This Week in Tech 500 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWIT: This Week in Tech. Oh boy. We've had a great week of mobile world congress. Myriam Joire is back from Barcelona, she'll give us a look at all the new phones, and I think the biggest story the HTC Vive. Iain Thomson is also here from The Register. Ohdoctah, we'll talk about tomorrow's big announcement, the Apple Watch, and a whole lot more. All the tech news next on TWIT.
NETCASTS YOU LOVE FROM PEOPLE YOU TRUST, THIS IS TWiT. Bandwidth for This Week in Tech is provided by Cachefly at cachefly.com.
This is TWiT, This Week in Tech, episode 500, recorded March 8, 2015.
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This Week in Tech is brought to you by FreshBooks, the easy to use invoicing software designed to help small business owners save time billing and get paid faster. Join over 5 million users running their businesses with ease. Try it free at freshbooks.com/twit. And by Personal Capital. With Personal Capital you get award winning financial tools, unbiased advice, and transparent view of all your investments. Best of all, it's free. To sign up, go to personalcapital.com/twit. And by SquareSpace: SquareSpace is the easiest way to create a beautiful website, blog, or online store for you and your ideas. Go to squarespace.com; enter the offer code TWIT at checkout to get 10% off. And by Warby Parker eyewear: get boutique quality, classically crafted eyewear, including sunglasses at revolutionary prices. For a free home trial and five stylish frames of your choice, plus free 3-day shipping, go to warbyparker.com/twit. This is TWIT: This Week in Tech, the show where we cover the week's tech news. Great panel here, starting with Myriam Joire, who just got off the plane from Barcelona. Hey girl. Was in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress.
Myriam Joire: Madness.
Leo: You must be exhausted. Did you get to sleep a little bit?
Myriam: No. I'm not exhausted. I slept for one thing. It's just a really long day. I slept before I went to the plane and I slept on the plane. Now I'm really happy to be here. It's way more entertaining than watching movies.
Leo: Good. Welcome back. Nice to have you. Also here, from The Register, Iain Thomson. It's great to have you, Iain.
Iain Thomson: It's good to be back.
Leo: We discovered that Iain lives nearby. I thought you lived in England. What do I know?
Iain: I've been out here nearly 7 years now. I'm still saying gas now rather than petrol. Other than that, still solid.
Leo: What kind of accent do you have? Is there a characterization for your accent?
Iain: Oh. Probably posh RP, because I went to a boarding school.
Leo: I thought it sounded a little posh. It sounded a little lone rangery. I wasn't sure.
Iain: I could wear red trousers.
Leo: Great to have you, Iain. Also from Parts Unknown from a drop box somewhere in Pennsylvania, Owen JJ Stone. Hello Owen. Did you mute your—there we go. Speak to me.
Owen JJ Stone: What did you say?
Leo: Talk to me. Ohdoctah!
Owen: Leo! Episode 500.
Leo: How can I miss you if you won't go away?
Owen: This is the plan. I'm trying to get a mini Leo. I want 87 shows, I want to talk about things, I'm going to get a hand radio and a cold camera and an iPad and I'm going to register mini TWIT.com.
Leo: You know what you need? You need baseball suspenders. Pitchers and catchers are reporting on my braces.
Owen: I need those. Especially when people my age hold up their britches. Keep their britches up.
Leo: Nice to hold up the britches. People are noting, this is episode 500 of this little program. We've been doing this for quite some time, and wondering where's the cake? We are. The reason we're not doing it today is because next month is the anniversary of the very first TWIT. April 19 is when we're going to do all the celebrating. I figured 500 or tenth anniversary? Let's do tenth anniversary. Ten years we've been doing this show. The first TWIT was April 17, 2005. All of the original cast members are coming back for that. It'll be John C. Dvorak, Kevin Rose, Patrick Norton, David Prague. The only person who hasn't committed, Roger Chang.
Jason: Roger Chang is a maybe.
Myriam: I just saw him in Barcelona.
Leo: Roger is holding out.
Owen: You've got to send him a special gift, Uncle Leo. You've got to send him a little baby rattle to entice him out.
Leo: Some Cheerios.
Owen: There you go.
Leo: Anyway, that's why—this is a special show, but we're not doing a big party or anything. Also, the Director's chairs didn't come, and the crown is missing. So we have to wait for everything to arrive. I guess we should start. Tomorrow is the Apple Watch event, or something. Spring Forward. We'll certainly talk about that, but I think we should start with what happened, because frankly we don't know much about what's happening tomorrow, but we do know what's happened in the past and that's Mobile World Congress. It just happens that Myriam Joire is back from Barcelona. First of all, was it fun?
Myriam: It's always a fun show. It's a busy show. It's the heart of NCIS in many ways because you have to jump around the whole city for the press venues. Just like CS you have the actual show days which are not that big of a deal for the media, and then you have days before the show when all the press conference is happening. The Galaxy S6 Launch, the HDCM9 launch on Sunday, March 1. That's the stuff you have to run around the whole city for. That's not the only two that happened that day. It's a great show, it's really crazy. I had a good time, as always. Lot of really exciting things this year.
Leo: Iain, you used to go. You didn't go this year.
Iain: No. I haven't been since 2008, since I came over here. I was going back to it when it was still 3 GSM, so it's changed an awful lot.
Myriam: I remember those days.
Leo: It feels to me that this is in many ways more important than CES. Certainly as mobile computing becomes more important. Note, really there weren't many cell phone announcements in January in Vegas. Everybody said that we'll wait until March.
Iain: Yeah. It makes sense to do that because there's so many news announcements coming out in CES and Mobile World Congress is THE mobile show. It's a bear pit out there. Much respect to you if you're doing it.
Leo: Is the Florence show as big as CES?
Myriam: Probably about as big. It's hard to tell because it's a different venue, right? Now they've moved it to this new space that is gigantic that is bigger than the Las Vegas convention center seems, but it probably isn't because the Las Vegas convention center is one of the biggest in the world. It's big. You know what was interesting this year is this was the first time in many years that we've had that many launches of phones and devices at Mobile World Congress. The trend in the past few years had been for Samsung and HTC and the mainstream players to launch their phones at their own press events separately—either ahead of time or after Mobile World Congress. Think HTC1 M8 last year, they did not launch at Mobile World Congress. This is a return of form. The GS2 was the last major phone that was launched at Mobile World Congress. That and the M7. Let me think. I can't remember. It's been a while since the big players have launched anything major at Mobile World Congress.
Leo: I guess if you're big enough like Samsung that you can have your own events and the press will come, Apple is a good example. You don't need to be in the noise of something like Mobile World Congress. It's convenient for us though.
Iain: It's very convenient. It's also a bit of a buyer's show as well. At CES if you've got a buyer's tag on everybody wants to speak to you and if you've got a press tag on, nobody wants to speak to you. Mobile World Congress seems to be moving towards that being a buyer's show, but there's still a lot of decent tech out there. Samsung seems to go fairly well.
Leo: Yeah. A huge improvement over previous Samsung events.
Myriam: It was massive. I have never seen a press launch like that. The Demo room was literally thousands of people. They had a separate demo room for partners, which are the carriers and those people. I have never seen anything like it. It was the biggest launch of all the history of launches.
Leo: Thank you Myriam, because we used your footage from that demo room last week on TWIT. We also used your footage of the M9 from their press conference.
Myriam: I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to get you more stuff.
Leo: That's plenty. Those are the two phones I care the most about.
Myriam: You know a lot of people don't know this because I've had some people tweeting at me and saying "Why aren't you covering this for TWIT? Where is your coverage?" I didn't go for TWIT. I went for Mobile Geeks, I'm a freelance Tech Journalist. My gig was with Mobile Geeks. You sent Mike there, and he got some great coverage for you guys too.
Leo: If you go to our special feeds, we have 3 full day coverage on twit.tv/specials, and of course on our news shows, Mike was right there skyping in. We had a lot of coverage, but I really appreciate what you did for us. It was really great.
Myriam: No problem. I do a lot of these hands-on videos. I can wing them and put them together real fast. I told Jason that I figured the time would be perfect. Right? You had your show coming up and it was later that day basically, so I had if I get this stuff and I put it in the drop box and the press room has really fast internet so I could upload in 10 minutes, which is exactly what I did.
Leo: I actually don't think the big item there was a phone, but we're going to talk about that. I think the HTC5 might be more interesting. Let's talk about the phones before we—
Myriam: I got to try it out.
Leo: I want to get your impressions. The S6 looks pretty good. I was impressed that Samsung got off of its tone-deaf presentations. They didn't have the Broadway show.
Iain: Awful. Painful to watch.
Leo: Terrible. It was also sexist. Actually, three of the four presenters were women, or two of the three presenters were women. It looked more professional all around, and I think the phone looks better than any phone they've ever done. It's got a glass back and front.
Owen: It looks more solid. I'm sure it feels better in your hand. I had an S5 and I loved it.
Myriam: It is the most beautiful Android phone I've handled yet.
Leo: Better than the M8.
Myriam: Better than the M8, but the M9 itself is better than the M8. It's a toss in terms of feel in the hand; it's a toss between the M9 and the 6 Edge in particular. But, I would say in terms of detail and design, I think the M9 still wins. What to me brings the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 edge on top in a way is all the other things that they got right this year. They seem to have just completely nailed this phone in this incredible way, which we all know Samsung can do if they apply themselves. They actually are doing it, and it's incredible to see what—
Leo: They need to because the S5 was a flop.
Myriam: It was a turd. I've been very public calling the S3, S4, and S5 turds. The S2 was the last great device from Samsung, and the Note 4 is by far the best one.
Leo: I'm carrying a Note 4, after going back and forth or a while with all the different flagship funds including the Nexus 6, I ended up going back to the Note 4. Owen, why did you get rid of your S—you said you had it for a week, the S5.
Owen: Somebody needed a phone, and I buy stuff like that just to test it out. So I was like, look. I'm not going to use it. I took it in the pool for two days when I was with my kid. I thought that was the coolest part of the phone.
Leo: Because it was waterproof. Don't take the new one in the pool.
Owen: No. And that's the thing. It felt cheap, and that's the thing I didn't like about it. I felt I was going to personally break it at some point. And then once you—you take that back off a couple times getting to the SD card and a couple of things, that seal is going to wear out on you, and then you're beat. This new phone looks amazing though. It looks small. I don't know whose hand that was.
Leo: That was Myriam's hand.
Owen: I have lady hands.
Leo: It does look a little small. It's only 5.1 inches. Nowadays, that's small.
Owen: That's funny to me. OK.
Leo: What do you think, Myriam? Edge or not?
Myriam: Absolutely. For me it's Edge, but it's very divisive. A lot of people—it's very polarizing— much prefer the regular Galaxy S6, and some much prefer the Edge. I think the Edge feels better in hand. It has a bit more of that—not sharp edge, like the Note 4 that was terrible. This is very nice in hand. The Galaxy S6 for me, what I don't like about it, it feels really premium. All metal and glass. But it doesn't look much different from the Galaxy S5. It was kind of boring.
Leo: The S5 was uninspiring.
Myriam: So the iPhone 6 looks boring even though it's beautifully made, the GS6 looks boring. I guess that Samsung is going for that inoffensive look, but with the Edge, they literally have a device. It is edgy. It feels like they're really pushing the design envelope in a really significant way. It's a complete gimmick, don't get me wrong. There is one thing about it that's great. It's that a lot of Android apps that you swipe from both sides, like the Google Plus app is an example. That feels so incredible with that curved screen. It's like a marriage in heaven. It's like wow. I get why they did the Edge.
Leo: Do you think Samsung—so the Note 4 is on a fall release. Presumably they'll do it this fall for Note 5. Do you think the Note 5 will continue to have a removable back, removable battery, SD card?
Myriam: I have a feeling that they're going to channel the Note as a pro-device and the S series as a design centric and flagship phone. I totally understand their choices of removing the removable battery and SD card slot. The iPhone doesn't have a removable battery.
Leo: That's why I carry a Note 4. That's exactly why I don't carry an iPhone.
Myriam: We're not the kind of audience that this phone is going after, right? I have a Note 4 and I love it too. I think you have to understand where they're coming from. They're launch eaten by Apple and others this year, and they're going straight for that market. 32 gigs. You know?
Owen: After you saw the sales at Apple, you know they're desperate for that market. The iPhone just blew everything out of the water. My biggest problem when you said the space on the phone is dedicated to SD card. I can't trust how much bloat ware they're going to put on these phones.
Leo: Are they backing off on touch whizz? This Note 4 doesn't have a lot of Touch whizz on it. It's got a little touch whizz on it.
Myriam: So it still has Touch Whizz and it's still a pain in the ass. They bundled a bunch of Microsoft apps, which is really interesting.
Leo: Just Skype, One Note, and Drive, which is three. The rumor was they were going to do a lot more than that.
Myriam: None of that matters though. We still haven't talked about where they make this phone absolutely awesome and blow away the M9 into smithereens.
Leo: The fingerprint.
Myriam: That's cool. You don't have to swipe anymore. It's the display and the camera, the camera in particular. That display is unbelievable. If you see that display in person, you will think you had brand new eyes installed. It's unreal. And then just because they hadn't had enough with one of the best displays ever made, quality 5.1, any display well let's curve it. They didn't go 1080 P for the Edge version, they went 1 HD. They curved that display. That is unbelievable to me. Technically, this is their way of saying, "I'm dropping the Mic. We've made the best display in the history of Smartphones."
Leo: I want to see SK Shin drop the Mic and walk off the stage. Actually, don't drop that phone. I have a feeling with glass on the back, the front, and the side, that thing is waiting to get broken.
Owen: The first thing they're going to tell you is it's super ultra—
Leo: It's Gorilla Glass 4. That's better. I am convinced with Fingerprint reading. I am convinced that that's important. It works so nicely on the iPhone.
