This Week in Tech 497 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWIT: This Week in Tech! A classic episode. Patrick Norton, John C. Dvorak, Philip Elmer-DeWitt. We'll talk about Apple's self-driving car. Could that be real? Phillip says it is. Google's plans for solar power, and Facebook: what it's going to do when you die. It's all coming up next on TWIT.
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Leo: This is TWiT, This Week in Tech, episode 497, recorded February 15, 2015.
It's Pronounced Kiev
This Week in Tech is brought to you by Personal Capital. With Personal Capital you can grow and protect your wealth. Best of all, it's free, and for a limited time, TWIT viewers could qualify for up to $10,000 on any new account. To sign up, go to personalcapital.com/twit. And by lynda.com. Invest in yourself and start learning today. lynda.com has thousands of courses to help you learn new tech, business, and creative skills. For a free ten-day trial, visit lynda.com/twit2. That's lynda.com/twit2. And by audible.com. Sign up for the platinum plan and get two free books. Visit audible.com/twit2, and follow Audible on Twitter, user ID audible_com. And by an online retailer of premium mattresses for a fraction of the price, because everyone deserves a great night's sleep. Get $50 off any mattress purchase by visiting casper.com/TWIT. Enter the promo code TWIT. It's time for TWIT: This Week in Tech, the show where we cover the latest tech news with a panel of technology journalist experts in the field. Or not, it doesn't really matter. Patrick Norton is here from tekthing.
Patrick Norton: Not an expert.
Leo: Not an expert, but he plays one on TV, so that's OK.
Patrick: On the Internet.
Leo: On the Internet. On TV on the Internet.
Patrick: TV Internet.
Leo: Internet TV. I bet you're an expert at Internet TV.
Patrick: Let's not put the audience to sleep this early. I don't want to talk about encoding; I don't want to talk about RSS feeds.
Leo: There's good stuff to talk about. We'll get to that. Also with us, John C. Dvorak.
John C. Dvorak: C stands for—
Patrick: See you later!
John: Cryptography. Noagendashow.com is what it stands for.
Leo: Didn't take long to get that in. I've missed you. I haven't seen you in months.
John: It's been one month.
Leo: You were in DC?
John: I wasn't in DC.
Leo: I was told you were in Washington DC.
John: I was in Washington.
Leo: State! Never mind. I had this whole thing. Mr. Dvorak goes to Washington—
John: It's cold in Washington.
Leo: Speaking of cold, Philip Elmer-DeWitt is here from under six feet of snow in Massachusetts.
Philip Elmer-DeWitt: Well Boston had six feet. We had 3.5 feet in Greenfield.
Leo: You're a punter. Why would the city get more snow? It's on the Gulf Stream. It should be warmer. You're in Western Massachusetts, right?
Philip: Right. It's because the city is on the sea, there's more moisture to make—generally these storms have been coming up the coast and dumping lots of snow on the coast and less in land.
Leo: Philip is a regular—you were Times first computer writer.
Philip: Yes. Now I write a blog for Fortune about Apple.
Leo: A blog for Fortune about Apple. Sounds like you're kind of narrowed.
Philip: Yeah, boy I love it. A beat is a gift. You only have to worry about one thing.
Philip: My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leo: If you got any leaks or stories—I'm curious what you think about this Reuters story that Apple is getting to self-driving cars.
Philip: That was a business insider rumor that they spun and spun. Reuters picked it up. It doesn't speak very well for Reuters.
Leo: Reuters said according to an anonymous source, which makes me a little bit nervous, the source who declined to be named said that Apple is interested in making cars. Not individual components or automotive software, but they want to build cars—probably self-driving cars. It sounds like the Apple TV rumor.
Philip: It's funny because Munster, Gene Munster who has been saying that the Apple TV is a year away—he said we're going to get an Apple TV before we get a self-driving car. Someone pointed out to me that, I think he's right, in testimony, Schiller said that they were working on a car before they decided to make the phone, which makes the Apple car idea 9 years old already. You have to know how to make cars first before you can make a self-driving car, right?
Leo: It seems like a big chunk. Wall Street Journal on Friday confirmed it. They said Apple has set up a secret lab working on the creation of an Apple branded electric car, citing people familiar with the matter. That's almost as good as an anonymous source. The lab was set up late last year soon after Apple revealed its forthcoming smart watches. The journal said the Apple project codenamed Titan employed several hundred people working a few hundred miles from Apple's headquarters. Apparently they've met with contract manufacturers. Patrick, you're a car guy. Do you know the name Magna Steyer in Austria?
Patrick: I've heard it at least once.
Leo: Do they make cars?
Patrick: I have no idea what they make. Autonomous vehicles are coming. Autonomous vehicles at the luxury level will probably be here in 2020.
Leo: Magna by the way makes automated systems.
Patrick: We already have assisted driving. Some really cool assisted driving stuff is going to hit in 2016. Depending on who you're asking, 2018-2020, you're talking about a fairly sophisticated level of autonomous vehicle. I'd like to take a moment to point out: everybody thought Tesla was going to fall on its face. Everybody thought "Oh yeah. The PayPal guy is going to start a car company." Nobody—who would have thought that Apple could have pulled together the iPhone? Judging from the stories, there's a beautiful story in the New York Times where they talk about the backstage debut of the iPhone.
Leo: Wasn't that a great story? That was from a book called Dogfight, which was about the Apple/Google battle.
Patrick: You could just smell the bailing wire in that story. They were just keeping it together.
Leo: While Steve Jobs is demonstrated the first iPhone in 2007, sitting in the front rows are taking a shot every time a bit of the demo works, because they know there's a distinct path that Jobs could follow and if he deviates in the least, the iPhones will crash.
Patrick: And then they will be finding new jobs.
Leo: By the end of the demo, we were drunk, but ecstatic, because it worked! Isn't that great? It's a great story.
John: Just to interrupt. Is it possible, because it's always been Apple's contention that Eric being on the board, that Apple should have owned the whole Smartphone market, but the Google guys steal the product essentially, make a copy, say this is a get back needle them. Google is the head of the autonomous car. So Apple is coming in just to mess with them.
Patrick: Just for fun, let's tie in the whole—what is Uber worth right now more than the EU in terms of its market value? Some insane number? I am not particularly an Uber enthusiast; I am probably alone on the panel on that. But if Apple thinks Uber is going to give Google a metric ton of money, would they start rumors on an autonomous car?
Leo: I don't think Apple would do it just to mess with you.
John: Why not?
Leo: It seems kind of childish. Philip, you're the Apple guy. Would Apple be childish like that?
Philip: I assume Apple is going to look at every possible product that they could monetize. If there's a product that they could make better than anybody else makes it, they're going to look at trying to do it. I believe the Wall Street Journal and the financial times who have actually put reporters on the story, which is why we're starting to get some detail and some names and some numbers of people. They're working on it. They could be doing any number of things. They could be building Apple's version of Google's street view. That car that we saw driving around—
Leo: What was that car? Was it an autonomous vehicle? Was it a street view car? What was it?
Philip: Apple doesn't have a permit to drive an autonomous vehicle, so it's unlikely that it was. But there's a number of things it could have been doing. One of them is making good maps to compete with Google maps. It could have been making good maps to try out an autonomous vehicle. They're going to look at it. They've got smart people, they're going to hire smart people. Maybe it will be a product, maybe it won't.
Leo: Google does that too. They've got enough cash to see what happens here.
Philip: Going a little bit macro though. Munster points out that investors are always looking for is it possible that Apple has another winner that they're working on a secret lab? It doesn't hurt for the stocks value to float this kind of rumor. Then someone else pointed out that you've got a lot of really smart engineers at Apple who must be getting sick of doing the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6S. That's pretty boring for a real smart engineer, so to have a new project that's completely different that's not another iPhone could keep these guys around. Otherwise they're going to leave.
Leo: Here's a question for you. Would an Apple car have a break and accelerator pedal? Or wouldn't they just want to combine the two into one button.
Philip: No button!
Leo: That's what I'm saying! You wave at it! So maybe you go like this and the car goes forward, you go like this and it slows down, you swipe left to turn left, swipe right to turn right.
John: That's exactly what I want!
Patrick: There's no reason in terms of low or high speed maneuvering that you couldn't use a joystick to do it. There's adapted driving systems.
Leo: Like a Segway. Just lean in the direction you want the car to go.
Patrick: You'll never have an accident, right? People don't figure out ways to have accidents with superior technology.
Leo: Someone in the chatroom says to take the drugs off Leo.
Patrick: 2016, I'm pretty sure, as of 2016 it will be legal to test—
John: For the drugs.
Patrick: As of 2016 it will be legal in the state of California to test vehicles without steering wheels or pedals. I don't know if that's—
Leo: I believe it. If you look at the current Google self-driving car it doesn't have any controls. You get in and it goes. I think consumers aren't going to want that, because they're going to want the feeling of, " I could over-ride this if I want to."
John: For a while.
Leo: Eventually—they saw that Mercedes Benz that was a living room on wheels. Concept car from CES.
Patrick: I read about it in a William Gibson novel 25 years ago.
Leo: It also looked like you could turn off the windows so you wouldn't have to see what's going on outside which I would need.
Patrick: So the people outside couldn't see what you were doing in the car.
Leo: That as well. So Philip, you're giving some credibility to this. It's a lot of sources at this point.
Philip: They've hired people. Apple doesn't usually come out with products until other people have perfected the idea and the public is ready for it, and then they'll make the best car or whatever they're making.
Leo: But seriously. This is a new Apple. That's how they've done it in the past, but I don't think there's any reason to think Tim Cook wouldn't want to break some new ground right?
Philip: They're not going to make a product until the public is ready to buy it in large numbers.
Leo: They're focused on profits. They're not focused on Blue Sky research. I'd agree with that. Although when you have 160 billion in cash—
Philip: They'll do the Blue Sky research. They just won't release a product until it's ready.
Leo: Right. Or word of it. Remember when Cook was talking to Charlie Rose last fall. We are working on stuff that has never been rumored. No one has said anything about it. No one knows about it. Maybe that's what he was talking about.
Philip: There's all kinds of robots stuff.
Leo: All right. We're going to take a break, and when we come back, we have much more to talk about. Philip Elmer De-Witt from Fortune magazine is here. It's not too snowy where he is, so that's nice.
Philip: It stopped.
Leo: Yeah. It stopped today. John C. Dvorak is here from noagendashow.com. That crackpot podcast where anything goes.
John: it's not crackpot in the least. You haven't listened to it for three years.
Leo: I've never listened to it. The false flat show. Right? That’s where you talk false flag?
Leo: Find out more about that there.
John: We have a bunch of people that write in saying, "I've been hearing about you talking about this show for the last three years. I finally listened to it."
Leo: That's not bad.
John: I'm listening to TWIT and I hear you. I'm thinking does it take 3 years to sell something just to have people listen to a show?
Leo: On the other hand, people are buying mattresses from one ad.
John: They are. And if you could say something good about the show instead of "I have never listened to it."
Leo: I have never listened to it. How can I recommend it?
John: Maybe you should listen to it and recommend it.
Leo: Have you ever listened to noagendashow?
Patrick: I have.
Leo: what do you think?
Patrick: I think it's a sophisticated discussion of ideas.
Leo: No it's not!
John: How would you know? You said you never listened to it!
Leo: Because you and Curry are on it.
John: You hate Curry.
Leo: I don't hate Curry. I just question his mental facilities.
John: No. You hate him. I wish I could get you two together. You'd love each other.
Patrick: This is a wonderful time to thank the people who bring TWIT—
Leo: The only time I've talked to Adam Curry he said, you should come to work for me at Meeveo.
John: You had him on the show a couple of times!
Leo: It was actually on cranky geeks. He said I could pay you wife-leaving money. I never talked to him again.
John: You never told me this story before.
Leo: Wife leaving money? What the hell is that? Why would you say that? It's creepy.
Patrick: I got a better word. I can't say it though.
Leo: Don't say it out loud. I know what you're talking about! Anyway. Don't say it. My radio engineer today said, I don't know. I think that caller swore. I had to dump him. What did he say? I think he said the effing Google. I said, No. He said Facebook and Google. So if you were listening to the radio show and there was a 40 second chunk missing, it's because somebody said Facebook and Google so fast it sounded like effing Google. Maybe he said effing Google.
John: Effing isn't something you'd cut.
Leo: He didn't say effing. He said the full Anglo expletive. I can't say it.
John: Why not? This is a podcast! Family friendly.
Leo: We try to. You know why? Because John will come over and hit me. I did say it the other day and he came over and slapped me upside the head.
John: Did he hit you?
Leo: No. I could tell he wanted to.
John: I think that's true with a lot of people who work here. They all want to hit me. Thank you. I'll be here all week.
Leo: On Friday I had dinner with a lovely man named Bill Harris. Do you know Bill? Bill was a founder of PayPal with Elon Musk. He had some choice words about Elon Musk, which we'll talk about someday. It was interesting. He and Elon were the founders of PayPal. He was also CEO—
John: Where does Peter Tile fit into this scheme?
Leo: Came later. This is at the very beginning. I'm going to get Bill back on triangulation. I didn't know all this the first time we have him on. When he was on then he mentioned—I'm starting a company called Personal Capital, and I signed up. I'm really glad I did. Personal Capital is two years down the road and I’m still using it. It's a really great way to keep track of where your money is, how it's going. But it's more than a financial dashboard. The goal is to keep you up to date on your plans for retirement, for planning for the future, to make sure your 401 K isn't getting shaved by brokerage fees or high mutual fund fees. You're retirement plan is working; you're not losing years off your retirement because of expenses. It's a really great solution. You put in your stuff, it's completely secure. It'll give you a little screen dashboard on your computer, tablet or phone. They even have Android watch app, which is so cool. Seriously. The other day it said: time to rebalance because you're getting heavy in international. Anyway, that's the beginning. Now you can invest with Personal Capital. For a limited time when you open up with personal capital account they'll give you 100 bucks for every 100 thousand you deposit into your account. Up to ten thousand dollars. You'll get your cash in your account and personalized investment advice from their registered investment advisors. Really smart folks will give you the right advice. It's free to use personal Capital. You can even make money on it if you deposit into your Personal Capital account. Now is the time to open that account. Take control of your financial future for 2015. Visit personalcapital.com. The younger you do this, the better, by the way. Now is the time. Go to personacapital.com and set up your free account. Personalcapital.com/twit. For a limited time if you qualify, Personal Capital will give you $100 for every $100,000 you deposit up to $10,000. personalcapital.com/twit. I am going to get Bill up. He had some stories. He also worked for Mark Zuckerman when Zuckerman first bought The Atlantic and he came and helped run the business side of The Atlantic. Very interesting stories. He told a story at one point—he was visiting Zuckerman at his house in South Hampton and looking out of his house is the ocean on a beautiful day. Zuckerman had just bought the Atlantic monthly and he was trying to bring it up and tell his neighbor, but he couldn't figure out a way to get his attention, so he finally said he bought The Atlantic. His neighbor said, "That's a shame. I used to like to swim in that." You never know with these billionaires. Philip, you just wrote an article about Beats and Jimmy Iovene, and I saw this was kind of interesting. Apparently a very popular DJ for radio One on the BBC in England. Zane Lowe was just hired by Apple.
