This Week in Tech 533
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiT: This Week in Tech! Lauren Hockenson joins us from the Next Web, along with Mark Milian from Bloomberg Business Week, and all the way from France, Patrick Beja, to talk about quarterly results. Amazon, Microsoft, Google. It's the Cloud baby. We'll also talk about the new Boomerang App and demonstrate it from Instagram. And Jack Dorsey giving back a third of his Twitter stock to employees. It's all coming up next on TWiT.
NETCASTS YOU LOVE FROM PEOPLE YOU TRUST, THIS IS TWIT! Bandwidth for This Week in Tech is provided by CacheFly at cachefly.com.
Leo: This is TWiT, This Week in Tech, episode 533, recorded Sunday, October 25, 2015.
Two Hamiltons and a Cone
This Week in Tech is brought to you by Harry's: for guys who want a great shave experience for a fraction of what you're paying now, go to harrys.com and get $5 off your first purchase by entering the code TWIT5 when you check out.
And by audible.com. Sign up for the platinum plan and get two free books. Go to audible.com/twit2, and follow Audible on Twitter, user ID audible_com.
And by SquareSpace. SquareSpace is the best way to create a beautiful website, blog, or online store for you and your ideas. Go to squarespace.com, enter the offer code TWIT at checkout to get 10% off. SquareSpace: Build it beautiful.
And by Lynda.com: the online learning platform with over 3,000 on demand video courses to help you strengthen your business, technology, and creative skills. For a free ten-day trial visit lynda.com/twit2.
It's time for TWiT: This Week in Tech, the show where we cover the week's tech news. It's always fun, because I get some of the best, most interesting journalists together and we just gab fest. We actually have been trying to figure out what the collective noun for hosts would be. Mark Milian is here from Bloomberg Business Week. Good to have you.
Mark Milian: I'm on board with gabfest.
Leo: You have a new title. You're now the Business Tech Editor. Is that new?
Mark: No. Not exactly.
Leo: You were global?
Mark: Yeah, it had more of a focus on global. It's still global, I guess. Just general technology.
Leo: You have a bulldog, if I'm not mistaken.
Mark: I have a French bulldog.
Leo: Almost as good as a pug. That's what Lauren Hockenson... I almost called you Hockenberry.
Lauren Hockenson: You did.
Leo: Hockenson is like a Hockenberry. The son of a Hockenberry would be Lauren Hockenson.
Lauren: I guess. Is that Swedish?
Leo: Is Hockenson Swedish?
Lauren: It is.
Leo: First time on TWiT. Welcome! I love your bow.
Lauren: Thank you.
Leo: Very few TWiT hosts actually wear bows in their hair.
Lauren: You know, it's something I sort of picked up over time. I have about 20...
Leo: Is it your trademark?
Lauren: It is. I don't think I've ever done a TWiT show without them. Every time I've been on Tech News Today and Tech News tonight, it's always the bow. Actually I got enquired by one of the producers as to how many bows I actually own.
Leo: Now we know.
Lauren: It's a lot.
Leo: I wear bow ties frequently. Had I known, I would have worn my bow tie today. I apologize. Look who else is here! Not from Sweden or from Bloomberg. Patrick Beja from France.
Patrick Beja: Hey! I usually wear scarves, and that has become my trademark. I'm not wearing mine now. Wait. I'm going to get it.
Leo: Last time Patrick was here, he worked at Blizzard, but now he is a full time pod caster, strange though that may sound with Le Rendezvous Tech. Frenchspin.fr. Now I remember. You do wear scarves.
Mark: You have an entire closet of scares.
Patrick: I always have a scarf handy, not too far from me, because at some point during the day, I might get scarf panic and I have to have one.
Lauren: I heard that exists in France. But only in France.
Leo: For today's show, I don't know if we have that available to you, we have the binocular version of this show for no apparent reason, because there's nothing you can do with that. But I got my Riko Theda S camera which I preordered months ago. It finally came. 350 bucks. 3d camera. It does 3d stills and you can do 3D video, but we haven't figured out how to do it live yet. You need some software to do that. It's live, but it doesn't look like anything. It looks like you're looking at us through a snow globe.
Mark: It looks like it should work in cardboard, right? But it doesn't.
Leo: You know why? Each one is a separate camera, one is the front, one is the back camera. You need to stitch it together.
Patrick: If you looked at this in cardboard, you would have one eye seeing the front and one eye seeing back. That would be kind of weird.
Leo: Only good for certain kinds of lizards, but not in fact, for humans. Google with a jump thing, with a 16 camera rig, but that's like 16,000 dollars with a go pro version of that. This is 358 dollars. I'm very intrigued. Anyway, we'll keep you posted. Eventually we'll figure out how to make this a live stream. Well this was the week we got quarterly results from Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and boy this was the quarter of the cloud. Is that the takeaway from this, Mark Milian?
Mark: That is the common thread that all three of those companies have invested a lot into those businesses, Amazon being the first that got out way ahead of this move to the cloud. Google and Microsoft being the latest comer to that group. They're all way ahead of the legacy companies like IBM and Oracle who are just getting hammered by this transition in the Industry. You see in the results from those three companies they absolutely murder. Their stocks were up anywhere between 8 and 12 percent after the earnings came out. They added a combined, something like 85 billion dollars in market capacity in a single day.
Leo: Microsoft had the highest stock price it’s had since 2000, since the department of Justice inquiries into Microsoft's monopoly. It's been a stagnant stock for years. I think this is, at least Wall Street's judgment on this that he's done the right thing. He's moved Microsoft into the Cloud. The other big story from Microsoft's point of view was that Bing for the first time ever is profitable. Bing made a billion dollars! That's a shocker. Bing is Microsoft's search.
Patrick: I think they did single out Bing making a billion dollars. Yes, they are profitable. But they are not profitable in the sense that we think search engine being profitable like Google. Probably it's mostly things like Yahoo using them and imbedded into other OSes like Windows X and IOS.
Leo: In fact, Yahoo is moving away, so it might be the end of the line.
Patrick: It is profitable, but people didn't all of a sudden go to Bing.com and search for stuff.
Leo: Microsoft revenue is a whole down 12 percent, but the earnings beat the estimates, and that's what Wall Street is looking for. You know that part of the problem for all three companies is that they're global companies and the dollar's strength against global currency means that they didn't make as much money as they could. Currency exchange rates were a big problem for these companies.
Mark: That's been an issue for the last year to two years is the dollar has gotten really strong and the euro has gotten very weak, especially in the last quarter as China has disappeared, their growth has gone. It has completely vanished. A lot of these companies, all these global companies have programs to minimize the risk from currency.
Leo: They buy Euros and they do trading and things.
Mark: They invest in certain markets to hedge against any fluctuations in currency. There's no perfect silver bullet currency fluctuation.
Leo: Hard to read the results at Microsoft because the new structure is extremely confusing. There are three segments. Productivity and Business processes, Intelligent Cloud, and believe it or not, they have a segment called more Personal Computing. Productivity, which is Office, SharePoint, Skype, Exchange, Dynamics, Intelligent Cloud, Windows Server, Azure, Visual Server. Enterprise server is more personal computing retail OEM and volume licensing for Windows, patent revenue, Windows Phone Revenue such as it is. Hardware devices, X Box and gaming revenue. In other words, Miscellaneous.
Mark: Microsoft's earnings are...
Leo: This is a mess!
Mark: Intelligent Cloud you would assume means Cloud, and yet Office 365 is not included in there, which is one of their fastest growing Cloud products.
Leo: Just to break it up, Revenue of 6.3 billion for productivity with an income of 3.1 billion. Those are both declines, which you might expect, because Cloud was up a lot. Intelligent Cloud Revenue of 6 billion, operating income of 2.4 billion. That's a 14% increase in profit. More personal computing was down 4%, with a mere 1.6 billion dollars.
Mark: You'll notice a lot of things are down, which sounds pretty bad initially, but because of this big Industry shift to Cloud Revenue, it's up in the right place. What the Industry analysts all seem to think is the future of where the Industry is going. All the companies, the three who all reported earnings on the same day that show promise in this area are getting rewarded for it by investors. Cloud revenue ends up looking very different in earnings than say selling a box of Windows for 3 or 4 hundred dollars.
Leo: Why is that?
Mark: Because with selling Windows or selling Office you sell it all at once. You got that big revenue, but the customer may not buy from you again for 3 or 4 years.
Leo: cloud is every month you get a check.
Mark: Investors love Cloud right now because it's like Netflix, a subscription model.
Leo: It's more predictable.
Mark: It's a more predictable source of revenue, which investors like.
Leo: Amazon is a retail company. Net Sales at Amazon...
Lauren: Amazon is this unseen behemoth in the Cloud. Everyone who is anybody knows about AWS and how vital it is to so many companies, but most people think of Amazon as the place where they buy their diapers. It's remarkable how they've silently been able to take over Cloud. Not only that, but held back and grouped their cloud profits and structure in a way to essentially lay low and quiet and capture the business before everybody else got wise to it because now AWS is ubiquitous.
Leo: And Jeff Bezos is once of the top ten richest people in the world, right?
Mark: Just after the earnings, he shot up to number 3 richest American.
Leo: It's funny money. It's stock money. But he made 2.9 billion dollars in one day in the stock price increase.
Lauren: He owns a newspaper for fun.
Leo: It's mind-boggling.
Mark: I wish there were more Jeff Bezoses who would subsidize newspapers.
Leo: Bezos is worth 53 billion dollars. 3rd richest person in the US.
Lauren: The Koch brothers must be unhappy about that.
Leo: Yeah. We're number 4. That's not as fun as saying we're number one. It's just phenomenal. I think you're right, Lauren, when you point out that Amazon, despite appearances, they are the cloud leader, aren't they? There's lots of other companies like Microsoft and Google that you'd think would be leaders, but Amazon saw the potential of the cloud and launched web services long before Azure or Google services.
Lauren: And now it's integral into a lot of ways that companies do business, but also every app. They're gaining a lot of reliable money from companies that aren't going anywhere, and they've established themselves as top dog. It's interesting to see other people veer into Cloud seeing how Google finally steps into the arena and how Microsoft grows. At this point, it's hard to think about anybody actually becoming a formidable foe to AWS.
Leo: Isn't that amazing? It's not what you'd think. I read an Amazon book that was almost an afterthought. We've got all this computing power, which we don't use after 5 PM. Maybe there's something we could do with it. It wasn't a big strategic move. The other thing I think this is telling is you watch The Walton fortune dwindle away. They lost a quarter of their net worth. That's brick and mortar retail. Is that a coincidence? I think it's got to reflect the change in how we shop.
Lauren: One, I believe that Amazon is now the largest retailer in the world. I believe they have officially passed Wal Mart. Two, I'm finding it really hard not to make a Good Night John Boy Joke.
Leo: The Walton family is going to sleep now.
Lauren: Yeah, they're all going to sleep now. It's true. Amazon is now surpassing brick and mortar stores. There's no such thing as these online retail versus brick and mortar. Amazon is retail at this point. Wal Mart is struggling as are other brick and mortar stores, so it's interesting to see how the landscape will change and whether or not going brick and mortar is going to ultimately be a niche market as we get more savvy with our Amazon prime now button deliver yesterday.
Leo: I got one for toilet paper. You know that button you press and they send you toilet paper? I got a 12 year old at home and I have 18 cases of toilet paper because he kept pressing it.
Lauren: You get notifications though.
Leo: Yeah. I had it set up to auto-order. It says we won't order a new one till the old one comes, but they come so damn fast that by the time I noticed this was happening, every other day I was getting a case of Cottonelle. I finally realized Michael was pressing the button. I hid it.
Patrick: I don't know how they're reporting their earnings, but another thing that Amazon has going for them is how international they are. I've noticed in France as well a couple of years ago, a lot of people were using Amazon, but a lot of people were a little bit defiant and thinking they're the big American company and we have to preserve our own blah blah blah. Whatever. Slowly with Amazon Prime and all their incredible services and in spite of all the bad press they've been having, anecdotally, I've seen more of my friends starting to use Amazon Prime, which is magical.
Leo: So you even have Prime in France.
Patrick: Yeah, of course. They're improving it all the time, too.
Leo: That sounds chauvinistic of me, I apologize. You have Prime in France
Patrick: Until a few months ago, you had to order before 3PM in order to get your order in the next day. Now it can be later in some places, so my friends who are tech heads are using it, but in the last few months, I've noticed my Mom is using it too. She just tried it because I made her. Now she lives in a slightly remote location, she can't live without it. It's become the way she shops. If I need something I'm not going to take the car and go somewhere, it's going to come to me.
Leo: Actually that was the knock on Amazon for a long time; it was very successful in the US and the UK, but not an international seller. That sounds like it's changing. That's going to make a big difference in overall sales.
Lauren: What I think is going to be important is how Amazon tackles Asia. A lot of Asian countries, specifically China and Ali Baba. Korea has G Market which are both incredibly popular in the patriotic choice when you live in those countries you use those. It'll be interesting to see whether Amazon will try to move into Asia in any concerted effort and make their presence known in places where they're the minority retail system.
Leo: You feel like there's a collision between Ali Baba and Amazon about to happen.
Mark: Amazon is investing insane amount of money into India, which has, for as behind as India's Internet economy is, e-commerce in particular is an area where they're one of the biggest players in the world. There's two home grown companies called flipcart and snap deal who do insane amounts of... it's the second most populous country in the world and Amazon is seeing this pop up right before their eyes so they pledged over a billion dollars to invest in India and China is another good example with Ali Baba as an area where they're going to be able to push in at this point. Ali Baba is a gigantic company.
Leo: Ali Baba would love to be here, I think. Their ambitions are no less than Amazon's. The problem Amazon has is they've paved the way, right? They've shown you how to do it. So it's no longer a secret sauce.
Mark: The battleground is going to be some of these developing markets. India, which is already more developed than a lot of countries say in southeast Asia and Africa, some of these global countries are starting to look more closely at it.
Leo: Build the infrastructure. That's what they do. That's what they did in the US.
Mark: Infrastructure literally is an interesting piece of the puzzle, because in India for example, there are no Fed Ex or UPS that serves all of these areas. Russia also is a company called Ozone that they had to buy up a little.
Leo: Don't you think they'll do that? In fact, they'll probably prefer to do that.
Leo: Sure. A ton of money goes to UPS because of Amazon. They're really tough with UPS negotiating those deals. Wouldn't they rather just do it themselves?
Mark: I do see some Amazon branded trucks driving around San Francisco.
Leo: That's Amazon now stuff, right? Same day.
Lauren: Prime Now is finally available, which is interesting because you'd think that would come to San Francisco much sooner, but actually it's been working pretty well in New York City.
Leo: Have you tried it?
Lauren: I have not. Although I have really thought about it. I was sick all week this last week and was like should I use prime now to order myself soup? And then I was like, no. I should go outside and see sunlight.
