nuts. Free snacks! At NatureBox.com/twit. Give you an idea of what NatureBox would be like for you. Baked cheddar potato fries sriracha. Ooh, sriracha roasted cashews. Lone star... I think I'm going to do the PB & J granola today. What are you eating, Jeff? Looks like plantains...
Jeff: I'm eating south pacific plantains.
Leo: They have dried fruit. The best pineapple rings I've ever had in my life. We ordered a box, just of pineapple rings. We like them so much! Every... All the bags are resealable, which means you...
Jeff: We ordered the kettle corn...
Leo: Oh those are so good, so good. I ate a whole bunch, a bag of those. Anyway. Mmm, NatureBox.com/twit to start your free trial today. Imagine the snacks delivered to your door! What a world we live in! Let’s talk, Indie... What is the Indie Web, Kevin Marks? You've come on here several times and talked about it, but can you, in a thumbnail, describe it?
Kevin: I'll have a go at that. The basic idea is going back to the thinking that started the web, of people and having their own websites and connecting between those, rather than hosting everything on the site that belongs to a large company, like Facebook or Twitter or even Google+. And this is... In a sense it’s going back to the blogging web, that we remember from ten years ago. But it’s also not pretending these sites don't exist, but working out how to incorporate them into this as well. So, making sure that you can post things on your own site but share them out through these social networks, and connect things back and forth between the two.
Leo: And that makes sense to me, you know, because, well, for a couple of things, come strike me first of all. Everyone here has pumped content into Twitter to the benefit of, Williams and Company. But that content... Is theirs, now, not ours. In fact, I have, this morning, I made a request to download my Tweets. And I'm still waiting for the email from Twitter. They own those. Same thing with Facebook.
Kevin: They say you own them, but they host them, but Twitter has got a fairly good terms of service on that. But, the terms of service, where it gets sticky is, they don't want you posting to Twitter and to other things in parallel. They've got some weirdness like that. So you have to make sure you post to your site, and copy to Twitter, because if you try and use some of the other things, then they will refuse your API...
Leo: But I also feel like their silos. Ultimately they pay the silos. They don't interconnect very well. You're giving people stuff, they're storing whatever their nice terms of service are, they rate limit access. You know? They don't... New developers can't write third party apps. Google+, to this day, doesn't have write API. They're read only. Facebook... Well, I don't even know what Facebook's policy is about your posts. It sure feels like they own them. And decide who sees them. In a fairly draconian way... So obviously there's a better way, so Ben Muller is here, along with Erin, I'm sorry... Miller?
Leo: Ritchie, I'm sorry. And they're the founders of a company called, well it was I-D-N-O, initially, right? Is that Idno?
Ben: So Idno was the original name of the kind of open source software that became the core of...
Leo: So Idno was open and was that your software, Ben?
Ben: Yeah it was, that's right. And so I actually, I started building it last year and I brought it into the Indie web camp, which is a regular meeting, you know, of the Indie web community. And Erin and I started collaborating over that.
Leo: Yeah, and Kevin told me about it this summer, then we corresponded. At the time you needed to use Mongodb, and so I said, "Good, let me know when I can use it with my SQL." You can now.
Erin: Yes, that was actually one of the things that we found out earlier on through some user interviews when we were reaching out to people who had showed early interest in using the platform. And from talking to a lot of them, we found out that a lot of people really wanted to use it, but in order to make sure we had a product that was usable by the greatest number of people, it needed to be compatible with mySQL.
Leo: And also, ironically, you now know a little bit, kind of contrary to the indie web tenant, you have a hosted version at WithKnown.com.
Erin: Yes, so we are launching our... Launching the open beta for the hosted version... Um, tomorrow, and...
Leo: Oh neat!
Erin: Yeah, so we're very excited to launch that.
Leo: Well, go ahead Jeff.
Jeff: it’s not only contrary, unless you're being dogmatic. it’s about...
Leo: Well, somebody else is now hosting it.
Jeff: But it’s a choice you're making.
Ben: So, yeah, and it is all about choice, right? I mean, if you want to run on your own, make an absolutely grand code and do that, and it’s all the same features. You've got lots of control. If you don't have the technical ability, or you don't want to worry about running your own server, you can run it on ours. And you can move the site, we're going to let you move the site, so... You can start off on our hosted version, move to your own self hosted version, or go in the other direction.
Leo: That solves it.
Jeff: I believe you have to have that kind of starter...
Leo: That solves it, yeah.
Jeff: it’s the same with thinkers.
Leo: At Thinkup. And by the way, I had an experience with Sixapart. I used to use Typepad, which was self-hosted, and then they introduced kind of an easy to use blogging platform called Vox, and I loved Vox. And I posted everything on Vox, then they went out of business. I was able to get my content, but not my pictures, because they were all stored on Vox, so now my blog, half of it from a three year span, has no images, because the images are gone.
Leo: So, I have some experience with letting other's host and I really decided... I currently run a Wordpress blog, can't wait to replace it, because it’s... The problem I have with Wordpress is it’s big, it’s clumsy, it does everything. And I don't need to do everything. So I'll show you my personal known which is very straightforward, very simple. Here's the experience that you'll get as a user. It reminds me a little of Tumblr, so you have status updates, blog style posts, photos, check ins, bookmarks, and audio. You also have, which is kind of neat, it will... You can tie it to... Let me see if I can find that. Twitter, Facebook, um... It uses Soundcloud, and there are all these additional features for comics. Let me enable comics events. You've added some. Firefox, and IndiePub. So is the idea you're going to have a whole variety of content forms? And then I've just posting pictures and text and bookmarks... In fact, there's a little bookmarklet that you can click, that will create a bookmark status update.
Ben: Yeah. I mean, the idea is that, you know, we shouldn't be limited to the kinds of content that you have on Facebook and Twitter and so on, and you know, those have sort of congealed around the same sort of... You know, you've got status updates, you've got longer posts, you've got photos, you've got videos, and you've got events. And you know, although those are the common content types, part of control is controlling the form of what you post as well. So we want to play with that over time, and let people play with that too. So if you're on the hub self-hosted, you're going to be able to get community content types, for hub hosted, we'll take some of those as well and incorporate them over time. And the same goes for, you know, networks, what you syndicated. So in the general case, yeah, you'll post to your own site and you'll send a thing to Twitter and Facebook and the education you're hosting to your own site and you're syndicating to Moodle. You know, different areas have different needs, and you'll be able to deal with all of that.
Erin: And because it’s an open source lightweight, extensive platform, it’s been very easy for people to pick it up and start writing plugins for things that they want. So it’s easy to get started and get up and run your first. If there's something that you want that isn't there...
Leo: What form is plug ins written in?
Ben: The plug ins appear to be, and we did that, you know, because it is incredibly widely installable. And so you know, they're really simple. We had a guy who picked up Known and 24 hours later, he'd written a Wordpress blog, which is you know, totally awesome. And on top of that, because the Indie web, the technologies that the indie web community has created are so lightweight, really easy to use, you know, it’s actually pretty simple to put all the stuff together.
Leo: So when you first look at it, and I've showed this to people, and they've said, "Well that looks like Tumblr." How is that different from another blog platform?
Ben: It's a lot like owning your own Tumblr in terms of the interface, and I think that's actually great. They did a really good job.
Jeff: Offer compatibility with all the other services, you can use as your... Publish once... Write once, publish multiple times.
Leo: it’s funny because I installed eight different types of Tumblog software before Tumblr came along. Because the idea of a Tumblog predates Tumblr. Most of them were open source, there's similar ideas, and I ended up using Tumblr because it was just so damn easy.
Erin: Yeah, that's what I was doing. I've always played around with a lot of different open source CMS's, blog platforms, Tumble platforms, all sorts of things, and my own space, and that's one of the things that interested me in the Indie web community, because I had spent so much time fiddling around with these other open source platforms that other people built, but I didn't necessarily have the technical skills to build a platform on my own. And when I met Ben, he was working on the Idno project and we saw a lot of potential in using that platform, so like it’s been really exciting.
Ben: So if you can take the, like... Tumblrs interfaces, like the interfaces that are... You see on the best of breed of the consumer web, but actually you know, use that as a really easy to use way to get all this extra syndication power, all of the Indie Web power, we see that as a pretty good way to go. The idea is to make it that simple. The reason that you pick Tumblr, the reason you use Twitter and so on. But, actually give you control, allowing you to tweak it, allow you to evolve your site over time. We think that's pretty powerful.
Jeff: What's your... I've got to ask you this, because we had the conversation in San Francisco. What's your business model?
Ben: So there's a couple of different things, so first of all if you've got the technical ability you can just pick it up, run the core software on your own service, but we actually think that most people aren't going to use the hosted solution. Most people aren't going to want to worry about running their own server, so you know... You can start using that for free, but you can actually... We're going to be selling high capacity subscriptions. We're also going to be selling support subscriptions for everybody. We're going to be selling customizations. And for people like Universities that want to run it campus wide, and for people that want to run it in the enterprise, we're absolutely going to be selling those licenses as well.
Erin: Yes, we started with higher education as our first market and we just had a couple of pilot classes, beginning in the fall semester that started up... All of their students are creating websites on Known. And we've got a lot of people interested in working with us in the fall to get their students using the software.
Jeff: Cool. So did you... I've got to ask, this is very inside baseball but I just have to ask. Did you drop this idea after going to journalists first?
Ben: I'll tell you what happened actually, is we decided that because education was so incredibly enthusiastic and we've been working with this guy, Tim Groom at the University of Mary Washington, he's just absolutely A, he's like an ad tech superhero. We decided that that was going to be our first market, but what's happened is actually really quickly journalists have been coming to us and seeing this and seeing the published... You know what they call, "Publish on your own site, syndicate elsewhere" They've seen that model and you know, they want us to integrate it with their existing systems.
Erin: What we're also finding is that a lot of the things we've talked about with journalists and people in the media industry, are actually also things that are applicable to a lot of students and a lot of people in the education space. So working with these education pilots will give us the opportunity to roll out some of these features, in conjunction with classes of students and eventually they'll also be what we're finding applicable for people in journalism and media as well.
