This Week in Tech 482 (Transcripts)
Leo LaPorte: It’s time for TWIT – This week in Tech. Rafe Needleman is here from Yahoo tech, Chris Breen from MacWorld.com. We’ll find out why Apple discontinued the iPod Classic – the answer may surprise you. Andy Rubin is leaving Google, what’s he up to next and we’ll take a look at his legacy lollipop Android 5.0 plus the amazing athletic adventures of Jason Howell. It’s all next on TWIT!
Netcasts you love from people you trust. This is Twit! Bandwidth for This week in Tech is provided by Cachefly at cachefly.com.
Leo: This is Twit, This week in Tech, episode 482, recorded November 2nd 2014
The Microsoft Shackle
This week in Tech is brought to you by Citrix Go to Meeting. The simple way to meet with co-workers and clients with the convenience of the computer, smart phone or tablet; share the same screen, see each other face to face with HD video conferencing. For a 30 day free trial visit gotomeeting.com today. Also by Carbonite; whether you have one computer at home or several at your small business Carbonite backs up your files to the Cloud automatically and continually. Plus access your files anytime anywhere with a free app. Start your free trial at carbonite.com – no credit card required and use the offer code TWIT to get 2 bonus months with a purchase. And by Audible.com; sign up for the platinum plan and get 2 free books. Visit audible.com/twit2 and don’t forget to follow Audible on Twitter, user ID Audible_com. And by Stamps.com start using your time more effectively with stamps.com. Use stamps.com to buy and print real US postage the instant you need it right from your desk. For our special offer go to stamps.com click the microphone and enter twit.
It’s time for TWIT, This week in Tech, the show that covers the tech news of the week with the top tech reporters in the field. One of the reasons I love doing this show is because this is how I learn what it all means. We bring in really smart people and they explain to me. Let’s say hi to Chris Breen. I haven’t seen him in ages. He’s from MacWorld.com – one of the few remaining MacWorld.com employees.
Chris Breen: Yes it’s quality – you get me on here for the quality.
Leo: Mac 911, but you were already working on the website so it makes sense that if you shutter print that you keep the web people around. Somebody’s got to do it.
Chris: Yes we’ve been doing web for a really, really, long time. So it’s the need for the print business. Things weren’t really happening anymore so they killed that and no unexpectedly PC World went down last year so it was our turn and we carry on and we’re going to do what we can.
Leo: You asked me when we started talking about this before the show “when was the last time you wrote a book?” and it’s true – print…. People like Paul Thurotte who continue to write books, I’m not sure why and I’m not sure who is buying print books.
Rafe Needleman: If you write a book you don’t have to have it be printed.
Leo: No, in fact now days a lot of what he does is online. Hey that’s Rafe Needleman. So nice to see you, this is kind of a reunion of sorts for all 3 of us. We haven’t had you on in ages since you were back at Cnet. You went to Evernote for a while and now you’re editorial director at Yahoo Tech.
Rafe: I’m working with David Pogue…
Leo: Does Katie Couric stop by once in a while and say hi?
Rafe: Yes it’s really, really, awesome to work with a company that you can get star power like that. It’s really neat, I’m having a great time.
Leo: Do you ever see Marissa?
Rafe: Yes of course.
Leo: Does she stop by once in a while and say how’s it going Rafe?
Rafe: All the time, we chat.
Leo: I have a real soft spot in my heart for Yahoo. Those of us who are old timers – you know my Yahoo was my start page for a long time on the internet. Yahoo was my first search engine.
Rafe: You never forget your first search engine.
Leo: You never forget your first engine. So I sometimes feel like some people in tech press and the public are rooting against Yahoo but I’m rooting for it. I want it to do well.
Rafe: The interesting thing about Yahoo is that outside of the tech bubble where its…
Leo: You’re king and tech bubble people don’t know about things like OMG which is a huge property. It’s the gossip channel tv.com. These are very big content properties that you’re right – I think normal people know about. They’re kind of… It’s not the cool new thing.
Rafe: The interesting thing about working for Yahoo and for the Yahoo audience – I’ve never worked for mainstreamed audience before and it is so hard – to write in a way that is both accurate and approachable for everybody.
Rafe: But it’s really good. I like it.
Leo: That’s one reason why I keep doing the radio shows is because it keeps you in touch with what normal people are worried about as opposed to what we in the tech bubble are worried about. This show is a tech bubble show. I don’t mind saying this show is… because it saves us a lot of time. The internet is this interconnection of computers all over the world…we don’t have to say that, we know that you all know that. What is the big story? There were a lot of big stories this week. I do apologize, we had booked Cara Swisher for this show and I really wanted to get her on this week and unfortunately her schedule changed. She had to fly out of town so we didn’t have her one. I was going to ask her about the Kim Kardashian interview at Recode, which I thought was interesting. She wrote an article and I wasn’t going to cover this story without her here but I’m just going to mention it. I don’t think it’s a tech story for us, I think it’s just a social story – Tim Cook coming out. I wasn’t actually going to talk about it because it’s not something to do with technology. She wrote and I think she’s right that it has a lot to do with somebody in a huge position of power – a very public person coming out is a really great signal to young gay men and women who might be worried about how the world is going to receive them. Here’s a guy who is running the most valuable company in the world and he says it’s a gift from God. Cara wrote a good article about it and I was going to ask her able it but…
Rafe: Good for him.
Leo: Yes good for him. She says it’s the Tim Cook moment. That’s all we’ll do because we want to talk about actual technologies as opposed to the kind of gossip social stuff although I’m not against gossip.
Rafe: Tim Cook coming out isn’t gossip. It’s just a huge step forward for humanity if you ask me.
Leo: I agree.
Chris: I think it humanizes Apple more and I think that’s something that Tim is doing since he’s come in. He’s gotten the Steve Jobs monkey off his back.
Leo: That’s clear isn’t it?
Chris: Yes and then they’re talking about things like the environment much more than they have before. They’ve always kind of had the Green Push initiative but Tim Cook really means it. They’re talking about social issues and trying to do something about labor issues in China. I think is where he really steps up and he walks the walk. In addition to that this is who I am – he humanizes himself, he humanizes the company and I think he kind of puts this CEO as superhero but with a touch of evil in them.
Leo: He’s coming out of the mountain is where he’s coming out. He’s not in his evil lair anymore.
Chris: There was that trend – the Ellison’s and the Ballmer’s and Steve Jobs and these CEOs that were brilliant but sort of people you wouldn’t want to meet on the street because they’d kill you. With Tim Cook, he’s more kind of a guy who has a real life and this is an individual who is willing to talk about himself and not be that guy as tough as he may be in business to actually show that he’s a human being.
Leo: He’s talking here at the Wall Street Journal conference (this is a big story this week) about retailers like CVS and Rite-Aid that are in the MCX group and aren’t going to do currency. He talks a little bit about that here. This is all sales stuff. I’m not sure he talks about it in this part. Is it at the beginning? He’s well spoken, he’s very good at making… I wanted to have him talk about currency and why he’s not worried about it. I’ll tell you a good reason why he’s not worried about it. Currency has already been hacked so that’s a bad start for a system that’s not available for number 1; it’s ridiculously complicated, you have to take a picture of a code and you have to have the app. You have to then show that code to the camera on the other side to register it back to the…. It’s really nuts.
Rafe: And it doesn’t hook into the credit card system.
Leo: That’s the point of it right? So they don’t have to give any money to the credit card system and they can keep all the information.
Rafe: So I have to give some new system access to my checking account – thank you very much.
Leo: And apparently they ask for your social, they ask for your home address and they know all sorts of stuff. So it is cause for concern. The currency folks said, “Oh no we’re secure”. Customer email addresses were hacked. Currency says “well it wasn’t us that was hacked, it was a 3rd party that had the email addresses. Well that doesn’t make me feel better!
Rafe: We did a story on “How to punish stores that have turned off Apple Pay if you’re really mad at them. It’s a silly thing.
Leo: Do you think people are going to do that?
Rafe: Punish them? The way you punish them is to use a credit card with the highest possible charge.
Leo: American Express right?
Leo: Just use your Amex from now on at all Rite-Aid stores.
Rafe: I think people are going to be pissed.
Leo: I think it’s a non-starter.
Rafe: What, Currency?
Rafe: It’s just insane because not to sound like a fan boy but I’m already bored by Apple Pay because it is just so unbelievably easy. It actually works and it’s such a non-event to use it.
Rafe: Chris didn’t you just say that?
Chris: I think it’s a really great system. The take I have on the story is that Apple Pay is great for us as consumers, it’s great for credit card companies because they’re going to make more money because people are going to use the thing more. It’s good for the banks but it’s not so good for the retailers because they’re trying to get out from under credit cards. You understand why they’re doing this. But you’re right, it’s terrible implementation, it’s consumer hostile and so it is kind of a non-started where people will say “I’ll go to Walgreens instead because they’re going to accept Apple Pay and you are not.” I think that’s too bad because I would like to see the retailers get something out of this but it’s not going to be that way. It’s going to have to be some other method where either they’re going to get a break somehow on credit card payments or something, so that they want to be a part of it.
Leo: It is ironic and I wonder maybe if they’ve been targeted by disgruntled Apple Pay lovers because they aren’t even public. They’re still in a pilot program and they had to send out an email to their pilot users saying an un-authorized 3rd party had obtained email addresses. They said don’t worry a lot of the addresses are dummy accounts for testing purposes. That’s not a reassurance if you’re not a dummy account. Currency it’s self wasn’t affected so don’t worry and yes we take your security very seriously. We’re not any good at it but we take it seriously. I think this is an example of – this is the nail in the coffin. You couldn’t get much worse than that.
Rafe: By the time it rolls out if it ever rolls out this will have been forgotten but by then Apple Pay will be – people will be so accustomed to using it at Whole Foods and Walgreens that they’ll go to a store and they don’t have Apple Pay and they have to use another system that wants your social. It’ll be like no thanks. It’s dumb! If you make a customer happy because a transaction is easy they will come back and buy more stuff. If the transaction has a lot of friction you’re going to lose money.
Leo: But you can still use cash and a credit card at any one of these stores right? If Walgreens is right there maybe you’ll use it but if it’s another mile down the road… it just seems to me people are going to do what is convenient. I don’t think Apple Pay – does it make you want to shop somewhere because they have Apple?
Rafe: Because I’m a nerd yes. I think Apple Pay has been out for a month now?
Leo: Not even that, less, two weeks?
Rafe: Two weeks and it’s already boring and reliable and it’s only just come out. What is left that Apple can do? Is this is – that Apple is just going to roll out Apple Pay and that’s it? Where are the coupons, where are the loyalty programs, where are all the little things you do with plastic cards that you are now going to be able to do with Apple Pay. This is just the beginning of how Apple is going to make retail better or try to anyway.
Leo: As it was pointed out last week on TWIT one benefit of Apple Pay is the lines move faster and that would get me to go somewhere. If knew the line was twice as fast at Walgreens I might go across the street just because I could get out faster. That’s a benefit. I don’t know if we mentioned this last week; they are talking with China about Ali Pay, Alibaba has its own pay solution and if they put Apple Pay in China through Ali Pay that is a huge deal, very big.