Leo: Don't go see people. That's terrible.
Lauren: I made the wrong choice. What I have heard is Amazon Prime Now is really interesting when it comes to interactions with Amazon's real time deals and sales. That's really where it can get interesting is if you are looking at something and all of a sudden it goes on sale, you can get the Prime Now and they'll send it to you right away and it's easier to get things that might otherwise sell out. That's what happened on Amazon Prime Day when they had the discounted Echo I believe and a couple other stuff. They had it as a separate stock in Prime Now that you can access and get...
Lauren: It's crazy.
Leo: Patrick Norton was on the new Screensavers yesterday, and he has been using Amazon Now. He says...
Mark: On the show to answer trivia?
Leo: No. He said I needed a harddrive, and he gets it at 8:00. The biggest problem was that they didn't let him know they delivered it. You don't really expect it's going to come that day and it was sitting on his porch for a couple hours.
Lauren: That's exactly what Amazon is selling. They're a logistics company first and foremost. Anything that is about logistics is going to be their prime objective. As long as they can continue to progressively make their delivery process as painless as possible and also develop a culture of having painless deliveries, I don't think that Amazon is ever going to have any trouble, especially in developing countries. If you can have a reputation for bringing things like that quickly, then people are going to be more interested in trying you because you have developed this international reputation for delivering your toilet paper yesterday.
Leo: One of our chat--
Patrick: I think the most impressing thing about Amazon is that they keep improving on all of this. By now they're a pretty old company in web terms and they could very easily rest on their laurels because they're already super... they're basically the fastest and most other companies are copying or lagging behind. They're still finding ways to do things faster that at first seem useless. Why do you need your thing delivered at 8 on that day? You can wait until the next day. That's already super fast, but they're still improving on things. There's probably something to be commended about I hate becoming an Amazon love fest here. There are bad things to say about Amazon as well, but right now we're focusing on the good things, but it's partly a testament to the leadership that they're not stopping and raking in the money and they're still thinking about how they can improve whatever their service is.
Leo: Are you aware in France of the New York Times versus Amazon kerfuffle?
Patrick: We're aware of many of those. I didn't read that article specifically.
Leo: New York Times published a scathing article two months ago saying people were crying at their desks and that it was the worst work environment ever. Jeff Bezos fired back last week. One of Amazon's top executives wrote a long article in Medium.
Mark: J Carney, the press secretary for president Obama.
Leo: That's right.
Lauren: There you are. That's where you went.
Leo: He said one of the people New York Times used as their source had been fired for fraud. He cast a lot of doubt on it. Of course, the New York Times responds back and their executive editor... but the whole thing occurred on Medium of all places.
Mark: My favorite observation from that experience was Amazon trying to demonstrate that it cares about employees by throwing several of them under the bus. The entire argument was built around these few ex-employees that you quoted in your story, here's all this inside information for our company that proves that they were bad people.
Lauren: On the screen right now is actually an article that I wrote. I called it a fact check slap bite.
Leo: I think that's great. Do you write your own headlines?
Lauren: I do.
Leo: Your headlines are awesome. Popcorn got burnt and all we got was butter. Your headlines are good.
Lauren: What is it? I'm not even a small time stand up comedienne. I'm a micro time stand up comedienne when it comes to my headlines. Fact Check was real though. It was funny because it was months ago. It's one of those things that has become a PR tactic where a company between weeks and months after a hit piece has been filed, they'll generally go to Medium and do a glorified press release that demonstrates the proper amount of outrage about how reporting was conducted and it's basically what J Carney did. He questioned a lot of the sources. He talked about the validity of some of the programs that the New York Times had described. It was a lot of semantics months after the fact. It was so far back in the news cycle that I had to think about it for a minute because especially when it comes to tech news, there's a new drama every day. When you look at it from this perspective it's like what? I thought Bezos already said something.
Mark: And from a public relations standpoint, why do you drag this back up two months later? There must have been some recruiting problems for Amazon behind the scenes that was the impetus for this, but still. You don't wait that long to give your rebuttal.
Lauren: Also I mentioned that pretending to be mad on Medium and releasing this Press release style thing that's like we're a good company of noble breed and we are honorable and chivalrous to our employees. It's like, Yeah, OK. Just do it. I think people would rather you show that you're not that company than if you just stomped around and threw a fit about it.
Leo: Part of it is Google. When you search for Amazon, you might find those articles. This is why the right to be forgotten for some people might not be a bad thing. Google surfaces this stuff. It may be old news, but it got so many links and so much attention two months ago that it's still ranking high in search and that might be something that Carney feels like they have to do something about. In fact, that's one of the theories that came up in a New Yorker article. Headline: Why did Carney use Medium to criticize the New York Times?
Mark: With a great cranky J Carney photo.
Patrick: You're right. If anything, that affects the Google search. When you search for that thing, you probably get the New York Times article and the response.
Leo: So do you think that's why they might have done it in Medium as well? Does Medium have more Google juice?
Patrick: It's possible. Medium has become surprisingly, I think, a place where you go to post serious talks. It might be more accurate to say seemingly serious talks. For some reason, when you see something on Medium, it has that air of respectability. Probably more than if it was on some other random blog. Medium has become a place you go to air your deep thoughts about your theories about the tech world, about the message you have to pass to your people. I'm not sure why Medium works that way, but I think it does for most tech reporters now.
Leo: All right. We're going to have some fun. I want to talk about J Peretti's post about BuzzFeed, which ties into this and the new media world which is changing very rapidly. This is fun. Great panel. Mark Milian is here from Bloomberg Business Week, Patrick Beja from The Rendezvous Frances. frenchspin.com. Tech is an English word. The Academie is not going to like that.
Patrick: It's also Technology which is also a French word. Laporte is a French word.
Leo: Laporte is a French word. What's the word for "computer" in France? Get this.
Patrick: So, in France computer is aldinator, which actually means thing that computes. It was back in the day that we actually translated words and if we did that today with any other tech related topic, we would be outraged that we can't even use the English word. Back in those days, it was new.
Leo: That's the Academie Frances right?
Lauren: The French consortium did finally make email OK, or is that still la communiqué electronic?
Patrick: I never miss a chance to make fun of my own language. Basically we have a bunch of different ways to officially according to the French Academie to send an email, and one of them is a French way of writing the English word Mail, which is "mel." It's basically a transcription of the way you pronounce mail when you mis-read it as a French person. It's ridiculous. You could say I'm going to send you a mel. That's the way you're supposed to say it. Basically every word now is translated, adapted by the Academie Frances. It's infuriating. Again, Aldinator makes sense. It would be completely ridiculous if someone said in French, Je Vou ashtay un Computer. It would sound... I was going to say retarded, but that's not good.
Leo: It sounds good to me.
Patrick: It sounds weird. In Canada they say it. In that case, the French Canadians get angry because they shouldn't choose English words.
Leo: I'm told the translation for email in Quebec is coureal.
Patrick: That works too. That works in French as well.
Lauren: Also people who are non-English speakers complain all the time that speaking English sounds like you're eating metal, which makes total sense. It clings around. It's not a great language.
Leo: Guess what?
Lauren: Tech Linguistics corner.
Leo: Again, I'm going to sound like a chauvinist, which is a great French word, isn't English becoming more and more dominant? Or is that changing thanks to the web? Are national languages re-asserting themselves?
Patrick: I think a lot of people are speaking English that maybe they wouldn't have before because they're exposed to a lot of that language and the cultural dominance has always been there for the past few decades. The web basically transports that, even beyond the fact that it is coming from English speaking countries, people who need to communicate who might have English as a native language are probably going to navigate to...
Lauren: It's actually an issue that they're having at Google for Google translate. So much of the majority of web pages on the Internet are English but they're having a hard time being able to accurately translate smaller languages like Bulgarian into Google translate.
Leo: They don't have a big enough database?
Lauren: They don't have a big enough database to catalogue all of the words so they've actually started polling countries and asking them to help in collecting and gathering words and phrases to make Google translate more accurate because they can't rely on Internet crawling alone to do the work. People.
Patrick: I don't know if it's related to the amount of information they have, but even for digital assistance like Siri and Cortona, it's just two examples, but it seems that they've been more accurate in English faster than they have been in French for example, so I usually use them in English rather than French.
Leo: Let's take a break. When we come back, we didn't get to Google's results. We'll do that. I wanted to talk about the BuzzFeed post and a whole lot more. We've got a great panel. As I mentioned, Patrick Beja, that's where this all started. We'll just go to Frenchspin.fr. You're just doing it in French, right?
Patrick: Yeah. I re-launched the club, so I have frenchspin.com. I have a couple of shows in English available. Get through your ad. I'll do my shameless self-promotion later.
Leo: We can do it anytime. Self-promotion are us. We should probably talk about the Star Wars trailer as well.
Lauren: Happy to.
Leo: Also here, did I mention you, Mark? I did.
Mark: You did.
Leo: I know who I left out. Lauren. Lauren Hockenson is here from thenextweb.com. Our show today brought to you by Harry's. Time to Shave. Harry's is for guys who want a great shaving experience for a fraction of what you're paying now. Nobody likes shaving. I'm going to admit it. Sometimes you scrape yourself with dull blades and the blades are crazy expensive. That's why they lock them up at the drugstore. 4 bucks a blade for a Fusian? But there's a company that is changing all that. Harry's. They decided to dis-intermediate shaving. I like this idea. They make their own blades in their own factory in Germany. Yes, they bought the factory. That's how we do it now. You get that venture funding. How can we make this work better? What if we owned the factory? Because then we can design blades for sharpness, for performance and because we sell direct, we can sell them for a lot less, like half the cost of those expensive blades. Plus, they ship them free. harrys.com. I want you to check out the Harry's kits. That's how you start. The Truman kit, 15 bucks. The Winston kit is 25 bucks. That's a metal handle. I really like the Truman set. With both sets you get three blades plus the travel cover, plus the foaming shave gel or the shave cream. Your pick. Very nice. You can take 5 bucks off if you use the offer code twit5 at checkout. That means the Truman is going to be like 10 bucks. What a great gift. A great way to get started. Then you sign up for the subscription if you wish. You can get the blades shipped to you automatically. You can get the shave cream or the shave gel shipped to you. They also have aftershave balm and other great products. Moisturizers. Harrys.com. They're making shaving a little bit better. Just use the offer code twit5 at checkout. I just found out, speaking of German engineering, Hollywood has always auctioned the Volkswagen scandal for a movie.
Mark: Leonardo Dicaprio is on board.
Leo: Who is he going to play?
Patrick: Who do you auction it with?
Mark: I don't think I know the players in the VW scandal well enough.
Leo: Who do you go to? There must be a book.
Patrick: You go to Volkswagen and say hey we want to do a movie on that scandal.
Mark: They're auctioning based on a book that has yet to be written by a New York Times staff writer.
Leo: The story isn't even fully told. We don't even know what's going to happen and yet there will be a movie.
Lauren: Got to get those movie rights early.
Leo: The early betting is that Leonardo Dicaprio will play Martin Wintercorn. The Chief executive.
Mark: The renounced Martin Wintercorn.
Leo: Leonardo is Martin Wintercorn. This is Martin Wintercorn. He would need a lot of make up. Have they hired Aaron Sorkin to write it? If they do, you know Volkswagen is going to win in the end.
Mark: Have you seen the movie?
Leo: Horrible. Did you like it?
Mark: I liked it.
Leo: It's a great Aaron Sorkin movie.
Mark: That's how you need to go into it. It's the same with social network, if you wanted a factual recount of the founding of Facebook; you don't go to see that.
Leo: They didn't talk about any of the good stuff of Steve Jobs. That's my big problem with it. Of course he was that way, but he was also a leader who inspired people to do their best work. People stayed with him for years. He had a loving family; they don't even mention his wife and three kids. When I spent the weekend with Steve, Lisa was with them. She was a high school kid. Everybody was happy. It just wasn't the Steve Jobs that any of us remember. You're right. As long as people know that's not real. No Sorkinisms either.
Leo: I couldn't find any.
Mark: Maybe not.
Leo: I think Aaron saw that YouTube video and said I'm not writing those.
Lauren: I didn't see it yet, but I can't believe that there is zero Sorkinisms. Considering how Sorkin feels about Tech and people who are in tech or who run tech companies, I can't believe that they didn't have some random person somewhere. I don't know. The person who was lint rolling Steve Jobs' turtle neck saying something along the lines of how being so close to technology is apt to change your moral character.
Mark: I feel like there wasn't a lot of soap boxing against technology in the movie. I don't recall him doing a lot of that. He does do a lot of that in interviews and some of his movies.
Leo: We had a great interview with the director. He said the problem with these tech titans is they become virtual governments and they have no oversight. So people like Jobs wield immense power. It's not a bad point to make, but that also sounds like a political point of view, like we need to take these guys down a notch. They need to be more accountable.
Mark: They should be accountable. I wouldn't say that they're dictators. We vote for them with our dollars by buying their products and investors give them their money based on...
Leo: You know what the problem with that is? We don't know what we're voting for. For instance, how did we give Google our dollars?
Mark: You go to Google instead of going to Bing, which has had the first profitable quarter.
Leo: I don't think people are thinking in terms of that. They're not saying I'm putting in a vote for Larry Page and the way he runs Google. I'm just using a search engine.
Patrick: I think in some cases, people are aware of the potential issues. For example, privacy is one concern. It had some pretty important consequences in Europe at least where they're very concerned with that issue. It is voting with your wallet situation. Certainly the leaders of those companies are concerned with the ability to sell their products. I'm not sure it's equivalent to doing right by your constituency which arguably politicians don't do either, but there is some form of accountability.
Leo: You're right. That's one way to do it. Harder with Google. I feel like their infrastructure, even if you use an iPhone for instance, you're probably using a lot of Google services. I just feel like some of these people are more immune from that kind of pressure. Google's quarter, by the way, was fairly good as well. Revenue of 18.7 billion dollars. That's 13% year over year growth. Mobile search revenue, once again very big. Operating income, 4.7 billion dollars using general accounting practices. This is part of your job, Mark Milian, to read these things.
Mark: Yeah. Gap. I love gap accounting.
Leo: Diluted EPS at 573. Gap and non gap. I don't know what any of that means. I don't care either. Apple TV is coming next week. Are you going to run out and buy one?
Mark: I'm ordering tomorrow.
Leo: Monday. Is it Midnight tonight? Midnight tomorrow?
Mark: I would assume midnight tonight. That's usually how they do it. I don't think they've gone that granular, but Apple TV I use every day.
Leo: I just got the new Roku 4K. It does have speech search, but I haven't played with it much yet. The thing that most interests me with Apple TV is some of the things you can tell Siri to do in it are actually pretty cool.
