This Week in Tech 487 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWIT: This Week in Tech. We have a great panel. Serenity Caldwell is here, Lisa Eadicicco, and it's the return of Owen JJ Stone. Oh Doctor! We're going to talk about the big Sony hack, the lawsuit against Apple—they're down to the last plaintiff, and Google can tell you're not a robot. It's all coming up next on TWIT.
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Leo: This is TWIT, This Week in Tech, Episode 487, recorded December 7, 2014.
Chop it Down and Call it Tony
This Week in Tech is brought to you by LittleBits, the easy way to build electronics, with modular building blocks. Go to littlebits.com and enter the promo code TWIT to receive $20 off your first purchase of $80 or more. And by stamps.com. Use stamps.com to buy and print real US postage the instant you need it, right from your desk. For our special offer, go to stamps.com, click the microphone, and enter TWIT. That's stamps.com, offer code: TWIT. And by CitRix GoToMeeting, the powerfully simple way to meet with coworkers and clients from the convenience of your computer, Smartphone, or tablet. Share the same screen and see each other face to face with HD video conferencing. For a 30-day free trial, go to gotomeeting.com today. And by NatureBox. NatureBox ships great tasting snacks right to your door. Start snacking smarter with wholesome delicious treats like lemon tea biscuits. To get your complementary NatureBox sampler, visit naturebox.com/twit. That's naturebox.com/twit. It's time for TWIT: This Week in Tech, the show where we cover the week's tech news, and there is as always, a lot of tech news and a great panel ahead for you. Welcoming back Serenity Caldwell. Last time Serenity was here she was working at a little Macintosh magazine, which has since gone out of business called MacWorld. I'm so glad the folks at iMore picked you up. She's now at iMore.com.
Serenity Caldwell: I'm very grateful for the folks at iMore, especially Renee Ritchie picked me up. He's a good dude.
Leo: I was pissed. I wanted you. Was there a bidding war? Because nobody told me.
Serenity: I actually, when things at MacWorld started getting a little rocky, I actually reached out to Renee and was like, "Hey, I like your stuff. Do you have an opening?"
Leo: And you're still working with Jason on the Incomparible, right?
Serenity: I am, yes. We're working on some radio play shenanigans. Hopefully next year.
Leo: Love that. If you can in any way, mix us into the mix, I've always wanted to do radio theatre. Really, our audience wants us to do tech, we stick with tech, but we have such a great facility. We could do the greatest theatre here. I've wanted to do that all along, so any way I could help you out. We should mention that Serenity is just back from roller derby.
Serenity: I am, yes.
Leo: What's your roller derby handle?
Serenity: R2 Detonate. Very nerdy.
Leo: Last time you were on, you explained to me that you play all the positions. You're not always in any one position in roller derby.
Serenity: Yeah. I tend to play a jammer, which scores the points, but also a blocker who prevents the other jammer from scoring points, and pivot, who is a blocker who can occasionally become the person who scores points.
Leo: The jammer, and I remember this from the days when I was a kid watching the bay area bombers. That's a crazy job, because they basically hurl you through the line of other people and people are hitting you. It's crazy.
Serenity: People are hitting you and you've got to dodge things. More recently it's been a sort of a pushing game, so you have to have the strength to push through these standstill walls and jump around them, which is kind of fun.
Leo: I admire you so much. That's so cool. And Serenity, you're in New York still.
Serenity: In Boston. Although I will be in New York next week.
Leo: Great to see you. Hey, we haven't seen this fellow in so long. It's been way too long. Owen JJ Stone is here.
Owen JJ Stone: Is that me? You got some stuff on your face, let me clean that off.
Leo: Are those wings coming out of your head? What is that coming out of your head?
Owen: Those are my daughter's boxing gloves. If anybody says they're antlers or something like that, you have them come over and—
Leo: She is so cute.
Owen: She is a purple belt in ju jitsu currently, and my personal ninja. I'm sending her to North Korea to handle this. They don't inspect the little people that come in.
Leo: Doctor daughter. Great to have you back on. We missed you.
Owen: Thanks for having me.
Leo: We want to welcome a new member to the panel that it's so great to have. OK, I'm going to do it. Lisa Eadicicco.
Lisa Eadicicco: Yep. You got it.
Leo: I did it! Yay! Lisa writes for Business Insider. She covers tech and has covered tech for a variety of publications, and as you can see, she is a drummer. Her drum kit is right behind her. Great to have you, Lisa, welcome. I warned Lisa about you, Owen. It's going to be a crazy show.
Lisa: Great. I'm looking forward to it.
Owen: I'm just here to make fun of things. I have nothing serious to say. As the chat room will repeat, "why is he even here?"
Leo: We love you. You don't have to be anything. You're Owen. You're O-Doctor.
Owen: I'm your nephew. I'm like the cousin that comes over and you have to deal with me. I'm family.
Leo: I've got to tell you, Serenity just got off roller derby practice, jammed some food down her throat and is here, but Owen is missing the Eagles game, and that is even a bigger deal.
Owen: It's stressful. I didn't even shower or anything. I was all stressed out. I smell funny apparently.
Leo: What's the score? We actually, we've hired a person to sit in over here and watch the Eagles game so I can feed you the score. He's got his laptop over here and he's got the game on. He's even wearing an ugly Eagle's Christmas sweater.
Owen: And he just got a raise and a company car. Leo is in the giving spirit for this Holiday season, let me tell you.
Leo: Jeff, I just want you—if there's a touch down, do the touch down thing, if there's pass interference, just grab your wrist. Do the whole thing, OK? All right. Jeff Needles is in charge. Big story this week. Actually, there are several, but the big story is the Sony pictures entertainment hack, which many people said is the worst corporate breach in American history. It couldn't get much worse than this. Sony pictures, as you may remember from the news last week, we've heard something. There's a virus, they sent people home, all the systems are shut down, something has gone wrong for a couple of days, and now we're starting to see leeks. Journalists are getting links on paste bin to 40 gigabytes of data, pretty much, I would say, everything that was on those SONY computers and that corporate network at SONY pictures entertainment has been leaked. We're talking scripts. JJ Abrams pilots. Salaries. You can even deduce employee's romances, but the best part I love is there were folders in the paste bin that hackers cleverly and conveniently for us, journalists organized them, there is a folder called "passwords." Secure passwords.txt. They just put it all in a folder in somebody's desktop. FTP passwords. Logins to the corporate YouTube accounts for various movies. All of this stuff, and much more seriously, tens of thousands of social security numbers, not only for current employees, but for past employees, completely open. Just a mess. The group that claims the hack put #GOP on the site's defaced website. They're called the Guardians of Peace; we don't know exactly who they are, although we've heard some of the source code for the hack software is in Korean. I think it's speculation. Because SONY is doing a movie called "The Interview" that mocks North Korea, that North Korea is a suspect. If you've been watching the coverage, and we've been doing it all week long on TNT, it is as stunning as you can get. Here's the homepage. Hacked by #GOP. We've already warned you, and this is just a beginning, we continue till our request be met. We've obtained all your internal data including your secrets, and if you don't obey us, I don't know what they're asking for, we'll release data shown to the world, determine what you will till November 24th at 11 PM GMT. Well in fact, I don't know if SONY even knew what they wanted, so this stuff was all released. Lisa, what do you make of this story? This is a scary story. Do you believe North Korea is involved?
Lisa: I mean, it's really hard to tell at this point. I mean, I don't know about you guys, but reading that message that you just read and reading about it, it seems like a very personal attack. Like whoever was behind it really felt like SONY had done something wrong or really has it in for SONY. Yeah, I don't know. It's hard to tell if it's North Korea specifically. They definitely don't seem to be really denying that they're behind it. It's hard to kind of nail it down.
Leo: One security expert said, "state sponsored hackers don't create cool names for themselves like the Guardians of Peace." But maybe they're doing that to take people of the scent.
Lisa: Yeah, it's possible. It could be another group that supports North Korea maybe that really dislikes SONY for any reason. But it's really terrifying. We're not even just talking about leaked movies or anything like that, it's literally every single thing that SONY has, every personal information about employees and about the company in general, which is just terrifying.
Leo: fusion.net, which has done a good job of covering this reports with interviews with former employees, that this hack was a long time coming. This is Kashmir Hill writing for fusion.net. Apparently SONY is, here's story computer passwords.doc, system userids and passwords.xl, territoriespassword.xl, The Interview Budget, the Interview, by the way, was that anti-North Korean film, unix_servers.xls, Unlock ID and reset.xls, UPS Login & Password, UserNames&Passwords. Apparently the person—first of all, there's a couple of issues here. One employee told Kashmir Hill: The information team for the 7,000 employee SONY pictures entertainment is 11 people, of those 11 people, there are only 3 actual security analysts. The rest are managers. Three managers, three directors, an executive director, and a senior vice president. Apparently, even though they've done risk assessment with third parties, they've ignored the advice. Kashmir even found an interview with Jason Spaltro, who was then the executive director of information security at SONY pictures, an interview in 2007 with CIO magazine, in which he said it's a valid business decision to accept the risk of a security breach. Why spend 10 million dollars to avoid a possible million-dollar loss. Apparently they didn't care if users had passwords like password123. It's almost a sense, and this isn't the first time SONY has been hacked, they should have been prepared. Right Serenity? Didn't the PlayStation network get hacked too?
Serenity: That's right. I think it was credit cards and that information for people who are part of the PlayStation online. That was a couple of years back. 2011 or 2012 I want to say. It's a little mind boggling to think just how far they've gone off the deep end in terms of not being able to securely guard their employees’ information. I mean, again, it would be a ridiculous breach if it was just internal, confidential scripts and information being breached, but the fact that it's also personal information including passwords, but also including employees names, employee phone numbers, potential places—exactly. That kind of stuff should be kept under lock and key, and we don't even know—there may be applicants too. You've applied for a job at SONY; your information might be in there somewhere. That's really scary.
Leo: SONY has promised a credit reporting for people who work there, but former employees, nothing. Even though their information has been leaked too.
Serenity: Exactly. I mean, this is a completely wide spread hack, and the outrage is completely justified.
Leo: I'm just glad I never worked for SONY.
Serenity: Me too! I'm glad I never applied to work there after college.
Leo: So the Playstation hack was three years ago, April 2011. 77 million accounts had been stolen, including credit cards, at the time it was one of the largest data breaches in history, so it's not like SONY didn't know that these things could happen and didn't know that the blowback could be considerable, and they still, eh. Whatever.
Serenity: I think you're quote, I won't, we won't, what's one million dollars if we have to pay ten million dollars? Well, it's not necessarily the 1 million dollars that you might lose on pre-production expenses, now that you're looking at employee safeguards, that's all kinds of doors open for lawsuits, everything else, its crazy.
Owen: They're going to get sued. SONY is in such a deep hole, this isn't might be the biggest hack of all time. This is the biggest hack of all time. I know actors, actresses have their social security numbers out there.
Leo: For instance, we know that James Franco got paid $6 thousand dollars to drive himself to work on The Interview. The budgets are there.
Owen: Those people are going to sue. You know what I got to do? I got to change all kinds of stuff in my life, because frankly when people get their ID snatched up and people have free credit card stuff in their name and they've got to work to get that information, now everybody and anybody could just go download this information and do whatever they want to do. SONY has got a huge problem. We might not even have SONY anymore. They might have to chop it down and call it TONY, and start all over again, because it is a huge problem.
Leo: Actually, I don't know about SONY Pictures Entertainment, but SONY the total corporation is actually suffering badly. Their consumer electronics division is losing money like crazy. In fact, there was a story a few months ago that most of the money SONY makes comes from selling insurance in Japan. You may be right. It sounds like hyperbole saying this could be the end of SONY, but this could be the end of SONY.
