This Week in Tech 492 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWIT: This Week in Tech! John C. Dvorak joins Father Robert and Patrick Norton. We're going to get a big CES report. All the great stuff at CES, we'll talk about Intel's new chip set, the big screen TVs, the quad copters and more. This Week in Tech is next.
NETCASTS YOU LOVE FROM PEOPLE YOU TRUST. THIS IS TWIT! Bandwidth for This Week in Tech is provided by CacheFly, at cachefly.com.
This is TWiT, This Week in Tech, episode 492, recorded January 11, 2015.
Leo: This Week in Tech is brought to you by stamps.com. Start using your time more effectively with stamps.com. Use stamps.com to buy and print real US postage the instant you need it, right from your desk. To get our special offer, go to stamps.com now. Click on the microphone and enter TWIT. That's stamps.com, use the offer code TWIT. And by Squarespace: creating and editing your website is easier than ever, using their redesigned interface. Squarespace 7, now with Getty images, Google apps integration, beautiful new templates, and more. Try the new Squarespace at squarespace.com, and enter the offer code TWIT at checkout to get 10% off your new account. And by shutterstock.com. With over 46 million high quality stock photos, illustrations, vectors, and video clips, Shutterstock helps you take your creative projects to the next level. For 20% off image subscription packages on your new account, go to shutterstock.com and use the offer code TWIT115. And by FreshBooks. The simple cloud accounting solution that helps millions of entrepreneurs and small business owners save time billing and get paid faster. Join over 5 million users running their business with ease. Try it for free at freshbooks.com/twit. It's time for Twit: This Week in Tech, the show where we cover the week's tech news, and this was a big tech week, so let's get the panel on here. Two of us went to CES, two of us didn't. Can you guess which? John C. Dvorak and I stayed home. John C. Dvorak, good to see you. noagendashow.com. He's doing it from the No Agenda Studios in beautiful Berkley California.
John C. Dvorak: Yes. Good to be here. Testing out some new camera stuff.
Leo: You got a switcher? What did you get?
John: I don't know what this is. Woah. It's just something.
Leo: This is a show you're going to want to watch the video for. Also here, he was in Vegas. Mister Father Robert Ballecer. You don't say Mister Father?
Father Robert Ballecer: Sometimes they do.
Leo: Father Robert Ballecer, digital Jesuit and host of this week in Enterprise tech, coding 101 on the Twit network. And our reporter in Vegas for CES.
Fr. Robert: I was indoors the whole time, so I got a TB tab. This is just form the screens in central hall.
Leo: That's wild. And I'm also pleased to welcome another original Twitter—that's not right, is it? Member of the Twit team, Patrick Norton. Used to be Tekzilla, it's now TekThing and it debuts this week at TekThing.com.
Patrick Norton: Yes, we launched our first episode. TekThing.com is live. Youtube.com/c/tekthing, and before John asks, it was thousands of dollars to buy TECHTHING, but TekThing was $9. So guess which way I rolled?
Leo: But, it's also a callback to Tekzilla, because that's how you spelled Tekzilla. So Tekzilla is like all the other shows now. In hiatus forever.
Patrick: The internal produced ones. They still do their external partnerships; they've got some new stuff I understand that's going to be launching in January and February of this year.
Leo: But Discovery didn't want to do their internal—they didn't have a studio any more.
Patrick: Basically. That's my understanding.
Leo: What did they say to you? They said, "goodbye?"
Patrick: Yeah. It's OK. I got 7 1/2 years out of that. The last two wouldn't have happened if Discovery had not purchased revision 3. I had no qualms. It was an amazing experience, I got to do some cool stuff, I got to do some crazy stuff with Subaru. It was good, it was an amazing experience.
Leo: And you're going to leap from lily pad to lily pad, and now you're going to do TekThing, and you own it now. It's great.
Patrick: Well, it's like screen savers 4.0 or DLTB 3.0 or Tekzilla 2.0 or TekThing 1.0—and yes, this time I get to own it, so any decisions—any stupid decisions were either me or Shannon or Shannon and I working together. I get to own all the decisions. But before we get to that—
Leo: I know, you've been holding off very well. Go ahead. How's that feel? Feel's good, doesn't it?
Patrick: It feels really good. I came back from CES and my son's head was a number 2 with a little boy cut, which is really strange. His hair is normally super long, he looks like a moppet, actually he looks like a muppet. His hair is not quite as short as yours, but this is the first time you've ever had less hair than I've had. Certainly for the last five or seven years.
Leo: Have you ever shaved your head?
Patrick: My head was shaved for me by a group of football players in high school. And then I grew my hair half way down my back in college, and then cut it short again.
Leo: Gosh darn hippie.
Patrick: There was nothing more fun than having long hair in a ponytail in a cowboy hat in CBG throwing down with skinheads on a Saturday night. Because that, ladies and gentlemen, is my idea of a really good evening.
Fr. Robert: I have really boring evenings.
Patrick: Says the man who is sneaking secure hardware on behalf of the Vatican out of small countries going to revolution.
Leo: Everybody knows, but if you're just tuning in and you missed our New Year's Eve marathon, 24 hours, you're all invited for next year, you were there, Robert. We raised $75,000 for UNICEF, and on the way to $75,000, I pledged to shave my head for $40,000. Did that, promised to get a tattoo for $50,000, did that.
John: Did you get the tattoo?
Leo: Yes, I did.
Patrick: Ask him where it is, John.
John: It's on his butt, probably.
Leo: Yeah. How did you know that? You guys know me too well. I'm going to wear this hat for the rest of the show, because it's cold.
John: No, don't wear that. It looks like some throwback from the 70's.
Leo: I look like I might be cleaning up later on. You guys call me Madge.
John: You cleaned up on the New Year's event.
Leo: 75 grand for UNICEF. It's great. In fact, they said, "we're building a hospital in Guatemala thanks to you. Would you like to come visit it?" So that's pretty good. I feel good. So thanks for your donations. It's not too late. Let me just check. unicefusa.org/twit. Wow, it's still going up. 63 in cash, the rest of it was through our auctions, so you can still donate
Patrick: When we ended we were $58,900 for the night, right?
Leo: Dr. Rob put us over 60 so Father Rob would shave his head. It was a lot of fun, we'll do it again, I'm sure. But thank you for everybody for your donations. So, CES. John, you haven't been to CES in how many years?
John: I went last year.
Leo: You did go last year. So you go every few years, is that your plan?
John: You know, it's like, first I've got to decide if there's anything worth going to see, and then I have to decide if I want to go through the agony. By the way, I have all the tricks. I know where I can park a car right by CES, I know every way of getting around there. I always rent a car. But it's just the crowds—this CES had to be a nightmare. Everyone is going to catch the flu from this CES.
Leo: I don't know how Robert survived without getting sick. Holy water. There's 160,000 people, and if one person gets sick, everybody is going to get it. At least, have a good shot of getting it..
Fr. Robert: I live at a high school, so chances are I already got it.
Leo: You're better now.
John: It's also over-covered. I don't really have a reason to go to it. There's 33 hundred booths and ten thousand reporters, that's three for every booth, and they don't cover all the booths, which makes no sense to me, but they don't. It's over covered, and nothing really comes out of it, and everybody always bitches about it at the end of the day. I'm sure Patrick got some good stuff.
Leo: Well that's what I was wondering. I have to check to see if there's any reason to go, but isn't it the thing you don't expect that turns out to be the most interesting thing at CES?
Patrick: It's also a chance. My partner in crime from HD Nation, he goes there to get physically hands on with all the new TVs. The TVs aren't going to ship for six months, but he goes in and he gets up close and personal with the latest.
Leo: That makes sense because you have to see it in person. You can't see it on the Internet. We do the same thing with Scott Wilkinson, our home theatre guy. He did—actually, if you haven't seen the home theatre geeks from this week, he did a tour of all the big booths. The Sony, the LG, and the Chinese companies.
John: Another good reason not to go. Because he goes, and he knows a lot more about it.
Leo: He knows what he's seeing.
Fr. Robert: I would agree with you most years. The last five years of CES have been useless. We could have not gone and gotten everything just by reading the reports. This year was different. It absolutely was different.
Leo: Why was it different?
Fr. Robert: The biggest thing is no tablets and no cases. The last five years at CES have been all tablets, all cases.
Leo: There wasn't iPhone accessory heaven somewhere?
Fr. Robert: There was, but it wasn't a big thing.
Patrick: I don't think Samsung announced a phone, they talked about maybe one tablet. The Internet of things, which I have officially defined as a hot mess because it's a hot, hopefully inoperable mess, which a couple years, it was a hot and closed down, but difficult to deal with mess. It's still a pain, but it's going to be interesting to watch that evolve. The Internet of things is everywhere, and it's defined in 10,000 different ways. It was interesting to see how CEA is moving the Industry forward. They moved the 3D printing—
Leo: Consumer Electronics Association, which puts on CES, even though it's the Consumer Electronics Association, CES is not the Consumer Electronics show.
Fr. Robert: It's international CES.
Patrick: There's a bunch of interesting things going on. Microsoft drops out, Intel drops out.
Leo: Intel still has a booth, don't they?
Leo: Microsoft hasn't had a booth in years. Apple hasn't gone in years.
Patrick: Whether Apple leaked the rumors, or the rumors just happened to show up during CES, Apple doesn't deal with CES, but they drop a few things just to keep people nervous. BMW had half of the parking lot in front of the LVCC, and you might be thinking who cares? They brought 50 BMW i3s. They were doing electric vehicles. They were showing reporters advanced versions of autonomous driving technology with an Android wear watch, or an Android smart watch, where they were like BMW I3, here boy, or whatever they were saying into it, and then the car would drive up to them and they would get in, the car would drive itself. You would send the car to park itself. That's a pretty neat demo, but when you look at the press days, GM was announcing— for 30 seconds they previewed the new Chevy Volt the night before while they were talking about On Star, Volkswagen had a major keynote, Toyota had a major keynote, LG was partnering with outie. So the automotive manufacturers have come in in a very big way that I certainly would not have expected 2 or 3 years ago. Ford announced Sync 3. Automotive manufacturers are talking about the stuff in the rest of the car at the Consumer electronics show.
Leo: It's funny. I'm surprised cars were there, because in years past, the Detroit auto show has been at the same time. This time they moved it. It starts tomorrow. Maybe that's why they moved it.
Patrick: In the middle of GM's On Star, 4G LTE, and hey, they whipped some curtains back for 30 seconds, and here's the next generation Chevy bolt, and 30 seconds later the curtain goes shut, and it's like we'll tell you everything about the new Bolt at Detroit, right? Obviously they're savvy.
Leo: The cars are more Consumer Electronics than they've ever been in the past. Ford really was one of the first to go to one of these events because of Sync. What about autonomous vehicles? Did you see any of those?
Fr. Robert: The big autonomous pavilion was outside, so you had Outie, you had Mercedes, you had BMW, and you had VW.
Leo: Were they all concept cars?
Fr. Robert: No. That's the fantastic thing. VW, you can actually buy that car in Europe.
Leo: I saw the Mercedes Bends concept car, which is like a living room on wheels.
Patrick: I got to talk to one of those large electronics manufacturers you've never heard of, except you've heard of once, that actually provides half the parts for half the automobile manufacturers in the world, I was talking to one of these people at SEMA in 2013, and one of the things I was told is, "yeah. Luxury autonomous vehicles, 2017. They're going to be all over the place." Affordable autonomous vehicles 2025. It's amazing how fast this stuff is coming. Autonomous, or assisted driving, IE the car is going to keep you from swerving in front of the 18 wheeler, that's going to be 2017 or 2018. By 2025, autonomous self-driving cars should be fairly common.
Leo: High-end cars already have a lot of stuff.
Patrick: But there's a big difference between your Outie A8 and me buying a two year old beat the snot Subaru. When it's in the two year old beat the snot Subaru that I'm going to pay for, it doesn't cost that much. You know what I mean?
Fr. Robert: The outie system was ridiculously impressive. I love what they did with the A7 and the RS7, those were beautiful cars. But the one that got it for me was the VW, because the sensors they used to make it assisting and self-parking are actually already in the egulf. If you buy the Egulf package, the sensors are there. They just wrote software to use that in a different way.
Leo: Even Ford has said, "we have many sensors in our cars now." And the idea is they're going to be there, and we'll be able to take advantage of them in the years to come, even if we don't today. But there's also Consumer acceptance. I think the idea that the Mercedes Bendz car you have a swivel seat so you don't have to see out the window is a little scary. The idea of saying we'll just have a cup of tea and we'll let the car get us there. Will people accept that? I guess they will. We do it, somebody tweeted me, you're doing it now already in airplanes. Airplanes fly on themselves. In fact, they're often landing themselves.
Patrick: You drive in California. I drive in New Jersey, and I thought the worst thing I ever saw was on the night I got my learners permit, which was driving to the Newark airport from semi-rural Pennsylvania on a Friday night to pick up my cousins, it was one of the greatest nightmares of Route 22. Right? And then I moved to Northern California and I find out what really stupid driving looks like. That's not even thinking about what are the last four things you've seen people in the car, reading the newspaper, texting, applying make up, eating meals, shaving.
Leo: People are terrible drivers. I think everybody accepts the idea that self-driving car would do better 90% of the time, but it's the fear that it'll get into a situation where it can't handle it and it'll just fail.
Fr. Robert: But Outie has something for that 10%. So their system uses near field sensors for Pedestrian avoidance, but it also can see 3 miles down the road with Lidar, with laser, radar, and some other system. And it actually has in the software, if the road doesn't look like what it thinks it's supposed to look like. If it's not matching up to the GPS, it'll inform the driver, you're going to have to take control of me—
Leo: Did the Mercedes have a steering wheel? Is it just hidden away? It didn't look like there were any controls.
Patrick: Mercedes had a big black booth with a shiny car in the middle of it, and I'm pretty sure no one was allowed to get within touching distance of the car.
Fr. Robert: They shut down the Las Vegas Boulevard North bound to have the Mercedes Entrepreneur Entourage. We have video because we were stuck in this traffic jam, people were coming close the car, and you had these big suited German men—do not touch the car! Drive them off.
Leo: Didn't Audi drive its autonomous vehicle to the show? That's amazing. John C. Dvorak from Gitmo nation, how long is it before the police put in a kill switch in a car to not only stop driving, but come to the Police Station right now? Are you worried about that, John?
John: I don't see why they don't implement that as soon as possible. I mean, these self-driving cars are going to be easy to stop or make them go someplace they don't want to go. Ever saw the Silicon valley show, I think there's a self-driving car that puts a guy in a container and ships him out to the middle of the Pacific. I think that could happen.
Leo: My destination has been reprogrammed.
Patrick: I think it's the underlying thing. All the hackers have been giggling about with the Internet of things. Oh, you're going to take an object, it's probably going to have an inexpensive chip set which has a three or four year old code base that you may or may not have time internally to vet before you ship the product. On one hand, if you have your white hat on, that's great. And if you have your black hat on, that's great. Because it's either going to provide epic new holes into the system, or it's going to have opportunities to secure things.
