This Week in Tech 477 (Transcripts)
Leo LaPorte: It’s time for TWiT, This Week in Tech. Baratunde and Bilton are here. We’re also going to talk about Shellshock with our security expert, Steve Gibson. And Ello, the new social network to replace Facebook. Maybe not. It’s coming up next on TWiT.
Net casts you love from people you trust. This is TWiT! Bandwidth for This Week in Tech is provided by Cache Fly. At cachefly.com.
This is TWiT, This Week in Tech. Episode 477, recorded Sunday, September 28, 2014
This Week in Tech is brought to you by Legal Zoom. Visit legalzoom.com to save on your legal needs. And gain access to a network of legal plan attorneys for guidance. Legal Zoom is not a law firm. They provide self-help services at your specific direction. Visit legalzoom.com and use the offer code TWIT to receive $10 off at checkout. And by Zip Recruiter. Zip Recruiter makes hiring faster, easier, and cheaper. Post your job to 50 plus job boards with one click. Try Zip Recruiter with a free four-day trial now. At ziprecruiter.com/twit. That’s ziprecruiter.com/twit. And by Harry’s! For guys who want a great shave experience for a fraction of what you’re paying now. Go to harrys.com. Get $5 off your first purchase by entering the code TWIT5 when you check out. And by Nature Box. Nature Box ships great tasting, healthy snacks right to your door. Forget the vending machine, start snacking smarter with healthy, delicious treats like Kung POW pretzels. Whoa, delicious. To get your free Nature Box sampler, go to naturebox.com/twit. That’s naturebox.com/twit. It’s time for TWiT, This Week in Tech. Ladies and gentlemen the show where we talk about the week’s tech news. And what a week this has been. Let’s introduce our panel. I’ve got their books right here. The author of How to Be Black, Mr. Baratunde Thurston who we adore. I just realized on the back cover of your book, you’re wearing an infinity scarf.
Baratunde Thurston: It just looks like that. It’s actually a normal scarf that I just wrapped.
Leo: I didn’t even know infinity scarves existed until the most recent either Apple event or Samsung event. I think it was the Apple event to demonstrate a game. He was European. And he had a ring of scarf that was never ending. It was just a ring. He must have pushed it over his head. And apparently that’s the thing today. And you invented it.
Baratunde: Thank you.
Leo: Yes. We love Baratunde. His company cultivated Whipring’s Comedy to some of the most tragic corporations in America. Is that not right?
Baratunde: I wouldn’t ever put it that way. That’s amazing. No, we essentially have a marketing firm operation using humor in design to help people tell stories. We’ve done that for teaching recruitment efforts to get more science, tech, engineering, and math into America. That’s over at glowminds.org. Animated music video, so I wouldn’t call that a tragic client.
Leo: No, I was teasing.
Baratunde: No, I want to take it very seriously.
Leo: Well I have missed you. I love having you on the show. Anytime you’re around; Baratunde is right now in his San Francisco offices, you’ve got a comedy hack-a-thon coming up?
Baratunde: That’s right, tonight.
Leo: Where’s that going to be?
Baratunde: Bravo Theater at 7:00. They’re still seats available. Best comedy show that you haven’t seen yet.
Leo: You hack software and jokes.
Baratunde: The idea is to explore new ways to be funny and new ways to be creative. At the high-end, humanized tech, at the basic end, be funny in a way. So people have made comedic, often satirical apps. They actually have to work and we’ve got some real zingers coming on stage tonight. I’m very excited. We’ve got some hardware going on which is rare for us. That’s good.
Leo: How fun. Where could people go to find out more about that?
Baratunde: Yea, we’ll be in Los Angeles the weekend of December 5th with the same event. And on the 15th, Julio’s.
Leo: You know why that’s good? Because Nick Bilton moved away from San Francisco. He’s in Los Angeles.
Baratunde: Loving it. What’s up, Nick?
Leo: Oh Nick. See you made it three years in San Francisco and that was it.
Nick Bilton: It was exactly three years to the day and then it was just like I’m out of here. Too many nerds.
Leo: You said in the New York Times that it was too geeky even for you.
Nick: Well you know what, okay let me clarify a little bit here. Is my microphone farting a little bit?
Nick: Is that okay? Is it better?
Leo: Well it’s better not to fart. But you are amongst friends. So an occasional pop is fine.
Baratunde: We tend to find with those mics if you don’t bend it towards your mouth, not away, just straight.
Nick: Should I put it in the other room?
Leo: Yea, give it a time out.
Nick: No, I write about technology and culture for the New York Times, which is a mainstream audience that crosses the globe. And I’ve found that you live in San Francisco. And what’s amazing about it is there are cars that drive by that don’t have people in them. And there are drones that fly over your head. And there’s an app to pick up your dog poop. And all these really cool things. But that’s not the way the rest of the world lives. And I’ve found that trying to cover technology for the mainstream in San Francisco was very difficult. So I moved to L.A.
Leo: There’s a bubble in San Francisco. Absolutely. One of the reasons we’re in Petaluma, an hour north is we’re close enough to cover it. But we’re far enough so that we’re not in the reality distortion field of San Francisco. But L.A. has its own.
Nick: Absolutely. But it has its own without a doubt especially when it comes to film. But when it comes to the way people use technology, not so much. I think it’s comparative to lots of other places across the U.S. And I don’t know, it’s been really interesting. There’s also some amazing technology stories down here. If you look at the biggest tech stories of last year, you’ve got Beats L.A., you’ve got Snap Chat, L.A. Whisper, L.A. Oculus. The O.C. which is an hour south. All the biggest stories that were happening last year were down here. And part of the reason I think is because it’s no longer about the technology. It’s about the content and who does content better than Hollywood.
Leo: Convergence is finally happening. Nick is the author of a great book now in paper-back, Hatching Twitter. Really great story. We talked about it last time you were on.
Nick: Thank you very much. And I came in a little late. Were you guys bitching about Twitter and people on it? Because I agree, it sucks.
Leo: We’ll get to that. I want to talk also about this social network that all the cool kids are on. It’s called Ello.
Baratunde: Leo, I’ve already left Ello. I’m hanging out on the Oy now.
Leo: Oy! I like Oy, I would join Oy!. Yea, Oy’s the new Ello. We’ll talk about that in a second but I want to introduce Steve Gibson. The host of Security Now. Great guy when it comes to explaining security. Because this was the week of arguable, one of the worst vulnerabilities every. Some were saying heart bleed, shell-shock. Hey, Steve.
Steve: Hey, Leo! Great to be with you for this Sunday’s TWiT!
Leo: I know we’ll talk about Shellshock on Wednesday with Windows Weekly. The new Windows comes out on Tuesday. But for the TWiT audience, I think it’s fair to talk about. First of all, this is a vulnerability in a platform, something like 75-80% of all Linux. And Mac computers use the born-again Shell Bash. And that wouldn’t be necessarily a big deal unless your computer’s out on the network. But it turns out that Bash is also widely used on computers that are running web servers.
Steve: Well it also turns out, for example whenever you connect your computer to a network and it does that obtaining an IP address thing, that’s called DHCP: dynamic host configuration protocol. It turns out that that uses Bash in many instances. So if you are on an evil network, the fact that your computer may be using Bash way behind the scenes without you even being aware of it, could create a vulnerability. So this is different than Heart Bleed. People may remember that. The way you can think about comparing them is that with Heart Bleed, there was a very small probability that a hacker who was trying really hard might be able in some circumstances possibly to capture the encryption keys for a server. So it was unlikely to happen and at first people didn’t believe it at all. And then some people demonstrated they actually had been able to get it to happen. So very slim chance that something really bad could happen to one particular server. With this vulnerability, the Shellshock vulnerability, the moment the experts were informed of it, there was this collective gasp across the internet. Because this was easy to do. In fact, there’s a rating system for vulnerabilities for how hard it is to do. How likely it is to happen. How much expertise you have to have. This was a 10 out of 10 in horror for every single one of those parameters.
Leo: I know that’s the case because our own system in Bear, minutes before this vulnerability became known was emailing us saying I’m patching the server now. Because we run on an Apache with NGX in front of it. We’re using Apache and of course that means Bash is accessible. What is the scenario that Shellshock gets activated in on a web server that is sitting publicly on the internet?
Steve: The history of this is that Bash is this command interpreter that the Unix systems and then Linux have had for more than 20 years.
Leo: It was written at the request of Richard Stallman for the Free Software Foundation. Stallman wanted a non-proprietary shell that could execute SH scripts. And he got Brian Fox to write it. Brian was working at the Free Software Foundation at the time. That was 1989. Has this bug been present since then?
Steve: Since a few years later. It was turned over to another programmer who’s been maintaining it ever since. For the last 20 years. Just sort of as a hobby, unpaid in the background. And the problem is that Unix way of doing things is to look around at the various components you have. The various tools and glue a solution together by calling this and then calling that and using this to go do that. And it’s sort of an ad hoc toolkit approach.
Leo: We should point out that this is well-accepted. Often thought to be the best way to do it. To have small programs that do one thing well that can then pipe into another program and you can put together a series of programs to get something done. In fact, this kind of factoring should be more secure.
Steve: Bash was one of those tools. And through time, it became more and more powerful. It’s got some amazing features now and it ended up being incorporated throughout computer-Unix systems and internet-connected systems as part of this toolkit. What was discovered a few weeks ago, and it was kept quiet while it filtered through the patching community who were immediately working to get this fixed, was that there was a way that any sufficiently knowledgeable hacker-but you don’t have to be a power hacker. You can be as they’re sometimes referred to, a script kitty who basically knows how to make things go-it turns out there was a way that an internet server was inadvertently exposing access to this what is ultimately a powerful command system back behind the scenes in Unix. So that it was easy for them that is anyone on the internet, to get that internet computer, that server, to execute arbitrary commands. And that’s like the worst possible thing that could happen.
Leo: Are you saying that any web server that has Bash is typically used to run CGI scripts but has Bash acceptable could be compromised?
Steve: We’re still trying to root out all the different possible ways that we might inadvertently have contact with Bash. PHP is still not completely sure there isn’t a way for some PHP interpreters that might use Bash for some function.
Leo: PHP can easily exec out to a Bash script. I’ve don’t it all the time.
Baratunde: Steve, what does this mean for me and people? Does this affect your Android phone or iPhone, your web connected home device? What did the practical impact of this…?
Nick: What Baratunde is really asking is it going to affect his porn consumption?
Leo: It’s already affected that.
Baratunde: For many people who have that question, so thanks for representing that, Nick.
Steve: The initial concern was that the so-called internet of things or light bulbs and refrigerators and microwave ovens and things, might be affected. And our home routers that are now so ubiquitous.
