This Week in Tech 476 (Transcripts)
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech. The new iPhone is here, the new iPhone is here! Jason Snell, John C. Dvorak and Dwight Silverman are also here to talk about it and all the tech news. This Week in Tech is next!
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This is TWiT, This Week in Tech episode number 476 recorded September 21st, 2014
Brain in a Jar
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Jason Snell: Yep, I'm a free agent, baby.
Leo: He's a free agent at sixcolors.com, cleverly named.
Jason: Thank you.
Leo: I like it, I know what the six colors are.
Jason: Yeah, that's the old Apple Rainbow. There is a great video about Steve Jobs-
Leo: Hey, congratulations.
Jason: Thank you.
Leo: I'm really happy for you, and I think this is good for you.
Jason: I'm having a good time.
Leo: We'll talk about what happened on MacWorld because I'm curious. John C. Dvorak is also here. He still writes for print magazines.
John C. Dvorak: Yeah of course.
Leo: Are there some left?
John: No. I still turn them in though.
Leo: I think PC Magazine in Brazil is still in paper.
John: No that's been long gone, actually. I've got to turn this- How do I turn this on.
Jason: He's on live stream, that's nice.
John: I'm going into the chatroom so I can say hello. Anyways, good to be here.
Leo: Nice to have you.
John: Yeah and you've got two of these iPhones.
Leo: Actually we have four because Jason brought his too. And there's a bunch in the back.
Jason: Yeah we have many iPhones.
Leo: And also here we have Dwight Silverman from the Houston Chronicle. He's got his.
Dwight Silverman: I have mine.
Leo: You opted for the little one.
Dwight: Yes, I played with the bigger one and it's just too big. I carry my phone around in my shirt pocket and the big one would be like this, right? So I'm trying real hard to give myself breast cancer, so far I haven't done it but this baby ought to do it.
Leo: Yeah, baby. No I could keep this one in my breast pocket, even the big one but I'm used to big-
Dwight: It's just easier to get to, I hate trying to get it out of my jeans you know?
Leo: I think it's dashing, it looks like a little pocket square. And if you put the camera side out, people will run from you.
Dwight: You'll make people nervous. Yeah.
John: I thought you were going to get the black?
Leo: There is no black. That's black front and gray back. And I actually thought the gold one was nice, there was very constrained supplies when I- I was 41st in line at our local Apple store. I got up at 3 in the morning and was shocked to see that there was people there since 8 in the evening or earlier the day before. There were hundreds in line and that was the longest line I had seen in quite some time. I think there was a lot of demand for this iPhone.
Jason: Yeah, you could also order it online if you wanted to I mean I got mine delivered the next-
Leo: Now you tell me.
Jason: Well I had to wait until like 4:30 in the afternoon like an animal.
John: Oh no, what did you do between the morning and 4:30?
Jason: Set up a webcam so that I could monitor my front door so I could be there the moment it arrived.
Leo: I actually got up at midnight last Friday morning last week and I couldn't get into the Apple store. I kept pounding it, and the Apple store was crowded. I gave up, went from midnight to 1. I did finally go to Verizon, I got one from Verizon and I got my mom one from Sprint. But I mean, it's fun to get into the Apple line, you meet interesting people. It's a very diverse line these days. A lot more-
John: I can't imagine anyone more interesting than someone who had been in a line since Tuesday waiting to buy a phone. That has got to be the most interesting people you've ever run across.
Leo: Okay I'll give you an example. I'm standing there talking to a guy when we find out we were Yale classmates, Class of 1977.
John: That tells you everything you need to know about Yale.
Leo: The guy worked at MIT Media Lab, his mentors were Marvin Mensky-
2:Yeah I met Marvin.
Leo: Brilliant guy. Seymour Papert, and Timothy Leary... I mean it was fascinating. But there is a variety of people now in lines at Apple stores.
John: He probably spent a lot of time with Leary, that'd be my guess.
Leo: Anyway, he actually showed me his app he's working on, a very interesting AR app and we'll probably have him on once it comes out. So but, I agree with you Dwight, believe it or not. I thought I was going to want a 6+ because I've used giant Android phones for 6 years but I kind of like the little ones. What do you think Jason?
Jason: I bought- Well I've got the review unit of the 6+ but- Knowing full well, having used both of them... -I bought the 6. Yeah, I think there are people for whom the 6+ is better for because it's got longer battery life, it's got a bigger screen. Anybody who has vision problems, it has basically a large print mode where you can scale everything up to where it's bigger, there isn't more, it's just bigger. The camera is a little bit bigger. Like I said, the battery life is a lot bigger. And for some people, two handed use- Which is really what it's for. -Is fine. They don't use their phone one handed and they can get by. It's not for me though. It's my understanding is that there are parts of the world, especially in Asia, where a lot of people only have one computing device and it's their phone. No tablet, laptop it's just their phone and for them, they want that battery and they want that big screen. But the thing that shocked me was that I was kind of hoping it would be like a mini kind of Nano iPad, and it's not. It's a big phone. There are a couple of iPad features-
Leo: What's the difference?
Jason: Well there are a couple of iPad features. It doesn't do a bunch of stuff that the iPad does. It doesn't have those finger gestures and things like that, it's 16x9 instead of 4x3, which means you use it in landscape mode and it'll give you something that looks sort of like an iPad interface but above the keyboard there's almost no space for anything. Whereas, on the iPad it's a lot wider in that dimension. So I don't know, it's a big phone.
Leo: It's just a big phone.
Jason: If you want a big phone and you want it to be an iPhone, you can do that now. I think for some people it's going to be their favorite iPhone ever but I think it's going to be a niche thing and not for most people.
Leo: It's funny how they went from the smallest phone on the market today to having the biggest. That's a big jump from 4 inches to 5 1/2 inches.
Jason: They saw how the Samsung Galaxy Note sells, especially in Asia and they wanted to be there. From Apple's perspective, I think Apple really believes that the only high end part of the phone market that they don't rule on are these phones in sizes where they don't have competitors and so from their perspective they're like, well we're going to sweep in there and take those customers back from Samsung so we'll see if that happens.
Dwight: Jason, does the keyboard on the 6+ do the thing that the iPad keyboard does where you can split it into the two sides?
Jason: No, that's another one of those features that just is an iPad feature but it's not in there. They added some keys to the sides of the keyboard in landscape mode but you can't do a split keyboard, which I think is a mistake because you've got to really stretch your thumbs if you're thumb typing on the 6+, it would be nice if it was split.
Dwight: Even on the 6, I wound up having to rearrange my icons so that all of the apps were at the bottom of the screen. I did that with folders on the second screen. And actually, although when I hold the 5 now, it seems small. When I'm working with this now, I kind of miss the smaller size. I almost wish that they made a 6 that was the standard 4 inch size. I think there would still be people buying that.
Jason: So I have a theory, this year they came out with these two new phones, the 6 and the 6+- I'm not 100% convinced that the 5 in that size is just going to fade away into oblivion. There's nothing that's going to stop Apple from updating that to that size in the future. Maybe next year they might call it a 6c, who knows what they'll do. I don't know if Apple is going to abandon that, they didn't update it this year but I don't know if they're going to abandon the 4 inch size. If you think about it this way, yeah it's not new but they have three sizes in their iPhone line.
Leo: Yeah, they still sell the 5s.
Jason: They still sell the 5s and the 5c. So those phones are still available, they just didn't do new versions of them this year.
Leo: Holly Wood in New York Times said the iPhone 6 is too small and the iPhone 6+ is to big, she wishes there was something in the middle.
John: What did she use it for?
Leo: I don't know.
Jason: I think the 6 feels pretty good, it takes a little getting used to if you're used to and iPhone 5. But I think the because it's thinner and because the edges are rounded including the screen, the actual glass on the top is rounded-
Leo: Yeah it kind of wraps around.
3:-It doesn't feel enormous. It feels different but not enormous compared to the 5.
Leo: I actually think 4.7 is the sweet spot, I actually used a Moto X for a long time and it was a 4.7 and ergonomically, that's just about the right size. It's like as big as you can get without it really feeling big.
John: I don't think this thing feels that big.
Leo: This feels like a little jewel box.
Jason: Dwight is absolutely right, I've heard a lot of iPhone users- A lot of users used to put their favoritest apps in the dock and then their second favoritest apps in the very top. And now the strategy is you put the stuff you like down at the bottom where you're thumb is going to hit them, and then put the less interesting stuff at the top. Of course, you can't place things arbitrarily on the iPhone home screen. You got to load a bunch of junk at the top and then push things down to the bottom.
Dwight: You can play the chase around thing and kind of chase your apps around and get them where you want them but it's a real pain.
Leo: 4 million iPhones sold on Friday last in 24 hours. In pre-order the estimates I saw where 10 million phones on day 1 this Friday. 10 million, is that unprecedented? That's a lot.
Jason: That's a record breaker.
John: What are these things shaking, see them shaking?
Leo: Yeah, you've never used an iPhone before?
John: I don't care about these phones.
Leo: I have to say, a lot of people feel the same way you do, I mean, when you're in the Apple news cycle, that's all you hear about.
Jason: Yeah, 'tis the season.
John: It seems obsessive.
Dwight: It is obsessive.
Leo: It's very obsessive.
Jason: It is the single most popular technology product.
Leo: Is it?
Jason: I think it is.
Leo: Rightly so, or not rightly so?
John: Obsessively so.
Jason: Who am I to judge?
Leo: You've got to admire Apple's marketing ability. It's impressive. There's still lines at Apple stores. Saturday there was a line.
John: There's no reason for that, that's just to get attention. I'm surprised the media keeps playing it up.
Leo: Those are real lines.
John: There's no doubt about it, they're real lines. But it's not as though Apple could have planned it and had all of these phones ready to go, shipped them over night and had everybody's phones to them that morning.
Leo: What about this Bloomberg Businessweek, Tim Cook cover. Andy Bio of Waxylinks things this is the ugliest cover he's ever seen. He thinks Businessweek is slamming Tim Cook by using this, it's a free font, you can download it.
Jason: Comic Sans is too classy for this cover.
Leo: That's pretty bad. They've used an inner bezel, gradient from blue to yellow. Something said this was a backhanded slam of Tim Cook from Bloomberg Businessweek. It's a very positive cover story interview.
John: Somebody didn't like him, they put that cover up like that. Figure no one is going to read it.
Leo: It's become a mean-
John: And look at this picture of him out in front with a V for Victory hippy sign, that's bull crap.
Leo: People were saying that after the Apple event, that this is now Tim Cook's Apple. That the ghost of Steve Jobs has left the building- Actually it hasn't because Tim hasn't touched Steve Jobs office apparently it's still the same as it was.
John: Well because there's a ghost in there.
Leo: Nobody wants to go in there. I think it's without a doubt that the iPhone 6 and Apple Pay and the watch are Tim Cook's first products.
Jason: Since he took over, Tim Cook has been the MC at these Apple events and yet, the September 9th event, he gave the bulk of the presentation about the Apple watch, and then he handed it off for Kevin Lynch for a demo but that's the first time he's ever done that with a product and that's because that's his product. He wants to be the one to usher that into the world.
Leo: Is that his product or is that Johnny Ives product?
Jason: Well, it's a huge team's product but I think that Tim Cook feels an attachment to this product in a way that he didn't to those other products that he was rolling out because they were in the pipeline and continuations of products that Steve Jobs had worked on and I think that this one was much more personal to him.
Leo: Here is Andy Bios' take on Tim Cook's Apple. He rethought some other magazine covers using this crap font and here's the famous National Geographic picture with the #War Is Hell.
John: I wonder, maybe that Bloomberg thing is just cool,
Jason: Bloomberg did release an animated GIF of it as part of it's press release so there you go.
Leo: Here's another one.
Dwight: What does it do? What was the animation?
Jason: The words just kind of fell into place.
Leo: This is Jony Ive Design. Craig Gernell did this one for Bloomberg Businessweek. Here's one, Picketty Mania Why Americia Has Wealth Inequality Fever. Something like one of those teenage magazines. Carl marks his new crush, Sorry Dr. Doom. I like these, some jabs at the design. So Tim Cook was actually giddy at the event.
John: He was only giddy because he got to touch Bono.
Leo: Let's do it. It's Bono by the way.
John: I thought it was Boner.
Jason: Sonny Bono is dead.
John: He was giddy because of Bono, I tell ya.
John: Yeah, as soon as he touched him he was all shaky.
Dwight: In all of the photos after Beats where he was shown with all of these musicians he's just got this glow to him like he just got let backstage. I think he is a music fan.
John: I don't think he was giddy about the products, he's been living with them for God knows how long.
Leo: He might be giddy because he is now officially-
Dwight: He gets to say, this is what's mine.
John: This happened before with Apple when Scully took over. You have to remember that when Scully took over even though everybody blames him for all sorts of things, he took the company 10x bigger than it was. They went from $800 million a year to $8 billion a year. And then the board was irked about one quarter or something and they basically rousted Scully and put a bunch of bone heads in the company and that's what's going to happen again. That's probably what's going to happen with this guy, he's going to probably carry the company for a while and then irk someone, gets rousted, and then that's when you sell the company.
Leo: John Gruber, who doesn't have the best track record over the past couple of months, did pick the iWatch for September is now speculating that there will be three levels of iWatch prices. We know $349 is the starting point, he said that's the cheapest. Expect to pay $1000 for the stainless steel model. Was it $4000 or $5000 for the gold watch?