Iain: I think it's dangerous. If you look at the court rulings on this, if you get pulled over by the police, they can force you to use your fingerprint, but they can't force you to give up a pass code.
Leo: Password is in your head.
Iain: Whereas a fingerprint is physical evidence.
Leo: They can require DNA. They can't take a hair from you. Courts have ruled that that is self-incriminating testimony.
Iain: No. It's a fingerprint. On your finger, therefore they can take it.
Leo: But the courts have ruled that something in your head you are protected against self-incrimination, so they can't force you to reveal that. Although, if you're going into Canada, apparently you're screwed.
Iain: Actually, if you're pulled over by the border Police within a hundred miles of the boarder, which covers about 2/3 of the US population. You've got a hundred mile limit between you and the border where the border police can force you to unlock your gear.
Leo: Actually, that just happened in Canada. There's a case going on right now. Apparently your privacy protections are different if you're crossing a border. You have none. So they required someone to unlock his phone. He said, "What are you talking about? That's private." And he's going to go to jail because of that. So that's something to be aware of. I don't think that's going to keep me away from it. I'm not so paranoid that I'm not going to get a fingerprint reader because the cops could make me do it.
Iain: As someone who travels across borders a fair bit, I always carry clean gear. Fingerprints are great for convenience, but I worry about the legal side of it.
Leo: I feel like they're more secure. So when I'm using this to unlock my phone instead of a pass code, I feel like that's more secure. It's biometric. If it's well implemented, it's going to be safer.
Iain: If it's done well. The problem I have with a Nexus Gesture opening is that it leaves finger grease on the phone. If you hand your phone off to a cop, you have to scrub it off on your shirt to make sure you've got nothing there.
Leo: Myriam, did you try the new touch fingerprint reader?
Myriam: I didn't get a change to try, but from people I've talked to who tried it, it's basically just like the iPhone. It's instantaneous and it works.
Leo: So that works so well that that's a significant difference between this and the iPhone and the Note 4 for instance, where you have to swipe, just like you did on Lenovo laptops. You've got to do it right. Yes, Owen JJ Stone?
Owen: Let me just tell you something about this. Have you ever watched Fio movies? If I want your password, you have to stay alive. Otherwise, I just cut your hands off and take your password. If they want to put it on a retinal scanner.
Leo: I'm not that worried. I'm much more worried that my kids will unlock the phone than the FBI will.
Owen: I'm not going to save myself from particular, but I'd rather you keep me alive so you can get into my phone as opposed to cutting off my thumb.
Leo: I'm not Liam Niesen! I don't expect somebody to say—
Owen: Secure is in here. This is secure. This is not so secure. Anybody can get this. Hard to get up in this thing.
Leo: Meanwhile, I'm going to use fingerprint when I pay for my potato chips at Whole Foods. I'm sorry. That seems good to me.
Myriam: There's a couple of things that we should talk about. We should talk about the camera, because that camera is—
Leo: The Demo was impressive, but I never trust a demo. They had side-by-side low light comparisons both stills and video.
Myriam: It's unbelievable. You know why? Because F over 1.9. That's why. That's the only reason. It's the fastest lens on any flagship today.
Leo: There's plenty of F2 lenses.
Myriam: That's quite a bit different, if you've ever used F over 1.9 versus F2. You're getting an extra doubling in light. It's unbelievable. It makes such a difference. On top of that, you've got OIS, 16 Mega pixel and one of the fastest camera apps. It' starts in .7 seconds. You can double tap the home key for it to start. It's instantaneous. You tap the shutter button, you get a picture. It doesn't matter what you do.
Leo: That is huge. Because there's a lot of phones including Android phones where you touch the button and you wait.
Myriam: It has manual controls as an option, it has tracking focus now, so you can tap on an object and if the object moves, it'll continue tracking it. They've really gone crazy. I'm not a huge fan of Samsung usually, but I have to say the camera on the M9 is a huge disappointment. An OIS, 20 Mega pixels with really small pixels that are really noisy so far hasn't impressed anyone. Even though the rest of the phone is gorgeous and wonderful, it's like Samsung has really nailed it this year. They've done everything right, except it's not waterproof, no removable battery, and no microwave. That's a small compromise in my opinion compared to all the things they nailed. I think this phone is going to sell like hot cakes. It's not going to de-throne Apple, no way, but it will certainly give Apple a run for its money.
Leo: Isn't it close though? I know Apple is dominant. Isn't Android close and isn't Samsung kind of close within 10 points in terms of adoption in the US?
Myriam: I haven't looked at the numbers.
Leo: It's pretty close.
Owen: The Android market is flooded with opportunities too. One thing about the camera, every time a new phone comes out I hear about how great this camera is, and I read all the statistical things about how much better these cameras are than an iPhone, and everybody I know that does phone camera shooting, they all use iPhones. Do you see anybody with At1? Some people buy an iPhone just to use it for their camera.
Leo: That's because people are sheep.
Owen: I'm talking about people that use it for their camera because the quality is better.
Leo: No one disagrees that there are better camera phones out there. The Nokia 1020, I think the 1520 arguably. Certainly—
Owen: I'm talking about for mass production.
Leo: People are Sheeple.
Owen: The S5 was supposed to be a better camera and it did all the fancy stuff. You could take pictures and record—every time I hear something, I've got to get it in my hand and see it.
Myriam: Owen, I'm somebody who became a Blogger because of camera phones. OK? I actually started writing my own blog because I was fascinated by the concept of a phone being able to take pictures. I've used every major camera phone since 2005, I'm telling you that there's one thing that the GS5 didn't have and many of the competing phones right now that are supposedly good but don't end up being good and that's OIS and a fast lens. That is a killer combo right there. The Note 4 is an example of that. The iPhone 6 Plus is an example of that. You're going to get that out of the S6 and S6 Edge they’re going to be incredible shooters.
Owen: I'm going to buy one just to try it.
Leo: You better, and then give it to me because you always give them away, right?
Myriam: There's several other shooters out there that are really good because of a combination of a fast lens and OIS. Some of the Lumias and some of the LG phones, actually. But they're crippled—Lumias are crippled by delay.
Leo: Denim fixes that. I put Denim on my 1520 and they eliminated the delay.
Myriam: Denim is a lot better. But on the LGs the problem is the software is crap.
Leo: How about the Sony? Isn't the experience supposed to be amazing with laser focus?
Myriam: No. The LGs are the ones with auto focus. That works really well. The Sony’s are all missing OIS, which is incredible because they make the sensor in the Note 4.
Myriam: I don't get it.
Leo: I tell you, Apple knows how important this is. If you go to Apple.com right now, front and center this new gallery of iPhone 6 photos, they're stunning. Most of these are coming from social networks. Apple spotted them and added them. I've never seen—these are DSLR quality. Some of these guys are pro-photographers. It shows you the eye is important, but this is iPhone 6.
Myriam: The iPhone still has the edge over the GS6 and the Note 4. The fact that they refuse to go more than 8 Mega-Pixels. That gives you large pixels that are even cleaner and less noise, and here is where Apple blows everyone away. It doesn't matter how good Samsung's GS 6 phone is going to be. Software. Apple has the best camera app and camera software. You combine that with a fast lens in OIS and now you have a killer combo. I use an iPhone 6 Plus right now, and the pictures I'm taking with it blow my mind. They're really incredible. I'm a person who can take good pictures on almost any phone. It's like, they make it so easy and seamless. It's amazing. I think the GS6, like the Note 4, is going to impress a lot of people in terms of imaging. It sets the bar.
Leo: One thing Andy Inhako pointed out is that if you know what your capabilities are—notice all of these are in bright day light for instance—you can maximize the capabilities by knowing what your phone is good at and staying away from stuff that your phone isn't so good at. That's clearly here. We're going to take a break. I think we won't know until April 10 when the S6 comes out and then we'll all get one and we can fight then. I want to see your pictures, Myriam. If you show me yours, I'll show you mine. Not you, Ohdoctah.
Owen: I know not me.
Leo: He's wearing a Flyers shirt, ladies and gentlemen. Is that a personal favorite of yours? Or any Philadelphia team you love?
Owen: I have to rep Philly in general. I'm not a hockey fan, so I just got this because I like jerseys. If I ever go to a hockey game, it'll be a Flyer's game first.
Leo: Yeah. Have you ever been to a hockey game?
Owen: No. My friend is supposed to take me, but I've been busy. I'm trying to go to a Ranger's Flyer's—
Leo: You should go to a fight. I went to a fight once and a hockey game broke out. Bad joke. Taking a break. Coming back with more. Myriam Joire is here, formerly of Engadget fame now wandering around looking for work. Is that fair? She's gone. Now she's wandering around looking for a Skype connection. We will get that better. Also from The Register, register.co.uk: the fabulous Iain Thomson. Great to have you here.
Iain: It's nice to be described as fabulous. Thank you.
Leo: Fabulous! You know Dane Mendes is retiring. There might be a place for you.
Iain: I look lousy in makeup. It doesn't work for me.
Leo: Owen JJ Stone. He is Ohdoctah. No one knows what he does. Fresh. Is that Febreeze you're spraying yourself with Febreeze?
Owen: Got to stay fresh, uncle Leo.
Leo: Not recommended. Or is it Windex, like My Big Fat Greek Wedding?
Owen: It's Febreeze.
Leo: Just checking. Our show today brought to you by Fresh. How did you know? FreshBooks.
Owen: I know everything, Uncle Leo.
Leo: Can you smell the freshness at freshness.com/twit? FreshBooks is a great solution for anybody who is a freelancer, a small business. If you're sending out invoices you know it's painful come the end of the month. I used to hate that. In fact, I've told this before. I've gotten to the point where I put it off until the next month. I submitted five invoices to rogers at once. Their accountant said what? She was mad. Actually that's what Amber told me about FreshBooks. Freshbooks.com/twit. It lets you make beautiful, professional looking invoices and update them and send them out almost automatically. In fact, they do have an automatic invoicing feature. If you do time and hours, use their Smartphone apps on Android or IOS to automatically record them and put them into the invoice. You can use the same apps to record receipts, take pictures of receipts, add your time and expenses. It's so great. I'm a big fan. One of the first modern websites I've ever used, and they've just got better and better. Billing clients has never been easier. If you ever need help, great support right from their office. Support is free forever. I want you to try it. It is built for growing businesses. On average, Freshbooks customers double their revenue in the first 24 months and get paid an average of 5 days faster. It's because they make it easy for your clients to pay you. If you have a slow paying client, FreshBooks has automated reminders to make it easy. You don't have to make that awkward phone call. It's great. C net says FreshBooks has a straightforward approach. I agree with that. It's very clean, very straightforward. Very easy, and yet very powerful. I want you to try it free with no obligation. 30-day free trial. freshbooks.com/twit, and all I ask is if they ask you how you heard about it, say "this week in tech." freshbooks.com/twit. so we called Myriam back on Google Hangouts now. Is that what we're going to use? See how that works? Skype is failing us.
Myriam: Is this better?
Leo: The picture is not as good. That doesn't matter. I want the audio to be good. We'll see.
Myriam: You guys are pretty bad too. The image coming in—
Leo: We don't care. You know what I look like. I thought the—we mentioned the S6. Before we get to the HTC VR helmet, was there anything else that got under-reported in Barcelona? Was there anything you thought was really interesting?
Myriam: A bunch of interesting Android-wear watches. The LG watches were pretty hot. There's the Huawei's Android wear watch. All of these were premium looking metal watches with gold and silver. Pretty high-end, pretty nice. The thing about the Huawei one is it's got a display that is round but doesn't have the flat tire of the Moto 360. Finally somebody has cracked that nut. That's cool. The LG ones, they look great. They're like an LG watch r on steroids in terms of their design and the quality of their materials. Then there's an LT version that doesn't run Android wear because Android doesn't support it. LT doesn't support being an independent self-connected device as it were. That one runs a variation of Web OS.
Myriam: So it's interesting that the urbane LT is an evolution of the Audi watch from CS. A further advancement of that with Web OS and LT. It can run Stand-alone and take phone calls and all that. Then the Urbane Non LT is an Android device that is very similar to the G watch R but much more premium. These will come out very soon. I'm probably going to get my hands on some because I've got good connections to the LG as you know.
Leo: I love my Motorola 360. But I have to think that tomorrow, anybody who got their watch out in the last couple of weeks, we made it. Tomorrow the world chances. Just as the world changed when the iPod—you think that's hype?
Leo: I'm just trying to make it up to the people I called cheap earlier.
Iain: We're honestly not going to know. What Apple will give us tomorrow is the basic text facts and all the journalists who have had it for two weeks before hand will post reviews about how wonderful Apple is because they're going to lose access if they don't.
Iain: I won't use the word whore, but—
Leo: The best watch Apple has ever made. We'll hear that.
Owen: The only watch Apple has ever made.
Leo: Now you're getting nitpicky. The best watch we've ever made.
Owen: The only watch we've ever made. It's a little fat porker.
Leo: But it's still the thinnest watch ever. It looks like a gold pillow on your wrist.
Owen: From a fat person, it's a chubby thing. I'm used to my little sleek sexy Apple devices, and now I gotta deal with this fat thing on my wrist.
Leo: If they didn't start fat, then the next year they couldn't say it's the thinnest watch we've ever made.
Owen: We've reduced the size by 42.4%. Now you can actually lift your arm to look at the thing.
Leo: I didn't want to get off on the watch thing, but we will. We'll talk about the Apple watch. I want to finish Mobile World congress. I'm on record saying I like augmented reality. I'm excited about whole lens, and I'm less excited about virtual reality, which is getting all the press because of Oculus Rift. HDC announced something they call the very immersive visual experience—VIVE. Vlad of the Verge says, "I wore the VIVE and didn't want to take it off." What do you think?