Mark: They spent a lot of time on that. Amazon's voice search tends to prioritize Amazon services whereas Apple doesn't necessarily prioritize iTunes. If you've got a Netflix account, they'll fold that right in.
Leo: They say it's cross service.
Patrick: They haven't opened it to everyone yet, but I think that's going to be the key. First of all when they open it to more developers, because now it's very limited I'm guessing it's Netflix, Hulu, whatever. But the more important thing is the apps. That's the big game changer, not the search. The search is cool, but the apps is what is going to have the potential to change things in the market.
Mark: I agree completely. I think the apps could potentially be huge based on whatever Apple has been able to do and a lot of different categories of devices. Your point about Siri is a good one. Even on the iPhone, developers have been waiting for them to open up a Siri API since Siri came out. They've shown no signs of doing that, going more for preferential treatment. I'm sure it's a very complicated problem to get voice search to open that up so any developer can build into it and not turn it into a mess of responses, but I think once they get there, that will potentially create a very interesting product.
Lauren: I wonder about that. I'm utilitarian and I have the new circular Chromecast which sits on my knees. It's so good. I think the thing is that I'm a person who uses my Chromecast for specific things. I can cast my tabs or I can run Netflix or if I wanted to a backup device because I also have a smart TV. It often doubles up on apps and devices and also I think a lot of people are pushing the idea, Apple TV to a lesser extent but still an extent the Amazon fire TV is going to be used for gaming, which put that mess away.
Leo: I've tried gaming on my Android TV. It's not that compelling on a big screen.
Mark: This is where Roku is diverging. They were actually fairly early into de-emphasizing games. Amazon had a deal with flappy bird, the Vietnamese... now Roku, we talked to their CEO and they said they decided gaming isn't the right application. They'll pulling back while Apple and Google are pushing much harder into it right now.
Leo: Roku has to put much faster processors in to make that work. More memory, more storage. It brings the price up. You know how expensive Apple TV is compared to the new Roku. Meanwhile, they're putting the hardware in for 4K, which Apple TV did not do.
Patrick: It's still a little bit early for 4K. If it's good.
Leo: You can almost not get a 4K TV.
Lauren: I could definitely not get a 4K TV.
Leo: I know you don't want a 4K TV, but if you go into the store and you're looking at high definition TVs, you're almost always looking at 4K TVs. That's how fast that moved. If you're not buying a TV this year, but this year if you're buying a TV, you will be buying a 4K TV.
Mark: What's the upgrades on TVs though? It's like ten years, right?
Patrick: I just want to go back to the gaming question for a second and say that one of the assets that Apple might have there is the controller. The touch surface on the remote might provide a more adequate way of controlling your game than other boxes have and that might help put the gaming ecosystem on Apple TV a little forward because the biggest issue with gaming on any device is the controls key. This one may be a little bit better.
Leo: They don't have a... You have to order... Amazon is a 30 dollar controller you can buy.
Mark: The Apple TV supports third party controllers and Apple stores now sell game controllers. If you're serious at all about gaming, you have to buy a remote.
Leo: I'm with Lauren. Get a PlayStation or an XBox.
Lauren: Being a serious gamer on Apple TV is an oxymoron. I got a sick Apple TV, I got a Bluetooth fight stick. No.
Patrick: It's not going to be for serious gamers, that's for sure. That's established. Just like an iPhone or an iPad is not for serious gamers either.
Leo: But when you game on these, you game on it because you're stuck in line at the DMV at the grocery store. You're not going to go home and game on it.
Mark: Kids spend hours on touch screen. It's a huge thing.
Patrick: That's the thing. The big question is are they going to manage to convert those people who play when they have free time? That's the way I usually explain it. Casual gamers are players who play when they have time to waste. Serious gamers are gamers who make time to play games. Are they going to convert one into the other? The big thing is if they manage to do that, developers are going to be interested because for some reason, psychologically, I'm sure you're going to be able to sell a game that plays on your TV for 4 or 5 seven bucks when that's totally unacceptable on your phone. If some people think I'm playing on my phone already, I might check out that thing that they're making commercials for on my TV, there might be an intermediate market that's going to make a lot more money to the developers. It's a big if.
Leo: Here is video from clash con. The clash of clans conference which is going on right now. People playing clash of clans. Let me see if I can find...
Lauren: This is remarkable. This is like the pho-E sports. I know I don't look it. I love e sports.
Leo: do you watch E sports?
Lauren: Yeah I do.
Leo: Would you watch somebody playing this game?
Lauren: No I wouldn't, because I watch Doda and League of legends.
Leo: This isn't as fast moving as league of legends.
Lauren: It's not only that, but it's like tik tak toe versus I don't know. Doda and other modas require such a vast amount of knowledge and different match ups and items. You need to practically take a college course in order to understand all of the schema and aspects that go into modas. Here, it's just like throw your guys at the thing. Hit the wall. Explode it.
Leo: That's mobile gaming, right? That's the thing. This is not anywhere in the same league, so to speak.
Lauren: Which is interesting, right? Because when you look at something like this you think, this is what people like Apple have in mind when they're putting forth their gaming experience on a television, which is completely different from the way that I grew up as a gamer. I have four brothers and sisters and we had an N64 and you better be good, because you didn't want to be the fifth person that was out and unable to play the game. Which was how it worked. You got your controller taken away from you and given to the other person. You lost your privilege. They get to play now. We were really serious about it, but it was one of those situations where you look at this experience and you think to yourself OK. If we're looking at modern gaming as it is now, you have this, but then you have Sony and Microsoft and Oculus and you have Valve and all these companies that are pushing into this other direction. I wonder whether or not this is going to be a good fully realized big screen experience, rather than a novelty. Oh yeah, I can definitely play cross road on my Fire TV, but I'm not going to sit down for hours and waste time.
Leo: I'm agreeing with you. Nothing against clash of Clans. We have a TWiT clan. I'm very active in Clash of Clans. But Mobile gaming is not real gaming. Not like you would sit down in a living room gaming.
Mark: They've got all the final fantasy games on there now.
Lauren: They cut all the good stuff out of final Fantasy 7 I'm not buying that.
Leo: I'm going to take a three week break when fallout 4 comes out. I'm not coming into work. That's it, I'm going home.
Lauren: I'm really excited...
Patrick: I feel like I have to play Clash of Clans a little bit. You got the Pitboy edition? That's pretty bad.
Leo: That's where you put a special bracelet on your wrist so you can play fallout and use the Pitboy heads up display.
Lauren: I'm going to finally get uncharted.
Leo: That's a great game.
Lauren: I have not started uncharted. They just made the remastery Nathan Drape collection. I'm going to do that and then I'm going to do the new Uncharted once it comes out.
Patrick: Oh My god. You've never played Uncharted at all?
Lauren: I know! Being in college and poor. It's one of those situations where it was like food or uncharted? I had to pick food.
Patrick: Just play the second one because the first one is eh. Then jump into the fourth one. Because if you do all of them, you're going to get Uncharted hangover.
Lauren: I know. I did play all the way through Mass Effect two but was told not to play Mass Effect One and three. I'm a paragon.
Leo: far Cry is pretty good. I like the new Far Cry. It's fun. One of the things Apple TV does do that I'm very excited about is, maybe it's just because I'm an old man, but you can say when you're watching a show what did he just say? And Siri will skip back 15 seconds, turn on close captioning, replay that segment.
Mark: That's pretty cool. I've had those experiences.
Leo: You can say play from beginning. You can say turn on close captioning. You can say fast forward two minutes. I don't know why you'd want to do that.
Lauren: Who is winning the cubs game?
Leo: What did he just say? I love that. Turn on enhanced speech. Who directed this movie? I think the idea of having a smart agent in your TV might be a killer app. Less so than gaming.
Lauren: Go ahead.
Patrick: I think that's what Steve Jobs was saying on his deathbed when he said he's cracked it. I've had pretty revelatory experience a few years ago. I hadn't used a TV for ten or fifteen years and then I moved and bought a big TV and I thought yay. I'm going to buy a TV and I'm going to have a cable box and it's going to be very different from what it was 15 years ago. Good lord, it wasn't.
Leo: It's worse. 15 years ago at least you had Teevo. Now you don't get a DVR from your cable company. I don't know what it's like in France, but it's horrible here.
Patrick: It is terrible. But the main thing is that now that we have all of those services that are completely independent from one another, you never know if what you want to watch is or isn't available. You can go to the Netflix app. That's where the Siri search is really killer. You just say what you want to watch and it tells you if it is available, and if it is where and how much, if you can buy it. That is definitely a significant improvement on the TV UI. I don't think many other services or devices offer. I guess the Fire TV.
Lauren: The Fire TV is interesting as well because I think they want to do that with Alexa and doing Alexa integration which isn't currently available now.
Leo: As far as I'm concerned, I want Alexa everywhere. I want her everywhere.
Lauren: They're really working on integrating a lot of what Alexa does in the Echo into the Fire TV without it being actively listening which is really hinky for some people. They don't like the idea that their machine is constantly listening to them, you actually do have to push a button.
Leo: So what? Come on.
Lauren: I don't want Alexa listening to me all the time.
Leo: The hardware is listening for you to say that word, and then she listens. Come on, what could possibly go wrong?
Lauren: I don't know. I'll craft my tin foil hat.
Mark: You can write the prologue to 1984.
Leo: That was the whole thing and that's why people are paranoid because the TV screens in 1984, they could watch you. But that's fiction. This is not practical.
Patrick: Do you use Facebook, Lauren?
Lauren: Yes, I do.
Patrick: There you go.
Lauren: But it's different. There is a difference between having a fully actively listening system and people being able to have access whether front door back door access to your information.
Leo: Be kind of cool if you worked at the NSA. I'm kind of bored turn on Lauren's Alexa and see what she says.
Lauren: They're going to catch me singing k pop.
Leo: Exactly. It's not like you're plotting to take over the government. What are you going to hear? Nothing.
Lauren: A lot of my garbage ideas I don't tell other people.
Leo: Stuff you don't want them to hear, I admit. But nothing that they're going to be interested in.
Mark: It's a very good argument for a police state, Leo. I'm convinced.
Leo: Speaking of police states, Apple has told US court that it is not possible for us to unlock new iPhones. We don't have a backdoor. They laid out a brief on Monday after a federal magistrate in Brooklyn asked Apple. He was weighing a US department of justice request to force Apple to help access to an iPhone seized during an investigation. In the brief Apple said that for 90 percent of its devices, anything running IOS 8 or higher, we cannot. We strengthen encryption methods; we have no way of unlocking that phone. Department of Justice says too bad, you better come up with a way. That is the battle that's going on, not listening in on your Alexa. I'm sorry, I shouldn't say the name out loud because people listening to the show on their echos are annoyed right now because I said it quite a few times.
Patrick: So is this a case of, I was wondering if they were talking about IOS 7 when they said you have to. Or if they're just saying you have to for IOS 8 or IOS 9 in which case, it's like Apple might answer I don't think you're listening. We cannot do it.
Leo: The DOJ says you better figure out a way because you own the software. Apple in its license agreement said the software is not sold to you, but is licensed to you so the justice department replied to Apple's filing saying Apple designed manufactured and sold the phone that is subject to the search warrant. But that's only the beginning of their relationship with the phone. Apple writes and owns the software and this software is thwarting the execution of the warrant so the threat is “We’re going to come after you, Apple, because this is your software that’s getting in the way of our investigation.”
Mark: Yea, this is not the first time this has happened. And usually the response is that a company like Skype went in and installed a back door. So the governments could get in.
Leo: Yea. Most companies just—if you’re going to do business in the United States you’re going to end up doing what the US law enforcement courts tell you to do.
Patrick Beja: They’ve been so forceful in their, you know, basically Tim Cook’s entire, you know a third of his communications strategy in the past few months has been “We are not Google, we cannot spy on you. Your privacy is important.” Do you think they would cave?
Leo: Yea. It’s not credible I don’t think.
Patrick: We are saying that they have too much power and they’re accountable to no one. I think in this instance it might be a case where they actively and publically fight an injunction like this.
Leo: Twitter’s done that. There are companies that have done that very actively and I think Apple realizes this is a business issue for them. That they’ve been, as you say, Patrick, they’ve been selling this privacy and security. It will be interesting. I think when it comes down to, at least in the United States, I don’t care how big the company is. Eventually you’re going to have to do what the laws say. You have to do, right?
Lauren: Well also at some point your software comes into contact with the server or cloud or something and that information is seized one way or another. Which is also the difficult thing. You see—
Leo: Right. Downstream wiretapping. Outside.
Lauren: Exactly. Exactly. And although Apple—I mean, for the most part I mean you have to think of the instances in which actually actively unlocking a phone would be beneficial to an investigation that wouldn’t otherwise be. I mean I guess it’s just covering your bases but I mean if you already have access to e-mail, Facebook, all these other things.
Leo: There’s lots of other ways to get information.
Lauren: Yea. And how much of an impact would, or could a device that is unlocked make as something that I guess really isn’t quantified or qualified in these hearings with the DOJ as far as I could tell.
Leo: The interesting thing about this is I think a lot of these companies double deal. They say very publically, “Oh no, we’re protecting your privacy.” But then when it comes to behind the scenes lobbying, they may not do that. And case in point is this latest bill which was just passed in the Senate. CISA, Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act. In public, Google and Apple and Facebook and Dropbox and Twitter all wanted to stop CISA. They made a big noise about how much they hated CISA. But there’s some evidence that behind the scenes some of these companies might have been lobbying for CISA to pass. One of the reasons they might want it to pass, the CISA allows companies to share data about security issues with each other but also with the US Government. The theory is that as we’re getting more and more cyberattacks the better the information sharing is, the safer everybody is. But of course people are concerned that this will also allow companies, or in fact force companies to share private information about its users with law enforcement. And one of the reasons it’s thought that Facebook and others might like this bill is because it would eliminate any liability they might have for revealing that private information to law enforcement. Anyway the bill has been passed. The President’s indicated that he will sign it. I mean I guess it’s a done deal. If you want to continue to fight it you can go to fightforthefuture.org and write your member of Congress. But I think it’s a done deal.
Lauren: Well here that would be Dianne Feinstein.
Leo: Who invented the bill.
Lauren: She’ll have none of it. So write to another congressman please.
Leo: It was her bill. Yea, thank you. So it was on October 23rd, 2001 that Apple announced the iPod. Steve Jobs up on the stage talking about 5GB. Can you get me my original iPod? It’s in the case back there. Remember the FireWire connection? 1000 songs in your pocket.
Mark: Only worked on a Mac.
Leo: Only worked on a Mac. Remember those days? So Mac rumors apparently, they kept their discussion about the original iPod alive on the Mac rumor site. And there it is. Here’s the—look at that.
Lauren: Ooh. What a paperweight.
