This Week in Tech 528
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech! Erin Griffith from fortune.com is here, along with Owen JJ Stone and Larry Magid. We've got a lot to talk about. Ahmed's clock bomb, the new watch 2.0, IOS 9, the new iPhones, why they may or may not be better than Android and a whole lot more. We'll talk coming up next on TWiT.
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Leo: This is TWiT, This Week in Tech, episode 528, recorded Sunday, September 20, 2015.
The Artisanal Mic Stand
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It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech. Hello everybody. Leo Laporte here. Time for us to dissect the tech news of the week, and we always bring together... one of the things that's different about TWiT and every other show on the network is every week is a different panel. It's always fun, because even if people have been here before, the mix is always magical. It can change the style and the feeling of the show. We welcome back Larry Magid. He is the on-air tech analyst for CBS news. He's been here many times. CEO of connectsafely.org. Larry, good to see you again.
Larry Magid: Good to see you, Leo.
Leo: From the South Bay.
Larry: Yeah. Palo Alto.
Leo: From Pennsylvania and we don't know where. He only has a mail drop and won't tell us his address. Owen JJ Stone. Ohdoctah.
Owen JJ Stone: Here we have a thinner, lighter, black pencil. Made from the Swiss bones of dinosaurs. It's elegant in every way. TWiT is in the can. I'm here.
Leo: If you were the African American Johnny Ive, would you be in a black room? Not a white room?
Owen: Definitely be in a black room. You would only see the sides of my face. I have a black turtleneck on and a black skinny suit and black shoes. Then there would be a big screen behind me. Pencils, thinner, and lighter.
Leo: Magical pencils. Everybody calm down and be nice. We have a newbie in our midst. Erin Griffith is with us from fortune.com. It's great to see you, Erin. From the Southland. LA area.
Erin Griffith: No. I'm in New York!
Leo: I was just thinking I was in LA and I met Erin. No! I met you in Manhattan.
Erin: That's it. At the podcast upfront.
Leo: You wrote a very nice article. Thank you, in fortune magazine. It was the first time a podcast had an upfront. It was interesting because we were talking to big agencies, big advertisers about why podcast advertising makes sense. I think there couldn't be a better time to do that. On Wednesday ad blockalypse now. It's really interesting because people weren't sure what to think about ad blocking coming to IOS. IOS 9 came out on Wednesday. Almost immediately, the top ranked apps on the Apple store were ad-blocking programs. It was immediately apparent that not only were people sophisticated enough to turn this on to download these and use them, but they were using them in great numbers and now everybody is really nervous. None more so than the creator of one of those blockers. It was number one on the Apple store, called Peace, written by Marco Armen. Anybody who is in the Mac sphere knows Marco. He created insta-paper. Later he created Overcast, which is the number one podcasting app on IOS. He's....
Erin: He's a man about the Internet.
Leo: Especially among the Mac world. People respect Marco. He does some podcasts, and he put out an ad blocker. The ad blocker used a data base from Ghosterie, which is a well-known desktop plug-in that blocks all kinds of trackers and advertising. Unfortunately, Ghostery in its default database blocks and ad serving service called "The Deck." An ad service that Marco uses on his website, Marco.org and his close friend and Apple pundit John Gruber uses it on Daring Fireball. Gruber was not thrilled. Let's put it that way. That ads on Daring fire were being blocked, especially since a vast majority of his visitors are Apple users. Many of them use mobile Safari. Within three days, Marco pulled the plug on Peace, saying, "It just doesn't feel good."
Owen: My pockets feel lighter. My friends are upset with me. Ooh. Look. An equal opportunity blocker. I'm even blocking myself because I believe blocking is just.
Leo: He said he didn't think it would be fair to turn off the deck blocking.
Owen: Then he turned around and pulled the plug on it. First of all if you don't want people to block stuff, stop with these crappy ads on my phone! When I can't get to the article I want to read because you got pop ups with these dinky x's and I can't get out of them, it defeats the purpose. I don't go back to try and read your stupid article. Maybe if you had better ads, people wouldn't want to block them. It's simple!
Larry: Right on. That's what the Internet is all about! The Internet is about giving us better ads. It's not like watching television where they put on these crap ads and are taking a guess as to who their audience is. The Internet knows their audience. That's the whole idea of tracking. Believe it or not, I'm not entirely opposed to if done properly. Give us ads that are relevant and not obnoxious and not annoying. I agree with you. I've stopped going to sites because of crappy ads.
Leo: I'm of both opinions. On the one hand, I really understand that sites, especially small sites like Fireball really that's how they monetize. There's no other way to make money. If you go to Daring Fireball, the ads are not obtrusive. They're not obnoxious. I'll have to turn off my ad blocker to show you the ads on Daring Fire.
Larry: The guy who makes his living selling advertisements...
Leo: In a second!
Owen: It looks different mobiley than it does when you go on your desktop. The mobile is worse. It's the real issue. Blocking ads is blocking ads, but on Mobile, there's nothing you can do on your trap behind this wall of craptitude. It's horrible. It's frustrating. Block everything until they come up with better ads. Your ads are built in, so unless I want to fast forward you, Leo, I'll just suffer through it and enjoy the ad as it comes. Do better ads, do better marketing, and then people will be happy about it.
Larry: You know the one ad that gets me angry? It's when they start playing audio when you don't ask for it. You're reading an article or doing something, all of a sudden, two minutes in, audio starts playing.
Leo: Auto-play should be banned. I agree. Every respect. Erin, go ahead.
Erin: Part of the problem, the reason that ads on the Internet are so terrible is because they don't make any money. Publishers are scared and they let advertisers do whatever they want. Advertisers say now we want to do an overlay. OK, now we want to do an auto-play ad. How can we shove these ads in people's faces more aggressively, because they aren't as profitable, and they aren't as effective as any of the analogue versions of these ads. I don't know. Internet advertising has always been crappy. Even on the desktop, and it's even worse on Mobile. I think that this is going to be a moment of reckoning for publishers and advertisers. The thing that sucks the most about it, though, is that the publishers are the ones that are getting hurt and really it's the advertiser's fault for forcing them to have horrible ad formats.
Leo: This is John Gruber's daring fireball site. Here's the ad on the lefthand side. It is as unobtrusive and mild an ad. Here's the problem with ad blockers. They're a broad brush. Ad blockers block every ad.
Erin: Is that an effective ad though? Are you looking at that ad and registering that company and thinking about it? Are you clicking on it?
Leo: That's a great point. One of the reasons these ads aren't so obnoxious is because we don't see them. I've tuned... I've trained my brain to ignore banner ads. In fact, I catch myself, when there's a pre-roll on a YouTube video, looking away until the pre-roll is over. I don't want to see the ad!
Erin: Click through rates are an average of 0.01%. Internet advertising has never been effective. Ad blockers are just making that a lot more apparent.
Leo: As I said, I have a foot in both camps. As a user, of course I don't want my websites to load in three times the amount of time with hundreds of megabytes of extra stuff, not to mention the security issues raised by these ads. Sometimes it's malware that's loading because these ad networks don't have any effective way of policing the ads. I completely understand why a user would say I'm not going to put up with that. On the other hand, if I'm Marco Arment or I'm John Gruber, or I'm Leo Laporte and I'm relying on ad revenue to provide free media, I'm screwed. Here's the question. Is the ad Industry going to figure out a way around this before these sites start to close?
Erin: I don't think the ad Industry gives a crap about these small sites at all.
Leo: I agree with you! They don't care. They wouldn't do it.
Erin: Way too small for advertisers to even care, if we're talking about big billion dollar lenders.
Leo: What's the solution? Google, by the way, is one of these big ad networks. So is Yahoo. So is Microsoft. A lot of the big ad networks out there. The cheesy ads often don't come from the big ones. Rene Ritchie of iMore has talked about this a little bit because iMore has a lot of ads. In fact, their sister site, Android Central is unusable on Mobile. You can't get through it. They buy into it because they do slide shows. They want to maximize revenue so they don't an article on one page, they put it on 20 pages. They're just as complicit in some respects, aren't they?
Owen: I understand that people need to make money. Go ahead and make the money. Just shut up when somebody figures out a way to block your ads. Keep putting these crappy ads up, people are going to find ways to block them. That's going to be the game. If you want people to look at your ads, it's hard to say do something viral, something catchy, but if you're doing something creative, other people will share you're ads. I saw other people pass around that Quizno's Bernie man thing. It was on TV.
Leo: I'd love to see more of that stuff.
Erin: Do you think BuzzFeed is the answer then? Basically Journalists creating content for brands and make it look like it's content?
Leo: BuzzFeed says they don't care if you use an ad blocker. They just want to get everywhere.
Erin: They're ad blocker proof because they don't have banner ads. All their ads are native content. It's stuff created by their branded content team and it looks like every other BuzzFeed list, but it'll say sponsored by Quizno's or Taco Bell, or whatever.
Leo: Let's not just blame BuzzFeed. The New York Times does it. Everybody does it.
Owen: I'll accept that. That's a more creative way to have your advertisements passed around. I see more commonplace...
Erin: It's deceptive.
Leo: Exactly, Erin. The reason they like it is because users don't know the difference.
Erin: There's a study that Content did that users don't know the difference, and when they do know the difference, they're angry. They don't like it at all. It's really screwing the reader.
Larry: I get e-mail every day from somebody who offers me a free post.
Leo: Love your site.
Erin: We get those too.
Leo: That is a big and growing business. That's one thing I caution people who run ad blockers. There may be unintended consequences you don't like. Some of your favorite sites may disappear. Those that don't may have crypto ads. Ads that are still there that can't be blocked that look like content. The honus on you is to figure out if that's real journalism. Is that trustworthy or is it an ad? Especially in the tech industry, we're going to be hit the hardest. One thing I do notice, now that ad blockalypse is here. Some companies have figured out ways to get around it. I'm on the Verge and I've got an ad blocker running. I don't think that's an article about Intel's 2 in 1. That's an ad, isn't it? It even says "ad." But it wasn't blocked. We're hearing this more and more that sites have figured out a way around this. If this content comes from theverge.com, a blocker won't block it. I suspect that's how they're doing it. They're finding ways to get ads to you anyway.
Owen: The page loads correctly. I'm sure if I pulled that up on Mobile, it would load.
Leo: There's a Virgin American ad that's getting right by the ad blocker. The Verge immediately figured this out, right?
Erin: Most advertisers don't want to sell or to buy ads directly from the Verge like that. They'll have to pay a lot more for a handshake deal, and it's human intensive versus buying it on an exchange where they can win this audience in an auction and pay a lot less because algorithms are determining what exactly it's worth. Advertisers don't want to do these kinds of ads. The Verge is able to do it because they have scale that most little guys can't.
Leo: That's the problem also is that the big guys are able to get around this, not the little guys. The other thing advertisers want is trustable tracking. One of the reasons they track is not because they're spying on you but to know did you see the ad? Have you seen this ad more than 3 times? Maybe we should show you a different ad. We'd like to show you an ad you're more interested in than less interested in. Tracking can be benign and do things you want it to do.
Larry: That's what I was talking about before. If you're thinking about traditional media, old media, you're watching an evening news program and you're seeing ads for Geritol or whatever old people take because they made a guess as to who the demographic is. If you're a 30 year old watching the evening news, the odds of seeing an ad that are going to apply to you are virtually zilch. Online, they can give you ads that might actually interest you, or at least you've got a running chance of it.
Leo: We contacted Marco. We've been trying to get Marco on the air. We haven't been able to. Poor Marco Armad who was caught between a rock and a hard place, he created the number one app on the iTunes store with Peace and pulled it in three days. He pissed off his friends, he pissed off his customers with it taking it down, he says he's winning a war he doesn't want to fight by making a successful ad blocker. There are plenty of other choices, and I have to think people with IOS 9 are going to go to Crystal and use it.
Erin: A fun data point, this company called Octopia that does estimates on how much money apps are making, they emailed me on Friday and said in 36 hours, they estimated he had made $136,000 off of the app. He offered to give it all back. I don’t' know how many people have taken him up on that. That's just a little bit of an incentive as to those people creating ad blocker apps how much money they can actually make.
Owen: Hey advertisers! You want to make money? Make an ad blocker.
Leo: In a way, isn't that what ad block did? Was it ad block or ad block plus? I don't want to confuse them because they're two very different companies. I think it was ad block plus has a trusted ads program which Google pays into. Google is not blocked. They pay Ad Block Plus not to be blocked.
Erin: That's extortion!
Leo: That doesn't sound right, does it? That's not what you thought you were getting when you got ad block! Anyway, we knew this was going to happen. We've been talking about it for a while. What I didn't see coming was that Marco Armett would be the first casualty of the ad block wars. Marco, we would love to hear from you. I suspect he feels like the best thing he can do is lay low for as long as he can because there's no way he can make everybody happy.
Larry: He did say in his letter that he knows he's going to take flak, but he also knows it will go away. In the long run, the best solution is to do what he did. I think you're right. He wants to lay low for a while.
Leo: I think it's a courageous thing to do to say I was wrong and to do it so quickly.
Larry: Especially because he obviously didn't whip this thing up overnight. He put a lot of planning and work into creating the product and to so quickly realize he was wrong, which is something so few companies ever do when they release a product and for whatever reason get negative flak about it. It's rare.
Owen: That's the fun thing about apps. They come and go regardless. There's so many apps that come in and explode on the scene. There's so many that you'll never hear about that were awesome to a small group of people. He's had a lot of hits, so letting something go isn't that big a deal to him.
Leo: He was also a first programmer on Tumblr. I think he made a little money on that. I think he probably doesn't need the money. I don't want to speak for him. That's my guess. Let's take a break and we'll talk about an even more controversial story. Is it possible? Ahmed and the ticking clock. First a word from lynda.com, the online learning platform. I think people, the real key with ads, is if people want to support you, if they're part of your community, they listen to you and buy the products. To me, that's a more, I was talking about this as you know, Erin, at the IAB. We turn down advertisers all the time. We think of our community as our real precious resource and advertisers which give us the financial resources to do what we do is making a deal with us to reach out to our community and they come in and say here's what we do, here's what we offer. Almost all our advertisers have free trials. We encourage that. That's the most honest way to come to you and say try it. See if you like it. It won't cost you anything. If you do, then you can buy it.
Erin: There's also a limit there, though. There's only so many things that advertisers can ask you to do that you're willing to do. You have to..
Leo: Yes. I say no all the time.
Erin: Because you have that autonomy, you're able to do that. A lot of media companies don't do that because the sales teams are incentivized to sell as much as possible, and then it all comes downhill. Just below editorial is the reader's consideration.
Leo: I have to say. That's one of the reasons, Larry you know this. In some ways they're missed, the big companies like Ziff Davis and IDG, the big computer magazine publishers, the publisher always stood between the advertiser and the editorial. Even at tech TV, which was owned by Ziff Davis, we were about to do a story about how to hack the X Box 360, and there was some concern that Microsoft, which was a big advertiser in Tech TV would take umbridge. To my everlasting gratitude, our program director said you're going to do this story, we're going to call Microsoft and give them a heads up, but we're not going to kill this story just because it'll hurt an advertiser. Those days might be gone.
Larry: I have never been told by CBS that I couldn't do a story.
Leo: These cold line companies don't do that. I wonder about CBS interactive, I wonder about C Net. In fact we know it doesn't.
