This Week in Google 279 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiG, This Week in Google! Jeff and Gina are here. We're going to talk about so many things, including the big firings at the New Republic, the fork at no.js and Jeff has a story he just can't wait to tell you but won't! It's all coming up next on TWiG.
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This is TWiG, This Week in Google episode 279, recorded December 10, 2014
Making Paper Clips
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It's time for This Week in Google, the show that covers the Googleverse, the Twitterverse, Facebookverse, the Cloudverse, any verse - name your verse and we'll cover it. With Gina Trapani from the ThinkUp app at ThinkUp.com, great to see you.
Gina Trapani: Great to see you too. Glad you're feeling better, Leo.
Leo: I am, thank you so much, Jason, for filling in for me. I appreciate it. You did a great job, by the way.
Jason: Oh, thank you.
Gina: Yes, it was great.
Leo: I particularly enjoyed that phone call to Google help. That was awesome.
Jason: The best things happen when you don't expect that they're going to happen.
Leo: You never know.
Jason: You just pull up the app to show it off and suddenly you're talking to Google.
Leo: There you go. “Oh, hi Google.”
Jason: It was a lot of fun. I had such a blast hanging out with everybody last week.
Leo: You know what's nice for me is I know that next time I have a bad clam, I've got somebody who can fill in.
Jason: I'm here for you.
Leo: Jeff Jarvis is also here, the Professor of Journalism at CUNY, the City University of New York. He is the awesomest, we appreciate all of our hosts. We have such a great team on this show. I love this show.
Jeff Jarvis: We appreciate being here.
Leo: Do you want to see some ads? Should we kick off with a Moto 360 ad?
Jeff: Yes, that's fun.
Gina: Why not?
Leo: We're all wearing Moto 360s, aren't we? Gina, do you wear one, I know - everybody.
Jeff: Mhm, got one too.
Leo: I think there's kind of a consensus in the group among which smart watch, at least until Apple does theirs. Here's the new ads that just came out.
Jeff: Oh, pah.
Leo: Yes, pah.
Gina: Oh, system update.
Leo: Oh, Gina just got a system update. You got a system update to which?
(ad plays - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0oPJk3Ajl8&index=3&list=PLmgwLshNBOLsua55dnIfyoszjxVsXxiiI)
Gina: This might be the ware update.
Jason: Oh, nice. Excellent.
Gina: Oh, torch your battery.
Leo: I hate it when that happens. So this is the fashion ad, right? To make you think that this is a fashion-forward watch, which I guess of all the watches, it looks the best. Now what's going on here, somebody -
Jeff: There's a few different ads. (crosstalk)
Leo: Did it pause? Oh, it paused. I just thought this was a very slow ad. Oh no, that's the same one. That's the same one. Let me get out of this.
Jeff: Here, go to the webpage and there's a list of them. There you go, scroll down.
Leo: Yes, yes, yes. There's more. Okay, stop. Stop.
Gina: You too can wear expensive suits and sit in coffee shops.
Leo: This is from Creativity Online, the businessman one.
Jeff: Hold on there's more down there.
Leo: There's more down here?
Gina: Luxury timepiece.
Jeff: Scroll - no, no, no too far.
Leo: Oh, Golf. Moto 360 golf.
Jeff: No, no. Okay, fine, you do it. I'm sorry.
Leo: Oh, what? Show me. I don't see.
Jeff: Just go to the middle of the page, there's a whole list. Up a little more. There! See the list?
Leo: Okay, let me get rid of the ad age registration.
Gina: Get more from ad age.
Jason: Ah, there.
Leo: There's more, the architect. We just watched Architect, right? So now, Businessman.
Jeff: I thought we watched Businessman.
Leo: Is that what we watched? Why does it say burritos? That's kind of distracting. Okay, here's Architect.
There are Apple worthy.
Jeff: As opposed to Apple, they have a sense of humor.
Gina: That's a field.
Leo: Whoa! You have a new Tinder match. That's cool. I didn't know I could put Tinder on my Moto360. Then they should have said, “Your wife is calling.” All right, this one is Couple.
Jeff: They say, “You do this to your watch.”
Leo: Cover it. Oh, this is sexy. Sexy, sexy. Desire. “Accept my friend request?” (snorts) “I'll send it again.” That's good! I'm liking these. Now I'm getting it. Now I'm getting what's going on here. Golf? Do you want to see Golf?
Gina: Yes, let's make fun of Golf. Then we can move on.
Leo: All right. Power, ugh. His wife - meet your wife for lunch.
Jason: Those are great.
Leo: Now I'm playing my powerful golf game. That is nice. Now, is that Lenovo now doing this? It's not Google any more, is it? Their ad agency is Droga5.
Jeff: This is Motorola - oh, I see the Lenovo/Motorola, yes. I don't know, right.
Leo: I mean, it's an agency. So they hired a good agency, obviously. That's great. They had a good sense of humor to roll with it. Nice.
So we're getting Lollipop everywhere. I just got Lollipop on my Nexus 7. You don't have it on yours yet, Jeff, because you have LTE, I gather.
Jeff: Mhm, yes. As usual, you feel like you're in axe country. You pay more, you go to the mobile x version and you don't get a big tip.
Leo: You know, I decided to wipe this and just make it pure so I could experience the pure Lollipop goodness. It really does look nice on this tablet, I have to say.
Gina: Wait, was it not pure before? What?
Leo: Yes, it's pure - just instead of - oh. You know why? Because I use a watch, it was mobile. I wanted to just have the Google Now launcher, no fancy wallpapers. You know, I customize the heck out of these things.
Gina: You're going with the defaults.
Leo: Yes, all default for now. It's quite nice and I do like it. One of the things I was curious about and we'd mentioned before that the tablet settings, for instance, use the full space. Let me go back to the Settings here. They use the full space available so you get all the settings, or almost all, on one page. I like that.
Jeff: Hey, do me a favor. From the WiFi thing on the pull down settings thing.
Leo: Yes, on this one it's interesting. I know where you're going on this. If I tap it, it opens the Settings.
Jeff: You can't go from there to WiFi.
Jason: No, you can't.
Gina: Wrong tap.
Jason: If you tap the actual icon, that turns on or off. If you tap the word, that takes you to Settings.
Leo: Yes, good luck hitting the word.
Jeff: Oh, you've got to be kidding me. Who the hell thought of that?
Gina: Oh, the lock tap doesn't work?
Leo: Ask All About Android if you want to know about something.
Jeff: Thank you, Dr. Android.
Leo: Tap the word, you get the thing. That's good to know.
Jason: All these little hidden secrets that Google just expects you to find.
Leo: Lollipop does a lot of stuff. Yes, there's a lot of little stuff in Lollipop.
Jason: Yes. Once you discover it, then you know going forward.
Leo: Moto X, this year's 2014 Moto X got its update last week. What are you updating, Gina? Your Cyanogen?
Gina: This is my Nexus 7 from 2012. This is the original Nexus 7; I really need to get the new one. It just lies to me and tells me my system is up to date when I know it's not. The thing is, I had this weird bug. We were just talking about this last night on All About Android. I got the system update notification like a week ago, week and a half ago, and I was like, “Great, go!” Then it went and rebooted and it was like nothing happened. It was still -
Leo: It was a different update.
Gina: Yes, it was still Jellybean. So I don't know what's going on. I think I'm just going to grab the system image and update it myself.
Leo: Boy, that's risky. We don't recommend that, folks. Side loading an image is always a bad idea.
Gina: I know. It is, it is. But honestly, this thing is so old and so slow right now, I don't even think Lollipop can save it. It's just super stuttery. It's the old Nexus 7, the original Nexus 7 and I've used it a lot.
Leo: Even this one feels a little more sluggish compared to the Snapdragon 8.05 processor phones have been using. This is a little bit slower, but it's fine. You know, I really like the Nexus 7. Given it was $250 or whatever, $225.
Gina: Yes, yes. It was so cheap, yes.
Leo: It was a great deal. This is 5.0.1 or 5.01, so it went straight to the updated version of Lollipop 5.01 which came out, I think, last week. Fixing some of the issues with Android. What, do I tap it five times and I can play the game? Lollipop, lollipop.
Gina: Oh, it's the Flappy Lolli! Flappypop.
Leo: It's so hard. It's way too hard.
Jason: It's next to impossible. The swings from down to up are so wide that you just have to get it perfect.
Leo: Somebody told me you should always go in low.
Leo: So hard. Anyway, it's nice that they built that in.
Gina: Yes, that's way better than the beans, the scattering beans.
Leo: I don't know. Is it better? Is it? It's got me freaking nuts.
Gina: It certainly required more programming.
Leo: That's true.
(various frustrated noises)
Leo: Maybe they want me to break my Nexus 7. Anyway, nice. The word is going out that Verizon is doing a soak test on the Turbo, which was nice. This is essentially a Moto X, Verizon style. So that is getting - and it may get voiceover LTE, which it lacked. This was kind of a weird Verizon phone because you couldn't do voice and data at the same time as you can with, for instance, the iPhone if you have AOLTE in your area.
Jeff: Don't get me started.
Leo: Rumor has it.
Jeff: Verizon and LTE.
Leo: I know. There will be a VoLTE update on this when we get that Lollipop. I like Lollipop. I do, I like. Who doesn't?
Jeff: Mine, one thing about mine is, it's making and giving me weird alert noises and I can't figure out what it's alerting to me. It doesn't show me anything on the screen so I can't figure out what to kill. But I'll figure it out.
Leo: Did you do last week - because we did it on TWiT, and I love this story. Google admits that 56% of all ads are not ever seen. They never are on screen for more than a second. 56% of all ads are never even in view. 56%, you pay for them!
Gina: I think we did talk about this, because I remember Jeff saying that when you buy an ad in a magazine, you assume some people are just going to flip past it.
Leo: But this is not a magazine.
Jeff: TV as well.
Gina: But I hear you. This is a very troll-y headline though, “Advertisers wasted their money on more than half of their ads!”
Leo: No, if you compare it to a magazine or TV, you're right. It happens all the time. People get up.
Gina: That's fine.
Jeff: The big thing now in advertising is viewability and that's what this is about. So now, they're expecting the viewability. The problem is that it immediately deflates the price of advertising because all that - even though advertising views isn't happening -
Leo: 56%, yes, from the total cost. That's why I like - I'll tell you why I like these stories. Because I think our ad view rate is a little higher than that.
Jeff: Oh, yes.
Leo: There are some people who skip through our ads. Lots of them.
Jeff: But you never know when it ends, so you've got to be good.
Gina: It's kind of nature of the medium, though. I mean -
Leo: No, you can never guarantee an ad gets heard. There's a dirty little secret in podcasting, which is we count downloads. We don't know if anybody ever played that show. Oh, I shouldn't say that out loud. Shh.
But the same thing with a magazine, you know? They count circulation, not how many people read it. In fact, in magazines don't they multiply it because they say there's a pass-around rate?
Jeff: Readership, yes. They count readership. When I was in TV Guide, our pass-around rate, little edge number of people who read every issue of TV Guide was something like 2.5. But of people, it was eight. They assumed that eight people read every copy of TV Guide.
Leo: No. That's such a lie. That's such a lie.
Jeff: Which means that the copies in doctor's offices were obviously read by 800 people to try and get that mean rate.
