This Week in Tech 548
Leo Laporte: I know it's the super bowl game going on in many parts of the world, but here in the TWiT brick house, we're talking Tech. Georgia Dow joins us, Liberty Madison, and Philip Elmer Dewitt with the latest news from Apple, Google, Facebook, and Twitter. It's all next, on This Week in Tech.
NETCASTS YOU LOVE FROM PEOPLE YOU TRUST, THIS IS TWIT! Bandwidth for This Week in Tech is provided by CacheFly at cachefly.com.
Leo: Hi everybody, it's time for our annual audience survey. We'd really like to hear from you, it helps us understand our audience better, know what you like and don't like, how you listen to the show. It also helps us tell advertisers what kind of people listen, but I promise you your feedback is aways kept personally anonymous. All you have to do is visit twit.tv/survey, and let us know what you think. It will just take a few minutes, and it will help us make TWiT even better. We really appreciate your support and any help you can give us. TWiT.tv/survey. This is TWiT: This Week in Tech, episode 548, recorded Sunday, February 7, 2016.
This Week in Tech is brought to you by WealthFront. WealthFront is a low-cost, automated investment service that's the most sophisticated way for you to invest your money. Whether you've got millions or are just starting out, visit WealthFront.com/twit to sign up and get your free personalized investment portfolio. That's Wealthfront.com/twit.
And by stamps.com: Start using your time more effectively with stamps.com. Use stamps.com to buy and print real US postage the instant you need it, right from your desk. To get our special offer, go to stamps.com now. Click on the microphone and enter TWIT. That's stamps.com, enter TWIT.
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 FreshBooks. The simple cloud accounting software that is giving thousands of freelancers and small businesses the tools to save time billing and get paid faster. Try it free at freshbooks.com/twit.
It's time for TWiT, This Week in tech, the show where we cover the week's tech news. I'm looking forward to this show. This is going to be a lot of fun. Sitting right next to me, the world famous, Liberty Madison. Sounds like a furniture brand, but it's actually a person. That's your real name.
Liberty Madison: Yes, thank you so much for having me again. I appreciate it. I know I love you to death for being here on Super Bowl Sunday.
Leo: I love you to death for being here on Super Bowl Sunday, but I see you brought snacks so everybody is happy.
Liberty: I did. I wanted the essence so everybody can feel like they're at Super bowl Sunday.
Leo: In our chatroom they call it the super bowl game.
Liberty: Really. Tell me more.
Leo: You spread the syllables differently. You calling it Pin ter est.
Liberty: I call it Pinter est. And you call it P-Interest.
Leo: I call him Ped. Philip Elmer-DeWitt. Philip, you have a new gig.
Philip Elmer-DeWitt: Not quite. I'm close to having a new gig. We can talk about it, because I'd love to talk about the business model that I'm using and why, but we can get to that later.
Leo: I'm always interested in business models. Not having one, I find them fascinating. We're ad supported free media.
Philip: I'm going to be ad-free.
Leo: Philip, formerly at Fortune.
Philip: Still at Fortune for a few more weeks.
Leo: One of the grand old men of tech journalism. One of the best. Also here from iMore.com, Georgia Dow.
Georgia Dow: Hi!
Leo: She borrowed missieur Jolie Ives set.
Georgia: The background, the white room.
Leo: I think it would be cool of Johnny Ive had a French accent. This is the thinnest...
Georgia: It would probably sell more phones.
Leo: It would, wouldn't it? Or it could be these iPhone is made with fine leather. Yes.
Philip: Can you do Russian?
Leo: Of course I can do Russian. But we have news to do. I always want to say moose and squirrel. It is Super Bowl Sunday, so we're starting the show a little early, if you're just joining us I apologize. I hope I made that clear that we were going to start early because we want to get everybody out of here before kickoff, but that's not going to happen because it's only an hour off. But there's so much stuff to talk about, and I really want to talk about it. Starting with Twitter, because there was a big Kerfuffle. You are all social media mavens. You especially, Liberty. I think you represent the young millennial generation, how they use social media. Among your buddies and friends and your group of people, is Twitter widely used?
Liberty: I would definitely say so. Without a doubt.
Leo: There's some impression that Twitter is more influential among the tech people than it is among the general populous.
Liberty: I could possibly see that, because people ask me it's really interesting, how do I have so many Twitter followers. I'll tell you my secret, right here, right now, I personally sign them up.
Leo: You get your friends and family and you say come over here.
Liberty: Not friends and family. Strangers. People off the street. I sign them up. You know Twitter doesn't know that until now. So Twitter, if you're listening, I can turn this ship around for you and get more users, so feel free to Tweet me.
Leo: Philip, are you a Twitter user?
Philip: I love Twitter. If you want to find out about what people are saying about any particular topic, you type it in and there it is.
Liberty: I like the live aspect of it.
Leo: Georgia, you're a Twitter user as well?
Georgia: I use Twitter, but I use Twitter in spurts. I stay away from Twitter as long as possible, and then in eight hours I'll take a look at Twitter and respond to 30 people, and then I'll be gone for another 8 hours. Most of my Twitter stuff is strange or funny. I use it for work, but I would probably stay away from most social media if I could, unfortunately with my job I'm forced to. I use Twitter because it's short, sweet, it's done.
Liberty: Agreed, Georgia. Definitely.
Leo: Last week we talked about Twitter as well because of Joshua Tupolski of Engadget who wrote an article in the New Yorker that Twitter was dying, and this week the New Republic response says you can't Kill Twitter even if it dies. This is an important point that he makes. Twitter is still the best answer to the question “What’s happening in the world right now?”
Liberty: Absolutely. I can't watch TV, Netflix, or literally make a decision without Twitter.
Leo: It's not that there's something inherently great about the product Twitter, but the company pioneered a new cultural form which now has its place in our society. Even if there weren't a Twitter, we would have to have something like it. There was the dial tone of the Internet, the news tone of the Internet.
Philip: You'd think CNN would tell you what's happening now, but it's so bad, that you do better dipping your net into Twitter and see what's swimming by.
Leo: It's true. If you watched the Republican debates yesterday on ABC, but much more likely among our crowd, you would also have Twitter fired up. If possible, Tweet deck that would let you watch multiple screens scrolling by.
Liberty: When you're using Twitter and focusing on a conversation such as the debate, you want to circulate around a hashtag, and that allows you the opportunity to connect with people directly who are talking about something live, talking about a topic and using a particular hashtag.
Leo: The reason it comes up this week is of course Twitter stock continues to go down, puts it in play for a hostile takeover. We found out after the show last week, Jason Calacanis was here and hinted there are people looking at it. I said is it going to be a company like Google or Facebook or somebody who could take Twitter and integrate it into existing services, or is it an investment company that wants to turn Twitter around and make money? He said both. He said "I know for a fact there's an investment company that is looking very hard at Twitter. " It turns out the next day we say the news that Mark Andreeson had considered purchasing Twitter. He's a big Twitter user. He invented the Tweet storm for all intents and purposes. But it does feel like it's implied that business insider said he and Silver Lake Partners thought about buying Twitter but decided not to. Twitter meanwhile has admitted at first BuzzFeed news said it's going to announce the algorithmic timeline, now Jack Dorsey responding said yes, we are looking at it. No, we're not going to do it right away. What is the algorithmic timeline? Why are people so upset that Twitter might be doing this? What does it mean? Philip, can you talk about that?
Philip: Well, it would mean that rather than getting the stuff that people set on the topic you're interested in in the order they set them, there would be a computer making decisions about what you would like, like Facebook.
Leo: Facebook has done very well with their cultivation.
Liberty: That is exactly why people go to Twitter because they don't want that. If you see that they're using the same algorithm as Facebook, it might as well be the same thing.
Georgia: I think that what they're mistaking is that Facebook's popularity is because of their algorithm, whereas they're completely different ecosystems. People go to Twitter because I've chosen the people I'm going to follow. It's short, it's sweet, it's chewable bites of information that I can choose to and it's effortless and Facebook has a different population with a different group of people that have different needs and wants to it, and in many ways, the tech-ier people are probably on Twitter because it's fast and effortless, and that's what people want. So changing something that we're comfortable with is probably not the best of choices for Twitter to make because it makes people more upset than happy because they already like what they're using.
Leo: I've heard people say you just don't know what's good for you. Nobody ever wanted Facebook, everybody critisizes Facebook for parcing its feed, nevertheless it continues to grow and grow and grow by doing so. The folks at Twitter maybe having the same thought. There is a huge storm of protest against this idea of an algorithm but they may be saying just be patient. In fact, an engineer who was working on it who is no longer at Twitter said, "Be patient." You will like it. Twitter has been doing something similar for a while. While you Were Awake. Do you guys get the While you were away? I went to my Twitter page that says while you were away, these are Tweets from people. This is algorithmic. Somehow they're choosing people I care about, stuff that I might have missed, and then I'm glad they include Meghan Meroni, my colleague here at TWiT, the wire cutter blog. A blog I pay a lot of attention to, and Tommy Chong of Chich and Chong. So those are the big three. You may laugh, but Tommy thinks I'm cool. He said, "Leo's cool." Then I can see the new Tweets by clicking that. They're saying this is not so very different from what we're already doing. You may think you want a chronological feed, you may pay lip service to that, but you don't.
Philip: Ben Thompson made an interesting distinction. He said Facebook is built on an existing network, your network of friends, whereas Twitter was based on a network of strangers interested in a particular topic. You have to tune it to make it useful for yourself so you know who to follow and you get that tight list of people who are plugged into what you want to know about. It's different than Facebook in that Facebook is instantly useful because you find out what your friends are doing, Twitter takes that learning curve. That's...
Leo: That's the problem they're trying to solve. If you don't know Twitter, if you sign up somebody, Liberty, they go what the hell is this? I don't... what am I seeing? It's a culture and a language all of its own with the hashtags and the Google characters. I think Jack Dorsey, the new CEO has also said we're going to expand from 140 to ten thousand characters. That's also in response to that. The idea is, as he described these changes, it sounds more and more like Facebook.
Liberty: At this point, they're just trying to see what can we do to acquire users? I think having 140 characters is indigenous to Twitter and should stick. I think that should stick and they should...
Leo: I agree with you on that. We don't want to see essays. That's medium.
Liberty: That's why I go to the Twitter platform, so I can stick to that. It's short and sweet and that's what we want. I think we should definitely give the algorithm a chance, because me, personally, I want to start a campaign over change.org when they change the XUI for Facebook. I was upset. I was ready to march in the street. Now I'm fine. I wouldn't want it any other way.
Leo: I think that's the point. We all hate change.
Liberty: I want to give them the opportunity to show us what we can do, we may enjoy it a bit more. We don't know what we want.
Philip: And we can turn it off.
Leo: That's what Jack said, and that is important. You will have the option to watch a chronological feed. Just as you do on Facebook. Facebook switches it back after a while. You switch it, and they turn it off again. I don't know if Twitter will do that or not.
Georgia: I think Twitter's biggest issue is not going to be the algorithm to their newsfeed, it's going to be signing up new members and how do they find their people they would enjoy in their circles? Whenever I sign up someone who is new who doesn't know how to use Twitter, it's like how do I find people? With Facebook that's so much easier. You search for me, you're not going to find my name, because I have to use an underscore. That makes it difficult. That's one of the things Twitter is going to have to work on as well.
Leo: I have a question though. The modern era, when you talk about technology, is very much defined by Twitter and Facebook. Those are a lot of what makes modern life modern life.
Liberty: I really enjoyed what Jim said earlier, is that people go to the platforms for different reasons. For me, personally, that is one of the reasons I love Twitter is you can meet new people. On Facebook, that typically isn't the interaction. It's a place for friends.
Leo: Did you meet any new people at the Super Bowl party? That looked pretty cool. I'm just distracted by the fact that I'm sitting next to a superstar. Twitter does say they have banned 125,000 accounts for terrorist like activity. Problem is, and Twitter knows this, apparently the journalists who repeated that story don't, they made a new account. They kill 175,000 accounts, and 175,000 new accounts were created. It's impossible!
Liberty: How do you stop it?
Leo: You can't. That's one of the fundamental charms and flaws of Twitter is they don't use a real names policy.
Georgia: I'm just glad their numbers keep growing.
Georgia: 175,000 people are joining!
Leo: That's amazing! We had a big day.
Philip: Much more like the original Internet than Use Net, the chaotic anything goes world of the Internet.
Leo: We loved it, didn't we?
Leo: I miss the Well. That's what happened to the Well. It was this amazing cultivated discussion group, it was based out of Soledo, the bay area’s most literary and interesting people were on there, and then it descended into flame wars.
Philip: You know, the great thing about the Well was there was no anonymity. It's one of the things I want to do with my site. You log on with your real name and you own your words.
Leo: I want to hear about this. We're going to take a break. When we come back, I'm also going to talk about this debut, the brand new debut of the Amazon echo, because of course the Echo has been out for a long time. We all in the tech community love it, but get ready because this afternoon on the Super bowl, Amazon's first Echo ads, and I think the onslaught is about to begin with Alec Baldwin. No spoilers. Some people don't want to hear anything about Star Wars before it came out? I don't want to hear anything about Super Bowl commercials. I'm teevo-ing it. No spoilers for the Super bowl commercials. I'm a huge Echo fan. These ads are 5 million bucks for 30 seconds this year. That's up something like 67% from a few years ago. When a company buys Super Bowl ads, it's a statement. One of the reasons they buy Super bowl ads is to say we've got the money. We're committed.