Larry: You know what happened a few years ago at CBS. That was embarrassing. There are ads that run on the radio that embarrass me. I see and hear horrible ads. But they're completely separate from the editorial. C Net very famously picked a product as best of CES that I forgot what it was... it was the Hopper that allowed ad skipping.
Owen: Did we get back on the ads instead of doing the ad?
Leo: I'm going to do the ad! But CBS came to them and in a very shameful way came to C net and said they are not going to win the best of CES. They retracted it. It was a black mark.
Larry: I could tell you that CBS radio news ran a story on the Hopper that year.
Leo: That's the thing. There are different divisions. CBS interactive or C Net, somewhere in there, that line has been crossed. In the good old days and the really good journalism outlets like CBS, that wouldn't happen. You don't mix editorial and advertising. If something bad happens to one of our sponsors we report it.
Larry: The difference is you insert an editorial into the middle of an ad.
Leo: I'll get back to lynda.com in a second. That is one thing, I have to say Lynda hasn't asked us for this, the most common thing advertisers ask us for that we won't do is native content. We'd like to have you do a show about our content, our product. No. That is something everybody wants because that's what gets around the ad blockers. It doesn't look like an ad. It might say "ad" but it says it subtly.
Larry: Enjoying your beverage that paid for the...
Leo: If Coca Cola wants to put a label on my water, I'll do it. I won't drink coca cola.
Larry: They'll make you drink it out of an opaque glass so people will think you're drinking coca cola.
Leo: I'm sure those idol judges aren't drinking coca cola on American idol. It just says coca cola. I'm trying to sell naming rights for the studio. I don't think that compromises us to do that, does it?
Owen: It's your world. Live in it. You're an adult. Make that money. Let's talk about lynda.com, let's get this money.
Leo: Let's get this money! Show me the money! Here's a perfect example. The reason lynda.com advertises on TWiT is because people who watch our shows want to learn and educate. They're trying to build their skills, and that's exactly what Lynda does. It's a natural fit! If you are a problem solver, if you're curious, if you want to make things happen, lynda.com has more than 3,500 courses online. By the way, nicely produced. These aren't YouTube videos. These are produced in their studios with some of the most passionate, best people in that field teaching you. I love Lynda for that. You all know they've got great technology tutorials. Some of the best Photoshop. If you've got Burt Monroy teaching you photoshop, it don't get better than that. That's what you get at lynda.com. Photography, if you want to learn Microsoft Office, if you want to learn how to set up a Windows Server, if you want to learn how to program. They also have business stuff which is cool. If you're starting a new business, they've got courses, these are new courses, creating a business plan, I should take a few of these. Business fundamentals, managerial accounting, creating customer value, if you're in sales, there's a course on Fundamentals of Lee generation. If you are a CEO or somebody who talks to the press, they've got a media training course. What a great idea. Going and getting media training is very expensive, you can go to lynda.com and get it. And speech writing and analyzing your website. They've even got Guy Kowasaki on entrepreneurship. You don't get much better than that. Lynda.com. It really is a fantastic service, because you pay once a month, you have the run of the place. You don't have to pick the course you want to take. If you're a completist, you can watch from beginning to end, I like to dip into courses a little bit at a time. You can do that too. They've got transcripts you can search, so you can jump right into the part you want. You can even watch on the go with your IOS or Android device. I just love it. lynda.com. Here's the deal. Ten days free. It's just like a full membership. You can go anywhere and watch anything. That's enough time to take a full course or take a bunch of little courses. It's free if you go to lynda.com/twit2. lynda.com/twit 2. Ten days free. At Lynda. We thank them for their support of This Week in Tech. This is turning out to be more controversial than I thought. Little 14-year-old Ahmed brings a clock. What he does, he takes apart a clock, a clock that was very popular at radio shack in the 80's, takes it apart, jiggers around with it, brings it into school to show his engineering teacher. He's brand new. Freshman. He wants to establish himself. The engineering teacher looks at it and says, "That's nice. Put it away and do not show anybody your clock." Unfortunately the clock made some noise in another class and the teacher said, "What's that?" He's got it in a metal case. He opens it up, the teacher freaks out, principal comes and grabs the kid, brings him back, they call the police assigned to that school because the school has official police officers, the police come and question him, which by the way isn't legal procedure without his parents present. Handcuff him, and take him in. His parents are called before he has to serve any time in a jail cell he's taken home. Very controversial. He became a celebrity. Even the president said hey Ahmed. Cool clock. Come to the White House. One of the reasons it's a hot button is because Irving Texas isn't a bastion of tolerance. I think the Mayor of Irving Texas made a scandalous anti-Muslim speech, I think there's a little bit of sensitivity there. It was clearly not a bomb. The kid never said it was a bomb. The kid repeatedly said it was a clock. One of the police officers said, "It looks like a movie bomb to me." Because of course in the movies, they always have a big clock on the bomb so the hero can disarm the bomb with 007 seconds left. In fact if you were going to make a bomb, a couple of things, first, you probably wouldn't put a big clock on it. Second, you might put some explosives in it. It was obvious. No explosives in the bomb. I love the fact that after this story came out somebody reminded me in the Walter Isaacson biography of Steve Jobs, Wosniak tells a story of doing the exact same thing in high school. He took a metronome, he liked how it went click click click. He put it in a locker and he wired it up so that if you opened the locker it would speed up. He stripped the labels of a couple of batteries because he knew, he's a smart guy, a bomb requires explosives. He made something that really looked like a bomb. Got called into the principal's office and couldn't help but laugh when the principal said is this a bomb? He spent a night in Juvie. Of course it's Wozniak, so he taught the other inmates to strip the wires from the electrical lighting and wire it to the bars in the windows so it would zap anybody who touched them. Woz went onto fame and fortune. I think Ahmed might too. He's been offered a lot of things as a result.
Owen: Ahmed's clock didn't work. Let's just start with that. Let's not put him in the Woz category. The kid made a clock, not only was it not a bomb, but the clock didn't clock.
Leo: Did it not work, really?
Owen: No. Apparently the clock didn't clock. The clock wasn't fully functional. It didn't work properly. On top of the fact...
Larry: Erin, I think your mic is off.
Leo: Unmute, Erin. Erin is using the best mic stand we've ever seen on this show, which is a cardboard box. Unfortunately... Let me ask you, Ohdoctah, is this an example of engineering while brown? Is there racism or anti-Muslim feeling behind this?
Owen: First of all, the way they treated this child was wrong. Once you realize it wasn't a bomb, you still question him without his parents or a lawyer, he repeatedly asked for somebody to call his parents. They didn't. Secondly, Wozniak actually made a bomb, he goes to juvie. That's the proper thing to do. Whatever. Somebody else posted a thing where seven other kids that did the exact same thing at schools across the country, in some instances some people even thought it was a bomb. They didn't call the cops, they called the parents. It was quelled in five minutes.
Leo: I don't know if you can use that as an example because we can also pull up examples of kids who pointed their finger like a gun and got suspended. This is unevenly enforced across the nation. It is sad, because in the post 9/11 world, people are scared. I have to think it has a little to do with the fact that the kid has an Arabic sounding name.
Owen: Yes. And where he lives. If he lived in... I guess New York's not a good place because New York is New York... it's just sad. Whether it's racist or not.
Larry: I don't blame the teacher for being concerned. Once the police showed up and determined it wasn't a bomb, it seems to me it should have been over. Second of all, if they had to take him out of the classroom, why do you put handcuffs on a skinny little 14 year old kid? That's ridiculous to begin with. The teacher maybe had a cause to look into this to make sure it was OK and then move on. The cops way over-reacted.
Owen: If you need to put handcuffs on the kid, then that whole school needs to be evacuated. You don't stand around getting pictures taken in the office. If you really think it's at the point where this kid needs to be locked up, that school should be a ghost town ASAP. They stood around talking, yipping and yapping, asking the same questions over and over again, knowing it wasn't a threat and treating it like it was a threat. It was poorly handled. Whether it was racist or not, he gets free gifts out of it, he's going to cool places, he's not going back to school. He made those guys look like idiots in that school system. It's sad. It's so annoying that I've got to see this kid get all this stuff because he made a broken clock and it's a big deal. It shouldn't even be a big deal.
Larry: I think part of the president's point is to encourage kids to be makers and to tinker and to do things like that. That's cool, whether this kid is exceptional as people are making him out to be and whether he deserves a job in silicon valley or a free ticket to MIT, I don't know. It seems to me he ought to be competing for those spots like the rest of the kids do. We basically made a martyr out of him for a moment and he became a celebrity. Good for him.
Leo: He certainly is getting more benefit out of it than the momentary pain and embarrassment of being arrested. He's been invited to the white house, he will be going. He received a message of support from Hillary Clinton, an offer to stop by Facebook to meet Mark Zuckerberg and an invitation to be an intern at Twitter and I think MIT got involved. Some have said, though, that the New York post is a bastion of sensibility, Kyle Smith is writing how Achmed's clock became a false, convenient tale of racism. There's been a backlash. A couple of points we'll lay to rest here. People are pointing out, we had the guy on the new Screensaver’s yesterday who works at the magazine, who was the first to observe that's not a home made clock. That's a disassembled clock that you can buy at radio shack in the 80s. I even had one. It was a Mike Kronta clock, I think. That doesn't mean he's not a maker. That's how makers start. That's how you start. You take apart stuff, you assemble. Richard Dawkins of all people weighed in and said I think the guy was trying to go viral. This was an intentional, viral thing. He knew what the response would be. I don't if I buy that.
Owen: Listen to this, Uncle Leo. Take that one step deeper. Imagine foil on my head and say what if he, Ahmed is a Manturian candidate and the best way to get to the president is to get a Muslim on the inside... and then you get him to visit Facebook! He shuts down Facebook, he shuts down Twitter, he shuts down the White House. Propaganda, Man. The word is out there.
Leo: A couple of questions: first of all, if he always said, "It's a clock." Surely, teachers must have looked at this... OK. There's illiteracy if you don't know words, innumeracy if you don't know numbers... what is it if you don't understand technology at all?
Larry: Technology illiteracy.
Leo: Technologically illiterate because they looked at this and thought it might be a bomb when the first thing that comes to my mind, where's the explosive? Right? There's nothing that could blow up. What it shows is, unfortunately he's got teachers that don't understand this is what the inside of a clock looks like. They've never gone inside anything.
Larry: We should teach teachers how to build bombs so that they would know in the future what a bomb looks like.
Leo: The police who said it looks like a movie bomb to me... that's just sad.
Larry: So they knew! They figured out quickly it wasn't a bomb.
Leo: Of course they knew it wasn't a bomb! They didn't clear the school.
Larry: Why did they take the guy away in handcuffs? Why didn't they say false alarm? Go back to class, shut up.
Leo: If they thought this kid was pretending it was a bomb, that it was a hoax and was trying to scare people, then it might have been appropriate to do that, right?
Owen: Apparently he said repeatedly it's not a bomb. It's sad. I had to go take my Little Bits away from my daughter for a week. We can't make anything.
Leo: You didn't do that.
Owen: I did! It paranoid me. She's brown.
Leo: Are you afraid she'll bring something to school and the same thing will happen to her?
Owen: I do not let her take electronics to school. not because I was worried about that per say, I was more worried about kids stealing stuff because she's got cool things more so than anything else. It's sad...
Leo: You have a daughter who is wonderful, who is playing with electronics, who is using Little Bits... what kind of lesson does she get out of a story like... she must have seen this story, right?
Owen: Yeah. She was upset because she wants to be an engineer. She said, why did he get in trouble? Why is it such a big deal? You try to explain to a kid that they thought it was something dangerous. The first question that a kid asks is the simple stuff. If they said it wasn't, what's the big deal? Why are we talking about it? I said I don't know.
Leo: Is the number one error here a lack of common sense?
Owen: They took it too far. If they just stopped and broken his rights... that's why people are talking about race. OK. You're not supposed to be questioning this kid. You already knew it wasn't a bomb. He's asking for his parents, he's telling you what it's not. You're still hand cuffing him and grilling him. Come on. At some point, do your job. You're a police officer, you have a job to do, rules to follow. Follow the rules! Maybe then it wouldn't have been such a big deal, but when you take it past a certain point, it's a problem.
Leo: Yeah. Have you ever been accused of driving while black?
Owen: Of course!
Leo: You get pulled over?
Owen: All the time. 9 times this year. I haven't been pulled over in the last 2.5 months, but in the first 6 months of this year, I was pulled over an average of 17 days. I got one ticket out of those nine stops.
Leo: They were just checking you out.
Owen: I live in a nice neighborhood and bought a new car and my car looks nice.
Larry: I have a friend in the same situation. Driving while black in a nice town in a Mercedes.
Owen: The guy is like your tail light is out. I was like, it's a 2015, my tail lights aren't out. If you come back with a ticket for a taillight, I'm coming back and taking a videotape of it. He comes back. I gave you a warning for that taillight. Get it fixed. OK. Stuff like that happens.
Leo: Did you read Ta-Nehisi Coates book?
Leo: Are you interested in reading it?
Owen: I'm about to look it up, so yes.
Leo: You should. He wrote a book for his son, basically. He's an African American... is he a journalist? He's a staff writer at the Atlantic.
Leo: We got you back, Erin!
Leo: I'm sure you have quite a few things you would like to say about this.
Erin: You covered it.
Leo: Anything to ad? Where do you come down on this? On the one hand you could say I'm trying to be reasonable. Everybody got scared. The kid, OK, yeah, his name is Mohammad. He's brown. We don't know. Maybe he wears a turbin. He made something that looks a little weird, maybe we're scared. So we want to check it out.
Erin: The whole thing is frustrating to watch it play out, but the thing that frustrates me the most about it is that these incidents continue to play out the exact same way on the Internet. There's outrage, and there's outrage to the outrage, and then there are truthers that come out. He wasn't a model citizen and he didn't make the clock, his parents made it, or whatever. It's the same pattern and people on both sides of the argument just reinforce their own beliefs. It's a reflection of the filter bubble that we have on the Internet. I just Googled this as we were talking about it. The top stories now, because the original outrage has died down since it happened earlier in the week. The top story now is all right wing truthers that are like Ahmed didn't make the clock and this is another liberal uprising. It's frustrating to watch play out, because oh brother. Here it goes.
Owen: Everybody has got to get their clicks.
Erin: It doesn't feel like anyone really learned anything. It doesn't feel like this is not going to happen again as a result of this.
Owen: It's going to happen again. That's why it's just sad. The problem is that it was a problem. As a school, you were scared, do your job, follow procedure and end it. Taking it to the umpteenth degree is the problem. I've had kids get arrested in my school for all kinds of stuff! I've had a kid in my high school who had a gun. Guess what? The cops came, they arrested him, it was over in 30 seconds. I had another kid who had a pocket comb/knife. They realized it wasn't a knife, the cops left. It was never a big deal. When you take it and handcuff the kid once you already know the problem is over, those are the things where now we have Facebook involved. There's a Facebook group that says not my child. Who needs their clicks? I need clicks for, I need clicks against. I need clicks in the middle, I need clicks for the clicks that you got earlier. Let's get new clicks. Everybody is making money, Uncle Leo. Take that ad blocker.
Erin: Takes on takes on takes.