Myriam: It's unbelievable. It's the most incredible thing I've ever seen.
Leo: Better than the Oculus?
Myriam: It's the highlight of the show. It's incredible to me that it's HDC.
Leo: Valve is involved, aren't they?
Myriam: Of course. I'm saying it's HTC's product with Valve's technology. So it's impressive to me that HTC, the underdog, came out with something that blew every journalist's mind.
Leo: A market that they've never been in.
Myriam: Exactly. I don't think they'll ever get back in the lead in Smartphones; they'll stay irrelevant for a while. It's going to be a challenge for them. This is their way of saying look. We're thinking beyond Smartphones. They also did a wearable called the—
Leo: Look at this!
Iain: You're carrying that amount of junk on your face? Seriously.
Leo: I believe Valve has evolved from this. This looks like that creepy thing that would get onto your face in Apple.
Myriam: Wait guys. You have to understand. First of all, this is a developer product, and it's not meant to be worn when you walk around outside. This is a VR helmet; you wear it when you're inside in your house. This is a thing people don't understand. This is not a stand-alone device. This is a PC connected peripheral. You will have a couple of wireless controls that go along with it.
Leo: Like joy sticks or like Nintendo nun chucks or something.
Myriam: they look similar to that. It's up in the air whether the final product will be wireless or not in terms of the VR part. Let's put it this way. I've tried Oculus; I've tried Gear VR. I've tried a bunch of different products. They were kind of wow, but not like I want to stay in this universe.
Leo: This rhetoric sounds exactly like the rhetoric we heard when people first tried the Oculus Rift. Oh my god!
Myriam: I'm telling you this. This was unbelievably good. First of all, nobody got sick. I've talked to everyone—women, men, nobody got sick.
Leo: That's a big deal, because I get sick with the Oculus.
Myriam: The reason for that is instead of having a single display, they have separate displays for the left and right, super high res, they're 1200 by 1080 each, and they refresh at 90 hertz.
Iain: That's the key point.
Leo: That makes a big difference.
Myriam: You look at a wide surface inside the VR universe; you do not see any flicker. Also, the motion sensing is so accurate that you have no lag ever. When I was using the true controllers and I was touching them together, I could actually feel them touch in the physical world, exactly the way I saw them in the virtual world. The accuracy of the positional system they're using, which is laser based, is really good, which is another reason why you don't get sick. They've really done their homework. You can tell Valve has worked on this for a long time, so you're going to say why Valve and HTC? It's very simple. HTC and Valve got together to do this starting in the summer, and they now already have a developer unit. That's because HTC is a Taiwanese company. They can design and manufacture products very quickly because they have that expertise. Conversely, Valve has a ton of expertise in creating virtual worlds in video games, and a way to monetize and distribute these through Steam. This is a huge deal. Remember, I worked in video games for 15 years; I got interviewed by Valve a few years back. Didn't take the gig because they're a bunch of crazy workaholics, but I love them dearly. The point is that I think this is significant. It's significant because everybody agrees. There's no ifs ands or buts this is really good. It's a marriage made in heaven. These companies are five minutes apart, their headquarters. So it just seems like a great fit for HTC to move forward and Valve needed a vehicle after they've been working on this stuff forever. They couldn't scale. They couldn't manufacture this stuff.
Leo: So they say it's going to be in stores by Christmas.
Myriam: Yeah. They want to launch it by the end of 2015.
Leo: It's just for gaming, right?
Myriam: Yeah. You have to understand—
Leo: Or is it for watching movies? Am I going to watch movies on this?
Myriam: No. I don't think it's worth it. You could, but it's not interactive. The thing about this that's unique is it's really designed to be used. You're going to have to make space in your house to use it. Ideally you need a room that's 15 by 50 feet. Seriously. I don't think it's going to be a mass produced thing. I think it's going to be a niche product for a while. The reason for it is that the games are optimized so you can walk and as you get too close to the real wall of your space—
Leo: Seems like a really bad idea.
Myriam: It feeds in this grid in front of you that shows you how far you can go without hitting something. It's really well done, because I never hit anything. It fades in and out seamlessly. Look. I was not impressed with Oculus Rift ever. OK? Take it with a grain of salt, if you want, but this blew my mind. This was so good I was like wow. I've seen the future, this is it.
Owen: This is going to be the best Minecraft experience ever.
Leo: All of this is made by Microsoft— it's for immersive gaming. Minecraft is far from immersive even if you—
Owen: I'm just saying. You want to build some blocks? Hey, I built my own blocks.
Leo: I think people played with the lens in Minecraft were very impressed.
Iain: I used the Holo lens, and I gave an embarrassing interview on this channel about it five minutes after I had used it. I was literally blown away. The stuff they got on Curiosity cameras, on Mars was it was the puppy's packet.
Leo: It was the puppy's packet?
Iain: It's a nice way of saying the dog's bollocks.
Leo: Is that a good thing?
Iain: Dog's bollocks is good. Don't ask me why.
Leo: I have so much to learn. I completely lost track of—it strikes me that AR is good for user interface, and VR is good for immersive gaming experience. They can co-exist.
Iain: Some immersive gaming, because VR—Myriam, you pointed to this. With VR, moving around is a problem. So the kind of games that they really want to get this into are ones where you're sitting in a spaceship or where you're sitting in a racing car. If you're doing a first person shooter, then it's—
Leo: It's not so good, because if you want to run.
Myriam: That's what is interesting about VIVE is that the ideas that they want you to be moving. They want you to be on your feet and have this 15x50 space.
Leo: That's a recipe for disaster!
Myriam: That doesn't let you, shows you the limits of your real physical world are so you don't run into things, but they don't want you to be sitting down as much.
Leo: Who is going to dedicate a 15x15 room? Because you have to dedicate it, because there can't be any furniture or coffee tables or anything in this room. It has to be an empty room.
Myriam: This is a marketing question.
Leo: It's a real-world question. How much is it going to be? Did they say?
Myriam: It needs a high-end PC to run, so you need a PC. After that, probably another 1000 or 2000. I don't know.
Leo: They already have one game developer—Valve involved. Presumably Valve will develop half-life 4.
Myriam: They're partners.
Leo: That's not what I'm saying. There will be games to use, Valve will make sure of that.
Myriam: Half Life 3 guys.
Leo: Was Vive at GDC?
Iain: They shipped them all over to Barcelona, which was really annoying.
Myriam: They did not. That's not true. They had a whole bunch of Vives at GDC.
Iain: They were hiding from me in that case.
Leo: They said Iain thinks it's the dog's ballocks, until we can figure out if that's good or bad.
Myriam: All the demos at Mobile World Congress were labeled GDC demo. So they were actually showing at GDC far more than otherwise.
Leo: It would be very telling if they showed it at Mobile World Congress and not at the game developer conference.
Iain: This is why we went around the stand. We weren't saying anything there.
Iain: It does appear to be much better than the Oculus in terms of the experience that it gives, and so much better than Samsung's version of this, which is hell.
Leo: Samsung's version is basically just a Note 4 in a thing. It's like Google Cardboard. We could throw that out. That's not in the mix. We're talking about interactive, real-time immersive gaming. It is Oculus. It's funny because Facebook spent a lot of money on Oculus rift, and they've been scooped by HTC of all people.
Myriam: The thing about Oculus is that it doesn't scale. All they have to do is improve the resolution of the display. A bit more accuracy on the positioning and they'll be able to catch up. The thing that makes Vive unique is you have two controllers as well. It really does give you the ability to pick up things in the world. The controls are very similar to the Valve controllers, the one for the Steam PC, so the sense that they're—if you took them and broke it in half basically and held both halves, that's what you have. Two d pads where your thumbs are, trigger buttons on the bottom, and you can squeeze the controls as well to make them click.
Leo: Is the market hardcore gamers?
Myriam: I think so. They're going to try and figure out and see how will it get accepted by—You're right. This is going to be a very niche product. 15x15 foot room—I don't have a room that big in my place. They're all 12x12.
Owen: They're going to get people to tell the rest of the world how much they love it. Even by the end of the year—
Myriam: One of the things that came up with all the reporters I talked to at Mobile World Congress who got the demo who were all amazed, was how do they market this? Because you have to experience. You need to create a sort of studio where people can go and try it out because then they'll blow people away perhaps. You guys are hearing me say it's amazing, but you don't believe me because you haven't experienced it. Right?
Leo: I believe you.
Owen: 15x15 room, and I hear they want me to stand up and move, but don't move. I saw one game that got me excited. I thought, are there going to be other games or enough games to justify the price point? It's not you. I believe that it's probably the best thing that's on the market. I believe that. You've sold that part of it. It's just all the other aspects of it, is it going to happen?
Leo: Could it work with a Playstation 4 or an X Box one? Or does it have to have a PC?
Myriam: No. Right now it's PC only. It could theoretically; the technology is not limited to a PC.
Leo: That's where people are spending money, right? I guess the PC gamers are the hardcore gamers.
Myriam: Nothing stops Valve from coming out with a redux.
Leo: We're talking thousands of dollars.
Myriam: the thing is all of this stuff going on right now around VR, the rebirth of VR is eventually someone will figure out how to make it work and make it a more acceptable thing and a more manageable and marketable thing. What we're seeing happening here with HD and Valve needed to happen. The quality wasn't good enough. Now the quality is good enough.
Leo: This is the surface table. This is a big ass—this is something you're going to see at Casinos, you're going to see it at Dave and busters. You're not going to see it in people's living rooms. This is the surface table.
Myriam: In fact, when you first get into VR world when you first put the headset on and you plug the headphones into the headset and hold onto the controller, the first thing you see is the effect from star trek. Very much the same. An empty room with lines, and you're like holy crap, I'm in the Holodeck. And then they fade in the world. It feels so unbelievably real. That's the thing that blew my mind compared to Oculus.
Leo: There's a slight difference. The Holodeck you didn't have the face crap on.
Myriam: Of course not.
Owen: Somebody had something.
Myriam: The VR set that I tried was a prototype. It was super lightweight, very comfortable, and within minutes I didn't know I had it on.
Leo: It does solve the problem though, if you see it in places like ESPN Sports town, and you play it there. That's how people can get excited about it. It doesn't yet feel like a home product. I want immersive VR. Right? Wouldn't that be great? I want to be able to go to Paris and pretend I'm there.
Iain: I'm curious. Did you have to have it plugged in for power, or could you run this off a battery? That's going to be key if you're moving around.
Myriam: This is all plugged in. It's a connect through PC; there were a bunch of wires. It was a prototype. As I said, early on when we started discussing it, for sure the controls will be wireless. The big question mark on the developer release, the headset will not be wireless. It will be connected by a single cable to a PC, but there's talk of the final version, the retail version to be potentially wireless in terms of the headset as well. How they do that, I don't know.
Leo: The demo that they showed was wired, but didn't they say it was going to be a wireless device?
Iain: Well, during the keynote—
Leo: It's a standalone PC in the Holo Lens.
Iain: That's what they said, but when you were using the Holo lens, you had to carry a battery pack. You had to wear the special headset. The keynotes showed sort of a black headset, they wouldn't let us touch it, but they did have one in a glass case. it has no air sockets on there, so when it comes to cooling, if they're running 3 processors like they say they are, not going to work.
Leo: It turns out your skull is an excellent cooling device. The heat is going to go right into your head.
Iain: That's going to sell well. Also, battery life. This thing goes from astonishing power density advances then it's never going to work for more than a couple of minutes.
Leo: I would love to see immersive virtual reality. I think it's more for gaming. I think both have a role. I think augmented reality is maybe the future of the user interface. When you're putting on a Vive or an Oculus Rift, you've sealed yourself out from the rest of the world. That's a little bit of an issue. Anyway, let's take a break. Come back with more, because guess what? Screw all that stuff. I'm buying an Apple watch tomorrow.
Owen: Get me one while you're at it, Uncle Leo.
Leo: You want one? I'll trade you. You give me the S6, I'll give you the Apple watch.
Owen: That sounds like a fair deal, actually. I need that solid gold Apple watch.
Leo: Aren't we special?
Owen: You didn't state which one, Uncle Leo.
Leo: It's like my daughter. It's what my daughter said. If you give me an Audi for my birthday, you won't ever have to get me another present.
Owen: It's a fair deal.
Leo: It seems fair on the face of it.
Iain: That's why I have cats.
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Iain: No, thank you.
Owen: Side note, I've been using Personal Capital. I like Personal Capital.
Leo: That's nice. Would you like—these are only available in the Irish republic. Taytos. Cheese and onion.
Iain: The Irish do know potatoes.
Leo: They do. It's so weird, I didn't know this. But the Republic of Ireland has one form of Tayto, and the rest of Ireland has another.
Iain: The history of Ireland is Britain with bloody taytos.
Leo: There's a tayto schism. Isn't that odd?
Iain: Salt and vinegar doesn't seem to be that popular here, for some reason.
Leo: Aren't they great?
Myriam: I love salt and vinegar chips.
Leo: We're all going to have salt and vinegar chips.
Owen: That might be a northeast thing. Everyone out here loves salt and vinegar.
Iain: I have a CA friend, who's like, are you trying to poison me?
Leo: It's like fish and chips, right? You put your malt vinegar all over your chips.
Owen: People out here love it.
Myriam: In fact, after this podcast, I'm going to get myself a bag of salt and vinegar chips. I've been missing that for ten days.
Leo: If you can get to Ireland, get the Tayto brand.
Myriam: I just got back from Europe. I'm not going back for a bit.
Leo: Are you kidding?
Myriam: No. It’s a month of travel, basically. I was in a wedding in Vancouver—
Leo: South by Southwest is a lot of fun.
Myriam: It's always fun. I remember you were crowd surfing once at some event a few years back.
