This Week in Tech 489 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWIT: This Week in Tech. Myriam Joire is here, Mark Milian from Bloomberg Business Week, and Nathan Olivarez-Giles from Wall Street Journal. We're going to talk about this week's tech news, of course the Sony hacking. Did North Korea really do it? I'm skeptical. We'll find out next on TWIT.
NETCASTS YOU LOVE FROM PEOPLE YOU TRUST. THIS IS TWiT!
Leo: This is TWiT, This Week in Tech. Episode 489, recorded December 21, 2014.
Bobby Had a Nickel
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It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech, the show where we cover the week's tech news in obsessive detail. Joining me now, I'm so happy to have from Bloomberg Business Week in their global coverage, Mark Milian. Great to have you back!
Mark Milian: Always good to be here, especially right before Christmas time.
Leo: Yeah, this is our last show before Christmas.
Mark: It's exciting.
Leo: On the longest night of the year, the shortest day. It's winter solstice today. I hope you enjoy it. Also, Nathan Oliverez-Giles from Wall Street Journal. Nice to have you, Nathan.
Nathan Olivarez-Giles: Thanks for having me on.
Leo: Can I call you Nate?
Nathan: Yeah. I like that.
Leo: Thank you, Nate. I brought some wine. No, this is from Mark. Thank you, Mark. It's very nice. Look, by the way, he's man spreading. On the label. Frances Ford Copel, the guy who invented man spreading.
Nathan: Do we have to explain that for the viewers who might not know what that is now?
Leo: Yeah. If you're just joining us, you'll understand later. And Tnkgrl is here! Myriam Joire, great to see you once again. Welcome back.
Myriam Joire: Thanks for having me.
Leo: She's still looking for work.
Myriam: Yeah, I'm still looking for a full-time gig, but I did manage to squeeze something out of my hard-working days here, this thing called Crowded Rocket, I don't know if you've heard about it.
Leo: What's that?
Myriam: It's a new crowd-funding platform that I helped launch. It's kind of crazy. It's a very soft launch. You know that scene in Star Wars where they're trying to re-start the hyper drive in the Millennium Falcon? It's exactly the sound that Crowded Rocket is making right now. Exactly. The idea is to make a boutique site that only hand picks and vets and curates a few campaigns and holds their hands all the way along and puts them together with VCs at the end. So we'll see how it does. But you know, I'm obviously not putting all my eggs in one basket here. It's a bit of a side-project, as it were.
Leo: Last time you were here, you talked about Flux, the 3D printer which has since, let me go to KickStarter—
Myriam: It's graduated quite well.
Leo: Yeah. 1.6 million dollars they were asking for 100,000. I'm not surprised. It's a pretty cool 3D printer, laser engraver, 3D modeler, and auto pen. Because you reach the stretch goals of 900,000 dollars there's a penholder module, there's a gyroscope, there's wifi. Wow. So we were talking before the show, and you pointed out this is hard because, especially when you're a big success like this, and I can think of a few examples on KickStarter, the pressure is on now.
Myriam: For sure. When you talk to someone like the folks at Pebble, when they reach that insane amount, 10.3 million, they're like, "oh crap. What do we do now? We have to find a way to make this happen for not a thousand watches, but 90 something thousand watches." And they sure did, but a lot of people don't understand that. I just got my insta-cube. You know that insta cube story on KickStarter?
Leo: No. Tell me about that. We should mention, by the way, Myriam used to work for Pebble, so has some direct experience with them.
Myriam: I worked at Pebble and most importantly, I worked at Engadget for many years before that, so that's probably how you guys know me. But Insta-Cube was this picture frame that shows your instagram feed, and you can like stuff by clicking a button on top, and it's wireless, so you can put it on a shelf or hang it on a wall, it lasts a long time because it's got a big battery in there.
Leo: This is two years ago.
Myriam: It was epic. I pledged my $99 for it, and I just received it in the mail two days ago. And the thing about it is it looked forever like they were going to completely fall flat on their faces. I had completely given up about a year and a half ago on these guys. They were so bad, it was such a disaster in terms of their communication with their backers, but it just goes to show it's really challenging, and they did manage to pull through, so you just really never know. The thing you've got to do with crowd funding: think of it as though you're making a donation to kind of help a bunch of people get started.
Leo: It's not a store. KickStarter even says this: "We're not a store."
Myriam: Whether you get something out of it or not is a completely different ball game, right?
Leo: What's the dumbest thing, Mark Milian, you've ever crowd-funded? Have you fallen for this trap?
Mark: Oh yeah. I got so frustrated with the experience, I did a number of features about how terrible—it's kind of this scam, because these people with no experience in the field go out and raise a ton of money and they have no idea how to deliver. So the dumbest one is I spent $50 on this device that has a timer and is also a tea infuster, so it's like that's a cool thing. I'd buy it at wall mart, and that was three years ago and the guy never made it, and a couple months ago he agreed to refund everybody on Squaredash. That's got to hurt.
Leo: I got my pono player. Just got that. Still waiting for the temp-perfect mug—a mug that holds coffee until you get the perfect temperature.
Mark: These rings are blowing it. I noticed there was also a ring on that Crowd Rocket website Myriam was talking about.
Leo: The gesture ring? That is weird.
Mark: That is a little silly. But the wearable sensors that will light up when you get a text message or an e-mail or something, those are gaining traction. Ringly is the big one.
Leo: Ringly is the big one?
Myriam: The one on Crowded Rocket is like a mood ring. It just senses your emotions and gives you feed back so you can track how you're doing and change your behavior, hopefully to be happier, so it's a really interesting idea. But you both do bring up a good point about crowd funding, and that's what my friends and I started Crowded Rocket to do, right? Because we believe that vetting and curetting is the way to go, because you can't, especially if you need help from VC's to carry on. You can't just have potato salad. It's a lot of fun, but I think people expect a little more from crowd funding as it's growing up.
Mark: Did you see potato salad is a crowd-funded project? I'll make some really good potato salad.
Leo: And did he?
Mark: Yeah. And he raised thousands of dollars.
Leo: This one I bid on, but I didn't get it. This space folk album. He was going to record an album on the moon. He needed 21 million dollars, so my thousand dollar pledge didn't really help much.
Myriam: It's a great idea.
Leo: I think it's a great idea. What's the dumbest thing you've ever crowd-funded, or are you immune to this?
Nathan: You know what? I actually don't buy into this BS too often. Most of what I funded are comic books on KickStarter.
Leo: You can't go wrong with that.
Nathan: I'm a big comic book fan. There's artists I know and support, I did support Ouya.
Leo: Yeah and you got one.
Nathan: No, I actually didn't get my Ouya in. It was kind of a mess.
Leo: It turned out it wasn't very good, so who cares?
Nathan: Well, yeah. I guess I really did miss out on that.
Leo: You never got one? You funded Ouya and you never got one? They're selling them now.
Nathan: When I went through the process, maybe I did it wrong or maybe KickStarter did it wrong, but I was the wrong tier, so I gave them enough to get the hardware, but because I didn't check the right box or something like that, I actually talked with Julie—she e-mailed me directly and said no, you're not going to get a consul. So it was kind of a bummer, but—
Leo: But thanks for the money. Appreciate that, man.
Nathan: Yeah, they got my money anyways. And I did get my user name which I never used, because I never actually played on Ouya, so—
Mark: All right. This is from the summer for anyone who missed the KickStarter potato salad by Zach Danger Brown in Columbus Ohio.
Leo: How could KickStarter let that happen?
Mark: About this project: Basically, I'm just making potato salad. I haven't decided what kind yet. 69 hundred people contributed a total of $55,000. I love it. I have a $10 goal.
Leo: What? Funded! I love that. And he's not committed to do anything but make some potato salad and eat it?
Mark: Well, you can participate. If you pledge $3 or more, you receive a bite of potato salad, a photo of Zach Danger Brown making the potato salad, and a thank you note.
Leo: But this is an example, Myriam, isn't it? Because now this guy has got to make a lot of potato salad.
Myriam: And that's what I'm saying.
Leo: It backfired on him.
Nathan: But it's also a little bit of commentary on where we're at right now. It's absurd and it's stupid, as many of these projects are, and yet it got funded. It reminds me of the Cards Against Humanity guys on Black Friday they pulled all their products and sold a piece of poop in a box for $6, and they sold out of the poop in a box. They made more than $30,000. They actually mailed people pieces of poop.
Leo: I knew there would come a time where I would, just as all people do generationally get to a time where you just don't understand the world any more, and you move into a home, and it's over.
Myriam: You jumped the shark, Leo. That's it.
Leo: It's over! I give up.
Myriam: But seriously, you watch the unboxing video of the—
Mark: It's amazing. I'll put it in the argument—
Myriam: They cracked it open to see if there was something inside, with their bare hands!
Mark: That's nasty.
Leo: Well, I'm not going to show that, then. I don't want to show that video.
Nathan: He cracks it with his bare hands.
Mark: Bad news man. Bad news.
Leo: If I Google poop unboxing, I'm probably going to find it, aren't I?
Mark: I think you should Google Cards Against Humanity—
Leo: There might be other? Perez Hilton has it. And of course, where would it be but Digg? I'm not going to show this video. Don't show this video, Anthony.
Myriam: Oh come on.
Leo: We have standards. We have broadcast standards. All right all right. First there's an ad, so we've got to skip the ad. Oh, I clicked the ad.
Mark: Nice going.
Leo: Smart person. Don't you know how YouTube works? No I don't. I'm going to the home now. All right. Here it is. This was sold for how much?
Mark: I think it was like six bucks. They sold thousands of these.
Myriam: Yeah, it was $8?
Leo: Who would pay $8 for a piece of poop in a box?
Nathan: At least they're being up front about what you're buying. Right? I mean, unlike so many of these KickStarter projects that never deliver on their end.
Leo: We could do like 3 girls one cup where we're just going to react to poop in a box?
Anthony: It's not that terrifying.
Leo: Nothing is happening?
Mark: The narrator is pretty funny, actually.
Leo: Will he do something eventually? Oh, turn up the sound.
VIDEO: That smiley little logo. You can't be mad at that.
Leo: That's an emoji! He didn't even—So Cards Against Humanity is actually a really weird but good card game of like—
Mark: It's kind of like Apples to Apples.
Leo: Apples to Apples with bad words.
Mark: It's fun. Lots of fun.
Myriam: It's hilarious.
Leo: Somebody played it on our air once, and I hit the roof. But then I realized it was OK. Poop made in America. Where did they get this poop? Doesn't the FDA have rules against mailing poop? Isn't there any—oh the humanity! First Craig Ferguson is fired, then this?