Leo: I know. FireWire port on the top. The hold button and the actual spinning click wheel. Isn’t that fun? You know what if we could find a FireWire cable I think we could probably power it up and see what Leo was listening to in 2001.
Lauren: Will Smith’s Will2K?
Leo: Yea. I’m moving to Miami. Bienvenido a Miami. I think that actually is on there.
Lauren: That was on Big Willie Style.
Leo: Oh, sorry.
Lauren: (Laughing) You’re close.
Leo: I should never have brought a knife to a rap fight.
Lauren: Yea. Exactly.
Leo: Anyway it’s fun to read these posts because the internet hasn’t changed much. Elitemacer says, “iPoop. iCry. I was so hoping for something more.” WeezerX80, “Great. Just what the world needs, another freaking MP3 player. Go Steve! Where’s the Newton?”
Lauren: Where’s the Newton (laughing).
Leo: Where’s the Newton. Here’s one from—
Patrick: I think the best one—
Leo: Yea, you’ve read these.
Patrick: Yea, yea, yea, yea.
Leo: Pick your best.
Patrick: The one I think, I think it’s the one you were going to read but it’s one from a gentleman called Pants, or a lady. Who says—
Leo: More likely a gentleman.
Patrick: “Why don’t you spend a little more time sorting out your pathetically expensive and crap server line up? Or are you really aiming to become a glorified consumer gimmicks firm?”
Leo: Well, there you have it (laughing).
Patrick: (Laughing) well, actually, gimmicks, glorified consumer gimmicks firm sounds great.
Leo: Not such a bad business come to think of it. And whatever happened to that expensive server line? Bye-bye. It’s certainly not a big money, not big bottom line. “What a load of tripe. Gee! An mp3 player with a hard drive. How original!” There are a few people to be fair that say, “Oh, this is so exciting.” “$400 for an mp3 player. I call it the Cube 2.0. It won’t sell. It will be killed off in a short time. It’s not really functional.”
Lauren: Can I have a PDA?
Patrick: I have to say I didn’t—they wanted Newtons. Have of those people on the thread want Newtons.
Leo: I know.
Patrick: I have to say I didn’t like the 1st iPod. I had a tiny, like 2” by 2” mp3 player from Panasonic that held, I don’t know, 128MB. And I loved that thing. It was super small. So, the iPod was too big for me.
Leo: “The reality distortion field is starting to warp Steve’s mind if he things for one second that this thing is going to take off.” There’s no future in iPods. Isn’t that funny? There are a few people that understood it but most of the people were very disappointed. And that just shows you really in a way, this in many ways is a tribute to Steve Jobs. The guy did not pay attention to what people asked for. He did what he thought was the right thing to do and it turned out more often than not, not in every respect, but more often than not he was absolutely right.
Lauren: Well and I think it’s important to understand the fact that I mean, I wouldn’t necessarily call the original iPod like the big, the one that had the biggest impact. I always think of the iPod Mini. Perhaps it’s dating myself a little bit because I wasn’t allowed. My mom told me no with the iPod. But she was like, “iPod Mini. That’s the right price.”
Leo: Yea. No in fact that’s the one my kids got.
Leo: Their 1st iPods were the iPod mini.
Lauren: Mine too.
Mark: Yea, that was the highest selling one at the time.
Leo: And the Nano after that was good. And iTunes of course. And iTunes on Windows was what put the iPod on the map. Which was something Steve Jobs fought for a long time but eventually gave in on. Let’s take a break. Come back with more. We’re talking about tech. I want to talk about YouTube Red the new YouTube subscription channel that launches on Wednesday. A one billion dollar funding round, not just for Magic Leap but also for Uber. This is not valuing them. This is the new unicorn. Not value to the billion dollars, give us a billion dollars. Uber will now be valued if they raise this money, which I think they will, at something like $50 billion dollars. And they still haven’t made any money, have they? There’s no profit at all at Uber. I don’t think so. Certainly not in Magic Leap (laughing). Not that I’m laughing or anything. And a real tech hero. Jack Dorsey gives back his Twitter stock. At least part of it to his employees. Our show today brought to you by Audible.com. I’m a big Audible fan. I don’t think I, I don’t think it’s a surprise. I am listening to audio books all the time. We’re all excited about this new Sarah Vowell book. This is one Andy Ihnatko recommended. Sarah Vowell who is a contributor to This American Life has this wonderful, quirky voice, has written a book about the Marquis de Lafayette. You’ve heard of him, right Patrick?
Patrick: Of course.
Leo: Lafayette. I am here. He is the Frenchman, the 20-something Frenchman who helped win the Revolutionary War for America. And she’s apparently written, I don’t know what it is, a biography? A humorous and insightful portrait of the famed Frenchman. And listen to the people that are reading this with her: John Slattery, the good looking guy on Mad Men. You know, the white haired guy on Mad Men? Fred Armisen from Saturday Night Live. John Hodgman. We all love John Hodgman. And more. This sounds like an amazing book. Nick Offerman, the guy with the mustache is also in this. Is this on Audible now? Oh, I didn’t know it. You know the Night Vale podcast? Welcome to Night Vale is now an Audible book. They released, let me just look this up. This is awesome. So the deal is I’m going to get you 2 books. So there’s 2 books you might want to get right there. If you listen to the Night Vale Podcast, the novel of the Night Vale podcast is now out. Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. Based on the podcast. I wonder who narrates it? Is Cecil Baldwin the announcer on it? So he’s in this.
Narrator: You know how it is. Imagine a 15-year-old boy. Nope. That was not right at all. Try again.
Leo: (Laughing). I don’t. Oh, look, you’ve got my iPod fired up. Holy cow. I could play Audible books on the current iPod. In fact one of the best things about Audible is it works on everything, your iPhone, your Android device, your Windows phone, your Mac, your PC. You can even listen on the web. So Audible which is so cool now works on my Chromebook. I am so thrilled. 180,000 titles. This is my Audible library. I’m just finishing now the Three Body Problem. Amazing science fiction trilogy that just came out of China. Neil Stephenson’s Seveneves is probably next on my list. I’m a huge Neil Stephenson fan. Felicia Day’s book is out on Audible. Of course she narrates it along with forward by Joss Whedon who narrates his forward. There’s so much good stuff. Fiction, nonfiction, science fiction, the new Ernie Cline, Armada, narrated of course by Wil Wheaton. He’s the guy that Ready Player One. The hardest thing about having an Audible subscription is, and you see I have two credits available, picking 2 books. I love it. I’ve got so many great books available. And you could too. Go to Audible.com/twit the number 2. You’re going to be signing up for the platinum account. That’s 2 books a month but your first month is free. You can cancel anytime in that first 30 days. You’ll pay nothing but your 2 books are yours to keep forever. You also get the daily digest of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Audible.com/twit and the number 2. If you have seen the movie The Martian but you haven’t read the book, please do yourself a favor. If you haven’t seen the movie read the book first. So much good stuff at Audible. Audible.com/twit2. 2 books free. You think there’s any Will Smith on here? Let’s see. Browse.
Lauren: Go to recently played.
Leo: What was—oh, is there a recently? No, that was, late. Maybe let’s look.
Lauren: I don’t know. Again, like I said—
Leo: No, they don’t have, that’s still to come. This is a 14 year old device. Browse, artists, 50 Cent.
Mark: Oh, 50 Cent.
Lauren: Oh, wow.
Leo: AC/CD, Aerosmith. I have a little Alanis but remember this was in 2000.
Leo: Yea that’s ok. Let’s see I’ll go down to the Ws. Zombie Nation.
Lauren: Oh, wow.
Leo: Weird Al. Walt Disney. That’s my kids. That’s not me. They’ve grown up. They’ve grown up. I don’t see any Will Smith.
Lauren: But you do have Snap on there so that’s kind of ok.
Leo: Really? I get points for Snap?
Lauren: I’ve got the power.
Leo: That’s exactly the song.
Leo: The Power.
Mark: From Jock Jams Volume 8.
Leo: It’s from Jock Jams Volume 8. You got it.
Lauren: Jock Jams. Jock Jams was it. Jock Jams was number one.
Leo: You guys know Jock Jams?
Leo: Queen Latifa. Outkast. Wait a minute, wait a minute. You actually said we could listen to something.
Lauren: Oh my gosh.
Leo: Oh, I don’t know if this fits. The standards have changed. A little Nelly. You want to hear some Nelly?
Lauren: Oh my gosh. Which one?
Leo: Airforce Ones? I saw Nelly preforming here once right across the street.
Mark: Oh, that must be cool.
Leo: It was.
Mark: I’ve seen a show there. It’s a good venue.
Leo: Listen it still works.
Lauren: It does.
Leo: That’s the iPod playing.
Lauren: Sound quality leaves something to be desired.
Leo: Well that’s not the iPod’s fault I don’t think. That’s probably the hook up.
Leo: I got the hook up
Leo: Is this bringing back memories? You were 8.
Lauren: I was not 8 (laughing). I was not 8, thank you. I was not 8 years old. I was—
Leo: (Laughing) we even got the lights. Let me play it some more.
Lauren: I was in the 7th grade and every kid on, like that was how you differentiated yourself. Like on, like out on the blacktop.
Leo: What song did you like?
Lauren: No, if you knew all the words to Airforce Ones.
Leo: I should just give you this. There it is, the original iPod. And it still works 14 years later. That is kind of amazing. That is kind of amazing. I don’t know if that’s my first or that’s just something I have had for a while. I really don’t know the providence of this. Hmm. Ok. What did I say I was going to talk about? I forgot.
Lauren: YouTube Red.
Leo: You want to talk about YouTube Red? I don’t understand what’s going on with YouTube Red so I want somebody to explain to me. I think ESPN doesn’t understand either. They’ve been shutting their videos down and then putting them back up. So starting Wednesday YouTube, if you go to youtube.com/red you can learn about it. YouTube is going to launch a subscription tier. $10 bucks a month. You’ll be able to watch YouTube videos without ads. YouTube music videos without ads. And you’ll get a subscription to Google Music. Or the other way around. I have a subscription to Google Music, so I will get ad free YouTube as well. You’ll be able to save song offline and videos off line. That’s something YouTube’s always blocked though there’s 3rd party apps that do that. You’ll be able to play them in the background. It’s really an interesting play. But I wonder. Who’s going to pay $10 a month for YouTube videos without ads?
Mark: Potentially everybody who pays for Spotify and Apple Music and—
Leo: Well that’s the thing. I buy Google Music. That’s a great service. And so I’m getting this for free. So that I would do. Do you think that’s what people will say is, “Well I want the music?”
Lauren: So I think that this is one of those situation where there’s a little bit of a generational hitch attached to the new ad free YouTube, specifically—
Leo: Ok. That was a dog whistle what you just did there.
Mark: That was directed right at you.
Lauren: Actually I mean even, no—
Leo: It was right at me.
Lauren: It’s actually even—
Leo: You mean there are some people too old to get what this is all about?
Lauren: I’m too old to get what this is all about.
Leo: Oh, ok (laughing).
Lauren: When I mean to say is that the bulk of loyal YouTube subscribers to people PewDiePie or Bethany Mota or Michelle Phan, people have really made millions.
Leo: The people who watch PewDiePie are 12 years old.
Leo: They are not going to spend $10 bucks a month. They don’t have $10 bucks a month. That’s their whole allowance.
Lauren: So that’s the issue, right, is that they’re essentially establishing this channel that’s going to bring people like Toby Turner into the original content space and it’s going to be, you know YouTube is going to back this content and you know, we have all these great creators that have these millions of followers but are those, you know, are those followers the same people that have that kind of like paper-route money to spend I guess. I don’t know.
Leo: Right. This is, YouTube has been doing this all along which is they want to be, they don’t want to be the 12-year-old channel. They really want to be the new TV. And so when they had the, they were giving people a million, 2 million dollars to do YouTube Channels. You know Shaq got a YouTube channel. And that was a miserable flop. They really want to create premier content, premium content for, to replace television.
Mark: And that’s expected. Part of the subscription service is that they’ll have exclusives that are only available if you are a subscriber much like Netflix has House of Cards and Daredevil and a bunch of other very popular shows. YouTube won’t necessarily go the Netflix route and do high quality Hollywood style materials.
Leo: But there is money to do that I think. I mean I think they’re planning to sell stuff.
Mark: There’s money to do it but I don’t, at least what we’ve seen, they’re not looking to take on Netflix directly and create a Netflix copycat. I mean they will pay money to commission exclusive videos that look and feel more like what you’re used to with YouTube and not sort of hour long adult dramas.
Leo: Now Patrick, this is US only.
Patrick: Yes, unfortunately. Unfortunately.
Leo: Unfortunately. Would you like to do this? Would you do this if you could?
Patrick: Yea, yea. I think I would. I transitioned from, basically I used to watch a lot of video podcasts and now all the video I watch is on YouTube. And I think there’s a lot of valuable content, not just for 12-year-olds. You’re totally right. PewDiePie’s audience is you know, 12-year-old boys and 14-year-old girls. And but it’s not just that. I think YouTube is a rut and they have a problem with revenue. The big problem on YouTube is that the creators don’t make enough money to make a decent living because the ad revenue has become so low, you know, it’s always been very low. But with the ad blocking and everything it’s, it’s impossible for people who aren’t basically either a student or unemployed to make a living on YouTube because it takes too much time, it takes too much energy and it eats up your life. And people are with respectable followings are not making the amount of money that makes their activity sustainable on the long term. So I think what they’re doing is basically kick starting it, kick starting a longer process first of all by giving a lot of people lots of different reasons to get that subscription. And it’s not just removing the ads, it’s the music and the ability to you know, they artificially constrained the app so it couldn’t play in the backgrounds and stuff like that. And I would like to have that ability. And exclusive content. It’s a big package. And once that happens, not only do people provide $10 a month to YouTube, which is an enormous amount, the equivalent to an enormous amount of ads watched, so the revenue per user would be significant for those who choose to do that, but also it removes a little bit of ad inventory and potentially could raise the ad price a little bit and make even the CPM on ad supported content a little bit higher. And I think they don’t have a choice. They have to provide that option because the revenue from ad only is not sustainable in the long run. Even if it doesn’t work out in the first year or two they have to provide that option. And maybe if it’s not good enough, you know, if they don’t get the numbers to affect their revenue, they can then introduce you know, a 3-month or yearly deal that is going to make it cheaper that people are then more likely to go for. So I think it’s a very important play for YouTube and it’s actually I would say platform defining.
Leo: You’re a creator. In fact I mention this at the beginning of the show, Patrick, you are now a full-time podcaster and that’s because of Patreon. You have a model.