Leo: I have the world record for longest live-streamed crowd surf. That was at the Dignation event at Stubs barbecue—south by southwest. You haven't seen this?
Myriam: It's an official thing from the Guinness book of world records.
Leo: There were people there. Not from the Guinness book of world records, from another book of world records. I think it was the dog's bollocks book of world records. They were different people, but they gave me a plaque. I blame Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht, because they talked me into doing this. Then, later I found out that this is actually dangerous. Meatloaf did this at a concert and they dropped him.
Owen: You have more support, I guess.
Iain: I'm sorry, did you say Meatloaf?
Leo: That's what happened. The crowd moved out of the way. He leapt off the stage and the crowd said, "no not me." This is a great lively crowd. South by Southwest is really a party, isn't it Myriam? That's what it's about. It's a party. I'm holding—the shot you're seeing is me. I have a camera with a live view pack and I'm holding it on a staff like Gandalf and see that backpack?
Owen: That's the impressive part. The backpack thing didn't get ripped off, the wires didn't get ripped out.
Leo: Somebody tweeted that he squeezed my butt and he liked it, that was a little weird afterwards. The shot you're seeing is I'm being passed from hand to hand. That is a world record for the longest live-streamed crowd surf. No one's ever tried it before, that's why. Nor will anyone ever do it again.
Owen: Apple introduces the longest crowd-surf ever.
Leo: the longest crowd surf we've ever done. It's amazing.
Owen: Half the Leo at twice the speed.
Myriam: I do remember this so well. What year was that?
Leo: Wasn't that long ago. I'm sure I could find out if I looked at the—
Owen: I think 11.
Leo: 11? It goes to 11. Its 10, 2010. So I'm being manhandled at that point. I literally went over 100 feet hand over hand. It was a wild event. Anyway, nothing of importance happens at South By. It's just fun. Is that right?
Myriam: it’s fun and its good networking.
Owen: It's networking. Stuff happens.
Leo: That's why we stopped covering it. It's not like there was news there.
Owen: No, people launched their apps. I feel like launching your app there is like the worst place in the world.
Leo: Not any more, yeah, because Facebook and Twitter both took off at South By, yeah. Then for a few years after that people were saying, oh we are going to be the app.
Myriam: Instagram did too.
Leo: Not Facebook, Foursquare. It was Twitter, and then it was Foursquare. Was Instagram there?
Myriam: Instagram? I thought it was Instagram too.
Leo: Apps are so dead. Apps are over.
Myriam: Apps are dead, yeah.
Leo: Apps are dead.
Myriam: I agree.
Leo: It's all about the watch. I do feel like apps have kind of run their course.
Owen: What do you put on the watch, though, Leo?
Owen: What do you put on the watch?
Leo: Peanut butter. What do you mean what do I put on the watch? No, no, no, no, until this fall the Apple Watch will not support standalone apps. You put apps on the phone, and then if the watch has an app component it will communicate, just like Android Wear, it will communicate with the watch and then the watch will have a thing that it does that is related to the apps.
Iain: It's just like when the iPhone came out. It took 18 months before you could put apps on there besides what you said was okay.
Leo: So it's kind of silly to talk about the Apple Watch because tomorrow is the event. We are going to stream it live, and talk over it, and everybody is going to yell at us and say shut up, and then we are going to say go watch the Apple event yourself if you don't like what we are saying. It's the usual. So I will not be streaming it from there because I'm not invited, but Rene Ritchie will be there from MacBreak Weekly, Serenity Caudwell, Jason Snell, we've got them the next day on MacBreak talking about it. I don't think that Apple will have a watch there; they've said already that April is when the watch will be for sale. The most fun speculation is how much it will cost. Remember when the iPad was announced. I think Apple seeded rumors that it was going to be $1,000. Everybody said, oh, it's going to be $1,000. Apple, knowing that it would be almost $1,000, but they seeded those rumors so that when Steve Jobs said, and it's $499 you could hear an audible gasp. That, by the way, was the last event that I was invited to. But you could hear people in the auditorium go, oh, $499.
Iain: About half of the people in the auditorium are Apple staff, so, you know...
Owen: Yeah, that's the biggest thing. When you say Samsung hearing crickets; they don't have fanboys and an army waiting to clap like you said...
Leo: Apple loads the first row with former vice presidents and other dignitaries, the second through fourth row at the Yerba Buena Center will be Apple employees who worked on the watch, and then I do think that there are other Apple employees in there.
Iain: Oh, they are all around the back.
Leo: Just to get the applause going. Then the journalists are desperately trying to sit on their hands and not get excited because it is unseemly to applaud at an event that you are covering. That's unseemly.
Iain: Honestly I think that it's a breach of journalism ethics to applaud at a press conference. I must admit that the last time I did it, 2003, I felt very ashamed.
Leo: 2003? What was that for?
Iain: Palm Pre. I was so glad to see Palm back. I still have my Palm Pre X, and I love it dearly. I thought they were back and then they just died on their asses.
Leo: I was applauding silently inside when the iPhone was announced and the iPad was announced. But silently inside.
Iain: The first iPhone was a dog with a great UI.
Leo: It was a dog, you are right. Do you think that this will be a dog, the watch?
Iain: Actually I do think that it's going to be the best smart watch out there simply because Apple is doing what they did with the iPod, and the iPad, and the iPhone. It's coming second generation to the market, you wait for everyone else to make their screw-ups first, you come along with a good custom chip and some good software, and I reckon that they could clean up on this one.
Leo: The rumors are that they have made 5 million for day one.
Myriam: I wouldn't be surprised if they sell a million on the first day.
Leo: No smart watch has done that well. Pebble has sold more than a million according to Pebble.
Iain: They have got very good Kickstarter sales going this week.
Leo: What do you think of that? We have to mention that Myriam used to work for Pebble.
Iain: Oh really?
Myriam: Yeah, full disclaimer that I did.
Leo: They went back to the well.
Myriam: I am very excited about the product having seen the hardware when it was created. Especially the metal version, premium grade hardware, you know they are keeping true to what they are good at which is a daytime readable display that is always on with fantastic battery life. But, the color display is 64 colors, it’s very pastel, so don't expect to use that to see pictures. It's more to increase the readability of the UI and give you some sort of color coding for notifications.
Leo: Look at that, 66,000 backers. They are almost to $17 million dollars and it's only been 11 days.
Myriam: I'm very excited that they have launched this finally. Kudos to the team. But I think that going to Kickstarter for this, it's clearly extremely successful, but it's using Kickstarter as a store. You are not pledging anymore, you are buying, you are ordering. I think that is kind of breaking Kickstarter. Of course Kickstarter is on board because they are making a ton of money at it, but I just think that it's kind of icky to me.
Leo: I agree.
Myriam: It seems that it's a very smart strategy in terms of marketing, very clever, but...
Owen: It's all about the marketing. They could have got the money any which way but loose, but I heard people that don't even know about technology talking about have you heard about this watch on Kickstarter?
Myriam: There is one thing people are forgetting. If you look at the number of watches how many pledge are there? How many backers?
Myriam: Alright, so that's how many watches are going to sell and it's probably going to be more by the time that it ends.
Leo: Right, it's not a huge number.
Myriam: I cannot speak of the number in public, but let me put it this way, when Steel launched that number was peanuts in comparison in terms of the number of preorders.
Leo: Which number was peanuts, this one or that one?
Myriam: This one.
Leo: 66,000 is peanuts?
Myriam: Everybody is looking at the $17 million.
Leo: $17 million is not peanuts.
Myriam: Nobody is looking at 64; you know what I am saying?
Owen: $17 is like $240 a pop.
Leo: Okay, there you go. Let's talk price.
Owen: Side note, Apple Watch is going to sell out when it goes to launch just because of the fact that EBay has stood in line to buy it so they can hopefully sell it to somebody else. Half of the people in line for the iPhone were selling their ticket online or buying the phone to go sell it online to somebody else.
Leo: So John Gruber has a great article, and its complete speculation, we will find out more tomorrow. A couple of things that he raises; there are two sizes for each of the 3 models, 38mm and 42mm. He said don't be surprised if the 42 costs a little bit more because it's a little bit bigger. He also says, well he quotes Apple's description of the high end band. A lot of people forget that the band may be sold separately, or a watch with a fancier band may be sold separately. The Steel, which is the middle watch, there is the Sport Watch, we know that is going to start at $350. We don't know if the Steel will be or the Edition, but the best band on the Steel is what they call the Link bracelet. Gruber quotes this; this is Apple, "Crafted from the same 1,500 L stainless steel alloy as the case, the Link Bracelet has more than 100 components. The machining process is so precise that it takes nearly 9 hours to cut the links for a single band."
Leo: "In part that is..." This is Apple. "They aren't simply a uniform size but they subtly increase in weight as they approach the case. Once assembled the links are brushed by hand with small minks..." No, I added that part. "...to ensure that the texture follows the contour of the design. The customer butterfly closure folds neatly within the bracelet." They are setting you up for an expensive band.
Iain: I'm sorry, but that is utter bullocks.
Leo: It takes them 9 hours to make one band!
Iain: Yes, 9 hours to one band? Come on, Tim Cook the CEO is the master when it comes to operations. There is no way that they take that long.
Leo: There is a little Swiss guy. He's sitting there with a loop and he is going for 9 hours.
Iain: Yeah, right.
Leo: Or there are a million Chinese guys in Shin Gyen. It says 9 hours. Do you think that he is lying? Do you think that he is going to lie?
Owen: He might lie. I don't know. I need Apple's copywriter so that I can get a date, because they make everything sound...
Leo: I know, it's sexy.
Owen: I could date supermodels if I could get him to go on match.com for me. I have got to find these people because it's so insane. You would think that they wouldn't lie and say 9 hours if it didn't take 9 hours, but the cost effectiveness of that, it's making me angry. It doesn't make any sense at all.
Leo: Little Chinese children will labor for 9 hours without lunch to make your special Link bracelet.
Owen: Or an army of robots somewhere..
Leo: Maybe it's a robot. Anyway.
Iain: There is no way that you can do it cost effectively if it takes 9 hours per band.
Myriam: It doesn't matter because the prices reflect that. See, look, listen to me, it takes 150 minutes, 150 minutes per HTC One M8, last year’s model, to machine the case.
Leo: Oh, that's interesting.
Myriam: The new one takes about double of that because of the dual color, the dual anodizing technique...
Leo: It takes 3 hours to make the case. They have a lot of machines.
Myriam: So why not 9 hours for Apple? All I'm saying is when the watch sells for $10k and the band sells for $1k-$2k each you will see that it makes perfect sense that it take this long, and it will attract the right kind of customer. Trust me on this. It's totally right.
Leo: We've got to acknowledge Gruber may have, somebody may have leaked this to Gruber in order to set up everybody so that when the real price comes out everybody will say see, that's not so bad. Or, and John says this is just guessing, the Apple Watch Sport we know will be $350 already, the Apple Watch Steel, the middle one, with the Sport band will be $750, with the classic buckle will be $849, the Milanese Loop, that's the one that I want because it looks like water, $949, the Link Bracelet, $1499, or if you want it in Space Black Steel, $1899, almost $2000. That's the middle of the road one. He then says that the gold one, the Edition, will go up to $10,000. Credible?
Myriam: Yep, I believe it.
Iain: I'm sure that there are fanboys out there who will pay it. There are people who will pay that kind of money for a Rolex, which gives you worse timekeeping than a cheap digital watch that you can get from a garage. It's a fashion statement, it's not actually a functioning timepiece. There are fanboys who will pay that. But for the bulk of people who are buying this, if they are going to be selling a million on the first day, they are not going to be spending that kind of cash.
Leo: No, they may sell thousands of the Gold one, and millions of the Sport watch.
Iain: Yeah, there is always going to be some git with more money than sense which decides yeah, that is the great way to go.
Myriam: I think that the thing that you have to understand is about Apple traditionally being above profit, right, making profit not quantity. They are going to make so much profit on those fancy watches, the Edition, that they don't need to sell that many. Also, think of the Chinese market in which they are well established now and it's a status symbol to wear an Apple product. They are just going to not case and spend the money. They will do it again every 2 years. Trust me on this, it will happen.
Iain: I'm not so sure about the Chinese market. I have to say that I'm speaking to someone who is living out there at the moment, and there is a kickback against buying Apple at the moment because it's better to be seen to be buying homegrown brands, and Sony is doing some really good stuff, and Xaiomi is doing good stuff. I'm sure that there are plenty of rich people over here who would pay it, but I'm not sure about the Chinese market. I don't think that Apple has quite got the lock on that yet.
Leo: People will be watching with interest over price, but also over batter life. We don't know yet. We know that it will last a day, but in what way we don't know. Apparently there may be some unannounced features. 9to5Mac, Mark Gurman, who has got great sources, has some interesting ideas. We will find out, it's all going to be revealed tomorrow. One of the things that he says is that the watch is always measuring your heart rate. Heart Rate Glance, the device's heart rate monitor, will allow the user to see their beats per minute at any time, any time.
Iain: So when they get the bill for the Gold band...
Leo: But you can send it to your loved ones too. You want to feel my heartbeat? I'm sending it to you right now.
Iain: That's slightly creepy.
Leo: Apple has said that the heart rate sensor will be used to send other users the heart rate data via the heart rate features.
Iain: Who actually owns this data as well?
Leo: Well Apple has been pretty good about insisting that they protect your privacy. You may be skeptical about that.
Iain: Actually Apple is better than most. I've been a little bit skeptical since Tim Cook was only person that showed up when Obama came around to Stanford a couple of weeks ago.
Leo: To talk about how everybody need to pitch in a help the government. We want to protect you.
Iain: Yeah, that was one of the least convincing performances since Elton John got married, but yeah.