Rafe: That opens things up globally.
Leo: I’m trying to remember if we’ve done some of these last week.
Chris: The whole getting into China thing is huge to the point where you think of Apple as being a technology and they’re selling lots of iPhones and I’ve been talking about the iPhone as money forever and I think a lot of us have and now that it is… what is it, .025 or whatever it is per transaction or maybe it’s .25 %, that turns out if in the US alone we spend 2 trillion dollars on credit card purchases and if all of that was going to Apple it would be 3 trillion dollars a year in transactions.
Leo: And remember that doesn’t come out of your pocket directly, it comes from the credit card companies.
Chris: It comes from the credit card companies so expand that world-wide and say that’s ridiculous. Of course Apple isn’t going to get all of that but let’s say they get a 3rd of that over time. That’s still an enormous amount of money and using a system that people are encouraged to buy with. First when Tim was talking the sales pitch about we already have a million people – well of course they do because they sold a ton of iPhone sixes and people were interested in the novelty of it so of course people signed up in droves. I think the more people that see that in action and we have more and devices that do that they’re going to get more people… Not only because of the security problem with their credit cards – I just had to renew my credit card for a 3rd time in the past 2 years.
Leo: What a pain right.
Chris: But Apple is selling privacy as a feature now and so the ability to be able to have a unique transaction with every Apple Pay purchase is enormously powerful. So you can put that kind of stuff behind you, be encouraged to use it more and then again on the other side you have the merchants saying No use this, it’s less secure and we need more information from you. Do you want that? No – because they’re not going to kick back the money…
Leo: It’s not like you get it.
Chris: Yes and that could be a feature for them if they make it less intrusive and say look we’re not paying credit card fees anymore so we’re going to give you that 2% or 3%. Maybe that’s attractive but they have to scale down the onerousness of the other stuff first.
Leo: Here’s a quote. When asked about CVS and Rite-Aid, Cook said, “It’s a skirmish over the long ark of time retailers will step back and say no other system is more secure…I think that’s been demonstrated now. You’re only relevant (I don’t know if I agree with this but what do you think?) You’re only relevant as a retailer if your customers love you.
Chris: Tell that to Comcast.
Leo: Yes! I don’t think I love CVS or Walgreens; it’s just where I go to get my eye drops. Apple is loved. Apple can say that works for us.
Rafe: Apple wants other companies to treat their customers the same way that customers feel about Apple.
Leo: Hey if you can get them to love you more power to you. He also explained why they killed the iPod Classic… “We couldn’t get the parts.”
Rafe: I wonder which part that was? Was it a hard drive? Was it some circuit board?
Leo: Somebody told me the hard drive is a Toshiba hard drive, is that right?
Rafe: Yes and nobody is making it any more.
Leo: I remember when they first came out with them. They were compact flash size and I don’t remember how big they were but they were literally in the hundred sixty gig – in the iPod Classic a spinning hard drive. I’m guessing they don’t make them anymore. That’s what I’m guessing.
Chris: Yes I think they had them on the shelves for as long as they could. I thought they’d killed the thing a couple of years ago and they didn’t. I wrote the obit for it 3 years ago thinking someday… and finally I got to dust it off, update the dates on it and then it was out right away. I think you’re right; they stocked them as long as they could and they finally got to the point where they said ok we’ve finally cleared them out. People that have them love the things because of the capacity.
Leo: I bought one because just like you I figured this is it. I bought one because I keep it in my car. That’s my music system in the car. I can just see that guy – there is some guy and they have shelves of Toshibas and he gets to the last one, blows off the dust and says that’s it we’re out, we’re done, close the line. This is the Toshiba mk-1626GCB; it is the 6th Generation iPod Classic, 160g hard drive. I bet you Toshiba just stopped making them. What Market is there besides the iPod?
Rafe: 160 Gigabytes of storage, eventually flash ram will be faster and more reliable. Now you could put a flash drive in an iPod Classic but then you might as well make it a touch. Can you get a touch with 128 gig? You can get an iPhone with 128 gigs. That’s getting close.
Leo: That’s a good question.
Chris: I don’t think they’ve updated that. I think it’s still the 64.
Leo: There’s still a shop iPod button at the Apple store. I’m amazed… and then right under it - beats by Drei. I don’t know how many of these they’re selling. 64 gigs is the largest iPod touch.
Chris: Well if they wanted to they could make a 128.
Leo: Are we in a way moving away from all of this local storage anyway and moving towards streaming. I feel like I don’t need to have as much storage as I used to think I needed.
Rafe: There is a story about that which is for the first time Apple’s revenue on purchased music is going down.
Leo: Yes that’s huge. So you think it’s connected to that? That makes sense, they dropped 13% in 2014 which isn’t even over yet, 13% in revenues on iTunes music.
Rafe: Yes because people are moving to streaming. That’s my belief.
Leo: I bet you’re right.
Rafe: I’d rather pay what $10 a month for Spotify? $120 a year, I get all the music I want and I’ve got reliable enough cell service in the car so I can stream whenever I want. When I want to have something on the airplane when I’m not connected I download it. Done – I don’t need to buy music anymore.
Leo: Remember iTunes is the number 1 music retailer. The RIAA reported that in the US sales of digital singles fell 11% in the first 6 months. The sales of albums fell 14% in the first 6 months so it’s across the board. Meanwhile music service revenue jumped 28% in the first 6 months. You’re a working musician, I have to think this is bad for musicians?
Chris: Right, streaming isn’t good for musicians.
Leo: You get no money from…
Chris: We’ve seen the stories. There was a Lady Gaga story a couple of years ago where people streamed 8 trillion spins of her and she made $1.48 on those. It was ridiculous – such little money; but I look at my daughter who is 13 and she hasn’t purchased music ever because we have streaming and we’ve had it for year.
Leo: I look at my kids now and I don’t know – you tell me because you both have kids who are younger. They don’t even really stream music – they watch Youtube. I guess they stream when they’re in the car. Abby wants downloads but she’s 22. She’s of a different generation. Chris you’re 16 right? 17?
Chris: (in audience) I download but my sister who is a little bit younger than me listens to all her music on Youtube.
Leo: Youtube is a very big source of music. In fact I think that’s another story that Google I think is going to start making money on Youtube music. They keep saying they’re going to do that and sell it as a subscription.
Rafe: That makes sense.
Leo: Enough of Apple, everybody’s going “you talk about Apple all the time”. Ok we’re going to talk about Google and we’re going to talk about Microsoft and we’re going to talk about Twitter. You know we’re even going to talk about hardware, we’re going to talk about HP. When was the last time we talked about HP? There is something to say about HP but first let me talk about Citrix. Gotomeeting.com – the place to go if you have as most of us do; clients or colleagues who are not in the same building with you, maybe not even in the same town. They may not even be in the same country. Now days everybody is spread out all over the place and the last thing you want to do is spend time in an airplane traveling to meet with co-workers or new prospects. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could present that sales pitch or work together online? You can with Citrix GoToMeeting. You never have to leave your desk, in fact you might never have to leave your backyard because you can use an iPad or a mobile device to join a meeting and you can present from the iPad. You’ll save time, you’ll get more done and you can see each other face to face. You don’t even give that up. GoToMeeting now has really nice tasty video conferencing built in, so you share screens so you can collaborate on documents, you can see each other face to face. It’s a very easy way to schedule meetings; they have a simple way to do it in Outlook. You just send a meeting invitation but you don’t have to do that. It’s so easy to start a meeting you can press a button and say hey let’s meet right now. It’s simple plus you pay once and meet as many times as you want for as long as you want each month. I love it. GoToMeeting, we use it and I want you to try it. 30 days free, just visit GoToMeeting.com, click the try it free button and you get 30 days free waiting for you. GoToMeeting from Citrix, GoToMeeting.com and try it free. Rafe Needleman is here, he’s the editorial director at Yahoo Tech site. Tech.yahoo.com – great to have you. He’s @rafe on Twitter. Chris Breen my old buddy from MacWorld. Macworld.com, he does the Mac 911 column. Keeps us all using our Macs. Macs are back I feel like.
Chris: Macs are back but we write about all the stuff. The iOS stuff, the Apple TV stuff, the Mac stuff. Macs are doing quite well.
Leo: Just got the 5k iMac I’ve refuted and now I have it at home because I bought it.
Chris: How do you like it?
Rafe: You bought it?
Leo: Yes. It’s kind of… I made the mistake of buying a MacPro, the little beautiful…
Leo: Yes trashcan, thanks. Makes me feel even better about it and I’ve been using it and I spent a lot of money because not only did I get that but then you have to get external storage, so I got a little big drive and then I had to get a 4k monitor because… So at the end of the line I’ve spent a ton of money and it’s not as fast as and it doesn’t look as good as the 5k iMac and it’s twice as much or more. It kills me.
Chris: It actually depends on what you’re doing with it. If you’re doing multi core stuff is actually is faster, single core – the iMac yeah…
Leo: We got the i7 Top of the line, it’s 4 gigahertz. I thought we weren’t going to see 4 gigahertz. Didn’t Intel kind of give up on…they can’t beat it anyway. So it’s the fastest single core processor out there. You can’t get a 5k screen on the MacPro because you can’t drive it. The Thunderbolt isn’t fast enough.
Rafe: Yes I think Apple is a little confused about it’s MacPro strategy right now. They haven’t even updated the Thunderbolt display – it’s still the fat… If you want the ultimate computer for editing video it’s not a Pro.
Leo: Right and that’s sad.
Rafe: That’s not the way God intended things to be.
Leo: God had something to do with this. God and Tim Cook. Andy Rubin is leaving Google. I wonder if this has a little bit to do with last week’s story that Sandar Pichai has been promoted now to run most of Google. Larry Pages number 2 guy. Andy Rubin was brought in when Google bought Android. He was the creator of Android and worked at Danger before that.
Rafe: Danger, they had the greatest ads with gorillas walking down the street. Remember that?
Leo: Danger had all the smart guys from Apple like Andy Herzfeld, really interesting guys and I think the sidekick was their first and only product I’m thinking.
Rafe: They made a couple of different versions of the side kick and they had a really creative flip out screen.
Leo: I loved that.
Rafe: That was really a neat product.
Leo: If you want to look dated, if anybody made a movie… This is so funny but somehow cell phones date you faster than neck ties, hair, anything. Boy that would look really dated if you had a side kick and remember you flipped it up like that and you started typing like that.
Rafe: I was always afraid I was going to flip it and it would kind of just keep going.
Leo: I wonder if my sidekick is around somewhere. I’d love to pull it out.
Rafe: It probably won’t work anymore.
Leo: It won’t work at all, because they killed the server right?
Rafe: Right, it was a proxy server so…
Leo: That was a terrible idea!
Rafe: It was a great idea.
Leo: Well it sped things up but every bit of everything you did was stored not on your phone but with Danger.
Chris: Especially when you say it that way.
Leo: It was stored with Danger! My middle name is Danger.
Rafe: It was the only way because the networks were so slow then it was the only way you could get email and browse the web.
