This Week in Google 274 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: It’s time for TWIG: This Week in Google. Lots of updates in Google Land. Matt Cutts will join us and talk about his leave of absence and what’s next for Matt, our favorite Googler. And, we’ll find out what Google found in the seat cushions. You won’t believe it. It’s all next on TWIG.
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This is TWIG, This Week in Google Episode 274, recorded November 5, 2014.
Google’s Cookie Factory
This Week in Google is brought to you by Citrix GoTo Meeting, the powerfully simple way to meet with coworkers and clients from the convenience of your computer, smart phone or table. Share the same screen and see each other face to face with HD video conferencing. For a free 30 day trial, visit gotomeeting.com today. And by Propser is a peer to peer lending marketplace that connects people who are looking to borrow money, those with money to lend. Visit prosper.com/twit and receive a $50 Visa prepaid card when you get a loan. And by Squarespace, the all in one platform that makes it fast and easy to create your own professional website or online portfolio. Now introducing Squarespace 7, with even better site management tools and other improvements. For a free two week trial and 10% off, go to squarespace.com and use the offer code: twig. It’s time for TWIG: This Week in Google, the show that covers Google, the Cloud, which could include Facebook, Twitter, and even I guess Microsoft azure. If it’s in the cloud, we’ll cover it. Gina Trapani is here from ThinkUp.com, Founding Editor of LifeHacker, host of All About Android. You guys had a great show yesterday with Myriam Jouire, that was great to see her.
Gina Trapani: Yeah, it was a great show. We always have fun on All About Android.
Leo: Also here, Jeff Jarvis, from the City University of New York, in his office at CUNY at Times Square.
Jeff Jarvis: I just got something exciting today. I got my new book.
Leo: Oh my!
Gina: Oh, congratulations!
Leo: Geeks Bearing Gifts; Imagining New Futures for News. Where can we get that book, Jeff Jarvis?
Jeff: Pretty wonky, but it’s what I do for a living.
Leo: This was the white paper you were talking about?
Jeff: This was the white paper that metastasized, yes.
Leo: (laughs) Awesome. Hey, wait a minute. I hear a familiar sounding laugh. Couldn’t be Matt? It’s Matt Cutts! And he’s holding two dinosaurs.
Matt Cutts: Hello everybody.
Leo: Welcome, Matt! I almost said Googler Matt Cutts, but you’re on a leave of absence right now, which seems to be going on.
Matt: Yeah, it’s very relaxing.
Leo: It’s that nice. Matt, as many of you know by now, Matt is an early employee at Google who does such a great job fighting spam on the search results. The story at search engine land was that you are on a leave of absence which you may extend into next year.
Matt: Yeah, so Google has been really generous. They occasionally will let folks go on leave for up to three months. That would have been earlier in October, and I talked to them and there is still some stuff that I am working on and that my family needs me for, so we’re extending that leave into 2015.
Leo: Has it been nice?
Matt: Well, it has been good. I have got to go on an Alaskan cruise with my family, and visit Portland for xoxo and New York. It’s been wonderful, but the other good thing is that the team is in really good hands. There is a strong deep bench of people who really know how to fight spam well, both on the algorithmic side and on the manual side. They don’t need me there, and they’ve been doing a great job while I’m on leave.
Leo: I think you’re just being a great husband.
Matt: (laughs) I’m trying to rack up husband points, we’ll see.
Leo: You write on your blog, actually you wrote this back on July when you announced the leave. “When I joined Google, my wife and I agreed that I would work for four to five years.” How many years was it?
Matt: It’s been 14 now.
Leo: (laughs). Okay. “And then she would get to see more of me. I talked about this as recently as last month and as early as 2006. Now, almost 15 years later, I’m going to take a little time off.” Do they call it a sabbatical? It’s kind of like a sabbatical.
Matt: Technically, they call it a leave, but the HR department at Google is very good at trying to work with people and trying to figure out what’s the best way to make things work for everybody involved.
Leo: And you’re not checking your work email at all?
Matt: I’ve done a pretty good job of not replying to work email. It’s really hard to not even read work email, and it’s especially hard not to read Google News, because I’m incredibly interested in all of that stuff in the cloud and everything going on. So I still kind of read all the things going on in Europe, and the NSA news and all that sort of stuff.
Leo: You really look like Dr. Evil in that chair.
Gina: I know, I love that. I love the Dr. Evil. It’s nice, it’s like Matt on leave with Dr. Evil (laughs)
Matt: One million dollars, yes. She does this all the time. Emmy loves to perch on me and she’ll walk around the house.
Leo: That’s the perfect cat.
Matt: She has enjoyed me being around the house more.
Leo: I wish cats liked me more, but they could really take me or leave me.
Matt: You have the smell of dog on you.
Leo: Yeah, the dog, oh, is that why?
Leo: They sense Ozzy?
Leo: Yeah. I think it’s more about the cat than anything else.
Gina: (laughs) Matt, I think it’s great that you’re extending your leave. Not speaking just totally generally, I feel like the work/life balance thing is one of the dirty little secrets of our industry. I think it’s just so easy to get sucked into, there’s so many exciting things going on, especially in your position at Google. There are so many things, it’s so easy to get sucked into work. I think it’s great that you are taking a break. We know you as the face of Google, as so many people do. Also, I like when you’re just Matt. I love you’re 30 days experiment stuff. I love your personal blog when you are writing about your own stuff. I’m all for you being maximum Matt, even if that means out of the context at Google, it’s great.
Matt: Thank you so much. Gina is doing a 30 day challenge, or has been writing a lot more on scribbling.net and that inspired me. So, my 30 day challenge this month is to write at least once a day. I have been warming up with little simple stuff, and it’s good. There is sort of a renaissance of people like Andy Bayo and a bunch of people writing more often on their own blogs. That’s a good thing, too.
Leo: If only the blog would come back, if only.
Gina: (laughs) I have actually failed miserably at doing every single day, but I decided it’s not going to be an absolute pass/fail thing. It’s going to be an ongoing just if I didn’t do it yesterday, do it today anyway kind of thing. I tend to get into that geeky engineering thing where I’m like, well I failed. The whole thing is broken. I didn’t do it. (laughs)
Matt: Yes. I know exactly what you mean.
Gina: I’m going to just try again, try again today.
Jeff: What have some of your challenges been since you’ve been gone, Matt?
Leo: Well here’s one. It’s his Halloween costume.
Matt: (laughs) Oh dear, yes. (laughing)
Leo: Edvard Munch’s, the Scream.
Matt: I’ve been playing around with a projector and canvases. There is also one I did about the Shining, which really makes me look crazy. I think the SEO’s, the Search Engine Optimizers, they love whenever I act like a dinosaur or something because they get to use…. (laughing)
Leo: Here’s Johnny!! Wow!
Gina: Wow! That’s amazing!
Leo: Wow! I think you need to go back to work soon, Matt.
Matt: Yeah, maybe so.
Leo: All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy. Wow! You can’t bring a projector with you on Halloween?
Matt: No, but what I did for the Scream was I projected the painting on a canvas and then I traced it. Then I repainted the Scream myself. If you get up close it’s really awful quality, but it’s like a paint by numbers version of the Scream. (laughing)
Leo: Which is the real one?
Matt: In fact, I have the canvas with me. You can see the whole where I would stick my head. It’s pretty fun to just tinker around, make the sunset look about the right amount and all that sort of stuff.
Gina: This is exclusive content here you guys.
Leo: Nobody else has this! Whooeee!
Gina: The making of….(laughs)
Leo: Whoooeee! So, you decided not to do the hang in there kitten poster, I take it?
Matt: No, that was a failed experiment. I’m trying to be more okay with publicly failing. I did a blog post about hitting the wall at a recent marathon and how long that was.
Leo: So, do you think you will go back in the same role at Google, do you think? Or maybe this is a chance for you to try something else?
Matt: Well, I have been impressed with how well everyone else on the team is doing. It has created a little bit of an opportunity for them to try new things, explore different stuff, approach problems from a different way, and so we will have to see how it goes. I love the part of my job that dealt with keeping an eye on what important news was happening related to Google. It’s not clear that having me as a lightning rod for unhappy black cat SEO’s is the best use of anybody’s time compared to working on other things that could be making the world better for Google or in general. We will see how it all plays out.
Leo: What an opportunity to be at somewhere like Google and obviously you have their trust and say maybe I want to try my hand at that. Do you actually get to do that? You are senior enough now. You must be able to say, could I do this?
Matt: The interesting thing is at Google they try and get you to go and do different projects. The product managers, they encourage you to rotate every two or three years. It’s relatively rare to find people who have been around forever in a specific area. You will find Ahmad in Search, Streedar in Ads, some of these people that are really, really senior, higher ranking than me for sure. They do stick around in one area, but a lot of other people jump to different parts of the company to burnish different skills and try different things, which is a pretty good idea I think.
Leo: We talked last week, didn’t we, about those poor Facebook posts that have to look at all the crap.
Leo: We thought of you, Matt, because it’s like, Matt has to do a little bit of that too. Although we figured that by now you have minions who will be actually looking at the spam.
Matt: I prefer colleagues, but ….(laughing)
Gina: We weren’t commenting on somebody’s disposition.
Leo: How does he stay so happy?
Gina: In the face of the underbelly of the Internet, even as an abstract. Even if you are not deleting child porn manually yourself, Matt. (laughs)
Matt: Yeah. I just have so much admiration. For example, last year there was a real effort on child porn because of some stuff that happened in the United Kingdom. A lot of people chipped in and that is not an easy job at all. You have to think hard about how you are going to tackle those kind of things.
Leo: Yeah, I bet.
Jeff: You’re kind of a polymath. You’ve been in the same department. What other things interest you, Matt?
Matt: Oh man. I was computer graphics and actually inertial trackers and accelerometers in grad school.
Matt: At one point I said, you could use commodity hardware, but as a grad student you don’t have the access to influence anybody’s mind. Why don’t I just go do something else for 10 years and somebody else will come up with all these sensors. And sure enough, you’ve got Connect, the Wii, the iPhone. Now everybody’s got a computer in their pocket that can do 3D sensing as long as you write the computer programs well. So there is all kinds of interesting stuff you could do.
Leo: Andy Rubin has left Google. Of course, he was the guy that created Android and brought it to Google. He ran Android for some time. Last year, he left and went to robotics, we think it was in the Google products stuff. And now he is going off to do something probably robotics related on his own. I think it’s not usual. In fact, the commentary when he left was this is normal. This is what happens. In some ways, we hope this is what happens is that people kind of grow and move on maybe to others things. They kind of extend the Google connections out into the rest of the world. You won’t leave Google, though.
Gina: Let’s not put Matt on the spot.
Leo: Oh, I want to put him on the spot.
Gina: The poor guy. (laughs)
Matt: I’ll always have a connection and a soft spot for Google in my heart.
Leo: I think that’s the idea right? That these people….
Matt: Yeah, it’s fun to watch a TWIG or two ago, you know I listen while running to This Week in Google. It’s really fun to hear how you guys interpret various things in the criminology of trying to reverse engineer why this person is doing that or something. It’s really fun. It’s definitely the case. This interview with Larry Pages in the Financial Times.