Jason: I think he said that and then he said that he made a bet with somebody where the over under he took was 9999.
John: It's possible. If it's solid gold it's not going to be cheap.
Jason: Rolex sells a solid gold watch for like $35 grand.
Leo: That Rolex though, you can hand to your grandson and it'll still work, but that iWatch is obsolete in one year.
Jason: That is the biggest problem I have with the super high priced ones.
John: You could melt the gold down. Just take the iWatch drop it in the crucible and just let it bloop down.
Jason: Maybe if you have so much money to spend on the Apple watch edition- I mean it comes with a lot of things. It comes with a special leather box with a lightning plug on the back that you can plug in and charge and I think it comes with multiple bands, so who's to say it doesn't come with a replacement plan or they could swap it out. Because I think the obsolescence thing is the biggest argument about why you won't pay $5,000 for it.
John: Well the band will slip off.
Leo: 18 karat rose gold.
Jason: They say their metallurgists have solved many problems involving gold. I talked to a guy who works with metallurgists afterward and he was like well, that's just what happens in this industry but I just thought that was the most Apple statement ever. It's like, after 5,000 years, we have finally fixed gold..
Leo: We solved the problems and consulted actual horologists.
Jason: Yes horologists and metallurgists.
Leo: Unbelievable. It's almost starting to feel like a parody of itself.
Jason: We were talking about this the last time I was up here that there are these companies where all of the parts leaks come from these companies that they replace the backplate with gold, or would and I do think Apple looks at that and thinks, well why don't we eliminate the middle man? Why don't we just make a gold whatever, the next step will they make a gold iPhone at some point and eliminate those guys too? I don't know, but they risk people really rejecting them, like being just for the super-rich.
Leo: I feel like a $5000 watch.
John: What? No, they are. They're going to sell a lot of those watches.
Dwight: Just like people buy $5000 watches now, they'll buy a $5000 Apple watch, I think they'll sell a lot of them.
John: Every CEO in Silicon Valley will buy one I bet.
Leo: I've got to tell you, for Apple it's a very different focus than I think-
Jason: Although on one level, it doesn't sound very different from the Apple that made the iPod HiFi because they were mad that Bose was making all of the money from the sound dock or the reason that Apple sells cases now is because they used to sell other people's cases when they would sell an iPhone and now they sell their own and so they get to make that money too and it's a little like that. Like look, we're going to make this really awesome thing, why wouldn't we make a super expensive version of that and take all that money?
Leo: The Apple store I went to had no third party cases lots of Apple cases. I then went to an AT&T store lots of third party cases, went to a Verizon store and they only had Apple cases. It's not that they couldn't get third party cases, they just chose not to sell them. I hear they have a leather one that's nice I haven't seen it but- Is that the leather?
Jason: Yeah, that's the leather one.
Leo: It's nice.
Dwight: I got a $20 Griffin Reveal case at Best Buy, great case and it's the same one I put my iPhone 5 and 4 in. $20 and it's worked great.
Leo: Yeah, how much is Apple charging, it's like $60 right?
Leo: What do you think John, you're our leather expert. He solved the problems with leather by the way.
Jason: Interesting angle. Nobody ever thought of that.
John: I have been a horologist.
Leo: Let's take a break, we'll talk some more- I wanted to ask about the warrant canary. Let's talk about that, coming up. But first a word from our friends at Squarespace, the place to make your next website. Squarespace is an all-in-one platform. The best hosting, the best software and you don't even have to guess whether it's right for you. You can try it free for the next two weeks, no credit card needed. Just go to squarespace.com click their 'get started' button. They're constantly improving their platform with new features, new designs, better support. The best support in the business. They never outsourced it. 24/7 if you need help you're going to get somebody from the Squarespace office. Plus a completely redesigned customer help site with self-help articles, video workshops. It is a great solution. And when it's time to buy, if you use the offer code: TWIT you'll get 10% off your new account and that's a good deal because they start at just $8/month including a free domain name when you sign up for a year. They've got gorgeous apps for the iPhone and the iPad. Gorgeous code backend, if you're a developer of course, you can do all sorts of cool stuff since they have a very nice developer platform. As a special promotion for this week only for our TWiT audience, listen up this is something new; Squarespace is giving away a full year of it's top of the line premium service valued at $288 to a randomly selected audience member. So if you're listening live all you have to do is Tweet betterwebsitesforall with a #squarespacetwit and you'll be in the drawing. If you currently have a Squarespace site, which I would add in the Tweet by the way. You should use it for the No Agenda Show. Squarespace.com use the offer code: TWIT and don't forget to Tweet better websites for all with the #squarespacetwit for a free year of their web service. Those are the rules, they're extensive.
Chad: They are at player.podtrack.com/rules-twit.
Leo: You don't need the rules. You don't need to know the rules. If you break the rules, what's going to happen?
John: There's probably some states that aren't valid. I went over to this Petaluma market, and that is the grumpiest bunch of cashiers.
Leo: I go there every day and you know I was just thinking of this, there's no turnover at that place. Those people have been there for years.
John: That's probably why they're so grumpy. They don't smile, it's just horrible and their zombie-like baggers. If you check out the show, go to the Petaluma market across the street and tell me I'm not right.
Leo: Meet the zombie baggers.
John: They're zombies, it's horrible.
Leo: So what is a warrant canary? Apple's patriot act detecting warrant canary is dead.
John: Something happened.
Leo: Something happened. They do a transparency report, everybody does now.
John: It all started after Tim Cook was on Charlie Rose, did you see it?
Leo: Yeah I did.
John: He said, it'd be over our dead body before we corroborate with the government.
Leo: That's interesting.
John: The quote was, they'd have to take us out in a box.
Leo: I've been telling Tim and thank God he listens to me, I've been telling Tim for years, that Apple's best market position is to say, we're the privacy company. We don't have to make money on your information, we make money on our hardware. And they've just now really started to pursue that as a marketing angle.
Jason: The change in iOS 8 where they're not holding the keys anymore.
Leo: Perfect example.
Jason: They don't hold those anymore so they can't give them to the government.
Leo: There's a long queue of law enforcement officials asking for decryption of iPhones. There's a whole process where you send an iPhone to Apple, it was a several month wait but they would crack the iPhone and send you the contents and Apple is now proud to say that is no longer possible, we've made it so that we cannot do that. It's secure and I think that's smart of them and by the way it's very clear that the jab is at Facebook and Google. He told Charlie Rose, we don't have to sell your information, we don't even sell advertising, of course they do.
Jason: There's even a little subset about iAd and about how it's walled off from a lot of these things.
Leo: I think it's fairly true-
Jason: Right it's a differentiator for Apple.
Leo: One of the things Apple did for their transparency report last year is they put a line in that said, we have never received a section 215 request, that's the secret request authorized by the Patriot Act for information that comes with a gag order.
John: That's specific for business information, 215.
Leo: It says, we're going to ask you for your information, you're going to give us that information, and you may not tell anyone. Apple put in their transparency report covering Jan 1-30, 2014, we have never received one. We, at the time said that looks like a warranty canary. You don't say we've never received one unless you expect to receive one at some point and what you'll do is you'll take that out because you obviously cannot say it anymore. So it's happened there is no warranty canary anymore in their transparency reports. I don't know what that means big deal.
John: Well it means something. The government is all on their case asking for your information.
Leo: Fascinating to see that Yahoo was threatened with a $1/4 of a million a day fine for not cooperating with the government a couple of years ago.
John: That's kind of an expensive fine.
Leo: $1/4 a day over refusal to give the data to the NSA. The company released 15000 documents from a failed suit against the NSA over user data requests and cooperation with prison complaints in those documents the information that they had been threatened with a $1/4 million fine.
John: Of course a threat is one thing.
Dwight: So Leo do you think that if the government came to Apple with a phone and said here, we want this decrypted and Apple said, we don't have the keys, we can't do it. Do you think the feds would just accept that and walk away?
Leo: They'd want to make sure that they couldn't but I think that's the point where Apple doesn't want to be in that situation anymore so-
Jason: Right, at that point it's up to the NSA to break the encryption, or find a bug.
John: Or waltzes through the back door.
Leo: We actually have a guy in our audience today that works for the FBI. John: They're coming for us! When I meet somebody like that I thanked him because I'm very grateful to the Federal officials who are doing their best to keep groups like ISIS out of the United States.
John: Oh my god, they will be here any minute.
Leo: Those guys are scary.
John: Oh please.
Leo: You don't think that they are coming for us?
John: Oh brother, where have you been reading the wrong papers? Are you just shaking in your boots because the ISIS people are going to be walking down the main street in Petaluma?
Leo: I don't want those guys to cut off my head?
Jason: They've threatened Twitter employees.
John: We are not only fake, but we have finally got to the Turkish drama where the exact same scenario took place and we thing that it's the exact same. The whole thing was from this Turkish broadcast.
Leo: I didn't watch it, so I don't know.
John: Of course you didn't.
Leo: Did it look real?
Leo: Oh. Was it real? Where is our FBI guy? He's hiding.
John: Well he's not going to say one way or the other.
Leo: I wouldn't admit it. I guess that's my point, because there is a tension on the point. On one hand, we want our privacy. As US citizens we don't want to be spied on. On the other hand we damn well want to be protected. I know that you don't believe we are at any risk.
John: I don't believe we are at any risk.
Leo: I didn't want to put those words in your mouth.
John: You did. I don't mind people writing for me.
Leo: Are we at risk? We are not. What do you mean? Is it theater?
Leo: Okay, it's just a question; alright.
John: These guys haven't got an Air Force, they haven't got a Navy. They have got a bunch of Toyota trucks so the United Airline is going to land over here in Petaluma. Most people that have a clue would like to see these guys over here so that they could kill them.
Leo: That's true; if we knew where they were. Alright, I'm sorry that I brought it up.
John: And you should be.
Jason: It's like this every week. You keep inviting him back so you know you are asking for it.
John: Because he knows how to work with me. We work well together. It's like a team.
Dwight: I was going to mention Rick Perry but I won't.
John: Rick Perry.
Leo: How's he doing? How's that law suit doing? Or the prosecution?
John: That thing was a fake.
Dwight: Well, you know, what he is accused of doing is telling this prosecutor in Austin that if she didn't resign he was going to veto the appropriation for the office that was investigating some of his friends.
Leo: Right, I will just defund the office and then I don't have to worry about it.
Dwight: The defense he is taking is that he has the right to veto because he is the governor. The prosecution is saying yes, but when combined with a threat it becomes something else. Right now it's just posturing.
Leo: It feels like a lot of politics frankly.
Dwight: It is a lot of politics, but if he threatens somebody with a veto and his own friends, the appointees who were being investigated by this group, there is probably enough smoke there for an indictment. That's at least what the special prosecutor thinks. The reason I brought up Rick Perry is that Rick Perry has implied that ISIS is coming across the Texas border. There is even a sheriff in west Texas that said they found Muslim clothing and Korans in the dessert.
John: Why would they be leaving the Korans behind? That's some sort of violation.
Dwight: Yes, or their clothing.
John: So we have a bunch of naked Muslims roaming around south Texas.
Leo: The Koranless Muslims.
Dwight: They are looking for reading material.
Leo: I just wanted to give people a break from the iPhone.
John: The chat room just suggested that we start talking about the 9er's game.
Jason: It's much less awkward this way, yeah.
Dwight: ISIS versus iPhone.
Leo: Moving along, actually an interesting story coming out of a company that specializes in tear downs and understanding how the processor works in these things, Chipworks is their name. They are taking a look at the a8 processor in the new iPhones and they say that this is not a new Samsung part. IPhones have had Samsung parts in them since day 1.
John: Samsung was yeah, boundary first.
Leo: Chipworks said that the a8 processor was fabbed at TSMC. That's kind of amazing. It has 2 billion transistors in it.
Jason: Leo, this is a smaller processor than the a7; it's 20 nm.
Leo: 20 nm process, and its 89 square mm with 2 billion transistors. I was more interested in that than anything else. That just blows my mind. But obviously Apple would like to have at least a second source for chips, if not get out of Samsung's pockets entirely. Samsung is a big company. The fact that they make cellphones to compete with iPhones and the processor in another, that doesn't mean much.
John: It does.
Leo: Does it?
John: Don't you think? You don't want the vendor that you are competing with making your chip.
Leo: You think they will put a bug in it?
John: Oh Jesus, I never thought of that, but that's not a bad idea.
Jason: Apple hates being reliant on anybody.
John: Especially a competitor.
Leo: But Apple doesn't own fabs.
Jason: Right, there are lots of different parts that they don't own, but I'm sure that they are also talking to Intel because Intel has said that they are willing to make chips for other people too.
Leo: Right, the big arm chips.
John: Well, they've got those huge fabs.
Jason: Huge fabs, right.
Leo: Would Apple build? So a fab is a plant in which you build the chips.
Jason: Right, right, Apple doesn't own the factories that make the chips. They design the chips, but they don't own the factories where they make them, they contract with somebody.
Leo: They are very expensive to build. They are billion dollar factories.
John: No, 5.
Leo: Five billion?
Jason: In all of those assembly plants in Asia, mostly in China, that Apple uses; those aren't owned by Apple either. Apple owns some factories but others they just rent out essentially.
Leo: Obviously Apple would like to own from beginning to end.
Jason: They want to control it. They want to control it.
