This Week in Tech 507 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiT: This Week in Tech. The new Apple Watch is here! We'll talk about it with our panel. A great group. Christina Warren, Iain Thompson, Jason Hiner. We'll also talk about victory in the Comcast/Time Warner merger and a whole lot more. It's going to be a fun one. This Week in Tech is next.
NETCASTS YOU LOVE FROM PEOPLE YOU TRUST. THIS IS TWiT! Bandwidth for This Week in Tech is provided by CacheFly at cachefly.com.
Leo: This is TWiT: This Week in Tech, episode 507, recorded Sunday April 26, 2015.
Your Watch is Ringing
This Week in Tech is brought to you by Harry's: for guys who want a great shave experience for a fraction of what you're paying now, go to harrys.com and get $5 off your first purchase by entering the code TWIT5 when you check out. And by Gazelle: the fast and simple way to sell your used gadgets. Find out what your used iPhone, iPad, or other Apple product is worth at gazelle.com. And by FreshBooks: the easy to use invoicing software designed to help small business owners save time billing and get paid faster. Try it free at freshbooks.com/twit. And by Citrix GoToMeeting: The powerfully simple way to meet with coworkers and clients from the convenience of your computer, Smartphone, or tablet. Share the same screen and see each other face to face with HD video conferencing. For a 30-day free trial, go visit gotomeeting.com today. It's time for TWiT: This Week in Tech where we talk about the week's tech news. We're going to have a great show for you. Iain Thompson is here from The Register, Christina Warren from Mashable.com, Jason Hiner—who was here last week for our tenth anniversary. He's back in Louisville at CBS interactive. He's joining us via Skype. Before we get into that, I want to welcome an old friend who has got his own podcast. Jon Miller is the creator of the rest of Everest podcast at therestofeverest.com. John, I know you have a great many friends in Nepal and you've been to Everest many times. Of course, yesterday, devastating 7.9 earthquake hit Nepal. 2800 dead, probably more. 17 climbers killed. Dan Fredenberg, who is a Google executive passed away at the base camp. Just devastating. This is a YouTube picture. How come we have this one day later?
Jon Miller: Communications in Nepal are difficult to come by. All the climbers are using satellite modems and satellite phones.
Leo: The Earth is starting to shake right now, but if you look, a wall of snow: a giant massive avalanche about to hit base camp. It's remarkable that so many survived.
Jon: That avalanche came from a mountain called Demori, which is right across base camp. Right across from the Kumbu icefall, which is what many people know of. You just don't think of this kind of thing happening at base camp. You think of it happening further up the mountain.
Leo: Mandu itself, mostly brick structures, mortar, a lot of the structures fell.
Jon: The construction there is certainly not like here in California where there's real standards.
Leo: There hasn't been an earthquake there in a while.
Jon: I wasn't familiar with how long it had been, but it sounds like there hadn't been an earthquake of this magnitude since the 30's.
Leo: Nobody was prepared for this. Just devastating. It's interesting how the tech community is prepared for this. Facebook has a site called "safety check." They started this—I can't remember when. Not so long ago, there was a devastating natural disaster and they created this. If you're on Facebook and you're near the site of a disaster, it will prompt you to post something to say that you're OK. If you have friends in the area, as I know you do, you can go there and find out. Facebook.com/safetycheck. It's also in effect where you can search for people. A lot of people are missing.
Jon: It feels to me like social media, like Facebook is playing a leading role and will continue to play a leading role in disasters as they occur. Certainly, in this part of the world, most people their mobile phone is their computer and they all use Facebook. I regularly chat with Shirper friends as they're on track.
Leo: No kidding? On Facebook.
Jon: The mobile communications and infrastructure is the main way that they communicate because it's so expensive to run landlines. Everyone has cell phones. It's muss less expensive for the wireless to be put in. They all have it. We've been getting much relief from getting reports that people have checked in as safe.
Leo: There are a number of charities you can give to. Some of the obvious ones like UNICEF and CARE. Project SIVA. I'm happy to say that Apple is putting on the front pages of iTunes, one click to give to the Red Cross to help out. We want to urge our viewers and listeners to do what they can. You're still planning on going back to Everest, soon, right?
Jon: Yeah. I wasn't planning on going back this year, but I was thinking next year. We'll see what this comes down to. This is a very poor country. A lot of income relies on tourism, which is obviously decimated at this point. It's important to get people safe, but long-term recovery includes keeping the economy going.
Leo: It's fortuitous that you were in the area, and I'm glad you could come by and give us a personal point of view. The rest of Everest is a great podcast for people who are intrigued about this area. The people of Nepal are beautiful, warm people, and this is a terrible tragedy.
Jon: Chris is going to be going back there in a month, so there should be some more information in the TWiT family coming in.
Leo: Thank you, Jon. therestofeverest.com. I think this is a time when the tech community can get together and do something. Donate a buck or two. If each of you donated a buck or two, it would be a quarter of a million bucks. Thank you, Jon. Meanwhile, here we are talking about the iWatch. It feels a little bit strange, doesn't it? Christina, did you get one?
Christina Warren: No. It doesn't come until June. I'm mad.
Leo: That's a very common complaint. No, it doesn't come until June. I'm wearing Lisa's.
Christina: I was going to say, I heard you were unhappy with it. If you don't want it, I'll buy it from you.
Leo: No, I'm not that unhappy.
Christina: See? You're not that unhappy with it.
Leo: I guess what I'm saying, having had it for two days, it's completely conceivable that with time, Apps will come out that will make this more interesting. This is a good-looking watch. It's 38 mm, stainless steel. You notice what happened there? Because I took it off my wrist, it's asking for a pass code. It's aware of when it's on your wrist. So the Apple pay, for instance, once you authorize it from the phone, and you have to time it to an iPhone 5 or later, the Apple Pay will continue to work, even if the iPhone isn't nearby. I'll enter the pass code so it... I guess it decided it didn't need it. I've learned a few things. First of all, this thing has more controls than an iPhone does. You've got a big friends button on here. You've also got the crown, which both and twirls, and you've got forced touch. Take a look at this. This is the icon. This is one thing that worried me. You can zoom in a little bit; it's getting hard to hit those icons. I'll give you the bottom line, and then we'll talk about the individual thing. I was hoping—it doesn't seem to me to be significantly better than any of the other Smartwatches.
Iain Thompson: The main complaint was battery life.
Leo: It's fine. I don't mind that. The Pebble you don't, but you do with Android. I charge my phone every day. It has a nice magnetic puck that goes right on the thing. It's easy to charge it. It' charges fast, it charges in a couple of hours. You can give it a little club nap at dinner if you want to go back out if it's low. Christina, what do you think of the looks of it?
Christina: Yes. I love it.
Leo: You wanted the pink, the pale pink.
Christina: I love the pale pink, although now it's funny, because when I look at it in person, the one that you've got on, I really loved it. It actually looks like I could get that one, but I don't know if that would mean I'd get it before or after the one I ordered. I might place a second order and see which one I get first.
Leo: My take on this was I was hoping that Apple— as they did with the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, take an existing business and make a leap forward in usability. Smartphones, tablets, and music players—I feel like this is not substantially different from the Pebble or the Android wear watches. It's fine. It's better looking.
Christina: Which I think is a big part of it. That would be my argument that has held back the other watches are the looks. It's as much a fashion device as it is—
Leo: Do you think that looks that fashionable?
Christina: I do, actually. I think it looks nice.
Leo: Jason, you don't agree?
Jason Hiner: I don't. Like Christine was saying though, it is very personal. There are people who dig it. The first time they unveiled it, I made the same noise. What? This big square thing? This is my immediate thought when I first saw it, it reminds me in the 80's—remember those calculator watches in the 80's? We thought they were so cool. I had one.
Leo: It did have Mickey tapping his toe.
Jason: We thought they were so cool. And then five or ten years later, we were like: oh my God! That thing was so hideous. I feel like the square is going to be—I think Apple will get there. It's an evolution towards something that's slick looking. I wanted it to be thinner. I wanted it to not be so square. I wanted it to have a little more wow factor that most Apple products— I just didn't with this. It is a very personal thing. I do think some of the Android ones are as good looking.
Leo: The Moto 360 looks OK.
Christina: If you're a dude. Honestly, this is big. I find the 38-millimeter on my wrist, and I have ridiculously small wrists. The small band is more for children, and that's what I'm getting for my wrist. It looked great on my wrist. Whereas the Moto 360, it looks good, but if you've got a small wrist, it warps it. It's a male-centric device. I'm with you, Jason. I wish this had a slightly different look. I didn't know how much I liked the square at first. I'm glad that there's finally a watch where they actually took into consideration that 50% of the public doesn't have gigantic wrists and made something that can be styled to be more feminine.
Jason: I'm glad to hear you say that. That was one of the things I've wondered. I've asked are there women who are excited about wearing it. I haven't found too many, but—
Leo: Christina doesn't count.
Christina: I count!
Leo: You don't count. You're a geek!
Christina: I'm a geek, but I also spend $500 on handbags.
Leo: You're a fashion forward geek.
Iain: But if you compare that to the LG for example, which is a clunky bit of technology that sits on your wrists—I've got slim wrists as well, and I tried it on and it looks horrific. The Apple Watch looks pretty good, but I'm not sold on the—
Leo: Functionality I don't think it does too much for me. I may be wrong. Maybe apps will come out and it will blow me away. People get excited by, "Oh, I can touch the Shazam button and I can hear the song." That doesn't matter to me. You can't make phone calls on Android wear watches. You can make a phone call from this and talk to people. You can talk to Siri on this. Siri seems to work better on this than it does on the iPhone. I don't know why that is.
Jason: I've seen the reviews, and they said the same thing. Siri worked better on the watch for some reason than it does on the phone. I do agree with you, Leo. There's not a lot of great functionality that knocks your socks off with this yet. I feel like they tried to do too much and they were undisciplined with this. They didn't pick a few things and make them great like they normally do. So, I think this shows that they are taking baby steps out of the post-jobs era. The lack of discipline shows in that way. But there are a few glimmers of hope. OK, this I could see being interesting. One is, the American Airlines and I think a couple of other airlines, and it will automatically have your boarding pass on there. It will even show you your flight in progress and how much time is left. That's pretty cool. You can have that on your phone and that's cool. There's a couple of glanceable things where I see that would make sense. I would like to have that rather than getting out my phone every time I want to do that kind of thing. I think if they would have laser focused on the stuff that would be better to just glance and not take out the phone, this product would have been better. I think they're still finding their way there.
Iain: If you're going to carry the Smartphone with you anyway, I don't see that there's an awful lot there. It's a high price tag for a bit of hardware that—
Leo: This was 650 bucks. As displayed on my wrist. You can get them for as little as $350. Christina, the one you're getting is $350.
Christina: The one I'm getting is $750.
Leo: Never mind. You got the stainless steal, right?
Christina: It's the stainless steel, yeah. Stainless steel and the light pink buckle, plus Apple Care, plus tax.
Leo: I did buy Apple Care with this, because God only knows what's going to happen to it.
Christina: Seeing some people with the Sport Watch who've had issues—
Leo: Somebody dropped his on Google plus.
Christina: I saw that. He's not happy. God, if I'm going to spend this much on a watch or any item, I always get the Apple Care.
Leo: It's also slow. Watch how it's launching, it takes a long time.
Iain: It's going to be outdated in 18 months.
Leo: The processor in this is the equivalent of an iPhone 4, I'm told. It has a decent heart rate. Every ten minutes it measures your heart rate. I rode a bike in yesterday to test that, but nothing on here is significantly better or different than the existing Smartwatches. Maybe you could say aesthetically it's better, but that's a matter of opinion. You know what I get from this? The strength of Apple's marketing. Instead of saying it vibrates, it's an amazing marketing ability they have. Not to diminish it, the ability to tell a story like that and get people excited about something that is essentially just vibration.
Jason: They tell better stories than anybody.
Leo: The navigation on this watch is identical to the navigation on my Moto 360, it vibrates when you're supposed to turn left or right. It doesn't vibrate slightly left or slightly right. This sort of feels like it's slightly left or right. Not enough that I can't not look at the watch and know which way to go.
Iain: Also, the navigation, you have to use Apple maps.
Leo: I presume Google and others will update their apps. One of the things that happened that's very different is before the watch even came out, 2000 apps on the store. That's different.
Christina: That's different too. The one thing I would say is all the apps that you're seeing, with few exceptions, have been created by people who have not had access to the watch. They've had access to the simulator, which to me is a big difference. Right now, your criticisms are spot on. It's not demonstrably different from a Pebble or Androidwear, but you give this thing a few weeks with developers having a chance to use it natively and start to create experiences with the hardware, I think that we might start seeing some interesting things. That's what we've seen in the past with the iPhone and the iPad. What we saw make the devices and platforms unique was after the developers had a chance to play with it. Otherwise, out the gate you've got all these apps. People are making extensions and it's running widgets on the screen. I'm looking forward to seeing where we are at WWDC and I'm also looking forward to seeing how they open up the APIs for this thing and allow it to do a lot of stuff.