Leo: It was the phone for its time. It’s time didn’t last very long. So Andy had been running Android until recently when he moved on to do what Google calls a Moonshot with robots. He was always a robot guy, hence the name Android. In fact, before he worked at Danger I think he was doing Robots. Anyway, he's leaving. And I wonder if this maybe is the beginning of a little bit of a brain drain for Google, who has shown pretty clearly that Sundar Pichai is the guy.
Rafe: Yeah, you know, I'm pretty cynical about moves like this, but in this particular case, you know, Andy's done a lot for Apple— for Google.
Leo: He did work for Apple too.
Rafe: And he was I think doing his dream job, or anybody's dream job at Google, he was working on robots, and now he's gonna spin off and do an independent incubator on robots.
Rafe: If I—I'm not him, but that sounds like a pretty awesome job.
Rafe: You know, basically doing the Google Robot Moonshots but with you know, his and other people's money and more interesting entrepreneurs than even you could find at Google. Sounds pretty cool to me.
Leo: Google says "We'll continue with our Robot efforts," but it's a little bit of a loss to lose like the guy.
Rafe: Oh yeah. It is.
Leo: He was the guy who bought those crazy running robots from Boston dynamics those scary dog robots.
Rafe: Well the other, the conspiracy theory on this, is that he doesn't want to be part of the military industrial complex, and Google has said that they're not going to sell their products to the military, but I mean
Leo: Boston dynamics are big military contracts.
Rafe: Those Boston dynamics—yeah, so I don't know how that works out.
Leo: Yeah. An Analyst at IBC says that it sounds surprising, and sounds—here it is. That's the Wildcat. This is the scariest robot ever. First of all, it's really noisy. Go ahead and turn up the sound. And then, imagine that you're like walking down the street and you see this thing. That's my worst nightmare. Right there. It's running down—For those that are listening, it's running. It looks like it's called Big Dog. That one's Big Dog.
Rafe: This is Wildcat.
Leo: That's Wildcat?
Rafe: Big Dog is the one that
Leo: That walks in the woods.
Rafe: That looks like a horse.
Leo: Which would you rather fight?
Chris: Imagine that charging towards you right now.
Leo: Look how fast it goes.
Chris: That's impressive.
Leo: It doesn't turn very well.
Chris: It doesn't have to.
Leo: So the key is to run serpentine and it can't—it will get confused. Is that right? All I have to do is run faster than Rafe.
Chris: Yeah. You know, it's like they took all the wrong lessons from the Sci-Fi books from the 1960's and 70's. It's like, "No, this will be really cool if we have robots that kill people." No.
Leo: Were we supposed to put an on/off switch? Oh, we forgot.
Chris: Oh gosh. And we gave them intelligence. Who would have thought that would have a problem?
Leo: Oh well. Yeah, it did seem kind of sudden. That's what IDC's analyst said. It seems a little unplanned and a little sudden, and perhaps involuntary. I don't think so. I think this is Andy Rubin's decision. But maybe he had a better idea, suddenly. In the middle of the night he woke up and said, "I'm leaving Google." It will be a loss for their robotics program. Lollipop is coming, the Google's Nexus phone, Nexus 6 sold out in—we think 20 seconds.
Rafe: Something like that. Yeah, it was quick.
Leo: It was painfully fast for those of us trying to buy one. This is the phone, it's a six-inch—almost six inch. 5.95-inch phone with kind of, you know, top of the line specs and it would be the first phone to run Android 5.0 Lollipop. Google said we'll put it on sale October 29th, so Jason and I both got up early that morning, started refreshing the Google store. Refresh. Refresh. They hadn't put it on sale, but by about, I think 10:30
Jason: 10 A.M.
Leo: I need to be here by 10:30, so I left the house at 10:25, I got here at 10:30. It was sold out. You got one, Jason Howell.
Jason: I did get one. Yes. I had an elaborate system—
Leo: He had two screens.
Jason: And somehow it worked. I feel like I lucked out more than anything, because it was quick.
Leo: You're refreshing the left and then the right and then the left and then the right.
Jason: Different configurations, and then the left one suddenly goes from "pre-order starts soon" immediately to "out of inventory." Like "Oh crap." So then I'm refreshing on the other one, like as fast as I can and somehow it worked.
Leo: Did you get the midnight blue or the—
Jason: I got the white 64 gig.
Leo: OK. Good. That's the one I would have got. So we'll have that when? When are they gonna ship that?
Jason: Supposedly shipping the 21st of November, although it may be sooner, may be later. Who knows? Google isn't very good at this whole retail thing online, so who knows.
Leo: Well you got to wonder; do they have only 10 of them?
Jason: Yeah, that's a really good question.
Leo: Or was there such demand?
Jason: Or the fact that it's going to all of the carriers. Right? At least here in the U.S.
Leo: Maybe that's it. Maybe they did only have a few.
Jason: So there's a supply is split.
Leo: Because Verizon, T Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, and US Cellular are all going to have it. So maybe I can go there and get it. You think?
Jason: Possibly. And if that ends up being the case, you might even be able to go there sooner than I will get it through the pre-order through Google Play. Because I think it was expected to be released sooner than this.
Leo: And this wasn't cheap. I mean, it didn't sell out because this was an expensive Nexus phone. This was 650 bucks for the one you got?
Jason: The one I got ended up being somewhere around 700.
Leo: Once you get all the taxes.
Jason: Yeah. 700. 750. Right around there. I mean, not inexpensive. This is priced like any other, you know, top of the line phone.
Leo: well, it is top of the line though.
Leo: It's a pretty beautiful phone. I'm a little disappointed I was really looking forward to getting it.
Rafe: Sounds like what people did with the iPhone. They didn't know that Androids are the same dedication.
Rafe: Staying up until the phone's supposed to go on sale. Then hitting all the different screens at once.
Leo: It's very much the same.
Rafe: Yeah. Exactly. Do what you got to do.
Leo: I don't know what's wrong with me, because I also waited in line at the Apple Store for five hours. So there's something really wrong with me.
Rafe: Yeah, I was at the Apple Store yesterday to pick something up.
Leo: Did they have them in stock?
Rafe: There was a line—
Rafe: out the door for iPhones.
Leo: That's bizarre. Boy you'd love to be in that position. A month later.
Rafe: Yeah. It's crazy.
Rafe: I didn't get it. Don't you want to run up to people like that and it's like "you can buy it online."
Leo: Well I was at the mall, I was going to Hot Topic to buy some new—a vest and some hot pants, and I saw the Apple Store, and I thought this would be a good time to pick up an iPhone.
Chris: I could see doing it the first day, you know, because it's kind of an event, but a month later, I have to think no. Just do it online.
Leo: It actually reflects a deep psyche, a deep psychological problem in the American populous, or actually the world, because the same thing happens everywhere. That we somehow think that this new device will make our life suddenly OK. Like our lives are gonna suddenly get—we're gonna get this shiny thing—
Rafe: It has though. With Apple Pay, right?
Leo: I really think this is like, you know, is it Neil Postman who wrote Distracted—what did he write John? "Distracted to Death?" The whole idea that, you know, we just put all of our hopes and fears and everything into these little shiny gadgets, and we spend ridiculous amounts of money. I mean 700 bucks.
Rafe: And time.
Leo: And time in line. And then we hope that we're gonna get this home and then everything is gonna be somehow better.
Jason: And then we drop it on the concrete. And it cracks and you do it all over again.
Rafe: Right. That's why I was at the Apple Store yesterday to get an Apple Pay, not Apple Pay, AppleCare on this thing, just in case.
Leo: Plus? Did you get the Plus?
Rafe: No, I didn't. I have pockets. So no Plus for me.
Leo: I don't think the Plus is a great deal, because you have to pay, you only get two a year. And you have to
Rafe: AppleCare. You mean the phone Plus.
Leo: Yeah no. The AppleCare plus.
Rafe: There's a Plus AppleCare?
Leo: Yeah, that's the replacement AppleCare.
Rafe: I think that's the one I got. Yeah.
Leo: But it seems like a not a good deal. Because the deductible is
Rafe: 79 bucks.
Leo: Yeah. And then you can only happen twice a year.
Rafe: But, actually no. There is a method to this that my friends who are excellent scamming these things are, right before you're going to get the next one, whether it's the 6s or the 7, you drop the phone, you take it in, they give you a brand new phone, which has an amazingly high re-sale value because it's never been touched.
Leo: No kidding. You leave it in the box—
Leo: And you get your new phone.
Rafe: And then you can sell it at the best retail value.
Leo: Do you know people who do that? Does David Pogue do that? He should not be doing that.
Rafe: David Pogue I do not believe does that. But yes, I know many people who do that.
Leo: I used to know a woman—
Rafe: I work with a bunch of engineers. They game the system.
Leo: who would go buy Manolo Blahnik shoes, you know, thousand dollar shoes, she'd put duct tape on the bottom of it, wear it to a party, take off the tape so it looked like it was worn and return it.
Rafe: That's brilliant.
Leo: It's a scam!
Rafe: Yes. It's brilliant.
Leo: Did you ever do that?
Jason: Do not try this at home.
Leo: No. All right. She's looking at me. Me? No. I would never do such a thing. Let's see. They say, the Google folks say, that they think the higher price, this is how crazy it is, on the Nexus 6, will actually mean they sell more of them.
Rafe: That doesn't make any sense.
Leo: We are selling Nexus, this is Hiroshi Lockheimer. This is the best name ever. In fact, why wasn't I Hiroshi Lockheimer for Halloween? Hiroshi Lockheimer, vice president of engineering at Android at Google says "We are selling the Nexus 6 in a way most people are used to buying it." So the decision to go with a more expensive product was a result of feedback that showed interest in a more premium-feeling Smartphone. But didn't the Nexus 5 feel premium?
Jason: It did, but you could only get it online. Right? And I think that's the big difference here is Google is finally stepping up and saying we are now putting our phones where most people buy their phones, which is at the carrier store.
Leo: That's why. So he says while counterintuitive, Hiroshi Lockheimer said—it sounds like I'm making it up. Hiroshi Lockheimer said he believes the more traditional price tag will actually spur sales. Google has traditionally promoted the Play store as the primary source to purchase past Nexus devices, and in fact that's where it was sold out in 20 seconds. But, working with carriers, they'll be able to sell it subsidized, 200 bucks with a two-year contract, and people are what's the word?
Chris: I don't know. What word are you looking for?
Leo: Dumb? They think that that means the phone costs 200 bucks. But of course you have to have a two-year contract and it gets amortized and baked into the cost of the service. So Nexus fans, says Hiroshi Lockheimer, understand the pricing model of an unlocked device, but outside of that, paying $350 upfront was a foreign concept. Let alone more. You know. 650. So it is, it's a nice phone. I'm sorry that I didn't get one we're starting to learn about Lollipop, the features of the new Android 5, many of which are kind of taken from Motorola. That's another thing that happened this week, the transition to Lenovo happened. So Motorola is no longer a Google company, but Google stripped all the good ideas out of it before they let them go to Lenovo. Lollipop, which is Android 5, will have the Moto X kind of always the notifications up here.
Rafe: Active display.
Leo: Active display they call it. This is a good article from The Verge. The 12 Lollipop features.