Leo: I think they would like to own it. I remember Henry Ford, the big plant that he built in Dearborn, the box cars would come in with a rogue. The box cars would come in with iron ore and that would come with Model-T.
John: Very similar to Foxconn by the way. The iron ore company, they have their own, they smelt their own steel; theirs and iPhone comes out of it.
Leo: I think that is how Apple thinks.
Jason: It's funny, the sapphire plant is apparently an Apple owned deal, but not the processor plants.
Leo: Are you surprised that there was no sapphire on the face of this phone? Or is there?
Jason: Now that we know there is, the Touch ID is sapphire and the camera on the back. Not when we hear that the iWatch or the Apple Watch, 2 of the 3 models are going to be a sapphire screen.
John: So what makes such a big deal about the sapphire? On your show it's oh the sapphire, it's going to be sapphire.
Jason: People are excited.
Leo: It's a new material.
Jason: It's new and everybody is tired of their phones cracking.
Leo: They stepped on it.
John: And then they didn't use it.
Leo: And they didn't use it.
John: And then you had a piece and you busted it and cut yourself.
Leo: Apparently it wasn't sapphire. So Apple is using Gorilla Glass you think still?
John: That's what it sounds like when you tap on it.
Jason: It sounds like if it's not Gorilla glass it's like Gorilla Glass.
John: It's got a certain sound when you tap on it.
Jason: I'm not sure if Corning has said whether this is Gorilla Glass or not.
Leo: They never do. In fact, I didn't know this until I read the Walter Issacson biography, but Corning had shut down the Gorilla Glass factories because there was no market for it. Steve Jobs came to them and said I've got this thing I'm making, and I would really like some very hard for it. So it was really Apple that made Gorilla Glass happen. We are at third version, which is a really strong glass. What do they call this, ion exchange?
Dwight: Ion exchange, yeah.
Jason: It's not unbreakable, but it is way less scratchable and breakable then before.
Dwight: It's not Gorilla Glass? Is it or is it not Gorilla Glass?
Leo: We don't know because Apple didn't say.
John: It sounds like it when you tap on it.
Leo: What is that sound?
John: It's that plasticy sound. Gorilla Glass sounds like plastic.
Leo: You are right. It doesn't sound like glass.
John: It's actually slightly softer than glass.
Dwight: Did you all see the video of the drop test of both of these phones?
Leo: You mean the kid in Sidney, Australia who got the first phone and was so excited?
Dwight: Not the first one, but the drop test.
John: That he dropped it. That's an Australian for you.
Jason: He dropped it but I don't think it broke.
Dwight: No, this is a different thing. There is a blog that goes out and gets some of the first iPhones in Australia and they always drop them. It's a drop test.
Leo: Yeah, I hate that.
Dwight: Except when they dropped it, yes it broke, but it was the way that it broke that was interesting. The glass part separated from the case. It cracked but it looked almost like something popped up from within like the way a battery expands.
Leo: Like a delaminated or something?
Dwight: So it broke differently than past iPhones. That's why I immediately went out...
Jason: It that their new motto? Break differently.
John: Break differently. That's a good one.
Dwight: But if you haven't seen that one then go look for that video. It's really interesting the way that it breaks.
John: You know, I know people with the broken glass 4s and 5s.
Leo: Oh god, everybody who has had an iPhone has had broken glass.
John: And so you can get them replaced. I tell people this tip. This is a tip for everybody who has one of these little phones; if it's broken you and want to get it fixed you can take it in to get it replaced and they will tell you no, but if you go in with band aids on as though you have been cutting yourself on the glass they immediately see it as a liability issue and they give you a brand new phone on the spot. I know 2 guys who have done this.
Leo: Okay kids.
John: So band aids, but if you really want to be cool then have blood on your hands.
Leo: Or your tongue.
Jason: Also a limp. Have a limp and like a sling for your arm and just go all the way.
Leo: My iPhone killed me. Let's see, Apple confirms that the NFC chip in this does nothing. So that is nice.
Leo: Well, it will only work for Apple Pay, and Apple Pay is not available until October.
John: For now.
Leo: Well, for now. So you've got an NFC chip...
John: You were all in on Apple Pay I bet you.
Leo: Well no. I like the idea, okay, I love the idea of not carrying a wallet just like the Queen of England. I want to be like the queen. I don't think that just because Apple does it that it is suddenly going to emerge into the form. We've been trying to do this for years.
Jason: I think that is the wrong order though. I think that the reason that Apple is doing it is because they think that this is a good time. They are also replacing normal swipes with the Chip and PIN and so a lot of...
Leo: That's true. By the end of next year everything has to be Chip and PIN.
Jason: So this stuff is going to turn over and it's going to have NFC built into it, and it's going to have this built into it.
Leo: Your timing is right because they have to buy new terminals.
Jason: They have got enough clout too, that as a very large phone maker that they control the hardware, but I think that it's timing more than like Apple's making it happen. Apple is helping it happen maybe, but it's also good timing.
Leo: So if I'm a merchant I know that I'm going to have to get a new terminal for Chip and PIN by the end of this next coming year.
Jason: And it will have an NFC chip in it.
Leo: And I'm for sure going to make sure that it supports every form of tap and pay that I can get, which means Google Wallet, Apple Pay, or whatever else there is.
Leo: Walmart and CVS have already said that they are going to buy new terminals but it isn't going to have Apple Pay in it. That's not good, but I think that is because they already done a deal with somebody else, but early on...
John: Early? For years and years the NFC has been on these other phones.
Leo: But you see what Jason is saying is that because Chip and PIN is coming that everybody has to buy new terminals.
John: No, I'm agreeing with his basic thesis, but it's not early to me.
Jason: Google had a hard time because Google doesn't control their hardware partners and not all of the phones still have the NFC. I think Apple will push it along a little bit, and everybody who has got one of those NFC Android phones will benefit too.
Leo: So prediction, by the end of 2015 will we all be tapping and paying whether it is with our Apple Watch, Apple phone, or Google phone?
Jason: I think that it is going to be more of a convenience because there are going to be places that won't take it, right? It's just like now there are places that only take cash and are just starting to use Square.
Leo: So you will still have to carry your wallet.
John: I think that at some point they will have to develop the bump and steal. Where you got the phone, and somebody bumps you, and next thing you know is that you have got a payment.
Jason: You can't do that because you have the Touch ID and stuff.
John: That's gotta be crackable.
Jason: When I run to Whole Foods to buy some beer and peanut butter or whatever I might just take my phone for that because I know that I can pay there.
Leo: Whole Foods will do it because they already said that they are going to do it.
Jason: And if I forget my wallet and just have my phone I will actually be able to buy something, which is nice, other than scanning my card at Starbucks or something.
Leo: I have to say, I'm sure it's purely psychological, you are right John that it's already not super secure, but already, just the notion that I can touch my finger to this, my bank for instance is using it to unlock the banking app, makes me feel better. LastPass is using this and it makes me feel better. It makes me feel like that is better than a PIN, right? It's harder to reproduce.
Jason: Right, and what you can do then is make your password something more complicated because you have to enter it less frequently. I used to have a 4 digit code on my phone and now I have a complex password because I only enter it when I reboot. Otherwise I just use my phone.
Leo: So this is a good thing I think.
John: We will see, won't we?
Leo: Alright, enough Apple talk. We are going to take a break and when we come back we are going to talk about Kindle.
Dwight: There is a new one.
John: Yeah, I heard that.
Leo: I'm excited.
Jason: I'm excited too.
John: I haven't gotten it.
Leo: I ordered it immediately. I think that it comes out in a month.
Jason: In a month.
John: Okay, you are going to tell us why it is special then.
Leo: Yes. And a new kid's edition that has a unique warranty. But first a word, I'm doing it again; I'm teasing.
John: Yeah, just as if people can't just fast forward.
Leo: You can't just skip this ad and go right to the most interesting thing.
John: It might be better to slip stream the ads a little smoother.
Jason: This is why you need to watch live, because you can't skip.
John: Yeah, but it's only x number of people.
Leo: Or maybe if I teased really boring stuff.
John: No, no, no.
Leo: Because then people will say, well I don't want to get there so I will listen to the ad.
Jason: Good idea.
Leo: Coming up we will show you how to make chopped liver and onions with your iPhone; that's next. But first...
John: What is this ad? You should just go, here is an interesting story, Citrix GoToMeeting...
Leo: No, I don't want to fool people.
John: That's called native advertising. That's how you get extra money.
Leo: That's native baby. Do you?
John: I think so yeah.
Leo: Now you are talking.
Leo: Hey, did you hear this about GoToMeeting? It's the proven solution for meeting and collaborating with your team online from anywhere.
John: Tell me more. Tell me more Leo.
Leo: You know what I have always felt? Good communication is crucial in business. Don't you feel that?
John: I have always thought that.
Leo: Especially when the people you work with aren't in the same office.
John: Yeah, what do you do when they are not in the same office? I don't get it.
Leo: Miscommunication can happen.
John: Oh yeah it can.
Leo: And there can be misunderstandings. In fact, I find when people are in different offices sometimes they hate each other because they don't understand each other. That's where GoToMeeting is bridging the gap bringing people together. Oh, I'm going off script now.
John: It's all yours now.
Leo: I brought the script. Bringing people together, you are going to let me take this, huh? Actually millions of people rely on Citrix GoToMeeting. It's probably the number one way to meet online. It is great. They have always had screen sharing so that you are literally on the same page when you are reviewing documents or presentations. They now have HD videoconferencing so it is a full video conference. I feel so sorry for the people, and I know lots of them, who spent $50,000, $100,000 on big conference rooms with video conferencing.
John: No, I have seen that.
Leo: Those big commercial Sysco Systems. They are not even as good as GoToMeeting. It's like, god I feel bad for them.
John: It's expensive.
Leo: It's really expensive. GoToMeeting is so affordable. You pay once a month, I think it is $49, for as many meetings as you want, as often as you want. You present, you demonstrate, and you meet. It's so inexpensive, they don't time you so I know that plenty of remote offices that just keep it running all of the time and they like working together. It's really great. You will see why millions choose GoToMeeting when you start hosting your own face to face meetings online today for free for 30 days. Visit gotomeeting.com, click the "Try it Free" button there, and we ask that you use the offer code TWIT, T-W-I-T. Gotomeeting.com, try it free button, promo code is TWIT, and we thank Citrix for their support of This Week in Tech. By the way, we should point out that Amazon dropped the price on the Fire phone to $.99 plus you get a year of prime and they still can't sell it. I have one in the drawer. Do you want a Fire phone?
John: Yeah, I will take it.
Leo: Alright, I will give it to you. $99.
John: I've got a dollar. I will give you a keep it penny.
Leo: I will give you a dollar to take it.
Leo: Thank you.
John: You are making it better every minute.
Jason: I will take it but you have got to give me $2.
Leo: It's so sad because all Amazon had to do is just make it a regular Android phone.
John: It's kind of regular isn't it?
John: Isn't it very similar to an Android?
John: It's like they are going off the deep end? It's like the Kindle thing?
Leo: It is, it's the same OS.
Jason: It's the Fire OS.
Leo: There's no Google Store. There's an Amazon Store and it just...
Dwight: Leo, I'm going to be a contrarian here. I like the Fire phone.
Dwight: Yes, I like the Fire phone.
Leo: Let me go get mine. You tell us why.
Dwight: I have a Fire TV and...
Leo: I have the Fire TV but I've never hooked it up.
Dwight: The Fire TV is excellent.
John: Keep talking while he goes and gets it.
Dwight: Amazon is doing something different. They are building from scratch what amounts to an ecosystem similar to what Android and Apple have. If you are an Amazon customer and use their products a lot it is a great way to have a phone and it's a great way to watch their streaming video. Actually, on the Fire TV, if you have never hooked it up you should because the picture on it is excellent.
John: The Fire TV comes off the phone?
Dwight: No, well you can do that, you can stream from the Fire phone to the TV, yes. But also, the Fire TV connects to Amazon Prime and it also has a Netflix app. The picture on it when the connection is good is better I think than the picture on the Apple TV and certainly what I have seen on the highest end Roku. It's a really good streaming box. This is version 1.0 for both for Amazon and I would not discount them at all because as we see with the release of these new Kindles they keep coming back and coming back.
John: What Roku box are you using?
Dwight: The 3.
John: And you think this is a better image?
Dwight: Right, it looks better. It has a better picture.
John: And it has the same bit rate? Have you watched the bit rate? You can turn on that little feature that show you.
Dwight: You can't in the Fire TV, but you can on the Roku. It just looks better to me. It looks much more HD to me.
John: What do they sell for? Because I never thought of it.
John: Do they have the same fundamental linkage like to Netflix and all of the rest?
John: I don't know how that missed me.
Leo: I did hear that that Firefly is going to be available in the Amazon app going forward. So that is the Fire phone, it actually doesn't have the power on.
John: Well that looks nice.
Dwight: It's actually about the same size, it's a 4.7 inch screen, so it's the same size as the iPhone.
Jason: The software is kind of weird.
Leo: If it had Android I would say it's nice too.
John: What is this you've got? What is this other thing?
Leo: Okay, so this is my simulation of what they are doing with the Kindle for kids.
John: Oh, I thought that was the next generation iPhone.
Leo: It's funny because you can use it as a purse.
John: Bigger screens.
Leo: That's why they want Apple Pay, so you can just use it as your purse.