Owen: Seinfeld isn't going to save them. That's all I know. I'd rather do their game than Seinfeld, which is outstanding. 17 years old and they're still bringing in 20 million dollars. If I was on Seinfeld one time, I probably wouldn't have to work. I could check like 30 grand a year. I could live off that. That's like welfare. If I was on one episode of Seinfeld. Man. Seinfeld. Oooh. Jerry. I looked at that number, and I'm like, "Oh my goodness."
Leo: They showed what the different stations were paying for Seinfeld reruns.
Owen: Everything is out there. Anything you ever wanted to know is out there. What color socks people were wearing. It is insane. That's the thing too. You're taking corporate things from people and they don't get fired and you sleep with your subordinates, you take your subordinates on an island trip, I need to go work at SONY.
Leo: Letters showed that SONY executives were censured but not fired for exactly that, for taking junkets with their girlfriends and charging it back to—
Leo: Subordinates. Yeah. Let's see, Tribune broadcasting syndication deal pays 37,500 dollars per week over the three years to air Seinfeld in 9 of its stations. That's 5.85 million dollars. We know how much they paid for the King of Queens. The doctor Oz Show, All in the Family. If I were Seinfeld though, I'd be a little worried that my social security number had been leaked. We know how much Seth Rogan and James Franko got paid to be in the Interview. I think it's interesting that the GOP is releasing this information, particularly about the interview. I think it's a red herring. Don't you? I don't think it's North Koreans who did this.
Serenity: Yeah, I don't get that vibe. It might well be Asian hackers, but I don't think it was the government of North Korea, especially when you consider that The Interview was actually delayed several months because they did excessive re-writes because they had a contact in the government in North Korea who was like—
Leo: Can't do that.
Serenity: Exactly. So if they went to all of this trouble to tone this movie down so they didn't get government retaliation, either there is someone in the North Korean government who is like, "this is unacceptable, I'm going to go contact some—"
Leo: It sounds like it's that. It's not state sponsored, it's black hat. For all we know, it's one guy. And as we all know, with the way hackers work, they cover their own tracks. The details of this particular hack had shown them routed through five or six countries. They do everything they can. In fact, you see this every time in mainstream media. Oh it was the Chinese, because yeah, it was through a Chinese computer, but you don't know who really did that.
Owen: Aren't all computers Chinese computers?
Leo: Ultimately they all belong to China, yes.
Serenity: On top of that, you're talking about population. In general, the population of the world, there's more of the population in Asia then there is—
Leo: one third of everybody online is Chinese. In North Korea, however, don't deprecate the abilities of the North Korean hacking team, because according to this from Reuters Ju-Min Park and James Pearson writing, there is something called bureau 121, a cyber warfare cell in North Korea, staffed by really pampered, expert hackers. If you want to get a good job in a state that is for many of its citizens, they're starving, it is a failing state, but if you want to do well, become a—I don't know. If I were in North Korea I would try to get a job at this place. Military hackers, Reuters writes, are among the most talented, and rewarded, people in North Korea, handpicked and trained from as young as 17, said Jang Se-yul, who studied with them at North Korea's military college for computer science, or the, this is the school I'd like to have a degree from, the University of Automation. He defected from this six years ago, but he knows about it. He says bureau 121 has 1800 hackers and is the elite. In North Korea, it's called the secret war. So it is conceivable that there could be cyber warfare from North Korea, and maybe if they're hiding their— but why, look at it, if you're North Korea, this isn't the first thing you do is hack Sony Picture entertainment.
Owen: It is if you're trying to do a switcheroo. You hack Sony, you leak all this stuff out, everybody is looking at that. Meanwhile, I'm all up in the NSA taking all the good stuff that I need and nobody knows about it for years, and they don't tell anything. Because seriously, illuminati, why is there a pyramid on my money? I don't know.
Leo: I'm sorry, you lost me with pyramids. Let's take a break. This is why you're here, JJ. Love you. Owen JJ Stone of ohdoctah is here. ohdoctah on twitter, owenjjstone.com, also Serenity Caldwell, brand new from imore.com. I love that new URL. That's a great publication. Renee was so smart to snag you.
Serenity: Renee is great.
Leo: We love him. He's of course a regular on MacBreak weekly, and you were on MacBreak weekly when I was out sick this week.
Serenity: This past week, yeah. I had a great time.
Leo: Thank you for doing that. I'm sad I wasn't there.
Serenity: Absolutely. I love being on, another time, I mean we're doing this today, so we've got our face time. Yeah, of course.
Leo: We'll get you back. I had a little food poisoning, I think it was the flu. I took a couple of days off, I think I had salmonella. I don't know why I'm sharing that with you right now. Just to say I'm sorry I wasn't here, but you're glad. Also with us, Lisa Eadicicco
Lisa: Yep. There it is. You got it again.
Leo: businessinsider.com. Great to have you, a newbie. We'll be gentle. Our show today, brought to you by Oh I'm so, Owen you know about these guys. In fact, we're going to send you some. LittleBits.
Owen: I just read about them two weeks ago because I was looking for something like that for my daughter for Christmas, I couldn't remember what it was called. It was driving me crazy. Somebody passed it by me and it was like, "Oh I should save that." But I didn't.
Leo: Everybody wants to get their kids more up on how technology works, but once you start playing with the Little Bits kits, you're going to start saying, "Out of my way, kid. I want to play with this." Little Bits. The first time I saw Little Bits was I think two years ago. They've got an ever-growing library of modules ranging from simple power sensors and LEDs to wireless, even programmable modules. This is a typical Little Bits kit. Unlimited creations, but there's no soddering, and that's so cool. It's a great holiday gift for anybody 8 years old and up. OK. Whether you're a musician, a programmer, yes you can make musical instruments with this. A gadget geek, a home project enthusiast, no wiring or soddering, but that doesn't limit you. You can still do great things. I am going to make right now a Little Bits on the show. Are you ready? And then I'll tell you how you get 20 bucks off your purchase. I think I want to make the tickle machine. All right. Let's see if I can do this. How fast can you make a tickle machine? So I do this just so you can understand how it works. There's the power module, and they're all color-coded so you can understand how it works. I need a wire module. Instead of soddering, these just kind of snap together, and they're magnets, so you can't do it wrong, which is really nice. It all goes together, and you'll know because it's got this really satisfying click when it goes together. I need a motor, a DC motor. Where is that? Ah. Here it is. We're going to snap that here. We're doing this from the instructions. I'm telling you, a kid can get it, but what's nice is when a kid does this and gets the satisfaction of doing it right, there's this great sense of accomplishment. You'll also learn how this stuff works. For this little tickle machine to work, I'm going to need something they call a motor mate. I'll put that right here on the end. And now I need a feather. Let me just reach behind me and pluck one. Where'd my feather go? I thought I had a feather here. I won't have a feather here; I'll take a little piece of paper. How about this? And I'm going to put this on the end on the little motor mate, and if all goes well, do you think this will work?
Off Camera Voice: You have the power module connected, but you still have to connect the piece to the battery.
Leo: Oh, it needs electricity?
Off Camera Voice: Yeah, it might need that.
Leo: Oh. Yes I know that. First, I'm going to connect my tickler. Where's my feather? I had one right here. And then I had a battery somewhere. It comes with a nine volt, there you go. I'll just put the battery juice, the connector in here. littlebits.com, you can see all the different kits, and there's a variety of price ranges and kits. You can get the simpler kits, which is nice. They all work with one another. You ready? Owen, give me your chin here, I'm going to tickle you.
Owen: Don't say that on air.
Leo: If everything goes well, Owen should laugh right about—
Owen: You did it!
Leo: I made a little tickler.
Owen: Even Leo could do it.
Leo: Isn't that cool? But you learn what all these parts do, what all the, everything does. There's no soldering, so it’s safe. I think it's the beginning of what could be just a really exciting adventure for your kid or yourself. New customers get 20 bucks off purchases of 80 dollars or more when you go to littlebits.com, enter the promo code TWIT. There is free shipping in the US for our fans. littlebits.com, promo code TWIT, and if you build something cool with the LittleBits, do me a favor and take a picture on Instagram and share it with me at chief twit on Instagram at chief twit and I'll show it on a later show.
Owen: Can I saw something real quick?
Leo: Yes you may.
Owen: For anybody who watches this show and you have kids, you really should get your child this, because all the things you could buy your kids, dolls. If you're into technology and you love your children, it's hard to get them to type or work on a computer, but you give them something they can tangibly put in their hands and build, it is great for your kids. Do something for your kids brain this holiday season. Get them Little Bits.
Leo: All right Owen. We'll send you one. You want to get one for daughter doctor?
Owen: Yeah, and you can send me one too, that way we could build together. I'm just saying, if you got an extra one—
Leo: We'll send you a Little Bits kit. No, I think this is a great Christmas gift or holiday gift.
Serenity: This is so cool. I wish it had been around. I did soldering as a kid, my Dad showed me how to solder circuit boards together, and that was really neat, but soldering is also, you get the trial and error of Oh god, I'm burning my finger. I definitely have some scars from soldering gone wrong. And it was a useful experience, but this is so neat. So child friendly, which I—
Leo: And you can teach them to solder. Eventually soldering is—You're going to want to learn how to solder. But the idea is without the huge learning curve, get started in making circuitry.
Leo: littlebits.com. All right. Enough commiserating for the poor folks at Sony pictures entertainment. Real quickly, I also don't want to reveal too much, right? There's the real temptation, and I think a few, the TMZs of the world are going to go through this with a fine tooth comb and say, "hey did you see James Franco got 6000 dollars for driving himself to" Oh, I said that, didn't I? But that was an example.
Owen: Athletes, you know how much athletes get paid. That doesn't bother me. Everybody is all up on somebody else's business about how much an actor gets paid or how much McDonalds gets paid? I don't know.
Leo: I guess you're right. It's just a little salacious. I don't want to participate in that by revealing what the hack revealed. But you're right. It's not like I'm giving out someone's social security number. I do have James Franco's phone number if any of you would like it.
Owen: I called it twice. He changed it already.
Leo: Don't you think it'll be hard for Sony to sign people up for new motion picture deals?
Owen: They're going to have that conversation over and over again. They better have a solid answer and a solid response. Why am I going to do a picture with you? What are you doing? What are the steps you're taking? What are we fixing? Who are you going to kill?
Leo: The only thing that's kind of pathetic, they got movies too. The big movie they got that's on all the pirate networks, Annie.
Owen: Can I tell you, on Thanksgiving, I don't watch those bootleg movies, but three people called me and told me about it. I'm like, "Annie's not out yet." And they're like, "it's all over the internet." And I'm like, "What? I'm trying to eat my turkey. Go away."
Leo: I hear it's not great. Anybody running out to download Annie? Don't. Go see it in the theatre.
Owen: I'm going to see it.
Leo: Did anybody watch Pan?
Serenity: I watched a little bit of it. That was an experience. But again—
Leo: Go ahead.
Serenity: Go ahead. I just, I only really saw the last 30 minutes because I was out and about.
Leo: I'm sad. I wanted to see it. Christopher Walken as Captain Hook.
Serenity: That was a treat.
Leo: And then Peter Pan was what's her name, Williams.
Serenity: Yeah, Ashley? No.
Leo: Brian Williams daughter. She's in Girls.
Lisa: Allison Williams?
Serenity: Allison Williams. There we go. I knew it began with an A. I think the major—
Leo: Lisa, did you see it?
Lisa: No I didn't. I heard a lot about it though, but I didn't get the chance to see it.
Leo: The Twitter went crazy over it. And the funny thing is, Allison Williams tweeted before the show, "come on haters, don't be hating on this." And of course, that's going to work. Tell Twitter not to hate.
Serenity: Twitter loves to hate.
Leo: That's what Twitter is for.
