This Week in Google 288 (Transcript)
Leo: It's time for TwiG, This Week in Google. Jeff Jarvis is here. We're joined by Lynne d Johnson to talk about the latest Google news and a big acquisition for Samsung. What's up with the Galaxy S6? We'll talk about that and more all coming up next on TwiG.
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Leo: This is TwiG, This Week in Google, episode 288, recorded February 18, 2015.
I'm Not Fish Wrap
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It's time for TwiG, This Week in Google, the show where we cover not just Google but the Cloud, Facebook, Twitter, social media, newspapers, stand ups on TV, whatever the heck we want to talk about. That's because we've got such great people on this show, including Jeff Jarvis, professor of journalism at the City University of New York. Buzzmachine.com is his blog. He's written many books including the latest, Geeks Bearing Gifts.
Jeff: What a wonderful book it is!
Leo: Hold it up. Imagine in your mind -
Jeff: Here we go, got it. There we go.
Leo: There it is, imagining new futures for news. He's also the author of What Would Google Do?, and Public Parts, and Gutenberg the Geek. Are you Professor Jarvis, like do you -
Jeff: I am. Believe it or not, I'm a full one.
Leo: Wow, you've got tenure, huh? So you can say anything you want?
Leo: I was – actually, I'm going to circle back to you about television criticism, because that's the other thing Jeff's very famous for. He was many years a TV critic, founder of Entertainment Weekly and I was just thinking the other day about you while I was critiquing a TV show. I was thinking about criticism in general but we'll get to that in a moment.
Jeff: We have more important business first.
Leo: We have to introduce a new guest on This Week in Google, Lynne d Johnson.
Leo: Hello, Lynne. Welcome! Lynne comes highly recommended, a friend of Gina Trapani's. She is a content and community consultant, developing content and community strategies for brands. But she's also worked at Fast Company, Vibe, Spin, Vibe Vixen – wow. Are you – she is a Vibe Vixen, ladies and gentlemen. We're so glad to have her.
Lynne: Yes, I was a Vibe Vixen.
Leo: I don't even want to ask what that was.
Lynne: It's okay.
Leo: What, was it a magazine?
Lynne: Yes, it was a magazine and an online component as well.
Jeff: Was it Vibe into women, or?
Lynne: Vibe magazine is a pop culture publication, multicultural – oh, but Vixen was aimed at women, yes.
Leo: “It's the new style of sexy.”
Lynne: Yes, there you go. Oh, you found it.
Leo: Honey, we find everything fast here. We are fast kittens on the keyboard, ladies and gentlemen. I warned Lynne not to go in the chat room because it's – well, just because it's distracting. But she's in there, so if you want – what is your chat handle, Lynne?
Lynne: I didn't even pick one yet because I told you, I was trying to do it on Chrome. It didn't – yes, I'll have to get a client right now. I'll do that.
Leo: We'd love it if you do. You don't have to do it right now. Right now might not be the right time. So speaking of right time, timing is everything if you're selling shares of your company. Larry Page and Serge Brinn have decided to, according to a filing with the SEC, sell off some shares. So that's nice. As of January 30 of this year, they had a total of 44.6 million shares of Class B and 44.6 million shares of Class C stock. They're going to sell 2 million each of the Class B common stock and of course, only Google founders and Googlers can have Class B, so it will convert to Class A upon sale. Then another 2 million shares each of the non-voting Class C, which I presume would also convert, for a total of – cha-ching, $4.4 billion. Wow.
But they're only selling 10% of their holding.
Lynne: Right. I mean, they're still the major controllers of the company. It doesn't – you know.
Leo: Well, they'll own 11.9% but they have 53% of the voting power. They released, when Google went public, this was considered at the time. They did some really interesting things when they went public, including a Dutch auction they did. But they also made sure that they kept a lot of the voting power.
Jeff: Well, and the split aimed even more control as I remember, right?
Leo: Yes, that's right. They converted some shares. So 52% of the voting power. Nobody's going to change the plans at Google any time soon. Class B shares, mostly owned by Brinn, Page and Eric Schmidt have ten times the voting power. I love this picture. This is from Business Insider. That's Larry. That's 2006. They're a little older and greyer now.
Leo: Than that picture, but I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I don't think anybody in the market – the stockholders should worry that they're selling. You know, 10% cashed in a little stock, I wish I could cash in $4.4 billion worth of something. I wonder what they'll do with it.
Jeff: Yes, but it leads to things like philanthropy, and state planning and probably buying another plane or something, you know. Investing.
Leo: There has to be a point, though, where you have so much money that you don't even really…
Jeff: It's absurd.
Leo: It's a different world. It's got to be a different world where you don't even have to – I can't even imagine. It's just a different world. There is a burden, though. How philanthropic are they, is Google? There's a point where it gets to be so much you really should give it away.
Jeff: Google does a fair amount.
Lynne: Google does a lot, yes.
Leo: Do they?
Jeff: Yes. Google.org, don't forget, they pledged an equity portion of revenue – you know, Benny Ha is the leader of that in Silicon – in San Francisco, of pushing companies to pledge portions of revenue, portions of equity and portions of employee time.
Leo: Each year, Google.org donated $100 million in grants, $1 billion in products and 80 thousand hours in Googler time. That's pretty good. But do Larry and Serge have their own – you know, is there a Page foundation?
Jeff: I think one of them does, related to health stuff. I think that's Larry with the health stuff.
Lynne: That's Larry, yes.
Jeff: You konw, the other thing is, there's nothing to say they have to be public about it. You don't know what they give and that's fine.
Leo: In fact, I think that's the way to do it. The left hand should not know what the right hand is -
Jeff: You know, but I was thinking about that. I was almost going to call into the Stern show for some reason – I forget what the peg was, and ask Howard, because he's very public about his wife's charity which is the Long Island Animal Shelter that she's building for cage-free cats. So he does stuff. He does a calendar, takes the photos, so and so forth. You know he does philanthropy, he mentions it very discreetly but doesn't talk about it. But you know, I was wondering about this and wanted to ask him – and I guess I understand why. It's a matter of humility. But it's also an opportunity to promote a cause or charity that you care about. And by not saying, “I give to blank,” then you give up that opportunity. I understand where you don't, both from, “Let's not trumpet my charity,” says rich person. Also because, once I mention one charity, they're all going to come running like universities like this one.
Leo: Well, you'd also want to be a role model, right?
Jeff: Yes, I think so.
Lynne: Right, but I think part of why you don't disclose is because it could look like you give preference to certain groups over others.
Leo: Wouldn't the right kind of disclosure be something like, “I give 10% of all my income to charity.” Period. Then choose the charity of your choice but do – I mean, this all comes from this perception and I don't know if it's real any more. But for a long time, there was this perception that Silicon Valley was minting millionaires but they were not very progressive in their charitable contributions. I don't know if that's still the case.
Jeff: Yes, I don't know.
Lynne: I don't know either, but if you're a millionaire and you have a really good accountant, an accountant is going to advise you to do that, you know?
Leo: Actually, I should be – because I have an accountant and the truth is that they keep – the federal government keeps raising the threshold of your AGI for what you could deduct. And so in fact they are not incenting giving as much as they should. They are disincenting it all the time. I can't remember what the threshold is now. It was over 4%. I think it's gone up. That's wrong. That means you have to give more than 4% of your income before you start deducting it. That first 4% is taxable.
Jeff: It's on you.
Leo: Yes. Just the same thing as they do with medical expenses and that doesn't seem like the right way to promote philanthropy. What we – I don't know if I should talk about this. It turns out that you can deduct from dollar $1 if you do something called community development. So we – and TWiG gives a lot. A lot of my charities, all of my charities, almost, are local. That's one of the reasons, because then you can deduct it from zero, from dollar $1. If it's called community development as opposed to charity, anyway. There's ways and ways. That's why you have an accountant.
Jeff: I have two major charities, [11:12?] and the next one.
Leo: And the next one?
Jeff: The next university.
Leo: Yes, tell me about that. I've got two kids in college. That's a charity. They're both nonprofits, yes.
Leo: Oy, oy. No kids, Lynne?
Lynne: Yes, kids, but not in college yet.
Lynne: One teenager and one toddler.
Leo: Oh, my. That's why we lost Gina. She had a toddler and a startup. I don't know which is more – probably the toddler is more challenging. Exactly.
Google got a little heat because it revealed flaws in OS 10, two flaws in OS 10, one flaw in Windows. Before the companies had a chance to patch it, Google said, “Hey, we give you 90 days. If you don't patch it in 90 days, on day 91, we're going to reveal it to the world to put some pressure on you.” This really irritated Microsoft. Microsoft said, “We asked for a little more time because it was off our normal patch cycle and Google said no.” In fact, then revealed three more bugs.
Google now says, “Well, okay. Maybe we were a little harsh.” I feel like they're still pretty harsh because now they're saying, “Okay, we'll give you a 14-day grace period. So if we go to you -” So what happens with it is, Google has a large team looking for exploits, vulnerabilities in operating system software. When they find something, they call the company, Microsoft in this case and say, “Hey, fix it and in 90 days, we're going to reveal it.” Google now says, “If the 90 day deadline expires but the vendor lets us know before the deadline it's scheduled on a specific day within 14 days, then we'll delay public disclosure.”
Jeff: That's terrible.
Leo: Now, this is a weird one. “We will not reveal a vulnerability on weekends or US public holidays.”
Lynne: Love that, yes.
Leo: I don't know. You know, if it's Ramadan, I guess they don't care. I don't understand why it's US public holidays but anyway, I think they're being a – I have mixed feelings about that. We talked about that yesterday on Security Now. On the one hand, I understand if you don't have any pressure on these companies to fix these flaws, the companies sometimes put it off. Then hackers find the flaws and now you've got a real problem. On the other hand, this is Google kind of acting like, “Well, we care about your users but obviously you don't.”
Jeff: Well, but if you wait 104 days to fix a vulnerability that effects users, isn't that true?
Leo: Maybe there's good reasons. Maybe it's hard to make the patch or there's side effects. I mean, there can be a lot of legitimate reasons for holding on to a patch. I think implying that Microsoft or Apple don't care about security flaws is a little arrogant.
Jeff: Google, arrogant?
Lynne: I mean, why does Google even have this power to do this in the first place? That's kind of my intuitive feeling.
Leo: Because they've assumed it. Nobody's given them the right. They just decided.
Jeff: I for one have no problem with our masters.
Leo: Google does this all the time. I mean, this is another issue that we've talked about on Security Now with Steven. It's kind of in the weeds but it has to do with certificate signing. Most SSL certificates, you know, for secure browsers are signed with an encryption technique that is secure, has not been cracked, has not been broken. But as computers get more and more powerful, one can predict that at some point – in a year, five years, ten years, but at some point, computers will be powerful enough to crack this hash. There is a stronger encryption technique available – you can get certificates signed with this. Google has decided that, any day now, I think, they're going to start warning people in Chrome if this older technique is used for the signing. It's not that it's insecure, they want to thrust people forward into a new way of signing certificates. This can cost a lot of money. It can also take a lot of time and if you are an issuer of these certificates, it can be a significant burden.
Google, by the way, doesn't have to worry about it. They use the old hash but they don't worry about it because they expire their certificates every three months. It's kind of a complicated subject but it's another case I think of Google – it's like the United States foreign policy, you know, the old white man's burden. “Well, we know better. We've got to make sure that everybody on the internet is protected from people like Apple and Microsoft that are just too dumb to protect you.” I don't think this is – Google needs to be a little bit more collegial on this. That's just my opinion.