Jason: So I was writing about these new Kindles and somebody pointed out to me that they actually changed the branding and only the new eReader is now called the Kindle. All of the rest of them are just called Fire.
Leo: Oh, there is no Kindle Fire, it's just Fire.
Jason: Fire HD, yeah.
Leo: Interesting. So this is the new rubber cased Fire. What I love about this is that there are 2; first of all it's $149, 6 or 7 inch Amazon tablet, free unlimited all you can eat kids content, and a 2 year guarantee that means they will replace it even if the kid breaks it?
Jason: I believe so.
Leo: That's a pretty big selling point for any parent. Now it's encased in rubber like this.
Jason: Rugged. It's like what they use on the top of telephone poles. It need to be that. That rugged.
Leo: Still, there is always a glass front that can be broken with an interment child.
John: Yeah, that's what kids are for.
Leo: You know, that caught my attention. My kids are 20 and 19, I don't think that they could want this.
Jason: Probably not.
Leo: I feel like this is something if you had a 2 year old you would be very excited about, right? There is a family library feature that means 2 parents and 4 kids can share movies and books. This is kind of like what Apple has done with their family sharing.
Jason: They've got all of their content deals. It's smart, this is one of the things that I like about Amazon and these products is that they are defiantly Amazon products. They are not Android devices even though Android is powering them. They are using their ecosystem and their library of content that they have got to power this stuff. It's a really interesting idea.
Leo: And for 2 years...
Jason: And they are a $99 tablet too.
Leo: Yeah, yeah.
Jason: It doesn't look like a cheap tablet, they are decent.
Leo: I'm impressed. I actually am very impressed. I was going to give this to John to see if he could break it.
John: I could break it.
Leo: No you may not, never mind. They announced new readers which are Kindles.
Jason: Yeah, the new reader is a Kindle.
Leo: I bought it immediately.
Jason: I did too.
Dwight: One is very expensive, right?
Leo: Well, it's $200.
Jason: It's $200.
John: That's reasonable.
Jason: The Voyage.
Leo: The Voyage.
Jason: I think that Amazon realized that there are people who love these eInk Readers. I am one of them. I saw a Tweet that said, oh, new Kindle. I said, alright, order, because I love them for reading books. This one is 300 dpi screen, so it's, you know...
Leo: 300 dpi? Now we are talking up there with the laser players.
Jason: Our buddy Andy Ihnatko went to the launch event in New York, and he said that he did a double take. It's one thing to see a backlit screen that is at the retina quality where you can't see the pixels, but to see a reflective screen like an eInk screen at 300 dpi, he said his brain kind of couldn't wrap itself around what he was seeing.
Leo: It's essentially the same as a paper book.
Jason: It looks like you are looking at paper except then you tap it. Now it doesn't have a button, it's got a pressure sensor haptic. It's a button that doesn't move is what it is so you can turn the page just by pressing the sides.
John: Well how is that different than the Kindle Paperwhite? It's the same thing.
Jason: No, Paperwhite you've got to tap the screen which is the thing that I liked least about the Paperwhite.
John: What are you saying?
Jason: You touch the bezel. You push on the bezel.
John: Oh, the bezel.
Leo: It's not white and black, though. It's not black text on white.
Jason: You know, it's dark grey text on an off white background although they keep improving that over time.
Leo: It's still a higher contrast than before. Now, $199 means with special offers, you are going to get ads. If you want it without special offers add $20. If you want free 3G, the Whisper Synch over 3G, which I think is great. If you are at an airport or you are driving around and you want to get a book you can get that; that's another $50. I think this is a pretty compelling product even though it is the most expensive Amazon Kindle in a long time.
Jason: There is an audience for it. They are still selling the cheaper eInk Kindles. In fact, there is one below the Paperwhite now. It doesn't light itself, but it is based on the Paperwhite and it's got a touch screen.
Jason: You know, I went on a beach vacation with my wife this summer and everybody had these eInk Kindles. That's where I see it, outside where it is sunny.
Leo: You can't read an iPad outside.
Jason: Backlit glass displays are not great in the sun.
John: I'm in total agreement. I love the Kindle. I think it is a fantastic product. I use the Paperwhite, I don't know if I should upgrade to this or if it's going to be that much better.
Leo: Are you excited about the Fire phone? Do you think that is something that you are going to want to use?
John: I might use it.
John: It's got a lock. It's locked though.
Jason: To AT&T.
Leo: To AT&T.
Dwight: AT&T, yeah.
Leo: It's an AT&T exclusive.
Dwight: That's one of the other problems with this; it's only available with one carrier.
John: I think that is why it’s not selling.
Leo: Well, a lot of people use AT&T. They are the second biggest carrier. Maybe the biggest now.
John: Does it have a CDMA radio in it? I doubt it.
Jason: I think Amazon's idea of why people are loyal to Amazon maybe is a little misguided. It's something where with their phone that people just don't think of Amazon as the provider for that. I love Amazon. I've got lots of their products but I would never use an Amazon phone, it's just weird.
Leo: I am loyal to Amazon because of Prime. Pure and simple. I can get it in 2 days.
Jason: And they've got the video streaming, which is nice.
Leo: It's okay.
Jason: But that's not the reason you bought Prime.
Leo: But that's not why I bought Prime. I bought Prime for second day delivery.
Leo: Free second day delivery. I mean, that is compelling.
Jason: Free with your purchase of Prime.
John: They lose money on that. They lose money on Prime for a big user like yourself.
Leo: Great store. I think that I mentioned this before, in DogFight, the book about Amazon and Google and the battle I'm talking about. No, I'm sorry, I think it was in The Everything Store, it was in the story of Jeff Bezos and Amazon. They priced Prime just randomly basically. People came to Bezos and said we don't know how much it is going to cost because you can't tell how much people are going to use it. He said, we are going to make it $75 just by fiat, and it turned out about right.
John: Yeah, that would be right.
Leo: They lose money but they get a lot of sales, so...
John: Right, I think that is the way a good entrepreneur does it. You don't study it or they never would have rolled it out.
Leo: Yes, exactly. But I did notice that they were raising it to $99. I still think that is an elastic price point. We get so much value out of it I'm willing to pay it.
John: We will see how many people they will lose.
Leo: I am getting a free year because I bought that Fire phone, so that was a good deal. You don't get that, just the phone. I'm keeping the Prime.
John: Well that's a gyp.
Leo: You got something against gypsies?
John: Now here we go.
Jason: Here we go.
John: That's a good one.
Leo: Amazon is the number 1 search advertiser on Google.
Dwight: That makes sense.
Leo: They spent $158 million on search ads in 2013. I guess there is nothing to say about that, it makes sense.
Leo: Yep. Are you surprised Leo? Yep. They have added a new top level domain name. This was kind of crazy, ICANN decided that if you have enough money you could make up a domain name and it would be yours.
John: It's $250,000 I think.
Leo: Amazon paid 4.6 million dollars for .buy and .tech...
John: They've got nothing but money to throw away.
Leo: 4.6 million dollars for the .buy top level domain. There was an auction, that's why. There is a certain fee.
John: I think that you should buy .twit.
Leo: I don't have 4.6 million. I don't know how much it would go for.
John: I don't know, I think it is $250,000. I think that was bid up.
Leo: Yeah, it was bid up. In fact, the one that sold for the most was bought by a company called Dot Tech LLC. They got .tech for 6.76 million dollars.
John: This was a great idea to make money.
Leo: Who is making this money?
John: The ICANN folks I guess.
Leo: What is ICANN doing? Are they having big parties to buy the dot?
John: That's what I would be doing.
Leo: Dot Tech beat out Google, Uniregistry, new.com, Donuts, and Minds+Machines for this.
Jason: Did they say we will sell somebody the .yacht domain if they buy us a yacht? Was there like a deal?
Leo: Yacht, I like it! So Minds+Machines having outbid for .tech bid 3 million dollars and got .vip.
Leo: I guess they are a registry and they probably figure, well, we will make it back by charging people $25 or $50 a year to have leo.vip.
John: Who needs it?
Leo: That sounds like a good domain name.
John: Yeah, leo.vip.
Leo: Somebody in the chat room the other day said, hey, I bought leo.ninja for you.
Leo: Thank you.
Jason: That reminds me to buy leo.plumbing.
Leo: Leo.ninja is mine, all mine.
Jason: I did buy snell.zone the other week.
Leo: You did?
Jason: Just because.
John: What did that cost you?
Jason: Oh, you know, a good $15.
Leo: Hover has a ton of them.
Jason: Yeah I have a Hover problem.
Leo: You have a Hover problem?
Jason: I do.
Leo: We need a 12 step for Hover addicts. I wish they had bought an ad this week. I could do the ad right now. Let me log on to my Hover and I will show you. Let's see what I have here.
Jason: You should wait for them to sponsor before you tell us all about it.
John: Someone in the chat room says that some poor ninja actually named Leo is out in the cold.
Leo: He's going to say god dammit.
Leo: Squatters, I hate these squatters. I got verify.zone because I was thinking, and verify.rocks and verify.social, I was thinking of a new social network where you have to be verified. I think I told you about that.
Jason: Yeah, verify.rocks or is that for a sight for where rocks are verified?
Leo: Rocks, and I guarantee this rock.
Jason: That is a rock.
Leo: I guess I didn't get any other, I have got to have some other. Oh, twit.agency, twit.careers, and twit.company; I own these.
Jason: Twit.equipment, why? If the camera needs a website?
Leo: Well, if we had to sell off TWiT I could say go to twit.equipment for the big...
John: For the pieces, yeah.
Jason: That's thinking ahead.
John: Here is a table.
Leo: How about twit.watch?
John: Here is an old camera.
Jason: We had to go out of business because I bought too many domains.
John: And then had to sell them off.
Leo: We are selling them off!
John: But luckily you were thinking ahead.
Leo: You know, I've got a Hover problem. You named it, that's exactly what is wrong.
Dwight: 12 steps.
Leo: Let's take a break while I register a few more.
John: Let's take a break while the 49ers lose this game.
Leo: Oh, I'm just depressed. They are about to lose it.
John: They were ahead 14-0, or 14-6, and the next thing you know they lose the game. They cannot score in the second half. They are like a first half team now.
Leo: Well, I guess I'm going home to cold hot dogs and to bed tonight.
John: Didn't you go to the opening game?
Leo: I’ll tell you what, let’s do right now; this was such a good week on TWiT, I wanted you to just see some of the great moments.
Leo: What? We call it a how sad, take it.
John: I’d like to see one of those.
[Voices]: Cam 3000, the future videopod, crank cam 3000. I don’t care anymore. Previously on TWiT, Tech News Tonight. Microsoft bought Mind Craft for $2.5B. It’s about gaining access to this massive community of gamers and walk with them toward some of their other products. MacBreak Weekly: this YouTube thing seems to me to be a fiasco. Does it qualify as a fiasco? Does this qualify as someone should get fired from this? I think it’s embarrassing that Apple had to publish a page that says oh here’s how you get rid of that. Triangulation: Our guest is Lawrence Krause, physicist, author. I’m quite proud that the research I do has no practical use whatsoever. Any more than a great symphony does or a beautiful painting. Tech News Today: the iPhone 6 plus pocket. You’ve got to love this, Jason, because it’s all the attributes of the iPhone that have been around in the Android world for ages. Welcome to the world of large-format phones. They’re actually pretty useful, don’t feel guilty about it. It’s okay. TWiT: now where did I put my iPhone? No, oh! That was not the first drop test but it was the best…
Leo: So he didn’t crack it? I thought he cracked it.
Jason: No, it survived.
Leo: Hey, does it sound plastic when you tap it?
John: Yea it does.
Leo: Everybody has it. There’s nothing special about gorilla glass. We got the week ahead, Mr. Mike Elgin our news director. He’s going to be covering some big stories, Mike.
Mike Elgin: Coming up this week, Blackberry’s announcing new products on Wednesday, September 24th at events in Toronto, London, and Dubai. We’re expecting the company to unveil the Blackberry Passport, which is a wide-boxy fablet with a physical keyboard. Back to you, Leo.
Leo: So many people have said, Leo, aren’t you excited about the Blackberry Passport? It’s square, right? Or square-ish.
John: Those are people that are just making fun of you.
Leo: Oh, you think they’re pulling my chain?
Dwight: It looks like an onion thing. It doesn’t look real. It looks like a parody.
Leo: I wish no ill to Blackberry. I had a Blackberry pager in the earliest days. I loved my Blackberry. In fact, right up till the iPhone came out, I was a Blackberry user. But I look at this and I think boy, is it pop tart sized?
John: It looks like you could hurt yourself on those corners.
Leo: I will get email from people who will say how could you be dissing the Blackberry?
John: You’re going to get email from people no matter what you do.
Leo: You’ve learned this in your long year.
John: Yea, people hate you.
Leo: How do you deal with that? Because you’ve always been a lightning rod.
John: I try to be, yea.
Leo: And this is part of your…
John: Try to be annoying.
Leo: Not annoying, provocative.
John: Yes, exactly.
Leo: I think that’s a fair…
John: Well maybe, I try to bring up things that people ignore.
Leo: But you must get hate mail. You must have been getting hate mail for the last 20 years.
John: I don’t get as much I used to.
Leo: You want to give out the email address in case…
John: email@example.com, I don’t have a problem. I get no spam and I also block people. I have a system where it’s Mark Burkell’s email system, ctyme.com, and I think it’s a good email provider.
