This Week in Google 298 (Transcript)
Leo: It's time for TWiG, This Week in Google. Jeff's in New Delhi or somewhere but don't worry becaues we've got a great show playing for you. Mike Elgan is here, Aaron Newcomb. Aaron's going to show us his new arcade project. We'll talk about Google's quarterly results, Twitter's too. It's all coming up next on TWiG.
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Leo: This is TWiG, This Week in Google, episode 298, recorded Wednesday, April 29, 2015.
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It's time for TWiG, This Week in Google and Jeff Jarvis is somewhere outside the United States. Where is he today, Jason? He's in India? New Delhi?
Jason: You know what he told me? He told me and I forgot.
Leo: The problem is he's all over. So anyway, he's outside of the internet, if such a thing might exist. Fortunately, we always have great people to fill in. Mike Elgan's here, our news director.
Mike: I'm here, I'm here.
Leo: You had a busy morning with the Build Conference. We'll talk about that.
Mike: It was a – yes, we had an awesome show today with Tech News. Yes, yes.
Leo: I'm excited, actually. Hard to believe that on a Google show, I would say I'm excited, but I am, actually, about Microsoft. Aaron Newcomb's also here.
Aaron: Yes, yes.
Leo: You see him all the time on All About Android and on Floss Weekly. We love Aaron and he brought along his little Raspberry Pi project.
Aaron: Yes, I had to, because I feel so inadequate sitting next to you guys. You guys are really going to have to keep me honest today but I did bring a project and we'll talk about that a little later.
Leo: I feel like you brought Watson. I feel like Watson is sitting there ready to answer questions.
Aaron: It's kind of the opposite of Watson, actually.
Leo: It's backwards Watson.
Aaron: Yes, but it's fun.
Leo: So this is the show where we talk about Google, the Cloud, Twitter – of course, big in the news, Twitter results got leaked, although I guess they didn't get leaked. They released them ahead of time and the stock plummeted, and they closed – they stopped trading briefly.
Mike: But it didn't plummet because of the leak, it just plummeted because the leak was accurate. It plummeted because the information was bad for Twitter. So, yes.
Leo: So what – but they showed a profit.
Mike: They showed -
Leo: So what went wrong at Twitter? Why did the stock plummet? First of all, we should say, A, don't get your stock advice from us. That's not our job and we're not here to make you money in the stock market. We're here to talk about technology from the point of view of users of technology. So if we say, “We hate Twitter,” that doesn't mean it's bad and you should sell the stock, it means we don't like it as a user. But you know, I think the stock price doesn't necessarily reflect the strength or weakness of a company, it reflects what investors think they're going to be able to make or lose on it.
Mike: One of the things – you know, I think one of the things people aren't talking about is online advertising is hard right now. Everybody is struggling.
Leo: Not for some, like Facebook and Google.
Mike: What's happened is, I think generally speaking what's happening is that everything is moving to mobile and mobile is less monetizable. The prices are lower. The eyeballs don't stick around as long. It's difficult to monetize mobile users and everybody's becoming increasingly mobile. Their revenue was up but their advertising dollars were not what anybody expected. It's actually pretty dire, in a way. The problem is that Twitter has lots of eyeballs and they're having trouble figuring out how to monetize it.
And so what they're doing is, they're -
Leo: But that's always been the case. In fact, the fact that they're monetizing at all is almost new. You know.
Mike: This is the thing. They began all these major initiatives to monetize. They have, suddenly, lots of ads. They're messing around with putting ads in the stream. All that stuff has happened recently and so investors are like, “Okay, let's see the money now. After all this time, let's see the money.” And the money that they are seeing is not what they expected. It was a significant dissapointment to just about everybody and something of a surprise, I think. So that was – you know, that was just a, I think, part of the larger trend.
You see in – we're probably going to talk about Google's earning report. We're probably going to talk about Facebook and so on, and you see this sort of hidden, you know – Google and Facebook are a lot more diversified. They don't just have the one thing that they're trying to monetize and so it's – but hidden in all this is the fact that advertising right now, there's a glut of ads. Everybody's going mobile. Eyeballs are super fickle and it's just really difficult. They're just going to have to go to increasing extremes, contextual advertising, retargeted marketing and so on to get people to be able to monetize.
Leo: What are they doing right now to make money? They have – I'll see a sponsored post in my tweet stream. Well, for one thing, the first thing they're doing is shutting down third-party Twitter clients because you don't see ads in third-party Twitter clients, necessarily. So they want you to use their own Twitter client on mobile or the website, and that's where you'll see what, sponsored posts? Much like Facebook. The second post in Newsfeed is always an ad, right?
So I'm starting to see that in Twitter, although not always. Then you can buy – in fact, I don't see one in my Twitter feed right now. Then you can buy followers by saying, “Here's a suggested follower.” And you can buy trends, so you can say – but it will always say, won't it, “sponsored,” or “paid for,” or that kind of thing?
Here's, for instance, in a who to follow, Richard L. Trumka, “promoted.” Now, it's still somebody that I follow, follows him. So in that sense, you may not see that in your feed, but that's a promoted who to follow. What's the issue? Are these not making as much money as they want them to make?
Mike: Well, one of the things that they did is they transitioned to – they have these downloadable ads and they transitioned to a system, instead of eyeballs they're actually more honest about it. They're actually charging the advertisers when action is taken through the ad.
Leo: Oh, cost per action instead of cost per click – per view.
Mike: Exactly, so that's – they've gotten a hit there. They're also having a retention problem and this retention is on the high end, so lots of people are leaving and so they say – what they said in the call yesterday was that they're doing all these different things with algorithmic filtering and these different streams.
Leo: Ala Facebook.
Mike: You go away and you come back – yes. And they're saying that this is designed to retain these high-end users. I think that's the kind of thing that's driving away the high-end users.
Leo: By the way, you could turn that off. So I got that, stuff you missed and do you want to see this? I immediately said no because I want to use Twitter in the old-fashioned way but presumably people who are new to Twitter will say, “Oh, I guess that's how you do it.”
Mike: But this is something that – and again, they have better information than I do. I don't know how much of this is spin but my feeling has always been that they're trying so hard to be Facebook that they're alienating their most loyal users and what they're doing with that – those initiatives is going after the less loyal people. So they've got increasingly, sort of, novice, not really that committed to the platform kind of audience, I think.
Aaron: That's true. I mean if you look at their numbers, their users actually went up, their mobile users, which was stagnant over the past couple quarters. It actually dramatically went up in this quarter. So they're getting more eyeballs but like you say, if they're loyal users, the people who are actually creating content are leaving. That's a big problem.
Leo: We've also talked about the face that the market expects a certain amount of growth every quarter and Twitter is strongly motivated to maintain that growth. That's one of the things that's kept Twitter from booting spammers, trolls, other undesirables for Twitter is that they can't afford not to have that growth.
Mike: But the spammers and controls are yet another thing that's driving away the committed users. How many reports have you seen of major celebrities, usually women, who basically say, “I quit Twitter. I can't handle the vitriol anymore. I can't handle the trolls.” For every one of those famous people, there's probably 1000 people who aren't famous who are doing the same thing. So it's having the trolls and harassment, I think, are probably having a suppression sort of effect on conversations generally and engagement generally because it's really bad. What's happened is that everybody else has gotten better troll control and Twitter has been lagging in that area. So the trolls have all just come rushing into Twitter. Twitter's the only game in town these days with trolls.
Leo: That's right because everyone else has effectively gotten rid of it, mostly because of a real name's policy, I think.
Mike: Yes, you know, Youtube and -
Leo: Google+ doesn't do it anymore, but -
Mike: Exactly, but Google+, like, if a troll posted – you know, again, we're going to have this conversation a million times. I can delete the troll's message whereas on Twitter, their solution was an algorithmic filter to hide it from you. Everybody else still sees it, the troll's still there.
Leo: You had a great article on this, what did you liken it to?
Mike: Oh, it's like you call the police because there's an armed intruder on your lawn, they come and close the curtains.
Leo: “Just don't look!”
Mike: Yes, the problem is that you're upset about it. Exactly, and that article talked – broadened the rarely-discussed aspect of trolling that is reputation management. So if someone is trashing your reputation in public, not knowing that it's happening doesn't help your reputation.
Leo: Reputation management is a much larger conversation because that's – that is a big issue when I talk to kids, teenagers. I say – I hate to have to say this, but, “Make a website. Put stuff you are proud of up there because if you don't show up in the Google search and then somebody posts a video of you beating somebody, or barfing in a corner or drunk, that's the video everybody's going to see because that's the only search result for you.” That's a very tough thing.
Aaron: It's huge especially for college kids. People who are looking to get into the job market in a few years, you know, it's the first thing you do when you go to interview someone is you do a Google search on them.
Mike: The only reason I have a job is because they didn't have all these recording devices when I was in high school.
Leo: Thank God, right? Can you imagine if there were a picture of me floating around with a giant bong? Actually, there is, but that's – I was the one who posted that.
Mike: Last weekend.
Leo: No, not last weekend! It was from college.
Mike: Darn it.
Leo: That, actually in a way has changed morays, hasn't it? It's hard to find, you know – we went from President Clinton saying, “But I didn't inhale,” to Obama saying, “Whoo-hoo!” Because everybody by this time has had some sort of checkered past. So to wrap up the Twitter conversation, do you think the market is right? Is Twitter headed for tough times or is this just a temporary blip?
Mike: I think the market is wrong. I think Twitter has a bright future financially. What they did is they just also announced yesterday, and this is, I think, an underappreciated story. They acquired a retail retargeting company called TellApart and what they do is they're about to initiate this super buy button concept where basically, you'll see an ad – the ad will say, “Buy now.”
Leo: I love that. Yes.
Mike: You'll click the button. They're going to turn Twitter into Amazon.
Leo: That's brilliant. In a way, really, that is an instantiation of what Twitter could be in general, which is this signaling box. It's not just for buying things, it's for anything. It's for a news story or a show you're interested in and if you follow the right signals, you get all this. That's what makes Twitter work is if you follow the right signals, it's wonderful.
If you want to know – if you're watching Game of Thrones live and you want to have a conversation about it, where do you go? You don't go to Google+. You don't go to Facebook. You go to Twitter because that's where real-time conversations happen. I have to say, because of this, I've been loading the Twitter page. It's much more visual than it used to be and one of the reasons I now use – first of all, there's the green line for conversations.
One of the reasons I now use the website as much as anything else, look at how visual it is, how much more than just 140 characters it is. In fact, you get a lot of people – I'll scroll down a little bit, posting paragraphs of text in picture form so they can get around the 140-character limit.
Aaron: That's why I've never liked Twitter. I'm not a big Twitter fan and I have always thought, “Okay, it's going to go belly up eventually, right, as newer platforms come up?” Somehow they've been able to hang on to it and the thing that they've done really well – and I think this actually goes with why the stock price fell so much is everybody sees Twitter. You watch CNN, you watch Survivor, right? Everything that happens on Survivor, there's a hashtag for it. So they've done really well about getting out in front of people's faces with these hashtags and then you take a look at their numbers and go, “Holy cow, they missed their Wall Street estimate by -” Whatever it was, $40 million? I thought they were doing well, you know? So then you sell the stock.
Leo: By the way, I just found a link that Apple found a defect in a key component of the Apple Watch. Dow Jones has reported the story is developing, so we don't know what it is but it has hit Apple a little bit, a drop in the stock price.
Aaron: Breaking news.
Leo: Breaking news from Twitter! How about that, ladies and gentlemen. Here's breaking news. I just got a text from Apple who had – remember, I ordered ten minutes after midnight, my bad. I'm sorry, Apple. I'm a bad person.
Mike: You were about four minutes too late.
Leo: So we were able to get the 38 millimeter, which is Lisa's because nobody apparently wants – has small wrists. They said my 42 one wouldn't come for a few weeks. It's going to come tomorrow. So I've started to hear this now from people, I know this isn't the Apple Watch show, but you know, the Apple Watch has this – it metastasizes into all of our programming.
Mike: It does. It's like a disease. The other funny thing that we reported on Tech News Today this morning is that Apple has banned apps that keep time.
Leo: Yes, well, you already have a watch. You want another one? You know why? I think because it's a side way to get different watch faces on there, right? And Apple doesn't want you to do that yet, partly because of battery life issues. There was rumor that they had banned Pebble compatibility on the iPhone, but that apparently – Apple's denying that, so – but they have a long history. Yes.