VIDEO: I don't know why I bought this.
Leo: Thousands of people are saying that right now! You know why? Because they didn't believe that it really was true.
Nathan: With his bare hands! Why didn't someone give him some napkins or—
Leo: I can't believe it. Nobody all along believed that this would actually be poop in a box. It is!
Anthony: I think this is the fastest the show has ever devolved. I don't think—
Leo: Go away!
Anthony: He breaks it in half too. He does break it in half.
Nathan: I apologize for bringing that up, guys.
Myriam: It's your fault, Nate.
Nathan: The worst show ever! All my fault. Sorry, Leo.
Leo: Seems like there would be rules against that.
Nathan: You would think so.
Leo: Or maybe not. And I think people bought it because they couldn't believe it.
Nathan: it was a form of black Friday protest. You buy so much crap, poop, whatever anyways, that they're going to actually sell it to you and it was a big hit. I don't know.
Leo: OK. So I was a little worried, because this time of year, there's usually no news at all. And we're talking about poop? I shouldn't have been worried. Actually the big Sony story continues to evolve, and we're talking about that. And I want to get—look. We got experts here. Speaking of poop, I am calling bull poop on the notion that this is a North Korea hack, but maybe Mark Milian knows better. We're going to find out in just a bit. Let's take a break and we'll come back and talk about that, but first a word from our sponsors. Nothing we sell is actually that bad, so I feel good about that.
Mark: That's a low bar.
Leo: Our show today brought to you by the good folks at audible.com: the best place to get audio books, I know because I've been an Audible subscriber now since 2000. Maybe 2001. I used to have a horrific commute, as many of you know, at least 2 hours a day, and it was just a nightmare until I realized that I could actually get some reading done with audio books from audible.com. Audible is fantastic. I want you to visit audible.com and browse around. I could just show you—the Audible app, by the way, on Android and iOS is just great. I'm using it on Android here. Just in case some of you go, "Oh Leo, you don't really listen to Audible," this is my library on my device. I've got Tune In: The History of the Beatles, this is going to be an amazing three volume—Dracula, which is amazing, dramatized. Alan Cumming is in this, Tim Curry, this is the new Peter F. Hamilton, I love him. The Abyss Beyond Dreams, I love his stuff. David Burn of The Talking Heads is perhaps one of the most interesting and insightful books about music, how music works. It's less of a memoir and more about why music is the way it is, why pop music is the way it is. It's fascinating. Thinking Fast and Slow, that's about economics. Gone Girl, I still haven't seen the movie, so I'm going to read the novel and see how it end. This is a history of Manhattan, Dutch Manhattan, so you can see I alternate fiction and non-fiction. I like to do a bit of both. This is just a sampling—and these are all books I'm in the middle of right now. This is a bad habit. audible.com. How about this? Scrum. The art of doing twice the work in half the time. You've never done a Scrum if you think that's true. Let's see. Neil Young's new book: Waging Heavy Peace. That's on my list to read. I love reading the rock 'n roll biographies. A lot of those lately. I want you to go to audible.com/twit2. You'll be signing up for the platinum plan. That's two books a month, as you can see for me that's barely enough. It would probably be enough for most people. Your first month is free, your first two books are free, and you get to keep them, even if you cancel in the first 30 days and pay nothing. You'll also get the Daily Digest of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. audible.com/twit2. The best audio books read by the best readers ever, and now is the chance for you to try it. Amy Pohler reading her new memoir, Yes Please. audible.com/twit2. One of the things that I kind of do is I just download—I say, "Oh, I've got to get that!" Every month I get two more books. I love it. audible.com/twit2. Why don't you join in the fun? Sony Pictures Entertainment. I heard a little agreement, Myriam. So the president of the United States of America, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and unnamed federal authorities have told CNN, the journal I think, many reliable news sources, the New York Times, that they think it was North Korea. Meanwhile, everybody who knows anything about security is going, "it can't be North Korea." Myriam, you agree with me? It seems improbable? Or are we just out of touch?
Myriam: I was at the Venture Meet Holiday party last week, and I was talking to a lot of reporters there, and the consensus seems to be that it's potentially an inside job with somebody who was disgruntled with all of the lay-offs at Sony.
Leo: That's what it sounds like to me.
Myriam: But now of course the government is trying to find the excuse to put the hammer down on North Korea.
Leo: That's my question. Why would the FBI, why would Obama lie? Why would they say, it's North Korea? The FBI says, "We have evidence we're not telling you that confirms this." The New York Times reported that North Korea centrally involved in the hack, citing unnamed US officials, but as we all know with these kinds of hacks, it's very difficult to know who did this stuff. The FBI is saying, "Well, we recognize the code from previous North Korea attacks, the code calls home to IP addresses that we've seen before from North Korea, and yet I feel like it doesn't smell right.
Myriam: Wait, they're allowed to have IP addresses in North Korea? I thought that was illegal.
Leo: Well, that's was also interesting.
Myriam: I thought the government forbid the Internet. I'm just kidding.
Leo: All Internet traffic to North Korea goes through China. Actually, you're not far wrong, Myriam, because I was watching an interview on The Daily Show, and I've got to see the documentary, a young woman who went to North Korea to teach English and lived there for a while, she was teaching new kids from their technical school in North Korea, and they didn't have Internet at the time. This was just a couple of years ago. They literally were being taught computer science without the Internet. It didn't exist. I find this hard to believe, especially since this attack looks like a typical attack from an amateurish hacker, right?
Mark: Yeah. They've drawn parallels between this hack and previous ones; they used some of the same code, some of the same methods. There was a hack; I think it was last year on some South Korean banks, which the FBI cited in their statement. This hack was well known. I'm not sure that we knew that it was North Korea behind it, but the FBI in their statement said last year's hack of the South Korean banks was done by North Korea and this looks very similar. North Korea does have Internet.
Leo: In fact, they have an elite core of hackers, supposedly.
Mark: They do. They have a government division that specializes in hacking, and North Korea also has a number of expats who don't reside in North Korea, but they still carry out missions and hackings and all that on the government's behalf.
Leo: From outside of North Korea.
Mark: There's a famous activist in South Korea who escaped North Korea, and his thing is he delivers pamphlets by balloon into North Korea to try and educate the people there, so the idea is to send the balloons and they pop over North Korea and the pamphlets fall down and people read information they never would have been able to get. North Korea had sent someone to South Korea to try and assassinate him, and so that was just one example of how North Korea is not just confined to North Korea. We reported that the Sony breach, some of it was executed from a hotel in Thailand, so it's entirely possible that they had an operative in Thailand who was carrying some of this out.
Leo: I think it's always suspicious when I hear—knowing how hackers work, that something originated somewhere. It's very hard to know where a hack originates from.
Leo: Because it comes from multiple servers. A good hacker is going to obfuscate. It shouldn't be like, "Oh yeah. That's coming from a hotel in Thailand." That seems, I don't know. I'm just some shlub. Of course the FBI wouldn't lie to us and the president wouldn't lie to us.
Myriam: The FBI wouldn't lie to us. Yes.
Mark: If you rely solely on where the IP was coming from, then that's not a good way to investigate. But this hack used six components from previously known hacks, and the South Korean bank example was one where the FBI said, "we knew this was North Korea." A lot of the code looks the same. So that's not damning evidence. The FBI claims they have more.
Leo: North Korea denies it, but they said, "We're glad to help you investigate."
Nathan: And supposedly the US is talking to China about—
Leo: Well they should. If it's coming out of North Korea anyway it has to go through China.
Nathan: But there have been a lot of criticisms over these methods saying they're very simplistic, they're not very sophisticated, and that could prove that North Korea is behind it, but at the same time, we have all of these questions. The fact that there is so much debate over it says, "Hey these people did know what they were doing." Even if their methods were simplistic, they were effective, and now there is no way of knowing who was taking part or not. If you leave people with questions over who committed the crime, you're a good criminal in a way.
Leo: Yesterday, the Guardians of Peace, the hacker group that took credit for the Sony attack mocked the FBI, saying, "The result of investigation by the FBI is so excellent that you might have seen what we were doing with your own Eye." The Guardians of Peace wrote in a statement posted on PasteBin. "We congratulate you success. FBI is the best in the world. You will find the gift for FBI at the following address. Enjoy." It was a link to a YouTube video entitled, "You're an idiot." On the other hand, if it is North Korea, that would be a reasonable way to hide their involvement. I don't know what to believe on this. But both the FBI and the president say there's no question. It's North Korea and North Korea alone. It just doesn't smell right to me.
Nathan: We don't entirely know whom to believe. There's reasons why the North Korean government, why our government, why these folks might not give us the truth. Or might not have all the details.
Leo: I think it's hysterical when they say, as some American officials have said, "this is the first true example of cyber war fare. This is the beginning of the end." And of course we've been pursuing cyber warfare against countries all over the world for decades. So it isn't the first example of cyber warfare by any means.
Nathan: Not to mention the fact that Sony isn't a government agency, it's a company.
Mark: The President called this an act of cyber vandalism, not an act of cyber warfare.
Leo: It's an important word to use. I think vandalism is more appropriate than terrorism, isn't it?
Mark: Yeah, because this country has declared a war on terror. So if this is an act of terrorism, then you could make the conclusion that we should go to war with them.
Leo: The President says we'll pursue a proportional and appropriate response. What would be a proportionate response to an act of cyber vandalism? We go spray paint? What would be a proportionate response? Economic sanctions? There is an economic hardship to this. Sony spent 40 million dollars on Seth Rogan and James Franco, and it didn't look like a good movie. They spent a lot, they spent considerable amount of time and effort.
Mark: The problem is that North Korea is already under some of the most strict economic sanctions that we have on anything.
Myriam: It's hard to get back to them, if you plan to do that. My biggest concern with the whole fiasco, because really the world fiasco I think represents this, is the fact that the movie theaters kind of strong-armed Sony into lettering them not show the movie. If Sony were smart right now, they would put this all over the Internet for free, everywhere. You can't stop that, and it's there. Sure they lose on it, but they lose on it now. Or even smarter, they hang onto it and in ten or fifteen years they release it as a limited edition and make a ton of money on it.
Leo: They'll do that for sure. Don't you think?
Mark: So one of the reasons they didn't want to release it right away, I worked on a story with our reporters in Hollywood, is every major movie has insurance coverage, and if the movie never comes out then they have a claim to collect their insurance money. If they were to release it on streaming then it becomes a little fuzzier and they might not be able to make some of their money back.