Leo: So I'm just going to show you the... So people understand a little better about what some of the features are. I'm now going to put a status update out, that Ben and Erin are on the show and I'm going to click Twitter, and Facebook, two right now, of the social networks that I've federated, though I presume there will be more down the road. There's Flickr and many others. Now when I publish, it’s going to publish this status update not only to my own blog, but also to Twitter and Facebook, and I think it does a nice job... By the way, of handling the hashtags, of making it native... Native looking on those platforms, because if you watch, you look at my Twitter feed, you'll see it’s there. If you look at my Facebook feed, you'll see it’s there. I often hear people say, "You know, it’s not right to do that... You should be posting natively on the platform that you're posting to." You should post natively on Twitter, natively on Facebook, the kinds of posts that are right for those sites. And by the way, I've got to say there is no Google+ because there's the Twitter feed. And I think that looks good, that looks like a native post.
Ben: So, I mean... The thing about the argument about posting differently to different networks, is I mean... That's right. You probably, a lot of people, have different amenities on those different networks. That's totally cool. You can write a post and this is true of any web platform, you can write a post, and just syndicate it to one of those networks, and write another post and just syndicate it to another of those networks. So I find myself posting a lot of photos that don't go to Twitter, for example, because it’s not what everybody wants to see... Yet another cup of coffee on Twitter, or anywhere, fair enough. But I do inflict that on my people on Facebook, for example.
Leo: Somebody's... Tantek is in the chatroom. Hi, Tantek. He says, I'm demonstrating Posse. What is that?
Ben: Publish on your own site, syndicate elsewhere.
Kevin: The other thing is that it depends on the post type, if you've got a status update update, like post then that makes sense, to replicate to Twitter as is. If you've got a longer blog post you do want to send a summary and... The title of the post, and a link to it to Twitter, and also on Facebook, when you do that, you want to send it in such a way that it shows up as... I can't remember what they call it, but they have a special post type for that that shows it like a news article or something like that. So they have sort of moved from saying you should post everything in our form, to saying, "Actually we want Facebook to reflect news stories." And things like that, they've got a big chunk of guidance on their site about that. So part of the value of this is coming up with ways to replicate stuff into these sites in a way that it does look native and makes sense, in that form, but also points back to this version. So if you look at the Facebook replication of this, the link says, "See original." To point back to the Known version, to make it clear that that was the source of it.
Leo: I think that does adhere very nicely on Facebook, for instance, where... This is what the Facebook post looks like, and it’s got a nice little... It tells you what Twit Live is, but it sources it as from Known right there. In fact, if I click Known, I presume it’s going to take me back to my original post... Maybe not. No, it’s going to take me to Known.
Kevin: Now if we go back, the bottom says, "See original."
Leo: Oh, alright. Clicked the wrong one... As usual, I've used Facebook incorrectly. See original. Right. There it is.
Ben: And actually that link will eventually post to your site. Now if you self-host, what's going to happen is it'll say, "This was posted via... Leo Laporte self-hosted Known." Whatever you decide to call that.
Erin: Mine come in as streams. So I've named mine Stream. So things that show up on Facebook come in as Stream for me.
Leo: I really like this idea. I'm a... After my experience with Vox, I'm a big believer in the idea that all of your content should live on the site you control. I guess a hosted site is fine as long as you guys guarantee A) you're not going to sell out to Facebook and B) you're going to let me get my data out of it if you do. Or better yet, if you're savvy enough and you've got a server of your own, just host it on your own server is, I think, the ideal way. It also feels... That's a little retro, isn't it? The web has moved far away from that concept.
Ben: How do you mean?
Leo: it’s not how people do it anymore. Do people even create their own blog websites anymore?
Kevin: Sure they do.
Leo: Your guys do. People you know do.
Jeff: Your guys do, but...
Leo: Real people have a Facebook page. I'm on the web, I've got a web page, it’s called Facebook.
Jeff: I'm not sucking up to it on the sponsor here...
Jeff: Use Squarespace.
Leo: Squarespace, yeah. Squarespace is better, that is your own site.
Jeff: it’s your own site, but it’s also easy and hosted.
Leo: much like with Known. That's your site, you can get your data out of it, you're not stuck in it. But that's not what most people do. Most people say, "I have a Twitter page."
Kevin: Twenty percent of the web is as one, you have to remember that. The chunk of the web that's hosted on Wordpress, so people are familiar with this idea.
Leo: Why is this better than Wordpress.com?
Kevin: Because it’s built on these Indie web protocols so it’s designed to interoperate from the start. You can make that work on Wordpress, but you have to install a lot of plugins. So part of the point of this is that... This is not meant to be a monolithic system that is just one codebase. it’s meant to be using a sort of protocols that will interoperate whatever site you're running. So I've got a statically hosted site, KevinMarks.com is one of the known ones there. I can interoperate back and forth with this by using these web mention protocols, by using the sort of marking up with microformats to point out that this is a reference to other sites and so on... And if you look at the post you just made, Erin posted a comment on that one. He's snide. He's not using known, he's using his own software.
Leo: Wait a minute, that's interesting. I didn't know that. So comments are federated too...
Kevin: So if you look at the comments... Basically we posted a comment to our own site but that is federated back to you because you use what’s called web mention to say, ping your site and say we've mentioned you, here's the link. And your site fetches that link and adds it to the bottom.
Leo: it’s like track back.
Kevin: it’s like trackback but not ugly.
Leo: And it works. So I'm looking here, and this is really cool, so this is on my Own page, now. And this comment here from Ben Roberts, that was done from his site?
Kevin: Yes, that's right.
Leo: That's neat. In fact, if I click his name, will it pull me to that site?
Ben: It will. The comment lives on his own site, but it also now lives on your site. So if your site, for example, goes away for any reason, you decide you don't want one anymore, he still has that conversation he had with you.
Leo: now this is a little weird because it shows up as a post on his site. Um. Which is a little out of context. But that's probably how he set it up, right?
Erin: That's the beauty of the Indie web.
Leo: Everyone gets to do what they want.
Erin: For themselves.
Ben: What we're trying to do is make that as easy as possible for people to do so that if you are a developer you can use the micro formats, you can use the, you know... You can build your own web mention clients and so on. What we do is, you know, try and make that as simple as possible. I think it’s not quite right, as well, but there's no... Sort of a prettier trackback. I think there's a lot more that's possible with it. You can RSVP to events. You can, you know, social actions that you're used to on sites like Twitter and Facebook, are possible with this technology. And so it is actually, and there are a lot of reasons why there are better ways to frame this but it is the framework for a more decentralized social web.
Leo: Erin has a similar track back, but there's more context on his page. So that's up to them. These are all indie web people who are watching today. Thank you for joining us. Now somebody has already asked, "Well how do I install this?" Do they go to the Idno get hub? Where do they get Known?
Ben: So tomorrow, on our website, With Known.com, you're going to be able to just download the installer. So, that’s something that is going to be available. We're actually part of an accelerator called, Matter. Demo day is tomorrow morning, and in conjunction with that, we're going to be releasing both of the hosted beta and the installable data, then.
Leo: And in fact, you sent me that tarball last night and I have some configuration stuff to do with my site, mostly because I long ago gave up all control of it to an administrator. But once I get them to give me permission to modify my site again, I'll have that running. And I'll probably just... Now, what about the content I've posted on With Known? Can I easily move that to my...?
Ben: So what we're going to do is, you know, the time goes on, the ambition is basically to give you a button to allow you to do that. Because, we're in beta, it’s a little bit more complicated than that, but it’s something that will help anybody who wants to do it, to do. So you're not locked up in our service, so it’s going to be a really simple thing to do.
Leo: It requires a lamp stack, right? Linux, apache, minus QL and PHB? Pretty typical, pretty common.
Ben: That's exactly the point, yeah. So it’s... You should be able to install it on anything that supports PHP and MysQL.
Leo: And right now, your social media connectors, and I'll show it right here, include Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare, and Soundcloud. That's a nice set. Presumably once you've coded yourself. People will be able to add more, and will this list lengthen as time goes by?
Ben: It will lengthen. A lot of people have asked us for LinkedIn, for example... Google+, you know you can't do it.
Leo: There's no right API. What about companies like Google that say, Uh uh uh?
Ben: What about the Google+ pages, which have a bit more of an API? So that's something that we're going to be thinking about as well. And you know, if anybody from a network that is interested in, you know, allowing people from Known to post to it, you know, we're going to be working, we're going to be working with lots of platforms.
Erin: For universities that list with it, it would include the university's learning management system or any platform that the school wants to include there.
Leo: I'm running Engine X on top of Apache and it’s working fine. Does it... But it does require Apache?
Ben: So you can... We have had users that installed it on straight Engine X. There's a little bit... You've got to manually configure it but we've got some information up on our documentation page as well, and we'll be expanding that.
Leo: This is very early days. Have you ever... it’s free right now, and you intend it to stay free?
Ben: So, yeah. You're always going to be able to take Known and install it for free. But like I said, we're going to be selling support, we're going to be selling high capacity hosted versions. We're going to be selling, you know, fully supported sight licenses as well.
Leo: I'm replacing my blog platform with this as soon as I can, because I just... I feel like it’s simple, it’s clean, it’s elegant, and it encourages kind of this... I love federation, I don't know why, but just this idea that I have a central spot that's me, but I don't... That doesn't mean it’s a silo, it integrates with everybody else. I really like that idea.
Jeff: Great job guys. Kevin, are there other members of the Indie Web that you want to list at all, or people doing things with the same thing...
Leo: They're all in the chat room right now!
Kevin: I put in a ring to the best way to get in touch with the Indie Web, is indiewebcamp.com, that page lists the events that we host, and that has a prominent link to the IRC channel which has people in it 24 hours a day, talking about this stuff. But there's also a wiki that has documentation about these different protocols and what we thought about, what we're thinking about. And the assumption is that we have two basic meetings. We have discussions in IRC, and we write it up on the Wiki to document it, iteratively. In fact there's a meetup tonight in San Francisco, at Mozilla, at 6:30, and there's also meetups in Portland and Chicago. I'd have to look up the page to see exactly where they are.