Jason: It's very 1.0. It's funny to see how this company is and how different they are from when the iPhone came out and they weren't sure if they wanted third party apps on it. Third party apps is what made it. They were way up front on this one. Not having a product and being able to have the watch in their hands—the developers— it is a limitation. Like I said, there are some rays of hope where you can see that this would be better. It almost makes me want to wear a watch again. The flight information on my wrist, to be able to just glance at that is an example. I think there are other things where you don't want to necessarily have your phone out. One of the bits that maybe is a little over blown is this idea that it's less rude to look at your watch than your phone. I think that's over sold because it's the same if we're having a conversation and I'm looking at my watch. That goes back a long time. That signals I don't want to talk to you anymore. I'm more interested in leaving. I don't think that part is significant. Apple has said you won't have to take your Smartphone out of your pocket 27 times an hour.
Iain: I think this is one of the big disadvantages of the Smartwatch is it's making people rude. If you're constantly checking your wrist when you’re in the middle of a conversation, you might as well say to the person you're talking to, "I'm not really interested in you. Look at this, isn't it great?" Whenever I try Smartwatches on, it gives the vibrate, puts the notification up, you've got to fight not to look at it if you're in a conversation with somebody. If you're going to fight to keep your Smartphone out, that's also very rude. Actually having it on your wrist encourages that glance. If you're looking at your watch when you're talking to someone, you're not doing them any favors at all.
Leo: I'm going to send some random person a heartbeat. It's not some magical experience. Every hour, Matt Howie wrote a funny piece in Medium in which he complained about his Apple Watch. He said I want to the movies, and there's no easy way to dim this thing. I think there is, but he hadn't discovered it. Every hour while I'm watching a movie, it said, "Stand up." You can't turn that off. You can turn a lot of this stuff off. There is a period of discovery for a few weeks. I guess, maybe my opinion will come around. I don't hate it. I liked my Android wear watch as well, I liked my Pebble as well. I don't think they are necessary. For some people they will be of some use. I feel like my biggest disappointment is that I was hoping for something magical from Apple that reinvented the category, and that I'm not seeing. When the iPhone came out, it reinvented Smartphones. It was a 1.0 product. We put up with a lot of crap with it, but there was the sense—
Jason: This was going to change things.
Leo: That this was changing things.
Jason: You couldn't help but look at that device when it first came out but go wow. 80 percent of the time I used my blackberry because it was more useful, but with the iPhone, within two weeks of having it, I set it down and my two year old picked it up swiped to the photos app and started swiping through photos. I went, "Holy crap." They're on to something. Anybody can use this device. This is the future, even if it's not super useable to me right now.
Leo: Looks like I scratched it already. This is the Sapphire crystal.
Iain: There is one killer app for the Apple watch. If you see anyone wearing the 18 K gold thing you know instantly that they're a wanker.
Leo: Douchebag. That's what Kevin Rose called it. People are reporting that it's getting some nicks and scratches. I've never had a watch that didn't get that. I'm curious about this scratch on the screen. I hope that's not the case, because I have to give this to Lisa when my 42-inch comes.
Iain: You need a case for it somehow.
Christina: You laugh. There's a whole KickStarter thing right now of people creating bumpers and cases for the Apple watch, which is ridiculous, but it's hilarious.
Leo: If you scratch your 17,000 watch and bring it back, they're going to look at it with a microscope to make sure you haven't scraped gold off of it as an investment.
Christina: And then they're going to charge you 1000 for the repair fee. The Apple Care is 1500, and then it's 1000 for a one-time exchange.
Leo: How much is my Apple Care, I got the Apple Care plus, if I bring this in now and say the sapphire is scratched, what will happen?
Christina: I think you've got to pay $75 and they'll give you a new one.
Leo: That's good. I'm glad I bought that. This poor fellow, he has the sport watch. This is the picture from Google plus. He claims that he put his hand in his pocket, and the clasp released unexpectedly and the watch went flying, hit something, and smashed. This is not Sapphire, this is glass.
Christina: That's their gorilla glass. We can't officially call it gorilla glass.
Leo: My suspicion, nobody is going to be able to bend this, though?
Iain: Some people will try.
Leo: I think it's fine. It's not bad. It's not earth shattering. That's an important thing to say, because there will be people who say I feel bad I can't afford one, I wasn't able to get one until August. You're not missing anything.
Christina: You say that, but you've got one on your wrist.
Leo: One of the issues that I'm going to have is it so much better than Android wear that I will continue to use an iPhone versus my Galaxy S6 Edge?
Christina: That's going to be a big question for people like you. For people like me—
Leo: You're all in on Apple.
Christina: Yeah I am. I have Android phones and I like Android, but I'm all in on the Apple ecosystem. For me, it's this or Pebble. The irony is I'm going to get my Pebble time before I get my Apple Watch.
Jason: For me, it's will it make me wear a watch again. The Tech Republic's Apple Watch—
Leo: I got mine at midnight on April 10. I knew Apple wasn't going to send me one. I'm not Ferrell; I'm not Katy Perry. I knew if I got up early enough I could get one. I didn't get both of the ones I ordered.
Jason: I keep trying everything. Pebble, FitBit. The FitBit is what I've worn the longest, and then I realized how little I was sleeping. I don't want to look at this anymore.
Leo: I wore the crazy Galaxy that's about the size of an iPhone that wraps around your wrist. It has its own phone number. It has a better and bigger screen. I've worn them all. On the one hand, I say that there is a value to a Smartwatch. For notifications and for health reasons, it is kind of useful. It's a luxury. I don't feel like anybody has to have it, unlike a Smartphone, where you're crazy if you're still using a flip phone.
Iain: One of the key questions, and this was touched on earlier, would it make people change from being an Android user to getting an iPhone just to get the watch. From what I've seen so far, not even close. It's the same with the Samsung watch. You had to have a Samsung phone to use that. It killed it. I'm not getting a Samsung phone.
Leo: I even had a Note 4 and I didn't want to wear it.
Christina: Terrible watch.
Leo: Somebody called me on the radio show yesterday and said I love my Gear. He makes calls on it and all sorts of things.
Iain: There's always people like that.
Jason: I just don't know if any of them can make me want to wear a watch again long-term. I've worn all the Android watches, there's cool things that they do. I agree with Christina. They're huge. I don't like how huge they are. That's a turn off. I think they have to get smaller, but the smaller they get the harder it is to do the thing if the screen is that small. It's a tough one, and I think that I'm one of the people who should be interested in because I do a lot of the fitness stuff and I like analytics. I've had a FitBit since FitBit came out. I've worn the ones, the different ones on your wrist, the Flex, the Charge. Even those, I end up getting fatigued and not wanting to wear it on my wrist. Once I started using the Smartphone, I quit wearing watches. I think the Pebble guy, CEO Erik, he said, "Our biggest competition is not Samsung, it's not Sony, it's people not wanting to wear watches anymore." I still think that's the case.
Leo: Christina, if they had a really good Tamagachi app on this, would that put it over the edge?
Christina: Maybe? I had this game Hatch on my iPhone, I had a virtual pet on my iPhone...
Leo: Somehow I knew.
Christina: Hatch needs to come out with a Tamagachi app. That would make it amazing.
Leo: Then I can stroke my watch and keep my hatch happy.
Christina: What I want to do is to create Snake, the old Nokia snake game.
Leo: That should be easy. If you want to kill your battery fast, put a game on here.
Christina: That's the downside.
Leo: What's really interesting is that Apple took so long to release this watch and did so little to further the game. Android wear has an opportunity to keep up. Google just released an update for Androidwear a few days ago that will add Wifi capability. I'm not sure if all watches will be able to do this or what. They've added emoji drawings, so if you feel left out that you can't draw a picture to your loved one, you can now do this in Android wear. Not that anybody would want this. The Apple Watch, as long as the watch is on your Wifi network, will communicate with your phone. I brought my phone out here, but I didn't need to. Almost all of us are on Wifi most of the time. Apparently this will happen to Android wear as well. What's interesting about this is it won't just be Wifi, it will be Internet. I think this will require additional hardware. If your watch can get online, it will communicate with your phone, even if you left your phone at home.
Iain: It's still a suck on battery life. Wifi and batteries don't go together at all.
Leo: That's the big challenge isn't it?
Iain: Wifi is not very good with battery life. That's going to be an issue. I like some of the other things they've done with the wear update. The gesture control could be tricky considering some people flinging their wrists around at meetings isn't going to look very good, but they're getting there. They’ve got an opportunity for a straight fight with Apple on this one.
Iain: I think it is. It's close enough. When the iPhone came out they left everybody in the dust, and it took Android years to catch up. I think at this point, Apple took long enough; they gave the other guys a chance to still be in the fight.
Jason: The advantage they may have is in working with ecosystem. In the same way they did with iPod and iPhone and iPad, is working with healthcare providers and equipment makers. I can see the Apple Watch taking off to the point that it works with all the equipment at your gym. You can sync your data to your Apple watch. I see it working with the big motor companies, it can work with security companies and you can use it to scan instead of your badge. Things like that. I think that their win with this thing might be the ecosystem win. Because it's one platform and it's one company to work with, they could win with partnerships. Apple pay is another example too. All of a sudden, they can make this thing interact with lots of things in the world. All of a sudden, the Apple watch becomes more useful because of those partnerships.
Leo: They've already got that with the star wars groups. They say 100 hotels already will allow you to walk into the door with your Apple watch, go straight to your room, and go to bed.
Jason: That's just scratching the surface. They've gotten really good at this. Because of the things that they've done in the past where they've had to do this with Apple Pay and partnering. They have a lot of trust in the corporate word. That is a chance for them to do some significant and interesting things.
Leo: The folks at iFixit have already taken it apart and found some interesting things. One is an additional meter in there that Apple doesn't have at this point. Apple watch has a chip in there with the ability to measure blood oxygen levels. I don't know if they didn't turn it on because it didn't work, or they're waiting to do a roll out of something additional.
Iain: As a sailor I'm having visions of falling off a boat in the middle of the Atlantic.
Leo: It's relatively waterproof. Somebody put it under water for fifteen minutes and it survived. You can shower with it. Didn't Joanna say that she got toothpaste in hers and it broke her stem? I think she did. Anyway. Great piece in the Wall Street journal. Joanna had a helmet with a camera on it and followed her all day. At one point, Rupert Murdoch says what are you wearing? She says it's the new Apple watch and he takes it and leaves. Maybe Rupert broke the stem. I'm willing to believe that. Nobody at Mashable has one yet?
Christina: Lance Eulenoff does.
Leo: Lance has one. All right.
Christina: He's had one since the reviews came out.
Leo: what does he think?
Christina: He loves it. He'd been wearing a Pebble Steal for a year and was skeptical about it. He walked away being a bit fan of the Apple watch.
Leo: I think there are two kinds of people in the world. People who wear Smartwatches and people who don't. If you're in the Smartwatch camp, this is a good choice. You have to be an iPhone user, this is going to be the way to go. If you're an Android user, I don't think you're going to be left behind. There's some good choices for Android wear.
Iain: There are some good Android Smartphones. Sir John is an absolute genius when it comes to design, and he does make stuff very pretty.
Leo: Not just design, but telling the story. The words he uses to paint a picture. That's what I'm coming away with this. An amazing job by Apple and Sir Johnny of creating a story around this watch that is compelling and pushing people to go into the store and spend as much as $17,000.
Iain: It's the Apple reality distortion field. We've seen it time and time again, and they're really good at it. But there's a limit to how far good marketing will get you. IOS 6 was marketed to hell and back, and it was still a dog of an operating system initially.
Leo: There it is. We're not going to talk any more about it. I'll give you guys to finish off if you want to say anything more about it. Do you think, Christina, it's already sold like twice what every other Smartwatch has sold put together. But that could just be good marketing. That's sight unseen.
Christina: I think the big test will be—there's two big tests. One is the first wave of apps that are developed by people who have had access to the watch. That will drastically change the experience. Two, I think this is more important, they need to get the production cycles down and get these things out to people.
Leo: You're frustrated.
Christina: I'm very frustrated. From what I can tell, it's the band rather than the watch itself that is the hold up. Apple is so good at supply chain dynamics, but in this case they went into it blind. It's frustrating to buy something and not get it for two months. If they want this to take off, this is the time where they risk losing momentum if people can't have it for a couple months. That's a real problem. I'm glad that they're making it easy for developers to get access to a watch. That's a good thing. But I think getting the supply chain dynamics correct and having the first wave of watch apps out and built by people who have used the watch will make the difference going forward.
Leo: Iain, what do you think?
Jason: They're charging way too much for the bands too.
Leo: This Milanese loop is $150.
Jason: Some of these bands are $200..