Leo: Isn't the car the ultimate definition of an air gapped computer?
Patrick: It all depends. People could be like; I don't have a key anymore. And people could say well I could Blue snarf your key and then I can open your car when you're gone. Hyundai did something really cool. All their systems going back to the original Sonata in 2012, their new application which will remotely start the car and turn on the air or turn on the heat, depending on whether you're in Florida in August or Oklahoma in December will work with all the cars going back. So it's obviously going to be a big deal that they secure the living snot out of these, not just the car itself, but the network connection and the applications that are running on Android or iOS.
Leo: Terry K in the chatroom says, "Police aren't going to like self-driving cars, because then they won't be able to write tickets anymore." You'll always be going the correct speed limit; you'll never run a stop sign. Everything is going to be nice and orderly. Where is that revenue going to come from?
Fr. Robert: Someone is going to jailbreak their car because they're going to install in an app and then they can write a ticket for that.
Patrick: Or because someone is doing bong hits or because they use the override button or because they're fornicating in the car while it's moving.
Leo: Are you saying it's going —the whole purpose of a self-driving car is so we can fool around while they car is going.
John: So you can fornicate in the car while it's driving.
Leo: Is that going to be illegal?
Fr. Robert: It depends on if you're driving in the 5 or the 1. 1 it should be fine. It's beautiful.
Leo: You should have a privacy window that fogs the windows up and you should be able to do it. You're not driving, you got to do something.
Patrick: I'm not arguing, I'm just saying.
Leo: They'll be a new kind of auto accident. Infragrante delicto auto accident where—officer, I couldn't respond. I was busy. Anything more to say about—I think this is important. I mentioned it once before by a self-driving autonomous vehicle advocate—I think he was working at Google; he said one thing people don't understand is one of the biggest resource wastes in the world is we all have a car. Self-driving autonomous vehicles can create a new sharing economy where you don't need to own a car. You just use—
Patrick: I thought Uber was doing that.
Leo: Even better. You push a button, the car comes to you, takes you where you're going, and then takes off. Let's say you want to go camping and need an RV. Car will take you to the RV, you get in the RV car takes off, the RV drives you where you want to go. You don't need to own a car any more if autonomous vehicles can come to you as needed.
Fr. Robert: We actually saw that two years ago at CES. They looked like Segways. But the idea was, it's a small pod, and you could summon multiple pods. So if it's just you, you get one pod. If you've got cargo, you’ve got two pods, and they caravan. When you're done, you send it back out into the Network.
Leo: It is a taxi service, but the point is you don't have to wait. I don't know. The driver is the only difference.
Patrick: It's the way mass transit used to work.
John: This is the reason Ford is so against these things. Even though he liked to talk a big game, in fact, any of these meetings, the Ford guys have gone to the University of California and all these experts saying, "the self-driving car will never work, network cars is the way to go. You want the cars so they talk to each other, but they don't necessarily drive. The follow up of course, "People really like to drive."
Leo: That's what Alan Malawi would always say about autonomous vehicles.
John: The new people out there, the kids that are under 40, most of them don't like to drive. They're using Uber all the time. A lot of them don't have licenses.
Patrick: Nobody is using Uber. People in New York City and San Francisco are using Uber. People with money are using Uber.
John: That's bullcrap. Even Adam Curie in Austin Texas uses Uber.
Patrick: Adam Curie makes more in a month than I make in a year.
Leo: Uber X is not that expensive. In fact, it's probably cheaper than owning a car.
Patrick: If you're in an area with Uber support. So you talked about three large cities.
Leo: You'd be surprise. I hate to tell you, there's Uber in Petaluma.
Patrick: yeah, of course. But we’re 25 miles from San Francisco?
Leo: There are Uber drivers in this area.
Patrick: I think John is right. I think there are a lot of millennials who aren't buying cars, but they aren't because they have no money, not because they don't like to drive. There's still a lot of parts of the country where an Uber doesn't work as well as we think it should.
Leo: You were actually the poster child for somebody who likes to drive.
Patrick: Poster adult.
Leo: Mark Lane, the new CEO of Ford did say, I saw the quote, we are working on autonomous vehicles. We plan to have autonomous vehicles to sell. Maybe this is the new Ford management.
Patrick: There's a difference between what they're working on in the back and what they're talking about in the front, because John's totally right. If you have a bunch of people that are reviewing cars, you're not going to tell all the car reviewers that cars will be driving themselves in two years, because no one will review any more.
Leo: He's making a deeper point, which is that this will reduce the amount of cars we sell. Many people have said this, they won't sell as many cars because of this. Ford's response has always been that we'll find other markets and other ways to make money, but I think that you're right John. This scares them a little bit.
John: It should scare everybody. I think the kind of societal changes that will take place—I’ve pointed this out before—what happens to the city coffers? When you have a place like San Francisco that does 80 to 100 million dollars in parking tickets? That income goes away.
Patrick: It was funny—
Leo: It's a good thing, too. Screw them.
Fr. Robert: CES went the other way as well. You've got these self-driving cars, which are going to have high price tags, they're going to be performance vehicles with electronics up the wazoo, and in the same pavilion, you had LEO motors, and LEO motors was a set of a $6800 vehicle that you can buy. It's a three-wheeler, you can ride in tandem. Stripped down to basically just what you need to be safe. It has airbags, it has safety.
Leo: This is a smart car, same thing, right?
Patrick: The reason it has three wheels is because it allows them to avoid a lot of testing at the federal level. It may be the safest three wheel out there, but a three wheel car can be a 1957 Morgan.
Patrick: You cannot overrule Newton's laws of physics. The larger mass is going to squish the smaller mass no matter what.
Patrick: What they figured out is by turning the smaller mass into something that collapses and absorbs the impact—
Leo: With me in it!
John: They did a wreck test with a smart car. It's not intuitive, but when the smart car is hit by something, it bounces, so it doesn't get smashed into a million pieces. It jumps.
Patrick: The national institute of highway safety, the big crash system, they took—
Leo: Where is it going to bounce to?
Patrick: It depends on how far it's bouncing.
Leo: I don't think that's a better thing. Oh I'm going to ping pong ball, I'm safe.
Patrick: They took a 61 Impala and a 2011 Impala and they smashed them together to do a test, and the three-ton car, in terms of what would happen to the legs of the driver, got its ass kicked.
Leo: Right, because you've got that sheet metal in front of you that doesn't buckle, that doesn't break. It slides right through you. We've gotten smarter about this.
Patrick: If the Smart car turns into a super ball and you're safely wrapped inside of the air bags—
Leo: I do think that there is a very big market for driver assist stuff. Self-parking cars, Ford has done really well with those, adaptive cruise control, avoidance of merging into a lane where there is something else in the lane. Things like that. That is only going to make us better drivers. That's good stuff. That's a first step.
Fr. Robert: It should make us better drivers, not necessarily.
Leo: As you point out, it's in the higher end cars.
Patrick: You can buy a Subaru outback with that stuff in it, and that's not a higher end car.
Leo: It's getting better. I love my adaptive cruise control, because basically I could close my eyes. I just put my hands back and say if there's a car in front of me, just slow down.
Fr. Robert: But we all agree that this is a perceptional thing. Right? We've got the technology to make safer cars, the cars that can drive themselves that are actually better than we are. We just don't think people are going to make that jump, to say, I want to relinquish control.
Leo: Is it always disruptive, John? I mean, that's the whole thing. That's what we talk about is disruptive stuff, stuff that changes the world.
John: This is classic disrupt. This is beyond disruption, these driverless cars. This is a major societal change at numerous levels.
Leo: Much like the Segway.
John: Oh right, yeah. Count me as a person who never thought that was going to go anywhere. I was right.
Leo: Who was it that said it was going to change the way that cities are designed?
John: Steve Jobs and Bezos. Steve Jobs said it was going to change the way cities are made, and Bezos said it was going to be the most revolutionary thing ever. They were sold the bill of goods.
Patrick: And the maker said no one would ever crash one, that he had made it impossible.
Leo: And that's when the president went off the cliff, right?
Patrick: Pretty much.
Leo: I am excited about autonomous vehicles. I think it's going to be revolutionary. It's interesting that there's a category that is totally new to CES, and there is something to talk about. Let's talk about TVs when we come back. We're going to take a bit of a break. If you picked another category where there's constant innovation, and kind of a scramble to create a market, because frankly, TV sales have plummeted, it's that. And we'll talk about what was new in television. That we should get Robert on for.
First, let’s talk about a revolution in Stamps. Oh you might say, mailing stuff, that's as old as Ben Franklin. No! Stamps.com is actually one of the biggest revolutions in mailing things ever. First of all, you don't have to go to the post office any more. You can print your own US postage from your computer, and your printer on demand, as needed, 24/7. You don't need an autonomous vehicle to get to the post office, you don't even have to get up from your desk, and then the mail carrier comes to you, picks it up. It's so easy. By the way, this is not a postage meter, it's a fraction of the cost, no special links. You've got everything you need. In fact, if you go to our stamps.com page right now, stamps.com, click the microphone at the top of the page on the right there, use the offer code TWIT, we're going to get you something else that you don't need, which is a great digital scale. TWIT is the offer code. That digital scale means you always have the right amount of postage, it's USB, it plugs into your computer. We're going to get you a 30 day trial, four week trial of stamps.com, and up to $55 in free postage to use over your first few months as a stamps.com member. $55 free postage! So there's really no reason not to find out how stamps.com can change your business. If you mail stuff in business. Invoices or brochures, we use it all the time for stuff like that. But if you're even more so, if you're an ETSY seller, an Ebay seller, why aren't you using stamps.com? Everyone once in a while, I get something from Ebay with postage stamps. Licked postage stamps on the thing. It's crazy when you can do it this way. You'll even get discounts you cannot get at the post office. Fill out all the forms for you, if it's priority mail or some sort of confirmation mail they'll e-mail your recipient ahead of time with the code, all of that. Professional. Stamps.com, click the microphone in the right hand corner, use the offer code TWIT for a very special $110 bonus offer. That's what I looked like with hair. If you go to stamps.com, click the microphone, you'll see what I looked like with hair. Gosh it was a nice head of hair I gave up. Do I look like a different person? A little bit?
Patrick: You look like a different person a lot.
John: You look like Balmer.
Leo: See? Balmer. Developers.
Patrick: I was going to say Sling Blade. Balmer's probably a nicer comparison.
Leo: This is the other thing I've learned after I shaved my head, again for charity. I'll never do it again. Disclaimer. You can tell how old somebody is precisely by who they say you look like. If they say you look like Curly from the three stooges, they're 80. If they say you look like Telly Sevales, 30s 40s. If they say—
John: I say Ballmer. This doesn't work.
Leo: Ballmer is a special case. That's what the geek might say. If you say Uncle Fester, 50s. If you say, Heisenberg from Breaking Bad, it's a young person. If they say Pitbull, I understand that’s a rap performer.
John: You look like Pitbull.
Leo: You know who Pitbull is?
Patrick: You know what? You actually do.
Leo: If they say Pitbull—
Fr. Robert: Jason, a picture of Pitbull please.
Leo: Someone says, "You look like my dad." TVs. Did you go to the TV pavilions?
Fr. Robert: I had to.
Leo: Did you watch the TVs? So we've been—I saw 4K displays at CES 4 years ago, something like that. Even then, I said this is where the Industry should go, this is an exciting development. A lot of people said you're not going to notice anything on a smaller screen. It's only on a 70 or 80 inch screen that it makes a difference. Did you notice a difference even on a 55-inch screen? I think you do.
Patrick: There's not much content. There's a lot of stuff going on. The UAC alliance is coming together which is a bunch of television manufacturers that are trying to figure out how to get 4K delivered so they can sell more 4k televisions, 4k screens are becoming less expensive so 4ks are going to be in the 1080 P range in terms of pricing.
Leo: Yeah. The prices have plummeted.
Patrick: Here's the thing. Toshiba wasn't there. Vizia wasn't there. It's kind of like LG's OLED vs. Samsung SUHD. Quantum dot technology, which is essentially—
John: Did you see the Quantum dot?
Leo: Turn up Dvorak's bleed so we can hear him. Almost an infinite number of Quantum dots.
John: I want to know about these things.
Leo: Let me just explain what this is. So, these are still LCD TVs, they're still LED backlit LCD TVs, but they are now white LEDs with a special Quantum film between the LED and the screen that changes—what does it do?
Patrick: The Quantum Dot technology gives you a more pure backlight. So they are little pieces of whatever bits matter. Stuff. So when they are hit with a specific wavelength of light, emit light at a specific wavelength.
Leo: It's BS, right?
Patrick: Actually it's not. It's an expanded color gamut. Better looking reds, greens. It's physically noticeable. There's a lot of stuff going on. With the OLEDs at LG what is spectacular is the black levels, because they're black. There is no light coming out of the monitor, because it is off. With the Samsung, a lot of other places are using Quantum dots.
Leo: It's a more efficient backlight, right?
Patrick: Yeah, that's part of it.
John: I asked a question.
Patrick: So the question is, yes, it looks spectacular, whether you're talking about Sony's 900 or Samsung's SUHD.
Leo: They amplify the white.
John: Is it spectacular enough that you say I want this?
Patrick: The thing Robert Herron said, is if somebody walks in and sees a 4K television that doesn't have the expanded color palette, and a 1080 P that does have the expanded color palette, whether it's quantum dots or LED, or whatever, they're probably going to go for the expanded color palette. It's going to look better. Reds especially look amazing.
Leo: This is why I always wear red on the show. Red is traditionally very difficult for video. It's too hot or something. OK. So Quantum dots are real technology. Here's something that makes me sad though. Plasma is all but dead, and I think many agreed that Plasma was the best-looking television sets, and I bought into OLED. Now, only LG is going to continue with OLED. All these companies are putting all their research and efforts into LCD. Why is that?
Patrick: Because it's the only thing anybody can afford to make, other than LG. My understanding—I am not the insider on this, but my understanding is the only company that is making any money on televisions is Samsung right now. Their margins are gross reaching, right?
Leo: I have a Samsung OLED, but they're not going to make that any more. They're going SUHD, which is the new LCD. Is it good? Is it as good as Plasma?
Patrick: I would say that the LGO LEDs and the Samsung UHDs are as good as or better than Plasma.
Leo: I would say the OLEDs are. But they're not making them anymore.
Fr. Robert: The super high end TVs look spectacular. They're beautiful. But nobody is buying them. They're too expensive, someone may want that. But they're going to say that I'm going to get 99 percent of the way there with this set that costs half the price.
John: This is the same old story. It's always too expensive when it first comes out, then it gets cheaper over time. Is it possible that l80 can't get cheaper? Why is it—?
Patrick: Think about it. 4 years ago? Sony had that 11 inch OLED television that was $4000 and now—
Leo: I spent $9000 on my 55, now LG is selling a 55 for $3500. That's list.