Leo: I presume that has something to do with Beats. What is going on?
Philip: Who the hell knows? We're like criminologists trying to figure out what's going on. I love the story that Billboard did about The Grammy's, because it gave you a feeling for what's going on. They describe this scene where Clive Davis's pre-Grammy gala where Tim Cook shows up and Eddy Cue and Robert Kondrk who run iTunes and Al Gore and Nancy Pelosi. It's like the white-hot center of this party, and there's a single file line of record Industry executives lined up to see these guys. There's Cue playing a scene out of The Sweet Smell of Success and he's playing Sydney, and everybody wants to kiss the ring. Clearly, they're making deals. According to Billboard, Iodine has been talking to one record label after another. According to Apple Insider, they've been signing up exclusive deals with artists, so when an artist comes out with a new CD, it gets played first and exclusively on whatever they're going to call iTunes Beats streaming service. So it's going to be very hard for Spotify and Pandora to compete with this new streaming service if Apple gets everybody first. Then the other thing is that they hire the most popular DJ in England. They take him off the radio and put him in Cupertino and probably he is going to be part of what Jimmy Iovine calls deciding what song comes next. This idea of curetting music—you're going to get a streaming service and someone is going to decide what song comes next, who you trust. Like FM radio works, only it now doesn't go over the radio.
Leo: It's feeling kind of retro. For people our age, maybe that makes sense, but kids don't.
Patrick: Spotify bought a company called the Echo Nest, which I think is Swedish, which was the recommendation engine behind Spotify, I Heart Radio, Rhapsody, Xbox music, and a bunch of others, so a lot of people started pulling away from that. Iovine's producer, he's a hands-on manipulative—
Leo: That was the pitch when they launched Beats. He said, "People want curation." That was the big difference. When you use Beats, you make a sentence. It's dumb. I don't see my son doing it.
Patrick: I thought it was interesting.
Leo: It's interesting, but it's not something my son is going to do. My son sits there and watches music videos. Google owns this because of music key on YouTube.
Patrick: Google doesn't own anything in terms of streaming music. Apple has failed over and over again on streaming music.
Leo: Now it's too late. Everybody has chosen REO or Spotify or Google or Amazon. There's so many competitors. I think everybody is invested in one of them. Beats Music when it launched was a failure. It was an outright failure.
Philip: Leo, how are you invested? Can't you switch?
Leo: You know the old thing. Nobody is going to go to a new technology unless the new technology is significantly better than the old. It's not just like; it's a little bit better. If you're competing with Spotify, Beats has to make a proposition that is way beyond. Maybe exclusivity is the key.
Patrick: That would give you a pretty—
Leo: If you're a Taylor Swift fan and you could only get it on Beats, maybe.
Philip: Exactly. That's exactly it. It's not like you've invested all this money and you've downloaded the music and it only plays on Spotify, all you do is flick a switch and you're streaming from somewhere else.
Leo: You have to have a lot of exclusive playtime.
Philip: You can hear Tim Cook saying we're not going to make a streaming service; we're going to make the best streaming service. If they can deliver that, people will switch.
Leo: I'm just saying that Beats tried to do this and they got 110 thousand subscribers.
Philip: Beats ain't there yet. But Apple has 800 million iTunes accounts. They've got 75% of the download market; they've got Jimmy Iovine. He's amazing Jimmy Iovine. You look at the list of people that he signed up and his career in music, I have it somewhere here. Former recording engineer John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, turned record producer Patti Smith, etc. Co founded—
Leo: Those all sound like really old acts.
Philip: Eminem to Lady Gaga. He's got the new people too.
Patrick: The guy essentially he and Drey and whatever involvement Monster had or didn't have at that point. He essentially created an entire market for premium headphones that didn't exist. Not very good headphones, but they established a huge market for incredibly expensive headphones that the entire Industry is now following and trying to emulate. They made them relevant.
Leo: I'm surprised to hear that everybody was walking around Jimmy Iovine at the Clive Davis party because it's pretty clear that the music industry is not fond of streaming music. They feel like they're not getting their share.
John: there's that, but it's too late. This is not changing.
Leo: You know that and I know that, but does the record Industry know that?
John: Sure they do.
Leo: Didn't they—it just baffled me. During the Grammy awards ceremony, they had a big chunk of time devoted to basically you guys are thieves, but we're going to go to congress and make sure you're not. That's literally what that was all about. They thanked the Turtles, because the Turtles sued streaming music industry over 3972 music and Taylor Swift literally said out loud, thanks to Turtles and Taylor Swift, we're going to win this battle. Taylor Swift pulled her music out of Spotify. They don't like these streaming guys. It may be the future, but they don't like them.
Patrick: There's also a lot of artists that have, and this is not a new story, actually no, I make nearly nothing, but my record company makes decent money. This is not a new situation. If Apple puts money into Beats to create exclusive deals where people start making money, Apple doesn't want to be the biggest music streaming service. Apple wants to make the most money off of the streaming music service. That's a different goal.
Leo: Absolutely. That's what they've done with phones and that's what they've done with computers.
Philip: If the record executives are lined up to talk to Jimmy Iovine at this party, it could be that Apple is offering them some kind of sweetener that makes it a better deal for them than whatever Spotify—
Leo: I think the record industry is dead. I think the artists are going to take control, thanks to the Internet. If you're a smart artist today, that's what you're doing. I remember having this conversation with Paul Simon. He said people of that generation are seeing that business model collapse. I don't care for me, but I care for my kids. They're musicians. How are they going to make a living?
Patrick: Same way most of their parents made music. Touring.
Patrick: And t-shirts and Merch. And record sales.
Leo: What is Beats going to have that will make a difference?
Patrick: Apparently they're going to have exclusive deals with Taylor Swift.
Leo: It's not in Taylor Swift's interest to do exclusive deals. It's in the record label's interest, because they're going to make more money, but the artists aren't going to go for this.
Philip: It will be a window thing. It will appear for a month on Beats.
Leo: I'm skeptical.
John: That's not a bad idea.
Leo: That's all they'll ever get, right?
John: Short term, exclusive.
Leo: Same thing with the movie and TV industry right now.
John: It's the way the whole business works.
Leo: Enough about Apple. Sorry, Philip.
John: Good seeing you again.
Leo: Oh come on. I know you're into Pinterest. Tell me about Pinterest.
Philip: I know nothing about Pinterest.
Leo: You know nothing? We're all boys. I don't think—I have a Pinterest account.
Patrick: I will say that I gave up on Pinterest when you could no longer look at anything on anybody's Pinterest links without having a Pinterest account.
John: I'm on your side. That's why I didn't join. I didn't join because of what you just showed me right there.
Leo: I'm logging into my Pinterest.
John: Yes. You have to log in to see anything.
Leo: What's wrong with that?
John: What if I just want to go look at somebody's Pinterest account?
Leo: I can find other friends.
Patrick: Lot of food on your Pinterest account.
Leo: Yeah, you can tell what a person is interested in.
Patrick: Food and a racecar. And an English estate.
John: Are you going to buy an English estate?
Leo: Pinterest is kind of neat because it's like a magazine.
John: And women's shoes! What is this?
Leo: I love women's shoes.
John: What about the fingernail polish? What is that on there for?
Leo: We have a nice big studio audience, mostly male. There are about two women in the whole group. How many of you use Pinterest here?
John: How many wear women's shoes?
Leo: We got two people from Copenhagen, but they're actually Romanian, one woman, and a guy. What do you do? And another woman. A few guys. He's from Copenhagen, he doesn't count.
Patrick: That was charming.
Leo: What do you do on Pinterest?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Album covers.
Leo: You keep track of album covers.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I want to share them with friends.
John: Are you a graphic artist?
Leo: No, he' s a database engineer. A data miner. Pretty clever, huh?
Leo: I think Pinterest has a lot of appeal, but in this country anyway, men don't really think there's anything there for them.
Patrick: And I'm complaining that Pinterest will not let me look at things on Pinterest without an account.
Leo: What did you want to see? I love these romantic flats in black.
John: Can you actually stand in those things? Looks like a rough go.
Patrick: Pictures of musicians, furniture.
Leo: Furniture is actually what I've used it for. When I was shopping—
John: You must have moments when you're just—food food food, you know those shoes, and then you load up with shoes.
Leo: Chicken Cheddar and guacamole burgers. Let's have those tonight.
John: That looks totally disgusting.
Leo: Cinnamon apple overnight oats?
John: That doesn't look good either.
Leo: It would be good for you. They're vegan and gluten free, John.
Patrick: And it's in a mason jar.
John: That's cool.
Leo: All right. You want some cinnamon buns? I feel like Pinterest is like a beautiful magazine. I didn't know this, but apparently it's become a great place to make money, almost like E-bay is a business for some people. With 2 affiliate companies who have just been kicked off. I have a feeling there's going to be a bit of an outcry. I'm surprised there hasn't been a bit of an outcry. Pinterest, who has been looking to monetize is already considering—they claim this has nothing to do with monetization, but they are doing some interesting things to monetize. One is that they're going to do promoted pins, like promoted tweets, but these two companies reward style and hello society, all of their links as of Friday are being pulled, so if you were making affiliate money and pretty good affiliate money—but the other thing Pinterest is going to do is put a buy button there. An affiliate link is a bad thing, if they're going to start selling direct.
John: I think they should find some other way of doing this and let people do their own thing and make a little money and skim off the top. You want to be on Pinterest doing this? We'll take 10%.
Leo: I think you're smart. I think you're right.
John: The place would become a massive commerce site and Pinterest could just sit back and relax and take a piece of it.
Leo: Pinterest doesn't have any—
Philip: What is the business model now?
Leo: Get as many users as you can as fast as you can. Right? That's the traditional business model.
Philip: You've got to get some cash though. If you click on something, can you buy?
Leo: Sometimes you can. Oftentimes, like this beautiful—let's find something I can buy here.
John: How about that cake?
Leo: An easy recipe—that's DIY. You can't buy that.
John: You can't buy the cake?
Philip: You can find apps through Pinterest?
Leo: This isn't my board. This is generic Pinterest content.
John: Whoever put this up is really hungry.
Leo: I don't think this is my board, frankly. You just want to know what I—cameras. Audio gear. Health. My favorite travel spots. Travel gear.
John: Let's see your favorite travel spots.
Leo: This is furnishings. Here's my favorite travel spots. Are you ready? None. I set it up, I've got 3,790 followers, and I've never done anything ever.
Patrick: It's because you're too busy traveling to actually make plans for trips.
Leo: My favorite travel spots. Should I put a pin in somewhere? I'm going to Kiev.
John: It's not pronounced that way.
Leo: Kiev? Not Kiev?
John: American school children pronunciation. It's actually KEEV.
Leo: Kiev. I'm going to Kiev, because now that peace has broken out in the Ukraine, it's time for us all to go to Kiev. Here is Independent Square in Kiev. Look how beautiful that is. I'm going to pin that in my travel pins.
John: Now the CIA and the NSA will be wondering why you have this one thing only.
Leo: There's the financial model.
Patrick: They don't have to pay for their data. They just send you a letter and you give them the data.
Leo: This is a long, oft told story. Companies building up a business and then pulling the rug out from the people who made the business in order to do their own monetization. I always wonder—eBay survived such things, Twitter survived such things. I suppose Pinterest will. It's still the best damn food magazine ever. Look! Chicken Kiev! Or do I pronounce that chicken KEEV?
John: I think it would be Chicken Kiev because that's the way everybody pronounces it.
Leo: Not chicken KEEV. People wouldn't want to eat that.
John: They wouldn't know what that is.
Leo: That would be disgusting. All right.
John: It looks disgusting anyway, by the way. That dish.
Leo: You don't like anything I'm picking out here. How about Kiev cake?
John: Looks different.
Leo: It's a Ukrainian classic cake that's lightly flavored with a meringue hazelnut layer.
John: There's a French cake similar to that.
Leo: Here is the metro in Kiev. I'm sorry. KEEV. It's amazing. Look at that. The Russian metro is pretty amazing, isn't it? There are these beautiful Tsarist tiles.
John: I've been on it. The thing about Russia that shocked me was the escalator speed. It goes 90 MPH. It goes so fast that you're reluctant to get on it.
Leo: I want to take the train. Bring me quick. Really?
John: It flies. It's frightening how fast it is.
Leo: Here's an info graphic. Escalator speeds around the world. Which ones are fast, slow—it's remarkable.
John: It's also steep. Steep and fast.
Leo: They're nuclear bunkers. They want to get you down in there, that's probably right.
John: You've got to get down fast, apparently.
Leo: They're shelters. You're from Romania. Similar things? Do the escalators move pretty quick down there? I'm going to Budapest this summer.
John: Is it Budapest or Budapesht?
Leo: Pesht. Right? Is it Keev or Kiev? He says you're wrong.
John: All the diplomats pronounce it KEEV. They probably pronounce Kiev someplace else, but they don't have London in France. It's Londra.
Leo: Somebody says the escalators are fast. Do you notice cars are going faster these days?
Leo: Just checking.
John: They're going slower.
Philip: People who have been in self driving cars say it's like a normal car, except when they change lanes they go woop.