Leo: Ah, that's what brought the average up. Okay. Yes, you don't see TV Guide in the doctor's office that often.
Jeff: No. You don't see TV Guide anywhere, any more.
Leo: You know, the real truth of this is that all advertising numbers are lies. The Arbitron ratings that People meters, all of it's made up. Everybody knows this; everybody is in cahoots on it. It always comes down to, “Did you get your money's worth?” It's a little harder for brand advertising because you can't measure sales directly from the ad. All of our advertisers are, for the most part anyway, direct ads so they can measure sales. So all it really comes down to is we try to charge as much as we possibly can. As long as they don't lose money in the advertising, everybody's happy. You know, they make more money than they lose, return on investment.
Gina: Has there ever been any sort of initiative in podcasting to ping back when somebody plays? Nothing's ever caught on or -
Leo: Well, it can't because you'd have to have a special player and special software. So, in fact, I think it's Nielsen or one of the rating groups. I think it's Nielsen, is getting into podcast advertising, along with Adobe. That's what they propose, is there be an Adobe player that counts. But I don't want that.
Gina: Yes, it seems like it would have to be some sort of open thing where you stuff the pingback URL and a header and in every player look for that URL and hit it, pinged it when the play button was press. I mean, the chances of that happening seems like extremely wide adoption, for really good reason.
Leo: It's an imperfect art. It always has been. Right, Jeff? Magazines and newspapers, same thing. It all comes down to, did Coca Cola feel like, when it bought $1 million ad on the Super Bowl, it got its money's worth? And I guess they do research to try and figure out who saw it. But you can't.
Jeff: Well, don't forget there's a moral hazard in here, because ad agencies for a long time and still to this day, some of them are paid on how much media they bought.
Leo: Right, they get a cut.
Jeff: So it was in their interest to say to the advertiser, “Oh, it was worth spending $100 million because we got our cut of the 100 mill.”
Leo: It actually hurts us because we're cheaper than a lot of mainstream advertising. So agencies are as incent[iviz]ed to place stuff with podcasting because, you know, when it's podcasting it's only $1 million buy instead of $100 million buy.
Gina: That's backwards. That's so backwards.
Leo: But if they were representing their customer's interests, exactly, they would say, “Let's take the efficient, lower spend.” But that's not their interest. Again, we shouldn't talk about any of this.
Gina: Sorry. Sorry.
Leo: Hey, Jeff or Gina, maybe you know. Somebody in the chatroom is saying, “Doesn't Google charge per click, not per view?”
Jeff: This is not about search ads or AdSense, this is about DoubleClick, because remember that Google displays a huge, huge proportion of the display ads on the internet.
Leo: Display ads, banner ads.
Leo: Those are charged per impression, not per click.
Jeff: Yes, as a rule and then there's various models. But now the interesting thing happens, is I don't know if we talked about this in the show but Chartbeat, run by Tony Hale, is arguing that the metric we should move to is attention. The problem with the old media metrics of reach and frequency is, that leads to clickbait and cats. Pure volume.
Jeff: If you go to attention and how much time is spent exposed to an ad, then you get rid of that viewability problem. Because you're not exposed to it if you can't see it and so the Financial Times and Chartbeat are going to charge based on attention minutes for certain demographics, like 1000, 10 thousand attention minutes of European CEOs. Ed Williams at Medium, who has to charge on TTR, total time read, selling it like verifiable TV. The economists are now joining in as well. So at a higher level end of content, you're starting to move from pure volume to attention.
Leo: I think that's good for everybody, because then you don't - that gets rid of the Buzzfeeds and all the clickbait and listicles, all of that. You're really trying to measure what really matters, which is the viewers' engagement of the content.
Jeff: Right, and the other thing it gets rid of, I think, is what I've come to really despise now. It's this idea that everybody needs a take on - “We need our take on this.” Of course, we do that here because that's what -
Leo: That's all we do. The entire TWiT network is based on our take on that.
Jeff: It is our take on that. But if you go to, you know, Google News. You see 1200 of the same story and know that it was reported just once. The amount of resource to make that, why is that there? It's there because they want more pageviews, pageviews, pageviews.
Leo: That's become a real bane of my existence, is the kind of rehash article. Everybody does this now, and I always, when we report stories, we try to give credit to the originator of the story. We try to get the original originator, not the rehash. There's one exception there, though. Paywalls. So when Jessica Lesson does some original reporting on the information or the Wall Street Journal does some original reporting, I often end up quoting the rehash because you can't get past the paywall to see the original reporting. So there's a negative on paywalls, by the way. Not that that matters, I try to give credit to the information. If the information breaks a story, I want them to get credit because I want them to get more subscribers.
What do you - all right, we're really going to go far field. What do you think about what happened to the New Republic, Jeff?
Gina: Oh, this is going to be good.
Leo: Now let me just say, I was a subscriber for years to the New Republic.
Gina: Should we recap for folks who aren't kind of media nerds? This is kind of an insider story.
Leo: This is a 100-year-old magazine founded in Teddy Roosevelt's living room that represented the progressive - progressive is kind of an old political term you'll remember from high school, but the kind of progressive, left-leaning politics. But it was very much an insider journal for the beltway. I loved it, read it religiously until Martin Peretz came along, and then I left. Because I didn't like him. I was concerned about ownership. Chris Hughes of Facebook, one of Mark Zuckerberg's roommates at Harvard, who was hired in his freshman year at Harvard to work at Facebook, bought it two years ago, right?
Jeff: About that. Three, I think.
Leo: Which I thought, that's a good thing. Because here's a very - by the way, Chris Hughes is very smart, you know. He has a great pedigree. Anybody who buys the New Republic presumable understands the value of the New Republic. Most people had never even heard of it.
Jeff: He worked in the Obama campaign after leaving Facebook?
Leo: He worked in the Obama campaign, that's right. He was the guy credited with Obama's digital success in 2008. So I thought, “Oh good, this is -” I mean, I was more excited about that than Jeff Bezos buying the Post. Ironically, Jeff has done a great job with the Post and well, we'll see what Chris has done with the New Republic. So this week, the highly-regarded editor-in-chief of the New Republic, I think he was fired. Some say he left.
Jeff: Well, he had to -
Gina: Well, he had to ask whether or not he had been replaced. The supposedly, the answer was yes.
Jeff: Yes. There were supposedly going to hire Gabriel Snyder as the digital person.
Leo: From Gawker.
Jeff: But then it turned out that he was the editor. He had to call, Franklin Fore, had to call Chris Hughes to figure out if he was fired or not, and the answer was yes. So then lots of people like that left.
Leo: Then they brought in - the many decades grizzled veteran of reviews, quit. Then about 30 editors and contributors said, “That's it, we're out of here.” Everybody left.
Gina: It was a mass exodus.
Leo: Partly because they brought in this digital guy, because what this really is about is something that's happening in every newsroom in the nation. Which is the move to online, you've got to find a way to succeed online. But unfortunately, they brought in a guy from - was it Yahoo or AOL? I can't remember.
Leo: Who was a little tinny or tone deaf, he didn't pronounce Fore's name right, for one thing, which kind of shows he doesn't even know what he's doing. Then he said, “Well, we're going to be a vertically-integrated digital media property and we're going to break stuff.” Everybody kind of said, “Oh God, not us.” But I have to say, some of this looks a little bit like old media rejecting digital ways.
Jeff: Well, it's a whole bunch of tribes going on here. Now, please do not give any publicity to the name that I'm now not about to mention. But I very much have a dog in this fight because New Republic ran an 8000-word personal attack on me.
Leo: Really? Oh, I missed that. I got to go find that.
Jeff: No, you know what that is. We've not discussed it. When I wrote a reply, they refused to so much as effing link to it.
Leo: Was this in the Chris Hughes era?
Jeff: Yes. So I hate the sons of bitches. I think they're irresponsible dorks and I think the magazine has been crap for the last three to five years. They just tried to become trolls with degrees. So when all this happened, I read a piece, which I think you were going to do a dramatic reading of in a moment. I tweeted that wonderful piece and said it was brilliant. One of my friends came back and said, “Oh, how can you say that?”
Jeff: Well, because what you see is the defense of the New Republic, “Oh my god, how could Silicon Valley come into this?” The truth is, Chris isn't really Silicon Valley. He won the lottery at Harvard to end up as Mark's roommate and he's a smart guy and did smart things. That's all wonderful. But he's not really a Silicon Valley guy. Hiring sort of young, whatever you call Silicon Valley - so this is not a war of Silicon Valley versus media, which is how it's been presented. It's kind of a war of New Republic-ites versus New Republic-ites and there's various difficult tribes within the New Republic world. The New Republic world is tiny. There are far more Americans saying, “What the hell is the New Republic,” than ever read the New Republic in all this coverage. So they cancelled their December issue. They're going to come out with the next in February. I think it's a big old yawner. I don't necessarily condemn the new regime or condemn the new editor. We'll see how he does, but I think the magazine has been crap for quite some time. There are those who, just like you, Leo, cancelled the prior regime.
Leo: Long ago, yes.
Jeff: When Martin Peretz owned it long ago, and have said it's been crap ever since then. So it's one of those magazines like, I forget, when I went to South by Southwest, what year? I forget who it was, asked on Twitter, “How can I act like a veteran?” And my response was, “Just complain that it's not as good as last year.” I think the same is true of the New Republic is that, by acting like a New Republic reader, you're going to complain about, “It wasn't as good as the old days,” whatever. It's always been tiny.
Leo: What is the circulation? It can't be more than like 40 thousand.
Jeff: Oh, it's about that. Finally, the thing is that what we really see happening here, which of course I celebrate and I think you do too unless you want to be curmudgeonly today, is that this idea that we had to have a journal of ideas isn't necessary any more. We have something called the internet. Yes, it's hard to find the diamonds in the rough, that's true. But we'll come up with systems for that. There's far more voices than ever existed before. Those efforts wouldn't even so much as link to me when I had something to say that they had caused. That idea that you have the gatekeeper who can have closed opinions is over, folks.
Leo: You don't want a club. You want to foster -
Jeff: That's what it was.
Leo: You want to have a place where - see, part of the problem is there isn't any money in being this kind of thinker and writer.
Jeff: There never was.
Leo: There never has been. So it was nice that something fostered that and some rich people came along and said, “We'll continue to pay you.” But you don't want it to turn into a club. So I agree with you and sometimes I feel like this is just old media going, “Oh, these internet people. They're so disgusting. They're so plebeian.” Where is that piece on Medium?
Jeff: It's on Medium, hold on here.
Gina: Which piece is this?
Leo: I want to read it, because it was so funny.
Gina: Is this Jeff's response?
Leo: No, this is a send up.
Jeff: This is a piece, just search on Medium, “I quit the New Republic,” and you'll find it.
Gina: Oh, the “I Quit” piece, yes. You know, it's funny. I never read the New Republic. I've been really interested in Chris Hughes. He's been like the silent founder. He barely had a role in the social network. He's like the silent gay founder of Facebook. I don't know him personally but I have a couple of close connections and I found this whole thing really fascinating to witness sort of as a drama because it was this drama going on. But what was interesting is, they sort of cast the Silicon Valley side as anti intellectual. Like, one of the lines that got quoted was, one of the new regime said, “Well, I just stopped even reading those long-form articles.”