Fr. Robert: OLED has gotten cheaper; it just hasn't gotten cheaper quick enough.
Leo: I guess the idea is that we can make Quantum dot and get 95%. How close? Is Quantum dot as good as plasma?
Patrick: Robert Heron's going to be able to tell the difference. Scott Wilkinson is going to be able to tell the difference. The machines are going to be able to tell the difference. I think for most people walking into a Best Buy or a magnolia or their local video shop, it's going to be very tough.
Leo: Because those are the nitwits that buy LCDs!
Patrick: LCD isn't that bad.
John: They also detune them. They look like crap in these stores.
Patrick: Even if you are in one of the rare stores where they properly calibrate everything right, you're in a serious video file store, they're still going to look pretty amazing.
Leo: I'll accept this. Maybe LG will continue to make a high end OLED for people who know the difference.
Patrick: That's also because they wanted to push the energy requirements down farther faster. As the LCD technology gets better, the need for having Plasma gets less critical.
Leo: The big story according to Scott at CES was a 4k standard, I guess I'll now say UHD standard for color gamut. For frame rate. And there's a standards body now. It looks like finally the content and the TVs will have something to aim for, and that's good. We've been telling people don't buy 4k until a standard is ratified at least, right?
Patrick: The 4k televisions—
Leo: If your TV doesn't have the color gamut that the 4k UHD is capable of, then you're missing out something. I don't know if it's visible or not. So this UHD alliance means we now have an agreement on UHD.
Patrick: We have Samsung, Disney, Netflix and a bunch of people who are going to argue.
Leo: Sony too. It's also Panasonic, it's also Sharp. So the content creators, the movie companies and the TV manufacturers, they've all agreed on the standard for UHD.
Patrick: They've all agreed to sit down and come out with a standard. We've all been through this before where at some point Fox and Sony or Samsung and LG, it's still going to be—
Leo: So these SUHDs from Samsung, are they not necessarily going to adhere to the standard.
Patrick: The color standard has already been set, right? We know the 265 is going to be with us for a couple of years. The expanded color gamut has been set for a couple of years. They're not going to re-invent that for a couple of years. This is going to be about establishing how the stuff is delivered more than anything else.
Leo: Getting Netflix to do it right.
Fr. Robert: Netflix, Disney, Fox, Warner Brothers, all the big names.
Patrick: There's talk about a 4k blue ray spec coming out.
Leo: They did announce that they will make UHD Blurays this year. Those are 66 to 100 gigs per disk. That's going to be part of the deal. It sounds like you shouldn't buy it today, but the fall is going to be the beginning of the UHD transition.
Patrick: I wouldn't wait with baited breath. Truthfully, the production companies and the networks creating 4k basically scanning stuff, like 90 percent more important to this than whether or not—the television spec is going to matter a lot less than there's actually content in the format being delivered.
Leo: As usual price and availability up in the air. 50 thousand, we don't know what it's going to cost.
Fr. Robert: Can we really run backwards? Everyone is so accustomed to getting what they want via Netflix or Amazon or prime. Are they going to go back to saying I'll wait 3 days to get this disc so I can watch it in HD?
Leo: I'm with you. I have long proclaimed the death of physical media, but if you're going to go to UHD, now you really are in a demanding environment. Netflix today says you need 20 megabits down to watch their UHD streams, and that's not H dot 265, so maybe it'll be less. They're certainly not as good as a Bluray is going to look. I might say if somebody is this serious that they're getting a UHD TV, maybe they're going to get a Bluray player as well because they want to get— they're saying that I'm a videofile, I want top quality. ESPN is 720 P. You're not going to be watching football on a UHD stream.
Patrick: I'm not going to be watching football on broadcast over the air in a stadium. I also stream curling from Canada.
Leo: Is curling in 720 P or have they gotten to 1080 yet?
Patrick: I don't think I'm streaming 1080 P curling. I think nothing would make Hollywood happier than controlling the keys to the access of the content and never releasing physical media again.
Leo: They love streaming, right?
Patrick: They love anything that requires you to purchase the right to watch the movie again. Over and over.
Leo: I might be wrong, I think Netflix is using HECV. They're already H.265. So if you're watching House of Cards or Polo and you have 25 megabits, these are UHD streams. It's a lot of data.
Fr. Robert: I was streaming over my phone, which is fantastically fast, and I used 5 gigs in two hours. Burned through it.
Leo: You have a 4k phone?
Fr. Robert: We had it hooked up to the monitor.
Leo: Sounds like you guys were pretty impressed by the television stuff.
Patrick: They're pretty.
Fr. Robert: The central hall is always glowing and blue and bright. But not just different technologies, more TVs at bigger sizes. You could actually look at them and say this is an improvement over what I've seen in previous years. That impressed me. I haven't seen that at CES for the better part of a decade.
Leo: So Engadget now does the best of CES. Remember when we used to do that? I'm so glad that we don't do that any more. Best startup, a band aid called the amp strip. It's a sticker you put on your chest and it monitors your heart rate steps and other vitals. OK. This is actually something that is a KickStarter. The dash, and it promised a lot. They've had prototypes now for best digital health and fitness product. These are blue tooth in ear speakers, monitors, headphones, that do all the monitoring as well, all the fitness tracking as well. They also have a heart rate monitor, touch controls, Blu tooth, and three-hour battery life. So they said these were also the best wearables.
John: How many people here in the panel have any of these heart-monitoring watches as the show is going on?
Fr. Robert: I have a dozen of them in a box back home.
Leo: I wear my Moto 360 all the time. I forgot it today. This is unheard of. I couldn't find it. Moto 360 has a heart monitor and a step monitor.
Patrick: When I use a heart monitor it's a traditional polar that wraps around your chest, but I knew a lot of people that lived with a Fitbit or one of the wrist monitors. Garment has some pretty good watches in terms of fitness watches these days.
Leo: Did you guys see the misfit stuff?
Fr. Robert: We did a segment there.
Leo: They look like they're doing some interesting stuff.
Fr. Robert: A six-month battery. That's not bad, actually.
Leo: They announced some new products as well. Best automotive technology; see this is a joke because this car will never be made. The Mercedes F15 Luxury and motion concept car. The car with no windows, because why would you want to see how close you came to being squished?
Patrick: It's funny because it's such a radical revisioning of what a car is for most people.
Fr. Robert: I think it was a cop out though. It was absolutely a cop out. They made this concept car based on the F1 0 five frame, so that they could say this will happen in the future. Look at what Audi and VW did. We sell these frames today. I like that approach.
Leo: Mercedes Benz sees this car as a lounge in which you drift from destination to destination.
Patrick: Sure. This is William Gibson.
Leo: This is kind of interesting. Echo star the folks who do Dish announced Sling TV. Remember they bought Sling box?
Patrick: I think this is one of the biggest announcements of the show.
Leo: I agree with you. I think it's under played and perhaps deserves more attention. They've made a deal with ESPN, which is the most expensive, the number one pay cable channel. Everybody wants ESPN. They've made a deal to offer you ESPN for $20 a month plus other stuff.
Patrick: Plus a dozen other networks.
Leo: A dozen networks you don't want. Plus ESPN.
Patrick: I know a lot of people love the Cartoon Network. A lot of people love—
Leo: ABC Family, HD. What it really is is a Disney deal. Almost all of these are ABC Disney channels, including ESPN. But, 20 bucks a month, is this a cord cutters dream?
Fr. Robert: Not yet. It's not nice. I like the fact that they're moving here. They're pretending like it's an ala Carte Internet deal, and it's not. It's still a package and you have to add on. By the time you add on Discovery and whatever else you want, you're looking at 40 to 50 dollars a month.
Leo: It's actually closer to your cable bill, especially when you throw in the Internet access, which you need.
Patrick: You're looking at ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, Home Garden TV, Travel Channel, CNN. There's a lot of pretty good stuff on here for 20 bucks month.
Fr. Robert: I'm not saying there's not good stuff. I'm saying for most people, there's going to be a channel that they really want that they're not going to get in the package, and they're going to end up paying either to continue cable so they can get that channel, or they're going to pay an extra 5 or 10 dollars.
Leo: Let's say you're paying for HBO. HBO says they're going to go ala Carte for around the same price. So you've got that. You're going to pay 40 bucks for your Internet, so you've got 80 bucks.
Patrick: I'm going to pay for my Internet whether I have all this other stuff anyway.
Leo: I think it's no accident that it's going to end up close to the Cable bill you're already paying.
John: The other thing is—let's not kid ourselves with what ala Carte actually means. Ala Carte is not a subscription. When you go to a restaurant you don't buy steak free and then have to eat it for the next year, day after day. Ala carte is the way it used to be—I think there's still some elements of that in the big old giant Sea band dishes, because nobody cared about them, where you could buy one day of HBO, you could buy one day of Showtime. You would just pay for one day, and that's what you'd get billed for. 50 cents, a dollar, whatever it would be. You want to watch ESPN when you want to watch a football game, you pay for that. That's ala Carte.
Leo: No one is going to offer that.
John: Why not?
Patrick: There's also the—
John: Because they can't scam your money. That's why.
Leo: They don't get enough money out of you.
Patrick: This is a big step. ESPN, Disney channel, CNN, TNT, and TBS— that's a big chunk of why a lot of people have cable.
Leo: The problem is if you want ESPN and HBO, and you want locals, because you want to watch— you might have ESPN, but you're not going to see the super bowl, you're not going to see the play offs on ESPN. You need the locals as well. But by the time you—
John: Get an antennae. You want the locals, get an antennae.
Leo: Like many people, we don't live near enough to a metro to get the locals. Petaluma an antennae wouldn't do you any good.
John: You sure? Have you ever tried?
Leo: Yeah. We get channel 50. It's not a good channel. I'm not kidding. We get channel 50 and the local PBS station. That's it. No 7 no 4 no 3 no 2.
John: That's the disadvantage of living out in the middle of nowhere.
Leo: We're not in the middle nowhere. That's the point is there are a lot of people for whom an antennae— if you can get locals via antennae, it's the best HD experience you're going to get and it's free. So get it. Best connected home product: again, Engadget is the best of CES. The Energist's WhatsApp. Did you see this? Do you know what it does?
Patrick: It's wireless power distribution from a router.
Leo: It'll charge wearables, phones, and sensors from that thing? How is that
Patrick: I don't know.
Leo: They can't send enough power through the air to charge my phone.
John: Induction can do it.
Leo: If they could, it's going to cause cancer too.
Patrick: That's the bonus.
Leo: Don't get close to my WhatsApp!
Patrick: Any battery powered device that requires less than ten watts. Works like wifi. Radio frequency system similar to a wifi system. Safe wire-free. I'm reading from the Energist website. Safe wire free charging energy at a distance of up to 5 meters, 15 feet from a transmitter to a receiver device. 12 receiver devices can be managed by the system simultaneously.
Fr. Robert: Tesla is smacking his head right now.
Leo: Dell Venue 8, 7000 Tablet. This is actually kind of an amazing little tablet. 8 inches, runs Windows 8.1 with a nice screen. 2560 by 1800.
Fr. Robert: It's 2k plus.
Leo: The cost? Oh the screen. If it's more than 2000 dollars I'm not buying it.
Patrick: It's 8 inch, 2560 by 60 OLED screen. It's 400 bucks.
Leo: It's cheap. Windows runs great in 2 gigs of ram. It's amazing. Best TV. The LJ arts slim OLED, is this one of those three MM thick?
Fr. Robert: They're all 3 MM thick.
Patrick: The Sony, the 4k Sony was 4.9 MM thick.
Leo: And yet, do I care? No. It could be this thick. It doesn't make that much difference.
Fr. Robert: For that 30 seconds when you have a guest over and you go take a look at this.
Leo: You have to rotate your TV. Best gaming project: The razor forge TV. I guess this is like the fire TV.
Patrick: It's funny. Shannon and I spent a bunch of time in the razor booth, and we were talking about this. It plays Android games. It also streams games from your PC, and we got a bunch of flack because nobody mentioned it in the booth while we were in there. It's cool. It's an interesting piece of hardware.
Leo: It's a micro consol. New category we've invented.
Patrick: I don't know how new it is. I think the Amazon and the Fire TV got there first.
Leo: We had the happy fork last year. Why didn't we have Bell T this year?
Fr. Robert: Because I was this close to killing myself with the happy fork.
Leo: Bell T is a belt that loosens automatically.
Patrick: There are so many things about that that are wrong.
Leo: It doesn't do anything else. Does it? It's a motorized belt buckle that tightens and loosens itself. If you've eaten a little too much for lunch, it'll slacken slightly then tighten back up before your pants fall down. It also has an activity tracker. It ought to be at that size. The thing looks like Batman wore it.
John: It looks like something from an airplane.
Leo: It can monitor changes in your waste circumference. I don't want to know.
Patrick: Best off beat product. It's a good choice.
Leo: Good choice for off beat product.
Patrick: Someone is going to hack it and just start tightening it on you.
Leo: 3D printing. Maker bot was they’re showing off filaments made from real materials like iron.
Patrick: I got to touch a few of those. They were pretty badass.
Leo: Wood? That's been the problem with desktop 3D printing is crap PLA stuff, it doesn’t look good, it doesn't feel good, and it's going to break. So if you can make it out of something real.
Patrick: It takes a little work to break PLA and ABS is pretty common at this point. It takes a little work to break ABS. This is interesting. They've essentially powdered materials and put them in the filament. I spend as much time at the wall of the maker bot booth like, huh.
Leo: The bronze, according to maker bot can be polished. The iron can be magnetized, there's enough iron in it that you can magnetize it. And the wood smells vaguely of maple.
Fr. Robert: It just changes the texture. Doesn't really change the strength.
Leo: I think that the materials in Desktop, and I'm saying desktop, could really be improved. I think this is good. It's PLA composite filament with built in metal or wood.
Patrick: You've got to remember the current desktop printing technology is essentially 30-year technology. When you get into the SLA stuff where you essentially have a bucket of goo and you're lazering micro dots out of it, or you're doing metal or something like that, it's much more interesting, but we're not there yet at the desktop.
Fr. Robert: XYZ has a stereographic lithography machine, so they do do the laser one. And there was one booth in the south hall that had a metal centering printer.
Patrick: If you've got enough money. If you've got 60 grand, or if you've got 800 thousand dollars, you could buy that technology now.
Leo: I wonder if they could make it out of people.
Patrick: Soilent 3D printing.
Leo: We're going to take a break. When we come back, the most important stuff at CES. It wasn't TVs, it wasn't cars, it wasn't auto-sizing belts, and it was drones. I want to talk about the drones. I know you must have covered that a little bit.
Fr. Robert: I did. A teeny bit.
Leo: This guy is the king of drones here. I want to talk about PCs too and INTEL. INTEL announced the broadwell chips finally and what does that mean for PCs. But first a word from our favorite place to create your next website. Squarespace.com. I'm thinking Patrick probably has a SquareSpace site.
Patrick: I do. I have 3.
Leo: I thought you might. 3?