Lynne: I agree with that. I mean, I don't feel like they're partnering with people. They're not partnering with Apple and Microsoft, they're being, you know, police. Yes, it's kind of – I don't know, I kind of see it as when people call people Skynet, this is another example of that.
Jeff: But it's protecting users in the end.
Leo: But it's on its own terms so for instance, Microsoft has agreed that they're going to retire the SHA-1 certificates and start warning people on Internet Explorer, but in 18 months. Google has decided, no, that's not soon enough. They're going to move along. Bruce Schneider's done some calculations and says – Bruce Schneider the security guru and my personal savior says that based on the cost of Amazon computing, a collision attack well - that is, using brute force collission attack is well within the range of an organized crime certificate and it could practically budget by 2018 and a university research project by 2021. So yes, we need to move from SHA-1 to SHA-2, but do we need to do it tomorrow? Google says that it's dangerously weak but it's not that there's a problem. So if you use Chrome, you're going to start seeing these.
This is what's interesting. You see this third warning. So the first warning is just a yellow triangle of the https, like, “Maybe watch out, man.” But soon, in six months, you're going to get an X over the padlock. The https will be red and struck out not because the site is insecure or the certificate's not good, but because it's using a technique that won't be so good in a couple of years.
Lynne: So basically, you won't be able to visit the page unless you -
Jeff: You can.
Leo: Unless you override it. Well, I don't know. It's not clear whether it'll say, “Don't go there.” Or it'll just give you this weird warning.
Jeff: But Google feels responsible because Google is the search engine that sends you to all these places. Google feels responsibility. But what this screams for, I think, is a standards body. Isn't there one to – isn't there a collegial place where you get together and have a really boring meeting talking about this stuff?
Leo: You'd think so. I don't know. I probably should be talking – we should get Steve Gibson on if we're going to talk about this.
Jeff: God, I can't imagine anything worse than that meeting.
Leo: Yes. You know, I feel bad because I'm so – I can't even go to – I was on the city council's, in Petaluma, digital advisory board. I couldn't even take that. I had to quit in three weeks like, “You guys are driving me crazy. I just want to do something.” “No, no, no, can't do anything.”
Jeff: I was on the Audit Bureau – go ahead, Lynne.
Lynne: No, I was just going to say, those are the kinds of meetings that everybody has to vote on everything.
Jeff: “Wake me up when it's time to vote.”
Leo: I am not big – I'm not good with process, which is too bad because I think this is probably not uncommon that these really smart, technical people you need on these kinds of things probably, in general, are not the people who want to sit on a committee. I would guess. I don't know.
Jeff: The worst one I was on was the Audit Bureau of Circulations, which audits the circulation of publications. Their task force to decide digital standards, we had meeting after meeting after meeting asking the earth-shattering question, “What's a page view? What's an ad impression?”
Leo: “What's an emoticon?”
Jeff: Oh my god, shoot me. This was way before that. This was Stone Ages.
Leo: Anyway, this – Eric Miller has written a good blog post in which he says – this is konklone.com, “This SHA-1 push should have started years ago. Any annoyance at Google for amping up the pressure should be channeled toward the certificate authorities instead for allowing nothing to happen for so long.” So I'm not technical enough to learn this. Steve has said, and he is technical enough to have an opinion. He said that he feels Google is pushing this. Microsoft said, “We'll do it in Internet Explorer.” But they gave everybody a little more time.
It's the same thing where you say, “Well, more time just means you're going to put it off.” So it's like a school teacher. It's a little school marmie saying, “If I don't give a deadline for your homework, you're just not going to do it.”
Jeff: All right. But Google needs to protect its users from malware, from – [crosstalk]
Leo: There's no actual threat here.
Jeff: I got you. But really, what you're quibbling – I don't think you would argue that Google needs to protect users from sending them to places with malware, right? Let's go to that extreme.
Leo: No. In fact, we've had that malware alert on our site some years ago because we did, in fact, have malware on it. I was grateful to Google.
Jeff: Exactly. So what you're asking for is, I think, two things. One, a more reasonable line and two, a little sconch of collaboration in discussing where that line is. If there is no body that does this -
Leo: There really isn't, I think.
Jeff: Yes. So maybe that's what's needed. So what Microsoft should be doing, I think, is saying, “Let's get a committee.” Committees solve everything.
Leo: Well, in the chat room, Web8747 says, “What's crazy to me is that Steven and Leo think Microsoft is right to set the deadline in 2017 but Google's not right to put it in 2016.” Yes, I mean, I guess you're right.
Jeff: You say tomato, I say tomato.
Lynne: It definitely seems like there should be some standards here, right? Without standards, it's like anyone's going to do whatever they want to do, whenever they want to do it.
Jeff: You know, let me ask you this. When a bad exploit happens, when something bad happens suddenly like Sony, I presume there is a back channel for all these security guys, all these top companies, that connect and compare notes and see what it mattered. No?
Leo: Well, I think that's what the President is trying to get companies to do. On Friday, he spoke to Silicon Valley saying that – promoting information sharing.
Jeff: Also with government, which is the issue, but.
Leo: He said, “You've got to work more with us.” There has been some conversation about that as well. I just feel like I'm probably not as technical as I need to be to talk about the SHA-1 controversy here.
Jeff: Lord knows I'm not.
Leo: So we'll just …
Jeff: So did you see that dancing – that animated gif of that cat in the snow?
Leo: I could talk about that. I can. I can talk about that.
The President did sign – he was at Stanford University with cyber executives. Eric Schmidt did not go, by the way. He was invited but sent somebody from Google that knew about technology.
Jeff: Was that a slap?
Leo: Same thing with the CEOs of Facebook. I think it would've been good if Mark went but he didn't. He's busy. He's got other stuff to do. And [23:52] didn't go, either. He at the event on Friday announced he was going to sign an executive order to encourage the sharing of information regarding cyber threats between private sector and the government. He did. The order was signed. He said, “The internet -”
Jeff: How does an order encourage? That sounds like an oxymoron.
Leo: I think an order probably only effects government, right? So he's telling – I don't know. He said, “The internet is like the Wild West.”
Jeff: I didn't like that. That pissed me off.
Leo: “Everybody's online and everybody is vulnerable.”
Jeff: See, that's technopanic, man. Not good.
Leo: He also called cyber attacks one of the greatest threats to national safety and economic issues. “Business leaders here,” he's speaking to the assembled Silicon Valley leaders, “Want their privacy and their children protected just like consumer privacy advocates here want America to keep leading the world in technology and be safe from attack.” See, the President is walking a very narrow line here. Because on the one hand, he absolutely is encouraging the NSA to gather all that information. He's refused to block the mass collection of information. But on the other hand, he told Kara Swisher, in an interview as Recode, “But I want encryption. I understand why you want encryption. You should be able to be private.”
You can't have it both ways. Maybe you can. Can you have it both ways?
Jeff: Well, they can have encryption backdoors, which means you can't have encryption.
Leo: He's never said backdoors.
Jeff: But people on his administration have floated that balloon. Branson certainly let off a flotilla of those balloons. Cameron has.
Leo: Now, Ben Desjardins, who is the director of security solutions at Radware, a security firm said, “The new proposals,” he's quoted in this article from benswan.com. “The new proposals face significant headwinds legislatively from Congress and cooperatively from heavyweights in the tech sector. Many companies,” and I feel this is the case, “Feel burned by the government after the Snowden leaks and are very reluctant to let the federal government continue what they see as a takeover of the internet.
The White House says, “The executive order is only a framework and with it, the White House aims to allow private companies to access otherwise classified cyber threat information.” I mean, that's all right as long as that sharing is in that direction.
Lynne: Right, but they're also calling for the voluntary creation of a common set of standards here. So – which I think is a good thing but then the problem with that is they're not really giving the companies any incentives to participate.
Leo: Right, and companies feel burned already by all of these, the national security letters they're getting. They feel like nobody outside of the United States is going to buy Cisco products, or Microsoft products, or Apple products, or Facebook or Google because they think that they're all tools of the US government.
That's another one I don't think we should – we should just move on, I guess. I'm just depressed. Sometimes this show is like that, Lynne. I apologize.
Lynne: Yes. I thought it was going to be all jokes.
Leo: We're going to talk about Street View coming to Greenland when we come back. There we go. And cats in the snow viral video?
Lynne: Sounds great.
Leo: Is there really a cat in the snow viral video?
Jeff: Oh, there's a great one. I'll find it for you. It's the best. I've got to admit, I ridicule cat stuff. This is a cat moment.
Leo: New York is not as bad, though, as New England, right?
Jeff: No, no, I just have five inches.
Leo: Oh, that's nothing.
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Jeff: Our students swear by Lynda. Very important.
Leo: Do they?
Jeff: Oh, yes.
Leo: A lot of universities use Lynda and it puzzles me because – well, I guess it's just an adjunct to learning. You learn at your own speed and stuff, right?
Jeff: Yes, exactly. With specific tools and needs, oh, yes.
Leo: I've got to – they've got lots of programming courses. I really want to write this Android app, I'm just a little bit stuck. I think Lynda will be the place to go.
So last week, remember we talked – we called up that guy on the Google Help thing?
Jeff: Yes. Tell me he didn't get fired.
Leo: Douglas, no. No, I haven't heard from him. So you missed this, Lynne. It was kind of fun. If you go to the Play Store and you go into the Devices section, then click Help. They have this new kind of help. It's a live chat. I won't do it right now but – I'm sorry, a video call. I won't do it right now but you can do it, and you'll get a guy or gal at Google. They're very Googly looking, have a Google set and everything. And I thought it must be Helpouts. We even asked him, remember? “Is this Helpouts?”
Jeff: He said, “No, no, it's not Helpouts.”
Leo: No. Then two days later we find out that Google is killing Helpouts. Whoops. God, I'm surprised. I thought this was such a great thing. I guess nobody used it. Helpouts was a form of Hangouts.
Jeff: Well, but you know this is – I don't think – Google did do a bit of advertising but I don't think it ever gave it the leveled support it needed to launch something new. It thinks, “Oh, we're Google. We'll come out and the people will run to it.” You know, it disappeared from public consciousness. And it requires helpers and helpees to make it work. It never got to critical mass because I don't think Google – I think it was an orphaned child.
Leo: God, it was such a good idea.
Jeff: It was a great idea and it remains a great idea. You know, you start something like that and then just dump it. It's one matter to put out a beta and say, “What do you think about this?” But to launch a product – I think a lot of companies, including Google, are too cavalier about killing things that they start that some people were depending upon.
Lynne: Well, I mean, doesn't it really depend on how high the adoption is? I mean, with Google, I guess that doesn't matter because they had high adoption rates for Google Reader and they still -
Leo: Yes. We were all peeved about that.
Jeff: Or Gina's Wave.
Lynne: Right, Wave. Right. I mean -
Leo: At the scale Google's at, high adoption, what does that mean? Millions, right?
Lynne: Yes. Hundreds of millions.
Leo: If you were a startup and you had Helpouts, and you had 100 thousand people using it, you'd be pretty happy.
Lynne: Of course.
Leo: I've got to feel bad for the people who – like Mitchel Dillman who is teaching sheet metal art for beginners on a Google Helpout. His first Helpout is free. He charges $5 for a 15-minute – so this guy's giving classes. That, come April 20th, that's it. You've got to find some other way of doing this.
Jeff: No more sheet metal art. Darn.