Matt: It’s neat to have that perspective of maybe a little bit better guess of what Larry was thinking about.
Leo: That was really a great interview, and I think it is probably timed around Sundar Pichai’s promotion and the idea that Larry will have fewer direct reports and be able to think more about the high level stuff, freeing himself to think big is the how the Financial Times put it.
Jeff: My favorite part of this was saying, you can’t imagine a bigger mission statement than Google’s, yet he wants a bigger mission.
Leo: Right. The original mission was to organize all of the world’s information and make it accessible, universally accessible and useful. That’s pretty big.
Gina: It’s a function of cash flow. I actually love Google, obviously I do this show. I think the intentions are good. Google has a great business with lots of money in the bank. It gives them the opportunity to look at those big challenges, and I’m so glad that they are. There are very few companies that can make that leap, make those kinds of impacts.
Leo: I think that’s kind of exactly what Larry said when The Times if he asked him what the new mission statement would be, he said, well we still trying to work that out. We have 62 billion dollars in cash. We’re in a bit of uncharted territory. We are trying to figure it out. How do we use all of these resources and have a more positive impact on the world. Boy that would be a fun company to be at I think, Matt.
Gina: It’s filed under good problems to have, right?
Leo: If you trust Google. Now, I have to say, I’m reading a book, a good book called Whiskey Tango Fox Trot.
Jeff: It’s a fun book, yeah.
Leo: Have you read it? I’m reading it right now. I don’t know the end of it so I can’t spoil it for you. It’s a novel about a company, actually a consortium of the biggest data companies in the world who just basically say, forget the NSA, we’re going to collect everything about everybody and store it. It’s one of those, it’s like the worst paranoid fantasy, so if you are a privacy buff or privacy advocate, this is what you fear.
Jeff: Yeah, but as opposed to other novels of the current time, this one had a right touch and it was fun.
Leo: Oh, I love it.
Jeff: That attitude drives me nuts. I enjoyed the book a lot.
Leo: I think it is pretty clear that the evil person in the book is kind of a Bill Gates type working in a Google type company would be my play on it. These are the fears I think some people have, yes? That Google might have an overarching ambition that goes beyond what we’re comfortable with.
Jeff: I read another one recently which was the opposite. I can’t remember the title right now, in which the opposite happens. Everything gets controlled and we don’t get the freedom to share, and dystopia has its alternate number.
Leo: Right. And there is always the extreme. I’m not going to ask Matt this, because this would put him on the spot. Obviously you trust Google because you work there. You, more than many are inside Google, and understand a little bit more what the motivations are, right?
Matt: it’s interesting too, because I think a lot of people view Google as a monolith and I tend to view it more like almost like separate silos. There is search, there is Chrome, there is Android, there is social or Google+, there is YouTube. Each silo or department, whatever you want to call it, within the company is good at certain things and not as good at other things. Search is fantastic at artificial intelligence, machine learning, as it relates to search at least, and handling things really, really fast. Whereas, two or three generations ago when you went to go order your Nexus 4, maybe the store could hint the load or something like that. The people are good at other things. I think at least, I can only speak for core search, but one of the things that core search has always believed in is trying to have a level playing field. Things like take out so it you don’t like Google you can leave. This forces us to be honest. I totally understand why some people are worried about ambition or disruption, but as long as a company has to earn your loyalty and there is not lock in, it is to me a big promise that makes it such that you don’t have to work at Google for 14 years to know that it is trustworthy.
Leo: Because I know you and I trust you, I do trust Google. But I have to say, when your mission goes from, we just want to be great search and organize the world’s information, something that everybody can get behind, to now we’ve got a lot of money, so let’s get more ambitious. It starts to raise a little bit of a red flag.
Jeff: No, I think it’s the opposite. I thought that it was saying, now we have a responsibility to give back and to use science and engineering to solve problems and do neat things and help.
Leo: Yeah, but who decides, the government does it, I don’t know either. But who decides what is altruistic for a societal benefit? The guy with the money. The guys writing the check.
Matt: Yeah, but that is one thing that I do love about Larry is that he wants to make a big difference. Maybe not just one dent in the universe, but maybe multiple dents in the universe. His mode of thinking from the outside from what I can tell seems to be, okay, what’s causing the biggest suffering? What do people die of? What is causing the most harm? And he did a pretty good job of enunciating that in his Financial Times interview and he’s done those interviews with Ted. And if those are the kinds of motives, then you can understand. Self driving cars, a lot of people die because of car accidents. Or trying to tackle disease or these new nano particles that can go around and spot diseases much earlier. It seems like there are so many moon shots, or ten times improvements that everybody would be like, yes, healthier people. Then you can certainly argue over the relative priorities of some stuff but there is still a lot of not low hanging fruit, but seemingly mission impossible things that have yet to really be tackled the way they could be tackled.
Leo: I would hope that he has good advisors and is doing this. I’ll give you an example of something that worried me a little bit in the FT article. He says, given the chance to give up work, nine out of ten people “wouldn’t want to be doing what they are doing today.” That’s, yes, but that’s nine out of ten people who are out of work.
Jeff: He predicts radical deflation. I asked….
Leo: Uh, oh. Frozen Jeff.
Gina: I’m glad it’s not just me.
Leo: Now, it’s Jeff. You asked Mark Andreason what?
Jeff: Larry also talked about radical deflation.
Jeff: Prices will go down with greater efficiency. Well that could bring some really disruptive forces into society and may not be all good. But he saw it as a positive saying that things will get cheaper, people will have more time. This people will have more time probe has been predicted often. I don’t know that is true or not, but I do agree that as you’ve heard me say on the show, technology leads to efficiency over growth. I think that is part of what he is saying.
Matt: Jeff, you had a really good piece from 2011 called Jobless Future. I think that basically talks about how technology leads to all kinds of improvements, but not automatically to more jobs.
Matt: Eric Schmidt gets this reputation for saying things that are true but maybe not as polite or something like that. You’ve got government saying we are going to create as many jobs as possible. I think the technologists are like, is the objective to create jobs or is the objective to do the best possible thing that you can do. Yes, there’s absolutely some tension inherent there. Leo, you’re right to put your thumb on it and say, wait a second. What if you are a telephone operator, truck driver, and suddenly switching is automatic. Or in 50 years, computers can drive cars more effectively. I think that is totally fair to ask.
Leo: Yeah, and he says you can’t wish these things away because they are going to happen. You are going to have some very amazing capabilities in the economy when we have computers that can have more and more jobs. He is trying to change how we thing about work. There is no way around it. You can’t wish it away. Those are the right words, and I would hope he would start to think about what happen. I don’t think the answer is, this is fine because everything is going to get so cheap that you don’t need a job is not an answer that I think a lot of people want to hear.
Matt: Yeah, I personally agree with you. I think saying that there is disruption coming in the future and that is a two edge sword. Disruption helps in a lot of ways, and disruption hurts a lot of incumbents and hurts a lot of industries, and can hurt people if they don’t prepare for it. Maybe the next part of that could be, how do we all talk about or be in the conversation of how to prepare for that together.
Jeff: I agree and I think that you have my friends in publishing, especially German publishing, who go after Google as if that was our money. You took it away from us. You owe us something. I couldn’t disagree with that more. But I would agree that having had a disruptive impact on for example, news, and the media industry. I think Google has some, if not moral, than an ethical responsibility, an opportunity to help rethink the future. You have Larry Page having tremendous gifts, gifts of intellect, gifts of his fields of science, and now gifts of cash. I’m not saying he should give it to CUNY. It’s not my Bill Gates thing. I would argue that what we need in these industries is the best of Silicon Valley’s innovation and investment, to rethink what they ought to be, what the can be. Not the current players, not the legacy players. There is no right that they should continue in their old power. But, for Google to tackle big questions like how do we solve disease? How do we stop people from dying in cars? How do we have a more informed society? Things like that I think is now the kind of give back. And you can do it in Bill Gates way, where you say I have a big bucket load of money and I’m going to put my smarts to using it that way. Or you could do what I think Larry is doing, and say while I’m still in this company, while I have this incredible power house, how can we harness that?
Leo: That’s the difference that scares me a little bit. I’m going to call on you, the historian, Jeff, because there have been plutocrats before there were the robber barons. There have been very, very wealthy men before. I think Bill Gates is one model where you make a pile of money, you put it in the bank, and then you retire and give it to charity. What he is doing is not to build a business around that, but just giving it all away. What Larry is proposing is a little more scary to me. I wonder if there is a precedent to this where you have somebody like Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, these very extraordinary, and I guess, I don’t know about Apple. I don’t know if there is a guy at Apple like that, I guess not. But there is extraordinary wealthy guys, who instead of saying, I’m just going to make this money, put it in the bank and then when I retire give it away, who say I am going to rebuild society.
Jeff: Easy. Henry Ford, Thomas Edison.
Leo: And what happened?
Jeff: Thomas Edison invented a whole bunch of cool stuff.
Leo: And got very wealthy. And what did he do with the money? Did he say, now I’m going to change the world in a new, in my own vision?
Jeff: He kept doing what he did to improve the world.
Leo: He kept inventing.
Leo: Now Henry Ford was more of the mega maniac style where I’m going to reinvent the world.
Jeff: He was sort of the new utopia in Brazil. It didn’t work out so great.
Leo: Didn’t work out so well, did it?
Leo: No. So, that’s what worries me is that look, Larry is obviously brilliant and I think Google is fantastic, but I worry that somebody now has a lot of power, influence, and money. When you’re giving money to charity, it’s a little different because you are working within the system. It’s almost as if he wants to create his own system.
Jeff: That’s Bill Gates saying, okay I’m done and now I’ll take my cash lump. Don’t forget, Bill Gates is using his intelligence and trying to change the world in important ways with the money. The charitable system in this country isn’t all that great. It’s more developed and better than it is in other countries. But it has its own problems of legacy and stick in the mud, and bureaucracy and interest and all kinds of things. Charities aren’t all wonderful.
Leo: Well, and somebody is pointing out is the other thing Henry Ford did is he started the Ford Foundation which to this day is really a valuable asset in the world.
Matt: I guess the only thing I would add is that Google has a couple advantages in that you’ve got a critical mass of smart people and they have tried to have a culture of don’t be evil. You can argue over individual incidents and whether this specific thing is evil or that specific thing is evil. Google as a whole, whenever I look at the DNA, the people try to do the right things. If you got Larry marching off in one direction and you’ve got the rest of the company saying, no we disagree. They drag their heels and they create friction. That, in my opinion, helps to move things towards a consensus toward a middle ground that works pretty well. Having that critical mass of smart people lets you say, now I can do voice recognition better, now I can do image recognition better and I can unlock all kinds of good applications to improve the world that way.
Jeff: That’s one way of looking at it.
Matt: It’s a tough call. Like Gina says, it’s a good problem to have I guess.