Leo: Jack Conti who founded Patreon is quoted in this article on The Verge. He said he doesn’t think Red will bring about any improvements for creators. Quote subscription—by the way, Jack was on here a couple of weeks ago. He said, “One of the main reasons I created Patreon is because Pomplamoose is the wonderful music that he and his girlfriend Nataly Dawn make, would get a million views on a Pomplamoose video that cost them $6,000 to make and make $1,500 in ad revenue from YouTube. It wasn’t a viable model.” So he created Patreon so viewers could support the artists directly. He said, “Subscription services are great for consumers. Pay $10 have any song or video in your pocket whenever you want. But for the creators there’s still way too much of a middle man.” He said, “My art might be worth $10 to a super fan but if she’s listening on Spotify, even with a subscription I’m still only getting pennies every time she interacts with what I made.” Patreon of course is a better model if you want to support creators. But YouTube is where the audience is.
Patrick: Yea the audience, I mean Patreon is for engaged audiences. And it’s a very small percentage of your audience that is actually going to go and support you on Patreon. For me for example I have a bi-monthly show and it’s supported by about 1,000 people out of a much wider audience. And they give about you know, 2 and a half to three dollars per episode. And that’s with additional revenue on the side, that’s roughly enough to make an OK living. I don’t think that’s the audience that YouTube is going to go after. I think what they’re hoping is going to happen is it’s going to make—currently on YouTube, if you don’t have, you know, at least 500,000 to 1,000,000 subscribers to watch your videos, you’re probably not going to be making a good living. And even then I’m not sure it’s decent.
Leo: The vast majority of YouTube creators are just not making money. They’re doing it for promotional reason or something else. YouTube always trots out PewDiePie and Michelle Phan because they are making millions. But they’re the exception I think.
Patrick: Of course. I think those people are making enough money to live on if they’re students living in their parent’s basement. Or you know, it’s ironic. And I think what they’re trying to do is to get that threshold where you can make a living out of it not on Patreon level where you can make a living out of a few thousand you know, people that support you, but maybe a few tens of thousands people you know, watching and subscribing, maybe 100,000. And a portion of those people are going to go and subscribe to YouTube and that’s going to raise your revenue level.
Leo: There’s a lot of unknowns about YouTube Red. We don’t know how they divide the $10 up. Is it based on views? I mean am I going to get more money from YouTube Red than I would have gotten from ads embedded on my content? We personally, TWiT, we don’t know exactly what’s going to happen to us. The current thinking is nothing because our ads are interstitial. We don’t turn on monetization on our—we’ve been told we can’t turn on monetization on our shows, our full shows, because they have their own ads. And I don’t think that YouTube Red will hide our shows. But I think even ESPN is confused because they’ve been taking shows down, then putting them back up. It’s not obvious what’s going to happen at all. And it could be that all of a sudden come Wednesday, none of our shows with advertising, our own advertising like this show, will be visible on YouTube. I don’t know what’s going to happen.
Lauren: Well the intricate thing about the ESPN situation is the fact that ESPN, a lot of ESPN’s content is licensed from somewhere else. It’s usually, it’s licensed from the NFL or the MLB or the NBA. And those have separate licensing deals which is why you saw that whole—I’d like to think that it’s connected but you know I’m sure I don’t get to see fully what’s behind the curtain at ESPN. But it’s kind of the same issue when you look at the fact that they had to do DSCA takedowns over—
Leo: Is it related to YouTube Red or just coincidental?
Lauren: I think that the timing might be coincidental but it also shows sort of the tenuous agreements that ESPN might have in sort of creating and producing content that is licensed or has specific deals in terms of sharing for these you know, these big sports leagues. You know like what happens when you have a viral NFL video that ESPN is running but ESPN is using for something like YouTube Red? Does that violate the deal with the NFL? Does YouTube have to make the contract with the NFL directly? You know all of a sudden you start to see these things where if you have this sort of, this old media, how that interacts with the way that YouTube Red is established is really not clear because the only thing that YouTube is really talking about are these like original shows that they’re working on and sort of specific expansion or kind of the gussied up version of what you’d normally see from YouTubers.
Leo: What do you think, Mark? What do you think YouTube’s goal is here with Red? Is this just an experiment or YouTube really trying to reinvent itself?
Mark: I mean I, I think it’s probably more about the music. They’ve been trying to do a subscription music service for a year and they had—
Leo: YouTube Music Key, right?
Mark: Yea. For at least a year and they’ve been testing it. They apparently they haven’t been able to get the rights done or haven’t been able to find a way to make the service work and now they’re folding music together with all of the rest of YouTube and—
Leo: It’s really about the music you think?
Mark: I think it’s really about—I think that’s where, that’s where there’s an established market.
Leo: Look at my son. He doesn’t have a subscription to any of this stuff. He just watches YouTube music videos.
Mark: And a lot kids do that.
Leo: Queues it up on a playlist all the time. That’s what, that’s his music right there. And you know, he’s in college, he’s 23. They have, they put up a big screen and they just let it run all day. That’s their music.
Mark: And if you’re a consumer who’s trying to weight between Spotify or Apple Music or YouTube which presumably has pretty much the same catalog plus if you’re going on an airplane you can save some videos to watch from the plane along with all your music for the same price.
Leo: Actually I kind of like that. Yea.
Lauren: Unless you’re a fan of Prince. And then you’re left out in the cold.
Leo: Prince, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift.
Patrick: You know that might change with a subscription service that actually works and brings in a lot of money. But I think music is important. I think it’s a portion of what YouTube could become if it managed to make decent money for its creators. All and all I know music is not a huge, an enormous industry compared to everything that we have in the tech world. I think you know, TV is not going away but it’s kind of dwindling a little bit. It could be replaced by IPTV in a sense in the next few years. And YouTube has done a great job at sort of moving from the sort of funny cat on the skateboard video image it had but it’s not quite a place where people go for actual content. It’s been getting to interesting videos I think, I don’t know if you guys know channels like Crash Course or PBS Space Time or things like that that are super interesting, super well done. High quality content. But I think it could go even further and in order to do that they need to raise revenue for the creators. And the potential, I really think, far exceeds music alone.
Leo: So PBS Space Time is a YouTube channel from PBS.
Mark: Discovery Network also has D News which is partially based on their revision—
Leo: Yea but I look at the views on PBS Space Time which you know, is great content. 180,000. 275,000.
Patrick: Go to Crash Course. Go to Crash Course.
Leo: That’s not much, that’s not money that would make any difference to me let alone YouTube. I mean it’s so, I mean it’s not bad views but this is a—in other words I’m saying this is a promotional vehicle for PBS. This is not, they’re not trying to make their money back. Crash Course, huh? How much, what is that all about?
Patrick: You’re thinking it’s the same kind of programming. They have a lot more videos, they have—it’s the Greene brothers.
Leo: Yea, I love them, yea.
Patrick: Yea, but yea.
Leo: But it’s the same thing. They have 45,000, 85,000 views. Again, this is you do this pro bono. I’m sure YouTube loves them. But—
Patrick: They’re crowd funded. They’re Patreon actually. But you’re thinking in ads terms. I think if you start getting people to subscribe for these kinds of shows and who watch these kinds of shows, I think it shifts the balance a little bit.
Leo: Actually some of these are pretty good. John Green’s world history views, we’re talking 2 million, 1 million, 1 million. Now that’s taken him a year but these are not insignificant. So some are bigger than others obviously. Chemistry is doing well.
Patrick: And those are, those are timeless content.
Patrick: You can go back and watch them forever. And the catalog, the back catalog on YouTube is actually what makes the most money, so.
Leo: Right. Golly, though is this how kids are learning US History now is watching a video on YouTube?
Lauren: I think they still have school.
Leo: (Laughing) I got to think there’s a reason why there’s a million and a half views on this. This is kids going here to either supplement their school or maybe this is even being shown at school.
Lauren: I think that also there’s a test tomorrow, and somebody didn’t study.
Leo: Yea. Crash Course of US History.
Patrick: And honestly, we’re not going to watch—
Leo: And I think Sulu is as important as Thomas Edison, don’t you?
Patrick: That’s the brilliance of this channel specifically.
Leo: That was a test to see if you were paying attention.
Mark: I’m paying attention to the When is Thanksgiving video. Which I’m sure they got a million hits just by saying When is Thanksgiving, for people who are Googling.
Lauren: What an SEO boon. What is Thanksgiving?
Mark: What time is the Super Bowl?
Leo: Oh you’re right. Because I ask that all the time, when is Thanksgiving? Yea. “School is where you go to watch YouTube,” says JoeH in our chatroom (laughing). That may be true. I think we’re an interesting world where the educators of the next generation may be coming from YouTube, not from the classroom. And I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. Could be a good thing. I mean Salman Khan I trust him.
Mark: You know the whole Mook thing is kind of gone out of fashion a little bit.
Leo: Has it? No more Mooks?
Mark: -- has kind of pulled back a little bit.
Leo: Really? No kidding.
Mark: It’s still a great concept.
Leo: Is that a bubble?
Mark: It’s kind of a little bit of a bubble.
Leo: How? I think the problem is the name Mook.
Patrick: Very possible. But the Mooks were thought of by teachers. If you look at things like Crash Course, I’m sure there are a lot of them, but they are very fast 10 minute videos made with humor in the way that YouTube videos work. So they were conceived from a YouTubers point of view and a YouTube audience point of view and I think that’s why they’re working.
Leo: The other problem of course is that YouTube seems to be forcing content creators to sign the Red deal. Like you don’t have a choice.
Mark: Sign on or your videos disappear.
Leo: Yea. But now we never got anything like that because we’re not partners so I think. Are we partners? I don’t even know what we are.
Patrick: No I think everyone has to sign it.
Mark: I think the deal is unless you choose to hide your videos, they will be a part of the service and you tacitly agree to be on board with Red.
Leo: Ok, ok. Well I’ll find out when I get that big check (laughing). This is cool. Halo 5. Are you going to take the day off to play Halo 5, Lauren? No, you’re not a Halo player.
Lauren: I’m not really a Halo player for a lot of complicated reasons that I will not go into right now.
Leo: You once had a boyfriend that looked a little bit like Master Chief and now ever since you just can’t—
Lauren: You know when you’re in a bar and you just look across the room and somebody is in full Master Chief armor you tell me if you can resist that.
Leo: Don’t traumatize me. Right there.
Lauren: You tell me. Well it’s interesting because I believe that Halo 5 is by the same development team that did Halo 4 if I’m not mistaken.
Mark: 343industries a holding by Microsoft.
Lauren: Yes, which I guess some people like Halo 4 although at the same time that’s how Cortana, that’s how Cortana came into existence in a lot of ways. So you see—
Leo: Yea, Cortana comes from Halo, right?
Lauren: Yea, Cortana comes from Halo. So I think that Halo 5 should be good but I don’t know if people are finished playing Destiny. Last time I checked they’re all still on that.
Leo: Destiny’s good. I like that, yea. What time is it in Sydney right now?
Mark: I bet there’s a YouTube video for that.
Leo: It’s ten in the morning. Tonight, I’ve always been very jealous of people who live in Sydney, but tonight if you’re in Sydney, look up above the skies. Microsoft is going to launch Halo 5 Guardians around 8:00 on Monday night by projecting on the sky the first 15 minutes of the game, the first 10 minutes of the game—it’s a 20,000 square foot screen effect.
Leo: And the screen will—maybe there is a screen. I don’t know what it is. The screen will make it’s—must be a screen. Will make its way from Sydney’s northern suburbs toward Coogee and back.
Patrick: You know I used to work for Blizzard Entertainment until a year ago and we used to have brainstorming sessions on you know, with the PR team. I used to work in PR. And we used to have sessions where we would try to brainstorm some kind of idea to launch a game. Bravo, Microsoft. That was actually a good one.
Leo: Bravo, bravo. We have many viewers in Sydney. Please send us a video if you (laughing)…
Patrick: I think you’re going to have a highly produced video from Microsoft available on the next day.
Leo: I bet you’re right. Facebook is putting its social search global. If you ever published publicly on Facebook get ready because your posts will now be searchable. 2 trillion posts are being indexed. I haven’t used this yet. Have you? Is it, what is, am I going to be able to Google Facebook content as well which has always been blocked? What does this mean?
Patrick: I think it means you’re going to be able to Facebook Google content.
Leo: Oh, Lord.
Mark: Facebook Google content?
Leo: Oh, Lord.
Mark: This is all very, it’s all very confusing. Facebook has rebooted its search efforts several time. Remember when they came out—
Leo: The Social Graph and that whole—
Mark: Yea, how you are able to—
Leo: Yea, all my friends who live in New York City who like pizza.
Mark: Exactly. That’s still in there but they’re moving away from that a little bit to make it more of a just type in a key, or kind of like a Google type search engine. And I guess now they’ll have all the public posts available. But I don’t know if a lot of people really post stuff publically like they do on Twitter. Maybe they do by accident?
Patrick: A lot of the pages, a lot of pages do though.
Leo: I post my stuff publically. Hey, why not?
Lauren: I don’t post, no.
Leo: You don’t post at all?
Patrick: The business pages are going to be included in that, right? And all of that is public so I think that’s a significant amount of content.
Mark: Yea but I don’t—I don’t know, do a lot of people want to search through press releases? That’s basically what it is, very short companies posting media material.
Lauren: Yea. I think that a lot of it has to do with the fact that Facebook wants people to connect with public figures in the way that they are sort of promoting their live streaming and sort of all this engagement surrounding Facebook subscribers. I know as someone who tried to get Facebook verified recently and was told that I don’t post publically enough in order to be—although—
Leo: I’m sorry.
Lauren: I know. Although Google tells me I’m the only Lauren Hockenson in the world. So like there’s no fake—
Leo: Oh, that’s nice.
Lauren: I know, it’s great for a CO.
Leo: Where your parent’s planning ahead?
Lauren: I think that they were given the name Hockenson which is cool, thanks—
Leo: Thanks, mom and dad.
Lauren: Yea, thanks Sweden. But actually what happens is –
Leo: Look at that. I’m sorry I didn’t mean to interrupt you. I did tell you we’re a little ADD here.
Lauren: Thanks. Thanks. Yea, squirrel. Shiny foil.
Leo: Look, see, so I did the 360 video right? And now if you show it on your Android phone on Facebook you can move the phone around.
Mark: That’s such a cool looking phone, not Samsung.
Leo: That will make you nauseous real quick. Look at that.
Lauren: Yea. But I think—
Leo: I’m sorry, go ahead.
Lauren: What I think Facebook is trying to do is really get people to connect more with their public figures who want to use Facebook as a way to connect with subscribers and followers.
Leo: That’s what Moments is all about.
Leo: Because they allowed us verified people, I’m sorry.
Lauren: I know.
Leo: To post live video.
Lauren: And I just don’t. I still come from that space where Facebook to me is a private network where it’s stuff where I get to see pictures you know, from –my niece’s Halloween costume.
Leo: But you could do this. You could post 360 degree video of your life. That’s—I’m looking at it on Facebook.