Serenity: Twitter loves to snark. Especially when you're going to put something on live, which is nationwide for the entire, for people to see, they're going to go after the snarking. Although I will say, in defense of live theatre, live theatre is something that is very difficult to produce. They were doing it in a theatre with no audience, which I feel like, they're just doing it for television cameras. Some of these people have of course acted for cameras before, but you're talking about Walken, Walken did a lot of movies, he's done some SNL skits and everything else, at the same time, live audience is so crucial to having that connection and being able to actually turn your performance from something static into something real. I have to wonder NBC's decision on that front. I like, yeah sure, you don't want the clapping to come in, but at the same time, acting to an empty theatre and knowing that 3000 miles away there are lots of people being like, "Oh, I'm laughing at you." and tweeting angrily, I do think that had a little bit of a—
Owen: It was weird. We were watching football. It was Thursday night football; we got priorities in the house.
Leo: That's why I didn't see it. That's exactly why I didn't see it. In fact I found out after the game—
Owen: I taped it but I never went back to watch it because the snarkate was so bad, I was like, do I even care?
Leo: This is in no way our people, but I agree with you. They did the Sound of Music last year, that was exactly my complaint. It's dead because there's no live audience. Just do it in a theatre. What's wrong with people coughing? Do it in a theatre, let people applaud, have a live audience; it would be so much better. Here's Allison Williams as Peter Pan. Are you sorry you missed it now?
Owen: Yeah, I actually like her a lot as an actress.
Leo: I love her on Girls.
Owen: And the coughing, they have microphones, the microphones wouldn't have picked up the audience that much, expect for the rousing moments where people cheered or something like that. Just a weird choice.
Leo: Do we get taken down because I showed Allison Williams going—?
Jason: That was like three seconds. I think we're good.
Leo: It's news. This is fair use. By the way, I did check, Sony should start letting the Pirate Bay have their movies ahead of time. Because then they know what movies they shouldn't release. So three movies, four movies, five movies were leaked out, and you can tell what people wanted to see. Brad Pitt's Fury, which everybody wanted to see, downloaded 1.2 million times in the first three days. Annie fewer people want to see, 200,000 times. Something called Still Alice 103,000 times. But the winner in this, To Write Love on Her Arms, remember Fury got 1.2 million downloads? 19,000 downloads for To Write Love on Her Arms. I think that they should not release that movie. We just saved them money. We probably saved them billions.
Serenity: It's the new fangled focus group, release it on the Internet and see how much negative—
Leo: See what happens.
Owen: They already made the money, and they already paid the actors and they already paid the cameraman. You better put that movie out.
Leo: They didn't make the money. These are all pre-release, and that's what you don't want. Is Fury already out? That's at Christmas.
Owen: It's been out.
Leo: So fewer. That's maybe people knew it was good. And it's Brad Pitt. Let's talk about the iPod lawsuit. It was touch and go for the iPod lawsuit; it was on death watch on Friday because they were down to the last plaintiff. So, to understand this, you have to go back to the dim dark years of I think 2006-2009, and we've all experienced this. You have your music on an iPod. Remember, in those days, the only way you get it on was by connecting a 30-pin USB cable to a Mac or a PC, running iTunes and synchronizing them, right? That's how you get the music on there. Everybody has done this. You go to another computer, you connect it to iTunes, because you want to synchronize it, and it says, "Wait. This iPod is associated with another iTunes, would you like to erase it?" And if you say yes, everything on your iPod is erased. Right? I tell you, I got calls from people saying I didn't mean to click yes, but I did, what do I do now? It was erased. Well, apparently, this lawsuit is based on that, and it says Apple is preventing music from competing services from working on its iPod. Of course music from competing services works on the iPod. Maybe it's also, so that's one, but the other one is real player doesn't work on an iPod. It's got copy protection on it, so anyway, this is one of those lawyers put this together because they're going to make some money. The class in this lawsuit is a lot of people. 8 million people, they're asking Apple for 50 million dollars, but it's been going on for years. And the way you know that is one of the witnesses for this is Steve Jobs. They deposed, this seems to me criminal. They deposed Steve Jobs on his death bed, three months before he died. The guy is really sick. Remember how sick he was at the end? And he has to spend a few remaining hours testifying in this stupid case. On Friday, they played the Steve Jobs case. They have one plaintiff, they found somebody who bought an iPod in that time frame, and Jobs said what everybody assumes. We had to do this; the record companies actively threatened us to pull all their music from iTunes unless they protected them. And the record companies have always considered an iPod the ultimate piracy device, right? You put as much as 160 gigs of music on it; you go to your friend's house, say, "hey, I have my music." So it had to do that. It couldn't support other's DRM, because that would be crazy. It would be like having two steering wheels in a car. Steve Jobs confirmed what everybody assumed in his sad to say, deathbed deposition. What do you think of this case? Even if they win, and they got every penny, half the money gets consumed by the lawyers, and the rest is divided among 8 million people. You'll get a postcard with an iTunes gift card for 50 cents.
Serenity: The thing to me that really makes me frustrated is this is not a lawsuit for something that is still a problem. This is something that was a problem back in 2006, and really very shortly became a non-issue as soon as the DRM curtain was lifted and we got the iPhone. Right now it's a lot easier to put music from competing services because they're all MP3s and they're all copy free to a certain extent, so I can buy music on Amazon and put it on my iPhone. Or on my iPad, or on my non-Apple device if I want to. Music has grown and shifted in terms of how the record companies view it, and the same thing with movies to a certain extent. Copy protection is a little stricter on movies and television shows, but they're still, there's room. And it's growing. The thing that they're suing about is no longer an issue, so they're basically being like, "you know that thing that irritated us five years ago? We want money for it now." I'm sorry.
Leo: 50 cents! I want my 50 cents.
Serenity: This injustice cannot stand.
Leo: Anybody here ever have their music deleted from an iPod though because they pressed the yes button?
Owen: Who even remembers anymore? First of all, the thing is, the law when they started the lawsuit, fine. But at this point 8 million people, they get $43.75, each person, after you take out the 70%, I don't know what lawyers you deal with, lawyers do a 57/73 kind of whatever. And then 4% goes to the magicians and the magic, I don't know. But at least 70% is going to these lawyers. So you might get 4 bucks per person, and who really cares about 4 dollars? The lawyers care because they're going to get a lot more of that money. Just watch it. Just for that reason. You're not doing it for the people. The four lawyers, whoever they are, are going to get that money.
Lisa: Yeah, it seems like it's really just for the lawyers, because no one else is really benefitting from it. Like Serenity said, there's no, if people did have songs deleted from their iPods back then, chances are you don't even remember it, and you probably don't even have an iPod anymore. It's just something that people, like Apple users aren't even thinking about.
Leo: You grew up with the iPod, didn't you?
Lisa: I actually, I had the iPod touch a few years ago, but before that I actually had the dell pocket DJ, believe it or not.
Owen: She's a rebel!
Lisa: And it was horrible.
Leo: Did your Dad work for dell? Seriously.
Lisa: Yeah, exactly. My dad got it for me as a gift one day, and I remember being so frustrated because it was so difficult to use and I couldn't put anything on there and it was so slow. Yeah.
Leo: You know who identifies with you? Bill Gates’ kids. That's what they had to use too. And then they got a zoon.
Lisa: Oh God. Yeah, I never had a Zoon, so.
Owen: I still have my hundred and 60-gig iPod. I got all my jams in the car.
Leo: Me too. And they've taken that off the market, the classic, and that's what I have in my car too because it's the last big iPod. Apple stopped making them because they said they couldn't get the parts any more.
Owen: How does that work? Don't you make the parts?
Owen: Do they come from Mars? Don't you just make the parts?
Lisa: Little hard drives.
Serenity: Yeah, they weren't 2.5-inch platters. I think they were smaller than that, and as such, they don't—for one thing, everybody is almost entirely moved over to SSD and flash ram, and I think the price cost for 128 gigs, 268 gigs of nan was going to be too expensive for them to continue offering it up like a 299 price, so they suddenly started offering a 500 dollar iPod. People would be like—
Owen: They'd line up the—
Leo: Ok. Here you go. Owen, you need to know this. ifixit.com the iPod classic harddrive replacement manual. You can replace it. Get ready. Because you need a giant putty knife, and you've got to jam it in there, you've got to really jam it in there. This is going to hurt. Pry that back off, and I think ifixit will sell you the harddrive to put in there, but was it Hitachi? Who was making these? It was originally an IBM.
Leo: Was it Toshiba? I think they just stopped. But on the other hand, there's a market for them, right?
Owen: If mine breaks, I'm just going to take a ride with you and steal yours out of the car.
Leo: No, you may not have it.
Serenity: It's so sad. I sold mine to my sister. I sold it. I will say, Apple makes one good iPod that I find an active use, and that's the iPod shuffle.
Leo: The little baby.
Serenity: Yeah, the little baby. Because you know what? I hate running with my iPhone, or in this case, before roller derby matches I'll put on music and I'll go and skate, and I don't want to carry my 600 dollar iPhone while I'm skating. I've done it while coaching, but I'm going fast, so I have a little tiny shuffle so I just hide it under my clothes so I don't have to worry about it getting broken, because even if it does, it's 40 dollars, I can spare.
Leo: Is the one you have the square one? It's not the long one.
Serenity: It's the little square one. It's the most recent generation.
Leo: And there's no screen.
Serenity: No, there's not. But you don't really need it if you're just loading up, for instance, my shuffle is just the rock out music. Pump up music. Exactly. I have white stripes and daft punk and pump up mixes, electronics.
Leo: I feel like Margaret Meed talking to a strange tribe here. So you have no way of knowing what you're going to play, right? And how much does it hold on it?
Serenity: One or two gigabytes I want to say.
Leo: this one is two gigabytes for 49 dollars. So that's how much music is that? That's actually a lot. Two gigabytes is a lot more than the original iPod.
Serenity: No, it's five gigabytes was the original. But it's a lot more than the original shuffle for sure. Because the original shuffle was one gig.
Owen: It was 512 in one gig.
Leo: For somebody to even have an iPod seems kind of odd.
Owen: I've got 300 gigs of music, and I keep 160 of it in my car. If I want to listen to Eminem, or I want to listen to classic.
Leo: You need my classic, then you could have two of them.
Owen: Then I could have two, then I could have my whole collection, you know what I mean?
Serenity: It's just like a CD changer, except with iPods.
Owen: But the Shuffle is good, like you're talking about for the gym or something quick, or like my daughter has a Shuffle and she has an iPod and an iPad, she's a horrible person.
Leo: How old is Doctor daughter?
Owen: She's 7.
Leo: OK. She's 7. She has what?
Owen: She's got everything. She's got an iPad.
Leo: Are you spoiling that girl?
Owen: She's got a touch, she's got a shuffle, she's got beets Bluetooth headphones, she's got Apple TV in her room—
Leo: You'll give her anything she asks for, won't you?
Owen: Anything electronics that she asks for. She's got a MacBook air; her computer is a MacBook air. She is balling out of control.
Leo: I know how you feel. Just before the show, Abby, my daughter, who is now 22, called and she said, Dad I need a new car. I said, yeah I know. Because the car she's driving is beat up, we're going to get you a new car. She says, OK so you asked me what I wanted for Christmas. What I want, is a nicer new car. That makes sense, right? So you're going to buy me a car anyway, so could you get me an outie instead, and that'll be my Christmas present?
Owen: If she gets an Outie, that's her birthday, Christmas, Chanukah, we don't even celebrate that. But that's like 4 celebrations. That's your present. As long as I've got to make payments, that's a five year present. You don't get another present until the payments are done.
Leo: Wait a minute. You're the worst negotiator. Look what you gave your—
Owen: She's an Eagles fan. Your daughter is a whole different animal. We got to reel her in. I need money, Uncle Leo. If you get hit by a bus, I need my cut.
Leo: We'll trade. I'll negotiate with your daughter, you negotiate with my daughter.
Owen: All right. My daughter will beat you up though. My daughter is rough.
Serenity: I'm surprised you didn't just go all out and play the tech angle, like Dad, I want a TESLA.
Leo: Yeah, No.