Erin: I believe the next big Indie web camp is coming up in October in Cambridge.
Kevin: Yes, just last weekend there was an Indie web camp in Brighton, UK, and quite a lot of new bits and pieces got put together there. there's some people that've been building a commenting system that would let you post the comment of your own site, without leaving the site you're commenting on. That's so you... There's also some voodoo involving iFrames and web string protocol handlers. But it means that you can click the comment button on your site, and i will write the comment there and it will get posted to my site.
Leo: That's just great.
Kevin: The nice thing is that because we've been building in this way, we're trying very hard to make it so it isn't just one code base and one platform. Lots of people coding the pieces independently themselves, and that acts as a natural check on this stuff getting too complicated, because if more than one person has to implement it and they're doing it on their own sites, that stops us from going, "Oh, well we could just add this, and this, and this, and this." And going, "What's the smallest thing that we could do to make this work?" And if you look at these protocols, they are very, sort of neat in that way.
Ben: There's a lot to be said for building lots of tiny prototypes. it’s what we do, all of the startups do. it’s what we try to make part of our process and it’s definitely something that the indie web community does very well as well. And it’s a great thing to do. I wanted to add, actually, I said that tomorrow we're going to be announcing the beta service and the download. You know if anybody does want to try what we've done, which, you know, to empahsize, is one Indie web platform, but you need to go to withknown.com/beta, feel free to sign up for a free acount.
Leo: Great. Withknown.com/beta, if you want to know more about the indie web, indiewebcamp.com, a people focused alternative to the corporate web. Your content is yours, you're better connected, you're in control. This is really how it should be, how it was supposed to be. It doesn't replace the corporate web, we just get to have our own little corner. I like it. Erin and Ben, thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate it.
Leo: Yeah, good luck. And thank you for helping me get mine set up. I'm excited! You've added... You know, since last night you've added features. So I just went back there, and I go, "Oh, there's theming! Oh there's..." And so it’s getting prettier as we speak.
Ben: Definitely do get in touch. We've got little heart in the top right of both the hosted and the self-hosted, and that's like literally, basically a way to email us. And we've been, you know, talking to lots of people over the last couple of days in particular. Yeah, I mean, we're really happy to help.
Leo: Neat. My site is going to be there for a little while longer, and then I'm going to move it local. Leoville.withknown.com, and then sign up for the beta at withknown.com/beta so you can do it yourself. And you get... it’s hosted, you don't have to be mucking about with your database unless you want to. I like to do that kind of thing. Bear said I could. He says you won't break anything, because you're not attached to anything because we made sure you were completely isolated from the rest of the servers. So have at it! Thank you guys. Take care! We've got more to come, in fact a very big changelog. What are we going to do, Jeff, Gina's not here to do the changelog?
Jeff: We blew it last time, fella.
Leo: I don't think we should do the changelog, but boy there are some big changes with Google Voice and more, we'll talk about that as we continue. But first let me talk about my mattress. You know, this show rapidly is becoming about my needs. My snacks... My mattress... I got one for Henry too. This is actually a great mattress for a kid going off to college. Henry is out of the dorms now, he's in a place with a bunch of other guys and he has to get furniture. I thought, I don't want to do the whole mattress thing. Casper! We sent him a Casper mattress. It comes in a big box. Look, take a look! I have my Casper mattress. These are the most comfortable mattresses ever. This is a queen sized mattress that comes in a box. Look at the size of this box! And you open it up. Now, they say open it up near your bed. I didn't, I opened it up in the front hall, which probably wasn't a good idea. They're foam mattresses with memory foam on the top. And they are super comfortable. it’s going to take a little getting used to if you're used to those mattresses with the springs in it. There's no lumps! It just feels good! See look at that, it’s opening up! it’s firm but soft, I don't know how to describe it. When you have the foam on top, it conforms to your body and yet there is the firm support that I need for my back. I just love my Casper mattress. Casper is a kind of a neat startup, they're slashing the cost of the typical $1500 mattress. They cut out the resellers and the showroom. You buy it directly. I know that makes people nervous, but you get a hundred days to try it. Even Ozzy loves our Casper mattress. Even Lisa loves our Casper mattress! It is so comfortable. And because they don't have a storeroom they pass the savings on to you. You buy it online, completely risk free, 100 days to decide whether you want to keep it. 100 days! And if you don't want it, don't worry. You don't have to put it back into the box, they'll send somebody to your house to get it. I always wondered, "Well how do I get it back in that box?" Once you get it out of the box, that's really a one way trip. Statistically, lying on a bed in a showroom has no correlation, I can tell you right now, to what the experience is of sleeping on a mattress. Casper mattress is made in the USA, only five hundred dollars for a twin. Nine fifty for a king. King! And you're going to save fifty dollars if you go to Casper... C-A-S-P-E-Rsleep.com/Twig, and using the promo code Twig. They'll save you fifty dollars. And not only that, but for every mattress that you buy, they will donate $50 to Child's Play, which is a great group that needy and sick kids. Caspersleep.com/Twig, you'll know when you see that. What? I can't read that, it’s too small. Chad just speak to me. Talk to me! Caspersleep.com/twig and the offer code T-W-I-G, you'll save fifty bucks off and they'll send $50 to Child's Play. Um. I just... In fact, I'm going to have some NatureBox on my Casper Mattress, and then my whole world will be complete. So they said they sent you one, you should get one, Jeff.
Jeff: I'm going to get one. I just think they offered to send me one.
Leo: You know who would like it? Jake would like it. Henry, I asked Henry, because he was home over the weekend. I said did the mattress come? He said yeah. I said I wanted you to do a Vine of you opening the mattress. He said, we didn't do that. But, I said do you like it? He says, I love it! And Henry is finicky. He would not... I get the... So I got him a mattress in my house, when he was staying with me, and he says, "I don't like it." He wouldn't sleep at my house, he says your mattress is too hard. He loves the Casper. So that's why I got a Casper for our guestroom, I got a Casper for Henry. We've got Caspers everywhere.
Jeff: I wish I could take one with me to hotels. I would... The one in Berlin, it was... Plywood.
Leo: The hotel mattresses are the worst ever. They really are. I'll yeah... I'll shave with hairy shave cream, in my Casper Mattress, eating snacks from Naturebox.
Jeff: I use Harry's too!
Leo: We're rapidly becoming a lifestyle network. That was always kind of my goal, by the way, I didn't want to do technology ads, because then with technology adds, there's a little bit of the idea of maybe there's a conflict of interest because you can't report on the company... But if it’s Casper Mattresses and Harry's shaving, and Naturebox...
Jeff: The top of technology is lifestyle. Way back when, when I worked with Connie Desk, when I was with the same company, my proposal for what to do about Wired magazine at the time was to make it a lifestyle magazine.
Leo: Well, think about it. This is what's happening with technology. it’s no longer a niche, or as you would say, Kevin, you Cantabrigians, niche... I get criticism all the time for saying niche. That's the American way to say it. We're in America, okay?
Jeff: You got a problem with that?!
Leo: In the niche that we're in, it isn't a niche, because technology is now everywhere. Everybody uses it. it’s a part of our lives. So how can you say it’s a specialty? it’s not. Alright. Moving on. I do love this, With Known... Are you using this at all, Kevin, or do you have something else you want to do with the... I like this Known. We've lost Kevin. He's just looking.
Kevin: Oh. Sorry...
Leo: He went to sleep on the mattress commercial. I know what happened!
Kevin: I was chatting to the chat room. I'm sorry.
Leo: I love this Known stuff. I really do.
Kevin: I think it’s very good. I've been doing Indie web stuff on Kevinmarks.com, but I was a hosted site, which means that I've got to do a lot of it by hand. So not all of the pieces get built that quickly because I have to do it myself. The nice thing about KNown, is a lot of these protocols are built for me, by Ben and by other people working on that project, and it makes this stuff work.
Leo: I can't do it, so... Is it using rest and well known APIs, or?
Kevin: it’s basically... They're pretty much all rest APIs, there's some subtleties that we can probably go into another time if you want to bring people on, about Auth, because there's this thing called IndieAuth, that lets you authorize your own domain by using the logins from Twitter and Facebook and so on. Which means that you can prove that it’s your domain and that you can prove that you're connected to an internal service. So that means that if you use that, you can use that to authenticate posting to your own site from somebody else's site. There's a bunch of subtle stuff like that going on, but each of these pieces have been built as a standalone component and then wired to other things. So you have the idea of web mentions, which we discussed. Which is, if I link to you and look on your site for your web mention URL, and then I send a post to that saying, I just linked to you. Here's a URL of my post. And then you can go back to look at that post...
Leo: See that's the thing that puzzles me. That seems kind of complicated, this kind of federation. Is that Micropub and Indie Auth... Is that...?
Leo: I feel like this is really great and cool, and I also wonder will anybody get it?
Kevin: One of the interesting things with this was getting my sons set up on this because they are both at the university and they wanted to post stuff that they had. In some ways they are the target that Ben and Erin were talking about, the university students. As with any user testing, the questions they asked were interesting because their reaction was, oh this will post to Facebook. I'm wary of things that posts to Facebook because I've been bitten by those before. Talk me through what this actually does. Oh, okay, it posts exactly what I say where I want. I could see how I might use that. My other son was like, oh it posts sound. That's really useful because I make mixes and I want to post this to Sample Lab. The problem is that sometimes Sample Lab will take them down because of what he's mixed together, so having a copy on his own site will be really nice for him. So there's the set of issues like that. The thing that you said about losing the stuff you had on some content silo is actually based more on what people have. There's a running joke about a wonderful thing just happened, we got bored, and all of your content is going away.
Leo: Yeah, it's happened again and again.
Kevin: Yahoo is a serial offender here. Google does this, too. Facebook does it, too. Lots of big companies buy these little startups, shut them down, and take their engineers to work on their stuff instead. So people have that experience.
