This Week in Tech 486 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWIT: This Week in Tech. I am so excited. Becky Worley from Tech TV, Good Morning American, and Yahoo is here. From Fast company, Harry McCracken, my buddy Jason Snell from Six Colors. We're going to talk to you about the week's tech news. Even more bad news for Uber, and at the end, we're going to make you cry. It's all coming up 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 486, recorded November 30, 2014.
This Ain't No Tongue Tingle
This Week in Tech is brought to you by IFIXIT. You can fix it, and IFIXIT makes it easy, with free step-by-step repair guides, high quality replacement parts, and all the tools you'll need. For 10 dollars off your purchase of 50 dollars or more go to ifixit.com/twit and enter the code TWIT at checkout. And by Oscar. A new approach to healthcare that focuses only on healthcare plans for individuals and their families. To learn more about health insurance plans and get a quote, go to hioscar.com/twit. And 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, but do use the offer code TWIT to get two bonus months with purchase. And by Squarespace. The all in one platform that makes it easy to create your own professional website or online portfolio. Now introducing SquareSpace 7, with even better site management tools and other improvements. For a free two-week trial and 10% off, go to squarespace.com and use the offer code TWIT. It's time for TWIT: This Week in Tech, the show that covers the week's tech news with a panel composed of some of the finest tech journalists and my personal friends. At least anybody who is available on a Sunday afternoon. That's basically all we can do. Jason Snell is here. It's always great to have Jason here.
Jason Snell: Present. Available.
Leo: Jason, former editorial director at IDG Publications, when IDG folded, Mac World magazine, he went out on his own. He has a great blog, sixcolors.com.
Jason: Thank you.
Leo: A whole podcast network, which is I think keystone of that, the Incomparable, which I love.
Jason: You know podcasting is back, Leo.
Leo: So I hear. All of us who have been doing podcasting for years are very grateful about how the mainstream media has discovered, "Oh. We thought those guys were dead. They were gone. It was over, it was history." No, we're back. Actually, we were just listening to a really nice piece this morning on Weekend edition of NPR by Jon Kalish that included TWIT but also John C. Dvorak and a lot of independent podcasts. That's the nice thing. He briefly mentioned cereal. I don't know if he mentioned Blum's startup, but then he got into the real meat of podcasting, which is the Indies. Real interesting stuff. Great to have you.
Jason: Great to be here.
Leo: Look who else is here. Hasn't been here in ages. Becky Worley.
Becky Worley: So happy to be here.
Leo: I am so happy to see you my dear. We try to get Becky on all the time. But you are so busy with ABC, with Good Morning America, and you do Yahoo, their Tech page now.
Becky: With Rafe Needleman and David Pogue and a lot of really good bloggers over there.
Becky: And then mostly it's just parenting. My kids are six, and I would love to spend my weekend with you, but they win.
Leo: Most of the people that we really want a lot use that excuse. Some of them don't even have children, they have small dogs. Parakeets. But whatever it is, Sunday afternoon seems to be sacred.
Becky: Yeah. They're knitting sweaters for their Chihuahuas and watching football.
Leo: That's exactly right. I think it's really football. So thank you for giving up whatever good thing you could be doing. It's great to see you.
Becky: And right after your birthday. Happy birthday.
Leo: Day two.
Becky: Day two. How's it going?
Leo: Of being 58?
Leo: Hey. Harry McCracken is also here. Formerly the technologizer at Time magazine and on his own blog and now he's at Fast Company.
Harry McCracken: I am. I think I'll always be the technologizer, but my main gig is Fast Company.
Leo: We'll call you Sir Technologizer. Great to have you all here to talk about the week's tech news. Where to start. Black Friday was Friday. You don't. I bet you for Good Morning America you had to do Black Friday news. All the mainstream media wants that.
Becky: Oh yeah. You have to think about it this way. It is one of the—it's the Woodstock unfortunately, of our generation. It's like it's a communal shopping experience for many.
Leo: I thought waiting in line to get the iPhone was the Woodstock.
Becky: Yes, also. It's in the vein. It's maybe—
Leo: I have never done it. Have you ever done it?
Becky: Well I've covered it.
Leo: Go out to Best Buy at midnight?
Becky: Oh yeah. I've covered it for ten years, and there are two types of people who do this. One, it is a family experience, and the other, it's an opportunity to get more for Christmas because their dollar goes farther. And it's really survivalist. People who every penny counts, so they think they save 3 to 4 to 500 dollars if they stand in line for those storebusters.
Leo: Are those good deals? Are they really?
Becky: You still get loss leaders that you're seeing on Black Friday in store. There are fewer and fewer, what I notice for the first time in the ten years that I've been studying on Black Friday is that the deals online were as significant as the deals—not necessarily the door busters, but the door busters weren't as extreme, and the online door busters were much much better. Online shopping this year was huge. Best Buy’s site went down for a period of time on Black Friday, and they said it was because of all the mobile traffic that they got.
Leo: It seems that Black Friday in real stores has turned into Black Month, Black Week. This is a picture of shoppers wrestling over a television on Black Friday. There's something a little different about this. This is England. So Black Friday is normally based on the day after Thanksgiving. They don't celebrate Thanksgiving in England, but apparently, according to Yahoo News, I think you've heard of them, Black Friday violence is stepping up all over the world.
Becky: I'm so glad we could share that with the world.
Jason: I do one of my podcasts with an English guy. His name is Mike Hurly, and he was telling me that he doesn't understand anything about Thanksgiving, and the thing he understands about it is the next day, they have Black Friday sales and they do that in England now too. We have definitely exported the idea that consumerism begins right about now and runs rampant until Christmas.
Harry: The worst part about it.
Becky: Have you guys heard about singles day in China?
Leo: Yes. That was the one where the guy bought 90 iPhones and proposed and she said, "No way. You're such a nerd."
Becky: It's their version of Black Friday. It's a made up holiday for single people.
Leo: It was created by Ali Baba, wasn't it? I think it was. It was created by Chinese retailers a couple of years ago to try and gin up sails.
Becky: And that was huge this year. But to your point about it starting earlier, PayPal analyzed their data and they said that the sails started last Wednesday, was the start of the sales and the apex was on Thanksgiving where the best sales and the most sales were, and then it winds down through next week. Cyber week.
Leo: Amazon is doing every week, all week, every hour a new deal. Actually I don't know why you would fight in a store for something. Do you get better deals in the real world?
Becky: Only the doorbusters this year. That's really the beginning of the line. Or in certain cases, the stores were doing a better job of managing Black Friday this year. Some stores had bracelets, so while you were in line you knew. You told them, "Ok, I'm going to go for this, or that." And they would give you a bracelet or a ticket for that item so that it would alleviate some of the melee in the aisles. And then Wal-Mart has a one-hour thing that even if they sell out, so long as you're there during the one-hour you can get a rain check for it and come back another time.
Leo: It just gives me a stomachache. It seems horrible. Horrible experience. But people seem to enjoy it.
Becky: It has become a bizarre tradition. I'm not saying, and certainly the Thanksgiving thing just really irks me—
Leo: Yeah, Wal-Mart is open midnight Thanksgiving Day.
Jason: Target opened at 5PM, 6PM on Thanksgiving Day, yeah.
Becky: Most of them 5 or 6 PM.
Harry: Is it bad for the rest of the shopping season if all of the deals are frontloaded? Will people not buy stuff from here on out?
Leo: So the name Black Friday is a chance for retailers to get in the black, implying that they've been in the red all year and they're going to make a few bucks on Thursday and Friday. But is that the case?
Becky: I don't think that the black and red necessarily makes a difference here in terms of retail, although we know that the most technology products are sold in Q4. September till December. But what I do think is that it's a cat and mouse game with the consumer and it's always changing and it's always going to change. So at one point in time it's just Friday. Then they threw in Cyber Monday. Now it's the week before. And it's always moving. One thing that's different this year is that there are categories emerging on different days. So phones, Android phones, unlocked phones generally before Thanksgiving and on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, then Black Friday and the weekend is clothing. Cyber Monday is shoes. I know. It's crazy. It's now Cyber Shoe day.
Leo: Although, I got to tell you tomorrow, Cyber Monday, my phone woke up. Did I say, "Ok Google?"
Becky: I think you did. It knew. It knew that you wanted to go shopping.
Leo: My phone woke up.
Becky: It knew that you wanted to spend money and it just woke up right there.
Jason: Ahoy telephone.
Leo: I should change it to ahoy. That's a good one.
Jason: On my podcast with the English guy, we used to say, "Hey Siri" all the time when we were activating everyone's phones because you can't customize it.
Leo: Which you've just done.
Jason: Which I have just done. And so now we speak in code, we say, "ahoy telephone." Because you don't want to say any of these trigger phrases. You are ruining people's lives when you say it.
Leo: I have been saying lately, "OK followed by Google." But apparently, I don't think I said it. But for some reason my phone woke up for no reason at all, which means others did as well. But—
Becky: Hi Leo. We understand that you'd like to spend some money. Can you tell us how we can take your money?
Leo: Monday, and this is why, because that is a Nexus 6, and I was about to say that Monday Moto maker is going to offer 150 bucks off the Moto X, which I think is one of the great phones of the year.
Becky: That's the unlocked price.
Leo: Yeah, and if you want to go with Verizon, it's a penny. If you've got time to renew.
Becky: They're giving the Galaxy S5 away all week. It's a penny. It's free.
Leo: That's what I was going to say because they can't sell them really. Samsung said they only sold 12 million S5s. But they expected 40% more.
Becky: I bet they did that this weekend. The push was massive in all stores.
Leo: Maybe they turned around. So there you go. It's good for Samsung. Sales online this Black Friday were up 20% this year over last year. These are from a variety of sources including Adobe, Channel Advisor, and Castora, between 20.6% and 24% year over year. But what's interesting is that somewhere between 27 and 30% of you bought on your mobile phones and tablets.
Becky: Yeah. That's 30 to 40% of online sales were mobile. So that was a big change. And I said that's—
Leo: I can't imagine shopping on my phone. That seems an even crappier experience than going to a door buster at Wal-Mart.
Harry: I was with my Mom over the holiday, and she was doing tons of shopping over her phone. I was driving around and she was in the passenger seat buying stuff.
Leo: And why? Did she explain herself? To get the deals?
Harry: Well, we were in the car. She didn't have a lot to do and a mobile device is easy, and she's very comfortable with it.
Leo: Was it mostly Amazon?
Harry: I think it was here and there. Every once in a while she would ask me—She asked what the name of Boston's hockey team was. She didn't know off the top of her head. Despite having lived in Boston off and on since the 1950's. She was buying something for everyone's fan, but she wasn't sure what the name of the team was.
Leo: so you told her Celtics, right?
Becky: OK. So here's my Black Friday question for you, Harry. We saw the first 4K TVs in the 50-inch range for sub thousand bucks. 899 on Amazon. People were asking me, all my people who work at ABC, I got to get a new TV, tell me which one to buy! What do you think? Where are we, people?
Harry: We're sort of approaching the bubble of where it's considering. I'd say if you buy it today, you still won't get vey much out of that. It might be along time before you do.
Leo: It might even be worse than that, because the 4K you buy today might not even support 4K standards going forward. So it'll continue to work, it's not like these new standards will break it, but you may not get the best picture out of it. A 4K TV that comes out after these standards are established will be better.
Harry: I think it is actually true that up scaling kind of works in some cases and stuff can look good. Stuff, which is not 4K, can look good on a 4K TV.
Leo: But where do you get 4K content otherwise?
Harry: You aren't, basically.
Leo: Yeah, you have to buy. Sony gives you a hard drive with their 4K TV. But that's not the 800 dollar 4K TV though. I have a new campaign. I want my TV to be dumber.
Leo: Yeah. Why are they putting smarts in these TVs? Because the smarts that Samsung and LG and all these guys put in it is so dumb it gets in the way.
Jason: I'll tell you why. It's the same reason why nobody in the mobile business or the cable business wants to be a dumb pipe. They want to add value, otherwise they just have to compete on this basic service and their margins go down. And the TV makers, it's the same way. They're terrified if all TVs are exactly the same, because all we do is connect these little outside boxes to them. But the outside boxes are a way better approach, just like using Android Auto or Car play would be better in a car, because there are companies that would be good at this stuff, and then there are the companies that aren't so good.
Leo: It seems to me that a monitor should be just a monitor, and I can apply the smarts in whichever way I prefer. An Apple TV or a Roku or a Blu-ray player. Whatever I choose. The problem is, we have a very fancy—I bought the Samsung Curved OLED display last year.
Becky: Oh really?
Leo: Well, I had to. It was research. It was a very expensive TV.
Jason: That's a lot of research.
Leo: It's like a $9000 TV. And it turns itself off at random intervals. You're watching a show and it's like, "I don't think he's watching it." And it turns it off!
Jason: It's an i-tracking technology.
