This Week in Tech 478 (Transcripts)
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech. Christina Warren is here from Mashable. Ed Bott is here from ZDNet. We are going to talk about Windows 10, why not 9, what's new in Windows 10, Apple Pay, why Bill Gates thinks it's the greatest thing since sliced bread, and a farewell to Steve Jobs, it's all coming up next on TWiT.
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This is TWiT, This Week in Tech, Episode 478, recorded October 5, 2014.
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It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech, the show that talks about tech news. Thanks first to Mike Elgan for filling in for me last week. No, I was here last week. I just don't remember it. Mike did not fill in for me, I was actually here. You mean I've been to London and back since the last show? Is that what happened? Unbelievable. Joining us now Christina Warren from Mashable. Good to have you Christina.
Christina Warren: Glad to be here.
Leo: From her evil lair in New York, New York.
Christina: It is evil, and it is a lair.
Leo: Yes. And from his evil lair in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Mr. Ed Botts of ZDNet fame. Hi Ed.
Ed Bott: Hi Christina.
Leo: Did you come up Ed for the briefing, for the Microsoft briefing this week?
Ed: I did.
Leo: The one hour briefing?
Ed: Flew up one afternoon and flew back the next afternoon.
Leo: Paul Thurrott just spent the whole day bitching about the fact that he had to fly out for a one hour briefing. Was it worth it?
Ed: Yes, I think it was.
Leo: It's a big story, right? It's a huge story.
Ed: Yeah, it was a big story. It was bigger than any of us thought it was going to be.
Leo: Tell me about that. What did you expect and what was it that you didn't expect?
Ed: I think I expected Windows 8 update 2 and there's clearly more to it than that. The choice of the name Windows 10 was startling at the very least. They clearly have some ideas more than just transplanting a start menu on to Windows 8. There is some interesting stuff happening there.
Leo: Yeah, because I mean I think a lot of us before the event thought that Threshold, which was the code name at the time, would be to Windows 8 what Windows 7 was to Vista which was a polishing of the edges, a fixing of some of the cosmetic stuff. Is there stuff under the hood that is significantly different?
Ed: Well we haven't seen it yet if it is.
Leo: You are using it right now, aren't you?
Ed: Yes, but this is a technical preview and in historical terms this one is missing, this reminds me a lot of when Windows 8 first appeared and there are a lot of key features that appeared in it later that didn't exist in Windows 8 including some key aspects of the Start screen, metro apps, and so forth weren't there. I think we are going to see another build of this probably in January that will have a lot more stuff in it including some of the stuff...what was bizarre to me in this week’s event is that they positioned it as an Enterprise preview yet most of the discussion is about the things that are fairly superficial on the desktop. The new things that are going to be in the Enterprise edition aren't going to appear until later.
Leo: So we are only seeing the beginnings of this. One thing that surprised me was that they said the release of this was a year out.
Ed: Not a year, middle of next year.
Leo: Middle of next year, okay.
Ed: So that's probably 9 months, which means that 3 months from now for a consumer ready beta, 3 months after that for a release candidate, 3 months after that for a release to manufacturing, or a release to the web, whatever they want to call it these days. So I think that you are 6 months away from a feature complete product and 9 months away from having a commercially finished product.
Leo: So this is really pretty early in the cycle.
Ed: Still, yeah, it's early in a compressed and fast moving cycle also.
Leo: Well that's the other thing, there seems to be some hustle to get a replacement for Windows 8 out as quickly as possible.
Ed: Well next year will be 3 years.
Leo: Which is right. That's the normal time frame, yeah?
Ed: It's the normal time frame. So it's not really a hustle.
Leo: It feels like a hustle. It feels like we just got Windows 8.
Christina: It will be 3 years except it will be 6 years from Windows 7. They had a good Enterprise upgrade uptick on that, but they didn't really have that on Windows 8, which they said many times during the events. To me, the big takeaway is that it's an Enterprise focus, right, but it's an Enterprise focus in the sense that they want to talk to the stakeholders and the people making purchasing decisions now before they set their budgets for next year so they can go ahead and budget to upgrade to Windows 10 and not lose another upgrade cycle for these businesses, or even worse lose them going to Chromebooks, or god forbid Macs, or you know, a virtual machine, or something like that. They want to keep them in the Windows ecosystem, and it's important for them to talk to them as early as possible because Windows 8 was such a huge failure on the Enterprise front.
Leo: Well that's the first thing that leaps to mind for me, are desktop operating systems important going forward? They seem like they are less and less important, and who knows by next year how unimportant they will be. Ed, do you feel like, clearly Microsoft made its bones with Windows and to a lesser degree Office, but it also seems like the future is operating system independent; it's Cloud. It seems like Nadella is very aware of that. He's very cross platform. How important is Windows 10 to Microsoft going forward I guess is the question?
Ed: You know, it's a key part of their DNA.
Leo: It's still their flagship.
Ed: They can't afford to screw it up. They have basically good architectural underpinnings for it in Windows 8. They just have a bunch of deployment blockers that they need to remove there. The desktop PC marketspace isn't getting smaller, it's the number of screens that we have in which we can interact with our world is getting so much bigger that as a proportion desktop PCs are less important because there are so many other ways that we interact with things.
Leo: That's a great point. There aren't fewer PCs out there, we just have many other ways of computing.
Ed: Right, and so things like Office 365 for example, which will be released on Android I think this year, already exists on IOS devices and it exists on Windows devices so you can with a phone, a fablet, a tablet, or a PC you can do work.
Leo: And you will be working likely on the same document on the Cloud in each platform.
Ed: Exactly, and it might be in a private Cloud on an Office 365 Enterprise Server that is managed by an Enterprise or it might be on a publicly available free Cloud like One Drive which is more of a consumer service. In either case you are going to be interacting with that on whatever screen you want running whatever OS you want. I think that Microsoft has pretty much realized that they need to make sure that that experience is good, solid, capable, and productive regardless of what the operating system is and what the screen size is.
Leo: I would guess that security is another...you already mentioned the blockers from the point of view of the Enterprise which are mostly user interface issues, right? Things like the Start menu. Most of the coverage is okay, they've got a Start menu with tiles so it's a little bit of both but it's still a Start menu. They've got menued Metro Apps now no longer full screen. Windowed, I should say, not menued.
Ed: They are windowed, they can be full screen. There is the option for full screen.
Leo: That's just how it should be. Sometimes it's appropriate for full screen, especially in the tablet environment; sometimes not. Give me the choice.
Ed: So to kind of close the loop on the question, a really good question that you asked just a couple of minutes ago, I think that the real challenge for Microsoft next year is going to be to establish that it can deliver mobile devices that will be...
Leo: Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. I'm sorry, what the hell was that? If you were watching at home, Chad just decided that we got three points.
Ed: I just thought I had said something really smart.
Leo: Goal! That's only for you watching at home. For the audio listeners there is nothing to see here.
Chad: I'm sorry about that.
Leo: But it is an issue as desktop operating systems are clearly as important to Microsoft; they can't abandon Windows. But they also have to acknowledge the fact that the world has changed quite a bit since 1995.
Ed: Right, so you have tablets and you have these 2 in 1 devices which Intel, and Microsoft, and all of these OEM's, Lenovo in particular have been very successful in getting these 2 in 1 devices out on the market.
Leo: Have they been successful, the convertibles, they've been successful?
Ed: They have been. I think the latest numbers that I saw said in the retail channel, I should probably look it up, but I think it was about 1 in 4 PCs sold in 2014 are going to be convertibles.
Leo: But that just really reflects that people are confused. I don't know, I want a tablet, let me get one that does everything. Or is there really that's what I want?
Ed: You know, there are an awful lot of choices out there and people make their choice based on whatever random factor including price, including availability...
Leo: Including what ad they saw last.
Ed: What ad they saw in the Sunday paper if they still read Sunday papers. I think there really is a genuine business case there for people who are using a computing device for work and for personal that that dual use kind of thing.
Leo: It's a hybrid.
Ed: You can take that thing and you can pull the keyboard off of it and you are sitting on the couch and interacting with Twitter as an 18 inning baseball game is going on.
Leo: Holy cow.
Ed: So you can do that or you reattach the keyboard and you are sitting in a hotel room trying to get a PowerPoint presentation done at 2am.
Leo: It is a little bit of acknowledgment that Windows is most important to the Enterprise. That's what they really focused on.
Ed: I don't think that there has ever been any lack of acknowledgement of that.
Leo: They know that.
Christina: I think that Windows 8 was a big misstep with that though. I would actually disagree with you there Ed. I think that Windows 8 was them thinking that they could dictate how the Enterprise would move forward. I think that Sinofsky, who was so gung ho about the ideas of Windows 8, and on paper they looked really great, but then we all saw, and we are all seeing the feedback in the early previews. It was funny, I remember when we were preparing our coverage for Windows 8 and I was really, really kind of I don't know guys, I think that this is going to be a bigger bust than we are thinking. Some of the people that I was working with were like, no, no, no this is going to be huge and we need to start prepping how to get the Start menu back articles. We need to start on this, this is going to start happening.
Leo: Mashable is very consumer focused, right?
Christina: We are, but what I'm saying is that there is actually a lot that goes hand in hand with consumers who don't like change and the Enterprises that don't like change. I think there is actually a whole lot of crossover there. The focus was so much consumer side on Microsoft's part, and when that didn't work and they were trying to push that into the Enterprise part which didn't want to be encumbered by some of the Start screen stuff and some of the artist formerly referred to as Metro, some of the design stuff. That was a real step back, and that put a lot of the good will that they had built up after Vista with 7 on the back burner for a lot of places. I talked to a lot of businesses who were really buying tons of iPads and were ready to start an iPad centric software for their sales people but were not impressed with Windows 8 because they saw it as kind of a kludge, and kind of confusing to their users, and the IT people just didn't want to be bothered because it was confusing to the users. They didn't want to bother with it.
Leo: It's got to be a little frustrating because there is no perfect solution. IPad is not a perfect solution in itself. Maybe they weren't happy with Windows 8. Look at the stats. Windows 7 is about half of the installed base, XP is 25%, and Windows 8 is 12%.
Christina: Honestly I look at Windows 10 as almost an acknowledgement that there can be one operating system for everyone strategy.
Leo: That's the other thing that I find fascinating, this one product, one platform, one store thing.
Christina: Yeah, and I'm going to call bs on it until we see it because we've been hearing that since the Java days and it never works.
Leo: Nadella Satya said this and it was kind of a shock and then Microsoft backtracked, but maybe he did mean one Windows. Ed, what do you think about that?
Ed: What, about the whole one Windows thing?
Leo: The one Windows thing, yeah.
Ed: When Steve Jobs introduced iPhone he held it up and said it runs IOS.
Leo: Its runs OS X.
Ed: Yeah, it runs OS X.