Leo: Right. They don't have to think, they know it's clear, and they just get over. I think we need to fix that.
Patrick: You obviously never drove with my father.
Leo: Once you know it's clear there's no point in nudging over. That's how I drive. I'm not sure it's clear. Let me just nudge over. If nobody honks, I go a little farther. If nobody honks—
John: Can you bend your neck? Go like this and look behind?
Leo: When I was doing driver's training as a kid, whenever I turned my head, the car would shift. I had to unlearn that. It's a bad habit. Keev. Let's see how it's pronounced.
John: The first time I heard the word pronounced KEEV, it was Victoria Neuland.
Leo: Who is Victoria Neuland?
John: She's the assistant secretary of state to Kerry. She was over there during the revolution and she said KEEV. I said this is crazy, this woman can't pronounce it correctly, and then I looked into it and that's the official pronunciation.
Leo: The Russians pronounce it differently than the Ukrainians. Here we go. Do we have audio from my computer? This is going to end the debate.
YOUTUBE VIDEO: Kiev is Russian and KEEV is Ukrainian.
John: They're drunk.
Leo: She's not saying KEEV. She's saying Keeeeevvveee.
Philip: where did you get that?
Leo: The Internet is amazing.
John: You learn so much. Pronounce it any way you want.
Philip: Authoritative too.
Leo: I think the Apple deal with Pinterest is interesting, because that is a big problem. App discovery. It's a problem for Apple, not just developers. Right now the only want to discover something if somebody doesn't tell you about it is via Apple and they're promoting it on iTunes.
Philip: Top seller lists.
Leo: Yeah. I don't think it's very good for diversity. I think it's in Apple's interest to promote diversity and to show there's more than just the stuff you know. So Pinterest will start something called app pins that will let you pin apps. Apparently Apple is going to give them some money to do it.
Philip: I tried doing it today, but I ran into the same problem. You have to have a membership to look at any of this stuff.
Leo: Join it. Why don't you want to join Pinterest?
Philip: Because I'm sure I'm going to get an e-mail from them.
Philip: I don't need any more spam. I have too much spam as it is.
John: I'm with him.
Leo: That makes sense.
John: Why do they have to put this barrier to entry? This is a violation of marketing 101. I want to go look at somebody's thing, but I've got to sign up, jump through all the hoops just to look at a Pinterest?
Leo: Let me search for health and see if I can find a health app. I should find apps here, as well as other things. I see a lot of abs.
John: Abs, but no apps.
Leo: No apps, but plenty of abs. I just did health. I'm a man.
John: How would they know that? Never mind. You signed up.
Leo: How about I search for health and apps? There you go. 20 stunning mobile app designs featuring graphs and charts. I just have to read.
John: This will take you all day to read this page.
Philip: You're better off with the top ten health apps.
Leo: I feel like this is something that Apple should want to solve. That's not enough diversity. If you want people to love their iPhones, what you want them to find is a great app that really fills their need.
John: Is there a need for people to love their iPhones?
Leo: Have you seen talking pets yet?
John: OK. Here we go.
Philip: Is this the show?
John: I want to see this.
Leo: I sent a Valentine to my daughter. Ozzie the dog. I sent her this Valentine from Talking pet. Ready?
TALKING PET: Roses are red. Violets are blue.
Leo: That's my dog talking.
TALKING PET: If I weren't a dog, I could rhyme this for you. Happy Valentine's Day!
John: It doesn't sound like a dog.
Leo: I could do other ones too. Do you want to see?
John: How about a dog sounding like a dog?
Leo: You can make it sound like anything you want.
John: I want something that sounds like—this sounds like a computerized phony dog. I want a real dog sound.
Leo: Let's see if I can find some more. I've been sending a lot of these lately. You can do deep voices.
John: How about a growl?
Leo: Let me see. You want a deep voice? Here's one.
John: This is a gorilla. You sent somebody a talking gorilla?
TALKING GORILLA: I really like this.
Leo: OK. Talking pets. It doesn't have to be a pet. It could be a spider.
TALKING SPIDER: You forget I'm a boy.
Leo: That's a good one. Talking spider. Here's another one of Ozzie. This is my dog.
TALKING DOG: Hey. What are you doing? What are you doing?
Leo: That sounds a little more like the dog.
John: How much time do you spend on this?
Philip: My dog says are you going to eat that?
Leo: Are you going to eat that? What are you doing? This is all that ever goes through my dog's head.
John: That's pretty much any dog.
Leo: I love it. We're going to take a break. I'm a simple man, with simple needs.
John: Yeah. That would make sense.
Leo: If I had a Pinterest account, I would pin that to my Pinterest account.
Patrick: You do.
Leo: I do. As soon as I get home, I'm going to pin that. Our show to you today brought to you by lynda.com. I would recommend it to anybody who is looking for a great place to go to learn new skills, whether it's tech or business skills like negotiation. Resume building. Lynda, lynda.com. I actually know Lynda Weinman. I've known her since—If Patrick hadn't run off, he could tell you. We used to have her on the screen savers all the time. Web design was her thing. She's expanded. Lynda.com covers everything. Photography. They have Burtman Roy's Photoshop classes—they're the best in the world. Visual design, software training like excel and word press, Photoshop. The thing is, these are all taught by experts who are great teachers. They're produced professionally, they have transcripts. They divide it up into sections. It's easy to jump to the one thing you want to learn or watch the whole thing and become an expert. Here's some of the new courses that I've been playing with. Improving your memory. I forgot who does that one. SEO fundamentals. And of course, pixel playground series, which is incredible. There's a weekly series called small business secrets. That's with Dave Kradshaw. He's a coaching small business owners on things like accounting, marketing, and management. There he is. Go to lynda.com. lynda.com/twit2. New code for you. lynda.com/twit2 and you're going to get a free 10-day trial. That means you've got the run of the place. That's the guy! I forgot him. What's his name? Paul Novak. Yeah. That's the guy on improving your memory. lynda.com/twit2. 10 days, that's enough time to get your feet wet, try a bunch of different courses. You get unlimited access to every course, including iOS and android, plus new courses are added each week. Lynda.com. Give them a try! They're the best.
Philip: I'm going to try it. My friend who was a designer for a long time did a course. She's making a lot of money on it. Now I'm going to try your free trial.
Leo: It's great for instructors. I think you're going to like it. Do they have any drone courses yet? I need to learn. I only know one drone command: up. That was it. That was all she wrote. Hey, if you missed anything this week, you missed a great week on TWIT. Something John C. Dvorak likes to call a house ad, right here.
PREVIOUSLY, ON TWIT.
Leo: Here comes Brian Burnett on the Eco rico!
BEFORE YOU BUY
Leo: From Amazon, this is the Echo. This is the future.
Person: This is the future. All homes are going to have speakers and microphones, personal assistants on the other end of it. ALEXA, Wikipedia Leo Laporte.
Alexa: Leo Gordon Laporte is an American technology broadcaster.
Steve Gibson: An update on the Anthem breach. Names, social security numbers, and residential addresses.
Leo: You had no recourse. If you wanted health care, you're going to give your social security number to people who do a crap job at protecting it.
TECH NEWS TONIGHT
Megan Morrone: Happy early Valentine's Day Apple car enthusiasts. Amid a few weeks of rumors that Apple is getting into the car business, the Wall Street Journal just added electric fuel to that fire by reporting Apple has several hundred employees working secretly towards creating Apple branded electric vehicle.
THIS WEEK IN GOOGLE
Leo: Google has added a virtual genius bar. How are you doing? Love your set!
Person: We are very googly here at Google.
Jeff Jarvis: Calling Google support on this show never gets old.
TWIT: TWIT WITH YOUR HEAD, NOT OVER IT.
Leo: I think you could hurt yourself. That's why next week, Bryan Burnett will be reviewing powered roller skates.
Leo: He will. He actually is going to. Bryan Burnett, one of our employees—do you think there's liability if you have an employee do something and he really hurts himself badly?
Patrick: Big time. He was doing it in front of his duties on the show?
John: It's called Taking all your money.
Leo: Oh lord. These are those things, you probably tried them at CES—the independently powered roller skates.
Patrick: No. I don't put independently powered things on either foot.
Leo: They call them smart.
Patrick: And nobody is going to hurt themselves on—
Leo: You're saying Curry likes that echo?
John: He has one, and he thinks it's the best thing ever imaginable.
Leo: I'm amazed! Isn't he worried that he's being spied on?
John: He says he is.
Leo: Oh. So he doesn't care.
John: He's being spied on by the Echo, it's listening to everything you say. He says it's instant. You say whatever the thing's name is.
Leo: It's got a nice voice. Not like Siri or Cortana.
Patrick: What do you do with it?
Leo: You say things like, "what temperature is it?" or "How many cups in a quart?"
John: He says he told it to play the latest NoAgendaShow and it played it.
Leo: It's actually the greatest podcast thing ever. We did it. Listen to TNT on Tune In, because it has a Tune In connection, so anything on Tune In radio, it'll play. Or you could say listen to the Giant's game.
John: He says you don't even have to say the Tune in part.
Leo: That's pretty impressive. Until you try it, it's like I don't know. But, once you get used to it, you feel like I want one in every room. I want my house to be listening to me.
Patrick: I don't think you want your house listening to you. You want your house to be responsive to your ever whim.
Leo: Yes. The listening part—
John: If it had robotic arms, I'd go for it. Otherwise, I don't care.
Leo: It can't kill you in your sleep?
John: Well, sure. But weather apps are the number 1 category.
Leo: Everybody has a weather app. Do you ever look at your weather app?
Patrick: I do. I have the forecast on my phone.
John: When my phone boots it tells me the weather. Why should I—
Leo: Right. So you've got the weather on the front screen there. That's good. You know it's 72 degrees right now and sunny?
John: You're going to be in a big haunted house when you're older, and the kids are going to walk by and say that's where that crazy guy lives.
Leo: Where did I see that editorial? Was it GigaOm? It was, saying Silicon Valley has a duty to stop creating stuff that isolates us from other people. Pretty much everything—I thought this was really interesting—it's a column "Disrupting reality: Silicon Valley is busy ignoring the real world." "Don’t feel like talking to anyone ever again? Don’t worry, there’s an app for that." The My Time app on Android will let you make appointments with local businesses without talking to anybody. Uber—you get a cab without talking to anybody, it just comes. In fact, the Uber driver is even incented to be nice to you because if he doesn't he gets bad ratings. So even though he's probably miserable, depressed, oppressed, making no money, he's going to be cheerful because he wants a good rating. The same goes for riders. You have to be nice to the driver or he can rate you badly. TaskRabbit. Never stand in line again. Birch Box, Amazon Prime. Never have to go to a store to buy anything. Even home schooling, which is the latest Silicon Valley fad, it's all about getting your kids away from other people. That's the problem.
John: That's not true, as a homeschooler—
Patrick: As a homeschooler—
Leo: You're both homeschoolers?
John: That's not true, because homeschoolers in Patragula—they have plenty of programs for the kids to meet up with other kids and go on field trips.
Leo: But it's not the same as sitting in a sweaty schoolroom, being oppressed by the teacher, getting measles.
John: Home schooling is the way to go.
Patrick: I would also like to point out that all of my children are vaccinated completely.
Leo: The collapse of the—Janko is interesting when he says this. He says, "I still remember listening to Meetup.com co-founder Scott Heiferman talk at an early O’Reilly conference in 2005. Back then, Heiferman, told his audience that the book Bowling Alone, which chronicles the collapse of the American community, inspired him to launch Meetup, with the intent to get people to go out and come together again." A lot of those. Meet ups.
John: Have a Tweet up.
Leo: Who wants to meet people? I don't like people. In fact, everybody go. Out. I think he makes an interesting point. A lot of what we can see as technological improvements and advances are about not having to talk to anybody.
Patrick: No. They're about—
Leo: Self-driving car? I just want to—
John: If you're driving a car, the car drives itself.
Leo: I don't get to talk to cops.
John: How often do you get pulled over?
Leo: It's my social life. What do you think Philip? Do you think he's off base? I think there's something to it.
Philip: I think it's the computer. We spend so much time looking at the screen, so people are going to make money trying to get you to look at the screen more. I don't know. Riding the subway in New York now, everybody has their iPhone or their Pad out, and it is different. I don't—
Leo: That's what Uber is all about, so you don't have to be around people, you can avoid mass transit.
Philip: You have to deal with the driver one way or the other.
Leo: Yeah, but there's one guy instead of a bunch of people on a bus, vomiting.
Patrick: Most of the people who were taking Ubers were driving, previously, or were taking cabs. Uber exists because it was impossible to get a cab in San Francisco. The cab service in San Francisco sucked and commuting in San Francisco sucked. It shouldn't take 90 minutes to 120 minutes to travel 7 miles across San Francisco.
Leo: This is Steve Wozniak. It would be interesting to have an interview with Steve Jobs. Steve Wozniak recently did an interview on the BBC. I thought his take on this and everybody staring at their phones all the time was interesting. Oops. I just pressed the wrong button.
Steve Wozniak: Anything has some dangers in terms of what was before, but once you get very used to it if you're in a society that's accustomed to a lot of people being addicted to cigarettes or alcohol or something like that, it sort of becomes one of the natural things. It's hard to measure how dangerous it is. It's more dangerous to a prior life style.
Leo: That's what I'm saying is interesting. We talk a lot about people being addicted to their Smartphones. It's not bad, it's just from the perspective of the prior life style.
Philip: There's a theory about Silicon Valley is that it has attracted a lot of autistic people who have mated with autistic people and created a generation of autistic people and that is part of the reason its so anti-social. What do you think about that?
John: Boy. NoAgenda material.
Leo: There's no question that many people in the valley are on the spectrum. They're not autistic, necessarily, but they're on the spectrum. They're anti-social. Bill Gates, we always wondered about him and his rocking. He's a little asberger's, right?
Leo: OK. It makes sense that if you have trouble with people and reading social cues that you would be attracted to machines. I know I am.
Patrick: If you give the machine the right instructions the machine does what you tell it to. People are not that simple.
Leo: I agree. This is painting with a very broad brush.
John: You're on the constantly talking to the masses.