Leo: It's too smart. It pops up when I'm watching the World Series. I think the Giants were in it this year, right? And the Celtics. And then I was watching, and then all of a sudden it says, "Yahoo Sports." Would you like to watch, would you like to get stats from Yahoo Sports? I'm watching the World Series here! I don't want to have to find the remote, click the X and get rid of that thing. It's very frustrating. Periodically Samsung, very kindly, sends me warnings and notices that pop up over the screen.
Jason: I love getting a software update notification while I'm watching a TV show.
Leo: My servers are going to be down at midnight on Thursday, just wanted to let you know. I'm watching here.
Jason: Have you noticed that there are now services that have added buttons to the remotes on these things too? And I had never heard this term before. Dave Zatz, you know Zatz not funny, he writes about DVRs and stuff, I first heard this term today. Which is "button spam." Which is this idea that, oh suddenly great. I've got a Netflix button on my remote and four other services I'd never heard from.
Becky: That's the only power that the set makers have is they have the remote that works. It's the one remote you can bet works, because it's got a clear line of sight to the set.
Leo: Well don't you use Harmony or one of these fancy—?
Leo: I've retired mine.
Becky: Not all of the universal remotes work just perfectly. That's the newsflash.
Leo: I retired my Harmony 1 because, another case, the TV companies have decided there's not an on switch and an off switch, there's one switch that toggles. But the remote doesn't know which state the TV is in, so in order for the remote to work, you have to turn everything off first, with all the other remotes, which you have to find. Now I have all my remotes, what do I need the one for? You've got to turn everything off or it won't work, because it'll turn the TV on, but it'll turn the box off, and it's like, "come on."
Becky: I will go on a tirade. IO is everything with the connected living room these days. It just doesn't work right yet. Smart features that I want? I want a TV that knows that I'm watching a time shifted sports game and that it makes sure that I don't see any updated sports. That's a smart feature that I want, and as for why they put smart in there, because 3D didn't sell enough TVs, because they didn't have any other technology to put into it, and smart is cheap.
Jason: You've got to do something. I would love, jumping off of that. I would love my TV to be smarter about whatever I'm watching and make some adjustments. Now, I know people who just turn off all the adjustments, but I've got a cinema setting and a sports setting, because a sports setting makes everything brighter, it's better for sports, and a game setting that decreases the latency, right? I have to set that manually. My smart TV should be like, "Oh, this is a game. I can tell." I don't know how it can tell. It can tell. It's smart. Right? Or, this is a football game; I'm going to make everything brighter. They don't do that.
Leo: At least give me a button that says, "Lobotomy." Give me a button that says don't be smart. Don't give me anything. Give me a picture, and I'll handle the rest myself. That would be nice.
Harry: A couple of Chinese companies, I think Hisense and TCL, they're working with Roku. Roku is responsible for their smartness, which I think is actually a really smart way to go about, because there are lots of things that Roku does not try to do. The stuff that Roku does do it does better than most other smart TVs out there.
Leo: The TV business is a bad business to be in. SONY is losing tons of money. Panasonic, all the Japanese TV manufacturers are losing money on TV. And it's these Chinese companies, the Korean companies have started to falter, so now it's these Chinese companies like TCL and Hisense. In fact, Hisense took over the Microsoft booth at CES in January, right? They want to be your next TV.
Becky: And guess who never jumped into the TV business? Apple, for this very reason.
Leo: They were very smart.
Becky: They knew that it was a lot about too many conflicting environments and ecosystems at war, and you're never going to win. And Harry, jumping off your point about Roku, I mean one of the smartest things they have is the headphones jack on their remote.
Leo: Isn't that awesome?
Becky: If other TV companies did that, wouldn't that be genius?
Leo: The Roku 3 has a headphone button, a volume control on the Roku turns it up and down, you just plug it in, and you have headphones. Love that.
Leo: Love that.
Becky: We should be consultants. All these TV companies should be, can we translate this into Korean? Because we would definitely make some impact.
Leo: But I talk a lot on the radio show. You probably do in GMA, you talk to normal people. And normal people don't have the same experience we do, and they want all these. Because they think that's going to be better. They want 4K. Well, it's going to be better. It's like 64 bit processors. It's got to be twice as good as a 32— I want that.
Becky: Well they got fooled into because when they saw the first HD TV their jaws hit the ground, and they think that the next thing, the 3D, the 4K is going to be a similar—
Leo: I think true 4K would be the same experience, if you saw it. But you have to have content.
Becky: OK. So let me go back to the content thing. This is what made me think that maybe it's time, because one of my photographers, she said, I've got to get a new camera, and I'm going to get 4K. So even the guys in the field now are saying, you know what? To future proof myself I need to next upgrade to 4K. So that kind of tells me they're buying into it. So I think it's going to happen.
Leo: Yeah. Look at that Apple 5K display. Have you played with that?
Jason: I look at that every day.
Leo: You have one.
Jason: I have one. That's my main system. It's beautiful. Although it's a laugh when you look at 1080 video content on it, because it's like little tiny.
Leo: But I think that's an example where Apple has moved consumer expectations forward with Retina and now with this people are starting to see a higher quality displays. The phones have gone crazy. Most phones now are QHT. They're 2560 by 2h40. On a 5 and a half-inch device, do you really need all those dots? Ironically, Apple is being left behind by the high res displays. Another big item on sale for black Friday, solid-state storage prices. This is from Forbes. But what's interesting is I don't think this is going to be Black Friday only. I think this is a general trend towards lower prices in SSDs.
Harry: Even big ones, like a terabyte.
Leo: Which is great. Here's the 840 Eva, which is now being replaced. Samsung's latest Eva was the 850, but 120 gigs for $65? Terabyte drive. We're talking 35 cents a gigabyte. That is a big drop from what they were costing.
Harry: And it's no longer, you don't have to choose between a lot of capacity with a real harddrive or a small amount of really good capacity with solid stain. You can get a terabyte.
Leo: I asked Allyn Melvantano, who is our SST expert, when he was here on TWIT. He scared me. He revealed that he was an NSA consultant on that show, and I went, "what?"
Jason: They're going to have to whack him now. You're not supposed to admit that.
Leo: He's also an expert on SSDs for writing for PC perspective at PC.com. He says the 850 is a very good choice if you're looking for an SSD. He likes the Samsung. Evo series.
Jason: I'm completely spoiled now for storage because I was at MacBook care for long enough when I bought this iMac, there was no doubt it was going to be all SSD. I can't stand the slowness of storage, of harddrives, and I know there's a spinning disc in there and it's inevitably going to fail, and I just can't do it anymore. It's so much faster to use SSDs.
Leo: And I think if those of use who are worried that SSDs wouldn't last as long as spinning drives now we can put our fears to rest. They've been out for long time now. They seem just as reliable if not more.
Jason: They have certain reliability issues with using SSD's too. They're kind of different issues from the harddrives. But they don't seem to have that fundamental lack of reliability that we know. They have an aging problem, but it's not like with a spinning disc where you know it's going to die. There's no doubt about it. It's going to die.
Harry: I would not keep my only copy of something really important on an SSD. You shouldn't have an only copy of anything. You should have two or three, and some of them should not be stored at your home.
Leo: We're going to take a break. Come back with more. We're having fun. Great panel. I feel like this is some of my—we're having a great holiday party. Some of my favorite people, and they took the wine away. But I thank you. I don't know if that was a commentary on my performance or what, but they've taken the wine away. Becky Morley brought some PR company wine.
Becky: PR company wine for your birthday, and it's fabulous.
Leo: You know, it's the sweetest wine. PR WINE.
Becky: Thank you Max Borge's agency.
Leo: Oh, I know them!
Becky: They're real, right? They didn't send us poison.
Leo: It's good. It's a Paso Robles cab, right? From down the coast. Coastline. 2012 cab. And yes, we recommend it. Do you want the bottle, Max, so you can put it on the wall with all your other PR gifts?
Becky: No. I'm not allowed to have glass in the house.
Leo: Really? Is it the twins?
Becky: It has gone to a very plasticated world with small children.
Leo: One of the ways we childproof is no wine bottles. Thank you very much, John, our show today brought to you by IFIXIT. You guys know about IFIXIT. In fact, one of the things that probably IFIXIT is best known for is their teardowns when new hard work comes out, they send for instance, an IFIXIT employee to Australia or New Zealand to get the first iPhone, and before you can even buy one, they've torn it apart, which is great, because then you know what's in it.
Becky: I was wondering how they did that.
Becky: They go to New Zealand. That's genius.
Leo: They go to New Zealand. These guys are very serious. We've had them on the show before talking about tearing down all sorts of stuff, and like the Nexus 6, they said if you can get it open, high reparability, but getting it open is murder. There's 21 screws, and it's tedious. Anyway. That's not their business. You might think, oh, that's what they do. No. In fact, they tear this stuff down so they can create repair manuals, and if you go to ifixit.com you will see literally tens of thousands of repair manuals. These are all free. This is not how they make their money. They make their money by selling the parts. So if you go to IFIXIT you can get step-by-step repair guides for everything. I mean, washers and dryers, not just phones. Anything that you've got in the house, you can fix it with IFIXIT. They also sell the parts you need, and they sell the tools you need, and I want to tell you if you're buying a holiday gift for the geek in your life, or if you're a geek in, I have to admit, most of my holiday buying is for me.
Becky: One for you, one for me.
Leo: Yeah. One for me, one for me. This is the pro-tech tool kit. 70 tools. This is such a great gift. Especially with the 54 bit driver kit. Becky, you could use this, not just to repair your electronic, replace the iPhone screen or fix your Apple TV, there's a bit in here for everything. Pantalobes, torks, there's even a triangle bit, which fixes McDonalds toys.
Becky: I need that, because I'm still using my screensaver as giveaway screwdriver kit. Do you remember that? See I need that.
Leo: But do you ever, your kids don't eat Happy Meals, do they?
Becky: Well, you know. My Mom has them right now. They might be eating a Happy Meal as we Speak.
Leo: You might need these. You've got two handles. These are really nicely made from solid aluminum. Then this is the extender handle, because it's always the case that the screw is just around a corner. The 54 bit driver kit, 54 standards especially, security bits. The swivel top precision driver, the flex extension, the EST safe precision tweezers. They've got tweezers, they've got spudgers, they've got everything you could ever need, lightweight, compact, durable tool roll makes it an on the go choice for anybody and the geek in your life is going to like it whether he's fixing iGlasses or she's repairing cabinet doors and sink fixtures.
Becky: Plus it has tweezers, I mean like you said, I don't age. I have aged because I need those tweezers. Chin hairs I'm telling you. Amongst other things.
Leo: Chin hair. I think that's not what IFIXIT contemplated, but—
Becky: Hey. It's multi-purposed.
Leo: It works. It's multi—they don't tell you what you can and can't do. That's 64.95. But I'm going to tell you how you can save and then let's show you this too, which I really love. You should get both together if you're shopping for a gift. This is the magnetic project mat, and this is what we always wanted before. This is a magnet. Screws go on there, and they stay so you can label each quadrant with what are those— that's a K screw, that one’s on the left, that one's on the right. It comes with a dry erase marker. This is dry-erase. It's a lovely gift stocking stuffer. Highly recommend it. And, you can get these, here's the dry erase marker. Look at that. And I can erase, or I can— Get these right now at ifixit.com and save when you go to ifixit.com/twit, they've got some great Black Friday deals, including the pro-tech tool kit, the magnet Mac bundle. Together at last. 59.95. If you buy it before Tuesday at midnight pacific time. But you can even save more, because 10 dollars off any purchase of 50 dollars or more when you use the offer code TWIT. ifixit.com/twit. That's a Black Friday deal. That's for the real geek in your life. ifixit.com/twit. Use the offer code TWIT to take 10 dollars off any purchase just over 50 dollars or more. Let's see. Where should we go here?
Becky: You're the boss.
Leo: What do you like? I have a whole lineup of fabulous stories. We were talking on Tuesday with Steve Gibson about this new virus. Regin. We say Regin because it is; it uses the registry to hide itself on the system. But what Steve pointed immediately is this was not written by your everyday hacker. This was written by somebody with lots of resources at their command. Very sophisticated. Symantec says that they have seen traces of this since 2008. So this is very much like Stuxnet or Flame. These are viruses that are created by governments to be used against other governments. Symantec said they don't have the dropper. That is the very clever little bit of code that gets on the system whether through a targeted e-mail, USB key, a variety of ways. It then downloads encrypted pieces, decrypts them, and deletes itself. These are root kits, so no one will ever see that this has been installed, and this stuff is very impressive. Very well written. Glen Greenwall at the Intercept said that it is a part of a decade long joint operation from our own NSA, and its British counterpart, the Government Communication Headquarters or GCHQ, and that's been based on disclosures from Edward Snowden. Symantec and the world of malware threats. Only a few rare examples can truly be considered groundbreaking and almost peerless. What we have seen in Regin is just such a class of Malware. There's some credence to what Glen Greenwald said, because of the countries they've found Regin in, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Mexico, Ireland, Belgium, and Austria, not one infection has been found in the US or England. That might be one little clue that we're where it came from. What's interesting is it's goes in, in fact if you look in; I should load the Symantec PDF because they have lots of graphs and information. But if you load the PDF, you'll see a pie chart of the industries that it infects, and it's Telecom, it's airline reservations, it's hotel reservations, it's exactly the kind of thing Saul would use to spear fish a Company and get information about people. How do you guys, what do you feel—let's assume the US and perhaps Britain wrote this and has applied it in Cyber Warfare. It seems to me that's better than shooting people.