Liberty: We came to play, we came to win.
Leo: I think Amazon buying ads for the Echo is a statement. We'll talk about that more in just a little bit. Georgia Dow is here from imore.com, Philip Elmer DeWitt from fortune.com, Liberty Madison from libertymadison.com, and I'm Leo Laporte from... I don't have leolaporte.com. I should get it. Somebody else has it. Do I? No I don't. Our show to you today brought to you by WealthFront.com. We're all saving for the future, I hope, right? You're putting money aside at least for your retirement if you've got kids going to college. You should have long term investments, long term savings. The reasons I say investments is maybe it's not best to put it in the bank. Savings accounts make almost nothing. You'd be better off putting it in the Mattress, frankly. You've got to invest it. The problem is investment is you've got two choices. Your going to take the time to learn about investing to do it right and more importantly to pay attention to your investments, login frequently, check how it's doing, rebalance, or your going to pay somebody to do that. When I say pay, I mean pay. Traditional investment advisors will charge you 1 to 3% of what you have under investment per year. That means you have to make 1,2,3% more every year just to break even! I got a better way. Better advice, full time, maintenance of your account, constantly re-balancing it, paying attention to it. It's WealthFront. Now WealthFront doesn't charge 1, 2, or 3%. They charge 1/4 of 1% a year. There are no hidden fees, no transaction costs. That's it. It's software. They're basing the software on the brilliant insights of their advisory board. 200 years combined investment experience. People like Burton Malkial who wrote The book. Charles D Ellis the king of investment advisors. They took their brains and put them in this software. Because it's software, it constantly monitors your account, it's constantly managing it to optimize return after taxes. This is key. They do tax harvesting, they do... you ask your investment advisor, are you doing tax harvesting? It's fun to watch them pretend to understand what you just asked them. They have no idea. No, they're not doing it. Direct indexing. All sorts of sophisticated stuff. We've heard from many TWiT fans now, because we've been doing these ads for awhile, who have gone to WealthFront and are happy, they say they love how they can diversify their portfolio, they can feel like they're participating in the economy buying stock in Apple and Amazon and Facebook, and they pay no commissions. It's transparent. You see what is happening at all times in your dashboard on the desktop or on the mobile app, you can have a personal account, a joint account, or a retirement account. You know everything Wealthfront is doing on your behalf. All of these for 1 quarter of 1% a year with no additional charges. Actually I'm going to do even better for you. It's 500 dollars to start. I want you to go to the site, I want you to read up on this. It's important you know what you're doing before you do it, but if you read up on it you'll see why I'm so bullish on this. When you go to WealthFront.com/twit, they will generate a portfolio for you the customized allocation they recommend for you so you can see what they would be doing with your money. They base that on some questions they'll ask you. Your timeframe, how comfortable you are with risk, things like that. That's free at WealthFront.com/twit. You can get started for as little as 500 dollars. That's the minimum amount to open an account and your first 1500 will be managed free of charge. Not a quarter of 1 percent. Nothing forever. This is a really great way to get a leg up. Your first 1500 dollars managed for free. WealthFront.com/twit. This is technology put to one of the most important things in your life, your investments. WealthFront.com/twit. I think this is really interesting. I haven't seen the ads. Are they good? I had read some stuff. I haven't seen Alec Baldwin is looking for a great idea or something? How does it go? You can talk to me, Philip. I won't yell at you.
Philip: I'm trying to remember what he did. There's one where he wants the Football shaped canopes.
Leo: You don't want any spoilers either?
Liberty: That's the best part of the game!
Leo: There was a good article in the Quartz, saying get ready. This is what the world learns about when this has been the best kept secret of the tech community. Amazon's Echo is a sleeper hit ,writes Dan Fromer, and the rest of America is about to find out about it for the first time. He points out something we've known for a long time, but people who have it are always talking about it. That's a good sign in Tech. People who have it are like "Have you tried the Echo? It's so amazing."
Liberty: What do you like about it, Leo? Tell us.
Philip: What do you say to it?
Leo: Anything you want. You could tell a joke. What's interesting is Amazon keeps adding features. In fact, this is the biggest problem they face is complexity. So it's a black tube with a speaker and a ray mic so it can hear you anywhere in the room. I don't think I'm talking to the tube, I think I'm talking to the house. That's the first thing. Hal 9000 you could talk to... actually that didn't end very well.
Liberty: Getting me scared, Leo.
Leo: We don't want Hal 9000. Actually, every movie... isn't it Her the one with Scarlet? Every movie with this kind of technology ends badly, doesn't it? Artificial Intelligence. I want to talk to my house and I want it to respond. That's basically what the Echo does, and it started when we first got it, we do timers and it read your news, now you can have it read your Audible book. You can ask it questions, it will do searches, you can say how old was the president, you can say... You can also now get a pizza from dominos. You can say get me a car and an Uber will arrive. Spotify is tied into it, as well as your Amazon music.
Liberty: This is interesting for people who are concerned about someone always listening to them.
Leo: Yes. The only people who would like this are people who aren't worried about that. But, I should point out that it's the case also with Siri and Google Now that even when they're always on, they're not sending it back to the home office everything you do. Only when you give it the activation phrase, because these things aren't sophisticated enough to do that. They're just listening for a voice pattern.
Liberty: I think that's what they told you, Leo. I think it's very sophisticated.
Leo: They could be lying.
Liberty: Yeah. It's definitely very sophisticated to listen in. You're right. It's just like Google Plus.
Leo: They're listening for a trigger word, and they have that pattern stored in there and they're comparing it. They can't be sending everything I say back to Amazon.
Georgia: My worry is my kids would be like "Get me a new puppy," and suddenly a puppy shows up. That would be my problem.
Leo: Here's the deal. How old is your kid?
Georgia: 7 and 10.
Leo: You could also say, "Amazon fart for me." Just tell them about that, don't tell them about the Get Me a New Puppy feature. They'll be doing that for... That is one of the skills.
Georgia: An innate ability.
Leo: An innate ability. I'm very intrigued by this. The fact that Amazon is putting money into Super bowl commercials tells me that they see a market here.
Liberty: Definitely. I think this is an easy way to get everyone on board for The Internet of Things just an easy way to introduce it.
Leo: Absolutely. You can say, "turn on my lights," "Open the Garage Door," I can querie my car and see how much gas is left in the car, and it will tell me.
Georgia: It's the perfect market, because while you're watching the Super bowl, you don't want to get up for anything. So, here it's saying you wouldn't have to. You wanted pizza, you could get pizza right now without using your phone!
Leo: It's crappy pizza, but... which is better? Calling to get good pizza, or just sitting there?
Liberty: Domino's launched the Tweet pizza.
Leo: It's the same company doing the Echo.
Liberty: There you go.
Philip: Also, if you're going to order something, you're probably going to order it from Amazon, if you're using their box. Right?
Leo: That's exactly right. In fact, if you're a Prime customer and Echo really makes the most sense if you're a Prime customer and you've ordered a product before, let's say I've ordered adult diapers before, I can say get me more of those, and the Echo because it knows that you ordered those before would know.
Liberty: We've learned a lot about you today.
Leo: I always use that for an example and it's comedic. I shouldn't. Georgia, there's something Freudian there. Astronaut diapers, that's what I really want.
Georgia: If you're listening in, we were talking earlier.
Leo: Were you talking about astronaut diapers?
Georgia: We were! There was a break. Anyways.
Leo: I wasn't listening. But now I know who my friends are.
Georgia: I'm just saying there's uses for that. They're useful.
Leo: Anyway. I love it, everybody I know who has it loves it, and I have a feeling a lot more people are going to be talking about it. And I have a feeling we're going to see a lot more skills. I wonder if there's a website. There probably is. Alexa skills. What is that? That's the skills. You found it. You can teach it. Some of it's stupid, like give me a daily affirmation. But I can play jeopardy. I can ask six jeopardy questions.
Georgia: That's not stupid! Daily affirmations are OK.
Leo: Ok. I am smarter. I am better. People like me. Some of this stuff is really weird, because anybody can do it. I was saying this is their big problem is there are too many things it can do. You have to remember as with all voice commands you have to remember the syntax and the command.
Liberty: I don't think it's too many. I think it should add more constantly. To make it fun. And engaging.
Leo: But now I have to write on post it notes. Hey, where's my car.
Liberty: I love Google Now, because it just tells you where you parked your car.
Leo: Subway if you're in New York City you can see the status of the subway system. You can ask it about your specific bus or train. When is the next A train.
Liberty: I want it to just tell me to know where I'm going and to have that information and be the artificial intelligence I need you to be. Know where I'm going and tell me how to get there.
Leo: This is the step before that step. I think we're going that way. It surprises me Google hasn't done this. Why has Amazon done this and not Google? Feels like Google should have done this.
Philip: Changing the subject slightly, have you seen the video of the guy ordering his Tesla with his watch to open the garage door and drive out and close the garage door?
Leo: That's the new summon command.
Philip: Have you got that, Leo?
Leo: My Tesla X is on order. I will get the summon command.
Georgia: Because that's so cute.
Liberty: I saw that Tweet that you sent out about your Tesla.
Leo: I'm so excited! Apparently they lied... lied is a bad word. You know Stewart Elsa?
Georgia: They're going to cut out your Tesla if they... yeah.
Leo: Stewart apparently had a Model X on order. He's a well known technology journalist now a venture capitalist. Old friend. He apparently had a Model X on order. He started complaining on a Medium post about the unveiling and how Elon kept everybody waiting for two hours and he never did see the Model X so Elon cancelled his order. So I love you, Elon! I love you.
Georgia: Wait until you get the car.
Leo: I have nothing to complain about. But they're working on the website, apparently inadvertently they put... you have a page where it shows you your status and it's interesting to watch crazy people like me, because we're buying a car sight unseen never having driven it. I wasn't even sure what the colors were. It's an expensive car, it's not a cheap car, but we're fanatics because we want to drive electric vehicles. So you go onto this page and little bits of information about the process emerge on the page. I just got my vehicle identification number. That's a good sign. That means they're getting a little closer. Then next to it, they put should be available February/Early March. I went what? I wasn't expecting this until next year. What?!? Apparently that was an error. It's gone now. I'm not complaining. This is not a complaint. I'm just excited. Whenever it's ready. I'm happy to have it, and I'm grateful to you for letting me buy one. Thank you.
Liberty: Thank you for taking my money.
Leo: Isn't it interesting because there are companies, Apple might be one of them, where they don't care. Take my money. I'll take whatever you've got.
Georgia: You can probably have a safe bet because of all of the... people are so happy with their Teslas that I think it's a safe bet that it's going to be a safe car and you're going to be exceptionally happy with it.
Leo: There it is. This feature, this guy actually wrote an app. This is not part of the official Tesla app. He wrote an Apple watch app. The Tesla app lets you do the summon on the iPhone or Android phone. What Summon does is the car opens the garage door, this is all without user intervention. Opens the garage door and very carefully backs out and then opens the door and lets you get in. It will do the opposite once you arrive. They say this is for garages that are so tightly packed that you can't get out of the car once you park it. It's got sensors all over it so it will avoid...
Georgia: That's great. I hate backing into my garage. It's really frightening. I probably should trust the car over myself. The car is probably safer than I am.
Leo: I'm just going to hang a tennis bar on a rope.
Georgia: That's what my Dad did.
Leo: You don't know this Georgia, but I am your Father.
Georgia: Oh my goodness! You and Vader.
Leo: In spirit, anyway. And age and spirit. Anyway. I don't know how we got into that, but that's kind of cool, isn't it?
Philip: If you can't afford a chauffeur...
Leo: There was a video by Nancy Cartwright, who does the voice of Bart Simpson. She has a Tesla X. She says I'm driving down on the highway, and I don't have my feet on the pedals and the Tesla is doing it all for me. I wish she had said something like "Don't have a cow, man" in Bart's voice. Probably she's not allowed to. I bet you they don't allow her to. That's weird. So we've done Twitter, we've done the Echo. Let's go home. I think the Super bowl is... we should probably do a little bit more. Jason Calacanis has prepared this lovely run down for us to consume. WhatsApp passes a billion monthly active users. This is international, right? We don't use WhatsApp here. I'm asking you as if you're representing everyone.
Liberty: I'm representing people who use WhatsApp. I think it's more popular overseas, especially in South America.
Leo: What is your age cohort? What do your friends use? Facebook messenger?
Liberty: It really depends. Number one would be a text message.
Leo: I think you're right. We have it. We can do it. Why not?
Liberty: I would say for Internationals that I work with or that follow me, they tend to go to Facebook. After Facebook it's WhatsApp.
Philip: WhatsApp joined a whole bunch of one billion announcement. Zuckerberg last August, one billion people used Facebook in one day, Google announced last week that they have 1 billion Gmail accounts, although my Gmail account I look at once every two months.
Leo: Accounts don't count. It's probably still very high.
Philip: Apple now said they have one billion devices active but a lot of people have multiple Apple devices and that doesn't translate to people.
Georgia: One percent of that is Leo alone.
Leo: Probably is true. A billion is the three comma club, as they would have it on Silicon Valley.
Philip: That's a nice number to have if you can generate revenue off it. Those... most of them are generating ad revenue. Apple is selling movies and songs. Apple Pay.
Leo: SnapChat must have felt they were so close. They report users send 8,976 photos a second on SnapChat. That's 759 million a day. They're so close to a billion a day. I think Snapchat is a very interesting... you can't even call it a dark horse, it's clearly a huge.