Leo: But isn't it interesting? I would—that's a common misconception. Remember Johnny Carson?
John: Johnny Carson? Yes. But—
Leo: He was totally introverted.
John: My argument to that was he got it out of his system because he was doing an hour and a half initially.
Leo: He used to go to parties and sit in a corner because he could not talk to people. I imagine a lot of people in broadcasting are introverts because this is a managed interaction. I'm not actually talking to anybody.
Patrick: I've seen you at parties, Leo. You're no introvert.
Leo: I'm no introvert, and you're no introvert. Miami cops falsely reporting their location on waves. We talked about this a couple of weeks ago that some police say that Waves ability to report—that's the navigating program that Google owns. It'll warn if there's a police officer up front to avoid speed traps and things like that. Police don't like that. They say that encourages people—
John: I wonder why.
Leo: Miami cops are saying I'm over here. They think it'll make ticketing easier and quite legitimately cop stalking.
Philip: That story pointed out that if the cops say I'm here, I'm not really there, it has the same effect of putting a fake cop car on the side of the highway—
Leo: Which they sometimes do.
Philip: to get people to slow down. It probably reduces speeding.
Leo: Most users tend to drive more carefully when they think law enforcement is nearby. I know I slow down.
Patrick: Sure, because you don't want another ticket.
Philip: That's supposed to be the purpose of speed limits and cops enforcing it is to have people drive safely.
Leo: Much more effective to have a lot of presence than—even better than ticketing.
Patrick: So it's a false flag. Cool.
Leo: What do you think?
John: It's not a false flag. A false flag is where the government sets up some sort of event that they invented—
Leo: Like Wag the dog.
John: Wag the dog is a good example. Watch the movie. It's outstanding.
Leo: Great movie.
Leo: So the idea is that in order to distract you from what's really going on—
John: The classic false flag was the burn down of the—
Leo: The gulf of Tonkin.
John: that's a perfect example.
Leo: Which gave us an excuse to enter the Vietnam War.
John: It took us 20 years to find out that was all bullcrap. But yeah, the Gulf of Tonkin is one of our more recent. People remember the Maine, the Lusitania was one. There's a lot of them. You have a spider right over your—
Leo: Oh my God! That's great! Look at that. See? He's crawling up. He thinks safety is up above.
John: He's going to bite you.
Leo: That's not a brown recluse is it?
John: No. He’s on your leg.
Leo: It’s good. Spiders are good, right?
Patrick: Spiders kill insects.
Leo: So I’m wearing Android wear watch. I have to admit I broke out the iPhone the other day thinking I better start getting ready because the Apple Watch is going to be out in April. I actually like the Android wear watch. I’m wearing a Moto 360 which apparently is the best-selling.
John: How many of these watches do you have?
Leo: I have them all.
Leo: Every watch.
Philip: Do you buy them or do they send them to you?
Leo: No, I don’t do that, Philip. I’m very careful to not be-mostly because companies hate me-to not be on the gravy train. I buy everything because I want to be objective about it. We do get a few things for Before You Buy we get sent.
Philip: You buy everything because you want everything.
John: Yea. These guys don’t send us this kind of stuff.
Leo: They used to, didn’t they? What happened?
John: Margins. I talk to people, in fact I talked to Intel about this. Because I wanted to get one of those little…
Leo: I remember going to your house-I’ve told this story before-and you had a laptop on every step of your staircase.
John: Those days are over. What happens is once the margins got small, essentially if they give you a free product, they’ve lost one month’s worth of profits.
John: So they can’t do that anymore.
Patrick: They still send out products.
Leo: But they want it back, right?
John: Sometimes, sometimes not. It’s a pain in the ass to send it back because it screws them up as much as it does to you.
Leo: What are they going to do with an old beat-up laptop?
Patrick: Send it to the next person in line.
John: But it’s not like it used to be. You have to agree.
Patrick: Yes, I agree with that.
Philip: But do you get product placement money?
Leo: I wish I did. We’ve been trying. Patrick’s drinking Coca Cola for free.
John: Yea, there’s no profit in that.
Leo: This isn’t American Idol or anything. I tried. When we first started the network, I thought you know we should be able to get Domino’s Pizza. Didn’t we do that on the radio show? We used to have Max’s Diner.
John: Yea, they would send us free food.
Leo: We didn’t get any money but we at least got free food.
John: Lots of it!
Leo: It was really greasy.
John: It was incredibly greasy.
Leo: I think that’s where my weight problem began. You know what was really good? They had the mini Ruben sandwiches.
John: I don’t remember a lot of this.
Leo: Like hundreds of them.
John: It was all leftovers I think or some banquet they picked up. Give them to those idiots over at the radio station.
Leo: Apparently according to Robert Morrison in our chat room, it’s the same with rifle reviews.
John: You don’t get rifles anymore?
Leo: The free rifle business is really…
Patrick: No, you know how when you read the reviews of the Apple products and they’re the same four reviewers that write the same glowing review of the same four products? That’s the way rifle reviews are. Yea, it’s the most amazing… it’s actually…
Leo: You read rifle reviews?
Patrick: Yea, I do.
John: I can imagine.
Leo: What should I get?
Patrick: We’ll talk. We’ll start you off with…
Leo: I want that gun that Curry has. It’s a shotgun in a pistol.
John: That thing is crazy.
Patrick: No you don’t. No.
Leo: Has he ever fired that?
John: I’m sure he has.
Leo: It must send your arm like that.
John: Not necessarily.
Patrick: First you learn how to hold the gun.
John: That helps a lot.
Leo: Very first thing.
Patrick: We’ll start you out with a nice BB gun, a Red Rider.
Leo: In 2014… I want a Red Rider.
Patrick: You should. They still make them. They’re awesome.
Leo: You’ll poke your eye out! In 2014, 4.6 smart bands of any kind-4.6 million-that’s a big difference. 4.6 million smart bands of any kind were sold. Of those, fewer than a million were Android wear devices. Only 720,000 Android wear devices shipped last year.
Patrick: Well the Android wear is considerably more expensive than like the Fit Bit. It’s also funny-there was a great article in the BBC where they talked about they looked at the Vivo Smart, the Fit Bit charts, the Misfits Shine, the Jawbone. And they had a 23% difference in the amount of distance they covered. And like 2700 calories difference in terms of a week of what they estimated the calories.
Leo: Molly Wood just did a whole big piece in the New York Times on that. What is the most accurate?
Patrick: I don’t know.
Leo: Yea. Does it matter that much? 20%, I guess that’s one in five.
Patrick: That’s a fair amount. And 2700 calories is a pretty huge amount of calories.
Leo: That’s a lot of calories. So the Mi band, as an example, Xiaomi sold the Mi band-it was basically like a Fit Bit-presumably I guess sold only in Asia or maybe just in China. One day, 103,000 units. 720,000 for a whole year is not a lot of smart watches. I don’t know what to conclude from that. I actually like the Moto 360. I find it pretty useful.
Patrick: They came out in the fourth quarter. The best-selling one was the Moto 360 because it was first. It was fairly feature-complete.
Leo: It was round; it wasn’t first actually. The square ones came out first and then the Moto was a few months later. I like it. You can change the face and it tells you when the phone is ringing, who’s calling. You can talk to it.
John: Can it turn it to Russian?
Leo: You can actually.
John: That’d be cool. No, don’t tell me how. I don’t want to know.
Leo: Go ahead, Philip.
Philip: I tried to figure out how many watches Apple was going to sell. I tried to get the analysts to weigh in. I can’t remember what the numbers were. They started with 7-10 million and then some people said 20-30 million. So you know, we’re talking about a difference scale coming in 2015.
Leo: It’s also hard to say how much. Because we don’t know how much it’s going to cost. We know the low-end will be $350.
Philip: $350 and they’re going to sell probably 70% of their sales will be in that model.
Leo: Okay. So it doesn’t matter how much the stainless steel or the gold will cost because they will be a fraction of the total sales.
Philip: They’ll make a lot of money on those. The margin on those…
Leo: This report which comes from Canalys, which is an analyst group says that Samsung still dominates. They launched six devices in 14 months. But they sold the most. I’ve tried all the Samsung devices and they’re underwhelmed. I do like Android wear-Samsung does make an Android wear. I like Android wear although they’re all the same.
John: You can read that; it’s what you just said.
Leo: It says three days ago Samsung launches six devices… how did you do that?
John: Pretty fancy, huh?
Leo: Yea. Did you do a search?
John: No, I just recorded you.
Leo: Oh. And then found the story. And then it searched for the story.
John: It does everything.
Leo: It’s amazing. What you’re saying I think Philip is that the sales of Android wear are not an indicator of how well the Apple Watch will do.
Philip: Right, I think I mean I don’t know. It feels like a lot of product got put out in advance of the product that’s probably going to set the cap.
Leo: I agree with you especially with that Samsung stuff. But this Moto 360 for instance is pretty mature. In other words, these Android wear watches are not the first smart watches. I think they learned a lot from the first smart watches. Frankly I think the utility is high on this.
Patrick: So it tells time, you get notifications. What else do you do with it?
Leo: It counts steps, this will give you heart rate. Not all Android wear watches do that. You can dictate to it. So if I get a text message, I can quickly dictate a response by just tapping it and saying, tell her I’ll be right there. I think those things are all fairly useful. I don’t have a problem taking a phone out of my pocket. I think these are still a luxury device. I think nobody is going to say I have to have a smart watch.
John: Can we make some predictions about what especially what Philip thinks about the Apple Watch? Is it going to do well?
Leo: Yea, I’m curious.
Philip: Yea, it’s not going to be like the phone. I mean you can turn and see that everybody in the world is eventually going to need a smartphone. Or pretty much everybody.
Leo: I would agree with that. That’s the computing platform for the next 10 years.
Philip: Right. iPad, the tablets was clearly a smaller thing. It was a smaller market. I can’t imagine the whole world needing a smart watch. It just doesn’t compute.
Leo: It’s a luxury item. It’s not jewelry-scale luxury.
Patrick: But they also just one they’re talking about putting in a jewelry-type display to sell these in the Apple stores. And two…
Leo: And safes.
Patrick: Angela Ahrendts is who they just hired from Burberry. That’s a pretty huge…
Leo: But that’s fashion.
John: I forgot about that.
Leo: Yea, they’re paying her a ton of money. In fact she made more money than Tim Cook last year in order to lure her away from Burberry.
Philip: Well they had to make good on her Burberry bonus she was going to get. She had to give up a bonus to go to Apple. I think the watch does several things. One, it shows that Apple can still make product. And make new categories. And I think they can see that the margin is good enough for them that they will make a lot of money on these especially if the Chinese who like to show off their wealth, buy the gold ones. Good God.
Leo: That’s a good point. They may not sell a lot of those but the margins got to be pretty good.
Philip: I’m going to buy one. You’re going to get one, Leo.
Leo: I have to get one. And I’m looking forward…
John: You don’t have to.
Philip: Johnny, you going to get one?
John: I’m not getting one, no.
Leo: He’s going to take my Castoff.
John: I just get the secondhand stuff from him. It works fine for me. I don’t think you have to be in that minute.
Leo: I do! And I’m wondering because there are some things that are unique to it. You will be able to on the Apple Watch-and this is going to help sell them-if you wear one too Patrick, I can do little messages to you on the face of the watch.
John: This will be great at school.
Leo: Like draw pictures. Nick Bilton was telling us that one of his friends that has an Apple Watch and works at Apple, when he wants to go to lunch, he just draws an L on his watch and his friend knows he wants to go to lunch.
Patrick: It’s even better than Snap Chat.
Leo: Then there’s the taptic interface.
Philip: Did you hear the story that Tim Cook told? Apparently there’s this thing that after 15 minutes if you haven’t stood up, it reminds you to stand up. So 15 minutes into an Apple meeting, everybody stands up.
Leo: No, they probably make it out of sync. So it looks more like a calliope where different people are standing up at different times. That would be better, wouldn’t it?
John: Especially if it made a squeak like that chair.
Leo: That’s the squeak. This chair has really gotten squeaky. Just a word to anyone who wants to be an evil villain. If you’re going to get a chair like this, you want to keep it lubricated. When you’re asking for $1M and your chair is squeaking, it just takes all the fun out of it. We’ll take a break. What are you doing?
John: He’s mic’ing the squeak.
Leo: There we go!
Philip: What’s this man doing under the table?
Patrick: You sound like my chemistry professor in high school. He had a rule about everyone’s hands had to be on the table.
Leo: Oh my God, that guy had a dirty mind.
Patrick: No, he had a lot of high school kids.
Leo: We’re going to take a break and come back with more. Philip Elmer-DeWitt is here from Fortune Magazine. From noagendashow.com, Mr. John C Dvorak.
Patrick: He’s always got the…
Leo: And from, how’s it going by the way with Tek Thing?
Patrick: Good. We just posted up. Since six this week, we’ve got our iPad and iOS app TV feed figured out. We’re still fighting with the TiVo format. But Tek Thing is growing.
Leo: So with the slow fade of revision three, Tekzilla cancelled I guess?
Patrick: Hiatus, cancelled…
Leo: A long hiatus. So you and Shannon said let’s do our own thing.
Leo: And yes, you have to provide the infrastructure. But thanks to things like Patreon, you can make a go on it. And what is the Patreon address if people want to donate?
Leo: There you go!
Patrick: Thanks, man.
Leo: Shannon Morse and Patrick Norton. And it is Tekzilla, isn’t it? It’s very similar. Don’t tell revision three.
Patrick: It’s the Screen Savers 4.0 or DLTV 3.0 or Tekzilla 2.0 or Tek Thing 1.0. It’s a thing where we look at…
Leo: I get it. It’s like me. I had one idea for a show and I just keep doing the same thing over and over.
Leo: You know that.
Leo: You’ve been with me from the beginning.
John: I have no problem with it.
Leo: You have a good idea you go with it. You run with it until somebody buys it. Our show today brought to you by audible.com. I am a big audiobook fan. Do you listen to audiobooks?
Patrick: I’ve started doing it again.
Leo: You drive a lot.
Patrick: I re-joined audible.com sitting in this podcast one day and signed up for it. And it’s been interesting listening to books that I’ve read in the past.