Leo: Which it didn't.
Ed: Which it didn't, but in a way he was saying one OS.
Leo: You use it, and...
Ed: Yeah, because the kernel is the same, and all of the application development, and user experience on Apple's desktop and Apple's touch oriented devices are converging on the same place. So they started with 2 different operating systems built on the same kernel with similar user experience guidelines that converge somewhere in the future.
Leo: That's what people really want.
Ed: Microsoft is doing the same thing but they have taken a different path to it. Christina, you are right about the tactical errors, there are profound tactical errors in the launch of Windows 8, but strategically Microsoft needed to accomplish 2 things. It needed to get its Enterprise customers off of XP and on to a modern operating system. They knew that that was going to be Windows 7, that's the long term support version. So they succeeded in doing that and they thought that they could build this consumer focused thing and converge them in the future. I think just as you did I looked at it when it came out and said that this is going to be jarring and uncomfortable for people and there are going to be a lot of people who are going to reject it. It played out exactly as we thought it was going to play out.
Leo: What about the convergence? What about the Windows 10? Now is the time that they need to bring the paths together. Is this it? Is this going to be it?
Ed: I think that there is a bit of marketing in the convergence part. One thing that you get is the opportunity for developers to build universal apps and to sell them so that they can be licensed and used on multiple screen sizes and multiple OS's across multiple locations. That is probably the biggest advantage of the one Windows thing. If I'm selling an app, a communications app, or a social media app, or something like that I don't want people to have to go and pay for it all over again every time they go to a different location. I want them to be able to pay once and be able to use it anywhere.
Leo: Microsoft started the way with that with Office, right? That's kind of how Office works.
Christina: That's a subscription kind of offering too, and that kind of works. I guess to play devil's advocate I would say that I think that the idea behind one Windows, one core Kernel, and one set of libraries that can kind of be shared across things, of user interfaced things that can be shared across data; that's great. Except we haven't seen anybody embrace modern apps on any sizeable level, any big companies bring out modern apps, at least that you charge for on any large level at all. Microsoft doesn't even have the modern version of Office out. I'm genuinely curious, I don't want to be a hater, but I'm genuinely curious like at what point do we just say that this is really great in theory but is anyone actually going to change how they are developing software, are they going to build the apps that will run on the phone, are they going to build phone apps that can also run on the desktop, are they going to build the game stuff that can go everywhere, or are they going to continue to do what they have been doing which is to have siloed out stuff. They are building their application for Windows for the traditional desktop like the they always have. Maybe they are doing some sort of web interfaces and there will be some APIs so the libraries can talk to one another but they are not building something for the store environment. That's what I'm not convinced about and that's I guess why I hear this one Windows stuff and I go, yeah, but we've been hearing this for years and no one has actually bothered to build anything for it.
Leo: Yeah, but maybe the time wasn't right. Maybe now this is the step that they need to take. We are going to take a break and come back. I want to ask also Ed why Windows 10 instead of Windows 9? Maybe that was, I'm sure there was good reasons, but it seemed like that got all of the attention instead of all of these other things that really probably Microsoft would rather be talking about then the numbering of the product. We got Ed Botts...
Ed: I'm going to see if I can get this camera working.
Leo: We are having a little technical difficulty with Ed. We are going to get him back online. He's using Windows 10, so that's a brave thing to do. Are you sure that you want to be doing that Ed?
Ed: It's easy enough to switch.
Leo: We are going to give you a moment to decide. Also Christina Warren from Mashable. We are talking tech. We will talk more about Microsoft. It is the third anniversary today of the passing of Steve Jobs. We will talk about that and a lot more. Now that the dust has settled iPhone 6 stuff, too. Our show today is brought to you by a great place if you are looking to fill that position perfectly. Ziprecruiter.com solves a problem that a lot of us have that is which job board do you use? There are so many. Each one has a different audience and a different kind of people that you might be talking to. Posting on 50 different job boards is a lot of trouble unless you use ZipRecruiter. ZipRecruiter lets you post once and get your listing on 50 plus job boards plus Twitter, and Facebook, and Craigslist. Everywhere you want, post once and distribute everywhere. You will be able to find candidates in any city nationwide, watch those qualified candidates roll in to their easy user interface; that's important too by the way guys. You are going to get submissions and ZipRecruiter makes it a lot easier to sort through them and find the right person. It all starts with a single click at ziprecruiter.com and by the way you are going to love it, no juggling emails, no calls to your office. You quickly screen candidates, rate them, and hire the right person fast. It is a great solution for anybody who has got to fill that position fast with exactly the right person. You can even create jobs pages and career pages that look just like you website with your branding. Ziprecruiter.com, find out why more than 250,000 businesses have used ZipRecruiter. You will love it. That's why we are giving you a free 4 day trial at ziprecruiter.com/twit. Ziprecruiter.com/twit; I bet you 4 days is enough to get that right person right in there. We used them and we are very happy with the results. Ziprecruiter.com/twit to try it free for 4 days. We thank them for their support of This Week in Tech. Ed Bott, is he back yet? Should I have taken longer to do the ad? We are still working on getting Ed back. What were you thinking? Paul Thurrott does this to me too. I've got the new Surface Pro, let's see how this works. You guys I guess have to dog food your stuff. If you are going to talk about it I guess you have to use it. I love Tim Moynihan's article in Wired Magazine. He says that ambition Windows 10 is an attack designed as a retreat. He, like many, observed, I certainly felt like it, that Microsoft is giving up on the whole new UI. It isn't really. It's an interesting, is it a pivot, is it a retreat? I don't know that it's an attack. He says, "Windows at its best is most boring as a blank napkin for productivity." Well, maybe. Why, Ed, are you there? We've got him now. No, we don't have his audio. Yeah, we hear you, good. Why 10? We saw one speculation that at first I thought no, then I though yeah, then no I'm thinking no again; which is that programmers in the days of Windows 95, and 98, and XP would do a check on Windows 9* to see if it was 95 or 98 to check for compatibility and Microsoft might be afraid that a lot of that code is still out there and wouldn't work with Windows 9. Is that credible at all?
Ed: It's vaguely, barely credible.
Leo: Well it plays on the fact we know Microsoft pays a lot of attention to the legacy.
Ed: I think that it's more a matter of numerology. In all seriousness if it's Windows 9 it's just another version and everyone is going to say no, let's just wait for Windows 10. This one they really and truly did say, or the metamessage that they were sending was that this was the last one. Everything that will be beyond this is an incremental update to it.
Leo: That's interesting.
Ed: And there won't be a Windows 11. Just as OS X was introduced in 2001.
Christina: Now we are at X.10, they don't like to say that. They just want to call it OS X Yosemite. I'm like, OS X.10 Yosemite? They are like, Christina, stop.
Leo: Yeah, too many tens.
Christina: It's too many tens.
Leo: OS X.10 is actually what the full name would be.
Christina: That is actually what the full name is, X.10. I can't wait for X.10.10. It's getting ridiculous. My friend John Marshall, who is @iconmaster on Twitter, he said what I think is the funniest. I think it is also probably true. He said that the reason that they called it Windows 10 is because 9 is too close to 8 and they want to get as far away from 8 as possible in people's mind.
Leo: I like that somebody else said that 7 ate 9.
Ed: That was actually the official joke at the event. Dad humor.
Leo: It is dad humor. It's high school rubric humor or dad humor. But really, come on, this is a grown up company; do they really think 10 is fooling anybody? It's the next version.
Christina: Yeah, but I think Ed is right, though. I think numerology is a real thing. Blackberry tried, but they failed, they tried to do the same thing with going from Blackberry 7 to Blackberry 10 and now I think they are going from BES 10 to BES 12. There is something about going into a big firm 2 digit version number that signifies that this is for real and this is a really big deal.
Leo: But nobody thinks that Microsoft had been working on 9 and decided oh, we will make it one better. Everybody knows it's the next version.
Christina: Okay, but to be fair have they ever been great at branding? We went from like 3.11, to Windows 95, to 98, to Millennial Edition, to 2000, to XP, to Vista, to 7, and to 8. Plus there has been like NT 4.0, and 4.5, and all of this stuff in the middle.
Leo: Somebody told me that the internal numbering is 6.2. Is that right?
Ed: Yeah, no, Windows Vista was 6.0, Windows 7 was 6.1, Windows 8 was 6.1, Windows 8.1 was 6.3.
Leo: Is it because it's an odometer number, like 10? Call it Windows 1000. Call it Windows 10,000.
Ed: It's a brand. It's a brand name.
Leo: It's not a number, it's a brand.
Ed: It's not a version number, it's a brand.
Leo: That is, by the way, already used by Apple. Do they have no pride?
Christina: Exactly, and Blackberry.
Leo: And Blackberry.
Ed: Look, they are on a yearly release schedule. If they did Windows 9 this year they would do Windows 10 next year, one year later.
Leo: Wait a minute. What do you mean they are on a yearly release schedule? You just said it is three years since Windows 8.
Ed: They did 8, they did 8.1...
Leo: 8.1 update.
Ed: And 8.1 update. These really should have been from a consumer point of view, these are big, somewhat momentous releases and the branding is just bizarre.
Leo: It's just from my point of view it's one more version of Windows that I won't buy. But that's just me, I'm a bigot and I admit it.
Ed: If you go back and look at all of their commercial messaging it's all based on the latest version of Windows or the latest version of Office.
Leo: It's the best version of Windows that we have ever made. They might as well steal that from Apple as well.
Ed: That' not what I'm talking about. They are trying deliberately not to use version names or numbers with anything. It's just Windows.
Leo: If they want to be hip, all the kids today don't want a version number at all. It's just the iPad.
Ed: See, we live in a tech bubble, we know things about version numbers and branding and stuff. Most people just go, they buy a PC and they use it for 4 years, they buy an iPhone and use it for 2 years, they buy their latest Android device and they use it for a while. Updates show up and they accept them or they don't accept them. If something goes wrong with the update they call the most technically sophisticated friend or they try to go online and try to figure out what went wrong with it.
Leo: I don't know what version.
Ed: But the number, I just have the latest version.
Leo: I know that. On the radio show I will ask people what version of Windows they are using and they are like, I don't know.
Christina: I don't know. The same with my dad.
Leo: You have to look. Okay, so there is nothing to be said about 10; it's just the next number or the next version. Maybe this was intentional, maybe unintentional, but it seems like much of the press attention has been on the number. Really, is that what they wanted? Oh good, let's everybody focus on the number.
Christina: I think that they very clearly by going with a different number, as Ed pointed out, are going for a different brand. They are making a big statement whether they want to acknowledge that Windows 8 didn't work, maybe it's because they are going in a different direction, or what it is. It's very clearly kind of making a very different definition. They even joked about saying, no, we could have called it Windows One, kind of like Xbox One, but not. Oh, we've already done that.