Gina: It’s like when you get on a Unix system for the first time. It’s like the thing you say with great power comes great responsibility. I think the fear is like, what are they going to do? Are they going to be responsible? I like the idea that there is checks and balances and there is critical mass of smart people. The evil thing is like technology, the thing that I have understood, I am very pro technology and I am reminded of constantly is that technology itself isn’t good or evil, it just is. It’s what you do with it. There is a lot of nuance around that. I like that Google aspires to don’t be evil, but I think it really comes down to folks feeling there is this weird fear of the powerful nerd thing, the I read your email t-shirt. I think society or culture is going to outgrow that to some degree, especially when these legacy institutions sort of die off and we move forward. I think some of the distrust is kind of like there are a lot of opportunities here for one company to change the world, and let’s hope it’s in the best ways.
Leo: Also, from this Financial Times article, Page relates frequent debate he said he had with Steve Jobs who died three years ago. Page said he would always tell me, you’re doing too much stuff to Google. Page would say, I would be like, you’re not doing enough stuff. The argument he made to jobs is it’s unsatisfying to have all these people and we have all these billions we should be investing to make people’s lives better. If we just did the same things we have done before and don’t do something new, it seems like a crime to me.
Jeff: I think that’s important. There is another model here, Leo, which is Bell Labs. Bell Labs did fund a good deal of pure research that led to…astronomy had nothing to do with Bell Labs. Bell Labs had astronomers there. They had amazing scientists there. Google has phenomenal scientists and engineers there, and to unleash their problem solving power on the problems they find and to support them while doing that, some of those problems will solve the problems that Google has, like cheaper power. Cheaper power is good for everybody, it’s darn good for Google. The transistor was good for everybody, and it was good for AT&T. The network was good for everybody and AT&T didn’t realize how good it could have been for them. We don’t have a Bell Labs now, and another way to look at it is what if Google started beyond Project X, a pure research arm the size of Bell Labs. That would be something.
Leo: Still a lot of trust. Larry Page is not an elected official. Not necessarily that makes it more trustworthy.
Jeff: All bets are off.
Leo: I sense a distrust of the pace of politics and the pace of government in all of Silicon Valley. Why are you taking so long? We are just going to launch in and do it. Elon Musk, same thing. Yes. There is a reason, I believe there is a reason why government moves so slowly and deliberately.
Jeff: As slow as ours right now?
Leo: Yeah. I think that it’s better to move slowly than it is to move too quickly.
Jeff: In theory, yes. But now we’re in a complete…
Leo: I think it’s also better to reach consensus and I think the problem you have when you have these very powerful plutocrats is they don’t need to reach consensus. This is not an indictment of Google or Larry Page. It’s just a general fear that you’ve got a lot of power. Just saying, don’t be evil, it’s a good start. (laughs) But it really has to be in your DNA and what is evil and what is an evil. Ultimately, as a publicly held company, your fiduciary responsibility is to your stakeholders.
Jeff: Right now, there is a Foursquare conference going on in New York, which is not Foursquare what we know, but Foursquare from Lazard. I’m missing right Rupert Murdoch talking there.
Leo: There’s another example.
Jeff: Of using his money.
Leo: Too much power.
Jeff: Which he thinks is right, but I think is often abhorrent. It can go both ways.
Jeff: Or, Bloomberg used his money to become an incredible crat to run New York very well.
Leo: Did he win his proposition to tax soda?
Jeff: I don’t even know.
Matt: I think it got overturned by a court, didn’t it?
Leo: No, no, there was an initiative. He said, I don’t care. I’m going to do it in an initiative. That’s a good example of a guy for some reason has really decided that soda pop is Satan.
Gina: Is the enemy.
Matt: There is some health data that says that.
Leo: There is something to say that.
Gina: There is good support there.
Matt: It seems like the saving grace for me for Google is that the for the most part, if you don’t like it, no one comes to your house and forces you to use Google. You have to compete on the merits and people would use other options on Gmail and Google Docs and all of this stuff. You have to compete well. Whereas, if you are stuck with Network Effects. Suppose you wanted to leave Facebook or Twitter. It doesn’t matter how nice Facebook or Twitter is; if all the people are there, it’ s a little harder to leave on that.
Leo: Bloomberg’s one cent tax on soda in Berkeley was passed. Measure D. It was in Berkeley by the way, not New York. He put the money into it.
Jeff: We are better.
Leo: Yeah, start with Berkeley.
Jeff: Why don’t we tax kraut.
Leo: (laughs) It’s interesting though. Bloomberg put the money into that Measure D because I guess he figured we will get is passed here and then slowly stretch it across the county. I don’t want to put you in an awkward position. This is a great article with Larry Page, and I think you are absolutely right, Matt. It’s nice to see into what he is thinking and I hope that he remains this public, engages the public in the conversation. I think this is something that no one person should have too much power in. Of course he’s got the company. He says he wants to build a bigger company than has ever been built before in a sense. There are limits on how big companies can get. The biggest companies “are all within an order of magnitude of the same size, certainly in market cap.” He says, these are the limits against which his company is pushing. You say we are going to take over all these important things. There is no example of a company doing that. I feel like he wants to. Don’t know.
Matt: Well, if you want to have impact that would be the next thing.
Leo: Multiply it.
Matt: It feels like there is another interesting way to look at it. I’ll stop soon, but there is forward looking and backward looking. Forward looking would be, I’m going to scan all the books and hope all the people see the value to society by the time the case is done, which they did. And then there is backwards looking, which is hey let’s fix money and politics or campaign finance reform. To me, it’s a hopeful lens to look at, whether it is Elon Musk or Peter Diamandis or Larry or Bill Gates, or whoever. It’s like forward looking versus trying to fix the things.
Leo: Larry Lessig has spent a lot of energy trying to fix the campaign finance system. I think that’s a worthy effort.
Matt: Yeah, oh yeah.
Leo: I don’t know. It makes me nervous when somebody has too much power. That’s why our government is designed the way it is. It’s designed to be hobbled.
Jeff: But it’s also innovation is power, right? Intelligence is power, science is power. I just finished listening to Walter Isaacson’s book, which is good, but for you, Leo, it will be a bi-weekly reader version of what you lived through. I had another reaction to it, I will tell you about in a second. What strikes you is the serendipity of really smart people solving problems and creating amazing things out of that. That’s where the power is, far more than the capital.
Jeff: If somebody has a killer idea, there is plenty of capital. They will go find capital. Capital is not the limiter. It’s innovation and problem solving.
Leo: I guess I’m a postdate because I have for the last 30 years said technology is great. It’s the way to go. It’s going to change everything. It’s going to fix everything. And I too, like Larry, have said it’s inevitable. We have to figure out what we do and not say stop it because you can’t. .
Matt: I’m going to play devil’s advocate with you. I think modern culture is bad, competition is good. We’ve got Microsoft, if you subscribe to Office 365, will give you unlimited storage. Amazon just announced unlimited photo storage. That’s competition in the cloud space. That’s great.
Leo: I love seeing that, yes.
Matt: Yeah, and as a search guy. I wish there were more search engines. Yahoo bought up a whole bunch and then Microsoft partnered with Yahoo. We had like seven or ten search engines in the early days and we don’t have the competition. There is plenty of vibrant competition but I would love to see more. I can absolutely channel where you are coming from on that. I think that’s important as well.
Leo: You’re not going to see competition in search, though. (laughs) That’s the irony of this and where you’re at now. There is no way anybody could compete at this point.
Matt: You see things that are coming from a different angle, like Siri.
Leo: That’s what is going to happen. The kind of search and the kind of search that Google does and I think this is what Larry sees is that cycle is ending. Now we have to think of what’s next. Here is Siri as an example, social search, whatever it’s going to be. It’s changing, right?
Matt: Yes, but we have to be mindful. I think everybody at Google should be mindful of the impact of their actions. I think about webmasters and if Google changes an algorithm that can absolutely have a large impact on a site publisher. We try to think about that we evaluate our algorithms.
Leo: Good, good. It’s a hard thing to do, and as you get more power, even the slight as you know. The slightest turn of the knob can make a huge impact. You got the butterfly effect. It’s so nice to have you on here, Matt. I know we have to let you go.
Jeff: It’s great to have you back, Matt.
Leo: I didn’t mean to get you into this discussion here.
Matt: you know I love talking about Google and search and all of this stuff, and I think it’s really cool because while I as on official three month leave, Jason, Chad, nobody reached out. It’s like, oh, I enjoy being on TWIG.
Leo: We can have you back more, anytime you want. This could be your new job.
Gina: Yeah, we wanted to give you some space for sure.
Leo: I shouldn’t have brought this up. I thought, A, because everybody loves and trusts Matt Cutts. I know you are not a spokesman for Google, but I feel like having you there reassures me and so I wanted to hear from you reassurance that the process is there, the collegiality, the consideration, the don’t be evil, all of that stuff is still there and still in effect.
Matt: Yeah, it still is.
Leo: That’s why we love talking to Matt. We trust you.
Matt: Thanks so much. Sorry I have to step off.
Leo: Come back, will you? I promise not to bring up Google next time you’re here (laughing)
Matt: Cats, cats.
Leo: Next week, cats and Halloween costumes.
Matt: Sounds good. Take Care.
Leo: Take care. We didn’t put him on the spot as to when he would be going back.
Jeff: 2015 is all we’ve heard.
Leo: Yes, that’s when the Apple watch will come out as well. (laughing)
Gina: Who knows.
Leo: I think not! That’s one of the things that’s great about Matt. Everybody at Google is great that we’ve talked to, and you’ve talked to more people than I have, Jeff and Gina. Everybody you talk to, even Sundar Pichai, the conversations we have had, I’ll never forget it about Chromebooks, was so thoughtful, not defensive, well put. I just, everybody I have met there is very impressive, very smart. I do trust them.
Jeff: Here’s another question, Leo. I really would love to hear you answer this question, Gina. Let’s say you were an employee at Google. First question, would you be an employee at Google? Let’s just all say that we would work at Google. What would Google do that would make you quit? I will give you one example. I think that if we found out that Google had been willingly spying on citizens, voluntarily for the government.
Leo: Not even for the government, for their own benefit. If you open the door to a conference room and there on the screen are personal Skype conversations or hangouts conversations that went over the Google network, and were ostensibly private. If I were seeing that, I would leave.
Jeff: Like the geeks in the Good Wife.
Leo: Or maybe you wouldn’t leave. Yeah, maybe you would be a whistle blower.
Gina: I’d like to think that I’d be snowed in in that situation.
Jeff: As a technologist, Gina, there has to be some description of companies that you would work for and companies you wouldn’t work for and why. I certainly have that in journalism. Can you express that in your world?
Gina: For me, I’m just a bad employee. This is just something I’ve learned about myself. I want to do my own thing. I’m just a bad employee. Even a company like Google where I feel like I would be able to do so much, just dealing with the politics and the meetings and the layers of managers. This would happen in any big organization. Just thinking about it makes me kind of tired. I work well on my own and on small teams. I prefer small teams. That’s just me personally. For me to choose a company to work for or work with, it is a matter of alignment with my values. Is this company doing something that I can get behind? Something that will put my talents to best use, or the right people there. It’s a whole list of things, and Google certainly falls under those umbrellas, but again, it’s just my style that I like to do something kind of small and Indie and on my own. Which arguably means that I don’t have as big of impact, which is something I definitely struggle with. I’m sure there are tons of projects at Google that never see the light of day either.