So I haven't found any defects in the Apple Watch but if I find any, I'll let CNBC know. Let's talk about Google's results because those are in. They missed estimates. Now, this is an example – when you miss estimates, that doesn't necessarily mean a bad thing but that means the stock market punishes you because the stock market is based on rumor.
“Google caps costs as growth slows.” Say that five times. Google caps costs as growth slows according to the Wall Street Journal, revenue, though, up 12%. How's their mobile doing? Because that's the question, isn't it, with Twitter, with Facebook and with Google?
Mike: Well, cost per click fell 7%.
Leo: That's a trend, right?
Mike: Exactly and this is another thing that I'm talking about. There's these little cracks in the online advertising world in this move to mobile. It's not as monetizable.
Leo: Just to define that, that means – and the way Google works with its advertising, they do an auction. So there's no set price for a Google ad.
Mike: It's like buying an airline ticket or something like that. There's flex pricing.
Leo: Yes. If you're bidding for a keyword like “lawyer,” you're going to pay a lot more because there's others bidding for that. And that was really smart of Google. It was a way for Google to make sure they maximize revenue but when you see the cost per click go down, that means that the bids are lower. People are not willing to pay as much. It means, ultimately, the ads are not as effective.
Mike: That's right, and the reason that's bad news for us is in order for companies like Google to monetize mobile ads better, they're going to have to be a lot more intrusive. I'm talking auto-playing video ads, I'm talking all the stuff that people hate.
Leo: We don't want that.
Mike: Well, it's coming because that's the only way they're going to be able to monetize and continue their growth. Of course, Google did report the growth that you mentioned and the dollar value on that was just under $14 billion of revenue. So that's a – you know, despite what the investors are doing, Google is an incredibly wealthy company making a ton of money. One of the most interesting things from this report, in my opinion, was that now 55% of their revenue comes from outside the U.S.
Leo: That's like Apple too. Apple had a 30% growth, mostly from China.
Mike: But this isn't from China. So Google doesn't get revenue from China. That's why this is such a huge figure. I mean, before Apple was in China, which was fairly recent before they were in China Mobile, which is the big carrier in China and before they really made their big push into China, it was way less than that. I mean, it was, in terms of their Chinese revenue – so this is 55% without – and the reason that's a big deal is because a big, big chunk of that is Europe and Google is struggling with Europe over privacy, anti-trust and all kinds of other things.
Leo: And the Euro is struggling, so as the exchange rate – as the dollar remains strong and the Euro weakens, that means you -
Aaron: That's a problem for all companies.
Leo: Everbody loses money, yes. All U.S.-based companies are making less money out of Europe. So profits were fine, right? Revenue was fine. They just didn't meet analysts' estimates. But there is a sign – some signs of weakness. You know, the falling price of Google ads is a long-term problem that Google has to deal with.
Mike: Well, another interesting data point here is their expenses, which I'm always concerned about. They've got balloons, and self-driving cars and all that stuff and I'm like, “How much is this costing?” They're selling these inexpensive little online ads and they're paying for all this stuff. That was a concern in past analyst reports. This time they've stabilized it to a certain extent. They did arrive – total costs and expenses rose 13%, to 12.81 -
Leo: But look at the R&D increase.
Mike: Yes, to almost 30%.
Leo: That was a 46% increase last quarter, a 29% increase this quarter. That tells me – and that's a knob that Larry turns, right? That tells me that in response to the softness thing, and things like ad sales, Google is saying, “All right, turn up the knob. We need to find the next big thing.”
Mike: Right, and Google's pretty good at this. I mean, if you compare them to a company like Microsoft which has excellent research – Microsoft research is a phenomenal organization and they -
Leo: They've had a hard time making a product right now.
Mike: Google, if you look at Google Glass, for example, everybody's – we've talked about it a million times. They had this research project which they turned into a big beta program, essentially, and then they steamrolled it right into a product division, and now Luxottica is going to be coming out with Google Glass – you know, hopefully a more elegant version of it.
Leo: Mike, Google Glass is not going to save Google.
Mike: But my point is, look at the time from – “Here's an idea -”
Leo: They made a product, right.
Mike: “For a research project,” to product. I mean, two years? That's really -
Leo: What's the – if you think about the most successful Google X project I can think of is autonomous vehicles. Will Google make any money out of that, though? It's clear that they pushed this forward but is it Google that's going to make the profits from this? I don't think so.
Aaron: Well, and they're working with all these manufacturers, right?
Leo: Do they have patents?
Aaron: They must have some patents, absolutely. But it's tough. I mean, when I was at – this reminds me of San, a little bit. We're not that far down the road with Google yet but we had all kinds of smart people working at San, right? They're doing all these crazy R&D projects which is great but they're not monetized. The projects never go anywhere. In the end, we were acquiring companies that were just failing left and right.
Leo: Think about Xerox Park.
Aaron: Xerox Park, yes.
Leo: In fact, there's a book, How Xerox Invented the Future and Didn't Make Any Money on It or something like that. Think about HP. This is a story that's more often the case than otherwise and I think it's going to happen to the vast majority of tech companies. They're not going to be able to – we've talked about this on Triangulation with people and so forth. It is probably – there is a business cycle. There's always been a business cycle but instead of 20 years, 50 years or 100 years, it's now 10.
A company like Microsoft that was on top for two decades, there's no guarantee that third decade will keep you on top. I have to say, and we've been watching the Build coverage today, I should mention that Mary, Joe and Paul are at Build. That's why we didn't do a Windows Weekly today, but we will do it Friday, 2 p.m. Pacific, 5 p.m. Eastern time, 2100 UTC, the day after tomorrow.
Mike: I saw -
Leo: That's going to be fantastic.
Mike: I saw some beer in there.
Leo: There is. Beer is arriving. Beer has been coming in trucks. I don't know who they think is going to drink this. We have a sellout crowd, by the way, so if you've received a ticket from , you're welcome but if you haven't, there is a waiting list but I think we're full.
Mike: Fortunately, I don't think we have a sellout staff. They're not a bunch of sellouts.
Leo: Never, no.
Mike: Just the audience.
Leo: They're a crack team.
Mike: Before we move on from this concept of getting research projects into products, I think an underappreciated situation at Google is Project Tango, which is just -
Leo: What's Tango?
Mike: The project strikes me as a perfect example. Project Tango, you've heard of it. It's a research project where you use a tablet or a smart phone to 3D map the indoor spaces very rapidly. What's brilliant about this is it's something Google probably started working on seriously a year or two ago, maybe a year and a half ago, something like that. The technology is such that they have the technology to do this and if they had smart phones that actually had this technology, they would cost $10 thousand per phone. They would be like Apple phones, right?
So I mean, it would be really, really expensive which is perfect, exactly how you want to do it. They're building these things -
Leo: Because it's a high-margin device.
Mike: But more is logged – by the time this thing is a product, you know, these will be $1000 phones maybe.
Leo: Google, I wonder, because I feel like Google was founded by two smart guys who were cognizant of the issues of keeping a tech company on top and from the very beginning, it wasn't – you know, Microsoft's business was, we want a computer on every desktop running Microsoft software. That was how they started, that was their model for many, many decades. It's changed a little bit now. It had to.
But Google, you know, you could say that their model was originally to organize the world's information, they certainly said that a lot at the beginning. Perhaps they got seduced by selling ads against it but they're really a big data company. I think they understand they their business is about data, about collecting it, about using it intelligently, analyzing it. So Tango's a perfect example. What is that? That's a data collection device in a smart phone.
Mike: Yes, yes, absolutely.
Leo: That's what that is.
Mike: Yes, and basically what it can do is it basically can very rapidly build into your phone for an application, a game or – you know, virtual reality thing. You could put this thing with a Google Cardboard type of virtual reality thing and you can integrate and do Microsoft HoloLens type integrations of the 3D physical space with the game, so a ball bounces on the actual couches that's there and bounces off the walls because it knows where the couch and the walls are.
So this is using some very high-end graphics processing. It's very high-tech stuff but they've got a bunch of really smart people working on it. They've got a bunch of partners working on it and it's really exciting technology that is absolutely going to be in all of our smart phones in a few years, and Google's all over it. They're already -
Leo: What about Project Ara? I know, Jason, you could probably talk about that a little bit more on All About Android, but that's the thing they acquired from Motorola, essentially it was a modular smart phone.
Aaron: Build-your-own smart phone, yes.
Leo: People complain to me all the time that we don't talk about Project Ara.
Mike: You know, it's going to be really -
Leo: I don't want a phone that's going to rattle around in my hand.
Mike: You've got to send me to Puerto Rico next spring.
Leo: That's where you can get it.
Mike: That's right, they're going to have it in taco trucks in Puerto Rico. We're all going.
Leo: I don't want a – I've had that. We had that. That was the Visor, remember that, with the Visor you had those modules you would put in. I don't want a phone with pieces falling off of it.
Mike: There's actually – if you like the concept of modular phones, there's actually a product you can invest in on Kickstarter. The news hit today, it's a product called the Nexpaq and it's a modular case for both iPhone and Galaxy. Now here's what's interesting – the modules are interchangeable between the iPhone and the Android phone.
Leo: It does look like Ara, doesn't it?
Mike: It does but this is again a case that will add a speaker, will add a super high-powered flashlight, will add all this different stuff to -
Leo: Battery would be nice.
Mike: They do have that as well. The battery doesn't take up the whole back like other batteries.
Leo: So there's room for other stuff.
Mike: So it's -
Leo: How much? Pledge $39 or more, you get the special edition USB – you get one module. $75 for the SDK, here you go. $89 and four modules. All right, I might do that.
Aaron: That's not bad.
Mike: You get an SD card reader for your iPhone, imagine that. A temperature and humidity sensor.
Leo: We don't need any of this stuff. Lisa, this is obviously going to be another one of my Kickstarter boondoggles.
Mike: Here's a good one. There's a breathalyzer module so if you want to make sure that you can drive legally.
Leo: Sure, I need that. Yes, I get in the car and wonder all the time, “What is my blood alcohol level?” Maybe I'll back this project. I haven't wasted money on Kickstarter in a long time. What do you get for $99? Beta bundle for iPhone 6 – I don't care about beta bundles.
Mike: Jason, there's a video on this if you -
Leo: Oh, they do support both the S6 which okay, I kind of like that. January of next year – oh, wait a minute. For a little more money, I can get the magenta version, or do I want green.
Mike: Well, think of all the money you'll save not going to Puerto Rico.
Leo: Oh, I see, it's the trim – it is a little bit like Ara, isn't it? There's no way this is going to ever emerge from the Kickstarter.
Aaron: You'll be waiting for years for this unfortunately. That's the downside of Kickstarter.
Leo: Yes. A lot of times go to Kickstarter as I just did and say, “Oh, it's like a store. I think I'll buy the green one.” And what in fact happens is nothing because these guys have never – I don't know. You should check, have they ever made anything? Have they dealt with China before? Do they know what making physical objects entails? That's a challenge. That's a whole different kettle of fish. But I like the idea.
So back to Google, though, and Google R&D. Some of it seems crazy but you know, in almost every case, I think what's worked for Google is this undercurrent of, “You know, we just want more data. We'll figure out a way to monetize.” It's nice to have a business model where you say, “This is our underlying vision and we don't have to judge whether we're going to make money on an R&D project, just whether it will support the underlying vision. Then we trust the vision is well enough designed that we will make money out of it.”
Does that feel like what they're doing?
Mike: I don't like to use the word “vision” for Google. I don't think they're a visionary company. They have a philosophy. They have a general philosophy about data which is – there's two essential ways they look at the world that's different. The first one, and this goes back to Larry and Sergei, they think big, big, big. Somebody will say, “Hey, let's build, like – maybe we should build a little satellite and put it in space.” They'll say, “No, let's build a space elevator.”
They think just gigantic and you see this in all the books, especially like In the Plex, all the books about Google. They just take everything that normal people think about and they multiply it by 100, then say, “Let's do that.”
Leo: That's why their R&D project is billions.
Aaron: But Leo, I think you have a really good point. If you look at what they've done well, it goes all the way back to the beginning to the search engine, right? Tons of data, they've done really well at that. You look at – oh, my brain just went. You look at what they did -
Aaron: Youtube – well, Android's like the third iteration. If you look at what they're doing now with things like the Google Now integration which they just announced they're doing more integration from apps to Google Now -
Leo: Well, and Google has an ISP facilitate that. Both terrestrial and mobile, because they've got Google Fi now, they have Google Gigabit in some cities.