Owen: You're lucky. See? Abby doesn't sound that bad.
Leo: Abby is sounding better all the time.
Owen: You know what you do? You'll be like, I'll get you a 2013 A4, I could get you this deal, Leo. This is a good present.
Leo: Just stop it right now. Abby, if you're watching, don't listen to him.
Owen: I'm her lawyer. I get 67%.
Leo: Lisa, do you still carry an iPod.
Lisa: No, not anymore. I basically just put everything on my phone. But I mean it does take up a lot of space on my phone, so I guess if I did just want something to take when I go running, an iPod Shuffle would be cool. But that's the only reason why I would get one.
Leo: That's the problem. Unfortunately, I don't exercise so it's not a problem for me, but that is the issue. I even got, they make straps for your iPhone for your wrist. You look like an idiot.
Lisa: They're not very comfortable either. I've used them before, and especially if you have the six Plus, why would you ever strap that to your arm?
Owen: Wow. I didn't think about that. That's horrible.
Serenity: I think that's bigger than my arm. It's not going to fit.
Leo: I've got a new product. It's going to be like a spoiler on a car. You get a neck thing and you put the iPhone 6 like a spoiler and it makes you feel faster. I'm patenting that right now.
Serenity: I'm looking forward to the iWatch. The Apple Watch.
Owen: You call it the iWatch. You are 100% correct.
Serenity: I used to work at an Apple Store and I hated when people called it the iTouch instead of the iPod Touch.
Serenity: OSX watch. It hits all of the bad buttons. But yeah, in theory you're supposed to be able to carry around a small bit of music on the Apple Watch that you can listen to with Bluetooth headphones, and that might be an acceptable Shuffle replacement, except for the fact that it's going to be 350 plus dollars.
Owen: It doesn't look sexy.
Leo: I have the, you want unsexy? I should have worn it today. The Galaxy Gear S, which looks like you've taken an iPhone and wrapped it around your wrist. But it has, I don't know how much, but it has 512 gig storage on it, but you can't plug headphones in because then you'd be going like this every time you ran, so it has to be blue tooth, right?
Lisa: I feel like that would be pretty battery intensive after a while too. These things already don't last very long, so if you have Bluetooth going the whole time, which you already do if you're having it constantly sinked with your phone.
Leo: That's Bluetooth LE, you're not going to play music with a Bluetooth LE, you're right. You're going to be turning on the full transmitter, that doesn't seem like a good idea. On the other hand, the bright spot will only be running for five minutes at a time.
Serenity: Just do high intensity workouts. That's the way to do it.
Leo: Every seven minutes you have to charge your watch. I could see Tim Cook saying that, well you have to charge it every high intensity work out. That's it. I just feel like the idea of even storing music is a little passé. Somebody called me on the radio show and said I want to get a portable blue ray player. I said, for who? What's that? He said, my grandkids. I said, I don't understand. Are they Amish? What would they want a portable blue ray player for?
Owen: Some people can't afford iPads, Leo.
Leo: Ok, but really, a portable Blue Ray player is the alternative?
Owen: I can't make an excuse for that person. That's all I got. Some people can't afford something else. That's the only justified reason.
Serenity: I was just going to say, I used to buy DVDs and once upon a time I had a Blue Ray player. I used to buy Blue Ray DVDs in a way to be like I do with my book collection. I have a lot of books on my iPad that I used to read via Amazon kindle that I read, but there are a couple of books that are like, I love these and I'm going to read them over and over again, and I like having a physical copy to be able to lend to people. So, for a long time DVDs and Blue Rays that was what I did. But I haven't bought a movie in so long. I've digitally bought them and I've digitally rented them. I've gone and seen them in theatres, but the last time I bought a copy of a DVD was 2011. It's been a while. But it doesn't feel— especially because the media keeps on changing. You've got DVD, you've got HD DVD and you've got Blue Ray, and soon we're going to have 4K, and it's like all right. Time to re-buy all the movies you know and love every four years. You don't do that with a book. You buy a book and the book sits on your shelf. You never have to upgrade your book.
Leo: Do you still buy books? Physical books?
Serenity: I buy physical books for things that I reallly—
Leo: She's got 8 books.
Owen: That's more than 8. Can you count?
Leo: But honestly, she can't even fill a bookshelf. It's not like there's a ton of books.
Serenity: That's my writing collection. I don't think I can turn it around this much. But above my fireplace, I've got a huge stack of books like that. I'll send you a picture, Leo.
Leo: You know what? Look, I'm ancient. But we have a digital divide right here. Because Serenity, you're how old? 28?
Leo: 26. And Lisa, you're 22?
Leo: All right. But I feel like there's this generational shift. My 22-year-old daughter, I don't think she's going to be buying physical media of any kind. And I even wonder if she's going to download stuff. You get a Spotify account and you never start—even Amazon is letting you borrow books. I feel like the whole, not only have we moved away from physical media, people don't even buy stuff any more.
Serenity: I kind of prefer our new world order by a large—I moved across the country four times in the last 8 years, and every time I moved I lamented the sheer amount of books that I had to carry because those boxes are heavy.
Leo: That's the thing. Moving will definitely cure you of that habit.
Serenity: It's like, All right. Which of these things do I not love that much? So I have a much smaller collection of books, and they're the books that I really care about.
Leo: Every time I drive we have an old, they're all of the movie stores in Petaluma are gone but one. And every time I drive by it I laugh because they're having a DVD sale. 3 DVDs for five dollars, it's all movies, right. This is people like, as you said, Owen, who can't afford any other way of doing it, they can't even afford Netflix, so that's the market, so at this point that's the end of the line. These are commodities that are disappearing. I wouldn't even buy three DVDs for five dollars. I don't want them.
Owen: The other thing too is we live in a bubble of a world where people are technology bound and are hooked up to everything. I was at my friend's house the other day. He's like, OH, check out these Blue Rays. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to insult him, but I'm literally thinking you just bought ten Blue Rays? They were on sale for 9.99. He bought fifteen movies, and I'm like, you just spent 150 on Kill Bill 1 and 2? It's on Netflix bro. Why did you buy it on Blu Ray? But people still do it. He's a cave man, but he's a regular person. Average Joe. And I just, people do it. We're the minority right now. In 10 or 20 years, you're right on point. But there's so many people out there walking to BestBuy. They have a billion things out there. They're not having them out there because they're not selling. Somebody is buying them.
Serenity: They're going down.
Owen: It is going down.
Leo: Do you buy physical media, Lisa, of any kind?
Lisa: Not really. I can't remember the last time I bought a movie like a DVD or anything like that. Sometimes I will buy books just because I still like the experience of going into a bookstore and looking around sometimes. That's probably not very common, a lot of people I know, my friends included, just kind of download stuff on their kindles all the time. That's great too, but I don't know. I still like turning pages and stuff. Maybe I'm just—
Leo: I think Serenity is right when she says books are kind of timeless. They don't have to have a format, they don't have to have a reader. So you just stick them out on the shelf. But moving them is a pain in the butt.
Lisa: Yeah, exactly. I think if I—
Leo: I'm so old I'm never going to move again, so now I'm going to start buying books. By the way, somebody told me, who was it that told me? Books are cheaper now then they will ever be again in history.
Leo: Think about it. They are going to become a rarity for people who can afford them, and they're going to be cherished as a valuable object. Now is the time to buy books. It's an investment in the future.
Serenity: They can become art pieces. I hate to say that because I love books and I love reading, but the majority of people who are not heavy physical readers who are getting all of their reading online or via Kindle, you're going to buy a book basically either as a—it's kind of like when you walk into somebody's house and you want to judge their collection and be like, Oh you read Lord of the Rings and you read this and you read this.
Leo: I judge people by what's on their bookshelf. If there's no books, I'm walking out the door and saying—
Serenity: There's also the argument to be made, there's the argument of course, having everything digital, you're going to be in a position of Oh, well, what if the company decides to pull this book out of say a licensing disagreement?
Leo: Who cares? You're not going to watch it again anyway. That guy bought 9 DVDs. He's not going to watch those Blue Rays.
Owen: That's what I was thinking about. Like Verizon. They're like even if you move and you don't have Verizon anymore, you can log in online. And it's like, I'm never going to log back in to Verizon ten years down the road if I'm stuck with Comcast. It's just over. I spent that money and it's gone.
Leo: I wish we were over with Verizon. You know one thing no one should do any more? Buy physical stamps. Do you know where I'm going with this one?
Owen: I do.
Leo: This is a perfect example of why buy stamps at the post office when you could buy postage online, print it with your computer, right on the envelope. Stamps.com will print the address, your company logo, and postage all at the same time. Any size. Package, media, priority mail, express mail. Stamps.com. You'll even save money that you can't save at the post office, for instance, they've got discounts the post office won't sell you on priority mail and priority mail express shipments. One push of the button will give you package insurance. stamps.com fills out the customs forms for international mailing, they will automatically e-mail your recipient if they have a confirmation. All of this makes you look like a postal professional. I'll tell you if you're selling on E-Bay if you're selling on Amazon or Etsy, if you're doing business, the better your mailings look, the more professional you look as a business. Stamps.com. You'll also save money because the stamps.com scale, the USB scale, they make sure you always have the exact postage. You never have to put an extra stamp on, so it doesn't come post to the door. Send mail to a client. Postage due? That's like an insult. Don't do that. stamps.com will solve the problem. You'll never have that problem again. You'll never have to go to the post office. This is the worst time of year to go to the post office. It's amateur hour, right?
Owen: True story. Lines are out the window.
Leo: Don't want to do it. Did you say lines are out the window?
Owen: Out the window. They have no space. Out the window.
Leo: No traffic, no parking. Stamps.com. You've got to do it. Stamps.com, and we've got a special deal for you if you go to stamps.com. Click the microphone in the upper right hand corner of the website, right up there, and add my name. Actually, use TWIT, because we're going to get some credit for TWIT. You'll still get a lovely picture of me, and a very good offer. 110 bonus offer. That includes the digital scale, up to 55 dollars in free postage. Stamps.com. Click the microphone, use TWIT as the offer code, and we thank them so much for their support of This Week in Tech. We're going to have a fun show. Owen, you're coming back soon. You cheer me up. Because sometimes the news gets me down. But Owen JJ Stone will cheer you up. Oh Doctah is with us.
Owen: I make everything sound good. Not look good, but I make it sound good.
Leo: I'll never forget the old spice ad you did in the shower.
Owen: That's why I said I'm making it look good. Why are you bringing up stuff? Focus. What is the story on the thing—
Leo: Lisa Eadicicco is here also from businessinsider.com. Where are you located? Are you in New York?
Lisa: Yep. I'm in New York.
Leo: Awesome. We've got Boston, we've got New York, and we've got Philly. Are you in Philly, JJ?
Owen: See, I’m an international man of mystery and nobody knows where I am. My location is secret and I’m not telling you.
Leo: It should stay that way because you don’t want those Korean hackers.
Owen: I don’t do FourSquare in my state where I live because I’m too famous. And popular people love to follow me so I don’t do that. I only do it when I travel.
Leo: I know where you’re coming from because I once checked into a restaurant on FourSquare and Robert Scoble showed up. And I said Robert how’d you find me? He said you checked in. God, I’m never going to do that again. Google is eliminating captias. I like this idea. In fact this is sometimes computer technology really makes you go that’s great. You’ve seen these horrible captias where you have to prove you’re not a robot by typing in something that a robot probably can understand better than you. Weird text. Well, you may see this on some sites soon, a check box that says I’m not a robot. You don’t have to type any weird text. No distorted words or numbers. Google says it can in many cases tell the difference between a fake person trying to create an automated account or whatever. And a real person by watching how you move the mouse, how you click. Brilliant! Your IP address and cookies can also tell them that you’re human. Actually some people might say well of course Google knows you’re human. It says oh hi, Leo, of course you’re not a robot. In fact what does it even need the click for? Sometimes though and I do know some people, Sarah Lane would like this; a click doesn’t produce a conclusive response. They’ll pop up a window either with distorted text or with a little test like this one. They show you a cat and say select all the images below that match this cat. Then they show a cat, a dog, a hedgehog, and some parsley. Owen, even you can sell this one.