Christina: The leather one I'm getting is $250 by itself. I don't know. It's fashion, it's a weird thing. Depending on where you sit on the fashion spectrum you either go that's insane, or if you're insane like me you go that seems about right.
Leo: I think it's easy to take the band off.
Iain: I think it's an Industry standard connecting point.
Leo: Not just Apple. This is a standard, this thing? I love that. Other watches, it's hard. You've got to get the pins out and buy a special mocking hammer. This was very easy. I was able to take it apart quickly. The idea that you could have multiple bands—
Iain: That's going to rack up a lot of funds very quickly.
Jason: It reminds me what they used to do with Ram. Remember Ram updates used to be insane? It would be like 300 400 bucks for an update, where you could get it for 100 bucks if you did the upgrade yourself. They're making extra on the accessories, which seems silly. I think the success or failure of this is watch the ecosystem play. They've done a good job of selling it, even if the product has been undisciplined on. They're storytelling is brilliant. If they nail it on the ecosystem thing, they could turn this into something that's far more useful than what they've lacked a little bit in some of the focus on the product itself in terms of focusing us on a few things that it can do really well, because they have the opportunity to partner and do some really big things, whether it's checking in with flights, checking into your room, being able to scan into your building. All of those things could turn this into something that would be useful and really a product that turns into something you want to put on your wrist again. That's all I can see that would make me want to wear it. I know a lot of people that are on the fence about it and aren't sure if they want to wear one again. It's going to take something like that to change their minds.
Leo: Let's not discount the status value. It makes me proud. I've been waiting for somebody to notice that I'm wearing— did you notice?
Iain: When the iPhone came out, there's a real status thing about using it in public. A friend of mine had one. He came up to me and talked to me just to talk about the telephone.
Leo: You only get a few days of that. But the first person to have an iPad when you get on the plane you get a lot of attention. Nobody has yet said to me, "Is that the new Apple watch? Can I look a that?" It looks like a personal watch.
Iain: That could be the mugger's next move. Can I take a look at that?
Leo: If you press this button, does it come right off? Yes it does. Enough about the Apple watch. Let's take a break. We've got lots more to talk about. I think that we now know what Elon Musk is going to announce in a few days, and I'm excited. Iain Thompson is here from The Register. Great to have you, as always. theregister.co.uk. What is it? A baby duck in acid bath? You're a wordsmith. Every time you're here, I learn something new in terms of word smithing. Christina Warren from Mashable.com. film_girl on the Twitter. Jason Hiner from—I still want to say Tech Republic, but we'll say CBS Interactive.
Jason: That's fine. Either one.
Leo: Thank you for writing a nice article about the return of the Screensavers. I appreciate that.
Jason: That was fun.
Leo: The new Screensavers starts this coming Saturday. I'll tell you more about that later. Our show today brought to you by my razor. Harry's. We've become a Harry's company here. Everybody here shaves with Harry's razors. They're so great. Harry's decided they were going to change the razor business. Instead of going to a drug store, persuading somebody to unlock the razor blade case so you can get your four-dollar blade. Harry's said we're going to do it easy; we're going to send you the blade. We're going to make it in our own factory in Germany. We're going to design and engineer them for performance and sharpness, and we're going to get them to you for about half the cost of those fusion blades. $2 a blade. It's a great deal. Harry's gives you high quality razors at half the price. They engineer them to be great blades. They ship them free to your door. I want you to go to harrys.com and get started. See the Harry's kits? This is the way to begin. They make this affordable. With the Truman kit, which is $15, you get the handle, your choice of colors, 3 blades, the travel blade cover, which is not to be dismissed. You get your choice of the foaming shave gel, which most people like. I'm partial to the cream. But you get your choice. Then you can sign up for a monthly subscription. They also have the Winston set. They've just added, and I've just ordered it, the stand for your razor. Was that on the page? They have a nice stand that you can put your razor in. I just ordered this. You get this engraved so you can have his and her stands, which I do.
Iain: Is there something to lock it in there so I can stop my wife from using it?
Leo: Exactly! You tap your watch to it and it pops out.
Jason: fingerprint scanner.
Leo: What we did is we just got the Winston engraved, so I have Leo and Lisa. I love Harry's. I think you'll love Harry's too. Visit harrys.com and you can take $5 off your first purchase, which makes that Truman kit an amazing deal at $10. If you go to harrys.com and use the offer code TWiT5 at checkout. Harry's. We love it. It's the best shave you'll ever get. Use the offer code TWiT5 to save $5 at checkout. Elon Musk tweeted and added a billion dollars to the value of Tesla and attracted Hackers too, because he got hacked yesterday—
Iain: All of a sudden, I started getting tweets. He's not really putting his phone number—
Leo: Yes. Somebody said call me. That was weird. He tweeted a month ago that April 30 he was making a big announcement, and it wasn't going to be a car announcement. An intrepid reporter has gone around asking questions, and it seems to be pretty clear that he is going to announce a 13,000 battery. This is an incredible deal.
Iain: As something who is living in California, I would be severely tempted by that.
Leo: I'm going to buy one right away. First of all, it's subsidized by half. The deal is this is a home battery. Trip Chowdry who is an investment analyst asked people—apparently Tesla which owns a company called Solar City, has already been testing this battery with 300 customers. Trip was smart enough to press people for details. Here is what he learned. This is what Elon is going to announce. The system is offered in 10 and 15 Kilowatt-hour configurations. The idea is to have solar, most of the time if you want to store that you have to get this massive array of led acid car batteries in your basement or your garage somewhere, they're explosive and dangerous. Most people don't sell the juice; they sell it back to the utility company so it reduces their utility bills. But if you could, it would be awesome to store it, in case of a power outage or you want to cut of the grid. This is enough to do that. I imagine other companies will do that. They offer a 50% rebate. They like it because you can get your power in off peak hours, store it in the battery and then use it during peak hours. They will set up the financing for the customer to make an additional $1500 payment. Trip's research, this may change when the product is announced, followed by 15 a month payments for ten years. It's relatively affordable, and if you've got solar it makes so much sense.
Jason: The problem with all of the new forms of clean energy is storage and transmission. Our grad was not meant for these types of power, so we lose lots of it. Solar especially. We lose a lot of it in transmission. Also you have the problem that if you're selling it back to the power company, they're charging you whatever they want. They're paying you whatever they want. There's no competition, so they can make money off you. They can buy that off you for a certain amount and sell it to someone else at a higher price so you're at their mercy. If you can store that power yourself, all of a sudden you're taking some of the power out of the hands of the power company which is a monopoly in every case. Now, you can be off the grid and do a lot yourself. You can use it to power your Hybrid, you can use it to power your electric car, you can use it to store up in case of a power outage. You can use it in lots of different ways. This is one of those things, a number of people have said what Tesla may become is a battery company. A power storage company and they may sell their battery technology, because that's their secret sauce in many ways is what they've done with battery.
Leo: People have bought electric cars and taken them apart to get access to the batteries.
Iain: You can use a Toyota Prius. In the event of a power outage, you can use the power in the Prius to power up certain aspects of the house, but it's a really tough model to do on a car. But if you've signed up with solar city, and you've got solar powers on top of your house, this is a great way to store it. Who wouldn't want to rely on that?
Leo: Of course, Tesla is building a factory in the Nevada desert, their Giga factory to make Lithium ion batteries. That goes on in 2017. This all makes sense as a move for Elon Musk and Tesla. We'll find out April 30 in a few days what he's planning, but I like this idea a lot. As they point out in the Guardian article, so many of us with our computers and our Smartwatches, the power goes out, it's debilitating. It's the worst thing that could happen.
Christina: During Hurricane Sandy here, that was one of the big problems was that power went out all over the main part of the city. I was fortunate that we didn't lose Internet in Brooklyn, but I had colleagues who were devastated. I had people whose apartment buildings were flooded out. Power was out in the city for a week. You think about how many things we rely on. I'm fortunate to have a gas powered stove, but if you're in a place where you have an electric stove, if the power goes out you're literally SOL on so many levels. So I think this is great at least for generator options if not for the power saving and environmental concerns.
Leo: We're on a well, so if a power goes out for more than a few hours, we're going to be drinking the hot tub.
Iain: During Sandy, they were doing bucket trips upstairs to get Diesel into server rooms. Keep a room full of these batteries in place. It's not too difficult to keep this thing running for a little while longer.
Leo: I'm excited. We'll find out soon. Did you see, talking about iFixit, Kyle Weens who was the founder of IFixit and its president wrote a strong article for Wired? We can't let John Deere destroy the idea of ownership. Turns out there are consumer protection laws in the United States that prevent car companies from copywriting the code. There isn't anything protecting your tractor. John Deere, which makes hundred thousand combines and tractors, have applied to the copyright office saying farmers don't own these tractors because of the computer code. The farmers get an applied license for the life of the vehicle to operate it. It's John Deere's tractor, you're just driving it. Several manufacturers submitted similar documents to the copyright office saying the DMCA 1998 copyright law protects the copyright on the code in our tractors. You cannot modify them. You don't own them. If you want to fix your tractor, you have to go to a John Deere authorized service representative and pay whatever he says.
Jason: This is really about big data. John Deere figured out a couple years ago that the future of their business is the data that they are harvesting. Sorry for the pun. They are harvesting the data because that data as a business, which all their customers are in, is absolutely invaluable. If you are a farmer and you know what your neighbors are selling and what their yield is, then that information is gold. John Deere is now sitting on that information. They can sell that to farmers.
Leo: One of the arguments the company gave to the copyright office is if we allow owners to mess around with a code in the tractor, they might pirate music through the vehicles.
Christina: Are you serious? Oh my god.
Leo: They're hoping the music industry will support this move.
Christina: I think the music industry is like yeah. You know what? Wow.
Leo: I stand corrected by the way. We have some farmers in our chat room. The combine is $300,000, the tractor is $150,000. You're talking $300,000-$500,000 for one of these.
Iain: Just to borrow the hardware.
Leo: You don't own it; you're borrowing it from John Deere. There is a law right now going through congress to do the same thing to vehicles. To cars. You really want to write your congress and say I like the idea that I can fix my car myself. I can buy third party OBD2 connectors and look in the data in my car and I want to keep that right.
Christina: The irony is you might be able to fix it, but that era of being able to fix your own car is slowly going away.
Leo: I used to go under my Volkswagen and I'd set the timing and loosen the oil. I used to be able to all that stuff.
Christina: My husband and I talk about this all the time. In New York you don't drive, but that's the thing. You used to be able to do that, and now you have to have an expensive set up to be able to do that stuff. Whether there's a law in place or not, effectively the Industry is making it so you have to go to these authorized—
Leo: I want to hack my tractor so I can take the governor off and go 90 MPH down the freeway.
Iain: That's something the insurance companies are doing now. If you get into a car wreck, someone will check to make sure your engine hasn't been chipped. If it has been, you're screwed.
Leo: That's a good point. In some ways, farmers are more used to this. They don't own their corn seeds, right? Monsanto makes sure that the genetically modified corn is only leased. In the old days, remember the old days? You'd plant a crop and you'd take a little bit of that crop and you'd use it for seed next year. You can't do that. Didn't Monsanto sue somebody who—
Iain: They sued seed sorters.
Leo: The seeds were blowing over the fence? He had corn and he didn't pay for the corn.
Iain: It was also a problem because he was an organic farmer and this stuff was GMO, and he didn't want it in his field in the first place, but they successfully managed to sue him for theft of intellectual property. They went after the seed sorting industry as well, so it's harder for farmers to get their own seed and make their own crops that way. It's their attempt to do a Microsoft on the seed industry, basically.
Jason: And Mods is also into this big data in farming business too. We wrote a long form article about this on TechRepublic about how big data is going to help feed 9 billion people by 2050.
Jason: It's about how Scott Monsanto and John Deere particularly are using this data to manipulate farmers, to manipulate markets, and they understand that this is the future and they are trying to get a step ahead of farmers. There are people out there who are helping the farmers to band together to make sure that they can A. control their own data, that they realize the value of this data in all of this. There is almost like this big data war coming in farming, and its important stuff, and these companies are trying to get ahead of it. I really do feel like this article, which Kyle wrote, which is really well done, but I think that at the root of this is John Deere making sure that they have control of that data.
Leo: Yeah, wow, isn't that interesting? We are going to take a break and come back with more from our great panel, Christina Warren, John, John? Iain. Isn't Iain a version of John? It's +a Welsh John?
Iain: Welsh? Do I look like I interfere with sheep young man? No. My father is a Scot, so Iain is a Scottish version of John.