Leo: Breastfeeding help, here's a psychotherapist. There were quite a few people doing psychotherapy. Coaching, counseling, therapy session, Arizona healthcare, pet wellness information, anxiety management. A lot of breastfeeding help.
Jeff: It ain't easy, Leo. Try it.
Leo: No. Latching on, that's the challenge. Yoga. There's actually – I think the #1 category is breastfeeding help. There's a lot of – sports nutrition. There's a lot of therapy. I feel like somebody who is either too shy, can't afford psychotherapy but wants to try it out, this is such a great platform for that. Couldn't it just be an altruistic -
Jeff: I mean, basically it's Hangouts with money and the uses could be amazing. It could be a journalistic help. Yes, I was very sad about this.
Leo: Cooking, there's a lot of cooking.
Jeff: I will admit, I'd forgotten that it existed.
Leo: That's the problem. When we talked about it, we were real excited about it but did I ever use it? No.
Jeff: No. Well, because it – Leo, you know everything. You don't need to.
Leo: Maybe there'd be – you know, killing Reader, I think, was a real … I understand they're a business and they can't maintain something they don't make money on. Damnit, now we have to watch a cat video because I'm just depressed again.
Jeff: But this is worth it, Leo.
Leo: Here's a cat in the snow. Okay, she's opened her door and apparently – whoa. All right. For those of you listening – you understand that a vast majority of people who consume the show aren't seeing this. So I'll describe it.
Obviously somewhere in probably Syracuse, she opens her door and halfway up the door is just a wall of snow. She's putting a little dish for her cat to have some food and that cat just bursts through into the – the cat knows how to get in. “Excuse me, there's some snow in the way. Out of the way, snow!” Boom. Okay, that's a good cat. That's a good cat gif. Gif or “jiff”? So Lynne, this is what we do.
Jeff: Gif. Lynne, important – [crosstalk]
Lynne: Cat “jiffs”?
Jeff: “Jiff,”no, Lynne. No, no, no. It's gif. It's gif.
Leo: You call it whatever you want.
Jeff: Jeez, I'm losing the war.
Leo: That's enough. Actually, the chat room came up with a bunch of cat gifs. Of course they did. Let's see here. Snow cat attack? Is this the same one? Yes, that's the same one. Great minds think alike. What else? Sparrow.
Here's another something that's going away. I really liked Sparrow. It was a Mac and iOS app that was a really good email app. Google bought them and we knew, I think, the end was near. They kept it going for a while. The folks who developed Sparrow, it was a french startup, said they would continue to support Sparrow users. But they weren't making a lot of improvements on it. It was too – again, I only feel bad for people who bought it. It was $2.99 on iOS. It was $10 on Mac. There was a free app, Sparrow Lite, but it's been incorporated in.
I think some of this must be in the Inbox app, the Google Inbox app, which I really like.
Lynne: Right. Yes, I was about to say, this Sparrow sun setting comes as no surprise. I mean, we all expected once they bought them that they were going to use their developers to learn new things.
Leo: Sure. Product designer Jean-Marc Denis went to work on Inbox. So I imagine much was – this was an acquihire. The app is gone but the people live on making Inbox better. It doesn't feel like – do you use Inbox, Lynne?
Lynne: I have used it.
Leo: I love it.
Lynne: Well, I just felt like for me, it took a lot of adjustments to get it to work right.
Leo: Most people I know feel the same way. But I just really liked it and I feel like they haven't done a lot of new things in it. See, this is what happens when you kill things. I'm worried, now, they're going to kill this.
Lynne: They're going to kill this.
Leo: They go, “Oh, you know.” I still use Gmail, right.
Jeff: Right, if they kill this, you still use Gmail. You just lose a nice addition whereas with Reader and Helpouts, you lose the underlying functionality.
Lynne: But then what will happen with Gmail, probably, is they'll put some of the functionality into Gmail.
Jeff: Well, as Gina has pointed out on the show before. Poor Gina, may Wave rest in peace for her.
Leo: She wrote a book on it, the poor woman. Jeez.
Jeff: A hell of a lot of Wave's thinking is now elsewhere in Google and has value.
Lynne: Right. And that's the same with – I mean, I edited a book on Google Voice. Though Voice still exists, it's really part of Hangouts now, right?
Leo: You know what? The Dummy's Guide to Google Voice was a good book.
Lynne: That's the one I edited.
Leo: It was a good book and it needed to be written because Google Voice is one of those really great things that are of, I think, huge value to normal people but a little intimidating. So Google doesn't document stuff very well. I think that was a book that was well worth it, and anybody who invested in Google Voice isn't losing anything. I still use Google Voice nonstop. You just migrate some of the features to Hangouts. Maybe, eventually, all of it.
No, I don't – that's an example of something. If they killed Voice, I think we would storm the gates at Mountain View. Unless they put everything into Hangouts.
So what is this? “Obama defends Google against Eurotechnopanic.” This must be – I detect Jeff Jarvis' fingerprints all over this one.
Jeff: There you go. In his interview with Recode – and by the way, I saw some great tweets that said the greatest branding exercise you could imagine is getting the President of the United States in your red chair.
Leo: In the red chair, I noticed they did that. Didn't they?
Jeff: Yes. He defended Google against companies in Europe that are going after Google – et al and company because they're competitors. A little defense of American technology, yes.
Leo: “In defense of Google and Facebook,” said the President, “Sometimes the European response here is more commercially driven than anything else.” I don't know if that's fair.
Jeff: I think it's very fair. In certain cases, the – get ready for it, folks, Leistungsschutzrecht is -
Leo: That's commercial. You're right.
Jeff: It's entirely commercial. It's publishers saying, “Protect us.”
Leo: But not the right to be forgotten. That's not a commercial.
Jeff: Well, the attitude that leads to the right to be forgotten and leads to killed Street View in Germany. Those have commercial routes.
Leo: You're saying it's anti-corporate.
Jeff: Yes, yes.
Leo: He said, “There are some countries like Germany, given their history with the Stazi,” the East German Secret Police, “That are very sensitive to these issues.” That's nice. That's fair. “But sometimes there are vendors, service providers that can't compete with ours and are essentially trying to put up some roadblocks for our companies to operate effectively there. We have owned the Internet,” said the President. “Our companies have -”
Jeff: Not really. Not a great quote.
Leo: “Our companies have created it, expanded it and perfected it in ways they can't compete.” This is – that's red-blooded Americana.
Jeff: But the problem is, that's not a red chair but a red cape in front of Europe. “We have owned the Internet,” in Russia, in China and Iran. All of who say, “America has too much to do with the internet.” Well, yes, because we did. You might not want to put it that way.
Leo: When it came to privacy, President Obama said, “I think you own your data. I think I own my data.” I think?
Jeff: No, no. You own all of our data, Mr. President.
Leo: “I think we own our healthcare data. We own our financial data. I think this is an area where, ironically, sometimes I also have tensions with Silicon Valley. People are quite keen on talking about government intrusion. Some of the commercial models people have set up are fairly intrusive as well.” There's a big difference – we've talked about this before. The President has tanks. Google does not.
Leo: You can be arrested by the federal government for the things they think they know about you. Google's not going to arrest you. The worst they'll do is sell your name and you're going to get diaper commercials. “Part of the answer here is people knowing ahead of time what's going on.” I agree with him there. “People knowing how their data is going to be used, much greater transparency in terms of the potential of it, migrating over to some sales and marketing scheme of somebody else's. The more -” This is all off the cuff, so I have to respect that. Off the cuff, this is good. It shows an understanding.
“The more transparent we are, the more customers can make a choice.” He also said, “Everybody has to learn to code.” If Gina were here, she'd be going, “Yes.” I'm not sure I agree with this.
Jeff: Lynne, how much of a coder are you?
Lynne: I'm an old-school coder. I mean, I was coding Fortran on punch cards.
Leo: When you were four?
Lynne: I don't want to say how old I was or am, but -
Jeff: By the light of the fireplace, jeez.
Leo: Fortran punch cards, wow.
Jeff: Wow, that's serious.
Lynne: Pascal Unix.
Leo: Pascal I can dig. Unix I can dig. But Fortran on punch cards? That sounds like – that's a long time ago.
Lynne: That was just a particular program that really wanted you to learn it.
Leo: I see. It's like the photography courses now in high school where they say, “You really need to learn how to use film in a dark room.” I want to say, “You know? You don't. No, you don't.” “You need to learn how to drive a buggy before you learn to drive your first car.” No, you don't. I think we can safely leave those technologies behind now.
Jeff: Let me ask you a question about that. So my son Jake is a computer science major and -
Leo: He should learn Lisp.
Jeff: Well, what should you learn still and what should you not bother learning any more in languages?
Leo: I think that's very hard, don't you? As a matter of fact, I'm on the board of our local high school over here, the school my kids went to. We talk about this a lot. I say, “You shouldn't teach kids Microsoft Word. That's stupid. You shouldn't teach people how to use an operating system. That's stupid. You need to teach them a lower level understanding of what's going on because I can guarantee you, on the end of the marketplace, it's not going to look that way.”
Lynne: Right, you make a good point there because, you know, when I learned how to use a computer that had any kind of Microsoft on it, I learned DOS commands, right? So -
Leo: That's really held you in a good stead, hasn't it?
Lynne: No. I mean, but I can always default back to that when I'm troubleshooting a problem on a Windows machine. Right?
Jeff: Well, I learned CPM. I'll also have you know that I don't ever have to worry about troubleshooting jack on a Microsoft machine. I don't get near them any more.
Lynne: Well, I mean, I use a Mac, too. But I have people in my family that use.
Leo: Jeff still knows how to use Pip.
Leo: That's the CPM copy command, intuitively named Pip.
Jeff: I can probably pick up my Wordstar keyboard commands in about ten minutes.
Leo: Oh, yes, control keys. I remember that, and the dot commands? No?
Lynne: Jeff, do you remember teletext?
Jeff: Hey, hey. Watch it, Lynne.
Leo: I do. But I – and I agree that we need to have kids learn stem and things like – I think it's better to learn scientific method, for instance, and what that is than a need … so his point, he says, “What's true is that our lead will erode -” Our lead in technology will erode if we don't make some good choices now. “We've got to have our kids in math and science.” I couldn't agree more, it can't just be a handful of kids. It's got to be everybody. This is where I maybe disagree a little bit. “Everybody's got to learn how to code early.” I maybe don't disagree in a sense that when you're teaching arithmetic, maybe you teach some booling and logic. Didn't we do that with turtle graphics and Logo? You know, for years.
Jeff: What does it mean to learn to code?
Leo: That's the problem. I don't think teaching a fourth grader Pearl or Python is going to be very valuable.
Jeff: Here's the way – we just hired somebody who's wonderful who's trying to update our technology thinking here at our journalism school named Xue Yeng. I was talking about this yesterday with Xue. The way she put it is, she wants to demystify coding for journalism students and I like that a whole lot. My response was, “Each journalism student probably has a different need where this can really pay off for their work. They can say, 'Oh, the scales fell off our eyes,' and they see the value of it. They see how far it can go.” We're not going to turn out journalists as coders, that's a unicorn, I believe. There's a few of them, but not a big herd. But the idea of demystifying technology – the mainscale you give, and Xue also argues this, is that obviously what you're teaching people is to look it up and learn it.