Leo: It's kind of sad to me. Somebody posted on Facebook some video from the debate in New Hampshire between George HW Bush and Ronald Reagan and somebody asked Bush do you think illegal immigrants should be allowed to go to school in Texas? Bush says they're good people. These are good families. I'd hate to see an 8 year old not get an education. We've got to work this out. We've got to find a way, these illegal immigrants are providing much needed labor. We've got to find a way... and then Reagan says no. He says, rather than talking about putting up a fence, let's talk about recognition for our problems. Let's open the border both ways between us and Mexico. What universe are they in? This was 35 years ago. This was the icon of the conservative party. Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush and they're both saying these kids deserve an education. These immigrants are hard working, honest people. It's really fascinating to see how it's all flipped. What happened?
Erin: By the way, I loved the headline on that story that you just showed. It was, "You will not believe!"
Leo: Yay Buzzfeed. Actually, it's a left wing, thinkprogress.org. But they've clearly learned, haven't they? The best way to get clicks, you will not believe how Reagan responded.
Erin: I don't believe it. That's crazy.
Leo: I remember it. You do too, Larry. It's a frog in boiling water. You don't notice this, it's so gradual, but when you look at the change between this Ahmed story and this, we live in a different world. You knew Reagan?
Larry: Yeah. He was a governor of California when I was a student activist at Berkley. We crossed paths occasionally, opposite side of an important political issue that we argued about and fought about. Ultimately he won because he was governor, but at the end of the day I got the chance to debate him. It was a very civil, good conversation. I thought he was one of the nicest guys I ever met. I didn't agree with him on anything.
Leo: Boy has that changed. It's gone from you have a disagreement but you can talk it out and we all agree that we want to make this nation the best nation it can be, that we have different ideas about that, to this which is not working.
Owen: Uncle Leo, let me educate you on the world.
Leo: Would you please, I am baffled.
Owen: The world is the best worst place in the world. When you as a person sit there and say "back in my day..." Whenever somebody tells me it's not like the good old days and I'm thinking... when was this? Slavery? The depression? Or when women went to work in WWII and men came back and said get back in the kitchen? I'm not going to let you vote for 30 years. Hey black man, you can use our bathroom, but don't touch our women. It's against the law to marry a woman out of your race. When was it cool? The world has never been this whole human being/race let's get together. There's always someone to hate. As much as everything is cool, unless you've been a white male for the last 2,000 years, it's been pretty rough for everybody else.
Leo: Actually, Owen, I have been a white male for these last 2,000 years. Let me tell you it's fabulous.
Owen: It's all right.
Erin: I think his point still stands. It's amazing that two conservative politicians were able to have reasonable answers and a reasonable debate on a hot topic. Right now, that's not happening when you look at the debates.
Leo: Far from it.
Larry: Nixon had a healthcare plan that was similar to Obama's.
Leo: So did Mitt Romney for that matter! I think he invented Obamacare.
Owen: That's what cracks me up the most. Republicans are really strong on one note. Then a Democrat says they're really killing it on that note. I'm going to start saying the same thing. Then once they pull their votes away, you have to go the opposite because you need to stand out. These people are saying the same things and fighting each other. I'm watching the Republican debate, half of them agree! We all agree, why are we arguing?
Leo: Because only one of us can win.
Owen: Exactly. It's a game and it's horrible, and it's just the system.
Larry: They have to play to their base. They're not talking to you, they're talking to the base. Once they get the nomination, then hopefully they talk to you and me and everybody else. But the problem is that we all remember what they said when they were talking to the base.
Leo: And now you know why I talk so much about iPhones and Android phones and Oh isn't that cool, that Windows X? Because this is so simple. We can have fights, but the fights don't matter!
Erin: Thank you for pulling us out of the spiral of despair!
Leo: Yes. We work in the toy store. The only thing we can argue about is which toy is better!
Larry: Haven't you ever got hate mail from somebody who doesn't like the operating system that you happen to be talking about today?
Leo: Somebody said I should be reamed with a red hot poker because, get ready for this, I suggested he upgraded to Windows X and he had a bad experience. He said you're not the tech guy, you're just some tech guy. I am never listening to you again!
Larry: He didn't accuse you of being on Microsoft's payroll?
Leo: He wanted to do me bodily--
Erin: I've noticed in the comment section of even our website, the only thing that gets people as fired up and crazy as politics is Apple vs Android. It's the tech world equivalent.
Larry: All you have to do is attack Apple, and you're going to get a ton of hits from Apple fan boys that are going to be attacking you for attacking Apple, but it doesn't matter. You're getting those hits, so you can monetize on them. That's the formula.
Owen: You see a lot of people flip flop on that same thing. I hate Apple, next week you're like, I love Apple.
Leo: I've been using Android for the last two or three iPhone generations. I have a Note 5 right now. I think the iPhone 6S... I think it's going to be my new phone!
Owen: It's the same phone as all the other phones!
Leo: Wait a minute, is that it?
Larry: It's the Edge 6 Plus.
Leo: I like that. I have the little Edge and then I have the Note 5.
Owen: How is this new iPhone going to do anything different?
Leo: I'll tell you why I'm so excited. Of course, reality will set in the minute I start using it and in six months say I hate this thing. There are a few things that were the worst. One was the stupid keyboard was in upper case. Why does the Apple keyboard never reflect the status of the shift lock key? It's not a minor thing because I was always mistyping passwords and stuff. It was impossible. Don't put a dot there! Oh god. I have to re-type the whole thing. That is not a nitpick issue! That is a lifestyle issue. Anyway, they fixed it. Although, I got to love John Gruber... I love John Gruber because he says I don't like this. I want to go back to the all caps. You can, by the way. It's a setting. Number 2, I got a lot of them. I like the fact that Android has a back button. On the IOS, if you're in an application, the only thing you can do is press home and get out of the whole thing back at the top. With the back button you can step back through your actions. Every app has a different UI. Look at Snapchat. Am I too old for Snapchat? Is that the problem?
Owen: You are too old for Snapchat. You tell me you're on Snapchat; I want to know what you're doing on Snapchat.
Erin: They purposely make it harder for people to figure out. They want their audience to stay young; otherwise their advertisers won't be spending money on Snapchat. All of us start using it; it's going to be less attractive. The evaluation is not going to reflect remotely where it is.
Leo: When you say people, you mean old people.
Owen: You people.
Erin: I can't figure it out either.
Leo: I ask my son. He's 21. He says you swipe left and it's obvious. No, it's not obvious!
Owen: All I know is when somebody my age... when my Mom told me she was on Snapchat, I almost threw her phone in the pool. What are you doing on Snapchat? Who are you snapping?
Leo: Can you do this on Snapchat? Wait a minute. It stopped.
Larry: The devil face?
Leo: They took the devil face out. They took the rainbow out. The rainbow puke is gone. They change it all the time. It's gone. See I figured this out. I ain't as old as I look.
Owen: Look at the face I can make on the Snapchat! I'm making the Snapchat right now!
Leo: I'm making a Snapchat! Look at me. I'm beautiful! Anyway. That's pretty much how it happens.
Larry: What are the other things you don't like?
Leo: I'm going to keep going. The back button... now the new iOS with snap, crackle, pop has a back button. I think. I'm told. In a way, you can go backwards. I'm calling it snap crackle pop.
Larry: That's trademarked.
Leo: What else? 8 Mega pixel camera. Everybody has 16 or more... I think the 12 is going to be really good. What else? They haven't fixed this by the way. The biggest problem with IOS is its constipated launcher and you can't fix it. That springboard is a grid of icons. That's all. You can't have anything else. That's primitive. Apple doesn't let you use a third party launcher is Android does, so if you don't like the UI, you have to use something else.
Larry: The other option, I don't know if you can see this, but if you push this little button on Android, there's this... a little thing that looks like a grid... you get all of your apps in alphabetical order. With the IOS you have to hunt around for the app, and there isn't a way to alphabetize.
Leo: You can't sort a folder. The folder... everything about Springboard hasn't changed much since the beginning. It needs to be improved. They didn't fix that in IOS 9. I'm excited about Snap crackle pop. I'm excited about a new camera. This is the real reason. I can't do Facebook mentions on Android.
Owen: The camera is the biggest deal.
Leo: You're an iPhone guy.
Owen: I'm appled out. I got the MacBook pro, I got a Mac mini, Mac Pro, everything is apple apple. But I do think Android is better for a lot of things.
Leo: Onboarding. I set up an iPad mini. I'm practicing for Friday when my new iPhone comes. I've set up the new iPad mini. It takes hours. You have to figure out what apps, last pass can't automatically fill in passwords as it can on Android. Apple won't let it. Apple is so security conscious, they ask you for your password again and again. My password, because I'm security conscious is a long, random string of upper/lowercase/punctuation all over the place. I actually am very excited for the iPhone. Are you guys excited? Here's another thing. It's going to be in Rose/gold.
Owen: Are you buying a little update program or are you paying for it outright?
Leo: I have to pay for it outright.
Owen: Just send it to me in three months when you're done with it.
Leo: I will. Owen, you're on the list. You know what? It ain't rose gold. It's pink. It's pink pink.
Owen: That was the first Apple announcement that I've seen where people were reminded to clap like monkeys. Every time he would say something it’s oooh. This time he had to stop for a second and say, I said rose gold.
Leo: there's something interesting about that event. Normally Apple is in a venue with 500 people. Most of them are Apple employees. This time they chose a giant venue, 1500 people were seated, 1000 of those were Apple employees. Did you notice that, Larry?
Larry: I did. I noticed there were a huge number of employees sitting in the back and I made the mistake of getting in the middle of a row, which was a problem. There was a live broadcast at 12:03 that I couldn't get to because they went on and on.
Leo: 2 and a half hours!
Larry: It was 3 hours and 20 minutes. It was worse than the Republican debate.
Leo: They were debating, I went to dinner, and I got home and they're still debating?
Larry: I'm not sure where I learned more. The Republican debate or the Apple event.
Leo: Are you muted again, Erin, or can we hear you?
Erin: I'm still here. My phone is a cracked iPhone 5. I don't have a lot to add to this conversation. I'm a tech writer.
Leo: Tell me you have an Apple watch.
Owen: Don't you talk to Erin that way! Erin is a survivor. Erin is the exact model of a human being/regular person in the world. She's going to use this phone until the wheels fall off.
Leo: Erin, I know you're not a white male, but at least you could have an Apple Watch.
Erin: I tried a Fitbit for a while. I realized that I like to put my phone away when I go home. I don't look at it all the time. I don't like that much technology in my life, even though I am a tech writer. The watch to me was another thing for awful notifications that I don't want in my life.
Leo: I think that is actually a very important point. People say I love the Apple Watch. Do you really want to be notified all the time? It's really intrusive.
Erin: I'm not saying it's not making people's lives better and in five years we're not all going to have one, I'm just not racing to get there. I feel a little nostalgia for times when people couldn't get in touch with me.
Owen: I just ignore people when I want those nostalgic times. When I want to go back to the times when I didn't have a phone, I don't answer it.
Erin: That takes a special level of zen. I start thinking in my mind what could it be? Oh no. What if someone is in trouble? What if I need to get in touch with somebody? It creates anxiety that wasn't there.
Leo: Do you answer the phone every time it rings?
Erin: No. I also don't hear it. It's across the room. I left it in my purse.
Leo: That's why you need an Apple watch.
Owen: If you need me, the text message—the text message needs to be 9-1 or dying. You need to type those two things in for me to know. Otherwise how am I supposed to know you died? You didn’t say nothing. You just called and called and called. If you can call me 22 times, you can leave one of the messages saying, “I’ve been shot. Help me out. I’m on 3rd Street.” I’m just saying, don’t just keep hitting redial.
Erin: Wait, is that a watch, an Apple Watch that I see on your wrist? I can’t—
Owen: Who’s watching apples? I don’t have any apples. I went to go buy some green apples but the store was out.
Leo: What are you wearing? What are you wearing on your wrist there? What is that? Show us. That’s an Apple freaking Watch, you liar. You lying liar. Burn him. He’s a witch.
Owen: Hey look. I said I might be notified. Notify me, I’m just not going to answer it.
Leo: You probably though, you probably, Owen, have turned it down, right? You’ve like, you’ve turned off a lot of the notifications.
Owen: I only have like 10 things I want to hear. The best thing is when I go and I’m cooking in the kitchen, I leave my phone up in the office and somebody texts me, I could look at it and ignore it. If somebody’s calling me and I want to talk to them, I can answer it. It’s just the options opposed to the running--- well, I should be running upstairs anyway, I’m big. Instead of running up there to get my phone, I can just sit back and keep doing what I’m doing. So it’s less connection not more connection.
Larry: We talked about iOS vs Android. One of the things I hate about Android is, like you Leo, I change phones like some people change underwear. And every time I get a new phone, the default notifications are on.
Larry: So I’m sleeping and somebody sends me a tweet or a Facebook message or an e-mail and my phone starts making noise. And then I have to sort of throw it in the bathtub or something to get it to be quiet. And then eventually I figure out how to turn off the notifications. Which is not easy. It actually is very hard to know how to do all that. And why can’t they just say, you know, “We’re going to ring you if a phone call comes. Maybe notify you if you have a text message. And if you want to hear about the next time somebody sends you a Facebook message then you’ve got to go turn it on”
Leo: Actually what you’re really pinpointing—
Erin: Oh, no, no, no. Developers don’t want that. Like Google and Apple they need to keep developers happy and they need to have people building apps on their eco-systems so people you know, keep downloading apps and their app stores are popular.
Larry: In their eco-systems. In their eco-systems.
Owen: Do not disturb. Do not disturb.
Leo: Well, that’s one thing Apple did do right. There’s a physical switch on the iPhone that you switch it and then everything’s silent, right?
Owen: Yes, unless it’s an emergency or in your list of contacts.
Leo: Yea. Now I have to say that they have—part of what you’re really saying, Larry is not what you think you’re saying. What you’re really saying is, “There are so many different flavors of Android because everybody customizes it that it’s not immediately apparent how to do this.” Because pure Lollipop has a very simple do not disturb function. You press the down arrow, you swipe it all to the right, you’ll get no notifications. But the problem is—
Larry: But you might want some notifications.
Leo: Well there’s 3 settings. There’s—Jason Howell who is the host of All About Android can help me here. There’s nothing, there’s important and then there’s all.
Jason: Yea, priority is the final step.
Leo: Yea, priority.
Jason: And that’s like you know, starred contacts and certain notifications still get through.
Leo: I would love to see a physical switch like Apple has. Actually the OnePlus 2 has a 3 setting physical switch that mimics that where no notifications, priority notifications, and all. But so Larry, you can do that. You can actually do it fairly easily. The problem is every version of Android’s just a little bit—every Samsung’s just a little but different from HTC’s a little bit different from LG. So it’s not always obvious how to do that. Hey I want to take a break.
Larry: You know what’s weird, every time somebody tweets.
Leo: Yes. No, I always, I turn off the tweets. I don’t want to hear tweets. I don’t want-- and by the way, who is it that wants a notification every time an e-mail comes in? Don’t—
Larry: Right, exactly.
Leo: Who is that person because I want to be that person.
Erin: The loneliest person who gets one e-mail a day.
Leo: Yes. Oh my God, I got an e-mail.
Owen: I get notified.
Leo: What? Don’t you get like 800 messages a minute?
Owen: No. Nobody likes me.