Lauren: I can post 360 degree video of me singing K-Pop and making eggs for sure.
Leo: You know how hot you would be, how popular you would be? You would be huge.
Patrick: Actually I think—
Leo: Lauren style.
Lauren: I am not—
Patrick: I think that is actually kind of the point. When I was saying Facebook is going to become Google, or whatever stupid way I said it, I think there is a path to that. Basically, let’s say, I’m going to tie it all together. It’s going to be beautiful. When the Master Chief video thing in Sydney gets released and posted by Microsoft on Facebook, you’re going to be able to, someone is interested in Halo 5, and instead of going to Google to learn more about Halo 5, they’re going to be able to go search on Facebook and get these kinds of posts that are going to be what they would have traditionally gotten on Google. I think there is a play for keeping people more into their eco-system and making the content the very large amount of content posted directly to Facebook including video which they’ve been making a big deal of in the past couple of years. Serviceable and accessible to all the people who are already on Facebook. So yea, I think it is a big deal.
Leo: Jack Dorsey gives back a third of his stock. I don’t even—this is amazing. I love Jack Dorsey now. I love him. He only has a small percentage of Twitter stock but as the new CEO of Twitter he said—
Mark: He’s got 4%. It’s worth a lot of money.
Leo: Yea, it’s worth a lot of money. He’s giving back 200 million dollars so that will give you some idea. And it’s going to go directly to employees. That’s pretty neat.
Lauren: It’s a nice conjunction with the layoffs that they had, isn’t it?
Leo: (Laughing) yea he cut 8% of the workforce but the rest of you are going to be happy.
Lauren: Yea, exactly. I think that there’s a lot of people who felt that, I’m sure that felt that Jack moving into the CEO position in terms of prioritizing Twitter as, you know the company that he cares about now that he’s the CEO of 2 companies. I think that, you know, it’s an easy way for Jack to engender loyalty and trust in a way that feels like he believes in the company. And I think he does. I think it’s genuine. I think he wants Twitter to succeed obviously. But a lot of it is kind of also getting employees on board. And doing so by saying like, “Here, I am giving this back to you guys so you can invest in Twitter.”
Leo: Good. That’s what you should do.
Mark: Yea and this comes a week or so after he pledged to give a huge chunk of Square to some charitable organizations.
Leo: You know after your first $100 million, you really don’t need more, right? I mean your $500 million whatever it is.
Mark: I wouldn’t know.
Leo: I wouldn’t know either but there’s some point where you—Bill Gates said this. He said, “At some point you’re infinitely rich. More money is not going to change your lifestyle at all.” And maybe he just feels like, “Hey, I’ve got plenty. It’s time to give back.” He also said, I don’t know if this is going to change anything, he wants to reset relationship with developers. It was Dick Costello his predecessor who killed the 3rd party ecosystem essentially by limiting Twitter clients to 100,000 new users and so forth. You actually wrote a story saying that the Twitter client has gotten better on the Mac side.
Lauren: It will get better. Not yet.
Leo: Not yet.
Lauren: Not yet. We’re holding out hope that the Twitter for Mac client will finally be useable.
Leo: You were using TweetDeck it looked like.
Lauren: I am a TweetDeck loyalist.
Leo: That’s also a Twitter client, isn’t it?
Lauren: Yes but TweetDeck actually does, it was updated so it has group DMs and emoji and—
Leo: Group DMs? What a concept.
Lauren: Emoji support. You know, it’s the little things, right? Twitter for Mac does not have those things yet. They promised them. It’s kind of the moving forward and understanding that maybe they should be putting a lot more effort into their native apps rather than relying on 3rd party developers or in this case with TweetDeck, a company that initially started as a 3rd party developer but then was included under the Twitter umbrella. Jury’s still out. Again like I said, I’m a TweetDeck loyalist. I’m all about it. I use the dark mode because I think I’m cool. And I think it works really well for me. But it all depends on sort of what, what they really want to do. And I think that this is them saying like, “Not only are we investing in our apps but we’re also investing in developers to create more with our STK and with our API to sort of do more and to make Twitter as exciting as it should be.” Given how big it is, given how big the platform is, the fact that they’ve been shut off to developers for so long now, it’s kind of remarkable.
Leo: Do you think though that developers now once bitten will be twice shy? I mean I would be nervous to make a new Twitter client at this point. I might move on to some other thing.
Lauren: That’s true. But there’s so much information and data—
Leo: And value.
Lauren: And value that Twitter has sort of stored away that I think that there will be some people who will be really interested in creating something. Even if it’s just other companies. I mean imagine what somebody could do by integrating you know, Twitter and Slack. Then I would never have to leave my computer.
Lauren: Never. You know put that thing on like some Google Cardboard and I’ll just live my work.
Leo: Yea. Just a headset.
Lauren: All the time.
Leo: Twitter and Slack. That’s everything for you.
Leo: That and K-Pop and scrambled eggs. You’ve got life nailed.
Lauren: Yes. Pug co-piolet.
Leo: Pug co-piolet. We’re working on the pug. You’re an aspirational pug owner.
Lauren: I’m an aspirational pug owner, this is true.
Leo: But you are the one and only Lauren Hockenson. There is no one else. You’ll find her on The Next Web or on the Twitter app @l-h-o-c-k-e-n-s-o-n.
Lauren: That is correct.
Leo: Patrick Beja is also here. You’ll find him at frenchspin.com or @NotPatrick which is very confusing on the Twitter. Don’t know what you’re thinking there. He does his own high LPR 40 though. That to me that’s status.
Mark: And a lot of scarves.
Leo: And scarves. Also with us is—
Patrick: There you go. That’s one right here.
Leo: Ah, look. Mark Milian, Mark Milian from Bloomberg Business. Oh wait, our show today by Squarespace. I love Squarespace. You can’t—you know Squarespace is hosting plus the best software to give you an incredible experience as a website user, you know, someone creating a website. And give your users an experience that’s second to none. In fact my Leoville site is now on Squarespace and I just feel, I just love it. This is the new Squarespace cover page feature which is fantastic. You can use it to give your visitors a quick glance of who you are. Actually if you take the lower 3rd down, Jason, you’ll see I also have links to my social networks. And it links right into my blog. Look at this, animated gifs. I’m going to try, I’m going to see if I can put the 360 video on there. That would be awesome. For blogging, for your e-commerce, for your business, Squarespace. And the thing is, if you all, everybody watching right now went to Leoville.com not only would I be happy, but you would not be able to bring the Squarespace site down. They are, it is so robust. It is so strong. That’s your view right there Lauren, by the way. It’s exactly what you’re seeing right now. Squarespace.com. There’s my old friends from Toronto. There’s my old friend from The Screen Savers. Here’s the deal. It starts at $8 a month when you sign up for a year. You can build the most beautiful websites using state of the art technology. You’d be crazy to try to do this on your own. They’ve hired the best designers to make great templates. They’re all mobile responsive. That’s not easy. They’ve got it done for you. They all have e-commerce. They have sites for a variety of different types of businesses. If you’re a band for instance they’ve got sites for bands. They’ve got sites for restaurants. They don’t look cookie cutter. They don’t look like anything else. They look like you, like your ethos, your style. And that’s what so great about Squarespace. Want you to try it right now. In fact it’s easy to try. You don’t even need a credit card. Just go to Squarespace.com and click the get started button. You have 2 weeks to play with it. Pick the template. Change the template. It’s so easy to change the template. You just click a button and the content stays in the—suddenly you look different. So easy to redesign your site, to make it look exactly as you want it to with drag and drop. They have a developer platform so if you are an HTLM Java Script CSS guru you can—the sky’s the limit. An incredible 24/7 customer support and a great support site too to make sure that if you have any questions they will get answered. Try it free for 2 weeks. You can even import some of your content to see what the site would look like. It’s a great way to get an idea of what Squarespace can do for you. And then if you decide to buy, 10% off when you use the offer code TWIT. And if you sign up for a business of commerce plan, $100 in AdWord credits as well so you can start promoting your new site. Squarespace.com. Squarespace. Build it beautiful. Hey if you missed this week on TWiT, you missed a lot. Take a look.
Narrator: Previously, on TWiT.
Leo: I don’t do relatives computers anymore. I say, “If you insist on buying a Windows PC, I’m done.” Thank you very much.
Narrator: Before You Buy.
Father Robert Ballecer: Now this is a much awaited, the Nexus 5X.
Myriam Joire: It takes all the things you love about the 5, really good specs, really affordable price, and a pure Nexus experience, and puts it into a brand new device for 2015.
Narrator: Know How.
Fr. Robert: One of the most requested things has been how to get rid of the Windows 10 nag screen. So we’re going to show you how to get rid of the Windows 10 nag at least until Microsoft counters it.
Narrator: Teck News Today.
Mike Elgan: New reports reveal that police have successfully used DNA information from Ancestry.com as part of their police investigations raising privacy concerns about access to such data.
Claire Maldarelli: I think this case was such a, kind of a CSI, kind of thing-- that’s what happens when you work at Pop Sci. I just got attacked by a drone.
Claire: That was not planned. I swear.
Narrator: Don’t make me come back there.
Fr. Robert: Brian, you know, you know the nag, right?
Bryan Burnett: I do know the nag and I was able to get rid of it by upgrading to Windows 10 (laughing).
Leo: And Mike Elgan is here with a look at the week ahead. Mike?
Mike: Coming up this week the new Apple TV goes on sale tomorrow which is Monday, October 26th. And shipments are expected by the end of the week. Motorola will unveil new droid phones at an event in New York City on Tuesday, October 27th. Apple, Twitter and Alibaba also release earnings on Tuesday. Google launches its YouTube Red ad free subscription option on Wednesday, October 28. Also on Wednesday Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg will conduct one of his town hall Q & A sessions, this time in India. OnePlus will unveil its third smart phone in London on Thursday, October 29th. Thursday’s another big day for earnings. Expect to hear from Samsung, Sony, Nokia, LinkedIn and Electronic Arts. And on Friday, October 30th, the Microsoft Band 2 fitness watch ships. For all this and the rest of the news this week, subscribe to Tech News Today at twit.tv/tnt. Back to you, Leo.
Leo: Did you read Kara Swisher’s latest in Re/code? Kara of course has made her living with leaks from Yahoo. This may be the last one. Yahoo talent exodus accelerates as Marissa Mayer’s turnaround flounders. Apparently Yahoo has been trying to cover this up. In fact Marissa’s not been too happy about it either. She had a recent companywide meeting. She put up photos of purple kittens to indicate a successful period of no leaks about the company’s internal issues including staff departures. But that never stopped Kara. Apparently many executives leaving. There is a sense of doom according to her at Yahoo. Marissa Mayer’s attempt to turnaround the company is now being viewed inside as failing. “The Yahoo situation is troubling,” says one source. Others worry about the ability of managers to staunch the flow of valued employees. And boy, when you read about it, 2 senior women execs left just last week. Development head Jackie Reses to Square, marketing partnerships head Lisa Licht. The CMO Kathy Savitt who was brought in by Mayer. She’s close to Mayer. Now has left. Mike Kerns, SVP of homepage and verticals left in April. I mean the list goes on and on and on. Even people who just arrived departing very quickly. So I don’t, you know. I feel like Yahoo has so much value in it. But I also feel like it’s been such a challenge and Marissa Mayer was hired as CEO to turn it around. And you cannot say looking at it that in any way there’s been a turnaround at Yahoo, right?
Lauren: I think it depends on what you would consider to be the turnaround point I guess. I read something in the San Francisco Chronicle. I believe it was an AP story regarding the possibility of Yahoo getting into the fantasy sports.
Leo: They actually—
Mark: They have.
Lauren: They have fantasy sports but the—
Leo: Oh, you mean the new thing.
Mark: The actual real money betting which they started for the first time this season.
Leo: They just started FanDuel kind of stuff.
Lauren: They just started real money betting and it could be a really big boon for Yahoo Sports because it was a huge fantasy sports you know, bastion. And it’s been for so long until DraftKings and FanDuel started eating its lunch and started getting real money payouts from it. I think that you know, there is, there are ways that Yahoo can sort of pivot or really push into new areas. But that really comes at the behest of Mayer’s judgement and what she sees as the image for the company which to be frank, I don’t know if I see a clear one right now.
Leo: I feel like, and this ties into Jonah Peretti’s companywide memo, Yahoo is very old school, right? The monolithic portal content company, content and services company and then you look at what BuzzFeed is doing and I don’t know if it’s going to be successful or not but very, very almost the opposite. BuzzFeed creates content that they don’t put on their own site, they put everywhere else. And I thought this was a great memo from Jonah Peretti the founder and owner of BuzzFeed to his staff then later put on the BuzzFeed blog in which he basically said, “We’ve been hiring like crazy. We’ve got talent and reporters and story tellers and business people and engineers. We are building a global—“ (laughing). It’s interesting that he has to in the memo to the company explain what the company is doing. “A global cross-platform network for news and entertainment.” Kind of the opposite of Yahoo. If Yahoo was a monolithic portal, BuzzFeed exists on Facebook and YouTube and everywhere else where ever potential viewers are. He says, “We see a post like ’26 problems that only anxious people will understand’ which got 10 million views on our site evolve into multiple videos with 10 million views across YouTube and Facebook which turn into a comic on Instagram then on our SnapChat Discover Channel.” And on and on and on. It’s stories, it’s global, it’s multi-platform.
Mark: There are virtues to both native strategies and there are drawbacks to—like BuzzFeed’s entire model is to some extent built around capturing lightning in a bottle. And having—
Leo: Viral. If it’s on fire--
Mark: You never know what’s going to go viral.
Mark: I mean you can get an idea of what works and what doesn’t but you can never really know when you’ve got like the dress for example. Which is a phenomenon that still doesn’t make any sense to me. How people saw different colors.
Leo: The black and gold dress.
Mark: Yea, black and gold. Whereas Yahoo has the advantage of like today, Sunday’s NFL game aired in London on Yahoo. It’s a perfect example of taking something that’s incredibly boring, the worst game of the week, Jaguars versus Bills at 6:30 in the morning in San Francisco and driving tens of millions of people to it likely. They haven’t announced numbers yet. But driving millions of people to it. I think your phone’s ringing.
Leo: That’s somebody at my front door. Just ignore that. I’ll turn that off.
Mark: Being able to drive millions of people to an extremely uninteresting event because they put the video everywhere and they make it auto-play and you know, they can create their own drama.
Leo: Well they can also monetize it right, because it’s a lot easier to monetize that than it is a post on Facebook or a post on—I mean--
Mark: Arguably they didn’t do a great job of monetizing this particular event. They had to undersell some of the ads I think.
Leo: I think though the point that BuzzFeed is making is that people no longer go to a site.
Mark: No, many people do. Many people do. Definitely it’s going in a different direction but Yahoo’s home page still drives—
Leo: Is still huge.