Leo: And all the mail goes through there and his spam filter’s been very effective for you?
John: Very good, yea.
Leo: And here’s the John C. Dvorak, I’m getting the spam logo. That comes from maybe a 2006 episode of TWiT.
John: Before that, I think.
Leo: 2005 maybe.
John: When did you start?
John: Definitely 2005.
Leo: I get no spam!
John: So I don’t care. I put my email address in here, it doesn’t make any difference.
Leo: By this time if they don’t have your email address…
John: Well I get people that can’t find my email address. It’s like, just Google it.
Leo: I get people who tweet me and say whatever happened to you, Leo? Do you do anything anymore? I was a fan of the Screensavers and I just lost track of you. Are you around anywhere? Are you working; are you doing anything?
John: I really liked it back in the day when you were doing something.
John: Which version of Android are we talking about here?
Leo: It was changed in 4.2. That’s pretty recent. Anything prior to 4.2; now you can fix it very simply by just not using the AOSP browser and just use Chrome. However I think there are still parts of the browser embedded into web views in other applications so you have to be careful about what applications you use.
John: Can you delete that browser in the older version of Android?
Leo: Well you need the functionality. It’s just like Internet Explorer in Windows. It’s used to render web pages and email in other programs. So I don’t think you can just kill it.
John: I’ve never heard this.
Leo: Android browser is actually around half of Android users are still in pre-4.2.
John: Yea, if I’m in 4.3 which is…
Leo: You’re on Nexus 5.
John: Well actually it’s not, it’s an older one.
Leo: Is it a Nexus 4, 3, 2?
John: It’s a Galaxy.
Leo: Galaxy Nexus, well that’s pretty old.
John: It’s a very old, has 4.3. Look, there’s not a scratch on it. I keep my keys in the same pocket. This phone is built to last. This was the last great Nexus phone.
Leo: I love the Nexus 1, which was its predecessor. It had a little trackball.
Jason: The original one.
Leo: Yea, the original Nexus.
John: That old crummy one.
Jason: That was a great phone.
Leo: No, it was one of the most elegant, beautiful phones ever made.
John: It as a clunker.
Leo: Alright, okay fine. You have your Nexus.
John: Look, check this out. Look at these two phones side by side.
Leo: They’re the same. He’s showing you that this is Galaxy Nexus. That’s the Fire phone. All phones are basically black slabs.
John: Yea, what difference does it make? Why are people buying new phones?
Leo: Oh, because this black slab has more black.
Jason: How much blacker could it be? The answer is none more black.
Leo: Better black. Now you have a Fire phone too. Users of Android 4.0 and up and switch to Chrome, Firefox, or Opera. You want to be careful about other third-party browsers because they may be using that AOSP code. Google has offered the following statement to Peter Bright at Ars Technica: we have reviewed this report and Android users running Chrome as their browser or those who are on 4.4 Plus, are not effected by earlier versions of Android. We have released patches. So you’ll want to make sure you’ve got those patches. It’s a serious flaw. Speaking of Android, the new Moto X is, well preorders began last week. I’m getting my leather-bound Moto X on Friday. I’m very excited about that.
John: You going to stand in line? Oh wait, there’s no place to stand in line, never mind.
Leo: No, there’s no store. Isn’t that amazing?
John: It doesn’t surprise me.
Leo: I’m getting an unlocked version.
John: That’s a good thing.
Leo: You can tell me this, when we were in line at the Apple store, they said we have no unlocked phones. I said what about the T-Mobile phone? And the Apple guys, and I talked to several of them, said no that’s locked T-Mobile. That’s not, right?
John: They were lying to you.
Jason: Right but it may be a variation that doesn’t have all the frequencies. So it might not be able to do…
Leo: So there are different SKUs of the iPhone 6?
Jason: That was true of the 5. I’m not quite sure if that’s true of the 6 or not. But it looks like the T-Mobile phone might not work at speed on a different LTE network.
Leo: The other thing I found out that I’m excited about; this is a Verizon iPhone 6 and once again the SIM lock is unlocked.
John: It’s CDMA, though.
Jason: LTE requires the SIM.
Leo: So I can put…
John: But the phone itself is CDMA if it’s Verizon.
Dwight: The calling part of the phone is CDMA.
John: That’s what I’m saying. Nobody uses the main calling part of the phone… I’m completely in alien territory here.
Leo: I put a T-Mobile SIM in this, I was able to make phone calls.
Leo: It’s been that way for at least the last two years. The last two generations. So there is an unlocked Apple iPhone from Verizon. If you’re traveling, this is a good choice. It’s Verizon CDMA and LTE. Are they using voice-over LTE yet? They will soon but I heard no.
Dwight: They started switching it on in some markets.
Leo: And then when you travel as I will next week to London, I’m going for the iTunes Festival. I’m very excited. Going to see Blast of the Flamingo.
John: You’re going all the way to London…
Leo: I’m so excited. Actually program note, this show will begin one hour earlier next week at 2pm Pacific, 5pm Eastern time.
John: You’re taking off right after the show?
Leo: I have a flight to catch. I’m going to run out the door right after the show and fly to see Blast of the Flamingo.
John: So can’t you see them cheaper than a flight to London?
Leo: We’re going to London for vacation. But I will be seeing the last day of the iTunes Festival, I’m very excited.
John: What is the iTunes Festival?
Jason: It’s the music the kids are listening to these days.
Leo: John, John, John. Apple does this every year.
Jason: It’s a bunch of people that get together and download music.
John: Is Bono going to be playing?
Leo: Bono won’t be there. As will 50-Cents. I think you’ll enjoy…
John: It’s a kid’s festival.
Dwight: Have you seen the Robert Plant performance on iTunes?
Leo: I haven’t.
Dwight: It’s wonderful. The guys still got it. It made me buy his album when I saw it last night.
Leo: He was fabulous with what’s her name… Allison Krause. It was a great album.
Dwight: Well he’s really into world music and all different kinds. So you have Apple TV, it’s on there, the full performance. Twelve songs, he does a really interesting version of Whole Lotta Love that Lind’s in Bo-Diddly Love. And it’s really a great performance.
Leo: Almost over now, but Dead Mouse kicked it off, Beck was there, Tony Bennett.
John: Tony Bennett.
Leo: You’ve heard of him?
Leo: Placebo, Elbow.
Leo: The kids, they got wacky. Pharrell, you know Pharrell Williams. Maroon 5.
John: So you’re going to check out some of the bands? You’re going to be dancing; you going to be taking some E?
Leo: Yea, I’m going to take some E. Or is it X?
Jason: Vitamin E is what he’s talking about.
Leo: I’m into Molly. And I’m going to see this guy, Kenny Rodgers. No, that’s not Kenny Rodgers. That’s Placebo Domingo. He’s an opera singer, you know.
John: Yea, I’ve heard of him.
Leo: Looking forward to that. So that’s just a program note.
Jason: So you’ll go to; when I was in London I went to the Three, which opera is prepaid.
Leo: And pop a SIM in there and unlimited data for 30 pounds.
Jason: Yea, it’s a great deal.
John: For how long?
Leo: For a month. But you have to have an unlocked phone. So I was very pleased. And I didn’t know. There was a rumor that Verizon would be locking the SIM slot. Somebody told me on Twitter, and I don’t know if this is true, the FCC prohibits them. It was some sort of…
Jason: I think these locking things are silly at this point. Because you’re in a contract and you have to pay to get out of it.
John: What difference does it make?
Jason: Really it’s hurting savvy people who don’t want to pay…
John: Well it actually saves them money because people can unlock their phone after the contracts over. But it’s a rigmarole that costs them time and money to do. Just leave it unlocked, make them sign on the dotted line, and you’re good to go.
Leo: Actually and I don’t know what carrier he represents, but a listener heard that I was going to London and they’re going to drop off a Mi-Fi card as well. So we’ll have Wi-Fi as well.
Jason: You’ll be all wired up. It will be like you never left home.
Leo: But, I thought I’d also bring the Moto X.
John: You might as well bring 10 phones.
Leo: I got the complete set, so I got the Moto X with leather.
Jason: You want the Fire phone back?
John: You should get somebody to make a leather pouch that lets you hold all these phones.
Leo: It’s the cognac leather back. And then I got the leather back on the Hint.
John: What’s the Hint?
Leo: It’s like the Scarlett Johansen earpiece that goes in and you talk to your phone through it.
John: A Bluetooth device?
Leo: It’s a Bluetooth device designed for the Moto X so it has some additional features. You don’t have to touch it. You just have to say Charlize, and it will respond to you.
John: Yea, dialing mom.
Leo: You’ll look like an idiot but that’s okay. And it only has I think three hours battery life.
John: Well you have enough phones on you it’s not going to be a big deal.
Leo: Can I get a utility belt or something like a Batman thing.
John: When it goes dead, you just grab the next one.
Leo: The Moto 360, the round Moto 360.
John: They should lock you up.
Leo: I’m a little disappointed that you have to use a Pebble watch with the iPhone. That’s the only watch that will work with the iPhone.
Dwight: Right now.
Jason: Working great with iOS 8. Very nice. They updated their other software for iOS 8 and it works well.
Leo: Awesome. Let’s see. That’s that, Android browser flaw. Google launched phones in India. The Android One phones for $105.
John: That’s kind of high.
Leo: It seems like that’s not cheap.
John: No, that’s too high.
Jason: It’s unsubsidized but still.
John: You can buy a phone for $100 that are pretty useful.
Leo: Supports seven local languages and offline YouTube playback.
John: That’s different.
Dwight: Leo, what’s not on your list and I’m kind of astonished it’s not here, is Larry Ellison quitting Oracle.
Leo: Oh my gosh, I forgot that.
Dwight: It’s not on the list.
Leo: So let’s talk about it when we come back. Larry Ellison exits Oracle. He’s the last of the grand horsemen of the computer era. Well you’re one of the horsemen. I think John may be a horsemen.
Leo: There was Gates, there was Jobs, there was Nolan Bushnell. I don’t know.
John: You don’t even know.
Leo: I don’t know who they are. On your right, that’s why I’m going to tell you who they are when we come back. The Mount Rushmore…
John: Weren’t we talking about the 9’ers on the last day?
Leo: We’ve pulled the TV away.
Jason: The game’s over.
Leo: I’ve stopped watching.
John: You should just give up on these things.
Jason: You should renounce football.
Leo: I renounce football in all its forms.
John: I liked it too. I think renouncing football is a good idea.
Leo: I have to admit on the bus home after the last game, because we took the bus, beautiful stadium by the way…
John: They haven’t won a game in it.
Leo: Well you’re right they haven’t won a game there. I did strip my Colin Kaepernick jersey right off of me and give it to a homeless guy.
John: No you didn’t.
Leo: I said and you be number seven.
John: Nice try.
Leo: Our show today bought to you by… no I didn’t.
John: I know you didn’t.
Leo: Because I’m not a fair-weather fan. What are the 9’ers colors anyway?! No, I know that. I was wearing my puffy gold jacket, too. My throwback puffy gold. That’s my rapper name by the way, Puffy Gold.
John: That’s a good name.
Leo: They had Snoop Dog at the half-time show.
John: What was he doing there?
Leo: He sang!
John: What was he singing for?
Leo: What was he singing, his big hit: the bark stops here. No, it wasn’t that. What’s his big hit?
John: I don’t know.
Leo: Woof woof.
John: We don’t know. Nobody knows, nobody cares. Did you have parachute pants, somebody in the chat room asks.
Leo: Snoop was good. It was kind of a different half-time show. It was alright, it was good.
John: I would have been very bummed out by that particular blunt game.
Leo: I’m going to call myself Puff Goldie but next year it will be P-Goldie.
John: P-Goldie, yes! We’re going to have to stop now.
Leo: Our show brought to you today by stamps.com. Why go to the post office when you can print your own U.S. postage? Right from your computer and your printer. And I ain’t talking counterfeit here. And I ain’t talking a postage meter with special expense, special quotes, special ink that’s very expensive. It’s just your regular thing. In fact stamps.com is so great, you know sometimes postage they charge you when postage rates change, you have to bring it into the post office. And they go…
John: I’ve hoped they’ve change that plan now.
Leo: No they haven’t! Stamps.com, it’s automatic and they don’t charge you. In fact, it’s the best way to buy and print postage. If you’re in the business where you’re mailing stuff, even if it’s brochures or bills, but especially if it’s packages if you’re selling on Etsy, eBay, or Amazon, you need stamps.com. It turns your mail fulfillment to something that’s professional, works well, and looks great. In fact, you could even print those right on the envelope if you’re sending something in an envelope with your company logo, the return address. Print for any size package, any style of mail. You even get discounts you can’t get at the post office. And unlike the post office, stamps.com never closes. So 24/7, you’re able to do your stuff. Import addresses from your address book. Use cost-codes to track postage by spending by customer. Automatic address verification. And discounted package insurance all in one click. Plus you don’t have to hand-write forms ever. I always think that looks a little amateurish. It’s all printed out including the customs forms for international mailing, the certified mail and return receipts. They’ll send an email out to your recipients and say here’s the code. It is great. You save up to 80% compared to a postage meter and no more time consuming trips to the post office. Uniformed representative of the Federal government will come to your door, AKA your mail carrier. And take your mail away. Right now use my promo code TWIT, we’ve got a special offer for you. Just click that microphone in the upper-right-hand corner and fill in the offer code TWIT. It’s $110 bonus offer. You get the digital scale so you always have exactly the right postage. No more extra stamps just so you don’t get it returned. And $55 in free postage to use over the first few months of your account plus of course a free one-month trial of stamps.com. Go to stamps.com before you do anything else; click the microphone, type in TWIT. Stamps.com. You no longer have to create a Google Plus profile when you sign up for Gmail. Google’s really backing down on Google Plus. I don’t understand why; I like Google Plus. I don’t understand why they would go to all this trouble and then just…
John: That’s what they do.