Becky: Well, can I ask this question in reverse? So let's look at steksnet. Here's something that's exploiting skater systems, which were generally unsecured, going after nuclear environments, how do you feel about that now that we know everything about what they were doing? As opposed to presupposing that we don't know why they would do this, let's reverse engineer it and say, here's a case where we do know what they were doing. How do you feel about that?
Leo: Bravo. They shut down the Iran nuclear enrichment facility by over spinning the centrifuges. Not a shot was fired. No one was killed, but I think a serious threat was avoided. The argument on the other side was, but if we start doing it to them, it'll escalate. They'll start doing it to us.
Becky: Oh, they already are.
Harry: They're going to do it, no matter what.
Leo: It's not like they need permission. So it's OK to do this?
Becky: Do we have a choice?
Jason: It's hard to put a value judgment on it when this is one of the—I mean, it's not a hot war; this is spy stuff, right? Spy stuff like this has been going on, and what I don't like about it is that you end up with a lot of people's individual computers getting compromised when their collateral damage for a larger story that's happening here. But this is a front in an information battle. A cold war, it's a spy novel written largely on our hard drives.
Becky: And you make a good point is that if the source code goes into the wild, and then it's amended by someone who is less sophisticated and more nefarious, then you have the power of inter-governmental spy agencies working against individuals, and that seems like it's a problem.
Leo: That would be bad. And that is what happened with Stuxnet. It did leek into the wild. It looks as if great pains have been taken with Regin to avoid that. So for instance, the modules are encrypted and can only, so you can't examine the source code. The dropper, which is Symantec, put a nice little Trojan Horse icon next to it so you understand that's essentially a Trojan horse that sneaks into your system via e-mail and deletes itself as soon as its job is done. It loads in and actually crypts the next stage and the next stage and the next stage, and it's very hard to get any of these pieces. In fact, Symantec says we don't have a copy of the dropper. We can't find one. So that means the bad guys probably are having a hard time too. It's also highly targeted. It's a spear fishing attack; it's not just spread out in the wild.
Harry: Basically the stuff is not any more moral or immoral than any other form of spying inherently. The NSA does stuff on all fronts, cyber and non-cyber, that we'd be very uncomfortable with. We've learned about a lot of stuff we're uncomfortable with.
Leo: It hasn't been used against anybody in the US so far. What if they started, they attacked US airlines? Or US Rental Car facilities? US hospitality industry? Would we then have problems?
Jason: Well, there's the larger issue of your spy agencies, your intelligence agencies are meant to be spying on other countries, not on your own people, and that's a different issue. That's like if James Bond was sent to assassinate a member of Parliament, not to make this too ridiculous, but spying is supposed to be on the outside, not on the inside. Most of the controversy about the NSA spying on American citizens or people living in the United States, that's what is controversial, not that spying happens.
Leo: I've got to tell you though, that particularly US centric point of view is not welcome by a lot of the people around the world who say, "yes, finally. Invade privacy as long as you're not a US resident."
Jason: It's just a different argument. There are they allies who are being spied on. Angela Merkel was not happy that we were tapping her phone calls because she's an ally. I imagine the Chinese government and the Russian government probably expected that is attempted on them and they're probably not surprised when that happens, but these are all different issues, but I think the reality is we live in a world where all of these devices are connected on the Internet, and many of them have huge security flaws, and of course they're going to be exploited by spies and criminals and that's the world we live in. That's the 21st century.
Leo: There is collateral damage, and maybe with this next story is some of that collateral damage, one of the things that happens is around the world, US industry gets penalized or is less welcome, and the European Union has voted. European parliament has voted to break up Google.
Leo: I have a feeling that some of this of course is the way they treat privacy in Europe where they have a right to be forgotten and all sorts of things that break the Internet fundamentally. But I have to think that some of it also comes from the knowledge that the US is doing some of this spying.
Becky: Not to be trusted.
Leo: Not to be trusted.
Becky: Well, I think there's a separation here between Government and Industry. Google definitely feels omnipresent if not omnipotent in many ways.
Leo: Well you can't just search the Internet if you just say, "but only in the US."
Becky: Ok. So let's break this down. So here's my question to you guys. So Google provides a service, which is search. But their business is ads. If you think about it, search is just their marketing. So why are those two things in conflict as anti-competitive. As being monopolistic? I'm playing devil's advocate. Explain that to me.
Leo: Well I think part of the—that's exactly what this legislator is saying is that Google is in some of the businesses that it searches over, and I've always been bothered by the fact that Google is a content company with YouTube and there's always the threat, I don't think it happens, but there's always the threat that Google search engine would favor its own content over my content for instance. I don't think that happens. Or do you?
Harry: Well, they certainly wave YouTube into resolve in a way they don't do with some other—
Leo: But they would make the argument that's because YouTube is very popular.
Harry: Which is true.
Leo: If you could keep the search engine completely agnostic and Google is also bought ITA which does airline schedule, and you're going to see now when you do Google searches for flight information, right?
Becky: So if you were breaking this up, you would say there's search and ads which can live together, and then every other Google property should be a separate entity?
Becky: Look, Leo. It's all about you. You are controlling. You're not libertarian. You're not a liberal.
Leo: The United States government did say, "We think this is a terrible idea." But you know, when you said it, you were right in the sense that Google is in a lot of businesses that cross, that are crossing to the content side, and that their search engine could in fact competitively support those businesses. Now when we've mentioned it in the past, our chat room was quick to say, but that's business.
Jason: Yeah, the always, the warning sign, and this is what Microsoft ran into in the 90's, is if you're using your monopoly power in one area in order to extend power over other areas. When you're putting other people out of business because of your power in your Monopoly—
Leo: What if Google put TWIT out of business because every time you searched for a view of an electronics product it showed its own stuff?
Jason: Well, that would be the, if they were promoting their own stuff and using their monopoly power to make you not exist because you're one of their competitors.
Becky: Don't we have enough data to say they're not?
Leo: You know, it's always been debated whether Google—
Jason: We have data on how Google works. I don't think they like to talk about that.
Leo: We don't know. Google says, "we don't favor our own content, and in fact, you'll see Vimeo results." The problem is YouTube is much more popular than Vimeo. So you're going to see more YouTube results when you search for a video.
Harry: But Google also spent a lot of time waving Google Plus into all of its services when Google Plus was brand new, and they didn't have the argument that this is already much more popular than the competition.
Leo: So is the European parliament right? Should Google be broken up? I actually might vote for that.
Becky: Well how'd that work out with Microsoft?
Leo: It didn't. But the good news is that Microsoft did the same thing by destroying it's own monopoly.
Becky: Right, but that was just market force.
Leo: And the Cloud.
Becky: And I think the same thing could be said for Google Plus, right? Market forces showed that that didn't really pan out so great.
Harry: The cool thing about search engine, unlike operating systems is that any consumer at any time can switch with very little effort. Unfortunately, I wish we did have three or four other search engines that were as good as Google and a fraction as successful. All we have is Bing and Yahoo, which is a front for Bing, and the only reason we have Bing is because Microsoft can afford to lose lots of money on search.
Leo: They have. Hundreds of millions of dollars every year.
Harry: That is what worries me. The thing about Google's dominance is that while Bing is OK, we don't have thriving competition. We have Duck Duck Go, which is actually quite good, and run by a few people.
Leo: But isn't that just riding on Google's back? Isn't it Google's results that they're delivering? They don't have their own search engine. Actually, they do, but is it mature? Is it actually working? For a long time, Duck Duck Go was just repackaging other search results.
Harry: They've done a lot more, and they're surprisingly good for a tiny tiny company.
Leo: Good. Let's promote Duck Duck Go.
Harry: But it's not like AT&T and Verizon where both AT&T and Verizon would be if the other didn't exist. And it would not stun me if one day Microsoft comes to the conclusion that it is just not worth investing in Bing as much as they do and if, when that day happens, I really do worry about Google's dominance.
Becky: Well Google has 95% market share in Europe and only 70 in the US, so you can see why this is a particularly European problem as well.
Leo: By the way, a little blow against Google and for Bing, Firefox, which had a deal with Google to be the primary search engine in the Firefox browser for many years, made hundreds of millions of dollars a year on that, we think, in fact it was probably the deal that kept Firefox and the Mozilla organization alive has made a five year deal with Yahoo, which is really weird, because Yahoo is just re-wrapped Bing, so I don't understand that at all. But Firefox browser, now by default, will now use Yahoo Bing, but you could reset it if you wished. And there is word that Apple will probably do something similar next year.
Becky: Not to, first of all, I have to disclose I work for Yahoo, but if you talk about a conflict in terms of search and content, Yahoo has got content issues way bigger than Google in terms of their overall business model. Google is not making the lion's share—
Leo: But if I search yahoo.com for Leo Laporte, am I getting results for Bing? Aren't I?
Becky: I think so. Let me look on Bing and see if they're the same.
Leo: Is it brand Bing?
Jason: Although that's a conflict of interest if they're not in the Monopoly position, right?
Leo: They're powered, right there it says at the bottom. Powered by Bing. So these results are not Yahoo doesn't have a search engine any more. These results are now, although Yahoo does have some ads in there.
Jason: And I think they can change the weighting and things on it, but they're using the Bing search engine and they're weighting it on—
Harry: I think they can't really just mess around with the order too much. I think part of why Yahoo did the deal with Mozilla is if Marissa Mayer had been CEO of Yahoo when the deal with Bing happened, that deal wouldn't have happened because it really, it was Yahoo giving away something really important. I think today's Yahoo was much more interested in search as being important than the Yahoo that did that deal was a few years ago.
Becky: Is Yahoo going to make it?
Leo: You know—
Becky: Do you sometimes wonder that?
Leo: Marissa Mayer, the quarterly results were kind of flat, right? But it did look like Yahoo might be a little bit turning the corner, especially on mobile, right? That was about a month ago that those were announced. Are you worried for your job?
Becky: I'm just curious with what the tech minds of the world are thinking.
Leo: How could Yahoo not make it? What is making it? Will they survive as a company, or will they become another Google?
Jason: I think a bunch of people talking about tech on a podcast is both the wrong people and the wrong audience to judge whether Yahoo will make it or not. I keep likening, remember when David Pogue got up at CES and announced Yahoo tech and all of the tech bloggers made snide comments about how ridiculous the whole thing was? Those guys are speaking to the super techie audience that we're speaking to. And Yahoo, and I don't mean this as an insult; Yahoo was more like a newspaper. Yahoo is reaching a really different audience. These aren't people who are super into tech or super into other specific topics. They're, it's an older audience, it's a less technically savvy audience, and there is a lot of traffic that still goes to Yahoo, but it's not the people that we're used to talking to so it's really easy for us to put them down when if you start thinking of it as something like a newspaper where's there's just general interest. There's a lot of traffic that isn't interested in anything in particular. Yahoo has that power, so we might not get excited about it, but it doesn't mean there isn't a place for it in the Internet somewhere.
Becky: I wonder if it was like this at times working at Yahoo is like standing next to a lighthouse. It's dark for most of the time, and then when the light shines on you it's blinding.
Leo: It's a big company.
Jason: I'm talking to people who work at Yahoo tech. That's what I hear is you get featured on the Yahoo homepage, that fire hose comes at you and it is a massive amount of traffic, but that's a little bit like to use my newspaper analogy, it's like writing about tech in the business section of the newspaper. People aren't buying the newspaper for the tech column, but it's in there and they might read it. But it's not, it's part of the much bigger package.
Becky: And they've gone with the magazine format, which is speaking to a different crew and a different audience.
Jason: It's not for people who read The Verge, right? It's not the same audience.
Leo: Actually, it's looking more and more like The Verge, and there's a lot of Verge content now.
Jason: Well they've also got all the content deals. But that again feels like newspaper thing. It's a syndication thing where they've got content deals with almost everybody.
Leo: I think my biggest problem with this format is it's hard to tell the ads from the content.
Becky: Oh, they're succeeding.
Jason: Some people consider that a feature, Leo.