Patrick: Soon to be 4.
Leo: Are you going to put TekThing? Is that running on SquareSpace?
Patrick: It is.
Leo: Everybody right now go to the TekThing.com.
Patrick: Actually go to patrion.com/tekthing.
Leo: That's not SquareSpace.
Patrick: But you should go to SqareSpace now.
Leo: Go to TekThing.com, and then you can go to Patrion. I'm sure there's a link at TekThing.com.
Patrick: I'm working on that. SquareSpace makes it easy to make a website, I'm a customer of SquareSpace. It's beautiful.
Leo: But you made it so quickly that you forgot a few things.
Patrick: That sums it up.
Leo: Anyway, I just want to bring it down. I want to show you that if everybody watching right now, thousands of people all go to TekThing.com, or noagendashow.com works too, that's also a SquareSpace site, says John running back to the microphone. Yes! You cannot bring it down. That's the beauty of it. I want you to go to squarespace.com. It's not only the best hosting, the most robust reliable hosting in the world, it's also the best software run. On top of it, SquareSpace 7 is here. And they've added some great new features. More beautiful templates. Now you have over 30 to choose from. They've done something interesting. They now have some templates for specific professions. Musicians, artists, architects, restaurants. For instance, Aviator. It's a business template. It gives you a strong first impression. Great for businesses, design firms, professional profiles. They have cover pages. This is kind of cool. If you want to make that site, you want to make a site where people go and find your name, and they see your brand and your personal identity to promote a single product, cover pages are great. Google docs integration. Works with Gmail, Google docs, Sheets, drive calendar, and can easily link with branded e-mail accounts to your domain. the new mobile apps are fantastic. We've got Portfolio, which is great for photographers, Note, which is a great note-taking app. It’s free. Metric blog. By the way the note and blog apps are now on Android too. They're moving over. A developer platform too now. You don't have to be a guru to use SquareSpace and get all these benefits. You can absolutely do it right now. If you are a developer, you can do what some of the top digital agencies use SquareSpace as a platform. They get the developer and they just customize it like crazy. You'll get the same coding platform SquareSpace uses itself. Access to Getty images. 10 dollars each, you can pick from thousands of professional Getty images, use them on your site. E-commerce on every plan, every subscription. Social media of course integrate and link to your Twitter, your Google Plus, your Facebook, your Tumblr, YouTube, Pinterest, on and on. So easy to use. It all starts—first of all, you can use it free. You don't need a credit card or anything. Just go to squarespace.com and use the—press the get started button. But if you decide to buy, you can take 10% off and show your support for the show when you use the offer code TWIT. Starts before the discount at $8 a month. That's the hosting, that's the software, e-Commerce if you want it. If you sign up for a year, you get a free domain name, and you get 10% off that if you use the offer code TWIT. Start here, go anywhere. squarespace.com. There's a reason why everybody uses SquareSpace. It's the best. Drones. On know how you do Drones all the time.
Fr. Robert: Oh no. Not at all.
Leo: And is this drone, is this the 40 dollar drone that you've been crazy about?
Fr. Robert: No, this is, these are both drones that we built on the show.
Leo: You made them?
Fr. Robert: This is about $100, this is $150.
Leo: And you found a really inexpensive drone that we've been using to pollute the skies.
Fr. Robert: That's a $50 drone you can basically crash into people.
Leo: Nice! I was excited. The Parrot AR Bebop. This is a $500 drone with 1 super fish eye lens. The software then can take any segment, so the camera doesn't have to move for you to pan around and see any part of the world under the drone. What did you think of the Bebop? Did you play with that?
Fr. Robert: I did. It actually flies well. I thought it was going to be a toy. It's actually decently controllable.
Leo: They say it's pretty easy. They want it to be easy, right?
Patrick: Is it again forcing you to go through the interface on a tablet or phone?
Fr. Robert: You can, but they have something called the sky commander which actually adds sticks to the sides of your tablet, so that you can control it more like a traditional quadcopter using one of these little remote controls.
Leo: So RC fans will like it because it’s a hybrid RC smartphone?
Fr. Robert: But the nice thing is you can have someone else controlling where the camera is. And it’s all stabilized, digitally zoomed, and unlike these quadcopters, if you put it into a location and then you release the controls, it will stay there. So it will hold its position rock steady giving you this beautiful footage.
John: What do you think about the Chris Anderson’s type of drone?
Leo: You mean the DIY drones guy?
John: No, the ones that preprogram its route and you push a button and off it goes to take photos.
Fr. Robert: It’s a horrible idea.
Patrick: It depends on the drone, the platform, and the gimbal. And it depends on how good you are at flying it.
Leo: But it’s autonomous. Is that what you’re saying?
John: Yea, it’s autonomous.
Leo: That’s sounds like not a good idea.
Fr. Robert: Well that’s the thing. We always get people who are like these are not drones, these are quadcopters. I understand what they’re saying. But drone just means that you have some sort of autonomous functionality. And of these will have some sort of autonomous functionality.
Leo: Mostly just to hover, right? Just so that they stay stable, that’s what the original PDAR did so well. It was easier to fly because it has some autonomy. Is this from the Bebop?
Fr. Robert: This is from the Bebop.
Leo: How could the picture be that good?
Fr. Robert: It’s a 1080p camera on the front.
Leo: I love this. And put on virtual reality helmet and you can be where the drone is.
Fr. Robert: You can get about 11 minutes of flight time on that battery, two kilometers away.
Leo: $500. How much is the Sky Commander?
John: Knock the guy off the hill.
Leo: Yea, really. How much is the Sky Commander?
Fr. Robert: They didn’t price that for us yet. They’re sending us both though so we’ll be able to play.
Leo: I wanted to get one for Henry. I thought this would be a good one for a teenager to play with.
Fr. Robert: Has he played around with a $35 drone off of…? Buy the $35 drone to learn how to fly.
Leo: The last thing I’m going to do is give Henry something that can chop somebody’s head off in the distance.
Fr. Robert: This flies more like those toy drones where you’re actually not going to destroy much if it hits it. It’s nice and light.
Leo: Look, the FAA is right about ready to ban these suckers entirely. They already said you can’t use it for commercial purposes.
Fr. Robert: I’ve actually got a really good story about that.
Leo: What’s the story?
Fr. Robert: I was in Hawaii and I found out that President Obama was on the island the same time we were. And the FAA issued a directive saying that you are not allowed to fly drones, quadcopters while the President is on the island. So the first day, I’m on Waikiki Beach and I really want to fly this. There’s an officer there and I ask am I really going to get in trouble flying this thing? And he says the FAA actually doesn’t set policy, it doesn’t set law. They’ve issued an advisory.
Leo: And they have no enforcement.
Fr. Robert: Exactly.
Leo: There’s no FAA police to come get you.
Patrick: So he said fly away. And then he actually looked… and then he ran away with his camera to video you on YouTube, waiting for the Secret Service to come in with shotguns drawn.
Leo: You actually flew a drone in contravention of Federal mandate.
Fr. Robert: It was an advisory.
Leo: Alright, okay.
John: Wait, let’s stop. What is the best beginner’s drone for people to hit things with? To learn on a little drone. I went to a toy shop in San Francisco that had a bunch of these drones. And they advised me there’s one brand that has a line of drones that goes from cheap, like $60 is the cheapest, all the way up to $500.
Leo: This is the one that Robert likes.
John: And they’re little drones and you can’t wreck them.
Leo: Syma makes a $35 drone. But that’s not the one to get.
Fr. Robert: Go to amazon.com and look for the Syma X5. That’s a $50 drone, delivered to you. That thing is nearly indestructible and you can’t hurt anything with it.
Leo: Alright, Syma X5.
Fr. Robert: Once you learn how to fly…
Leo: But wait a minute. You’re saying you can’t hurt anybody with it.
Fr. Robert: We ran into Brian’s face.
Leo: On purpose?!
Fr. Robert: Well it was on purpose on my part but he didn’t know.
John: I think this may be one of those drones…
Leo: It’s not a drone, it’s a quadcopter.
John: Well to learn how to fly these things accurately.
Leo: Well let me buy that one. Oh this one’s not eligible for Prime. I already ordered it. If you want it for Prime, it’s $52. Alright, so that’s not so bad. What was the best drone you saw at CES?
Fr. Robert: It’s got to be the DJI Inspire. That thing is beautiful. We have footage. We did this for our CES footage. It has got terrible geometry. It lifts the motors and the skids out of the way so the camera below has an unobstructed 360 degree view. And it’s 4K, it’s beautiful.
Patrick: It’s a beautiful camera and comes with a gimbal. That’s one of the problems with the DJIs. It doesn’t come with a gimbal so you either had a static camera mount or you started hacked gimbals onto it. Which worked with less or greater effectiveness. 18 minutes, this is where they claim 18 minutes of flight time. A two-kilometer range. 18 minutes is like forever in drone flying terms.
John: What’s this model again? Can you say it?
Fr. Robert: The Inspire.
Leo: Inspire One, from dji.com.
Patrick: And this is one of those models where one person pilots the craft and then you have a cameraman.
Leo: That’s actually smart because it’s very hard to do both.
Patrick: And they’ve added a feature where you can actually detatch the gimbal from the craft and it becomes a handheld. So you can do steady cam shots with it.
Leo: How much?
Fr. Robert: Between two and three grand depending on how you outfit it.
Leo: So it’s good that we didn’t buy that other DJI that everybody wanted to get last month. Because this one’s the one we’re going to get, right John? Next year.
Fr. Robert: They offered us a deal.
Leo: Like how much of a deal?
Fr. Robert: I’m not sure.
Leo: Would it compromise our integrity?
Fr. Robert: No.
Leo: Not that good of a deal.
Fr. Robert: Or I’ll just build it.
Leo: I’m ready for a deal that will compromise our integrity. That’s the deal I want.
Patrick: I don’t know if you saw it. There was a really good article on Gizmodo before Christmas; the best drone for every beginner. And Shawn Hollister at Gizmodo went and bought 15 drones off of Amazon.
Leo: What did he buy?
Patrick: Actually a bunch of them. He kind of talked about which ones were best for what situation. Like, Air Hog’s Helix X4 Stunt which is one you can actually buy in Targets. The best miniature was a UDI U83-9.
Leo: What good is a miniature drone? I want a drone that can hurt somebody.
Patrick: Well you can hurt somebody…
Leo: Should we be worried? Okay, there’s two issues: safety and privacy.
Patrick: The reason you buy a $33 drone off of Amazon is because one they’re hard to kill; two, you’re going to make a lot of mistakes when you’re learning how to fly a drone.
Leo: What kind of mistakes?
Patrick: Running it into a wall, crashing it into the ground, blowing off the landing, getting it caught in trees.
Leo: Destroying it.
Fr. Robert: The biggest mistake you will make when flying a droid is this is forward. And then you turn it around and suddenly this is backwards. So if you don’t keep track of your orientation, you can…
Leo: I’m confused already.
Fr. Robert: Exactly, you’ll switch your control input.
Leo: And then what will happen?
Fr. Robert: And then you’ll go left and it will go right. Or you’ll go back and it will go forward.
Leo: So you’ve got to practice?
Fr. Robert: You’ve got to practice a lot.
Patrick: Which is why you get the small ones.
Leo: Okay, again, safety and privacy. Let’s talk about safety. It’s possible on many of these drones to fly them outside the range of your controller. Then what happens?
Patrick: It falls out of the sky, it shoots toward the ground at top speed, it hovers.
Fr. Robert: Unless you build one of the ones we taught you to build on Know How, because it will actually start making a lazy left turn to let you reacquire signal.
Patrick: Which is awesome. Because the DJI Phantom which is a pretty expensive, pretty nice drone that does all sorts of cool GPS stuff; if you fly it out of its range, a friend of mine found out that it will actually drop out of the sky and slam itself into the ground at top speed. Which was great because…
Fr. Robert: It’s great on camera.
Patrick: …he was in Palm Springs and all of a sudden he had to go into this woman’s…
Leo: Haven’t there been horrific injuries with drones? Isn’t this kind of a dangerous thing?
Patrick: It can be dangerous. Far more people are killed by small planes every year.
Leo: RC planes you mean?
Leo: There’s very little control on RC planes, right?
Patrick: It’s also more people are killed by hammers every year, like hammers and baseball bats and rebar.
Leo: I know, but understand that this is a category that is growing exponentially all of a sudden. So everybody’s getting a drone now, right? So I think yes, maybe there haven’t been problems yet. But I think there might be a problem any minute now. Okay, that’s one. Two, safety! I mean privacy. So there’s also this concern, they’ve banned drones in national parks.
Patrick: They banned drones in national parks because it’s incredibly irritating to hike five miles in the middle of nowhere and then hear whirr. Because you go there for the peace and all of a sudden there’s this...
Leo: Yea, that’s a sound you don’t want to hear. You really don’t want to hear that sound. Ah! Are you in control of that thing?
Patrick: I am a trained professional.
John: Ram him!
Leo: I feel like I would be tempted. Look at that. He’s a master of the drone.
Fr. Robert: Yes, yes he is.
Patrick: Yes I have. We’re sharing it. We started with a RadioShack helicopter which is pretty cool. Then we picked up one of the Air Hogs because I could find it immediately at that point. We start with a Parrot AR. Parrot ARs don’t work so well on Android devices in my experience. In fact it’s a miserable pain.
Leo: So most of these you’re flying with your smartphones?
Fr. Robert: No. The Parrots you can fly with your smartphones. Everything else flies with a controller.
Patrick: I think Parrot works great on iOS. It’s pretty atrocious flying experience and control experience on Android.
Leo: How about the Bebop? Should I get a Bebop?
Patrick: Wait for it to come. Start with the trainer because you will crash.
Leo: Well I just ordered that $50 Syma.
Patrick: Perfect. That will build you.
Leo: I’ll practice with that. Why is something you build better? Besides the fact that it’s cool to build it?
Fr. Robert: What we’ve been trying to do on Know How is when you build a craft and have someone explain how it works, you’re not as likely to do stupid things with it.
Leo: Because you have some ownership.
Fr. Robert: I like DJI but one of the biggest problems with DJI is you buy these potentially fatal craft and you think it’s a toy. So you send it 400 feet up and now you don’t know how to get it back down. If you build it you actually understand the physics to making it work.
Leo: There’s been a site for years, we’ve talked about it before: DIY Drones. Do you like this site? Is this a good site?
Fr. Robert: Oh yes.
Leo: These guys have been doing this for a long time. Diydrones.com. I don’t know why… oh Golden Globes. A drone will be used to film celebs on the red carpet. They’re everywhere! Every TV operation needs to have a drone. We have a DJI Phantom just because we’re a TV operation. We’ve used it once. Actually we got it because John wanted to play with it, I think.
Fr. Robert: I have footage of you flying around on a drone.
Leo: Me flying on a drone?
Fr. Robert: It’s a Know How project. A Leo bobble-head on the back of this drone flying around San Francisco.