Gina: Yes, TL;DR, man, let's disrupt this business. Let's just move fast and break things. Which I find really funny, because they were sort of acting just like a stereotype of themselves. It felt like it could have been that show on HBO, but it was also - it seemed like there was many lessons in management to be learned from this scenario too.
Leo: The thing that's interesting is contrasting this to Jeff Bezos' stewardship of the Washington Post, which one would expect to be terrible and in fact, I think the Post has been doing really good work in this last year.
Jeff: Yes, but don't build the statue yet. What he's been doing, which has been endearing him to every editor in shop is he's been hiring. He's been throwing money at it. Okay, but the most - the only thing we've seen so far that's been terribly technologically based is, “Oh boy, you can get Washington Post on your Kindle Fire.”
Leo: Yes, no revolution in digital there, no.
Jeff: That's it. None. My hope for Jeff Bezos at the Washington Post has long been, since he bought it, that he would bring his expertise. I wrote a certain book about the idea that we're going to move to a relationship structure in news, or should. Amazon knows better than anyone, Jeff Bezos knows better than anyone, how to build relationships of relevance and value to people. I want him to bring that to Washington Post.
Leo: Yes, I wouldn't want him just to say, “I'm going to make it a hobby and I'm just going to fund.”
Jeff: Or a bully pulpit. What makes me nervous is, there's a brilliant editor there, Marty Barren. Which is great, and Marty is quite amazing and has a great staff. So that's all good in my little world. In my little club, we admire Marty. But then he hired, as the new publisher, basically a political fixture. A guy who knows nothing about internet, he's the guy who killed TVD, which was a local site in Washington. For many of us that cared about local news, we were really putting a lot of hopes on and it unceremoniously got executed. That's the guy who's hired to run the business side of the Post. I don't see a lot of vision coming there. If there's not vision on both the editorial and the product side, there's going to be trouble. So far, yes, Bezos has thrown money into the Post. So far, Marty Barren is doing really good things with that money. But I was hoping for a lot more experience and vision from Jeff Bezos and the Post.
Leo: Here's what I'm hoping for, is that he is quite rightly trying to get everything up to snuff, get a great quality product and is willing to, because he's got deep pockets, defer this larger problem of how do you make this work in a modern digital age? After he learns and builds.
Jeff: We don't have the time to defer.
Leo: Why not?
Jeff: I think he's going to start experimenting.
Leo: Well, I think he will at some point. But I'm glad he didn't just jump in.
Jeff: But then I thought that's what was going to happen, I was giving it all the time. I just see, the uh-oh sign I see, is that the guy he put in charge couldn't be more old media.
Leo: Aren't publishers always, though, horrible? Publishers are the sales guys.
Jeff: No, because that's our hubris in the editorial side. Where, what we should be doing is putting visionaries on the business side as well and business strategies. You've got a business vision.
Leo: It needs to be viable, right?
Jeff: Yes, but we have to find something.
Leo: And it has to be modern.
Jeff: So enough of the - I'm sorry.
Leo: It's very inside baseball, but as soon as I read it I said, “I have to ask Jeff.”
Jeff: This is how I get in trouble for Gina not having enough airtime.
Leo: This is, by the way, the Washington's Post opinion piece on this was, “The New Republic is dead thanks to its owner, Chris Hughes.” They blamed him. What do you think? You said you know Chris a little bit?
Gina: No, no, I don't know him personally.
Jeff: Chris is a smart guy, a very smart guy.
Gina: From what I've heard, I have friends who know him. I'm interested to see what he does. I think he's done a lot of interesting things in his career. So I think he's got a shot at turning New Republic into something new and different. I just think that this was not the most - it was an inauspicious beginning, the shake up, the shakedown. I enjoy this time of year because all these media companies go through these big sort of shake ups. It will be interesting to see what happens, but I'm definitely going to watch. I think he has a shot at doing something good. I just don't think this was a good start.
Jeff: I think you're right Gina and I think that I didn't necessarily like the product before. So maybe it's good news that the people who ran that product are out and we have new people in. While we're on inside baseball, something that happened right before we got on the air that's huge in my world. Which is, Alan Rusbridger, the editor of the Guardian, who I think is the best newspaper editor of any newspaper whose language I could possibly read in the world. He's stepping down to have the trust that owns the Guardian and he'll be replaced next year. That's gigantic news in my field. End my geeking now, and you can do your dramatic reading.
Leo: Actually, the big news in my field broke last night, which is that HBO is going to start putting its content on the web this spring. And that the guy they brought in to do their digital streaming platform quit in disgust.
Gina: Yes, speaking of dramatic firings. The HBO CTO is out.
Leo: Yes, because HBO realized after the Game of Thrones debacle earlier this year, that this guy didn't know how to do anything and that this team he had built was ineffective. So they're going to Major League Baseball to stream the content. They already do it for wrestling.
Jeff: It makes sense.
Leo: MLB does a great job of streaming content, right?
Jeff: Yes, I mean, why build it if it's there? There was another argument this week in my world, the CEO of the Guardian. Andrew Miller said, “Newspapers shouldn't be technology companies. That's not what's going to save us.” Then a lot of my friends got all angry and thought that was haughty. I couldn't agree with him more. HBO is - I don't go to HBO because it knows how to do code. I go to HBO because it knows how to do shows, except for the Newsroom, which is junk and I can't wait for it to end. It's almost over. But anyway, HBO's core competence is not how to build a player. The tech guys, they always have to build it themselves, pah.
Leo: So they hired this guy and he brought in a bunch of Microsoft cronies. They have a big office.
Jeff: Well, that tells us something.
Leo: Otto Berkes, as CEO, he's been there for a few years. He brought in people from Microsoft, set up a large office in Seattle, 55 engineers, laying off a number of long-time employees in HBO's New York headquarters. This is from Fortune Magazine, “The Seattle office, which is rumored to cost HBO as much as $100 million per year, has been the source of internal squabbling at the company. Insiders accused Berkes of building 'a Napoleonic empire' within HBO.” He resigned in disgust after being informed that he wasn't going to be doing the streaming. But also, I think very interesting that HBO has finally pulled the trigger. I think, it remains to be seen if you'll have to demonstrate that you have a cable subscription. But they've been making noise about this for some time. If they dis-intermediate the cable companies, that's the beginning of a big move to IP TV.
Jeff: But, Leo, how long have we said that, “Oh, here comes the thread to pull in the sweater?”
Leo: Well, HBO is a big thread.
Jeff: It is.
Gina: And they've got a deadline. They've got a public deadline. Game of Thrones premieres in the spring and the streaming has to be flawless, right? So it sounds like this guy just wasn't able to ship on time or there was a bug he knew about and didn't do anything about.
Leo: Yes, there was a bug. He had a memory leak bug for nine months and he didn't fix it. Then that brought down the Game of Thrones streaming.
Gina: Yes, HBO Go. That's the thing, people pay a lot of money for HBO. They expect HBO Go to work, that just sounds like the right business idea.
Leo: IP TV, baby
“I have some personal news. Today I resign from The New Republic. But I am excited to join Fusion! Which I am also resigning from, effective immediately. To start a new adventure at BuzzFeed! An adventure, I might add, which ends today. Because I’ve been hired by Vox! And from which I must summarily tender my resignation. In order to join the amazing crew at The Intercept! Who have been so kind to me, in the single minute that I spent there, before letting them know that I am moving on. To fire up my career as a freelance writer! Get at me, editors! And now, please stop “getting at me,” as the life of a freelance writer has proven too difficult. But not as difficult as the decision to join, and then quit from, and then again join The Atlantic!” This is a wonderful Medium piece by Jason O. Gilbert and I love the illustration of a revolving door at the head of his -
Gina: Inside building, outside building.
Leo: It's very funny and it goes on, and on, and on and on.
Jeff: It's just great.
Leo: I really loved that. I just had to laugh out loud when I read that. I don't know who Jason O. Gilbert is, but he's got a fine touch and he should find a job at the New Republic.
Gina: He clearly has lots of media-type friends who announce their new gigs very often.
Leo: We've all seen these emails, haven't we? Or tweets.
Gina: I feel like my tweet stream, yes. I'm friends with a lot of writers.
Jeff: He's an editor at Yahoo Tech.
Leo: “I am beyond thrilled, however, to announce that I am launching a new media startup, in collaboration with Tina Brown and the puppet Smarf from 'Too Many Cooks.' And as I leave today, due to disagreements with investors over the direction of the publication, as well as a series of too-public arguments over usage of the office refrigerator with Smarf, I can only say that I am so proud of what we might have accomplished, had I not been engaged full-time in searching for other jobs in media, accepting other jobs in media, and poring through my thesaurus for synonyms to the word 'thrilled.'”
Gina: It was so well done.
Jeff: At the end of this world, there's news in your old world.
Gina: There is.
Jeff: Nick Denton announced the so-called “unclenching.” What do you interpret of this? So Nick is now stepping down as CEO and has a board of like 40 people who are going to manage - (crosstalk)
Leo: Nick Denton is the founder and publisher of Gawker, we should say.
Gina: And my former employer.
Leo: Where Gina started Lifehacker, yes.
Gina: Yes, Lifehacker is a Gawker site. I ran the site for five years. I founded the site, I own stock in Gawker. Gawker is - I haven't been there for years, five years now. Nick wrote a 15-page essay, which the short version is, he wants to blog again. He doesn't want to be the president of the company and the single-point person to run the entire company. The company is huge now and so he's assembled a team of seven executive managers to run the company and he wants to write more. Which, I'm very excited about because Nick is actually an extremely smart and good writer. So I'm happy to see him writing again, but yes. The essay is very, very long and probably wouldn't amuse anyone else as much as it amused me. It's very Nick and it's very transparent, which is kind of what Gawker does, right? They turn things inside-out. So it's interesting.
Leo: Tommy Craigs, who is at Deadspin, is now the executive editor over all eight flagship titles. I like this, Nick writes, “We will return to our mission: more linebackers with fictional dying girlfriends; less pandering to the Facebook masses.”
Gina: Yes, I love that.
Leo: Less clickbait, in other words.
Leo: Though I guess his point is more investigative pieces.
Gina: They want to break stories, yes. They want to speak truth to power and they want to stay independent. They've never taken any sort of funding. They want to keep growing, which they have been. Gawker's done really well. Every December, January, there's a reckoning there and there's some sort of reorg and kind of refocus. I think this one sounds good. I think that Nick is now not running a small company any more. When I started there, it was just a couple people that he Paypal'd a couple bucks a week to write one or two sights. Now, it's a giant company with HR and all-hands meetings.
Leo: $16 million revenue, Gawker, Gizmodo, Deadspin - what's Deadspin, politics?
Leo: Jezebel, io9, Jalopnick - that's cars, Kotaku - that's gaming. And I love it, he says, “Lifehacker, oh, beloved Lifehacker...”
Gina: Yes, and you know, Lifehacker's burden was always that we - it's not we any more. But Lifehacker is kind of like the nice site in the group, you know? The whole Gawker group is -
Leo: There's no gossip.
Gina: Yes, it's not gossip. It's not snark. It's just helpful. So we were always sort of like the black sheep tonally anyway and I'm happy to see that the current team has kind of kept up with that. But yes, I like that he said, “Beloved Lifehacker.”