Rafe: Also has the always listening thing, I believe.
Leo: Yes. You could say "OK Google." That, by the way Google is now doing a deal, or making it possible for App developers to turn that on so that you'd be able to do it within an app. And what's interesting is it'll send it back to the App so that the app can, so let's say it's TripIt. So that you'll have searches that are TripIt specific, so that you'll get back appropriate search results from Google to the App that you're in. Let's see. What else. You can knock on it, hardware allowing. That's something that 1+ does. Double tap wakes it up. Right?
Jason: You just have to be careful that it doesn't fire off while you know you're carrying it in your pocket or your bag.
Leo: You said that in the review and they did make that harder. In the update they turned on proximity sensor.
Jason: Yeah, right.
Leo: So double tapping it in your pocket, like your nipples hit it or something, and then
Rafe: You have rock hard nipples don't you?
Jason: Now it has nipple protection.
Leo: Only because I have a OnePlus One phone. It won't wake it up. The other thing is you had the flashlight coming on.
Jason: Yeah. And that one's almost even worse, right? Because then the flashlight's going off in your pocket, you don't know until of course your leg burns. But that burns battery really fast.
Leo: You're glowing.
Jason: Face Unlock. Remember this one?
Leo: So it's always looking at you.
Jason: Remember this one?
Leo: Yes. So the Face Unlock, which doesn't work well at all, on Android right?
Jason: The older versions of Android yeah. This is a different implementation of it.
Leo: I usually do a pattern, but you can have it look at you. You have to be just right in the right light, you can't do it in the dark. You wait a second and then it unlocks.
Jason: Here's where they got it right this time, though. Last time, it was how you unlocked your device. You have to recognize my face and if you don't then I have to put in my pin code so it took a ton of time to get into your phone, which doesn't work for a security method. Now it's an extra thing that when it works, it bypasses your pin number. When it doesn't work, and basically what you're doing is it's another layer. If it recognizes your face—
Leo: It starts looking at you as soon as it can.
Jason: Yes, it does. That's true.
Rafe: So the camera's always on?
Leo: That's one way to put it.
Jason: The camera's on when you unlock.
Leo: When it's locked, and it probably has proximity also, so when it's no longer in a pocket, it starts looking at you. Because they said most people are probably looking at their notifications for a little while before they unlock it. So it's going to try to get a little head start on recognizing you.
Rafe: That's cool.
Jason: So what I do, in my case, like I forget that I've even set that up, right? I just am used to entering in my pin code. And then, every once in a while, I don't have to. That's because it recognized my face and it brings me right through.
Leo: But you could still have the pin code.
Leo: They'll be notifications in your lock screen. Richer notifications than before on your lock screen, including, for instance, now you may have to turn this on, because you may not want to do this with a lock screen on, but you could respond to e-mail, you could you know do other stuff with the notifications without unlocking. Although you can apparently do a redaction, if you wish, for some Apps so people don't see your e-mails and stuff. There's something called priority mode, which lets you set what apps can disturb you and what can't. So instead of do not disturb on an iPhone, when you turn on a do not disturb just nothing happens. Now you can say well you can wake me up, but not you. You can make noise, but not you. This I like because there's a guest mode.
Rafe: Ah good.
Leo: So they're—Android introduced last with KitKat the idea of multiple users, right? So you could log in.
Jason: Yeah, it's for tablets. You could have profiles for tablets.
Leo: So now, you can have, just as you do on a Chromebook a guest mode, you have it on the Mac too, where you don't have to give someone your login, you give them a phone, they go in a guest mode, they can do stuff that's erased when they log out.
Rafe: I just want to be able to maybe, Jason you know this, I just want to be able to give somebody a phone. So here, look at this great picture I took of my kid. Give them the phone and not have them—
Leo: They have that.
Rafe: They do? Good.
Leo: It's called "Pinning." It's good for Leo too, because you can open a game for instance, say, "Leo you can play this game, but you can't exit." Or you can have the photo up and he can't exit. So you'd have to enter a pass code. I think these are all nice features. And of course the biggest one that everybody will notice is this new flat card focused material design.
Rafe: It really does look good.
Leo: But only Jason is going to get it, because he got the only Nexus 6 on the market.
Jason: Not true. Very soon after—
Leo: Do we know anyone else who got a Nexus 6?
Leo: Nope. Nobody. Anybody in the chatroom? Any of you? Jason is the only person in the world who got a Nexus 6. I think that's true.
Chris: That's why they sold out so quickly.
Leo: I'm glad I know you sir.
Jason: Believe me, I tried to get more than one. But I could only get one. So.
Leo: Anyway. Exciting. Exciting. All right. Let's take a break. We've got more to talk about. We're learning more about Windows X and there's some new—I want to talk some more about Fitness watches, I know you can't talk about that one.
Rafe: I can't—A little. They told me I could talk about it a little.
Leo: He's wearing an nda'd product on his—he showed it. Rafe Needleman is here from the fabulous Yahoo tech page, which by the way looks good.
Rafe: Thank you.
Leo: I don't know if it reads well.
Rafe: Try reading it too.
Leo: OK. No. It does. It reads really well. David Pogue of course is your lead there, and is doing his traditional videos there and is doing a great job.
Leo: Anchor. Is that what you call him?
Rafe: It's what I call him, yeah. Spiritual leader.
Leo: Here's Christian Bale and Seth Rogan. So we found out, by the way, this week. We knew Christian Bale would play Steve Jobs; somebody in your office has photoshopped—
Rafe: No. We got that Photoshop from somebody else's office.
Leo: You now it's good. Christian Bale is perfect for Steve Jobs. He’s got the intensity; he's got the look. He looks kind of like him, but also, he's like— you feel like he could blow up. Just like Jobs at any moment. In fact, he has. And I think Rogan is very much like Wozniak. He's cuddly, he's loveable. I actually wrote to Steve and said "What do you think?' Well, I wrote to his wife. Steve speaks to me through his wife, Janet Wozniak, and she said, "Steve's excited. Steve thinks Seth is a good choice." He was less than—
Rafe: This makes three Jobs movies.
Leo: Three? I know two.
Rafe: This is the third, right?
Leo: What's the other one? Well there was that bad bad one.
Rafe: There was the bad one.
Leo: And Steve hated that, by the way.
Rafe: Then there was the other one. I can't remember their names anymore.
Leo: There was another Jobs movie?
Chris: Well there was "Fire in the Valley" and then there was
Leo: Well that's a real one.
Chris: Yeah, a real one.
Leo: And the Revenge of the—not Revenge of the Nerds, "The Empire of the Mind." "Empire of the Nerds."
Chris: Pirates of Silicon Valley.
Leo: Pirates of... whatever it was.
Chris: Pirates of Silicon Valley.
Leo: He was, Noah Wyle was Steve Jobs. He was the best Jobs. But he's too old now. Noah Wyle was a very good Steve Jobs I thought. OK. So yeah. If you include that. Yeah. There have been others. The Ashton Kutcher movie, Mr. Wozniak hated. And was offended.
Rafe: I couldn't watch it.
Leo: I went and saw it in a theatre. It was terrible. But Woz was offended because for some reasons the makers of the movie, Ashton Kutcher, I guess, decided that it would be Steve Jobs who would have the vision that the Apple 2, that people would want a computer, and he had to convince Woz that it was worth doing. And of course everyone knows it was Woz who had the vision. He knew what he was doing. He wanted a computer. Everybody he knew wanted a computer. I think this looks good with Rogan. The newly slimmed down Seth Rogan as Woz. And I think he has that cuddle factor. Woz is cuddly. Woz is the anti-Jobs. Woz is like you—Woz doesn't like to say no. I know Woz pretty well. He'll say yes to anything. I could see him in that role. I don't know. Anyway, I get distracted by the fabulous Yahoo Tech page.
Rafe: See? There you go. We know what people like.
Leo: You see how easy it is. Right in there. tech.yahoo.com. Chris Breen, from Macworld.com, he does the Mac 911 column and a lot more. Oh look. Here's the review of Sunset overdrive. I love that game.
Rafe: I haven't tried it yet. Our reviewer loved it.
Leo: So good. It's a new Xbox One game. It's funny. It's great.
Rafe: I don't own a console.
Leo: What? Because Leo.
Rafe: Because of the kids.
Leo: You don't want Leo to get sucked into it.
Rafe: I don't want my kid to get like—I'd never see him again.
Rafe: Already I never see him.
Leo: He plays Minecraft like crazy.
Rafe: Minecraft, Scratch, and now Python programming.
Leo: See, Scratch is good. Oh gosh. I hate it when the kids, you know, that's terrible. They get sucked into Python and you never see them again. I hate it when that happens.
Rafe: I just want him to send me royalty checks. Then I'll be happy.
Leo: If only my kid would have gotten sucked into—that's what I told my kid. I said, "Look. This is my retirement plan. Would you please become a hacker?"
Leo: No. But I have to say. Henry did have all the consoles, because I wanted them. And he didn't become a, you know, video game nerd. He likes them. It's part of the culture of his generation to play these games.
Rafe: We're going to get one.
Leo: He's busy enough though. He's got a lot.
Rafe: He's eight.
Leo: We talked to him before the show, and he's a really smart kid. Very smart kid. Plays the piano. He's programming. He's a Minecraft whiz. He says "I want to do a Minecraft add on where the rails can go upside down." You gonna help him with that?
Rafe: He's beyond me.
Leo: I said, "What language is that?" And he said, "Well I think it's java script. I'm not sure. I am learning Python. Eight!
Rafe: Last night he was like hunched over, he was at the computer and he had the book and he was like
Leo: That's so awesome.
Rafe: I didn't do that until I was fourteen.
Leo: Eight is pretty young. Smart kid. Don't let him play Sunset Overdrive.
Rafe: I'll never see him again. He gets hooked.
Leo: Never see him again. Such a good game. All right.
Rafe: I've got to go play it.
Leo: Well, I’m only going to play it for a little while because Halo Master Chief edition is out soon.
Rafe: Isn't that just old Halo re-boxed?
Leo: It's all the Halos. It's every map. It's like a hundred gigabytes. I've already preordered it. It's been downloading for weeks. Our show today brought to you by Carbonite online backup. Do not backup Halo on Carbonite, because that's not a good idea. Backup the stuff you did that only you have access to. That's the beauty of Carbonite. Everybody's got something on their computer that they cannot replace, whether it's pictures of the kid, your Python scripts, your financial records. It's so valuable. And the problem is hard drives are such a tenuous thing to store it on. We feel like "they're so reliable." But you know they will break. And if you're relying on a hard drive in your business you're really taking a chance. Carbonite is the solution, whether you have one computer at home, several at your small business, if you have external drives, network attached storage, Carbonite has a solution for you: automatic and continuous backup to the cloud, and you can access your files anytime anywhere with their apps. You can log onto your Carbonite account on any computer, and over 50,000 businesses use Carbonite now. And at home, Carbonite's awesome. Here's the deal, you could try it right now at carbonite.com, there's the workstation plans, the pro plans. You'll see all the different plans. Pick a plan, you can try it free, and use our offer code TWIT. When you do, they'll ask you. You'll say T-W-I-T, because then when you buy, you get two extra months. You pay by the year or two years or three years, that's nice, because you don't have to think about it. You just buy it and done. They never meter how much data. And they also have advanced plans for businesses that include the Carbonite appliance that does local and cloud backup. They have lots of really good solutions. Carbonite.com. No credit card required for that free trial. And do use the offer code TWIT, because that way you get two months free when you buy. We had a good week on twit, this week. Do you have the cut down? We did a little thing.