Leo: Scottish version of John. Iain Thompson is here, and Jason Hiner from TechRepublic. Before we get to the Gazelle ad I wanted to show a couple of things. First of all, you know that this Saturday we are launching The New Screen Savers. For many years people have said, oh Leo, obviously you are building to recreate Tech TV. I said, no, that's crazy. Who would want to do that? People would ask me all the time when are you bringing back The Screen Savers? I said I'm not going to because that was something that we did. I don't want to be a county fair nostalgia act. At the same time we noticed from our New Year’s Eve broadcast the last couple of years that we felt like we needed a variety show. There was a lot of stuff that we wanted to cover that you couldn't make a weekly show out of, like cord cutting, or cooking. There was a lot of stuff that we wanted to talk about that the geeks do or are interested in so we thought what if we had a variety show? Gee, has anybody ever done a geek variety show? I though, yeah, I did. So we decided now is the time. I've got the studio, I've got the staff, I've got the people. Do you have, Jason, we've borrowed some Segways a couple of weeks ago. We went for a ride and look what happened.
(The New Screen Savers Ad Plays)
Leo: So we figure that we will do a Sabido Gigantico every Saturday afternoon right after the radio show about 3 pm Pacific, 6 pm Eastern Time, 2200 UTC starting May 2nd. That's this coming Saturday. My co-host for the first episode will be my co-host for the last episode, Patrick Norton will join us. So that's going to be a lot of fun. We are very excited about that. We had a great week on TWiT. Did you miss anything? Here is a little compilation of some of what you missed.
(Video Plays): Previously on TWiT. Oh baby. Okay, here it is. This is the stuff. Before You Buy. Hold the Apple Watch up to the camera. Really, isn't that clever. An unboxing of the Apple Watch. We know that you want one because everyone wants one. This Week in Google. Google finally announced its wireless carrier business called Google Fi. This would easily be the least expensive mobile system. Here is the catch; you have got to have Nexus 6 phone. Tech News Today. Ding dong the deal is dead. Comcast this morning announced that they were ending their $45 billion bid for Time Warner Cable. The combined companies would have controlled 57% of the US broadband market and just 30% of the pay television service in an industry that is conspicuous in the lack of competition in most markets. IPad Today. Teenagers love to be scared. That's why you go to horror movies. This is easily the scariest game I have ever played on the iPad. Is that Hilary Clinton? Yeah, that's one of the things that is scary. TWiT, now also available in several colors of unapologetic plastic. This is the Star Wars light saber barbeque tongs. You press the magic button. Oh my god.
Leo: I love it. This week is going to be another big one. Mike Elgan, what is ahead?
Mike Elgan: Coming up this week, Apple reports earnings tomorrow, the InterOps show begins in Vegas tomorrow as well, and Twitter reports earnings on Tuesday. LG will unveil its new G4 phone on Tuesday, and then start selling it on Wednesday, but only in Korea at first. Yelp and Samsung report earnings on Wednesday. Also on Wednesday, the Microsoft Build conference kicks off in San Francisco. LinkedIn and Nokia report earnings on Thursday. The big news is that Tesla will make a big announcement Thursday evening probably to unveil a new home battery technology. That's what is coming up in the week ahead. Back to you Leo.
Leo: Thank you Mike. You know that we will be covering it whatever happens starting at 10 in the morning Pacific, 1 pm Eastern Time, 1700 UTC with Mike Elgan and Tech News Today and throughout the rest of the day. Actually, we are going to have a fun one on Friday because Build is in San Francisco. Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo are going to come up after Build. Microsoft has a lot to talk about with Windows 10. They will be in town for that. They are going to bring some other famous Microsoft Windows journalists and we will have a very special version of Windows Weekly. That's going to be 2 pm Pacific, 5 pm Eastern on Friday, 2100 UTC. Not on its normal time of Wednesday. So Friday for Windows Weekly this week. Our show today is brought to you by Gazelle. If you are trying to save up some money for your new Apple Watch, or your new whatever. Maybe you want to sell some of those old gadgets. Gazelle is a great place to go to get top dollar for your old gadgets. They make it easy. In fact, they give you 30 days. So get a quote now. Find some stuff in your drawers. I bet you there is a few things gathering dust in your drawers right now. What? What? Bring it to Gazelle. I know there is in mine. Is that what you were waiting for? Bring it to Gazelle, you get a quote that is good for 30 days. That gives you time to buy the next thing, get the data off of the old thing, put it on the new thing, and then ship it off to Gazelle. They pay shipping on anything worth more than $1. So you might as well just pile stuff into that box. Get a ton of stuff. They will recycle gadgets, too, for you. So if it is something that you can't get any money for but you do want to have it sensibly and responsibly recycled then Gazelle will do that for you. They even buy broken iPhones and iPads. Then, by the way, if you want to buy, let's say you break something and you want to get a new one, they also sell the best quality stuff that they get back. They have 2 conditions, one certified like new, those are basically new devices barely used, and then Certified Good, they might have some gentle signs of wear, but in both cases they are fully functional. All devices have gone through a rigorous 30 point inspection to make sure that they do everything that they are supposed to do. Of course, Certified Preowned devices from Gazelle are backed by a 30 day risk free return policy. G-a-z-e-l-l-e, to buy or to sell you have got to go to Gazelle; gazelle.com. That's where we sell all of our old gadgets.
The pace of the gadgets is accelerating. Did you hear about the new G4, the new phone next week? It's moving so fast. In some ways I think that Apple is at a little bit of a disadvantage. They can only reiterate once a year on this stuff. Some of these Android devices, every few months there is something new.
Iain: The thing that with Apple when they put out a new phone they know that the customer base will always buy it. If it had spikes in it they would still buy it.
Leo: Google announced this week Project Fi. I hope that I'm saying that right. I guess it's like the fi in Wi-Fi.
Iain: I'm hoping so, yes, because that's how I have been doing it.
Leo: Project Fe would be kind of funny.
Iain: Fe just sounds a little fay, you know?
Leo: Fe is fay. They are going to be a wireless carrier. We knew that this was coming, but now the details are out. It's not exactly a threat to Verizon or AT&T. First of all you have to have a Nexus 6 phone. That's a small group of people.
Christina: It's not a small phone, though.
Leo: They are big. It's a 6 incher.
Christina: You have got to have the Nexus 6 phone and really big pockets.
Leo: You use a Nexus 6, don't you Jason Howell, host of All About Android?
Jason Howell: I do indeed, yes.
Leo: The producer of this fine show.
Jason Howell: I'm using my second Nexus 6 because I dropped the first one because it was so dang large and I didn't have a case on it. Now I have a case on it and the world is a beautiful place.
Leo: I have my Nexus 6. I stopped using it because it was so big, but I love it because it is pure, pure, pure, pure Android 5.1.
Jason Howell: I think that my criticism with the 6 has been that it's big, and that's nice, but it's kind of big without a reason for being big. It's big for big's sake.
Leo: It's not a great screen, it's an okay screen. It's not a great camera, it's an okay camera. I really like the S6, I really do; the S6 Galaxy. You are using that right now, aren't you? You are going to review that on Before You Buy?
Jason Howell: Yeah, I've actually got my review in the can.
Leo: The edgeless version.
Jason Howell: Yeah, I liked it a lot. The camera is phenomenal.
Leo: Man that camera blows me away. On the other hand, you won't be able to using it with Project Fi-Fi, or Fe-Fe. So let me give you the details and we can talk about why is Google doing this? So it is a $20 a month no contract cell contract. They use Sprint and T-Mobile; they are going to be a reseller, an MVNO for Sprint and T-Mobile. That's kind of interesting, you get a Project Fi Sim to put in your Nexus 6 which will automatically switch to the best signal. Throw in Wi-Fi to that mix, because it will use Wi-Fi calling as well if you have a good Wi-Fi signal. So presumably Google can charge you $20 for unlimited text, unlimited calls, and by the way unlimited international texting too, which I like. I guess that that is something that they get with the T-Mobile relationship.
Iain: Yeah, I'm on T-Mobile at the moment, and they are very good on that. You get free international data, so anytime I go home back to the UK it's slow, but...
Leo: It's 2G, right? It's pretty slow.
Iain: 2, 2.5GRS.
Leo: But it's something?
Iain: Yeah, trust me, as someone who used to get regularly stuck with data roaming charges; those prices were insane. I had to put myself on the street just to pay them off. With something like this I think that it could be very interesting. They are not going to get the big players to play along, but it's an interesting opportunity for Sprint and T-Mobile to get themselves out there a bit more as well.
Leo: They are also separating out the data completely, so that's $20 a month and then you buy data. It's kind of like our old sponsor Ting, where ahead of time you guess how much data you are going to use, 10, 20, whatever, 5, 3, and you buy that, but they rebate you what you don't use. It's a flat $10 a gigabyte for 1GB or 20GB, it's $10 a GB. I didn't see, maybe you guys saw, anything about overages. So you say I'm going to use let's say 5GB a month, $50, so it would be $70 for the total package plus taxes. If you use 6GB or 7GB do they just charge you an extra $10 per GB?
Jason: I would assume that it just bumps you up to the next tier. That's what I was assuming, but then again I haven't asked about that either. Go ahead Leo.
Leo: I was going to say that it's a good deal because you only pay for what you use.
Jason: Yeah, which is cool. That's probably where all of this is headed ultimately. This has kind of been where things are headed. The thing that I wonder about is most of the people that I know that have the Nexus 6, including my colleague Phil Detwiller has one and likes it, and it's big, it's a big phone. It's a cool device. I do like how native Android it is. I wish that the S6 was more native in the same way, but it's closer than previous Samsung devices. The people I know who have the 6 are power users, they are all power users, everybody I know that has it. So they are going to be using a lot of data. Typically it used to be that you didn't use much data with an unlimited plan, or even if you had 5GB, or whatever. But now with Spotify, with YouTube, with just web video in general I know a lot of people who are using 3, 4, 5GB a month easily.
Leo: Sure, if you watch Netflix or even YouTube you can easily blast through that.
Jason: Yeah, super quickly.
Leo: They don't count your Wi-Fi usage against your GB I would hope.
Christina: They don't, right, right.
Iain: You can use Wi-Fi calling as well.
Leo: Which I love. I can actually do that on my S6 Edge and it works pretty well. Did you try that Jason, using Wi-Fi calling? You have to have T-Mobile for that to work. You may not have T-Mobile.
Jason Howell: No, I didn't have a T-Mobile device.
Leo: So on my T-Mobile S6 it works great. It's seamless, you leave the house and it hands off to the cellular network.
Christina: Yeah, the hand off is really nice. T-Mobile has been doing Wi-Fi calling for a decade now, or close to it.
Leo: It's gotten much better by the way.
Iain: Much better.
Christina: Yeah, I remember when I had BlackBerry, a Curve 8320, and even back then it wasn't terrible, but it's gotten good.
Iain: Me too!
Christina: Yeah, the 8320. Great BlackBerry, great BlackBerry.
Leo: Oh, those were the days my friends.
Jason: The good old T-Mobile 8320.
Leo: Wouldn't it be funny if Google Fi were available on a BlackBerry 8320 and a Nexus 6?
Christina: I would honestly if that was the case; because I've been toying with the idea of buying an old Palm Treo and trying to use it.
Leo: Just get the new Classic, it's brand new.
Christina: Yeah, but I want a Palm Treo. I don't want a BlackBerry, I want a Palm Treo. I've been toying with the idea to see if I can use a phone from back in the day.
Leo: No, you can't. They are analog. We have one. You can borrow ours to see if it works.
Christina: Yeah, I want to try and see if I can get it onto somebody's network.
Leo: It's analog, I don't think that it's...
Christina: The 700 is. The 755P I might be able to get to work. I don't know. I have to look into it.
Leo: You are crazy. You are crazy.
Jason: That's fun. The funny thing is, Apple would be doing this too, especially when they are having all of that challenge with AT&T when they were exclusive on AT&T for those first few years. They kind of decided that, you know, we are not in the wireless business, we don't want to do that. I think that Google is getting better at all of the things in terms of being an internet provider. I do think that long term, this is another one that we have written a long form article on TechRepublic about their Google Fiber, and our conclusion is that they are in this for the long haul. They are trying to change the carrier arrangement, but they could make money, we think that they are making money on this, and they will make money on this, and that they are serious about it, and it's something that they are good at. They know that it increases the bottom line the more people that use internet, and obviously they are sending up balloons now, and doing Wi-Fi via drones, and all kinds of crazy stuff. I think that they are in the internet business for the long haul and it completely makes sense for them to become a NVMO, and get their feet wet, and figure out what it looks like to try and be a wireless carrier or at least a middle man that is peddling wireless networking. Who is to say that they don't buy T-Mobile, or they don't start buying up wireless carriers? It would not surprise me at all.
Christina: I think that they would face significant challenges if they tried to buy.
Leo: From the government.
Christina: Absolutely. To me the big thing that this is about and has been about is them getting data. They can say that it's for other reasons, but they want the data because increasingly they are losing people who are going to mobile. Their earnings, they are trying to dispel that myth, but it's the truth.
Leo: That Apple is blocking Google? In fact, if you do a search on the Apple Watch you get Bing.