Leo: He says, “We haven't been ourselves lately. Editorial traffic was lifted but often by viral stories that we would rather mock. We the freest journalists on the planet — were slaves to the Facebook algorithm. The story of the year — the one story where we were truly at the epicenter — was one that caused dangerous internal dissension. We were nowhere on the Edward Snowden affair. We wrote nothing particularly memorable about NSA surveillance. Gadgets felt unexciting. Celebrity gossip was emptier than usual.” Boy, I hope he's sincere and I hope this is the direction they take. That's great.
Jeff: Nick is highly self-critical, always has been, always rows the other way. Nick's brilliant. He's just amazing. I was on the board of his last company, Moreover. I once said to him, in the middle of a crash, and I said, “Boy, Nick, it's a good thing you raised too much money.” He raised a lot of money, the company was surviving through this. He said, “No, Jarvis. It's the worst thing I ever did. I thought this could go off and go down rabbit holes, I was wrong.” That's just the way Nick is. If you ever think he's going to go this way, he zigs that way and has a good reason to do so.
Leo: I hope this is the beginning of a lot of these companies kind of chewing the clickbait, the listicle, the Facebook news algorithm and starting to try to create good content on its own face. Not worry about virility.
Gina: I do too.
Jeff: We need business models to support that.
Leo: Well, that's always been the problem, hasn't it?
Jeff: Because all that was important was the old volume metrics.
Leo: It ain't about volume. 60 million is pretty decent. I could see TWiT becoming a $60 million company. We're on our way there.
Let's take a break and we will continue with more. Jeff, Gina, Leo, this is TWiG. Yes, there's Google news and there's the Google change log, let's not forget that.
Leo: Never. Never! But first, a word from FreshBooks.
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Now let's play the drums, break out the trumpets. I don't see a Google changelog.
Jeff: Sound the kazoos.
Leo: Is there a Google changelog?
Gina: Oh, it's here.
Leo: There it is! The Google changelog! Here's Gina Trapani, who is all bundled up in the winter snow.
Gina: In the snow.
Leo: To bring us this holiday changelog.
Gina: Got a couple, lots of couple little new features here and there to talk about. Google+, two new things about Google+. First, now you have the ability to pin a post to the top of your profile, your Google+ profile. This used to be only available, I think, to brands and Pages but now personal profiles have this. So the feature is similar to Twitter's, pin tweets. It means anybody who visits your profile will see the pinned post and you can do any kind of content, videos, links, etc. The pinned posts are viewable to Android and web Google+ users with iOS support coming soon. So posts stay pinned until you manually unpin them.
The other thing that Google+ got was some expanded gender identity options. So it used to be when you filled out your Google+ profile, you chose Male, Female or Other. The gender field now has four entries. It is Male, Female, Decline to State and Custom. If you choose Custom, you can fill in however you want to identify and you can limit who can see your gender just like you can do now. That feature is rolling out for all users over the next few days.
Google brings My Maps to Google Drive. So if you go into Google Drive and click on the red “New” button and go to “More,” you can choose My Maps. This is the custom map creation tool. It lets you create maps and share them. This update is rolling out over the next week or so. I already have it. So you can create maps in Drive and you can also do all the things you can also do in Drive, organize these maps in folders, search them alongside your other files and share them easily. The My Maps tool also gets a couple of other functional improvements. You can add more layers and points of interest to user-generated maps too. So a nice kind of interesting differentiation between Google Drive and say, Office 360 for example.
Google Hangouts got a couple of new, neat features. I really like this one. When somebody asks you if you're doing a Hangout with someone, and someone says to you, “Where are you?” Hangouts will automatically detect that somebody has asked, “Where are you?” It will prompt you with a “Share your location,” button. So you can just tap “Share your location,” and drop a pin on a map and it will send the person your location. So a nice, kind of one-time way to say, “Here I am.” Hangouts automatically kind of detects that someone asked you that. So really neat. Of course, there's location sharing in Hangouts already but this is just a little extra prompt in case you forgot it's there and someone is asking where you are.
There's also a couple of other little features in Hangouts. New stickers, a couple of Easter eggs - if you tap Happy Birthday, you get a little visual. You can apply filters to video chats like sepia or vignette, black and whites. Your contacts also now show “last seen” timestamps so you can see the last time that someone logged in and really get creepy on it about keeping track of your friends. Sorry, I said creepy because, you know, Jeff.
Gina: Sorry, Jeff. Jeff, actually speaking of, I wanted to ask you. Are you on the dev channel for Chrome OS, because there's a new smart lock. It's been rolled out to the dev channel.
Jeff: No, I've been dying for this to come out.
Leo: Me too, this is so cool.
Gina: Yes, yes. So this new feature, that we heard about at Google IO, lets you keep your Chrome OS running laptop unlocked with having your Lollipop phone in the vicinity. So it knows you're there and logs you into your laptop. So this has been a part of Lollipop since Lollipop came out, but just now this feature is rolling out to Chromebooks, running the dev channel only. So if you're not on the dev channel, you won't see this. But it's good news it's in the dev channel because that means it will be stable very, very soon. Very, very convenient unlocker.
Jeff: I do use this though, Gina. My Motorola 260 keeps my Nexus 6 unlocked.
Gina: Yes, that's really nice.
Jeff: So there will be a three way here, where my 360 will keep my phone unlocked, which will in turn keep my laptop unlocked.
Gina: Yes, I have to tell you. I'm a little bit like, “Maybe I have to figure out how to set up my dev environment on a Chromebook.” Because, man, that Pixel is nice. It's really, really nice.
Jeff: It's pretty flaky.
Gina: Is it? Wait, what's flaky?
Jeff: The dev environment.
Gina: Oh, yes.
Leo: Yes, in fact I, even on the Mac, stopped using the beta version of Chrome and on my phone. Even the beta version's gotten a little bit cranky.
Gina: Yes, the beta version had this bug where I would tap the menu and it would just crash.
Leo: That's a known bug, yes.
Gina: It's unstable but I wouldn't go with dev. I might go with beta but, yes, I hear you.
Leo: Is dev Canary? That's Canary, right?
Gina: That's Canary, yes.
Gina: So I'm excited to hear that come down. Once that's down and stable though, I'm definitely like, “I'm going to use my Pixel a little bit more.” Because that's just cool. Finally, Androidware just has an update rolling out. I think it's Androidware 5.0 and in fact, I literally just got the notification that I had a system update. I tapped it and it said that I have to charge my battery. My charger's upstairs so I'm on the edge of my seat here. But Androidware 5.0 has a couple of new, neat features.
First, it's got the launch to the official watch face API. This means, thank goodness, that we'll have custom watch faces by designers we actually like, and things you actually want your watch to look like. You'll see, even in the Play Store, I think Facer is one of them. A few different apps now are plugging into the official watch face API to offer new watch faces. In fact, I believe the Play Store has a new section. Thank you, Jeff, for dropping this into the changelog. Just for Androidware watch faces, watch face options. So really good, exciting stuff there for people who want to customize their watch.
Androidware 5.0 also has a couple of other new updates. There's a new navigation feature which gives you the ability to bring back cars that you may have accidentally dismissed. When you tap on the watch face, the list of actions you can do is now reordered based on how recently they were used, which is nice. It's a little smarter. It's got new modes including Theater and sunlight that lets you keep the screen dim or boost the brightness. So, for those of you with Android watches, look for that system update card because it will be coming soon.
That's all I got.
Leo: That, my friends, is the Google changelog. The end.
Gina: The end.
Leo: Node.js is forking. Somebody in the chatroom said, “Do you think they'll cover that on this show?” Well, if we don't cover it in TWiG, where will we cover it? Actually, I'm a little concerned about this because it is our plan to do the front end of our website in node.js. So node.js, I didn't know this. While it is open and an open source project, it is owned in its entirety by Joyent.
Gina: Is it owned or is it the folks who lead it are employed by Joyent?
Leo: Work at Joyent, I guess. I don't know, you can clarify this for me. Because it sounds like there is a group of people who aren't thrilled about Joyent's influence over node.js.
Gina: So it sounds like Joyent is node's official sponsor, so they are kind of in charge of stewardship, the way that Google is in charge of the Android open source projects. For example.
Gina: It's true. Node, it is the new hot thing. Everybody loves node.
Leo: But I'm worried because if it's forked, that means there will be at least two nodes of node.js. Actually, Joyent, in the latest - actually apparently Joyent has been fighting this off for a while. So they created an advisory board to offer community input into node.js. So last week, some of the developers - contributors, not developers. In the open source world, they're called contributors. Forked the product, creating io.js. The schism, according to this article at ReadWrite by Lauren Orsini, the schism surprised the open source community as well as its corporate overseer Joyent. Isaac Schlueter put out a statement saying - he's one of the contributors. He said, “Node's former project, leading it's number two here,” says that io.js will not compete with node and he hopes the two projects will merge back together once the company resolves issues related to its management of the project. So it is a little dissatisfaction with Joyent's involvement.
Gina: Yes, you know, this sounds bad. It's not so bad though. Node has enough momentum behind it. It really depends on the people who leave and fork off and you know, maybe this is a lot of times a way that an open source project resolves issues. You know, when enough people vote with their feet, if it's io.js does certain things the community loves that no .js has done, they'll figure out a way to merge back together. In some ways, it's like, “Hey, this is a way that innovation happens.” It just seems like it feels like a splintering. In this case, it really does seem like there's a genuine conflict here but I don't think node.js is going to go away. It will be around in some form.
Look, if it's some point in two years, Leo, that you have to upgrade or laterally grade from node.js to io.js, that won't be a big deal.
Gina: So I wouldn't be worried about your project.
Leo: Oh, we're going to use Angular anyway. It's the new hotness. Ai-ya-ya. All right, see. I come here. I know when I read these stories, I know that I can come and Gina will explain this all to me. Or I read about the New Republic and I know I can come here and Jeff will explain it all to me. That's why you guys are here, to help me understand what's going on. So thank you.
Eric Schmidt says, “Hey, don't worry about the killer AI robots.”
Jeff: That has been an amazing story, hasn't it? Everybody's been going berserk-o on that, even Elon Musk has been saying that AI is this huge danger.
Leo: I'm not sure I disagree. We've had a number of interviews on Triangulation on this subject, including a guy named Barrett who wrote a book, Our Last Invention. Now, he's not a scientist or computer programmer. He's a journalist. But he has talked to a bunch of people in artificial intelligence, and he says, “There's a surprising consensus in the AI community that now is the time to start thinking.”
Jeff: You know what I think it is, Leo? I think that's hubris in the AI community.
Leo: Maybe. “We're going to get really smart machines.”
Jeff: “We're really dangerous. We're not nerds anymore, we can kill everybody. Watch out.” Show me how far along AI is except trying to kill two guys on Jeopardy.
Leo: We had a guy, Nick Bostrom, who is one of these really top academics in this area. He's written a book called Superintelligence. He was on two weeks ago on Triangulation. He's a kind of interesting, multi-disciplinary threat. He's a philosopher and a scientist; he's at Oxford. His thesis is, he says, “It's going to happen. We don't know when. It could happen as Ray Kirschwell said, in the next few decades. It could happen in 200 years. But at some point, you're going to create intelligent machinery.” He said, “The problem is, we don't have any kind of fundamental ethical basis for how this machinery should be designed so that it doesn't -” He says, for instance, if you created the ultimate paperclip-making machine. Eventually it would turn the whole world, including all humans, into paperclips. So the time is now -
Gina: To decide how many paperclips we want.