Owen: I was waiting for you to stop talking. This is one of the greatest advancements of our time. The joy and pleasure in my heart knowing that this is going to become available holds no bounds to my joy. I tell you what, I am a tart when it comes to these captias and many of days, I’m like am I caps-locking this; is that an L? That is a seven! I know a seven when I see a seven and it won’t work. And lord help me, I always think about pushing the little button so I can hear the captia read to me. Then it goes…
Leo: It goes… it sounds like Satan! It’s Satan! It’s like letting a satanic demon into your home!
Owen: The greatest advancement of our current day. I need this more than I need to find out about what happened to Sony. They need to fix this now; this is important. Once we get this captia fixed up, then we can worry about whether it was Koreans or ninjas or Asians or secret spy groups. But this captia stuff, I click cats all day, dog. All day.
Leo: So captia which is kind of cool was originally the captia that they’re redoing. Re-captia. It was originally created by kind of with good intentions. I think it was a Carnegie Mellon and what they did with this was one of the words was an actual captia like to test if you’re a robot. The other one was a word that they were scanning in an automated book scan but couldn’t really understand. So you’re helping them out. But let me just see if I can find one where I can play… this one’s not working… the audio captia. It’s so horrible.
Serenity: I do hope that they have better accessibility for blind users and people who are also hard of hearing or hard of seeing.
Leo: That’s a good point, yea.
Serenity: I assume it’s built in. Google in general has been pretty good about user accessibility as Apple has been. So it’s like yea, cats are all well and good. And cats are exciting and I’m excited to click on cats. But if you can’t see the cats, do you get to hear meow, woof?
Owen: Cats are inherent in our nature. And the people that will say they can feel the cat, they just feel it.
Leo: I want to play these audio captias. And the Google captia site is broken! I guess Google just decided… here’s one from YouTube. Somebody agrees with me. Satan! Your mother knits socks in hell! I’m not going to let that in my house!
Owen: Can you please turn that off before I start stabbing myself or something? Whatever you have to do, I feel compelled to do it.
Leo: Paul is dead. Anybody use a Chromebook here? Chromebook, anybody?
Lisa: I’ve used them, I don’t own one but I’ve used them.
Leo: What do you think?
Lisa: I kind of like them. I was a little skeptical at first but I mean if you don’t do anything but go online, they’re so cheap it’s hard to not be tempted to buy them. I feel like, I mean if you’re looking for a regular laptop, you have to pay at least $400 or $500 to get something decent. But if you don’t do anything except go online and if you like live in Gmail and Google Docs, it’s so cheap.
Leo: Schools are I think they’re perfect for schools, right?
Lisa: Yea, definitely.
Leo: So you remember the L.A. school district put up $30B bond to buy iPads for every kid in the school. Which by the way about six months ago, it wasn’t widely reported. Apple was like oh they’re going to buy iPads for everybody in the school and they didn’t mention the fact that they killed that when it was determined that the superintendent of the school said that they friended Apple. The whole thing was kind of without bid. But I think now for the first time ever, U.S. schools have actually bought more Chromebooks than iPads.
Owen: That is the best thing I’ve heard actually.
Leo: Now this is IDC and Google’s not giving out the information. Certainly Apple’s not. IDC’s research reports that 715,000 Chromebooks were shipped to schools in the third quarter. That’s more than 702,000 iPads. Chromebook are a quarter of the educational market. They’re about half the cost of a discounted iPad. Yea, I think that’s good news.
Owen: My daughter uses iPads in their class. And I had to request for her to take a computer class because I want her to learn how to use a keyboard and type. And not just have me drum it into her head. They give all these kids iPads and they think oh they’re learning computers. It’s not the same as learning how to use a keyboard and mouse. You need to take computer class.
Leo: They’re learning Apple.
Owen: Yea, they’re learning to touch things. They’re learning the easy way out. The Chromebooks at least give you some kind of physical tactile function of typing something and using a standard keyboard and mouse. So I like that.
Lisa: Beyond younger kids learning how to type and things like that. If you’re in college and you’re on the internet all the time and you need to do writing or you need something to toss in your bag to bring around campus and you don’t want to worry about it getting stolen-and you’re keeping it in your dorm room, you can get a Chromebook that’s like $200 that will do the same thing. It’s super-fast and they boot up insanely fast most of the time.
Leo: I never even shut mine down. I just close it.
Serenity: They’re designed in such a way that I think they make a good choice for schools especially as you were mentioning before; the fact that they’re not instant theft targets. I will say that IDC number was a little misleading the way that it was initially reported and they weren’t taking into account various things of Apple’s education market versus Google’s. But even that aside, I generally, I love the iPad and I think the iPad is wonderful. And I’m so glad that kids are getting training on it. At the same time, when it comes to your average school, again we’re talking about the tech bubble versus the United States as a whole. I think it makes more sense to be trying to get more computers into the hands of kids then necessarily the best computer for a vastly unlimited market. I had Apple, Mac Pluses in my classroom growing up. But only because my dad worked at Cal Tech and was able to funnel a grant in there. Otherwise, there were lots of Dells and lots of Windows Dos computers. And you learned terminal and basic commands that way. It wasn’t the most fun thing in the world but if you think about a $200 or $100 laptop; if you can get that into the hands of almost every elementary school child that means they’re all getting access to the internet. They’re getting access to a wider world and multiple viewpoints in terms of history, biology, chemistry, and etcetera. As much as I love the iPad and as much as I think it’s an amazing tool for education, when we’re talking about the vast majority of children I think it’s better to get as many people as possible online and connected rather than oh they have to have the best experience or no experience at all.
Leo: I think children should be supplied with quill pens and cursive books and they should learn handwriting.
Serenity: I really like handwriting. I was really sad when they killed it.
Leo: I went on Amazon-I haven’t done this yet, it’s a project. One of those things I get excited about but probably will never do. But I went on Amazon, they sell the Spenserian which is even older than the cursive that I learned in school. A manual and you get all these workbooks and a fountain pen. I just wish I had good handwriting.
Owen: I was just going to ask you when was the last time you wrote a letter, Leo.
Leo: Sometimes I must be drunk. I went out and bought like 300 letter-pressed cards with my name on them and little envelopes so I can hand-write notes.
Owen: Have you written any notes?
Leo: Not one.
Owen: You’re specifically not answering my question.
Leo: Not one! But I feel like I should. I feel like it says from the desk of the chief TWiT.
Owen: You need to write two…
Leo: I’ll write you a note. I’ll send you a card.
Owen: When I get my little itty-bits, if there’s not a card in there telling me how much you adore me as a person…
Leo: How much I love you. And I’m sorry I let somebody write in your body.
Serenity: I will say signatures. That’s the one thing that makes me really sad. Some of my friends have kids who are growing up not really learning how to sign their name. And so when they do signatures and when they’re trying to write really quickly things, it looks like the doctor chicken scratch you’ll ever see. I am a big proponent of writing on the computer as much as I was allowed.
Leo: But wait. When you go, and you’re probably using Apple Pay because you’re so hip and with it. But when you go to the store and you use a credit card and they say sign this really crap stylus. And the plastic is all messed up on the thing you’re supposed to sign. Do you try to sign your name?
Serenity: I will usually do initials. So luckily Serenity is pretty easy to sign because it’s a big S and a scribble, a T, then a Y.
Leo: I take the pen in my fist like this and I go ugh! And I draw an X. And you know what?
Serenity: Cave man style.
Leo: It doesn’t matter. They’ll take anything you put. There’s nobody, well this doesn’t match your license. They don’t care! You could sign Bugs Bunny.
Owen: Only in your wallet is somehow busy. I’ll be buying some stuff and put an X on that thing.
Leo: You try that. They might go Four Runner and surround you.
Owen: Man, I am a very well-spoken person. And when I talk to them in the polite ways, I am Leo Laporte. Which isn’t really your real name by the way.
Leo: Wait a minute! What do you think my real name is? You think I made up Leo Laporte.
Owen: It’s not Leo Laporte.
Leo: What do you think it is? Like Joe Sheboleski?
Owen: It’s a horrible name.
Leo: This is coming from a guy named Ohdoctah?
Owen: I know my name is fake.
Leo: No one has ever said they think my name is fake. For many years as a DJ I used a fake name. I was Dave Allen when I first started in radio. Then I was Dan Hill, no Dan Hayes. God, I forgot my name.
Owen: That’s an inside joke. Remember I made you show me your license because you told me all those aliases you used.
Leo: And you didn’t believe Leo Laporte.
Owen: No I did not believe after a list of 12 names, I did not believe Leo Laporte was real.
Leo: I am a man who has worked with such people as Johnny Walker. Jack Friday. That can’t be his real name! Friday?
Owen: We’ve got 45 minutes. Don’t we have a commercial or another story?
Leo: You’re right. You’re turning into John C. Dvorak. You better watch out there, Owen. Our show today brought to you by our friends at Citrix GoToMeeting. You’ve got to love GoToMeeting, the number one way to meet online. And meeting online frankly is the number one way to meet as far as I’m concerned. Meetings will kill productivity and yet you’ve got to have them. It’s the best way to cut through the email hell that we all go through. We have a rule here: three emails back and forth, going to get a meeting. Because we can then just say what is it? And get the job done. You can brainstorm, you can troubleshoot. If you’re pitching, it’s the best way to close a deal. You can’t sell in email. You’ve got to meet. With clients and customers all over the world, GoToMeeting solves that problem. It lets you meet with anybody anywhere. And with they’re built-in HD video conferencing, you see them and they’re seeing you. The body language, the personality comes through. It is the next best thing to meeting in person. Actually it’s better because you don’t have to pay for travel and take the time. I think a lot of clients appreciate it when you don’t waste their time saying I got to meet with you and take you to lunch. We’re going to get it done here with GoToMeeting. You can share screens so you can review documents, collaborate, present. It is fabulous. You get that personal touch without wasting time. It is GoToMeeting. Try it today free for 30 days. There’s no reason to guess. Just do it and see. GoToMeeting.com, 30 days free. Just click that try it free button. There’s no promo code, just do it. I’ll make it easy on you. Oh I love this. Okay, what is unique about Gangham Style video on YouTube? There’s something amazing and unique about it. It has received now more than two trillion, no what is it, two billion views. Two billion views and that’s bigger than a 32-bit Imgur. Google never thought any number, oh you don’t have to play it. Actually, it’s still pretty good, isn’t it? You can see why it has two billion hits.
Owen: It’s not that good. There’s a forum somewhere in Asia when people click in this video; no one, nothing, no…
Leo: You don’t think two billion views…?
Leo: That’s third of all humans.
Owen: Yes, it’s not real. There’s a farm and a warehouse. They are getting a check from YouTube.
Leo: No, I know that’s not true. I know myself I’ve clicked it hundreds of times.
Owen: You have a job where you sit online all day. Regular people do not do this. This is not a good song.
Leo: Instead of buying Blu-ray, I watch Cy.
Owen: You’re a part of the click farm. We need to one-click you to make sure you’re human for watching this video hundreds of thousands of times.
Leo: I love it because this is supposed to be a 32-bit number. Google never thought that the counter in YouTube would ever exceed two billion. It did. So watch, hover your mouse… what, no. It’s the computer, it’s gone crazy. It cannot… do you think there will ever be a video with more than two billion views again?
Serenity: You never know. If anybody’s going to do it, Taylor Swift might.
Leo: Taylor Swift, what is, is there a way to know? Is there somewhere I can go to find out what the second-most viewed video is on YouTube?
Owen: It has to be way off that number. It’s so insane.
Leo: You think it’s fake? You don’t think that’s real? Two billion?