Philip: I love it too.
Leo: Are you an Audible listener?
Philip: Yea, yea, yea. I’m in the middle of Robert Caro’s Ford volume, I think. Johnson.
Leo: I’ve read the first volume and haven’t read anymore. I read the first volume when it first came out. He’s come a lot farther. What a story that is.
Philip: And he hates the guy. He clearly hates Johnson. Johnson lied; he couldn’t tell the truth.
Leo: You know what else would be good. And I think Beschloss has some of this on Audible. You know Michael Beschloss also has the Johnson tapes. And I think some of the audio of this, yea here it is. Taking Charge, the Johnson Whitehouse tapes. You’ve got to listen to this. Michael Beschloss, another great. Like Robert Caro, a great presidential chronicler. This, you hear Johnson sitting on the toilet talking to people. You hear Johnson talking, actually it’s very moving, talking about Vietnam.
Philip: Sitting on the toilet.
John: Not the thing for Patrick.
Leo: The thing I like the most on this is he’s debating the Civil Rights Act. He’s talking to his valets, an African American. Johnson is a Texan and he’s calling the guy boy. But he’s clearly really moved by the struggle of African Americans in the 60’s and it’s really interesting to hear. It’s hard to hate the man when you listen to the tapes. You don’t love him. God I remember protesting hey, hey, LBJ how many kids did you kill today during the war.
John: You did this?
Philip: It made him crazy, that chant. He hated it.
Leo: Well I don’t blame him. But that was kind of the point. Anyway, yes. There’s a couple of things on Audible. So for history, Audible is wonderful. But it’s great for fiction too. I try to alternate fiction with non-fiction. Right now I’m listening to the incredible biography of the Beatles. It’s very long and very detailed. But then my next one’s going to be a sci-fi novel. My favorite sci-fi author is Peter F Hamilton. Just amazing stuff on here.
Philip: They keep giving me free books. I don’t think I paid…
Philip: They just say you earned another…
Leo: No, they’re good about that. And you know what else they do? They’re very civic-minded. During for instance the presidential campaigns, they’ll give away speeches, the State of the Union address. There’s a lot of stuff; have you read about HeLa? The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks? Her genes, the HeLa genes are used by scientists to this day. She was a poor southern tobacco farmer. And her cells are continuing to be grown in culture. Although she’s been dead for more than 60 years. It’s an amazing story. HeLa, the HeLa cells. So you can learn a lot. You can entertain yourself. And I’ve got two free books for you if you go to audible.com/twit2. Audible.com/twit2. At this point, and I have to say this is great, every best-seller comes out on Audible. So it used to be, you would hope that they would put this out on Audible. Now, everything comes out.
John: Does Martin Short do the narration of his own book?
Leo: He sure does. Don’t you love Martin Short?
John: Yea, he’s hilarious.
Leo: I must say, my life is a humble comedy legend. Let’s listen to a little bit of this.
Nevertheless, after questioning both candidates, the interviewer declares your credentials are so darn equal and I don’t know how to decide. I can’t make up my mind. The male candidate proposes that the matter be settled by arm wrestling. The interviewer agrees. Then the man pins down the woman’s arm, thereby winning the job. Scene.
Leo: You’re going to have to listen to the rest of the book to figure out what the hell he’s talking about there. I must say my life is a humble comedy…
John: Canadian politics is my guess.
Leo: My guess too! But you can get this for free. There is a lot of biographies and stories by people…
Patrick: Neal Patrick Harris.
Leo: Yea, that just came out, didn’t it? Choose your own auto-biography. He wrote it and read it. I would say a lot of times you don’t want the author to read them. But when it’s performers like Sarah Silverman, you do. Or Martin Short. Cause they really bring it to life. Look, there’s a lot of choices here. You’ve got two books free. And by the way when you get the subscription, you’re going to get the platinum subscription, two books a month. You also get the daily digest of the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. So that’s a great way to keep up on what’s going on. The Walter Isaacson book I think rapidly becoming a classic. The Innovators, that’s available. You can get that for free too. Just go to audible.com/twit2 and discover the world of audiobooks. I’m interested Phil that you like Audible because you don’t have a commute, right? I presume you don’t.
Philip: No, but I have a dog. So I walk him every day for about an hour. And you can get a lot of book done with that.
Leo: For me it’s the gym. I don’t commute but boy there’s nothing more boring than being on a treadmill or a bicycle or a rowing machine. But if I’m listening to a book it kind of goes by fast. Love it. Microsoft, interesting Microsoft is a very fascinating story now. I think.
Leo: For a long time you and I talked about how boring Microsoft had become. Their stock was stagnant. There was nothing to say. They looked like they were going the way of IBM. And with the advent of Sacha Nadella and the new Windows 10, HoloLens, there’s some really interesting stuff.
John: I just wrote a column about this.
Leo: What do you think?
John: Just the opposite.
Leo: You think they’re a boring company still?
John: No I think they should be a boring company. They’ve got those cash cows, they throw money away left and right. Nothing works. They’re no good at anything except what they do best which is Office and Windows. And that’s just about it. Why don’t they just instead of throwing all this money at these stupid things they keep buying for $400M, half a billion, give it to the shareholders! They’re the ones! It’s their money! They should have big dividends and become a stayed, steady company.
Leo: Fade off into the sunset.
John: There’s nothing to fade off! There’s tons of PCs being sold every year. They do have new operating systems that come out. And you have to have Office because there’s nothing else.
Leo: Instead they’re giving away Windows 10.
John: Yea, well it all seems like an idiocy to me.
Leo: They kind of give away Office. I just got a $229 HP Stream. $229 laptop computer running Windows 8 with a year of Office free.
John: Is it the full office that you get to use on five machines?
Leo: No, one machine.
Patrick: After I replaced my broken and bent iPhone, there was a Microsoft store in the mall. And that was the first thing I found. There’s an 11-inch HP Stream for like $199.
Leo: And it ain’t bad!
Patrick: It runs really well.
Leo: You know what I just bought? And I’m very interested about this. This is a 7-inch tablet from Winbook. $60 with a full version of Windows 8.1 on it.
John: That’s a really good deal. But of course Windows 8.1 and 10 are different.
Patrick: What’s the processor?
Leo: It’s a Bay Trail. Decent 1.3 GHz. Only a gig of RAM. 16 gigs of flash storage but you can put another 64 gigs of micro SD in it.
Patrick: Do one thing at a time.
Leo: Yea, but you know what, it’s a 7-inch tablet. I don’t think I’m going to be multi-tasking my video edit while I’m writing the great American novel.
Patrick: Well you say that until you have seven things open that you’re switching between and you’re waiting.
Leo: We’ll see. First of all, low price entry. But I’m very curious what are you going to get. One of the reasons they exist is because Microsoft says if it’s a sub-eight inch you don’t have to pay us for Windows. It’s free. They’re giving it away, as you say.
Patrick: And 7-inch tablets are really cheap to build in China. Impossibly cheap.
Leo: Apparently. $59. I don’t even know how this… what’s the profit on a $59 tablet?
John: I think they’re dumping it.
Leo: You think that they, what? That they…
John: It’s a regular $230 tablet. So I’m assuming they’re just moving inventory.
Philip: It’s regularly $89.99.
John: Well that’s their old price. But if you look on Amazon they show the old-old price when this thing first was announced.
Leo: It’s a TW700. Well I ordered one, it comes Tuesday. I’ll let you know.
John: It’s inventory clearance.
Leo: Maybe that’s it. But still a good deal.
John: They give you a copy of Office again.
Patrick: There’s a huge $100-tablet market.
John: I think so.
Leo: And this has a full-size USB port. So you can plug in a keyboard and a mouse. And continue to charge it through the regular USB book. IPS display; it’s not a bad display.
John: What are you going to do with it?
Leo: There’s nothing I’m going to do with it. And you get Office for a year. It tells you Microsoft is up to something. They have more than 100 apps. If you search for Microsoft on the Apple iPad store, more than 100 apps.
Leo: What?! It doesn’t seem possible.
John: Why are they there?
Leo: Because I think that this is a new Microsoft. The rumor is and this is what stimulated the conversation is that the Galaxy S6 which will be announced in March at the Mobile World Congress, instead of having Google apps on it, it’s going to have Microsoft apps on it.
Patrick: That would be pretty huge.
Leo: That’s a big-selling phone, right? We’re talking tens of millions of devices out there. You’ll see Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook. Which as you say John they bought for $200M? $400M. They bought Accomply, iOS app. And they just bought Sunrise, a calendar app for $200M. Or maybe it’s $201…
John: They don’t have coders that can do these apps in-house? Is that what you’re telling me?
Leo: Most of these 100 apps are… and see you’re going through them! You see all these apps?
Patrick: I don’t know if I’m finding 100 here, but Word, Bing Search, Excel.
Leo: I did it on my iPad. It’s a lot. It’s dozens.
John: We went from 100 to a dozen.
Leo: It was like 68, okay?
Leo: Call me Brian Williams. It’s a little bit of an exaggeration. I looked down the barrel of the RPG and I saw 100. Just a little exaggeration.
Patrick: A lot of them are stuff people are… MSN Food and Drink, Bing Get Me There, MSN Sports, MSN Health and Fitness, Microsoft running for iPhone.
Leo: There you go. There’s a lot of business stuff like that.
Patrick: The Age of Empires Crafting Guide.
Leo: Love that game!
Patrick: Ms. Splosion Man.
Philip: I wonder if Microsoft is a little worried about the IBM-Apple initiative. Here we’ve got IBM going to their clients and making iOS apps for them. That are Microsoft’s clients. So it makes sense for them to make sure that their bread and butter is on that.
Leo: That’s what I find interesting. Microsoft is fighting on all fronts, which is historically not a good idea. They’re giving away Windows 10 with a Raspberry Pi 2. And they’re putting enterprise apps on the Galaxy 6.
Patrick: I think it’s a really smart to give away Windows 10 in a lot of ways. Because they had such a misfire with the launch of Windows 8.
Leo: Is it kind of an apology?
Patrick: I think it’s a way to get corporations and enterprises, enterprise users to move to Windows 10. You got the licenses. We’ll make it cheap. You’re pissed off, Microsoft fans, we’ll give you Windows 10 for free.
John: Have you played with Windows 10? Did you load one? Oh, you got Windows 10 there? I don’t see that as that radically different than Windows 8.
Leo: Oh yes.
John: In what way?
Leo: Well for one thing, it’s back to desktop-focused. They got rid of the charms bar which was really strange. And they’ve replaced it with a notification center that actually works really well. It allows you to customize it with Quick Launch items. It does look a little bit-almost exactly what Apple’s done with OS10. I think they brought back the start menu, which was silly but a pain-point for a lot of people. And the start menu works quite well. We like it. And they put Cortana which is interesting. You can talk to it.
Patrick: Cortana, I’m still not particularly great about talking to my desktop or my laptop. But yea, I mean I think it’s smart for them to give away the operating system. I think it’s smart for them to push really hard on iOS and Android. I think it would be a huge win for them if they got their applications on Android because they need…
Leo: On the Galaxy S6, instead of the Samsung calendar app-which no one wanted-they put Microsoft Outlook.
Patrick: Well Samsung is like the shovel-ware of Android operating systems. I love their hardware. But Samsung’s interpretation of Android drives me nuts.
Leo: I agree. This Note 4 is a spectacular phone.
John: Someone in the chat room pointed out that Windows 10 Enterprise will not be free.
Leo: No, in fact we’ve said that many times on Windows Weekly. They’re giving away Windows 10 but if you’re in business you’re going to buy it. And that’s a smart move also. You still make money. They’re not giving up revenue.
John: You’re still a big fan of Windows 7.
Leo: I am and I hated Windows 8. I feel like Windows 10 is back to the mojo that… Windows 10 is to Windows 8 what Windows 7 was to Windows Vista. Maybe even more so. Maybe even more so. I’m excited; I like Windows 10. Not having used it full-time. I’m surprised you use it full-time. Is that the new XPS 13 you got there?
Patrick: No, it’s last year’s XPS 13. The new XPS 13 is a fantastic piece of hardware.
Leo: I have it and I loves it.
Patrick: Did Dell send you one?
Leo: No I bought it.
Patrick: Good man.
John: He buys everything.
Leo: It wasn’t that cheap. It was $1140 because I got an I5.
John: He gets it when it first comes out so it’s always at the top.
Patrick: They made it available without a touchscreen, which is huge.
Leo: 2.6 pounds. And I wanted the touchscreen. So I got the QHD screen. Which hurts battery life but it’s a beautiful screen.
John: How come you’re not using it here?
Leo: I was using it here. Why am I not using it here? Because I hate Windows 8.1 with a passion and fire that burns.
Patrick: Throw the technical preview on there.
Leo: I’m so tempted to do it.
John: Do it! It works.
Leo: Are you using it as a production machine?
Patrick: Yea. I’ve been using it as a production machine since it came out. I’ve had one blue screen and it was related to bizarre app that I…
John: And that can happen to anybody.
Leo: Thurrott’s using his production machine too. I guess I could.
John: Yes, you should.
Leo: That’d be pretty modern of me to use a Windows 10 machine. And the Spartan browser; how do you like that?
Patrick: I don’t think I’ve opened it up yet.
Leo: I put Chrome on every version of Windows no matter what.
Patrick: I’ve been using Firefox lately. Chrome got so bloated at one point and was just sucking down so much in terms of resources, I started using Firefox again.
Leo: I’m all in on Google. Maybe you haven’t noticed. I am pushing all the chips.
Patrick: So why aren’t you running a Chrome Book?
Leo: For a very good reason! Because I cannot get video out of the Chrome Book. I have a Pixel which Google did give me because I went to Google IO. That was two years ago; I did not buy the Pixel. But you cannot get, because it’s a weird aspect ratio-it’s a 4:3-and Chrome OS does not let us put out anything that our video capture stuff will use.
Patrick: So literally that is the barrier to living a completely Google-occupied lifestyle?
Leo: No, Skype is the barrier. I need Skype and there’s no Skype on Chrome Books. But you notice all I do on this one is it’s all browser. I think Chrome Book would be fine for this. Kaspersky, you were the one who introduced me to Kaspersky.