Aaron: Oh, ads. That was it. Ads is the second wave, right? So you've got the browser. Search engine was first, then ads, now Android and if you look at it – I think it's somewhere in the rundown, they're doing Chrome, exactly.
Leo: Chrome end to end. They own – they can gather data from all of that.
Aaron: But it's data gate gathering points, right?
Leo: But it's data on you and do you think there's push back now from society – in fact, somebody in the chat room is saying that - “It's coming to an end,” says RF2020. Privacy by design is becoming necessary and isn't that identical to what Google wants?
Mike: I don't know.
Aaron: I don't think so.
Leo: I have been very publicly embracing this notion of, “I'll give you everything you want, Google, because I feel like I'm getting my money's worth out of Google.”
Leo: You see, I have been very publicly embracing this notion of, “I'll give you everything you want, Google” because I feel like I'm getting my money's worth out of Google. In other words I don't care what Google knows about me.
Leo: It's not like I'm going to see more ads. I already see ads on every surface. It's Philip K. Dick universe already. So if they're more targeted that's better as far as I'm concerned. At least I won't see ads for things I can't use.
Mike: But are they better targeted?
Leo: No, they're not!
Mike: They're not.
Leo: That's why I want to give them more information. I want to help you Google, I want your ads to be better targeted.
Aaron: Well, that's why this Google Now thing is so important and cool and what they're doing, right?
Leo: I love Google Now. I love it.
Aaron: They want Google Now to become your interface. This is the interface to my world, this is the place where I spend my first minute of the day or that minute where I just want to know what's going on. They want to take your eyeballs and dump them into Google Now, and the way that they're doing that is making more relevant by pulling this information from the apps.
Leo: Google Now now tells me when a bill is going to be due, like, “Tomorrow, your PG&E bill is due.” That's useful stuff.
Aaron: Yes! All kinds of stuff.
Mike: The reason we're so excited about Google Now is it's the one rare example where contextual information actually works.
Mike: You know, if you look at – I saw ads from, I think it was YouTube today, it was in another language. I didn't even recognize the language. How did they not know that I don't speak whatever that language is?
Leo: Wow, look at this. Spotify, Feedly.
Mike: Yes, all kinds of stuff. 70 new partnerships.
Leo: What is that? So this is new integration.
Mike: This is new. 70 new partnerships.
Leo: Wunderlist. How do I turn that on? I want it, I want it.
Jason: You install the app.
Leo: So if I have – I use Wunderlist as my to-do list, or I have Pandora, or KAYAK, or Waze, by virtue of having that app installed somehow Google Now will now say, “That's a signal, ah.”
Jason: Right. The developers of those apps have tapped into Google Now and will feed that information in certain ways. There's also this bottom half of this entire gigantic list is Now cards from Gmail mark-up. These are all the companies, you know, all the partners that when you get an email from them with any sort of information, feeds into Google Now in helpful ways like your travel and all that stuff.
Leo: This can be troubling, though, because if Google Now has a thousand cards every time I go there, this is just my inbox.
Mike: I am not worried about that because every time I go to Google Now I'm like, “Give me more! Give me -”
Leo: Well here's an example. So, I got a card – Android 5.0 Lollipop update for the Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 4, and it's saying, “Is this card useful right now?” So I can – I'm always nervous about this, because I don't want to say no, because maybe I won't – I mean, it's kind of semi-useful.
Leo: What should I do now?
Aaron: That's the question, but you know I got a card from-
Leo: Oh, I'll say yes, what the heck.
Aaron: Just go ahead and say yes-
Leo: Here's restaurants nearby. I'm not getting all of those cool integrations yet.
Aaron: I got one from – because Jason contacted me to come be a host, right? A co-host on the show. And it said “Is this something you're interested in following?” And when I said yes, it went ahead and set up the appointment on my calendar and it did all this great – so it's like one-click integration to everything I want to do.
Leo: But you see, people, their reaction is going to be, “How did it know that? It read my email, what the hell!” Don't you think that's the kind of reaction that people are going to have about that?
Mike: As long as I don't have to read my email.
Aaron: Some people will. Other people will glad to give that up for the convenience factor.
Leo: I'm thrilled. Exactly.
Aaron: It's all about the convenience factor.
Leo: I'm thrilled. Here's the very first card, which is, of course, this show, and there's a button which I like – that seems new, “Email everyone.” So I can email everybody who's attached to that appointment if I'm running late or –
Mike: If there are any.
Leo: If there are any. Actually it's just you, Jason.
Jason: Go ahead. Send me an email.
Mike: I use Any.do, which – [crosstalk]
Leo: I love Any.do.
Mike: Google Now integration with Any.do, so now if I have a reminder it'll pop up on Google Now, which is nice.
Leo: So does that just going to now just happen? Because I have most of those apps or many of those apps.
Jason: You know, the one thing that I don't know is whether there's an update to Google Search that has to roll out for that to be enabled, and I think that is the case, which will happen in the next week or two.
Leo: This is, you know, it's really interesting. In every case – we've been covering Google very closely now for ten years – in every case, I think, “Oh, they got this great new stuff, I can't wait -” face recognition.
Leo: Which you know they're good at. But they haven't – they're slow to roll some of this stuff out. I guess it's probably prudent.
Mike: They put this amazing technology on Google+ where they could recognize whether it was a dog or a cat in the picture, whether it was a baby or an adult, whether you were smiling or not smiling. Where it is-
Leo: Where is it?
Mike: I don't know. You know, it's like useless at Google+ if it's still there, nobody uses it as far as I know, but it's amazing, you know?
Leo: Somebody is saying, “You can turn apps on or off in the Google Now settings. There's a downloaded apps sections.” All right, well let me take a look at that. So, Now cards.
Jason: I mean, there have been some apps already tapping into Google Now, so this is not the beginning of it, this is just a broadening of it.
Leo: I think that this is, maybe, you have a newer version than I have, because I don't see that in my settings.
Jason: I haven't seen an update to my Search app and I'm pretty positive that's what's going to be required to get some of these changes.
Leo: Do you see it?
Aaron: I see “Customize Google Now.”
Leo: Oh, should I go to the customize -
Aaron: Yes, so if you go to the – click on the hamburger.
Leo: Yes, yes.
Aaron: And then you should have customize.
Leo: On the hamburger? Customize. All right, let's see what's in here. Come here, baby.
Jason: This is, by the way the-
Leo: Oh yes, look at that. Downloaded apps.
Jason: Downloaded apps, there we go.
Leo: Here's Sports, Stocks, Places – this is where your control is. This is much like Cortana on Windows Phone, where when you first set up Cortana, the speech recognition in Windows Phone, you tell her your interests, what you want to know about. The disadvantage Microsoft has is unless you're using Bing all the time and you're really Microsoft ecosystem they're not going to know as much about you.
Leo: It's interesting. It's becoming a Microsoft versus Google war here.
Aaron: Right? Who are you more plugged into?
Leo: So, “Receive Now cards from your downloaded apps,” yes. Also, I can turn this on. “Continuing receiving Now cards from Waze,” yes. So, I haven't yet – it hasn't yet populated this individual apps, but I have turned that on. All right, thank you! So it is in there. It is in there, very interesting.
Jason: They're starting to surface cards in Google Now where, if you're driving and it knows you're driving, it will tell you-
Leo: Stop looking at -
Jason: “These are the gas stations that are on your route!”
Leo: Oh. It should say, “Put your phone away, you nit-wit!”
Aaron: That's what it should say.
Mike: Google would never do that.
Aaron: And the parking one, I think, has been out for a little bit but I'm getting parking updates.
Leo: I love that. I love that.
Aaron: Where's my parking update?
Leo: It says, “You parked and here's where you parked.”
Aaron: Here it goes.
Leo: It's a map of where you've parked.
Aaron: Parking locations. You know, my son does a lot of Team Fortress 2, so I get – and he plays, sometimes it connects to mine, so it gets-
Leo: He's playing on your Steam account.
Aaron: Team Fortress 2. That's exactly right.
Leo: I have the same problem. But you know, I like it because it makes me look like a better gamer than I am.
Aaron: It does, doesn't it? Yes.
Leo: I got thousands of points or whatever – achievements. “Man! You're good at TF2.”
Leo: “Yes I am! I'm almost as good as a 12 year old boy.” Yes, I look at this app quite a bit actually. So, that's cool.
Aaron: Yes. But again, that's the big data, right? I mean, that's the data analysis they can do. They're plugging into anything and everything to get in front of you more often.
Leo: “Keep track of this event,” I get a lot of events in my email, so you can see whether you have stories to read. You know what, this is pretty amazing now.
Leo: The next thing is to put this, I don't know, in some sort of head-mounted display.
Mike: That's the problem with Google Now, it's never right there. Unless you have a Chromebook. Now it's on the Chromebook, when you open the Chromebook, there it is. You always have to remember to go find it, and that's just not how this should work.
Leo: If you use the Google launcher on Android you swipe left from the home page and there's your Google Now cards, so maybe that's one of the ways to do it.
Mike: Such a hassle.
Leo: You know, I love the Chromebook. I'm sorry, but that's one reason the Chromebook is a great choice, is if you're in the Google-verse, which obviously we are sucked into the Google-verse.
Mike: Yes, yes.
Leo: All right, let's take a break. I want to see Aaron's arcade. Aaron Newcomb is a maker and the last time we saw a project of yours you had an old-time radio that was playing old-time radio shows, like Lawrence Welk.
Aaron: Yes. Like Lawrence Welk.
Leo: And out of an old-time radio but it was over the internet from a Raspberry Pi so let's see what he's got here. Aaron's arcade, but first a word from Braintree.
If you're a mobile developer you must know about Braintree. If you're a mobile developer, then woo! You need to know about Braintree! Braintree is a payments API. If you go to braintreepayments.com you can find out all about it. It makes it very easy for you – well, let's say you've got a mobile app and you want to accept payments. Would you like to accept, I don't know, Bitcoin? Sure, no problem. Apple Pay, of course! Paypal, yes! Credit cards of any kind, yes! Venmo? You know about that? That's awesome. Yes! They accept it all, and it's with a couple of lines of code in your app. That's what I love about this.
The payments API is used by so many great companies, they're used by Uber and Lyft. You know it must be good if Uber and Lyft use it, and AirBnB and LivingSocial. GitHub started when they first started taking payments with Braintree and Braintree has grown with them. They can start from one transaction a day to millions a day. They can grow with you, and right now if you want to try it, we can give you a great deal for a startup, for somebody that's just getting going. Your first $50 thousands in transactions are fee free. So that really gives you a chance to, you know, get going, and, you know, by the time you get $50 thousand in transactions, you're ready! You're doing it! Braintreepayments.com/TWiG to get that special offer.
When you create an account you'll be able to use your sandbox to actually see what your app would look like with Braintree. It works with all the languages, Node – everything that you use, .NET. Makes it very, very easy. Braintreepayments.com. I think seven different programming languages. Look at all the companies that use Braintree. StubHub uses Braintree – unrelated to GitHub. AirBnB, Hotels Tonight, the travel industry – I love it. Braintreepayments.com/TWiG. I want you to check it out. If you want to take payments – and by the way, fast pay-outs and great support. This is the place, from your first dollar to your billionth, Braintreepayments.com/TWiG. First $50 thousand, fee free. Pretty good deal!
Google's offering to buy patents. I like this.
Leo: At first I thought, “Oh great, they want to be in the patent troll business,” but then I thought, “No, no, no, that's not it at all.” They're taking these patents off the market.
Mike: From trolls.
Leo: From trolls.
Mike: Because what happens is, if you have a patent and you want to monetize it, you know, you're not going to sue Google, right? So you're going to go find a patent troll who's going to pay you a ton of money and they're going to sue Google, and Google says, “You know what? Let's just skip all that. We'll buy it!”
Leo: Just eliminate the middle-man!
Mike: Right? “If we might use it sometime in the future, we'll buy it.” So they're having try-outs. There's two weeks during the month of May when you can go and submit your patent, say, “Here's our patent.” They'll check it out and by sometime in June, I think it is -
Leo: Love this.
Mike: June 26th, they will tell you yes or no about whether or not they'll buy your patent.
Leo: I love this.
Mike: Yes. And they said, “Think of it like a 20% project for Google's patent lawyers.”