Leo: This just came in this morning from the New York Post, not the greatest source in the world. Sony plans to release The Interview on Crackle, which is its Internet movie channel for free. First of all, I understand why exhibitors might be reluctant to show this after the, OK, there's a whole bunch of stuff to say. First of all, the hackers didn't mention The Interview until the media speculated wildly. Oh, maybe this is North Korea punishing Sony or trying to stop The Interview. And then all of a sudden, the hacker said, Oh yeah! That's what this is about! The Interview. Oh yeah, that's it. This feels like they're making this up as they go along. We're going to a 9/11-style attack on movie theaters if they show this movie. Yeah, that's it. And then the movie exhibitors, I think reasonably, look. You've got The Hobbit. You don't need to show this. They reasonably said, that's fine. We'll take that theater; we'll put another Hobbit showing in there, we'll make more money anyway. They decided not to show it.
Mark: Is The Hobbit a Sony movie?
Leo: I'm not talking about Sony. The exhibitor. The exhibitor doesn't care. We don't have to run this stupid movie. We didn't want to anyway. We got Annie. So, I think the exhibitor just caved. And Sony, what are they going to do if nobody's going to distribute it, but on the other hand, the president said, that's appeasement. That's caving to terrorists. What were they going to do? Put National Guard in the movie theaters? And then, oh, I'll go see that movie. It's safe there though, because there's armed guys guarding the door. Anyway. According to the Post, they're going to put it on Crackle.
Mark: And where can you get Crackle? Does anyone actually use Crackle?
Leo: I have Crackle. It's on Apple TV. It's on Roku. It's on a lot of the Internet things. And the problem is the Crackle website. Now Mashable is saying maybe not.
Mark: Yeah, Mashable, somebody posted this in the chat room. The lawyer from Sony was on Meet the Press yesterday and said they're not putting it on Crackle.
Nathan: I think there's some genuine fears on Sony's part that this isn't over yet. Supposedly the hackers, if they are hackers, actually said that there's more information to release, that they haven't given away all their cards yet. If they can take down Sony's entire system like this, maybe they could go after people personally, so I think there's some fears there on Sony's part that this isn't over yet, so I don't know. I would be dubious of reports saying they're going to release on Crackle or PlayStation video or just put it on a torrent site or something like that.
Leo: Sony has learned David Boies is the guy who has been strong arming people, trying to get the contents of the Sony hack taken off of websites, don't publish this, cease and desist letters, everything he was on Meet the Press.
Mark: Telling news publications that you can't write about this because it's stolen material.
Myriam: It doesn't work like that.
Leo: Boies says it will be distributed. How it's going to be distributed I don't think anybody knows, but it is going to be distributed. When asked about president Obama's remarks that Sony had made a mistake by pulling the film he said, "I think it was helpful to have the President recognize publicly that this was an unacceptable attack, that we cannot have state-sponsored attacks that are designed to censor what we do here in this country." But he didn't address the question, because he's a smart lawyer. He knows how to deflect. Myriam, you're with me, right? There's something fishy.
Myriam: There's something fishy. You know the movie is already out on the torrents. If you search for it, it's there.
Leo: Have you seen it yet?
Myriam: I haven't had the chance to download and watch it yet.
Leo: I'm kind of whizzed at people who say it's not completely kosher to look at this stuff that was stolen. What do you guys think?
Mark: You're talking about as journalists?
Leo: Some of this, I think there's a public need to know when you find out that the Sony folks try to get the Mississippi attorney general to shut down Google. That's of genuine public interest. I don't think there's any public interest in knowing what Amy Lucas said about Angelina Jolie in an e-mail.
Nathan: I would actually totally disagree. I think there's a ton of public interest in the way that Sony does business, in the way that they make decisions on what films get financed and what stars get put into what films, and even things, some of the stuff that was leaked in these e-mails was male and female executives doing the exact same jobs had a pay disparity of a million or 2 million dollars.
Leo: There's some stuff there too. And the harassment that's been covered up, yeah.
Nathan: Yeah, so there's all these things, and I think as the press—
Leo: But really, should we be telling people how much James Franco made on that movie? It feels like that's stolen material.
Nathan: But that's part of the business of Hollywood too, right? I mean we talk about how much a film was financed for, we talk about its box office nationally and overseas, how much the stars of the film get paid factors into these decisions, and if you're a business publication the people who read your publication are going to want to know—
Mark: Like Sony investors?
Leo: Ok, I guess you're right.
Myriam: I think the way to look at it, Leo, is when all of the stuff was leaked by Wiki Leaks, of course we're not supposed to be looking at stuff, but as journalists it's important that we— we're there to find a story, and we are allowed to investigate and uncover things that aren't right about our governments and companies out there, and make opinions on culture in society and their behavior.
Leo: But we draw the line. For instance, we wouldn't release the social security numbers or the passwords. We draw a line.
Myriam: Of course not.
Leo: There needs to be a public need to know.
Myriam: Absolutely. There's a question of ethics and privacy here. But I'm saying that you know when you—it's a gray area when it's a higher level of execs and others. I'm not talking about social security numbers and passwords. I'm talking about these e-mails, and I think that we learned a lot from the Wiki Leaks stuff, and we're learning a lot from the Sony stuff, and some of it is bad, but some of it is good. As journalists we should be allowed to—I don't think we should necessarily, it's up to us to decide whether we think it's ethical to do this, but I don't think we should be threatened legally.
Leo: No. I think Sony is wrong in doing that. I agree with you on that. But I do feel like, sometimes people are stretching that public need to know a little far in order to get a few more clicks.
Mark: The news value for Wiki leaks, there was some stuff in there. Government atrocities and wrongdoing—
Leo: You can't compare this to the Snowden leaks. To the Pentagon papers. Those things were illegally obtained and absolutely in the public interest to reveal.
Mark: And there are things within Sony that are as well.
Nathan: But you can argue the news value, the societal value of TMZ or People magazine, you can always argue something. Sports as a whole—I'm a huge sports fan, but you could always make that argument.
Leo: So if somebody stole something from the 49ers, back off and gave it to the Wall Street Journal, it would be appropriate for the journal to publish that.
Nathan: I think it depends on what it is and what the value is. The decisions that the Journal makes in terms of what we cover—
Leo: And we should say, I know Nate is not speaking for the Wall Street Journal, I don't want to get you in trouble.
Nathan: Any newsroom, that's a decision that newsroom has to make, right? So I think part of the issue is something that is stolen from the 49ers back office and given to a news organization is different from something that hackers took and published publically on the Internet anyways and put out in data dumps. They've already published it. It's already out there in the public domain.
Leo: But they don't see it really, if Mashable and the Journal and everybody didn't just write articles about it. That's where most people are going to read it.
Nathan: Nowadays, what would happen is some folks who are savvy could go and get it and they'd put it on Reddit, or they'd put it on Twitter, or they'd put it on their own blog.
Leo: Although Reddit has been actually caving to the DMCA requests of Sony and pulled stuff down. Sony has gone to Reddit and said, that's copyright material.
Nathan: YouTube has too. There's the death scene from the movie where Kim Jong Un was killed, they pulled that down.
Leo: I saw that there.
Nathan: So, yeah there are some circumstances where that happens.
Leo: Well, maybe. Do you think we'll ever learn what really happened here? It feels like Wag the dog. It feels like this is—
Myriam: I don't think we'll know.
Leo: I don't want to be a conspiracy theorist. I don't think it's a false flag operation. Someone in the chatroom said it's the gulf Tonkin all over again. We're just looking for an excuse to invade North Korea. I don't think we'd invade them over this.
Mark: I also find it hard to believe that there's anyone crazy enough who worked at Sony. There's some speculation that it's an inside job. I don't think there's anybody crazy enough who would make 9/11 threats.
Leo: Some teenage hacker in Georgia would.
Mark: I could see a teenage hacker doing that.
Leo: That's what I mean. This is the fingerprints of some amateurish teenage hacker group.
Nathan: Well we don't even know if the threats actually came from the same folks who executed the hack. We don't even know if there's one Guardians of Peace.
Leo: It could be anonymous. I don't know. There are lots of articles, I'm sure they're being taken down right and left. Wired: The evidence that North Korea hacked Sony is flimsy. And this is before the president of the FBI said, no it is North Korea.
Mark: Hours before, I think.
Leo: Yeah, right before. And yet the arguments in this are not completely false.
Mark: They haven't all been refuted. But do you think we the public really know all the details?
Leo: We don't. In fact, the FBI has said that we're not going to reveal all the evidence we have. That's convenient.
Nathan: Making definitive claims at this point, that may be a bit premature. But taking a look at all the claims we have at this point, there's lots of reason to think it could have been some amateurish folks. Maybe it's not North Korea, but we just don't know. It's speculation at this point.
Leo: If it's not, then the FBI and the president shouldn't say it is. I would think that they're responsible enough not to say, "No no. It is." Unless they really are sure that it is. They're not just looking at some server logs somewhere.
Mark: I think this is why several days before the FBI made their official announcement, various news agencies were citing people who were close to the investigation, law enforcement, and government officials who are saying that they feel at this point that they have enough evidence to say it's North Korea, but it's still days before they were willing to actually put a public statement together and Obama got behind it and was briefed. So I don't think that they just jumped to conclusions on this one.
Leo: RS Tech News has run a series of articles both praising and damning the code. State sponsored or not, Sony pictures malware bomb used slap dash code. But it did the job.
Myriam: I think there's a story that a lot of people aren't talking about, and I think it's the story of how government and corporate interests right now obviously have lax security in some areas, and this is Sony, but what if next month, it's Universal?
Leo: Or Bank of America or—?
Mark: And all of those companies we just mentioned have been hacked at some point.
Myriam: To me the takeaway, if you're in corporate security today, you really need to get your sh** together, if you haven't already.
Leo: And if you're not, Sony has a job for you. They just posted a job: director of Sony management.
Nathan: Just a tad late on that posting maybe.
Leo: You'll be working out of beautiful McLane Virginia, that's in Northern Virginia, in DC. A director of vulnerability management engineering to join the global information security and privacy information in Northern Virginia. You'll report to the senior director of security engineering and be a part of the team. Responsible for establishing a unified enterprise security architecture to secure Sony's assets.
Nathan: Could you imagine going into that job right now? How nuts it has to be? How crazy it has to be?
Leo: I think you might want to. Like if you're a cowboy. I see Clint Eastwood in there. Like, "I'm here. I'll take care of this."
Nathan: That being said, if you could get their stuff turned around, you could be the savior of that.