Liberty: It's clearly a front runner. An interesting story. I was at a hackathon a couple weeks ago and I met a young lady who had the most interestin gjob I had ever heard. She was a senior SnapChatter at a major company.
Leo: Which implies there are junior SnapChatters.`
Liberty: Which implies this is a thing. She curates content for the SnapChat channel daily. Constantly and curates every single day and builds up the network there. A senior SnapChatter, yes. These are interesting job titles we have in Silicon Valley.
Leo: Is it for a Tech company? I think for a consumer company it would be even more important. If you're proctor and gamble, you better believe that Proctor and Gamble have dozens of SnapChat offices.
Liberty: Ten years from now they'll do it.
Leo: Some brands know.
Liberty: Definitely. Senior SnapChatter. So go and apply for that one.
Leo: We talked about this on the new ScreenSavers yesterday with Dan Patterson who is working for Tech Republic now who is for the third year in a row covering the New Hampshire primaries. He's covering the campaign again as he did in 2008 and 2012. As Dan pointed out, one of the things that is going to distinguish candidates is their mastery of social media. Hillary Clinton has a SnapChat story channel where she or her senior SnapChat officer is feeding videos. When we get down to two candidates, the war of social media between the two of them. Clinton uses Twitter quite effectively, but not authentically. Whereas Donald Trump, it's clearly his voice, not a senior Twitter officer.
Philip: What is so totally disruptive about Trump's campaign is that he can sit there with his iPhone and run a campaign. He doesn't need billions of dollars of TV ads, he just Tweets.
Leo: Do you think that other candidates should emulate what he's doing? Or is that something only Donald Trump can do? He is after all, a reality TV star.
Philip: I would rather have a candidate who can run a government.
Leo: You don't want a candidate who knows how to use Twitter well?
Philip: Not necessarily. Ideally they can do both. To get the job, you have to know how to run a government.
Liberty: Definitely wants somebody who knows how to run a Twitter. That brings us to the importance of Twitter. We had that conversation earlier. Twitter is a part of our culture, if we have a candidate that can effectively use Twitter, they can effectively connect with the immediate pulse of the culture.
Leo: What you were hearing here, is the two sides of the spectrum. The president should be an administrator who is capable of a governor style person who can run the country versus a leader who is able to galvanize the country and keep the country moving. I guess we need a little bit of both, but I think there are two different kinds of presidents, two different kinds of executives. I think historically you need to do both. Kennedy was a crappy administrator, but he was a great speaker.
Philip: But he did know how to get stuff through congress. He's kind of like Obama that way, whereas Johnson knew how to get stuff through congress, but he was a liar.
Leo: Nobody trusted him. And he was very maladroit at managing his image. Who could forget the picture of him showing his appendix scar and the Vietnam protesters turned it into a picture of Vietnam on his belly.
Philip: Ted Cruz channels Johnson.
Leo: I don't know who Marco Rubio was channeling last night, but there's a whole Internet meme of Marco the robot. Have you seen this?
Liberty: I have not seen it! Let's get it on the screen.
Philip: Because he kept saying the same thing over and over again?
Leo: Four times said the same stump quote or variation, and now the meme is robot Rubio. I think there is a Robot Rubio Twitter account.
Liberty: He said the same thing?
Leo: You want to see it?
Liberty: I would love to see it.
Philip: It was after Christie called him on it. Christie said this guy just repeats campaign lines and he did it again and again.
Leo: That's the funny thing is he paid into that. Let's get the beginning.
Marco Rubio: Let's dispel once and for all with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows EXACTLY what he's doing.
Leo: First time.
Marco: We are not facing a president that knows what he is doing, he knows what he is doing.
Leo: Second time.
Marco: Let's dispel once and for all with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows EXACTLY what he's doing.
Leo: Third time.
Marco: Anybody who doesn't believe Barack Obama isn't doing what he's doing on purpose doesn't understand what we're dealing with here.
Leo: So there is now a Marco Rubio glitch Twitter account that says the same thing over and over. Let's dispel once and for all with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows EXACTLY what he's doing. This is exactly why we have Twitter.
Liberty: That's exactly why. He's very passionate about it. He said it how many times? Four?
Leo: I bleed for the guy. You know what happens, you're in this very stressful situation, somebody has just accused you of being a repetitive robot and you somehow cannot stop yourself from becoming what he's accused you of being. I feel like by the end of the thing he was sweating, he was dying out there.
Philip: They do this all day long, giving the same speech over and over again.
Philip: Imagine what it's like for them, they do this all day long giving the same speech over and over again, moving in this bubble and it's very hard to survive that and people who are very good at campaigning have a hard time.
Leo: I would submit it's not a good test of who is going to be a good president, because, it's who is the best psychopath.
Liberty: That's one of the downsides of social media when going through a campaign is the memes!
Leo: Memes will kill you.
Leo: Wasn't there a Clinton meme of her sending texts? There's a picture of her looking over her glasses at her Blackberry. I tell you. Textsfromhillary.tumblr.com. I guess... there she is. The whole meme thread is that you will show what she's texting. There's Biden showing the president his phone, she's going to love this new Justin Bieber video, and she texts back, "Back to work, boys." Huffington post Hillary, hillarypost.com. Mark Zuckerberg, "Guess what I just bought?" Hillary: "A shirt with a big boy collar?" That's good, isn't it? Is that good for her or bad for her? It's good for her, isn't it?
Liberty: It definitely keeps her relevant.
Leo: You're right. This is what the candidates fear. It's not new. We saw it with Mike Dukakis when he wore the giant tank helmet and he looked like a small child in a tank and it tanked his campaign!
Philip: Who is the guy who screamed?
Leo: They're calling Robot Rubio the Howard Dean moment in the Rubio campaign.
Georgia: It's such a hard thing, because you're always wanting to be authentic, but if you say something off the cuff and it comes off color, people are going to run with it and it's so hard to be constantly under a barage of questions and people hoping to get you with something and you're doing your best to try and not say something silly but you don't want to seem robotic and stiff at the same time. My hats off to being able to deal with that 24/7.
Leo: It's a perfect storm of spin media and sound byte coverage and... it's such an abnormal environment. I guess some of those skills might be useful as President. More towards the ability to inspire part than the executive administrator part for sure.
Georgia: I think you can also see when people are over-reactive. I think it's important to be more non-reactive as a President. You don't want to be really upset and quick to temper and quick to get offended when you're dealing with international issues and many different people with different cultural needs and wants. I think things that might garner a lot of attention in some ways are a way of seeing who can be calm under all this pressure.
Liberty: I think that's interesting that she's saying you can't be quick to react. Can you imagine the president of the United States in some sort of Twitter beef?
Leo: I can if it's president Trump!
Liberty: Is that what we have to look forward to?
Leo: I can see that totally.
Liberty: And then we can chime in on it and create our own hashtags and memes about the other country!
Leo: Don't you want that?
Georgia: No! That's bad when people have weapons. When you're representing a whole country of people, you want someone even tempered be able to handle it, think before they do something, they're not going to press the red button out of anger.
Leo: I have to really say that by being the only guy who is speaking in his own voice on Twitter, Trump is getting a huge value out of that. That's one of the reasons he has such support. I doubt very much that the people who support him agree with the notion that he should go down fifth avenue shooting people but the fact that he has the hootspah to say that is invigorating to people. It's fresh. The guy speaks his mind, I may not agree with him, but the man is not a mealy mouthed politician. He says what he thinks!
Philip: It's the anti-politician.
Georgia: He's authentic.
Leo: He's authentic. The anti-politician. Is that bad?
Georgia: I think it's great, but I think the level of his reactiveness, it comes down to really being president could be something people will have to pause for.
Leo: We do swing. President Obama is kind of chilly, right? He's professorial. He's very calm. You can't see him raising his voice very much. He shed a little tear, but that's about it. I can see that after a while, he would say I want someone who speaks in their own voice on Twitter and tells it like it is. I think that Twitter is the perfect platform for Donald Trump.
Liberty: He's the only person that I have seen that wasn't necessarily afraid of the social media police coming to get him. He doesn't care.
Georgia: That's true.
Jason Cleanthes: If you think President Obama doesn't know what he's doing, he knows what he's doing.
Leo: Ha. Thank you, Jason Cleanthes. We like to call him the Jason bot. All right. We'll take a break, come back with more, we're having fun. Talking about the world at large with Georgia Dow from iMore.com, Stephen Harper was also a cold fish, right? And Truedeu is more warm and effusive and real. Your new prime minister.
Georgia: We're pretty impressed with him, so... we're all very happy.
Leo: It's kind of the same thing, right? Harper was an effective administrator.
Georgia: I guess that would depend on where you stand on it. He was the Lego guy. He's got the Lego hair.
Leo: He was the manufactured candidate. And Trudeau has a youthful like his dad. Swinger.
Liberty: Can you do that dance again? There we go.
Leo: Also Liberty Madison is here. It's great to have you, Liberty. libertymadison.com. You make a business of helping startups with this stuff, with social media and all this stuff.
Liberty: In general with millennials.
Leo: I love your T shirt that says I code. That means love? That little octopus cat? That means love? I didn't know that. I just thought it was an octopus cat.
Leo: I get code. I commit the git. Also here, Philip Elmer De-Witt from the git. What is the new site going to be? Can you talk about that?
Philip: Yeah, I can talk about it a little bit. I don't have... it's I'm discovering the limits of WordPress and how hard it is to make anything look good on it.
Leo: I wish I had a SquareSpace ad right now. The plan is to do the model that a lot of guys like me are doing. Ten bucks a month, a hundred bucks a year, you get the daily post in your inbox, you click on the link, and you get to be part of the conversation and see the data and so forth.
Leo: That's what Ben Thompson does. So effective.
Philip: The problem with that model is once you go behind the firewall, your invisible on the Internet. Ben gets around that by writing a public post once a week, there are other ways of doing that. My twist on that is I'll put a window on it. It's behind the paywall for three days, it's adjustable. And then it's free.
Leo: I like that. So it all ends up being free, but the people who get the most benefit from it, and really, the money in paywalls is from the people who do well are the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, where the information is money crowd.
Philip: The sweet spot of my readership has always been people who bought Apple at 9 dollars a share and now they're multi-millionaires and they watch the fever chart closely. They want to know if it's time to buy or sell to the extent which I have access to the analysts and share their stuff, there's a timely value to what I do, I hope. We'll find out. I've been in ad supported environments for 36 years. Now I'm going to find out if what I write is worth something without the ads. The ads are just driving me nuts.
Leo: It's a fascinating experiment, and one I wanted to do myself. Dvorak said we should have a paid newsletter where the really good stuff, the stuff that's going to make people money lives and people would pay a lot of money for that.
Liberty: I think that's an excellent business model.
Leo: I'm too lazy. We did a news letter and we give it away! twit.tv/newsletter. I'm an old dog, I can't learn new tricks. The thing that scares me about paywalls, particularly with our audience, our audience is technically literate. Dignation had this problem. Dignation thought, we'll charge for early access. Kevin Rose and Alex did this, and then a few days later we'll make it public. The problem was they had a very technically literate audience that as soon as they got it put it up publically and there was no way to stop it. Suddenly, if you're going to make money in that model, you're playing Whack a Mole. I think Kevin and Alex abandoned it, I don't think it lasted very long. That's the problem when you have a smart audience. I think your audience is different; I think the Wall Street Journal audience is different. I pay for the Wall Street Journal, people who pay for the Wall Street Journal pay for it because it's worth it. They're not interested in putting it on Bit Torrent and make sure everybody gets it for free. That's a different audience.
Liberty: I think this is a great opportunity for him to test out his entrepreneurship.
Leo: I love it. I said the same thing to Jessica Lesson when she started the Information, and I think they're succeeding.
Philip: I'd love to see her financials. I don't know.
Leo She took some of the best technology journalists out of free media and I pay 400 bucks a year for the information, because it's worth it. (And also to support Jessica.) Same thing, I pay for Ben's... I buy more of these than I should. Same reason I bought all of that shareware I use, because I want to support these people because what they're doing is great. I will be your first subscriber, Philip. Sign me up. This is how we pay for it. Our show to you today brought to you by... I don't mind the ads we do. I agree with you. I think ads are out of control on the Internet and I do broadcast radio where the limit, the federal communications limit is 19 minutes out of an hour can be ads. I don't know a single AM station that doesn't run 19 minutes an hour of ads. They even invented a blip ad, they have five second ads now on some of these radio stations that I'm on where they say just one word. Don't forget, draftkings.com. Win big money draftkings.com. Then it's all over. It becomes wall paper after a while. I don't think it's an effective way to use the media. I don't blame people for using ad blockers, because it's out of control.
Liberty: I can't believe people still think it's an effective way to connect with an audience. That blows my mind, definitely.
Leo: Dock Steriles wrote a great article about how misguided ad tech is. Dock, who is also an old radio guy and was one of the writers of the clue train manifesto is really a brilliant fellow says that this ad blocking thing is one fo the largest consumer boycotts of all time. It's a boycott, he says. It's consumers saying we're not going to take it.
Georgia: They took advantage of us, and now we're getting rid of them.