Jason: I believe I do.
Leo: A little kind of "this is what you might have missed if you missed anything this week."
Jason: Let's check it out.
Advertisement: Previously on TWIT.
Voice: We're going to look at terrifying tech!
Voice: Oh my word.
Voice: You monster!
Voice: I don't like the smells.
Advertisement: BEFORE YOU BUY.
Leo: We have, sitting right here the new iMac that Apple announced a couple of weeks ago. This is the 5K iMac.
Advertisement: Tech news today.
Mike Elgan: Currency, which is the alternative to Apple Pay and Google Wallet being foisted on retail store customers has already been hacked.
Advertisement: CODING 101.
Mark Smith: All you artists out there who are doing things. You're writing C code. That's awesome.
Advertisement: TWIT. MAKING THE WORLD SAFE FOR TECHNOLOGY.
Matt Decker: I'm glad to see you dressed up too.
Mike: I see that Alex didn't wear a costume today.
Matt: He never gets in the spirit of Halloween.
Leo: Alex the red shirt Gumpel, we call him. He's gone. That was—we left him on the planet? We are talking Twit, we are talking tech. Chris Breen, macworld.com. From Yahoo Tech. My old friend, Rafe Needleman. Did you set your clocks? Did you remember to set your clocks back or forward or whatever the hell we're supposed to do?
Rafe: Every year fewer and fewer clocks have to be set manually.
Leo: Isn't that nice?
Rafe: Yeah. I wake up, my clock; my bedside clock knows what time it is. The hall clock knows what time it is.
Leo: It's the oven. Doesn't know.
Rafe: The oven has a microwave, which has broken one key, so I have to wait until there's a time without a one in it so I can set it. Other than that, it's all automatic.
Leo: And I live with somebody who is a little bit finicky, so if the clock and the microwave in the oven don't match, that's a problem.
Rafe: Oh that's the worst. You need two; you have to be within arm's reach of each other so you can go beep! Set them at the same time.
Leo: You know what frustrates me? I buy radio clocks. Because I want everything to—
Rafe: The automoclock. Yeah.
Leo: But they don't, you have to put them outside sometimes. They don't sense the change.
Leo: So I have to put them—
Rafe: True change comes from within.
Leo: Not in these things! You put them on the deck. And let them sit for a day. I want to begin right here. Now's the time to end daylight's savings time forever. Saving.
Chris: Yeah, you'll be in trouble. You said "savings."
Leo: I know. I guy who works with me comes over and hits me.
Rafe: Move to Arizona.
Leo: They're smart. They got rid of it.
Chris: Or Hawaii.
Leo: So that's even more confusing, because it's adhered to by some and not by all, we know now that daylight saving time saves no energy, because in Indiana where they adopted it in bits and pieces you could see and you could actually say. It was a net zero change because it turns out yes, people use lights less, but they use the air conditioner more. Because they're up more in the warm weather. So it ended up being a net zero. So that was one argument. It saves energy. No it doesn't.
Rafe: It's better for farmers.
Leo: No! Great article in the National Geographic last year—
Rafe: But this goes back to the Ben Franklin era.
Leo: No! That's another canard. It's full of canards!
Rafe: So when did this start?
Leo: Yes. So Frankln talked about it as a joke.
Rafe: Franklin didn't die until 1952.
Leo: Right. He's often invoked in this thing like: "Oh. It was invented by Ben Franklin." But it wasn't implemented until the war. It was a World War II attempt to save. There's actually a book—this is a National Geographic article from a year ago, but there's a book by Professor at Tufts called "Spring Forward: The annual Madness of Daylight Savings Time." He points out no energy savings. Farmers in fact were so against it, they were the only group to actively lobby against it. Farmers don't want it. You know who likes it? And it's, by the way, hazardous to your health. A 2012 study by the University of Alabama at Birmingham found the risk of heart attack surges 10% on the Monday and Tuesday after we turn the clocks ahead.
Chris: Because you're rushing to work and you suddenly keel over on
Leo: And there's many more accidents. I mean we know that also. I don't know why there's more heart attacks. It's because your circadian rhythm is screwed up.
Chris: Only if you look at the clock.
Rafe: Or you're late for a meeting and you're running around and it's like oh my god! I missed a meeting!
Leo: Oh my god oh my god! Sleep deprivation, the body's circadian clock, and immune responses all come into play when we consider the reasons that changing the time by an hour is detrimental to your health. New England Journal of Medicine showed that in Sweden heart attack risk rose just after the springtime change. They think it has to do with stirred sleep or maybe just running around like crazy. You’re tired. You’re jet-lagged. Why are we inflicting this on each other? You know who benefits? The U.S. barbeque industry. The month when you set the clocks ahead, they make $150M more dollars. And the golf industry estimates that an extra month of daylight savings time was worth $200-400M because more golfers are out there. And gas stations. Because we drive around more. Another reason it doesn’t save energy.
Rafe: So there are powerful forces of evil that lie against the fence of what is right and good.
Leo: Paying off Congress.
Rafe: So what else is new?
Leo: The TV industry. If you look at Neilson ratings during the first week of daylight savings, even the most popular shows go down 10-15%. Because everybody’s playing golf.
Chris: And barbequing.
Leo: And barbequing while they’re playing golf. It’s an annual cost of $1.7B according to a Utah State University economist. So let’s stop the insanity. We’ve had now three or four months to lobby before we have to turn the clocks forward again. Or just move to Arizona. Arizona, except for residents of the Navaho nation, they decided they wanted…
Rafe: No, seriously?
Leo: Yes. Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Marianas Islands don’t. They don’t do it.
Rafe: How about Russia?
Leo: If I were a dictator; if Russia has daylight savings time, there’s no hope. If I were a dictator I would just eliminate it.
Rafe: The chat room will know because I thought I heard something.
Chris: No, time changes you in Russia.
Leo: In Russia, time changes you! There is no excuse for it. I’m sorry, I got on that tangent there.
Chris: What about Time Clause in the spring though? Because I know as a kid, you’re going to get a brighter sky the next day. And you’re waiting for Time Clause to come around with his big sack of clocks and come down the chimney.
Leo: It sounds like something made up by the golf industry.
Chris: No, Time Clause, you didn’t sit around and roast little watches over the fire waiting for…
Leo: Welcome to Time Clause! Alright, since we’re talking fitness let’s talk about watches and fitness. There is a new Fitbit coming. I guess you must be into this because you’re wearing this new Basis watch. I had the original Basis watch. It was about the smartest watch out there.
Rafe: It looks pretty hideous.
Leo: As did the old one. It’s very functional.
Rafe: It actually doesn’t look like it’s trying to be something it’s not.
Leo: Intel bought them, right?
Rafe: Yea, Intel bought them. It does steps. The cool thing is it does heart rate. Which they all do now. It’s kind of a standard feature.
Leo: The Moto 360 does heart rate. Not well.
Rafe: The thing on the back.
Leo: Oh look it’s pulsing.
Rafe: It’s trying to measure my heart rate right now.
Leo: Does it do heart rate when you’re exercising?
Rafe: It does heart rate continuously. There’s an app and it will show you your heart rate.
Leo: That’s an improvement. Because a lot of them you have to stand still and not make any noise.
Rafe: No, no, no. That never happens.
Leo: I know what goes is that?!
Rafe: No it measures heart rate all the time. The battery is supposed to last four days. The Bluetooth stuff isn’t turned on yet so it’s not giving me my alerts. But it does sync to the phone.
Leo: Oh so you do have some notifications?
Rafe: I’m not getting any notifications.
Leo: But you would?
Rafe: Theoretically. That’s coming. We’ll see.
Leo: How much?
Rafe: I don’t know.
Rafe: $200 or $300. Around there. The problem is the other companies like Fitbit and Apple, they’re all about the same price range. And they seem to have more design chops.
Leo: Well Apple certainly. Not the same price range necessarily.
Rafe: Here’s the thing that gets me with all these things: they’re looking for a reason to be.
Rafe: So they’re all pushing health because that’s what they can actually do for you that a regular watch can’t. And they all want to also measure your sleep. Which is a double problem. Because who wants to wear a watch at night? And you got to charge them all the time.
Leo: Well the funny thing is Apple apparently has put into its Apple watch; you know it has the taptic feedback where I’ve been told that it doesn’t actually buzz. It’s like someone’s tapping you or poking you.
Rafe: That’s pretty cool.
Leo: So they have taptic feedback alarm that will wake you up. But we also; the Apple watch won’t get through a day without charging. So what good is that?
Rafe: You buy two.
Chris: Your night watch and day watch.
Leo: It’s useless!
Rafe: The tap thing is actually unbelievably cool.
Leo: Have you felt it?
Rafe: No but the thing about it that I like is the integration with Maps. Did you hear about that? Where if you have walking directions to somewhere, it will tap you differently for the left, go straight, go right. So at an intersection it goes beep beep. Oh that means go left.
Leo: I have the Moto 360 and I’ve tried a bunch of them including the old Basis. This is the one I’ve stuck with the longest. And that was one really good use for this was you could do, Okay Google, take me to the airport. Well actually, this is for walking around London. So take me to the tower of London. And it would put the map on the watch face. It would take your next turn would be on the watch face and it would buzz when it was time to change direction. But then go left, right, it would just buzz and you’d have to look. But that worked really well. That was a good use for this.
Chris: So you have that set when it automatically comes on?
Leo: Yea, that’s a disadvantage in a way where they’re not like a real watch where they’re always on.
Rafe: This one is always on. I will say that.
Leo: Yea, that’s because it looks crappy.
Rafe: It does look pretty crappy. But it’s always crappy, not intermittently crappy.
Leo: And you can make this look like a Rolex. There’s all sorts of faces out there for this. Anyway, Fitbit has some new ones. They really have kind of owned this market. I remember when it was a Kickstarter, it was some sort of crowd-funded thing… maybe not.
Chris: No. Fitbit I remember when they announced at a tech launch or launch conference ages ago.
Leo: And nobody had this idea yet. It was a pedometer, let’s face it.
Chris: Fitbit, it was something you put on your pants.
Leo: Yea it was a clip. I have lost many of them.
Rafe: Brilliant design.
Leo: Falls off like that.
Rafe: Lasts a day.
Leo: San Diego Zoo has one of my Fitbits. One’s in Paris. Good place to lose a Fitbit. One’s in the toilet. But they fall off really easily. They’ve gone to the band because that doesn’t fall off. Their newest ones have been announced. The Fitbit Charge HR and the Surge. They all do the same thing with the heart rate tracking. As a result they’re kind of bulky. These will be out early next year. This is a replacement for the Force which was pulled back because it had nickel in it. And made people itchy.