Baratunde: So could I pull up Stucksnit based on this?
Nick: I’ve heard Stucksnit has died. Sorry.
Steve: One of the things the people recognized was very warmable. And within 24 hours, there were internet worms created, it would find a computer that would then start finding other computers that would find other computers. A denial of service, Botnet was created using this. It took nothing for the hackers to jump onboard. It does look like the concern for appliances is a little less extreme than we were first worried. Because Bash is one of the larger command shells and many of the systems that are more lean have used alternative shells that are much smaller and don’t essentially have the power that Bash has. And it was from that power that Bash acquired over time that this problem arose. The real takeaway is be aware of the next few weeks of available updates to anything you have.
Leo: Macintosh for instance, which have command lines have the Bash shell. That’s the default command line shell on Macintosh. But unless your Macintosh is set up in such a way that somebody can log in to your computer which is not the normal default, you’re probably not vulnerable, right?
Steve: Except this DHCP concern. That’s one place where, you’d have to be on an evil network, but that’s the case in example in open Wi-Fi if you went to Starbucks. Your machine would be receiving an IP address and that process often executes Bash in the background as part of it.
Nick: So Steve, should we not be using Wi-Fi in coffee shops in the next few weeks? Is that the only thing we have the ability to avoid doing?
Steve: It’s been demonstrated that DHCP is a vector. So if you exposed yourself to a network where this had been set up you would be in trouble.
Nick: Here’s the question I have. Every day we write about some sort of hacking. Some sort of bug, some sort of whatever it is. I joked with my colleague, Nichole Proroff who’s the security reporter for the New York Times that she could literally write a document and fill in the words. And it says on Monday is the date you fill in and you name the company that was hacked and how many people’s accounts, and credit cards; it seems like every day there is some sort of thing that is going on. And some sort of vulnerability, whether its iCloud or Bash or this that, or the other. Isn’t there a point where we’re like, okay we’re on the internet? Bad things are going to happen?
Leo: I’d hate to get to that point. That’s called despair.
Nick: But that’s kind of where we are. Even though credit cards are stolen every single day from all the different websites, we still go places.
Leo: In the United States, the luxury of the banking laws we don’t have to worry. The credit card companies are the responsible party there. And that’s I think one reason that most people in the U.S. anyway don’t pay any attention. So what if Home Depot got hacked. It’s only going to cost Bank of America or whoever is holding my credit card. Of course we end up paying for it but we don’t have to see it directly. I think this issue is a large issue for a couple reasons. First of all we do keep seeing flaws in open-source software. This flaw has been around for 20 years. That’s a significant amount of time. We don’t know when it was first discovered. This is when a white hat hacker discovered it. Somebody at Disperski discovered it. Steve, is it conceivable that it’s been used by others for some time including maybe the NSA?
Steve: Yea, that question of course is inevitable. And it is absolutely possible. And it would generally not leave a trail. That is, the access is so rich that you could use it to install something that would remove traces of itself.
Leo: It’s kind of a classic exploit. We’ll let you get in and then eliminate any footprints.
Baratunde: Other than Nick’s question about how we individually behave in coffee shops, going back to these internet of things and potential vulnerability; is there more owness on a manufacturer to make their devices securable when things like this are discovered? Is there an upgrade path or a firmware patch, or a software patch that we consumers are going to have to add to the cost of owning connected devices? You don’t just buy it, you have to maintain it?
Steve: That’s a great question, specifically about the non-mainstream devices. For example, light bulbs don’t currently have an automatic upgrading-updating patching facility. We now have that maturely on all of our computers and our smart phones and so forth. As things are discovered and patched, our desktop computers go out and get themselves updated. And our smartphones do, and our iOS apps and so forth. But there isn’t that maturity right now in the infrastructure for the internet of things devices. And it’s looking like we’re really going to need that kind connected self-healing technology as we move forward. Because with this tremendous capability comes responsibility.
Leo: Here’s the other issue that maybe the larger issue; I think this is not, and correct me Steve if I’m wrong, this is not something that home users are saying oh my God, my Bash Shell is vulnerable. However if websites are hacked and if they’re easily hacked-and we’ve already seen this exploited, it’s being used right now-the first thing that happens is now it’s put on the website which might very well affect and unpatched Windows PC.
Steve: What I think we’re probably really going to see is the 99-1 rule, where essentially 99% of the systems, the big ones, are going to get updated and patched very quickly. But there will be those in the closets, those in the back room.
Leo: This is the same as Heart Bleed. Let me ask you about the patch scenario. There have been several patches. Has it been patched? Is it effectively patched? What was wrong with the first patch?
Steve: When we talk about open-source versus closed, one of the neatest things about open-source is what we’ve just seen in the last week. This came to the industry’s attention and because it was open-source, the industry’s best people were able to pile on. And we were able to use all of the tools that we have for interacting in order to compare notes and find things and share discoveries. As a result, rather than waiting months for this to be fixed as often happens over in the closed sector, this thing just got fixed in minutes.
Leo: I have to point out in Ars Technica is reporting this that while the patch fixed one test case, many are concerned that other vulnerabilities remain.
Steve: Yea, and that’s actually more the fault of how much depth this has. That is what they’re trying to do is remove some functionality which has been there and is in use.
Leo: So it will break backwards compatibility?
Steve: Correct. They could have fixed it instantly if they just took out the ability to parse a command in an environment variable. But it turns out many things use that. So the problem has been how do we neuter the malicious use without killing off the good use. And this is the problem; it’s so pervasive. Exactly as you were saying, Leo, in PHP they’ll peel open shells out to Bash in order to perform that function. And we can’t kill that. So it’s really required some delicate surgery and there’s been no time for it.
Leo: Well this is good. Well that’s nice!
Baratunde: I have a possible solution. I was taking Intro to Computer Science in college. I did a final project and wrote a shell with my lab partner. Maybe we could dust off that code and put something out into the world.
Leo: Baratunde shell, I like it. The B-Shell. That’s actually the irony of it. Shells are not complicated. They’re easy. One of the reasons this has been maintained by one guy, written by one guy and maintained for 20 some years by one guy, is because it’s fairly straight forward. I’ve used Bash for years. I have hundreds of Bash scripts.
Nick: So should we rename the show to This Week in Code.
Leo: No, we’re going to move on. I take that as a vote from the peanut gallery to get rid of this Bash guy. Anyway, so it’s out there. I guess Baratunde’s point is well-taken. Is there anything normal people should worry about at this point? Is there anything we should do?
Steve: No. I would be on the lookout for updates and take them seriously. Because if there are vulnerabilities that are found in the devices we have, it’s probably worth getting rid of them sooner rather than later. Because the hackers are really having a ball with this.
Leo: So they’re having quite a few exploits in the wild already?
Steve: Yes, they have.
Nick: I have a little advice too. Put a little piece of cela-tape over your webcam. From the New York Times ladies and gentlemen.
Leo: Webcams can spy on you and the New York Times is on it. Alright, we got that. Thank you, Nick. And especially thanks to Steve Gibson. I’m sure we’ll go into much more nitty gritty detail on Security Now this week. It’s going to be on Wednesday instead of Tuesday because we’re flip flopping with Windows Weekly so we can get instant same-day coverage of Microsoft. On Tuesday, Microsoft is have a one-hour briefing with select journalists including Mary Jo Foley and Paul Thurrott in San Francisco, revealing details about the next version of Windows, Windows 9 Threshold. Paul and Mary Jo will come up here right afterward so they’ll be on 1pm Tuesday Pacific. That’s 4pm Eastern time, 2000 UTC. Steve will then flip flop to the Wednesday slot. He used to be in 11am Pacific, 2pm Pacific. Thank you, Steve.
Steve: Thanks, buddy.
Leo: Really appreciate it as always. It’s kind of nice to have somebody who really knows what they’re talking about reassure us. Although not much to say reassuring this.
Nick: We should call that segment Bash Bashing.
Leo: Bash Bashing. The Baratunde Again Show.
Baratunde: For my technical contributions.
Leo: I like it, I like it. We’re going to take a break. Come back with more Baratunde Thurston, Nick Bilton, and I. We’ll continue on with This Week in Tech right after a word from our… what are you laughing at?
Baratunde: It sounded like you almost forgot the name of this show.
Leo: I did forget the name because I have way too many shows. And I’m way too old. For every year past 50, you should subtract a show, I think.
Baratunde: I don’t want to take away your Segway to the advertiser.
Leo: Segway to the advertiser. Our show today brought to you as often it is, almost always, by Legal Zoom. Technically, the whole network is brought to you by Legal Zoom. Back in 2005 when I was starting TWiT, I asked my buddy Kevin Rose what do you do to start a business. He said the first thing you should do is make an LLC. And he said but you don’t have to have a law firm to do this. You just go to legalzoom.com. For 13 years, they’ve been helping people like me start their own businesses with LLCs, S-Corps, and more to protect you against personal liability. And very affordable. And easy to do. Legal Zoom is not a law firm. What they do is they provide self-help services at your specific direction. So you go in and you say I want to do an LLC. You fill out some forms, they walk you right through it. It’s super-simple. And this is something new which I love. The Legal Zoom Legal Plan. Pre-negotiated attorneys in your state at a pre-negotiated price. So it’s a flat rate. I had a question; what state should I incorporate it in? California or Delaware? It would have been nice to call up somebody. We’re incorporated in Delaware. And I probably would have done the same thing. Since then I have asked attorneys and they said yea that’s fine. But it’s so great. So if you have a question or a simple question like that, it’s very easy. Legal Zoom also does personalized wills for your family, powers of attorneys, living trusts. Lisa and I just did the will stuff. They send you a beautiful kit, all the forms you need. You can do online most of the work, they print it up for you. It really is gorgeous. Legal Zoom was started by some of the best legal minds in the country. They make it painless for you to get the legal protection you need. Protect your family, your future, start your business at legalzoom.com. Visit Legal Zoom and use the offer code TWIT and we’ll give you $10 off at checkout. That’s just to encourage you to mention where you heard it. At legalzoom.com, please use the offer code TWIT. You get $10 and we get a hearty handshake from Legal Zoom. You can get legal help from independent attorneys and self-help services at your direction. But they’re not a law firm. Legalzoom.com, use the offer code TWIT. And we thank them so much for their support of This Week in Tech.
Nick: Before we continue on to a newsy thing, I read to Isaac Asimov stories this morning that I thought was fantastic. Have you guys ever read them, the Last Question? Or the Last Answer?
Leo: The Last Question is free first of all, you can download it.
Nick: I’m going to share the link on the thing.
Leo: Well just Google the Last Question Asimov. It’s amazing!