Leo: Skip this ad if you wish. But I tell you, you could skip this ad if you do not mail stuff in your business, then there's no reason for you to listen to this ad. But if you are an Etsy seller, an Amazon, an eBay seller, if you do brochures, if you do fulfillment in your business, you really ought to know about stamps.com. We use it here in the office, because it is a better way to use the postal service. With stamps.com, it starts by we always talk about the way you can buy and print your own US postage on your computer, your printer, you don't need a postage meter, you can do it online, that's the beginning. But really, stamps.com is so much more, because stamps.com will print right on the envelope, not only the postage but your address, the return address and the address of the recipient, they'll put your company logo, any kind of mail. Media mail, if you send any kind of media, books, DVDs, CDs, and you're not using media mail, stamps.com will say you can save a lot of money, here's how the media mail works. It is going to save you money. Plus you get discounts you don't get at the Post Office, you don't have to ever go to the Post Office, because anything you could ever do at the Post Office you could do at your desk with stamps.com. That's why if you're in this business, if you’re mailing stuff at work, you need to know about Stamps.com. You don’t have to handwrite forms anymore. Stamps.com will print out the certified mail, the return receipt, even international customs forms automatically filled out from your site, your address book. It works with all popular address books. You can use cost codes to track postage spending by customer. There’s so many features. This is the way, you know, mailing ought to be. So if you’re in this business, here’s what you do. You go to Stamps.com. Now, one of the things we like to do with all our advertisers if we can, we never did this with Ford because we couldn’t figure out a way to get you a free car, but we like to give you free trial of this. In this case, 30 days free trial, 4 weeks. This is actually a nice offer. It’s $110 dollar bonus offer. Includes not only a 4 week trial of Stamps.com, you get $55 in free postage that you can use, you have to spread it out over a few months, but that’s free postage. Plus we’re going to send you a digital scale. Now that’s great because it’s USB, it plugs into your computer so you never over or under pay on postage again. There’s Carly using our Stamps.com scale. This is actually the kit you’ll get from Stamps.com. You also get an activities kit. This is a great deal. Go to Stamps.com, click the microphone and use the promo code T-W-I-T for $110 dollar bonus offer and a free trial of Stamps.com. Sesame Street is launching a venture arm.
Leo: (Laughing) Well, it’s about time.
Leo: Children’s Television Workshop, which really changed the way kids TV was. You’re a Sesame Street generation kid. I know you are.
Liberty: You know, I watched it. I don’t remember it.
Georgia: You really don’t? I love Sesame Street. Muppets for the Win. I’m like it there’s a Muppet, I’m involved.
Leo: Everybody of a certain age learned to read from Sesame Street. Or at least learned their alphabet. Not me. I had Captain Kangaroo.
Philip: And Buffalo Bob.
Leo: Buffalo Bob and Howdy Doody, yea, yea. Philip and I are of a certain year.
Leo: Clarabelle, oh, Clarabelle the Clown. That was Bob Keeshan. That was Captain Kangaroo before he was Captain Kangaroo. Now we’ve lost the entire audience.
Philip: Let’s go back to Trump.
Leo: We’re back to the adult diaper audience.
Philip: So the kids are going to invest? Is that the idea?
Leo: I don’t—ok, so Sesame Street started in 1966. It’s amazing it’s that old. And generations now, not just one, multiple generations have grown up watching Big Bird and Elmo and Burt and Ernie. The show first aired in ’69 so that’s what, 45, 46 years. They’re actually getting kind of sophisticated. They started debuting now Sesame Street on HBO. But it will eventually get to free TV, right? But they’re going to start on the paid TV.
Philip: Like 6 months later or something.
Leo: It’s the Philip Elmer-DeWitt model. We’re going to call it the PED model from now on.
Leo: So they are now, they’ve created a venture fund. Sesame Ventures. It’s going to partner with venture capital firms to make investments in for-profit startups. But they’ll all be about children’s education, early education.
Liberty: Kid tech or Ed tech.
Leo: Yea. Its first partner is a collaborative fund, and early stage investor in startups like Lyft and Kickstarter and they’re going to have a ten million dollar fund called Collab + Sesame Investment Focus. You know from a group that taught people how to read, that is a particularly crappy name. Collab + Sesame Investment Focus.
Georgia: That is a pretty bad name.
Leo: Today’s show brought to you by the letters C-S-I-F. But it’s about education and we all are for early childhood education.
Georgia: And how can you not when a product says or a company says, “Backed by Elmo.” That’s pretty huge, that’s a huge push.
Leo: It’s a little weird because I think Children’s Television Workshop is a non-profit. But this would fund it. You know if they’ve been doing this since 1969 they’ve spent a considerable amount of effort in raising money to do it. So why not? Why not make some money doing this? I don’t know.
Philip: Super Bowl.
Leo: What about it? Is it starting?
Philip: Well there’s a lot of cheerleaders and football players running on the field. I’ve got to say, the kids have been watching a lot of old Friday Night Lights around here.
Leo: Oh, that’s a great show.
Philip: And you know, the Panthers and the Broncos, coach Taylor really brought this team a long way. Took them all the way to the Super Bowl. They Dillon Panthers that is.
Leo: The Dillon Panthers. Is it clear hearts?
Philip: Full hearts can’t lose.
Georgia: Full hearts, clear eyes, can’t lose.
Leo: So CBS is streaming this. This is not the first time they’ve streamed it but it is available for free on the internet and if you want to watch it on mobile device, again they have the Verizon exclusive. You have to be a Verizon Customer.
Liberty: That’s fantastic.
Leo: And what they’re doing right now is a countdown to kickoff. Because their live stream doesn’t have any ads on it. I guess with $5 million dollars that only gets you 30 seconds on television. It doesn’t get you the rest.
Philip: The Broncos had a horse leading the charge.
Leo: Oh, that’s nice. Oh, now wait a minute. Now we’re seeing, I think we’re seeing—how far behind TV is this?
Philip: About 5, 10 seconds.
Leo: Oh, that’s not bad.
Philip: Yea, there’s the horse, there’s the flag.
Leo: I think I’m in trouble now. I probably can’t show this on the internet. But we’re covering news. Here’s a test of fair use, ladies and gentlemen. We’re going to watch the Super Bowl (laughing). All I know is, Joe Namath wins! Joe Namath wins! That’s all I know.
Liberty: You know what’s really interesting I thought, I wonder if tech people really know who’s playing in the Super Bowl? What’s going on in the Super Bowl? So we went to the streets and interviewed.
Leo: Did you?
Liberty: We did. We went to the streets.
Leo: Who did you do this for?
Liberty: I did it for That Tech Girl. You go to That Tech Girl and you can actually, I think we’ve got it cued up here on YouTube and we found an engineer over at Airbnb—
Leo: Who actually knew?
Liberty: Oh, you’ve got to watch the video.
Leo: It’s on YouTube?
Liberty: It is on YouTube.
Leo: So do you make money on this? How do you do this?
Liberty: I monetize it in various ways and always looking for partners to make that happen. So let’s talk, Leo.
Leo: Oh, yea, we should hire you. I mean we should just period hire you.
Liberty: Definitely. You should definitely do that.
Leo: I think that I don’t want to slow you down.
Liberty: No, no. I can definitely take you to a different level, Leo (laughing).
Leo: How many times have I heard that before?
Liberty: So I was at the Madden Bowl party from EA sports and I realized I didn’t know who was playing.
Leo: You didn’t know?
Liberty: I didn’t.
Leo: You’re at the party, a Super Bowl party and you didn’t know who was playing?
Liberty: So you’re watching right here—start it from the beginning. I’m going to set this up for you. What you’re watching here as we talk to a really intelligent Airbnb engineer to see if he knows who’s playing in the Super Bowl in his city.
Leo: Tell you what. Let’s do this. Let’s take a break. We’ll show people what they saw this week on TWiT. There’s some good stuff. It was a good week. A little bit of highlights. And then we’ll come back and we’ll visit with That Tech Girl. What did we see this week, Jason?
Narrator: Previously on TWiT.
Leo: If you want to understand why people use Snapchat, it’s fun. I am a mole man.
Megan Morrone: And I am going to replay that and replay that.
Narrator: This Week in Computer Hardware.
Ryan Shrout: They’re going to show it at GDC in March, the ability to build worlds in Unreal Engine using VR. I think in this case they’re using a vibe.
Narrator: Tech News Today.
Megan: We react to YouTubers trying to copyright reactions.
Sam Machkovech: It’s very likely that you would have known them by their series of react videos. The Fine Brothers announced initiatives to create something called React World. You want to make your own react videos. Go ahead and pay us for a license. Then people started snooping around and realizing they bought a trademark for the work react.
Liberty: Should we contact them? Should we write a check to the Fine brothers?
Narrator: This Week in Google.
Leo: This is from Edward Snowden’s trove of documents. The program Optic Nerve, saved one image every 5 minutes from millions of Yahoo chat’s user’s feeds. It would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person, sometimes to be used for broadcasting pornography.
Jeff Jarvis: I would generally define nudity as desirable. I don’t know.
Leo: Well, that’s what’s wrong with spies. They’re making war not love, Jeff.
Narrator: TWiT. Join the chatroom and watch us watching you.
Leo: We had a lot of fun. I hope you come back every week, watch Tech News Today, 4 PM Pacific, 7 PM Eastern Time, right at midnight UTC for your daily dose of tech news. Actually I think—is Jason here? Do we have a week ahead? No. He went home early. He’s fired. No, no. But there will be a lot of good tech news coming up. Actually we’re going to go to the Mobile World Congress. I think we have people going to Barcelona for Mobile World Conference at the end of the month. Lots of new smartphones. Now, let us see what That Tech Girl found out when she asked geeks.
Liberty: We did ask a techy.
Leo: If they knew who was playing in the Super Bowl.
Liberty: Exactly. Let’s roll it.
Leo: The Oprah of Silicon Valley.
Liberty: You’re sitting next to her. Who is playing in the Super Bowl?
Male: Broncos and someone else.
Liberty: And who? This is ask a techy who is playing in the Super Bowl.
Leo: No idea. No idea. Does he care? No he does not.
Liberty: He has two friends with him who also do not know. You’ve got two friends here.
Leo: Lifeline, get a lifeline.
Male 1: I know, I know the Broncos.
Leo: It’s not the Steelers. That’s as good a name for the Panthers as any. Not the Steelers.
Liberty: You’ve got 15 seconds. Ask a techy, who is playing in the Super Bowl?
Leo: No one. No one’s playing.
Liberty: 10, 9, 8,--
Leo: You know why? Because geeks don’t care about sport ball.
Liberty: 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. And that was the point that I was trying to make.
Leo: He doesn’t even care that he doesn’t care.
Liberty: He doesn’t know.
Leo: No, he doesn’t know, he doesn’t care he doesn’t know.
Liberty: He was the 2nd engineer that I found to actually be a part of ask a techy and I found a Salesforce engineer and the interesting thing with that is we were walking along Market Street and we ran into actual NFL players. And I got them to be a part of—
Leo: They know who is playing.
Liberty: Oh, they did.
Liberty: They did know who was playing.
Leo: Gosh, I would hope so.
Liberty: And they were actually part of the Cleveland, what is it, Bears? Browns. Browns. They played for that team (laughing).
Leo: And now you know why we’re doing a show during the Super Bowl.
Liberty: Welcome to tech Super Bowl.
Leo: Philip wrote a great article on Fortune this week. You actually quote Mark Andreesen’s tweet. “Apple Trades ‘Like a Steel Mill On Its Way Out of Business.’” You’re talking about the Apple stock price which despite the fact that Apple announced last week the most successful quarter in the history of American finance.
Philip: The history of capitalism. The history of capitalism.
Liberty: Wow, I love that.
Leo: Their stock price went down. They are trading like a steel mill on its way out of business (laughing).
Philip: Can you show the graph, there’s actually a graph behind it.
Leo: Yea, ok. Oh, it’s interactive. I can click and do things.
Philip: So the first one, you’re seeing price per earnings.
Leo: Amazon, by the way, this is, it used to be 8 or 9 hundred.
Philip: Yea, it halved.
Leo: It halved, yea. Apple’s is $10 dollars.
Philip: And they’re not counting the cash. You take the cash out and it’s $8 dollars.
Leo: Wow. Let’s look at cash flow. Whew. (Laughing) quite the opposite. Amazon $6 dollars, Netflix $4 dollars, Facebook $4 dollars, Apple $57.
Philip: These are billions.
Leo: That’s in billions, yea. I didn’t think it was $6 dollars actually. I should have said 6 billion. Wow. Now what is free cash flow? What does that mean? That’s income? Revenue?
Philip: No, no, that’s how much cash they’re generating.
Leo: Wow. It’s like profit. Except you can’t spend it. Because what could you buy for $57 billion dollars?
Philip: The trouble is it’s all overseas. Not all of it, most of it’s overseas so what they can do is open Chinese Apple Stores and take banks and you know, old buildings in Europe and fix them up.
Leo: Why is the stock market so down on a company that is doing so well?
Liberty: That’s a great question.
Philip: Because the market, it’s actually a very interesting question. It rewards growth and Apple stopped growing this quarter.
Leo: See, I think that’s a failing of our American Stock Market. That’ why Twitter is struggling even though they have enough cash to run for another 412 years. They’re struggling because they don’t grow.
Philip: Right. The other thing is, the market, it’s really betting on what they next guy’s going to be willing to pay for this stock. So it really has very little to do with fundamentals. They’re saying, “Ok, what’s the next sucker going to pay?” And then the other thing is they disappointed the analysts. And that’s the other part of the stock market. You set expectations and if you can beat them, the stock goes up and if you don’t beat them, the stock goes down. Except with Apple, the rule is no matter what they do, the stock goes down.