Leo: I mean the ads look exactly the same. This is a Princess Cruise Line ad next to four ways to take better care of your laptop battery. It does say sponsored, but that tile looks pretty much the same, and as you scan through this, unless you look carefully to see which is sponsored and which isn't, you're going to see quite a bit of dollar shave club sponsor stuff. I think that's of course what they're trying to do. It's funny. Because you know, Becky for years at tech TV, I fought the fight for high geek content. And I always felt like if you— and maybe, I guess my question is have times changed? Maybe in those days I really felt like you made a mistake by saying I'm going to do, and everybody did it. Tech content for non-geeks. Nobody cares if they're not a geek. The people who care the most about tech content are enthusiasts. So make your content aimed at the people who care the most about your content. Enthusiasts, it's like, at the time I would say, it's like ESPN doing a show about football for people who don't like football, so here's the rules. You have to make ten yards every— nobody would watch it, because the enthusiasts would go, "well that's stupid." And if you're not an enthusiast, you're not going to watch it anyway.
Becky: Are you broadcasting, or are you narrowcasting? And that's where you made your call.
Leo: I've done very well as a result and tech TV went away because tech TV decided to be broader, but maybe times have changed. I think that's what David Pogue is arguing that there everybody uses technology now and everybody wants to know about technology so there is a market for content about technology that is not aimed at enthusiasts.
Becky: 10% of the population used to consume 80% of the content around technology. That used to be the metric. Now it's changed, but in a different way than we expected. Instead of everybody wanting to go to the Verge, the vertical of technology is basically Consumer Reporting. So there's no distinction.
Leo: That's what you do.
Leo: For a mainstream audience.
Becky: I'll cover phones and make up and parenting and food, and it's all the same.
Jason: It's not that there aren't people who are enthusiastic about subjects, it's that right now the Internet doesn't have a lot of places for people who aren't super into that topic. Who are mildly interested in technology but aren't going to read a website about technology every day, what are they going to do? And I feel like sometimes that's what Yahoo is trying to do. I don't know whether it will succeed at it, but I do think that is a missing piece of the web right now.
Leo: On the radio show, which is the most universal thing I do, and probably the largest audience, I never attempt to dumb it down. If somebody calls up and says, "My router, I'm pinging my router but I'm not seeing the pings back, and I'm wondering if I have a DNS problem," I will answer that question. Whereas I just feel like that's the right way to go. I could very well be a dinosaur in this. The Verge, look at the Verge. The Verge barely even wants to talk about tech any more. The Verge—
Jason: I don't know about that.
Leo: The Verge, even—
Jason: There's an awful lot of reviews of Android phones on The Verge for it— That is what they want to do. There's no doubt about it.
Leo: Hey says they want to do content geeks would be interested, but it's not specifically geeky content.
Becky: That sounds so vaguely familiar.
Leo: Yeah. I feel like that's a death note, but I don't know.
Harry: I've read, I recently dumped my Comcast modem and went out and bought one and installed it myself. I did that after reading a story on Yahoo Tech. The thing I like about Yahoo's tech coverage is it's an attempt to do stuff for a general audience, but to do it well. There's quite a bit of general audience tech content out there that's not so great.
Becky: I think Rafe wrote that article, and it was about an everyday common experience of someone who isn't necessarily an enthusiast, but is like, I'm going to do that.
Harry: It's actually a bit of a challenge to do it. It's knocked them down; it's assuming that the reader is going to devote some time to this.
Leo: That may be the future, actually.
Becky: It's hard to—
Leo: We've got you, Harry. You're the biggest geek I know.
Harry: In the long run, talking up always does better for you than talking down.
Leo: 10 Terrible Tech Annoyances that should be illegal. Number one. Microsoft pre-roll ads in your video. I'm sorry. I don't think that was the intent, but that's one of the annoyances. CAPTCHAs shall be banned. I agree. This is Rafe Needleman. CAPTCHAs do nothing. They don't slow anybody down. They only slow real people down. That's the problem. They don't slow the bad guys down.
Becky: If you're over 40 and your eyes have done that thing where they fall apart at 41 and a half, you can't do a CAPTCHA.
Jason: I tried to put a Microsoft license code in the other day, and I had to do it like ten times, I had to take my glasses off and hold it right up to my face, and it's like this was made so no one could read it.
Leo: What really irks me is that porn sites are starting to use it, and I'm going blind—
Becky: From what? Why?
Jason: Doubly so.
Becky: See what just happened? See? Your mother was right.
Leo: CAPTCHAs are crazy, and the point being that, Steve Gibson has pointed this out many times, bad guys actually set up bogus sites with CAPTCHAs, often porn sites, and they take the capture from the real site, they put it on the bogus site, and so many people just solve the CAPTCHA.
Becky: That's genius. That's so smart.
Leo: The problem is real users aren't. So the CAPTCHA foil, as with all of this stuff, foils normal people more than—
Becky: This show is going off the rail now.
Leo: I think it's a good time to take a break. We're going to do that in— Actually this would be a good time to see what you missed if you didn't watch every second of what happened This Week on Twit. Take a look.
PREVIOUSLY ON TWIT
Rene Ritchie: It's better to look good than to feel good.
Woman: Do you ever just look at us and think what's happened?
TECH NEWS 2TONIGHT
SARAH LANE: Last week, Mozilla ditched Google for Yahoo. Now sources tell the information that Yahoo and Microsoft are separately pitching Apple with the Safari business.
Steve Gibson: You have an entirely different class of malware. It gives me as a developer goose bumps. It is clearly the work of somebody with extensive resources. This is explicitly targeted.
Leo: We're talking about super smart things. Super intelligence.
Nick Bostrom: I think there is no necessary connection between how intelligent you are and what goals you are. Conceivable you have a super intelligence that's only goal in life is to make paper clips, a world where there are as many paper clips as possible is a world where there are no human bodies.
Leo: That's kind of where we lose out. Because we're just getting in the way of the paper clips.
TWIT: IT'S WHAT'S FOR DINNER.
Sarah: I'm stuffing you into an oven later.
Leo: Actually, that was a very interesting interview on Monday with Nick Bostrom. He is one of the few foremost researchers on these new smart machines and the idea that machines at some point, super intelligence may at some point emerge. And as you heard, he pointed out just because they're super smart doesn't mean they share our values. They may just really want to make a lot of paper clips, so now is the time to plan for the future. A great book, super intelligence. We've got a brand new sponsor, speaking of super intelligence, I want to welcome OSCAR to our show. If you live in New York or New Jersey and need health insurance, it's a new company for you. I apologize in advance if you live somewhere else. This is for New York and New Jersey. Oscar has a different approach from other health insurers. Oscar focuses on every day people as their customer instead of big corporations. You can check it out at hioscar.com/twit. Very technology focused, they're making health insurance more simple, more human, more intuitive at their heart. Oscar is really a strong IT department with engineers who came from Tumblr, from Spotify, from Google. They think, and I want Oscar to succeed because I want it to go everywhere, they think that if they have a customer focused app, that this will help people do a better job with health insurance. They've developed a personal timeline, so you can track your medical history. That includes doctor appointments, visit notes, I wish I had this. Prescriptions. You can do phone calls with the doctor right from the app, that includes doctors and care in your area. By location, languages spoken, hospital affiliation et cetera. IOS only right now. Android is coming in January. I want you to check it out. hioscar.com/twit. Oscar's plans focus on you and your family. They include free check ups, some free generic drugs, free primary care doctor visits and more. You don't need a referral to get care, you don't have to go to your primary care and get something. Oscar is like having a doctor in the family, and doctor on call gives you access to a certified doctor 24/7. I'm doing this ad because while they're in New York and New Jersey right now, which are big metro centers, I want them to succeed and roll out everywhere. So if you're in New York or New Jersey, visit hioscar.com/twit or call 1-844-OSCAR-25. If you sign up for OSCAR BY THE 15th of the next month, you will be insured by the first of the following month. hioscar.com/twit or 844-OSCAR-25. We are back to the news. Google is being asked to extend the right to be forgotten worldwide. This is another one of them European things, and it makes sense. You can't do the right to be forgotten and somebody can just say I'm going to go to google.com and find it. But really, this to me is a problem. This will break the internet, or it will break Google, which as far as I'm concerned breaks the Internet, because if you cannot, if you can request that information be taken down from every Google server, basically one country's laws are enforced globally, and I think that's a problem.
Becky: It can be a good or a bad.
Leo: Well, there's some things I would like to be forgotten. As Jeff Jarvis points out on This Week in Google, Germany is like a country that really should not be promoting the idea that we want to forget our history, and I think he's right. In fact, that's very much part of the modern German ethos is let's not bury the past, right? Unless it's a Google search.
Becky: How old is Henry now?
Leo: He's 19.
Becky: Well I was just wondering is kids who are probably 26, 27, they grew up with the Internet to be embarrassed, how are they handling it? What are they doing?
Leo: I think that whether you inhaled or not is not going to be important in the future. Whether you went to a part and wore a funny hat and got wasted and then put it on Facebook, we all did.
Becky: And that's the thing. All those scary stories about Teacher fired for photo of her holding red solo cup.
Leo: That's old fashioned.
Becky: Right. It's the issue of is that anonymity going to be an issue? I think it's a little bit classist, because right now the only way to get forgotten is to bury yourself with the reputation.com approach, to bury yourself in stuff.
Leo: And you have to pay them thousands of dollars a month, and they basically make fake articles and fill the internet with fake stuff in your name hoping to bury the other stuff.
Leo: Did it work?
Becky: It did, because he was early enough in the process that it was still cat and mouse and he got ahead of their algorithm.
Leo: Share it with the world. What was he trying to hide?
Becky: Can't do it. Wouldn't be prudent.
Leo: I've got a few things I'd like to hide. You know who would like to hide some stuff? Uber.
Becky: I deleted.
Leo: You did? Ok. Did you delete?
Jason: I don't think I have it installed, because I've only used it two times.
Leo: I've used it twice, it was in France. We don't have it where we are. I think we do now. Do we have Uber up here?
Becky: You have Uber everywhere.
Leo: They have to drive up from San Francisco. You're not going to get a ride right away.
Jason: We had a guest in All About Android that got one in Sanoma County.
Leo: So now I don't have that excuse anymore.
Jason: The good news is that Lyft has announced that the fist bump is no longer mandatory, they already de-emphasized the pink mustache, and they're saying—
Leo: You had to give the driver a fist bump?
Jason: The driver was going to ask you for a fist bump. So basically Lyft—
Leo: That's a reason not to drive in Lyft right there. And the pink mustache—
Jason: The pink mustache was enough for me to be like forget these guys, they're jokers. They're trying very hard to get away from that because they sense an opening now.
Leo: Do you think the world knows about this whole Uber Kerfuffle?
Becky: It went big. It was just bad behavior.
Leo: It's terrible behavior. But is there a general feeling among regular people of I'm not going to use Uber because I don't want to support the company, I'm afraid of using Uber, that kind of thing?
Becky: Number two.
Leo: Number two? They feel it's not safe.
Becky: Afraid because of tracking, afraid because of bad behavior, afraid because of the walk of shame aspect of it that they were promoting. That was kind of creepy that they had data on you went some place at 2AM and then you left at 7 AM and they had some sort of, that kind of such, that kind of data collecting and filtering is creepy. Not to mention their problem with women and all their other issues. The Sarah Lacey thing that came out. They bombed. They got way too big in their own minds.
Leo: Didn't Uber censure the New York executive that used tracking to—?
Harry: They took disciplinary action of some sort.
Leo: They don't say what it was though, do they?
Jason: Don't say stupid stuff anymore.
Harry: Emanuel Michael, who got in trouble—
Leo: He hasn't had any penalty.
Harry: No. As far as we know at least.
Jason: I don't think us getting upset about Uber is going to make a huge difference, but I think there is this perception of them that used to be more positive, that is going to be reflected in future coverage of them. There was the sense that they were the one hope fighting against entrenched taxi companies, and now everybody is taking a step back and saying, "are they too big? Should we be looking at alternatives to Uber as well?" Are we giving them too much credit? So I do think this will have a long-term impact on them of some sort. I don’t think it’s like everybody’s going to delete Uber off their phones tomorrow and it’s all over for them. But I do think they don’t have the halo around them. And people that cover them are not as predisposed maybe to give them the benefit of the doubt. Because they’ve done too many things that are so jerky to get away with.
Becky: So here’s a quick lightening round. Tech CEO, bad behavior. So one that comes to mind is Mark Pincus talking about all of the crushing competition. And how he was just trying to steal people’s money who was using his dumb games. That’s one that comes to mine.
Leo: What ever happened to Zynga?
Becky: Harry, anything you can think of? Jason? Tech CEO bad behavior that really impacted…
Leo: There was one CEO that…
Jason: Mark Hurd spied on journalist and…
Leo: Pretexting and got in trouble.
Jason: He got fired.
Harry: He didn’t get fired for spreading that journalist. He got fired for supposedly messing with expense reports. That was pre-Hurd though.
Leo: He is Larry Ellison’s successor at Oracle. So he landed on his feet.
Becky: That didn’t go so badly.
Harry: Mark Zuckerberg used to get in trouble regularly and people said I’m going to quit Facebook over this. And oddly enough, Facebook’s membership just grew and grew.
Leo: It’s more startup CEO bad behavior that you’re talking about.
Becky: It’s just interesting.