Nick: Fantastic, really good stuff.
Leo: And the premise of the last one is what, there’s a computer? Just read it, it’s really good.
Nick: The premise is essentially that we created God and we are recreations of ourselves.
Leo: Don’t spoil it!
Nick: And that’s it.
Leo: It’s got the best final word in all short stories. I haven’t read the Last Answer. Is that a follow-up?
Nick: The Last Answer was in the 1980’s and it was yes, a follow-up to the Last Quest. It is equally as good. Essentially, it’s not giving it away, but the Last Answer is with gentlemen get into a fight with God.
Leo: Stop scrolling!! You have to read it from beginning to end. This is not one to go to the end of it.
Nick: No. Yea, great stuff.
Leo: Who was it that was telling me? Somebody that we’ve interviewed on Triangulation told me about the Last Question. He said it is one of the great…maybe it was Jerry Purnell.
Leo: And it’s nice. It’s free, it’s online!
Baratunde: Foundation books were one of my early literation obsessions.
Nick: Which ones?
Baratunde: Foundation series. Pshyco History. I’ve read that and Dune. And the Gunslinger series all in a two-year window.
Leo: You didn’t read the whole Gunslinger series, did you?
Baratunde: Yea. At the time it was three books. Now, it’s… but I’m current.
Leo: You read it when it was easy. What is it, eight books now, right?
Baratunde: Yea, but you could binge read it.
Leo: I’m stuck on book four of the Gunslinger series. Steven King’s, it’s the thread that runs through all of his novels it turns out. But it’s just kind of infinite cycle about this guy and he’s walking around. He’s got boots and there’s lobsters that go stick stick. Weird. Isn’t that accurate? Have I not summarized it perfectly?
Baratunde: It is true, all the things. I am not sure if you got the heart of it.
Leo: I didn’t get the heart of it.
Baratunde: There’s this guy.
Leo: He’s got boots and things. So are you both on Ello?
Nick: Ello is so stupid. It is moronic, stupid, stupid thing. Who’s going to use it?
Leo: Are you holding back, Nick?
Nick: I signed up. It’s literally like someone’s art school, high school project.
Leo: I think it is. They say they’re artists.
Nick: Here’s the thing. It’s not going to disrupt Facebook. Facebook has 1.3B users. Twitter can’t disrupt Facebook and they have 270M users.
Leo: So let me tell you for folks who have not yet heard about Ello. This is, I’m on Ello right now. It’s invite-only by the way. But that hasn’t stopped 40,000 people an hour from signing up in the last couple of days. That’s what the founders say. 40,000 new users an hour.
Nick: Wow, that’s so many. That’s sarcasm.
Leo: Okay. Thank you for annotating. Here’s the pitch. Ello is ad-free. They wanted to make an anti-Facebook, a social network where they will never sell ads. And they will never sell your information to advertisers. And the idea is that they’ll monetize it, by the way some people were upset when they found out. It’s not really clear in the Ello manifesto, that they do in fact have almost half a million dollars in venture funding. Angel funding from a Vermont venture capitalist.
Nick: Yea, Vermont.
Leo: Well, it’s Vermont. They’re probably wearing earth shoes. But as somebody pointed out, hey if you get venture funding, somebody’s going to want an exit. They’re going to want you to monetize it. The plan is that they will charge you small amounts of money, a couple of bucks here and there, to add special features. I would love a Facebook that I paid $5 a month or whatever that didn’t have ads. One of the things that’s great about Ello, they don’t have edge rank. They don’t decide what you see of your friends’ posts. You see all of your friends’ posts. I think this is a good idea.
Nick: Sounds like a site, I can’t remember the name, oh Twitter.
Leo: No, Twitter sucks.
Nick: Twitter sucks because of the at replies.
Leo: Twitter sucks because it’s a broadcast medium that people try to have conversations in.
Baratunde: That’s the problem, it’s the conversations. Twitter doesn’t suck itself if you just look at the newsfeed. Or the discover tab. When you look at the at replies, it’s literally like the comment threads on a news article. That’s what sucks about Twitter.
Leo: Well there’s other issues, too. 140 characters means people tend to be kind of cryptic. So you spend a lot of energy trying to understand what the hell he’s talking about. It’s like reading license plates.
Baratunde: You just do the Pete Markka technique and just spamming everybody.
Leo: Well and that’s the other problem. There’s a lot of spam. And the main problem I have is Twitter has yet to come up with a comprehensive way to block trolls and evil-doers. And so it’s just laced with…
Baratunde: Let’s go back, I want to rewind back to the Ello thing. We’re Twitter-bashing.
Leo: But then I want to have this Twitter conversation. Because I have the author of How to Be Twitter here. Oh wait a minute, that’s the wrong book. Of Hatching Black, no that’s the wrong book. Nick, if anyone would be able to defend Twitter, it would be Nick Bilton.
Nick: But I’m not defending Twitter. I actually think that Twitter does have its issues. I think the at replies are literally the worst aspect of the platform. You cannot have a conversation with a one-to-many situation with 10 people or 10s of thousands of people. I think that aspect of it is completely and utterly broken. But I do still think that the 140 character sharing content, the real-time information, and the reason real-time works is because it’s 140 characters. I think that is still completely brilliant.
Leo: Hasn’t Twitter turned bitter? Wait, now we’re having the Twitter conversation. Let’s go back because Baratunde wanted to do Ello. Then we’ll do Twitter.
Baratunde: We’re going to do Ello, then Oy, then WhatUp.
Leo: Oy is the new Ello, apparently.
Baratunde: My reaction to the Ello thing, a friend of mine on Facebook was talking about it. And I hate new stuff. I’m just at that stage.
Leo: Well that’s just because he’s old.
Baratunde: And my tech adoption is like oh it’s new and it’s probably dumb. I don’t need it and I’m going to hate it. Because it’s not what I know. But I think the reaction that it grew out of, the sort of spirit of Ello is important. And this idea of their manifesto that users own their data. That they’re trying to position you, making you aware and reminding you that you are being productized by the platform companies that you give all this stuff to. And I think that’s an important idea contribution to the space. They don’t need to take down Facebook, 40,000 an hour, 40,000 over a year, for those people it might end up being meaningful. And the idea that we have all sort of opted into by default-not all but many-into Facebook, that defines what a social network is. I like from a creative perspective that there’s some other people out there saying no, it can also be this. So it doesn’t need to be about taking down Facebook. There is some value to creating something different from Facebook for people for whom that matters.
Nick: Baratunde, I am so unfriending you on Ello right now. Alright, that’s it. Done.
Leo: I do think that when new social networks start, they have one advantage which is that only us, only the insiders use it. And we like each other. And then the real world comes and I have to go somewhere else.
Baratunde: You’re just constantly unfriending or running from real people.
Leo: I’m running from people.
Nick: No, here’s the thing. I totally get it. But the reality is we make a choice every single day to log into our Gmail and to all these things, and our iPhone, and to Instagram. Because we enjoy them and have fun even though we know we’re being tracked. We know ads are being put in things we’re writing. But yet we still do it. And do I believe that there is a privacy problem on the internet? Without a doubt, I have no question. I’ve written a thousand articles on it. But I also think that the kind of flagship has already, what’s that?
Baratunde: A thousand articles, really?
Nick: On privacy, probably.
Baratunde: Go head, keep going.
Nick: But I actually do believe that the ship has sailed. And I think that part of the reason that Ello grew out of Facebook is because there were people who were transgender who weren’t able to use their…
Leo: That’s why it got a lot of attention lately because Facebook has had this real names policy. Making it really hard for LGTB people to have a place on Facebook because they have many cases real reasons not to use their real names.
Nick: Correct, but what happened was…
Leo: You want to be Sister Mary Dunkin Donuts on Facebook, you can’t. Unless that’s on your driver’s license. Then you’ve got much bigger problems.
Nick: I completely agree. So that’s what happened and then what happened after that was a bunch of people went over there, people from the LGBT groups that went over there, there’s no way to block people. So what started happening is you had all these haters that came on surge saying really negative and mean things. And they couldn’t use Ello because there’s no system to block people on there. So it kind of all backfired.
Baratunde: That point in particular, that’s another thing I’d like to get to. I think there’s something that as much as Leo, your gripes and even mine about Facebook, they are mature enough to be experimenting at a whole other level. So even the idea of a managed newsfeed, if they actually showed you everything if you have 1,000 friends. Say you friended people a lot over the years, it would be a horrible experience. I give them credit.
Leo: User blocking. It’s on their coming soon list as their number one and the next thing they want to do is user blocking.
Baratunde: For a company like Ello to enter this late in the game, what social networking means; well we’ve all been trained that it comes with these features. There’s a reporting mechanism. There’s a way to filter. And to not have that from ground zero like the starting line I feel like as we move forward.
Leo: Is it late in the game? Are we really at the beginning of the internet? Isn’t this really just the beginning? You guys are just jaded. It’s not late in the game.
Nick: For the beginning of the internet, but we’re not in the beginning of social network.
Leo: Hell yea. What makes you think in 20 years Facebook or Twitter will even be around? You think that they’re here to stay? It’s done? If it is, then I’m depressed.
Nick: Yes. I think that there will be other Facebooks and Twitters but I guarantee you in 20 years Facebook is still around. And if Twitter is still around, maybe it’s part of Google or something like that. If it gets acquired or something.
Leo: I don’t think that any incumbent can come around. I agree with you that nobody can be Google anymore. But that’s more about a technical issue. It’s hard to do an index of something that’s growing as fast. But I think social networking, look how fast Myspace got dis-intermediated. And look how much people hate Facebook. People use Facebook. But often they’re not happy about it.
Nick: We live in a world where we’re dependent on them both. Right? I hate going onto social networks first thing in the morning and checking to see what nasty things people have said about me and my column. But I do it because that’s how I share my content. I have no choice. It is the paper of today.
Leo: And if Ello suddenly gets sufficient subscribers, you’ll start visiting them. It’s just a matter of critical mass. I don’t know why they can’t get critical mass.
Baratunde: I think it’s too early. I think we’re way too early for a statement like Facebook will definitely be around for 20 years to be taken as fact. That is to me, I will bet against you on this show right now.
Leo: I think it will be a safe bet. Go ahead, how much do you want to bet?
Baratunde: In the year 2034 on the 28th of September…
Leo: I will be dead. We can bet on that. By the way I will be glad to be dead if Facebook’s still around. I’ll be looking at you from the grave going Goddamn you guys, couldn’t you do better than this?
Nick: I would like to bet with you, Baratunde. But there are rules at the New York Times and apparently I will get in trouble.
Baratunde: But you know what, it doesn’t matter.
Leo: He pulled the New York Times card.