Leo: To think about these issues so that when they do get smarter, as they get smarter, that we're prepared. He said, “We know Asimov's Robotic Rules are not right. They're not sufficient. They have all sorts of -” You almost need somebody to work on this like a Bertrand Russell. This is kind of this higher order, philosophical, ethical, scientific thinking. But anyway, Eric Schmidt says, “Relax.”
I trust Eric. He knows. He says, “These fears are normal.” He was speaking at a Financial Times Conference. “They're also, to some degree, misguided. Don't fear artificial intelligence. Welcome our new overlords.”
Gina: I like the photo of Schmidt that they chose for the Business Insider article.
Leo: Yes, what is he, pushing up his glasses? What is he doing there?
Gina: Yes, it's sort of pushed up.
Leo: He's like a tiny little man. Schmidt admits sitting shotgun in a self-driving car is not an altogether happy experience, i.e. terrifying. But you don't have to worry about machines stealing our jobs and taking over the world. According to Schmidt, people have been concerned about machines taking over the world for centuries. That doesn't make it okay. That doesn't make it mean that it's wrong. Go back to the history of the loom. There was absolute dislocation but I think all of us are better off with mechanized ways of getting clothes made. There's lots of evidence that when computers go up, wages go up.
See, he's not really addressing these issues. I think people who are really involved in AI, you're right. There's hubris. Because there's the underlying assumption that at some point, we will make an intelligent machine. But do you think, Jeff, that we should act as if we never will?
Jeff: You're absolutely right, we should have the discussion. But guess where that quickly goes? It quickly goes to, “Well, why don't I pick on them, the EU passing laws limiting the technology that's not even invented yet?” (crosstalk)
Leo: Well, none of the AI experts want that. This is their meat and potatoes. They want to have AI.
Jeff: But I'm just saying, beware.
Leo: Yes, I agree.
Jeff: The technopanic that will inevitable emerge. I'll be on, back on this show, in a few months and we'll see people screaming somewhere in the world, not just Europe. Demanding regulation of artificial intelligence. For God's sakes, the smartest man on Earth says we're in trouble. The craziest man on Earth, God bless us, says we're in trouble. We must do something.
We're at the point now where as soon as new technologies come out, they get regulated.
Leo: Regulation won't stop this anyway because this is going to continue. Ned Lud and his Luddites didn't stop Jacquard looms either. So I don't think - I agree. You don't want this whole technopanic thing to get out of control. You know what, you can also predict that it will, Jeff. But it's not going to stop it. I don't know. You and I will be long dead, so it doesn't really matter. You kids go ahead and do whatever you want.
Leo: Make paperclips.
Gina: Turn everybody into a paperclip.
Leo: Turn everybody into a paperclip, I don't care.
Google's road to virtual reality begins with Cardboard. I love my Google Cardboard.
Gina: I thought Cardboard - I still think Cardboard's amazing.
Leo: Well, apparently, Nicole Lee, who we know very well. She worked for us a for a long time. She's in Engadget. She said, “I thought Cardboard was dumb, but I was wrong.” So Cardboard is a - there's a Cardboard STK not only for Android, but for Unity, which is a very powerful gaming platform. A lot of games are written in Unity. Maybe we're going to see more for Cardboard. This is Google's response to Oculus Rift and the billions of dollars that Facebook spent on Oculus Rift. You just need a little Cardboard and a smart phone.
It's a good article that Nicole wrote on the history of Cardboard.
Gina: It's so interesting to me that they named it Cardboard. Because it's funny, we were talking about the Samsung Gear VR last night on All About Android and our guest. I was saying, “Putting that thing up on my face, I just don't want to do it.” But Cardboard looks like a kid's project, right? It sort of makes fun of itself just by the fact that it's Velcro and stickers and magnets. I just think that Google did the right think by calling it Cardboard and making it this thing that you fold up. The thing that you keep on your desk that so when your coworkers come over, they'll be like, “Oh, let me check this out.” Whereas, the Gear VR takes itself so seriously that I think it turns off people. Because it's this giant thing strapped to your head.
Leo: Ironically, I think the functionality of Google Cardboard is no less than the functionality of the VR. Because you still need a Samsung phone in the Samsung headset.
Gina: It's not that much less. I mean, probably, technically, it's very much less. But it's not less enough for anyone who's a casual user to notice. You know what I mean? So I feel like Cardboard is going to do more for VR than something like even Oculus or the Gear VR. I just think that this is a brilliant, kind of uncharacteristically brilliant marketing or naming thing that Google did hear. I was like, “Oh, yes, this was the right way to do this.” They just sort of offhanded joke, they threw off in the keynote.
Leo: At the Google IO, they handed these out. Yes.
Jeff: Leo, my big question is, will a Nexus 6 fit?
Leo: Oh, no.
Gina: Oh. That's a really good question. Is it no?
Leo: No, I don't think so. Jason, do you have yours? All right, we're going to find out. I have my Cardboard here, thanks to, by the way, Gina, who brought me this back from Google IO.
Jeff: Gina, how did you make that?
Leo: That's right, she made it in the backseat of a car.
Gina: I refused to look at the directions, by the way. I just fumbled with it. Oh.
Leo: It kind of fit.
Jason: That's sad.
Gina: You'll just have to hold it a little differently.
Leo: Just make a bigger one. You need a Jumbo Cardboard.
Gina: Yes, they're going to have to do different sizes of Cardboard now.
Leo: It has NFC in it.
Jason: Put it right here, maybe. Maybe it would do a good job.
Leo: Maybe it would. You know, that's the beauty of Cardboard. You can easily cut it, it doesn't matter. Oops, my Cardboard's running. Wait a minute. So the NFC kicks in and says, “Put on your viewer.” Now, what you want to do is - I got to take off my classes. Do you want to do Airplane - wait a minute.
Jeff: There's a new store for things. Are there new apps up yet?
Leo: You know, I don't know. There is a Cardboard app.
Jason: Paul McCartney concert.
Leo: “Pull and release ring to click.” It's not working. This Cardboard is a little funk-ified.
Leo: Maybe because Gina didn't read the rules.
Gina: It's possibly because I didn't read the instructions.
Leo: No, this used to work but it's just been lying around, that's all. It may be that this Droid Turbo doesn't - so I could show you, see. There's a stereo thing, stereo eye pieces in here. Then the phone, immediately when you put it in, senses, I guess via NFC, and should launch the Cardboard app. If you have the Cardboard app, it will launch and then you'll see it has - can you see that? It has a left and right screen so, this says, “Pull ring to release.” But when you look at it through the stereo viewer, you see one image. It's going to be a 3D image but the clicking isn't working. So I'll have to work on that. That might be a Droid Turbo issue, I don't know. But people are making Cardboard. DODOcase is making one, you can buy it.
Gina: Really, wow?
Leo: Yes, that happened almost the day after Google IO.
Gina: Yes, I'm looking at IamCardboard.com, there's tons of different colors and models.
Leo: You can get plans. I bet you they're going to make one for the Nexus 6, just the right size.
Jason: There's the Google Play Store page apps for Google Cardboard.
Leo: Now, I think DODOcase is overcharging for their Cardboard. It's $25. It's pretty much the same.
Gina: Well, DODOcase is premium, isn't it?
Leo: Well, it looks like premium, yes. It's premium Cardboard made from actual trees, I don't know.
Gina: Is it like - I wonder if they're making it with books.
Jason: Oh, it's upside-down.
Gina: No, just looks like regular corrugated cardboard.
Leo: Yes, it's regular cardboard. I don't know why they charge so much. “New capacitive touch button mechanism works with all devices include iPhone 6.” What?
Jeff: Does it come assembled or do you have to make it?
Leo: Oh, look at that. They launched the hat, you know, the Moto X hat thing. There's the mouse, a little fake Django. I'm sorry.
Jeff: This is Twitch for stupid people.
Gina: The problem with VR is that watching other people do it is completely unsatisfying.
Leo: I should do a Twitch channel of just me doing this. That would be a good Twitch channel. I want to do a Twitch channel called TheDumbGamer. Or TheBadGamer, where I'm clueless like grandma.
Jeff: I like that.
Leo: Wouldn't that be good? “What do you do now? Shoot? Oh, he's shooting at - oh! Oh, wait!” UnofficialCardboard.com has two sizes, Classic and Large. So you can, Jeff, get one that will fit your Nexus 6.
Jeff: Oh you can, oh.
Leo: Yes. This is pretty cool.
Jason: I haven't even opened mine yet from Google IO. At this point I'm holding on to it in its unopened form. We'll see what happens.
Leo: That's like an action figure in the box.
Gina: The mint box.
Jason: That's how I felt.
Leo: It is valuable. That's very valuable.
Gina: Mint, unfolded cardboard.
Jason: Original, sealed.
Leo: This is where it all began kids. And then the robots took over, and ever since we've been living in the sewer pipes under town.
Gina: Everything turned into paperclips.
Leo: But there's no paperclip shortage, I can tell you that. Let's see, what else? Gosh, you put so many stories in here, I don't know what even to look at. What do you guys like? Pick a story. Tell you what, I'll take a break. Gina, pick one. Jeff, pick one. We'll be back in a second after this word from Squarespace.
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Are you guys using Inbox still?
Gina: I never switched over to it because they don't support Google apps yet. I've been waiting impatiently.
Leo: There was an A&A with the Google Inbox developers and they said that they know this and they're working on it.
Gina: They're working on it, yes. It's been - the uptake has been good. I think everybody agrees it's a hit.
Leo: Good, because I am hooked.
Gina: Yes, I'm dying. I'm dying to use it, I really am.
Leo: I love it. And Jeff, you have the same problem, right? You're an apps user.
Jeff: Yes, same problem. You know what, it's the account I don't want to go to because it's my University account that got all messed up with stuff I don't read.
Leo: They are going to start allowing support for more than just Gmail. A unified Inbox for all of your email addresses, cross-browser support. I didn't know this, that you can only use it in Chrome right now. That's what I use, so I never noticed. But they are going to make it work with Safari and presumably with - (crosstalk)
Gina: Yes, I think Rupert was complaining about that.
Leo: They do say, I thought this was the most encouraging, Jason Cornwell who is the interaction designer. Hi, Jason, we know you watch. Jason said, “There's a long list of Gmail features that will eventually come to Inbox.” In other words, parity with Gmail. “We really want to balance building those features with building out new features that continue to improve the Inbox product concept. “Undo send” too. I don't care about undo send.
Jeff: There are times I wish for it.
Leo: Drunk emailing?
Gina: I don't email much when I'm drunk.
Leo: There is an undo a delete of archive, which I really like. I frequently accidentally click the sweep thing and go, “Whoops.” Undo of that is very easy.
Jeff: I'm waiting for Gina's next insight on ThinkUp, which is, “The tweets Jeff Jarvis should have deleted.”
Gina: I'm working on that one now.
Leo: I got a funny insight the other day.
Jeff: Leo, do you know how many times I used the f-word on Twitter this year?
Leo: How many times?
Jeff: What do you guess?