But we had another student in our program who has a company called Skill Crush to teach particularly women how to code, because her problem was that when she learned how to code around men, in her view, it wasn't a welcoming atmosphere for what she was doing. You know what? At the end of the day, she said what happened was, every time she would go to somebody and say, “Teach me how to do this.” The person would end up looking it up online. You quickly learn that what you do is look it up online.
Lynne: Online, yes.
Jeff: You teach yourself. So what you're teaching people is how to teach themselves. That's really what it is.
Jeff: You still haven't answered my question. If you were in a CS program now, what languages should you still learn?
Leo: I'm really old-school on this. It's too late for Jake because he's already – Jake started by writing apps for Facebook, so he's alreaddy completely ruined with PH stuff.
Lynne: Right, and I think it depends on need, right? At CS school, it depends on the specialty that you're going into.
Jeff: Right, but you have a curriculum that teaches everybody. You have requirements. So I'll get off this quickly, but if you're a graduate of a program, let's say a CS program, what should the world expect you to know and what should the world say, “Fine, they cannot bother.”
Leo: I have a weird point of view on this which I've expressed before but I'll express briefly here. It is no longer current in universities, but a decade or more ago at MIT and Duke, they wrote a really good book that was part of Programming 101 at MIT and Duke for many years. It no longer is. The theory of it was that it was really programming for everybody, including liberal arts majors. The theory of it was that instead of learning how to control a computer, you should learn how to express a problem and solve a problem in an algorithmic way. This is useful for – in the same way, you know, people always say, “Why do you teach math? Yes, you need arithmetic but why do you need geometry? Why do you need to learn Berlin logic? Why learn trig or calculus?” Because it's a rigorous – it's almost teaching you how to think in a certain kind of way. It's a rigorour discipline that helps you develop your mind in ways that will be useful in non-mathematical ways.
I think this is the same thing. So they wrote a book that is available online for free and I still recommend, it was – oh, now I can't remember. Structure and Control of Computer Languages SICP? You know, I think I probably have it in my bookmarks here, I'll look real quickly. How To Design Computer Programs, this is copyright 2001 MIT. That's when they were still teaching this. But you can download it. It's online at htdp.org, how to design programs dot org, and it uses Lisp, actually, a variant of Lisp called Scheme. You can download the Scheme Interpreter, it has a teaching mode and so forth. This is really aimed at, they say in the introduction, which is great – is, “We really hate when kids learn programming in high school because they learn everything wrong and now we have to reteach them. This isn't about learning computer programming,” They say, “We believe the study of program design holds the same central role in general education as mathematics and English. Everyone should learn how to design programs. It teaches analytical skills like math, but unlike mathematics, working with programs is an active approach to learning.” It's also really fun. So they have an interesting point of view here.
MIT has a band in this, as does Duke, in favor of a more career-oriented curriculum. I think there's pressure from students and parents, “But wait a minute. You've got to teach me a job skill. I don't want to learn this airy fairy philosophy stuff. I want to know how to write a program in C or C++ or C Sharp.” So they teach Java, they teach Sharp, they teach C++. But really, the best program – and you know, Eric Raymond has always said this. The best programmers learn Lisp first because they learn how to express problems in a rigorous fashion and express the algorithm of solution independent of the machine. It's a mathematical language for – so anyway. If you ask me, tell Jake to go to htdp.org and start reading.
Lynne: That sounds good. I mean, I think it's more about the thinking than the actual language. It's the thinking. Because the point Jeff brought up before, because of the background I have, I can almost learn any language very easily, right? But one thing that's interesting that I just found, Google in New York City schools are going to teach 100 thousand kids in after-school programs Google CS first. How's that going to help them in life?
Leo: Are they going to learn Go? What are they going to learn?
Lynne: Don't know. CS first will be offered to all kids enrolled in 857 after-school programs.
Leo: See, I do love the idea of computer literacy. I do love the idea of rigor and learning how to think, and learning how computers work. I mean, we do need this. He says – Kara asked if President Obama had encouraged Sasha and Malia, his daughters, to learn to code. He said, “I think they got started a little bit late. Part of what you want to do is introduce coding with ABCs and colors.” I think the right kind of coding, yes. The way of thinking about stuff, yes. Not actually controlling your computer, I don't know how important that is. “Particular attention,” he said, “Needs to be paid in helping girls and other underrepresented groups in STEM, including African-Americans and Latinos.” I think that's true, right?
Leo: “What's the problem with the US tech industry? When we see a litany of tech companies report workforce statistics that are routinely 70% white, 70% male.” The President said, “I think part of the problem is just generally, our school systems aren't doing as good of a job on this, period, full stop.” The risk of this, though, is then you get things like core curriculum, which I think is a mistake. Then he says, “Part of what's happening is we're not helping schools and teachers teach it in an interesting way.” That may be okay. He also says, “You need role models.” And I agree, we were talking before the show about this with Lynne. I feel a big burden to get more women and people of color on our shows as role models so that kids who are watching can say, “Oh, yes, I'm not a white man. I guess I shouldn't get into tech.” That's not what we want.
Lynne: Right, no. And you make a good point with that. I mean, I had no role model when I was in high school programming basic on a Commodore 64.
Leo: But you did it. Why'd you do it?
Lynne: I was a math major. So it was an elective math course and I liked gaming enough at the time. So it kind of just followed suit.
Leo: But that's really unusual.
Lynne: I don't know. I had also taken a data processing course, if you remember data processing with – [crosstalk]
Leo: Dimly. In high school, really? Wow. That was a good school or something. Actually, getting kids young is important. I think about the story of Bill Gates, who got into computers at Lakeside High School in Seattle. It was a fancy private school but they didn't have a computer there. His mom and other moms raised money through bake sales and stuff to buy a Teletype connected to the timesharing computer down the road. That's where Bill and his buddies, including Paul Allen, went there and started banging on the Teletype and writing programs.
Gates had, actually, a company when he was a high school student. I think it was called Traf-O-Data. You know those rubber hoses they put across the road, the car goes, “Thump, thump,” and they count how many cars go down a road? He wrote software that would analyze that. That was his first business. Am I making this up?
When you get to a certain age, sometimes you think, “Oh, I hallucinated that.”
Jeff: Oh, you think you're Brian Williams.
Leo: Yes, oh, yes. I was looking right down the barrel. “Traf-O-Data was a partnership between Bill Gates, Paul Allen and Paul Gilbert to read the raw data from road rate traffic counters and create reports for traffic engineers.” This was before Microsoft. They were still in high school when they – high school students at the Lakeside School in Seattle. So I did not make that up. Either that, or I edited this article on Wikipedia, which is also a possibility. All right, let us – we're all in agreement. Maybe you could disagree about what the kids should learn but I think we're all in agreement that should be part of the curriculum, I think as much as math should be part of the curriculum. Some sort of logic and I don't know. I don't know.
And yet there's people like you, Lynne, who despite all odds just fell in love with it and you were bold enough, uncowed enough – that's really the problem is that so many people get cowed. You were uncowed enough to say, “I don't care if I'm the only girl doing this. I'm going to do it.”
Lynne: Right. Right, yes. I mean, I didn't really know anyone else like me doing it, I guess I could say, at the time.
Leo: But you didn't let some guy or some math teacher tell you, “Oh no, you shouldn't get into this.”
Lynne: No. Actually, I was encouraged.
Leo: That's nice. See, there you go. That's what we need. I was talking a couple of weeks ago, we had a visitor. A young woman who is a student at Cal, she's graduating this year. She starts at Google in the fall, data analysis. I said, “That's so great. Tell me about how you got into math.” She said, “Well, it wasn't because I got encouragement. My math teacher, who was a woman, said, 'Oh no, math is too hard for you. You shouldn't be doing math.'” Isn't that terrible?
Lynne: It's terrible. I mean, what happened to me really was, I started – the reason I became a math major is because I took algebra before I even went to high school and when I got to high school, the math teacher I had there said, “How about you be a math tutor for me?”
Leo: Great, great.
Lynne: I think that's what started me loving math in that kind of way, you know?
Leo: My daughter is facing this. She's 23. She's a sophomore at college. Right now, she really has a hard time with math. She blames me because I did not force her to learn her multiplication tables when she was nine. I tried. But we did a lot of stuff for her.
Jeff: Tried not hard enough.
Leo: We did a Latin math adventure. I mean, we did stuff but I think most of it was – she's super smart and she wants a science career. So she needs math. But I feel so happy. She's found a professor who is a woman who says, “Oh no, you should be at a higher level in math and I'm going to do a tutorial with you. We're going to do two years of math in one semester because you are smart enough to do this. This isn't hard and I'm going to help you get over this block you have.” I'm so grateful to that professor. We need more people like that.
Lynne: Definitely. I mean, math block can be like writer's block. It really can be.
Leo: It's exactly like that. I did teach her how to play the ponies, though, so that's good. Just kidding. That actually wouldn't be a bad skill, I'm just saying.
Jeff: Online poker, Leo. Online poker.
Leo: That's the one.
Lynne: Yes, gambling. You teach the odds, right? How to bet against the odds, yes. That's math, yes.
Leo: So we were speculating what Mattel was going to announce. They had an event with Google and the speculation was correct. It is Cardboard. They're going to do a Viewmaster based on the Google Cardboard. USA Today interview here.
Jeff: Is there a demo of it?
Leo: Let me see if I can skip ahead and find it.
Lynne: There is a demo. I saw a demo earlier today.
Leo: I love that idea. So there's what it looks like. It looks just like – it's big.
Jeff: Oculus Rift, take that.
Leo: Yes, it's big.
Jeff: And it's what, like $29 or something?
Leo: It's a rebranded Viewmaster, look. It even looks like they have the disks with the pictures but you can see there's no pictures in there. It must be RFID or something. You presumably have to slide a smart phone in there. We'll see. I want to see it.
Jeff: Yes. I want one.
Leo: Wouldn't that be cool?
Jeff: I'm sure this is what they'll give away at IO.
Leo: They gave away Google Cardboard at IO. That was the best thing ever. That isn't a Pixel. Yes. Well, I don't know if this a good interview.
Jeff: Are they putting the phone in or not -
Jason: The phone slots into the top. No, the phone slots into the top. The disks that you have there – it's obviously not film. Basically what it does is, I believe through NFC, you tap it to the Viewmaster and it captures the – you know -
Leo: That's how Cardboard was designed.
Jason: It just loads it, you know. But the disks, I think, are something like $14 or $15 each. The VR – you know, the actual Viewmaster unit is like -
Leo: $29.99 for the new Viewer which will include a sample reel and then $15 for the disks. He's showing Cardboard. This is Cardboard right now.
Jason: Showing the old and then the new, I suppose.
Leo: Hold on to your Cardboard, kids. That's going to be worth something someday. “I remember Cardboard.”
Jeff: Unfortunately my Cardboard won't fit my Nexus 6.
Jason: That's what I don't know about the Viewmaster is whether the large -yes.
Jeff: I still don't understand why you need the – you don't really need the disk, you can just -
Leo: You need something to trigger it. You can do it in software, absolutely. In fact, remember, with Cardboard, you can use that little slider and choose from a menu of things, then go through experiences.
Jeff: What I'm saying is, you can buy the program on Play and not have to buy a physical cardboard thing. Just have NFC, right?
Leo: Not if Mattel has anything to do with it.
Lynne: Right, because how would you make your work in the Viewmaster? You have to have those little parts.
Leo: Mattel wants you to buy the disks. I've got to find a demo, this is terrible. It's just some guy sitting here. Let's see, “Viewmaster -”
Jeff: The other one was a press release, I don't know if they had a demo there or not.