Christina: Right, they can say that they are analyzing the data, they can say that they aren't invading your privacy, and we can kind of get into how paranoid that I may or may not be about the fact that I don't think that I would in any circumstances want Google to be my wireless carrier. They know enough about me as it is. Maybe I'm overly paranoid, but I do think that being in the ISP game with Google Fiber or with a carrier they have access to all of that information.
Leo: No one knows more about what you do on the internet, no one, than your ISP. They see everything that you do.
Jason: That's why Google wants to be an ISP and will be an ISP.
Leo: That's interesting. Maybe I am just an idiot, and there are plenty who would agree, but I don't care if Google knows everything. I want Google to know everything. The more that Google knows about me the more useful Google Now is.
Iain: So you say that Google Now is useful?
Leo: Oh, it is. If you let it know enough stuff the cards, it tells me that my bill is due for American Express tomorrow, and it gives me all sorts of stuff. It says I see you are leaving tomorrow on a plane flight here. It tells me all of that stuff. I want that. I want Ex Machina, I want the Google Bot to know everything about me. I want to have sex with it. Wait a minute, I lost my head there.
Iain: Wow, that's a mental image.
Leo: Isn't that what happens in Ex Machina? It says graphic nudity.
Iain: I don't know. I think that Google knows an awful lot about us as it is, and they will know more if they are an ISP. From a purely selfish point of view I would really like this to succeed because I am just sick of seeing how badly people over here get done over for their mobile contracts.
Leo: Wait, are you saying that people over there don't get done over?
Iain: The prices in the US versus the prices in Europe; you are paying double.
Jason: Yeah, and they have choices too, and good choices. They actually have good choices.
Iain: You generally have in most places a choice between 3 or 4 ISPs, they are all competing on price, the same with mobile vendors, there are 7 in the UK now, and they are all trying to undercut each other on price.
Leo: I have to say that the Project Fi does not sound like it's that good of a price. I probably do use 5GB so now it's $70 plus taxes. It's exactly what I pay T-Mobile.
Jason Howell: I kind of have a theory about this. That is that we aren't going to know anything about this until if finally rolls out. If this interconnected web of millions of Wi-Fi access points actually has the ability to be blanketed enough in your region, in your geographic location, that you are always on it, then it doesn't matter how much data you use right now. It matters how many Wi-Fi access points surround you. If you are hopping on it all the time you aren't going to very much.
Leo: If you are an Exfinity customer you pretty much never have to leave Wi-Fi here in Penta Luma because of that thing that Comcast does where they take over wireless routers and make them available. I will always be within reach.
Christina: Yeah, in New York they have gotten pretty good about it too because there is a group between Optimum, which is Cablevision, and Comcast, and Time Warner, where basically all 3 can kind of roam off of one another. It's not everywhere, but it's a ton of places. I'm an Optimum subscriber so I have access to a lot of places.
Leo: So you don't even need a cellular service?
Christina: Yeah, I do depending on what area I'm in. I wouldn't necessarily have to. Cablevision just started this thing Freewheel, which is a Wi-Fi only phone service. Again, I don't think that many people could use just that, but the price of where it is it's getting to that level. Also, I think that if you look at Google Fi it's very similar to things like Republic Wireless.
Leo: I'm using Republic Wireless. It works really, really well. I use it all of the time.
Christina: Exactly, and it's a very similar idea. So I think that it's their way, like Jason was saying, of getting in the door of wanting to be this ISP and be this carrier.
Leo: If getting all of my information is so valuable shouldn't I get this service for free? Really?
Iain: Yeah, that's the argument that they used with Gmail. There is such a lot of money to be made in this. I think, honestly, if you compare the prices to what T-Mobile or Sprint are charging it's not that different. If you can compare it, I think that the real targets are Verizon and AT&T, Verizon is charging $10 for 1,000 text messages. The data load on that is nothing, so it's pure profit.
Christina: That's the dirty little secret, SMS is free. It goes through data signals that are already sent out anyway. It's like an extra bit. So the carriers literally pay nothing for SMS, yet they continue to charge more for it year after year. It's the biggest racket in the entire world.
Leo: I'm a T-Mobile customer. I pay $70 a month for unlimited text, unlimited phone, and unlimited data. When they say unlimited, I keep saying really unlimited? They say, yeah, really unlimited. I think that they actually do slow it down after 5GB.
Christina: 5GB and then they throttle.
Leo: They've never throttled me, so I don't know. So I'm getting essentially the same thing, right? I can travel internationally, I can get the 2G, the 2.5G, and I get the free international texts. So essentially I'm getting this. What I am not getting is Sprint. I am getting Wi-Fi calling also, and T-Mobile is great here, but when I go somewhere where T-Mobile is not as good then I won't have that option of moving over to Sprint. So that would be the one difference.
Jason: New York City is ouch, brutal.
Leo: What is the best there? It's Verizon, right, because that used to be 9x.
Jason: Oh yeah. The East Coast is brutal with T-Mobile.
Leo: So is AT&T good in New York?
Christina: It is. It is. I think that Verizon is better and faster, at least in my experience, but AT&T and Verizon are the ones that you want. Sprint and T-Mobile are pretty terrible.
Leo: Something happened in Penta Luma. Verizon suddenly got terrible here. Verizon and Sprint are terrible here. AT&T is okay, and T-Mobile is amazing. It's like 96MB down and 30MB up.
Christina: Holy wow.
Leo: It's amazing. That's why I'm happy with T-Mobile.
Christina: That's fantastic.
Iain: Sprint's problem is that they bet wrong when they went WiMAX.
Christina: They did. They went WiMAX.
Iain: It's just like what were you thinking? I know Intel gave them a shitload of money to do it, but boy...
Leo: That guy is gone, right? The CEO who did that is gone.
Christina: We all knew that was a mistake.
Jason: It was a big risk. The thing is that if it would have turned out they would have taken over everything, if it would have worked out, if WiMAX would have worked out. The problem was, it was very competitive, but the reason that it didn't work out is that they still have as much or more spectrum, spectrum is like the bandwidth, than Verizon. They have all of the 4G spectrum, but the problem is that they had to buy so much of their backhaul from AT&T and Verizon, right? So because of that, and they didn't not sell it to them, but they dragged their feet, and made it so slow, and also expensive. Because of that WiMAX did not succeed. WiMAX was this great idea, and if it would have worked it would have been great. They were talking about for $30 a month your whole family can have this 4G connection. They were going to pay you per GB or whatever. They were going to charge you per GB. It was going to be, and they even said, I asked their CEO at the time, I said you are just going to dumb pipe. He said, you know what, if we are a dumb pipe and everybody is on it then we are making a lot of money so I don't care. He just wanted to bring fast internet, and spread it around, and make stop the carriers from gouging you. It was very altruistic, and it ultimately didn't succeed, but they had the right idea. Now they still are sitting on all of this spectrum.
Leo: Wait a minute. My watch is ringing. Stop the show. I'm going to show you how I can use the watch to answer a call here. Hang on. Hi Abby, are you there? Oh, she hung up. You can actually make a call on the watch.
Jason Howell: She's like, you are doing a show right now, aren't you?
Leo: She could tell. She said daddy, that is your announcer voice and I'm not going to talk to you. Goodbye. So look at this now. See Christina, look at this? $350 for a BlackBerry Classic, brand new factory unlocked. $350.
Christina: Yeah, I know, but who wants a new BlackBerry? If I'm going to get a BlackBerry I want one of the old ones.
Leo: Don't you want BlackBerry 10 or whatever the new operating system is and all of that?
Christina: Have you ever actually used BlackBerry 10?
Christina: Yeah, so you don't.
Leo: But you can run Android apps.
Christina: Yeah, poorly and on a square screen. If I wanted to run Android apps why wouldn't just get an Android phone?
Leo: That's a good point.
Christina: What advantage does BlackBerry give me other than a square screen, which is weird for apps, and a keyboard, and for some reason a trackpad because it's 2015 and that's what we need.
Leo: I am so tempted to buy this ever since BlackBerry released it just because it would be cool to pull this out and see the looks.
Christina: It would be, but for me I almost would rather go back to the Bold 9900 or something if I was really going to go retro on it. I did actually toy with the idea of getting one just for jokes because, like you, I thought it would be hilarious to be like, hold on, and let me check on my BlackBerry guys. It's 2008 again and this is awesome.
Leo: Then you say things like, don't laugh, this is the best keyboard ever made.
Christina: Right, and then you realize that you've spend 8 years typing on a glass screen and I no longer can type on the clickity clack keys anymore because I'm used to...
Leo: I don't even know how it works.
Jason: Yeah, that big BlackBerry, all of the sudden I forgot what it is, the big square. You want a reaction, use that one because oh my gosh. My colleague Steve Ranger in the UK has been carrying this around, and every time he pulls this thing out it's like oh my god, what is that? It's huge. Holding that thing up to your head when you have a phone call? Oh man. It's glorious.
Iain: Steve actually used to be my boss, and that sounds exactly like him.
Jason: Yes, I love Steve. Steve is amazing. He's just been using it temporarily, it's not his phone, but he kind of likes it. There are some things that he likes about it, but I think that part of it is the shock value of it.
Christina: Exactly, pulling out this bizarre passport sized device. Oh no, wait, there is more. The keyboard acts like a touch screen, or something like that, and there is a trackpad. It's a bizarre device.
Leo: Is BlackBerry, they own QNX, QNX is a real time operating system that a lot of car manufacturers are turning to.
Christina: Every car manufacturer basically.
Leo: Yeah, so BlackBerry is not doomed. They have a chance just to succeed from QNX.
Christina: Yeah, but they are doomed in hardware I think.
Leo: For phones.
Christina: They sold a million and a half phones or something last quarter.
Leo: I would be happy to sell a million and a half anything. I'd be so happy if we sold a million and a half anything’s.
Christina: Let's be honest, though, with the size of the cell phone market if you are selling that many phones that's terrible. I think that Web OS probably sold less than that, but that's probably the last time we had anything sell that poorly. I think that they could work as far as a software company goes. They are really going into MDM. They bought QNX from Garmin, and that makes a nice side business. They've got to do kind of licensing terms, but I think that they can totally survive as a software company. I think that personally their days as a hardware company are basically over.
Iain: It's a crying shame in a way because they made the smartphone essential. BlackBerry made it essential to have one of these things on you, and then they just completely misunderstood the market.
Christina: They misunderstood the market and they basically sat on their hands for years. That's part of it too. Palm did the same thing, but Palm had a bunch of other things going on behind the scenes. They at least tried to pivot. BlackBerry, it took them how many years to get BB10 out the door? Even then they still misjudged what was happening. You are absolutely right Iain, they made it essential and then they just lost it completely. It's sad.
Jason: I remember being at press conferences in 2007 and 2008 when both Microsoft and Blackberry mocked the iPhone. They loved to mock the iPhone and laugh it off. They said that this device is worthless and it's not something to worry about. This is all marketing and buzz, and it doesn't matter. They both paid the price for it.
Christina: I got blacklisted by BlackBerry for a good year and a half because in 2009 somebody was doing some sort of BlackBerry million dollar app or billion dollar app under some ridiculous thing. I was on the phone with somebody, I was working at Download Squad at the time, RIP, and I was interviewing somebody from BlackBerry and somebody from this fund, and we were talking about apps. I was like, okay, at the time I was a BlackBerry user, but I had an iPod Touch knowing that I was going to move to an iPhone because I was so frustrated with my BlackBerry. I was like, okay, so this is great that you've got these apps, but when are your apps not going to suck anymore? They got so offended that I would dare say that their apps were no good in 2009. I was like, you guys understand, right? Your apps are really bad. They are nowhere near as good as what Apple has and even what Android is doing. They got so mad and so offended that I was blacklisted for like a year and a half.
Christina: Yeah, I was completely cut off. I thought it was funny. I was like, you know, I got off the phone, and I turned to my now husband, and I was like that was the worst phone interview that I've ever done in my life because they were not happy at all. Frankly we could all see it then when they were selling tens of millions of phones a quarter. They were number 1 and they were outselling the iPhone, but they didn't have any apps for that. They were crushing it. I was like when are you going to make your apps not suck? Our apps are great, we've got the best app catalog out there, dah, dah, dah, dah, duh. No, no you don't. That was when I first went, ew, something is wrong here. Something does not smell right, and unless they can face reality they are going to have problems. Sure enough they did, and they did the Playbook. That's a whole other saga, their ridiculous tablet strategy.
Iain: I think that every journalist has got at least 1 Playbook hidden away and that technology. They pushed those out to everyone. BlackBerry made the exact same mistake that Nokia made. They got themselves into a really good position in the mobile market and then they just took their eye off the ball and said that this is going to carry on for at least another couple of years. There's no need to do anything.
Leo: You know who is in that mode right now? HTC.
Iain: Yeah, HTC got a lot too close to Microsoft and they are paying the penalty for that.
Leo: I feel bad for them because I love the HTC One, but this the third year running kids. It's time to update that design a little bit kids. You know when you have really made it? When there is a map in Pakistan of an Android robot peeing on you?