Leo: I thought they might do that actually.
Christina: I did too, actually. I think that would have One Windows that would have been along with their philosophy. That's kind of their one sync philosophy. I think that there has been a lot of discussion around the name, but I think that there has also been a discussion that this has, in a greater sense, been a return to what they are really good at, which is what Satya Nadella has been really saying this whole time is that they are trying to get back to their roots, and get back to what Microsoft is really good at, and pushing that forward rather than maybe trying to be everything to everyone. I think that is a good thing because Microsoft is really good at being Microsoft, but where they falter sometimes is when they try to branch into areas where they are not as adept. That's where we all kind of suffer. You would be hard pressed to say that there is a better Office Suite out there than Office 365. I think that for a lot of people who are managing thousands of computers you would be hard pressed to say that there is a better client management station system than Windows 7 or presumably Windows 10. They do a lot of things really well, but it's just when they try to get out of that bubble and go into other areas where they falter some.
Leo: What is Microsoft really good at? What is the positioning that Microsoft would like to tell the world? Ed, what do you think? If you were sitting in the corner office? Is something wrong? I just promoted you to CEO of Microsoft. Okay. Did you get a big hit of noise or something? Uh oh. Alright, we will take a little moment. Windows 10! Love it! But this is the same thing as Paul Thurrott, he always has to use the latest stuff. I don't know why he has to use it on us. What are you using Christina?
Christina: Yosemite. But it's in GM now.
Leo: I just got it when I was gone. My Mac rebooted and I got, I guess, so the Gold Master means that this is what we've got. This is what is going to come out.
Christina: Yeah, I'm thinking that there will be one more update, but this is the Gold Master candidate.
Leo: You know how I know this is real? Because they changed the About OS X box finally.
Christina: They did, they did. You know, it feels pretty stable. I've been using it. Apple gave me a review machine to use through the beta process, but at this point I've got it running on everything now that the GM is out.
Leo: I'm using it on my Mac Pro, and the last version really felt sluggish. I have a very high res, you know that 4K display; it felt really sluggish and they fixed it whatever it was. I don't know if it was debugging code, or they were having performance issues, or they hadn't tuned it yet, but boy this feels good. This feels like it is ready.
Christina: It really does, it really does. There were a couple of the betas that the 4K didn't do quite as good, but now it feels solid. They have done a good job with it. I have enjoyed using it. I kind of felt bad for Microsoft because Apple decided to release the GM at the same time.
Leo: Same day.
Christina: No, during the presentation. As soon as the presentation started they released the GM, and I was like really guys? Really?
Leo: Do you think that was an accident?
Christina: Of course not. Are you kidding me?
Leo: They all do this, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, they all do it. Grow up. Grow up.
Christina: Is it an accident? Come on. It was not an accident. I kind of agree because it make it hard us because we are trying to cover both things at once and it's like I don't have time.
Leo: October 16th according to Re/code, and John Paczkowski is pretty good with these, will be, and we already know because Jim Dalrymple of the loop said that it is not October 21st. October 16th will be the day that Apple ships Yosemite, right?
Christina: Yeah, that's what it seems like. That will also be the day that they have an iPad event. We will get the gold iPad with the touch ID, and the faster processor, and maybe, maybe, maybe, knock on wood a new Apple TV. We will see.
Leo: That's how bad it has gotten at Apple, is that the new iPad is gold.
Leo: Oh, it's got a touch ID. Touch ID is good.
Christina: Touch ID is awesome, but let's also be honest; the iPad Air is the best tablet that I've ever owned.
Leo: It's done, it's done.
Christina: It's fantastic.
Leo: It's done. Why can't we in this industry just say something is done? That's it, it's got everything, we are not going to make it better, it's done.
Christina: I honestly do feel like from a design perspective that you can update the specs, you can make the guts better, but I feel like it is the same way as once they got to the current MacBook Air design, which I guess they did in 2010 or 2011. It's perfect. You get to a certain point with a design that you can't make it any better. I feel that the iPad Air or this iPad is there. I don't know how you can make that any better from a design perspective, it's done. You can update the guts, you can add Touch ID, but the design itself is perfection.
Leo: So now we've got Ed Bott back. We thought we would just talk about Apple while you were gone Ed.
Ed: So that was...
Christina: Oh no.
Leo: Now it's something else. Now it's his audio. We don't hear you Ed.
Christina: We heard that.
Ed: You know, this is not Windows 10. There is actually a short in the microphone.
Leo: Oh, all right. Those are, by the way I wanted to point out, Apple earbuds ladies and gentlemen.
Ed: These are Marley earbuds.
Leo: They look just like Apple. Marley? I've never heard of Marley. Is that a good thing? Something that I should know about?
Ed: Bob Marley earbuds.
Leo: Is it Bob Marley?
Ed: It's the Marley Estate, yes, that did all of these.
Leo: You know that Dr. Dre IS making lots of money on the headphones, man. I've got to do that.
Ed: It has a little cork.
Leo: Oh, I will put cork on it. That makeS it cool.
Christina: They are actually really nice the stuff that they do with them. They just signed with Motorola didn't they Ed? I think they did.
Leo: It's such a high margin business. I should be making freaking TWiT headphones.
Christina: You should Leo. We are not even joking. I remember when I worked in retail we would automatically get a 50% discount on anything Bose, but I remember the markup on certain audio equipment was sometimes up to 90% for certain brands. 90% markup, and that was the employee price which means that there was even greater markup than that. For home audio, for car audio, for personal audio the markup is insane. I think that's why, to me, it made more sense for Apple to buy Beats because that thing was a cash cow that shows no signs of stopping and the margins on that stuff is better.
Leo: Except that some analysts said that the margin had disappeared once they stopped having Monster make them and started trying to make their own headphones.
Christina: That might have been true with the huge margin, but I guarantee that with Apples' supply chain contacts that any advantage that Monster had Apple has 10 times as much. I guarantee it.
Leo: Windows 10! Just one more thing. You say in your review, and by the way Ed has a really good review on his ZDNet Blog. You say that this is designed primarily to make life easier for mouse and keyboard aficionados. It's the return of the desktop basically.
Ed: Yes, what's interesting is that, like I said, there is going to be multiple milestones along the way. This is the one where if you take Windows 10 and install it on a touch capable device that you have learned to use with Windows 8.1 you are going to go, ah, what happened?
Leo: They took my touch out!
Ed: Where did all of my good stuff go?
Leo: No more charms.
Ed: The charms are still there on the touchscreen device. That all worked as expected. There is no metro version of Internet Explorer. There is no touch friendly version of Internet Explorer. There is just one browser in this technical preview.
Leo: That is a relief because that was crazy having two different browsers with two different UIs.
Christina: Here is my problem with that. They lived in two different worlds, so if you have a website open in the touch version and then you went to the desktop version then the website wasn't open there. So your tabs and states were completely separate. That is what drove me nuts. That, to me, was like what was unconscionable. If you want to have 2 different interfaces that's fine but at least let my websites live in both places. Having them be completely separate to me is like, you know what, I can't do this. I can't do this Microsoft, I'm sorry.
Leo: So the rumor was, Ed that they were going to sense what you were on and be appropriate to the device that you were on. Is that what they were doing?
Ed: Well that's not just a rumor, that's something that they showed off in a mockup.
Leo: Remember, I've been in London. That was the rumor before they showed it, yeah.
Ed: So it's coded. It's not coded into the technical preview, but the idea, again, this is intended for those convertible devices, those 2 in 1 devices. They did, I think that I might have linked into it in the article, but they did a video and they showed how it would work if you take a Surface, or an HP X2, or HP one of those convertible devices, a Lenovo Yoga; you either remove the keyboard or switch it into tablet mode, and their goal is for some interface affordance to come up and allow you to say, okay, I want to be in tablet mode now. That would make the touch targets bigger and so on. When you reattach the keyboard you can say, no I want to be back in mouse and keyboard mode now where the touch targets get smaller because you have a fine precision pointer that you can go after them with and you can take advantage of richer apps. That's a really fine problem to solve, and a really difficult problem to solve. It will be enjoyable at the least to watch how this develops. It could be a train wreck or it could be a thing of beauty. You just don't know.
Leo: Larry Dingnan before the event gave some strategic goals for Microsoft. He said that Windows, he said 9, but that 10 needs to be a Cloud jump off point, keep Microsoft relevant, be the last of Microsoft's big bang releases, entice the Enterprise to be Windows based, and advance Microsoft's mobile ambitions. Those do seem like kind of big goals that Microsoft needs to focus on. Do you think that this does that job? Acknowledging that Larry is your boss?
Ed: It was a brilliant post.
Leo: Brilliant, brilliant piece. But this does seem exactly right. In fact, it is kind of some of the stuff that we have already touched on.
Ed: It is. They need to circle the wagons in a sense for the Enterprise customers. There really aren't a lot of options for Enterprise customers out there, so the question isn't to keep them from going elsewhere; the question is to keep them happy and in the fold. What you didn't see in terms of the name, and the Start menu, and stuff is that you didn't see a lot of the security features that are coming in. One thing that was leaked in a blog post from a Microsoft employee, it was pulled about 2 hours later when somebody came to them and said that you weren't supposed to publish that stuff, but he published a lot of detailed features that were going to be in there. There is a lot of multi factor authentication stuff for example.
Leo: Good, good.
Ed: It's going to be baked into the core authentication of the operating system. Not a layer that is added on, but baked in there. The ability to compartmentalize data on a device so that if you bring a personal device into work then your management using light weight device management tools, the same thing that they use to manage iPads and phones now; they can use that to compartmentalize the data on your device so that when you leave employment they can zap the work files and not touch your personal files or apps at all. Those are the kind of problems that people are looking to solve in the Enterprise today.
Leo: It's funny because those are problems that the mobile platform have been trying to solve. Exactly those problems.
Ed: Well everything is becoming a mobile platform now. Really the screen is just an endpoint and the idea of whether you get to it on a laptop, or on a big tablet, or on a small tablet, or a smartphone you should be able to get to the back end that has the thing that you need to do and control it from whatever endpoint you happen to have whatever the size it happens to be.
Leo: That is, I guess, getting back to my original question, which is how important is the desktop anymore? It's just one kind of avatar of what you are actually doing. It's an abstraction of what is really there, which is data. It seems to me that Microsoft has to, and I think probably knows this and is working very hard to do this, has to really have a strategy that goes across all of these, I hate to use the word avatar but that is what it is, this realization of what is at core which is your actual work or the data that you are doing. So mobile, desktop, tablet, and it sounds like they want to own all of these deviations of it.
Ed: They want to be playing in all of those whether they can own them or not. There is sort of a cult of monopoly in Silicon Valley where you are only successful if you have at least 90% market share. Oh my god, Apple only has 31% share selling $700 devices each with a profit margin of 30% in a market of a billion devices. You don't need a monopoly to be a significant player.