Leo: Let's see if Google can help us. Here's a demo of the upgraded Viewmaster. Oh, sorry. I didn't mean to talk to you, Google. I'm not talking to you, go away. Gosh darnit. I hate it when it's like that.
Jason: It's too good.
Leo: Oh, now I've lost my page.
Jason: Here, I think I've got one.
Leo: I found one on Youtube at the Toy Fair, because this is where Mattel unveiled it. This is the Toy Insider. I guess they're going to sell Cardboard too? They're going to sell Cardboard as well.
Jeff: They're just showing it, what Cardboard was?
Leo: Why's everybody playing with Cardboard? No, there's a Cardboard Viewmaster. That's why it's so cheap.
Jeff: What's the other thing he had?
Lynne: Yes, what was that other thing that looked like, you know -
Jeff: Yes, what's that?
Jason: That is the Viewmaster. I don't know. I'm confused.
Lynne: They're showing Cardboard.
Jason: I just want to see – yes, no. But you're right, Cardboard there too.
Leo: Maybe they haven't finished the Mattel one.
Jeff: Viewmaster-branded Cardboard is pretty cool. I'll take that.
Leo: Not for $20, $25.
Jason: Yes, this is definitely -
Lynne: Oh, so is it with Cardboard, you can view -
Leo: What's this? This is C-Net. There's a picture. It looks like a robot but then she's back with Cardboard. Obviously, the plastic one isn't working yet. Dinosaur Adventure …
Lynne: Is it that with Cardboard you do it with the phone and Viewmaster you do it with the disks?
Leo: I guess?
Jason: No, but with Viewmaster, you do insert the phone into it. It's like the top pops up, you throw the phone in there, drop it in.
Leo: Fall 2015. I'll buy one.
Jeff: Of course you will, you buy everything, Leo.
Leo: That's not really saying much, is it? I'll buy anything. All right, let's take a break. We're going to come back with more. So glad to have Lynne d Johnson with us today. Strategist at lynnedjohnson.com if you want to read more Lynne. The D is lowercase.
Leo: Can you fix that, Jason? You put an uppercase D. Is that like e.e. Cummings, why is that D lowercase?
Lynne: You put a whole uppercase Johnson there, too.
Leo: Yes, well, we do that. We always do Johnson upper.
Jeff: Leo, you could have resisted.
Lynne: I wasn't sure about that. Now it's an E.
Leo: You set me up, Lynne. You set me up.
Jason: I'm under pressure here.
Leo: D, not E.
Jason: No, I know. Those keys are right next to each other. There we go.
Leo: While we're fixing Lynne's lower third, would you like it to be a capital J and the rest lowercase on the Johnson?
Lynne: No, it's fine. I didn't know.
Leo: We do it French style. I don't know why. We started doing that in the very beginning and I still do it. See my name?
Lynne: I see now.
Leo: I don't know why we do that. It's French. The French do that.
Lynne: This shows I didn't pay attention to it until you brought attention to the D.
Leo: Why should you? You know your name. You know who you are.
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So I guess Google's not only having trouble in Europe, now Russia. Yandex. This one is commercial, clearly, right? Yandex asks Russian anti-trust authorities to probe Google over bundling Android with Google services. Yandex is – guess what? The Google of Russia. Should Google be afeared?
Leo: No, no.
Jeff: Everybody should be afeared of Russia, but that's a different story.
Leo: Yandex is – you know, we've talked about this before. There are two ways you can have an Android handset. One is just pure open source but you get new Google services, but your customers, I think, if you're making an Android phone, want Google Play Store, Google Maps, Google Voice, all the nice Googly stuff. For that, you have to get it certified by Google and I imagine, pay them a little bit. Those are non – those are proprietary. Those are non-open source, those apps and services. If you want to put Google Play Store on your device, you have to install the entire suite of Google services, GMS services. Google, by the way, also will be the default search on your browser.
Yandex claims that in addition to that – this is news to me. The device manufacturers are increasingly prohibited from installing any services from Google editors on their devices. That's kind of interesting. It makes me wonder about this rumor. Samsung – we'll see the Galaxy S6 probably at Mobile World Congress.
Jeff: How long off is that?
Leo: Oh, it's March 5, right? Yes, Mike Elgan's going. We're sending a team out there because I think this is increasingly the most interesting conference because it's where all the new phones and tablets get announced. The rumor – I think this might be a good rumor because it makes a lot of sense. It seems plausible to me. The Galaxy S6 will not have Samsung apps. They'll still have to have Google apps like the Google Play Store but will not have Samsung apps but instead Microsoft apps.
Lynne: I saw that.
Leo: Which I think is very intriguing.
Jeff: What? It won't have Samsung apps but will have Microsoft apps in Android?
Leo: Yes, yes. So it'll still have the Google Play Store and Google services, I think. I'm guessing. Because customers do want that. But who wants Samsung's crap, right?
Leo: S Help, S Voice. The one – by the way, I carry a Note 4 because finally – I did not want an S5 because I want Google Voice, Google Dictation. I did not want Samsung's S Voice which is based on Nuance and I don't like it. It's very hard to make it just go away on older versions. On the Note 4, I never see S Voice. Samsung is listening.
In fact, according to this rumor, you can still get the S Voice if you want, on the Galaxy App Store. Chip in, by the way, Jason, if you have anything to add on this. Because this is really All About Android's beat. But they are, instead of installing the Samsung Calendar, the Samsung Browser, the Samsung contacts, all the Samsung loware. They're going to put Microsoft -
Jeff: Is it Google Calendar, Google Mail, Google this and that?
Leo: No, you don't have to put all the Google stuff on there.
Jeff: Oh, I see. [crosstalk] – aiming at business people?
Leo: So right now, when I get a Note 4, I have two calendars. I have the Google Calendar, or I can download it if it's not on here, and I have the Samsung calendar. I have two stores. I have the Samsung Store, I have the Google Store. I have two music players. I have – you know, it's because, and this is true of most skinned Android devices, right? They have HTC's version of all those apps in addition to the Google versions. What they're saying, by the way – when I pull out my pen on the Note 4, a Samsung notetaking app launches, not Google Keep. What they're saying is Microsoft OneNote will launch instead. Office mobile, Skype and maybe, they say, a free Office 365 subscription. This makes sense, given the way Microsoft is very aggressively pushing Office on to tablets and mobile. I'm very intrigued.
Jason: I think it's an interesting switch if it does happen only because for the past three or four years, we've gotten very used to kind of putting Samsung in a similar category as Apple in the sense that Samsung really wants to provide its services front and center. It wants that to be the thing that its users use. Of course, you know, we probably talked on this show and a lot of other shows on the network that not everybody's using those apps and services on Samsung devices even though they're shipped with. This would almost – if this happens, it's almost an admission by Samsung that isn't working in a sense, because it's basically them saying, “All right, cool. It's not working here. Let's let Microsoft in.” I don't think you're going to see this release without Google's apps and services. I think that would be suicide.
Leo: I think they have to, because they want to put the Play Store on there, right? I mean, I wouldn't buy it without that.
Lynne: I was going to say, why not just go stock Android?
Leo: Stock Android has all – right.
Lynne: Why Microsoft? Why?
Leo: I think Jeff was right.
Jeff: It would appeal to – they've admitted that their own stuff is crap. It doesn't need to be, but it is. They're trying to update the hardware a lot and do creative new things in the phone. Okay, that's a good way. Then they're going to try to appeal to a business customers base and I wonder what the business user – how many expense account bought phones now are iPhone versus Android versus Blackberry versus Nokia/Microsoft?
Leo: There's another reason, by the way, and Mary Jo Foley came up with this on Windows Weekly. I think she's accurate. Samsung and Microsoft – Microsoft was suing Samsung and saying – because Microsoft – Samsung pays Microsoft. This is really bizarre. Microsoft has always asserted that it has patents on the Linux operating system, that it actually owns and has been indemnifying Linux companies and saying, “Okay, we won't sue you if you pay us some money.” Of course, Linux is the root operating system for Android. In 2011, Samsung agreed to cross license Android from Microsoft and according to some court documents that were released, Samsung has paid Microsoft $1 billion ever since for Android.
Jeff: To Microsoft?
Leo: To Microsoft. In fact, we've known for a long time that Microsoft makes a lot of money on Android, people have estimated as much as $5 an Android handset. But all of the sudden, last week, they buried the hatchet. We don't know the details of the agreement.
Jeff: Okay. That all fits together nicely, yes.
Leo: So …
Lynne: Makes a lot more sense, now.
Leo: I think that's fascinating.
Jason: If that's the case, it's still very interesting that would be kind of the straw that breaks Samsung's back as far as their services are concerned. It's not like you can't get them. It's not like interested people can't install them but if all along, Samsung's been relying on the fact that, “Well, if it ships on the device, then people are more likely to use it,” a lot of those people are never going to install it because they never have used it.
Leo: Then Samsung said – or this rumor, I should say, says that Samsung would still put the Samsung app store on its devices. I don't see any reason why they wouldn't. Then in the app store, you could get S Help, S Voice, all the other Samsung apps. So it's really the best of all worlds. So the – what happened is that when Microsoft bought Nokia, Samsung went back and said, “Hey, that invalidates our cross licensing agreements and we're going to stop paying you.” So Microsoft sued Samsung, saying, “You owe us something like a third of a billion dollars in outstanding license fees.” But that all got dropped last week. So now, I think, it all makes sense.
Jeff: And some apps got added, yes.
Leo: Maybe Samsung will – I don't know how it's going to work, if we'll pay Microsoft for the apps. I'm not sure. They're not – nobody's saying. But I don't think it's a bad thing, as somebody who uses Samsung phones. I've always hated Touch Wiz, I've always hated Samsung's loware. We – you know, a lot of us have bought Google Play edition versions of Samsung devices. I would not use an S5 for that reason. I like the Note 4 because Samsung has really downplayed the Touch Wiz on it.
Jeff: How big is the S6's screen supposed to be?
Leo: I don't know. Do you know what's the rumor on it?
Jason: That's a really good question. I don't know what the rumor is pointing at. I feel like I saw something that even said it might be going in the reverse direction, size wise.
Leo: Yes. I don't think it'll be Note sized, obviously.
Jason: Not really, no.
Leo: Some of the rumors are 5 inches.
Jason: Yes, so backwards a little bit.
Jeff: I feel like that's going to feel dinky to me, now.
Leo: Well, then they have the Note which is 5.7 inches. This is such – the Note 4 is actually a great phone. I just saw -
Jeff: What do you think about the third rounded screen?
Jason: The Edge, are you talking about the Edge?
Leo: Yes. I reviewed the Edge. I was underwhelmed. It's weird to hold.
Jeff: Lynne, what do you holster?
Lynne: I have a Nexus 5 and I have a Note 3.
Jeff: Oh, my.
Leo: You like the big Note 3 screen or no?
Lynne: I do. I love it and I use the – oh, my. I use the pen.
Leo: Yes, you use that?
Jeff: I would like to have that.
Lynne: I use it in Evernote a lot.
Leo: Right. See, that's what's cool about that is the stylus, which I don't ever use. But I just like a big screen and it's easily the best screen out there. It's also a really good camera. So get this. This was an article from phonearena.com. They've been doing a lot of camera phone comparisons but this is a wild one. They took the Galaxy Note 4, an iPhone 6+ and a Canon EOS 650D, a DSLR. Shot the same scene three times, did a blind testing and guess who won? The camera phones.