Iain: I was going to use the word micturating.
Iain: But since we are going low class.
Leo: Micturating. I like that. I just checked my Google Maps and it's gone. They fixed it, but apparently somebody was able to use the map maker tool and sneak this by Google. Google, they said, would never do anything like this.
Christina: They were using the Parks Tool or something like that.
Leo: Oh, they made it a park.
Christina: They kept adding the coordinates basically to make this fantastic symbol. I think that the fact that somebody actually mapped this out and put the coordinates together is pretty genius and pretty hilarious.
Leo: It's better than crop circles. Apparently they submitted it in pieces so that nobody in Google got wise to it.
Iain: It's a really smart bit of work.
Leo: They increased the stream bit by bit. Wait a minute, what is that? It's a happy face? Oh wait a minute. "Google review policy is crap." That's a good one. Thanks to Team Android for finding that one as well. Is that real? No. "The vast majority of users who edit our maps provide great contributions", says Google, "such as mapping places that have never been mapped before, or adding new business opening, or address changes. We are sorry for this inappropriate user created content. We are working to remove it quickly." Now they have. Is this is a joke?
Jason: It reminds me of Scrooged. You remember that movie Scrooged where Bill Murray is talking about how happy he is that someone had basically died watching their ad, and they say something, they pick up the phone and they say we are shocked and appalled at this tragedy.
Leo: Shocked I tell you, shocked. There is gambling going on?
Iain: In a way it's kind of a compliment to Apple because you noticed that Windows Phone logos weren't out there.
Leo: No, that's what I'm saying. BlackBerry would have been thrilled to be mitruated on.
Christina: Oh yeah, they wish that was BlackBerry.
Leo: Please, please Android Robot.
Christina: Please notice us.
Leo: Mitruate on me. Google Glass is not dead.
Leo: The Wall Street Journal says that Luxottica, that basically has a monopoly on all eyeglasses made in the entire world, is working on a new version of Google Glass. What could they do to Google Glass?
Iain: They could sell it. They own Sunglass Hut and a bunch of others.
Leo: They own everybody.
Iain: They could make it stylish. Google Glass version 1.0 just looked like an engineer had cobbled it together out of bits. If they can actually build it unintrusively, or run something unintrusively into a pair of stylish glasses then it might, just might take off a little better than it has so far. There still is a hell of a lot of work that needs to be done on it.
Leo: Luxottica actually had their general meeting in Milan this week, and the Chief Executive said yes, we are working on Google Glass 2.0. It can't be $1,500, although Luxottica is known for really overcharging for plastic on your head.
Iain: Yeah, the price of Oakley’s when you take a few bits of plastic, glue them together, and put their branding on it.
Christina: Ray-Bans too.
Leo: They own all of those?
Christina: All of them. They do Armani, they do Klein’s, and they do Michael Kors. They have licenses for everybody.
Leo: There was a great 60 Minutes piece on them a few months ago. It's really kind of an amazing story. They were this little Italian eyeglass company, and they just started acquiring. Before anybody noticed they pretty much owned everybody from lens crafters, to vision centers, to manufacturers, and that was it.
Iain: I think that they are getting into the technology thing. In the same meeting he also announced a deal with Intel and getting products coming out in February or March. I think that they have probably realized that design wise glasses really haven't changed that much in the last so many years.
Leo: There has got to be somewhere we can go.
Iain: There has got to be a way to get a tech focus somewhere in there, and Google is desperate for somebody to take Glass and make it popular.
Leo: You know what I wonder? Somebody has got to go after Microsoft's HoloLens. Somebody has got to make that. That is going to be a product.
Christina: That is so cool.
Jason: Yes, they are on the right track there because it's true augmented reality in a very cold sense. I think that we are sort of on the right track. It has to be $300-$400, it has to look better and be more integrated into looking like a normal pair of glasses, and then they have to take the technology more in the direction of Microsoft's HoloLens which I think is much more on the right track of something that could be useful than what Glass was. I think that Microsoft HoloLens is more the promise of what Glass could be than Glass was ultimately.
Iain: I was blown away by HoloLens when I used it.
Leo: Oh, you got to use it?
Iain: Yeah, I went to the preview. I did a very excitable interview with Megan where I just raved about this thing. Then the next day when I was writing the full review I was like well, yes, it is brilliant, but at the same time...
Leo: But they were showing you a prototype that was wired and everything?
Iain: Yeah, the prototype you had to carry a battery back with 3 fans going, 10 to a 12 on the top of it, you had to measure the distance between your eyes, and you had to wear this headset...
Leo: But it worked?
Iain: It worked and it worked really well. The thing, yeah, okay, the Minecraft in the house, that's cute. Skype calling, that's cute. The thing that really blew me away? NASA. NASA had taken Curiosity Rover footage, and they built that into that, and then a bloke from the APL came in and had a chat. I am a space geek. I was just stunned. Google is getting into this in a big way. They've got Magic Leap investment.
Leo: That's right, they have the technology to do it.
Iain: I came away from that thinking Oculus Rift is a complete waste of time.
Leo: I wonder if the world is going to be divided between Facebook and Oculus Rift on one hand, and augmented reality and Microsoft perhaps Google on the other hand?
Iain: The big problem with Oculus Rift is you cannot move around the room if you are wearing it without stubbing your toe or falling over.
Leo: You can't see.
Iain: No, you can't see a thing.
Leo: But you could drive a car with the HoloLens on?
Iain: Just about. I would hate to be the passenger. I would be screaming.
Jason: Yeah, it's going to be there. It's years away. HoloLens is years away, but I feel like it's on the right track.
Leo: No, it's this fall.
Jason: It is, it is, but I mean for it to be really awesome. This is a Microsoft year; Windows 10, HoloLens, they are becoming a much more multi-platform. Somebody in the chatroom brought up Microsoft Band when we were talking about the watch. That's actually true multi-platform, so kudos to them for doing that. So I feel like this is a Microsoft year. Microsoft is going to be more to watch, more to cover, more to be interested in Microsoft then there has been in a long time. HoloLens this fall is a good example of it, but I think that for HoloLens to really, the promise of HoloLens is still a couple of years away when it's more like Google Glass and it's integrated into something that you can wear around. When it does, and I feel like they are on the right track and they are going to be, suddenly they look like they are ahead of the game on this. They look like they are a couple of steps ahead of everybody else interestingly enough. That's one of the biggest breakthroughs, one of the biggest forward looking areas in technology is augmented reality and virtual reality in the next 2 or 3 years. So they are going to be in this game big time and they are one to definitely keep an eye on.
Iain: Even with prototype sets with a little bit of engineering work you could sell that to a theme park. You could have people wandering around, instead of having an actual actor jump out at you have someone burst out Let it Be, or whatever the song is. You have to wear a backpack, but chances are that you are wearing a backpack anyway, so I think that HoloLens is really, really interesting. If they do it right it could be a lot of fun. If they do it wrong, and let's face it, Microsoft does have form on this sort of thing, then it could be a rather big letdown.
Leo: It could happen. Let's take a break and come back with more in just a bit. Iain Thompson from The Register, Jason Hiner from CBS Interactive and TechRepublic, and from Mashable Christina Warren. We are talking high tech. We are talking FreshBooks, the simple Cloud accounting and invoicing solution that will change your life. It did me. As a freelancer the worst thing in the world is invoicing and billing. I hated the end of the month. Firing up Excel, and trying to figure out what my hours were, and trying to all of the expenses together; I just put it off, which means that I didn't get paid. FreshBooks solved that for me. This was back when I was going to Toronto. Amber McCarthy told me about it. I had to bill Roger's every month in Canadian dollars. She said, oh, no problem, FreshBooks handles currencies, it makes it easy, your invoices look pro, and you get paid faster because it's easier for your clients to pay. FreshBooks will let you create and send invoices, capture and manage your expenses with their FreshBook apps, even keep track of time and hours. Just press a button on the app when you start, press it when you stop, and it automatically gets right into the invoice. Super intuitive, easy to use, I felt like to me this was my first web 2.0 app. This was a mind boggling experience. Now here we are, 5 million customers and almost 10 years later, FreshBooks is even better than ever. They surveyed many of their customers, they know a lot. For instance, FreshBook users save about 16 hours a month on admin tasks. That's like 2 extra days a month! You double your revenue in most cases in 24 months, many of them, in most cases, in many of them on average. On average you get paid 5 days faster. I'm not guaranteeing that you will double your revenue, although I did. Freshbooks.com/twit to try it free for 30 days. If you ever need help their support rock stars will help you right from the FreshBooks offices. They are great people. I think that you are going to love it. Get started today, it's free for 30 days, no obligation. Just visit freshbooks.com/twit, all I ask, there they are in their cool Toronto brick building, they are so cool, don't forget to enter TWiT in the How Did You Hear About Us section. Then they will know. Freshbooks.com/twit, we love them. I think you will love them too.
Let's see here. Oh, Time Warner and Comcast. How's that going? That merger.
Iain: It isn't.
Leo: Oh. You know, it was a great article, Frank Eliason, who used to be @comcastcares on Twitter, he was the guy. He did more to help Comcast than any human alive because he responded to people on Twitter.
Christina: He responded. It not only revolutionized Comcast, but it changed the entire nature of doing customer service over Twitter. Like it made it a whole thing.
Leo: So he moved on. I think that he is working at Citi Bank now. But he said, and I thought that this was hysterical, he said that he believes that the merger didn't happen because of us. He said, you know, Comcast, even though they spent something like $25 million on lobbying Congress on this issue, even though Tom Wheeler who is a member of the National Television Association...
Iain: He's a member of the Hall of Fame.
Leo: ...and in their Hall of Fame, and he is the Chairman of the FCC, and by the way, what happened to Tom Wheeler? Did he flip? I think that he flipped.
Christina: He flipped hard.
Leo: He became one of us. But Frank Eliason, this is a guy who is watching very closely and has ties to Comcast, he said that you can spend all of the money you want, you can have the Chairman of the FCC in your back pocket, but if the people don't want it to happen it's not going to work. That was so encouraging to me. He said this is Comcast's chickens coming home to roost after many years of crappy customer service. People hated Comcast and basically wrote to their members of Congress and said we don't want this merger. No matter how much you give your member of Congress it's the vote that ultimately counts for them.
Iain: At the end of the day you've got 2 companies with possibly the worst customer service between them trying to get together. The American market does not need large cable companies, it needs lots of little one competing properly instead of trying to lock up the entire market. People looked at the way that they are getting treated by these companies at the moment and said if they join together there is nothing that we can do. They got on the phone and they got people against it. I think that everyone who was in the sector already rejoiced when the news came out that the whole deal had fallen down. Now we've got to see what Charter is going to do and see if they load up debt to try to take over TWC.
Leo: TWC called Charter immediately. They got on the horn and said, hey, do you want to buy us? We are available. It's just sad.
Iain: What happened to running a business for a profit and growing it? I don't know. Call me old fashioned.
Leo: Crazy, crazy. So that's the end of the line on that deal. I think that they also recognize that the government is really never going to let this thing happen. They went to Washington to meet with whoever is responsible, the FTC or the FCC, and they apparently weren't getting good news. So there it is.
Iain: Tom Wheeler has been a real surprise. This and Net Neutrality? He was appointed, we were just discussing in the office, and you look at his record, and it might have been written by the telecom's industry as the person that they wanted in charge. He's just been a revelation. I don't know what it is, whether the government has got something on him, or what.
Christina: Or he realized maybe that his duty is to the consumers and to the public rather than to the lobbyists. Go figure. It's so amazing to see even the 180 that he did from his first proposal on Net Neutrality a year ago versus what actually ended up happening and what he ended up championing. His original language in his original proposal was ridiculously out of whack, and obviously that's why everyone wrote in, and signed petitions, and called their Congressmen, and filed complaints and responses to the FCC. You are dead on Iain. Do they have something on him? He literally has done a total 180 in every position that you would think that someone like him and someone in his position would take.
Leo: I also give credit to John Oliver. I think that John Oliver gets some credit because on his show Last Week Tonight in June he did probably the best, wait a minute, watch this here. He called Tom Wheeler...
(Video Plays): George, it's a little offensive to Australia's favorite baby. That is the equivalent of needing a babysitter and hiring a dingo.
Leo: He called Tom Wheeler a dingo, and his excellent conversation about Net Neutrality raised, in fact, the issue of Comcast and Netflix, and Comcast putting the screws to Netflix as they eventually did to get access. John Oliver gets some credit. He raised some awareness to people about Net Neutrality. I think that we can give him some credit for changing Tom Wheeler's mind a little bit. By the way, John Oliver says that he is not a dingo. Well, he may be a dingo, but it's one of the nice kinds. It's a cuddly dingo.