Jason: I think they’re admitting that they let their corporate strategy beat out good user experience. Like shoe-horning too much into it. They just assumed everything Google was going to run through there, people haven’t embraced it like that. And it’s crippled some of their other features. Like Hangouts was a really great feature and yet it was extremely confusing on how to use it. Because it was so intertwined with Google Plus and since pushing them apart a little bit, it’s improved Hangouts. I bet there are people inside Google saying why do we have to do it this way. And finally they backed off.
Leo: So Larry Ellison, stepping down at Oracle. Mark Hurd and somebody named Sassafras are now co…
Dwight: Safra Catz.
Leo: Sassogas, what? Safra Catz, sorry!
Jason: Cats are running Oracle now? A herd of cats?
Leo: The CEO that was forced out of HP…
John: For being a sexist guy. In this day and age of…
Leo: What was he, I can’t remember the details.
Dwight: He came in and he was the cleanup person behind Carly Fiorina. And then somebody had to come in and clean up behind her. There was a sexual harassment suit. He hired somebody who basically was there to kind of be his hanger-on. And he was accused of harassing her.
Leo: And I remember Larry Ellison at the time, when I heard he was fired, saying that was the stupidest thing I heard. I’m going to hire him.
John: And the next thing you know he’s taking over the company.
Leo: Next thing you know he takes over the company, so you know Larry was serious.
Dwight: Hurd was also the CEO while all that stuff with the pretexting with the Board was going on.
Dwight: So there’s that as well.
Leo: Hurd will run Sales, Marketing and Strategy. Safra Catz will be Chief Financial Officer and oversee legal and manufacturing operations. Ellison of course is not leaving the company. He’ll be Chairman of the Board replacing Jeff Henley who’s going back to his career at the Eagles. He’s also going to take on the title of…
John: The Eagles?
Leo: Yea, Jeff Henley of the Eagles. Alto, California. It’s not that Jeff Henley?
John: I don’t think so.
Leo: He’s also going to take on the title of Chief Technology Officer. Now he is 70 years old. He’s a vital, good looking man for that age.
Dwight: He’s Tony Stark.
Leo: Is he Tony Stark or is Elon Musk Tony Stark?
John: Musk is Stark.
Leo: Larry Ellison, one of the richest guys in the world.
John: He gave up on trying to catch Bill Gates.
Leo: The company Oracle has a capitalization of $185B annual revenue of $38B. This is big iron databases. Wow. Is it a good product?
John: I can’t afford it.
Leo: It’s dominate, I guess at that price. So, is he not like Bill Gates? Like Steve Jobs? One of the guys, he founded Oracle in 1977 and has ran it ever since.
John: He’s always big iron though, he doesn’t count as…
Leo: He’s an enterprise guy.
John: There’s a lot of enterprise guys. You wouldn’t call John Akers for example some founding father of the computer revolution.
Leo: Gina Smith worked with him and was very close to him. I can’t remember if she worked on a book with him.
John: No, Net.
Leo: She founded Net Inc. which was a thin-client computer, CEO.
Dwight: He was a big champion of dumb terminal will run our software, which ultimately has become cloud computing.
John: Which is why I think he was always annoyed with the term cloud computing because it’s like he’s been playing that game all along and then this comes along.
Leo: There’s a difference between client-server computing and cloud computing.
John: Is there really now?
Leo: I think so. I think a cloud computer is still a computer with a CPU, its own storage and memory, but data is synced and stored in the cloud.
John: Google ChromeBook.
Leo: That’s more like a thin-client, I agree. But it does have its own CPU. The processing power is…
John: There hasn’t been a terminal made since 1980 that doesn’t have a CPU in it.
Leo: Well but how much of a CPU. Usually it’s just enough to communicate with the cloud. This thing is a full-blown computer.
John: the ChromeBook.
Leo: But you’re right it’s much more like a thin-client than anything else.
John: I think it’s the same thing. Just repackaged.
Leo: Larry owns the island of Lanao. He bought that in 2012.
John: It’s a leper island.
Leo: Lanao is where Bill Gates got married, right? It’s not like Larry’s going to build his super-secret lair.
John: It comes up and down and James Bond…
Jason: It’s not secret if he tells everyone about it, Leo.
John: He only bought it because Gates got married there and he said I’ll up the ante on Bill.
Leo: Turns out he’s going to build hotels there and it’s going to be very lucrative. It’s a business decision. Sounds better when you say he bought his own island like he’s going to live there.
John: A lot of people own islands. A lot of these super rich guys, they love to own islands. It doesn’t surprise me.
Jason: There’s some mud out in Petaluma River that’s available.
Leo: I want an island!
John: Yea, and island is the next stop for Leo.
Leo: What’s a good price on an island?
John: Doctor Evil’s island. You can buy Red Rock Island over here off the San Richmond Bridge for $5M.
Leo: That’s not bad.
John: No it’s not that bad. It’s always been for sale and nobody ever wants to buy it.
Leo: That’s a little more than this building. And this one’s for sale.
John: What are you going to buy this building?
Leo: No I want to buy Red Rock.
John: Red Rock Island?
Leo: We’ll build on Red Rock. Is there any internet on Red Rock?
John: Yes, wireless. Yea, you got wireless internet.
Jason: Larry is worth $46B according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s index. He also built and I think Gina told us about this, the Japanese-inspired home. She said it’s beautiful in Silicon Valley.
John: They won’t let you in. I’ve been to his apartment in Pacific Heights.
John: Yea, and it’s pretty aesthetic.
Leo: And he’s a yachtsman. He competed in the America’s Cup.
John: Used to. And he still runs the boats.
Leo: He sponsored the team that won, I think. He’s a rich guy.
John: Rich guy showing it off. Flaunting it.
Leo: If I were 70 and that wealthy, I think I might retire. What are you going to make more money?
John: I think you should go for it.
Leo: Some say according to San Francisco Chronicle’s website, the SF Gate, that it’s not in fact, he’s not really stepping down.
Jason: Well he’s the Chairman and he’s got these co-CEOs. So he’s obviously in control.
Leo: Chief Technology Officer sounds like he’s still very much involved.
Dwight: But why do this at all? If he’s still involved, I think there are other ways he can…
Dwight: He’s winding down.
Leo: Mike Wilson wrote the book the Difference Between God and Larry Ellison: God doesn’t think he’s Larry Ellison.
John: Classic! A completely classic line.
Leo: That’s the name of the book. He says you can give him titles or take away titles, but Larry will have a profound influence in that company for a while to come. I doubt there’s a founder with more power, even Mark Zuckerberg, than Larry’s managed to maintain.
John: Mark’s pushed around by a bunch of people.
Leo: Is he? Larry only gets a $1/hour salary.
John: That always annoys me. It’s like a scam.
Leo: And, 7M shares of stock!
John: That way he can avoid taxes. I’m telling you, I’m advocating wealth tax because if a wealth tax goes into play, these guys who keep saying they want to be taxable…
Leo: I only make a buck!
John: Well, it doesn’t make any difference with the wealth tax.
Leo: And the government still takes half of it. It pisses me off, 50 cents this year I paid in taxes. Ron Enderle says he’s the highest paid person in the valley. And that he thinks this is all stage managed to make investors who are mad at his, in fact very high salary, calm down. The big investor group, says Enderle, are having a cow for how much he’s making. And how badly Oracle was doing.
Jason: Well if Ron Enderle says it, you don’t believe the opposite.
Leo: I think it’s Ron, it says Ron here.
Jason: They’re just trolling Ron Enderle now. It could be Roy Enderle soon.
John: I think Rob’s got a very good take on some of this stuff.
Leo: Really? Because he’s kind of famous for being…
John: He’s famous for being quoted.
Leo: He’s quotable.
John: Yea, because he’s got a phone, every phone goes right to him. You can always get a hold of him. And he says what do you want a quote for?! That’s how he answers the phone. And then you say anything you want and he’s got a zinger.
Leo: That’s a good gig. He started Oracle in 1977 with just $2000.
John: That’s what he says.
Leo: In his pocket. Did he write the database or just…
John: Not that I know of.
Leo: What is his skill-set? Is he a salesman?
Dwight: He’s Tony Stark.
John: Well definitely a lot of sales skills. And schmoozer.
Dwight: Although he’s the CTO, so he must hopefully have some kind of technical background.
John: It’s like Bill Gates, it’s questionable whether he knows anything; how the database even works anymore.
Leo: If anybody gets his brain in a jar, it’ll be Larry Ellison.
Jason: Like lots of people get their brains in a jar!
John: Futurama! That guys going to be the president in 3000. The guy with the brain the jar. I got your brain here, Ellison! In a jar!
Jason: That is a strange way to compliment someone, Leo, really. The strangest I’ve ever heard. That guys a real jar-brain-guy, if you know what I mean.
Leo: But he has his brain in a jar. I think I’m punchy still from staying up all night through the iPhone. As long as I’m on the San Francisco gate, this is a story. Now I know John will have an opinion on this but apparently the taxi industry is just dying in San Francisco because of Uber and Lyft.
Jason: San Francisco, the city that has the worst served by its taxi.
Leo: It was terrible.
Jason: Big surprise that somebody found an alternative.
Leo: The number of taxi trips plummeted 65% in 15 months according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. That’s a big slide.
Leo: The average number of rides per taxi in March 2012 was 1,424 a month. And it’s down to 500.
Jason: I feel bad for the cab drivers whose livelihood is affected by this. But this is an example of a city that was not served well. There were never enough cabs. The way they sold the cab medallions, it was all this kind of artificial restraint. Nobody wanted to change. And the fact is San Franciscans were just tired; you could never rely on a taxi in San Francisco. And they’re tech-savvy people. And Uber and Lyft came in and people embraced it because they can get a car. So I feel bad for the taxi drivers. But this is an example of a market that was terribly served by traditional taxies and people got an alternative and took it. It’s not surprising at all.
Leo: Many cabs now have electronic handling apps similar to Uber.
Jason: Yea, I was in Portland and they used to have what’s called Taxi Magic which is now called some Bumper, something…
Leo: I don’t want to have a different app for every city. I guess if I live in San Francisco…
Jason: Right, but if you’re in Portland you get that app and use it. And that worked great. Actually it worked just as good as something like Uber. But in San Francisco it’s just been a very backward taxi culture.
Leo: Well this is another example of technology replacing something that wasn’t working. I feel kind of bad. The NFL made a deal with Microsoft saying that everybody in NFL will use Surface tablets during the game.
John: And they use them at all the preshows.
Leo: And they’re in these special blue rubber things that says Surface on the handle. Unfortunately the TV announcements keep calling them iPads.
Dwight: That’s a great story.
John: That should’ve been in the contract because the NFL does a deal with the TV networks. And they should have put in the contract. They start doing that then you’re not getting this money. They didn’t do that.
Leo: One Fox commentator, John Lynch told viewers the New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was not watching movies on his iPad during a game. He said players had iPad-like tools.
John: Well that’s a fact.
Leo: Trent Dilfer on Monday Night Football wondered how long it took Cardinals assistant head coach Tom Moore how long it took him to learn how to use the iPad. And on Sunday’s game between San Diego Chargers and Seattle Seahawks, a local television announcer balked when told the teams were using Surface devices. What? He said I thought it was an iPad.
John: Well the problem you’re going to run into if they keep calling everything an iPad that’s a tablet, is that Apple’s going to have to stop them from doing it. Because they’re going to lose their trademark. It’s public domain if you do that.
Leo: And then they all will be iPads.
Jason: Like Kleenex.
Leo: Microsoft paid $400M to be the official sideline technology of the NFL.
Dwight: That’s the problem right there.
Jason: It’s this weird divide though where you can’t tell the announcer to use, it’s like product placement. The announcer can say whatever they want.
Leo: They could call it a tablet.
Jason: Probably somebody should advise them that those aren’t iPads and they shouldn’t say that.
Leo: The tablet police. Actually a lot of people are saying good things about the Surface Pro 3. It seems to be selling very well. They may have turned it around with the Surface Pro 3.
Jason: I don’t know about selling. But I do know people like…
Leo: It’s sold out in many markets.
John: They bring ten into Cleveland and they sell them out! Sold out!
Jason: That was just the shipment for the Browns.
Leo: Yea, for the football team.
John: We see no evidence of this.
Leo: They’ve lost a lot of money.
John: Where’s your Surface? Because you buy everything that comes out.
Leo: I don’t have a Surface.
John: You buy everything that comes out.
Jason: I thought about buying one of those Surfaces when they cut the price to super cheap for the old model. I thought about buying one.
John: But you didn’t.
Leo: I thought about it.
John: You’ve got 10 iPhones sitting here and you got everything else, you got a Kindle.
Jason: You can assemble all the iPhones into something the size of a Surface.