Leo: Vox was a good experience. I loved Vox, it was kind of like this, but because it wasn't open when Ben and Meena decided to shut it down, boom, I'm gone. My blog is gone.
Kevin: And all of your Euros now go to some new site.
Kevin: So they sold the domain as well.
Leo: Yes, that's right, didn't they? Come to think of it they probably made more money from that.
Kevin: Do you remember The Upcoming, the blog?
Leo: Yeah, Upcoming.
Kevin: So Upcoming had went through this process.
Leo: Bought by Yahoo.
Kevin: Bought by Yahoo. The host decided to shut it down, but Andy Baio who founded Upcoming bought the domain back from Yahoo and is reviving it.
Leo: I love that. Does he have the old data?
Kevin: He has the old data and it's in an archive. He's setting up the media. He's a bit busy because he's been at the XOXO Conference this weekend.
Leo: It really doesn't matter because it's an invite event service so old invitations, who cares. But still, that's great.
Kevin: Well old events are interesting. We organized a lot of events through Upcoming and it's nice to see those old events there.
Leo: I guess so, yeah.
Kevin: What I had hoped to do, I showed you some of the IndieWeb events that we had posted on our sites here that had the distributed RSVPs. So I post an event on my site, you post an RSVP on your site, and that shows up on my site. That stuff will be great to integrate into Upcoming. We've already got gateways that bridge it over to Facebook, but it will be nice to have something that does it natively. I'm hoping to chat to Andy about that, but I suspect he's going to be a bit busy this weekend.
Leo: Your SoundCloud example was a really good one. I would love to post audio on SoundCloud. This is a better way to do it. If I do it with Known it posts to my blog, I continue to own that wav file, but its then cross posted to SoundCloud where the audience is.
Kevin: MP3 I hope, yes.
Leo: Or whatever it is.
Jeff: Oh good, I thought I had my sound off. I think those are still geeky concerns. I think the 2 consumer capabilities for this are, 1, the convenience that I can choose this mobile app to post whatever I want wherever I want it in one place.
Leo: Yeah, there's no mobile interface to this yet, right?
Kevin: That's not true, no. There is a mobile web interface. There isn't a mobile app, but because this has been written by people who understand the web you can just use the browser on Android and that works pretty well. It works well for posting photos and posting text. The web UI for posting MP3 files is a bit tricky because you have to have already recorded it. There isn't a direct record button, but you can post that from the phone as well.
Jeff: The second deal, I think, is not so much that you are going to save it against a site going down because people are fickle and I don't think that's the big deal. I think, instead, that you have this kind of portfolio place. This is my stuff; this is all my stuff in one place as a presentation of me. That's going to require some subtle, as you just pointed out about having a comment there without some context, they are going to have to learn a lot of how to do that. I think those two things together are consumer propositions but the business irony here is that it only works in a sense if it remains independent. If Facebook buys their butt then you lose a lot of the benefits of it being; it ain't Indie anymore. But if you could get some investments to make it a big consumer proposition and make it the interface to all of the social networks and the place to present my entire personality to the web I think that has consumers.
Leo: Even more than that, if companies like Squarespace and WordPress see this, see the value in it and decide to participate, then Squarespace could do this. You stay on your Squarespace side, but now you are part of the federated internet. That's even a better scenario. So, you are right, I just launched this on Chrome on my Android phone. I logged in, and first of all, it's totally mobile responsive. I can post, in fact I think I can take a photo, we will see, on my phone, yeah, and post directly from my phone to the IndieWeb. Well that is cool. I like that. So this is going to post not only with Known, but also I can post to Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr; same photo. Love that. So you are right, in fact, this is also better because this is the web. The web is the web, it's not an app.
Kevin: Exactly, yeah. The challenge is making sure that this stuff doesn't just go straight out on the web. Part of that is that not all of the web stuff is ready yet. Like the web UI for recording sound is kind of broken on the thing. What we are going to have to do is go lobby the browser developers on IOS and Android, and say hey, you know that feature that is supposed to let you record and upload a file? How about you actually implement it rather than pretending to implement it?
Leo: So that's why I want to throw some weight behind this, and behind IndieWeb. I believe this is important to the future of a free and open web. So thank you for doing this. I wish I had the coding skills to do this. But thanks to people like Ben and Erin who do we get the benefit of it.
Kevin: That is the motive, yeah.
Leo: By the way, if you go to a lot of sites on the internet today, there is an internet slow down going on. If you go to my site Leoville, for instance, you will see I chose to do the little tag in the upper right hand corner. It says "Protect internet freedom, defend net neutrality." If there were fast internet slow lanes you would still be waiting for this site to pop up. So you may see that all around the net today. See that, Chad, in the upper right hand corner of my site, "Protect internet freedom". Upper right hand corner; you will see a bigger one on a lot of sites. I went to a site this morning that had a big banner; it covered the whole page, the takeover. You know, what's unfortunate about protests, the SOPA Protest, going dark, everybody did it. But you can only go to the well so often. Like once apparently. Here we are, this is only the third time we have tried to do an internet wide protest, and nobody is doing it.
Jeff: I think that the threat is a little vaguer right now. This is the right time to put pressure on the FCC. This is the right time to be heard as a community and an industry. But the consumer threat isn't as imminent. It has not reached ISIS level yet.
Leo: Right, maybe that's it. I remember now, it's BeerAdvocate, if you show my screen now; too late. Do it anyway. It's doing a bit of a bigger one. Then it says" Sign our letter to lawmakers. Tell lawmakers: 'Protect our internet freedom. Defend net neutrality.'" They make it very easy. So before you get to BeerAdvocate you get this big popup. You see it on Reddit, you see it on a few sites, but it's not nearly as wide spread. They do a little one on Reddit; it's over here on the right hand corner. Alright, I think we have done our IndieWeb good deed for the day. Let's talk about something bad; a bad deed for the day.
Jeff: Are we worried about this?
Leo: 4.9 million Gmail names and passwords published. Google says no evidence our systems were compromised. I saw this last night. A Russian Bitcoin forum says they have almost 5 million passwords. The company says that it's not from a security breach. Google says, "We have no evidence our systems have been compromised, but whenever we become aware that accounts may have been we take steps to secure those accounts."
Jeff: But if there are 5 million how else would you get them? Are there really 5 million usernames and passwords or not?
Chad: I downloaded it and my email was in there.
Leo: Was it?
Leo: And was the password correct?
Chad: So the password was one that I had about 2 years ago. I don't use it anymore luckily.
Leo: On Google?
Chad: On Google. Yes. It's about 4.9 million.
Leo: A quick analysis of the text files shows that it includes mainly English, Spanish, and Russian accounts, but it seems to combine older lists accumulated over a longer period of time. So it could be a link to hacks of sites unrelated to Gmail. Was it your Google password only Chad?
Chad: Yeah, it was only my...
Leo: You hadn't used it anywhere else.
Leo: The site has pulled the passwords off.
Chad: Luckily I had semi-good passwords.
Jeff: This goes to the discussion about payments earlier. Can we not just assume now that there are going to be data breaches full stop? We have to have systems that operate that make that meaningless. It's going to get breached.
Leo: One of the things that Google said, if you have Two Factor, this is another reason you should turn on Two Factor because even if they got your password that's not enough. Does anybody read Russian?
Jeff: Google does.
Leo: Oh, wait a minute, here's an American flag. I'm showing you the site. Its isleaked.com, let me click on the American flag and see if this translates into English. I think you enter in your email here, and it will tell you if your email was in the database of hacked emails. I believe that is what it's going to do. It's pretty slow right now. Probably because I just gave out the address, isleaked.com. Google says there wasn't a hack. I don't know what to make of that if it really was your Google password Chad, obviously.
Kevin: The thing is that Google doesn't store them in the clear. They store them crypted sorted properly, so if they've got this they've either done the encryption run on a password file or they've phished it in some way or found a way to enter somewhere else.
Leo: Maybe they phished it. Maybe it's phishing. If Google is storing your passwords encrypted and salted...
Kevin: Yes, which Google is.
Leo: If you listen to Security Now you know all of this, but a large amount of sites just store your password in text. So if that file, which is not necessarily visible in public, but if somebody could get into their systems and steal it they would have it. Better is to use some sort of encryption technology; often it is a hashing technology. What they will do is they will hash it in a known way, then when you log in they will hash what they offer in the same known way, and if the two hashes match then that's the right password. That's a little bit better, but the problem with hashes is something called Rainbow Tables. It's possible, if you can figure out how the hashing has been done, to create a table of possible results and in effect a table of backwards unhashed stuff. So there is an even better way to store hashed passwords. That is with Salt. Kevin, you had better explain that.
Kevin: That means before the hash you add something to the password so that even if you reverse the hash you get something that doesn't contain the password.
Leo: And sometimes they double or triple salt them.
Leo: That's pretty effective. If you do that it would be impractical for a hacker, even if he owned the database, to crack all the passwords in it. Unfortunately people use bad passwords sometimes. Here's what's happened in some cases; the hacker gets email, password, and password hint. Some people in their password hint will write password = password. Then they look at the hash and they are like, well, I know that hash = password. Now they've got everybody who used the same crappy password. But if you use a good, strong password and they are Salting it and hashing it you are probably alright. Google does that.
Kevin: Absolutely. What this may be is that it may be like the image leak. It may be a compilation that someone has put together over a long period of time and then has leaked it in one go. The image leak was very much like that. It was a set of people who had been trading these things back and forth and somebody in that group leaked a chunk of it. Looking at the reports of this it sounds like these are email addresses or passwords that have been phished or collected or used over a long period of time. The people in the chat room are saying, oh yeah, it has some old password of mine. This may be some hacker's cache like that.
Leo: Google has rolled out the long awaited, terrifyingly anticipated integration between Hangouts and Voice. They haven't eliminated Voice yet. The good news is that Hangouts can now make Voice calls. Your voicemail can go into Hangouts. You need to get the latest Google Hangouts, and that's being rolled out slowly. I hadn't gotten it this morning, but I was able to find the APK. I don't recommend that people do that. I did it for you so that I could talk about it. It's pretty cool. I made a phone call. The voice quality is quite good. As always with Google Voice there is a slight bit more latency than on a regular point to point phone call. I found it not bad at all.