Nick: If I’m not working at the New York Times in 20 years, I will retroactively bet you a large amount of money.
Baratunde: I just think to Leo’s point, the speed at which we’re moving, we technically have the ability to imagine.
Leo: I agree.
Baratunde: Of what our world will look like. That company called Facebook could be so adaptable to do holographic burrito deliver or whatever becomes the thing.
Leo: If you look at the history of tech companies, they tried. They really do. Microsoft tried, IBM tried.
Baratunde: And they’ve lasted!
Leo: And they last but it’s very hard to stay on the forefront. And I think Google won’t be on the forefront. I think Apple has already started to lose its edge. And I’m not saying they’ll be gone. I’d be very surprised if Facebook is the dominant incumbent that it is today.
Nick: I think this is a perfect Segway to this little thing.
Leo: Is it bent? It looks bent.
Nick: It’s not bent, but I do…
Baratunde: For those not watching, Nick is holding up an iPhone.
Nick: For those not watching, I’m holding up an iPhone 6, not a 6 Plus. And it feels like an Android device. And I don’t know. I’m not that impressed.
Leo: It feels like an Android only not as good.
Nick: And here’s the thing. I’ve been thinking about this all weekend. I don’t think Apple is…
Leo: If you switch to Apple now, we’re not going to get Twitter in!
Nick: Well I just have to get this thought out. I think that Apple…
Leo: I don’t think that we have moved from a non-linear brain functioning yet. I think you’re moving into the future. Go ahead, talk about Apple.
Nick: No, we can go to Twitter.
Leo: I’ll tell you what, let me take a break. When we come back, God only knows what we’ll be talking about. Nick Bilton is here, he’s the author of Hatching Twitter. Baratunde Thurston is here, he is biting his cord. Author of How to Be Black, Cultivated with New York Times. Leo LaPorte. I can’t wait to get on a plane. We’re going to take a break.
Baratunde: I love you too, Leo.
Leo: No, I love you guys. This is the most spirited conversation we’ve had in years. It’s always fun to have you guys on.
Baratunde: It’s always fun to be on.
Leo: From time to time, it comes up that we need to hire people. Quite often, actually. It comes up that we need to hire people. And the challenge is where do you post it. We’ve tried Craigslist, we’ve tried some of the job boards. And each job board has this specialty, if you’re looking for a certain type of person. The problem is it’s hard to know where to post. And it’s a lot of work to post. There’s a lot of job boards. So we discovered Zip Recruiter and we couldn’t be happier. Zip Recruiter, you post once and Zip Recruiter posts to 50 plus job sites, plus social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Craigslist. It lets you find the perfect person fast. You can find candidates in any city, any industry, nationwide. You post once and you watch those qualified candidates roll in. Zip Recruiter has an easy to use interface. They help you rank them, go through them, select them, hire the right candidate. You’ll be amazed. In a few days, boom you’ve got it. It’s just great. No more emails or calls to your office. You can screen the candidates quickly. You can rate them, hire the right person fast. And Zip Recruiter even gives you a careers page customized with your logo. So it looks like your company’s career page. A jobs page as well you can put on your website. Find out today why Zip Recruiter has been used by over a quarter million businesses, including ours. Right now you can try Zip Recruiter free. Tell your HR person if you’re not the person doing the hiring. This is great. For a free four-day trial; that might be enough to get that person right in the door, ziprecruiter.com/twit. Ziprecruiter.com/twit. Four days free, right now. We thank Zip Recruiter so much, not only for their support of TWiT, but for also helping us find the right people fast.
Baratunde: Remember the last time; I wish we were both in Petaluma because Leo had to jet last time.
Leo: Did I do this to you last time? Oh you took off for the show!
Baratunde: We occupied TWiT and we took over your chair when you went up.
Leo: That was awesome. I invite you to do that when I leave today. You can continue this show if you want.
Nick: Great moments in history.
Leo: And I am not annoyed. The chat room says Leo’s annoyed. This is another problem I have with Twitter and the internet in general. The literal net.
Nick: Hold on I got to close my door. Someone’s making noise outside.
Leo: I thought he was in a sauna. Doesn’t he look like he’s in a sauna?
Baratunde: He does very much look like he’s in a sauna. This is what happens when people move to L.A.
Leo: They get finished wood, sauna-walls.
Baratunde: The backdrops, not that I don’t have a fancy backdrop.
Leo: Nick’s always been pretty stylish though, hasn’t he? Remember he had those bowler hat lights?
Baratunde: He’s got the salt and pepper hair, just natural.
Nick: Only when people leave you talk.
Leo: Oh look, he’s brought a marsupial on with him.
Nick: This isn’t Pixel.
Leo: What? That’s not Pixel? Did you leave your dog in San Francisco?
Nick: This is Pixel.
Baratunde: And now we’ve got dogs on TWiT. Have we had dogs on TWiT before? I feel like that should trend.
Leo: I love Steve Martin’s tweet from last week. He said I sold all my bitcoins for pixels. They’re going to be big. Alright, so Apple iPhone; we should talk about this. It came out. How long’s it been? It’s been a week.
Nick: I thought we were going to talk about Twitter.
Baratunde: Just over a week. Nick you can’t have it all these different directions.
Leo: No you can. It’s good. We have a smart audience. They can piece it together.
Nick: Let’s talk about Twapple.
Baratunde: The new app that launched five seconds ago.
Leo: Are we done with Ello? You and I, Baratunde, want to give them a shot. Nick think it’s just dopy. Why is it dopy to try and bring in a new social network?
Nick: I don’t want or need another social network.
Leo: Well then don’t join it.
Nick: Who wants another social network?
Baratunde: Apparently the people joining Ello.
Nick: It’s not better than YouTube. You guys should text each other, that’s your social network.
Leo: So a couple of episodes ago, we had Scobalizer on and he said in a year-we basically made a virtual bet-he said in a year I will say that Facebook is completely dominating the entire space. They won. And I said are you crazy? I will not say that in a year. He said well you don’t know because you haven’t appropriately cultivated your Facebook page. And he spent an hour with us. We’re going to air it by the way tomorrow. It’s Triangulation, 11am Pacific, 1pm Pacific time. 1800 UTC for Triangulation. It will be me and Scobal. He’s going to show us all how to make Facebook work great. But I can just tell you, here I am three weeks later and I actually re-deleted Facebook from my phone.
Nick: I had some complaining that I did about Facebook obviously on Facebook.
Leo: He believes in it.
Baratunde: Because I’m a hypocrite. And he is like an advocate, he’s like John the Baptist of Facebook. He’s really got some belief in it and he doesn’t work for the company. But I think he genuinely loves it so he responds to my posts.
Nick: He likes Zuck. He’s a big Zuck fan.
Baratunde: Is that it?
Leo: There is a phony Zuck on Ello who’s quite funny.
Nick: Really? Maybe I’ll go follow that.
Baratunde: Oh, let’s claim everybody’s name while we still can!
Leo: I think I was bullish on Google Plus too. And I think it’s really for the same reason. I’m only half facetious when I say I like these networks when they begin. Because as with most online communities, when they begin they’re civil. People make an effort to put content into it instead of just garbage.
Nick: This is my belief. I love Instagram. I joined and was one of those very first people on Instagram. I am sick of looking at people’s food and people’s vacation and the sunrise and the sunset. And their cappuccino, I’m bored. It’s like what am I getting from it anymore? Nothing.
Leo: My friend, if you are bored with Instagram, you are bored with life.
Nick: Exactly. So what I do is I read these things called books. You guys heard of those?
Leo: Oh no, Nick.
Baratunde: Leo sounded like a father.
Leo: Nicky, Nicky, Nicky.
Baratunde: His ignorant son.
Leo: Nick, you’re not old enough to be an old man. This is old fartism.
Nick: No it’s not old fartism. I think these networks…
Leo: You ought to read a book!
Nick: I think these networks, some of them that make sense for the moment and there’s some of them that don’t. I think one of the things I do like about Twitter is the news instances. This is the best way to get news instances.
Leo: When there’s breaking story and I want to know what’s going on, I don’t turn on CNN anymore or KCBS, our local news station anymore. I go to Twitter. They’ll have it before anybody. When the earthquake happened, I went to Twitter. When Robin Williams passed away, I went to Twitter. That’s where you go. Not merely to find out what happened but to interact with the community. I think you’re absolutely right. And not Facebook either.
Nick: Exactly. One of my most successful tweets ever was a tweet where I said going into Facebook is like going into the fridge when you’re not hungry. You open the door and stand inside like why am I even doing this?
Leo: I’ve been overeating Facebook for a long time.
Nick: My problem isn’t with Ello or the concept of it. My problem is I don’t need another network where I’m just going to sit there and see people talk about nothing. I have Twitter because it’s the thing that gets me news and information. I have Instagram for once in a while I want to share a photo. And Facebook is essentially a giant address book for me where I share my column. And sometimes see what people have to say about it. But that’s it. I don’t need anything else.
Leo: Do you think it’s a foolish optimism on my part to say oh there’s a new social network. Maybe this time we’ll get it right.
Baratunde: It depends on what you’re looking for from it. And this is where I agree with Nick in some respects, that there’s an ark to all of this. And we’re early in the internet so we like overindulge because it’s shiny and new. We can do things that we could never do in a virtual space before. And that’s just legitimately interesting. Even when it’s annoying, when your whole family is on a platform, it changes your relationship with them. When your boss joins too, it can change your relationship with that person. So the idea of your excitement over new social network may shift over time. It might not be the be-all-end-all place you spend 2-3 hours a day. It might satisfy this particular need. It satisfies your literary curiosity need. Or it satisfies your vacation need or political needs. So we might fragment or specialize a little more rather than having one size fits all for everything. The other end of the spectrum is you want the one size and want Facebook to work a little better. If they could just work a little better, you would never have to go anywhere else.
Leo: I want the Well again. You guys are too young to remember the Well.
Nick: I heard about the Well.
Leo: Remember, my grandpa told me about the well.
Nick: Did you use to sit around and use the well when your record player was going on?
Leo: I put on my Cospro 440A headphones and I’d hold up the liner note and read my album while I’m on the well. No the Well was a social network. It was a very early social network with a Whole Earth electronic link started by the whole Earth catalog folks. And it was a wonderful community. It descended like every internet community does, into flame wars and bating and trolling and all that stuff. And I think it might even be still around but it’s not in the same form it was. But don’t you agree that those networks in the early days can sometimes be amazing? If we could just get the right smart people, maybe we should just make our own little network.
Baratunde: Here’s the thing when you say our, it depends on what angle you’re coming from. Everybody feels that way about something. And so the same people that frustrate you when they sort of arrive into quote-unquote your space. They have some other space where if you showed up, it would freak them out.