Leo: See that’s something that is, I have that. That is the same thing that is driving me to distrust large companies in general. I have a more kind of tribal, communal notion of how things should happen. Admittedly, you’re never going ot have a Google at that scale.
Leo: I don’t trust big companies. The bigger a company gets, I think the less trustworthy it is.
Jeff: See that’s where I….I don’t think it’s an impossibility to have a big company you can trust.
Leo: There haven’t been many examples.
Jeff: No, it’s hard, but it’s not impossible.
Leo: (laughs) I always thought I was an optimist.
Gina: Jeff, you don’t like when people automatically assume a company is evil based solely on a company’s bottom line or size.
Jeff: Right. Give me the evidence. I don’t assume somebody is evil and awful just because they are in government. I often criticize government.
Leo: I think there are far more examples of people who acts altruistically in government than there are of people acting altruistically in business. Far more.
Leo: Most people, I admit government corrupts and so forth. There are lots of counter examples. Most people that get into public service because they want to serve the public.
Jeff: And it goes south from there.
Leo: From there it’s all downhill. Our show today…I’m not a cynic. Maybe I should be living in Europe because I believe in government but not in corporations.
Jeff: Yeah, it’s extremely European.
Leo: Our show today brought to you by a very nice company. (laughing) Citrix GoToMeeting. Everybody I know has used GoToMeeting. I hope you have used GoToMeeting for a meeting. It’s all we ever do. We love GoToMeeting. The people we work with, whether it’s clients or vendors or co-workers are almost always out of looma. We have to be able to meet with them without having them in our studio, and for us to travel to them is expensive and time consuming. Sometimes we do phone conference calls. I don’t like them. I like GoToMeeting. Millions of professionals back me on this. In business, large and small, GoToMeeting is the best way to meet from the convenience of your computer, of your smart phone, of your tablet. It’s so great. You pay once a month, hold as many meetings as you need with anyone, anywhere, in one virtual space. You will share screens. That’s great. But you also can turn on the webcam so you can see each other with high definition video conferencing. It allows you to engage and connect just like you are in the same room. I want you to try it. It’s free right now if you visit GoToMeeting, click the Try it Free button, your next month of calls, video conferences are absolutely free. Try it at your next meeting and let me know. I think you will see that GoToMeeting is a remarkable way to get work done. GoToMeeting.com, click the Try it Free button. Your 30 day trial. We thank GoToMeeting for their support of This Week in Google. We used to, this was a call Dvorak always made. Microsoft is getting too big. It needs to be split into three different companies. That was more because it was unmanageable at its size, not that it was dangerous.
Jeff: The Europeans thought it was evil and taking over the world, and it got too big for its own good. The real question for Google is, can it find the next thing? So far it’s found the next things. It’s in the phone business.
Leo: Right, but none of them are businesses yet, right? They are in these businesses and clearly planning for the future, but really how do they make their money?
Jeff: Here is the big question. Is advertising forever?
Jeff: Google is an advertising company.
Leo: Not that kind of advertising, not display ads. I don’t know but I think Larry Page is smart not to assume that this business is going to continue this way forever, and that’s why they have so many projects. For a purely business point of view.
Gina: Right, cover all of your bases. See what works.
Leo: Yep. Do you think Matt will go back? He was cagey.
Jeff: You let him off the hook.
Leo: I let him off the hook. I didn’t want to be mean.
Gina: I don’t think he’s made a decision yet, but I do think it’s a very good possibility that he won’t go back, and I think that’s okay.
Jeff: If I worked for Google…
Gina: It would be interesting to see what Matt Cutts would do outside of Google. Wouldn’t that be interesting?
Jeff: Is he a startup kind of guy? He has been there 15 years. That’s difficult. Here we are speculating on that without him being here.
Gina: Poor Matt.
Leo: That’s because I didn’t want to have this conversation in front him. I didn’t want to put him on the spot.
Jeff: The question for me is if you are Google and you have a talent like Matt. Matt is talented in so many ways, not just technologically but also, trust is a talent of Matt’s.
Leo: Huge! Even if he is just a spokesman.
Jeff: If whatever. Or an advisor, so what I would hope for Google is I would hope that some top manager would go to Matt, take him out to lunch and say, challenge yourself. What do you want to do?
Leo: I guarantee you they will do that. And Google has a well-known history of writing very large checks saying, look, don’t leave. Here is fifteen million dollars, one million for every year.
Gina: Oh man. I hope that happens for him.
Leo: Gina, you who are unemployable. Is there a number that somebody could write you a check and you would say, alright, I don’t want to work for you but…
Gina: I would love to sit here and say that no one could afford me , but the truth is, everyone has a price. I’m not a wealthy person. I’m a working person. Would I love to have F’u kind of money? Of course I would.
Leo: Keep your purity. You want to be poor. You want to have to work hard. Trust me.
Gina: I’ll le tyou know when I have this option and it’s not just a thought exercise.
Leo: Did they put that thing on Ozzy’s head or did you? Bring Ozzy here. Ozzy’s come back from his groomers. Did the groomer do that? Oh my God.
Gina: Oh my gosh!
Jeff: You’ve immasculated poor Ozzy!
Leo: You’ve immasculated…there, that’s better.
Gina: That’s adorable.
Leo: Turned into a bambooshka. I was sitting this morning, Google has now said if you go to play.google.com, Google Store, and you click on devices. They say, come back every Wednesday because we will have five more, or I don’t know what, we will have more Nexus 6’s for sale.
Gina: And nothing?
Gina: Not today.
Leo: I sat there, I had read this. It says, we are getting more Nexus 6 devices in stock as soon as possible. To make things simpler for you, we will make more devices available each Wednesday and encourage you to visit the site. What is today? Wednesday. So this morning I got up at 8:00 and did this, you know this Jason.
Gina: The dance.
Leo: The dance. Refresh. Refresh. It said we are out of inventory. And then I don’t know why, but all of a sudden on a black 32 gigabyte, it said ships in one to two weeks.
Jason: What cracks me up about this is that not only is it difficult to get any, but once you get through on one configuration, it might not be the one you intended. Because it is so hard to get one, you get one anyways.
Leo: I did! I didn’t want a 32 gig black, I wanted a 64 gig white.
Leo: But I ordered it, and guess what? Delivery, November 21st, same as yours.
Jason: Yeah, it’s looking that that’s the time. Just a tip.
Jeff: So they didn’t really get any more in stock.
Leo: I don’t know.
Jeff: They ordered a week ago and you have the same delivery date. Scam.
Leo: No, no, no. They were looking in the cracks of the couch, and they found….
Jason: Hey what do you know, we found a couple of Nexus 6’s here. (laughing)
Jeff: I don’t trust Google anymore. You can’t buy their phone, I don’t trust them.
Leo: It did make me mad. I thought, I’m not going to get a Nexus 6. I do not want to add up how much I have spent on phones in the last two months.
Gina: Oh man, Leo. You’re phone budget must be….and the plans!!
Leo: I don’t know, but I feel like I kind of have to. You can get these devices sometimes from the carriers so they are always carrier devices. For a week or two, and then you have to send it back, so you really don’t commit to you. I don’t feel like that is a good way to review it. Yet, I now have, you should see my desk. It’s littered with iPhone 6, 6+, MotoX2014.
Jeff: Do you call the phone company every time to change the ABI?
Leo: One plus one. Well, I do a lot of SIM card swapping when I can.
Jeff: Yeah, I know but when you change the SIM card in a phone it has a new ABI.
Leo: No, you don’t have to do that most of the time. I got this. This is the Droid Turbo, which is a MotoX on steroids. It actually looks a little swollen because they put a much bigger battery in here. My complaint on the 2014 MotoX was that it didn’t get through the day. It got about 12 hours battery life.
Jeff: It this only Verizon phone?
Leo: Yeah, which is a bummer. Because it is a Droid. Although, the rumor is they will be selling it as the Droid Max internationally. It is identical to a MotoX. Here’s the good news. In terms of software, almost all of the MotoX features made it over the Droid Turbo except for, and I don’t know how important this is. Mirium Schwar was talking about this yesterday. It doesn’t have the aluminum bandwidth, the carefully tuned antenna thing, where two antenna. It only has one antenna so you can’t talk and data at the same time. That’s also a disadvantage.
Jeff: Oh, that’s a bummer.
Leo: I don’t care about that. But it has a 21 megapixel camera, which doesn’t look any better.
Jeff: I haven’t really done a full testing, but ….
Gina: Megapixels don’t matter.
Leo: I don’t think they matter. It’s the same MotoX camera thing. I have some pictures I will show you. I don’t know. In good light, if you hold it really carefully steady, it looks pretty good. The pictures I took of you guys didn’t.
Jason: We don’t take very good pictures to begin with.
Leo: It was a front facing selfie, right? This is a good example in daylight. It is obviously high res. It’s 6.2 megabytes as a JPEG 5248 X 2952. The detail is quite good. Of course, Google “enhanced it”. This is lowlight, and fuzzy there. A little grainy. You can see that grain, can’t you?
Leo: This is F2, ISO 1600, 1/15 of a second exposure. It did the best it could. This is at night. That’s not a great picture.
Jason: Yeah, a little fuzzy.
Leo: That’s a selfie, remember, so that’s the front facing camera.
Leo: So it’s not quite as good. In fact, that’s only a megabyte in size.
Jason: You can blame us a little bit for breaking the sensor in the camera with our smiles.
Leo: 1900 X 1080, that’s just bad. There you go, this is from the front. That looks pretty good.
Gina: That’s a pretty good picture, yeah.
Leo: Yeah. Color is excellent. There you are, Gina. This is of All About Android last night. I think it’s a good camera. I still think the Note 4 is a better camera. Unfortunately, you have to use the Samsung stuff.
Jeff: I’ve been looking at the Galaxy 2 camera, Galaxy Camera 2. It’s the Android camera.
Jason: Oh, right.
Jeff: I actually am a little tempted by it. The software on it for changing settings and aperture and all of that is actually kind of neat. I was surprised that Samsung hasn’t brought it into more of what they do.
Leo: But it’s like jelly bean or something, isn’t it?
Jeff: Yeah it is, it’s jelly bean. But you’re not using it as imaging other than the camera.
Leo: Well the main reason is I wanted to get this Nexus 6. It’s silly. It’s a camera with an Android phone on it in the back. Built into it. It would be a good camera I guess. You know, if you really want a camera, get a camera. Don’t worry about the Android. Just get a camera. There are good cameras out there. The reason I wanted a Nexus 6 is because I wanted Lollipop. Now I have a Nexus 7, I suppose some people bought a Nexus 9, the new tablet, to get Lollipop. Are the Nexus 9’s arriving? They are. Lollipop is out.
Jason: Mine was supposed to get here yesterday. Not arrived. Waiting for it today. You know, hard knock life.
Leo: (singing) It’s a hard knock life. Yeah, we’re complaining about having too many phones and getting them a day late.
Gina: First world problems.
Leo: I have to wait until tomorrow!! It’s a hard knock life.
Gina: Mirium had one but it was a review unit I think.