Kevin: I tend to use it from the browser using the nice Mac like I have here.
Leo: Yes, I do it all the time.
Kevin: So if I have a long call to make I will do that. We had the open rights group adviser board meeting this morning, which is a call to the UK that lasts an hour and a half. So I could sit there at the computer, and have the conversation, and do it this way. It works quite well for that. I haven't spent much time using Google Voice on the phone, but the value again has been trampling because it means that your number can replicate somewhere where you have Wi-Fi and you can make calls. So I've used it there when I've gone to the UK and my bank has done something stupid and I have to call their 800 number. You can't call 800 numbers, USA numbers, from the UK, but because my Google Voice number is an American number I can call it from that. So there's a set of arbitraging around the brokenness of the phone system that Google Voice makes very useful. So it's nice to see that they are still supporting it and keeping that running.
Leo: The downside of it is that Hangouts is becoming more and more of a beast.
Jeff: Yeah it is.
Leo: It was already too big to just use for SMS's, but now it's got that. But it's kind of cool. There are a couple of reasons you use Hangouts. If you are using an Android Wear device Hangouts allows you to reply from your watch. Not all of the SMS apps let you do that. Evolve will do that. That's kind of nice. But also now when I chose a contact I can chose whether I want to Hangout them, SMS them, or call them. That's kind of nice, too, much like Facebook Messenger. Facebook Messenger will do that too.
Kevin: Well they've had a call that is a VoIP call for a while.
Leo: They are partnered with Skype.
Kevin: Oh, was it Skype?
Leo: Uh huh, so that's kind of nice. I will use Hangouts, I guess for my SMS app. It feels so big compared to just a plain SMS app. There is so much stuff in there.
Kevin: It's because they've got Hangouts on Air and all those other things in there. I did the Hangouts on Air with somebody last weekend. It was like wow, where did all of this xBus come from and why is it so hard to use?
Leo: On one hand I like all these new features. On the other hand I kind of like the Facebook model of separating everything out into single apps that do one thing well; the old Linux, the old Unix point of view. Do one thing well and then pipe.
Kevin: You sound like you are talking IndieWorld again. I think the app separation there is driven by notifications.
Leo: And permissions, because the permissions list gets really long.
Kevin: So Hangouts and Facebook Messenger have a similar set of permissions and a notification model, whereas you wouldn't really want that wrapped up in your Facebook app and your Google+ app because you get a different set of notifications from them and a different idea of what those are for. One is interpersonal communication and one is publishing.
Leo: The other thing that is nice is that Hangouts now can do images. Voice can now do images. The text messaging in Voice did not support MMS, it was only SMS.
Kevin: So they fixed that. Well that's good.
Leo: So now I can send photos, locations, rich text messages using Hangouts via Voice. I believe that's the case.
Kevin: That was clunky before. If someone sent you an image it would come back as a mistake.
Jeff: How would I know what I have for Hangouts?
Leo: It's 2.3, is that right? I think its version 2.3 so you can look in Hangouts and see. The updates started going out today. It will be over the next few days. If you look at help and feedback; my current version of Hangouts is 2.3.75067996. Make sure you have that version. It's 2.3 or later I think.
Leo: I had 2.2 this morning. I actually found it on APK. Somebody had posted it on Google+. I did a very stupid thing, which was downloaded it and installed it. Which means now the NSA has everything in my phone. The best thing to do is to wait until Google pushes the update. Google is also putting a password generator in Chrome. If you have Chrome Canary you will now have the ability to generate a password. I think that this is actually coming from the Chromium Project.
Jeff: Yeah, I think so.
Leo: It's a good idea. It's a FIPS 181 compatible automated password generator. It spits out a strong and pronounceable password. You do have to use Canary and then enable a couple of flags.
Jeff: Then this would replace OnePass you are saying?
Leo: No, because it doesn't remember it.
Jeff: Oh, it's just a generator? That's all it is?
Leo: It's just a generator. Google will remember passwords, but, I mean Chrome will remember passwords.
Kevin: Well Chrome will remember passwords.
Leo: I'm not crazy about the idea of the browser remembering the password, frankly. I prefer to keep my passwords encrypted.
Kevin: It depends how they do it. The value is that it lets you do it between machines. You are making a convenience versus security trade off.
Leo: Right. So I still suggest using LastPass, but it's a step forward. A step is good. We are doing the change log just in case you didn't notice. We just didn't want to let anybody know. So then they would compare it to Gina, who does it so well. And finally, Google Play Movies and TV on IOS lets you download and play videos offline. I don't think you can do it on Android can you? Can you?
Jeff: Oh yeah, I do it all the time.
Kevin: Oh yeah, yeah.
Jeff: You can also do it on Chrome, so I can do it on my Chromebook.
Leo: Apparently you could not do it on IOS.
Jeff: I didn't know what.
Leo: I didn't either. So if you are an IOS user...
Jeff: That's how I watch movies and shows on long flights just like the one I just left.
Leo: Okay, so yeah, is it like a pin, or does it say explicitly "download this movie"?
Jeff: It's a little pin.
Leo: It's a pin.
Chad: It's just like the music thing, yeah.
Leo: It's like music, yeah, okay. I love Google Play Music. I do do that for the trips. I download beautiful music to listen to. Google has unveiled the Cartographer. Its indoor mapping, backpack, everybody ought to have one of these.
Jeff: Every bit as useful as Glass.
Leo: Only 10 times heavier. Did I say 10; 1,000 times heavier. You wear the backpack, and the floor plan is automatically generated in real time. The user also uses a tablet to add points of interest.
Jeff: What’s the Android version of a tablet that 3D maps spaces? What's that called again?
Leo: An Android tablet that 3D maps spaces?
Jeff: You know what I'm talking about. Maybe the chat room will know.
Leo: You mean the software that did it?
Chad: It's the Project Tango.
Jeff: Thank you, thank you.
Leo: Jeff Needles remembers Project Tango. Give that boy a popsicle.
Jeff: Thank you. Eventually do this?
Leo: ATAP, the Project Tango tablet. Ah, that's neat. I must have been on vacation when they came out with this. The idea is that you have mapping devices that you can map the whole world. Everything should be mapped. You sure Project Tango wasn't an April fool’s joke?
Leo: No. There it is. You sure it wasn't an April fool’s joke? Is it like an augmented reality kind of thing?
Chad: No, it's to map the insides of buildings.
Leo: Okay, well this must replace Project Tango.
Jeff: Imagine how blind people could use it.
Chad: I think it's working in conjunction with Project Tango.
Leo: It's in conjunction with it, okay.
Kevin: They've got multiple ways of doing this. They had the street view cars, and the street view bikes, and then had the street view backpacks. At one point they had a service that was part of Google Local where they would come to a business and photograph it for you.
Leo: Yeah, third parties would do that. We did that with TWiT Studios. If you search for TWiT, LLC on Google Maps you can go inside and tour around. I like that actually.
Kevin: So I think that these are all variations of that. How do we get better indoor data?
Leo: Right, inside, yeah.
Kevin: Google Maps has that for certain buildings, they have interior maps as well, things like that, but they obviously want walk through as well as just mapping. Digitize the world.
Leo: By the way, we were talking about hashes; there is an encryption technology called SHA1 that is known bad. It's been cracked. It works, but it's not very strong. Google has decided to remove support for certificates encrypted with SHA1 from Chrome. This is really interesting; Google has seemed to have decided that they can use their immense weight, their immense clout to get people to do something that Google in its infinite wisdom thinks is right. Remember a couple of weeks ago they said that you would get a better search ranking if you were using secure HTTP. Well Google says that most of the web is using an insecure algorithm. 90% of websites that use SSL use SHA1 for their certificates. Unfortunately it is dangerously weak; it has been for some time. It gets weaker every year. There is a replacement, SHA2. Google announced that if you use Chrome you are going to start seeing warnings for sites that say they are secure but aren't. The first set of warnings will hit before Christmas and will keep getting sterner. Google is turning into like a headmaster, or a vice principle, or something.
Jeff: It's the geek marm.
Leo: You're not secure! Over the next 6 months eventually even sites with SHA1 certificates that don't expire until 2016 will be given a yellow card. SHA has got to go. What do you think, Kevin? On the one hand I agree. People shouldn't be using this certificate.
Kevin: This was a big thing at IndieWeb UK Camp this weekend. Lots of people were working on how to get their sites up on SSL and HTTPS and how to do that. There's a series of sites, and I've posted on the indiewebcamp.com/ssl page which talks about different levels of security, and what you need to do, and how you work through different levels. There are sites that will measure your site for security. Part of this is not using SHA1, not using things that fail, not making...
Leo: We may never know what he was about to say.
Jeff: I sure can't finish his sentence.
Leo: And then aliens took Kevin Rose at 2:58.
Chad: Kevin Rose?
Leo: Kevin Marks. Who is Kevin Rose? I don't know. At 2:58 on September 10th.
Jeff: Is that London time on your watch or what?
Leo: Well London time its 10:58. Just so you know. I think that it's a little school marmish, and yet it's a good thing.
Jeff: It is.
Leo: We are going to get Kevin back. Hey, did you see the reveal for the new Moto X?
Jeff: Some of it. I was going to ask you for your reaction, particularly as a Moto X lover.
Leo: I want to buy it. I can't. Andy Ihnatko went to Chicago and it was at their Chicago headquarters. We had talked about it. Motorola announced exactly what I had hoped they would announce, which was a high res 1080p larger screen, 5.2 inch, Moto X with an improved camera. Andy says yes indeed, it is much improved 13 megapixels. It's everything that I wanted. It has more commands, it's smarter, it still has that always-on; I love it. One of the things that was always a little issue for me is that it has that, what do you call it, it would pulse information while it was off. Now you can wave your hand over it because they have infrared sensors, and it will go, oh you want to know? Yeah, and it will show you.
Chad: Don't they call that Active Display?