Leo: Just so you know, you need to have ten years of experience in information security, five years’ experience in pen testing, a master's degree in computer science, experience developing and refining threat informed defense in depth security architecture. It's a little late, Sony. You really should have filled this position earlier.
Nathan: Like in 2011after the PSN hack on Sony?
Leo: And while it's pretty clear Sony didn't do a good job securing itself, everybody gets hacked. Every bank, presumably Sheldon Eidelson's Sands casino back end operations were very well secured, but they got hacked in February by Iran.
Mark: Sony did institute a bunch of new security protocols and new software after the 2011 hack.
Leo: Not enough, I guess.
Mark: Not enough, or they weren't keeping it updated. Because Macafee and some of the other security companies said if you ran some of our enterprise level software it would have clogged this. We've seen some of this software before. It's in our systems.
Leo: Right. Even some of the malware. This is not unfamiliar to us. We would have—all they needed was a good anti-virus. Maybe a little Norton.
Nathan: That's all. They should tear down this job listing and download some Macafee software. Totally.
Leo: Get some anti-virus. If you don't want to spend the money, Avast is OK. It's free. Use that. AVG, it's great. All right, we're going to take a break. There's lots more to talk about. I thank you Sony, for keeping us entertained during this event this holiday season.
Mark: And North Korea too.
Leo: And thank you, North Korea. Norton 360, that's what they needed. Our show to you today brought to you by Gazelle. You need a new phone? You need a new tablet? You need a new computer? Gazelle is a great place to go to sell your old stuff to get some cash to buy the new stuff. But they're also now selling certified pre-owned products. People always ask me: What happens to the stuff I sell to Gazelle? Gazelle resells some of it on e-bay, but they have a program on the site where you can buy certified equipment. So this is great if you've lost your phone. Maybe you're lost your iPhone 6 and you don't want to pay full freight to buy a new one. Go to Gazelle. They have two different conditions, certified like new, which is really like it just came out of the factory, or certified good with some gentle signs of wear but high quality in every case. All the devices have been put through Gazelle's rigorous 30-point inspection to make sure they're fully functional and of course they're backed by a 30-day risk free return policy. This is a great way to save a lot of money on an iPad. Look at that. iPad mini retina display, 249. iPhone 5s 334, you can get iPhone 6. And of course, there's no contract on these, these are unlocked. gazelle.com. When you sell your stuff, you can get paid in cash, you can get PayPal credit, or an Amazon gift certificate, they'll give you great prices on your old stuff. They've paid out nearly 175 million dollars to over a million customers. Free shipping, fast processing, if you forget to wipe your data, they'll do it for you. They'll even buy broken iPhones and iPads. gazelle.com to sell and now to buy. gazelle.com. It's the best way to recycle. Find a great home for your old gadget. BBC does not like Apple too much. Apple does not like BBC too much. The BBC published a video accusing Apple of failing to protect its Chinese Factory workers. Tim Cook says, "I am deeply offended." Wow. That's taking it a little bit personal. BBC Panorama actually secretly filmed inside factories and they went to Indonesia where these, as Apple called it, artisanal tin mines are operating, sometimes with children. Apple has publically stated that tin from Indonesia ends up in our products and some of that tin likely comes from illegal mines. Tens of thousands of artisanal miners are selling tin through many middlemen to the smelters who supply the component suppliers to sell to the world. It's the problem. That supply chain goes on and on and on down and down and down. The government is not addressing the issue in Indonesia and there's wide spread corruption in the undeveloped supply chain. Artema visited the same parts of Indonesia visited by BBC, and of course were appalled by what's going on there too. Apple has two choices. We could make sure that all our suppliers buy tin from smelters outside of Indonesia, this would be the easiest thing for us to do, and would certainly shield us from criticism, but it would be the lazy and cowardly path, because it would do nothing to improve the situation for Indonesian workers and the environment. Since Apple consumes a tiny fraction of the tin mined there, we chose the second path, which is to stay engaged and to try and arrive at a collective solution. I guess that makes sense. That's the old, we'll fix it from within.
Nathan: That's the approach that Apple and the other companies have taken for a long time.
Leo: I don't know what you're going to do. I mean, by the way, we're all complicit in some regard here, because we buy these products.
Nathan: One of the things that Apple's lawyers told the BBC is that they've been looking with their suppliers to improve conditions for workers and they found an average of a 93% compliance with their guidelines, like a 60 hour work week and things like this. That still leaves a 7% that isn't complying, right?
Leo: There's workers falling asleep on the supply chain because they've been working 12 hours or more.
Nathan: So what is the right approach? Is it to bail on all these folks that are treating their workers incorrectly and maybe spend more money manufacturing in different countries? I don't know if there are any of these suppliers that are actually following all the rules. This is an on-going story that has been happening for years and years and years. This isn't anything new per say. What is the right approach? Inside or outside? I don't know.
Mark: The thing is that a lot of these companies, like you were talking about, the supply chain goes deeper and deeper. They don't have direct relationships.
Leo: They don't. They're not buying from these mines.
Nathan: They might have Foxcon, you buy the tin, Foxcon buys the tin from a smelter, the smelter buys it from some gang in the Congo.
Nathan: So how much influence would they have over tin smelters if they actually do buy a small percentage as they say they do and they show up and there's all these middlemen in between?
Leo: I have to say, good on the BBC. This is good work they did with these hidden cameras, right?
Myriam: It's pretty insane, but awesome.
Nathan: This is kind of how things work all over the world. The LA times just had a great series of stories on Mexican produce farms that were treating their employees and properly making them having children work way over hours, and those fruits were going to Whole Foods and Wall Mart. This is not just tech, this is not just Apple. This is a global issue with the way that we do business as a whole.
Leo: I really feel like Tim Cook—I believe him when he says, "I'm offended. We're doing the best we can, we're going to continue doing the best we can to make these conditions improve. We know they're not perfect, but we really care.
Myriam: The reason I think he feels that way is because of what Nate just said. He's worked really hard to try to improve it already. It's always Apple that's targeted, but what about Samsung and HTC and what about Whole Foods? What about the textiles we wear? There is this stuff going on everywhere, and I think this is what he's probably feeling. Throwing his arms up in the air. This is not just about us; this is about the entire consumer industry. We want the stuff so cheap that at this point it's hard to get it manufactured in an ethical way, right? I think the whole system needs to be re-evaluated. And we all have to think about this, every time we buy something. That's where fair trade and that stuff is really important.
Leo: And this is the other side of the coin of Apple's success. You become this brand, and a brand that has a reputation of a quality brand that cares, of course BBC could have attacked Samsung and everybody else, because they're all getting the tin from the same place, but Apple because of its success is taking the brunt of it. That's part of the gig. But I think they should fight back, and they're right to say we're doing what we can and we're going to continue to do what we can. I think the BBC should continue to hold their feet to the fire, and everybody's feet, and most importantly us as consumers.
Mark: You could praise Apple for doing something. There are companies that do more. Intel and HP tend to have a track record for being more involved in their supplies and going deeper in the supply chains, which Apple only recently started doing in the last couple of years.
Leo: So in your experience there are other companies that are working harder than Apple.
Mark: Yeah. Intel has an excellent reputation for environmental and social governance. Apple is still fairly high up there. One of the worst is Nintendo according to a lot of these experts. They say Nintendo buys from bad sources and doesn't seem to do anything to try and repair itself. Most companies take a sort of close their eyes approach to it and Nintendo has a reputation for being one of the worst.
Leo: We fair trade consumer electronics. Myriam, I think you need to start this. Locally sourced. Which farmer made my Samsung galaxy note? That's what I want to know.
Myriam: After doing crowd funding that's more boutique and more vetted and curated I should do this. OK.
Leo: You're ready. Take it on.
Myriam: I'm starting side projects left right and center, right?
Leo: I think you're having more fun this way, aren't you? I bet you are.
Myriam: I am. But at the same time, ultimately, I'm going to have to pay my bills and have benefits and stuff. I'm still definitely looking for something fun that's full time. I'm sure there's something out there. It's just a matter of time. Until then, there's CS! Speaking of consumer electronics and consumerism.
Leo: This is just around the corner. It's literally just a few weeks away.
Nathan: CS would be a great place to have some sort of dialogue or maybe some sort of committee where the major companies get together— the suppliers show up to CS too. The white label manufacturers, the megatrons, the foxcons, a lot of these deals that are made are made in the Las Vegas hotel room suites that journalists don't get to go to because they're running all over the convention center, writing about some new KickStarter project.
Leo: By the way, thanks to the chat room for finding this. fairphone.com is a fair trade Smartphone which I have never heard of, and many probably haven't, in which they really pay attention to the supply chain and the manufacturing and recycling at the end.
Nathan: I wonder who their manufacturer is.
Myriam: I wonder how good the phone is.
Leo: Android 4.2 jelly bean, 16 gigs of storage.
Mark: A media tech processor.
Myriam: Q HD display.
Leo: It's a 4.3 inch. Let me see what it costs, because if it's inexpensive— 310 Euros. It's not cheap. It's more than a OnePlus One.
Mark: Less than an iPhone.
Leo: Everything is less than an iPhone.
Mark: And it's out of stock.
Nathan: It's not true. Actually some galaxy unlocked go for about 800 bucks and a GoPhone is about 700 dollars unlocked.
Leo: Really? Sony, by the way, employees are now filing a lawsuit saying the company is at fault for the hack and we want to be compensated. I think it's primarily former employees that are getting screwed by this, because Sony is somewhat protecting current employees. Jury finds that Apple is not liable for harming consumers and throws out this case, the iTunes DRM case which has been going on since 2005, almost 10 years Apple could have been on the hook for 350 million dollars plus damages, as much as a billion dollars. It was a class action lawsuit, and the jury delivered a unanimous verdict, saying that iTunes 7 was a genuine improvement, not just released for copy protection to be anti-competitive, and the judge said we thank the jury. Goodbye.
Mark: I think the jurors deliberated for something like 2 or 3 hours in this case. It wasn't even a question.
Leo: It's pretty quick. However, of course, there will be an appeal, because these lawyers have been working on this for ten years. They don't know what to do with themselves. They don't have a job, so they might as well just keep this going for as long as you can.
Nathan: And keep getting paid.
Leo: Keep getting paid, baby. Payday's a coming. Did you see Apple's new Christmas ad?
Nathan: Yes, it's great.
Leo: Did you see The Guardian's take on it?
Mark: I did not like The Guardian's take on it at all.