Leo: We will find out. It's a product. It's exciting because Apple hasn't announced a new product category since they announce the iPad in 2010. You know what a success that was. Tomorrow at 10 in the morning we will know, we will find out. It should be interesting.
Myriam: It's going to be an exciting day I think.
Leo: You know, it's funny, and Apple is so good at shaping the message. It's kind of a geek holiday, isn't it?
Iain: I've got to say, I'm looking so forward to this so that we can just no longer have our news feeds clogged up with the new Apple Watch, it will cure leprosy, and raise the dead, and you know, it's just okay, let's get it out there, see what we've got, and critique it openly.
Leo: I have heard from a very reliable source that the watch isn't the only thing that will be announced tomorrow. The much awaited new MacBook Air Retina, supposedly, now this comes from a source that is impeccable, will be also announced tomorrow. It is time for Apple to refresh their MacBooks because they are a little behind. Both Dell, Lenovo, and others are using Intel's Broadwell chips; those came out in January. It's time for Apple to do this. It would be a logical time for them to do this. A Retina MacBook Air would a great product. I'm interested.
Myriam: I don't really care about that so much. I want that thin, light one that they have been talking about. The 12 inch one.
Leo: The iPad? The new iPad? No, I think that this will be that. This will be that.
Myriam: No, I'm talking about the MacBook Air.
Leo: This will be that, the 12 inch MacBook Air.
Myriam: If it's super thin I'm buying that tomorrow, I don't care about the watch.
Leo: With only one connector?
Myriam: I bought the original MacBook Air the day it was announced and I lived happily ever after, and look, everybody has got MacBook Airs now. Don't worry, it's just a matter of getting used to it.
Leo: This new USB type C connector, a couple of things that it has going for it, one is that like Lightning it's reversible. Hallelujah.
Iain: It's about time.
Leo: I'm always sticking that Micro upside down into the slot.
Owen: Wrong hole uncle Leo, wrong hole.
Leo: it's bad, just bad. But what is weird about what we have seen in the rumors is that this USB can also do power. It can do everything. So the rumor is that there will be one, and only one connector on this MacBook air that will do everything, power, data, video, yes it can be for your 4k display, Ethernet, everything.
Owen: So they are going to come out with this new awesome squid dongle with like 8 arms that sticks into it?
Leo: I would laugh at that, but look what they did with the MacPro. It's all about the dongles.
Owen: That's just so much. Look, it's Apple, I'm sure that they paid a lot of money, they pay a lot of attention to how they are going to work that out, I just need to see it. The whole hype stuff I have to shut myself down because like he was saying about how it's going to cure leprosy. You get so much hype in your mind. Just shut up and wait until 1:00 tomorrow. I have to wait until the afternoon. You guys get to wake up to it. I just need to see the stuff so that I understand it. Like I was saying, what are you going to do that makes that functional for normal people? Again, it's a finite group of people who are nerds and love everything that Apple does. So we will see.
Myriam: I'm skeptical on the USB C because it doesn't bring anything to the table that Lightning and Thunderbolt don't already do. Those are the two things that Apple is using. So I don't see them, look, there is one device out there using the USB type C and I think that that is the Nokia N-1 tablet which I think was announced back in December and finally we were able to play with it at World Mobile Congress. It's an Android tablet made by a part of Nokia that is not absorbed by Microsoft. It's a very nice looking iPad Mini clone with a USB type C connector used for charging, and data, and power. But on a MacBook Air I don't see it. They might have the USB type C connector and include a dongle to connect regular USB devices to the MacBook Air because it's thinner. But I still think that they would still need some kind of Lightening or Thunderbolt connector to do everything else.
Leo: It would be quite a departure.
Myriam: They have their own standards.
Leo: The thinking is that this is not your only computer. This is your new accessory computer, and in order to make it really thin and elegant, this would get a lot of attention. I could totally see Johnny Ive saying, "and we've eliminated all of the connectors, there is just one." I love Johnny Ive. I love him. This is the new design focused Apple, so Myriam, you are thinking along the lines of a functionality focused company. That is not what we are seeing.
Myriam: Lightening is a better solution for the exact same problem. Why would they go to USB C when Lightening does it better? It's reversible, it's Apple, and it’s got power on it.
Iain: The thing is also, the USB that implements for them, they demoed the Type C cable about 6 months ago, and they were quite bearish about how quickly it was going to be adopted.
Leo: And nobody has done it.
Iain: Now, it may be that Apple is taking a jump on the game, but as you say, they've got Lightning and Thunderbolt, so...
Leo: But they had Firewire before Lightning and Thunderbolt. What happened to that?
Iain: Exactly. Look what happened?
Owen: I see so many people with Apple devices that still use a USB 3 hard drive. I've got 30 of these things sitting around. I could get a Thunderbolt drive, but I don't want to because I want to do something else with it.
Leo: It's expensive. The cables are expensive.
Owen: The mass market does not use those devices for storage. Everybody who knows USB uses the USB card. Apple does whatever they want to do, but that is not how the world works.
Leo: This is designed for somebody who has a MacBook Pro or an iMac and has Thunderbolt. This is just another little thing. I'm sure that there will be a little dock that will give you a connection. There is continuity, and handoff, and dust...
Owen: It's like your Chromebook. You don't need to plug in anything. It just all comes out of the internet. You have everything that you need there. It's everything over our network, get a time capsule with a hard drive, and then ship everything through that, you don't need any connectors whatsoever. I think that is the magic.
Leo: This is a breaking story. I have this on good authority. Watch tomorrow. We did think for a long time that the watch was such a huge announcement that there is no reason that Apple would dilute it for anything else, but this would be kind of interesting.
Iain: It would tie in with one more thing certainly.
Leo: I don't think that there will be an Apple TV. We will see new Apple TV's this year for sure. Beats, I think that the word is pretty clear that Beats will be revised not in IOS 8.2 which is coming out for the watch, not even in 8.3, but 8.4. It probably will be talked about during WWBC. Actually that is an interesting story. Let's take a break and talk about how Apple's plan with Beats is becoming clearer. Since you are wearing Beats headphones Ohdoctah, I think that we are going to let you take the lead on that.
Owen: I thought all that we were talking about was phones today. This is phone TWiT central.
Leo: No more phone. We are going to talk about music man. No more phone. Then, there is actually one more phone story, I'm very intrigued by Google's plans, again, Google has not confirmed this I think, for Google to become a wireless carrier. A very different kind of wireless carrier. I'm desperate for them to do it, so let's let it happen. Our show today is brought to you by Squarespace, the place to make your beautiful website, your blog, your online store easy to use, elegant, mobile responsive, that means every Squarespace site looks great no matter what kind of screen, giaint, iMac, 30 inch screen, HD, Quad HD, or a little mobile phone. It's simple for you to use, it's very powerful. I have got to emphasize beauty, it is asthstecially fabulous, which is why so many artists, photographers, designers, chefs, people who have a great aesthetic sense love Squarespace. Squarespace 7 is fantastic. They have added something called Cover Pages which lets you set up a beautiful one page online presence in an instant, creating a landing page, it could be for you or your brand, but it could also be for a new product. The support is remarkable. You aren't going to need it, but if you do 24/7 live chat and email right from the Squarespace offices in New York City. They have ecommerce, the best ecommerce of any system. They have Ship Station, they help you with shipping, they will help you with tax calculations, and it’s all built in. You have got to try it. The best thing is that they are so confident. You just go to squarespace.com, click the "Get Started" button, and you can set up a Squarespace site for 2 weeks, import data from your old site, and get a real sense for what Squarespace could do for you all before you buy. You don't even give them a credit card. Take advantage of that. Start a trial, no credit card required, start building your website today at squarespace.com, and when you do sign up all I ask is that you use the offer code TWIT, T-W-I-T, and you will get 10% off of your purchase and that means subscribe for a year, that's what I do, a year at a time, and I pay $8 a month. When you get that year they even give you the domain name for free. Squarespace.com, offer code TWiT.
We will be back with more of our fabulous panel, but first if you missed anything this week, whoa you missed a lot. Let's take a look at what happened on TWiT this week.
(Recording plays): Previously, on TWiT. TWiT live specials. This is Mike Elgan at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. I have so much news to report, so many new gadgets, toys, technologies, and trends. Go, go, go, go, go. Tech News Today. It's really great to see lots of very innovative technologies and products from lots of different countries. We can attach to it and you now have fingerprint on your phones. Security Now. We have the guys who have hacked not only cars but UAVs. Pretty much all modern cars, the high end ones, will have telematics units, which is a cell phone modem that had a buffer overflow. If you played all of the right tones to it you could reprogram its firmware. Before You Buy. This is a Hi-Res music player, it will even play back flac, Apple lost this, the highest quality Hi-Res file. It's a definite buy for the FiiO X-1. TWiT. I've got your Touch Surface right here. Oh, oh, oh, oh, don't pan out, oh, god! How embarrassing.
Leo: So as long as we are talking Apple let's talk Beats. So the storyline now seems to be developing that Apple is not going to offer a free streaming version at all. The music industry hates this, Spotify does, everybody does, REO does. Taylor Swift said, no, I don't want you to put out my album on the free version. Spotify said well, too bad. So Taylor Swift said, fine, I'm not putting my stuff on Spotify.
Iain: And the quality of their music went up immeasurably.
Leo: I don't know if it hurt Spotify. It probably didn't.
Iain: They got a lot of great publicity. Taylor Swift isn't going to be hurting because she is still selling albums by the load.
Leo: She is selling a huge number of albums.
Iain: There is an awful lot of teenage depressed girls out there. I don't think that it hurt Spotify at all to say, fine, if you don't want us then you don't want us.
Leo: It does feel like though, that she kind of represented the music industry planting a flag saying that we think free services undervalue what we do. We don't get enough money out of it. Apparently what Apple is doing is capitalizing on that saying that saying to the record industry don't. Give us exclusives. We are going to revamp Beats, I think $7.99, less than the $10 that everyone else is charging, and the goal of Apple is to have lots of exclusive launches. So when Madonna's new album comes out, they hope that it's first on Beats then a month later it's available everywhere else. Let me ask you Ohdoctah, do you listen to streaming music? Do you use a streaming music service?
Owen: I used to. I don't any longer. I'm with the Taylor Swift nation on not Spotifying things and not having things for free.
Leo: So because you want to support artists you buy the music?
Owen: Yes, and I'm just old school. I just want things "on demand" and not having to use an app or the internet. I use iTunes Match so that I can download something but I like having it on my phone and it's one of those things where Apple is behind the game as far as a streaming service but they are ahead of the game on getting people to pay for product. If they come to you and say, hey, just pay $7.99 or whatever the amount is, a lot of people are going to do that and a lot of people are going to want to have exclusives with them because it's Apple and because of the title that they have. I think that they are going to take Beats to another level with that.
Leo: Do you think that the horse has left the barn?
Iain: Honestly I think that it's a remarkable turnaround. Do you remember 10 years ago how the record industry hated Apple for dictating to them what price they would sell their music at? They wanted to sell at one price, Apple was saying no, you are going to sell it at the price that we set it at.
Leo: Apple broke the album by selling $.99 singles.
Iain: Indeed, and now it's coming back around, and now Apple is saying, you know what guys, let's place nice, we can both make some money out of this. I agree with what you are saying. Artists don't get paid enough on Spotify. They don't get paid enough on Pandora. It's an endemic problem for the industry. I'm just intensely suspicious of Apple saying right, we are going to be the gatekeepers on this one.
Owen: They did a really good job. The reason that everyone hated it was because somebody else was taking control of the money. But you fall in line when everybody starts using that service. You accept that, and you get paid, and you realize that CDs are going away, and now even buying albums is going away and streaming is coming in. So for Apple to come in and say hey, you are going to get more of a chunk of the pie than 80% of those people who are paying to be on a free service, especially when you are giving us as exclusives and bringing in people as adopters, at least you are going to get some money for me. Even if you are skeptical you say at least I know that I'm going to get money from them if someone is playing my songs or listening to my album. So it's a different dynamic and you believe and trust in Apple now if you an artist, especially because artists are doing independent launches. They are putting albums out on iTunes with no marketing and no video launch now. Beyoncé, when her last album came out directly on iTunes, and overnight, Wednesday you turn on iTunes and there are a million that day.
Leo: She had a video for each song, no one knew that she was doing it, and boom.
Owen: Not everybody is Beyoncé is what I'm saying, but they could land places like that or how Jay Z did his album release with Samsung. People who wanted to buy the phone got Jay Z's album because they are Jay Z freaks and they needed to get his album first.
Leo: Didn't Prince give away his album with the Guardiain or the telegraph or something?
Leo: That was a bad one. That one didn't work.
Iain: Other bands have tried it. Radiohead put an album out and say just pay us what you want.
Leo: How did that work?
Iain: That didn't work too badly for them. They did make a lot of money.
Leo: And that's Radiohead.
Iain: Yeah, you know.
Owen: And that's what I said, the bigger names are going to be better, but...
Leo: I would never ever say that the music industry could get a clue. These guys are clueless, they are the definition of clueless. So this clue that they are getting from Apple is meaningless. I think that the real clue you get you take away from Taylor Swift's shenanigans and from Radiohead, from all of these, the best thing to do is to forget the labels, build a fan base, create a community, and go direct to them and eliminate all of this other crap. Who is supporting Taylor Swift? Why could she do that? Her fans who love her and wanted to buy the album.
Owen: If you listen to Spotify they will tell you that they made Taylor Swift, and by discovery they built her fan base.
Leo: That's not true. She built her fan base and did it with very savvy, great music.
Iain: It's all the same thing with the Artic Monkeys from the UK, from my home town. They encourage their fans to go out, share the music, get out in line, build the fan base, and they went mega. They hate record companies. Even in interviews with music journalists they insist on buying their own drinks, they are that much purist about it.
Leo: I love it.