Leo: I know. Sell on the news. Any news. Doesn’t matter if it’s good news, whatever. Just sell on the news. It is kind of interesting that, really it’s a vicious cycle. It’s a self-reinforcing cycle. How much is the next guy going to pay? Well, I’m not going to pay that. And it just kind of depresses the stock. But it also has the opposite effect on high flyers with its inflated.
Philip: We’re so far removed from the original idea of the stock market which is you need to raise some money for a company, so you sell a piece of your company to raise the capital. Apple doesn’t need the capital and they’re just getting killed by algorithms I think. You know these machines that say which way things are trending and they just accelerate the trend all the way down until it’s going to go the other way and then they accelerate it all the way up. Eventually if things are rational—oh, it’s Lady Gaga singing. I can’t talk.
Leo: That’s not rational. We’re back to the Super Bowl apparently. I should fire up CBSSports.com and – she’s doing the National Anthem. I missed it? I’m TiVo-ing it. It’s ok. I was going to TiVo it to skip the game and watch the commercials but now maybe—
Liberty: That’s the only thing I’m interested in is the commercials.
Georgia: I’m going to do that on YouTube.
Leo: $5 million dollars. Squarespace is using Key and Peele in their commercial.
Leo: Yea. That must have cost a little bit, huh?
Liberty: Wow. Actually now I kind of just want to watch that.
Leo: They are great. Don’t you love them?
Liberty: They’re so funny. Didn’t they cancel their show?
Leo: They retired or something. Yea, they decided they didn’t want to do it anymore so they could make the big money doing commercials for Squarespace apparently (laughing). I’m not sure. I think that’s really telling. And I really do think there’s a whole thing going on where it’s bragging rights.
Liberty: No, it’s corporate.
Leo: Yea, we bought a Super Bowl ad.
Leo: We can afford that. We believe in it. Apple got a fairly large legal decision against them, a company called VirnetX sued Apple and over an infringement. VirnetX, it’s interesting, only has 14 employees. Has a little office in Zephyr Cove, Nevada. They don’t really make anything. The filed suit in Tyler, Texas. Oh yea. That’s where we were going to go if the podcast lawsuit had gone through, Tyler, Texas. It was a patent infringement suit and I think VirnetX qualifies as a non-practicing entity, aka a patent troll. They said that Apple infringed on patents, communications patents protocols in iMessage, FaceTime, VPN On Demand as well as Apple devices using the software. The jury found Apple guilty on all claims and ordered Apple to pay VirnetX and it’s 14 employees $626.5 million dollars.
Liberty: That’s a successful exit.
Leo: Apple has filed for a mistrial.
Philip: They often get these reduced as they pursue them. Apple, they could spend that much money fighting this suit. I don’t know what the economics are.
Leo: It’s a shame it wasn’t in China because they have a lot more cash over there.
Philip: Yea, why don’t they do that? That would solve a lot of problems.
Leo: The reason, the justification for mistrial is in the closing arguments apparently. They used arguments outside the evidence. You know, they broke the rules and misrepresented the testimony of Apple’s witnesses. You know, I think that’s probably, once you lose a $625 million dollar lawsuit, all you’re trying to figure out is, “how can we keep this thing going? How can we avoid writing the check?” That’s not an insignificant check. As much money as Apple has, that’s a lot of money. Samsung—
Georgia: A lot of money. And I think that the word patent troll, I think it maligns trolls. Trolls at least give nice riddles and they’re working the bridge. I think that’s something we can talk about.
Philip: They’re protecting the bridge.
Georgia: But, no I think that the entire, this trial goes all the way back to 2010 when they first sued them and then they won on that one. Then it was overturned. And now they’re going back. It’s one of these things that, you know, we blame the patent trolls but really, US Patent Law is quite broken. And when you have, the patent office has this habit of issuing patents for things that they really do not understand and they’re really, really vague. And then we have these non-practicing patent trolls that are not using anything, they’re just really there to win litigations. And you know, VirnetX has been really successful. They’ve sued many big companies but they won $20 million, they were settled for a $200 million lawsuit against Microsoft. And so this encourages them to keep at it and unfortunately, Tyler, Texas and Marshall, Texas, they win. They’re there for a reason because they’re very biased towards patent holders. Maybe biased is the wrong word.
Leo: Right. We were told, we, as some of you know, there was a podcast patent troll, since defunct. But they sued a number of well-known podcasts, including Adam Carolla, saying that they had invented podcasting. They were quoting a particular clause of a patent that they got many years ago, like ’95 I think. And it would have been held I think in Tyler, Texas. We hired a firm. I didn’t talk about it at the time on the advice of consul. They said, “Don’t talk about it. You don’t want to attract attention.” But they didn’t sue us. We got a demand letter for a ridiculous amount of money. I can’t remember what it was, like $2.5 million dollars. And since I knew that even in worst case scenario, defending it would cost about a million and a half, I thought, “Well, why would I pay you two and a half when I could defend it for a million and a half?” So we were actually prepared. We hired a law firm. I gave money to the EFF. The EFF actually was I think part instrumental in dismantling the case because there are two ways you can pursue a patent case. You can of course go to court. The problem with Tyler, Texas and Marshall, Texas is as you say, these are juries that tend to be in favor of the little guy, right? And it’s very often portrayed that the big company came along and ripped off the little guy’s invention and justice needs to be done here. And the juries go along with it. There’s also I was told, the judge, there’s a particular judge in one of the jurisdictions who just loves these cases. And really kind of embraces them and does feel that really strongly that this is a case of the little guy standing up to the big guy. It was a little harder—
Philip: It’s revenue for the town, too.
Leo: Oh, absolutely. Because all of these companies have little offices in the town.
Philip: I think they get a piece of the case, a piece of the award.
Leo: Oh, interesting.
Liberty: I think that’s how they fund it actually, is the city.
Leo: Wow. Wow, I didn’t know that. Wow.
Georgia: That’s why one quarter of all patent trials are filed there.
Leo: Amazing. I thought it was just because they were kind of favorable for the plaintiff. But I guess there’s more to it than that. It’s an industry.
Philip: What happened with your case?
Leo: Well, so the other way you can fight it, if you don’t want to fight it in court is to go to the US Patent and Trademark Organization, Office I mean. It turns out that there’s so many patents filed in the US and there’s so few experts and so little expertise that in general the way the patent office works is they’ll approve the patent and then say, “Let the courts settle it if it’s not a good patent.” They kind of expect there to be a certain amount of litigation around many of these patents. So it’s not, it’s not quite rubber stamped but they don’t spend a lot of time looking for priors or things like that. So another way you can pursue it, and this is what the Electronic Frontier Foundation would like you to do, is something called inter partis suit, where you go to the Patent and Trademark Office and you say, “We want to contest the patent.” Now our attorney told us this was a very risky move. If you win, it’s only $100,000 dollars. You know, it’s not expensive compared to a trial. But if you lose, it becomes very hard to win against a jury because then the opposing attorney says, “Well, you know, they tried to get this patent overturned. They went back to the US Patent and Trademark Office and they did everything they could. And you know what? The US Patent and Trademark Office said, they said our patent is good.”
Liberty: Is that your Texas accent?
Philip: That’s not bad.
Leo: You don’t like it?
Liberty: I’m a Texan.
Leo: Yea, I know you are.
Liberty: It’s terrible (laughing).
Leo: We don’t talk like that in Texas?
Liberty: Well you’re making me feel quite at home right now.
Leo: (Laughing) Your honor, I just submit that the company here, this here company.
Liberty: That was a Texas accent from 1932.
Leo: I’ve got suspenders. Anyway, no in fact the attorney that was representing the podcast troll was from New York. And our attorney said that’s actually tactically a mistake on the part of the non-practicing entity because generally you want a good old boy lawyer down there. You don’t want anybody from New York, because New York values coming down here. There were other tactical mistakes that this company pursued. In other words, they weren’t very good at being a patent troll (laughing). For instance, the demand letter, you’re not supposed to ask for so much money because that incents people to fight you. What you want to do is ask for less than it would cost to fight. Look, we will settle this for $100,000. You know, but apparently they didn’t know much. And so, the good news is the EFF took the risk, a risk that had it been up to me I probably wouldn’t have taken. I would have followed Adam Carolla’s plan which was to meet them in court. Carolla said, “We’re going to fight this.” And he raised money. He had a crowd funding campaign and everything. But fortunately the EFF prevailed and the Patent Trademark Office did in fact overturn the patent. So the whole thing just went away. Not that it will go away forever because there’s lots of companies like this, non-practicing entities who—it’s a business model. In fact shamefully I think, one of Microsoft’s smartest people, Nathan Myhrvold has a business, kind of essentially doing this.
Philip: They’ve got thousands of patents, too, don’t they?
Philip: They’ve got every idea they could think of.
Leo: And acquired many, many, many, many more.
Philip: Have they actually sued anybody?
Leo: Oh, well here’s the thing. It’s interesting because it’s called Intellectual Ventures. And he founded it in 2000. They have 40,000 patents in their portfolio. Most of them were not created by them but were acquired by them. And then the question is, well what is happening with these patents and it seems to be the case, if you listen, there’s a really good podcast put together by This American Life on this subject. And I think that the Planet Money guys also did a podcast on this. But it turns out that there are a lot of shell companies that seem to have been started by Intellectual Ventures that are doing the actual suing. I don’t know if Intellectual Ventures was founded to sue. You see right on the front page, license power patents, buy our patents, sell your patents. So their business really is as a patent marketplace. I imagine that’s what Myhrvold, I don’t think, I mean this guy’s got a lot going for him. He was chief strategist and chief technology officer at Microsoft. He’s quite a brilliant guy. My guess is he wanted to create a patent marketplace. But you know, they have $3 billion dollars in licensing revenue. So clearly there is a business in this. And yes, they haven’t gone to court but the evidence is apparently that they’ve created some shell companies to pursue these patents in court. Hey here’s a question mark for you. Is Amazon really going to open 400 bookstores and what the hell?
Liberty: I hope so.
Leo: Is that crazy talk? Now this doesn’t come from Amazon. This comes from a mall CEO, a guy who runs a mall company, chief executive of General Growth Properties. He was on an earnings call and probably somewhat inopportunely said, “Well, you’ve got Amazon opening brick and mortar bookstores. Their goal is to open as I understand 3-4 hundred.” I can’t imagine Amazon was too happy about that news leaking out.
Philip: He’s off the Christmas list.
Leo: Yea. The real question is, is that really what Amazon’s thinking? Why would you open a single book store, which they did in Seattle, let alone 400 book stores?
Georgia: The only reason that I could think for them to do that would be to directly compete against other brick and mortar stores, and force them to close down. Because it’s so much more expensive to carry stock and to deal with building and people and issues that comes up with whereas there so successful with the business model that they have now.
Philip: One theory I heard was that they might use it as shipping way stations.
Leo: Ah. Not stores at all. Or as long as you’ve got the space, have a little showroom. See they do have stuff. I think they could put the Echo there, the Kindle Fire there. And I guess some books. I don’t—
Philip: Do you have that cartoon, Leo?
Leo: Yes, this is Joy of Tech, right? Nitrozac and Snaggy who are wonderful. In fact they do our album art. Let me see if I can—you’ve got the link? I know it’s in the dock. Let me pull it up here. Whoops.
Philip: It was in the email. I don’t know if it made it to the dock.
Leo: Yea, I’m pretty sure it was. Here it is. The Amazon Store experience as envisioned by Nitrozac and Snaggy. They do work for Re/Code which is great. First of all you walk up to a tele-presence device with a human in the screen. “Hello George Smith of 25 Pine Street. Welcome to the Amazon Store. I am Bay-Zoh’s 3000, your personal assistant robot. Your online data indicates that you’ve previously purchased many books on overcoming laziness. Would you like to visit our procrastination section?” “Um, OK, but keep it quiet. Everyone can hear you.” “I’ve noticed your online shopping cart has an item in it that was never purchased. Would you like to buy that sexy babes calendar now?” “No! And please quit telling everyone what I’ve looked at online.” “Your purchase history includes several books on mental illness. Would you like me to escort you to our self-help mental illness section? By the way, do you need more rash cream for your itchy scrotum?” “Arrrg! Shut up!” “Did you know that President Obama knows exactly what he’s doing?” Oh, I’m sorry, wrong robot. “Let go of me. That was an act of self-defense.” “This is precisely why we recommend the ‘How to Control Your Fits of Rage” book a few weeks ago.” Yea, that’s good. I like it. That is one concern of course. Amazon does know everything.
Philip: Especially if you have an Echo.
Leo: They’re not listening to me.
Liberty: They’re listening, Leo.
Leo: Really? Do you think so?
Liberty: I don’t think so. I know so.
Leo: No, no. Why would they listen? What are they—believe me, if they’re listening to my house they’re not hearing anything good.
Georgia: It’s not that they are listening, it’s that they could be listening.
Leo: They could be. You could be. Everything could be. There could be bugs in the walls from the Russian Embassy.
Georgia: But it’s so much harder to put bugs in the wall versus the government asking to turn on your internal mic line on your phone or your computer.
Leo: I did actually install this particular bug myself.
Georgia: You installed it yourself? You’ve made it so easy for them (laughing).
Leo: In fact I liked it so much I bought a second one (laughing). That’s true. That’s a good point. All right let’s take a break. I’ve got to hustle along here. Got to move along. Got stuff to talk about. And apparently there’s a game going on. Our show today brought to you—
Philip: The ads have started.