Leo: I think the writer here; Hannah Jane Parkinson was a little bit just peeved. Maybe a little cranky. Maybe a little Scrooge crept into her egg nog. What's not to love about this ad? A young woman going through Grandma's stuff, and it says, wait a minute, she's not even dead and she's going through her stuff?
Nathan: She's not going through her stuff. She's going through records, OK? She's going through records. She's clearly in a living room or something like that.
Leo: She finds a record that Grandma made in the 40's while her husband was away at the war and sings to her husband, and then daughter takes her apple product, by the way this is a very low-key Apple presentation. They didn't really—there's not a lot of Apple in this. And the daughter makes some music, she falls asleep with Grandma on the couch, she plays the piano, she's learning the song and she's going to actually record a duet, so Christmas morning comes.
Myriam: It's a tearjerker in other words.
Leo: It's a tearjerker, in fact there's literally tears being jerked. Here, Grandma finds an iPhone with the cleaned up recording on it, pictures of her late husband, and her granddaughter starts to sing.
Mark: I just got chills. I don't know, did you guys get chills?
Leo: Yeah I did, actually. Granddaughter sits on the stairs and watches. What's nice about this is it's very subtle Apple, right?
Mark: Especially since they've been going the direction of just showing the products in every ad. There's no Jimmy Fallon, there's no Timberlake in this one.
Leo: I kind of like the Fallon Timberlake ads.
Nathan: The only one I like is where he imitates a French restaurant owner. That one cracks me up. All the other ones, I can't take. That stupid accent, I don't know.
Leo: It gets you every time. Sounds just like Myriam. Oh no, we cannot take your reservation.
Myriam: You always have to grunt when you do it, right? I don't know why, apparently. I think it's a lovely ad. I think Apple has certainly cornered this emotional appeal ad for the holidays, and I think it seems to be working really well for them. The six and the six plus are the most successful iPhones so far, and they're going to be making serious money this holiday season. It's working.
Leo: It's working. You know what else is working? My Harry's razor blades. Do you shave with Harry's? You ought to. Harry's was founded by a couple of folks who think that razor blades are too expensive. You know the old adage: "You give away the razor and you make it up on the blades." Obviously, if you've seen the locked up razor blades at your local drugstore you know. That's because they're the most pricy things in the drugstore. As much as four dollars a blade for that Gillette Fusion? For half as much you can get a better blade because Harry's bought the factory. They actually found out the best razor blades are made by two German factories in Solingen Germany. They bought one of them; they own the factory and make millions of blades. This way they sell them direct to you and you get an incredible blade, but you also get the incredible price on the Harry's kit. I want you to take a look at the Harry's kit. They have the Truman and the Winston. I'm not sure what the naming is here.
Nathan: Winston Churchill and Harry S. Truman?
Leo: Yeah, I guess. I don't know. But anyway, the Truman kit is 15 bucks. You get the handle, actually these are gorgeous handles. Four different colors, three blades, you get the travel cover which is very useful, put it right in your dop kit there. And you get some of that great Harry's—either the shave gel or the shave cream. There’s the travel cover. That’s so great. These blades will never cut you. They’re gorgeous, they’re fabulous. And of course once you get the kit, $15, you’re going to get a subscription to the blades and the shave cream or gel. They also by the way now have a nice after shave that I really like. Your beard is soft, it shaves so clean. You’re going to love it. Engineered for high performance. These blades are the best in the business for half as much. If you take a look at the Winston, you can get it engraved with your name. It’s beautiful, really nice. $25. In each case you can get $5 off when you use our offer code TWIT5 at harrys.com. If you don’t get a Harry’s for Christmas or Hanukah this year, then you should just go to harrys.com and get it for yourself darn it. Use the offer code TWIT5 and save $5 off. But, you might want to wait until after you see what’s in your stocking or under the Christmas tree. Because we know a lot of our TWiT viewers got special Christmas gifts or kits this year. We’re told quite a few of you picked them up. Harrys.com, use the offer code TWIT5 to save $5. There’s some guy in the chat room that says I got 10 razors for a buck. Those must feel good when you shave with those.
Mark: They’re probably made like most of them in factories as well.
Leo: They’re made with tin from Indonesia. You are exploiting small children! We are coming to the year end and so that means the year in search videos from Yahoo and Microsoft and of course Google.
Mark: Robin Williams.
Leo: Robin Williams is the number one search term. I’m not surprised. Number two: the world cup, which was this summer. Number three: Ebola. If it was just Ebola or how do I not get Ebola. How can I get Ebola? Who do I have to avoid to not get Ebola? MH370, the Malaysian Airlines flight that they still haven’t found yet, right?
Leo: Nope. It’s a big world. You realize that. Think, how can you lose a jumbo jet? But you can. It’s a big world.
Nathan: It’s a lot of ocean.
Leo: ALS, remember the ice bucket challenge? Whatever happened with that?
Nathan: I think it ended when I did it. I think I killed it. I was the last guy and everyone’s like it’s not cool anymore.
Leo: Yea, no.
Myriam: Nate, what have you done?
Leo: You broke the ice bucket challenge!
Myriam: You broke the ALS challenge!
Nathan: I broke the internet before Kim Kardashian, it’s true.
Leo: Those things come and go so fast. Everybody for a month, everybody was dumping ice over their heads. And then nobody was. It was just over.
Mark: It’s not too late. We can do it on this show if you want.
Leo: You know, then you wouldn’t be the last one. Flappy Bird, talk about something that came and went. Flappy Bird is number six. Who searches for flappy bird? Number three: conchita wurst, wurst… we were talking about this on This Week in Google on Wednesday and I got a lot of emails from people in Germany. It means whatever or so what, right? Conchita wurst. And then how would you translate it? We have some Germans in the audience.
Mark: Wurst is a sausage.
Leo: No, see that’s what I thought. I thought she was conchita sausage. But no! It means so what, kind of. It is a sausage but it’s also slang for so what.
Nathan: Kind of like EK, like kind of a confident cocky so what.
Myriam: It’s pronounced differently than the sausage. I know what you’re talking about but it’s pronounced differently. I’m trying to remember how it’s pronounced.
Leo: We have Germans here. They’re talking in the language… they’re saying wu… say it again really loud. Meir is wurst. Worst. Anyway…
Mark: He’s got a great beard.
Leo: Got a great beard and a beautiful voice. And won the Euro Vision song contest. And I think it’s pretty obvious why people are searching like what. ISIS number three. I hope it’s not like searching for beheading videos. It’s just what is ISIS. Frozen number nine. We’re not talking about ice bucket challenge. That’s the Disney movie. That’s got to feel bad. World Cup is number two, Sochi is number 10.
Nathan: Winter Olympics is never as hot.
Leo: Yea. You know though, you got to wonder. Does Google take all the porn searches out of this list?
Mark: And it’s not weather and horoscopes, but this top trending search.
Leo: Trending. You know I feel like there may be fixing it up a little bit.
Mark: Playing with the numbers.
Leo: Astrology, yea.
Mark: They probably ignore the consistent hum of weather…
Leo: Kim Kardashian, Kim Kardashian’s butt.
Nathan: Those aren’t really trending. They’re tidal waves of searches.
Leo: Somebody some day is going to be totally honest about the top 10 searches.
Mark: Do we really want to know?
Myriam: It could be dangerous.
Leo: I think we know. Spain passes a law saying Google News has to pay publishers a royalty whenever they have their headline or snippets or whatever, part of the content from that publisher in Google News. Google says but wait a minute we don’t make any money on Google News, so forget about it. And moves out. They say we’re not going to do Google News in Spain anymore. External traffic to Spanish news sites plummet, double-digit drop in the first day after Google dropped all Spanish sites from its Google News index. So what do the publishers do? Were they contrite? Do they say oops we made a mistake? Maybe we do need traffic from Google. No, they went back to the Spanish Parliament and said hey can you pass a law that makes Google News do it, make Google do it? So sad.
Myriam: That worked out really well for them, didn’t it?
Leo: I wouldn’t be surprised if then they pass a law in Spain that says Google has to link to our sites and you have to pay us. It’s just extortion.
Myriam: It just goes to show the kind of traditional media just has no concept of reality when it comes to how significant companies like Google have become to the world.
Leo: They just don’t get it.
Myriam: They take the stuff for granted and don’t realize.
Leo: A bunch of Rupert Murdock’s.
Myriam: They’re only important because people keep them relevant by going to them through Google.
Leo: I love though within 24 hours, that’s it. Flickr responded, remember we complained and a lot of people complained that Flickr was selling your and my prints, if they were Creative Commons licensed, which Flickr allows you to do. They decided oh maybe we shouldn’t have done that. So they are going to not only kill the sales but issue refunds. Which is kind of a bummer if you bought some for Christmas. Like well you’re not going to get those. And the truth is I got to say these were images that were licensed to be used exactly like that.
Mark: Some of the Creative Commons stuff says you can use it for non-commercial purposes.
Leo: But these were licensed for commercial use. People didn’t understand that they had… because you go through in Flickr the check box. And mine are non-commercial so they didn’t sell mine. Nobody can make money off of my pictures. But if you used the Creative Commons license that said commercial, allow adaptations of yours to be shared, yea. Allow commercial use of your work, yea. And then Flickr publishes them and you go wait! Anyway, Flickr apparently realized that it was a worse hit to their reputation and not a big money maker. Although I can understand why they thought.
Mark: Not as bad as when Instagram changed their terms of service to suggest that they own everyone’s photography.
Leo: I think that had more to do with cashing in.
Myriam: Oh God that was so bad.
Leo: Obviously people got upset.
Mark: Yea, it was unlimited use. But if they wanted to argue that they didn’t own the photography and the rights to sell it to whoever they wanted to, they had that language in there.
Leo: Big hit piece in the New York Times a couple days ago: what happened when Marissa Meyer tried to be Steve Jobs? Nicholas Carlson writing, saying…
Myriam: It was pretty good. Before you go to that, on the topic of Instagram, there’s news about it being now worth $35B.
Myriam: So despite that terms of service change and their stumble that they did early on…
Leo: Well you know why. They added four new filters.
Mark: That did it.
Myriam: It’s the filters.
Leo: Have you seen the new filters? I mean come on! They’re great.
Myriam: I love filters!
Mark: I did tweet an image before the show…
Leo: From Instagram?
Mark: Yea, it’s pretty great.
Leo: Let me just take a picture of Nathan here. Look good, there you go. Alright, now I have these new ones: I can do slumber.
Mark: God he’s a good-looking guy, isn’t he.
Nathan: Tweet that!