Gina: That's almost it.
Jeff: Nearly 39. Then, 40 when I complained about it.
Jeff: I was amazed.
Leo: What? You complained and use the f-word twice when you complained?
Jeff: I said, “Oh, eff.”
Leo: So are you doing year-end insights on ThinkUp?
Gina: Yes, we're doing the best of 2014, best of the year-end insight per day in December, which have been really fun. People have loved them.
Jeff: They've been great.
Leo: Oh, I've got to go there right now.
Gina: I'm so glad you've been enjoying them.
Jeff: Then Gina told me how many words I tweeted in the year, and of course, I had to point out that 39 of them were the f-word.
Gina: The f-bomb insight was like, tailored for you, Jeff.
Jeff: I was afraid you did it just for me. I was afraid it was called the Jarvis insight.
Leo: Let me see here. I tweeted 10,483 words in 2014. How many did you?
Gina: That's good. I think I was like 12k.
Leo: That would be not very long, but that would be a book about 38 pages. For some reason, September was a busy month was 2641 words. Then this is the Facebook thing. I want to know how many of those 10 thousand words were f-bombs.
Gina: Click on the “See More” button in the header there. Where it says, “best of 2014”, do “See More.” Yes, so these are all your best ofs. Then you'll see. If you've never used the f-word, you don't have the insight at all. Because we're not trying to, you know.
Leo: “You used the f-word zero times.”
Gina: Right. We don't show that insight.
Jeff: I tweeted 78,933 words so far.
Leo: 73 thousand.
Jeff: 78 thousand.
Leo: My updates resonated with men, 76% of my updates were liked or commented on by people who identify as male. Do you identify as male and not a female?
Gina: Well, yes, but well. Yes.
Leo: Oh dear. 218 tweets had exclamation marks. That's almost a third. That's bad. That's not so good. This is my most popular picture on Twitter, when Lisa and I were featured in MAD magazine.
Gina: That's right.
Leo: That's my most popular picture ever. My most talkative day on Twitter was September 12th, I tweeted 28 times. Good lord.
Gina: Tweet storm.
Leo: I don't see any f-words.
Gina: I think you kept it clean, Leo.
Leo: I think I kept it clean.
Jeff: I tweeted to Marc Andreessen 98 times in the year and he replied 44 times.
Jeff: “OM, get a room,” says ThinkUp.
Gina: Jeff and Mark sitting in a tree.
Leo: Drew Nielsen wants to know, “Do I need a paid membership to get these insights?”
Gina: Nope, free trial if you sign up right now. You will back all your insights for the month, will be back-filled. So you'll get all your best ofs and you get a free trial for the next two weeks. So you'll get all of them.
Leo: Now is the time if you've been putting it off. ThinkUp.com.
Gina: Yes, this has really been the first time we've had insights like, go viral, that people really talk about. It makes a lot of sense. December is when you kind of look back. But yes, we've had kind of a gangbuster update the last few days and it was like, “Oh, okay. People care about this stuff.” This is the time of year that people care about this stuff. Some of these have landed pretty well.
Jeff: Well, it's all about ego. Enough about you, what about me? How many times did I use the f-word.
Gina: Yes. We had one called “Twitter bestie” which would tell you the person you replied to most and who replied back to you, the “Get a room” one. So that copy landed really well. Then people would be like, “What about mine?” So it kind of travelled. We'd see people tweet at one another, “Hey, you're my bestie.” Then we'd watch that person sign up. So it was really fun to see that kind of trickle through the network.
Leo: That's neat.
Jeff: Here's the one that's really most obnoxious. In 2014, 28% of Jeff Jarvis' tweets, a grand total of 2511 contain the words, “I, me, my, mine or myself”. Sometimes you just got to get personal.
Gina: No judgment.
Leo: No judgment, that's nice. You used to have a judgment in that one but you took it out.
Gina: We did.
Leo: I love it. That was a little ad for ThinkUp we just kind of stuck in the middle there.
Gina: Thank you, that was unexpected. I appreciate that.
Leo: Gina, what do you think of these stories? What do you want to talk about?
Gina: Well, I am kind of excited about Android Studio 2.0 going in stable. We talked about this on All About Android last night but I want to bring it up again because it's pretty neat. I've installed it and played around with it and it's really neat. So Android Studio is the IDE development tool that developers use to make Android apps. Android Studio, it's been in beta for a while. We saw a demo of it at Google IO but it went stable just this week.
Leo: Is this better than Eclipse?
Gina: It's better. It's definitely better. It's based on IntelliJ and it's way better than Eclipse. Google's clearly invested their resources into it and is using it to kind of guide developers. So when you create a new project in Android Studio, it'll say, you check boxes, “Are you developing for ware, TV, Android auto? What screen sizes?” You can, as you change your layout, see the way that it would look on lots of different screen sizes. It's really, really nice, I have to say. It's really slick. I was kind of hesitant to use the beta version because you know, you really don't want to release a production app using a beta tool. But now that it's stable, I feel like developers are really going to move over to it. Yes, it's quite nice and I think we're going to see a lot more apps with material design and laid out really nicely, working on all different screen sizes, form factors and for where, TV and auto, do a lot to this tool. Which is definitely better than Eclipse, from what I can see.
Leo: IntelliJ was paid, is this free?
Gina: This is free. Was IntelliJ paid? I think so, yes.
Leo: Yes, it was expensive, I think.
Gina: This is definitely free. This is the official Android IDE.
Leo: It runs on Windows, Mac and Linux, of course.
Gina: Yes. I had a little funkiness, had to install the JDK and I had to have one of the plist files on my Mac but I got it working. It's quite nice.
Leo: Apple makes Xcoat available for its developers and it's a very nice IDE. So you have to compete if you're going to get developers. You've got to offer a nice environment. Microsoft has the Visual Studio so I think this is something Google had to do.
Gina: Definitely. I think a lot of developers, job developers, feel like Eclipse is really old, clunky and slow so this is kind of the next generation. It's really nice. So I think consumers are going to see some of the improvements that Studio improves or makes easier, you know, trickle down starting now and into next year.
Leo: It's exciting. You know, because it's the hour of code and I like to celebrate that by learning a new language every year. By the way, everybody should take advantage of this hour of code now, to learn programming something. It's fun.
Jeff: The President did.
Leo: The President wrote his first program.
Gina: Yes, he's on Github.
Leo: What? He put it on Github?
Leo: What's his Github account?
Gina: It's PresidentObama, if I'm not mistaken. Let me see.
Leo: That's a good account.
Gina: Right? There's some great photos of him coding this.
Leo: Yes, there he is. And look, he doesn't have any repositories you can view. But he has -
Gina: How about activity?
Leo: He contributed to a repository for Sunlight Labs called US Laws.
Gina: Yes, he's opened a few issues there. That's great.
Leo: Look at that. Look at that. This is great. So I started looking at Go, Google's Go language.
Gina: Oh, good for you! What do you think?
Leo: I like it.
Leo: So, you know, they're replacing Python, I guess, really, Google wise.
Gina: Probably, well, because Google is a Python power company, so...
Leo: It's Python-ish but a lot of the issues people have like the white space issue are gone on this. They have a very nice tour, which I highly recommend if people want to play with it, with an integrated interactive interpreter. So you can actually walk your way through many of the features of Go in this little Go playground, interactively. You know what they have that's so cool? They say, “Just ignore formatting. Type it how you want it.” Because they have this button and they have a formatter that you run it through. It will reformat everything to the kind of standard that everybody adheres to.
Gina: So it doesn't have the white space requisite Python had.
Leo: It doesn't use white space, now it uses braces more as a result. But I think it's a very nice, interesting language. Of course, concurrency is built in because you know, it's really a web-programming language more than Python was. So I think, really nice and very easy to learn. There's a lot of resources online, of course, but start with a tour of Go. If you're a programmer or you'd like to learn programming, I think this would be a good choice.
Jeff: What makes a good language?
Leo: For learning, in my opinion, a good language - I think having an interpreter that you can try stuff in is really important. That was one of the advantages Python had, where you could say, “2 plus 2,” and see what happens and hit Return. But then, also, kind of a cleanliness of syntax and a lot of easy to understand, good libraries helps. I think it's nicely done. I'm very impressed.
Gina: It's always sort of a delicate balance between brevity and clarity. Being able to read code and get a sense of what it's doing and having it easy to debug. I think having code that's easy to debug is really important. Because most of your time, you're not writing code, right? Most of your time, you're debugging code. You're figuring out why the code you wrote didn't work, or the code that someone else wrote didn't work.
Leo: They do a lot around that. That's why they have the formatter and a documenter that takes - I mean, most languages have features like this. But it's really even in this tutorial, they have the Format button. So they're really emphasizing that. I think this is good. It's funny, the one note that I read was there was a really strong debate internally in Google that they use braces a lot. A lot of the Google programmers said, “Can you just use brackets? That will save millions of Shift key presses. Just use brackets.” Because a brace is Shift+bracket. “Could you just please use bracket?” But no, they decided to use braces. If you've used Python or Seal, it will be very easily clear to you immediately how the language works. I think it's elegant and nicely done.
So speaking of code, then run out and download the Android Studio. Start writing your new app.
Gina: Yes, invent a whole world for your Android device.
Leo: I'm going to do that, start messing with my phone.
Gina: Do it, you should.
Leo: It's fun. Jeff Jarvis, what story did you like in there?
Jeff: I actually think you did a great job of covering it. I guess all I'll do is give a plug to Andy Carmin -
Leo: Oh, did I steal your story, as always?
Jeff: No, you didn't do a thing. You just did a brilliant job as host, as you always do. You picked out the best.
Leo: Oh, you're too sweet.
Jeff: You went around, you found the best berries in the patch.
Leo: I'm a berry bearer. Andrew Carmin, you want to plug Andy for something? He's got a new job!
Jeff: Andy, who is a great tweeter of tweeters. He started something called Reportedly as part of PR Midiar's venture. The idea is very simple, was to go take journalism to people where they live in Facebook, Instagram and such. I think it's very interesting. So let's give a plug to Andy.
Leo: Where do I find Reportedly?
Jeff: While I'm plugging - Reportedly is in Medium. So it's Medium.com/Reportedly.
Leo: They also have a Twitter account.
Jeff: While I'm plugging...
Jeff: On Medium, let me mention that I started last week after the last show, putting the entirety of Geeks Bearing Gifts, my book up on Medium for free, chapter by chapter. So if you go to Medium.com/geeks-bearing-gifts you will find the latest chapter on top. I'll be putting them up bit by bit as we go and it will all be free there.
Leo: Awesome. I'll be reading that.
Gina: Nice URL. Very nice.
Leo: I cannot wait.
Jeff: Medium did a great job designing it.
Gina: I was going to say, this is a really beautiful layout.
Jeff: Not that page.
Leo: Except for that page, they did a great job.
Jeff: Except that page, but there. That's nice.
Leo: Medium seems to be taking off. I mean, I'm impressed that they got Steven Levee to run their editorial effort.
Jeff: Medium does some great stuff. Kate Lee, my old agent, is getting stars and celebrities and smart people on Medium to publish. They really are doing a really good job. The fact that Carvin started a whole new news venture on Medium, I think, is significant.
Leo: No kidding. That's, I'm sure, what Ed Williams who created Medium loves to hear.