Jason: I think the problem is when the CEO’s behavior is mirrored in the behavior of going down the chain. And it’s a corporate culture issue. Because then you start getting a weird feeling. Maybe if it’s a company that makes your software and it’s software that you use. And you can brush it off, I’ve heard from people who think you’re putting your life in their hands in a way by signing up for the service and getting in a car with their drivers. And whether it’s realistic or not, there’s this feeling like there’s a partnership and a trust level there. So to have a culture issue with a company that you feel like you’re putting some trust in, that is a problem.
Becky: Nailed it. I think Uber has a barrier to entry with normal people. Which is I’m using my phone to call someone to request information of someone who’s not been vetted by anyone.
Leo: Once you use Uber and you then go back to riding a taxi… which we did this weekend in San Francisco because Lisa would not use Uber; it was a horrible experience! I don’t like… you think taxis are better than Uber?
Jason: No, it’s a different feeling.
Leo: I think once people experience Uber, they want that friction-free experience. They don’t want the fist bump. But they certainly like the idea of pressing a button and knowing when their car is going to arrive. Getting in that nice clean car, the driver is nice. You can rate the driver so if the driver is a jerk, they’re out of business. He can rate you. If you’re a jerk, you’re out of business. And you don’t have to pay him. You just get out of the car after you get a ride.
Becky: You said once you try.
Leo: You think people won’t try it now because of this?
Becky: There’s a social contract with a taxi that is hundreds of years old. And well-established. And so breaking that involves to engage in a new social contract with a company that has suddenly gotten shaky in their morals. I think it’s a barrier to entry times two.
Harry: I think Uber makes for an interesting contrast with Airbnb which has erupted so hard to make this warm, fuzzy image that they’re making the world a better place by introducing strangers to each other. And Uber up until a couple weeks ago was almost glorying and having to embrace of unpleasant, sassy culture. And I think that is probably over.
Leo: But isn’t it the case if you’re a startup, especially a startup like Uber, that is fighting against a deeply entrenched incumbent like the taxi commissions of the world. They were just banned in the state of Nevada and in Toronto.
Harry: Uber has to be pushing unpleasant on some level.
Leo: They had to have that scrappy mentality of yea, it’s David versus the Goliath. We’re David.
Harry: But Airbnb…
Leo: Now it’s a $40B David.
Harry: Airbnb has some of those same challenges because they’re fighting the hotel industry. And they’ve managed to do that.
Leo: Do you think that’s conscious?
Harry: Oh absolutely.
Leo: Where they’re the anti-Uber. Although we just learned that 19 people make the blind share of money from Airbnb. These are the big businesses that have become Airbnb business. 19 individuals make more than half of all the money, wasn’t that it at Airbnb? So maybe they’re not the scrappy little guy either. Maybe that’s a myth around the company. It ain’t bringing people together, it’s created a new form of entrepreneurship.
Harry: It’s very conscious on their part. It’s a brand they’ve created but it’s working for them.
Becky: Give me your wrist.
Leo: Uh oh. Are you going to electrocute me?
Becky: I am. I brought this for you.
Leo: We talked about this on the show. Becky Worley does these reviews for Good Morning America. And this was what, smartwatches?
Becky: Yea, and this one I did a little bit on GMA and a little bit on Yahoo. So let’s imagine that you have a Fitbit or a… this is the Pavlock that’s on.
Leo: It’s a fitness band?
Becky: It could be a fitness band. But it’s a motivational tool. So let’s just work with it on the fitness band. Let’s say you told your Fitbit or whatever that you want to do 10,000 steps a day by 4:30 in the afternoon. Well if you don’t do it by 4:30, it does this. Nothing?
Becky: Oh I got to do it faster. Hold on.
Harry: Just cry in pain.
Harry: There you go.
When my mom gave me my…
Becky: That hurt, right?
Leo: That’s terrible! That is terrible! You shocked me! It’s like a bad static shock. You know when you touch the dog’s nose after you walk on the carpet? It’s on that order.
Becky: It’s 220.
Leo: It’s 220, but it’s brief. And you are brave to have done that. I didn’t know what I was getting into. So I don’t get any credit for being brave but that hurt.
Becky: I know.
Leo: It didn’t hurt like a Taser. You want to try it?
Jason: No way.
Leo: By the way I love it that Becky does this. And you were right it was Yahoo, not GMA. We actually reviewed this.
Becky: It hurts!
Leo: But you’re a tough person. You’re a mom, you’re a rugby player. How many knee operations have you had?
Becky: I’ve had six knee surgeries, 15 broken bones, and I gave birth to twins. And it hurt.
Leo: And this little watch. Do you want to try it, Jeff? Come here, Jeff. Jeff will try it. We love Jeff; he will try anything.
Jason: it’s like a spinal tap drummer. Anyone waiting?
Becky: It’s not only a negative reinforcement.
Leo: Now Jeff works for me so I’m going to make you do it. Because I don’t want to get sued for some sort of harassment.
Becky: Are you nervous? You’re a little nervous. Okay, let’s make this a good contact point. Do you feel it?
Jeff: Yea, a little.
Becky: See I’m the…
Leo: It made me jump!
Jeff: I didn’t feel it that time. I felt it the first time.
Leo: Make it tighter.
Becky: I’m so mean!
Leo: You don’t want to do this? See that would motivate me.
Jeff: It didn’t do anything.
Becky: Oh okay, did it make your hand a little bit of a contraction?
Becky: I won’t do it to you anymore. I can’t abuse a man in a sweet sweater like this.
Leo: He’s an Eagles fan. That’s his…
Becky: Eagles for Christmas. Okay, alright, I’m going with that. Of just shock a person in a Christmas sweater. I’m evil. I feel so mean.
Jason: Philadelphia Eagles sweater.
Harry: I’m wearing my Pebble so I don’t have a free wrist to try.
Leo: I love the way Pavlock. Because it’s like Pavlock’s dog. And it’s a personal coaster on your wrist. Is it safe?
Becky: Yes, it’s very, very safe. It’s safe.
Harry: Does it have a Fitness band?
Becky: This is not yet available for purchase. He’s still well into…
Leo: But you would tie it to a smart app.
Becky: So the app, you can do multiple things. So, you can use a friend, sort of like have you used Packed at all? It has a monetary, social and…
Leo: I think I need something that says punishment.
Becky: Yea. I need punishment. So the monetary one-and this is how Pact worked-you say you’re going to go to the gym or did 10,000 steps. And you put $5 in, it debits it from your PayPal. If you don’t do it, it takes it
Leo: Big deal. Shock me would do it.
Harry: Where does the $5 go?
Becky: It goes to the rest of the pool of people who are using it who do use it. That’s how it works.
Leo: So if you do it, you get paid?
Becky: This is Pact. If you do it, you get paid. If you don’t do it, you lose the money.
Leo: Oh. I might do that. What is it, Pact?
Becky: Pact. So this has a little bit of that built into it. Then it also has you have to check in with a friend who then checks you in. So you have to call a friend and say I didn’t go to the gym. And then they, you two have a deal going. So you have to be accountable to another human.
Leo: Can your friend have control of the electroshock?
Becky: Then electroshock is the third method that it uses.
Leo: Could I give Lisa-she really wants this by the way-could I give her the electroshock?
Becky: That’s funny because that’s not how I see your relationship going.
Leo: Oh how little you know.
Harry: You know when it’s going to shock you or is it in some random point in time so you can’t take it off?
Becky: When I beta tested it, it’s not build that way yet. It’s still…
Leo: It sounds like it’s very early. Now Pact is real and now.
Becky: Pact is real. I met a woman who lost 85 pounds doing that.
Leo: Gym-pact.com. And you put it on your phone, Android or iOS. Then it takes your money or gives you money. I think this would be good for me.
Becky: And I don’t know if they have this but there are other sites that donate it to causes you hate. So not only will they take your money but they’ll donate…
Leo: Oh wow. So they donate it to the Coke brothers or something. Then Lisa would press that button all the time. Wow.
Becky: I think it’s interesting HCI and kind of bringing in levels of…
Leo: I think it’s how messed up we’ve become that we can’t bring ourselves to do anything. So now we need some outside electroshock.
Becky: So get this. The guy that made the Pavlock, the way it started was he had some big thing he had to get done. And he was so procrastinating on it, he put on Craigslist. He hired somebody to come slap him.
Leo: It worked?
Becky: It worked! I don’t know if it was a gym or a project. But he hired somebody to come slap him. It made him so nervous, the slapping, and the social interaction around the slapping, he decided if I could just come up with something that has a negative reinforcement. Some people need negative reinforcement.
Leo: Smart. You made a vine of this so I can watch this shock you over and over and over.
Becky: How much fun to watch a blonde get shocked over and over?
Jason: This could be a great business for Uber to move into. Where somebody comes over with an Uber to slap you.
Leo: Forget the fist bump. We’re going to shock you. We’re going to slug you.
Jason: Slap car.
Leo: Can I get underwear with that?
Becky: Whoa, you’re moving into a new… that’s a whole other business.
Jason: You’ve got to fill out a capture for that, Leo.
Becky: So leave it to me. Whenever I come on TWiT, I’ve got to do a little Gallagher. I’ve got to bring you some props.
Leo: That’s good. You know what, when I first saw this I kind of laughed as we all did. Now I want it.
Becky: Okay well I’ll tell you why…
Leo: I don’t want that. I’m going to do the Gym Pact. I don’t really want to get shocked a lot. I’m afraid it might stop my heart at some point.
Harry: Or start your heart.
Leo: Either one.
Becky: Look at this thing and let me put it back on your arm.
Harry: Don’t do it, Leo! It’s a trap!
Leo: I’m going to do whatever it takes not to have that thing shock you.
Becky: I’m not putting it on there. But just that feeling I felt like it was going to work. When I thought about that thing on my arm, it made me nervous. And I thought that’s a visceral feeling that goes beyond that sort of how we put off the things that we really want to do by the more immediate things that…
Leo: Three-toed Sloth in our chat room says… I like his name… Three-toed Sloth in our chat room, what did he say? Now I forgot.
Jason: Lick a 9-volt battery if you’re cheap.
Leo: He said if you’re cheap, lick a 9-volt battery. You don’t need the watch. It’s worse than licking a 9-volt battery.
Becky: That just tastes like metal.
Leo: It will give you a tongue-tingle. This ain’t no tongue-tingle. This is like the worst static shock you’ve ever had. Right? Would you say that?
Becky: That’s right. And I was impressed by Christmas sweater guy. He didn’t jerk away. I couldn’t help myself.
Leo: Jeff probably doesn’t have any nerve endings. He’s worked for us too long.
Becky: Maybe there was a hair barrier.
Jeff: I have the Philly connection there also.
Leo: He’s from Philly, of course!
Jason: For him you have to throw batteries at him. Otherwise he’s fine.
Leo: He by the way has joined Gym Pact already. You know I saw Jeff get excited about it. He’s not excited about paying the money. He knows he’s going to get the money. And that’s all he really cares about. I’m going to get $5. I’m going in there to get the $5. What is your resolution going to be? What are you going to do, go to the gym every day? Three days a week.
Becky: Nice, that’s good. Tell me how it works because I’ve met people that it’s worked for them. But I’d like to know; the more data you have. These are good apps.
Leo: Can you make it $100? Because that would hurt.
Leo: Yea, but what if I make it $100? You can set it for $100 if you miss a day. That would hurt. $5 I’m going to go, it’s worth it to not go to the gym. It has to be more than the it’s worth it number.
Harry: Can you set the amount? If you’re rich could you do $500 or whatever?
Leo: One more thing on Uber. And I don’t know if this is bad or not. Maybe we’ll get the panel of experts to explain. Uber’s Android app goes out-and Twitter’s going to do this too-and looks at every app on your phone to see what you got. It looks at all the data it can get. Now we’ve seen before and I’ve always calmed people down when they look at the Android permissions. Because Android requires you to request a lot of stuff. Even if you want to do one little thing, it’s kind of got a big umbrella category. People look at it go it’s going to make phone calls. No it’s not. It just needs to access the dialer or whatever. But this looks like according to GironSec, the Uber app actually calls home and sends data back to Uber about your SMS log, your call history, your Wi-Fi connections, your GPS locations, your device ID. It’s a long list. Now this is the Android version.
Becky: Did you say neighbor’s Wi-Fi? That’s the one that creeped me out.
Leo: Wi-Fi neighbors. So it’s not just the Wi-Fi you’re connected to. It’s the Wi-Fi in your vicinity. You could make the case that Uber’s trying to make a sky-hook style map, location map or something like that. But really does this seem like… again, this seems like more bad behavior from Uber. That’s a lot of information. Battery level, health, device info. I mean, this is a ton of stuff. This is from the cult of Mac, Uber has provided some clarification to the company’s data gathering. It mentions that the blanket access is actually a requirement from Google. Access to permissions including Wi-Fi networks and camera are included so users can experience the full functionality of the Uber app. This is not unique to Uber and I agree with that. In fact, Recode notes that Uber competitor Lyft does the same access. So I’m unclear. It sounds like this company that GironSec that revealed this saw data of a variety of kinds being sent. And that’s the problem. Asking for the permission is one thing; everybody needs to do that. It’s what actually happened. We’ll just have to see.