Leo: Ludwig, I think you look good with Ludwig. This is normal. This is Ludwig. Nice. Give him a Ludwig. A lot of Ludwig or a little Ludwig?
Myriam: Give him three quarters.
Leo: We need a little Ludwig right this very minute. Alright, I’m going to Instagram that. And yea, Instagram is now… oh I got to tag you. What’s your Instagram handle?
Nathan: N-A-T-E-O-G. NateOG.
Leo: NateOG? Oh by the way look at that nice…
Nathan: Is that a 49’er keyboard? There’s no green in there… that’s a 49’er keyboard.
Leo: When I swipe it does little snow droplets. I’m sorry now I’ve forgotten. What’s your Instagram handle?
Leo: Because you’re an original gangster?
Nathan: My last name is Olivarez-Giles. Maybe I’m a little gangster.
Myriam: Is that a swift key skin by the way?
Leo: That’s a new holiday swift key skin. Everybody gets for free! Alright, I’ve tagged you. I’m going to add to the photo map.
Nathan: Tweet it.
Myriam: Don’t forget your social media down there.
Leo: Should I tweet it too? Do you guys do that? Oh I’ve got to log in! Womp womp womp! And now there you are. Looking good with that filter.
Mark: That gangster salmon shirt.
Leo: Do they take more investment or are they now worth, what did you say $33B?
Mark: This is an investment bank that is valuing them.
Leo: But that was because, so Instagram bought them for $1B and everybody went crazy.
Mark: Yep. Which now seems like nothing considering the valuations being thrown around.
Leo: WhatsApp ended up being $22B.
Leo: $1B, I think they got ripped off. I think Kevin should go back to Zuck and say dude, you ripped me off, man. Anyway, $35B for Instagram. You know why because it has now 300M active users each month. That’s more than Twitter. And I know why, because Twitter makes me sad. It makes me sad to look at Twitter but Instagram always makes me happy.
Mark: Is it the puppies on Instagram that makes you happy?
Leo: Well I don’t subscribe to a lot of puppy people. But there are nice pictures on Instagram. Chris Michael was the founder of military.com. I’ve mentioned this before, he’s doing some great black and white stuff.
Nathan: Mark’s dog has an Instagram account.
Leo: I know, I don’t follow Zuck’s dog.
Nathan: No, Mark’s dog.
Leo: Oh wait a minute, a baby. Your dog?
Leo: Wait a minute now, I’ve got to follow your dog. What’s his or her…?
Mark: His name is Goran, G-O-R-O-N-S-F.
Leo: Is that a wrestler or something?
Mark: It’s the mountain rock creature from the Legend of Zelda. It’s a Nintendo reference.
Leo: How do you like that keyboard? O-N, Goron. GoronSF. Alright. I love that keyboard. It’s so Christmas-y. Aw, the poor little puppy only has 344 followers. Let’s TWiT-effect this. Look.
Nathan: Do you want little puppy pictures?
Leo: What the hell is wrong with you? It’s like a weird stripes on him.
Mark: No that’s the sun. It’s model lighting.
Leo: He’s a zebra puppy. Oh, do you see the problem with him? He’s too dark. You can’t see any features. You should have used a filter on there.
Mark: Oh yea.
Nathan: He sleeps a lot it looks like.
Mark: Yea, he’s big on sleeping. If only there was some influential show that could be broadcast over the internet…
Leo: GoronSF needs more followers. Think of go-run. You know a guy named Ron and you need him to go. Whoa, he’s a bat! Whoa! Is he really a… wait a minute. You think he’s a dog? That’s not a dog.
Nathan: It might be a pig. There might have been a pig and a bat mating at some point. That is terrible.
Mark: French bulldog.
Leo: That’s a breed?
Mark: Yea, it’s French. Myriam knows about this.
Myriam: I know nothing about French bulldog.
Leo: She is a French bulldog, what are you talking about?
Myriam: Doesn’t mean they’re French.
Leo: Oh, now there’s a good picture. Oh look they have motions now on Instagram.
Mark: Sleeping with his eyes open.
Leo: Really, how do you know?
Mark: Look at him go back and forth. He’s like a zombie dog.
Leo: Creepy. I don’t know which is worse: poop in a box or Instagram begging. I’m just saying, collect Goron’s poop. You never know when it’s going to be useful. It can make some money on that.
Nathan: Next year’s Christmas present for you.
Leo: I’m going to take the wine and go. What happened when Marissa Meyer tried to be Steve Jobs? This is kind of a hit piece but there is a legitimate point especially after the last quarterly results. There is nothing really to be bullish about right now with Yahoo, right? It’s not going… I’m rotting for Marissa Meyer. I really am.
Mark: I think a lot of people are.
Leo: Maybe it’s time to start… Nicholas quotes aggressive investors who suggest that maybe it’s time for AOL and Yahoo to merge or AOL should buy Yahoo.
Nathan: That idea’s been out there for so long. Does anybody genuinely think that’s the answer?
Leo: It worked so well with Time Warner merger. Why would you saddle AOL with this?
Myriam: That is a bad idea. I’m just saying.
Leo: I think the theory is they’re both big content plays. Everybody does this. It’s happened to me where people have come to me and have said you’re too small. You should merge with other content and you’ll be more valuable. It’s like why would I want to do that?
Mark: Well you can sell your advertising in bulk.
Leo: That’s what I want to do. I want bulk advertising.
Mark: Well you have more influence with big advertising. And that’s the argument for combining Yahoo and AOL.
Nathan: Part of what Meyer’s done is strip the company down and streamline with fewer products with more focus.
Mark: And this goes back to the question that’s been going on since Bart’s at Yahoo. Before her, what is Yahoo? Is it a media company or a technology company? Or is it an email service?
Myriam: I don’t think they have an answer to that.
Leo: Well and we all thought it was Meyer’s job to say look are you just going to be focused on content or do what Google does and focus on platform?
Nathan: I thought the hiring of Meyer was the decision by the board that we’re going to be a technology company and we’re bringing in somebody from Google. And then they’ve hired David Pogue and launched all these new digital magazines.
Leo: Katie Couric…
Nathan: That have not been effective. There are some concerning anecdotes in here. You’re right here where he’s talking about their version of stack ranking that Microsoft had for a while.
Leo: The Bobby had a nickel story.
Nathan: Oh man, she read this children’s book at an all-hands’ meeting.
Leo: Bobby had a nickel, all his very own. Should he buy some candy or an ice cream cone? She read this at an all-hands’ meeting?
Nathan: Yea. At the end of it everybody’s like what was the point?
Leo: And she showed the illustrations: should he buy a bubble pipe or a boat of wood? What do you think, Mark? Should he buy a bubble pipe or a boat of wood? At the end of the book, Bobby decides to spend his nickel on a carousel ride. Meyer would later explain the book symbolized how much she valued her roving experiences thus far in Yahoo. But apparently few in the room seem to have understood the connection by the time she closed the book…
Mark: The staff had gone completely silent.
Leo: URLs are what? What’s that?
Nathan: That’s their cafeteria. It’s awkward.
Leo: Oh my God that sounds awful.
Myriam: I think it’s a great story, this read. And it really brings to light a whole bunch of issues. I think she’s doing a great job overall. But it’s not good enough, right? Obviously. I personally like that they’ve focused on mobile and the products are better for it, I think. I’m a big Flickr person. I’m really happy there’s a better Flickr app now for my mobile device. But the reality is there are many alternatives that are just as good. What about Google Photos or whatever it’s called now? That’s part of Google Plus. Why would you use…
Leo: You don’t need Flickr. What is it that Yahoo offers that’s unique?
Nathan: Well they had this free unlimited photo backup that was nice that Meyer instituted.
Mark: But I’ve been using the Amazon one. I found the app to be better. Unlimited photo backup.
Leo: There’s a better app? Is it the Amazon app?
Mark: I think it’s better than Flickr.
Nathan: There’s another company called Shoebox that will do unlimited photos.
Leo: Drop Box will do it. OneDrive, Microsoft, if you have an Office 365 account is giving an unlimited storage, not even like a terabyte. Although what’s the difference between a terabyte and unlimited? Apparently Tim Armstrong who is also a Google alumni is actually considering a deal with Yahoo. Armstrong owns 5% of AOL and he could stand to gain tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars. The problem is Yahoo’s only real value comes from their stake in Alibaba, right? So all the activist investors are saying well if you separate that out, there’s nothing there. It’s a ghost town.
Mark: They made the point in the story if you cut out the value of Alibaba from Yahoo’s valuation, the rest of Yahoo is worth minus $5B.
Leo: That’s not a good price tag. They’ll pay me $5B to buy them? I’ll take it!
Nathan: The time Leo tried to be Steve Jobs.
Leo: And then I want you to build this sapphire factory. It felt like a hit piece and yet when I read it, it was like, wow I can’t… that doesn’t sound good actually. You don’t work at CNN anymore.
Nathan: I don’t.
Leo: We could talk about this.
Nathan: It’s going to be bad?
Leo: It’s not bad. CNN’s list of 28 internet acronyms every parent should know.
Myriam: This sounds like a BuzzFeed thing.
Leo: It’s totally BuzzFeed. And by the way a great story by Amy Graph on the San Francisco Chronicle. She actually investigated these and she said no one under 25 uses these. She went to…
Nathan: Or knows what they are.
Leo: … she went to Urban Dictionary and it says IWSN: I want sex now. I’m going to use that from now on. Let me just go and hit the chat. I’m going into the chat: IWSN. Let’s see if anybody knows in my work group on my TWiT team. Okay, how about GNOC? GNOC.
Nathan: Jeff doesn’t want it.
Leo: Jeff doesn’t want it! Jeff! How about GNOC: get naked on camera.
Mark: Wait a minute, we’re the ones in front of the camera right now.
Leo: NIFOC: naked in front of camera. PIR: parent in room. By the way, there’s like 18 different ways to say there’s a parent in your room. Nine POS… anyway.
Nathan: Pretty bad.
Leo: None of these apparently are real. CNN kind of just made them up. It’s click bait. I’m not sure where they got it. Apparently these acronyms come from 10 years old or more. 10 years ago or more.
Mark: Urban Dictionary.
Leo: Urban Dictionary says no one uses GNOC except for sexual predators.
Nathan: Sugar pick is a hilarious one.
Leo: Sugar pick?
Nathan: A suggestive or erotic photo.