Jeff: He's got Kate Lee, and Evan Hansen, and Steven Levee all working there. They are top-notch editors and good things are going to happen.
Gina: So I'm sure that Andy's going to do a great job and it's going to be really cool, because he does incredible work. But I have to share with you all a pet peeve of mine, which is any startup name, particularly one that has to do with writing, that ends in -ly. Because I had this hatred of adverbs kind of like, banged into my head as an English major.
Leo: No adverbs!
Gina: So I always feel sad when I see the .ly. But I get that it's also just a domain name thing. But that's okay.
Leo: Also, you're pouring money in Libya. I don't know if that's a good thing either, that's who owns .ly. That's not a problem?
Jeff: One of our newest graduates has a site called Narratively, another one called Contently.
Leo: I briefly own dai.ly. I let it go.
Gina: Really? I hope you made some money.
Leo: No, I just didn't renew it. And then, I had geek.ly for a while.
Gina: Wow. You could have done geek.ly, really?
Leo: The story I picked, I'm hoping we're going to cover a little bit of this on Sunday on TWiT. We're trying to get iJustine on it because she is one of the people in the new YouTube Rewind. You know, YouTube started doing this a few years ago where they would make a video that rewinds the year. This one, out of control, they shot this in I think eight locations. Five principle shooting days. They're at all the YouTube spaces, LA, New York, Tokyo, London. Many YouTube stars featured in it. Great music. A few mainstream celebrities as well, including -
(video plays - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKx2B8WCQuw)
PewdiePie! So part of the game is to see how familiar you are with YouTube memes, because all of these people are famous on YouTube. As an old man, I can tell you, I recognize about five. I remember that video though, right? The adamantium claws. They did a nice job of transitioning. I think that was Jimmy Kimmel, wasn't it?
Jeff: Yes it was.
(video keeps playing)
Leo: Suddenly we're in Tokyo and New York City.
Gina: That's New York, yes.
Leo: The grounds of a stately mansion. I love this guy. I don't know who he is, but I love him. This is good too, I don't know who these guys are. That is a neat effect. There's London.
Jeff: What did this cost?
Leo: I'm trying to think, it's got to be tens of millions. I don't know, maybe not. But I was trying to think, “Why does YouTube do this?” Partly, it's to make these people feel like starts. Because they are.
Jeff: I think that's what it is, because if you don't know YouTube, this isn't going to say anything to you.
Leo: And then, of course, they had to celebrate the ice bucket challenges which took over YouTube for a few months this summer. There's quite a few - they really handled this well, the transitions from set to set are really well done, I think. Everybody's dumping water on each other. You know, so I had Michael, our 11-year-old, I sat him down and said, “Do you know these people?” He named every one of them. He said, “Oh yeah, that's dah dah dah.”
Gina: You know, YouTube does ads on the subway in Manhattan here with different YouTube stars and I never know any of them. I'm like, “Oh, that channel must be great. I'll have to check it out.”
Leo: It must be fragmented, because - is that Michelle Phan? It's kind of fragmented because nobody knows - I wouldn't think anybody would know all of them. He did. Kids do, I guess. Rhett and Link, I know them.
Jeff: How does it feel to be old, Gina?
Gina: No, it makes me feel really old. I toted the idea for 2015, just for a couple months, to be Instagram and Tumblr only, because that's clearly where the kids are. Any YouTube and Twitch maybe, go crazy.
Leo: That's Jenna Marbles, right?
Gina: But I would be a stranger in a strange land.
Leo: It's pretty well done, I got to say.
Gina: It's an epic video.
Leo: The rights involved in this video, the music, of course. It's really nicely done.
A lot of the sets were from YouTube spaces in New York, LA, London and Tokyo.
Gina: Did anyone we know work on this?
Leo: Oh, creepy, creepy baby.
Jeff: I bet our former producer.
Leo: Eileen for sure worked on the LA stuff.
Gina: Did Eileen work on this?
Leo: Yes, I'm sure. Here's John Oliver, look.
Jeff: I saw Eileen. I didn't tell you, I saw her in New York when they opened the space there. She spent a few months getting it ready.
Leo: Oh yes, she was part of that. Great. Big Bird.
Gina: I know Big Bird! I totally recognize Big Bird.
Leo: See, there's some mainstream stuff. Here comes Conan.
Leo: Little Flappy Bird action.
A few of these are viral videos but most of them are channels, right? A few of them, like the adamantium claws. Here, Justine is in this one. Look at this.
Gina: Oh, nice. A little Frozen action.
Leo: This is really quite well done.
Gina: This is great.
Leo: I'll pause it when we see - there's Justine, right there.
Jeff: Yay, Justine!
Leo: Yay, we know one person in this whole dang video. It's pretty spectacular. Although, you know, all this stuff can be done with green screen and so forth. They do, what's nice, besides putting all the YouTube channel stars in here, they also give them credit at the end. So there we are in Tokyo. You'll see, if you didn't know, there's a guide at the end. By the way, here's a hamster eating a YouTube gumdrop.
Gina: Okay, that's cute. Is this like the guide for old people that don't know what's going on?
Leo: If you aren't smart, here's who you just say. PewdiePie, Skyedoesminecraft, Jenna Marbles, Bethany Moda.
Jeff: Pew, die, pie? What is that?
Leo: Smosh, Brett and Link, Michelle Phan, Jimmy Kimmel, Big Bird, John Oliver, Steven Colbert. Chris Hardwick is in this, Conan O'Brien. Those are the big star guys. Freddie Wong, Epic Rap Battles, everybody knows them. AmazingPhil. It just shows you - the Gregory Bros.
Gina: Wow, a lot of these names I don't even -
Leo: Yes. These people are all pretty big, I would say with millions of subscribers on all of those channels. KidPresident, love him. Vsauce2 and 3. Tiny hamster.
Gina: I love that the hamster is still nibbling.
Leo: iJustine, Enjoy Phoenix, Bart Baker, Makeup by Maddie. There you go. That is the big YouTube. They are pretty amazing, the big YouTube Rewind. Each year they get crazier and crazier, a parody on - animated PewdiePie?
Gina: Oh, this is how it should have ended?
Leo: And watch, he jumps into the roof and face plant.
Turn down for 2014. They have a behind the scenes. You can go back to the 2013, the 2012, the 2011.
Jeff: Susan Wojcicki is investing.
Leo: Yes. It makes sense, to me, that they would.
Jeff: It does?
Leo: You want to keep those stars happy. So making them bigger stars, that's good for everybody. You know, I think about my usage of YouTube and obviously yours too. We didn't know who any of those people are. How do we use YouTube?
Gina: I watch Elmo with my kid.
Leo: Or a viral clip or embedded video from other things.
Leo: I think that's probably how most people use YouTube, but maybe not the most avid YouTube users, who are the people who subscribe to all these people's channels.
Jason: Leo, did you see the news at the bottom of the YouTube block that totally ties into what you're talking about here? Google offering its top makers bonuses to sign multi-year deals so that they won't be lured away.
Leo: Yes, because Yahoo is threatening, right? To steal some of these people.
Jason: Yes, this article -
Leo: And I am in the hunt with some big bucks looking to sign some YouTube stars. Interesting. They want to lock them in for several years. Hey, my advice, kids. Get an agent before you sign that deal.
Gina: Yes, I mean, part of me is really just happy to see companies vying for to pay independent content creators. Lots of money, this is good.
Leo: Do you think YouTube tries to shape the kind of content by the money they throw around, or do they just say, “Hey, you're a star. I'm going to give you money.”
Jeff: There is - I don't think there's more shape but there is a quasi-approval process to use their space. I asked about that when I was at the opening. Basically, what they're saying is, “Well, we're just trying to save you the hassle of making something and then finding out it violated some rule or something. So let us know what you're going to make, before you make it.”
Leo: Oh, okay.
Leo: I have the feeling that if I make - well, if I were Susan. I would definitely want to reward the most lucrative partners because, frankly, you wouldn't have thought PewdiePie, who basically sifts his comments and swears during gameplay videos, would be the number one attraction on YouTube. But he is. So you don't want to discourage that, but at the same time don't you want to shape YouTube a little bit as to the kind of content? I doubt there are many crotch shot video guys making money.
Jeff: Well, it's just like Medium. I hate this made up word, it's platisher. But you're a platform and publisher at the same time. Any crap can go up there because - (crosstalk)
Gina: A platisher?
Leo: A platisher.
Jeff: I hate it, I hate it.
Leo: Like the platypus, it's something that could never exist in nature but does.
Gina: So it's like it's curated, user-generated content.
Jeff: Yes. You can promote the best. It makes it possible to have a brand because you can show the best stuff.
Leo: I think it's fantastic. If you think about the transformation YouTube has made, it's unbelievable and it's unpredictable.
Gina: It's old in internet years, but yes. It's been huge and they're -
Leo: You never would have predicted it. YouTube, by the way, will tell you now if you have copyrighted music, how it will effect your video. Because the problem is, some record companies will have your video pulled down. Others will just put an ad on it and you don't know ahead of time. So now, they're content ID system will help you figure out if you're using copyrighted music and what the label or artist will do. Will it mute the audio; will it block the video from being seen or; will it monetize? That's a good feature. So that's something that's a search feature in the audio library will help you with that. Most serious YouTube creators will know all about that but the rest of us with our crotch shot videos, hey. You never know what's going to happen. All right, let's take a break.
Your picks of the week or tip, tool and number of the week, coming up.
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Gina Trapani has a tip of the week.
Gina: My tip, this isn't actually my tip. But it led me to my tip. The Play Store is doing a promo where if you buy a Chromecast, they're giving you a $20 Play Store credit before, I believe, December 21st. So if you still want to do that, you can do that. In researching that, I saw that you can go to Chromecast.com/offers. The Play Store has put out a lot of offers for Chromecast owners, as we know. I took advantage of the Netflix one when I first got my Chromecast. But there are other ones, and if you don't know what offers are available for your Chromecast, whenever you bought it, you go to Chromecast.com/offers. The page will actually prompt you to connect to your Chromecast and then it will show you if you have any open offers that you can take advantage of, associated with your Chromecast. I had a few, which I was totally unaware of. You know, special offers are time off or subscription accounts to various things. You can check that out if you've got a Chromecast, Chromecast.com/offers. Do it on your network that your Chromecast is plugged in and you can see what's available. If you buy one between now and the 21st you get $20 in Google Play credit, which basically brings the cost of it down to like $15 or something. It's a no-brainer.
Leo: Cool. But you have to be on the same network, so I can't do it here.
Gina: Yes, sorry about that. You do have to be on the same network as your Chromecast.
Leo: Actually, what I could do. I'm on a network that has some Chromecasts on it - I could see. No, no Chromecasts. Oh well.
Gina: Sorry about that.
Leo: Chromecast.com/offers. Jeff Jarvis, number of the week? … Muted?
Jeff: I violated your rule, Leo. I agreed to an embargo.
Leo: Don't tell us, just give us the number. Don't tell us what it means.
Jeff: It looks like it's leaking. I know, grr. It's leaking but I did agree.
Leo: That's why we don't agree to embargoes, because then others can cover the story and we have no -
Jeff: I know, I know. It was going to be 11:30 tomorrow morning and now it's - (crosstalk)
Leo: Put the link in, because I didn't agree to the embargo. No, it's all right. Is it a big deal?