Leo: Give them a little something to do with their free time.
Mike: That's right.
Leo: Have you received a Project Fi invite? Has anybody yet? Do we know anybody who has?
Aaron: I haven't gotten an invite.
Mike: No. I have not.
Leo: We all applied, I presume.
Jason: I haven't heard of any invites yet.
Leo: You're using a Nexus 6, right?
Aaron: I actually have a Nexus 6, but I couldn't apply for it because it goes through my work.
Mike: I was bluffing.
Leo: Oh, you have your Google for Work account.
Aaron: No. Yes, well, for NetApp. They pay for my bill and all that sort of stuff.
Leo: So you can't apply for it?
Aaron: I can't apply for it.
Leo: You could apply for it! And then get your own Nexus 6, if you-
Aaron: I'd have to expense my bill to get my own Nexus 6.
Mike: Well they – you could make payments on it so you can – one of the check-box options – they'll send you the phone-
Leo: Right, over two years.
Mike: And then you pay for it. It's like T-Mobile or something.
Leo: Something like $20 a month over two years.
Mike: Yes, yes.
Aaron: You can do a subsidy?
Leo: I have a Nexus 6 just waiting. I hope they – I love the idea. It's not much cheaper when you add it all up, it's pretty much the same as what I already paid with T-Mobile.
Aaron: No. But you get the carry-over.
Leo: Right, right.
Aaron: Which is the best part. Right?
Aaron: So, yes, if you look at the month to month, it's not much cheaper and in some cases it's more expensive, but because you get that carry-over, you know, you can kind of budget for that worst-case month of the five gig month, and then every other month you're only doing three gigs, so you get that – your bill gets lowered every other month, so I think it's great.
Mike: If you travel a lot it's a great idea because, again, there's no contract, so you can just, like, cancel and then go back to it. You can go back and forth depending on what's favorable. So.
Aaron: Yes. But, you know, I think what's going to hurt them out of the gate is the Nexus 6. You have to have a Nexus 6. Or, maybe another phone from, Huawei or somebody else. We'll see what happens. But you know, that right out of the gate - I mean, as everyone - they made - part of their earnings announcement we just talked about was the slip in Nexus, their Nexus brand-
Aaron: So the Nexus 6, apparently, isn't doing too well.
Leo: Sales are dropping.
Aaron: Sales are dropping, and yet they're trying to roll out Google Fi and say you have to have a Nexus 6.
Leo: See, nobody wants a Nexus 6. That's really the problem.
Aaron: I do! I'm one of the faithful, and - [crosstalk]
Mike: It's so expensive. It's all about the price. It's all about the price.
Leo: Why do you like the Nexus 6? Well, yes, the Nexus 6 is not a cheap Nexus phone.
Aaron: It's not, no.
Mike: The Nexus 4 – or the 5, I guess it was – the Nexus 5 was super cheap.
Aaron: 5 was.
Leo: It was.
Mike: And the 7 was cheap.
Leo: Frankly, if you want a Nexus buy a OnePlus One -
Leo: Now with Lollipop on it. The Oxygen OS is basically pure Lollipop, and it's $350! It's a Nexus-priced phone.
Mike: I think they'll extend it to Android generally at some point.
Aaron: Yes, or release new phones.
Leo: I think – is it a hardware? I think it's a hardware issue. I think you have to have a phone that can support the hand-off.
Aaron: It's a phone that's fast enough to do the hand-off between WiFi and the two different cellular networks. I mean, that's what gets me is even on my Nexus 6 I have a hard time. I leave the house and sometimes I thinks I'm still connected to WiFi and I have to go in to manually turn WiFi off.
Mike: Every day, I do that.
Aaron: You do? Is this going to be a problem then on Google Fi?
Mike: It's not supposed to be.
Aaron: If it doesn't work right now, how is it going to automatically switch networks?
Leo: Well, this Edge, the S6 Edge is a T-Mobile phone. So it does WiFi calling.
Aaron: You can do the WiFi calling.
Leo: And it's just completely transparent. I walk out the door, call continues. Picks up on the cell network. T-Mobile happens to very good in Petaluma so I don't care if Sprint is there or not. It tells me when I'm on WiFi immediately, calls will be made over WiFi, and I can of course turn that off if I want, but why – so the settings in this are WiFi preferred, cellular network preferred, never use cellular network or just turn it off entirely.
Leo: And it works well. So, Google did put an app in the app store. I don't know – if you applied for an invite and installed the app, do you think you have a better shot at it? The app does nothing!
Jason: No. I wondered about that, like, does that signal that you're even more serious by installing it on your Nexus 6?
Leo: I'm going to install it on my no-carrier Motorola Nexus 6 – that should tell them!
Aaron: We're waiting! I'm ready.
Leo: I'm sitting here waiting for you, Google! Waiting for you – I'm going to install it on the Edge as well.
Mike: Right. While wearing your Google Glass t-shirt.
Leo: Actually there's no point installing it on the Edge because it will only work with the Nexus 6, okay.
Jason: Yes. Right.
Aaron: It actually lets you, though?
Jason: That's surprising if it does.
Leo: Apparently. Let me see. Yes, it doesn't say – it's not grayed out.
Jason: Oh. That's interesting.
Leo: T-Mobile, Samsung. So I'll install it on this too, I don't know what will happen. “Congratulations! Here's an app that will never do anything.”
Aaron: Right? Well, there's an obvious flaw, right?
Leo: You can use this to activate your Project Fi service, to manage your account settings, check your data usage, see your monthly statements or get in touch with support.
Mike: Apps nowadays are just all about mind share. It's like a little ad. Look at Apple, like all the iPhones have Apple Watch icons and they even have the feature if you walk into a Starbucks they use iBeacon.
Leo: This happened to me. I was next door to Starbucks and a little Starbucks icon popped up. What the hell? I don't want that! So I signed up anyway. It does it in the hand-off, so when your iPhone is turned off, this is a new thing they added, I have an icon for a camera there but little Starbucks icon popped up because I was near a Starbucks, and I just had to see, “Well, what they want?” And then they said, “Well, on your birthday we'll give you a free coffee.” So I signed up.
Mike: It's not an ad, it's a feature!
Aaron: Yes, that's a feature.
Leo: In their defense I had already installed the Starbucks app in my Passbook.
Mike: But if you hadn't, it would have suggested it.
Leo: Really? It would still pop up?
Mike: Yes, it would say tap here to download the app.
Leo: That's criminal. That's just criminal. Talk about Philip K. Dick advertising everywhere.
Aaron: Yes, I don't know if I like that.
Mike: The technology they're using is Apple iBeacon.
Mike: So it's -
Leo: I wasn't actually – I was next door to the Starbucks, so I wasn't in the Starbucks, but it was close enough I guess that iBeacon thought I was there.
Mike: Close enough.
Leo: But you know Google would do that, right?
Aaron: Well, they – right now Google Wallet will pull up your loyalty cards if you're nearby, and it does that based on location, though.
Aaron: You know, it says, “Oh, I see you're near CVS. Do you want to access your CVS loyalty card?”
Leo: Does it pull it up without me going into the Wallet?
Leo: Oh. So it's just – it's exactly the same thing.
Aaron: I get a notification – well, it's not signing up for anything. It's saying you've already registered this loyalty card in the app-
Leo: Right. Would you like to use it now?
Aaron: So would you like to use it – it's like a shortcut, which is kind of nice, because, you know. I don't know why.
Leo: It's nice.
Aaron: Get that big, long CVS receipt, you know, you got to make as long as possible, so you have to use your loyalty card a lot.
Leo: All right. What else here? Oh, sad story. Of course we all heard about the tragedy in Nepal. More than 2,500 deaths so far – actually more than 5,000, I think the last count that I saw. And one of them, a Google executive, he was in charge of privacy of Project X, we were talking about Googles R&D arm. Dan Fredinburg, friend to many people I know. I didn't know Dan myself but a lot of people posting this. His sister posted on his Instagram account saying that he had died. He was at base camp, I guess preparing to climb Everest.
Aaron: Oh, wow.
Leo: A big Everest season begins in a couple of weeks, so people are already at base camp getting acclimated to the oxygen. He was there. There was a massive – I don't know if you've seen the YouTube video, but dramatic video of a massive avalanche onto base camp.
Aaron: I saw that. Oh, man. Scary.
Leo: 17 climbers killed, including Mr. Fredinburg. So, a sad story. Google has done their PeopleFinder again, which is great, for Nepal. That is a huge benefit, you know. My son – a kid that we know, he grew up with – was in Nepal.
Leo: And Saturday, Spencer's mom called and said “We don't know where Spencer's at, we don't know where he is, he's out of touch.” Here's this video. Please this is very dramatic. Avert your eyes if – there's no blood and guts but it's pretty terrifying.
Aaron: No, there's no blood but it is terrifying.
Mike: What it shows is that there was literally nowhere to run.
Leo: Yes. My worst nightmare.
Mike: Basically if a rock got you, you were done for, and if it didn't, you were lucky. And that was it.
Leo: Huge avalanche of snow. That's a wall of snow. That'll give you nightmares. And there you go. Anyway, Spencer did call by sat-phone yesterday, and reported in that he's okay. We had talked to Chris Markward[?] on Saturday on the radio show. He was very worried about a Nepalese friend of his who ran a very popular cafe in Kathmandu. Had been not heard from, but he was heard from. And one of the things a lot of people have been using is Facebook.com/safetycheck. Have you seen this?
Leo: This is – Facebook started to do this last year after another natural disaster. It knows where you are, so if you're in the affected area, it will pop up a thing saying post a status update to let your friends know you're okay, and if you're not, you can see how your friends are. It says here, “None of my friends appear to be in the affected area.” I asked Chris Markward about this and said “Kathmandu and Nepal in general, a very poor country.” He said, “Yes, but they're all on Facebook on their phones.” So this is actually a huge value in case of an emergency.
And of course we encourage people to donate, to contribute – there are lots of good charities. Apple has put a Red Cross donation button as they have done in the past on their iTunes store. I see you have a site, Direct Relief.
Aaron: Yes, this is the one that I donated to, it's Direct Relief. Just directrelief.org, and they've pledged for the earthquake situation in Nepal, they're going to donate every single bit of money that's donated to relief and recovery efforts, and they've done this for a lot of other natural disasters and donation opportunities that exist, so I would highly recommend going to directrelief.org and donating there if you haven't done so already.
Leo: I will. That's great. Five-star charity from Charity Navigator.
Leo: And I love giving to a charity where the vast majority, and in this case 100% goes to -
Aaron: And I believe that – I mean, that's why they're called Direct Relief.
Leo: Direct Relief.
Aaron: That's their mission.
Leo: That's great.
Aaron: To use as much money that's donated as possible to go towards the relief effort of whatever the situation is.
Mike: Some people want to go rushing to disaster areas to help – never do that. Always stay home and send money. Much better.
Aaron: Yes. That's the fastest way to help.
Leo: Let the NGOs, the trained professionals, the Red Cross, UNICEF – the people who know what to do and how to do it, do it. You don't want to cause chaos.
Leo: Good. That's a good tip. Directrelief.org, and our sympathy to Dan's family and friends.
Leo: A lot of people knew Dan and he was very much liked. Kind of a great tragedy but one of many
thousands of tragedies in Nepal right now.
Have you started using notes and directions from Search on desktop? This is weird. You can send it to your phone, so you do a search – tell me how this works. I do a search for directions.
Aaron: So, yes, if you do a – if you go to Google, just open up a Google – I think this is what we're talking about – open up Google.com.
Leo: Google.com, yes.
Aaron: Type in “send directions.”
Leo: Send. Directions.
Aaron: I actually tried this earlier, it's so cool.
Mike: Yes it is.
Aaron: That's it, just “send directions.”
Leo: That's it? Oh, I said – oh, it did it.
Aaron: Google knows, right? And so it says, “Where do you want to go?”
Leo: Here's my phone's location. This is interesting because this is on my desktop, but it knows where my phone is, and by the way, because I have many phones I can choose, but it's looking at the Galaxy S6. Where do I want to go? Let's see. I want to go to Redding, California, right now. It'll do the directions, and now I press-
Aaron: And then at the bottom just hit “send.”
Leo: Send directions to my phone. You know I do that all the time, it's funny. I use Pushbullet and things like that to do the third party applications directions-
Aaron: Your phone should buzz.