Leo: Does Microsoft understand that coming from being this Monopoly company for 2 decades?
Ed: I think they understand it extremely well. They understand how lucky they were to get the desktop monopoly and they understand how difficult it is to get a meaningful share, a meaningful market in mobile devices.
Leo: So plays well with others has got to be a big part of that overall strategy.
Ed: Well, that's a part of their overall strategy. It certainly isn't Googles' strategy and it's not Apples' strategy. Apple is plays well with anyone who plays well with us and Googles' strategy is plays well with us.
Leo: And plays well with your data. Alright, we are going to take a break. Ed Bott is here. He has now fixed his short circuit underneath his table. Are you using a USB interface? Is that what it is?
Ed: Yeah, it's the anti-microphone with headphones plugged into that and it just had a nice little crackling in the ears there.
Leo: It's good that you are using the Marley headphones man because that insulates you against it. It's not Bob, it's Ziggy.
Ed: I think that is the Marley estate.
Leo: Ziggy's kids. I'm getting old. Also here from Mashable, Christina Warren. We are talking about the week's tech news. Our show today is brought to you by Squarespace. The good news on Squarespace? You don't have to worry about fads or what is happening on the web. It's changing so fast. I just saw that one of our favorite Web 2.0 companies got sold, and somebody wrote an article saying that it's the end of Web 2.0. This stuff moves so fast, Adaptive Path is now part of it, it's just crazy. You don't have to worry about that with Squarespace because they take care of that for you. It's something that we've really experienced in designing our own websites. Every 6 months there is a new oh, now no more hamburgers, you can't add a hamburger, you have got to add the parallax view, you have got to have the big images, no more. This is it, you don't have to worry anymore. Your data is separate from your design, your designs are state of the art, every Squarespace template is written to take advantage of the latest web technologies like responsive design so that your site looks good on all sites. When that new trend or fad comes out you don't have to worry; the Squarespace engineers will be on it and so will your website. Squarespace is the best hosting plus the best software all on one platform that makes it easy for you to create a website. You worry about your content, or your business, or what you are selling, or your portfolio; let them worry about the crazy stuff that is going on on the internet. Make your website state of the art. Separate content from display. Do it right with Squarespace. By the way, if you need some help they always have the best support 24x7 from their own offices in New York. They have never outsourced it. There is a completely redesigned customer support help site, self-help articles, video workshops, webinars, and ecommerce available on all plan levels. That means that you can sell stuff, but you can also accept donations which is great for nonprofits. You can do a cash wedding registry or a school fund drive. All of this starts at $8 a month. That includes a free domain name when you sign up for a year. They will wire it all up for you. Great apps like the Metric App for iPhone and iPad that lets you check site stats, unique visitors, and social media followers. The Blog App makes it easy to update and monitor comments. The code is gorgeous underneath. You are getting state of the art stuff. If you are a photographer you have got to take a look at their Portfolio App which takes your photos from the website and puts them on an iPad or iPhone suitable for display to your clients. They've even got workflow built into this, it's just so cool. Always updated with the latest, greatest stuff; always secure. Squarespace.com, try it free, you don't need a credit card. Just go to squarespace.com, click the "Get Started" button, and you will be able to use the site completely free, no credit card or anything, for 2 weeks you get the run of the place. You can even import your existing data to see how that feels in there. I think that you are going to like it. All I ask is that when you decide to buy use the offer code TWIT and you will get 10% off and they will know that you saw it on This Week in Tech. Squarespace.com, offer code TWIT, the next place to start your website; Squarespace.
Adaptive Path is an interesting story. There was a company that really created web 2.0 and Wired says that, "Adaptive Path and the death rattle of the Web 2.0 era". Who did they sell to? Capital One, like the credit card company. What the hell is that?
Christina: It's so weird.
Leo: And really everybody we know has Adaptive Path, and everybody used them, and they would tell you how to make your site usable, how to make your UI design and stuff. They said we aren't going to take any more customers, we are only going to Capital One from now on. Wow, wow, wow. I'm feeling old. Speaking of feeling old, it has been exactly 3 years to the day that Steve Jobs passed away. That was a very sad day here. Who were we interviewing? We were doing Triangulation. Kevin Marks, right?
Chad: Kevin Marks.
Leo: Who had worked at Apple. Who had worked for Steve Jobs. When the news came that Steve had passed, everybody knew that he was very sick, he had already stepped down as CEO of Apple; still it was a real shock. Tim Cook sent out an email to Apple employees on Friday, "Team, Sunday will mark the third anniversary of Steve's passing. I'm sure that many of you will be thinking of him that day as I know that I will. I hope that you will take a moment to appreciate the many ways that Steve made our world better. His vision extended far beyond the years that he was alive, and the values on which he built Apple will always be with us. Enjoy your weekend, especially those of you who will be here working here all weekend long. Thanks for helping to carry Steve's legacy into the future." One of Steve's legacies, we learned from Don Melton's interviews on the Debug Podcast, Rene Ritchie's great podcast on iMore, was that the weekends weren't really weekends for Apple employees, especially executives because Monday was the big meeting day and you had to have everything ready for your boss to bring to Steve on Monday. So Sunday nights were extremely high pressure for Apple employees. I wonder if that culture has changed. As we remember all of those great things about Steve he was also a tough man to work for I think.
Ed: But is that different from any other company?
Leo: Is it or not? You tell me.
Ed: Not when you get into the executive ranks of a big tech company today.
Leo: You work 24/7.
Ed: Yeah, if you don't do it you get your lunch eaten.
Christina: I think that the difference here was that it wasn't just the execs, it was all of the underlings too. I've talked to a lot of people who were on Craig's team and on Scott's team on the Mac and the IOS side who had to do those presentations, and their bosses were the ones who were obviously up all night, but the people below them had to be up all night, too. It kind of became part of the culture where everybody, and Don's interview and the other former employees were eluding to that, was that you kind of got mad at the people who worked below you if they got a good night's sleep and you didn't so it kind of permeated from the top down.
Leo: Melton says that it was really sad when the Sopranos ended because you knew when the Sopranos was on; Scott Forstall loved the Sopranos and you knew that you had one hour so that you could go to the bathroom, have a conversation with your family, whatever. But after the Sopranos ended there goes our hour.
Christina: I don't know if it's that way at Google or not. You hear mixed things.
Leo: It probably depends on who your boss is there.
Christina: I was going to say, I think that that is one of the big differences, that at Apple I think what is different than at Google is that at Apple the designers are kind of king and they sit above where the engineers are whereas at Google the engineers are kind. The hierarchy is much more flat at Google versus at Apple. It differs from company to company. I think that you can make the argument that at Yahoo, for instance, I don't think that there are a lot of people who feel compelled to be up until 4:00 in the morning on a Sunday night. That's not really a criticism of Yahoo, I just think that it is a difference. Yeah, I think that a lot of these consumer companies, if you want to make it then you have got to work sometimes these insane ridiculous hours. But that is also I think is why you see so much burn out from people, right, because there is a certain point in your life where you go I can make this much money working for any number of companies, do I really need to be doing this when I am however old I am, and if I have a family do I really need to be in a position where I can't go to bed until 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning on Sunday night because I am presenting to someone and my boss who never sleeps might be sending me an email that I have got to be ready for.
Leo: But if I'm Steve Jobs or Tim Cook I want that kind of employee, right? Those are the guys who are going to get promoted.
Christina: Well yeah, you get promoted, but promoted to what? I think that becomes the big question.
Leo: Burnout is a big issue of course.
Christina: That's what I'm saying. At a certain point if you are doing this your whole life and your whole career, to what end? If everybody at the top is having these sorts of work hours then what are you working towards exactly? If taking a vacation means that you are having to check your email 4 times a day. That was one of their points, that you would have to say, only 4 times, but Don was secretly judging somebody, you could hear it on the podcast, you only check email 4 times a day while on vacation.
Leo: There is something wrong with you.
Christina: Well you also kind of wonder, well maybe I just don't want to do this. There were a lot of jobs where you could make good money and get to have a life. To me that is kind of why I see some of the big perks that these companies offer, notably Google and Facebook, as kind of being bad things, right? It seems like they are just encouraging you to live at the office and to make your entire social circle, your entire work life, everything revolves around the office. You think, oh, it's so great, I get to do my laundry here, I can sleep here, I can eat here, I can do all of this other stuff, but doesn't that at some point just mean that your entire life is your job? Maybe that's okay, maybe that's what you want, but I think that for a lot of people we like to have the idea, even if it's fake, that we can have lives beyond what we do.
Leo: Melton says, "If someone came into my office and said that they wanted to be a manager I would ask them how they slept last night. They would say fairly well. I would say, good, because that's the last good night's sleep that you are going to get." Is it like that at Microsoft Ed? I know it's not like that at ZDNet.
Ed: Well, it was like that at Ziff Davis when I worked there, absolutely.
Leo: Really? Bill Ziff would call you in the middle of the night?
Ed: Bill or the executives from Ziff Davis. You would get that call in the middle of the night and you would be expected to respond to it.
Leo: It's funny because I had a different take when I read this. I thought my god this sounds horrible and Lisa, our CEO here at TWiT said what are you talking about? That is exactly how it should be. Oh, okay.
Christina: I think that there is balance, right? There are certain times where there is breaking news and it is all hands on deck. We all get on board and we do it and it's kind of one of those things where people know that they can call me at 2:00 in the morning and I will be waking up.
Leo: Startup culture is going to attract a certain kind of person, usually young, no family, no life. That's who you are going to get.
Christina: That is.
Leo: Devoted, focused.
Christina: Right, because those are the people who can afford to give that stuff up. It gets harder to make the decision to put all of your life into that when you are older. I'm 31, but I have to say that it would be harder for me, I'm married and I have been at this for a while, to be willing to work 18 hour days or a job if I didn't have significant equity or I weren't building it up myself. If I were just being hired as a cog in the wheel I don't know if I would willing to do that if I am being honest. When I was 20, 21, 22, sure, but even just in the span of a decade things change because what you value in your life changes. It's especially different if you are married, or you have a partner, or especially if you have children. You know, you don't want to give those sorts of things up in exchange for the perceived potential benefits. That's why there are so many young people in startups, sometimes I think to their detriment because the startups could actually benefit from having people who are experienced, and have gone through things more, and have a better perspective. You just can't find people usually who are willing to give up their entire lives for the company and to be in that kind of go, go, go and working 18-19 hours.
Leo: It's really not that new. So I was in London this week, the Tower of London, and actually Westminster Abbey where everyone is buried. What becomes really apparent is that the British Empire became an empire on the backs and the blood of millions of young men, mostly, and some women, who were willing to give their lives for this cause. The British Empire; this really isn’t anything new, is it? You get glory but I guess this has always been the case. But then I think people who buy these iPhones aren’t really thinking about the blood, sweat, and tears that go into them. Not just in Cupertino, but in China and everywhere else.