Rafe: That was a PR disaster for Fitbit.
Leo: The Jawbone. Remember the Jawbone Up? What a PR disaster that was. They basically took them all back.
Rafe: Wait, which one was the one… no seat by association. Jawbone was the one that irritate people, right?
Leo: No the Fitbit Force was the one that irritated people.
Rafe: Jawbone broke.
Leo: Jawbone just didn’t work. This has been a problematic category. I think everybody’s trying to get these out now before the Apple watch comes out. This has that same heart rate monitor. Probably the same company that makes it. So that’s all the time. So you would get a graph at the end of the day that would show how your heart rate would…
Leo: Oh that’s cool. That’s useful.
Chris: It shows you how out of shape you are all the time.
Rafe: It seems like this is kind of like a new PDA category. Or the idea of being that these are the single-use devices. And once we get something like the Apple watch that’s not only a terminal for your iPhone but also acts as a trigger for a home kit and a controller for your Apple TV and the various things it’s going to do, these other things are going to seem like single-purpose want-to-bes. Why would we need that anymore? Let’s just get this one device that does everything. And then we’ll get another one next year because of course it will do a new matchup of things. And I feel sorry for the people who are getting the gold ones and spend how many thousands of dollars. They’re like oh, you mean there’s one that’s thinner and doesn’t require an iPhone?
Leo: Apparently Apple says we’re going to do a drop-in replacement.
Rafe: I was wondering if they were going to do a rebate or something.
Leo: If you spend $6000 and that’s what the rough estimates are. We talked about this last week. At $6000 a gold watch would be a good deal.
Leo: So, even at $6000 if it’s obsolete next year that’s not good. So the thinking is maybe Apple will have some sort of upgrade.
Chris: A subscription service?
Leo: Microsoft is in this business. Paul Thurrott got his Microsoft band. He said even after less than a day of use it’s pretty clear that the Microsoft band is big, bulky, uncomfortable, and complex enough to sway many from using it. It’s a perfect Microsoft product! He does say there’s magic here. You’ve got Microsoft Health Services, which he says are more comprehensive than the health kit or Google’s Health Service thing. But the band itself, and I’ve heard others say this is just kind of uncomfortably bulky.
Chris: All of them are.
Leo: None of them are great.
Rafe: The thing is for the heart rate thing to work, it has to be pressed against your skin.
Leo: That’s why. This is flat. It’s not curved. You can see in the picture.
Rafe: Yea, it’s like the first square Google watches that even though they’re pretty much the same size as the round one you have, they just don’t sit well.
Leo: He says it’s like wearing handcuffs. And you’re always aware the device is there. It does have a very nice screen which does a lot. Including notifications of course. It’s not just a fitness band. It does have sleep monitoring. He says the results were not inspiring because I felt like I slept well. But according to the band I only got 4.5 hours of sleep, one of which was restful. That’s bad when the band tells you that you had a crappy night sleep, you thought you felt fine until you saw that.
Chris: It just sends up an alert that says get a C-PAP.
Leo: You snored all night and kept me up! Somebody, Feld in the chat room says the new name for this is the Microsoft Shackle. It does look like you’re under house arrest a little bit.
Rafe: Yea. Actually you could wear it around the ankle for monitoring. It wouldn’t be quite so obtrusive.
Leo: I’ve actually done that with my Fitbit. All of these have one big failing. They measure walking and running but no other form of exercise. So I row and I work out for hours rowing and it says you didn’t do anything today. So I’ve started putting it on my ankle. It doesn’t help. Bicycling, same thing. It doesn’t help.
Rafe: They should know bicycling. Especially the new ones. The high-end of the Fitbit watch, it says GPS. So it knows how fast you’re moving. And bicycling exists in a narrow range between walking and driving. So it should know.
Leo: Oh, a little GPS action would tell you. Some of these have GPS, most of them don’t because that’s a real battery killer.
Rafe: That’s a new thing. Timex has one that has GPS and a cellular radio.
Leo: And it looks by the way, it looks like it has GPS and a cellular radio. It looks like it was invented by the Soviets in 1998.
Rafe: When I do a sci-fi movie, that’s going to be the communicator. It just looks like it. The Will I Am one…
Leo: The Will I Am one… okay come on, really? Is that a contender?
Rafe: It’s a statement. I’ll say that. It’s huge.
Leo: We got to get an image of the Will I Am watch.
Rafe: We interviewed Will I Am.
Leo: I thought this was a joke,
Rafe: No he’s serious. Will I Am is a really interesting, different guy as a tech entrepreneur. He keeps throwing stuff against the wall.
Leo: He’s a smart guy. So he says don’t call it a watch. Will I Am, you should know, he’s the front man from Black Eyed Peas. He’s a great rapper, great performer, great musician. It’s called the Puls?
Leo: Here’s Will I Am with CNET. He’s also wearing a backpack. So that makes him a fashion accessory. What the hell are you wearing? Is that a tennis racket? What is he wearing on his back?
Rafe: Jet pack. I’m telling you he’s a smart guy.
It’s not a smart watch, it’s a whole new thing. It’s a new paradigm. A new category called a Puls. Over here, your notifications are here. Navigation is here. So you just have to imagine you have three things here…
Leo: I like it that some people are trying stuff. We have a long way to go before this stuff is useful. But he’s trying stuff. Can you buy this?
Rafe: I think that’s the idea. I don’t know if it’s available yet.
Leo: This is Brian Tong at CNET, interviewing Will I Am on the watch. I like this one. This is the new one from HP. They got a designer to do this one: Michael Bastian. Let me show you this one here. It actually looks like a watch. It’s called the MB Chrono-Wing. An alligator strap for $650. Sapphire crystal. Anybody?
Rafe: So this one has a little watch insert and a…?
Leo: That’s an LCD screen. Don’t be fooled.
Rafe: The whole thing is LCD?
Leo: Um, yes.
Rafe: Every picture I’ve seen of this watch has the watch insert in the same exact space.
Leo: Yes. You can’t get rid of it. It does not have a touch screen. It is just buttons and notifications. Lots of buttons. I don’t know, at least it looks like a watch.
Rafe: This is so cool. Everybody is trying new ideas. And the watch manufacturers are getting involved, the fashion people are getting involved, and the fitness people are getting involved. And it’s all this battle for the wrist-top. The wrist-top battle.
Leo: This cannot track your steps. This cannot measure your heart rate. This does not beep, it has no touch screen, it has no microphone.
Chris: But it tells time beautifully!
Leo: It does tell time. You know what, you credit all this innovation to the Apple rumor mill because all of these things were created before Apple announced an Apple watch. But on the basis of the rumor that Apple would be doing a watch. And everybody said scurry and hurry, get to this market before Apple does.
Rafe: Still won’t matter.
Chris: Yes, exactly. Not that it’s going to help very much. You’re right. When Apple comes out, everything else will disappear or will be also ran and they’ll discount things highly. Then people will see what Apple’s done.
Leo: I’m not convinced Apple’s got it either.
Rafe: No, I am very excited about the version two Apple watch. They think the battery life is no good, they’re bulky. The UI is first-gen on almost all of the products. But I kind of like the idea. But this stuff is too bulky and itchy. I don’t like itchy products.
Leo: You wouldn’t have liked my Halloween costume. It was very itchy. HP is going to do a 3D printer next year. That’s kind of interesting. You get a big company like HP to do this. They say it is not going to be a hobbyist printer. It will be targeted at business. Kind of like the big HP printers that the people use for plotting and big prints and stuff to make billboards and posters. It will be designed to produce a wide-range of object and industrial components. So this is interesting. HP, I think you can fairly credit with the inkjet explosion. By which I do not mean the actual explosion of inkjet material.
Rafe: Sounds like an Ok Go song.
Leo: Although that has happened. But the sudden growth of the inkjet industry was driven initially I think by HP. So it will be interesting.
Rafe: You kind of wonder though if they had a big meeting at HP. And so what do we still do? Well we don’t do medical equipment anymore or this and that. Oh we still make printers so what’s cutting edge in printers? 3D printing, alright let’s do that because I’m not sure else HP has going for it. The server stuff is still happening but they paired down what they used to do to such an extent that I think they need some sort of product that’s going to step forward and say no, we’re still in the game. And this is what we’re going to do now to keep this going.
Chris: HP can’t not do 3D printers. I don’t know how big the market is.
Leo: Can Epson not do 3D printers?
Rafe: I think everybody is going to do 3D printers. There will be some standardized technology like there already is. The price of the print heads will come down. The price of the epoxy or plastic will go way up. So everybody’s going to make money. Now they’re going to have to convince us that we actually need to print stuff in 3D. When was the last time at your house you needed to make…?
Leo: A knob…? That’s what everybody says. Oh, my knob fell off and I made one. That’s always the thing.
Rafe: Right, so it takes right no how long? Like half an hour to an hour to make enough.
Leo: Made out of a crappy-looking plastic knob.
Rafe: Which you still have to sand. The first one comes out wrong.
Leo: They say HP will support Shape Ways. Which I guess is the closest thing to a standard. That’s the 3D model database. So that’s good. Oh! Amazon figured out what’s wrong with the Fire Phone. So relieved! They said we just priced it wrong.
Rafe: Yea, you know, that’s what they picked!
Leo: That’s what’s wrong!
Rafe: No, that is not what’s wrong. I went to…
Leo: You could give me $50 and I wouldn’t take it.
Rafe: They still priced it wrong because they should give you $100. No, they’ve been trying to socialize this idea about oh we just priced it wrong as a reason the phone flopped. I was at an event and some Amazon person told me this. And I was like sure, okay, whatever you say. What Amazon did was they underestimated the importance of standards and yes that runs a version of Android. And yes it has its own app store. But people just want a phone that exists in an ecosystem they know or bust.
Leo: They could have looked at Windows and the Windows Phone and realized that was the case. Because Windows Phones are great.
Rafe: And they’re beginning to make headway but it’s taken years. Years for Microsoft to push that phone out to drive the prices down and to really cozy up to developers to get the apps out there. And the Windows Phone is actually unique. It’s got a really innovative and beautiful UI. It’s different from the Android.
Leo: And it still was too late and wasn’t part of an ecosystem that was either Android or iPhone.
Chris: By the way, I am not counting out Windows Phones now only because I see them now everywhere I go.
Leo: Do you really?
Chris: I do. And that’s weird to me. Because for the first couple years you never saw Windows Phones. And now they’re beginning to pop up.
Leo: I’d like to see that. We could use a third. And I was a little hopeful that Fire OS would make a fourth. But it isn’t. It’s not enough. Amazon did also announce this week the Fire TV Stick. Which is an excellent name. And this one they’ve priced right. It’s not out yet. It will be out before Christmas. $39 for briefly you could get it for $19 if you’re a Prime member.
Rafe: They sold out of those really fast. Did you get one?
Leo: No. I have a Fire TV and I haven’t hooked it up yet. So I don’t know what I need a Stick for. It’s the same as the Fire TV.
Rafe: $20, it’s a great stocking stuffer.
Leo: It is good. Well what would you get? Chromecast or Fire TV Stick?
Leo: Roku makes a stick too, but it’s expensive. It’s like $50. Why even bother? I do like the Chromecast.