Leo: We got to get you some more friends.
Owen: Please. Please
Erin: Sign me up for your mailing list.
Leo: (Laughing) Every time I’ve—all the e-mail programs of course by default, notifications are on. Every time I get an e-mail I’m going to get a buzz. But that would be buzzing—every 5 minutes I get 30 buzzes because you know, it goes out and gets the mail and there’s new. So I just don’t understand who doesn’t get e-mail. You don’t get e-mail, Owen?
Owen: No, I’m joking. My light’s blinking in my bedroom and in my kitchen when I get tweets. And it gives me an epilepsy attack in the middle of the night when I ran with it.
Leo: Do you have Hue? Do you have those Hue lights blinking?
Owen: Yea, yea.
Leo: Do you use If This Then That to do that?
Owen: Yes, sir.
Leo: You are such a nerd.
Owen: Well, you know. Trying to be as Caucasian male as possible, Uncle Leo.
Erin: Are you worried about your house getting hacked?
Owen: No. I’ve got pit bulls for that. See? Red lights. Blue lights. Purple lights.
Leo: I used to be like you. I used to be like you and think that that was cool.
Owen: It is cool.
Leo: It is not cool.
Owen: I’ve got an 8 year old daughter who sleeps under a—she’s got Darth Vader over her bed. And she’s got a light. She makes it purple. It looks like Darth Vader is looking upon her.
Leo: Nobody older than 10 wants a purple light.
Owen: I’m 6 years old. Boom. Boom. America. Ad please.
Leo: (Laughing) you got it. Thank you, Owen, you have a really good instinct for when to put an ad in. Owen J.J. Stone, Ohdoctah is with us. Love to have you on. Iqmz is his mystery website. I don’t know what’s there but you should check it out. Larry Magid here from CBS. The radio, the good CBS at connectsafely.org – safekids.com. And from Fortune Magazine, Erin Griffith is also here. She’s got a very nice microphone stand and no Apple Watch. You know, New York, you got to—I don’t know how you get around in New York. You got to ride a bike, right? Because—
Erin: See my bike here in the background?
Leo: Yes. Oh my God, it takes half an hour to go 5 blocks.
Erin: I also do, I also do City Bikes. I need some comfort with that.
Leo: I like the City Bike. I like City Bike.
Larry: Yea, I’ve done that.
Leo: But don’t you feel you’re taking your life in your hands a little bit?
Erin: It’s you know, exhilarating, you know?
Erin: I don’t get a lot of thrills as a tech journalist in my life. I’ve got to take some risks.
Leo: Yes. It’s exciting. You know I haven’t been in New York in about two years and it seems like the traffic is much worse.
Erin: Wait, you were just there 2 weeks ago when we met.
Leo: That’s what I’m saying, that was the first time in two years. But where do you live? LA, right? No.
Erin: No, I live in Brooklyn.
Leo: First time I’ve been there in two years and I said, “The traffic seems so much worse.” And somebody told me, “You know what it is? It’s Uber.”
Leo: There’s Ubers everywhere (laughing).
Larry: Everywhere. More than taxi cabs.
Leo: They’re filling the streets. Where’s the cabs?
Erin: I don’t know about that. I would argue that it’s—I mean, this is a good thing—but it’s all the bike lanes and the parks that Bloomberg put in, which it cut’s off, you know, a lot of traffic. He actually cut off lines of traffic.
Erin: Right yea. There’s like food courts and all sorts of things. And it’s nice. It’s really, really nice. But that means that Times Square which once was like 7 lanes of traffic is now basically one.
Leo: Right, I did notice that, yea.
Erin: So that pushes the congestion all out to the sides.
Leo: Oh, that’s interesting.
Larry: I walk everywhere in New York. I can walk almost anywhere in midtown Manhatten.
Leo: I love walking in New York.
Larry: Within half an hour.
Leo: My mistake, my mistake is we were staying down in Battery Park and it’s half an hour to get just to Canal Street. You can’t—you’re in the—
Larry: I’ll walk from you know, from Penn Station to CBS and I can get there faster walking than waiting for a cab half the time.
Leo: That’s right. Subway and walking. It’s the only way to get around in New York.
Larry: Right. Exactly.
Leo: Well now that we solved that, let’s talk about audio books. See, if you drove a lot, Erin, you would know a lot more about Audible.com. Anybody who spends time in the car. I used to commute, it was you know, at best it was 2 hours a day, and if there was traffic, 4 hours a day in the car. And for 13 years I did that. And I would be dead now, or I would have killed somebody and been in jail now if it weren’t for Audible.com. I signed up for Audible in 2000 and started listening to books and my whole life changed. Because first of all I don’t have the road rage. I don’t mind being in traffic. In fact sometimes I get home and I’d sit in the driveway until I finished the chapter. Or drive around the block. You get so engaged in audio books. They’re so fun that you can’t—it’s just, I can’t even explain it. You’ve got to try it. That’s why we arranged a free trial. 2 books free for you at Audible.com/twit2. So Audible has more than 180,000 books. Every you know, now a days, every—oh, there’s a new Johnathan Franzen. I’ve got to listen to that. Every—see this is what happens to me. As soon as I sign onto Audible I go, “Oh, there’s a new—Oh, I’ve got to get that.” And you just put it on your next list or your wish list and next time I’ll get that. 2 books a month is nice. We’re going to set you up your first month is free. So your first two books are free. I was just taking to John about a science fiction book that we’re reading. It is all the rage now by a guy named Cixin Liu. L-I-U. It is amazing. And the first—it’s a trilogy. The first two books are on Audible. And I figure by the time I get to the last one it will be, it will be available to listen to. It is called, let me pull it up for you. Liu, L-I-U C-I-X-I-N. The Three-Body Problem’s the first of these. He is Chinese. In fact it’s fascinating because it begins with a cultural revolution in 1965 and what happens, I don’t want to—no, I haven’t read enough to give you a spoiler. But the principal, the premise of this Sci-Fi book is we send a message to an alien civilization saying, “We’re here.” And they say, “Great, we’ll be right there to take over your world and destroy you.” But it turns out, they’re so far away it’s going to take them 450 years. So what is the reaction of the planet Earth knowing that in 450 years a technologically superior alien race will arrive to destroy them? And as you might imagine this is a great premise for a book. I’m loving it. Now there are 2 books so you can use your Audible subscription right now. Audible.com/twit2. You’ll be signing up for the platinum plan. That means you get 2 credits in the 1st month. You also get the daily digest of the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times. You can listen to them. I’m not saying this is the only book to pick. There’s a lot of good books on there. Ender’s Game, we were just talking about that. What a great book. In fact their science fiction collection is phenomenal. It wasn’t when I joined. But Audible realized there were so many great science fiction books that were never recorded because audio books weren’t a thing in the 50s and 60s and 70s. So they want back. They created the Audible Frontier’s Program to record Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein and Jerry Cornell and Niven. The great science fiction books. And now they have these wonderful additions of the classics. It’s a great way to listen to science fiction. But also fact. I listen to a lot of history. Also biography. Celebrity biographies. George Carlin’s got a new one, A Carlin Home Companion: Growing Up with George. Actually it’s his daughter Kelly. There’s so many great books on Audible, I want you to try it right now. Audible.com/twit2. You’ll sign up for the platinum plan. It’s free for the first—oh, Chrissie Hydne’s got book out. I love her. Narrated by Rosanna Arquette. Now that is a perfect match. If you like the Pretenders—now see, I’ve got to put this on my wish list. That’s a good one. This happens every time I go to Audible.com/twit2. 2 free books. You can cancel any time in the first 30 days. You’ll pay nothing but those books are yours to keep. Audible.com/twit2. We thank Audible for their support for This Week in Tech. Doesn’t that look good? All right. Moving on. I’m having fun. I love, I love having you on, Owen. Erin, you’re fitting right into this crazy panel.
Erin: I’m doing my best.
Leo: You’re doing great. Larry Magid, just have another beer and relax.
Owen: We’re just lucky to have Uncle Larry here. He’s the big time. Airforce One. Private boxes.
Larry: It’s water here. My California water. California water. They pay me to—
Leo: That’s the last of it right there. Don’t drink that. Save that. We don’t have anymore.
Owen: That smells like vodka to me. That smells like vodka to me.
Leo: (Laughing) smells like teen spirit.
Larry: See now the water is as scarce as the vodka.
Leo: I hear, this is not a tech subject, but apparently we are going to have a very wet winter. The El Nino year this year, right? In fact we may, we may wash away. There may be nothing left. But the drought will be over so that’s a good thing, yep.
Larry: I don’t have a lawn anymore. My lawn is brown. Browner than the green.
Leo: We took ours out.
Larry: But I do have, I do have this thing called the rain machine. Which, my wife had a bunch of plants so now—
Leo: It simulates rain?
Larry: Well, no, what it does--
Leo: It confuses the plants?
Larry: It has a Wi-Fi adapter so it knows the weather and it actually adjusts the amount of water based on the humidity and whether it’s raining or not raining. So we’ll never water our plants during a rain storm because the water sprinkling controller is smart enough to know if it’s raining outside.
Leo: Wow. That’s smart.
Larry: Very cool. It took me 10 minutes to install.
Leo: I need that.
Larry: Well you can get one.
Leo: The Rain Machine.
Larry: I’ll hook you up with their PR person.
Leo: No, no. I don’t do that. I buy everything because I want to be broke when I die.
Owen: Is that—well Uncle Leo, then you should go halve-sies with me on my land in Montana.
Leo: Really? What are you buying?
Owen: About 100 acres, trying to get that new beach front property because where you’re living, there’s these things called earthquakes, tsunamis, and fires and droughts.
Owen: Montana is the new LA, bro. Like wait, I’m telling you.
Owen: Montana. You’re going to fall off into the ocean, bro, and then we’ve got Montana prime beach property. 100 acres. We get it like 50 grand. That’s nothing.
Larry: From all these kind of crazy, fanatic—
Leo: No, no, no. You’re thinking of Idaho.
Larry: Idaho? I think they’re all over the place.
Owen: Montana, nobody does anything in Montana. We’re buying so much land we won’t even see people. It doesn’t even matter if there’s crazy people. We got 120 acres. We don’t even know anybody. We got a lake probably, a mountain and some mooses. Just give me the money. I’ll take care of it.
Leo: So speaking of the Apple Watch, Apple was supposed to release—when it did the iOS9 update on Wednesday it was also supposed to release Watch OS2, a major update. They didn’t put it out. They said “There’s a bug. We’ll get back to you later.” I think kudos to Apple for not pushing this.
Owen: At least they caught it instead of the whole internet world cashing in on the story for 8 weeks.
Leo: Right. They have, you know, iOS9 was public beta for a long time. So presumably they were able to squash any bugs. There aren’t any major bug reports. Although a lot of people having compatibility issues and of course and as inevitably happens, some people are having bad installs and so forth. But when you have, what is it, 150 million users? 12% of them installed iOS9 in the first 2 days. 12%. Watch OS not so fast. They say, “We’ll release it shortly.” Don’t know what that means.
Larry: Makes sense.
Leo: You know, on the one hand I understand why you want to give a date. It gets everybody excited, it kind of concentrates the mind on the programmers. But programming is such, you can’t, you don’t know when it’s going to be ready. You should just ship it when it’s ready. Amazon Web Service is down. Did anybody have trouble buying anything on Amazon this morning?
Larry: My problem is that I buy too much stuff on Amazon. Actually it’s probably good when it’s down. It’s probably a blessing in my case.
Leo: Well, but I’ll tell you what happened. It also took down Netflix, Reddit and Medium. Lots of people use Amazon Web Services. There was a big outage. Mostly I think affected the northeast.
Owen: Yea I was going to say Netflix wasn’t messed up earlier.
Leo: Yea. I was trying to log into my Amazon Music this morning. It was just timed out. And I thought it was me. You never think of Amazon being down.
Erin: That’s the most exciting thing to happen every time Amazon Web Services go down, that everyone says, “Oh, whoa, Amazon has this hosting? And it’s huge? And they have Netflix as a client? And they have all these other companies that rely on Amazon? What?”
Owen: I think they do it as advertising.
Erin: It’s like this sleeping giant.
Owen: Yea, that’s their advertising.
Erin: Hey guys, remember when you talk about cloud, talk about us too.
Leo: Let’s just flip that switch every once in a while to remind people that SocialFlow, Alexa, Reddit, NEST—yes, your thermostat was out. Product Hunt, Medium. Yea, a little break.
Larry: Isn’t it amazing? The thermostat that we have which we probably bought like in 1942, doesn’t go down when the internet goes down. It doesn’t even require anything. It just works.
Leo: How do you live?
Owen: My thermostat keeps my house hot when I’m gone. And I remember when I used to come home and sweat and the house was 900 degrees. And you come home to a cool home. It’s ridiculous.
Larry: The thermostat is a pretty simple thing, right? It measures the temperature and it turns the heat on when it gets to a certain temperature, the air conditioning off when it—it doesn’t require a cloud connection to turn thermostats on and off. And I know all the great things that NEST does but I’m, I’m just not sold on that.
Owen: Not all home owners are as focused as you, Uncle Larry. I need my bill adjusted. I like to see my little leaf that’s saying, “I saved 34% over my last pay period,” ok? It’s saving me money. That’s the bottom line.
Leo: Is it? Is it really? Do you notice that?
Owen: It is, my bill has dropped half of what it was.
Larry: Now why is that? How do you figure you have better control over your peak heat?
Owen: So I have better control. Case in point. When you turn on the regular thermostat, I like to sleep when it’s cool. So if I turn the air conditioning on, I just bury it at like 64 or 70, whatever. And then sometimes it’s too cold. One, I can change it from my bed, but then it starts to know. Ok, well in the morning when he wakes up he likes it warmer. So it cuts the air off. Instead of it running until I get up out of bed to turn it, it does it on its own. So—
Leo: You didn’t have to teach it? It figured out?
Owen: It learns over time. Same thing with the heat. I like it cold. So in the winter time, I don’t have the heat on at night because I sleep with the windows open. But when I get up in the morning, it turns the heat on so the house is warm. So when I walk out of my room, the rest of the house is warm. Like stupid stuff like that. And I have pets and I have a kid and it just keeps the temperature even. And when I’m out on a hot day I can say, “Oh, well just leave it at 80.” When I’m on my way home I drop it down to 72. So when I come home it’s cool. It works.
Erin: So how long did you have to have it before the cost savings made up for the cost of the initial install?
Leo: Because it’s like $250. So if you’re saving 34 cents a month…
Owen: No, I’m saving like 34% of my bill. My electric bill was at its highest $500 a month.
Owen: And it has dropped down to $225.
Owen: And it’s like a—
Larry: Mine’s never that high.
Owen: It’s like a 2700 square foot house.
Leo: I accomplish the same thing. I turned off the wine cellar cooler, the hot tub heater and I stopped heating the maid’s quarters. And you wouldn’t believe the savings you get.
Larry: You know I switched to a 2 engine jet, Leo.
Leo: (Laughing) what?
Larry: Yea, no I know. I can’t go across the Atlantic in this jet.
Leo: That’s insane.
Larry: Yea I know. But look at me, right? You have to economize somewhere.
Leo: Actually I had a swamp cooler. I do have a closet that is supposedly a wine closet. And I has a swamp cooler in it. $500 a month to run that thing.