Christina: No, we don’t like to think about that because that’s really depressing.
Leo: Is that life?
Christina: Yea, it is. And it’s not. I think there is a huge disconnect though. There’s a certain amount of disconnect when you have someone like Bisque which costs a lot of money. And he’s a status symbol and you see how it’s made. And there’s a certain amount of guilt as I think there should be when you think about the sacrifices that go into being made and the people who are sourcing the material, people who are putting these things together. Not to mention, to be honest, I feel for some of the people who are building the software. But I’m not going to cry a river for somebody who’s making a six-figure salary as their choice. I’m going to cry and feel bad for the people that are being paid pennies now to put these things together. The people that are sourcing the materials to make this stuff. I think that’s one of the interesting dichotomies with tech at least for me, we’re surrounded by all this amazing stuff that makes our lives so much easier. But at the same time, so many of those advantages come at the expense of a real human capital. And that’s not a fun thing to really address or look at and I think that’s why a lot of us don’t. Because it’s very uncomfortable to put those two things in jest position. It is something we probably should do more of.
Leo: It actually reminds me of the Tony Shay story that’s going around about downtown Las Vegas. Tony Shay, who is the CEO at Zappos even after the Amazon acquisition. Really great guy, I love him. He wrote a book about bringing happiness to everyone. And I thought this is really an interesting project to revitalize downtown Vegas. To create startup capital funds down there. And bring startups in there. And it’s Shay just stepped down. Thirty of the 300 employees have been laid off and the worst thing is there have been three suicides this year by people involved with the downtown project. Of course the headline in the newspapers is Is it Possible to Be Happy When You’re Trying to Bring Happiness to Everyone. It’s damaging. This is another side of this. Shay said hey there’s suicides everywhere. You shouldn’t focus on that.
Christina: Well and I think that as a point it’s also in that case really you have to look at the big culture of things. You’re talking about a very stressful thing of having a startup. My father is retired now but he was an entrepreneur. I know what it was like growing up where my mom was the stable breadwinner. My dad sometimes things work out well sometimes they wouldn’t. Starting your own business is very difficult. There’s a startup where you have funding or you’re starting a restaurant and getting a small business loan.
Leo: It’s tough.
Christina: It’s tough and most of them fail. The reality is most of them fail.
Leo: And it’s hard on you and hard on your family.
Christina: You have a situation with the downtown project where yes they had a lot of money where they’re trying to revitalize this very down-trodden, dilapidated, crime-ridden area and trying to do a civic duty and also trying to treat it like a tech startup. So you convince a lot of people to leave their homes and support systems. Come to this place that has its own issues. Then power together through the spirit of Kumbaya. And big something bigger. It’s a great idea. And I certainly don’t want to condemn the idea. But I definitely feel like that does become a perfect storm in a sense for the homes that are going to exist anyway to become even more exasperated. Once you look at the situation of where you are, what the economy is like, what the people and the town are like, then you have all the other day to day really realistic struggles of starting a business. Especially when the person that’s leading, the command is this very charismatically they’re who wants everyone to be happy to the point I feel like maybe that becomes a negative thing. Because you feel like if I’m not on the outward looking like I’m happy but I don’t talk about my struggles. If I do talk about my struggles, that’s going against the message. So maybe people don’t feel comfortable to be open about what they’re struggling with. So I think it’s a real shame. But I think the downtown project, they obviously had to do some layoffs this week. And we don’t really know the whole story behind that. I feel like… I don’t know. I love the idea of trying to go into a down-trodden area and trying to build it up and do good. But I don’t know if you can apply some of the lessons you do with a typical startup. If you can take that to civic planning. I don’t necessarily know if the people in charge, what’s been coming out has been maybe that some of the people in charge of these things weren’t the best people to be in charge. And civic planning is hard enough. Doing startups is hard enough. Doing both of them together, maybe it was too ambitious. But I hope that the project is able to be ultimately successful. That it can work out better going forward.
Leo: Yea, I think Tony’s a great guy and his heart is in the right place.
Christina: Without a doubt. And I think he’s done a lot for the Vegas community. It’s one thing to build a successful business. It’s another thing to build a bunch of successful businesses and a community that can kind of build upon itself. And to his point, he released a letter that said look, we knew this was a five-year plan. We’re accelerating that the typical process much faster so there are going to be successes and failures that accelerate faster too. And that’s a valid point. I just think the narrative we want to see as journalists and story-tellers, and people who follow the media, we want to see things happen in a certain way. And I think some new people went to downtown Vegas and were in air of the process. When it doesn’t work out, become upset that it didn’t work out. We’re only in the middle of what they think their five-year plan is going to be. I think they’re heart is in the right place. And I’m not willing to count these things out but I just think it’s proof to all of us that money alone isn’t going to be able to create success. And that it’s hard work to build a business and it’s hard work to build communities.
Leo: And there’s a price paid by people who choose it. We’re going to take break and come back with more. Bill Gates says Apple Pay is a good thing. Doesn’t say why Microsoft didn’t do it sooner. But first, they tried! Or did they? I don’t know. You know they had a watch, they had that spot watch. It was awesome. We’re going to take a break. And be back with more in just a moment. Our show brought to you today by audible.com. Here’s something we can all agree on. The best way to relax and to seal out the world and all those 3AM phone calls is an audiobook. As somebody who’s spent a lot of time on an airplane this week and last week too, I have to tell you Audible is a lifesaver. In England there’s Audible ads in the tube, in the underground station. Everywhere, on the trains. And what was the slogan? I loved it. I can’t remember. It was a great slogan, like there’s always time to listen or something like that. It was wonderful. It’s true. If you commute, if you spend time in the car or the gym, if you do housework, anything! There’s lots of time in the day when you can’t hold a book. But you can be listening to a book. And you’ll be amazed, it brought reading back into my life when I started listening to Audible 14 years ago. I started in the year 2000. Because we have busy lives. Who has time? There could be a time where you could be listening, and Audible brings those books into your life. I used to have this rule, one book at a time. I don’t know how I got out of that. But now I’ve got like three books going. Right now. One fiction, one non-fiction, and then maybe one random one. There’s so much great listening at Audible, 150,000 titles. Recorded not just by readers, but by actors. By people who bring these books to life in such a great way. And sometimes it’s by the author. I just listened to Neil Young, an autobiography and he’s reading it. And that’s great. Not Neil Young, he’s one, there is one Neil Young book. Graham Nash, actually the next one on my list is Neil Young. So I love the rock and roll stuff. I’m also about to listen to Gone Girl. That movie’s coming out this week. A thriller, but I’ve got to tell you, as good as a two-hour movie could be, there’s nothing to compare to a novel as you’re listening to it and it plays out in your mind. Your mind makes the best sense. Sometimes I think I’ve already seen this movie because I’ve read or listened to the book. So if I always recommend, before you see the movie, get the book Gone Girl. Fwew, yeah, absolutely. Don’t know what the movie will be like but I know you’re going to love this book. Here’s the deal. I’m going to get you two books free. What about that? All you have to do is go to audible.com/twit2. That’s audible.com/twit2. You’ll be signing up for the Platinum plan, that’s two books a month plus the daily digest of the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. Cancel at any time in the first 30 days and those books are yours to keep forever. You pay nothing, but I think you’re going to want to be a member for life. I am, that’s it. Ooh, new Neil Gayman. A full-cast production of the Graveyard Book. I haven’t read this. Have you read that Graveyard Book? Christina? Because this seems like you’d be a Neil Gayman fan.
Christina: I am, I have not. But I saw Gone Girl yesterday. And the film was great. The film was fantastic. That book is amazing too. Actually the Audible version is like 20 hours. It’s a really good one.
Leo: Well that’s the thing. How could a two-hour movie get all the nuance of a 19-hour novel?
Christina: Remarkably well. But it’s two hours 45 minutes.
Leo: Would you listen to the book first?
Christina: I would. But I would say if you don’t, Jillian Flynn adapted the novel. She also did the screenplay. So it’s one of the rare times where, A I think Fincher in general is really good at adaptation. She did a really good job with the script. But yea, I would definitely listen or read the book first if you have a chance.
Leo: See one or the other is going to spoil it, right? Cause then you’ll know what’s going to happen.
Christina: You’re going to know. It’s one of those things that you’re going to enjoy it. My husband loved the film and I loved the book. And loved the film. The entire theater-I’m not going to give anything away-the entire theater when it was over, I’ve never seen a whole theater full of people literally have a WTF face. Everybody was just kind of…
Leo: See I want that experience with a book first. Then I’ll do it with a movie. I think that’s personal. That’s personal preference.
Christina: I like to read the book first if I can.
Leo: Before I see the movie, I almost always try to read the book first. For some reason, that’s just how I am. Audible makes it possible. And again, I think your mind is better at creating scenes, creating building the set, making it happen. To me, science fiction as much as I love those great sci-fi movies and TV shows, you’ve got to read the book. The book comes to life, whatever it is. Peter F Hamilton, Isaac Azemhoff, great selection there, too at audible.com. Try it today, two books are free for you. Audible.com/twit2. Audible.com/twit2. There was always time to listen, something like that. Lisa’s happy because the 9’ers won. I thought she was cheering for Audible. I like Audible too, she says. She’s listening to Nora Roberts. I think you’re going to go through all the Nora Roberts’s books and John Grisham. Yea, she likes those thrillers. It’s fun, and she’s in the gym like eight hours a day. So if she really needs something to listen to. Bill Gates in an interview with Bloomberg TV Eric Shattser. Talked about a lot of stuff, talked about Bit Coin. Bill’s slant has changed a little bit now that he’s a philanthropist, he’s not so interested in business. He’s interested in how the world, especially for the poor, can be transformed. And he thinks for instance, Bit Coin is huge for that. But he also think that forms of virtual money and payment are really important. Because especially in the developing world, a lot of people don’t have bank accounts. But they might have cell phones. They can’t write a check but they can pay by a cell phone. This is quote from the interview; it was a great example of how a cell phone that identifies its user in a pretty strong way. I guess he’s talking about the fingerprint touch ID, lets you make a transaction that is very inexpensive. So the fact that in any application, I can buy something. That’s fantastic. The fact that I don’t need a physical card anymore. I just do that transaction, you’re going to be quite sure about who’s at the other end. And that is a real contribution. All the platforms, whether it’s Apple, Google, or Microsoft, you’ll see these payment capability built-in. But he thinks Apple will help it get to critical mass for all of the devices. I think he’s right. I think this is something we’ve been poised on the verge of. But Apple Pay is just going to be, I think it’s going to be that final bit that puts us over the top. Especially because of the touch ID which works very well on iPhones.