Leo: Hasn't buzzed me yet.
Aaron: Mine buzzed almost immediately when I did it earlier today, I was very impressed.
Leo: Unfortunately, Project Fi has stopped.
Jason: Aw. You should sign up for it. There it is.
Leo: Got it! Look at that. It says, “Pull up for details about this place,” and there it is. There's directions to Redding. Wow, I like that!
Jason: I love it.
Aaron: It's very quick and easy.
Mike: You can also use the search bar to set reminders and alarms and send that to your phone.
Leo: And of course you can – we talked about this a couple of weeks ago, you can search for your phone. Where is my phone?
Mike: Find my phone.
Aaron: Find my device, find my phone.
Leo: This all makes sense, and again, this is the ecosystem play, and I hate – in some ways I hate it because if it's a closed ecosystem, you know, we talked about Apple's ecosystem, it's a lock-in.
Mike: Right. Well.
Leo: Is this a lock-in to Google? It certainly incents you.
Mike: I would be more inclined to blame Apple. I bet you that Google would love to have this support iOS.
Leo: On Apple.
Mike: But they're the ones, and this is the biggest thing that sucks about the iPhone and Apple, is that they are so anti-Google that they're irrationally harming users by – because the best experience was, in my opinion, is an Apple device with all the Google stuff you could possibly get.
Leo: Yes, you carry an iPhone, yes.
Mike: I carry an iPhone, but I want Google Now to be more integrated. I want all these other integrations. I don't want to have Bing come up as the default when I search for things. I don't want Twitter and Facebook to be default with no possibility of using Google+, and it's one of those things where they got this bee in their bonnet about another company-
Leo: Yes, by default if I search on my Watch, Bing.
Mike: Yes. I want to search Google Search.
Aaron: They get paid for that right?
Leo: Of course.
Mike: I want to use Google Maps. I want the Googly stuff on my Apple device.
Leo: Now, to be fair, Google does the same thing to Windows Phone.
Mike: Well, but Windows Phone-
Leo: To be fair!
Mike: Windows Phone has no market share. I mean they have a business reason for that.
Leo: Well, I guess. I mean, I'd be much more likely to use Windows Phone if it support all my Google services, but it doesn't. So what do I use? I use Android. I'm really, by the way, schizophrenic because I want to use the Apple Watch and so I have to carry two phones?
Mike: You have two pockets, you have two arms.
Leo: You know I feel like – and I've talked about this, the Apple Watch is easily the most attractive. It's designed by two of the best designers in the world. Marc Newson and Jony Ive.
Mike: I disagree.
Leo: A lot of people think it's not attractive. I think it's attractive. But that's, you know, it's a matter of taste.
Jason: It's like a Chiclet.
Mike: It's very Jony Ive.
Leo: It's Jony Ive.
Mike: It looks like it's from the '70s.
Leo: Okay. I like it.
Mike: I'm sorry to derail your point, there.
Leo: But! My actual point is the guts, the functionality is not particularly ahead of Android Wear in any particular way.
Mike: Oh, I -
Leo: You disagree?
Mike: Until about a half an hour ago I would've disagreed with that because -
Leo: Oh, but that's because you just used Apple Pay at the Petaluma market, I bet.
Mike: I think the Taptic Engine is brilliant but it turns out it's the Taptic Engine that's broken on this thing.
Leo: That's the broken part.
Mike: Yes, that's the broken part and that's what's delaying our Watches.
Aaron: Oh. That's the breaking news?
Leo: Well. Yes. Apparently one of the two Chinese suppliers for the – by the way, the Taptic thing? It's just a buzzer. It's not that different. Do you have an Apple Watch?
Mike: Uh, no.
Leo: Trust me! It's a buzzer! I thought it was going to do all these fancy – it would buzz my left wrist for a left turn or a right – no! It's just a – it goes “bzzt!” It's just a “bzzt!” Anyway. It's not the Taptic Engine. But anyway, the buzzer-
Aaron: It's marketing.
Leo: Was probably, apparently part of the – yes, it's very, very, very good marketing – was apparently part of the problem, but not all of them are flawed and apparently they are, as I said, I'm getting mine in two or three weeks before they said it would come, so I think that whatever that problem was has been solved. That's what CNBC was reporting. This Apple Pay is the biggest difference.
Leo: But I feel like Android Wear, in the next iteration, can, in every respect, duplicate what they've done with this, except maybe looks. But that's just going to be a question of somebody coming along and designing a better-looking watch.
Mike: It also has to be said that there's no Android Wear watch with anywhere near the quality of display.
Jason: Yes. I agree with that.
Leo: Okay, that's true because for some reason all the Android Wear watches use LCDs – IBS/LCDs. This is OLED. It's funny. It's Apple's first OLED.
Leo: So OLEDs been in Android in many respects, in so many ways, for so long and finally – and it's still not OLED on the iPhone – for the first OLED display, and you're right, it's gorgeous, but Samsung has used OLED display for its Gear watches and they look great, and I think-
Aaron: Isn't the new LG going to be OLED as well?
Leo: Yes, what you're going to see is that now that Apple has said, “Okay, here's our -” They didn't go so far ahead that Android Wear can't come up with some very compatible similar things.
Aaron: Does it do WiFi?
Leo: This does WiFi. This does low-tooth – low-power Bluetooth, Bluetooth LAE, until it can't or it needs more data, then it'll go to WiFi.
Aaron: Oh, that's good.
Leo: Much like Android Wear will do. One thing Android Wear does do in the new iteration, which we haven't seen yet but supposedly is, just as this Apple Watch will talk to the iPhone anywhere on the local WiFi network to any Apple phone – or to my Apple phone – Android will do it over the public internet.
Leo: Which is great. I can leave my Android phone at home and my Android Wear watch would still communicate with it. I feel like what's going on is, much like with the phones, it's neck and neck, and on any given day, any horse could win. And now – well, that's good for consumers because it gives consumers choice, it gives consumers options that they might not have. I think that there are some real similarities in the platforms and I'm very interested to see where the next generation of Android Wear goes.
Aaron: Do you think the price of the Apple Watch will affect the Android watches? Will they go up in price or go down in price?
Leo: No, in fact, that's much like the phones.
Mike: It'd be just like the phones.
Leo: I think there's an opportunity. There might be some high-end Android Wear, but remember the Apple Watch starts at $350.
Leo: That's not – that's only $100 more than the most expensive Android Wear.
Aaron: That's not crazy, but I mean I'm surprised they don't have-
Mike: And another $250 when you break it. When you break the screen because it's not the-
Leo: Don't break the screen. Hey, if you break the screen that's your problem. It's not Apple's problem. You broke your screen.
Mike: I've already scheduled the breaking of my screen. One thing that we also learned from the iFixit tear-down is that the battery is actually weaker than the average Android Wear battery, but gets comparable battery life. So they're doing some really interesting kung-fu there with the battery-
Leo: I think part of that is the OLED, by the way.
Mike: Part of it's-
Leo: OLEDs are much more efficient screens.
Leo: But yeah, you know what, I get much better battery life on my iPhones than on my Android phones. Galaxy Edge, iPhone – comparable batteries, comparable usage. 80% on the iPhone 6, 55% left on the S6, and here we are at two in the afternoon, I still have some hours to go. You know, I think Apple knows – when you have a closed ecosystem, you can do better.
Mike: Right. Exactly.
Leo: Because you can limit things. For instance, there's only nine watch faces, and they're all OLED friendly. You're not letting third party watch faces on the Apple Watch because they could kill your battery life. Android Wear, Pebble – thousands of ugly choices!
Leo: Thousands! But I again, I think that's great. You get to choose. You want choice? You want the Apple way? You get to choose.
Mike: If you hate all that money in your pocket?
Leo: I'm surprised you, given that you love Google, are using an iPhone. You were using an Android phone before.
Mike: I'm using an iPhone specifically so I could use the Apple Watch. I've been excited about the Apple Watch for a long, long time and always felt that Apple would come out with a really great watch.
Leo: So can I send you a heartbeat when you get yours and a little drawing?
Mike: Yes, that would be wonderful.
Leo: Renee Richie has been sending me Batman eggs. It's the most useless feature of all but now that mine's coming tomorrow, I can send them to Lisa. We'll see. I can send little hearts and flowers.
Mike: I can't wait til mine comes. They sent me an email yesterday that said, “The Apple Watch is here.” And I thought they were talking about my Apple Watch.
Leo: No, don't get your hopes up. Was that me?
Aaron: That was from me.
Leo: I should have known, I didn't get a wrist tap. We did have a change log, we've kind of encroached a little bit in the change log. Let me take a look and see if we've got anything else.
Password Alert Chrome extension, this comes from Google. It combats phishing and risk from password reuse when you enter your Google password in a non-Google site. Is that all it's going to do is check and see if it's the same password as my Google password? Because that's stupid.
Mike: No. It's going to do a number of things. It's just general password management.
Leo: Is it? That's what I'd love to see is a Last Pass equivalent from -
Mike: Somebody in Eastern Europe uses your password to log in somewhere, it pops up right in the middle of your screen and says, “Hey, watch out.”
Leo: Oh, I like that.
Mike: It also – if you go to a page that's been spoofed or faked that's asking for a password, it'll say, “Don't enter your password into that page. This is not the right page.”
Leo: “This is not the page you're looking for.”
Mike: That's great because this is an increasing problem that's been monetized, tools for duplicating website pages. So of course, the main thing they're after is to harvest your username and passwords.
Leo: So is that available now in the -
Mike: It is, it is.
Leo: Let me go to the Extension Store and install it. Sounds like there's no reason not to, although you do want to be careful about too many extensions.
Aaron: It's called Password Alert?
Mike: Yes, Password Alert and yes, exactly. I mean, the extensions in Chrome are just like the biggest, most bloated aspect of my machine.
Leo: Yes, I've had to be a little judicious. The other thing that happens is it installs on every machine – there is it, Google.com Password Alert helps protect you against phishing.
Mike: And it's open source and free.
Leo: All right. Reset your -
Aaron: Seems like this would be something good for businesses as well, right?
Leo: Right, you think IT would love to install this everywhere. Yes.
Aaron: So many businesses are using Chrome because they finally figured out that Internet Explorer is so insecure and then at the same time, a lot of people at work are browsing public – you know, Facebook and all these public sites. It seems like this would be a perfect thing for people to just auto-push out to all their employees, like make sure you're not going to the fake Facebook site and using your corporate password as your password for Facebook and all that stuff, so.
Leo: It doesn't seem to have any – allow in incognito, allow access to file URLs … doesn't seem to have any icon on the toolbar and I guess it just sits there and it'll notify me. You do have to sign into your Google account, which I just did, when you install it. Okay, that's cool.
Chrome dev for Android app released – oh, this is the Canary release. Is that what this is?
Jason: Yes, that's what it is. Chrome Canary for Android, basically.
Leo: Okay. And there as an update to Google Play Services. Do we know what that did? Oh, I know one thing it did. You can now have more than one watch. I don't know exactly what the use case is but -
Mike: It's called the Leo Laporte feature.
Leo: Do you want more than one watch? I guess maybe this video will explain.
Mike: Well, now, Android Wear is supposedly not going to be just for watches, right? It's the wearable operating system.
Leo: So I could have Android Wear in my Glass and my watch.
Mike: And your smart underwear and your bike, whatever.
Leo: What is he talking about here?
This is worthy of a Microsoft video.
Jason: He does all the Google Play Services update videos.
Leo: He's kind of cute.
Aaron: Very geeky but fun.
Leo: Which one to wear? It is the case that people in the real world have multiple watches, so that would be nice. Okay, Lars.
Aaron: Look how many watches he has on. That's hilarious.
Leo: Look how big that Nexus 6 looks. That's hilarious.
Mike: You know, this is really the future of wearable computing. Wearable computing is not having a wearable device, it's a personal area network and you have different sensors in different places doing different things for different reasons.
Jason: Well, and not only are they connecting to the phone, they're connecting to each other.
Aaron: My old man – dirty old man kicked in there for a little bit but yes.
Leo: The LG Watch Urbane is now in the Google Store.
Aaron: Oh, it is?
Leo: A classic timepiece crafted – so if you've been looking for a better designed watch, $350. There you go, Apple Watch price. Ultra-clear display from any angle – it is OLED. So there you go, answers that question. All right, all right. There you go.
Mike: I'm rooting for LG, you know, they just came out with a really cool phone.