Leo: You know Lisa’s going, “What is this bill?” Because it was a new house. “This bill is outrageous.” She said, “Would you mind if we just turned off the swamp cooler?” And I said, “Really? You think that’s it?” And she said, “Yea.” She was right. $500 a month. I don’t like wine that much.
Erin: Now you have to drink your wine at room temperature.
Leo: It’s hot wine. It’s hot wine. I don’t like it.
Larry: Can you guys see my little fan? Because I left and it’s got a little remote control.
Leo: Yea. Is it Wi-Fi connected? Did it stop working this morning when Amazon Web Services was down?
Larry: No, but if I flip a switch it turns off. It’s just magic.
Larry: Magic. Absolutely. Look at that, see? You can see it stopping.
Owen: Uncle Larry’s going to outlive us all.
Leo: I feel like—
Larry: I already have.
Leo: A thousand years when—
Erin: In the apocalypse he will.
Leo: When historians write the history of the American empire, they will say, “The beginning of the end was when we got too lazy to get up and change the channel on the TV, turn up the thermostat, turn down the thermostat, turn the fan off and on. That was it.”
Owen: You say things—
Larry: Anybody here have a Wi-Fi coffee maker besides me?
Larry: No, I don’t have a Wi-Fi coffee maker.
Leo: Good idea though.
Larry: I reviewed one once. They sent me one and it was like I used it twice and then I couldn’t understand why I needed to have Wi-Fi turning my coffee machine on and off.
Erin: Those are the things people use to dismiss the internet of things though. They’re always like, “Why do you need a talking refrigerator?” But I think you know in the case of NEST, it actually does make sense. Because it saves money, it’s energy efficient. But it’s always the sort of dorky outliers like the coffee maker on Wi-Fi.
Larry: Well that watering thing I was talking about. That is saving us real water. That is doing our little part for the drought. And it’s worth – I don’t know what it cost us. $115 or something because we actually are saving water. And our plants aren’t dying. So that’s another example of a practical—
Leo: Well in California you kind of need it, right?
Owen: Uncle Leo, just to throw back response to your obvious mistake. Ever since the television was invented it came with a remote where people don’t have to get up. They were called children. I spent many years of servitude getting up when my dad said, “Turn to channel 6.” I sit back down and he’s like, “I’m thinking channel 3’s better.” And I’m thinking, “Really, Dad?” And then I stand there in case I’ve got to turn it back. So don’t tell me that the world changed because people didn’t have a remote.
Leo: I want to watch channel 3.
Owen: TV always came with remote. The only time TV didn’t come with remote is when TV had one channel, ok? When it was channel 3 there was no remote. Once we had 3 and 4, those children were working.
Leo: Those were good days. Those were good days.
Larry: Man are you lucky Owen, that you didn’t grow up in a time where your dad had 500 channels to choose from.
Owen: If he had 500 channels to choose from, I’m leaving.
Leo: Just stay there, Owen. Channel 1? Ok, try channel 2.
Owen: I was in one of those ghetto households for a little while. We had pliers on the knob once we lost the knob. And then we had to turn it with the pliers. And I was so upset because I’m not mechanically inclined. It was rough. I had to get the pliers lined up right and whew! It was a struggle.
Leo: Do you have—we had this. We used a coat hanger for an antenna. Did you do that?
Larry: Rabbit ears.
Leo: Yea. Doesn’t work it turns out (laughing). But we were happy.
Erin: I actually still have rabbit ears because I’m a cord cutter, so.
Leo: Yea but see you live in a metro where you probably have a dozen over the air channels that are probably great.
Erin: Yea. I mean half of them are in Spanish, but yea, I can get the basics. I can watch the Emmys tonight I think.
Leo: Oh, the Emmys. See there’s an example. Social media would have told you that if you’d just look at Twitter for 5 seconds.
Owen: Football tells me that.
Leo: Your flip phone tells you that?
Erin: No, football.
Erin: They’ve got a big sign in the back of the broadcast now, the Emmys.
Leo: To watch the Emmys? If there were 2 more opposite—
Erin: There’s no crossover there, but. That’s actually the perfect example of TV advertising and going after a broad audience.
Leo: Right. Right.
Owen: I just don’t like watching General Hospital anymore because I’m not getting any of these feminie products that they keep throwing at me. But I love General Hospital.
Leo: But that’s what I mean by ad tracking. I think that sometimes you would actually like the benefits of—what if we called it ad customization not ad tracking?
Owen: My ad tracking doesn’t work anyway because I lie so much online. Like all my Facebook, he’s sending me Viagra and 60s and older weight gain—
Leo: Oh, come one, you’re not lying. You’re not—(laughing).
Owen: My Facebook think’s I’m 64 and they keep sending me these—I’ll tell you what.
Larry: I’m glad you’re my friend.
Owen: Right? Ok, so I was out on a date, was talking to somebody. We’re talking about Tinder. “Oh, I bet you use Tinder.” “I’ve never used Tinder.” “I guarantee you use Tinder.” “I can prove to you that I’ve never used Tinder.” “How can you prove it?” I say, “Open up my Tinder.” She says, “Why are all these 60-70 year old women?”
Leo: I know, I know.
Owen: And I’m like, “Because Tinder thinks I’m 70. So you best believe I haven’t been on Tinder.”
Leo: I get that on Facebook. “Leo, 58 year old women in Petaluma want to meet you.”
Owen: Exactly. They’re looking for you.
Leo: I think Facebook stopped doing that. I hope they did.
Owen: They did.
Larry: You know why because it creeps people out. People thought that they were actually selling your name to the advertisers, not realizing that what Facebook does is they sell you to the advertisers.
Leo: It’s automatic. It’s just automatic.
Larry: You automatically get it because you meet whatever demographic that—
Leo: They know where you are.
Owen: I still—I get stone t-shirts thrown at me all the time. Like stone whatever, something that has my name on it, a t-shirt.
Leo: Oh, because your name is Stone you get a t-shirt brand? Wow.
Owen: Yea they advertise me with like stuff with my name on it. Facebook does.
Erin: That’s the problem with a lot of those ads though.
Leo: They just don’t work.
Erin: You don’t know where they’re getting it from necessarily and if you don’t understand why they’re showing that to you then you kind of start getting freaked out. And I think that’s the difference between Google and Facebook is like Facebook, you know, you just told them everything about you. Like you just gave it to them. Whereas Google has been sneakily taking it for years and you’re not always sure from where, if it’s your searches, if it’s your Gmail, wherever. And so I think that’s way Facebook is able to get away with really specific targeting and Google is a little bit, it puts people off a lot.
Larry: Facebook’s smart enough to know, if I like look for a product. Like the other day I was looking at fold-up bicycles. Or the other month. And it was smart enough—
Erin: You’re going to be followed by ads for them for the rest of your life.
Larry: The problem is I already bought a fold-up bicycle. Doesn’t it know that?
Larry: Can’t it know that I’m on to something else now?
Owen: That’s the worst thing in the world. I’m like, “Look, I just bought one. Why are you telling me about something I already bought?”
Erin: They’re trying so hard to close the loop with physical retail stores and with you know, e-commerce because they’re, people, advertisers are wasting their money showing you those ads because you already purchased it. But they don’t have a way to close the loop because unlike Facebook, they don’t have all the way down to the purchase funnel.
Leo: So I’m gathering from this conversation--
Larry: So we’re complaining that the advertising isn’t pervasive enough. We want them not only to track where we shop—
Leo: Yea, do a good job.
Larry: -- but you know, look at our credit card statements to know what we bought. Maybe follow us around as I ride my bicycle so they know where I rode it.
Leo: You know I ask this all the time, but what would the harm be if they did that? What exactly is the harm?
Erin: I don’t like it. I think it’s too invasive.
Leo: Well I understand that philosophically. But I’m just saying from a concrete point of view, if they knew everything possible about you, what is the harm?
Owen: The problem is, the problem is like ok, so I drove a Bentley the other day. I put up a picture of it. It’s not my Bentley but if they think I’ve got Bentley money, and they start showing me caviar, we’ve got a problem. I drove one. I don’t own one. Hey I looked at a Lexus I’m not buying a Lexus.
Erin: What a waste of ad dollars. It doesn’t hit anybody.
Leo: The complaint people seem to have is that, “I hate ad tracking and it does a terrible job.” It’s like if it did a better job you wouldn’t hate it?
Owen: You probably wouldn’t notice it as much. Because if you’re showing me things in anticipation of what I want, what do I care? I want it.
Leo: Here’s the thing I find interesting given this conversation. None of you are using ad blockers apparently, right?
Larry: I don’t use ad blockers.
Owen: I have an ad blocker.
Owen: I made a very fatal mistake and I accidentally clicked on a game thing on Facebook and—
Erin: Oh, boy,
Owen: Oh, I can’t stop it because I’m on a Mac. On a PC I know how to get rid of it but I can’t stop it. So right now I block 76 ads. Because this thing is a monster and it will not stop these pop-ups. Just pop-up, pop-up, pop-ups.
Leo: Well they brought it on themselves.
Erin: They’re like, “We’ve got a live one. We’re going to pay anything we can to get him.”
Owen: And they got me good.
Erin: “We’re going to crush some candy.”
Owen: And so everybody knows, it was the Mario. Play Super Mario Bros. on your computer. I was drunk, it was 2 o’clock in the morning. I said, “I want to play the original Super Mario.” And I clicked it and it installed and it got me.
Erin: That’s half of Facebook.
Larry: I don’t mind legitimate ads. I mean somebody’s got to pay for all this content. And you know, there’s ads on my website as well. And I don’t have a problem with it. It’s the pop-ups and the ads that talk to you when you don’t ask for it and the really, really annoying ads. And if there was a way to selectively, you know, just block stupid ads, I’d be there. But I don’t particularly want to block all advertising. Somebody’s got to pay for the internet, you know.
Leo: I agree.
Larry: So legit.
Leo: It’s kind of a tough one.
Owen: I agree. If it’s legit it’s fine. Be legit. Be legit.
Leo: I thought of one more thing that I like about Android over iOS. Apple has put on Android a move to iOS app. So you can download it from the Google Play Store and that will help you make the move from an Android phone to iOS which I’m going to try doing on Friday. Of course the irony of that is, it’s against Apple’s App Store rules to mention another operating system in an application on the iPhone. So if Google or some Android manufacturer were to make a move to Android app, Apple would refuse it.
Leo: So what I like about Android is it’s open.
Owen: This is why you’re sending me that—you know, I don’t even care about this phone. You’re going to get this phone, you’re going to think it’s cool for about a month and then you’re sending it to me.
Leo: Well, that’s just my problem. That’s just because I’m a fickle, fickle person.
Owen: You’ve found what works for you and that’s it. That’s not fickle. That’s go with what works for you.
Leo: You know what? Ok, I’ll tell you what’s bad about Android. Not one Android phone manufacturer can figure out how to get more than about 10 hours battery life.
Larry: And how much do the iPhones get?
Leo: Well the 6 Plus is going to go through, I think, well we’ll see, but my expectation is it will go through the day easily.
Owen: When you don’t use it with stuff. I got the Watch. Ever since I got this watch my battery’s been not very good. So it all depends on how you use it. The use is there. Some people last all day. Me and you? It’s not going to last all day.
Leo: Do you have the 6 Plus or do you have the littler one?
Owen: I have the littler one.
Leo: No the littler one does not go through the day. It’s the 6 Plus that’s got the big battery.
Larry: I ordered the 6s this time. My last one was a Plus and I decided I wanted to try the smaller one again.
Larry: Just to have it. So. I get mine on Friday too.
Leo: We’ll see. I’m excited. I’m really excited.
Larry: How much—did you get the 64GB?
Leo: Oh my God. Ok, ok. This is another thing. You can buy a Moto X, nicely customized. I can get the ebony wood. It’s pretty gold. $450 for a 64GB version. A 128GB iPhone S Plus in rose gold, over a thousand dollars.
Larry: Yea, it’s crazy.
Owen: And that’s what you bought?
Leo: Well I feel like if I’m going to drive that Bentley, I ought to have a phone that works just right with it.
Owen: See, you get—
Erin: So you signed up for the financing plans, right?
Leo: No, no, no. I actually paid a thousand bucks.
Owen: So again. I’m getting his phone.
Larry: Did you buy the watch for $14,000 too?
Leo: No, I don’t have the gold Apple Watch. I have the stainless steel. But I haven’t used it because I think it’s dopey. But now, now—I’ll tell you another reason. My hearing aids, which I’m not wearing right now. But when I wear hearing aids because I’m an old man, they do work, they have an app that works with the Android device. But it uses Bluetooth LE and it’s unreliable and it doesn’t stream audio from the phone and stuff. The iPhone, Apple made a driver for those hearing aids. And the Apple iPhone App does a lot more. It’s much more flexible. Does things like when you walk into a restaurant you say, “Well, let me adjust it.” And then save that. And next time you’re at that place, it will do those settings automatically. Things like that.
Owen: Uncle Leo, just thank you in advance for the phone. But let me just tell you one thing. 64GB and 128GB, there’s no difference in the phone. The 128 doesn’t make it faster, better, cooler, thinner. And I appreciate you buying it, thinking about me.
Leo: I know. No, I’ll tell you. I’ve thought this too.
Owen: My birthday’s coming up. I appreciate you.
Leo: I don’t need—probably 64 would probably be enough. But I’m thinking this is the computer I use every day all day. Day in day out. Much more than any other computer I use. It should be a beast.
Owen: I have a 128GB. I’m just saying you didn’t need it for the purpose that you said. That’s all.
Leo: No, I don’t need it. I probably won’t fill it up. But I just—
Larry: The 16 is kind of a joke.
Owen: 16 is horrible. That’s how Apple’s evil. They know better-- oh, I won’t even talk about it. I’m just, never mind. Somebody say something else.
Larry: It’s bait and switch.
Owen: It makes you so angry. It’s one of the stupidest things. You know you can’t put anything on a 16GB phone. Nothing. But you’re whole thing is to sell people apps. You’re a—ooh, they so, ooh!
Leo: No, why they do it is so they can say, “The iPhone starts at $650.” They don’t even really say that. They say, “The iPhone 6S starts at $200.” As if that’s the price anybody’s actually going to pay for it.
Larry: Well, not anymore. AT&T still has that.
Leo: There’s a few people still doing that, yea. I heard, I heard there was an app developer who did a study of memory. I wish I could find this story. And what they found was that by far, most of their users had 16GB iPhones. Because people are price sensitive. They don’t, they don’t—and if Apple sells it, it must be ok, right? Even though we all know it’s not enough. Of those people, the vast majority had less than a GB free. Of the 64GB iPhone users, none of them had come even close to tapping it out. In other words, 64 is the, I think is the sweet spot. That’s plenty. For some of us 32 is probably plenty. But for some reason Apple just—well, not for some reason. We know why. So they can say, “Starting at $200.”
Larry: You know the funny thing is—
Erin: Would it cost them that more to add another like 28 or something?
Larry: Nothing. It would practically cost them nothing.
Leo: That’s an interesting question. Couldn’t they charge $650 for the 32GB? They don’t even make a 32GB.
Larry: I mean the cost of that RAM is not very much from a manufacturing standpoint. That’s just purely a way to make money and to get people like us to spend more for our iPhones.