Jason: It's kind of like Supreme Court Justices. They go in, and they have this voting record, and you think that they are going to be one thing, and they get in there and all of the sudden they are starting to act with their conscious and you realize that in some cases that they are more of a human being with some rational judgement. It doesn't always happen that way, but think that in some cases the true colors show through. He's not an elected official, his job is to react rationally on behalf of the American people, and I think to everyone's surprise he has.
Iain: I would say the tin foil hat wearing part of my brain, we actually took a couple months off of work and went an volunteered with Obama when he was getting his campaign together in 2008.
Leo: It's not the same guy. They sent back a clone.
Christina: It's like that movie Dave where the real President dies and they find another guy that looks just like him to be President.
Leo: It's some other Tom Wheeler.
Christina: That's exactly it.
Iain: We were thinking that Tom Wheeler was playing the long game in order to inveigle himself to President Obama and get his trust...
Christina: Oh my god, you guys, there is a new Terminator movie coming out. Could he be John Conner? Could this be one big play? There is a new Terminator coming out. It looks terrible, by the way, but it is coming out.
Leo: Arnold is in it, which is really weird.
Christina: I know, he was at CinemaCon on Monday, and it was really funny because he was there and Tom Cruise was there. Both of them have been in the business about the same amount of time, and Arnold Swartzenegger, and a friend that I was with compared it to seeing the Lone Ranger opening up a car dealership. That was pretty apt. Meanwhile, Tom Cruise totally still has it. He might be crazy as hell, don't sue me Tom, allegedly, but...
Leo: He's charismatic.
Christina: Right, he's charismatic, but he's also hanging off of the sides of A400 jets and he still has it, whereas Arnold is just sad.
Iain: Arnold was on Reddit. Someone posted a review of the new Terminator Genesis film coming out, and sure enough Swartzenegger on his clear name came up and the top comment on the forum was "this person must have dreamed this movie because they obviously haven't seen it."
Leo: Oh wow.
Iain: He is very good at playing the social media game in the way that Tom Cruise really isn't. If he isn't jumping up and down on sofas he really isn't happy.
Christina: No, Tom Cruise doesn't really play the social media game, but Swartzenegger I guess is better at that. But he did take a moment to take a dig that the last Terminator film didn't count because he wasn't in it. I was thinking, dude, you know what, Terminator 3 was still pretty bad. Maybe you don't want to really...
Leo: I wasn't in it. I was barely in that one too. How did we get off on that topic? I can't remember what I was talking about.
Christina: That's my fault. You were saying Tom Wheeler was really a clone.
Leo: I actually think that there is some stuff, I actually am thrilled for Net Neutrality, many of my colleagues are not, and many of our viewers are not. They think that this is going to be the end of the world and that we will have to pay a license fee to do a podcast. None of this is going to happen. But I do think that there is, in some of the language, a sock to some of the telco's that they haven't completely given us everything that we want. There will be more to be said about this. I don't think that we won 100%. On the other hand not having a Time Warner and Comcast merger is good for everybody.
Christina: If only they could have stopped Comcast from buying NBC and Ersal, right? To me, I was talking about it Friday with Mike Elgan, that, to me is still the biggest travesty.
Leo: That's why we thought this would go through, because that went through and that was obviously terrible.
Christina: That's what I thought. That's why I was shocked that it didn't happen. I was like well, if they let this very clear conflict of interest happen then they won't stop this.
Leo: I think that it's a new era, and I think that geeks should take this to heart. By participating, by being active, by writing members of Congress, by using the tools available to us, we can actually sway Congress. We can sway the FCC, we can get them to do what we want them to do, but we have to be active. Those were 2 hot button topics that geeks were very active on.
Jason: It restores your faith in democracy.
Leo: I think a little bit. I think that a lot of geeks are very cynical, and a lot of us are...
Jason: We should be.
Leo: We should be. We have got a Presidential election coming up in a little over a year, and it is not going to be, whoever gets nominated, it's not going to be a choice that any of us wants to make.
Leo: So I think that is what is unfortunate is that when that happens especially young people get disillusioned and say all I can vote for is one Muppet or another Muppet. I don't want either Muppet. So politics obviously doesn't matter. But it does matter on the local level, on the Congressional level, you need to get involved. The President, maybe not so much. It costs so much to run now. I think that they are saying that it will be $1.5 billion on each side for this Presidential election.
Iain: You've got this weird electoral system over here. We are having a general election in the UK at the moment, and you are only allowed to campaign for 3 weeks.
Leo: I love that.
Iain: The business of government goes on until 3 weeks before the election, then everyone goes home and goes campaigning. Now you have people who are announcing their run for the Presidency 18 months before.
Leo: You have to. Most members of Congress are raising money all through their term.
Iain: Exactly, and they are raising money from people who want a favor back for it. So the whole system seems mad.
Leo: We have got to fix that. But do you think that Britain is better run than the United States?
Iain: In some ways. In some ways.
Leo: Because you elected Tony Blair.
Iain: Yeah, I know. I didn't vote for him. Actually I'm ashamed to say that I did vote for him in '97.
Leo: He's like Bill Clinton. He seemed okay at the time.
Iain: He seemed okay at the time. My local labor MP, the next election I wrote her an email the night before the election, I was terribly drunk, and I was just saying that being a labor voter all my life I just cannot bring myself to vote for that grinning little whatever. She sent me a lovely little email saying that Tony will not be with us for that much longer. When he is gone you can come back to the fold. He looked good initially. Obama looked good initially.
Leo: I'm very disappointed. I voted for Obama both times. I gave him money. I really supported him. I think that it is a major step forward that we have an African American President. I believe that the Affordable Care Act is a very important thing, but at the same time drones like out of control.
Iain: TransPacific Trademark Treaty.
Leo: The fast track on this treaty is appalling.
Iain: It's fundamentally undemocratic.
Leo: Of course the eavesdropping, which has done nothing but increase during his tenure. All of that kind of soured me a little. I'm trying not to get sour of politics in general.
Iain: The thing is that I don't see anything changing. Hilary seems to be the next up, and she seems to be even more of the NSA's excise than Obama was. So it's just, I don't know, I shouldn't be commenting. It's your country, what do you guys think?
Leo: No, no, it's your country too, because after all, what we do influences everything. Especially our allies across the pond. Don't you think? That was what was wrong with Tony Blair is that he was in our back pocket.
Iain: Oh, I know, and that has caused a real backlash and it's much less the case now. People are looking towards Europe and trying to get out of Europe and go at it alone, which I think is madness, but everyone has got the choice of what they want to do. No, particularly after the last 2 Presidents America is no longer as influential as they have been. We have a new girl.
Leo: My phone is ringing again.
Jason: Dad, answer the watch.
Leo: Hi Abby. Is that you?
Abby Laporte: Yeah, how are you?
Leo: I'm talking to you on my watch right now. How do I sound?
Abby: It actually sounds really good.
Leo: Yeah, you sound pretty good too.
Abby: It actually sounds like you are on a phone.
Leo: That's it, you still need the phone, the phone is right next to me. In fact, I think that they have done something with the microphone because everyone is saying that Siri works better on the Apple Watch too. So, but the question is would you want to make a phone call talking to your watch like Dick Tracy all of the time?
Leo: I was just saying if you were able to make a phone call on your watch would you want to take care of it all the time like Dick Tracy? Do you know who Dick Tracy is?
Abby: Yeah, no.
Leo: Okay. My daughter is only 23.
Abby: I would like to, but I would be apprehensive because the technology is so new that the call would get messed up.
Leo: It seems to be working. Look, cell phones are kind of unreliable anyway. I think that it's kind of interesting that you can do this. I have a feeling it would be mostly for things like I can't talk right now, I'm on the air, can I call you back kind of thing. Anyway, I love you Abby, I will talk to you later, okay?
Abby: Yeah, you sound pretty good actually. It's a little muffled occasionally, but that might just be how you are talking.
Leo: I think that is my sleeve.
Abby: Well anyway.
Leo: I think the microphone is right here. Love you. Bye.
Abby: Alright, love you. Bye now.
Leo: Talk to you later tonight. Isn't that interesting. That's one thing the Apple Watch can do that no Android Wear watch can do.
Iain: That's true, but didn't you feel like a plunker when you were doing it?
Leo: Yeah, a major plunker. I don't even know what that means. It sounds like an Atlantic fish.
Jason: It's not good.
Leo: It's not good? The Department of Homeland Security is opening an office at Silicon Valley. Woo hoo. Woo hoo.
Iain: Well, considering how many people they annoyed this week at the RSA show they are not going to be particularly welcome.
Leo: Get this. This is the quote from DHS secretary Jay Johnson at his speech at the RSA Conference, "We want to strengthen critical relationships in Silicon Valley and assure that the government and private sector benefit from each other's research and development." That's absolutely what we do not want.
Iain: Yeah, Homeland Security at RSA this week, you've also got Obama's Cyber Security Aide or whatever, Congressman Mike Richards who was oversight, and they were all saying the same thing, we need a perfectly safe strong form of encryption that law enforcement can also access. Every single person who knew anything about cryptography there was just like you don't get it do you? Silicon Valley can do anything. No, math doesn't work like that.
Leo: They are still pushing the back door.
Iain: I thought we got this settled in the late 90's, and you got a new generation of politicians who come through who you have got to explain it to again and again. It doesn't work like that. Even if it did you have then got to give that same power to law enforcement around the world. Who at the end of the day is going to buy an Apple or Android phone if they know that the encryption is already broken? It makes no logical sense at all. There was one cryptographer in the pub late at night who was just like, he's British, so he's like it's bullocks, there is no possible way that we can do that. They will not see it, they keep on thinking that we can invent a miracle.
Leo: It was David Cameron who actually first proposed this.
Iain: Don't even get me started on that shoddy waste of humanity.
Leo: You don't like him either, huh? You want to send a chill down your spine listen to what else Johnson said. He said he wants the DHS to go full throttle on technology that will help monitor cyber security threats in the US. "Later this year we will be in a position to begin to accept cypher threat indicators from the private sector in automated near real time format."
Iain: Yeah, that went through the House of Representatives this week.
Leo: Direct connection, we just want to connect to Google, and Facebook, and everybody else.
Iain: They are already doing that through the NSA. The House of Representatives did pass 2 laws, one which would allow for anatomized data sharing between government and companies.
Leo: What good is anatomized? How am I going to capture a terrorist if I don't know who he is?
Iain: It's all in the metadata. The other one gave companies freedom from liability and freedom from being sued under the Freedom of Information Act. This thing is going on, and from what I can see Senate is going to pass it and Obama is going to sign off on it.
Leo: I'm watching the chatroom debate the meaning of bullocks by the way. I think that we will leave that as an exercise for the reader. Let's take a little break. We've got more to come. We are talking high tech. I don't want anybody to be depressed. It's going to be a great new world. Wonderful new world as long as the AI doesn't kill us. Has anybody seen that new movie yet, Ex Machina? Gary was here just raving about it.
Christina: Yeah, I saw it. It's really good.
Leo: Is it?
Christina: It is.
Leo: Is it scary? Do you feel like the artificial intelligence is going to win?
Christina: Yeah, but I always feel that way.
Leo: You aren't alone. Waz feels that way. All of the computer scientists now say that we've got to worry.
Jason: Elon Musk is really freaked.
Leo: He's worried.
Christina: He's completely worried.
Iain: I'm less worried about it taking over the world. I'm more worried about it taking my job to be quite frank.
Leo: First it takes your job and then it takes over the world.
Iain: 30 years down the line there is a whole list...
Leo: It's not going to be able to write for The Register.
Iain: No, nobody can do that properly. Only very cynical and occasionally drunk human beings. If you are an accountant, if you are a lawyer, certain if you are a legal secretary, 20-30 years down the line your job is toast.
Leo: You should all be pendants because that is the one thing that artificial intelligence can't do well.
Jason: This is going to be a common theme, but we have another long form article on this called Why AI Can Destroy More Jobs Than It Creates and How to Save Them. It actually has a number interviews with a number of people at MIT and other places that are working on AI, Eric Benolson, who did the book The Second Machine Age, and others, and ultimately actually if you read the article there are some things to come away with. I'm not as freaked as Bill Gates, or Elon Musk, I'm not smarter than those guys either, but I think that these researchers who are working on this stuff that bring up that clearly AI is a long way from getting even close and they never ever will be able to deal with the kind of experimental knowledge that human beings can where they take 2 different kinds of knowledge and then bring them together and come up with conclusions. Now it's going to automate a lot of manual labor jobs, but we have been worried about that for decades, and the likely result of that is that people who are then in those jobs will have more time. It's a brutal process, but every time we have had one of these leaps forward in technology what has happened is humans find better, smarter, more interesting things to do and it ends up pushing humanity forward. That's a very optimistic view, but looking at history that tends to be the way that you have these things happen.
Leo: Jason, we are going to take a break, but I want to talk to you about your visit to Asimo, the robot. It's not like anything like this on my screen could happen. This couldn't possible ever...ohhhhhh...here comes spot. Google owns this company, the Boston Dynamics Company. They were making robots, now this is just a mail delivery system.