Leo: Active Display. The problem with Active Display is that you have to look at exactly the right time. Now you can wave your hand and it will say, the time is, and you have three minutes.
Jeff: Versus the OnePlus?
Leo: I like the OnePlus. This feels very vanilla.
Jeff: The OnePlus.
Leo: Yeah, it's a great kind of vanilla Android device; really nice, nothing wrong with it.
Jeff: The one thing that I'm waiting for, your love of the Moto X and the added commands, I am lusting after it; but the Nexus, what is that going to be? I want to know.
Leo: I keep hearing rumors. We also hear rumors that Google is not going to name it Nexus anything. It's just going to be Nexus or something, or they are going to keep 5. You really love your Nexus's, don't you?
Jeff: I do, I do, and they are very comfortable.
Leo: They are vanilla, too.
Jeff: When I was at IFA, IFA is amazing, isn't it? Have you ever been to IFA?
Leo: No, I would love to go to IFA.
Jeff: It's the largest, I guess, consumer electronics show anywhere. The reason I was there was to speak. They never had a program before, they just had the show.
Leo: Oh, neat, cool.
Jeff: So I went up and wondered as much as my aging knees could take me through the show. Right above us in the sitting box was the Samsung. It's just amazing stuff. Samsung has entire lines devoted to retail, hotels, restaurants, hospitals, airlines, and schools. It's really quite amazing that they are looking at that as companies that have service touches with the public; they want to be there. So they do some phenomenal things with the refrigerators and that sort of thing. Why do they have to keep overloading the phones with all of the stuff?
Jeff: Ah, that's the only thing that frustrates me about them. They do neat stuff. I touched the phone with the thing on the side. It's not quite as absurd as you think.
Leo: The Edge. I feel like that is innovative. It's an interesting idea.
Jeff: It really is. It really is. It kind of works and you kind of roll it around. I kind of like that. They have a gigantic watch. It's ridiculous. It really is like wearing an iPhone. But Samsung does some really, really neat stuff, and it's impressive.
Leo: Well we know that there is a new Nexus tablet; NVIDIA has confirmed that. It's going to be built by HTC. So that 7 will be replaced by a 9, I think.
Jeff: But that is confirmed?
Leo: Well, NVIDIA says so, and Google has a say.
Jeff: How big?
Leo: I don't know, is it 8 inches? I think that its 8 inches but I'm not sure.
Jeff: Too bad it isn't 7 inches.
Leo: Seven was perfect. But it's that new, fast Tegra K1, which is a really nice processor. By the way, if you are going to get an iPhone, the reason to get an iPhone is that this processor is just blazingly fast. If you like games on a 5.5 inch it would be great.
Jeff: So the Tegra is the same chip that is going into the new ProBooks, right?
Leo: Yeah, unless I've got this completely muddled, but I think so. We know they are going to keep the Nexus name, which is good, that means there probably will be a Nexus 6. Rumors say probably this year, but we don't know. Maybe it will be timed to coordinate with the release of L.
Jeff: Right, we don't know the timing of that. My problem is that I'm not you.
Leo: You don't like changing your phones, do you?
Jeff: Well I actually think that it is a pain in the butt, but besides that it is just kind of a money thing. Having just bought the OnePlus I can't really justify buying both the Moto X and the Nexus.
Leo: Look at this. This is a tweet from the Android Twitter account with a Nexus that no one has ever seen with an almost edge to edge big screen.
Jeff: Big phone.
Leo: It looks pretty big. I would guess that is 5.5. I don't know, it could be a mock up, we don't know.
Jeff: I saw the new Note 4 also at IFA.
Leo: That's big, isn't it?
Jeff: No, it's the same size as this. I put this phone right over it and it is the same.
Leo: Really? But the screen is bigger; much.
Jeff: The Note's felt so huge.
Kevin: More pixels?
Leo: Yeah, it's getting up to close to 500 BPI. The Nexus 6 would be 5.5 inches according to the rumor mill. I don't know, maybe even larger. The thing is that it is all rumors, you don't know. The X+1 is here. Well it will be here sometime this month they say.
Jeff: What is the pricing on it?
Leo: Wait a minute, they did say the price. It's cheap. What was it, $550, $450, something like that?
Jeff: Something like that, yeah.
Leo: It's not as expensive as you would expect.
Jeff: And you have the turbo charger, which is nice.
Leo: You know, all Qualcomm chips support this and I think that almost all flagship models have this high speed charging. It's not clear if they are talking about something different from the Qualcomm high speed charging.
Jeff: Got it.
Leo: They are claiming you can half charge it in 15 minutes. That's pretty darn fast. By the way, I think that the HTC One has that in the Qualcomm 801 but you have to buy a high powered dongle for it. You will also for this X.
Jeff: Charging speed is the real issue.
Leo: I agree.
Jeff: Did I say on the show how I drove the BMW electric car?
Leo: Yeah, you said you liked it.
Jeff: I did, I already talked about that, but it's the speed of charging that is going to be the issue. It's not so much the capacity; it's how fast you can recover.
Leo: Well, and to do it with a car you have to put a 240 volt outlet to plug in there.
Jeff: Here is my concern. The Moto Hint...
Leo: I want the Hint because that's Scarlett Johansson in my ear. It looks just like the little earbud that he was wearing in "Her".
Jeff: But I have whacky ears. I could never wear Apple earbuds, never, never, never.
Leo: They probably fall right out.
Jeff: Thank you.
Leo: And, by the way, I don't think that the battery life is going to be great on that because all they talk about is 10 hours with the included case that has a big battery in it that you charge up. I'm guessing its 3 hours battery life on the Hint. That's not a lot.
Jeff: You know, I don't go through battery life on my headset a lot. I use it in the car.
Leo: If you think about it, it's so tiny. I just really like the idea of a Motorola ecosystem. I wish the 360 had more Motorola specific stuff, and the Hint, and the whole thing, and I'm going to be a Motorola cyborg. I'm going to be talking to myself a lot.
Jeff: And to the Chinese government.
Leo: I don't care.
Kevin: I'm in the annoying state of I need to buy a new phone, but I don't know which one to buy because they are all new.
Leo: It's very confusing right now.
Kevin: Maybe I should just buy your OnePlus when you get bored with it.
Leo: I will sell you my OnePlus. Actually I think Father Robert wants it. We can get you a OnePlus invite. We were saying while you were gone that I like the OnePlus, but it is very vanilla. There is nothing that you go, oh I love it.
Kevin: I think that's what I want. I don't want this Samsung that we've replaced with another that is almost the same, but not quite.
Leo: Yeah, it's not like that. It's very pure.
Kevin: I want a nice clean, you know, I bought the Nexus phone, so if the OnePlus is like a Nexus phone then that's great.
Leo: When, it's CyanogenMod. It's not pure Google, but it's pretty pure.
Kevin: It's close enough.
Leo: Oh yeah. I think that you would like it.
Kevin: The point is that with the Samsung one there are 2 apps for everything because they had to make their own version for all of the Google ones.
Kevin: Which is just frustrating.
Leo: Horrible, horrible. Speaking of which, one phone that I know you are not going to get, the Amazon Fire phone. They are pretty much giving it away. What?
Jeff: I talked to a clerk at the AT&T store a few weeks ago and I asked if those things were selling. He said, "No, and the ones that do sell come back."
Leo: Yeah, nobody wants that phone.
Jeff: They just don't do enough.
Leo: They blew it. They should have just made it Android. I don't know why they didn't. Make a pure Android phone and you can add all of those little juicy Firefly and Mayday.
Kevin: Maybe they don't want to pay the with Google tags.
Leo: It's not that expensive is it?
Kevin: But it would mean that they couldn't use their app store.
Leo: At all.
Kevin: Because part of it with the Google thing is that you use the Play store, not your app store. Amazon wants to use their app store.
Leo: Well guess what.
Kevin: It's a mutual strategy tactic.
Leo: People want the Google store, and the Google apps, and the Google services. The New York Times is talking about talking to the Bay area, San Francisco Bay area AT&T stores. The salesman said the Fire had performed dismally. "We got special shirts, staffed up for the launch, and then nothing." He said, "We sold a total of 10 Fires." At a smaller store salesmen said that they had sold 1 Fire. Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, said, "Well, we had modest expectations, and the phone seems to be shy even of those.” $.99 now for a Fire phone. I wouldn't even get it at that price.
Jeff: No, because you are still committed to a 2 year contract.
Kevin: You would still have a contract.
Leo: It's stupid, and it's AT&T only.
Jeff: They spent a lot of money on that silly ad campaign, the kid Firing things.
Leo: I have one if you want it. I will send it to either of you. You are welcome to my AT&T Fire phone. It's sitting in my desk drawer. I tried to use it.
Kevin: Basically I need to trade phones with my son so he gets my old one and I get to buy a new one because he's got some 2 year old Android that is broken. I need to get something new, but I'm not sure what to get because everything is coming out this week. Rather everything is being announced this week but not actually on sale yet.
Leo: Yeah, I think the X+1 looks really good. The new X+1, I keep calling it the X+1; the 2014 Motorola X looks really good. That's nice. That's what I think is going to be my phone. It's that or the iPhone 6+, either of them.
Jeff: I'm not switching back to that ecosystem, no way.
Leo: According to a link to a tech blogger, a kind of not known tech blogger, tktechnews.com, Motorola is planning to release 8 new devices before Christmas. So we haven't even seen everything yet. I think I'm going to live in the Motorola X, Hint, and Moto 360 world for a little while. I think that's what I want. I have to decide what to take to London. I need something that will work on T-Mobile because T-Mobile has free international roaming.
Kevin: That's the other attraction of the Nexus 5 for me, because it does that.
Kevin: It works very well, I've used that. I'm going to London next week as well because Christopher is off to university.
Leo: Fun. Oh yeah, that's right. They start late.
Jeff: T-Mobile is going to make its next announcement. Wasn't T-Mobile going to make another something?
Leo: John Legere was saying something. I don't know what he said.
Kevin: Something was going on today, but I haven't seen the reports of it yet. Chat room, anyone got anything?
Jeff: He was screaming about it.