Ed: Well they also have a very deep connection to a very wealthy, core demographic.
Leo: Which merchants would love to get to.
Ed: Exactly. And that’s what makes it possible for the payment system to be successful. Is because you know that people are going to be coming in with money on their phone that they can interact with.
Leo: He also says Apple’s in it for the money. Not for philanthropy. But it will spur philanthropy, or will help the economy of the developing world greatly.
Christina: No, I think he’s right. It’s interesting actually because if you look at the developing world, they’ve actually been further ahead at least in America when it comes to paying by phone. They do it in different ways. I remember speaking to the dear who was at PayPal at the time, then at Google, and I’m not sure what he’s doing now. But at the time, he was PayPal’s big payments guy and he was telling me how-this was probably in 2009 or 2010-a lot of people in Africa would have dumb phones and would use these kind of micropayments to buy things with individuals acting as banks to transfer funds from one device to another.
Leo: The technology is widely-used now and in Africa and India is Enpasa.
Christina: Exactly, that same sort of thing. So people buy things through SMS. I think bringing it to the developed world, it’s needed an Apple. I think obviously NFC is not a new thing. But what hasn’t happened in America anyway, is that the merchants haven’t gotten on board. To Ed’s point, they will get on board when they know you got 10M people buying an iPhone 6 the weekend it comes out. When you have a few million people with touch ID capable devices who are going into places like Whole Foods, and Target, and the Apple Store, and other places to buy stuff that means that upgrading your equipment and point of sales terminals makes sense.
Leo: And we’ve been talking about that lately on MacBreak Weekly. The timing is critical. In the U.S. we’re going chip-and-pin by 2015. That is a federal mandate. Merchants will have to buy new credit card equipment anyway, before the end of next year. So your timing is excellent. If you’re a merchant and about to do this, you’re going to make sure it works with Apple Pay. Obviously since Apple is still not even half of the universe in the United States, you’re going to make sure it works with Google Wallet and NFC and any other touch-to-pay system. And I’m sure that that’s exactly what’s happening. The companies that make these devices are now making sure they are completely compatible with all the possible touch-to-pay stuff. And that’s going to empower. We were in a London taxi. They take touch-to-pay, many of the London taxies. I could have paid with my Google Wallet, I was poised over it. But there’s a hump to get over. It’s like the first time you use a credit card online.
Ed: I think that might be as much as anything in age-related thing, Leo.
Leo: Are you saying I’m old, Ed Bott?
Ed: I am. I would say we’re old. But you know, what I find fascinating is that the most well-developed and widely-implemented payment system so far is one called ISIS.
Leo: Which was Verizon’s attempt to get onto my phone.
Christina: It’s now called Soft Card.
Leo: Smart idea. Change the name of all the software, it’s still called Isis. I haven’t had an update yet.
Christina: No that’s the one that the carriers, it’s everybody but Sprint. And MasterCard and Visa, and I think American Express.
Leo: Which was horrific because they kept Google Wallet off of all their phones.
Christina: They did. I remember when I beta tested that and reviewed that that was three years ago, this month or last month of these three years that I used it on a Galaxy Nexus on Sprint. And I connected my Capital One credit card to it because that happened to work. But it only worked with a Capital One MasterCard. It wouldn’t work with a Visa, only a MasterCard. And only for a couple payment carriers.
Leo: So is Ed right since Ed and I are old farts and you’re young, are you comfortable with touch to pay. Is that something you do?
Christina: I don’t have a card with a chip in it. There aren’t enough readers. But I definitely would feel comfortable with that. For me the bigger hump is actually been will this recognize my existing banking system or do I have to go to another bank. The big thing I think Apple has that was absolutely a requirement and they obviously thought to do this, they are going to be coming out of the gates supporting Bank of America, Chase, Citi Bank, all the major banks are begging to get on board. Visa, American Express are on board. So when you have that ability there, if I can very easily add my existing card to the wallet very easily and I don’t have to go through hoops-which I had to do with Google Wallet-and what you kind of do with Isis. Even for people who are not maybe comfortable, if you can get over that hump of easily adding your card or scanning your credit card and having it in your wallet. That’s a lot easier.
Leo: I think I’ll get comfortable quickly. I need to do it a few times and just not that much opportunity to do it. I do think that touch ID in an iPhone will make me feel better. I gather what happens with Wallet is you have to enter a pin?
Christina: You have to enter a pin and the MC might be working. Maybe it isn’t. It was clunky when they introduced it three years ago. And because of the Isis back and forth, they never really got it off the ground.
Leo: Thanks, Verizon.
Christina: It was a great first attempt but when I was using it three years ago, I was like there’s no way this will go mainstream. Apple for whatever reason, they’re really lucky with the timing. As you said, people have to upgrade their machines anyway. B, they aren’t going to launch a product that is going to have that sort of experience. They’re not going to do that. They will wait until ecosystem can be where it is now. Because if it were just about launching a product, they could have launched something like touch ID or Apple Pay a couple years ago.
Leo: In countries like Australia where it’s widespread England, people are very… have you done it, Ed?
Ed: Used electronic payments?
Leo: I mean touch to pay.
Ed: No, because the American banking system is almost as backward as the American mobile data statutes. All you have to do is leave the borders of the United States to see what civilization should look like. Then you come back here and you just go, we have all these smart people and all these amazing companies, and these horrible infrastructures. We were in Europe earlier, I guess last month, and I was embarrassed handing over a credit card-I’m sorry you have to swipe this. You know, terribly embarrassed. And they said that’s okay we understand. You’re American. But we were horribly behind on GSM. The rest of the world adopted it wholesale long before us. And I think the rest of the world is going to benefit from electronic payments long before the United States does.
Christina: Canada, they have the chip and pay, swipe and pay stuff. When I go to Canada, it’s the same sort of thing. You feel embarrassed if you have to have them swipe the card. At least there they’ll take $20 bills. For the most part, depending on what part of Canada you’re in, they’ll pretty much take up to a $20 and have the same conversion rate. But yea, we’re definitely way behind. I hope that Apple Pay is what pushes us to catch up. And the other payments, it won’t become a standard of course. But that will be what will force merchants to finally get on board.
Leo: As Gates points out, authentication is the big issue. And having a comfort level with touch ID and having that built in, that’s going-for me anyway-make me feel a lot better about it.
Christina: It’s worth pointing out that will all the breaches and credit card breaches we’ve had over this period of time.
Leo: Can it get any worse?
Christina: Honestly, I feel like I want to see if anything-shoot, RFID seems safer than the systems that have been going on. And we don’t like to think about how unsafe our current credit card systems are. They’re being swiped, and sometimes it’s manually written down. And that sort of stuff. You give your number over the phone. Anybody could be writing that number down and putting it someplace else. Our payment system as it exists right now is very insecure. Because we still are using these antiquated practices. The rest of the world looks at us and goes really guys. I thought that you were like USA number one. It’s like, yea not really.
Leo: You know why, it’s because we are in the forefront of protecting consumers in that regard. Consumers don’t really pay, at least directly, for any loses. The banks do. There’s been very little pressure for consumers to come up with more secure systems. It’s all coming from the bank.
Ed: The banks don’t pay. They are able to push it on the merchants. So if there’s, a lot of time it goes back to the merchants.
Leo: That’s interesting. So it’s the merchants who should be saying we want touch to pay.
Christina: They should be except they don’t want to pay for the upgrade of their systems. Not $1500, $1800 for a new terminal. If you’re a small business, which is why a lot of people, even after the Target hack, were buying this federal mandate; chip to pay. At this point there had been enough problems that everybody is going to have to upgrade. Even after that, a mandate comes through, there’s going to be tons of businesses just like there are in Brooklyn where there are tons of people who don’t take credit card because they don’t want to pay the taxes on it. If they take cash only they use things like Square which are a less expensive way to get around the system. So I don’t know. We’ll see.
Leo: So I’m looking at the Wall Street Journal article. They’ve got it wrong but they’ve corrected the article. Apparently you’ll still be able to sign after October 2015, but you will have to have the pin in your credit card. And it will be encouraged that people use chip in pin as opposed to chip and sign.
Ed: Which is the same way it is in Europe.
Leo: Yea, I could sign for stuff.
Ed: You can still swipe and sign. But it’s strongly encouraged. And you’re much better protected against fraud if you’re using a chip and pin system. I think the big cultural shift that we’re going to have to make is starting to think of smartphones as they literally are like your wallet. You don’t want a pickpocket to take that from you because it’s as valuable as a wallet filled with $20’s and $100’s.
Leo: Well that’s again where the fingerprint in touch ID gives you some reassurance. Apple has also improved their-I think this is great-their activation system now. They have a tool you can put on a phone and say is this a stolen phone? They make it very hard in fact to steal a phone and then use it again. All of that stuff, it’s more than a kill switch. It really kills it, dead. All of that stuff really is important. And Apple really can lead the way. I hope that Android devices will follow.
Christina: I think they definitely will. Apple because even if they have less market share than android does as a whole when it comes to an individual company, they obviously have the most market share. For a single type of device category. More iPhones are sold than anything else. So they have a huge opportunity at that point. I think that you’re absolutely right, Ed. We’ve got to start thinking of our phones as our wallets. To be honest, I’ve lost my phone once and I was able to get it back. But I felt this sense of loss. I felt not having my phone was just like losing a wallet. At this point, there’s as much personal data about me on my phone as there usually is in my wallet. Just as I don’t carry my social security card with me, maybe there’s certain things in my phone that might not be as adherent to my identity. But losing one or both, it’s basically kind of the equivalent. You feel screwed and violated without either piece of information. I think the concept that we can just say it’s just a phone, no you’re phone becomes this core part of your identity in a large sense.
Leo: Ed, you were going to say something?
Ed: No. Just had a short circuit in the mic again.
Leo: Ahh! You know here’s an interesting sideline to this. According to this new law that goes into effect October 2015, there’s also a shift of who is liable for fraud. The person with less technology is liable.
Christina: Right! And that’s what they’re trying to get people to upgrade. So if you didn’t have…
Leo: If there’s card fraud, whichever party has the lesser technology will bear the liability. Wow.
Christina: That’s smart.
Leo: Yea, I guess.
Christina: I think honestly that’s the only way they can convince some of these merchants to upgrade. If it becomes a liability issue. For some it would come down retailers, it would come down to is our insurance that we have out against fraud, is that rider going to be more or less expensive than what we would have to pay to upgrade our systems? And then it just comes down to whatever is cheaper they’ll do. But I think that’s probably the only way to get places that have hundreds of thousands of terminals to upgrade on mass. If you start saying well if you don’t have this system in place, then if there is a breach we will hold you responsible and you will be liable. And your insurance or whatever’s policy that you have in effect will have to be responsible for this.