Leo: I think review units have gone out on both the Nexus 6 and 9. But the rumor is, and I don’t think Google has said, we were hoping to get updates on the Nexus devices, like the 5 and the 7 and the 10 to Lollipop like yesterday. The rumor is that now it will be a week from today, November 12th, due to bugginess in Lollipop.
Jeff: Oh, oh.
Leo: Maybe, don’t know.
Jason: You’re going to have to wait.
Leo: I want to see Lollipop.
Jeff: We don’t want to wait. We are important people.
Leo: One argument for a Motorola phone, even though now it’s Lenovo, is that now Motorola has promised that the X’s and the Turbo and all of this will be updated to Lollipop as soon as they can. Gina, did they not release the source code in the AOSP on Monday?
Gina: They did. It’s out in AOSP, which is good news for everybody.
Leo: What does that mean? Tell us why that’s great news.
Gina: It means that anyone that does any sort of mods can start rebasing their work on top of AOSP, so like Cyanogen Mod, or all the big manufacturers can start porting their skins and dodads and apps over to Lollipop, making sure that it works. Custom ROM’s, all that stuff, developers can get that code and start working on it. So just means that on the one plus one, we’re going to get Lollipop. I thin kthey said 90 days.
Leo: Whoa, that takes a while.
Gina: Ninety days from the latest from the AOSP drops, so 90 days from Monday. Not bad.
Leo: So that’s because it’s a Cyanogen Mod, CM11, and so Cyanogen gets the source code, like they are working on it right now.
Gina: Right, exactly.
Leo: But they have to modify it. It’s pretty heavily modified, isn’t it?
Jason: Yeah, it’s a big difference.
Leo: I still like the OnePlus. I think the OnePlus in many respects is the phone to get, especially for the price is the phone to get.
Gina: Yeah, I love it.
Jason: Some interesting similarities right now between the OnePlus approach to selling their device and the same type of scarcity/contest for the Nexus 6 right now. It’s almost like they are playing from the same play book. I don’t know if it’s a good thing.
Leo: Jeff, you did, you went to the site and were refreshing it weren’t you? You did that, didn’t you?
Jeff: All morning. Google should put ads on there just to make more revenue on people refreshing that aren’t paying.
Leo: I feel like I won the lottery.
Jeff: Let me ask you this. The Apple Store that I walked by was at the Cube on 5th Avenue. There were lines out of the mall. Is this ongoing demand of the phone?
Leo: Yes, we were talking about this on Sunday that there will still lines at the Apple Stores to get the iPhone.
Jeff: Is it because it's slow to do the process? Is it because they didn't have the phones? What is causing that kind of scarcity behavior?
Leo: I don't know in this case. Generally it's because each store gets a shipment of 100 in the morning so people line up so that they can get those phones. OnePlus says, according to our chatroom, Runwithscissors says OnePlus says they have sold 500,000 units.
Jeff: I don't know about that.
Leo: That's pretty good.
Leo: Given the scarcity and how hard it is to get one. Half a million phones sold to date according to Lilly Peuting.
Jeff: So I thought my OnePlus was busted last night. This is a typical Jeff story. The night before last I'm driving home and I'm trying to call the Italian restaurant to get some chicken parm on the way home, my sad life, and one ring terminates, two rings terminates, one ring terminates, the guy would come on and say hello and it would terminate. So I thought it was his phone, some poor guy I called like 25 times. He's sitting there saying who is this schmuck calling me every 30 seconds? I thought, well, I will try another number. Same thing. So I get home and I pull up the Nexus 5, I put the SIM in there and I think okay, I will stick with the Nexus 5. It works like twice and then same thing, terminate, terminate, terminate.
Leo: So it's your carrier?
Jeff: It's the carrier, it's AT&T, there is a very nice woman behind AT&T Cares named Jorrie who is trying to help me. I still don't have help. There is another AT&T Executive who was nice enough to put in an escalation.
Leo: Is it the same locale?
Jeff: It's across 40 miles of New Jersey as well as Manhattan.
Leo: Is it something maybe about the handoff?
Jeff: They were going to upgrade something and it still didn't work. The point is that I was ready to throw the OnePlusOne out the window and pull a Jeff Frant. Thank goodness I didn't because it wasn't the OnePlusOne.
Leo: So this comes from Ewen Spence in Forbes. He was at the Dublin Web Summit, talked to the OnePlus founder and director Karl Pei, and Karl said that they have passed 500,000 handsets. There is a push to reach a stretch goal of 1 million before the end of the year. "It's going to be hard" said Pei, "but I think it's possible." The advertising budget? $300.
Leo: Not million, not billion, hundred. All of that money was spent experimenting on different types of Facebook ads. We found that we've reached a critical mass of users, we don't have to buy any more ads. Is that a typo? $300?
Jeff: Right, so the price was the marketing.
Leo: Well, yeah, it worked. I think everybody who has that phone, which includes you, and Gina, and Father Robert has my OnePlus, and Jason has a OnePlus, we all agree; for the $350 that is really a heck of a great phone. It's got a good camera, it shoots camera raw, Cyanogen Mod is a really nice version of Android.
Gina: A $300 marketing budget would account for the stupid contest.
Jason: How many times in All About Android have we discussed how the marketing team was practically asleep when they were planning these things? Apparently it's because the marketing team doesn't actually exist.
Gina: They were clearly just high school interns.
Leo: That's fine though, it worked. I think that it's nice that they showed that you could do something. I think that there would be a lot of companies that would be very happy with 500,000 sales of a $350 handset.
Jason: Especially for an upstart.
Gina: Yeah, well, right. Reportedly right. I had a Jarvisian moment. A friend of mine called me and said that she had someone else picked up and who was this and did you just get this number? She said yeah, I just got this number. So my friend said, oh, did your number change? I said no. She said that's a little weird. I realized when I went into my Google Voice settings and looked at my Google Voice number and realized that there was 2 phones which I no longer have which I forgot to turn off. It just stopped ringing, so I've been ringing two people's phones on all of my calls. I wondered Leo, you SIM swap, how do you keep track of all of the phones?
Leo: I still use Google Voice so you can only have 5 phones.
Gina: You are an edge case, you are pushing the limits of this.
Leo: I have at all times 5 phones on my Google Voice number, but I go in there at least several times a week to update.
Gina: To deactivate one and turn on another, yeah? Yeah, wow.
Leo: You know that even Verizon now, the SIM card on this one is so weird, you actually have to pull out the voice rucker. It's a little drawer beneath the volume rucker. You pull it out and you just swap the SIM card, even with Verizon. I don't do Sprint for that reason because with CDMA you have to call and all of that stuff. With AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon it's just musical SIM cards.
Gina: And it's not carrier locked. You don't have to call.
Leo: I haven't yet tried that with this phone but I was able to put an AT&T and T-Mobile SIM in my iPhone. People have told me on Twitter and so forth that they have a consent agreement with the FCC that says...
Jeff: Don't get me started. This is all back to the Nexus 7. If you use the LTE Spectrum that they bought, the condition of that spectrum as required by Google when they bought it in that auction is openness to devices.
Leo: Verizon is actually, against their will, a really good choice. Don't quote me yet, I will go home and put a T-Mobile SIM and an AT&T SIM in this. It's a nanoSIM. You don't think it will work? I've already swapped SIMs with an iPhone and changed the number.
Jeff: I was told it was that whole new SIM thing and that stuff.
Leo: But not on the iPhone, just on the iPad. So this is a CDMA phone, but because everything is LTE now they use a SIM for LTE.
Jeff: It rolls down to a CDMA?
Leo: I don't know what it fails down to. I don't know. I guess at some point it would go to 1RTT? I think that is a CDMA technology. It would have to fail down pretty good, though. Anyway, that's phone talk. We should really reserve that for All About Android.
Jeff: Somebody yelled at us on Twitter last week. It's supposed to be about Google, not about phones!
Leo: Well Android is Google gosh diggity darnit! I'm sorry, I didn't mean to yell. Google has leased a New York cookie factory in Chelsea.
Jeff: That's the face for a company that is growing too big. They need more space.
Leo: Really, you have no fears of Google becoming kind of the...
Gina: The Borg?
Leo: The Borg? What's to stop them?
Jeff: I think the market will take care of them if they do.
Leo: That was what Matt was kind of saying that as long as there is competition you don't have to worry. Google is a monopoly, come on. Right?
Jeff: Not in search. It is in advertising.
Leo: Yeah, well that is where all of the money comes from. They signed the lease for a 180,000 Nabisco Cookie Factory right next to the Highline.
Jeff: I was trying to think of a cookie joke and I couldn't come up with one.
Gina: Yeah, Nabisco. Nabisco had to move to New Jersey so Google is moving in.
Leo: That's the economy right there in a nut shell.
Gina: Move over Nabisco.
Leo: Move over, here comes Google.
Gina: I visited the New York office once, and they are definitely busted out of the seams. They have been looking for space in New York I think for a while.
Jeff: They have the Chelsea, they have the big old port. If you haven't been to New York you can see that the Port Authority Building is a complete city block. You just don't see that. It's just gigantic.
Leo: That's where they put all of the bums, right?
Jeff: That's where Google is, plus a couple of other companies. No, no, no, not the bus thing.
Leo: Not the Port Authority Bus Terminal, oh, okay.
Jeff: It's the old Port Authority office thing downtown. Across from that is the Chelsea Market which they also took over. Tomorrow night it will go into the opening of the YouTube New York Studio there. Nearby is the cookie factory.
Leo: Is this a new studio? By the way, it smells really good in the Google offices. It smells like Nilla Vanilla Wafers.
Gina: Too late for Gingerbread. There we go, there is our cookie joke.
Leo: There is our cookie joke. Is the YouTube facility in New York new?
Jeff: Yes, it's new. The one studio is in LA, and they are opening one in New York.
Leo: To me in my mind that was a failed initiative. It's the same thing when Google spent 100 million dollars to get big brand names to make YouTube videos for nothing.
Jeff: Susan Wojcicki is the new sheriff in town trying to find out the new way so I presumed she approved this.
Leo: What benefit has returned to Google from the LA Studio besides goodwill, which is probably a real benefit, but goodwill with the YouTube video folks. I don't think that the hot videos on YouTube are suddenly great production value.
Jeff: No, in a way I don't want YouTube videos to come with production value. I want them to be fresh, and weird, and different, and small.
Leo: Yeah, it's video of the people.
Jeff: But they will have schwags that won't go.
Leo: Now she is apparently considering, Susan Wojcicki is considering some sort of subscription model. But they already have a subscription model. This is something that she was talking about in Re/code Mobile.
Jeff: They are going prime so that you can get rid of the ads.
Leo: Oh, an ad free YouTube.
Jeff: She made some reference in there to what if you don't want the ads.
Leo: I don't want the ads, I will pay for ad free YouTube.
Gina: Yeah, I would too.
Jeff: We had a story last week that the amount of money that YouTube, I forget, it was like a billion dollars, it was a grossly high amount of money that they have sent to copyright holders who rather than ask to take their stuff down said, okay, just share the ad money with us. They distributed a lot of money. Is there an ad free music streaming model for video now where they can just split the revenue with copyright holders?
Leo: How much would it have to cost, though? I can't imagine that YouTube makes more than $5-$10 a month on me.