Iain: They've built a great following with it.
Leo: But you have got to be a great musiciain.
Iain: You've got to have talent.
Leo: You've got to have talent. You've got to build an audience. But if you were the Beatles today I think that the last thing that you would want to do is sign with EMI or Capital. I think that the most important thing to do would be to get a website.
Iain: If you've got the talent to do it then fine. Record companies are very good at pimping out manufactured bands, and keeping Simon Cowell in Rolls Royce’s, and that sort of thing. If you have got the talent get out and do it yourself because they have nothing to offer.
Leo: That's the real lesson. I think that Apple and the record companies have got the wrong message from Taylor Swift and everyone else. The real lesson isn't oh no music has to cost money and there shouldn't be a free service. The real lesson is that we don't need the record industry.
Owen: I will tell you for a reality check just outside of your bubble, you still need radio play, and you need spin, and you need hype.
Leo: You are kidding. You need a DJ?
Owen: Let me tell you something. There are countless artists that I could name, but I'm just not going to because I'm not going to waste my time, that started off doing their own YouTube thing. I will just take somebody stupid like Soldier Boy. Before anybody every whored him he had millions of followers on YouTube, millions of views on his videos. Mac Miller was the same thing, he was 2 years on YouTube and had a huge fan base. But you know what? Until he got on the radio regular people didn't know who he was. I knew who he was because I'm on YouTube all the time.
Leo: I thought Soldier Boy was really a YouTube creation. I don't think that radio helped Soldier Boy. I don't think radio helped Tyler the Creator. I think those guys...
Owen: Soldier Boy was on YouTube for 2 years. He gets on the radio and the next thing you know everybody is doing his stupid dance and he is known all over the world. There is a different level.
Leo: Radio did not sell Soldier Boy's dance. Did it?
Owen: Okay, it's a stupid thing. People are doing all of these dances and you hear about it, but as soon as somebody takes it, and puts it on the radio, and puts it on MTV then it's viable, it actually goes viral as stupid as that sounds, but it gets to the masses. So there are a lot of people that can make their careers doing the tours and doing their circuits. There are a lot of people who have never blown up and they never will. We will never hear about them but they make a living every day. But if you want to go mainstream you do need those things. I'm not saying that you need a record label to do it, but you better find someone who is great at getting you on radio and getting you on television because you need those things. That what the record company gives.
Iain: I will say that he does have a good point, I have to mention Soldier Boy in this because it's going from the sublime to the ridiculous, but Justin Bieber for example was very big on YouTube but it wasn't until he got on radio that he started making stupid amounts of money.
Owen: Perfect example. I told you, I can give you a total list of people. Tons of people just like that. That is a perfect example. Justin Bieber is the same thing, YouTube sensation, whatever, and as soon as he got on with Usher, Usher got him hooked up with a label, got him on the radio, and now everybody is baby, baby, baby. I'm telling you, you live in a bubble. The internet is great, and cool, and all, but you still need the real world.
Leo: Who listens to the radio? You guys?
Leo: You are an old man like me. I'm on the radio and I don't listen to the radio. Chris is 17. You listen to the radio Chris?
Chris: It's on everywhere.
Leo: Where is it on?
Chris: When people play music they go to the radio. When people play music in public they are playing it from the radio.
Myriam: Wait, there is such a thing as the radio still?
Owen: I live in the tech bubble, and all we listen to is Spotify. How dare you speak of free airways for people who can't afford to pay $9.99 a month for a subscription base.
Leo: Where do you even buy a radio.
Owen: It comes free in your car.
Leo: Oh, yeah. So in car. So when you are in your car, I will grant you, when you are in your car people listen to the radio. Where else?
Chris: That's enough time.
Iain: I actually wake up to the radio. I'm one of those emphatic people with a clock radio.
Owen: Leo is a slave driver. No one there listens to the radio.
Leo: You have a clock radio?
Iain: I have a clock radio. I wake up and it clicks straight on.
Leo: I had a clock radio. When I was 18.
Iain: Hey, just because the technology is old doesn't make it bad.
Owen: You are the digital grandpa. You are the cool grandpa who still has an iPhone. You are the grandpa that everyone wants to hang out when they go. Normal grandparents aren't like you.
Leo: But really are there people who break new music on radio? Really? Who? Where?
Owen: For it to tidal wave in the mainstream, yes. We've had this conversation like 2 or 3 times. You live in a different world where everything breaks on Spotify, but it doesn't.
Leo: I know. I like to pretend like I haven't had this conversation.
Myriam: I think that JJ is right. You and I live in a world of digital where we don't listen to radio and we don't watch TV. The closest thing that comes to radio is when I'm on a long road trip and I listen to XM radio. It's only one channel that I listen to, like the New Wave station because I'm old.
Leo: You. You have an iPod. Why do you listen to radio?
Myriam: What do you mean an iPod? I have a phone.
Owen: They make a device for that? Just so you can be a regular person in the real world. In the real world, it's not possible, in the real world some people don't give their kids, my daughter has got an iPod, and iPhone, a MacAir; but not everybody is balling out like that for their kids. What do they do? They give them a little headset, and they put them in the car, and they put on radio because there is not cursing, there is no foul language, they can trust the music that is coming in, and they get brainwashed. There are a lot of things that a large market of people can't afford to have an iPod, and a Spotify account, and all of those things that they are saying that's where music gets discovered. Music gets discovered heavily on the radio. I know a lot of kids that listen to Yo MTV Raps and the Rock Channel on MTV all day long in the background. That's how the real world still works. The world that you live in in San Francisco where people pay $4,000 for a shoebox and a woman makes the news for living in a garage for $12,000 a month is not the real world. It's not the real world. Get outside of that box and come hang out in the real world. Not over here, because I'm still balling. Go over with the folks that can't afford stuff because you are diluted in your mind about how you think that the world works with discovery, because it's not real. I still love you.
Leo: Somebody had got to tell the radio business because it's collapsing. The 3 people who listen to the radio are applauding.
Iain: I've got to say that I'm with you on this one.
Leo: Alright, maybe, alright. You are going to be sorry when radio goes away. How are you going to listen to music?
Owen: By then everyone will have their free Spotify account. By then the world will get on board. Most regular people, non tech people, they listen to Pandora. Everybody I know complains or pays for Pandora.
Leo: Pandora is find for most people.
Owen: For most non tech people the gateway drug for streaming services is Pandora.
Leo: Pandora is much bigger than the next 10. I'm glad to know that radio is okay because the radio industry thinks it's dying. I'm glad to know that radio is okay with real people. I'm surprised that that's how many people discover. What station do you listen to Chris? Oh, he doesn't listen to any station, he just hears it. It's ambient.
Owen: I was going to say, isn't this like a podcast? Don't you own a podcast? No, you are making video.
Leo: I make the bulk of my money on radio. I actually work in radio, so I do hope that radio survives, but I'm surprised when I hear people listening to music radio and say that's how they discover music. That shocks me.
Owen: Get on board with me captain. You are on the wrong ship right now. you still want to be in people's ear, you better hope that radio is still alive.
Leo: I've got to tell you, the company that I work for, which used to be Premier Radio and Clear Channel has renamed itself, not iHeartRadio but iHeartMusic. They don't like the word radio. You won't hear them talk about radio at all. Nobody, you go to radio conferences and they say how do we survive the collapse of the radio industry?
Owen: Because they hear people like you talking about it.
Iain: And their argument is to stop calling it radio?
Leo: They want to be internet. That's what iHeartRadio, they are trying to say, well I know kids today, they are not going to listen so we have got to do it on the internet where they can hear us.
Myriam: So it's interesting to me because the one thing that we haven't talked about at all so far, we've talked about song purchases, album purchases, streaming services like Spotify and Pandora, we've talked about regular radio, I've even brought up XM Radio, but the one thing that we haven't talked about, which I actually listen to a lot is Internet Radio. What I mean by that is people who are streaming 24/7. They are DJing, they are setting what I'm going pick what I'm listening to, and I love those stations. I listen to a whole bunch of them. A lot of them are in the Bay Area for one reason or another.
Owen: Tech tech tech.
Myriam: The point is that all you need for those is an app like TuneIn on their phone and off you go. They use ShoutCast, which is an old standard that was created alongside WinApp, and they are excellent. One of them that is the best is like DogLounge. There are a bunch of them, BaseNSF as well, ElectronicaDance, and there are a lot that are really, really good. Everybody listens to those, but to me the biggest thing that I hate about radio, radio, official radio, like what we get out of the airwaves, is that the sound quality is crap. Even XM sounds like crap.
Leo: Oh, XM is, actually worse than XM is Sirius. Satellite radio is not high fidelity. But there is HD radio out there. Most cars now have I think have HD radio.
Myriam: But is not even that great, so...
Owen: I've listened to radio that way also, and there are a couple of stations like that in New York like Hot 97, I can't get them where I'm at so I always listen to their app. I have their app on my phone. A lot of people listen to music like that. My one friend is from Seattle. I'm like what are you listening to? They are like it's a station from Seattle. That's what he's always listening to because they stream online. So there are different DJs like what he is talking about and radio stations that you can find.
Leo: Well I hope that my bosses don't hear me this way, but I just...
Owen: Well that's why they made the changes to iHeartRadio. Leo is not supporting the team.
Myriam: There is SomaFM here is SF and there is KCRW in LA, which is fantastic. If you want to listen to some quality radio, you can listen to CBC, the Canadiain Radio. They have some really awesome streams playing some really awesome, talk about music discovery. That's the best music discovery that you can get right there.
Leo: The BBC has some great music stations.
Iain: The BBC, it's kind of depressing, but the main BBC music station is Radio 1, but that's aimed at the younger market. I've started listening to Radio 2 now, and it's just like wow, tracks from the 80's and 90's, yes I am getting old.
Leo: That is depressing. But is it 4, Radio 4 that is...
Iain: Radio 4 is gold. It's our equivalent of NPR, but it's so much better. But the big advantage of where internet radio comes in over something like Radio 2, 3, and 4 is that you can get is decent what you used to call Pirate Radio Stations setting up and not having to, if you try to tune in to Radio 4 and try to get a jungle pirate station on virtually the same wave band. Internet radio makes it so good for that, but it's a question of getting to your market. Pirate radio, what we used to call Pirate radio, spreads around by word of mouth. I haven't yet found a decent app that allows me to skim through the internet radio stations that are out there and find something that is good. So if you have got any suggestions I'm always up for that.
Owen: I would make one, but uncle Leo said apps are dead like the radio so I can't.
Myriam: Again, TuneIn radio is an app.
Leo: I love TuneIn radio.
Myriam: It's on Android and Windows Phone. You can search, there's a directory, and you can look around, and you can explore radio stations. The other one is honestly anybody who has got a Mac with iTunes installed, iTunes has a section called iRadio...
Leo: Actually iTunes radio is excellent.
Myriam: There is an iTunes internet radio section which has an entire directory that is again searchable.
Leo: I was told that that was going away.
Myriam: Well I hope that it doesn't because I really like it.
Leo: There are so many way that you can listen to internet radio.
Myriam: It's true, true.
Leo: Let's take a break. I'm being a little devil's advocate because in fact I do work in radio and I have my fingers crossed for radio. I'm just surprised to hear that people still discover music by listening to a radio station. It doesn't feel like the Rodney Bingenheimers of the world are still around.
Iain: I remember about 4 years ago, 4 or 5 years ago, I was listening to Radio 4, and they were doing their roundup of music for the week, and they had a Norweigen band called Kings of Convenience. They played a little track of that and then cut it out. Now, the radio was useless for getting into new bands, then you went online, you searched for them, you downloaded some stuff, and then you went and bought some albums. That's the way that it works now I think.
Leo: Isn't it interesting that Apple just hired a DJ from Britain? Was he a BBC guy?
Iain: I missed it completely.
Leo: You didn't see it?
Iain: They are hiring at the BBC.
Owen: Yeah, DJ Zane.
Leo: Zane Lowe from Radio 1. He's going to work for Apple.
Iain: Really? He's good. Okay.
Leo: His last show was March 5th.
Iain: Yeah, he's actually a pretty good DJ. He's got a good taste in music, terrible dress sense, but that tends to be par for the course these days. Maybe I'm just getting old.
Owen: You are getting old. That's not your attire pop pop. There are a lot of grandpas over there with back in my day we used to wear suits.
Iain: I'm still very liberal you know.
Leo: I think that this tells you where Apple wants to go is with curated. They want to do discovery on their new Beats thing and they want people like this who are well known for helping people discover new music who can do the same on the internet. Alright, Zane Lowe is in his 40's, so he doesn't count. That's what the chatroom is telling me. God, I am so old. We are going to take a break and come back with more. I want to tell you about the number 1 most innovative company in 2015 according to Fast Company. Who do you think that would be if you were going to pick? Warby Parker? Yeah. Let me get my Warby's out here. Warby Parker is bringing changes to the eyewear industry because frankly the eyewear industry got succumbed by one big company who artificially keeps the price of eye ware, frames, and glasses up. The guys are Warby are classic euntrupanuers who said that there has got to be a better way, a better option. No more bland choices, no more overprices frames, glasses at Warby Parker start at $95, that's including the prescription lenses. I use progressives, those start at $295, that's about half of what I pay. They also use these kind of cool digital free form lens so that you don't see their smoother, beautiful progressive technology. Digital application means that you get a larger field of vision so the design is more precise than traditional forms of glasses. All glasses include, at no charge, anti-reflective, anti-glare coating, a hard case, and cleaning cloth. I am a fan of Warby. You might say how am I going to buy glasses online? This, the Warby Parker Home Try On Program. So I want you to go to warbyparker.com/twit and choose 5 pairs of glasses. They've got really gorgeous frames, and they will send you this box, and you can try them on. You can show them to your friends, you can post pictures of yourself on Instagram, you can say what do you think of these? I just picked these out because I need new frames. They include a special frame box and a prepaid shipping label. It's very easy to return them. You chose the frames you want. If you haven't entered the prescription, you can get them in sunglasses, but if you want to get them in a prescription you give them the prescription and Warby takes care of everything else. Here is something nice; I like these, I'm going to go with these I think. For every pair you purchase Warby Parker sends another pair to someone in need using the non-profits like VisionSpring. I think that is so cool.