Leo: What about the privacy concerns? That people are going to fly drones right up to your bedroom window looking in?
Patrick: I feel like we had this conversation in 2002 when you walked in with that first Nokia phone with a camera.
Leo: And I was right! That was before anybody knew what the word up-skirt meant. I was right! And now it’s… what are you laughing at? Okay. I think I’m worried about drones, too, looking in my bedroom. You can close the curtains though. That’s the difference.
Fr. Robert: On Know How there’s going to be a really awesome segment where you do a DIY-focused EMP emitter. So that when the neighbor’s kid sends the drone over to take a picture of your daughter, you’ll be like Zink! It will fall out of the sky and you’ll throw it in a pile with the rest of them.
Leo: Is the coolest thing about the drone the fact that you can put a camera on it and you get these beautiful aerial images? That’s the first thing I noticed.
Patrick: I wish I knew someone in PR at DJI. The day before CES, they were having the people who were doing the drone combat, the drone races…
Leo: We had them for New Year’s Eve. The game of drones. That was wild. Drone combat.
Patrick: I can do FPV, first person view, on this little one. And doing FPV races with other racers. It is so much fun. You strap on a set of…
Leo: Do you wear an Oculus Rift? Or what do you wear?
Patrick: It’s LCD glasses. So it’s like you’re sitting at the front of the cockpit here and you just get a sense of speed. Daren over at Hack 5 has been using them with the Wi-Fi pineapples. And for war-driving. It’s one of those things where…
Leo: See right now I’m starting to say war-driving. That’s a good idea with a drone. Has he weaponized the drone yet?
Patrick: I think actually the United States military is in the lead on weaponizing drones.
Fr. Robert: I put an Airsoft gun on this one.
Leo: Did you really?
Fr. Robert: Yea I was just shooting on some cans.
Leo: Can you shoot stuff?
Fr. Robert: Oh yea. But we’re not doing that for Know How for obvious reasons.
Leo: You put an Airsoft on a drone?
Fr. Robert: Yea, it’s easy.
John: How about a one-shot zip gun?
Fr. Robert: Actually that would be easier than an Airsoft. You can really take this tech to a bad place.
Leo: How long before assassins start using drones?
John: We’re already doing that.
Patrick: Yea I was going to say! But those cost a lot more.
Leo: Okay. Those are more expensive. Yea, there are guys sitting in basements in Las Vegas flying drones all over the world. Those are really drones.
Patrick: Those are U-cavs. Those aren’t just drones.
Leo: What’s a U-cav?
Patrick: Unmanned combat air vehicle… gun.
Leo: A gun! Alright, the other big announcement I thought was an announcement that was delayed. Intel said they will have the Broadwell chips by fall. They didn’t. But I’m sure you’ve talked about this on This Week in Computer Hardware. Patrick does every week with Ryan Shroud on this network. Not all of the Broadwell. Just the mobile parts.
Patrick: Yea, so basically the Intel Nooks, the little Intel computing boxes were there. And then one of my favorite things in the show, Dell’s XPS 13.
Leo: Loved that! Tell us about that!
Patrick: Okay, so I found the Dell booth. And there were two things I fell in love with. The Dell UltraSharp 34 curved monitor. Samsung’s going to have similar models later on this year, like six months out. Right now you can buy the Dell UltraSharp 34. Which somebody in the chat room said I can buy it for $1000 if I find the coupons. So it’s a 21x9 ultra-wide monitor that looks gorgeous. That actually starts at $799. What you’re looking at right now starts at 13.
Leo: Almost bezel-less. 13-inch.
Patrick: It’s like an 11-inch MacBook Air will fit inside that thing. Because Ryan has a picture on PC Per, like an 11-inch MacBook Air sitting inside of that and looking very clunky.
Leo: I came so close… you can buy this today. I almost bought one.
Patrick: It’s going to ship, depending on which screen you get, it’s going to ship at the end of January or the middle of February.
Leo: And these are running the new fifth generation Broadwell chips. That doesn’t mean faster, slightly faster, but mostly they’re 14 nanometer process. So there’s much lower heat and much better battery life.
Patrick: So the graphics built into the Intel processor are going to be significantly faster. We’re hearing somewhere between 20-30%. I’m going to call it 25%. They’re claiming like 90 minutes additional battery life over the Haswell processor.
Leo: For the new XPS 13, it’s like 15 hours of battery?
Patrick: They’re claiming 15 hours. Of course, if anybody can try… if anybody from Dell wants to send me a laptop, please. But it’s starting at like $800. For the 1080p screen. And they’re offering it without a touchscreen. Which I think is a great idea. I think the touchscreen thing has run itself down.
Leo: The QHD screen on a 13-inch, it seems like that might be too much resolution.
Patrick: It’s funny you say that because I’m running a Dell XPS 13 right now. I’ve been in a bunch of situations because I’ve been doing a bunch of work-what’s the code for Square Space one last time?
Leo: Uh, TWIT.
Patrick: Where I want to have my Square Space window up and the Patram window up. And I want to have something else up, and I’m actually kind of dying for a higher-resolution monitor. I spent a couple months working on a 4K desktop monitor.
Leo: So you want the quad-HD?
Patrick: I want the quad-HD.
Leo: Now you can’t get touchscreen in the 1080p one.
Patrick: I’ll be honest with you. I use the touchscreen when I’m opening up the laptop instead of hitting the spacebar. And once in a while I’ll use it again. I’ve been using touchscreens in all-in-one desktops with Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
Leo: So you’d say get QHD?
Patrick: I’m not a huge fan of touchscreens. On tablets they’re amazing. On desktops and laptops, not as fascinating to me.
Leo: So $999 for the non-touch 1080p screen. Actually as little as $800.
Patrick: I think it ends up being $300 to get the quad-HD screen.
Leo: That’s not bad. And double the memory. Oh actually no, you get 8 gigs.
Patrick: Yea, 8 gigs is what the XPS 13 is going to max out at. But I mean the new processor, they’re claiming significant-I don’t know about significant but a healthy-reduction in power consumption. They’re claiming 90 minutes of additional battery life.
Leo: This is talk. So it’s a new process but similar architecture.
Patrick: Depending on who you ask, 4% to 8% to 10% overall CPU performance compared to Haswell.
Leo: Here’s why I didn’t pull the trigger on this XPS 13. In fact, it’s kind of a surprise. Usually Apple’s first out of the gate with a new Intel chip. In this case, it’s Dell first out of the gate. But I imagine that we’ve heard this rumor there will be a MacBook Air 12-inch with super-thin design and stuff. This actually kind of makes me think this is going to be very much what the new MacBook Air retina will look like. And I would imagine that Apple would announce something soon.
Patrick: When they did this presentation for me, I was listening to decent specs and then they got to the price. And I said excuse me, I’m sorry? Because I was expecting it to start at $1200.
Leo: $800, what do you get for $800? You get the I3 processor, 4 gigs of RAM, and 128 gig SS.
Patrick: But it is skinny. It is MacBook.
Leo: It’s very slender.
Patrick: It is one of the most amazing Ultrabooks I’ve seen so far. And the keyboard feels fantastic. The software they’re running on the touchpad is fantastic.
Fr. Robert: I’m very happy with this ASUS A7. I’ve been using this for two years.
Leo: Me, too. That’s what I have.
Fr. Robert: When I saw the new Dell, I was thinking that might be my new notebook.
Leo: The A7 replacement.
Fr. Robert: Dell? Can you send a couple? Three or four? We’ll take care of them. We’ll do it right.
Leo: That’s an intriguing product. But it’s not just Dell. I’m sure we’re going to see Broadwell in a lot of new systems. Were there other people showing it there?
Patrick: I’m sorry, no. Lenovo actually had a laptop that had Broadwell in it.
Fr. Robert: 1.7 pounds. It felt like it was hollow.
John: Yea, that’s that Yoga, right?
Patrick: No. It’s actually lighter than Yoga. I’ll pull it up.
John: That’s some of the Yoga, the Levee.
Leo: Oh this is not the X1 Carbon? The new X1?
John: I thought it was different.
Leo: There is an X1 Carbon with Broadwell as well.
Fr. Robert: The power adapter weighs more than the laptop.
Leo: Lavibo M?
Patrick: Yea, I mean Ryan got hands-on with this one. I didn’t get a chance to play with it. They were like it’s a sub-two pounds laptop. It is a ridiculously light laptop. But they, it looks like CNET did a full preview and PC Per got hands-on with it. And it’s interesting because it’s like a magnesium-lithium shell.
Fr. Robert: Right, they had to remove all the aluminum and steel from the chassis because they needed to save every last ounce of weight.
Leo: So what is the sacrifice on this then? Is it more expensive?
Patrick: It feels a little plastic-y.
Fr. Robert: It only has eight hours of battery life. It maxes out at eight hours of battery life. I think they top it off at an I5. They don’t go to an I7-you can’t do an I7 in that chassis.
Patrick: Which for most people isn’t going to be a big deal. It’s like 2560x1440 on the monitor. And it’s ridiculously light. It’s a sub-two pound core I5 laptop.
Leo: And 2560x1440, so it’s high-res. SSD.
Fr. Robert: Like Patrick said, the one thing that put me off was when I picked it up. It did not feel stiff. It didn’t feel like a laptop; it felt like a plastic box.
Leo: It’s magnesium-lithium.
John: It’s all metal.
Fr. Robert: I’m sure I’d get used to it. But it doesn’t feel like it has the heft that it should have.
Patrick: The thing that Ryan said on This Week in Computer Hardware was it’s so light that it felt like plastic. Despite the fact that it was metal.
Leo: Sometimes heavy stuff feels more quality. But at the same time…
John: If you’re traveling for God’s sake.
Leo: In your backpack, you might want the lighter.
Fr. Robert: The difference between a 1.9-pound and a 1.7-pound notebook…
Patrick: This is sub-two pounds… to bring back to what Leo said, the MacBook Air is currently like 2.96 pounds. So maybe that’s going to be the big thing for the MacBook Air.
Leo: There have been rumors in the renders of this new MacBook 12-inch Air, look very much like this Dell. With a very narrow bezel. Very thin, very light. And this is actually controversial, no connectors. Because the thing is so thin, you can’t put real connectors. You have to use this new USB connector, that it says ultra-thin connector. It’s the one connector-and this is according to Mark Garmin at 9-5 Mac-it will be the power connector, the video connector, and the USB connector all in one. One port.
Patrick: To rule them all.
John: One expensive connector, great.
Patrick: That was funny because the XPS 13, they’re doing an external adapter so you can do VGA and HDMI and a bunch of other stuff. And they’re selling it for $30. There’s no power supply in there.
Leo: This is the new USB Type C spec.
Patrick: But yea, John, I’m with you. It will be interesting to see what the Mac tax is going to be on the adapter for the…
John: $60 minimum.
Leo: I think though you are going to see more systems especially as they get thinner, use this Type C connector. Because for one thing it’s reversible. Hallelujah, finally. And it’s got 10 gigabyte performance. That’s pretty darn good. Can apparently carry both power and video. Although that is annoying to have to have one port on your laptop that everything has to use.
Fr. Robert: I just envision having a laptop with that one cable coming out and then it’s branching out to this monster…
Leo: That’s what Apple has become though, right? Well you only have one port…
Patrick: Have you seen the Mac Pro?
Leo: Yea, I have the Mac Pro.
Patrick: It’s so neat until you look behind it.
John: I guess it wouldn’t take much to take like a pen or a pair of tweezers or something and stick it in that port that somebody don’t like.
Leo: Oh lord.
John: Just mentioning it as a joke, goofy things you can do in your spare time.
Leo: Or maybe design a drone to do it. Speaking of Intel, we’ll do one more Intel story: they’ve allocated $300M for workplace diversity. They were dinged along with some other high-tech companies for having a low number of women working there. And a very few people of color. So Intel said…
John: You don’t have to spend money for this. You just change your policy.
Leo: Just hire them! Well, some of this money is going to go to schools towards education.
John: Yea, okay.
Leo: To fund engineering scholarships. And to support the black colleges and universities, that kind of thing. So I think this is great. We’ll see.
John: It won’t change anything.
Leo: If it doesn’t change anything, that’s disappointing. According to Intel, 18% of undergraduate engineering degrees go to women. And they want to increase that number. And then other news on the New York Times, there’s a guy in underwear. I don’t know what that is.
Patrick: We didn’t cover the Curry. The Intel Curry.
Leo: What is that?
Fr. Robert: They released a dual-core tiny little chipset. It’s a system on a chip. They will, we believe, will be used by wearables. So the idea is to give communications, horsepower, memory, everything in one tiny package. So you can enable the internet of things slash wearables on pretty much everything.
Patrick: But I thought the Qualcomm was going to own the internet of things.
Fr. Robert: Everyone wants to own the internet of things.
Leo: And there are also people who are very interested in this HDMI Windows 8.1 computer.
Patrick: So the Intel compute stick. So Windows 8.1 or Linus HDMI-out is going to require micro-USB for power.
Leo: $150. Now don’t assume this is a USB key with Windows running on it. It isn’t. This is a computer. It’s a processor, it’s RAM. It’s a computer on a stick. That’s kind of cool.
John: They’ve been working on trying to shrink these things since they came out with the Knuck.
Leo: You can’t get much smaller than this.
Patrick: I think it’s also because they’re looking at the Raspberry Pi, they’re looking at the Arduino. It’s kind of funny because they did it at IDF; they had some of their smaller super-low power that were like Arduino slash Raspberry Pi competitors that were available. This is actually a full PC essentially that plugs into an HDMI port.
Leo: So any TV or monitor with an HDMI port, you just plug this in and now it’s a computer.
Patrick: Well you’ll need a micro-USB connection for power as well. At this peak their generation…
Leo: I wonder why they didn’t make an MHL version of this.
Patrick: MHL is kind of hurting.
Leo: Nobody’s doing anything with it. It says running an Atom processor.
Patrick: Yea, and it’s not the atom processor from…
Leo: It’s not your father’s atom processor.
Patrick: Yea, I was about to say that. It’s like the Pentiums now, they’re essentially running Haswell technology, too.
Leo: So this is Bay Trail. System on a chip.
John: I think this is a good idea.
Fr. Robert: I think it’s a good idea but I think a lot of people are missing what it could be used for. This is entrée for VDI, virtual desktop infrastructure. All of these little systems that seem underpowered, the whole idea isn’t you want the computer plugged into your TV. You want what the computer is connected to. So if you’ve already got a desktop, a laptop, you’ve got something in the cloud, Amazon cloud compute, you can use one of these as a thin client to access that. Microsoft is already right now… you can package up your Windows desktop, drop it into Azure, and then access it on one of these VDI devices. And you have your full desktop with everything and all the power of the computer behind it. And all that device does is basically provide…
Leo: It’s a terminal! Alright before we wrap up CES, anything else you guys want to talk about that happened at CES?
Fr. Robert: Samsung external SSDs look really cool.
Leo: The Evo 850 out now? That’s their newest. Allyn Malventano from PC Perspective said that’s the one to get.