Jeff: I was at this conference where it is all off the record so they don't want to talk about it, but the guy who is responsible for Breaking Bad and all of the shows that we like from AMC and Peter Turn from AMC were all out there. I won't quote them by name, but the discussion was they call it LVOD I think it's called, or SVOD. With all of these services are there more Netflix to come?
Leo: SVOD is subscription video on demand.
Jeff: Thank you. So there is either huge things like Netflix and Amazon or there are tiny things like Crunchroll Anime. Both can succeed. I think that there will be a lot of opportunities over the top. Of course what the industry is buzzing about is what HBO and CBS said. They were going to leave and offer over the top subscriptions for their content and you didn't have to have a cable subscription. We will see how that works, and we will see if that works, and how many subscriptions people are willing to do, and can you succeed without having an operation. Fred Wilson wrote a piece about podcasts this last week inspired by New York Magazine cover on it and he put in the last paragraph a thing that I have argued for years that Howard Stern should go to the internet and go to YouTube which is where I introduced him to Google 5 years ago. I would pay every month for that. I would pay every month for the CBS thing because if I can immediately get The Good Wife which I am addicted to, a little higher scale than your Kardashian addiction Gina.
Gina: Oh, The Good Wife is awesome. I love The Good Wife.
Jeff: Isn't it great?
Gina: It's one of my favorite shows.
Jeff: Oh, I'm addicted. I would pay for HBO on my own. I think that there would be things that you would pay for. I think the question is is it an omnibus YouTube subscription like Prime or is it several subscriptions. I have no idea what they would pay.
Leo: That cracks me up that mainstream media has discovered podcasts and says we are in a renaissance.
Leo: What? I think it was the Washington Post that wrote that article like 3 weeks ago. New York Magazine Kevin Roose just wrote the same article.
Jeff: Have you listened to Alex Bloomberg’s show?
Leo: By the way, that is why this happened. Alex Bloomberg was a producer at This American Life which all of the media elite listen to.
Leo: He did a podcast about starting a podcast. This was kind of the thing that happened when we started was that we were all talking about podcasting all of the time. Welcome to the 21st Century Alex. Apparently because everybody listens to that everybody said that podcasts were making money. By the way Alex only makes money because he had a Kickstarter. He's not making any real money on that.
Jeff: Well, he has ads on it. He has Mailchimp on it.
Leo: We have Mailchimp.
Jeff: The reason that I like his podcast is because it's the same thing that all of my students go through starting a company. They think this, they learn that, they think this, they learn that. It's what Alex is going through very transparently.
Leo: I'm so glad that there is a renaissance. Finally we can make some money on this.
Jeff: Oh yeah. Where have you been all of my life people?
Leo: There have been all of these articles and none of them have ever asked me. I would say what do you mean renaissance because we have been up since 2005. What are you talking about?
Jeff: I don't think people think you are a podcast company Leo.
Leo: Yeah, well they are wrong. I mean, I'm not, I don't use the word podcast, but what do they think I do? There will be a piece on us on Marketplace tomorrow I'm told.
Gina: That's awesome.
Leo: And NPR is doing a piece on the podcast renaissance and I think that they are going to quote me because the reporter John Kaslish interviewed me. I hope they have a piece of me saying what are you talking about?
Gina: You have a little bit of experience here. I think that you are a good person to talk to Leo.
Leo: I know a little bit about it.
Gina: You know a little bit about it.
Leo: Now this has always been the problem kind of about what we do. We are going to get preferential so I won't do it for too long, but just for a second. What is this that we do? What is this that we do? I don't know. I don't know what we do. It's internet shows, which is what I've always said. I said don't call it a podcast because it doesn't go on an iPod. It's not what we do. Some people are watching live like TV. Some people listen in their car, that's like a podcast but it's not the only thing that we do.
Jeff: They are talking right now to us and that is like nothing that we've seen before.
Gina: It's true, I can't even explain it. I say that I do a show and people are like you do a show? It's like yeah, it's a show, it's on the web, it's video, it's live but it's also recorded. It's hard to explain. People get the idea with podcasts that it's like a few friends hanging out or Skyping and record it. But this is much more than that and it has that component. You never use the word podcast which I think maybe makes you defy categorization Leo which is maybe why you are not like the go to person for these conversations.
Leo: I don't mind if they quote me, but it is ironic that they think that there is some sort of renaissance.
Jeff: I think that you are reinventing TV. I still say this is television.
Leo: Yeah, it's more like TV than a podcast, whatever. Our show today is brought to you by...
Jeff: I'm going to take my ball and go home.
Gina: I like that transition.
Leo: It just cracks me up, it's like what do you mean renaissance?
Gina: It's just because yeah.
Leo: Oh now because somebody from the media establishment is doing a podcast it must be a renaissance. That's actually what bothers me, is that whatever we does has no credibility unless it comes from the media establishment, and then, now, oh, it's serious. Go tell that to Marc Maron. Go tell that to Adam Corolla. There are so many people that have being doing this, whatever it is called, successfully for 10 years almost; we are going to celebrate our 10th anniversary next year in April.
Gina: That's amazing.
Leo: But there is a renaissance. It's TV with buffering. Thank you Keith.
Jeff: You still haven't answered the question. Have you listened to...
Leo: Alex's podcast? No.
Jeff: It would drive you crazy.
Leo: I should listen to it I guess.
Jeff: I think they have done a good job. I think that you will enjoy it.
Leo: I don't listen to a lot of podcasts because I like my audiobooks, but I listen to a few. I listen to American Life, it is one of the great radio shows of all time. It's not a podcast, it's just a radio show that they also offer online.
Gina: Right, they distribute it as such. They distribute it as a podcast, yeah.
Leo: Anyway, I don't know what it is. Kevin Smith, there is another one who has been doing this for a long time. Our show today is brought to you by, this is what is exciting about the internet, it is reinventing traditional businesses. Prosper is a good example. They are reinventing the bank loan. You don't have to go into a bank to get a loan from Prosper. Prosper is a marketplace, it brings together people who have money to lend with people who want to borrow money. It's very successful, they have now more than a billion dollars in loans funded and 2 million members, lenders and borrowers alike. It's pretty amazing. The other thing is that it is friction free. That's what is great about the internet. Imagine, without ever walking into a bank, that you could have in the next 3 days $35,000 to cover your bills. Would you pay off high rate credit cards, or maybe do a little home improvement, build a podcast network? All you have got to do is fill out an easy online application just like you are seeing on the screen if you are watching on video. This will not affect your credit. They ask for a very minimal amount of personal information and you will get your rate almost instantly online. Prosper offers low fixed rates, these are unsecured personal loans so there is no collateral. They do have multi year terms. It really is an awesome way to borrow money. There are no outrageous fees, no rising interest rates, and no bank. Prosper.com/twit, that is what you need to know. You don't even have to put on your pants. Prosper is offering TWiT viewers for a limited time a $50 Visa prepaid card when you get a loan from the website. Prosper.com/twit, get that loan and the $50 Visa prepaid card.
In some ways I feel guilty because we do look a little like old media, in fact our model is very old media like. Maybe what TWiT does is not really significant, the only thing different is...
Jeff: Oh, no, no, no, it's very significant.
Leo: Oh thank you. I was kind of fishing for that one, wasn't I?
Gina: We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you.
Leo: It's significant in a couple of ways. Internet distribution of television was supposedly what was going to happen 10 years ago.
Jeff: It's not just that, it also is the forum. You've reinvented the relationship with the audience.
Leo: This is kind of like the McLaughlin Group.
Jeff: McLaughlin wouldn't have tolerated a chatroom.
Leo: No, I would like to see that.
Jeff: They were raging idiots.
Leo: You fools. Wrong, you are wrong, all of you are wrong. Let's do the Google change log, shall we?
Leo: Gina Trapani has the latest from Google.
Gina: Well, the good news about Lollipop dropping soon is that we are seeing overhauls of all of Google's proprietary apps for Android. We've got three of them today, Maps, Gmail, and Calendar. They are all getting the material design Lollipop love. So Google Maps update is rolling out now. New material design layouts focusing on bright colors, real world surfaces, and shadows. They added a couple of new features too; dinner reservations from Open Table that you can make from right in Maps. That's US only. They have better looking information cards with photos and reviews of popular attractions near your location. Sorry, this is actually set to roll out over the next few days. Google Maps also has support for Uber pickup times and fares only if you have the Uber App installed. Gmail's material design upgrade is also rolling out. I haven't side loaded this yet. You can side load the ADK, the production signed Google version is out. You can find that at Android Police. It should be going out over the air through the Play Store soon. The material design makeover for Gmail with Exchange, and POP, and iMap support. You can get all of your email in the native Gmail App. From what I hear it is very, very similar to Inbox. Google Calendar is also getting the big material design overhaul with a few new features. It is getting events from Gmail so now you can turn emails into calendar events automatically so if you get an invitation to something that will show up right on your calendar. Something that I think they are calling in Google Calendar assists. These are suggestions that save you time. So the Calendar can suggest titles, people, and places as you type. If you often say go running with a friend named Jason in Central Park, Calendar will suggest that event to you if you just type run. So it learns as you use it. It's got this new schedule view that is very in line with material design focus of big images that includes photos and maps of places you are going, and cityscapes and illustrations of everyday events like coffee, yoga, that kind of thing. The new Calendar is available right now on all devices running Lollipop. You will be able to download the update on other devices from Google Play in the upcoming weeks. This update is actually going to go out to IOS. Those are the three big Lollipop / material design updates. A couple of other new things, Google Drive now lets you open files in compatible Mac and PC apps with the new Chrome extension. This new Chrome extension is called Application Launcher for Drive. You can search that in the Chrome web store. It allows you to open files directly from its Google Drive service in compatible apps on the Mac or PC. So basically the extension adds an open with option that will let you launch a file so that you are looking at Drive in IOS Xs preview app or third party editing apps like Adobe or Microsoft.
Jeff: Jane, stop this crazy thing.
Gina: What's that?
Jeff: I said Jane, stop this crazy thing. It's going around, and around, and around, and around.
Gina: Cloud at the desktop. We had a looping animated GIF there displaying how it works. Let's see, what else? Oh, I haven't used a Roku in a while, but Roku just got a new Google Play Movies and TV app.
Leo: It's so awesome.
Gina: Yeah, pretty cool. I think this is the first time that we are seeing Google Movies and TV somewhere other than on Android, right?
Leo: I think so.
Gina: Yeah, making its debut in the Roku Channel Store is Google Play Movies and TV, which of course is the app that lets you buy and rent videos. It's pretty standard video focused application. The one feature that Play Movies and TV has, which is pretty cool, is that those info cards related to content that you are watching. If you press pause on an actor in a scene you can see who it is and get information about that person. So it's a really neat feature. You will get that on Roku as well. Finally, Google has quietly launched the Stars interface for Google Bookmark. We've seen a couple of rumors about this which we've talked about a couple of times. A screenshot leaked of this new bookmarking feature called Stars. That's gone live. Google really didn't make a big deal or announcement about it, but it's in the Chrome Web Store now, it's called the Chrome Bookmark Manager. The Nexreb reports that this completely replaces Chrome's old bookmark's interface. The idea of Stars is to make saving bookmarks really easy, organizing them very quickly and automatically, it's smart enough actually to go through all of your bookmarks and organize them into automatically generated categories based on what you've got in there. If you are one of those people who just collects bookmarks, and I have been that person over the years, this sounds like it is worth taking a look at. That's the Chrome Bookmark Manager.