Leo: Have they started? Damn it. I’m missing the ads. How many times have you said that? Damn it. I’m missing the ads. Don’t miss this ad because we love Audible. I am an Audible fanatic, have been since the year 2000 when I first joined Audible. Audible saved me from road rage more times than I can count. Well, seriously, I had a 2 hour commute on a good day, could be 4 hours on a bad day to San Francisco from Petaluma. And driving back and forth from TechTV. And you know, after the 80th time I heard Hit Me Baby One More Time, I decided I should listen to something more edifying than Brittany Spears on the radio. So I started listening to audio books. And Audible, in those days it was very early. You know, I had a Diamond Rio MP3 player and it was complicated to get the book on there. Now it’s easy. Now it’s great. You have it on your phone, it’s on your laptop, it’s everywhere you want to be. Great books, read by the best readers ever. I’m listening now, because I’m all excited about going to see Hamilton and I want to go see the Broadway show Hamilton. I haven’t, I don’t have tickets or anything but inspirationally thinking. So I got the Ron Chernow the biography of Hamilton which is awesome. 36 hours and 59 minutes of revolutionary ardor. Ok, you’re not into that? How about The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Have you read Marie Kondo’s masterpiece yet, Georgia Dow?
Georgia: No, I haven’t.
Leo: Do you know about it?
Georgia: No, I don’t.
Leo: Oh, my God, it’s all the rage now. Maybe it hasn’t gotten to Canada yet.
Georgia: (laughing) it hasn’t. Exactly, we always have to wait like another 6 months.
Leo: I don’t know. Your room looks awfully tidy.
Georgia: I won’t turn the camera around to the side, because it’s not really (laughing). This side is.
Leo: This is an inspiring book. Marie Kondo—
Georgia: It’s on decluttering?
Leo: No, see that’s the problem. She says if you think in those terms you’re going to relapse immediately.
Georgia: Oh, sorry.
Leo: No, no, no. What you have to do is you pick, you go through all your stuff by category. Not by location. So you start with clothes. That’s the easiest because you’re going to end with personal mementos. That’s the hardest. And you look at each item and you say, “Does it spark joy?”
Georgia: That’s a good plan, that’s a good plan. I do wish—we did a show a long time ago about decluttering and I would like take everything off and then you know, you put it into three piles. This one I like, this one makes me feel good—
Leo: No, no. She says that’s too complicated, it’s binary. Does it spark joy? If it doesn’t, you thank the item for it’s service.
Liberty: Exactly. I’ve done this.
Leo: You’ve done this?
Leo: And you say goodbye. And the thing is, if you do this properly and you go through, and you do it in a big swoop because what you want is like this perfect Zen-like experience of your new clutter free environment, she says because the magic of that will make sure you will never clutter it again. Because you love it so much, you’ll just put things away from now on. It’s not about getting better containers. It’s not about, it’s about getting rid—anyway. This is not an ad for this book.
Georgia: And you can get that on Audible? You did that on Audible.
Leo: I’m listening to it on Audible and I love it.
Liberty: Are you listening or are you actively executing which she says? Come one, Leo.
Leo: So, I’m gearing up. I’m gearing up. I don’t want to do it until I’ve listened to the whole book and I’m trying to spread this book out a lot. It’s only 4 hours and 50 minutes. It’s taking me months. But I want to get it right. I want to know every detail before I begin. You don’t want to make any—
Georgia: That sounds like a stall tactic.
Liberty: That’s what it sounds like to me, Georgia.
Leo: I suspect I should go to the procrastination section of the bookstore. I mean there’s so much. There’s science fiction, there’s fiction. I just got the latest, I’m a huge William Gibson fan. Just got the latest William Gibson. Audible is a great and—you’ve got kids? You don’t have daughters though, Georgia, do you? Because I—
Georgia: I don’t have daughters.
Leo: See if you had a girl I would say read her The Secret Garden. I don’t know if boys would be as into this. Maybe they would. Gosh I remember reading this to my kid. And the thing is, it turns out, you might think, “Oh, I don’t want to get my kids audio books. Then they won’t read.” No. Research shows it actually turns them into readers because they start to love the book then they pick up the book. Frances Hodgson Burnett, a classic, The Secret Garden. Harry Potter, all of them. So beautifully read by Jim Dale. He really brings them to life. I can go on and on. Here’s the deal. We’re going to get you two books. If you’ve never—oh, interesting. In a Different Key: The Story of Autism. Interesting. I think this is something you would probably want to read. There’s stuff for professional development. They have the entire catalog of the great courses which means these are the best college courses, the best college lectures. And so physics and geography and any subject you’d be interested in. Oh, look at Hamilton, the Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the guy who wrote the—oh, man. This is—I’ve got to read this too. He’s going to make a book. This is from the play. Anyway, I’m sorry. See how easily I get distracted? I love Audible. You will love it too. If you haven’t listened to audio books, maybe you’re a little nervous about the whole idea. Get two books free right now. Go to Audible.com/twit and the number 2. You’ll be signing up for the platinum account. That’s 2 books a month, which the first month free so if you cancel in that first month, you keep the books but you pay nothing. You also get the daily digest of The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal. So many, so many great books. Maggie Gyllenhaal reading Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Wouldn’t—see? See what I’m saying? Scarlet Johansson reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Philip: Leo, I love Audible and I love really long books because they’ll last for weeks and weeks.
Leo: Me too. Me too.
Philip: So I’m just looking at The Power Broker by Robert Caro.
Leo: I loved that. That’s the Lyndon Johnson biography.
Philip: 66 hours. I just finished The Rise and Fall of the 3rd Reich about Hitler, 57 hours.
Leo: William L. Shirer, one of the great histories. You know what? I’d like to listen to that again. So if you’re interested in World War II, there’s a really good book. Turns out that a lot of the research in Shirer’s time—Shirer recovered it from—
Philip: He was there.
Leo: Yea, he was there. What we knew what was from the Allie’s side. What we didn’t know was from the Russian side. So a lot of that Russian, after the fall of the Soviet Union, a lot of the Russian documentary information about World War II has emerged and there was a new book written on World War II, a new history, which incorporates much of the new information. Oh, I wish I could find this. I’ll find it for you. I read it on Audible. Listened to it on Audible. People get mad when I say I read it on Audible. It’s like reading. I got every word. Somebody read it to me. So I’m lazy.
Georgia: Well it’s nice because you can do that passively while you’re doing other things. So you know, you can’t really watch TV while you’re doing all of the cleaning in your house or if you’re de-cluttering or avoiding de-cluttering by doing something else.
Leo: Ah ha. See what I’m saying?
Georgia: You can listen to a book and then you don’t feel like you’re wasting your time. And I love the idea of road trips. We listened to Dune on a road trip all the way to Florida and it was great. So we got something that would keep everyone awake. We were interested. It was fun. Kept the kids quiet because I don’t let them use tech on road trips, so.
Leo: Great with the kids. Yea if you’re doing road trips, having an audio book that everybody likes—we listened To the Ups and Downs of Being Brown which was fabulous. Holes. These are all young adult, they’ve got great young adult fiction. I’m such a fan of Audible. We made this an 18 hour commercial for some reason. You know why? Because we like it. That’s really why. Audible. It’s fun because a lot of our hosts are Audible fans so like when Paul Thurrott and I are doing Windows Weekly, we’ll do the same thing. We’ll go, “If you listen to—“in fact he’s the one that told me about the World War II history. I’m still looking for that. Audible.com.twit2. Your first two books are free. Here it is, Philip. The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War. If you just finished The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, this would be a good companion volume because it has all this new information from the Soviet side which I found. And this guy is a very, very good writer. I love this stuff. History? Nothing better. Audible.com/twit2. Frankly Audible’s more interesting than—you know what? Amazon in the bookstores, they could have audio books from Audible. They own Audible. They can have—ah, it would be fun. Oh man, as long as you’re going to open something as retro as a bookstore, let’s get listening booths. And you can go in and you can listen to a record and see if you like it. Or listen to an audio book.
Liberty: I think you went one too far with record but I think we were all on board with you.
Philp: (laughing) been there, done that.
Liberty: We were definitely on board with you on that one, Leo.
Leo: Do you remember, Philip Elmer-DeWitt, going to record stores and listening to records in a little booth?
Philip: Yea, yea, yea. Now you just steal it from the internet.
Leo: Yea, now you just steal it. Yea, I’m sampling. Actually with Spotify you’re not even stealing it. You’re just— it’s kind of amazing. By the way, Jeff Bezos is worth $57 billion dollars. That makes him number 4 on the list of the richest people on earth and the world’s richest tech CEO, eclipsing Larry Ellison, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Sergey Brin. $57 billion dollars. And that’s with kind of artificially reduced stock price. I mean if it really—
Philip: Is this Forbes list?
Leo: No, this is—so Business Insider’s doing it with Wealth X. And I don’t know how this compares to the famous Forbes list. It should be fairly close I would think. Bezos has 18% stake in Amazon. So that’s part of the reason. He still owns 18% of Amazon. I hope that’s it.
Georgia: It’s when you hit those kinds of numbers, I couldn’t comprehend.
Leo: It’s meaningless, yea.
Georgia: It’s just too much. I don’t understand how much money he must have (laughing).
Leo: Did you all read the article? I thought this was really interesting. Actually it was a study called Going Dark coming out of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard. It was a study of the landscape of government surveillance for want of a better word. Don’t panic. Making progress from the Going Dark debate. And the debate is really kind of formulated by on the one hand, the director of the FBI, James Comey who says, “Going Dark. We can’t read the bad guys’ communications anymore because they’re using modern encryption. And we need a way to read modern encryption.” And on the other hand, believe it or not, places like the NSA, who saying, “Oh, no, encryption, everyone needs that.” Which is weird. We talked, on Monday I did a Triangulation, it was a great episode of Triangulation with a guy who was the former advisor to Hilary Clinton for 4 years, the secretary of state. So he worked in government.
Leo: Alec Ross, yea. His new book was about new industries that are springing up thanks to technological innovation. But he said, “The government is not monolithic in this. There is an active split in government between those like Comey who think we’ve got to have back doors.” And those like, believe it or not, he says the NSA who says, “No, no. You can’t have a back door. That makes everything insecure.”
Philip: The NSA actually knows how it works as opposed to—
Leo: Yes. Congress which doesn’t. And Comey which doesn’t. But anyway this Berkman study maybe should help them understand a little bit better because they say more than, the resources for law enforcement today are more than adequate to tracking suspects thanks to the internet of things, technology, everything packed with sensors and wireless technology. It doesn’t matter if they can’t read the messages. They know everything else. So this is an interesting response. Everybody should. If you don’t want to download and read the PDF, it’s available from the Berman Center. You can read articles like these from The New York Times. They’re saying new technologies give government ample means to track suspects the study finds. And I hope members of Congress at least read this. And state legislators because that’s the other thing that’s happening. Ok, I want to be careful here because I’m sure there’s some intelligent state legislatures, but if there’s anybody dumber than a member of Congress, it’s a member of the state assembly. That’s a guy who couldn’t get to Congress. Is that wrong to say? Is that a bad thing to say?
Liberty: I think it’s a bad thing to say to them.
Leo: Yea, I wouldn’t say it in person. If you’re listening and you’re a member of the state assembly, it’s not you I’m talking about. But it turns out in a number of states of course, including California, members of the local legislatures are proposing really bad idea back door stuff. Maybe they could read this as well.
Georgia: Well they’re not really saying that they want—like they’re saying that they want the backdoors to track terrorists, but really they want to snoop on others so that they can use that as leveraging tools in order to change people’s votes, deal with what they’re saying, find out which people lean. It’s more about information than it is actually to track people because you can see that the statistics show that they haven’t really used this to catch terrorists.
Leo: Yea, the California assemblyman Jim Cooper submitted a bill which is very similar to one also submitted in New York State that would require device manufactures and operating system vendors who want to sell devices in California after January 1st of next year to provide a crypto-backdoor.
Philip: Oh, geez.
Leo: You want to do business in California, you better harbor your system. A fine of $2,500 for every device that doesn’t comply. Of course if California passed such a bill, it wouldn’t matter that the rest of the country didn’t because you know, Apple’s going to want to sell iPhones in California I think. You know, by the way, they never say it’s you know, they also say it’s for things like we’ve got to stop trafficking. That’s the excuse he used. We’ve got to stop trafficking.
Philip: I don’t think they want to spy on other politicians. I think they just think it’s a political win for them.
Philip: They think they’re going to get votes if they take this stand. And they’re ignorant. They don’t know how encryption works.
Leo: Well, now this guy is a former law enforcement officer. He says—
Philip: Oh, well, they, the cops think they need it. Yea.
Leo: He says you can get a warrant for pretty much everything and anything. Not quite true, but. You can get a warrant for pretty much anything and everything but not for an iPhone or an iPad. That’s mind boggling. There is a point to be made there. In fact Steve Gibson, our own security guy has pointed that out. He says you know, you can, if I have a locked box in my house with my plans for taking over the US Government, law enforcement if they have reasonable cause and they go to a judge, can get a warrant, can come and can open that box. But I can put it on my iPhone and they can still get a warrant but they don’t have the technological means to unlock the iPhone. So Gibson says there’s reason to say, you know there’s precedence for saying there should be some way to issue a search warrant for this. The problem is the backdoor. But he says Apple should just go back to the way they used to do it which is just don’t encrypt the iPhone.