Owen: I don’t know. I just don’t like the song personally. Every time it comes on the radio because I have kids, and they sing it and I want to choke it.
Leo: Oh they’re not putting that on the radio anymore, are they?
Owen: Dude, it’s on Kids Bop. It’s on my Sirius XM. It’s playing.
Serenity: It’s filtered down.
Owen: They’re sending it down to the kids now and they’re corrupting their brains with it. It’s horrible. Anyway, somebody’s watching it, right?
Leo: Beyoncé has 47M views on 7/11.
Owen: That’s a new song, too.
Leo: That’s pretty good, two weeks. Here’s one, DJ Khaled has 29M, but that took three months.
Owen: Again, I need somewhere 100M, you know, like…
Leo: Oh there’s plenty of those. Chat room’s going to help me. Chat room’s going to say. Anyway, two billion views. How many people are there on the planet? There’s six billion, right?
Owen: Seven billion. 1.5 billion of those people are under the age of 16.
Leo: How the hell do you know that?
Owen: Because I am actually really smart and I just pretend to not know things for the camera.
Leo: Off the top of your head.
Leo: You are an awesome human being.
Owen: Sometimes. I have a really good memory.
Leo: The number-two YouTube video: Justin Bieber’s Baby. Wait a minute. It’s received more than one billion views.
Owen: Now that song deserves it. Love the Biebs.
Owen: Love the Biebs.
Leo: The number-three video on YouTube, and it is the highest non-music video: Charlie bit my finger. I’ll watch that again and again. But I have not clicked it as many times as Gangham Style.
Owen: Miley Cyrus Wrecking Ball. That’s a newer video to be like number nine.
Lisa: It’s getting up there. Ooh, Katie Perry songs!
Leo: That’s a surprise. Oh yea, Roar, ten. That’s her highest. Did you see my laptop wrecking ball?
Owen: Oh. Well aren’t you fancy.
Leo: Can you show it? Then there’s this octopus in there.
Owen: Man, I don’t know about all of that. That’s like, come on Uncle Leo. This is a family show. Drop that laptop down. One of eight tentacles is busy there.
Leo: I’m a pervert. I think you’ve just proven that.
Owen: Put up 13 images to signify… what’s the next thing we’re doing? You’re crazy today. I can’t trust you.
Leo: Move on! I YouTubed Baby and I get baby’s laughing. And not Justin Bieber’s Baby. I think that proves that there is hope yet for the world. Let’s just watch this for a few seconds. A baby’s laugh! You can’t help but laugh along with it. What do you think’s going through that kid’s head?!
Serenity: Oh my God.
Owen: He’s destroying this object without instruction! This is amazing!
Leo: Now see to me this is what YouTube was made for. Not Miley Cyrus naked on a wrecking ball. This!
Lisa: Babies and kittens.
Leo: What more do you need in life?
Owen: Later on I’ll send you a video, Leo, of me laughing at my daughter for two minutes straight for no reason.
Leo: Laughter is great. By the way, how are the Eagles doing? Did the Eagles win?
Owen: They’re not winning. They’re in the fourth quarter and they’re down by 10 or so.
Leo: Watch some babies laughing and you’ll feel better. I’m sorry, I apologize. There’s no reason for this to be happening at all. Except that you cannot take your eyes off of it. Only 14M views. I’m feeling bad for these babies.
Owen: They obviously don’t feel very bad.
Leo: Alright, that’s enough. Hit the pause button.
Owen: You can come back to the babies after the show.
Leo: Right. Don’t share your personal interests on the show. You’re absolutely right. Intel has made a deal with Google to make the chip in the next Google Glass. Does this save Google Glass? Anybody?
Owen: What’s Google Glass?
Leo: Go ahead.
Lisa: It seems like a different sort of direction for Google Glass. I think it was the Wall Street Journal story that said they’re going in sort of this enterprise market direction rather than consumers. Which is what they were originally trying to do.
Leo: When they say enterprise, do they mean enterprise like mall cops?
Lisa: No like hospitals. Like commercial uses, I guess.
Leo: Because that’s what happened to the Segway. Right? It became a thing for mall cops to ride around on.
Lisa: Yea, it seems like they’re kind of sort of giving up on the idea that people are going to think these things are super-cool to wear. And record videos of themselves sky diving.
Leo: Did you ever, Lisa, get a Google Glass? No?
Lisa: Yea, I tried, I think it was the second model that had come out. It was okay. I like wore it around for a day or two out in public to see if anyone would look at me weirdly. Or say anything to me. A couple of people would say something when I walked by but I didn’t really get weird looks or anything.
Leo: Nobody tore it off your face and slammed it to the ground?
Lisa: No, I’m not in San Francisco so that did not happen.
Leo: Actually there could be a business for… I mean, didn’t President Obama just budget a bunch of money for police cameras, like 50,000 police cameras? Give them Google Glass instead.
Lisa: I saw some reports of cops trying out Google Glass.
Leo: Then it’s showing what they’re looking at as opposed to whatever their chest is looking at.
Serenity: You’re also talking about a plus $800 financial cost. Google Glass is a great proof of concept. There’s a lot of really cool technology packaged in there in a really awkward-looking package in something that’s probably going to go down in price in the next five years. Right now we have $1600 proof of concepts that look really creepy and feel kind of creepy. And you feel a little bit like a jerk for wearing one around in public.
Leo: They do say the Intel chip will help the battery life.
Owen: When Google Glass makes sunglasses…
Leo: They have sunglasses.
Owen: I’m saying when they look like regular glasses that somebody could just put on and they don’t look like they look, then they’ll be accepted. A proof of concept, five years from now, call me about them. But no.
Serenity: That will happen in like five years ish, or so. I’ve been like talking to other companies that do similar things and they’re all trying to get to the point where they look like sunglasses basically.
Leo: One more Google story. This one’s kind of makes me happy but probably not so happy for the people who bought the ads. Google admits advertisers wasted their money on more than half of the ads they bought. It turns out that 46% of all online ads were never seen even once. Actually Google said 56% of ads served on the internet are never even in view. That is in-view is being on the screen for more than a second. Forget seeing, they weren’t even on the screen for even a second. But they got paid for it.
Serenity: If they load, they’re considered a view.
Leo: A large portion of ads, speaking of captias are viewed only by robots. Which today have not really spent a lot of money on the economy. A bot-net of 120,000 virus-infected computers viewed ads billions of times, running up tabs for advertisers. But not any sales of course. I think you’re right. I think Cy is using those robots to boost his YouTube numbers. He makes money on every view, right?
Owen: I want to know what the check that YouTube had to cut him for that amount of views. I know people making a regular living. They’re making $50-60-200,000 a year off YouTube videos with 100,000 views. What the heck does that check look like going from there? And it’s worth a click farm. It’s worth higher now. Someone in a small little country and they’re paying them 30 cents a day to click a button.
Leo: Xbox One or Play Station 4? What are we doing for the holidays?
Owen: Play Station 4. The only reason people are buying Xbox One is because Xbox is trying to give them away. Oh, it’s $349! For an extra day, it’s $329! Please just take one! Anybody!
Leo: Come on.
Serenity: I’m just tired of switching platforms every four years.
Leo: What do you play with?
Serenity: I have an Xbox, the previous generation Xbox. I’m not a huge television gamer. I like to do most of my games either on my Mac or on iOS.
Leo: You’re normal.
Serenity: I love Portal, I love the Half Life series. But I pick up some important AAA tiles and that’s about it. But it’s really frustrating because something comes out and it’s like exclusive to the Play Station 4 or exclusive to the Xbox One. And I’m just like I’m going to wait until hopefully it shows up on the Mac or everything comes down in price so I don’t have to spend $400. That said, the Play Station 4 looks fantastic and it’s a cool thing. But re-buying all my games!
Owen: That’s the thing. No backwards compatibility. That breaks my heart, the fact that I can’t just play with my games. I have to keep this PS3 around because I’ve got 40-50 games that occasionally when I am bored, I’ll go back and play Drakes. Like Drakes 4 comes out, I want to play 1, 2, and 3 before 4 comes out because it’s a story. But I have to keep this old system to be able to do that and it’s ridiculous.
Leo: Lisa, what do you game on?
Lisa: I have an Xbox 360 also.
Leo: You guys are all old school.
Lisa: One of my roommates has a Play Station 4. I haven’t played it that much yet. I think the exclusive games for it have not yet come out, like the big titles. I actually use my Nintendo DS the most probably.
Leo: Nintendo DS?
Lisa: Yea, well 3DS.
Leo: Rock on! What game do you play on the 3DS?
Lisa: Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, Pokémon.
Leo: You still live in your childhood, don’t you?
Lisa: Yea. Well and it’s great during the commute. The main reason I don’t play console games as much as I used to is because I feel like it takes… you have to set aside a decent amount of time for it. Okay, I’m going to sit down in front of the TV for a while and carve out this block of time because you kind of get sucked into it.
Leo: But haven’t you won Zelda like 58 times?
Lisa: But if you have something like Vida or DS, you can just play it during your commute or something or before you go to bed. And it doesn’t take as much time. It’s not as much intrusive, I guess.
Leo: That’s why I play solitaire. You can play one hand and then go to bed at 8:30pm.
Owen: That is why Play Station is a little better. I have the little box in my room. So I have the little box that I can play my console in my bedroom at night and suck all my time.
Leo: You know what? You get a Sony Z3 phone, you can do that too.
Owen: Yep. So Xbox needs to step their game up.
Leo: I like Xbox One. It’s the best platform. You’re all wrong.
Owen: I’m glad you like them. It makes me feel good about yourself.
Leo: If you’ve ever played Sunset Overdrive on an Xbox One, I invite you all over to my place. We’ll have pigs in a blanket and play Sunset Overdrive till late, like 9 or 10. It’s actually a really great game.
Lisa: Sounds like a plan.
Leo: I know Serenity especially since you play roller derby, you would love Sunset Overdrive. But it’s Xbox One only. But you’re skitching and you’re riding on the rails and you’re shooting weird guns. They have a gun that shoots old vinyl records and it bothers the bad guys. It’s like ow! What are you…? Ow! Stop it!
Serenity: That sounds like a blast. I am really sad that I don’t have a DS because I’ve heard the new Super Smash Brothers is supposedly like super-awesome.
Leo: I’m tempted to get it just for that, yea.
Lisa: So much fun!
Leo: I think this is what we should all get. Sony has released a 20th anniversary Play Station 4. It’s gray. It’s the color of… well they only made 12,300 and awe… you can’t get them anymore unless you go to eBay. And it’s going for $15,000.
Owen: I’ll spray paint mine.
Serenity. It’s out there paying for all of their lawsuits.
Owen: They made it and then didn’t sell them. They just put them all directly on eBay.
Leo: It is an instant collector’s edition. Really though, can you imagine? Why would you spend that much money for the gray one? Here’s some cheaper ones, here’s $2000. So that’s better.
Owen: I’d just buy the white one and make it dirty. Rub it over.
Leo: Just rub it on your carpet.
Serenity: You look at the people who are going to spend upwards of $5000 on an Apple watch edition or will spend $10000 on purses or specifically Coach shoes. People, some people have a lot of money that they spend in very strange ways.
Leo: On strange things. Oh this one’s gray, it’s better.
Serenity: It’s faster, it’s more sleek.
Leo: I have to say I like it. One of the ways Microsoft got the Xbox One price down, they took the Kinect off. I like that. The Kinect, I sit down and it goes hi, Leo. I like that. I can say Xbox pause… I’m sorry if you’re watching this on Xbox I just stopped your stream. We’ll wait for a moment while you restart.
Owen: My place isn’t the same stuff now, so don’t think you’re special.
Leo: I’m special.
Owen: I’ve got an update. It’s all the same, bro. It’s all the same.
Leo: Okay. Hey, the one thing I do not want to do is get into game coverage in any way or get involved in game journalism in any way. Because gamers are vicious. I have learned this. You do not… if you cross a gamer, you’re dead.