Mark: Many, many millions of people.
Leo: Well I can certainly see that rumor that people are going to go to because they’re on a mission. But it must be challenging for somebody like the New York Times where people don’t go to the front page and browse the Times. They go to links that they see on Twitter and Facebook and follow those links. And that’s what BuzzFeed’s trying to capitalize on. I’m sorry, Patrick, go ahead.
Patrick: And I think that’s what BuzzFeed has been doing really well. First because they managed against all odds to capture some amount of you know, lightning in a bottle because they do get very viral posts.
Leo: They’re good at making viral videos. I’ve never seen anybody so good at it.
Patrick: It’s incredibly exploitative. They make those kids of listicles that honestly make any, I was going to say any serious journalist, but really any journalist kind of roll their eyes.
Leo: Well it almost feels algorithmic. It feels like they’re applying a computer algorithm to make something be viral.
Patrick: I’m sure they are, they have formulas but beyond that I think they look at the way the articles are taking off and then they start pushing the ones that start taking off more. And you see them everywhere. And you’re right, Leo, the lesson is for a lot of publications, they have to sort of divorce themselves from this idea of content ownership. It’s a very, very dangerous and counter intuitive thing to do but you have to be willing to let go and to put your content everywhere people will want to see if. Because if you don’t people are just not going to see it. And ironically, BuzzFeed has been starting to do actual investigative journalism that is you know, they’ve had some pretty substantial articles.
Leo: As is Vice and other companies kind of built the same way. Lauren, you said it though. You don’t go. All you need is Slack and Twitter. You don’t go, you don’t open your browser and go to your home page, your My Yahoo page.
Lauren: No I don’t. But I think that it brings up an interesting point, right. When you look at something that’s cross platform like BuzzFeed what you’re seeing is a vision between two different kinds of BuzzFeed readers. You know the people who click on those Me Too listicles or like I’d like to say, I actively say to my computer, “Oh, that is so me.” All those posts that make you go, “That is so me.”
Leo: So me.
Lauren: Is what BuzzFeed is really known for.
Lauren: They want you to click on the article that is so you, that’s so about you.
Leo: Interesting. Interesting.
Lauren: But at the same time there are other different ways of news gathering. I mean I spend my time on Twitter and I follow different news sources and I get it directly there. And every once in a while you know, I’ll see something from another social site or it will come up in my RSS or however I choose to get news at the specific moment in time. But what BuzzFeed is trying to capture is this instance where it’s like, “Sure I’m not going to click on Me Too posts on Facebook. I’m not going to click on you know, 10 reasons why you know, girls who went to college in Boston love coffee.” Like I don’t care about those things.
Leo: That’s so you.
Lauren: Yea, that’s so me though. It’s so me but I don’t want to click on it. I think that, what we see is we see those people and they’re on Facebook. But we see you know, people on Twitter who perhaps are searching for specific news sources and may follow BuzzFeed. Or see people on YouTube or Instagram or on Vine who are following BuzzFeed or they’re going on Snapchat Discover or they’re going through BuzzFeed’s you know, native app. What we’re seeing is this idea that BuzzFeed is saying which is just, “Why do we need to have a site for all of this? How can we you know, integrate it more?” And I think you know that we’re seeing it in a real way being played out you know by another media company and that would be Business Insider. They have their insider, just different.
Lauren: That’s different from Business Insider, it’s different from Techinsider.io
Leo: Oh this is the new business that they started.
Lauren: Yes. They have Insider which doesn’t have a website at all. It doesn’t have—it’s really hard to search for because you just want to look.
Leo: Yea, how do you search for it?
Lauren: Yea, but it’s just there, you know? It’s one of those things.
Leo: Because nobody’s supposed to go to it.
Lauren: Yea, it’s just called Insider. The Insider.
Leo: The Insider.
Lauren: I think that might be right. No that’s wrong. That’s The Insider.
Leo: No, that’s not it. That’s another Insider.
Lauren: So what you’re seeing is they have this thing it’s called Insider. And they have you know, Instagram and they have other methods that they’re delivering news and—
Leo: I can’t find it.
Lauren: No. But part of it is that they’re, well that has to do with the fact that Google doesn’t allow you know, Facebook or Twitter searches but the idea is that you’re going to come across this stuff and you’re not going to want to spend a lot of time bouncing around a website. You’re going to want to consume that video or that news into—oh, here we go. Techinsider.io/latest. Thanks, Virgil, in the chat.
Leo: Techinsider.io. Ok.
Lauren: slash latest. But what it is it’s designed to be that sort of native experience. Whether or not that that’s something that’s effective, I mean it’s untested. It’s yet to be proven.
Leo: And the reason they don’t care if you go to that page is you’re not supposed to go to that page. This is supposed to be linked from everywhere else to that, right? You’re supposed to find it on Facebook.
Lauren: I believe so. I believe that they also have other stuff. I’m not exactly sure how it works. I’m not really that hip on the ti.io. But what I do know is they’re really trying to push to make this native play and trying to get people who are actively within those social networks.
Leo: Wait these are all—listen to the headlines. They’re just viral. Absolutely viral. It looks like Aaron Sorkin’s new Steve Jobs movie is a flop. Why is it impossible to try Google’s new great phones? The man who helped create the iPod reveals the moment he and his wife decided to leave Apple. I mean—
Mark: It’s viral. I’ve caught the viral infection.
Leo: People are carving Trump-o-lanterns. Apple just put out a new—
Patrick: This is making me feel dirty.
Leo: How to stop Windows 7 from constantly asking you to upgrade to Windows 10. These are 10 of the best wildlife pictures taken in the last 20 years. These 5 Game of Thrones characters were recast and you probably didn’t even notice. And on and on and on.
Lauren: Yea. So and I think that—
Leo: It’s really successful too.
Lauren: Well it’s the separation between you know, content and news.
Leo: Pizza is the key to this strange economic principle. How could you not click that? How could you not click that?
Lauren: I don’t know. But if it’s not about a pie chart, I’m out of here.
Leo: Steve Kovach though, who is a regular on this show, is the guy who wrote the iPhone 6S screen is so sensitive it can weigh things.
Patrick: Oh, no that’s the best one. Scientists have an idea of why everyone is obsessed with bacon.
Leo: (Laughing). Bacon is automatically viral. Just put the word bacon.
Lauren: But I think that it comes down to the fact that weather or not these sites, what their end goal is. If it’s to create the whole reporting which BuzzFeed does, time and time again, especially you know even in its tech section. I mean shout out to Matt Honan he’s great at what he does. And he does a lot of tech reporting.
Leo: Yea, Matt writes stories like crazy.
Lauren: All the time. And they have Nitasha Tiku over there now and they just have people who are—
Leo: You almost feel like that’s them trying to cover up what they’re really up to. Like, “Let’s hire some prestigious reporters, break some news, and then nobody will pay attention to what we’re really trying to do which is basically Upworthy.
Patrick: Yea, basically so on the bacon article there are two see also articles that actually have a picture of the American flag made out of bacon. I think that sort of proves the point.
Leo: (Laughing) ok, don’t tell me the URL because I have to do an ad right now and I don’t want to be distracted. We’ll talk about the GIF election. Or is it GIF election? We can fight over that. I think it was a black dress. But first a word from Lynda.com the on-line learning platform made for you. You’re curious, you want to learn, you’re smart, you want to make things happen. Get a better job. Get better at your job. Have, get better at your hobby. Photography or coding. Lynda.com has everything for the curious mind. If you’re interested in photography, you want to take better photos, you’ve got to check out L-Y-N-D-A, Lynda.com. Two new courses that are fabulous. One of them taught by a good friend of mine who’s one of my favorite photographers, Ben Long, The Introduction to Photography. Getting Started with Photography. They do a 5 day photo challenge to help improve your composition skills. And for the high end heavy duty folks, new courses on things like Color Correction. Making Selective Adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw. Lightroom Essential Training. The Fundamentals of Photoshop. There’s Ben. Look at they’ve got the best teachers, the most—these guys are passionate about their subject. They teach well. They communicate their passion and these are videos that are shot professionally. These are not YouTube videos. This is great content. You get a transcript so you can search right to the part of the show you want or you can go beginning to end. You can download your tutorials and watch them on the go. I just love Lynda.com. And what we’ve done is we’ve set it up so that you can experience it for 10 days just like you were a paying subscriber. The run of the place. That’s one of the things I like. You pay a flat monthly fee and you don’t have to choose ahead of time what courses you want to take. You can take any of them. More than 3,000 courses. You can take any of them. So dabble all you want. No need to pick a major. Just go to Lynda.com/twit2 and have 10 days to run around and see the stuff you can see, learn the stuff you can learn. Certainly enough time to take a few courses but what I want you to do is get an idea of what Lynda.com can offer you so you can sign up. Lynda.com/twit and the number 2 for your free 10-day trial. They’ve also got courses on business skills like resume building, negotiation and how to run businesses too. Leadership skills. L-Y-N-D-A Lynda.com/twit2. I did not watch the 11 hour marathon of Hillary Clinton testifying before Congress in the Benghazi investigation. But I did think what was interesting was Matt Bors’ article about it on Medium of course. He’s pointing out now that apparently Clinton has become a master of the GIF. The animated GIF. And it does seem to be. There are a few moments in the testimony where she was clearly aware that she was creating a moment that would be spread virally. You know it’s not just Jonah Peretti that’s figured out that the best way to get attention is to go viral. I think Donald Trump’s figure that out.
Mark: She’s the cross-platform candidate.
Leo: She is the-- look at this. Brushing it off. A little. You don’t think that that was unconscious? That was very clearly conscious. This. That’s made for a GIF. So I think what he’s pointing out in his article is—by the way here’s some of the headlines. 8 times Hillary Clinton didn’t care, in GIFs. Hillary’s testimony before the Benghazi Committee, in GIFs. This is the greatest Hillary Clinton Benghazi reaction GIF ever (IMAGE). He says “GIFs matter. A fast traveling GIF will prove devastating to candidates unable to preemptively supply the public with GIF-fable reactions and gestures to fit the campaign’s narrative. Is this, is this, this is the election we’re heading into, folks. Nixon sweating. Bush checking his watch. Dukakis in a tank. This election will produce GIFs that will negatively shape the perception of candidates until the day they leave the earth. I love this. He says candidates need to sit down and address their GIF plan (laughing).
Patrick: I don’t know.
Leo: I totally believe this.
Lauren: I wouldn’t exactly say that Hilary is the master of the Graphics Interchange Format. I believe that that would have to go to Drake.
Leo: (Laughing) Ok, Ok.
Lauren: The rapper Drake.
Leo: I’m not saying she invented it. She’s the first politician to think about this and consciously manipulate it.
Mark: Drake, little known, he invented the image format.
Lauren: Yea, that too. He almost called it the DIF. It was the Drake Interchange Format.
Leo: The DIF, man.
Lauren: He was too busy on Degrassi. He couldn’t work it out in time. Actually though when you look through you know, something like your Twitter stream and you see you know, Hillary Clinton—Hotline Bling. Huge.
Leo: Hotline Bling.
Lauren: All of the, I say GIF as well, but GIF, GIF, the GIF or GIF of Drake dancing is pretty—
Leo: Do you put GIFs in your Twitter feed like in reaction like?
Lauren: Yea. Oh yea.
Leo: Oh yea.
Lauren: Yea. Yes. I have this folder. It’s on my desktop. It is separated by feelings.
Lauren: And it allows me—
Lauren: Yes. Yes.
Leo: Are you kidding me?
Leo: So you have on your desktop—
Leo: Folders for different feelings.
Leo: And when you tweet and you want to express a feeling, you will look in that folder and find the right GIF?
Lauren: Yes. Except for—
Leo: I’ve got to start following you.
Lauren: (Laughing) Except for I actually have a job on Twitter and that is to provide a very specific image to Alex Wilhelm who is also a friend of the show.
Leo: Love Alex. Yea.
Lauren: And it helps to have a specific image.
Leo: Did he put you up to this?
Lauren: No. But I have, I said when the other day which is I believe I just captioned it Thursday. It’s all the way down I think. Because I tweet a lot.
Leo: You tweet a lot apparently. Yea.
Lauren: I tweet a lot. And I was sick this week to which is remarkable.
Leo: A lot of SoundCloud.
Lauren: That’s one, I didn’t actually make that one. But there’s one further—that one I made. And this was Thursday.
Leo: So what folder is this in?
Lauren: That’s the dancing folder. Or the working folder depending.
Leo: Do you have a folder on your desktop?
Mark: I don’t have GIFs.
Leo: I think you should do this.
Mark: Although GIFs are pretty popular in our Slack. We take a lot—
Leo: Oh. It’s Slack that created this problem.
Lauren: Slack perpetuate the problem.
Leo: The automated GIF problem.
Lauren: I don’t know if it created it.
Mark: Yea the JiffyBot.
Mark: We take a blazing shortcut which is you do /giphy and then you just type in any keyword and it pulls up a random one. Usually it makes no sense the options that it chooses. It’s part of the fun.
Leo: I wonder if—see so I first became aware of Slack when I was working with our developers in Austin for the new website and this is what they use. And apparently they’re very aware of all of this. So what is it? It’s—
Mark: Giphy. G-I-
Leo: P-H-Y, right?
Lauren: This really doesn’t help the people that pronounce it Giphy.
Leo: Yea there you go. Oh, I’m not allowed to use this command. I’ve been blocked.
Leo: I’ve been Giphy blocked.
Mark: You must have abused it.
Leo: Holy cow. Thanks Four Kitchens. Blocking me from the Giphy. I might have done that to myself because I think there’s a command you can say, “I don’t want to see those GIFs anymore.” I think I might have done that. So Drake invented the GIF?
Lauren: No he, I think what you see here is the phenomena that Hilary is also doing which is that you have these specific actions or reactions that you can use really easily and share them really quickly and it can mean a lot. You know, you can put that up and you can just say like that face when you’ve had it.
Leo: She’s not a stranger to the meme. There’s that picture of her with the sunglasses looking at her Blackberry, right? Wasn’t there a whole meme of her in the situation room?
Patrick: Yea it was, it was Hillary Clinton checking her Blackberry I think was the official name of the meme but I mean but I browse Reddit a lot. I use and Tweet GIFs as much as the next guy but does that do anything for her though? Does that, is that something you can control? And it’s just as likely that it’s going to damage her image as it is that it’s—I mean look at this specific GIF.
Leo: Not if you—yea, but I’m telling you that’s why you got to take control. This is—
Leo: Because you’ve got to spin it. Because—so you need to, I don’t know how. But I don’t know how BuzzFeed does viral videos either. I think there’s a way to win over the GIFing population.
Lauren: I think it has a very strong Venn diagram overlap with the that is so me population. I think that that comes together. To bring it back.