John: Probably. That was years ago.
Leo: Years ago. It was your favorite anti-virus. It was started by a Russian guy named Kaspersky.
Leo: Eugene Kaspersky. You know him? Do you? No. So Kiev? Keiv? That’s how you can tell if someone is Russian. Say hey, what is capital of Ukraine?
John: You know that’s where the Russian Republic began. Kiev.
Leo: That’s where Khrushchev was from, right? Ukraine?
John: I don’t know. I cut it off at that one piece of information.
Leo: Eugene Kaspersky who still is apparently quite involved in the Kaspersky labs was called in by an unnamed bank in, oh where was it? China? Was called in by an unnamed bank saying we’re a little concerned because our ATMs have been spewing money at random intervals.
John: Don’t we want to know the name of this bank?
Leo: Kaspersky said we can’t tell you, it’s NDA. And the bank of course isn’t going to tell you. But they said the weirdest thing is happening because the ATM will go… all this money will come out. And exactly that time some guy comes by and swoops it up in the bag and goes away.
Leo: Coincidence? I think not. What happened is Kaspersky got in there, discovered that the bank had been co-opted by spearfishing attacks. Emails sent specifically to employees of the bank containing malware coming from colleagues saying you ought to see this video. The malware infected the bank particularly with a rat. A remote access Trojan which allowed the bad guys to turn on the cameras-you’re the one who says take them over, right?
Leo: Turn on the cameras on all the computers in the bank, get screenshots. They sat quietly for several months observing bank employees finding out exactly how the operations worked. It turns out the hackers have been active doing this not just in this bank but since the end of 2013 in more than 100 banks in 30 countries and they have scored as much as a billion dollars. What they’ll do is they’ll send in people pretending to be from the bank. They’ll co-opt the software in the ATMs. This is going to come out Monday at a security conference in Cancun. New York Times had the article this Sunday. And I was reading it in the Sunday… you know I get the print Sunday Times.
John: I used to.
Leo: I love it.
John: It stacks up.
Leo: It does. What’s great about it is you can have a barbeque.
John: Having two or three barbeques a day; that’s how much paper stacks up.
Leo: It’s a lot of paper. In fact, yea, the Sunday Times by itself is like you can make furniture out of it. So very interesting story. There he is, there’s Eugene. Oh I’m sorry, that’s Sergey Ivanov. All these Russians look alike to me. Have you noticed that?
John: Not really.
Leo: They all look alike. I’m being silly, obviously. It was in the Ukraine of all places. That’s where the bank was.
John: This is where I came in.
Leo: This is a circle. But the criminal group includes Russians, Chinese, and Europeans. And the group impersonated bank officers not only turning on various cash machines but they’ve also transferred money directly from banks in Russia, Japan, Switzerland, the U.S., and the Netherlands into dummy accounts. Just mind-boggling. Kaspersky says we’ve seen evidence of $300M in theft from clients but we believe the total could be three times that. You know why it wasn’t more? Banks did one thing smart. They limited transactions to $10M each.
Patrick: No, no, the thefts were limited to $10M per transaction.
John: No, the ATM machine only has so much money in it.
Patrick: It sounds like they were doing wire transfers.
John: That’s the big dough.
Leo: No bank has come forward to acknowledge the theft. In fact President Obama on Friday when he did that security summit in Silicon Valley at Sanford University said at the time there ought to be a law. When I say that meaningless, when the President says that it has some weight.
John: He put out an executive order that said the end of this stuff.
Leo: It’s not going to happen anymore! No more hacking! He urged passing of a law that would require public disclosure of any breach that compromises personal financial information. And we know this very well. You know this. Banks, you know this. Remember when we talked to the Secret Service and they said this happens all the time. But banks don’t say it because it’s embarrassing.
John: It’s embarrassing.
Leo: The financial services information sharing and analysis center, which is a consortium which alerts banks to suspicious activity says quote, our members are aware of this activity. We have disseminated intelligence on this tech to the members and some briefings were also provided by law enforcement entities. When the Times asked the American Bankers Association to comment, they said what those guys said. Nobody wants to comment about this.
Philip: I think it’s not just embarrassment. I think they could get sued. They don’t want their, they don’t want their clients to… I think. I don’t know.
Leo: I think it’s also, why do banks build big buildings with columns? They used to, but now they’re…
John: They used to. Trailers.
Leo: In the old days you had to trust the banks. They build this giant…
John: And they had a safe where money went. But now it’s all… there’s no money anymore.
Leo: We have that bank. The Petaluma at the crossroads… now, they sell seeds. But it was… it has the columns, the big safe.
John: It’s a beautiful building.
Leo: They keep the really good seeds in the safe, the heirloom seeds.
Patrick: It’s all heirloom seeds there. It’s amazing.
Leo: It’s good. It’s run by Mennonites or something?
Patrick: I don’t know. It’s all… just let it go.
Leo: I found out this story. The seed bank. Because we had looked at that property when we were looking for property. We knew it was $10k a month and we thought we don’t want that. So how can you make $10k a month selling seeds when they’re 50 cents a packet?
Philip: Well if they’re marijuana seeds…
Leo: Ah! Philip you nailed it! I asked. Because two years ago there was an initiate to legalize marijuana. These guys came all the way out from Ohio. They said we thought that would pass. And since we are here at the Gateway to the marijuana-growing area which is north of us in Mendocino, they said we thought we would be there. We would sell the primo seeds as the guys were driving up to plant their crops. I swear to God.
Patrick: It’s an interesting theory.
Leo: Now they’re just in a holding pattern until they do legalize it.
John: it will be legalized eventually.
Leo: It’s just a matter of time. What does Adam say about that?
John: He doesn’t really discuss it as much as I do.
Leo: What do you say about it?
John: I think it’s a humiliation to the state of California. Ever since I was a kid and then when I went to the University of California, all I heard about for days, oh it’s going to be legalized, it should be legalized. For 20-30 years! We get the opportunity. We vote no?!
Leo: I know, what’s wrong with California?
John: Meanwhile Washington votes yes. And Colorado votes yes. And Oregon votes yes.
Patrick: Pass gay marriage before California did. It’s a screwed up state.
Leo: No, it’s a big state with a diverse…
John: Big blow-hards.
Leo: Got a diverse electorate. You’ve got southern and northern; it’s almost like two states entirely.
Patrick: It’s almost like three states.
Leo: Yea. So Apple by the way banned marijuana apps in the app store for a long time. There was this app called Mass Roots; it’s back!
John: Ah, good for them.
Leo: So even Apple acknowledges you have to toke up some times.
Patrick: A social network for cannabis users.
John: Well stone me. Hey man, I met this chick on a stoner site. Oh I’m sorry Philip, go ahead.
Leo: I would go back there, but I forgot my password, man. Go ahead, Philip.
Philip: The way that Apple allows it is they use your location to make sure you’re in the state where marijuana is legal.
John: Oh, please.
Philip: It doesn’t have to be completely legal. It can be medical marijuana.
Leo: Which is by the way 23 out of the 50 states. I didn’t realize it was so widespread.
Philip: Well Massachusetts has medical marijuana but they have no dispensaries. So it’s mute.
Leo: Daniel Cooper wrote the best article about this in Engadget. Mass Roots, social network for cannabis users contravened Apple’s policy of banning apps that promote drug usage and had to go. Two weeks after the decision was made, an army of hemp-wearing advocates had managed to convince the iPhone maker to change its mind.
John: You know you sound like that other character. That guy on the Simpsons, that punk, what’s his name?
Leo: It’s now legal to enjoy jazz cigarettes for medicinal purposes, making Apple one of those boring squares that just need to stop being such a nark… man. Mass Roots teamed up with the professional hop-heads at the National Cannabis Industry Association and that beardy guy who lives in a trailer down by the freight yard… what?! What? And you’re right. It can only be downloaded by members and residents of those 23 states where it’s legal. So it will check your geolocation before you’re allowed to get a hit if you know what I mean.
Philip: You do a good stoner voice.
Leo: It’s many years of practice, man. And then he finishes the article: as a re-joiner, it also vowed to stop treading ash into the carpet and will stop playing the bongos after 11pm on a school night.
Patrick: Can you say, I thought we’d have a pizza on our time, Mr. Head.
Leo: I’m Spicoli, aren’t I? Spicoli! I thought we’d have a pizza on our time. Yea, that’s who that is. Anyway, Mass Roots. I don’t know how we got into this from the bank conversation.
John: You did. The seed bank, that’s where it came in.
Patrick: And the whole seed catalog. I highly recommend them.
John: That place is expensive. But you keep looking at me…
Patrick: Where else are you going to get heirloom watermelon seeds?
John: Online. I bet you could look up heirloom watermelon seeds and get them on here.
Leo: But that’s the funny thing. If you go to the seed bank, they have a big online presence. That’s how they make all their money: online seed sales. They are just poised waiting for marijuana to become legal.
Patrick: They have some amazing carrot seeds.
Leo: Do you buy seeds?
Leo: Go ahead. I’m sorry, Philip.
Philip: It’s okay. I rented an Airbnb in Barcelona from a guy. I said what do you do? He said I do online sales for a seed company in Spain. And I said do they have a lot of online seeds…? He said yea, it’s all marijuana seeds. Big business.
Leo: Wow. Maybe that’s the same people. So you saw in the promo we talked to this new Google thing. If you go to-I’m not going to do it again-but if you go to the Play Store and you go to the device section, I think this is everybody. Maybe not. I’ve heard they’re rolling this out but if you go to the device section and you click the help button, there’s a live chat button. And so we pressed it and the guy appears. And I asked him, he’s in Google. He’s in Mountain View.
John: He appears on the screen?
Leo: He appears on the screen. You showed the promo; we were talking to him. But I said something; I said this must be Helpouts. Because Google has this great Hangouts technology where you can pay an expert of any preset amount to get help in all sorts of things: cooking, playing the guitar, balancing a checkbook. And I said is this Helpouts? He said no. Now I know why. Google is phasing Helpouts out.
Philip: They killed it.
Leo: They killed it. Which kind of bums me out. I thought this was a great service.
John: Google’s really cooking; they kill stuff now.
Leo: They do, don’t they? Do you think this hurts them a little bit? People will be reluctant to adopt.
John: I’m sure they studied it and found that nobody cares.
Leo: Nobody used it.
John: Or nobody cares about them cancelling products.
Leo: I do because I join every Google product. As you know, I may have mentioned this, I’m all-in on Google.
John: Yes. In fact I think Patrick pounded that point home.
Leo: They killed Google Reader, Latitude which I used-the location service. They killed Schemer, remember that? A little mustache. Wave.
Leo: RSS. So Helpouts which was only two years old is gone. It was such a…
Philip: Google’s funny with service. Somebody made a business decision early on that the numbers were not right. They didn’t really want to service all these people. So you know, you have a problem with Google or YouTube, it’s really difficult to find out how… basically you have to Google the Earth to find someone else who’s having the same problem to find a solution.
John: Somebody in the chat room asked about Google Voice. Google Voice is still there and it still works.
Leo: For the last year there’s been a rumor that they were going to kill it. And that would kill me.
John: I would not like that because I use it for my instant messaging.
Leo: I use it for everything. But I think what’s happening with Voice as it turns out is it’s being merged bit by bit into Hangouts.
Leo: Don’t you still use it for text messaging? Doesn’t it say to you over and over you should be using Hangouts?
John: No, I’ve never gotten that message. I use it all the time.
Leo: Google Voice is very nice. We’re going to take a break. When we come back we’ll find out why and how one many could have deleted every photo album on Facebook but didn’t.
Patrick: That’s thoughtful of him.
Leo: I think this guy should be celebrated. We should make this guy a hero. Instead he reported the bug to Facebook. His name is Laxman. That can’t be his real name. Laxman.
John: Joey Laxman.
Leo: Laxman, that’s his first name. Laxman Muthiyah. We’ll talk about that in just a second. But first let me talk about my mattress. Are you happy with your mattress?
Leo: Are you happy with your mattress?
Leo: If you guys wouldn’t have said yes, I would have sent you a Casper mattress.
John: Free? My mattress sucks.
Leo: Too late! Paul Thurrott has a Casper now. A lot of our hosts: Steve Gibson has a Casper now. Steve declined as well because he said I don’t want a new mattress.
John: It’s probably because it’s a pain in the ass to get the old mattress out.
Leo: Well, maybe. Show the video. I got my Casper queen size in a box. And it’s a box not so big. So this is the first thing: it comes to your door and you may say well I’m not going to buy a mattress online. Even though I tell you it’s made in the U.S. They are premium mattresses; they are latex for firmness and then there is memory foam on top so it gives you a nice sink and bounce. It comes in that tiny little box. You open it up and it becomes a queen size mattress. Now you may say well what if I don’t like it? You’ve got 100 days to return it. Absolutely painless returns, free delivery. But 100 days; you don’t have to lie down in a showroom to try a mattress. You can literally bring it home, jump on it. Enjoy that mattress for 99.9 days.
John: This is you in the video?
Leo: That’s me! Who else would it be?
John: It could be anybody.
Leo: Look at that. And then my dog tried it and loves it! Ozzy loves it! Casper mattresses are super-comfortable. We sent one to my son who moved out of the dorms and into a house. And it was up three flights; they couldn’t get a mattress up three flights. We sent him the box, it’s beautiful, very comfy. He loves it! And affordable! You get a premium mattress that’s made in the U.S. $500 for a twin, $950 for a king size. And I’m going to give you $50 off if you use the promo code TWIT as casper.com/twit. Use the promo code TWIT to get $50 off. And again, no risk at all. You have 100 days and they’ll come and get it if you don’t like it. Casper is fantastic. They’re cool in the summer and warm in the winter. I don’t know how they do it, it’s like a Thermos bottle. It’s just really well-designed and very comfy. Casper, in fact if you go to the website you can see how they make it and all sorts of stuff. My new hero…
Philip: They don’t pick up your old mattress?
Leo: Uh, no, I guess not. But you know it’s easy. Just call Goodwill and they will come and get your old mattress. That’s no problem. Two guys come on a truck, big guys, they pick it up and take it out. That’s what we did. Goodwill takes your mattresses.