Philip: Right but Apple is encouraging people to pay for bills and pay for stuff, you know, to replace your credit card with your phone. And if you’re going to be doing that, if you’re going to be banking through your phone, you want it to be safe. You don’t want it to have a backdoor. And it won’t work if there’s a backdoor because then if you know there’s a backdoor then people are just going to spend the rest of their lives trying to open it.
Leo: Actually you cover Apple, so I’m curious what your thought is on this. Because of course this is a great selling point for Apple. They can say reasonably, “We’re the only company that truly cares about your security and privacy.”
Philip: Right, right. It doesn’t cost them anything to make hay this way and it hurts their competitors because they can say, “Look at Google and Facebook.” Yea, yea. So there’s a word that Ben Thompson uses. I forget but it’s something like strategy advantage. It’s free for them and it costs their, it would cost Google a fortune to give up what Apple doesn’t sell. I’m not saying that quite right but—
Leo: No, I know what you’re saying and in a way one of the reasons I like Android and I like Google Now is because Google does know more about me. So Google Now, we were just talking about that earlier, is very knowledgeable and knows when I’m going on a flight. So if I show up at the airport it can put up the QR code for the ticket because it happens to know that.
Liberty: Well I love that it tells me to go to the airport.
Leo: It know where my car is.
Liberty: It will tell me I need to leave if you want to be on time. Here’s your car. Here’s where you’re going. I love it.
Leo: Stuff Apple doesn’t want to do because that would be creepy.
Philip: They actually do do that. They tell you it’s time to leave.
Georgia: I think that changes though so that Google’s model is more the information they know they better they can sell you ads and that makes Google more money versus Apple is selling you products and so it doesn’t need to have that information to make more money. So since we are their main customers, they want to keep us safe first versus Google. And so I don’t want to give up my privacy for safety when the data does not support that we would actually be anymore safe by me giving up my privacy.
Leo: Here’s actually some great advice from the attorney general of the great state of Maryland. This comes from Motherboard, Joshua Kopsetin. The state attorney general of Maryland is taking an aggressive stance on the use of cell phone trackers saying, “If you don’t want to be tracked, turn off your phone.”
Georgia: (laughing) thanks.
Liberty: You laugh, but that’s true.
Leo: They use Stingrays. You know these are phony cell sites that intercept your phone traffic. Earlier this week, Brian Frosh challenged a Baltimore court’s decision in the case or Kerron Andrews, Frosh is the attorney general of the state of Maryland. Andrews was targeted by a stingray. He faces multiple—I mean look it. This is an interesting case because this guy is charged with multiple attempted murders. He told the court, “You must dismiss these charges. This is unreasonable search and seizure. This is a 4th amendment right.” The state said, “Well, cell phones are constantly revealing their location. So because Andrews uses a cell phone he volunteered this information with 3rd parties including the police just by keeping his phone on. The state brief says while quote, “While cell phones are ubiquitous, they all come with off switches. Because Andrews chose to keep his cell phone on, he was voluntarily sharing the location of his cell phone with 3rd parties.”
Georgia: You see I think that’s a little bit of a solid system, right. Like I don’t think that people mostly think that they’re going to be tracked. I think people first start from the feeling of—like people one, don’t really understand the technology that they use. They assume that things are private that are not. And I think that because cell phones are so ubiquitous to our society and the manner in which we go through our day to day lives, it should be up to the government to make sure we are safe and that our privacy and you know, the Constitution is upheld first, not that that would be a necessary means to an end. I think that if they, if they’re tracking someone who is dangerous and they file to be able to subpoena to have the right. I think that that sounds fair. But I don’t think that just by using your cell phone you should expect that, well there’s a microphone on this cell phone, there’s a camera. We can choose to turn that on at any point in time if we want and that should be, I should give up my rights, to thinking that my own life is private too.
Leo: Are you consenting to it? Is it informed consent? You want a corn nut?
Liberty: I definitely agree with Georgia and yea, I like that. Definitely.
Leo: Oh, they’re terrible.
Leo: I think they’re apple flavored.
Philip: Are they sponsors?
Leo: No, these are definitely not Nature Box. Put those back. They’re like apple flavored. Aren’t they awful?
Liberty: Please don’t me offer me that apple flavor.
Georgia: I hate apple flavor.
Leo: Who would make apple flavored corn nuts? What kind of fiend? So apparently there are, there’s case law in this. In 2014 the Florida Supreme Court ruled that requiring a cell phone user to turn off their cell phone places an unreasonable burden on the user to forgo necessary use of his phone, a device now considered essential by most of the populous. On the other hand, in 2013, a New York judge in a DEA case said given the ubiquity and celebrity of geolocation technologies—celebrity?
Leo: Famousness. That’s a better word. An individual has no legitimate expectation of privacy in the prospective location of his cellular telephone or that individual has failed to protect his privacy by taking the simple expedient of powering it off. That was in 2013. So we’ll see. This is yet to be decided in the State of Maryland. Keep in mind, you’re giving the government permission to track you if you use a cell phone.
Liberty: If you have a phone.
Philip: Yea. That Serial story, the first season of Serial where she looked at a 15 year old murder case. A lot of the evidence against this guy who was accused of killing his high school girl friend was based on cell phone location. It’s what they used.
Leo: Same thing in To Make a Murderer on Netflix. Very controversial Netflix documentary about—
Liberty: I haven’t seen it yet.
Leo: Yea, well I won’t say anything then. It’s interesting. Have you seen it, Georgia?
Georgia: I’ve read the rundowns on it when we discussed some different psychological issues on the way that people feel about things. But yea.
Leo: There was some cell phone evidence I think left out. Anyway. On the documentary. But anyway. How about Error 53? Philip, I bet you’re up on this one. This is an example of Apple protecting a customer’s security, even perhaps to the detriment of the customer. And Apple has a good reason for this.
Philip: What is it? If you use, if you had someone fix your broken screen that wasn’t Apple, the next time you updated your iOS it bricked your phone.
Leo: Bricked your phone. Because you used an unofficial Apple repair service. Apple says that’s because there’s a tight connection between the fingerprint reader and a secure store on the phone that we need to keep secure. When you bring it to Apple to get it fixed, we will re-associate. But these 3rd party guys don’t do it so we have to brick your phone. The Guardian broke this story and they broke it because one of their own freelancers, Antonio Olmos was covering the refugee crisis in Macedonia. Dropped his phone. There are no Apple stores in Macedonia. So he went to a local shop. They repaired the screen and home button. It worked perfectly. He thought no more about it until he got offered iOS9. He upgraded. Got Error 53. The phone was bricked. He had to pay 275 pounds for a replacement.
Philip: Was he the one that went back to the guy who fixed his phone and got the money back?
Leo: (laughing) No, I don’t think so but that’s an interesting strategy.
Philip: People have done that. That you go to a 3rd party guy, said he was going to fix your phone and it turned out he bricked it.
Leo: Really? You blame the 3rd party guy?
Liberty: You can’t blame the 3rd party guy.
Leo: It worked fine when he got it back from him.
Georgia: This is why you should have Apple Care (laughing).
Leo: There’s no Apple Care in Macedonia. What are you supposed to do? Wait until you get back?
Georgia: That’s true. Well, I guess they should have said that Apple should have warned people about his beforehand so that people would know but it was one of these—
Liberty: I think this is how they got a billion users. This is definitely how they got there.
Leo: You do what Samsung does. You know, Samsung has a similar secure store and they call it Knox like Fort Knox. And if you violate it by say changing the firmware on your phone, Knox stops working and Samsung won’t allow, says you can’t use this for Samsung Pay because it’s not secure anymore. And some programs like, I don’t know, Netflix, programs where there’s Hollywood content will stop working because Hollywood says, “Well you’re not secure anymore. You might be pirating.” But your phone still so works.
Liberty: Exactly. They’re not going to brick you.
Philip: Right. The nature of that error message suggests to me that Apple didn’t know about this. If they knew that it was going to happen, they would have had an error message that said, “Hey your phone doesn’t work.” They would have used English.
Leo: So Friday on Apple Insider, Apple acknowledged it. And this is what Apple explained to The Guardian after their story. “We protect fingerprint data using a secure enclave which is uniquely paired to the touch ID sensor. When an iPhone is serviced by an authorized Apple service provider or Apple retail store for changes that effect the touch ID sensor, the pairing is revalidated.” The representative warned, “With an unofficial repair, that pairing goes invalidated and lead to Error 53 once iOS is updated or even restored. People who contract the glitch should contact Apple support.”
Philip: I love how they make even a PR statement like that into a sales pitch.
Liberty: Basically they’re going to route you to sales.
Leo: And here’s an additional statement that came now to Apple Insider. “We take customer security very seriously. Error 53 is the result of security checks designed to protect our customers. iOS checks that the Touch ID sensor in your phone or iPad correctly matches your devices other components. If they find a mismatch, the check fails and Touch ID including for Apple Pay use is disabled. This security measure is necessary to protect your device and prevent a fraudulent Touch ID sensor to be used.” That’s fine. If that’s all they do is disable it, fine. But if they brick the phone, that’s not fine. So maybe you’re right, Philip. Maybe that’s an unintended consequence. We didn’t mean to brick your phone, just disable the Touch ID.
Georgia: Yea, you just can’t buy things with it.
Leo: Right. That would be fair.
Philip: If they fixed it with the next update that would be good.
Leo: All right. Let’s take a quick break and come back with some final thoughts from our great panel. Georgia Dow from iMore in beautiful Montreal where it’s balmy. How much? 82 degrees? It’s warm, isn’t it? You’re having a warm winter.
Georgia: Oh, it’s so very warm (laughing).
Leo: Toronto was 1 degree. So it’s got to be cold in Montreal.
Georgia: It’s cold. It’s not, like we’ve had really sketchy weather. I’m taking skiing lessons and there’s not much skiing happening but we got some snow so it’s good.
Leo: Great to have you as always. Also from Fortune.com, but soon to be from another site. What will it be called?
Philip: Apple 3.0.
Leo: Apple—ooh, I like that.
Philip: I had Apple 2.0 before.
Leo: Will there be a dot in Apple 3.0?
Leo: So it will be like Apple 3 dot 0 dot com?
Philip: No, no, no, no. That was taken. It will probably be PED30.com.
Leo: PED30.com. Yea, because then you would have to own the 0.com domain and I doubt very much that’s available.
Philip: Right. Also shorter is better if I have to type it a lot.
Leo: I agree. I like PED for that reason. It’s great to have you, Philip. And good luck. I’m really excited about this. I will subscribe.
Philip: Good. It’s 35 degrees in Greenfield.
Leo: That’s not bad. It’s above freezing.
Philip: Yea, it snowed the other day. I went cross country skiing yesterday.
Leo: And we are having some pretty nice weather here in the Bay area for the Super Bowl. It’s like in the 70s. Nice. It was 72 today. Our show today brought to you by FreshBooks.com. FreshBooks is the simple cloud accounting software for freelancers, anybody who makes their living billing for their time and expertise. What’s your favorite part about running your business? Doing the stuff, right? You love doing the stuff. What you don’t love is at the end of the month you’ve got to fire up Word or Excel and do the invoices. You’ve got to get—I used to have to get together. I’d go up to Toronto to do their show and I’d end up with a shoebox of invoices, I mean of expense receipts. I’d put them in the invoice. Keep track of the time and hours. Don’t you hate that? It’s not why you got into business.
Georgia: I hate that. You get a business. You get all excited to sell videos and then suddenly you have to do all the bookwork. You’re like, you know what? That’s not any fun.
Leo: Hate that when that happens.
Liberty: So this solves it for us, doesn’t it?
Leo: Yes. The funny thing is if you don’t send the invoice, you don’t get paid. I don’t know why. For some reason you have to do that (laughing).
Georgia: The unfortunate part.
Leo: So, in fact the reason I laugh about that is because I went 6 months without invoicing Rodgers once. Because I just hated doing it. So I sent them an invoice for 6 months which was a considerable invoice and the bookkeeper called me and said, “You can’t do this. What are you thinking?” I said, “Well, I forgot to invoice you.” “You can’t do this.” She said, “If you do this again, I’m not paying it.” I said, “Ok, ok, ok.”
Georgia: Oh God. I don’t know if that’s legal.
Leo: That’s probably not but I took it seriously.
Georgia: I bet you sent the invoice after that.
Leo: I actually went to Amber and I said, “What am I going to do?” And she said FreshBooks. This had just started up in Toronto. This is about 10 years ago. And since then, by the way 5 million customers. They are really doing well and growing all the time. So they do the invoices, email invoices. It makes it very easy. They will actually, they have an app that will track time and hours. It takes pictures of receipts, of expenses and it goes right into the invoice. They just announced their card reader. Now this is cool. A lot of people who go to homes to do things. You know, contractors, inspectors. And so you might for instance go make an estimate. So with the FreshBooks app you can show the estimate, get the customer approval, do the work, customer’s standing there. You say, “Here’s your invoice. I’ll have this emailed to you. And here’s my card reader.” It’s ENV enabled so they can dip the chip or swipe the stripe and pay you right there. Talk about getting paid fast. So awesome. I am a big fan and I used this for years until finally—now I have a department of people helping me with this. Plus I don’t have to invoice myself because I pay myself without the invoice.
Liberty: There you go. You won’t forget to do that.