Ed: At the risk of being totally cynical, I’m going to predict that the regulations will be written in such a way that the banks win.
Leo: Yea, what a surprise.
Christina: Well of course.
Leo: We’ll always have the master technology, not the lesser technology.
Ed: And even if they don’t, the rules will be written in such a way that their technology will be defined as the best.
Leo: Apple’s strategy, not to get back on Apple, but I think it’s interesting that Apple has decided that they’re going to be the privacy company. The security company. And even despite the fact that these iCloud accounts got hacked and so forth. I think that’s a smart move. It is in a way seeing the writing on the wall that people are going to depend on so much on these devices. You need to be. For instance, Apple says we’re not going to help you anymore law enforcement if you ask for a decryption on the iPhone. Currently there’s a queue you can get in. In a few months, they can give you decrypted data from a bad guy’s iPhone. Apple says we’re not going to do that anymore. Although, Matthew Green, cryptographer pointed out there’s not really a change in the way Apple works. They’re just going to move more data than they have before into there. In their past male text messages, photos were excluded from the normally encrypted data on your iPhone. Now everything including attachments, managed books from the book program, iBooks, app-launch images. Location data will be encrypted with keys protected by the user’s passcode. Calendar, excluding attachments, contents, reminders, notes, messages, photos, and health data remain protected until first-user authentication. So this is a good move on Apple’s part. They see the writing on the wall. This is a way to make more money. Sell more iPhones.
Ed: And Microsoft has been doing the same thing with mobile devices for a couple years now. And encrypted by default, they don’t have the keys. And that’s the real issue, is who has the keys? In the Washington Post, they did a spectacularly naïve editorial yesterday where they talked about well there has to be a way for law enforcement to be able to get this data so maybe the wizards at Apple and Google can come up with a magical way to create golden keys that they can save in reserve.
Leo: It’s called a backdoor.
Ed: Well it’s called key escrow.
Leo: Do you trust them? Yea, no I understand that law enforcement is upset. They don’t want there to be anything they can’t look into if they need to. But I don’t think there’s any question that Apple has the right to do this. And that consumers want this.
Christina: Absolutely. Especially when we’ve seen how law enforcement oversteps their boundaries. I want you to have a warrant and do your job as police officers and detectives. I recognize that maybe not having access to this stuff may make your job harder. That’s too bad. What did you do before there were cell phones or before all this information was around?
Leo: Just to play devil’s advocate. Shouldn’t we make sure that law enforcement follows the proper procedures and does have warrants? And it’s court-supervised. But still have key escrow? Shouldn’t we… Ed, why did you say that was a naïve proposal? We do need a way of investigating terrorists and criminals, don’t we?
Ed: Well we had the patriot act which was passed in 2001.
Leo: Well let’s fix that though. I understand it didn’t work and there was no oversight. What if we could make it work and have good court oversight, wouldn’t that be better than just shutting down the hose?
Ed: I think we just bring a unicorn to court. For every warrant hearing and then everything will work properly. The reality is we’ve already proven beyond a shadow of a doubt in this country that under the proper fear level, legislatures will pass laws that make it possible for things to be done in secret that we don’t know about. So if you have a key that is held in escrow and you have a law that says we are the government and we can have a warrant and you can’t talk about this warrant for national security reasons. For the purposes of fighting terrorists or whatever. That escrow key is used to decrypt your data and nobody knows about it. And you can talk about all of the procedural safeguards for making sure that Constitutional rights are respected in a situation like that. But the reality is that if you have the key and someone else can get to the key, and they can hold a gun to your head and say, don’t tell anyone that I got this key from you. Then whoever thinks they are the actual owner of that data doesn’t really own it. The only way that you own that data is if you are the sole owner of the decryption key and nobody else can access it except you.
Leo: I just worry that… there’s some really horrible actors out there like the Islamic state. I wonder if these people will all switch to iPhones.
Christina: That’s the thing though, it’s a false premise I think because just because Apple’s not offering up the decryption keys doesn’t mean that people can’t still access this data. It doesn’t mean there aren’t still people who can reverse engineer things. People in fact do. There are a lot; Jonathan ZDZ, I can’t pronounce his last name. He’s fantastic. He wrote an article on his blog and he’s pretty much the foremost iOS security and forensic guy out there. There’s still software and tools out there that these agencies can get. Especially the high-level where there’s people who want to investigate the Islamic state. What this doesn’t make it easy for is say the Polk County police department was trying to investigate a drug-user’s iPhone. Their job is going to be a little more difficult. Let’s be honest. Maybe it should be. Maybe they have been-to this point, we’re not sure-as Ed was pointing out, these things that are in place where people are able to gain access to these warrants without having to have any sort of paper trail or transparency. We don’t know how they’ve been getting access to stuff. I firmly believe just because Apple’s not handing over the keys, it no way means there’s no way to access this information. It just becomes more difficult, granted. I think it’s kind of one of those tradeoffs we have, being a free society. If we are going to say we have rights and the right to privacy, that means that companies shouldn’t feel as if they have to hand over the keys to all the systems to the government. To me, that really bothers me, not only as an America. The idea that we would entrust the government automatically with all this stuff. Just because you’re law enforcement, you have access to this. There are probably easier ways than even going that far for people who are skilled to break into this stuff if you really need to get the information. I feel like it’s a false economy. Oren Care is saying things like this is pedophiles. Or whoever the man was, these pedophiles all use the iPhone. Okay, first of all, that’s really incendiary language. And it bothers me using that sort of rhetoric. Second of all, you’re not going to say that no one can break into this. That’s not what it’s saying. It’s simply saying that Apple promotes a matter of liability. Let’s be clear, Apple isn’t doing this because they love their users. They’re doing it because they don’t want to be liable or having to be responsible to unlock this stuff.
Leo: It’s also really good positioning for Apple. Although there will be some backlash from people that quite reasonably say yea. But now who’s going to protect us against terrorists? Believe me, I’m playing devil’s advocate here. But I don’t think it’s unreasonable for people to raise that issue. I remember talking to Phil Zimmerman about PGP. And of course the first thing you say, great, you’re now providing completely secure email to everybody. Easy to use. It turned out it isn’t that easy to use. Aren’t you empowering terrorists? Phil was very clear and said yea. But we live in a free society and it’s important to people to protect their property. It’s like the first amendment. You just have to do it.
Ed: It’s no different from a law enforcement agency that says criminals live in houses. Houses have front doors with locks on them. We need to ban locks because the police need to get into criminals’ houses whenever it’s necessary. Fine, you need procedures to break through locks. I guarantee, there will be ways for law enforcement and especially national security to target the information of the really truly bad guys. They’re just going to have to deal with a landscape that has shifts in favor of privacy. And we need to take that, I like what Apple has done in terms of talking about law enforcement. But I want to see that shift to the commercial sector as well. I want to see far fewer web properties and advertising agencies. And data marketers. Indiscriminately gathering wholesale amounts of data on people from around the world. Just because they can. I would love to see not just for law enforcement but for everything, to see the expectation of privacy shift to something that is in favor of the individual.
Leo: Here here! I agree. Now, on that note, let’s take a small break and continue in just a bit with more with Ed Bott of ZD Net. Christina Warren of Mashable. If you’ve missed anything, which I did, I missed the entire week. Fortunately, we’ve prepared this brief video to let you know what you missed and what I missed this week on TWiT.
[Voices]: It’s all about Windows 10. Not Windows 9. Where did Windows 9 go? Why Windows 10? Because seven ate nine. Previously on TWiT. Windows Weekly: this is the last major version of Windows they’re saying. They’re literally putting this out at a much earlier point than they ever have. And this is the new way they do things. Is this what you want? No? Let us know what you want. Security Now: iOS 8’s Mac randomization is almost never active. Maybe they couldn’t do it, but don’t advertise as always random until you’re connected. That’s a lie! Marketing Mavericks: pictures of people using QR codes.tumblr.com. Where are all the posts? Nobody uses QR codes because it was too many things to do. And then you didn’t give anybody anything good. No pony or rocket ship. I want a unicorn. This is your brain. This is your brain on TWiT. Any questions? Well I’m out of here. That’s it for me. Thanks everybody!
Leo: That looked like a setup. I’m just saying. That’s what you missed this week on TWiT. Did Mike do a week ahead? Let’s see what Mike Elgin’s planning on covering this week on TNT.
Mike Elgin: Coming up this week, HTC is holding an event called double exposure on Wednesday October 8th in New York City. Probably some kind of camera or smartphone-camera announcement. Thursday, October 9th is going to be a huge news day. Sony is holding an event in New York also. Possibly the U.S. launch of the new Xperia Z3 smartphone line. The first ever internet.org summit takes place in New Delhi, India on Thursday. Internet.org of course brings affordable internet connectivity to parts of the world that currently don’t have it. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself is the keynote speaker. Zuck will probably meet with India Prime Minister Orinda Moody while he’s in India. Also on Thursday, Tesla will officially announce something called the D according to a cryptic tweet by CEO Elon Musk. He also teased a mystery announcement of some kind as well. That’s what’s coming up this week. Back to you, Leo.
Leo: Mike Elgin. He’s turning into the announcement factory. TNT Monday through Friday, 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern time, 1700 UTC. On this very network. Watch every day and you will not miss a thing. Our show today brought to you by the great folks at Citrix who do Citrix GoToMeeting. The way to meet online, to collaborate online. With GoToMeeting, you’re not only on the same page because you’re screen sharing. You’ll even see each other face to face with crystal clear hi-def video. That’s why millions of business professionals rely on Citrix GoToMeeting to connect with clients, coworkers, to pitch. It is just a great… even with offices that are spread out. You keep GoToMeeting running, it’s like you’re working together! It’s amazing! Right now if you sign up for GoToMeeting before October 10th, you’ll get another Citrix product of your choice free for six months. This is a good deal. So, share screens. HD-video conferencing. Work smarter, team anywhere in the world. You’re all together. You can do it on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Right now when you sign up for that free 30-day trial of GoToMeeting, you’re going to get six months free of the Citrix product of your choice. That’s a good deal. Visit gotomeeting.com and get started. Remember October 10th, the end of the line on this. Gotomeeting.com, try it free. And if you would, use the offer code TWIT. They don’t ask us to say that but I’m going to say. Tell them you heard it on TWiT. Let’s see. Real quickly, U.K. legalizes CD ripping. Right on! The U.K. copyright, by the way, still illegal in the U.S. but the U.K. copyright law… actually CD ripping has always been legal but DVD ripping is not because it has copy protection, right? In the U.K. you can do anything you want. You can rip CDs, DVDs, you can copy MP3s as long as it’s for personal use. And without copyright protection, oh. What?
Ed: Wait a minute. That’s kind of a big loophole they’re stuck in there, dammit.