Leo: This amazes me. This is where Apple is very strong. The high-end iPhone, the big 5.5 inch, if you got the 128 GB version, $950. People won’t spend $300 for a PC. Oh that’s too expensive. You got a $250 one. But $950 for a phone?
John: That’s why Apple’s doing so well. That’s why it’s a giant company.
Leo: It’s stunning!
Dwight: But most people don’t see the $950. They’re still buying the contract so it’s what, it’s $499?
John: Which is still pretty high.
Dwight: I got off the subsidized plan last year and so this was the first phone I bought where I no longer was on that AT&T plan. And I told my wife you know we’re paying $35 a month for the phone I’m going to get. And when it ships, I heard her call from the other room, you paid $850 for this phone?! No, I’m paying $35 a month, dear.
Leo: And that’s okay, right?
John: My phone here, this little phone…
Leo: The one I gave you?
John: No. Anyway this little phone, $30 a month.
Leo: You know someday I think your brain is going to be in a jar.
John: Yea, it could be. Any minute. This $30 a month, with a T-Mobile plan.
Leo: Do you have the 100 minute plan?
John: Yea, because I don’t talk that much on the phone. Unlimited text, unlimited data.
Leo: And 100 minutes of phone calls.
John: And if you do talk too much because sometimes you travel…
Leo: Does the phone stop working?
John: It tells you to call in and add some money.
Leo: Because it’s a go-phone. That’s why; it’s not a regular contract phone. It’s a month-to-month.
John: Yea, so you call them up and say I want $10 more for talking. And they say okay, no problem! And if you don’t use the whole $10 worth…
Leo: Do they talk like that, okay no problem?
Leo: You used to be a taxi dispatcher for the San Francisco cab company.
John: So when you give them the $10 extra for some more minutes and you didn’t use all but $8 of it, they put the $2 credit on the $30 for next month! It’s like why would you do anything else?
Leo: And this is why T-Mobile is the number one carrier in America today.
John: Are they?
Leo: I don’t know.
John: Well they should be.
Leo: I don’t think so.
Dwight: They’re the biggest driver of change among the carriers but they’re the ones that are forcing the rest of the carriers to come along. I think they’re number four.
John: They’re not that big but everyone likes working with them. I love these plans. It works. And they don’t steal your money, that’s what I like.
Leo: I like T-Mobile a lot. And that’s why I was trying to get a T-Mobile phone at the Apple store and they sold out. Even though they lied to me and said it’s locked, I know that I can go into a T-Mobile store with a T-Mobile phone and they’ll unlock it.
John: Well you can go in with this anyway and put a T-Mobile card in it. You said so yourself.
Leo: You’re right! But I didn’t know that ahead of time.
John: That’s what I’d want is a Verizon, a CMDA plus. That’s the phone you want.
Leo: Best of both worlds. That’s what I’m taking to London unless that Moto X calls my name in Scarlett Johansson’s voice.
John: That seems unlikely.
Leo: Oracle has a new kit, I’m sorry, Oculus. I have Larry Ellison on the brain. The new Oculus Crescent Bay VR, what do you call it, a visor? Do you call it a visor? It’s not a helmet.
Leo: Headset, alright.
John: Clunky headset, let’s be more specific.
Leo: Now 360 degree head tracking so you can look all the way up and all the way down.
John: And then throw up.
Jason: This one looks a little bit more like a circle mask.
Leo: And it’s got audio! Look at that, little built-in headphones. Now how much would you pay?
John: I think it would be funny if you put one of these on somebody and maybe drug them. And leave them sitting there and take their clothes off.
Leo: So they don’t know?
Leo: And they can tell they look around, look down and they got clothes on.
John: Yea, they look around or standing around in a huge group like this and we’re laughing at them. I’m just imagining these kinds of scenes.
Leo: Samsung made a version of the Oculus. They’re working with Oculus. When does the Samsung Gear VR gear come out? Is it soon?
John: Did you buy one already?
Dwight: I think it’s next year.
Leo: You have to have a note.
John: You have to have a note from your doctor probably.
Leo: Well they do make me nauseous so my doctor would have to be involved probably.
John: Oculus Strip.
Leo: Is this a gimmick?
Jason: I don’t think so. I think we’re not quite all the way there yet. There will be early adopters. I think for gaming it’s going to be big. I think it’s going to be either in PCs or consoles, or both. But the people I’ve talked to who’ve used it have been blown away by it. And they say the latest version is that much more impressive. It’s going to be a really immersive gaming experience. I don’t think we’re going to all be in neurmanswer or something where suddenly everybody is in the Matrix and we’re all seeing things like that. That’s going to be a long time if ever. But as a gaming accessory, yea I think it’s going to be big.
Leo: A Japanese company, Obayashi is going to build a space elevator. Should be up and running by 2050. My mind will be in a jar by then. But you can put that jar in an elevator and send it to space.
John: Send it to the moon.
Leo: A lot of science fiction is posseted that the whole problem with space travel is the earth’s gravity.
John: You used the word posseted.
Leo: Yea, is that an incorrect word?
John: Well why don’t you say posed or something?
Leo: Posseted. Isn’t that correct?
John: It sounds like you’re leaving dog crap somewhere.
Leo: Not deposited. I don’t know I’m sitting here with three writers.
John: Do you ever use posseted when you write, never!
Jason: Extremely rarely.
John: I’m all for you, Leo.
Leo: It is a verb.
John: I’m trying to help.
Leo: Assume as fact, put forward as a basis of argument. It’s like postulate. Advance, propound, submit, hypothesize. Propose or assert, which would you prefer of those? Here let’s play the audio.
John: I don’t know. Posseted, it just sounds like deposited.
Dwight: Pause it, I have to go to the bathroom.
John: I’m sorry, now I’ll get blamed for taking the show off the track.
Leo: All I remember is I was talking about the space elevator.
John: I think space elevators are bogus.
Jason: This is the idea is that the physics totally work if you can make a material strong enough to run that cable. And even this story it’s like with fusion right, it’s always 30 years away. And that’s what they say in this story. We think we can get the nanotube strong enough to do this by 2030. So really, it’s just coming in 15 years, they’ll be able to build it.
Leo: According to Mr. Shikawa, all you have to do is get something 100 times stronger than a steel cable.
Jason: No, the physics work. You drop a cable from space and tie it on at the equator somewhere. And it’s way cheaper than firing off…
Leo: What are you sitting in a bucket and then raise it up?
Jason: Well it’s counterweighted.
Dwight: There’s two buckets.
John: And for the next five weeks, you’re being towed up there.
Leo: How fast is it? Robotic cars powered by magnetic linear motors will carry people and cargo to a newly built space station at a fraction of the cost of rockets. It will take seven days to get there.
John: No problem. Where do you pee?
Jason: Expensive to build but super cheap once you build it.
John: In space, I guess. Nobody cares.
Leo: Right now we can make cables that strong but we can only make them three centimeters long.
Jason: Yea, they need to be a little bit longer.
John: It’s just a matter of time.
Leo: It’s a little tiny space elevator.
Jason: This is one of those things that if they can figure out a way to make this stuff, then they can totally change the technology of the 21st century. But it’s probably more likely than not that they can’t. But if they can, that would be awesome.
Leo: It costs a space shuttle $22,000 per kilogram because the rocket fuel is so expensive, to take cargo to space. For the space elevator, a couple hundred bucks.
Jason: That’s the payoff for building this space elevator.
Leo: That’s nothing!
John: Why just build one?
Leo: We should have them all over the earth.
Jason: Imagine the disaster movies. Then they’ll crash the space elevator and the cable will smash, and there will be super awesome explosions.
John: Falling down in San Francisco and takes out the Golden Gate Bridge.
Leo: Once you’re up there, then it’s cheap to go fly around.
Jason: Well yea, because you’re in space then.
Leo: There’s no gravity. You could take a can of Pam.
John: Yea, Pam. That’s what we need in space. It’s good for the environment to spray Pam.
Jason: And when your brain is in the jar, it will be lot less weight for that.
John: I like Pam! Big giant Pam, yes exactly.
Leo: I’m going to the moon! See you later!
John: Have a match in the Pam, get a little thrust off of that.
Leo: No for that, you want to use Final Net hairspray.
John: That will work.
Leo: Alright, we’re going to take a break. I don’t know what’s going on.
Dwight: Someone’s been watching Gravity.
Leo: That was a good movie.
Dwight: I like Gravity, yea.
Leo: Love that movie.
John: I like gravity but I didn’t’ like the movie.
Jason: You like the fundamental force of nature.
John: Yea, it helps.
Leo: I’m with you on that, John.
Jason: It’s how I keep all my stuff together.
Leo: It’s how you keep your brain in the jar, otherwise it would just float away. Our show today is brought to you by Audible. Love Audible books. Of course, the first thing I put on the new iPhone is the Audible app. I put it on every phone. Sign in all the books I’ve ever listened to on Audible since the year 2000. Mike Elgin and I were having a battle over who joined Audible first. It’s very close; we both joined in the year 2000. But I think I joined in February 2000 and he joined in March or April. It was that close. Audible has over 150,000 books in its library. I just finished Graham Nash’s autobiography. Wild tales about his rock and roll life. Quite enjoyed that. My next one, and everybody’s been saying get to it soon. It’s WTF, Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot. Have you read that yet? Because I’ve heard really good things about it. The story of Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot sounds like something ripped from today’s headlines. Something about a, well I’ll tell you what; this is David Shaffer’s new novel. The committee, a cabal of industrialists and media barons is on the verge of privatizing all information. Dear Diary, in an idealistic online underground stands in the way of that takeover using radical politics, classic spy crafts, and technology that makes big data look like dial up. Sounds really good.
Jason: It’s like a techno-thriller.
Leo: It’s a techno-thriller. That’s exactly what it is. The reason I mention these books is because you can get two books for free right now. A lot of us have been raving about the great new novel from Mark Russinovich. He is at Microsoft, in fact he’s kind of the guy who’s responsible for Asher at Microsoft. He did the incredible system tunnels. Microsoft bought them and hired him and got him writing his book Zero Day Trojan Horse and Rogue Code are great, because they again are ripped from the headlines. They’re about hackers. In Rogue Code, Mark Russinovich talks about high frequency trading and hackers who get code into the stock market. It’s just, I can’t wait to read it. You’re an Audible listener, right? What’s your book?
Jason: Yea, so Nexus. Since you mentioned Microsoft, Ramez Naam who used to work at Microsoft I believe. He has a great series, it starts with a book called Nexus. Which is about what if you could basically code your brain to be an operating system. And what would happen when you can start hacking your brain and other people’s brains. And it’s pretty awesome. Great speculation.
Leo: You liked it? You’ve got some great sci-fi recommendations.
Jason: Yea. And it’s got the ups and downs of that technology and how it would affect people. And the government wants to control it. Really good stuff. From someone who is from the tech industry. He’s a really good novelist.
Leo: That’s why I like Russinovich’s books because they’re so accurate. You know this is all true. I’ll tell you what, there’s an infinite amount of great material. Well not quite infinite, 150,000 titles. More than you could ever listen to in a lifetime. Classics like the Heart of Darkness read by Kenneth Branna. The Legends of King Arthur and his Knights, Robert Lewis Stevenson. There’s all sorts of great stuff. And of course modern novels. All the big novelists come out in audio books, same day and date as the books come out on the bookstore shelves. The new Jonathan Kellerman is coming soon, the Gollum of Hollywood. I think the thing to do is go to audible.com. Oh, Peter Teal has a new book. Actually I’ve been reading excerpts from this.
John: It’s his speeches from Stanford.
Leo: It’s his speeches, okay. Zero to One, notes on startups or how to build the future. Peter Teal of course, the man most famous for funding Facebook in the earliest days. But he’s a very successful, is he an angel?
John: He was the guy that died on the Silicon Valley show. That character…
Leo: Yea, he was supposed to be Peter Teal. This would be really great. So these are speeches that he gave or a talk he gave?
John: No he was a guest lecturer.
Leo: Oh, so there were lectures. Four hours and fifty minutes, that’s a good amount. Anyway, here’s the deal. You can get two books for free. We’re going to send you to audible.com/twit2. All one word. You’ll be signing up for the platinum plan, that’s the subscription plan that gives you two books a month. You’ll also get the daily digest of the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal as part of your subscription. That’s awesome. But the first month’s free. You get two credits, and get two books. Cancel it anytime in the first 30 days pay nothing, and those books will always be yours in your library. I think you’re going to stick around. There’s so many great things to read and learn, and enjoy. If you’ve got a commute or if you go to the gym. If you walk the dog or do the dishes, there’s nothing like it. Audible.com/twit2. And get started listening today. I think you’re going to like it. Two books free. You’ve heard us talk about it. Do it. Don’t put it off any longer. How Google Works by Eric Schmidt. You should know. This isn’t out yet. This is coming out in two days. Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg. And Alan Eagle. Google executive chairman and ex-CEO Eric Schmidt and former SVP of products Jonathan Rosenberg came to Google over a decade ago. So this is how they put together that first decade of Google. That’s interesting. Joan Rivers, I Hate Everyone Starting With Me. She wasn’t too bitter. Good stuff here. Audible.com/twit2. So pass this along to your friend Adam Curry. Nvidia’s new GPU proves there really was a moon landing.
John: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Leo: Well I don’t know what I am either. Let’s see. It says despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, there still exists some people who believe that the moon landing was a hoax. A TV drama, produced by Stanley Kubrick and presented as fact to dupe the Soviet Union into giving up the space race.