Leo: You like the G4?
Mike: I like the color scanner. There's a scanner that basically is a little sensor right next to the camera that basically does a quick check on the lighting conditions. They also do object recognition, so if you're taking a picture of an apple, it'll check the lights, recognize that it's an apple and be like, “Okay, here's what color the apple should be given this context.” I just love that idea.
Jason: It's really impressive. Actually, Myriam Joire was on All About Android last night.
Leo: Did you play with it?
Jason: A little bit. She had only had it for a couple of hours but taken some shots and I can kind of show you. This was in a super dark room. She said this picture exactly matched how it looked when she took the picture to her eyes.
Leo: That's nice because sometimes they over-amplify it and it's brighter.
Jason: Right, this is enhanced. It's like, ratcheting it up.
Leo: She needs to clean up her room, though.
Mike: They need voice commands so you can say, “Enhance.”
Leo: Right, “Center, zoom, enhance.”
Jason: Let's see here, if you go in -
Leo: Laser focusing – that's one thing that maybe would be better in low light. It's always tough. Look at the detail. Holy cow.
Jason: It's unbelievable on some of these. Let's see here, let's switch to this photo.
Jason: This is the macro, this is the full shot.
Leo: Fiddle head ferns! That's gorgeous.
Jason: Really incredible. Everything we saw on the photo features – this definitely at least put it at the same level of the S6 but they're duking it out. There's going to be a ton of matchups between these two, side-by-side comparisons and this is a big contender. I mean, the detail is just incredible.
Mike: It's beautiful.
Jason: Really nice shots. Don't do this while you're driving.
Leo: I don't like it. (picture of San Francisco bridge shown)
Jason: There you go.
Mike: Very cool. Come on, LG, you can do it.
Leo: Well, I just ordered an LG Watch Urbane just to help them along. Why not? I decided to get the gold so it would compete well with the Apple Watch. I can't afford a gold Apple Watch. Looks pretty nice. It looks like a real watch but that's not a real watch face, right? That's just the OLED screen. And it doesn't have a flat tire? It's round, goes all the way around. Goes to 11.
Aaron: And it's got the WiFi.
Leo: Let's look at the specs.
Mike: That's superior to Apple's -
Leo: 66 grams, that's fairly heavy, heavier than an Apple Watch. Gold with brown leather, silver with black leather. Stainless steel cover, Gorilla Glass 3 – of course, that's the same glass used on the Sport Watches for the iPhone. 4 gigs of storage – I'm surprised the Apple Watch has 6 gigs. POLED screen at 1.3 inches. It is similar to the Apple Watch, 320 by 320, 325 ppi. It does have a microphone but all Android Wear watches do. It does not have a speaker, apparently. It does support WiFi and Bluetooth LE. 1.2 – oh. Big battery, 110 milliamp hours.
Aaron: Should run for a while.
Mike: That's double the Apple Watches.
Jason: Depending on when you get the Watch Urbane, you'll probably be one of the first to get the new Wear as well that has the enhanced WiFi capabilities.
Leo: Available May 8, so about two weeks.
Jason: You can burst through the door.
Leo: We'll do a review on Before You Buy. By then, I'll be ready to retire my Apple Watch. I'm not – this is, by the way, not who I am. This is what I do for a living.
Mike: If you're going to retire, you're going to need the gold Apple Watch.
Leo: This is my retirement watch, are you kidding? That's the – I wonder what the charging is.
Aaron: This is what I'm the most excited about right now. This is the one – until Google announces what they're going to come out with, if they have a Nexus watch.
Leo: You think they'll do a watch?
Aaron: I think they may do a watch and we'll have to see what they do. But this is the one that at least looks the best. I don't know if I can afford it but it at least looks the best. It looks like a normal watch to me.
Leo: $350. I'm glad to see the OLED. You know, I like Android Wear. I feel like Android Wear is very close – I can't answer phone calls on this but you know, even though I can do that on the Apple Watch, I don't know if I'm going to do that a lot. I've had a few phone calls. You certainly wouldn't do a long phone call but what it is nice for is if somebody calls and you're in the middle of a show or doing something, you go, “Hey, can I call you back?” It does – it's perfect for that.
Mike: I think the biggest – I always like to look at actual human behavior and how it changes through technology. I think the biggest change with a smart watch and especially the Apple Watch is that you stop carrying your iPhone, in your home, at work or in your car, it's not in your pocket. It's just around somewhere and the Apple -
Leo: Talk to me when you have an Apple Watch.
Mike: Well, I mean, if somebody calls and it's in the other room, it's fine. You just say, “Hey, you know, I'll call you back.” Whatever.
Aaron: You're not running around looking for it.
Leo: I have not yet felt – I think you're a dreamer. But you're not the only one. I still feel tethered to this. I don't want to leave it behind. I do – you know, I'll leave it in the bedroom and go into my office but then I go back and get it because there's so much stuff you cannot do on it, something the size of the watch. We'll see. We'll see. I'm going to wear probably two watches for a while, maybe three. I don't know.
Aaron: Could be like, what's his name? Sven? Olaf?
Leo: Sven – [mumbles]. The Nexus 7 is gone, is dead. I thought that was a great tablet, I have mine. I had the 2012 and the 2013, still use the 2013. A great price, a great tablet I am sad to say – but I hope that is a sign they will do the Nexus 7+ or something.
Aaron: Nexus 7.5 or something, yes.
Mike: I just think that a 7-inch tablet, they were the flavor of the month until all the phones got to be 5 and 6 inches. Now it's like, who needs it, you know?
Aaron: I've been using – even my Shield tablet, I've been using it less and less since I got my Nexus 6 because it's just a bigger screen to make – the stuff that I was running solely on that tablet I'm now running back on my phone again. But I think it's safe to say that I think it's probably the most successful or one of the most successful Nexus devices that they ever put out.
Mike: You know, I've been saying this and I hope nobody disagrees with me when I say this but I'll say it again and see what happens. I think Google's lost its hardware mojo. There was a period of a year or year and a half where everything they came out with was kick – it was just like -
Leo: Oh, wait a minute, Mike. Surely you're not talking about the Google TV or what was that, Ball? The Cube?
Mike: My son Kevin still uses that.
Leo: He got it for free at Google IO?
Mike: Anyway, so he's the only one. But no, you know – if you look at the first few Nexus devices, they were great. They had vision.
Leo: Remember, Google didn't build any of those.
Mike: I know, but they were responsible for bringing them into the world and they were for maker, you know, you could take it apart. They were hackable, they had tethering. They had all these really cool things and they were cheap, right? So it's like, where are those types of devices these days from Google? They're all – there used to be all compromises, now they're back to compromises, namely a huge price for the current phone. So it's like – I don't know, it just seemed like they were so good at hardware for a little while and now they're just kind of like, eh.
Aaron: They stopped all the Google edition phones, too, like Samsung phones that would run stock Google. They killed all those.
Leo: I really – that's sad. It's one of the reasons I still think the OnePlus One – and I don't know when they're going to do a OnePlus Two but that deserves more attention and now that you don't need an invite to buy it, I think that's the Nexus phone. Because Oxygen, they – OnePlus One has severed ties with Cyanogen mod. Oxygen, which I immediately installed on my OnePlus One – you did that too, didn't you?
Jason: Yes, I did it.
Leo: It's pure Lollipop.
Jason: It's great. It doesn't bother me at all. The people that it bothers are the people who really wanted all of that customization Cyanogen -
Leo: Knock Knock and all that, yes.
Jason: But I really don't miss that. I just want that device to have Lollipop and now it does. I'm happy.
Leo: I think that's the Google Play edition phone you want, frankly.
Mike: And with a cheap low price.
Leo: Windows – this was part of the announcement. There's a lot of announcements from Bill and again, we'll be covering that on Friday with Mary, Joe and Paul. But the big news, Windows 10 will be able to run Android and iOS apps. Well, sort of. You'll have to rewrite them. Microsoft is offering now, a cross-platform free development tool called Code which is kind of a mini Visual Studio. It will be available on Linux and OS 10. That is, to me, such a departure from the Microsoft of old. Microsoft hated Linux, hated it. The fact that they're no offering development tools for Linux, for free and inviting developers of Android and iOS apps to rework them so they can run on Windows 10 is fascinating to me.
Mike: I think Microsoft is going to be selling its own version of Linux sometime in the next two or three years the way they're going, and they should.
Leo: Well, they did at one time, didn't they? They had Xenix. Well, it wasn't Linux, it was a Unix. That was, I think, Microsoft's first operating system after DOS was Xenix.
Aaron: I'd forgotten about that, wow.
Leo: Yes. Xenix has been around a long time.
Mike: But I think this is brilliant. This easy – I mean -
Leo: We don't know how easy it's going to be, right?
Mike: True but the strategy is brilliant because essentially it's like every developer makes the same decision, they basically - “Well, we've got to be on iOS, or Android or both. Then should we go to Blackberry, Windows and so on?” It's like, eh. No, it's not worth it, right? But if they just make it worth it, make it easy – and this will be a chicken and egg type of thing – so there's lots of apps available on Windows Phone.
Leo: This is the interesting thing. Well, if you're an Android developer, you can continue to use Java and C++ on Windows 10 for you Windows 10++. Objective C – you can continue to use Objective C, they've provided SDKs. What I find really interesting – of course, one of the things that keeps apps on Android – I imagine this is true on iOS as well, it's the use of services, built-in OS services that are not available cross platform. Microsoft says, this is Terry Myerson, “If they're using some Google API, we have created Microsoft replacements for those APIs.”
Mike: You know where they first used this strategy? Remember when – this is going to date me here but remember when Word Perfect was the big? What they did is supported all the keystrokes in Word Perfect, in Word, and that's what killed Word Perfect. That put – sent Word to the top. This is a great strategy, again, this is something they've done before.
Leo: I wonder if Microsoft is done eating their own dog food. Are there very nice iOS apps that Microsoft has released based on this SDK? That would be intriguing to me. So Microsoft, for instance, offers Outlook on iOS. Do they – actually, I don't know if they have Windows Phone Outlook. They will. I wonder if this is the same tool. “Developers will be able to leverage their .NET and Win32 work and bring this to Windows universal apps.” It would be a – we've heard of this – that's what Java was.
Aaron: Java, I was thinking about.
Leo: “Write once, run everywhere.” The problem with Java was native – the native UI and they developed Swing, which gave you a little bit more native UI but you could always tell – you still can, if an app is written in Java instead of the native OS. So when you use Eclipse on Windows, you know it's Java, right, even with the Swing widgets. So that'll be the test. If you can't tell if it's a native app or a ported iOS or Android app, I think that will be very interesting. In any event, what a brave new world. If you had told me that someday Microsoft would make it possible to run Apple programs on a Microsoft platform, I would have laughed.
Mike: I think a lot of people are saying that all this is coming about because Satya Nadella is good.
Leo: I agree.
Mike: Well, my contention is, yes, he's good but the bigger point is that Steve Ballmer was bad. He was a terrible CEO.
Leo: I think you're right and I've heard people say, “Oh no, this was all in process when Ballmer was there and Satya's just inherited this.” I don't think so.
Mike: Their market capitalization dropped by half over the period he was the CEO. He was one of the worst CEOs in technology and it was all because he was Bill Gates' friend.
Leo: Yes. I think Nadella has shown that he is the right man for the time, Cloud-focused, not, “Windows, Windows, Windows,” but, “Microsoft, Microsoft, Microsoft.”
Aaron: He's willing to embrace the new paradigm, which is what they've needed to do for a long time. I've never been a big Microsoft fan but I like the direction they're going. I posted something on Google+ about all the rumors swirling, like Windows is going to become open source because of a couple comments that somebody made in a conference. But still, if they're willing to at least talk about that, right? That person didn't get fired, by the way, for saying that. So if they're willing to talk about that it is – it's a change in the momentum. They're saying, “Look, we need to embrace these things. We can't just live in our own little bubble anymore because we're not selling billions of copies of Windows around the world anymore.”
Mike: It's realism. I mean, there's certain major businesses that they rely on, namely Windows and Office and a lot of things around it where, look, they're going to lose it anyway. So let's just try everything. Let's be on all platforms. That's the right attitude generally and I think it's really going to take a while because they, you know, want to be able to change their reputation.
Leo: You know, good or bad, we should point out that both Gates and Ballmer were the right men for the time in the '90s and the 2000s.