Leo: Too late! You should have said yes.
John: Yea, sure.
Leo: You should have said I don’t like my mattress, Leo. I’ll send you one. Do you want one?
John: My son could use it.
Leo: Your son?! What size bed does he have?
John: Big. He’s married.
Leo: Oh, there’s two of them.
Leo: Oh well that will cost you. No, does he want a queen or a king?
John: I don’t know what the difference is.
Patrick: King is bigger than…
John: Is that always true? I though California queen was the biggest.
Leo: King is.
John: California queen’s the one in San Francisco. Hey, I’m up two to one.
Leo: Does Adam laugh when you say things like that?
John: Oh yea. He says you know Leo would think that’s funny.
Leo: I bet he does. So my new hero Laxman Muthiyah. Figure it out how any photo album that he could view, whether because it was a friend or because it was public. And a lot of stuff on Facebook is public. He could delete. He could delete. Billions of images. Facebook is now the most popular photo sharing site in the world. Get this, 350 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every single day.
John: Aren’t they backed up?
Leo: Facebook blows me away. Because the scale of Facebook is mind-boggling.
Patrick: Facebook is at a point where they’re building data warehouses for images that are not accessed on a regular basis. They actually archive that data on servers that are powered down in new warehouses they’ve built. So literally like if you go to a photo book from two years ago, there’s a half-second delay. It’s because they’re literally pulling it off the lowest powered storage they can dump it on.
Patrick: It’s amazing what they’re doing. Because their energy bills are outrageous.
Leo: Well we’ll talk about that because Google now says that everything they do is solar. But we’ll get to that in a second.
John: Let’s get back to the story.
Leo: So 350 million photos a day go to Facebook. Laxman Muthiyah who is a security researcher, here’s his post on Facebook: OMG, the album got deleted. So I got the key to delete all of your Facebook photos lol-various emoticons. Immediately reported this bug to Facebook’s security team. Good on you, Laxman. They were too fast identifying this issue and there was a fix in place in less than two hours from the acknowledgment of the report. That is impressive.
Philip: If he wanted to delete them all though, he couldn’t just push a button. He’d have to go individually into everyone’s account.
Leo: Well he could write a script and distribute it. Now days it’s pretty easy to use flaws in the time server, the NTP time server or other things to magnify. I bet there’s ways he could have weaponized this.
John: Especially if he’s the guy who found it.
Leo: The truth is he probably could have gotten a million dollars from some shady organization to sell them the bug. Instead he got $12,500 as a bounty from Facebook.
John: That’s reasonable.
Leo: He’s happy. So he’s my new hero.
Philip: Is that a standard thing if you find a bug, Facebook pays you?
Leo: Yea. In fact a lot of companies do that. They have bounties. This is the article from Sophos Naked Security Blog. Which by the way is one of the best. I really enjoy reading it.
Philip: Good title.
Leo: Yea, so thank you Laxman for not destroying. Imagine the damage he could have done if he went through and destroyed all the…
John: Well they must have backups.
Leo: Oh no, I don’t think Facebook backs up. I don’t know.
John: That doesn’t make sense; what kind of an operation is this?
Leo: You’re going to backup 350 million photos a day?
John: 350 million a day?
Patrick: That would be a great conversation with somebody from Facebook to have.
Leo: They have to. Probably they have a way to kind of mirroring it, right? So when you upload a photo they put it on two different servers.
Patrick: If that little Amazon thing was here, you could ask it how does Facebook backup all of its photos.
Leo: I have no idea but you sure are handsome today. Thank you, Alexa. Facebook now has a new feature that you might like as long as we’re talking about Facebook. You can designate an heir to your digital…
John: Yea, I’ve heard about this. I’m glad I’m not a member.
Leo: No no. Oh you don’t have an account? You should set up an account so you can give it to your kids. Social network will let you designate a quote legacy contact for when you pass away. This is being implemented now. I think this is a big issue going bigger all the time, right?
John: I think so.
Leo: What does Facebook have? A billion and a half users? There’s probably thousands of people dying every day on Facebook.
John: Probably because they’re on Facebook too much.
Leo: Google started this a couple years ago. You can designate a digital heir for Gmail, cloud storage. The digital heirs are called inactive account managers. Yes, Leo’s inactive. Dead. At least he hasn’t moved in days!
Philip: I’m always getting invited to LinkedIn to dead people.
Leo: Oh, how does that happen?
Philip: They say people you might know.
Leo: And they’re passed away?
Philip: Yea, nobody deletes their account. It’s still there.
Leo: Well you’re dead. How are you going to delete your account?
Patrick: Well you need a legacy manager!
John: LinkedIn is falling behind.
Leo: If you do nothing and Facebook finds out that you’ve died-I can see-you haven’t been active for three weeks. Are you still alive? Hello? Here’s what will happen, actually usually this happens because the next of kin says Leo’s gone. They will freeze your account, leave posts and pictures at the privacy settings you determined before you passed away-the call it memorialization-and in most cases people can continue to post on your timeline but it’s memorials to you. Not things like hey Leo do you want to go party? No advertisements by the way on memorialized accounts. That would be in bad taste.
John: Casket ad, that’d be great. Let me grind you up and throw you in the ocean!
Leo: Do you know Dan Lions, Philip? You must know Dan.
Philip: I’ve met him a couple times.
Leo: I’ve met him. I like the guy. He was six weeks ago chosen to become the editor in chief of Gawker. He just quit.
John: Taking nothing but grief!
Philip: He was so funny as fake Steve Jobs. And then he was so terrible at Newsweek as writing straight. And he used to say in real life I was never as funny as fake Steve Jobs. His career’s been down ever since. It’s too bad.
Leo: It’s bad to have success early. Actually it’s bad to have success anytime. Well you should die after you get successful so that you don’t have to…
John: You’re very successful! You’re running one of the top podcasting networks in the world!
Leo: I love you, John!
John: It’s a fact.
Philip: So he quit from Gawker?
Leo: Yea, apparently he’s got a bad back.
John: What’s that got to do with it?
Leo: He wrote a post and said I’ve got a bad back and I’ve got a book deal.
John: Yea, I got the book deal. Goodbye.
Leo: I liked him a lot.
Philip: Who’s the new Gawker?
Leo: Nobody’s been tapped to run Gawker.
Patrick: Well this isn’t Gawker so much as it is Valley Wag, I thought.
Leo: No, no, it’s Gawker.
John: No, he was doing all… no you’re right I think it was mostly Valley Wag stuff.
Patrick: Because his history of destroying people and then they leave…
Leo: You’re right, it’s Valley Wag. I thought it was all of Gawker. So it’s not…
John: In fact he was the only guy posting on Valley Way over the past, I don’t know.
Patrick: That’s kind of a Valley Wag tradition is to have one person.
Leo: That would give me a bad back.
John: So he’s writing and writing, nothing but…
Leo: Bad news. He writes I’ve been missing in action this week as I’ve been stuck in bed heavily doped up and suffering with two things. The recurrence of an old back injury, oh and he got the flu! So that’s another reason.
John: Well I don’t think having the flu is a reason to quit.
Leo: We’ve been trying to get Dan on TWiT. We’ll get him on. I hope, now that he’s got a book. His book is called Disrupted. I don’t know what it’s about.
John: It’s about the flu.
Leo: Anyway, I love Dan.
Philip: Valley Wag is a tough gig. Because to do it right, you really have to skewer all your friends. And then you don’t have any friends left. Owen Thomas did it for a long time.
John: Thomas did it well. I think Sam Biddle was good at it.
Leo: Sam was the greatest. Did he retire? What happened to Sam?
John: I don’t know. I asked him and sent him an email. And he never replied so I don’t know.
Leo: He’s still sharing posts anyway. Here’s a post from him: the lesbian-Jewish leftist conspiracy tearing Reddit apart.
John: That’s Sam Biddle? Yea, that’s him. He’s always a basher. It’s great. Very entertaining.
Leo: In fact that’s what Dan said on his departure post. Remember the British magazine Spy? The Tattler?
John: Wasn’t it I Spy or something like that?
Leo: In fact of course it’s British-inspired. Because the founder of Gawker whose name is escaping me at the moment.
John: Nick Denton.
Leo: Nick Denton is British and has that kind of standard for journalism. Speaking of passing away, actually this is a much more serious, kind of shockingly: David Carr who was really fantastic.
Philip: He’s a great guy.
Leo: Media reporter at the New York Times. He did an event about Laura Poitras’s new documentary about Edward Snowden that featured Poitras, Glenn Greenwald and Snowden via Skype. Went back to the Times news room and died. 58 years old. I swear to God, this guy was a huge influence on new media, on everything going on in the tech world. It was really great.
Philip: He famously was a crack head who left his daughters in the car while he went in to see his crack dealer. And there was a gun. He wrote a book about it.
Leo: You’re not revealing anything nobody knows. This is an amazing story.
Philip: Yea and he says I had an inbred allergy to beverage alcohol. If he had one drink he would be burning coke the next day. And it was partly because he was so honest about that. He is brutally honest about everything, most of all himself. And he was just wonderful on the media.
Leo: Yea, I read him religiously. The Night of the Gun was the book he wrote in 2008 about his addiction to crack. He had twin daughters. One night shortly after the girls were born, he left them in the car while he went to score some coke from a dealer named Kenny. Anyway, there is a great documentary about the Times called Page One. It was made three or four years ago in which he features prominently. So if you want to know more about David Carr and how much he will be missed, that’s a great place to start.
Philip: He and I were born on the same day.
Leo: No kidding. September 1956.
Philip: September 8th. Well he was born a few years…
Leo: We’re the same age. I was born November 1956.
Philip: He was born years before me but the same birthday.
Leo: He’s much, much older than you?
Philip: Much younger.
Leo: Okay. Well if he’s born years before you, unless my math is off…
Philip: No, you’re right.
Leo: Wow. $1.6B. That’s what Expedia paid for Orbitz. There now are only two.
John: This is happening to the real estate sites too.
Leo: How do I get rid of this ad?
John: You have to sign up.
Patrick: No thanks. I don’t want travel data.
Leo: Wow that was annoying. People often ask me why don’t you run an ad blocker when you pull up these websites. Because I don’t want you to block our ads. It’d be kind of rude and hypocritical.
John: I use an ad blocker called AdNauseam. You know about this?
Leo: What’s AdNauseam?
John: AdNauseam is the greatest.
Leo: That’s really a product?
John: Yes. You can find it on Source Forge.
Leo: From the man who gets no spam comes the man who gets no ads. Now I see.
John: You block the ads, you use Ad Block and you have to use Ad Block to use AdNauseam. But AdNauseam goes into the background and clicks on every ad in the background to completely screw up all of these algorithms that try to sell you stuff.
Leo: Clicking on ads so you don’t have to. Oh this is evil.
John: Totally, it’s great.
Leo: You only say that John because No Agenda is supported by its listeners, not by advertising.
John: That’s not the reason I say it. It’s because I appreciate the differences between advertisers and listener support. What bugs me is all this clicking and tracking you and so every time they’re trying to out-guess you and serve you certain kinds of ads. This is nonsense and it doesn’t work anyway. So let’s just foil them with this.
Leo: Screw with them! Alright, well there you go. A little plug for AdNauseam.
Philip: There is a serious point here. People don’t look at ads on mobile. Yet, whole businesses have been built on them. And it just feels like something’s going to collapse.
Leo: Actually Adam I have to say was brilliant the last time he was on TWiT discussing this whole issue. He talked about banner ads and he said the fundamental issue is there’s no scarcity. It’s an infinite resource so it has zero value. Because of course when there’s no scarcity, the value plummets.
John: Well you don’t use banner ads. And podcasting is a slightly different model. I can’t do AdNauseam on the podcast.
Leo: You could try. If you vomited on me during an ad, I think I’d stop.
John: If I vomited on you during an ad. Oh I see what you’re saying. Yes. I get it now. I’m sorry it took me forever.
Leo: Expedia bought Orbitz, which means now it’s basically down to Priceline and Expedia if you want a travel agency online. Expedia will acquire all of Orbitz’s brands which includes not just Orbitz but E-Bookers, Hotel Club, and Cheap Tickets. It’s about 29% over the share price so that’s a big premium for Orbitz shareholders.
Philip: But they get the list.
Leo: They get it all, baby. So Priceline’s been doing the same thing. And it’s now pretty much the two of them. So Orbitz remember bought Travelocity and they’re going to buy the rest of Travelocity as part of this transaction.
Philip: Who owns Orbitz?
Leo: Orbitz was created initially by the airlines, wasn’t it? I think that was the idea. There was a consortium of a few airlines that created Orbitz. Who owns Orbitz as it’s being sold…
John: This is going to consolidate just like the real estate stuff.
Leo: By the way if you see that creepy ad for Trivago with the guy who’s got… have you seen that ad? Who is that guy?
John: Run it. Can you find it?
Leo: It’s the internet. I can find anything. Trivago has the weirdest ads. By the way that’s owned by Expedia. So don’t think you’re getting away from Expedia by using the Trivago. This guy. He hasn’t shaved. Who is this trying to appeal to?
Patrick: What’s wrong with not shaving?
Leo: No you look good.
John: This appeals to Norton.
Leo: It feels like a stoner dude that you met on the street.
Patrick: It’s like Don Johnson with the volume turned down.
John: I agree it’s very strange. Weird casting.
Leo: You agree, it’s a weird guy.
John: But it gets your attention. And we’re running an ad.
Leo: You’re not the guy from Lost, are you? He’s the guy saying it’s a weird guy. Anyway that’s just Expedia with a different name. I was wondering like where do these guys come from. It’s Expedia.
John: Yea, just change your name…
Leo: People go I’ll never use Expedia. Priceline owns Open Table. Did you know that? They own Kayak.
Patrick: Groans from the audience.
Leo: What? No?
Philip: I like Kayak.
Leo: I love Kayak. I didn’t realize they were owned by anybody.
Patrick: Yea, I think that’s what people are upset about.
Leo: Trip Advisor is another one that has a lot. Who owns hotels.com? That must be Priceline, right? That feels like a Priceline.
Patrick: I’m not seeing hotels.com on the giant list.