Rafe: I don’t have a Chromecast yet. What’s interesting is that Google is now putting a lot of that Chromecast stuff on other platforms. Like on the Roku.
Leo: Isn’t that interesting?
Rafe: So this whole battle. It’s not about the hardware.
Leo: What is it about?
Rafe: It’s about the streaming services and if you’re Amazon you want people to use Amazon video. If you’re Roku, well you saw the hardware. If you’re Google, it’s Google Play. But everybody has to support everybody else because that’s the way the world is right now. And I don’t know if you have to pay Netflix a couple of pennies to stream a video onto a Roku or something.
Leo: I wouldn’t think so. Wouldn’t Netflix just want to be everywhere?
Rafe: You’re right. Netflix wants to be everywhere. So all these guys are trying to be on every platform.
Leo: Netflix is the only one that is.
Rafe: It’s not about the hardware. Hulu Plus is almost everywhere. Spotify and Pandora are getting there. Amazon video is pretty much everywhere Amazon Prime is.
Chris: Except Apple TV.
Rafe: Oh of course. And Apple TV, I don’t know where they are.
Leo: Well Apple has the iTunes store and they’re exclusively on Apple TV.
Chris: I think part of the advantage of this Fire stick is that Apple TV owners are going to want it. I’ve got Amazon Prime but I can’t get it on my Apple TV. I have a Roku box but…
Leo: Oh, put Amazon Prime…
Chris: Just throw it on there for $20 or $30.
Leo: That makes sense. Do you think the television companies can end the pain by just putting this stuff onto the TV?
Rafe: Come on. Have you seen Samsung or LG software?
Leo: I use it and it’s horrible.
Rafe: I forget what my TV is, it’s LG. And it actually does almost all the stuff except the interface is so terrible.
Leo: Not well.
Rafe: Yea, the same is true with my receiver. No, I mean Roku, Google, Amazon, Apple, they know how to make software.
Leo: Not the TV companies.
Rafe: No. I kick myself every time I’m reminded that I pay extra to have all these smart TV features. All I need is a monitor. That’s it.
Leo: You don’t even need a tuner anymore. You’re right. All you need is a screen. It would be nice to have a bunch of HDMI inputs. Yea, so Panasonic’s not bad. It’s okay; it’s usable.
Rafe: But why? It doesn’t…
Leo: It doesn’t do all this stuff. You’re right.
Rafe: The set-top boxes or the sticks do more. So why switch between it?
Leo: Nothing is worse than Samsung’s TV.
Chris: I haven’t tried that one.
Leo: Horrible platform. It’s the Fire Phone of TVs.
Chris: Fire Phone, that UI with the fake 3D…
Leo: You like that?
Chris: Let me qualify that. It’s really cool.
Leo: It’s interesting.
Chris: It’s no reason to buy a phone because it’s just glitzy.
Leo: It doesn’t do anything for value.
Chris: It would.
Leo: Even Fire Fly doesn’t really.
Chris: The maps are neat. Because you can look under things.
Leo: Spend all that time doing this.
Chris: And it has the potential for games. But unless people actually buy the phone, nobody’s going to write a game that uses it.
Leo: LG is killing, the last company to make plasma TVs has decided to go out of the plasma business. So that’s it. It is over for what everybody agreed was the best TV technology out there.
Chris: The LP of TV technology.
Leo: Panasonic which made those great Vieras. That’s what I have. Those were great plasma TVs. Many agreed the best TVs made. Nope. Samsung, nope. And finally, LG the last company making plasma. But you know I think O-LED has taken over.
Chris: Yea but O-LED is still pricy right?
Leo: It’s very expensive still.
Rafe: I still have two plasmas and I absolutely love them.
Leo: Don’t get rid of them.
Rafe: No, but one of them broke. And trying to get parts for the thing is really hard. And this was a Panasonic from just about three years ago. And I waited six weeks to get a part for the thing. And they had to take it out of another one that had broken. They’re like Apple, with the parts for the iPad classic. They do not have a lot on the shelves. So you’re going to have a hard time if the thing busts.
Leo: I have the last plasma right here! You can have it. Our show today brought to you by audible.com. Audiobooks from Audible are the best way to spend time in the car, at the gym, walking the dog, doing the dishes. You’re reading. People hate it when I use the word reading but every word that’s on the page is going into your ears. You’re experiencing the book in a way that is unique. I am a fanatic. And I think you know I have been an Audible subscriber since the year 2000. I have over 500 books in my library. And I encourage everybody to give it a try. The new Amy Poehler first book is out: Yes, Please. It’s from Saturday Night Live cast member Amy Poehler, star of Parks and Rec. She reads it. So there’s a plus there when you hear her voice. Actually it’s not just her. Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, mom and dad: Eileen and William Poehler. Patrick Steward is in this book. Kathleen Turner! I wonder…
The truth is, writing is hard and boring. And occasionally` great but usually not. Even I have lied about writing. I’ve told people that writing this book has been like brushing away dirt from a fossil. What a load of nish.
Leo: Amy Poehler, the book is Yes, Please. How would you like to get this and another book free? Rachel Dratch has a new book. Neal Patrick Harris, I’m hearing a lot of good things about his new auto-biography. Choose your own auto-biography. It’s actually adapted from the printed edition by the author. So because this book was weird where you would jump from, you would literally like choose your own games, they’ve made it work in Audible somehow. I love Neal Patrick Harris. Give it a try. Visit audible.com, pick two books, and then go to audible.com/twit2. You’re going to sign up for the platinum account. That’s a two-book-a-month subscription plan. And I think that’s what I have. I listen to two books a month easy. And you get the daily digest of the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal so you get to keep up with what’s going on in the world. Audible is so much fun. I’m listening to Whiskey Tango Foxtrot right now which is a great techno-thriller for people who are worried about the NSA. It confirms every fear that you might have and then some. And it’s funny. Pick a book, pick two books. Go to audible.com/twit2, sign up for the platinum account. You won’t pay anything for the first 30 days. In fact if you cancel in the first 30 days, no problem. Nope, you pay nothing. But you get to keep those books forever so that’s nice. We love it. Audible.com/twit2. I should probably read this; this is Olive Kittredge. This is the new HBO mini-series that’s coming out Monday and Tuesday. The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. And I like to read the books before I see the movies. I still haven’t seen Gone Girl because I haven’t finished the book yet. I want the book to be the spoiler, not the movie. That’s how much I love Audible. Audible.com/twit2. Give it a try today. Chris Breen, Rafe Needleman. We’re talking high-tech. Verizon, and now I think AT&T have been caught setting perma-cookies. Wired magazine calls it a privacy-killing machine. This has been going on for two years. If you use a Verizon phone and you surf using your browser on any phone, a unique identifier will be sent to the website that advertisers can use to identify you. I presume Verizon can use it in some way. Jacob Hoffman Andrews at the Electronic Frontier Foundation said ISPs and in this case Verizon would be your ISP, are trusted connectors of users. They shouldn’t be modifying our traffic on the way to the internet. But now we know that AT&T is doing it too. And I wouldn’t be surprised if all the carriers are doing it. And maybe your internet service provider.
Rafe: Yea, it’s not what we expected.
Leo: It’s exactly what I expected! Are you kidding me?!
Rafe: Yea, good point. It’s very sad.
Rafe: So what they’re doing is taking your call through the internet that you request this page and just adding a little identifier that’s not just your IP. But a machine identifier.
Leo: Right. It’s not like they’re giving information to these guys. But every time you go to this page they see it’s you again.
Chris: They start to correlate this with all the places that you’ve been. And you put this in so the ad services can… they’re the people that actually link all this stuff together. Google and Yahoo, that’s what the ad companies do. And they know who you are from all the different places you’ve been in cross-site cookies. And this just makes their job so much easier.
Leo: According to Verizon, there’s no way to turn it off. The Verizon spokesman, Deborah Lewis says Verizon doesn’t use this UIHDH to create customer profiles. Oh good news.
Chris: Oh it’s just fine. Why do they have it then?! What’s the point of this if it’s not to sell us who are advertising friends?
Leo: Well the funny thing is even if Verizon isn’t taking advantage of it, there’s nothing to stop any other ad network to take advantage of it. In effect, they’re doing this for the good of the advertising agencies. I mean everybody benefits. You’re right, I think ultimately Verizon wants to. But the irony is even if Verizon doesn’t, anybody else can.
Rafe: Why do they do it? Well because they can. And it’s easier to do it than not do it if you’re a company like Verizon.
Leo: We spend a lot of time worrying about the NSA, Google, and Facebook. But I always want to point out that it’s your internet service provider that’s actually the risk because they know everything. And they can do stuff like this easily. It’s trivial. Whether that’s your carrier or your home internet service provider, they can do this. And you got to think that Comcast isn’t exactly motivated to protect my privacy.
Rafe: It depends on how you look at it. If a carrier is cavalier with your privacy they will lose customers.
Leo: If people find out. I think Verizon figured on nobody would ever notice this. It shows how stupid they are. They did do it for two years.
Rafe: And people eventually find out. Whether you’re a carrier, and ad-serving company, or the NSA, eventually people find out. This stuff comes out. So you can’t just throw tracking stuff without disclosing it into traffic. Into the web. It’ll come out. But the question is how upset will consumers be. First of all will they understand what people are talking about when they reveal this? And then how much of a human cry will there be? It depends.
Chris: I think we’ve been worn down at this point. People are pretty cynical about it. And we figure well if they’re not doing it, everybody else is going to do it. So do I really want to go through the trouble of getting out of my contract with Verizon and going with somebody else or changing ISPs because I don’t think there’s anybody anyone trusts anymore. And we figure that’s just the way the world is today. It’s a sad testament. But I do think people are just worn down and just figure well, you know there is no privacy anymore.
Rafe: What are you going to do?
Leo: I think the real benefit to Verizon, even if they don’t use it, is that they know a lot of personal information about you because you had to give them your social security number, your name, your address. They know all that stuff as a customer. Now well the ad networks have the UIDH, what if maybe we did a thing where you tell us the UIDH and we’ll tell you the guy’s name? And for a buck. It’s just a buck. So you can see where this Nexus could be very bad. FCC though is going to jump right in and protect us, right? FCC is considering actually what might be a good, I think on the face of it, now I have not delved deep into it which means I haven’t listened to all the smart people like Cory Doctorow and others. But the FCC is considering what they would call a hybrid regulatory approach to net neutrality. Remember the FCC has been trying to find a way through this. And we’ve talked an awful lot about it. Some people say the FCC should adopt title three regulation of internet service providers. Call them common carriers then they would have the right to regulate them. Others say well that is going to just kill… title two, not title three. It’s of the communications act of 1934. It’s going to kill having this kind of heavy duty government oversight is going to kill the internet. And by the way there’s not even an agreement on places like the EFF where there’s a lot of debate. Who should protect us? We agree that we need net neutrality but should we expect lawmakers to do that? We know not particular sophisticated some ham-handed, they might do a worse job than no regulation at all. So the chairman of the FCC, Tom Wheeler, who I’ve never considered a friend, considering he comes from the cable and wireless industries before he was made chairman of the FCC; he’s actually come up with something interesting. A split-the-baby approach to net neutrality. A hybrid approach in which they would use title two for wholesale transactions. So, this is complicated to explain. But remember the Netflix kerfuffle where Netflix was basically slowed down by Comcast because Comcast just didn’t spend money on their inter-connect. They let the connection between Netflix and Comcast become congested and eventually got Netflix to give them some money. Well we need the money for a better router. Can you just give us a few million for a better router? A month. And they gave them the money and now all of a sudden there’s no congestion anymore. That’s the inter-connect. That’s the wholesale internet business. And then of course there’s the retail internet business between me and Comcast. So what the FCC is considering is regulating the wholesale transaction but not regulating the retail transaction. Keep an eye on these inter-connects to make sure there are no toll lanes on the internet. Which is one of the key concerns I think we all have. But not get government regulation into how the internet service provider works with the consumer. Good idea? Is it too early to know?