Mike: Ballmer was never the right CEO. I don't think so.
Leo: He doubled – the profits were phenomenal but I think you're right, he didn't turn the corner at an appropriate – same way Bill almost missed the internet, Ballmer almost missed the Cloud. But Azure is there. They had Ray Ozzie. Ray Ozzie was the guy who said, “You guys have got to pay attention. The Cloud is the new OS, not Windows.” And I think Nadella has recognized that. He did, in fact, come from Microsoft's Cloud side, so he certainly recognized that.
And he said, very publicly, “Look, we're going to be everywhere our customers are and if that means iOS and Android, we will be there. But the best experience will always be on Windows.” I think that's exactly the right message. I don't think users anymore – this will be interesting to watch. Despite the fact that our viewers because they're enthusiasts will fight that battle – it used to be Mac versus Windows. Now it's Android versus iOS. I don't think real users even care or know, just as they don't know a processor, how much RAM – why should they care about what OS they're running? If it's my data there and my apps there, can I do what I want to do? That's fine.
That seems to be – that's the promise of the Cloud, isn't it? It's – just as the internet is OS independent, the Cloud is OS independent.
Mike: Right, and apps as well, I mean, one of my favorite apps on iOS is a Microsoft app, Photosynth. It's a great app and what if Microsoft made 50 more great apps. Like, why not? That's Facebook's model is to just get as many apps out there feeding into – you know, in the case of Photosynth, it's not really involved in Microsoft Cloud. But what if they came out with a gazillion mobile Cloud apps for every platform? That would be an amazing bit of culture changing – like, change the reputation of Microsoft in the minds of the consumers because you love the people who are giving you great apps and a great mobile experience, and they can do it.
Aaron: That's kind of like the Nintendo paradigm shift as well, right? Didn't they recently announce that they were going to start doing mobile apps? It's like, we're not going to do a console anymore?
Leo: Yes, they did say that, but they also said, “Don't expect our old apps on the -” You know what everybody wants is Mario on – they're not going to do that.
Aaron: Super Mario, yes.
Leo: They're going to do new apps and it's like, “Come on.”
Aaron: But that's where their value is is in their – the Mario stuff and the Smash Bros., all that kind of stuff. I mean, that's what people buy -
Leo: That's what I want on Android.
Aaron: Exactly, right.
Leo: Not that I would ever take an old show that I used to do -
Aaron: No, of course not.
Mike: Why would you do that?
Leo: Bring that back? No. Nobody wants that.
Aaron: We do, we do.
Leo: You know, I'll talk about an app that has failed. Just came in, breaking news, Secret is now going under.
Mike: And good riddance to it.
Leo: You know, I erased Secret from all my platforms months ago but it was for a while a very addictive thing, especially because everyone in Silicon Valley was posting anonymous posts -
Mike: Only people in Silicon Valley.
Leo: It was pretty much only people in Silicon Valley. Anonymous posts – Secret does not – this is the David Bithau, who is the founder, “After a lot of thought and consultation with our board, we've decided to shut down Secret. Secret does not represent the vision I had when starting the company. We built a product used by 15 million people, pushed the boundaries of traditional social media but it's also the ultimate double-edged sword which must be wielded with great respect and care.” He's talking about anonymity. And clearly, as we were talking at the very beginning – in Twitter, you are anonymous. With the real names policy of Facebook and formerly of Google+, although I think that legacy lingers, you cannot be as bad as you can be if you're anonymous.
When you're anonymous, no holds barred.
Mike: Right, and this was to me the fundamental flaw of Secret which was that in the beginning, yes, it was all Silicon Valley people.
Leo: It was fun.
Mike: You know, leaking details about what's happening in various companies and so on. But for it to go mainstream means that 90% of the users at some point are going to be trolls, right? Because it's anonymous. It's like, you know – and it's anonymity. It's the perfect platform for being a total a-hole.
Leo: Secret did not run out of money. In fact, they still have cash. They say they're returning that to the investors, however, of course, investors would have lost a significant amount of money on this.
Mike: Just as a side note, this has to be said that this was broken by a top-notch news organization that does a lot -
Mike: Buzzfeed, they've turned -
Leo: They've turned into news.
Mike: Well, they are both a link-baiting type of company and they also are a really good journalistic organization.
Leo: They've hired their way to becoming good journalists.
Mike: Right and I saw somebody say, today on Twitter, “That's what people really want.” People do like link-bait and they do like good journalism. Buzzfeed is bringing both.
Leo: Jonah Peretti who founded it, but who's running it now? They hired some good people but who's the EIC over there because -
Aaron: I just heard a story on Buzzfeed the other day. I can't remember if it was on NPR or one of those. It was really interesting to listen to. They're kind of up and down with the scandals that have gone on over the years with pulling down articles and -
Leo: You know who's executive vice president? Zay Frank.
Mike: Really? I did not know that.
Leo: What the heck? What? I'm glad Zay Frank got a job. He was a very early video blogger, the guy who never blinked. So yes, they broke the story. Fascinating. By the way, they didn't get much of a scoop since there was a Medium post almost immediately by David Bithau, the founder, with a very lonely and sad coyote.
Aaron: Aw, Secret's gone.
Leo: Aw, aw. Well, wasn't the fox the Secret icon? So there's the sad fox wandering off into the sunset. Wow. It's really – when you see the app economy, it is just – we've talked about the business cycle being ten years and less. It's ten months and less, now. You look at apps just come and go like, boom. Boom, boom, boom.
All right, I think we could do some picks but you know, I think we should start with Aaron's arcade cabinet. This is really, really cool. You posted – you put up a Google slideshow – what do they call it?
Aaron: I did that for you guys so you guys could show some of the pictures in case people want to kind of learn how to do it. I'm going to actually be giving this presentation on the 6 of May in Venice for one of our Maker Space Workshops. So we're going to have a pinball and video game night, and that's – I'm going to talk about how I built this for that, so.
Leo: Well, we when we first built the studio a few years ago and boy, I wish I could remember his name, one of our fans brought by a cabinet.
Aaron: A full-sized, four-player very similar to the one that I did. In fact, there's a picture of the one that I built -
Leo: Oh, you've done this.
Aaron: Yes, yes. I've done one very similar to the one you guys have in the basement and that was the one I built – yes, before I moved out to California.
Leo: The original standing – it's very much like a real arcade machine and when you do this, you have to have roller balls. You have to have joysticks. You have to have 18 buttons.
Aaron: It's huge. Balls, spinners, yes, yes. Absolutely. The thing is, it's just too big and we live in California. We don't have a lot of storage space. Plus, I wanted to be able to tote something around to Maker Fairs and show people what they can do with Raspberry Pi and use it as a learning tool.
Leo: That's the amazing thing. The one we have in the basement – I don't know about yours, it had a Mac Mini in it.
Aaron: Mine had a full-sized computer.
Leo: You don't need that any more because now you can do it with a $35 Raspberry Pi. It's remarkable.
Aaron: That's right. It's all powered with Raspberry Pi. You know, all the woodwork was just done out of a couple 2x4 foot sections of plywood.
Leo: Did you cut it yourself? You got a little shop in the garage.
Aaron: Oh, yes, yes.
Leo: Hardwood, plywood. You have, by the way, the -
Aaron: Those are – some of these pictures are from an Instructable which is linked in this presentation.
Leo: This is the two-player bar top arcade. That was the inspiration.
Aaron: That was the inspiration because this guy did such a good job. He even did – if you go look for “two player bar top arcade cabinet” on Instructables, you'll find it. He even did, if you go to the next page, you'll see he even did the IKEA version assembly instructions. This guy's an overachiever for sure. I want to hire this guy. He did not have to do that for an Instructable. But anyway, the great thing about this, though, is it's all reused components, mostly. So the Raspberry Pi, obviously was new, but that's – you know, you've got an SD card laying around probably. You've got some power cables and old power supply -
Leo: Look at all these controllers, though.
Aaron: But they're pretty cheap these days. I got that whole set there for about $70 on eBay, everything I needed to build. These are all LED buttons -
Mike: Does it really require quarters?
Aaron: Well, I've got quarter buttons, virtual quarters.
Leo: Oh, I see.
Aaron: But you know, all this stuff is an old monitor, a 5x4 -
Leo: That looks like a PC power supply.
Aaron: It is, yes. There's a PC power supply that I – all the LED lights that light up the marquee on top, that's all being run off that PC power supply.
Leo: And you don't want a widescreen monitor, you want 5x4.
Aaron: That's right, because a lot of the old video games were vertical, so the nice thing about this is it's almost square, and you can play the early consoles done in 4x3 TV screens and you can play the old arcade games. They both look great.
Leo: Are you running Mame? Are you running an emulator?
Aaron: So there's a project and I believe Brian used this when he did the SNES Raspberry Pi thing that he did. It's called Retropie and it emulates just about anything. If I had left all the emulators up here, you would have seen Apple 2, Amiga, all these cool emulators but I took those out because this is mostly for games.
Leo: I've got to get a Raspberry Pi. It's going to run Windows 10, too. That's amazing.
Aaron: It's supposed to run a developer edition of Windows 10, which is really cool.
Leo: Now he did button decals, did you – you did. Look at you.
Aaron: I did the button decals. The button decals are great because they really give it a professional look.
Leo: This is beautiful, what you did here.
Aaron: It's a lot of fun. There's Retropie. You can see all the different emulators there – I know it's hard to see, you have to squint. Those are all the different emulators that Retropie runs and so it's the easy button for doing something like this. They even have an SD image so you just download the image -
Leo: You know, Megan asked me because her – Megan Meroni who hosts Tech News Tonight and iPad Today with me, her husband grew up playing Wizardry 1 on an Apple 2. She said, “Marco – you know, the kids, he's got two ten year olds, they're very into Minecraft. Marco wants to play something older with them. How could he play Wizardry 1?” I pointed to an Apple 2 emulator but this would be awesome to have this and play Wizardry 1 on this? That would be so much fun.
Aaron: It does a lot of early PC games too like Lands of Lore, I think is on there.
Leo: Play Commander Kane would be fun on here. By the way, this is a successful project. Huck and Milo, his ten year olds, loved it. I thought, “This isn't going to fly.” But now they want to build Wizardry 1 in Minecraft. So total cost, $285?
Aaron: That's with all the extras. You don't have to go to that extent but again, it could be a lot more expensive if you're not reusing all the stuff you would normally throw out, put in a landfill or send to some place to be broken down. You can just reuse all that stuff.
Leo: Nobody sells the wood – I don't have any woodworking skills. I can't just buy the wood -
Aaron: You can't buy the wood but what you could do is find a local maker or local maker space, send them the designs and maybe they'll cut it on a CNC machine for you.
Leo: I'd love to have this. WiFi dongle – so this has WiFi?
Aaron: It has built-in Wifi, yes.
Leo: Why, so you can update it?
Aaron: Yes, exactly. So one of the brilliant things – well, not brilliant but one of the nice things about Retropie is it automatically does a sift share over your network with a link to all the ROM directories. So like, when you need to import a game that you previously owned into this machine, you can be on your Windows thing, open it up, copy the file over and then go run it.
Leo: Here's the parts list and we'll put a link to Aarons' slideshow in the show notes here.
Aaron: Yes, you can get all the details or just see the presentation. It's a lot of pictures because I'm going to talk.
Leo: Where is this?
Aaron: This is in Venicia.
Leo: Why no MDF or particle board?
Aaron: MDF or particle board, they're both awfully messy. Number one, they're not very strong. The first one I built out of MDF because it looked nice, it's easy to round. But man, what a mess! I got sawdust all over.
Leo: Hardwood plywood is like, solid. It feels good.
Aaron: And it paints well because you can get birch veneer or even the stuff you get out of Home Depot.
Leo: How big is that SD card?
Aaron: I think this is only an 8 gig.
Leo: It's amazing, really.
Aaron: Every Atari game is on here that was made.
Leo: It's plenty.
Aaron: It takes up, I think, less than 10 megs of space or something. It's crazy. It's crazy. Now, you can't run everything on here. Some of the newer arcade games and all that you're not going to be able to run.
Leo: We're talking anything that's 20 years old or more.
Aaron: Exactly, 1990 previous, you can run. So it runs really well.
Leo: I love it. And do the kids like it?
Aaron: Are you kidding me? The kids love it. It's got its own little speakers -
Leo: And good speakers so you can really make it sound good.