John: Never knew this.
Leo: Well what does Adam think? I’ll have to ask him.
John: You should bring him on the show.
Leo: No, last time I asked him it didn’t go so well.
John: Well that’s because you demoted him. You hate him.
Leo: I asked him…
John: You hate him, it’s obvious.
Leo: This deliciously ludicrous conspiracy theory has been debunked countless times but now its advocates have one more refutation. Nvidia’s Voxel Global Illumination Tech-demo. A GPU powered recreation of the Apollo 11 landing site. That uses dynamic lighting technology to address common claims of moon deniers.
John: This is a publicity stunt for NVidia.
Leo: It seems like a bit of a paper tiger. They’re jousting.
Jason: Those people are just going to say that’s what they want you to think.
John: Have NVidia go work on why WTT7 fell down. That would be more contemporary. It makes nothing but sense that it would collapse at gravity speeds.
Leo: 3D rendition of a photograph showing Buzz Aldrin descending a ladder to the moon’s surface. They show that the light is exactly right, and so forth. That’s kind of cool. It is, it’s a publicity stunt.
Dwight: One of my favorite videos is of Buzz Aldrin punching some guy out who was telling him the moon landing wasn’t real.
Leo: Well that’s exactly what you’d expect if he was lying about the whole thing. He’d hit the guy, right?
Leo: Which proves it.
John: You’re all mocking just a poor innocent public.
Leo: Buzz Aldrin, there’s the real one and there’s the simulation.
Chad: It’s actually the opposite. This one is the simulation and this one is the real thing.
Leo: That’s my point, you can’t tell the difference. Amazing simulation.
Chad: Actually no, in the video it’s flip. It’s really hard to tell.
Leo: Which one’s right, which one’s left? Internet retailers are facing new rules from the Federal Trade Commission requiring them; this is important, you should know this, to ship your order on time or offer a refund. Online sellers are going to be required to ship merchandise within 30 days of purchase. I didn’t know they weren’t. Within 30 days of purchase, or else give you the option for refund.
John: That’s nothing new.
Leo: Apparently not. The rule prohibits sellers from soliciting mail, internet, or telephone order sales unless they have a reasonable basis to expect they can ship the ordered merchandise within the time stated. You know who this affects is somebody like Coin. Who raised a lot of money at $55 a pop for that charge card that you can preprogram. And they still haven’t shipped it. They were supposed to ship it this summer and they say now it’s probably going to be next year.
John: That was raising money.
Leo: That wasn’t merchandise. That’s raising money.
John: Yea, that’s different. It’s not selling something.
Leo: I think a lot of people who paid $55 thought they were going to get a Coin.
John: And they still might.
Jason: This doesn’t seem to have been a Kickstarter or something like that.
Leo: There’s no way it would… so okay, you’re right John. This has been a rule but only for companies who sell merchandise through catalogues. And then telephone sales that did not extend to the internet, it now does. So that’s what’s new.
John: Oh, just take the old law, and make the internet on it.
Leo: Internet makes it with it, and tip. Cool. I think we’re done for the day. I thank you so much. We didn’t talk at all about MacWorld. We just kind of mentioned it. Tell us what happened.
Jason: Oh well a bunch of us, I’ve been thinking of leaving for a while. And it turned out the timing was such that I left along with many of my colleagues. They laid off a bunch of people. IDG actually in general laid off a bunch of people.
Jason: You’d have to ask them. I’m not sure.
John: Oh come on, there’s gossip.
Leo: He doesn’t want to speak for them.
John: Well he’s not working for them anymore.
Jason: I don’t know if I can profess to understand the reason this time. This has been the latest…
Leo: There’s no question that print magazine; you were editor in chief of MacWorld and you were at IDG for 17 years.
Jason: I think it’s more complicated than any one reason. And honestly, the founder and owner of IDG passed away earlier this year. And he had a really soft spot for the media.
Leo: Is that Pat McGovern?
Jason: Pat McGovern, yea.
Leo: I didn’t know he passed away.
John: Yea it was six months ago.
Leo: Oh, that’s sad.
Jason: So the people in charge now don’t have the same priorities. They have different priorities. And I think they’re funding his foundation.
Leo: What happens to MacWorld Expo?
Jason: I don’t know the answer. That’s run by a separate part of IDG and I haven’t heard whether they’re continuing that or not. They haven’t announced that they’re not.
Leo: PC World has stopped publishing.
Jason: What happened to MacWorld magazine is that it went out of print just like PC World did last year. They’re still going to do a digital edition on the iPad and a PDF.
Leo: So if I go to macworld.com; oh they’re doing an iPad edition.
Jason: Yea, macworld.com and pcworld.com are still there and Tech Hive and Green Bot, they’re still there. But the staff is much smaller than it used to be.
Leo: Tech Hive was yours?
Leo: It was a little painful that it happened a day after Apple’s iPhone announcement.
Jason: Yea, I would say people have portrayed that as being sort of a calculated thing about MacWorld.
John: Cold-blooded is the way it would seem.
Jason: But I mean laying people off, you can judge that however you like. I would say those layoffs happened across IDG everywhere in the U.S. And that’s the date they picked. It wasn’t tied to just MacWorld. It’s the day they picked.
Leo: Well in fact, I think here on October 21st, a new Apple announcement. And those guys won’t be there to cover it.
Jason: That’s the sad thing. There are a lot of great people I worked with at MacWorld. I’ve been planning my next move for a while now. But a lot of great people I work with there who are no longer there, who will hopefully be finding great new things to do.
Leo: Well it was great to hear Serenity Caldwell went to work for…
Jason: Yea, before this was announced, she decided she was leaving.
Leo: This happened to Tech TV. People started seeing the writing on the wall before the actual sale. And they started looking for work earlier. Chris Breen?
Jason: Chris Breen is still at IDG, still with MacWorld. You know Dan Friggs is looking for something new and Dan Moore and a bunch of other people.
John: Why don’t you put him on the network?
Leo: Dan Moore is actually already working with Jason on a podcast.
Jason: Yea, we got a podcast.
Leo: You’ve got the Incomparable. You have a new website called Six Colors, appropriately named at sixcolors.com. And you’re already doing reporting.
Jason: Yea, this is just me for now with some guest stars. I’ve got a lot of friends who are good writers, who are currently without a place to write. And over time, who knows. If it can grow and be a place where I can have other writers that will be great too.
Leo: Well I remember very well when I got my first Mac in 1984, there was a blowing card for a new magazine called MacWorld. It might have even included the magazine, I’m trying to remember. And I’ve read MacWorld ever since, since 1984.
Jason: It is an end of an era. There was a time when I wrote this piece that you’re looking at, for the Verge, I tried to mention, there was a time when there were no tech blogs, there were no websites. And products would get announced in six weeks, two months later. You would hear about them, and you would pour over every page of the magazines because that’s all the information we got about new technology.
Leo: I did it, absolutely.
Jason: My first job was a Mac User magazine where the back page column, there was this cranky guy named John C. Dvorak. So it’s been a crazy ride.
Leo: He was the anti-editor.
John: I was hired for the specific purpose of being a troublemaker.
Jason: Yes, and you did a great job at that. You can see.
John: They still hate me, I was that good at it. These guys hold a grudge.
Leo: Is there anybody printing computer magazines anymore?
Jason: Future is still printing Mac Life although it’s done out of, largely done out of their U.K. offices now.
John: I think in England you’re going to find them.
Jason: Yea, and in other parts of the world there are.
Leo: But here in the states, we just don’t read paper magazines.
Jason: Well there are still lots of paper magazines out there. But I think as tech magazines go, the rest of the industry follows. That’s the cutting edge. Those readers are a little ahead of everybody else on technology. The rest of them will get there.
Leo: I have to say I haven’t gotten a paper newspaper in three years. I get the New Yorker but I don’t get the paper.
John: I took a subscription to the New York Times for a while. And I don’t remember why I take these subscriptions, because I end up with piles and piles of paper.
Leo: You can bring them next time. Because the only bad thing about not subscribing to the newspaper anymore is I can’t start my barbeque anymore.
John: Fish wrap.
Dwight: You guys hurt my soul.
Leo: Of course Dwight Silverman who is an ink-stained wretch from way back when at the Houston Chronicle. But even the Chronicle’s gone through changes. And even your role there has changed, Dwight.
Dwight: Yes, and increasingly we’re online. But what’s interesting at least in Houston because the economy’s so good, we’re actually doing pretty well. We may be an unusual case for newspapers.
Leo: The one category that still seems to print magazines is gaming. Aren’t there a couple gaming magazines?
Dwight: Oh and also, kind of like niche. I think there are some enterprise; because actually a lot of the old school enterprise guys would rather get it I think on print.
John: That way they can have their feet up on the desk and have the print thing in front of them so nobody knows they’re sleeping. You can’t do that online.
Leo: Well it’s an end of an era. And Jason, I’m so glad you live nearby. And we expect to see a lot more of you here.
Jason: I love being here.
John: Where are you from? Where’d you move to?
Jason: I live in Marin, Mill Valley. So it’s just a short drive. I don’t have to cross a bridge or anything. So if there’s an earthquake, I can still get here.
Leo: I was talking to Jason Hunter at Tech Republic. He’s writing a book about media and startups. He was very kind, I think he was going to include me in the book. And we were talking about my history. Starting with you back at KNBR in the early 90’s. And I started talking about computers and you very kindly gave me some credibility.
John: By hanging out.
Leo: By letting me answer some questions, some computer questions.
John: You are a tech nerd. You are much more so than not. Now you’re just a phone guy.
Leo: I never wanted to be a phone guy. Believe me, but it seems like people don’t use computers much anymore.
John: Who would have figured that out?
Leo: Who would have thought that? But at the time, I think you were writing a column a day.
John: Yea, I’ve gone through different phases of writing.
Dwight: A column a day!
Leo: Not for any one periodical, but for a bunch of them. All of them. Yea, you were in every…
John: I was in every place.
Leo: I think I called you the world’s most prolific computer writer.
John: You’d be surprised.
Leo: Do you still write at all?
John: Yea, I write for PC Magazine. I do a little writing for Gina. Last year, I was writing for PC Magazine on a daily basis. I write for the online and then they have a tablet version of the magazine which is different.
Leo: How’s PC Magazine doing online? I mean it’s not as big as it used to be.
John: Of course not. I think it’s competitive online, as with anybody else.
Leo: So it is possible to make revenue doing that.
Jason: PC World has a lot of traffic too. It’s on the web.
Leo: Tech Hive is great.
Jason: When I left IDG, we were so focused on the web. And it’s funny that the story is that MacWorld print is shutting down. Because the fact is the editors have been focused on the website for years now. And print magazine was always a best of the website compilation every month. But it’s still sad.
Leo: Well I’m so glad to have you here. And we’ll have some more of you. And people should go to sixcolors.com.
John: Did you just move to Marin? What’s the deal?
Jason: No, I’ve lived in Marin since 99. A long time.
Leo: He comes up a lot.
Jason: Sixcolors.com, check it out.
Leo: I just said he will have more time now.
Jason: I’m not commuting into San Francisco anymore.
John: I see what you’re getting at. You could put his show on the thing. It’s a distribution network.
Jason: That’s technical: put the show on the thing.
Leo: Put your mind in a jar, put your troubles at ease. Because the world is moving into a space elevator any day now.
Jason: It’s all going to end in a space elevator.
John: Channeldvorak.com. The no agenda show. Try to bring the site down. Square Space.
Leo: Square Space, you’ll never bring it down.
John: We’re talking about all kinds of stuff.
Leo: It’s good to see you once again.
John: Always a pleasure, Leo.
Leo: That was so insincere.
John: No it wasn’t!
Leo: You should attempt to be more sincere I think. And Mr. Dwight Silverman, always a pleasure to have you. I’m glad things are going well at the Chron. Man, if you lived closer, I’d like to have you in here too more often.
Dwight: Well I think some time I think I may just say to hell with it and fly out there and break into the studio.
Leo: Would you? I think the last time we pressed the flesh was in 2010 at the iPad announcement.
Dwight: Right, it was the iPad launch.
Leo: That’s been a while.
Dwight: Yea, it’s been too long.
Leo: It used to be because of CCX and Comdex. People would get together a few times a year. Not anymore. Everyone’s in their own little tech hive.
Dwight: Right, our brains are in jars.
Leo: Just a bunch of brains in jars. Hey we do TWiT every Sunday afternoon, 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern time, 2200 UTC. Once again next week we’ll be an hour earlier because I’m going to try and get out here and fly to London shortly after the show. I will not miss a show though.
John: On a jet.
Leo: I’ll be back before the next TWiT.
John: First-class, right?
Leo: Upper-class we call it. I’m on Virgin Atlantic.
John: Virgin upper-class. Do you have to sing and dance like they used to do?
John: You used to have to sing and dance and get a free ticket to upper-class.
Leo: To get on the plane?
John: If you were Eric Clapton.
Leo: Virgin Atlantic, I want to fly with you! Something like that?
John: Yea, that will work. You could do it.
Leo: 2pm we’ll be starting. I do invite you all to join us live. If you can’t we’ve got on-demand audio and video after the fact every week at twit.tv and wherever better podcasts are aggregated. Look for iTunes and that kind of thing. I posset you will be back. Thanks for joining us. We’ll see you next time. Another TWiT is in the can! Thank you.