Leo: Send me a sugar pick. So Amy says that the bottom line is that teenagers misuse technology. Parents should be concerned about alcohol, drugs, and sex. Have open conversations with your kids about these issues and encourage them to make smart choices is going to be more helpful in raising a teenager than memorizing a silly list of acronyms. I’d have to agree. Although I’m going to use GNOC more. Let’s take a break.
Nathan: Great idea.
Myriam: On that note.
Leo: It’s getting a little hot in here. I might get naked on camera a little later. But first a word from our friends at stamps.com. The holidays are upon us and the last thing you want to do is go to the post office right now. It’s amateur time. If you’re in the business where you do mailing and many businesses, your brochures, invoices, or maybe you sell on eBay or Etsy or Amazon… you do not want to go to the post office now. You want to stay as far away from the post office as you can. But you still need to get those packages out. Stamps.com is amazing. It lets you buy and print postage on demand. Yes the post office approves it. Actually the post office loves stamps.com. You print it out with your computer and printer. You do not need an expensive postage meter. There’s no special ink you need to buy. You can use any printer. You can print stamps, you can. But, more importantly you can print on an envelope. It will take the address from Quick Books or a variety of other sources and automatically add your logo, your return address. You can print for any class of postage. Packages; if it’s certified mail or international mail, they’ll fill out the forms you need. They’ll even if there’s notification, they’ll send an email out on your behalf to the recipient with a tracking number. And you even get discounts you can’t get at the post office on priority mail, priority express shipments. You can get discounts on package insurance. It is so easy. It makes your mailing professional and I want you to try it right now by visiting stamps.com. At the top of the page on the right there’s an old fashioned microphone, click that. Look at that; a special off for radio and podcast listeners, use TWIT as the offer code. And this is actually a pretty good deal. We’re going to give you a $110 bonus offer. Stamps.com has been great with us doing this. We have a USB scale, $55 in postage coupons that you have to use them over the first few months of your account. The first month is free, a four-week trial and you get a $5 supply kit. It is a great $110 bonus value and all you have to do is go to stamps.com right now, click the microphone, and use the offer code TWIT. Do not go to the post office. Go to stamps.com and it’ll make it so much easier. Stamps.com. I want to say goodbye to Dr. Dobbs’ journal. You guys are too young to remember.
Myriam: Oh no, I remember.
Leo: Do you? Alright, Myriam.
Myriam: I’m old, remember?
Leo: Oh that’s right. You are old. So when I first started playing with microcomputers, that’s what we called them those days and computer programming-it must be 30 years ago now-there was this little newsletter called Dr. Dobbs’ Journal, Running Light without Overbite. Computer orthodontia is what they called it. It’s been around for 38 years. They stopped printing a magazine a little while ago as most people did. And now unfortunately it’s sun-setting. That means in business media, the owner of Dr. Dobbs’ label will not pay for anymore new content after the end of the year. However what’s nice is they’re going to keep the website up and all the current content will be accessible. All the links will continue to work. That’s thank you UBM for doing that. I know that costs money. This was tough. So did you read it as a kid, Myriam?
Myriam: Yea, I used to get the magazine from time to time when there were some great programming articles that I wanted to read. Back in, I don’t think people know what magazines are today. They’ve probably never heard of them. They are these things that are like books but bigger, and soft cover, and very thin.
Nathan: I work at one.
Myriam: And lots of pictures.
Leo: They print copies of Business Week still.
Myriam: Do they? Wow.
Mark: Every week.
Leo: Actually and you do too. The Journal… see the reason people buy paper versions of those is because these are like business people. And there’s a different thing going on there.
Mark: We’re a… a lot of our reading happens on the weekend. So people, we deliver on Friday. They’re in stores on Saturday. And then people like to take it to the coffee shop, to the park and just lean back and read a long article.
Leo: I think for programming it’s different because first of all this lead time and this was a month late, programming moves very fast. But also really there’s so much stuff on the internet now. If you’re a kid growing up, you don’t need Dr. Dobbs’ Journal. But boy when we were starting out and young-and I was 25, Myriam, but you were younger-it was like you’d pour over this every month. Oh my gosh.
Myriam: For me it was that and Byte magazine. Byte was really hot.
Leo: Loved Byte. Speaking of Byte, just an update on Jerry Purnell, I know many of you know Jerry’s been a regular on the show. We love you, Jerry. He’s a science-fiction author, one of my authors, and his column in Byte magazine, Chaos, he really inspired everything I’ve done. He had a small stroke according to his son. He had a small stroke earlier this week. He was in the hospital for a few days. I don’t know if he’s home yet or not. But Alex has been tweeting and there’s a post on his blog on his health situation. So Jerry, you know Jerry… you cannot stop Jerry Purnell. He’s in his 80’s. He had brain cancer when he first started appearing on this show. Complete remission. They say a minor stroke. So Jerry, we’re thinking about you. Feel better, take care! We love you. And we want you to get back to writing the blog in the Chaos manner-musings. He does that on the web now which is awesome. So I know you all care a little bit about that so I thought I’d bring that up as well. Speaking of dying, Blackberry.
Mark: Oh yea. Let’s get into it.
Leo: Are you a Blackberry, are you about to pull out your Blackberry?
Mark: No, I’m so anti-physical keyboard. We were talking about this on the drive down.
Leo: They just released a Blackberry Classic.
Nathan: What are they thinking?
Mark: Did you say yes, Myriam?
Myriam: It’s hashtag nope. It’s absolutely wrong.
Leo: I remember 2007 when I was still using a Blackberry Curve. That was the smart phone of choice in those days. Then that young whippersnapper Steve Jobs came out with an iPhone. And I stopped using the Blackberry entirely. Oh I’m sorry. Jim Beam man is not going to get me to watch more of a Blackberry commercial. Oh it’s Tech Crunch. So this is a hands-on, look at that! That is a Blackberry Classic. So what happened to the Passport? They had a square one.
Myriam: They still have it. This one has the optical thumb thing again which is amazing.
Leo: Oh you mean so it had a trackball. That was the thing that made the Blackberry so cool because of the wheel.
Nathan: The ball and the pad…
Leo: Then they had the ball. Now they have that thing where you rub your thumb over it. And is that a pointer?
Mark: You know what I loved about those Ford Model A’s, they had those solid rubber tires and those wooden…
Leo: You couldn’t get a flat!
Mark: And the wooden panels on the side! Oh my God, it was so great! No seatbelts, but who needs seatbelts?! That’s why I love the Blackberry Classic.
Myriam: You could adjust the ignition timing right from the steering wheel.
Mark: You know what I’m talking about.
Leo: Let’s see. Anything else to talk about? Fitbit planning an IPO in 2015. You were in the wearable space, Myriam. What do you think? Is that a sound investment?
Myriam: Maybe. I don’t think a Fitbit is particularly innovative and pushing the envelope. And I think of fitness bands as the dumb phones of wearables. Eventually the smart watches will install an app. Like on Pebble, if you want Jawbone or Misfit, you install an app and you’re done, right? Why would you need a separate band that does this when your primary wearable device, your smart watch can do it? That’s the question I ask. And then for a lot of people, their phones are very good with sensors now days to detect that kind of stuff. So I maybe see that as a way to squeeze through with a bit of…
Leo: Before Apple comes out.
Myriam: … with a successful bump financially so they can all make money before they can get decimated.
Leo: You’ve got three months. Get that IPO going. Go talk to Morgan Stanley.
Myriam: Dumb wearables like fitness bands are like dumb phones. They’re the dumb wearables of the wearable world and we don’t need them.
Leo: Yea it’s like the Blackberry.
Mark: To play devil’s advocate here, what about those of us that don’t wear watches. I have never worn a watch.
Leo: Oh you will. Tim Cook says you will.
Mark: You think so?
Leo: Dr. Dre says you will.
Mark: I’ve tried all the Android wear watches and I’ve reviewed every single one of these fitness bands out there. And I’ve tried out some Pebbles too. None of them stay on my wrist so long. The one I like actually the most so far is the Jawbone Up 24. And that’s not a watch. I’m not wearing it right now. I’m not sure if I buy into the smart watch idea quite yet.
Leo: I think consumers might still think the Fitbit is still hot.
Nathan: Yea, what is it a quarter of the price the Apple watch is?
Leo: The battery life is great.
Myriam: But guys the point is when you can buy a Pebble for $99 and it can do so much more, why buy a Fitbit. That’s what I don’t understand.
Leo: This would be the first IPO in the wearable market.
Myriam: You can install a Jawbone Up on the Pebble and it becomes a Jawbone tracker. In addition to all the other stuff it does. It’s a non-exclusive thing, it doesn’t tie up your watch. More and more of this is going to happen. When there’s an Android wear watch that’s $99 and super sleek, you’re not going to care that you want a custom dedicated fitness band. I don’t think you’re going to care. I think it’s a dying breed. I think it’s going to be available… like you know how you go to 7-11, you can get a phone that’s prepaid right? Well the fitness band are going to continue to exist for $5-10 at 7-11. But I don’t think they’re going to stay. I think much more sophisticated sensing bands are going to come up that are fitness-optimized like what Microsoft tried to do with the band but failed. Eventually we’re going to get some really high-end and not expensive bands that are much beyond an exer-ometer that’s sensing stuff. And if you look at what Jawbone and Fitbit are doing. They’re adding more and more functionality to their bands to the point now where they have displays, heart rate monitors, so you’re turning them into a smart watch. They’re doing exactly what I’m saying is going to happen.
Nathan: To back up what Myriam is saying, there was a Gardner study that came out recently that said wearable sales are going to nose-dive. And that 50% of people are going to consider buying a smart watch over a fitness tracker on their band.
Leo: Alright, but what about people like Jeff in the chat room who says I wear a real watch. He has a really nice Cartier Tank watch. And I wear my Fitbit because I like watches. There are people who like watches. So he gets some of the benefits of a smart watch on his belt. What about that?
Nathan: I don’t like wearing watches but I have one in my pocket.
Leo: Maybe there is a market. By the way, how do you pronounce that German people? Is it Tag Heuer or wurst?
Leo: So I think this is a problem for Google. In fact some watch makers say we’re going to sue. I don’t know if it’s Google’s fault but the Android wear watches is a brisk market now in Rolex, Tag Heuer. Hoyer, really? Wake up. Look at that. I can get, and see this is what Apple’s going to have a problem with. I think this is the greatest thing about Android watches. They can look like anything. Right? Even in copyright violation. No one would mistake this for a Tag. You just… it’s cool that you can have a Rolex oyster watch logo on there.
Mark: I guess I would have asked how many people want to wear a fake Rolex Android watch on their wrist.