Aaron: I actually reused these speakers that I got on Amazon and if I point over to that one, you can maybe make out there's a little headphone dock there so what my wife loves is, the kids want to play their games, they can plug in the headphones.
Jason: What is the game selection interface like? Is it text or -
Leo: There it is.
Aaron: So you can go to whatever – I don't know what people like to play but you kind of scroll down. There's so many games on here.
Mike: You're still on the As and you've been scrolling down for so long.
Jason: It's just one emulator!
Mike: Wow, look at that.
Leo: Ours had a keyboard so you could simplify some of this stuff but you know -
Aaron: You can with this too. I can go through -
Leo: A Bluetooth keyboard, you could use.
Aaron: I'll pull up Donkey Kong just for fun.
Leo: Oh, I love Donkey Kong, the first appearance of Mario, although he wasn't called Mario then.
Jason: I've got an image on that one.
Leo: You can imagine that. Oh, look how cool!
Jason: Aaron, do you mind if I keep this?
Leo: Is there a high score?
Aaron: My initials aren't in there but that was a nickname as a kid. So that was my -
Leo: Oh, look at it. There's Mario at the bottom though. He at the time was not called Mario. I don't know what he was called, it was little plumber man. Oh my god, that's such memories. It looks exactly – the colors and everything.
Aaron: It's emulating the exact machine, it's just emulating it in software.
Leo: And the Pi is fast enough to emulate -
Aaron: It's fast enough to run all these old games like this, like I said, not the new ones.
Leo: A lot of these games were running on 6502s, this was not -
Aaron: This is running – I used the Pi 2, the Model 2 for this. So that's another thing to keep in mind, the Model 2 is going to run more games because it's a lot faster than the original Raspberry Pi with single-core technology.
Mike: That is a thing of beauty, I tell you.
Leo: I am so impressed.
Aaron: This is the unveiling. This is the first time I've had it out of the garage. I thought since I was coming over, I'd bring it. Also – well, we'll get to that in a minute. But that's a lot of fun. The kids, Burger Time – they're having Burger Time competitions.
Leo: What's that?
Aaron: Burger Time? You don't remember Burger Time? Oh my word. We've got to pull up Burger Time.
Leo: It sounds familiar. Are you throwing burgers?
Jason: It's kind of similar to Donkey Kong in the level approach but there's little, like, burgers and eggs and stuff walking around that you have to throw salt and pepper on.
Aaron: You're walking over them and making the drop.
Leo: It's kind of coming back to me. I think I was too old to play Burger Time. Oh, look at that. What was your game, Jason?
Jason: Oh, too many to count. I was always -
Leo: What was the one where you're climbing -
Jason: Crazy Climber!
Leo: That's the one I loved.
Jason: Seriously, was that one your top?
Leo: Yes, that's the one I was thinking.
Jason: Okay, we're on the same page.
Leo: Where you're climbing up a building. Didn't you have to move the joysticks like this?
Jason: That's the problem with emulators on Crazy Climber because if you do it on PC, you've only got one joystick and need two. Here, it would work.
Leo: You could do Joust, all the games that had weird controls.
Jason: I want this so bad.
Leo: You could get Track Ball.
Jason: I need to make this.
Aaron: There's your Crazy Climber.
Leo: Oh, man, I loved Crazy Climber. Now, we should say these are totally illegal ROMs, right?
Aaron: Absolutely. I'm using this for demonstration purposes.
Leo: This is for demonstration purposes only. If you were to do this – oh, that's the game! That's so funny, you and I were both thinking of that game.
Jason: (hums Crazy Climber theme)
Leo: It was a hard game.
Jason: Very hard. Yes, it was at the pizzeria around – near my house when I was a kid and I played it all the time.
Leo: “Oh no!” You have to move around because there's window washers and things in the way.
Jason: They drop pots on you.
Leo: They drop stuff, flowers. Oh, no!
Aaron: I don't know what the controls are, I didn't play this one.
Jason: You move each different joystick up and down, yes.
Aaron: Some of the games you have to manually specify, “Use the controls this way.”
Jason: Once you set that once, it's set going forward for that particular game?
Leo: Is there a – archive.org has a lot of these ROMs.
Aaron: Oh, yes, you can find a lot of these online and they're not hard to find but you know, there is some potential – that's the nice thing about running the old ones is you're a little less likely to come under scrutiny if you're running the old stuff.
Leo: Really, you're not going to come under scrutiny. It's the people who put them up on the web are are selling. Yes, don't sell them. Don't sell them.
Jason: You've got Spy Hunter?
Aaron: Spy Hunter's on here, absolutely.
Leo: It's like we're taking requests from the chat room, here. Look at all these great games.
Jason: I'm so jealous.
Leo: You actually have a jump to letter, sort games. You have a lot of – there's so many games on here. Wow, there's Spy Hunter 1 and 2 and 3.
Jason: So I've never built anything remotely close to this. Do I have any ability of actually making something that looks even nearly like this?
Aaron: Yes, you definitely could. That tutorial I linked to is full of great details. The only thing I would say that's different is, he used MDF. Don't use MDF, you're going to ruin your console.
Leo: Is that plastic?
Aaron: MDF, it's medium density fiber board. It's kind of like – more and smaller particles than particle board. Think of particle board and make the particles even smaller and glue them together. It does round well but it's not good to use. It's not going to be as strong as this.
Leo: Archive.org has 80 thousand ROMs, a 50 gigabyte download. That's the problem, there's too many. You have to look through it and do the ones you want. So I want you to do this, Jason.
Jason: I want to do it. Now I need to find the time.
Leo: Aaron, I want you to come on Screen Savers and give us an even more in-depth talk about this. By the way, we do launch the new Screen Savers, Saturday, May 2. That's this Saturday at 3 p.m. Pacific, 6 p.m. Eastern time. It is not in any way related to any previous show, fact or fictional. Like that's going to protect us.
We are looking for people who have ideas, that want to show something, ask questions because we are going to answer calls. Email , that's our email address. Join us on Saturday afternoon, it's going to be a lot of fun. I can't wait.
Mike, you got a tip, trick, an item?
Mike: First of all, I'd like to say thank you for making me follow Aaron's arcade.
Leo: Right, this is a good one! I'm following you.
Mike: My tool is bogus compared to what he brought down.
Leo: He built his tool.
Mike: It is what it is. Okay, so this is a tool called Hunting Cabin. I assume that everybody uses Product Hunt, right, because it's a great resource to find new products and miscellaneous things. However, sometimes you want – you're looking for obscure things. You don't want to go there every single day and so Hunting Cabin is essentially like a Google Alerts for – yes, it's weird. For Product Hunt, so you go in there, put the criteria in there and then when your criteria are met, you'll get an email with a link to the Product Hunt product. Kind of a nice thing!
You know, a lot of people do Google Alerts which is, of course, I'm a Google Alert freak. I think I have 300-400 of them.
Leo: Is it still around?
Mike: Oh, yes and it's perfect as always. What a lot of people don't know, and I'm not sure if I've mentioned this on this show before but there's also a scholar version so if you like really obscure, geeky stuff you can go to Google Scholar, that's scholar.google.com and click on the Alerts button at the top. That's a totally separate thing from Google Alerts. Google Alerts will not give you stuff from Google Scholar.
So if you have very obscure interests, Google Scholar is one and if you like products, Hunting Cabin is another that you can use to sort of automate it and really go after the obscure things because of course, you don't want to be checking – I mean, I check it every day. Most people probably don't want to go to Product Hunt every single day so it's a great way to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
Leo: By the way, Tag Heuer has announced a $1400 Android Wear watch. So get ready! It's modeled after the Carrera. I think that's probably not the watch you're looking for.
Mike: It's only twice the price of one of Apple Watch's bands.
Leo: That's a good point. I think we're – you know, I am still not sold that a watch is a wearable you want but I think we're going to be in a golden age of watch choice, anyway.
Mike: Yes, yes, we are.
Leo: You mentioned – you know, I wasn't planning on doing this as a pick but I am going to do it now because you mentioned Product Hunt. There is a – and has been around for a lot longer, a Product Hunt for geeks called Hacker News. Now, many people know about Y Combinator, Paul Graham's startup school. For a long time, they've had a really great newsfeed – it's at new.ycombinator.com. It's voted up and down so the stuff at the top will be the highest votes. It's also a great source not just for news but for geeky stuff, projects, ideas, lot of programming stuff.
There was a period where people started Gaming Hacker News and thank goodness, either they fixed it algorithmically or people just lost interest and moved on because for a while it was starting to turn into Digg and now it's not. It's really great. It is a – I check it just like Product Hunt, every single day and if you want some really just kind of geeky news stories, I go through it and I get something almost every day out of it.
A lot of it is for programmers, and developers and geeks but if, for instance, you want to, you know – Secret is number three on the stories. The launch of Visual Studio code is number one. .NET for Linux and Mac, that's interesting. Number two. So lots of stuff in there and I think a great way to get super geeky pretty darn quickly. “A Medieval English Poet Exposes the Country's Most Corrupt Industry – Wool.”
Aaron: “Fleeced!” I like that.
Leo: Some of this stuff is just geeky. This is from Lapham's Quarterly. Maybe Lapham's a kind of eclective mix of interesting stuff. Anyway, I think it was a lot of fun having you guys here. We didn't even miss Jeff and Gina.
Mike: Who needs them?
Aaron: We did, actually.
Leo: I didn't. Aaron Newcomb, love having you. Thank your employer netapp.com. We see Aaron frequently on All About Android and Floss Weekly, whenever we can get him up here. I love having you here.
Aaron: Yes, thanks for having me.
Leo: What a great project. Please do come back and show us more.
Aaron: I will, absolutely.
Leo: I'd love to open it up and look at it.
Aaron: Yes, I'll have to show you the guts. That's what's fun.
Mike: You're not playing around with that thing. That's serious.
Leo: That's beautiful! How long did it take?
Aaron: A couple months of work. I've been working pretty heavily on getting all the – the difficulty is once you've got it going and you get addicted to this, now you want to get – like I brought my PS3 or DS3 controllers which play all the Super Nintendo, the ones that need the shoulder buttons. So you need to get those set up just right and you can spend hours and hours tinkering with this, getting it set up just the way you want.
The nice thing about it, since it's all in an 8 gig SD card, you can just take out the SD card, take it inside, back it up and now you've got a backup image if you ever need to do something else with it.
Mike: I think you missed out on a monetization opportunity though. There should have been real quarters. You could have made a killing.
Aaron: I think I'd get in trouble for that.
Leo: No, Apple Pay!
Aaron: There we go. Just tap to pay.
Leo: Tap to play.
Leo: Now we're cooking with gas. Mr. Mike Elgan is our news director, guy in charge of keeping us all up to date on what's going on every Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern time, 1700 UTC with Tech News Today.
Mike: Sure is a lot of fun.
Leo: He's also neatly dressed and looks pretty good on a Segway. I showed the new screensavers open to a number of people and almost universally they said, “Who is that Elgan guy?”
Mike: “Who wears a blazer on a Segway?”
Leo: “He is dressy.”
Mike: It's mostly me saying it.
Leo: No, no, people who didn't know who anybody was said, “Hm.” They said, “Brian Burnett looks suave.” We should play it because you can see, Mike looks so sharp.
Mike: Jason Howell looks tall.
Jason: As evidenced by my hunching while I rode the Segway everywhere.
Leo: Everybody looks good but nobody looks good on a Segway. Everybody looks a little bit dorky on a Segway except Mike Elgan, who looks like James Bond. I don't understand it.
Mike: It's the Google Glass.
Leo: Thanks for being here.
Jason: You want me to play it?
Leo: No, it's all right. Everybody can go to inside.TWiT.tv to find out more. That show is coming soon on Saturday if the good lord's willing, the creeks don't rise and Comcast doesn't sue us to death but tune in on Saturday anyway. Thanks everybody for joining us.
We do This Week in Google every Wednesday, 1 p.m. Pacific, 4 p.m. Eastern time, 2000 UTC. Of course if you can't watch our shows live, every single one of our shows is available on demand. All you have to do is go to TWiT.tv, in this case TWiT.tv/TWiG. We also put them on Youtube.com/thisweekingoogle. You can subscribe, which I would recommend. It's good for me, good for you. You get it each and every week. You don't miss an episode. We're everywhere you subscribe, your podcast apps. I use Dogcatcher on Android. But you can use iTunes, whatever, Xbox music.
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