Leo: Well, and of course you look at the study. This is price psychology. This is economics 101. You look at the starting price. You know what that starting price is. $650 or $200 if you subsidized. 16GB. Oh, for $100 more I could not only go, I could quadruple it to 64GB? Oh, well absolutely. So everybody’s going to buy the 64GB.
Owen: Not but they don’t though.
Leo: They don’t which is sad.
Owen: I don’t know many people that get the 64, and then they can’t upgrade because they don’t know about the phones to do that. There are so many common place people that don’t and they get screwed and they feel stupid.
Leo: You know how Apple sold me that? First of all the new iOS 9 is only 1.3GB but also it will actually delete stuff. It will secretly behind the scenes as it is installing if it doesn’t have enough room it will delete stuff. It will delete apps and stuff, install and then re-download the apps to make room.
Owen: The only way it would make sense if they were trying to use it as a justification to push people to their cloud service. But they don’t even really do that very well. So I can’t use that as an excuse for that size phone.
Erin: Is that even a big business for them? People upgrading and paying more for cloud service? I feel like I haven’t gotten a very aggressive push from them on that. And I’m one of those people who has a full phone.
Leo: You should. Yea, you should buy more iCloud. They are dropping the price September 25th. I bet you they will make a big stink about this. I would guess that they’re going to start promoting it heavily because they are dropping the price when the new iPhone comes out.
Owen: Yea I get e-mails about it but whatever. I’m actually a paying member. Maybe that’s why they’re trying to upgrade me or something.
Leo: Yea. Let’s take a break come back with more Owen J.J. Stone is here, Ohdoctah. @ohdoctah on the twit dock. Yea.
Owen: Erin keeps laughing at my rage. It’s real, Erin, it’s real.
Erin: No, I’m not laughing. I’m really entertained but—
Leo: He is entertaining.
Erin: I also feel like your passion is infectious.
Leo: I love you guys. I just want you to come back every week. Larry Magid, CBS. So nice to have y’all. Really appreciate it. Of course Erin Griffith. Her first time. Did you know that? Would you believe that? Never. She’s fitting right in.
Owen: Not with her professional mic stand.
Leo: No. That mic stand makes it.
Owen: I’m getting one made for me next week. Just so you know, Erin.
Leo: Hey, could you sell those?
Erin: I’m going to start selling these because yea…
Leo: It’s an artisanal mic stand. Made in Brooklyn.
Owen: I need my special edition MacGyver duct tape.
Erin: You’ll find us at the Brooklyn Flea.
Leo: (Laughing) seriously I mean, I actually, there’s a service, you know like a food basket service we subscribe to called Mouth.com and like it’s all this stuff from Brooklyn basically.
Owen: It does go to show that nerds will buy anything because as soon as we saw her mic stand, all three of us are like, “Oooh! Oooh!” She’s trying to hide it and we’re all like, “No, put it out!”
Leo: Bring it out, bring it out.
Owen: “We need one of those!” Asking questions. How was it made? When was it made? Is it vintage? Where did you get it?
Erin: We’re going to ride this podcasting wave all the way to the end.
Leo: All down to the bitter, bitter end. The dregs. Our show today brought to you by Stamps.com. I love Stamps.com. We use it here at the office. It’s a way to make your mailing more professional. Every time I get a package, this happens a lot with Etsy. I guess not a surprise but like we get these packages—
Erin: Speaking of artisanal?
Leo: Yea, from Etsy.
Erin: In Brooklyn.
Leo: And it’s got stamps on it. And it’s got like all this scotch tape wrapped around it. And they’re odd shapes. And I’m thinking, “This is... uh, maybe…” You know, it’s Etsy. So maybe they’re not trying to exude a professional look. But I’ve got to tell you. Your life would be so much better if you’d just go to Stamps.com. They will print beautiful mailing labels. They’ll send out e-mails to your recipient saying you know, if it’s you know, confirmation e-mail or express. And it will tell them it’s on its way with a tracking number. It does this all automatically. Even fill in the address information from the website. In fact if you’re sending overseas it will fill out international customs forms automatically. Certified mail, return receipts, all the fun automatically. You even get discounted package insurance with one click. And the best part about Stamps.com is you don’t have to go to the post office. You can do it all from your own desk. You don’t need a postage meter. You can use your printer. They’ll even-- and they’ll tell you how to get this, they’ll send you—and by the way that is an old iPhone on there. Wow, they’ve got to update their graphic (laughing).
Jason: That’s not an iPhone, is it?
Leo: Oh it isn’t an iPhone. It’s an Android.
Jason: Yea, that’s an old Android phone. Either way.
Leo: We’ll get you a new one. We’ll get you one of those Note 5s at Stamps.com. But look at that scale. Now that is state of the art USB scale, very cool. They’ll get you that scale. I’ll tell you how you can get it in a little bit. And then you’ll always have the right postage. That’s another thing people do. They put an extra stamp on there. They don’t want it to be postage due. And I’ve had that happen. I’ve had PR people send me stuff postage due. It’s like, “Dude, you’re trying to promote your product and you’re making me pay to look at it? Na, I don’t think so.” It is such a great service. If they would only use Stamps.com. No meter, no special inks. You don’t have to go to the post office. In fact there’s a big button on Stamps.com when you’re all ready to go and you press the button, the mail carrier comes to you. Picks it up. Takes it to the post office. There are no limits by the way. If you are going to a mailbox with a package that is 16oz or more, they’ll send it back to you. You have to bring it to the post office. Not with Stamps.com. Because of the way it works, they know who you are. They will take any size package. It’s just, I mean I’ve got to tell you. I can say so many great things about Stamps.com. Find out for yourself. 4 weeks free. All you’ve got to do is go to Stamps.com. Click the microphone. Don’t take that deal on the front page. Click the microphone and enter TWIT. And that $5 offer or whatever that was on the front page now turns into a $110 bonus offers. You get $55 in postage coupons you can use over your first few months at Stamps.com. You get that scale. That’s worth $50. They do charge you $5 shipping and handling on the scale but you also get a $5 supply kit. So that makes up for that. Plus 4 weeks of Stamps.com. So this is a really good deal. $110 offer at Stamps.com. Just click the microphone in the upper right hand corner. Use the offer code TWIT. Stamps.com. They’ve been sponsoring—how long? I think for 5 or 6 years they’ve been with us.
Larry: When postage was I think 29 cents I think.
Leo: I know, that’s how long—I know. You know I printed, I shouldn’t admit this, but I come to work if I need stamps at home. I don’t go to the post office. I come here and say, “Debbie, print out some stamps for me.” And she prints the forever stamps. So I can just use those forever.
Larry: Oh, you can print the forever stamp. Cool.
Leo: Yes. I didn’t know that, right? Isn’t that cool?
Larry: Do they do the ones with your picture?
Larry: Like when my dad got married—
Leo: Yes, yes.
Larry: They had that as a stamp.
Larry: Then they got divorced, that was the problem. They don’t have a special stamp for that, do they?
Leo: I have some Leo stamps but they’re so old they’re like 22 cent stamps. I can’t really use them for anything (laughing). Plus my hair is not grey, but hey, you know. Memories. Memories. Let’s see. Moving, moving right along. Actually we’re done. There’s nothing more to—no, I should find something else to talk about. Apple’s going back to court with Samsung. They want Samsung to stop selling phones they stopped selling years ago. They want a ruling that will force Samsung to eliminate the—really the stupidest patent I’ve ever heard. The Slide to Unlock patent. Now this might be useful for future phones, although a patent lawyer quoted from Bloomberg Business said, “The remaining litigation looks rather symbolic.” I don’t expect the court rulings on older models would have much impact. What’s, who’s talking? There’s some noise coming—
Jason: That’s some audio on the page.
Leo: Gosh darn it. Bloomberg, you know better.
Owen: That was an ad running. You missed it.
Owen: Block it.
Leo: Well, no, was it? No, it’s actually the story. But they shouldn’t have auto play video on this.
Larry: And that’s just as bad as an ad. If I want to hear a story, I’ll click on the story.
Larry: I don’t need to have it talk at me.
Leo: When we first—when our new website went up a couple of months ago, at first we had it auto play. Because it was a big play button that took you to that page. But even with that, people said no. And I said, “Of course not. I’m sorry. Let me turn that off.”
Larry: Hey, Leo, can I bring up a new topic?
Larry: Bring up, if you don’t mind, bring up larrysworld.com. Not to plug my site, but click on that lead story about local libraries offering digital content. I was blown away. I got pitched this week by a company called Hoopla. And what they are is basically a free version of Netflix. And there’s my phone ringing. That you get, your library pays for it right? And there’s a ton of that kind of—that’s my mercury news column. There’s a ton of that kind of content. I was just blown away. So I went by the library and I checked out all the things that I can get for free. I happen to live in Palo Alto but these things, you know, every library has something. And it is amazing. Not just encyclopedias but oh what, newspaper databases going back to 1851.
Leo: Oh, nice.
Larry: Indie flicks. Independent movies. I can download audio to my phone. I feel like I’m doing an ad right now.
Leo: Ok. This is cool but do you have to, do you check it out and then do you have to bring it back in two weeks?
Larry: You don’t have to physically return it. It does go away. So with Hoopla—
Leo: This drive me freaking nuts. I understand it’s a copyright thing or something. Library is allowed to have this stuff for free. I mean, by the way, good movies that you’d pay for to watch. But it’s so weird that they’re trying to adapt the digital world to this old world of books that you check out, and the librarian stamps it on the card and you have to bring it back or you have a fee. Obviously digital copies—
Erin: Yea, but it’s more about access. Like you can only access it for a certain amount of time. It’s like the limited access. It’s not like they can physically give it to you. Of course digital copies are limitless. But like if the idea of giving you access, the same way as when you subscribe to Netflix, when you stop subscribing, you don’t have access to those streaming things anymore.
Larry: The way it works with Hoopla is actually kind of interesting. The way it works is that your library pays a fee every time you watch a movie.
Larry: And so my library limits me to 10 movies a month. Which is their way of making sure they don’t go broke. Others actually, some of these things actually have services that have a limited number of copies. So if they have 2 audio books let’s say, and 3 people want them, you wait in line. But there are, you know, there are different models. I actually like the Hoopla model better. But sure, you don’t want, you don’t want to compete with the Amazons and the Audibles and all the buy content.
Leo: Why not?
Larry: Pardon me?
Leo: Why not?
Larry: Well, what are you a socialist? No I mean, look—
Leo: (Laughing) I don’t think a library is going to put Amazon or Netflix out of business.
Larry: Well it’s not the library. There is still content that is being monetized by someone. The library is paying for this content in the same way they pay for physical books. And they have a limited amount of money. I mean I’m sure if the library could afford it they’d love to give me all the video I want.
Leo: But really what’s going on is the content, the rights holders are saying, “You can’t do this unless you, you know, have these restrictions on it.” But I don’t—all right. That’s fine.
Owen: Again, a lot of people that are using libraries are people who don’t have access to Netflix.
Leo: Exactly. That’s why it should be free.
Owen: Well, it is free for the people who get it.
Erin: It is free.
Leo: Well, it should be free for the library too if you ask me.
Owen: Ok. That’s how libraries work. We’re not going to discuss that.
Leo: Oh, I guess you have to buy the book don’t you before you can rent it out. Ok, so libraries do pay for the books. And stuff like that. So it’s like that. It’s like that, yea.
Larry: I found out that libraries pay more for digital goods than consumers do. I was surprised about this. My librarian was telling me that when they buy an e-book, they pay a higher premium, a higher amount than if you or I were to buy an e-book on the theory that they can now loan it out to multiple people.
Owen: Yea, it’s commercial.
Leo: I just love my libraries. We did a great piece yesterday. Oh man, on the Library Freedom Project. This was on the New Screen Savers. They’re doing some really interesting things. And one of them is they’re putting Tor exit nodes in public libraries all over the country. The idea being what better place to put a Tor exit node than in a library because at least you know the library is not spying on you. And then they also have the, their doing a digital library literacy—they’re doing some really great stuff. This is a, yea—another one you can write an article about. You could become the library guy for Mercury News.
Larry: I could. I could write a library column.
Leo: Libraryfreedomproject.org. And they’re encouraging libraries to set up new Linux as their terminals and all of this. Put in Tor exit relays. This is really interesting folks. I really kind of like them. Good. Well, good. Hoopla.
Larry: I didn’t mean to imply that it would be bad if you were a socialist. I mean it would be ok.
Leo: Oh, no, it’s ok. I know in America there are no socialists. It’s not allowed. I understand.
Owen: I would just like that post if I could.
Leo: (Laughing) by the way—no, it’s not a dislike button.
Larry: Yea, I know.
Erin: It’s an empathy button.
Leo: An empathy button. Thank you, Erin.
Owen: It’s a troll button is what it is.
Leo: No, because, the problem is—
Erin: It’s going to be like Slack.
Larry: Erin’s right. Erin’s absolutely right.
Erin: It’s going to be like Slack. Like you know, you can react with a little emoji. There’s probably going to be lots of different kinds.
Leo: Aww. Can you go, “Aww?”
Larry: If somebody’s dog died you don’t want to like it.
Larry: You want to acknowledge, “I hear you. I feel for you”
Leo: That happened to me recently, yea.
Erin: And I think that they probably thing that because people don’t feel awkward sharing, you know, uncomfortable or bad news on Facebook because they don’t want people to like it. They don’t want to think about how many likes is this going to get. I think that it’s preventing people from sharing some of the more, you know, difficult or more intimate things. And Facebook wants to stop anything that could ever hinder sharing. So ultimately it’s all about more engagement or whatever. But it’s another mode of communication, of passive communication.
Leo: What is it going to look like? Is it going to be like… (laughing).
Erin: A shruggy?
Owen: Sadly, sadly I sometimes think people are—
Larry: It’s been a long term project—
Leo: But they haven’t—I think what’s stopping them is what the hell’s the icon going to look like?
Larry: They’re trying to figure it out, how to.
Leo: Right. I mean how hard could it be to implement? They own the platform. All they have to do is turn it on.
Erin: But they can choose from any of the hundreds of emoji’s. You know there’s like the praying, the hands up, the praying hands, the handshake, you know.
Leo: What is that hands up emoji really mean though?
Erin: (Laughing) I don’t know.
Erin: The official term for it is like, or actually sorry, I can’t even remember. There was, there’s been lots of articles exploring what those hands up mean and I think it’s supposed to be like crazy—
Leo: Is it Japanese? It’s celebration.
Owen: It’s celebration. It’s excitement. But I just think that sometimes we give people more credit than that. A friend of mine fell, broke her face, took a picture of her in the hospital. And her face, she looked bad. There weren’t any likes but she had like 130 comments of people saying, “Wish you well.” All that kind of stuff. Like I feel like how is it going to still promote something when it’s diluted? So if like 30 people want to go and say it’s funny, 30 people want to be angry at it and say, “Oh this is you know, I’m against Donald Trump.” Like how is it going to get that congruency of—either it’s got a lot of comments or it’s got a lot of likes. Like—
Erin: Well in the new one I think the ideal would be that people wouldn’t be commenting because they’re commenting because they want to acknowledge it but they don’t want to like it. And the idea would be, or this new sort of iteration, the idea would be there wouldn’t be so many comments, but there would be, you know reactions that were like, you know, condolences, feel better, we’re sorry, or you know a variety of reactions like that. If you use Slack they’re doing this now where you can react with like lots of different emoji’s. It does fragment it.