Leo: Yeah, John said, oh watch. Okay, the Uncarrier 7.0 has now been released.
Kevin: But that roaming thing, I'm impressed with that.
Jeff: So what is it?
Leo: I don't know. A man spray painting a cloud on a wall, the man I think is John himself.
Jeff: T-Mobile has cell phones that call and text on Wi-Fi.
Leo: Well they have been doing that for ages. In fact, that was one thing that Apple announced; that they were going to support Wi-Fi calling for T-Mobile.
Kevin: But Android has had that for a few years.
Leo: The press conference just happened.
Jeff: I'm looking it up.
Leo: Mustn't be big news. Alright, I think we have kind of mined everything.
Jeff: You know there is an advantage to what we call in journalism "the lead".
Leo: Which is to put the news up front?
Leo: They are going to support Wi-Fi phone integration as far as 30,000 feet in the sky.
Kevin: Oh, I see, I was going to say, that's pretty good range.
Jeff: Wi-Fi router?
Leo: So they say when you are in the clouds you can make...
Jeff: You can replace your entire Wi-Fi, which is their recommended approach. You can have it as an additional cell spot if you like. What the hell is this?
Leo: You can serve parts of the home with port coverage. Well, that's a femtocell, that's something that every carrier offers. T-Mobile has also made a deal with Gogo, oh I get it, to provide customers with free text messaging and voicemail on Gogo based flights. This is dumb. Forget it, we don't care. I like T-Mobile. I'm not saying anything bad about T-Mobile.
Jeff: We like the guy.
Leo: Because I can take it to London and get international roaming. At 2G speeds, but that's better than nothing. For free. What should I see when I'm in London, Kevin, anything exciting? Should we see any sites, any hotspots, any tourist attractions?
Kevin: Well, theater is the main thing to see in London.
Leo: You know, actually I was going to see something on the west end and I don't know what to see. The national theater has "The Curious Incident of the Dog and the Night" which I loved the novel. Do you know anything about the play?
Kevin: I haven't done much with it. You should ask my son about it.
Leo: Ask him if you can buy 1 ticket to a show on the west end, or anywhere in London what show should I go see?
Kevin: I will ask him that.
Jeff: Leo, would you like to go visit The Guardian?
Leo: It's a newspaper. What am I going to go see there?
Jeff: Well, you could maybe do things with them.
Leo: No, I don't want to do anything. I'm not working. Lisa won’t even let us to a Meetup. We are going to the iTunes festival on Tuesday to see Placido Domingo. That will be fun.
Kevin: So the things that I recommend in London, the theater, if you go to Lester Square there is a booth in the middle of it called TKTS that gives you discounted tickets for that day.
Leo: Yeah, we have that in New York City.
Kevin: They are also 20 other places that say they are half priced tickets, but that one is actually run by the theater.
Leo: Yeah, they do exactly the same thing in Times Square.
Kevin: So I recommend that. The musicals tend to be full, but the actual live theater there is usually stuff available there.
Leo: Yeah, nobody goes to see theater.
Kevin: No, in London they do.
Leo: You can see any Disney movie on stage. They've got them all.
Kevin: Yeah, but I recommend actual theater because that's...
Leo: No, I think "The Curious Incident of the Dog and the Night". Ask your son about that.
Kevin: I will see what he thinks about that. He is putting a play on, but it won't be in time for you.
Leo: That's interesting.
Kevin: There is a lot of good student theater as well that I am finding out through him. The other things that are touristy, there are lots of obvious ones. The ones that are subtle and different...
Leo: It won 7 Olivier Awards. Is that a good thing?
Kevin: Yes, that's a good thing. I would see that. I would go and see that.
Leo: Including Best New Play.
Kevin: Yeah. So if you go to St. Paul's Cathedral or Westminster Abbey, if you go to Choral Evansong there...
Leo: That's what I'm going to do.
Kevin: A, you don't have to pay to go in, which you do the rest of the time and B, you actually hear Choral Evansong in a place that sounds amazing.
Leo: I love Evansong.
Kevin: So do that in both of them. Look up when it's there because it gets you a feel for why that is it.
Leo: Is that every evening or is it just one evening a week?
Kevin: Look it up. I think that it is every evening in the Cathedrals.
Leo: But Westminster Abbey, I want to go there and see that.
Kevin: Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s, they both do it.
Leo: Oh, St. Paul's also.
Kevin: They are both spectacular, so that's good.
Leo: So that's a good thing.
Kevin: What else? I'm not sure that Parliament is sitting, but you can go and attend debates in Parliament.
Kevin: Yep, just line up outside.
Leo: Oh, I would love to do that.
Kevin: You get to watch that, see what is on and go to the House of Lords and the House of Commons. That's a very English thing that you can do that is also free, and sort of traditional, and not too touristy. Depending on what they are debating it can be very interesting or it can be very dull. It can just be reading out on their constituent’s complaints, but it's worth visiting the Parliament building anyway.
Leo: I hear there the walking tours are fun.
Kevin: Yeah, the nice thing about London, especially if you get good weather, is that it is a very walkable city. You get sort of sucked into the Tube, because the Tube connects everywhere.
Leo: That sounds painful.
Kevin: But the thing is that you look at the Tube map and go, oh I should go there by going this line and this line, but if you actually look on the physical map you go, oh I can just walk there in 4 minutes. Actually there is an app that I recommend.
Leo: We are staying in Mayfair so we are kind of central, which is nice.
Kevin: So you are fairly central. The thing is that London, like many cities, has many neighborhoods and bits. So getting a sense of the different neighborhoods is nice. Mayfair these days can be a bit empty because lots of people from overseas have bought flats that they don't live in.
Leo: Oh dear.
Kevin: It's fancy, and it's nice, and there are some historic buildings, but there is not a lot of life there compared to other bits of London where people actually walk around and live.
Leo: I'm looking forward to it. I can't wait. It's going to be a lot of fun.
Jeff: Great city.
Kevin: Tip of the week, as we often have...
Leo: Wait a minute; we are going to take a break, so hold your tip of the week.
Kevin: It relates to that. I will do that.
Leo: We will have a traveler's tip of the week with Kevin Marks coming up in just a little bit. We will have Jeff's number and I will have a tool. Some might say I am a tool. Our show is brought to your by shutterstock.com, the best place to go to get stock photos, video footage, illustrations, and vectors. It is amazing. Shutterstock has over 40 million... That's incredible, I think when we started doing their ads it was 25 million. Over 40 million stock photos, vectors, videos, even music tracks for everything including not just illustrations for your blog, but editorial as well. If you are doing a story about the iPhone or Wall Street you could find pictures that are appropriate for editorial. You can sign up and get free content every week plus use, oh I love it, the free photo of the week this week is a typewriter, see with little flowers on them. If you are a blogger Shutterstock is so great, you can get a subscription. We have the 25 image a day subscription. A lot of businesses do that. So we have plenty of images all of the time royalty free. They have an incredible app; they won a Webby Award for their iPad app. Now it's on Google as well, on Android as well. Last week they added 352,000 new images. That means you are pretty much guaranteed to find whatever you are looking for. The search tool is so good. You need it when you have that many images, 40 million images. So there is London. Images of the Gherkin; is that what they call it, the Gherkin?
Kevin: They do.
Leo: What's the other building that has a name, the Sliver?
Kevin: There are a few of them. There's the Shard, then there is the Walkie Talkie which is...
Leo: Every building has a name. Not such a complimentary name. So you say London, but then I can narrow it down, look at it. I can refine this search so I can have photos, vectors, or illustrations. I can say horizontal or vertical. I can have different categories. I can exclude key words. I can say only images with people, only images without people; I can have more people options, any gender, age, or ethnicity. You can drill down here. By the way, if you sign in now, and you don't need a credit card to do that, you can get free images as I mention, but you can also do the Lightbox which means you can save images and share them with people. It's great for inspiration. If you decide to buy we've got a great deal, 20% off all image subscription packages. That's a huge deal. In order to do that you have got to use the offer code TWIG914. So visit Shutterstock and create that free account. You don't need to give them a credit card to do that. If you decide to buy, though, use the offer code TWIG914 and you will get 20% off your image subscription packages. That's a really good deal. Shutterstock.com, it's our bit to beautify the web always royalty free. Normally Gina would start with the tip. We will let Kevin Marks give us a tip. It doesn't have to be a Google tip.
Kevin: It's an app tip, which is Citymapper.
Leo: I've got it.
Kevin: So this is particularly good in London. They have just added San Francisco and the Bay Area, but it is particularly good in London because London has a bunch of ways of getting around. It solved the problem that I just told you about ok, I'm here, I want to get there. Which Tubeline should I take, or should I walk, or should I get one of those city bikes? How do I get around? It does it in a better user interface than Google Maps does.
Leo: So get me somewhere, get me home, get me to work, and add places. Meet me somewhere will send a text message with it. It shows you buses, Tube, bicycle...
Kevin: Yes, it will show you buses, walking, cycling; it will take into account of the bikes that you can rent from the city and where you can go get those.
Leo: So they have a city bike rental thing, huh? That's really cool.
Kevin: Yeah. So that's my tip particularly for London, because they've started it there and it's very good for London. All of my London friends say yes, you should use this; Google Maps is not as good. Friends who moved to San Francisco said, "I really miss Citymapping." I said, "Well, it's in San Francisco, too."
Leo: That's really good.
Kevin: Oh, and another London travel tip is Borough Market.
Leo: What's that?
Kevin: It's a food market on the south bank of the Tames, just along from the Tape, the new Tape. It's really good. If you are missing sort of your San Francisco gormetness then go there.
Leo: Alright. We are staying at Claridge's, so I thought we could have high tea.
Kevin: Claridge's high tea is very nice.
Leo: I feel like a member of the Bloomsbury Group. I'm hoping Alan Bennett will stroll in. We will have a nice conversation. Stephen Fry could join us. It will be such fun. We could have a scone.
Kevin: He used to hang out at Regent Park Road, where my office was in London. We would go to the cafe and he would be sitting there.
Kevin: He's north Londonish.