Patrick: Very few booth babes. I was actually very happy about that.
Fr. Robert: Yea.
Leo: They run when they see you coming. They say here comes a priest. Quick, hide!
John: You were happy to see these girls out of work.
Fr. Robert: No, they were still in work. They just have clothes on.
Leo: They can find work. There’s other work.
Fr. Robert: Now’s a great time to go to our next sponsor.
Leo: Let’s take a break. Yea, I think that’s the entire… I think basically you just now in an hour and a half, everything you could have… you saved a lot of money. You didn’t get sick, I hope. And you now know everything. We didn’t talk about Carplay.
John: I think that is accurate.
Leo: I felt like sometimes I sort of… Zeus! If you’re not watching the video, just pay no attention to this. I sometimes feel like CES is like Groundhog Day. It’s like wasn’t I just here?
Patrick: This year was different.
Fr. Robert: Better.
Patrick: It’s funny because all the 3D printers and health stuff, and a bunch of these Kickstarter stuff and overseas stuff was all in the Sands.
Leo: Oh, interesting.
Patrick: It was interesting to look at that because it was…
Fr. Robert: 3D printing.
Patrick: I think a lot of the 3D printing people were ticked that they were over at the Sands.
Leo: A lot of people don’t make it to the Sands.
Patrick: But it was definitely worth going there.
Leo: That’s where the adult video expo used to be.
Patrick: Yea, which is like three weeks away now. It was interesting to see how things…
Leo: I have a restraining order, I think. You must be three weeks away from any event.
Patrick: I’m just remembering when we were doing DLTV live down there the first time. At 6:00, the adult expo let-because it was like half of the Sands was…
Fr. Robert: You could tell which crowd was electronics and half…
Patrick: Half of the Sands was the adult expo and they let out in the middle of a live broadcast. And we nearly lost the person switching the feed because they were like uh.
Fr. Robert: You could sit there and look at the crowd and say AES, CES, AES. And every once in a while, borderline, could be either.
Leo: John, I’m figuring, here’s my new plan. Every three years, every two years, what do you think?
John: That’s about right. Three is probably conservative. That’s good.
Leo: Every three years I go.
John: You going to set up shop like you used to?
Leo: That’s really expensive.
John: Kelly Lewis took away all your…
Leo: It took four different entities to do what we did.
Patrick: You don’t have to set up shop anymore.
Leo: Mobile Nations, Tom’s Hardware, Geek Beat TV, and another one, to pay for that booth. It cost us a quarter of a million dollars, John. I can’t do that every year.
Patrick: CEA has stages they set up in the south hall that’s easy. And you can use them.
Patrick: Totally free.
Leo: Well that booth is free because they don’t charge you for the real estate. But you’ve got to get a booth, build a booth, light the booth. You’ve got to bring in 20 people, pay for air fare.
Patrick: They pre-build it. The stage is already there.
Leo: Those little ones, yea. I’m talking about the one we used to have.
Patrick: And you can stay at my house. Just have the entire TWiT crew at my house.
Fr. Robert: It was nice and easy to walk around for three or four days.
Leo: Oh it’s your house-house?
Patrick: Yea. It’s nice to be down there for three or four days and talk to people and look at things and not have to…
Leo: Not have to work.
Patrick: Well yea. I worked my tookus off the day after I got back. I talked to a lot of people, took a lot of notes, looked at a lot of stuff. But it was nice not to have to stop and produce a two-minute or 25 two-minute videos in three days.
Leo: I think that’s nice.
Patrick: It makes it a much more luxurious experience.
John: Yea, that’s nice.
Leo: The one time I went to Comdex without any assignment, it was really fun. Our show today brought to you by shutterstock.com. At Shutter Stock you’ll find the perfect image or video for your next creative project. Whether it’s a website, a publication, an advertisement, a video, many movies. I’ve noticed Shutter Stock in the credits of many movies because they have video clips. And a lot of times instead of getting the helicopter shot of Hong Kong coming in from the bay, you go to shutterstock.com and there it is. At shutterstock.com, you will find the perfect video or image for your next creative project. Actually we should get the latest count. 46M it says here, but I bet that’s low, high-quality stock photos, illustrations. They’ve got vector images, video clips as well. They add a quarter million, 300,000 new images every single week. And of course because they’ve got the best search engine in the world, it’s easy to find what you need. So don’t be overwhelmed by the fact that Shutter Stock is constantly growing at that rate. You can choose an individual image pack or a monthly subscription for the best deal. We do the 25 images a day. That’s a nice subscription for a publication. And of course you can download any image in any size and pay once. These are royalty-free. Sophisticated search tools make it easy to drill down by subject, color, palette, file type. You can even say gender, you can say I want three people in this image. I want two. When you find an image you like, even if you’re not buying it, you can save it to a like box. All you need to do is create a free Shutter Stock account-do that right now-and share it with team members. You just keep it around for later. They’ve got an amazing iPad app, just gorgeous. In fact, it’s Webby award-winning. They’re international, too. Multi-lingual customer support in more than a dozen countries full-time throughout the week. I want you to take a look at Shutter Stock. Yea, there’s Vegas. See people go down, they get that image. Why bother? You get it right there on shutterstock.com. I guarantee you, you see these images, these videos in more movies than you think. Because they’re such high-quality images. You can try Shutter Stock today. Sign up for that free account; no credit card required. Just open an account and begin using Shutter Stock to brainstorm. Imagine what your next project could be like. Save those images for review or sharing with your colleagues. If you decide to buy, whether it’s a subscription package, an image subscription package, if you decide to buy, use the offer code TWIT115, TWIT115. Because it’s January 2015. And you’re going to get 20% off your image subscription package. Wow! Shutterstock.com, 20% off image subscription package on new accounts. But you’ve got to use our offer code: TWIT115. Thanks, Shutter Stock for their support of This Week in Tech. Gosh, I can finally stop talking about CES. Although I do have some drone footage. We show this on MacBreak Weekly. There’s a guy that flies his drone over the Apple campus to keep up on the… this is the spaceship campus that Apple’s building in Cupertino. And I love these drone images. He also puts dramatic music.
Fr. Robert: We could do this if you want. We’ll do a TWiT feed.
Leo: Why should this guy get all the credit? There he is. And we’re taking off from the parking lot just outside the Apple campus. It’s coming along. I just want to get an invitation to visit sometime. I know I never will. Steve Jobs revenge. You will never enter this campus.
Fr. Robert: If you would like, we could attach an iPad to the bottom of the drone and stream this.
Leo: This is why people buy drones. This is amazing footage, right? It’s also why people buy shotguns to shoot down drones.
John: That’s the way to go. I think it would make a good business by selling some sort of netting outside off the roof of your house.
Leo: Drone netting.
John: It would come up to the window to look inside and you pull a thing and it catches the drone. And then you can use it as ransom.
Leo: If you catch somebody else’s drone, can you use it? It’s not like locked.
Fr. Robert: If you get somebody else’s drone, you could fly it. Period. I mean you probably shouldn’t.
John: There’s probably a few switches in there to make it yours.
Fr. Robert: See, I would never fly it that close to freeways though. I have a thing where I don’t like flying over populated areas.
Leo: It seems like this is dangerous.
Fr. Robert: This is why the FAA will do something about this. Because people are flying them in dangerous ways.
Leo: Oddly enough though, even though they said they’ve banned it for commercial use, they have now given out the first licenses to realtors and to farmers. Farmers use this to look at their crops and they’ve actually done this. So there you go.
Fr. Robert: Probably the backlash for giving the studios permission to use this commercially.
Leo: Yea, hey I’m a realtor. Can’t I just…
Patrick: That is beautiful footage though. I’m kind of mesmerized.
Leo: The quality is great.
Patrick: We’re all sitting here looking at this; like this is great radio. Staring at a monitor.
John: Great radio, Leo.
Leo: Hey, this isn’t radio. This is TWiT. Get it right!
Fr. Robert: We’ve got people in the chat room saying this isn’t dangerous. You’re talking about 10-15 pounds of equipment that might be 1000 feet up. If you lose control of it, you have absolutely no control over where it’s going to land.
Patrick: or if it gets sucked up to the engine of a plane or in a windshield. People keep forgetting that this is the early stages and these things are just going to get faster and heavier. And they’re going to carry bigger and bigger lithium-ion batteries. You know, lithium-ion batteries are a brick that can burst into flames if you screw it up.
John: It’s also, yes, a bomb.
Patrick: This thing falls out of the sky, it can hurt somebody pretty badly. This larger one falls out of the sky, it will kill you. If this hits you falling from 1000 feet, this will kill you.
Leo: They need to license that stuff. Apple has announced that their app sales in 2014 resulted in payouts to developers of $15B.
Fr. Robert: Nice.
Leo: They say it’s created a million jobs in the United States, the app sales. And a $4.5B revenue for Apple itself.
Patrick: Are they counting all the Uber drivers in that million jobs?
Leo: I don’t know where they get a million jobs.
Fr. Robert: That seems excessive to me.
Leo: There are 1.4M apps in the app store for iPhones and iPads and touches. By the way, Google Play, the Android store, is bigger: 1.7M apps according to App Annie. Google has not said how much it makes.
Fr. Robert: A lot less.
Leo: Yea, I think it is. Although Google said it has paid out $5B to developers in 2014 for the past 12 months. So that would be a third.
Leo: Still, I mean coming out of college, you probably should look at that as a career. Creating apps. It can’t be a million people got jobs because of apps.
Fr. Robert: Well they’re talking about derivative jobs as well. So there’s people who make the apps that let you create apps. There’s the people who will market it.
Leo: Well it’s amazing. Because this by the way, Friday was the eighth anniversary of the announcement of the iPhone. 2007, eight years ago. In eight years, that went from zero to 60 in eight years. There were no apps before that. There was software but there was nothing like that. Pretty cool. Google says it’s going in the insurance business.
Patrick: That’s where the money is.
Leo: That’s how Sony makes the bulk of their money.
John: They’ve finally got a clue.
Leo: They’re going to sell car insurance. So John, you’ve always said that the real problem with privacy issues are that insurers for instance will now know I ate donuts for breakfast and refuse me insurance.
John: That is definitely one of the issues.
Leo: So it only makes sense.
John: That’s why you don’t want to join those clubs, the Safeway Club, and all those other ones. They’ll give you the discount anyway. You don’t need the club. All they do is track it for insurance purposes.
Leo: They do not give you the discount. They say that every time. You would have saved $45 if you had a Target card.
Patrick: The trick is to have John’s number and use it for everything.
Leo: How do you get the discount without having that card?
Patrick: Use somebody else’s card.
John: Yea, you could do that. Well actually when you go to for example 99 Ranch, they always have a card there that they swipe for you.
Leo: Yea, actually CVS does that. She says do you have a CVS card. And I say no. She says let me swipe this one. I think that’s a renegade employee. That’s a rogue.
Patrick: Not my experience. There seems to be a rogue at the aisle at every store I go into.
Leo: Well that kind of eliminates the incentive, right?
John: Only for people who have a clue.
Leo: Oh. But most people…
John: Most people love that card. I have a card! I’m a member of the Safeway Buyer’s Club! I’m special!
Leo: I love any club that will have me as a member. I want to join.
John: That’s about right. No, I don’t like these ideas. It’s more making books for you. I find that it’s not like they’re really out to get anybody that we know. But it’s just annoying. It’s just the structure of things.
Patrick: They’re out to get everybody, to get all of us eventually.
John: That’s kind of paranoid.
Leo: Google is going to-and the insurance industry knows this probably-is going to introduce Google Compare. Which has been available in Britain for two years. In the United States any minute now. It is a website that you can go to and compare auto insurance and buy auto insurance. And of course Google gets a cut of the sale. They recently formed a partnership with an insurance comparison shopping that does that exactly, called comparenow.com. They say it’s like Kayak for auto insurance. They also, this is kind of interesting, Forrester Research has figured out that there is a woman at Google who has an insurance license. Her name is Meredith Stechbart. Her LinkedIn profile lists her as an employee at Google licensed to sell insurance on behalf of Google Compare as well as Cover Hound. And Forrester said as much as I would like to imagine someone could become so enthralled with the insurance industry, that they leave a job at Google to become an insurance agent, it seems more likely that this is the beginning… laws require that Google have a licensed insurance broker working for them to do this.
Patrick: This all makes sense, right? Google’s mission has always been to organize data. And some of that data is buying information.
Leo: It seems so down-market for Google to be selling auto insurance.
Fr. Robert: It’s a down-market but it’s incredibly lucrative.
Leo: Obviously, look at the Progressive ads and the Geico ads. You can’t get away from auto insurance ads.
Patrick: I want to know what the entire car insurance market is for 2014.
Leo: Okay, get us that number, would you?
Patrick: I’m working on that.
Leo: It’s big business.
John: I’m sure it is. Life insurance is a big business.
Leo: Is there a risk that Google can by doing… this is not exactly sticking to your knitting. That they’re going to muddy the brand by doing stuff like this?
Patrick: You mean like they muddied the brand when they moved into phones or operating systems?
Leo: Well that at least is technology. This is auto insurance.
Fr. Robert: Google’s knitting is big data. Let’s be clear. They like as many data points as they can get. And they want to sell that data in as many ways as they can. Insurance is another way to do it. I mean think about all the data points they have on where you travel, how you travel, what you drive, what you prefer. That’s all data that they have that an insurance company, a standard insurance company won’t have.
Leo: So it will be very easy. You go to the Google site and enter your driver’s license number, and they know everything. They go, okay. Hi, Leo.
John: Yea, and they can find what your search is. They give that to the insurance company. And start jacking up your rates.
Fr. Robert: Then they say hey you know what, we can cut your rate in half if you buy a Google self-driving car.
John: They should be able to cut your rate to zero.
Leo: Just shows you how much money there is. By the way, I want to tell you, Patrick Norton is reading financial reports.
Patrick: At the insurancegeneral.com. Yea, look at the industry of like $48B a quarter.
Leo: Oh, a quarter that sounds better.
John: That sounds about right.
Leo: $200B a year industry. That sounds about right.
John: Yea, that sound about right.
Leo: Actually, Google’s got into this because the search industry is not going well for Google. They’ve lost the most searchers since 2009.
John: Maybe if they improve their algorithms.
Leo: Come on! Google works great.
Patrick: I think John is neighboring on it; it’s not so much the algorithm. It’s actually the amount of junk and sales, especially in Google Maps that they’re starting to throw in there. It’s starting to drive me absolutely nuts.
John: Maps is deteriorating.
Patrick: It’s killing me.
Patrick: Well if I’m searching for a restaurant or if I’m searching for a lumber yard and I’m getting like Bob the insurance agent’s advertisement, that’s irritating the snot out of me. And it’s interesting.
Leo: John, what do you think Google’s market share is in the U.S.?
John: For search?
John: I think it’s about 85% now.
Leo: Yea, I would have thought that, too. It’s 75.
Patrick: And that’s down.
Leo: Yahoo has jumped to 10.4%.