Leo: I won’t forget that part. So here’s the deal. If you still, if you’re a freelancer, if you’re still suffering through this monthly process, please go to FreshBooks.com/twit and get FreshBooks free for 30 days. FreshBooks.com/twit and there’s just one little favor. If you would do this for me. When they ask how did you hear about us? Tell them This Week in Tech. FreshBooks.com/twit. So we know that the Mobile World Congress is coming up at the end of the month. We’re excited. February 21st Samsung is going to announce its new phones, the Galaxy S7. They sent out invitations. We expect Apple will have new phones maybe a 4” screen and a new Apple watch or at least some sort of update in March. No, you don’t think so?
Philip: Nah. I don’t think they’ll do the hardware in March, no.
Leo: Is it just a software update?
Philip: Something about new bands, probably a software update. I was even—
Georgia: That’s in March.
Leo: New bands? What kind of announcement is that? Oh look at these great new bands.
Georgia: They may update Watch OS but we’re going to get the bands and then we have to wait. We’re going to have to wait a little while for the new phone. Or the new watches.
Philip: It’s just a rumor that they’re going to do hardware and I think that everybody’s backed off that.
Leo: They should do—the 5SE. That would make sense. But they shouldn’t do a new watch because people, I mean people will be irate.
Philip: Right. And I don’t think they’ll, I’ll be surprised if they unveiled their phone at Barcelona.
Leo: No, they’re not going to do Mobile World Congress. They’re going to do their own thing. In fact it’s amazing Samsung kind of still feels they need to go to an event. That’s old school.
Leo: There’s a lot—I just want to get the little stories here. Samsung, by the way, Samsung’s browser on Android now has ad blocking interestingly enough. Didn’t Google just kill an ad blocking browser or ad blocking in its Google Store? I think they did. By the way, Amazon, I’m sorry, IBM’s Watson has picked KIA Super Bowl influencers. I want to know who is going to win if you’re so smart.
Philip: I think what they did is they, it’s a KIA ad and they somehow Watson has figured out who to get to tweet about the ad.
Leo: That’s a good use of a brain bigger than a plantet.
Liberty: They researched all social algorithms and they focus on who can actually make the greatest influence and impact for Hyundai.
Leo: Not Christopher Walken with a sock puppet. That is strange.
Philip: It’s a very funny ad.
Leo: Yea, don’t watch, we’re missing these ads. I’m going to close that. Nope. Don’t watch it. Don’t watch it.
Liberty: Don’t ruin it, Leo.
Leo: There’s a lot of stories about the Puppy Bowl in here. Jason. Jason likes dogs.
Jason Howell: No, it’s 360 VR. It’s 360
Liberty: Who doesn’t like dogs?
Leo: Who cares? It’s the Puppy Bowl. I like dogs but the Puppy Bowl? Really?
Liberty: You don’t watch the Puppy Bowl?
Leo: No. You do?
Liberty: Of course.
Leo: It’s dopey. They don’t do anything.
Liberty: They play football.
Leo: No they don’t.
Liberty: Speaking of Puppy Bowl.
Leo: That is a very, that is a very odd definition of playing football. Watch, these are the puppies in 360. You say they’re playing football here?
Jason: No, this is the pregame practice.
Leo: Oh, this is the practice.
Jason: Yes, this is the pregame.
Georgia: One guy’s chilling on the side.
Leo: There’s puppy Manning, yea.
Jason: it’s the official practice game.
Leo: That one’s itching. Why would you watch this?
Liberty: Not just watch it. I’d attend it.
Leo: You’d go?
Leo: Apparently they don’t let real people in, just paper cutouts.
Jason: I’m not going to say anything that would you know, incriminate me, but you know, I may have money riding on the Eskimo puppy.
Liberty: Oh, no, no, no.
Georgia: I have 50 on schnauzer.
Leo: You guys are—
Philip: How do you win it?
Leo: How do you win? Because I—oh look. There’s a pass. He’s going deep.
Jason: I’m not going to share that information.
Liberty: They’re so cute.
Leo: I don’t think 360 degree video makes this anymore compelling. Just saying. Oh. And now, NFL Films presents. It was a cold day on Lambeau Field when puppy Manning took to the grass for his biggest day in history. Oh, he’s making a poo-poo. Ok, that’s enough.
Liberty: So you’re wondering, Leo, how did I get into all these Super Bowl parties.
Leo: How did you get into all the Super Bowl parties?
Liberty: How I get in.
Leo: I am wondering that.
Liberty: You are wondering that. I was actually with a very, very popular Pomeranian called JiffPom.
Leo: Wait a minute. You got in because of a dog?
Liberty: A dog.
Leo: Ok, I take it all back.
Liberty: You take it all back. So JiffPom is an Instagram powerhouse. He has over 3 million followers. And he was able to get into all of the parties that the NFL players could not get into.
Leo: What? Oh, wait a minute.
Liberty: JiffPom got to sit down and have an exclusive interview with him.
Leo: He looks like, there’s another dog that looks just like him. What’s his name?
Liberty: He walked in the show, the NFL runway show.
Leo: He’s cute actually.
Liberty: He was at the Maxim party, the Playboy party. Every party you could imagine he headlined.
Leo: JiffPom is his name?
Liberty: JiffPom. You’ve got to find him. He’s amazing. JiffPom has over 3 million followers.
Georgia: What is the world coming to?
Leo: I’m not following him apparently. G-I-F-P-O-M?
Leo: Oh, like the peanut butter not like the graphic interchange format. Do you feel like, Philip, do you feel like sometimes the world has just left us behind?
Philip: No, I’m trying to stay with it.
Leo: I know. I am too but I’m starting to understand why as you get older you start to think, “I don’t get the world anymore.”
Liberty: So that’s him. That is the verified JiffPom.
Georgia: Is he verified?
Liberty: Oh, I’m with the dog. They thought I was talking about friends.
Leo: He does. He has a check. He has a blue check. 2.1 million followers.
Georgia: That’s hilarious.
Philip: What’s his business model?
Liberty: He actually does have a business model.
Leo: He’s got a website. I bet he does have a business model. See, look, yea. He’s got a calendar. He’s got a poster.
Liberty: Basically he’s got product.
Leo: He’s got a shizzle reel. Here’s the JiffPom sizzle reel. Oh, he’s with Katy Perry in her—
Katy Perry: -- called Jiff. And he was basically the star of the show stealing all of my thunder.
Leo: A billion views.
Liberty: That’s Jiff.
Leo: And it wasn’t Katy Perry. Oh, no. They were there for—
Male on Video: And you all know how much I love Jiff the Pomeranian.
Female on Video: Yes, we do.
Male on Video: But this morning, breaking news. It turns out he’s a record setter. The Guinness Book of World Records in fact.
Leo: Geez Louise. What? He can do handstands? Do you actually know Jiff? Can you bring him to the next show?
Liberty: That’s how I got into all the events. If you go to libertymadison.com or check out YouTube you see videos of him doing all his tricks, sit down interview with him.
Leo: I think the chatroom’s got it right. He’s paying Japanese dogs, Chinese dogs to follow him on Instagram. I think so.
Georgia: I think the world has no hope now.
Liberty: I have seen them turn down NFL players. They let JiffPom on the list.
Liberty: I kid you not.
Leo: Oh, you’re on the Browns. You can’t get in. Oh, JiffPom? Come on.
Liberty: JiffPom, come on in.
Liberty: That’s what happened.
Leo: I think we should just wrap this up and go home and watch a football game. What do you say? Georgia Dow from iMore.com. I’m following JiffPom now. You better believe it.
Georgia: (laughing) I’m not going to really follow him.
Leo: Come on, follow him. She’s Georgia underscore Dow on Twitter. That makes it hard to find but it doesn’t matter.
Georgia: There is another therapist Georgia Dow some people might be following.
Leo: Hey, at least Sarah Lane had a ballerina named Sarah Lane.
Georgia: That’s pretty cool. That is pretty cool. I’m sure she’s cooler than the ballerina though, so she doesn’t have to worry.
Leo: It’s a battle for who’s the coolest. She’s the coolest Sarah Lane. Thank you, Georgia. Great to see you.
Georgia: Thank you. Can I mention we have a new video up for anxity-videos.com and it’s on relaxation techniques for if you’re feeling stressed out and we also have our sleep video.
Leo: I’m not feeling stressed out. Why do you keep saying I’m feeling stressed out?
Georgia: I would never say that, Leo. On there.
Leo: I bet you have patients that do that. What do you mean anxious? Yah! This is actually a great site. A lot of great videos. Georgia does these with her partner and there’s sleep on here. It’s just great stuff and you know—
Georgia: And it’s Canadian so it’s almost free. We’re almost paying you to buy them.
Leo: They’re apologetic during the, yea. No, it’s great. It’s really great. I highly recommend it. Anxiety-videos.com. And you’re sleep series is still there, right?
Georgia: Yes it is.
Leo: That was really good. I really enjoyed that. You can also buy DVDs if you have a DVD player.
Georgia: Yes or just download. Just download. Most people probably do.
Leo: Thank you, Georgia.
Georgia: Thank you.
Leo: Thank you to Philip Elmer-DeWitt. We don’t know the domain yet. We’re thinking PED30.com but the Apple 3.0 newsletter starting soon.
Philip: Real soon now.
Leo: That’s exciting. Congratulations.
Philip: It’s the most entrepreneurial think I’ve done since I delivered papers I think.
Leo: You know there’s a lot of people like you and me who made our way in mainstream media for years and just decided to—I mean that was the best thing I ever did was decide to go it on my own. I’ve been very lucky as a result but I think it was a good move in hindsight.
Philip: You don’t have your Tesla yet but it’s coming.
Leo: As long as Elan’s not mad at me.
Georgia: Hope he wasn’t listening to the show.
Leo: I hope you’re not mad at me. No, he knows I love him.
Georgia: Leo loves Teslas.
Leo: I love my Tesla. Actually I’ll probably be one of those—I already am. I don’t even have it and I’m one of those insufferable people who can’t stop talking about his car.
Georgia: I can fully understand that.
Liberty: I know, the millennial version.
Leo: What’s cool is I have solar panels on the roof so I’m not, I’m just using the sun to drive around. I think that’s cool.
Georgia: Oh, I love that.
Leo: Yea. It makes me feel good.
Georgia: I love that. It’s so cool.
Leo: Pay no attention to the hot tub, the wine cooler, the you know (laughing) the lights burning all hours of the day and night, the 15 computers, the giant Minecraft server. Nothing. Pay no attention. My car is solar powered. Liberty, you’re great. Thank you so much for being here. We really appreciate you being here. You could probably be at some big Super Bowl event right now.
Liberty: Thank you so much. With JiffPom.
Leo: With JiffPom.
Georgia: She could be with Jiff. She left Jiff for us. That matters a lot.
Liberty: I did. I gave Leo my Super Bowl Sunday. That’s how much I love TWiT.
Georgia: That’s amazing. That’s amazing.
Leo: Oh, my God.
Georgia: We have to make like a Liberty loves Leo t-shirt with JiffPom at the bottom.
Leo: I could brush my hair like that. I just, you know. It’s all in the grooming. I can walk on my hind legs and everything. I think.
Georgia: That’s talent.
Leo: Hey, we thank you all for being here even on Super Bowl Sunday. And you know what? We’ve got a great live studio audience. Thank you for coming. I know you’re bored but that’s ok. It’s almost over.
Georgia: Are they asleep?
Philip: Let’s see them. Let’s see them.
Georgia: Let’s see them. Are they asleep?
Leo: She was drifting off I think.
Georgia: It’s the JiffPom segment.
Liberty: I didn’t even think we were going to have a studio audience. So thank God, studio audience.
Leo: How long does this go on for? They said it would be a short show. It was. Only 2 hours 14 minutes, nothing. If you want to be in the studio audience, tickets, just email firstname.lastname@example.org. Glad to have you. Somebody flew all the way from where?
Leo: Milwaukee to be here.
Georgia: That’s so cool.
Leo: I’m touched.
Liberty: Dedicated fans here for TWiT.
Leo: Isn’t that nice? Yea. We also thank you watching at home. A lot of live watchers. That’s nice. But if you don’t want to watch live and you can’t make it to the studio, guess what? On demand audio and video, shh don’t tell anybody, always available after the fact. Either go to TWiT.tv or our YouTube channel. We’ve got a great one. Actually YouTube.com/TWiT is the starting point. Each show has its own channel. There’s also TWiT Bits, little shorts from all the shows including a whole product review playlist where we put all our product reviews. That’s YouTube.com/TWiT. You can also go to your favorite podcatcher there’s 5 Apple TV apps, there’s Roku, there’s everything. iOS, Android. And subscribe, that way you won’t miss an episode. Thanks for being here everybody. Have a great week. We’ll see you next time. Another TWiT is in the can. Bye-bye.
Video Voice: Puppy Monkey Baby.
Liberty: Let’s see. Let’s see what we got.
Video Voice: Puppy Monkey Baby.
Leo: Puppy Monkey Baby?
Video Voice: Puppy Monkey Baby.
Leo: Puppy Monkey Baby.
Georgia: What’s happening?
Video Voice: Puppy Monkey Baby.
Leo: I don’t know.
Video Voice: Puppy Monkey Baby.
Georgia: It’s so scary.
Video Voice: Puppy Monkey Baby.
Leo: See in order to get your attention, these ads have to get more and more cray.
Georgia: It’s wearing a diaper.
Video Voice: Puppy Monkey Baby. Mountain Dew Kickstart. Dew. Juice. Caffeine. Puppy Monkey Baby.
Georgia: Well it does get my attention.
Leo: I’m going to have nightmares.
Philip: All right, I’m switching to the Super Bowl ads.
Leo: Goodbye. Have a good game! See you, Philip. Take care.