Leo: Okay, I’m reading an article from Torrent Freak U.K. These changes aim to fix the mismatch between law and public opinion. 85% of consumers in the U.K. thought that it was already legal to rip DVDs and CDs. One-third of all consumers said yea, we make copies of the media we purchase. I think in the U.S. you’re allowed to make copies for archival purposes right? To back up. No one knows what’s legal.
Ed: The other 15% said what’s a CD.
Christina: I was going to say we should go around; does anybody have a machine nearby that has an optical drive connected to it? Because my iMac I believe still has an optical drive. I think it’s one of the only things I have left in my house other than my standalone DVD and Blu-ray players that actually has an optical drive built in. I don’t even think I have a machine other than my iMac.
Leo: Physical media is dead, folks.
Ed: Xbox still has a DVD player in it.
Leo: Oh wait a minute, what’s this. A CD ripper from Samsung. Does this allow you to copy Apple designs as well? That is not legal.
Ed: So what would be really cool is if you could just put a DVD on top of that thing and it would just copy it.
Leo: Still illegal in Australia and other British Commonwealth nations. No, in fact I feel like streaming media is so dominate now. And I don’t understand, I guess RedBox just set down their streaming service. Or whatever it was. But we’re going to get 4K and Sony has announced a new Blu-ray capable player. But you’re going to buy a new one for 4K video. And I guess 4K video is so big you’re probably not going to stream that.
Christina: You can with Netflix a little bit.
Leo: It’s not quality.
Christina: Well the thing is it has to be 15 MB sustained which most people if you’re getting Netflix you can’t have that anyway. So it’s got to be huge pipe and then the quality is not as good as if you get it standalone. For 4K, it’s funny; at the beginning of the year I was a news program. And I was making predictions and we were talking about 4K and I kind of half joked but was half serious, I was like actually maybe disc will come back because of 4K. But I only say that because the file size is so big. For everything else, until 4K TVs are out there in abundance. I love physical media because I like the quality and I like the extra features. But if I’m being honest, 99% of what I watch is still from streaming and other places.
Leo: Convenience trumps quality, I think.
Leo: No, not sadly.
Christina: Yes sadly. I miss my extra features.
Leo: You can get DVD commentary. No, I love DVD commentaries. Do they still do those?
Christina: They do. And that’s the only way you can get them is if you buy the Blu-ray and DVD.
Leo: I think we can fix that.
Christina: We could. Just sadly fewer and fewer people care about that stuff.
Leo: That’s the reason. No one does it because no one wants it.
Christina: I worry because I got into filmmaking and film history through laser disc and through DVD and things like that. And I worry about the generation coming up that’s never going to discover that kind of stuff.
Leo: Francis Fortcopulus commentary on Godfather One is a graduate course in filmmaking.
Christina: It is without a doubt. Scorsese’s commentary in Taxi Driver is the best. Roger Ebert does a commentary on Citizen Kane which is fantastic. He also does one with Spike Lee on do the right thing. They’re all these great commentary tracks where you learn so much about the film.
Leo: I had Do the Right Thing on laser disc but it didn’t have any commentary on it.
Christina: The DVD from 2001 did.
Leo: Now iTunes has DVD extras. They’re crap!
Christina: They are, they’re awful.
Leo: The one thing I want is the commentary.
Ed: They’re like the video equivalent of a free U2 album.
Christina: Like featurettes and maybe some deleted scenes. And what’s not good about those is they’re the ones that the studio makes to promote the film. They put it on HBO between movies. And no one cares so it’s not even a real documentary. There’s this two-hour Jaws documentary that was on the laser disc and then the DVD. And the Blu-ray which is fantastic. If it were that quality, great, awesome. But it’s not. So I don’t know want to see studio…
Leo: I’ve heard studios say we don’t do extras or commentary because nobody wants to do them. Like the directors don’t want to go in there and do this.
Ed: It’s a chore.
Leo: I think that’s a chore they don’t get paid for by the way.
Christina: Well they usually don’t. There are so many good ones. Jerry McGuire, Cameron Corolla’s commentaries are great. But the whole cast got together and Tom Cruise and the director for shooting Jerry McGuire; that one was really good.
Leo: Do podcasts and do a thing that says start DVD now! And then we can do it!
Christina: I know. I’ve been joking-not-joking about the fact that I want to get an underground group of people together to collect all the DVD commentaries.
Leo: Why isn’t Kevin Smith doing this? He likes doing commentaries.
Christina: He does and I think he does for some of his podcasts. I know Battle Star Gallactica loved the episodes there. They did the commentaries as podcasts. And they released them on the DVDs. But more directors need to do that. I feel like we lost so much when we get rid of these extras. I’m not so concerned about the films that are out now. I’m more concerned about when stuff goes out of print. I don’t want to lose Copula’s commentary on Godfather One. I don’t want to lose that time or this stuff when these things go out of print. And the rights are gone. And we’ve got this historical moment which is so incredibly important and such a great educational resource. And then it’s gone just because technology moved forward and we didn’t bother to bring any extras.
Leo: All people care about anymore is selfies.
Ed: And what they care about…
Leo: Tell me!
Ed: I’m throwing this microphone out as soon as we’re done here. This thing’s going to kill me. This thing is trying to kill me! It’s the ghost of Bob Marley.
Leo: What do they care about, man?
Ed: I’m not going to move. I’m going to sit here perfectly motionless. No, what they care about is selling you data.
Leo: Right. The only reason they did commentary was to sell DVDs.
Ed: It was to fill the space on DVDs and so what I thought was fascinating this week, what I thought about as soon as you started talking about DVD extras, was AT&T is now doing a big promotional special where if you sign up for the 15 GB per month plan, they’ll double it to 30 GB. And I’m going holy crap!
Leo: That’s twice as much data that you will never use.
Ed: Who would use 30 GB of data per month? But if you’re using data as your only source of data…
Leo: They’ll charge you for that.
Ed: And all of a sudden, these guys aren’t stupid. Are they anticipating a world two years from now where my measly 2 GB of data on a month that I use, suddenly becomes 20. And I have no choice but to pay for their high-price plans. The bottom line is that the movie producers have always been Holsteins. And they do not care about the quality of the art. They care about butts in the seats and tickets sold.
Leo: That’s why we have podcasts. For people that want to lose money. Why we created them.
Ed: I’m going to look at that turn sheet you sent to me, Leo.
Leo: You want to lose money? Podcasting. Hey, so much fun to have you guys on. I’ll tell you why I do these shows. I get to talk to smart people like Ed and Christina and spend some time with them. I just love doing it every week and I thank you both for being here. Ed Bott, give me something. I’ve got to give something to you.
Ed: Just don’t buy these damn headphones.
Leo: Never buy Marley headphones.
Ed: They’re really nice headphones. I’ve been writing some really good stuff on Windows 10. See that zdnet.com/blog/bott. Or just Google my name in ZD Net and it will all come up. They’re much more of a step in the pipeline.
Leo: Bott has two T’s. And the Ed Bott, zdnet.com/blog/bott is absolutely a must read if you want to keep up. We didn’t mention this but I think it’s interesting that with Microsoft anyone can sign up and get Windows 10 right now. The technical preview. Should they do that? How reliable is it? Does it short-circuit your microphone and make your ears bleed?
Ed: No, this is Windows 7 doing this to me.
Leo: So people can actually, Microsoft has a site where you can go and get it!
Ed: Right, I would recommend this for anybody; if you have successfully installed Windows on your own PC and you know how to do backup, you have satisfied the two prerequisites.
Leo: Is it version-complete enough to do work with or is it just something to look at?
Ed: No, you can use it.
Leo: It’s a Windows.
Ed: It’s very solid. I would call it Windows 8.2, you know. Something like that. It’s very solid, missing a few little things. If you sign up for it, the insider’s program they call it and install it today, you will get the updates installed automatically. That’s part of the deal.
Leo: So I should do this on my VM OS 10 for instance. This would be a good place to play.
Ed: One interesting thing about this is that this is finally a version of Windows post Windows 7 that works well in a VM. The Windows 8 interface with the corners you had to touch to make things happen.
Leo: It drove me crazy.
Ed: Oh, it was nuts! Nuts in a VM because getting your mouse, oh dammit I went into the parent operating system. So with this, you click the Start button and there’s the start menu. Everything’s in a window and everything has a menu. So it’s for somebody who’s coming from Windows 7 it should be a very familiar experience. Ironically for people who have adapted to Windows 8 and 8.1 and have learned the workflow and the shortcuts, it’s going to feel like two steps forward and one step back.
Leo: Christina, I see in the chat room that you installed this in a VM on OS 10 and it works great?
Christina: It does, it works great. I did it in parallels and it’s working excellent. I also put it on a Surface Pro 2. So I was able to test it both on real hardware and then on a VM. It’s great on a VM.
Leo: Insider.windows.com. It’s free, right?
Christina: Yea, you just join it. If you’re doing it on a Mac, here’s what you need to do. Set your user agent for Windows for Internet Explorer and it will let you download the ISO and then you can install it on your VM. Otherwise if it recognizes that you’re not on a Windows machine, they won’t let you download the ISO. But if you change your user agent, that’s all you got to do.
Leo: Yea, I’m an explorer, yea. That’s it, version six. Christina Warren is at mashable.com. Anything you want to plug? You do podcasts galore. What do you do?
Christina: I’ve got a podcast with my friend Brett Terprestra at TT Scott on Twitter called Over Tired. So tune into that. Over Tired on fiveatfive.tv. It’s basically a random ADD nerds just talking about nerd stuff.
Leo: So there’s no particular portfolio?
Christina: No, we have a list of topics that we don’t talk about each week. We go in tangents about things that are keeping us awake at night. And that’s basically it.
Leo: Over Tired at fivebyfive.tv. Thank you, everybody for being here. We do TWiT every Sunday. 3:00 in the afternoon that would be Pacific Time. 6pm Eastern time, 2200 UTC. Please tune in and watch live if you can. Chat room is always welcome. We have lots of fun. We didn’t mention HP spinning off its PC business. Who cares?
Ed: Leo, I care.
Leo: Do you? I wanted to do this! Now I’m not doing it! Whatever happened to Leo Apothicare?
Christina: He spent $10B on that company that they then had to write off for $8B. It started with an A, I can’t think of it.
Leo: Oh, them.
Christina: The one where there were all these financial misgivings.
Leo: By the way, I’m an insider now. A Windows insider.
Ed: Call my 900-number if you need support. There is a very good article about installing Windows 10.
Leo: If you can’t watch live, we do have on-demand audio and video on after the fact. Yes, we’re in the podcast business. All you have to do is go to iTunes, Stitcher, there’s lot of apps. Literally Roku, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android. There’s a lot of ways to go to get it. I’m sure you’ll find a way. But do subscribe so you can get it every week. Thanks for joining us. Another TWiT is in the can!