Leo: There's a couple theories why. One is that the iPhone does do some oversaturating of colors. If you look at this tiger's nose, the lefthand one is probably the most accurate. It's certainly the crispest. It's from the Canon. The iPHone 6, though, looks more vivid, right? The colors are more saturated. The Galaxy Note 4, as all the Galaxy phones, oversharpened so everything is very crisp. I think the companies, both Samsung and Apple, realized that these are more appealing to the naked eye then the more accurate EOS picture.
Lynne: Right, because the iPhone 6 looks like HD, right?
Leo: Yes, because it's so colorful. Is it more accurate? No. But people aren't looking for accuracy. In every respect, if you look for accuracy, like in this image, the DSLR is much more accurate. But the brighter colors of the iPHone and the crisper edges of the Note 4 seem to appeal to people. Anyway, they did – I mean, it's a blind test. It's pretty amazing at phonearena.com if you want to see those results. This is a good example, actually, the – they don't tell you which is which. Which one do you like the best of this Russian building? D, E or F? I think F must be the DSLR, but I don't know.
Lynne: I like D.
Jeff: I'm liking D.
Leo: That's definitely a Note 4, I can tell. This would be the iPhone because of the color renditions. But let's see – do they tell you? It's a blind comparison. They don't.
Jason: You'll never know.
Lynne: They have to tell you somewhere.
Leo: I'm sure they do somewhere. There's the actual picture. That's got to be the – yes, this is the high resolution DSLR version. That's got to be an iPhone. I don't know. It's fun. It just shows you what you may think. The article said the Galaxy and the Note 4 dominated the comparison, beating both other cameras. I like the Note 4 camera, I do. You can see the poll results. They've got 16 thousand votes on this and this one seemed – the tiger nose, the Note 4 actually did not do well. The iPhone 6+ won. That's because of the color, right?
Jason: Yes. The Note 4 on comparison looks pretty flat. Oh, I got it wrong. The middle one of the building was the DSLR. The Note 4 was the one I thought was D. See how much crisper that is? The iPhone 6+ and of this one, the Note 4 one won handily. Not even close. Look at that, 2% of 15791 votes picked a DSLR image as the best. Only 2%
Leo: This is fun.
Lynne: That just shows that more people are getting used to doing photography with their phones.
Leo: Yes, and they like it better. This one, the Note 4 was the one on the right.
Jason: I think we're being trained because we're so used to using them.
Leo: I was so wrong.
Jason: It's kind of like mp3s, right? Lower quality mp3s but yet, over time, our ears get used to it.
Leo: I hate the modern world. Okay, let's see. I think we're running out of time so why don't we take a break here to just look quickly through – Pebble now supports Android ware and notifications. That's nice. That's good for Pebble.
LG is doing an all-metal Android ware watch. Project Ara has a new camera module from Toshiba, a 5 megapixel and a 13 megapixel. This is the modular smart phone that will only be available in Puerto Rico, I'm sorry.
Jason: At first. Ara, it's more and more fascinating me just from the fact that we're starting to see hardware manufacturers publish or talk a little bit about the modules that can plug into it. There's one company we talked about on All About Android a couple of weeks ago. I can't remember the name of the company. They're currently working on 100 modules for Ara. Sennheiser has high-fidelity audio components to plug into it. It's becoming less of a modular phone and more just a modular device.
Leo: Or an upgradeable device, an upgradeable, right?
Jeff: Well, it's fascinating that you can create an accessory that's not an accessory. It's built in.
Leo: I thought this was really a wonky idea because I thought, “Well, the phone will be rattling.”
Jeff: I think you might be eating crow leg here. We'll see.
Leo: What did you call it?
Jeff: Crow leg.
Leo: Crow leg? I'm a crow leg?
Jeff: Eating crow. Not a whole crow, just a crow drumstick.
Leo: What does that mean?
Jeff: You'll be eating crow.
Leo: I'm eating crow? I'll have to eat a crow?
Jeff: Not yet. I'm not saying you're eating crow yet because it could be dorky, but I don't know. I don't think I'm ready to totally dismiss Ara. I don't know. Mind you, this is somebody I – you know what I really want? You know what I want?
Leo: What do you want? What do you really, really want?
Jeff: I want Google to just refund the money for every schmuck who bought Glass.
Lynne: I want my money back. Oops, did I say that?
Leo: Oh, you do? Lynne's a Glasshole. You want your money back?
Lynne: No. No, I just don't like the fact that now they're done with their Explorers version, it almost feels like – you know?
Leo: It's over.
Jason: It feels kind of similar to the Helpouts thing, right? It kind of – like we were talking about earlier, a bunch of people spend their time creating their livelihood around something. Like when Glass – you know, many people will correct you and say, “Glass isn't ending, it's just going in a different direction.” We're probably not going to see the fruits of that direction for another couple years. So in some senses, it is kind of ending. But a lot of people pored their time for a year or two into development specifically for Glass thinking that they're in the beginnings of something that's going to turn into something great. They're going to kind of ride the wave and ultimately what happened is, “We're done for now.”
Jeff: I think you're right, Jason. Google chose – I saw some story. Didn't we talk about it on the show at one point? Google could have charged a lot less. They kind of wanted to charge that much money to get the serious people. But Google wasn't serious about it.
Leo: Some serious suckers.
Lynne: Right, right.
Jeff: I was there at $2200 with the add-in frames that I had to buy, which were then a week later free. Then add in the prescription, expensive lenses that I have to have.
Leo: Lynne, you upgraded your Glass, right?
Lynne: Yes. I upgraded. Yes. I mean, what was better on the second version was the audio, definitely.
Jeff: When was the last time you wore it, Lynne?
Lynne: I'm not saying.
Leo: I bought Glass, Jason got Glass. Have you worn it lately?
Jason: Well, I wore it the morning that we surprised Lucy with her trip to Disneyland.
Leo: See, there you go. And you got some good video I bet, right?
Jason: Yes. But that's pretty much the only time I use Glass is to get things happening when I want to record it without holding a device in front of me. So I'll put this on and -
Leo: You could have made a hat with a GoPro embedded in it and it would have been the same.
Jason: Completely. Maybe it looks a little bit less dorky than a hat with a GoPro on it?
Leo: No, it doesn't.
Jason: Same but different.
Leo: No, doesn't look less dorky.
Lynne: What happened to me is I gave a lot of talks around having Google Glass, life with Glass, you know?
Leo: Oh, wow. You were like a spokesperson.
Jeff: Lynne, I've got to ask. Are any of those going to be embarrassing now? Like, “The future is Glass, you have to have Glass. Glass is going to change everything.”
Lynne: I think there's some embarrassment there, yes.
Jeff: Yes, yes. I've got some too. Lord knows, I defended Glass and defended Google. Generally, it works out but boy, it didn't work in that case. I just – I got a big schmuck on my eye.
Lynne: But I did say I didn't think it was the future of wearables, though. I think that wearables is going to have to be more seamless, right?
Leo: I agree.
Jeff: Well, like these. My argument about this is that this is 2/3 the functionality of glass. Instructions and alerts are here and they didn't need to be here. What needs to be here or here is a camera, as Jason just said. That needs to be rethought of. There is an idea of an always-ready, capture what you see camera. I think it still has legs as long as it has a red light for privacy warning.
Lynne: Yes, that's true.
Leo: Breaking story, just came in, Steve Kovak writing on the Business Insider. Samsung has officially acquired Loop Pay. We heard this rumor for some time, it's another way to do touch and pay, although a little more flexible than Apple Pay. It will work through traditional magnetic credit card readers as well as touch to pay devices. So the thinking is this might be a Galaxy S6 feature. You can swipe your phone? Is that right? Or you just put it near the swiper, I guess.
Jeff: All right, I'm confused. That's proprietary, so someone has to sign up for the Loop Pay Samsung thing – no? It'll work without it? Loop Pay will work with what?
Leo: It'll work – well, this is the thing that's interesting. You've always had touch to pay with any Android device with NFC and Google Wallet, right? Or if you use the carrier wallets like – [crosstalk]
Jeff: And if the vendor had the right thing, which I hardly ever see. Go ahead.
Leo: Well, no. You're wrong now because of Apple Pay.
Jeff: So it's compatible with Apple Pay?
Leo: All the people who have Apple Pay also will allow you to use Google Wallet. I don't know of anybody who has only Apple Pay.
Jeff: Oh, I didn't even know that. I had no idea.
Leo: So you'll see an icon that looks like a fish dinner, like the bones of a fish dinner. That's the touch to pay icon, always next to the Apple Pay icon. You can do one or you can do the other. What's interesting about Loop Pay is it goes one step farther. Remember that Cardcoin, the idea was to put all your credit cards into this device and it would generate a magnetic field that a Stripe reader would say, “Oh, I see you're using your Visa card.” This does that as well. Now, in the past, the Loop Pays had a case that you'd have to put on your smart phone. You don't swipe it, you just have to put it next to the credit card reader. So in addition, this in theory would add more payment methods to the Samsung Galaxy S6 than Apple Pay. So anywhere you can use Apple Pay, you can use the NFC touch to pay using your Google Wallet or your soft card, whatever you've got for a wallet. Now you'll also be able to send a magnetic field that regular credit card readers -
Jason: Magnetic field, that's interesting. This is the icon you were talking about, right?
Leo: Yes. It looks like a fish dinner. Not the thing on the left, just the thing on the right. Not the phone, just the little fish dinner on the right here. I think this whole thing about – I mean, swiping is gone soon, one hopes. So I don't know how important this is but it would give the S6 kind of a leg up. You could say everything Apple Pay can do and more.
Lynne: I think it does. I mean, people want frictionless payments, right? Well, that gives a leg up. More options.
Leo: I feel like, though, if a store – let's say Whole Foods, which has tap to pay. Everyone's kind of used to it now. All the clerks by now have seen somebody do it and they're not freaking out. But a store that just has a Swipe, standard credit card reader has never done touch to pay. You come in and say, “Let me just rub my phone against it.” My dry cleaners are not going to go, “Oh, fine.” They're going to think some kind of devilry is at play here.
Lynne: You're sure it's all card readers? It's not just card readers activated with Loop Pay?
Leo: It says, “most standard magnetic card readers.” Because what it does is make a field that looks like a stripe. So Samsung has agreed to acquire Loop Pay, Loop Pay's technology - this is the Samsung press release. It has the potential to work in approximately 90% of existing point of sale terminals with no investment in new infrastructure. E-merchants are buying it in the US anyway because of federal mandates so – interesting though. Okay, so that's just in. Breaking news.
Samsung also has its own Exynos chip, a 14-nanometer, 64-bit, eight core processor. Which, they don't use Exynos in the US. They usually opt for the Qualcom Snapdragon because it adds US radio frequencies. But I've had Samsung phones with the Exynos. That's what they sell in the rest of the world.
Jeff: Even more breaking news. Megan Smith announces the appointment of Dr. DJ Patil as Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Data Policy and the first Chief Data Scientist of the United States.
Leo: So Megan Smith is a US CTO, recently appointed former Google executive, separated partner of Swisher in a reverse asterisk. What is DJ Patil's – that's a familiar name.
Jeff: An incredible career as a data scientist. President of Product at Relate IQ, previous positions at LinkedIn, Greylock, Skype, Paypal, eBay. Oh, he's part of that magnificent mafia. Yes.
Leo: He's part of the eBay mafia, my friends. The first ever US Chief Data Scientist and Deputy Technology Officer for Data Policy, or CDSDTODP (said phonetically). Nice. He wrote the Harvard Business Review Article that said, “Data scientist is the sexist job of the 21st century.” Okay, there you go. Breaking news. Good article.