Larry: I like comments a lot more than I like likes. I mean frankly if I’m feeling lazy, and if I really care I’ll comment. And—
Leo: Which is mostly, mostly what I do on Facebook. I don’t have to type anything in. I’ve just got to go, “Hey, thumbs up.”
Larry: But I like it when people take a moment to actually like something.
Leo: I know. Who has time for that? I’m busy.
Owen: Well we don’t express ourselves anymore. “Hey, how’re you doing today?”
Leo: I’ve got another cat video to look at. I don’t have time to type a comment.
Erin: I know. It’s the equivalent of a grunt, you know.
Leo: (Laughing) Oh, that’s what we need. Actually I was thinking we should have a “Meh” and a “Aww” and but see emoji’s—ok, by the way I’ve learned something today. Emojipedia. Emojipedia.org is a wiki all about emoji’s. This is called the halleluiah emoji. Also known as the magic emoji, praise hands emoji, festivus emoji or two hands emoji. And actually you know, depending on who’s doing your emoji illustration, with Apple it’s just 2 hands and a bunch of confetti.
Erin: Is that the Google one, the weird neckless one?
Leo: The Google one is the one—Apple’s the top one with the necklace. The Google one is the—
Erin: I know. That’s like a person with no neck.
Leo: Oh, neckless not necklace. I got it.
Erin: Yea, sans neck.
Leo: No, the no neck guy is Android. Microsoft has a grey ghost which is really weird.
Owen: Uncle Leo, to make you happy I’m going to turn my mic off and do the rest of the show like this.
Leo: (Laughing) Is that empathy? Is that, what is that?
Owen: I can’t explain myself because I can’t make comments anymore. I have to make gestures, so.
Leo: I don’t know and I don’t care.
Owen: I’m going to stop talking and then we’re just going to do this the whole time. And that’s how we’re going to talk to each other.
Leo: I hadn’t seen this emoji, this hands up emoji until I started using Telegram. And then there was one that was very common. Telegram gives you stickers that reflect emoji’s. So you can add an extra something-something by having a sticker that’s like hands up.
Owen: I make mine brown and just do it as a hands up, don’t shoot.
Leo: Yea, well that’s what—you know depending on—Facebook’s really does look like a don’t shoot. In Emoji One, I don’t know what Emoji One is, but I really don’t know what’s going on there. It looks like drops of liquid or something going on there.
Owen: Yea, that’s weird.
Leo: It is weird. But the weirdest one is definitely Microsoft Windows 10. What the hell is that?
Erin: It’s a guy going down a roller coaster.
Leo: Is it? With the blue man crew? Oh, that’s what this is. Now see that’s the thing. Depending on how you illustrate it, it can really be different things, can’t it?
Owen: I think of it as the amen. Like when people say, “Oh, man, we’re going to McDonalds. Amen!”
Leo: Amen, brother. Amen, brother.
Owen: That’s what I feel like that is on everything.
Leo: It is known as the hallelujah emoji, so.
Owen: Well, there you go.
Erin: If you’re ever, if you’re ever confused though, you can make the, you can make the iPhone speak the emoji’s.
Erin: If you turn it onto hearing impaired mode and then you send that or you just like highlight it and say, you know you can make it actually speak. So the iPhone will tell you what the names are. For example, the very popular poop emoji, the official name according to Apple is Smiling Pile of Poo.
Leo: (Laughing) I want to hear that in Siri’s voice.
Erin: Yea, or in the, there’s a British voice that’s the best.
Leo: Really? You like the male voice? A smiling pile of poo.
Erin: I like the British.
Leo: Yea, it’s male though, isn’t it? The British voice?
Erin: I think there might have—
Leo: Is there a female?
Erin: Maybe not. I haven’t done it for a while.
Leo: Let’s see. Oh, I know what I wanted to do. Real quickly. If you missed anything this week, we had a fun week on TWiT. We put together, I don’t know, just a little video, a little home video to show you what you might of missed. Take a look.
Narrator: Previously on TWiT.
Leo: It’s talk like a pirate day. Arg. This is going to get annoying, fast, isn’t it?
Narrator: This Week in Law.
Denise Howell: Joining us today is entertainment lawyer Jeff Cohen who you might also know as Chunk from the Goonies.
Sir Jeff B. Cohen III, Esq.: Well, thank you for having me. And yes, the weight of being a cultural icon is heavy.
Denise: Have you found that your experiences, has that shaded how you approach dealing with your own clients?
Jeff: Absolutely. You realize how challenging it is for your clients. I mean you have to be so vulnerable.
Narrator: Before You Buy.
Leo: It seems like every year we get a new Moto X and it’s time for the latest, the Moto X Pure. If you want a pure Android experience, one of the best Android experiences, the Moto X is a great choice.
Narrator: Tech News Today.
Mike Elgan: Well you may have heard that the TSA’s strongly recommended luggage locks have been hacked. And that master keys have been posted on-line and can be 3D printed.
Jenna McLaughlin: TSA essentially said these locks aren’t really part of our security scheme, they’re more for traveler’s piece of mind than anything.
Narrator: TWiT. Now also available in several colors of unapologetic plastic.
Leo: And we’ve got a big week coming up. Besides the iPhone coming up on Friday, Mike Elgan has the latest.
Mike: Coming up this week, TechCrunch Disrupt kicks off tomorrow, which is Monday, September 21st in San Francisco. Microsoft Office 2016 ships Tuesday, September 22nd. Facebook’s Oculus Connect event happens on Wednesday, September 23rd in Holly wood. And Blackberry reports earnings on Friday, September 25, 2015. For all this and the rest of the news this week, tune into Tech News Today at 10:00 AM Pacific, 1700 UTC at twit.tv/live. Back to you, Leo.
Leo: Mike Elgan, our news director, will be covering at least some of those events. I know we’ve got a camera crew down for TechCrunch Disrupt. I hear there is a big announcement coming from Pebble. They’ve got that on their website so we’ll find out what’s that going to be tomorrow. The Oculus Rift thing starts on Wednesday but I believe Thursday is the keynotes. And of course we are very interested in what’s going on with Oculus, the VR company owned by Facebook. So we will also broadcast that live. I think that starts, I think that starts at 10:00 AM Pacific, 1700 UTC. All ahead this week on TWiT. Our show today brought to you by our friends at GoToMeeting by Citrix. Citrix GoToMeeting is so awesome. It is so much better than getting on an airplane and going to a meeting. I really should have used it for my IE event, but then I wouldn’t have said hi to Erin Griffith and she wouldn’t be on the show today. So I’m glad I went. But most of the time, even your clients kind of prefer having an online meeting. It saves them the hassle of taking a lunch. Saves you some time, some money of flying out there. It’s a great way for a team to work together online. At GoToMeeting you can meet from anything pretty much. A computer, a tablet, a smartphone. Your team can join just by clicking a link. It’s really fast and easy. Even if they don’t have the software it downloads in seconds and they’re on. Plus most devices with an HD camera you can actually use it so you see each other. It’s like being in the room. You can share screens, you can see each other, you can get feedback in real time. Citrix GoToMeeting really is awesome. I don’t want to have a meeting, I don’t like having meetings without GoToMeeting. Most of our meetings are GoToMeetings and that’s the way to do it. GoToMeeting.com. You can try it free for 30 days. All you have to do is visit the site GoToMeeting.com and click the Try it Free button. I urge you to give it a shot, give it a try. I think it will revolutionize the way you work with clients and colleagues. It’s so easy to use. GoToMeeting.com. Click the Try it Free Button and 30 days await. I guess the, I’m looking at the Pebble, Get Pebble website and they say 2 days. So I guess it won’t be tomorrow at TechCrunch Disrupt but on Tuesday something is going to happen from the Pebble folks. We have some Pebble fans here. They’ve got to be struggling a little bit though, don’t you think, from the Apple Watch and the Android Watch? Did you turn off the lights? They just went out?
Larry: You know what their biggest competitor is, Leo? You want me to show you their biggest competitor?
Leo: Yea, is it called Casio?
Larry: Here right here.
Leo: Nothing (laughing).
Larry: It’s called no watch. It’s called the wrist. I mean I have a drawer full of these watches. And I think I’ve got the latest Pebble. They sent it. I should send it back.
Leo: The Steel, no, The Time, I think is the latest.
Larry: Time. And you know what? It’s ok. But the bottom line is, and you know, we’ve talked about this before. You can do almost anything you can do on a watch with your phone. And I usually forget to wear mine. There are times when I go out and exercise I sometimes put it on. I’ve got a little exercise watch I bought for $79 and I put that on when I go bike riding occasionally.
Leo: We are going to have a Google event on the, not next week but the week after, September 29th. We expect they’re going to announce the new Nexi. Did you get your invitation, Larry? Are you going?
Larry: Yea I did. Yea I am going. The Nexus 7 I assume.
Leo: Well no, I don’t think they’re going to do it that way because it’s still going to be the 5”. There’ll be a 5” from LG and a 6” from Huawei. What did I see, the name was weird. It was like the Google XV or something? I can’t remember.
Jason: Yea, I can’t remember exactly but it’s like the 5P or 6P.
Leo: Yea, to distinguish it from a Nexus 5. But it’s still 5”.
Larry: Well it’s funny because I didn’t mean 7 as in 7”, I meant the follow up.
Leo: The seventh.
Leo: But that’s where we get all confused now.
Larry: I like the fact—you were talking about, earlier about the Moto X. I like the fact that Google Phones have pure Android and don’t have all this crap put on top of them. And that alone is why I’m—
Leo: Increasingly I’m of the opinion though that your smart phone should have a fingerprint reader. I go the Moto X and I loved it. But you know what? I really missed the fingerprint reader. Apparently these new Nexus’s will. It will be on the back I think. At least according to the Renders. The rumors we’ve heard. But that’s, that’s, you’ve got to have—I like pure Android, I like a fingerprint reader. Google this week replaced Google Wallet with Android Pay. It was very confusing if you had Wallet on your phone. Suddenly it was now not there. And yet it was because you got Android Pay kind of magically. But it seems the same. I don’t know, I really don’t understand why they flipped the two, Wallet and Pay.
Larry: Well the version that I got only let me pay individuals. I couldn’t use it at a store. I know it’s coming, right?
Leo: That’s Wallet.
Leo: So Wallet you will continue to use to manage your credit cards, if you have a Google Wallet credit card and to pay people. Android Pay is your touch to pay solution. And actually it looks a lot like Apple Pay now. You put in credit cards. You can choose which one’s the active credit card. Your default credit card. I don’t think I’m revealing too much by showing the last 4 digits but that’s, I don’t know. It won’t be the 1st time I’ve given out credit card numbers on the air. So but that’s weird. I don’t understand why you separate those functions out. If you have a Google credit card you use Wallet. If you want to send people money you use Wallet. If you want to tap to pay, you use Android Pay. I guess that’s, I guess that’s—everybody wants more real estate. That’s all I can figure. They want more apps. There will be apparently—what?
Larry: I now have to, now all I have to do is add—I don’t know if you can see that, but I just got an update to Android Pay. It just came. And now I have to add my credit cards.
Leo: Oh. Yea, you’ll see. That’s what it’s going—so you just got it. Yea. So it went out this week.
Larry: So I’ll go out shopping this afternoon.
Leo: It works pretty well.
Larry: It’s so hard, it’s so hard to take your credit card out of my pocket. This is going to save me seconds a year.
Leo: Seconds. You know—
Erin: (Laughing) what are you going to do with all those seconds?
Leo: It is ironic because you still have to go through all the rigmarole that you had to go through if you swiped your credit card. The only thing it replaces is swiping your credit card. In fact I used Android Pay the other day and I had to sign the receipt. Sign a credit card receipt.
Owen: You had to sign a receipt? Oh, Lord.
Leo: I know, Lord, I tell you.
Owen: I still use straight cash only.
Leo: I know. Because you’re such a privacy advocate.
Owen: Hey, hey, they ain’t catching me. They ain’t catching me.
Leo: Are you shrinking, Owen? I think you’re shrinking. Could you tilt—
Owen: I’m making my time—
Owen: I didn’t want anybody to call the cops while I’m busy.
Leo: A new watch. He’s got a new watch.
Owen: Thinner, lighter, faster. I didn’t want anybody to know what I was doing. So I sunk down. It’s my fault.
Leo: You could wear that. That could be your church hat. You could wear that to church. Just put a little thing on it.
Larry: I’m calling Homeland Security. That thing looks pretty dangerous.
Owen: I’m selling it for $3,000 on EBay right now. I’m loading it up.
Leo: Beats Time.
Owen: Time by Beats.
Leo: Owen Flava-flav.
Owen: True story.
Leo: I’m excited about the new Chromecast that Google may show. There’s a rumor to be showing on the 29th. I think Chromecast really is—you know, Apple’s got its Apple TV. And of course immediately after Apple TV came out or was announced without 4K Amazon said, “But we’ve got the new Fire TV with 4K.”
Owen: We made a gaming system with no game remote. Yay, Apple.
Leo: Woo hoo!
Owen: Just do the little things, bro. Like the little things. Like you go, like people play so many games on your phone and your tablets. If you just said, “Hey, you know what? I’m going to sell you this for $80 also so you can enjoy your experience.” People would be happy. But Apple doesn’t do that.
Leo: No, they—don’t they have a controller? They don’t have a controller?
Owen: No they’ve got their stupid want that turns sideways that turns into a controller.
Leo: Oh, you mean like a Wii mote.
Owen: Yes, it’s like that but—
Leo: It is a Wii mote.
Owen: But it’s crappier because it doesn’t have clickable joystickable things to it. But in 2 years when people tell them how stupid they are they’ll make one. And then they’ll sell it for $1,000.
Leo: And we’ll all be happy.
Owen: And tell us how innovate they are. We innovated this remote so you could use it.
Leo: No one should have to play games with a simple little bar of candy.
Owen: Steve Jobs is turning in his grave over the pencil. He says, “Who wants a stylus? Nobody.”
Leo: Yea, I like the pencil. I’m going to buy the pencil.
Owen: Ok, first of all, you like the pencil. I have that thing from my Wacom tablet. It doesn’t have a battery in it.
Leo: Yes, yes, yes. Wacom tablet styluses have batteries.
Owen: My Wacom stylus doesn’t have a battery.
Leo: Oh, you must have that bamboo or something.
Owen: No, I’ve got a $1,000 tablet, bro. C’mon don’t play me like that.
Leo: It doesn’t have a battery in it? It has a battery, you just haven’t replaced it yet.
Owen: How do I—
Leo: It’s got a little watch batteries in it. See?
Owen: Let me find it. Let me find this battery.
Leo: See, it’s in there.
Owen: I don’t believe you. I don’t believe you. It’s not in here.
Leo: Oh, ok.
Owen: No battery. This has pressure sensitive to all that-
Leo: Actually the chatroom is saying “No, no. They don’t have batteries.” But I know I’ve put batteries in some stylus.
Owen: Well just because you got that all wax stuff you’re trying to put on me. Not me. I’ve got money, Uncle Leo. And this doesn’t need a battery. And it does pressure. And when you tilt it, it actually feels and moves. I’m like c’mon, bro. And you have me plugging it in, you have something else for me to plug in? What happens after the adapter breaks after 13 days anyway? I have to pay $40 to fix it. Stupid. They’re charging me $100 for a pencil.