Chris: It’s early to know. I don’t like the idea of the retail side of my relationship with, of letting the ISPs monkey with toll lanes or not toll lanes.
Leo: It’s not an accident that I put these two stories together. My point out.
Chris: Between me and my ISP. Now if my ISP is protected from being charged more for preferral traffic than other traffic by the big inter-connects, great for them. But I kind of want the same protection.
Leo: And that’s what some privacy advocates have said. No, no, you should have title two across the board. I do worry and I have heard from a lot of people, boy government regulation can be so heavy-handed, it may not be appropriate in this case. They move slowly.
Chris: The concern I have is that this can change from administration to administration in terms of enforcement. They can have these things on the book and say yes, we can regulate you under title two. But let’s say an administration comes in that’s very friendly to big business and to lobbyists for these big ISPs and say well you say it’s up your discretion. Well, we know that you would like us to be more a free market and therefore get away with some of this stuff. And so even under title two, I am a little concerned if there aren’t some fairly hardened fast rules that somebody can say no, you crossed that line; that we’re going to be in trouble. If it really is discretionary depending on how they happen to feel or who is in power at that time.
Leo: It’s a very tricky technical issue. I’m glad the FCC is considering alternatives. I’m thrilled to hear that they’re at least considering some title two regulation.
Rafe: I wish the market was free enough…
Leo: Then we wouldn’t have to worry.
Rafe: That consumers would be able to call the shots.
Leo: If you had a choice, this wouldn’t be a problem.
Rafe: That’s what is really sad about this.
Leo: It’s a monopoly at best.
Rafe: That we, one way or the other, the government has to say something about this. Either we’re going to do this or we’re not going to do this. But they have to be part of it.
Leo: Or encourage competition in some way. Maybe there’s some way to facilitate competition.
Rafe: Yea that always works when the government tries to encourage competition.
Leo: We’re going to take a break. Our show brought to you buy stamps.com, the place to go instead of the post office. So that you can print your own postage any time you want. What it’s really for, I got to tell you, if you do mailing in your business. If you send out brochures, flyers, you send out bills, or especially if you send out products. If you’re an Etsy or an eBay, Amazon seller, you got to check out stamps.com. It makes you look more professional. It saves you time and money. Because you print postage for any letter or any package any time with your computer and your printer. You don’t need a postage meter. You print right on the envelope, your logo, the return address prepopulated. They’ll even pull the recipients’ address from the webpage or your QuickBooks, or address book. We’ve got this great digital scale that comes with your no-risk trial offer that automatically makes sure you got exactly the right postage. Have you ever done that? I used to do that: put extra postage on because you don’t want it returned. It’s a waste of money. Or have you ever had mail returned? I get mail all the time that’s postage due. That’s crazy! Stamps.com, folks! You even get discounts you can’t get at the post office. Certified mail, return receipt, international customs formed automatically filled out. One click of the mouse gives you package discounts and then discounted package insurance. At stamps.com. Here’s the deal, go to stamps.com. See that microphone; actually I don’t see the microphone. There it is! In the upper-right corner. If you don’t see a microphone, go back to stamps.com front page. Click the microphone, enter TWIT, you’re going to get a $110 bonus offer that includes this digital scale and up to-ooh, I like that-up to $55 in free postage. I’m glad they got rid of the silly picture of me. Actually press go, I bet you get me anyway. Stamps.com, yea sorry. I tried. No more trips to the post office. $110 offer and of course you get the monthly stamps.com. Give it a try, stamps.com. Use the offer code TWIT. The 20th anniversary of the banner ad. That’s a sad, sad commemoration. Did you see the world’s first…
Rafe: Come on, man.
Leo: Have you seen this ad? This was the first banner ad. This was on, remember Hotwire? So that is an ugly… that really does not bode well for the future of the internet right there.
Rafe: Got to start somewhere.
Leo: Punch the monkey’s next, right? Where is this story? Let me go back, I just lost it. Hotwire was trying to figure out a way to I guess make some money. This is from the internet history podcast and they decided that well maybe we could put ads on our site. Actually this was one of 12-14 banners which all went live October 27, 1994. When hotwire.com launched. I remember Hotwire well. It was like a news site. Like an online news site.
Rafe: It was good.
Leo: Did you work there?
Rafe: No, I worked at CNET in ’96.
Leo: ’96. I was doing radio by then, talk radio. I was doing Dvorak on Computers. I remember this. ’94, most people weren’t even online at that point.
Rafe: I think that’s when we put bite.com online. ’94, ’95, yea. Yep.
Leo: So worth listening to the internet history podcast. The first banner ad. And I think one of the guys on the podcast was the guy who thought it up. So you can boo him when he comes on stage. Um, I think we’ve done most of these stories in the past. I don’t want to bring back old stories. Kim Kardashian! That’s all I have to say about that.
Rafe: That’s plenty.
Leo: It was a good interview with Kara Swisher. There was an interesting body language. Kara was facing one way, arms folded. We were hoping to get Kara on to talk about it. But she couldn’t make it. Do we have a big week ahead? Let’s take a look. Mr. Mike Elgin.
Mobile chip giant Qualcomm reports earnings on Wednesday, November 5th. And AOL will do the same on Thursday, November 6th. Also on Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans something called the Community Q&A where he will essentially hold a Reddit-style AMA for one hour. Anyone can submit questions on Zuckerberg’s blog post announcing the event. And the session will be streamed live. That’s what’s coming up this week, Leo. Back to you.
Leo: Mike Elgin and our Tech News Today. Every Monday through Friday, 10am. We have two new shows every Monday through Friday by the way. I want you to know if you’re interested in tech news, you can keep up with it. 10am Pacific. That’s 1pm Eastern time. 1800 UTC, Monday through Friday. And in the afternoon, it’s Sarah Lane with Tech News Tonight at 4pm Pacific, 7pm Eastern time. And that would be 2400, right at midnight UTC if you want to get your daily dose of tech news. I want to thank Mr. Christopher Breen of macworld.com.
Chris: Thanks, Leo.
Leo: It’s good to see the hair of Breen and the body of Breen.
Chris: There it is.
Leo: So the body of Breen is your Twitter account?
Chris: Yes I’m body of Breen. I’m not hair of Breen. There is somebody else who is hair of Breen and I do not know who that is.
Leo: You do not have control of the hair?
Chris: I have no control of the hair, it just does this. I wake up in the morning and this is what happens.
Leo: It looks like his hair might have a Twitter account actually.
Chris: I think it’s doing stuff at night I know nothing about.
Leo: It’s great to see you, Christopher. I’m glad you survived the massive layoffs at MacWorld. If anybody should still be there, it should be you. Is that a bad thing to say?
Chris: I don’t know. No, I’m glad to be there. We’re really kind of working like a startup. And it’s really interesting. We have a lot more freedom than we have in the past. It’s more work, it’s harder work. But so far it’s been pretty rewarding.
Leo: People should go to macworld.com and not assume it’s gone. Because there’s great stuff. And there is still a monthly digital edition of MacWorld magazine. So, good stuff. Chris is doing great stuff.
Chris: Come on by.
Leo: Macalope is still there?
Chris: Oh yea.
Leo: Love Mr. Macalope. We also want to thank Rafe Needleman who’s doing a great job at Yahoo Tech, tech.yahoo.com. This is, let’s face it, this is why MacWorld and many other magazines have ceased print. This is a magazine on the web; it’s great. It’s beautiful. David Pogue’s there with his videos: Pogue’s Basics. And you say you’re kind of targeting this for the normal person.
Rafe: It’s tech for everybody. Technology is not reserved for just nerds in the tech bubble. And everybody is a newbie at something. That’s why we have the new Pogue’s Basics series. Little things that you should know. That you just assume everybody knows. My mom for example, I just gave her my old iPhone 5 because I got the iPhone 6. And you think these phones are all so intuitive. But there’s so much undocumented stuff. All the gestures and the secrets and all that stuff. And I’m realizing in trying to teach her how to use this phone that it’s going to take a year before she’s facile on this thing. So that’s why we have Pogue’s Basics just to help people do the little things. Like squeeze the phone to stop it from ringing.
Rafe: You’ll hit a button and it’ll stop ringing. You’ll hit a button and it will shut off.
Leo: I never thought of that!
Rafe: It works!
Leo: By the way, Becky Worley does great stuff for you. This is her review of the PavLok, which is…
Rafe: Some evil genius, some sick whatever managed to take a fitness band and put a shocker, like a dog collar shocker in it. So if you don’t meet your goal or walk enough, first it will beep. Then it will buzz you. And then it will actually zap you.
Leo: And Becky tried this?!
Rafe: You know, journalism is not all cupcakes and caviar, man.
Leo: Look at this. It looks like it hurts. She says, whoa! One of the few people I know who can look absolutely gorgeous while getting shocked by her wrist watch. Fun. Yea, Becky’s one of your stalwarts there.
Rafe: She’s great. It’s a good video. She almost smacked herself in the face with that thing.
Leo: Becky does these from her kitchen.
Leo: Love it, love it. She was a nun for Halloween. Did you see the pictures?
Rafe: I saw her Facebook picture.
Leo: She actually looked good.
Rafe: None the wiser.
Leo: We want to thank you for joining us. This show, This Week in Tech every Sunday, 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern time. We did that stupid daylight saving thing and so we set our clocks back an hour. So while we are still at the same time for us: 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern time; that is now an hour later UTC. So it is, I have to do the math. Three plus 12 is 15 plus eight is 2300 UTC. You’re going to have to do the math to figure out what that is in your time zone, okay? Thank you for being here. If you can’t make it live; we do love it if you’re here live. But if you can’t make it live, you can always watch on-demand. Video and audio are available at twit.tv or wherever podcasts are aggregated, stored, and disseminated like iTunes. Probably your phone has a dozen ways to get it: Stitcher. And there are some great TWiT apps that you can put on your smartphone or your Roku box. We hope you do that. If you want to be here in studio, we have five people who did not pass out. Six, sorry six. The rest are gone. You can get email@example.com. We’ll put a very uncomfortable chair out for you. You like the chair? It’s good? You’re feeling alright? Okay. Thanks for being here. We’ll see you next time. Another TWiT is in the can! Bye bye, everybody!