Patrick: From 79.3 the year before.
Leo: They were 80% last year.
John: Was this before or after Mozilla pulled the plug on them?
Leo: I think that’s a big part of it. This is after. So Mozilla now by default, you can switch it back if you’re using Firefox. Firefox by default uses Yahoo search. Which nobody’s asked for and wants.
John: Most users are stupid and will never switch back.
Leo: The tyranny of the default.
Fr. Robert: I’d say at least half of the people who are using Yahoo think they’re using Google. Because they think Google is how you search.
Leo: Yea, it’s like Kleenex.
Fr. Robert: But yea, I stopped using Google search. I use Bing. I’ll admit to that. For what I search for, it’s more relevant. It cuts out so much of the junk.
Leo: Yahoo is Bing, by the way. There’s really only two.
Patrick: I think it also varies a lot depending on what category you’re searching and how much that particular… I remember at one point-I haven’t done it in a while-trying to search for a particular chunk of information about transmissions. And on Bing I got like 19 pages of fly-by-night transmission companies. Or places that were like sort of link farms related to transmissions. And in Google, I could actually get somebody with information about it. But it’s curious to take a look at the different search engines.
Leo: I’ll tell you if you look at Bing and the search results for Bing, I can’t tell if it’s Bing or Google. It looks the same!
Fr. Robert: I’m not saying I use exclusively Bing. I’ll look at Bing, that’s my default. And if I can’t find it there, I’ll jump over to Google. But my first search is always with Bing now. I just tend to get better results. I don’t get so much of the carbon copy stuff. Because no one’s trying to game Bing. They’re all trying to game Google.
Leo: I did search for auto transmission and I’m getting a lot of ads. A lot of ads, yea. Okay. It’s a little less useful. When you search for me, it’s good. Alright, interesting. Maybe this is why Google’s going into insurance. There’s no future in that search stuff.
John: Insurance, I have an idea.
Leo: There you go. That’s the future. Google is lobbying for cheaper air waves. Google has for a long time, let’s talk about the FCC because real quickly next month, the FCC says they’re going to make a decision on open internet rules. And Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the FCC has kind of been, according to some, telegraphing that he thinks he is going to go Title 2. Which would be very controversial.
John: Just the beginning of the government takeover.
Fr. Robert: It would be a modified Title 2, though. It’s not pure Title 2.
John: At first.
Leo: That’s the thing. There’s no rule that says they have to forebear. He was speaking at CES, no I’m sorry. Oh worse, he’s at the NCTA. Oh no, that’s an old picture. This was in a one-to-one conversation with Gary Shapiro of the CEA. He implied according to Ars Technica, that Title 2 will be the basis for new net neutrality rules. This is what a lot of internet advocates have suggested. Others have said we’re very worried about this because this is a very sweeping thing when you make broadband providers common carriers. The FCC has all sorts of power to even regulate rates! Wheeler told Shapiro on Wednesday the FCC considered both sides first. You want to make sure this is a quote that innovators have access to open internet. On the other hand, you have to create an environment to provide sufficient incentives to ISPs that want to invest and build out.
Fr. Robert: Why would we listen to those ISPs? This is the same group. AT&T, remember they had their temper tantrum when they did the latest spectrum sale. And they said well we don’t like the rules that you’re using for the auction. So we’re not going to play. They ended up playing anyway. It was a big bluff. They’re doing the same thing here. The modified Title 2 plan that the FCC wants to put into place would basically say you can do anything for consumers. You can sell your services the way that you want. But as soon as you start making the interconnect agreements, that’s going to be held under Title 2 regulation. That actually makes sense. It’s not super-heavy handed. The Telco’s and the ISPs can still sell the services that they want to sell at the prices they want to sell it. It’s just saying they can’t be restrictive on how the information transfers between networks.
Leo: It’s kind of interesting as Wheeler pointed out in his interview, that it was 20 years ago that he negotiated to have the wireless internet for something called Section 332 which said that wireless should be regulated under Title 2 as a common carrier. But instruct the FCC to forebear from owner’s provisions and inappropriate provisions. So just as you say, to enforce the proper part of Title 2. But John, you’re an anti-government guy. You say this is just the camel…
John: I like the government.
Leo: This is the camel’s nose under the tent. You like the government?
Patrick: Can we get that as a sound bite?
John: I love the government. Well I’m concerned that anytime these guys butt in, it gives them something to do. I worked for a government agency. They’re always looking to take over something so they can expand and get bigger. And that means the bigger you get, the guy at the top gets more money. So you want to get bigger and bigger. They’re going to just take over the internet and tell us what’s what. And you can say that yea, a little bit of Title 2, a little bit of this isn’t going to be as bad as you think. But then all of a sudden, the public itself thinks that the FCC’s got something to do with it when they may not. And they’re going to start demanding: I would like better service. Like me for example, I get the worst Comcast numbers. I used to say Comcastic. I won’t say that anymore. It’s just a crappy service because I have to upgrade to business obviously.
Leo: I did. And by the way now I have to cancel my home and they didn’t cancel the home when you upgrade to the business. And when I called them…
John: You got screwed!
Leo: Oh I totally got screwed. When I called them they said well you have an early termination fee at home. You can’t cancel unless you pay us a lot of money.
Fr. Robert: I’m actually with John. I believe the government can screw this up. I would only suggest this use of Title 2 as a method of last resort. The problem is we are at the method of last resort. People don’t realize this is not a new thing. This goes back 30 plus years. Go back to the 1986 telecommunications act, go back to the broadband act, go back to the sale of NBC to Comcast. The proposed acquisition of Dish by AT&T. Each and every single time, the ISPs and the Telco’s have made promises that they will look out of the good of their customers. And they never have. And then they get fined a couple million dollars and it’s business as usual. So we’re not at this place where this is it. This is all we have left. They’re not keeping their word. This is the only stick we have left in the quiver.
Leo: All the big tech giants have stayed away from this debate. Not knowing exactly how they feel. Google did file a brief last week saying the one thing we like about Title 2 is it gives us access to the poles. So that would be good for Google Fiber. I almost feel like that was like there’s some subtext to that. I’m not sure what it is. Well if you did do Title 2, then we could put Google Fiber everywhere. Now the NCTA, the National Cable and Telecommunications Associations says oh no, Google can already get on the poles. Don’t believe them.
Patrick: It’s totally not true. We know that because we have a friend at Sonic Net. And he’ll tell us it costs $5,000 a house that he passes in San Francisco to get his fiber up. Because they will file every single procedural motion to make your cost go up.
Leo: So the example is Austin, where Google did try to get poles. AT&T owns about 20% of the utility poles. And argued that Google did not qualify as a telecom or cable provider and thus could not attach to the poles. They did get an agreement because Google Fiber is coming to Austin. Anyway, this is one of those he said, she said things.
Patrick: And it’s interesting or sad or typical that it takes somebody as motivated and as giant and as money… Google’s got a lot of money socked away. One of those things in that article that you were showing, I think it was later in 2014, AT&T made a deal with Google.
Patrick: At some point somebody from Google in a really sharp suit and a pair of shoes worth more than my car probably walked up to Google’s office and said you want to play lawyer games?
Leo: Yea. These are all big companies. These are equal. They’re equals. They’re fighting each other as equals. Let’s take a break and come back with a final thought or two. John C. Dvorak is here from the wonderful noagendashow.com. He is @therealdvorak on Twitter. He loves you all. Are those planes actually on your wall? Or is that part of the special effects?
John: Oh. Wow.
Leo: They just disappeared. I thought the U.S. Air Force was bombing Barney.
Patrick: They’re droning then.
Leo: What did you get? Oh this is like software, right?
Patrick: Is this the Logitech software?
Leo: You busted him. Noagendashow.com. Father Robert Ballecer, he is the host of… they call him the Digital Jesuit. I don’t know why. He’s the host of This Week in Enterprise Tech. He’s a drone maker.
Fr. Robert: They call me the quad-father.
Leo: The quad-father. I love it. You can watch him make quads on Know How. Actually more and more I’m referring back to Know How. People say they covered that on Know How. And I’ll just say oh go to Know How.
Fr. Robert: We need a better list of everything we’ve covered so people can link directly to it.
Leo: John has turned into some sort of cocker spaniel.
Fr. Robert: I have never seen JCD that cute.
Leo: Can you talk?
John: I can, yea. It’s supposed to move my nostrils up and down. But it doesn’t. This one looks a little better.
Patrick: This is like the cat from outer space in 1977.
Fr. Robert: There you. There’s the mouth.
Leo: There’s John as a yellow lab. Now he’s a mouse.
Patrick: Paddington bear?
John: This is a Paddington bear kind of stuffing. My favorite one is Lincoln.
Leo: But your lips don’t move.
John: There’s… ah! Best I can do.
Leo: The man who made Lincoln yawn. I like that one the best.
John: I like it too. You can have a bunch of different effects.
Patrick: Why is he snoring?
John: You know I’m surprised to be honest about, that you haven’t had other guests on that go on Skype which is most of your guests and have never seen anyone do any of this.
Leo: I think people have a longer attention span than you do, in general.
John: Well there’s that. But besides that, I mean really.
Leo: You’re right, no one has done this. And this has been available in the Logitech software for years.
John: Yes, decades.
Leo: And we are amused.
Patrick: We are amused.
Leo: Patrick Norton is also here. His new show launched this week. Tech Thang, at techthang.com. Or better yet, support the… holy cow! You have a patron page and you already have 265 patrons and $575 an episode. We want to get that up to $575,000 an episode. Shannon Morse, Patrick Norton.
John: Are we wrapping the show?
Leo: No, we have more news. I just like to give plugs in the middle. Because I listen to what’s his name, and they always have the plugs at the end like eight hours into the show.
John: Who’s this?
Leo: You know, the morning guy. What’s his name?
Patrick: Howard Stern?
Leo: Howard Stern. I’ve blocked that out. Howard Stern does the plugs at the end of the show. But by then it’s 10:30, everyone’s at work. So I thought I’d give you some plugs early on while people are still in the car.
Patrick: Thank you very much.
John: Well you should have said noagendashow.com.
Leo: I said that too! Don’t worry! You got your plug. Wow, look at that, fifth column. Your show title is…
Fr. Robert: Oh okay, I thought that was something completely different.
Leo: It looks like the War of the Worlds.
John: It’s a celebration, man.
Leo: Yea, but why is the confetti coming out of an upside-down jellyfish?
John: I have no idea.
Leo: This episode of TWiT brought to you by our good friends at Fresh Books. Fresh Books is the place if you’re an entrepreneur, a small business person yay high, and you want to get out of making those gosh-darn invoices in Excel. Do you use Excel or Word or Google Docs to make your invoices? I did for the longest time. Amber McCarthy told me about Fresh Books when I was commuting up to Canada when I was doing Call for Help up there. I’d invoice Rogers, the people that produced the show. And I would put it off, and six months later I would finally get out six invoices at once. And they’d yell at me. Why can’t you do invoices monthly like a normal person? Plus it was in Canadian dollars and I don’t know what the symbol is for Canadian dollars. Then she said, she told me go to Fresh Books. This is so web 2.0. And this is back in the web 2.0 days. But you know what it is, it’s easy, it’s modern. It lets you make beautiful invoices. They have great award-winning mobile apps so you can do it all on Android or iOS. Fresh Books is built for a growing business. On average, Fresh Books customers double their revenue in the first two years of Fresh Books use. And more importantly, you get paid an average of five days faster. I got it paid on an average of five months faster because I would finally invoice people. Fresh Books easily scales with your business, adding clients, projects, staff, it’s easy. So you start small but you get big. You’ll spend less time on paperwork, you’ll have more fun. And by the way, the app will keep track of hours and automatically put that in the time sheet which is great. The app will also let you put your receipts; take pictures of your receipts from your phone and enter the details in Fresh Books. So it’s easy, it simplifies the whole process. And they’re the nicest people. Freshbooks.com. Emma Cossey, who is a consultant and editor of the freelance lifestyle newsletter, she says I love using Fresh Books or expenses. I took a snap of my train ticket, entered in the details, job done. Try Fresh Books right now free with no obligation when you go to freshbooks.com/twit. I do ask that when they ask you, how did you hear about us-there’ a little form-just please put TWiT or This Week in Tech. That would be nice. And we thank Fresh Books so much for supporting us. And for supporting me for so long. It is a great service.
Patrick: Leo, would you like to check out what’s new on TWiT?
Leo: You know we had such a great week this week, John. I thought I’d run a house ad if you don’t mind right now. This is…
John: What did you say?!
Fr. Robert: He’s marinating his meat again.
Leo: This is what you missed, if you missed anything this week on TWiT.
Previously on TWiT: now that I’ve been puppetted, I have no idea how to react to that. This is not a great look. I hope you’re all happy. Giz Wiz: it’s time for the 1500 episode of the Giz Whiz! No, it’s on fire. Whoa! TWiT Live Specials: I’m here getting locked and loaded with all my tech. All the gadgets, the gizmos, the wearables, self-driving cars, the home automation, the internet of things, the 3D printing, and all. That’s right my 3D model is smirking, folks. It must be CES 2015! Before You Buy: they swear that this t-shirt will resist anything. Well there’s only one way to review it. Look! It’s swishing right off. The water’s cold! TWiT, #pantscheck. Alright so my head is hydrophobic. No more on the head. It’s clean!
Leo: My head is hydrophobic. And what’s coming up?
John: That mustard didn’t come off.
Leo: No, in fact I gave it a do not buy because the ketchup and the sriracha came off. Not as easily as on the video the site has. Video of it flowing off. Not only did the mustard not come off, but I got a big mustard stain on the shirt underneath it.
John: Mustard is nasty for staining.
Leo: Apparently worse than ketchup and sriracha.
Fr. Robert: You really do look like Pitbull when you’re wearing a t-shirt.
John: You get mustard on it, you’re doomed.
Leo: So really the issue was that I shouldn’t have used the mustard. There you go.
Patrick: Can you say the bigger they are, the harder they fall?
Leo: The bigger they are the harder they fall.
John: You need a soul-patch.
Leo: I need a goatee.
Fr. Robert: That’s actually uncanny.
Patrick: Yea, you do need the soul-patch.
John: You need the soul-patch and the douche bag.
Leo: Never smile.
Patrick: Oh, and a tie.
Leo: Because he’s such a well-dressed guy.
Patrick: He is a well-dressed guy.
Leo: Mike Elgin, what’s coming up this week on TWiT? It’s not playing!
Mike Elgin: Coming up this week, the big day is Thursday, January 15. Intel and Netflix both report earnings on Thursday. Also on that day, Shalme is expected to launch a flagship phone called the Halo. Hints from the company suggest that it could be the thinnest smartphone ever made. And Amazon Thursday also debuts 13 new original shows on its Prime instant video service. Six of them for children. That’s what’s coming up this week. Back to you, Leo.
Leo: Amazon is knocking it out of the park.
Patrick: I actually watch Amazon Prime more than I watch Netflix.