Serenity: I feel very… a friend of mine, a colleague Brianna makes…
Leo: Oh, you know Brianna?
Serenity: Yea, well she lives a couple towns over. I met her through MacWorld.
Leo: She had to leave her house.
Serenity: Oh my God, it’s insane. And you know, she’s a very outspoken person but I think a lot of the stuff she’s saying and advocating for is completely legitimate.
Leo: I’m not just talking about Gamer Gate which is obviously out of control and I think is starting to blow over… in any way if you piss off a gamer, they will savage you. It’s like this is games, fun, not serious. Oh no, it’s serious. Very serious.
Owen: There is some stereotype to people sitting in a room by themselves for hours and play games by themselves and do not have a social life or other people around them.
Leo: At sign Ohdoctah. Don’t tweet me.
Owen: Oh yea, I shouldn’t say that, I should keep my mouth shut. Oh, all games and the best guys in the world. I love to party with them. They’re great people. Awesome, let’s rock.
Leo: Creamy Corn Cob in the chat room which may be the most disgusting chat handle I’ve ever seen, Creamy Corn Cob in the chat room points out a good point that in the past anyway, Play Station 4 and Xbox have had roughly a 10-year cycle right? Can you imagine 2023 that we’re going to get another console from these companies? No. Is this the end of the line for consoles? It must be! You’ll never buy another one.
Serenity: I don’t know. It really depends on if people keep hyping up their 4K televisions. And you try to make gaming the next greatest experience on a second monitor and it’s not tied necessarily to a Mac or PC. At the end of the day, it is a PC. It is a PC crammed into hardware with specific discs.
Leo: But there’s an advantage to it. Because you don’t have all of the problems with… I love PC gaming, don’t get me wrong. But you have to get the drivers right, there’s so much to think about. And by the way, who uses discs anymore on any of these consoles? You just download the game and play it. It’s very simple.
Serenity: Downloading is the best thing that’s happened to gaming in years. I play so many more games now because I can download them as opposed to being like, oh God, $60. I don’t know. Is this just me? I feel like $60 when I’m handing over cash or a credit card is a big deal. I’m going to the store. I’m paying it and I’m walking out with the physical good. $60 online, it’s just like buy. Done.
Leo: I’m with you. It’s even worse with the Xbox and I’m sure it’s true of the PS4, but I can on my phone at work go into the smart glass app and say oh there’s a new game. Buy it, and it will be downloaded when I get home!
Owen: I feel the exact opposite. When I go to the store, at least I have something in my hands for $60. When I sit at home on my butt and there’s no physical disc. I didn’t have to drive anywhere; they didn’t have to warehouse anything. Why isn’t my game $45? You didn’t have to do anything. You didn’t have to send it to a store. You didn’t have to warehouse it. You got no overhead. You better give me a discount.
Leo: Because it cost $100M or more to make that game. Hundreds of people worked on that game for four years, Owen.
Owen: And three years after it comes out it’s on a rack for $39.99.
Leo: I know. And believe me I’ve bought my share of crap games.
Owen: So again, if I’m buying a download, I still do it. I buy, it’s great. Like I didn’t have to do the midnight release thing…
Leo: But you think that any portion of that $60 goes to that disc. I mean come on. You’re paying for the cost of making that game not for burning a disc.
Owen: All I’m saying is that there is overhead when it goes to a store front. It had to be shipped there. They have to make room for it on their shelf.
Leo: So they’ll take a buck off because you bought it online.
Owen: I want $15 off.
Serenity: Owen, you’re entirely right in that there’s a lot of money in the manufacturing process. It’s not a lot per disc. But overall, they have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. The real problem is that they’re still trying to meet multiple markets. If it was a game that was only marketed online, you could shave off a huge portion of the cost. But because they have to pay for the manufacturing anyway because they’re going to make a digital and physical version, they’re keeping the price exactly the same. Because they’re like if we discounted, then we wasted all this money…
Owen: I know why they do it. I just don’t want them to.
Serenity: I agree.
Leo: I’m going to get some snacks out. We need some snacks. Spider solitaire, I’m telling you, it’s free. You can play one hand or a hundred. Very entertaining. Nature Box time. Would you like big island pineapple rings? These are good, by the way. Best dried fruit you’ve ever had in your life, from naturebox.com. Dried… I have to open these, I’m sorry.
Owen: Who doesn’t like pineapple?
Leo: If you don’t like pineapple, you don’t like life, my friend. Dried cherries. Not just dried fruit, but whole wheat blueberry figgy bars. Here’s the deal with Nature Box: these are nutritionist-designed. It even says right there. They are no high-fructose corn syrup, no trans fats. There is no artificial color or flavor. These are wholesome delicious snacks designed to replace your need to go to the snack machine at work. Or go dig around in the refrigerator at home. You’ve got great snacks. Lone star snack mix. Barbeque-flavored nut mix with multi-seed chips. That sounds like a Serenity Caldwell treat. I got something for Lisa. Blueberry nom noms. Mini blueberry-flavored oatmeal cookies. Don’t interpret that in any way. That’s what it looked like, something you would like.
Lisa: I feel like blueberry, so yea.
Leo: You would love these and they’re good for you. Owen, you want the pineapples? Or the dried cherries?
Owen: I want the pineapples and dried cherries. Throw them in a box with my little bits.
Leo: You’re getting a bigger and bigger box now.
Owen: It’s Christmas time, Uncle Leo.
Leo: It’s Christmas time, Owen. You get anything you darn well want. Go to naturebox.com. We’ve got a free trial for you. Naturebox.com/twit. You’re going to get five snacks. You can choose them. They have savory, sweet, and spicy. They have gluten-free, vegan. They have snacks for any dietary, almost every dietary. Not every dietary need, but most dietary needs. Sea salt sun crunch, cranberry medley, jalapeno cashews. This stuff is great! And here’s something nice for the holidays: for every Nature Box you order, the company will donate a meal to help feed Americans that go hungry. In fact, they’re trying to raise enough to donate at least a million meals by the end of the year. You can help delicious wholesome snacks for you. And a meal for a person or family in need. Try that free Nature Box trial, naturebox.com/twit. You just pay $2 for shipping. I’d like to end this show with a little Nature Box nauching. And you will, too.
Serenity: I think I’m going to have to finally sign up for Nature Box. Like I was resisting. And then between MacBreak and now I’m like alright.
Leo: Do not resist.
Serenity: It’s so good!
Leo: There was a guy. A guy at Candlestick Park which is the coldest ball park in America where the Giants used to play, and he would be selling ice cold malteds. You’re huddling in the freezing cold and he’s going down the aisle trying to sell malted milks. But he always said don’t deny yourself the pleasure. Don’t deny yourself the pleasure, Serenity Caldwell. Naturebox.com/twit. That’s all I have to say. You know what, we’ll send you some too, Serenity. No, we do that. And I’m going to put a handwritten Spenserian, cursive note in there on a beautiful… do you know how much those letter-press cards cost?
Serenity: They’re expensive paper!
Leo: It’s $5 a card!
Owen: Serenity, if there’s not a card in there, you call him out. Don’t let him get away with it. He needs to write.
Serenity: Next time I’m on MacBreak, I’ll wag my finger.
Leo: Oh Popeye. Uber, you’ve got to love Uber. Uber has not tamed itself not one little bit. They were told that by the City of Portland, it is illegal. You may not launch in Portland. And Uber said screw you. What are you going to do? And they have launched in Portland.
Owen: They were towing people’s cars in Philly last month.
Leo: Portland said we’ll arrest a driver if we catch you. And you may be heavy fined. The company is rolling out Uber X, that’s the service that lets you get a ride from drivers who use their own cars. The city code… you got to wonder about a law that prohibits unpermitted ride sharing. You got to get a permit to share… come on, really?
Serenity: From one perspective I understand it. From an insurance and safety perspective, especially given all that we’ve heard about Uber drivers. In Boston, I feel safe taking an Uber. In other cities I feel far less safe because especially in New York…
Leo: Why do you feel safer in Boston?
Serenity: Well in Boston in general, I’ve had a much higher percentages. When I’m taking Ubers, I’m usually taking Ubers with multiple people.
Leo: You wouldn’t take an Uber alone?
Serenity: I don’t feel comfortable.
Leo: Would you take a cab alone?
Serenity: No. I just don’t generally feel comfortable as a woman alone in the city at night taking an Uber or any cab for that matter.
Leo: So how do you get home?
Serenity: I drive, I walk, and I take my bike.
Leo: Bike’s probably the safest. Because you can get away from anyone.
Serenity: Boston drivers.
Leo: Well except Boston drivers. Walking seems like the most dangerous, frankly.
Serenity. Walking is a little scary in Boston especially because once you get out of the city proper, the lights are little scary. But it’s frustrating because I would love… when Uber first started, I relied on it constantly because I was living in San Francisco and it was a really good way. At the time they had super-discounts. So it wasn’t even super expensive for me to be working late at the office and take an Uber instead of ride on the bus for two hours and be slightly nervous about getting home.
Leo: Lisa, do you use an Uber in Manhattan?
Lisa: Yea, sometimes. But I’m not usually traveling alone though. Usually if I take an Uber, it’s usually a money thing too. If a bunch of us are going out to the same neighborhood or something, we’ll take an Uber together.
Leo: It’s so convenient.
Lisa: Yea, it really is. It’s super convenient. But I still take subways a lot. I Uber once in a while but not like constantly like some people might be doing.
Leo: I don’t use Uber so I don’t have to worry about it. I’ve used it and it was an amazing experience. But I’m not a woman alone in Boston or New York.
Owen: I’m not happy with Uber’s practices but I’ve used Uber and I love Uber just for the fact that in the summertime in NYC, going in the city… you show up to an appointment and you’re sweating to death. So from like June to September, I will take Uber and I will spend that money. Because it’s hard for a brother to get a cab sometimes in the city.
Leo: It seems like this is a real opportunity for Lyft or someone else to come along and say we’re going to be the kinder gentler Uber. We’ll be the Airbnb of Uber or something like that, right?
Serenity: Yea. Going back to Portland for a second. It really worries me, this kind of back and forth they have with the city. And it being technically illegal and Uber kind of forcing their way in there. Basically being like Uber X drivers, you guys look like normal cars and you’re not going to put the little Uber sign in your front window.
Leo: There’s no pink mustache.
Serenity: Well exactly. We don’t want the city to know you’re a driver. And I feel like for people, when I do get into Uber, I very carefully double check the license plate that it say with the person who I’m getting in the car. And I don’t think everybody does that. And I really worry like if Uber tried to sneak under the radar here, might actually increase the…
Serenity: There we go, risk. I was like un-safety and that’s not a word. But you know what I mean. No, the calculated risk of saying oh yes, I’m an Uber X driver. You just see somebody standing on the curb with their phone out. All you do is open the door and…
Leo: Yea, I’m an Uber. Get in.
Serenity: There are safeguards, but…
Leo: Be cool because I don’t want to get arrested.
Owen: People probably don’t look. They probably don’t look to see what kind of car it is. I know they have ratings but I never look.
Leo: I got Nature Box. I got snacks, come on.
Serenity: Also if the drivers do get caught, who gets fined? Is Uber the company getting fined or is that one driver like responsible for covering that?
Leo: Both. Well, maybe Uber will kick in some money but both the driver and Uber get fined. And the driver up to $1500. I’m sorry. The Uber up to $1500. The driver up to $2250. Now what remains to be seen is if Portland enforces this. I think they mean to.
Serenity: I’m all for cracking down on the taxi lobbying because I do think the taxi system is outdated and ridiculous.
Leo: Well in Portland, the law says for instance if you’re not going to use a taxi, you have to advance-reserve 60 minutes ahead of time.
Serenity: That’s crazy.
Lisa: That’s insane.