Iain: Like the LLPC.
Leo: Yeah, it is, isn't it? The LLPC, the One Laptop Per Child. It's a pair of glasses per child. Get the free home trial and free 3 day shipping on your final frame purchase, and do it all at Warby, w-a-r-b-y, Parker, p-a-r-k-e-r.com/twit. I've been buying my glasses at Warby Parker for a while now. Very, very happy. Yes sir?
Owen: I don't know if you know this, but on my Twitter is says I'm from the future. Remember earlier I had the fresh thing and you had the fresh? Look what I got.
Leo: Oh man, how did you know?
Owen: Guess what? They love me a little bit more than they love you because look at this nice fancy box that I've got.
Leo: You've got a fancy one. Let me see, let me see. Which ones are you thinking of? This is just pure coincidence. We didn't know, we didn't set this up, right? I've never met you before.
Owen: I'm from the future.
Owen: I'm from the future. You didn't know what I was about. I'm just saying.
Leo: So you buy the products before we advertise them.
Owen: Obviously I'm doing it wrong because I'm not saving any money.
Leo: That's alright.
Owen: I need to go back. They actually are not for me, they are for my daughter. These are girl glasses.
Leo: Oh, that's another thing. Kid’s glasses, if you have children, kid's glasses are very expensive.
Owen: These are tiny for my big head. You know that they are not for me.
Leo: I don't know, I think that is kind of a good look.
Iain: Kid's go through glasses. They get broken all of the time.
Leo: Let's see here. That's a good look on you. Do you wear glasses?
Owen: I used to wear glasses then I got Lasix.
Leo: Oh, smart man. Well I bet you wear sunglasses.
Owen: I do.
Leo: Warby Parker has got them too; warbyparker.com/twit.
Iain: They look a bit to stylish. If you are buying them for your daughter you need them to be complete man repellants.
Leo: Yes exactly.
Owen: My daughter is a purple belt in Jujitsu and now an orange belt in Karate. She is her own man protector.
Leo: That's nice. That is great. That is great. Hey, speaking of that, this is International Women's Day. Thank you for telling me that Iain.
Iain: Ah, well, my wife was reminding me about it, pointing out that it was time for me to take her out for dinner and celebrate International Women's Day. I tried to explain to her that she should be taking me out to dinner to celebrate her independence, and then I decided to shut up because I would like to have sex again this month.
Leo: We have not covered the Warby, not the Warby, sorry, the Kleiner Perkins trial, but apparently it's gotten kind of salacious. I haven't been reading about this. This is San Francisco Superior Court. A former partner is suing Kleiner, which is one of the big VC firms, asking for $16 million in damages for gender discrimination. I have not been following this, but I have a friend who has and they keep saying "have you heard the latest?"
Iain: Even my next door neighbor said to be today have you heard about this Kleiner Perkins thing? It's looking pretty bad for them. They are the Silicon Valley Blue Chip venture capitalists.
Leo: Oh absolutely.
Iain: They were there right at the start and the stuff that is coming out in this trial is just; you know they had an away weekend with investors and clients and it was decided not to have women there because women might bring the event down.
Leo: You know how women do that?
Iain: Yeah. Then one of the investigators put a graph in there looking at how well women's investments had gone compared to men’s and they were doing much better than the men but they weren't getting promoted. It's looking pretty bad. Not Wall Street bad, but by the sounds of California pretty bad.
Myriam: Well, you know, as a woman I'm not surprised working in tech. There is a lot of bs out there, and I think that the VCs, at least a lot of the ones that I've contracted with, are generally pretty sexist.
Leo: They are boys clubs aren't they?
Myriam: It's a total boys club, and it's douchiness, and it's reinforcing a lot of the stereotypes. I really hate to say it because it shouldn't have to be that way. There is no reason, just none.
Iain: Some of the stuff that is coming out in the trial it just seems like men get away with a lot more not just in this company, but you've seen this across the whole of Silicon Valley as well, that the tech bros down at the Marina of San Francisco, it's just I don't got there anymore because you just grind through your tooth enamel. It's like mustard punch yourself.
Myriam: Very true. Very, very true.
Owen: It's a very exclusive boys club. And that boys club look like a very different shade of the same color.
Leo: A light shaded boys club. Actually, unless you are Indiain, then you are more than welcome, because we know that Indiains are very good at math.
Owen: There you go.
Leo: I'm joking. No, no, I'm not joking, they are good at math.
Owen: It's sad that you can't make jokes any more.
Iain: Stop digging mate. Stop digging.
Owen: Now it's everybody. You have got to watch what you say.
Leo: This is a weird tech story, but I think that it is a tech story. Hillary Clinton, who is Secretary of State, as you know, never had an official .gov email address while she was Secretary of State, even though she was supposed to. Instead she was using her own private email address. Now we find that she was running her own Linux based email server out of her house. Right on. That seems good.
Myriam: Smart woman.
Leo: Now, you aren't supposed to do that obviously.
Iain: I do question if she was running the Linux server herself.
Leo: She had somebody else. Then somebody tweeted, now I don't know if it is Linux or not, maybe Fox got this wrong, because somebody tweeted the address...
Owen: Fox is probably wrong.
Iain: I was going to say, Fox got things wrong?
Leo: Somebody tweeted the address, it's https, which is nice, she's got it secure, mail.clintonemail.com. If you go there it is running Windows Server 2008 I think RS2 or RS1, and it's running an Outlook email client connected to Microsoft Exchange; clintonemail.com.
Iain: 2008, she's obviously a traditionalist.
Leo: Yeah, well we don't want to move fast.
Owen: That's not such a big deal.
Leo: I understand that it's wrong because government email is part of the public record and it doesn't belong to you, it's belongs to the people. For instance, every president's email, and documents, and records are all public documents. They are not necessarily open to the public but they are kept by the archivist and eventually open to the public. It's part of history. She knew those rules, clearly, she's a savvy person. On the other hand I have got to give her a little respect for first of all having the balls to do this, right? And then for running it out of her house.
Owen: How else is Bill going to use match.com privately? I think that is it. This is the question. How else is Bill going to use the internet privately. I'm sure that it's for the husband. She's like, look, I know that you are out here doing what you are doing when you are on those tours. Could you please just keep the emails public? Yeah, it's Bill's.
Iain: It's unfortunate because you had that whole meme with Hillary using a Blackberry in the plane with everyone around, and now this is the comedown of this. She's not alone on this. The Republican National Committee got censured on this a couple of years ago for sending personal emails on their own servers or on the White House ones.
Leo: Oh really? That's right, you are not supposed to do any fundraising or campaigning within the White House or within any government office. You are supposed to go over to the RNC and do it from there.
Iain: Hillary just said, oh, I didn't know.
Leo: I think that she knew. She's running a small business server in her basement.
Owen: The thing about saying something like that is again, the way the world works, it's very easy for someone to find out if you were not, so unless you plan on setting everything on fire...
Leo: That's a good point. There is no way that she could hide this. It's obvious.
Owen: Yeah, but people say things all the time. I did not have sexual relations with that woman.
Leo: I've got to tell you, I did have a mail server in my basement.
Owen: I did not know that she had a mail server in my basement.
Leo: I did. I do. I have a barbeque smoker out back because I love barbeque.
Iain: He's gone vegetariain now.
Leo: He's gone vegetariain. Have you seen him lately? He looks great.
Iain: He looks...
Iain: Slender, slightly haggard I would say.
Leo: Well, he's an old man. What do you want?
Iain: Well a man needs beef once in a while.
Owen: I bet you Bill is listening to Spotify.
Leo: I listen to the radio. That's where I get my music.
Iain: I'm not sure that I want to see Bill's browser history to be honest.
Leo: I do it a little too well. I don't know why I channel Bill for some reason. No, I can't do it anymore. I can't go on. Etsy files for an IPO, $100 million. That seems low.
Iain: That's reasonable.
Leo: Yeah, it's like where are the billion dollar evaluations and all of that?
Iain: You do wonder if they share prospectus with groups like glitter and glue...
Leo: A glue gun.
Iain: $100 million is not bad for it.
Owen: I'm sure that's how their other presentations go down like that. I'm almost positive.
Leo: You know why it's not bad? Because last year they had a $4.9 million dollar loss on $108 million in revenue.
Iain: Someone should tell Twitter that because they are still...
Leo: That's true. I love Etsy. Is that shameful for me to reveal? I love Etsy.
Myriam: No, everybody loves Etsy.
Leo: Etsy is great.
Owen: Especially if you want quirky stuff. I saw this How to Train Your Dragon hoodie. It doesn't ship to me until March, but I saw it all over the internet.
Leo: I suppose that you are going to say that is for your daughter too?
Owen: Well they don't make it in dinosaur size even though it's a dragon. So she can wear it and I can feel proud that she is wearing it. I was like, oh, let me try Etsy, and it was on there for a preorder because that's where creative things are made.
Iain: This is why I need to drop filter on my laptop because Etsy is the perfect thing for when you come back from the pub a little bit wankered, you turn on to it and you are like, yeah, that looks great, I'm going to have some of that. A package appears at your door and you are like what was I thinking?
Owen: Why do I have jackets for mice?
Leo: Some of the stuff is a little weird.
Iain: My cat is going to love that.
Leo: Yeah, how about a Storm Trooper wooden phone case? Now that looks good.
Owen: I thought it was a paddle.
Leo: Somebody spent a lot of time with a Dremmel.
Iain: On one side it's a great example of creativity, on the other hand it's deeply, deeply sad.
Leo: Yeah, here is the Mooney, Wormtail, Patfoot, and Prongs Marauder's Map.
Iain: See, if I saw someone using that in public I would run and not look back. That's definitely it rubs the lotion on the skin type territory.
Leo: I don't know what that means any more than I did with dog's bullocks, but I like it.
Owen: Was that a glitter hippopotamus? What was that?
Leo: Oh, lady's earrings, lady hippo earrings, made of...
Owen: How much is that? I need those. I need that for myself.
Leo: It was sold by the way. They were made Bulgaria as you might expect.
Owen: I'm getting Apple to start writing my Tinder profile. I'm going to start pulling ladies. By next year I will be 42% slimmer. I will only need one dongle.
Leo: Oh no, no, no, no, no, no. This is an interesting story. HBO is about ready to get going with its new HBO now. Of course you've seen HBO GO, which is an app that runs on many devices, Roku, and Android, and so forth. HBO GO requires a cable subscription, HBO NOW will not.
Iain: You wonder if people like Comcast will block it, though.
Leo: Oh Comcast is going to hate this. This is going to be a good test of Net Neutrality, because they would love to block this, wouldn’t they?
Iain: They are still bound by the terms of their last takeover, so we will see. I'm sure that there are ways and means around that, and they are very good at finding sneaky ways around it.
Leo: They hate this idea. It's going to launch in April, which is perfect timing because guess what else appears in April, Game of Thrones Season 5. Now this is a question, $15 a month, worth it?
Owen: I think that's high.
Leo: That's about what you pay, isn't it, for...
Owen: That's what I pay for Hulu and Netflix combined.
Leo: Yeah, that's true.
Owen: I pay $7.99 and $7.99, so I'm going to pay $15 for...
Leo: What do you pay for your cable company, though, for HBO?
Owen: Right now I don't pay my cable company anything. I've got a friend that hooks me up.
Iain: Are you really sure that you want to admit this on air mate?
Owen: Hey, what are they going to do to me?
Iain: You wait until the RRA police kick down your door.
Owen: Leo can't even find me.
Leo: I don't know where he is. He's in MailDrop somewhere in Philadelphia. It's $13-$18 a month for most cable companies. So that's why, $15 would make a lot of sense.
Owen: And they don't want to cut the market I guess.
Leo: But the real risk is, and that's why it's taking so long for this to happen, this is what they call over the top. It's on the internet and not directly from the cable company. Most of the revenue for most cable channels comes from cable. When you do something like this you really risk irritating your most important partner, which is the cable companies. If HBO goes over the top it's just the beginning I think. People are going to watch to see how this works. If it does well for HBO, I think that they tried this in Scandinavia already, if it goes well you can expect to see more of this. Sling TV started it, right, with ESPN and CNN. Its $20 a month and you get ESPN, CNN, and some Disney channels.
Owen: Comcast is really not going to like it. If you compare the Comcast versus the FiOS app, for instance; Comcast has dedicated a lot of time an effort to where I don't even have to go the HBO app anymore because everything is contained in their system. As far as FiOS, they are not that well integrated, so I still have to go to HBO for a lot of things, but Comcast is really dedicated to giving you a great enclosed mobile experience. I'm sure they are going to be highly upset with this move.
Leo: On the other hand I think that the cable companies know that this is coming. This is not a surprise to them.
Iain: Well you would think, but as most people are building windmills to deal with what is coming they are building windbreaks which really doesn't work in the long term.
Leo: That's an apt phrase.
Iain: Chairman Mao I'm afraid.
Leo: That's a well turned phrase, build a windmill, not a windbreak.
Iain: Exactly, they've done this time and time again. HBO is looking at its most popular program, Game of Thrones, is the most pirated thing on the web. That's saying that we want some money from that so let's try this out and see if it works.
Leo: Two of the more forward thinking cable companies, well Cablevision is, I don't know about Cox, but Cablevision and Cox have both said you know what, what we will do is we will bundle this with our broadband package. What I think is going to happen is that they are going to get the money one way or another. They are going to recognize that you want to cut the cord, no problem, it will cost you exactly the same as it costs right now for your cable bill. Now how do you feel?