Leo: That’s fine. But why do we need a one size fits all network like Facebook?
Nick: Because what you’re looking for is a network, you just referenced this now-is a network where people like you and me, and Baratunde can sit and have some conversations.
Baratunde: An intentional community.
Nick: You’re not looking for an infrastructure that pervades all things. And what Facebook and Twitter have become is more infrastructure. They’ve become piping, relay points, these hubs for almost everything that travels. Whereas you’re looking for a club. And you can still have a club, you can have a club on Facebook. It’s called a Facebook Group. Twitter is much harder because the nature of that infrastructure and the way the tech is set up. But it sounds like to me what you’re looking for is not a social network. It sounds like you want like a book club or a bar.
Leo: Yea, no I agree. And I think in the modern world, it’s hard. What I really want is about 50 close friends and I would hang out with them. But that’s in the modern world, that doesn’t really happen, does it?
Nick: I think the big question here is not whether you could have a social network that does these things that we’re talking about. But if social networking actually works for humanity.
Baratunde: And can it support all the things that we need as people?
Nick: If you look back at the iPad and the iPhone and iOS, that’s an interface that grew not out of the previous file systems on our desktops. But it grew out of real life. And if you look back at the early file systems that Microsoft and Apple had, everyone admits they never worked. And what we have on our mobile devices is a new kind of form of interface which mimics real life and so on. And I wonder if, in 20 years we’re not saying is Facebook around instead of X, Y, or Z. But if social networks are around in general.
Baratunde: And do we need something, as we digitize so many of our interactions. All this offline stuff that was really implicit. You never declared friendship out loud. I might consider Nick a friend. He might consider me an associate. We never had to reconcile that. And we could both peacefully co-exist.
Leo: So what you guys are doing is designing a new social network. Or you’re talking about what features you would want.
Baratunde: We’re asking a question. Does the fullness of the human experience get accurate and fully represented in a digital platform called a social network?
Leo: Maybe not today but it will have to.
Nick: Here’s the thing. In my book in Hatching Twitter, the first night that Twitter was actually turned on and it was 12 people on the network. There’s this really beautiful moment where they all go home and they tweet to each other goodnight.
Leo: I love that moment in the book.
Nick: It’s a really compelling scene.
Leo: Goodnight, John Boy. Goodnight, Mom.
Nick: Goodnight. I’ll see you in the morning. The network has grown so large you can no longer do that. And I think these networks work in smaller instances. But when you look at them on the scale that exists today, it’s just mean people. It’s angriness, it’s people just spewing off nonsense. And everyone wants to be heard. And they’re like oh this is a way for me to do that.
Leo: You just described Twitter.
Nick: Exactly. And I’m not disagreeing with you. I’m the guy that wrote the book on it. But I think it’s broken in that respect.
Leo: We had Dr. Drew on Triangulation a couple weeks ago and he said really the problem with Twitter is it’s essentially a mob mentality. So what happens is somebody says you’re the guy that broke my guitar. And then a mob forms around that and the mob will not rest until it has blood. That’s the nature of a mob. And what we’re seeing is this is facilitating instant mobs around all sorts of outrages. And I confess to having totally used this for my own aims. To get better customer service from Comcast or whatever. But that’s what we’re all doing now. And I tell you it’s very disheartening to go on Twitter and see all that swirling around. What I’d like is a social network-this is kind of what I’d like right now.
Baratunde: So you already have it.
Leo: Well I do, that’s why I do TWiT by the way.
Nick: So everyone’s tried to do these smaller social network. Path for example, and it was really cool at first. And then we were like this is boring.
Leo: The only guy on Path is Baratunde.
Nick: Are you still on?
Baratunde: I am.
Leo: I know exactly what he’s up to because I follow him on Path.
Baratunde: Here’s the thing. This is not at a massive endorsement that says everybody needs to be on Path. I just don’t subscribe to that way of thinking anymore. I need to be on Path to stay connected with a group of people who live in multiple cities. But we share a certain mindset and a certain context. And it’s the best way, rather than forcing everybody to join a Facebook group or trying to go with an email list to stay in touch with those people. So Path is really for me about connecting with 20 or 30 other folks.
Leo: Right. That to me is what a social network should be.
Baratunde: For me it's not a simple question of like, oh Path is boring, maybe from the 20,000 foot view when you look at user behavior, maybe for those venture capitalists that invested in it and expected something else, maybe for you, Nick who has a different definition so..
Leo: You used to do a lot of Path, Nick.
Nick: I used to, I used to, but..
Baratunde: I stayed there because some of the people I care about certainly have also stayed.
Leo: Right now I know exactly what's going on with Natalie Morris, Clayton Morris, you. There's about 5 people who use Path regularly. I don't post much to it. So that's one kind of social network; They're more like friends and intimates in real life, except that nowadays we're all so spread out you need something like this to do that. Then there's also the network which I would like to see where there's some serendipity where new ideas and new voices can be brought in, but somehow they're per-qualified so they're not troublemakers, they're actually saying things you want to hear. Because you do want to introduce new people into this mix otherwise it becomes like Path, a little hermetic. Path is hermetic right now, right? It's sealed.
Nick: Yeah, it's.. here's the question I have; Why are you on Path when you could have those five friends and you could all be in an iMessage group where you can still send photos and updates and things like that, I don't get..
Baratunde: I think the source of your question, it, I think it skips some like human behavior stuff; I'm not a psychologist or a sociologist. I don't, I'm basing this on just like observation and instinct, I could be wrong. When you lay out a set of options; You tell a group of people “You could have the same life over here.”, right?, “We could, this city's developing, you could move your whole neighborhood over to that neighborhood.” It's just habit, man, and like, whether it's the habit of walking this path, I didn't mean any pun in that, or the habit of having the sunlight come into your apartment this way, or the habit of the bus line, or in my case the technical habit of this icon, this user group, these sets of interactions. I don't try to optimize every moment, and think, “okay, here are the 27 people I communicate with on Path. I wonder if I could replicate this same experience more efficiently on a platform like Facebook where they likely also exist.
Leo: Well, and Mike Elgan is in our chatroom right now and he's saying “You can do this in Google plus. Circle 30 people, they circle you, and then it’s your private little network.”
Baratunde: But I think it skips something about how humans actually behave, to think about our relationship with other people as merely transposable to another technical platform. Like, yeah, I can move all these same people from Brooklyn to the lower-east side, but it just wouldn't..
Leo: I think that's what Nick's saying, right? Ello Is just the lower-east side. It's more of the same.
Baratunde: Why don't I create a group for my Path friends? But if the mechanics are different, the habits are different.
Leo: It's like we're answering the question the same way again and again and hoping it will be better.
Nick: That's exactly the right way of saying it.
Baratunde: It's also inertia. I don't think we're giving enough credit to habit, to inertia, to switching cause, and to the idea that when people look at their friendships, their romantic relationships, we don't assess them quantitatively or technologically like, “oh now I have 37.3 friends. I wonder what platform best optimizes my relationships with those people.” It just happens.
Baratunde: It emerges.
Nick: Being that we're in this little social network of ours right now, I'm gonna change threads and I think we should start talking about Apple.
Leo: OK, Apple, you, actually that's good, we should talk about Apple, we're going to do that in just a second, Nick Bilton is here, Author of Hatching Twitter, Baratunde Thurston. You can see why I have these guys on. It always gets interesting, lots to say, smart guys, and I'm really glad, it's been too long so thank you for coming back and being on the show, we appreciate it.
Nick: You guys should come down to LA, we'll do like 'the LA edition'.
Baratunde: I would love that. I spend more time there visiting LA a lot more.
Leo: You do know I built a million-and-a-half dollar studio here in Petaluma?
Leo: You do know that, right?
Nick: You know what you could do, is you could buy one of those little Volkswagen...
Leo: I could move the whole thing into an Airstream trailer and drive down.
Nick: We'll go to the beach, we'll get some whiskeys, we'll get some beers, some barbecue. Amen.
Leo: Sounds pretty good, Sounds pretty good, I'm liking it. I wasn't being facetious when I said one of the reasons TWiT exists is because I wanted a platform where I could sit around and talk like this with the people I like the most. That's how we started in 2005. It was Patrick and Kevin and, and Dvorak and it stayed the same, and that's really, for me, the big payoff of TWiT. It's not a job, it's just, it's a chance to hang out and schmooze with the people I like about a topic I'm very interested in. Thank goodness somebody wants to watch it.
Nick: This week you ran out of guests that you like and so you called Baratunde and I. I get it.
Leo: You're putting words in my mouth, but you're kind of right. OK, so, no I'm just kidding. I try to get you-- lookit, come on. You've both-- You've both been called by my people, with money in hand saying “Would you please come to us? We've offered you money to be on this show.”
Baratunde: Oh man, I love it.
Leo: Am I wrong?
Baratunde: No, you're not wrong, every, and I've got a lot of..
Leo: And Nick got that same offer, Baratunde. Both of you turned my down, I want to point out, It's not me.
Nick: I decided to do it for these free fancy headphones.
Baratunde: I got some in the mail and literally had to send them back.
Nick: They're actually really good. They work for the show.
Leo: Yeah! What do you think? You know, we have some practice doing this. We've learned a thing or two.
Baratunde: Oh my god.
Leo: Hey we're going to take a break. When we come back more with Baratunde, Nick, and, yeah, we'll talk Apple and, bendy phones. First, if you missed anything this week, do we have a promo? (laughing) I had to check. If you missed anything this week on TWiT you missed a mouthful, take a look.
Leo: Every week, Monday through Friday and Saturday and Sunday too, we talk tech on twit.tv and, you know, my thinking is just tune in whenever you've got a moment. We'd love to have you here. Mike Elgan has prepared something for us about the week ahead, let's take a look.
Mike Elgan: Coming up this week, Microsoft is planning an event in San Francisco on Tuesday, September 30th. We're expecting them to unveil the next version of Windows, which is codenamed “Threshold”. Back to you.