Jason: This is what I mean about Uber has lost some of the benefit of a doubt in any story now. That’s something we shrugged out and like look, it’s just another Android app permission story. It’s not that big of a deal; it happens every other time. Now it’s sort of like oh well it’s Uber, you never know.
Leo: Well we’ll watch that one and see what happens there. Maybe they’re just doing what everybody else is doing, which is asking for…
Jason: Which is stealing all of your personal data and using it for unknown purposes like everybody else really.
Leo: Twitter has said it’s going to look at what apps you have.
Becky: Don’t you assume that with Olaf that you’re using… now it’s not just if you’re using your Twitter identity to log on. They’re going to look at everything?
Jason: What they’re looking for is the URL registrations in your system so it knows what apps have registered for URL schemes, I believe is what they’re doing.
Becky: And Facebook does this already with all your apps.
Jason: Yea exactly.
Leo: So these are apps that you’ve logged into with Twitter and have given Twitter permission.
Jason: No I believe you install them on your phone and the apps register for a URL handler. It’s like on iOS, how inter-app communication happens.
Leo: This is what Twitter wrote: to help build a more personal Twitter experience for you, we are collecting and occasionally updating the list of apps installed on your mobile device so it can deliver tailored content that you may be interested in.
Jason: I think that’s the idea that if somebody posts a link to Facebook or Evernote, or something else where there’s a URL format, if they know that you have the app, then when you tap on the link in their app it will just open that app up instead of… It will rewrite the URL to be an app URL if that makes any sense.
Leo: That I would understand and forgive. But they give examples including improving suggestions on who to follow based on similar interests.
Jason: Yea, well that’s less cool, isn’t it?
Leo: Adding content to the timelines of users such as tweets in accounts that could prove to be interesting to the user, showing you promoted content that’s more relevant. We see you have Angry Birds installed, what you like to perhaps buy the product red level of Angry Birds?
Becky: That’s so nice of Twitter. It’s so helpful.
Leo: You can’t opt-out.
Harry: The best thing about Twitter is I get to decide what might be relevant to me rather than Twitter. Which makes it so different from Facebook. So my main concern is not that they’re invading my privacy so much, as they’re getting a little too clever. I’d rather find people to follow myself.
Becky: It’s so great to do this show with you guys. You just boil it down so quickly.
Leo: They’re good, aren’t they?
Becky: It really tells you why they’ve been in this business for as long as they have. You get it. You can take any story and automatically.
Leo: They’re brilliant. And you too, Becky Worley, you too. Twitter says we are only collecting a list of applications you’ve installed. So they are collecting a list of applications you’ve installed.
Jason: Yea, so my understanding is this is happening through this URL handler registry on iOS at least. Where apps register for URLs and you can ask to see what URL formats have been registered. At which point you know what apps register those URLs and you’ve got a list.
Leo: So if you don’t want this to happen, using Twitter for Android, tap the overflow icon. Tap settings. Tap the account you’d like to adjust. Under other, you can adjust the setting to tailor Twitter based on my apps.
Becky: So five steps to opt-out.
Leo: But you can turn it off. On iOS from the me tab… it’s so hard to figure out what Twitter’s app is doing. Tap the gear icon, tap settings, tap the account. Under privacy, adjust the settings to tailor Twitter based on my apps. So there will be a new setting. Look for it on your Twitter app on iOS and Android. And you may want to turn off tailor Twitter based on my apps. That’s Hubertus. Isn’t it? That seems like Hubertus. We’re just going to look at your apps to give you better people to follow.
Becky: You can opt-out. You can always delete it.
Leo: By the way, I’m not going to use the Twitter apps. I used to use the Twitter app. Thank God there’s still a few third-party apps like Tap Bot. Tweet Bot.
Jason: Not for long. Because all of the new features Twitter adds, they add without an API. So more and more, on the Mac I’m using the stock Twitter app now because I want to see…
Leo: You’re not using Tweet Bot?
Jason: No. I never really liked Tweet Bot.
Harry: I’ve reluctantly moved off Tweet Bot. For Apple and Android, I cannot make heads or tails out of the official app.
Leo: There’s no good app on Android for Twitter.
Jason: I’m still using Twitterific on iOS. But on the desktop on my Mac, I’m using Twitter because the notifications tab is so great. And that information’s not available to third-parties.
Leo: Let us take a break and come back for more. Becky Worley is here from Good Morning America and Yahoo Tech. Great to have you. Becky for many years worked with me at Tech TV. A lot of it…
Becky: Your first producer there.
Leo: A lot of it behind the scenes. You were producer for both Screensavers. And you know Jason Snell because it was during that time when Jason came on as a MacWorld editor.
Becky: Mac Tip.
Jason: One of your producers I went to kindergarten with.
Becky: Jerry, right?
Jason: That’s right.
Leo: Jerry Rice.
Jason: No I did not go to kindergarten with Jerry Rice.
Becky: That throw you made to him?
Jason: We used to play, yea in the Columbia Middle School playground. I would throw the Nerf football to Jerry Rice in the playground.
Leo: Was there a Tech TV reunion that I missed?
Becky: Yes! We missed you!
Leo: May 11th of next year will be the 15th anniversary of the launch. We should do something.
Becky: Let’s do it!
Leo: I miss the 10th. And I’d like to do that.
Becky: Roger dodger.
Leo: Harry McCracken, the technologizer is also here. From his new job at Fast Company. Nice to have you. What is your beat at Fast Company?
Harry: I have a very vague beat, which lets me do just about anything I like to. We call it platforms. So it’s iOS, Android; it covers Facebook, Microsoft, almost anything that involves levels of technology. So chips, devices, operating systems.
Leo: I think that’s almost the most interesting… you could talk specifically about Uber and Twitter. But what he’s really interested in is ride sharing or social media. That’s where the trends are.
Harry: It lets me cover wearables and the internet of things. Because those are all about platforms.
Leo: I’m using the Moto 360. That seems to me the best of the bunch. I’ve been wearing the Galaxy Gear S for the last three or four days. God was that a big clunky… honking thing.
Becky: What’d you think?
Leo: It has its own phone number!
Leo: In fact, they suggest you forward your phone to your watch. Which seems like a bad idea.
Leo: Yea, wow.
Leo: Wow is right. What do you wear, a Pebble?
Jason: I do. My battery died because my Thanksgiving guests unplugged my charger.
Leo: Son of a gun!
Jason: It lasts for a week but not longer than that.
Leo: Don’t you hate it when family comes in and tries to improve your life?
Jason: They decluttered those cables. Those cables are gone now. So that was helpful.
Leo: We’re going to tidy up. Really. Was it a relative?
Jason: I think it was an accident and they just popped it out of the wall. It was a sad trombone sound.
Leo: Christina came in and took all of your cords. Harry, what do you wear? Do you wear a smartwatch?
Harry: I jump back and forth. I’m wearing a Pebble which I put on a leather band. Pebble has gotten a lot better lately partially because of the things they’ve done. But also stuff like the health stuff Apple has done in iOS. Now you can use the Jawbone app with Pebble which you couldn’t do until recently.
Leo: That’s great.
Harry: Pebble was somewhat rudimentary when it came out and little by little it gets better.
Leo: I have to go back and try it. I gave it to Chad. I like the Moto 360 and you, you wear the Pavlock.
Becky: I have a Casio dive watch that I destroyed while surfing. I’m that bad. But I have to go back to Tech TV and tell you this. I go surfing in Pacifica and I always imagine Jim Louderback sitting up on his deck watching me.
Leo: There’s Worley again, surfing.
Becky: You have him up here, every once in a while?
Leo: I haven’t had Jim in a long time. He left here Revision Three. And I think he took some time off. But I get the feeling that he is resurfacing to do something new.
Becky: I sense that.
Leo: Do you get that sense too? He’s up to something. That’s Louderback.
Becky: Chowder head. He’s doing something.
Leo: Chowder head is what we called him. He said you can call me Jim Lobster-back. That’s what they did in school.
Becky: Back in Vermont.
Leo: You seem like you’d wear a runner’s watch. Like a GPS watch with…
Becky: I’ve been testing sleep devices lately. So I’ve had the Basis, I’ve had the Jawbone Up 24. Then I’m using these other ones. I tested out the Sleep Number bed that keeps track of your sleep. Completely through the mattress. That’s bizarre.
Leo: Really? That simplifies things.
Becky: It knows your temperature, your respiration rate, when you’re in deep, light, or REM sleep.
Leo: Do you find that information useful in any way?
Becky: Oh I love Sleep Number.
Leo: I like looking at the information, but what do you do with it?
Becky: I’m trying to get more deep sleep. Because what I noticed is that…
Leo: Yea, but how do you get that?
Becky: Well there’s lots of little ways to hack it. So you can work out later in the day, you can…
Leo: Oh okay. So you’re marrying it with behavioral information from the day to see what helps you sleep better.
Becky: Exactly. And trying to figure out what makes me feel better. Do you ever have this thing where you go to the gym, and you’re like I’m going to go run and do whatever. And you get there, and it’s just like womp-womp. And you just can’t do it. A lot of that is because of how you slept.
Leo: Yea. Then my watch shocked me and I…
Becky: See, then you got on it. But if you hack your sleep…
Leo: That’s what Jessica Corbin’s all about. She makes a device-you should probably get that too-she makes a device that measures your recovery rate. Your heart rate recovery index. You look into that. It’s a fascinating thing.
Becky: That’s the ultimate arbiter of your fitness, is how fast you recover.
Becky: You go from like high respiration rate to low respiration rate. Some of the wearables now days are crazy; they have these shirts that measure how much exertion as you lift. If you think about it, a number of oh I lifted 20 or 120 pounds; that’s a number that’s meaningless unless it’s relative to your weight, gender, strength. But exertion, the shirt measures this. And I don’t know whether they do it in force or perceived calories. But some of these wearables are insane that are coming out. The one that I’m waiting for that still doesn’t exist: a device that measures your actual caloric intake.
Leo: That I want. All these watches say… but you have to enter it all in. I want something that looks at my mouth and says good God, Leo.
Becky: I know. They have apps that use the camera.
Harry: There’s that cup that supposedly…
Jason: And the fork. There’s this fork.
Becky: A happy fork. There was a company in Toronto that said they were making a watch that measures…
Leo: How could it watch your food?
Becky: This is what it did. It was measuring the fat soluble fat, and sugar in your blood through your wrist pulse. What is that, your distal? Or whatever. But that turned out be vaporware shock.
Leo: It was like a tri-quarter?
Becky: Something like that.
Leo: Well look at this, this is Jessica’s business. Vitness RX. And it measures your recovery rate. And apparently it tells you, today you’re going to be womp-womp. Or today you’re going to be great.
Becky: Vitness I’m going to check out.
Leo: Vitness RX, yea. Our show today brought to you not by any of those fine products, but by Carbonite online backup. When it comes to data protection, Carbonite means business. I use Carbonite everywhere to protect my data in the cloud. We were talking on the radio show, Carbonite’s network center, their data center where your data is stored. It’s encrypted by the way on the way there, and it’s encrypted there. It is in a temperature-controlled 24-hour guarded facility. It is backed up at all times. Your data is happier than you are. Your data is living the life up there in the Carbonite cloud. That’s nice because should anything happen you can get your data back. You may not be so happy about it coming back to your computer, but it will. And that’s the beauty of it. 50,000 businesses now use Carbonite at their business. I think it’s over a million home users. With Carbonite everything’s backed up. Your computers, servers, external hard drives. Just pick the Carbonite plan that’s right for you. They have business plans and personal plans. The personal plans starts at $59.99 a year for everything on a Mac or a PC. If you go to carbonite.com, you can try it free right now, no credit card needed. But do use the offer code TWIT when you sign up. That way you’ll get two free bonus months when you decide to buy. The nice thing about Carbonite, once you’ve installed it you don’t have to think about it. It’s always backing up, continually whenever you’re online. It’s just a great solution. Carbonite.com. You’ve got to back up to get it back right. Carbonite. I figure everybody watching this show probably knows that. But I also figure that a lot of the people watching this show don’t actually back up. So do it. And tell your family and friends. Now that the holidays are here, your family and friends have come to bug you. Give them something of worth when they leave, say here’s Carbonite. Use it.
Becky: My aunt in Hawaii listens to your show. She called me and said I got to back up and Leo says use Carbonite. I’m going to do it, right? I said yep, you’re going to do it.
Leo: Good for her. That’s awesome! Let’s see, Carly Fiorina. By the way, with the pretexting thing was while Carly was CEO, Mark Heard was the sexual harassment issue. Let’s get that right.
Jason: Bad run of luck there.
Leo: Then it was Leo Apotheker who said let’s split the whole business up. And now it’s Meg Whitman and they’re going to split the whole business up. So it’s very confusing. You think Yahoo is crazy.