Jeff: Gina, what do you search for? I couldn't find it.
Leo: I installed it.
Gina: Let me see if the TechCrunch article has the direct link. Let me make sure that...
Leo: It's just called bookmark manager in my thing.
Leo: Here it is, it says Bookmark Manager from Google.
Gina: Yep, Bookmark Manager by Google.
Leo: This is it.
Jeff: It's an extension?
Leo: It's an extension.
Gina: It's an extension so it's in the Chrome Web Store.
Jeff: Oh, it's an extension.
Jeff: I still don't see it.
Gina: It's so amazing when they have a new app or extension in the web store, and you search for it and it doesn't come up. It sometimes takes time for it to show up in the search results which is so ironic.
Leo: It's kind of Pinteresty.
Leo: It Pinterest's your bookmarks. I like it.
Gina: Yeah, I haven't had a whole lot of time with it myself, but you are liking it?
Leo: Yeah, I haven't done it on this machine. You can see that it's churning on my bookmarks. It's going to reorganize them for me. Churn, churn, churn, churn, churn, there is nothing to see here, just a dot.
Gina: Just a dot.
Jeff: God bless you chatroom, thank you very much. Chatroom solved my problem.
Gina: Oh, you've got the link there? Awesome.
Leo: Oh, it's gmlllbghnfkpfelemihajakbapojopfjik. That's the extension.
Gina: No, there is no .pie.
Leo: Don't type that in kids, because I think I got some of the letters wrong.
Gina: So yeah, that's all I have got in the change log.
Leo: And that is the Google Change Log. What do we think of Lollipop? There is material, and all of these new materialized apps. I realize that Google Inbox is a materialized app as well. I like the look, but that is just a look. Or does it really change how you use stuff?
Gina: You know, I think it is more the interactions. So I haven't played with Lollipop. I didn't load any of the early builds, I just wanted to be totally surprised.
Leo: Me too.
Gina: I wanted to get the whole first impression. From what I have seen it's just more around interaction, like smoother interaction. Things slide, and bounce, and are spring loaded, and very responsive. I think that that is more than just a visual refresh. I think it is a feel thing.
Leo: I also think that it is very interesting what Calendar is doing, and Bookmarks is doing, and of course Inbox is doing, this idea of it's too much trouble for you to organize your stuff so we will do it for you.
Gina: Yeah, it feels like Google Now is kind of infiltrating, you know, like Inbox has these kind of Google Now smarts about you know remind me later and group these things together. Now we are seeing Calendar adding things to the Calendar from Gmail. It's this integration of all of these things and it's like we will do it for you because we know best. At first is going to freak people out, but once you surrender and let it happen you will realize that you know, I don't want to waste my time transcribing an event from my Gmail to my calendar, it makes no sense. So like the efficiencies that we were talking about earlier. It's really neat to see the Now stuff with the Wear stuff, with the material design stuff with the Lollipop stuff all sort of land at the same time. This is a really neat, interesting time.
Jeff: Let correct something from last week. Last week I said that the new Drive didn't have a store offline. I got corrected on Google + right away, and it was very helpful, and in fact it does it even better. You don't have to remember to do it, you just go into preferences and say store offline. You don't have to do it before you get on the plane, it will always store offline. It's great.
Leo: Particularly for Chromebook users obviously.
Jeff: For anybody with sense.
Leo: For anybody with sense? Is that what you said.
Jeff: In the Cloud.
Leo: Any intelligent person.
Jeff: Or anybody with trust issues Leo. Who believes in the future in technology and is okay with a benevolent company that brings it to us.
Leo: See, that's the thing. There is going to be a point at which, and everybody is different, Jeff will never feel like it's creepy, but there is a point for everyone where it goes to do I really want them to know who I run with all of the time?
Jeff: There are creepy lines for everybody.
Leo: Yes, it's nicely convenient that I can type run and that means that you are going to go out with Kevin at 4:00 this afternoon to run Central Park. I understand the value of that, but don't you think that's a little creepy that it knows that, that it's keeping track of that?
Jeff: It won't know exactly why. The creepiness comes from the not knowing why, the mystery of it.
Leo: Creepiness comes from probably an antamorphazation of it. That it's a human doing it maybe.
Gina: Yeah, if I left for work at 8:30 every morning, and one morning my neighbor showed up at my gate with a cup of coffee, and handed it to me, and said I noticed that you go to work at this exact time every day and you stop for coffee but I thought here, I will just bring it to you. I would be grateful and yet weirded out.
Leo: It depends on if he looked at you like that. I brought you some coffee. You want some coffee? I put 2 Splenda in just like you like.
Gina: Have a good day Gina.
Leo: That wouldn't be good. I'm a little too good at that.
Gina: You know, but then this past week Google Now let me know that I had to change my clocks, Google Now let me know where my local polling place was, it was like, okay, yeah.
Leo: It just told me who got elected as my representative. That's kind of cool. It tells me what the PG&E bill is.
Gina: Oh yeah, yeah, I've gotten that one too.
Leo: Well it's good for me because I always forget to pay it.
Jeff: Well in your case you used to forget to pay them so Google is helping you.
Leo: In fact, it would be nice if Google would just pay it. Would you, Google? It's only $7. Just pay it.
Gina: It will be like pay with wallet.
Leo: It will be like when you go to the toll booth and the toll guy is like, hey the guy ahead of you just paid. Every once in a while Google, just pay a bill for me, will you? Just every once in a while.
Jeff: That would be a great PR thing for them to do. It would be funny. We picked out some people and we paid a bill for each of them.
Leo: Hey, if you were a Canadian woman and you would like more people to see your boobs probably the best thing to do would be to sue Google for showing your boobs in Street View.
Gina: Every story that has reported it showed the photo.
Leo: First of all, Maria Pia Grillo was sitting on her stoop of her house in public. She wasn't naked, she just had a low cut thing on. I'm not going to show it because I don't want to pander. But the Street View car goes by, takes a picture of her...
Gina: It was not a flattering angle. It was maybe an angle that she wouldn't have, yeah.
Leo: It's the angle of the dangle. That's really the problem.
Leo: Now they blurred her face because they always do, but they didn't blur her boobs. Not even her boobs, her cleavage. 2 years later she sues Google to blur the rest of her as well as her license plate and address. I guess I kind of understand that if she is getting hey, you want some coffee? She demanded $45,000 for emotional damage including depression and mockery from her coworkers at a "well known bank" where she worked.
Jeff: The problem is with all of those ass h's coworkers, not Google.
Leo: Yeah. Google agreed to blur out more of the image, in fact they blurred out not only her but the whole house now. She's like blurmany. She lives in blurmany. But they said, hey, you were in a public place, we don't have to give you any money. The judge said that the Street View incident, while causing a shock for Grillo, didn't appear to be directly connected to the mental conditions that she claimed. He also wondered why she waited 2 years to sue, but, and this may be more important, the judge rejected Google's public place defense and said that people do not forfeit their privacy rights simply by being in a location that others can see them.
Jeff: That is just so wrong. That is a shiv to the heart of journalism.
Leo: You are in public.
Jeff: You are in public. If we now degrade what we define as public then we steal that from the public. Somebody I know wrote a book about that.
Leo: I thought you might have something to say about this. There is the Streisand effect which is that now everybody has seen them.
Gina: Isn't the public bathroom expectation of privacy issue if you are sitting on your front steps in a bikini top? No? I don't know.
Leo: It's not quite a public bathroom. You are on your front steps.
Jeff: I say that it's different. If she were in the back yard with a fence and a drone comes over and takes a picture of her that's wrong, that's private. She is sitting in front of a public building, anyone can walk by and take a picture of that building and they can take it with whatever notoriety. I was going to say that being on the internet, but being on Street View, no I'm sorry, I've got a hold tight to defending what is public is public.
Leo: I would say that I think she has the right to go to Google and say blur that out would you? And they did. She did win an award, a few thousand dollars, not all of the money that she asked for.
Gina: 2 grand, yeah.
Leo: But you see what this leads to? A pianist now wants a bad review taken down under the right to be forgotten.
Jeff: He wants it, but it didn't happen.
Gina: What was the image that Boing Boing chose?
Leo: I think it was a crying baby. Dejan Lazic got a mildly critical review in 2010 in the Washington Post and he doesn't want anybody to see it.
Jeff: But he didn't go to Google, which is actually smarter, he went right to the source and tried to argue this as a right and tried to have the Washington Post take it down.
Leo: Which, of course, they laughed at that. Right?
Leo: So is he going to go on to Google now?
Jeff: If the right to be forgotten extends too far it becomes that.
Leo: Right. I'd love it if I got all of the bad reviews of our show taken down.
Jeff: I just want to take away the computers of a few trolls and then life is fine.
Leo: Then life would be good. You can't stop trolls but you can get a bad review taken down. So the Post did not take it down? Alright, like zuhn zues schreck. You want to give us an update on the status of the German?
Jeff: Real quick, so when last we met this soap opera a couple things had happened. Basically the publishers seemed to lose, but Axel Springer decided to keep a couple of his brands out of snippets. Two weeks later they come along and they so oh, we surrender, we have lost so much business, we too want you to take the snippets Google. Of course I don't think that it's as simple as it seems, I think that it is Springer arguing see, Google is too powerful. They hurt our business unless we have the snippets. Though, in the article I linked to the writers pointed out that Google is bringing value to the publishers and for free. So one could argue that Google should be charging the publishers for the traffic it sends but of course they don't do that. So this soap opera goes on. At the same time we have Intenger, the new EU head of digital stuff who is talking about having his own similar law across all of the EU and since last we spoke Spain did indeed pass the link tax.
Leo: They did?
Jeff: Yes, and you can no opt out of it so you can't say, never mind, don't pay me for the links. You can't do that, it even effects academics. It's abhorred in so many ways. I can't believe that it will in the long run be sustained by EU rules, but who knows. It's a law on the books and it's an incredibly stupid and dangerous law.
Leo: So tell me exactly what happens.
Jeff: Link tax?
Jeff: If aggregators, curators, etc., if they use links they have to pay in per link to a fund and somehow or another, it's uncertain, it will be distributed to the copyright holders who are so harmed by receiving this traffic.
Leo: So it's really pretty much a tax on Google, right?
Jeff: Yes, it's a Google tax, but it's a tax on links so it affects others. I was at an event last night speaking to foreign CEOs and stuff, and the guy who was before me was from Buzzfeed. I'm talking about this and he was saying oh. I said, watch out fella.
Leo: Can I get taxed by Spain if I link on a show note on twit.tv to a Spanish source?
Jeff: I don't know how this goes. Again, the other thing is like it's like the right to be forgotten. It's like the presumption of privacy in public. Once you have dealt with this as a principal then you have no idea how it is going to be extended.
Jeff: When I was in Spain I got some press attention.