Iain: I think that it's also a question of the cable model and how many things that they can, they are not going to be able to bundle in all of the useless channels that people hate and didn't want. Why on the earth would I pay for Joe Bob's Fishing Safari if I just want HBO?
Leo: You don't watch that? It's a great show.
Iain: Oh come on, watching people fish? It makes paint drying interesting.
Owen: They have a weird way of setting this up. So I called FiOS and I said, alright, I don't want TV anymore. I don't use it. I don't need it. He was like well, if you keep television and just lower down to the lowest grade we can drop it down to $75. If you send us your box you can drop it down to $54. So I said, okay, so they cut me down, and I have still been using this box. I get so many channels with it I was like why was I paying $150 every month and I feel like I still have 90% of the channels that I had before I was going to cut it off? It's so weird how they market that. I'm only going to pay $54 to have TV and internet where if I just have my internet you want to charge me $85? I will just keep this TV I guess for the reason of that. The price difference and the price points are so odd. It's like they just charge whatever they want to charge and even when you drop stuff it doesn't matter.
Leo: Crunchy is listening and chatting. He is in Sweden and he says that it costs $10 a month. So they are doing kind of a trial thing.
Iain: How much they can take American consumers for.
Leo: Right, if the Swedes will pay $10 then the Americans will pay $20.
Iain: Well yeah, the Swedes have got a decent broadband network whereas the people here are on dribble networks.
Leo: That's true. Hey, we've talked before, and I was actually hoping that John C would be here. He will be back next week, John C. Devorak will join us next week, but I'm curious to see what you guys think of Net Neutrality, the FCC vote. We talked about it last week, and of course it happened a couple of weeks ago. What is interesting to me is that even in our chat room a lot of people who I thought would be for Net Neutrality are not. They are upset about this and say uh oh, watch out, you are going to have to pay license fees to podcast any minute now. Are you worried about that?
Iain: There is an awful lot of fud going around about this. We haven't even seen the FCC document yet.
Leo: That's true, the rules are not out.
Iain: The rules aren't out but everyone is like...I've seen something that says it's $15 billion in extra taxes. People are just talking out of their backsides on this. Until we have seen the document we don't honestly know. Then the lawsuits will fly and it's going to get ground down to something that is just about acceptable to all parties. We've got the same problems in Europe with Net Neutrality now, so it's going to be years before this is sorted out.
Leo: There is the voice of reason.
Owen: There is no reason to be upset about it. People try to ask me about it and I say that it doesn't matter because I don't know anything about it. You don't know anything. You could tell me that it's going to be lighter and thinner. It's the same thing that I waited for at the Apple announcement. You have no clue, so just make up whatever you want that makes you feel better at night and just wait and see. That's what we have to do.
Leo: I'm excited about Google, and there is rumors that Google will become a wireless carrier by bundling, I think that this is fascinating, T-Mobile and Sprint connectivity with Wi-Fi.
Iain: They've signed deals for it.
Leo: Your Nexus 6, according to the Wall Street Journal, will choose whatever is best and you will pay less because of it.
Iain: It makes sense. The technology is there to do this, you've just got a whole bunch of entrenched networks like Verizon and AT&T who don't want to play ball. Google is desperate to get out there and break this ISP stranglehold.
Leo: It's going to piss Nexus 5 owners off because apparently it doesn't work with the Nexus 5.
Iain: I hope the Wall Street Journal is wrong on that because I like my Nexus 5, and you know, I'm not wild about the next 6. You guys have broken yours already.
Myriam: It's with the software anyway. I'm sure that someone will find a way to retro fit it.
Leo: I see that Republic Wireless has figured out a way to do a very elegant handoff between WiFi and I think that they are on the Sprint network. I have used their Motorola based phones, and I was on the phone in the house making a call on Wi-Fi, got in the car, drove off, and all of the sudden the handoff to 3G or 4G, whatever, and it worked. It worked really seamlessly, there was no bump or anything. So I think that the technology does exist. According to rumors this could happen any day now in the next couple of weeks.
Myriam: I'm excited.
Leo: Monday Sundar Pichai confirmed plans for a wireless service, but no further details have come out.
Myriam: I was actually at that keynote.
Leo: Were you?
Myriam: Yeah, he confirmed a lot of things that were interesting.
Leo: It was a very forthcoming conversation, wasn't it?
Iain: He's getting out there a lot more. I heard from someone at Microsoft that he is working with voice trainers because as he gets excited his Indiain accent really gets pronounced.
Leo: Oh, I thought you were going to say that his voice goes up an octave.
Iain: Oh no, no, no.
Leo: But you can't understand him?
Iain: After Steve Ballmer this guy is a breath of fresh air.
Leo: I love Sundar Pichai.
Iain: You know Ballmer was just a road accident.
Myriam: You are thinking of Satya Nadella.
Leo: Oh, this is not Satya Nadella, this is Sundar Pichai.
Iain: Oh, I'm sorry.
Leo: You know that all of those Indiains really look alike. Now were are really in deep trouble. We are in such deep trouble Iain. Iain Thompson ladies and gentlemen.
Iain: I should be forking myself later just to make up for it.
Leo: Hey, good news though; one of the moves that Sundar Pichai made was to move Bradley Horowitz back to running Google+, which is great news. I am the only guy, me, Jeff Jarvis, and Mike Elgan. We love Google+.
Myriam: I love Google+ too. There are 4 of us?
Leo: Do ya? There's 5, 6, we've got 6 of us. Let's start a social network. Yay!
Iain: Yeah, Google+, it's very quaint.
Leo: It's not quaint, it's wonderful and I love it. You know what I love? It's interesting because Bradley said my new title is in charge of photos and streams. Even though, apparently it is Google+. Photos are a part of what makes Google+ so great I think.
Iain: Yeah, dangerous as well, though. When people first get Apple phones and start loading them involuntarily you do wonder what gets put up, as with Android phones.
Leo: I am very quick to ensure that I delete all of the butt pics.
Iain: It's the kind of thing, it's kind of like backups; you make the mistake once and you never make it again.
Leo: You never make it again. For a while I was getting my son's texts and photos from college.
Iain: That is not something that you want.
Leo: It gave me a vicarious thrill. Alright, on that note. Wait a minute, one more story, Forbes inside the post Minecraft life of billionaire gamer god Marcus Notch Persson, the guy who created Minecraft and sold it to Microsoft for I think $3 billion, of which he got the lion's share because apparently he kept all most all of the company. He's done with game design. He's just going to live the life of a billionaire.
Myriam: It's a smart move.
Iain: It's quite the story. Did you read it?
Leo: No, what does it say.
Iain: Oh, it's quite painful reading. It really is.
Myriam: It's hard to go on about it here.
Leo: He bought a 23,000, he outbid Beyoncé and Jay Z for his 23,000 square foot mansion in Beverly Hills. It's $70 million. It has a candy room. Every house should have a candy room. I bet he's got a 15 by 15 empty room that he can dedicated to the vive.
Owen: He will be broke in 5 years the way he sounds. He sounds like somebody who just hit the lottery, how like 90% of those people go broke in a couple of years.
Leo: He grew up in the Arctic Circle and now he's worth $2 billion. I think that he can do whatever he wants.
Iain: Indeed, they talk about his office that has a full service bar and a DJ room where he can practice his spinning.
Owen: His toilets are made of solid gold!
Iain: It just sounds like a guy who got this massive payout, got married, got divorced a year later, he sounds like he's just playing around and trying to find something to do with his life. With that kind of money there are plenty of people who will find you things to do with your life.
Leo: Oh yeah, oh yeah.
Myriam: It reads like a bit of a train wreck.
Leo: Oh really? I really love Notch, and I think that Minecraft is really an amazing invention.
Iain: It's the Lego of gaming.
Leo: Yeah, it's like Lego.
Owen: I just let my daughter start doing Minecraft like 2 months ago, and all of her friends are just so consumed with it. I kept it away from her as much as possible. I waited until like the 6th time that she asked me about it before I let her get it, and again today she was like what do you want to do? She's like can we watch movies and play Minecraft? Oh, okay, so for 4 hours today that is what we did, we watched Once Upon a Time and played Minecraft. I was like, oh my god. I only do it like once a month. I told her that I can't get down, I've got other things to do.
Leo: Like life.
Owen: Kids are so into it.
Leo: Apparently Persson gets a lot of nasty tweets. Who doesn't? But lately he's been responding with an animated GIF from the movie Zombieland where Woody Harrelson is wiping tears away with a wad of money. That's good.
Iain: Well if you are going to tease the trolls that is the way to do it.
Leo: He's says I'm aware it's a little douchy. As for girls, he said I tried to use Tinder, but in Sweden it's hard, there are only like 4 people.
Iain: Well he's Scandinaviain as well. You can always tell an actual Scandinavia in that they look at your shoes when they are talking to you over their own. It's got to be tricky when you've got that much money out there and you've got nothing to do having sold off your big invention. Do you either plow through that and try to find the next one or, oh yeah, that's good.
Owen: I don't want to do anything. I would do just what he is doing which is live the dream. Spend it all and make sure that I don't leave any for my kids like uncle Leo.
Leo: I have a candy room. You know Marcus, if you are looking for something to do I have got a little podcast network, you can do a little show, you could DJ if you want, whatever you want, just come on up.
Iain: To hell with the candy room. I want a scotch room.
Leo: A scotch room. Hey, we are out of time. This is always so much fun. Thank you Iain, you are great. Thank you for being here, I appreciate you coming up.
Iain: It's always fun.
Leo: Iain Thompson of the register.co.uk. He is @iainthompson at Twitter, but if you could figure out the spelling you are a better man than I am.
Iain: Hey, I blame the parents.
Leo: I-a-i-n, that's the real spelling.
Iain: Scot spelling, yes my father is half Scot and wanted to pass that on to me along with his kilts.
Leo: You are wearing plaid. Is that the family plaid?
Iain: No, no, no, lord knows where this came from. I did wear a kilt to my wedding.
Leo: Did you? That's nice. I always wanted a kilt, and the sporran, and the whole thing. I think that a dress kilt would be so great.
Iain: I will tell you, it really looks good.
Myriam: That would look good on you Leo.
Leo: It's better than a tuxedo.
Iain: Oh, infinitely.
Leo: And it looks good on portly men because, I don't know why, because we have lovely calves I think and you want to show them off. Ohdoctah, always great.
Iain: Superb, superb.
Leo: You know. Hater's gonna hate. Don't hate the player, hate the game.
Owen: Feel free to tweet at me. I'm on the Twitters. I've got the internet. These shoes aren't cheap Leo. I've got like 47 pairs of them. They weren't cheap.
Leo: JJjjstone.com ladies and gentlemen, @ohdoctah on the Twitter. Nice to see you JJ.
Owen: Thanks for having me Apple.
Leo: And thank you Myriam Joire who got basically no sleep in the last 24 hours. Just back for an hour from Barcelona joining us on the air to give us your report from Mobile World Congress.
Myriam: You are welcome.
Leo: So now you are going to head down to South By?
Myriam: Yeah. you are very welcome, it was my pleasure to be here. No, I did get some sleep on the plane, it's not that bad. But I will have a good night of sleep tonight, don't worry.
Myriam: Yeah, off to South By, so I will probably catch up with you about that when I get back.
Leo: If you want to do any crowd surfing I can give you some tips.
Myriam: I will. I will let you know about that.
Leo: It's an experience everyone should have once. Thank you everybody for being here. We do TWiT every Sunday afternoon. Notice that we have changed to Daylight Savings Time in the United States so our time is a little different. If you haven’t yet gone to summer time we are normally, and now, on at 3:00pm Pacific, 6:00pm Eastern, and that is 2200 UTC. 2200 UTC, you will have to do the math to find out what that is in your area. You don't have to watch live but we love it if you do. We love the feedback in the chatroom if you get into our firstname.lastname@example.org chatroom, but if you can't on demand audio and video is always available after the fact at twit.tv, or wherever you get your shows, or get one of our great apps. You know, our community is what makes TWiT happen, and it's pretty remarkable. We didn't do any of the apps, just people who are fans. We thank you all. Same thing with the chatroom, we provide the server and the community runs it. It's just great. We are very grateful to you. If you want to be in the audience live, always nice to have a live audience, just email email@example.com. We will put a nice comfy chair out for you, or not. Didn't get the comfy chair, eh?
Owen: Do the chairs come with radios?
Leo: No. We are, as I said, this is episode 500 which is a wonderful milestone, but an even bigger one is coming next month. On April 19th we are going to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this network. I can't believe we are 10 years old. We are doing a lot of things on that episode. We are bringing back the original cast members from the first few weeks of TWiT, including John C. Devorak, Kevin Rose, David Prager, and Patrick Norton. It's going to be a lot of fun. We are also hoping to get some greetings from some of my favorite people like, I don't know, Mike Arrington, Jason Calucanus, people like that.
Jason: We are putting the word out. We will see who responds.
Leo: Jason, I do want one from you. But we are asking that if you have any great moments that you remember, it doesn't have to be from this year now, this is from any year in the last 10 years, we've got a little page for you at twit.tv/bestof10, best of 10. Whatever you can remember that would be useful. We will do little clips, little clips of things.
Jason: I pulled a lot of great moments already. I would rather have too much than too little.
Leo: It's kind of hard to believe that it's been 10 years. Thank you Jason Howell our producer.
Myriam: 10 years.
Leo: Yeah, not many podcasts survive 10 years.
Myriam: 500 is a great number.
Leo: Yeah, it's a magic number. Thank you everybody for being here. Another TWiT, I'm going to say this for the 500th time, is in the can! Bye bye.