Leo: Clearly the law was written by taxi companies to protect themselves.
Owen: Seems like everyone in that industry is a gangster, a bully, or a thug. Like we want to start Uber, we have to be gangsters. Apparently, they have gangsters, we have to be gangsters.
Leo: I think that is exactly what happened. I think that actually it was that Uber had to… I’m not condoning, it’s a horrible corporate culture. But they have that corporate culture because they got into a business… if you got into the garbage collection or olive oil industry, you got to be tough.
Leo: I don’t know why I mentioned olive oil. That is not a tough business; it’s very mild mannered. That’s from the Godfather. He was in olive oil. Alright, let’s take a break. If you missed anything this week on TWiT, you missed a mouthful. Here’s a look.
Previously on TWiT. Tech News Today: revolutions continue in last week’s hack of Sony Pictures. This week the hackers have been releasing troves of data. I’ve gotten dozens of emails from employees at Sony Pictures just saying management won’t tell us anything. They’re freaking out, as they should be. High five for the iPhone: so I’m excited about a new app called Finger Key that allows iPhone users to unlock our computers using Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor via Bluetooth. Know How: what have I just witnessed? That is garbage netting surrounding me to cut out all that area. And so you just keep adding these layers. And when I add in the clean plate, it looks like they’re all there. Triangulation: are we moving towards a man-landing on Mars, Robby? I do think we have been making major in-row. It is going to happen. This Week in Google: just today, Google released a new Android app called Devicesess. Thank you for contacting Google, my name is Tom. Am I speaking with Jason? Wow, yes you are. How’s it going, Tom. I’m doing well. Thanks. I have to be completely honest. I’m doing a show called This Week in Google where we talk all about Google things. And you’re on the air right now. So you’re famous. Hi, Tom. Well I really appreciate that, man. TWiT: tell your boss it’s job-related.
Leo: That was last week. What a great week. Next week, well Mike Elgin can tell us.
Coming up this week, La Web kicks off in Paris, France on Tuesday, December 9th. And Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is planning another public Q and A for Thursday, December 11th. Zuck’s going to answer questions submitted by the public in kind of a Reddit AMA format. Anyone wanting to attend can email Facebook for a free ticket to the event in Menlo Park, California. Back to you, Leo.
Leo: Thank you, Mike Elgin. Every Monday through Friday. The tech news, a great way to keep up on your tech news with Tech News Today. 10am Pacific, 2pm, no 1pm Eastern time, 1800 UTC on live.twit.tv. A couple of quick stories: no surprise, AT&T still throttles unlimited data. Turns out even when the network’s not congested. Just because they feel like it.
Owen: It’s horrible.
Lisa: Sounds like AT&T.
Leo: Are you surprised? No. Sprint has that cut your bill in half promotion. Even Sprint says well no it’s more like 20%.
Serenity: Their math is special.
Owen: It’s Sprint.
Leo: It’s Sprint. Because you have to give up your old phone and give it to Sprint. Buy a new phone from Sprint. It just doesn’t save you any money. Bebe, the women’s clothes retailer confirms it has had a data card breach with credit card numbers leaked out. Joining Target and everybody else in the world. Get ready because this is going to be a holiday season full of this stuff. You remember the Target breach occurred between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was during the top shopping season. These bad guys know exactly how to get this malware on there. They know these holes exist and nobody’s patched them. You know, we’re going to see a ton of this, don’t you think? Did you cheer?
Serenity: No, I said Apple Pay! Honestly, I think this is a huge advertisement for shopping online. And almost all of the major credit card companies, like I know Citi and Chase do this: they allow you to create virtual card numbers.
Leo: One-time use numbers.
Serenity: Yea, and I do that for all my online shopping, especially during the holidays just to be safe. Because if they do have a breach for whatever reason, then great. They’ve got a number that can never be used again and you don’t have to change your card. And honestly like I would so much rather this is the first Black Friday I think I did not go out at all. My sister and mother usually like to do a post-Thanksgiving fun thing. But this year I was here, so I was just like yep, I’m not going to do Black Friday. Instead I got a 40% off coupon from Lucky brand jeans. So I did all the things that I normally do. I just like shopped online. It’s getting delivered to my door tomorrow. This is so much easier than fighting my way through mall crowds and eating like…
Leo: You get jean shorts! You get a pair of jeans! It’s going to give a certain uniformity to your gifts this year. Get some of that blue denim wrapping paper and it will be great.
Owen: I like the old school stuff, Uncle Leo.
Leo: Where did you get… that’s the new hundo. That’s a nice looking bill.
Owen: That’s what I got just throwing these around.
Leo: How much do you have…?
Owen: Don’t worry about it, Uncle Leo. That’s in my secret lair with pit bulls, boats, alligator. Don’t nobody coming over here to get my money. I’ve got all kinds…
Leo: That’s a nice looking bill, though. Isn’t that pretty?
Owen: The sad thing is I went to China in 2002. Their money was crazy, fun looking like this 15 years ago. Finally we got some nice money.
Leo: Well I think this is the last holiday buying season where you’re going to have all of these, and a ton of them, security breaches. And then it’s going to get… people are going to freak, already judges ruled that the banks can sue Target. Remember it’s the banks that really took the brunt of the hit for the Target… they had a hack. They had to release new credit cards.
Owen: That was bad. And they trick you. They say sign up and we’ll give you the free card. You get 5% off every purchase. So I know a lot of people who were signing up just for that. Why wouldn’t you?
Leo: 70M customers had their cards revealed! So, expect a little trouble. If you can, use Apple Pay. Lisa, are you using a tap and pay or more secure system?
Lisa: Not yet. I actually just got a new iPhone so I haven’t had the chance to play with Apple Pay yet.
Leo: Set it up.
Lisa: I definitely plan to set it up and try it soon. But no, I’ve been using my credit card.
Leo: You don’t have to care because you’re not liable. You don’t ever have to worry. It never hits the consumer.
Lisa: Well I actually did, I don’t know how this happened, but a month or two ago, I actually did have my credit card number stolen. So I guess you just never really know and have to be super-on top of everything.
Leo: Yea, you catch it and you’re not liable for any losses. But who loses? The banks do.
Leo: And that’s why the banks now say Target, you got to… and the new bill by the way. The new chip and PIN bill which requires that by October of next year, chip and PIN everywhere. Of course you’ll still be able to swipe and sign the old way. But chip and PIN will be more secure. And it has rules in it that say the person who’s responsible for the loss is the least secure component in this system. And that’s the bank saying we want the retailers to suffer. They better install these things. And if they don’t, they’re going to be liable. We’re no longer going to flip the bill for this. So I think it’s going to get better but it’s going to get worse before it gets better. And that’s in the next month. Ron Widen, I just want to praise him. It’s never going to happen and work, but Ron Widen has introduced a bill to ban FBI backdoors in tech products. If there were ever a bill more likely to fail, it’s this. I don’t know what it is. Widen is from Oregon, and he has been I think a good strong fighter for privacy. It’s called the secure data act. It would ban Federal agencies from making manufacturers alter products to allow easier surveillance or search. Of course FBI director James Comey has requested that that be possible. He says it’s necessary. Widen says strong encryption and sound computer security, the best way to keep American’s data safe from hackers and foreign threats. That seems obvious. Comey says it’s the best way to help the terrorists. This is the quote: the more we rely as a society on these devices, the more important it is for law enforcement and public safety officials have a backdoor.
Serenity: One thing about the backdoor here, when you put a backdoor in a product, ideally you’re putting it for a certain market. It’s either the company itself being like oh we want to fiddle with this. Or you’re giving it to the NSA. As we’ve seen, security, not so great when it comes to backdoors. So you put a backdoor on my iPhone, what’s to say you don’t have a talented black cat hacker from Asia or Europe or even the United States being like oh I found this vulnerability. Let me exploit it to the fullest extent. It just doesn’t seem… it’s not logical.
Leo: I want to thank you guys. This has been so much fun. What a great time we’ve had. Thank you so much for… poor Lisa. The first time you do this show, it’s a little bit of a whoa. You did great.
Lisa: Thank you.
Leo: Lisa Eadicicco is from businessinsider.com. I was going to make you play the drums. Do you want to do a little solo for us? No. We won’t make you do that. Thank you for being here, Lisa. We appreciate it. She’s on Twitter, @lisaeadicicco. Thank you for being here, Lisa.
Lisa: Thank you for having me.
Leo: Serenity Caldwell, always great fun having you on. And I was glad we could get the Peter Pan perspective from a Thespian. Very important.
Leo: Oh come on, you’re still a Thespian. Once a Thespian, always…
Serenity: At heart. They can’t take that away from me. I consider myself a Thespian as well. I like acting. That’s why we want to do the drama stuff here.
Serenity: We’ll loop you in, Leo. We’ll make it happen.
Leo: Are you going to do the Christmas thing again, or no? Didn’t you do the Christmas carol?
Serenity: We didn’t do a Christmas carol but we did do a Christmas special. We might, we might have something going on for Christmas and the New Year. But I cannot tell. All I know for sure in 2015, there will be new incomparable radio plays at theincomparable.com.
Leo: Awesome. And if we were to see a Christmas or holiday thing, it would be there too.
Serenity. It would be on theincomparable.com or on the Incomparable iTunes feed.
Leo: So subscribe. That way you’ll get it. You don’t have to keep checking.
Serenity: It’s great fun.
Leo: @settern on Twitter. Owen J.J. Stone is known as Ohdoctah. He has superman in his powers and abilities. That’s interesting that superman.
Owen: Because I saved you, Leo.
Leo: That’s exactly the outline on the back wall of our studios, is that superman.
Owen: It was meant to be, Uncle Leo.
Leo: I think so.
Owen: Just remember when you look back on this show, who kept it on track and looked professional and focused. Just remember it was I. And I also must point out the chat room said like eight times Serenity Caldwell doesn’t sound like a real name either. I’m going to have to check her social… you better hope you never apply for a job. I’m going to make sure you’re legit and everything’s on the up and up. The chat room is correct. That is too fancy, too pretty, too perfect!
Serenity: Oh believe me, if I had been able to get rid of Serenity in elementary school, my childhood would have been so much fun. That’s a beautiful name as an adult. As an 11-year old, it’s a little bit frustrating.
Leo: You might not have had to been in the Boston Derby Dames had you had a normal name.
Owen: Serenity’s father’s from the future, Leo. He knew that Serenity would be an important name. He was teaching her how to solder. How to be an electrical ninja. He’s from the future. How did he know Serenity was such an important…?
Serenity: That explains so much!
Owen: It really does! Think inside. Why is there a pyramid on my money, Leo? I know it’s Serenity! You got to see it, Leo! Look!
Leo: Johnny Cash, that’s why his dad named him Sue. Because he knew he was going to have to grow up tough. Is this your group, the Boston Derby Dames we’re looking at here?
Serenity: This is the Boston Derby Dames training and recreation team. This are the ladies that I coach.
Leo: Oh you coach? These are the semi-pros here.
Serenity: Yea, these are the girls who are learning how to roller skate. That video is from last year. So all of them are actually much better on roller derby and are on home teams and travel teams. So I’m on to…
Leo: YouTube has Boston Derby Dames. That’s neat. Is there a video I should show of you just jamming it?
Serenity: I think if you go to videos, there is one that’s like a highlight of R2Detinate. I think it’s right up in the second, no third row there. Third row-middle I want to say.
Leo: R2Detinate. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us. We do TWiT every Sunday afternoon 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern time, 2300 UTC. Please stop in and join us live if you can at email@example.com. We’ll put a seat out for you, or just watch during the show. But if you can’t, on demand audio and video available after the fact. Twit.tv. Or, on youtube.com/thisweekintech. There she is as a Thespian! You don’t cry in the phone anymore, no you bash them! You smash them! You knock them to the ground!
Serenity: That’s me!
Leo: Thanks for joining us! We’ll see you next time! Another TWiT is in the can.