Leo: You did, you were on the front page.
Jeff: No, I was in El Mundo, I was in Extension. It's fun, I can't read it but...
Leo: I like the picture. Did they take that or is it a file photo?
Jeff: They took that. They took that.
Leo: That's nice. You look angry.
Jeff: But while I am doing this terrible ego thing I did make the front page in Korea.
Gina: You look very authoritative.
Leo: What does it say about you?
Jeff: I have no idea. I did worry about the headlines at the airport when I saw them. I pulled out the Google app and you can just mark the text that you want and it did translate it. It's pretty cool.
Leo: What did it say? Do you remember? Brilliant professor explains how internet works to rapt students.
Gina: I like that one.
Leo: I'm writing that one. Let's get that in 18 point type in the back of Wall Street Journal.
Jeff: Yeah, so it's more danger in Europe folks. It's not good, and my argument to Europe, I wrote a 3000 word essay about this. So far I haven't been able to place it in German media about the German problem. If any of you are watching and have some help for me let me know. Certain major publications that start with F, and end with Z, and have an A in the middle should have run it because they have run 8,000 word attacks on me, but they wouldn't run it. My argument to Europeans is watch out, you are now being seen very closely as an environment that is hostile to technology, innovation, and investments.
Leo: You don't want that.
Jeff: Nope, nope. If I were investing in a company, if I were starting a company, would I do it in Europe? Absolutely not right now.
Leo: Let's take a break. When we come back, your tip, your tool, your number of the week. Ladies and gentlemen, as we wrap this puppy up our show today is brought to you by the brand new Squarespace. Squarespace 7 is out now, and it makes getting started with your unique web presence even easier. Let me explain. Squarespace hosting is the best hosting in the world, it is never goes down hosting. You could become Google and it would just take it and say thank you, send me more. It also is, on top of that, the best software, and because it is so tightly linked that is great. That means that your system and your site is always secure and always up to date. In fact, if you want to try out Squarespace 7 and you are an existing customer just go to the setting tab and you will activate all of the new features just like that. Of course, if you are new you will be looking at Squarespace 7 templates that take advantage of all of the new features. For instance, you can link up to live edit on a single screen. No more separate preview, it's wizzy-wig editing. It's awesome. You also have instant access to professional stock photography from Getty. You can get instant branded email set up with Google Apps and templates designed for specific professions, which is kind of neat. If you are a band, for instance, they have got a template Horizon which is just for you featuring tour dates, music player built in, a merchandise store. The developer platform is so sweet. If you are a developer you don't have to know anything, just your content. There is the Horizon template right there with just your content. If you decide that you want to bring in a developer or you are a developer they've got a platform that is so good. Of course the best help, incredibly useful help 24/7 from their offices. They've got self-help articles and a video workshop in their self-help portal. All of this is $8 a month including the domain name free when you sign up for a year. Best of all you can try this, you don't even need to give them a credit card or anything, you can try this for 2 weeks at squarespace.com, just click the "get started" button, chose your template, and dig right in, import your content, and play with it, and knock it around. If you do decide to buy at the end of the 2 weeks please use our offer code TWIG and you will get 10% off of your new account. Squarespace.com offer code TWIG to take 10% off of your gorgeous new website. Let's start, this is a good one, get ready, start your engines, Gina Trapani's tip of the week.
Gina: This is literally just for people who are watching now or hear this in the next hour. It's Inbox happy hour starting in 9 minutes at 3:00 pm Pacific time. What do you have to do? You want an Inbox invite, you have to send an email to email@example.com between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm Pacific time today and you will get your invite by 5:00 pm. Send it from your Gmail account.
Jeff: Are they going to send people phones?
Gina: That's what they need to do, it has nothing to do with phones. Sorry to folks who are time shifting, this is only good starting in 9 minutes for an hour.
Leo: That's great. Chris is running over. Everybody on my staff is running over. You gotta wait 8 minutes before you send that email. As Gina says, use your Gmail email address because that is the one that will get the invite.
Jeff: Oh yeah.
Leo: Do we love Inbox?
Leo: Two thumbs up. Jeff is not...
Jeff: I just don't use it enough. One odd thing is that the alerts on my watch from Inbox are the Gmail alerts. Gmail alerts I can actually read most of the email, but the Inbox alerts just say, oh, you've got mail. Of course I do.
Leo: This is Lollipop, right? It's material design, even on the web. That's one nice thing by the way, it's Android, IOS, and Web. I love that. I have been Inbox zero ever since it came out.
Jeff: Oh shut up.
Gina: Nice, good for you.
Jeff: Between that and your 2 minute commute I just hate you.
Leo: And my 18 smartphones. Wow. Anyway, great, really great. So you have 1 hour, they will accept all emails that come in, and they will send you an invite by 5:00 pm.
Gina: Not bad.
Leo: So Inbox, for those who don't know, is still Gmail, it's a new interface to Gmail that is free. Of course, if you don't use Gmail it's of no use to you. It's Google's attempt to really reinvent how you process email and it does a great job. Everything that you do in Inbox is reflected in your Gmail so that you can go back and forth fluidly and easily. You are not abandoning.
Jeff: If you use email elsewhere you can pop it into Gmail and start using it. It doesn't have to come from there. If you have company email don't worry, you can still use company email.
Leo: In fact, create a Gmail account and just pick up the mail in Gmail and then you will be able to use it. Then you get Gmail's filtering, there are so many great benefits. What they have done, which I really like, is they, I need to find out what the markup is for this because you will get actionable calendar invites in the preview.
Gina: They published the markup for that, it's pretty cool. There are like action buttons and like invitations. It's really nice.
Leo: It just makes it so much easier. Alright Jeff, what is your number of the week?
Jeff: So I saw an uh oh headline. I saw the Wall Street Journal had about peaking Android. I said uh oh, but what they said was that Android represented 84% of the shipments last quarter, down 1% from 85%. They probably won't get any bigger than 85%, but there is plenty of market to go, so I'm not concerned.
Leo: Is this in the US?
Jeff: Oh, you had to ask me a question.
Leo: 84% of all devices shipped last quarter were Android devices. I guess you could get to 100%, but no.
Leo: Globally, wow. It's different in the US, it's probably not more than 50% in the US, but 84% of all smartphones shipped globally in Q3 were Android. Actually that is down because it was 85% in Q2.
Jeff: Yeah, so it's 1% down. I was saying who cares?
Leo: Apple, globally again, 12%, Windows Phone 3%, Blackberry 1%.
Jeff: Oh, poor Blackberry. They owned the world once. Nokia isn't even in there.
Leo: That's pretty amazing. Nokia is, that's Microsoft.
Jeff: The days when those brands ruled the world.
Leo: Yeah, Sony Erikkson. Remember them? I have to give you more detail to come, but I have to say the Turbo, the Droid Turbo if you are a Verizon customer is gonna be my tool of the week. It really is, I think, a very nice phone. I love this metallic glass back with Kevlar reinforced. So go ahead, shoot at me. It's a bullet proof phone. The battery life, again I can't give you the exact because I've only had it for a day, but it seems to be much better than even my Note 4 which is a ginormous battery. I love that it is pretty much pure, it is the Motorola experience and I like it.
Jason: Here, let me try and shoot at you. Is it okay? Is it okay?
Leo: You killed my phone, but I'm okay. It's Kevlar, which is the same material that they use for bullet proof stuff. Thank you everybody. Thank you Gina, I think that we got you out of here in time.
Gina: Thank you, this was a lot of fun. It was great to have Matt on and I love doing the show.
Leo: I love Matt. Gina Trapani is at thinkup.com. That is the place to get insights into your social interactions both Facebook and Twitter. I am a proud and happy member of ThinkUp.
Gina: Oh, thank you Leo.
Leo: Now I am getting ThinkUp insights on my Android Wear watch.
Gina: Yes, we are rolling out a Twitterbot that will at reply you. It's actually Twitter notice that you are getting on your watch.
Leo: That's awesome.
Gina: Let me know if any of them are annoying, or don't make sense, or whatever and we are actually tweeting that right now.
Leo: Is this a new insight? What's new with Anil Dash? Is that like a new insight? Anil is her co-founder.
Gina: It's our bios tracker. There should be a dif there that shows the difference.
Leo: Before and after.
Leo: It's not just that Anil is her partner.
Gina: No, you follow him.
Leo: I do.
Gina: I think that he made a change to his bio, so that's why you see that.
Leo: LOL activity detected. It's like Leo Leporte found one thing LOL worthy in the last month. So is that because I used LOL in my tweets?
Gina: Yeah, yeah, exactly.
Leo: Oh my god. Conversation starters, my biggest admirers last week, hi Roxanne, hi Jamie; two whole likes. Okay, never mind.
Jeff: Take what you can get Leo.
Leo: On this day in 2010 I was playing Dance Dance Revolution on the Kinect.
Gina: Aw, cute.
Leo: Yeah, yeah. New verified follower, hi Falicity. She is at the BBC. Anil Dash again! Anil, you know that every time you change your profile I am going to get this.
Gina: He is spanning your ThinkUp stream.
Leo: Anyway, try it, it is great, thinkup.com. We love it, we really love it.
Gina: Thank you.
Leo: You can see, it's so much fun. It's so much fun to play with. Jeff Jarvis is a Professor of Journalism at the City University of New York, they call it CUNY. We love him. He can also be read in his brand new book which is called "Geeks Bearing Gifts". Where can I get "Geeks Bearing Gifts"?
Jeff: Well, I will put the links up on my blog tomorrow. You can get it at Amazon we are selling this version and I will be putting it up on Medium shortly.
Leo: Actually Amazon has a Ted Nelson book of the same name, so let's go somewhere else.
Jeff: Luckily you can't copyright a title.
Leo: There is also "Geeks Bearing Gifts - Paranormal Dating Agency #2". It's apparently a romance. I think you should have used this cover Jeff. It would have sold so much better. Oh, I lost it now. Wow, it's a Milly Taden best seller. "Geeks Bearing Gifts". Actually that's just geek singular. Anyway, you can find it. So you said it is available on Amazon?
Jeff: Yeah, not yet on Kindle, but it is available through Amazon.
Leo: Is it a long one?
Jeff: It's 200 pages.
Leo: It's like a real book.
Jeff: It's like a real book, but it's wordy, it's wonky, it's about news in media. My editor always begged me never to write this, but it's what I do.
Leo: It sounds like something that I have to read. Yes?
Jeff: I don't know.
Leo: I believe I am in the media and I do news, so I am going to read it. You are the moony eyed leader of the information must be freed imperative. Did you know that? Just Google Jeff Jarvis for a fun filled trip down memory lane. Thank you Jeff, thank you Gina, thank you everybody for being here. We do This Week in Google every Wednesday 1:00 pm Pacific, 4:00 pm Eastern Time, that would be 2100 UTC on twit.tv. Watch it live or get it after the fact on demand from twit.tv/twig or wherever finer netcasts are aggregated. All of the famous podcast apps, we are on every one of them. Of course, our own special TWiT apps that are created not by us but by the fine, fine third party app developers who do a very, very good job on every platform including IOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Roku. Thank you everybody, we will see you next time on This Week in Google!