Leo: I'm a huge Alan Bennett fan. I love his books.
Kevin: See if he has got an event or a show.
Leo: He might have a show. I will have to check. I didn't even think of that. So funny, former Beyond the Fringer.
Kevin: Oh yes.
Leo: Oh yes, on with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. Jeff Jarvis, a number of the week my friend.
Jeff: So I just saw this on Twitter, so I'm saved by the bell here. We wonder why does Apple have bigger screens coming out? Well Flurry has data coming out showing that bigger screens are used more.
Leo: Of course, duh.
Jeff: Well, yes and no. You think, oh the little screen is more convenient, it's harder to get the big thing out, it looks silly, it looks this, and it looks that. But no, people use them more and that's why they are coming out. So there is some data from Flurry on the fablets.
Leo: Apple wants you to use them more, because the more that you use it the more money they make. They happier you are, too.
Jeff: So fablets now account for 11% of app session usage of all phones.
Leo: Wow. See, people mocked me I have to say, because I said early on that I want big.
Jeff: You were. You were.
Leo: They said it looks like a candy bar next to your head and all sorts of stuff.
Jeff: I got a phone at one point that seems too big, but now it seems normal.
Leo: You get used to it, don't you?
Kevin: I don't understand that comparison because if you look at a classic telephone it is 8 inches long and has a thing that goes to your ear and another that goes to your mouth.
Leo: That's true; those things are big, aren't they? And all you could do is talk to it.
Kevin: All you could do is talk to it whereas this thing is like, well I put this on my ear, but the microphone is somewhere around my cheek.
Leo: Yeah, it's not big enough. You are right. They should be bigger, and they should wrap around, and they should have a shoulder thing.
Kevin: I remember those, yes.
Leo: That's not a surprise. It's very interesting because Apple really made a big jump. This is an example of Tim Cook saying that I'm going to do my own thing because Steve Jobs was pretty clear that he did not like the idea of a big screen. He could have done it earlier.
Kevin: Well, they did, but they did the iPad. That was the thing, there were 2 good sizes, and Steve Jobs made the file down your fingers joke.
Leo: They are still kind of living in that world.
Kevin: That was the interesting thing about that announcement was watching...
Leo: Go ahead.
Kevin: The design thinking for IOS is still in that world. There are small things in your hand that you have to use with one hand and your thumb, then there are big things that you hold out here and read that are iPads. That mental model, that dichotomy, defined the design thinking for IOS such that you build an iPhone app and you build an iPad app, but you don't think of them as a continuum. Now they have to think of them as a continuum because they are different sizes in the iPhone line. The other reason that they needed that split was because this screen was 320x480 and really couldn't show much, and the other one was a full sized screen. Now this screen has more pixels than the original iPad does and so thinking about everything in pixel terms makes much less sense because you can't see the pixels anymore. I think that we are going to have a transition into people designing into a much more vector based smooth way having things vary depending on how big is the thing that you are holding and how big are your fingers are the 2 variables. As opposed to is this a specific size? Is this an iPad or an iPhone? To some extent web design has gone that way already. We have had a lot of responsive design in thinking about how to we make this work in certain places and how to we add stuff in for the bigger screens. I think that will come into its own in the in the broader side of IOS's world when they have been able to say up until now, oh there are 2 things, there are iPhones and iPads, and we should do separate things for them. They realize now that there is a continuum across there and that will back to making them map to things more smooth across different platforms as well.
Leo: I haven't spent that much time thinking about it. I'm old; I want to see bigger pictures on my screen. I do think that using it as a camera it's going to be great. Burke has made some mockups, and you will be interested to hear this Jeff because you have a OnePlus, the 6+ is almost identical in size.
Jeff: Boy is that a big change.
Leo: It's much thinner, and then we call this the iBerg 6 and the iBerg 6+...
Kevin: I love that half of San Francisco has made cardboard iPhones.
Leo: I know.
Kevin: I saw one of these yesterday. I've seen lots of people do this.
Leo: You know why? Because you are trying decide; should I get the little one or should I get the big one?
Jeff: How big is the little one compared to the present iPhone?
Leo: Oh, god, it's not much bigger. It's actually thinner. They made it thinner. Do you have an iPhone 4s? Actually John is bringing me one, that's cool. It's actually an iPhone 5? They are the same size. Well, no, it's a lot bigger.
Jeff: Oh, it's a lot bigger.
Leo: Yeah, that's the 5, on top of it is the 6, and then below that is the 6+.
Kevin: Basically the 6 is like Nexus 5 size and the 6+ is OnePlus size.
Leo: Yeah, because this, yeah, this is the 6 on top of the OnePlus. It's almost identical in size to the OnePlus. That's actually encouraging because I really like this. It's got a better camera; it's got optical image stabilization, so I think this would be a great way to shoot 4k movies as you are holding it like that.
Kevin: They have 2 nice things, they had optical stabilization and they had auto focus at the chip level.
Leo: Yeah, phase detection auto focus built in to the sensor. That's to my knowledge the only phone that does that.
Kevin: Those are both pretty cool. That combined with it actually having a 1080p screen should mean that you can do some pretty nice stuff. Also, they said 240 fps camera shot.
Leo: Slow mo, yeah.
Kevin: That's 720p, but it sounds very interesting. It sounds like a really nice camera.
Leo: I have no trouble with the hardware, but I'm so spoiled by the Android and its customizability that I don't know if I can go back to that grid of icons. I just don't know if I can live with that. It's kind of limiting.
Leo: So Kevin, I share your conundrum. What do you buy? I'm not in your position; this phone is only about a month old, but still I have to have a line new.
Kevin: I will take that one from you.
Leo: I can get you an invite. Do you want an invite? We will get you an invite. Will somebody tweet Kevin Marks an invite?
Kevin: Oh, that would be nice of you.
Leo: Yeah, I will tell you that if you include the price this is a great idea. $350 for this and that's 64GB. Now how much would you pay? So my tip is something for anybody, the 3 of your who have OnePlusOne phones. This is actually a really nice case. I didn't know if you noticed that I have a case on it.
Jeff: I was going to ask you about it.
Leo: I'm not crazy about that weird texture on the back there, so it's actually nice. This is a clear case, its $8. It's kind of hard soft rubber so that you can protect it against drops. It's from Ringke, r-i-n-g-k-e. They call it their Fusion case. It fits beautifully; it does not get in the way. I've been able to use the charger and the earphones without problems, although you will have to have earphone that have a little bit of depth to them because it's a little thick on the top. I've been very happy with this, and I don't normally carry cases. This one is so unintrusive and invisible that I like it. In fact, I hope they make one for the iPhone 6+ because this is exactly what I need. It's called the OnePlusOne case. It's available from Amazon for $7.99 and includes a screen cover which I don't use.
Kevin: I have been using this one on the Nexus 5 that is very similar, it's transparent but reinforced at the edges.
Leo: A clear case, yeah. You know, you are carrying a big plate of glass in your pocket. If anything hits the glass you are screwed, but if you are lucky enough that it drops on a corner than this will protect it. Did you lose your audio Jeff? All I heard was I... Now you are back.
Jeff: Hello, can you hear me now? Can you hear me now?
Leo: He is all of the sudden, of all people to do a Verizon commercial you are the last one I would expect Jeff. Jeff Jarvis is a Professor of Journalism at CUNY, the City University of New York. He is also a very prolific writer and speaker. Hey, you know, we never give you a plug for this, but if you want Jeff to speak, do you have a speaker’s bureau that you work with?
Jeff: No, you can just come straight to me.
Leo: And how would we do that?
Jeff: Just my emails and my blog. Email me and say hello.
Leo: Go to buzzmachine.com.
Jeff: I got back from IFA. I'm going to Internetworld in Stockholm in about a week or 2.
Leo: Is there a typical kind of thing that you talk about?
Jeff: Um, it varies. This time, appropriate to go into Europe with I talked about Techneuropanic.
Leo: So you, like me, and this is why I stopped speaking, tailor your speech to the audience.
Jeff: Pretty much, yeah. What I enjoy most is the discussion in the room.
Leo: Yeah, me too. But that seems like you shouldn't take money for doing that. I take a lot of money. I'm not going anywhere unless you pay me.
Jeff: I'm a business class man.
Leo: It's got to be business class, right. Thank you JJ.
Jeff: Thank you.
Leo: Kevin Marks, thank you for the IndieWeb, honestly, and for bringing Ben and Erin by.
Jeff: They are great.
Leo: I really think that this is the way that it ought to be.
Kevin: That's my hope. It's not just me; there is a large group of us that are building this. If you want to get me to come and talk I'm sure that I'm cheaper than Jeff, so I will wait for a call.
Leo: There you go. Wouldn't both of these guys be great speakers at your next event? You bet, fabulous. Don't ask me, I don't speak. Indieweb.com if you want to know more about the IndieWeb, and of course kevinmarks.com. Is that Epeus' epigone or have you abandoned that crazy blog?
Kevin: That's still there, but it's linked from kevinmarks.com and these days I cross post.
Leo: Epeus, that's right. Ephesus is a famous ruin, I guess, which I have been to.
Kevin: Epeus was the guy who built the Trojan Horse. I thought that was a cool name 12 years ago.
Leo: Yeah. Nobody knows what the hell it is, but we thank you because you have a classical education as a Canterbrugian.
Kevin: Or I've just gone to Wikipedia to look things up.
Leo: Thank god for Wikipedia. Thank you everyone for joining us. We do This Week in Google, and I have to say I love this show. It's so much fun and it's very, as you can tell, wide ranging. You have to be open to the idea that we are going to talk about whatever the hell we want to talk about. But if you feel like that is the show for you then join us Wednesdays at 1:00 pm Pacific, 4:00 pm Eastern time, 2000 UTC on twit.tv. You can watch live at firstname.lastname@example.org or download on demand audio and video always is available after the fact, even previous shows, wherever you get netcasts including iTunes, podcast apps, there's even 3rd party TWiT apps on every platform; very good ways to watch. You can watch on Roku even. Thanks for joining us, and we will see you next time on TWiG! Bye, bye.