Leo: But you know, HP has a big hit. The Stream. Has anybody been talking about the Stream? This is like a Chromebook-priced Windows laptop.
Leo: $200. It looks kind of junky for you and me. But again it’s not for you and me. Hey, you’re using an 11-inch MacBook, right?
Leo: They have 11. They have larger ones, too. It’s kind of cool-looking. I think they’ve sold out, actually. During Black Friday. I think they sold out of the 11’s. They were very aggressive. HP is going through some tough times but a lot of people… they have an 11, a 13, and a 14-inch Stream. And even the 14-inch is I think only $300. Yea, $299.
Becky: This is smart. Because Black Friday basically conditions consumers over time to purchase certain things at certain times. One of the things that we’ve been told over and over is that laptop deals on Black Friday are significant. So if you can put a sub-$200 laptop on the table, it’s not that consumers aren’t intelligent in doing their research. But specs are not as important as price to certain members of lives. It’s like can I get on the internet? Can I use Office? Good. I’m in.
Leo: Probably not something you or I would use. But I think this is HP’s response to the Chromebook.
Harry: OH yea, it would never exist without the Chromebook.
Leo: Yea. And Carly Fiorina, former HP executive; remember she ran for governor in California.
Becky: She spent a lot of money.
Leo: Spent a lot of money and didn’t even come close.
Harry: Meg Whitman ran for one thing.
Jason: Meg ran for governor.
Leo: What did Carly run for?
Harry: The Senate.
Leo: The Senate. Alright.
Jason: Again, Mark Heard did not run for anything. Know your CEOs again.
Leo: So Meg Whitman ran for governor, and lost. And got HP as her consolation prize.
Jason: Carly ran for Senate in 2010.
Leo: Yea, against Diane Feinstein. I can’t remember, or was it Barbara…
Harry: Barbara Boxer.
Leo: I think I am too old for this. Would you take over? I’m going home. I’m going to the home.
Jason: It’s not a political show.
Becky: See here’s the thing, we were talking about podcasts and I think about it as I’m getting… my paycheck comes from ABC and I think about all the money that is going into TV ads. Political TV ads. So podcasting, if it ever starts to go down, you just have to take political ads, Leo.
Leo: It keeps radio alive, single-handedly. It keeps radio alive because the radio’s required to offer ads to political candidates of parties. And propositions, and in California there’s so much stuff. But I think it can charge the full rack rate.
Leo: So they’re required to sell these ads but they don’t have to divvy into this account. So the radio loves political ads.
Becky: I can’t bite the hand that feeds me.
Leo: We had the candidate for lieutenant governor for the great state of California. He came into our audience and sat here during an entire TWiT. And I knew he wasn’t a normal person because he was wearing a suit.
Becky: Was this Cash Carry?
Leo: Ron Nehring. He was the GOP candidate that did not win.
Jason: No, he did not win.
Becky: Governor Candidate.
Leo: Yea. But nice guy. He came in and wanted to meet with me. I think he was very confused about the TWiT army.
Jason: Do you have a plan to invade?
Leo: And then the GOP contacted me and said the entire slate of GOP candidates would like to be on TWiT next Sunday. And I thought, I don’t think so. I said if you want we’ll talk before the show. And then they said oh no we got it. So never mind.
Becky: Super interested until we’re not.
Leo: Flickr is annoying photographers. When you put a picture up on Flickr, you can decide on the license. You can assign it a Creative Commons license if you wish. And in many cases people assign a very lenient Creative Commons license that allows people to use your photos. I think that’s a nice thing to do. But according to some, Flickr is about to sell your prints. And not give you a penny because you said you would. Flickr is going to make nice prints of some of its best images for $49 a pop. But the only credit and the only money you’ll get is a small sticker at the bottom of the print with your name. Now you can and it’s not too late, you can go to Flickr and change the license on all of your images. And you might want to do that. I license Creative Commons on Flickr but non-commercial. And that would stop them from selling my pictures. 50 million of the finest photos on Flickr, now on your wall. But in many cases images that the photographer doesn’t even know they’re for sale. But because they used a Creative Commons license.
Jason: You’d think they want to use to enable the people that use their service to sell their prints.
Leo: Make a little money.
Jason: Rather than just sell them.
Leo: They’re nice prints.
Jason: It’s too bad too. As someone who will use the Creative Commons licensed photos on my own website, what this is going to do is pull a lot of photos off of Creative Commons on Flickr and make the full-service poor for it.
Leo: I think a lot of these photographers know that you’re probably going to use these as stock photos on the web. And don’t mind. But they might think that a big company like Flickr owned by Yahoo-I’m not targeting Yahoo, I just want you to know-would might not do something like this.
Becky: It seems like the negative press wouldn’t be worth it. But then on the other hand, nothing free is free. But I feel like we’ve done this. Haven’t we done this 5,000 different ways to Sunday? Facebook, Instagram?
Leo: I presume that if you change the license that it would automatically pull it off this. But I don’t know.
Harry: These are people who as far as they know intentionally said yes, you can use this thing I took for commercial purposes. And make money off of it. I think the fact that it’s Flickr doing it probably gives people a different attitude because they didn’t expect this to happen. And Flickr can get around this and avoid an unforced error just by throwing a little money people’s way.
Becky: That’s a great term: an unforced error.
Harry: Morally I think what Flickr is doing is just fine. It’s legal and it’s ethical.
Leo: It’s perfectly okay, except that it’s just…
Harry: The optics might be bad.
Leo: The optics aren’t good.
Becky: I wouldn’t expect a sports metaphor from Harry. You just pulled that one out with total ease.
Harry: More and more of the world seems to be full of unforced errors.
Leo: It’s a good term, isn’t it?
Harry: Uber did all the stuff which they could have easily not have done. But they did it anyway.
Leo: Alright, is this an unforced error? The music industry is finally suing an ISP over piracy. BMG and Round Hill Music are suing Cox Communications, saying that Cox has not done enough to punish those who download music illegally. This is what the ISPs wanted to avoid when they agreed to the industry’s six strikes rules. They didn’t really want to get into this battle.
Becky: Law moves slow. This is like seven years ago. Eight years ago.
Leo: They’re using Napster! Actually they’re really complaining about BitTorrent. In their complaint, the music publishers described the Cox network as an out of control den of piracy. Quote: today, BitTorrent systems are like the old P2P systems on steroids. It’s like Napster on steroids.
Becky: Even their terminology is so 80’s.
Leo: It’s like the Boston strangler on steroids. Even that’s old! They’re using performance enhancing drugs on the old P2P systems. They’re roided out! Despite its published policy to the contrary, Cox’s actual policy-this is again from the complaint-is to refuse, to suspend, terminate, or otherwise penalize subscriber accounts that repeatedly commit copyright infringement through its network in any meaningful numbers. In other words, Cox is not firing customers when it gets a complaint from the music publishers. The six strikes rule, and I think Cox was a signatory to this, gave you six strikes. The music publisher would write a letter saying IP address 192.168 is using BitTorrent. And Cox would send you a letter saying hey knock it off. You get six times and the punishment gets worse each time. Up to the point of possibly being banned from the service. Here’s what Cox alleged: a Cox subscriber account with IP address 184.108.40.206 at the time of the infringement believed to have been located in Fairfax, VA was used to infringe 24 particular copyrighted works 1,586 times.
Becky: That seems like an appropriate time for throttling. A case by case punitive throttling especially if it’s Taylor Swift songs. So I’m just saying, yea I get it.
Leo: I guess. Cox has declined to comment. This is an Ars Technica story. Cox was contacted but did not comment. But presumably will fight it in court. I think the record that ISPs don’t want to be doing the bidding of the record companies in this regard. But they want to skate around any kind of lawsuit. This is the first time the record companies have actually said, you know what, we’re going for it. In the past there’s been this kind of truce.
Becky: It’s like parenting. You’ve got to drop the hammer at least once.
Leo: At some point you have to sue.
Becky: Or else, it’s all empty. You’ve got to put them in time out.
Leo: They also said that we’ve been sending these copyright infringement notices to Cox. Cox quote actually has taken measures to avoid and stop receiving those notifications. Suggesting they were basically treating them like spam. Oh it’s another email from BMG. I just, throw it in the trash! Well we’ll watch this one again with interest. We haven’t had a record company lawsuit in ages, have we? They realize it was a really bad idea to sue end users. Nobody’s going to complain about suing Cox.
Jason: Then that makes Cox the police. And they have to be the bad guy that forces all of these…
Leo: Yea. And I should point out that it’s very deceptive to say what they… what was it, 1,590… it sounds like they have been basically selling these copyrighted works to thousands of people. I’m sure the way BitTorrent works is you get bits and pieces from a lot of people. I’m sure all that means was that there were 1,586 connections. And whoever this was, knowingly or unknowingly, I think a lot of people install a BitTorrent client and don’t realize that it is then serving out that content they had those 24 whatever, songs in their BitTorrent folder. And 1,586 connections. One subscriber engaged in 39,000 acts of copyright infringement over 189 days. 39,000!
Becky: That’s one 13-year old girl.
Leo: It’s easy. You could do that in a couple of days. Alright, I’m going to do one more commercial then we’re going to show you the heart-warming moment that will take all of this bad taste about Black Friday out of your mouth.
Becky: I cried.
Leo: And put it on your wrist. You know what I’m talking about?
Becky: I cried.
Leo: I cried. I made the mistake of showing it right before the radio show and I was in tears.
Becky: Isn’t that the worse? At least you weren’t wearing eye liner. I was dripping.
Leo: Our show today brought to you by Square Space. Square Space 7 is here! The great thing about Square Space is it’s hosting plus software. Because they do both, your Square Space site is always going to get the updates, the new stuff, the security fixes, whatever it is. And Square Space 7 is available to every existing customer. Just go to the settings tab and activate the new features. All new customers will get it. Square Space helps you make the best looking website so easily. If you don’t have your own webpage, you need one. You have to have a site that you control and you own. You could do everything else, you can have a Facebook page for your business, you can have a Twitter account. But you have to have the one place people go. Ideally with your domain name on the web. And Square Space makes that very easy.
Becky: Beckyworley.com. Square Space-powered.
Leo: See. And when you sign up for a year, they’ll wire up that name; they’ll get you the domain name for free and wire it all up for you. As little as $8 a month, Square Space 7 makes it very easy to create your site because you’ll pick one of these gorgeous templates. By the way all of the templates are state-of-the-art modern. Mobile responsive means they look great on any size screen. They’ve got ecommerce built in. All of that stuff. You pick the template-easy to switch by the way. You don’t have to worry about the content, it’s all protected. You could make your site look different every day if you feel like it. And now if you want to modify the template which you do want to do. You want to customize it to make it yours. You can do it in live edit. Whizzy Wig editing right on the screen. You don’t have to go back and forth in the preview mode. You just look at your site and you go nudge that over that way. Put that down there. Let’s add a Twitter feed. They have instant access to professional stock photographer from Getty. Direct purchases inside of Square Space from Getty Images, as little as $10 each. Instant branded email setup with Google Apps. It makes it so easy to set up an ecommerce site. If you’re a photographer or a band, they have templates for bands that include tour dates, merch sales, all of that stuff. Every template has built into it, ecommerce. Even the most inexpensive. They’ve got a great developer platform. If you are a wizard on the web, you can really go crazy. And it’s so easy to use. If you want some help though, they have live chat and email 24/7 from their offices in New York. They never outsourced their help. Plus of course a great self-help site with articles, workshops, webinars, and more. As little as $8 a month, but you know what you can go there right now and try it for free. No credit card necessary. Just click the get started button and set up your site. You can even import content from your old site and just make a great page. See what it would look like and see how it would feel to be a Square Space customer. And then after two weeks if you decide to buy, please use the offer code TWIT and we’ll get you 10% off your new site; squarespace.com. Try it today. Offer code TWIT once you buy. Check out the apps too for Android and iOS. Really great stuff. Squarespace.com. So there are some very cynical people on the web.
Leo: Yes there are. Who swear that this is a fake. I would submit there is no way this can be a fake. I have a very good nose for fakes. And gosh knows there are a lot of fakes on the web.
Becky: Everyone’s a dog on the web.
Leo: Everyone’s a dog. No one knows you’re a dog. This is a guy, a kid, a 10-year old kid named Santiago from Argentina. Mom and dad were struggling a little bit and he said I want a tablet, I want a tablet. And mom and dad it would be kind of funny to punk him just a little bit. They wrapped up, it looks like a tablet.
Becky: Yea it really looks like that.
Leo: Santiago’s very excited.
Becky: He’s got his jammies on, he’s syked.
Leo: Oh I have it muted? Let me turn the volume up. It’s in Spanish. And oh it’s not a tablet, Santiago. It’s a wooden cutting board.
Becky: And the note says you can cut fruit and vegetables.