Leo: Yeah, we will have a debrief, as I mentioned, Paul Thurrott, Mary Jo Foley are in that briefing. A small number of journalists invited; they were, and they will come out of that meeting, drive right up here and we'll do a special Windows weekly, Tuesday September 30th 1PM pacific 4PM Eastern time, so you'll want to tune in for that. I will be in London, I'm leaving later tonight, but Father Robert Ballacer will host that episode. We'll come back with more, we're going to talk Apple in just a second but first let's talk shaving. Mm, that's the new Harry's foaming shave gel. I love Harry's, we've talked about Harry's, right? Oh it smells so good. Harry's is the place to go if you want a great shave. Now they say guys, but you know what? Lisa has Harry's too and it's great. It's a really great razor. Shaving's not fun. It can be a chore. Wouldn't you like to make shaving fun again? I actually look forward to shaving in the morning. Use that great shaving cream from Harry's, and then they're very nice blades. They actually, one of the guys who founded it, Jeff, you may remember, from Warnby Parker? He's been kind of, he's a serial entrepreneur, who has specialized in finding industries that are kind of overpriced, under-serve the consumers and say “Hey we can do it better over the internet.” and that's what Harry's is all about. They actually did the research, found out there are two factories in Germany. They're the only factories in the world that make great razor blades that won't cut you. I mean sharp, they last a long time, they're really great. So they bought one. They bought the factory and now they can give you super high quality razor blades for about half the price of the big brands. They're engineered for sharpness, for high performance, and they're shipped free to your front door. I just got my big Harry's box. So I always get the Harry's shave cream, they have a cream but now they have this new foaming shave gel. Actually I prefer this, and it smells so good. Every kit contains a razor with a handle that looks and feels great. Three razor blades and the foaming shave gel. If you go to harrys.com/products you can see it. They have a Truman or a Winston. I got the Winston and that's the metal handle. You can have it engraved, but, the Truman's nice; For some reason Steve Gibson likes the Truman. I think because he likes the feel of it better. And it's a great deal. Maybe Steve was just cheap. The Truman set is $15, that's razor, handle, three blades, and a foaming shave gel. Compare that, go to the pharmacy and pick up some of the big name brands and see how much you get for that. 15 bucks won't even get you a handle! And because they make and ship their own blades, and they are more efficient, they can give you factory direct pricing, guarantee your satisfaction, and just make you happy. You will actually look forward to shaving. After you shave this is new too, the Harry's-- oh that smells good-- aftershave lotion that soothes your beard. It also makes you smell great. Harrys.com. I have to say I've been using Harry's for about six months now, and I actually look forward to shaving in the morning. I have never cut myself with a Harry's blade. Now, I change the blade every week. I mean you're not gonna use a blade for six months, I change it every week. But you know what, I get the blades shipped to me every two months. I get enough blades, eight blades, change it every week. I get a couple, about four bottles of this because I really like to layer it on. I love it, and I love my Harry's razor, and I love how it feels. And a great price. So I want you to go to Harrys.com, you can get five dollars off your first purchase but you do need to use our offer code. Twit5, easy to remember. T-w-i-t and then the number 5. h-a-r-r-y-s.com. Twit5 the offer code, and you will thank me. You will, I promise. I get Tweets all the time from people that say “You're right, this is great!” Harry's. Alright, back to work we go. You're watching This Week in Tech, Baratunde Thurston is here of Cultivated Wit. He uses comedy to make companies work better, also the author of How To Be Black. Things are going well Baratunde?
Baratunde: They are, to be honest it's very hard running a company. I left The Onion a few years ago, started this firm with two other people from that organization, kind of carried forward some of the spirit, add a few new things, take away a lot of things, like a news production operation. And I'll lightly plug the last thing we did as an example of where I feel most proud. Like, just blowminds.org. America needs a lot more teachers of all kinds. The President said we need the 100,000 stem science, tech, engineering and math teachers so we're working with the organization to make that message a little more relatable so the people they want to attract which are folks who have majored in science recently or currently to teach.
Leo: Here's a video from blowminds.org. This is really great.
Baratunde: This is an animated music video. We've done a lot of animation, a music video was a first for us. A lot of gifs, we have a whole page on giphy, and some Tumblr action. So yeah I would say in that sense it's going well. I love the people I work with, it's also, I don't want to sugar coat, it's just hard.
Leo: It is, I know.
Baratunde: You know more than it means to get started on your own, so I'm enjoying the learning process, almost all of the time. And I'm having a lot of fun which happens to be our motto, we make fun, so I'm consistent with our own brand.
Leo: Heh, well everybody loves Baratunde it's really nice to see you.
Baratunde: Well that's not true but it's nice of you to say.
Leo: There's no.. come on, nobody doesn't love Baratunde.
Leo: (laughing) Nick Bilton is also here. Apparently he doesn't. He's the author of Hatching Twitter, writes for the New York Times, the bits blog.
Nick: No no, I don't do the bits blog any more.
Leo: When did you leave the bits blog?
Nick: Like three months ago.
Leo: What are you doing now?
Nick: I'm a columnist in the style section.
Leo: No, you lie. You're writing for the style section?
Baratunde: You get to Los Angeles, you switch to the style section..
Nick: No, it's..
Leo: Ohh Nick, you want to tell us something? You coming out of the closet here? What's going on?
Nick: I'm in a hot tub. No, not really. What did you say before?
Leo: It's a sauna, it looks like a sauna. So wait a minute, you write about technology but in the style section?
Nick: So what happened was a lot of my columns were increasingly becoming more about mainstream uses of technology so I'm used to sitting down on planes and people would be like “Which iPhone do I get?” or “Which tablet do I get?” and now I sit down on planes and they're like “My son is on Minecraft 24 hours a day, what does that mean?” you know, “My daughter takes selfies all the time, what does that mean?”
Leo: Well I do that too. This is talking to real people about what's going on in technology. It's very important.
Nick: The technology itself is, but, my coverage of the technology started to change and it was much more about the way we use it and our broadest audiences actually, and the broadest readership is in the style section and so we took my column there and I'm writing about the way..
Leo: How interesting.
Nick: ..it changes society and culture, and business and everything so it's been great.
Leo: So this latest article, Big iPhone 6 Bulges in All the Wrong Places is in fashion and style. But it's the same kind of article you would have written for bits.
Nick: Yeah it's the same kind of article for the business section, it's just in the business section there would have been some sort of business statistic and I would have talked to an analyst from Forester and here it's a very different audience.
Leo: I like this, yeah.
Nick: Like the piece I did last week about Steve Jobs not letting his kids use technology.
Nick: That is the perfect example of a story that is a very mainstream story. So.
Leo: A lot of parents wondering “Should I limit screen time with my kids?” and it was kind of a revelation that Steve Jobs, Mr. Apple, wouldn't actually let his kids use the iPad.
Nick: It was pretty fascinating to me when, did you guys talk about this on a previous show?
Leo: We haven't! I wouldn't mind bringing it up, it's a very interesting point of view.
Nick: So the gist of the column essentially was you know, everyone who was in media knew that this kind of little secret that Steve Jobs, if he didn't like an article you had written, would call you and yell at you. And sometimes he would say nice things, but mostly it was yelling at you. And I was on the receiving end of a few of those calls and one of them was about the iPad, and it was late 2010, and I tried to change the subject with him, what I didn't actually write in the article was I was actually drunk when he called me and I had been out to dinner and had a couple glasses of wine.
Leo: I miss Steve. I'm going to let you finish, but.
Baratunde: I want the TWiT version of all your problems.
Leo: (laughing) Okay, so you were a little tipsy..
Nick: I was a little tipsy and he calls and, oh this is really funny actually, the first thing he says on this call was “Hey Nick, I'm on my iPhone and I'm AT&T so if the call drops I'll call you back.”
Nick: Which I was like no he didn't just say that.
Nick: So yeah, it was pretty amazing.
Leo: You didn't say “Steve you're holding it wrong.”
Nick: (laughing) He hadn't said that yet, that was a couple years later. So anyway he was yelling at me about something I had written about Flash and Adobe and I..
Leo: You were probably defending, of course he was a strong anti-Flash.
Nick: He hated Flash, which I think was in hindsight a good decision.
Leo: Yep. He was right.
Nick: And I said “So what do your kids think of the iPad?” and he was like “They haven't used it, we limit the amount of tech our kids can use in the house.” and I was like completely shocked, and over the years I've met more and more people that run tech companies or editors of technology magazines that have said the same thing, that they limit their kids technologies and it turns out that they know a little bit more about the way kids and technology can interact badly than most mainstream parents so that was probably..
Leo: We should point out that this was in 2010 right? So his kids were not little kids, they were teenagers.
Nick: Yeah. And it's been interesting because I called Walter Isaacson who wrote the Steve Jobs book and I said to Walter “Was Steve being honest when he said that?” and he said absolutely, he said that when he was at dinner at Steve's house you know, there was a strict no gadgets rule in the kitchen and they talked about things like books and history and art and literature.
Leo: Wow, that's very old-fashioned. I kind of admire that. I think its' a luxury that somebody with his wealth can do, because those kids won't actually have to hold jobs, they won't have to know how technology works. But it's a luxury a lot of parents whose kids will have to enter the workplace..
Nick: Totally agree with you.
Leo: ..by the time they're 21 will not have that luxury.
Nick: But there's a balance, you know, whether it's technology or painting or something, anything in excess I think, you have to limit your kids use of it. And you know, I mean I don't have kids so I can't tell parents what to do but..
Leo: I'm telling you right now I know a lot of affluent parents. It's affluenza. It's like sending your kid to a Waldorf School. And the Waldorf Schools don't let you watch TV. I admire it, but I think it's a luxury that normal working parents cannot afford. And I also believe that kids get a lot of value out of using technology at 10 and 11 and to say to a 16 year old “You can't have an iPad” is nuts. And you can only do that because he's Steve Jobs. I don't think that that's a reasonable point of view.
Baratunde: Well yeah, and to your class point..
Leo: It's class.
Baratunde: I think there's another end of the spectrum which is when your only computer is the phone, I mean I live in New York City and there's been a recent, attempt to adjust the policy of no cell phones in public schools, the new mayor would campaign on the idea that this wasn't a great idea, partly for safety..
Baratunde: ..which I don't quite buy..
Leo: No, let me tell you if you had kids, and I don't know how we survived as kids, our parents didn't know where we were at the end of school until the time we got home, had no idea where we were.
Baratunde: But we did, right? So the idea is like, we don't have a missing generation because nobody had the..
Leo: We didn't die. Some did I guess. But I mean, you know yeah. I think it's more to the point, I even took a picture illustrating it at the airport. That nowadays when you're anywhere in public, nobody's looking at teach other, talking to each other, they're buried in their phone, constantly. That's sad.
Nick: You know, it's interesting, and we all do that and I've tried an experiment recently where I deleted all the social apps from my phone, and in their place I put Audible, Kindle, and Pocket so that if I'm going to sit there and stare at my device and do absolutely nothing at least I'm trying to do something.
Leo: Yeah, good.
Nick: And it's actually been a bit of a game changer.
Leo: I took Facebook off my phone and I have to say I'm happy about that. But I do still have Path, then I have Instagram.
Nick: Go, Baratunde.