Leo: What about Boomerang? Does that count? The new Instagram app? The one second back and forth. That seems like somebody, a lazy GIF strategy.
Patrick: It is the easiest way of creating GIFs that anyone has found on mobile. People have been trying to crack that not for a year now, and I think Boomerang is the one that comes the closest.
Mark: I like the Google Photos auto-stitch. If you shot a bunch of photos, they’ll recommend GIFs and create those.
Leo: Yea. So here’s—apparently there is a site. Textsfromhillary.com on Tumblr. So here’s Joe Biden, he’s taking to the president saying, “She’s just going to love the new Justin Bieber video.” And she texts back, “Back to work boys.” I think this is good. I think this is good for in a certain demographic.
Lauren: It’s my second favorite.
Patrick: But she didn’t—
Leo: What’s your favorite? Wait a minute. I’ve got to find out what her favorite is. Then you can talk, Patrick.
Lauren: Joebideneatsicecream.tumblr.com which is just pictures of Joe Biden eating ice cream.
Leo: A lot of ice cream?
Lauren: Sometimes he’s eating two ice creams.
Leo: (Laughing) go ahead Patrick while I search for Joe Biden eats ice cream.
Patrick: I want to, I want to see that too. But it’s like Kim Johg Ell or is it Kim Jong Ell looking at things. It’s the nature of viral reality. There’s no way you can control it first of all. And certainly Hillary Clinton didn’t do anything special to create that badass text sending persona for herself. And I don’t think that anyone can create positive GIFs in the campaign.
Leo: This is such a badass picture of Joe Biden flashing a 20 while he’s eating ice cream.
Lauren: Two Hamiltons.
Leo: Two Hamiltons, sorry.
Lauren: Two Hamiltons and a vanilla cone.
Leo: And a vanilla cone. Apparently he eats a lot of ice cream.
Lauren: He does.
Leo: You point some out here so I won’t miss any, right?
Lauren: There’s one where he’s eating two ice creams.
Mark: Seems to go more cone than cup. Which I’m not sure I agree with.
Leo: I’m a more cone than cup kind of guy.
Lauren: This is a more than one page Tumblr which is remarkable.
Leo: Oh yes, this goes on and on and on.
Lauren: There’s older. He got older.
Lauren: There it is. There’s the one where’s he’s eating two.
Leo: Joe, Joe the double fisted ice cream eater.
Lauren: Yea, he’s eating two. That’s my favorite. I love, I love textsfromhillary don’t get me wrong. I think that that’s what she’s really good at. It’s like making these reproducible and shareable situations but for my money it’s all about Joey B with his vanilla cone.
Leo: Two Hamiltons and a cone (laughing).
Mark: He’s not running but this is the platform he could have run on.
Leo: I’m telling you.
Mark: Joe eats ice cream.
Leo: I’m telling you. If you are a modern day politician. One of the reasons Trump’s doing so well. They analyzed the speech, the text of all of the candidates. Hillary’s at a tenth grade level. Even Ben Carson is like an eighth grade level. Donald Trump fourth grade level. And you know what? That’s not a bad thing. Because when he says, “Politicians are stupid,” it resonates with people. They get it.
Mark: I know what that means.
Leo: I know what that means. And I’m telling you the GIF is the new sound bite.
Patrick: But the argument, the argument of Matt Bors is exactly that. It’s you know, the republicans are going for the sound bite, trying to get the sound bite. And you know, Hillary is trying to get the GIF. I think that’s a completely flawed argument. You can actually go for the sound bite, you can control it. But you cannot control getting the GIF. That’s like saying, “Oh you know those viral videos? We have to get ourselves some of that.” All right, try.
Leo: Throw me, all right, Lauren, throw me some shade.
Lauren: Oh, I can’t throw, no I can’t throw—
Leo: You don’t know how to throw shade?
Lauren: (Laughing) I know how to throw shade but I can’t do it on command.
Leo: Oh, ok.
Lauren: What do you want to know?
Leo: You did actually just throw me some shade.
Lauren: Yea, that’s true.
Leo: And so I don’t know what. So well now see that’s the GIF that it made.
Lauren: Oh no.
Leo: That’s not very, that’s not a flattering.
Lauren: I’ve got one of those, it’s an eye in a pendant from another—it’s not great.
Leo: (Laughing) all right let’s do this again.
Lauren: I don’t spend a lot of time like—
Leo: Mark Milian, throw me some shade. Oh, nice. He did a little Jay-Z thing.
Leo: Oh, yea.
Lauren: Here now that I’m prepared.
Leo: Oh wait a minute now I’ve got to save that. Wait a minute where do I put that? Instagram, right? Ok. Lauren, are you prepared?
Mark: Can you do GIFs on Instagram?
Lauren: Yea. Do you want shade?
Leo: Yea because this is an Instagram app.
Mark: Can you do—oh, that’s right.
Leo: Yea. Yea.
Lauren: Do you—
Leo: Dude. All right. Share that sucker. All right now we’re going to do, we’re going to go back (laughing).
Leo: And Lauren’s going to do. Now you just tell me when you’re going to do it. Wait a minute I’m in the wrong app. Hold on a second. Damn you Instagram. You’ve got too many apps. I’m done. That’s saved.
Lauren: Ok, ready?
Leo: Yea. Ooh, I think that was good.
Leo: No, do that again.
Lauren: (Laughing) ok.
Leo: This timing is hard on this. Now wait a minute. What’s it going to do? Is it going to blink, blink, blink? Is that what it does when you’re about to go? Aw, it missed it. Wait a minute. Ready, set, not yet. When I say go. That’s good too. Go.
Lauren: Did you get it? No, see.
Leo: It’s hard to do.
Mark: This is going to be a tough segment to listen to in the audio version.
Leo: Oh, you’re absolutely right. I apologize to everybody.
Mark: I don’t know if it’s any easier to watch but—
Leo: No, it’s worse to watch, frankly. It would be better to imagine something exciting happening. We’re out of time. I’m not going to spend any time talking about Pandora and the fact that all of these companies are about to collapse.
Mark: Bad quarter.
Leo: Bad quarter. Pandora had to pay $90 million dollars to the IRAA for playing, basically for playing the Turtles’ “Happy Together.” And everything else that happened before 1972. They played it without paying. Now they have to pay for the play. And they’re losing money like crazy. Investors are turning away. But see it’s not just Pandora. The whole problem is all of these companies. Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music are beholden to the record companies. The record companies have them. There’s nothing they can do about it. So.
Mark: If we’re doing the lightning round—
Leo: Lighting round.
Mark: The Steve Jobs movie bombed.
Leo: So early results are in from the first opening weekend on the 23rd. This is the opening weekend. How much money?
Mark: $7.3 million in US and Canada.
Leo: How many in theaters? Does it say? That’s pretty weak.
Mark: It’s about a third of what the estimates were and it clocked in at number 7.
Leo: Heavily marketed. Number 7.
Mark: It was expected to do very well.
Leo: You know I don’t think, I don’t think it’s because people are thinking it’s a bad movie, I think it’s because people don’t care about Steve Jobs. Who cares? I’m not going to—I can go see that or Bridge of Spies or The Martian.
Lauren: Just for the record it’s being whomped by Goosebumps.
Patrick: You know that just what that means?
Leo: Goosebumps is beating it? R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps?
Leo: Oh my God.
Leo: You’ve seen that right?
Patrick: The Tech Insider article that we made fun of was apparently right. The movie did suck. I mean, bombed.
Leo: Yea, bombed.
Patrick: There’s the, if you want an uplifting end note, there’s the self-driving cars that have to kill people.
Leo: This is a fascinating story.
Patrick: It’s really interesting.
Leo: This comes from MIT’s Technology Review. And it says, “If you’re going to do autonomous vehicles you’ve got to solve a really challenging ethical dilemma. What do you do when you have to make the decision between say for instance killing your occupants, your owners or plowing into a crowd? How should the car be programmed to act in the event of an unavoidable accident?” Should it minimize the loss of life even if it means sacrificing the occupants or as I would like it to do, should it protect the occupants at all costs? And how does it do this? And I think this is actually going to be one of the more intractable problems that have to be solved before we have self-driving cars. Or maybe the companies will just ignore it and let the computer just algorithmically—
Patrick: Yea but you can’t. You can’t ignore it. You have to make, to you know, write the algorithm that’s going to decide.
Leo: Do you? No, I’ve got another idea. What if you just, ok you’re writing the algorithms. What are you doing with that? You’re saying avoid an accident. Period. Just avoid an accident. You don’t even address the unavoidable accident. You just say avoid an accident at all costs.
Patrick: And see where the chip falls?
Leo: And see what happens. The car’s going to—it can’t avoid an accident, it’s going to get into an accident. And then what will happen will happen.
Lauren: Yea but that’s how we got Christine. That’s how we get Christine.
Leo: Or Killdozer.
Leo: Ladies and gentlemen, I think this is a very upbeat note to end this show with. Patrick, you’re absolutely right.
Patrick: You’re welcome.
Leo: Patrick Beja is—I love, I love Patrick. And he’s doing it all on his own now. What’s your Patreon page so we can get you some moolah?
Patrick: Oh, well, thank you. There’s a couple. The Le Rendezvous Tech, it’s Patreon.com/RDVTech. And there is the Patreon.com/thephileasclub which is a show I do in English which I get people from different countries in the world together. We did one episode last week and the one before was a special where we talked to my friend Turkey from Saudi Arabia and he told us about everyday life in Saudi Arabia.
Leo: Oh, interesting.
Patrick: That’s something you don’t hear very often.
Leo: So depending on the language of choice you could, LDV Tech or The Phileas Club.
Patrick: Or the Phileas Club. Yep. Of course I’m on, of course I’m on the Daily Tech News Show with Tom Merritt most Tuesdays.
Leo: Nice. I mean I really think this is an amazing thing. We, you know, we make TWiT work by selling ads and we’ve been around for so long that we’re able to do that. But maybe it’d be different, a different TWiT if Patreon had been around 10 years ago. I think this is just really fantastic that it exists. And I congratulate you on your success.
Patrick: I think that it addresses—thank you. It addresses different levels of audiences. I think for an English show that has the popularity of your network enjoys it makes sense to go ad supported. For you know, the intermediate levels I think Patreon works really well. So.
Leo: Well, absolutely. And I think the promise of the internet is this kind of democratization of media. And that means there will be shows at all levels. And they need to be able to exist at all levels. So I’m really thrilled that this works. That’s great. Thank you, Patrick. Great to see you again.
Patrick: Thank you for having me.
Leo: I want to thank Mark Milian for stopping by from Bloomberg Business Week. Anything you want to plug? What are you up to these days?
Mark: Bloomberg.com/tech it’s all the good stuff you need to read every day.
Leo: You have the terminal running on your Mac there and I was just looking at it.
Leo: That’s cool.
Mark: Yea. I was looking up Yahoo’s cash position. $6.8 billion.
Leo: Whoa. Is it dwindling?
Mark: Yea, well, in fiscal 2014 it was $10.2 billion so it is indeed dwindling.
Leo: It is dwindling. In fact dwindling at a rapid rate (laughing).
Mark: When you spend $17 million dollars on one NFL game that could—
Leo: Yikes. They bought the rights to that? Not the other way around of course.
Mark: Oh yea.
Leo: Of course they did. And you know there’s nothing like watching the NFL at 6:00 in the morning. Man, that’s fun. Lauren Hockenson is at The Next Web. You’re kind of new there.
Lauren: Yes. I mean I joined in July, so.
Leo: And that’s been great?
Leo: Fun? You love it?
Lauren: Yea, yea. I mean I was a tech journalist before and then I stepped out of the game and sat behind a desk for a little bit.
Lauren: Awful. I was watching TV at work.
Leo: I did the same thing. I thought, “You know,” I was in radio. I thought “This is not a job for a grownup.” So I went to work for a start-up. And in 3 months later I was like, it was going crazy. It was nuts.
Lauren: Yea, I missed the pace of it.
Lauren: So now I’m back at The Next Web.
Lauren: I’m the San Francisco reporter.
Lauren: Writing all things San Francisco as much as possible.
Leo: It’s a great beat isn’t it?
Lauren: I love it.
Leo: So much fun.
Lauren: It’s really great. And then in my off time I have a podcast that I run.
Leo: What’s your podcast?
Lauren: Yes. It is called Nothing Matters. It is available on SoundCloud and iTunes.
Leo: Kind of a nihilist aren’t you?
Lauren: You can also subscribe to it by your app, whichever app of choice that you have. We, I know, confirmed I’m on Overcast. But we are on, it’s—that’ s us. Oh no. The—go to soundcloud.com.
Leo: There are other Nothing Matters podcasts?
Lauren: No, we’re the only one.
Leo: Ok. Oh you’re smart. You do it on SoundCloud.
Lauren: Yes, we do it on SoundCloud.
Leo: That’s great.
Lauren: And I talk about more than just tech there. I talk about news, basically the entire subject of the podcast is all the garbage you probably missed on Twitter. We talk about basically everything.
Leo: (Laughing) Is this it?
Lauren: We’re nomatters, no we’re nomatterscast on Twitter.
Lauren: Yes. And we’re soundcloud.com/nothingmatterscast.
Leo: This is confusing.
Lauren: I know. It’s—
Leo: Apparently there are many people who agree with you.
Lauren: It’s a new, it’s a new podcast. I’ve only been doing it for about a month. So happy to get feedback and—
Leo: There you go.
Lauren: Yes, there it is.
Leo: Everything—you’re just burning the house down.
Lauren: Yes, it’s all about fires and garbage fires on Twitter.
Leo: I’m going to listen. This looks good.
Lauren: We talk a lot about—
Leo: Pizza Rat
Lauren: We talked about Pizza Rat for a really long time. Pizza Rat is actually where we’re trying to talk with this agent to see if he will come on and guest on the cast.
Leo: I think Pizza Rat could run for President. Pizza Rat’s got strong GIF.
Lauren: I think if we went Donald Trump / Pizza Rat, that ticked would be really not.
Leo: Who would vote for that?
Lauren: Pizza Rat Truth-ers.
Leo: (Laughing) thank you, Lauren. Thank you all for being here. We do This Week in Tech every Sunday afternoon at 3:00 PM Pacific, 6:00 PM Eastern time 2200 UTC. Tune in live live.twit.tv or twit.tv/live they both work. Join us in the chatroom at irc.twit.tv. If you can’t watch live, I’d love it if you do but if you can’t watch live you can always get it on demand after the fact at twit.tv and wherever you find your podcasts. If you want to be in the studio audience we love having you. Thank you for coming. Just e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll put a chair out for you. Put a canned ham under the chair. No, we don’t. No, we do not. Thank you for being here. We’ll see you next time! Another TWiT is in the can. Bye-bye.