Iain: That's still making military robots.
Leo: That's still making them. Look, you can kick it and it still keeps on coming. I would not want to run into this in the hall.
Leo: And I don't think that kicking it is a very good idea. This is why the artificial intelligence is mad at us! Our show today is brought to you by GoToMeeting, the great way, now you can use technology to eliminate travel, to stay at home, to meet with clients and coworkers all over the world from the comfort of your own computer, your tablet, your smartphone. No traffic, no travel expenses, it's easy and it's fun. In fact, it's so easy that your clients will like it. You can't make them jump through hoops if you want to give them a sales presentation. But by just clicking a link in a few seconds they will have GoToMeeting running on their system. They don't have to sign up for anything, there are no speed bumps. You can see the same screen, you can show them the presentation, you can use your web cam for HD video, which is fabulous. It is a great way to meet. I think that video meetings are just the way to go. I've been doing a lot of this lately, and I love it. I want you to try it, just try it at least for 30 days. Visit gotomeeting.com, click the Try It Free button, you don't need to give them a credit card. You will have your first meeting up and running in just minutes. G-o-t-o, gotomeeting.com, your 30 day trial awaits. No here they come, there are 2 of them. This is really scary. Don't you think, given what we are doing with drones, the next thing is a soldier like this, right?
Iain: Yeah, oh sorry. Back to you.
Christina: No, I was just going to say yes, that's absolutely the next thing.
Leo: Why put humans in the line of fire when you can send a dog with a gun?
Iain: There are a couple of problems to beat first. Chiefly is power.
Leo: And noise.
Jason: Those aren't going to sneak up on anybody.
Iain: If you have got a noisy engine and you are trying to stealthily get behind enemy lines that's not going to work.
Leo: I will tell you how clueless this company Boston Dynamics is. At the end of this video they put "No robots were harmed in the making of this video." I'm not worried about the robots. Harm the robots, it's fine. It's humans that I'm worried about. So you met Asimo. We've seen this before, that's Honda's little human robot. It's about 3 feet, 4 feet tall. He's gone! Oh my god, the robot has got Jason!
Jason Howell: I think that we frightened him with all of the robots. He saw Asimo, and he was scared enough that Boston Dynamics built one.
Leo: Oh my god, we've lost Jason. So Christina, you recommend Ex Machina? I was thinking of going tonight.
Christina: Yeah, no, I liked it. I really really liked it. I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did, but I really liked it. It's good.
Leo: Yeah, I can't wait to see it. It says that there is graphic sex in it. I don't understand because there is just 2 guys and a robot. Maybe I shouldn't go see this.
Christina: She's hot though.
Leo: She's hot?
Iain: Hey, as long as it's better than Lucy, because I sat through that film and was like, wow, that's 2 hours of my life I will never get back.
Leo: You know what I liked, though, was Her. I like Scarlett Johansson as my artificial intelligence.
Christina: Her is great.
Leo: I wouldn't mind that.
Christina: Who would? I think that we would all like that totally.
Leo: So Jason, were you impressed by Asimo's abilities, or do you feel like he's not a threat?
Jason: Asimo is definitely not a threat.
Leo: He's sweet. He's kind.
Jason: But one of the interesting things, the biggest takeaway is that Honda has been working on this for a long time, they have been working on this since the 1980's, so for 30 years. They have what is the most humanoid like robot that we have in existence. Asimo itself is about the 12th version of a humanoid robot, and it came out in 2000.
Leo: I remember seeing it walk up stairs and fall over.
Jason: Yes, and they have been very upfront about the research and trial and error that has gone into this. Every year it keeps advancing, it keeps doing more. Now it can kick a soccer ball, it can walk up and down stairs, it can run, it can pick things up for you, it can shake hands. There is a photo where I was shaking, or a video where I was shaking hands.
Leo: Was it a firm handshake?
Jason: It was pretty firm, yeah.
Leo: It seemed like he didn't want to let go.
Jason: No, he did not want to let go.
Leo: That worries me a little bit.
Jason: Which is interesting. But it's smart enough that when I disengaged my grip...
Leo: It did too.
Jason: ...it gave up. It disengaged. But this is a long way from being usable. Artificial Intelligence is the next big thing that can lead into this. One of the things that I pushed them on was are you guys connecting up to the cloud? Are you partnering with people who are doing Artificial Intelligence and that kind of thing? They are, they are working on some of those things. They are kind of coy about how much of that they are doing because there is a lot of massive processing that goes on in the Cloud. IBM is doing the Watts and those type of things. We are a long, long way from this being something that can be human like. Being Asimo, and being a helper in the home, for instance, for people who have some kind of limitations; it can pick things up for you, it can answer the door for your and the eyes are essentially cameras and you can look at your phone or tablet to see who it is, interact with them, looking at things like doing nuclear waste cleanup, doing landmines, searching for landmines using robots, things that we don't want to use humans for. It's very, very basic, and it's a long way from something that can replace humans in jobs except for the most basic things. Obviously some of the home health care things would compete with like a home health aide and that kind of thing, but only for people who need very literal kinds of things with the health care.
Leo: I love this Unicub that you were riding. This is also the Asimo technology, but it's a little cycle.
Jason: It did. So out of the Asimo technology they did a lot of research on how humans walk, right, to make this walking humanoid robot. Two things came out of it, this device called Walk Assist, which is a belt that attaches to your legs and it helps people who have had a stroke or are somewhat limited in walking, it helps them walk. Also, the Unicub, which is a little device that you sit on, and you lean forward and you use the pedals, and a little bit of pressure helps you speed up or slow down and then you lean to kind of steer or direct yourself.
Leo: It's like a Segway, yeah.
Jason: It is, it's like a much less expensive version of a Segway. They are aimed them at like airports. There is the thing pulling up on the screen now, the Walk Assist Device.
Leo: It's like an exoskeleton almost.
Jason: Exactly. It is like an exoskeleton. Then they eventually want to make it small enough that it could fit under your clothes and assist you in walking. That's going into clinical trials next year, so that's getting close. The Unicub is something that they have at the Science and Technology Museum, and they are testing it in Tokyo. The Unicub is aimed at things like airports, and museums, and wide open spaces where if you are limited in your mobility you might be limited in where you can walk. So they have taken this robotics research and done some very practical things to help people today within the next 5 to 10 years. So I tip my hat to them on that.
Leo: Did you feel like this was personified as to what it was? Obviously you don't really need to make a robot with legs to be able to walk, or in humanoid form at all, but they clearly are doing that so that you are comfortable with that. Do you feel like this was a human or a thing?
Jason: It's a thing, definitely a thing.
Leo: You are not worried?
Jason: No, but they, interestingly enough, you put the video up there of the evolution of Asimo, and you could see that they actually shrunk him in the last few interactions so that he is now only 4 feet tall. They said that was to make him so that he is not as intimidating to human beings. So they purposely have made him small so that he is not as scary.
Leo: Originally apparently he looked like Mouskateers? No, no, that's the wrong picture.
Jason: So at Disneyland in Anaheim, California now there is an Asimo exhibit where he sort of does a little performance. Asimo is a rock star. In the gallery that I did there on ZNet that you are pulling the photos from he is shaking hands with the ruler of Dubai, and there is him all over the world performing for crowds and doing its thing. I shouldn't say he. They haven't said, although the voice is a 15 year old boy for Asimo. Because the voice is high it's kind of androgynous, and I think purposely so.
Leo: Unthreatening I think is what they are going for. If you look at the early Asimos; these are terrifying. I don't want to go anywhere near them.
Jason: Yeah, definitely. So the 4 foot Asimo is very friendly looking, but you can tell that this is still essentially decades away from being something that we see in movies or that kind of thing. Obviously decades in the grand scheme of things is not that far.
Leo: Things happen fast as we have learned. It's funny about tech, things happen faster and much more slowly than one expects.
Iain: In this case Duff has got the Grand Robotics Challenge coming up in June.
Leo: Do you remember the original Grand Robotics Challenge? These cars could barely go 5 feet before driving off of the road. Now cars have driven completely across the country completely autonomously. What is the Grand Challenge going to be this year?
Iain: They've got 6'1" robots whose job is to drive a car for humans to a crash site, break open a door, kill John Conner. No, no, turn off a valve.
Leo: Come with me if you want to live.
Iain: The idea is that these are going to be rescue robots, unterminators.
Leo: Yeah, sure. That's how they start.
Iain: But you said yourself, with the automotive challenge, that was a hilarious first attempt.
Leo: Yet they made great progress very fast.
Iain: They made it work.
Jason: Oh, it works. We could have it now. The problem is insurance. They have far fewer accidents than human beings, far fewer. But if there is an accident who is liable? Who pays? Is it the company that made the technology? Is it the person that owns it? Is it whatever? This still has to get worked out. In Israel these self-automated vehicles are essentially patrolling the boarders of Israel. They are very much real, and they are very much in use and fully capable. The one that the Bengarin University in Israel did, they are the ones who won these robotics challenges in the past, and they have a SUV that is now that is smart enough that it can handle 4 way stops, which is something that is unique in the US, but it is one of the most difficult things to handle because there is a little bit of unpredictability. Who got there first, are you about to go or are you not? It takes a little bit of finesse. They have gotten to the point where their vehicles can now handle 4 way stops. These things have come a long ways.
Leo: I predict that videos like this of cars and robots failing miserably will become the most popular videos on YouTube in the next 5 years because it reassures us that there is nothing to fear.
Christina: Nothing to fear, even though as Jason says, they are far safer than we are quite frankly.
Leo: No, in fact they know that. They are better in every respect. We are just a cancer on the planet and they should just get rid of us so that they can go on with their little robotic lives.
Christina: This is true. Carbon based life forms are so bad for the planet, you are exactly right.
Leo: Terrible, terrible.
Iain: One day the singularity will come where we can just all upload ourselves.
Leo: Thank you. I can't wait. I can't wait to be in a car, the brain of some taxicab in 22nd Century Chicago. You are in a Johnny Cab. Christina Warren from mashable.com, great to have you, we love you, @film_girl, I hope you get your watch someday.
Christina: Yeah, me too, me too. I will find a way. Worst case I wait. It's not the end of the world.
Leo: Oh yes it is.
Christina: Worse things are happening out there, but I'm glad that you have your watch. Don't mess it up for Lisa or she will be mad at you.
Leo: Yeah, this is her watch. Mine is coming. Thanks Iain Thomson for coming. It's always great to see you. We appreciate that you like to come in studio. We love you, and the register.co.uk is where you will find his writing. Next week, what, bullocks, and what was the other?
Leo: Plonker, we will define those terms next week. Thank you Jason Hiner of CBS Interactive, @jasonhiner on Twitter. Great to see you 2 weeks in a row. You wrote a great article about the launch of The New Screen Savers, and I appreciate that you helped get the word out.
Jason: Yeah, you will see my book at followthegeeksbook.com. We just released the new chapter.
Leo: It came out. Who is it?
Jason: Tom Merritt.
Leo: Tom Merritt.
Jason: Former TWiT host Tom Merritt.
Leo: Awesome. What is the site, followthegeeksbook?
Jason: Yes, followthegeeksbook.com, yes.
Leo: And it's all about Tom Merritt. We couldn't say that last week. But now we can. They are doing a chapter by chapter. Gina Trapani, Baraton De Thurston, some really great people. This week, you call him the podcaster, Tom Merritt. I love it. Always a dapper dude. Followthegeeksbook.com, you can buy the book there, too, but the chapters, it's fun to watch the chapters month by month.
Jason: You get to preview them.
Jason: You can also preorder. The book comes out the second half of the year, and we will release them as we finish the chapters online and getting people's feedback. The best comments, the best input, we are actually going to include in the final version of the book.
Leo: Good. Some of my favorite people in the first 4 chapters, so it's great. Thank you Jason. Thank you everybody for being here. We do TWiT every Sunday afternoon at 3 pm Pacific, 6 pm Eastern Time, 2200 UTC. We would love it if you watch live or come to the studio. If you email email@example.com we will put a nice comfy chair out for you. If you can't watch live or be here live you can get on demand versions of the show, audio or video is available of all of our shows at twit.tv, our website. The new website is about a month out. A little more than a month out, about 5 weeks out. The old one is still usable at twit.tv, or go to iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. I know that most of you have been listening on mobile now. We have great apps on all of the mobile platforms that wonderful members of our community wrote. You pick the one that you like and subscribe. Make sure that you don't miss an episode. Thanks for being here, we will see you the next time. Oh, I forgot, our 10th Anniversary t-shirt. Don't forget, TeeSpring, t-e-espring.com/twit. It's only a few more days left, a couple more weeks left to buy that. What we do with these is they are limited edition. Once they are sold out they are sold out. This commemorates the 10th anniversary of the company, not just the show but the company, teespring.com/twit. Thanks for being here, we will see you next time! Another TWiT is in the can.