Jeff: You know what we need, one of those little – (makes alarm noises)
Leo: “This just in!” Then somebody can hand me a piece of paper. This just in.
Jeff: A little ripping sound off the Teletype.
Leo: Got a tweet from Sina Khanifar, who has a blog post. Sina noted that everybody in the tech media has celebrated the unlocking of phones, the carrier's voluntary unlocking agreement and everybody kind of interpreted it as, now you can get your phone unlocked from any of the carriers in the US. So Sina said -
Jeff: That is not so.
Leo: Yes. Sina said, “Not so fast.” So Sprint and T-Mobile have failed to fulfill half of their own voluntary commitments. Verizon is the most lenient policy. They've almost entirely stopped -
Jeff: Well, because most of their phones are useful elsewhere.
Leo: They've stopped blocking their devices, mostly because the FCC required it. AT&T has met almost all of their unlocking requirements. T-Mobile, not so fast. T-Mobile is not doing, apparently, a very good job and doesn't really know what they're talking about, so -
Lynne: See, and this isn't interesting to me because years ago, when I used to go overseas, I used to call up T-Mobile and say, “Hey, I need to use a foreign SIM in my phone. Can you unlock my phone?” And they would do it.
Leo: Now, most people or many people use unlocked phones with T-Mobile. That's one of the reasons I like T-Mobile is I just put a SIM in and use it in my unlocked phone, like your Nexus 5 or my 6. But T-MObile will – here's their policy, will unlock post-paid devices but adds restrictions preventing customers from unlocking more than two devices per line of service in a 12-month period. They also require devices on their monthly plans to have been active for at least 40 days, even if the contract expires after a month. Under T-Mobile's uncarrier policies that all dues have been paid – anyway. This is a good – he's a technology, fill out the EFF. Thank you, Sina. The article is at sina.is. A little report card on the unlocking. So don't leap to the conclusion that unlocking is here completely.
Let's see what else. I'm quickly running through the other headlines. We mentioned, we've been talking about Facebook and the memorializing of website. Facebook now allows, as Google does, you to designate a digital heir, a legacy contact for your digital afterlife. Once you go, the person in charge can say to Facebook, “Okay, they're gone. Freeze the account, memorialize the account.” Google's been able to do this too, right? The inactive account manager, they call it.
Jeff: That's a nice way to put it.
Leo: So now when you make your will, in addition to everything else you have to do, like handing over your Google password and your Facebook password, you need to designate a -
Jeff: So what do you want to live after you?
Leo: It would be nice if they just deleted it all, right?
Leo: I don't want my Facebook page to live on. Well, maybe I do. I don't know.
Jeff: It is a little freaky when I see somebody leaves a comment or something and I see a dead person pop up in my feed.
Lynne: I have a friend on Facebook who passed away and the family, on the anniversary of his death, update his page.
Leo: That's nice. I think that's sweet. It's like a gravestone in a way, right? It's just a memorial. I wanted to give you – speaking of the Grim Reaper, I wanted to give you a chance, Jeff. You wrote a very nice piece on David Carr. I didn't know him. You didn't know him either, it sounds like. I thought you for sure would know David?
Jeff: Oh, I certainly knew him, I was just saying there's people who knew him better. Yes, they knew him better. So on one level, I said, “I shouldn't write anything, I didn't know him that well.” But I also said to myself that a tweet, or a thousand tweets was insufficient, which, by the way, puts people on warning. When I go, I expect more than a tweet, okay?
Leo: I will write you a nice eulogy, Jeff.
Jeff: I want a little more than a tweet, okay?
Leo: We should do that agreement, whoever goes first, the other guy will be there to carry the coffin.
Jeff: It used to be – you know, when you work in newspapers for years, it used to be the only real French benefit of working for a newspaper is you've got an obit in it. Now the newspapers are dying before I am.
Leo: You know, it's a bit of a shock because I had read David Carr's really good piece about Brian Williams and Jon Stuart in the Times. Then the next day, actually it was shortly after I read that piece, it said he died in the newsroom that night.
Jeff: Yes. That night, the night he died, he had an unmoderated discussion with [100:11?] and Snowden. Then at 9 o'clock at night, collapsed and they said since that it was cancer. For most of you who don't know who David Carr was, he was an incredible character. He was a media columnist for the New York Times. He was a crack addict from the old days who wrote a book called Night of the Gun about – he basically went back and fact-checked his own life. The video you're about to play is him giving what-for to Shane Smith.
Leo: This is from a documentary which is really good called Page One about the New York Times. It came out, what, about a year ago? It turned out, David became one of the main voices of it. He has a very distinctive voice, by the way. Listen.
Jason: I'm going to unmute your audio.
Leo: So he's talking to the editors of Vice who are pitching him on why Vice is going to be such a great news source. He's typing away. David was such a great media analyst. He understood new media like no one else and was a great guide to all of us at the Times. I'm going to skip over a little. Warning, there's a little profanity in this. I guess I should just leave people to watch this, but it's worth watching.
Jeff: Yes, and if you go to my blog and post, on the video below that is Shane Smith talking about how they, at a CUNY event, were actually buddies. David Carr wrote a piece later kind of admitting that Vice was worth paying attention to, they were doing a lot with news. So it's also an interesting video, a fun video.
Leo: Smith said, “People like David Carr, who speak their minds and tell the truth, are far and few between. There should be more David Carrs than there is today.” Unfortunately.
Jeff: He was amazing. He and I didn't agree about lots of things occasionally. In the movie Page One, he used What Would Google Do? as a prop for his laptop keyboard, which I think might have been a message. I went to the – I didn't get to go to the funeral but I went to the wake and it was incredible, absolutely jammed. Carl Bernstein standing to my left, Brian Stilter in front of me, three editors of the New York Times there.
Leo: He was a champion of Stilter, right?
Jeff: Very much so. A great line from Page One, he said, “Brian Stilter was a robot built to destroy me.”
Leo: Then he mentored him.
Jeff: Then he mentored him like crazy and with great mutual respect, incredible. Lena Dunham spoke at the wake. Tom Arnold spoke at the wake. They've been friends for more than 30 years. For the last 27 years, didn't drink or do other nasty things.
Leo: That's probably how they met though, I'd probably guess.
Jeff: Yes. They did it in their time but so, David was an incredible, incredible character and the outpouring on Twitter that night that he died was unbelievable. Sorry, my lights are going out.
Leo: By the way, that's not a metaphor or anything. His lights are actually going out, to you guys listening at home.
Jeff: Get those tweets ready, people.
Leo: “Jarvis' lights just went out!” Did you know him at all, Lynne?
Lynne: No, I didn't, just read him.
Leo: Yes, I read him religiously. Very sad because I had just read his wonderful piece in the Times. You know, I start subscribing to the paper version of the Times last week. You know, it's mind-boggling. There's a lot of content every single day in that thing.
Jeff: Why did you start subscribing to the daily?
Leo: You know, we had on our little vacation – Lisa and I got the Times every morning in the hotel room and I remembered how much I love reading it. What I forgot is how long it takes.
Jeff: You know, I tweeted this – somebody from the Times, an editor from the Times tweeted that – who was doing the Latin American stuff for the Times, it's really interesting. Lynn Polgrin, she tweeted that the New Yorker – she has a subscription to the New Yorker but she doesn't ever read the paper version. She reads it online. So I turned around and asked, I said – well, the same thing here. The thing is that we subscribe to the print New York Times because the deal is better than just subscribing to digital alone. But we don't read the print paper. What this means from a business perspective is that the Times is artificially holding up print for obvious reasons. Print subscribers are obviously more valuable than digital subscribers. At some point, the advertisers are going to figure this out, that some large portion of Times print subscribers only subscribe to it to get the better deal on digital.
Leo: I did that for a long time. I just got the Sunday Times and I wouldn't read it. I'd just read the digital stuff. But you don't get everything you get in the digital stuff – or you don't see as much as you do when you have the paper there.
Jeff: I think the app – the Android app is how I use it. It's just great and I wander through the times. I get the same serendipity. Lynne, what about you?
Lynne: Well, I used to get the weekend print. Now I do the Android app and sometimes mobile. But I feel like with print, the findability is easier. That's just my take on it.
Leo: In particular for me, international stuff.
Lynne: I felt like I was reading more when I did get the print.
Leo: Mike Elgan also gets the print version of the Times. He and I were talking and he says, “I don't think of it as a newspaper. I think of it as the first draft of history.” Not his own line, I can't remember who said that. Here's my cup of coffee and the New York Times yesterday. But particularly for the news stories that I probably wouldn't read about Greek debt and things like that. Because it's there and in front of me, I think I get – I know more about what's going on internationally than I would if I didn't have the print.
Jeff: I have the new Android beta here.
Leo: Is that the paper duplicate?
Jeff: No, this is just a beta version of the Times aggregator.
Leo: They have a version of the Times that's digital that's the whole paper.
Jeff: No, I hate that. Now what you do is just swipe section to section. So you swipe and roll, and that way, it's a lot easier to find the serendipity. By the way, speaking of swiping, have you played with – did we talk about this on the show, trans – [crosstalk]
Leo: Swipe left. I think we did talk about this because Nick Bilton was on a couple of weeks ago and he'd just written an article for the Times why to use Snapchat and I think this is a brilliant monetization strategy for Snapchat. But you know what? I stopped using it. You know why? Because I want stuff to live on. If I'm going to put all the time and energy into making a video, I don't want it to go away in 24 hours.
Lynne: So use Stories.
Leo: But the Stories go away, don't they?
Jeff: So? News is fish wrap, Leo?
Leo: No, I was doing Stories, in a Story, me making spaghetti, and spaghetti sauce, the whole thing. In 24 hours – even, I think, Lynne, unless I'm really wrong, the Stories are gone after 24 hours too. Everything's gone. It's public. I made it public. But I would rather use Instagram or other apps, is it Storehouse? I love Storehouse where you can take a Story, publish it and it's there forever. I'm not fish wrap.
Jeff: Well, you may not be but the Stories that appear there are news-y. I think it's darn good.
Leo: I think it's really interesting what Katie Couric is doing with Yahoo News, for instance, where it's a whole newscast. You swipe, you swipe, you swipe and you're done. It makes more sense for me if I think about my son, for instance, who's 20. He's really into Snapchat. All his friends are. That's their app. They use it almost to the exclusion of everything else. I can see him looking at the ESPN property.
Jeff: It's just so easy. Scroll up, scroll next … ah, never mind. [switching Stories]
Leo: It's very interesting, isn't it?
Jeff: It's just so fluid.
Leo: Boy, that's the opposite of the print version of the New York Times, though. I mean, talk about no substance.
Jeff: Yes, but let's compare it to TV news.
Leo: Well, I don't watch TV news either. All right, all right. No, I think it's very interesting and I got very engaged in it after Nick showed me how to use it and create Stories. Lynne, this is what you do for a living. Do you counsel brands, people and companies to use Snapchat?
Lynne: Stories, yes, definitely. I mean, it's a great way to do a breaking story, right, especially if you're a brand that caters to younger people.
Leo: That's the thing. It's how you can reach 18-25 year olds, basically. It's the only way you can reach 18-25 year olds. What do you get – if you do this brand thing with Snapchat, do you get numbers, engagement numbers or views?