Leo: Me! And the other thing is I can change it. Like okay tomorrow, I think I’ll be maybe a Cartier, I don’t know. You can have anything you want.
Myriam: To answer the person in the audience that has a very fancy watch and also a second band on their wrist, I think it’s also going to go away because look at the company… look at what Willings did with their watch. It’s an analog movement. It has all the sensors in it. It has great battery life. There’s nothing that stops Tag Heuer, Rolex. In fact there’s rumors that Tag Heuer is going to announce something. I think it’s going to be inevitable that these watch manufacturers in Switzerland eventually incorporate these sensors. Even if they don’t put an actual display in their watch. And continue to have mechanical or purely mechanical watch. It’s going to be inevitable. People are going to expect it. It’s going to be so cheap to do. It may even come as a band, a band you put on that has electronics. And it’s completely unrelated to the watch. It’s made of gold, whatever. I don’t think people want to wear two bands. I don’t think so.
Leo: I don’t know if people want to wear one band. I think a lot of people are like you, Nate.
Leo: You like to go bare.
Nathan: I’m free.
Leo: Commando-wrist. Myriam, great to have you on. Do you want to plug anything? She froze!
Myriam: Uh, sure. Okay, there we go.
Leo: Now you’re back. You may speak.
Myriam: I’m tinkering on the internet KLGR on my Twitter handle, you see down here. Somewhere. Tank Girl Mobile is my blog and go check out this little project that I’ve started out with a bunch of people like Robert Scoble and Uby Benjamin and Julianne; it’s called crowdedrocket.com. There’s some projects on there that are pretty cool if you’re looking to fund something that you may want to get in a year for the holidays next year. Check it out. And keep an eye out for me at CES. I will be with the Mobile Nation guys, the people who do Android Central, iMore, Windows Phone Central. And connectedly, I will be helping them out with all of their CES stuff. So I’m returning to the media for a bit of a freelance gig. So you know, I’m around. Follow me on Twitter and all of that. I have a bunch of cool phone videos coming out on my blog, Tank Girl Mobile. As I’ve gotten a bunch of phones in the last two months that I still need to review. I’ve been using them extensively. So I know a lot of my readership likes that. So check it out.
Leo: You looking forward to CES?
Myriam: Yea, I love CES. I love the rush of it. I know it’s kind of insane. But I would miss it if I wasn’t going.
Leo: You seem like prototypical… like I feel like Tank Girl and CES go together.
Myriam: For sure. And you know, it’s the only time of year frankly that I see all the journalists from all over the world. The ones that talk on Twitter and Facebook and G-Plus every day. I mean, Nate, I see you pretty regularly because you do NSF. And I see a bunch of them at different conferences like Mobile World Congress and stuff. But I don’t see them all together in one place. And even though we really don’t have time to chat, it’s nice to see them.
Leo: Are you going, Nate?
Nathan: I am not going, actually. I am going to be… I know, I’m sorry. Myriam, I’m sorry. I let you down. I apologize. I’m going to be doing some editing and writing, and mission control stuff in San Francisco. But we’re going to have a team there and a stage.
Leo: Oh really?
Nathan: Yea, when you come in the main hall in the entrance, we’ll have a stage set up. And Jeff Fowler and Joanna Stern are going to be doing some on-stage interviews. We’ll have some actual companies-I can’t really say-but there will be some cool stuff. Maybe some news breaking on that stage as well.
Leo: So that’s right in the north hall there?
Nathan: Yea, it’s going to be neat.
Leo: That’s fun. And we can follow you on Instagram we know, OG, NateOG.
Nathan: My Twitter handle is the same.
Leo: NateOG. Nathan Olivarez-Giles.
Nathan: Or original gangster as some people like to say.
Leo: I like it. Yea.
Nathan: You know journalism and that go hand in hand.
Leo: Nate-dog. And ladies and gentlemen, of course Mark Milian, we always welcome him from Bloomberg Business Week. And you’re covering the global beat. Are you going to CES?
Mark: I will not be at CES. But similar to Nate, I’ll be editing and writing from San Francisco.
Leo: We’ll cover it. We’ve got Robert Ballecer down there, Dick Bartolo down there. A camera crew, Scott Wilkinson, our home theater guy does all the TV booths. I’m kind of glad not to go. We spent a lot of money on the stage to do the whole thing. And I feel like I can see it from here. I’m like Sarah Palin, I can CES from here.
Mark: After CES we’re launching a new internet thing.
Leo: Oh yea? What’s that?
Leo: You don’t have bloombergbusiness.com already?
Mark: No, we have Bloomberg.com and businessweek.com. And @business on Twitter. That’s our new…
Leo: Did you have to hit someone over the head to get that? How did you get that?
Mark: Some hard work.
Leo: So what will bloombergbusiness.com be?
Mark: It will be our new flagship.
Leo: So you’re going to merge Bloomberg.com and businessweek.com and it will be those two together? How exciting.
Mark: We hired Joshua Polsky from Verge.
Leo: Oh that’s right! This is Joshua’s thing! Got it! I was wondering, because he was doing digital, right?
Leo: This is it. Awesome. Look forward to that.
Mark: It’s very blue. A happy blue.
Leo: Is that the color? Happy blue?
Mark: I think it’s on the palate, happy blue. It was a crayon.
Leo: Hey, we had a good week on TWiT. We like to take kind of the best of everything that happened this past week and mush it into a minute. And we thought we’d play that for you right now. This is what you missed this week.
This week on TWiT: fresh, fresh, fresh. Merry Christmas. Ho, ho, ho. Wow. Security Now: Sony’s saying, stop publishing our private email. Those are private. I don’t think they should be published. I’m not sure if the message would have gotten through to the degree it has. You have to embarrass people for others to take security seriously. This Week in Google: Google News right now is dead. As of 8:30 Eastern last night, less than 12 hours later, Spanish publishers have gone to the government asking for help. Be careful what you wish for, amigos. All about Android: your people are selling these really expensive serious devices and it’s a freaking piece of cardboard. And you say what the hell is this? But then you do it and it’s like whoa. Oh, it’s a download progress bar. A download status bar. That is cool. TWiT, it’s like tech TV without the overpriced cable bill.
Nathan: You know what would be better than that? Interpretive dance, based on what’s in the chat room.
Leo: Okay, read the chat room and I’ll dance.
If I visit the west coast some time I’ll definitely… it’s brilliant. I think I’m quite good at this.
Leo: I think you should not laugh at my interpretive dance.
Nathan: I want to see you dance the story that Marissa Meyer read to her…
Leo: I could do that. Yes I could.
Nathan: Bobby had a nickel.
Leo: Bobby had a nickel.
Myriam: You got a new show there.
Leo: Interpretive dance? We are going to take the week off. You know Christmas is Wednesday. Hanukah ends Tuesday night, or Wednesday night. Christmas is Thursday. Hanukah ends Wednesday night. And what we do on Christmas week starting tomorrow going all the way until next Sunday and the next TWiT is specials. Most of our shows will be doing best-of’s. Those are really fun. Just a look back at the best moments from the year, the biggest stories. So most of our shows will be doing that. Some of our shows like Tech News Today will be doing very provocative and interesting specials about specific topics in the news. So keep watching, all new content coming up for you throughout the week. But we will not be here live. Don’t forget that New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve, we’re broadcasting a very special 24-hour marathon. We did it last year. It was so much fun, we decided to do it again. Starting at 3 in the morning Pacific Time on New Year’s Eve. So 3am Pacific is 1100 UTC New Year’s Eve, December 31st. And going all the way until 3am Pacific Time New Year’s Day, 1100 UTC on January 1st, 2015. We call it the 24 hours of 2015. We have actually a list, almost every time zone covered. A few more, where did I put that list? A few more time zones that we’d like to get people from so that we… I want to do everybody. I want to say happy New Year in New Zealand. Begin this show and end this show with happy New Year in Samoa. But we’re missing four including Samoa or Midway Islands or Jarvis Island. That’s all the same area. That’s UTC minus 11. UTC minus two, Trinidad, South Georgia and Sandwich Islands. You can see why we’re missing people in these. These are the far corners of the world. But I think we’re going to do it. The Azores or Cape Verde, that’s minus one. And plus six UTC, Bangladesh, Crouton, you’re global, how do you pronounce that? Khuzestan?
Nathan: Khuzestan and Kazakhstan.
Leo: The stans. Actually we have Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Pakistan. Zeshan is joining us from Pakistan. So we’ve got some really amazing stuff and…
Mark: You want me to fly to Kazakhstan?
Leo: Would you?
Leo: This is part of your portfolio. And look at who we have online from Kazakhstan. It’s Mark Milian. Yea! Who would have thought? It’s going to be a lot of fun. It was so much fun last year. Many of our hosts will be coming in. None of them will be doing things that they’re known for. We’ve got musical acts, weird stuff, they have literally not told me most of the stuff because they’re afraid I’ll say no. I think that sounds like there will be explosions and open flame but I’m not sure. We are taking over the street. We have a… am I going to end up riding the mechanical bull? Oh, God. Can I do that later in the show? I don’t know if I’ll survive. And we’re doing it for a good cause. We’re going to raise money for UNICEF, United Nations Children’s Fund. I’m hoping to get a lot of money because I feel like it’s one thing for us to do this. And we’re doing it because we’re a global operation and we want to really celebrate that. And it’s New Year’s for 24 hours all over the world. But I think also a good way to raise a little bit of money. We’d like to do this every year from now on. But this is our second annual New Year’s Eve party. And you’re all invited for the 24 hours of 2015, if you’d like to be here. The space is limited because we have a lot of people who do want to be here. So email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to be here in person. But all of you can watch and I hope you’ll tune in at some point in that 24 hours period and join us. It is going to be a lot of fun. You don’t have to give up your New Year’s Eve. You can come early and be with it. So that’s coming up a week from Wednesday. You should put that in your calendar. I really want to thank our guests, Mark Milian, great to have you. Nate, so nice to see you. Myriam, you’re the best.
Myriam: Thanks, Leo.
Leo: Thanks all of you for joining us. We do TWiT every Sunday afternoon, 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern Time, 2300 UTC. If you can watch live, do. If not, on-demand audio and video is available on twit.tv and of course on iTunes and wherever you get your podcasts. Don’t forget Stitcher, we’re on TuneIn Internet Radio. We have the great TWiT apps created by third-party developers on every platform including Roku by the way. So there’s going to be a way for you to watch. And I hope you will watch. Thank you for joining us. Thank you to our great live audience. We’ll see you next time. Another TWiT is in the can. Happy holidays everybody! Goodbye!