Jeff: All I'll say is this, you have to translate - I think it's a very big deal in my world. All I have to say is, you'd have to translate from Spanish by hand.
Leo: Oh, never mind. Does it have to do with Leistungsschutzrecht?
Jeff: Ja, ja, das ist war, ya. Richtig. But in Espanola.
All right, so Instagram hit 300 million monthly users, now beating Twitter.
Jeff: Yes, I think.
Leo: What? And you get verified badges again.
Jeff: All the kids these days ain't using Twitter.
Leo: I, about six months ago, realized that the only social network I ever use that makes me happy is Instagram. Because it's just pictures.
Gina: It's just pictures. Not controversial, right.
Leo: I don't read the comments because that can get a little weird. Just look at the pretty pictures. I love Instagram. They're not filtering the feed, it's just pretty pictures.
Gina: It is Facebook, owned by Facebook at least, but yes. I hear you.
Leo: Pretend it's not. I mean, look at the Popular feed here and see. They've changed this a little bit. So what is the - you can look at Popular photos, or now Popular people. Oh, this is what people I know have liked, which is kind of interesting. That's a new discovery feature.
Jeff: You know, I haven't used Instagram enough. How do you use it? What's your day on Instagram? What are you doing?
Leo: So I launched my photo thing, okay? So I'm going to take a picture. The one thing that is a pisser with Instagram is, it has to be square. So a picture that you would normally take, you're not going to. I'm going to take a picture of my keyboard. There we go. Say, “My word of the week...” So I take my picture there. It's good to take it with Instagram but you don't have to. You can load it from some other thing. Now, the word of the week is Excelsior. Then, you apply a filter, which is what everybody said made Instagram the hit it is, because you can take a really ugly picture and make it more interesting just by applying a filter. Then you continue on and Gina's going to help me. You can tag people in it, add the photo to a map. You can also cross-share to Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, Twitter or Foursquare, including a Foursquare check in. You also write a caption.
Now, the pros use this as an opportunity to add 80 or 90 hashtags.
Gina: Oh, really? Is that how - okay.
Leo: I don't know how they tippity tap. They must have some hashtag machine, some hashtag engine that does this.
Gina: I didn't know that there was SE Instagram optimizations, Instagram - (crosstalk)
Leo: Seriously. Seriously. So I'm just going to write my - then, you can also, as in Twitter, use hashtags to make comments. “My word of the day,” and then you can say something like, “#sorrynotsorry.” I like that hashtag. It's completely meaningless in this context, but okay. Now, I press “Check” and I go.
One thing Instagram added and they fortunately have been slow to add too many features. It's this direct messaging capability, which I don't use but you do have an ability to directly send it out. Otherwise, it's going to be sent to my followers, which it is. Now it's sent out, and there's my Instagram post. Jeff, you should do it. It's fun. People can then heart it by double tapping it.
Jeff: No, I do it. I just don't do it often. Here's the only problem. I don't think of it often enough. I don't think, “Oh, I'm going to take a photo.” I share it on Twitter, on Google+, don't laugh. I don't share it so much on Facebook, oddly enough. But I should do more Instagram.
Leo: Well, and you can cross post to Facebook. So if you wish, you could just start it on Instagram. The thing is, I have to say this. Instagram always makes me happy. The only bad things that happens with Instagram sometimes, a little FoMo. I'm looking at all the little web postings right now and I wish I were in Paris. I'm following Chris Michel. Do you know who he is? He started military.com. He has turned into an amazing, kind of Lika-style street photographer. If you want somebody, Christopher Michel, if you want somebody to follow on Instagram. It's Michel. Let me just show you his feed.
That's another thing Instagram did, I think, which was really great. They finally added a web component. For the longest time, you couldn't go look at people's Instagram pictures on the web.
Leo: That was a real pain in the butt. There were a lot of third-party apps to handle that. No, that's not his Instagram. I have to figure out - oh, it's Chris, I think. Chris_Michel, let's try that. Let's see if that's it. But he is not a professional photographer. That's it. He's doing a lot of beautiful kind of black and white stuff of all the people you know in the industry. Entrepreneurs and -
Gina: Yes, I recognize some of these folks.
Leo: There's Kevin Rose and Tony Conrad, and a beautiful picture. I mean, I really think these are beautiful. So this is all one the web. This is the only bad thing, is I get depressed because people are having better lives than I have. Look at this picture of -
Jeff: I didn't even realize the web was on, by the way.
Leo: I know, but see, if you were on Instagram. See, look at that. I also can tell from this picture that they're at Guy Savoy’s, at Loic's yearly dinner party at the best restaurant in Paris. That makes me even more pissed off. I want to be there.
Gina: Oh, momomo.
Leo: There's Loic meditating. He's big into meditating now, Loic Le Meur, the entrepreneur. There's Loic and Geraldine, his beautiful wife. They are the organizers of Le Web, although they've sold it. But I think they still run it. These are beautiful pictures that Chris takes.
Jeff: They still run it.
Leo: So this is why you follow somebody on Instagram. A lot of photographers on there.
Jeff: No, I like them. I just got to think of it.
Leo: I do. I put it on my front page.
Gina: I mean, Jeff, you're a writer. You're both writers, but you're a word guy.
Leo: Right. That's a good point, Jeff Klavier. Here's Tim Burners-Lee, who was the keynote speaker on Le Web this year, talking to Loic.
Jeff: Who was complaining about the right to be forgotten onstage at Le Web, which was dangerous.
Leo: Our friend, Bradley.
Jeff: A friend indeed.
Leo: So this is fun. They all look so French. Anyway. Okay, I don't know how we got into that. But let me - oh, I know how. Because it's bigger than Twitter now. Now you know why. You can't troll people on Instagram, you can only put up nice pictures. The worst thing you can do is make me feel bad about my life because I'm not in the Bahamas.
Jeff: Can you? That's the question, what can you do? Can somebody help you - what do bad people do on Instagram?
Leo: It's my own fault.
Gina: You can post crappy comments on someone's photo.
Leo: Comments are the big problem on Instagram, yes. They currently have no way to delete comments.
Jeff: Then I can't control them, can I?
Gina: No, you can't.
Jeff: I can't delete some bozo's comments? That's a mistake.
Leo: I'm sure they'll fix that. I hope they fix that. It is a mistake. Damon Wayans, the great comedian, we had on our show Triangulation a couple weeks ago. He has been using it to do commentary, which is sometimes very profane. He has this new app that lets you embed video into a little TV, into an Instagram movie. So he's talking -
I don't know if we should play it because sometimes it can be - but it's funny. Here's a good guy to follow. Damon is very funny. This is - oh, he doesn't like Charles Barkley. Charles Barkley's been kind of controversial. Oh wow, look at that. A lot of interesting commentary on Garner and Ferguson and so forth. So I can see why it's got 300 [million].
Hey, I've got a treat for you. Here's my tool of the week. Nokia, before they got sold to Microsoft, really made a great suite of apps called the Here Apps. Many thought that Nokia's Here Maps were the best nav tool out there. It is available now, it's come out of beta. I've been using it for a while and Samsung was offering it on their Samsung store for Samsung phones only. Now it's on all Android devices, Nokia Here Maps. Of course, you're going to continue to use Ways and Google Maps, I'm not saying replace it. But one thing that's great about Here Maps. You can download the maps and they can be all of the - I have downloaded all of the United States. So I can use this completely offline from now on as a turn by turn nav. It's among the best nav tools out there and it doesn't need to be online, it just needs a GPS.
So it's free, it's available. It's still beta but it is available on all Android devices now. Hard to find in the Play Store, just went live today. So you know how sometimes it gets a while to propagate through search. But if you search for “Here Beta” and the maker is Nokia Apps. Don't be fooled, there are some fakes. Very good turn by turn. Just one more thing to have on your phone in addition to Google Maps. If you're offline it's very handy and if you forget to download ahead of time. I put the entire United States on there, it was a few gigabytes. But you can download maps from all over the world and because it's Nokia, they really have excellent representation all over the world. Asia, Australia and you can do country by country. Next time you're in Hong Kong, just download the Hong Kong map before you go.
That's my tip, tool and number of the week. We are done, my friends. Gina Trapani, smarter - I'm sorry. ThinkUp.com.
Gina: Let's just say ThinkUp.
Leo: And scribbling!
Gina: Scribbling.net, yes, where I haven't been doing very much scribbling.
Leo: No. We all go through this phase. “I'm going to blog again.”
Gina: I'm going to write another blog post about how I resolved to blog again. Then it'll be like six months and it'll be another post about how I resolved to blog again.
Leo: Yes, exactly. Exactly.
Gina: Had a lot of fun today. I like when it's just the three of us. I love our guests, but I always love just the three of us.
Leo: I think it's cozier, just the three of us.
Gina: The four of us with Jason.
Leo: Gina is also a host of All About Android Tuesday nights, 5 p.m. Pacific, 8 p.m. Eastern time on TWiT. That's a great show if you're an Android user, a must watch.
Gina: We have a lot of fun.
Leo: I have to watch that every week, Jason Howell also the host. Jeff Jarvis. We love you, CUNY is the City University of New York. There are a lot of very lucky students.
Jeff: I love you too.
Leo: Hey, did one of your students get arrested?
Jeff: Yes, one of our students did get arrested in the protest after the I Can't Breathe, lack of indictment against the cop who did the chokehold.
Leo: What was she doing wrong, journalism?
Jeff: She was a practicing journalist -
Leo: She was practicing journalism in public?
Jeff: She was taking pictures. They told her to move, she moved. She said, evidently, not fast enough and they wouldn't recognize her press pass, which was issue because it wasn't a police-issued press pass. Well, get used to it, NYPD, you don't decide who the press is any more.
Jeff: We do.
Leo: Why should they decide? That's the last people you want to decide this stuff.
Leo: Let the authorities decide what gets to cover what's going on. It's called the Fourth Estate for a reason.
Gina: Yes, if the authority's in question, I mean, you know?
Leo: “You can't cover this.”
Jeff: You're covering the authorities and the authorities say you can't do it.
Leo: “You don't have a permit to cover us.” That sounds a little bit like, I don't know, North Korea. So she's out of jail?
Jeff: Yes, yes. She was just giving her whatever they call it.
Leo: They spanked her and let her go.
Jeff: Jerry Hester, who was the former city editor of the daily news, who heads our student news service, said that with the New Republic intervention, he was getting those calls all the time about his reporters.
Leo: All right, my friends. Thank you so much. We appreciate your time. We do this show every Wednesday afternoon.
Jeff: Watch the news tomorrow morning...
Leo: Because it will break. What is this Spanish word?
Jeff: It will break and you will know what I'm talking about.
Jeff: All I'll say is, watch, you'll see the news tomorrow. You'll know why I'm bursting at the seams right now. I did do an embargo.
Leo: It's a big story. Wow.
Jeff: I think it is.
Leo: We invite you to stop by live if you can. If you can't, don't worry. On-demand audio and video are always available after the fact. Twit.tv/twig, youtube.com/thisweekingoogle or wherever you find your shows, your internet shows. Make sure you subscribe so you don't miss it. Thanks, we'll see you next time on This Week in Google. Bye, bye!