Leo: And look it. This kid is in deep psychic pain right now. He thought he was getting a tablet; he got a piece of wood. But you know he’s hiding it so well. I wish my kids were this good. And look, he even kisses his mama. He’s reading the note. Cleans up the wrapper. Kisses his mama. He understands; times are tough. Don’t have a lot of money. I really did want a tablet. Then they find another box, it looks like a shoe box. So he’s happy. He’s a soccer player. Of course he is, everybody in Argentina plays the beautiful game. Got to do it.
Becky: What was the one goal with the hand? Maradona?
Harry: Hand of God.
Leo: Nobody better.
Leo: It was the hand of God, it wasn’t my hand. And now, he’s opening it up. He’s a sweet kid, I like this kid.
Harry: It’s going to be another cutting board, isn’t it?
Leo: It’s going to be a knife to go with the cutting board, which is really kind of a beautiful thing. No, Fila, that’s running shoes. Wait a minute. Boy that was a look.
Becky: No, it can’t be!
Leo: He’s frozen.
Becky: Oh I get teary.
Leo: Don’t you get teary? Because he frankly thought he got a piece of wood and some shoes. I think he knows what it is. Another big hug for his mama.
Becky: A tablet!
Leo: Now let me tell you something; this is not fake. First of all…
Becky: You wouldn’t put that nipple in there.
Jason: What the hell?
Becky: That did disturb me. But secondly you cannot make a kid…
Leo: You can’t make a 10-year old cry like that. Mom apparently saved up. The story is on the YouTube site. He is so happy. Now this, folks, if you don’t appreciate what a great life we have…
Becky: The kid is in tears!
Leo: And you’ve got your phone, your tablet, and your laptop. This is a kid who really appreciates. He’s so excited.
Becky: Actually, I saw this and I have been covering Black Friday and so many people are just cynical about it. For a lot of people who spend that time in line on Black Friday, it’s so that they can get a little bit more for their family. And I know that’s maybe…
Leo: No, that makes sense. And I’m not going to be dismissive anymore.
Becky: Even if that’s only 10% of the people, then fine.
Leo: Because of little Santiago.
Becky: So long as there’s no smack down over the Barbie. That’s all I’m saying.
Leo: Yea, don’t fight.
Becky: Santiago’s parents were not involved in…
Leo: And that $400 4K TV that you bought may not be as good as you think it is.
Becky: $899, 4K.
Leo: Yea. Actually that was like an LG. It was a major name brand. It wasn’t…
Becky: It was no, what are some of the crazy ones? Insignia?
Leo: Vizio, $700 4K TV. That was at slickdeals.net. That’s Walmart? Slickdeals?
Becky: I love that video. It was a sweet way to end our giving thanks.
Leo: Speaking of sweet, thank you for bringing some wine. It was delicious. And thank you for being here. We don’t see enough of you but I’m so glad when you can come. It’s just, we think the world of you. And all the best at GMA.
Leo: And at Yahoo Tech. Do you file on a regular basis? Can we catch your stuff? It’s whenever you get around to it.
Becky: CES, man. It’s happening.
Leo: Oh and what are you going to do for CES?
Becky: I’m going to go. I’m going to take a lot of hand sanitizer. I’m going to try and avoid going out with Dvorak. The only time I’ve ever gotten in trouble at CES.
Leo: What happened?
Leo: Remember, the right to forget.
Becky: Luckily, that was pre-internet.
Leo: What did you do?
Becky: Let’s put it this way; I ended up some place that I never wanted…
Leo: He’s a wild man.
Becky: Dvorak and who’s that guy? Simian guy?
Leo: Will Hearst?
Leo: Oh those two are trouble together. One’s a billionaire, the other one’s glad to spend the money.
Becky: It was bad. At 3am, and I have a live shot on CNN at 4:30. And all of a sudden I realized, I do not want to be with Dvorak and Hearst at 3am in Vegas. An hour and a half before a live shot.
Leo: That’s trouble.
Becky: It makes me nervous just thinking about it.
Leo: You’re going with ABC, so it will be a big deal, right?
Becky: I’m going with Yahoo. ABC doesn’t care about that.
Leo: They don’t care about CES?
Becky: Nope, couldn’t care.
Leo: Yahoo Tech will be there. Well awesome, we’ll watch for your coverage. Believe it or not, that’s like a month away. Six weeks away. Holy cow.
Becky: I know.
Leo: Harry McCracken, are you going to CES?
Harry: This is the first year since 1981 that I’m not going to CES or Comdex or any other tech show in Vegas.
Leo: How about Mobile World Congress? That’s the one to go to now days.
Harry: That’s probably the one to go to. I’m skipping it for the first time ever.
Leo: Really? Does that make you feel a little fo-mo? A feel of missing out?
Harry: I’m torn between feeling like I’m skipping Christmas and feeling like I really don’t have to file my taxes.
Jason: Harry not going to CES is like getting a call from the governor, okay. It’s like very brief.
Harry: Up until now I’ve always said that I liked going to CES. And in some ways I do. So we’ll see.
Leo: So you’re saying it’s like Christmas with a root canal?
Leo: The two together.
Harry: It’s both fun and painful. The way to do it is to go there… in the old days when I worked for a print magazine, trade shows were fun because when you went to a trade show, you stopped all your normal work while you were there. And the moment they invented the internet and you had to file stories every day, trade shows stopped being as much fun.
Leo: I knew they shouldn’t have invented the internet.
Jason: I know it ruined everything.
Becky: Were you there with me, and Hearst and Dvorak?
Leo: He doesn’t remember and he’s going to keep it that way. No CES for Jason Snell.
Jason: No. That’s actually one of the top things about not being employed by my former employer. Is that they’re not going to make me go to CES like they did last year.
Leo: But you will be covering it as we will be, remotely. We’re sending Father Robert. Dick T. Bartoley’s going. Live alive camera. So we will actually have live streaming from CES. We’re going back to the old way. Remember for a while we had a booth and we were spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. And we were like what are we doing here? And then Spike takes over the whole garage.
Becky: That was crazy. They had the top floor of the Renaissance. It was nuts.
Leo: Crazy. Then they left after day two. It’s like you don’t care? Eh, we’ve seen everything.
Becky: Flashing the pan.
Leo: We’re here for the long haul. So I personally will not be going. But I will be anchoring our coverage.
Jason: From right here.
Leo: You think I’m going to go?
Jason: Oh no. The governor has called back and he takes it back, Leo.
Becky: I’ll get you the mini hand sanitizer.
Jason: Was that worse than the shock?
Leo: Yes. That was worse than the watch. Oh! Poquito CES. It’s like she gave me a piece of wood and then the root canal.
Becky: It was the opposite.
Leo: The Incomparable is so good. I imagine, yes you did, you talked about the Star Wars trailer.
Jason: We did not just talk about the Star Wars trailer. We did an hour and ten minutes about an 80-second long trailer.
Jason: Because you know we would. Syracuse, so we went deep into it.
Leo: And you have seen I’m sure the variations already?
Jason: There’s the George Lucas’s special edition of the trailer.
Leo: Where he has puppets going at it, Jar Jar.
Jason: Then there’s the Lego Star Wars trailer which is very good, too.
Leo: Which is actually quite accurate.
Jason: Yea, they did a great job with it.
Leo: This movie is not going to be out for more than a year. But there is a trailer.
Jason: Some fans are really excited. They’re reading the tea leaves.
Becky: Tim Goodman has a podcast with you guys, right? He is awesome.
Jason: Yea, Tim Goodman from the Hollywood Reporter and I do a TV podcast called TV Talk with him. It’s on the Incomparable.
Leo: He used to be a TV reviewer at the Chronicle. And I’ve read his stuff religiously.
Jason: Yea, so we’re doing a weekly TV podcast.
Leo: It looks like Six Colors has really become mostly about your podcast.
Jason: Well it’s in there. You’ve got to cross-promote. You’ve got to have a little bit of this and little bit of that.
Leo: A little comics. A little technology.
Jason: This guy, Marvel Unlimited is a really good service. Then there’s tech, there’s lots of good stuff on Six Colors. You should check it out.
Leo: Then there’s Siri.
Jason: Yes. Siri. Maybe Siri could do something. Look at that.
Leo: Is there something wrong?
Jason: I wondered about that screenshot perhaps not having enough content. I want to watch television, Siri.
Leo: Did I do something wrong? Oh I had zoomed in. I’m sorry. There we go. Much better. Yea, I love Six Colors. And you’ve got such great people working with you on the podcast. It just makes me very angry. Jason Snell and friends. Upgrade, Clockwise, the Incomparable, TV Talk Machine, Total Party Kill, and the Anthology.
Jason: And I’m happy to be here.
Leo: Always happy to have you, Jason. Thank you for being here. Thank you all for joining us. We do TWiT every Sunday afternoon, 3pm Pacific. That’s 6pm Eastern time, 2300 UTC. Please watch live if you can. As you can see, the chat room is basically our writers. It’s our writer room.
Becky: They fact check.
Leo: They’re good. They fact check. They follow-up. It’s wonderful! We don’t get to make a mistake for more than a few seconds before the chat room says you’re wrong. And that’s good. If you can’t be in the chat room and watch us live, please download an audio and video version of the show. They’re all over the place, twit.tv, our website of course. But everywhere podcasts are. You can also get one of the TWiT apps. We didn’t do any of them. Our great third-party folks did them. For every platform, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Roku, and on and on and on. That way you can watch. If you’d like to be in the studio, firstname.lastname@example.org. Nice, small, compact studio audience today.
Becky: And my dad.
Leo: Including your dad, which is very nice to see. Is he Mr. Worley?
Becky: No. Jim.
Leo: Jim. Twit.tv/best of. Jason is giving me a little hint. He’s got to put together a Christmas episode of the show which will be composed of the best moments of 2014. And in order to do that, since he wasn’t here for it, it would really be helpful if you could put twit.tv/bestof. And put in something that happened that you liked.
Jason: It goes for all the shows, too. We’ve got all the shows listed, not just TWiT.
Leo: I can be long. It can be short. It can be a little funny bit or it could be a great discussion of a story. We would like to make a nice little TWiT for you. Christmas week we will not be here. All of our shows will either be doing best of’s or specials. Because there’s no news that week. That kind of thing. You can also, is it too late? It is, no more Tee Spring, right? That’s sold out?
Jason: I believe until December 1st.
Leo: We extended that for a day. Teespring.com/twit to get the fall 2014 polo shirt of dress shift. Suitable for wearing on live with Regis and Michael. That’s the kind of shirt that they tried to get me to wear. Tech TV.
Jason: I was going to say I should get one of those so I can dress up.
Leo: Then Michael Gelman said under no circumstances are you wearing that shirt.
Becky: You are not allowed.
Jason: No cross-promotion.
Leo: No branding.
Jason: By the time anyone watches this or listens to this though, it will be done. Two hours, 54 minutes.
Leo: Really? That long?
Jason: That’s how much we have left.
Leo: All you live folks, go there now. Can you guys… you’re all invited to come to our New Year’s Eve party. 3am New Year’s Eve to 3am New Year’s Day. Bring the kids. And we’ll put you to work doing something silly. We’re going to have a jumpy jump outside. We’re going to have a bucking bronco.
Jason: You’re doing that here?
Leo: Yea, we’re taking over the street. We have a permit to take over the street. It’s 24 hours; you don’t have to be here for the whole thing. Come for five minutes or ten.
Jason: Yea, I would love to do that.
Leo: Some people will come for the whole thing.
Becky: That’s crazy.
Leo: I will be here for the whole thing. Collapsing at 3 in the morning.
Jason: Will there be a show where you’ll be asleep?
Leo: Many of these… you know we did this last year.
Becky: Hey you should go for a world record. The longest podcast.
Leo: How long did Roker go?
Becky: It was Roker cast that made me think of it.
Leo: How long did he go through? 36 hours.
Becky: I know but there might not be a world record podcast yet.
Leo: You’re going to have to put that watch on me and shock me every hour to wake me up.
Becky: You can do it remotely from an app.
Leo: We’re going to do a 24 hours… we’re doing a telethon because we’re going to do it for UNICEF. To raise money for UNICEF. UNICEF has worked with us. We’re going to have a tote board that will show you. I’ll be like Jerry Lewis and have the tuxedo and I’ll say show the tote. And we’ve got lots of great gifts and rewards for donations or pledges. There will be an auction. Fez-o-rama, or fez maker has donated some fezzes. We have some really nice stuff. So if you can tune in at any time, and again it doesn’t have to ruin your New Year’s Eve.
Becky: Ruin. That’s not a positive approach.
Leo: Well I’m just saying if you want to go out and get really drunk and get into an Uber, you could. But my recommendation is you stay home and you watch TWiT all day and all night. When is New Year’s Eve? December 31st, okay.
Jason: This year. This year it’s on the 31st.
Leo: Awesome. I’m just joking. I know when it is.
Becky: Just making sure.
Leo: Jim, you and me. We’re going to Hawaii! Thanks for joining us. We’ll see you next time! Another TWiT is in the can!