Leo: Are you—you’re an artist, right? If you have a tablet you must draw, right?
Owen: Yes, I do. I’m very good actually.
Leo: I think you would be. I – (laughing)
Owen: Why is everybody laughing? Everybody that laughs, mail me $5. Get my address from Uncle Leo and send me money. Don’t you laugh at me and my art. I am a skilled individual.
Leo: I would like to send you and iPad Pro and a pencil and see if you like it.
Owen: Good. I won’t send it back. Just so you know, it started with the phone (laughing).
Leo: And if you don’t like it you can use it as a cocktail tray.
Owen: I understand the premise of certain things. I just hate how Apple sells things to people and when people push that stuff right back down your throat. Like no one else does it. Like, bro, you could have made your pencil without a battery. You could have did it. And why did you do that? Because it’s something else that will break that you could charge a premium price for. It’s unnecessary. Whatever. But send it to me. I’ll play with it. Because I’m not just buying one. I can’t justify it.
Leo: 2nd generation Chromecast. Better Wi-Fi, faster playing and it’s going to look like a puck. It’s round.
Larry: Does it come with a remote or do you have to use your phone to control it? That’s what bothered me about the first one.
Leo: No, I like that. Because the phone has all these apps on it. And I just casted from Chrome.
Larry: I just want to watch television. I don’t want to mess with my phone. My phone’s in the charger when I’m watching TV.
Leo: No, to me that’s one of the best thing about Chromecast. Is I can just, as apps get the little Chromecast button on it, that means all of this, I can just add more apps to it. I love that. I use Chromecast all the time.
Owen: I concur with you.
Larry: The Roku has an optional app. So the Roku comes with a remote control but there’s also an app if you want to use it. I’m not saying not to have an app. I’m saying have a remote control for those of us that just want to sit on the couch.
Leo: No, no. But it’s not, with Chromecast it’s not a Chromecast app. Every app can have, can be Chromecast enabled. So you’re Netflix App sends it to the Chromecast.
Larry: But I’m talking about the device that lets you stream video. There’s a-- what’s it called? I think it’s called Chromecast where you stick it in the HDMI port, you can watch movies on your television.
Leo: Yea. There’s a Chromecast app only for configuring it the very first. Then what you do is all of the apps that you have that support Chromecast will have a little button. Like YouTube. You’re watching YouTube on your phone. I want to cast that to the TV. The other night we were watching a movie on Google Play Music, or Google Play TV and I just sent it to the TV and watched the movie there. No, I think that works great because what it means is, much like the Apple App Store, they finally got one, you can have apps on your device which has got to be Android.
Larry: Right. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. I’m saying that you’re required to use it. You cannot watch a show on Chromecast.
Leo: It’s just one more remote to lose. I don’t need any more remotes.
Larry: Oh. It’s one more phone to be dead and not be able to use when you want to watch TV. That’s my problem.
Larry: I’m watching TV while my phone charges.
Owen: I kind of go both ways.
Leo: By the way, Google and Spotify will launch Chromecast support later this month which is nice for music. I think they’re going to announce an audio device as well. Code name Hendrix made to Wi-Fi enable your speakers. So you can kind of turn your speakers into wireless. That’s kind of cool.
Owen: That’s nice.
Owen: A lot of companies are trying to do that right now. That one company that has the speakers and the lights and all that stuff that will play over Air Play and stuff.
Leo: FBI says that when you retweet something, you’re endorsing it.
Owen: That’s scary.
Leo: 22 year old Queens resident Ali Saleh was arrested following an FBI investigation into his attempts to join ISIS. According to the complaint against him, he began tweeting his plans in 2013. His retweets came up repeatedly in the complaint as cause for arrest. So when, for instance, on August 25, 2014, a few days before the reservation was made, Twitter Account A re-posted or “retweeted” the following message originally posted by another user: “I’m ready to die for the Caliphate, prison is nothing.” Is it an endorsement to retweet?
Larry: That’s why they’re doing it.
Erin: Not according to the media of Twitter bios of just about every journalist that like Reuters and the AP.
Leo: I retweet people. It’s so easy.
Erin: Retweet is not endorsement.
Owen: Sometimes I just—
Larry: I retweet people. I retweet. I love that you can now do a quote when you do a retweet. Because I’ll say, “Isn’t this ridiculous?” I might retweet stuff I disagree with as a way of pointing out that somebody’s an idiot.
Leo: If you retweet somebody, is that the same as you saying that?
Owen: No, because sometimes I retweet stuff just because it’s funny. Or like, or like he said, it’s so absurd I just retweet it. Everyone knows I would never say that. But they’ll look at it and they’ll retweet it or they’ll star it because it’s so absurd and funny. Like it doesn’t mean that I support certain things. Like it’s contextual.
Larry: I think when you passed on an unsubstantiated internet rumor on your Facebook account, like you know, that the post office is going to start charging 5 cents for surcharge.
Leo: Yea, that you should go to jail for.
Larry: Then that you really are putting your name behind total bull crap. And I think you should be held responsible for that. But retweeting is different. I mean you might want—I’ve retweeted political comments that I don’t necessarily agree with but I thought they were interesting to share with my friends. I don’t think it’s necessarily an endorsement.
Leo: No, I don’t think that’s yea. I think—interesting.
Owen: Yea, I don’t like that.
Leo: Amazon’s new Fire Tablets are so cheap. $50.
Leo: But they’ve decided there’s a way to get them cheaper. They’re selling them in six-packs. You laugh. I laugh.
Owen: I’m thinking about buying them.
Leo: Fr. Robert sent an e-mail out to our staff. They’re buying 3 six-packs. He said, “Who wants a $50 tablet?” They’re buying 3 six-packs.
Jason: Yea, it ends up being like $46 bucks or something if everybody goes in.
Owen: Christmas done, dude. Christmas done.
Leo: It’s so cheap why not just get a half dozen. Their like donuts.
Larry: It really is a great bargain. I actually think the Amazon Fire—when people are in the market for a tablet and they want to save money I highly recommend the Amazon Fire. I think they’re adequate. And unlike a phone—
Leo: There’s a ringing endorsement (laughing). They’re adequate. I’m going to retweet that.
Larry: You really want to spend what? How much are these? $300?
Leo: They start—the mini, the new mini starts at $500 just like a regular iPad.
Larry: I mean, come on. My mini can’t do that much.
Owen: You know what my Mini iPad is?
Owen: It is a mobile Netflix machine.
Leo: Yea, baby.
Owen: That’s it. That’s what my mini is. Like—
Larry: You can do that on a cheap tablet.
Leo: But you can do that on a $50 one just as good.
Owen: It’s a great Christmas present. If you only used it for those two things, like give kids Netflix and Minecraft. If they could do those 2 things, it’s the best thing in the world for a child. They don’t need anything else.
Larry: Well you know—
Erin: Don’t you think that Apple like has already sort of like brain washed kids into thinking that Apple’s the good brand and like anything else isn’t. And if they don’t get an Apple iPad than they Christmas is ruined?
Leo: Yea, it’s like when I got that crappy Erect-o set when I was 8.
Owen: Uncle Leo, living in the real world. I know a lot of regular kids that can’t afford it. And they have those little Namcom tablets and they’re fine. My daughter sits right there and plays on her Apple stuff.
Leo: And they’re happy.
Owen: And they’re happy because they get to play Minecraft. They don’t care what it’s on. Because having something is better than not having something.
Erin: I suppose there’s an age cut off though. Once they get to a certain age when they become brand conscious and they want the Nike shoes, they don’t want just regular, boring tennis shoes.
Owen: 12 and under don’t care.
Larry: When my kids turned old enough to branded shoes and clothing I told them if you’re going to wear them they have to pay you to endorse them. If it says Hilfiger on your chest, Tommy has to give you some money.
Leo: We must be old men. Because we have the same thing. I’m not going to wear anything with a—oh, never mind. Hey at least this is a, this is a defunct enterprise at least.
Larry: But Leo they did pay you at one point.
Leo: That’s right. They gave me money to wear this shirt. In fact that’s pretty much all I had to do to get the money which was great. For like 4 years I was Ziff-Davis Television. And there was nothing. They had nothing. It was Gina Smith and I were kind of just wandering around pretending we were doing TV. They said, yea don’t. We used to fly down to MGM because we were going to do a deal with MGM to create a channel. This was in ’92 or ’93. But my boss said, “Yea, but we don’t really want to make the deal. So just go down, have fun, enjoy it. Talk to the guy as if we’re going to make the deal, but whatever you do, don’t say yes.” So I wore this shirt. I got paid. I was happy. Didn’t have to do anything. I’m sorry the iPad Mini 4 starts at $399.
Larry: Still a lot of money for a tablet.
Owen: Yea, it is.
Larry: If all you’re ever going to do is watch Netflix which is what I do with my tablet.
Leo: I have to say I have an older Fire tablet, a little bit bigger. It is great. You’re right. I mean it’s not the greatest UI, they’ve mucked up Android pretty well.
Jason: But the new tablets actually they’ve gone backwards on their UI.
Leo: Oh really, like Android?
Jason: Well they look a lot more traditional. They’re not perfect. They’re not totally solved.
Leo: They don’t have that carousal thing?
Jason: No, no, it looks a lot different. It looks a lot more like—
Leo: You do one thing and you get a giant icon of that thing on the carousal. It’s like a reminder. I didn’t really know that the YouPorn had such a graphic icon. Anyway. I think we’re done. I think we’re done now. We’re cooked. I want to thank you. Erin, you were great. You will come back and please and when these loud mouths aren’t here and we’ll hear more from you. Anything you want to plug at fortune.com?
Erin: I think it’s just fortune.com.
Leo: That’s it? Erin wrote a great article on the IAB Upfronts. Now it’s like a week old but you can read that at fortune.com. I think you actually mention me.
Erin: There was a mention. There was a shout out.
Leo: I believe a little shout out. And I appreciate that. This is your payback for that. No, it’s not.
Erin: Yea that was not my intention but—
Leo: No, no, no, no, really, honestly, no tit for tat.
Erin: Wait, this is what I have to do on a Sunday night? Talk to you three guys about tech for 2 and a half hours?
Leo: Yea, waste time talking. Yea, yea, this is your payback. Enjoy it. No, it’s great to have you. I really appreciate it. Thank you for joining us. And do come back.
Erin: Thank you for having me. I will.
Leo: And please don’t fix your microphone stand. We love it. Just as it is.
Larry: I want to go bike riding with you the next time I’m in New York because I know you like bikes.
Erin: Yea, right.
Larry: I’ll bring my fold up bike.
Erin: Oh man, yea.
Leo: Oh, Erin’s really looking forward to that, Larry (laughing).
Larry: Shut up, Leo. I just want to know how to get across Manhattan without getting killed. I need help with that.
Leo: Larry Magin.
Erin: I know the safe bike lanes and then the sort of, the you know, the risky ones.
Larry: You’ll put me in the risky ones, I know it.
Leo: Larry Magin’s at CBS Radio. You hear him there all the time. Connectsafetly.org is the website that helps kids safe, get on the internet safely and you know, I had a caller on the radio show today. A grandpa who said, “My granddaughters are not allowed access to the internet. They’re not allowed computers. They’re 7, 8 & 9 years old. And they have never used a computer because their parents are so scared of it.” And he said, “I want to, can I, I realize they need to know this stuff.” So he went out and got them Lego Mindstorms and stuff. He’s trying to kind of get them literate. He says, “I think they’re going to need to know this stuff in the real world.” But I understand why parents are scared. Connectsafely.org if you have any qualms.
Larry: Thanks, Leo.
Leo: Yea. It’s a great place to go. And Owen “I-am-an-icon” J.J. Stone.
Owen: To the crowd laughing at my artistic skills. This is freehand, bro. These lines are pretty straight.
Jason: Wow, that’s pretty perfect. That’s almost a perfect circle.
Owen: This is a circle.
Leo: You meant to do that cowlick at the top, right?
Owen: Definitely. Got to have some flavor to it so you know it’s me. Side note, my iqmz, I’m actually going to tell people what it is on Wednesday. So if you’re on the e-mail list you’re going to find out what it is. I give you a hint. I’m trying to be like Uncle Leo when I grow up on a smaller more tan form but just like Uncle Leo when I grow up.
Leo: Inquiring Mindz Media. Are you going to do kind of a podcast network? A tan podcast network?
Owen: You bet you, brother. You got it.
Leo: I would actually love it if you did that.
Owen: Yea, I got—see, now I might as well tell people. I got like 8 shows. I’ve been running around scouring the internet.
Leo: That’s awesome.
Owen: Smaller people that want to shine in the world. So I come out and launch with my 2 main ship platforms. Then I bring some other people up with me. And if they can take off into the atmosphere then I just have them cut me a check and I sit at home. And watch their specials.
Leo: If there’s anything we can do to help, please let me know. I think it’s a great idea. I’m really happy to hear you’re doing that.
Larry: Good for you. Congratulations.
Owen: Thanks. Thank you.
Leo: And people are able to go to iqmz.com to find out more later in the week.
Owen: Yea, home channel. Just like TWiT. Trying to be like you.
Leo: No, that’s good.
Owen: Make it simple.
Leo: But with a little flav.
Owen: A little something.
Leo: A little flava-flav.
Owen: And a clock with Beats on it.
Leo: (Laughing) it’s really good to have you all here. Thank you for being here. We do this show every Sunday afternoon, 3:00 PM Pacific, 6:00 PM Eastern time, 2200 UTC. If you want to watch live, you can be in the chatroom. We love having your participation. You could also be in the studio. We have a great studio audience here. I thank you all for being here. Just e-mail email@example.com. We’ll put a seat out for you. And if you can’t do either of those, of course on-demand audio and video always of all of our shows are available at TWiT.tv. In this case, just go to the front page twit.tv. I think this—I don’t know where we—is it? Every other show has its own 3 letter acronym except for this one (laughing). I don’t know why. But just go to TWiT.tv. You’ll be able to find it. In fact I want to point out, by popular demand a lot of people said, “I go to the TWiT website and I just want to see what’s new. You know, I want a list of all the new shows.” So we’ve added a little feature. And it may not be immediately apparent. The way it’s been since we launched the site is there’s 4 columns. And the three newest show in each category, the three latest shows, the three news shows, the three new help and how-to shows, the three new review shows. But what we’ve done is made these links at the top live. So if you just want a list of all the most recent episodes in a chronological order, there it is. And so that will make it a lot easier for you to find something that you want to watch or listen to. I understand that we don’t have full descriptions of the shows in the text there. People want that. I just don’t think we have the room for it. If you are on a desktop you’ll see there’s a pop-up that gives you the show description. Which you can also if you’re on mobile, click a link and get a full show description on each and every episode there. So little bit of a change. Just a little addition in response to your requests. If you want to see a chronological list of the latest shoes or all the latest news shows or help and how-to shows or review shows, those links are now live on the front page. And I realize it’s not immediately obvious so I thought I’d let you know. You can click those links and it might take a little time the first time you do it to generate that list but I think that will make it a lot easier for you to find the shows you’re looking for. Thanks for joining us. And we’ll see you next time. Thanks to our producer, great producer, Jason Howell, and to all of you for being here! I’ll see you next time. Another TWiT is in the can. Bye-bye.