Baratunde: When I did my unplugged story for Fast Company a year ago, I moved all those apps into a folder called apps I never use, and most of them haven't emerged.
Baratunde: But I just want to finish that earlier point, if you're in a household, an economic situation where your only computer is your phone, there's a different assumption about what it means to have a phone, it's not discretionary, like you're doing your homework on that, you're trying to gather information.
Nick: Yes, absolutely.
Baratunde: Just like the connection is bad, well it depends on..
Leo: So I'm not sure of the premise of the article, Nick, that well these technology people are immersed in technology and they understand better than us normals how awful it is and so they make sure their kids don't use it. I think it's more a class thing. I really do.
Nick: I think you're right too, but the one thing that was interesting was that certain people said to me that some CEOs that I spoke to said for them it's not about the technology or no technology, it's about consumption vs creation. So if their kid wants to go and build an app on their computer after school, or they want to paint something on an iPad, they're okay with that, but if their kid goes and sits and wants to watch YouTube videos for five hours then they have a problem with that. And I think that that's, from what I gathered from it, that was probably the best solution.
Leo: Yeah. I mean, there's a middle ground between letting them do whatever they want and saying “No screens for you!”
Baratunde: Well and that's similar to the idea of you know, 15 to 30 years ago, don't just sit in front of the TV, go outside and play.
Leo: When I was a kid, about 80 years ago, my parents said you can watch one hour of TV a night. And that was it. I hated it.
Baratunde: Had TVs then, so that's really great.
Leo: They were black and white but it was still enjoyable.
Nick: What did you used to watch Leo?
Leo: Batman! (sings Batman theme) I remember in fourth grade, Batman came out. You know, Adam West Batman.
Nick: I'm not trying to be rude, but was it really black and white?
Baratunde: Yeah with those..
Leo: Well that show was in color but I don't think we had a color TV because my father said “The skin colors are all pink, I don't want one!”
Nick: So how old were you, Leo, I feel like I'm in an old folks home.
Leo: Well! Let me tell you.
Nick: How old were you when your first computer came along?
Leo: Oh well computers were around in college, they had big computers in the basement. And I remember this was 1976, 75, that a good friend of mine, Eric Schwartz was building a computer in his dorm room. We thought “Woo woo!” he was building probably one of those first MITS Altair kit computers. Woo woo! I thought it was coo coo, but I do remember very well when personal computers came out, Apple's 2s and eventually I had an Atari computer, the shift was you could have a computer on your desktop that was yours, not have to bring a deck of cards to the basement of the computer lab, in the middle of the night because everybody else was using it. That impersonal experience was not something that attracted me. The personal experience grabbed me right away. By the way here's a picture I took at the airport, SFO. This lady's not happy at me. But I just thought it told the story, it was graphics on the wall of Max's Deli, and no everybody is sitting there and they're not talking to each other, they're just looking at their computer, their phone. It was kind of a sad thing. So I'm on Kevin Rose's new app, it's only for the iPhone. Tiiny. T double I n-y. Tiiny. And the app is kind of an interesting social network, you can only post postage stamp sized photos or videos, and they only last 24 hours, and then whoever you follow you're just going to see this kind of page full of these. I can't show it because I don't have my iPhone here. But it's kind of, I like it, it's kind of weird but it's kind of like you're communicating in pictures only.
Baratunde: So it's snapchat-ish?
Leo: Kind of, but you're doing it with a bunch of people. So there's what it looks like. And it's, I actually kind of like it.
Baratunde: It's a higher ranked Instagram.
Leo: Yeah, but it's fast, they die after 24 hours. And there's a guy, one of the developers of the app, Mark I think is his name, he's on there. I just think of him because he has a lovely beard and I'm just thinking, and then I saw a picture of him without his beard and he's not as good looking without his handsome beard, I think he knows it too because there's a lot of pictures of his face. But anyway, a beard can work.
Baratunde: Yeah, so back to Apple.
Nick: You know what would really help the iPhone, is if it had a beard.
Baratunde: When you eat an apple it dribbles in your beard.
Leo: He looks like a modern Greek god, and so do you guys. And I'm thinking, maybe I should grow one. But then I'd lose Harry's as an advertiser.
Baratunde: So are we here to talk in general about these new phones..
Leo: First of all, bendgate bull..gate.
Baratunde: Gaze? You don't believe in bendgaze?
Leo: It's bullgate, isn't it? This one guy who made a video 41 million views this YouTube video, and yeah he was able to bend a phone, any idiot can bend a phone, no?
Nick: I think that it's, I think that bendgate is dumb. Right, A. B, I do think that Apple's design stuff is not, it's missing the thing that, the wow thing. And I do like the iPhone 6 but it feels like and Android device that someone threw iOS on top. And the iWatch, yeah sure it looks okay, looks cool. But it doesn't look like wow.
Leo: Do you like my watch? Forget the iWatch, what about my watch?
Nick: What is that?
Leo: This is the Moto 360, it's pretty, it's black.
Nick: It's big.
Leo: How to be black, how to be round, and black.
Baratunde: Should get that endorsement deal.
Leo: And it's not that big, it's nice. It's a normal size. It's a good looking watch. And then I get notifications on it.
Nick: It's huge!
Leo: What do you mean huge?
Nick: It's like as big as a baby.
Leo: (laughing) It's a wrist baby.
Nick: You know what that watch is?
Nick: That watch is the one that Flava-flav used to hang on his neck.
Leo: It's not that big, come on! No, I like it but I agree with you, that there is some question about wearables in general, watches and glasses particularly. Are these useful, are they worth the money because they're expensive, in fact Apple, somebody, Gruber said I think that the Apple watch could be, because it's 18 karat gold could be as much as $6,000.
Nick: The edition version.
Leo: The edition version, crazy.
Baratunde: My take on this bend.. this bendatron.
Leo: Yes, back to bendatron.
Baratunde: I trust the consumer reports reviews which came out and said this phone is pretty strong, it's slightly below the median of the five or six phones they've tested, between 6, 6 plus and some Motorola phones but part of the problem..
Leo: Here's the video..
Baratunde: But.. this blows up because Apple, you know, is really good at making hyperbolic claims about its awesomeness, and because more people bought this phone more than all those other phones combined.
Leo: People want to hate Apple is what you're saying.
Baratunde: There's just more people.
Leo: Keep showing because this guy's going to bend this. This is an iPhone 6 Plus. Consumer reports has a testing lag, they applied 90lbs of pressure to it, they actually said the iPhone 6 bends more easily than the Plus and the M8, the HTC One bends more easily than that. But anybody, first of all, I don't recommend doing what this guy is doing. Anybody can take a phone, especially a full metal phone, metal bends easier than plastic. Well I take that back, metal bends and doesn't return whereas plastic bends and returns. And so anybody could do this, this guy got 41 million views but how much of this is a problem. Is this going to be, are people..
Baratunde: First of all, Apple could make a case, that this is what true user-centric design is the phone bends to your thigh.
Leo: Oh come on.
Baratunde: But there's the other idea, or you could put a titanium case around it, or you could just..
Leo: Put a case around it. Apple says we reinforced the insides, there's titanium struts, some say that the consumer reports report is wrong. Because they don't apply pressure to the right spot. This guy's pointing out that right at the bottom of the volume rocker, there's a gap inside between the battery and the rest of the electronics so this metal point right at the bottom of the rocker there is vulnerable. Ifix says there's two screws very close, but look how hard he's pushing!
Baratunde: Yeah, and no one would do that to a phone.
Nick: Yeah, it's stupid. It's like, I could probably bend lots of things if I pushed that hard. Who cares? Like 9 people have complained apparently to Apple.
Leo: 9. They sold 10 million.
Baratunde: In contrast to the antenna situation, that was a justifiable outrage. They just missed something in the design and Jobs response of “You're doing it wrong” was adding insult to injury to peoples legitimate complaints. This, even I was like I held off a little bit, but having watched all the reviews and the more scientific ones, I think this phone is probably fine.
Leo: I'm amazed that somebody, we live in a world where somebody can make a video showing him with great effort bending a phone and it gets 41 million hits, and people go “That is appalling! What is wrong with Apple? They made a phone that I can bend if I really put my mind to it!”
Baratunde: Yeah, and oh, someone from Chicago in the chatroom says, and I wasn't clear about this, Nick, as the journalist on the panel, Leo as the other journalist on the panel when folks were saying I put this phone in my pocket, what pocket were they referring to that would cause this. Was it their butt pocket or was it their..
Nick: Well there was one guy who was at a wedding and it was in his like suit pocket in the front pocket, but because it was a very tight suit or something like that that was pushing against..
Baratunde: Was it like wet suits?
Leo: That's a tight-ass suit.
Nick: Yeah it was like a skin-tight I don't know, something like that.
Leo: I think this is really an indictment of skinny jeans than it is an indictment of the iPhone, I'll say it here first.
Baratunde: Well if you put your phone in your back pocket you're asking for trouble.
Nick: MC Hammer pants are going to make a comeback.
Leo: I have an iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, you're going to treat it with care, it's a beautiful machine.
Baratunde: I flunked your product acquisition strategy.
Leo: I got in line for this at 3 in the morning, I think it's gorgeous.
Nick: Are you serious?
Baratunde: I like the 6 plus actually. I went to an Apple store in New York just to play with it, knowing I wasn't going to buy it. Preventing myself from buying it but just being curious about, is this too big? And that camera looked really interesting to me, the optical stabilization built in seemed like a potentially worthy thing because I'm shooting a lot more things..
Leo: Great battery life, because it has a massive battery in it.
Baratunde: And it seems like it would challenge the reading that I would use my iPad mini for. And the video viewing, that screen is, seems like it would be big enough to read a book on.
Nick: The camera on here is amazing. But I do have a problem I mean I know it's like, can you see the camera jutting out.
Leo: It sticks out a couple of millimeters, is that really a problem?
Nick: No, but it freaks me out! I'm worried it's going to scratch or something.
Baratunde: It freaks you out? You need to just do some more deep breathing Nick.
Leo: It doesn't bother me.
Nick: The good thing, the camera quality on this thing is amazing.
Leo: It's absolutely stunning, yeah.
Nick: Stunning. Yeah. And that for me, that's the reason to buy it. It's not because of the design, or anything like that. I'm really not that impressed with the design of the actual phone but the camera quality is phenomenal.
Baratunde: Do you not have a case for your phone Nick?
Nick: I put them on and they come off and..
Leo: I think the 6 is so beautiful you shouldn't put a case on it. It's just gorgeous.
Baratunde: That's like almost an oxymoron. It's so beautiful you shouldn't protect it.
Leo: Well no, it's not an oxymoron. It's gorgeous, you want to just look at it.