Jeff: We don't know yet. The thing that you need to do, that these companies all need to do is they do need to find ways that they have a business benefit in terms of – [crosstalk]
Leo: You can't monetize Snapchat. It's only for discovery, right?
Jeff: But you need to find – there needs to be some linkage to you in some way. There needs to be more discussion of that, but nonetheless, yes. The idea of making everybody come to you and your website is not a motive.
Leo: I know that, that's why we're redoing our whole web presence.
Jeff: Just as I said, “Websites are dead.” Now you're spending $1 million on yours.
Leo: We're not, though, that's the whole point. We're spending on the API, on the public API, which the website is one consumer up but not the only consumer up. But I did tell our news division, I talked to Mike and Megan. I said, “You know, you ought to really think about doing a little Snapchat.” But what would we gain from that?
Lynne: I mean, that's what using all of social media is about, right? It's about discovery.
Leo: How are they going to discover us?
Lynne: Use the right types of tags, right? To be a part of certain discussions, that's how they discover you.
Leo: Tags, okay. Does Snapchat do tags? No. I don't know how – the only way I know how to discover somebody on Snapchat is to pay a lot of money to be part of that Explore page.
Lynne: Yes. You have to be – you have to spend some money just like Facebook's early days. You had to spend money to be a really big brand on Facebook.
Leo: Baratunde and Nick are both using Snapchat to do interesting things but it makes me sad, because whatever they do, however interesting it is, 24 hours from now, it's gone forever.
Lynne: But that's why you have to create these things in more than one way, right? You have to tell a story on different platforms.
Leo: It makes a lot of sense to me because you're going to reach a younger demographic that just doesn't watch TV, read the web or any of this stuff. They Youtube, maybe.
Lynne: Well, they all use messaging apps.
Leo: My kids, I tell you, they love Snapchat and don't use anything else. I asked, “Twitter?” “Well, we use it to talk to each other, to fool around, but we don't really use it.” Facebook? “Are you kidding, that's where parents are.” It's Snapchat.
Jeff: Snapchat, let's point out, in the news, got ridiculed for turning down $3 billion from Facebook. In its latest round of rumored or announced, not sure which today, it's a $19 billion valuation.
Leo: They say they're going to raise half a billion dollars that will give them a valuation of $19 billion. You know what? That's less than What's App. Right now, they're that valuable. Right now, I think, the problem is it's just right now.
Jeff: It's about time to cash that out, guys.
Leo: Yes. It's like OMG Pop. Get it while you can. Wow. I ended up – I was going to close this thing about an hour ago.
Jason: We have one more ad.
Leo: Let's wrap it up and then we'll get our tip of the week, your number of the week. Lynne, what we often do is ask our hosts if there's something cool, neat or unusual they'd like to share with us, a great webpage, an app or something. So if you want to think about something like that, I'll do the same and meanwhile tell you a little bit about LegalZoom.com.
We live in a land, a nation of laws. I think that's a great thing. It's one of those things that really distinguishes us from other countries. But that sometimes means a bit of a burden if you are a business person. There's a lot of times when you need to do stuff that only a lawyer could do for you. Or is that the case? Well, no. LegalZoom is not a law firm but what they do is so cool. They help you, guide you to do the things, the legal work you need to do. If you need an independent attorney, they can connect you with one at a prenegotiated, very affordable rate. So LegalZoom is the way to get your life in shape, whether it's for your family with a will or living trust, whether it's for your business with a trademark, a patent, incorporation, LegalZoom can do it for a lot less than those white shoe law firms, or actually from any of them, even Saul. Better call Saul? Forget it. Call LegalZoom.
Now, they won't defend you in court because they're not a law firm, but you know, a lot of what this stuff is is just simple paperwork that you can do yourself. It's how we incorporated TwiT. I wouldn't have been able to – we're an LLC. We're still an LLC based on the paperwork I filed through LegalZoom ten years ago. For more than ten years, LegalZoom has helped millions of people like you, like me, get the personalized attention they need. If you do need legal advice or guidance, they can also connect you with an independent attorney in most states. Since they're not a law firm, they're better in my opinion.
I want you to try it. Go to legalzoom.com and look at all the stuff you can get done there. If you decide you want to take advantage of one of their services, use the offer code TWIG at checkout. You'll get $10 off as a thank you. Even something as simple as a pet will, a pet protection agreement or a durable power of health – a health directive. You can do that all on legal zoom. Don't put it off, go to legalzoom.com and use the offer code TWIG just to let them know you heard it on TWIG. We'll give you a little bit off your order. LegalZoom, thank you for that support on This Week in Google.
Mr. Jeff Jarvis has a number.
Jeff: The number is 300. 300 Androids all singing in unison.
Leo: Shall we watch?
Jeff: If you go to the second video, 40 seconds in, they start music.
Leo: Okay, an Android chorus. This is in Japan, Google's head of device marketing did this. Let's go about 40 seconds in and listen. [video plays] Who is it that went real quickly to all of the Androids and pushed start? How did they do that? So funny. I like the Android ad campaigns they've been doing lately.
Jeff: I don't understand the Animal Friends one at all, but it's cute.
Leo: They're all together but not the same. I like that. It celebrates diversity but says that everyone should use a Google product even if you want to be diverse. Use a Google product. 300, the number of Android devices in this video. It feels like “It's a Small World After All,” is that my imagination?
Jeff: I do love how the Android character is durable enough to cut across all these instances.
Leo: Well, you knew that, Jason Howell, when you used these for your All About Android logos stuff. Androidify Me?
Jason: Yes, you can go in there and select from a ton of different hairstyles, wearing a watch.
Leo: Here's the new ad which I really like, it's the high five. Let me stop the 200 Android bots. [new video plays] I like this because it's all happy people and it doesn't even mention the product hardly at all.
Jeff: We're not Apple snots, we're happy.
Leo: We don't need to sell a product. We just need to show happy people and you too will be happy. I've seen this a lot, at the Grammy's. It's a really soft sell, although some of these are Youtube videos, like that robocise video. So maybe there's a little Youtube plug. I'd like to be the person who has that job. That's it, that's the ad. Amazing.
Lynne, is there anything you'd like to tell us about something you find cool, interesting or wonderful in the world?
Lynne: Well, I've been on a slight digital hiatus lately.
Leo: That's a good thing.
Lynne: Other than that, I've been using Slack a lot lately.
Leo: Boy, is that a hot product? Stuart Butterfield, one of the founders of Flickr.
Lynne: I find it really useful in using it to talk with clients on projects as well to talk with friends in group. Although Twitter, I think, launched their Groups feature a little bit too late. Some friends and I are using Slack in that way and I'm using it with teams as well as clients. So I'm really digging it and you know, you can integrate all of your Cloud Services with it to share files. So it helps streamline productivity.
Leo: Right on, Slack. I haven't used it. I'll have to give it a try. I agree, Google Groups – I used to use Yahoo Groups like crazy and Google Groups just came along a little too late in the game. I wish they had come sooner. I'm trying to think of the latest thing from Google – I'm using Push Bullet a lot. I'm not sure if you guys are familiar with Push Bullet.
We've mentioned this before but it's gotten better and better and better. You put Push Bullet on your Android device – I bet it was in the Android Arena at some point, Jason.
Jason: It's a show favorite.
Leo: Then you put it in your Chrome extension and you'll get notifications from your phone to your desktop. You can actually send notifications to your phone from your desktop. It is a really slick way of communicating. They've really increased the capabilites of this.
Jeff: I'm going to admit something here. I saw suddenly, out of nowhere, it said, “Thank you for installing Push Bullet.” I said, “I didn't install Push Bullet. I don't remember installing Push Bullet.” I got freaked so I just uninstalled it quickly. I don't know, maybe it was a new version or something. I don't know.
Leo: One of the things about Chrome, because you log in, is if someone installs Push Bullet on one Chrome, it installs on all Chromes.
Jeff: Speaking of Chrome stuff, you know how I get driven nuts by the [inaudible] and I was going crazy that even when I was signed into my Gmail account, anywhere on the machine, any time I opened something new, it was defaulting to Gmail not to my Apps account. Finally figured it out. I think it was the Hangouts app on Chrome. It's signed into my Gmail account. So even though the machine was signed into my apps account, it started defaulting everything to my Gmail account. Which means that when somebody would send me a link to a document, I couldn't open it up because it wouldn't let me open it up in the account it had been sent to. It would go to the Gmail account. Google, Google, Google. You've got to fix this.
Leo: So one other thing about Push Bullet, there is a Mac desktop app now. But also, if you go to the Push Bullet partners page, you can have things like subscribe to notifications whenever Google buys something, subscribe to a Google acquisition notification, a Yahoo acquisition, Facebook and Apple acquisition. These are very useful for us, frankly. This partner page is great. You can find out all sorts of stuff, the Amazon free app of the day, Enjin mod, news from Hacker news, Darren Fireball if you're a Mac fan, Android news. So I highly recommend it and it's free, pushbullet.com and you can add all your Android devices.
Jason: They recently activated the ability to reply to What's App, Hangouts throughy our computer. So it's like notifications synced from your device to your computer, back and forth, but you can interact with them as well, which saves you from pulling out your phone if you're on the desktop.
Leo: I'd been using Mighty Text to do this but Push Bullet now seems to be a more global solution. I have to say, I really like this perennial favorite on All About Android. Now with Macintosh app, which because I use Chrome so much, I don't need that. It's kind of cool.
Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes this edition of This Week in Google. I want to thank Lynne d Johnson for joining us. Really nice to have you.
Lynne: Thank you for having me.
Leo: She programmed Fortran on punch cards, ladies and gentlemen. That's how you get to be Lynne d Johnson. Lynnedjohnson.com if you want to follow her on the web. What's in the diary, just like a blog?
Lynne: Yes. I need to relaunch my site, really.
Leo: That's what we all say every time.
Jeff: Exactly. I need to clean my closet.
Lynne: I spent too much time on other forms of social media, you know?
Leo: Shortform social media like Twitter and Google+ has ruined us for our blogs. I don't blog any more. Anything else you want people to know? You can follow Lynne on Twitter.
Lynne: You can follow me on Twitter @lynneluvah. Like I said, I'll be at Lesbians from Tech next week in San Francisco.
Leo: Do you have to be a lesbian to go?
Lynne: No. It's Lesbians and allies.
Jeff: Honorary lesbians.
Leo: I like it. Where is that going to be?
Lynne: The Castro Theater?
Leo: Great venue. Well, Lynne, next time you're out here, come on and visit. You do have to drive over a bridge but it's okay.
Leo: Jeff doesn't like bridges.
Jeff: I did it twice, Leo.
Leo: Thank you, Lynne. Thank you to Jeff Jarvis, too. He's a professor of journalism, ladies and gentlemen. Buzzmachine.com, he's a reformed television critic. He joins us every week. We thank you so much for being here.
Everybody, we do this show every Wednesday afternoon 1 p.m. Pacific, that's 4 p.m. Eastern time, 2100 UTC. You can watch live at TwiT.tv or – that's nice because then you can be in the chat room and interact with us and I do love the chat room, regardless of what I say. If you can't be here live, don't worry. On demand audio and video always available after the fact at TwiT.tv/twig or wherever podcasts are aggregated and distributed. Itunes would be a good start. You can also get a TWiT app for every platform now. Not thanks to us. We didn't write any of them, but thanks to great third-party developers who've done such wonderful work on iOS, on Android, on Windows phone, on Roku. So find that TWiT app, download it and don't miss an episode of This Week in Google. See you next time!