Leo: They’re not on the list. Maybe there is somebody. Who owns Oviedo? Nobody got that. You got that!
John: I didn’t get it. Explain.
Leo: It’s a TV thing. You just wouldn’t understand.
John: Oh, the TV?
Leo: What do you think of jet.com? About to launch, they’re going out of their private beta to a less-private beta right now.
Patrick: Hotels.com became a part of Expedia Incorporated in 2001. So does the Hotels Reservations Network, became part of Expedia Incorporated in 2001. And in 2002 it changed its name to hotels.com.
Leo: So the guy who created the quidizi… what is it? Diapers.com. He built up a big business and then Amazon went oh, look somebody’s selling diapers. And they bought them for a lot of money I think.
Patrick: A lot of money in diapers.
John: It’s a crappy business.
Leo: So he started a new business called Jet…
John: You had five words out before you thought it was funny.
Leo: It’s called jet.com, the shopping club reinvented. They’re going straight after Amazon obviously. $50 a year instead of $99 for Amazon Prime. They will have some household goods. Three warehouses. But most of it they’re going to be a middleman for retailers and they’ll just provide the interface for retailers.
Patrick: Good luck.
Leo: What was the story? They just raised a huge amount of money.
John: The kiss of death.
Leo: Yea, I wouldn’t want to raise a lot of money.
Leo: $600M. I wonder though how much of this-that’s their valuation-I wonder how much of this is people thinking Amazon will just buy them as they’re successful and get their money back.
John: I’m sure that thought is in the air.
Leo: Mark Lore, that’s his name. He started the diaper site.
Patrick: I like their t-shirts.
Leo: They’re purple.
Patrick: $140M in new clothes.
Leo: Amazon never raised anything like that. I mean this is big bucks. Google Ventures, Goldman Sachs…
Patrick: Yea but amazon.com did this weird thing where they just started making money.
John: They’re selling a lot.
Patrick: It’s kind of crazy. Google started making money. Kind of crazy.
Leo: Jet hasn’t made any money yet.
Patrick: But they’ve got over $200M in venture capital funding.
Leo: You know who’s got a lot of money? How much do you think-well you just look at the headline-how much do you think Candy Crush made in in-app purchases in 2014?
John: I’m guessing $1.3B.
Leo: You would be right, sir! Holy comoly! $1.3B in in-app purchases!
Patrick: Yea, it’s pretty amazing.
Leo: For color bombs and lollipop hammers. And it’s still…
John: The world’s gone insane.
Leo: It’s still only the third highest grossing app in the United States.
John: What’s the highest two?
Leo: I think Clash of Clans is number one. So there will be more than that amount of money. Candy Crush Soda Saga is sixth overall.
John: I still play Angry Birds.
Leo: Angry Birds right in there. Top ten.
John: I never paid a nickel.
Leo: You never paid a nickel. No, you can actually-some games, not all-Candy Crush Saga you have two choices. You can either annoy your friends on Facebook or pay money.
John: I don’t have Facebook friends.
Leo: You’re not on Facebook so you can’t even, you’re not allowed to play Candy Crush.
John: I can’t do anything apparently. What bugs me the most is you go onto some website, in fact the USA Today is this way, I would like to leave a comment. Please sign in with Facebook. I’m not a Facebook member. I want to leave a comment on USA Today but no!
Leo: Eventually they’re going to get you.
Patrick: When they go to voting, you have to be on Facebook to register to vote.
John: That, what you said, is frighteningly close.
Patrick: It’s going to be Apple.
John: I’ll sign up for Apple but not Facebook.
Leo: You’re pretty adamant about that. Why don’t you just create a phony account on Facebook and use that.
John: I’ve thought about that.
Leo: Don’t put anything real in there. Put AdNauseam for Facebook so you game them.
John: Nah. For one thing I think in the terms of service it says you can’t do that. And I only obey terms of service. When it says something, I go. I’m all in.
Leo: I do not want to end this show. I’m having way too much fun. But I suppose we have to. Drone rules? Should we end with that? Or do you care?
Patrick: I’m excited!
Leo: FAA has proposed rules…
John: This is because of you.
Leo: No, because it’s only for commercial use. For non-commercial use there’s still no rules. And I would point out that the FAA has no enforcement arm whatsoever. So they can say whatever they want. What are they going to do? And these are proposed rules. They say we’re going to ask for 60 days of comment and it’s going to take us as much as a year and a half to figure out what all those comments mean. And then we’ll decide these rules.
Patrick: That’s kind of a standard pace for something like this. A request for comments.
Leo: Two years?!
John: That’s right because the whole scene could change in two years.
Patrick: Drones that are 55 pounds are lower. The big thing that has people up in arms is it has to be line of sight.
Leo: You cannot fly it somewhere you can’t see it. And only during daytime hours; no more night flights.
John: Chris Anderson’s operation, I wonder what he thinks of this. You know what his drone company is all about? He’s got a drone that you program with an iPad and you tell it where you want it to go. It goes around and takes a bunch of people and comes back home on its own. Off it goes, line of sight is over!
Leo: Non-commercial, you can do whatever you want.
Patrick: It’s interesting that they’re basically leaving it as a free for all for non-commercial operation.
Leo: They’re considering creating a separate category for very small drones under 4.4 pounds. That will allow operators to fly over people. You can’t fly over people.
Philip: Do you all have drones?
Leo: Oh yea, don’t you?
Philip: No and I want one for Christmas.
Patrick: Go to Amazon, get a Hubsan X4 and get the five pack batteries. And they sell little propeller guards and just start with that.
Leo: Or Syma…
Philip: How much does that cost?
Patrick: $40. Yea, I think I’m all in for $80 with five batteries and an extra charger.
Philip: Oh I’m going to do that.
Patrick: You want to buy extra batteries because as you start flying it, you’ll be like seven minutes and I’ll go recharge it. So you want you do is buy and inexpensive one that you can build the snot out of.
Leo: Or lose the first time you fly it because it goes straight up and never comes down.
Patrick: You may want to start flying in your house just for that reason.
Leo: Amazon Prime is still grounded however. The FAA has not approved commercial delivery service.
Leo: Under the rules, it’s almost impossible to operate delivery drones.
Patrick: That’s okay. Because all I could think of as soon as I saw that video is how many people are going to be stealing Amazon drones.
Leo: Somebody has to invent a non-lethal drone shotgun.
Leo: So you can take them out of the sky.
John: Yea you want to take these things down.
Leo: Like a rubber bullet for drone guns.
John: I think it should shoot a net.
Leo: Ah, a drone net. Like drone Batman.
Philip: And then you can control it with your own controller if you stole it.
Patrick: The Hack 5 crew did a funny one with a Parrot AR where they basically flew their drone over it and it basically took over the Wi-Fi controls.
John: That’s a good idea.
Patrick: They’re fly away with it or take it out of the sky.
Leo: It’s like a tractor beam.
John: James Bond movie. The thing comes out with those suction cups and drives the thing and takes it home.
Leo: Am I being hysterical when I say I’m worried about the proliferation of drones. I feel like there’s going to be a lot of drones. Like there’s going to be drones everywhere and they’ll be falling out of the sky like snow. And they’ll be clonking me in the head; I’m going to have to wear a helmet.
Patrick: It’s not going to be like CB radios. Because generally speaking, CB radios were not flying over your background.
John: Not the popularity.
Leo: They won’t work like CB radio.
John: By the way, I think the idea of getting really good at these drones and then when someone’s walking down the sidewalk by your house; send your drone out and have it buzzing around behind them. Don’t you think that would be a kind of funny?
Leo: That would be kind of funny but it’s also… so Chris are you worried or not worried? He’s 17 so he’s a young person.
John: Yea he’s already following people around with his drone.
Chris: I’ve seen that. People have been walking their dog and they’re right behind them. And you start forcing people to want to regulate drones.
John: Well that will do it.
Leo: Oh is that your goal?
John: Get a little speaker on the phone.
Leo: I’m going to show you my reason for wanting to regulate drones after the commercial from Esurance. I don’t mind my commercials but please do I have to have commercials on YouTube, really?
John: Can’t you speed it up?
Leo: No, you can’t skip it.
Patrick: Just enjoy the commerce, John.
Leo: This is why I believe…
John: Oh yea.
Leo: We showed this before on TWiT but I can’t resist. That’s his brother! He gave his brother a helmet and said you stand out in the field. We’re going to put roman candles on this drone and shoot at you.
Patrick: This is totally going to be my sons in like 10 years.
Leo: This is what boys do! Watch the video from his point of view. It’s great.
Philip: So here’s the question, what will it be that causes such an outrage that these things get outlawed?
Leo: You got a drunk guy flying a drone over the White House. That didn’t cause…
Philip: I was surprised…
Patrick: He was drunk?
Leo: Yea, it was two in the morning. He was a Federal employee by the way.
Patrick: A contractor.
Leo: A contractor for a Federal agency which shares geolocation information with other spy agencies. And he I guess at two in the morning just kind of got a wild hair.
Patrick: Two in the morning, I guess he’s like drunk in his buddy’s house. And he decides to see if he can fly the drone over to take a picture of the White House. And hits a tree.
Leo: And that didn’t do it! I think it’s going to be a major…
Patrick: That freaked them out. We no longer use GPS and positioning over… it’s like okay, so what about the billion drones that don’t require GPS?
Leo: They announced firmware that would keep you from doing that. But then they pulled back because it broke the drone or something. They had a firmware update that wouldn’t let you fly a drone in downtown D.C. But then I’ve been told by the chat room they’ve pulled it back. I think what’s going to happen, I believe, is somebody’s going to weaponized a drone and use it during a major sporting event.
John: These kids already did that. Didn’t you see that video?
Leo: Something like that. But what if instead of shooting it at their brother, they shoot it over the Super Bowl? That’s going to be a big problem. And that’s going to happen? Don’t you think?
Patrick: With all due respect, if somebody’s going to blow up the Super Bowl, they’re going to do it however they’re going to do it. They’re going to bring it in a beverage cart, a backpack, in a belt.
Leo: Yea, there’s lots of ways to do it.
John: Maybe they’ll do it at the new stadium they’re having it at next year. That would be a plus.
Leo: You mean the one in Santa Clara that the 49’ers just built?
John: Yea, the one they can’t win in. That one.
Leo: That one. Black Sunday, that’s right. Or what was the movie, was it Batman? Yea, the last Batman movie where they’re playing the football game and the whole field collapses because Bain somehow has figured out how to change the way the Earth works.
John: Yea he changed physics.
Leo: Somehow he figured out how to undermine an entire football field.
Patrick: Black Sunday was someone talking about… kill the Bobcats.
Leo: Alright, we’re done. I knew I should have ended this before that story.
John: You’ve got to leave them wanting more.
Leo: Philip Elmer-DeWitt, I think you’re the greatest. Thank you so much for being here.
Leo: One of the elder statesmen-I hope you don’t take that wrong-of tech journalism. You’ve been around for a long time. You’re almost as old as Dvorak.
Philip: I’m 65. How old are you?
John: I don’t know.
Leo: He doesn’t talk about it.
John: Old enough to know better.
Leo: He and I are similar age. But it’s great to have you. Thank you, Philip. You can catch his stuff in Fortune. And he wanted to give out his email address; that’s something people don’t usually do on this show. Ped@mac.com. I hope you’ve got your filters loaded.
Philip: Dinner is almost ready. So you better wrap this up.
Leo: We’re done! Goodbye, have dinner. But wait a minute, wait. What’s for dinner?
Philip: Berta, what’s for dinner?
Leo: Because I’m kind of hungry.
Leo: Oh my favorite! I’ll be right there!
John: Have you gone up to the Occidental Hotel and have gotten those raviolis?
Leo: No. Are they good?
Philip: Have you ever been to the Occidental?
Leo: Have you guys been holding out on me? Occidental Hotel ravioli are really good?
John: Well you can actually buy them to go and that’s what you want. They’re like Molinari’s only bakery, and are really outstanding. They’re delicious. And they’re old-fashioned.
Leo: I do like the bakery in Freestone. Those cinnamon buns that will kill you. That thing is as big as your head.
Patrick: Yea, wildflower bread.
Leo: Wildflowers so good.
John: I’m sorry. You were saying noagendashow.com, John Dvorak, thanks for being here. You’re a fantastic guest.
John: It’s always a pleasure.
Leo: I miss you. You should come by more often. Sorry I touched you there; I lost my head. You may keep the 75mm for a little while longer. Not forever.
John: Whenever you want it back, it’s yours.
Leo: But it is a great lens.
John: It is a great lens, I agree.
Leo: And you have the little pen camera. It probably looks funny on that little camera.
John: It does. I actually have some big giant lenses I put on this thing. So the camera is this little bitty…
Leo: It looks like he’s using a lens, not a camera. Shooting with a lens. Patrick Norton, Tek Thing. Do that thing. Tekthing.com if you want to know more and contribute to their Patreon. Keep Patrick in diapers. No, all the kids are out of diapers.
Patrick: We’re at the tail end of potty training.
Leo: Oh God. That’s the highlight. When you have a couple of kids and their both out of diapers, it’s really nice. When they’re both in diapers, not so good.
Patrick: We spaced them out. We got used to no diapers and sleeping through the night. It felt so good we decided to have another kid.
Leo: Yea and you’re going to lose your mind. Thank you, Patrick! Thank you everybody for being here. We do This Week in Tech every Sunday afternoon, 3pm Pacific time, 6pm Eastern time, 2300 UTC. You can watch it at live.twit.tv. Please do; we love your chat room interactions if you’re live please go into the chat room so we can talk back to you. But if you can’t, on-demand audio and video always available after the fact at twit.tv or wherever your get your podcasts like iTunes. We have great apps; can’t take credit for them. All designed by talented third-party developers; iOS, Android, even Windows Phone, Roku. You can watch it on your big screen TV if you want. If you want to be in the studio, we’ve got a great studio audience. Nice to have you all. Just email email@example.com and we’ll put out a chair for you. If you get here early, you get the comfortable chair. The rest of you, sorry. I don’t know where we got those. It must be Costco or somewhere. Those are just not comfortable chairs. I apologize. Thanks for being here, we’ll see you next time. Another TWiT is in the can. What a big audience!