Leo: I watch those original shows all the time. John C. Dvorak looks just like Pitbull.
Patrick: It’s uncanny!
Leo: More like a pit barbeque than Pitbull, but okay. No, if you want to catch up on the latest tech news, keep up on what’s going on, that is the show to watch. Monday through Friday, 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern time, 1800 UTC. Tech News Today. TNT. Tech News Today with Mike Elgin. And man he gets everybody on that show. That show is the show to watch if you want to know what’s going on in 45 minutes.
John: How often is it on?
Leo: Monday through Friday, five days a week. And then we’ve got a night show, you know? And now hosted by-I’m very happy to say-Megan Maroney.
John: Haven’t heard from her in a long time.
Leo: I know, it’s great! From the Screen Savers. She’s taking over Tech News Tonight. You know why? Sarah Lane got a job doing video for Tech Crunch.
John: Oh, more money.
Leo: I don’t know if it’s money exactly. Because she was making pretty good money here. But I shouldn’t speak for her.
John: What were you paying her?
Leo: I’m not going to tell you.
Fr. Robert: I think maybe not commuting, John.
Leo: The commute was horrible for her.
Patrick: Yes it is.
Leo: As somebody who did that for 13 years, I can vouch for it.
Patrick: I’m doing it right now.
Leo: We tried to get Patrick. He said the same thing: I’m not commuting. I think we’re not getting the best people because we’re in Petaluma.
Fr. Robert: Well the trick is to get people to move to Petaluma.
Leo: Is that just an excuse?
Patrick: I own my house and I want to see my children.
Leo: It was just an excuse. You were trying to break it to me easy.
Patrick: The scary thing is your commute over the Golden Gate Bridge-both of you-is actually easier than what I would have to deal with crawling by Berkley.
Leo: Oh yea. That’s why John’s on Skype today. That and the puppy.
Patrick: Well if John was here in real life, we wouldn’t have these spectacular effects.
John: Yea, exactly.
Leo: We’d miss it. So the FBI has leaked another clue that… what the hell is that?
Patrick: I don’t know.
Leo: A bird pooping on the screen. John found another button!
Fr. Robert: It’s the most random assortment in digital effects ever.
Leo: If you are not watching video, you’re missing absolutely nothing. FBI Director James Comey says-oh here’s another reason we know North Korea did it-the hackers got lazy and every once in a while, they would log into their Facebook account. And Sony’s servers are from a North Korean internet address.
Fr. Robert: Right.
John: That proves it!
Leo: That proves more that James Comey doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about more than anything else.
John: And you know the funny thing about that, if you listen to all these government guys yack about this, that Comey is the go-to guy, the number-one cyber expert.
Leo: Oy. So I don’t know. I noticed that people who are expert in this kind of thing, like the CTO of Cloud Flare and Bruce Schneier and Brian Krebs, are mum at this point. So probably somebody from the government has called them and said seriously, we know. But the stuff they put out publicly has yet to be…
Fr. Robert: It’s very weak. It’s not like I can change my IP in two seconds. I’ve actually got a utility on my computer.
Leo: You if you wanted to could come from Korea.
Fr. Robert: I could come from Korea.
Leo: Actually that’s maybe not strictly true. Because there’s only 1,024 internet addresses in Korea and they’re pretty tight.
Fr. Robert: All I have to do is poison the BGP routes and suddenly I’m popping up from North Korean router.
Leo: He did it!
Fr. Robert: I just really wanted to see the interview. Is that so wrong?
Patrick: Actually that is.
Leo: Facebook’s growth slows according to the Pew Report. But user engagement increases. Twitter growth increases but nobody cares. That’s from the Pew research internet project.
John: The stock is flying.
Leo: That’s all they care about. They look at the growth numbers and not unfortunately the quality of the content. Instagram growing even more though. Look at that. And Pinterest.
Patrick: Look at Facebook.
Leo: Look at Facebook though. So 71% of online adults use Facebook whereas 28% use LinkedIn, Pinterest. 26% Instagram, 23% Twitter.
Fr. Robert: I only log into Facebook maybe once a month.
Leo: I check just to see what my family’s doing. And what Robert Scoble’s doing.
Fr. Robert: That’s what I’ve done. I’ve basically removed everyone who’s not a family member. Facebook is now just for my family.
Leo: And even to do that, you have to go chronological. You can’t let Facebook determine what you see. You have to kind of say I want to see everything. I bet Scoble… oh there’s me. What are you laughing at?
Patrick: That’s Apocalypse Now.
Leo: The horror.
John: Yea, what’s that guy’s name?
Leo: Yea, Colonel Kurtz.
Fr. Robert: Who took that? That’s a really good picture.
Leo: I took that; that’s a selfie.
John: It’s Apocalypse Now.
Leo: The horror. So that’s what’s your missing if you’re not going to Facebook.
Fr. Robert: Can we get an ox in the studio?
John: That’s a great photo. I want that photo.
Leo: I should have painted my face green though. And then I would be like a Colonel Kurtz. So there’s Paul Thurrott with hair. He’s got to update his photo.
John: Did he shave his head too?
Leo: Yea, Mike Elgin’s making frittata.
Fr. Robert: Solidarity.
Leo: Yes he did!
John: We want Elgin to shave his hair.
Fr. Robert: That’s actually a wig.
Leo: Mike Elgin has great hair. He should not shave his hair.
John: Oh yes. You had great hair.
Leo: I did.
Patrick: This also settles the entire sort of hair piece argument that’s been going around.
Leo: Could be. Or maybe I just pulled off my hair piece. Right?
Patrick: No, I’m pretty sure they videotaped the whole process.
Leo: They did. We showed it all. And I have pictures to prove it. I have pictures to prove it. Alright, I think there’s a lot of other stuff I don’t even want to talk about. We’re done.
Patrick: Just turn off the lights.
Patrick: You don’t want to talk about AT&T rolling over data?
Leo: Yea, because T-Mobile did it. Although what’s the big deal? People have been rolling over minutes. So T-Mobile said hmm, nobody calls anymore. So let’s roll over data.
Patrick: Well it was funny because it was like six or eight weeks ago when AT&T was like we’ll give you this special one-time offer that you can go up to 30 gigabytes of data per month for another $30 a month now. Which I thought was kind of strange. And apparently nobody took that bait. Because a few weeks later they’re talking about rolling over my data in-perpetuity. Which would be nice.
Leo: Really? Because yea, I never use the total amount of data. Isn’t the issue really just congestion? Not how much data you use?
Patrick: I don’t think they’re nearly as congested as they want people to think they are.
Fr. Robert: They’re claiming congestion.
Leo: The amount of data isn’t the issue so much. So what if you used five gigabytes. If you used it all at three in the morning, who would care? It’s that everybody’s using it at the same time. It’s congestion.
Patrick: And you know what? Netflix wasn’t providing enough connections to the backbone. This is all…
Leo: You can’t trust anybody, can you?
John: Most people use the Netflix appliance anyway. It doesn’t really make a difference anyway if they provide a lot of backbone connections.
Leo: You know who doesn’t? Comcast and Verizon. They don’t want to use it.
John: Comcast is the only one.
Leo: Yelp! Here’s a good one. Yelp as you may remember won in court in September. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District said when Yelp tells a restaurant or butcher or barber, it would be nice if you advertised then we wouldn’t have so many negative reviews, me thinks; that that was just hard bargaining.
Leo: That’s hard bargaining. That’s literally what the court said. Judge Marsha Berzon writing for the majority said the business owners…
John: She from Jersey?
Leo: No! It’s the Ninth Circuit! It’s here.
Fr. Robert: Oh no.
John: Oh my God.
Leo: The business owner may deem the posting or order of user reviews as a threat of economic harm. But it is not unlawful for Yelp to post in sequence the reviews as Yelp has the right to charge for legitimate advertising services. The threat for economic harm that Yelp leveraged is at most hard bargaining. Yea, like when Tony Soprano comes over with a baseball… it’s hard bargaining! I just want to hit your knees, don’t mind me. In any event, I love the response of Botto Bistro, just up the road a piece. They’re in Richmond, California. They are offering 50% a pizza if you give them a 1-star review on Yelp. They were so pissed off about this, they said okay we’re going to completely pollute the reviews.
Patrick: Good for them.
Leo: According to Botto Bistro, Yelp has removed over 2,000 one-star reviews. Say you can’t do that! Those are fake! It actually looks like a good place. So if you’re in Richmond, it looks like the marina, you may want to check out the authentic Tuscan cooking and he worst reviews on Yelp.
John: Check that place out.
Fr. Robert: Most people still trust Yelp, right?
Leo: I do all the time.
Fr. Robert: I always assumed it’s just been gamed.
Leo: Yes, exactly. I take off the top and the bottom.
John: Yea, I’m the same way.
Patrick: My issue is especially in the first couple of years, you would run into people like, you know I went to Bikram Yoga. I’m giving it one star because it was hot and there was purple carpet.
Leo: Somebody farted.
Patrick: It’s so funny because people would complain about the core reasons for going to a place were a problem.
Patrick: It’s like are you kidding me?
Leo: Yea, but you’re smart enough. You read that and take that one out.
John: There was a woman that viewed the French laundry and said she gave it a one-star review because it wasn’t a vegan place. Seriously.
Leo: Food is so terrible here and the portions are so small.
Fr. Robert: They didn’t have ketchup!
Leo: No ketchup! On a more serious note, of course we’ve all been paying attention to the horror going on in Paris. And so has the tech industry, Mark Zuckerberg, writing I thought a very beautiful, heart-felt post on Facebook, Apple changing its French page to say Jus Wei Charlie. Which of course is the phrase people are using. Google has given a ton of money to Charlie Hebdo to publish one million copies of the next week’s episode. Google back-funded, I can’t remember how much they gave him. It was a significant amount of money, 250,000 Euros so that Charlie Hebdo could do a million copies next week. Interesting conversation and we’ll talk about it on TWiG with Jeff Jarvis leading the charge on why U.S. mainstream media would not publish those offensive cartoons. The cartoons that got 12 cartoonists and reporters killed at Charlie Hebdo. And while most internet outlets did. Mainstream media, CNN, and others blocked it. But others on the internet almost all of them did. And I’m not sure what’s the takeaway from that but I’m sure we’ll talk about it on Wednesday on This Week in Google with Jeff Jarvis. Thank you, guys. Everybody, patrion.com/tekthing.
Patrick: Thanks, man.
Leo: Because you should pay for the stuff you get. Now you’re not going to have advertising as a result. Or do you?
Patrick: Once we get to a certain point. Like if we get to $1,000 per episode, we can afford to do an RSS feed and dedicated high-res video.
Leo: This stuff is expensive. People think oh you just get in front of a camera and make a show. No. It costs a lot of money.
Patrick: Well and I have this thing about feeding my children.
Leo: If we just sat here with the cameras on, it costs us $1,000 an hour, just sitting here. No, it’s not inexpensive to do that kind of stuff. If you like it and want it, patrion.com/tekthing. It’s the… we can say this. It’s Tekzilla 2.0.
Patrick: Tekzilla slash DLTV slash Tekzilla slash Tech Thing. Yea, it keeps evolving.
Leo: Tekthing. Tek with a K thing.
Patrick: Thanks, man.
Leo: TWiT, Know How.
Fr. Robert: Know How. Padre’s Corner.
Leo: Padre’s Corner. I almost forgot Paco. Padre’s Corner and Coding 101. Padre’s Corner is kind of an unusual one because we don’t make a feed of it. Or do we?
Fr. Robert: We do. We do ads on it which is weird.
Leo: What? We have advertising on Padre’s Corner? It’s the only non-tech show we do where you talk about whatever you want to talk about.
Fr. Robert: A lot of it ends up being talking about tech because I love tech. But it’s basically just things that we find interesting. We bring guests; we’ve had a couple of actors, Becky Worley, David Huett.
Leo: People raved over the episode you did on nuclear power.
Fr. Robert: Right. The debate.
Leo: I guess it was a debate.
Fr. Robert: We had the director producer of Pandora’s Promise, which was an Indie film that was put on Netflix. Fantastic, very even look on nuclear power. And that’s the kind of stuff I want to do. Just things that geeks enjoy.
Leo: Padre’s Corner. What day do you do it?
Fr. Robert: Tuesdays. 7:30pm Pacific. 10:30 Eastern.
Leo: And of course, all of Padre’s coverage of CES along with Dick DeBartolo’s coverage and Scott Wilkins’ coverage is on our website, twit.tv/specials for Padre’s coverage and Dick’s coverage. The Home Theater Geek’s show is at twit.tv/htg and that would be the one to watch to see what all the TV news was. Lots of stuff.
Fr. Robert: We did that so they don’t have to go.
Leo: It saves you a lot of time, trouble, and flu viruses. John C. Dvorak and I will go next year.
Patrick: Can I get that in writing?
Leo: No. He’s in love with CES. Noagendashow.com. John C. Dvorak.
John: A pleasure to be here, Leo.
Leo: How did you do 686 episodes? That’s a lot of episodes.
John: You know how? We went to two a week!
Leo: Now twice weekly. Thank you very much for being here, Jonny. Thanks to everybody.
John: Well I’m sorry I couldn’t drive in. But you know what happened last time. It was 2.5 hours. I got stuck in the Napa Valley. It was just not a good thing.
Leo: It’s fine.
John: I guess Patrick made it so I could have done it, I suppose.
Leo: I think we did look and it wasn’t too horrible. Did you go over the east Oakland Bridge?
Patrick: Yea, I just went over the Richmond San Rafael Bridge. I’m checking Google Traffic right now to see if it’s going to take me four-six days to get home.
Fr. Robert: I think people just stayed off the road.
Leo: People thought it was carmageddon and just didn’t drive.
Patrick: Or was there something on the racetrack when you came up here last time, John?
John: No there wasn’t. I don’t know; I was so bad but you may definitely want to check because you might have to come back through Sear’s Point. Then you can come down 80. That was my alternative route back if I was going to go up.
Patrick: You know the traffic is not bad. If the traffic is that bad, I just bunker down at the diner.
Leo: You can stay here. Stay here, stay with us! You’re always welcome. We got an extra room. We do TWiT every Sunday afternoon, 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern time, 2300 UTC. We love it if you can watch live. The chat room is hopping during TWiT! That’s what’s part of the fun of it. You can also come to the studio. We have an open studio. Basically we do a meet-up every week here during TWiT. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know. And we’ll be glad to see you here. We love having a live audience.
Fr. Robert: We have an open bar.
John: Since when?
Fr. Robert: Free drones.
Leo: John took all the tequila. We also put this show out on-demand of course. Audio and video at twit.tv and wherever you get your finer net casts. You can also use our apps. Some really good apps and I don’t take credit for them. All written by third-party developers on every platform: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and yes even Roku. Lot of people surprisingly watch on Roku.
Patrick: Lots of Rokus out there.
Leo: TWiT Roku channel. Thanks for being here. We’ll see you next time. Another TWiT is in the can!