Nick: Baratunde do you buy a car and then go buy a case to put around your car?
Leo: He has a bra. He has a car bra, I know it, I looked at him and I said car bra.
Baratunde: For rental cars which are the only cars I drive because I don't own one.
Leo: My daughter got her iPhone 6 with an Otterbox glued onto it. I wasn't going to let her take it out of the Otterbox.
Nick: Well you can't resell that, way to go dad.
Leo: She's broken so many phones it's just not going to happen. But I carry it around, and I like it. In fact I'm taking it to London. I'm not taking the 6 plus, it feels like a clown shoe. It feels too big for me. It flaps around. And another thing!
Baratunde: You're wearing phones on your feet? You got a problem.
Leo: That's why they bend! And another thing, iOS up to this point, doesn't take advantage of that giant size screen. Everything is just blown up.
Leo: I'm old but I don't need to be that big.
Nick: I think just to wrap up bendgate, I think that Leo you should take a, get an iPhone 6 or an iPhone 6 plus and you should take a brick and smash it with the brick as hard as you can and then complain that the phone broke.
Baratunde: Brickgate, yeah.
Leo: Brickgate. Here, do you want to see my pictures from my wait in the line at the Apple store?
Baratunde: Actually if you look at Ello it's a trending topic. Brickgate, it's already blowing up.
Leo: I like bendgaze.
Baratunde: Yeah bendgaze is my favorite.
Leo: That's good, that brings in a lot of different things. Don't we look kind of like homeless people? Actually many of them were homeless people.
Nick: Did you sleep out there?
Leo: Well, I didn't sleep but I was there. That's my chair in the middle there, the little blue chair.
Baratunde: That's a cute little chair.
Nick: Which Apple store is this?
Leo: This is the Santa Rosa Apple store. I have a little video, do you want to see the video of when they open the door, the excitement was palpable.
Baratunde: Were any people crushed?
Leo: No people were crushed.
Leo: But unlike the New York line which was full of Chinese scalpers, these people were actually excited to be there. I think if you saw the video of the 5th Avenue store it was like yeah whatever. Just let me get my phone and get out of here. These people, well okay maybe not that excited. They had all been there since like 3 in the morning.
Baratunde: One of my favorite sort of performance art experiments was to go to the Apple store I think when the iPad came out, this is 14th St in New York and I just pretended to have bought an iPad so that I could be cheered by the masses waiting outside. They were cheering everybody. A king coming home from war.
Leo: It's kind of a good feeling isn't it?
Baratunde: Just hold up a bag and say “We did it!” And people love you.
Leo: Yeah. So you just had like an Apple bag you had the night before, and there was nothing in it?
Baratunde: I grabbed one from a friend who did buy a thing.
Leo: That's a great feeling. Be one of the in-crowd.
Baratunde: I felt loved.
Leo: Yeah, well you are.
Nick: Leo, don't you have a flight to get?
Leo: Hey let's take a break! And when we come back, we're going to have some snacks, and when we come back some final thoughts between bendgate and Ello. I got my Moto X now, this Baratunde for whiskey Friday how about a phone that smells like a fine men's club. That's got leather on the back. That is for whiskey Friday, you need this.
Baratunde: If Motorola wants to sponsor whiskey Friday.
Nick: Hey Baratunde, do you have any whiskey on you? We can try to do a triumphant toast.
Baratunde: I do, of course this office is well stocked, part of our company.
Leo: Minions! Get me some whiskey. No, not you, you're under 21.
Baratunde: If they're under 21 they can still get the whiskey they just can't drink it.
Leo: Can they? They can serve me whiskey at a private event? That's right, because when I was a kid my dad used to have me make him martinis.
Baratunde: We're learning a lot about you Leo.
Leo: Let's take a break. Let's talk about snacks! Alright we're going to take a little break from TWiT for snack time, I'm passing them out now. Nick, Baratunde, you're going to love these. Too bad you can't get them because you're not there, but you could get them delivered to your home. We're talking Nature Box. Nature Box pistachio power clusters. I already opened this one, I love the big island pineapple. Nature Box, my mouth's watering. Nature Box snacks are delivered to your door every month, you pick the snacks or you let them pick which is nice. Kind of a random assortment. You can of course say I want vegan, or I'm gluten conscious or I'm in a variety of you know different dietary choices. Of course no peanuts, that kind of thing. No nuts at all. But they also are all, you can choose savory, spicy or sweet. But they're all so good for you. All of them are nutritionist approved, you can see the seal right on the bag. No high fructose corn syrup, no trans fats, no artificial colors or flavors, and you can get low on sugar, gluten-free snacks, so when it comes to the afternoon and you're tempted at work to go to the snack machine, you know, get yourself a candy bar. Don't do that. Get a big island pineapple ring. It's more satisfying, it's better for you, all the Nature Box bags are resealable so they're great for your home. They have a business plan too, that's what we use, you can get the business stuff. But visit Naturebox.com and start your free trial. Taste them today. Oh look at this, I feel like I'm on the islands man. These are the pineapple rings. I shouldn't start eating them because A, I will be chewing for a while because they're really good and B my mouth is already watering so it's too late. Stay full stay strong, start snacking smarter, Naturebox.com/twit. I shall be handing snacks out later to the studio audience and crowd. Naturebox.com, Praline pumpkin seeds, these are really good. When your Nature Box comes it's fun because you start going through them. Lone star snack mix. Get the free box now, but you can go online and say I love these these these and these. Pretty soon you'll figure out which ones you really like. Naturebox.com/twit, we thank them so much for the support of TWiT and for keeping us well fed with our Nature Box. Alright, where's my whiskey? I want some whiskey as we wrap this thing up. How about, let's see, we talked iPhone 6, we talked about Twitter. I'm not sure I have enough whiskey.
Nick: Oh you've got some Woodford.
Leo: Should I drink the Woodford?
Nick: Oh it's so good.
Leo: This is actually Turkish brandy. That's not whiskey it's just brown. That sounds like something Truman Capote might say. “That's not whiskey it's just brown!” This is Bullet Bourbon, what do you think, Bullet Bourbon or Woodford Reserve?
Baratunde: Is it the rye?
Baratunde: Is it the rye or the bourbon?
Leo: This is the rye. Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cried.
Baratunde: Do the Woodford.
Leo: What's the difference between rye and bourbon?
Baratunde: Have at it chatroom.
Nick: Different casks.
Leo: $3 a gallon.
Baratunde: I used to know this, I looked it up recently and I think rye was like a New England tradition.
Leo: It's not what it's made out of? It's not like rye grain?
Nick: No it's different casks. The casks they use for some of them are used for like wine or something beforehand or something like that?
Baratunde: Literally going to tell the listener to Google it for yourself.
Leo: Google it for yourself ladies and gentlemen. By the way Motorola is going to do apparently a Nexus 6, they're not going to call it that because that's the same name as the evil robot in Bladerunner. Right? So you know, the runaway robots. So they're going to call it the Nexus X, codename Shamoo.
Nick: Like the whale?
Leo: Yes, it's basically a 6 inch Motorola X.
Baratunde: Bigger and bigger.
Leo: Bigger and bigger and bigger.
Baratunde: So what's our closing topic here? We don't want you to miss your flight. We will be blamed all week long.
Leo: How about the Blackberry Passport, what do you think?
Baratunde: Nothing, I think nothing.
Nick: Oh my goodness.
Baratunde: Literally no thoughts.
Leo: It looks like a poptart with keys on it.
Baratunde: Actually no I do have a thought. If I saw if the photo that I saw is the phone we're talking about, it looked a little dangerous. Those edges looked very sharp.
Leo: It's very sharp. They say a couple of things, there it is next to an iPhone 6. You get more on the screen, you see there's the same web page and you can see the whole page on the Blackberry and it's squished.
Nick: You could move in there.
Baratunde: It looks like a mistake.
Leo: It does look like a mistake I agree.
Baratunde: It looks like somebody tried to adapt an overseas video to fit American screens or something.
Leo: And then it has, it's weird, it's a physical keyboard that has swipe gestures. So you can apparently swipe across the keys to delete or to do something.
Baratunde: Well if you were playing music, I mean sure.
Leo: Well that's what it sounds like, like a piano.
Nick: You know what they should do? They should buy Ello and make it the only network that runs on the Blackberry.
Leo: Brilliant. I'm going to take a shot of Woodford Reserve and an Ambien and I probably won't remember the rest of the show. Thank you very much for being here Nick Bilton, we love you, from the New York Times style section. Wow.
Nick: Technology published in the style section.
Leo: Do you find you combing your hair and grooming your beard differently?
Baratunde: Are you? Wow Leo.
Leo: What's wrong with that?
Baratunde: For the people at home who are going to hear this on Tuesday as you commute to work, Leo just picked up the bottle of Woodford Reserve and tipped it back.
Leo: Isn't that? (drinks)
Baratunde: Into his face hole. For Woodford Reserve from the bottle.
Leo: Is it too good to do that to?
Nick: Wow he asked if I combed my hair and my beard differently.
Baratunde: Yeah we have to check you every once in a while Leo.
Leo: No I'm telling you Nick you look a little more polished, you look good.
Nick: Thanks I appreciate it, you do too.
Leo: You shine a little bit you know? It's because you're in LA. Did you get a boob job?
Nick: I got a third boob added.
Leo: See it's so much more fun if you guys are here. Then there's always the risk of fisticuffs breaking out.
Nick: Because then you could play with my third boob, that's exactly why right?
Baratunde: And that's our show.
Leo: And sir I salute you, I salute you Baratunde Thurston, I wish you luck with Cultivated Wit and the comedy hackday tonight.
Baratunde: Comedyhackday.org, blowminds.org, those are my programs. Domain names to promote.
Leo: Wait a minute, blowmind.org?
Baratunde: Blowminds plural.
Leo: Okay, got to get that right. Thank you everybody, we thank you all for.
Baratunde: Get on your plane Leo.
Leo: You get what I'm saying here? Thank you all for being here, we do TWiT normally, we did it a little early this week because I'm running out the door, but I'll be back next week and we'll do it at 3PM Pacific, 6PM Eastern Time, 2200 UTC at twit.tv. You can watch live or get the on-demand after the fact. It's better to watch live because we cut all the good stuff out, but if you get it on demand that's okay too. Audio and video available twit.tv and wherever finer netcasts are stored. I think everybody in our live audience, what a great audience we had today, if you want to be here just email tickets at twit.tv like none of them did right? You just showed up. You did? Okay good. And we'll put a chair out for you. Good looking audience, very nice audience today. Thank you all for being here, thanks to Chad Johnson my producer, thanks to you for being here, we'll see you next time, another TWiT is in the can!